Blood Ties
- Teas to Please - Printable Version

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Teas to Please - Persephone Miller - 2021-Aug-29

Percy sang along with the song she had blasting in her little tea room. Metal certainly wasn’t the type of music she normally had playing when it was open but she still had several minutes to change playlists and some Metallica to start that morning felt appropriate. She couldn’t explain why, only that she chose her rock and metal playlist over her ones that were more pop and cheery or even the fun oldies. Maybe it was a sign. She still wasn’t the best at noticing them or discerning if it truly was a sign or her wishing it was. She’d eventually find out.

The last small display case of muffins was the only thing left to stock as she straightened from putting the tray of cinnamon buns on the cooling rack. It had been a busy weekend and while she did some baking the night before to help catch back up, a few trays of cinnamon buns completed it. She had to admit that the aroma of the buns so early in the morning did help the early crowd buy baked goods so she may have planned the early morning accordingly.

With the last muffin finally placed on its shelf, Percy switched her playlist to the one that was a bit mellower but still stayed away from classical or elevator music as she didn’t want to bore his customers to the point they fell asleep and drowned in their cup. A final glance was given around the small room and then she ran her hands down her cute yellow halter top dress and went to the front door. She turned the sign from ‘closed’ to ‘open’ and flicked the lock on the door, giving it a test to ensure it opened smoothly.

Now it was the waiting game. While she did that, she’d get another cup of tea going for herself and perhaps start on a cake to surprise her lazy Sunday afternoon crowd with. Cakes and pies were still a bit beyond her skill level and what her time allowed for but she occasionally managed to get something out as a special treat.

Ooc: The layout of Teas to Please is on the smaller side. There are a total of six tables where sixteen people can sit at (four tables of two and two tables of four). There’s also a small corner that is more for lounging with a book and a mug of tea that can hold two comfortably if they don’t mind being close. Finally, the counter is also on the smaller side with some display cases of the baked goods for sale on top and within the glass-front counter. Muffins, cookies, brownies, and cinnamon buns are typically what she has available but the flavours may rotate depending on her mood. Behind the counter is a wall of tea canisters in far too many flavours and a collection of tea cups in differing sizes and patterns. Beyond that lies the kitchen.

RE: Teas to Please - Asher Bishop - 2021-Sep-03

Though he preferred the evenings and certainly couldn't be called an early bird, Asher wasn't one to coop up in his house until mid-afternoon, either. That being said, his light stroll around the city limits could have been better with a hot drink on hand - a morning aide wasn't against the rules if he was going to be smart about his sleep schedule, right? As it happened, he wasn't in the mood for coffee and, as he rounded a corner looking for something else that might strike his fancy, the harsh tones of Metallica hit his ears from a block away. It helped that he wasn't particularly hard of hearing, but the noise wasn't one he'd expect to hear before nine in the morning, either. Nor was it usual that it should be emanating from as quaint a little store as he thought it was coming from - which, of course, made it stand out among the relative quiet of the other businesses, likely not getting started until a half hour from now. Surely not, though - the tea shop?

Now that the music had drawn his attention to it, Asher decided with a shrug of his shoulders that, perhaps, a nice black tea would go down well. Technically, it had even more caffeine than coffee. Besides, he was half on his way to deciding that he needed to make a name of himself around town - one that wasn't associated with his true nature. What better way than to become a regular at a cute little unassuming tea shop that happened to occasionally play Metallica?

By the time he got there, the sign had been flipped to open - though he assumed only in the last few seconds, as he spied a woman just having turned away from the door, heading for the counter - and the music had changed. A shame, but he wouldn't complain. Instead, he assumed that it described whoever this woman was, in some capacity; at the very least, it would be a talking point. Asher waited by the front a moment so as not to surprise her - best not to start their working relationship off with a fright, he figured, and he was imposing enough that an unexpected encounter could definitely start everything off on the wrong foot. So, pausing as if to look over the shop's front and keeping the woman in the corner of his eye as he did so, the alpha set his hand on the door and pushed it open only once he was sure she'd see him coming.

