[Ariyah – Downtown – Near the Waterfront and Georgetown – BoL – Fame 2 – NA]
[Pinterest board for the office building Ariyah is inspecting: https://www.pinterest.com.au/vishae/game-seattle-by-night/busy-vines/]
Ariyah drove up to the last location on her list. She had left this till the end as she had expected this to be the most likely candidate and the Toreador wanted to see all the other options so she could make an informed decision.
The Toreador parallel parked on the empty street and exited the car. She scanned the exterior of the building she had parked in front of.
It was a low grey warehouse building with large windows along the front. It was situated in a forgotten section of the waterfront, which meant the rent shouldn't be too exorbitant.
Ariyah followed the instructions Sofia gave her and found the combination key safe hanging near the front door. Entering the PIN, Ariyah retrieved the keys to the building and let herself in. The Toreador had always found Sofia’s ability to acquire out-of-hours access to locations useful. It was one of the reasons why she had recruited the woman, in addition to her interior design skills.
This skill certainly made it easy for Ariyah to inspect potential office spaces; she didn't have to deal with real estate agents asking awkward questions, and she wanted to examine the site at her leisure.
Ariyah found the light switches near the front entrance and flipped them all on. The rows and rows of hanging fluorescent lights flickered on, illuminating the open space within. The wall behind her was exposed brick with all the street-facing windows, but the rest of the interior was bare white painted walls. This was offset by the numerous potted plants arranged around the office space and the dangling vines hanging from baskets ceiling. The green fronds and the teak coloured long tables gave the area a refreshing feel.
The building was high enough for a mezzanine floor, and Ariyah ascended the stairs to the second floor with its glass balustrade.
Standing amongst the pre-arranged office desks, overlooking the ground floor with their long tables and sofa – perfect for client meetings – Ariyah could imagine how the building would look filled with clients and staff.
Yes, this space would work perfectly.
After Ariyah had turned off all the lights and locked up the front door, she gave a call to Sofia. The woman was used to Ariyah's middle-of-the-night phone calls and so did not sound put out, just hazy from sleep.
“Hey, Sofia.” Ariyah didn't waste time with niceties, her retainer would appreciate the call to be as succinct as possible, “I went to have a look at the places you suggested, and you're right, the warehouse is the most suitable.”
“Great. You want me to make the arrangements with the real estate agents?”
“Yeah, and start thinking about staff too. I know you've wanted some people to help you since the Hitchens job increased our client base.”
“Okay. I have a few people in mind already.”
“No problem, I'll let you get back to sleep then.”
“Good night, Ariyah.”
When Ariyah hung up, she saw a message from Iris:
Hey Ari, thank god no. I managed to survive it somehow. How about you, did you manage to return home safely? Once again thank you for the compliment, you remind me that I have to track the buyer down if I ever want to receive my payment.
Ariyah grinned, they were both so preoccupied with the food they didn't manage to talk to their prospective buyers. The Asian Toreador quickly composed a response:
To Iris: I went for an eating-spree after the event - I wanted to take full advantage of the night, you know? Anyway, it was great hanging with you last night. We should do it more often.
It would certainly make future Kindred-events less tedious if she had someone to talk to, Ariyah thought as she sent the message.
Putting her phone away, Ariyah got back to her car to drive to Gasworks Studio. A night of driving around town had peaked her hunger again, not to mention that she hadn't wholly had her fill earlier that night. But now that the worse of her appetite had been satiated, she could safely visit her herd.
It was very late in the night though, so only Kalvin was around since he lived in the apartment above the main building. This suited Ariyah just fine; she had found her relationship with her other two herd member to be becoming complicated, and she wanted to feed without any emotional entanglements.
When Kalvin answered his door, his hair was mussed, and he was blinking owlishly at Ariyah; he had obviously been woken up by Ariyah's knocking.
Ariyah smiled at the tall blonde and pushed past him into his apartment. It was dark inside as Kalvin hadn't bothered to turn on the lights; Ariyah didn't mind, she wasn't planning on staying.
It was obvious Kalvin was still struggling to wake up properly to give her a greeting. Ariyah didn't bother to wait, she just pulled him down for the Kiss, turning on her Awe to further muddle the artist's mind. [Awe Activated]
She just needed a top-up and so did not take long. Once satisfied, or as satisfied as she could be without completely draining the poor guy, Ariyah closed the wound and extricated herself from Kalvin. Before completely letting him go, she looked into his eyes and pushed with her mind.
“Forget.” She whispered. [Awe Deactivated | Cloud Memory Activated]
While the tall artist was still recovering from the series of mental whammies, Ariyah let herself out of the apartment and closed the door behind her. If all goes to plan, Kalvin would think he had a strange dream.
[Herd Feeding | Fleeting Phlegmatic | Hunger: 2 —> 1]
Ariyah left the studio building for her car. When she passed the warehouse attached to the back of the studio, Ariyah thought about her own artist's studio in the warehouse, and the bed there. She really needed to finish preparing the place as a haven. Then she wouldn't need to drive all the way back to Chinatown after a late-night snack.
[Ariyah makes her way back to her haven and for daysleep.]