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No Shelter
Damn! Damn! Damn! Bas leaned against the brick alcove and his head dropped. The pain in his face and jaw were a dull ache now, underlying that in his heart. The cold sleet drizzle was lessened here in the trash strewn alley, the ice drops on his cheeks mingling with warm ones, the knife of betrayal and rejection buried deep in his heart.

His hand is on Roman's arm, his sight limited by one eye nearly swollen shut, his speech thicker through bruised lips and cheek. "Roman, you've got to help me! I don't have anywhere else to go."
Motya had told him he had to leave just this morning. Everyone in the family had started to turning him out. His friend looks at him, emotions warring. He turns his head back and there is his father standing there with a few other higher ups in the Mordvinov family. The man won't look at Bas.

Roman turns back to Bas. "I'm sorry, man. You've brought too much attention on us. We've grown fast too quickly. The police were already suspicious- watching us. And this?!" His voice grows heated. "What the hell were you thinking, attacking a cop in the middle of the day in front of everyone?

Bas shakes his head, trying to dispel the fog that seems to settle everywhere of late. His voice is weak, a whisper. "I don't know. Ever since that night at Kallisti's I feel like someone's following me. And he..."
. He drifts off. They don't know about his gift. Or hadn't. They wouldn't understand. That...cop? That was a cop? He had the power. It couldn't be coincidence. His voice becomes insistent. "Please, just let me go somewhere."

Roman shakes his head, not looking at his father. There is hard steel in the man's eyes. "I'm sorry Bas. Everything on the books is being watched. You're on your own."

The memory dispersed in his mind, leaving behind the dregs of betrayal and hurt. He remembered trying to go home. Already he could see his mom's house staked out. He'd met his brother in the culvert they used to hide in. He'd been brought in twice for questioning already. "This is bad," he told Bas. "They say your'e a terrorist. That you are dangerous. That you can do things. They showed..." The fear in his brother's eyes said that he was scared. It made Bas want to scream and call down fire and burn everything to the ground. His own mother and brother. He couldn't go to them.

Part of him understood. They were targets now, because of him. He clenched his teeth, putting his hand on his brother's shoulder. "It's up to you, now, ok? You take care of Ma. At least until this is over. You take care of her, you hear? No screwing around."
God was merciful, at least a little. His brother didn't flinch. Instead, he hugged him. Bas felt tears at the corners of his eyes. O God, why? Why have you forsaken me? Holy Mother, have I not served you? His brother's arms around him were sort of an answer.

The hurt and betrayal was mixed with love and concern. They would be ok. As long as he stayed away, they would be. Still, he had to go somewhere. His jaw clenched and unclenched, the sounds of traffic drifting through the alley, as he was remembering. Roman's words. On the books. Maybe it had been a clue.

He hit up Aurora and Nox's place. It was empty. He tried calling Nox but it went to voice mail. He texted. No response. The same with Aurora. He let himself in. They'd done some work on it. One of the rooms had a mural on the wall and for the fist time he had felt a glimmer of peace. He had laid on the bed for a while and must have drifted off. Whimpering had brought him out his strangely restful sleep. He went a closed door and opened it onto a very girly room. Must have been Aurora's. But he didn't have time to notice. A scrawny puppy escaped and bounded around his feet. He must have been cooped up for a while. His food and water bowl were completely empty and there were a few messes to clean up. Bas gave him food he found and some water but didn't bother with the messes.

He'd sat on the couch and the puppy had jumped up and sat in his lap. He just sat there. He could stay here. But for how long? Not on the books now. But how long to one of them remembered this place and told a particularly forceful cop. They didn't take kindly to those who attacked one of them. He couldn't stay here.

He'd cast his mind about. Sasha? No. Too airheaded and emotional. If she saw the news who knew what she'd say. Alex was a no go. She was a cop. He went through his other female friends until he found an answer. Tatyana, a dancer at Kallisti's. They were old friends, hooking up fairly regularly. One night, after, she told him her secret. She was hiding out, starting a new life. If anyone understood, it would be her. She would help him. His heart latched on to that hope.

He patted the puppy on its head. "I gotta go, guy."
He smiled weakly at the little dog, scratching it behind the ear. "I don't know where Aurora and Nox are but I hope they get back to you soon bud."
The puppy's eyes looked up at him with trust.

He got up and pulled on his jacket and then, checking to make sure there was no one outside, slipped out the door and made his way to Kallisti's, taking all the back ways he knew. He hoped she would help him.

