5373/The Bakery Around The Corner

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The Bakery Around The Corner
Date of Scene: 27 February 2021
Location: 8A - Viola's Loft Apt
Synopsis: Text messages turn to coffee. And poor Nevel's tongue got stuck in the napkin dispenser.
Cast of Characters: Viola Fiore, Grant Ward

Viola Fiore has posed:
A day or two passes since Viola and college friends went out for the night, drinking margaritas, hitting a Mongolian barbecue, and then going out dancing. That next morning she'd gone through her pockets and found a napkin from the bar. "Gandalf?" she says to herself, and then laughs as she remembers the source of it.

Viola set the napkin aside on her counter and then had continued about her day. But two days later Viola returns from a meeting with a prospective client. Someone rich, throwing a sweet sixteen party for their daughter. Viola sets down her bag, pulling her tablet out that is where she does most of her work. As she sets that down to charge, her eye spots the napkin.

"Gandalf," she says again with a chuckle, picking the napkin up. After a moment she pulls out her phone, and puts the phone number into her contacts. "Grant... 'Gandalf'... oh what was his last name. He said it on his phone call," she says. Viola paces about her apartment, stopping at the window to look out. The sky had been clear earlier, but grey clouds are drifting by overhead, turning it overcast.

"Ward, think that was it," she says, making the entry Grant 'Gandalf' Ward? so that she remembers to confirm if that's his name.

Viola settles onto the window seat, looking out the window, rubbing the phone against her chin. She doesn't really think through whether she's going to do it or not, she just hits a moment the impulse strikes her, and Viola looks down at her phone and taps out a text message.

>> Fly, you fools!

Grant Ward has posed:
Grant Ward had spent the afternoon in his suite at the Triskelion, most of it spent sitting on his couch with a file on his lap and more waiting to be perused on the coffee table before him. He had gone for the casual look. Nobody was going to bother him, or so he thought, and he had decided that today was all about catching up. A few cartons of empty takeout sat on the corner of the table, the chopsticks still sticking out of them.

It was not that he had forgotten about his encounter the other evening at The Wick, it was just that he had simply been so busy he had all but forgotten the napkin he was given; that was until his phone went off and he looked at the text message. He could not help but smile at the reference to Lord of the Rings and tapped back his reply. ~~You Shall Not Pass!~~"

The phone was set down on the couch beside him and he picked up another file, flipping through it idly. "Going to need to look into that." The file is set down in a smaller pile upon the table. He then roses to his feet and walked to the fridge in his running pants, opening it and taking out a bottle of water. It was then after closing it he realized he had stuck the napkin to the outside of the fridge; a sign that he had kept it, a sign that he intended to reach out.

Viola Fiore has posed:
Viola had set her phone down after sending the text. Glancing at the phone, maybe wondering if that was a good idea or not. That's the thing with impulse texting, once you hit send you pretty much just have to sit there and live with whatever happens next. And what's really the worst that could happen? That he doesn't text ba-

Her phone chimes and vibrates where it's resting on her leg. She snatches it up, the Wayne Tech phone unlocking as it sees her face and showing her the latest text. She grins and says to herself, "Granted, if I sent that to the wrong number just about anyone could have sent that back to me."

She considers for a moment and taps out another message.

>> Had fun that night. You missed some great Mongolian bbq. Also dancing. Now I'm sitting here unable to tell my 1099-DIV from my 8283 Charitable contributions. If only there was somewhere you could turn to at a moment like this.

Grant Ward has posed:
Water in hand. Mission accomplished. Truth be told, he was peased that she had chosen to reach out. It was not something Grant would typically do. However, how gentlemanly would it be if he had not replied. The phone wentoff again and he capped the bottle and made his way back to the couch, throwing himself down upon it in a careless manner and reaching for it.

He had missed some good BBQ and dancing? Well the BBQ yes, but Agent Grant Ward did not, had not and wasnot going to be caught anything but dead upon a dance floor. That part he was not upset about missing. How should he reply. A damsel in obvious distress over taxes needed his assistance. He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees and tapped out his reply.

<<I had fun as well. You brought some light to an evening that needed a bit more, despite being in a place called The Wick. Don't touch anything more. The dreaded 1099-DIV and 8283 Charitable contribution conundrum is a road you do not want to go down without help. I need coffee. Do you know the Coffee Project in East Village? 30 minutes.

Viola Fiore has posed:
Viola leans back against the brick wall again after sending the text, looking out the window. The sun is going down but it can't really be seen with the clouds overhead, not until it ducks beneath them at least, assuming they aren't already to the horizon.

