Glimpses of the Light of Va’loth

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Beacon

Sometimes, a focal point is so overwhelming it’s the only thing you see. That’s why it’s a focal point, after all. That’s what it’s like in Light of Va’loth. The towering statue, be she goddess, heroine, or legend, is impossible to look away from: she is visible from nearly every point on the region, and she carries a bright light. She is mysterious and fascinating, impossible to ignore.

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A bright beacon

She’s so bright, she might even be blinding. That’s why, once you’ve spent your time staring at and being overwhelmed by She whom we can only assume is the Light, Herself, consider turning away.

Consider looking at the rivers, the bridges, the buildings, the trees, as if they were not overwhelmed by this light.

Consider the clarity of the water, the lovingly layered levels of an ancient (Elven?) city. Consider the lights that hang from the trees.

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Dancing Green

Imagine yourself and your beloved on Va’loth’s dancing green, yes, still in her shadow, but protected now, by her stone sleeves, from whatever approaches above; in this bower, you are safe.

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What you could miss

And really, just think: If you turned toward the Light and stared only at the Light, you might find yourself slow-moving as a statue or an unfortunate troll in the morning. You might find yourself so hypnotised, so mesmerised, by that light, by the hope it carries, that movement, thought, the passive understanding of what happens around you, all these things might fade. And there you would be, a silhouette, one foot poised toward the next step, staring at a light.

It’s enough to make you wonder, isn’t it: What was She staring at?

But, what is Gwyneth wearing?
Fantasy Faire Featured Items (all links point to the specific store where you can find the item):
Gown: Silvan Moon Designs, Aetheria Gown, in Lapis (Get this dress at the Silvan Moon Designs store in the Midas region!)
Halo: Air, Gothic Halo, in Gold (Get this item at the Air store in the Shrine Tree Region!)
Circlet and bracelets: Kotolier, Herba bracelets and Circlet in Gold. (Get these at the Kotolier store in the Midas region!)
Torc: Lassitude & Ennui, Torc Necklace, Dragon, in gold. (Get this at the Lassitude & Ennui store in the Midas region!)
Eyes: Musa, Amla Eyes RFL edition. (Get these at the Musa store in the Sanguinely Garden region!)
Everything Else:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Genus Project, Baby Face
Skin: Lumae, Genus Project Elska Applier T1 (All current skin lines are now available for just L$100 at the Lumae Main Store!)
Ears: Swallow, Elf Ears High Definition
Hair: Analog Dog (natch), Mali

The Light of Va’loth is one of the 2019 Fantasy Faire regions. It is sponsored by Titans and Solarium and designed by Kilik Lekvoda. I am sure I will be setting some stories here as the Faire progresses.

Vistas

Since my first Fantasy Faire in 2014, and in the five subsequent years I’ve been blogging, helping with LitFest, working together with friends on collaborative writing projects for the Faire, and even helping with sponsoring regions and offering little bits and pieces of world building, I’m amazed with the sheer scope of the event. I love not only the little details of each region, but the beauty of regions viewed from other regions.

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Trollhaugen and Tensor’s Flying Market

This year, I got the opportunity to help with a region that is literally a flying machine. One of the things Riven had in mind when the designed Tensor’s Flying Market was what amazing views Fairelanders could experience from its many balconies, windowed gardens, and floating islands.

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The Highest Point

From the highest point of the Market, where the wind ships dock, you can look down upon the stunning Fairelands Junction and Midas regions in their entirety.

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Wind Ships

Of course, the wind ships themselves are lovely to look upon, even from a distance.

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Midas from one of the western lounges

Every level of the Flying Market is built with what can be seen beyond it in mind. I love these garden lattices, reminiscent of Mashrabiya I recall seeing in Singapore and other points east.

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Trollhaugen from the east side of Tensor’s Flying Market

Each of the lounges has plenty of seating space for Fairelanders who need a rest, or just a little space away from the rest of the Faire. You’ll find them throughout the Flying Market.

