2007-11-19: In The Neighborhood

Starring:

Trina_icon.gif Knight_icon.gif

Summary: After the nasty run in with Jack's old friend, Trina runs into a friendlier face who just so happened to be walking by.

Date It Happened: November 19, 2007

In The Neighborhood


Outside the Happy Lucky Liquor Store

Late on a Wednesday night. In front of an upscale liquor store — if ever there were such a thing — in Midtown. This particular liquor store seems to have had its share of action. The inside is shot all to heck. There are two ambulences. One is currently being loaded up with an older, well dressed Asian woman who is bleeding who is being wheeled out with a paramedic pressing bandages to her face. Another stretcher emerges just before from the store, topped with a tell tale plastic bag.

With her back against the wall a few yards down from the front entrance and her arms wrapped about herself in a self-hug that attempts to self-soothe, Trina heaves deep calming breaths and releases them again in shuddering waves. Her mascara and eyeliner is no longer presentable, but she's managed to at least wipe it off of her cheeks and into a shape that is some faint semblance of what it should look like. Now that the police officers have taken all of her information, Trina stands in the flashing red, blue, and white lights, watching in a daze.

There are others coming and going around the parking lot; it is an upscale liquor store. Police are taking notes of various other people who might have seen the people who did this leaving. One figure, tall and broad shouldered, might just be familiar to Trina…at least if she wasn't in the state she is in now. She, however, is rather familiar to the figure.

After nodding to the policeman that was talking to him, Alex Knight glances around a moment before turning his attention towards the lady by the wall. He approaches in slow even steps, almost like one would approach a startled animal before smiling down at her, his lips twisting into the smile but his eyes full of worry. "…this wasn't exactly how I expected to meet you again. Trina, wasn't it?" He says before reaching into his pocket and producing a handkerchief, offering it towards her. "Here."

"I—" Trina looks up to Knight, red eyes narrowing a little in confusion. When recognition dawns on her, however, she offers a fleeting smile. She doesn't, however, reach for the handkerchief. Instead, she shakes her head and tightens her arms about herself. She turns to face Alex, setting her back to the wind that sets her hair whipping out on either side of her face now. "Thank you, but I haven't gotten a chance to clean up yet. I… might get blood on it."

Shrugging slightly, Alex smiles easily enough towards her. "Come on, its just a handkerchief and blood isn't that hard to get off." He blinks though as he glances up and down at her. Not her blood at least. Else she would be going with the ambulance. "…your going to freeze if you stay out here too long." He adds softly. "And your not in a state to drive…" The offer is in his voice, but he lets her connect the dots there. The offer for a ride to wherever she needs to go at least, or at least good company for a little bit.

"I walked here," Trina confesses. Then one of her hands unweaves itself and stretches out to take the handkerchief. Carefully, she starts wiping at her face and hands. "Thank you." She drops her gaze as she tries to scrub the blood of of her hands, and she finds her courage somewhere there. "I… A ride home would be really nice. If you don't mind. I don't wanna impose or nothin'."

"Well, then I'm driving you back to…wherever you came from," Knight replies with a slight smile. He shrugs slightly. "I wouldn't be living up to the name if I didn't help out, now would I?" He offers as he shakes his head slightly. "I'm sorry that I couldn't help more. I saw whoever it was leaving, called the police…" He shakes his head. "Not imposing at all, Trina, you look like you need a bit of a friend right now." Then a flashed grin. "Or at least a handsome face."

So that's how the cops got here so fast. Even before she called, they knew there was trouble. Her call was probably placed to the paramedics moments before his went to the station. Rubbing her upper arm to try to warm it up, Trina makes a hollow attempt to smile. "Well, I know I got one. Am I lucky enough to get both?" She waits for the engraved invitation, as it were, to start walking.

Smirking slightly towards Trina, Alex gives a soft chuckle. "…that depends on if you think I'm handsome or not." He quips back towards her before shrugging off his own jacket and settling it over her shoulders. "Come on, lets go. If you want some coffee or something stronger than that on the way back I can even oblige that too. Besides, don't you want to see how the car you helped fix is running?"

So rattled over the incident that just happened and exhausted beyond what is even remotely fair, Trina doesn't even give a second thought to the kindness being poured out on her. Knight's right; she needs a friend right now. And friends are in short supply. Very short supply.

