Easy Conversations

Manhattan - Times Square

Massive billboards decorate the streets, amid the neon lights, towering hotels, and high-priced souvenir shops that define the area. The sheer energy of this neighborhood is exciting; the pace frantic; the sidewalks, usually packed with tourists and New Yorker's alike.

While Times Square was once a seedy part of the city, it's been cleaned up and revitalized to draw people to the nearby Broadway theaters. Times Square is also home to the world-famous New Year's Eve countdown celebration and ball-drop.


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Brooke Bishop Rhett Harper

The day before the holiday and things are hectic for a certain Brooke Bishop. She's had to put out at least three HUGE publicity fires today, all with inappropriate pictures that had to be gotten from the tabloids before they were printed and tossed onto the 'net. Then there was her parent's arrival with her siblings. While her mum and dad are with Bridget, Brooke's been entertaining the twins. A tour of the city this afternoon, a stop at Rockefeller Center, and now the dynamic duo are at the Rock of Ages Broadway production.

Having a few hours to herself leads Brooke to Times Square. Close enough to the theater that she can hurry back and meet the twins after the production is over, but in a more shoppy area where she can pick up a few items to have on hand for later tonight and tomorrow. There's the inevitable 'I <3 NYC' swag she got for the twins, and a tie for her father. But now she's looking for something a lot more mundane.

A brand new blow up mattress since Willy broke the one she had by flopping down on it as though it were a regular mattress. She knows he won't care about having to take the couch, or the floor but she'd like to get him something a little more comfortable if at all possible.

But it's the day before the holiday, and nearly every club in the area is having some sort of dance party, or 'singles' night. Which means the Square is unbearably busy, and getting where she needs to go has become increasingly frustrating.


Rhett Harper has found his way to Times Square for similar reasons, though he's not so much 'escaping' as he is wasting a bit of time while his in-laws, who are up from Florida for the holiday, take in a Broadway show. Usually, Rhett would have gone with them, but their summer sojourn came later than the usual Memorial Day, and going into the holiday, he wasn't certain what his workload would be. It's also a convenient way to keep his in-laws, whom he loves as much as his own mother and step-father, away from his brother and nephews, who arrived a bit unexpectedly in the City this afternoon. It's like mixing oil and water, and Rhett's one relief is that Wyatt and his sons have a suite over at the Gramercy. Out of sight, even if they're not out of mind.

"I know that you don't want to spend time with your cousins, but we've talked about familial obligations before, Chance." Rhett speaks quietly into his cellular phone as he stops and waits for the light to change. There's a dual spell on the phone, one to muffle his words from the pedestrians and another to increase clarity for Chance to hear him better despite the background noises of Times Square.

"All you have to do is take them onto the River with you tomorrow. You don't have to -" Rhett stops and blinks and almost misses the light changing. "Then talk to them beforehand, explain what your expectations are. Maybe they'll learn something about their outdated attitudes if they're forced to get to know the girl."



It's not extremely rare to run into it in the city. The Coven does have numerous members, and RINC is purportedly very large as well. Granted, it's unusual to sense it on a busy street in Times Square, and it tends to put Brooke a little on alert. It distracts her and she almost misses the light change, needing to run to catch it before it changes again.

There aren't many drivers out tonight, but the taxis are absolutely insane and don't generally like to wait long after a change to move through the intersection. As she rushes across, her magic 'senses' tingle a little more and she stops to determine where it's coming from.

"Mr. Harper." It's a greeting, then she hurries across the street because she doesn't want to be mowed down by a big yellow taxi. Besides, the man is on the phone and she doesn't want to interrupt.


The greeting by name takes Rhett by surprise, and also alerts him to how quickly traffic is moving and the lights are changing. He's been in New York almost a year, and travels to huge metropolitan areas all the time, and still hasn't gotten used to how quickly big city life moves. Or, maybe, it's like Chance keeps telling him: He's refusing to get used to it.

A quick blink and he recognizes the red head moving away from him, and the annoyed oncoming taxi, and drops off his conversation to hurry across as well. "We'll talk about it later tonight. Your abuelitos will be disappointed if you don't come to dinner." The elder Harper pauses to listen to the younger, his longer legs slowly over taking the witch. "Haiku. Your grandmother wants sushi. We're saving Eclairant for her birthday…see you there."

Disconnecting the call and dismissing the spells with a simple hand gesture, Rhett falls into step beside the witch. "Miss Bishop. Fancy meeting you here."


"Shopping for family. You must know how that is." While Brooke didn't exactly catch the conversation, as it was muffled by the spells, she did get to meet the sorcerer's son at the Shakespeare in the Park gala. "Do you have a big group in for the holiday?"

In part it's curiosity. In part it's wanting to know if there will be an abundance of sorcerers in the city, to ensure she's not got to change her plans.


Rhett nods and laughs, "I do know how that goes. The last minute run around for the holidays can be quite the - pain." He manages to stop and rephrase before saying something inappropriate for a lady's company.

He can't figure out if she's making a bit of small talk, or if there's a genuine, personal curiosity for the witch. Rhett has nothing to hide, however, and no reason to hide it. He might be affliated with RINC, but part of what makes him something of an annoyance for a good portion of his family is that he fails to subscribe to some of their more misogynist and sexist tenents.

"My in-laws from Florida are here, as are my brother and his sons." His voice modulates, tone fluctuating as he speaks. There's a softness to his words, a deep respect and affection when he speaks of his in-laws, and then an exasperated exhalation and tightening of his jaw at the mention of his brother. "The latter were an unexpected surprise."


"Family can be both a blessing and a curse." From the sounds of things, he's not really pleased that his brother and nephews are in the city. So that makes at least three additional sorcerers, and quite possibly not nice ones. She'll have to ensure that her mother and younger siblings are well away from them if at all possible.

"It sounds as though you've got a handful. I can help you with your shopping list if you'd like? The only thing I need to purchase is an air mattress, and I'm fairly certain I can grab that on my way back to the Helen Hayes theater."


"I don't have much of a list, perse. I'm killing time a bit until Josh and Flores are out of the show." Rhett walks comfortably along beside her. He's as relaxed as he was at the Gala, and it's been a long time since being in the presence of a witch has bothered or unnerved him.

Shaking his head, the sorcerer laughs. "I could have used your help earlier. Evidently I didn't stock the appropriate grocery items at my home for Flores' liking. Apparently not just any lemon pepper will do in mojito, but both have to be freshly ground. I spent the day hopping from one specialty market to another." It's very clear that he's more amused than put out by it all.

