Lambskin - Scald


jericho_icon.gif logan_icon.gif peyton2_icon.gif

Scene Title Lambskin - Scald
Synopsis Ironically, it would appear that the nightclub called Big Stones is kiddie-diddler business central. An unlikely trio converges to investigate.
Date September 10, 2010

Not far from Harlem

It's called Big Stones, which is its own class of classy, no doubt. Red crimson fluorescence races around for signage, fifteen feet above street-level, and there's a line that goes fifteen people down the pavement despite that all the hearsay John Logan has heard had it that the club isn't honestly all that big. Restrained. Tasteful.

Not much of a deductive leap, then, to suppose that those filing along patiently outside in wait no doubt occupy the lower tiers of a certain subculture that mainstream is best off not knowing exists at all, some combination of trophy wives-to-be and criminals who've yet to get their foot into anybody's doors. One young man with a gold chain and a letter pendant hanging off his neck, a bulge in the small of his back where his handgun's poking out. A skinny girl with a silver lame` clutch.

It's odd to watch who the bouncer stops. A man in a sleekly-striped black Armani suit is waved away albeit with a respectful apology, backed by personal security thicker-set even than the bouncer himself, and there's a traitorous bulge of purple vein in the offended would-be-patron's neck before he twists away irritably. A haggard redneck slips in inches from the suit's elbow, though, and his date is a tweedy girl with a briefcase that keeps bouncing against her knee. She shoots the bouncer a nervous look, and there's no real question where his eyes go on her behind his shades.

Not to Logan, approaching in his personal style, nor to Jericho and the little clairvoyant that could, where they're sitting shoulder-to-shoulder inside the blocky white shape of their nondescript, and infinitely creepy van. Jericho grunts something. The word 'cunt' comes up, though the rest is oddly indistinct, considering the pyromancer's tendency toward painful clarity with the stupid shit he says. Probably something about what the chair's digging into his crotch, though they've only been sitting for twenty-five minutes. Long enough to dismiss any likely association between them and the erstwhile pimp wandering up to Big Stones' doors.

"It's been like five fucking years since I was at a club," Jericho concludes, dropping his binoculars to his lap.

Peyton has no need of binoculars, watching instead through the green eyes of John Logan as she leans her head against the damp-feeling glass of the van, one knee curled up toward her chest, her bare foot on the upholstery of the seat. The flip flops she was wearing have been kicked off and sit on the floorboard below.

Her eyes are unseeing, seeming to stare through the windshield but for the fact that the pupils are huge and black in her eyes, with only the slimmest ring of copper brown left between the black holes and the whites of her eyes.

"No? I manifested in a club. Lost my cosmo martini on the dance floor or something. Charming. You can see that shit on Youtube," Peyton says with a wry, self-deprecating chuckle. "You wanna go to one sometime? I bet you clean up nice." Her hand gropes unseeing for his shoulder, than curls there — more for a sense of security for herself, since she can't see him.

Logan is alone tonight. No sequined bottle ginger who speaks in mews and inebriated giggles, no naturally ginger other Russian dogging his steps like the faithful wolfhound chained to the back of Burlesque, and no giant Tongan telepathic bodyguard (in sight, anyway). Having finished off his cigarette to crush the remainders beneath wingtip heel, he paces alone towards the lit up front face of the club, red light slicing clean on his form in flashes of movement.

There is no glance back towards cars or followers, though he expects they're there. Shared gaze angles up at the flashing red signage, back down towards the hired muscle guarding the entryway like moving gargoyles of Morpheus' palace. Logan makes a small show of playing his fingertips along the red rope that pens up the line of fifteen, other hand tucked into the satin-lined pocket of his jacket. On him, he has his cellphone on his belt, a lighter and cigarette case in a pocket, and a pistol hidden somewhere beneath the sleek lines of tailored, worsted wool, all matte black with silk in his waistcoat and golden thread in open collared shirt, only showing leopard print patterns when it catches a certain angle of light.

His smile is more noticeable, sharp and cutting, once patent-leather clad foot finds red carpet. "Evening," he says to the bouncer, glancing him up and down, eyes for now pale and drained of their colour in the throw of lights from the club. "Busy night. Can I make this quick for you?"

"Ba," the bouncer says. It was probably the beginning of something like 'Back of the line,' but Logan cuts him off very neatly, leaves him with the half-syllable hanging out of his big, stubbly jaws, and interest magpie-lambent in his eyes over the sleak-cut top of his sunglasses. Maybe more cat than bird, though. There's a certain class of bouncer that turns down bribes and takes malicious, claws-kneading pleasure in doing so. There's no 'Um,' or 'Oh, I mean.' He lapses out of the wasted syllable like he hadn't even made a mistake. "You can try," the man answers, benignly, "cupcake."

