The Right Leverage [Amsterdam/Private]

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The Right Leverage [Amsterdam/Private]

Post  nahn-SEK-wuh-tuhr on Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:33 pm

By the time Piter had pulled into the alleyway next to the town inn, he was feeling far less jittery and much closer to his normal self. Still, like coming down from a high, there was something left to be desired after the abnormal excitement was over. The thrill of success was, as with most things associated with him, empty. Perhaps it was because he was now likely going to be faced with quite a lot of loneliness in the near future, not to mention some measure of uncertainty of what he would do and where he would live. (At least he could now fall back on his friendship with Franze again, when he felt too bored, or secretly needed some sort of guidance. He didn't realize himself how much she was, in a very, very slight sense, like the mother he never had. A very abused and unloved mother.)

For now, though, he had a plan. And that was what he had to devote himself to, until he was able to be alone to think.

Parking and exiting the car, he got his truck out of the back, hefting it's weight with arms unaccustomed to lifting anything heavier than a fiddle. With a wave of the hand, he gestured for Vesna to follow him--if she hadn't figured out as much already. It was quite late, and though the inn was still (thankfully) open, the bar seemed to be deserted. Nevertheless, he had it on good authority--the inn owner himself, visited on his way back from the ragtags the other day--that the whole place was booked. By a Captain Van der Linde.

As quietly as he could, he crept through the hallway where the rooms were, listening with strained ears at each doorway, until-- Aha. There it was. The muted clicking of a metronome slipped through the keyhole and to the musician's ears.

Knocking loudly enough to wake up the room's occupant, but not so loudly that those in the adjacent rooms would be stirred, he pulled a small book out of his pocket by sheer habit as he waited--before realizing with mild amusement that the light was too dim to read by. A moment passed. The displeasured sounds of interrupted sleep were just barely perceptible around the measured clicking, then some shuffling and creaking footsteps on the old wooden floors.

The door was unlocked and opened by the towering man, who was decidedly still half-asleep and clearly out of sorts. "Who is it--" He groaned, running a whole hand over his face and through his hair, eyes heavily lidded. They flew open when they landed on Piter. A pause. And the door shut again, without so much as a word.

The Russian seemed unfazed by the fact that his nose nearly had solid wood slammed right into it--if anything, he had expected as much. Knowing fully well that Diederik would return straight to bed if he didn't speak up quickly, he knocked again, saying very clearly, "So sorry to see you're busy, but seeing as you seem to be interested in one of it's employees, I thought you might like to know: Mistique is burning down. The brothel is already gone."
In not a fraction of a second, the door was wrenched open again, the man standing in it fixing the younger one with a hard, alarmed gaze. But before he could ask, Piter gestured at the bandaged woman at his side.

It had been a long time since the gruff seafarer had felt his heart drop into his stomach. He looked like he'd been punched in the face. The shock came too quickly; his brain couldn't come up with an adequate explanation for what he was seeing or why.

"Vesna..." He managed to say, mouth suddenly dry, "What...?" He reached out, as though to touch her arms, to verify that the injuries were real and not some sort of surreal, awful dream. But his fingers hesitated in mid-air, afraid to accidentally hurt her.

Thankfully (or not), Piter was there to make sure there was no room for awkward silence. He wanted to get straight to what he was there fore. The real reason he'd dragged the Ukrainian with him. "You know, Ditya," he remarked casually, "I am suddenly without home, and I understand you're using all of the rooms here. A shame. I haven't the faintest idea where I will go. But, despite that, I went to all the trouble of bringing your whore here, safe and sound. A saintly gesture, I know. Only for you."

'Ditya' gave him a nasty glare, disgusted that the boy who'd been a thorn in his side for years had the nerve to think he gave a damn about his problems, when a woman he'd only known for a few days and liked far more was terribly hurt. "Liar," he spat, "What do you want?"

"Alright, yes, I'm lying," the Russian admitted in an almost mocking tone, "So, you'd like to know the truth? Her car went up in flames, and I was fully prepared to watch her go with it. But I knew you wouldn't like that, and that if I wanted to convince you to let me have a room here, I needed to be on your good side. So I saved her. I put out the fire when she threw herself into it and gave her medical care. Because I knew that as I stood there, had you been on the phone with me, or what have you, you would have agreed to my simple demands in exchange for her life. So you see, it was all purely business--I just made the deal without your knowledge and assumed you'd take me up on it." The fixed black stare was matched by the equally unwavering dirty green one. "I wouldn't have done anything if I didn't expect something for it. I believe you have a saying--only the sun rises for free?"

