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  1. "Has me?" The look Casey gave Horatio was one of incredulity. She opened her moth, closed it and shook her head, then walked right past him still shaking her head, into the kitchen where she pulled a glass (a drinking glass) from the cabinate and got a bottle of wine out of the fridge. She filled the glass and drank half of it off in one drought. She didn't offer Horatio a drink, not even a water. "Won't be happy until she has me." She drank the rest of the wine and filled the glass then went back into the living room and plopped onto the couch, glass in one hand bottle in the other. "What the fuck is that even supposed to mean?"
  2. Casey looked up at the tall man who had humiliated her and slammed the door in his face… reared back and kicked him in the genitals and gouged his eyes when he bent over in pain… jumped against him throwing her arms around his muscular neck and… Casey shook her head and glared at him then closed her mouth as all of that and a few more ‘scenes’ flashed through her mind. She was worrying her tightly drawn lips between her teeth, then stepped back opening the door wider letting Horatio come in. As he stepped into the apartment past her she closed the door hard but not quite a slam and said, “You have some fucking nerve coming here.”
  3. Casey bit her lip and turned several shades of red. Everyone was staring at her at least that's what it felt like. No what it felt like was just like the last party she had been too, and that one had ended a career too. Without another word Casye looked at the man and woman whom she had barged in upon to confront D'Sombra. "Sorry for interrupting, please excuse me." Without waiting for any answer she spun and retreated back to the kitchen she should never have left.
  4. Casey was pissed now as Horatio slapped her down and was about to make an even bigger scene when Maya spoke up and also turned her back on Casey. This caused a momentary flash of anxiaty and doubt. She went over it all in her mind standing there mouth open looking like an idiot. Her phone vibrated. There was a problem in the kitchen, she stared at the screen for several seconds and then that anger flashed up again. I'm losing it she thought as she typed rapidly. <Take care of it, I'll be there as soon as I can> Casey turned her phone off not really caring now about the coffee shop, the last year of her life had been a spiral down to this and now it seemed that she was at the bottom. Her actions had ruined so much future for herself. She looked around then started making her way back into the gala. She came across Horatio almost immediately, he was talking to a small group of wealthy patrons but he noticed her and gave her an expectant look that was part invitation part warning. Casey ignored him and walk right on by. Horatio Mourn was not the person she was looking for. Casey found her soon awing a few sycophants who gazed with vacant looks of worship and hung on every syllable that fell from Ravenna D'Sombra's perfect lips. Casey waited on the periphery but made sure she could be seen by the diva. D'Sombra gave no notice of her but Casey was sure she had been seen. She kept her patience with Ms. D'Sombra and waited and part of her wondered why she hadn't given Horatio the same courtesy. A few minutes went by and still she waited until finally decided to approach, just as Ms. D'Sombra was at a pause in her conversation with a handsome gentleman and his somewhat older, yet still beautiful date. Ms. D'Sombra turned her head to acknowledge Casey at her approach, giving her the opening she needed to say what she needed to say. "Only one question Ms. D'Sombra. I don't need to figure out what it is you and Mourn have going on, if it's a rivalry or whatever. He lied to me, for whatever reason, he wanted something and instead of asking and telling me what it was he lied. So I only have one question for you Ms. D'Sombra: what do you want me to do?"
  5. "Really no one here gives a shit about anyone but themselves, we could be dancing naked and getting ready to do the nasty as a threesom and most of them wouldn't even notice. And technically I didn't really touch your breast, I accidentally poked it with my phone. But if you insist you can call the cops and we can have loads of fun in court, but do that later. As for the other I do know you even if I didn't know your name before, because I do see you just about everyday when you come to my coffe shop and get your dark roast black with two sweeteners, and sometimes when you come in on a weekend you get a Mocha Latte with extra milk." Casey smiled wickedly at Maya, but didn't give either of them a chance to say anything before she continued, "Unlike Horatio here who either just lied to you about seeing you often at the same coffee shop as the security guy and me or he was lying when he didn't recognize you back where batface bitch bought you off." She looked at Horatio sadness showing in her eyes, " I do know he is lying about the coffee shop, but what I want to know is what else are you lying about Horatio?"
