Since Everectronics had decided to go commercial a few years ago, life had changed drastically for Nora, it had gone from the odd meeting here and there with investors and hospital directors to big marketing efforts, mass team expansion and moving into every sector it seemed possible. It was a whirlwind and sometimes Nora worried she'd get left behind by it all but she actually really enjoyed developing commercial products, things people wanted to go the store and buy. Things that excited them and got people waiting up until midnight just so they could buy it and in the past few years they'd managed to become quite reputable in the market for upscale computer devices. 

And that had quickly evolved into other things too, seeing the potential of the company, many others had come to them for technology development and bringing their systems into the modern age. While business had always been Nora's specialty, in the past few years she had taken a shine to the technology and the ideas behind it, helping to guide the direction of business. They worked with hospitals, hotels, schools, corporate companies but their biggest partnership to date was airlines. And not just commercial airlines but also military planes were looking to make use of the newest Everectronics technology, capable to monitoring the plane in a way that had never been seen before whilst also providing new entertainment options for passengers.

It was a pipe dream, something in development which would require many test runs, installations, checks, failures and reworks in order to get to a marketable state and knowing that something like a plane isn't the sort of thing you work on without knowledge, her company had partnered with another for the trials. The contract had been agreed and the first round of the tech provided to be installed, she didn't expect much for the first few months but eventually she hoped this tech would save lives while also making travel easier for others. Which is what led them to today, it was the first time she would be visiting the airplane hangar and seeing the tech the company had developed being worked on and only the second time she'd actually been on location in this particular company. 

She was excited, mostly because she wouldn't be spending the entire day staring at the back of someone's head but mostly because this had been the first idea that was wholly hers, she had pitched the idea to the company, explained how she saw the tech being adapted to the planes and then she had been the one to lead the contractual negotiations that led them to this exact day. The brunette was dressed smartly, blazer, pretty blouse and a pencil skirt. She always tried to dress up a little for work because it set the right impression with the clients, even if in this case she was sure whoever would be showing her around would probably be covered in head to toe in grease. 

Her heels clicked loudly against the floor and she headed into the building, explained who she was at the front desk and was quickly offered coffee, to which she declined as she picked up a cup on the way and then shown through to the back where the only man wearing a suit in the building it seemed was there to greet her. She quickly recognized him as the COO and shook his hand with a friendly smile. He explained how he was here to answer questions but that her tour would better be given by someone who had been working with the tech for the past month or so. He called out to gather the workers in the hangar while she slightly awkwardly tucked her hair behind her ear because she hadn't expected it all to be quite so disruptive.

Everything was fine until she saw the group of engineers making their way over and her eyes fell upon a familiar face, one she hadn't been able to forget but immediately made her brain shout a thousand cuss words at once and she turned her face flustered. She wasn't supposed to see Julian again, he wasn't supposed to ever meet her real self and yet there he was, towering over the group of males and making her stare for just a moment. Well fuck, she was going to need to think long and hard about how she played this if she didn't want him to immediately put two and two together. Lucky for her, she wasn't a stranger to having a work personality and a non-work personality.  

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It had been months since he first came to Evermore to start his new life, forgetting all about the tragic past that he couldn't seem to shrug off even after almost a year. Out with the old and in with the new, his sister told him. Jane Ann would've been such a good influence had it not been to her strong views about a few things that even Julian felt compelled to reject and argue. Their relationship hasn't been all too well after Maleah, and even after his late fiancee's passing, he still didn't connect with her sister as much as he used to. Thankfully, the two Lockhart siblings were mindful to skip formalities and avoid talking about her part in his life. It was easier to just forget, he told himself. And so he did. It was as if it never happened. It also signified a while since he got himself into a bit of trouble where he found himself strung up from his leg just because his reckless self did not figure to check there were booby traps being fixed around in that alley. 

But the good outcome from it was that he had the opportunity to meet the infamous Scarlett Archer in person, though he wasn't aware of who she was at that time. The male definitely went back home and dashed straight to his laptop so he could start his search to know more about her. There wasn't much coverage on her story until he got his hands on the Evermore Daily newspapers and tabloids. Was he obsessed with knowing who she is? Not a word he'd use specifically because he didn't exactly seek her out after that, he only learned more about what she does and when she was sighted just for the sake of his knowledge. There was no doubt in his mind that he was, indeed, interested to know more about this mysterious female with sharp tongue and sarcasm for days.

 Unfortunately, this week was one of those weeks for him; a week where he had to stay back to work overtime to finish his reports so he could submit the feedback before the weekends. It was ironic, Julian had a talent in writing reports for sure but the raven-haired male never found any liking to it. He prefers to work on planes and jets itself in person, engaging with every progress directly. It was no wonder he likes staying in the hangar more than he likes going to the headquarters even though his main office was there. Stretching out his hands in the air as he lazily pulled himself out of slumberland after that 30 minute nap he had in the workers' lounge, Julian ruffled his tousled hair and wondered what all the commotion was about. What was all the ruckus for? He had been working at the hangar on installing the new wiring system in one of the newer and lighter jets yesterday and it had taken him a full 18 hour mode with an extra 5 to 6 more hours hence his exhausted and deprived state. 

The 30-minute-nap was way more than what he's had in the whole week though, so it meant everything to the Nephilim. He pulled his colleague by the collar from the back and enquired why they were all rushing, "Where are they all going?" He was given the answer soon enough and started heading to the main building as well. It wasn't that far from the hangars, only about 3 to 4 km away from the base in walking distance to avoid any disruptions in the office since they can be quite noisy in the hangars. Apparently, the COO of Everectronics was paying a visit today and wished to see how the progress is going, understandably so. As soon as he got there, everyone else were already forming a messy formation of groups to reasons unknown. It wasn't until his junior told him the boss lady is quite strict that he understood why, though the others were more interested in seeing her only. 