Posturing as modestly as he was able, Asher wandered in, his eyes traveling across the selection of baked goods arranged atop the counter.
      "Morning," he greeted, a brief but warm smile touching his lips as he dipped his chin and cast his eyes down and away. Though humans didn't consciously read displays of submission, the subtle signs of body language tended to put people at ease, he found. In fact, many polite people exhibited them unintentionally - the difference was that Asher's use was manipulative. Not maliciously so, at this point, but certainly calculated in such a way as to not get her guard up from the go. It was a practicality, if not a necessity, for someone who knew that their mere physical presence presented a possible threat to most people - let alone the slim, albeit relatively tall, woman before him. "Do you do table service here, or should I order before I sit?"

RE: Teas to Please - Persephone Miller - 2021-Sep-03

Percy glanced up when she heard the door open and gave a ready smile and greeting for her customer. It was mixed in with shocked eyes as she noted it wasn't one of her regulars and definitely not someone that had ever stumbled in once in passing. She was fairly sure she wouldn't forget such a man if he had. Her first glance almost had her pointing to the coffee shop a few doors down but after a moment's study, she decided she could see this giant of a man enjoying a good cup of tea, perhaps even from a dainty cup.

"Given your stature I think the counter and table are one in the same in this tiny space," Percy replied and turned just enough to point to a large chalkboard that listed the various teas she currently had in stock. It rotates depending on the season and what she was able to order in so a chalkboard seemed easier.

"Here's what I have right now. If you want to sniff anything, let me know. I'm also happy to explain any of their tastes as I only serve teas I've personally tried and approve of." She was a bit of a tea snob which was partially why she opened her own little cafe but Percy figured it also helped in finding the higher quality teas with good ingredients. None of that cheap and overly artificial crap here!

RE: Teas to Please - Asher Bishop - 2021-Sep-03

Asher couldn't help but chuckle at her comment; the sound was self-deprecating, and he lifted an arm to rub the back of his neck abashedly.
      "Yeah, I guess..." His eyes rose from the floor at that point in order to assess the menu that she mentioned, and the clear pride that she put into her work. If he had any doubts that she owned the place, they were dashed in that moment. As such, she was someone to remain on the good side of - someone with a business was likely influential or, at the very least, known to the community. Should he become a regular here, assuming he could stand the stuff she served, he figured it could only go well for him.

He frowned, but was sure to keep his expression quizzical rather than imposing; he knew how quickly his RBF could take effect and was doing his best, still, to come off as nonthreatening. It seemed to have worked so far, but he wasn't blind to the shock in her eyes, and the passing comment on his height. Though humorous, these were still an indicator that he needed to tread carefully.
      "Ah, to be honest..." He paused, still skimming the menu in case there was something familiar that he might have missed, but finally turned out his hands sheepishly. "I've never been to a place like this before. The only teas I know are black, green, or with milk." He managed to craft an awkward smile and plaster it to his lips - the lack of expertise in this likely only aided the expression in appearing more genuine. "If I told you the sorts of tastes I like, would you be able to find something I would probably enjoy?" Rather than coming off as demanding, the tone of his voice was tentative, as submissive as his facial expressions, and clearly insinuated that she knew a whole lot more about all of this than he did. Hopefully, she'd find it flattering, rather than insulting, that he should come in here not knowing what the hell was going on.

      "Look, to be honest, I came here because I didn't feel like a coffee and I heard the Metallica you had on before so I figured this place would be one of those surprisingly cool, also actually good quality food and tea kind of places. You know?" He chuckled awkwardly again, then paused and added quickly, just in case it wasn't clear; "I haven't been disappointed, obviously, I think I'm just a bit over my head - you seem like you're a genuine connoisseur." His expression, though still sheepish, was warm and open, and he pointedly avoided looking at her throat - people really didn't like that, he'd found.

RE: Teas to Please - Persephone Miller - 2021-Sep-05

“You don’t say,” Percy teased with a large smile, not bothering to feign surprise that the giant sexy beast of a man was out of place in her tea shop. On the one hand, she could still see him being the type that was into accidental contradictions where he was also a tea connoisseur—and maybe he still did have some of those in him, but loose leaf tea didn’t seem to be among them. At least he was honest. Mostly. Was he always so submissive or was that something he did to help balance out his overwhelming presence? Hopefully it wasn’t some sort of game he liked to play but Percy had known enough guys that since she started dating to be call him out on it if it got out of hand.

