2007-05-17: The Wink And The Gun


Archer_icon.gif Trina_icon.gif

Summary: A private detective tries to pump a hottie bartender for information and ends up going home alone.

Date It Happened: May 17, 2007

The Wink And The Gun

Della Rosa

It's evening in the Della Rosa, a nasty little dive on the Lower East Side. It's enough of a dive that by ten o'clock, it's mostly lingering regulars that dot the worn tables with their chipped black paint finishes and the vinyl and brass barstools, cracked by age and use. While New York may have gone non-smoking, the smell of smoke still lingers… due in no small part to the crew that cheat and stand at the door leading to the back alley so that they can smoke and watch the small, one-room restaurant/bar at the same time. The tan-painted cinderblocks, after all, may have otherwise given up the cloying odor. Even the large artistic shots of the City are stained with the residue of vice, once stark white now turned parchment yellow in the black frames.

This is the place that Trina calls her home away from home for another two weeks. The dark-haired woman, with her tight, black, low-ride capris and black lacy camisole that rides high on her waist and low on her breasts, leans over as she meticulously cares for the well-loved bar with it's scratched wooden surface, occasionally giving glimpses of the red bra beneath to anyone looking her way. Her head twists partway through her task, looking down at the empty glass belonging to the man who seems to almost have fallen asleep on her bar. A friendly smile curls her lips, and she makes her way over with a slice of lemon. Setting the lemon down beside the man, she stoops in front of him so she can look at him eye-to-eye. "C'mon, Frank. If you're gonna get through another few before closing, you're gonna have to sit up. Otherwise, I'm callin' Marge to come getcha."

~ I hate this city. It never sleeps. By proxy, neither do I. I'm Samuel Archer, Private Investigator. And I'm always on duty. I got word to check out a place called Della Rosa. It's a piece of shit dive that probably should've been torn down weeks ago. But you know how it is when you know somebody. They got connections. That's what I'm after. If there's any place that'd be full of low lifes with their ear to the street? It's gotta' be this place. ~

The door to his classic vehicle of old school style opens up and Archer climbs out. Even in this less than cold weather, he wears his signature leather jacket. He reaches up to adjust the beanie cap on his head and nudges the door closed with the heel of his sneaker. Pushing himself across the street, he strolls with a confidence that keeps him alive. Sooner than later, he's yanking open the door to the Rosa and stepping inside. He lets the door close behind him and makes it a point to look out over the dive. No reason to -not- make his presence known. Since he's going to become a regular here. His eyes are narrowed, looking around with an accusatory stare at everyone. Maybe he can make them suspicious and paranoid. Could make things easier when it comes time for questioning.

Assured that nobody's about to try and pull something on him, he crosses towards the bar and drops down onto a stool next to this Frank. He sits sideways, so he can see the floor rather than have his back to it. There's a knot of cash that comes out of his pocket when he reaches for it. He pulls out a twenty, folds it and drops it onto the bar in an teepee manner. "Shot of Hennessy." Archer cuts his eyes over towards the barkeep as he places that order.

Blue eyes regard the new arrival for a moment, Trina distracted from her continued teasing of the blurry-visioned and altogether disheveled and balding Frank. Wordlessly, she twists and then her slender fingers reach out to pluck the twenty from the counter. "Hennessy. You got it." Shoving the twenty towards the register to deal with later, the woman then reaches up to the higher rack of the well-lit liquor shelves to pull down the black-corked bottle. Yanking an old-fashioned out from underneath the bar, she quickly moves to metre out the lovely poison before throwing out a cocktail napkin and setting the glass on top.

That done, Trina then lowers herself onto the bar so she can rest her upper body there by means of her planted elbows and lightly crossed forearms. Her head tilts, but she's spared hair in the face as those locks shift by means of the thick, satin hair scarf she's got knotted at the nape of her neck as a headband. "S'that gonna be it tonight? If you'd rather, I can start a tab for you." The twenty, after all, hasn't made it into the till yet. S'always best to upsell when you can!

~ Not bad. Something to look at, anyway. Looks like this ain't going to be a bad place, after all. ~

Archer smirks a little bit, watching the girl as she presents goods and just nudges the glass out of the way. He doesn't even really plan on drinking it. But ordering something at the bar is always a good way to make a good impression with the bartender. "The twenty was for the drink." Again, that knot of cash comes out and he flips through. The fifty dollar bill appears next and he plucks it out and drops it on the bar. "That one's for you." Either he's a big spender or he's up to something that could probably be considered, well, who knows what he's up to. "Whether or not you can help me." So apparently, she's going to make 50 bucks either way. Not a bad deal.

