Thomas Gallo

Bakkhos
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Everything posted by Thomas Gallo

  1. Nighttime is Playtime

    Tom noted which building she had decided to place the chopper. Must be one of her holdings. It all seemed to make sense to him. She had substantial resources...but how much? He closed his eyes during the descent and took some long, slow, deep breaths. Now that her silver jewelry was no longer with them, he was able to detect the other scents. The scents of the soaps used, hair care products all wafted to him with a scent that was hers...and a little of something else. He surmised that it was someone else rather than something. He'd have to catch her after a few meals to solidify that hypothesis, but he was rather sure he was correct. He enjoyed the relative silence as they approached the helipad. He understood why she flew. It was calming and peaceful. He might see about regular flights when things get...frustrating. When they landed, Tom let a small chuckle slip when she gave him a curt "Out." He followed her to the edge of the rooftop. The sights, sounds, and scents of the city invading all of his senses. He glanced at Eris and he knew something serious was about to occur. Behind her unreadable expression was...something. She was stressed...nervous? He hadn't worked out how to identify the subtle shifts of scent that accompanied someone's moods. He wasn't even sure it was scent. Like smell + taste = flavor...the combination of sensory cues Tom was receiving from Eris painted an...uneasy demeanor with the diminutive woman. Even though she was well-schooled at masking her motives and disposition...for him to perceive this much was telling. “Thomas Gallo, I am the Viceroy of the East American Alliance of the Sheut Nation. I am responsible for any and all territorial actions under its purview, including determining whether or not you and Bakkhos, Bakkhos territorial skirmishes and the Satyr Stadium’s dealings are a threat the to the greater stability of our world interests.” There it was. Tom took a few moments to take in the new information. There was a lot of input being thrown at him currently. His stone-faced demeanor hardened further...somehow. It was often mistaken for the scowl of a demon. Those close to him, however, know that this is simply his 'thinking face.' When deep in thought, Roderick has said to him at least, that he has a 'resting death-face.' So the Sheut are as much of an organization as they are a virus-race like the lycanthropes. They are organized...globally. Eris is a high-ranking member of the East American subsection of this alliance. That means there is a Western one too at least. What are territorial actions? Just making sure that their holdings are not hindered by Bakkhos dealings? I guess this is why she was so interested in repairing Thyrsus after the Blood Moon. Territorial skirmishes? Those have all but died down. Bakkhos was slowly, and methodically squashing up smaller, less-safe criminal upstarts. It is one thing to do what is best for you and yours and ignoring laws to do so. It was an entirely different matter if that resorted in undue chaos and needless danger. Satyr Stadium? This was six months to a year out from being ready...what was their concern regarding that? What are their world interests? Who are they? These and dozens of other questions flooded his mind in the seconds he spent staring at Eris's now-softened expression. It appeared that those words were weighing heavily on her. Finally...being willing to deal plainly? This would be a welcome change from his usual day to day. Business was usually best when the dance was abandoned and a simple presentation of terms were laid out. He looked forward to dealings such as this. If the Sheut Nation was a large as he was beginning to believe they were...they could prove to be an invaluable ally in this new world. Then something changed. Eris perched herself up on the ledge of the building with the same deliberate grace any bird or cat would demonstrate. “Now that that’s out of the way I can tell you what I really want to say, if you want to hear it.” Tom quirked an eyebrow in question. Just when he thought Eris was going one way she went another. And when Tom thought he was on the same track, she changed directions again. He allowed himself a small grin as he took in her silhouette against the nighttime sky. Vampire...or Sheut...either way...no matter what he was supposed to call her, she was still a woman. "Go on."
  2. Nighttime is Playtime

    Eris opening up about her turn was somewhat surprising, even though the intent of the conversation was to speak about the uncomfortable and guarded. It revealed a bit more about her that might seem obvious but provided confirmation. Her fighting spirit predates her altered self. She was a genuine warrior. She was not simply someone who had become emboldened by their newfound powers from the Resonance. Tom had suspected as much from their earlier dealings. It added a certain amount of genuineness to a person. The Event didn’t make the person…it simply augmented them, and their identity remained the same. Tom liked those people. He didn’t care for the others. Tom raised an eyebrow at Eris mentioning her mage powers. He had heard of other lycanthropes who had previously had powers that were lost to them forever. Perhaps the vampire virus worked the same way and she was a rare exception? The why was unimportant…to him anyway. It was just good to know that bit of information. When Eris spoke as if to begin to reveal some about the Sheut…Tom opened his mouth. Her demeanor changed completely. “I didn’t hear that.” Or…I wish I hadn’t. Damn. He knew that it was unique in some way…but this revelation meant more to Eris than a simple neat fact about himself. There was some gravity to that aspect of himself that made her visibly shaken. Was she scared of him…or for him? It seemed to be the latter when she asked who else knew about it. Tom took a moment to think before answering. He found himself trusting her for some reason. He couldn’t understand why. Well, he was pretty sure he knew why. Nothing about her guarded stance suggested deceit for the sake of it…but rather as protection. He understood that…she likely would as well. He had revealed a big secret about himself…perhaps bigger than he had known. What would she do if she knew about his father? He couldn’t shake the ‘zoo-exhibit’ feeling as she glanced at him. He was special…now the question was whether he was special like a unique individual or a novelty zoo creature? He looked over to Eris as she was commanding the chopper on its flight. His voice came across the comms even and sincere…maybe mistaken as grave and somber. “Only those closest to me and whom I trust.” Let her interpret that how she will. He was not in the mood for carefully crafting words. He knew that things were going to get very serious and that he had plunged head-first into a new situation in which he wasn’t sure what awaited in the future. Time to see what Eris had to say in this new adventure the two of them have embarked on. What had he gotten himself into?
  3. Nighttime is Playtime

