Kett Evangeline

Bakkhos
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58 Setting the Bar High

About Kett Evangeline

  • Rank
    Fresh Faced

CHARACTER PROFILE

  • GENDER
    Female
  • PLAY-BY
    Daisy Ridley
  • SEXUAL ORIENTATION
    Heterosexual
  • RACE
    Human
  • JOB
    Owner of "Little Monk's"
  • 'SHIP:
    Single
  • LOCATION
    Brooklyn, N.Y,
  • FACTION
    Bakkhos
  • APPEARANCE
    Kett is very petite. Born premature, it limited her size as well as caused her disabilities; height barely over five feet. Still, her musculature is lithe and strong, able to lift heavier items than most women due to her chosen profession. Because of her compact frame, it gives the illusion she is taller than she actually is, augmented by her confident personality.

    Hair is often worn in a faux-hawk, either down in back, braided in a single plait or with braided pigtails to keep her hair out of the way when she works. Dark hazel eyes throb with a blue hue and are always meticulously lined to make her look older. With no make-up and her hair down, she looks quite innocent and discreet; something she tries to avoid.

    Clothing is utilitarian, leather protecting her legs and arms when she works or rides. When it’s warmer she trades leather for jeans, but never trades out her coat. Well worn steel toe Doc Martins or Harley boots are usually laced up to her knees under her pants to protect her shins from the bumps and bruises of her shop. When off work she often goes barefoot in her apartment. She never wears any kind of jewelry, except the small medal of Saint Francis always on a short chain at her throat.
  • PERSONALITY
    To the outsider, Kett seems arrogant and elitist. Once acquainted, they discover she is hard working, focused and doesn’t take crap from anybody. She is a no-nonsense, quiet fighter. If she has an opinion, there are no qualms about sharing it bluntly. If confronted, she also has no problem throwing a punch. Definitely not a party girl, she still knows her way around the bars and enjoys a good bottled beer.

    Fiercely independent despite her disabilities, she has developed acute senses and uses them to her advantage. Appreciative of her new-found success and ability to communicate with the world, she still can be found with earplugs in during her “me” time… shutting out the chaos and enjoying the sounds of silence.

    She has no tolerance for those that prey on the weak. The memory of sitting alone in a bathroom stall, lip and nose bloodied, sticks with her to this very day. Unable to shake the fear that she still feels at the horrific bullying she endured, she has compensated fully to become a savvy, fierce business woman. The feel of her shop every day is always a welcome homecoming, the throb of the motorcycles as they roar to life for the first time a protective blanket that even now she defends like a precious gift. If anyone threatens that joy with the ignorant belief she is a weak and defenseless damsel, they find themselves on the receiving end of a very ferocious, formidable wrath.
  • PERSONAL BELONGINGS
    “Little Monk’s” in Brooklyn, N.Y. Once her father’s before the Resonance, she returned and rebuilt the place with the help of her pop’s former friends. It specializes in motorcycle repair and also works on any car built prior to 1980; their lack of computerized mechanics making them easier to find parts for and restore. (Insignificant NPC activity)

    Small apartment above her shop, modern and slick.

    Black 1951 Indian Chief motorcycle that was her father’s.

    A Browning Hi-Power pistol with two magazines kept in her apartment for self-defense. A growing arsenal stash of everything she can afford stockpiling in the back room of her shop.

STAFF APPROVED ABILITIES/SKILLS/HISTORY

  • APPROVED ABILITIES
    NA
  • APPROVED SKILLS
    Leadership Ability

    Business Savvy

    Organized and Focused

    Strength; above average for her gender.

    Lip Reading; becomes a problem when light is scarce.

    Sign Language; standard ASL system.

    Expert Mechanical Ability and Knowledge; specializing in motorcycles and classic cars.

    Vehicle Aptitude; able to drive any vehicle, including stick shifts and big rigs.

    Firearms; can handle a basic pistol with good aim.

    Blades; has no problem using them if threatened in whatever capacity possible.

    Brawling; can hold her own, fights "like a guy".
  • APPROVED HISTORY
    Born Ketterine Evangeline, the tiny, premature, deaf-mute child never saw her mother conscious again. Raised by a tough-as-nails widower pre-Resonance mob-affiliated father, even he couldn’t protect her from the bumps and bruises of cruelty; chided for being different, bullied for being small, beat up for no reason other than pure nastiness. Instead of teaching the small child to bend and seek help, he taught her to stand up for herself with the fierce protection of his brothers in blood. With their “training”, she grew up silent and fearless, earning her the nickname “Little Monk”.

    She learned basic speaking skills along with sign language while still very young; surgery just before the Resonance giving her partial hearing in her left ear and correcting any lingering vocal issues. Post-surgery took hold and the hearing in her left side blossomed as the world fell into chaos, compensating for the deafness in her right ear. She painstakingly learned in the years following to understand the orientation of sound and honed her speaking skills, still having a slight accent; when she decides to speak at all. Her gift of sharpened hearing has given her an absolute infatuation with music, as well as the valuable ability to identify problems in an engine through sound and pitch.

    It was a flurry to stay alive, and when the dust settled she found herself more and more by herself taking care of the family shop with her father’s ‘brothers’, seeing less of the man she idolized as he grew into a new mob underboss position she barely understood- let alone saw coming. Gone was the man that spent the day scrubbing transmissions and painstakingly teaching her to weld. That bitterness grew to a hate for taking him from her. Swept up in posh hotels and penthouses, it seemed he’d forgotten his grease-monkey roots, though his money kept her sputtering shop alive. Every week, like clockwork, cash was being dropped in an envelope that appeared in her early bird key drop-off slot.

    She was alone the night he appeared in her small apartment above “Little Monk’s”, her tiny frame passed out and covered in grease on the couch from rough day of work. She woke up to find him unconscious on the floor, shot, and the car she had built him in her garage, covered with a tarp and riddled with bullet holes. He'd come to her for sanctuary. He died in their small apartment above the shop, covered in tears, blood and grease, leaving her to bury him alone for fear of whatever he'd tried to hide from, and find a way to survive on her own. Why he came to her, she never figured out. To protect her? To hide in a place nobody knew existed? After a while she stopped asking, and started trying to forget.

    She subsisted like so many others, scavenging, ruthless; fending for herself in a new world of violence and chaos. Determined to survive in a nearly impossible situation, she developed an aptitude for business and the shrewdness to make it happen. She was able to make the humble business thrive, and find what was left of her father’s loyal lifelong friends; giving them jobs in the shop. They are devoted and work around the clock for her, creating spectacular works of art and being instrumental in getting the world back to normal mobility.

    She's driven by pride, bent on the survival of a place she and her father built together, and will do anything to protect it. She blames the mob for taking him from her, and fears what she would do if ever confronted with those responsible. She knows her father’s friends still have their finger on the pulse of mob dealings in the city, but they respectfully keep her out of their heat and never bring it into the shop. She is aware of their dealings and keeps a close eye, never entangling herself or her business. Bakkhos is a word that is never spoken in her presence, and means swift retribution and a kick out the door to anyone that even utters it. Though still considered family in their “traditions”, she wants nothing to do with them, or their scum.

Profile Fields

  • Primary
    Bodhan "Triska" Marin
  • Typist's Role Play History
    Since the beginning of time
  • Role Play Sample
    See Primary Character
  • How did you hear about us?
    Friend

PLAYER AGE CONFIRMATION

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    Yes

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  1. Lost But Found

    August 26, 2019 Little Monk's Evening Metal refracted light in her vision, that starburst spritz of rainbows when eyes had studied something for too long, perpetuating the headache that was building. Lashes narrowed, dark kohl liner a sharp splash of Pin-Up. The knot on the black Rosie-kerchief was bothering her as she stared at the twisted car part, reaching up to tug a bit on the top of her head to loosen the bandana slightly. He wanted original parts. This was the one fucking piece she couldn’t find. Why did it have to be one? All this shit at her disposal and she was going to have to machine and fabricate the blasted thing. She wasn’t sure who was going to be more pissed, her or Matteo. Her. Definitely her. It couldn’t be pristine, it couldn’t be original, it couldn’t be perfect. She was supposed to be able to do that... she'd promised she could do that... she had to be able to get it done. Had to. Eyes blinked and reopened with their deep blues on the glass that allowed each bay to see the next and the lobby on the far end of her kingdom of metal and speed. Bills fired up the bike in the third bay. She loved that sound… fucking sexy. Smirk was light for a moment, watching him adjust the classic as the rumble smoothed and settled. Bills did great work and it kept her mind off her own issue, even just for a second. Hands were on her hips, fingers tapping, bare petite arms taught. Attention moved back to her own puzzle, biceps flicking before she pulled the leather apron off over her head and tossed it on the workbench. The elfin spitfire was at an impasse… she wasn't going to lose this round. …knuckles rapped at the window, fingers moving quickly to communicate with him soundlessly. Bills shook his head and powered down the machine, heading to the lobby. Coffee. When she wanted coffee, everybody scrambled to the machine. It meant she was irritated, and it was going to be a long evening. Snatching the part off the engine, she grabbed the ring of brushes from the pegboard and took her place at the slop sink, starting the long process of trying to clean the blasted component again.
  2. Mobster with the Magic Touch...