Probably fortunate Jericho couldn't hear that. His shoulder is raw-boned but reassuringly solid under Peyton's fingers, and then his own hand bridges long over the top of her hand. He always runs a little hot. Flattering jokes aside, it probably has something to do with the fact that he's a pyrokinetic, even if it's a permeating ache and tactical vulnerability of his, that he does not carry around the fire inside himself, needs to draw power from the outside.

"Whatcha betting 'clean' doesn't have fuck-all to do with me?" he asks, wryly funny about it, but she can tell just from the shift of tendons and knuckles around her hand that he's picked up his binoculars again, watching Logan go from strut to conversation.

"Clean's overrated," Peyton quips back, but she taps her ear as if to an invisible headset. "Gonna listen," she murmurs, tipping her head as she concentrates on drowning out the soft, ambient noises of the van and its surroundings, and instead focuses on listening to Logan and the bouncer. Audio is still to new to her, and takes a little more effort to turn off and on, though once she's in, she's in.

"I won't be able to hear you now, but tap me if you need me to listen to you," she murmurs, glancing Jericho's way with the unseeing, blind eyes, out of sheer force of habit rather than that she can see him. Her own view is unchanged, the bouncer up close and personal through the first-person perspective of John Logan.

Feeling the prickle of annoyance and watchful amusement from the person waiting to get in next, obediently standing in place, it's a little like being on stage — never mind the girl peering through his pale eyes that do not go lambent green. His power isn't persuasion or even empathy — he can't pick and choose what his target mentally assigns to the thrumming of serotonin, and the bouncer may just enjoy, too much, turning Logan away should he do anything to enhance it.

It's not rocket science. His hand is resting on the silver piping that strings red velvet between it and its twin some several feet down the line, as if postured on a cane. "My name's John Logan," he says. "I run a strip club across town." Your mum works for me, is very tempting, but unwise. "I'd like to get in the door and I'd imagine your management shares that sentiment." There's a glance over, as if he were trying to assess the worth of the bouncer's judgment in the matter, only to find it lacking. "I can wait while you check."

Generous. A more visible manifestation of the same would be the slender shape of wallet slid out from satin and wool, to thumb for a tip — the kind these types are used to.

It's not the name by itself. John Logan's reputation precedes him in a lot of places, but so do a lot of people's, and this isn't Staten Island, the Rookery, or the bad guy yearbook defaced in Phoenix's bookshelf marked THINGS WE HATE. Something about the way the name is presented, then. The bouncer stares at the lanky Englishman for a long moment, and the claws retract, at least long enough for him to answer with a chuff of air that smells like cologne, turn away to click his walkie-talkie. The conversation is brief, and only half-audible, but that's only as long and as audible as it needs to be.

"All right, son." The man unlinks the velvet rope in front of Logan, and something about the grab of his big hands is like he thinks he's rescuing something from the Englishman's paws. Maybe the guy on the walkie had said something impressive, or else a man with little power and his size is naturally wont to be aggravated by the slime residue that a man of Logan's stature and relative influence seems to leave off. It is always sad when one's crime-penis is too small. "This way." The doors open.

Blacklights— not too much; then low light, tasteful. There's a short hallway and it's full of craquelure and startling tasteful photograph nudes before the floor cedes to wide carpet, narrow bar that's composed of a luxuriously few slabs of marble, pillows and booths for conversation and a dancefloor, not a single menu in sight. The private area is denoted by an unmarked staircase, presided over by nothing more than the tiny eye of a security camera.

Jericho doesn't reach at Peyton's hand. He merely watches her face with nearly palpable interest now, his own visual aid rendered useless, heaped on his gangly lap.

"He's in," Peyton murmurs — it's like talking in a too-loud space; she can feel the thrum of her voice and the breath leaving her lips but she can't actually her the words falling from her lips. "Hold on — we'll let him get situated before you call," she murmurs to Jericho, then gives a slight shake of her head, clearing the sounds of the bar for a moment.

She tips her head toward him again, though her dilated pupils tell him she's still seeing the club's interior and not his face as she looks past him into seeming nothingness. "There's a private area leading upstairs, and there's the general bar area downstairs… should we tell him to try the general area first, or move up? I don't know if anyone will stop him if he goes up the stairs, but … if we try the numbers and the people they belong to are upstairs, and no one's answering, they might not fall for it a second time, right?" Her worry is evident in the furrow of her brow and the tone of her voice. This is probably a long shot, she knows, and they probably have just this one chance for it to work.