She was petite and as dressed smartly which suited her appearance; Eleanora Nordstroem. He crossed his arms and stared at her for a brief while before averting his gaze to his superior standing next to her. He would very much like to resume his work now instead of waiting there. "Form yourselves, lads" he murmured, his voice was casual but clear, their work ethics were obviously held in high regards because everyone else formed themselves neatly as he walked ahead and nod as to acknowledge the two figures. "To what do we owe this honor of being called upon?" he asked softly but glanced back at Nora with a small smile, "Where are my manners" he chuckled and smiled wider, "My name is Julian Lockhart, ma'am. Team leader." 

She’d definitely heard differing opinions in the office about whether this visit was worthwhile of the company time, she wasn’t the kind of COO who wanted to sit behind her desk all day and talk about the upkeep of products she didn’t know better than anyone else there. She saw it as her responsibility to know everything about their projects, how they were going, who they were working with and in the end, what the customers got to experience. So no, she didn’t care for their judgment and yes, she intended to be as personally involved in this project, which was her idea initially she might add, as she could be and she was looking forward to seeing it come to life. As they headed through the halls she laughed at few of the male’s jokes but for the most part, she found him lacking character, something she found about a lot of executives, their mind was on the money and not on the core interest of whatever it was they were doing. Which is why she was glad someone else would be handling the actual tour part of today.

She definitely felt a certain tension in the room as the men came over to gather in front of her, she hoped she wasn’t impacting too much on their day because she could see from the sweat lining their brows and the grease which was smeared quite literally everywhere that they worked hard. She was content and confident until she spotted that one familiar face in the crowd, towering over the others at over 6ft. She had to admit, of everything she was expecting to see today, he was not what she had in mind and here he was, standing out in a crowd in the exact same way he did that night in the moonlight. Bright hazel hues which caught the light and reflected every shade of green and brown and tousled raven-colored hair which frame his face so perfectly that it was almost unfair. It had been dark when they first met and she’d noticed he was attractive then but seeing him now was a whole different experience.

Nora was doing her best to cover her reaction though, because one, she wasn’t that girl who fawned over a guy just because he had been blessed in the gene pool, two he didn’t even know who she was and in his mind this was the first time they met and three, it wasn’t like she was actually interest. Though he was definitely nice to look at, she would admit that. She glanced over at the COO and then the group of males, noting that all seemed a little nervous to approach her and she was cursing whatever higher power there was in her head when he was the one to step forward from the group and looked between her and the manager. She swallowed hard before turning to him and giving her most polite smile.

She offered her hand out to him without hesitation, it didn’t bother her that she would probably get grease on her, she just felt wrong not properly introducing herself to someone “Eleanora Nordstroem” she spoke firmly and then gave a slight chuckle at the wording he had used “Please call me Nora, ma’am makes me feel older than I am” she didn’t give the other male a chance to get a word in like he was clearly waiting for “Well actually I’d say the honor is mine, not every day I get to see one of our projects in person” he cleared her throat “I was hoping someone might be able to show me the progress on the integration but I’d also be really interested in feedback, no doubts some of you must have gotten the chance to try the device out a little” she found it really important to get outside opinions. She was mostly trying to distract herself with everything word related because her work persona was the easiest one she could come up with to separate herself from her alter ego.

Julian had been sleeping either in the small office in the hangar where he worked at mostly, or in the worker's lounge where even the sofa there became home to many of the employees there. It wasn't that comfortable but it sure was decent in his eyes, but then again what would he know about comfortableness when he's been lying on the floor for more times than he could count? Definitely longer than he even slept on the couch in the lounge for sure. The raven-haired Nephilim craned his neck while waiting in the crowds as he rubbed the back of his neck soothingly to lessen the sore effects taking over his body because goddamn, it felt like he's about to have muscle cramps at this point. Please don't let it be now, please don't let it be now, he said to himself. Not when his employer is having a big ass meeting that somehow invited all the workers from the hangar to assemble. At first, he was grumbling because he definitely could have maybe an hour or two more to nap before his shift resumes again. But alas, someone had to ruin it. 

Though as soon as his eyes fell on the petite female standing next to his boss, he tilted his head to the side instinctively, not to be a prude but she is quite the looker. Julian has seen plenty of attractive females come and go in the company though neither of them ever really came down to the hangar just to see them work, most were businesswomen or assistants. Why would they go to the hangar that's humid and hot? For a brief while, he totally forgot he's the team leader and how he was supposed to be the one that introduces all of them to her. Give the guy a break, he just saw a good looking gal who looks equally sweet and charming, with his slightly delirious and exhausted state from his nap earlier? Oh yeah, he's gonna stand there and take a few minutes to take in everything. Yes, even the sight of the COO of Everectronics. He wondered if his appearance was decent enough for such a formal greeting, he knew he did not have the chance to clean after himself all that well when he woke up from a siren indicating the boss is calling. 

Messy tousled hair and rolled up sleeves. Well, at least he just changed into a new uniform earlier this morning. Funny, her height reminds her of someone. The eyes too, though it was definitely brighter today and accentuated her features even more, they were defined. He pressed his lips together as an effort to stifle a laugh, though his dimples and slight curve of his lips did not manage to hide it all too well, "Well then, Nora, welcome." He was so close to asking if she is older than she looks but decided to bite that one down, especially in front of his boss, well… bosses, seeing as Everectronics started merging with them since a while ago. The collaboration wasn't unexpected but it was still surprising to see them seeking out such an innovation to implement them into aircrafts. He kept his stare leveled and the smile genuine even when it was clear he was sleep deprived. "Allow me to have the pleasure to show you the progress of how things are going then" he quipped as soon as his other boss left them because god knows what the old man has to work on in the vicinity of his office. Julian respects the guy but he can be insufferable at times.