As the second coat is settled on her, dwarfing her slender shoulders in its warm folds, Trina looks up and offers him a more genuine smile of gratitude. "That… That sounds great. All of it." And then to steady herself, the brunette leans against her hero of the night. Well. The hero that isn't being hauled away in an ambulance, at any rate. She'll get herself settled. Get calm. And then she'll start hunting down Jack. Yes, now she has a plan.

Putting one arm around her shoulders the tall man grins slightly and shakes his head. "You never know what will happen around here, I can't believe someone tried to rob the place." He shakes his head slightly as he helps her to his car. Its the same one all right, but with a new paint job, new tires, redone interior. It looks…well…nice. Very nice. "Coffee…" A raised eyebrow. "…or Irish Coffee?" He asks as he opens the door and helps her into the seat.

As she sits and then pulls her legs in behind her, Trina offers a tired laugh and looks up at Knight, even as she settles into the seat. Her forehead is in narrow creases as she fights to keep her eyes open now. She's got someone taking care of her. She can relax for a moment. "Are you some kinda mind reader or somethin'?"

Closing the door behind her he crosses over to the driver's side and slides into the car as well. A slight chuckle as he sits here and fastens the seatbelt before he shakes his head slightly. "…mind reader? Like in the comics? Nothing like that. I just know people, and that's usually a good cure for a bit of a shock is all."

She shouldn't have anything else to drink. She really shouldn't. But now that Knight's brought it up, Trina's fixating. "I'd ki—" —ll for a drink? Bad choice of words. "I'd love a drink," she says, hissing a breath in through her clenched and smiling teeth as she nods. And then, belatedly, she reaches back to grab her seatbelt and pull that down over her. That all done, she reaches into her coat pocket and pulls out her fresh soft pack of Basic cigarettes, only to turn it upside down and start tapping it against her knee.

What kind of enabler would Knight be if he didn't offer a pretty lady a drink? Nodding, seeming to not notice the slip of words there, the man turns the car on and starts to pull away from the place. "I know a bar near here, quiet thing. No one should bother us there. We'll get something and then I'll take you on home." The easy cadence in his voice makes him sound like he knows what he's doing. A glance at the pack of cigarettes and he chuckles slightly.

Seeing the glance, Trina offers a reassuring smile to Knight. "No worries," she offers, dancing the pack of cigarettes into the air. "I ain't gonna light up in your brand new baby." That said, she goes back to patting the cigarettes against her knee, watching the road in front of them and enjoying the ride of a well-kept car. "So where's the bar?"

"I'd say its a bad habit, but I used to do it myself," Alex replies with a slightly amused smile quirking up his lips. "As for where the bar is, well its not all that far from here. We are in the nicer part of town after all." He says with a slight wink. She must not live all that far from here if she walked. "Just around the corner." Sure enough, when he turns the corner there is the flickering neon of a smallish looking pub. Understated and not outright glaring and blaring. Something nice and quiet where one can hole up for a drink.

"Tried to quit a few times. Never stuck. Eventually, I just stopped trying." Now that the bar's in sight, Trina starts ripping into the cellophane and foil that wraps her carcinogens in order to extract one alabaster promise of poisonous aid. "Ain't ever been here," she confesses.

"I guess I was just stubborn enough for it," Alex replies with a shrug. "I have other vices but smoking isn't one of them." He says casually as he pulls the car into a parking spot and turns off the key. A grin over towards her before he adds. "Well, if you haven't, then I'm glad I get to be the first to show you the place. Come on. They usually have good whiskey."

She's gonna have to go back out into the cold. The proposition appears to be a fairly unpleasant one to consider, as Trina glances back out the window and instinctively pulls Knight's coat tighter to her. How can she be inside a heated car with two coats on and still be so daggone cold? It baffles the mind. "Long as it's got a decent proof on it, I won't be picky."

"It'll be warm inside," Alex replies with a laugh as he watches her pull his own coat tight around her. "I promise." He adds as he pops the door and stands, waiting for her to get out herself before he locks it. Very careful about that he is. "…and I'll make sure it has a decent proof. I know the bartender."

Closing her eyes for a moment, Trina sucks in a deep, bracing breath. Cold air is already rushing in from Knight's side of the car, and it prompts her to get a move on. Exhaling that breath in a quick rush of air, the woman then opens up the car door and carefully pulls herself out of the seat before closing the door and gingerly walking towards the front door of the bar. Her gaze locks on the ground passing beneath her feet as she goes — hiding her face momentarily behind a thick, black curtain of hair — as though that made the walking easier.

