Right Don't Mean Easy

Grisly Bar

Worn wooden floors stained with ages of spilled drinks (and worse), creak under the feet of patrons as they enter the dark, disordered room. Though dust has settled over a lot of the establishment, making it appear abandoned, the flow of customers would speak differently. Dirty glasses, some with sticky yellow patches in the bottom where beer or scotch has been allowed to dry, stand on one end of the bar.

Several of the windows have been bricked up to prevent vandalism, but create a great fire-hazard. There is a tarnished mirror on the wall behind the bar with a chipped and fading Art Nouveau nymph painted across the bottom.

The night is warm, sun not yet set but definitely heading towards setting. Maybe another hour or two. The Grisly is fairly subdued this evening, only because it's mid-week and a little early for the nighttime regulars, yet. Be that as it may, there are enough familiar face hanging about to make the place comfortable — for a werewolf or three, anyway. A pair play a slow game of pool in one corner, another plays a solitary game of darts only a little ways beyond. Another two or three are scattered at various tables and booths, mostly minding their own business, noses in their mugs. For his part, Cinco sits at his ease midway along the bar. At his elbow is a half-empty glass of amber liquid. A couple of stools down from him, another pair of guys sit, laughing at something in a magazine spread between them.

It's been awhile since Jesse's been through Dallas for any length of time with his father, but the lanky thing is easily recognizable when he walks through the front door. Seems he's grown into those long legs of his a little bit, doesn't look quite so much like a foal learning to walk. But other than growing up and filling out, he still looks pretty much the same as he did five or so years ago. Still not quite used to going it 'solo', his caution is apparent when he stops just inside and to the right of the door to let his eyes adjust to the dimmer lighting. He has both hand shoved in the pockets of a lightweight jacket that's really too much despite its light weight given the heat outside. He offers a friendly nod of respect and greeting to anyone that should glance his way, but once his gaze lands on Cinco, that's where the boy's heading.

Given Eli's not around, it's not hard to figure Cinco's the man to see. As the door to the bar opens and sunlight slants in around the youth, the Beta straightens some on his stool. He turns slightly, leaning languidly against the bar, now, watching Jesse approach. There's evaluation in his gaze. He recalls the kid from earlier years. He can see the young man the kid's becoming. But, to a street vet like he is, the kid ain't there yet. Nonetheless, he meets the boy's gaze directly as he approaches.

The closer he comes, the more apparent it is that whatever's brought him here has Jesse upset. It's easy to read in his expression, he looks a little like he's been sucking on lemons. When he's close enough, he pulls his right hand from his pocket to extend it in greeting. "Sir, good to see you again, been awhile, yeah?" He offers along with that extended hand. "Hope everyone's doing okay?" is asked in an almost pointed way, as if he half expects to hear of troubles.

Cinco notes the boy's face. There's a slight shift to his own expression, the faintest raising of a brow, but nothing more. He takes Jesse's hand in a firm, brief grip. "Everyone's fine," the beta replies, disinclined to tell him more than that about the rest of the pack. He's never been the chatty sort. At least he motions to the stool beside him, letting the kid set himself down. "Drink?" Not that he's offering to pay, but the kid looks like he could use something to wipe the pucker off his brow. "Or just to business?"

Jesse returns the handshake with a whole lot more firmness and confidence than his expression would belay. Of course he doesn't try to crush the Beta's hand or anything so impressive as that, but it's much more a 'man's' handshake than it is a 'boy's'. "Actually, I think I will have a beer," he murmurs first, then backtracks to add, "Good, good to hear it. Glad everyone's doing okay." He takes a breath, nice and deep, just to blow it out slowly before he begins with, "I'm not going to lie to you, man. I had a hard time coming here…" Which means it might take a minute or two for him to build up to what he has to say?

It might at that. But, Cinco's nothing if not patient. When he has to be, at least. He glances over to the barman, who makes his way over to take the kid's order. Cinco figures the kid's old enough to make his own decisions about what and when to drink, and what and when to speak. So, he simply nods his response and turns about on his stool to lay his forearms lightly on the wood countertop. "But y'came, anyway. So, must be important."

"Whatever you have on tap," is what Jesse orders, he's not a picky drinker, likely because he's not much of a drinker at all. He turns around on his bar stool to look out over the establishment and its patrons and leans back against the bar, elbows resting on it. "I guess it is. Listen, he's still my old man, right? I don't want any harm to come to him unless it becomes necessary." He's probably putting the cart before the horse there, but it's a point he felt needed making up front.

