JUNE 2nd - evening | Temptation | PG-13 crude language
The music was obnoxiously loud, and he had already seen enough glitter to make him wish he’d wandered half-drunk into a strip club instead, but he was running short on money and such establishments were typically easier to navigate when on a budget. Just by walking in he had finished off two discarded drinks without haste or a second thought. Could have been drugged, could have been piss water - the large Fae didn’t really care much. He wanted to drown his sorrows, however shallow they may be, in alcohol.
It was just unfortunate that it required a great deal in order for him to even begin to feel anything.
Ronan had parked himself at the bar, insisting that a man down the other end dressed in an ill-fitted suit was picking up his tab. It’d work for a little while, at least. That was the least of his problems currently, though. Every time he tried to light a damn cigarette, it was plucked from his lips and stamped out on the ledge of the bar top. "Hey give those back!" the tall Fae barked as he took the barely burnt cigarettes, his accent thick. "They don't grow on trees you know," he muttered under his breath, stuffing the hand rolled cigarettes into his jean jacket pocket for later. The other bartender, the not-fun-one, started to tell him the Wikipedia summary of the tobacco plant. For a moment he actually humored her, before his gaze inevitably drifted down to her chest and a tiny distracted smirk spread on his lips. She didn't notice at first, the flashing lights from the dance floor behind him in his favor — but when she did she huffed and threw the damp bar rag in his face.
Ronan peeled the dirty towel away from his beard to reveal a toothy grin.
"The fuck is this?" he said, motioning to the brightly colored drink that was placed in front of him. Cautiously sniffing the contents of the tall and skinny glass, Ronan's face scrunched up in disgust. It was alcohol, sure, but it smelled like a fucking fruit basket as well. His gaze shifted to the tiny black haired witch behind the bar. "You tryin' to poison me now?"
It wasn’t every night that was bustling and busy; the lights and glitter and music, that was most nights, sure, but you got used to it. Besides, it usually helped keep the clientele happy, and happy drinkers tipped well. Natya just encouraged that by leaning up a lot and wearing the tightest tops she could.
A couple of the girls liked to pretend they didn’t want to be ogled, that they weren’t trying to use their assets to get extra tips. Natya had no qualms about getting her girls all perky for appreciation if it meant she was slipped a couple extra fives.
Most of the time, it meant there wasn’t really a way to hear complaints over the bar, but there were some accents and tones that traveled, and Natya smirked as the tobacco police enforced the no-smoking policy that a few people tried to get around. She was sliding the drink in front of Grumps as her colleague gave up in disgust and wandered away.
“It’s a Love Potion,” Natya gave an amused smirk, “It’s today’s special and if you want anything else, you’re gonna drink it. I need to sell a bunch of these.” Most of the time, she didn’t mind the specials of the evenings, a lot of the younger crowd lapped them up, more sugar than alcohol and they kept the costs down.
Ronan, well, she just wanted to fuck with him and make him drink the fruity shit before contemplating the top shelf.
A Love Potion. Ronan all but rolled his eyes as he took another whiff of the drink, as if somehow it’d smell less like a cleaning product. Holding the glass in the air to inspect it for pieces of hair or extras that weren’t on the drink menu - just to make sure it wasn’t an actual love potion given she was a witch. “Is that fuckin’ glitter?” he commented, knowing full well that it was.
“Jesus Christ Almighty,” the Fae grumbled before begrudgingly chugging the entire glass. If he didn’t down it all in one go he probably would have spit it out.
Green eyes glared at Natya momentarily as he pulled a face in response, the mixed liquors going down… well a bit like he took a swig of Pine Sol and then added a dash of one of those liquid air fresheners you plugged into the wall. He rubbed the back of his hand across his lips to make sure there was no glitter hanging about.
Sliding the empty glass back toward the witch, he pressed his index finger down against the bar top with purpose. “Whiskey, now,” the fiery redhead demanded - although his tone carried little sway when she was the one literally in charge of the drinks. But Christ, he deserved a shot after that monstrosity.
“How many of those do the alcoholic overlords expect you to sell?”
There was a distinct possibility that Natya added a little more garnish than strictly necessary, but there was also the distinct possibility that Ronan deserved the shit he got when he voluntarily came here. It wasn’t like Natya knew all the regulars, she’d been there a month or so, got to know some faces, but it wasn’t a personal level kind of thing.
