The Relo Guy - Sequel to Relo (G)

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The Relo Guy - Sequel to Relo (G)

Postby MickLifeCrisis » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:08 am

Disclaimer: I don't own Moonlight or any of its characters.
Rated: G
Characters: Mick, Josef and my OCs Alex and Gina
A/N: Back in 2015 (three years, already??) I wrote Relo for Challenge #166, "Canon Fodder," about a real estate agent who also does vampire relocations. I strongly suggest you reread that to refresh your memory (it's short! :laugh: ). Allegrita commented at the time that she'd like to know more about Alex Baker, Gina, and the vamp relo business.
And so, with huge thanks to Alle's amazing polishing of this for me :hug: , I bring you...


The Relo Guy

“Thanks for coming, Mick. Have a seat.” Josef walked over to the bar cart and gestured to the crystal decanters of whiskey and blood. “Would you like something to drink?” he asked, reaching for a glass.

Mick smiled and shook his head. “No, thank you,” he said as he sat on the leather couch in Josef’s mansion. “What’s up?”

Josef poured himself some scotch and sat in the matching leather chair opposite Mick. “I need you to do something for me.”

“Is this a job or a favor?” Mick asked.

“Meaning?”

“Well, if it’s a job, you’re paying me.”

“Ah. Well, consider it a job.”

“I’m listening.”

“I want you to find me a new relocator,” Josef said.

Mick’s eyes widened in surprise. “Are you leaving Los Angeles?”

“No, no, relax. Not any time soon.”

“Then why?”

“I like to keep one on retainer. Not for myself so much. But since I’m in charge of the LA Community, I need to have someone I trust on hand, not only for emergencies, but for routine reinventions of vamps ready to move on.”

“I thought you already had a relo guy. You offered to get me relocated during that Lee Jay incident.”

“Yeah, well, he’s using his own services to help himself move on. At my suggestion, I might add. He was a little too much into the whole ‘real estate agent of the year’ thing.”

Mick nodded in understanding. “Too noticeable, you mean.”

“Exactly. I need someone trustworthy, but under the radar. And very good at relocating vamps. There are a handful of them in the greater LA area. I want you to get some recommendations and check them out for me. Can you do that?”

“Since you’re paying me, of course I can do that,” Mick said as he got up from the couch.

Josef stood, and they shook hands. “Good. I’ll be waiting to hear from you.”


MLMLMLML


Mick parked his Mercedes across the street from Baker Real Estate & Relocations and sat in the car for a few minutes, getting a feel for the place. A nondescript building in an older neighborhood, it was similar to several other businesses on the street. Taped to the front window were the usual flyers picturing houses for sale. Mick got out of the car and crossed the street, pausing by the window to scan the ads. They were mostly modest, three- and four-bedroom houses with reasonable asking prices for the area. The Cleaners Mick had spoken to had all recommended Alex Baker as their go-to vamp when it came to relocations. Mick knew vamp relocations didn’t come cheap; this guy was keeping a low profile, just like Josef wanted. He pushed open the door.


MLMLMLML


Gina sat at her desk, flipping through a fashion magazine with one hand and holding her phone to her ear with the other one as she half-listened to her mother natter on. The bells over the door chimed and she glanced up, expecting to see her boss returning. The tall, handsome man stepping over the threshold was definitely not her boss. With his black jeans, blue shirt – opened to three buttons, she noticed – leather jacket, longish hair and designer shades, he looked as if he had stepped right off one of the pages of her magazine. When he removed his sunglasses and smiled at her, she saw that his eyes were the same shade of blue as his shirt. She suddenly realized she was gawking and her cheeks flushed.

“Hey, Mom, gotta call you back,” she said quickly and hung up the phone without waiting for a reply. She closed her magazine and slid a manila folder over the top as she stood up and walked around to the front of her desk, extending her hand. “Hello, welcome to Baker Real Estate & Relocations. Can I help you?”

Mick shook her hand as he tucked his sunglasses into the front of his shirt. His close proximity and keen sense of smell confirmed his first impression that she was a freshie. He noted her long-sleeved blouse and the scarf around her neck. Good, she’s discreet. “Yes, I’m looking for Alex Baker. Is he available?”