Edited by Sebastian, May 6 2015, 11:11 PM.
Tony had experienced many firsts in the time he had decided to live again. Tonight was a special kind of first. He was no stranger to the murky waters of the Red Light District where the highest and lowest of society mingled in a shared passion for pleasure, but tonight was the first time he had ever felt uncomfortable.

He had decided to wear the tailored black outfit with the golden phoenix embroidered on. He had it made on a whim to commemorate his own re-birth, but when the boys had finally coaxed the story out of him, they decided to make it some kind of symbol of their revolution, a force that would continue to rise from the ashes shining all the more brilliant than before. They all decided to get a golden phoenix in some form to link them.

Luckily Tony had talked them out of getting matching uniforms. They were an underground resistance not a god damned peacock parade.

Veso and Hans accompanied him tonight while Dan and Yuri went to check in with Dr. Oborev. Underneath Veso's clothing a golden necklace rested on his chest. Hans had chosen a ring that was quite beautiful. The sacred bird's wings wrapped around the middle finger of his left hand.

Still, it was not the phoenix that caused him discomfort. He doubted anyone could make a connection unless they strip searched all three of them. His discomfort stemmed from the work he had set himself.

Claire kept her work distant from Tony. If it were any other world he would not have cared, but the Kallisti - which already had a reputation of eccentricity - could not be ignored. He had to know the danger. It not only affected Claire, but the rest of them. Still, it made him uncomfortable to do it. He even managed a small prayer as they reached their destination that Claire wouldn't find out.
Enzo stretched his back as he sat as Tehya's kitchen table. he hadn't seen her in a few days, but they kept distinctly different schedules. She was a true hunter. Her knowledge of the creatures of vile shadow was vast and expert. Enzo's was adequate, but his expertise was in a sole field, driven by a single emotion as old as a mankind. His hunts were executed after carefully formulated plans.

He returned to the research laid out before him. Spreadsheets were filled with numbers and dates, but Enzo was never an accountant. Corrado insisted, however, that he learn. A six week course gave him the basic understanding, but his mentor gave him insights that led to targets otherwise impossible to track. Dreyken were unlike regular monsters. They lived in homes, blending with the world like shadows on a wall. They were overlooked and dismissed. They liked money, though, needing it almost as much as they needed blood, but money left a paper trail where blood did not.

Enzo did not know if the person he was tracking was a dreyken but the patterns were consistent. He would need to see the man that spent all this cash in person to identify a dreyken. Manifesto was closed to him until John White arranged their entrance. However, another less prvileged location continually krept into the pattern like sandfleas, minuscule but irritating until he dealt with it.

Even with the tailored clothes being prepared, Enzo did not have the proper attire to wear at Manifesto, Kallisti however was another story. A haircut and fresh shave would give him a more presentable air. He and Corrado strolled through clubs in Budapest once upon a time. Enzo was not ignorant of the standards. He had a regular department-store suit, off the rack: Black with an open-collared black shirt. His dress shoes were actually leather boots, suitable to run if necessary, but not out of place in the outfit.

Bas pulled his overcoat collar up as he scanned the street from the darkened alley. His depth perception was off, with one of his eyes swollen nearly shut, so everything splayed out like on a movie screen, with him in the audience. People milled about and he could hear the thrum of the music spill out onto the streets as the main entrance opened. The bright lights of Kallisti's lit up the street, reflecting off cars and the wet sidewalks.

He was very aware of the security cameras hidden at the front, as well as those that fronted the other stores and buildings on this street. Once he started forward, he'd be in plain view to all of them. His eyes fixed on the side street that led to the back entrance where the girls and other workers entered. He was sure there were cameras there too. He could only hope no one was tapping into the feed here.

He clenched his jaw and winced as pain lanced through him. Damn, but that cop had fist like a brick wall. He smiled grimly, feeling his lip tug at the split. At least he'd taken care of him. The bastard was in the ICU. Served him right.

Taking a breath he said a prayer as he tentatively reach out- feeling a sense of relief as the power flooded him. He wasn't completely abandoned. Though the increase in awareness nearly made him collapse to his knees as every ache and pain in his body flared to life, demanding he notice and do something about it. Suddenly breathing hurt like a son of a bitch. Probably have a few ribs broken. Grateful for the sign, he let the power go with a relief at the sudden retreat of all his injuries. Well, mostly. It was like they were muted. It was enough.