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So many stunning views

There are so many stunning views that I have spent most of the last 24 hours capturing as many as I could from this side of the Faire. It’s enough to make me want to concentrate on these beautiful views for the rest of the event, though I know at some point the story gods will take over.

Get to the important bit! What’s Gwyneth Wearing?

Seriously. Is this not a spectacular dress? It’s from Poet’s Heartand their store is located in the beautiful Shrine Tree region, sponsored by The Looking Glass and designed by Sharni Azalee and Marcus Inkpen.

The Dryad tattoo comes from Seydr, also to be found in Shrine Tree. Gwyneth is wearing Crystal, and I thought it worked beautifully with both the gown and the hair from Magika. (Nina is a relatively new release, but alas, you’ll have to leave the Fairelands to find the Magika Main Store).

These beautiful eyes are from Musa, called Sphene. They are Omega eye appliers, and this is one of the RFL colours. Must makes its home in Sanguinely Garden, sponsored by United InshCon and designed by Eldowyn Inshan and Katz Republic.

This stunning tiara comes from Zuri, as so many beautiful crowns do. Zuri have their Fairelands home in Nightshade Blossoms, sponsored by Secrets of Gaia and designed by Rowan Thursday and Kylie Todriya.

Everything else is pretty standard for Gwyneth: Maitreya mesh body, skin from Lumae, ears from Swallow.

Don’t forget to keep checking in on the blog throughout the Faire: I’ll be posting at least every couple of days, and I have a lot more beautiful places and clothes and skins and sparkly bits to show you!

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Fairy Dancer

It’s not often that I dedicate a whole blog post to a single dress: I can only think of one or two times where it’s happened before.

But there’s a special kind of grace to a dress made for dance with prim skirts swaying in a world of mesh, as if Isadora Duncan floated into a New York City ballet class near the turn of the 20th century.

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Prim skirts swaying in a world of mesh

Designer Geryn Sloane, the creative mind behind G Sloane, describes this dress as “old school”, and in terms of Second Life design, I suppose she is right. But I didn’t feel “old school” when I wore this beautiful dress around SL the day I photographed it. I just felt like a dancer. Maybe that’s because I remember great prim clothing designers, some of whom didn’t make the leap to mesh and have faded into the all too ephemeral Second Life past.

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A sense of power

There’s a sense of power about this dress, even though its details are delicate: the lovingly textured floral pattern on the applier bodice and pelvis, the right leg, are of that pink and purple mixture that you would, if you’re like me, probably associate with something called “Fairy Dancer”. Even if you’d never seen the dress, you’d possibly describe it like that. The ragged hem with its floating blossoms rounds out the free-spirited style, and that is an excellent touch. You could be wisteria in this dress. You could be Rose of Sharon. You could be a flower in the wind.

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A flair for the dramatic

There’s no shortage of potential stories with a dress like this, either. I confess, I almost wrote a story around it and then decided it would be more fun just to natter on about the dress, for once.

But where can you get this dress? It’s available TODAY at the Spoonful of Sugar Festival in Second Life.

The Spoonful of Sugar Festival is a charity event benefiting Doctors Without Borders. Doctors Without Borders sends medical aid to places where need is great, like conflict zones. They support humanitarian causes and report on the problems they see. Nearly 90% of donations to Doctors Without Borders goes straight to the work itself.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ, Athena Bento Mesh Head
Skin: Lumae, Elentari, with face Elvi (for LAQ and GA/EG heads)
Hair: Analog Dog (natch), Merida (because with an outfit like this, if the hair doesn’t move, you might as well stay home!) You can pick this up at the Analog Dog Main Store.
Eyes: Seydr, Versicolor Eyes
Cosmetics: Cazimi, Glitter Cheeks, Festival Eyeshadow, Tinted Lip Gloss
Nails: Insomnia Angel, Sorcery Nails (Available NOW at The Fantasy Collective!)
Dress: G Sloane, Fairy Dancer (Available TODAY at the Spoonful of Sugar Festival!)
Body Jewellery: L.I.C., Gold Standard (And many thanks to Lindy for following me on Flickr; otherwise I’d never have looked through her photostream and found this beautiful and very versatile set. There’s much more to it than I’m showing in these photographs!)