“I’m sorry, but he’s out of the office right now. I’m Gina, his assistant. Is there something I can help you with?” She had noticed Mick’s cool touch, and together with the way he was dressed she took him to be a vampire. But she had been trained to never assume when it came to a possible vampire encounter.

“I really need to speak with him. Will he be returning soon?”

“He’s out showing a house right now, but he’ll come back to the office when he’s through.”

“I see,” Mick said, stalling for time as he glanced around the office.

Gina picked up a stack of flyers from her desk, holding them out towards Mick. “Are you looking for a new home?” she asked. “We have some very nice ones available, with plenty of shade trees that offer a lot of privacy.”

Mick glanced at her quickly. Shade? Privacy? he thought to himself, wondering if she was suspicious of his true nature. He cleared his throat. “Um, no, I’m not looking for anything local, sorry. I’m more interested in – relocating,” he stated as he stared directly at Gina.

She met his gaze without flinching. “I see. New job?”

“Not exactly,” Mick replied. “More like a change of scenery. Are you a realtor, too?”

“No, not technically. But Alex… I mean, Mr. Baker, does let me handle some of the, ah, simpler showings and relos to the area. As you probably know, he handles all of the special relocations outside of the area.” She emphasized the word special just a bit. Enough to let Mick know that she knew.

Mick played along. “Ah, yes, of course. Then it’s really Mr. Baker I need to see.”

Just then the door chimed and they both turned to see a tired-looking man coming through, carrying a briefcase and removing his sunglasses. “Oh, hello,” he said to Mick, extending his hand. “I’m Alex Baker. Are you waiting to see me?”

Mick shook his hand. “Mick St. John. And yes, I am.”

“He’s interested in some special relocation services,” Gina said, smiling at Mick.

“Well, I hope you haven’t been waiting long. Please, come into my office,” Alex said as he led the way. “Gina, did you offer our guest something to drink?”

“I was just about to…”

“Never mind, I have something in my office.”

“It’s really not necessary,” Mick interrupted. “I’m fine.” He followed Alex into the inner office and Gina shut the door after them.


MLMLMLML


“Please, have a seat,” Alex said, pointing to a chair across from his desk as he walked around and sat in his own chair. “I don’t usually have anyone needing a vamp relo coming here in person. Most are done over the phone. Are you sure you don’t want something to drink? That sun is a scorcher today.” He opened a small refrigerator behind his desk.

“No, really. But you go ahead.”

Alex poured himself some blood from a carafe and gulped it down. “Ah, that’s much better. Now, what can I do for you, Mr. St. John?”

“Are you familiar with Josef Kostan?”

Alex raised his eyebrows. “Of Kostan Industries.” It was a statement, not a question. “Only by reputation.” He looked inquisitively at Mick. “Are you telling me that Josef Kostan needs to relocate? I thought you were looking for a relo for yourself.”

Mick smirked. “No, no, neither of us have a need for your services just now.” Alex showed just a hint of disappointment. “But Mr. Kostan likes to keep a relocation specialist on retainer.”

Alex’s expression brightened. “On retainer. As in, he says jump and I say how high?”

“Something like that, yeah,” Mick said with a grin. “He happens to be in the market for a new one and has tasked me to find one for him.”

“I hope it’s not out of line for me to ask just why he’s currently in the market for a new one.”

“Oh, don’t worry; the old one’s still around. But Mr. Kostan requires someone discreet. Under the radar. His former relocator seems to have forgotten that.” Mick paused to let that sink in before continuing. “And it goes without saying that he needs someone very good at vamp relocations. The Cleaners I talked to all spoke very highly of you.”

Alex nodded. “I do a lot of work for them. We have a good relationship.”

“Tell me about some of your recent jobs.”

Alex’s chair creaked as he leaned back and put his hands behind his head. “Well, not that long ago Beverly Hills called for a group relo. Rush job. Three males, two females, east of the Mississippi… and get this: they wanted to take four exclusives with them!”

“Seriously? Relocate four freshies across the country?”

