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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.
He admitted, he was really taken aback when Nora suddenly asked him about his love life, that was unexpected of her but it wasn't that awkward of a matter for him to be discussing about so he went along with it, making sure he left out the part about his former late fiancee being murdered on their wedding day. No point in dwelling on that part, right? The last thing he wanted was a memory of that rewinding itself in his head like it has been for the last few years. "I'm surprised you still don't have the taken sign but at the same time, I'm not. You seem like the type who's independent and won't let a petty relationship tie her down. And of course, I meant that as a compliment." Judging from her appearance, with the way she carries herself around, it shows clearly that she exuded that powerful aura that would intimidate any guy because it was evident that she's the one in control rather than them and for some men, that would greatly bruise their ego.
"No… not for lack of trying. I guess you can say, I'm not exactly having the whole mood for a relationship. Don't get me wrong, it's not as if I haven't trudged that part before, it's just that… it never worked out. And I stopped trying because it's exhausting to keep on wishing someone right would come swerving in, you know?" Was wishing for the perfect one to come swooping him in making him a desperate individual? He wasn't even sure anymore. Julian rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly as he chuckled nervously when she asked why he didn't go for it, "It's easier said than done" he quipped shyly, "I don't think I'm quite ready yet. Besides, my works are just… imaginations. My creativity goes wild one day and sketches came out of it. But it's nothing serious." He has thought about showing it to his supervisor a few times during their report sessions but he would often dismiss it before he could even try. Why is he not surprised she's already completed her studies? Of course, she has.
Someone with that kind of energy surrounding her, sometimes that confidence is making him question if he was even worthy of being in the same presence as her. He's not that much of a shy bean but something about Nora makes him wonder if this was familiar. He held both his hands up in defense as soon as he heard those words come out of her, "I was not implying on anything, Nora. I was just saying that petite women are cute… and that you are cute-" Right, way to go, Julian. Real professional there. "I didn't ask to be tall either, you know, not my fault I ate my veggies and drank my milk" he shot playfully and bit his lip because maybe he should shut up now. What the hell are you doing, you big dummy, he grumbled to himself. "I realize I'm making a fool out of myself right now, sorry about that. It… happens." When he's in the presence of someone that confident, he meant. "You were born here? In Evermore?" he asked, he's never met anyone who was actually born and raised here so this was new to him.
He could appreciate her passion when it comes down to her work, if anything that makes her very attractive, as if she wasn't already making the boys in his team fall head over heels with her earlier. But they didn't know what he knew, right? They were not aware that there was so much more to Eleanora Nordstroem than what she looks like from the outside. They didn't see the conviction in her bright hues when she talked about her beliefs, the way they way her nose scrunched up a bit whenever she was smiling, on how genuine it looked from his part. "I'm looking forward to seeing that happen." Everyone has been raving about the prototype sent to them since a few weeks ago and Julian would be lying if he wasn't curious himself. He wanted to know what it does too.
The Nephilim pursed his lips and pondered momentarily when she asked him what he does on his weekends, "I'm a big fan of archery. Been into that sport ever since I could hold a bow. Sometimes I go out in the evenings, mark a few spots in the woods and did my own makeshift targets and voila" He would often practice for hours until he finally drained his stamina, "I didn't go to public training spots because it's more comfortable being able to connect with nature." He had a smile etched on his lips when she talked about having projects in Europe, there it was again, that spark of passion in her hues, "Busy woman, I'm guessing." He was glad to hear they were granted approval already, or maybe he liked seeing that smile linger around her for a bit longer. "I should lead the way then" he stood up and made a dramatic signage to the left exit and beckoned for her to come with him, "This would lead you to the hangar faster. Shortcuts always do the job when you're in a rush. Aka when you're late to check in for work because you fell asleep in the lounge."
Nora wasn’t even sure why she was so curious about him, it wasn’t really like her to ask people personal questions at work. But then she was reminded that the first time they met it wasn’t in a work setting, or it sorta was and sorta wasn’t. Either way, the circumstances behind them meeting today were different than the usual way she met people. She had to admit she was surprised someone who looked and acted like him was single but then she also knew better than to assume people had it easy below the surface. A smile could hide a lot of pain, after all. His comments about her love life made her laugh slightly “Something like that” she responded with a laugh “I don’t think it’s for lack of trying, most people just don’t have the patience for a busy girl with a busy life” plus she usually ran for the hills before things could get too serious because she expected the worst to happen sooner or later.
