Elysian Fields: Reap What You Sow [FIN] - Elysian Fields

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The Realm of Elysia

Elysia has only one visible moon and a yellow sun named Hel. All species are welcome in Elysia, though there are still prejudices abounding here. Some territories have been cut and claimed; certain technologies are shunned while others thrive; and the world is a rather eclectic mix of modern and archaic values, technologies and traditions. [ read more | map ]

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Reap What You Sow [FIN] Hesia Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Jericho Icon

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 03:45 PM

The Clay Pits on the northern bank of Hesia were busy at this time of day, but Mister Thorn had been dragged behind a warehouse full of uncut clay without so much as a "Hey, what do you think you're doing, let that guy go!" or a "Hey, is that okay?"

It wasn't okay, of course, as the man on his knees before Jericho would testify. “Please, just... one more week, please!”

Ordinarily, the Dracovarian would not even be here. He much preferred to stay in his office, his hands clean, but Rusty always had balked at beating repayments out of his Therian customers — and this guy had at least eight kids to feed. So here he was, unaffected in his once-spotless loafers, wishing he'd had the foresight to bring a jacket because the autumn breeze coming in off Lake Sybil was as crisp as his once-white shirt had been.

Sneering — at the Therian and the mud splattering his shoes — Jericho waved a hand in an all-encompassing gesture. “I'm a businessman, Mister Thorn. If I let you delay re-payments, then I'm going to have to let all my other customers delay when they beg, and then where am I but out on the lake without a boat?”

“B-but, my family...”

“They'll be horrified, I'm sure. Look, I am sorry —” He really wasn't. “— but I really can't afford to just let you off. Now,” he told the blubbering man as he sank back on his heels, out of excuses and pleas. “Since my friend here is reluctant to beat you bloody, I'm just going to have to punish you myself.”

Mister Thorn was clearly a little confused, until Jericho slid off his sunglasses and very deliberately folded them up. As he slid one arm into his waistcoat pocket, he reached forward with his free hand to pat the trembling Therian on the shoulder. While he didn't need to touch his victims for this to work, he did find it made the job so much easier.

Beside him, Rusty glanced at Nin and shifted uncomfortably, but then crossed his burly arms and set his feet, his back to the pair. Neither man would interfere, even when Thorn began to scream.
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#2 User is offline   Ionia Icon

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 07:30 AM

Normally, Nia would have stayed far, far away from the town of Hesia. A trip there was beautiful and all, since it offered fresh clean air, and was nearly surrounded by the clear lakes of Sybil...However, it was majorly an anyeli town. A neutral anyeli town. Which mean that both factions co-existed with nothing to bar their ancestral feuds except for the words of an oath. Having lived through the war and seen the farces of many peace treaties, Nia had thought the city would fail. Well it hadn't, yet, so during each visit, Nia was forced to walk among apali and endure their false smiles. Those had to be false--an oath does not wipe clean the blood of war.

The town was too serene and friendly to seem real to Nia, even as she nodded curtly at the man who opened the door for her. As she walked out of the shop with a ceramic jar of light green oil in her arms, she paused aside from the entrance to secure the netted-rope basket around the glass. Then, she tied the rope multiple times around the strap of her small backpack.

Hesia may be insufferable at times, but it housed a quaint bakery that she could not help but visit. As she walked toward the bakery and thought of the types of bread that she'd bring home to Calcia (she'd love some cinnamon ones, and Trent would complain if she didn't get the blueberry ones), a sudden scream echoed from the lakeside beyond.

Against all caution to just walk away, Nia arched an eyebrow before heading toward the sound. Judging from the nervous looks of the clay-workers, none were willing to investigate the noise. Peh, pacifists. As she stepped around a particularly muddy part of ground, she smirked and checked for her daggers. It could be a wild animal attack, which was perfect because she had been looking for a hunt.

Picking up her pace as she rounded the warehouse, she was greatly disappointed to find only a tragically ugly monster of a guy. Beside him was some other person, but one who insignificant in comparison to his big buddy. The bottle swayed violently against her side as she paused not with hostility, but with uncertainty. After all, she'd run here in search of a creature, not some thugs with a screaming man. How awkward.