He started walking purposefully toward the side of the building, the anxiety of being out in the open overwhelming. It seemed to take forever before he was closed up again in a narrower space. It was still lighted- the girls needed safe entrance, after all, and the big guy at the door saw him coming and positioned himself. "Turn around. This ain't no entrance for you."

Bas only came close enough so he didn't have to raise his voice. "I'm a friend of Tatyana. I just need to speak to her."
The man's look said that he'd heard that before. "Look, just say Bas is looking for her."
The news hadn't mentioned that he went by Bas instead of Sebastian. The man looked him over but then pulled his radio and spoke into it.

While he waited for a response, he smiled nastily. "You turn out to be bothering her and your good eyes' gonna look a lot worse. You might not be walkin' too good neither."

Bas shrugged and gave him a smile. "She'll remember. No worries there."
He hoped. Now that he thought about it, he couldn't remember if they had parted on good terms last time. He hoped so. He wasn't really up to another fight right now.

Edited by Sebastian, May 19 2015, 10:42 AM.
Security at the famed Kallisti was a cut above the hired brawlers some of the other establishments in the area. They had an eye for troublemakers and felt no need to prove themselves by intimidating their customers.

Tony, Veso and Hans were left in peace as they entered. It was a pleasant surprise that put a small smile on his face. The owner was clearly astute in their trade. The club was sleek and clean with fresh air only tinged with the usual scents associated with a place like this.

Tony immediately noticed the waitresses and dancers. First for the obvious reasons. No man could ignore beautiful women dressed for seduction, some were just better at controlling it. However, they caught his attention for a second, much more interesting reason. The drunken patrons worshipped the fine women, but there was none of the excessive groping that usually came with the territory.

"A bit tame,"
Hans quipped.

"Shut up, you idiot."
Veso said with a fond smile. He had taken Hans under his wing in their time together and they acted like a father doting on his mischievous son.

The apprehension eased in Tony's mind. The Kallisti revealed much about it's owner, and it showed him that she was shrewd, smart enough not only to hide her power, but thrive.

However, Tony was nothing if not thorough.

Making his way through the crowd he approached an empty table. It was not long before a buxom waitress with lovely liquid brown eyes came to take their order. Tony would have spent more time appreciating the woman, but as it was he was just relieved it wasn't Claire. That would most definitely have been awkward.

"What can I get you?"
the woman said with a winning smile.

Tony ordered a light beer and tuned out as the other two soaked up the atmosphere. At his expense, of course. He was nothing if not generous to his comrades.

Christ, what am I becoming? Tony thought to himself. Veso and Hans could still enjoy a night out. He saw shadows in every corner and bullets behind every door.
Enzo approached Kallisti from the street rather than being dropped at the door by a car. His attention to appearance was limited to his person, and from his research about the club, the doormen were less selective with their clientele than Manifesto. He pulled a warm cap from his head and folded it into his coat pocket as he approached the entrance. Security gave him a good look-over, but he was prepared for the inspection. The offer of a payoff gave him smoother entrance, and soon he was wrapped in the smokey warmth of Kallisti's velvet walls.

He left his belongings with coat check and entered the club proper, flicking apart the button of his suit jacket as he did. He wore no tie, but the black shirt beneath was open at the collar. Mireille always said he was dashing in black. Perhaps the choice reminded him of her. Upon surveying the club's beautiful employees, she would have been ashamed to see him in a place like this. Swallowing the shame was easy, however. He wasn't here for a lap dance, he was here to work. The surroundings were certain to be distracting, however.

Bas looked up at the camera next to the back entrance and then looked down. He hated being exposed out here in the open like this. The longer this took, the less he wanted to wait. He looked back out to the street, the foot traffic towards the front entrance catching is attention. He saw flashes as people posed for pictures with friends for their night of partying. That's all he needed. To be caught in one of those and posted on somebody's personal social site for facial recognition software to spot and geo-locate.

He shoved his hands in his pocket and looked down, shifting his feet. "You got a problem guy? I won't let you see Tatyana if you're tweakin' or whatever. I don't care what she says." Bas looked up and gave him a grin, though he imagined it probably wasn't gonna win him any favors the way his face looked and felt. He tried to make his voice calm and relaxed.

"Nah, man. I'm good."
Anymore and he might raise this guy's suspicions higher. The guy had to see the news some times, if nothing else at the moron bar this guy probably hung out at. Thankfully his radio squawked and the back door opened. Tatyana stuck her head out seemed to look around before looking at him and nodding him in.