Inside the bar is quite a pleasant change from the cold outside. Its warm, and comfortable without being too closed in. Its not run down, but its not five star either, somewhere upper-middle of the scale. The lights are low, and there is a mild smell of cig smoke that hangs around establishments like this one. Blusey music plays from hidden speakers, and as Knight enters he gestures to the bartender and then points to the back where he leads Trina to a booth in the back of the place.

The pointing of fingers and the occasional brush of a hand on her shoulder is all that it takes to corral Trina into the proper booth. Once she's slid into the seat, she peels off a couple of layers. First there's Knight's coat. Then there's her own. Fortunately, she avoided the worst of the bloody display, so his coat is spared that particular offense. Then her own leather coat is peeled off, revealing a black turtleneck underneath. The coat that does not belong to her is held out across the table. "Thanks for letting me use this."

Strangely enough Knight seems unbothered at all by the blood, what little of it there is. He takes the coat back with a chuckle. "…well you looked like you were nearly frozen." He replies easily enough as he sets it on the seat next to him. When the waitress comes by he smiles up at her, she seems to recognize him. At least its a place he seems to trust he took her too. "…Irish coffee for me and whatever the lady will have." He says towards her before he sits back and raises one eyebrow, the smallest of frowns coming to his lips. "You sure your going to be alright?"

The waitress gets a small smile and an arch of eyebrows. "Same thing, please?" Trina then waits for her to leave before turning her gaze back to Alex. "Yeah, I'll be alright." Lifting a hand, she tucks a strand of dark hair behind her ear and stares at the table. Wait. No, that's rude! Only a few moments later, her head snaps back up, and the grease monkey is offering a strained smile to Knight anew. "Man, I can't believe you happened to be walking by the store at the same time all that shit was going down. I guess God really does look out for fools and Irishmen."

"Sure thing!" The young woman replies before grinning at the couple and waggling her way away from the table. A smile is on Knight's face as she glances back up towards his face. "…you know, you don't have to keep the conversation going on my account. You just went through a robbery or something." He laughs though and shrugs slightly. "Or I could be stalking you, ever think of that one?" He asks with a wide grin on his face. "Isn't every day I find someone who is pretty and knows her way around a car." The charming smile he delivers with the line makes it both a compliment and the first part a jest. "…and that's what they say. Sadly enough I'm not an Irishman, and I don't think I'm a fool, so I guess…" He shakes his head slightly. "…I'm out of luck!"

Yeah. A robbery or something. Heavy on the something. Trina's breath catches at that, and she looks down at the table. It's another gesture that lasts only a moment, for the stalker comment draws her eyes back up again, blue eyes momentarily dark and distrusting. A joke? Was that a joke?

When she finally decides that it is, Mah offers a smile back, tentative. "Ain't many of us," she admits quietly. "That's for sure. Problem is, never did inherit much in the brains department."

Yes. It was a joke. That's what the smile says and the mild surprise as well that flashes to his face at the look in her eyes. "…hey…I didn't mean anything by it Trina…" He says softly. "…sorry, after whatever happened that was in poor taste."
He laughs though at the smile and shakes his head. "Bah, I think your just fine. Your more than smart enough to understand mechanics aren't ya?"

"I guess I am," Trina replies, her smile becoming a little more self-conscious. Her head ducks, and she checks to make sure that her hair is still tucked behind her ear. Her forehead crinkles, and then she begins anew. "Were you serious about that job?"

A blink from Knight before he smirks slightly. "Trina, I never do anything like that without being serious. So yes, I was. If you're still interested in it." He says with a nod towards her, looking at her curiously for a long moment. "I can have you a position in a week if your serious about taking it."

Trina chews on her lower lip, and then her lower lids lift a little. She's seriously considering this. She can't believe that she's seriously considering this. "You offer part time work?"

"…I offer whatever I want," Knight replies with a laugh. "Good help is hard to find you know. I might put you part time, and then give you a phone so you would be on call in case of emergency. That would work for you?" He asks with a raised eyebrow.

"That sounds great, but I… I'll have to talk it over with my boyfriend," Trina confesses, dropping her eyes back to the table. Well, time to get herself a split-check and a nice walk home. Lifting her eyes again, the dark haired woman looks to the bar. Booze. Booze now. Help me, Mr. Bartender. "What the hell is taking so long? I swear I'm about two steps away from going over there and mixing it up myself."

