The shop doors groaned open; desperately in need of oiling, the hinges had withstood the test of time, according to the realtor, for about a century before Dante had showed interest in purchasing the property for practically nothing at all. It was a large townhouse made of pure solid stone, one room flat with a kitchen built off to the side, with the wooden floor rotting from corner to corner, the walls a patchwork of repairs, thick and impenetrable cobwebs and boardwork over the windows, it was a wonder the entire building had not simply been condemned and demolished thirty years ago.
Dante had been dragged around by this realtor to look at eleven buildings to find a place to set up shop - a headquarters from which he could hunt Demons with impunity.
The young man, shaggy overgrown white hair in bad need of a trim, did not seem the type to the realtor to be in the market for buying anything except perhaps a new wardrobe. That leather coat looked and smelled like it had seen better days. His jeans were stained and frayed at the hems, to say the least of his sweaty, hole-eaten shirt. And why on earth would a young man strip his hair of color completely white like that?
That was to say nothing of the silent and aloof young lady standing always behind and out of the way of Dante in a shaggy, shapeless hoodie and scrubby jeans. Her hair a greasy black mess and eyes so heavily kohled, she looked tattooed with make-up. She walked with a limp, her arm was in a cast, and she was so heavily scored with cuts and bruises, maybe it was no wonder she tried to cover it with make-up.
Denny wondered if he had a domestic abuse issue on his hands. He weighed the pros and cons of calling the police after they came up to Denny’s office, practically banging his door down with a suitcase full of cash. He couldn’t really tell him no when he handed him a down payment up front - a flat wad of paper currency bigger than Denny ever had in his wallet at any given time.
Dante stepped into the space, scrutinizing every inch of the barren walls, the awful state of the floors. The floorboards creaked treacherously.
“I dunno,” he sighed, shifting his weight, hips cocked. “What do you think?”
Kat looked around slowly - turning carefully. Denny held the paperwork tightly, sniffling noisily. The mold aggravated his allergies.
“It’s definitely a fixer-upper… but with how low the price is, you could afford to make improvements before settling in. It depends on how quickly you want to move into your new home.”
The girl didn’t seem to hear him, so Denny directed his attention to the large, floor-to-ceiling windows that hugged the same wall as the doorway behind them. They were nailed over with boards, and spraypainted with street tags. It was hard to see anything by the little light the open door gave them. The young man reached out, wedging his fingers in around one of the boards and gave it a sharp tug. The nails pulled out with a shriek, the board falling from his grasp with a clatter, and a gold sliver of daylight speared across the room to the opposite wall.
“There’s something about this place.” The crack-addict girl grew still; her gaze followed the beam of light. Her eyes were unfocused and her voice soft.
Denny stared at her as she raised a heavily tattooed hand in front of her. He didn’t know what she was doing, half-thinking that she must be not only beaten by this man who could also be her drug pimp but that she was absolutely high off her rocker. However, he kept his opinions to himself, thinking only of the money if they finally, finally decided to settle on this building. He realized she was reaching out to let that beam of daylight play through her fingers, casting narrow shadows on the far wall.
“I think this is it,” she decided suddenly. She looked at Dante and nodded. “Let’s take it. We’ll fix it up.”
“All right.” A quick and relieved grin transformed the man into a child for a moment. “You heard the lady. We’ll take it.”
Finally, Denny thought without an ounce of regret. “Wonderful. I’m sorry that it had taken us so long to find something to meet your very… particular requirements. But you will be pleased. I think this place will look quite lovely once it’s been handled. I can recommend a few good places that will service this place nicely for you if you’d like after all the paperwork has been handled. I also have public records, old photographs of this place while it was still occupied a century ago if you would like to renovate back to its origins.”
“Thanks. That’ll be great.”
“Every document will be sealed, of course, just as you specified. You are now the proud owner of this address!”
Dante signed the papers quickly. Denny smiled and nodded. The deed to this property would be forevermore signed away to this very strange man and his weird girlfriend.
What kind of name was Dante Sparda anyway?
love so much