Family Law


sable_icon.gif marien_icon.gif

Scene Title Family Law
Synopsis A candid interview for the position of process server.
Date April 19, 2011

Upper East Side - Law Offices of Polk, Anthony and Taylor


The choice was between suit and vest. One Sable agonized over personally, looking from hanging getup to hanging getup with a gaze half inquisitive, half accusatory, as if concerned that whichever outfit she did choose would just be waiting before, Judas-like, betraying her ne'er-do-well ways and checkered past. 'No honest applicant, this one, just a street rat in a tie!' How clothes could backstab her so, Sable has no idea. But the sleek pinstripes of the suit, in particular, seem almost resentful in their straightness, a quality she herself possesses in no sense or usage.

It was a simple, of course, as just asking Dee. Which Sable does, and should have right away. Not only would Delilah necessarily know better, not only does Sable trust Dee's knowing better implicitly, but it certainly doesn't hurt that Sable's getting dressed up for a job interview Dee herself helped arrange.

The vest, then, which Sable is more comfortable with anyways. In a vest, and in matching slacks, the yellow eyed girl arrives at the law office where Marien Polk holds court when she's not in court - that, at least, is what Sable imagines when she thinks of lawyers. The true inner workings remain opaque, all the more so as the diminutive woman dodges hustling paralegals and circumvents flocks of young suited men discussing matters intently using words Sable couldn't spell, much less definite. She eventually locates someone who is able to point her to someone else, who helps her sign in.

She's not made to wait long before she's called. Sable makes one last adjustment to her thin black tie, trying to use her patent leather shoe's shine as a dark mirror, before hurrying to the door, as if she could still be 'late' if she doesn't get into that office right on time. Pushing her way in, hand sweeping up through the dark spines of her hair.

The offices of Polk, Anthony and Taylor is your usual modern family law firm, plopped down in swanky digs on the Upper East Side, where Sable's well-dressed self is able to slip right in relatively unnoticed. If anything, people only look twice because of her eyes- but even then, there have probably been weirder things to see. The front desk's secretary seems to be running most things with the efficiency of a Sergeant, and many of the actual employees seem to be incredibly young. They all have to start somewhere, and in this climate, there's always going to be a need for people in Family Law.

The floor that she is directed to is tall and wide, with a trio of doors. The other two belong to the esteemed Ms. Polk's partners- Anthony is a caramel brown woman of similar age, while Taylor seems to be the token white male, handsome with a full head of brown hair and happy blue eyes. Given that Sable knows who she is there to see, and Marien's translucent office door is cracked, framed in a similarly glassy wall, she is more than prepared for this series of interviews of which Sable is one.

Even being Delilah's kindly middle-aged aunt, there has always been a sort of mystery about Ms. Polk, as if she knew far more than she always let on. Perhaps it is true, or perhaps it is her natural self-assuredness that gives that vibe. When Sable arrives, Marien is seated behind her modern, glassy desk, laptop closed and off to the side, perched amongst desktop bits and pieces. There are bookshelves, cupboards, filing cabinets- nothing terribly different than what Sable might see on Law and Order reruns, or offices on shows on the USA network. The most familiar thing here though, are the pictures on one of the shelves- some, she has even seen before in Dee's photo albums. Marien and her sister, Janet- Delilah's immediate family, Delilah herself, looking cheekily about fourteen, Marien's three sons in various frames. But there is only one of her oldest, and in it, Joshua is only about fifteen, his most recent. Estranged doesn't mean that she hates him- she just misses him.

"Sable, hello. So you've made it after all, I was worried those Eltingville brutes wouldn't be letting you girls out." There is a bitter tone in her voice, reserved for said brutes, but the smile that she gives the diminutive miss Diego is a family heirloom that she sees at home all the time. "Go on, have a seat." Marien's fingers are pinning a ballpoint pen as if it were a cigarillo, the gesture fitting with her classy Londonite accent, pantsuit, shoulder length blonde hair and mauve lipstick quite nicely.

