Sushi Fan

Manhattan - Haiku

The entrance to Haiku is a quiet and unassuming restaurant front. Simple glass windows decorated with understated patterns of red and gold, with a single, simple red canopy over the door. Haiku is spelled out in a simple calligraphy font in gold trimmed black letters, and the word in Japanese beneath it.

There is a faint chiming of bells as the door opens, but it is muted and understated. The small foyer is elegant and unassuming, with a simple coat rack off to the right, a small display case directly across from the door where carved jade figures, golden Buddha statues, and original, hand painted ceramic tea pots (among other merchandise) can be purchased. There is a single bench, deep red in color and a matching arm chair for seating in an open area to the left if customers find there is a wait.

An elegant, dark painted bridge over an indoor koi pond leads into the restaurant proper. Carpet of gold, red and brown covers the floor, complemented by the dark tan and black cafe two and four seat tables and chairs that neatly line the open area of the restaurant. A proper sushi bar lines one wall, where single seat stools wait to be occupied by sushi connoisseurs.

The windows are covered with pale cream blinds that can raised or lifted to adjust the ambient, natural light and block out the sun. The walls are rich red, complemented by the large red globe lamps that cover the ceiling. To the back of the restaurant and around the left corner are the restrooms, kitchen access and a private room where the seating is Japanese style. The room can be reserved for large parties with advance notice.


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Bridget Bishop Brooke Bishop Sera Roche

Tuesday night. Date night. Perhaps it is a silly tradition, believing that things should be kept fresh and new, but it's one that she honestly believes in. It rarely is anything fancy, but it keeps things from being dull all the same. She's fluffed her hair, tossed on a bit of makeup and is ready for a good time.

What some might easily confuse for an actual date is none other than a regular meeting between sisters. The eldest is waiting at a table already although her sister is far from late. A glass of wine is placed before her and a closed menu is the resting place of one of her hands.

Bridget watches the people about her idly, a small curiosity in their musings. How interesting it would be, she ponders, being able to read their thoughts.


Sometimes, rushing to a restaurant or club is a huge pain in the ass on Tuesday evenings, but Brooke knows that if she doesn't make it there will be hell to pay, and worried phone calls later in the evening. She's only just gotten away from a meeting with a potential new client, and she's not had time to change.

Well she's simply going to have to deal with business clothing, and that's all there is to it.

"Sorry I'm late, Gidget. Couldn't get away." Sliding into the chair at their usual table, she takes a breath and then brushes her hair back behind her ears to make her look more presentable and less harried.

"How's the business? Any new wardrobe designs for Broadway?"


A mock sour expression is offered the younger sibling before it melts away into a smile. "You're a busy woman. I know this." Their lifestyles are far from similar, after all.

Only once her sister has taken her seat does Bridget actually drink from her glass of wine. "Besides, it's just dinner with little ol' me. If something came up you could always cancel." A sip is taken before she chuckles. "I promise I'd only fuss a little bit."

The index finger of the hand that holds the glass points to her sibling's business attire. "Looking sharp. Dressing to impress, I see."


"Gidget, a little fussing from you generally means that I would be stuck on the phone until at least two, getting an earful of lecture about how I live my life." There's quite a good deal of eye rolling, but the words really are a good-natured tease. Brooke may hate the mothering, but she knows it's better than having a bitchy sister.

"I didn't have time to change into anything more casual. I was at a meeting. Of course I was dressing to impress. I need a few more clients, because rent isn't exactly cheap." Frowning a little, she looks down at the suit. "I don't suppose you'd be able to make something that looks like Armani, but doesn't cost so much? I may have got this at consignment, but that doesn't mean it was exactly cheap."


This brings a hearty chuckle. "Okay, okay. Guilty has charged." There's a pause from her lecture as she goes to place her order. "Of course" Bridget waits until she has her sibling's attention before she continues. "If you would settle down and get out of the bars and clubs, you might find things to be a bit difference." It is kept as light hearted as the rest of the teasing, although she really does mean it.

A moment is taken to look over the suite before she nods. "I can make it look as cheap or authentic as you'd like. What you're paying for is more label than anything. Not that it isn't worth it, but I think I can come close to what they sell."


She's out on her own tonight, not that it's a rare thing with Sera, and sometimes she likes the solitude. She and Kieran were supposed to go out to Purgatory, but he had an impromptu meeting with Kostas. He downplayed it, but Sera knows that it has to be related to the latest body, and her report to Samira. It's more than a little frustrating, because Kostas put her in this position, but mostly only gives her marching orders - or takes them - via proxy.

Still, she's trying not to dwell, and dressed in simple dark green wrap dress, and silver earrings, Sera is being led to her table. She looks like a woman who is comfortable, content to be on her own.

"Shall I leave the other menu just in case?" The server asks politely.

Sera frowns briefly, but smooths her face to pleasantness. "Yes, please. Just in case, he gets freed up from work."