    Welcome! What you up for? Serious, silly, chatty?
  3. Drowned World

    "…ya…. cuz this is my first thought for a romantic getaway……." She laughed, the words barely caught at her distance. She could hear, but it had its limitations. Laughter from her was like a white unicorn, it was melodic and held such a sly mischievousness it was like a glimpse into her soul… or a warning she was about to cut someone’s balls off. You’re a prude Merlin, hands were tucked in her hoodie pockets, the smirk light. You need a good adrenaline fuck you pussy. It just bubbled out, unsure of where the surly ease came from. Years and years of chained wicked anger thrown into a blender in less than a week? Finding out she didn’t have to fight the world by herself? Everything she thought was piled against her did have hope? The way he’d looked at that car. God, he looked at that car the way her father had looked at that car. It was more than respect. Responsibility. It hurt. Just to see the same love was like a knife in the gut. She would have to admit that maybe, just maybe he might be a man worthy of her father’s legacy. It hurt so much to hand over those keys, fingertips reaching up to whisk away hot moisture blurring her eyes as she walked through the gate and back into the parking lot of her shop. It was also liberating, but she had to get back to work. He was a big boy, and if he wanted the luxury of her shop in his folds, he was going to have to work for it. She could feel the eyes before she even stepped into the shop, burning with questions. Where the hell was he? The truck? What had happened? The bell chimed as she pushed into the lobby. God damn it. Hopping onto the chair she yanked it down again and threw it into the trash, reaching behind her neck to pull her hoodie off in one fell swoop and toss it onto the hook. Chill was rubbed off her bare arms, walking through the back of bay one… two… socket wrenches zipping from her guys, stopping at hers and the Mustang that was the root of all the activity this morning. Hands on her hips tapped, staring at it, fingers reaching over to turn up her radio to a quiet level, then flip the switch on the radiant heat over the door. A plan. Drawers pulled on her red tool chest, looking for something specific and tucking it into her back pocket. She lifted the hood. She knew bullet holes, how they tore through metal. Fractured. Splintered. Pulling on her leather apron so she didn’t scratch the thing even if it was a junk fender, she slid forward over the side. She wasn’t tall, and even though she could reach places nobody else could, she had to practically climb into the engine to get there. Feet lifted off the floor; hand propped on top of the block as she reached to her back pocket and put the light magnet between her teeth. She could feel the damn thing under a hose and bundle of wires. If she couldn’t get at it, they would have to dismantle half the engine. It had to come out. It would rattle around and get sucked into something, even the fan. Disaster as it ricocheted through the engine. A damn lock of hair was tickling her nose, fingers on the fragment of metal, then slipping. Even her tiny hands couldn’t squeeze in there enough. Back of her hand reached to wipe her nose and then grab the magnet, leaning further in, lithe bicep holding her weight for now as she essentially tried to find the equivalent of a fucking clitoris.
  4. Drowned World

    He was so quiet, either a quiet worker or he just hated her and her place that much. Her whole organization was a liability now. Nobody wanted extra responsibilities. Is that what her father thought about her before he died? Annoyed that she was an extra responsibility? His silence after her rather tepid dismissal that he didn’t have to interact with her seemed… not an answer. With her guys, they just knew she worked in silence unless she was jabbing at them about their sex lives or cracking coarse jokes. Him… he just felt like a stranger that wasn’t. It was uncomfortable. She hated feeling uncomfortable. She had finished her side when a comment finally came, pausing at her truck with the coffee can of lugs dangling from her fingers. "….family is important. Blood and otherwise…." She didn’t say anything for a while, knowing he was expecting her to lash back. So he was here to put her in her place huh? School her on the way it was? Is that what Gaspari told him to do? Her quip about the king of New York brought a pause she could hear in his motion until he rose and put the tire into the back of her truck. For some reason she kept holding onto the coffee can filled with lugs, prevented her from pulling her hood over her eyes and shoving her hands in her pockets. Joining him on his side, she shook the can slightly for him to give up the lugs he’d pocketed. benefit of the doubt, but… she was actually looking out for him. “Lugs in the can Merlin,” voice was quiet as she watched him assess the brakes. “You’ll forget they’re in your pocket and knock your front teeth out when you’re in a hurry and swing your coat on too fast. You can keep them all, just keep ‘em in here. You’re missing some, and I don’t let people work for free.” She waited for the brake assessment, can on the trunk with a clink. "… much better shape than mine despite how she looks." Eyes narrowed slightly, nodding once as she left him to finish and toss the crate of seemingly useless parts into the back of her truck. He knew what a treasure they were. That was the deal breaker. She couldn’t lie, she had wanted him to fail the test. Contrary to his belief, she’d listened to everything he had said. She was still absolutely livid with Bakkhos, but in her two days of streaking anger, she realized how angry she was at her father too. It didn’t mean she still didn’t love him, or the things he cared about. He cared about Bakkhos, and his work. This weasel said her father did amazing things for them. She had to believe she would have shared in that, if he’d lived. Question was, did he really care that she was family? Or was he doing this just because it was expected. That was the big question. There was a terrible rift there. He had things he had no right to have. Reality was though, he had them. He had them because she didn’t know what else to do. She was a kid when she dragged a bloody, grown man to bury him, afraid for her life. She was a kid when she left the car on the dock. She didn’t know what else to do, who else to go to. The ass could have crushed the thing. Or dumped it in the harbor. He didn’t. Petite hooded form moved further and further away from him, not inviting him, but not telling him to get the fuck away either. She remembered where everything was in her rows and rows of hidden treasures. It was truly a feat to have the place hidden so well, of course being behind the main shop surrounded in ten foot tall privacy chain-link had helped quite a bit. The rows were neat, some roads in between well-traveled, the cars picked to the bones, others with grass up to her knees and no tire tracks at all. These rows had tarps held down with old tires, brake drums, anything heavy enough to hold them down. Some were gray, sun-faded… others bright and new over the old ones that had started to become threadbare from time. High grass crunched as she trekked through the aisle, stopping about a hundred feet down. Fingers were rubbing against each other, reaching to pull the hood down and free the dark hair from its ponytail only to smooth all the loose fronds back again and double loop the thing into a loose bun on the back of her skull. Tires began to move, rolled off a set of tarps and discarded in the long grass. A new blue one, underneath it a weathered gray held down with brake drums; the last torn in many places but tightly hidden from the elements, actually tent spiked down through the grommets. Wet earth made them relatively easy to pull, but she didn’t for a moment. Breath a bit too fast, fingers pinched between her eyes for a moment to quell the heat from her lashes, back of her hand whisking something from a cold cheek as she leaned down to start pulling stakes. Worn tarp was peeled off the car, small frame climbing carefully on top of the hood to keep the grommets from scratching intact glass. She slid down and took several steps back. It was on blocks, tires long gone, pristine in its tomb. It was obviously not a perfect vehicle, but it was perfect to her. “Last person to pull parts off of this was my dad,” she said quietly. Fingers dug deep into her pocket, the truck keys were tossed at him, followed quickly by a single key on a black cord. “The lanyard key opens the gate to the front garage parking lot, this scrapyard, and that.” She pointed at another chain link sliding gate at the very back of the immense neat rows of cars. “Full set of tools in the back of the truck in the roughneck chest. Take what you need from this for your Skylark and bring it in the truck back to the garage.” Hood came back up to keep out the drizzle, and hide the unreadable expression, small hands in her jean pockets for a moment as she looked long at the Skylark. It was her father’s parts car. The only one in the entire city she knew about other than her father’s. “Family is more than blood,” she said quietly and left him to it. She was going to walk back to the shop, only a few minute's walk. There was no way she could help him do this. He could just as easily tell her to go fuck herself and take the truck back herself. It was his game now. She normally really would have stayed to help, but she couldn’t find it in herself to open that hood, or look at it any longer. About ten feet later, the petite mechanic turned, walking backwards as she called back. “You bring anyone, especially chicks out to that back lot quarter mile run for a romp fest I will cock block your ass so hard you won’t get a date for months. You, your Mustang and your 'Cuda only!” Turning back away from him she continued her trek. It was unsure if she was kidding, the harsh threat also a funny one at that. But… she wasn’t kidding. She was never kidding.
  5. Drowned World

    Okay. So the flinch did make her eyes perk on an otherwise poker face. It was unintended, but she did enjoy the man-flinch. The mechanic had a brackish humor with her guys. If it’d been one of her boys, she’dve laughed like an ass. He wasn’t, and she didn’t… she just enjoyed the fact she could startle the bastard even after the bitch-ass things he’d snarled at her several days earlier. The inward amusement took the sting off the awkward for a brief moment anyway. Then the interrogation, without being interrogating. Her dad's car was still was on her mind. Heavy and hurting. She didn’t know the ass from Adam, and he had something she felt was precious. Honestly, she would rather it had been at the bottom of the river. Martyred instead of some dickhead’s backseat burlesque. "..Cuda…took 'bout four years to restore her cuz some numbnut let her run outta oil." The 'hm' was soft in response, had only seen one complete once a while ago and the guy had run it into a piece of shit. She wondered if it was the same one. There was half of one a few rows over. A pile of pieces more like. Bargaining chips for later. It was a few moments before she nodded. Good to know it hadn’t been turned into a rat rod, but she still would have preferred it had been martyred. It had been better for years not to know, now forced to look at her work trashed. Why the hell was all her best work going to this asshole all of a sudden? The thought made her blood cringe. "…fuck.." Eyes flickered to him at his reaction. No shit Sherlock. His outrage wasn’t what held her attention, it was the subtle affection for the injured thing, and his answer to her confession. He was an odd duck. There were some brains along with the dick. "…another dumbass…" Soft sigh oozed from her lips. That was one way to look at it. Getting to put her hands on this disaster wasn’t going to make it much better, but at least she could get the parts on something that truly needed them… even if it was this guy’s. He took care of his cars, or so he said… He knew what he was doing, watching in her peripheral as she checked under the front and made sure it was sturdy. Things sat for too long, they tended to break more parts and shift. The engine, or what was left of it, was safely on the ground. Wasn’t going to go anywhere. "…this one your work before dipshit gotta hold of it then?" Silence was a strange answer. He didn’t need to talk to her, she wasn’t someone that needed to be entertained, hell she didn’t really even know why he was here… to check on his car most likely to make sure she hadn’t ruined it yet. Oh yah… and to make sure she hadn’t killed anyone else. Couldn’t make the Gaspari regime look bad by being a petulant child, because she apparently needed a babysitter. “You don’t need to make small talk,” voice was insanely quiet. “You don’t like me and that’s fine. Don’t feel like you have to talk to me unless it’s about your car.” Okay that was done. The weird little dance he was doing around her hard to put her finger on. Was he weird because he was somewhere he was ordered to be? Or, was he weird because she was a chick? Both maybe? She fished a tire iron out of the flatbed as he stabilized the sad vehicle, t-bar wasting no time spinning a lug as soon as it was up and secured. The iron sharply snapped into her palm like a rifle caught by a marine. Lug was plucked off and slid into the joey pocket of her hoodie before moving swiftly on to the next one. His question about the car stung at her. It needed an answer. “…yah” she finally answered about the squished Mustang, a quiet combination of a sigh and a confession, the last lug in her hoodie before returning to the truck and fetching a toolbox. It was set next to the side she was working on, returning to retrieve two milk crates and a coffee can. The lugs dropped into the can, one crate by the passenger side, one by the driver’s. Hood was pulled up, still weirdly sensitive without her armor in front of someone she didn't know, tossing the tire iron on the trunk for him to retrieve and figure out what to do with... maybe pull the other tire while she was harvesting brakes? Kneeling, the tire was pulled with surprising strength and rolled to the side, clink of tools quiet as she began to dismantle the brakes. Dark lashes were slightly above the fender, watching him carefully every now and then. Fingers were working quickly, but the silence lingered past most people’s uncomfortable point… then further. “…this is the last car pops and I worked on together.” Pieces began to plink in the milk crate lined with a plastic bag. Her shop was low tech, worked just as well. “…before he found other things more important.” A soft grunt came out annoyed as a particularly tight piece was forced free. Again the silence. She liked to work. She liked to work WITH people. It was absolutely liberating to be in someone’s presence and not need to talk to them, just work. She felt he needed more because he was uncomfortable around her… they weren’t at that silent point yet- people felt they needed to talk to cover up the weird. Blink stopped her thoughts? Yet? WTF did her brain mean, yet? Scowl was inward. “Sat for a while in pieces after the world ended,” she pulled a rag from her back pocket and wiped fluid from her hands before returning to work. “Couldn’t make ends meet… you have to make some tough choices when you’re not king of New York.” It took two people to wreck that car: the idiot that drove it into a tree, and the idiot that sold it to him. BUT, boys were fed. Shop lights were on. She wouldn’t have made a different choice. She couldn’t have made a different choice. The first crate was inspected. It went into the flatbed, small frame hoisting the tire into the bed with it. He could use them too. “You need spares,” it wasn’t a suggestion. Returning to the other side to see what he’d made a mess of, she wiped her fingers in long strokes with the rag before kneeling and pursing her lips thoughtfully at the other brake. Sure he could jack a car, any chick worth her salt could do it in heels. Before he set foot in her garage and used HER tools, she would have to be comfortable knowing he actually could… not just brag that he might know how. Maybe that’s why she was letting him stay there.. Tongue clucked quietly a couple times as she looked over the mess. This was an impossible call if you were an idiot, tough even if you knew what you were looking at because you had to have the patience to restore each part. Some people did, most didn’t. When the car hit, it had obviously torqued left. The tarp helped, but water had gotten in and sat from a sheer in the rear fender. This side looked like hell. They were salvageable. Did he know that? Eyebrow lifted at him slightly before she stood and slid her hands into her back pockets. “Your call Merlin.”
  6. Drowned World

