The grey-black asphalt of the parking area spreads out from the ribbon of the interstate like a cracked blanket, while the only other sign of civilization for miles on this stretch of road are the diner and the motel. An decrepit wooden fence, fallen down in places, encompasses the perimeter of the truck stop, behind its barriers rises a thick, dense forest.
"White's Diner" blares the gaudy neon sign, highlighting the large stainless-steel construction, looking like something straight out of a 1950's sci-fi comic. Through the large windows, glimpses of waitresses pouring coffee, and truckers making messes of their famous spectacularly greasy burgers can be seen.
Further back out still, tucked away from the noise of incoming and departing trucks, is the motel reception area, and its many rooms available for rent.
Compact is the word for him: wiry, maybe 5'6" in his beat-up black combat boots, with a sense of compressed energy and imminence like a coiled spring -- or a cocked gun. Never quite still for long, balance flowing through the balls of his feet. There's a striking intensity to his narrow blue-green eyes, the colour contrasting with his fair skin and spiky copper hair; just below the left is what at first appears to be a faint mole, but closer inspection reveals as a small, long-healed scar. His features are appealing, with high cheekbones and a good jawline, but it's the confident mien and roguish smile that most often seem to draw people in.
He's in nicely-fitting dark indigo jeans with a plain white tank, its ribbed cotton skimming close enough to hint at the musculature beneath. Over that, he's wearing a long-sleeved, navy blue shirt, unbuttoned; judging by the white-on-red number patches on the left arm, the flag patch on the right shoulder, and the round fleur-de-lis patch to the left of the collar, it was once part of someone's Scout uniform... probably not his. Okay, the 'Boy Scouts of the USA' patch over the right pocket's a hint, too. There's a couple leather-and-bead bracelets on one wrist and a length of ball-chain disappearing beneath his collar; his nails were apparently painted black some time ago, since they're starting to show chips. Late teens, most likely, and when he speaks it's in a mellifluous, southern-accented baritone voice.
Skinny and pale, short and not particularly muscled, this young man is a number of nerdy stereotypes personified, and it's questionable if he can even grow a beard yet. When standing, he reaches 5'4" in shoes, and only just. While his voice has clearly changed, it's still rather high pitched for a boy of his age, and he carries himself with an uncertain air. Still, there are mitigating factors: he has artfully tousled dark hair down to just above his shoulders, emotive grey eyes, and clear skin. And hey, he's only in his mid-teens, so there's room for improvement!
He wears a grey v-neck t-shirt under a black leather jacket. Below that is a pair of blue jeans and black workman's boots. His only concession to jewelry is a stainless steel analog wristwatch with a black face and white writing.
~*~ OOC NOTE: Pure Breed 2, Charisma 3. ~*~
Lunchtime at the truck stop's diner -- but late lunchtime, and the rush is slowing down considerably. This is handy for Felix, who's most of the way through a burger at the counter, because it means the pretty, dark-haired young waitress working said counter isn't getting run off her feet anymore. He catches her eye with a quick, impish grin that shifts into the purest of innocence as he takes a couple unreasonably large gulps of his Coke to finish it off and necessitate a refill. She shakes her head, mostly-suppressing a smile, and refills a trucker's cup of coffee before moving on toward the redhead and his sadly empty soda.
Speaking of empty sodas, two seats down at the counter, Derek's just finished his own. In his case, however, he isn't using a straw, and takes small drinks. Not quite dainty, but certainly not close to gulps. He doesn't call for the waitress just yet, instead having another bite of his chicken fried steak (with liberally applied country sauce, natch.) His eyes follow the waitress's path for a long moment, maybe too long to be strictly polite.
Felix doesn't even pretend to politeness, straight up watching the girl the entire time, while maintaining the Innocent look until she arrives -- and matches it. "Did you need something?" she asks him sweetly.
Felix gives her a woeful look, and pushes his empty glass a few inches across the counter, "My Coke somehow disappeared. You wouldn't leave me to die of thirst an' dehydration, would you?"
The waitress arches a brow. "I don't know... I'm not sure you =deserve= more Coke."
"Aww, Lucyyy," Felix complains, somehow managing to find a few notches more to turn up the woe before the impish grin escapes again. "I'll make it worth your while," he continues, leaning forward and batting his lashes at her exaggeratedly.
