|Elsie||"Mister Ward?" Surelda knocks politely before entering. She's taken off her cloak around the compound, and is wearing just her simple blue dress and boots. Her silver hair is left down, and her skin is pale ... save for a purple and blue discoloration on the right side of her face and down her jaw. When she smiles, the smile doesn't go quite so deep on that side for the slight swelling there. "I have the shift updates for the caravan movements on my notebook here. Would you like me to update them on the map?"
Those dark orbs of hers move, trailing downward along the mess in the room. With an almost sixth sense, they settle on the Daddy-O. Mmmmm. Mama likey.
|Matt||Matt'll look up from his chair at his desk, apparently working on his own something or other. But he just plops it onto a growing pile of that sort of thing and waves her in towards the sitting chair at the end of his desk. "Come in, hon...Someone getcha there?" He speaks, of course, of her rather large bruise.|
|Elsie||"Oh, yeah," Surelda says, reaching up with one hand to touch the bruise on the side of her face. She moves around the desk to settle where Matt instructs her, opening up her little book and peering at the pins on the map spread out before her. "I'm alright though," she assures Matt, just in case the question does come up. Might as well prempt it.
She begins to move the pins, very carefully, one by one, using only her index finger and thumb as she does. Every few seconds, however, she'll glance to that Daddy-O again. She coughs, clearing her throat. "And ... how are you today, Mr. Ward?" she asks as she continues to work and glance at that which she most desires.
|Matt||Matt'll check over the map later, instead eyeing that bruise a bit more. But he lets it go, wasteland is a dangerous place and things are bound to happen. "So. Uh. Did I think you for the call-out on the radio during the ambush yet?" He'll reach over to pat Surelda lightly on the knee. "It helped everyone out, 'xcept me of course. Something had me on the ground and thought my face was delicious meat to eat."|
|Elsie||Surelda glances down at the pat she receives on the knee, and while her smile has some pride in it, she does subtly move her leg a bit more under the desk, so such a gesture will not be allowed twice. "I was happy to help, Mr. Ward. It wasn't very much help, I know, but hopefully it did some good. At the very least, your face seems to be doing quite fine," she assures the younger bossman. "From everything I see, the New Rome route seems to still be relatively safe. Did all this come from there?" She asks, gesturing with a nod of her head to the stockpile of goodies, even if she only has eyes for one particular goody.|
|Matt||Matt'll look back at his box and shake his head. "No...I'm not that good of a barterer. So I really just end up with a bunch of loose odds and ends. Ammo, and apparently that Daddy-o. Well, that was from a nice lady that was trying to get started but didn't have a permit. So I bought some." Matt leans back in his creaky old chair and sighs lightly. "Nobody told me about paperwork Miss....Whats your last name Surelda?"|
|Elsie||What's her last name? Matt is greeted with a surprised upturn of the white-haired woman's face and two startled blinks of her big, black eyes. "Last name? Oh, it's just Surelda. Surelda's fine." A little tight smile for the man, and then she looks to change the subject as quickly as possible. Preferably to something that interest her. "So what are you going to do with all that?" Daddy-O. What are you going to do with that Daddy-O is the unsaid ending to that question.|
|Matt||Matt is a gullible sort. Or he was, until he spent six months out in the wasteland and everyone was willing to lie and cheat to him. His chin comes up at her quick, breathy response and he turns back to look at her. He eyes her closely before scooping out a Daddy-o injector and putting it on his desk in front of him. "Whats in a name, Surelda? You call me Mister Ward, I should be able to call you Missus something."|
|Elsie||"Not all people have last names, I guess. For some people they don't matter." That's a true statement, but as it relates to Surelda? FALSE FALSE FALSE. If she were wearing pants, they'd be on fire. So distracted is she between the Daddy-O now on the move and the conversation, she pricks herself with one of the pins.
"Ouch," she whispers softly, looking at the slight droplette of blood on her finger before putting it in her mouth. The pin is then safely placed with her other, free hand.
|Matt||Matt's spidey senses are tingling. He'll settle forward in the chair again, watching her suckle her battlewound of the cartographical kind. A second or three, before he jerks his chin towards the door. "Go lock the door Surelda, and come sit back down."|
|Elsie||The words, the order, both cause her to turn and stare. Real discomfort, now ... what could he possibly want? Why does the door need to be locked? She doesn't verbalize any of these thoughts, but rather only thinks them and stares at him, index finger still in her mouth.
