THE St. Louis Speakeasy
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Just Damn Cute
 Post subject: Re: Hard Luck, Harder Ground ((Artemis))
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2015 8:11 am GMT 
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"That's what I like to hear," she chuckled and pressed herself a little closer against him for a moment when he pulled her in. She hoped it wouldn't come to it though. While Gabe was a little taller than her, he still wasn't a big man. He could probably pass as a decent woman given his stature if you put him in a dress. Not that that bothered her any, really. It was just that he wasn't the kind of guy you looked to to protect you without worry. They had met when she'd saved him from some thugs after all. But it was the offer that counted the most.

She laughed as they danced, feeling the giddy rush of the music and the increase in her heart beat as they moved about the dance floor with the others. It was a warm room and she felt her cheek flushing more. Buy the time they had finished that number, she wouldn't let him go from the floor. They went through another few numbers before she was verging on breathlessness.

Looking over Gabe's shoulder she saw the man almost leering at her. She really didn’t want a fight, as exciting as it might be to watch two men possibly come to blows over her. "We should..." she started, unsure where to go from there. Leaving might work. Or it could make it worse. This wasn't something that she was used to having to deal with.

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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Hard Luck, Harder Ground ((Artemis))
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2015 1:59 pm GMT 
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As they paused between numbers, Gabe took a moment to catch his breath. Sylvia kept glancing toward the edge of the room, and in the momentary reprieve, he followed her gaze. There was that old bastard again. Between his stupid black eye, Ellery's mean trick, and now this lurking stranger, the evening seemed ill-omened to Gabe. Another fellow might've stood his ground, but his flight instinct was remarkably well-pronounced. They'd been dancing for an hour. Any other night, he would've stayed out for a couple of hours more, but he'd already had his fill.

"Hey, doll," said Gabe into her ear, "why don't we call it a night? This joint is awful crowded, and I still gotta give you that surprise."

He didn't mention the creep in the corner. He didn't want to look like a coward, and besides, she already knew.

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Just Damn Cute
 Post subject: Re: Hard Luck, Harder Ground ((Artemis))
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:34 am GMT 
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She looked back at Gabe when he spoke in her ear. At first she pouted a little, even if she had been thinking of suggesting herself, it was still a little sad to hear it coming out of his mouth. But then he reminded her of thr surprise he had promised. And she did want to know what that was so badly. Besides, there was other things going on around that. And it was indeed terribly crowded in there and growing more so as the night went on. The band was good, it was to be expected.

Sylvia leaned in closer kissing him hotly on the mouth for a second before pulling back and taking his hand in hers to tug him towards the outside door,trying so very hard not to look at the creep on the other side of the room. "Let's go," she laughed, turning on her heel and weaving her way through the people on the dance floor.

She was pretty sure they'd make it, but she wasn't willing to look at him. What if he was following? What could they do about it? "Do I get any hints at what the surprise is?" She asked without looking over her shoulder, picking up her pace as they neared the door out.

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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Hard Luck, Harder Ground ((Artemis))
PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2015 3:54 pm GMT 
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As they began to hurry for the exit, Gabe maintained his cheery smile. If his hand was a bit damp in hers, it could just as well have been from the dancing. He resisted the impulse to look back. Gabe did wish she hadn't kissed him--it was taunting, almost, a little too provocative, when all he wanted was to keep his head down and slink out before trouble caught up to him. But it was too late now. The situation was out of his hands.

"A hint. Well, hm. Let's see." In spite of the nagging feeling at the back of his head, Gabe's voice was as bright as ever. It was still quite possible to salvage the evening. First he had to secure their safety, then make Sylvia comfortable and happy again. "It ain't a thing," he said, as they stepped out into the fresh air. "It's a place. How's that? Hint enough for ya?"

With the roar of the dance hall still ringing in his ears, Gabe gave in and shot a glance over his shoulder. They were still surrounded by passers-by, particularly in the vicinity of the entrance. The windows of a few late diners and coffee shops glowed with electric light. He decided to stay on the main drag.