Her phone chimes again and Viola checks the message. "Do I know the Coffee Project? Do I know the Coffee Project?" she repeats. And then pauses, shaking her head. She tells her phone, "Bruce, find The Coffee Project in the East Village of New York." She got a kick out of naming her Wayne Tech phone's assistant 'Bruce'.

A map pops up and Viola studies it. She smiles and then texts back.

>> Of course I know the Coffee Project in the East Village. That is, my phone's map does. I've never been there before. But I will. In 30... strike that... 26 minutes.

She sends the message off and then hops up. Checks what she's wearing. Good enough, and then grabs her purse, pauses, decides to leave it, pulls out her credit card and ID to go into a pocket and then departs. Next stop, the East Village.

Grant Ward has posed:
<<<See you then.>>> It was a simple reply, but he was already going to change into a pair of jeans, some running shoes and throwing his jacket on. He turned the light off and exited, making his way towards the coffee shop he frequented when he was staying off site of the Triskelion at his other residence. He beat her there, the benefit of knowing where you are going and upon entering decided to wait for her at a table before ordering. Again, another text was sent while he sat. <<<I am there. Move quickly. It looks like rain. Sitting in the back, facing the door.>>>

He leaned back in the chair and looked about, taking in the other patrons. Yet his eyes kept drifting to the door, finding himself seeking the arrival of the young woman. It was not as though he thought she would stand him up, it was that he was starting to realize that he was actually anticipating seeing her again.

Viola Fiore has posed:
The door swings open, letting in am elderly couple. He looks like he's really put a lot of care into that beard. They go over to the counter, and then the door opens again. This time it's a familiar looking face.

Viola steps in, wearing a pair of jeans and boots, with a dark grey, long-sleeved button up blouse. She had a jacket on but is just removing her final arm from it as she steps through, anticipating the warmth of the store as she folds the jacket over her arm.

She looks around the shop, starting on one side and then scanning it table by table until she comes to Grant's table. The pretty young woman breaks out in a soft smile and she makes her way back, dodging tables and chairs to reach him.

"Gandalf the Grey?" she asks with a smile, and checking to see if Grant has gotten himself something already or if he was waiting for her. "Nice to see you again," she says warmly.

Grant Ward has posed:
Why was he so actively staring at the door? He only did that when he was on a stakeout, undercover or casing an area. This was neither of those and yet he was fixiated on the arrival of the tax troubled Bella. Ah the old couple. He actually knew the; Mr and Mrs. Franzhoffer. Everyday at the same time they would come ot the coffee shop and order the same exact thing. Do the NYT crossword puzzle together at the table by the window and then head home.

Yet, the next face was newer to him. A face he had only seen once, yet a face he had not forgotten. He knew nothing of her like the Franzhoffers. Well except she worked as an event planner. Had friends whose names he had already purged from his memory and that she was a big Lord of the Rings fan.

As she meanuevers his way over to hs table, the Agent stands up and greets her with a shake of his head. "I have not yet. I was waiting for you. If I had known we were dressing up I would have put something on that was more fitting." He gentle takes her arm and starts to guide her ot the counter. "Whatever you want...it's on me. They have a wide assortment and it is all good." He stands right beside her, clearly his protective nature kicking in.

It is then that Mrs. Franzhoffer spots him as she turns with her coffee to head to her table, smiling widly and saying in a German accent. "Oh look Fritz...Grant has a friend. Oh you are just so pretty." She seems to be gushing over Viola and places her hand on Viola's shoulder gently. "Grant is such a good boy..." She then turns to Grant and leansin whispering. "You treat her nicely Grant." The woman is then tugged lovingly off by her husband who simply smiles behind that beard. "Come Greta. Let them be."

Viola Fiore has posed:
Viola smiles as Grant rises from the table to greet her. "You look fine," she tells the older man, smiling to him as he takes her arm, accepting his guidance to lead her back over to the counter.

The charming smile from Greta Franzhoffer draws out a beautiful one from Viola, the same as the sun draws out the flowers. "Oh thank you," Viola beams to the elderly woman. She turns to look at Grant as the woman shares her opinion of him. "Is he?" Viola asks. "I was hoping so," she says in a lighthearted tone, "but you never really know in New York, do you? It's good to hear that from someone who knows him."

Viola smiles at the couple, giving Fritz a nod of her head to greet him since they didn't speak directly, and then turns back to Grant. She stands a little closer to him, her arm going about his waist behind his back for a moment as she leans closer. "If you hired them, that was very well done. Though they are much to sweet to be actors," she tells him with a soft laugh, and bumping against his side lightly before withdrawing her arm as the clerk is reading to take their order. "Cappuccino, please?" she orders.

