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[left [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/21/cf/db/21cfdbef1cc828c07e46616c99ef8306.jpg]] [size14 [font "Times" Blythe's mouth shut tight with frustration as Jayfeather just looked away from her. Her eyes followed, dropping away to look to Afford instead now. She just. Couldn't win. She couldn't be casual, she couldn't be polite, she couldn't just be frank without him like acting weird and like she was just stepping over all of these social faux-pas and just.
She knew that a part of it was her hypersensitivity about being liked by people, and her propensity to take things personally. Blythe was trying [i so hard] not to be insulted by just the guy's staring problem and his stupid, judgmental looking face. Anything she said just seemed to upset him and ten minutes into a first interaction with him, she wanted to be done.
"[+purple Alright, ancient one, I was under the impression I was here to have an interview I think.]"
Her eyes were trained on Afford, who seemed to pick up on the silence stretching between them as Jayfeather disengaged. Blythe looked expectant and unhappy. He hummed a bit, glancing between them. This was strange energy, and not necessarily in the good way, here.
"[#a46d8f Ah, yes.]" he looked to the human beside him. "[#a46d8f Jayfeather, would you please watch the front.]"
Presently he offered a gesturing hand to Blythe, "[#a46d8f Would you like to follow me?]" he inquired, arching his brows. "[#a46d8f I have something I would like to discuss with you in my office, if that's acceptable.]"
Blythe shrugged and pushed her hands into her pants pockets. "[+purple Sure,]" she nodded to the side, stealing another glance at Jayfeather before she followed the blond man as he turned towards the door. She picked up the purse she had dropped on the floor when she had approached the counter and slid it onto her shoulder as she went.
And with that the store grew a little quieter on the ground floor as the footsteps of those two ascended into the man's office once again. The hum of Afford's voice was heard, low and silken, through the old floors though no words availed themselves to listeners. It sounded conversational, businesslike.
[Kodchasan [Center [#228B22 "Hm, you nailed it." ]
Jayfeather said as his face quickly shifted from his unemotional look to a new, sad but curious face. It was only for a moment however as his face turned back into the unemotional one. He still felt uncomfortable underneath his boss's weight but he took into consideration that this girl was here to teach him about more and higher powers of magic.
And as soon as Blythe said that Afford was enjoying it, he just melted away to show his raw emotion right then and there. His face showed a teenager that wasn't enjoying this, being under the heavy weight of his boss and it was causing him stress, both emotional and mental. He hated being like this and it just wanted to make him cry and throw up to be honest.
Jayfeather held a small green potion bottle in his hands now, rubbing his fingers along with slick glass as he did when he was nervous and stressed out. He had slipped the vial from his pocket and the fluids inside of it were made of nightshade, barley, and his own blood.
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/zvj5wfQ.jpg?1]] [size14 [font "Times" Afford looked back at Jay as he apologized again, gauging his body language. Something akin to a bit of hesitation, perhaps regret- of all the ugly feelings. With a sigh, he glanced away and folded his hands in front of himself.
"[#a46d8f Like I said,]" he murmured softly, "[#a46d8f we will talk about it.]"
He could hear the pointed heaviness in Jayfeather's steps behind him, sighing internally. And now came the downward spiral...
The pale haired man hummed, nodding as he moved. "[#a46d8f Apt and appropriate assumption,]" he responded. Afford raised a finger, looking back at Jayfeather, "[#a46d8f But that is why I have you, isn't it? Other than teaching you more about greater magic.]"
Blythe gazed at the desk guy's smile, looking at the way he was holding himself. His eyes on her still made her uncomfortable cuz it looked like he was just forcing himself to be polite in front of his boss. So, then, at least she had that armor for now.
Blythe gazed at Jayfeather for a few moments when he suddenly spoke again. Afford was smiling, when she looked at him, like. Grinning. He looked satisfied with something as Jayfeather spoke up. She wasn't sure if he was being serious or mocking her with that word choice.
"[+purple It- can be...]" she hedged, glancing at Afford again.
It felt like she was being skewered by the both of them, the woman shifting and feeling her temper raise a little. She glared at Afford, "[+purple You're enjoying this,]" she said, glancing between the both of them.
"[+purple And yeah, you smell like rotting grass clippings but that didn't sound real flattering so like, y'know, I didn't mention the whole like- decomposition smell.]" Blythe opened her hands, shrugging.