Peyton will follow the long, ponderous look that Logan gives the stairwell marked off as private, possible temptation, but erstwhile pimp doesn't go sashaying that way just yet for all that most fibres of his being dictate that his chances of getting that far are greater improved without the loitering. Which is why, despite the speculative glance, his foot falls fall in sharp, short confident steps for the bar, moving with the same authority with which he'd first entered the place, fifty bank note held for the taking should the bouncer have had desire to be rewarded for good behaviour.

Cruising up to the bar as slickly as a yacht pulling into port, Logan braces a hand against marble edge. This place is so nice (for its name) (to Logan). He could almost come here more often, except for—

You know. "Could I get a glass of house red?" he enquires, voice down and polite, not really paying much attention to the bartender, but faking it well enough before he glances alongside of himself towards the other moving figures of the establishment. His other hand unconsciously lays long fingers over his cellphone.

The glass of house red smells like California, which isn't a bad thing to have up your nose, even if you are from a country notorious for real weather. Looks like boiled ruby in the glass to Peyton's eyes, and Logan's, both.

It tastes all right, too, and the bartender seems like he's on the verge of striking up conversation about the year or the vineyard, eager light behind his eyes, when some dim signal about the fall of Logan's arm down his side registers. It doesn't elicit discomfort in the barman, however. Instead, there's a quizzical quality to his smile, and he leans his sleeve-rolled elbows on the slick-veined marble. "Mr. Logan, right? Looking for someone particular?"

Laughter skitters by on lofty notes, girly syllables. The bottle-redhead over there apparently finds her balding beau utterly hilarious. The feeling is not mutual, judging from the stare she elicits from him and the two middle-aged gentlemen sharing her space.

"Doesn't matter if they pick up, does it?" Jericho asks. The phone is already out in his long-fingered hand, his thumb carving down to slice bar-shaped highlights down the list of contacts. "Long as the fuckers even look at their phone to check, we know we have something. These douchebags mean business. Means you pick up when you're called."

The clairvoyant nods her agreement before turning away and resting her head against the glass once more — little tics to non-verbally show Jericho when she can and can't hear him. "

Okay. He's at the bar and ordered a drink," she explains, listening in on Logan once more along with the noise of the club and those within it. "I suppose we might as well try. If we don't get any hits, I'll text him and have him try the upstairs, maybe bribe his way up," she murmurs, her voice soft as if she's worried about interrupting those she's eavesdropping on, or giving away her own very remote locale. "Text him first so he knows to be alert, and I'll describe to you anyone we see — of course I'll be able to spy on anyone we see from now on, too."

Logan's glance goes from the drifting shapes of people in the room towards the bartender, looking at him in a somewhat observatory way instead of pleasant acknowledgment for conversation. Sort of an automatic thing his eyes do, dim and uninterested, before a polite smile cuts beneath it and does nothing to seem engaging. "More like I'm hoping particular someones are looking for me," is delivered smoothly and dismissively, hand coming off his cellphone to pick up his glass by the bell-shape of its cup, a small tip of cheers before he sips the American-native beverage.

The impatience in the set of his shoulders may have to do with the contents of the room, even the building, but more accurately would be reference to the contents of a car not so far from here.

Jericho starts texting. His thin brown thumb flushes down onto lime-lit buttons, bleebeeping figures across the tiny monitor, a string of digits that he opted to memorize rather than log into the address book under anything incriminating. It's only a second, maybe three, before Logan's cell chimes in a message: 'Gonna start calling.' Most recent received numbers to the earliest, was the plan, however haphazardly and minimally discussed earlier. They're different kinds of people.

The bartender offers a knowing smile in response. Good man. Well-trained, at least. He inclines his head and steps away, mirror-polished shoes clicking the floor. Going to fetch a bottle of something, mix a drink that was ordered through some inscrutable mix of hand-signals across the room.

"Okay," Jericho says. "It's ringing."

Not where they can see, though. Not that Logan can see at all, while the glass is clicking, the girls tittering, and a bouncer roves the shadowy corners of the establishment like a whale shark straining for dinner. Someone picks up, and Jericho cuts the call off with a dimly panicky shot of a thumb down on the scarlet iconograph of the slashed-through phone. Waits, maybe thirty seconds, before he connects through to another, and then there's a flicker of movement out of Logan's peripheral vision, a tall, lean figure in a knife-edged suit with a hand bulging in his jacket pocket, making his way down — toward the restroom black door, flanked by bouncers like to clear it out for him.

Peyton shakes head at the first number, slipping between her own perspective and Logan's quickly, when it fails to bring anyone into view, but her breath catches when that man in the suit reaches into his pocket. Knowing Logan is about to lose sight of him, she clears her vision, taking the moment of silence to glance at Jericho. Her eyes are already dilating again as she speaks in a quick rush of words so as to spit them out before she misses anything: "There's a guy, he's going in the bathroom, I'm going to swap to one of the bouncers with him, so I can listen in on anything they're talking about."

