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Clean Slate (NSFW)

 
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Darien Fenner
Ancient Wyrm
Ancient Wyrm


Joined: 29 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:16 pm    Post subject: Clean Slate (NSFW) Reply with quote

It was eight o’clock in the evening, and Darien was drinking water.

By all rights, they should have been on their fourth round at that point. Over a pair of signature vodka martinis, the niceties of the interview would have been observed. The usual “who are you,” “tell me about your company and ethics” blather would be made bearable by Grey Goose (and a twist of lemon, because that is apparently what it takes to make a martini “signature”). It was the same, regurgitated bollocks that had been uttered a thousand times by a thousand men in the same position. But that would pass swiftly, and upon reaching the heartfelt anecdote about a young boy’s struggle to make his dream become a reality, the next martinis would arrive, remarkably stronger than the first thanks to the fifty slipped to the bartender earlier on the way to the loo. Then, while they were both still somewhat coherent, the all-impressive Hirsch reserve would roll out, and by the time they finally downgraded to Johnnie Walker, they would be best blokes, and Darien would need pockets full of cassettes to record every company secret that was being blurted his way.

It was a delicate process, and one the journo had long since perfected.

Instead, that night Darien resigned himself to staring ruefully at the last sliver of ice in his glass, contemplating whether it would make his gums bleed if he bit down on it hard enough. Two hours. Two hours, and the self-important tosser had not shut up about his “groundbreaking” virtual reality goggles. For two hours, Darien had listened to the same half-assed technical word vomit two competing Terran publications had printed out weeks ago. And they were still drinking water, because if the client wasn’t drinking, etiquette required that neither did anyone else at the table.

If the bastard ordered crab cakes, Darien was walking out.

The man beckoned over a passing waiter with a thoughtful wave. After conferring with the mute brunette beauty beside him, the engineering prodigy smiled, handing the waiter a menu. “Crab cakes?” he requested.

God *** damn it.

“And for you sir?” the waiter asked.

“Thanks, but water’s fine.” No it wasn’t. At that point, Darien was nearly crying with boredom. If he had to sit through one more second of that inane drivel, someone’s head was going through a table.

“Excuse me.” With a push, Darien edged back from the table and headed for the Gents. As he passed, the noisy kitchen birthed intoxicating aromas of seared filets, port wine reductions, roasted while mushrooms, and signature onion-topped garlic potatoes au gratin with aged white cheddar. Burning, frosted sconces guided him through the oaky railcar décor, around glossy, chest-high booths brass buttoned with plum-colored leather, polished to a mirror shine. He paused briefly as a trio of businessmen slid out in front of him and laughingly headed toward the piano bar, not one turn away from the thick swing of a door that led to the men’s, blissfully empty. In the stall, he closed the door behind him, deftly rolled a fifty, and with a credit card from his wallet quickly chopped out a white line from the half-empty bag in his pocket. Leaning into the powder, he snorted and waited for the fireworks behind his eyes to subside. A second nose-up might have been an even better idea, if he wasn’t convinced the chang would collide with the useless chunder he’d listened to for the past two hours and make his head explode.

*** it. Rerolling the note, he bent over again.

The secrecy was purely for the client’s sake, of course. Moreau’s, which incidentally also had a location back in RhyDin, was the type of place where you could line one out on the dinner table and no one would so much as turn his head. But impressions were impressions, and until Fenner got word from Michael Twert back in RhyDin, he was stuck in the Terran RhyDin Post offices, and was forced to be on his best behavior.

Unfurling the fifty, the journo went to the mirror and surveyed the damage. Neatly groomed and kept though he was, that second line of coke left him so geeked up his reflection looked *** insane. He’d need a few shots of something if he planned on returning to the interview human.

It didn’t take long to reach the bar, and though every stool was full, it was Darien the bartender saw to first. Either he’d recognized Darien, or he’d recognized the look he was giving off, and without so much as a request, the journo suddenly had a double of whiskey poured in front of him. Darien struggled to commit the tender’s face to memory in order to offer his gratitude later, but at that point he was so amped he could feel his teeth vibrating. A mental note would have to do.

In the two seconds that it took for someone to sidle up next to him, his glass was empty and on the bar, awaiting a refill.

“Oh my Christ,” the brunette beside him breathed. It was the assistant from the table. She was thin – fit – and clearly not an assistant. Assistants and wives came to lunch. Whores and mistresses were reserved for dinner. “I thought he’d never shut up.”

Darien smirked. “Drink?”

“Yes, thank god,” the brunette – Rebecca? Robin? Ruth? - breathed, tousling her thick, chocolate waves in exasperation. “A double, preferably.”

“Trouble with th’boss?” the journo inquired innocuously, pointing the bartender at a half-full bottle of Glenlivet lined up next to the antique mirror on the other side.

Ri… Ru… the brunette fished a tube of lipstick from her clutch, its bright red application making her returning smirk that much racier. “Why do you care?” she replied, taking the scotch from the bartender and swallowing half of it before he even managed to set it down.

“I don’t,” the journo shot back, tapping his fresh glass against hers near-posthumously, “but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested.”