All those photos, of familiar or family to familiar, stir up a strange melange of feelings in Sable. Family-less herself, for Sable to see Delilah's own massed in images, her desperately loved smile echoed on other faces she's met briefly if at all, is to summon emotions she can't properly name. She's caught, for a noteworthy moment, by the image of the fourteen year old Delilah, fine features visible yet not quite as Sable has come to know them. Younger. Distanced in time.

But the office and its contents fade into indistinctness the moment Sable's rear hits the seat and she is honest-to-God there for an interview. Marien Polk, attorney at law, rallies the room's attention, drawing Sable's own focus to the impeccable appointed older woman. She's smiling. Sable smiles too, hoping it's an expression domesticated enough to fit into this setting, not too toothy, not too wild.

"Thanks very much, Mrs. Polk, ma'am," and from the get-go, something's a little different - the excesses of Sable's accent are noticeably toned down, her diction dressed up much as her diminutive self is, "for givin' me this here shot. Er- or whatever I'm supposed to call it," her nervousness isn't the same as her Dee-jitters, but it's not unrelated, "I'm honest, real- er- really serious 'bout makin' good. And- I figure Dee wouldn't've pointed me this way, not unless she figured I was equal to it, eh?"

Only in the midst of trying to be both grateful for and justified in her presence here, Sable has forgotten to really properly respond to Marien. Her lips twist and she has to make a concerted effort not to fidget in her seat. "Eltingville-" she says, "well- I dunno, ma'am, but from all I seen, Dee- er- Delilah can handle the border p-" - don't say pigs, don't say pigs - "-olice real-ly good. Don't cause her much delay, gettin' 'bout." A big smile, compensating for earlier (ongoing) nerves. "And here I am, eh?"

"And here you are, quite. That, Delilah wouldn't have." Marien secedes this first point as politely as always, putting her pen along the edge of a legal pad and folding her hands on the closed cover. Presumably there is something important inside, judging by the seemingly random yet distinguished series of numbers and letters on the label. To Sable, it is legal gobbledygook. "She was always rather skilled with getting people to like her. It doesn't surprise me that she moves around easily enough. She probably plies them with tarts and cakes and what not." Pies, but close enough. She knows her niece.

"I'm glad that you were able to come. Would you rather that I call you by your given last name, or would you like me to use Sable? It doesn't matter to me, but for correspondence sake I do need something to tell the front desk." Marien adjusts her sitting position, reclining slightly into her office chair and watching the small woman in the metal cushioned one across the desk. "Delilah has been busy with the move, how is Walter taking it? She told me that he was doing fine, but you know how she can be with not wanting anyone to worry.."

Selective perception saves a lot of headaches. Sable doesn't worry over the contents of that pad because that pad might as well not exist to her. The merest glimpse of those numbers, black suited and formally arranged, deflects her attention, bouncing its ray right back up at Marien. She smiles at the mention of Delilah's capacity to ingratiate. "Worth more than just bein' likeable," Sable says, "is gettin' folks to want you to like them, eh? Mebbe I ain't the best person to poll, seein' where my feelin's lie but- get the sense Dee's esteem's an esteem worth havin', y' know?"

Not that Delilah is stingy with her warmth. But hence the reason for Sable's adamant need to rise above common regard; she certainly cares about just how and how much she's liked.

"Uh- well- uh-" Sable stuffs her hand into her pocket and extracts the most recent copy of her registration card. 'Raven Diego' is the name displayed, alongside a cut-above-mugshottish picture of selfsame woman. She sets it on the desk, pushing it towards Marien for consideration if consideration is needed. "Reclaimed the name my mum gave me so I wouldn't cause you no problems, comin' here to ask for a job. But if you ain't hung up on calling me that, then I figure it's just the taxman needs to call anybody Diego this or Diego that." Which is all to say: "Sable'll do, ma'am, if that's all right. I answer to that quickest, surely."

