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|"I'll be sure to."
He spoke to Ashton.
"When we get to the office we can call a towtruck to get your car."
|"You don't owe me anything," Daren said, nodding to those assembled in his bar.
"Just come by some night with some friends for a round and we'll call it even."
|"Perfect. If you're feeling well enough, I can take you down there and we'll get you set up."
Martin finished the coffee and stood up, offering his hand to both shake Ashton's hand and help him up. Once the boy was standing, he took out his wallet and directed himself towards Daren.
"How much do I owe you?"
|Ashton realized he'd been slowly winding down for years.
"Yeah, that sounds great, actually. Name's Ashton."
Ashton reached up to shake the man's hand. Apparently, he just kept owing this man more and more.
|Martin accepted the coffee from Daren with a nod. He took a silver flask with a gold inlay out from his coat's pocket and mixed a small amount of it's contents with the coffee. He took a sip, a pensive look on his face.
"You know, I've been looking for an assistant. Someone to keep the files in order and the office intact. One of the apartments above the office is open, so you could just stay there."
He took another sip.
"How's that sound?"
|Ashton smiled and clutched his chest, the ice helping the pain. The pain wouldn't be bothering him for a long time, but it hurt like hell now.
"Yeah, I'm really fucked. I've hit rock bottom. I live in a car and my job hates me almost as much as I hate it. And now this."
Ashton ran his hand over his head and laughed darkly. "The only thing I was meant to do was be a nuisance."
|Rourke grabbed as many mugs as he could juggle.
"Rough night, man?" He said to the clearly injured young fellow. He recognized him from the bar earlier. He set the cups down on a near-by table.
"Excuse me I have to go to the bathroom." Rourke was never a good lair and his voice was a little shaky. Did it hold up well enough or did he sound like he was on edge?
Once in the bathroom Rourke locked the door behind him. He sat on the closed toilet. A mirror and clear baggy appeared...
The sticky powder went straight to his brain as he tapped out a second line.
|"It's ok," Daren says, ushering Rourke into the bar. "Come on in."
He shut the door and grabbed the coffee pot off the machine. "Grab some mugs
would you? top left cabinet door."
With the he moved back into the front of the bar with the coffee pot and a bag
filled with ice.
|Rourke stood and hung his head in shame. He sniffled and wiped his nose on his sleeve. "I'm sorry, Daren," he said through ragged breaths. "I didn't have anywhere else to go."|
|Daren rushed into the kitchen to get some ice from the freezer and set a pot of
coffee brewing. A noise from the back alley distracted him however.
"What is with it this morning?" he muttered as he went to peek out the window.
Rourke was curled up on the floor, holding his head, and apparently sobbing.
"Shit," Daren cursed. Throwing open the door he dropped to his knees next to
Rourke. Wrapping one arm around the boy he attempted to get him to stand.
"Come on Rourke, let's just head inside."
|Light shone through a window on the next morning. Violette shivered and smiled, rolling over to feel a face against hers. Lightly kissing the person's lips, she smiled and rolled over to put her panties on. They were the black ones from the day before, she hadn't had time to go home and change, not yet. The light shone off of her half-naked body. Replacing her jeans, bra, and shirt from the day before. Clothing was strewn across the floor, and Violette was finding it hard to locate her shoes. She found one of them, but the other was nowhere to be seen.
-- "Vio, what's the matter?"
"Oh, I didn't mean to wake you, uhm, just looking for my other shoe.
-- "Hmmmmmm...Oh, there it is, under my panties."
"Thanks Jess, I'll get out of your hair now." Violette smiled, looking at the beautiful woman's body. "
-- "Awww, come here, don't leave yet."
"Oh fine, make room on that bed for me again."
Violette crawled into bed with the woman, a real blonde bombshell.
|Martin picked up Ashton and slung the boy's arm over his shoulder. He said,
"Coffee sounds good."
I need some sleep.
|Rourke was asleep in the backseat of his car when he thought he heard a scuffle. He lay there thinking about how screwed he was. What had he done?
He had pissed away everything his parents ever did, but he didn't regret it. He didn't want to think about it. He toyed with a baggy in his pocket. A man getting in his car, which was parked behin the one Rourke occupied, startled his reverie. He looked up to see Daren a bit down the street. (Rourke hadn't wanted Daren to see him outside). He did however need someplace to use what his fingers toyed with. The street was too risky.
He slowly sauntered to the back of the bar and rapped on the door. He stuffed his hands in his pockets to avoid the cold. He waited. No answer.
