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Hair or Dye: Where Art and Imagination Collide

 
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Grace Low
Gypsy Queen
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


Joined: 18 Jan 2016
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 6:56 pm    Post subject: Hair or Dye: Where Art and Imagination Collide Reply with quote


Open daily in the Marketplace, located across from Weddings by Miranda and next door to the Sassy Owl Saloon.

Style is art. We use line, shape, form, and color to tell the perfect story, to breathe life to our vision. At Hair or Dye, flagship Rhydin storefront of legendary Hair Artist Kaja Keller, we are committed to the belief that your look is your first and foremost expression of your unique identity. Specializing in high drama, we are devoted to getting you that traffic-stopping double take, wherever life may take you.


World Renowned Master Colorist, Kaja Keller

"As a pioneer of the hair painting genre, Kaja Keller has made a name for herself as the gold standard of hair color for countless models, cool girls, editors, stylists and celebrities." Having left a burgeoning career in the New York fashion industry just three years ago, Keller is excited to bring her signature hair painting method to Rhydin.



Master Color Technician, Grace Cassidy

Now featuring the exceptional talent of Master Color Technician Grace Cassidy, well known for breathtaking color combinations using her intuitive knowledge of up to the minute trends and techniques. Relatively new to Rhydin, Grace has already made a splash with her contributions to Fashion Week and the Rhydin Nights Premiere.


With the instinctive vision of an elite artist, Cassidy "studies every head of hair like a 3-Dimensional canvas – intuitively deciding where to place the perfect pop or unexpected streak. While in Grace's care, no creative vision is off limits."

Her fingers defy logic, it has been said, and as a stylist she is unmatched. Committed to bringing art to life for each client, she believes that each hair style tells a story.

During the week of Beltane, Grace ran the wildly successful Hair or Dye Braiding Bar, delighting crowds of eager festival goers with her elaborate creations.


The Salon's Interior. Not your average salon for not your average style

"Whether you're looking for an outrageous change or a simple touch up, our highly skilled professional hair stylists will tailor their fresh, cutting-edge techniques to fit who you are today and want to be tomorrow."





Color Portfolio
Braiding/Style Portfolio
Complete Portfolio





Credits
Hair or Dye Salon, Phoenix AZ
Whittemore House Salon, New York NY
Mudhoney, New York NY
Cherry Blossom Salon, Atlanta GA
Proprietor Image, also useful salon info
Backstories for Grace and Kaja Adapted (and in some part quoted directly) from Here
The "Portfolios" listed above are tagged lists compiled on Tumblr. All images, where credit was available, are tagged with their origins


OOC Info
Feel free to use this setting in your stories! Grace is almost always at work, so no need to check with me if you want to say that she did your character's hair for an event.
If you do the polyvore thing, post it here so I can see!

She's also available for event collaboration -- got a festival, fashion show, movie premiere you want to hire her for? Message me! Always happy to help other players with their events.

_________________

the sun goes down, the stars come out
and all that counts is here and now


Last edited by Grace Low on Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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Grace Low
Gypsy Queen
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


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Can Be Found: Hair or Dye Studios
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hair or Dye Beltane Braiding Bar Participants:

Jewell and Sapphire Ravenlock
Claire Farron
Eden Parker
Thorn and Dia (the Redneck)
Azure Ilnaren
Saila
Cane Devillier (not really. But we appreciate the honorable mention!)
Serah Farron
Sandy and Liam
Josette Wheeler
Emery and Leonie


___

ooc-- big thanks to everyone who had their character stop by and see Grace -- or even just think real hard about it! Had a great time participating in this event and interacting with all of you! Extra big thanks to Jewell for organizing this monster event in the first place!

_________________

the sun goes down, the stars come out
and all that counts is here and now
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Grace Low
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't Miss The Rhy'Din Wedding Fair and Expo, featuring Hair or Dye Studios!

Throughout the month of July, flyers found at the Salon would advertise the Rhy'Din Wedding Fair and Expo taking place Sunday, July 24 at the Rhy'Din Botanical Gardens. Highlighting the fact that Grace Cassidy would be the exclusive hair artist for the Wedding Fair's Fashion Show, the flyer further proclaimed that anyone who took a selfie at the Hair or Dye Booth and tagged the Salon on social media would receive 10% off their next services.



(Thanks to Miranda Granger and Mataya for putting this together and letting us play! If your character is attending the expo, feel free to have them stop by and see Grace in the Guest Thread)
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the sun goes down, the stars come out
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Grace Low
Gypsy Queen
Young Wyrm
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Can Be Found: Hair or Dye Studios
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rhydin Wedding Faire and Expo Hair or Dye Booth Participants:

Hex
Bridget McAlister
Brynne Granger
Layla Wasem
Quinn DeFortes
Saila DeFortes
Misery Postu
Mark Barlow (...who admittedly got strong-armed into it, hahaha)

Thanks so much to everyone who participated! And special congrats to Brynne Granger for winning the Hair or Dye Raffle Prize!

Finally, huge thanks to Miranda Granger for organizing the event!
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Grace Low
Gypsy Queen
Young Wyrm
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Can Be Found: Hair or Dye Studios
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dyeing to Surf



Beginning the first week of August, DJ Zazzy Yas of WHAM 101.1FM began running a Days of Summer Promotion on her request line, whereby her listeners could call in for a chance to win, among other things, the Dyeing to Surf Prize Package!

Keep calling DJ Zazzy Yas with your summer song requests, and you too could receive half off a full cut, color and style job of your choice by none other than resident Master Technician Grace Cassidy! Better yet, if you're willing to let Grace do at least half your head in shades of blue, DJ Zazzy will pick up the whole tab!

And just to sweeten the deal, mention DJ Zazzy Yas's Request Line when you make your appointment to receive an automatic additional 10% off your services! Want to be beach ready for Summer Days? Make an appointment today.

___

((Thanks so much to Yasmin for this fun community opportunity! If you want, make a polyvore of your character's awesome new look, do a write up of their experiences getting their hair dyed blue, or anything else you can think of, then post it here or the prize pickup thread so everybody can see! ))
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the Dyeing to Surf giveaway, the blue skinned marvel had promised that any callers with summer songs for her Request Line would receive half off a full cut, color and style job by Master Color Technician, Grace Cassidy! Anybody willing to let Grace dye at least half of their hair in any shade of blue would get their services on Zazzy's tab!

Grace had been up to her elbows in blue hair dye pretty much since the day she got back from visiting Aunt Rally. Poor thing was beginning to think she was turning into a Smurf!

Looked like DJ Zazzy would be shelling out some serious dough for her Days of Summer Promotion!




Between the interest in this promotion and all the blue drinks at this year's Booze Fest, it was definitely turning out to be the Summer of the Yas!

More fun blue hair pictures here
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the sun goes down, the stars come out
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Grace Low
Gypsy Queen
Young Wyrm
Young Wyrm


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

12.13.2016
Even Though Your Voice Shakes

“I’m...not sure what’s going on, Miss, but… there’s a whole bunch of people blocking the street. I can’t go no further.”

Grace was only kind of awake, and begrudgingly so at that. Dozing off, she’d been half-dreaming about the warm bed she’d left behind with an even warmer Gypsy King in it, indulging herself in just a little more quiet time before the madness of the salon. Normally, she walked to work, but it was bitterly cold this morning and she was sleepy, and anyway she was looking at another slam-packed, crazy day. The shop was booked solid in advance of the Winterfest Ball.

“Huh?” Aware only that she’d been spoken to, the tiny stylist tried to focus, to snap herself awake. “I’m sorry,” she tried again with a sheepish smile, more politely this time. “What did you say?”

The cabbie met her eyes in the rear view mirror, and there was a nervous cast to them. “Streets’re blocked, Miss,” he said as calmly as he could manage, but now that Grace was paying attention, she could detect the note of unease in his voice. “It’s… I don’t know what this is, but I don’t think we can get through.”

Catching the full swell of her lower lip in her teeth, the little dancer turned wide green eyes out the front windshield, taking in the mass of bodies thronging the streets. The driver was right - there wasn’t a way through, and the assembled crowd had zero interest in moving. Most of them weren’t even looking this way. She frowned and shook her head.