Curious as to how the man could be choking and cringing on the ground with not so much as a scratch on him, Nia voiced her question toward the better-looking of the two. Wow. What did he eat?” Her tone might have mirrored that of a kid at the zoo. She was more interested in the poison than the poisoned. Afterall, he must've done something wrong to have garnered the attention of these these two. Oh, and there was also a man in a suit.
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#3 User is offline   Jericho Icon

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 12:38 PM

Jericho wiped his hand with a crisp, white handkerchief, picking a bit of fluff out of his fingernail where it had caught on Thorn's woollen coat as the man collapsed.

Behind him, a woman's voice sounded, and Rusty immediately went into guard-dog mode. His bushy head hunched into his big shoulders and he put his body between Jericho and the newcomer. Nin stepped up beside him.

“Get outta here, girlie.” Rusty's voice was as gravelly as the man looked.

“Now, now, boys.” Patting the burly Therian's arm, Jericho put his re-folded hankie back in to his vest pocket and stepped around the big man. He was still partially blocked by the smaller Nin, and his sunglasses were back on his face, but it was a gamble nevertheless. He wanted a better look at her, his eyes narrowing slightly as he pierced in to her mind, liking what he saw. Someone like her would make a better business partner than an enemy. “Let's treat the lady with some respect.”

Both Therians glanced at him, but then eased back. Behind the trio, Thorn was starting to recollect his wits. “Please take Mister Thorn home.” Jericho patted Rusty's shoulder again, deliberately not using names. Thorn knew them already, but the woman didn't. “Now, Miss...? In this case, no poison was used, but I'm sure I could put you in touch with good trade in that area, if you'd like to step this way?” It was another gamble, taking her to his shop, but he was fairly sure at this point that she wouldn't go to the Guard if she got something out of it.
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#4 User is offline   Ionia Icon

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 06:11 AM

Of course, she'd had only a second's glimpse of the victim before gorilla-man took offense of her presence. The bulky mass hunched into a ready stance and his leaner companion stepped forward as support. There was no mistaking the undertone of threat in his voice, and though Nia kept smiling, her eyes glinted in response. Two seasoned fighters to one anyeli. Odds weren't good, but Nia wasn't one to back down from just a glare.

"Now, now, boys." Where the bear's voice sounded like chalk, the suit's was smooth silver. That, coupled by the boys' obedience, made Nia more wary of the Suit than the Muscle, though she quickly veiled it with a lofty smirk as the hired goons knelt beside Thorn. As she shifted her own stance, darkness twitched back within the folds of her feathers.

Suit guy said that no poison was involved, and Nia didn't question it. She knew many places and ways to hit a person and not let it show. Still, she felt slightly let down. If he had access to poison, it would have been more exciting to see it in action. Fact was, Nia was very curious to see the goods that this stranger was talking about. She'd learned about blades and steel during the war, but poison--now that was something she'd only recently started to know. Back then, the knowledge had been of more interest to the stealth-types, and stealthy, Nia was not. This man, however, was not quite right, and it wasn't just the glasses shading his eyes...

...Then again, Nia had never been quite okay either. “Let's go.” With an interested grin (and not even a glance at the whimpering and disappearing Thorn), Nia followed in the stranger's direction. They walked through the mud--one ruining his expensive-looking loafers, while the other sloshed away in her combat boots. And as she walked and tapped at the bottle at her side, Nia chuckled to herself, but also at the bully. “So that's your plan. Wave something shiny at me so I'd forget the other guy?”
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#5 User is offline   Jericho Icon

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 08:30 AM

((I hope it's okay to GM them all the way to his shop.))

Jericho's lips twitched in what passed for a smile. “I've been discovered.” It probably shouldn't amuse him, her being smarter than she looked, but he preferred to do this kind of business with people who were savvy enough to not get caught.

Waving off her apparent concerns with a literal gesture, Jericho explained a little: “He stole from me.” While technically inaccurate, borrowing money without paying it back was theft in Jericho's eyes, so he really wasn't lying.

They passed the rest of the short walk in silence, and the first thing he did as they entered his shop was to step out of his ruined shoes with a grimace. The cost of those loafers was definitely going on top of the money Thorn already owed, though at this point Jericho expected he wouldn't get any of it back. Not from Thorn, at least. Perhaps he should send Rusty and Nin to the Thorn family instead...

As he padded to the back and entered his office, Jericho turned slightly to ask, “Are you interested in poisons in general, or do you specialise? I'm in contact with several wildcrafters but you know how they are. They like to keep things close to the chest.” He couldn't blame them, really. He imagined if he were in their shoes, he would keep good harvests secret to prevent poaching.
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#6 User is offline   Ionia Icon

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 09:57 AM

“He stole from me.”