He pauses, and gives her a curious look, "Though if you're serious, I was considering picking up a little something for my mother in law's birthday."


Brooke laughs lightly. "I could have helped you out with the lemon pepper issue. The caterer I generally use for promotional events stocks a variety of types." He really does. It was rare for her to use Eclairant for Sera's book signing, but it only made sense since they happened to employ their own restaurant there, and she would've had to get the caterer booked a lot further in advance than she did at Eclairant.

"You don't seem at all bothered to be talking to me. I did notice that when you were sitting with Dawna Knight and her children. Most sorcerers would have bailed as soon as they were able." Not all, because Bryn was never really bothered by the Bishop girls either.

"When's her birthday?"


Rhett's brows lift in a mixture of surprise, amusement and possibly near relief. "She's going to be here for a month, so I might take you up on that. Of course, she might also annoy the cook and then I might need to hire your caterer once my cook quits." The cook is only there three days a week, typically, as Rhett's mother, late wife, and Flores did teach him his way around the kitchen, and he took pains to impart the same to Chance, but some days it is nice to neither cook for oneself nor eat out.

"Why should I be bothered talking to you?" Rhett asks with an impish grin that shows his dimples. "Because you're a red head." The emphasis is meant to show that red head is an euphemism for something else. His blue eyes twinkle and he lifts his shoulders in a casual shrug. "I've been friends with Robert Knight for quite some time and I've never had a problem with Dawna. I have a good deal of respect for Robert, he chose the woman he loved and his daughter over politics and narrow minded bigotry. That's to be commended." Rhett isn't afraid to say such aloud. "I admit that it was the first time I'd met his children, but they seemed quite lovely and charming."

Admittedly, Rhett hadn't expected that the son was a witch, and it's only after talking to Chance that he understands the unusual 'witch but different' feeling he got when he made eye contact with the daughter.

"July 31," Rhett answers easily, and then blinks as his gaze locks momentarily with Brooke's. Well, ain't that unusual… "I've got a little bit of time."


"Why not give your cook a prolonged vacation so that she doesn't annoy, and let me get you in touch with Jacques. He should be able to part with one of his cooks for a month, provided you didn't need them too late into the evening when he's got an event to handle." Stopping, she sets her bag down on the sidewalk. Her phone is pulled out of her purse, and she looks up the number. Writing it down on the back of a business card, she hands it to him. "Just in case you need it or want to use it."

There's a small snort, and then a nod. "I believe the correct derogatory term is ginger." Winking at him, she reaches for the bag, only to realize it's been pilfered without her noticing it. Frowning, she quietly thinks to herself that she's lucky she'd not bought anything expensive. Just a few tacky souvenir items.

"It is very commendable. Not all sorcerers choose that path." Bryn Blackwell is one, but then it was an overly emotional time for everyone and it's worked out for the better.

"Nearly an entire month? Have you considered what it is she might like?" Beat. "Or how much you're interested in spending?"


The sorcerer gives another low, loose and light laugh. "Emil is only there three days a week. I'm hoping to convince Flores that it's all right to take a few nights a week and let someone cook for her instead of the other way around. Though I half think she thinks that I'm starving to death. She told me that I needed to put on weight." Rhett pats his abdomen for emphasis. "I'm wasting away, can't you tell?"

Accepting the card without a second thought, Rhett tucks it into his inner sport coat pocket. It's a warm night, but he's only wearing a light fitted cotton shirt beneath the equally light linen jacket. "Thank you, though. It's an excellent idea and I'll give it a good amount of consideration."

Seeing the frown, he cocks his head, and asks, "Everything okay?"

"Let's call a spade a spade, Miss Bishop. Most of us wouldn't choose that path. Most people don't chose the harder road." He walked away temporarily for less than love, but knows he'd do it again for his boy or his family if it came to that.

"It's going to sound cliche, but she's one of those people who is extremely hard to buy for. She claims she doesn't want anything, and will fuss about too much money being spent on her, whatever she's given." Rhett adores his mother-in-law and wouldn't trade her for the world, but that doesn't mean she doesn't have her little flaws and annoyances.


"Even so, he may enjoy having a brief summer vacation." Brooke smiles at him, then nods. "Well you don't look like you're wasting away to me. Even in a sport coat, I can tell you're fairly trim." Muscular too, but she's not about to point that out to a man she barely knows beyond a few words at a public event.

"Someone pilfered the bag I set down, it's not a big deal." Tacky souvenirs are on sale this week anyhow, considering the holiday.

"You're right. Most people choose the path most taken as opposed to the one that's harder to traverse." She's well aware of that. And sometimes the easier road winds up being the most difficult anyhow.

"Then you find her something unique and meaningful for both her, and yourself. It will make the gift special, and she'll appreciate it no matter the cost."


"Thank you," Rhett inclines his head with a nod. "I'd ask you to hang around and tell Flores that, but she'd probably tell you that you need to eat more, too. She's very old school in that way." Not that Rhett thinks that Brooke needs to eat more. Her figure is fine as it is, but he's not crass enough to say such a thing, especially to a woman whom is quite publicly dating one of the more coveted, if somewhat sometimes secretive, bachelors of New York City.

"I love the city," Rhett's voice is heavy with sarcasm. There is a reason that he has a house well outside the city limits in Texas. "It might not be a big deal, but it's an annoyance and a loss of money. Did you want to track back or maybe shop for some other things?"

Lifting his brow again, Rhett reaches into his inner pocket and pulls out the business card. He reads it, and asks, "Are you sure you don't want to put personal shopper on this card, too? That's a bit of sound advice, there, ma'am."


"My own mother is here to tell me that anyhow. I doubt I need to hear it again." Brooke eats plenty, really. More than she should, sometimes. Rich foods too, especially at events and clients houses. She makes up for it by eating less when she can; salads and soups mostly. "I find it charming that people can retain that old school attitude sometimes."


"But obviously not all the time." Because the sorcerer thing does actually bother her quite a bit.

"If I see something I like for them, I'll grab it. It's honestly not a huge loss, and I'm sure there will be plenty of booths out tomorrow in the park." Which is where they'll be spending part of their day.

Laughing, Brooke shakes her head. "I could, though it's really just honest advice. Perhaps a nice scrapbook of old family photos, or something she's always talked about but has never wound up doing."


"She's a wonderful woman, truly." Unlike a lot of men, Rhett can't really complain about his mother-in-law. He never could considering she embraced him with open arms, and later, never batted an eye when she got a glimpse into the unseen world of magic and spellcraft. "I'm sure your mother just worries that her little girl is working too hard, not eating well or taking proper care of herself." He may not be a mother, but he's a parent, and it's part of the reason he taught Chance to cook and makes damn sure the boy comes over for dinner at least twice a week when Emil is cooking.