The gypsies were an insular community who tended to keep to themselves--their little tribe was somewhat removed from the everyday goings-on of the city they inhabited. Grace knew more about day to day Rhydin than most of her family, but then she was one of the few who actually had a job in town. This, though, wasn’t something she could remember hearing anything about. Was it a parade? A demonstration? There was a dull impression of noise, chanting or maybe shouting, but with the windows closed up tight and the heater running, neither she nor the man in the front seat could make out what they were saying.

Then she saw the signs. “End Oppression!” said one. Another: “Make Rhydin Human Again!”

Grace’s frown deepened, and the driver shifted uncomfortably in his seat. Distracted by the proximity of the movement, she glanced his way, and for the first time, she noticed the way the typically rounded shell of his ear came to a drastic point. “This is far enough,” she said quietly, reaching into her purse for her wallet. “Let me out here.”

“Are you sure, Miss?” The man asked, and this time he turned around as much as he could in his seat to look at her directly. She could tell that he was trying, but he didn’t do such a great job of hiding the hope in his voice, the way his shoulders sagged in relief. She gave him the most reassuring smile she could, passing him more than enough money for the trip and a nice tip besides. “I’m sure,” she confirmed, putting her wallet away and then reaching for her cellphone. “Thanks for getting me this far.”

He looked uncertain. “Get out of here, go be somewhere safe,” said the girl a moment later, as she unlatched the door and rose from the car into the frosty morning air. Burying herself deeper in her winter jacket, she sent a few quick messages to her boyfriend. Keeping an eye -and an ear- on the gradually swelling crowd, she hurried down a sidestreet, doubling back into the narrow alley between the shop and the Sassy Owl to get to work.

* * *

“What the hell is going on out there?” Kaja’s question greeted her as she closed the salon door firmly behind her, letting out the breath she hadn’t known she was holding.

Grace looked up, her brilliant green eyes luminescent in the morning’s weak, grayish light as it filtered in the front windows. She gave a shake of her head. “I don’t know exactly, but I took a cab and couldn’t get all the way here. There’s probably…” Grace counted it up quickly in her head, “-fortyish people in the square and looked to be more comin’ that way when I dipped down the alley.”

The proprietor, always the first to arrive at the salon in the mornings largely because she lived in an elaborate loft apartment above it, poured her diminutive star colorist a cup of coffee. Closing the distance between them to hand off the cup, her gaze was trained beyond the artfully distressed glass of the shop’s store front. Her dark eyes swivelled back and forth, tracking the movements of a man who seemed to be shouting as he paced restlessly back and forth, one hand cupped around the side of his mouth, the other holding a wooden stake with a poster board sign affixed to it.

“It’s a protest?” She arched meticulously penciled brows, glancing back at Grace, who had both hands around her cup with it held close to her face, trying to thaw herself out. Kaja turned her attention back to what was going on outside, squinting. “What’s the sign say?”

“The ones I saw on the way in said something about ending oppression, making Rhydin human again?”

Oh,” intoned the elder of the two, as if that response had told her everything she needed to know, and she turned abruptly, moving away from the windows. “This is Humanity First stuff.”

The smaller woman’s expression was blank, uncomprehending. “What now?”

Kaja just stared at her. “Humanity First?”

Grace shook her head, her eyes expectant.

“Oh, that’s right. You people don’t pay much mind if it don’t involve you directly.”

A hint of a frown touched her face, but her shoulders rolled in a shrug. She knew Kaja didn’t really mean any harm, despite the implications of the phrase she’d used, but it rankled. “Hard to want to care what the locals’re doing when the locals go around calling you ’you people’,” she responded evenly, sipping her coffee.

Blinking, the store owner shook her head impatiently. “...You know that’s not what I meant, Grace.”

Grace nodded. “Yeah, I do.” A pause. “But still.”

“Yeah,” Kaja relented with a sigh, nodding in kind. “But still.”

***

An awkward silence descended between them. Kaja made some excuse about a supply order and disappeared into the back; Grace busied herself with getting her station ready for the day. Maybe twenty minutes later, the opening door brought with it a gust of chill wind and a swirl of muddled voices. She looked up and gave the entering receptionist a friendly smile.

“You made it.”

“Yeah. Jeez there must be sixty people out there!” Stella’s magenta pigtails were slightly askew, and as she leaned against the door she’d just closed behind her, she took a moment to straighten them.

“Then they’re still coming,” commented Grace, eyeing the mussed hair style. “Did you come through the crowd?”

“Yeah,” the young woman breathed a dramatic sigh and then flounced away from the door, smoothing her skirt before she went around straightening a magazine here, a coaster there, around the lobby. “Didn’t you?”

Grace shook her head. “Nah, didn’t want to risk it. Came down the alley.”

“Oh, yeah, that was probably smart. It wasn’t a big deal though -- you’re human, they’d let you through.”

The tiny stylist paused, her scissors held aloft where she’d been in the process of lifting them out of the disinfectant. Her gaze went back to Stella. “Kaja said it was about something called Humanity First? What is that, anyway?”

“It’s a political movement,” explained the receptionist. Satisfied that the waiting area was client ready, Stella moved over to the side cabinet to turn on the stereo system and pour herself a cup of coffee as she spoke. “But this might not be them. There’s lots of pro-human groups out there now, I think. Basically, they just think that humans have been kinda screwed over around here, you know? We’re not as strong as the non-humans, we don’t have special super hero powers. We’re vulnerable. Think about it -- if all the non-humans suddenly decided to exterminate us, what could we do? They just want to make Rhydin safe for humans, that’s all.”

The way she described it, Grace got the distinct impression that Stella largely agreed with them. She choked down some more coffee, trying to swallow the lump that had suddenly risen in her throat. Her stomach was in knots, churning unhappily as she carefully wiped the scissors she was holding off and set them down.

“Safe… how?”

“Whatcha mean?” Asked Stella, who wasn’t looking at her, couldn’t see the expression on her face.

How do these people intend to keep humans safe?” Reiterating her question in a calm voice, there was steel in her spine as she stood rigid still, unmoving. Her phone went off in her hands, and Grace glanced down at it, reading the message preview as it came up on the display.

Text from not-King: I was in the shower. You alright?
Text to not-King: So far so good.
Text from not-King: Should I come up there?
Text to not-King: For now things are fine, but I’ll let you know.

She looked up from her phone as Stella elaborated, outlining some of the tenets espoused by some of the groups. The information was sprawling, inflammatory, and probably wildly inaccurate. More than anything, it was stomach turning. The little stylist felt physically ill, dread like a weighted balloon in her belly, and she swallowed roughly against the taste of bile in the back of her throat.

Quinn. Saila. Any number of wonderful people she’d met in this town, segregated and discriminated against and put at risk because they might be dangerous.

Where had she heard that before?

Grace jutted the sharp point of her chin towards the windows, the throng outside that seemed to be ever increasing. The tone of her voice was strange, her vocal cords stretched tight. “What are they protesting?”

“...Uh,” Stella peeked out the front, looking as far down the street as she could in either direction. “Businesses owned by non-humans, maybe? Isn’t that…” She pointed, jabbing a finger at the glass to the right, “that tea house down the next block, and the butcher shop next to it? There’s a big crowd down there.”

***

The crowd outside got steadily thicker. Every client who came in had a new story to tell, more updates to relay. A ship set on fire in Dockside. A fae owned bar in Seaside that was defending itself against the crowd--so far. Violence in Little Elfhame, which was distressingly close by, but the information was so spotty, so conflicting, that it was hard to say what real and what was speculation.

Smashed windows, businesses occupied. Non-humans practically held hostage in stores because the crowds wouldn’t let them leave. Every time the news came in, the locations identified were closer, the crowds outside loud and getting louder.

Stella turned the stereo up nearly as far as it would go.

Text from not-King: All quiet, still?

Grace had just finished up with her latest client, checking her messages while the woman paid her tab up front. She was about to respond when the door burst open with such speed and velocity that it crashed back against the windows, shuddering as it rebounded.

The noise it let in was deafening.

“This place is human owned, right?” The man who was demanding to know stood just inside the door, more than a dozen people crowding in behind him. His eyes were wild, his cheeks flushed from the cold and the morning’s exertions.