She hadn't expected an explanation, and frankly, she could care less about the affairs of others—unless said Other had a picture with a price under his face. Given that information, however, a brief and quiet chuckle escaped as Nia replied, “He's an idiot then. To steal and get caught.”

They reached a modest-looking storefront soon enough, and Nia tilted her head to look at her surroundings as the man unlocked his door. Passing under the stone doorway, Nia lightly scuffed her feet upon the doormat and glanced lazily across the items that lined the walls and floors. With Lake Sybil as the area's largest source of clay, Nia was not surprised to find various ceramics among display upon the shelves. The store had lots of things, but she wasn't here for anything but the stuff in the back.

Strolling toward the office, Nia was slightly surprised to see the extravagance that decorated it. Showy merchant. “In general. What've you got?” If the man had anything of interest, she'd buy it and bring it to Raphael. Hearing the latter part of the dealer's words, Nia lips quirked with humor. She liked to pick her poisons from creatures. However, she was acquainted with enough wildcrafters to understand their nature. They were more defensive than a cat with kittens.
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#7 User is offline   Jericho Icon

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 03:08 PM

Oh, yes. She was a canny one. She hadn't batted an eye when he plucked the word "poison" right out of her mind, so she'd had dealings with 'Vari telepaths before. She'd seemed more amused than anything when Rusty and Nin carried Mister Thorn away, and the fact that she was standing in the back room of his shop suggested she was confident enough in her own skills — whatever they may be — to get through their negotiations intact.

Taking his seat behind the wide mahogany desk, Jericho unlocked one of the drawers and pulled out his ledger, sliding on his half-moon reading glasses so he could "check his stock". He already knew exactly what he had in the store, but he found that people tended to underestimate him if they thought he had to write everything down.

“Let's see. I have some gurell.” He sent a few feelers into the Skotadi's mind as he reeled off a list of mostly innocuous substances interspersed with far more deadly — and illegal — names. He watched her face for her reactions as he deliberately glossed over the more interesting and lethal poisons, waiting to see if she was really as interested as she seemed. If she didn't react to the more lethal — and more expensive — drugs, then he was most likely wasting his time with her and would sell her a few small vials of the non-lethal stuff to get her out of his hair, and to make a small profit while doing so.

If, on the other hand, her eyes flickered over words like "scorpion king", "hellebore" or even "giant scorpion"... Well, then, he'd know he had her.
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#8 User is offline   Ionia Icon

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 05:23 AM

She thought it was odd when the merchant pulled out a notebook and began to read out of it. If anything, the man seemed more like the type that kept track of everything in his business. A lousier businessman would not have personally tracked a thief through the clay pits. He already had two goons for that, didn't he? If he was playing her...her wings twitched from their folds impatiently.

Crossing her arms as she decided to give this man some time, Nia remained impassive as he listed items both worthy and unworthy of notice. Gurrell? Pah, abundant in any apothecary. She held no interest in wolfsbane, either. On the other hand, the foxlight would prove useful in a hunt. She'd been itching to tackle a hydra, and Charlie would likely back her up on it. But if she even showed interest in the weed, it was only a mere blink. She knew that the man was watching her closely, and she wouldn't give him the bargaining power if she could prevent it—even if the light beyond his 'vari-blue eyes said otherwise.

The naga venom would have enticed most people, but she and Raph had caught one just the other day. In contrast, she hadn't killed a giant scorpion for months, let alone the king-sized breed. Eyes narrowing, the anyeli muttered, “The last scorpion king was spotted years ago, and you're saying that you have its venom?” Certainly, most of its venom would have been used or bought out by now.

((I had to make stuff up, of course. Please PM me if you want any changes. ^__^))
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#9 User is offline   Jericho Icon

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 09:48 AM

((No way, it's great! :D))

Jericho's lips twitched in what, for him, passed as a smile. “Indeed.” So she knew her stuff, then, and wasn't just some lunkhead with half a brain interested in getting his hands on a legend for the glory of it. “Did I say scorpion king?” He could have fabricated an excuse and covered it somehow, but winked instead to show her that he knew that she knew what he was doing. The test was over.

“I'll get the giant.” Her poker face was admirable, but Jericho knew exactly how to use his telepathy to his advantage and she didn't have a shield to speak of. He was interested to note that she was a hunter herself. Perhaps he could forge a business relationship with her. It never hurt to add one more hunter or wildcrafter to his list of suppliers. That way, if one dropped out or became unreliable, he had someone else to turn to. Likewise, if they tried charging him too much, he could begin a bidding war that would keep their prices competitive.