"Is that what you're doing? Spending the day in Central Park?" It's a bit of curiosity and a mental note to keep his brother away from the area. It'll be something of a juggle, because Chance has the boat with his friends, and Flores did want to go to the park, but Rhett has juggled more complicated before. "Mother, sisters, father in the city?"

He tucks the card back away. "I'll have to give it some thought, but I do think you're onto something."


"Actually, she worries because I'm not married and she's not got a million granddaughters underfoot already." Brooke grins, but seems to be alright with the fact that her mum does tend to get a bit crazy about that. "Well that, and she's likely heard by now that Bryn Blackwell's back in the city, which is undoubtedly causing her to stress."


"Part of the plan. I've also gotten them tickets on the river cruise that goes out during the fireworks." There are sorcerers in the city, her mother can just deal with sharing it with them. The park is also a rather large place so it shouldn't be too much of a mess with little chance of them running in to one another.

"Technically, yes. My younger brother will be here as well."

Another grin is given to the man. "Oh, take your time. You've got a month, and I've always found that the most precious gifts were the ones that people put a lot of thought into."


"She should be happy about that. A million granddaughters means a million teenage boys to beat off with large sticks when the time comes." Rhett should know. He had half-sisters, whom he was closer to than any of his half-brothers in the Nash Dynasty. "Though, I really used to love puffing up my chest and cracking my knuckles when the hormone charged boys came calling on my sisters." He and his step-father used to trade good-cop/bad-cop roles.

"Bryn Blackwell is a good man," Rhett says carefully, not sure how to take the witch's words. Clearly there is some history there, and he's not going to pry. He does know that Bryn has no problem with witches, and his reputation as a supernatural aid is unchallenged.

"Your younger brother?" Rhett repeats, unable to hide his surprise. There must be something in the water up here. Male witches aren't unheard of, but they are as rare as female sorcerers. Well, less rare than that because … he'd say that there's no such thing, but he's not so certain standing here talking to Brooke and having met Robert's daughter. "I'm sorry, that was rude. I just wasn't expecting that. That's two male witches that I've heard about in the span of a month. Diamonds in the rough, aren't they?"


"But she wouldn't have to get rid of the teenage boys, that would be my job." Brooke decides right then that she could like this sorcerer. Friends. Which is something she could use more of. "My little brother would be good at that, really." It's odd because she generally doesn't talk about her family at all, but it's only fair considering she asked about his.

There's a slight quiet that comes over the witch, and she bites her lip. "Yes, I know he is. I've always known that Bryn was one of the good ones." But try telling that to her older sister, or her mum, after what happened when they were younger.

Chuckling, Brooke nods. "They're rare, but they crop up every few generations in my family."


Rhett is damn curious now, but he really can't ask. He might be able to nose around the grapevine … but somehow that seems a bit rude when he's been talking so openly and charmingly with the pretty witch. "Interesting lineage you have there," Rhett chuckles. Of course, that's the difference between a Dynasty and witches; no Dynasty is going to admit that a female child popped out anywhere in any generation.

"The only thing that crops up reliably in my family are dimples and a receeding hairline."


"I can definitely see that you've got the dimples." The receding hairline though, she just doesn't see. "I noticed your son tends to get them too. He must take after his father a great deal." Which is unsurprising. In magic lineage, it's usually the magical parent that tends to have the more dominant genes. Which is amusing because neither of her parents have red hair.

"Very interesting. Though that's what happens when you're part of one of the original families I suppose. Anomalies and the like."


The sorcerer grins despite himself and ruffles fingers through his hair, ducking his head a bit modestly. He's not overly arrogant or vain, and he does have the good grace to have some humility. "I've been told that they've gotten me into more trouble than I would have gotten into without them." The witch is given a wink, and then he laughs. "I'd be careful how loudly you say that. He's still sitting the fence. At that age where he can't decide if being like his old man is a good thing or a bad thing."


"I do like to think that I've given him a broader view of the world than he would have had otherwise." Considering he's taking a witch out on the boat tomorrow, and was more than ready to ditch his cousins for his new friend? Yes, Rhett is certain that it's a good sign. Though, on the other hand, it could be his son thinking below the waist too. Robert's daughter is a very pretty girl, and his son certainly never lacks for female companionship when he wants it.

Original family? It takes Rhett's brain a moment to catch up, and he realizes that while he knew that, it hadn't quite clicked in the forefront of his mind. "Yes, I do suppose that you would be prone to the more unusual manifestations of your magic."

Does that include the not-quite witch vibe that he's getting from her? Rhett would love to meet her mother and family just to test that theory.


"I can definitely see that too. Dimples like that are dangerous." Brooke tries not to laugh as he dips his head down, and she fails. "I'm certain if he's a smart boy, he'll decide that it's a good thing in the long run."


"It's good to give a broader view of the world than what's offered in large familial corporations." She'd say 'Dynasty', but she's not quite sure if they've got people listening, and she really doesn't want to cast the level of privacy spell she'd like to use.

"At times." Burning down a barn really shouldn't count against her though. It wasn't entirely her fault that the thing exploded the way it did.


Rhett likes this witch. Not in a 'take her home and screw her' sense, (not that she isn't attractive and appealing on that front), but she's friendly and confident, and not afraid to say what she's thinking. She's open, and it bodes well that she's willing to hold her own with him. Other sorcerers, too, if the Shakespeare Gala was any indication. He'd like to talk to her again, get to know her a bit as a friend. That concept isn't alien to two consenting adults as much as it is to hormonal teenagers.

"I hope that he does, but he's headed in the right direction for him, and for that I'm proud." Rhett thinks about his nephews going out on the boat tomorrow, and makes a note to have his own private conference with them. If Chance wants Siobhan there, unmolested and having a good day, then Rhett will see to it that his son's friend gets exactly that. "Considering that he's becoming quite good friends with a young lady who shares your talents, I'll say that he's embraced the world view."

He chuckles softly, "We've all had those mishaps." He's not a mind reader, but Rhett can guess that her mind goes to some magic malady and mishap from her past.


"That's all that matters then." Brooke is not a parent, so she doesn't know that much about parenting, but she's got younger siblings and watched her parents with them. There's only so much that a person can do to help teenagers. Then they need to find their own path in life. Everyone goes through it. Hell, she's gone through it herself, recently enough.

"You're obviously an excellent father. He may be on his own path, but it's very obvious that he respects you." Not that she knows either of them well outside of the gala setting, but if the younger Harper was putting on a show he's definitely a great actor.

