Blue & Blonde

Blue & Blonde

February 22nd, 2024 – Thursday 8:45 AM

The offices of Musel, Klaussowski, & DeRolo were to be found on the 45th floor of the Jade Tower. Located in the Silver City district of Society Hill. Katherine felt odd having come to the “Hill” twice in the same week. Had Garrick not asked her to do so she might not have come to the meeting.

Janosh Klaussowski the III greeted them both in the reception area and Katherine saw Garrick do something out of character for what she knew of him. When Janosh went in for a hug Garrick hugged him back and they smiled at each other like friends whom had seen some stuff together. Garrick looked almost more relaxed around Janosh or Mr. Klaussowski than he might have with her! Garrick did not forget Katherine and introduced her as his light in the darkness to Janosh. Janosh put his hand over his heart and bowed, “Madam, it is a pleasure to meet anyone that can make my friend sound like his namesake.” He was as charming as the Gryphon was.

This was the only person she knew that called Garrick a friend and wasn’t on the team. Janosh brought everyone into his office and mentioned to his secretary when she had a moment could she get them coffee and water. Katherine noted that his secretary was stunning and she wondered what might happen if they hit the town on a “hall pass?” A mistake she’d not make twice until she learned more about this polyamory style of relationships. Although, she’d surmised she likely matched or just surpassed Garrick’s knowledge with last Monday, given his lack of actual experience. They caught up about what each of them had been up to for the past two months, until Garrick said, “I need to make sure what comes next is client lawyer privilege, and yes, she can stay because I trust her.”

Janosh folded his arms and said, “Okay, lay it on me.”

Garrick stood and walked into the center of the room, stretching out his arms, “Grant unto me the might of the Gryphon.” The wave of golden mercury-like liquid came off his left wrist this time and after it washed over him the Gryphon stood there floating a few inches off the floor holding Ashmadiel in his hand! Janosh’s eyes were wide but he nodded, “So, you are to be my first superhero client? For Pete’s sake don’t tell me you’re a Maverick.” Gryphon dismissed his sword into a piece of armor on his left forearm. Janosh looked at how Katherine was looking at Gryphon which prompted him to ask, “Katherine are you also a powered individual? Given the hair color and his outfit would you be Miss Amazing?” She looked very stunned and he tossed her a copy of the Silver Hill Sentinel shooting a picture of them having date night at the casino.

“Yes, that’s my hero identity,” she replied.

Gryphon then changed back to Garrick and he explained how he met Katherine and the road that brought him to S.A.V.I.O.R. without giving away anyone else, save one member of the team. “Janosh, you won’t believe it but Trip, my centaur pal is actually a shapeshifter! His main shape is really the Beast!” Janosh nodded and shrugged while waving his hands to either side as if to say, figures. When Garrick handed him his copy of the contract with Spirit Enterprise. Janosh read it but looked up after he saw the first initial, then he quickly shot through and looked up, “Dammit Garrick, why am I your lawyer if you’re going to sign something before I read it? You’re so lucky this company isn’t trying to screw you. I mean come on they somehow wrangled Xander Financial as the underwriter! They don’t do anything directly for anyone not in Victoria Beach or Avalon!”

He asked if he was to represent the two of them in something related to the Papa Zombie debut of Spirit Enterprise’s team? Garrick said no, but he didn’t want to hide it in case he ever had to in the future for either of them. Janosh thanked them both for their confidence and would be willing to get read up on these matters in case his services were needed. Garrick then mentioned he had some questions about non-standard marriages such as polyamorous families. Janosh raised an eyebrow and said, “As long as all of us understand we are not discussing polygamy then fine, group marriages I can check on for precedents but I don’t think there are any. For dating or living arrangements you can do what you want, but civil unions are still a binary (two person only) affair. The country’s still reeling and recovering from the Conservative sabotage of the previous decade. Group marriages are still likely a ways off so you both should probably consider a pre-nuptial document disclosing the right for either partner to engage in intimate encounters with other parties outside the marriage bed.”

Katherine raised her hand, “Could such a stipulated document also include terms for closing off this “right” for short, long, or indefinite terms based on circumstances to preserve the core marital unit?”

Janosh smiled at Garrick, “You need to keep her! That’s a good question because group relationships are a great deal more work than just two people. Certainly that could be part of such a document. It’s not romantic to think about it, but it does spell out the expectations and no one would be left wondering by a lack of communication.” Garrick mentioned marriage might be a ways off but he wanted Janosh prepared because he’s been seriously thinking about it given everything they have been through. Janosh cautioned them both to wait for at least a year or two, so they could really know each other better.