He thought. And suddenly he wanted to break into tears and so he did. He bent down clutched his head to the cold pavement and didn't care that he was in the back of bar crying his eyes out. What would his father say?
|Daren watched as Rourke walked out of the bar. The last patrons had left and
Violet sauntered out.
He wasn't positive about her but thought she might work out pretty well. He cleaned
up, got the bar set up for the next day and crawled upstairs to bed.
The next morning he was awoken abruptly by the sound of glass shattering
outside. Sitting bolt upright in bed he jumped to his feet and ran downstairs, still
dressed in nothing but a pair of jeans.
Grabbing a sword off his wall he sprinted downstairs and yanked open the door in
time to see a man running down the street away from the bar. Standing near the
wall were two other men. One of them being the kid from the previous night.
"Bring him in here," he called. "I'll start some coffee and get some ice."
|As the man charged towards the injured boy, the door of a beat up car parked on the street swung open, hitting him in the stomach. As the man attempted to sit up, he found the barrel of a Colt .45 pressed against his face. Martin crouched down close to the assailant.
"Charles, this isn't what we agreed. I told you I'd follow the kid and get evidence."
Martin sighed. He hated it when people tried to do his job. Especially when they didn't pay in advance.
"Now you're going to go on home, and I'll do my job. You'll get the bill in the mail. Now go."
Charles stood, still trying to catch his breath, and paused. Martin raised his eyebrows, and the jealous husband sped off. Martin holstered his weapon and helped Ashton up.
"You okay, kid?"
|Ashton walked out of the bar without a word, the money for the drinks left on the table. He sat for a good while underneath the glow of the streetlight. He hated his life at this moment. His mother was probably living with his big shot brother, thinking Ashton was doing well. Ashton's older brother Simon had done everything right. Simon had gotten promoted during his service in the military, Simon's company was pulling in massive revenues, Simon was in with enough of the right people he could be elected to Congress if he wanted to...
Ashton loved his older brother, but living under his shadow had been suffocating. So he left. And now, he had nothing. He had a dead end job, no friends, no skills, and no one who really loved him. The only people he felt loved him was his family, but he was too proud to crawl back.
So he planned to rot in this city. Rot in human disease until the virus of humanity brought him down to the darkest abyss. He'd drink down scotch and welcome it with welcome arms.
But at the same time, he felt like he had potential. One day he'd do something really important, something that would do a lot of good. He felt like he was...fated, almost, to accomplish a great deed. But, this manifest destiny of the self could just as easily be a lie he told himself to keep himself from depression. Hell if he could ever really know.
The next morning, Ashton awoke hard. Passed out in the front seat, he heard a loud crash as the left back window was smashed in with a wooden bat signed by Barry Bonds. Ashton jumped up to see a disgruntled man in mid years with a look of unbridled fury.
"You fucking shit-head!! Get out of there so I can break your pretty little face in!"
Ashton recognized the voice of the man whose wife he had slept with. Shit. He kicked open the right passenger seat and began bolting down the sideway. The man ran around the car and blocked his path. Ashton panicked and turned just as the man swung, hitting him square across the back. He winced in pain, but kept running. He lumbered over to the wall of the Green Dragon, just across the street.
Shit. Shit. Shit. Ashton clutched his pained chest as the man dropped the bat and ran at him. This dude was going to kill him!
|Rourke left rather silently. He didn't understand what was wrong with Daren. He hated mixed signals he was glad he found a job, but he didn't understand what he had done wrong. Daren, once flirtatious and outgoing, suddenly had this dark unpredicatable side to him.
Once Rourke reached his home he was welcomed by two police officers.
|Daren looks around the bar. "Nothing Major," he says.
"There's only about an hour left of the night. Go home if you want, or do you want
something from the kitchen? Either way be back here tomorrow at 12 noon. We open at
10 and go till 2 in the morning, you'll be here 12 to 8."
|"I say, yes. Of course. I don't want you to think I'm never serious, but you're giving me blue balls here." He took Daren's cigarette and inhaled deeply. He returned it to his lips and said. "It's almost closing is there anything you need me to do right now?"||Pockets
|"Ok serious time," Daren said to Rourke. "I'm offering you a job in my bar as a
waiter/busboy/cook. The hours suck, the pays not that great but better than
minimum wage and you get free drinks and food in your off hours."
He took a long drag on his cigarette. "So whadaya say?"
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