[Kodchasan The pale teenager knew he was in trouble as soon as he picked up on his boss's cold tone. He hung his head low a bit, his shaking hands placed in his pockets. He didn't mean to have his outburst and now it really could cost him. He had no clue where he'd go to work anymore since nobody was interested in the skills that he had anymore. [#228B22 "I'm s-sorry sir." ] He repeated but in a smaller voice that was filled with regret and negative emotions, none of them being anger or rage.
Jayfeather then followed behind Afford, his foot steps hard and heavy on the wooden floor as he stepped into the stairway too. He instantly flinched as Afford turned around on the halfway mark of the stairway, thinking his manager was just going to hurt him. He turned back to look at Afford as the older man spoke to him sternly and the teenager simply nodded without saying another word and he followed him down the rest of the stairs.
Jayfeather seemed to instantly straighten himself out and was now bent on trying to make his boss see that he was worthy of staying. [#228B22 "To be honest sir, I really just guessed. I know you hire people with those skills so I put that in as well so I got the answer that she has magical abilities and skills." ] He said with a new respectful and more quiet tone, his head still dipped low. He was really afraid of staring Afford in his eyes now, not wanting to see the disappointment and anger in his eyes.
The teenager then stood besides Afford with his head low still as he took a step away from his manager. He then looked up at Blythe as he heard his boss introduce him to the new female. He instantly put on the fake, almost regal smile on as Blythe smiled at him as he always did for the customers that come in. He then flinched heavily as he felt Afford's hand on his shoulder, making him feel very uneasy under the weight of his boss.
The teenager listened to his to-be partner with an unreadable face, his face showing no emotions but a helpful look at the same time. It was something he could do very well, mask his emotions and show another feeling other than what he was currently feeling. [#228B22 "I think that's very cool and helpful, it would enable you to see people that are shape-shifters or even monsters that feign being human." ] He suddenly blurted out, his eyes looking Blythe up and down before she mentioned leaves and vines.
He instantly looked dead at her face, [#228B22 "Yes, I do have nature themed abilities. It is curious to see if you can know the other powers I have even though I avoid using them." ] He said as he leaned into the counter, not in a threatening, up-in-your face kind of way but like an interested curiosity. He always hid his darker themed powers because he didn't want anyone to try to influence him to do evil things like his father had tried to.
Jayfeather had powers that went into both circles of life and death and he kinda hated having so much power. He could raise the dead and summon demonic creatures to do his bidding but he rarely did it. It left him with the most intense negative feelings he had ever had and it made him collapse most of the time, along with getting very bad nose bleeds from using his deathly powers.
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/zvj5wfQ.jpg?1]] [size14 [font "Times" Afford was still itching with irritation from Jayfeather's inappropriate behavior, his eyes kept firmly ahead. He didn't want to look at his employee- his [i employee] who was speaking of himself as if he was a partner, as if he were at all to do with the sowing, growing, maintenance of this establishment beyond running the counter and gloomily filling orders and talking about the customers and his prospective colleague behind their backs.
"[#a46d8f Frankly,]" Afford responded, voice clipped and cold. "[#a46d8f I don't at present care what you think about it.]" His hand slipped from his pocket to gesture ahead of them. "[#a46d8f It's my business that I've had longer than you've been alive. And I have interest in her assistance.]" He barely held his tongue on a snappish, vicious comment of 'The only person getting in your way is you.' aimed at Jayfeather. But he was in no mood to make the teenager shut down and go into a frustratingly downward cycle of uselessness while he was at work. It made his customer service worse. Jayfeather had been so eager to take the job, clearly in need of it, when Afford had been swayed to hire him. But his attitude since then had become increasingly entitled since then, as Afford's only employee and pupil.
"[#a46d8f I fear I've indulged you for too long,]" he murmured in a tone that sounded partially aimed at himself.
"[#a46d8f We are going to talk about the way you speak to me after I meet with Ms. Masters,]" Afford informed the human, finally turning to Jayfeather as he opened the door to the stairs and started down them. He paused on them, turning back up to Jay, and lowering his voice to a personal level.
His frown deepened as he turned away from the human boy as he heard him speak. Certainly, he had given the impression that he indeed had a difficult life, and it was part of the reason why Afford had ended up taking him on. He wasn't heartless, not completely. But it seemed like it was being used as an excuse to speak to him this way. And that would not stand. Jayfeather didn't have to like Afford, but he was required to respect him as his employer.
