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Feb  1, 2020  6pm (currently Bakkhos only)

 

Fingers drummed on the dark bar.  Cool gaze watched the sun begin to sink out the windows of the club. Gaspari had put him in charge of the club while the head of Bakkhos was travelling to Italy and then Spain to meet with the Family there and discuss how to increase their trading routes in this still challenged world.

 

The steel doors were still closed to the public, the red velvet rope outside lonely and unmanned. It was early yet. Bakkhos only opened at 9pm.

 

The soft click of heels behind him betrayed the beginning of staff arriving through the private entrance.

 

NPC:  "Matty!"

 

Trish. The squeal gave her away before the small hands wrapped around his waist from behind, slinking under the gray blazer to tickle over the deep wine button up, following the buttons until they opened at his chest. Her fingers snaked inside the silky shirt for a feel of the dark hair and to play with the gold chain hanging there before his large grip caught the invaders. Head turned and dipped to catch the ruby lips behind his shoulder only briefly.

 

'ey Trish.

 

Hand lightly pushed her hands down and untangled from his torso.

 

NPC:  "Whatcha doin' here?"

 

I'm in charge while Gaspari is away of course.... so get yer pretty tail off and into uniform..

 

Hand swatted the thick meat of her ass sending her off to the back with a playful yelp. Waitresses were always in slinky black cocktail dresses at Bakkhos, even when serving those that decided to slink into the pools……and he had slept with half of them.

 

Smirk slid his lips as he moved around the bar and poured himself a lowball of straight scotch. They had a couple hours before the door was opened to the public for the first time since the Blood Moon fiasco three months ago. The club hadn't suffered any damage but the lower portions of the hotel had. Because the club could be locked down like a steel trap, they used it instead as headquarters while they rebuilt and waited to see if the sky would continue to "fall".  Between the unnatural Blood Moon events and the anti-outworlder sentiment growing around the world it was collectively decided that Satyr Stadium was on hold for the time being.  Instead, Gaspari was trusting his Senior Capo to run the prized Bakkhos club and their hotel while the head of the Family was jet setting around the world and growing their connections.  It was good for the Family, but the Capo wished Gaspari would take more muscle when he went. Gray was good and all, but the Family head should have dozens with him, not a team of ten.

 

He had lost that argument however, so he was left behind to run the business. In and of itself, it was a huge honor. Dark eyes lifted at the heavy steps coming through the private entrance.

 

'ey Joey…..

 

The young lycanthrope smiled at him as he walked over.

 

NPC: "Hey Boss…. you're here early."

 

Nod came as the scotch slid smooth down his throat before he pulled the glass away.

 

Ya… wanted to be sure we were ready…. checking security cams etcetera.

 

Joey unbuttoned his blazer to sit on the leather stool on the other side as he nodded.

 

NPC: "I made sure we have some extra muscle tonight since we haven't been open in a while and aint sure if we gonna see just the regulars or some wild cards. Bringing in all seven bouncers and three on cams."

 

The Capo nodded as he finished his scotch and set the glass in the bucket under the bar. Ari would be pissed there were dirty glasses before they even opened but he would face her fury.  Another glance outside confirmed it would be a brisk but clear night. A good night to reopen Bakkhos and help the upper echelon find a playful norm once more.

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Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer
'Cause I'm in need of some restraint

 

A smile played at the corners of his mouth as he hummed the tune and stepped from the backseat of his mercedes. Turning to Brett, Mythos raises an eyebrow at his surroundings. Had it really been two years since he'd been in New York? Sighing inward he nods to his bodygaurd and friend. “ Go back to Hush and keep an eye on things for me. I'll call when it's time for a pickup.” Turing back to the building, Mythos opens the back door adjusting the platinum cufflinks on the custom tailored hunter green shirt. He steps into the elevator and felt the vibration of the phone in his pocket. Pulling the device from his pocket he swipes the srceen to read the text message from Brett. Nodding he returned the phone to his pants pocket just as the elevator opened up and he stepped out. Seeing Matteo infront of him he clears his throat. “ Matteo, I see you've added Bartender to you're skill set. Can I hire you for my next soire?