“I would love to know your tastes,” she couldn’t keep the double meaning out of her voice or expression but Percy did turn and walk closer to the shelves to start perusing what she had and what might be something her new customer might like. “I’m Percy, by the way,” she tossed over her shoulder and then went back to her mission to find the perfect tea. When he mentioned some flavours and answered her questions about taste and caffeine levels, Percy grabbed several tins and brought them to the counter to be inspected. She popped the lid on each to allow them to be sniffed, promising they all tasted as divine as they smelled.

As he did so, Percy went back to something that had been said. “You heard me playing Metallica? I didn’t think I had it that loud but it’s not like I soundproofed the place either. Are you a fan of the band? That genre in general?” Was he the reason she was inspired to put on that playlist? If so, it may have been her quickest and easiest sign ever but Percy tried not to get her hopes up. After all, she’d still have to figure out why she had it and what this man would mean to her or how she could help him.

RE: Teas to Please - Asher Bishop - 2021-Sep-05

Teasing was a great indicator that a person was at ease - flirting was even more so. So when Percy's attitude shifted from shocked, well-meaning tea clerk to playful double entendre, Asher decided that the sheepish, submissive act could probably ease off a little. Not entirely, of course - he couldn't risk being jarringly obvious, but he did look her dead in the eyes and return a smile that might have been considered on the right side of wicked.
      "Hah ... I don't like sweets. Does that help?" While his expression had played into her flirtation, his words were tentative, still careful not to impose and, when he approached the counter to observe the tins she set out for him, he wished he could shrink. Environments like these made him feel like he should be akin to a bull in a china shop - but his heightened senses and agility tended to prevent that. People expected a giant, clumsy brute - and he had to give that to them if he wanted to avoid suspicion.

Rather than intentionally knocking anything over, Asher decided it would be best to simply be very obvious about how careful he was being as he leaned gingerly in to sniff the offered contents of each of her wares.
      "Asher," he said, pointing at the last vessel in her lineup. "I think that one smells best. Nice to meet you, Percy." But when Metallica came up again, the hulking man shrugged his massive shoulders and leaned back. "They're alright. I'm more of an alt rock guy myself. I just thought the contradiction of metal in a little tea shop made it interesting enough to walk into." Asher was not an impulsive man - but he was a decisive one, and his decision-making process was often so quick that he certainly seemed impulsive. In this scenario, that was probably good; this would be seen as a chance encounter, rather than anything remotely considered or calculated to make the man seem less threatening than he was - or, at least, could be.

      "Are you a fan, or just trying out something different to pep up a lazy Sunday morning?" He took a small step back to avoid hulking over her, and smiled briefly before being distracted by the food also set up on the counter. "Do you have anything savoury?"

RE: Teas to Please - Persephone Miller - 2021-Sep-07

Asher seemed very aware of his surroundings and how he interacted with them and Percy was very aware of Asher. It wasn’t just his size but his aura seemed to envelope everything—including her. There was definitely something special about the man but she couldn’t say what it was or if it even mattered. He obviously wasn’t a vampire and she was confident that he didn’t work for the vampdick that she was indebted to either. Perhaps she lucked out and happened to simply meet a handsome mundane.

Taking the tin that had chosen, Percy went to the tap she had installed that poured boiled water. She still had some kettles for the teas that required a more delicate touch and specific temperature but Asher had chosen a pu’erh which could be pushed to boiling though typically near-boiling water was used. However, since he had chosen one that only had some simple spices mixed into it and had mentioned he didn’t like sweet, Percy felt Asher would appreciate the slightly earthier tones of the water switch.

“I confess to only knowing a handful of Metallica songs. Even the one you heard me listening to I usually want to call ‘Neverland’ but I think it’s ‘Enter Sandman’. I could probably identify them if a song came on but don’t count on me to win Trivia Night at the pub for naming songs!” Percy laughed as she set a timer to five minutes and placed it beside the teapot. “I listen to an assortment of genres. Anything that makes me want to dance or sing along is perfect to me.”

