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Glass Houses
Carmen had been quiet all evening. In the dusky glow of the club's lights, he caught the pensive edge of her frown a dozen times between the lull in patrons. She wasn't the only one. The wake of Ascendancy's demonstration in the Red Square left little bubbles of disquiet in the city; a pause of shock and awe as the reality of it slowly began to sink in. The hulking mass of the new arch dominated every newsfeed. It sucked in enough coverage to steal the light from the sun.

It was still early; enough that business had yet to really pick up, and even the bar show would not begin for another hour. Servers adorned like jewels threaded through the sparse clusters of customers in the plush booths, mostly regulars. A tease of music soared from hidden speakers, curling amongst the clink of glass and ice, accentuating the hum of talk and laughter. Raffe lounged on the bar, back-dropped by the twinkle of ornate and vintage bottles. Chandeliers glittered above.

He watched Carmen as she meandered, greeting people with a sultry smirk, topping glasses from diamond studded bottles, sharing a few familiar words. But still that grimace of concern when she moved on.

It wasn't like her to be ruffled. He frowned.

Abandoning the bar, he followed her when she slipped backstage and into a cloud of sequins and feathers, glitter and steel. Dewy skin flashed in the large ornate mirrors, and someone chucked something small and lacy at his chest amongst a low murmur of giggling; he wasn't supposed to wander back here. A small grin tugged at his lips, but he ignored the distractions as he spied out Carmen tightening one of the girl's corset stays.

He caught her by the hip, pulled her gently around to face him.

"Talk to me, Carmen. What's up?"

Victory rolls framed her porcelain face, a wave of blood-red curls nestling on her pale shoulders. Colourful tattoos draped her arms, which she presently folded. Her lips pursed. For a moment he anticipated a scold for his familiarity - she was his boss, after all, and she'd never quite melted to his charms the way the others did. But the flash of ire in her expression softened. Though she did at least pull him away from the dressing rooms and into the shadows beyond, where a staircase led to the offices above.

The darkness clung to her face. Away from the customers her masks dropped, deepening the severity of her frown. "It's Ori."
She said the name like a curse, pursing her lips. "I'm worried she's going to do something fucking stupid."

He'd been working shifts here the last two years, and the venue had always had an air of unusual; something that made Kallisti among Raffe's favourite jobs. He cast a casual glance to the darkness above, ears pricked for any indication of movement in the floors above, but the thump of music drowned out anything he might hear. The girls sometimes complained of noises. Carmen had confided once that Oriena kept someone - or something - up there, but Raffe had held his hands up. If it didn't interfere with the job, it wasn't his business.

"Like what?"

"I don't know. Call it intuition. It's just the announcement, and now the Arch. She keeps unsavoury company, and I do not want this place caught in the crossfire."
She paused. "Just keep an eye on the customers. At least until things settle back down."
She barely waited for his nod before she thrust a hand on her hip, gaze narrowing. "Now get your ass back out there, Raffe."

He laughed, snuck a fond kiss on her forehead as she shoved him gently on his way back out to the club.
Manix was getting up to leave, he had to meet and hammer out details of the raid, with Jaxen. Ori had said she was going with Jax, but Jax had ignored that. That was good he had enough strangers to keep track of.

Waving to the waitress, not his redhead, unfortunately he asked for his check.
It was then he saw the redhead he over tipped and gave his number too, she walked back stage, followed by the pretty boy bartender. He played back the meeting a few hours ago in his head and a half laugh, half snort left his lips......loud.

Embarrassed he thought: "price of admission", "no be offering that to the redhead Ori had warned" and "not a brothel"
. These things were unimportant at the time, but now they hit him hard.

His fathers voice echo'd in his head: Manix, boy, there is always a price of admission with any female. Make sure ye be willing to pay it, cause it could be money, pain, heart ache or love that it shall cost you.
He wasn't thinking of her as a hooker, he knew sea port wenches and she was not one of them.

Manix's face turned red as he thought about what he had done: Manannan Mac Lir, be with ye idiot child.
He wanted to run out but that would draw more attention, so he eased back into the seat and figured he had seen the last of the girl.

Pretty boy came back out: She prolly does have a man, well boy already, she no be needing me.
he finally smiled.