    Tom listened to Eris share her Resonance Genesis keenly. Vampires were like the lycanthropes and zombies then. Viruses that transformed their host was the thing they held in common. The outcome...much different. She had been bitten. He secretly hoped that she had been transformed by the Event like he had. It would have been another shared bond. He already felt a kinship with her...an anger that seems to be insatiable. A desire for control...in one form or another. He had to assume that she had deduced as much about him from these exchanges as he had from her. Probably more, in all reality, as he was hardly an unknown outside of the family. Despite himself, he felt more at ease. He wasn't foolish enough to let his guard down completely. She was also an apex predator in her own right...protecting her territory...scouting for more. Despite all that...it was refreshing to be with someone who understood...or seemed to at any rate. So, the Resonance turned you into a mage...only to immediately be turned into a Sheut Ka? Is that what a vampire is truly called? I suppose there is quite a bit about that portion of our new, wonderful world that I don't know about yet. He wanted to ask her more about her secret organization, dealings, movings, and all that other business stuff. He would. He found this...more personal conversation to be more engaging at the moment. She wanted to know his history? Assuming she didn't already know...he obliged. The night of the Resonance, I changed. When the world had gone to hell, so did I. The Event introduced me to the Beast and informed me that I had a new, permanent partner in all of my dealings. He looked at Eris and offered a sheepish smile at his words, but if she happened to glance at him, she'd know in an instant it was feigned and forced. His voice gave it away too. He didn't enjoy remembering these things. It was important to remember. One aspect of my condition that I don't reveal to many...I'll share with you. I was one of the first. I was never bitten. I don't know if there is some sort of scientific...or perhaps mystic differentiation between the bitten and the...awakened I'll call them. I have noticed, however, that other weres seem to have a much different experience from my own.
  4. Welcome To Domus Mortuorum

    Tom locked eyes with the confident club-owner. Her different colored-eyes would be off-putting to some, he was sure. She was one who liked to negotiate from a position of power. He respected that. He raised his glass briefly towards her before taking a drink. If you are completely satisfied with what you have set up here, then I likely have nothing to offer you. I respect you, Faye. What little I have learned about you speaks of great strength and resolve...a boon for those whom you look after. He paused a moment before continuing. He knew that she was going to find him a threat whether he wanted that image or not. He was always viewed as a threat. That damn beast projected an aura of 'dangerous monster' wherever he strode. It served him well in some instances. It was a huge handicap in others. She was not going to like what he said next. He had been ferreting out some of the other smaller suppliers and buying them up discreetly over the last year or so. Too many bootleg and counterfeit bottles have been making their way into the businesses across town. Some of them were quite dangerous. Tom was seeking to have a shadow-monopoly on supply and distribution, and whether other competitors knew it or not...70% or so of alcohol sales touched Bakkhos hands at some point along the way. Except here. Tom wasn't sure where she got her supplies. Faye had shed a little light on that subject. Trading status within the club for discounts on product. Status was cheaper to give out than money, that was certain. He wondered about the quality and legitimacy of some of her product. Like she said though, that was ancillary at best to the revenue of the place. I have made it my business to know from where and from whom booze enters the city. It started out as a small curiosity, but it turned into a mission over time. There are many counterfeiters and bootleggers out there taking advantage of this world's newfound chaos. I am slowly restoring order to this little portion of the world. I understand the booze trade is not high on your list of interests. Out of respect for you, I will tell you that, in all likelihood, alcohol that I have touched will be on your shelves sooner or later. He paused a moment. He had to remember to breathe. He was trying to navigate that narrow area between braggadocios, threatening, and matter-of-fact. He didn't want to be taken the wrong way. That happened far too often lately. We are not competitors in the strictest sense. We are not lions fighting over the same prey. You don't eat at the same restaurant every day, or wear the same shirt every time...why should I believe that any patron would come to the same club every time? Except for the fact that your club offers something different from Bakkhos. We are not competitors, really. You trading money with Bakkhos does nothing to hurt your little enterprise here.
  5. Nighttime is Playtime

    Her change in demeanor was palpable. It was clear that Eris was at home in the cockpit. He hated to ruin this change of atmosphere by peppering her with questions...but he had many. He might be forced to inject some artificial levity to his questions in order to avoid her parking the chopper wherever they happened to be and asking him to exit. Rapid-fire, since I'm sure you don't really want to talk about this bit, so let's get it out of the way. When did you change? What sort of folklore things are true and what is nonsense? Tom paused a moment to wink at her and offer a smile. These were serious questions, but he was wanting to take the gravity from them. Tom had to admit...there was a sense of peace in the air while flying through it. Looking out the window, he noticed one of his warehouses where there appeared to be a back-door bootleg deal taking place. He'd have to take care of that later. Turning back to Eris he studied her for a moment. He suspected he saw shades of her former self coming to the surface as she flew. Tranquility. Something he was likely to never know again.
  6. Bakkhos Champion??

    Gaspari:…. They don’t need it….. you do….. He was right. It made sense to him. Tom nearly lunged at Matteo for arguing with Gaspari. Tom's temperament was getting worse. It was becoming harder and harder to remain calm, no matter the help Roderick provided when he was around. Still, he should have brought Roderick. Matteo was correct. This was likely to inspire all sorts of additional conflict for Tom. The arena would be a good outlet. He always felt his best the day after transformations were over. He knew it had to do with still having that residual anger that abandons most lycanthropes after the change; however that exertion, that outlet cleared his head and he was usually at his best. Those feelings of clarity were short-lived. It never took long before the mundane took over an the daily struggle resumed. Was Gaspari intentionally setting Tom up for unsolicited provocations from which he would have to defend himself? A steady diet of violence to keep the beast in check? If that was his play...it was either genius or insanity. Whether or not it works would prove to be the judge on that. It was an uncertain play...Tom didn't much like that. However, it was evident, Tom wouldn't be of any use to the family if current trends held. Change was necessary. With that change...certain risks were unavoidable. Matteo...I think I know what he's suggesting. You are correct. I don't like it much either...but I don't see another solution. I don't speak of it much, but since the Event...things have been harder for me than most others that share the same condition. I'm no fool...I know you have noticed. The others in the family don't react the same way that I do. Timing is different, severity is different...because I am different. Tom paused and walked over to pour himself a drink. Most in the family kept their demons to themselves, no matter how obvious it was what they were. A sign of pride or strength, or maybe just foolishness...Tom no longer had that luxury. I believe Gaspari is looking to feed these head-hunters to me to bleed out some of the violence that is bubbling at the surface. As much as I hate to admit it...as long as I continue to live...violence is going to be my drug of choice. He raised his glass in a mock-toast to his new prison. He didn't like this change. Not one bit. He knew that didn't matter much, either. This was his life now...better to make the best of it.
  7. Welcome To Domus Mortuorum