"Yes, but I promote and have to keep my clients out of trouble at those clubs and bars. It helps me keep an eye on them when I'm there, rather than getting called in the middle of the night due to some photo that some pap's gotten hold of." Brooke spreads out the napkin on her lap, and sighs.

"I'd rather it not look cheap, but if we can go shopping for material this weekend and you take one of my suits, I'd be grateful." Beat. "I might even pay you."

There is a blink as she spies the woman out of the corner of her eye. Her brow raises and she leans over the table. "Bridget, are my eyes deceiving me, or is that Sera Roche? The romance novelist?"


"Now you know full well that I'm not going to let you pay me for anyth…" The words are cut off as her sister draws her attention to a different table. The wine in her glass is swirled as she views the other woman. "See? That's what I mean. If you put your attention towards a real relationship instead of reading romance novels, you'd get so much further."

Even when she's not paying attention she has to tease. "You know, now that you mention it…" Bridget suddenly finds herself staring so she looks back to her sibling. "I suppose it could be. Maybe you could ask her for some pointers?"


Sera hears the reference to herself, but pretends not to because, really, she shouldn't be able to hear. She orders a glass of Riesling before the server walks away and looks down at her menu. Not that she needs to. Sera has a good idea of what she will order, though it's not as though she needs the sustenance.

It is hard not to smirk at the conversation between the women, though Sera manages. She pulls her tablet out of its bag and places it beside her on the table, then takes a look around the resturant. The typical, curious customer waiting.


"At least let me pay for the material and any thread? And promise me you won't be working on it if you have paying customers."

Brooke shakes her head, and points out, "I did have a real relationship, remember? For six years. Right up until graduation, and then he left. What's the point of putting six years into a relationship, when it just disappears? The good thing about romance novels is the fact that the heroes can't leave. They're always there on the page."

Though Brooke is paying attention to the conversation, she is very much keeping her eyes on the woman sitting alone at the table. "To hell with that. I think I will go ask for an autograph though. I suppose that'd be rude of me, but the chances of running into her outside of a book signing — which she rarely does, by the way — are slim to none, and it really would round off my collection."


"Order me a glass of wine, I'm going over there."


The older sibling would have storm clouds over her head if it were possible. "Yeah, I do know how that turned out. Trust me, I'm not about to forget that one. And neither will he if I ever run into him again." Bridget shakes her head, letting go of the frustration. "Although it's not for me to hold onto that anger. I do see your point, I do, but the thing about dating is that you have to gamble." Or be like her and not gamble at all.

Before she can stop her, Brooke sets off after the other table. Bridget merely shakes her head and flags down a waitress for a glass of wine. "Good luck." It's said just loud enough to be important. "And don't embarrass yourself too much." Any conversation about new clothes will have to wait.


Pretending that her attention is fully absorbed in the tablet and the news articles she's reading, Sera prepares to play the role of the surprised author with the gracious fan. Actually, she is grateful to her fans; without them, her books wouldn't sell, but she has to pretend to be surprised by the woman's arrival.

She looks up and around again, then blinks as she 'notices' the woman headed in her direction. It's that moment of 'who me, do I know you?' surprise as Sera looks over one shoulder and then the other. That looks fades to curiosity while she waits for the woman to take the few additional steps to her table.


Anything that Brooke wants to say to her sister is completely lost in her quick walk to the other table. She would tell Bridget to leave well enough alone. The damnable man is across the ocean and chances of ever seeing him again are slim to none. Beyond that, she herself holds no anger for him. They've kept in touch through the years, and she doesn't want to kill him. They were both young, and she does understand that serious relationships aren't really meant for the very young.

As she nears the table, she catches the surprised look and it almost causes her to turn right back around. Imposing on someone isn't really something she likes doing too much, and there is another menu at the table. Interrupting a date is even worse than an imposition. Still, whomever she's waiting for hasn't arrived yet. Straightening her shoulders, she takes the last few steps toward the table.

"Excuse me, Miss Roche? Could I trouble you for a few moments?"


It isn't that she isn't brave, she merely picks and chooses what to be brave about. In situations such as these, Bridget finds that is often times best for her younger sister to take charge and have fun. She remains at the table, nibbling on some of her order as she waits.


Sera blinks at the woman, then her face lifts with a confused but welcoming smile. This is something she's accustomed to after all, especially in the city. "Yes, of course." Beat. "Have we met?"


"Oh, sorry. No, we haven't, and I really don't mean to disturb your dinner, but…" Reaching into her purse, Brooke embarrassedly pulls out a very dog-eared copy of the first romance novel that Sera Roche wrote, and clears her throat. "… I'm a fan, and I was wondering if you'd mind an autograph. I know you don't do many book signings, and I promise I won't take up much of your time."

Turning slightly pink, she looks down at the table. "I've every one of your books. I honestly think they're brilliant. Not like a lot of those trashy novels. The characters actually have quite a great deal of substance, and the history that you put into them… well it really draws a reader to the places you're writing about."