  6. Casey blinked. That made no sense whatsoever, and lent credence to what D'Sombra had been hinting at. She blinked again and couldn't understand why she felt irked that this Maya woman was with her date and how now all of the sudden her date admitted to knowing, ok maybe not knowing but recognizing her, when not ten minutes ago.... A flush of red suffused Casey's cheeks and she stormed from her hiding place with the intention of bracing the pony tailed charlatan and giving him a solid piece of her mind. But thats not what happened. Before stepping out Casey had taken her phone from her clutch and activated the recorder then blanked the screen. She transferred the phone to her left hand and her small purse to her right which put it against the large potted plant and when she stepped forcefully from hiding the clutch caught in the voluminous leaves of the plant which of course began to tip. Spinning back Casey tried to catch the tall plant but with both hands it became a trial which left her entangled and in plain view of the two she had been eavesdropping on. They in Turn had heard her first curse and the string of expletives which followed as she wrestled with the tree like plant. Neither said anything as Casey finally arrested the plants fall and disentangled herself, then smoothing her dress and brushing back stray strands of hair she marched right up to Horation and stood squarly in front of him ignoring Maya. She stared up at him but her words had been lost and he was so damn attractive and... "Are you alright Casey," he asked innocently? "Alright? Am I alright?" Casey shook her head, "No I am not alright but I am not the one answering questions here. How is it that not ten minutes ago you didn't know here from anyone else here," with out looking Casy stuck her left hand out to point at Maya with the phone in her hand, which added a few inches to Casey's reach and firmly poked Maya in the boob. "Yet here you are telling her that you have seen her at the Pot along with the security guy and you just assumed we knew each other. When starngly enough I, who am always there in the morning when these two get their coffees and lattees had never seen you before the day you came into my office. Not once and I have a dammnd good memory for the little details I will tell you." Her voice was rising as she spoke, " And for that matter how is it that Miss D'Sombra knows the 'story' you told me about your fathger and him bringing you to the Full Pot when you were a kid. That is so much Bull shit!"
  7. Casey pondered the text as she looked through the leaves of the large potted plant which stood between her and Horatio and that woman. Eighty years old? No way. This chick didn't look any older than me, maybe it was a grand daughter or grand niece. I'll have to check on that. And weird, why would she do a personal background check on the caterer that her hired guy had already cleared and then your going to make a person you have just seen and met for the very first time and don't even know a VIP on a whim and give them a column in your news magazine. And that same person just happens to be a woman who buys coffee form my shop everyday and there is another guy here who buys coffee every day as well and I can remember them but I had never seen Horatio until the day he offered me this job even though he said that he and his dad, she sighed cutting the thought short … no way something just doesn't click and that's not even throwing in the weird dream or getting stabbed in the back by a nail that couldn't have been where it was. This was just so surreal everything from the day Mourn had walked into the Full Pot to this moment. Her thumbs flew across the face of her phone [[I'll see what I can do. E-mail me anything you have on her to my gmail address, articles, bios, everything you can find. And be discreet.]] Casey texted her friend then slipped the phone back into her clutch and reached up and moved one of the big fronds out of the way so she could see better. So much was going through her mind that she decided a little eaves dropping was in order. Horatio stood slightly askew to her while the woman, Maya, was facing him. They were talking but the noise of the party made it difficult to hear them clearly, luckily Horatio's face was clearly in sight and while she was no expert lip reader she was a talented lawyer, or had been, and she was well skilled in observing. She had spoken to Horatio enough to know how he talked, coupled with being able to see his mouth move and hear some of what he was saying, her brain was more than capable of filling in the rest. At least for his side of the conversation.