    Faye's silent coordination with her subordinates was unsettling. This was the source of her certainty and control. She wasn't posturing to Tom while dictating the rules to him. She was just letting him know how things work here. Another puzzle piece was put in place in his mind. The whole picture was coming together. He had to trust she wasn't listening to his mind. He couldn't stop her. Perhaps this would count as a measure of good faith. "Down to business Mr. Gallo..." Music to his 'ears'. He wasn't in the mood for pleasantries. The moon was just a few days ago, but his ire waxed and waned WITH the moon...so while most lycanthropes were weak and nearly docile at this point...Tom was still rather angry. Thankfully, the change bleeds out a lot of the rage that builds in the days prior...it builds back up rather quickly. "Business then." He looked Faye in the eye. "Straight to the point? I want to forge a business relationship between Thyrsus and To Domus Mortuorum." His face is stoic and pure business. No hint of deception, malice, or ire. Just business. "I do not know where you get your supplies for your bar, however I'd like to recommend my store as your supplier." He paused a moment to let her consider that a moment. He then continued. "Bakkhos has no interest in coming in and stealing your club. The stereotypical 'goons' won't come and try to shake the place down. The law is a tool to be used, not always something to bind yourself to, certainly. However this isn't your grandfather's 'mob.' We only wish to prosper. Some of the old hats believe that has to come at the expense of others. I, however, know that this is not a zero-sum game. I believe we can prosper together."
  8. Welcome To Domus Mortuorum

    "You make me laugh little man, but you also make me angry. You need to talk to Mistress Faye you make an appointment. Little men cannot just walk in here and say that..." Tom looked up at the giant statue and smiled a pleased smile. He was impressed. If he had simply let him in, he’d question how strong this place truly was. Whether or not Alexi recognized him was unimportant. He was her protector. He opened his mouth to speak just as Faye stepped outside. Then he ‘heard’ her voice. A telepath. Great. They often misread his intent...rarely seeing past the rage inside. His experiences have been that his inner-beast scared the mind-snoopers. Another piece of the puzzle slid into place. Tom had no preconceptions of what this place was. This was as much a scouting mission as it was a business venture. Tom hated the unknown. He was removing some of those unknowns now. As Faye turned to lead him in, he first turned to face Alexi and nodded in approval. If no one in line recognized him, his presence and demeanor toward the giant statue muted any mocking bemusement they still had. He followed Faye in silence as she led him up the stairs to her office. The interior of the club was certainly not as upscale as Bakkhos was. He saw the allure of it though. No one thing was suited to everyone. This was competition for the Bakkhos Club only marginally. As she shared all the rules of her club with him, he was deciding if she was one who was in full control…or if she was insecure and these rules helped protect against that. If she wasn’t going to speak, then voice-tells were something he’d have to do without while trying to read her. He accepted the invitation to enter her office ahead of the other two and remained standing as they entered. Whether or not Alexi followed them in or posted guard outside, Tom locked eyes with Faye and in a friendly, respectful tone said out loud, “You have a good man there. Loyal. Fearless.” His eyes hardened somewhat, as he thought silently, intending her to ‘hear’ it. “Are you reading my thoughts, or just what I volunteer?” The question was pointed and deliberate. It was obvious how he felt about having his thoughts plundered through…Tom wanted to get to the point. If she were going to pick his brain with or without his consent, he’d just volunteer the whole reason he was here and skip with the niceties. No matter what he says, though, she’ll likely detect the furnace of fury that burns below the surface. His demeanor and attitude is genuinely nice…however it is clear that there is a rage inside of him that he is forcibly restraining.
  9. Welcome To Domus Mortuorum

    Tom pulled up to the House of the Dead and sat there in his car for a few moments taking it in. He had heard of this place from the occasional patron, but he had never been there himself. From what he had heard, it was not a place he would likely spend a lot of time, but he had heard that they have done a lot of business. That was what he was most curious about. Tom wasn't concerned about a competitor taking business away from Club Bakkhos. The family club raked in so much cash, any competitor was largely viewed as an overflow. No...Tom wasn't here to discourage their business, but rather to leverage it for his own. Tom was not simply the alcohol supplier for Bakkhos. Thyrsus was how Tom made money for the family, not from the family. Tom supplied high-end booze for most of the city. Domus Mortuorum was a place that appeared to be doing good business, but wasn't a customer of his. He intended to change that. Normally, Tom wouldn't make these sorts of calls himself. Roderick or someone else would come and make their pitch during normal daytime business hours. This was a two-fold mission for Tom. He wanted to be seen. The big fight at Satyr Stadium was coming soon, and he was a walking billboard for the event. Plus, he was aware of the effect he had on people. People would pay money to see a Bakkhos Capo being relegated to gladiator work, sure. But when he interacted with people, and they felt the uncomfortable feeling of being next to him...they'd change their plans to come see who would want to fight THAT guy! He watched a dozen or so people enter and exit the establishment. This place didn't market itself to the exclusive upscale crowd. Some were dressed to impress, but not everyone. All sorts were here. This was good to know. He stepped out and walked straight to the large rock-man bouncer guarding the front. He was imposing and was well-suited for his job. Tom's brows furrowed in contemplation. He'd like to know more about this...creature. But this isn't why he was here. Tom looked up to the thing's face and stated simply, "My name is Tom Gallo. I need to speak with Faye Johnson." He said this as if it were a foregone conclusion that she would be made available. Not bravado, not arrogance...it simply made sense. This is how it seemed in Tom's head. Some in line heard the man and shied away from him as if he were a grenade tossed in their vicinity. He hoped he didn't inadvertently provoke the rock-golem thing. That had been happening too much lately.
  10. WANTED

    In case you are feeling brave, here is a taste of what the challenger has waiting for them...
  11. Bakkhos Champion??

    He knew he should have brought Roderick. The full moon was in a week and Tom was seething more often than he wasn't this week. He didn't bother Roderick once he had received the summons. If Gaspari called, then it must be serious. Today had been a good day to this point. Shipments arrived when expected. Payments were received, orders came in...everything in the Thyrsus machine was running as smoothly as possible. This was good. Otherwise, Tom was afraid that he might have made some rash mistakes. Everything bothered him. The phone rang too loud. The lights were too bright. Nobody moved fast enough. The rational part of Tom's brain knew that this was absurd. Little by little, though...piece by piece...calm and cool Tom was being replaced by this beast that dwells within him. He had been getting ready for a jog. He had discovered that physical exercise was helping him cope with the beast a bit better. That, coupled with Roderick's help...the rage inside was forever a passenger...however rarely the driver. The poor timing of Gaspari's call tweaked the beast inside. Annoyances skipped straight ahead to become offenses these days. Tom took a long calm breath and reminded himself of who it was calling and the importance of keeping this beast contained...lest he lash out in violence against someone who didn't deserve it or look for it. When Tom was let in, a low growl was allowed to escape his mouth before he caught himself. The stench from the silver in the Bakkhos rings poked at the caged monster inside. He exhaled sharply. He should have brought Roderick. He listened to Gaspari's proposal of having Tom as a champion at Satyr Stadium with skeptical eyes. Tom was never known as one of the fighters amongst the capos. Matteo, if anyone, scrapped more than he likely ought to have. Matteo appeared to share some of the same thoughts as he protested. And what if he accidently kills the opponent? Then we are the bad guys… and if he loses on the openin' night??..... the "champion" o' Bakkhos defeated by a street fighter? Then what happens with our rep? Geez Boss… this is just a recipe for disaster. Tom took a long moment before replying. Matteo had good points, but Gaspari had something in mind. Tom wasn't chosen randomly. With Derrick, Matteo, and a few others...Tom was one of the ones least likely to fight unnecessarily. Tom wondered why Gaspari had picked him out. Was it because he knew that Tom would heal soon after and likely have no lasting damage? The idea of a capo going through a grueling melee one hour...and be cleaned up and smiling at a business meeting the next would create an aura of power around Tom...and by virtue of that, Bakkhos. Would this become a regular thing? Tom was not pleased with this prospect. Tom's life thrived on order, structure...everything in its place. Another part of Tom seemed excited by this. Maybe this could be his new outlet for venting out the beast! It was certainly worthy of experimentation. If people were signing up to be his punching bag, maybe it would be worth a shot. He still had some questions though. I am honored that you would think of me, but may I ask why? The Family has many competent warriors...many of whom fighting is simply what they do. What brought your attention to me?
  12. Nighttime is Playtime