The meeting was going well, and Garrick brought up some property purchases. He mentioned offering Mallic Robotics the final third of the building for an extra $600,000 per year. The next step was to purchase the Zericho Wax Museum, one rental property in Norwood at 42 Wallaby Way, and finally one or two properties near the Norwood address or in Willingham.

Janosh wasn’t a real-estate lawyer, but a quick search doesn’t show that the Wax Museum is on the market. He’ll make some calls, see what he can find out. Janosh continues by letting Garrick know he’ll look into those other properties, too. He’s starting to get excited as Garrick’s excitement starts to spill over to him. Garrick turned to Katherine, “One of those two extra homes is going to be our new house, so I was hoping you’d help me pick it out.”

Garrick could practically see the stars in Katherine’s eyes. But dim slightly as she finally asks, “A home for us, or or a home for us and others? Also which others?”

Janosh keeps shaking his finger and nodding as though she is asking the intelligent questions, “Garrick, if you loose her I’ll stab you. Seriously, beautiful, calm, rationally thinking out situations. Madam, you are your hero moniker! Bravo!”

“I had not planned on anyone living with us. I could see parties like Monday night, but nothing over a weekend because it’s our home, our refuge. Maybe several years down the road if we decide that a more communal environment would work better. Then and only then, we get a bigger house at that point. I also don’t think I could manage more than four relationships without going nuts or shafting someone on time, including me! You’ll always be #1 because without you none of this is possible. So to re-cap it would a home for us.” Garrick could practically see the stars return brightly in Katherine’s eyes.

When Garrick expressed concerns about his hero work affecting his job, Janosh cautioned him to talk with both his employer and the agent at Spirit to work something out. If that couldn’t be reached then they would discuss what his options regarding the properties, payments to Imelda, and other items would be. Next to last thing was Garrick asking that 1% of his portfolio be liquidated and setup into a savings account for Katherine that has a decent to good interest rate accessible after 24 hours upon the confirmation of his death. Even though his “Living Will” will now grant her 60% of his estate this will give her some immediate cash. Garrick turns to Katherine and says, “I need you to know that I want you protected even if I’m not there to do it, because you’ve given me the ability to explore my potential polyamourous nature that seems to fit how I might love people. Plus our work is really dangerous!”

She could see how he cared so freely, but what would that mean for his retirement income she wondered and asked, “What about the other girls?”

“Let’s give it time, for such relationships to develop. You have been through so much and there’ll be so much more to go through. It’s not romantic but you have earned this. No one else has at this time.”

This time Janosh mentioned to Katherine, “Okay, okay you need to keep him as well.”

February 22nd, 2024 – Thursday 6:45 PM

Despite his early arrival at 6pm Kizl’s doesn’t seat Garrick too early only 15 minutes prior. Shortly before 7:00, he gets a text message from Ramona. “Are you coming tonight? Haven’t heard anything from you. Missed seeing you on Tuesday…” He sent her a reply he was stuck at work dealing with a personnel issue. He was also meeting with the top brass and still waiting for his test server to finish a report. He would call her in the morning just to check in and said sorry for being a ghost. He then sent his phone into silent mode after setting up a out of office message that he was off site at a work function.

At 7:00, Constance walked into the private room wearing a nice outfit that leaves little to the imagination while still managing to be just barely appropriate for a business meeting. “Dressed to impress” followed by “Oh my god” is what ran across his mind. She smiled slyly at him and closes the doors behind her.

As she comes over to the table Garrick stands and gets her chair. Once she’s seated she looks at him silently as he walks back over to sit. She takes in his look, his demeanor, his presence, and then starts making pleasant conversation.

“This was worth coming back early for,” she said with a grin and a nod to Garrick. “It took four years, but it looks like we finally got our dinner. And without my brother here to interfere, too. He’s a good man but so overprotective sometimes.”

When the waitress comes in Constance orders one of their more expensive wines. She hand waves off the adorable effort he makes to pay for it. As the waitress leaves she starts talking about her trip, and the Robot Swords negotiations for Mallic to support a possible new movie. She does now, at this time, say this information is not public so he should make sure he doesn’t say anything about it. Garrick nods and says he understands given both RS-2 and RS-3 were very hush hush until the studios made it public.

It comes up in the conversation that Constance re-arranged her entire week to be able to get back tonight, for this meeting with Garrick. She’s a bit pleased that she was able to make this work, though it really was the soonest she could get here. Her plane arrived only a couple hours ago.