She returned to the front counter and saw Asher shrink back a bit and gave a little head shake and gentle sigh. “Stop acting like everything will break if you touch it. I’m sure you’re used to being in tight spaces,” Percy had to stop herself as what she said registered. She hadn’t meant for another flirty double entendre but now that it was out there, that was all she could hear it as. But did she really mind?

“As to your savoury question,” Percy quickly jumped back to business and drew Asher’s attention with a gesture to the muffins, “it depends on how you classify muffins. Today I have carrot or oatmeal that could qualify.”

RE: Teas to Please - Asher Bishop - 2021-Sep-08

An involuntary, endearing smile crossed Asher's lips in response to Percy's comment on Enter Sandman, and he nodded along to the rest of her explanation.
      "Yeah, I'm no trivia guru either, don't worry." But his expression changed when she admonished his ginger movements, and his smile was replaced with a sheepish squint. "I feel like everything will break if I touch it and no, I'm not-" he paused, recognising the sexual undertone of yet another of her comments. Again, he dissolved into awkward smirking, his hand rising to the back of his neck just as it had before. "I just ah, don't want to break all your pretty stuff. I figure it would be expensive." Not that he couldn't afford it but, vaguely flustered as he was, he wasn't sure what else to say. Couldn't exactly go with 'haha I'm a rich as fuck werewolf' now, could he?

For all the intentions he had when he came in here, Asher was actually finding himself endeared with this woman. Somehow she managed to be sweet and devilishly flirtatious - perhaps she'd be even more useful than he first thought. The alpha liked contradictions - not only were they intriguing, but they made him work to understand the core of a person, when he so regularly read everything about them on first sight.

      "Oatmeal, please," he decided, letting his hand drop away from the nape of his neck as he turned to observe the seating arrangement. "So, uh, hopefully this isn't too forward; I know we've only just met and that you're working. But ... would you join me? I don't mind if you get up to serve a customer every now and then." Hell, why not cut to the chase and see if the flirty demeanour was for tips or because she was as interested in him as he was, her?

RE: Teas to Please - Persephone Miller - 2021-Sep-09

Percy glanced around her shop and smiled at what she saw. She supposed she hit her mark if Asher thought everything there was expensive. Sure, some of it was, especially everything in the kitchen, but she had set herself a tight budget for the rest of the store. She wasn't exactly struggling thanks to the bit of inheritance from her grandma and the support her parents would give if needed but being indebted to a vampire left her with the need to be independent where she could. "I'll let you in on a secret," Percy whispered with an over the top glance around the store again as if expecting spies. "Flea markets and yard sales are your best friends."

With a chuckle, she plucked an oatmeal muffin from the case, setting it down on a plate. After asking if Asher preferred it warm or not, she waved him to the table in the front corner of the store. "I prefer forward and I'd love to join you. Go sit and I'll be right there."

The tea's timer went off soon after and Percy finished with that, setting everything on a little decorative tray that was purchased at a craft fair last winter. That had been a lot of fun and she was counting down the days to when it happened again. The final item she added to the tray was her own mug of tea but before bringing it over to the table, Percy caught the time and quickly put a lavender tea to steep.

"One of my early morning regulars works nights and always stops in for a cup of lavender to relax with," Percy gave by way of explanation as she set the tray on the table and then proceeded to unload it. "I brought some milk but I suspect you will enjoy it straight."

Percy slid into the unoccupied chair, grabbed her mug, and let out a hum of pleasure as the early rays of sun hit her. She purposely directed Asher to the table in hopes of him taking the chair still in the shade and was pleased that he did. "Are you always an early riser? By choice or necessity because of a career?" Asher looked like a man that had his shit together with a career and not just settling for whatever came his way to pay the bills.

RE: Teas to Please - Asher Bishop - 2021-Sep-16

Truthfully, Asher had only ever anecdotally heard of flea markets, and likely had never owned a single second hand item in his life. But he smiled and nodded, even chuckled a little as though he understood and would keep her secret. He wouldn't consider himself a good actor, necessarily, but his understanding of people certainly did help him to exaggerate those parts of himself that he wanted them to see, and downplay those that did not serve him. Perhaps, here, his wealth was not a selling point.