Slowly, heart pounding so hard that he can likely see it in her throat, the young woman rises and goes to the door, locking it with a quiet *CLICK* before turning to sit back down again, as instructed. "Have ... I done something wrong, Mr. Ward?" she finally manages to ask, finger removed from her mouth.
|Matt||The wheels on Matt's desk chair squeak as he rolls over to definitely invade some personal space. He is now next to Surelda's chair, facing her while she faces out. Unless she turns to look at him. "Surelda. You've known me a good bit of time now. I *guess* I am your boss. At any fucking point did it seem like I liked being lied to?" Matt's jawline sets as he uses his weekly ration of one cuss word. "I didn't think I had given that impression. Last names seem a bit of an odd thing to lie 'bout."|
|Elsie||Did Matt just SWEAR?! Surelda might faint if it weren't for the fact that she is, very clearly, now in trouble. She doesn't care for being in trouble, not one little bit. The force of the cuss alone seems enough to send her rolling back slightly in her own seat, bumping back against the desk to put a bit more distance between herself and her angry employer. Perhaps soon to be ex-employer.
"No, sir," she responds to his question about being lied to. But that's all she responds to, now. She just stares at him, wide-eyed, and waits for whatever's going to happen, to happen.
|Matt||Getting in trouble enough in his youth gave him plenty of experience being in Surelda's seat. Which apparently made him decent at being the one to give trouble. He'll stand now, moving to stand over her and look down at her. Matt's gaze is hard for awhile, and he lets the silence sit and wallow for a bit. Before he sighs and looks away. "Don't you think I'm willing to take care of ya? If you've got problems I can help. You've got some problems in spades but I've overlooked absences and oddities enough for now. Why don't you come clean, eh?"|
|Elsie||He's right about that; problems in spades. Track marks up her arms, disappearing on occasion, bruises on her face, and now a last name that seems to have silenced her. Oh boy, does she have problems.
But Surelda is tight-lipped on those problems. She's moved her hands to the edges of her seat, holding tight to the frame with a white-knuckled grip. Her big black eyes continue to stare up at the man. What to do, what to do? Apparently, she can't quite decide. She needs another minute to think. So she stalls.
"Are you going to fire me, Mr. Ward?" In truth, he'd be well within his rights to. And that fact seems to frighten the poor girl.
|Matt||"Don't you like working here?"
Matt reachs out to flick hair out of Surelda's face, which gives him a chance to eye that bruise a bit more. Then down her arms to take closer note of all those trackmarks. "You're my cutest radio girl, and a favorite out amongst the runners. But I do need you to be clean with me. If you've got worries, problems or enemies, I want to be able to protect you from'em. Drugs ain't a bother to me if you're getting to work, I'd even provide to make sure you got'em fro a clean vendor instead of some street trash."
|Elsie||When he reaches for her hair, he'll manage to touch it and move it as he sees fit. But not without any reaction from her. Surelda will turn her face away in a very quick, jerky motion. A reactionary move, a flinch away from his hand. As for the bruise, the darkest seems to be centered right above the corner of her jaw but below her cheekbone. It extends far enough to make her lower lip swell in one direction, fading off beneath her ear in the other.
"Yes, Mr. Ward," she assures the man, and she speaks honestly there--she loves her work, loves that she feels important, and loves that she's learning. But it's clear that she has to give him something, anything, or else she really might lose her position. So she does.
"I'm an addict, Mr. Ward." There. One confession, out in the open.
|Matt|| "No shit." Now hes in the hole of curse rations. He'll let her keep up with the Mister Wards, she at least seems to enjoy that.
Matt'll reach out now to gingerly take ahold of her chin, a slow gentle touch urging her to look up at him again. "Whats your name, doll? It seems like this is something I need to know. Everything else too, because if you have lied once, you've probably been lying."
|Elsie||And here she thought she was doing well. She told him a truth! There was progress!