Oh, please, let's talk about Delilah and Walter. That, at least, Sable feels she can speak on. "Unless he's holdin' out on me, playin' his cards real close to the vest, I think his little lordship's takin' to it just fine," she says, nodding, "real fine disposition. Gets it from his mum, figure. And there's families 'round where our house is," 'our' house, not just 'the' house, the mutual possessive dropping without any sign that she's noticed she's done it, "figure he'll have company 'round his age, he gets old 'nough to care for it."

"That's all well with me." She'll have to remember to make a point of calling her by said name in front of as many people as possible should Sable prove worthy enough to serve and process. Marien takes a good look at the card, however, sparing the girl a wan smile. Perhaps for her 'ability' or the fact the picture is a half goosestep from a mugshot, after all. "Lovely. I'm sure you'll both be making the best of it. I used to think some things were impossible, but somehow Delilah made Thomas Jefferson livable." Bearable. Survivable. Sable knows what homelessness is like- ThomJeff is a FEMA trailer above that.

"Okay, because this isn't your usual position, there has been some rivalry for it- we do pay well, and I have a question that I have been asking everyone at the beginning of the interviews. I think it is a very pertinent question, because for something like this, you need to be clever and you need to be perceptive." While she speaks, the blonde woman shifts, opening her desk and slipping her hand into the front drawer. When she pulls her hand up, she places a single, shining silver paperclip on the empty space between her area and the edge of the desk. It's just a paperclip- nothing more, nothing less.

"Tell me ten different ways to use this paperclip, aside from- well- clipping together a bundle of papers."

One can be sure that few paperclips have received as many fixed, pensive looks as this particular one in the office of Marien Polk. Yet none so yellow as that which settles upon it now. So much potential, in such a tiny twist of metal. Where even to begin?

Where. To. Begin.


"Fix a pair of specs," is the first thing, almost abrupt - so quick, it's likely drawn from memory, "'n'… clean a pipe," she neglects to say what exactly is smoked in said pipe, "decent for pickin' under your nails, too," offhandedly, like she heard this from someone else, not something she'd do.

"Easy way to fix a fusebox, but ain't exactly a smart way," sounds like there's a story there, especially with how she smiles just a little, "'n'… general poking and prodding," her gaze breaks from the paper clip and looking up at Marien, as if for comfirmation, "like when the button falls off of a remote control, or a radio or somethin', you gotta poke it, make it work?"

Eyes back on the wire enigma. "Y'all sharpen it up with a file, you can make a decent fish hook," up again, editorial address this time, "though don't expect to land a fish that's got any real size to it," she taps the side of her nose, "make a piercin' outta it, though safety pins are way more classic…" to herself more than Marien, "figure you could pin a diaper with it, too, in a pinch," is accompanied by a nod.

Sable looks up again, and she's smiling, looking rather more confident now. Nine down One to go. "Would it be cheatin' if I said 'as a prop in some crazy innerview question'?"

And apparently she thinks it would be cheating, or maybe she's going for extra credit, because she then takes it and twists it, tongue sticking out of the corner of her mouth in concentration. When she sets it down, it's taken the shape of a musical note - an eighth note to be precise, with a little tail.

"Art," comes with a genuine grin.

You should have seen the handful of people in here before; maybe one of them was a little more amusing, for lack of ability to answer, but even then Marien's person reveals very little about what she's thinking or how she's receiving Sable's string of answers. From the warm light and folded hands to the finished taupe of her clothes, Mrs. Polk is the picture of what one might expect in a place like this. Her green-blue eyes, however, carry a note of something far more crystallized than the softness of cushions and off-white walls.

As she listens, her hands remain folded on her knee as she leans into her chair. When Sable takes it up and wrestles it into another shape, however, a small smile does split across Marien's features.

"Art." Art it is. One supposes if that she didn't like some of these answers, it would be easy to shoo Sable off; but she doesn't, so that is more promising than not. "You owe me a paperclip, darling." That's a joke, by the way. Don't freak out. "Alright then- now, tell me if you can, why it is that you think you are more qualified than others to serve for a family law firm, as opposed to something criminal or corporate?"