"That's what you always say," Lucy sighs sadly, shaking her head, but does take the glass; her own grin doesn't escape until she's nearly to the soda machine.
"It's always true!" Felix retorts, grinning after her, and has another bite of his burger despite the lack of delicious beverages with which to wash it down.
Derek is sitting two seats down from Felix at the counter, eating chicken fried steak (with liberally applied country sauce, natch.) His soda glass is empty and strawless. Alas and alack! He watches the waitress during *part* of her exchange with Felix, and then he turns back to his meal, eyes down on his plate and his mind apparently elsewhere.
Lucy returns in about half a minute with the soda, setting it down in front of Felix. "Now behave," she says sternly, and takes a quick glance to make sure no one else is looking in need of her at the moment before asking, "So why doesn't Trace ever come by anymore?"
"Yes'm," Felix replies, pulling the glass closer and taking a drink. Her question gets a small shrug, and an almost apologetic, "Had some family stuff come up, had to go deal with it. I'll make him come say hi when he's back, though, promise." He picks up a fry, and suddenly grins again, "Want me to tell him to call you next time I hear from him? I mean, you did give him your number, right?"
"No," Lucy says quickly, with a very faint blush, "...I mean, yes, I did, but no, just tell him I hope the family stuff goes okay. Need anything else?" Felix gives her a mock salute, mouth full of fries, and shakes his head. She looks past the empty spot between them to Derek, giving him a smile, "Everything okay there?"
Derek doesn't seem to be listening or paying attention, at least until the word 'Trace' is said. His fork pauses, just for a moment, and then he's back to eating as though that hadn't just happened. When he's directly addressed, he nods his head to the waitress, replying, "I'm fine, thank you. ...actually, could I get a refill on my Pepsi, please?"
"Absolutely," Lucy replies, without a hint of the trouble she gave the (completely deserving) redhead, and she takes the glass, whisking off to make that happen.
Derek leans back in his seat, watching her go (though focusing much more on hair than derriere), and then has another bite of his meal. That done, chewed, and swallowed, he glances over at Felix. "Pardon me," he begins, "But do you have any Grey Poupon?" Okay, so he doesn't ask the second part. Instead, he asks, "But did I hear you say something about a 'Trace'? Forgive me if I'm interrupting."
Felix is, alas, rather focusing on derriere, and possibly legs, but what can you do. He is at least not unreasonably unsubtle about it. Derek's question surprises him a little, first by its existence, and then by the phrasing; he looks the guy over assessingly for a moment, then half-smiles. "Yeah, Trace Garza," he answers, "Friend of mine. You've met?"
Derek looks hesitant, at least before he hears the last name. He gives his own half-smile and nods, setting his fork aside for now. "Yes, that would be him. We just met last night, not far from here." He pauses, then carefully napkins his mouth and hands before extending his right to shake. "Derek. A pleasure to meet you."
"Felix," the redhead replies, flashing Derek a grin; his hand only gets a cursory wipe before he accepts the handshake, but it's at least enough to make the main adjective for it 'firm' rather than 'greasy'. Lucy comes by around then to set Derek's new glass down for him, and doesn't interrupt, partly due to being waved over by a trucker sitting down at the other end. "Nice meetin' you too. Different branch of the family?" Felix asks, "You've got that kinda look about you."
Derek's shoulders relax, and he returns the handshake firmly as well. He nods a thank you to Lucy for the refill, and then returns his attention to Felix. His food gets ignored now in favor of conversation, though he does take a sip of the Pepsi first. "I'm a different branch from Trace, and I'd wager a different branch from your own if you two aren't directly related, certainly." This is said without any outward sign of distaste for the different branches. "I've just arrived into town last night," he explains, "So I'm a little overwhelmed by new faces and places." He pairs the statement with a smile.
"Most likely," Felix agrees to the assessment of their degree of relation, and that last remark gets a small laugh. "Yeah, I been here about a year," he says, "an' I remember it bein' an awful lotta new shit at once. Though chances are you'll meet people in bits an' pieces for ages. 'less you're just visitin'?" He does not ignore his food, though his attention IS mostly on Derek; he just also gets back to work on his burger and remaining fries while he isn't talking.
