October 24, 2019, 05:45:40 AM

Author Topic:  [portland] the wanderer [esther]  (Read 115 times)

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Liam Thompson [ Artist ]
41 Posts  •  27  •  Homosexual  •  played by Emily
[portland] the wanderer [esther]
« on: October 07, 2019, 03:06:02 AM »
Her owl found him hungover in his pool chair and landed on his stomach, shoving the letter in his face with one proffered foot. “Get off ‘o me,” mumbled Liam. He tugged the paper free and swatted at the bird until it left with a grumpy hoot. And then he went back to sleep, waking again sometime after noon with a letter in his hand. He squinted at it as he wandered inside to find a potion.

He’d expected Charlie again, who’d written two days ago from London wondering why he was now on another continent instead of working on their album. Oliver had still been there then. He’d politely restrained himself from reading over Liam’s shoulder, but it was still obvious he’d wanted to. Urgent rockstar business? he’d asked, trying to put on a smirk. Liam had pulled him into his lap and assured him there was no such thing, but they’d both started to feel a little guilty ignoring the rest of the world after that. Ollie moreso—he’d returned to Paris the next morning to mix drinks or whatever waste of talent he did for money. It took a lot more guilt, however, to make Liam do anything.

It wasn’t Charlie this time. Liam sighed to himself. Of course that was the kind of owl Esther Winslow would use—businesslike and judgmental.

That night he’d planned on at least staying for her set, but Ollie’s minor crisis had taken precedence. Liam, grudgingly, figured he could understand if she wanted some confusion cleared up. Or even if she wasn’t curious, he did owe her a favor. Maybe she was already ready to call it in. Or perhaps she just wanted to see him. Women were like that sometimes—Liam had always liked that about them. Far be it from him to refuse a request.

It was dusky at home, but fully dark in Portland when he apparated between a pair of tall buildings near Esther’s preferred bar. She wasn’t playing until tomorrow, she’d said. Today she was nestled in a booth at the back of someplace that definitely couldn’t afford her, waiting for him.

Liam whipped off his cloak and flung it over one shoulder, ignoring the patron to his side that he’d startled in doing so. “Essie!” he called as he approached—her attention, generally, needed to be specifically requested. Her eyes on him now, he tossed his cloak in the booth and draped an arm over the back of the seat as he slid in. “So what’s up, babe?” he asked. “Need something, or last week just finally make you remember I’m great company?”

@Sioban

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Sioban [ Super-Admin ]
1102 Posts
Re: [portland] the wanderer [esther]
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2019, 09:38:22 PM »
 
NPC: Esther Winslow



Tap, tap, tap.

Sat in a bar, Esther rapped her fingers absently against the sticky wooden table. Her big dark eyes were half-watching the door, half-watching the re-runs of a baseball game on the television screwed to the wall. As always, the place wasn't completely filled up. There were a few patrons dotted around; young men grabbing a drink together after work, a few single people propping up the bar and her.

The neon signs of the bar glinted off her beer bottle, the label of which had been partially ripped off. It was a blessing and a curse. She'd started playing guitar, simply because her mother had told her to stop fidgeting. The guitar string scars on her hands were evidence enough that diversionary tactics did not work for her.

There was a nip in the air but the bar was warm and comfortable. As Esther sat, she zoned out. There was a gentle hum of chatter, the distant static from the TV as the commentator was telling his colleagues about an amazing home-run. The steady rain drizzle could barely be made out as it splattered against the window panes. Unable to help herself, she let out a yawn. Evenings like this always made her feel drowsy and comfortable. Out of habit, she crossed her long legs underneath the table, the heels of her boots scraping across the uneven floor as she waited.

Liam was late. Or was he? Esther didn't actually own a watch and there were no visible clocks at the bar; time for her was relative. She wasn't mad at him that he didn't stay for her show, either. After all, he didn't pay her bills, her legion of loyal fans did. With her eyes on the telly, her mind drifted. So. He'd called in a favour. He'd dragged a small boy from England to open up for her and he'd choked. It wasn't unusual. It happened all the time; stage fright, panic, the crushing weight of expectation, the forgetting of lyrics. Nothing like that had ever happened to her before, obviously. It just seemed a bit...odd. She couldn't put her finger on it.