Forwardness, however, seemed to serve him well, and he grinned before proceeding to do what he was told, dutifully taking the shadowy seat that he'd been directed into without complaint.
      "Yes ma'am." He'd taken his muffin with him, but he set it down and left it be for now; he had the manners that his parents had instilled in him, and those were table etiquette to the standards of the upper echelons of society. No elbows on the table and no eating until everyone was seated and had their meals - these were chief among the rules, though Asher was also well aware of the proper arrangements of cutlery, and certainly would have prepared Percy's seat for her, too, if he wasn't sure that would come off as entirely too much.

When she did finally finish her bustling in the kitchen and head over, Asher smiled again, nodding in understanding.
      "I'm not surprised to hear that you have regulars ... this certainly won't be my only stop in." He still hadn't eaten, and wouldn't until she settled in, instead peering into his mug expectantly. "If you say no milk, no milk it is. I've always thought it best to trust the experts." Another quick smile flashed across his lips as he plucked the teacup up, comically small in his massive hands, and gingerly manoeuvred it up to his mouth.

      "Well, it certainly smells good," he said, glancing up and looking at Percy over the cusp of his mug before tentatively taking a sip. "Mmmm." The rumble of appreciation was a gutteral baritone, almost akin to a growl, which emanated from deep in his chest as Asher closed his eyes to savour the taste. "Wow, you're good." He grinned, then set the cup back on its saucer and finally started in on his muffin. "Necessity," he confirmed, breaking off a piece of fluffy, perfectly baked dough. "Not on weekends, but it helps to keep up the habits so it isn't difficult to get up of a Monday." He proffered a light chuckle before popping a bite-sized piece of muffin into his mouth, then followed it with another sip of tea. "What about you? Do you like early mornings or is this a chore?" He suspected the former; Percy seemed far too chipper to be forcing herself to be here.

RE: Teas to Please - Persephone Miller - 2021-Sep-16

That rumble of appreciation was sexy as hell and could make a woman do many a thing to hear it again, especially if it came with further praise. It had clearly been too long since her last romp in bed and Percy took a long and slow drink of her tea to help quell some of the thirst she was currently suffering from. It wasn’t helping as Asher mentioned he was always an early riser and Percy was left wondering what it would take to keep him in bed and sleep in or how he looked rumpled…

“Mmh?” Percy was caught off guard by the question coming back to her as she swallowed the swig of tea and set her mug down. It would help to focus on a mundane question that was also tied to something she loved. “This place definitely isn’t a chore, though sometimes I do wish I opened an hour later so I could sleep in.” She laughed but shook her head at the idea, knowing how much business she would lose if she did that. In fact, she could open an hour earlier throughout the week and catch more of the shift workers but that was pushing her own limits.

“I love the mornings. They have a way of being utterly peaceful one moment and chaotic the next which makes them fun. There’s also less monsters lurking in the shadows when the sun is up,” Percy smiled as if she was being silly by talking about monsters but she knew how real vampires were and how much safer she felt during the day or locked away at home which as far as she knew was still vampire-free.

RE: Teas to Please - Asher Bishop - 2021-Sep-18

Asher prided himself on being able to read people, but much like there were words in the English language that had more than one meaning, so too were there ambiguous actions. Such was the nature of Percy's daydreaming; was she bored by him, or absorbed in his physical appearance? Self-assured as he was, the alpha decided that it was the latter. Why else would she continue the conversation when it was clear that she could be doing a hundred other things? Of course, these thoughts took milliseconds in the man's mind so, when his breakfast companion hummed back to the present, he smirked and raised an eyebrow.
      "Not used to being told how wonderful you are? Now that is a damn shame." He didn't lay it on too thick, but Asher was certainly pushing the bounds a little - just to confirm his suspicions, of course. And ... maybe also to break open the door on flirting. Maybe.