    She felt like a freak, a sideshow. Compact deaf tomboy. Hardly suave mob material. She didn’t want to be, knew the whore shaped boxes that all the women she’d ever met forced themselves into. She didn’t want any part of it, any association with it and just wanted him to go away. The fact he didn’t offer to help her pick up the bumper that was undoubtedly heavy won him a few points, but not many. Polite she wasn’t, but she was deadly observant. Lashes flicked on the rearview briefly enough to catch the frustrated hand on the back of his neck. He didn’t want to be here. That made two of them, except someone was making him be here. She was being babysat. He had other places to be. Had to be Gaspari. Fingers itched to close the door. He could go fuck himself. Not only did her father not want her involved, they didn’t want her involved either. Foul mood slid further into its recluse. Sigh was long as he got in, warming her fingers for a moment on the vent. He seemed comfortable, at least he took his own ease. "….thought you'd never ask." “Bullshit.” The quip was dry, quiet. The simple word said everything she was thinking. She knew he was babysitting, she knew he didn’t want to be there. No use in pussying around it. Foot touched the clutch, thoughts clearly wrestling with something. Compact form turned in her seat, reaching behind the bench seat to pull out one of the giant hoodies she had adopted. It smelled like fresh linen, definitely not something that had been hanging out in her shop. She’d brought it for herself when the one she was wearing got soaked through. It wasn’t raining as hard as she’d anticipated. Mist at the most. She tossed it on his lap. “I don’t stop for fashion. Might want to roll up your nice jeans a few turns too before you get soaked to the knee with oil.” Even though the ’67 she was stopping at next had been drained, it still was a hot flipping mess of grass. Was she being chivalrous? Nah. The silver thermos of coffee was dropped between his thighs. Now she was being chivalrous. It was the closest to a thank you for saving her life he would ever get. “It’s hot. Black. Help yourself.” Nimble fingers found the gear and the well cared for antique moved several aisles over and stopped at a rather short tarp covered mound. She didn’t wait, reaching under his foot to lift up the jack and kick open her door. Jack dropped next to the mystery mound, tailgate was dropped and she climbed in to pull a cinder block and a few small cuts of 2X4, dropping them next to the jack. Hands rested on her hips a moment, sigh annoyed… the first time not at him. She was working herself up to it. “Hemi. Didn’t sound like a Skylark. Yours?” Curious small talk. Her pop’s was a Skylark. His was never a mean sound, it was a dangerous one. Weasel had a snarler. Lips pressed together pulling the tarp back. It was a tragedy. A perfect, breathtaking tragedy. Beautiful paint crinkled backward to the front doors. The front end was a scorched pile of crap, interior a smoke ridden, melted mess. Features softened for the first time in his presence. It was more than sorrow. Loss. She snorted at it finally, twisting the jack and dropping to one knee to reach under and find the sweet spot. “I cried,” she confessed quietly, reaching to slide a cinder block closer. She was going to jack the back up to pull the tires and harvest the brakes. “You tell anyone that, I’ll kill you.” Teeth grit at the first twist on the jack, grunt of exertion soft. “You know how to safety prop a jack right? Make yourself useful Merlin.” She would have to earn his respect? He would have to earn hers.
  7. Drowned World

    She heard it. Finely tuned, echoing over the building off in the distance to cut through her quiet morning. The thought had crossed her mind that it was her father’s but it didn’t sound like it. Not something she wanted to deal with today. Not someone she wanted to deal with today. Not that she couldn’t, or wouldn’t, she just wasn’t ready. Still tangling with her wants, and needs, and anger. Even in the morning clamminess her cheeks burned, the tips of her ears under her hood… burned, and the odd kneejerk reaction to avoid until she’d had the time to properly don her face armor made her demeanor almost... shy. The world never saw her like this. Her armor gave her permission to be angry, and mean, and distant. Right now she was just a quiet innocent with dewy skin, rosy cheeks and a slight sniffle under the utilitarian exterior dress of any other mechanic outdoors in the drizzle. It was her solace, her playground, and she hated that he had come to it. Bills would tell him where she was, and then… a soft wave of panic hit, the urge to hide set straight by the ever present anger hovering just under the surface. She felt the air change before the scent of well cared for leather touched her senses. It was the same moment the bumper finally dropped free and swished triumphantly down into the grass, the edge catching her steel toe with a clunk. That’s what they were for. Her hood was the hero of the day. She didn’t have to look at him as the tiny mag light was snatched from between her teeth and tucked away, tools disappearing into her tailored carpenters belt beneath the hoodie. With a determined squat the metal beast was hoisted onto her shoulder and she stood to transfer it into the open tailgate of the old truck. The mouse was mighty. A worn blanket protected it as she slid it in, covering it up and pushing up the tailgate to lock it with a jimmied hitch pin. Fingers lingered on it a moment. The more she paused, the hotter her cheeks became. Why was he here, why the fuck bother to come back here other than to mansplain shit to her. Sigh soft at his greeting, hood lifted just enough to blink dark lashes at him in recognition before returning to the front of the car to cover it with a tarp and anchor an old rusted brake drum on top. Sniffle was light, peeling up the tarp at the back tire in a crouch and reaching behind the tire to run her fingers over the brakes. They were okay, the others were better, tarp dropped back down and she stood, opening the door to the truck and sliding in, slamming it behind her. She sat a moment, looking at her hands, finally leaning over and pushing open the passenger door for him. She hated herself for it, didn’t want to… wanted nothing better than to jump out and punch him in his smug teeth. If you’re done pissing on my fire hydrants out front, we got work to do… one more parts pull. If you’re not here to work, you know the way out. Foot pushed the clutch and the old truck fired to life, well-tuned but old. The jack was on the passenger floor, he'd have to deal, the cinder blocks in the truck bed. She’d mentioned the other Mustang being wrapped around a tree… never mentioned it was in her lot. Hood was pushed back, damp loose tendrils from her braid tucked behind her ears. Fingers rubbed over themselves in front of the dash heater vent to warm up a moment. If he wasn’t coming, he could walk his ass back out and take his penis car with him.
  8. Drowned World