Sera is genuinely flattered, particularly when she sees the dog-eared copy of her very first book. The one that started it all, and had her buying a new dress and taking Kieran out to a very expensive dinner. "That's … Scarlet's Song." Of course it is, the woman knows what book she's carrying in her purse.

Shaking her head and giving a light laugh, "Of course, I'll be happy to sign it. Please, sit …" The vampiress waves to the empty spot across from her.


"Yes, it's one of my favorites. The hero in it reminds me a little of someone I used to know." Brooke is actually grateful that her sister can't hear her from here, though Bridget has likely never read the book. The hero happens to have dark hair and light eyes. "It's a little rough around the edges, but I tend to take it with me wherever I go." To re-read certain passages, or just a way to pass the time with, what she considers, an old friend when she's waiting on the subway.

"Oh, really, I couldn't. It's quite obvious that you're waiting for someone, and I'm having dinner with my sister. I just couldn't resist coming over, and now you must think me a crazed fangirl, because I just can't seem to stop babbling. I apologize." Her cheeks flare in a full on blush now, and she fidgets with the back of the chair. She's actually assuming that she looks like some crazed lonely business woman which is making things a lot worse for her.


The red head's babble is actually enjoyable, and a highlight spark in what was going to be a boring night. Sera's been distracted from thoughts of Kostas and his private meetings, and she'd be happy to have someone to talk to, even if they didn't focus on her novels.

"I modeled John Drake after my best friend." That's the story Sera tells and it's become old hat by now. "In looks anyway. He's a bit too rough around the edges to be considered heroic."

Lifting her wine glass, Sera takes a sip. "He is hot though."
Taking a pen from her bag, she's about to sign and shakes her head. "No, you're not interrupting. My friend got caught up with work. The menu is a just in case, but I think I'm being stood up for a poached salmon and apricot bruele."

The pen hovers over the page, and Sera laughs. "I'm sorry, but I didn't even ask your name! I'll sign, and then let you get back to quality time with your sister."


"It's Brooke."

Glancing back at her sister, she gnaws on her bottom lip and then takes a deep breath. "Would you like to join us? I know that's presumptuous of me, but I'd love to talk a little more, and you should hardly eat alone." Beat. "Unless you really want to. As I said, I really don't want to impose."

Then it sinks in what the woman's said and she blinks. "You modeled Drake after your best friend? I can only imagine what he looks like." Blinking again, she clears her throat. "Christ, I never thought I'd fangirl like this. I was attempting to be poised, and generally I'm quite a bit better at it."


Extending her hand, Sera gives Brooke a friendly smile. "Pleasure to meet you, Brooke."

After the handshake, she signs the book on the inside cover, and hands it back. Her eyes widen and she bites her lip, "Are you sure that your sister wouldn't mind? I wouldn't want to interrupt anything…"

"Sometimes imagination is better than the real thing," Sera winks to the other woman. In this case, Sera thinks that reality is better, but she admits she could be bias. Honestly, though she's never met a man quite as mouth watering as Kieran; not until Ashcroft imported his eye candy.

"I don't mind. I'm just a novelist. I get enthusiasm but hardly ever get fangirls." Sera is smiling, and her eyes are twinkling.


"Of course she won't mind. The more the merrier, and really, it would be an honor to have you join us." At least for Brooke. Bridget on the other hand… well she really doesn't want to worry about her sister disagreeing. It's honestly a once in a lifetime chance to sit and talk with one of her favorite authors as a normal person.

And, it really would be a nice break from all the catering to the famous, and about-to-be-famous.

"I disagree. I think in most cases the real thing is better than the fantasy, but then I do suppose you're entitled to a bit of embellishment."


"Well, then, if you think that she wouldn't mind, I'd be glad to join you. Beats eating alone, and I really don't think that my friend is going to make it." Serafine isn't going to hold her breath for Kieran's appearance. A crisis at the restuarant might take him out for an hour, or the rest of the night. Besides, she has to admit, secretly it's wonderful to find someone who likes her work as much as Brooke does.

Signaling the server, Serafine tells her, "I'm going to be changing tables." She slides her a sizeable tip for a meal she never ate or ordered, "That's for your trouble."


"Oh, splendid!" If Bridget does mind, Brooke isn't going to care. This is pretty freaking awesome, eating with her favorite author.

"Bridget," she calls excitedly over as she makes her way to the table. "This is Serafine Roche, the best romance writer ever." She pulls out a chair for the woman, and then smiles at her sister with that 'please don't mind that I invited her' smile that she tends to have.

"I invited her to join us for dinner. Her date stood her up, and I couldn't bear that she was going to be eating alone."


The oldest sibling, long since given up on the antics of her sister, is currently nibbling on small bits of her food. She isn't about to actually eat without her sister, but she's trying her best not to spy on her either. Bridget has all but finished her glass of wine but has a bottle chilling at the table.

When attention is back to her table, she seems to almost snap back from her thoughts. A pleasant smile is offered to the stranger and she even goes to the point of standing until she sits. "Mind? I'd rather she eat with us than to eat alone."