The man put his hand on Bas' shoulder- clearly not willing to let him pass yet- and then said, "He cool, Tatyana? Karmen won't like it if there's trouble." His words made clear that bringing Karmen down on him would be a bad idea.

Tatyana leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek even as she put her hand on Bas shoulder to draw him in. She whispered something that Bas didn't catch and then the man let go and he was inside. He started to speak but she silenced him with a word and led him to a back room. The slow sultry thrum of the bass seemed to reverberate in the walls though it did no seem to stifle sound.

Finally, the door closed and she turned to him. "What the hell are you doing here? You're all over the news!" Bas gave her a weak grin and shrugged.

"Hey, I always wanted to be famous...."
She punched him in the shoulder. "Owww!!!"
he only partly mock whined. It did hurt. She was strong and he'd taken a good couple hits there.

"Famous? Are you kidding me?" She wasn't smiling.

He tried to smile at her like he had it under control, like it was no big deal. "The guy attacked me. It'll blow over."
He looked at the door when he heard voices pass by. When they were gone he looked at her. "Can I stay with you? I won't be trouble, I promise."
He hesistated and then carefully added, "Please, Sule-"
Her hiss cut him short, though her eyes blazing would've had the same effect. Still, it was enough of a reminder. He knew her secret. He'd kept it. She knew what it meant to want a fresh start, to need to hide.

She worried her bottom lip, her eyes wandering over him, as if considering, weighing him. Damn, but he wished she would hurry. He hated not knowing. Finally, she nodded. "Fine. My place. I'll have to get you my key. You sty out of sight." At his nod, she seemed to relax a little. She stepped forward and seemed to look him over again, though the weighing was gone. Gently she reached up and touched his puffy eye. "Oh Bas, what did you do?"

He took her hand and kissed it. "Hey, it's just life. I'll be ok."
He leaned in and kissed her. After all that happened, it just felt good to be connected to someone, even for that moment, despite the sore lip.

There was a knock at the door and her hand pushed him away. She turned and cracked the door open. He heard muffled words that became insistent. He did here her say "Alright, alright!!!" before closing the door. She turned to him. "I'm on next. You'll have to stay here. Don't go anywhere." Her eyebrow rose and suddenly she sauntered to him. He was suddenly aware of what she was wearing and slow grin spread across is face. "Can you stay out of trouble? For at least the next hour?"

He chuckled and shook his head. "I can't promise anything. But I'll try."
She kissed him playfully on the cheek and then spun around and dashed out the door. His eyes were drawn down like magnets as she shimmied and then disappeared out the door. Damn! She did like to tease. He breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, he could take a moment. The tension seemed to leave him.

He looked around. The room was sparse and whatever chairs there were were covered in clothes. He was bored and it wasn't even 5 minutes she had been gone. He shoved his hands into his pockets and leaned against a wall. The minutes seemed to tick by so slowly.

He thought maybe two songs had played and of course he heard people walk by the door a few times. Each time his heart beat sped up and he waited. Nothing. Finally, after maybe 30 minutes had gone by, he had enough waiting.

He went to the door and listened. No one was out there that he could here. After a moment- he prepared himself for the pain- and then prayed and the power flooded him. He could hear more clearly. He breathed more shallowly to avoid feeling the bruises when he moved his torso. The scents of the finest smokes and leather and distilled drinks filled his head. Suddenly he felt the craving for a drink in the back of his throat. He ignored it.

Still, it gave him an idea. He wanted to see who was here. This was where he had first had the Shaolin Sleep. He pulled his hoodie down- better not to look suspicious- and walked casually but slowly down the hall until he had a better view of the stage. He could see Tatyana on the stage in the middle of her act and he stared for a moment. Merciful God in heaven. The lights seemed to frame her and accentuate her beauty and form as her body lightly danced. He could see flashes of her ballet training in the way she turned her feet, in the calculated arch of her neck. Not so much different than her old life- though she'd probably stab him if he actually said that to her. Kallisti's offered so much more than the base crude sex that many of the other places here did. It was intimacy, it was promise, the chase rather than the capture. It was life. It was uplifting.

He watched for a minute before forcing his eyes to scan the crowd. It was hard to see faces so he drew on the power even more, letting the images sharpen. But no one jumped out at him.
Enzo passed casually through the club. A few short years ago, he never would have considered finding himself in places like this. The first time Corrado took him through one in Budapest, in search of a dreyken named Johannes, he was nervous to no end that he would be seen for a fraud.