He chuckled at her jokes, nodding along even when she mentioned monsters and, though he took this morsel of information very seriously, he managed to keep the interest out of his expression. Instead, he stored it in the back of his mind and considered the fact that this may not be some innocent, ignorant mundane woman. He watched her for a moment over the brim of his cup as he took another sip of tea, then carefully placed it back down safely into its saucer.

      "I'm more of a night owl myself." He paused proceeding the admission, watching her for half a moment before looking down and away, picking up his entire muffin and, rather than breaking away bits like before, Asher bit right into the top, tearing off a massive chunk - but it wasn't a messy affair. Somehow, he managed not to let any crumbs fall, and he set the muffin back down as he chewed, then picked up his mug once more and took a long draught.

RE: Teas to Please - Persephone Miller - 2021-Sep-18

“As they say, they’re exes for a reason,” Percy simply replied, not wanting to get into the details of past relationships with the gorgeous man currently flattering her and showing some level of interest in her and her little shop. That was more than she could say about most men she’d met lately and for that, they could stay in the past and not interrupt a pleasant moment. And Asher did seem genuinely interested in her answers and he did seem to like the muffin and tea which did boost her confidence. She did think she was amazing at her job but sometimes a recommendation fell flat so it was nice when it worked out so well.

Now that was odd. He was up early for work but was also a night owl. Either he was one of those blessed beings that didn’t need much sleep to function or he slept in the evening, got up for the night and then went to work when the sun came up. That thought left her momentarily worried that he was connected to a vampire somehow but her thirsty side was stronger and when she opened her mouth to ask more questions, Percy instead stated, “with the right reason, I don’t mind being up all night either.”

At this point, if Asher didn’t notice her growing interest, he was either not interested, he was gay, or he was all looks and no brain. She was confident it wasn’t the last option and he did seem to be lightly flirting as well so the first two seemed unlikely as well. Good. Then she had no issue with waiting until he was finished with his muffin to show that not only did she like forward, she was as well and asked as she held out her hand, “may I see your phone? I’d like to add my number to your contacts so you can arrange a date with me, preferably on a Friday as I have someone else open Saturdays.”

RE: Teas to Please - Asher Bishop - 2021-Sep-25

Asher couldn't help but to smirk at the expense of these other men that he seemed to have so easily eclipsed.
      "And you know your worth. Good." Though undeniably a manipulative cunt, Asher could probably be considered a feminist; he treated women with the same respect and expectations that he placed upon men, and always championed them when the option arose. Certainly, there were some positive aspects to him, even when, overall, he could likely be considered ... less than palatable. Of course, he would never call himself as much; attributing positive things to himself wasn't a particular strong suit of his, despite his confidence - to the point of arrogance, sometimes. It was an odd dichotomy.

Watching carefully as he was, he did notice the slight pause in Percy, the light shift in her body as she considered the information he offered - it seemed contrasting, and she wasn't stupid. He could explain himself better, but her response essentially did it for him.
      "Precisely what I meant." He considered winking, but that might have been a touch too far on the cheesy side. So he simply smirked and returned to his tea and muffin momentarily.

As he took a breath to fuel the words he was about to say upon looking back up, Persephone cut in - though he was sure she didn't mean to interrupt. And before he knew it, Asher was looking at her waiting hand, and he stared at it a moment with raised eyebrows. He was used to being the aggressor - in most situations, actually - and this was a surprise to him. However, after a moment, he realised it was a welcome one, and a receptive smile stretched across his mouth as he dug his hand into the pocket of his jeans.
      "Beat me to it." At least with this kind of energy he could be sure that she wouldn't give him a fake number. He might have thought his comment about the night life could have scared her away - and her own measure of agreement perhaps a kind of tend and befriend response - if not for the continued forwardness of her suggestion.

It was a pleasant moment for him, one that encouraged him to question his own motives; perhaps this didn't have to be some kind of manipulative trick - perhaps this woman was actually worth having around for more than she could offer his reputation.

RE: Teas to Please - Persephone Miller - 2021-Sep-26

Another considering glance was given to Asher before Percy decided that he meant it and that he would have asked for her number if she hadn’t. Smiling, she brought up the contact page and hit ‘new contact’ without even bothering to scroll through his list to see who else he might know. For one thing, he could use nicknames or only given names and that wouldn’t narrow it down to anyone she knew. For another, while she was curious to see if he was attached to the vampires, Percy just wasn’t that invasive of privacy and focused more on having fun that morning. She added herself in under her given name of Persephone since there were likely to be less of those around than Percys and Asher would remember her.