Grant Ward has posed:
Off to the side Fritz is actually getting a small scolding and a light tap to the side of his head as his eyes drift to Viola a oment to long for her liking. The arm around his waist is a bit of suprise but not something he makes a way to pull away from either. In fact as her arm is pulled away and she orders, Grant actually slides his arm around her shoulder. It would appear he does not have to order as a large black coffee is already waiting by the register. "We'll take some of the streussel too."

The clerk nods and rings up the order, Ward taking out his debit card to pay for it as the clerk states. "You can go sit. We will heat it up and bring it out to you."

With coffee in hand, Grant pivots the young woman with a guidance of his arm, shrugging as they make their way back to the table. "They are not actors at all. Fritz actually still runs a clock shop not far from here. I'll take you there sometime if you would like. The man is a magician with watches and clocks." As they reach the table, her chair is pulled out and he will not sit until she does, standing beside the table. "So I decided on the way over here...your tax problem is quite simple actually. So we do not have to spend a lot of time on it. Which leaves us time to get to know one another better. I mean if that is something you would like to do?"

Viola Fiore has posed:
Before Ward is able to pay with his debit card, Viola reaches into her pocket for hers. That exchange happens where they don't need to say anything, but she offers visually and he probably refuses. And then, to show it wasn't a token offer and she's not taking him paying for Viola for granted, she does a second, are you sure, gesture, and only relents if he doesn't give in then.

She returns to the table with him, cappuccino in hand and sets it down on the table. "Thank you," she says as he pulls her seat out for her. She gives a warm chuckle and nods. "We can probably find a better way to spend the time than my taxes," she agrees.

Viola takes a sip of her cappuccino. A peal of thunder can be heard outside, booming across the city, and the light grey clouds overhead are replaced with darker ones, which hasten the evening that was already coming on. She glances out the store front but quickly returns her attention to Grant. "So do you live here in the East Village? And, are you from New York originally, or where did you come from to end up here?" she asks.

Grant Ward has posed:
The darkness outside is certainly noticed and Grant seems ot be analyzing the situation. Do they remain and ride out the impending storm in the coffee shop, or do they retreat to a safehouse; in other words his place around the corner. "I have a place in the East Village. It is not too far from here. And I am not from New York originally. I grew up in Massachusetts if you could call it growing up. My childhood was less than normal and I tend to leave that part of my past in the past."

He sips his coffee and peers at her from behind the rim as the streussel is placed upon the table. A silent thank you nod is given and he sets the coffee down on the table, his fingers wrapping around the warm mug. "And what of you? Are you a native New Yorker? Or were you lured here by the mere fact that you sensed I was living here?" He winks and tugs ofd a piece of the struessel.

You need to try this. Nothing better." He actually offers it to her mouth, extending it to her to sample. "We are going to have to make an important decision soon Vi. Take this to go..brave the rain later, or ride out this storm here."

Viola Fiore has posed:
Viola looks up as the streusel is delivered, giving the person a grateful smile and a soft, "Oh, thank you. It smells delicious." When Ward offers her the bite, she smiles at the older man and leans forward, taking the piece from his fingers and chewing it, eyes on his. "Very good," she agrees with a soft smile for him.

She sips her cappuccino as she listens, giving Ward small nods. The girl's expressive, dark eyes show understanding at the mention of a childhood that Grant chooses to leave behind.

After the question for her, Viola gives a small nod of her head. "Yes, grew up in the city. Lived here my entire life. Went to Columbia then, and graduated last year. I managed to get this beautiful little apartment over next to campus," Viola says, and getting a glow as she mentions it. "Still living there. Fairly happy with it so I haven't really made any designs to move anytime soon. And my job takes me around the city enough I don't know there's a particularly good or bad location as far as work goes."

Viola glances towards the front of the store again. "Hopefully it'll hold off long enough we can enjoy things here and get on before anything bad rolls in." There's another, softer peal of thunder, but no signs of rain drops yet.

Grant Ward has posed:
After she takes the piece, Grant pulls his finger back and reaches for a piace himself. "Hopefully the rain will hold off. If it does not, then we will get wet. It's just water after all. Right?" He winks and takes another longer sip of his black coffee. not setting it down as he replies. "Ah so a New York native born and bred. You have me beat there. Work brought me here, but work also sends me just about everywhere. You know the life of an IRS agent. Have to fix the problems."