Her vision shifts to the bouncer's, and once more she taps her ear to show she is listening and won't be able to hear Jericho until he taps her for attention.

Phone is checked, an absent roll of Logan's eyes carelessly tumbling around Peyton's point of view, before he's watchful of the things he needs to be watchful of, only breaking off his attention and roaming it back down to his glass of red by the time the guy is out of view. Rather than form an elaborate ruse about needing to take a leak already, that lead is more or less left as it is after an attempt at identifying the man's face.

He leans his spine against the bar, and thumbs back a text of '?', which is probably meant to signify whatever might be important to Jericho — 'what next?' through to 'get anything?'

Another sip of ruby red, grazing his attention over the faces available to him.

Three men are hiccuped out of the restroom without a fuss. The bouncers just wave their hands, and they go like so many unusually well-trained sheep, and then the burly men slide out, too, leaving their presumed employer to clap the door shut behind himself and wander off to the sink. Peyton sees her own reflection. His own reflection. Raw-boned cheeks, a lined brow, his gray-lined hair smoothed back in a style that looks like grease and probably smells as expensively as perfume. He flips the phone open.

"Eli? Where the fuck have you been?"

The words are copied out, delayed echo, tinny in the air in the air compressed within the van. Jericho's eyebrows have shot all the way up his forehead, into his hairline. He hits Disconnect at the same instant that the bouncers grunt at each other, settling outside the doors with their arms straight down, rather than television glamour's interpretation of meaty hands cupped with puzzling protectiveness over their groins, staring straight ahead.

Instead, it's Logan who finds a gray shadow draping over the bar at his shoulder again, the bartender back with a martini. Very, very dirty, olives massed like a bunch of grapes around the long plastic pick. "Compliments of the lady," he says, nodding his head over at a woman who— must be in her forties. Crows' feet at the corners of her lacquered eyes, a dishy wink for him. "But you should probably wait 'til Mr. Delaware is out of the bathroom," he says, companionably light. "I've seen her leave bruises leaning in on the kidneys of fatter men than you."

Peyton squeezes her hand on Jericho's shoulder, giving a nod to indicate she saw the man, then speaks, though she can't hear her own voice. "He's in the bathroom — that was him who answered, said Eli, right? He's apparently swanky, they cleared out the bathroom for him, three bouncers with him," she reports, still watching him to see if he's there to do anything more interesting than take a leak in the bathroom. "I can go back to Logan if you want. You might ask Logan if he knows the guy, possible he recognizes him, tell him it's the one who just went into the bathroom."

"Oh, cheers," is said with careful sarcasm, intended for shared humour between he and the bartender that, this time, Logan doesn't dismiss right away. Obligingly, he settles a spider of a grip over the wide brim of the martini glass, noncommitally turning it as a wry tilt to his smile turns up the corners of his mouth. "Least she knows how I like it." A wink was tipped back in the glance towards the lady~, but one probably needs to be up close to see the humour in that too.

Like gentleman barkeep. "Get a lot of girls down this way, do you?" he asks, and his attention settles on the help, now, a small push of lifting good mood as his eyes look somewhat greener in the tasteful lighting. "I might not have thought it." The olive-lined pick is extracted, left to drip oily gin.

The tiny window rolls back under the bleebeep ding of Jericho's thumb. He gets a '?' message and mutters something unflattering about its sender, before firing off another few keystrokes response. 'Guy in the bathroom.' Not that, you know, John Logan doesn't already know.

'Know the man in wc?'

The barman in his button-down and black shoes beams. His skin's a little olive, and there's a gold ring on his thumb which is actually a Lord of the Rings trinket, a knock-off of the One Ring, but John Logan probably doesn't have a sufficient basis of cultural reference amassed for that. "Dunno if 'girl's the right word for the lady," he changes the subject, smooth albeit a little shyly, "but I won't argue. We get all kinds. Delaware's who you want to go to for girls, though.

"Well," a lapsing pause. "He was." A flicker of unease across his features, then. He thinks he may have spoken out of turn. Glances sidelong at the doorway, just as a bar of fluorescent light is seeping out of the inward swing of doorjamb, the shape of Delaware storming out like a pissed off jaguar. Even the back of his suit jacket flips to and fro like the tail. "I'm sure he'd appreciate it if you wanted to do some business."

Having swapped back to Logan since target number one is not talkative, Peyton tunes in just in time for that bit of information as the barkeep relays that girls is something this man Delaware would be able to help with. "Bingo," she breathes out, fingers tightening on Jericho's shoulder.

