CoR Rust and Iron

illirica

Active Member
Location
The Rusty Nail
The place smelled like piss.

It also smelled like bleach, in a more recent way, in a manner that said someone had probably made a pretty good effort to try to get the smell of urine out, but that sort of thing, long term, soaked into the drywall and the flooring, and getting it out was going to take some serious remodeling and ripping things out and not just some cleaning over.

Maybe it wouldn't have bothered some people, or they wouldn't have noticed, but Rhetta Marin was the sort of person who noticed. Urine, bleach, stale cigarette smoke, alcohol. Something fainter that reminded her a little of Jacques - but maybe that was just the alcohol, or maybe it was that she was thinking about him a lot lately.

The sign said The Rusty Nail, and it looked like a shithole.

That wasn't really a condemnation - Rhetta liked a good shithole. Some of her favorite places were shitholes. A shithole was a place where you could be yourself, at least, if yourself happened to occasionally be a hyperviolent Bloodstone enforcer.

Only the hyperviolent was a sometimes. She was a Bloodstone all the time. Some things didn't get forgotten.

She'd queried the latest crop of idiots about places where people were going, or thinking about going. Places like that needed someone to keep an eye on them, and Baron and Ragenard couldn't be anywhere, and they'd buried their Second in a tomb of paperwork, rest his little fucking soul. Sel would be valiantly trying to dig him out through the arcane arts of spreadsheets, and the best way for Rhetta to help with that problem was to stay the hell out of it and go do something else.

Hence, checking out places like this, seeing what they were like and who'd been here, and whether people ought to come here at all, or how careful they'd need to be. She didn't worry about coming alone. She'd been worse places than this.

The door opened under her hand, declining to fall off of its hinges at the provocation. She'd thought it might - it seemed like that sort of place, but it didn't even creak. Someone had oiled the hinges, even.

The place wasn't empty, but it wasn't full either. It was late enough at night that this wasn't something to be concerned about - she'd deliberately left it until the after-work crowds would be gone, if they'd ever been there at all. The bar still had plenty of spaces, so she took one of them like it belonged to her and anyone else sitting there would have needed to move, her eyes scanning first the tableware and marking where the sharp knives were, and only then turning to the display cabinet.

"Do a triple sec - on ice."
 
Luck had been on her side the night Ragenard and his pack of unwashed fleabags had crashed the warehouse party. She had been given other orders and wasn't allowed to attend until her tasks were done. Thanks to her distracted mind, it wasn't until after the decimation that she had finished up and the only reason she knew something had happened was the sirens and lights nearly blinding her. It was a lot to take in, but honestly, she wasn't sad. There were probably only two Scions she hoped somehow escaped and that was Sebastion and Felix. The rest could go suck a huge dick in hell. Still, it left her without a support system and that was no good with the Bloodstones still disgracing the place.

"Fucking shithead, Rowan. I'm sure this is all your fault. You and that piece of shit, Jason." Grumbling to herself as she headed for the Rusty Nail, needing some alcohol and maybe a sandwich, Alysa ignored the fact that her blood-red bike needed a tune-up. That was going to have to come later. She also ignored her hatred of Rowan because although she was deep down grateful that Rowan had taken her into the pack, he was still a shithead. Finally reaching her destination, Alysa muttered to herself and pulled the bike over to park it before sliding off the bike, her jeans hugging her curves in all the right ways while her black leather jacket covered her upper form. Pulling off the helmet, she placed it on the seat, stretching her body out before finally clambering off.

"I hope this place smells better than it did the last time I was here." With that thought in mind, she walked inside, adjusting her red hair so that it wasn't a complete and total disaster. She was still fixing her strands even as she made her way to an empty seat. It took Alysa a few minutes to realize it didn't stink like pee anymore though she couldn't help but wrinkle her nose up at the stench of bleach.

"Hnn... well, what do you know? The place actually moved up a third of a star." Smirking, she sat down on an empty stool, sitting so that her back wasn't toward the door. Her emerald eyes shifted toward the unfamiliar barkeep and she flashed him a smile while also taking note of the Bloodstone female dog.

"Long Island Ice Tea, please."
 
One of the things Grisham had learned over the last few weeks, besides violence, was that people in Lutetia were fucking RUDE. In these grounds? Even more so!. No hellos, no greetings or awkward smiles. No. It was always get me this, or get me that. I want this, on ice. I want that with no strawberry syrup. Maybe he should start telling people to ask nicely. Or to beg. He wasn't going to do that yet though. He sighed imperceptibly when he spied another Bloodstone there.

"Anything for the ladies! Give me a sec..." He said, winking at them because he had gotten into an odd persona that evening. And he wasn't being very capable of shedding it off just like that.

