Checked out (att: Nara)

Panos stood in the vestibule of the luxury hotel and glanced at the bussiness card the receptionist had given him. Mindlessly he began to moved it betweeen his fingers while looking out over the darkening evening. He had come to advance pay more overnight stays at the Piazza for Nara and when he had tried they had told him she had already checked out. The number on the bussiness card was the forwarding address and phone number to the new place she was staying at.

Maybe she hadn't liked it here. It was often quite busy and maybe she hadn't been able to get any rest. Maybe the staff was rude to her when she came in due to her outfit. Panos looked over his shoulder at the front desk as the four staffed employees smiled and greeted their patrons. If that was the case he'd be back and he'd own this fucking joint before the week ended.

His sudden anger over the possiblity that Nara had been treated poorly shocked him.

Looking back down at the card Panos stepped outside and hailed the man who brought his car around. He would go to the address listed and find Nara and see that she why she had left the Piazza. At least then he could stop determining the many ways he was going to come back into the giant corporation and destroy it. As he began tp pull away he paused and pulled back to the curb.

"Slow down Panos. Don't go crashing into her newly disrupted life and demand answers." He looked down at the number again.

He would call first, and if she wanted him to show up then he would.

Nara Baker 13 years ago
Nara was sitting at the round table next to the bed in the 'roach motel' from hell trying not to listen to the couple next door banging against the wall in a rather energetic manner while looking at the paperwork that had been given to her at the bank. She had spent much of the last several days going from office to office or on the phone on hold listening to the wonderful tunes of Liberachi or someone similar trying to get the proper identification to allow her to get to her bank account.

The tv was on, but she wasn't really watching the sitcom about life in the big city. It was more to just have something other than the sounds from next door dominating her environment. The phone rang, and she picked it up, thinking maybe it might be someone calling back, then she realized that at this time, everyone would have gone home for the day.

"Hello?" She replied sounding a bit down in the dumps and tired along with curious as to who might be calling.
Panos Mehalitsenos 13 years ago
The voice that answered the phone sounded different than Nara's. Sure he had little to base this assesment on but it still caused him to pause.


Maybe the number left behind had been the number to a shelter. She had mentioned staying in one the other night.

Clearing his throat he attempted his greeting again.

"Hi, I'm looking for Nara Baker. Is she at this number?"
Nara Baker 13 years ago
Nara sat up a bit. "Yeah, this is Nara. Panos?" She had hoped he would actually call but then for him to have gotten this number it meant that he knew she wasn't at the other place. She had purposefully left the contact information for him, but the reality of him maybe knowing this was where she was embarrassed her.

"I was hoping you would call. I meant to call you personally to thank you, but was hoping I could get stuff settled first. It's been a bit difficult." She admitted. "You at the other hotel?" She asked figuring he was calling from there. Maybe she could get dressed and find a place to meet him other than in sleaze central here.
Panos Mehalitsenos 13 years ago
He was happy the number had gone directly to Nara. That at least meant she wasn't at some public flop house. At least he hoped.

Panos still didn't understand why it mattered to him.

"Hi, Ya it's Panos. I got the number from clerk at the front desk..."

He trailed off not sure how to finish that sentence or explain why he had come back to the hotel in the first place even without her calling. Panos didn't want to admit that he had come to prepay more nights for her.

"I can imagine it hasn't been easy, have you had any luck getting into your banking? And ya I am at the hotel still. Just out front. Where are you? Was everything allright here?"

It was hard not to fire off questions and Panos didn't want to overwhelm her but he wasn't exactly the best at interesting conversation.
Nara Baker 13 years ago
She got up mentally reviewing what she needed to do to get over there. Cab fare would come out of the money he had given her, but that would have to just be that. She grabbed her shoes. He was at the other hotel, which meant he had wanted to see her? Well, it seemed like a logical deduction to her anyway.

"No, no luck. I'm having to send for copies of my various identifications before they'll let me access it. That in turn is a lot of paperwork and back and forth phone calls that I won't bore you with explaining. Just know I hope these people don't get paid for time that I am on hold."

