...And Then Some


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Scene Title …And Then Some
Synopsis Kain Zarek enters a dragon's den in order to seal a very important deal…
Date July 4, 2010

Lux Caelum, Cigar Bar

Chicago, Illinois

There's something that feels like home to the dark corners and smoky ambiance of Lux Caelum, a cigar bar nestled within the concrete and glass towers of the windy city. Behind closed doors and in the atmosphere that is more reminiscent of a prohibition era speakeasy than an actual cigar bar, this den is to Chicago what Mos Eisley is to Tatooine in the Star Wars movie.

Treading across the carpeted floor, Kain Zarek looks remarkly like be belongs here, in his pinstripe suit with a broad-shouldered and equally snappily dressed bodyguard dogging his heels. Cigar pinched between his fingers, Kain's entrance is heralded by a man of similar build but longer in the face, the short-cropped blonde hair of Jason Mines looks languidly across the polished tables and leather booth seating for the man of the hour.

Through a haze of cigarette smoke and the tinkling notes of Jazz piano, Mines catches the glint of a lighter reflected in dark sunglasses at one of the round booth seats closest to the piano. Flanked by red velvet curtains, Kain recognized the figure sat behind that table, even if a column of smoke from his own cigar makes it hard to discern his features.

Gideon d'Sarthe is as distinctive as he is infamous.

"Nice place y'all got here…" Kain comments to Jason as comes down a short flight of steps to the sitting floor, past a crowded bar and quiet diners, his attention diverted to the young brunette leaning up against the piano, her green eyes meeting Kain's blue for the barest of moments before they're hidden behind dark lashes.

Mines has no answer for Kain as he leads him over to his boss' table, sace for that halfway there, he turns to offer up a and to the Cajun, and looks over his shoulder to Manny behind him. "He can go sit at the bar, no hard feelings, but Gideon only wants to see you Zarek." Kain lifts his brows, lips pressed together tightly before he looks over his shoulder towards Manny, shrugging once in helpless manner.

"You heard 'em Sasquatch, go get yourself a Cosmo or somethin'." Huffing out a sigh at Kain's words, Manny swipes a thick fingered hand over his bald head, then nods slowly and turns back partway towards the bar, but seems intent on at least watching Kain's approach at Mines' heels towards Gideon's table from here.

Though the piano is uninhabited at this exact moment, the tinkling of glass and the murmur and pitched giggles of voices create as low a pressure ambiance as is manageable. It is just before the hour when many of the usual patrons make their way in; the bartenders are getting ready, there is a man stopping at the piano to deposit a songbook on its surface before he slinks away again.

Men who wear sunglasses in dark rooms only want one thing. And that, in particular, is to hide their eyes, plain and simple. When the proverbial eyes as the window to the soul strikes, these men are the ones that remain a mystery. Even so, as Jason Mines approaches the table with his ward, the glasses dip to face a still flickering lighter, a flinty glimmer of brown peering out above them. Gideon's eyes disappear when his head tilts back and the zippo clicks closed, mirrored glasses becoming twin shields once again.

From further away, he appeared as most men do; a sharp suit, shined shoes, hair combed back. Nearer, his vest is embroidered, his hands carry several rings, his cuffs have been folded onto the outside of his sleeves, his collar in the same way. Loose strands of hair float down against the gunmetal of his dark glasses. In the hand he had been holding overhead of his light, a paw-like hand, calloused and rough, pinches a thin cigar between index and middle fingers.

Smoke is still lifting from his lips, when Mines reaches the table. A second scarred hand gestures with great gentleness towards the portion of bench across from him. It is implicit. Sit.

A side-long look is offers to Mines as Kain takes a step past him towards Gideon's booth. It's odd to be on this side of the negotiating table, where the club beats of Rapture have become the Roaring Twenties atmosphere of Lux Caelum, where the tables have quite literally been turned, and it is now Kain on the approach towards the man with the home field advantage.

"Mister d'Sarthe," Kain politely notes with a tip of his head into a nod and a raise of his brows, stepping closer to the booth after giving Mines one last askance look before sinking down into the plus leather-backed seat. "Nice'a ya'll t'see me when Ah'm out here on vacation… looks like you're enjoyin' yer Fourth o' July." There's a faint crack of a smile across Kain's stubbled jaw at that, and as he sinks back against that plush upholstry, blue eyes divert down from Gideon's masked eyes to his own folded hands, cigar tucked between the index finger and middle finger on his right hand.

"Ah' guess Ah'll get right on down t'business. Ah'm on out this way from back east, see? Not sure how much your boy there's told'ja but Ah'm of the opinion that th' ol' Big Apple might be a bit better served by havin' the worm cut outta' it…"

Narrowing his eyes, Kain slides his tongue across the inside of his cheek. "Ah' hear tell that you an that big ol' worm used t'be compadres back in the day, and that there might not be as much good blood between you two now?"