“We sure are,” Stella crowed back at him proudly. “Whole staff, too.”

“Good,” the man sniffed dismissively, though he looked at least a little disappointed, itching for a fight he wouldn’t find among these colorfully coiffed but otherwise ordinary women.

Grace’s teeth were set on edge, her jaw clenching as a rage bloomed somewhere behind her ribcage. What Stella said was true, but she’d never wished so strongly as she did in that moment that it wasn’t. And just because the staff was human didn’t mean the patrons were.

Text to not-King: Crowd just barged in demanding to know if the staff is human. I feel sick. And angry. And… maybe you should come.
Text from not-King: On my way.

The man had turned to go, but the same thought Grace had about the patrons seemed to have occurred to him. He swung back around, advanced a few more steps into the shop, craning his neck to peer into the various stations. “What about your customers?”

Stella’s eyes practically popped out of her head then, like it had never occurred to her that some of them might not be human. She too started peering around at the various clients, assessing.

Before she really even knew what she was doing, Grace had put herself between the angry man, his mob, and her store. She had to tip her head back to look up at him, but there was pure fire in those emerald eyes. “Our customers are paying to be here, and none of your concern.”

His expression lit up, a kind of malicious jubilation on his face. Maybe the fight he wanted so badly could be found here after all. “Oh, so you willingly serve the non-humans here, do you?”

“Sure do. Get the hell out of my store.”

He made to move forward again, maybe to threaten or intimidate her, as though he would bowl right over her to see for himself. He could have, too - at not even five feet and less than a hundred pounds, the gypsy didn’t make for an immovable object. She lifted a hand, held it up so that it would catch him smooth in the middle of his solar-plexus if he came any closer, not giving up even an inch of ground to him.

“Don’t tell me you’re one a’ them non-human lovers. You’re a traitor to your race.” He said, loathing and disgust practically dripping from every word.

Grace shrugged, unfazed. “I’ll side with decency over hate any day. People are people no matter what they’re made up of. Get out of my store. Now.”

“You only think that because they’ve brainwashed you,” the man sneered, leaning into her personal space, towering over her. She could smell the rancid coffee and cheap cigarettes on his breath. “Open your eyes, sweetheart. They ain’t like us, and we don’t want their kind here anymore.”

She could hear nothing anymore but the roaring between her ears. The room seemed eerily quiet - no stereo, no muffled shouting from outside, not even the droning buzz of clippers. She felt lightheaded, irrational, on the verge of hysterical. Taking a shaking breath, Grace drew herself up to her fullest, still unimpressive height. “Funny,” she said quietly. “I’ve been hearing words like that all my life from men like you,” she spit back at him, high blotches of scarlet searing her cheek bones. “Get out! Get. Out. Get the **** out of my establishment. I won't ask again.”

It couldn’t have been that she was all that intimidating. Maybe it was just that she was distinctly, undeniably human, that she was a delicate looking, fragile thing, shaking like a leaf as she stood up to him and all the people assembled behind him. The kind of pretty, tiny girl who would make the news. Whatever it was, the would-be protester backed down, signaled his people to exit. “This isn’t worth it,” he declared, turning back to face her from the threshold of the door.

He pointed at her then, thick fingers like an accusation, an exclamation point, a threat. “We’ll be watching you.”

***

The door closed behind him, and all the color drained from her face. Trembling all over from the surge of adrenaline and raw relief, Grace nearly collapsed against the reception desk, her breath shallow as she tried to compose herself in what felt like an echoing silence that went on forever.

A moment later, the door opened a second time. There was an urgency to it, and Grace stiffened, fearing reprisal or a second wave, only to sag all over again when the frame that filled it was instantly recognizable, all too achingly familiar. “Y’alright, love?” Mark asked quietly when he’d closed the distance between them, concern etched in every line of his face, his blue eyes earnest as he reached for her.

Grace nodded, moving willingly into his arms. For a long moment she said nothing, her eyes squeezed tightly closed, her forehead pressed to his chest. Breathing in the scent of him, she centered herself, her fingers curled tightly into his shirt.

After several seconds, she pulled away, swallowed roughly, cleared her throat. Turning, her gaze slid rapidly over the room, looking for her receptionist. “Stella?”

“...Yeah?” The girl, who had been conspicuously silent during the entire altercation with the protester, stood up from where she’d been half leaning against, half hiding behind, a counter display.

“Hair or Dye has a zero-tolerance policy regarding discrimination.”

“Yeah, so?”

“So, you’re fired.”

***

Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind -- even if your voice shakes.
-Maggie Kuhn

_________________

the sun goes down, the stars come out
and all that counts is here and now
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Grace Low
Gypsy Queen
Young Wyrm
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Notices were posted in the windows and on the front door:

Hair or Dye Studios has been declared a Safe Haven.
We consider its vast diversity to be one of Rhy'Din's
best features, and all are welcome. We have always
been and will remain a zero tolerance environment
for discrimination or violence of any kind. Any violators
will be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible.

-Management

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and all that counts is here and now
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bringing in Reinforcements

01.23.2017

From the relative safety and seclusion of the Glen, it all felt a little bit surreal. Opening the email from a woman she didn't know that contained a whole roster of potential security personnel under the advisement to 'pick a few'. Poring over those names and the details attached to each of them, looking from picture to picture and trying to make a decision as to who seemed appropriate without also overextending the generosity that had been afforded her on what seemed like a tenuous connection at best. Who ever heard of hiring security guards for a hair salon?!

Most of her stay in Rhydin thus far had been such that she could almost forget what it felt like to be under constant discrimination and persecution, to be tight lipped and on guard every moment of her time among outsiders, to be watchful and wary for situations turning bad on a moments' notice. All of that had changed, though, the day those demonstrators had streamed into the shop, smug in the confident knowledge that they were among their own kind as they sought to confirm that she and all of her staff were human.

Like that meant something.

Like she hadn't been discriminated against by other humans her entire life.

Like the blood of her ancestors hadn't been spilled a hundred thousand times over by other humans, for no other crime than belonging to a particular tribe.

When other businesses began declaring themselves Safe Havens for the persecuted, Grace hadn't even had to think twice about it. She'd immediately added Hair or Dye to the list. Few things made her blood boil the way the thought of people being singled out for the simple accident of birth rite, and what they might do because of it did. It had never occurred to her for even a second that she might need protection herself.

That all changed one grey morning when she arrived in the market place to open the shop and found both of the distressed glass windows shattered. Even then, she might have written it off as young punks being young punks but for the single word that had been scrawled across the front door in bright green spray paint that was still tacky to the touch: TRAITOR.

The ensuing conversation with Mark had been a hard one. His impulse, of course, was a predictable one for a Gypsy man whose girl had been targeted: that she should quit her job and come home immediately. It was a perfectly reasonable, understandable response, considering: between the fate that had befallen his previous relationship and his responsibilities as a leader, it naturally made sense that his instinct would be to withdraw and insulate, to circle the wagons as the expression went. In that light, it was maybe even a little irresponsible of her to insist on her independence, in this case -- every time she went to work, Mark was left with the twin headaches of overseeing the day to day business of the camp and worrying about her safety. Was it really fair to split his focus that way?

But on the other hand, Grace loved her little store. Her independence mattered to her these days more than almost anything - anything but Mark. And anyway, she was the one who had taken the stand with the demonstrators and effectively painted a target on the shop in the first place. Didn't she have a responsibility as manager to see to it that her employees and their clients were protected? Wouldn't it be foolish to leave them all to fend for themselves?

Mark argued that it wasn't their fight. Grace argued that it was. They had all, after all, accepted Quinn as one of their own, and with Quinn came Saila, who, while not exactly one of them, had put herself on the line for the Barlows more than once. Were they not the direct subjects of this increasingly tense situation? There were signs that had gone up in an increasing number of shop windows warning that non-humans were not welcome. Flyers swirled around town advertising self defense classes against specific types of non humans. There were even rumors that some establishments had been warded against non humans altogether, preventing them from entering and in some cases even potentially causing serious harm if they tried. Did they not have an obligation to look out for Quinn, at least?