 He whistled and the others formed a line in less than 10 seconds, impressively. All of them were once, at some point, military trained, after all. "I would like to introduce you to our squadrons, we have 2 different groups working on it. Squad UY and Squad CT, named after their behaviors really" There were two lines, 7 members from each. "UY focuses more on rewiring as well as component dismantling and installing" he then gestures to the other line, "CT focuses more on the outer appearance, they are the calculators, they calculate the weight and tell us what part we necessarily need or don't to ensure a lighter and less risk when flying" Oh, Julian loves the two teams with his life even when they can be so rebellious outside working. "UY stands for Unruly, CT stands for Chaotic. Yes, I totally made that up but it kind of suits them. Tell me, are you the one that suggested the implementation experiment from Everectronics?"

Was she ashamed that she was standing here completely enamored by the looks of a tall and muscular Nephilim? Perhaps. Nora wasn’t usually the kind of girl who found herself wrapped up in a person’s looks, let alone stare at them but there was something about him that just stood out from the crowd and it wasn’t just the fact that he practically towered over it either. She pressed her lips together and let out a long breath, she’d tried to forget about him since they parted that night, but he had been the first person who ever told her that he thought the work she was doing to help the city was worthwhile. The first person to offer to help her when she was in need and she was grateful for that. She still thought he was reckless as hell and needed wrapping in bubble wrap before he walked into any more traps but his kindness had definitely stuck out to her that day.

She shuffled forward as she came to meet with him, looking back at him for a moment and slight panic flashing in her eyes that he might recognize her, she had tried very hard not to give him too much of a view of her face that night and she had used a voice modulator so he wouldn’t be able to distinguish her voice but the way he looked at her at that moment almost gave the impression of familiarity. She shook it off as paranoia, there was no way a stranger would be able to recognize her like that, not even with an hour’s worth of conversation, though she would need to make sure not to show any sign of pain on her side where the wound had been. Even now his expression was so effortless and kind looking, he seemed like an approachable person, she might even say fun “That would be great, thank you” she spoke it formally, though she was cursing the fact it was him of all people here because he was making her nervous, wondering if anything she did might tip him off about her identity. She was glad when the bland sounding male sauntered back to his office though because she was hoping to get a real glance at this integration and she had the feeling he wasn’t going to have the first idea about it.

She arched an impressed brow as the group fell into line and she glanced between the males, she could see some of them struggling not to laugh which made her curious as she listened to Julian talk, it was interesting, seeing the way they worked and how they all clearly seemed to get along, she definitely recognized a lighthearted spirit between all of them and when Julian finished explaining what each of the squads meant even she laughed softly. He was actually pretty witty to come up with that on the spit and it seemed the others agreed. She shook her head somewhat amused as she glanced up towards him “Sounds like you all know one another well” she noted with a nod of her head “Though I hope you manage to get some work in between the unruliness and chaos” she jested back, though, from the looks of their messed up overalls, she was going to hedge a bet they worked very hard.

She was surprised by his question because it was on the mark almost immediately, most people assumed she was either the figurehead or someone they sent to sweeten those they were negotiated with so she respected someone who immediately recognized her as more than that “I’ve always had a personal interest in the aviation industry so when we started designing the EX2300 I wanted to tailor it for the sector” she nodded slightly “I just think there’s so much the technology can lend to such magnificent machines” it was clear from her words that she was really passionate about this and frankly, she had a vested interest in seeing it succeed. She looked back at Julian for a few moments wonder if he would think it strange that she seemed so excited about it all and she shrugged slightly “I never used to be a tech person until I saw all the wonderful things you can do with it, seeing a child who was told they would never walk again, walk” she shook her head slightly “There’s just nothing that can compare” she believed in the work she did and she wasn’t ashamed to admit that.

Julian always found himself staring at the female before him quite a number of times, if not often as he would say, he wasn't sure if it was simply because he was actually drawn to her or because her petite build and her eyes reminded him of someone. Bur who? He tried raking his head for any possible answers to his endless pit of questions but to no avail, nothing came up. It was probably just something else bothering him for no goddamn reason again. She was attractive though, anyone with a good pair of eyes could identify that quite easily. Her figure and the way she dressed, hell even by the way she carries herself screams professionalism and genuine. The latter trait piqued his interest because what kind of woman would come down to the field personally just to check out the progress of her work? Unless she is more than a person who has a position and who sits on a fancy chair in a spacious office. Maybe she's different. Maybe she had more involvement in this programme and creation more than he thought. 

Don't judge a book by its cover, he reminded himself. He managed to pinpoint the slight and very brief distress and indifferent look on her, the blue hues flashed in confusion and panic? Was it panic? Why would she think so? Ah, she's probably just overrode by the panic and nerves. Meeting another batch of workers and employees could not have been easy. Her answers remained formal and copious, it was short and simple. A part of him felt disheartened because he couldn't pry much from her, he thought she'd be more happen so he tried to keep his gaze levelled on her. When he gathered everyone as they formed opposite lines with half the same numbers of people as the people adjacent, he was more than excited and happy to introduce them to her. If she came all the way down here just to meet those who are doing their jobs to see the progress of her company's technology component asserted into the aircrafts, then she should know all those faces that worked hard on them. It's only fair that way. 

He did have to admit that the names that were given to the respective squads made him laugh, apparently it made her amused too. She had pointed out that they worked well and play decently with one another which prompted the smile on his lips right now, that was what everyone said and Julian was glad he was able to pose a good example. "Yeah well most of us have known each other for a while before coming to this division. Most if not all of us usually met the other while in military training." After all, it was because of that very fact that they remained very disciplined. They are very work-oriented and tend to finish things on time if not earlier than the deadline given. To say he was proud would be an understatement. "Not to worry, we play around a lot but we do remember to finish the job" he reassured lightly, it was important for him to do that. 