"Oh, naw, y'all hold onto that," Sable says, dipping her head to the once-paperclip, "might end up becomin' a keepsake." Her manner is a touch easy - she's pleased with herself. That may account for her next answer, not nervous by any means. "Too much sympathy f'r criminals, too little love f'r fat cats," she says, lapsing further into her habitual speech.

And then Sable meets Marien's eyes, and remembers who she's dealing with.

"I'm sorry ma'am," not rushed, solemn, "that was a smartass answer, and y'all deserve my respect and more. Forgive the liberty. It was made only 'cause I felt at ease." That sounds like honest contrition. If she had her hat with her, it would be in her hand.

"Honest? Well, honest, that's still my answer, though minus the foolishness. I got no love for the takers and dealers and suit-wearin' hustlers. And I been down low 'nough to find it hard, figure, to bring more bad news to those been dealt a bad hand. But I figure family- that's somethin' I can stand with. I been in foster care, ward of the state, since I was born, ma'am. I never finished high school - ran away at fifteen, lived on th' streets or under the roofs of livin' saints. I know what family can mean, seein' as I know what it is to have none."

Sable dips her head. "That's somethin' I take serious, ma'am."

"I would rather you feel at ease than not." Maid Marien slips this part in for her jaunty rogue to process before continuing on the answer. The lawyer is content to listen in return, her thumb spinning at the wedding band on her left finger, only there for the purpose of serving as a reminder rather than an actual mark. "I didn't know that about you- that you were a ward of the state. In the south, no less." Whatever that means. "That certainly does give you a unique perspective."

"Family law is about the structure and working trials of families and marriages, but it is also about children- custody, adoption, abuse, support, wards such as yourself, and property oriented settlements." Marien finally sits forward again, brow bent at the center as she regards Sable in her Sunday best. "Your childhood sounds as if it was directly influenced by decisions being made by family court. Do you harbor any standing issues with the court system? Any misgivings, ill-will? We do our best, of course, but I am interested, as someone who has so personally dealt with it at a tender time, what your thoughts are. What might you change about family court, if only for children like yourself?"

"Ma'am," Sable says, still contained, though her speech begins to loosen a bit, finding middle ground, "I can't honestly say I know 'nough to say how t' fix somethin' went on 'round me when I was too small t' make sense 'f much more than what hurt 'n' what didn't, what made me scared, 'n' what made me feel safe," a pause, "but I guess I got th' sense- someone from th' law shows up, it means things've gotten real bad- but that mebbe things are gonna get better soon."

The yellow eyed woman gives a very slight shrug. "I dunno that I c'n say it'll be th' same t' others, mebbe families 'bout to be broke up. But I know always, always, when it comes t' blood, or what stands in, it c'n be real, real bad blood."

Sable folds her hands before her, fingers lacing. Her gaze levels on Marien's. "I'd say take real good care t' let kids know what th' hell is goin' on, best you can. Lyin' only hurts more later on. Kids figure out lies, real fast."

"I take it that's the same way you might handle children while serving parents, perhaps?" You can tell a lot by how a person thinks things should be changed. Telling children the truth could be one of them. "Forgive me if I sound prying, but questions leading into other ones is one way that I interview- people can easily prepare with a list of things I may ask them, but they can't prepare for things I think of while doing it. I like to have people good at thinking on their toes."

If anyone is good at that, though, it would be miss Diego, no doubt.

"Tell me how you handle conflict. Either to avoid it, or to manage it during. This could be physical or cerebral, too, so it can be either someone getting violent with you, or maybe someone that's tricking you into something?"

You know, Sable has to think about that. Stepping into another person's home, delivering a subpoena (yes, Sable looked up what a process server does on the internet, even urchins can google), seeing kids watching on while she may be heralding the breaking of their home. What the hell is she supposed to tell them?

"If it came t' it," Sable says, nodding, "if it was m' place. I also know family ain't somethin' that's not often anyone else's business, f'r good or ill."

Which isn't a terribly straightforward answer. But it's not something that lends itself to straightforward considerations. Justice may be universal, but mercy is case by case.

