THE St. Louis Speakeasy
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Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: Summer Storms
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:54 am GMT 
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Her expression echoed the lighthearted merriment of his words, with the tinkling of her laugh. "I'm sure they'd make the newspapers quite fly off the shelves. The way you describe it, it seems almost a shame to deny the public blood-sport quite like it." She sipped from her mug with a contented sigh. "Not many can owe up to making a national social stir twice in their life."

Riley fell quiet then. After running her finger gently down the side of her cup, she idly threw a glance back up to him.

Would there be much use telling him of the "new way of things"? Of the corpses found hanging in their cells from belts, their necks snapped and eyes listless, noses adorned with coagulated blood? The autopsy rooms, where the coroner would eye the accused's charges and thumb through the little envelopes tucked in with the notes before returning to the marks and bruises. Finger marks, fist prints, and over where they lay on throats and faces the innocent band of rope that had been the source of their alleged death. Corpses cannot tell of the secrets that happen behind locked doors. How one man alone can easily string up a body, though there were usually two, or three. It was even easier if the body had ceased to tremble and shake, had not closed their open eyes for a long, long time.

Our boy, falsely accused. Our boy, who hung himself. The most shameful, embarrassment of a death. One left to fade quietly, and untested in the small print of a column.

"Just take care. I know you're clever enough to do that."


She took a deep breath and crossed her legs, teasing a curl of hair behind her ear.

"We have our man, our woman, our foils and our motives. Where would you have us begin?"

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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: Summer Storms
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:16 pm GMT 
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"With her, of course."

He waited until the cigarette was right down to the filter before finally putting it out. Still more lessons from federal prison; waste not, want not.

"If it were me running this thing--humor me in my presumption--I'd enlist someone I trusted and have her discreetly watched. Look for routines, habits, timetables, and above all, any sort of lapse or moment when she lets down her guard. You know Renshaw will be doing the same, if he hasn't already. He'll find a means of reeling her in. Stay close enough to her, and she'll lead you straight to your man."

He shrugged and swirled the last dregs of his coffee, which had gone a bit lukewarm. "You'd need to keep the whole thing quiet, obviously. If she gets wind of it, I expect she'd protest and then go off after Renshaw on her own. Whereas if he gets wind of it, he'll be gone in a flash, and I would be very, very surprised if you managed to get another lead on him, again, ever."

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"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


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Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: Summer Storms
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:54 pm GMT 
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Riley smiled, and the clock face above the mantelpiece caught her eye. Agent Ben-El'Azar's meeting should end in five minutes. And she knew of her man, well-trusted-- who would make quite sure to see her home, whether she consented or not.

...

The meeting had dragged on and on. Everyone had known it would, and the room had been thick with both cigarette smoke and an exhausted inevitability. It was clear that no one had really slept the night before. A potent mixture of too much exhaustion and residual fear had left its mark. Eyes were bloodshot. Fingers shook a little and let hot ash drop onto the already stained and burned carpet.

The green's death had left a bitter taste in their mouth. When the case file was closed for the last time, there was no sense of jubilation, or even a mirthless cheer. Only a tired relief seemed to remain, although it came at a cost. One by one, they walked out past his desk, and as they did so gave one last pat against its scarred surface.

Gustave had tried to speak to her after the meeting. Something about coffee, and how she was feeling. He gave off a scent today that Miriam despised. It seemed to be cyclical. He would go through weeks of being a good colleague; reasonable, approachable, stern, kind. Then his words would be undercut by currents that couldn't help but make something inside her shiver with revulsion and unease. She's catching him looking her way, watching her. Now and then she remembered the night she's spent with him. At the time it had taken off an edge, and now the very thought of his made her physically sick.

He had that self-same eagerness now; that low quality in his voice that made her want to leave the room. To engage would only heighten it.

She muttered some excuse and pulled away from him to take up her coat and hit the cold streets once more. Tired, drained by the proximity to the ashen grey faces that had suffered alongside her, and the sensation of those eyes-- not Gustave's, but those eyes of a pale green and his sickening smile.

She took the stairs two at a time. As she shouldered open the door, she was met with the scent of candle wax, and oranges... The floor was littered with boxes. She wasn't familiar with this place in daylight. Pale winter light streamed through the chinks in the curtains, in the skylight above. There were thin daughter that moved through it, but that didn't stop her from letting her coat slide from her shoulders. She dropped it on one of the crates, glanced to the side, the wall. She's picked up her holster, but her clothes still lay scattered there. She's take them later, for now...