“Yeah, I know, right? New IDs for them, too. But they were willing to pay, so I gave them what they asked for.”

“How long did it take you?”

“They gave me 36 hours; I did it in 33.”

Mick whistled. “Impressive.”

Alex gave a curt nod and leaned forward to rest his arms on his desk. “I’ve been doing this a long time, Mr. St. John, and I’m good at what I do.” He paused before continuing. “So what exactly would be involved in being on retainer to Josef Kostan? Would I still be able to handle the front room real estate business?”

“I’ll set up a meeting for you with him,” Mick said as he stood up. “He’ll want to meet you himself to discuss the details.”

Alex stood up as well and handed Mick his business card. “I look forward to meeting him. Here’s my card. Call me any time.”


MLMLMLML


Mick laid a business card on Josef’s desk. “This is the guy you want.”

Josef picked up the card. “Only one? I thought I asked you for several recommendations.”

Mick sat in the chair opposite his friend. “You asked me to find you a new relocator. I talked to several different Cleaner units in the area, and they all told me this guy is their first choice when they need to relocate a vamp. So I went to see him. And I repeat: he’s the one you want.”

Josef looked at the card again. “Alex Baker. I think I’ve heard of him.”

“I’m not surprised. What surprises me is that you needed me to find him for you. Not that I don’t appreciate the paying job, of course.”

Josef’s lips twitched. “Of course,” he replied. “So tell me about him. You did a complete background check, I assume?”

“Josef, please. Don’t insult me. Yes, I did a thorough background check. He’s clean. He’s discreet. He’s under the radar. Just like you asked. And he’s good.”

“How good?”

“Beverly Hills Cleaners asked him to move five vamps and four freshies across the country, all nine of them with new IDs, and he did it in 33 hours. I confirmed his story with Deirdre in Beverly Hills.”

“That is good.”

“Which is what I said.” Mick leaned back in his chair. “He has a small business in one of the older, middle-class sections of the city. Has a front office that’s a legit human real estate firm, and which, by the way, he would like to keep operating, even if he’s on retainer for you. One employee, Gina Sweetwater. She also happens to be his freshie, but was very tasteful in her manner of dress and subtle as we danced around whether I was a vampire or not. I don’t believe she would be a liability. Mr. Baker is ready to meet with you whenever you want.”

Josef nodded. “Does he want to meet in my office or his?”

“I think you need to be very careful about how you arrange a meeting, Josef,” Mick replied. “It’s likely there are vamps in the Community who know he is a relocator. Or at the very least, that he’s a realtor. If the wrong sort of vamp sees you two together, they could jump to conclusions and the vamp rumor mill would run rampant.”

“Which would not be good.”

“Which would not be good,” Mick agreed.

“So how do you suggest we handle this?” Josef asked.

“I have two suggestions. Use my office, or meet at a club. I think using my office is the better idea.”

“Agreed. It’s well known that I visit you often at your place.”

“And it would certainly be plausible that he might need the services of a private detective,” Mick added. “Especially since he is in the real estate business.”

“Okay, Mick. Set it up.”

“Will do.”


MLMLMLML


Alex Baker’s directions were to take the elevator to the top floor, turn left and go to the office at the end of the hall. He stared at the door in surprise: Mick St. John, Private Investigations. He’s a PI? he thought to himself as he knocked. I figured he was just a minion of Kostan’s.

Mick opened the door and stepped back. “Come in,” he said, as Alex walked inside. Josef rose from his chair and went over to stand next to Mick.

“Alex,” Mick began the introductions. “This is Josef Kostan. Josef, this is Alex Baker.”

Alex extended his hand. “Mr. Kostan, I’ve looked forward to meeting you for some time.”

Mick closed the door as Alex and Josef shook hands and he smiled to himself, watching the two vamps size each other up for several long seconds before they released their hands.

“I love the architecture of this building,” Alex commented as he looked around the office and peeked into the living room. “I’ve always wanted to see the inside.”

“Well, maybe later I can give you the grand tour,” Mick said with a grin. “But right now, I’m relinquishing my office to Josef for your meeting. I’ll be in the next room,” and he left the two of them alone.