She could tell from the way he phrased his thoughts that he was holding back some kind of pain and she knew it wasn’t her place to ask about it so she nodded a few times, she could understand being damaged by the past and not feeling ready to move past it, so whatever happened she understood why he might not want to try again. “What even is right?” she asked thoughtfully because she wasn’t really sure how to tell when someone was good for her anymore, that’s why most people ended up arm’s length away from her. She definitely didn’t have all that many friends. Hearing him have hesitations about his work when it was clear he was passionate about it made her a little sad though “Well if I was your manager I’d be calling a meeting to expand on the ideas immediately” she despised the idea of putting down employee ideas simply because it ‘wasn’t their place’ and she recognized it as a form of missed opportunity.
She looked back with an amused expression as he tried to dig himself out of the hole he had created and failed miserably at doing so, normally she would feel a little annoyed by the babbling and lack of ability to clearly communicate but this was actually quite sweet and made her wonder if she was making him nervous. She raised her brows when he called her cute yet again and then talked about his own height “That would be my preference” she commented with a slight shake of her head, well at least he was self-aware of his rambling. “Yeah, been here all my life so I guess I’m a little attached” she shrugged slightly “I even went to college here so guess you could say I’ve been a city girl all my life” and a supernatural girl all her life which made Evermore the perfect place to live but that was a topic best not brought up right now,
She was kinda looking forward to the prototype test just so she could see his reactions to the device now, there was something about his responses that were so different from most people, kinda like he wasn’t entirely desensitized to the world around him like most people were. She saw that in many of the things he did from the way he seemed to invested in his work while others would probably see it as the place they spent 8 hours a day to earn money and in the way he stopped to help someone that night in the alley when he could have walked on by but then also stuck around to help patch her up when she got injured. “Me too, I haven’t actually seen it tested in a real-life scenario yet and while I know we’re several iterations away from the final thing, it’s kinda exciting” she shrugged like it wasn’t a big deal but it was clear it was important to her.
Hearing him talk about archery almost made her laugh because of the irony and also because she remembered the bow he had dropped from the other night but she managed to hold it back and nodded a few times as he talked “Archery huh? I heard it takes a lot of upper body strength” she pointed to his arms for a moment, okay she could cheat because she was a dhampir and therefore naturally had extra strength, though she supposed he had that benefit too “You don’t like to train around others?” she raised her brows, she did all her training at the dojo and there were always people there, she wondered if he was self-conscious about his strength.
“Always busy” she affirmed with a nod, it was a busy career she had chosen and then she added her crusade to protect the city on top of that and all spare time went out of the window. She found herself dropping her gaze a few times just to stare at that soft, easygoing smile that he seemed to often wear. It was refreshing, being around someone who genuinely just seemed nice, because most people she met, weren’t. Grabbing the to-go coffee she made she sipped at it with a nod as she followed him towards the left exist and out towards the hangar. She had to laugh when he said about being late to check in cause you fell asleep “Not that you’ve ever had to resort to that or anything” she teased it because it was obvious he had done so and followed him until they reached the entrance to the hangar.
“So how many planes are you usually working on at a time?” she asked curiously as they headed inside and her eyes scanned around the area seeing how it was kinda messy but also organized at the same time, people were working on things diligently in different areas and talking amongst themselves, it seemed they barely noticed the intrusion.
Something about her was familiar, he had that indication when he first laid eyes on her. As cheesy as that sounds, pushing aside that fact, he feels like he's met her yet she looks like someone who just quite literally set foot into his life for the first time today. He wondered why. Maybe it was just his head playing with him. He's been sleep deprived for most part of his week anyway, that was probably it. When she said most people didn't have time for a busy girl with a busy life, he clicked his tongue in response, "I don't think that should stop them from pursuing though. If you really have the kicks and will, then it shouldn't stop you. If you really like that person and sincerely wanted to pursue them, nothing should be hindering them from trying. Maybe you won't get at first try but do we ever attain the good things at a first try? If they feel the person is worth it, then it'll be worth it" he murmured, shaking his head slightly at that, "So it's their lack of trying." Something does tell him that perhaps she was a lot harder than just a girl working at a high ranking position.