Ronan had been around far less than that, but he was memorable, for a great many reasons, and Natya just smirked at the look on his face while she grabbed some malt from below the bar to pour two measures into a glass. “Y’know, if you weren’t acting like I just poisoned you, I’d get less of a kick out of it.”
Which was probably true. But there was also the likelihood she’d find another way to amuse herself.
“A dozen, we all have to get a dozen out each. Which I don’t get, but okay?” Really, the need to push certain drinks didn’t make sense to her, least of all since these drinks weren’t anything fancy, wasn’t a specially ordered booze in them, unless you counted the dorky heart shaped edible glitter.
Whether or not she actually did just poison him remained to be seen - he’d feel it later for sure, if anything. As he waited, surprisingly patient, for her to prepare his drink - a real drink, mind you - he stole a quarter from someone’s change that sat on the counter top and began to walk it across his knuckles.
“A dozen?” he repeated in disbelief. Who the hell would even drink one of those? Not counting him, since he was pretty much forced to in order to get to the good stuff. Besides, he’d done far more incriminating things than that for far less alcohol. “Good luck with that,” Ronan told her with a scoff.
Of course if he had any real luck about him that statement might’ve actually meant something.
“So you know your way around a bottle,” he paused a moment. “And a cauldron.” Ronan smirked. “What brings you to this shithole again?”
Natya rolled her eyes, putting on a sweet voice, leaning over with both her arms squeezing her boobs together, “Oh, don’t you wanna try our special? It’s an aphrodisiac.” There was a pout on her lips that slowly broke into a smirk as she stepped back a little, “I’m doin’ just fine with it.”
Grabbing a rag, Natya decided to clean a portion of the bar, leaving her coworkers to deal with some drunk college girls who didn’t know what they wanted. “Any shithole is a decent enough place to make some bucks.”
The truth was that Natya wasn’t sure why she was in Seven Devils; aside from the few hints and messages she’d gotten that she’d find answers here, she wasn’t even sure what questions she was asking. But it was nice enough, the vibrations of power in the air had her cautiously curious, and she could sense the fae around. Maybe she’d eventually figure out what she wanted to ask one of them.
“Maybe I like the people in this shithole,” Natya didn’t mind them, but they weren’t anything special, “Present company excluded, of course.”
His eyebrows shot up in amusement as his gaze finally lifted to her face once more. “Well with such adaptable advertisement skills, I’m sorry I doubted ya Lass,” Ronan insisted with a wink before taking a sip of his hard-earned whiskey.
She was his favorite bartender, in a long time, for a multitude of reasons but the main one was that she tolerated him and she could throw the shit right back in his face. Through the banter and attitude, eventually, an actual conversation evolved.
“Don’t go tryin’ to pick a fight there, Natya,” Ronan warned, his smirk turning somewhat mischievous as he looked at her over the rim of his glass. He stole another quick swig of whiskey. “It’s been a few days.” He was practically aching to throw punches with some poor unsuspecting patron. Likely the guy down the end of the bar when he finally realized Ronan was racking up his tab.
“Besides, you're not the witch I’m here for,” he told her in a moment of honesty, downing the rest of his drink. “Although I can’t say I mind being a thorn in that tiny side of yours.” Christ, he didn’t even know if the witch he needed was actually in town or not. The entire place was like some sort of beacon of power, though, and he figured there was a decent chance he’d find her. “By the way, that guy’s payin’ so keep ‘em coming,” Ronan said, nodding in the direction of the stiff who was trying, and failing, to pick up a couple of co-eds.
“But I like fights,” at least ones she could win. And even if Ronan didn’t give off the same vibes as most fae (ethereal, otherworldly, like they were bleeding some kind of power everywhere that made her want to throw up) and was a lot easier to get along with, she doubted that she’d do much more than annoy him, even with her magic fully prepped. She didn’t like cursing people and empathy was only so useful in witch fights.
It was always in jest anyway.
“You say the sweetest things, you know. Whoever you’re looking for must be so thrilled to know you’re out there.” She did roll her eyes a little. In some ways it seemed like everyone who rolled into Seven Devils was looking for something, and she was aware that she was no different. But this place seemed to have some magnetic pull, Natya didn’t understand it in the least.
Glancing over at the stiff who was striking out left and right, the young witch just shook her head, “Y’know if you punch him you’ll probably knock all his teeth out, right? That idiot has never been in a brawl in his life.” And as amusing as it would be to watch, there’d probably be some damages other than some asshole leeches face.
