“She’s not working today.” Kyle called out instead of a welcome.
He glared back at the man, pulled in a raged breath and steadily made his way to the bar, taking the seat furthest away from the door, his back towards the door. He didn’t bother hiding, why he’d come, but instead of sitting, where he could see her across the small street like corridor, he messed with his head a bit with doing the opposite.
“Neither am I.” he said and settled more calmly behind the counter.
Kyle frowned and eased a bit. Not enough in his opinion, but he could work with that. There was no way he would reveal what the little woman was hiding, but he could see from his protective stand and reluctance of him that he knew.
Kyle changed odd looks with the younger barman and nodded to his silent request before walking over while he headed to serve another customer.
“What would you like, sir?”
“Very polite, considering you just asked me to leave.”
He watched the human bit his lower lip, but he didn’t deny it. “If you’re not working, we’re fine.”
Good to know, he thought and took a quick look behind him, around the small space. It was full of nooks and small tables for only two and a dance floor that wouldn’t fit more than ten couples max. his eyes slid to the gray dress across the street and he thought it better not to linger on that too long.
“What you’ve got?” he asked, nonchalantly.
“I’m not familiar with your drinking habits yet. Beer then?”
“No, nothing that has that strange herb in it.” He glanced up just in time to see him raise his eyebrow. He mumbled, like tasting the word on his tongue, going through the list in his mind most likely to figure out which one he was referring to.
He shook his head. “Not familiar with that one.”
Half like grin lit the human features and a thick bottomed low glass was placed in front of him with something brown clucking on the bottom. “If you don’t like it, I can add some ice, perhaps it goes down smoother if it’s cold.”
Two faced liar, he frowned down the glass, moving it around and the liquid in it with it. He wondered if the guy now stood around to see his reaction to it? But when he raised his eyes, Kyle was already gone, drying the glasses again in the other end of the counter.
He tried a small sip. It wasn’t that bad.
He hadn’t told him his name! Why did it suddenly bother him? Then again, being the only Chief of Security, he probably already knew his name. Every thug knew his name.
He watched the duo go back and forth, disappearing every now and then through the small door on the back and reappearing with new boxes.
Kyle was purposely avoiding him now. So he watched without being disturbed how his body moved and his muscles stretched, when he pulled up something heavy. His dark shoulder length hair were pulled back now and brought out his slim face and dark eyes.
The other man, Swick, as he heard Kyle call him, was slightly taller, with the same hairstyle, except his features were wider and his hair were lighter. They seemed to dress a like a lot.
Tyton found the older bartender’s gray eyes cocky and curious. Too open and wide, inviting the trouble rather than coy away. He didn’t like them from the start. Then again, wasn’t it why he kept coming back here every time his shift ended?
They opened only a month ago, arriving with the last ship from Earth and taking over the empty dusty room that was meant for entertainment. Three people to run a bar, a woman and two men. He knew this one was older, because he checked their traveling documents. You couldn’t tell by looking at them. They looked the same age and they acted as if dealing with twins. Only by the documents he knew they weren’t even related and they couldn’t be mistaken for family. Neither was he related to the woman. She was married to the younger man.
They opened up almost immediately, a small place with one bar, ten tables and small dance floor in the back corner that was hidden away from the main door.
The place was filling up smoothly, mostly by couples, who sat and chatted away wile enjoying one weird looking drink after another. One couple caught his attention immediately. Something about them bothered him. The man looked familiar, but with his head a bit fuzzy, he couldn’t fathom from where. From the files? He kept staring at them for a long time until the guy demonstratively and dared him with his stare.
Really? He felt an old thrill of upcoming fight stir up from back of his memories. There were times, when he would welcome a challenge like that.
He gripped down on the empty glass and unknowingly cracked it on one side.
Yeah, he would have, if he wasn’t part of the team, whose main purpose was to keep such fights away from the station. The fact he had gone the trouble to find out his name…
“You know,” he saw the empty glass in front of him disappear and being replaced with another, “barmen are good listeners if you have something in your chest, and here you sit and I haven’t seen you open your mouth more than to order this drink. Yet I bet you have plenty of stories to lure girls in.”
