He fed the gun a bumbling sort of attention, eager fingers plying and manipulating its mechanisms with an inexperience that reminded her of a boy thrusting his hand between her thighs for the first time. Millenia ago, yes, but the memory was startlingly preserved by its naked shade of revelation- Coria would never pander for the sake of sparing anyone's pride.

Prickly as Ezra's seemed to be, she dropped her indifference to a sharp glare, looking past the muzzle he'd unknowingly aimed at her to weigh the indecision clearly painted into his eyes.

Not. Your. Fucking. Problem.

Her jaw clenched with the gentle shake of his head, the gesture outfitting his motivation as a foolish act of desperation. Hell, the metal barely made a sound against the wood as it rested, his timidity with the weapon, once again, pulling at the bones buried in her past to puppet her nephew's shadow into the living.

She'd placed a sword in his hands as a last resort- corrected his grip when it shied away from invisible teeth. Steadied him when he shook his head and doubted.

She'd buried him by a river.

Coria drew her weapon as Ezra finished speaking, with the purposed scrape of mated metal, the gun chambered and ready for the beckoning of her trigger. "You assumed correctly," she offered, "but I've decided I don't want your money." Amber played against blue in wordless contention until her sight nodded at what he'd only just conceded to endure.

"Pick it up."

 The payment went untouched.

 "That's fifteen-hundred dollars," Ezra replied dryly, using outstretched pointer and middle fingers to push the money closer towards her. "In cash, sweetheart." Untraceable, invaluable. What did it mean, her suddenly not wanting it? Coria had laid out the costs, brought the goods, and hadn't offered up any bullshit thus far. It was to be a simple deal, clean and easy. Why the quick change? Why was she pulling her gun?

 "You're making this weird."

 Ezra resisted instruction. Grumbling, he folded arms across chest and leaned against the booth, hip twisted as to maintain the most space possible between himself and the resting weapon. His sunglasses glinted in the sunlight, and he bristled at the slightest beginnings of a smudge... Meanwhile, a gentle breeze rippled across the stacked Franklins, threatening their paper-thin precariousness.

 He didn't need this to be weird -- or, rather, any weirder than it needed to be. He'd done his research; given the loose Oregon state restrictions, a gun would've been obtainable enough. But he couldn't risk the paper-trail. Couldn't risk being seen as a threat. Evalyn had put it clearly: there's a general tendency for people who snub them to disappear through the cracks...

 Them, they. Whoever 'they' were.

His tone held an inherent level of condescension, and while he squawked and preened against her manner, the crescendo passed without the intended impression. Money held power, but she was in a position to let it wriggle- a worm offered up by a glimmering hook that failed to attract. Frustration and confusion were evident, the silver spoon so purposed it had now worked its way past his mouth and out of his ass.

A dose of humility could be medicinal.

The bullet splintered the wood inches from his head as the cacophony of gunpowder exploded, the shockwave disrupting, but not disorienting her purpose. A searing, metal muzzle kissed his temple, and remained, Coria's free hand clutching the back of Ezra's pressed shirt to push him towards what he ignorantly protested.

"Pick it up." Calmly, her voice as even as the hand that leveled the pistol. "Shoot the target," she offered, her countenance a flatline of emotion, "or I shoot you."

Adrenaline would augment transparency.


 Ezra, bellowing out a continuous stream of curses, dropped to his knees in a panic. He gagged and shoved freshly-buffed fingernails into his eyes, certain they'd been splintered into blindness by pulverized wood. His ears rang at a frequency he was pretty goddamn sure would render him permanently deaf. But Jesus Christ, that was beside the point. She'd almost shot him--

 She'd almost fucking shot him.

 And it was through a series of maneuvers executed far too quickly and smoothly for Ezra to individually process that he found himself being shoved up and backward by a fistful of his shirt, his forehead searing beneath the mouth of the white-hot gun. Disastrously off-balance, he lost his footing long before having the hope of finding it. He escaped the gun's mouth only to barrel into the booth's confines, feeling rather like the marble in a pinball machine, battered around in such a confined space.

 Stammering, Ezra grabbed at the table to steady himself. His palms cut hard atop the plywood's rough, unsanded expanse as he used the momentum to twist around, staring open-mouthed down the barrel of Coria's gun.

 "I gave you the money!" He croaked, knees weak. "Take it and go-- the gun too, take it. I don't care. Just leave me alone!"

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