Employers would expect the best from their workers and he can understand that. "Haven't you noticed? Look at our messy state, we definitely like to show our progress through our work for sure." Hearing that she was interested in the aviation industry, his eyes lit up as he marvelled in wonder, there weren't many that liked their line of work and to see someone interested in them was a huge wakeup call. "It's a complicated area so not many was that interested in it" Ah, there was another person interested in the same, the female that he quite literally could not forget. "You should be… the 2nd person I've met so far that showed an amount of interest." Her words on why she did what she did made him gape at her in awe, he was surprised and taken aback. So this is the kind of person the COO of Everectronics is like.

 He stared at her with the same look of admiration and newfound respect to see how far she was willing to go through such lengths just to make sure the world can be a better place with such innovation in hand. He agreed with that. "Well, not to worry then because we've been working on the parts delivered, two weeks ago. Started on dismantling everything the moment it arrived the next day." Of course he was proud of their work ethics, it was what kept the organization in the industry alive and in order. Their teams were only nicknamed that because they're creative. "And what did you foresee with the EX2300? When it was created? Surely there must be some kind of result you were looking for."

Nora made sure to meet the gazes of each of the men who were looking back at her, giving polite smiles to each as she greeted them, going along the lines and shaking all of their hands one by one. The Dhampir didn’t see herself as above anyone else who was working on the project, they all had their roles to play in order to ensure the delivery of the final project, arguably they were even more instrumental to it than she was and that deserved respect. Nora got a sense they all got along the well from the way they looked to one another and back to Julian every so often, she imagined it was a pretty fun working environment where people joked around with one another. They had an open-plan office at Everectronics so they saw a lot of that too, people chatting about projects and collaborating, it was nice to come to work and know the people there would make it better.

“That’s great, does the firm have a special program or did you all just decided this company was the one for you?” she imagined there weren’t a lot of options though, pilots could go into commercial airline roles and engineers could work on commercial planes but there was only one official airport in Evermore so she was sure the choice was pretty much made for them. “Good to hear” she responded when he assured her that the work got done at the end of the day “I do hope they let you listen to music or something” she imagined working in the same spot all day every day could get boring and tiring fast, her role was more varied from day to day, she did a lot of visiting clients and partners, she spent some time at the labs, others she was at her desk at the office.

She shrugged her shoulders lightly “I’m only joking, I have full confidence everyone pulls their weight here” she eyed him for a moment, she was surprised her humor got lost in translation, it was usually pretty cold and dry and most people in the workplace always seemed to be pretty intimidated by her and her position. She was working on that but she just naturally gave that impression to most people. When he pointed out that not a lot of people seemed to take an interest in the sector she shrugged her shoulders and smiled “They did give me some funny looks in the office when I first brought it up but I can be pretty convincing when I want to be” she arched a brow slightly “Besides, they’re missing out, the fact that we have managed to invent something that allows people to see the entire world, is amazing and making that experience even better and safer, is something important to me” maybe her interests were strange but the didn’t like to trivialize important things.

The way he was looking back at her made her a little nervous, no one seemed to give her thoughts and opinions so much credit as the look in his eyes implied he was “That’s great, have any of you had a chance to demo the device at all yet? I’d be really interested in any feedback you have on improvements that could be made” they had created a commercial software demo as well as one designed for the upkeep and monitoring the plane. The commercial one was mostly based around enhancing the user experience on board and providing unique and high-quality entertainment for passengers but it was the second device she was sure would be the one they were most interested in “Why world domination of course” she responded somewhat nonchalantly before she followed it up “No the idea behind the EX2300 is to be highly adaptable, so that it can be applied into many workplaces, many people’s homes and even an airplane and be tailored to maximize user experience” she shrugged her shoulders “My vision is to make people’s lives better in small ways with the things we can create”.

She was still feeling a little jittery being around Julian, worrying if he might recognize her at any point, she’d never really let anyone she’d met in real life get close enough to see her eyes when she was her vigilante self but she knew he had looked into them “I don’t suppose you have somewhere to get a coffee?” she asked and looked from him to the group of works and smiled at them “I’m really looking forward to working with you all” she spoke honestly, but she didn’t want to keep them from their work for too long and it seemed Julian was the one who had been appointed to show her around. Just her luck. “So how long have you been stateside?” she asked curiously, she had to keep rehearsing in her head what he had told her today and what he had told her the other night so she didn’t say something that would out her. It was definitely making the gears in her head metaphorically spin.

He had no doubt that the others in the hangar would be giving her the respect she deserves, most of them probably didn't like their superiors that much because they tend to act very… practical when it comes to hierarchy system. The employees here mostly originated from military and despite having discipline ingrained in their mindset, it still doesn't keep them from snickering behind the old man's back because of his terrible judgements. They were a bunch of youngsters, after all, no one expected much from them other than the increase in their work level. Julian had to be the third eldest there in the team too. Something about the female dhampir, however, piqued their interest, no doubt she was undeniably attractive, a sight to stare at while working for the day, for sure. The way she carried herself with an equal amount of confidence was also another bonus pointer in her part.

 When you're confident in a den of lions, they sense it and you'll immediately gain their respect. This was what happened earlier. The shift in the air happened because they said how eloquent and articulate she was. So, not just some pretty face from the department, message received well and clear. "There used to be one a few years ago but it didn't work out so I guess it was discontinued before they decided to bring in a new element to elevate their working skills" he pointed to 4 of the recruits in the other team, who looked to be quite young, "These 4 are part of the new internship programme they introduced 8 months ago, straight out of the academy too. They come here to work on the hangar twice a week." Of course those twice a week had at least 8 to 10 hours each spent while being surrounded by compartments and loud noises.