Kain has the floor. He came to see a king, and the audience, at the beginning, is as one sided as such a thing can get. It is very much posturing, and at the same time a gesture lacking ill intent.

"Oui." Gideon responds long after Kain has finished, his lips leaving the unlit end of his tobacco, trailing smoke. His voice has a timbrous quality from the first word, increasingly spotted with a subtle rasp. "I was once a worm as well, you know-" Behind lenses, his eyes can be felt observing, note-taking. "These days, I am a bird. And to you, mon homme, I am the bird you are looking for."

Gideon brings up the tobacco to his lips again, the smell of the cigar a musk floating in front of him. "I've been waiting for the day that you people would come to your senses, as I did."

Lifting his cigar to his lips, Kain's blue eyes hood partway as he draws in a smoky breath, the glowing ember on the end of the cigar crackling orange for a moment. Holding in that heated breath, Kain lets one dark brow lift before he exhales a languid cloud of smoke from his parted lips, hazily drifting past his fingers. "Ol' Danny boy's got mah pearls in a vice, ever since he went and did his magic fingers act on me after Midtown got turned into Dust town." Those blue eyes divert down to Kain's muted reflection in the polished table top, then back up to the sunglasses shielding Gideon's eyes.

"Weren't till Ah' met me a little bird a'mah own that a'got the notion in mah head t'maybe pull mah ass outta' the fire. That's where you come in, Ah' hope…" Regarding the end of his cigar, Kain breathes in thorugh his nose, sucking in a few wisps of cigar smoke before resting the cigar down on the edge of the ash tray at the middle of the table.

"There's some fellers back east who'd be mighty interested in makin' nice with you, people who want to take down Danny quietly, divide up what's left of the carcass and go their seperate ways. Ah' figured that you might be wantin' t'get in on this here action, an'…" Kain's hands lift, fingers spread in a wide, offering gesture.

"Here Ah' am, good will ambassador from mister Cardinal." One bird to another, as it were. Unfortunately, Gideon d'Sarthe is more a raptor than a songbird. "Ah'm invitin' you t'come on over to New York, take in th' sights and meet some business partners a'mine. If it goes, it goes, if not… ain't no problem with lovin' an' losin'. Ah' figure we got the ass-sniffin part a'meetin' done with your boy Mines here," there's a look over to Jason's back where he stands watch by the table, then back to Gideon.

"Now it's all in your court. Details to be ironed out later…" Folding his hands together, Kain leans back in his seat with a creak of the leather, both brows raised. "So," he wonders with a grin, "how's the sales pitch?"

Gideon's eyes roam to examine Jason's back for a moment, an amused twitch on his lips. True. There were a couple of points in Kain's explanations that the older man's face increased its already heavy lines; primarily, in and around the passing information that he has vultures already circling, and some he knows by name.

"Cardinal?" A subconscious question of worth can be heard in his tone. Never heard of him. "I presume you do know that I've bought historical property within the last month. I have had plans for New York the day that he put himself there. Daniel has had his chance. He has long failed New York. Part of me had been hoping he would work what magic he possessed when he found himself in Nevada." D'Sarthe's faint accent comes out especially when he pronounces names; Nevada has turned into an eloquent 'neigh-vah-dah', as if it were some faraway land. Perhaps it is.

"I think that I will meet your partners. I see it as a sign, that my life of late has been so …fortuitous." Strong fingers place the thin cigar to the ashtray below, moving up to displace the sunglasses from his face. Though the rest of him seems to have been beaten and broken, the twinkling of Gideon's eyes seems to have never been missing from his face.

"Fortune favors th' bold, or so mah daddy told me…" Whether that was before or after Kain decided to set about murdering him is hard ot say. "Ah' think we got the beginnin' of a beautiful business partnership goin' on here, mister d'Sarthe, an' Ah'm lookin' forward t'seeing what you bring to th' table out in the Big Apple." Leaning forward across the table, Kain makes a gesture that is somewhat hesitant when considering the paw-like hands of the man seated across from him.

"Now Ah' dunno how things get done up here in' the Windy City, but back down south a man's word is as good as his handshake," dark brows furrow as Kain tries to keep the self-pleased grin from spreading further across his face. "To old habits dyin' hard, and bitter pricks like Daniel Linderman gettin' what's comin' to 'em."

You can take the Cajun out of the South, but you can't ever take the South out of the Cajin.

"Only that with worth ever goes on my tables, Monsieur Zarek." A flicking motion of his skull puts those strands of hair away from his temple, and Gideon meets the southern man halfway; hands meet over the table, and though it is not the gesturing he is most used to, it will have to do. His hands are as rough as they appear to be, visible scars now tangible lines on his palms and fingers.