    January 29th-30th 2019 Small frame sat with one foot on the curb to her right, bike turned off. Half a block away, the bridge she’d stared at in silence as a child shadowed above her in half misted gloom. Black jersey cuffs were pulled down to her knuckles, graceful yet insanely strong fingers resting between her knees on the front tank… folded almost demurely ladylike as the dark lashes blinked under the shadows of the knit hood worn inside of a leather coat. The black biker jacket kept her torso dry, sleeves also zipped down to her knuckles. It was one of her favorites, keeping her attention off of the fact jean clad legs were damp. She was packing… heavily. Faces and names unknown waltzing in and out of the stainless steel sided “antique” diner doors in laughter only to peer up at the sky and frown, their cars driving by her drizzle spattered classic Indian that was almost too big for her… face casting toward the dreary river after confirming and memorizing their faces. She was waiting…for courage maybe. No. She had that in spades, fingertips barely peeking from beneath the black cuffs rubbing at a grease spot on her nail she rarely wasn’t able to scrub off, She cast a glace around her over her shoulders, dropping her attention back to her hands. The world dreary… she was on fire inside. A flaming Zeppelin raging against the immovable force of solid ground, cheeks hot, eyes burning even under clammy cooled lashes. Deciding. The morning breakfast rush. A whole diner full of people “Gina” knew all about. A hoard of people that needed to be set straight that she was no pale flower- violently if necessary. Deciding. Sniffle was quiet, hidden eyes flicking toward the diner again. She’d only been out of the “healer induced” sleep less than a few hours, realizing she’d slept through the night and past her chance to right things immediately. The disorientation and loss of time was almost as furious as the failure of the day before, compounding exponentially as the minutes at her “post” dragged on. Deciding... Woken up somewhere she didn’t wanna be, covered in blood, sore and angry. Had taken almost a half hour to get every drop of caked blood off in the shower… deciding, thoughts festering… angry and frustrated silent tears as fingers wandered over where bullet holes used to be in the privacy of the hot shower. She’d tried to go about her day… pretending things were okay… Black Harley’s, jeans, a button up black shirt tied at the waist… she’d piled every bit of dark hair on her head, tying it up with a scarlet bandana. Rosie the riveter it was today. Dark blues had stared so long at herself in the mirror, a kohl liner pencil flicking absently in her fingers it felt like for hours… every stitch of her being always looking older, tougher, rougher. A persona. It was part of her. Today, it hadn’t felt so useful, and the persona was dropped back into her makeup bag, the Snow White stark innocence of her features disappearing under her hooded zip up donned with the leather jacket. Bills was up when she left her loft, knew better than to talk to her. She didn’t even want to know what had been promised, what souls had been sold. Couldn’t find her Browning, suspicions as to what trophy case it had gone to… Was there anything else Bakkhos didn’t have of hers? Sigh long, thoughts pulled back to her presence at the diner, fingers pinching between her eyes. A bit betrayed, a bit overwhelmed, and very conflicted. Gun in the back of her belt felt like a ticking time bomb, wanting nothing more than to kill everything... eyes narrowing at the diner again as she reached to start the bike and push off the curb. Crisis averted felt like a blood betrayal, also desperate to see if the weasel’s smart ass rantings were true. Why wouldn’t it be true? Bill’s had already given Gaspari the other half of her legacy to add to his trophy case right? Why wouldn’t the rest of this horrific nightmare be true? It seemed sacrilegious in such a quiet place, the echo of a powerful engine before she turned it off and left it at the curb to step into the rather secluded cemetery. Hands shoved into her pockets, footsteps through damp grass reserved for silent reflection to witness the ultimate display of arrogance, and arrogance it was. Her father's name where it didn't belong. She almost couldn’t look at it. Monument to what? Thanks for making us rich? Thanks for making us powerful? Thanks for leaving your daughter in obscurity to pad our lifestyle? It wasn’t their business to assume they had the right to mourn him. She’d barely stopped moving, turning on her heel back to her bike didn’t seem fast enough. Her escape, didn’t seem fast enough. ** The next day Breath misted in front of the tiny focused beam of light, miniature mag-light held between teeth at the sound of a ratchet in the otherwise eerie morning silence. Same overcast gloom as the day before didn’t make much for prime working conditions, but she wasn’t one to wait for the world to tip in her favor. Hammer plinked every few moments to get the tired bolts to move; the pitter patter of a waking world joined in symphony by the light crackle of rain on the tarp she had covering the rest of the car. It was that weird time inbetween times, when it was still dark but the sun hadn’t come up, the sky glowed and the earth was still in shadow. Bills had tried to make things right by being up before the crack of dawn with coffee ready for her, which she ignored. She hadn’t spent more than two seconds the shop the day before and he was obviously concerned. Not a word had been spoken to any of them, they knew the wide berth needed before she cooled off. After the shit they all pulled, they were lucky to still even have jobs. Hell, they were lucky she hadn’t shot them all in the kneecaps. Guys hadn’t yet rolled out of bed, they were all staying here now- in the break room while the old back garage was being turned into a “bachelor pad: of some kind. Her own jolly pirate ship of mutineers. All she needed. …the only thing she knew that calmed her called now, a whisper from her father perhaps. She answered. Nestled and busy in the car graveyard behind her shop she was in her own secluded world, the old Ford truck parked in the drive behind the ’67 with its tailgate down waiting for the bumper she was removing. Half thumped down into the overgrown brown frozen grass, and she straddled it, starting on the other end. ...the bumper, the fender, then off to the next row to pull a set of still pristine brakes from one undeserving asshole to another.
  9. Rose Petals

    It was happening again, how strange the world was when it was ending. Moments could stream by so quickly, the next felt like forever. Odd conversations, snapshots in time that seemed so inconsequential bubbled up from nowhere to be everywhere. She didn’t hear Bills’ footsteps or see the shadow of Mr. Weasel kneeling next to her. The world was too bright for that, disoriented, dark eyes on the type of sky filled with layers of overcast cold clouds. Light bounced through them, the dark and the pale, giving the illusion it was a low fog trying to touch the ground. That point when pain became too much, had passed. It was beyond pain and into numbness. Hip broken? She didn’t know… She did know she was stronger than this, but her consciousness was thin. Sobs were gone, chest barely moving but refusing to give up, the initiation into pain was met with a wall it couldn’t get past- as of someone beyond a door refused to allow it to open. Dark lashes fluttered and parted at the sudden snap on her sternum, breath sucking in, pupils widening to take in the information that didn’t quite line up with her reality. He had been leaving.. they both had been leaving- pissed off and puffed up, lips pressing to a thin line at the feel of his thumb pushing the air out of her lungs. "Breathe dumbdumb.." Brows instinctually snapped downward….she hated this man…taking another slow breath, it was helping. His words were quiet, but too clear, not registering the consequences of that at the moment. The world came back as another breath was drawn, the cold of concrete, the scent of… “…brakes need work too Merlin…” all business, mumbled out in an exhale. She could smell it, the worn pads and stiff brake lines. She could also smell fluid, a miniscule amount, her head right next to his baby’s rear tire. “..gonna cost extra..” Scrape of boots as he disappeared were too loud, the drop of a bag too close sending her world into a post blast ring. Too fast, the pause in the universe had ended… barreling forward suddenly without knowledge to stop it. Frankie! No no no! Small hands had snapped into fists, Bills moving toward her without a second thought, It was one of the only moments the old biker would ever throw the man’s orders off, his eyes had caught the bright purple bouncing away from her skull and spinning under the car as her head had smacked the pavement. She wore them when her ears hurt, she had a head injury, Frankie would open a floodgate of hellish, excruciating sound into her head.. they didn’t know. His knees hit the ground just after she tried to push Frankie away, callused hands grabbing her wrists to subdue and immediately cradling the side of her head against his thigh to muffle her ear. She relaxed, he knew and understood… the old ass had not sold her out, not completely anyway. Nod was quick to Frankie from the old man to let him set to work. He would explain in a minute. She was not a petulant child, she would protect any of them, with her life if necessary. Groggy. It was the only way she could describe it. Fingers were moving under his hold in single letters, the biker’s lips quirking slightly. Gibberish. *npc* She’s deaf. He said simply as he watched Frankie work, finally explaining. *npc* Gio squirreled money away before the world ended for the surgery. One side took, the other didn’t. Must’ve gotten hurt pretty bad last night, was wearing an earplug- it just fell out. Frankie would’ve just opened a fire alarm straight into her head… not everything you see boss is a ‘fuck you’. She’s different. Sees the world different. Her breathing stabilized, the old biker was quiet for a while as the healer finished… watching the new tools of the mob with Frankie’s talents, and Monk’s consciousness fade out. *npc* ..old school… you knew the peacemaker side of Gio, she knew the warrior. Lives by the code he taught her. He left it at that. There was so much more the Capo didn’t know about De Luca. Brows lowered. Watching her gibberish fingers, she was talking about a diner. *npc* You have Gio’s car…you got a nickname, you family now. He reached under the car and retrieved the bright purple earplug, checking it for dirt and carefully putting it back in. She was out like a light. Would probably wake up pissed and groggy. He picked up the mighty mouse with crackling aged knees and disappeared to put her on the couch in the lobby, pulling something from her belt and returning. Sigh was long as hand slid into his pocket and he surveyed the mess. Lots of work to do. *npc* Gina, at Carter’s by the bridge. Dunno if that means anything to you, what she said before nighty nite. He held the butt of a well-worn Browning out to him, knowing it was empty. Engraving distinct, but well loved and cared for. The other of a pair. It was not a truce, there was no truce to make, It was a promise of loyalty. *npc* Give this to Gaspari. When he wants to see her she’ll come get it. The guys and I will take care of this mess and get your car into her bay. She'll be on that '67 before sun comes up tomorrow, just a heads up.
  10. Rose Petals