It's the honest truth. She may not be overly friendly to strangers but she's not crass. "Please, take a seat. It's a pleasure to meet you."


"The pleasure's mine, really." Serafine grins brightly, and the smile makes her look a few years younger. "I didn't mind eating alone, but I'm not going to pass up the opportunity for conversation and company." If Kieran does show up … well, Serafine is pretty certain that he won't mind dining with three women. A red head and a brunette, and sisters at that?

Hell, I should take a picture and send it to him.


Once everyone is seated, Brooke calls over the server, and then reaches for the bottle of wine. She pours herself a glass and then offers it to the author. "I can't wait until the new novel is released next week. Are you planning a tour for it?" The poor woman may be a little fangirlish, but she can't help it. The characters in those books are her constant companions.

"I think I'll have the spicy tuna roll, and kappa maki in my bento box, please." A pause and then, "Oh, and a bottle of saki for the table if you don't mind? Either that or plum wine, whatever you recommend."


Sisters, perhaps, but it is the wrong tree to bark up with Bridget. There are truly things that she's not interested in.

"It's not eating along that I mind; in fact I make a habit of it. I just disapprove of anyone being stood up." This is said as she takes her seat once more.

There could be more that is said but she doesn't attempt to speak. Instead she watches her sister turn into a fangirl. It is rather entertaining.


"Oh, he didn't do it on purpose," Serafine holds out her glass for wine with a gracious smile, feeling the need to defend Kieran. "He owns his own business and he had some crisis or another. I'll probably forgive him for it, once he buys me a nice dinner." She laughs as she says the last, to show she's joking. At least about the dinner. Kieran is already forgiven for the not showing part, because at least he did call.

"I'm in negotiations with my agent," Serafine admits honestly. Which translates to reminding her agent, whom is also her great-granddaughter a few generations removed, why it would be a bad idea for Serafine to go from city to city on a book tour even if all the signings could be arranged at night. "So, we'll see."


"The man would be a fool to stand you up on purpose," Brooke replies. She has no idea why the authoress would avoid going on tour, looking the way she does, but she doesn't question it. It could simply be a fact of not liking to be in large groups of people, or being televised. Other authors have their own quirks too.

The server turns to Serafine for her order. "And you, Miss?" It's rife with a strong Japanese accent.

"If nothing else, you should at least see about doing a reading at the library, or a local book shop. People would eat that right up."


"Now that is an idea that I can stand behind." Bridget nods, keeping her conversation as minimal as possible. "Don't feel bad about getting that dinner out of him. Excuse or not, be sure to get what you can." This is all said with light humor. "Then again, don't listen to me. I have absolutely no experience in this."


"Nonsense, I will always listen to good advice when given."

Serafine looks to the server and nods. "I'll have the spicy tuna, ebi, unagi and the seaweed salad. Oh, and a serving of edamame for the table."

Serafine turns to Brooke after giving her order. "Diana has suggested that. I could do that right here in the city … do you really think people would come to hear me read aloud?"


"If it's from the new novel? I'd definitely be there. So you'd have at least one person," Brooke replies with a grin. But she also knows that a lot of young women read Serafine Roche, and that pregnant women in the park read her as well. She's positive that there'd be a full house.

"Bridget, don't discount your advice. Though, I'm not going out to find some guy just because you think I'm a workaholic."


An index finger is wagged at her younger sibling. "Of course you need to get out more. Don't turn into an old cat woman, like me." Of course, Bridget doesn't have any cats. "Besides. How can I make you a wedding gown if you'll never get married?"

Not being big on romance novels herself, she has little information on what they are speaking of. "I'd say to at least listen to the advice, even if that's overstepping my boundaries. My sister here is a pretty good promoter, and I think she has a trick or two up her sleeves for getting attention of target demographics."


The play between the two sisters is watched with amusement. Serafine does enjoy watching people, observing and getting to know them, and more than once her observations have given birth to a character or two in her books. The two women are clearly quiet close, and she's even a bit envious, if only because she never had a sibling. It could be said that she has that sort of closeness with her Maker, but really her relationship with Kieran is undefineable.

"Are you?" Serafine asks Brooke. "A workaholic?"

Taking a sip of her wine, she considers the two women, "Single? Both of you? With all the men in New York and as pretty as you both are?"


"Oh wait, that's right. I can't really talk. I'm single too."

Her attention turns fully to Brooke at the mention that she's a promoter. "Really? What sorts of things and people do you promote?"


"It's public relations," Brooke corrects her sister. "Promotion is really just a part of the job at times."

There's a bit of a laugh as her favorite author asks her that, and she shrugs. "Somewhat. I live my work. I do PR work, publicist work, and promotional work for the band Steel Clover. I've set up different promotional things for various Broadway productions. I've got a few up-and-comers on my list that want to make themselves more in the public eye, in the right way as opposed to the tabloids."


"I'm single by choice." She may be waiting for a prince charming, or she may just have been badly hurt in the past, but at the moment she doesn't really need a guy in her life.