"The guy who picked up, his name's Delaware, and the bartender is telling Logan to talk to him for business if he is into girls, with like, a gross emphasis on the word girls that makes me think he doesn't mean legal," she says, her eyes narrowing with disgust. She taps her ear to show she's listening again, staring unseeingly out the windshield. Those tapping fingers then run into her hair as her palm presses into her temple — the swapping of targets and the focus on audio starting to wear her down a little, the threat or promise of a headache in her pulsing in her veins.

The pressure of chemical influence on the bartender's system doesn't lessen, but it doesn't emphasise, either, just a steady maintenance of positive vibes as Logan considers his stalk of olives before sliding one off the plastic pick, canine tooth puncturing booze-soaked fruit flesh. Vermouth and gin ripple, filthy with olive juice, as he plunks the item back into the drink. He thumbs back a reply to Jericho.


Ish. "Have to do everything yourself," he mutters, as if chastising some made up employee he's left unattended, before casting an apologetic smile at the bartender. Apology or no, there is a constant wolfish quality to it, in the baring of teeth. "Only girls?"

"Yeah. Heard he's expanding, though," the bartender remarks, his long fingers moving gracefully around a new glass selected out of a row below marble-level. Ice clinking, miniature icebergs swizzing a waltz, before the whiskey drops in in amber-colored rivulets and braided fluid topography. "Whatever it is, it's a big secret. Usually, they like to talk to me and the other girls and boys behind the bar so we can pass phone numbers or names along, but you should probably stay out of this one. Friendly advi—"

The metrosexual penguin abruptly stops talking exactly then. Straightens up, posture-perfect, and smiles with few enough teeth to pass for artifice, but Logan knows that there's artifice in there somewhere, training. Conditioning. The shimmer of neurochemical feel-good would trick him into sloppier than that, if he hadn't practiced. "Mr. Delaware," the bartender is saying, seamlessly attentive. "Vodka gimlet or white Russian?"

"Vodka shot," the man answers. His voice sounds like iron filings being trodden on with rawhide boots a hand's-width thick. Lifelong smoker, probably. He settles on the stool one down from Logan, arms loose across the chilly marble.

Jericho opens his mouth to ask what's happening. Realizes Peyton isn't— can't be listening, and shuts it again with a vulpine click of teeth, settling. Sigh. Another phone comes out of his pocket, and his thumb squeezes out the letter 'D.'

Eyes still that eldritch black, Peyton continues to listen and watch, her hand now twisting in her hair unconsciously, curling a strand of long dark hair around her finger. "Bartender says he's expanding, that it's a secret, telling John to stay out of it maybe, kinda weird…" Since the tender had just been telling Logan that Delaware might want his business.

She bites her lower lip, raking it through her teeth when the man sits, and she frowns, tipping her head slightly. "Delaware just came to the bar, right near Logan." She feels like a sporting event's color commentator, without much of the color.

This time, Jericho's text goes ignored, and the influence of Logan's ability ebbs away from the tide of neurochemicals that bartender was formerly swept beneath. His eyes drain back to their fishbelly paleness as he takes a finish sip of wine, pushing the glass away, and allowing himself to toy with the martini drink he got in its stead, honestly preferring the no-nonsense bite of it anyway. "Cheers," he tells barkeep, for his friendly advi, slanting a glance towards Delaware and squeezing a smile just for him too, all crescent, unfeeling eyes, and snake thin-lippedness.

Flashing a more sincere kind of smirk to the bartender, Logan chooses not to engage with the suit wearing man just next to him immediately, a short message fired back to the car.

movin on#

That was probably meant to be a question mark.

"That's John Logan."

The words sidle at Staten Island's formerly most accomplished pimp, a perfunctory introduction taking place despite that he hasn't introduced himself. Delaware looks up and follows the other man with a curious eye, but only Peyton can see, a flicker of a mirror-glass reflection out of the corner of Logan's peripheral vision as the Englishman twitches his head aside to type into his phone. The middle-aged woman who'd bought him his first cocktail for free looks distinctly irritated, her drawn-on eyebrows hooked like a banshee's taloned fingers over her critical stare.

Jericho hits Send, and McRae is one name richer. Blinks when Logan's message chimes in. "Where the fuck's he going?" he asks, glancing up in some expectation that Peyton's momentarily turned down the volume while the Englishman changes locations. "Is he coming out? Gonna buy a hooker from some idiot who branded himself after a non-state a shit's distance from New York?"

