No Promises


alec_icon.gif tallie_icon.gif

Scene Title No Promises
Synopsis Tallie meets with Alec to discuss employment possibilities, but gets skittish at the mention of drug testing.
Date February 10, 2009

A cafe somewhere in Greenwich Village

It's been a couple of days, and it might have seemed Tallie wasn't going to call — but eventually a call was made, and a tired and subdued sounding Tallie spoke to Alec, and was given an address to meet at this time and place: A little cafe or bistro, doing its best to stay in business with its cheery yellow striped awnings and brightly painted signs that make the oppressive and bitter surroundings look all the more depressing.

The night is chilly but not freezing, which means it's warm for a winter's day. Tallie sits outside on the "patio," her bike locked up against the wrought-iron fence that surrounds the outdoor dining area. She has a cup of coffee held between her hands, the steam rising in plumes into the night air.
Alec makes his way from around the corner where, like everywhere in New York, the sound of constrcution can be heard in the not to far distance. He hops up onto the patio, hard hat still on his head, and skips past all the hostesses to flop into the chair opposite Tallie, "Damn. Rough night." he shakes his head as if to clear it and then sets his hat aside, ruffling his short hair with a hand.

Tallie glances up. Her eyes are normal this time, the pupils large for the dim light, but not overly so. "Yeah? What's wrong with what? Or maybe the list would be shorter if I asked what wasn't wrong?" she says, with a slight smile. A couple of strands of curly hair have slipped from her loose bun, framing her face, giving her a softer look than in the visits past. "Where's your work site?"

Alec jerks a thumb over his shoulder, "Block or so that way, trust me, you can't miss it. It's the work site populated by idiots who don't know how to shore up support beams before pouring concrete." he sighs and rubs at his eyes again before sitting a little straighter in his seat and glances at her, "So what's up kiddo? Want that messenger gig?"

She glances in the direction he points, and nods, then back up into his eyes. "Well. You didn't really say what the job was. Just that… I should talk to you if I wanted to do better than I am," she points out, then pats the courier bag that sits beside her on one of the spare chairs. "I'm already a messenger. So how would this be different?" She tilts her head curiously. "And what would I be making?"

Alec chuckles a bit, "Well that depends on several factors, starting with how good you are at your job." he pulls out another business card and quickly jots something on the back of it, "Be there at six o'clock tomorrow morning. I'll have the first of your deliveries ready for you. When you complete the days runs, which should be after about ten packages on an average day, you call the number I gave you and we'll begin the non-standard training. You're a tough kid, which is good, but I'm not sure how smart you are. You prove you're smart, tough, and worth the effort, I'll give you skills that will mean you never have to wear hand me down clothing again. As for pay, my firm usually dishes out around eighty bucks a package for delivery, though it depends on distance and if it makes it's destination on time."

The girl listens, taking the card and glancing at the address, then lifting those solemn gray eyes to Alec's face as she listens intently to the rest of the speech. The brows furrow as he gives the number and she gives a shake of her head. "Wait. I thought you said… eighty a package? That can't be right. That'd be 800 a day?" she says slowly, tilting her head to wait for his correction.

Alec eyes her, "I told you, you make what you'd earn. Our packages go all over the city. All. Over. You could well end up working sixteen hour days and then have to train with me at night." he points out, "It pays well, very well, but it's the work of two people. You do this for a week, and do it well, I'll put you over the entire messaging department. You can hire other messengers you trust, help out, run most of our packages. Pay won't get better or worse, but it's a stepping stone up the ladder."

Alec then adds on the side, "And of course, pass the drug screening."

She looks skeptical, her eyes narrowing. "Why would you hire me to do this instead of one of the corporate messenging services? And you're an engineer or whatever. Why is it your job to handle messaging anyway? And what kind of training do you mean we'll be doing once I'm done running all over town? And what kind of business pays $80 a package when they can probably pay UPS to do it for $20?" she's full of questions, but at least it shows her brain is working. She simply rolls her eyes at the drug screening question, a little smirk playing on her lips as if she has a secret that wants to drop from them.
Alec chuckles, "Because I'm the golden boy I get little perks, like deciding who I trust with my packages." he points out, "Because I'm /very/ good at what I do, they let me micromanage when I so desire. "UPS may deliver, but they won't do it within two hours across town, through traffic. You will. UPS also wears ugly little brown shorts that offend me. You don't. Besides, we're a private contracting firm, the packages you'll be handling are mine, and despite being very good, I'm horrible with deadlines. So when I tell you a package has to be at a certain place at a certain time, I mean no later then that time. I don't want to hear from some minimum wage paid brown short wearing retard that he just can't do that, then see him give me that plastic smile. I pay because I expect fucking results. I don't care if you're tough and I like you, you fuck this up and I'll bounce your ass out so fast you'll have to pick peices of your backside off my shoe. It's an opportunity, not a hand out, you should be clear on that."