At Kallisti, he was much more relaxed. He perused the club like he was trying to decide what sort of experience he wanted: table service, stage front, or bar seating. With each came a slightly different flavor of service. In the end, he selected the far seat at the bar, but swiveled the seat so he could watch the club.

A pretty bartender young enough to be his daughter asked for an order. He asked for a velvety red wine which seemed to impress her. "Your accent. Where are you from?" Her smile was sincere, but Enzo stopped himself from bragging about his beautiful Cote d'azur, the blue waters of the Riviera. Instead, his smile was cryptic. "West,"
he replied. She shook her head, amused, and left to retrieve the wine selection.

In her absence, Enzo turned back to the club. Various shades of light obscured many of the faces from real examination, but he did not need to see each and every pair of eyes to find the yawning black depths of a dreyken. He retrieved a slim device from his pocket and held it up to the room. An infrared setting let him scan the body heat signatures of everyone in sight. Dreyken sat several degrees below the typical human, and a heat map on the screen would easily locate one.

The search scanned part-way across the club when a heavy hand dug into his shoulder. One of the thick-necked security guards was bearing down upon him. "Absolutely not allowed," he uttered and his grip dug tighter on Enzo's shoulder.

He instinctively lowered the device, snapping the screen to black as he did. "What is not allowed?"
His inquiry was innocent.

"No recordings. I will have to confiscate your Wallet."

Of course, Enzo could not allow this. He slid from the seat and out of the bouncer's grasp. "My apologies, sir. I was not recording, I was searching for a friend I am here to meet. Something seems to be wrong with my ... Wallet ... and I was holding it up for signal to find his."

The bouncer did not seem satisfied, and Enzo quickly searched for someone to claim as the aforementioned friend. His gaze narrowed upon a trio of men seated together, and Enzo pointed. "There. I see them now. Could you tell the bartender to bring my order over there."
He smiled innocently and slightly bowed his head. Before the bouncer could object, Enzo moved away.

He passed a waitress just as she left the three he intended to claim. It was not unusual for strangers to chat in places like this. Their shared interest in socializing allowed for dissolution of normal rules of privacy. The bouncer would be out of earshot, but a glance behind him showed Enzo that he was seemingly placated and had moved on. But to keep appearances, for now, Enzo interrupted the conversation of the three. "May I join you gentlemen?"
His gaze shifted from an empty seat at their table to the three faces in turn, settling finally on the blonde.

Tony caught the end of the altercation between a doorman and the unfortunate patron. The man seemed confused and in turn desperate. He then began to make his way towards them. Nature made him suspicious, but the man's foreign accent and the distinct impression of discomfort relaxed his mood.

He stood with an encapsulating smile when the man spoke. The gaze he met was firm and crystalline blue. "Welcome, friend."
Tony said, grasping the man's right hand with both of his in a friendly handshake. The man's hands were rough and strong. Hands that had seen hard work in their time. Almost all of the citizens of Moscow who did not tower overhead had a similar rough-edged grip. Was it the same in the man's own city? Tony was at a loss. He had never been away from Russia, and later, not even Moscow. It was the centre of the world.

"Please, sit."
He added, letting the man's hands drop. "Local customs can be hard to adjust to,"
Tony sympathised, sparing the man an embarrassing explanation. "What brings you to Moscow, friend?"
he paused, waiting on an answer.

Before an answer could be given a beat of power resonated through the club. Both Hans and Veso's heads immediately spun towards the source, and Hans grasped the power himself, caught unaware. Tony had become accustomed to strange situations, and only a flicker of interest crossed his eyes.

He turned from their new-found friend to the direction of the source of power.

Tony smiled. "Friends! Don't be so rude!"
He chastised the two. Both men turned back to first Tony, then their guest. "Do women distract you so easily you forget common courtesy?"

Both men caught on. Veso always had a stable presence and what Hans lacked in care and patience he made up for with quick wits and adaptability.

"Forgive us, sir."
Veso bowed his head to their guest. There was no trace of shame in his voice as he spoke. "Beauty can be a captivating mistress, and she is like a goddess."

Hans was less tactful, muttering an apology he didn't believe necessary.

Tony reached into his pocket for two twenty dollar bills and handed them to Hans. "Show the lovely woman your appreciation. She has revealed much for us tonight."

Hans was hesitant, but soon nodded and departed towards the dancer on stage.

Tony re-focused on the foreign man. "My apologies, Mr...?"
He paused, waiting for an answer.


