|maxine_bastet (maxine_bastet) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-02-26 10:51:00
|Entry tags:||ares, bastet|
Here Comes The Weekend
Who: Max & Daniel
What: Max has a drink with an old friend.
Where: Last Stop
When: February 23, 2017
Max was already on her second beer, hustling some poor soul at the pool table and favouring him with a predatory grin when he missed his shot. They had fifty bucks on this game, and from the looks of things, it was all hers. She leant over the table, carefully lining up her shot and sank her last ball, and then turned and downed the 8 ball.
“Sorry baby, I can only pretend to lose for so long...want another go?” she asked sweetly, gathering the balls on the table and racking them up. The guy scoffed at her.
“No thanks, I’m tired of losing my money,” he said, though his eyes took one last good roam over her body before turning away. She smirked and pocketed the cash, looking around for another victim. That was when she spotted him coming through the door.
“Daniel!” she called out cheerfully, “get your ass over here and break!”
He sauntered over to the table with a spring in his step, as though he either did not know or did not care how badly he stood to lose to an old friend. "Only if you're buyin' me a beer first," he said, once he sidled up to the pool table. "I like a drink before I get fucked."
Laughing, he threw his arms around her, pulling her into a brief but tight hug. He clapped her on the back as he pulled away. She giggled and returned the hug, passing him a cue and heading over to the bar to get him a pint. Handing it to him, she smirked.
“I can’t help it,” she said innocently, “I’m a prisoner of my mad skills.” She took a healthy drink of her own beer and set it down on the edge of the table. “It’s getting to the point where no one will play with me,” she grinned, not at all unhappy about winning, but not really wanting to alienate everyone. “Do you think they’ll like me more if we don’t play for money?”
"I think they'll like you more if you let 'em win once in a while." She laughed as he set down his pint, a third of it already gone, and licked a fine sheen of foam from his upper lip. "Or maybe acted a little humble from time to time, but I don't know how to go about doin' that myself, so…" With a loud crack, the tight grouping of pool balls broke, spiralling out onto the green felt around them. One striped ball sank neatly into the right corner pocket. "I can't help ya there."
She watched the balls scatter across the table and nodded in approval when he sunk one. “I suppose, but if I knew someone was letting me win, I’d be pretty pissed. It’s no fun if it’s too easy.” She shrugged dismissively, leaning a hip against the table to watch him take his next shot. “I guess that’s true about everything I like to do,” she added with a grin, giving him an obvious slow once-over. “You’re still off the market, yeah?” she added playfully.
He shrugged, but the grin on his face spoke volumes. "Kinda," he said. "Tryin' to be. We'll see how successful that is." He pointed the cue at another striped ball, calling the shot to sink in the center pocket. He sank this one, too, and arched a brow at his own unusual luck. "Maybe I'm gettin' better at this after all…"
She pursed her lips dismissively. “Beginner’s luck…”
Fittingly, he missed his next shot, and stepped away to allow her turn. "What about you? Shackin' up with any of those high-dollar clients of yours yet?" She grimaced a little and shook her head, rounding the table to find a good shot.
“Trust me, I’m not even a little bit interested,” she said, spotting a likely candidate and leaning over to line it up, sinking it easily. “I’m telling you, that life looks glamorous and awesome, but they’re a bunch of douchebags and idiots…” then she paused for a moment, thinking. “Some of them are pretty decent though, but those are the ones who are always taken.” It was a moot point anyway, she’d never date a client, it was too much of a conflict of interest.
She found her next shot and sank it too. “Nice tips, though,” she added, “I’m not allowed to accept money from them, but a few of them get around the rules with ‘gifts’.” Her next shot bounced off the corner and she sighed, drinking the last of her beer.
"Gifts," he repeated. He slid back up toward the table, his beer now half gone. "Dare I ask what kinda gifts dudes like that wanna give you?" He sank first one ball, then a second; the third went wide, clattering against a solid, lining up a perfect shot for her. He swore under his breath, then hid his frown behind his glass, draining it one go.
Max caught the arm of one of the waiters, asking for another beer. “Oh, you know,” she said, with a shrug, even though she knew he didn’t. She grinned wickedly at the too-easy shot in front of her and took it with ease. “Jewellery that I don’t really wear, bottles of booze...one gave me these super expensive lace…” she paused for dramatic effect, looking very much like the cat that ate the canary. “Nevermind.” She grinned and took another shot as a waiter came by with her third pint of beer.
"What's this?" Daniel asked. "You suddenly gettin' shy on me?" He laughed aloud. "I never knew you to pass up a chance to brag." She smirked at him, lifting her beer to her lips.
“I also like to tease,” she laughed, taking a drink. “Besides, this was a repeat client with very good taste,” she added. “And I actually got to do something that night when one of her groupies jumped the barrier. I broke a nail and everything,” she whined with a smirk.
"Oh you poor thing." He punctuated this with an impatient tapping of his pool cue against the floor. "C'mon," he said. "Teasing is one thing, but just beat me and be done with this. I'd rather be belly up to the bar right now."