    Tom was relieved to see Eris’s demeanor soften. In a lot of ways, it seemed that their moods mirrored off of each other’s. Seeing her chuckle and joke helped to soften the edge he had. That raging furnace of primal fury was still right there…but the door to that furnace was closed at the moment. The heat present, but the flames contained. As they drove in silence, he listened and sniffed for any sort of hidden cues. The silver, again, drowned out most anything he could hope to glean. It was too rude to ask her to lock that away somewhere in the bottom of the river. He’d have to deal. The furnace door began to vent a bit into his consciousness. “Straight into the hangar,” she said quietly. “You can park in there.” As he was guided to where to park, he had been correct…the strip was hard to miss. He was surprised at how well-kempt the place was. This was her castle. Her prize. “Welcome to my castle,” Tom’s lips quirked in a slight smile at her choosing the same words from his mind. He noted Toby as he descended. He remembered their initial encounter. Eris seemed to command the same sort of loyalty from her subordinates that Tom had from his. Despite her attitude toward them as free-spirits that happen to help her…there was certainly a pecking order here, and Eris, to this point, appeared to be at the head of it. Tom silently thanked Eris in his mind when she handed Toby the silver necklace. The constantly spraying skunk was now to leave…finally. The vent to the rage furnace began to slide closed again. Tom had no doubt about the safety of his vehicle in her hangar. In all fairness, he kept nothing of any true value within the vehicle. He’d certainly have the vehicle checked for any additional hardware after this visit by some of the mechanics in the family. Trust, but verify. He followed behind her as she ascended to the catwalk and eventually to the helipad. Her scents finally becoming noticeable. God he hated silver! It was evident she was in her element. She was more comfortable here than a badger in their den. He suspected that an unwanted encounter in either place would likely be similar. “Put the headset on and buckle up. Any last requests?” Tom smiled. A genuine warm smile. This felt nice. She could just as easily plunge this chopper into something and hope his durability was less than hers…but he doubted it. It was important to get to the bottom of this fake-Bakkhos thing and likely set up a friendly relationship with Eris and whatever organization she was a part of. Allies were usually better than enemies. Besides, if the alliance didn’t work, then enemies was an easy thing to transition into later. Besides all that, he had to admit…he just enjoyed the friendly company of someone who wasn’t afraid of him. “Never wear silver jewelry again. It stinks.” He winked at Eris as he smiled and put on the headset. Roderick would have had a heart attack if he had seen such an interaction.
  13. Nighttime is Playtime

    Tom's mood lightened a bit at Eris's apparent change of mood as well. He could certainly use a couple of hours beholden to no one. A quick flight seemed like the perfect way to clear his head. When she made the joke of having eaten, he allowed himself a smile at the joke. He was not as comfortable joking about death, however the openness was refreshing. "It makes little difference to me. Surprise me." Tom smirked as he strode toward the door leading back to the club. He knew that the last sentence was likely to elicit some sort of reaction. He stood in the doorway between the patio and the club and surveyed the room once more, scanning for anything that might require his immediate attention. The cop and other were seemed to be behaving. He pulled out his phone and sent off a quick text. Matteo. I'm heading out for the evening. Going to check out Eris's place. Will let you know what I discover. Turning back to Eris, he muttered a simple, "Follow me." He led Eris through the crowd as it parted around them. He had come to expect this phenomena, yet it still amazed him whenever it occurred. He couldn't tell rightly if it were supernatural or if the beast had given him some sort of instinctive presence. Either way, the path ahead was clear as a dance floor could get without a single bit of accidental contact. As they neared the back entrance, they walked past the bar that Ari was tending. The small, Asian woman looked first at Tom, then to Eris, and then back to Tom. With a simple hand to his chest and a nod, Ari returned her attention to the patrons. Were his hand to the chest have been a fist to the chest instead, Ari would have followed behind them for an uncomfortable discussion with Eris. The open hand indicated open passage. Bakkhos was always on guard. Once in the back, they descended to the garage where he parked the X5. He held the passenger door open for Eris to get in and, after closing the door behind her, climbed into the driver seat and started heading toward the air strip. "I know approximately where your airstrip is, but you'll have to navigate more specifically as we get closer." Tom then started the drive to the airstrip in what was likely to be another interesting venture.
  14. Nighttime is Playtime