"When I realized that it was going to take longer than a night or two to get things straightened out, I decided to move to a less expensive place. Trying to make that money you loaned me last longer." She admitted. "The place was awesome. I got some sleep that night in a very soft and comfortable bed with quality service." She glanced at the wall where the noise had gotten louder as they seemed to be getting to the big moment on the other side. She winced, hoping he wasn't hearing it as well through their connection.
Panos Mehalitsenos 13 years ago
Panos listened to her explain her grief over the process and wished he had something more to offer her in the way of help other than forged documents. What did one say nowadays to aleviate the burden for this situation?

Panos had no idea.

"That sucks. Sometimes that whole banking system stuff is a drag. I guess you could be pleased that they are so protective of your funds right?"

He tried to make light of the situation. Normally he wasn't a glass half full type of guy but he could at least suggest the silver lining.

So she hadn't left because the hotel staff was rude, that made him feel more at ease. The term somewhere cheaper didn't bring any images to mind. He hadn't known Nachton had many other hotels simply because he had only stayed at the Piazza. Where else did people stay? Maybe she was near.

"Well, I'm glad you liked it here. Where are you staying at now? If you don't mind me asking that is. You left something important in my car and I can bring it to you."

He explained quickly as he remembered the sleek black laptop that was peaking out from between the seat. In the chaos of the other night it had to of slipped between the seat and the center console where it now was settled. He had thought she had taken it with her but he had been wrong.
Nara Baker 13 years ago
She gave a bit of a chuckle at that. "I suppose so." She managed to take hold of that with a hint of optimism at that. "If I can't get to it, maybe no one else can either, I suppose."

She winced when he asked about where she was. She buttoned her jeans before putting the shoes on holding the phone between her shoulder and her ear.
"I'm at the Rio Verde." It was a very low cost place, on the bad side of town. She gave him the address.

"I can meet you somewhere if you aren't comfortable coming this direction." She heard a scream of pleasure, rather two on the other side of the wall.

"Oh hell." she jumped up to hit the wall with her hand to remind them that other people were staying in the rooms around them.

She picked up the phone she had dropped in the process.
"Sorry about that. The neighbors are um enjoying a movie or something." She rolled her eyes at the lie but really was embarrassed at him knowing just how bad it was there. "What did I leave?" She didn't remember. She had the picture of her family, and thought she had dropped the laptop either in the apartment or on the fire escape.
Panos Mehalitsenos 13 years ago
He typed in the address into his dashboard GPS as she listed it off and pulled away from the curb. He hadn't heard of the place before but the area she was in was the pits. Briefly he worried about her safety but reminded himself she did previously live in a not so bright and perky area in the first place. Al though he had to stifle a laugh when she suggested his discomfort at coming to her where abouts he was glad she couldnt see his smile.

"I am on my way now,and believe me I'm not worried about the inhabitants of that part of the city. I can hold my own."

Panos thought it was cute that she was worried about his comfort. It gave him pause and he was beginning to rethink the purchases he made for his apartment. Now he worried if he looked to lavish. Didn't women like that type of stuff anyways?

Nara's loud thump on the wall could be heard through the phone. Panos hadn't been sure what was going on her end of the phone but he doubted it was what she was saying it was. Laughing he teased her.

"And here I thought that was your TV. They must be showing some good movies over there."

"Oh and I believe it's your laptop. It sure isnt mine. You dropped it that night and I grabbed it. I thought I had given it to you but it was a hectic night. It managed to find its way in here. I figured it was important to you since you had clung to it so tightly that night. I'll be pulling up in a few minutes and the two of you will be reunited."
Nara Baker 13 years ago
She glanced at the wall. "I guess so." They were quieter now. Finally. Though who knew if they would stay that way. She was starting to think it was a by the hour kind of room for someone. She had made complaints but the manager had just looked at her with a smirk and given her body the once over. She'd just counted to ten and went back to her room and turned her tv up really loud.