He would if she gave him that name as well. “I usually go by Percy but it’s actually Persephone but I answer to both.” Percy had a feeling hearing her given name on his tongue would be magical and she flipped the phone back around to hand it to Asher—but she couldn’t help herself from brushing her hand against his in the process. Her power laid more in retrocognition but sometimes she had a dream of future events and once in a while she caught a glimpse when she touched someone. It usually wasn’t the case or nothing too startling which she was thankful for as she didn’t have to start a fashion trend of always wearing gloves. But of course Asher had to be different.

While she hadn’t been expecting anything more than the warmth of his skin and the jolt of a connection between them, Percy was hit with a quick flash of fangs, though thankfully not those of a vampire. These seemed to belong more to an animal, like a dog or a wolf. She gasped at the image and then did her best to cover for it as if she forgot something in the oven. “I don’t remember if I put in another tray of muffins. Excuse me a moment!”

Percy dashed off to the kitchen to complete her ruse, though she did still check in oven to verify that nothing was in fact burning while she was distracted with a sexy man. Satisfied all was well in the kitchen but still confused over what she saw, she came back out front in time to hand over the lavender tea to her regular and then returned to Asher’s table, thankful he hadn’t fled yet. “Sorry. This is only my second cup of tea. Sometimes it takes three before I’m deemed fully functioning.”

RE: Teas to Please - Asher Bishop - 2021-Oct-04

To some extent, Asher was playing a game; walking a thin line with this woman, wondering if she would pick up on something that might alert her to the fact of his true nature. Not the manipulative dog part, of course - no, the literal dog part. He watched her steadily, pensively as she added her name into his contacts, taking precisely the amount of time it would take merely to open his contacts and do what she said she'd do. No more, no less. So she wasn't snooping - which was appealing in and of itself - and he smiled another of his charming, almost wild, smiles when she returned his phone.

      "Persephone." He tried the name out on his tongue, felt the way it rolled pleasantly from it, and then made the same humming growl of a sound that he'd made in approval of his tea. "It's a lovely-" he broke from the sentence as Percy jerked back from him and promptly jumped to her feet. Truthfully, he did consider getting out of there - maybe she'd connected the dots; maybe she was preternaturally aware as Asher had suspected - or worse, perhaps she was a vampire. Surely she'd have smelled his scent before now, though, and he hers? His mind was running wildly, and he sat pragmatically with it, unwilling to make a spontaneous decision based on half-baked theories.

Usually, the alpha's patience reflected favourably on him - and this time was no different, it would appear. Persephone was back, settling in front of him once more, as though her fright truly did have something to do with her kitchen. Still, he wasn't convinced of her cover, though he didn't let that show. Instead, he finished the last of his tea and his muffin and politely dabbed at his mouth with whatever napkin had been afforded to him. It was an odd movement for a man so large and apparently brutish, but perhaps endearing for the same reason.
      "Please don't apologise," he proffered, waving away the words benevolently. "Not to me. Never to me." He said the words as if they'd known one another longer - or perhaps as though he expected to know her for a long time yet.

      "I understand, truly. But I do need to get going..." Asher glanced down at his phone, briefly pulling it half-way back out of his pocket to do so, then stuffing it back in. "I have a few errands to run." He paused, gauging her reacton - hoping against hope that he didn't detect relief in her posture or expression. "But I'll text you, okay?" Brightening, he offered her a grin, then made to rise from the table. "How much do I owe you?"

RE: Teas to Please - Persephone Miller - 2021-Oct-06

Of course Asher was a smooth talker. He was likely a heartbreaker as well but considering they'd known each other maybe twenty minutes, Percy hadn't settled in for a long term commitment either. She was currently only interested in spending more time with the man and hoping to hear him say her name with that growl again. Focusing on that delicious moment before she fled had helped in settling her nerves and keeping her focus off of the glimpse she had. Then again, maybe that animal she had seen simply confirmed her belief that he was a beast in bed.

