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The Reverse Stick-Up, Part II

Posted on Sun Jul 12th, 2020 @ 5:08pm by Karen Dawson MD & The Narrator & Jacob Lara

Mission: The Milk Run
Location: Martinboro, Hera
Timeline: Concurrent With Echo's Main Storyline

Martinboro was as typical a frontier town as one could expect. Small. Maybe 5-6 streets total. One of the streets, the one on the east end of the town, were all devoted to the farmers market. The middle, of course, main street, where most shops and government buildings were - including a small hospital.

Most of the people lived out on the land, but almost all the shop owners, deputies, and town council lived here.

Clothing outlets and restaurants were scattered throughout the town too. A few outdoor dining areas could be spotted but with the dusty streets from kicked-up dirt and gravel, most did not want their food touched by such particulates.

"What first?" Karen asked her high-end friend as they entered the town via the farmer's market.

Jacob had smelled it as soon as he stepped out of the shuttle. It was a strong scent. It was a scent that made his lips quirk up into a smile as soon as he sensed it. It was also a scent he'd been wanting to smell since the last day he spent in the guild house. Turkish spiced coffee. Glancing around he looked, trying to place where he was smelling it from, and when his gaze fell on a small building, hardly big enough to even be a to go stand, but still, somehow made to look like a little street cafe, his face lit up with a smile. "That's first," he said excitedly, grabbing Karen's hand and dragging her along behind him, grinning like a kid in a candy store.

Karen smelled a lot of things. Horse apples in the dirt streets, fresh-cooked food from various cultures. And of course fish. Fish that was not entirely fresh. So Karen was not sure where Jacob was dragging her.

Considering her mood, and an earlier confession to have some adventure, she allowed herself to become equally excited for her friend's current hunt.

"Ah..." Karen finally acknowledged as they neared the cafe. "I don't think I recall this place. What ya wanting?" The doctor was already digging into her brown leather messenger bag for her coin purse - which her bag also doubled as a doctor's kit.

Walking up to the large wooden bar inside the building Jacob flashed his brightest, most charming smile, and held up two fingers, letting go of Karen's hand long enough to dig some coin from his pocket and toss it on the bar as the older gentleman behind it moved to prepare his order. "You'll see," he said, giving Karen a devilish grin and nodding for her to go have a seat.

Karen complied and looked at Jacob curiously. "...Food or drink?"

Jacob gave her a fake-serious look, "You. Will. See," he said, and nodded again towards the tables on the sidewalk.

Karen waited patiently and hungrily. A few minutes later, with a small tray in hand, Jacob walked over towards the table, with a broad smile on his face. He could smell the strong scent of the coffee below, as well as the rich, golden, honeyed scent of the baklava triangles he'd ordered to go with. Setting the tray down he unloaded the sweets and the two small cups of coffee and placed the tray to the side on an extra chair.

"That answer your question?" he asked as he took his own seat.

"It does," Karen agreed and took one of the pastries. "...Doesn't replace a cheese danish though. But these are still pretty good."

Jacob gave her a twinkling smile, his bright white teeth flashing in the even brighter sunlight. "Well, you know, I figured pairing it was something that one could find being served with the drink traditionally was a bit more fitting. But if you really want a cheese danish, he could probably find you one..." he said, with a hint of sarcastic teasing to his voice.

He hadn't spent all that much time with the woman, but he was starting to grow attached to the idea of them becoming friends. From what he could tell she felt the same way, and he was happy about that. Only time would tell if the fruit of friendship would truly blossom, but he was content to sit with it, and let it do so on its own. Picking up his spiced coffee he brought it to his face, inhaling the rich scents, and the deep, rich, earthy notes of the dark roasted coffee beans, allowing it all to meld and awaken his senses like no other scent ever truly did. Letting out a sigh from deep in his chest he smiled even more broadly. "I absolutely love this stuff..." he said, and then took a small sip, the rich, warm liquid flowing over his tongue, and the flavor flooding through his senses.

"It does bring back memories of late work nights during my residency," Karen agreed as she dipped the tip of her pastry in her coffee and blew on it some.

That was the first moment she spotted unwanted attention. Two people in weathered trenchcoats eyed Jacob from behind and just outside the establishment. She gave it only a once-over before she went back to her coffee.

"...I think I'll order a few dozen danishes when we're done here," Karen at last added with a hint of detachment. Her mind was now running various scenarios on what to do next. "Bring them back with us to the Echo."

Jacob had noticed the sudden reaction, but he didn't react himself. Her eyes had been peering beyond him when she'd suddenly stiffened, and most might have missed it, but he most certainly didn't. "That sounds like a wonderful idea," he replied, sipping his coffee and licking sticky honey from his fingertips, acting for all the world as if he was truly oblivious to the change that had come over her. "I might try to find some strawberry ones to accompany them. Or some real fresh fruits we can use to make our own," he added, draining the last of his coffee.

Her eyes fully met his, with a genuine smile. "That'd be the Farmer's Market then."

The thought of real strawberries had taken over his thoughts now, even as that final mouthful of spicy caffeinated beverage lingered on his tastebuds. Jacob's dark gaze was bright with emotion as he savoured her smile, and nodded decisively. "Where we came in," he agreed, having the definite sense that would have been Karen's first choice had he not waylaid them. He stood, held out his hand and politely gestured for her to lead the way. "Shall we?"

"Let me get my danishes ordered, and the yes." There was a hungry grin on her face as she stood up from the table.

Now it was Karen's turn to waylay them for a bit. Cheese danishes were a weakness for her and as she stepped up to the bakery part of the counter she smiled to the older female in front of her.

"What be ya, Deary?" the older woman asked.

Karen fiddled into her medical bag for her money purse as she sighed in longing. "Two dozen danishes, to be picked up in an hour. Dawson is the name."

The older woman watched Karen spill out a shiny tablet-shaped cortex and a coin purse. It took all the Irish woman's discipline not to laugh. Karen was clearly a customer who did not eat sweets all too much.

"There ya go," Karen smiled nervously as she felt the eyes of the two unwanted people on her. Still, she handed the woman her Alliance bank card to swipe and tried to pretend that she was not unnerved by their tails.

"Come by in eighty minutes," the older woman smiled, swiped the bank card on her machine, and then gave the card back to Karen.

As Karen slipped her card back in her money purse and secured her cortex and purse back in her medical messenger bag, she looked to Jacob with a smile. "Now we can go."

"Of course. As you wish, my lady," returned Jacob brightly, and with a flash of perfect teeth.

Jacob had made a point of standing overtly between Karen and the street, his tall lithely muscular frame stood sideways so as to keep watch over both. Weathered Trenchcoat 1 had taken a sudden interest in the next window down, while Weathered Trenchcoat 2 had adopted a stance at a fire hydrant with his hands in his pockets.

Dark eyes gleamed with confident happiness as the companion offered the crook of his elbow to the doctor so that they might walk together. Politeness, Jacob considered, was something that could so easily be lost outside of the Core cities, and he refused to let his own standards slide. He nodded to Karen, cast a sunshiny smile to Weathered Trenchcoat 2 as the man shot him a side-eyed look.

Both their watchers fell into step a little way behind the friendly duo as they strode towards the market, and Jacob's grip tightened a little on Karen's own in warning of what they now both knew was coming.

With fresh danishes set on her mind, Karen walked spiritedly with Jacob. Once the fresh produce was had, then she could have her prize.


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