Or so Brooke keeps telling herself.


"Single really is the new married. I think I might have read that somewhere. But I find that I'm more focused on some other things than to worry about dating. I'm too old to even start." Bridget honestly believes this to be true, as well.

She mini-shushes her sister. "Oh, Brooke here is being modest. She's very good at what she does. She also just puts on this tough act so that people don't see what a delicate little flower she is." So the last part is definitely teasing.

"I must admit, I'm behind on my reading materials. Brooke, which novel of our guests would you recommend to a first time reader?"


Serafine again finds her eyes darting between the two women with bemusement. As the teasing takes a pause, she blinks at between the two women. "Really? How old are you? Thirty? Thirty-five at the oldest, maybe? You're not too old. Don't you know that thirty is the new twenty, or something like that." Serafine takes a sip of wine and then wrinkles her nose. "Not that I would ever want to be twenty again."

There's something tickling the back of her mind, a thought she can't quite put her finger on regarding Brooke's PR comment and -

"Oh, Steel Clover!" Serafine grins at Brooke. "They're holding a launch party over at Flanaghan's." Maeve really talked the band up the last time Sera was in the pub.


"Scarlet's Song," Brooke replies to her sister. "I'd lend you my copy, but I just got it autographed, and I'm not letting it out of my sight." Beat. "I'll buy you a copy tomorrow, Gidget."

Blinking at Serafine, the witch looks absolutely stunned.

"Erm… yes. They are. They've just signed a new record contract, and they're launching on the tenth. I've got to go talk to…" Pulling out her iPhone, she scrolls through the contacts list and furrows her brow. "I've got it in my day planner actually. Anyhow, I need to go in there in the morning and take measurements for the stage. Bridget, will the costumes be ready by then?"


"The tenth, I mean."


"I'm old enough to not give up on my sister here." Bridget scrunches at the nickname used by her sister. For now she doesn't comment on it. "It's okay; I can get a copy when I'm out for materials tomorrow. Although I thank you for the name to reference. Sometimes I get lost when attempting to find a new, good book."

A sip is taken of her wine before she nods. "I'd like to see how they fit, so if I can get some time with the band that would be great. I'm particularly fond of this batch, although if that means they'll like them I have no idea."

Bridget winks to Sera. "Kids these days, yes?"


"Probably Maeve," Serafine supplies. "Maeve Brennan. She's the oil that keeps that place running."

Realizing that she's spouting out information with no explanation of how she has, Serafine continues. "My friend owns Flanaghan's." She tosses a girlish, amused grin at Brooke. "The one I based Drake loosely on." It's an amusing coincidence, really.

Including Bridget now, she gives a shake of her head. "Let me send you a copy of it? Really, it's the least I can do, because your sister is talking me up so much, and I hate for you to have wasted your money if you're disappointed."

"Are you a seamstress?" Serafine looks to be genuinely intrigued by the notion.


"Brennan. Right, that's the name. Thank you." Brooke blinks at her, and then ahs quietly. "Wait… that friend owns Flanaghan's?" Her eyes go almost ridiculously large, and she glances down. Thankful for the break when the bottle of saki is delivered to the table. Offering a quick thanks, she pours three small glasses, and sets the bottle in the middle.

"She is. The best seamstress in the city, though she refuses to see it. She makes the majority of the costuming for Steel Clover, and she's worked with me on a few Broadway productions. Chances are if you've seen a production lately, you've seen her work."


Clearly she needs to read this book. That thought is evident as she watches her sister gush over this author. "It seems like between the two of you, you seem to know quite a few people. Or, at the very least, you know many of the same people." New York can be such a very small place sometimes.

A hand is waved dismissively at her sister's claim. "It's a modest living, really. If I wasn't making clothing and costumes for them, I would be continually gifting her with new outfits. I'm pretty sure that would drive Brooke insane." Bridget willingly accepts her sake but does not drink just yet. "Besides, if it makes her girls look good, why not?"


Brooke's reaction cinches it. Serafine is going to have to make certain the red head gets introduced to Kieran. She'll warn him first, that he has to play nicely because the woman is a fan, and breaking her would hardly be sporting repayment for her following. There will have to be an introduction, however.

And Kier does love his red heads.

She nods enthusiastically, "You'd think in a city this large, that wouldn't happen, but I guess the world is getting smaller. I'm going to have to make certain that you meet him, Brooke."

It's on the tip of her tongue to say 'he's single,' but Serafine defers.

"Ooh, which ones?" Again, the question isn't polite or perfunctory, but there is genuine interest in the vampire's eyes and voice. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to badger but making costumes is a sort of art, and I'm a fan of art in all its mediums."


"It's extremely odd for that to happen, but Flanaghan's is one of the better Irish pubs in the city. My boys love it." Her boys. Brooke grins quite a bit at that, and then shakes her head. "They're friends from university, actually." There's a jaw drop and then a shake of her head. "Oh, please, Miss Roche. You really don't have to go out of your way to do so. He's obviously a busy man, and I'll be extremely busy with the launch…" Tipping back the saki, she downs it all in a single gulp and closes her eyes.