Josef sat in Mick’s chair behind the desk and pointed for Alex to sit across from him. “If we were at my place, I’d offer you something fresh to drink, but Mick doesn’t keep freshies around, so I’m afraid it’s bottled or nothing.”

Alex raised his eyebrows in surprise and then shrugged. “To each their own. But I’m fine, thanks.”

Josef nodded and sat back in his chair. “Mick told you that I need a new relocator; tell me why I should hire you.”

Alex didn’t flinch. “Because I’m good at vamp relos. Very. Good.”

“So I’ve heard. What else?”

“That’s not enough for you?” Alex grinned. “I also know how to keep my mouth shut.”

Now Josef grinned. “Definitely an admirable quality.” He picked up a pen and drummed it on the desk as he eyed Alex. “I understand you have a front office business.”

Alex nodded. “An ordinary, human real estate company. I sell houses. Normally to humans, but sometimes the occasional vampire wants a place in the suburbs. I also handle human relos to this area. Job transfers, mostly. I presume I will be able to keep running the front office.”

Josef leaned forward and picked up the file Mick had given him. “One employee, human,” he read. “Gina Sweetwater.”

“Yes. She also happens to be my exclusive.”

“I wondered if you were going to volunteer that information. Do you consider her a liability?”

Alex grinned. “Well, if I did, I wouldn’t be a very good relocator, now would I?” Josef stared at him but remained silent. “Fine. She is not a liability, to my vamp relos or to the Community. She is trustworthy, loyal and discreet. And she stays with me or I’m not interested.”

“Fair enough.”

“Now, can I ask some questions?”

Josef set down the pen he had been twirling. “Fire away.”

“What exactly is involved in being on retainer for you? What do you expect from me?”

“I’m the head of the LA Vampire Community.” Alex gave a curt nod in acknowledgment. “As you know from your work with the Cleaners in town, they handle the majority of emergency relos directly. However, there are circumstances when my involvement becomes necessary. There are also certain…situations, let’s say, that require me to enforce a vamp relocation ASAP. For their own good, or for the good of the Community. And sometimes, friends in my social circle decide for themselves that it is time to move on. And while not an emergency departure…”

“I like to call them beam outs,” Alex chuckled.

“Clever. I’ll have Mick introduce you to his friend Logan,” Josef deadpanned. He cleared his throat. “As I was saying, when my friends want to move on, I like to help them whenever I can. In all these instances, I need to have someone on demand to handle the details.”

“To be at your beck and call, you mean.”

“Yes, that’s what it means.” Josef sat forward and rested his arms on the desk. “You can keep operating your human real estate business with Ms. Sweetwater. You can keep handling relo calls that come in from the Cleaners. But, and this is important, my calls take priority. Every. Time.” Josef tapped the desk for emphasis. “If it’s not an emergency, I can work with you. If it is, you drop everything, even if it’s another relo, and take care of my call. Is that understood?”

“Understood.” They eyed each other for a minute or two. “Now, my turn. I want a monthly salary, just to be at your beck and call. From experience, I know that sometimes all a vamp needs is information: the best way to travel long distances with blood in their luggage, or how to get through customs. For simple cases like that, no extra charge.”

“And for complicated cases?” Josef inquired.

“If I need to make the arrangements myself - travel, identities, documents, jobs, bank accounts, housing, blood suppliers, local contacts…”

“In short, the whole nine yards,” Josef interrupted.

“…the whole nine yards,” Alex agreed. “Then there is an added fee per case. And it’s hefty.”

“As I would expect.” There was a moment of silence between the two, before Josef continued. “I assume you prorate the extra fee, depending upon the services rendered?”

Alex nodded. “If they only need seven yards, you mean.” Josef smiled as Alex continued. “Yes, every case is different because there are so many different variables. So there can’t be just one set fee. I can give a pretty accurate estimate, though.”

Josef reached for a pad of paper on Mick’s desk and scribbled on it. Tearing off the top sheet, he folded it in half and slid it across the desk. “That’s my offer: monthly salary, and a cap for the ‘nine yards’ treatment.”