While he had yet to actually witness her on the defense in any way, he didn’t doubt that she was scrappy in a fight. Probably didn’t easily back down, even when she should. He could appreciate that. Ronan was too goddamn stubborn to ever back down - but then again, rarely did he actually meet someone who gave him a truly fair fight.
“Sweet?” The Fae chuckled, bouncing the quarter once off the bar top and into the empty glass. “Is that what I am?” A lot of words could be used to describe the burly Fae but sweet wasn’t one he heard often. Even sarcastically. “Must be fooling all the right folk,” Ronan said with a fond sort of smirk.
Ronan stood, if only to stretch his legs, and for a moment towered over the witchy bartender. Of course he’d demolish the poor guy, probably break a couple bar stools in the process. But it’d be fun and that’s all that mattered. “So what your saying is, I should take pity and not start shit, right?” he asked as he plucked his reserve cigarette from behind his ear, holding it at the corner of his lips. And because he was a bastard - he glanced toward the suit once more before purposely, right in front of Natya’s face, summoning his zippo lighter and sparking a flame.
Fae were dramatic. That was definitely something she could tell for sure was a common thread with these beings. All powerful and knowledgeable and shit, and then they were like 15 year old drama students.
“Sweet like sweet tea anywhere outside of the south.” Which was never sweet. Yeah, there were a lot of ways Natya could describe Ronan, and some of them were even PG-13, but a lot of them were not flattering or nice. Which she appreciated about the giant.
Even with the heels on her boots, Ronan was practically a foot taller than her, and sure, that was insanely impressive and all kinds of intense, but it wasn’t like he wasn’t used to being taller than people. She didn’t think there was someone in the bar, human or otherwise, who matched Ronan’s height, even the bouncers were probably a good few inches shorter. “I’m saying pick on someone your own size, but I guess that’s really hard for you.”
She was almost used to his showing off, the little parlour tricks or sleight of hand he pulled now and then, probably just to keep his hands busy, but the appearance of the lighter still had her eyebrow raising. “Show off.”
“Haven’t a clue what that means here,” he replied plainly with a shrug, though he was just pulling her leg at this point. Being difficult just to be difficult. North and South in this country meant something completely different in another. The entire Southern culture he didn’t quite understand - all the Bless Your Heart horseshit was just words to him. But sweet tea? Christ he’d learnt the hard way never to disrespect an elderly Southern woman’s sweet tea.
He tugged at his ear momentarily - as if remembering a swift blow to the side of the head once.
“A few more drinks and he’ll think he’s as tall as me,” Ronan bet, the cigarette bouncing between his lips as he spoke. He quickly lit the cigarette and let his lighter slide down into the cuff of his jacket, disappearing.
Ronan’s smirk faded a little - all he really had anymore were his parlour tricks. Maybe he could grow a couple of vines if he was well rested and sober but half the time nothing happened how he wanted it to. “Should have seen me back home, ” the Fae muttered nostalgically. Some things he could relive with fondness - like fighting alongside his brother, or waking up after a long winter and watching everyone become vibrant and strong again. “The tricks I knew would make that pretty little head of yours spin.”
The Fae took a long drag off the cigarette and was just about to take it from his lips when the blond returned, plucking it with a frustrated whine and dropping it into an abandoned drink she had collected from making her rounds. Ronan quickly blew the smoke out and stood, one hand smacking the bar top in protest while the other held a finger up in accusation. “And that one needs to be fired!”
Natya didn’t bother asking as she fished out the bottle to pour Ronan another drink, catching that wistful tone when he spoke of ‘home’ and what he could’ve done. She hadn’t asked why he wasn’t in the Fae world, why he never went back. Of the Fae that she’d met they all waxed poetic about how much better their home was. Ronan seemed to miss it, but there was something she didn’t want to push at right there.
As Ronan’s hand slammed on the bar, his cigarette going off the way of the rest, Natya figured he wasn’t having the best evening of it anyway. “Oh, I’m sure there’s plenty you could still show me that’d make my head spin.” It was second nature to flirt, got her more tips, as much as showing off her boobs did really.
Most of the time she barely meant it, but there were times she put a little bit of feeling to it.
The blond flipped him off while she sauntered away, and Ronan decided he was going to give her Hell every time he came in. Which, it wasn’t really his type of bar and he only ever came round when Natya was working because she let him get away with shit. But still, he would make an honest effort to annoy the blond one to tears. Just for fun.
