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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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Smile lingered as the older man finally broke his grouch expression with a genuine smile. The lycan was too serious, it was rare to see him loosen up.  

 

"Yeah, I have. She's…something."

 

Brow lifted at the man as he poured himself a drink. Wasn’t like the lycan to be impressed by anyone either.

 

Oh..?

 

“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?”

 

Head was shaking slowly as he idly scratched his chin.

 

Must be the old strip on the north side. We'd seen lot of activity last six months or so. Didn't think much of it but you know Lucky… convinced someone was musclin' in. Had some of his guys pokin' around till Gaspari told him to back off.  Gaspari be pissed if Lucky still got 'em goin' out there.

 

The older man's chuckle drew a raised brow from the Senior Capo.

 

“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—”

 

The nod came with a knowing grin.

 

Pain in the ass…. all women are. 

 

The glass was about at his lips when it paused with the older man's attention moving to the masquerading Sheut.

 

“Mythos. Do you know an Eris London? I think the two of you have quite a bit in common."

 

Brow lifted at the Sheut - his circle? Not surprisingly the vagabond didn’t seem to be paying much attention, the blink at Gallo accompanied by a shrug with a shake of his head seemed honest enough. As much as Mythos was gone he wasn’t really surprised he didn’t know the woman.

 

Did Gallo know about the vamps? Truth was the Senior Capo wasn’t sure. Mythos was the only one he knew of in the Family and they didn’t go around advertising his unusual "situation". The fact that Mythos was overseas a lot also meant it wasn’t hard to "hide" his unique infection.

 

But Lycan tended to have stronger senses that could decipher people's secrets. Was that woman one too?

 

Now this woman was suddenly interesting

 

….and dangerous.

 

Glass was sipped thoughtfully.

 

How much longer ya got on the repairs?

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"Hmmm..." Thom muttered at Mythos's passionless response. Thom didn't know about the vamps. He had heard of them, sure, but after the Event...all sorts of reports of every monster ever imagined surfaced. It wasn't impossible, but he didn't know for sure. 

 

 

Must be the old strip on the north side. We'd seen lot of activity last six months or so. Didn't think much of it but you know Lucky… convinced someone was musclin' in. Had some of his guys pokin' around till Gaspari told him to back off.  Gaspari be pissed if Lucky still got 'em goin' out there.

 

"Yeah...she didn't seem too pleased about it either. She did give me her card, though. Offered to pilot for business or pleasure." He shook his head slightly at that last bit. He didn't like the fact that she courted the beast within him. Partly insulted...partly terrified for her...it didn't sit well with him. He suspected that she wouldn't be easily dismissed.

 

"If our boys are sniffing around there, they should stop...especially if Gaspari has already spoken to it. Sounds like she is trying to broker a friendly relationship with Bakkhos. Even someone as bold as she recognizes when someone makes a better ally than enemy."

 

How much longer ya got on the repairs?

 

"They are nearly complete. Should be anytime now."

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"Yeah...she didn't seem too pleased about it either. She did give me her card, though. Offered to pilot for business or pleasure." 

 

Brow quirked slightly at the last, watching the faint shake of the head. Was Tom taken with the woman? That could be….complicated.  Though truth be told he was impressed someone caught the Lycan's attention. He always seemed so….stiff. Guy needed to get laid more. Of course the older man was likely to say the senior Capo needed to get laid less. The thought drew a hint of a smile behind the glass as he sipped his drink.

 

"If our boys are sniffing around there, they should stop...especially if Gaspari has already spoken to it. Sounds like she is trying to broker a friendly relationship with Bakkhos. Even someone as bold as she recognizes when someone makes a better ally than enemy."

 

Wonder if that’s all she recognizin'….

 

It was said more to himself than the older man. Head turned at the soft clank of steel door in its frame. Eyeing the back hall to see the petite Asian stride in, her leather jacket slung over a shoulder, pausing only long enough to assess who was at the bar before pushing past Matteo behind it.

 

NPC: you in my way Matty…

 

Chuckle came as he moved out from behind the bar. Ari liked to get her bar set up ahead of time so it wasn’t surprising to see her. They were getting close to opening.

 

I will talk to Lucky… make sure his boys aint bein' stupid round her place.

 

Finishing his glass he slid it towards Ari, her fingers deftly catching it and vanishing the dirty dishware below the bar once more.