And that was not an apology, it was worded like an excuse. "[#a46d8f Jayfeather, I need you to understand the way you act affects others despite your intent. You are always responsible for your actions.]" And with that he turned and went down the rest of the stairs.
He had to chuckle a little at Jayfeather's guess at what Blythe could do. Perhaps that was a part of it. He had only looked into a small portion. "[#a46d8f So have you heard of her, then? I have heard tell that she has a following on the internet...]"
Entering into the lobby, Blythe was found bent, looking into one of the display cases of items. She stood up, looking between both the figures that entered. Her brows shot up when she saw Afford, looking at him and it seemed beyond him as her eyes unfocused for a moment.
"[#a46d8f Ms. Masters,]" the man greeted her.
She seemed to blink out of whatever thought had assaulted her, and approached the two of them, looking for a long moment at Jayfeather with reservation before extending her hand to Afford. "[+purple Mr. Febear, it's a pleasure.]" her voice sounded thin, dry, and she cleared her throat, nodding towards him.
He wasn't a man for handshakes, but he understood it was a custom, and after a split second's unpreparedness accepted the greeting. "[#a46d8f The pleasure is mine,]" he said, returning the nod. "[#a46d8f This is my pupil, Jayfeather.]"
The goth brushed her hair behind her ear, looking at the boy with a twitch of an awkward, polite smile and glanced at him briefly before keeping her eyes down.
[right [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/21/cf/db/21cfdbef1cc828c07e46616c99ef8306.jpg]] Afford then brought a hand out to Jayfeather, setting it lightly at the back of his shoulder, "[#a46d8f My colleague and I were just discussing what interest I have in you.]" he said, smiling slightly as he gestured to Blythe. "[#a46d8f Would you care to inform him of your capabilities?]"
Blythe grinned a little, feeling a bit awkward being put on the spot. "[+purple Sure, no problem,]" she said, turning her gaze to Jayfeather and clearing her throat. She was still trying to figure out what he was, exactly. "[+purple I, uh, can see- things.]" the young adult explained, gesturing with a tap of her finger on her sunglasses frames. "[+purple Like-]" she gestured to Afford, swallowing and looking at him and quickly away to Jayfeather again. "[+purple auras. True forms, sometimes, depending on the magic. Or it comes in smells, feelings... like your-]" her hands danced a bit around her head, "[+purple leaves. Vines.]"
[Kodchasan Jayfeather shook his head when heard that he was accusing his boss. [#228B22 "I am sorry sir but I did not mean it that way. I just wouldn't like to have someone working with me who would possibly get in my way." ] He said very honestly, no longer an unhappy look on his face. He was only unhappy because he wasn't able to ever really tell anyone how he felt about what he did and he took this chance to tell his boss about how he felt about having a co-worker. [#228B22 "And I did not mean to act out like I did, it's just lately it's been kinda rough and I'm..." ] He trailed off, not wanting to talk much about his past to someone whom he thought currently had more power than he did.
The teenage boy then flinched a bit when he saw his boss tense up just like he was all the time and his mind instantly turned to the thought that he was going to get hit. He looked nervous as he straightened himself out after flinching, looking down at his red and grey converse that adorned his feet. [#228B22 "I know she has some talent with herbs, enchanting and or potion making." ] He said, very uncomfortable with the situation he had put himself into. He should've at least met the woman before deciding that he hated her and he showed that he regretted it, his lips curled downwards into a sad face.
He didn't mean to be so dim and sad all the time but it was just something that happened because of his past. He couldn't get over all the pain and whatnot and it effected him a lot, making him not trust people as much and even making him wonder what he had done wrong in his childhood. And with him thinking about what he did wrong, it made him more depressed and down because he felt like if he had changed one little thing, he would've been better off currently. He was just a massive wreck and he hid that very well but now he was showing it, no longer his slick, confident self. ]
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/zvj5wfQ.jpg?1]] [font "Times" [size14 "[#a46d8f 'Some days',]" the man responded, eyes distant as his brows arched. This was beginning to sound like a weaselly way to ask for a paid vacation, which if that were true was very irritating. Simply in the manner that it was being asked of him was frustrating, having to pull the actual question out of him by cornering him into simply saying what he meant when Jayfeather was instead too intimidated or indecisive to just out with it. Afford tried to be patient with it, but it was grinding on his patience. The kid he hired as an employee had proved himself to be more emotional labor than he had been prepared for to try and work with him, and had a dim attitude about everything. It was draining. Dour, taking himself very seriously and looking bored and unhappy in front of customers, which he would if they knew him get told about in complaint.