Environment:
Location: The Box, Awenia
Lighting: Sometimes LumiPro, sometimes a single soft spot projector
Poses: Musa, from the Fantasy Poses series (plural: series singular and plural, like sheep, are spelled the same in English. I had to double check that with Dr Google)

I think I’m Paranoid….

Have you ever had that feeling, the one where you’re sure someone is watching you, or following you, but then when you turn around, there’s nothing there?

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I think I’m paranoid

I think I’m paranoid, or at least I was in last night’s dream. I was walking down this completely unreal corridor, because no one would paint an actual corridor that shade of teal. I mean, if they did, I wouldn’t know them. And I was certain, just positive, that I was being followed, except when I turned around there was nothing there.

Now, I’ve lived in the magical universe long enough to know that it’s possible for something invisible to be following me. But I’m also magical enough to know when something invisible is following me. And there wasn’t a thing there, I swear.

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And complicated….

To make it more complicated, every time I turned back forward, I’d get the feeling again. There wasn’t anybody else around. I could see no one. Feel no one.

And it was another one of those dreams where I didn’t look like myself, but i had to admit I was pretty hot with the purple-grey drow skin paint job. And the wings felt like heaven.

Still, that unsettling feeling, though.

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I think I’m paranoid, manipulated…

I really do think I’m paranoid, manipulated probably by my own turncoat thoughts. Because every I turned around there was absolutely nothing behind me.

Strangest thing.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: LAQ Bento Mesh Head, Scarlet
Skin: Lumae, Elvi – Kialaya (Available ON 1 AUGUST at The Mesh Body Addicts Fair!)
Nails: Dark Passions Koffin Nails, Dark Orchid (Available NOW at the Gothic Garage Sale!)
Ears: Eclipse Art Studios, Nepthune
Eyes: Musa, Apatite Eyes
Dress: Pixicat, Ava Dress
Tights: The Little Bat, Lia Stockings (omega applier) (Available NOW at the Gothic Garage Sale!)
Shoes: Cult, Desire Heels
Necklace: Devious Mind, Cassia Forest Necklace
Hair: Sintiklia, Mbali
Wings: Material Squirrel, Thethys Wings

Environment: CYMK Time For the Moon Night, 2
Large Invisible Unicorn: Heartistic, Midnight Unicorn

One Step Forward

Another mystifying dream, in which I seem to be working for some charity? Let me try to remember it in more detail for you.

It’s my first evening on the street. That’s what they call it anyway. I have to stifle a laugh every time my pod leader says it. But no matter how long we “supernatural creatures” (creatures? really? who says that?) are visible to Earth’s dominant population, we still seem to be seen as some bizarre alien presence. Never mind that history just doesn’t reflect any of the things my parents told me.

So that’s why there has to be a MaVoST. And that’s why people like me, who with less effort can “pass” amongst humans, get picked to go out and knock on doors.

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I don’t like knocking on doors.

I don’t like knocking on doors. It feels so 20th century. All I need is a perky visor and a big suitcase and I could be a Depression Hoover salesperson. Well. And a penis.

My handler is across the street. She’s waving at me. “Go on, Gwynnie, you can do it,” comes her voice through the magically enhanced earpiece I wear (with convenient panic button just in case I end up talking to any of those people).

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I half-turn toward the street.

I half-turn toward the street.

“OK,” I whisper. “OK.”

“Just do it like we practiced.”

“Hi, good evening! I’m Gwynnie Thlessaliel, and I’m a faerie.”

<pause>

“Good, good. Keep going. Rehearsal is good for the soul.”