After a quarter of an hour he got up to leave, still wondering if he'd ever have the guts to return.
[[Timeline strikes, oh noes! >_< This thread is intended as being set a different date to Pawns of the Game (which was supposed to be set before Ascendancy made the arch in the Red Square). This thread is afterwards, possibly even concurrently with Jaxen breaking into Atharim HQ. So we'll just have to pretend Manix came back to stalk his redhead lol]]

[Image: carmen.jpg]

Carmen let out a breath after Raffe left. He took the warning with his usual nonchalance, but she'd hardly been about to divulge the entirety of the problem: which was that Ori was one of them, the Ascendants, and fuck if Carmen wasn't concerned that she'd seen challenge in Ascendancy's display. She didn't like the company Oriena had kept the other night; the man who'd given her the bruises, and another who'd sat with them. Carmen wasn't a waitress, but she'd made a point of serving the table that night. Ori had ignored the glares. But the Irish man had stared and slid his number on the tray when he paid. Not that she'd called; she wasn't a whore, and he hadn't even shared his name, let alone asked hers. Just left an outrageous tip.

Her jaw tightened, glancing up the stairs just as Raffe had. First Claire and her witchcraft shit, then the mutt living upstairs, and half a dozen others besides. If there were really a cult group murdering those with powers, Oriena was setting up a fucking beacon for them to follow. But there were innocents here too. People like Raffe who were none the wiser, as well as others. Carmen fucking included.

She calmed her expression. Ran her hands over her hips, smoothing the fabric of her dress, and returned to the light and noise of the club. Raffe quirked a smile from his station at the bar, but she only frowned at him. It was nice that he cared; he was a sweet boy, a little roguish, and the girls adored him, but Kallisti was her problem, her responsibility. And her burden. Her gaze moved away, roaming the evening's clientele, and fell squarely on the guy who'd slipped his number.

Kallisti wasn't a strip-club and it didn't sell sex, but it dealt in the flesh all the same. The tease of it, at least. Men tried it on all the time; Carmen was inured to it. She offered the flicker of a smile, a cool one granted, but it was her job after all. Then got back to work.

Edited by Oriena, Aug 29 2016, 02:20 PM.
"You say you're a godman. So what? 
I'm the devil herself"
Alpha ~ Little Destroyer
[Image: orianderis.jpg]
((occ)) works for me, im flexable. Honestly didnt think the redhead was going to become a thread, just a side note to the main plot, but could be

Edited by Manix, Aug 29 2016, 02:49 PM.
He saw her, he saw the cold smile. Blushing he headed to the door, then stopped. Always a price to pay
, he thought. The second he gave her his number he had signed a blank check.

turning he walked over to the redhead: Excuse me lass may ye give me a chance to make amends for showing...............poor judgement?

The tip, the number was not what it be seeming, I no be trying to.....hire ye. Us north men have a weak spot for fiery redheads.
to himself, pay the price of shame. I be sorry for any offence to ye and yours, if ever I can repay me rudeness just call that number. I be Manix Lir and I owe thee a debt.

He turned to leave before he made any more mistakes

Kallisti Mangeress

Carmen's gaze flicked up when he approached, a brow raised in question as he offered an entirely unnecessary - and apparently sincere - explanation. She might have thought it the charm of a silver tongue, but blushes were harder to fake. It amused her, actually, a man like that going red in the face - because he thought he'd offended her?

"Hire me for what, Manix Lir?"
she teased, all faux-innocence. He was hardly the first, nor would he be the last, to try his luck; she'd chosen a piss-poor career path if such overtures had ever bothered her. He might have been the first to try and apologise for it, though. Carmen didn't trust him, not knowing he had associations with Oriena, but he softened a smile out of her. And a wink. "There was no offence. But I'll keep the debt."

[[Haha. Well, you interpreted the waitress as being Carmen, and she's my NPC, so I figured why not]]
"You say you're a godman. So what? 
I'm the devil herself"
Alpha ~ Little Destroyer
[Image: orianderis.jpg]
"Hire me for what, Manix Lir?"

Manix's face was starting to harden at first: Is she mocking me?
but soon he realized the tone, the wink was her defenses, the smile seem genuine.

Manix gave her a single head nod with a very slight bow, spoke no more words. as he left he wondered if she would ever try to collect the "dept"? He would pay, he was honor bound, something people forgot these days.

He decide to walk a bit and listen to some of his fathers "classic music". flipping his phone over to music the implants allowed him to listen without fear of water destroying his headset.