But then he does it. He touches her, moving her face up to look at him. She's slid back against the desk now, with nowhere further to go back. He'll find himself staring down into big, black, frightened eyes that have a light sheen in them of someone who, while not high, isn't quite on solid ground either.
"I didn't lie Mr. Ward," she assures him, slowly and quietly. He can feel her chin trying to tilt down so she can look away. "I just didn't tell you everything, that's all." Lying by omission isn't lying, right? But there's more to be said, and after a brief, calming breath, Surelda says it.
"You really shouldn't touch me, sir."
|Matt|| Matt isn't in an agreeable mode anymore, and he drops his hand a bit to put her chin into the pad between thumb and finger. "If I don't, you won't keep looking at me and it'll be harder to see if you're lying."
"At this point, I'm certain you have a last name and you won't tell me. Which probably means its something shameful. Or embarassing or worrying. You're not a legion or nothing. I must know of your family, cuz otherwise you'd just tell me and it wouldn't matter." He'll reach down with his other hand to start counting poke marks with his fingertip.
|Elsie||Surelda makes a little sound, a slight squeak that could be fear or discomfort from the way he pinches her chin. There is a hulking bruise nearby, after all; the sensitivity likely travels. But for all that, she doesn't actually fight him off in any physical way. No, she's the sort who listens and does as she's told by authority figures, and there's few greater authorities than the man who pays you.
Few, but they're still there. "Mr. Ward, Ashur would be very, very unhappy if he knew you were touching me." It's not a threat. It's not even a statement of fact. She says it like she's warning him of some danger, trying to protect him. Because Ashur is one of those that a man would need protection from.
He'll feel her head shake slightly in his hand, and see her fingers wriggle and her fist clench as he touches the marks on her arm. "Why's my name even matter?" she asks, her tone becoming more tangible, less guarded with the sirs and Mr's.
|Matt||"It only matters because you lied to me about it." Matt furrows his eyebrows at the mention of Ashur, then rolls his eyes. "Maybe if I had been paying a bit more attention, we wouldn't need to be worrying about Ashur, huh?" Matt does let her go now, taking a knee in front of her instead. "Theres only one or two family names that I would know, and you might know that. That would bother me. I think we both know what it is then."|
|Elsie||Surelda does seem to relax when Matt disentangles his hand from her face, and while he's still very close when he kneels, he's no longer touching her, save for the finger on her arm if he's not yet finished counting. When he rolls his eyes, she speaks. "I don't understand," she tells him, honestly.
She keeps her knees drawn close, as if to keep an invisible line between them. Her eyes remain on his, meeting his gaze out of concern and confusion. For a moment, it appeared as if she might cry, but the tears don't fall yet. Perhaps that's just the gleam of chems in her eyes; hard to say. We both know what it is, he says. "We do?" she asks, her voice sounding quieter and ... more tired. It's pretty clear he's nearly worn her down.
|Matt||"C'mon. I thought that I was a good boss, you know all of my secrets. I can't protect you from things I don't know about." Matt'll stand back up again and reach over to grab that Daddy-o and toss it up and down in his hand a few times. "Tell me what you're hiding, I'll make sure you stay in chems, the good ones. And you won't miss any work. How is that sounding?"|
|Elsie||Surelda exhales a choppy breath when Matt moves away from her. A tear rolls down her cheek ... she cannot pass her courage rolls today to save her life. She brings her hands to her lap, curling her index fingers around each other and twisting nervously. She doesn't look at him, at least not until he picks up that Daddy-O. The good stuff ... not just Jet and Daytripper, but Daddy-O and Calmex. The real stuff. She watches the vial with open desire, and wets her lower lip nervously. Another tear slides down her face, and her eyes focus on Matt once more.
The realization of the word that's about to leave her lips hits her, and she lets out a little sound of despair. But really, she cannot pass a single roll today for anything. It's awful. And so, barely above a whisper, a name slips from her lips.
|Matt|| Matt repeats the name, "Solomon" And his mind clicks ahead a few paces. Crime family, still rustling up stuff north of Jack's Town and causing problems.