“Now, I know you probably see a lot of faeries around town. We run your cleaning services, we do a lot of service work, some of us are involved in the arts and entertainment sector, we help create great technology—you know, now that I think about it, we’re actually a lot like you.”

I take a deep breath, then continue. I am taught to wait for some protestation.

“I am part of MaVoST. Have you heard of us? I have some literature here, if you want to read it on your own time. My work number’s on the back, so if you have any questions…. Yes; it stands for Magical Voices Speaking Together.”

<pause>

“Remember, you never enter a house on the first passthrough. Pod tier two will be through in a couple of days.”

“No thank you, Mrs Jones, but it’s a lovely offer. Anyway, read that over, and when you feel like it, give us a call, and we’ll help you get to know more magical and supernatural beings right in your own neighbourhood!”

“That was great, Gwynnie. Just like in practice.”

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Now all I have to do is knock.

Now, all I have to do is knock.

And that’s when it always happens.

Redneck with shotgun opens the door. “You get off my porch.”

Creeper in a Satan Lives jersey opens the door. Grabs my wrist.

Nice looking guy in a suit opens the door. “You people always—oh, no, wait; you’re not a person, are you?”

(voice through the door) “No pointy eared freaks! Get out!”

My hand shakes.

“I’m right here, Gwynnie.”

Kid I went to high school with, thirteen years ago, opens the door. “Oh, I remember you. Blew the fucking bell curve in politics and now you’re going door to door for some creepy supernatural club, right? Yeah; that just goes to show that no matter how uppity you are, you will never amount to anything.” Door slams.

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I can’t.

“I can’t.”

“Third strike, Gwynnie. You have to do it this time.”

I can’t breathe. I hear a high-pitched noise. Everything turns blue. I gasp for air.

“You’re hyperventilating. Take two deep breaths, turn around, and knock on the door, Gwynnie. I am right here.”

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I really, really can’t.

“I really, really can’t.” My voice breaks.

“Right. Let’s go back to the pod office. See if Justin will reassign you, but we really do want all new lobbyists to start with the grassroots work.”

I cross the street. Mariclar puts an arm around my shoulder.

I’m crying.

“Look, he probably will just reassign you. You graduated with a first. I’m sure there’s some office work.”

I’m crying harder.

The curtains across the street part. I can’t make out the face.

“Look, we don’t want to make a scene. Let’s just pop back to the office, OK?” Mariclar takes my hand and leads me around the corner to her car.

It’s too late for Justin to be in the office, so she drives me home.

Then, I am staring at my computer at an email from MaVoST.

Hey, Gwynnie—
Sorry it didn’t work out, but no hard feelings. I’ll talk to Marcus about reassigning you, but for now I’ve got no choice but to suspend you without pay.
—Justin

That’s the third one this year. What is wrong with me?

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Romina (Available ON 1 AUGUST at The Mesh Body Addicts Fair!)
Nails: Cazimi, BOtM Dan’s Metallics and Glitters (Available NOW at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Musa, Apatite Eyes
Dress: zOOm, Lilla Dress (Available NOW at the Gothic Garage Sale!)
Tights: Moonlite Cat Creations, Saon Netting Stockings (Available NOW at the Gothic Garage Sale!)
Shoes: Apple May Designs, Thorned Flower Heels
Necklace: Spyralle, Chaos Breaks Out Necklace (Available NOW at the Gothic Garage Sale!)
Hair: Little Bones, Geist (Available NOW at Collabor88!)
Bag: QE Designs, HexenBag

Environment: Paparazzi, Townhouse Backdrop
Rain: anc, Stardustrain

Recreational Realm-Hopping?

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The Sea of Ennui

Look. I get tired. I get tired, when I’m at the height of my summer power, of everybody coming to me like, “Oh, Your Majesty, couldn’t you please get to work on the new Book Forest?” Or, “Gosh, Your Majesty, we could use some small houses over here by the park’s edge.” Or, “Your Majesty, not that it’s all that important to us, mind, but could you please finish the pathing between the castle and the village and the Book Forest?