"Siobhan Knight?" Raising her brow, Brooke nods. She did see that they were all sitting at a table together, along with the Donovan's.


"My father isn't thrilled with his path, but there's little he can do about it." Not without showing favoritism to the bastard son and his progeny, which he has done in the past and it has earned him a bit of grief from the rest of the Dynasty. Being the bastard does have a few perks.

"Thank you for that, it's good to hear." Rhett likes to believe he and Chance are at a good place, but he's not always certain.

He nods when Brooke names the girl. "You got in one. He seems to be quite taken with her."


"Even if he were to meld in with the corporation, it's better for him to get his feet wet on his own first." Brooke knows that from experience too. She was always a part of the Coven, but didn't devote herself fully to it until after her first year on college when she was away from familial influence. It was her choice, and not that of her mother and aunts.

"You're welcome."


"I did notice that he seemed to be that way at the gala, though he was spending more of his time with the Donovan girl. Not that I was keeping tabs, they just happened to be together whenever I looked over in that direction."


"So very, very true." Rhett broke away from the Dynasty for a while, and not for any idealized reason like those Chance has. It was a learning experience, and when he came back to it, he knew exactly what he wanted from it and what he was (or wasn't) willing to compromise and sacrifice. Which wasn't a hell of a lot in either case.

"He insists that they're friends, and that she's dating the Donovan boy." Rhett shrugs and shakes his head. "I've learned not to ask too many questions or get too involved. It's far more kind and gentle on my sanity that way." If Chance is interested in Robert's daughter romantically, Rhett isn't going to put up a fuss. It would be interesting to see a second generation witch-sorcerer pairing. He's not so certain that The Coven would smile upon such a union, however.


Brooke isn't so certain that The Coven would smile upon such a union either. She was still very young when Siobhan was born, but she remembers her mother fighting to let Dawna keep her child rather than kick them both out of the Coven. At the time she thought it strange, especially since a few years later when she got involved with Bryn, her mother was abhorrently against it at first.

"Friends are always a good thing to have, and he can likely help her a great deal." With her sorcerer abilities. "It's good to have someone that can teach you things safely." She'll never admit what Bryn taught her, but that's simply because she doesn't want to be overly involved in a political debate about magic types with Regina.


"I was going to say that you never can have too many friends, but that's not true." Rhett smiles faintly. "I'll rephrase it to 'You can never have too many good friends.'"

He nods slightly, giving the witch before him a considering, careful look. "He wants to help her, and I'm sure that he can so long as she's willing and wants the help." Rhett is careful in his reply. It sounds as though Brooke is condoning Robert's girl learning to use her sorcerer magic, but he knows the Coven isn't on board with witches accessing that magic. He doesn't wish to get Siobhan in any trouble. He most certainly is not going to indicate that Chance has already started helping the girl.


There are two minds in the Coven. The first is that all sorcerer magic is completely evil and should never be used by a witch. The second, which Brooke much prefers, is that all magic is equal and it's what you choose to do with it that determines whether or not the magic is 'evil'. She wasn't raised to think that way, but she's been practicing sorcerer magic since she was younger than the Knight girl.

"I'm sure they'll figure something out." Brooke can tell how careful the sorcerer is being in his reply, and she's not going to acknowledge the carefulness. She can't be sure who's around and listening.


"It's part of her heritage, and she's got every right to learn her father's magic as she does her mother's. Just because the Coven has accepted her…" Doesn't mean that the girl isn't a female sorcerer instead of being a witch. It simply means that she's been taught witch magic as a primary.


Rhett would beg to differ and take a somewhat middle road. All magic is evil, however there are spells, both witch and sorcerer that are designed with darker and more malicious intent in mind. There are spells that feed back into the darker drives and desires, that fuel those parts of the psyche, and can not only open up doors that the caster might not be aware of opening, but also that pave the way for addiction and even darker domains. It's very easy to become enarmoured of and addicted to the power and high provided by those less than pure spells.

Rhett knows. He's been there and it was a long road back to where he is now.

"Kids these days, they are resourceful." He tilts his head, "But I'm guessing, we're all resourceful at that age. Finding our way."

"You won't get an argument from me," Rhett laughs. "I'm rather a proponent of learning everything you can. If there's no walls or secrecy, it makes it harder to dislike and put up boundaries."


There are definitely dark roads there. Brooke was at risk of taking them twelve years ago, but thankfully her sister helped her get through that rough period of her life. That Bridget stayed for her is not lost on her, and she hates that her older sister gave up her own happiness to keep Brooke from going off the deep end. At the same time she appreciates the sacrifice, and everything her older sister has done for her.

"They are at that."

A smile is given to the man at the last. "Admittedly, there are some I'd still choose to avoid. Though, that's simply because they're of a rather powerful persuasion and they like to embrace the darker side of tings."


She has a lovely, disarming smile. Rhett smiles easily back and gives a casual check to his watch. Not because he's tired of the company, but because he does need to keep an eye on the time. He reassures Brooke, "I've got about an hour and a half before I need to pick up my in-laws fof dinner. Did you want to sit down and have a drink?"

There's a beat and he shakes his head with a self-deprecating laugh. "That's not a come on, by the way. It's just that we've been walking a bit aimlessly, I think, and I'm enjoying the conversation. Or, we could keep wandering Times Square." Rhett winks. "I'd still enjoy the conversation and the company either way."


"It does beat walking around aimlessly." At some point she'll have to run into a store and purchase replacement items for some of the things (the M&M's most definitely, or the twins will never let her live it down), but she's got at least an hour to kill before she needs to whirlwind shop again.

"A drink sounds lovely, actually. It's quite warm out, and I'd hate for us to both dehydrate."

Granted, she only knows of one bar in Times Square, and that happens to be the silly martian one.


"I know a few places where it should be easy to grab a drink at the bar, and aren't terrible tourist traps." Though the tourist traps can be fun, too. Glancing around again, Rhett gives his shoulders a shrug. "Well, that might be a poor assumption on my part given the business of the evening."

He starts walking again, motioning the direction that he's headed, and making certain that the witch keeps pace with him. "There are some of us that you should avoid. Hell, there are some of us that I avoid like the plague."


"Oh, I know there are." Brooke's well aware that the Reynard's are meant to be avoided at all costs. She may not be one of Regina's higher ups, but she's heard enough stories about the dark blood magic that they generally employ. The type that can kill an unsuspecting person rather quickly and efficiently.

Hence her freezing up the night she and Sera went to Decades.

