Coming Up On Your Radar

Belle Vista 
"Are you ready?"

 She jingled her keys in her hand - no frills like most things in her life, not so much as a single clunky key chain to bulk everything up. Tossing them into her bag and feeding the meter before she looked back to Isolde through the tint of her sunglasses and maintained the same seemingly vacant expression.

 At midday, the heat and the cloudless sky overhead made this whole venture into the future near unbearable as far as she was concerned. Hair piled atop her head and arms and shoulders bare as she tried to favor what little shade was provided from one of the small blossoming tree's that framed the particular stretch of road they had parked along. Regardless, if she was going to be out and looking for properties to invest in with anyone - she knew Isolde would tolerate (to an extent, at least) her nit-picky attention to detail.

 Still, she tried to pregame this - to make it as smooth a process as possible. An effort that could be found in the Excedrin she had taken before they had left the apartment and the half finished cup of coffee that she kept in her free hand as she turned round and slowly started to meander down the sidewalk. "Any requests?" An effort to keep herself at least somewhat entertained as she looked for signs of vacant spaces in the littering of boutiques and specialty shops.


 Isolde was really kind of dreading stepping out of the air-conditioned vehicle. There was no doubt that either of them favored the cool interior of it compared to the near-sizzling heat of the sidewalk outside, but sometimes, one had to get their hands dirty. She had been smart about it, though, opting for a more cool and casual look than her usual crisp darkness, in the form of shorts and a pale green shirt. Black wouldn't be her friend in this ninety degree bullshit.

 The dark-skinned woman piled her mass of hair on top of her head in a wild bun as Yana dropped coins in the meter, shaking her head slightly. "No. You're running the show," she said simply. When it came to people she actually liked, since it took a while to get there, Isolde was laid back and easy to please. She was content to be along for the ride and offer suggestion when appropriate. Stepping alongside the other cheetah, Isolde let her eyes wander, scanning the area as they moved. "What do you have in mind?"

And this, at the end of the day, was why she found it easy to get along on the day to day with Isolde.

 A peer who was both willing to take a backseat and allow her to do as she saw fit without unnecessary interrogation, as well as someone who would call her out on her shit when absolutely necessary. "Nothing food service." There was licensing in that - permits and random drop-in's from the health department and ... no, it was too much. Whatever she settled on for them, however they ultimately came into money, she wanted it to be something that she felt comfortable leaving someone competent in charge of while she was occupied. The sort of thing that, once established at least, would run smoothly on it's own.

 She motioned down the street ahead of them then, an expanse of specialty boutiques and little shops specializing in highly priced local wares. "Something retail probably - not too commercial, definitely not a franchise." The idea of a clothing store making her wrinkle her nose, the sort of industry that was so fickle and would require so much research it hardly seemed worth the gamble of her recently ... inherited, funds.

 She hesitated in front of the window of one stop, a record store with a staircase leading up and to a book store apparently, happy to keep going and just take it in from the expansive storefront window. Motioning indoors then and nodding to the staircase, "I like this set-up. Business downstairs, private affairs upstairs, perhaps?"

 No food. That was fantastic by Isolde, and she made a visual of it by giving Yana and quick "ok" symbol with one hand. Yana went on. Retail, but small - something homegrown and perhaps a little boujee, if she knew the other woman at all. Surely no Marshall's or TJ Maxx sort of deal. Isolde considered the options as they walked, stopping with her companion to peer into the cozy little business that appeared to be half books and half music. That wasn't a terrible idea itself.

 "That's nice," she confirmed, nodding slightly, staring through their reflections into the business, observing the people mulling about. "Furniture gallery? Interior design or decor. Antiques." Isolde gestured vaguely, as she quickly ran out of ideas. "Or you could just storm in and take this place." She shrugged nonchalantly. If only it were that simple.

 "Antiques?" She tilted her head at the idea, furrowing her brow and considering her base level knowledge on the subject as she continued to watch through the glass of the window for some time. "That's something to chew on for now ... I actually actually thinking ... maybe art? A sort of gallery space that could also sell. I'd probably want to focus on more or less local artists for the time being." More or less thing out loud, comfortable in doing so with present company.