"Mostly I try 'n' steer clear of trouble," Sable admits, "but I had t' hitch 'nough rides t' get a sense if someone's pullin' somethin' on me. As t' brawlin'-" a pause here, "ma'am, I am real quick in a fight. And I been takin' lessons lately. It's- awful hard t' land a blow on me, I promise y'."

Why she does not simply tell Marien that she may have been a little less than forthcoming about her non-musical talents has nothing to do with how trustworthy Mrs. Polk is. Sable doesn't really know much about the actual workings of the law, but she figures maybe Marien ought not to know that Sable was a little generous in her interpretation of her particular genetic gifts, lest it make her culpable somehow as well. If this is precisely what she ought not to do, forgive her. She doesn't know better.

"There's always going to be a sense of danger when you have to serve things like these, even moreso in this climate. Lots of people are unhappy, and it can bleed into common sense and make it not so sensible." Marien is often as honest as Delilah is, and maybe that is a testament to her mother's side of the family- a long line of honest women, whereas her father and grandfather were notoriously secretive people when it came to the truth.

"And how do you take 'no' for an answer? How do you deal with obstinate and ignorant individuals?" These questions have a fine time stringing themselves together, related completely or not. It is starting to feel much more like a conversation at one of Dee's brunches than an actual job interview. At least, in terms of Marien's God given ability to not be terribly serious. Plus there is a familiarity between these two that frankly- isn't there otherwise.

"Surely you've had your share of people like that, being registered, or by being in music, by being involved with other women, or I suppose, your eye color, if we get down to the physical. You obviously aren't the young white male of America. How do you manage around people that disagree or hate you on principle?" Because it will happen.

"Beggin' yer pardon, ma'am," Sable says, the honorary slipping slowly out of formality and into habit, "but a heck 'f a lot 'f what's involved in gettin' by on the street is not takin' 'no' as an answer 't all. Most folks are too polite, even when they don't mean t' be. Ain't 'bout bein' pushy, 'course, but it means not givin' up." Persistence, indeed, is one of Sable's more obvious virtues.

"As f'r receivin' hate- well-" Sable tugs her ankle up onto her knee, holding it in place with both hands, "surprise y' how fast people warm, you chatter with 'em long 'nough. I ain't sayin' they get warm, just thaw out a bit. And chatter- that I c'n do," she dips her head, smiling a little rueful, "as any extended-type acquaintance 'f mine c'n surely tell y'."

The smile recedes in favor of a more serious expression. "Comes right down t' it, though, what fools say, fools say. All else fails - and pardon my French, ma'am, but - fuck 'em."

Missus Polk does actually laugh to herself for this one, picking up her pen from the desk and sliding a notepad closer to her; she opens it, checks the page, and slides it over to Sable, with the pen. "Just this last thing. I want you to solve this maze puzzle for me. The pointed lines only take you in that direction, meaning you can't backtrack over them." Otherwise, it is a simple puzzle, with its fair share of sudden dead ends and trick pathways.

"Take as many tries as you need." Which implies that maybe one of the other people didn't have much of a great time with this test. The other mazes are in the dustbin under her desk, crumpled up. She saved only one of the other ones, and hopefully Sable is perceptive enough to be able to not leave the sheet with a slew of broken tracks.

Surprise is based on expectation, and as Sable has no expectations, she can't easily be surprised. If ever she must sit another interview - not that she will, since her professional stop after this is 'filthy rich and famous' - she will likely sit there, waiting, after the last question is delivered and, after silence spans out into awkwardness, she'll ask - "Where's th' maze?"

This time, however, she just gets to work. At first she takes to it recklessly, and rapidly finds herself cornered - she even tries backtracking, nose wrinkling in frustration as the arrow's point stubbornly informs her pen's tip that it may not pass. A glance flicks up at Marien - Sable hasn't blown it, right?

She doesn't crumple up the maze she's messed up. Rather she keeps it on hand, peeking out under the new sheet she claims, a memory of her mistake to be learned from. The second time she applies her pencil, she is obviously more meticulous, and gets a fair bit further before trapping herself once more.