Because she had asked first, he got to work on the triple sec with ice. And then he'd make the long island tea.
 
A girl walked in. Red hair, pretty if you were into that sort of thing. Rhetta mostly thought she looked young. Young, and walking in like she owned the place. The scent of wolf clung to her, but she wasn't one of the Bloodstones. Some other pack, maybe, or a loner. Could have been either, with that attitude. Could have been scouting out her options. She seemed confident, anyway.

Rhetta wondered if she'd looked like that when she was that age, and what people would have thought of her then. It was a bit like looking at a mirror to the past, in some ways of thinking. The bartender set a drink in front of her, and she gave him a nod and a murmur of "Thanks."

Not please - never please. 'Are you begging? No? Then fucking act like it.' Words from the past, a long time ago.

Jacques' words, now that she thought about it. She'd probably been... fifteen, sixteen. Rhetta decided she didn't want to think about it, and took a drink instead, watching the bartender prep the redhead's drink and deliver it to her, wishing she dared to toss it back and ask for another - but no. She wouldn't dare, not without someone to stand guard. One would be enough. It'd have to be.

"This your place?" He didn't act like it. What was the name she'd gotten, for the owner? Marc? Marcus? Mm, no, she was better than that. Marcellus. There'd been an arrangement.
 
What kind of question was that?, did he look like he had ever afforded to own anything in his life?. Okay, people couldn't just know that. He left the red haired lady with her drink and after a look around to check everyone else was fine and served, he looked at the blonde and shrugged.

"Half the time I don't even own myself" Said Grisham as a response. At least his body. The only thing he owned was his van, and he was proud to. But his time, his body, himself? He just passed them around from hand to hand until he didn't recognise himself in the mirror and he had to reel back for a fucking minute. Then it started again. A perfectly vicious circle that would end when he died, accidentally or not.
 
The Scion managed a very small smile at the wink. She wasn't stupid enough to be her normal boisterous self though and decided to just pretend she had no idea who she was in the company of. As long as the Bloodstone didn't pry then things would be fine. If she pressed too much though, then the gun hidden beneath her jacket would be used. She didn't want it to come to that though. Her pack was as far as she knew decimated and Alysa quite enjoyed living.

"Thank you," Alysa was unnaturally polite in her thanks, taking her drink once it was given to her. As she sipped on it, she listened to the conversation. Maybe there would be something useful.

The 'tenders words caught her attention and Alysa slowly glanced at the man, slender brow raised in surprise. The curiosity was almost enough to make her engage, but she monetarily kept quiet. It didn't take long though for her need to know to outweigh her need to stay quiet.

"What do you mean? You have a pimp or something?"
 
Hm.

The bartender's answer wasn't particularly satisfied, but Rhetta felt that was more or less standard these days. She had a feeling she knew what he was getting at, but whether or not that was an issue wasn't her call to make. It was his first, and if he was fine with whatever arrangement, then that was his business - and if he wasn't, then she'd pass the word along, and the threat of Ragenard seeing to business usually was sufficient for business to see to itself.

The redhead was all questions, a little on the impertinent side, but that was the way it went. Rhetta'd been on the impertinent side a few times herself - this week, even. She took another sip of her drink, watching the interaction for a moment, then inquired, with the same cadence but maybe more personally:

"You have a name or something?" She gave him half a smile, because that was less threatening than the whole thing. "I'm Rhetta. Merin."

Her eyes shifted past the bartender for a moment, including the redhead as well. And who exactly are you, I wonder? Not that she'd recognize a name, but someone might, depending on what it was - or she might be a nobody, but that was fine as well. They'd all been nobodies at some point. The prison guards kept telling them that, anyway. Fuck them anyway - she knew who she was.
 
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The bartender's eyebrows could've hit the ceiling from how far up they jumped when the redhead asked him if he had a fucking pimp. Christ on seven holy bikes, did he LOOK like a whore now?. What the fuck? He growled.

"I meant because I'm working, here, for the love of god... And you can call me Raven." He wasn't about to give another Bloodstone his name, in case they felt like delivering his weight in punches again. Did the redhead have a name? He didn't really care, but if everyone was introducing themselves, even if he had... Kind of lied, it made sense for her to say something. It was kinda like they were kids in the school patio, meeting each other for the first time. Someone else called him so he'd make them a drink and he left the ladies alone for a bit. He missed Marie. She was a funny one to have around. Maybe she'd come in again sometime soon.
 
Oooh, she hit a nerve. Alysa hid a smirk behind the glass as she went back to sipping on the drink. She wasn't a mind reader and didn't care that he had been offended. Maybe next time he'd be more specific. Rolling her shoulders to ease the tension out of them, the Scion realized she was going to have to introduce herself. She wasn't dumb though and knew better than to voice her real name.