At long last, a compromise was established. Grace would continue to work, but someone would accompany her to the shop and back each day, and she would hire a security team to be in place at the salon for all of its operating hours. Saila had stepped in with some information there--somebody related to her boyfriend had a protection services agency.

So the dominoes had lined up and then fallen in sequence. Grace had been introduced to Kokabiel via email, who had been more than willing to extend her services and even offered to waive the fee. The waived fee made Grace especially nervous - the notion of owing an outsider anything sat poorly on her tummy, but the woman had insisted. She could only hope that they'd be able to work something out in trade, at least.

And here it was, Monday morning at last. Grace had arrived early - with Saila in tow today, since it was her day to play escort: she had to get back to work at the theater today too, and their schedules would line up perfectly. She was meeting Kokabiel and the three she'd chosen before the shop opened, so that hopefully all would be settled and in place by the time the first client arrived.

The tiny stylist was fidgety and restless, sitting down to drink her coffee only to get up and go clean something. Then she'd remember that she'd left her coffee somewhere and go to look for it, only to be distracted by something else and start the cycle over. She'd re-warmed that cup of coffee three times before the little jingle of the overhead bell let her know that the security crew had arrived. Squeezing her eyes shut, she took a deep breath to steady herself and then turned to greet them.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1/23/2017 (continued)

Kokabiel was beautiful. Petite in size, she was only a little bit taller than Grace, maybe five two, with blonde hair and the most extraordinary eyes. She was dressed business casual, with black slacks and a crisp white button-up collared shirt. Heels clicked on the floorboards as she lead her group into the shop.

Kokabiel entered first with a line of people behind her: a Korean man dressed in a pristine pin-stripe suit with deep magenta shirt beneath, a woman with short blonde undercut hair who was dressed in dark jeans and a brown fur-lined bombers jacket, holding fast to a boy that looked like a modern-day scrawny grunge greaser. And at the very back, was a man with a dark faux-hawk who was rather bulky and tall.

The woman paused at the sight of the blue haired store manager, and a warm smile cracked her face, scattering the serious-business-woman illusion she'd walked in with. "Hi, Grace Cassidy? I'm K," making her introduction as she walked right up to the woman and held out her hand.

Grace was a petite five foot zero (if that, honestly). Her hair was a seafoam teal, a difficult color to maintain and yet hers was perfect, as only befitting the woman renowned for her mastery of cutting-edge color blending. Her vivid green eyes like crushed emeralds were wide set and disproportionately huge, dominating her face, alert and expressive. Her tiny shoulders were squared, her posture straight. Her smile, though, was friendly, wide and welcoming as she stepped forward to meet the woman she'd been corresponding with and her entourage, taking that extended hand in one of her own. "Grace, yes. Nice to meet you, K."

Her hand was firm yet gentle at the same time, underlying strength held back as she shook Grace’s. "Pleasure to put a face to the description. I'm sorry to hear about what happened to your shop, hun," she scowled, pulling her hand back before the smile returned in a split second. "But that's why we're here, huh?" Stepping aside, angled to face both Grace and her team, she named them off one by one and in order. "This is Jae Mun, Leah Dixon and her son Frankie, and Isaac King."

Grace squeezed the woman's hand gently in kind. Though generally deferential to their husbands and other men in the family, even the most traditional Gypsy women typically handled all of the affairs of the household, up to and including meeting outsiders and making any necessary arrangements with them. Added to her experience as a business manager, the tiny dancer seemed to move seamlessly between her two worlds, at ease in the presence of strangers even when they outnumbered her.

The Korean man was stiff and professional, bowing his head politely as was his custom when his name was called first.

Leah offered Grace a soft smile and nod of her head. "Hello, pleasure." Her voice was gentle, polite.

Frankie, who was still two inches taller than Isaac at six two but built like a beanpole, lifted his chin was a lopsided smirk. "Heya..." Then muttered. "Damn, girl's bangin'." Only to promptly get a stern look from his mother who turned an apologetic look to Grace.

Rounding out the group, Isaac was clearly the most social of the crew collected. Though he'd made sure to swat Frankie on the back of the head for his comment. "Learn some manners, boy." He grunted, flashing a smile to his new boss. "They call me Biggie. No clue why." It was obvious from his expression that the ignorance was feigned.

Grace's gaze moved curiously over each person in kind as they were introduced. She gave Jae an answering nod, Leah a friendly smile. She paused as she looked over the boy introduced as Leah's son, an amused smile flashing over her mouth at his outburst, she tipped her head curiously. "Why thank you," said the Gypsy woman evenly. "You look a bit like someone else I know..." Resisting the urge to glance over her shoulder to see whether Saila agreed, her gaze swept on to 'Biggie'.

Saila was hanging out in the main part of the salon, stretched out comfortably in one of the salon chairs. Her long legs were crossed at her booted ankles, her strange eyes closed. She'd be easy to miss, obscured as she at least partially was by the front desk, and from this angle most of that vivid purple hair was bunched up like a makeshift pillow underneath her neck. If she was spotted, there was a very good chance she'd appear to be asleep, but she wasn't. This was Grace's show and the teen had no plans to interfere or involve herself, but Mark would probably kill her if she left Grace to meet all these strangers on her own, so there she was.

Isaac's introduction produced Grace's giggle, a clear, musical sound like caroling Christmas bells. "...No idea, huh? Just like Mason has no idea where the name 'Monster' came from, I'm sure." She chosen Isaac from the roster largely because of his background. Boxing was as familiar to her as breathing, as much as she'd grown to hate it over the years.

Saila didn't go as unnoticed to the others as she may have thought. Kokabiel was eyeing her like a hawk, curiously so as she could feel her brother's energy on the girl. Jae was keen on all his surroundings, and although he hadn't looked to anyone but the two people he was working for, giving them the main focus, he was aware of Saila. Leah's nose twitched, and she'd shifted her gaze once or twice to the woman whose scent tickled her senses in a strange way and confused her. Frankie hadn't noticed her yet, but give it time. And Biggie was still human, slower on the draw than the rest.
Drawing her eyes back to Grace, K snickered at Frankie's comment and rolled her eyes to the woman. "Teenage boys, huh?" Though there was a purse of her lips with a shifting glance to the boy. He looked like someone Kokabiel knew, almost a damn spitting image. He acted like a younger version of her brother, if he'd been less spiteful and vindictive that is. But looks? She was still prodding Leah on information to who Frankie's father was. To no avail so far.

Jae was the first one to break away from the group, one more bow of his head to Grace as he seemed to be straight down to business and checking out the shop's main room. Leah tilted her head at Grace’s comment about Frankie, while it the boy in question scoffed and rested his forearm on his mom's shoulder. He was basically leaning on her, but she seemed unfazed by the extra weight. "I get that a lot, everyone's always sayin' I look like somebody. Ain't that right, K?" There was a brief narrow of eyes to Kokabiel, who shrugged. Then he looked back to Grace for a moment, blatantly checking her out before looking around the shop.

It was Isaac who was all hands on deck at that moment, brows furrowing in confusion before it clicked in his head and those eyes went wide. You'd think they were going to pop out of his head and roll on the floor. Holding up his hands, "whoa whoa whoa. Wait. Mason... Monster? You're not talking about Mason 'The Monster' Briggs, are you? Like... practically a boxing Legend?" And just like that, you'd think he was the teenage boy all over again. Excitement practically radiating from him.

"Oh boy, you done it now," K lightly teased Grace with a soft smirk, then went back to staring at Saila. Kokabiel? Bold? ... Yes, yes she was.

An amused smile curled Saila's lower lip, though for the time being her eyes stayed closed. Sifting through the various levels of energy that had infiltrated the room, she was doing a little studying of her own, particularly on the ones that were less familiar, just as surely as she herself was being studied.

Her prone position was perfectly at ease, statue still with her hands folded neatly over her stomach. That is until the exact moment that Jae entered her vicinity on his examination of the shop. It was a long, narrow box of a room, mirrors affixed at regular intervals along either side. There were clearly designated stations, each decorated to the personal taste of the stylist who occupied it, and in between there were unusual decorations. The whole place had a cutting edge, epitome-of-cool vibe to it, the kind of place you wanted to go if you wanted to look like a rock star.