    The second he grabbed her wrist to prevent her concern, an unreadable expression slid over her face. It was dangerous; the dark Italian eyes dashed with a blue so deep it seemed cobalt when her pupils narrowed to vicious pinpoints. Only one moment in her life had led to the kneejerk impassibility on her features. It had been hundreds of moments actually, compressed into one single life event that was all the same. Aggression. Aggression at her triggered a protective instinct that had been bored into her soul from birth. Fingers snapped to a fist at the firmness of the grip, the flicker of corded muscle. One. You never let anyone look down on you. Aggression. It aged her face to the twenty seven years of bullying and threats she’d endured. She was nobody to be trifled with. Impulsive, yes, but never wrong… and never hesitant to protect herself and those she cared for. She did what needed to be done without a second thought and every inch of violence necessary to get her point across and ensure they’d never bother her again. She’d shown him a moment of kindness in the only way she knew how, responded to by an abrasive insistence that he himself was indeed fine and didn’t want to be further touched. Two. They hurt you, you hit 'em 'till they can't get up. They ain't family. The Capo’s grip loosened, and seemed to let go with a whisper, the ingrained words deflated. Her own skin was the one that seemed to hum in anger where he’d touched her, immediately snatched back to her side. He appeared to understand why she confessed her parentage. Why she was hidden, yes, but there was more.. so much more. A Lucchese disappearance for six months, hiding her pregnancy for fear of repercussion. Then her death. Murder, it had been whispered. By her father. Maybe, at the core… but it was the little deaf girl that had ultimately killed the enemy princess. There were memories that didn’t forget. Even if the deaf engine jockey identified as Bakkhos, she was broken, damaged… a weakness that others that wanted to hurt them would see. Her father had never seen her that way, she didn’t see herself that way, but she knew how she would be taken by those wanting to deal a blow; a murdering, weak liability. He would figure it out eventually, if he chose to ask the right people. "..don't be a mule, this aint a movie where everyone runs 'round fer hours with bullet holes and do "just fine". That wound's clean through, by tomorrow when ya try to get yer revenge you wont be able to hold a gun in that hand. Not to mention based on that location it likely nicked ya bicep tendon, when the shredded tendon finally snaps ya gonna lose the strength permanently in that arm." Ass. She turned to go about her business. Watt was fine, the rest…including Bills, could suck her proverbial dick. "…ya let it heal like that and he can't fix it. It'll be stuck that way. Gotta be fixed while its still an injury." It was a whisper behind her earplugs, but she’d heard it. Stopping before she’d left his immediate vicinity, she turned, head cocking slightly as eyes narrowed in and out. She’d been injured and put back together so many times… She was born injured, born an underdog, never expected to survive. Before she even processed he most likely didn’t know that, her viciousness fired off. “I don’t need a lecture on what bullet holes do… and who said anything about tomorrow? You may be king of your kingdom, but your feet are firmly planted in mine. Don’t tell me my business again.” Walking backwards a few moments before she turned, she hadn’t meant to tell him essentially fuck off. No, she did… sort of. She was the last person that needed an explanation on what bullets could do. Her shoulder hurt, like hell… but so had a broken jaw, a broken arm, years of busted lips and bloody noses. Again, the insinuations that her petite size made her nothing more than a liability… it angered her more than anything. She was not stupid, she just didn’t have the stomach for bullshit. She’d find herself an urgent care that took cash and didn’t ask questions AFTER she’d finished this. Tossing the door open to their friends’ ugly ass car, she slid into the driver’s seat, sitting a moment. Fingers moved along the sun visors, popping open the glove box only to slam it shut. Hands rested on the steering wheel, the smell of cigar smoke that was stuck to the upholstery turning her stomach. It was familiar, ass she shot had a shitstorm of crap on the right side of his recliner. Hand slid to the space between the driver’s seat and the center console. Bingo. Papers. Crunched up receipts of all kinds. Corner store. Fast food. Diner. Everything was centralized around that diner. She knew it, right down the river from an old dilapidated carousel by the bridge. The damn receipt even had the server’s name signed on it with a little smiley face. Seems a waitress was about to get paid a visit and asked some questions. Door slammed, footsteps with purpose toward the far end of her shop and freedom from the motley crew in her garage. Her Nova may have been out of commission, but it seemed fitting her father’s Indian would be the shining steed to take her to finish this clusterfuck. Nodding toward Merlin’s Mustang, she finished any further tete-a-tete they would have today. “Push it into my bay. Shouldn’t even try to start it until we see what the fucker’s bullet did. I don’t go back on my word,” voice hummed, barely above a whisper as she checked the clip on her gun and slid it back into its resting spot. Watt hadn’t even gotten off a shot. Pausing at the back of his ’67 as she passed, she kicked gently at the body she’d dropped earlier. Should have been more blood? Of course, she wasn’t the expert on blood splatter. But it seemed… knee had left a puddle, but his neck- not so much, the front of his throat still a bloody mess. The bullet hadn’t hit the jugular.… eyes narrowed at a wheeze from the guy, going for her gun at the same moment the scrape of metal was caught too late by ears that were still ringing. Fucker. Stabbed. Her. In. The. Calf… pocket knife to catch her like a hooked fish, a dick move. Breath wheezed out the front of his throat like a trach ring at the exertion, she wasn’t his target- she was just a distraction… and he’d been waiting like a fucking cobra. Jerking her balance to the side into the Mustang, he pulled his arm from beneath him- aiming his gun at the one person she desperately wanted off her property. Oh hell no... Right elbow clunked hard into the fender of the Mustang, pushing off instantly to regain her balance, she knew where the shot was going… no time to tell her brain no… absolutely moving on instinct as she moved into its path to block his aim. She was invincible wasn't she? He was already firing. Cry of pain was sharp, small frame jerking at the force of the bullet. Breath sucked in… still managing to get two shots off in a flurry of pure adrenaline and fury. One, missed and zipped off the pavement. The other… splintered the fucker’s forehead open. She was already falling backward, stumbling from the force of the shot, skinning elbows even through the flannel. The entire thing had happened in one fluid motion, left fingers pulling off her left hip, bright red in a rush… then the pain, heaving her chest in fierce gulps. Fire. Absolute fucking fire in her left hip, penalty of the shot aimed for someone else's chest, and her prideful stupidity... or fierce instinctive protectiveness of a budding family? Just like her father. Stoic strength was gone this time… too close, too much firepower… fucking too close to it and it had hit bone. Holding it tightly, small frame rolled to her right side to sob once into the cement… then again… rolling again onto her back, right heel slamming into the ground several times as she tried desperately to catch her breath and was only rewarded with hot tears and tight sobs... Jesus…
  11. Rose Petals

    "You think you have it all figured out dontcha. " She held her tongue this time, pressing harder on the wound and checking his pulse again. The weasel’s aloof ass didn’t know shit about her. Watt’s gun was lying just out of reach of his fingers, released when he fell. Her jammed one was in the back of her belt. For once, she controlled the kneejerk impulse to hurt those she felt threatened by. Except, Matteo hadn’t threatened her… but the anger was still there. If Watt wasn’t her primary concern, it would be in her fingers and telling him to get the fuck off her property. "We didn’t leave 'im to die on ya floor. We turned New York upside down lookin' for 'im after we found his car. Had he ever told us 'bout you we woulda come here to help." Lips parted slightly, words tangling on her tongue but never coming forth. His car… she’d grown up in that car. Learned to drive in that car. Spent hours in the backseat reading and doing her homework while her father ran errands she now knew led eventually to choices cementing his death… had been brought home from the hospital after her surgery in that car. It was the first engine she’d ever heard. He didn’t have a right to know about that car. Dark eyes slid to the side, a dangerous glare before returning to Watt, the weight of the gun’s presence stinging at her. "If we thought so little of ya pop why did we upheave the city huntin' down his killers? or spend the next four months lookin' for his body? Or why's one of his guns that we recovered in a glass case in Gaspari's office? Or his car under cover in m' garage bein' meticulously restored for years now?" He was lying! She wanted the gun. She wanted to shoot him to get him to shut up. He had her father’s car?!! He had no right to that car. She couldn’t breathe. She wasn’t sure what she was feeling, eyes tightening together before reopening back to her dying friend. He was lying. He had to be lying. "… may notta found him, but he's got a monument in Marble Cemetery next to the family heads." No. He was lying! Conflicted expression watched after him as he went out to meet his charge... Caught, lingering over his words. Trying to figure out… everything. …he was lying. The voice of hate was getting quieter the more she said it in her mind. It was leaving numbness behind, the place where a consciousness could no longer process. •npc• "Where?" Attention returned to Watt. Fingers tightened protectively on the shirt, expression suspicious and defensive, darkening when the weasel told Bills without a word to pull her aside- his hand resting on her good shoulder to urge her up and away. So that was how this was now….? Bills’ hand was shrugged off roughly, the urge to tell him not to fucking touch her held silent, boot scraping as she got up. Watt’s gun was snatched on the way up, chambering a round and straightening directly behind the man that had been called in to save her ‘brother’s’ life as he began to work. It was her last stand, and the conflict was bare on her features. For such a petite woman, she looked like a Valkyrie. Bloody, bruised, dark braided hair snaked over pale skin that held muscle bared from the sleeveless black cami, standing over the man attempting bring Watt back from the brink, gun pointed at the floor with her finger on the trigger. Narrowed lashes were intent on what he was doing, the odd light under his hands catching the blue in her own eyes. She felt him move behind her, Bills… of all people, his fingers sliding slowly along his belt to rest on the gun that had been placed there when he’d rushed to her side. He thought she was going to kill the healer, or the weasel. Maybe she was. Normally Bills was comfortable with her silence, now… he didn’t trust her? She didn’t trust herself, the cold water of self-doubt splashed in her face by the uninvited Capo. Jaw ticked, shoving the feelings of betrayal back down her gut like hangover bile. Watt’s breathing was changing, slowing, becoming steady. Color back in his cheeks. "…and fer the record, I aint the only Carducci in New York. And fer 'nother, Bakkhos dun send punks to do that sorta stupid shit. Anyone pullin' that sorta hustle aint family... …..and needs to be dealt with." Gaze remained on Watt. If she was listening, she wasn’t showing any sign of it. Whatever this magic guy was doing, it was working. What would she owe them? Her soul? Her loyalty? She didn’t give favors, she collected debts… she had a right to be suspicious. They hadn’t asked for anything, yet. The man had not raised a hand to her, he’d raised one with her… standing next to her with her own’s blood on his hands too. It burned her blood. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. She needed time to think about this. She didn’t have time. She had to make a choice. Hate, or be rational. Trust, or start a war. Deal with her devil, or chase it. Finger moved off the trigger to rest on the guard, safety clicked on. The terse air behind her from Bills seemed to relax slightly. Talk. Heat of anger began to evaporate from her cheeks, pounding blood starting to silence... She needed to talk, voice humming in her head almost a whisper. If they didn’t listen close enough, it was their own damn fault. Attention still fully on Watt, she tried to clear the air. “Guy named Rick showed up a month ago when the Impala came in, wanted to gloat credit for bringing money to the shop like we owed him a favor. We get by, but… the world isn’t in need of classics right now. Most regular cars just need tune-ups, oil changes. Kept coming around, seeing how we were doing, gloating….promising more business. Two weeks ago, he suggested I could make some extra spending money if I invited him upstairs. I told him to fuck off and not come back. He left, another showed up to continue his push.” Watt’s eyes fluttered for the first time. She took a long needed breath, letting it out slowly. “I paid cigar smoking Rick a visit. He threatened me. I killed him. We bulked up on weapons and closed the gates. Guys showed up a few days later like you, asked for help with their car. Threatened us. Had to kill them too. Yesterday, I made an ammo run…” Jaw twitched again, still watching her friend. She was admitting weakness… taking several moments before she could continue. Throat cleared gently, it was tight, the terror of the watery darkness still making her chest tight... the first minute sign of a break in the armor, then it was gone. “Shot up my car, beat the fuck out of me and threw me in their trunk. To where? Dunno. Turns out fuckers couldn’t drive with a flat tire, courtesy of a tire iron they left in their trunk. Ended up in the river. Swam to shore. We were under the bridge. Wherever they were taking me, was near the bridge.” Watt was starting to sit up. It was all the goodwill answers she could muster at the moment. The gun slid into her holster. Sigh was relieved, long. Pinching the bridge of her nose between her eyes, fingertips rubbed her forehead on her way to the wash basin. Blood had stopped on her arm and was starting to dry, rinsed off. She dried her hands with a blue buff towel and approached her hovering weasel, taking his Watt bloodied hand without permission and wiped off the crimson. She didn’t need that shit on the walls. Expression was indignant. Fingers snatched his jaw and moved it left and right, eyeing him to make sure he hadn’t been hit; she’d seen the bloody spit. Soft huff crumpled up the towel, eyes cast to watch Bills start to talk quietly to Watt before flicking up to him. For someone petite, she had perfected the art of not appearing to look up to anyone. “My mother was Isabella Lucchese,” she confessed without her surrogate father’s permission for only the Capo’s ears, leaving it to soak in. Two people alive knew, Bills and her. Now three. It was time for them to know. The former deaf/mute child was a living catalyst to animosity, and the only answer he needed to know why her father kept her existence quiet until… “she was ready”. Even after her father’s death, keeping her out of the way had helped keep the peace until Bakkhos had stabilized. She had more figured out than the weasel gave her credit for. Bills was wrong. She was ready. Were they? “Pull the privacy gate and lock it,” she snapped to Bills over her shoulder. “Call Sweet and tell them to call when they’re on their way back. The door doesn’t open for anyone until further notice except for our guys and Merlin here.” Eyes flicked to the Capo briefly. Another jolly pirate nickname to add to Monk… Bills, Watt…. They were all earned. He might get the reference -having nothing to do with his magical friend- he might not, but he’d earned it. He’d saved one of her own and in her father’s code that meant something. A thin trust. Very thin. She reached behind him to pull one of the guys’ flannels from a hook on the wall and shrug it on. Had to be Sweet’s, it was huge on her. His healer wasn’t laying a hand on her. Bloody towel was tossed into the trash by the door. “Thanks for the help. I’m gonna deal with it.” She was going to search their car and their pockets for some kind of identity, then throw the fuckers in a hole... or dump them on somebody’s doorstep. Braid was flipped out from under her collar, head still pounding as she made her way to the offenders' car. She should probably get her skull looked at. Later. Work now, keep her mind in the calm place it had found, let everything settle.... ask for her father's things later. It wasn't the time to demand anything. If she began demanding, the insatiable anger that hovered just under the surface might bubble forth again. Her father's car, her father's gun... she wanted them... it wasn't time yet, it was all so fragile... So incredibly fragile.
  12. Rose Petals

