THE St. Louis Speakeasy
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I'm an adult now! I think?
 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:51 pm GMT 
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Ewan sighed himself, he'd pushed it too far, again. Well Alex did have a point they were both strangers and he had just laughed abnoxiously in the man's face, twice, three times if you counted during breakfast; did that count? He winced and visibly drooped as he mentally kicked himself in the head, he was such a moron sometimes; most of the time.

"Well you've got a point there and I am sorry if I offended you, I kind of do that... A lot." He shifted his feet unable to stop himself from looking at his cane, it being prime evidence to prove his point. He chuckled uncomfortably before grimacing, right laughter landed you here best to retreat and come back with a a better plan. He looked at the lunch and frowned, "Sure thing, though it'd be best to eat that first, keep your energy up." He paused pulling the book from under his arm and reading the spine again, then set it back where he found it, he wasn't in the mood for reading it anymore. "Just a suggestion." He added.

Ewan feeling a brewing dread rumble in his own gut, decided it was best he left, sourpusses needed to work and obnoxious loudmouth junkies were better needed else where he mentally chastised himself. He paused half way out the door seemingly struggling with a thought before gathering the will to let it past his weakly held filter.

"Say uh, Alex, you'll find out sooner than later it's best to tell me when I'm being an ass... Don't worry I'm used to it by now, being treated like a child, haaaa." Ewan told him lamely, he felt his pathetic attempt at appeasing the stern man was going to fail but hey, what's the harm in trying? Just had to work in the same building on and off for how ever long mama would allow him to stay; he was doomed! "Uhhh, just a suggestion. Ciao!" Ewan exclaimed then slammed the door in his haste to get out of there.

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 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:13 pm GMT 
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Tiago watched in consternation as Ewan backed off. He had pegged the man as more or less shameless, and yet here he was, stammering an apology. Tiago was accustomed to delivering harsh rebukes. But he was shocked to see this one had actually worked. At first he was almost pleased with himself. Then Ewan said the bit about being treated like a child. He felt a dim flicker of something--not sympathy, exactly, but a sort of watered-down pity. He knew the feeling.

Before he could muster anything in response, the door slammed shut.

With no more distractions, Tiago worked intently for the rest of the day. It was easy to forget the awkwardness of the morning; he had a one-track mind, especially when it came to numbers. After a few more hours there was preliminary order in the storeroom. Not only that, the sandwiches, lemonade and cake were all gone.

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I'm an adult now! I think?
 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:31 am GMT 
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When a knock came from the door the sun was on its way down past the horizon, dyeing the whole sky orange and red. Joe gently opened the door and poked his head round, as if he was unsure about entering his own office. He smiled at the younger man then opened up the door but remained in the door way.

"You still breathing then." He spotted the empty plate and tray and figured some one (Ewan) must have come up to feed the younger man. "Well do you need help bringing the papers up?" He asked hands up on his hips as he looked over the amount the younger man had done, boy he hadn't expected him to have gotten through so much. "Impressive." He said with a pleased hum.

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 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 3:32 pm GMT 
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Tiago blinked up at Joe. After some eight hours trying to tame this disaster of an office, he imagined he knew what Hercules felt just after the twelve labors. "You might want to invest in a filing cabinet," he said.

***

After a couple of weeks at the Petal, Tiago was moving up in the world. He ate every single day, found a boarding house where he could take a daily bath, and bought back his suit from the pawn shop. He began showing up at work smelling faintly of cheap soap, dressed a bit like a young professor, with his tweedy jacket, green vest and tie. He wasn't rude, exactly, but he wasn't friendly either. He worked hard and never lingered before heading home.

Of course, after he'd invested in looking like a human being, there wasn't much cash left over. These days even the worst kind of whiskey cost an arm and a leg. And after a couple of months of going involuntarily dry, he was dying for a drink. Tiago wasn't about to show his face at any of the establishments where he'd begged for employment. But his seedy new roommate knew a password or two, and was willing to pass them along.