"Oh, really?" She sat up putting her foot down on the floor after tying the shoelace. "That's awesome. I thought it had been lost in the fire. I might could still get the job I was working to get. Thank you sooo much!!!" She grinned. "I'll meet you in the parking lot then?" She figured that would be the best course of action. He would see how bad a place it was, but at least not see the pathetic room.

"Be right down." She hung up and headed to the door after grabbing her key and a used purse she had purchased at Goodwill to out to the balcony to go down stairs to the parking lot.
Panos Mehalitsenos 13 years ago
The happiness in her voice caused the oddest reaction inside of him.

Was that bubbly feeling really coming from the dark pits of his soul? The usual bland and grey zone of ambivelance was now churning up feelings of....happiness?

Panos wasn't sure if he should be sick or interested in this unusual reaction Nara had unleashed.

"Well,"He said and paused.

"That is some good news then."

What a stellar response he chastised himself. It was a wonder that Nara had even left a contact number for him with his great people winning skills. Panos hoped to the gods that he wasn't slowing turning into his aunt. She was a real queen of conversation.

He hung up the phone after assuring Nara he would meet her outside. She wasn't hard to spot, her vibrant hair stood out in contrast to the drab building that was covered in graffiti. He pulled his car into an empty parking spot near to where she stood and got out. Looking around he noted the streets were lined with garbage and the group of men hang out ontop of an old cadillac near the dumpsters. He cringed inwardly but didn't let his distaste for the place show. He didn't want to embarass Nara even if he wished she had stayed where he dropped her off at.

Nodding to her Panos noticed how beautiful she looked now that she was not covered in soot or ash. It was hard not to stare and he gripped her laptop harder in efforts to control himself.

"Hey long time no see." he joked feebly.
Nara Baker 13 years ago
She smiled brightly, trying to hide the embarrassment for where she was. She was glad to see him. "Hey."

She moved to his side looking at the lap top. "Oh you don't know how helpful it is to have that. I had been researching stuff for a possible job opening and its all on there." She smiled at him. "Thanks."

He was even better looking now that she was more herself and feeling less traumatized. She had thought maybe it was just the hero in shining armor thing, but he was hot.

"You want to come in?" She hoped not. Him seeing where she was staying would be terrible, and if the people in the next room started up again, she blushed just thinking about it.
Panos Mehalitsenos 13 years ago
Panos handed Nara the laptop completely mesmerized by her smile.

"What type of work do you do?" He asked hoping she didn't say something that was too close to his own fable of a job. There weren't many midnight shift jobs that he could use as technical alibi's and currently he was using the old Midnight cemetery gig story.

It didn't take the use of his abilities to determine Nara was slightly uncomfortable about her lodgings. Without taking his eyes off her he motioned to his car.

"Actually I haven't eaten yet have you? We could go grab a bite?"

He certainly didn't think less of her for staying here, even though he didn't understand it, but he wanted to give her a graceful out from being even more embarassed.

"I know a decent place off the strip. It's not super fancy or anything, some good people run it."

He had a nagging feeling in the back of his mind. Some small voice calling to him, trying to remind him of something important, of someone important. The voice warned him that maybe he should just leave and go back home because he was becoming too concerned with what this human woman thought of him.

Naturally he ignored the voice.

"I wont keep you out late I promise, I do have to work tonight so it'll be an early evening I swear."

Panos wondered who he was trying to convince.
Nara Baker 13 years ago
"I'm working on getting a job doing research for a theme hotel thing. I've been researching ghost stories and scary things related to hotels in the area. I'm also looking at doing some freelance journalism as well, but haven' been able to finalize those jobs yet."

At his mention of food, she shook her head. "I'm hungry, would love to go with you." She glanced at the motel with a grimace. Getting away from there would be a relief for awhile.

"Sure you don't want me to cook up something? I think I do owe you a meal." She smiled getting into his car.
Panos Mehalitsenos 13 years ago
A haunted theme hotel in Nachton? Hell she wouldnt have to go very far to find real life ghouls to work for her. It was a really ironic idea.