    Tom exhaled sharply as soon as the words left his mouth. He had offended Eris. He wasn’t being rude…he had done something far worse. He had revealed to his counterpart that her defenses had failed, yet remained outside the wall. It wasn’t his intention, obviously, to provoke the silver-draped viper. His attempt at subtlety had been interpreted as arrogance. Fantastic. It was hard enough to have a civilized discussion with others who thought you were inches away from ripping their head from their shoulders…however true that may be. It was an entirely different matter to remain discreet while also appear nonthreatening…to someone who is least likely within a square mile to be threatened by him. This is why he loved his numbers. They were predictable, reliable, and decidedly less tricky. “Bravo.” Yep. He had miscalculated. Tom had upset Eris. To what degree, however, was still uncertain. Was she insulted that he had beat her to the punch? Was there a level of insecurity that her aura of superior-indifference was protecting that had now been revealed? Either way, Tom couldn’t shake the feeling that something significant had just occurred. He’d have to mull over that later, when he was calmer. The moon coming soon meant that he would not likely be able to think too deeply about it without Roderick around. A low growl escaped his controlled façade. Thinking of Roderick beckoned his anger toward the deceit from earlier in the day. "I'll call you when I catch my mice. Thank you for your hospitality." She just up and left! Despite her best efforts to keep her cards close to her chest, this was her most obvious tell. Retreat. Were she to cleverly deflect, he’d be left to speculate…however he knew he had touched a nerve. Was it his lack of awe at discovering vampires? Was it as simple as he had deduced the answer before she had the satisfaction of a reveal? Or did she suddenly feel vulnerable and tried to hide it? He was about to call out to her to wait and come back as she turned around. "You want to see your pride and joy party from another angle? You can ask anything, but not while in here. I'll have you home before curfew, promise... with all the answers you need, and a new business proposition. Come up with me in the Koala..." A relieved smile touched Tom’s face. She had regained her composure and was no longer retreating. He was used to being the wolf that sheep fled from. He didn’t want to be chasing away other wolves now too…unless he had to. Koala? He presumed she was referring to an airplane. Either way…it appeared that he had to extend some trust her way if this relationship were to continue. Besides…she’d have to kill him before sunrise if she wanted him dead. “I would like that. I think you and I have much to discuss.” He sniffed and his face soured. “Besides, the pheromones, sweat, vomit, and other party smells are gong to be noxious soon.” He stood up and strode toward her. When he got near, he was disappointed that the silver necklace overpowered the other scents of her. He’d have to find a way to subtly get that away from her. Maybe it brought her comfort around him? Or maybe it was just another subtle test thrown his way. Regardless, it was unpleasant. “Care to ride with me to our destination?”
  15. Nighttime is Playtime

    When Tom was near the height of his rage, most people stayed away from him...scattering away from him as if his anger were a wave that washed away debris. Eris was like a wall where the water crashed into it and was dispersed. A part of him was frustrated at this, as it was atypical and not conforming to usual patterns. Order mattered. However, there was a relief...like a hurricane hitting a coast, the tempest of fury slowly dissipated as it was no longer being fed. The fear others exhibited in his presence seemed to justify his rage...strengthen it. Eris's presence was the antithesis to this aspect. Calming...but not soothing. The unstoppable force meeting the immovable object. This time. "Yours waxes and wanes with the moon. Mine, is always a shackle on my ankle.” These words helped Tom regain a bit more focus. Engaging the rational, problem-solving side of his brain was a tactic he used during the early days of his transformation to help mitigate the beast inside. Reason was the antithesis of emotion. Eris also had a beast inside did she? She wasn't a were, of that he was certain. In today's new world, she could be any sort of beast in lady's clothing. But then she got uncomfortable. It was slight, and likely would have gone unnoticed...except more of rational Tom was seeping back into consciousness. Scent changed slightly...heart rate increased maybe? Was that adrenaline? It was impossible to tell for sure over the stench of silver draped around her neck. Tom knew from his first encounter with Ms. London that inches to her meant miles to anyone else. Whatever discomfort she was attempting to mask, she did a damn good job of it. But its presence was noted. Perhaps she wasn't as unphased by his presence as he had assumed? She was strong, but a vulnerability had presented itself. So there is a limit to her then...worth noting. “I know you understand the importance of need-to-know, and discretion.” The wall still held. Interesting. That wellspring of primal fury still burned hot within him...a constant companion, however the surge had just crested against that...almost...unbreakable wall. Her cryptic beginning to what was certain to be an interesting revelation of some sort caused him to sit back down and pour himself another drink. As he took his first sip, he saw the ring and raised an eyebrow as if seeing it for the first time. He had not been aware of the damage done to the ring until just now. He gazed into Eris's large pupils and listened intently. “There could be information revealed when they’re questioned that you have not been privy to yet. It’s important you understand it cannot be repeated. They are either trying to start trouble with your people by claiming territory, or they are pressing to interfere with mine. I’m hoping to keep yours from taking the fall if mine think it’s your fault.” What was she getting at? She knew much more than he did, of that he was certain. Who were her people? There was no doubt now that this was about more than just a woman and her airport. There were bigger players involved. Of course there were. Someone who wanted to start a war between Bakkhos and...whomever she represented? Maybe the Blood Moon was a blessing in disguise if it put these two organizations on the same page...about this at least. "They are aware. They know who I am, they know what I am. I know you know Mythos and Toby are the same as I am. That push back you feel now, that's me. That itch, the scent that keeps forever changing but somehow stays unique. I need to know if you want to be brought into this loop.” His face soured. He was aware that he didn't know everything, but it was never pleasant to have that thrown in your face, however innocently...or carefully in this instance...it was done. Mythos, Toby, and Eris. He had noticed that their scents were similar in some fashion. He never thought overly much about it, as it never entered into his consciousness as something important worth investigating. Now that it was brought to the forefront of his mind...it itched. She, Mythos, and Toby are all...something. The same thing. There were other weres and even other wolves since the Nevus event. What other monsters have come to be since then? Everyone knows about the zombies meandering aimlessly wherever they happen to be currently. Some were changed uniquely, like Gaspari and Matteo. There was some uniformity to the others. Tom's brows furrowed in thought. He closed his eyes for a moment...his anger was still there, just controlled...however a side-effect was that all senses were dialed up as well. Closing his eyes helped to eliminate some of the distraction...he would have found himself studying Eris's face more if his eyes were open currently. No distractions. Think. There is an answer here. Breathing slowed...and then it came to him. He recalled a conversation he had with Mythos and Matteo not long ago. Matteo kept making jokes about Mythos dialing up every Hollywood stereotype of vampires. Tom didn't think much of it, as it wasn't something to note then. But now it made sense. That shifting scent. In fact, he had never interacted with Eris, Matteo, or Toby during daylight hours. Well damn. He opened his eyes and met Eris's with a slight smile. A relieved smile...a satisfied one. Finally, some sort of victory. It made sense now. It wasn't entirely shocking to him, he had to admit. Werewolves...zombies...why not vampires? He expected to see ghosts soon enough now. He even let out a soft chuckle. "I take it your days of sunbathing on the beach are over?" The question was deliberate and obvious. This was not designed to provoke, but rather to communicate understanding without speaking with all the grace of a sledgehammer. She guarded whatever secret she had carefully...and unless he was mistaken, he had to be careful which words he used. "Is this your revelation? Or is there more to it?"
  16. Nighttime is Playtime