Cinco arches a brow a little more obviously, now. "We got no beef with your old man," he says. A beat. He regards the boy. "What's happened?" Something must've happened, if the kid's all riled up about it. And, obviously, it's something the Pack oughta know. "He goin' rogue?" 'Cause, in that case… yeah. The Pack might feel compelled to step in — even if he isn't a shifter or 'wolf.

For just a moment, a brief and fleeting one, Jesse looks extremely young; like that little boy that used to follow dad around, shotgun in hand even then, and looking terrified. It passes quickly. He steels himself, but before he continues he takes a long pull from the mug sat down in front of him by the bartender. "It started about a year and a half ago," he begins. The internal battle raging in him is obvious, the choice between possibly saving innocent lives and turning on his Dad. "…he started. Fuck, I don't know.. he started to unravel. Instead of just going after the bad ones, he started preaching about how supes didn't have a place in this world at all." He pitches his voice low, barely audible even between the two of them in case someone around isn't 'in the know'. "It just escalated and then he decided he was going to kill my mother." Anyone that knows Bradley Archer knows the story of his beloved wife being turned in an act of revenge. "I warned her before he could do it." A beat of a pause, a breath sucked in. "Just let the pack know, he can't be trusted anymore. I don't know if he's in town, if he would do anything if he was, but he can't be trusted. He joined the Fellowship, Cinco."

Barely audible from a human is still quite audible to a 'wolf. No doubt, if any of the other guys in the bar are Pack, they can catch the significant snatches they need to know. But Cinco respects the boy's attempt at privacy. It does speak well of him, even if this is a shifter bar. As the kid unloads his story, the beta simply listens. His expression tightens some, though, the more he hears. "That ain't good." It doesn't really need to be said. And normally, he wouldn't waste breath on it. But, the kid needs to know he's been heard. "What snapped him? You know?"

He uses taking another long pull from his beer mug to bide himself the time to gather his wits again. Jesse shakes his head just a little when he settles the mug back down again. "I'm not sure. We were working a case just outside of Tallahassee, tracking a group of rogue vampires. We found them, three of them, in a house. They'd turned the mother and when she rose, they turned her loose on the family as her first feed. To make her do that, even after being turned, they would have had to have starved her." His voice has gotten softer still, almost inaudible to 'wolf ears too. "I think maybe it was just too much, too much like mom. It started getting bad about a month later. I found myself always having to talk him down from hunting people down and killing them just because he found out they 'weren't human' as he put it."

Cinco nods simply once again as the boy speaks. He's seen this sort of thing before, actually. Rarely, true. But, still… "I can't promise you nuthin', kid," he tells Jesse, now. "I'll pass what you said on to Donato. Given how friendly your old man used to be with the Pack, y'may get lucky. But it's Alpha's call. I can tell ya right now: If it's a toss between him and Pack, Pack trumps. We'll defend our own." That's just the way of it. And it's the best the Beta can promise. Final word is always the Alpha's to hand down. "I can let you know what Donato says. But we've had trouble, hereabouts, with rogues and shooters. Last guy that took a shifter's life found himself bitten as punishment. Wouldn't wanna do that to your old man, but…" He gives a mild shrug. Eli's word is law and Cinco supports it unequivocally. If that's what Eli decides, Cinco has no problem accepting it. Still, there's a hint of sympathy in his tone. He knows what it's like to feel betrayed by 'family'. "Y'said he's not come to town, yet? You know where he's at?"

"I know," Jesse murmurs quietly. He knew the repercussions of coming here before he came and he struggled with them, but the kid couldn't just let his Dad waltz in and use his old friendships to get close enough to.. He shakes his head to clear the thoughts from it and after a stretch of silence, he replies, "I'm not sure. I don't know if he's in town or not. I left him in Oklahoma. I'd taken off about four days prior and he managed to track me down. We fought, I left again, I haven't seen him since. That was three weeks ago…." It really doesn't seem like he's finished talking, but his words are cut off suddenly by a sharp intake of breath. He reaches up with his right hand to press his thumb and index fingers into the corners of his eyes as if it were the next morning and he had about twelve more of those 'on taps'. "Fuck." The word is uttered between clenched teeth. The drop of blood that rolls down his upper lip from his nose is tiny, but to those that can smell it… Finally whatever happened seems to pass and his lowers his hand. He's still squinting as if the noon day sun is high overhead, but he's recovering quickly from it and when he finally does he asks, "Blood in, blood out? What does it mean?" Really, for a human? Kid can kick ass and take some names. He also know more than any human should about the supernatural community, but street smarts? Knowing the ins and outs of living on them, being part of that culture? That's way beyond him.

