Jim sighed. This was his sister's new friend. She looked good and it was just making him nervous. What to say, what to say? Jim found himself eyeing her strange hat. A fedoro or something. Maybe that could be a conversation? Instead, Jim found him saying, "So, where are you headed?"
"Somewhere that I won't get killed," the woman said. Jim took a swallow. Yes, it wasn't out of the ordinary for people to target artists. Some were a danger, he supposed. Oh well, might as well ask her.
"In that case," Jim said nervously, "wouldn't it be safer if we both stayed in the same place?" The woman looked at him, her blue eyes piercing his head. Or so it seemed.
The dark haired woman looked thoughtful for a moment. Was that amusement? Maybe she thought Jim was hitting on her? Jim nearly started to sweat from the embarrassment. Finally, thank God, she spoke. "Maybe."
Jim smiled widely. Somehow, he liked that answer better than yes. "Care to see where me and my sister stay when we are here?" Jim asked, now more excited at the prospect of having someone else around aside from just him and his sister, "It's a little out of the way, but I assure your safety."
"I suppose I have nothing to lose."
Jim cheered a small victory in his head. Whether it was the company or finally getting a woman inside his home - well, one of them - that excited him more, he did not know."That's the spirit!" Jim said, "Cabby, take us to the Clocktower Square in downtown!" In a lower voice, Jim added, "I bought the old Clock tower and use the top as a base for when Sis is doing her art. Usually I wouldn't show you, but you already know my biggest secret, so..."
The woman started to rummage through through her briefcase before speaking again. "You have my assurance that your 'secret' is safe with me," she said, seeming thoughtful.
Jim sighed in relief at the assurance. "Thank goodness. If someone found out an artist as good as my sister was here, they would stop at nothing to ruin her works."
The woman looked at him oddly for a moment. "Yes...of course."
Well then. That was settled. They had a destination and a mutual trust. Now Jim could enjoy the scenery. After all, there would be plenty of time for talk later."Such a pretty town." Jim nearly jumped. Why hadn't he done that yet? "I almost forgot," He told the dark haired woman, "I am Jim Crea Bell Mort."
The woman took that as a cue. "Jack R-" she said, correcting herself, "Jack Ipper. Pleased to make your acquaintance." They shook hands once more. What was with that stumble? A fake last name? More importantly, why did this woman have such strong hands?!
Oh! He had forgotten something else. Jim cursed himself for his rudeness. "Sis' name is Kera Crea Bell Mort," he said, immediately hearing his sisters threats and curses. Jim sighed and rubbed his head. "And now she is mad at me for telling you that."
"That's too bad."
Jim nods and turns back toward the window. The rest of the trip took nearly half an hour. It was silent the whole way. Only the music of the cabby's radio played. It was a horrid piece, but at least it wasn't any of that new age music. There was always light. Jim truly believed that. Maybe this woman was of like mind?
As Jim watched that pale face and her movements, he realized something. She was tense. He could always tell when someone had something on their mind. What was on hers? Would it be impolite to ask? Well, they had reached the clocktower, so it could wait.
Jim payed the driver and let Jack follow him to the entrance of the old building. From the outside, it looked to be near falling over. But, Jim had issued maintenance on the old structure and managed to restore the inside. It was now stable and even had furnishing. The only reason he didn't fix the outside was because of Kera. She liked the old look.
It takes a little while, but they got inside and climbed the rough stairs until they reach the highest part of the tower. There was a door awaiting them. Plain and simple. Behind that door, however, an extravagant room welcomed them. Though not as beautiful as some mansions he had seen on tv, Jim still loved the large area covered in red and black furniture and wallpapers. It was in a design called 'To Hell and Back.'
"The guest bedroom is that way," Jim said, pointing to where he meant, "And the exits are there, there, and there."
The woman nodded and started walking toward the guest bedroom. "I'll keep that in mind."Jim panicked a little. If she left now, there was no conversation!
The first thing, just say it!"Not much of a talker, huh?" Jim said, cursing himself before settling into a red and black chair. Kera stirred in the back of his mind. Jack just stopped and stared at Jim, as if observing him.
"Let me talk to her!" Kera yelled from behind.
Jim just sighed. "Fine, I'll just take a nap then, sis." Jim pulled out the mask from his own briefcase and placed it on his face. Such a perfect fit, really. The eye holes showed Kera her new target. Well, future target... For now, they were fellow artists. For now...
"So," Kera asked, crossing her legs and watching as her adversary took her own seat, "What is first plan of action?"