    "Everyone takes orders from someone, some exclusively, some at their own leisure. You weigh the consequences on not, and decide if you're willing to accept them." This was true enough. This indicated that she was part of some organization. This made sense. It would be unlikely that an airport would be functioning at such a level without some sort of organizational support. There was more to learn about this one, and he suspected Matteo might know more than he has shared. "Ahanu though, is different to me than I suspect Roderick is to you." This was also true, to an extent. Roderick was more than labor. It seemed that the people she named were family to her and not employees. She obviously would kill for them, as evidenced by the destruction at Thyrsus during the Blood Moon. The passion she felt was likely not matched by his own, but he had killed for the Family before, and Roderick specifically more than once. Funny thing about his powers, when they don't work...it really upsets whomever he tries to influence. "That is where you are wrong. I can, have, and likely will again...spill blood in defense of Roderick." His eyes darkened and a low growl could be perceived beneath his words. Whether he was still seething from earlier, or perhaps feelings were being dredged up with remembering having to defend Roderick from his would-be attackers...it was unclear. One thing that is incredibly clear to any perceptive enough...he is a man who walks the fine line between control and fury. "Roderick is a good kid. I bet Ahanu and he will have a great time. As I'm sure you have surmised, I don't particularly...enjoy...surprises." The stench of silver was more noticeable outside, away from the sweat, hormones, and booze...but he was able to mask his displeasure. Then she pulled the necklace from around her neck and set it on the table. Was there a hint of a smirk in her face? He wasn't entirely sure, but he couldn't shake the feeling that she desired to provoke the beast. He didn't recoil from the necklace, but his nose did scrunch up as the scent was amplified by being fully exposed. He reached for another glass under the bar to slam atop the offending jewelry and slide it away, just as she deftly looped it back around her neck. "You have a problem." He picked up the ring and examined it while Eris continued. "I took this off a man claiming to be Bakkhos, casing my fence again with a buddy of his. They're pressuring places up and down the river, old mob style money for protection." Now that was interesting. He didn't recognize this particular sigil, but was certain it wasn't Bakkhos. Who would have the audacity? Brows furrowed in frustration as his hands balled into fists. Who would dare? This would not go unpunished. This would be ended quickly. Violently. He closed his eyes and took long, slow deep breath in an attempt to calm himself. In doing so, he released the ring he had been holding and it was dented noticeably. A bouncer had attempted to enter the area Eris and he occupied, presumably to offer some sort of service or product, but he instinctively turned on his heel and fled back into the crowd. When Thom's eyes opened, they met Eris's. A tempest of fury and rage burned beneath a thin layer of icy-calm...the calm of a wolf just before he bares his fangs and lunges. He wanted to destroy everything in sight. He wanted howl in rage and let the fountain pour forth indiscriminately at whatever lie before him. He wanted to grab Eris by the waist and see where that path led. He was all feral instinct...tempered by the thinnest, yet unbroken layer of self-control and humanity. "I would like to join you when you find them again. Let us discuss with them the error of their ways together." He wanted to get eyes on this operation himself. He didn't want bodies delivered with stories. He had no real reason to believe that Eris would lie to him about something like this. However, the other Capos would trust his first-hand account of matters. "Then we can see what they have to present to the others in my family." The other Capos would want to ask their own questions, of course. It was only right that Eris have first crack at them. If he was being honest with himself, he desired a similar outlet.
  17. Nighttime is Playtime

    The cool air and quieter area was welcome. Eris appeared to have quite the disdain for crowded places…and Tom didn’t care for them either. The world had become more accustomed the post-Resonance world. Tom had grown accustomed to the external changes in the world, but internally…it was getting harder. His tolerance for annoyances…setbacks...was waning quickly. If he had spent another hour in amongst the sweat, noise, and hormones…he’d have likely gotten violent. Roderick’s stunt had accelerated the depletion of his patience. The removal of the offending stimuli aided in his regaining control over himself. He had enough awareness to detect that Eris was averse to that sort of environment. This spoke more about her relationship with the other girl that she’d be willing to come to such a place to appease her. Apparently, he was the only one not in the loop concerning this rendezvous. “Does everybody do what you tell them to?” The question snapped him out of his daze. This was an interesting question. He hadn’t given it much thought. He ran the business and had to make decisions. Subordinates that didn’t follow orders were of no use…except to serve as examples to those who might be like-minded. Tom knew that he was feared. Even those who were unaware of his lycanthropic condition sensed something about him that kept them from provoking him. He didn’t fancy himself an authoritarian-style leader. He took care of those under him and served those above him loyally. He had a near mechanical way of dealing with poor subordinates or threats to the family. Ruthless efficiency. Although now…his handling of things had become more savage. The unexpected question brought some levity into his demeanor. She did not fear him. Eris was the one of the few who appeared to stand still in a world where everything moved very fast. He hadn’t encountered many like that before. Himself, Gaspari and the other Capos, a few others who had gained new found strength since the Resonance. Eris was one of these powerful entities. In a way, it was refreshing. His mood seemed to lighten when speaking with those who weren’t speaking defensively. She knew what he was and likely knew better than to bluff. “Usually. Although I try not to make unnecessary demands.” He smirks slightly and takes a long pull from his drink. His mood was beginning to mellow…slightly. “What happens if they don’t?” This time Tom allowed himself a soft chuckle. He topped off his glass and held out the bottle toward Eris in case she wanted the same. No…she wasn’t posturing. He had been weight and measured…was he found wanting? Maybe he should let her come with him upstate sometime. No. That was stupid. Although the idea was tempting…for a reason he couldn’t put his finger on at the moment. “As with everything, that depends.” His voice wasn’t full of malice. It was as matter-of-fact as you could get…with a hint of something else. Eagerness? Satisfaction? Something. He took a sip as he studied her over the rim of the glass. “What about you? I suspect that you aren’t one that is told what to do or ‘no’ often. How do you handle such things?”
  18. Nighttime is Playtime