  8. Casey watched as everyone around her disappeared leaving her alone with her champagne. Ms. D'sombra's words had left her head spinning and full of sudden doubts, she played the scene , the whole scene, over in her head from the moment she had run into Mel Grimson and recognized him up to now. Investigators and detectives looking at crime scenes look for things that don't belong, lawyers do the same thing, and looking at this scene the only things that didn't belong where her and the two other people who frequented the coffee shop. And Ms D'sombra made four. If she was such a big wig in Manhattan, then why had Casey never heard of her and what woman her age, outside of a fading burlesque queen, would wear black nail polish, especially to an event like this. The vision or whatever it had been came back and haunted Casey. There were too many weird things not the least the coincidence of the three of them here being fish out of water, Horatio's strange behavior all along, and now D'sombra, her monster face (assuming I am not crazy and hallucinating) and her obvious attempt to misdirect. A perfectly played trial tactic, too perfect. Casey walked back into the main gallery and found a waiter to deposit her still full glass with then glancing around to see if she could find Horatio she pulled her cell out of her clutch and texted Jasmin, time to find out just who Ms. D'sombra was.
  9. Casey's head swam. The pressure of the job, the 'date' with Horatio, and now this. The dream came back and the color draine dfrom her face, the wound in her back sent out radiating burning pain, at least she thought it did. She looked at Mrs. D'Sombra's face it was normal but she imagined as she had just seen it, a glimpse of something from hell, or the depths of her own twisted psyche. What the fuck was going on with her? She drained her glass as Horatio excused himself and stared numbly as Mr Grimson questioned the wealthy benefactor and was promptly put in his place. Then as Mrs. D'Sombra dismissed Mel from her thought and walked away she gestured, rather impatiently, for Casey to follow. Casey looked around fro a place to set her glass down and didn't see anything so she carried it in her left hand and sort of held it behind her out of sight then followed Mrs. D'Sombra to where she had stopped a little ways off. "How can I help you Mrs. D'Sombra, I hope nothings wrong with the catering service." She said shoving all her fear and sudden insecurity way down and putting her best litigator foot forward.
  10. Casey hadn't really realized how much she had been looking forward to Horatio arriving. It was fun going along and being with a handsome gentleman even if the Art bit was really over her head. She was analytical and not all that creative so she never got the whole art thing. When they came into the part of the gallery where the girl who looked out of place was standing and Horratio started questioning her Something about the woman seemed familiar and then the harpy showed up, Casey only partially paid attention namely because she had just figured out that she had seen the woman at the coffee shop and not just once she was a regular just like Mel. She turned to tell Horatio and mel that she knew the woman and thats when she saw it. The words froze in Casy's throat and her empty hand went to her back where the scab of her wound was and and then Maya the woman who had been staring at the picture went off the rails.
  11. Casey laughs politely, "Me too, but the guy in charge of this shindig, Horatio Mourn, wanted to benefit a local business instead of some big name place, so here I am. I'll be honest as surprised as I was and as out of place as we are, this job is a god send. I just wish he would show up. I'm supposed to be his date which is why I'm out here and not back in the kitchen.." She takes a sip of her drink "Listen to me chatter, I'm sorry. It's nice to meet you Mr. Grimson after all we see each other almost every morning we should at least know each others names.
  12. Roger leered making no attempt to even pretend he wasn't looking at her cleavage. "I do like porn Casey, especially when it come wrapped up in a nice white dress, like the one your wearing." Casey resisted the urge to scratch his eyes out and instead took a step closer to him and said in a very low voice. "Roger you already won, you got me fired, you got me blacklisted. But you didn't get me disbarred. And if i ever hear of you talking about a woman in the manner in which you talked about me if I see you here tonight talking to your friends about your conquests real or more likely made up, hell if I ever see you again period. I will sue you and I will sue the firm and while I may not win I swear it will cause so much bad publicity that you will be cleaning the toilets in the basement of the firm until you are ninety before they let you off the hook. Do you understand #me too. Good night Roger I think it's time for you to go." Without a further word or waiting for a reaction Casey turns and marches off pausing to grab another glass off a tray. As she took a long swallow she noticed that the intense looking man who had been watching the old couple argue was standing on the other side of the server now watching her. She was about to tell him to eff off thinking that he was creeping on her, when she stopped and took a second look "I know you," she said letting the girl with the drink tray pass by, "Your Black no sugar no cream. I didn't recognize you at first all dressed up. Hi I'm Casey, the manager at The Full Pot." Casey extended her hand to Mel.