"So tell me what made you decide to want to be an event planner? You must enjoy putting on...well events?" It is quite clear that Ward is a little unsure of what she exactly does. Well, to be fair in his mind he believes that she thinks he does taxes. " I think I shoud like to attend one of your planned events to see exactly how good you really are." Another sip of the coffee.

Viola Fiore has posed:
Viola sips her drink and gets a small piece of the streusel to nibble on as she smiles and chuckles. "Well, I suppose in a way. I mean I do love parties and the like. It just sort of happened though. A friend of mine had done some waitressing for the woman I ended up working for, Gloria. She does corporate events, birthday parties, weddings, bar mitzvahs, anniversaries. A lot of celebrity clients, socialites and high society people," Viola says. "Gloria has a good name around town."

The young woman turns sideways in her chair a bit more, crossing one leg over the other. "My friend got me a spot helping in a kitchen for one event. I was saving up to go to Cozumel for Spring Break. And, well some things went horribly wrong that night. The DJ got sick, among other things. And I ended up filling in." Viola gives a soft chuckle, shaking her head at the memory.

"I probably wasn't the best at the music, but Gloria said I had a way with directing the festivities. I ended up getting involved in one of her next events, but the planning it out, the decoration and theme and food and all, just kind of came naturally. I didn't even DJ the event for her, she had me there as an assistant," Viola recounts. "So I spent the last two years of school working part time as her assistant. We did Coby Ward's big birthday party," she says, naming an A list young actor. "A birthday for one of the Stark VPs. The parties for Broadway stars are just crazy. I mean, crazy gay but so much fun," she says, shaking her head and laughing warmly. "So that's what I'm doing. When the Hellfire Club wanted to throw a Mardi Gras party for their members, I put it on. I chose the decorations, the drinks, the music, organized the staff, got it all set up, ran it, got it cleaned up. Not all myself obviously, but heading up a team of people for it."

Grant Ward has posed:
The entire time the young woman is explaining the histroy of how she came to be in he profession Grant is leaning forward on his elbows, making sure he captures every little detail, almost as if there is going ot be a quiz on it later. "So you have bene a DJ and an assistant that put on some events forsome prety big names and now you are doing it all yourself? And you are just barely out of college? You make me feel like I need to accomplish more than simply saving people from audits and assiting them with invesements."

He leans back and sips his coffee, eyes still fixiated on her. "So answer me this Grandmaster Vi...were you suprised when I spoke to you the other night? I was not going to you know, but I am glad I did. Real glad." Another sip and the cup is set down, his finger moving to take anothe piece of the cake.

"Your reputation as an event planner is going to grow in this city Vi. Are you ready for that kind of exposure and workload?"

Viola Fiore has posed:
The younger woman's laughter is warm. Someone who hasn't been broken down at all by life and hard years. Not yet anyway. "Well, we have assistants, and use professional caterers, wait staff, DJs. So it's not alone. But we do the planning, organizing. Keeping the client happy, which is always the important part of any job," she says.

Viola takes a sip of her cappuccino and says, "You know if you want to tell me which part of the government you work for, you can. Or, if you can't, I won't press you. But I agree with my friend Julie's comment on that," Viola tells Ward. Julie had said he was the best damn looking tax man she'd ever seen if so.

The young woman's eyes take a moment, studying Grant in a more open way than they have so far. Taking in his face, even looking down at how his clothes fit and what they reveal about his body. "Surprised you spoke to me, no," she tells him. "Surprised that I ended up as glad as I was that you did? A little," she tells him. Her eyes flash a bit of a look at him. "An unexpected, pleasant surprise," she tells him.

"My turn," she says, the girl's lips turning into a mischievous smile. "Were you going to call me if I hadn't first?"

Grant Ward has posed:
The young woman certainly is choosing all the tough questions for him to answer. All the tough ones and he really wants to answer them. However, the shifting in his seat and the looking for his words makes it quite clear that the usually calm and stoic Grant Ward is trying to find the best way to reply to the beautiful young woman across from him. "Well as tax men go...I very well may be the best-looking one in all of New-York." He winks and reaches for his coffee, sipping a moment to buy time.

He lowers the coffee to the table once more andleans forward, speaking softer, his warm breath possibly felt as he does so in her proximity. "I noticed you the moment you walked in. Well, to be fair I notice everyone. You however, warranted a second glance, then a third...and..." He stops and smiles. "So you are glad I spoke to you?"