“Oh my, I didn’t mean to make you, I could’ve waited. Constance, I …”

Leaning forward Garrick has a rather abundant view of her cleavage and the hint of red wine colored lingerie, “Four years Garrick. I’ve waited four years and I know you remember because you bought that jacket when Brandon teased you about taking me out in 2021. You hung it in your office for a month with a note saying – one more time. You chose that jacket for tonight of all the items you could wear. Don’t tell me you weren’t hoping I was thinking the same thing.”

“I remember the promise and the bet, I realized I lost when I saw the invite and read the reviews. I’ve wanted to date you, among other things since 2020, but I didn’t want to screw up a good thing we all had. Being your friend and someone you could trust was more important and any self-gratification I might wish to indulge in.” Garrick looks cute when he’s a little uncomfortable Constance thought to herself.

Running a finger down her cheek and over her bottom lip as she thinks about his words, “You’ve been thinking about me since that night?”

Garrick gulped and Constance found herself biting her lip, “You could say, you are the reason I have a fascination with blonde hair on women. Only recently did I even realize I like blue colored hair as well. Umm, so about…”

“Garrick, the business can wait. You look so handsome and nice, so much better rested. I’ve heard that you’ve finally been beginning to moderate yourself and not get too overloaded.” Garrick smiled as Ashmadiel laughed in his head that she’s in for a surprise. Garrick just asked his angelic partner to please let him unload his new life slowly. He felt the affirmative response in his head and his sword was quiet once again.

When the appetizer arrives the assortment of chrysanthemum flowers pleasantly surprises her, “I also tried to pay for the dinner but you had this place on lock down. You are the first woman to EVER get the drop on me when it comes to the check.” Constance smiles at his gracious admission of defeat. Just then she noticed one of the scars on his neck. Ever since that night in 2020 she learned nearly everything about Garrick she could track down and she made sure her eyes darted back up to his to avoid making him uncomfortable. She redoubled her efforts to just be very chatty in general.

When the entree’s arrive, after two of them start earing, Constance just up and says “So, what’s this about super powers?”

Garrick scans the room and avoids looking at her, then sets his napkin on the table, “It’s so much easier if I just show you quickly. He takes a few steps back moving his chair out of the way and says, “Grant unto me the power of the Gryphon.”

The golden mercury and bright wash of light passes from his right wrist and when it passes vanishing into mist he is garbed and holding his sword! Floating a few inches off the ground she easily recognized him from various papers and the news, “Change back, oh Gryphon of Norwood, you need to answer some questions about your sleep habits, buster.” She tried to look stern but she remembered reading the Silver Hill Sentinel’s report about the violence in Waingroh. The Gryphon and Miss Amazing saved some 20 plus people from gangs trying to take over the building! There were pictures, video clips of the Gryphon fighting, being a shield for the families hiding on the roof. Constance realized she was talking to the man that had withstood a RPG blast and then showed up to work the next day! He never tooted his horn, this ex-con was given effectively ultimate power and he chose to help others. Now she had her chance to have him and finally push their story forward.

“Take from me the power of the Gryphon.”

When Garrick reappeared his clothing looked fine and he resumed his seat, “One of the many powers at my disposal is a healing factor that allows me about 5-6 hours of sleep in 1-2 hours when I am transformed.”

She thought about his future work habits and him never sleeping! Oh she would find ways to curb that, “What about the sword? Is that the source of your power?”

“Yes, Brandon said he intended to tell you when you got back but was happy I could do it personally.”

“Well, I am all yours tell me everything,” She listens intently to what Garrick has to say. He begins with how he came across the blade the same way he explained it to Brandon. Then how he saved an elderly woman from a mugging about a year ago. Then how he met the Geist, became a Maverick 5 weeks ago. To becoming a registered hero to part time hero work for Spirit Enterprise. He does avoid the trip to Antarctica, but doesn’t hide the Norwood Knights, Miss Amazing, Hyperia or his budding polyamorous relationship(s).

“The box part has to be bullshit, it’s the one part of your story lacking the same details. I won’t judge you but give me the truth, Garrick.”

The look she saw on his face made her almost change her mind, she clearly drug up something big and he went back to how his father died, the truck heist, how he got the box off the truck. The hiding of the box and his arrest shortly after that. Then he explained Gramercy in the same detail he had shared only with Hyperia and Miss Amazing. He removed his jacket and unbuttoned the top two buttons of his shirt as he showed two scars during his story. When she heard about the great scar on his back and how he got it, so many questions she had about his quirky behavior clicked into place. As her heart was beginning to break for him he stopped and said that he’s happy for the first time, about all of it. Because now he can try and help people in a way he never thought he could. Now he has the ability to accept he’s not broken anymore and love is a real thing he can learn and share with people again. His heart is finally open to possibilities and he can finally explain why he’s been to “chicken shit” in accepting every time Constance tried to make this happen before.