Trina looks at that bill for a moment, and she lets it sit there for a good long moment. And then she thinks of Baby. Her poor, abused Mustang sitting in the garage where it is. Her fingers then reach out again with a small sniff, taking the fifty and pushing it deftly into her bra. She'd be lying if some of that isn't for show. After all, not everyone tosses fifties at her. 'Specially not here. She'll give the cook a bigger cut of the jar to make up for this little bit not being in the mix. Her eyes drop down, making sure that the bill is neatly tucked away and out of sight. "If you're lookin' for some time in the hay, I ain't interested in your 'fork," she replies cooly. Then her eyes lift, regarding the sharp-looking man across the small distance from her from beneath a pair of lifted eyebrows. "I hope that ain't what you had in mind."

"If that's what I was here for, I would've offered more than just fifty bucks." Archer's eyes show no specific emotion. He's indifferent at this particular juncture in his life. Swiveling on the stool, he leans onto the bar so that he can match Trina's gaze more clearly. "I'm looking for some information." Immediately, he holds up a finger. "Not a cop." Just in case that freaks her out. "And this looks like the kind of dump that my kind of information passes through." He shrugs slightly, as if it wasn't truly an insult. "I'm not offering friendship. I'm not offering anything but a chance to make some money doing what I'm pretty sure you already do: Listen."

Archer's right. Asking about information is a sure-fire way to put Trina on the defensive. And, while he may not be a cop, that doesn't mean that there aren't things that she's not particularly keen on him being aware of. That nervousness makes itself readily apparent as she quickly throws both hands in a portayal of innocence. "Hey, hey." Then her arms cross under her breasts, her voice dropping conspiratorially. "I… I'm not a snitch."

Archer casts a glance around, mostly at Frank, but then leans onto the counter even more. He's on the edge of his stool, here! "I'm not asking you to be a snitch." His tone is low and just as conspiring. "I'm just asking for you to keep your ear open and if our paths ever cross again, you tell me what you know. We're both trying to make some money here. Don't make this bigger than it is."

Ah, don't worry about Frank. Frank's back to practically snoring as he cradles his glass.

Trina, meanwhile, bobs a knee. It bounces a few times as her blue eyes roll upwards towards the ceiling as she considers. Gah. This guy's just trying to make a living, but she really can't take *advantage* of him. Not to mention, it doesn't sound like he and she should really spend that much time together. "I'm hopefully only gonna be here another couple of weeks," she finally manages. "My boyfriend offered me a job workin' over at his bar."

Brick wall. Archer frowns a little, but soon enough is sitting back on his stool. "Fair enough." He's not the type to push things. This isn't that important. Besides, all he needs is some crazy boyfriend coming after him because he's trying to proposition this bartender into working for him. Or with him. "Easiest fifty bucks you ever made, right?" There's even a small smile that shows no hard feelings as he gets himself up from the bar and smoothes out his clothes to make sure he doesn't look a mess. Half of being a PI is style.

…Now she feels bad. *DAMN* it. There's another bob of Trina's fabric-painted knee, and then her fingers plunge back into that red bra. Extracting the bill, she sets it back on the counter and slides it across the counter. Now it smells like cigarettes, talcum powder and cheap perfume. Large silver hoops dangle as she frowns and tilts her head. "Here. I don't feel right takin' it." Then there's a tried smile as she nudges that still filled shot of cognac forward. "And you still didn't drink your Hennessy. You can't honestly tell me you paid twenty bucks to look at it."

"I actually don't drink Henny. It was just the first expensive thing I could think of." Archer offers the girl a wink and doesn't even acknowledge the fifty dollar bill. Instead, he just pats Frank on the shoulder like he knows him, "See ya' 'round, Frankie!" And there he goes, turning to head off in the direction of the door. Maybe he'll cross paths with her at another time. They can catch up. And he can ask how his fifty bucks spent.

She waits until Archer's back is turned before she takes the fifty back. She flips it over twice, and makes a note to run the marker over it to make sure the damned thing's real. By the time Trina looks up, Archer's halfway across the room. Before he's to the door, the bill's already back in her bra, and then she picks up the glass and throws it against the back of her throat herself. It's paid for, and it would be a shame to waste it. The effort draws a hissed breath between her teeth, and a small shake of her head to dispel its hold over her gullet. "Hey!" she calls out across the bar. "What's your name?"

The private investigator makes it to the door finally, reaching out to pull the damn thing open. His eyes cut back over to the bar and he offers a smile. One that pretty much says that he'll be seeing her around. "Archer." He gives her the wink and the gun gesture of a classic nature and disappears out of the door. He's made his presence known in the bar. Everybody heard his name. Regulars beware!

Archer. Trina watches him leave before offering a little bit of a laugh and sliding the glass into the sink to be washed later. She's got fifty bucks over what comes off the twenty for the drink plus the drink, and she didn't have to do a damned thing for it. And really. No one can take that Rico Suave act seriously, right? Right? Right.

Turning, she moves to pick up a phone and starts dialing. "Look alive, Frank. I'm calling Marge, and you know she ain't gonna be happy." That encourages the man to gurgle something unintelligible, followed by him lifting his head. It sounds like 'I'm awake!' Either way, Trina's not really paying attention. She's already trying to calm her nerves and forget she ever met the guy. It's a good night.

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