"Mostly the off-Broadway productions, but she made a few costumes for one of the new Disney musicals."


"Well, this is also the city that never sleeps. With all these people staying awake, they're bound to be linked somehow. Who needs Kevin Bacon?" Not that he's all that bad to look at.

Bridget chuckles as her sister reacts just so. As opposed to Brooke, she actually sips at her sake. Then again, she hasn't been made nervous at all. Yet. "You know, I don't believe I've seen my sister react like this in quite some time. Without the intention of sounding rude, I'm glad that you were stood up tonight."

Another dismissive wave is given. "Well, primarily I just make clothes. Whatever a person wishes to wear. If that is custom dresses and pants for the tall, overweight or pregnant, that's what it is. However, with as much of that as I do, most of my orders these days to see to be costumes. As Brooke said, for either off-Broadway, some of her projects or just people looking for convention wear."


Serafine lifts her hand with a grin, "It's Sera, please. Miss Roche makes me feel like an elementary school teacher." The vampire might not know Brooke, but she sees how the red head panics at the mere suggestion of meeting Kieran. "All right, but if you change your mind …" Her easy acquiesance might have to do with the fact that she's going to mention Brooke to Kieran, and put her on his radar.

"It doesn't sound rude at all when phrased like that." Giving her head another shake, Serafine takes another few swallows of the saki. She tilts her head at Bridget. "If I gave you a picture, and of course supplied the material, could you make a dress for me?"


"Oh, now see, that's rude. Me just assuming … " The vampire sighs and shakes her head again, but in a chastising manner. "Maybe I could get your business card and make an appointment?"


"Sera then." Brooke is seriously out of her element here. She's not sure how to react to her favorite author telling her to call her by her first name. The witch shakes her head vehemently and quickly says, "No, I'm positive. I'm not going to change my mind." She would love to change her mind, but she's stressed out about the launch party enough that she doesn't want to have to worry about meeting the proprietor as well.

"Of course she'll make something for you. Like I said, she's the best seamstress in the city." Bridget may not be Versacci or Chanel, but she is amazing at what she does.


Oh, Bridget is on to her little sister. Be that as it may, she won't interject at this moment. There will come a time when she's more comfortable doing so but there is only so much torment she'll put her sibling through. "Don't worry, if she changes her mind, I'll be the first to let you know."

A wink is offered to Brooke as Bridget reaches for her purse, just long enough for her to find a business card. Her company, website, and all contact information are listed. "Well, my job is to make things, so I'd be honored. I'll even pick up the material for you unless you'd rather do it yourself. We can call it an even exchange for introducing me to one of your novels." She's far from wealthy but never seems to require much. "Then you can either send me your measurements or I can take them at a time when you're free."


Accepting the card, Serafine slips it into her purse. "Expect to hear from me very soon. There's this dress from the 1920s that I would love to have replicated." Beat. "My great grandmother is wearing it in an old photograph I have of her, and I think it would be fantastic to wear something like that the next time the Blue Note is doing a costume theme night."

It was one of Sera's favorite dresses from that time, and it sadly did not last in storage the way she hoped it would. She had a reproduction done once a few decades ago, but it was hardly good quality.

"I like to have a 'pint' at Flanaghan's sometimes," Serafine says, backtracking the conversation a bit. "It's not a meat market like some of the bars."

There are times when the woman just wants to have a beer and relax.


Gaping at the wink her sister gives her, Brooke is about to tell her sister to stuff it, when the waiter appears. Oh, she'll tell Bridget to stuff it later, but for now, she's very thankful that her bento box is in front of her. Using chopsticks to pick up a bit of wasabi, she covers it in soya sauce, and mixes it together.

"Most places are meat markets these days." She should know, she's been to plenty of them with clients. "A dress from the '20s? Have you ever been to Decades? I love that they do themed nights there too."


"Consider it done. Being that the photo is likely in black and white I can use whichever colors that you'd prefer. I find that most people try to get as many articles out, on the cheap. I'd prefer to go with quality over quantity." Then again, spending nearly day in and day out working does aid her in meeting her deadlines.

Bridget grins. "I honestly wasn't much for the bar scene at all until I started watching these kids of hers perform. Although if there's a place that isn't so bar-like…" Another grin. "Sister, I think that most of the shows should be at that place."


"Thank you." There's genuine gratitude and a bit of giddiness in Sera's voice and on her face. She adored that dress.

She takes up the chopsticks and mixes her wasabi and soya as well. "Oh, it's not so bad, sometimes. I like to go dancing and burn off a bit of steam, and it can be fun. As long as you're sending off the vibes that you're only there for fun." Depending on the type of fun is all dependent on her mood.

"I have been to Decades. I like the … 70s." Serafine lowers her voice to a conspiratorial whisper at the last, because she knows how odd it is to like the seventies. Kieran refuses to accompany her on those nights.


