Past Lives: 1945: Landlord

Mort raises his eyebrows when he answers the door. A girl somewhere in her mid-twenties, wearing a trenchcoat and men’s boots; black leather gloves, weird mark under her eye like a scar or a star. Another nut, maybe – they come in female form too.

She smiles, holding out a hand, rummaging in her pocket for something, eventually finding it – a small white card that he thinks he recognises all too well. He sighs. She glances at it, then him, hand still held out, and asks, “Would you be Mortimer Ferguson?”

A nut and a Brit. Great.

He nods, knowing he has to shake her hand sometime, and takes it – she has a surprisingly firm grip, for a dame. “You here about the offices?”

She smiles; a true one, not the cautious little thing of before, with a hint of a laugh behind it. “Ah. was I that
obvious?”

It’s a good smile, he thinks, even for a nut.

“My name is Melinda Harrigan,” she carries on, looking at the card again. “Are they still for rent?”

He cocks his head. “Depends how much you got.”

She smiles again, but this one’s tighter, has steel behind it. “Enough – more than enough, in fact – to negotiate prices.”

Now this is a nut he could warm to.

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