Swiftly, she jumped.

"Oh Zorro, just in time," Esther greeted Liam cheerfully, gesturing for him to take a seat, which he did without invitation. Babe. Unable to help herself, she pulled a face and made a retching sound. "I don't know how you haven't been punched for that yet," she began in jest, reaching for her bottle and taking a swig as her collection of rings jingled in response before she adjusted her slouchy cream coloured jumper that threatened to slip off her shoulder. She offered Liam a toothy grin. If Esther ever needed anything, he would not be the one she went to. Coyly, she shrugged. "I missed you," she told him honestly.

Turning her attention to the barman, she signalled to him for another two bottles and he didn't seem pleased. "What?" Esther mouthed to him, looking puzzled. It didn't occur to her that bartenders usually didn't offer table service. "You're mediocre company at best, sweetie," she told Liam warmly. She didn't think he'd be upset. In life, there were two types of people; energisers and drainers. Drainers were the ones that dragged people down and spoke in a boring monotone. Then, there were energisers. Bright and sparkling, the types of people who lit up a room. Liam was an energiser. He was also the type to get himself into a fight and sweet talk his way back out of it, just because he could.

"How did you like my set?" Esther asked him, sipping from her bottle and arching a finely groomed eyebrow, letting Liam know she knew he hadn't stuck around. And she wanted to know all about this mysterious man and why she'd put her neck on the line for him.
  

Liam Thompson [ Artist ]
41 Posts  •  27  •  Homosexual  •  played by Emily
Re: [portland] the wanderer [esther]
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2019, 02:36:28 AM »
Esther called him something he didn’t understand, apparently amused. Liam raised his eyebrows. “What?” Her eyes lingered on his cloak as he tossed it and he gave her even more confused a face. “It’s raining, Es. Surely I’m not the only one in here who—“ No, wait, he was.

American wizards did tend to be more hush-hush about their magic than English ones, but now that he looked around there wasn’t a single animated dishrag or broomstick rack in the place. The background noise was coming from a television. Liam sighed. Made sense, honestly. Plenty of famous wizards spent a lot of time in the Muggle world if they wanted to avoid being recognized, which he knew very well (from spending so much time with Charlie, at least) could significantly hamper normal life. But the thought hadn’t crossed his mind when he left.

He leaned forward over the table. “If you’d told me this was a Muggle place, I’d have worn a—one of those things.” Liam pointed toward the man on the nearest barstool, who had on the sort of shiny, unflattering jacket Muggles wore in the rain. Thankfully Muggles wore shirts and trousers, so without the cloak he stuck out less—slightly. Of course, he’d sat down without a drink expecting the barkeep to be able to levitate one over. Esther called the grumpy-looking server and Liam gave him an apologetic smile.  “Haven’t even got any dollars on me, I don’t think,” he muttered when he left. Both of them had enough money that it didn’t matter in the slightest, but nevertheless Liam hated to make a woman pay.

He lost a bit of that concern as she wasted no time insulting him. “Essie,” replied Liam, hand to his heart and mocking, wounded pang in his voice. “If that’s how you feel, then, I s’pose I owe you a thanks for not letting on in front of my mate the other day, don’t I?” She’d been pleasant, not a single sarcastic quip, and Liam was kicking himself now for not realizing how suspicious that had been. Perhaps his memory of her had softened over the years. Or, perhaps, he’d just been too pleased it had seemed to impress Ollie.