She crossed over to their bedroom, and rested in the doorway, looking in. The window above fitted into the slanted ceiling, the beams that criss-crossed above, the pale sheets of the bed. Unfamiliar still. Only known by candlelight.

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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: Summer Storms
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 4:37 pm GMT 
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After darkness fell, he came home. It had long-since become habit: the scars and relics of life on the run. His job at the movie theater was convenient for this reason. It kept him out late, and gave him easy answers to the questions she had not yet ask. No had she asked him, really, about how he'd come to be here so soon after his arrest for so significant a crime. How, or why. For that, he was grateful. Skirting the edges of the street lamps with his hat drawn down over his face, he circled the block looking for telltale signs of law enforcement. Seeing none, he made an inconspicuous entrance to the building directly behind theirs. The cellars were connected by old ventilation shafts, part of a sprawling warren which connected most of the houses on the block. That was part of why he'd chosen this place: for the cellars, and for the maze of rooftops accessible through their attic window.

He came up the stairs of their own building and paused just long enough to check their little mailbox--a strange touch of domesticity. The name on the label read 'Cain,' a quiet little inside joke. He'd set it up while she was still in New York, and hadn't mentioned it since. He wondered if she'd noticed. Nor had she spent enough time at home to see the way he entered and exited like a fugitive, at times when everyone else had already gone to work or come home, almost as though he knew in advance what their schedules would be. Or, for that matter, the way none of the neighbors in the building seemed to know him, with the exception of the blind old landlord in one of the first floor apartments.

In the mailbox there were a few envelopes, mostly bills, and the odd advertising flyer which he dropped immediately into the trash. She would be home, he knew; while circling the block, he'd seen the glow of light through their curtains. The key slid into the lock and he let himself in, easing the door closed behind him. Immediately his eye fell on the discarded clothes where they lay on the floor. The sight made a smile twitch across his mouth, in spite of himself. He'd considered tidying up that morning, after she'd gone but before he'd dressed for the day and made his circuitous exit. Now he was glad for having left it.

He stepped over them and into the warm stillness of their apartment. "You home?"

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"Because studies have shown that dvorak's a genius" - Dass
"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


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Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: Summer Storms
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:01 pm GMT 
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"Yeah. I nearly burned down the apartment."

Her voice came from the kitchen; her tone surprisingly nonchalant for the confession of mild arson. A few moments later she followed to stand in the doorway. As the door opened a faint cold breeze stole through, but she shut the door moments later with a foot. Evidently a window had been cracked open to allow in air, or out smoke.

She was wearing a jumper and little else-- maybe one of his, judging by the way it had slid a little off her shoulder. His were broader, softer and worn. It wouldn't have been the first time she'd borrowed one, and besides, most of her clothes and belongings were still in the boxes that lay around them. Unopened, still new. This of course was only the start of her life here. She was adaptable, obviously, could sleep anywhere if the numbers were right. But she was still catlike in her preference for territory, her moments of distance.

She leaned against the doorway, a mug resting in her hands and it's warm lip touching her own. Her hair was towel dry; she'd evidently just showered, and it tumbled down the side of her scarred face. As her eyes met his, she smirked, grinned.

"... Dinner wasn't a success. I'll grab a takeaway in an hour." A sly smile. " 'Mr Cain'."

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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: Summer Storms
PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:12 pm GMT 
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Midway through the act of removing his hat, he paused just long enough to tip it in her direction with gentlemanly panache. Then in a momentary flash of inspiration, he turned his back to her. When he spun back a second later, he flung his scarf around his head like a fortune-teller. Waving his hand over an orange snatched up from atop a nearby crate, he peered deeply into its peel and announced in a crackly voice, "Madame Andromeda foresees Italian food."

Without waiting for applause, he swept off the scarf and bowed with a flourish before throwing it, and his coat, unceremoniously over the nearest box at hand. Grinning, he kicked off his shoes and slid across the floor to her like an ice skater in his stocking feet. There were multiple holes in both socks, which somewhat affected his success, but he nonetheless managed to close the gap between them and sweep her into his arms. Some of her tea sloshed out onto the floor, but he chose to ignore it. There would be plenty of time to mop it up later.

"I'm not sure the movie theater has been good for me," he remarked dryly in the moment before he kissed her.

The moment arrived when he ought to have drawn away... It came and went without fanfare. When at last he did pull back, it was with the same sly grin she'd worn herself only moments before. "So domestic you're irresistible. Mr. Cain, at your service."