Saila was laying in the chair at Grace's station, a fact evidenced by the way it had been decorated top to bottom in vintage rock band posters and ticket stubs from the 90s grunge era. Dotted here and there among them were pictures -- there was one of Grace and Mark, a classic couple's mirror-selfie with the gypsy king standing behind her, one arm draped at a diagonal across her chest as he held up the camera in the other hand. Grace was looking up at him with the kind of smile a girl only ever gives the boy she's really, really into, making the relationship between them obvious. There was another, she and an extremely tall man --he was kneeling beside her, matter of fact --with piercing silver eyes. They were both covered in what appeared to be bits of a berry pie and laughing. The third was an older picture, a much younger Grace, a much younger Mason and a third woman -- his wife -- their arms all entangled around each other in a loose group hug, clearly happy.

The mercurial teen opened her eyes when Jae moved into her space, flashing him a smile. She pulled one hand free from where they'd been laced at her lap, lifting it to give him a finger wiggle of a wave.

Grace nodded with a little laugh at K -- teenage boys indeed. She'd been practically raised by a few of them, and there were several in the camp now. Nothing about Frankie seemed to bother her, not even his considerable height.

Her attention snapped back to Isaac -- she'd been sort of loosely tracking the movements of the others -- when he called her best friend's name. A grin stretched wide over the full swell of her mouth, reversing its perpetual pout. "You've heard of him, then? Yeah. We grew up together. There's a picture of us when we were young and goofy looking over at my station." She hooked a thumb over her shoulder.

Jae was serious in just about every sense of the word. Some would claim cold with his unsettling dark eyes that often made him seem soulless, or that could be the fact that he could shut down his emotions completely at whim. Even Kokabiel didn't know about his past, or where he'd been trained to be the man he was today. She knew enough to know that some things were better left unknown, and left it at that. As he moved through the narrow shop, his eyes seemed to pass over the parts identifying the pieces of each station, yet taking it all in at the same time. Memorizing everything. When he reached Saila's end, he turned his eyes on her and seemed to study her for a moment. Assessing her with that calculating look before bowing his head to the finger wiggle wave she gave him. "Hello," the faintest of Korean dialect tacked on to the single word he spoke, it was almost unnaturally deep for his appearance. And then he was right back to business as usual.

K's eyes were all over the place, checking out the shop... back to Saila. Squint. Then to Gunner, who was doing what he always did: his job. Not a prime candidate for socializing, but she could trust him to do his job and do it efficiently. To Isaac and his fan-boying over this Mason fella who... she admittedly didn't know much about. She was a football and wrestling fan, she hadn't dabbled much into the art of boxing. She didn't think bar brawls really counted. Though seeing him so excited had her smiling warmly, knowing full well how much of a big goof he could be. "Let me know if you need me to get you a paper bag, Big'un," she muttered, insinuating he was going to hyperventilate. Then to Leah, studying her to see how she was doing.

Leah, who was more of a soft and thoughtful creature, was studying the place in full. More attentive to those personal belongings that Jae seemed to pass over dismissively, as if getting to know each person by their station. She gave Frankie a look, "behave yourself." That motherly warning as she slipped out from under his arm to do a bit of studying herself. She left the technical stuff to Jae, who was surely forming tactical plans in his head should things go awry. She was more interested in getting to know the people.

Frankie snorted at his mother's request, his arm sliding away from her shoulder when she moved before he shoved his hands into the pockets of his jeans. "Yeah, okay." Looking between Grace and Isaac, he just blinked. "I have no clue who this guy is," he admitted, but he was looking where she pointed, leaning around Biggie to get a glimpse to the station... and that's when he spotted Saila. "Jesus **** Christ. Is everyone hot in this friggin' town or something?" That's when he cracked a grin and looked between Grace and K, ticking his brows. "I think I'm gonna like this place." Only for Leah to return to Frankie's side, hands on her hips as she lifted her chin to the boy who nearly had a foot on her. Oh boy, the mom look. "What'd I tell you about your mouth? I'm sorry, Grace."

Isaac glanced at K, waving her off. "Nah, I'm good. I'm good." Wait. "Gimme a minute," taking a deep breath, he lifted a thumbs up to them both. "Alright, I'm good." Turning those wide, excited eyes on Grace, he bobbed his head. "Hell yeah I heard of the Monster. Never got around to meeting him in the ring, but he earned his title from what I've heard. Guy was crazy good. No way, really?" When she told him about the picture, he got a goofy looking grin on his face as he hooked his own thumb in the same direction. "Mind if I... Ho-man, I've gotta see this." Laughing, he'd make his way over to where she'd pointed to get a look at the picture, pausing when he saw Saila. "Oh, crap. Didn't see you there." Scooting around the chair, he'd lean to get a good look at the photograph. "Life. Made!"
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Young Wyrm
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1/23/2017 (continued)

Biggie's 'fan-boying' likewise made Grace smile, though there was a hint of sadness in those luminous green eyes. She would always be proud of Mason. She couldn't think of him without remembering the sudden rise to glory, the way suddenly everyone had known his name, everyone wanted to meet him. The way she'd found herself at the center of the ring of attention that choked ever tighter on her best friend, just by association. She couldn't think of him, either, without remembering the fire, the dull ache in her chest that still throbbed painfully every time she thought of Emily.

Swallowing the sadness, Grace lifted her chin to look up at Isaac, giving him a nod. "Yeah, that's him. Undefeated when he left the sport." She gave a soft laugh, a quieter version of the usual peal. "...I have a scrapbook I did somewhere on his rise to fame. I can bring it in sometime this week if I can find it."

She watched him move over to her station, and shook her head with a fond smile. It was nice to see Mason so well remembered, even this many years later. Her gaze shifted back to Kokabiel, and only distantly did it occur to her that she hadn't actually offered the woman or her team anything yet. "...Thank you so much for this, again," she said. "I really, really appreciate it. Do you.. want something to drink? I have coffee, water, soda?"

As the rest of them began to filter into the main salon, Saila figured she'd been found out, and the "sleeping" wasn't happening anymore anyway. Her gaze moved over Isaac as he apologized and slipped around her, pale lips lifting in a smirk. "No worries. I'm surprisingly sneaky sometimes."

Lifting her arms over her head in a catlike stretch, the mercurial teen lifted herself up to a sitting at last, curling fingers adorned with three and four rings each around the handles of the chair to force herself up out of it. Rising to her full height, all that violently violet hair tumbled to her waist, seemingly on a race back to the chair as surely as she was pulling herself out of it. She raked both hands through the tousled mane and then turned to face the rest of them, her disconcertingly mismatched eyes fixing almost immediately on the boy who'd called her hot.

She was maybe a heartbeat shorter than Biggie, which gave the boy called Frankie a scant two inches on her. Catching her lower lip in the edge of her teeth, she seemed to make a study of him for a couple of seconds, her gaze sweeping his frame head to foot and back again. "Huh. Grace is right. You do kinda look like Hex."

The teen only knew of the one kid her boyfriend had (to his knowledge), and though she hadn't met the child yet she was really pretty certain it was a daughter. Which made this kid..someone else? She gave the boy a crooked grin. "You're right, though. Everyone in this town is hot. All of them."

Her attention moving on, it fixed pretty naturally on Kokabiel. She hadn't needed the initial introductions to know which one was the Hellion's big sister - for one, she could feel traces of the same energy, and for another, she had access to a whole host of the man's memories to inform her. "Hey," she said, because she'd been through enough of these awkward family meetings at this point to know that it was best to just come out with it. Her long legged stride carried her towards the two smaller women. Giving a friendly smile, her fingers were tucked into the back pockets of her slim fit black jeans, but they likely wouldn't stay there. "You're the sister, yeah? I'm the girlfriend."

Kokabiel could feel that sadness radiating off the woman, or maybe she was just more intuitive than most would expect of her to emotions in the room. She pursed her lips but didn't bring attention to it, though there was a brief flicker of concern in those multi-toned eyes. And the faint instinct to want to hug her, which had her wrapping her arms around her waist instead. Not the time and place. First rule of business: hugging your clients tends to get a little weird for them. Found that out the hard way. Don't do it. Don't do it.