"If it's full of tourists I think we'll survive. If it's too full, I know a few bar owners around here that can likely get us in fairly easy."


"I'm beginning to think that your job might have a few more perks than mine, Miss Bishop," Rhett chuckles. Unfortunately, Rhett can't avoid the Reynards or RINC, not on a professional level, but he doesn't make it a point of spending time with them outside of business. His father once suggested that it might behoove 'corporate relations' if Chance and Nicholas were given the opportunity to 'bond like young males do.' Rhett immediately told his father that it was a terrible idea to send his impressionable son out drinking or anything else with a Reynard and shut down that conversation rather quickly.

"It's probably a great deal safer and healthier for you that way."


"It's got a few perks. I know people at places my clients are prone to go to. It helps get me there quicker to clean up any publicity damage that might be done." Brooke finds it helpful, anyhow. She does the bars a favor by keeping bad publicity out of them as much as she can, and her clients benefit from the expedience as well.

"No doubt."

When they reach Bar 41, she draws open the door and motions for him to go in. "I do like to keep safe."


"I'm supposed to do that, little lady," Rhett says in response to the witch opening the door. He does lead her to the bar, offering an arm so that they stay together in the busy crowd, and motions her to a stool before he sits.

"Now allow me to pry and be rude. Your family is coming to the city for the holiday, which means you're not from the city. So, where's home?"


"Lima, New York."

Brooke doesn't answer him in regards to his supposed to be opening the door for her. It's more of an equality thing, and she's not got any issues doing things for herself. Taking his arm, she grins. "Ever the gentleman. So unlike a New Yorker." She knows that he's from Texas. She got that much from Dawna Knight when they were talking at the Gala.


Rhett grins boyishly at her and leans in, offering her a stage whisper. "I hate to confess, but I'm not from New York either." His accent is the first give away, but that's the reason for the 'mock secret' whisper. He straightens with a wink and a broadening of his grin, eyes sparkling.

Rhett waves a hand for the bar tender. "Upstate New Yorker, then? Which do you like prefer? The big city or the suburban life?" He doesn't exactly know where Lima is, but pretty much everything is upstate from the city.


"Both, actually, and it was more like the country. I grew up on a horse farm." Brooke enjoys the city for how completely, insanely busy it always is. She prefers her family home for the quiet serenity, and knows that it'll be there whenever she needs it.

"I did get that impression. Besides, Dawna gave you away at the gala." When the bartender arrives, she considers the lightest thing she can order. "A glass of your house white, please."


"You're kidding me? A horse farm?" Rhett gapes her a moment and then laughs. "My stepfather grew up on a horse farm. He was a trainer and taught me a lot about horses. I have a ranch back in Texas and breed a few of my own as a hobby. I love horses." It was the one thing he could do to bond with his step-father, and another thing that kept him grounded and from not getting too head strong and arrogant in Dynasty matters.

"Guiness please, and I'll cover the lady's as well," Rhett tells the bartender. "Dawna gave me away? Was that before or after the complaints of my being a bad influence on Robert for too many week and weekend long golf trips?"


"I've got no reason to kid you. He raises them, and stables them for others. Gives lessons. Breeds them. Trains them." Brooke used to love being out on the fields riding her horse. Just ignoring life. It was the best way to relax and get away from whatever was stressing her out.

"You have your own ranch? How do you have time for that and all your other work?"

It's on the tip of Brooke's tongue to argue with the offer to cover her glass of wine, but she smiles offering him a quiet thanks.

"No complaints whatsoever, actually."


"I'd love to meet and talk to your father," Rhett says sincerely. He knows it very likely won't happen, but he does like talking shop, and he's not met anyone that he can do so with in New York City.

"By hiring very capable people to carry on in my absence?" Rhett suggests playfully. "My sister is there part time, too. She loves the horses as much as I do. My plan is to retire there and spend all my days riding and working with the horses." It's a very simple plan for a man with the power and connections that Rhett has.

"You know, you are just piquing my curiosity…"


"It may be possible." Provided she doesn't tell her mother, and it doesn't get back to Regina. "I'll talk to him. See if he's willing to go out for a drink while he's here in the city."

It could work. They could do a girls day, though that leaves Willy without anything to do.

"You have a sister?" Raising her brow, she really wants to ask if the woman is a female sorcerer, but bites her lip. "I think it's a great plan to retire there, honestly. It's what I'll likely eventually do. Take over at the farm, or at least see that it's well cared for and go up every other weekend to check on it." Which will be a pain with her business, but once she's got enough clientele, she'll be able to hire someone to watch things in the city when she goes away.

"Piquing your curiosity? How so?"


"Please let me know." Rhett reaches into his inner pocket and pulls out a business card case. Removing a card, he replaces the case and flips the card over to the blank backside, "If I could borrow your pen?" He waits until he has it and then writes his personal number on the back of the card. "That's my personal cell. You can feel free to call me there.""

The sorcerer nods. "A half-sister yes. Same mother, different fathers, but you probably could have figured that out." He gives the bartender a nod and a quiet 'thank you' as their drinks are served.

"I'm the bastard son," Rhett explains with an amused smile. He's not ashamed of his lineage and it's not something that couldn't be found out with a little investigation. "My mother wasn't on the approved marriage list but Bobby Nash needed an heir." He lifts his Guiness in a toast. "Momma remarried, and I manage to have both younger brothers and a baby sister."

"Piquing my curiosity about what Dawna said about me."


"I will." Handing the pen over, she waits until he's done writing the number down, and slips both into her purse. Brooke smiles slightly at the fact that she's managed to get a personal number for the sorcerer after one slightly longer meeting. Even though it's technically for her father.

"Could have, or could have made a generous leap to the fact that she was a full blooded sister." It's unheard of, really, for there to be a female sorcerer. Unheard of but not entirely impossible.

"So you've a decent sized family." Yet his son is an only child.

"Not much, really. Mentioned you were from Texas, that you could be trusted more than others, and something about Aerotek."


"Now you and I both know how rare that would be," Rhett waggles a finger playfully at Brooke. It's not impossible, after all, and again, he has met Siobhan and is beginning to wonder about Brooke. If the woman is like Robert's daughter, it's clearly a well kept secret, even from her. Honestly, were it not for his recent meeting with Robert's family, and his conversation with Chance, Rhett would chalk up the feeling he gets from Brooke as an anomaly, which is likely what a good many do.

"I do, though I'm closer to my sister than my brothers." Mostly because in the one world, being the half-blood was always touted over him.

"Yes, well, I might work for Aerotek. That's probably what she mentioned." Rhett can't help but smirk a bit. Of course, his full title is written out on the business card that he gave to Brooke.