Nodding at most of it, Tallie narrows her eyes at the last part. "Do I look like I'm used to taking handouts?" she says, then sips her coffee as her eyes slide away, watching the traffic for a moment as she thinks. "And what are you going to teach me in the off hours? What if I want one part of it but not the other? Not the one on one time with you?" she asks, gray eyes sliding back to meet his gaze.

Alec meets her gaze easily, "Then you can have it." he says simply, "I'm sure from head of messaging you could make your way up to being someone's PA, maybe even head of a floor of PA's. That's a good job. Hard, but rewarding. There's nothing wrong with that, but if you want more, I can offer that too. Depends on if you're made of the stuff I think you are."

"You keep avoiding the question… generous as that is, and I appreciate it. And might take you up on it. It's better than getting paid a fifty for running three errands over the course of five hours, I admit." She taps her fingers on the table, though it's not a nervous energy like that of the other night — just a time stalling device. "What kinds of things would you be teaching me?"

Alec just smiles at her, "Things every growing girl needs to know. For starters, how to be safe out there, likely followed by the lesson that you're not as smart, or tough, as you think you are, in the end the result would be simple. I would make you, if you'll pardon the arrogance, like me. I have never had family, no friends, been alone my entire life. I put myself through school, through hell, and in the end I make ridiculous money doing a job I actually enjoy. I, despite working for a firm, am nearly my own man. I come and go as I please, do only the projects that interest me. I am free. I am rich. My life is secure, safe, and above all, solid. I can teach you how to be these things."

Her eyes grow narrow as he seems to promise all that she wants more than anything else. She shakes her head. "I'm not an engineer. I can't do the kind of work you do," she says, with a nod toward his hard hat. Suddenly something else gives her pause, and she frowns, glancing off to the side. She bites her lip, clearly wondering if to ask something or not, but then remains silent, picking up her coffee and sipping it, eyes still down.

Alec laughs a bit at that, "I didn't start out as an engineer either." he points out, "I started as a homeless kid in a city that makes New York look like a happy suburb filled with picket fenses and children playing headed to soccer practice." his eyes harden slightly, "I started as something else, made myself into something more. I'm not a charity and this isn't easy fucking work. It's hard. You'll bleed and not sleep for days, you'll hate me, you'll hate life, you'll be angry all the time and in the end, if you're good enough, if you're hard enough, you'll be something more. You'll be free."

Tallie nods, and still is quiet, unsure of what to say. Her eyes don't meet his, staying on the rim of her coffee cup as she listens. "All right," she says, and she glances up, though quickly, then back down. "The … drug test… I'm not, I swear, on drugs," she says, though her eyes are still cast away. "Is it a blood test or a urine test?" she asks, her eyes flickering back upward. "I'm not good with needles." She picks up her coffee to take another long sip, eyes dropping again.

Alec's eyes don't blink, "Hair." he states simply, "To track if you've taken any in the last six months." he admits, "Urine randomly once every 90 days there after."

Her eyes flicker, but don't blink. "Yeah," she says. "I'll think on it," she adds, picking up her cup of coffee suddenly and standing in a fluid rush of motion. "Thanks," she adds, lifting the card again to show she hasn't lost it, and sliding it into the back of her jeans. She turns abruptly and heads toward the opening of the patio, veering to where her bike is locked. She kneels to work on the combination, setting her coffee cup on the sidewalk beside her.

When she stands to get on the bike, he's there, behind her, holding her coffee in hand and offering it back to her. She never heard him approach, never saw him. He is smiling as he hands her back the buisness card that a moment ago was in her pocket, how he got it is anyone's guess, "You're welcome kitten. Ride safely." he hands both back over to her.

She frowns as she takes the card again, and then the coffee. She's oddly careful not to touch his hands. "Yeah. Thanks," she echoes again. "You might make sure to have a back up tomorrow. No promises, and I still have my other clients. I wouldn't want to leave them hanging," she says, then laughs a little bitterly — she'd like nothing to leave them behind, that laugh clearly says. "'Night."

February 10th: Second Time, Same Biscuit
February 11th: For The Winter
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