There was an intense silence following these words, as the Dutchman felt an intense dislike for the man in front of him--heightened by the fact that he had done a service that did indeed, merit some sort of collateral on Diederik's part. No matter how much he disliked the man, he, by this twisted logic, did somehow owe him. And if he didn't agree, it was likely he wouldn't hear the end of it, and he wanted to get Piter out of his face as quickly as possible. Grinding his teeth, he relented not without some animosity, "Last room in the hall only has one man in it. Go take that one."

"I want to be alone, you understand--"

"Fine, tell him to get out and share with the men next door, captain's orders," he snapped, just barely remembering to keep his voice down. This kid could get on his nerves like few people could.

"How very kind of you; I'm much obliged," with an exaggerated bow, Piter lifted his suitcase and headed off to boot the unsuspecting sailor out of his lodgings. He needed a book. A good book, and a bed, and time to think. It had been quite the eventful night.

With him out of the way, Diederik was finally able to turn his attention on the woman before him. Ushering her in, he closed the door and sat her down on the bed, feeling a kind of horror and anxiety bubbling somewhere in his stomach. Turning off the metronome, the room was bathed in a calming or ominous quiet--he couldn't tell which. As he knelt in front of her, peering at her face by the moonlight streaming in through the uncovered window (there was no overhead light in the old-fashioned room, and he wasn't keen on fetching a lamp from the innkeeper), he whispered the only thing he could think to ask.

"Are you alright?"


((Wow so long. :I Wanted to get Piter out of the picture, since he's already had enough fun for this episode. /shot))
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Re: The Right Leverage [Amsterdam/Private]

Post  DIDNEY WORL on Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:05 am

Well-- he had taken her where he promised, that much could be said. But still she was suspicious. He didn't ask if she wanted to go-- and she certainly didn't do as he said to allow her to go. But she was forcibly taken there anyways.

She put two-and-two together when he took his suitcase from the trunk (she could have lifted that--) and headed towards where Diederik was staying (how was he able to just find it like that?). The greeting wasn't good. So where was she supposed to go? At this time of night? With no clothing but a nightgown and a pair of shoes she'd been given out of the confusion? She was sure they weren't even women's shoes. Her hair was in one long braid-- singed at parts and badly on the end. She was an emotional mess-- and a physical one. Who would want the burden?

But at the mere mention of her home the door opened again. Perhaps it was because he thought his discount was done for... But who knew, he never said enough. It was confusing, seeing such an expression on his face being fixed on her. All she could think to say, with a trembling voice and a smile so small it was barely visible, was, "I'm sorry... I'm too early..."

The revelation of Piter's scheme got anger boiling in her veins-- but she felt too cold for it to have any effect. So she just listened (had she really jus thrown herself in the fire? She couldn't remember) and glared at the floor until her savior-scum was out of sight.

Was she alright? What had she answered the past times she'd been asked? She didn't think she had. "I..." Her lip trembled as she admitted something she hadn't felt in a while. "I feel sad..." Very sad. And she was usually the last person to do so. Looking down at her hands, she felt the urge to explain, to get it all out of her mind. "Piter woke me up... I felt hazy, I might have been passed out instead... The whole room was on fire. And... Everything I made-- I know it wasn't wonderful... It wasn't masterpieces... But it was mine..." Without a hand to wipe them away, tears began to streak her ashen face again. "Some things were still burning..." She gestured to her arms as if to say 'oops', but it was half-hearted. "I tried to get them out... I started burning too..." It was funny how fire worked that way.

She moved her fingers-- only a twitch, to see if they still would work-- and watched her tears fall on them, again repeating almost silently, "I'm early... I'm sorry..."

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Re: The Right Leverage [Amsterdam/Private]

Post  nahn-SEK-wuh-tuhr on Fri Aug 05, 2011 10:33 pm

He had to wonder, in the back of his mind, if this was some sort of divine retribution. After all of the women he'd kidnapped and sold into prostitution or freak shows, it would figure that the one he was beginning to have some kind of feelings for would end up facing loss and horrible injury (and the worst part was that he couldn't tell which upset her more). Irrational or not, he felt his insides writhe with guilt. It should have been him, shouldn't it? What had she done to deserve it?

The absence of the metronome's click reminded him of the nightmares he was constantly using it to avoid--it had been a long time since he'd had one, but they weren't easily forgettable. One of the most haunting ones involved people and fire in a way that left him shaking when he awoke--shaking all the way to the core of his being. He could smell, in those dreams. He could smell the stench of burning beef and pork and charcoal and copper and liver and sulfur and something sweet and putrid. The smoke he engulfed himself in masked that indelible scent, but he could still never seem to get it out of his nose and mouth. He could almost smell it now. It felt like he was going to be sick.