"[#a46d8f I'll think about it.]"
Afford turned, regarding Jayfeather from the corner of his eye with an unreadable expression as they moved. But he stopped before the doorway, and kept his eyes forwards. "[#a46d8f You are accusing me of- what exactly? Based solely off of an assumption, obviously.]" he said finally, feeling a scathing tone enter his own voice at the sharp disrespect and accusation in Jayfeather's tone. His head turned to the side, features tight in irritation as he glanced in the direction of the other.
He finally turned, eyes coldly displeased for the sudden, attacking tone in the teenager's voice. His hackles had raised - his shoulders now tight and squared- when Jay had decided to begin with a demanding, angry tone like that out of nowhere. Jayfeather had come in already sour and uncomfortable, and now was pushing as if he wanted to start a fight with Afford.
"[#a46d8f Do you know what she is here for? Do you know what she can do? Anything about her or why I would invite her in?]" he asked, brows firm as he held eye contact with Jayfeather.
[K2D Jayfeather was silent as he listened, not wanting to take the chance and talk back to his boss and potentially get fired. Jayfeather was silent until he heard the part about him going picking tomorrow and he seemed to have a rare smile on his face. [#228B22 "Yes, that is what I mean. I would love to take some days to go picking." ] He finally said, very frustrated at himself for still not being so clear for once. He then watched as his boss looked back at the card that he had brought him before sighing.
He followed right behind Afford as he was told to, mostly because he had learned to take orders once or something bad would happen to him. Or so he thought because his father was a lot more impatient than most people. He had his hands still in his pockets as he followed behind his boss, looking around at random things as they began to leave the office. [#228B22 "So when did you decide to get a new employee?" ] Jayfeather finally asked with a bit of venom laced in his voice. ]
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/zvj5wfQ.jpg?1]] [size14 [font "Times" Afford simply waited, allowing Jay to work through what looked and smelled like frustration to him. He had patience for a few moments, brows rising in anticipation of the young man getting to his point and nodding as he began again.
His eyes were keen on him when he got around to it again, tilting his head. Shifting slightly, the blond man came around the desk to Jay's side, eyes moving over the lines of the floor and the rug in thought, brushing his hair over his ear again. The man's eyes turned over Jay as he watched his body language before turning his eyes away, shifting past Jay and towards the fireplace.
"[#a46d8f Are you asking me, Jay,]" the man began, looking at the card in his fingers again and slipping his other hand into his pant pocket. "[#a46d8f If I will allow you [i permanently], to handle all of my incoming stock?]" He turned now, slightly, and looked over his shoulder, arching a high brow. He leaned his wrist against the mantle piece. "[#a46d8f You know I, with certain ingredients, will stock upon request only due to demand.]"
"[#a46d8f Or are you asking for the chance to go picking tomorrow?]" Afford flipped the card's face towards him again, looking at it for a moment before turning back to Jay. "[#a46d8f We have someone waiting for us. I'd like you to meet her.]" He gestured for Jayfeather to follow him, turning towards the office door.
[K2D Jayfeather gave out an angry growl but it was mostly directed at himself. He was trying to work on talking with clarity instead of sounding misleading or secretive but he just couldn't break his habit yet. His hands were clenched into shaking fists, trying to keep himself from hurting himself in some way. He took another deep breath outwards, his hands uncurling as he calmed himself down. He stood there in silence for one more moment, thinking of how to actually tell his boss what he wanted.
[#228B22 "Some people come in here for rare potions that we can't brew, mostly because the potions they want have rare ingredients in them. [i You ] can't buy these rare ingredients, you'd have to go look for them where they grow really. We are low on two things, primrose and lavender as well. After today, will you give me the responsibility of buying and gathering herbs that we need?" ] Jayfeather finally said, his hands back in his pockets as his eyes looked up at Afford. He hated this warped floor, it made him look smaller than his boss and he didn't like that.
Jayfeather was pretty sure Afford would let him do what he had asked because he was very reliable with every job that he had been on so far. He'd even go out of his way to make sure their customers were actually satisfied. He was very good at defending himself as well just in case a job had gone wrong, his combat skills were better than most due to his childhood. He had fought off every living thing pretty much to stay alive, including a god of some sorts. ]
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/zvj5wfQ.jpg?1]] [size14 [font "Times" Afford's eyes turned down to the card in Jayfeather's hand, reaching for it a moment later. His eyes glanced over the nervous gesture that the other's hands went into immediately once relieved of their job. The artificer hummed in inquisitive acknowledgment as he flipped it over to read the print.
