Length and Girth


bella_icon.gif odessa4_icon.gif

Scene Title Length and Girth
Synopsis No, it's exactly what you think.
Date January 7, 2011

The Octagon: #108 - Odessa Price's Apartment

The apartments of the Octagon are among some of the most prime pieces of rental real-estate in New York City. Bright, open, and clean, these apartments are all painted an eggshell white and feature floor-to-ceiling windows that offer a sweeping, unobstructed view of the East River and Manhattan skyline. The view isn't as impressive from the first floor, but it doesn't give someone with a fear of heights a sense of vertigo as it would on the upper levels. Hardwood floors spread from wall to wall and through the spacious bedrooms and private laundry rooms complete with washer/dryer utilities.

The small entry way leads into the open-concept kitchen with its stainless steel appliances, polished granite counter tops, cherry finished cabinets and ceramic floor tile with all the convenience of a modern kitchen. Around the corner of that tiny hallway for stowing shoes, and the recessed coat closet, there's the living room. The furniture is very modern with clear lines and brushed aluminium frames paired with red upholstery that contrasts with the deep, black shag carpet creating a dark pool in the centre of the room.

A coffee table sits in front of the couch, black legs and glass top surface gleaming in the cool white light overhead. A television has been mounted on the wall, large enough to suggest that the occupant is paid well, but small enough as to indicate that the television doesn't hold much interest. A modest, low entertainment cabinet sits beneath the set, equipped with a Blu-ray, DVD on the first shelf, a video cassette and Betamax player on the next. The Blu-ray player is new, if one judges by the lack of dust settled on it compared to the other components. Beneath that is a collection of films that can be played on any of the four. Mostly in the romance genre.

Nestled in the corner is a tall book shelf, with a step stool nudged out of the way nearby, presumably so the short woman who lives here can reach the top shelves. The reading material is widely varied. Medical journals and texts are present, but so are trashy romance novels, historical fiction, historical non-fiction, and several books on the French, Russian, German, and Japanese languages.

Of all things, a small harpsichord sits in front of the windows. It's more than second-hand, elaborately painted with a rich, but fading landscape across the inside of the lid. Lush trees with leaves turning their colours in autumn. It's been well-played, but also cared for.

The bathroom is adorned with accessories on the counter tops and porcelain pedestal sink, with towels in various shades of yellow from pale to sunny. The room is finished with classic subway wall tile and porcelain floor tiling. An elegantly designed, corner-set curved shower provides a more spacious shower area.

It's an odd combination when one is uncomfortable in their surroundings, but too stubborn to give them up and try to call somewhere else home. Odessa's either run or been driven away from so many places she's called home in the past two years, that she's understandably reluctant to give up her apartment at the Octagon. A hot mug of cocoa spiked with butterscotch schnapps resting next to her on the bench she's seated at, while her fingers dance over the keys of her harpsichord go a long way to soothing her troubled mind. This idea that she dislikes being alone is one that Odessa refuses to dwell on. She's more than capable of looking after herself. She doesn't need a roommate, or a keeper.

Birds of a feather flock together, and so do pigs and swine. Mice and rats may have their choice and so will I have mine.

Kindred in spirit in a number of ways, Bella also knows that push and pull between independence and simple loneliness. Living alone is something she's done for most of her adult, independent life, undergraduate roommates being the last cohabitants she had before embarking upon a life of mostly comfortable solitude. No move ins with men, none of them ever being found worth such an investment, and no friends close enough to share space and rent. Moments came and went where she felt she needed something, someone maybe, in an abstract, ill formed way.

Lately however, for all that she's let slip the mask of basic intrahuman decency she thought was her real face, she's found it much harder to be alone. Odessa may not realize this, but the workplace pestering she receives from her redhead colleague is a recently developed symptom. And now, too, Bella does not want to be alone and does not want to confide in her eternally reticent current 'roomie'. So it's to Odessa she goes. A fellow monster, one she knows.

Knock knock knock.

There was a time where Odessa would have been able to call it's open, so she wouldn't have to lose a beat as she plays her piece. Those days are gone. Odessa wraps her hands around the mug of chocolate and approaches the door. Checking the peep hole reveals a head of ginger hair and it brings a smile to her lips.

The figure on the other side of the door isn't who Odessa was expecting. But no less welcome. "Bella!" The white haired woman quickly backs away from the door and tilts her head to usher the other inside. When she smiles, she realises the familiar brush of patch over shifting cheekbones isn't there and it draws a wince. "Sorry. I wasn't expecting company."

Her eyes, clear and ruined both, cast down to her reflection in her mug. "I can go cover this up." They've had that conversation before, but it makes Odessa no less self-conscious about it.

Odessa shortly finds herself being hugged, a warm, friendly thing that is tight even if it is brief and partially blocked by the mug between them. Bella takes her friend by the upper arms and steps back, getting a look at her. One hand crosses over to tap under Odessa's chin. "Look at me," she instructs, leaving no clear room for argument.