She asked him, knowingly, whether he’d liked her show. Liam glanced away with an awkward laugh. “Oh, don’t worry,” he said. “I didn’t have to be there to know I would.”
« Last Edit: October 10, 2019, 09:03:13 AM by Emily »

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Sioban [ Super-Admin ]
1102 Posts
Re: [portland] the wanderer [esther]
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2019, 07:01:19 PM »
 
NPC: Esther Winslow



"Surprise," Esther replied with a grin, her hands outstretched and her fingers wiggling in a classic jazz-hands gesture. With a melodramatic sigh, she rolled her eyes. "Oh, stop complaining," she told him sternly, her big dark eyes shifting to the man he'd pointed to. "A raincoat," she clarified for him. Maybe he was used to it being called a "mac". It just reminded Esther of a burger. "No one bothers me here," she added, not that her fans ever "bothered" her in the first place. "And I like a dive bar once in a while."

Swigging from her beer bottle, she shrugged again. Absently, she folded her long legs beneath her on the seat of the booth like a cat. It looked rather uncomfortable but she relaxed into it; she was always perching on stuff. It was how she'd broken so many bones as a kid. "Convenient," she replied with both eyebrows arched before she smiled. "No worries. My treat. Did you want nachos, too?" She asked casually as she turned the sticky bar menu over in her hands.

"Mate," Esther echoed as she blinked at Liam slowly, nodding along as she recalled the night, as if she'd forget it. Reaching out, she took the two bottles of beer and exchanged money with the barman in one, fluid motion. It was almost as though she'd done it before. "In that case, you're welcome," she said lightly with her head tilted to the side. "And how is your friend?" Esther asked, a subtle emphasis on the word as she held out a bottle for Liam to take.

Oh. He was squirming.

No one noticed. The people in the bar were too occupied as the television chattered some ways behind them. But she noticed. "Why'd you bail on me?" Esther asked, her  full attention now on the man sat across from her. She held herself still, looking like a fortune teller in the dimly lit bar. As Liam looked away, she studied his profile. The man he'd brought along had had a terrible evening. Was it his first show? Was that why he'd bombed so hard? It was awkward, sort of like watching a cow being born; awkward and ungainly. Not to mention pulling that stunt could have hurt her career. Just what was he playing at?

A beat of silence passed between them before Esther spoke. She'd never been invited back to Liam's swanky bachelor pad in LA. "When's date night?" She asked, not specifying if she meant Liam and herself or Liam and his new "friend". She decided she was going to refer to him "The Gallic Disaster". Perhaps "calamity" was a kinder term.




  

Liam Thompson [ Artist ]
41 Posts  •  27  •  Homosexual  •  played by Emily
Re: [portland] the wanderer [esther]
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2019, 04:07:01 AM »
He cracked a smile at her jazz hands and almost forgot to be bitter. “Raincoat,” Liam repeated. “They’re a straightforward folk, aren’t they, Muggles? Charming.” She expressed an affection for dive bars, and he figured he’d give her that one. “I’ll drink to that” said Liam. He took a long sip and licked his lips. “Always knew you were my kind of woman.”

Esther seemed unconvinced. Liam ignored this.

“I dunno,” he said. “He’s in France now.” He shrugged innocently, but it didn’t seem to help. She was giving him a look, the sort of look that made Liam wish he’d studied Legilimency. Well, she always sort of looked like that, but it was no less unsettling. He wrapped his clammy hands around his bottle for something to do with them, casually watching the television to avoid her gaze. What if she was a Legilimens? Oh, Merlin, for all he knew she could be. Wouldn’t that be just typical. He tried, with predictable futility, to wipe any thought of Oliver from his mind just in case.

“What, you care?” replied Liam, somewhat snappily. “Haven’t you got less mediocre company to rub elbows with?” He was getting tired of this—though that’s what he got, he thought ruefully, for involving some nosy woman in this. Why hadn’t the Bent-Winged Snitches been touring?

She interrupted his sour thoughts with a truly unexpected question. “Date night?” Liam repeated in surprise. “Are you asking me on a date, Esther Winslow?” He hurriedly reassembled some of his persona, leaning coolly back against the plastic-padded booth seat. “This not enough for you?”
« Last Edit: October 21, 2019, 06:50:58 AM by Emily »

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