"But not impossible." Brooke too thinks of Siobhan when saying that. There's something about the younger girl that she can't quite put her finger on. Something like sensing another witch, but entirely different at the same time.

"Would that be because you grew up with her rather than them?" That would make a lot of sense, actually. Him having grown up in a different environment than the Dynasty.

"COO if I'm not mistaken, considering what it says on the business card." Yes, she did look at it, but was waiting for him to offer up that information. "But you do business here in the city as well, or do you just happen to be visiting your son?"


"That's probably a good deal to do with it," Rhett comments with a slow nod. He takes another pull from his beer. "My mother had the responsibility of raising me until I came into my … skills, and was old enough to be educated by my father." It didn't just make him close to his sisters, mother and step-father, but also made him more grounded.

"I'm currently residing here for business. We're entering into a partnership of sorts with RINC." It's not a state secret, and a simple search of businesses or reading the business papers will tell her that much. It's purely corporate, in the very real sense, and nothing to do with dynasty power leveling.


"It was good that you had a normal upbringing rather than being thrown into the mire of politics immediately on being born." Brooke smiles at him as she dips her pinky finger into the glass of wine, and murmurs a spell to cool it off a little more. Once it reaches the proper temperature, she pulls the pinky finger out and sticks it between her lips before popping it out with a quiet little noise.

Wrinkling her nose up, she makes a little tch noise in the back of her throat. "Pity," she teases. "I was actually starting to like you."


"Now, that's hardly fair, darling," Rhett laughs. He didn't miss the display with the finger, and his blue eyes watch her with a curious bit of amusement. "Business is business and I do have to make a living. I have a boy to put through law school." As if he can't do that easily enough.

"I'd hardly dislike you if your business associations weren't up to impeccable high standards."

There's a moment when he wants to warn her that her boyfriend is entangled with a vampire, but Rhett neither knows her well enough, nor does he wish to out Celine - or, Sera as she is evidently known these days. What's past is past, and the sweetly human vampire never did anything to him that he didn't allow.

"You should at least give me a chance to prove myself," Rhett winks.


"Oh, but mine are," Brooke replies, winking at him as she laughs playfully. Hers are the type that she needs to keep out of the tabloids. RINC has a whole slew of people for that. "But to be fair, they do seem to be above board."


"At least on paper."

Another beat as she takes a dainty sip of the rather chill wine, and smiles at him. "And what, pray tell, Mr. Harper, are you planning on doing to prove yourself?"


"How do I know that yours are? You could be pulling my leg just to make a good impression."

He won't comment to RINC being above board on paper, because it leads to the implication that they are not behind the scenes. Rhett knows that the truth isn't unknown, though he's not going to besmirch in public.

"Nothing that would upset your good friend, Mr. Collins." A note and a nod to the fact that Rhett is aware of her relationship. "I suppose I'll just have to keep my eyes open for a suitable opportunity to prove that associations do not always make the full man."


"Because it's my job to ensure that they have impeccable high standards, and that they stay that way." Brooke takes her job very seriously, and there's no way in hell that she'd work with or for someone who wasn't willing to keep themselves above board as much as humanly possible.

It's amusing that he won't comment on RINC, but she's well aware that it has to do with the business association, and the worst thing for that is going around slandering a company you're currently trying to make a deal with.

Pouting playfully, Brooke grins. "You're a very observant man, Mr. Harper." Not that she and Kieran have said anything about exclusivity, but she does happen to like that the sorcerer won't tread on her potential relationship. "I already know that they don't. If you were fully involved with RINC, you wouldn't have wasted your time asking me for a drink."


"I might be difficult and argue that point." Rhett tilts his bottle up and drinks a few long swallows. He leans an arm on the bar and gives her a teasing smile. "Isn't your job to make sure that no one finds out when their standards are no longer so impeccable?"

He laughs when she pouts. "The pout is impressive but I'm a much harder sell."

He taps fingers to the table and dips his head. "Like I said, business obligations. I don't fully subscribe to all their tenets."


"You could argue that point, and I wouldn't disagree with you." After all, it is Brooke's job to hide the less savory things from the public and media eyes. "But the point is, with me on the job, they tend to stay out of the limelight much better when their standards do drop." Winking back at him, she swirls the wine around in her glass and settles comfortably on the stool.

Brooke is not a flirter, by any means, but she's having fun with the back and forth. "I'll have to keep that in mind then," she tosses back at him. "For when I'm actually trying to get you interested in something."


"But you do subscribe to some of them?"


"I look forward to it," Rhett says easily.

"Some of them, yes." The Texas sorcerer gently taps the bottom of the beer bottle against the counter. "I believe in the notion of a strong family base, and I believe that the family is very important. What we choose to impart to our children will shape the future leaders of all communities." Magical, supernatural and non. "Granted, I think my definition of what makes an acceptable family might differ a bit from theirs."


He looks forward to it. Brooke blushes at that, because she is just having fun getting her flirt on. Something she's not felt like doing in a very long time. She's positive that it's Kieran's influence, and that brings a soft, slow smile to her lips in response.

"Well, I do agree on that point. Without a strong family base, children tend to drift" While she does get down on her mum sometimes for being pesky about wanting grandchildren, she knows that it's always done with love, and wanting what's best for her and Bridget. "I think my definition isn't exactly on par with that of my extended family either." Then again, Brooke's sitting here, having a drink with a sorcerer who's involved with RINC in some way.

Her mother would have an aneurysm if she knew.


Rhett is only playfully engaging and flirting as well. There is no true intention of this being any more than a drink and conversation while he waits for his in-laws. The smile is unexpected, and he suspects it has nothing to do with anything he's said, but it brightens her face and makes her look younger at any rate.

"I think we would both be in a good deal of trouble if we were children."


"Good thing we aren't children."


"I think," Brooke whispers as she leans in just a little closer to him, "That it's a very good thing we aren't children." She knows what she was like as a teenager, and she knows that she tried her mother's patience when she dated Bryn. After a lot of discussion that was allowed, but she very much doubts that had it been anyone other than a member of a 'trusted' sorcerer family that she would've been able to get away from it.

"Though I also have a feeling that we could both get up to a great deal of trouble as is."


"Speak for yourself." Rhett meets her lean halfway, lowering his voice to match her whisper. "I was a very good child."


"It's when I left home that I got into trouble."


"Oh? Now you've got me intrigued, Mr. Harper. You'll have to tell me that story one of these days." Brooke doesn't know if they'll be in many of the same social circles if he's involved with RINC. She does try to stay away from their business as much as possible.