Cinco arches a brow again as the kid's words are interrupted. As the blood seeps from Jesse's nose, the beta reaches for a nearby napkin, offering it to him with hardly a blink. Is this normal? Not really. In his world, nose bleeds are spontaneous. They're usually the result of quite purposeful impact. He opens his mouth to ask if the kid's okay, but stops when Jesse asks about the brutal philosophy that governs life on the streets. His mouth snaps closed for a moment and he lays the napkin simply beside the kid's hand. "Street gang philosophy. You want in? They jump ya. Blood in. You want out? They kill ya. Blood out." Pretty succinct, really. But, his eyes narrow. "Why you ask?"

Jesse picks up the napkin with a murmured, "Thanks." He wipes his nose with it and that seems to be the end of the bleeding. The question, the 'why', it gives him pause as if he's not really sure how to answer it. Does he lie? Does he spill it? Again, the internal war is there on his face. "Something I heard somewhere," he finally decides on, but his delivery leaves a lot to be desired. There's a whole lot more to that story than he's letting on. "You'll watch you back over the next few days, yeah?" he asks. It could just be because of his father and the information he brought, but the timing of the suggestion, the wording 'over the next couple of days', hints that there might be more to that too.

"I always watch my back," Cinco says, eying the kid. It's pretty obvious he doesn't entirely buy the evasion. He can read it in Jesse's tone of voice and in his body language. Still, he knows the kid gets around. Coulda heard something. And Cinco's enough of a paranoid sort that he'll keep the warning in the back of his mind, regardless. "You oughta watch your back, too," he says then. "In case your old man figures out you been here." A beat. "It's gooda you t'give us the heads up."

Jesse polishes off his beer and he takes his time doing so before he finally speaks again. He turns to face Cinco more directly when he does. "If it comes down to it… if Dad steps over the line… if the pack has to seek justice or defend themselves and.. just.. make it quick? He wasn't always like this and I'm hoping he'll figure out how wrong he is before it gets that far." He looks down into his empty beer mug and adds, "It was the right thing to do," in a tone that sounds more like he's trying to convince himself of the fact than anything else.

"Right don't make it easy," Cinco says. A beat. A half-shrug. In a rare gesture of empathy, he puts his hand on Jesse's shoulder. "I been there, kid. Ain't easy." His hand falls away and he gives another mild shrug, almost as if shaking the sentiment off. "Like I said: I can't promise nuthin'. But, Donato's usually fair. I'll do what I can."

Jesse just nods his head, not much more to do than that. He knew what he was doing when he came, now he has to live with whatever Cinco can do in regards to the Alpha and his decisions. "I'm stayin' with a friend, just outside of town. If you can get me a pen, I'll leave my cell. If you need me, let me know." By the time that last little bit, the 'if you need me' is uttered, he's sitting straighter, his voice isn't that soft thing it was before and anyone with the imagination for it can see him trying to fill his Dad's big ass shoes, they're still a few sizes too big for him and he'll likely trip over them along the way, but he'll grow in to them soon enough.. provided he lives that long.

Cinco remembers being that young and filled with that same bravado. Sure, it was ten or fifteen years ago, but that's not so long that he's forgotten. "Yeah, if I need ya, kid, I'll let you know." He glances to the barkeep again, who moves along with a pen that the beta pushes Jesse's way. A napkin-scrawled number is good enough. "When I hear something from Donato, too." Yeah. They'll be in touch. Just maybe not so much about his personal business.

Jesse scribbles down the number and leaves the napkin along with a ten spot from his wallet on the bar; for the beer and a nice tip. He pushes himself to his feet and extends his hand again. "Was good seein' you again, wish it could have been under better circumstances," he says before he offers a lopsided, toothy grin. "Damn, never thought I'd see the day that I was taller than you. Take care, yeah? And really, watch your back, especially around apartment buildings." Odd statement to make, that last.

Cinco rises as Jesse does. He quirks a brow faintly as the kid does the I'm-taller-than-you puff. "Not by much," he replies, giving something of a toothy grin. Two inches is hardly anything. "An' I can still take you down when I need." 'Wolf. He's faster and stronger than a normal human… not to mention the fact that he's spent more years scrapping than the kid has — no matter what fancy fighting techniques he may have learned. Still, the beta's in no hurry to test the kid. There's no need. He does cant his head a little, though, at the reference to apartment buildings. They're kinda hard to avoid in a city like Dallas. "Take care, kid," he says finally. "I'll call when I've talked to Donato."

"Yeah, well, might take you longer to do so these days," Jesse retorts, but it's all good natured. "But I'd rather have you on my side anyway," he continues. "Red brick apartment buildings." He narrows it down just a little bit, but he knows he's pushing his luck with ever little thing he adds to the warning, so he stops it there. "Talk to ya, soon," is his final farewell before he turns and heads back toward the door.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License