"Disco! It can be fun, and the go-go outfits are adorable. I can't say that the men's outfits were the best from that era." Picking up a piece of sushi with the chopsticks, she dips it in the wasabi mixture, and then pops it into her mouth. She doesn't say anything while she's chewing and swallowing her food.

"I love dancing, but I hate going by myself. People tend to try to pick me up, and that's not why I'm going." It may seem weird for a young thirty-something to go clubbing and not be looking for a one night stand, but that's Brooke for you.

"At Flanaghan's? Well that would be up to the owner, really. And the band. I'll promote them wherever."


"At wherever we can go and you don't get oogled." It's partially a tease but is mostly how Bridget feels. She'd hate to have to tell a young man to find some other woman to torment. Unless he was handsome, rich and a wonderful person. Then she might try to set them up.

Instead of wrinkling her nose at the thought of disco she tilts her head in thought. "It could be fun to make the outfits, at least. I don't really go and dance. I more go and sit and blend in." Which in turn makes her stick out like a sore thumb. "Although that's a pretty good decade to like. Some of the best music comes from the seventies."

Bridget does eat, but only here and there between what she says. She's been nibbling longer than they have, after all.


Serafine doesn't come to the resturants for the food, she comes for the atmosphere and the socialization. For the being close to humans and observing them. Still, she eats at pauses in the conversation, indulging in the sushi or drinking the delightful saki.

"The sixties weren't so bad either, I don't think," Serafine comments. "They did give us the Beatles, Motown, Breakfast at Tiffany's and the moon landing."


"Why does it matter if I get ogled? I don't mind people looking. It's the random touching that I really don't like." Unless, of course, the man in question fits her criteria and doesn't give off that creeper vibe.

"I've never gone to one of the sixties nights. I'm a fan of the eighties, honestly." The nineties too, but that's because that's when she grew up, so that's a bit more familiar to her.

"Do you do a lot of research like this for your novels, Miss Roche?"


"I mean, Sera?"


Of course, her sister's response is predictable. It's not a bad thing, but they are completely different. "I'm sure that the sixties were okay, too. Although there was still a lot of the anti-war protesting and all that. How does it go? Four dead in O-hi-o? Something like that. Though that could have been the seventies."

History isn't exactly Bridget's strong point. "Me? I think I'd much prefer the fifties. I would say forties but we joined into World War Two by then. The twenties was the great depression. Maybe thirties? Either way, a time when people didn't really act the same as they do now."


"It's not so bad being ogled." Serafine grins and winks at Brooke. "Especially if he's young and twenty-ish. It makes me forget how old I am. It's a huge ego boost to have someone ten years younger looking at you like a sex object." That's very much true; Serafine loves the power she can wield over the libidos and desires of young men. "But when I'm not in the mood for it, that's when it's nice to go some place like Flanaghan's."

Oh, yes, Serafine does research. Isn't that what she says in her telephone interviews? "Yes, I do. I've spent too much time on the internet, in libraries and talking to history professors. I did use old family journals for the new book that's coming out." By old family journals, she means her lifetime of experience before being turned.

"My great-grandmother loved the twenties, even with the Depression, and my mother was fond of the seventies. I think it really is a matter of perspective and nostalgia."


"Thanks for the history lesson, Gidget," Brooke replies with a laugh. "Sometimes I really think you should've been a teacher instead of a seamstress. You've definitely got the disposition for it." Grabbing a piece of the edammame, she pops the soy beans out and eats them one by one. The shell is discarded to the side of her plate.

"Ooh! So the history in the new book is actually based on reality? I can't wait to see the personal touches in it, and be whisked away into the past again."


She scrunches her face again. "History? Naw. That would actually involve me going to work every day. It's nice working at home." That part is true. Setting her own hours, working at her own pace. It really is the life.

The way that Brooke lights up over the speak of the book and research actually makes her chuckle. "That likely is what makes your books that much better than the rest, right? It has ties to history." Who knows what else? She'll have to read.

"Eh, still haven't figured out the whole point behind the fun out with guys thing, but I guess I get where you're coming from. I'm too busy fretting over if their mothers know what they're doing. Or if mine were to see me. Yeah, it really works best for me to leave that to those much better at it."


Serafine is starting to think that she needs to take the women out for drinks. A few of the house cocktails at Purgatory would loosen them both up, though Bridget needs it more than Brooke. Still, both seem to be overdue for a little bit of fun. Or being receptive to having fun in the case of Bridget. She's often thought that it is a good thing that she was 'too old' by the time college and sororities became what they are; Serafine really would have been a terrible influence.

"You're looking at it all wrong," Serafine says in a conspiratorial whisper. "You have to remember that your mother's done it before too."

She absolutely loves Brooke's enthusiasm and love of her work. Sera's talked to fans before, on forums and email, the rare times she's been in a bookstore and been recognized, but something about Brooke's excitement is uplifting. "It will. I'm rather proud of it, though it is a bit off the beaten path, so I'm not sure how well it will be received."


