Tyton found himself standing outside the bar again less than two days since his last visit. The conversation from yesterday had left him with more questions and this time, he threaded to go in. He irritated Kyle, it was interesting. It was usual to have that affect on humans, but oddly it didn’t sit right with the barman. He wasn’t angry, but he sure hid something and the way he played it out, his appetite was growing.
He stepped in quietly, taking in the people already seated in shadows. There were dozens of patrons, but the seat he’d had last time in the end of the bar was open, so he beelined to it and sat. The small shot glass in front of him didn’t register fast enough as a warning and he was rather disgusted to feel somebody else’s body heat meet his through his work pants. He nearly jumped up again, but froze as a hand in deep blue shirt grabbed the glass from the table and cleaned beneath it in the same swoop.
“Evening!” Kyle greeted him unenthusiastically. The barman sighed, his eyes flying over his head for a second to check the tables before they darted back on him and he gave him a shy smile. Very uncharacteristic to Kyle, Tyton realized, before inhaling hard, taking in his scent. Sweet, with tint of wood and alcohols in the bar, and citric?
“Evening.” He nodded.
“Here to try something new? Or should I serve you whiskey on rocks this time?”
Ah, on ice, he recalled. “The same as last time. Maybe drinking it again makes it taste nicer.”
“Well, can’t fault that logic, though I don’t know if repeat offense is quite the way to go with drinks.” Kyle glanced over his head again. “If you still don’t like it, there is plenty more to choose from.” He waved at the loaded shelves behind him.
“Sure…” He drawled, alarmed.
Why did he look both agitated and relieved at the same time? He knew humans were capable of showing multiple expressions at the same time, but he did not expect relief.
The drink appeared in front of him with familiar glass of iced water and tint of green and the man was gone from his sight.
Alright, so there was something amiss in the bar, he gathered, and turned on his seat to get a better look around. There were several casual looking workers, four couples, a loner in the back table, and a group of four sitting in the group stall. Men with green banners around their right shoulders. They weren’t loud and when their eyes met, they nodded in respect, which he replied with same. He slowly turned back to his drink. So that’s what got him so upset tonight. For his justification, putting them together with him in the same bar did sound like a bad human joke.
A quaint smell hit his nostrils and he couldn’t stop the small smile pulling his lips higher.
“Dakota.” He turned slightly, startling the smiling beauty walking past him. Her scent was oddly soothing to his senses.
The quick slap against his shoulder shook him with surprise. He stared at her receding figure, her playfully slamming menus on the bar and then scowling at him before smile made her face light up. They didn’t touch their females outside their own families and it was known fact by now. They’d been warned that there would be some, who don’t remember to keep to that code. She’s new though, he said to himself, that’s why she’s not aware of it, maybe?
Dakota grabbed her notebook and came back, writing quickly. She placed it in front of him while he gulped another small sip from the drink. Kyle was right, the taste wasn’t improving.
“I startled you? My most sincere apologies, miss.”
“Accepted. So what brought you here tonight, big guy?” It read on the paper moment later before the NCC group waved to get her attention and called out to her personally.
Tyton stilled as the notebook slid off the counter and she went. He couldn’t help his eyes falling lower and following the smooth curves hidden beneath the ruffled skirt as she walked. He turned just in time to catch Kyle’s glaring.
He stalked closer, cleaning the edge from the glasses left there and stopped not far from him. The man was sweating under his shirt, the scent wasn’t off-putting, but it was odd, ticklish to his nose and he stopped his hand reaching out to sooth the wrinkle out from his blue sleeve to ask what was bothering him. He knew, who it was and the mirror behind the counter proved him right as he saw his own reflection in it. He returned his attention back on his drink, curling his fingers into a fist to keep them in place.
Even the drink had an odd tingly scent and he frowned, the glass stopping only inches from his lips as it assaulted his nose. His heart skipped a beat, when it occured to him he was very sensitive to scents in general and it startled him, making him push the glass away, half finished, and grab for the long glass.
The NCC group was getting louder, discussing some political issue, which he chose to ignore. Off duty. Off duty. Off duty. He kept repeating it in his head, inhaling between each statement . By the looks Kyle had, keeping eye on the group, he was having similar mantra going around in his head.