"They're not chatting or anything, just a little introduction, but then he texted to you. I think he means try the next name, maybe?" Peyton says, not hearing Jericho's queries but answering them all the same, turning her face toward him out of habit again, though her eyes do not see him, sharing Logan's perspective as it is. It can tend to make her a little motion sick of sorts, the movement of her head not quite jiving with the movement of Logan's. It's something she's gotten used to, but the longer she's in the shared vision, the more such maladies afflict her. She exhales and takes a deep breath.

"It is indeed," is absently responded to, filled in in the wake of Delaware's assessing silence, curling his cellphone back against his palm. One shaped eyebrow raises at the bartender, but there's no complaint in either the tone of his voice or the other lines and slopes that make up his expression. Leaning his arms back against the bar as he apparently waits for texted reply, Logan's back is thusly turned to middle-aged woman, either rude enough or ignorant enough to pay her no mind.

A sip of gin is enjoyed, before he lifts his chin towards the staircase marked off as private. "So what, does the real party start up there, then? I had enough of a hassle getting in the front door." This is mostly aimed to bartender, but the scope of conversation seems to include Delaware in a glance.

Delaware lofts an eyebrow in return. His are steel-colored, to go with the curiously knife-like shape of his jaw, and the incisored stare that seems to prick where it lands on the former pimp. "Looking for some play?" he inquires, indelicately. "We have girls. Cleaner than yours were." Ah. So he's heard of little England, and apparently, in only the most flattering of terms. His long-fingered hand flicks a wry shape in the air, and he twists his head away to study his vodka glass moodily. "You can go upstairs.

"Ask for Mariella. Or the twins, if you're feeling loa-ded, tonight." There's a sniff before his voice fades its rust-edged rattle into nothing, and he twists serpentine to crowd over his glass. It's always interesting, watching a sociopath give in to the urge of self-pity. Well, possibly not for Logan. It's like an iron gate clapping down, for a moment there, tangible and visible as the last ray of sunlight eaten out of the horizon by dusk.

Only then: an instant's waver. Gray-eyed curiosity moving sidelong. "Though," sounds like it's grating out through his molars, "if Daniel Linderman wants to leave a number."

A grimace mars the delicate features of Peyton's face and she frowns, her lids dropping to shield those wide eyes, though they stay open beneath the veil of thick lashes, the gaze seeming to land on the dash in front of her, if she were able to see it. A little shudder prefaces her words.

"He asked if John's looking for play, telling him he can go upstairs, ask for Mariella or the twins, and he asked if Linderman wants to leave a number," she reports, her voice soft as if keeping the words quiet will help to protect the innocent girls that the man alludes to, as if it will undo whatever heinous acts go on up those stairs.

Jab between men of similar professions is taken as it should be — with a smile and a condescending, cattish stare over the rim of martini glance. Logan's tongue touches the corner of his mouth to collect up remaining droplets of mixed gin as he listens to Delaware, glancing towards the manned staircase and allowing that small wrinkle of thought to crease at his brow. "Tonight, I'm attempting not to mix business with pleasure," he denies, with a tone that says thanks anyway.

"I'm here to see if there's anything worth leaving Daniel Linderman's number with," is added with luxurious contempt for new money in the crime scene. "Last I heard, you were drowning in the shallow end of the blackmarket, mate. What did you find that's got you afloat now?"

You don't even need to be as well-versed in people as Logan is, to see it when rancor sears through the other man's face. More interestingly still, it's turned oddly inward. Peyton can see there's annoyance there, a nerve touched, but it's probably only available to the Englishman's interpretation, that the pang going through this man's emotional spectrum is rare and unusual, borne out with the aggravation of a criminal who'd thought himself hardened. And he probably doesn't even have a giant African empath to excuse his behavior. That's telling enough, even without another message from the idiot kids in the van.

"Fuck off, you little Limey prick."

There's a snap of long fingers, and suddenly, the two burly bouncers who had otherwise done an excellent job keeping themselves occupied come forward, heavy hands open, their intent obvious if not particularly coarse or violent in its presentation. Reaching for Logan's thin upper-arms, their strides measured to syncopate with the man's own.

There is a sharp rise of Peyton's brows at that sudden flash of anger that she doesn't understand, shaking her head. "Logan pissed him off somehow, he's about to get thrown out of here with bouncers," she summarizes for Jericho, then blinks hard, clearing her vision and looking at him as her pupils constrict to their normal size.

She runs one hand over her brow and then her eyes, rubbing them hard enough to cause the whorls of color and swirls of silver, like fireworks behind the lenses. "Gonna swap back to Delaware, see what he says, unless you want to try any of the other numbers. He'll work for me to see if anyone else picks up, but it sounds like he's our man," she murmurs. "Watch for Logan, make sure he gets out okay."