The blind pig was the sort of place that made you wish you were, in fact, blind (and there was a chance the moonshine they sold there would do the trick). Someone had slapped up a few peeling posters of French girls, now peeling off from the damp basement walls. Aside from that, a couple of tattered Chinese lanterns were the only decor; they dimmed the electric lights and made you less likely to see the cockroaches in the corners. By the time Tiago arrived, they'd already had a fight that evening. The bartender was sweeping up broken glass from the floor.

Once he'd obtained his drink, he retreated to an unoccupied booth and pulled a book out of his coat. It was a busy night, but he seemed unperturbed amidst the racket. Only now and then did he raise his eyes from the page, surveying the drunken revelry with an expression that hovered just short of disdain.

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I'm an adult now! I think?
 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:27 am GMT 
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Over the last couple of weeks Ewan knew he had been finding more excuses to turn up at the petal than was normal. He also knew that both Joe and Mama would side eye him once he even tried to justify his visits. Mama never really said any thing but Ewan knew from experience that she was keeping a close eye on Alex and of course by proxy Ewan as well. Joe had told him that Mama still was keeping the new guy on the minor storage, property maintenance and only recently added the alcohol production costs and the bar's intake to his work pile. Ewan understood why she was slow to trust but he couldn't help but feel a little hurt that Joe's pals were taken instantly under her wing, while his sourpuss had to flounder about and if by their short conversations, more like pester sessions Harry had said when Ewan had told him about Alex, the poor guy had to put up with giant holes in the 'data' and 'terrifying' reports face to face with Mama. Though Ewan insisted that the sourpuss was defiantly exaggerating there, Ewan had experienced first hand the terror when Mama really wanted you to be intimidated.

Ewan had been attempting to get closer to the fella, not in any romantic sense though Ewan had caught himself a couple of times watching the other, which he desperately tried to nip in the bud. He was unused to himself acting like this, sure he'd had boyish fancies before, every hot blooded person surely did but after being rejected Ewan thought that damned fine jawline and those nice green eyes would be less alluring. He just had to relegate himself to having to try and get this grumpy man to be a happier soul while being distracted now and then. Then they could both be friends and he could even introduce him to Harry. Which he decided would be soon as Harry already knew every thing Ewan knew about the other man, not much but enough in Ewan's mind for a play date. The day Alex had come to work clad in a tweed suit instead of his usual thread bare attire Ewan had buzzed around the speak and then Harry's apartment, crooning about how proud he was of the other man. He also felt a little bitter comparing how fast sourpuss was getting back on his feet to his own longer wobbly attempt. Though Joe was quick to remind him that the circumstances were very different.

Ewan had been absent from the Petal for two days after he had played on Sunday. The hotel concierge had gotten a bee in his bonnet over a supposed important up and coming event and had taken to keeping Ewan back and lecturing him for the least little thing. The man was surprisingly very adept at putting the chipper young man into a foul mood every time. Ewan not wanting to submit his friends to his ill attitude, knowing he was even more an ass when he was grumpy than happy, decided it was best to keep away. This evening was no different but he was tired of cooping himself up in his tiny apartment, so with the goal of getting stinking drunk Ewan headed to the cheapest dive. Which was far enough away from the Petal so he wouldn't have to bump into some one he knew.

He swore sharply at his legs when he finally got to the bottom of the stairs, quickly giving the password to the doorman and then headed in. With a quick glance the description he'd gotten from the woman he'd received the password from rang all too true, this place was a pit, which was perfect. Ewan side stepped the barkeep who seemed to be sweeping up after a fight and sat on the nearest bar stool, cane laid across his lap while he massaged his weaker right knee.

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 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:00 am GMT 
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Within a quarter hour of stepping in the door, Tiago had drained his first glass of whiskey. By that point the barkeep had returned to his post, so Tiago dogeared his book and started for the bar. As he rose to his feet, he was surprised to feel slightly out of sorts, not just because of the philosophical text in his hand. It seemed his tolerance had waned in the course of the last few months. He could already feel a bit of pleasant warmth spreading to his head.

Perhaps that was why he felt no flicker of recognition until he was already three quarters of the way across the room. He was about to push his way past the other patrons when he noticed a familiar figure seated at the bar. Mercifully, the fellow's back was turned. As Tiago stared, wondering if it really were Ewan, he noticed the telltale cane.