Oh, good. Change of subject. Focusing briefly on Biggie's little spazzing over the guy, she did raise a brow. "If I don't know any better, I'd say this Mason fella has an admirer." Snickering softly, she shook her head with a smirk before gnawing on her bottom lip. Groaning almost instantly when offered, "coffee would be a Godsend right now."

"I'll take a beer," came from the Peanut Gallery Frankie, only for Leah to chime in with her two cents. "Like hell you will." Pointing at him, she smiled to Grace. "I'm fine." Grumbling, the boy. "Fine... soda.." Looking to be in his twenties got him nowhere when Mamma Leah was around. He was still only thirteen, technically.

Isaac flashed a grin over his shoulder to Grace. "That would be awesome. I'd love to see that. But don't put yourself out of the way. I still remember plenty." Tapping his temple.

Then he smirked at Saila. "It's the black," pointing to her outfit then his own dark attire. He always looked like a bouncer, on or off duty. "Us tall folk need something to fade into the background right? Though..." Squinting faintly at that bright violet hair, "that sounds tricky. You're tricky." A bit of a teasing smirk, he pointed to his eyes then hers. "Onto you." Before he went back to looking at the photo like he was committing it to memory.

Frankie'd been going back and forth between checking out Saila and checking out Grace. There were too many pretty women in the same room for a teenage boy to handle, man. Boy was going to get whiplash until he stopped and stared at Saila when she said he looked like Hex. "Hex? You know him?"

Then he got confused, that wasn't the guy that they claimed he looked like. Acted like? Oh yeah. He heard that all the time. "... You do know how big he is, right?" Lowering his head, he lifted the t-shirt some to show a washboard stomach that was scrawny as could be. "I don't see it." Of course he wouldn't. Dropping the shirt back in place, he gave her a furrow of his brows. Yeah, that... that might make him look like Hex a little bit in expression. "Everyone?" Snorting a laugh, he was grinning when he looked over at K. "And they said I'd never make it to Heaven."

"Calm down, Frankie." Coming from K before she was watching Saila. And then it all clicked into place. Girlfriend. This is Hex's new girl. "So you're the girlfriend. You know, we've got a little catching up to do, you and I." Raising those blonde brows, she pointed between the two of them. "Girl time. But... you can skip the hairy details. I don't want to know that much about the little bastard." Making a face at that briefly.

Jae... was being Jae. And not in the room. How he'd managed to slip out without jingling that bell was a mystery.

Leah was making her way to Grace's station to check out the personals, though was being respectful to not touch or move anything. There was a little smile looking at the pictures offered, she'd always found it curious to see photos. They were moments frozen in time, and you could tell when they were posed and faked. The one with Mark, though posed wasn't faked. Boyfriend or husband. There was no mistaking the look in the woman's eyes in the photo.

As she collected drink orders, an idea was forming in the back of Grace's mind. If seeing a picture of Mason makes his life, wonder what he'd do if Mason walked in. It started as amusement, mostly, as she moved over to the drink station to make coffee and soda and things happen for everybody who had chimed in wanting something. The girl froze suddenly, when two rough edges clicked together in her head.

It was one of those oh, duh! moments of realization, solving the one outstanding problem she had and maybe getting to watch Biggie faint in the process. Turning around suddenly, she had a cup of coffee in one hand and a little cup of creamer in the other. "K -- do you guys mind if I bring in one more?" She asked, and then, realizing that she wanted to surprise Isaac, she stepped closer, lowering her voice. "My man's been saying he'd feel better if there was one of us on the security team and, uh... I can probably talk Mason into it..."

Saila snickered at the man called Biggie, arching a brow quizzically at him. "Tricky? Me? Never." It was more of that acting she was doing, you see. "I'm sorta bad at being in the background, though, it's true." Flashing him a bright grin that had no small measure of mischief in it, her attention moved back to Frankie.

She could see the boy checking her out, and that had an undercurrent of amusement rippling across the surfaces of jarringly unpaired eyes that erupted into a soft laugh when he asked her that particular question. "...Yeah, you might say I know him a little," she grinned, and soft laughter became an actual giggle moments later. "...Ah, yes." She said when she'd recovered enough to talk. "I am... very familiar with how big he is." She coughed, and maybe that was the Hellion himself rubbing off on her.

Drifting over to Grace and Kokabiel, her sharp chin dropped in a nod. "Sure thing," she said easily. "I have learned that I have to hear the 'hurt him and I'll kill you' speech from at least three people for it to count properly." She was just teasing of course--she'd had to remind Harper to make that speech in the first place, anyway.

Her head tilted suddenly, and Saila glanced over her shoulder and then up at the ceiling, brows furrowing. Where'd the sneaky one go?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1/23/2017 (continued)

Biggie... well, Biggie had coaxed Leah into the chair Saila'd been seated in at Grace's station. Her face was scrunched, easily noted in the reflection of the mirror while the big'un was running his fingers through her hair and playing hair stylist... terribly. Really, he was just ruffling it. "You need more volume. A lot more volume." And just poofing it right up. He was also the human of the team, and his hearing wasn't as sharp as the others so he hadn't heard Grace's question or muttering to K. Leah'd heard it and there was a little smirk on her face, that I know something you don't know kind of smirk. It went over his head. You want the Brain, look for his brother.

K raised a brow at Grace, a half smile on her face as she laughed. "It's your shop, hun. Bring in whoever you want. These guys are team players. They play friendly with others." A flash a smile before she leaned in when Grace whispered to her, a grin broadening on her face as she flicked her eyes to Biggie before returning them to the woman with an almost devious smile. "Oh, he would just lose his friggin' mind. Just make sure you tell him to bring ear plugs, who knows if Big is a squealer." One of those multi-toned eyes disappeared with a wink.

The eyes didn't seem to faze Frankie on an 'unsettling' level, but it was difficult for much to be considered unsettling when him and his mother looked the way they did when the illusion was dropped. They were certainly interesting though. Raising his brows, it didn't take long for the pervy teen to pick up on what Saila was insinuating. "... That. Dog. Niiiice," giving Saila another once over before she made that size pun and he about lost it. His tall and lanky frame nearly doubled over in a laugh before he nodded. "Aight, aight." Straightening when he collected himself. "I can see why he digs you. Well, besides the obvious." Shaking his head, he looked over to Grace and got that lopsided grin. ".. What about you? You seeing someone?"

"Excuse me," coming from Kokabiel to Grace as she took a quick side step and laid a smack to the back of Frankie's head. "Oi, keep it in your pants, kid." Shaking her head, she jutted her thumb at Frankie and looked at Saila. "Kid spent too much time with my brother as you can tell," scoffing before taking that step back in her original place and then put her hands on her hips. K was sweet and warm, loving and caring, but there was an air of feistiness about her, too. The corner of her mouth pulled into a smirk as she looked at Saila. "Well, I won't be one of those to lay that speech on you. I was actually going to see what'd it take to get to lay a good smack on him for me." Mischief rang true in that smile of hers, and she... was pretty good at tuning out any puns made on Hex's 'size'.

Jae was on the roof. Don't ask how or why he was on the roof. He just was.

Grace was warming to Kokabiel, but it was hard not to. She was a curious mix of soft warmth and steel, much like Grace herself but on an exaggerated level. She seemed brighter, somehow, the way some people in this strange place they'd called home did: like she could still see the woman in outline even when she looked away - that afterimage effect when a flash went off in your eyes.

She finished making the coffee and gave K a cup, then turned to dig a soda out of the fridge for Frankie. He reminded her a lot of the boys back in camp, well, all the boys except Ian -- younger than they wanted you to believe, still indomitable in their playfulness and energy. "Sorry, love, I am. That guy--" She pointed a finger at the picture of herself with Mark and then handed off the soda. "But don't worry, Saila's right. Everybody here is gorgeous." Dropping one set of lashes at him in a wink, she turned just in time to catch the interaction between Saila and Kokabiel. A faint smile touched her face, and then she was moving over to where her bag was stashed so she could retrieve her phone.

Saila's gaze seemed to be tracing the ceiling, like a cat tracking the movements of a bug too small for anyone else to see. Apparently satisfied, she looked away, offering Hex's diminutive older sister a little grin. "That I can do. It's nice to meet you and I'm sure we'll talk more later, but I gotta run. Got my own job to get to here in a few."