His attention turned somewhat pointedly back to the witch behind the bar. The Fae very nearly asked if she’d repeat herself, but like it’d really matter anyway? On a good day he was crude and inappropriate - generally taking advances and flirting too far until he got slapped or some boyfriend or husband or whatever showed up to try and make a stand.
Resting against the bar once more, Ronan leaned over a bit further with a grin. “I got plenty of tricks for the likes of you,” he promised, his tone quieter but suggestive. He studied her for a moment, part of him realizing how very little he actually knew about the witch. Again, not something that had ever really stopped him in the past. “I’d hate to have to beat up your jealous boyfriend down there, though,” he insisted teasingly, nodding again to the suited square - who this time seemed to have caught on to Ronan drinking on his dime.
Few times, Natya worried about who or what she was picking up, she was cautious and she took risk management very seriously, but she wanted to enjoy herself. She let herself get hit on all the time, she let herself be talked home by some guys or girls from the bar.
Sometimes it was a game, sometimes she pushed to see how far it would go. She dressed strategically, she performed an act most nights. There were a few times she actually saw someone that she wanted, rather than seeing who spoke to her.
Ronan, well. She wouldn’t say she hadn’t noticed him first. All shoulders and muscle and that stupid face that was constantly bruised. Don’t even get her started on his hands.
The suggestiveness in his voice just had her smirking back, licking her bottom lip, “You can beat up whoever you want,” probably very literally, “they’re not gonna be my problem.” She didn’t keep with the likes of boyfriends or girlfriends. Attachments did no one very good, and Natya moved too much to bother about them. “It’s just as well you look good bloody, huh?” Since it did seem like the guy footing the bill for Ronan’s night wasn’t best pleased about it.
“Really brings out my eyes,” Ronan replied nonchalantly. For once his face was actually free of major bruising or cuts. Seven Devils didn’t exactly have a booming underground fight scene that he could tap into when the mood struck. The next best thing was bar hopping in hopes that someone couldn’t hold their drink, and that his crude remarks to any fine lass, sparked a fight.
Ronan genuinely laughed quietly in afterthought. “Cute, that you think he’ll even get one shot in though,” he told her, picking up the glass to throw it back in one large gulp. “Keep ‘em coming until he works up the courage,” the Fae insisted, sliding the empty glass back. Hell, at this point he was tempted to just ask for the entire bottle.
A glance to his unwilling sponsor was all he gave before his attention turned back to Natya. “You get a break from all that slingin’ spirits?” Ronan asked, his gaze blatant working down and then back up the curves of her petite frame. Witch or not, he didn’t mind seeing her around. She never asked about his favorite color, or band, or any of that small talk bullshit. She didn’t complicate things.
Glancing over, she could tell that Ronan might get a couple more top shelf drinks out of the guy before he worked up the nerve to say anything, or even approach or complain, and it wasn’t like anyone was going to hold things against her; she’d been convinced that they were friends, that Ronan’s ‘buddy’ was footing the bill for the night, wingman stuff.
“Is it at all satisfying if you just punch him and he falls over?” Natya didn’t fight much. She had her moments, here and there, but it was usually fights with chicks who wanted to pull her hair or bite her, so when she punched a girl in the jaw it usually ended really quickly. She could really see that being the case with most people that Ronan ended up squaring up to. Especially suited and prissy rich boys who didn’t know what to do with themselves in a fight.
“Doesn’t that just leave you pent up, itching for something to blow off.” She was probably less than subtle, but at this point it hardly mattered. She caught the once over, and she wasn’t shy. Her jeans hugged every curve, her heeled boots helped her tiny little ass pop and her tits were merrily held up by a strappy black top that was probably two sizes too small. “I get a break, I only work the busy nights, and the slow ones when I need money.” Which wasn’t a lot, she had a few other cons to run after all. “Why, you feeling lonely?”
“Does a bear shit in the woods?” he countered with a grin. Indeed it was satisfying to get just one punch in. Better, when the tussle cleared out one side of the entire bar, and chairs and tables were broken by bodies being thrown against them - but beggars can’t be choosers. Fighting was nothing like real battle, but the thrill of it was enough. Natya’s second comment made Ronan pause, tightening his lips to quell the downright devilish smirk that threatened his face. He glanced down at the counter, though his eyebrows lifted in undeniable interest.