"Very intrigued."


"You're gonna have to earn it, Miss Bishop." Rhett winks. Sitting back, he turns up his beer and finishes it and places the bottle on the bar. He's never really thought his social circles especially considering that Robert Knight is part of them and he's not exactly the golden boy of the sorcerer world. If he wants to associate with Brooke, then he'll do so.

"It's Rhett, by the way. Mr. Harper is my grandfather."


"May I call you Brooke?"


"I'm sure I can think of some way to earn that story from you." Brooke's not too worried about it. It sounds as though it's a rather personal story, and they don't know each other well enough to go down the extremely personal road.

"Rhett it is then."


Brooke is tempted to tell him that he may call her something outrageous, but instead she agrees. "Of course. It's my name after all."


"You very well may be able to do so," Rhett agrees.


"Do you have any other plans with your family while they're visiting?" He's not prying, just making conversation.



Brooke leaves it at that, to show him that she's not going to sit and think up ways to earn the story.

"Nothing particularly interesting. Mum and dad will likely do their own thing. I've got plans to take the twins to all the tourist sites, and a few hidden gems. They'll likely want to have quite a bit of freedom too though."


"How old are the twins?" Rhett pauses and shakes his head with a self-deprecatory smile. "I'm sorry. I don't mean to sound like I'm grilling you. I'm just genuinely curious. You're an interesting woman. I'm meeting a lot of new people every day, but it's all work and business related, and we don't always move in the same circles or have the same interests."

He's not wanting to talk business all day, and he's not in a position where he gets to talk special magic shop talk with the RINC boys. Not that he wants to be part of that club.


"Nineteen." They'll be twenty very soon, but at the moment, they're still willful teenagers in Brooke's mind. It's funny, because she generally hates talking about her family, but it seems comfortable and easy with Rhett. "I don't mind the questions. I did ask you quite a few."

Smiling, she finishes off her wine and sets the glass atop the bar. "I imagine talking business all the time can be rather frustrating. I love what I do for a living, but even I enjoy talking about other things."


It might show in his face that Rhett is doing a quick age assessment, figuring the difference between Brooke and her younger siblings, however, he won't ask about it. "Is coming to the city a big deal for them or old hat?"

They're around the same age as Chance, and he knows that even though his son lives in the city, the boy still loves it. He's different from his father in that.

Under other circumstances, he would mention the close ages and suggest getting the youngsters together. Given the nature of this situation however, he thinks it's better if he doesn't.

"My business talk tends to be boring to me sometimes, so I'm certainly not enjoying talking about it all the time."


"However, I might want to talk business with you sometime. Perhaps enlist your services in planning a company banquet." Beat. "If you would be interested."

Yes, Rhett knows that having a witch do such a thing will raise brows and ruffles feathers. He likes being passive-aggressive.


Brooke bites her lip, then laughs. "They're eleven years younger." She's got an older sister too, but she's not mentioned Gidget much. "They've only been once, back when I was still in school. Far too young to enjoy the city." Now there's shows, and clubs, and nightlife. Late night shopping. Things they might enjoy if they transfer out this way for school in the fall.

"I really don't blame you. I don't think anyone wants to talk business all the time."


"I'm always interested in a new client. Just let me know which company, when, and if you want a theme." Brooke smiles, winking at him. "Well, whenever you're ready to talk business that is."


"I would ask because I'm curious that way, but it's really none of my business," Rhett tells the witch honestly. He motions for the bartender and indicates that he would like another bottle. It's a little bit disconcerting to think that there was a time when Brooke would have been too young and he wouldn't have dared considered flirting with her as he has been, even if it is all just a fun game.

"I was in middle school when you were in diapers." It's amusing to think about it in those terms.


"You're right, it's not, but I could tell you were trying to figure it out regardless." Beat. "I don't mind." Brooke is good with her one glass of wine. She's already incredibly flirtatious with this man and she can't explain it. It's obviously not the alcohol that's doing it.

"Good lord, you make me sound like a baby," Brooke replies with a laugh. "Though, you look extremely hot for a guy that's got a twenty-something son. Most men with children that age are grey, and you don't look a day over thirty-five."


"You are hardly a baby, darling."

Rhett touches his face where there is a hint of five o' clock shadow but not enough stubble to allow his gray to show through in the place where he carries the most of it. "I have a few grays in my head, but most of it is here." He smiles, graciously. "Thank you… I started young. I was actually younger than Chance when he was born."


"Twenty. Fresh faced, crazy in love college boy."


"A few. That are probably well hidden by the blonde." Brooke studies him for a moment, and very much doubts that he's got much grey in his cleanly shaven face either.

The fact that Rhett was so young causes a pause from the witch. It takes her back to when she was eighteen and everything that happened was a blur of worry and confusion, then hurt and anger.

Reaching out, she touches his hand in a delicate and friendly manner.

"He's lucky to have a father like you."


"The blonde helps," Rhett agrees, nodding his head and laughing. He nods to the bartender, accepting the second beer and taking a drink from it.

The touch and the words surprise him, and he blinks at the witch. "Thank you for saying so. I like to think that I've done right by him and his mother's memory."


"There's going to be no hiding it when I go gray," Brooke comments. She's definitely not looking forward to being older. She's not necessarily a vain person, she just knows that the lighter color will show all too well in the red.

"I think you have." She's only met the son briefly, but he seemed to be a well rounded, non-spoiled individual. Though it's amusing to think that the son is possibly closer to her in age than the father is. "Forgive me for saying so, but I do think she'd be proud of the son you've raised."Logfile from NYC - Brooke.


"I have never understood why beautiful women have such issues with growing gray," Rhett comments, giving his a head tilt. "There are cultures the world over that consider gray a sign of wisdom and well earned respect. I have seen some very beautiful women graying quite gracefully and it detracts nothing from their appeal."

"I can't take all the credit. Her parents and my mother helped." Helped while Rhett was off on his dark bender, helped when he and Chance butted heads at the onslaught of puberty. "I don't know what I'd do without them." They grounded Rhett and grounded Chance. There are reasons that he and Chance are not typical Nash sorcerers.


"I'm not quite ready to be a 'crone' yet," Brooke replies with a laugh. Not that they still use that term within the Coven, but they used to call the younger witches 'Maidens' the mid-aged witches 'Mothers' and the elders 'Crones'. "I'll agree that there are quite a few who look amazing as they grey." She's not certain she'll be one of the 'age-gracefully' variety though.

"Family is a very important thing. You were lucky to have help. Especially at that age. I imagine it was difficult." She can imagine much more than she wants to go into right now.


