During daylight hours the pub looked far less inviting. Mandatory dim lighting, battered furniture and a floor covering that was long ago lost beneath a layer of unidentifiable squelchy stickiness. Basically, your average pub, come night spot.
Despite the dreary décor, the bar boasted a goodly range of beer and spirits, a competent staff and a crop of barflies and minor criminals that kept to themselves, allowing a stranger to drink in peace. Which was exactly the reason why the man at the back of the room had chosen it for the meet.
Casually dressed and rather nondescript, he was whiling away his time by sampling the produce of the area microbreweries and watching the idiot box. If questioned, it would be unlikely that he could recall the program. The ghosting on the pub's poorly tuned television set had been more captivating than the regurgitated daytime pap that was masquerading as entertainment.
Despite his seeming detachment, alert eyes would briefly flicker to the door whenever a patron entered, cataloguing the person with a professional glance before returning to soap opera phantom images. So far the count was five bikers from two different clubs, one lost suit, three hollow-cheeked teenage customers for the drug dealer by the toilets and one professional drunk, who was evidently not the morning person his peers were.
The door opened again and a woman in leathers entered, quietly ordered a drink and joined the man. Aside from the bartender and her companion, nobody had noticed her arrival.
"You're late," the man commented, raising his glass in a toast to the woman. "And you smell of blood."
The woman returned the toast and sipped her beer. "Minor bingle." Her companion arched an eyebrow.
"Any damage." He didn't need to ask if she was hurt, her recuperative powers had always been impressive.
"Scooter could do with a little corrective surgery, but the fuckwit who caused the damage will be pissing like a girl for the foreseeable future." Her wild eyes flashed malevolently. The combination of youth, testosterone and an automobile had been the downfall of the man who had seen fit to run the girl on the scooter off the road. A still damp smear of blood on the woman's thigh served as evidence of his poor choice of victim.
"Try not to start a pub brawl," the man laughed, signalling the staff for a round. "Or at least hold off until the music fans turn up later so you can create some proper mayhem." Even though her preference for the odd spot of violence was up close and personal was, she did mayhem well, having been involved in one way or another in several altercations that had spilled over into full-scale riots. He, on the other hand, was happy to avoid a fight, his impressive martial skills notwithstanding, nothing beat curling up with a cold beer and a warm girl.
Part of the Wolf&Declán!verse