As he stood and ventured to the built-in closet lined with small jars and vials of almost every poison known to man, Jericho peered at Ionia over the rim of his glasses. Assured that she knew her stuff, he eased the closet door open wide enough for her to see inside, and gestured for her to take a closer look. “Anything else that takes your fancy?”
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#10 User is offline   Ionia Icon

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 09:01 PM

Without a doubt, the snake-eyes was reading her mind. She hadn't indicated any interest in the giant, yet he'd known. It could be possible that he was simply being a merchant and pushing things toward her, but Nia knew better with these types—they'd take every advantage they could get. They both knew that he'd named the king, and she didn't think of the slip-up as a test, but more of a failed attempt to scam her.

At least he was letting her see the display. She'd take her chances with the scorpion poison, but she wasn't going to buy anything else that she couldn't readily identify. “I fancy lots of things,” she said with a quirk of her lips as she sidled toward the closet of jars.

Uncrossing her arms, she reached for a tall jar and examined the dried wheat-like flower-plant within. Each of the flowers were no larger than a grain of rice. Popping the lid open, Nia plucked out one of the flowers and crushed it between her two fingers. There was a slight tingly sensation, but it soon disappeared. As she held it to her nose, the scent was mix of mint and cinnamon. Foxlight. “How much is three ounces of this?” If the prices were decent, perhaps she'll even buy some of that khimara poison, though she didn't expect anything better than fifth-gen. The more saturated the venom, the purer the generation. Here, it was a dull ocean green.
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#11 User is offline   Jericho Icon

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 10:09 AM

Jericho's eyes lit with a spark of something that might have been emotion when she countered fluidly. Was she flirting with him? Misha hadn't been around in months and he did like his partners smart — preferably smart enough to see the merits of working both sides of the law, instead of just wife-smart. Yocelyn had let her principles get the better of her, but this woman didn't seem particularly interested in upholding the law. She might have tried to stop him from teaching Thorn a lesson, otherwise.

Naming a price that, he felt, was reasonable but at the high end of what he could expect for three ounces of foxlight, Jericho reached for the vial of scorpion venom. He expected her to haggle so was starting out as high as he could get without turning her away.

“How much of the scorpion would you like?” It was potent stuff so there was a legal limit to how much he could sell at one time to one customer. Jericho had never really paid that much mind, though. His only concern with how quickly he could restock.
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#12 User is offline   Ionia Icon

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 10:00 AM

Thirty-five for three ounces of foxlight wasn't absurd, but it was affordable only to those who were rich, foolish, or both. There were different variations of foxlight based on the region it was harvested from, and how long ago it was harvested, so that might explain the pricing as well. Most likely, Mr. Suit was expecting a negotiation, and was creating a buffer. Well. Haggling was a game as old as Xanth, and the two of them would play it later.

“Hmm~mmm.” The tone of her voice was light, though it diminished toward the end. She tilted the foxlight jar and made a show of inspecting it again. When he asked her about the scorpion venom, Nia's eyes lit with amusement as their gaze traveled over the curve of the jar to focus on the 'vari. “That depends on how you're going to sell it,” she deliberately left her response vague. After a few seconds' pause, she followed with, “How much for two ounces?” Elysia's portal cities had many laws about merchandise, and two was the limit for most venoms. The anyeli already planned to buy more than that, but that would depend on how far the shopkeeper was willing to stretch. Nia smiled sweetly into the blue, blue eyes. Some days Nia hated the blatant disregard for privacy that mind-readers exhibited. Today, it became a tool for discretion. Nia's intentions were clear at the front of her mind, but that was it. She had no telepathic skills whatsoever, but behind the sunny front exterior was a prickly, wary mind that warned against those who pried too much.
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#13 User is offline   Jericho Icon

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 12:02 PM

Jericho's lips stretched. It couldn't be called a smile but it was as close an approximation as he was likely to get. “Two ounces, you say?” Taking the venom to his desk, where various measuring devices lined up neatly for attention, he counted out five and let it trickle into an empty vial. “Two ounces is forty xanthos.” That price was extortionate, but he made sure she could see exactly how much she was getting — and how much he was actually charging her for. If anyone were to overhear their transaction, they could claim that he was just being a Dracovarian and she the poor, inexperienced customer.