He reaches a hand across the table and lightly places it over the young woman's. "Was I going to call you if you hadn't first? Well that is the question of all questions. I lost track of the number of times I picked up my phone and thought about it. I think if you had not done so...I would have by this evening. I commend you for breaking the ice the second time around."

It is then that Greta and Fritz appear to be leaving, but not before a stop over to Grant and Vi's table. Greta leans over and actually places a kiss on Grant's cheek, and Fritz takes it as a chance to do the same to Viola, a respectful peck to her cheek from the older German man. Greta appears to allow it, afterall, fair is fair, but she then smiles to Viola and takes Vi's other hand. "You hang onto this one you pretty little thing. He's a S.H.I.E.L.D agent you know." She winks to Grant and smiles the pair before the couple shuffles out the door.

Well that was a a stunner. Yeah, leave it to Greta Franzhoffer to remember a certain mission in her neighborhood in which Grant assisted her. He smiles across to Viola and squeezes her hand. "I can't even do my own taxes."

Viola Fiore has posed:
Vi's shoulders and body move in time with the soft chuckle that she gives about Grant's ranking among New York taxmen. "If there was going to be a calendar, I imagine you'd get the cover," she tells him in a light-hearted tone.

The young woman's fingers trace the rim of her cup, the cappuccino mug resting on the table. Her eyes are on it, until she hears him talking about how he noticed her when Viola entered The Wick. She looks up, her head tilting to the side slightly, and her eyes dropping again with a demure smile as she looks flattered.

His fingers that reach across for hers find the young woman's hand still at first. But slowly she moves her index finger, and then the rest of them, turning them just enough to rest within his hand.

Viola looks up as the elderly couple come over to their table. She shines them both a warm smile. The smile turns radiant as she gets the kiss on the cheek. "This one's a heartbreaker, Mrs. Franzhoffer," Viola tells the other woman with a soft smile. She lets Greta take her hand, squeezing gently. "Oh, is he? Well, then I feel a bit safer already," Viola says, her eyes peeking over sideways to Grant to see his reaction. When the couple leave them, she turns her head back towards him, and then laughs softly at his tax comment. "I'll keep it a secret. Or else you'd probably have to shoot me, right?" she says.

Grant Ward has posed:
How do you even follow that? Grant simply sits there and gives her a smile, a genuine smile, perhaps at ease that anything he was trying to hide was now out of the bag compliments of Mrs. Franzhoffer. "Well. That is not how that works. I don't go around shooting people when they upset me. If that was the case half of New York would be dead by my hand."

It is then a woman walks back with her small child and flashes him a glance, seemingly shocked at hearing his comment out of context. "Excuse me? What did you just say in front of my precious little Nevel?" There is a little boy dressed in a perfectly matched outfit with chocolate donut frosting all over his face. Grant looks over to the woman and starts to explain. "No. It is not what I meant..." He then pauses and simply adds. "You're kid is now licking the napkin dispenser Karen." She rolls her eyes and runs after the boy. "Nevel! Germs Nevel!"

His attention turns back to Viola and with his free hand he takes a sip from his coffee, a long sip, draining it. "Want to see some of the East Village before the rain starts?"

Viola Fiore has posed:
Viola Fiore's lips are pressed together and being bit down on, but her eyes are alight, suggesting she's trying to stop herself from laughing. The young woman clears her throat softly. And then again, because the first time wasn't enough to clear the laughter that wants to bubble out.

She turns to look after the woman chasing down young Nevel. "That sounds like a nice idea. I certainly don't want to use the napkins," she softly quips to him. Viola reaches over to the streusel, grabbing the last small piece and offering it over to Grant's lips, before rising then. She picks up her jacket but drapes it over her arm for now. "Just to be clear though," she says, willing to wait for Grant to lead them out, "Are you allowed to shoot people that upset your friends? Pretty please?" she says before flashing a warm smile to the older man.

Grant Ward has posed:
Grant is still shaking his head as he rises from his seat, grabbin ghis own coat and tossing it over his arm as well. The woman is still trying to pull the napkin dispenser out of Nevel's hand as Grant tries to shuffle his companion past the scene, shielding her the best she can from it. "Keep lickin! Nevel. You missed a spot." Grant sees it fitting ot encourage the little brat as he departs. Of course "Karen" shoots him a dagger look, but is only drawn back to he rson when he starts to lick faster."

Grant shuffles Viola to the door as fast as he can safely, "Only if I am off duty. That way there is no paperwork or report that needs to be done. So pick your moments carefully." His arm goes around her and they step out into the street to the crying of a child. "My tongue ith stuck!."