[current. The day after Steven gives Eliza a 'job.']
There are only two cameras in Persephone her reconnaissance has told her. Eliza waits until what she's pretty sure is the last of the cleaning crew leave and that's when she slides up to the door. Watching through the glass, she sees Billy Zane (target: prominent restaurateur and social activist) walk toward the back of the restaurant before she raps on the glass, conveniently tucked against the metal of the door and out of range of any possible outside security camera.
She's clad in a skin tight gray turtleneck and old jeans and boots (her knife tucked there). Her down jacket is neither old nor new and she's got her hair down and only a little mascara and lip gloss on.
One thing that's not visible is that she's got the blocks up. Blocks she developed working for Lindemann. (Note: He can read minds, but he won't pry-- it's impolite.)
Five minutes. In, out, to the Chicago Reporter, where one reporter would be working late. ID in her pocket and marks on her neck, chest, thighs and hips. (Chino's marks and she can feel every one. She feels so dirty.)
Job done. (Objective: Destroy Billy Zane by smearing his reputation.)
Her face is open, plaintive as she sees him come to the door.
When he sees a young woman shivering at the door, Zane jogs the few steps to open it. His smile welcoming and as innocuous as he can make it, he unlocks and opens it. "Hey, come inside, get out of the cold." He's not getting a read on her but some people are more guarded, even with their public thoughts and Zane doesn't pry. Peering out the door into the parking lot, he asks, tone solicitous, "Are you all right? Do you need me to call someone for you?" When he turns back to the (quite lovely, actually) young woman, the look on Billy's face turns gentle, his tone matching as it softens, "Or can I make you something to eat?" Hunger so often carries an element of shame and he's sensitive to that.
Don't be so nice, she wants to tell him (all behind shields to keep him out. Out. Out). "I..." Eliza says, eyes wide and dark. "I just need to make a phone call? Someone took my cell. Could I use your phone?" His eyes look familiar. Why? She doesn't know. "Oh."
Making herself stumble, she falls against him (tall, strong, knife in her boot). "Sorry," she murmurs, eyes downcast.
"Of course," smile returning, Zane gestures towards the Maitre d's podium, "We have a line out right over h--" He doesn't finish the sentence, cut off by the girl's faltering and his own quick reaction to try and catch her. "Are you sure you're all right?" he asks, face now lined with a worried frown, "I can take you to the emergency room if you need."
"No, no," Eliza whispers, still leaning against him heavily. "I'm okay, I just..." Another stumble, heavier leaning. "Thank you."
His arm goes around Eliza's waist and Billy helps her a few feet to a chair there near the podium. "Here, sit down," he chides gently before turning to pull the phone down and put it on her lap. "Just press nine to dial out. Call whomever you need, I'm just going to get my jacket from my office and then we'll wait for them to come, all right?" The coat's an excuse for him to give her a few minutes of privacy to make her phonecall.
There's no one to call, but she picks up the phone anyway, pushing buttons and watching for him to reappear, murmuring to the dial tone something about taxis and where she is. She hangs up as he reappears and she stands, holding the phone out to him. "Thank you. You are very kind." There's a hitch in her speech, there and gone in an instant.
"Not at all," Zane shakes his head with a smile, taking the phone and putting it back on the podium, "You have someone coming, then?" He's not trying to rush her or anything, merely being solicitous.
"A cab, yes." Turning, getting his position as she does, she starts toward the door. Taking two steps, she sways, and starts to go down again.
And once again, Zane's right there, moving quickly to catch her before she hits the floor. Face concerned, he asks, "Are you certain you don't need to go to the ER?"
"Don't touch me!" She nearly shrieks, grabbing his hands hard enough that when he shifts, she scratches, skin under her fingernails. "Don't you touch me!" And she runs for the door as fast as she can. Even as she's throwing the door open, she's screaming. "Don't touch me! Don't touch me!"
For a moment, all Billy can do is stand there and stare, stunned, as the young woman tears out the door. He moves to it, worry creasing his brow as he looks around, but there's no trace of her. There's nothing he can do now but hope she gets the help she apparently needs. Well, nothing except...
It doesn't take long (only twenty minutes) for him to call the local hospitals and warn them to keep their eyes open for a pretty young woman, brown hair and eyes, slim, average height...and apparently suffering from some sort of emotional imbalance or trauma.
Now he can go home.