“Did you want the foxlight, too?” Placing a cork stopper into the venom vial, he gripped it lightly between his first and middle fingers like a pen as he leaned back against his desk and crossed one ankle over the other. His posture screamed fake casual, intended to give her the feeling that she was in charge, though he thought it was probably too late for that. “I recommend the hellebore, also. Very potent stuff.” And also just as expensive.
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#14 User is offline   Ionia Icon

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 08:36 AM

The price of the venom was extremely high for two ounces, but it would be worth it if Nia got what she really wanted. Attention honing in on the vial as it filled up, Nia could easily see that she was getting more than just two ounces. Lips curling with satisfaction (on that transaction), she tilted her head to nod once before resting the jar of foxlight over the desktop. The 'vari had known without doubt that Nia would want the foxlight. She'd been itching catch a hydra for a while, and large doses of the plant was difficult to find. “Four ounces of foxlight for forty-three.” That was fractionally higher than the standard of what she'd get in Alexandria, but Nia was willing to pay it. If the venom and foxlight worked well, she'd be happy to continue business with this man.

“What a gloomy-looking thing...” The skotadi drawled as she stepped in front of the shelves to see the hellebore. Her eyes betrayed a glimmer of interest in the dark flowery plant, since she'd heard and seen snippets about the plant from Raphael. Even though Mr. Suit was clearly welcoming her to check the hellebore, Nia glanced at it for only a second before shaking her head. She specialized more in the creature-related poisons, so she wasn't going to buy the flower until she could identify and use it better. She'd just met this guy, but she could tell that if she gave the 'vari some advantage, he'd take it all and then some more. Nia would never say it outright, though, and chose to reply simply with: “I'll come back for it next time. An ounce of khimara, however, would be lovely.” It looked like circa-fifth-gen venom, which was pretty common in the market, so the anyeli didn't expect much surprise in pricing.
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#15 User is offline   Jericho Icon

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 05:22 PM

Jericho's lips curved up in a rare smile. "Next time" was a promise many customers used simply to get out of buying things they could not afford, and Jeri would often push beyond it to sell them things they didn't want anyway. With this woman, however, the message beneath the words was more important - and more promising. She seemed satisfied with their current transaction, and smart enough to see through most of his tricks, so he was sure he'd see her again. He was willing to speak truthfully with her because of it.

“Not many would acknowledge their limitations,” Jericho mused, prying once more into her mind and making no secret of it. “Ordinarily, I wouldn't agree with you, but hellebore is lethal to the user as much as the target if not used with caution, and I'd hate to see that pretty face on a pyre.” His words were neither flirtation nor flattery, but a simple statement of fact. Jeri appreciated beauty in all its forms, but mostly from an objective point of view. Few people attracted him enough for him to actually do anything about it.

Khimaira venom poured into another vial, Jericho's fingers tip-toed across the lid of a plain wooden box, designed to hold such items, which sat unassuming on his desk. He arched an eyebrow, his question more than likely self-evident, but voiced nevertheless. “Do you need a container for those?” He had no idea how far she had to travel, and no desire to pry into that unless it became pertinent (even he had a line he tried not to cross), but it wouldn't hurt to offer the box anyway. She seemed burdened already by enough equipment as it was, and the box was not particularly light nor appealing, but if she wasn't careful, her expensive new purchases would smash and leak toxin all over her as she walked.
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#16 User is offline   Ionia Icon

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 07:30 AM

Ionia wasn't one to delude herself with other people's flattery, so the 'vari's compliment slid past her like any other merchant's. Once the hellebore issue was put aside, Ionia watched casually as the last vial filled up with venom. In response to the query about containers, Nia mumbled a brief “Sure.”

However, her eyes drifted over the plain wooden box that sat under Jericho's hands, and she amended her statement. “Some packing material would be good, too. I intend to fly for part of my trip.” The Clay Pits was some distance from the Hesian portal, but more importantly, Nia expected to fly home once she reached New Alexandria. Since she planned to carry her jar of jumenmine oil, the box would have to go into her backpack. It would be absolutely annoying if one of the vials were to shatter en route. Of course, she could catch a caravan going north from Alexshire, but why endure a half day's journey when you could easily avoid it? As the seller loaded the box with vials, Nia reached for her wallet and started to pick out xanthos for the purchase.

((If you want to end the thread here, we could assume that Nia paid what was owed and that Jeri offered his business card to her as she left?))
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