2010-06-13: The Clash



NPC: Emilio

Date: June 13, 2010


No clear winners this time around.

"The Clash"

Brawlers Headquarters, The Bronx

Ah, the basic pleasures of life - booze, sweat, and pride. There's even the scent of steak in the air, coming from a handful of takeout containers here and there; none of the local places want to be openly associated with the Headquarters, but they're willing to look the other way when business happens to land on their doorsteps.

At first, Stefano had considered trying to avoid the situation by staying away from this place. Two problems with that idea: First, Emilio still needs an escape valve, at least until he takes the hint about picking his battles. Second, if he avoided the HQ, then the way his luck was crapping out lately, he was liable to run into Ophelia someplace else instead— and who knows what she'd try to pull, then. If he meets her here, then there's an obvious course of action— one he can live with. For now, he's just hanging out near the end of the bar, working his way through a shot glass and watching the crowd.

Soon enough, as it appears, Ophelia appears. Heading into the headquarters, she greets several regulars on her way over towards the bar. At first, Stefano is unnoticed. She's chatting with a few others, then the bartender, and putting in her drink order.

To his credit, Stef remembers the advice he was given the other day. Don't be too rude. He waits for her to get closer, waits until she's ordered a drink before he pipes up, just loudly enough that his voice should be hard enough for her to miss. "Well, look who's back!" he quips. "Gotta defend your perfect record, huh?"

There's a bit of an eyebrow raised. Well, well. It looks like someone decided to show up again. "I suppose. Didn't expect to see you back here. Things going alright with you?" Ophelia asks, reaching for her drink and taking a long sip.

Stefano shrugs, finishing off his glass and gesturing with it toward the nearest ring, where upwards of 250 pounds of doubled-over loser is just now being hauled back out to the concrete floor. "The usual. What about you?" No mention of the run-in with Belinda, or of the blonde exotic dancer for that matter - let her be the one to bring it up. Hey, the approach worked pretty well for him last time he was here…

"Doing well enough. Though, I suppose it's good that things are the same-old, same-old, right?" Phi peers over the rim of her glass at him as she takes another sip. Mmhm, she's not going to bring it up. At least, not right off the bat, it seems.

Huh. Maybe she's just as happy to pretend the whole thing never happened. He could deal with that, too— but then Emilio staggers up next to them both, flailing an arm in the air to draw the bartender's attention. "Whoo! Beer me! Hey, big man, ain't this the one hauled you outta here last time?" While he's busy running his mouth, Stefano leans sideways against the bar, balling a fist up out of sight.

There's an eye she gives to Emilio, especially at the comment. "I think Stefano's like to forget about that, hmm?" Ophelia smirks. "Must've had a bad evening or something." She sips from her drink again.

"Hey, I didn't say that." Despite everything, Stef can't help but appreciate the way she's been playing the whole thing cool— not like KeLyssa, who may as well have been swinging a frying pan for all her subtlety. Before he can get in anything else, the beer arrives; Emilio, having exhausted his patience for small talk already, merely claps a hand on his shoulder and then wanders off with his mug in search of a fresh opponent.

Well, there goes Emilio, which means that the two are left to talk again. Ophelia narrows her eyes, looking back to her mug. "You do have some balls, coming back here. Considering the circumstances and all." There's a pause. "Not like I own the place, but.. just wouldn't have thought you'd be showing up here."

Stefano points a thumb behind him. "You've seen the guy— what the hell else am I gonna do with him?" See, it's all about the mook. Sure it is. "So, the circumstances— what're you thinking?" He glances over to one side, toward a ring— or is it toward the exit that lays beyond? They're far enough away that it's impossible to tell.

"Emilio? I dunno that guys like him ever learn. It takes something life or death to change someone like him, and sometimes that don't work when you yourself don't fear it. /Then/ you have to fear losing someone else before they get any sort of sense of.. well, control, I guess." Ophelia peers back towards Stefano. "So. If you're asking me what I think, for one, I think you're an ass." She states, casually, taking a long swallow of her beer.

It's all about control, in the end, isn't it? Either you grab it or someone else will. But the stakes aren't life or death here, so Stefano stays pretty relaxed. "Fair enough," he replies, motioning for another round himself. "Got an earful from Bell about that, too. Anything else?"

Ophelia nods a little. "Well, glad she gave you an earful. She's right. I mean, fuck, why did you marry her if you were going to go and look elsewhere?" She frowns. "Certainly lowered my impression of you, that's for damn sure."

"Who the fuck said I was looking elsewhere?" He was, but never mind that right now. By this point, Stefano has slipped into the sort of confrontational stance that draws most people to the joint in the first place. "I mean, correct me if I'm wrong here, maybe I was a little more shitfaced than I thought but— seems to me you were the one doing the looking."

"Gonna blame it on the booze, then? Wow, you /are/ an ass." Ophelia finishes her glass, eyeing him carefully. "You know, as I recall, you didn't seem to have a problem going off with some girl you just met. In fact, come to think of it, this isn't the first time you've done this, huh? Obviously not, considering Lyss. Seriously, is your wife just not good enough for you that you won't bother sticking around for her? Cause she seemed like a nice enough chick if you ask me. So what's your problem?"

Stefano narrows his eyes. Seriously? He didn't get what Belinda meant about Phi being too young, but he's getting an idea pretty quickly now. Way too naive. "Fuck this, I don't gotta explain myself to you. Just stay away from her, got that? Both of us." Picking up his glass as it's dropped off, he gets up to walk away. If sh'e's going to haul him into the ring tonight, it's now or never.

Eyes are narrowed. "Jesus. You act like I'm some scorned lover and I'm going to hunt you down. Honestly, I hope your wife comes to her senses. You're just a cheating asshole and the world doesn't revolve around you." Ophelia glances at her empty beer glass, contemplating ordering another, but she glances back to Stefano to watch him.

Well, after the way Lyss ran off at the mouth back at the park, can you blame him? Shaking his head, he walks off without another word. Sorry, folks, the war of words is all the show you're getting today. (Realizing this, a couple of guys further down the bar roll their eyes and stuff a pair of Andrew Jacksons back in their pockets.)

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