"Have you uncovered any supernatural stories yet? " He asked while getting into the car.

Her being a journalist could prove to be tricky depending how good she was. They tended to pick up on details that were better left unnoticed. This was why he usually stuck to seedy bars and strip clubs. Delilah had been dumb or naive as a wet kitten. She had even thought his fangs were a part of a costume. This extra dangerous edge to Nara filled him with added excitement.

"Oh, well I haven't been grocery shopping yet but I'll still hold you to that promise. I am looking forward to it though. I won't put you to work just yet." He grinned.

Panos also hoped that he would get to see her again so he had decided to purposefully leave it out.

Driving towards the little diner on the very edge of the uptown area, Panos hoped Nara liked Mexican.The place was one of the few laid back gems in the area that wasnt closed by sunset. Due to it's bordering the fine dividing line between the rich and the poor sides of town it attracted both types of customers. It appealed to Panos because they gave you food and left you alone without being to fancy.

"Besides that bar down the street from your home, this is the other place I come to often. They make a mean wet burrito and don't come ask you every five minutes how your doing. Perfect for you filling me in on your story."

He wanted to know more about Nara and hoped that she was willing to share.
Nara Baker 13 years ago
"Oh yeah. Several actually. I've been working to get more details before I go turn them in. Have some murders and supposed vampire sitings. One woman things her husband's mother is a vampire and is out to get her. Thought that one was a hoot. Talk about mother-in-law horror stories." She winked with a laugh.

"Oh, well of course not. I don't want you to forget. Just let me know when." She assured him with a warm smile. She was looking forward to cooking for him actually.

At the restaurant, she grinned.
"I love it. I was in the mood for Mexican." She admitted. "I love guacamole." At his wanting to hear her story she shrugged. "Its not that much of a story. Not really." But that he wanted to know more about her made her feel more like she wasn't alone. It helped sooth her sense of isolation.
Panos Mehalitsenos 13 years ago
At her mention of vampire sightings his interest peaked.

"How does one have a vampire sighting? Do they happen upon a man changing into a bat and flying away? Isn't the whole vampire thing just a sexy lure in novels?"

Recent interest had spiked again for vampires due to one or two popular reading series. It happened every few decades and vampires got to pretend to be humans pretending to be vampires. It was kind of fun.

"I would never forget a free home cooked meal. Never ever." He said with wide eyed earnest.

Once inside the diner he showed Nara over to his favorite booth and slid inside. He had hoped for more of a story but it seemed he was going to have to ask more direct questions.

"Well so far your story goes like this; One day a guacamole loving red head went to bed and woke up in an apartment full of flames. She was then rescued at the nick of time by a seemingly out of sorts character whos original intent was to go the bar down the street from the flaming inferno. The beautiful redhead left her laptop behind in his dark chariot of of foreboding like a glass slipper begging to be returned. When the seemingly out of sorts character went to the opulent palace he had last seen her in to return the precious item, he found that the maiden had relocated and was in fear of maltreatment from the palace. Back to his chariot of foreboding he climbed ready to slay the ghosts and vampires who had ousted the fair one from her recovery suite. Once he found her he bought her tacos and burritos. It sounds like a good story but the ending is weak and there's no back story to tell us about the woman."

Panos shrugged .

"Youre the journalist, you tell me. I think the stories better than I told it. What do you think?"
Nara Baker 13 years ago
She laughed. "I think this woman claimed her mother in law tried to bite her and suck her dry to get rid of her. Seems the MIL didn't think the woman was worth much and thought her son could do better. The odd thing about it though is the woman did end up dead about a month later due to blood loss. So, it is kind of an odd story."

She scooted in across from him, glancing around and liking the feel of the place. It was casual and relaxing. She grinned at various points in his story and outright laughed at his self critique. "Well, it has charm to it. So, I wouldn't toss it out totally."