"I doubt that you would ever be considered a crone."

"It was," Rhett takes several long swallows from the bottle of beer and rolls the neck between his fingers. "Especially since I hadn't really explained to his momma about my special skills."


Brooke considers for a moment, then chuckles. "If this were a hundred years ago, I might've taken that as an insult." Being a Crone was considered to have been an older, wise-woman after all. "But as it is, I do appreciate the compliment, Rhett."


"That had to be an even greater difficulty. How did she take it when she found out?"


Rhett chuckles fondly at the memory. He'd been terrified, but knew he was going to have to explain everything before he and Mary Ann got married. So, he did. "Amazingly in stride. She asked for a demonstration that I wasn't pulling her leg. Then she asked if the pregnancy would be safe and okay. She was an amazing woman."


"Of course, she almost made me promise that come hell or high water, we'd adopt a little girl because she wanted a daughter to go with her son." They put it off when she got pregnant with their second, and that's where that story ends.

The memory is bittersweet, but it brings a fond smile to his face. "I would have done it too. Just because I could."


There's a great deal of memory recollection of being completely terrified in a similar situation, and everyone involved already knew the special abilities of everyone else. Brooke watches him as he talks about his wife, and she again reaches out to touch his hand. "She does sound like an amazing woman." She knows from her mother's stories that most normal people tend to freak out quite a bit when learning about what they are.

Either that, or they make lame Bewitched jokes.

"It sounds like you were a fairly amazing young man back then as well. Something I'm sure stayed with you."


"Thank you, but I'm not so sure my father would call it amazing." Headstrong, stubborn, willfully argumentative, unappreciative. Not amazing. However, he is the one running Nash Aerotek for what it's worth, so something of those qualities have to be good things.

He grins and lifts Brooke's hand, kissing the back of it. "You're good for the ego, you know that?"


"Parents will rarely admit that their children are amazing, Rhett. Because, as children we're all a bunch of ungrateful wretches." There were times when she was, and while she's moved past it, she knows it's something her parents have never really forgotten. "But the good qualities generally outweigh the bad."

As he lifts her hand, and kisses it, Brooke blushes deeply. "Yes, well, I'm just being honest. It sounds like you've been through quite a bit in your life already, and you're not focusing or dwelling on the negative. I'd say that's pretty amazing."


"No point," Rhett responds immediately. "You learn from the past and you move forward. Dwelling on it won't change anything and it only makes you miserable. Maybe you bring down everyone else around you, too. Everything that happens, good or bad, but especially the bad is a lesson learned. You take something away from it." You might not know it at the time, but in everything, you do take something with you. Losing Mary made him doubly, triply aware of how precious family is; once he crawled back from the morass of darkness.

"That's why I let my boy make his mistakes, even if I want to intervene and save him from himself."


"I agree. Dwelling on things just brings up old hurts and angers that seem foolish." Brooke speaks of one with experience in that. "My sister on the other hand…" Bridget tends to dwell a little, on some of the more negative things. Brooke is more prone to remember the good times. She's on decent terms with Bryn again, and that does make her smile. After all, twelve years is a very long time to have to forgive someone.

"He's doubly lucky then. My parents only ever agreed to let me make my own mistakes if I threw an absolute tantrum in an attempt to do what I wanted. They meant well." And dating a sorcerer was probably the very last thing her mother wanted for her.


"Sounds like the voice of experience speaking," Rhett observes in a low, quiet voice. He watches the witch as he finishes off the second beer and places the bottle on the counter. "Some people think that dwelling will help them avoid past mistakes. Remembering history to stop it from repeating. Maybe your sister is one of those?" Rhett doesn't subscribe to that school of thought, obviously, but he's not going to insult her sister.

"Did you do that often?"


"It is."

Brooke doesn't explain things, but she knows that it'll come up again. She wonders if it's just that Rhett is a sorcerer that she's finding herself opening up so easily to him. "I've no doubt that she is." Either that, or Bridget is avoiding getting hurt again, which Brooke can't help feeling a little guilty for.

"Often enough. I was a very strong willed teenager. I didn't like my parents dictating who I could and couldn't date."


"Now, why is it that I find that so easy to believe? That you were a strong willed teenager?" Possibly because she's sitting and having a drink and speaking so freely to a sorcerer when most witches can't have a conversation. Old prejudices die hard.

Rhett is fortunate in that his father never tried to dictate whom he dated. Of course, he never tried dating a witch. He shakes his head. "I stay out of my son's dating life. So long as he's being safe and not doing anything that could get him arrested, then what he wants to do is up to him."


"Because I was." Brooke winks at him, and then smiles. "Granted, I don't blame mum for trying to push me out of the relationship I wanted. She just lost in the end because I was bound and determined." Not that it worked out for her in the very end anyhow.

"If I ever have children, that's how I'm going to be about it. No matter if I like who they're dating or not. It's not for me to judge. Just to be there if they need me."


"Probably the best philosophy and approach. Though harder in practice than it is in theory."

Sighing, Rhett combs his fingers through his hair. He doesn't want to check the time, but he suspects his is running low and he has family to pick up for dinner. Reluctantly he glances down at his watch and sighs again. "All good things …"

He motions for the bartender while fishing out his wallet. "I've really enjoyed talking to you tonight, Brooke. It was a good way to pass the time, so much so that time went a little too quickly."


Brooke won't disagree with that point. Even with the best intentions, things are not generally as easy in practice as they are in speech.

As soon as he glances at his watch, she eeps. Pulling her phone out, she peers at the time and then laughs. "… must unfortunately come to an end. I've not enjoyed a conversation like this with a near stranger in a long time." Kieran, on a date. Sera. Well perhaps it's not really been all that long after all.

"I need to get back to the theater and meet up with my family anyhow, and I've still got to get to a few errands on the way."

Dipping her hand into her purse again, she goes to remove enough cash to cover her drink.


Reaching out, Rhett stops Brooke, placing his hand atop hers. "Stop. Don't worry about it. I got this."

He hands his credit card to the bartender and pulls out enough money to cover quite a sizeable tip as well. "I'm glad that it wasn't a wasted evening for either of us. We should do it again sometime." Beat. "Strictly friendly and above board." He has no intentions of being the guy who moves in one another man's territory.


"Thank you."

Brooke smiles at him, and she does make a note that if there is a next time she'll pay. It's only fair, whether he's Dynasty involved or not. He may have money, but she can afford to treat a friend to a few drinks.

"We should," she agrees. "Until then?"


"I hope you and your family enjoy dinner, and the holiday."

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