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"Because studies have shown that dvorak's a genius" - Dass
"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


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Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: Summer Storms
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:37 am GMT 
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As he took her up into his arms there came a peal of her wicked laughter-- a gasped curse somewhere beneath it as the tea splashed an artistic arc across the floorboards. Still, she remained just enough composure to have another thoughtful sip of what remained as Renshaw spoke, adding with a critic's loftiness- still breathless- "I disagree--" and was kissed, and kissed. Her legs crossed around his waist, a hand tangled in his hair, the other holding the mug at a distance with an air of put-on refinery. In the brief moments they drew apart, laughing to catch eachother's eyes and meet again. She almost found it hard at first-- still tempted to break into laughter, to...

His hands were cold on her thighs; a little touch of the frost outside, it almost made her shiver. Mr Cain's words were taken with a smirk of her own, and her free hand smacked him gently on the back of the head. "Shut up. I get points for effort." She drained the tea, dropped the mug somewhat unceremoniously onto a nearby box-- no accompanying smash, she judged it well-- and leant back a little in his arms. "... But I will take your service." She looked down at his grinning face-- she couldn't help her own from blossoming-- and ran her thumb over the sharp angle of his cheekbone.

"Hah-hah. I only noticed when I came back from work. At least it stops us receiving meaningful letters, thank God."

Work. Luminous pale green eyes, open wide, and sunless fingers tracing the borders of his scarce concealed smile. They seemed to reach out now, and run down the inside of her ribs, cold, and clammy.

She shivered.

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Ahoy!
 Post subject: Re: Summer Storms
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:06 pm GMT 
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He noticed the shiver, but chalked it up to his own cold hands. He'd cobbled together a decent but shabby wardrobe with the little money he'd been able to spare. With the weather turning from summer humidity to chilly autumn nights and torrential rainstorms, he'd prioritized the scarf, but hadn't yet scrounged up the money for gloves. The gloves he'd owned before had been lost in the river. Usually he just walked with his hands in his pockets, the long white fingers balled up into fists. That had been fine when he was living alone. Now he made a mental note to find himself some gloves as soon as his next paycheck came through.

In the meantime, he mumbled a half-hearted "Sorry," and bundled her closer into his arms.

Idleness only came easy to him when there was a book in his hand. In the projection booth, with his poor eyesight, the light was too dim to read. He'd spent the past few hours pacing, instead. At such times, when the movie in question was either garbage or something he'd already screened a half-dozen times, the booth reminded him uncomfortably of a cage. On such occasions, he passed the time by pacing. He'd calculated the rough dimensions of the booth, and the number of circuits he'd have to walk to make up a mile. Sometimes he was so caught up in counting laps that he'd forget to change the reel until it ran out, and the sparse crowds would boo him from the darkness below. That was fine; let them think he was absent-minded, a little scattered.

He sat heavily on the sofa, pulling her down into his lap. "I wasn't sure I'd make it home from work today. Reckoned I might keel over and die from sheer boredom... and you probably thought your job was the hazardous one."

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"Because studies have shown that dvorak's a genius" - Dass
"On a side note, dvorak, looks like the Pope is recognising your authority in Sainting people. Can only be one person representing God on earth at a time" -TFP


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Hey kid.
 Post subject: Re: Summer Storms
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 8:14 am GMT 
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With a yawning groan she twisted her body so that her shoulders were tucked into the arc of his arm, and she could rest her head against his collarbone. Her legs she stretched out, curling her toes into the sofa and relishing its softness. In comparison to what she'd been sleeping on all month, she didn't even see the fraying edges and how mothbitten its arms were- only the luxury that it was here, it was theirs, and they wouldn't have to move off it at the bark of some superior laden with donuts and a bad attitude.

"Remind me to bring you some of our paperwork when you want some light relief." she replied dryly. She shifted a little to lie back in his arms and fix him with a savvy, typically Ayala smile of sarcasm and strained delight. "Think of all the dreams you're putting in kids' heads. They could be an Arabian sheikh. Or be the guy who steals the girl, but does it with style." Her smirk widened. "You're a dream-caster. What do they call them here? Something about Sand Men?" A flash of her canine. "Sounds suspicious."

You were always better than me at the paperwork.

There it was. A stir of longing, suggesting in her chest that the time was right, now, for some... god, was it madness to think that? With him, nothing was clear cut. He wouldn't be the first con to be assimilated, and the thought of the words on her tongue seemed too surreal. Too cruel, and senseless.

I wasn't sure I'd make it home today. She remembered what he'd told her about the rope, its bite on his neck.

He can't stay like this.

And yet the stare of those pale eyes had yet to leave her. Wait, something primal in her gut told her. Wait for his transfer, or his body to be found in a cell. Chains or a coffin. Till then it would have to be silence, and the flicker of the silver screen.

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