Bak'd Brunch

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Jaycy Ashleana
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Bak'd Brunch

Post by Jaycy Ashleana »

Sunday, March 21

Once a week, sometimes every other week, Michelle stopped by Bak'd on Sundays to check in on Mellie and the crew. She helped make a few rush-delivery pies, and then picked up a few strawberry strudels, some authentic Bernadette Hot Chocolate for herself and a chilled glass of water for Jaycy. It was raining, but only just, so she found an unoccupied table with a large umbrella.

Rain wasn't something that often bothered the redhead; resistance to cold helped keep her free-moving through the winter in whatever fashion she desired but lately she'd had an additional helper in the form of the Tower of Air. Elementals followed at her request (never demand) and a light breeze not only rustled stray strands of red hair but also seemed to angle the light mist just away from her.

She was almost enjoying the weather, in fact, and that was why she walked to Bak'd instead of teleporting there as had been her wont for the past several months. It helped she had business down the street and she deemed it a short enough distance that she could afford (and risk) the walk. As the table (and its occupant) came into purview, she lifted a hand in warning greeting before actually arriving. Once she had, she eased into the offered seat, any lingering water seeming to push from the chair and onto the ground around it. There were definite benefits to having elemental friends, it seemed.

"Heyas, hon," she smiled slightly. A flicked glance aimed toward the waiting water and pastries but she didn't yet reach for either. It wouldn't do to presume. "I'm glad we could spend some time today. How are you?"

"Well enough, I had an overdue meeting with Hank." She gestured to the plate with the pastries, and the water, sipping her own cup of hot chocolate. Michelle watched the air elemental's, but none were familiar to her. Which, in all fairness, was to be expected. She had spent woefully little time in the Tower of Air except trying to find Xanth's hidden inner sanctum.

"I've been avoiding Hank for a while," she easily confessed with a little grin. "I'm sure I'm in all kinds of trouble because Brenda's at a loss with me." Of course Jaycy would have a special handler because there were special issues surrounding the redhead ... the governorship and all that came with politics and, well, Jaycy was a bit stubborn. See: the IFL season and her utter contempt for the camera crew and filming process.

"What did you and Hank talk about, if you don't mind sharing?" With a grateful nod, she leaned forward to retrieve a pastry, napkin, and the water. A bite before she put the sweet on her napkin, mmming with eyes half-closing in delight.

Michelle's lips thinned slightly, her eyes drifting around Four Points a moment before returning to Jaycy. "My contract, debts, legal fees. Some of the repercussions from early last year. My options going forward. I think the only reason I'm still on the team is because of Hope, Jewell, and Eden. I'm pretty sure Hank wanted me gone after the Overlord match with Jewell. Bad press."

She sipped on her hot chocolate again, mulling over some of the suggestions Hank had laid out on the table.

She remained silent for a few moments, tilting her head as she pondered possible responses that wouldn't cause more pain. "At the end of the day, it really isn't Hank's choice. It's his job to deal with us and the team as we - Hope - wants them. We're not just a team, we're a family. I knew that when I interviewed here, and I'm more firmly of that understanding now."

She gave a quiet sigh before resuming. "I missed so much of what happened, I wasn't in the City to any degree to know what you went through, but I did see a recording of Hope's press conference about you. It's not a job or a contracted position and she saw no reason to terminate you from Real Rhydin. So... whatever Hank feels, it's not his decision. The only people who can and should judge you are yourself and your captain."

A wan smile appeared, then. "But I can imagine how much you've judged yourself. Do you want to share what happened, and your options going forward?"

Michelle's face tightened, unwilling to think about what happened. But she could talk about the future. "There was ... a lot of bad press. And court cases. Hank and the PR team helped manage a lot of it, and it came with an adjustment of my contract, including public appearances, until things died down a bit. It's been over a year.

"Y'know, I tried for the Diamond right after because Hank suggested it? He said I needed good PR and that becoming Diamond would help. I got you instead." She chuckled, remembering having to face Jaycy three times that winter.

"Anyway, Hank says that if I want some... stability, that I need to up my value. Doesn't have to be dueling. May Queen, Archmage -and by virtue of that, Triple Crown, Governor. Something."

She had to take a sip to hide the grin that was a mixture of sheepishness and pride at the reminder of the first Quest she'd attended since her return ... well, the Quest she'd attended that was the reason for her return. "Well." She finally said, but it was also all she said on that topic.

The other, however, seemed easier to respond to and allowed the smug expression to fade before the redhead answered. "Well, you happen to know the Governor, she likes you, and that's at the very least a place to start, aye? Is there something I can do to help ... up your value, as you say?"

"The thing is, hon, it can't be a stunt. It has to be something you actually believe in and can be passionate about. They'll see it as the stunt it is, otherwise. The easiest way to up your value is to be yourself." Jaycy lapsed into quiet while a hand extended to pick at the pastry. It wasn't that she didn't like it but rather she was deep in thought, watching the ground.

Finally though, she looked up. "What cause do you believe in? I mean something like this ... one time I won a barony where a previous holder had used the manor for a women's shelter, or had a shelter close in the district, and I continued that when I won. I suddenly have another property that I'm finding myself searching for things to do with." A pause and cheeks tinged pink lightly. "I'm not trying to brag, but between Hope's home, Overlord Isle, the Governor's Mansion, the Tower, and a few other places, I'm really not going to be spending much time at Seaside Manor beyond using the beach."

A sip from her water before she leaned forward. "... but we can use it for something good."

Michelle leaned back, puffed her cheeks a bit and blew out a tight-sigh. "I don't know Jaycy. I'm so... torn. I want to help the people I hurt, but I don't think I can do that directly without getting dragged down again. I'll have to think on it." She glanced at her wrist-watch. "Ah, I have to go. I can't be late tonight."

"Thank you for the water and pastry, Michelle." She sighed, leaning back again. "I think we can figure out a way. We just need to ... think about it." She would. And she had some research to do.

"I'd fault you for being optimistic, but it's refreshing." She gave a faint smile, tucked away her mug, and left for Cadentia with a wave. "I'll see you soon, Jaycy."

The redhead watched her for a moment as the woman faded from view, then finished her water and picked up her pastry. Returning the glass, she wandered off herself, munching the treat.

(( Taken from live play with the awesome Michelle - thank you! ))
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