The bar door opened and new man stepped in, dressed in bland colored suit that fit perfectly with his green tie and buttons. He knew those buttons were there, even if he couldn’t see them in the dimmed light, he’d seen them before. But that made him only groan louder inwardly and concentrate back on the drink. Suddenly, seeing the green tint floating on top of the iced water did not look appetizing at all and he set it down.
He knew the man. There probably wasn’t anyone here, who didn’t know Icer Grof. The middle aged man might not look much with his slicked out brown hair and hairless face, but his peering brown eyes were staring back at people from half the posters accompanying NCC news. The face of normality. He snorted, what did he know of human normality? The man walked calmly down the isle in front of the bar, ignored by most people, except the group that had gone quiet and then by barmen and the waitresses. His narrowed eyes had fixed on his uniform the moment he entered and he was heading straight towards him. He prepared himself for a quick polite retreat, his left hand sliding in his pocket for the money.
“Chief.” He said with a polite nod before turning to the group waiting for him. He responded with a nod and forced his ass to relax back on the seat.
He should not be afraid of some political leader, he told himself. He should not show it, even if he was. Yet here he was, ready to bounce on his mere arrival. His fingers gripped around whiskey and he forced it down once more, winching.
He watched Swick and Kyle argue quietly while Dakota headed to get Grof’s order, their backs to their clients as they fixed drinks for them. Kyle looked really unhappy and it seemed whatever arguments Swick had, meant something, because at some point he nodded and went to their small backroom. When he returned, Tyton waved to get his attention.
“You don’t like him, yet you let him stay in your bar?” He was trying to get a reaction out of him, he was aware of how low punch that must have seemed right after Kyle had lost his argument with Swick, but he couldn’t shake the feeling he needed a distraction. Any kind.
“Client is client.” Kyle said, tight-lipped. “Would you like another?” He raised his brow at the empty glass.
Had he really drank it all? When?
“No.” He pushed the glass away and pulled the water closer.
Dakota was still standing near their table, swinging herself in tact of the compliments, which were somewhat slurry from the drinks they’d already had, yet she didn’t seem to mind it at all. There was something about that woman, something about her scent he couldn’t place that both irritated his nose and made him want to walk right over and take her away. Keep her. If only she could sing, show her tone of voice so he could be sure of…
His eyes widened as he gasped. Keep her? Did humans even fight for their females like the less scientific species they were? What exactly did they do to get the females attention?
He glanced up, where Kyle was still hovering on the other side of the table, wiping the backside of the counter, his eyes glued on Dakota’s back. So he was interested in her too? Of course he would, he grumbled inside, that would take him close to Token’s family, being Meredith’s sister as she was.
He held back the question as he Kyle turned his attention on him, startled. He studied his expression for a moment. He sure didn’t like the situation, his eyes traveling back on the group.
“Hey! Hands off!” He yelled suddenly and Tyton turned to see what happened. Grof’s right hand man had pushed his hand upwards on Dakota’s knee, towards her skirt.
“Even if she’s my girl to be?” Grof shouted back.
Kyle looked dumbfounded, and Tyton couldn’t shelter his shock either.
“S-she’s working!” Kyle managed. The hand was back, this time it was Grof’s. “Not your girl yet! Until then, you keep your hands to yourself while she’s at work!”
Grof raised both his hands up in mock surrender, but made no attempts to keep her when she turned and came back, scowling at Kyle. She didn’t look at all troubled by the attention and suddenly he realized – she wasn’t taken at all. If only she could sing and he could know if she was his match. But you can’t get all you want, so he had to make due with human ways. Only two competitors, maybe three. Not bad, he could outsmart them.
“So that’s how it is?” Tyton asked, his voice low and searched out few dollars to put on the counter. “Well then… Good night.” He smirked, seeing the shocked expression Kyle wore the second he realized Grof and he had got themselves a competition. Even if she wasn’t his match – the idea began rooting itself more and more when he thought on her scent – it would be fun to mess around with Kyle at least, tone down his rebellious ways a bit.