[i Blythe Masters]
"[#a46d8f Mm, ah,]" his eyes lit in recognition as he stood up, pressing a hand over his shirt to smooth it as he arose. He had been expecting her.
Jay had an inch on him, height-wise, but currently he had the high ground with the slightly warped wooden floor of a very old building. His eyes were only briefly on the door behind them before he hummed again in thought. Did he want her up here yet, or did he feel like making an appearance on the floor?
His attention then returned to Jay as the young man spoke again, narrowing his eyes in the way he did when he was thinking. Those eyes scrutinized Jay for a moment as he waited further clarification. Tilting his head, some of the man's hair fell from behind his ear, "[#a46d8f And what are you asking about, then? I can hear the question in your voice; finish your thought.]" Afford had yet to break Jay of his at times annoying habit of not being concise and clear. He had a pretty damn good guess as to what it was exactly he wanted, and yet he wanted the clarification. Afford hadn't ever brought Jay out with him to gather raw ingredients. He was either an errand boy between sellers when Afford asked him to be, or a deliveryman; so the pointed 'we' caught his attention.
Of course he knew what they were low on: he had told Jay to keep him informed about it like any good employee. He was waiting for the adolescent to get to his point.
[K2D [#228B22 "There is a young lady here and she wishes to speak to you sir." ] He said as he stood in the empty doorway. High and attentive he stood, his frame reaching a solid height of 6'3 as his head was close to the top of the door frame. He walked in with a sense of smoothness and... elegance almost, his feet sweeping across the floor as he walked to his manager's desk and stopped right at it. He pulled the card out of his pocket and showed him the card, looking around at the office.
He indeed had only been in here like three times but the view was always awing to him. He eventually breathed out a deep breath as he tried to calm himself down. He knew what was happening and he didn't want someone to interfere with his time and efforts, which is why he was acting a lot less formal to Blythe. His eyes were set on his manager and what he was about to say now, his hands gripping at the edge of the desk.
Afford knew very little about him except for his name and what he was. He liked it that way so he wouldn't have to worry about someone turning on him. He then decided to bring his idea forth at this time so he didn't have to come back and ask the question. [#228B22 "We need more ingredients for potions and whatnot and don't just go buy them... We need to gather more rare stuff sir." ] He said with some anxiety in his voice as he stood there awaiting for two answers now. ]
[left [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/21/cf/db/21cfdbef1cc828c07e46616c99ef8306.jpg]] [size14 [font "Times" Upon inspection, Blythe to jay looked like a pretty basic instagram nu goth. She had her medium length, black dyed hair, straight cut bangs, pale foundation and black makeup and jewelry. She was pretty casual about it, though, wearing a simply cardigan and black button up with a wee necklace poking out from under the collar, and jeans. And the rotund sunglasses she was now pushing up on top of her head as she let Jay take his moment to stare at her, fully aware it was happening as she watched his face to see if she could read any expression from it as he looked.
Blythe nodded as the guy left her, frowning after him. So much for customer service presence or even being welcoming or literally pleasant at all, she supposed. Was it cuz she was a basic bitch goth who smelled like coffee and mocha syrup? Meaning was it the employee who was stuck up, or was that just that kind of place? Stuck up and "secret" and all that. On the phone, Afford didn't seem like the type to put up with that shit, though he seemed pretty haughty himself... If this was the sort of atmosphere the place had, then she was pretty sure she was going to hate working here. Which was a shame cuz it seemed to cool, and like a staple to the community. A lot of her clients talked about it a lot, and even Afford fondly at times.
The guy behind the desk just now seemed even more stuck up than Febear though, which was saying something. Especially in the way he kinda just... meandered away. Checking on literally everything but what she had asked of him as if showing her that she didn't matter at all whatsoever. Nice. Her eyes narrowed, feeling irritation glow low in her chest at the retreating twink's back.
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/zvj5wfQ.jpg?1]] Afford Febear was a tall, angular, white blond man with light green eyes and a knack for making and enchanting jewelry, and wearing plenty of it. He dressed mainly in jewel tones or pastel, usually androgynously, if not in eye catching combinations of pants, shirt and blazer or lengthy coats.
The jewelry making were his main activities whenever Jay would be becked inside the office; a glass in his eye and tiny, nimble tools in his hands as he spun gold and set stones and etched plating... That, or he was standing over some instrument of some sort, either brewing or divining.