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Wonder if that’s all she recognizin'….

 

Tom chuckled. Matteo had specific motivations. Ladies were one of them. Eris was an intriguing woman...but he didn't have time to think about things like that.

 

What time do things start tonight?

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huh..?....oh... eight...

 

Glance to his watch quirked a brow.

 

So little under forty minutes now.....

 

Pushing from the bar he adjusted the hems of his blazer sleeves down over the cuffs of his shirt. He had to represent after all, Gaspari wouldn't be here for the re-opening.

 

Need to make 'nother round of reviews on the security cams an' make sure we got all our muscle here.

 

Brow quirked at the older man.

 

....ya stayin'?

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Tom smiled slightly. Often Matteo would tease him about being uptight, but now it was evident that he was feeling the pressure of making things go right. Tom was a little on edge with the moon coming soon, but he couldn't pass up the opportunity to see Matteo stress a bit. 

 

Besides, even Tom knew that some R and R was due. This was likely to be a fun night. More importantly, unless booze ran out, his head wasn't on the block for anything.

 

You betcha. I'll be here.

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He spent the last forty minutes checking all the security for the club. They had a steel monitor room behind the bar only staff could enter with their security key. It had a screen for all of the thirty five cameras that were hidden in every corner of Bakkhos; nothing happened here without eyes on it.

 

Considering how much damage the hotel had suffered during the bloody moon, he was impressed that everything seemed to be going smoothly for their re-opening. Nine bouncers was a bit of overkill for Bakkhos but for a first night where they were not sure about what crowd would be coming it seemed appropriate.  Two manned the door, tonight everyone was getting a pat down and weapons would be "held" until they left, all the signage had warned people so frankly if they were dumb enough to try there was a good chance they wouldn’t be let in. The rest of the muscle couldn't be discerned from the regular patrons. Angel was great for that, sexy woman at the bar was never suspected of being a bouncer.

 

By the time he had checked everything the rest of the crew were already there and dressed for the occasion, music beginning to thump rhythmically through the empty space as the dying sun gave way to the glow of the bubbling spas and ambient lighting.


Hey Alessia…

 

He kissed the older woman on the cheek that was presented him. She was a beautiful woman who had earned a fair amount of respect in the family. When the club was in normal operations she was more its manager than hostess. She made sure everything, and everyone, was perfect.

 

NPC: Evening Matty. Got everythin' set then?

 

Yes maam…

 

He offered a big grin as he was hit in the chest. She didn’t like to be treated like she was pushing up the average age of Bakkhos. Glance to his watch said it was time as did a glance to the small screen hidden behind the bar that showed the line behind the velvet rope was already elongated to the exclusive elevator. Showtime.

 

He nodded to Vinny at the door who dropped the steel bolts from the ceiling and swung the heavy wood door outward to grin at Gino standing like a golem in front of the impatient crowd.

 

Time to let in the masses and have a little fun.

 

 

((OOC - THREAD NOW OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!! ))

THINGS TO KNOW:

  • Bakkos Club is upscale- cocktail chic or swimsuit (not getting in w/ ripped tee & jeans :P)
  • All are checked for weapons by the two bouncers at the door for this opening night
  • Smoking on the large balcony only
  • Don’t abuse the NPCs

 

People around:

Ari - Main Bartender -

http://resonancerp.com/index.php?/index.html/characters/canons/bakkhos-ny-ari-lin-r390/

 

Alessia - Hostess (directs to different areas and checks on people) -

http://resonancerp.com/index.php?/index.html/characters/canons/bakkhos-ny-alessia-nicosia-r680/

 

Tony - Hidden Bouncer -

http://resonancerp.com/index.php?/index.html/characters/canons/bakkhos-ny-anthony-toni-bazzini-r681/

 

Angel - Hidden Bouncer -

http://resonancerp.com/index.php?/index.html/characters/canons/bakkhos-ny-angeline-angel-vitale-r395/

 

bakkhos.png

large.Le-Bain-NYC.jpg.45d9545a7f8742bc73         IMG_3752.JPG

 

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He was a big guy.

 

The swagger.  The hands in his pockets.  Buff frame.  Confidence.

 

The narrowing of the eyes, was all hers.

 

“Da fuck you doing out here?”