He was suddenly overcome with the wild urge to hide her--hide her where she couldn't be hurt. Where the evils of the world couldn't find her. But he'd already failed, before he'd even thought to try, before he'd even had a chance to show that he could protect people as well as he could exploit them. Maybe it was because he knew, deep down, that he couldn't.

It took a moment to snap out of his moment of guilt and fear and shame, and he realized that he was just staring at her with some kind of agonized expression.

Quickly standing up, he attempted to come up with something useful--she was still injured. And he didn't trust Piter when he said he'd already taken care of it. He was one of the few people (although, perhaps not so few, after tonight) who knew just how untrustworthy the Russian was. "A doctor--I'll find a doctor--no, I have one, the ship has one--I'll wake him up--" He tried to explain, confusing even himself in his incoherency. Then he stopped, remembering to be considerate, "I mean...do you want to see a doctor, now...?" She'd have to, eventually. But maybe she wanted to rest, for a moment. No doubt the night's events had taken quite the toll on her.

Inhaling and exhaling, forcing himself to think before saying something stupid, he leaned over slightly to wipe her tears--as gently as he could, with such coarse hands--and kiss her forehead--as tenderly as he could, with a sailor's mouth.
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Re: The Right Leverage [Amsterdam/Private]

Post  DIDNEY WORL on Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:19 pm

What had she done to deserve it? What hadn't she done? She had selfishly come here seeking some kind of stardom and let herself be sucked into this world, and sold herself several times a night while her smaller sister felt completely alone in those animal cages only a few yards away. The real question was-- what did she do to deserve this person's attention?

It couldn't have been the deal. She couldn't possibly redeem it in present condition, yet she was still there in the room, he wasn't treating her like she was a burden. This all took longer to wrap her mind around than usual things.

She had her own dreams of fire-- but it wasn't of the crawling kind that she'd tried to fight. In her dreams it exploded through a tunnel, sucking out the air and light and everything it took to live... And yet she got up again. She felt the same way she did there in reality-- but she had never been burned before, she knew.

He looked so sick, so sad-- for her? For the fact he had to take care of her? She weakly reached up and tried to touch his cheek but no comfort would come from her hands for a while. "I don't think I want to see a doctor, now..." She said quietly. "Maybe... Later, maybe. I can see the traveling doctor..." Her money had all burnt up, too. No money for this doctor. No money for new art supplies. No money for any other clothes besides the smoke-ruined and singed rags she had on a the moment. And he'd already been troubled enough. "I just... Want to feel normal... For now."

Then, reluctantly (how could she ask any more), "Can I... Stay here? At least for a few hours. I don't think Piter wants me to go back." She finally felt her heartbeat slow a little. As if this whole ordeal had been a hurricane that had landed her here and she wasn't sure how, but she was glad she was there. "He never really asked me to come with him-- not that I didn't want to be here." He had no idea how much she had been anticipating his visit-- only to hear him say fascinating things. She'd even started to paint his beach in Indonesia (but the flora was all wrong-- how was she supposed to know what else was in Indonesia?), but it was gone now.

She was beginning to feel more herself (or maybe herself that he'd never seen yet) as he kissed her forehead, as if she was something delicate. She laughed just slightly, quietly-- usually she was treated like a towering bumbling idiot (not that she wasn't--).

It seemed like his mind had hit a wall as to what to do with her. She couldn't blame him. She had grown up near the docks--she wasn't always sweet and stupid. Maybe the right words could help him figure things out; in an attitude he probably knew well. "Diederik-- I don't know whether to kiss Piter's face or twist his balls in a vice until they pop." she turned her head to kiss his palm, with a sailor's mouth of her own. "I think that means I need sleep."

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Re: The Right Leverage [Amsterdam/Private]

Post  nahn-SEK-wuh-tuhr on Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:35 am

He wasn't familiar with most of the locals there, so he didn't know who she meant by 'traveling doctor'. But if that was what she preferred, he certainly wasn't going to quarrel over the matter. He did wonder, though, how much this traveling doctor charged, and if she could afford it. It would be highly insensitive to ask, so he wouldn't, but he couldn't help but think that it was very likely that what she was wearing was all she had left to her name.

He knew what it was like to be rich one day, and poor the next. Really, he probably knew better than anyone else in the world, given the extreme high and low he'd faced with the economic collapse. So poor that even the most basic of necessities were out of his reach...he couldn't--no, wouldn't let the same happen to her.