Neither does she when she adds: "You can. But you won't." Her hand returns to Odessa's arm, and she squeezes both. "Come on. Let's sit down. Have a drink," her own gaze cuts down to the mug, seeing cocoa but suspecting nothing more, "a real drink. I have… something of a story to share."

Odessa cracks a smaller smile at Bella's reassurances and nods her head. "Go have a seat. I'll get you something." She locks up the door behind them and makes for the kitchen, where she lifts a pot from the stove and pours cocoa into a second mug. "Butterscotch good?" she asks over her shoulder. "And tell me all about it. You know I love your stories."

Though this one is likely to be something of a surprise to her.

Bella takes a perch on the couch, a spot she's more or less claimed for herself on her visits, her shoes - very low heels as always - pushed off and left beside the coffee table. She looks up over at Odessa, or at least in her direction, pointing her voice in the most efficient vector. "I leave myself at your mercy," she says, meaning yes, Butterscotch is good, "this one is- well it's a workplace tale. So of course, mum about it." Covering her bases.

"Have you met Calvin Rosen? The recent hire?"

Has Odessa met Calvin Rosen? A look is slanted to her bedroom door. Thoughts turn to dark alleyways. "Yes," she admits. "Yes, I have. I'm… What about him?" She doesn't move to return to Bella's side until she's sure some of the colour has drained from her cheeks again. One bright orange mug is held out to the woman on the couch, with Odessa cradling her own yellow one against her chest yet as she takes her seat.

Bella receives the mug with a smile of thanks, thought she saves her breath for the story itself. Because she's sort of thought the delivery out. "Oh, just that he's borderline schizotypal or a fully diagnosable asshole," she says, with affected airiness, "he arranged a session for what seems like the sole purpose of screwing with me. It was completely out of the blue, I mean- the things he implied! And the way he implied them!"

"Screwing with you?" Something flares in Odessa's gaze, almost bringing light back to that scarred and ruined left. "What'd he do," she asks with a haughty sniff, "compliment your shoes? Tell you you look nice in whatever colour you were wearing?" Hard feelings? Oh yes. And the complete wrong idea about what transpired between Bella Sheridan and Calvin Rosen.

Bella's a people person, her whole job hinging on accurately discerning social cues. So it's not hard for her to notice there is some crossed wire or other here. Her confusion registers visibly, a furrow in her pale brow. "No. Not so much," she says, with a spacing between statements that indicates her uncertainty as to just what Odessa is now implying, "more like he started making… aspirations as to my character. And claiming I had… done things," okay, not very clear, "as in… killed people," a pause, "which I haven't." Kind of an important addendum, in present company, with their lines of work.

"…Didn't you? I mean, people died in relation to Project Icarus, didn't they? You're kind of responsible for that in a way, aren't you?" Oh, Odessa. So sensitive. "I mean, it's not like you did it maliciously. Not that you couldn't. Because you totally could. You have the stones." She shrugs her shoulders, not understanding the issue. A murderess wouldn't. "Was he accusing you of something, or just making an assumption?"

Bella scowls a little over her cocoa, smarting a little over what she finds to be Odessa's supportiveness insufficient considering her obvious (it is obvious, isn't it?) indignance. She gives it a petulant sip as Odessa speaks, soothing her own hurt feelings enough to try and accept that what her friend is saying isn't mean. It's actually quite reasonable.

And Bella likes to think she values reason. "Yes, well, fine. So I have been involved in deaths. But- look, you have to understand, the way he was talking about it- I've worked the psych ward, I know crazy, and this was crazy," not a word a mental health professional is supposed to use, but political correctness went out the door with basic ethics some time ago, "he was, like, babbling about my having a reputation or something."

That may not be the word he used, but Bella was upset enough and remain upset enough to remember it as she remembers it, not necessarily as it was, "I don't know. Maybe he was digging at me for- for my Refrain project. But no one died in the process. The only fatalities were caused by the psychotic circle jerk that raided my facility."

"So… he wasn't trying to sleep with you?" Odessa relaxes finally and then shrugs. "You haven't killed anyone. You don't have a reputation. Calvin's just… That's just Calvin. He's, uhm…" A touch of colour returns to her cheeks, but she covers it bit sipping at her spiked chocolate. "He's abrasive. I wasn't sure I liked him at first, but… He kind of grew on me." There's a tiny bit of guilt there. Calvin Rosen doesn't seem like the type of man she should be so taken with. And she isn't, honest. "Liquor makes him far more palatable."

Oh no. No she didn't. Bella must be misreading the huge, neon signs Odessa is erecting. Erecting? Oh… oh God no. No please…

It's all Bella can do not to display a look of open horror as things slide into place- no. No, please, use a different analogy, any different analogy. Okay, here goes: It's all Bella can do not to display a look of horror as she connects the dots, puts two and two together and otherwise unsuggestively figures things out.

Instead she just looks totally baffled.

"I-" she begins, "I didn't-" she tries again, "you-" Nope, no dice.

"…was he any good?" ends up being the question she asks. And she prays the answer won't involve… details.