There's a bark of laughter that follows, right in Delaware's face, as immediate to the click of fingers as the bouncers' responses are. Logan's grin is hard even if his eyes flash with an obviously curbed amount of aggression, not budging an inch until meaty fingers are crinkling expensive jacket fabric and the softer leopard print blend beneath. "Oh, I see. Big man now. Have a good night yourself," is slithered out between flashing white teeth as Logan is plucked from the bar as easily as someone tugging clinging vine off a wall. His hand makes a bony, possessive bracket around his cellphone, and he's smart enough to not go for the pistol beneath his jacket. "Be seeing you.

"Call me," is added to the attractive barkeep, over his shoulder, before Logan is letting a violent shrug jostle the grips on his arms in clear I can walk myself out ta very much disdain for the hired muscle.

The barkeep's face threatens to light up, but he manages to shut that down just as Delaware turns back with something like murder black behind his features. A hiss goes out of him, clouded by the closed spaces inside his own skull for Peyton's secondhand hearing, and it isn't another second before the vodka's all gone, reverberating gulp, his eyes slitting displeasure, a screech of wood skidding backward under his straightening legs. "I'm out tonight," he mutters, aiming a finger-flick of a shove at the shoulder of the bouncer who'd let go of Logan first. "Do not fucking disturb."

Logan makes it to the door, and the air is tautly cold, smelling still of the cigarettes that constitute the diet of every man or woman in the waiting line during their stint out in the open. The bouncer who had given him a little hassle earlier levels a small eye on him, noting the not entirely dishevelled state of his clothes, the sharp rap of triumph to his stalking gait, and allows a fraction of a smile: almost a smirk.

"He's out," Jericho says. There's a lighter burning in his hand. "A-hole looks A-okay." That isn't exactly a surfeit of joy, but nor is there disappointment, certainly. The boy's other wiry hand closes on the handle inside the van, but he doesn't open it yet, watching Logan for any sign that the Englishman would prefer elsewhere to go.

The clairvoyant blinks again, opening her eyes with pupils that are once again back to their normal size for the ambient light, and she nods. "Delaware say he's out tonight, do not disturb." She's taking a break for the moment, turning to look out the window at Logan, watching him as he makes his exit from the bar intact.

"I'll look back in just a moment but I need a break," she murmurs, leaning her head against the glass and closing her eyes. "Usually I'm not such a wuss, but then it's usually one person, not three." She gives a wry smile, then opens her eyes to peek out at Logan once more.

"Keep up the good work," is all Logan has to say to the bouncer as he breezes by, not breaking his stride for out; less to preserve the illusion that leaving was his choice, more to walk off the restless, animal energy that near conflict brings him. Rather than slink off into the shadows, he makes for the van after all, regulating his stride into a stroll with his cellphone reclipped to his belt, and a hand tucking into a pocket. His own momentum plays flutters with his shirt collar.

The stark cool of the air does its job in dimming down his mood again, out of his system by the time he's within range of the van, a smirk shining through the windshield. If he has insight into what the hell set Delaware off, it might be visible in the fact that he doesn't consider this outcome to be defeat.

Rattaratta, the van's door comes sliding open. It's cold to Peyton and Jericho, too, despite that they hadn't had the engine or the heating on or anything. It's simple in here, three rows of padded seats, seatbelts strung around like streamers. It'd make a great rape van if you took out a few parts to make room for a prone body. Something Jericho made jokes about, and Chuckles smiled a little but mostly ignored. Ex-convicts they may be, but they're not like that.

"Hear you didn't get slapped in the piehole," Jericho says, gesturing to allow the former pimp in. He shuts his lighter with his thumb, a flink of machined metal meeting machined metal. That must mean trust, in according to the culture of some demographic or other. "I'm going to assume that's what you're fucking smiling about." More wry than sarcastic. Peyton's right: they have some solid leads, and they owe Logan some thanks for that.


Turning to look at Logan, Peyton offers a smile to the man. "Good job, and not just for avoiding getting hit. Thanks for your help." Her words are sincere and warm, and she extends the smile to Jericho, now that she can focus on his face.

Her eyes move back to Logan again, and she tips her head toward him. "So that guy Delaware — you know him? He didn't seem to like you much — I didn't think you said anything too horrible, so whatever it was, it went over my head," she says, brows rising with curiosity.

"It could have gone worse," Logan affirms, tipping himself into the van. He'd probably have a few good tips with how to outfit it for such purposes, but neither person in the van particularly needs to know that kind of thing. He finds a seat, leans right back so as to better arrange for himself a cigarette, going through the practiced motions of lighting up. He doesn't add, and I could get laid soon.