  13. Casey took one more pass around the kitchen making sure everything was ship shape then she went to the door the led from the prep area out into the main floor. She pushed it open just a crack to look thru and still couldn't spot Horatio anywhere then let the door swing shut and turned back toward the kitchen only to find herself face to face with Becky Monroe the co-manager she had brought in after Horatio made her his 'date'. “You can see a lot more from out there Casey, than back here.” she said with a tilt of her head. “I know Becky, and I'm not trying to micromanage I swear I just feel so...” Casey said the pleading in her voice but the look on her friend and co-workers face stopped her in mid sentence. Puffing out her cheeks and blowing air she straightened up smoothed her dress and nodded. “You are right. I am being a chicken. You got this I will go face my demons.” As soon as she said that she regretted it and a small shiver went down her back but she gave Becky a smile and spun and pushed the door open and stepped out into the gala. It had been a long time since she had been to an affair this posh. It was one thing to come a the caterer but when Horatio had called and said that he was making her his plus one, it had put things in a different dimension. She couldn't just go dressed in work clothes or even in the sort of dress the manager of the caterer would wear no she had to dress the part. Which wasn't easy on her budget. Still as she passed a mirrored column and caught a glimpse of herself, Not too shabby she thought. Becky was right,Casey thought as she moved through he gather party goers, I can see better out here and still on Mr. Mourn but after passing and old couple who were arguing and some intense looking guy watching them she did spy a group of her former associates. Shit, I really do not want any of them to see me, flashed through her mind as she turned on her heel and found herself face to face with Roger Lampman the asshole who cost her her job. “Man, Casey Mason, last person I expected to see at an art gala, but still easy on the eyes.” He said not even attempting to hide his leering gaze at her bust. Resisting the sudden urge to puke and then kick him in the balls Casey Smiled instead “I'm surprised to see you here too, I thought the only art you would be into would be porn.”
  14. Casey had been a lawyer, technically still was, maybe not a brilliant one but a good one. She knew how to read people, how to interpret reaction, how to cause reactions. And as she sat there staring at her coffee and the nail lying on the table, listening to Mr Mourn, Horatio, one part of her brain the inquiring, inquisitive litigator part wasn't hearing what it thought she should have been hearing. Casey had just told this man, a man she had only met today and had in the middle of the night called up and begged for a meeting, told him a story that should have had him questioning if not her sanity, her suitability at the very least, to handle an important event such as the catering job. But instead he was still wooing her so to speak, trying to convince that this was an important step in saving the coffee shop. His story had a ring of truth to it and she could hear the heartfelt if reserved emotion behind it, but why not at least mention that he had been a patron of the shop in the past this afternoon. That would have gone along way to establishing a historical rapport. Something was nagging her and she couldn't even begin to fathom why or what. Maybe she was going crazy. "Maybe your right Mr Mourn," She scooped up the nail and slipped it into her shirt pocket, then wrapped her hands around her coffee mug., "Maybe it's just the stress of the last few weeks. You definitely hit a few nails on the head. I'll take the rest of the night, get some sleep and think it over when my heads a little clearer and the sun is up. Again I am sorry for dragging you out here for nothing. I'll call you tomorrow with an answer one way or the other." "That sounds good and fair Casey," he took a last swallow of his coffee and sat the mug down as he stood, "I look forward to your call." She stood as well and they said good night and she watched as Mourn left the shop returning the small wave that he gave as he passed the window outside. After a few moments she turned to Nancy the night manager, "I'm gonna be in my office just lock up when everything's done I'll let myself out." Alone in her strangely immaculate office Casey Mason opened up her computer and began a much more comprehensive research project on a certain Mr. Horatio Mourn.
  15. Casey can't help but see her reflection in Mourn's eyes and the sympathetic look on his face. She closes her eyes for a second shaking hr head slightly. "God you must think I'm a fucking lunatic. And I don't blame you." She takes a deep breath and lets it out glances around the coffee shop. "And I don't blame you. Look I am so sorry I bothered you tonight....I don't know maybe your right and I'm just stressing out over... everything." She looks at her hands and the nail on the table top, maybe it was just stuck in the sofa, but then it would have had to have been there since before she had moved in. "Again Mr Mourn, I am sorry to have bothered you and to have wasted your time asking you to come down here. I think maybe we need to pass on the catering job."
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