"Oh, yes," Odessa is quick to assure. "Ten outta ten." A++ lover, would fuck again. "Okay, I got really trashed a few nights ago and we happened to be walking in the same direction," is so not even remotely close to the truth, "and he was all I'll walk you home," she even attempts to mimic the man's accent there, not that she does it well, "and I was like 'kay. And he talked me into fucking in an alley?" Odessa's eyes roll skyward, one hand pressed to her chest as if to keep her heart inside of it. "Oh, my God. It was the hottest thing. Up against the wall? Mmnn."

Gaping would be very unattractive, so Bella does not do that. Her jaw clenches, just in case. That prevents her from saying anything which, you know, might not be such a bad thing. Silence, then, from the usually verbose headshrinker. Slowly, slooowly, she turns and sets her mug down on the coffee table. Then smoothly, smoooothly, she turns back, eyes settling on Odessa.

Next minute Bella has leaned right over and pinches Odessa's bare calf. Hard. Her mouth set in a somewhat childish scowl.

"OW!" Odessa cries out and recoils, nearly splashing cocoa down the front of her sweater. "Jesus Christ, Bella! That hurt! What the fuck?!" She looks vaguely offended, even. "You asked if he was any good! I was just telling you!"

Oh, did that hurt? Bella is so, so sor-

PINCH! This time just slightly lower on Odessa's leg. Bella's eyes squint. That's definitely a glare Odessa's getting. She still doesn't explain herself for a good few seconds after her second assault. When she doesn't she only speaks briefly.

"I'm glad for you," doesn't sound sarcastic. Instead it sounds grudging, but therefore not insincere.

It feels like she means the third pinch, too, placed just above the first point of attack. "You should see him again," is friendly enough advice, delivered still with a face of nearly bratty irritation. And maybe Odessa is pulling away by now, if she hasn't already, because Bella's going to pinch her once again.

"You should also never be that detailed again you crazy bitch!" is meant fondly, I promise you.

Odessa is scrambling back from Bella about as quick as she can, now. "Fuck, Bella! That hurts! I don't do stuff like that to you!" Meanie. Odessa actually manages to look suitably wounded from where she's huddled on the other end of the sofa, a pouty look on her face. "You asked me about him. I thought it was because you actually cared. You always told me to be forthcoming before." And now she's being all confusing by telling her not to say so much. What gives?

"That guy is a creep!" Bella exclaims, scooting closer and actively menacing the younger, smaller woman, thumb and forefingers actually poised with potential threat. "He may be a fantastic lay, but that doesn't mean he's any less a creeper. So I'm glad for you," she repeats, lunging forward at the emphatic word, with the express purpose of making 'Dess flinch, "but you are out of your mind giving me that… description after I established his creepiness!"

Her arm extends, hand going for Odessa's face now, maybe meaning business this time. Thumb and forefinger closing in and - boop - giving the tip of her nose a wiggle.

"You are," Bella informs her, still giving her a bit of an eye, "very lucky I like you so much."

Odessa cries out and jumps off the couch when her nose is pinched, trusting her own reflexes rather than using her ability to actually aid her. She dances a few steps back from the couch and watches her friend with wiiiide eyes. "You didn't say he was creepy!" Did she? "You just said you didn't like him!"

Carefully, Odessa sets her cocoa on the coffee table and presses her lips together, fixing Bella with a look. "Soooo, this means you don't want to hear about the length or girth of his cock, then?"

Bella's mouth actually opens, this time, though it's to form an 'O' of shock and amazement. The temerity of this woman! Her eyes are wide as well, ginger brows high on her forehead. A decent distraction, this uncommon face, serving Bella well, perhaps, as she goes for the throw pillow nearest 'Dessa, by the arm of the couch, and chucks it at her.

Okay, she's smiling now. The crooked line of Bella's mouth may actually be holding back a splutter of laughter, even.

She still throws the second pillow at Odessa, though.

One hand comes out to suspend the pillow in mid-air, Odessa grinning widely at the attempt to assault her. A similar method is employed when the second goes sailing her way. "See? Now you're just being ridiculous. Calvin's not so bad. I mean, he hasn't surprised me with champagne and paralytics yet, so…" The smile fades and Odessa grabs each pillow out of their suspended motion, tossing them back on the couch. "He's better than the last guy I was sleeping with."

Bella sets the pillows neatly back in their place, reaches out to get her cocao again, and pats the space next to her, inviting Odessa to sit back down. Presumably without risk of further pinching. Presumably. No treaty has been signed or anything.

"I said you should see him again," Bella replies, a bit tartly, just reminding Odessa is all, hmph, "and if our friendship hinges on your clinical discourse regarding his… ginger genitals, then I will try to keep from causing you harm in retaliation. But only if it's desperately important for you to do so."

"Maybe." Odessa's a little too glum now to take much pleasure in ribbing her friend. She gathers up her mug again and takes a long drink from it, as it's since had time to cool to room temperature. "I need a shower," she tells her friend. "Go pick out a movie and I'll make us some popcorn when I'm out." Which generally isn't very long, when Odessa bends time to her whims.

"Not a romance, though." Which narrows Odessa's library considerably. "Let's not talk about boys anymore tonight."

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