It is wonderful to be needed. It is. But there comes a time, particularly when the days are so hot I would like to scream and immerse myself in water at the same time, which would not end up drowning me but would make the pesky mermaids snicker, when I just want to get the fuck out of town and go hole up in someplace different. The Sea of Ennui is nowhere near as nice as the briny variety.

With that in mind, I informed Bran I was off to look for some rare minerals (it was as good a plan as any) and hopped off to a Realm with different weather.

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Well… at least it wasn’t a desert.

“I don’t remember requesting, ‘deserted, mountainous wasteland,'” I said upon nearly crashing into a mossy statue of a book that I judged to be at least four or five hundred years old. “But whatever: at least it’s not hot.”

I judged there was a cave on top of the ridge behind me, and I headed that way. “I was really hoping for a beach,” I muttered to myself.

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Will you look at that.

Well, well, well, I thought to myself as I landed near the cave opening. Will you look at that. Possibly the Realm Hopping Powers that Be Powerful or whatever you want to call them were not just pernicious asshats after all. The whole cave system looked to be made out of that granite Bran was falling all over himself to find. Kind of bluish, but whatever floats his boat. I tapped the control button on my bluetooth headset.

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You will never guess what I’m sitting on!

“Oh, Bran!” I sang sweetly into the mic, ignoring his grousing both about the signal and the fact that my singing voice doesn’t travel well over whatever compression they build into bluetooth microphones. I did once have this guy I dated who would have looked that up for me and had an answer back before I could type it out. He was German, obviously. “Bran! You’ll never guess what I’m sitting on!”

“Resisting the urge to answer, ‘My face….'” Bran said.

I laughed. “You know that blue granite you’re always going on about?”

“You are shitting me.”

“You keep picking up this vernacular, Bran. We’re going to have to teach you to speak Posh Sidhe all over again before the tourists start coming in.”

“I don’t suppose you would be willing to offer me transport to wherever you are?” He was just going to ignore all my teasing.

“I’ll send a wisp. Not sure how long I’m staying here, but at least it’s not hot.”

“Thank you, Your Majesty.”

“Of course, Bran. You know I’d do just about anything for you,” I said smoothly, then sent a little transport wisp his way.

Now, I only had to decide whether I was going to wait here for him, or if it would be more fun to find somewhere, anywhere, with a beach, or at least a lake of some kind.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Romina (Available ON 1 AUGUST at The Mesh Body Addicts Fair!)
Nails: Cazimi, BOtM Dan’s Metallics and Glitters (Available NOW at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Ears: Lumae, Leevi Long Ears
Eyes: Musa, Apatite Eyes
Wings: BareRose, Fairy B Wings
Clothes:
Shirt: Ghee, Slogan T-Shirt, Feminist
Trousers: The Annex, Paisley Pants, Purple Available NOW as a new release and part of the Saturday Sale at The Annex Main Store!)
Shoes: Baiastice, Gemstone Sandals
Necklaces: Violetility, Persephone Necklace;
and The Little Bat, Luna Necklace (Both Available NOW at the Gothic Garage Sale!)
Headpiece: Lode, Summer Garden Wreath, Pink (Available NOW at Shiny Shabby!)
Hair: Exile, Aina (Available NOW at Collabor88!)

Environment: Bearded Guy, Medieval Spring

 

 

Daily Commute

That air of difference, the sense of it, never really leaves you. It works its way out to the surface in ways you won’t even see ’til one day you’re discussing it all with your hypothetical future therapist/healer/priest/take your pick. Sometimes you can still save the memory, if that happens. You can gloss over the prickly bits, change a detail, tell the story that suits you. And of course in dreams the strangest things make sense anyway: you could be having a perfectly ordinary conversation with, say, your long lost cousin who happens for no discernible reason to be a pair of scissors.