    When Eris’s lips quirked in a half-smile at his admittedly ingenuine greeting caused him to smirk a bit himself. It wasn’t that he was upset at her presence here. His current default mood with regards to the moon, coupled with his personal disdain for surprises gave away the half-hearted attempt at polite deception. Most knew to step lightly around Tom during these times. Even the party-goers here who didn’t know him from Adam seemed to instinctively know to stay out of his way. This effect seemed to have no sway over Eris. She appeared to be more uncomfortable with the crowd than himself. He had given it some thought since their last encounter…she was one of few people in the world who didn’t display any sort of fear when dealing with him. This was oddly refreshing. Whatever occurred during the Nevus Event…she had gained some confidence with her new-found strength. But he could almost smell the cringe-like feelings coming from her when this close to so many people. Interesting. Tom turned his focus on Roderick and Ahanu. So this is why she was here. Roderick had pulled a fast one. He felt his rage boiling…then he felt his rage dissipate, slightly. Roderick was clever. He knew how this would play out and he preemptively smothered Tom’s rage as it began to swell. Jaw and fist clenched, he turned a near-feral stare at Roderick. The look was brief, there and gone in a second. The message was clear though, Roderick had crossed a line. Roderick had put a hand to his head in pain. He had made the rare mistake of underestimating the torrent of rage that Tom was capable of. Roderick’s mood-altering powers had limits, and he had just been brought to the brink of those limits. Withdrawing his hand from Eris’s, he put a firm hand on Roderick’s shoulder and gruffly said, “Go and enjoy yourself. We have a long day tomorrow.” Roderick led Ahanu deep into the throng of people as Tom returned his attention to Eris. Just as Eris had turned her attention to the near-empty patio, Tom asked Eris, “Care to join me on the patio for a…quieter experience?” Tom strode forward with a deliberate stride that was as likely to change direction as a train on the rails. The cool, night air was welcome. As soon as thud of his Alessandro Démesure Oxfords could be heard echoing on the cobblestone patio he looked to the bouncer on duty here and simply nodded back toward the club. Without a word coming from Tom, the bouncer rounded up the half-dozen or so patrons from the patio and ushered them back inside, leaving just Eris and Tom outside in the quiet night. Tom walked behind the bar that was situated in the corner near where the bouncer had stood. He grabbed a pair of glasses from underneath. He reached for a bottle of Zyr and poured it into one glass. He held the bottle above the other glass and looked at Eris, silent question obvious.
  19. Nighttime is Playtime

    What is she doing here? Tom marched toward the door with a determined stride. The crowded floor seemed to part around him, as if they all instinctively knew to stay out of his way. If anger had an odor... As if intended, Roderick slipped just behind Tom as he got near Eris and Ahanu. Tom gave him a quick glance, and Roderick looked away briefly, guilt plain on his face. This was his fault. They'd have a discussion about this later. Rage boiled up inside him unconsciously...the moon was soon and it was evident. Brows furrowed and a low growl escaped. Suddenly, a gentle calm slid over him. His rage subsided a bit. A barely controlled inferno reduced to a contained blaze. The fury and passion was there, however, thanks to Roderick, it was contained. For now. Walking up to the tiny woman, Tom greeted her with a warm and welcoming smile. His smile was tempered a bit as he caught a whiff of Eris's silver necklace, but that was quickly dismissed, smile returning in full. Welcome to Bakkhos. I'm glad you decided to come. He said as he offered his hand to her. This wasn't untrue. There was a part of him that was glad to see Eris again. Tom was just not a large fan of surprises...especially those that involve someone like Eris. Stealing a quick glance at Roderick, he noted that he appeared to be nervous, slightly. Great. Someone was smitten. This is why this scenario exists? Yes. They would definitely be talking later.
  20. Heading Upstate

    As the sun began to recede behind the trees, the chill of night began to set in. Tom and Frank nodded to each other and began removing their clothes. The turn would come soon, and best they be ready for it. Father and son, strode naked, deeper into the woods towards a clearing that become their “spot.” They said not a word to each other as they stepped into the clearing. With one more nod, they turned their backs to each other and stepped to opposite sides of the clearing. Pain. Tom roared as liquid pain coursed through his veins. Bones elongated, and muscles swelled. Skin stretched to accommodate Tom’s new, larger mass. Every bit of his body was wracked with unimaginable pain and torment…and it was just beginning. His body continued to stretch, grow, and swell. Talons pierced through is fingertips, fangs grew long and sharp. All the while, a thick coat of greyish-black fur covered his body. Tom had long-since given up trying to fight the transformation. Enduring the pain was something he tried to fight through in the early years, but he had learned to just surrender to it. There was no reversing or stopping this. It was going to happen. It needed to happen. As his snout elongated to complete the transformation, the last bit of Tom’s mind blacked out. Now it was only the beast. Rage. Tom’s Beast howled in fury at the sky, sounding a warning to his quarry. He sniffed the air and saw the other beast. It was smaller, with more grey than black in its fur. It was familiar…family. With a snarl, the Beast leapt into the wilderness. Rampaging through the trees as fast as possible, it was seeking any scent larger than a rabbit. Pausing, it caught a scent. Several in fact. One was the desired prey. Deer. Snarling deeply, he tore off in the direction of the deer scent. Thundering through the forest, the Beast was making no attempt at stealth. Only death and fury were to come. He caught sight of the deer…a young buck running as fast as its legs could carry it. The chase lasted mere moments before Tom’s Beast pounced on the young stag. Blood and flesh sprayed from the animal in an explosion of carnage. In mere seconds, the healthy deer had become debris on the forest floor and surrounding trees. Bellowing out a howl of triumph, the Beast continued in search of more prey. Slowing down somewhat, Tom’s Beast had found a different prey. Something that he had not yet encountered…and seemed the most appealing of all. This wasn’t like the deer, cows, or occasional bear he had come across before. This was sweet smelling, enticing, enthralling. The Beast followed the scent to the exclusion of anything else. He stalked and ignored the scents of other creatures as he followed this trail. He caught the faint whiff of smoke as he continued after this trail. As he continued, the smell got stronger and stronger. Finally, he found his quarry. Two humans sat around a camp fire. A man and woman sat, holding one another and chatting softly to each other with a small tent behind them. The Beast leapt at the two in a snarling fury…not quite like what had happened to the stag, but in a controlled, trapping way. He circled the two terrified humans not unlike a shark would in the water. The two humans were paralyzed…unable to even raise a yell in panic…the Beast’s massive frame circling them. Finally, he pounced. He grabbed the woman by the arm with his snout, sinking his teeth into her arm and flung her into a nearby tree, knocking the woman unconscious. The Beast’s gaze turned to the man and he managed to summon enough wits to run. He stood no chance. The Beast gave chase and caught him within twenty feet of the fire. When he pounced, the enormous weight of his massive frame came down on the small of the man’s back, crushing his spine. He held the man with his massive claws, sniffing, sensing he was dead, and discarded him like a useless piece of trash. He sniffed the woman, knowing she was alive. The Beast bellowed out a loud howl, and tore off into the night, attempting to sate this hunger and rage that could not be quenched.
  21. Heading Upstate

