a pile of papers

He wasn’t in the habit of wearing the suit and tie. He found it absolutely uncomfortable. Unlike him, Lex wore suits as if he’d worn them all of his life and in a certain way it was almost the truth. For all those endless hours and days, weeks, months and years in certain case, he spent working on particular lawsuits, with particular clients, the suit and tie had always been present. Eoghan, much more in the habit of preferring to own and run establishments such as bars and far-from-fancy restaurants had never needed the suit and tie but it seemed that in this particular meeting, it had been preferable. At least, those had been Lex’s words.

“It’s going to be for all of about an hour, two at most, Eoghan. We go up there, we sit together, his people on one side, the two of us on the other. I don’t mind sitting in as your attorney for this one, my name is still pretty well known in the world and I haven’t died yet, just retired because I had bigger projects to work on. They hand us the paperwork, I look it over, I take note of things if there’s anything shifty going on and that’s that. You sign, they hand us the key, we hand them the first payment over—yes, I know, we could just pay it all in one go but humans seem to prefer things when they’re paid in parts—and we all head off, happy and pleased with what we now have.”

It hadn’t really made putting the suit on any more comforting. The tie around his throat left him feeling as if someone were trying to choke him, that was one of the reasons why he hated turtlenecks too. Always that sensation of his throat being squeezed until something terrible happened.

He laughed softly at the thought, Lex blinking at him from the driver’s side a moment. They were almost there, driving downtown to one of the most recent buildings there was. Eoghan didn’t really understand why they couldn’t have taken care of it all in the church but he wasn’t about to really bitch and complain, all he wanted was to get that paperwork signed, make sure everything was in order and then get back out so he could bring in a crew to start working on the library.

The first things he wanted were the windows and they would have to do them quickly, with the late autumn, almost winter chill settling on them, the air would be more than a little cold. It was the only work they’d have to do outside. Everything else was inside and that meant they wouldn’t really have to stop once it started snowing, so long as the heat was on, that was.

“I was just thinking about how much I hate wearing neckties. Though they’re fabulous on you and I used to love latching onto one to pull you closer to me. Neckties and turtlenecks, I always feel as though they’re squeezing my throat, I can’t help it.”
“It’s going to be a short lived thing and once we’re back in the car, you can loosen the tie and pop open the first two buttons, I promise.”

The building looked brand new, shiny almost even. Eoghan couldn’t recall seeing it get built up and he knew that at the size it had, he could have seen it from the roof of his home, even if they were pretty far away. Maybe Yael had seen it be built.

They stepped out of the vehicle, breath fogging out of their mouth as they moved to the doors to step inside. The place looked absolutely modern, shiny surfaces, sharp angles but still rather minimalistic in look. It was strange. He didn’t much care for it. Then again, with his love of all things old, it couldn’t be all that surprising.

Lex kept a step behind him though Eoghan could still feel his presence strongly at his side. He wasn’t afraid or even uncomfortable at the idea of being where he was, this wasn’t new, this whole buying a building or property thing but this felt different in its own way, he couldn’t really explain it or understand it.

They stopped at the front desk where a young woman with pretty eyes and an easy smile asked to know the reason for their visit. Eoghan told her they were meeting up with Mr. Sartain. Her smile brightened as she looked them over briefly, trying to be discreet though she wasn’t quite as much as she believed. She told them to head to the last elevator on the right and to head to the top floor, the secretary there would then tell them which direction to take. Before they left, she gave them a magnetic card and asked them to bring it back down before they left, if they’d please.

As they walked away, Eoghan breathed another soft chuckle. The whole situation felt a little surreal at this point and it amused him more than anything else.

“I don’t know which one of us she was checking out but she wasn’t exactly subtle about it.” He murmured the words as he took one quiet look at the elevator. There were no buttons to press to call it but there was a reader for a card so he swiped it and the elevator doors swung open.

They stepped inside the spacious moving box, the walls clear and reflective. Eoghan turned to study the floor number buttons on the wall and found only two. One for the ground floor and one for the top floor. “Guess this one only goes to the top, I suppose it explains the card.”

The box’s motions were smooth and after a few moments, the bell rang and the doors, on the opposite side of where they had stepped in, slid open. They stepped out, approached the front desk and were directed towards a meeting room with quite the view. Eoghan didn’t doubt that a lot of folks had probably complained about the height of this building, it towered over everything else and it made their skyline less than appealing with but a single building standing out so tall.

They were seated and before long joined by two men in pristine suits.

As he dropped the magnetic card off at the front desk on the first floor, Eoghan lightly loosened the knot of his necktie, popping his first button undone. He was done with it trying to choke him silly and that was all there was to that. He offered the young woman a smile and a wink before he joined Lex who was rolling his eyes at him.

“You shouldn’t be giving her false hopes, you know.”

“I’ll never see her again, it can’t hurt, really.” He mumbled the words in reply, buttoning up his coat to his throat as they stepped outside. Lex handed him the small suitcase in which all the paperwork was, precious paperwork that he would need to keep somewhere safe and he would. Eoghan hugged it to himself as he sat in the car before he settled it between his feet on the floor of the car.

“So you finally have yourself a good building that won’t fall apart on you in the next few years, how does it feel to know you’re bettering the world?” His voice was softly amused as he pulled them from the parking lot and eased back into the street.

Eoghan chuckled, looking up to the building one last time before it was trying to disappear behind them as they drove away. “I just want to make sure Armin and the kids work in a good environment and I want people to not be afraid too visit their library. So long as I don’t have to step into that brand spanking new building of theirs ever again, I think I’ll be happy. All the smooth lines and up to date everything creeped me out.”

“It was strange, I admit. I’m pretty sure our seller at the top was one of us, there was just something about him.” Lex shrugged, turning at the intersection. “You shouldn’t have to step in there ever again as it is. We have all the paperwork, we have all the keys and I forgot to tell you but the guy you talked to about the stained glass windows called back to say that whatever you’d ordered was now being processed, how are you going to work that one out?”

“Well, I figured that for now, just to change the windows, I was going to have regular, plain old windows set up. I know the stained glass order is going to take some months to complete. So I figured I’d get the contractors fit in the new, plain windows so they’d have that done, then they can work inside and whenever the new windows are ready, more than likely around spring next year, I can have someone come in and change those around.”

It did sound like a plan to him and he knew he was going to be busy again, not half as busy as he’d been with the old library, no, the job that had needed done in there had been extensive, this was different. The building was bigger but in better condition. “This is going to be a fun project.”

“Better be fun, you were getting pretty cranky about the other one, let me tell you.”

“Sorry.”

“All forgiven, let’s just focus on the present and future.”

“Let’s.”

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