 "The rest of us are personal steps, though it's really just us being transferred over here." Julian was was one of them who got deported here, for some unknown reason that he wasn't too concerned to actually be questioning on,  it wasn't as if he didn't like Evermore, anyway. The team erupted in snickers and laughter when they heard her said something about music and any form of mild entertainment to keep them sane, "Don't worry, they're not that cruel. They know our working performance relies on how well we can endure the strenuous activities. They take good care of us because if we fell sick, nobody's gonna finish those up" he gestured to the aircraft lined up across them, "And they don't have the means to reach out for more calibred engineers because of the quota they've met every 12 months." Honestly, it felt a bit relieving to see that he's talking to someone who actually knows what she's doing and cares for the well-being of the employees. 

A chuckle escaped him upon hearing her remark, "Indeed you seem like the person who takes her matters into her own hands." It was a compliment, not everyone can be that self-sufficient and independent. Especially not in a sector where it was sometimes predominated by males. She was smart, Julian could see that. There was this reassuring air of intelligence surrounding her. Her talk about seeing the better future for the next generations to live more comfortably without feeling burdened by things they could've prevented to ensure a more simpler and well-aid life made the Nephilim grin unconsciously. Someone with a strong opinion of their own and wasn't afraid of standing by it. No wonder everyone there respected her. When asked if they're done any demonstration on the devices given, he pursed his lips and shook his head, "Unfortunately we weren't allowed to construct any demo without filing a letter of permission to Everectronics and have the technicians come along side the inventor to watch. They said they'd get back to us in 6 to 14 working days?" Of course. 

His tone implied that Julian alongside his team were a bit disheartened to hear those news when they've been working day and night to make it happen. Her sense of humor made the others snicker, even Julian himself had to refrain himself from laughing because her nonchalant way of speaking screams confidence. It was clear that she had already pictured the outcome of this invention and he couldn't help but to part his lips in awe at her explanation. She definitely knows her things. "That sounds like a great vision, albeit quite ambitious but everything great starts from what people thought would be impossible feats, right?" That's why Albert Einstein existed, what Van Gogh was praised, and the likes. "Right, get back to work everyone. Please submit your weekly report on my desk before you checkout, alright?" There were choruses of alright and okay as he beckoned for Nora to follow him, "There's a cafeteria not far from here. It's located in the main building." He was surprised to receive such a question from her but he would also like to make things less awkward if possible for a smoother conversation, "About 6 years" he answered, "Why do you ask?"

Nora looked between Julian and the people he was pointing out, it was clear he knew them all well and personally which was really nice to see, in some companies you could have some people not knowing the very same people working in the same room as them which was kinda sad when you stopped to think about it. “An internship huh?” now that was interesting to hear about, she had considered doing an internship program at Everectronics too but most corporations tended to use that as an excuse to barely pay their employees or even make them work for free, it was especially common in places like hers with big offices “I’ve been thinking about starting one of those myself though I fear there’s a certain stigma involved” which was a shame because Nora was a big fan of nurturing young talent.

“Happy with the personal step?” she asked curiously, she liked being around people who enjoyed the work they did and while she was sure he wouldn’t be completely honest with her if he did dislike working here, she was usually good at spotting when someone was being insincere about their like for something. “Ah good, I think I might go crazy in such a loud environment without something to distract me” she was a headphones on and get the work done kind of girl when she was in the office. Or on the plane. Or anywhere really, music was a big driver for her. It was a shame she couldn’t sing to save her life. “Well good, I like to hear about workplaces that foster good support” and it made her glad that she had chosen this particular company to partner with over another.

“Oh, you have no idea” she commented without a thought before she realized how that statement related to the other things she did with her spare time and she went quiet as to not give too much away. Damn, he was making her brain a little foggy she had to admit which made the conversation difficult for her. She cleared her throat, adding to her answer so that there couldn’t be any second-guessing what she might have meant by that statement “I mean I can’t expect people in my office to believe in a project I haven’t put my all into right?” she shrugged slightly “It’s not another money-making scheme to me, anything I put my name to, I want it to be a project I’m proud of” it was as simple as that really. When he said he hadn’t been given the chance to try the devices she frowned slightly “Well that simply won’t do, how are you supposed to get excited about a project you’d never even got to try” she sighed slightly and then pulled her phone from her pocket and dialled Emilio “Hey Lio, I need you to get an access request expedited for me right now” she heard shuffling on the line before she explained the situation and he confirmed it would be dealt with in the next few minutes, she ended the call and smiled politely at Julian.

“They will email through the confirmation shortly and since I am partly credited as the inventor of the device, I will suffice for your mentor” she was disappointed that process had been so badly handled and she was going to make sure it got properly reviewed when she got back to the office, they were supposed to be encouraging innovation and collaboration and this definitely felt like a step backward “All of you have signed an NDA as part of your agreement to the company, it’s ridiculous that we’d feel the need to hide anything”. She cleared her throat a little awkwardly because of the way he was looking at him like she had just said something amazing but then she gave a slightly shy smile “Well the old saying goes, shoot for the moon and if you miss then you will land among the stars” she didn’t see the point in thinking small, world domination was a joke but also not at the same time she supposed.

When he said there was a cafeteria she gave a slight sigh as she fell into step alongside him and tilted her head a little so she could watch him in her peripheral vision “Just curious really, it seems like you know this place inside and out so I figured you must have been here a while” which was good because she needed someone who knew their stuff. “I still can’t believe they denied you access to use the devices you were installing, I am so sorry about that” she shook her head unimpressed her tone dry and evidently clear someone was going to be in trouble when she got back “The plus side is that I should get some raw first reactions today though” which was a nice thought she had to admit.

