Having just picked up the paper clips, Mihai heaves a sigh. Not only must he pick them up again, now they're entirely useless. For a time he sits silent at his desk, dark eyes tracing the accidental patterns in the spread of bent metal pieces littering the floor. Those were his favorite paper clips. Brass-colored. Pricey. Not the cheap silver ones you can pick up at Staples. What a ridiculous thing to spend money on.
Adela's abrupt exit doesn't leave him in solitude. No, the excited energy she produced served only to draw every spirit lingering in Ealdwic right to his back. A flurry of whispers mix in agitation at the edges of his ears. Invisible fingers prod and pull at his clothes. Pressing his eyes closed, he tries to will the unwanted visitors away. Ten minutes of focus pass before the voices begin to quiet. Once again he lowers from his seat to his knees to begin plucking up the paper clips. This time they go into the bin.
"I never assume anything of anyone," he says to the empty room. "I even more rarely than never expect anything of anyone. Thank you for reminding me why."
When he is done, he rises, the trash pail in hand. Gaze falling upon his desk, he stares at the calendar resting innocently in the center. It remains devoid of any writing, of any marks, save for Hadden's request for coffee hiding invisible beneath the man's wards, and the flagrant reminder that her hand was there.
Like a beacon it pulses in the back of his mind; not visible, but metaphysical. The mark of a soul. Much more difficult to remove than ink. Even if he took a black marker and scratched over it, she'd still shine through the void.
Overcome with irritation, Mihai rips the calendar from the desktop and shoves it into the trash can. He then half throws, half shoves the bin beneath his desk as he drops back into his chair. Offended even by the presence of his laptop, his files, his phone, he quickly and unceremoniously retrieves each piece and shoves them into his messenger bag. Within minutes, the office is left empty, dark, and locked as the Romanian stalks down the street toward Agartha, trailing a wake of phantoms.