 

…voices were a little harder to get right. 

 

"He’d" been watching them for a while, leaning on the fence corner closest to the water as the two were casing the compound.  Weakness in the fence perhaps?  Smelled them as soon as the door to the hangar was opened and the tiny frame decided to go hunting.  Ahanu and Toby had wanted to come along, but this was a hunting expedition.  The Sheut didn’t share when she was hunting; especially when she was hunting as someone else.

 

Their eyes flicked to the senior “capo”.

 

Instant weapons were drawn.

 

Well, that answered the question of the hour.

 

Two dickheads that just a day before that had confessed to being from a Bakkhos business and just “travelling” through were now pointing guns at the Sheut with a considerable face lift.  Bakkhos soldiers didn’t aim at their capos.  So… maybe the capo had been right, whoever was sniffing her place wasn't Bakkhos.  Not that she needed any more proof, still she gave them a bit more slack to hang themselves with. Prickle on the back of her neck brought the brows down more.  There was a scope on her and the two, but it was one of her own.  The petite Viceroy was flattered and annoyed at the same time. They hadn’t fired on her two friends, which meant they understood she could take care of her own.  She didn't like hunting with an audience.

 

“Looking for holes in the fence?”

 

Broad arms stayed crossed despite the threat of his head exploding from crappy bullets. 

 

*npc* Shut up! Down, on the ground, now!

 

She could hear the hum of electricity.  Ahanu was going to light up the corner.  No.  Dammit.  Hand went up to halt the explosion of light, hammers clicked.

 

“When you point a gun, you prep it,” tone was wry.  Bored.  “You have two snipers trained on your eyeballs.  Probably a mage ready to fry your ass too.  What do you want, and who are you with?”

 

No sense in bullshitting.

 

*npc* You, you own this place?

 

“Yah,” fingers scratched the back of a foreign haircut.  Geniuses, both of them. 

 

Guns straightened up at “his” face again when his arms fell impatiently to his sides, the glint of a pinkie ring catching attention.  Well then.  Answers confirmed.  Game was over.  The first, knocked out completely, the second, neck broken.  Guns were stuffed in the back of the jean’s waistband as they were both picked up by the scruff of their necks and dragged toward the river’s edge and the crushed breakwall rocks.  First was patted down, several things pulled from pockets and looked at before being stuffed into a back pocket and the still breathing unconscious man was tossed to the ground.  Second fell to the same fate and was dumped in the water.  The large form crouched by the first, small boot knife puncturing his neck. 

 

She was a neat eater.  Truly. The puncture instead of cut controlled exactly where the arterial spray went instead of a full on gush.  Allowed it to be savored and downed; Sheut coughing slightly as the dark eyes seemed to swell with black pupil.  Alcohol in his system.  It was hot, welcomed. It had been a while since she’d truly fed.  Given the amount of energy it was going to take tonight to pull off her stunt, he was a welcome tribute.

 

After his heart stopped, he too was tossed into the dark river, cold breeze rifling the foreign haircut slightly. As the hand slipped from his, the ring that had caught his attention moments ago was held up between thumb and forefinger for a closer look.  Dark eyes knew that sigil.

 

This just kept getting better and better.

 

Long legs stalked back toward the gate.  This skin was a brute to hold together, but damn it could walk fast.

 

Time to get ready for a party as someone else...somehow she didn't think this capo could fit into one of her dresses, or wanted to be caught dead wearing the pinkie ring that was going to make quite a fuss.  She really did love crashing a good party.

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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.

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The blond had a stiletto dangling ankle rubbing up his calf, his lips quirking upward as he gave a little shake "no" of his head. He picked up his glass from the bar, nodding to Ari who had refilled his whiskey. Leaning down he put a slow kiss on the blond's cheek, lips passing near her ear.

 

Some other time Libby promise…. on duty tonight…

 

With that he slipped out of her clutches. Libby was a good fuck but too clingy. The Capo shifted through the crowd of partygoers dressed in their best cocktail attire.  It was good to see Bakkhos living again. Grin smirked upward at the beauties that came to show off their assets, splashing in their bikinis in the hot tub. Glass was lifted towards them as they drank from their own crystal before he moved towards the balcony. The air outside was bitterly cold but the balcony was littered with heaters, towers of flames that bathed the spaces in warmth, though still in places one was whisked over by the frigid air. It was a stimulating experience that many reveled in as they lounged near the outdoor bars. Pushing through the well wishers he small talked as he glanced to make eye contact with Toni just long enough to ensure there was no funny business going on yet in the club.