So when she asked to stay, he'd practically already agreed before she'd even uttered the first word. "Ja..." He said quietly, "As long as you need to..." He could have told her that he intended for her to stay, that he'd like for her to. But maybe she'd rather not--perhaps she planned to go back. And in that case, he didn't want her to feel obligated to stay just because he'd asked.

Slipping a hand under her knees and one behind her back, he lifted her to reposition her on the bed, so that she would lie down, at least. He figured he would sleep sitting at the table...or on the floor, maybe. His coat would work as a pillow, until he could get another one from the innkeeper. Of course, it would be a lie to say that he wouldn't have liked to share the bed...but it would be extremely inappropriate, to say the least. Given the events she'd weathered that night, taking advantage of her inability to sleep elsewhere would just be wrong. Completely wrong.

Slipping her shoes off for her (could she grip things, with those hands? He couldn't know--), he pulled the covers up over her, feeling somewhat embarrassed--when had he ever taken care of someone like this, in his life? Never. He was about to step away, to go find his jacket, but her comment about Piter literally froze him in surprise. Eyes wide, he blinked for a moment, shocked to hear such a statement coming from a woman...then snorted lightly, smiling despite himself.

"That little cunt--always wanted to sock him one in the face," he replied easily, the cruder words coming to him far more naturally, "I'll do it tomorrow... Maybe I'll tell him 'thanks' afterward." Maybe.

Turning slightly, he added, unsure, "Go to sleep--...Er, ja, sleep well. Goedenacht..." He still didn't have the hang of it. Come to think of it, when was the last time he'd said 'good night' to anyone? It was always 'go to sleep', with his crew.

Deciding that this was the opportune moment to shut up and go look for his coat, he busied himself with that, hoping in the back of his mind that the absence of his metronome's soothing clicking wouldn't result in a return of the nightmares. It should be okay...for one night, at least. He'd figure something out, if she stayed longer than that.
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Re: The Right Leverage [Amsterdam/Private]

Post  DIDNEY WORL on Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:40 am

She knew the doctor could be quite the pushover, if the injury was bad enough. If not, Dimitrie would pay. It lessened how much she owed this man already... But she hadn't the heart to ask him to pay for other clothes. And how would she bathe? Her hands were relatively useless at the time, and there were no other women here. Not like she was at all self conscious (given what she was), but to ask him to do that, too... She couldn't. She wouldn't.

All she was going to ask for was to stay-- but really one thing remained, that she would feel bad for not bringing up. She shifted over as much as she could before offering, "I don't want to interrupt your life..." (Too late) "This is your bed, not mine." He should still sleep there. Unless of course, he didn't want to. She knew she smelled like smoke and sweat and outdoors and...things that had burned. Maybe he really couldn't smell anything but tobacco... But still she cringed at the thought. They still had a deal, and he was talking to her. The least she could do was let him be near her... As long as he couldn't smell.

Despite being tired, her smile became even bigger than his when he finally showed one. "Do it twice-- one for me." She would have given it herself if she could have. She was before indifferent to Piter-- she hardly knew him. But now that she did... He was forever on her list of people to never be kind to.

He told her to sleep, but she only closed her eyes. She was waiting to notice another weight beside her, to not feel so guilty about taking his already small bed. Maybe if he thought she was half asleep already... "Thank you..." She slurred as if she was tired quite unbelievably.

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Re: The Right Leverage [Amsterdam/Private]

Post  nahn-SEK-wuh-tuhr on Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:48 pm

If there were other women here, he would have already thought of asking them to help her. No doubt, she would have felt more comfortable being taken care of by a woman than by him (or so he assumed). It was just a shame that he barely knew anyone here, other than his crew and the innkeeper--none of whom he would have trusted with the woman. But really, no one would have trusted him, either, yet here he was.

...But maybe there was a good reason why no one would have trusted him.

He literally stopped in place, a war waging inside his head. A gentleman would have politely refused, right? It was wrong to take advantage of her... (The fact that she was a prostitute and used to men taking advantage of her didn't factor in his mind--if he only thought of her as a prostitute, they wouldn't be here now.) But did it matter what was 'right' or 'wrong' if she'd invited him to it? Well, it did if she was only asking because she was afraid to interrupt his normal life--but he could have told her that he'd slept in far more uncomfortable places. One night without a pillow and a mattress wouldn't kill him.

He caved, anyways. No one could ever accuse him of being a saint.

Practically tip-toeing back, as though he were afraid of getting caught and trying to be sneaky about it (which really should have been an indication that his conscience didn't sit well with this), he stood next to the side (as much as it could be called a 'side'; there wasn't really all that much space) that she wasn't sleeping on, purposely deliberating. But...the fact that he'd turned around meant that he wasn't about to convince himself to walk away. He got in, as slowly as he could so as to not disturb her too much. It wasn't easy, for a person of his size.