He was trying, he thought, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to get involved with a man, who invited trouble. They’d meet one way or the other if those eyes didn’t calm down the dare in them.
He was about to take the glass, but frowned then and pushed it back.
“I didn’t order it.”
“No, the girls at the back asked to give it to you.” He didn’t press it back to his hand. “In our world that’s a big compliment.”
“We are not in your world anymore.”
“Ah! Yes.” He agreed with slight pinch in his tone, but another customer stole him away for a moment.
After serving the old man, he came back, walked straight past him behind the bar and started organizing glasses on the open shelves. He was staring. The way he moved behind the bar, the way his muscles stretched under the loose dark purple shirt when he lifted the glasses higher, the way he stopped mid-air. He gulped. Geez, he was staring!
He quickly turned away and concentrated back on the drink still sitting in front of him. It looked weird.
“What is this?” he asked. It looked as if a yellow cloud was oozing around on top of green with red drop falling through to the bottom. As if something had gone off in the glass.
“Alien Brain Hemorrhage. You’re supposed to drink it im-”
“That’s what they ordered for me?”
He shrugged. “Love goes wondrous ways.” He stood and waited. “Drink it – it tastes better than it looks. The aftertaste as well.”
“Why would I drink a hemorrhage?”
“’cause you look like you have one right now.” he murmured, baffled. “Tell you what – if your face says to me you don’t like it, I let you through it up on me.”
His eyebrows cocked up, even higher when Kyle wrapped his hands over his chest and leaned on the backside of the small bar. Really waiting his next move.
He reached for the drink, cradled it before his eyes, watching the thing ooze around in the glass as if it was alive and shot it back in one go. His eyes pinched close, when the nasty sweetness hit his taste buds. He bare his teeth and was reconsidering the offer, when he heard a clunk on the wood. Another drink?
He opened his eyes and looked into a glass of water with light hint of greenish on top.
“You’ll thank me later.” he said, tapping next to the glass and walked away while he grabbed whatever was offered and drank hungrily. It was freezing cold with hint of peppermint and it indeed cooled down the sickening sensation in his mouth.
“I don’t want the aftertaste.” He said when he could breath again and glanced aside, seeing him stand there only inches away.
He had puzzled look in his eyes. Those always daring eyes looked sad even, but instead he nodded, grabbed two long glasses, mixed something bluish in it, topped it all with slices of limes and set them on a tray. Then he watched him personally walk over to the pair of girls sitting in the corner, whom he’d shown had ordered it, leaned closer and set the drinks in front of him, explaining in few words what he could only guess would be a simple apology. When he returned he turned back to cleaning the glasses.
“I did not agree to be part of your human mating rituals.” he said, when the bartender had wondered close enough.
“I know you use your voices and those ladies probably know it too, but I didn’t tell you what accepting the drink means, so I’m in fault here.” His hands paused for a second and he looked up. “Sorry.”
Suddenly his attention was pulled away. He thought he saw something too, but by the time he pushed up from his chair, Kyle was already narrowing on the couple sitting few seats away, frowning. Had he noticed the same thing?
He watched the barman walk past them, not even stopping, and changing the shot glasses standing behind their backs. A moment later he watched the man make business of calling out a toast for their meeting and gulp it down in one go. The woman followed his lead.
He eased back on his seat and played with his own drink while watching the show unfolding. While Swick checked if the man was alright after the woman declared her distress, Kyle quietly removed the glasses and put them away. Then he turned around and locked his eyes with his and instead of coming to him, he took a step back, falling into Swick and gaining his balance. Swick pushed him away and asked the woman if she needed help, but she said she’ll get them home safely herself.
He WAS frowning. Even if his expression wasn’t showing it, he damn oozed of the dislike. They should have let him call in security or take him in. Surely, the least he could do to stop the bastard was at least keep the glass!
Kyle grabbed his towel, like a life jacket, he began to dislike that thing, and walked over, making himself seem as casual as he could be. Daring again. It hit him to the core that they had somehow managed to get past that daring of his, even if only for few minutes, and in a slap he was more irritated than before. As much as he enjoyed –
He frowned. He enjoyed?!
Before Kyle could get to him, he tossed the money on the counter and walked out of the bar without even polite good bye.