The third sheet lies over the first two, and this time Sable has a new tactic - she scouts with the other end of the pen, testing pathways before she takes them, avoiding snares that would have otherwise forced her to start fresh. Proceeding with caution and some cleverness, she makes her way to the end, hardly able to believe that she has when she has, double checking that she didn't somehow accidentally cheat before allowing herself a victory grin.

Third time's the charm. Marien is able to watch Sable's work without too much effort, aqua colored eyes regarding the pen strokes with the watchfulness of a teacher. She appears pleased, at least, when the young woman finishes the maze in due time. She puts out a finely manicured hand to take back the pen and pad, lips turned in a crescent smile.

"Good, good." The older woman puts the pad down where it was now, though she does keep it open to the solved page. "I'm going to be hiring at least two of the people I've interviewed this afternoon, because my partners think I'm that much better at finding hires. So whoever I do take in will undoubtedly work under all three partners, and the assistants in the lower floor. Do you have any questions for me, Sable, while we're at this junction? About the job, or about the firm?"

"I do have the resume that you sent me, and other than some of your absences-" Which, very likely, Marien understands- "you have had a good track record with your previous employers."

Okay, this does come as a surprise. For all that Sable worked hard at Black Dog Records - and she did work hard, the purveyance of music something else she takes seriously - she didn't exactly sport a winning attitude. That her boss gave her regular shit without actually thinking ill of her - that he might have genuinely appreciated not having to sort, stock and restock, that he viewed her insolence and resistance as amusing rather than infuriating - didn't occur to her.

Does this mean she has to be grateful? Sable will, but only if it's absolutely required of her.

"I get th' job," Sable says, conditional clause missing it's 'if', "figure I jus' gotta know howall I'm s'pposed t' act t'wards everyone? Them- partners and all. I c'n go 'long t' get 'long, I gotta," another missing 'if', "I know yer cool, ma'am. Jus'-" a slightly uneven smile, "this'll be my first time on this end 'f th' law, is all."

Acting as if one is already in, can either turn out badly or it can turn out rather well; while Mrs. Polk seems to know the syntax Sable happily skips using, she doesn't say anything. Which can really only be favorable in the long run. "Your education isn't the most stellar, but I also know that Dee has told me she plans to help you get your general education degree." Hopefully Sable remembers that part though. Else it's news, or something.

"There's always a first time to be on this side, and I hope that given your background there's nothing for me to have to worry about should I bring you back. So there's no questions right now? You girls have my numbers if something comes up. We won't be making any decisions until the end of the week, at least."

Got her there! Sable can only smile with a certain helplessness at the topic of her education, or lack thereof. Thankfully Dee has already moved on this front, and Sable simply nods confirmation. Yet another of the many childrearing efforts undertaken by Delilah Trafford, yet another for the benefit of someone other than her son. Gratitude is most definitely required, but would be given anyways, unsolicited. Just never say 'you're too good to me', even if it's true. Especially if it's true.

"Ma'am," Sable says, sensing in Marien's words a bridge towards the final chorus, "what'd worry you, 'd worry yer fair niece. I won't be any fret t' she or thee if I c'n possible avoid it. That I pledge."

And no more questions? Sable can't think of any, at least none that can be answered until the end of the week, at least. The dark haired woman leans forward and offers her hand to shake. This last bit she's been advised on little. "Thank you for the opportunity, ma'am."

Usually it is up to the interviewer to actually initiate the final handshake, so Sable is taking some initiative. Marien tips her head and rises enough from her seat to properly offer a farewell, her hand taking Sable's firmly. The woman's hands are smooth, despite her age, and her shake definitive of her personality. An equally firm thing.

"You're very welcome." She knows that most people wouldn't give this girl a second look around here- perhaps that is why when Delilah asked about it, Marien reminded herself that Dee never suggests something without having a good reason for it. Her niece is a thinker, even if she doesn't look it. "Thank you for coming in. We'll be in touch."