Garrick had never really been so forthcoming with his feelings, but she never knew the pain he suffered everyday. There was that same feeling again she felt back in 2020! It’s been present over the years but a strong pang of it just hit her in the chest. Her experience with negotiating deals allowed her to recover when he asked what paperwork he may need to fill out being the employee that happens to be a super. She mentioned she spent some time on the flight looking into the rats nest that is superhero law. Constance told Garrick, “It’s a bit more complicated than just filling out paperwork. If you’re going to be a public hero and work for Mallic, there’s insurance changes they have to negotiate, competitive business rules they have to navigate, and a whole host of other red tape nonsense. Constance never talks to him about this as if it’s an inconvenience though. It’s very matter of fact to her and several balls have tentatively been started rolling.

“Wait, I don’t have to hide my identity, you’re both okay with that?” Garrick looked like someone told him it was his birthday! She nodded and the look of surprise and joy on his face reminded her of the TEDtalk he gave. “So, then what are my guidelines for conflict of interest from Mallic Robotics?”

“Well, to be 100% certain I would have to have our lawyers look over your contract with Spirit. However, based on what you’re telling me I don’t think there’s any conflict of interest. It seems as if Spirit set your team up as a part time thing, and as long as you work for Spirit doing “only” hero work and not with any of their manufacturing subsidiaries, it should be fine.”

“So I can keep my job? This is just awesome!”

It was becoming difficult to not just smile as he got more and more excited. Oh, my she noticed some definition in his chest. He’s been working out quite a bit now she thought to herself as she answered him. “That’s really up to you. We’d hate to lose you – Brandon and I can of course keep Mallic running but you’ve been a large part of our success for so long.” She finishes her fourth glass of wine as the desserts are brought in. “I’d hate to lose you. Especially now, when we’re finally moving forward.” Garrick wasn’t sure by the way she said that if she’s talking about Mallic moving forward, or the two of them. The desserts are a welcome distraction as he’s blushing but thinking there’s no way she’d date me in a polyamorous fashion, right?

“Uh, there’s still one small issue left in regards to Blake Masters seeming to hate that I’m a powered individual now…”

Constance waved her hand as she often does in meetings to get people’s attention, “If I have to choose between him and you, it’ll be you every time. That’s not even a question.” Blake Masters was about to get a rude awakening the following morning. When Garrick smirked briefly, Constance asked him what was he thinking.

“It almost sounded like we were dating, but there’s no way I could see you wanting to be with me unless it was a solo engagement.”

“Garrick, the facts are if we had begun dating in 2020, we’d be married now. I knew I cared for you then and that has not changed in four years. You think learning to share you with another hero and a dance instructor is going to stop me from having you in my life? You’re crazy. You’re not leaving without giving me, Ameera was it? Yes Ameera’s number. Then tomorrow I will need you to come with me to Spirit so I can make the request to have a copy of the contract on file. I’ll also act as one of the witnesses to your telling them you want to be listed as a public hero. I know you have my personal cell just give it to Miss Amazing or I can leave my contact information with Spirit and ask them to schedule a meeting between us. So everything I just said hinges on your answer to this question.”

“Okay.”

“Are you willing to put in the work to make sure we can work together, spend time as it becomes available for us and still take care of your other commitments to your job, hero work, and the other women in your life?”

“Yes.”

A sly smile of success crosses her lips, “Then we’re dating sweetheart and don’t think this night ends without at least a good, long four year wait worthy kiss!”


Art by: AZ_Artisan
Come watch the next game for our super friends on HippoTV!

 

2 Replies to “Blue & Blonde”

  1. Constance was 2 hrs to sketch and color, then 2 hours to shade her when I got home from work. I am super pleased how she turned out compared to her original picture. Capturing her mood in a different expression was tough. Hope those in the know enjoy the #CriticalRole joke at the beginning.

    As for the kiss I thought of it. He follows her to her house and they go into her backyard. He summons the power and takes her about 1,000 feet up in the sky with her held in his arms, and the nearly full moon behind them. They kiss and slowly descend and upon the landing, he relinquishes his power to return to the kiss as just Garrick. Then, after a time in an embrace, Constance scoots him out reminding him she can’t make a bad impression on Miss Amazing and there will come a night he’ll be her’s for 24 hours. Just not tonight. As he is leaving she is leaving a message to book a private lesson at Ameera’s dance studio. (NOTE: This part is just in my head, the GM may go a completely different direction.)

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