Ordering a second drink was no longer an option. The operation would blow his cover. He considered slinking out the door, but to do so he would have to walk past the bar, straight through Ewan's line of sight. He might retreat to the booth and read until Ewan left. Sooner or later, however, they would start hassling him to buy another drink or hit the road.

It wasn't that he hated Ewan any more than anyone else. He found the man unbearably annoying, to be sure, but that was a quality Tiago recognized in most people. He had little interest in company or conversation, even under the best of circumstances. And there was the other, unspoken thing--now that he knew of Ewan's interest, he couldn't indulge his irritating habits. People would talk.

After a moment's hesitation, Tiago headed for the door. It was a risky strategy, but if he managed to avoid eye contact and escape undetected, he could pretend this non-encounter had never happened at all.

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I'm an adult now! I think?
 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:13 am GMT 
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Ewan, who had been watching the barkeep closely, leant on the bar and sighed deeply gazing up at the ceiling. He couldn’t help but be morose at the almost visible haze of melancholy that was hovering above and about his head. The quicker he had booze in his system the better, he needed to forget his stupid boss and the unwanted bitterness that was bubbling at the back of his skull. He raised his hand a little off the counter about to order when some one across the room yelled his name. The young man jumped with surprise and looked over in the general direction of the voice, only to lock eyes with Mr grumpy pants Alex the sourpuss himself.

“Oh! Howdy Al.” Ewan offered, though there was an obvious lack of his usual pip in both his tone and posture. He had meant to ask what the other man was doing here when the person who had yelled earlier arrived in a flailing giggling whirlwind, hooking his arm heavily around Alex’s shoulders for support as he seemed to be well on the road to blind drunk.

“Philips! Where the hell have you been!?” The man shouted and hung from his makeshift brace. The man’s hair was practically vertical with how unbrushed it was and his clothes looked like he’d been pulled through a bramble patch backwards. Ewan stared between sourpuss and the boozehound totally drawing a blank, who was this guy?

“Ah yeah, great to see you again ….” Ewan said hoping that the fella would volunteer his name.

“Aww you forget ya buddy Flick? Been schmoozing with too many fancy cats these days, foreigners?” Flick frowned squinting up at Alex with a suspicious gleam in his eye. Ewan felt himself run hot all over at that and he slipped from the stool to push the man away from Alex, holding up his cane to keep his supposed past friend at a distance.

“Hey buddy lay off.” Ewan warned waving the walking stick before the drunk’s face.

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Last edited by big-bad-wolfie on Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:08 pm GMT, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:03 pm GMT 
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Tiago glanced up at the shout, inadvertently meeting Ewan's gaze. As he did so, his heart sank--so close and yet so far. What was done was done, however. He might as well say hello. He had just opened his mouth to return Ewan's greeting when a gust of alcoholic fumes hit him from behind, followed by the flailing arm of a drunk.

Tiago was not particularly inclined to touch or be touched, even by his closest friends (in theory, that is; he'd never had any). But to be manhandled by a stranger, stinking of whiskey and crawling with germs--that was a declaration of war. For a moment, he was still too shocked and angry to respond. Then the word 'foreigner' spewed from the man's lips. He could hardly have picked a more efficient way to get Tiago worked up into a rage.

"'Foreigner'?"

He repeated the word, coldly and quietly, setting down his book on the nearest bar stool. Then he drew back his elbow and drove it into the man's gut. Before the drunk could recover from the blow, he stuck out his leg and gave him a vicious shove, forcing him to trip. "Fuck you. I'm from Vermont."

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I'm an adult now! I think?
 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:02 pm GMT 
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Flick dropped like a sack of bricks and stayed down. His friends in the corner didn't seem to like that and an excited murmur flowed through the room as about six men stood and made their way towards Ewan and Alex. The bartender merely ducked down behind the bar out of range, rolling his eyes and tutting angrily over his poor floors.

Ewan who had swayed out of the way of Alex's attack, seeing the approaching gang grabbed the angry cat by the back of the jacket and tried to get him behind him.