 

Smirking he comes around to the front of the bar and unbottons the charcoal colored blazer and finds a seat next to the bouncer. “ It would seem that I'm also early to this party. How odd. I'm never anywhere before things get going.” Shrugging slightly he looks to Matteo again and chuckles. “ I'll have a vodka martini good sir, and some information on what the fuck happened while I was gone. I leave on buisness and shit went to hell right quick. At least this place is still standing.” Running his lithe fingers through his hair he calms a little and holds his hand up to Matteo. “ Sorry man, i'm still a little upset over the damage to my place.” The Hush club had sustained considerable damage during the bloodmoon event and had only reopened a couple of weeks ago. Standing again Mythos waits for his drink and absently fidgets with the curiously decorated zippo( Ravnos cross with a Raven perched on it) he fished from his pants pocket.

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Cleared throat behind him caused the chin to turn, dark eyes glancing before the brow lifted.

 

Mythos. Well this was a surprise.

 

“ Matteo, I see you've added Bartender to you're skill set. Can I hire you for my next soire?”

 

Brow lifted higher. The Bakkhos money launderer had been on the road for nearly two years. He was well behind. Missed the hell storms…. his taking over and building out the Satyr stadium… the Winery purchasing an additional 200 acres……the Blood Moon fiasco…. the finding of radar equipment in Italy that now allowed them to more safely transport goods along their trade routes… even missed Gaspari leaving for a month tour with the "family" on the other side of the world.

 

He had heard a rumor that the man was back but it was only yesterday heard and not yet confirmed. Now…. It seemed it was confirmed. 

 

"It would seem that I'm also early to this party. How odd. I'm never anywhere before things get going. I'll have a vodka martini good sir, and some information on what the fuck happened while I was gone. I leave on business and shit went to hell right quick. At least this place is still standing.”

 

Now he was pushing it. Arms folded over his chest as brow quirked.

 

Nearly wasn’t.  Bottom coupl'a floors of the hotel were toast after damn Blood Moon events here… missed all the werebitch killin'

 

Bottle of vodka was slid on the bar as was a lowball glass.

 

….and pour it ya damn self Vistani… this aint no caterin' hall.

 

"Sorry man, i'm still a little upset over the damage to my place."

 

Head shook with a shrug.

 

Wasn’t only one…we had a few big hits…. good bit of our businesses in Queens were destroyed, includin' the liquor depot. We got family still displaced all over the city.

 

Eyes dropped to watch the man play with the zippo. Hand ran through his hair as head shook.

 

Shit man… why not just tattoo "Anne Rice" on ya ass.

 

Joey was blinking at the two, uncertain what was happening. He only joined the family in the last two years so he didn’t know the stranger nor that he was Sheut so the exchange didn’t make much sense. Matteo knew him… that much was clear.

 

….or better yet….cover ya'self in glitter so you can sparkle under the light….

 

Fingers "jazz handed" on the "sparkle" in his accusation. Smirk betrayed the ribbing was not malicious, he just couldn’t help pointing out the ridiculous irony of a real Sheut running around with a cliché human symbol of vampires.

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Tom, clipboard in hand, was reviewing the inventory that was being sent to the club. One by one he ticked the items off the sheet. This was the big reopening, and the club needed extra supply on hand. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust Roderick to do this part of the job. Far from it. The more important something became, the more hands on he was. Tom is not a control freak…except maybe he is a bit.

 

The sleeves of his white dress-shirt were rolled up over his forearms. Despite the cool winter air outside, he was warm. It was almost a week until the next full moon. This was when his attention to detail regarding his appearance started to wane a bit. Tom will look like a million bucks tonight. Until then, he had work to do. He needed something to occupy his mind. Otherwise, everything would bother him.