 

Satisfied he shook hands with the old regular who was gushing he was so happy they were open again. Thanking him he nodded and made his way back inside. Opening night was proving to be a big success.

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Abby had that odd, butterfly feeling in her stomach, or maybe it was just nerves. Margie convinced her - her sister's been cooped up for a while, and Bakkhos was upscale, so dress up like you're heading to a black-tie event. The only problem was Abby's closet - she didn't have anything 'sexy' or 'slinky.' It was all floral patterns and girly madness when she wasn't in her pantsuit or comfortable civilian wear. Margie solved that problem quickly enough. She had a slinky number all right, the LBD that hugged her curves and made her hips stand out. The dress ended above her knees, with a sheer black collar that wrapped snugly around her throat. Margie wore red, short hair curled, with black pumps, so that Abby could wear those glossy red heels. 

 

"It'll be fun, just you and me, with drinks... and we can dance like we used to. Don't you miss dancing with your little sister?" Margie pouted during the cab ride there, and Abby laughed, trying to hide her uneasy nature. It'd been a really long time since Abby let loose like this, so she was a little stiff, a little awkward. Were drinks even a good idea? 

 

The taxi ride passed by in a blur, and Margie insisted on paying before dragging Abby out of the cab. They linked arms, and walked toward the entrance together. Since they both appeared fairly young, IDs were on display. Abby tried not to appear affronted. She couldn't be mad at her genetics for looking like a student half the time. She noticed that the men were more thoroughly checked by the bouncers, but just because the sisters wore dresses didn't mean anything would slide. She was asked to hold her arms up, and Margie had to give her the look to just go along with it. 

 

She also felt pretty naked without her beretta. Hell, she usually had a badge hanging around her neck. When was she NOT at work?

 

Margie beamed, "see, you made it pass the threshold. Now let's get some drinks. You'll get the next round." 

 

"Can we start off easy?" Abby almost whined. 

 

Margie gave her a look, "how long has it been, Abby?"

 

"Too long." She groaned. 

 

"Exactly. Too darn long." Margie was an elementary school teacher, so cursing wasn't in her vocabulary. 

 

Abby slowly relaxed, running her fingers through her slightly mussed up hair. Margie added some hairspray to give it some volume, but it already had enough to be all over the place. The hostess smiled at them - jeez, was everyone just beautiful in this nightclub? That megawatt smile could be blinding. The girls were welcomed and asked for whether or not they prefer the bar, booth, or a table. 

 

"We're just gonna head for the bar," Margie said. The hostess nodded, and stepped aside. 

 

"Of course, just right over there." She then moved on to help the next guests as Abby was dragged toward the bar. They found a spot where they could stand together, and Margie peered over the menu. 

 

"Oooo, how about some kamikaze shots? You used to love those - or a cocktail, mm, I love rum." Margie's voice took a longing lilt, since she'd been dealing with a rowdy bunch at school. They transferred her to a different classroom, so she definitely needed a drink or three tonight. Abby, however, was appalled by the first option. 

 

"I don't want to die yet, Margie. What about a jack and coke? We can nurse those."

 

"Jeez, grandma." Margie replied, before flagging down the bartender. A beautiful, Asian woman greeted them with an introduction. Was being a ten a requirement to work here? "Hey, can we get two jack and cokes? Thank you." When Ari began making their drinks, Margie would turn to Abby and hug her close. "God, Abby. I missed hanging out like this. We used to paint the town."

 

"I know," Abby said hugging her back. She leaned back, elbow now planted on the bar. She smiled, warming up a little more to being here. "It's an interesting choice, Margie. I didn't take you for a hot tubs kinda place." 

 

Margie laughed, and their drinks arrived. Abby took hers gingerly and raised her glass. 

 

"Well, bottom's up." She said and they clinked glasses, taking their first sips of the night.

 

 

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Playtime.

 

Angel rose from the hot tub, long dark hair glistening down her back. She grabbed a towel from one of the workers and smiled in gratitude. A silver choker glinted from her throat, with diamond-like beading along her black-two piece. She found her heels, easily enough, slender feet sliding in black Loubitons. A trail of diamond tears glinted from her earlobes.