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Just Damn Cute
 Post subject: Re: Hard Luck, Harder Ground ((Artemis))
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:19 am GMT 
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She slowed them some once the sound of the dance hall started to fade behind them. They were still going rather quickly, but not as fast now. They'd stand out if they kept rushing quite that much and they both wanted to not stand out right now. They wanted to not be seen by anyone that might be following them out.

Sylvia finally chanced a glance behind them, but she was uncertain if he was there, coming after them or not. He'd seemed rather interested, but that didn't mean he was interested enough to chase her down and force her into something. She breathed a little easier for a moment and stepped next to Gabe instead of leading him. He was the one with the surprise after all.

"A place?" She parroted back with a thoughtful pout. "Not really. But I don’t think you're going to give me more than that even if I begged."

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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Hard Luck, Harder Ground ((Artemis))
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:50 pm GMT 
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As the clamor of the hall receded behind them, Gabe began to feel better. It was looking as if he'd gotten all worked up over nothing. He slung an arm over Sylvia's shoulders and cracked a lopsided smile.

"Well, sure. You just gotta hold your horses. In the meantime, let's talk about something else."

Gabe was not especially creative in this department. He took a second to think it over as he led them down the street, heading away from the night owl crowd. "Now, I've heard tell of a big costume party comin' up this Halloween, an' if you and your sister got no other plans, you really oughtta be my date. It's gonna be swell. What'll you go as?"

Gabe threw one more cautious glance over his shoulder before turning down a more residential street. He slowed outside a tall apartment building, maybe ten stories, a little too nice for the likes of him. Still, he walked straight up to the front door and rapped a knuckle on it.

"You're too pretty to be a witch," he added, as they waited for the lobby boy.

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Just Damn Cute
 Post subject: Re: Hard Luck, Harder Ground ((Artemis))
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:21 am GMT 
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She pouted at him a little more, but she laughed softly when he put his arm around her. She leaned in to him, feeling a lighting of her step for every moment they got away and they weren't being followed. They were free of whatever it was that had dampened their fun at the dance hall. Away from the man who wanted to cut in, away from his friend who had obviously made Gabe feel out of sorts.

But then he made her feel out of sorts. Florence had never really been one to let them out on Halloween. Not because they had plans or spells to cast or anything like that. That was just silly. But other people believed that they did and that was enough. It was dangerous for her to be out and about then, especially in small towns when the whispers weren't so quiet and the dislike of them wasn't so thinly veiled. But how could she even begin to explain that to him?

Her breath caught in her chest at his last statement. She'd seen the place they'd shown up at, but at the moment, that was the last thing on her mind. "W-hat...I mean...who said..." she stuttered, unable to form full thoughts for a second. Her face flushed quickly as she tried to think through her panic. "I'm not...not a," she laughed a little nervously, trying to smile like it was no big deal, "...a witch ..."

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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Hard Luck, Harder Ground ((Artemis))
PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:18 pm GMT 
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Gabe was utterly oblivious to the panic he'd induced. By the time Sylvia replied, stammering and blushing, he finally realized that he had struck a nerve. The reason for her discomfort, however, was a mystery to him. For a moment he stood there blinking. As he opened his mouth to muster a response, the door opened.

There was a young man on the other side of the door, an elevator boy by the look of him, who grinned at the couple and ushered them inside. "You two is just in time. I was about to lock up."

"Leslie!" cried Gabe, his smile flicking back on like an electric light. "Howareya?"

The fellas chattered amiably as they headed for the lift. Leslie didn't bother accompanying them to the top; he pressed the button for the top floor and bid them goodnight with a wink.

As the elevator began to rise, the pair was left in silence for a few interminable moments. "Just wait 'til you see the view from the roof," said Gabe at last.