 

Ticking off the last box, he nodded in approval. “Get this in the car. I’ll take it over myself.”

 

A week ago, Roderick would have insisted that he or one of the boys could take it over. He had worked with Tom long enough, however, to know that Tom was going to deliver and that arguing this time was a waste of time and likely a bad idea.

 

Tom rebuttoned the sleeves on his shirt and headed to his car. The black, BMW SUV was loaded by some of the boys who were overseeing the construction crew hired to repair damage done to the store. Tom scanned their work and put a hand on Roderick’s shoulder. “See that guy over there, not doing anything? Make sure he has something to do. If the crew doesn’t need him, I don’t want to pay for him.”

 

With that he hopped in the SUV and drove over to Bakkhos. When he arrived, he grabbed the first load and put it in the elevator. The second load he did the same with and rode the elevator up to the club. As the doors opened he could smell the people there. Matteo was there, of course. Another lycanthrope had been by earlier, likely Joey. And as always, the faint stench of silver. Seeing Mythos was a bit of a surprise, but he always seemed to come and go with the wind.

 

“Hey fellas,” he greeted the pair with an arm load of booze. “Good to see you again, Mythos.” Tom said to the man in a genuine…if strained attempt at a ‘friendly’ tone. Turning to Matteo, the social grace drops and what the family had come to know as his ‘business voice’ he asks, “How are things coming for tonight?”

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He couldn’t help the chuckle that bubbled up in his chest as the Sheut feigned absolute offense at the thought of being covered in glitter. Scary part was, he wasn’t entirely sure the man wouldn’t actually do that at some point. The Senior Capo suddenly had horror images of the next Halloween party in the club. Mythos was likely to show up bare chested in silver glitter with fake fangs and blood dripping from the corner of his lips. The irony lost to most of the family even!

 

Grin lingered as the elevator could be heard softly dinging in the back. Arms folded over his chest as he glanced over his shoulder expecting to see Ari but quirking a brow instead at Tom. Unusual for him to make his own delivery, particularly with the shop still being repaired.

 

Tom was an odd duck at times but the Capo trusted him as much as any of the family. He watched the more "social" greeting then could only grin as Tom became all business. Always so damn formal when it came to business. Matteo tried to only be "all business" when he had to.

 

“How are things coming for tonight?”

 

'ey Tom. Not bad. Shapin' up to be a good clear night so should be able to open the deck bar to help with the overflow.

 

Nodding to the case of liquor in his arms as a hip rested against the back counter of the bar.

 

Thanks for the top off… likely gonna need it if early reservations are any indication of the crowd.

 

Bakkhos was unique in that certain seating areas were "velvet roped" off, reserved for their VIP. For opening night they already had a waiting list for the areas.

 

How's the store comin'? That chick payin' for yer reconstruction?

 

He had heard the woman had called the day after. The Capo was still unsure who…. or what…. she was, but she had only caused damage to get one of her own out of harms way.  Truth was, he would have done the same.

 

Family first. Always.

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Tom smiled despite himself. Matteo was always with the smooth easy-going demeanor. This made him more dangerous than most in the family as people often mistake friendliness for weakness. Matteo was not weak. With the right motivation, he was almost as dangerous as Tom’s ‘beast.’ Almost.

 

Regardless, Matteo’s mirth was not missed on Tom.

 

Thanks for the top off… likely gonna need it if early reservations are any indication of the crowd.

 

“Yeah, Roderick should bring another load by this evening. He’s supervising construction currently.” He glowered for a moment as he remembered that one idle construction worker he saw just before coming here.

 

How's the store comin'? That chick payin' for yer reconstruction?

 

“It’s comin’ along ok, I guess. They are like kids though. If you aren’t watchin’ them, they aren’t workin’ as hard as they ought to.” He shakes his head in irritation, not unlike an elderly man just disgusted with ‘kids these days.’ “Yeah, she is payin’ for all of it. I understand why she did what she did and don’t blame her. Had I been around during that time, we know how that would have gone down.”