And it wasn't an easy fit, either. Almost immediately, he realized (much to his chagrin) that it was very likely she would fall off, now that he was taking up most of the space. If he wasn't sure whether or not it was okay to hold her (wouldn't that be pushing it, a bit?), it didn't matter now--he had to hold her by the waist to secure her in place. It was just a good thing that he didn't move around much when he slept.

...For the record, if she smelled like smoke (or anything else), he overpowered it twofold.
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Re: The Right Leverage [Amsterdam/Private]

Post  DIDNEY WORL on Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:32 pm

She had to force herself to keep her eyes shut when she sensed he was there-- was he thinking, or just watching her? If it was the latter she might've had to rethink all this. But eventually she felt the weight next to her, and around her waist (which she couldn't mind-- she was usually quite the fitful sleeper and needed something to keep her from accidentally sleeping on her burns) and couldn't help but smile, cracking one eye open and turning her head towards him.

"You hesitated," She informed him, as though he had no idea. "Do you feel bad about sleeping where you're supposed to?" Maybe it was her reasonable lack of inhibition, but someone else sleeping in one's bed shouldn't dissuade them from having as normal a night as possible. The size of the bed was a problem, sure... But would he even be there now if that was the issue?

If he expected her to just sleep... Well. Before the cars burned, she used to fall asleep talking to the other girls on the party line Dimitrie connected through the cars. She was considerably more tired, so talking as much as she used to probably wasn't going to happen. But it was probably more talking than he was used to. "I think tomorrow-- or in a few days I'll see my sister." She was more talking for herself than expecting him to reply. "Do you think if you're visiting a blind person... You should look presentable?" There would be other people around. "I guess I'll have to find something else to wear." Easier said than done. Every woman she knew was at least 5 inches shorter and consequently a size or two smaller.

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Re: The Right Leverage [Amsterdam/Private]

Post  nahn-SEK-wuh-tuhr on Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:46 am

He didn't open his eyes, though he could sense her turning. "If I were 'supposed' to sleep here, my ankles wouldn't be hanging off the edge..." And this was with his knees bent as much as possible in the confined space. The size was, in fact, an issue. But beggars (rather, cheapskates) couldn't be choosers.

And yet, even disregarding all of that, he felt like only a real dirtbag wouldn't hesitate. "Maybe I've got no right to talk...but...I think that's just common manners," he mumbled. 

Already, this was far more talking than he was used to. Even before she'd walked in the room, it had passed way over his usual limit for nightime conversation. If any of his men had, for whatever reason (he could only cite drunkeness as the sole possibility), wanted to chit-chat in the middle of the night, he'd have told them to get the hell out and go bother someone else, unless it was an emergancy. As it was, he didn't know what to think of this.

Especially when she brought up her sister. Especially when she brought up blindness etiquette. Especially when she brought up clothes.

His mind searched for something to say. It just kept drifting back to boats and sex. Finally, he landed on something useful to offer: "Do you need someone to take you there...?" If he was going to be honest, he didn't have a car. Even if it was feasible to bring one around on his ship, he wouldn't; he hated cars. But he could coerce Piter into driving her there...maybe add that in as another excuse to punch him.

And though he didn't want to potentially be faced with her sister...he wondered if he shouldn't go, too. Besides that he wouldn't trust Piter to drive, he felt that it was proper to escort a woman--but maybe he was just old-fashioned in that way.
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Re: The Right Leverage [Amsterdam/Private]

Post  DIDNEY WORL on Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:28 am

She laughed dreamily and moved closer to kiss him lightly and smile. "Once my hands are well enough I'll repay your conversation." And his hospitality. Couldn't forget that he just took in a burned prostitute no questions asked. "Thank you..."

There was a fear for the other women-- were they okay? But she'd seen them before she was pulled away and, well... She'd much rather be here than in a tent full of overflowing anguish that would overcome her in a heartbeat.

Beginning to feel sleep overcome her instead, she didn't notice how much he was struggling to say anything. Did she need a ride? She hadn't considered asking. She didn't have any money to pay a driver, but she knew that she was herself currency. And as much as she would loathe using it as payment and not getting paid... She felt like she had to do something on her own. And without functioning hands to push someone away, well, might as well get something out of it. For some reason she felt ashamed to tell him so.

"I can walk." She lied. It was quite a long way in the heat-- the last thing she wanted to do. But she only needed him to think she was doing so. Yawning, she mumbled, "You've done enough..."

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