“Baby,” she taunted, sinking her last ball and rounding on the 8 ball. “You didn't do too bad,” she complimented, gesturing to the table. She lined up her shot with the 8 ball and watched as it bounced out of the pocket and back onto the table. “Shit.” she picked up her beer, watching him over the rim as she hid her smirk behind another drink.
"This is just cruel." Still, he returned to his place, sinking only one ball this time before scratching horribly. Wincing, he straightened up, and returned the cue to its proper place. "Put me outta my misery," he said. The waitress returned, fresh beers in hand. He took his own, but left Max to retrieve hers for herself. She chuckled into her beer, watching him play.
“I was just tryin’ to be nice.” She picked up her cue and sauntered over to the table like she owned it. “You were the one that said I’d make more friends if I let them win,” she added with a wink, leaning over the table and finally giving him what he wanted. “There, you happy?” she asked as the ball finally sunk into the corner pocket. She picked up her beer and motioned over to the bar where they could sit.
"As a clam," he said. He followed her, perching himself atop a high bar stool. He set his glass down, pushing it back and forth between his fingertips. "Good to see they're not workin' you completely to death yet. I didn't think you even got nights to yourself anymore, if you want the truth."
“They are few,” she admitted with a very slight frown. “But it's not all bad. Nine times out of ten I go out to dinner at some swanky restaurant. I'm beginning to develop expensive tastes. I might start stirring caviar and truffles into my kraft dinner,” she joked.
Daniel laughed aloud. "That sounds terrible," he said. "Thank God I won't be takin' you out on any dates. I can't afford you anymore." She chuckled, drinking down a bit more of her beer.
“Hey, I’m still addicted to chicken McNuggets,” she offered with a grin, “now they just need to be wrapped in gold leaf.”
Laughing, he hunkered down atop the table, and leaned over to whisper conspiratorially. "So come clean. Who's your most interesting client? What's the weirdest shit you've seen?"
“Uggh,” she groaned, tilting her head back slightly, “they make me sign non-disclosure agreements, so I can’t share the really good stuff,” she complained. “Though I have been to more than a few wild parties, and dude...they know how to party.” She grinned into her beer, though it wasn’t really all that fun for her. She was working, and so couldn’t partake of any of the...distractions.
"So when are you gonna invite me?" he asked. "I'll sign an NDA, I'll do whatever you want. I want some McNuggets with gold leaf. Get me in on that." She laughed, shaking her head.
“I’ll see if I can smuggle you out a doggie bag.” She glanced up when someone else sat in the seat on her other side, and then back to him. “So what about you? Anything interesting in the land of Law and Order?”
Daniel shook his head. "Nothin' like that," he said. "Trump's got all my clients nervous as shit, and I dunno what it's gonna do for my business. It's hard to tell a felon I can help him get a job and find a house when the hairpiece-in-chief is crowing about toughening up weed laws and gettin' even harder on crime. It's depressing." He took another sip from his beer, though it did little to bolster his spirits. "Not that I tell them that. But it's hard. They deserve better than this. Most of 'em, anyway."
Max scoffed derisively. “God, there’s nothing I’d love better than to drop-kick that overgrown cheeto into a fire,” she growled. “I’m all for taking down bad guys, but...well, real life isn’t black and white.” In the military it had been easy - you’re told who to fight, and you do it. But she never really settled for that. She always asked ‘why’. “I guess, at least, with your position, you can at least try to help.”
"I'm tryin," he said. "But y'know, some of these guys went to jail for weed, right? And now they can't even legally open a shop. It's what they do, what they got in trouble for, and now silver spoon white kids are movin' out here and to Colorado, makin' all the money other people paved the way for. And the KKK's favorite candidate is only gonna make it worse." He scoffed. When he set down his beer again, it rattled too loud against the countertop.
"Fuck it. I'm sorry, Max. There's only so much I can do and it pisses me off."
She frowned in sympathy, her teeth chewing on her bottom lip as she thought about what to say. His job was so much more complicated than hers. She'd grown up with the ‘violence solves everything’ culture, but then learned the hard way that that wasn't the case. She'd never told Daniel about why she left the military, and didn't particularly want to have that conversation, but he was hurting. He needed to know that she got him.
“I know. I know it sucks,” she said quietly, cradling her beer with both hands. “But...sometimes things happen that are just...out of our control. The best we can do is all we can do.”
"Yeah." He nodded, his thumbs still toying with the base of the glass. "Anyway. That's what's new with me, which I guess… is nothin' new at all, really." He laughed, mirthless and cold. "But if I've gotta do futile work, at least I picked a gorgeous place to do it, right?"
She grinned, raised her glass, and toasted his. “At least we can enjoy ourselves while we watch the world burn,” she said with dry humour. “Maybe that's why I teach those classes...raising my own army so we can go take on Voldemort in his ivory tower.” She laughed at her own joke, but sort of wished it was true.
Daniel laughed, nodding enthusiastically. "I like it," he said. "You have my axe. Or whatever. Seriously though, you need help with anything, you let me know. Not that you need it, obviously, but the offer stands."
She smiled at him, raised her glass in acknowledgement and toasted it with his.