    *npc* Monk! The well cut grizzled biker was through what was left of the side door the second she hit the floor. He was bleeding himself, grazed, glass. Able to fire back but not well under the spray of gunfire; caught completely off guard. She was bleeding, shoulder, arm? An in and out. Muscle… that’s not what took her down. Grabbing a handful of blue soft buff towels, he knelt and pressed them to her upper arm, fingers across the back of her skull. Knot, behind her ear. Concussion, what the hell had happened last night? Heartbeat was strong. She was breathing, moving to check Watt as Matteo returned and took that point. *npc* Monk. Kett. Get up, wake up. Just a scratch you sissy. Fingers patted the side of her jaw. Lids were fluttering but no movement of any muscles. "…hey Frankie…. need ya down at that garage in lower Brookl'n. Got two down. Ya…make it quick…" Bills’ expression back to the condescending -knew this couldn’t have gone any other way but clusterfuck- expression from the Capo was hard lined. He was not going to be pushed on this, Capo or not. Loyal to a fault, this was far more complicated… it bled to the very birth of Bakkhos. Bakkhos had risen from the ashes, Kett had gotten fucked in the process. "…no more playin'… got a healer comin' and this crap about not knowing she's family hasta end." *npc* That’s not the problem Boss… Top lip tightened over teeth as he was cut off. "…she blamin' us for shit and gettin' more and more worked up that we are the enemy. She was damn well ready to storm over and try ta put a bullet in Gaspari. Family can only tolerate so much 'fore she'll be taken out and you know it." Bills’ words were on the edge of his teeth. *npc* Gio taught her to protect herself....she’s protecting herself. He left her to help create your kingdom and died doing it. I’ve tried to explain it to her…it was his choice, for the greater good of the family. She hates us all for it anyway....thinks we all pussied out and he had to choose.... He knew the danger, told me to protect her, keep her out until she was ready.... She's not ready, it's my fault, but the shitheads doing this don't care....this.. this fucking mess.. He looked around at the trashed garage. There was so much more.... Did the Capo know she was in the middle of recovery when her father died? That she'd dealt with so much more than being a mob daughter...? No, he had no idea.. or didn't care even with the sign language. It wasn't his place to tell him. It was Kett's. *npc* I don’t know what this is… or who… She could hear it. All of it, breath quickening a second before falling back into darkness again. She was stronger than this, she had to get up. She had to GET UP. Body was like cement, heavy, unresponsive. Head screamed, so painful it felt like an egg cracking. The gunfire, the concussion… it was all echoing in her skull without being able to escape. She hated. The way Bills said 'Boss'... he only spoke like that to her... It made her sick. Trapped. Hit them until they can’t get up. Your family. Me, the guys downstairs. Whoever doesn’t stick up for you, cut ‘em loose. They ain’t family. They hurt you, you hit 'em 'till they can't get up. They ain't family. Family. “Carducci,” the word was so soft it barely passed her lips in the tense quiet after Bills’ words stopped, waiting for Watt’s time to either run out or whoever Matteo had called to arrive and do what he could. Swallow was thick, eyes still unable to open. The world was pressing her to the concrete, preventing her from getting up. In her mind she knew who he was. She knew she’d heard the name Matteo before. It was unique, and the two words paired together tapped at a distant childhood memory. His last name was Carducci. It was the same name the rat had uttered from his cigar-stenched recliner before she’d popped her proverbial deathbringer cherry almost a week ago. “…sent the first bastard that started this. A cigar smoking dick said his boss Carducci ordered him to extort my shop, or burn it down.” Bills sat back on his heels with a thick exhale as the mighty mouse proved her superman, eyes fluttering open and pushing up slowly. *npc* You should have told me. Dammit Monk. Everything was twisted. Twisted so tight she had no idea who to believe, or trust. Here was the man that supposedly started this chaos, calling for help, defending her and her own. Coming to her shop to trust her with his baby, to what? Try and earn her reliance? The glare to both of them was that of a beaten, obedient dog, waiting for the second she could rip their throats out. She tried to push herself up to stand, breath a bit too fast. Head was still reeling, heavy, throbbing. She was on her knees, reaching up to the workbench to pull herself up. Loathing was set so deep in the blue eyes it hid the confusion… the desperation to find the truth. Watt choked slightly, the absolute hatred softening in an instant to complete sorrow. Yank off of her flannel jacket was met with a painful wince. Gathered blue wipes were pressed to the bleeding mess high on her bare arm and duct taped on with a quick winding, immediately down to her knees and shouldering next to the prince of New York to Watt’s side. Flannel was pressed to the wound on his upper chest, ignoring the rivulets of crimson sliding down to drip off her own elbow. Wane smile tried to find hope, ignoring the whole world as the horrible déjà vu crashed in on her. Hard lines of contempt had disappeared, her features becoming gentle in their softness. “Watt. C’mon man… we got a Fastback in the lot to start on… gotta help me lever that engine out. You know Bills here can’t hit an engine mount even if it was your mama's ass.” She checked his pulse again, it was barely there, still steady… he was holding on, but couldn’t hear her. He was almost gone. Words continued on to the two under her breath. In her mind, she’d rehearsed this rant forever, so much more elegant and self-satisfying in practice. Now, it bled out in a thick of hushed rage, disarticulation of words as they intensified betraying her need for sign language. Voice never rose higher than a whisper, a fierce command of self control even when everything was spinning out of it. “I’m not your family. I’m not a fucking mob princess expected to suck dick when someone snaps their fingers. Pops gave everything to you, both of you… while I cooked my own spaghettios and ate alone. Where were both of you when pops was killed? What family protected him?” *npc* Kett. Eyes snapped to him, then disappeared under lowered lashes as she kept the pressure on Watt’s wound and watched the fading breaths. “After you failed him he came home to me. Died on my floor. I buried him with my own hands while everyone else reaped the benefits. Don’t fucking come to the shop of the man that died blazing the trail for your throne and fucking tell me who my family is.” Fingers went up quickly to swipe a trickle of hot tears from her bruised cheek, furious they even dared to appear. Words continued in quiet, barely breaking the air. “Again. Again my family is dying on my floor. Fuck you both.” The quiet anger was misplaced and she knew it. She knew, refusing to acknowledge it. Knew at that moment she’d been played by the cigar chomping fucker that had been trying to screw both her and Bakkhos... most likely were STILL trying to screw them both, who knew how far out this rippled. There was no apology she could find yet, and wouldn't until they met her in the middle. Until HE met her in the middle. They had a lot to apologize about for the nights she scrubbed the floor to get her father’s blood out, the dirt that stayed under her nails it seemed for weeks from burying him. Brow furled, soft exhale allowing the first sign of a white flag.. or at least a lukewarm truce on the features. "I want to see him. Gaspari. I need to see him." Words were quiet, having lost their bite, but not the spirit that couldn't be crushed. Waiting for death, or life. This part was…. hell.
  13. Rose Petals