He smirks slightly. "Damn, should have known you wouldn't be one of the single ones. All the good ones get taken," Knight replies with a grin towards her before he shrugs slightly, glancing over his shoulder as the waitress returns with the pair of steaming coffees. "Ask and you shall receive," he adds cheerfully as he drags his over to warm his hands with.

Trina's head slumps gratefully backwards against the seat of the booth they occupy. "Oh, thank God," she offers to the ceiling. Lifting her head after that, the young woman then looks to the waitress. "Thank you so much. You're a life saver."

Now that Trina has booze, she immediately drags her own cup over and suspends her nose immediately above it. Oh, yeah. That's the stuff. "So. Dirty secret's out." She arches an eyebrow as she turns her eyes back to Alexander. …Job offer still there?"

The waitress giggles softly and shakes her head slightly. "Your welcome," she replies before she wonders off to take someone else's order. The drink seems to be mixed quite well though, it tastes good.

"…of course the job offer is still there. If I didn't give jobs to pretty women that have boyfriends I'd not have that many people working for me now would I? Besides…" Knight pauses. "…can you imagine the lawsuits I'd get?"

"I'd imagine there ain't a whole lot of women askin' for jobs as mechanics," Trina retorts back with an arch of her eyebrows and a devilish smirk, blowing over her coffee before taking a sip.

"No, but who says all I employ are mechanics?" Knight replies as he grins slightly towards her. The devilish smirk is answered with one of his own before he laughs. "Drink your coffee."

Taking another long draught from her coffee, Trina takes the time to heave a long sigh. Yeah, okay. That's really hitting the spot. Now that the coffee is there, Trina sticks the cigarette in her mouth that she's been fingering since this all started. A lighter is pulled out soon after, and she closes her eyes as she draws in a long breath of smoke. Flick. Flick. Sloooow breath in. Sloooow breath out.

With a small cloud of smoke about her now, the brunette seems to become a creature a little more like herself. Tired, but marginally more relaxed. "Y'know, I can't remember the last time I went to the bar with somebody for a drink. S'months at this point." Her upper lip curls into her mouth for a moment as she sucks off a bit of foam from her drink. Reopening her eyes, she sucks in another drag from her cigarette and drags the ash tray closer to herself as she turns her attention back to Knight. "…You're pretty easy to talk to. You know that?"

"There we go, now you look just a little bit better," Knight says with a smile as he relaxes back in his own chair, taking a sip of his coffee he watches her for a moment. A chuckle escapes his lips before he smirks slightly. "…well…I can't honestly say its been that long for me. If I did you could call me a lair, because the bartender and waitress obviously know me." He grins once towards her before he laughs. "Oh tell that to some of the people I have to work with. They would laugh."

"A ringing endorsement to come work for you, if ever I heard one," Trina teases back, offering a playful wink. With coffee in one hand and a cigarette burning in the other, she handles both like an old pro. When she leans back, she uses the extra space to cross long legs under the table. "So. You don't sound like a native. When'd you come to the City?"

"Oh yes, come work for me so you can see just how much of a bastard I really am," Knight shoots back with a grin as he nurses his drink. "I'm surprised you aren't running away." At the question though he chuckles. He wondered when she would get around to asking him questions like that. "A few years ago, right after White Knight Arms came into being. I thought this would be a better spot for it than in the middle of the country where they used to be headquartered at. How bout you?" He asks curiously, turning the question back towards the pretty little peach.

Trina actually has to pause to think about that, her narrowed and thoughtful gaze lifting ceilingward. "Two years ago, or thereabouts." Dropping her attention back to Alexander, she grins. "It's been a very full couple of years," she explains. "I miss the country sometimes."

"Heh, so we have been here about the same amount of time," That seems to amuse him for a moment before he nods. "Well thinks are simpler in the country. No worrying about all the things you have here. No CDC, no business big brothers looking over your shoulder, no crazy drivers…" He rolls his eyes skyward for a moment. "…what I wouldn't give for no traffic."

"Country roads are the best for racing," Trina rapidly agrees, a devilish grin breaking out onto her lips for a moment, tempered only by her fatigue. "Though Jersey ain't far." Especially when Jack's driving. "I just miss the cookin'. It just ain't the same here. They never use enough butter. Always with the stupid oils."