Turning back towards the others, she lifted one hand in a salute to all of them. "Later, guys."

Kokabiel was a social butterfly, there was only a few people that she couldn't find herself getting along with. Mostly, they just couldn't handle the way she'd fall into her rambling fits. So far, Grace had been spared! Saila, too. But that was only a matter of time.

Offered the cup, that flash of a smile returned as she took it. "Thanks, hun. I appreciate it." Only for her eyes to be drawn to the picture in question, leaning in a bit with a squint before she made a little 'o' with her mouth and there was a peculiar smirk on her face when she pulled back. "Oh, he's cute. And you two are absolutely adorable," said the woman that one of her favorite humans called a 'shipper'. Angel of Seduction to some, she rather took to many Cupid-like qualities. Bringing the cup to her lips for a sip, she drifted her eyes to Saila when she announced her leave, cutting her a grin behind the cup. "Smack 'em good, girl. We'll get in touch soon, go get a drink or coffee or something." Raising her cup in toast.

"Damn," sighed Frankie when Grace claimed she was taken, glancing to the photo before taking the soda offered and wasting no time in cracking it open. At least until she promised that everyone in town was gorgeous, "other fish in the sea, huh? Cool with that." Sipping from the can, he glanced to Saila. "Double damn.." Though when Saila'd start walking away, you'd bet he would watch and almost sigh dreamily. "Hate to see ya go, but I love to watch you leave." Too much**** time with Hex. Something Kokabiel frequently blamed the Big Guy for.

Saila would get a soft smile and twiddle of fingers from Leah, that musical voice ringing into the air. "Good to meet you." Glancing to the mirror, she made a face. "... I look like a cotton ball, Biggie." Tilting her head back, she'd look up at him with a scrunched, pointed nose. "You're fired. Stick to Security, leave the hair dressing for Grace."

She'd get a big wave from an even bigger guy, that broad grin. "See you around, Sneaky." Before a narrow of his eyes, puffing his cheeks as he split his fingers to point at his eyes then hers. Onta youuuuu. Then he just looked so insulted to Leah firing him, "Maybe cotton balls are the latest trend." Lifting his chin, he crossed those bulky arms and gave the sassiest spin a big guy his size could make and walked his ass back to the others, giving as much sway to his hips as he could manage.

Jae was still on the roof. Doing... who knows what.

Grace waved to Saila, giving the taller girl a grin. "Knock 'em dead, Miss Actresse!" She called to the departing muse. She turned back towards her station to see what it was that Isaac was doing to poor Leah, her eyes widening. "..Oh, wow. That's ... an interesting choice," she said with practiced diplomacy and a soft giggle. "I'll fix it for you in a minute, Leah," she promised, her mouth falling open in surprise when the Big Guy did his little catwalk strut. "That, though, that was amazing."

The tiny stylist was still giggling when her phone went off in her hand, startling her because she'd forgotten she was holding it. Turning it over in surprise, she smiled and then frowned when she read the message from her favorite Rainbow Brite, tapping out a quick reply and then a question of her own.

Belatedly, she lifted vibrant green eyes to Kokabiel, and a soft, almost goofy smile stole its way across her mouth unbidden. That happened when she thought of Mark, which happened almost all the time. "Thanks. We were handfasted last Beltane, and I... " She shook her head with a little laugh. "I've never been this sure about anything and I've been married before."
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Young Wyrm
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1/23/2017 (continued)

For her part, Saila had snickered under her breath as she caught Frankie's parting comment. Considering she'd heard that exact phrase from Hex before, she may or may not have given that ass a little wiggle before she let the door closed behind her.

"Actress, huh?" K raised a brow as she watched Saila waltz off. She'd surely need to get some more info on this new lady that managed to snag Hex's attention. Sure, he'd had women before, he'd been married before. But, that had been a mess and... violent... This girl seemed like a doll, if not amusingly sassy and witty. There was a bit of a smirk there before her eyes followed Grace's and saw that mess that was now Leah's hair. She couldn't help but laugh. "So, Leah, when's Twisted Sister comin' to town, huh?" One multi-toned eye disappearing in a wink before she watched Biggie's sassy walk. She actually made the Z-snap with her fingers and pursed her lips. "Work it, honey. Mhm."

Pausing, she sipped her coffee before it got cold and let her eyes drift back to Grace when she talked about her beau. A warmer look came to her eyes seeing that goofy smile, something she couldn't stop even if she tried. Lowering her mug, there was a touch of gleeful emotion on her face there. She was a damn sap for romance, and Grace's talking about Mark struck that string. "Marriage doesn't mean Mr. Right, honey. But from the sounds of it, you found 'im. Don't let him go. Trust me," the last part was mumbled under her breath, practically inaudible before she deliberately, resolutely gave a look around.

Scrunching her face, Leah tried to smooth that crazy hair with her fingers but decided it was a lost cause. "Interesting," she laughed softly, "that's definitely one word for it." Waving her hand. "Don't worry about it, It'll be a terrible flashback moment for old broads like K and I." She flashed a smirk in the mirror to reflect back to them, seeming to have warmed up a bit.

Unfortunately, Frankie was still young and no where near smooth. So... well, like a damn school boy, he gawked with a little bit of an open mouth when Saila gave her ass a wiggle on the way out. "Lucky bastard.." Wasn't hard to know who he was talking about.

Biggie had strut his way over to join the little clique, though he made a point to push Frankie's jaw closed on the way. "Got a little drool, champ." Snickering, he turned to the ladies and beamed a wide smile. "Oh, I'll work it." With a less graceful finger snap of his own, he winked at Grace with that side-mouth click. "Thank ya." Less flirtatious than it was just Isaac being goofy Isaac. He didn't hit on taken women, his mama raised him better than that.

Jae was standing outside, no longer on the roof but on the ground again as he was staring at that terribly painted green Traitor graffiti. Smoking a cigarette, his expression was blank and unreadable until he flicked a gaze toward Saila's direction when she passed, a slow nod of his head and a lingering look that was nothing less than calculating. She perplexed him for some reason, probably because he couldn't read her.

Saila was out on the street headed for the Shanachie, her eyes drawn as if by magnets to the sneaky one who had gone out onto the roof and was now on the ground nearby. Tracking his energy, her strange eyes found him, and she grinned when she found him looking not exactly at her, but somewhere in the vicinity of her mouth. "Bye, Jae," she said with a friendly wave, completely unperturbed by his quiet demeanor. "Have a good day."

Although she turned away from him then to head to work, the science experiment continued to study the energy that radiated out from him until she was too far away to sense it anymore.

Grace nodded. "She's full time cast for the Shanachie Theater a little ways from here. So far this season she's done Rent and the Wizard of Oz. I have no idea what they're doing next." Grace explained, giving up on her own coffee as she moved around the desk towards her station, where Leah was still seated. Almost automatically, she worked her fingers into the woman's hair, weaving through the poofed-up 'do down to the scalp. She drew her nails lightly over Leah's head, scritching gently in that practiced, practically magical way that, when asked, Grace assured people they spent entire months of hair school learning. And in the process, she was smoothing down that wild snarl, too.

To Frankie, she just grinned. "...Gorgeous, isn't she?" She'd caught the way the kid was staring after Saila, a look accentuated that much more by the way Isaac closed his mouth for him. Her expression was wistful -- Grace wished she had even half the legs the impossibly tall teenager did. Shaking her head, she met K's gaze in the mirror, and the look on her face went all soft again. "Believe me. M'not gonna. It's funny how life works out sometimes, isn't it?"

She'd long since smoothed Leah's hair into some sense of order, but she hadn't actually stopped playing with it yet. It was automatic, practically unconscious the way she'd reached for a comb, finishing the detangling in a professional way as she examined the individual sections of hair with a master technician's eye. "So should I just.. you know, go about business as usual and hope nothing happens?"