"Bury all ur secrets in my skin".........he always kept smalls threads floating around em, early warning system without projecting the power......"The air around me feels like a cage"...............humming with the music, he grew to like as much as his father did........................."So if u love me , let me go"...................................

He strolled on, heading no where.

((OCC)) song is "Snuff" by Slipknot
[[Continued from Triumphant return]]

Much later...

In the shitty clothes Jaxen had given her, Ori was an ill match for her own club. It had taken a few hours to navigate the warren of the underground - mostly because she'd had to work out where the fuck she was, and then other distractions had slowed her path back to Kallisti. She slipped in the back way, inured to the sultry darkness and throb of music. Rafael lounged by the bar, chatting with a cluster of doe-eyed patrons. He offered a quizzical grin and straightened as she interupted to ask where Carmen was. He tilted his pretty head in the right direction.

"Whatever you did to piss her off, Oriena, she hasn't forgiven you for it yet."

Ori just smirked as she wove a path to where Carmen was smiling and pouring drinks. She shot a brief warning glare, but Ori knew exactly how rich the clientle was; it didn't stop her reaching for Carmen's hand and pulling her away. Though she at least softened the blow with a wink over her shoulder as she left them without a hostess.

In the backroom, currently quiet, Carmen wrenched her hand away. "Spit it out, Ori."

"I'm that transparant?"
Ori leaned against one of the dressers, framed by the soft lighting of the mirror at her back. Her eyes glittered, a smirk carved on her lips. Impatience tightened Carmen's posture, her eyes all full of mistrust. Ori put her out of her misery quickly. "I need you to up security for the club."

Carmen's face grew still. There were few who'd willingly risk a confrontation with Ori, but this woman was one of them; it was among the foremost reasons Oriena liked her so much. She folded her arms, glaring at the floor a moment before she flicked the fire of her stare up. "What the fuck did you do? Is it something to do with Manix and the other guy you were with the other night?"

Oriena tilted her head, amused to hear Manix's name from Carmen's lips. Had she actually called the fucker after he slipped her his number? She laughed. "Manix? This is his fault, Carmen. It was his job I tagged along on."

The woman gave nothing away, and Oriena pressed on. The details, and any advantage they may hold, could be teased out later. For now this was more important. "Hire more security. I have some other avenues to explore. And it's probably time you met Kasun."
She indicated with a glance the rooms above their heads, where she kept the wolf man. It was too soon; she wasn't entirely she could trust letting him loose, but she thought he at least understood the difference between kin and not. She supposed they'd soon find out.

Carmen closed her eyes, took a breath. "When we're closed up for the night, you and I are having a chat. We are talking this whole fucking mess through - and at the end of it, you'd better hope I don't tell you where to stick your fucking job."

Oriena's smile brightened. The mirth bubble under her skin, still high from the day's developments. Soaking in the aftermath, she was in her element.

Carmen left Oriena in the dressing room, jaw tight. Fears realised before her eyes as she looked out from the shadows at the oblivious club. She shot Manix an angry text before getting back to work.


<dt>To Manix</dt>
<dd> </dd>
What the fuck is going on? Why does Ori think she needs more security for Kallisti?

Edited by Oriena, Sep 22 2016, 03:04 PM.
"You say you're a godman. So what? 
I'm the devil herself"
Alpha ~ Little Destroyer
[Image: orianderis.jpg]
Manix smiled when he saw the text from Carmen, it didn't last long. So Ori jumped into a mission that had nothing to do with her and now he was in trouble, fucking women.

He text back: I'll be happy to try to figure this out but not over unsecured lines, I am coming there for a drink, if you wish to talk, that will be your chance.

Pressing send he decided to dress a tad better than dungarees and a tee shirt, not to fancy but nicer.

continued in confrontation:

Edited by Manix, Sep 22 2016, 03:27 PM.

Unsecured lines? She had to close her eyes again, breathe through the way her temper pulsed. Why in god's name would he be concerned about someone tapping his messages? Who would even bother? Ori was in some sort of shit, that was for certain. Carmen didn't want him to come here and she didn't want to talk about it right now - not when she didn't have a clue what was going on, but she didn't dissuade him either. Whatever she had said to Oriena about quitting, Kallisti meant more to her than just a job. She cared about what happened to this place, and she cared about the people in it. If something jeopardised that she needed all the help she could get.
"You say you're a godman. So what? 
I'm the devil herself"
Alpha ~ Little Destroyer
[Image: orianderis.jpg]

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