"Woah! Woah!" He cried raising a hand in an attempt to placate the on coming group. "Come on fellas you really gonna stick up for a schmuck like this?" Ewan asked eyeing the drunk man who had started to groan from the ground and attempt to sit up.

"Shut up." Ewan grumbled glaring at him before quickly looking back to check on Alex, worried for the usually stoic man.

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 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:27 pm GMT 
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When he heard that worthless piece of shit hit the floor, Tiago felt a rush of malicious satisfaction. There was a time not so long ago when he would've walked away fuming, too afraid of the consequences to fight back. Now that he was a murderer, however, he might as well beat up whomever he chose. Of course, the thrill didn't last for long. He glanced up to see the man's friends advancing upon them. Two against six? He was in a sour mood, but he wasn't crazy. The last thing he wanted was a broken nose.

When Ewan tried to push him back, Tiago resisted at first. Then he came to his senses. He fell back, speaking under his breath into Ewan's ear.

"These imbeciles aren't worth ruining my suit." He threw a glance over his shoulder. They weren't far from the door. The most sensible path would be to make a break for it, but he wasn't sure how well Ewan could manage the stairs. He could leave the man to fend for himself--it wasn't Ewan's fight, after all, and the offended meatheads might let him be. But if he were wrong and they beat Ewan to a pulp, Tiago's dismembered body would probably end up in a dumpster, thanks to their so-called Mama's machinations.

"You should be on your way," he muttered. "I'll catch up."

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 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:51 pm GMT 
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Ewan could feel the hair on the back of his neck rise when Alex whispered to him and he nodded in agreement, though he thought of a whole lot more colourful names for them than just imbeciles. He shifted back with every one of their steps forward, keeping his cane up incase they tried to run toward them. His hand naturally reached back to push against Alex's chest as if to make sure the man was still behind him. He felt his cheeks flush in shame when he started to shake, he'd been in rougher situations than this but he'd also had more than just a walking stick for protection and definately hadn't needed to rough house for a very long time. Flick seemed to have recovered enough to glare at them and Ewan's fingers instinctively grabbed a hold of Alex's jacket.

Ewan frowned looking back at the other man, he didn't want to leave the man behind he looked fit but that didn't mean he could face off against six large guys by himself.

"Damn it!" He groaned glancing back and forth between the thugs, Alex and the door, hoping that an alternative would magically come to him. Finding none he swore loudly before making for the door. Leaning heavily on his cane and using momentum to get a decent speed despite his legs and if he was desperate he knew despite the pain he could still try to full out run.

"Don't you dare get killed!" Ewan yelled behind him as he barged past the door man and hurried up the steps, taking two at a time. He winced and hissed at the spikes of pain shaking through him as he shot up the stairs as fast as he could.

"Get after that pansy you morons!" Flick growled looking much more sober than before and very startled at Ewan's quick escape. "You gonna let a cripple get a head of you!?" Two of the men rushed forward in an attempt to grab Tiago as the rest ran for the door.

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 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2016 8:30 pm GMT 
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It was beginning to sink in that he was fighting for his life. Tiago's heart was pounding, but he forced himself to stay clear-headed through the fear. As Ewan pushed him back, he inched over to the side, allowing the smaller man to slip past him. The nearest bar stool was barely within reach. When Ewan dashed off, Tiago made a grab for the stool. His first idea had been to use it as a club to smash their brainless heads in. Instead he turned it horizontally and, holding it like a shield, hurried backwards, retreating just ahead of the other men.

The doorway at the bottom of the stairs was no more than three feet wide, narrow enough that the bar stool could obstruct the exit and stall the pursuit. Tiago knew he had three seconds, maybe less, before they wrenched the thing out of his hands and left him defenseless. He had to make those three seconds count.

"Do you have any idea who you're fucking with?" he spat. "I work for Sascha Dautzenberg. You lay a hand on me or the cripple, and you're as good as dead."

He was assuming they knew Dautzenberg, one of the most notorious gangsters in St. Louis. He was also hoping they would fail to see through his ludicrous bluff.