"The name is Caitia Halliwell." Dipping her head in a greeting of sorts, she watched as Raven went off to help others.

"Mmm..." Alysa mused for a few minutes, just watching the bartender before her gaze shifted back to the disgusting Bloodstone. She had figured this place would be far enough out not to run into the scum, but it was obviously not. She'd keep that in mind for future shenanigans.
 
You can call me Raven. Not my name is Raven, just you can call me that. Rhetta noticed the difference. She gave the bartender a little nod of assent, deciding not to press the issue if he didn't want to get into it. Besides, if she ever really needed to know, there were ways of pressing the issue. For now, Raven was fine - and if it was an alias that he used often, sometimes that was just as valuable to know as a real name. Sometimes even more so, in fact. There were plenty of people out there who identified more with a name they'd chosen than one they'd been given.

He'd slipped away to deal with other customers, probably relieved that he had the excuse. She knew that look. Well, she didn't know if it was her who'd scared him off or the redhead, but the answer to that was just a curiosity. The redhead gave the name as Caitia. Also not my name, but at this point it was entirely possible that Rhetta was just overthinking all of this because she'd been in prison for five years and was occasionally a paranoid bitch as a result.

It could be argued that she'd been that way going in. She took another little sip of her drink, letting it last for a while - but not too long, otherwise the ice would start melting in. There was a timing to it, just like everything else. The redhead was watching her, intently. Rhetta raised an eyebrow in her direction.

"Hon, you're like, thirteen." Not exactly, but hopefully it got the point across that she was way too young for Rhetta to be considering a point of interest. Not that Caitia had been giving her that particular sort of look, but sometimes a willful misinterpretation got more real information out of a situation than calling it like it was, which was more why do you look like you'd shank me in an alleyway if you could get away with it?

Now, that was a question she'd really like to ask.
 
What?, Grisham was coming back around after making some drinks. One of them he had to look up, actually two, because he wasn't an infinite library of the various alcoholic concoctions people liked. Especially not when some of them were and looked so fucking gross. But he didn't have to drink them, just make them, so he served them their liquid shit in a glass.

"Who's like thirteen?? Because I will start asking for Id." He growled at the two women, then looked at the Bloodstone, because he didn't want another beatdown. "Not you. So we're clear."
 
Immediately making a face at being called thirteen, Alysa clenched her glass tightly. How DARE she! Sure, the redhead wanted to have the look of a younger person, but not that young! That was just gross. She remembered being thirteen and it was not a fantastic time. She was a Scion at that point and deep in a shitstorm. Man, had she always been a fuckup? If Rowan was alive and asked, he'd say yes. She still didn't know why he didn't just kill her, though that was something she would never know. Oh well, it didn't matter anymore. She was alive and he had been decimated. Guess that's what happened to egotistical sadists. Returning her mind back to the present, especially when Raven reappeared and barked something about starting to ask for IDs, she exhaled deeply.

"I'm twenty-one, thank you. Rhetta clearly can't judge an age while drinking." She sipped on her iced tea and was glad that it was almost empty. The Bloodstone bitch was drawing too much attention and she wasn't up for a fight tonight.

"I promise I'm not thirteen. Please tell me I don't look that young. That's just silly, right?" Laughing, Alysa hoped to disarm the situation before he did ask for her ID. Damn it, she knew she should have worn a disguise to look more like Caitia.
 
That had hit a nerve, had it? Rhetta wondered which one it had been, and who'd left it out in the open like that. Twenty-one. Sure. Twenty-one was a good age for doing stupid things, too. She refused to take the bait on her judgments, mostly because she had a feeling that it would just piss the girl off a bit more, and that was funny.

"You can ask for my ID if you want," she answered easily, taking another little drink from her cup. "Shit's expired, but I doubt you're gonna let that bug you." Expired, because she'd been in fucking prison for five years and they weren't particularly great about encouraging the renewal process. She'd get it sorted, she just had some other things to get sorted first.

And, like she'd said, he wasn't going to let it bug him. He apparently knew better, by the vaguely wary looks he was giving her. Kind of a shame, really. She liked to be the reason people started giving out those looks.

"What're you here for anyway, Thirteen? Obviously you're looking for trouble, I just wanna know how much."
 
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He wasn't completely certain that she was 21, but she didn't look 16 either. So... whatever, really. Grisham wasn't going to die on this hill. Especially not when the Bloodstone woman was definitely prodding at the redhead and looking to maybe start shit, or trying to. So yeah, no. He wasn't going to touch that with a stick if he could help it.

"You don't actually look thirteen, so whatever. You two have your fun, and call me over if you need anything." He said, leaving the two women alone. People were starting to pour in a bit more frequently, so he couldn't just stand by and chat. He didn't want to anyway.
 