Today he was doing neither as the door opened for Jay to reveal the man tapping on his computer for a moment, glancing between that and the paperwork beside him.
He glanced up when the human entered, "[#a46d8f Yes, what is it?]" he inquired, nudging the laptop away with his fingers as he turned his attention to Jay instead, his brows raising in prompting. Attentive, but not entertaining needless dallying.
[K2D [#228B22 "Yes ma'am." ] Jayfeather finally said through almost clenched teeth. He wasn't one for formal talking at all and it was hard for him to be formal to people for so long. He was a person that was tensed up all the time, the person who was expecting someone to stab him at anyone moment. It took him a moment of just standing there to just stare at the girl, taking her in himself. The corner of his lip smiled and he gently took the card from Blythe's hand.
He turned around and made his way through the shop, checking on small herbs and berries here and there. But he never fully stopped, having a rhythm to his body almost as he walked. He took a deep breath and he relaxed only a bit, he never fully relaxed and he did not know that feeling of relaxation. It was something merely from his life, he had gained that early on. Maybe a little too early for most liking.
He put his hand to his neck, feeling for that usual silver pendant that he wore underneath his usual sweater. He felt it and sighed in relief, feeling the silver virgo symbol on it's leather chain. He then made it to the back of the store, eventually climbing the stairs up to his manager's office. He was a [b very, very ] good employee but he was very secretive and kept to himself and himself only. He was good at what he did, being an apothecary and being knowledgeable about herbs, oils and even potions. He knew more recipes than the books he was given but he couldn't make certain things due to his supplies.
He wanted to ask Afford if he may go out of the store to gather some of the more rare ingredients that you can't normally buy. He just sighed and showed his hands into the pockets of his tightest black pants and basking in the comfort of his forest green sweater. He was stressed about most things, even the fact that he didn't even bleed normal blood. His was forest green and it had some magical properties to it and it even strengthened any potions that are meant to grow things or summon anything tied with anything green.
He sighed as he gently knocked on Afford's office door, looking over at a plotted plant that was on a table nearby. He smiled and reached out with his hand, the plant suddenly shifting and growing into almost a bush. He only did this a tiny bit of the times, mostly to get rid of his horrible and dark emotions. ]
[left [pic https://i.pinimg.com/564x/21/cf/db/21cfdbef1cc828c07e46616c99ef8306.jpg]] [size14 [font "Times" Blythe arched a brow as she was answered in the most unnecessarily cryptic way she possible. Giving the other employee a slow glance over she reevaluated what sort of a light that shone on her first impression to a potential coworker. Admittedly her inquiry was a bit opaque, to be fair.
She put one end of her sunglasses between her teeth, hanging them there while she reached into her purse to retrieve her wallet. "[+purple ... Uh huh...]" she responded, shaking her head a little.
From it she brought out a business card in a stiff cardstock with stylized printing on it. Her sunglasses were pulled out of her mouth at that. "[+purple Could you get him for me? That'd be great,]" she said, "[+purple thanks man.]" And with that she waited.
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/zvj5wfQ.jpg?1]] Afford Febear, as he always was at this time of the day, was up in his office. The upper floor of the building, accessed from the stairs back in the storeroom at the back of the store. It was always warm, with the upstairs fireplace at this time of year almost constantly active. In few words it could be described as the exact place the mysterious owner of an "alternative" herbal shop like this would own. Plus, midnight carpets dotted with stars and gold edging. Varying scrying glasses, mobiles of magical-looking implements for measuring or whatever he had, piles of scrolls and ancient-looking books and a quietly tinkling fixture of spreading, meandering branches suspended from the ceiling, dominating the upper plane of the room -- high enough for even Afford to walk under-- dotted within which were bottles of labeled, colorful potions in their vials.
The desk was heavy, and full of papers and large tomes and a laptop and a green shaded, brass library lamp.
He didn't like being disturbed. If it was important, that was one thing. But the longer Jay had worked there, if it was something "insipid" as he called it, he was less welcoming. Especially if he had a client in his office. Many people and things passed Jay at the counter to go into Afford's office for whatever reasons. Today he was unoccupied, however.
Afford himself was often stern and reserved, but he had a disposition of protectiveness if you were a good employee, or a customer. The shop was something of an important haven for the shadowy sorts they served . And he would come down and defend it on a moment's notice of "I want to speak to your manager".
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