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Just Damn Cute
 Post subject: Re: Hard Luck, Harder Ground ((Artemis))
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:55 am GMT 
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Sylvia followed along after Gabe, not hearing the playful chatter of the two as she tried to calm herself so she could enjoy this surprise without thinking about the previous shock. He hadn’t really seemed liked he'd been implying that she was indeed factually a witch. No one had said anything then. It had just been a simple joke. Because it was Halloween and it was easy to dress up as a witch. And witches were almost always depicted as ugly,wart covered old women. And she most certainly was not that. He thought her very pretty after all and that's what he'd been saying. Notthat other thing she had jumped to.

It was just a joke.

"The roof?" She asked, looking a little surprised and a lot confused about why they were going up there. "Is that the surprise, or is there..." She trailed off, unsure if she should even ask if there was more. What more could there be? She was feeling calmer, if not still a little jittery from the previous conversation. "I mean, not going to leave me up there or anything, right?" This time when she laughed it wasn't nervous and it sounded playful as the lift stopped and she stepped towards the door, moving to help him open it up.

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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Hard Luck, Harder Ground ((Artemis))
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 1:25 pm GMT 
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"Leave you up there?" repeated Gabe, with an uncertain smile. There seemed to be something he was missing, as if he hadn't quite gotten a joke. He was still puzzling over her reaction to what he'd said about dressing up as witch. For now, however, he settled on a generic response: "I'd be crazy to leave you, babe."

He led her to a short staircase at the end of the hall, holding the heavy service door at the top. He ushered her onto the rooftop, into the crisp evening air. A breeze was rising up from below. With it came the tinny echo of music, still shaking the dance hall foundations a few blocks away, but it was quieter up here above it all. The dark streets brightened now and then with the flash of headlights--a late night joy ride, perhaps--or, more likely, a cab driver trawling for tipsy clientele. From this height one could even see the river, its bridges lit. The claustrophobic terror that sometimes crept up on Gabe was alleviated here, where he could look out across St. Louis and pretend that the city was a city, not a trap.

He watched for Sylvia's reaction, beginning to feel embarrassed about the whole thing. It was just a view, after all. He wasn't sure what had possessed him to call it a surprise. "What do you think?" he asked at last.

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Just Damn Cute
 Post subject: Re: Hard Luck, Harder Ground ((Artemis))
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2015 8:18 am GMT 
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She flashed a little smile at him when he said he'd be crazy to leave her. Rolling her eyes some she followed after him out the door and out into the slight breeze of the roof. It was chiller up here than down on the street and she found herself stepping closer to Gabe to feed off of his warmth.

Her eyes travelled around, taking in the scene. The lights of the street blending in with the headlights of the passing cars and trolleys making little moving rivers of beauty. She found herself smiling as she looked out on the tops of things that had seemed so far away when they were on the ground but were so close now. Everything felt so far away, but so close to reach as well. Even the stars felt closer and easier to see once they were out of the lights below.

"It's beautiful," she murmured, glancing at him and looking a little wide eyed in her amazement. "Makes you feel so...free. So above all that suffocating noise below."

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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Hard Luck, Harder Ground ((Artemis))
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:40 pm GMT 
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When she stepped over to join him, Gabe let out a breath. He was relieved by the warmth of another human at his side. For a moment he had second guessed himself, but now Sylvia was amazed and delighted and everything seemed to be going all right.

In the dimness you could hardly see that her eyes were blue. The city lights, reflected back down on them by a thick bank of clouds, had cast a dusky sheen over the rooftop. Sylvia seemed to be in grayscale, more photograph than living girl. "That's how it is when I'm with you," said Gabe, glancing away again. "Everything else is just noise."

Anyone who knew a little more about Gabe than she did might've called this remark disingenuous. But he meant it, in his way. There was the noise of his ordinary life, the strange men, the headachey afternoons, an apartment with blankets nailed over the windows. Money melted through his fingertips. Rent always seemed to be due. When it all got to be too much, there was Sylvia. There were days when he wasn't sure if he wanted her, or wanted to be her--eighteen and at the cusp of everything, with a sister, a home, and a face too perfect for powder or paint.