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Obviously I’m on the Tube with a bunch of commuters, two anime girls, and a rogue.

Obviously, I’m on the Tube with a bunch of commuters, two anime girls, and a rogue. Because that’s just the way things are. All the usual rules of rush hour commuting apply: in the priority seat there’s a white guy in a business suit, aggressively reading a newspaper in case someone disabled gets on. The pregnant woman across from him is more likely to give up her seat. Women sit with their knees crossed together, taking up as little space as possible; men need to air out the crotch and provide standing passengers with obstacles to make their daily trek less boring.

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“That man is staring at us”

“That man is staring at us,” says Anime Girl With Black Hair. “It makes me uncomfortable.

I can feel the rogue and I roll our eyes in concert. “They always stare, sister,” says the rogue.

Anime Girl fans herself with her fingers.

“You’d best get used to it, sister,” the rogue continues. “Especially when you go around being all different.”

There is a collective intake of breath. All the signs say London enforces diversity. All of them say that. But newspaper man is ruffling his tabloid in a way designed to call attention to itself and not the fact that he can’t take his eyes off any of us, and super tall guy pointedly looks away, as does repressed white lady in black tank dress. Pregnant lady is the only one who’s really not paying us any mind: she’s asleep. Lady in pink looks like she’s going to pretend she must get off at the next stop, even though it’s probably nowhere near home.

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It’s not going to rub off, you know!

And maybe it’s the heat; maybe it’s some kind of post-experience editing, but I can’t take it any more.

I flick my hair behind my shoulder, giving newspaper man’s defensive shield a thump with my nail in the process. “It’s not going to rub off, you know,” I say, in a voice pitched to carry. Nobody is going to wake up with demon horns or pointy ears or an unfortunate proclivity to change into an adorable kitten who also kicks ass on some kind of otherworld battlefield tomorrow just because they had the misfortune to end up on the Central Line with more than the usual complement of weirdos.”

People are pointedly not looking at me. I’m definitely making an impression.

The rogue half-smiles; I wouldn’t be able to tell if it weren’t the way all rogues smile in fantasy novels. Anime Girl in blue turns around and blows a raspberry at tall guy, then prances toward the train exit. The other Anime Girl brings her delicate fingertips to her perfect, cherry lips. “Oh! You are so brave!” she exclaims, then blushes furiously, apparently because she spoke.

I pull a paperback out of my back pocket. Now that I’ve said my piece, I feel like I can get back into this fascinating bit of chick lit I’m reading.

Back when I was in postgraduate school, I used to be good at making connections. In some ways, I still am. The dream of that girl in the jungle, though—the was and wasn’t me one—that one threw me. And then the next dream came and I got an inkling.

But really, subconscious: I already bought into the many worlds hypotheses. I did. You don’t have to keep hammering me over the head.

Anime Girl and the rogue get off at the next stop. Anime girl hides her face as they exit; the rogue turns back to me to indicate that they are absolutely not together, then hands me a rolly and a business card with her name and mobile number written on the back.

Score.

Style Card:
Body: Maitreya
Head: Vista Bento Mesh Head, Lia
Skin: 7 Deadly s{K}ins, Romina (Available ON 1 AUGUST at The Mesh Body Addicts Fair!)
Nails: Cazimi, BOtM Dan’s Metallics and Glitters (Available NOW at the Cazimi Main Store!)
Ears: Swallow, Magic Pixie Ears
Eyes: Musa, Apatite Eyes
Clothes:
Blouse: The Annex, Maria Top: Available NOW at The Annex Main Store!)
Jeans: Fame Femme, Terry Jeans, Black
Shoes: Illi, Nana Canvas Sneakers
Rings: Yummy, Unicorn Ring Set (Available NOW at Uber!)
Hair: Lamb, Ari (Available NOW at Uber!)

Environment: Fox City, Destination London