Alex leaned forward and picked up the paper. He looked down at it and then up at Josef. “And I thought you were serious.”

“I am serious,” Josef stated.

“Not with an offer like that.” Alex took a pen from his breast pocket, crossed off Josef’s offer, and wrote below it. He refolded the paper and slid it back across the desk.

Josef picked it up, read it, and raised his eyebrows. “That’s quite a jump.”

“I told you. I’m very good at what I do. And I’m worth it.”

Josef wrote a new offer below Alex’s and once again slid the paper over. Alex retrieved it and gave it a look. With a slight shake of his head, he countered again.

Josef picked up the paper, read it, and gave Alex a steady stare. Alex didn’t even blink. “That is acceptable,” he said at last as he stood and extended his hand. “Welcome aboard.”


The End
Last edited by MickLifeCrisis on Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Relo Guy - Sequel to Relo (G)

Postby allegrita » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:26 pm

Yay, I was SO happy when you told me you had a new story about Alex and Gina! :yahoo: And I love your idea--Josef hiring Mick to help him find a replacement relocation guy. :teeth: Other than knowing that this happens sometime after Out of the Past, we don't know when this story takes place. And I know this will shock you, but in a way I like that Beth's not in this story. It's just about Mick, and Josef, and "vampire business." :dracula:

I like Alex. He's sure of himself, but not showy. He's loyal to his freshie. He works well with humans (not absolutely necessary in a relo guy, but I think it says a lot about him as a person). And he can stand up to Josef! :highfive: He's going to be a great asset to Josef's team. :yes:

And not to be pushy or anything, :snicker: but it would be lovely if your Alex muse sent you more stories about Alex, Gina, Mick, and Josef. And the Cleaners. And Logan! :teeth:

Thanks for giving us this new story, MLC. I really enjoyed it! :hug:
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Re: The Relo Guy - Sequel to Relo (G)

Postby MickLifeCrisis » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:45 am

And thank you, Alle for your input! :flowers: You smoothed out the rough spots and made everything shiny. :kiss:

I'm glad you liked the story. I think Josef needs someone to stand up to him now and then. :yes: Other than Mick, I mean. :snicker:

:thanks:
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Re: The Relo Guy - Sequel to Relo (G)

Postby choccyterri » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:07 am

:hug: Hey MLC!

I'm loving your work!! :heart: I went back and re-read Relo, to bring myself back up to speed. What a perfect introduction... but The Relo Guy really built on that initial blink into their lives. The characters of Alex and Gina must have so many nuances in their relationship.

And this really gave me a lovely reminder of business Josef. His hardball plays, his cheeky bravado. Altogether the beginning of a wonderful set of stories! ( She said hopefully... :hearts: )

Thank you so much for sharing the beginning of their working relationship with us! I see so many possibilities for it to grow. :heart:

Ooh, and I very much enjoyed how you separated the scenes too. Every time I saw the MLMLMLML I was playing the Moonlight tones in my head... ;)

What a way to leave us wanting more lovely! :hug:
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Re: The Relo Guy - Sequel to Relo (G)

Postby francis » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:19 am

I enjoyed this very much. Especially the piece of paper going back and forth. Great way to show how they both handle business, and how confident they both are.
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Re: The Relo Guy - Sequel to Relo (G)

Postby MickLifeCrisis » Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:43 am

Thanks, choccyterri! So glad you liked it. I hadn't thought about writing more in this universe, but you aren't the first one to mention it, so who knows? :chin:

Thank you francis! I had them sliding the paper across the desk because it seemed "old-school" to me, and something Josef would do. I don't have an age for Alex Baker in mind, really, but if a vampire says he's been doing something "a very long time" I figure he's old-school, too. :snicker:

Besides, I haven't a clue what kind of money they are talking about, and this seemed like a good way to glide over that little detail... :whistle:

Thank you both for reading and commenting! :reading: :type:
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Re: The Relo Guy - Sequel to Relo (G)

Postby allegrita » Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:04 am

It worked brilliantly, whatever your reasons for putting it in. :thumbs:
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