Hard people lead hard lives, but that has never been so apparent to Kain as it is in the face of the scars adorning Gideon d'Sarthe's hand. The handshake that seals tihs deal comes between a southern mobster's grip and the taloned mitt of Gideon's. If ever Kain wanted to know what shaking the Devil's hand felt like, this may very well be it. Somewhere out in Vegas, Kain has to imagine, Dixon is shaking his head about all of this…

Leaning away from the handshake, Kain picks up his cigar on the way back down to sitting, smoothing out his tie with one hand and offering a look over to where Manny is sitting at the bar, schmoozing the brunette Kain had spied at the piano just a little bit earlier. One dark brow goes up, and failing to recognize Gideon's daughter allows an appreciative smile to cross Kain's lips.

"Well, Gideon, looks like mah work here's done. Ah'm gonna head on back t'New York an' let the boys know the good word, an' as soon as you're ready t'meet with people, your boy Mines has mah' contact information." Starting to rise up from his seat, Kain bites down on the cigar between his teeth, sliding out from the booth.

Though not a gesture he reserves, Gideon d'Sarthe raises from his seat at the same time that Kain does; what he does next is similarly terrifying and embarrassing. Mostly terrifying. Those big hands find Kain's shoulders, forcibly- surprisingly able to- bringing his face down those few inches to Gideon's eye level. He makes it look like any other farewell, when it comes to kissing the air on either side of the younger man's face. But, he lingers, one palm finding a firm plant on the side of Zarek's neck, thumb grazing windpipe and glasses tilting down to stare him in the eyes. His rasp never gets an ounce louder than it had moments ago.

Gideon is no spring chicken. On the other hand, his physical strength is tenfold.

"If I catch you looking at my daughter again, I shall skin you alive with the dullest butter knife that I have in my kitchen. Je le promets. Do I make myself perfectly clear?"

Hard people lead hard lives, and Kain Zarek had thought he's seen up and down the ends of that spectrum before. He'd never paid attention to the rumors on the street, the stories about Gideon d'Sarthe that seemed so much to be urban legends. But the truth of the matter is, in this day and age, you can't ever dismiss something that seems wild and unlikely as fantasy. This is a world, after all, where scarred old man can suddenly turn into rippled muscle-laden behemoths threatening to skin you alive for looking at their daughter.

At least, growing up in Lousianna as he did, Kain's used to the latter part.

"L— Loud n'clear…" the Cajun hoarsely notes with blue eyes wide and — for the sake of his own arrangement — hand not going anywhere near that concealed revolver of his, unreliably as it is.

Rising up from his barstool, Manny's slow ascent and progress over to Kain comes with a side-step around Gideon's daughter Marie, eliciting Mines to take a step forward to block the towering bodyguard's path with a silent stare and a raise of his brows as if challenging Manny to try and get past him.

"Loud an' clear," Kain repeats, just in case Gideon didn't get it the first time, because this is an awkward and painful position to be in.

The firm hand on his neck loosens, patting three times on Kain's stubbled cheek. The older man's jaw works a moment, lips curling into a strangely warm smile. "Bon garçon. Itinérance yeux sont facilement découper." As he speaks, he laughs, clapping Kain firmly again on his shoulder and glancing over at Jason stalling Manny. Still chuckling, he peers back to Zarek.

"Enjoy the city for a night, hmm? Free, mind you- I am by no means a terrible host…"

For all that Kain's expression bares some similarities to a dog that was just struck with a rolled up newspaper, he does manage to laugh nervously along with Gideon. Sure, the gigantic terrifying Frenchman is laughing, so things must be funny. Grimacing, Kain's dark brows lower as he offers a hesitant smile to accompany the throaty sound of laughter, suddenly finding the smoke from his own cigar to be a noxious, vile thing burning the back of his throat.

"Sure that— that sounds won'erful…" Stammering some, Kain reaches up to lift that cigar from his lips, breathing in deeply on stepping past Gideon, though never taking his eyes off of the gorilla of a man. It's only once he gets past Mines and is back in the familiar arm's reach of Manny that Kain actually relaxes some, and only some.

"What'd he say t'you?" Manny asks with a furrow of hairless brows, one hand resting against the center of Kain's back as he guides hima way from Gideon's table. Kain's throat works up and down in an awkward swallow as his attention turns to Manny and then down to the cigar he's holding.

"He said we're in business," is an understatement, but so it, "an' that Ah' might wanna warn Cardinal that the boss' daughter's off-limits."

Back in New York City, Kain Zarek may be the man with the Devil's Smile, but here in Chicago Gideon d'Sarthe is the man with the Devil's Hands.

It's a distinction Kain Zarek won't soon forget.

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