He nodded in response when she asked about the internship, it wasn’t really in demand a few years ago, but now it pretty much covers the aspect of the younger ones here. The 4 recruiters in his squad are between their young 20s, which was the only group of people who are younger than him. “I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of companies offering a few spots for young talent to fill in their internship programme” It usually doesn’t pay that much seeing as they are working for experience but thankfully, despite how uptight their supervisor is, he’s just rough and boring from the outside, inside he was pretty much a man with rainbow unicorns flying around. “The internship here makes pretty well. These kids are paid well and their work performance doesn’t decrease even the slightest bit. Sometimes we would even hold a monthly evaluation to see who comes up at the top and the company will give them a rebate or a reward” And most of the time, he would stand there and clap, not to be proud or anything but Julian retained his title as employee of the month for a good reason. 

Upon hearing that she wished to create one but couldn’t because of a certain stigma, he parted his lips and drawled in understanding, right, that stigma. “Don’t get me wrong, spending my entire day being all sweaty and oily in hangars with not enough time for your own grooming or sleeping on the comfort of your own bedsheets, is not my choice, to be honest. Those guys have their own wives, fiancees, girlfriends… waiting for them back home. But our job pays well and they allow us to have creative freedom when it comes down to modifying the aircraft or wiring. We enjoy what we do and we get to dive deeper for creativity purposes too” he shrugged, it was the job for him right now, it was tiring, sure, but they knew what they signed up for when they accepted. He arched his eyebrows and snickered, “Are you the kind to dance her night away?” he asked, careful not to leave any hint of judgment lacing his voice because that was not what he intended. 

When she confirmed what he said about doing outer activities, he saw the look on her that indicated she probably shouldn’t have said those but he didn’t see the problem in it, did she think she was being too personal? Perhaps. “True, if you’re not fully invested in something, how do you make of it?” She was definitely earning his respect as time flies by, this wasn’t just some girl you see working inside an office and came for the sake of being seen by the public workers who are working on her project. This was someone who really was passionate about what she does. “Then I’m glad that you are my boss” he affirmed, sparing her a knowing smile, it’s a refreshing thought. Julian shrugged and tried to dismiss it absentmindedly but even he wasn’t happy upon hearing that they had to do all those paper works all because of protocols. 

Before collaborating with them, he was sure the company itself has done its research on their company, so what was the problem? He was a bit taken aback when Nora suddenly fished her phone out and dialed a number he probably didn’t even get to say a word to, and talked to whoever was on the other line. He whistled to himself while waiting for her to finish the call and when she did, he gaped at her for getting the green light, “I shouldn’t be surprised because you’re in charge of this project and you’re the COO, but I am” he admittedly sheepishly. He was actually awed in her skills, even the way she brought up the topic was articulated, okay maybe he was being biased but she really did pique his interest. And it definitely takes more than just a pretty face to make him this way, “Don’t worry about it. It’s all settled now, no?” he reassured with a smile, “Big words coming from a small person, no offense. You’re like a cute size” okay, maybe not a cute size, but Julian didn’t have any more words to say, so cute just came out, which he was now internally fighting with himself. 

Hearing the sigh from her made him tilt his head considerately, “Why the sigh” he asked curiously but the smile never left his lips, it felt like it was almost a default look when in reality, Julian always looked like he needed 5 cups of coffee, “Oh… I just came to Evermore this year though. Permanently, at least. But I’ve been with the company for 6 years, admittedly I came here a few times but never got to scour around, they said the technology in Evermore is very advanced, quite like nothing else they’ve ever seen and I’m guessing you people are the reason for it” he pointed out wryly, he shook his head profusely when she apologized again, “Don’t worry about it. Why are you apologizing? It’s not your fault. Someone once told me that constantly apologizing for things you don’t even know what you’re apologizing for, doesn’t get you anywhere” How ironic. 

“Don’t blame them though, I’m sure they’re just following protocols. I can understand how much of a pain that is” they were workers, at the end of the day, anyway. “Do you always go down to the site to supervise your work?” he asked, he was wondering if this was her first trip because there was that quirk to her but she seemed experienced enough. 

“I’ve heard of many companies offering internships because it allows them to get energetic talent for much less money” she commented bluntly and shrugged slightly, she generally saw the system as a way to exploit younger workers with less experience for the first few years of their career but there were exceptions. If Everectronics took interns she would want them to be paid close to a normal working, only taking out any costs that actually went into their training “I’m glad to hear this a good one, I am a big advocate on taking care of the people who make a company run” and while she didn’t run this company she did now have a stake in it which made her want to ensure the employees were happy. And perhaps she had a small bias towards the tall dark-haired male and wanting to ensure he did well for himself.

“There are definitely worse things in life than a bit of dirt” she commented with a half-smile and shrugged slightly “So no wife, fiancee or girlfriend for you huh?” she laughed slightly “To me that sounds even better, big bed to go home to and sprawl out on” or at least that’s one of the things she enjoyed about living alone when she was actually at home, which was rarely if she was honest because she spent most of her time either at the office or out on the streets of Evermore protecting people, sleep was rare and short-lived for her. “Do you have any passion projects of your own?” she asked with raised brows, interested to see if he took initiative within his job role or if it was more of a get the work and put your head down til it was done, she definitely liked people who had a mind of their own and were able to contribute off their own backs. When he asked if she often danced the night away she laughed “Not to public knowledge no” which was her way of saying she did but not outside of her room.

She shrugged slightly “Big CEOs and board members wonder why so little happens within their company not realizing that their own employees aren’t even excited about the products” she frowned slightly and shook her head, all about the money and so little about the actual goal of the company “Would you buy something that you didn’t feel had been given the love or attention it deserved?” that was her standpoint on it all and she was very strict with that mindset. When he said he was glad she was his boss she gave a wry smile “I have the feeling this partnership is going to work out really well” she admitted it in an honest but perhaps slightly playful tone. She kinda cursed the fact that he was so approachable and easy to talk to because it was going to be so much harder to keep him at arm’s length or throw him off her identity.