"Good God, no. I doubt mum's ever done anything like go to a club." If Brooke only knew her mother's sordid past, she wouldn't be so quick to deny that her mother has likely been up to a lot of things she'd never even consider.

"You could always have been a tutor, and worked whatever hours you wanted. They're allowed to do that," she points out as she picks up her last piece of sushi with the chopsticks and eats it slowly.

"How off the beaten path?" Beat. "I mean, can you tell me anything without spoiling it too much?"


That actually really gets her attention. "Off the beaten path? I admire that. When things are always so straight and narrow, so usual and typical, then they get stale." Beat. Oh, wait. She could listen to her own words. "Well, in what you read anyway." Finally, just finally, Bridget has embarrassed herself even if slightly.

"Brooke's kind of got a point." She is also not aware of their mother's past. "I think I made sure that the others were free to go clubbing as much as they like. I'm stingy enough for all of us." Although a nice stiff drink and some good music at some point isn't such a bad idea.

Bridget pushes the plate in front of her forward slightly to indicate that she's finished. "I feel that this has been a wonderful meal and a great evening, but it's getting to be that time where I turn into a pumpkin."


For a moment, the vampiress debates, finishing off the last of her wine. Seeming to come to a decision, she nods her head. It's not as though there aren't hints out there and the promotional materials are beginning to make the rounds even if she doesn't have a proper galley in her hands yet.

"It's about a young woman growing up in New Orleans before the Civil War, who meets a dashing, mysterious man with ties to the supernatural."


Serafine shrugs, "Paranormal romance seems to be all the rage and my publisher 'requested' I try a hand at it." It wasn't so hard when she could allow art to imitate life.


"Oh, come on, Gidget. It's not that late, is it?" Brooke's sister isn't that much older than she is, but she's got a habit of acting like an old woman at times. "If you have to go, I'll come with you. No point in you taking a cab by yourself though." She'll just take care of the meal, and then go out and signal them a car.

"Brilliant! Now I really can't wait for it to come out." Brooke really hates to ask, but the fangirl in her won't let her keep her mouth shut. "I don't suppose you've got any ARC's of it?"


She can't help but outright laugh. "Oh, some of these books make me laugh. As if that's really what any of that so called paranormal stuff is like." Beat. Great. "At least, not the way that I envision it. It just seems a little too over the top for me." Since vampires and werewolves and the like aren't over the top enough as it is.

"Yeah, I need to get back. I've got this new commission that I promised would be out the door in two days. But really, don't worry about it. There's no reason why you should step out on your favorite author ever. I'll just have to make it up to you two somehow."

This is assuming that she even sees Sera again. "It really was a true honor to meet you, Miss Sera. I look forward to future encounters."


"It's not that late, but it is creeping up there." For most humans anyway. The night is just starting for Sera. She's going to head over to Purgatory, pick out one of the dresses she leaves there in Kieran's private closet and spend the night dancing, drinking and flirting.

And feeding. We can't forget that.

She laughs, truly delighted, when Brooke asks that. "No," Serafine shakes her head. "I'm getting the final galley on Friday. I'll get reading copies a month from now, so long as the galley is approved." Serafine doesn't see why it won't be; it hasn't been a problem in the past.

"I'll tell you what, do you have a business card? I'll see to it that you get one."


"Really. It's the least I can do for a fan." Also, it gives her a chance to contact the woman again and introduce her to Kieran if Serafine can't finagle it for the launch party.

"Pleasure meeting you too, Bridget. I'll be in touch about that dress." And getting this pair of sisters for a night out on the town one way or another. Just because she's a terrible influence.


It takes Brooke only a second to drop her credit card on the table before she finds her business cards. Sliding one out to Sera, she smiles. "Oh! I would love that so much!" An advanced reader copy would be something to cherish. Those things are difficult to find, and even more difficult to get after they've been distributed via contests, or the author's own private list of people to hand them out to.

"Miss Roche." Beat. "Sera, it's been an honor to meet you, really." The woman is far more down to earth than she'd have expected for a New York City author. "I look forward to your new book, and I'll completely understand if you don't have any ARC's leftover."

The server comes and goes with the credit card, and then hands Brooke a slip of paper to sign. Thankfully dinner for the three of them isn't too expensive, and she can write it off as they technically did talk about PR work a little.

"Thank you so much. This has been a wonderful evening." She's gushing now. She knows she is, but she really can't help it. She's in awe about the offer.


She'll have to suggest that Kieran stand her up more often. Well, not really, she knows he's going to be cranky after a night spent putting out fires at the restuarant, but she ended up having a very good time. It's always good to meet new people and make new connections.

"It has been. I'm glad I got stood up." Serafine wrinkles her nose and then laughs. "Good luck with your launch party, Brooke. I'll put in a good word with Maeve for you to make things go easier."

Nothing wrong with doing that either. Who knows, it might turn out to be a very good thing.

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