 

Carefully, she dried out her hair, smiling at the other patrons that sat around, lounging, or conversing within the hottub. Bakkhos was the spot to be, for high class entertainment.

 

Naturally, goosebumps rose since it was much cooler outside the water. She discarded her used towel in the bin once she felt dry enough, and made her way to the pool area for drinks. She could always go into the club, make a show of flirting with the guys in her barely-there-kini. Or, she could have someone buy her drink – which they did.

 

An older gentleman whose eyes lingered past her collarbone. A Hugo Boss suit hugged his fairly large frame. He had a wedding ring on, but he wasn't going to say anything as he offered to buy her a drink. She leaned against the bar, asking playfully about the whereabouts of his wife. Angel didn't care. As long as they were behaving.

 

"She's at home," the gentleman said as the bartender placed the drink in front of her - gin and tonic. Angel tilted her head, her smile coy. Inwardly, she'd like to teach him a lesson, but she made a real good show of going along with his charm. Girls who looked like her were usually sugarbabes or escorts. Angel was neither.

 

"Aw, it would've been fun if she were here too. Three's company." Angel said as she stirred her drink with the thin black straw. She let the image play in his head, and Angel loved it. He tugged at his collar, her smile turning into a full on smirk. "Thanks for the drink." She said, patting him on the arm. She then began her round, swaying to the music as she sipped her drink. 

 

Just a girl who loved to party.

 

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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.

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The quiet glow of warm yellow illuminated a shiny black enamel pen.  It scratched scratched scratched away with the fury of a woman intent on bringing down the world.  Except, she wasn't at the moment.  Gold ring now on the base of the green glass desk lamp and a fresh flush to her cheeks, fate had pulled her attention away.

 

Her smaller plane wasn't in the air.  It hadn't been in the air for ten years.  Parts just weren't available, until now.  Her stunt down the coast with some black market brutes had produced everything she needed.  Questionable merchandise, but Mouse was doing the exact thing necessary at this moment that she'd been doing for years to prevent all her aircraft from going down; reverse engineering.  It kept the helo and Cessna in the air.  The same process now that she had something to work with would get her prop into the sky again. The parts didn't have much life left in them, but they were a start.  It had been over ten years.  It was her symbol of strength, and it burned her to be unable to bring it back to life after all it had done for her, and her nation.

 

The broad mahogany island in a sea of pitch black saw all her flurry of business activity.  There was nothing darker than an insulated room with no windows.  She hated people, and obviously light.  It was her solace from listening to humanity fuck itself, and on the rare occassion she slept, it was a luxury to pretend the world hadn't ended.

 

Logs were getting written, safety checks noted, schedule for the week  reviewed and sparse.  She didn't need the business.  Perk of being Sheut and on fairly good terms with Glamis despite the ding from the ruckus down the coast.  It was her coast to take the hit for, and it had gotten her what she needed.  Some of the suits in Glamis had no appreciation for sentimentality.

 

Eyes flicked to the door before Ahanu had even entered, the tall woman entering through a sliver of light only to disappear again into blackness before her features lit up as she neared the desk.

 

*npc* ~We've been officially invited to the party.~

 

Hand didn't pause in its graceful writing.

 

"That's cute."

 

*npc*  ~You intended to go earlier, I just wanted to confirm it was your final decision not to go.~

 

Hand paused, eyes completely engulfed in pupil glanced at the phone to her right.  Nobody had called her.

 

"Officially?"

 

Vicious eyes flicked to one of the only people in her world that didn't flinch from them.

 

*npc*  ~Roderick.~

 

"Roderick."

 

The tone was dismissive as she went back to her log.

 

"You've indulged him during the rebuild.  It's done.  You want to keep contacts, fine, but don't pull me into it."

 

Ahanu lingered silently.

 

"Stop."

 

She hated Ahanu's stealth mode.  Pen was dropped on the log, fingers on her temple at she stared at the woman.

 

"And what's the appropriate requested attire, butt floss and rhinestone pasties?"

 

*npc*  ~Whatever the fuck Eris London wants to wear.~

 

She scoffed slightly with a Grinch-like grin.

 

*npc*  ~Your log is done, Mouse needs time to fabricate, what's the harm in putting a period at the end of the remodel with a social appearance during some down time?~

 

She picked up the ring and played with it a moment.