    •npc• " She’ll try not to be a delicate flower if something gets on her fancy shoes." She caught the immediate frown from the man. He thought she was a hack. They all thought she was a hack. She hated all of them. It was rare someone walked through the door that she felt deserved what her hands were capable of building. "….could care less 'bout ya shoes. Don't want 'er to bleed without reason. Know ya gotta listen to her just sayin' don’t want 'er tortured long." She hated him. He loved the car, but HE was the fucker that drove it here. To HER door. Why the hell would he do that if he had no respect for her judgement? She had a reputation, sure… Glare slid to him with an odd interest. Why bring a car he obviously loved to someone he wasn’t sure could fix it? The itch of his attention prickled at the wisps of braid on the back of her neck, cooled as the hood opened. He knew it. Not lies or ego. He’d put it together himself. Why the fuck had he brought it here then? "…ya that’s what t'last place said…. had to pull 'er apart after." She barely caught it. Earplugs in. When people spoke particularly to themselves the articulation of their lips was different, plus he had an accent… it made it harder. Why trust it with someone again, especially when he was obviously knowledgeable enough to do it himself? She had the parts. Right. She was gaining a reputation for having what other people couldn’t find. Hence the new interest in her property by Bakkhos or whomever was clusterfucking up her quiet corner of the world. Her corner was large. Several city blocks of large in fact, surrounded by even more blocks of rusted chain link fences of overgrown fields that used to be blue collar neighborhoods. Razed for developments that never happened. Great places to hide bodies, or a bad place to be seen on the way to the water to dump bodies. She wasn’t surprised her high fences had caught attention, she just wished it was because of her work and not because someone wanted to claim it. She honestly didn’t think he would follow after she’d been brusque and direct, and particularly not very polite. Turned a lot off. The fact he did, peaked her interest… short lived. A dark streak of irritation prickled up her spine as she tried to keep her pace slightly ahead of him during the chit chat and he easily caught up. "…stupid overzealous Vanguard an' cops don’t come this way much. Makes it a good place to push 'er. Also don’t get bunch of dicks thinking ya doin' it just to be challenged here either." Air snorted through her nose slightly. Nothing was happening around here lately BUT challenges. “…got a better place to do that than my streets. When I decide whether or not I like you maybe I’ll give you directions so you can run that car like it deserves.” Her pops used to take her there. She’d learned to drive a stick in his car, the car she had to leave full of bullet holes on a dock to throw the heat off her. Bitter. Expression followed suit. "Matteo…..or Mattie" She nodded lightly, climbing the truck and peeling back the tarp. You could tell everything you needed to know about anyone by the way they looked at something that was broken. Disinterest, disdain, apathy, or promise. He looked at the thing like it was alive. Matteo was one interesting fellow, her own dark eyes catching the glance to the missing doors and his reaction to the fate of the other she’d finished and lost. She had the “dumbass’” ’67 two rows over under another tarp. Front end was decimated back through the firewall, the doors, were there. Passenger had a heavy crinkle, but it wasn’t anything she couldn’t fix. A conversation for later perhaps, head tilting slightly to watch him appreciate the elusive bumper. “The original chrome. Not a pit on it. Pops and I found it in storage unit they were auctioning in the Harbor before the world went to hell. Meant to rebuild it, never got around to it. Front panel too, probably more solid than yours.” The appreciative moment blew up in a split second. For a few minutes at least, her own problems weren’t problems anymore. It wasn’t until the burn of bruised muscle in her legs at the flat run back toward the shop took hold that she realized she was now in the middle of a firestorm- with a complete stranger to worry about… FUCK… who was also obviously ignoring her request to stay put! She made it to the fence opening shortly after the weasel had shimmied through, breath sucked in as he almost got popped in the head, narrowly escaped by nothing short of… altered. What. The. Fuck?! The world was altered, she had to keep telling her own ‘crippled’ self every day she’d drawn the short straw, nothing new… brain let it go the same moment her potential client put a well-aimed shot through a skull after the sickeningly familiar sound of bullets hitting metal ripped through the baby they had just been engrossed in. A very well-aimed shot. Brow never had time to dip and ponder. Where was Bills?? Watt?? The initial spray of bullets was to shock and awe, now they were moving in to “clean” her place out. Retaliation for last night, the time before, the time before… Oh hell no. One more moved from the back of their car toward the ’67 to use it as cover, another smashing the glass of her second bay door to gain access inside. Returning the favor? Burning her place down? She’d deal with him in a moment. It was pure rage pulling the trigger at the fucker near Matteo’s car, one bloody shot to the side of his knee followed with one in the side of his throat. Choking, he went down, three more shots taking out the tires of their car. They weren’t leaving here. Ever. Pops hitting their mark, hisses of releasing air, and the telling sound of her gun jamming her into prey. FUCK! She disappeared back behind the fence as a bullet ripped through the white privacy plastic braided through the high chain link. It was her turn to weasel, slipping in-between bumpers backed almost completely up to the fence, climbing on top and hopping across trunks like stepping stones. She was being followed. Bullet shattered the back window of a car as she jumped and caught the top of the fence to pull herself over and drop behind the shop. Back door. Back room. Another handgun in the back of her belt and the rack of a shotgun stepped out the back door and shuddered the entire building as she shredded the asshole that was halfway over the fence and pumped it again. More gunfire out front, the shadow of someone moving past the hall door to the back room. She was not going to hide out until it ended. She’d hidden last night and almost died. Tried to shimmy away. Tried to grab and go… Heavy Doc heel kicked the door open and was muzzle to muzzle in bay two with the asshole inside. The scent of blood was fresh. Watt. Watt was lying a dozen feet away on his side, unmoving. There was a lot of blood. Sharp breath was held in her chest. Control the rage, gasps of breath now tight and quick as they were squared off. Even over the muzzle she knew his face. Bruised up, she knew him, would never forget him as he had slammed the trunk door last night of her almost watery grave. *npc* why won’t you just fucking die?!!! Her short footsteps were moving forward as she aimed at him, he was keeping aim on her forehead and moving backward, exactly where she was forcing him to move. Her brain was screaming… the sound of present and past gunfire around her like cannons in her head despite the earplugs. Eyes squinted, trying to focus. The buzz. The tremble. He’d backed into the release on the door, jolting the shattered glass free and raining it down on his head as the garage door went up. His arms flew above his head to instinctively protect it from the heavy razors, pulling the trigger as he did. The shotgun lowered and fired. Anger. Rage. His knees, decimated. The rifle tossed as she picked up a tire iron the second his gun dropped from his fingers and clattered on the concrete with a glassy crunch. Held in both hands by the tiny powerhouse, the sound of contact with flesh and bone was sickening. Metal against teeth like a baseball bat, shattering every tooth in the front of his face, his jaw, and the illusion of her innocent silence. The suffering. Gods, his suffering.... for every bruise and cut on her body she paid it back in spades, finally pulling out the gun and emptying it into his chest over the sound of a rarely raised voice cursing the Bakkhos name until only dry fire clicked repeatedly... finally, calm. Numb. Tire iron clanged on the floor, gun tossed, shotgun picked up. Everything moved so slowly as she rushed to Watt's side. No! No no no NO NO! Bills voice was speaking to her. No. Yelling. Saying her name. Warped in her head as she knelt next to Watt. There was nothing to be done. Again someone she loved lying in their own blood. Again. More roses on another grave. If it weren’t for Matteo's presence….she’d already be in her car driving for payback to this shitstorm. Was he even still alive?? …the world was so warped, slowed to a crawl as she rose and looked to see if the weasel had at least survived the melee. If he was down, nothing was going to stop her from shooting her way into that damn casino and setting their world on fire. Nothing. Except for being shot. Darkness leaning her equilibrium to her left side, fingers pulling away bright scarlet from her left shoulder before the world really did disappear, and the mighty mouse finally dropped into darkness.
  14. Rose Petals

    "…body aint my concern at t' moment. She needs engine looked at. I haven't been drivin' her for few weeks since I raced 'er and she took a bad rev on a turn. Think popped 'er cowl vent and she been leakin' since then too." Eyes were watching his lips out of the edge of her vision as she was checking out the car, muffled voice through the earplugs filling in the gaps. His jabbering explained more to her than he probably thought it did. Too much power on an engine with old seals, and an engine so powerful it could twist at the frame. Body wasn’t his concern… of course it wasn’t. A guy was always concerned about his dick and not how bad his heart was. This job was another potential quagmire, there was no way he was going to like what she had to say. He was concerned about the engine, but everything was connected. In reference to the body, she assumed he was talking about the paint job. Paint jobs meant shit to how a car ran, but they were a symptom to what she couldn’t see. Eyes hooded slightly as he turned toward her to talk instead of Bills, expression almost the shun of someone that didn’t want to be hugged by a grandma that couldn’t stop smooching and pinching cheeks. People didn’t talk to her, ever. They talked to Bills. She made them uncomfortable. This guy wasn’t uncomfortable. That bothered her, bordered on the edge of pissing her off. "…normally work on her m'self but jobs been keepin' me so busy, not had time and don’t want 'er sittin' in this condition long." Of course he worked on it himself. All men were “experts”. Bills shrugged at her lightly from behind the guy, not even bothering to translate because he wasn’t watching anyway. He’d be none the wiser. It was going to need frame reinforcement if he was going to keep pushing it with that much power. Engine stripped down with new seals on almost everything and a clear coat on the body until he got around to painting it. She had access to the seals, the frame parts were in the yard on half a 67’ that was still there. It was the only one she knew of, anywhere, and it was in pieces under tarps. She was pretty sure everything she would need was there. This guy was one lucky bastard. •npc• " She says we’ve got a front bumper back in the yard." "…ya?....well only interested if is a genuine '67. Takin' 'while to put 'er back together since only doin' it with real parts." Eyes narrowed again as he spoke directly to her, flicking a side glance at him to catch his eye for the first time. She normally soaked in the anonymity of being disabled and invisible. He was plinking her hackles, forcing her to acknowledge him and not translate through Bills. She also wanted to punch him for questioning her. Did she stutter? Or did her tits make her an idiot? One day she would have to stop being required to prove herself. "….dun want 'er Frankensteined t'gether just so she looks pretty." Judas fucking priest she heard him the first time… just turn the damn engine on. "..ya..sure…but she spits a bunch of fluids each time." No shit Sherlock, she could smell it when he came in. She’d try not to squeal like a girl and run away. Fingers moved to Bills. If she didn’t say something she was going to explode. Teeth were on edge with a vicious verbal comeback to the guy, but had decided against it. Bills’ arms were crossed, hand coming up to run over his well-groomed biker’s beard, fingers rubbing at his bottom lip a moment. There was a suppressed chuckle behind his fingers. *npc* She’ll try not to be a delicate flower if something gets on her fancy shoes. Well that was a P.C. way to put it. Her words had been a bit more along the lines of a vulgar joke, eye roll at his translation was slight. Lips pursed slightly at the Duke boy display, if he was drag racing that was a deathtrap waiting to happen. His problem. Dark eyes watched the entire car carefully as it roared to life. Too much movement. Too much. She stood a moment as he pulled himself back out, feeling the vibration on her skin, metal necklace tab spinning in her fingers for a length of time that would make most people uncomfortable. She was “listening”, feeling it “breathe” and ”wheeze”. Stepping forward quietly, she placed both palms on the hood. The smells that blossomed were taken in by slightly flared nostrils, right palm running over the entire hood to feel where heat was starting to spike. He was either going to like what followed, or he wasn’t. If he didn’t, he could fuck off. Graceful fingers slid down the grill to the sweet spot and the hood jumped and was opened in a split second. Pleasantly surprised, brow quirked. He either was good at he did, or he was lying and had another mechanic. The thought was cast at him as she took her own liberty and gracefully slid into the driver’s seat, wiggling the stick with an amused scoff and pressing the clutch. The gears were there, but hard to find. Shutting it down, she tossed the keys to him and slid out like a whisper, dropping the hood. "…just want to be sure if any parts need replacin' that they are originals is all." “I heard you the first time,” it was incredibly quiet. Without giving him a second to soak it in, fingers began to move swiftly, Bills reiterating everything she said, including a price if they did the work, and a reduced price if the guy grease monkeyed for them through the process. He’d said he did work himself after all. Then he could approve as they went, and she’d avoid dickering bullshit in the end with the price. *npc* The engine needs to come apart for new seals, parts are fine. Frame needs reinforcing, cowl vent repaired, bumper replaced and a clear coat on the body or else you’ll lose the original panels to rust. The loose stick is up to you. She wants you to follow her into the yard to approve the parts. Last instructions were for Bills, watch the gate. Shoot first, ask questions later. She didn’t wait, her bays were now empty so income wasn’t flowing, small frame with an incredibly fast walk to the privacy gate that led into the organized vehicle graveyard beyond. Keys were pulled from her back pocket and the padlock unlocked, chain wound, gate opened enough for a person to slip through. Four rows down, third car on the right. “What’s your name, racer…” she asked quietly as she walked with purpose. “Seen your car before.” Finding her mark, several blue tarps were pulled off carefully and she monkeyed her way up the shell of an old pick-up to pull the rest of the tarp up. It had been gutted for seats, doors, glass and the rear panels, but the rest was there. “The only ’67 I know of other than yours and one I finished for a dumbass last year. Dick wrapped it around a tree two months later,” she looked it over fondly as she stood on the truck hood and gathered up the tarp for him to take a look at the bumper. Tires were even still intact and salvageable. “This original enough for you?” The echo of a gunshot smacked against her skin like a rocket. Heart fluttered, what should have been fear, was anger. Insatiable anger. “Stay here!” She jumped onto the roof of the Mustang and landed in the dirt lane already running, gun pulled. Had to do with the asshole and the Impala, had to… or last night. Fuck. FUCK! “BILLS!”
  15. Rose Petals