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I'm an adult now! I think?
 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 12:39 pm GMT 
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Ewan didn't stop once he'd climbed the stairs, although every fibre of his being wanted to. He stumbled glancing quickly behind him, panting heavily as he quickly ran cross the road and further down until he found a small dark alley way with plenty of trash to hide behind. He checked again to make sure no one was behind him before hunkering down. His heart was racing while he quietly counted to help slow his breathing. The pressure on his knees was killing him, though he was sure a knife or bullet to the gut may have killed him quicker so he tried to just will the pain from his mind. He watched the road from behind a trash can a sickening feeling of panick welling up as he waited for any glimpse of Alex.

Both of the cats running for Tiago froze, one of them holding onto one of the legs of the barstool Tiago was holding. The other looked back at flick looking confused and a little perturbed at the man's claim, his fists still raised at the ready.

Flick yelled for every one to freeze, the four at the door stopped mid struggle as they had apparently broken into a small fight to be out the door first. The scruffy man sighed at the sight whilst pulling hard at his rats nest of hair. He glared at Tiago and marched up so he was just behind his men.

"Didn't know that big shot was even still in town any more." He growled pointedly placing his hands on his hips. "I definitely didn't know he was hiring knock kneed yank quiffs or stiff brown son of bitches like you." The man paused to shift his weight the four other men moving closer to Tiago's back seeing fit to help with this until Flick ordered them after Ewan again.

"Besides why the hell you protecting Philips for? You ain't his new daddy or something are you?" Flick said with an exaggerated grimace of disgust.

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 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:37 am GMT 
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When Flick called for silence, another thrill ran through him. It was a victory--a small one, but a victory nonetheless. He was keenly aware of the presence of hostile men behind his back. But now that he held the stage, a peculiar calm came over him. It was clear from his bearing--he was more confident in this situation than anyone in their right mind should be.

"No, he's not in town. Dautzenberg is doing business abroad." Tiago met his eye, easing the bar stool to the ground. He had applied to Dautzenberg's Aggregate. They had rejected him, of course, but Tiago had done his research. "His lieutenant is now acting commander. Fellow named Bella. He's Italian. As am I." (He had to swallow his pride on that one.) "Not that it matters what I look like. You see, I'm the best at what I do."

He plucked something out of his breast pocket and smiled, showing his teeth. They were very white. "Batrachotoxin. Ever heard of it? Apply a single drop to a blade and all it takes is a scratch. Within five seconds of the initial exposure, a healthy adult goes as stiff as a board. The paralysis lasts a minute, perhaps two--long enough to feel the pain. Then the muscles in your heart forget how to contract."

Tiago, who had been holding a penknife in the palm of his hand, flicked open the blade.

"If it's not yet obvious to you, gentlemen, I specialize in the chemistry of poisons." He shot the thugs a contemptuous glance. "You really think I'd come to a place like this unarmed?"

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Last edited by Fotecp on Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:28 am GMT, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Way We Get By ((BBW))
PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:07 pm GMT 
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Tiago's speech seemed to freeze the men to the spot, then producing the knife had them all shift back away from him. Flick didn't seem to be as impressed, his eyes squinting while he shifted to see what Tiago had in his hand, whilst keeping behind his men. Seeing only a pocket knife he started to visually get flustered at how quickly his men were slipping out of his control, Flick let out a yell of frustration and waved his hand wildly at the man.

"What you morons are believing this shit?" Flick whined then grabbed hand fulls of the nearest man's shirt and attempted to push the thug closer, only to struggle and have his feet skid fruitlessly across the floor.

"Well he did get the sit at Dautzenberg's down and uh, better safe than sorry?" The man offered, his fellows nodding in agreement. Whether the guy was lying or not they weren't very enthusiastic in leaping in and hoping for the best.

"What kind of gangsters are you?" Flick hissed under the strain of his last attempts of shifting the large man in front of him.

"Are you done yet?" The bartender suddenly interjected, his head and shoulders popping up above the bar. "Let the guy go you lousy two bit scoundrel and let my other customers drink." He grunted then disappeared quickly under the bar again when flick pulled a gun from his pocket and shakily aimed it at where the bartender had been.

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