"Oh! Of course. And I have a business to run," not that it was busy at the moment. That was likely why it had been so easy to forget she was at work, even after helping someone else. It was nice to sit and chat, something she could get away with here and there during the day, but in the quieter moments, it was easy to think she was off the clock. Apparently it also made her forget that Asher was a customer and would have other plans to get to after an impromptu stop.

She laughed and shook her head at the mention of payment. She took back all of her previous thoughts and changed it to be Asher was the problem with her memory that morning. How could she forget to ring up his order? It felt a bit awkward to do so now but so did offering it for free. She went with the latter anyway. "Consider them as free samples to entice you to return again and to tell a friend." She did all right in sales and making a small profit but it was still difficult competing against the large and popular chains. Word of mouth was her friend.

RE: Teas to Please - Asher Bishop - 2021-Oct-07

Reading body language was sometimes a daunting task, even for someone as experienced and capable in the field as Asher was. But this woman, she wore her heart on her sleeve - it made his job far easier. It also made her more endearing than most. He was tired of the guarded people, the strong and silent types who thought their mystery made them more enticing. Naturally, it was also a feature of his own, generally speaking. His decisions were made before he was capable of expressing an emotion regarding them, though - it wasn't like he was making a considered choice when it came to his somewhat elusive nature. This said, Asher was well aware of the interest that Percy was clearly experiencing where he was concerned, but he also knew not to overstay his welcome, and that distance made hearts grow fonder.

He rose to a stand, an easygoing smile now settling on his lips as his companion excused his exeunt and waved off his intention to pay.
      "Even a free sample deserves a tip." He didn't make a show of it, though; he simply slipped a note from his wallet and shuffled it neatly under the edge of his saucer in a single fluid movement. It was angled in such a way as to not be immediately apparent in value, and he stuffed his wallet back into his jeans and took a step back as he nodded in farewell. "It was lovely to meet you, Persephone. We'll speak soon." It wasn't a question - or even an assumption; it was a statement. A promise.

Patting the flat of his palm against his phone where it was nestled in his pocket, Asher flashed one last devilish grin before proffering a two-fingered salute, then stepping back out onto the street.

**ooc note: the tip was a $20

RE: Teas to Please - Persephone Miller - 2021-Oct-09

Percy had to believe they would speak again soon since she left the ball in Asher’s court entirely. She hadn’t asked for his number, only told him to make the move and arrange a date and on what day would be best for her. Her confidence wouldn’t let her believe she had just been played either. There was no way Asher worked for the vampire jerk and this was some twisted game and he didn’t seem the sort to mess with simple tea hostesses either. There had been some kind of spark between them and even with the snarling dog vision, Percy wanted to explore that connection further.

She watched the man leave and enjoyed the view as much as she knew she would. “Damn but I need to get laid soon,” Percy grumbled to herself with a laugh as soon as the door shut behind him. Normally she had better control over herself but the last man she had attempted to date hadn’t gone well and had been months earlier. A girl could only go so long without a proper drink!

Still grinning at how silly she was being, Percy collected the items back onto the tray and sighed when she saw Asher had left her a twenty for the tip. She assumed it was a five and even that would have been too much but twenty? She frowned and gave a little grumble in the back of her throat as she stared at the green bill. He did seem the sort to be a big tipper, the type of man the serving staff all tripped over to get at their table. But right then, she wasn’t sure if she was impressed or insulted. Was it done to impress her or as a way to cover the order regardless of what she said about it being free? Or was it because he thought she needed the money because of her comments about thrift shopping or maybe even how she looked? Was it a way of saying, ‘hey, yeah I’m not actually ever going to text you or come back’?

Frustrated at over-thinking a damned tip, Percy added the bill to the tray and went back to the counter. She set the dishes in the sink and then went to the till where she rang up Asher’s muffin and drink. The bill was slipped into the drawer and the change taken out and pocketed. It was still too large of a tip for what had been ordered and what she felt was a nice conversation and potential lead up to meeting again but it sat better with her and let her continue on with her morning with a smile.