    February 8th, 2020 12:30pm Thyrsus Irritated. This was the best mood that anyone could hope from Tom today. Tonight, the beast came out and the next and the next. During this time, most knew to stay out of his way. He had seen to some last-minute preparations for the weekend and was going over a final checklist with Roderick before he departed Upstate. “Shipment arrives this afternoon. I’ll return Tuesday.” Tom spat the words out angrily…like it was offensive for him to have to say these things. He wasn’t trying to be rude, and Roderick knew it. Tom was so grateful to have someone like Roderick to run things while he was gone. He was unable to demonstrate his gratitude properly now, but Roderick understood. Without another word, Tom stepped into his car and started driving north. He was driving toward a cabin in the woods he had that was about 4 hours or so due-north of New York City. A few of the Bakkhos knew that Tom had a place, but none knew where it was precisely. They were content with letting Tom do his monthly thing and come back to business. Any time that he was required to stay in the city rarely went well. Stepping into the cell was a very hard thing for him to do…and it was getting more and more difficult to do so each time. He avoided it whenever possible. Tom pulled up to the cabin. It was a non-descript plain cabin in the woods. It was slightly more modern with drywall and some other typical house-appropriate furnishings. Other than that, it was a bare-minimum shelter. There was no running water. The electricity was provided by a generator that was only ran to keep the refrigerator running. There were two cots set up in opposite corners of the single room. One looked barely used…this was his, as he only slept here a few nights a month. The other cot was much more worn. This cot belonged to his father, Frank Gallo. The Nevus event awakened the dormant lycanthrope virus in both Frank and Tom…to much different results. While the virus manifested in Tom in extreme potency in all respects…the physical strengths, weaknesses, rage…in Frank it manifested a bit differently. He was a wolf as well, however his mind was ill-equipped to cope with the change. It sent him to the edge of insanity and left him there. Frank is lucid and relatively normal…so long as he doesn’t interact with anyone other than Tom. Anytime he encounters another human, his fight-or-flight response is triggered and he panics and runs away…or panics and attacks with a feral-ferocity. Tom created this residence for Frank to be able to stay remote and hidden, but close enough to keep an eye on. Frank tried to visit him one other time a month besides the change, however his duties often precluded him from doing so. This cabin was Frank’s prison and refuge. He could never return to the city. His anthropophobia prevented even the most casual of human interaction with those that weren’t Tom. “Good to see you, son.” Frank had walked in the back door, with an arm load of wood. He looked grizzled and barely sane. He set the wood down and walked over to hug Tom. Tom could feel the anguish in this hug. His poor father was lonely…but he was alive. And the next three nights he would be the most alive he’d be for the next month. Hunting together as wolves, ironically enough, was just enough to keep him on this side of sane. For now, at least.
  22. Nighttime is Playtime

    Tom noticed Margie’s reaction. The natural sizing up of one predator to another. He accepted Abby’s hand with a gentle, yet firm grasp, conveying respect and welcome with a gentle smile. He grasped Margie’s hand firmly, with the familiarization of recognizing another of his own. He stared hard into her eyes for a moment, conveying a sense of dominance and territoriality. This club was under his protection and charge, as far as she was concerned. The harsh stare was only a moment, before replaced by a lightness in his gaze and a smile of welcome. It was enough…his scent, presence, and demeanor would have coalesced into a message communicating, “Play nice, cause no trouble, and we’ll be good.” "We're just getting started" Tom raised his glass in cheers to the sentiment from Margie, his ring catching the light as he did so. Abby would certainly recognize the ring signifying him as a Capo within the Bakkhos family if she wasn’t aware already. "How's your evening, Tom?" “So far, so good. It’s opening night, and things are going smoothly so far. Glad you could join us. Everything to your liking thus far?” When Margie let out a ‘whoah’, Tom turned his gaze toward the door where Margie was looking. He noticed Ahanu and Eris entering the club. His brow furrowed a bit. He did not expect her to show up the club…she likely thought it was beneath her. Had she come courting the beast again, or was she up to something else? “Enjoy your evening, I look forward to seeing you again.” He raised his glass in cheers, and started walking towards Eris and Ahanu.
  23. About time I put this up!

    Tom could have easily encountered either character in one form or another. I'd be up for some history building posts, certainly.
  24. Nighttime is Playtime

    Tom was lounging in one of the VIP areas chatting with some of the high-spending patrons, pretending to care about whatever it was they were saying. He raised his glass in cheers, laughed along with them, and then promptly took his leave under the guise of getting another drink. He didn’t care for this particular group…annoying nouveau-riche that tally the fun of the evening by the number of empty bottles at their feet at the end of the night. Tom could barely tolerate their company, but their money works as well as anyone else’s and Tom was glad to let them throw it at the feet of Bakkhos. He stepped out into the floor, smiling at the women who took notice of him, and glowering at the men who attempted to size him up. There were plenty of bouncers in the club, but there was no small part of Tom that silently hoped he’d get to bounce someone himself. It was, indeed, time for another drink, then maybe he’d enjoy this music some and have some bit of fun. As he wandered toward the bar, he caught a wiff of something. There was another lycanthrope close by. This wasn’t entirely surprising; however, he knew the moon was soon and that there might be some temperamental weres in the crowd. It was important that they be reminded that a bigger, badder wolf lurked among the crowd as well and that tempers should be kept in check. Tom had spotted Angelina sauntering off not too long ago. It’d be worth having the eyes and ears tip her off in case this one got feral. Once he reached the bar, he realized who it was. Two young women were conversing at the bar and appeared to be having a wonderful time. Tom walked up next to them at the bar and held up two fingers toward Ari. The Asian bartender knew to slide over a double shot of Ron Zacapa XO. He pulled out his phone quickly and sent a text off to Matteo. Cop and lycan at Ari’s bar. Drink in hand, he turned to the two women. One was a cop…the other was a lycanthrope of some sort. This was an interesting dynamic. Looking at Abby and Margie, he extended a hand toward Abby first, and then the other. “Welcome to Bakkhos. I am Tom Gallo. Are you enjoying your evening so far Ms...” Tom left it trailing for them to fill in the rest.
  25. Nighttime is Playtime

    Roderick had just sent the last truck with booze over to Bakkhos. He had decided himself that sending an extra padding of liquor supplies over to the club was wise. Tom had given him leave to close up shop and come to the opening himself...he was considering that. Roderick frowned slightly, though. Tom was always putting the well-being of those around him over his own. Not what you would expect a 'typical' Capo to do, but one could not argue with results. Thyrsus was profitable...extraordinarily so. It isn't as if the workers didn't fear Tom...they most certainly did...but the respect that came from the restraint that he didn't have to exercise that has carried long with his subordinates. It commanded a loyalty that was hard to break. Roderick felt compelled to do something for the Capo. An idea came to mind. He picked up his phone and sent a text to Ahanu: Hey. Mr. Gallo would like Ms. London to join him at Club Bakkhos tonight for the opening. If you are free, I'd like to take you there as well.