Smoke ribbons up from orange bright cigarette tip. He nods to Peyton. "He was competition — fizzled out when he didn't go to Staten Island when Staten Island was the place to be." Loser. "Dunno him enough to get thrown out've his business just for being myself. 'specially not with my connections to Linderman," he says, crossing a leg over the other. "Whatever he's in, he's in it to his neck and it's fucked up enough that even he doesn't like it.

"And I don't really get the impression he's an easy man to put off — he wasn't a couple of years back, that's for certain. I don't think whatever they're fucking around with, though, is in that building. Shouldn't be too hard to keep track of 'im. Amateur."

Jericho's looking forward, keening toward this font of news like a ravening wolf. He sniffs, his long nose huffing against the stench of incinerated particulate, or maybe that's the smell of blood in water. He ought to feel obscurely disgusted at how much the predator Logan is, that he predates even others in his particular caliber, but there are a couple things off in Jericho's head— if nothing impressive for New York City. Maybe in Peyton's too. "That so?" he's silent for a few seconds, thoughtful, and then he starts folding his fingers inward one by one. Presses his thumb against them, popping the knuckles.

Pop-pop. Crack. "That's a fucking embarrassing excuse for selling fucking children for sex. Sounds right to keep an eye on him for a few days." A sidelong glance at Peyton, and the raw-boned Arab boy dips his head into a few degrees' nod, before the burnt anthracite shift of his stare finds Logan again. "I'd offer to buy you a drink, but you're the asshole with money and nothing to gain. Home and hos, now?"

A little of the warmth fades from Peyton's brown gaze as well, though she doesn't turn hostile, just civil. She nods. "Okay. I'll keep an eye on him, try to figure out where the operation is," she says, turning to look at Jericho and offering a half-smile. It's not something she looks forward to, but it's what she's agreed to do. "I'll slip back into Delaware's head in a few moments, to see if he heads away from that club and leads us anywhere else. Just give me a few."

She picks up her purse on the floorboard next to her flip flops, pulling it onto her lap to rummage in it for a bottle of water and one of her ubiquitous Advil bottles, the latter of which she opens to shake out four of the little brown pills, tossing them in her mouth and then opening the Evian bottle to chase them down with a swig of water.

"If you're offering a ride," Logan says, as imperiously as he pleases and without bothering to drag down one of the vines of seatbelt to comply with road rules, "then I wouldn't mind a stop in the Upper West Side. Keep your drink," is agreement, before he flicks an assessing gaze towards Peyton. There are a few things he might say, here, contemplatively shining negation unfelt through her, before withdrawing again, eyes glimmering on and off in the rear view mirror and the haze of smoke he's creating.

Leaves it at that, for tonight, and turns a look out the window as smoke trickles through nostrils.

Mr. Delaware is in a car, the street ahead of him a vanishing point of Manhattan. Heading East, judging from the signs that swivel by, the length of the blocks. Not Staten, likely. Peyton might know when he gets there. For now, his cellphone is off, and the car is dark around him, windshield streaking the neon and sulfur-yellow of urban lights over his face as he goes. It's already past curfew, but the patrols up here are fewer and farther between.

Even here, just outside Big Stones, the threat of police and conventional justice seems morbidly far away. "What's the cross street?" Jericho seems to hesitate only for a fraction of an instant at the thought of leaving Peyton and Logan together, but a glance forward reminds him the rearview's right there, twisted around to capture the vast majority of the van's stale and well-used interior. He starts to heap himself forward, moving like a cricket, limb around limb, to climb into the front.

The key flashes nickel-colored in his hand. Neither claivoyant nor neurochem manipulator saw the cellphone when he conjured air in to replace it.

Not noticing that moment's negation, since she hadn't slipped into Delaware's perspective quite yet, Peyton busies herself with putting away her Advil and taking another long draught of water, before capping the bottle and tucking it back in the large purse. She reaches for her seat belt, sliding it across her lap, drawing one foot back up onto the seat in front of her and leaning her head back against the window. Slightly angled toward Logan, now that he's in her presence, he can see her pupils stretch outward, blacking out the brown irises as she focuses on Delaware. Seeing the man is driving alone in his car, she speaks:

"He's driving. I'm just on visual, so I can hear you guys if you talk to me, since he's alone." Her voice is a little weary as she gazes unseeingly past Logan and beyond.

"West 68th Street," Logan says, while keeping his eyes on Peyton and the visual cues of her power use, arms folded comfortably and teeth now worrying, gently, the filter end of his cigarette which burns so brightly up near scarred knuckles. He manages not to call Jericho Jeeves, working off the theory that he'd probably be made to walk on home as a result, and not desiring to. Not at this hour, or at any hour, particularly. He breaks his attention from Peyton.

For clarity, he adds, "The nice end."

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