2011 07 26: Lagniappe

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Mission report found.

Mission Name: Lagniappe
Date of Mission: Jul 26 2011
Locale: Elliot's Used Books — Upper East Side - Manhattan

Ms. Reid does a bit of shopping, and picks up a little something extra.

Ilya Mackenzie

There never a lack of customers, here at Elliot's. Indeed, the used bookstore seems to collect its patronage from the entire breadth and depth of the population of the city proper. Everyone from school-aged patrons choosing used books over new to stretch the dollars of their allowance, to the collectors who venture in to peruse the more eclectic selections. Most seem to be in the store with an eye for what they want already, and the woman(Mackenzie) perched precariously on sky-high stilettos on a step stool along the first row of classical literature seems no exception. Dressed as though she's just come from some sort of power lunch, she seems more concerned with comparing what appears to be a book list of some sort on a tablet PC to the offerings on the shelves, than in her own safety, as precarious as her hold on stability seems to be. Her voice is soft, a lilting Scottish burr, but so quiet, it's obvious she's speaking to herself, rather than to anyone in her vicinity.

Add one more person to the list of customers at the moment, as the door opens and a man at least those that follow professional sports might recognize. It's the sportswriter Victor Evans. Looking around for a few moments, Ilya, as his name really is, starts moving along the shelves, humming a bit absently to himself. For once, his iPod isn't on, it would seem.

"Reduce the reference, pad out the literature…possibly rework the leather, five cases, six shelves" it's all very stream of consciousness, as the hand not holding the tablet and stylus hover over the spines of the books closest, not touching, but allowing the tip to trace the line of the shelf, before she pulls one down, a weighty tome, which, while appearing not recently read, is nevertheless free of dust or the accumulation of grime. Rather than toss the book down on the floor or tuck it under an arm, it's set down on another surface, this time the three-quarter ladder to her left. The sound of an approaching voice does garner Mackenzie's attention, however, and the woman looks away from her work long enough to focus her attention on the sound of the familiar voice, even if the man that goes along with it isn't yet in view.

Ilya continues to hum, until he breaks into soft singing at the chorus part. "Into the great wide open, under the skies of blue…" He's coming into view about now, as he moves over in the direction of one of the shelves with biographies now. "Out in the great wide open, a rebel without a clue…"

"Decided to join the ranks of the paparazzi, have you, then, Mr. Evans?" With the man approaching close enough to spot the first hint of him, Mackenzie looks back to what she's working on, adding another book to her collection, her voice light, not flippant, but decidedly humoured, as she speaks. "I hear that it does eliminate the red tape."

Ilya's singing trails off as he hears that, but there's a grin on his face as he offers a bit of a shrug. "Not really. Just taking a few moments to check if there's any interesting new books. Always good to update my knowledge, you know." A shrug at the part about the elimination of the red tape, "That would be useful, though." He then studies the woman carefully for a few moments. "How about you? Finding something interesting there?"

"Nothing that I haven't seen before. I'm going a library remodel for a client who thinks Harlequin is high-value literature." It's nothing the man wouldn't be familiar with. He probably knows just as well as Mackenzie herself, how much of the persona of the rich and famous is good lighting, the right props and the proper soundbites. "This isn't the sort of place I pictures you doing research." With her collection of books seemingly in line, she does tuck the tablet under an arm, holding out her other hand towards the journalist, the gesture very Victorian, as though she were attempting to step down from a carriage and not a stepstool.

"Let's hope the client will get an eye-opener from those books, then," Ilya offers as he takes the hand held out towards him, holding it gently as the woman steps down. As to the part about his research, he shrugs a little bit. "I check in from time to time to see if there's any new sports books that seems to be rather interesting. Once in a while I happen to find some too."

"You mean when she isn't getting Cheetos crumbs all over the five hundred dollar bedsheets we ordered for her master suite?" A light lift of her fingers as, having stepped down, Mackenzie retrieves her hand to settle herself back onto her feet, before she reaches out to start collecting the books she's gathered into a hand basket. "So what you're telling me, is that you have a one-track mind."

Ilya shakes his head, with a bit of a grin, "No, I can truly admit that I have at least a two-track mind. I also checks for the music books." It's offered with a bit of a chuckle.

"Well, they do seem to go together. Have you ever considered a change of occupation? I'm sure we could find something suitable for you at Sense Surround." Once the books are gathered, the tablet is slipped back into the folio it was taken out of, and that settled back into the structured Hermes bag at the base of the ladder, the lot lifted. The bag onto her shoulder, the basket into her hands. "Although you probably have too much journalistic integrity for that." Mackenzie does pause, to settle the stepstool safely out of the way, the ladder to follow, before she begins to make her way towards the end of the aisle.

"I considered it once, but only for a few moments, really." Ilya offers a bit of grin, before he adds, "There's one fundamental thing holding me back from a change of occupation, you see."

"It's not the benefits package, is it? I do offer excellent dental." With everything gathered together, Mackenzie pauses, at the end of the aisle, as if to see if the man will come along with her, or leave her to finish up her purchases without him. "And I know it can't be the drugs. I have it on very good authority," she offers, with that sort of feminine look that says, 'Yes, I've probably gotten your lady friends to spill all their secrets,' "That you've never acquired the taste for the athlete's drug of choice."

Ilya pauses for a few moments as he sees that look, shrugging a little bit. "Actually, it's the simple fact that I really enjoy my work," he replies, moving in Mackenzie's direction now. "That's an effective way of staying in the same career."

A light toss of her head, as she waits patiently at the end of the aisle, allowing the man time to come up to meet her, "I can think of a few more effective ways, myself. Perhaps we could discuss them over dinner. I have a reservation at a wonderful little sushi bar just outside of Gramercy." There's a slight pause, "Unless you have other plans?"

Ilya considers that as he catches up to her. "That sounds like an excellent idea," he replies, after a very brief pause. "And no, no other plans at the moment."

"Then it's settled," comes the woman's reply, as Mackenzie heads on over towards the counter to make her purchases, her tone matter-of-fact as if the fact that the writer would accept her invitation was a foregone conclusion. The checkout itself doesn't take terribly long, the purchases made from the corporate account out of which she'll invoice the client. "I have a car waiting." It's just how the woman rolls. She doesn't really do public transportation unless it can't be avoided.

Watching as the woman makes her way to the counter, Ilya nods at her words when she returns. "Lead the way," he offers, with a bit of a smile. Glancing around the store for a few moments, then focusing back on the woman.

The books carefully packaged, in rather old fashioned brown paper, before they go into an earth friendly reusable shopping tote, and Mackenzie settled about her business, the woman exits the shop as she entered in, with that confident sashay that says that the world and everything in it, is her oyster. Whether or not that includes the journalist walking along with her, well….it doesn't do to give away all a woman's secrets.

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