"I'm not surprised either though, most guys… men, I mean. They don't like to stomp their pride and ego, for someone to try out for you, they'll have to be able to offer you so much more than what you could offer him and some people, they lack the effort to show that." She's right, what even is right anymore? He could feel a lump in his throat constricting his own airway, subsequently forcing the Nephilim to keep his thoughts to himself, only were there any actual thoughts to be said and accounted for? It's only been a while but Nora has shown him plenty of reasons why he should like her company, and not just as an executive supervising their work, not as his employer, but even as a person. She's likable, that much he knew, he could see the looks on his team earlier, some had already respected her and he couldn't say any less for himself. "Well, sucks that you're not my manager then" he jested half-heartedly, the idea of letting them know about his ideas were tempting but he also knew not to stray too far across the line that was drawn for them, he knew his place.
"Evermore is a good place to start anew" he quipped sheepishly upon hearing that she grew up there all her life, he wondered how things were back then before the peace treaty, he was curious to know but was careful not to tread too deep into the issue fearing that people may not like that. Julian wasn't usually this flustered when in the presence of females, this wasn't usual at all but something about her, and not just the fact that she is his employer who could quite literally have him strung up if he messes up, but because he feels comfortable around her. The raven-haired male has always been apprehensive about this, being comfortable means bringing more attachments and he couldn't risk having more of that when he wasn't sure he could protect them, right? He's just an employer, someone he's working with alongside, that's it. That's what he kept telling himself. "Well, then, if things go well today, you should be able to get your first outlook on how the product is going to be like. I, kind of rewired some circuits to ensure it doesn't take too much power" he murmured sheepishly and rubbed the back of his head awkwardly, he knew he shouldn't have but neither in his team opposed the action, though he was pretty sure anyone else outside the working members would have.
"We experience a lot of faulty lines and the electrical current would fry most of them so I didn't want to experience that kind of problem." A blush crept up as soon as she pointed to him when the topic about archery surfaced, "Yeah, it's not a sport you want to strain yourself on without proper warm up and training" He remembered tearing the string and it bounced back to leave a cut on his left forearm when he was 15 years old. He shook his head, affirming that he doesn't like to train in front of others, "Not really. I usually get lost in myself, and the last thing I wanted to do is to lose control of my surroundings and hurt anyone. It's good to have time to yourself though. There's nobody to judge you, nobody to scold you if your form is wrong or if you're tense." He always told himself that he wasn't a warrior or a fighter, he's an engineer. "I know you think it's worth it, all that business. If it's worth it, then it doesn't weigh you down as much as it should. And if it makes you feel any better, I think you're good at what you do."
He began leading her through the hallway that would bring them to the rotunda, where there were 4 exits, and he picked the second one on the left which was the shortest way to the hangar he was assigned to, so it only took them a quick 2 to 3 minutes to get there. "The lounge at Hangar 2 is so much more comfortable and the office is nearer that way, far from where I have to report for work though. It's not my fault they gave all the fancy stuff to the technicians instead of the main engineers at Hangar 4" he mumbled defensively, he always fell asleep like a baby there. When asked on how many planes does he work on a time, he shrugged, "It depends on the season. Yeah, we have reasons too. I guess you could call it peak season because we get a lot of maintenance work to do then. There are plenty of work cut out; maintenance, design, circuit wiring, different teams take different tasks. I could work on outlining the design for the new plane in the evening after I finished rewiring. If I finish early, they can drag me off to work on the fuel tanks. So maybe two to three per day? Not really specific since we're short staffed."
Thankfully, engineers could usually outline the entire area, they just needed more men to do it. "But between you and I, I definitely prefer sitting back and outlining the designs for any modification on the crafts rather than spending my hours inside the plane that could fry me if I do so much as to accidentally stepped wrongly" he whispered and chuckled before showing her the one that they had installed earlier this week. "At your command, ma'am."