He will go and break Ashur's rule some more and settle a hand upon her shoulder, "I'm thinking you don't like your family. I'm thinking you don't wanna go back to'em. Make up a new last name and just live it. Alright? I'll make sure they don't try and draw you back in again." He'll offer up the double-vial of Daddy-o to her. "You take these from me, means you don't get them from anywhere else, alright?"
|Elsie||Surelda flinches her shoulder away from the touch, but of course there's not really far for her to go if Matt insists. She will settle back in her seat though, once the Daddy-O is offered over. She reaches up to take it gingerly with those long, pale fingers of hers. Matt gets a nervous glance, and then an obedient nod.
"No one's ever asked about my name before, I didn't think anyone'd care," she admits, sniffling back another tear. "Are you still going to fire me, Mr. Ward?" She'll look up at him again at that question. She keeps the Daddy-O vials tight in her hand.
|Matt||Hes been standing now since the admission. Matt's fingers flick away whatever tears have fallen. "Not at all. I told you that you're my favorite radio girl, maybe even my favorite employee. I worry about you enough." He'll tap his fingertips on the vial in her hand before turning to eye the rest of his stash. "I'll stick'em in my safe. Come find me when you want another...is Daddy-o okay? Or do you like other stuff more?"|
|Elsie||She'll flinch away from that hand, too. Matt won't get to touch her without Surelda at least making an attempt to pull away from him. She turns to keep her face low, and nods at the answer of his question. "Calmex is what I like most," she admits, quietly. "But Daytripper and Jet are what get me through my day." Yeah, she's not just an addict. She's an uber addict. Surelda sniffles once more, her heart rate starting to slow now that she no longer seems to be in danger, or at least in percieved danger.
"Can I take them home, whatever you'd be willing to give me?" she asks, looking hopefully in Matt's direction. "It's just ... Ashur likes to be the one to manage all of my chems. He'd be pretty pissed if I were getting them from someone else, without his involvement."
|Matt||He let something slip out of his grasp it seems. Surelda seems to be all tied up in Ashur's craziness. "That is making me worry a great deal. Maybe you shouldn't let so many people jerk you around with chems, huh?" He'll move to sit back in his chair at his desk and throw his feet up onto it. Boots thud as he does so. "I'll think 'bout it."|
|Elsie||At this point, that's all Surelda can really ask for. So she nods a few times to Matt, her lips turned downward into a pout. "Thank you," she tells the man for his consideration. After another moment, she shyly slips the vials of Daddy-O into her dress pocket, and then glances at the table. She'd been intent on putting markers in there for the end of her shift, but now that all seems so very far away.
"Should I go now, Mr. Ward?" she asks, turning those big black eyes up to the man again.
|Matt||"You don't gotta stick around if you don't want to. Pretty soon you'll be getting kinda busy though." Matt remembers something and starts to bring it up with Surelda. "We're gonna open up that big headquarters building and its gonna need a place to eat...diner, bar pub, saloon or whatever. I think you'd be good at running a place like that."|
|Elsie||Surelda's eyes widen from her place in the chair beside Matt's desk. "Run? I'm flattered, Mr. Ward. Really. But I think you'd need someone rather smart for something like that, wouldn't you? I'm only just now getting 'hang of the radio," she explains, still a bit sheepish from their previous interaction. "I can cook a little, and I used to tend bar. Those are things I know how to do." But her intelligence for great things is somewhat lacking. No doubt, by now, Matt will have seen her shoddy excuse for hand writing in some of the paperwork they've had to do.
She continues to sit there, perched on the edge of her seat, watching the man and listening to his words with interest.
|Matt||"You seem pretty smart. Some, uh, bad decisions don't detract from that. Besides, most of runing a place is like that." Matt pulls back the stuff he was working on off the pile hes got on his desk and tries to find his place again. "Would you just...be careful out there? Plenty of people lookin to take advantage."|
|Elsie||Surelda nods a few shallow times. "Yes, sir," she responds. It sounds like a dismissal, so she takes it as one. She moves to rise to her feet, reaching down to make sure the Daddy-O is still safely in her pocket. It is. Then she lifts her hand to her face, cupping the sore cheek where the very weight of her jaw seems to sometimes cause pain to remind her that it's there. Her hand falls from that, too.
She picks up her notebook. "I'll come finish the map when you're not busy, Mr. Ward," she reports to him. Giving him one more nod, she turns to head for the door.