    Her world was quiet, the occasional zip of an air wrench filtering through the earplugs like warped water. Early morning had been spent in insatiable anger, beating the shit out of a car that was the focus of her ire. Now it sat in silence in her personal bay. Glass cleaned up and vacuumed from every nook and cranny, bullets meticulously fished out of all the panels with the little magnetic grabby tool that nobody ever seemed to have a name for. Destroyed trunk lock drilled out. Everything slapped with fiber-bondo and drying to sand. It was a miracle the tires hadn’t been blown out, it was almost impossible to find that shit now. Tire manufacturing wasn’t exactly on the priority list at the moment. Neither was what she did, but there seemed to be enough niche in the world to keep her place rolling. She could feel her team's eyes in their quiet once in a while "checking up on her" as she shut the lights of in her bay and stepped into the Impala’s. There were four in the place. Hers was farthest from the lobby, but closest to the stairs that ran up to her apartment above. It was for her personal projects, or the ones she took on herself. Second and third were long term. The paint booth was in the third, directly underneath the vent hoods that led up and out. Second was for rebuilds. First was basic, tire changes and the like. An odd configuration, but it made sense to her and it was the way her father built it, she wasn’t about to change. Dark eyes watched her face in the paint and grime spattered mirror as she scrubbed her hands clean of grease and bondo dust, the cuts still sore and wrapped in duct tape. Shiner had grown considerably, making "business as usual" not so much... Lashes narrowed. The haunting blue of her mother's irises was unnerving next to the dark lashes of her father's. Maybe that was why people refused to look at her. Maybe it was because they thought her crippled. Lip was now bruised to go along with the split. Might want to go down to the clinic later and see if it needed stitches. If not, super glue. Crude, but effective. Big soft blue towels dried her hands and new duct tape was wrapped around her palms, pulling the hood of the gray hoodie back up. It was about five sizes too big, hung almost to her knees… but it was soft and didn’t scratch when she was finishing a paint job, and it was her father’s. Seemed only right. After hours of angered rampage over her own vehicle, this fell into a gentle rhythm. Pulling off blue tape and buffing the final clear coat into a crystal shine. Running q-tips along the cracks of all the chrome to pull out any remaining dust and debris. She was perfection, like her dad. Nothing left without her personal once-over. Finished, she knelt to one knee in front of the muscled beast, eyeing the lines and every reflection for absolute, flawless finish. This damn thing was finally done. She’d felt the rumble on her skin of an approaching car in the lot, a whiff of burning oil in the exhaust when she hit the big red button to open the overhead and release this beast into the hands of some limpdick prick that still had ties to the asshole she’d shot. It didn’t escape her that there would be retaliation still… that’s why she was sending three of her four guys to deliver it. Two to drive, one to trail. "…'ey…..anyone home?" She stood in the doorway a moment as it opened, barely catching the words from the man’s lips when she glanced for Bills in the lobby, who was out in several moments, swathed in layers of flannel and a steaming foam coffee cup. His lips curled slightly under the well groomed biker’s beard, if there was anything more that he liked more than his bikes, it was his Mustangs. They weren’t her favorite, she found their owners to be pretentious penis strokers, but the engines were something she found superior. Nothing ran like they did. There was a reason they were penis cars. *npc* Nice. Name’s Bills Romano. Sweet, Jimmie waitin’ in the lobby on the Impala over there. Watt in bay one. Monk is pulling out the Impala. He nodded toward the hoodie clad mighty mouse and stretched out a coffee cup warmed hand to the guy. *npc* Real nice. What do you want done to it? Monk’s gotta check it out first before we can make any promises. The conversation was monitored carefully from under the hood as the door rose and she locked it up in place. Reading lips was an invaluable skill, even if one could hear. Eyes studied the man a moment before she stepped back in, she’d seen the car before. Keys, and this car was off. Thrusting open the massive door, she slid in and turned the key. It roared to life, relishing the feel of the engine, “listening” for anything before she put it in gear and backed it carefully out of the bay. THIS was the best part. THIS. Better than sex. Better than anything. The feeling of a powerful, perfect machine sliding slick and slow into a compact car world for the first time since it was made. It brought a quirked smile to her lips. Better. Than. Sex. She ran it through all the gears before parking it to the side, tossing the keys to Sweet’s waiting fingers. Quick hands gave last instructions…. -He’s squared up. If he gives you crap, beat the shit out of him- Their expressions were amused, hers wasn’t. She was done with the damn clusterfuck. She’d made it a work of art, and never approved of putting it back into hands that didn’t appreciate. But then again, she’d never make a dime if she didn’t. Stepping back into the bay, she grabbed her black winter flannel, standing in the doorway again to watch their conversation as the hoodie was pulled off. Plait flopped against her back and she hooked the precious hoodie in its spot. Red button was smacked, ducking out toward the two as it lowered- only really interested in the car as she pulled the thick lined flannel over her battered bare arms lithe with muscle and clad in a shoulder holster. Flipping the braid back out, "coat" was buttoned halfway as she bypassed them both. She always helped herself. It they had a problem with it, they could fuck off. Nod at the man was slight, but no eyes. She never looked at anyone, unless she talked to them. Most never knew her long enough to know she could, and at that point she didn’t care. They never did it right. They talked to Bills, and Bills translated to her. Rude as hell. She’d just stopped trying to teach people the etiquette a long time ago. You always spoke to a deaf person, never the translator. Of course, she could hear them now… but meh… Fingers were quick to Bills. -If he twitches, shoot him in the face.- The smile from her lifelong companion hid the message. *npc* She said she likes it. Dark lashes flicked to the old biker, a smirk almost on her lips and went back to the car, finger tips sliding at the base all the way around to the tailpipe, a thumb inside brought to her nostrils before knocking once on the driver’s side front panel. Body was smooth at least. Ass needed to paint it though, or at least clear coat it before it rusted through. There was also.. hmm. She knelt to one knee in front of it, checking the lines. A car this powerful usually was damaged on the frame. Seemed straight. Still... A wince flickered over her features as fingertips touched the blacktop and she leaned down to look underneath, getting up and dusting her hands to reach under her flannel and safety her Browning to hand to Bills along with movement from her fingers. The biker pushed the pistol into the back waistband of his belt. *npc* She says we’ve got a front bumper back in the yard. She was already on her back, exhaling and shimmying into the tight clearance of the left front tire under the driver’s side. *npc* You should see what she can reach inside an engine. Bills chuckled slightly, arms crossed as he waited, hoping to hell she didn’t find shit she was going to send Matteo packing for. *npc* Spider monkey. Asshole… she said silently under her breath, reaching out from underneath to knock on the bottom of the front door by the wheel well. Cough was instant, the crap sprinkling down on her chin. Fucking stagnant water. That’s what she’d smelled. Cowl vent. He was probably rusting out. She didn’t want another rusted mess. But, at least she knew, unlike the Impala. She shimmied out and motioned for him to turn it on, fingers quick to Bills, back of her hand wiping her chin and touching her split lip, glancing at the sprinkle of blood. She rolled it in her teeth and sucked on it a moment, pulling her Browning from the back of Bill's belt and putting it tightly in the back of her own, not bothering with the holster. If she got under the hood she didn't want the damn thing clunking on the radiator. Taste of steel was bright. Super glue. Fuck stitches. Arms crossed quietly, spinning the dog tag looking charm at her throat smoothly through her nimble fingers, waiting for him to start it. She would want to sit in the driver's seat too. Guys were usually touchy about that. If he was a dick about it, then he would be out the door. What he wanted versus what it felt and sounded like would either be the key to the big red button in her bay, or the kick in the ass on the way out. Eyes took a moment to watch him. She’d seen him somewhere before. Swap meet maybe? Odd.