"I'm not just visiting, no," Derek says with a shake of his head. He finally does turn his attention back to his food, picking at it for a moment and then setting his fork down again. "It's good to hear it won't be all at once. I would hate to confuse your friend Trace with someone else, for instance. Though he was definitely memorable, so perhaps that example is a far-fetched one." He gives a ghost of a smile before having another small drink of his Pepsi. "I'm guessing from your being here a year or thereabouts, you're fond of the place?"
Felix considers for the length of a fairly large bite of burger, then washes it down with some of the Coke before musing, "Ain't sure I can think of no-one it'd be real easy to confuse with someone else. But all the same. ...yeah, I reckon I'm fond of the place. Only meant to be passin' through, originally, but the Caddy broke down an' then, well." A reasonably cheerful shrug. Derek may or may not have noticed the old Eldorado parked outside the motel.
"Well, good to hear," Derek says with a serious nod, on the subject of confusing people for other people. He leans back in his seat as he listens to the rest, and the talk of passing through gets a smile. He glances toward whatever windows in the diner closest face the motel, and even if this doesn't allow him to see the Eldorado, which it probably doesn't, he comments curiously, "Was that yours, out by the motel? I think it was... blue? I'm staying there for the moment, is why I wondered."
"Yup!" Felix confirms brightly, "...I'm stayin' there off an' on too, at the moment. 'least one other person I reckon you'll end up meetin' is also. So you just got here last night, huh? Where from?"
"Nice, very nice," Derek says of the El Dorado with a smile. "And I look forward to meeting more people. I believe it was... Justin who I told that my bus trip here was very quiet, save the seatmate who talked to herself rather than to me." His smile rises just slightly. "I come from Ohio. Where were you, before a year ago and the fateful breakdown of your very fine ride?"
Felix looks pleased at the compliment to the car, and agrees, "Ain't she?" He glances in the appropriate direction as well -- whether the car is actually visible or not! -- and has another sip of his Coke. "You met J, too, huh? I'd been travellin' the country some, visitin' some family an' explorin', but before =that=, Memphis."
"I did. As well as Kevin. Though that was the extent of my introductory conversations last night." Derek nods to Felix's answers, and replies, "That sounds interesting. Memphis, Tennessee, then? Or a different Memphis? I know there are many permutations of 'York' and 'Paris' and such in various state names, so I always like to clarify. Did you have a favorite location, on your travels?"
"Yeah, that Memphis," Felix confirms, though something about the questions gets a flicker of some kind of look in the -mused family -- it's fleeting enough that a- or be- is hard to tell. "An' a couple, I guess. Las Vegas is pretty awesome, for one--" He breaks off as his pocket goes musical, just a few notes from the start of the chorus of Layla, and brightens a bit, pulling out the phone to glance at it. "Oh, shit," he says, looking up from it to Derek, "Sorry, got later'n I thought. Here..." He pokes it a couple times, then hands it to the newcomer, on a number-adding screen. "Put your room in too, I'll come bug you later." Meanwhile, he hops off his stool, and heads to where Lucy is rather than calling her over.
Derek merely smiles, though when Las Vegas is brought up, he can't help but ask, "Did what happened in Vegas, stay in Vegas?" He nods as the pocket begins chorusing, and quiets down, taking a sip of his Pepsi while watching Felix. He doesn't attempt to glance at his screen. Instead, he checks his watch, brows lifting at the time he reads there. "It certainly did." Once the phone's handed to him, he taps in his number and room number, and gives a friendly enough wave. "Enjoy your evening," he suggests.
"Second time I went through it did," Felix says as he starts away, grinning, "First time it came along with me." He has a brief, quiet conversation with Lucy -- although if body language and previous evidence are a good indication, it probably still includes at least a bit of flirting -- and he pulls out his wallet to hand her a bill or two before he returns, snagging the last bit of his burger in a paper napkin and reclaiming his phone. "Definitely aim to," he says, the grin back and a bit roguish. "...you too. Catch you later."
Derek gives a wave, grinning and turning back to his (by now) probably-cold meal. "Catch you later," he agrees, though his attention's now on his steak. OM NOM NOM.