After she was done with the call, she put her phone back into her pocket and grinned slightly, his comment about being surprised about her pull made the dhampir laugh softly “Well I’m not just the COO, I’m also the co-founder of the company” she shrugged slightly, she just didn’t want to take the public spotlight of the CEO role because it would have raised a lot of questions about her parents that she didn’t want to deal with. Plus Emilio was a great figurehead for the company and he’d come a long way with giving speeches and generally getting in touch with their audience. She was the less approachable one.”I mean we’ll find out in about 20 minutes when he gets back to me but someone’s going to have hell to pay if not” she admitted with a shrug, she might be small but she could also be pretty scary if you pissed her off and most people at the company knew better. She frowned at him when he called her small and then said cute size “Cute size” she commented a little dumbfounded by his comment, what did that even mean?

She hadn’t even realized she had sighed almost autonomously until he commented on it and she shrugged slightly “Just relieved that I can get my hands on some coffee before I go completely crazy” she responded with a coy smile in his direction “Oh really?” she spoke a little surprised he hadn’t been on the base very long considering how close he was with everyone here though she supposed that if you worked alongside the same people all day every day then a year was actually quite a lot. “How do you like the city then?” she asked as she quickened her pace a little because he was tall and had long legs which meant his natural pace was faster than hers and he kept leaving her behind as they were walking. She had to shake the natural reaction to widen her eyes when he quoted her own words back to her though and she cleared her throat a little in surprise that he had taken that in and remembered it. She nodded a little, shyly because she didn’t realize the things she said had so much impact “Yeah well I feel responsible for my company not doing their jobs right” she admitted with a shrug.

“Well if the protocol is counterproductive then I’d argue it should have been changed a long time ago, why have process simply for the sake of process” she raised her brows in a questioning manner, she was always asking why things were done and whether they could be done better because that meant more work getting done and less time spent on the boring paperwork. His question made her shrug her shoulders slightly “It depends how big the project is and how personally involved I am, I’d like to visit all of them but it’s not always going to play into schedule” she was a very busy person after all “I like seeing the reality of it all though, it makes me feel like I’m helping in some small way” she wasn’t the genius who actually invented the tech but she did have a vested interest in seeing it succeed and making sure what they delivered was of the highest quality.

“What about you, what’s a typical day like here for you?” she was interested to know what the reality of his work was and whether it differed from what she thought it might be like.

"Well, thankfully this company isn't like all those companies who wishes to do nothing more than just exploit the interns' labor energy and pay them less." He got lucky with that, honestly. The case of employers not paying their interns the minimum wage or sometimes, won't pay a single cent to give them as much as an allowance, that's not new. Especially when the interns here are basically bright students who came with the hopes of climbing up the ranks in the near future as soon as they finish their interning that definitely does a lot more than usual clerk work and did the same amount as actual engineers. "Well, won't you look at that, a big shot from Everectronics taking care of their workers' welfare. You don't see executives do that as often" he pointed out, a small smile tugging at the corners of his lips, indicating that Nora was able to get a sufficient amount of respect from Julian himself who was always known for his meticulous ways there. Perfectionist? That's about as close to it as the others could get to him when working. 

Just knowing that the female before him is a big advocate in ensuring all those proper rights for people who are less privileged in any way, certainly did make him wonder if anyone else saw what he saw. He shook his head with a small laugh when asked if he had any significant other gracing his life, "Nope. Not at the moment. I don't think I'm getting lucky again anytime soon, the others say I'm quite… meticulous about those things." Aside from the bad past he remembered regarding his late fiancee? Probably not the best time for him to search for another, at least that's what he tells himself. "Besides, I think you can safely say that nobody caught my eyes yet much less this heart" he chuckled, he couldn't remember the last time he was enamoured by anyone else, well… maybe one. The one cladded in all red and so fiery you would probably burn yourself at her blunt remarks and sass, but that was just admiration for him. 

"Not at the moment, no. No passion projects yet. I do like to outline a few things the aircrafts could easily modify given the opportunity and resources, though. But you know, it's just a sketch" he shrugged, pushing his hands into his pockets as he walked moderately, "I don't think that's gonna come to life anytime soon, anyway." When she said the public doesn't know as much, Julian couldn't help but snicker at that as he teased, "So nobody knows the COO of Everectronics is a resident party girl? Scandalous." The more he talked to her, the more Julian found himself grinning at the prospect of working together with the dhampir, she knows her things and the passion that she emitted was refreshing, "No, but then again, I don't know much about business, in general so I wouldn't want to assume things. It's just not my forte and I suck at calculating other things that requires you to write a whole ledger on it. The only thing close to arithmancy you're going to get from me is calculating the velocity" The Nephilim tries his best to stray from any judgmental road simply because nobody was going to be happy at the end of the day so really, what's the point?

 "Careful, Miss COO, don't want to get yourself falling for me already, they may even send another guy at my stead" he cooed playfully upon hearing her response to the partnership between them both. He was going to enjoy this to the best extent he can, it was quite possibly the first time Julian received an outgoing superior like her. Arching his eyebrows towards her, he wasn't surprised to hear that, somehow it didn't come entirely as a shock, "Anything else you need to surprise me with?" he shot teasingly, "For a petite woman, you sure do have a lot of stories, don't you?" Oh, if only he knew to the extent of the truth. "Yeah, cute size. I don't mean to be demeaning or anything, but… it's something I like to call my cousin, it means you're cute. Not that I'm trying to kiss you up or anything uh... " Right, of course he'd get himself in this kind of trouble when it comes down to communicating. God, he sucks at this. "Uh, just forget about it" he murmured bashfully, hiding the embarrassment away by cursing at himself internally. 