"No one ever watches them," Knight agrees, matching the expression easily enough before he blinks and laughs, shaking his head. "Damn…pretty, a sense of humor /and/ knows her way around cars. Where have you been all my life?" He says before he grins and turns away from her a moment before shrugging slightly. "Eh, I suppose all the food at least grew on me. I like it here so far, don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon."

"Was in Georgia," Trina replies with a sheepish downturn of her chin and a tiny hint of a blush. Taking in another long breath from her cigarette and a big gulp of her rapidly cooling coffee, the woman then continues. "But I guess I ain't really goin' back either. Not much to go back to."

"Georgia eh?" Knight smirks. "Well expect to be called Peach at least once or twice if you do take the offer up." He warns as he downs nearly a quarter of his coffee. Can't let it get too cold. "That explains it though, I don't think I've ever been to Georgia. Heard its nice, but never had the excuse to go."

"Peach? That'd be a joke. Georgia's alright, though, I guess. 'pends on where you are." As Trina's cigarette dwindles down to nothing, the woman takes another deep breath before stretching her arm out to smash it into the glass ash tray before her. Once that's done, she cradles her glass mug in her hands to focus on draining it. "Might not find a girl who works cars there, but I bet you could find the rest if you tried. I ain't the only one who wanted out."

Eyeing the crushed out cigarette for a moment, Knight just smiles slightly to himself before glancing back towards her. "Oh I'm sure I could, but why go all the way there when there are plenty of interesting ones around here." A smirk. "Even if they do cook with too much oil." A grin before he waves a hand, draining most of the rest of his coffee. He pauses a moment before he glances up towards Trina again, a thoughtful look on his face.

Trina laughs a little, focusing on draining her own cup of coffee. When she looks back up at Knight, her eyes widen a little — uncomprehending the pensive expression — before darting nervously to either side of her. "What? Did I do something?"

"No no no, nothing you didn't do anything!" Knight protests with a laugh before he sits back, setting his empty cup on the table. "…I was just wondering…you seem to get yourself into trouble. I just had something that might help, but I didn't know if you would accept something from someone you've only met twice is all."

"It's only the once I been in trouble," Trina lies, looking down to the table for a moment. When she looks back up, there's a lift of her eyebrows born of confusion and suspicion. The strange quirk of her mouth speaks of much the same heritage. "But I'm listenin'."

"…well, I don't know if you looked my company up, but we specialize in non-lethal weapons, self defense and things of that nature," Knight explains as he slips his hand into his pocket and pulls out what looks like a small credit card. There isn't a magnetic strip on the back though. He hands it towards her. "This is a panic button." He adds. "You break it right down the middle where you can just hardly see a line and it sends an emergency call to the nearest police station, along with your location. The GPS in it only activates if you activate it, so you can't use it if you get lost." He smirks. "We were just starting to market them, but you can have it if you like." He shrugs.

Trina takes the card in hand, flipping it and looking at it with an impressed curve to her lips. Huh. Cool. Then… confusion returns. She quickly glances back to Knight, rearing back and shaking her head in bewilderment. "Wait. If you're an …arms dealer, then why the hell do you need a mechanic?"

"…you think that little things like this is all I work on?" Knight gives her a little bit of a grin. "Your not thinking big enough. I work securities, not just arms. I need help working on the mechanics of armored cars, professional quality limos, as well as the safety and anti-theft features of smaller things like dirt bikes and dune buggies."

Another flip of the card in her hands, and then Trina is pushing the card into her jeans pocket. Can't hurt, right? Then she grabs her jacket abruptly and starts pulling it on. "Well, we're both done. Are you ready to get out of here?" She pushes a smile on her lips, but there is a distinct heaviness that lies behind it. She's got to get home and call Jack. Doesn't matter that he hasn't called. It's time to put an end to this silence nonsense. After loading her cigarettes and lighter into her coat, she starts fishing around for the bills she took from Jack's stash earlier.

"…Trina, you just been through a robbery I'd be a damn poor person to make you pay for a coffee after that," Knight replies as he stands as well and sets a ten and a five on the table. That should be a good enough tip and pay for the drinks. "And yes, lets get you back home…" He offers her his jacket again with a smirk. "Just till you get to the car." He assures her before hes walking off, striding through the bar towards the front door.

"Thank you," the displaced Southerner offers as Knight lays down the money on the table, not really watching him do it. Taking the coat, Trina tugs the thing about her shoulders with another self-conscious dip of her chin and girly sway. Despite herself, there's a tiny smile. "Alright," she allows. "Just 'til the car."

And… They're off!

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