 A smile that was not without it's own edge at the idea of being able to storm in and lay claim to the business in front of them. Nudging her companion gently before she headed down the sidewalk once more and further away from the car for the time being. "Were it that simple we would be up and running by now. As it stands, with the ... sum, I've recently come into ..." A certain missing fisherman's substantial wealth, as it were. "Once we have something hatched out it should not be very long at all."

 Art was likely a better idea than antiques. Isolde nodded her head lightly in agreement, considering how "hip" art was at the moment. Everyone wanted to be a graphic designer or to be covered in tattoos or some such variation. A consignment gallery was even better. The dark-skinned woman could already imagine a high class Friday night full of wine and cheese trays as wealthy, attractive men and woman stepped from piece to piece, discussing various elements as if they had all studied art for decades. She smiled to herself at the thought.

 She followed along when nudged, and her small smirk was turned upon her future Queen when she spoke again. She knew Yana had come into some money, and while there had been some seedy suggestions, Isolde had never pried. However legal or illegal the process had been made no difference to her. Money was money, a great and powerful thing despite how evil it was.

 After some time of walking, she paused before another building, lightly touching her companion as she glanced down at the dusty "FOR LEASE" sign in the window. She peered inside at its great empty space, her eyes seeking a staircase as she kept her ears open for Yana's opinion.

 One of the beautiful things about Isolde, as far as Yana was concerned, was her ability to toe the line between her good side and outright brown nosing. And by now, after all the pandering she had heard over the course of the past few months, she was genuinely grateful when her idea was met with only (what seemed to be) a positive silence.

 Drawn from her thoughts by the light touch, a curious expression as she spun around and glanced to the sign and then to the building. Pursing her lips as she squinted to look inside and stayed quiet for a time, trying to imagine it then. "The upstairs, when we're not using it ... maybe art classes eventually. Some for adults, some for children, varying skill levels ... drum up some additional income ..." The idea being enough to make the grin that too root slowly grow into an outright smile.

 Pulling her phone from her pocket and taking a photo of the inside through the glass, saving the phone number on the sign and returning it back to her pocket with a content sigh. "It's worth looking into at least ... good eye, Isolde." Handling compliments (like most things) with a degree of coldness that some found off putting. "Come on, I want to at least get through this block before we call it. Got to shop around, you know." A solid start to say the least, a lead she was happy to try to best.

 Isolde observed in her reserved silence as the other woman peered inside and mused aloud, building a design for the mind's eye with her words. It was somewhat difficult to judge from the outside, but apparently interesting enough for Yana to take a photo of the phone number in the window. Her words confirmed as much, but it was true that there was a lot more to be seen of the area. Not bothered by the idea and with nowhere better to be, Isolde was content to move along when the pale woman beside her began walking again. "Did you mean to go for such a fancy neighborhood or is this just a coincidence?"

 "Intentional. A lot of my peers live in these parts - once we're close to operational I'll start name dropping. They buy something, their competitive nosy neighbor asks where that darling painting is from. Then that neighbor visits, and from there we just keep out walls interesting and our mouths shut." Blunt in the comfort of present company, no need to keep up with social expectations - Isolde was of a similar enough mindset that she trusted the other woman to not be too quick to judge.

 Taking a deep breath and setting her hands in her pockets for the time being as they neared the end of the block. "Everything is a pissing contest and if you give them something colorful and with an inflated price tag, they'll line our pockets. Besides ... who would expect anything in beautiful Belle Vista?" A gentle nudge with her elbow as she hesitated at the sight of a nearby coffee shop and turned towards her friend.

"Come on, that's enough adventuring for now. Let's grab a drink, my treat, and head back the other way - maybe try one more block the other way, we shall see."

 Isolde was silent, walking with open ears as Yana laid out her plan for her commercial trap. Providing a chic product while playing at human. Easy enough, right? She nodded her head simply in concurrence. The question of how they would operate around the full moon arose in her brain for a moment, but she didn't voice it. Yana was smart, and Isolde trusted her to iron out such details in advance. Instead she was compliant, nodding in silent approval whenever the other woman spoke.

 Isolde was already looking at the coffee shop when Yana elbowed her, dark lips framing a smirk at the offer of free coffee. Hell yeah, she would take that after what felt like a small eternity pacing down the hot ass sidewalk looking inside of buildings. "I'm down for another block," she said simply, trailing along with the other woman. In spite of the heat, it was a worthwhile adventure, and in the end she had no regrets about leaving San Francisco for this.

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