(I was very much tempted to have a Leo vs. Leo, as technically I have two characters named Leo, but instead I'll fish one of my plotless who's stuck somewhere in Italy in 1944).
The black man in front of Leo sat straight, nervous yet composed in his uniform. He was around thirty-five, rather handsome, with an aquiline nose, prominent cheekbones and a small moustache. Leo deliberately left a few seconds go by in silence. Instinctively, his hand went to brush his necklace, framed by the collar of his shirt. This one would be hard to crack, but it would make it all the more worthwile afterwards.
"Who are you?" Leo said finally.
"My name is Jeremy Smith, sir." the other replied, his voice suddenly almost deferential.
"Jeremy? Do they call you that, or just Jerry?"
"...Just Jerry, sir. And I am Leo. Not a nickname."
"Well, Jerry, tell me a bit about yourself. Where are you from?"
Now Leo caught a spark of discomfort in Jerry's eyes. He wasn't falling for it, he seemed used to distrust.
"Richmond. That's in Virginia."
"Ah. I could tell you were American. But your accent isn't so-Southern."
"That's perhaps because I've been living in New York for a long time, now."
"I see. And what do you do, Jerry?"
Another moment of hesitation. "I play the trumpet in a swing band. But I'm in the army, now."
"Ah." Leo sighed, dramatically. "Swing music. How lovely."
Suddenly, Jerry changed expression. "Look Mister, I'm a US army sergeant. I know your type, I've seen plenty of big boys with your accents, regiments of them. Can you tell me what game you're playing?"
(I thought the character would fit for this exercise since he's got reason to be at least used to the idea of being under threat by a white man).
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