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Just Damn Cute
 Post subject: Re: Hard Luck, Harder Ground ((Artemis))
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 2:37 pm GMT 
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Sylvia blinked at him for a moment, trying to figure how much he actually meant that. She knew he did, but was it something so very deep or was it just something he meant on the surface enough that it felt real but was shallow in the end. But as she looked at him she decided it didn't really matter. Deep or shallow, he did like being with her to some extent. And that was enough. They'd never said that this was meant to be something so very serious after all. She wasn't even for sure how serious she might want this to be. She was only eighteen and he was the first guy to not run away after the first date. It hardly seemed wise to throw it all in on him forever already.

She looked at him for a long moment more, just feeling the blush come up her cheeks as she smiled slowly. A thought occurred to her, one that she'd had earlier but had let slip away with the creep from the dance hall and then his surprise (coupled with the off handed comment he'd made about witches). But now it was back and she was sure he'd like it very much. So very much.

She stepped closer to him, pressing up against him and reaching a hand up to turn his face towards hers again so she could kiss him when he looked at her again. "Aren't you so very sweet," she murmured softly, sweetly as she waited for him to look. "Might have to give you a reward for being so sweet..."

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Egad!
 Post subject: Re: Hard Luck, Harder Ground ((Artemis))
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 2:47 pm GMT 
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Gabe had expected the remark to hit home, but he hadn't anticipated such an enthusiastic reaction. As she pressed up against him, he let out a slight laugh, tilting his face in the opposite direction before she could sneak a kiss. He took the glasses off his face and tucked them into the pocket of his vest. In the dim light, his shiner was just another patch of shadow.

Putting away his shades gave him a moment to consider what Sylvia had said. There wasn't much ambiguity in her proposition--they had spent the last month taking careful advantage of dark theaters and stairwells, and he reckoned it was only a matter of time before her curiosity overwhelmed her virtue. But now that they were alone and Sylvia was very close, he found himself stalling for time. It had been a long while since he'd done anything like this gratis, no money or seedy hotels in sight, and Sylvia's somewhat amateurish seduction made him feel a little sorry for them both. He felt sorry for himself because he would never have anything honest and good, rotten as he was, and he felt sorry for Sylvie because after all this, neither would she.

Thinking over all the lies he'd told the poor girl, Gabe actually blushed. His pang of conscience didn't last long, however (they never really did).

"Sylvie..." He leaned down to give her a kiss, first on the lips, then on the throat, one hand resting lightly on the back of her neck. "You don't owe me nuthin', not for being sweet, not for anything. You know that, right?"

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Just Damn Cute
 Post subject: Re: Hard Luck, Harder Ground ((Artemis))
PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:25 pm GMT 
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There was a hint of a pout as he turned his head away, but she didn't let it worry her too much. He enjoyed kissing her too much to not give her at least one little peck. Though he seemed to enjoy doing more with er too when she let him get a little handsy. He was just being a tease. So when he did kiss her, she let out a soft little sigh, placing small, slightly calloused fingers down on his one arm, the other gently against his chest.

"Of course I know," she replied with a breathless little laugh. "I don't owe anyone but myself anything." She leaned her face back from him a tiny bit, looking down at him with a smile caught somewhere between innocent and sly. And all sorts of anxious eagerness. "I want it for me. I want you for me. It's just a plus for you is all."

She glanced away for a moment before looking back and going on before she lost the thought. He needed to understand. "You can have any girl you want. I'm not as lucky to find guys like you." Guys who wouldn't ask too many questions and run away when he found out too quickly too much. "I'm not willing to wait for the chance of someone like you again. Someone who will make it good."

When she looked back at Gabe she was smiling and blushing. "This isn't just some reward for only you. It's something I want for me. And there's no need to rush. We can enjoy the freedom from the noise up here for a while longer. "

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