red right hand

Helium House 

It was a monotony written into the line of his jaw, despite the sly smile, a contour of tension sharpening biological angles like a blade smith. Tilting his head upwards, he eased the tension with a noncommittal, "huh,", letting the poison stew for a few more seconds before initiating a war with a resolute thrust of his thumb. Picking up his scotch, he leaned back against blackened leather, tapping his finger against the ornate glass before the phantom behind the machine processed and reacted to his unequivocal dismissal.

Disrespect wasn't the smoothest tactic, but it certainly had its place, and nothing seemed to chap an ass like well-placed slight against heavy pride.

He let his phone continue to ring, watching with quiet satisfaction, and counted the times efforts were extended until they realized absolute futility- a clear reminder that even as partners, he set the tempo and scripted the rules. Loss would paint dominion with clarity, and, perhaps in a few days, he'd offer a thorn in the guise of an olive branch. Profits would smooth the piercing within a fortnight, but for now, the subtle cruelty could certainly be savored. And why not? Financially, he wouldn't take a hit, but Leon was not unaware of the growing target he was painting...


He let the phone continue to ring unhindered, ignoring the noise as he took to his feet, hands slipping into silk-lined pockets- a gray, Westmancott Bespoke suit.

"Close the damn door, would you? Whatever novelty her screeching lends to her act, I can only swallow the sound of seagulls when there's ocean in front me." He smirked over his shoulder, and sought the shifter's eyes to gauge his mood. "If her numbers don't hit margin, we won't be inviting her back."

 Rich had never heard someone bomb so hard. Not in the year since they’d been open. He wasn’t even paying that much attention, but the silence from the audience could be heard in the bar. Patrons talked in the booths as if nothing went on, but their voices were lower than usual. There was no shouting. He’d even turned the music down a few notches just to make sure everyone could hear their drinking partners. Secondhand embarrassment was on the menu, and everyone seemed to be eating.

 He leaned forward on the bar, digging his phone from his pocket, and wrote several inane “WYD” texts to the women he was talking to. A loud chorus of Boooo could be heard from the other room, and the patrons sitting before him at the bar grimaced in sympathy.

 “Is it always this bad?” A singleton at the bar asked.
 Rich shrugged. “It’s Thursday. We try to get local talent in here on those nights. If they bring a crowd, it’s usually worth it.” He glanced over his shoulder, wishing he could see through the wall. “Won’t be surprised if we have to break up a fight between the people who came for a good laugh and the folks who came to support an actual banshee.”
 The bar crowd laughed. Maybe he’d make up for shitty reviews of tonight with the positive ones of these folks.

 He pushed himself up, wiped his hands on a towel, then lobbed it at one of his fellows. “Watch things around here, will ya?”

 Moving through the back of the club, he pushed open the door to Leon’s office, finding him rising from his desk. Always so formal, this guy was. Rich still wasn’t quite sure why he was here and not someone with more polish, but he did know his way around the bar, and that was what this guy asked him to do.

 “You gonna answer that?” Rich asked, smirking at the other man’s joke while pointing at the ringing phone. “Yeah, even the bar patrons are noticing she’s bombing. We had to turn the speakers down.” He took a seat in one of Leon’s expensive chairs, the leather whispering as his bulk settled. “Did we even bother to find out if she was funny?”

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