Hans was grateful to be away from Tony, Veso and the stranger's eyes. Tony had done that on purpose! And that Veso had played along! No doubt they'd be laughing at his expense with Dan and Yuri when they got back. All the while he had to be the one that actually did anything productive.

As he approached the stage, Hans truly saw the woman and dear god, she was stunning! Unfortunately, she was a woman who knew precisely how she affected men. She barely noticed Hans as he leaned forward, careful not to encroach on the invisible line that the bouncers seemed to have erected in unison.

What a shame. He almost sighed. If only he could show her his talents. He had a few tricks up his sleeves that would make a woman -

This time he did sigh as the woman looked down at him unsure whether to call security or step on his face herself. Too bad.

He lifted one note towards here with a smile that was no longer wistful, but sardonic. "For courtesy's sake,"
he joked, before moving on to the second bill. Kallisti's frowned upon such brazen action. "This is for your friend. Tell him it is rude to stare from behind the curtains. There is no fun in drinking alone"

With a wink he turned back towards their seats. That perplexed face brightened his mood. All in all, it turned out rather well.

Edited by Tony Soloyov, May 29 2015, 02:09 AM.
Bas sighed and his eyes returned to Tatyana. She saw him looking at her when she turned and she smiled at winked at him before returning her attention to the audience. The power pulsed in him and he could smell the faint sweat from her exertions as well as the light perfume she wore. She was so much more classier than most dancers who drenched themselves in body spray until it was cloying and overpowering.

For a moment, he allowed himself to relax and enjoy her. He had been so tense lately, never able to breath and let his guard down. He shook his head, cursing himself for a fool. He should've been more subtle about it, more circumspect when that mook cop had started towards him- after his pretty little lookout had ID'd him. But frustration kinda makes you stop thinking. He knew that. He needed to be smarter about things.

His eyes focused again and he saw a man at the bar with his camera out scanning the room. Immediately panic and anger surged through him but he grabbed at them with his well, holding on to them by what seemed like finger tips. Wait....wait. Be careful. He was glad he didn't overreact because one of the bouncers showed and shut the guy down quickly. Still, the man was on his radar now. He looked vaguely familiar too. That wasn't good. Familiar right now was a very bad thing, in his eyes.

The man went and sat down at a table of three other guys. None of them looked familiar. But after a few moments, one of the men got up and walked to the stage where he could be closer to Tatyana. Bas watched him carefully. The coincidence was too much. It was happening again. He felt that panic and anger rise as he saw the man make his offering, his head tilting in Bas' direction.

Nor did he miss the slight misstep in Tatyana's movements, small though it was. Too much. Far too much. He squeezed his hand into a fist, ready to move, and clenched his jaws before letting go at the sharp pain. It was a good reminder. Be careful, moron! He relaxed his hand as he watched the man make his way back to his companions. Bas watched them surreptitiously.

Finally, the music ended and Tatyana came off the stage. One nearly out of sight she grabbed Bas arm, pulling him behind the curtain completely. "What are you doing out here? That guy saw you" The look of fear in her eyes was clear. "You need to go. I'll get you my key."

Bas looked down, thinking, then back up at her beautiful face. He was an idiot. He smiled lopsidedly, the smile that always said he was goofing off. "He say something about me?"

Tatyana's eyes widened, her whisper sharp. "Are you crazy? You're the one who came to me for help."

Bas' let his smile fade away. "I know. I know. You're right."
His frustration finally came out. "Dammit!!!"
He looked at her pleadingly, wishing he could explain it to her. "Something is wrong, Tatyana. Something is going on. And I don't know what it is. I have to know."
That last was more pleading that he wanted.

He sighed, deciding. "I'm going to go over there."
At her sharp intake of breath he said, "I'll be careful, I promise."
He looked at her reassuringly. "It'll be ok. I just need to know."
His smile became a smirk, as this were all no big deal, though inside the anger was still there. "But just in case, maybe you could get dressed and be ready to go?"
He didn't expect her to, of course. She had work...and a life. Her look said as much. He smiled and gave her a hug. "It'll be ok. I promise."

He walked around the curtain slowly- both because he wanted to be careful and because it hurt to walk quickly especially with the power filling him- and made his way to the table the four men shared. On his way he pulled a chair around and when he reached the table he flipped it around and sat without preamble, a carefree smile on his face. "How's it going, gentlemen? Can I help you with something?"

He looked at the guy who'd had his wallet out and his head tilted feigning innocent curiosity. "I know you from somewhere right?"

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