She waited as the waiter brought them water and menus. Then after taking a sip of the water, she shrugged
. "I'm just an ordinary person. I lost my folks recently. Dad to cancer, and mom to heartbreak." She looked down at the glass briefly trying to hide the pain that her brief explanation didn't put into detail.

She'd finished high school, but only just. Sitting watching her father's pain as he slowly died from the disease had been bad enough. But losing their land, their belongings, and then their home had added to the tragedy. It had ultimately killed her mother as well.

"I came here to start over." She glanced up at him, the shadow of her true grief still there before she could push it back down inside. She hadn't had anyone but herself to lean on, to talk to about any of it. She had just decided to move on and try to make something of her life. She didn't want pity, or charity. Though having someone care about what happened to her again, had made her feel less alone. She looked at him with a shrug. "I like your version better."
Panos Mehalitsenos 13 years ago
"Well I guess thats plausable and completely outrageous. If someone were a vampire wouldnt they go about offing someone in less obvious way? Then again who would believe the accusations, maybe she did kill her and made it look like the daughter in law was right? Its an interesting story none the less."

He may not have been the greatest at reading womens cues but he could at least tell from the shift in her gaze that the pain from her loss was still relatively new.

"So youre not from Nachton originally then? I'm sorry about your parents, I can tell you from experience, it will get better."

Sure it was a REALLY long time ago and he may have been the one to kill his dad but still, he did have some remorse and it eventually faded away.

"What made you decide to come here? How long have you been here?"

Panos wanted to reach across the table to offer her some kind of comfort but he wasn't sure how receptive she would be to that as he was still basically a stranger.

"Sorry I'm starting to soundi like the spanish inquisition."

Panos drank from his water glass and set his menu aside. He only ordered one thing and the staff knew his choice by heart. Two wet burritos with no rice.
Nara Baker 13 years ago
"Yeah, it has lots of possibilities to play with for the theme hotel. Or I thought so anyway." She grinned. "There are several haunted historical type homes around the area as well that I am researching." She added.

"Nope, Uvalde." She answered the understood question in his query. "I wanted to stick to something familiar yet far enough away to be unlikely to meet folks that knew me. We... we lost everything with the bills from Dad's illness. It was hard to face people." She admitted softly. "A new start, from scratch was the best thing, at least in my mind." She shrugged trying to sound like she had lots of options, when like now, there weren't many.

"Been here about a month this time. I started out here several months back but had to go back to Uvalde to help out a friend." She looked over the menu and finally decided on a grande burrito dinner. She placed her order with a side of guacamole and some queso dip. She was rather hungry. "I don't mind the questions, though turn about is fair play. How long have you been here and what keeps you here?"
Panos Mehalitsenos 13 years ago
"I think I would attend a vampire themed hotel. See what it was all about." Nara's grin was infectious and he found himself smiling as well.

He shifted in his seat before speaking. The neighborhood Nara's apartment had been in now made more sense and her willingness to stay at the seedy motel she was currently at.

"Well you certainly came to the right place to get lost in and start over. Even if you know people around here the city is so fast paced and large it's possible not to run into them."

That was certainly true of a few people he knew. Hell how long had Shay been right under his nose and he hadn't even known? Sure it hadn't helped she had lost her memory but still he felt her transition was something he should have known about. Good god that reminded him that he was thankful the city was so vast. He still owed Ellis a favor or two and he wasn't sure running into her was something he looked forward to. Then there was Cyrus, and Aron and...There were enough people in the city he rather not run into.

"It's a blessing in disguise really."

When the questions turned to him he didn't worry too much. She asked easy enough questions and it wasn't too hard to remember up to date answers.

"My family is Greek so I am not originally from here but I came to Nachton about six years ago to reunite with a long lost family member. I stay because I've made some ties here and I guess I've really no other place to go. No sense in leaving really."

When the little basket of chips and salsa arrived Panos nudged them closer to Nara. He wanted to make sure she left there with a full stomache.

"So what are you going to do now? Is there anything I can help you with?"