For someone who she might have written off as your average good looking guy usually, Julian had managed to get under her skin a little. Meeting him that night in the alleyway and seeing how determined he was to take care of people around him had struck something in her. She’d thought about him and the person he was a few times since then and it almost felt surreal to be here in front of him now. She realized as he was talking that he was subtly suggesting that she shouldn’t put herself down and she realized that maybe he was right about that “Well then I guess I’ve just never met anyone determined enough to stick around” she laughed softly “Probably cause I scare them all off, you know how people can be when faced with someone who commands any level of power” not that she tried to be scary or unapproachable but she accepted she came off that way sometimes.
“I’m not looking for someone hellbent on trying to outdo me just to feel satisfaction for their ego” he spoke it softly, she agreed with what he said, it was hard for people to feel like they were lesser to a potential partner, especially men. “Hell if a relationship is a competition from the get-go I don’t think things are going to go anywhere near well” she grimaced slightly because she’d met people like that, people who felt the need for their problems to bigger, their achievements to be better, just constantly competing with others rather than listening and understanding. It did make her sad to notice how solely undervalued he was as a professional, she could already tell from the way he acted and talked that he knew a lot about his subject matter, had initiative and innovation skills and the willpower it took and if she saw that in the half an hour or so they’d been talking then his manager was sorely lacking in vision “Maybe I’ll put in a good word for you” she spoke softly knowing she had a certain influence she could pull if she wanted to.
“You’re right it’s….” she trailed off as she thought about how she would describe the city she had lived in for all of her life “Like no other city in the world really” though that all depended on how much you knew about its history. To your average human, she was sure places like New York and Los Angeles were much better attractions but to the supernatural, Evermore was rich in history. Most species originated from here, it was the only place you could see a fallen star in the flesh, hell the Ailwards and their cavalry were here. Not to mention this was the city the angels and demons once walked. She felt into a quiet for a while before they started talking about the prototype. It seemed they were behind thanks to the disclosure agreements but that also meant today they got to experience real interactions with the device “You changed the prototype?” she asked with raised brows, her natural reaction was to be a little annoyed about that but then she reminded herself he knew these systems better than anyone and if he had concerns she should listen.
She nodded her head a few times as he explained himself “Well we will have to hope like hell the device still works or we may both be in trouble, though I suppose if the thing got fried first use that wouldn’t have been much better” which was her way of saying she wasn’t going to tell on him for taking the initiative. People in her labs didn’t know these systems the way he did and if he thought the current would be too much, he was probably right. Besides, for some reason she found herself wanting to trust his judgment. She saw the way he got a little shy when talking about archery which told her all she needed to know about how important it must be to him “As with most sports, though archery isn’t the kind of thing you just randomly decide to do one day, how’d you get into it?” she raised her brows as he talked about preferring to train alone and his reasons why “Must kinda suck when there’s no one to share your successes and progress with though” she commented thoughtfully, she always did her training at the dojo so there were always people around her.
It was nice to hear someone praise her dedication to her work rather than say she overworked herself or got too involved, she didn’t need that kind of negativity in her life “I think we all like to believe we’ve done one small thing to better the world” she commented and shrugged, didn’t have to be big but some of the medical technology they had made had been life-changing and that kind of thing was so important to her. “I swear everything looks the same to me, do you have many new starters get themselves lost and show up at the wrong hangar?” and that was saying something since the most common places she was working was an office, lab or hospital. His explanation about what they were working on was really interesting to her and she nodded a few times as she took in his words “Sounds like it’s something different pretty much every day then” she commented with a chuckle “Have you met any problems you couldn’t solve yet?” Nora wasn’t usually so chatty but he was such an easy person to talk to that it was almost dangerous.
His whisper made her laugh softly as she followed him through the hangar to where they had installed one the devices and she took a slightly shaky breath as she got ready to see it in place for the first time “No time like the present right” she grinned slightly “And since you’re here you might as well be the first person to see it” she gestured that he should go ahead and switch it on while she held her breath slightly nervous for the outcome of it all.