Rolling her eyes the moment the Bloodstone bitch offered to show her license, Alysa almost applauded her for being such a good girl, but opted to remain quiet. At least Raven wasn't asking for them, though he probably wouldn't care that she gave a pseudonym. Well, at least he such think she looked thirteen. That was a plus, mm? Yeah, it was.

"Thanks, Raven! Appreciate the drink!" Smiling brightly, Alysa watched him move off to deal with more customers with such ease.

It wasn't long before her gaze returned to Rhetta and she snorted in irritation. She could only behave herself so long and that time frame lessened the more she was prodded. Something that the Bloodstone seemed to get satisfaction in, unfortunately.

"Fuck off, bitch. I am trying to enjoy my drink, but you're making that very difficult. You're irritating. Don't you have something better to do than pick on people younger than you? Seriously, leave me alone."
 
"Sure thing."

Rhetta shrugged, letting it slide. Easy enough, right? It hadn't always been - sure, there would have been a time when she'd have definitely kept poking the kid just to see what happened, or even just gone over and punched her for the insult - but she'd spent the last five goddamn years keeping that shit under wraps. Getting in a fight meant time added on to a sentence that was already getting in the way of where she needed to be and who she needed to be with. She'd hated every minute of it, but she'd figured out how to do it anyway, because the Bloodstones needed her to do whatever she had to do, and in the moment, that was what they'd needed: so she'd kept out of trouble, and learned to keep doing it, for them.

Which was, she realized, after getting to what was pretty close to the bottom of the glass, pretty much exactly what the prison system wanted.

"Aw, fuck."
 
"Thanks." Alysa flashed Rhetta a rare grin and finished off her drink. She mused a moment as she laid cash down on the counter to pay for her iced tea. She was going to wave down Raven, but he seemed busy and she wanted to get going.

"Might want to watch who your prodding, especially with you being all alone. While the majority of the Scions were slaughtered, there are others that are stepping up to replace them. They're not as nice and as easy-going as I am. Hate for you to be shot or stabbed in the face." With that warning and a parting smirk, Alysa slid off the barstool and made her way to the door.

"I'm sure I'll see you again. Next time I'll show you a secret." Grinning, she waved and sauntered on out to her bike.
 
Thirteen decided to head out, though not without a parting shot. Rhetta just smiled to herself, mildly amused. Did she think Rhetta'd never been shot or stabbed in the face before? She could actually kind of go for a good face stabbing. At least it was easy to know where you stood, there. Usually kinda sideways in a puddle of blood, sure, but she could deal with that.

The name drop on the Scions was interesting - either Thirteen was on the up and up about her pack dramas, or she knew more than she was letting on. Any information was probably valid, something to pass along and let someone else figure out.

The vague threat at the end was familiar, too, almost comforting in its own way. Rhetta set the glass down, just hard enough that it'd make a little sound without being too forceful; the sort of thing that got bartenders to look over but not immediately assume there was an issue.

"Hey - Raven. I know you haven't seen her before, but if she comes back... people'd be curious about who she comes in with."
 
He did look over, to see the young redhead on her way out. She had paid though, so he took the cash and put it away in the register. All good. He didn't feel like chasing kids for trying to get out of paying their tabs, not today anyway. The Bloodstone's words, and her little attention grab with the glass, made him grunt. He rolled his back, slightly uncomfortable.

"Wouldn't know who she comes in with anyway, I'm not from here." He said to her, in an attempt to put distance between them. He wasn't some pseudo-pack informant for anybody. At least not yet. He was still mulling over whether he wanted to go say Hi, I maybe could work for you sometime. If that was even how it worked. But he liked working at the bar too much to risk leaving it to the side anyway. At least it kept the alcohol flowing. Through him, and around him.
 
"I know." It wasn't that much of a mystery. If he'd been from here, someone would have known him. Rhetta might have been out of the loop for five years, but the loop was still there, and she knew how it worked.

"You look like you're thinking about it, though." He didn't seem like he knew exactly what he wanted, but he wanted something. People didn't come in to a place like this and try to turn it around if they weren't planning on sticking around to see what became of it. Marcellus had sort of let the place become a shithole, and maybe some day Raven would let it go back to shithole status, but at least for now he seemed invested in maybe changing that up a little bit.

She had a feeling he was going to stay, it was just a matter of what capacity.

"Hm. Well. I'd say it's up to you what you do with your life, but that's sort of bullshit, isn't it?" She wasn't accusing, just musing on the state of things. People always said what you did was up to you, but then you did things and they put you in fucking jail for five years. So, really, it wasn't.

"If you do decide you know anything interesting, though, there's people who'll pay for that. Cash, sometimes. Favors."
 
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