 

A half hour later the town car with completely obscured windows pulled up, their gold sheen distinctive.  Ahanu stepped out of the driver's side in a sleek black pantsuit, silky tresses carelessly free accented with turquoise and silver drops from her lobes.  She moved around the car, opening the door for the force of nature that appeared one slender vintage Jimmy Choo gunmetal silver pump at a time.

 

Emerging, the Sheut's hands slipped delicately into the impeccably tailored black cigarette pant pockets, pearlescent white silk rippling on her torso with a deep V-neck long sleeve blouse that was too sophisticated to even entertain the immediate accusation it was too racy.  Hair shone in a sleek high ponytail, channeling a 50's look of sideswept bangs and flawless eyes.  A delicate silver chain trickled down her chest and into the plunged neckline, twinkling every time she breathed, adorned at the bottom with a ring.  Lobes and fingers were bare, nails never with polish and immaculately manicured.

 

Eyes surveyed the scene in a pose worthy of paparazzi attention as Ahanu spoke briefly with the valet.

 

It seemed almost mockery to be dressed so simply when others around her were dripping in what she considered tinsel crap.  People didn't wear wealth, the either were... or they weren't.  Those that wore the most flash, were the cheapest dates.

 

She nodded at the valet when they took the car, Ahanu following her to the entrance.  The duo's presence was unparalleled by any of the other arrivals outside, attention coming from others curious.

 

"Twenty minutes," the Sheut said loud enough for her charge to hear, lashes already low at someone that came too close to touching her.  "Then we leave."

 

Truth was... She was a viper one on one... parties?  Mortal insecurities still lingered.  This would be like chewing broken glass, but for Ahanu- she would suffer a few minutes if it made her charge happy.

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Did Abby's presence scream cop? Maybe. Then again, her face had been plastered on television before, giving official statements at the scene of the crime. The life of a detective, where sleep wasn't a priorty - at least in Abby's case. She didn't have much 'fun' in her calender, but her sister made it possible despite her lunar problem. She didn't know how Margie did it after all these years, living with that condition. It's not that she didn't love her sister - that love had never wavered, not even once, but she was constantly scared for her. Certainly, they had taken the necessary precautions. They had the safe room set up in the basement for those changes, but Abby couldn't help considering other frightening possibilities. 

 

What if Margie didn't make it in time? What if she didn't find a cover? Would anyone suspect her specifically timed absences? It was too much like Professor Lupin's situation - while his name was a dead giveaway, SOMEONE was bound to figure out what was really going on. She still viewed Margie as her "baby sister," though the image was immediately diffused by how quickly she chased down the jack and coke. Lycanthropes, apparently, had a high tolerance. To get one drunk at all was a task in itself. 

 

Abby was a lightweight. She didn't hold her liquor well, but she was good at pacing herself. She also knew when to stop. She had never been much of a drinker, except for a few nights back at the academy when she got blitzed after an exam. She definitely did not want to relive those glory days. 

 

She always fared better with whiskey than vodka. A cocktail would've opened the gate to silly much faster than this... fairly safe concoction. One shot, was pretty much one drink, with a lot of coke. The whiskey had her press her tongue to the roof of her mouth for a moment, but she got over it and took another light sip. 

 

While Bakkhos was upscale and well maintained, Abby couldn't help scanning the room. She didn't turn her head, but she knew that the main entrance was behind them. She was looking for emergency exits - counting them, and then observing the crowd. The way they were dressed implied that they could afford some luxuries. Abby wasn't one to judge, but being a detective kept her constantly on her toes. She shouldn't be acting like she was working a case. Her posture was too tense, and she needed to relax. 

 

"Chill, Abby." Margie whispered, wriggling a little to the music. She was enjoying the rhythm with a light shimmy to her shoulders as she held the drink up enough for her to sip from the tiny black straw. "Mmm!" Margie was pretty damned happy. Abby was... trying to get there. She took another sip, this time taking a deeper pull. 

 

Then, Margie noticed Thomas. The atmosphere was notably different with his approach. Margie literally sniffed him out, a fellow predator - almost similar, to her own. She could feel her proverbial hackles raise in warning as she stepped in closer to Abby. Despite their six-year age gap, Margie's internal instincts had grown more protective over the years. The beast may have recognized the importance of this human; her scent, her aura, everything about Abby equaled not-prey, but familiar. Though, it was different during the full moon. 