Headstrong, certainly, and in keeping with her character Sable finds herself on her way out when she is struck by another consideration, one that stops her in her tracks, then spins her on her heel, facing Marien once again. There is hesitation on her face, writ large as it always is, expressions magnified like the font in a book for the visually impaired.

"Mrs. Polk, ma'am," she begins, "this- if y'll lemme, I jus' wanna say somethin'. Got no bearin' on th' job or anythin', 't least, like, I don't intend f'r it t' be. But, like-" Sable pads up next to the chair she vacated, taking a stand beside it, "I said I take family real serious, if y'll recall. Sense I get, y'all feel much th' same," the still-displayed pictures of the estranged Joshua are testament to that, "'n' seein' as it's family 'f yers that brought me here, 'n' family 'f yers I go home t when I walk out that door - I'll ask y' t' excuse m' French jus' one more time, sayin':

"I'm real fuckin' serious 'bout yer niece," is said with something that might just be solemnity, "gal can surely look out f'r herself, like I'm sure y'all know, but seein' as yer 'bout what family she's got," at least what family she's got that is capable of complete sentences, "I wanted t' letcha know, I'm in f'r th' long haul."

This is a terribly confessional, personal way to end an interview, even if the interview is 'officially' over. Sable almost regrets her candor, or at least regrets its abruptness, but she hitches a smile to her features nonetheless. "So here's hopin' I see y' 'round, here or there." She dips in a little bow. "Thanks f'r yer time."

Sable's head tilts - one last thing. "Anythin' y' want me t' pass on t' Dee?"

Marien considered the handshake to be the end of it, so when she sits back down and Sable wheels around to talk- she's wearing her Auntie face. Whatever that face looks like, anyhow. She smiles down at her desktop a moment, casting a look across the room towards the shelf of pictures, sitting amidst everything else.

"Tell her just that she is lucky to have someone like you in her life. Though I'm sure you can toot your own horn enough at home, as it is." Right? Right. "She's had to lose too many people in her life too early. So I do hope you take me seriously when I say that you had best not mess up. Not saying you will, of course- it takes a lot for her to hate someone. I am sure you'll do fine in the long run." Marien's voice is marginally less self-important than when they were conducting business. "You don't actually need to say anything for me, just stay there for her like you are. I can't ask much more'n that."

"I wish that she still had her mother around to help her be a mother, but she seems to be perfectly fine with just us and the rest of your circle."

Sable requires very little pretext to trumpet herself, it's true. For a young woman who's whole philosophy is based upon a more baroque version of the old tactic 'fake it 'til you make it', bravado is a bluff against the world, daring it to say she's less than. Sometimes, of course, the world calls her on it, and then she must deliver.

"I'll say nothin', then," Sable resolves, "better t' make 'er feel lucky, better she come t' see it herself by th' works I do." Her solemnity has not entirely left. She may be a proponent of creative chaos, but that does not make her enemy of ceremony. "And even if it were selfishness movin' me, if it were wise selfishness, it'd still keep me on the straight 'n' narrow - what I got is what I want."

Sable thumb and forefinger catch on the end of her tie, fiddling with it, fidgets seeping through now that she is less on her guard. "Love she don't lack, f'r all she's lost," she adds, "and help enough she's got, should she deign t' ask f'r it," this with a tiny smile, fond, "though I dunno she knows it, but there's somethin' proud 'bout her, though every bit 'f it earned."

Marien smiles tightly, the edges of her mouth only betraying as much agreement that is necessary. "If you want to beat the street rush, I suggest you get going, or it will be nearly impossible for you to catch a cab back. It gets tricky even for bikes soon." Kind of like shooing off a talkative teenager with a cue for getting into a hurry. "I hope I'll be able to talk to you soon." That part, in terms of the interview she just had here. Without anything else to add, the older woman picks up the labeled pad from her desk and leans over to pick up her deskphone, perching it up against her cheek and shoulder to dial a number in and straightaway into a conversation with the other end of the line.

"I've got it here, darling- yes, that's where. DS-1407." Marien offers Sable only a parting wave as she returns to work.

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