The dame’s blue-green eyes slanted mischievously as she swallowed the other generous half of her scotch. “Well,” she cleared her throat, wiping the ruby crescent from the rim of her glass with a cocktail napkin. “You got a place near here?”

That was quick. “Nn.” He scratched at the stubble on his chin. “But I’m leavin’ in’th mornin’,” he lied. Attachments were dangerous things.

“Well then. We may have to visit that interest you mentioned,” she teased, pursing her lips. “But right now I have to use the ladies’ room.”

An over-the-shoulder jerk of Darien’s head both sent her in the right direction, and gave the journo opportunity to ensure she, her six-inch heels, and terrific, heart-shaped ass made it there with no complications.

Giving her an 8 was definitely unfair. But then he still preferred redheads.
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Darien Fenner
Ancient Wyrm
Ancient Wyrm


Joined: 29 Jul 2009
Posts: 894
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39543.30 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The smartphone in Darien’s pocket buzzed just as he emptied his own glass, and he welcomed the refill the bartender noiselessly offered as the pad of his thumb unlocked the screen. Beneath a flashing news alert at the top of the device was a new text message from an anonymous number.

Quote:
We got what we needed, but there’s a good chance somebody’s found out. I need you back in RhyDin. Keep this to yourself.
-MT


How unusual. Someone went and made an honest man out of him. Perhaps he was leaving in the morning, after all.

Bored, he selected the flashing news alert at the top of the device. It was the latest updates from the Tag Team Tournament going on back in RhyDin. Vinny Smith and Rakeesh had apparently signed up. That would be interesting. Out of nowhere, suddenly, an advertisement banner that made him roll his eyes hid the latest fan boards. It was for Nicole’s Bistro, in RhyDin.

Why did that have to pop up? The wifi wasn’t even on.

Fortunately, his wife’s name hadn’t been on it. The last he’d heard of her, she was nominated for Beltane back in May, but given the fact that none of the follow-up alerts had mentioned her, it was likely she had lost. It was news that had filled him with both relief and regret – both sentiments which were renewed and made bitter by the second glass of scotch he had finished.

Yes, he was relieved. And he was regretful. Relieved that she hadn’t won, and regretful that her loss hadn’t been worse.

Somewhere in the haze of whiskey and blackouts months ago, Darien had awoken in her home to find his things packed, and the unsigned deed to his old penthouse tucked into the pocket of his old suitcase. She hadn’t even granted him the courtesy of letting him tell his children goodbye before she left and took them with her, leaving him poised on the rusty tines of disgust and rejection, with only a leftover piece of *** duffel from his bachelorhood there to keep him company.

Rather against his will, the journo’s masochistic fingers found the previous Beltane article he had idiotically bookmarked. The only picture on the page was a curly green Beltane article banner, followed by a short list of names for May Queen nominations. It was better that her picture hadn’t been included. The last time he’d seen her he refused to even regard her directly, and had thrown something when she muttered something pitifully delusional in his ear. It was all he could do not to hope that whatever he had thrown didn’t collide with her instead. The hell with her. She left him, and that was fine. That alone didn’t anger him. What did was that she refused to even own up to it. If you’re going to be a shark, be a *** shark.

Instead, she was being a martyr, and he hated her for it.

“You *** liar,” he growled at the name, clutching the metal frame of his phone so hard it creaked. It was an old slight, one that had happened months ago, but all the coke in his system was amplifying his reactions tenfold.

“Did you say something?” a coy voice interrupted him suddenly, too callow to mean something, but too inviting to resist.

The phone was silenced and pocketed. The distraction calmed him. “No. What were ya sayin’ before?”

Rose-colored lips puckered wickedly as Rebecca – it had to be Rebecca… or Rachel - held up her alternate work palm pilot. “What’s say my boss has a work emergency, and we get out of here?”

At that point, the story he was supposed to write had become irrelevant. If Twert was calling him back to RhyDin, it meant that he, the staff, and the entire newspaper were about to get into a *** of trouble. It was only a matter of time, in Darien’s opinion. Sooner or later, someone was bound to look more closely at the Post.

Eying the Beltane article for the last time, Darien’s fingers found the delete button on his smartphone screen, and with one stroke he rid himself of anything that reminded him of her.

If she ever toyed with him again, if she even came within ten feet of him, he would end her, and he would end her family. He’d accumulated enough information on them over the years that he would not hesitate to use. And then those pretty eyes of hers would fill with wonder and crippling regret that they ever *** with Darien Fenner in the first place.

“Sounds good,” he drawled at last, spinning his third scotch, now empty, so it made concentric wet rings on the countertop.

“Good,” Rebecca (Rita?) crooned, taking his hand and placing it on her hip. “Let’s get this night started before you have to go, huh?”

His fingers curled, slipping down and over the ass he was sure he’d be doing lines off of before the night was out. Then it was an early morning shuttle back to RhyDin, to clean up as much of the impending *** he could.

Even so, it would still be RhyDin. He hoped to god he wouldn’t see Collie there. If he did…

What he really needed was a clean slate, but there was no such thing as clean. A person elbow-deep in *** will feel the grime forever, and Darien was used to drowning in it.
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