 

Abby felt her sister's hip brush against hers, the closeness alerting the detective of her sister's discomfort. She could easily tell by Margie's body language that something was off, but she wasn't specifically attuned by what exactly until she heard his voice. Abby turned her head, her body moving as well since her back was to Thomas, and Margie was facing him. She sized him up first, with a subtle flick of her dark lashes. After a second, Abby's dark gaze rested on his features. An impeccably dressed man, also a gentleman who'd greet both herself and her sister. 

 

"Abby," she replied, slipping her hand into his hold. Her handshake had a quick, firm grip, before relaxing. "And thank you, Tom."  

 

"Margaret." Margie said, greeting Thomas with less familiarity. She glanced down at his hand, before taking it. Her handshake lingered because she was sizing him up. One predator to another, but she wasn't going to start anything. A heightened sense of everything was there - her curiosity, with a slight edge because she wasn't sure of his intentions. Abby, on the other hand, didn't behave as her sister would. She generally had a warm impression, gauging them later - which was a little frustrating to Margie. Abby may be older, but her bleeding heart got the best of her sometimes. 

 

"We're just getting started," Margie continued before Abby could even add on to how their evening was going.

Abby gave her younger sister a 'really' look. If Tom was an owner, or associated with the owner, it was better to be a gracious guest than a rude one. That look was enough for Margie to get her act together. The human part of her was much more accommodating than the beast. 

 

"How's your evening, Tom?" Abby asked, making conversation. She didn't mind socializing, in fact, she enjoyed it. You never know what friends you'll make, or what role the people you meet will play in your life.  During the exchange, Margie would be more herself again. As long as the beast didn't feel threatened, or her sister was, then all was well. This club shouldn't be any different from the others she'd been through. The world had much more added diversity, bringing together curious and peculiar scents in the room. Only deepened by the ventilation within the room. Margie's gaze would wander toward the entrance, a soft 'whoa' leaving her lips at the sight of a female power couple. They definitely look quite the pair and just dang snazzy. So long as Margie remains herself, she would have the time of her life here and even convince her sister to finally dance. 

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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.

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Phone slid from his tailored slack after feeling the vibration, seeing the message a faint smile played at his lips. Tom was too worried. The club was clean, there was nothing to hide. Still.

 

Phone slid away as the gaze lifted to see who he was talking about. It took him a minute but he spotted the women just as Tom slid up beside them. He knew her…. Detective….something….crap he was bad with names. Gaspari was always getting on him for that.  It had been a couple years back at Leo's murder… he had been cut in pieces and put into wet cement only whoever had done it hadn't taken the time to be sure the body parts were pushed down and when the construction crew showed up in the morning there was a hand with an sleek watch still peeking out of their freshly hardened parking lot.  Matteo had been called because the watch had the image of the club on the back. The Detective never had a chance to solve the murder…Bakkhos took care of it. No one fucked with family. Still he had played the part of concerned employer and followed up with her a few times over the next several months to see if she had any leads before finally it all dried up.

 

Fuck what was her name again?

 

Walking over he couldn’t help but smirk at the poor shmuck that had caught Angel's attention. He was thinking he was getting ass tonight… she was thinking he wouldn’t be leaving on his own power tonight.

 

He nearly made the bar when everyone's attention moving caused him to look to the door as well.

 

Well fuck me…..

 

Words murmured on his lips. What the hell was the liquor store lady doing here? She wanted something. Or…… boys were still sniffing. If that was the case heads were going to roll. He didn’t give a shit if Gaspari was away, his word still stood.

 

Seeing Tom take the lead with her, he decided the bar it was. Though not before looking the woman over. She fit in at the club, moreso than most there. The club was a throwback to the discos of the late 60s early 70s and her classic style slid authentically in. Derrick always did that too. With that long unfussed hair and feminine black jumpsuit with the plunging neckline, she always looked like she had slid out of a 70s club magazine when she was working Bakkhos.

 

Moving through the empty crowd he set his empty class on the bar for Ari as he leaned an elbow on the counter beside Wynn. Devilishly genuine smile shared with her and her sister.

 

Its Detective isn't it?

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