There was a reason Jae never looked anyone in the eyes, he'd always find some spot on their face to stare if he felt it necessary. That dip on the bridge of their nose, cheekbones, mouth. Anything but direct eye contact... unless the time was right. Some found it rude that he avoided it the way he did, but he'd shrug off any accusations of such. He had his reasons. He'd given that bow of his head, that too-deep voice carrying through the wind. "Enjoy your day, Saila." He'd caught the mention of her name at some point. Jae was often... unsettling to people. K just loved him to bits.

"Ohhh I love Rent," sang K with a smile. "And who doesn't love the Wizard of Oz. Shame I missed it." There was a soft point, though she made a mental note to catch the next one. She worked some more on her coffee before looking around at the shop. It was comfortable, yet a bit chaotic to look at. From the smirk on her face, it seemed to suit her just fine. She returned her gaze to see the expert way she was smoothing that mess Biggie had made, her head tilting as it seemed to be effortless for the woman. Kokabiel had a lot of things under her belt on careers, but she didn't have the patience for Grace's line of work. Funny. That didn't mean she couldn't appreciate talent when she saw it. Her eyes lifted when Grace spoke about Mark and that warm smile was quick to show on her face. "It is. Especially when it comes out of the blue. The real thing always seems to be the one to sneak up on you." A little curl of a smirk.

Sorry, it had taken Frankie a moment to stop watching the damn girl through the window. "Huh? Oh. Yeah. She's smokin'." Reaching up, he swiped at the corner of his mouth a little with his thumb before looking over at his mom who was just rolling her eyes at him at this point. He finally remembered the can of soda in his hand and he took a sip from it. "Well," he sighed, walking over to the door before turning his back to it. He had a ****-eating grin on his face as he bounced his brows. "I'm going to show up K and find Hex. And not take almost a year to do so. Peace." Giving the laziest salute ever to the others, he lifted his chin to Grace. "If you've got any sisters my age, don't hold out on me." Then he was pushing out the door and making his way out.

"Be care.... ful.." Leah called after him, rolling her eyes. "Such a brat." She snickered, but she was still affectionate when she said it. Though her eyes might've gotten a bit heavy at those scritches Grace was giving her scalp, because anyone that said that it wasn't relaxing is a bold-faced liar.

"Little **** is more like it," K scowled, wrinkling her nose at that. But that's what her and Leah get for letting him hang out with Hex. Turning her eyes to Grace, she smiled. "Of course. They're here to keep you and your employees safe, but they won't be in the way. Just go about business as usual, leave the security measures to them. If you have any questions, I'm sure they've got the answers. Or you can call me any time. Though with these guys, they'll probably have it taken care of before that 'nothing' turns into 'something'. You made good choices." A flash a smile to Grace, and almost fond affection to both Leah and Biggie. Jae would've gotten one if he wasn't being an elusive prick.


***

And so it went. The other stylists began filtering in soon after. The first clients of the day arrived, and before she knew it, Grace had fallen into the rhythm and the artistry of her work.

It was almost business as usual. Almost like nothing had changed.

...Almost.

(heavily edited from live play. Thank you to everyone involved!)
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Young Wyrm
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On Wednesday, her windows were smashed in, the word Traitor emblazoned on the front wall of the Salon in sticky green paint. She wasn’t terribly surprised to see it, but her stomach twisted uncomfortably all the same. So it begins again, she’d thought to herself, sadly. We’re never safe anywhere for long.

Calls were made. Discussions were had. By Friday, there were temporary windows in place, a roughshod job done sloppily on the fly because the holes had to be filled and yet, getting replacement windows in the same custom made tinted distressed glass was proving more than a little bit tricky. Is it because I’m standing up for the non-humans? she found herself wondering, an unhappy echo of a thought she’d had a million and one times on Earth. The word Traitor was still brightly scrawled over the wall, as luminescent and piercing as it had been Thursday morning.

Saturday saw an email from a loosely familiar name in her inbox, a host of images, each with a biography and a quick run down of skills and assets attached. Pick as many as you like, the unfamiliar woman had written in the email. We’re glad to help.

By Monday morning, it was official: Grace had her own Security Team. It was an unsettling thing. They seemed like nice, professional people and they’d given her no reason to doubt their abilities or their professionalism - it wasn’t that at all. It was the mere fact that she even needed one that was bugging her, pulling at the edges of her subconscious. Perfect strangers who had become responsible not only for her life and well-being, but also the lives and well-being of her staff and all of her clients - especially the nonhuman ones. She was passionate about fighting discrimination wherever she met it, sure, but when the situation was such that you needed bodyguards for a hair salon, had things already gone too far?

And then she got a text from one of her regulars, a girl she affectionately called Rainbow Brite. Big protest Daphne set up this week...oh I’m so glad you’re getting a security team. Protest? People were fighting back? Grace had more or less held her breath until the woman showed up later that afternoon for her appointment and filled her in on all the details. She’d watched the video, and something like hope surged in her chest. Other people were getting involved, speaking out. Other humans. That was a good sign, right? It gave her hope that maybe everything wasn’t as dark as it seemed.

After another long conversation with Mark, she texted her best friend adding him to the security team. While she still clung to the notion that everything would be fine, that nothing so serious could possibly happen that the four of them wouldn’t be positively bored to tears sitting around the shop, reading her magazines and listening to her music, but it still made her feel better to know that somebody she already knew and trusted was among them.

For the first couple of days, Grace mostly just went about her daily tasks, watching the protest from the windows. She didn’t really get involved, though she felt a certain kind of kinship, or at least camaraderie with the demonstrators. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to get involved, necessarily, but she had a duty to her store first, and anyway, Gypsies tended to take care of their own, leaving the outside world to fend for itself. It was an attitude borne of a millennium of systematic persecution and oppression, sure, but still. She had an obligation not to let any potential violence spill over onto the family just because she’d done something stupid.

Thing is… the protest kept making its way to her door, anyway. For one thing, Keirra was out there, and even if Keirra didn’t live with the crew anymore, she was still family. There was the local band out there, drawing half of her clients and most of the stylists too out into the streets to watch the show. Some nice stranger brought her a basket of amazing baked goods, apologizing to her for the damage that had been done to her shop - like he’d had anything to do with it in the first place. Frankie got involved, even bringing her free pizza.

And then she got to work one grey morning and her shop front had been painted over. It had been exactly a week since the vandalism occurred. Mason was well on his way to getting the windows replaced for her, but that hateful word had been, up til now, still emblazoned like a brand across the old bricks. She kept meaning to do something about it and just hadn’t gotten around to it yet. She had a little bit of experience with stuff that, in theory at least, belonged to her getting defaced, and she knew that this particular shade of green would be difficult to get rid of. Plus it was something of a badge of honor, in its own strange way: a mark that, while mean spirited, indicated that she was in her own small way still a part of the resistance, still involved, still speaking out.


And someone had covered it. Not just washed it away, or more accurately painted over it since that color really couldn’t be washed away, but actually took the time to turn it into something beautiful instead. It warmed her heart and very nearly brought her to tears, this seemingly random act of art and kindness.

It resolved her to get involved. To give back in some way, to help those who were helping her.

But how?

In the end, she’d posted a sign in the front windows, directly underneath the one that said that all people were welcome in her shop and that no discrimination would be tolerated on the premises:


Demonstrators Welcome!
Need something to drink or
Somewhere to sit for a few?
We’re here. Thank you for
Speaking Up. For Being
Involved. For Caring.
We’re With You.

Show us your shirt or sign and get a
Free cut or color on me. --Grace C.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

World Class Hair Salon Running Simultaneous Promotions!

Exciting news, Hair or Dye Fans! Master Color Technician Grace Barlow is coming out of retirement for one week only to bring us two very special deals!

Children's Day

Throughout the Children's Day Festivities, Hair or Dye will be running a special on all braided styles, with all children eighteen and under free!




We will also have hair chalk and other temporary color measures on hand for that little pop of something extra festive!

****

Saila for May Queen

Show Your Royal Colors!

A large poster appears in one of the Salon's main windows:


In honor of Saila's May Queen Nomination, Hair or Dye is also running a 50% off special on all purple hairstyles! The Salon will also be giving away free stickers and buttons based on the poster.




All proceeds from this special event will be donated to Sarengrave House at Saila's request, in honor of her recently departed friend Lirssa.

Don't forget to vote!
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