He was used to dive bars that only ever really had a smattering of locals drinking their sorrows away - so to him, Temptation was always busy. The Fae enjoyed her brash flirting, and her general attitude when it came to even more annoying patrons than himself. “Like you wouldn’t believe,” Ronan told her. “What time are you done tonight?”
It wasn’t like Natya watched a lot of fights, not in the bar and not on the sports channels, boxing didn’t really appeal to her. But she knew that if she was going to watch some testosterone fueled brawl, she’d want it to be satisfying. Drawn out, a real show of who had the better skill, more technique, who could take it. Someone taking a punch, or doling out one punch, that would just leave her disappointed. Looking for something else to appease the adrenaline.
Which was why she’d felt like getting brash, a little obvious with things maybe.
But Ronan was one of those who looked like he could go a couple rounds, could fight and burn off pent up aggression and anger, and frankly that was more attractive than a thousand dollar watch. She already wanted to climb the Fae like a tree and wrap her legs around him, why not just toss her cards on the table.
“I get off at eleven, I opened, don’t need to close.” Which was a bonus on opening up before it got busy and before people wanted to just drop money at the bar. “So if you wanna deck him, you should get it in soon, I don’t think my coworkers will be as tolerant.”
The poor bugger was down the end of the bar, watching the Fae like a hawk now and feeling the weight packed onto his wallet.
Ronan stood to straighten his posture, puff out his chest a bit in show, a brow shooting upwards at the witch. “Get it in soon? Someone’s impatient,” he said with a shake of his head and smug smirk. Ronan was one to talk. The patron saint of patience, he was not - and never would be.
“Let me push a couple more of his buttons so I could push yours, yeah?” he said as he motioned to the shot glasses behind the bar. Surely a few shots would get the guy to at least storm over. Ronan was looking to win a fight, not looking to get kicked out and banned. Although, he’d probably get kicked out anyway.
He also wanted a few more drinks out of the guy before having to leave and wait for the tiny witch to finish off her duties. The fight, or lack there of, would leave him wanting and having to occupy his time chain-smoking outside. “A toast, then,” Ronan added, insisting she take one of the shots for herself, “to you getting off tonight, starting at eleven.”
Innuendo wasn’t foreign to Natya, and she just grinned at the comment because what, she couldn’t have some fun with it? Still, short of all out murder in the bar, Temptation saw it’s fair share of fights. Sometimes the energy from downstairs worked its way up, sometimes tensions were just running too high, a drunken brawl here and there wasn’t unusual and provided all parties walked out under their own steam and took it elsewhere, the owners never seemed to mind.
Pouring a few shots with a smirk, Natya minded the splashes as she went, avoiding anything sweet and going for a smoky whisky shooter. Far more up Ronan’s alley and she enjoyed the burn. It also cost a lot more than the sugary crap.
“Starting at, now there’s a promise I’m going to hold you to.” She didn’t even wait to be asked for another shot, knocking back the one for herself and holding up the bottle to refill his glass -not typical practice but whatever, she was being lazy and Ronan probably didn’t care.
The amber colored alcohol went down smooth and started a fire in his belly. He wasn’t anywhere near drunk, but he was starting to at least feel the warmth of the alcohol coursing through his system. Ronan needed a bottle of whiskey to feel anything substantial, what with his hundred or so years of binging under his belt. But it was definitely time to start making bad decisions - and a few good ones, in her case.
Ronan gave a hearty, and genuine, laugh. “Fair enough,” he replied, knowing he was good for it. The Fae gladly gave up his glass for another refill before he calmly slid out of his denim jacket, laying it over the stool next to him. “You’d just better hold on in general,” Ronan told her with a mischievous glint in his eyes - rolling up his sleeves methodically as the suit was finally on the move.
He savored the refill a bit instead of just downing it - it was going to be his last, after all. “Show time,” the Fae said to Natya with a playful wink, pretending not to see the skinny, annoyed man in the suit moving to stand next to him.
It was a lot like foreplay.
Natya might need to check on herself at some point, she had some seriously destructive tendencies if this was turning her on. A sly glance to the side confirmed that the suit was in the process of working up the courage, either talking himself into it or out of it.
This lame evening just got so much more interesting, and she didn’t even need to curse anyone, it was fantastic. God, just seeing the play of muscles, the implications. “Try not break the bar.” That would be the only downside, because she didn’t want to have to clean that up.