 

Tom chuckled darkly. After he had heard reports of what went down in the city, he felt guild, initially, that he wasn’t here to help. He knew; however, he was much more help not being there. His eyebrows quirked up as he remembered something he was going to say to Matteo.

 

“I will not be around next weekend. I will be upstate.”

 

Matteo knew what that meant. Full moon was around the corner and Tom usually left during those times. He never really said more than “upstate”. There were the occasional times where Angelo would require his presence during the daylight for those times…in which case, Tom would head to the bunker. That blasted, terrible, horrible box. He did not want to go in the box. Not now. Not ever…as long as he could avoid it.

 

“I will be sure to be around tonight for the opening, of course.”

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“Yeah, Roderick should bring another load by this evening. He’s supervising construction currently."

 

Brow quirked as he didn’t miss the ghost of a glower cross over Tom's expression. Something at the construction site wasn’t jiving with the big "dog".  Rebuild not going as planned?

 

How's the store comin'? That lady payin' for yer reconstruction?

 

“It’s comin’ along ok, I guess. They are like kids though. If you aren’t watchin’ them, they aren’t workin’ as hard as they ought to. Yeah, she is payin’ for all of it. I understand why she did what she did and don’t blame her. Had I been around during that time, we know how that would have gone down.”

 

Ya realize you crackin' like you older than Carmine…

 

Arms folded over his chest, he couldn’t help the chuckle that bubbled up at the "kids these days" tone the man had adopted as he bantered a bit of a tease back. Carmine was the oldest of the Bosses and often had that same crotchety attitude. Of course Carmine was also  mean SOB if you pissed him off.

 

“I will not be around next weekend. I will be upstate.”

 

mmm…

 

The acceptance was natural. He wasn’t in tune with the cycles of the moon but an "upstate" reference from Tom meant a full one was coming.

 

“I will be sure to be around tonight for the opening, of course.”

 

Nod was a bit distant. Something was chewing at him. His own expression had grown more thoughtful as he stewed over that woman. Wasn’t like the Bakkhos to be in debt to anyone outside the family. People were in debt to THEM. Right now she owed them because of the damage she had caused. On the other hand it was in the middle of an all out war in the city and likely would have been overlooked as a onetime encounter. By paying she was putting herself on the radar.

 

Why?

 

'ey you talked to that woman yerself? Why you think she ponyin' up? Whatsin it for her?

 

Head shook a bit as he shrugged.

 

…mean whole fuckin' city was wrecked….. we didn't know who she was….. coulda slid it and we wouldna cared. So why plop herself in our lap and make the call?

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Ya realize you crackin' like you older than Carmine…

 

Tom chuckled. He was indeed in full old-man mode. Construction was nearing completion…and he was impatient to get on with it. Seeing Matteo chuckle at the same thing, Tom smiled genuinely. It was good to crawl out form the dungeon that was his office from time to time.

 

'ey you talked to that woman yerself? Why you think she ponyin' up? Whatsin it for her?

 

Tom shook his head at mention of Eris. “Yeah, I have. She’s...something.” Tom poured a drink for himself and sat down. “On the surface, it seemed like she was paying up to earn some good will because her next question was rather abrupt. Apparently, she owns an air strip and some of our boys were sniffin’ around there. I told her to ask you about it if she were concerned. Which reminds me…she ever get ahold of you?”  He chuckled, “I don’t know how to feel about this one just yet. Part of me thinks she’d be a worthwhile ally…or a real pain in the—”

 

He stopped mid-sentence, turning his gaze over to Mythos. He suspected as much when he met her, but being near him now confirmed it. Whatever she was, it was the same as Mythos.

 

“Mythos. Do you know an Eris London? I think the two of you have quite a bit in common.” His face wasn’t angered…but there was no mistaking he was deadly serious.

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