He was glad that the topic shifted a bit as soon as they got to the cafeteria though, he took a seat across her and placed his arms against the table's surface, "How do I like the city? It's actually commendable. It feels like it welcomes you, that kind of energy" though he was sure she's a supernatural, still, outing your own identity is not exactly the best way to start off things. As a supernatural, Evermore just lures him in, promising a safer place to coexist with humans and others alike. It was a sanctuary for them. "I think it's a good thing to care for your employees, you never know how a small act of kindness can turn out loyal workers who are devoted to the place" He would, if he was given the same care. Who wouldn't? When she said the protocol should be changed if it was counterproductive, he chuckled softly and shrugged, "That's true." A part of him was proud she chose to visit theirs today, "We're honored to have you here, then. Thank you for taking the time to see how things are going. I'm positive you would like the progress though, I don't know if I'm biased or not, but the team- they've been working on this for two weeks with a few overtime" he assured, he was positive the outcome would be bearing a fruition. 

Julian was a bit taken aback when he saw her efforts on trying to get to know him a bit on the personal scale but surprisingly, he didn't feel invaded at all, Nora may not seem as approachable but she was charming and those charms drew him to prefer her company even more, knowing that she has quite the heart also helped, "Uh, nothing much really. I check in at 8 and start by checking the storage and the component parts matching each aircraft the way it's supposed to, sometimes if there's no need for the wiring fixation, I'd sit in my office at the hangar and sketch about the possible modification and enhancements. I don't go out with anyone else because like I said, no significant other and the friends here, they don't bother to actually invite because I'll end up being very shy. So yeah, skimming around until their shift ends and my overtime starts. You? I can't imagine you'd only sit around in your office…"

She wasn’t really sure what her rationale for asking him about his love life was, wasn’t like it was her business after all but she supposed it was kinda hard to believe that someone who was as attractive as he was hadn’t been snapped up she supposed. But it made sense when he basically called himself picky, so he had pretty high standards then “You and me both” she responded without much thought and shrugged, she had always been the kind to keep people at arm’s length, a few nights here and there but walk away before anything got to the commitment stage. Not that she really expected anyone to want to be with her when she was so busy she was barely ever home and when she was she tended to want to be alone “Not for lack of trying on their part I’m sure” she commented, pointing out that there was no way he hadn’t had women chase him before now, she wouldn’t believe it for a second.

She listened to him talk and the way he shot down the idea of having projects of his own but then eluded more to the fact he had ideas but they didn’t really align with the company vision, story of her life so she totally got it “Why not, seems like you know more about these planes than anyone else does?” she saw someone very driven, of course, she knew more than she probably should because she’d met him before but she sensed he really cared about his work so it seemed like a shame to her that he wasn’t being utilized to his full potential. “Well perhaps my neighbors might have a small inkling and my dog is certainly my biggest find” she joked it dryly with a wry smile. She laughed when he admitted he didn’t know all that much about business “Fair enough, I did a thesis on the connection between company product care and customer satisfaction so I suppose you could call me biased” she shrugged slightly, it interested her.

She fell quiet for a moment at his playful joke about her falling for him before she scoffed a little and playfully rolled her eyes as she gave him a look “Are you implying that my height has any impact on the quality of life I lead?” she raised her brows “Just because you are a human embodiment of a giant” she knew he wasn’t human but it was easier to play dumb when it came to that than to give the impression she knew more than she did. Her identity was her top priority after all. Nora wasn’t really sure what he was getting at when he compared her to his cousin and then proceeded to further ramble until he seemed to run out of words and she realized she was making him nervous. Interesting, he hadn’t been all that nervous when they first met and she would argue the Scarlett archer was much more intimidating. “Cute size” she pulled a thoughtful face and then shook her head “Alright then” she spoke it in a light tone hoping he wouldn’t feel too embarrassed.

She took a seat across from him and studied his expression while the two of them talked, she hoped she wasn’t prying too much but if they were going to spend the whole day together she didn’t want things to be weird or him to feel awkward around her so she was trying to break the ice a little “It’s definitely not your average city, though I think everyone is a little biased to their hometown” she alluded to the fact she was born and raised in Evermore. “Well I guess it might be a little sad to say but I’m actually excited to go to work most mornings and I guess I want my staff to feel the same way, we’re changing the world in little ways and I think it’s okay to be proud of that” her oceanic gaze focused in on him as he talked about the progress. While they hadn’t been allowed to turn on the devices she had no doubts they would have fitted at least one by now “Great, well then it seems we’ll get to witness it all coming together” of course this was only a prototype and it would need to be heavily tested, reviewed, redone, refitted and cycled through many times til they got it right.

She actually found him pretty easy to be around, he wasn’t too pushy or rude, in fact, he was quite sweet and bashful which was kinda different from the version of him she met before but even then he had been thoughtful. She supposed that was just who he was, someone who cared and put their all into things, someone who couldn’t let things go until they felt right. “Damn, such a wild life you have there” she joked when he talked about his day to day “What about the weekends?” surely he did more than just sitting at home, even if he didn’t get invited to anything. “Oh I have a varied schedule, honestly it gives me whiplash trying to keep up with it all, our manufacturing is done in Europe so I spend a lot of time on flights back and forth there” she grinned sheepishly “Kinda why I’m so glad this particular project revolves around Evermore, it’s nice to just go home every night” plus it meant she could make it out onto the streets more often too.

She watched him for a moment and sipped the coffee she had and then she heard her phone buzz and she took out, glancing at the message and letting a smile creep over her lips “And just like magic, an approval appears” she set down her cup and grinned.


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