Friday, January 14, 2011
Saturday, January 8, 2011
The walk out to the car was a pleasant one. It had been a long time since I last walked with a woman under the stars, "Beautiful night out, isn't it, miss?"
"Not too bad. New York has its own lights, but the natural kind are better." She stood and took a deep breath of the night air. It did interesting things with her business suit. Rather pleasant things.
Ahem. "The car is in the parking garage, miss, if you'll follow me?"
It took her a second to break away from the moment, but she eventually blinked and nodded to me sharply.
After walking for a little ways she asked, "So, how is it that you drive around Berlin?"
"Oh, the gas? I have a stipend from a few past business deals. They like having me mobile on short notice, so, I got a used company car and quite a large gas fund." I hope that's what she means, in Atlanta the gas might be expensive, but driving's almost a most to avoid some...worse parts of the city.
"Well, it provides useful for other business deals as well, hm? Anything interesting to see in the city?" She asked, moving a half-step behind me.
"Plenty of museums, if you're of the type to go. I have a soft spot for aged objects and places. Benefit of living around here."
"Well... I do have somewhat of a soft spot for...aged things. It might be interesting to see a few..." Hesitancy. Great. Well, there goes my chance with a gorgeous girl.
Business it is.
"Here we are, miss. Your chariot awaits." Accompanied by the quiet beep-beep of the Gulf unlocking.
Friday, January 7, 2011
Where was the blasted thing? She rummaged through her bag for her passport, the latest in a long-line of dozens. They were easy enough to get either through imaginary offspring or legal migration. People always said you were the spitting image of your aunt, mother, or grandparent, she’d yet to have them put two and two together. It was a bit depressing how easy humans were to fool. Or rather, people saw what they expected to see, and no one ever expected a vampire no matter how many Anne Rice, Twilight, True Blood, or latest vampire novel fad. There, in the bottom of her purse, it was lurking.
“And how long will you be staying in Germany, miss?” the bored attendant clipped out.
“A week, perhaps two at most.”
“Business or pleasure?”
“A little of both, I’m a designer. Plan to visit some of the local shops.”
“That’s not very common here, most of the designers go to Paris or Milan.”
“I know, but most of the equipment is actually made here.”
“I see, very good.” The man waved her through as if the answer meant nothing to him, which was probably true. Just a random polite question to a stranger to see if she raised any flags.
She snorted to herself and rounded the exit corner. A tall man was standing there with a sign that read, Catherine O’Connell and Elizabeth Jones. Damn, her assistant…she had forgotten to pass along the note that she had canceled at the last minute to run off the Bahamas with her boyfriend.
“I’m Catherine O’Connell.” She paused to readjust the bag on her shoulder.
“Benjamin Weimar, your translator.” His blue eyes twinkled down at her.
“You’re not German?”
“No ma’am, I’m actually from Altanta, a city in the US. Landed here a couple years back on walk-around looking for relatives.”
She tilted her head back to get a better look at the giant staring down at her. “I’m a traveler myself and that demands a certain flexibility. How is your business German?”
“Passable, but my business etiquette is even better. I’m guessing that’s what you’re looking for. Most Germans actually speak English so there must be a reason you want me along besides translation.”
Catherine sighed, well…at least he was charming. “Yes, it’s the nuances sometimes. Germans are so well….black and white. Sometimes you need someone politely standing by draining the color out of my words.”
Ben chuckled back. “Yes, well…it grows on you.”
“Very well, let’s go.”
“Don’t you have an assistant in tow?”
“Oh, Lizzie? She’s in the Bahamas with her boyfriend at them moment. A last minute surprise anniversary gift from him so I’m left scrambling to keep up the pieces. So let’s find the exit and you can show me the sites. Did you order a taxi?”
“Actually, I drove.”
“You drove? In Berlin? Are you out of your mind? And how did you even manage the fees?” she choked back her words. Her tongue still got away from her. Hell, if the man had a car…a real car in Berlin…it would be a godsend. Hopefully she hadn’t accidentally offended the man and ruined her chance at her own private ride in Europe.
He laughed at her, an honest to God belly laugh. “Wait until you see it before you pass judgment. She’s clean and black, and the VW isn’t a bad company.” Then he reached out and picked up her bag. “Let me carry your bag and get the door.”
Chivalry, she almost resisted for a moment, then decided it was a nice return to the 1940s. A man hadn’t opened a door for her in New York in 20 years. And if he tried to run off with her bags, she could always pounce him. Being a vampire had it’s perks.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
Ten minutes. Enough time to get my business face on and go meet my new clients. Some hotshot fabric connoisseur and her assistant. I didn't get the gist of their reason for being in Germany, but it has something to do with fabric and a lot of night-time hotspots around the city of Berlin, and that they needed someone who can translate, drive and generally be a ambulatory guide book to the area. It helps that three years ago I was in a similar boat, so maybe they'll listen to some of my advice.
And maybe they'll look at me stupidly and cut the contract early.
Who knows? I'll be at the airport shortly and we'll see how it goes from there. Here's to hoping they don't mind a Volkswagen. This Gulf is comfortable.
Thankfully, being an artist covered all manner of eccentric behavior. Patrons never blinked when you insisted you needed all kinds of odd things or hours. A few fang marks and you could have a village rioting, but saying you need some blood for an evening from the patron to capture the true soul for their masterpiece and they practically fall over all over themselves offering vials full of the stuff. And so she'd lived for centuries, master to not one medium, but countless. However, in all those sunsets languages still stuck in the fuzzy space in her head. It was as if her hands had gotten all the creative juices and there had been none left for the tongue.
Well, here she was in Germany, departing from a red-eye and off to meet her translator. She was into fabrics these days and design. Fumbling through the iPhone, she came up with a name....Ben something or other. Well, hopefully he wasn't too hard on the eyes. Now to go find the taxi and hopefully survive the next week of bad food.