Both men’s eyes turned towards the noise.
It took a moment for Tyton to even comprehend, what happened. The scent of arousal rose from the barman and he wondered what had brought that up. He was still waiting Kyle to finish what he wanted to say, but instead he got dragged away. He couldn’t hear, what she said, the noise was deafening, but he could see by the way his mood went from teasing to dead serious that he was up for another show.
Kyle went to Swick and talked to him. Swick talked with Jocelyn for a moment while Kyle grabbed Dakota and ordered him to get behind the bar. After both women were out of the way, they headed for the party of six.
He kept his eyes on his black shirt back. It was the first time he didn’t see him dressed the same with the other barman, and apparently it wasn’t very common way to dress, for he stood out like a moth among butterflies.
They kept arguing back and yelling over the music. He got up, striving towards them to even the odds.
Kyle took the first punch.
It was the only thing that registered in his head for the next five minutes, when he watched the two barmen take out two men in two straight blows while Swick knocked out one of them. The other three reached for their mates and the barmen used the moment to grab the remaining three and headed for the door. Moment later they returned, pulled up the three others and sent them after their buddies with the entire bar staring after them.
He walked after them and stopped right behind the duo on the door. He used the moment to observe the man more closely, taking in the wide shoulders, slim built and neckline. He looked like he’d done some boxing in the past. He wondered if it was during or before the jail?
Kyle turned and staggered back, seeing him right behind him.
“Why didn’t you call security?”
Swick was speechless.
“We ARE the security!” Kyle frowned.
“No, you are barmen – if you need to discipline someone, you call the security, us!”
It was the wrong moment to smirk, he thought grimly, when he watched the alien gather another inch from the furious pride that suddenly slashed through him.
“You enjoy making a fool out of me?”
“No, sir!” he responded, automatically directing his eyes past him into nothingness.
“I’m sitting right there and instead you attack another person right in front of me as I was nothing?”
Oh this was so not good! He pulled in a breath and forced his eyes back in his.
“You’re off duty, chief…” he started, but saw the alien’s fingers grip into a tight fists on his sides. Then again, he never did get along with the bastards of law. “If you’re on some ego trip, I can surely offer you more pleasurable ways to get that edge off!”
“It is my bar…”
“On my territory.” he cut in on his statement.
“Not only are you harboring a runaway, you now play the law on my territory?”
“Dakota is not here illegally!”
“She entered ESNN-10 with false ID!”
The edges of his visions drew red. “Like half the visitors here! Dakota is under my contract until you back off with that ridiculous accusation! I be damned if I let you have her!”
He expected straight knockout, but instead, he found himself still staring at him half a minute of silence later. That smirk was on the wrong place too, but he wasn’t backing out. Yeah, he wanted a piece, but for a second, he didn’t think of a shoulders.
“You like fighting that much?”
“You’ve done any since you came aboard?” Of course he had! He might be wearing something suitable for Tudor era, but that did not hide the muscle mountain behind the thin shirt that was now puffed up like a cock expecting a rival.
“Your bar…” he murmured. The look in his eyes changed and first time since arrival he saw the alien smirk, knowingly. Well, wasn’t he up for a surprise then, ’cause he wasn’t backing out. “You want to keep your bar?”
Did he even expect an answer to that? He heard Swick groan. Here came the part the married man hated. He measured Tyton for a good moment and he was doing the same.
“In our territories, if two males have claim on the same piece of land, they fight.”
There was commotion behind them on the hall.
“To death?” He punched his friend next to him, no need to give alien any new ideas.
“When?” Tyton didn’t move. Oh wait, they both had the day off. “Now?”
Tyton nodded, then looked at Swick, assessing him for a moment and nodded again. “In an hour. How badly do you want your bar, Mr. Darves? Enough to kill for it?”
The amusement in his voice was not right, so even if he did feel like already hit in the gut, he knew the last part was merely accompanying his friend’s fast mouth.
“Training arena, fourth level. You’ll know where to come.” Tyton gave a small bow and walked straight out, pushing the two friends apart, joining the security team waiting on there and followed them, glancing back with what in human world could easily been translated as arrogant smirk. The moment
“You’re fighting with him over our bar?”
Now he knew, why the alien had given him an hour. Probably to settle it with his buddy first.
“Swick, I -”
“Why can’t you just once have a brain and turn down a bet like that? We came away so we could get a fresh start! And you pick out the biggest alien around and make a fucking bet? Fuck you, Kyle! Fuck! You!”
He saw Jocelyn’s arm come around her husband and was thankful for that woman’s ability to calm him even in the worst of situations and he knew it was one of those, because less than ten minutes ago he had been sending totally different signals to Tyton. Fight was not in the list of possible outcomes.
“I’ve fought in jail arena, I got this!”
“You’re not in jail anymore!” Jocelyn kissed him gently on the cheek, brushing past him and taking her husband with him.
Thank you for the confidence, he thought, watching grimly as she lead her husband back behind the bar, where the guy automatically took over serving the waiting customer. A true barman. Hell, he’d really done it this time. This wasn’t him losing something he got from night before game. This was their lives and he knew Tyton was fully capable of kicking them out.
Dakota frowned, still standing near with the tray pressed against her chest. “You’ve done time?”
“We don’t talk about it.” Jocelyn walked though between them.
“Don’t worry, it wasn’t murder.” he tried to joke, but couldn’t even get a half smile out. It was actually swindling some banker out of his savings that he’d taken from a small company. And taking off with those savings himself as a reward for a good job. Until the company got a mighty good attorney on their side and he ended in jail for a year.
“Now I’m relieved.”
“… I might still commit one if he keeps this harassment up.” he murmured. “Aren’t you coming to watch?”
“How you gamble off my livelihood?” Swick was in for a fit. “No!”
Even if he did come out of this alive, he started having serious doubts if Swick wasn’t taking him up for the next fight.
“You’ll need a new barman if you kill me!” he joked, halfheartedly, but the joke made his own mouth dry and he gulped.
He was asking for it, he realized, when the 160 pounds of pure muscle hit him against the only wall the place had and two large fists carved into his sternum.
“How dare you? If I still have my bar tomorrow, do not come near it! Do not talk to me! Do not fucking show your face here!” He felt the hold ease a bit, before it slammed into his chest again. “You’re on leave for a week! After that I’ll decide if I will forgive you or not!”