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Video Chat Kumospace [Everyone] Gather.town [Everyone]
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Just another night, right? Nothing out of the ordinary thus far, anyway. Not that he'd seen leaving his apartment or traveling through the west end's slick streets. The rain had dampened everything and a brutal chill had set in, sticking to everything and everyone that had the nerve to be out at this hour. The moonlight felt especially cold and stark in this weather and Kiann found himself casting a salty glance at it and clicking his tongue in disapproval. He had work to do, and even in a wool coat and scarf, he was freezing his ass off to do it. Something about that made doing “noble” work a lot less appealing. The past few weeks had been a hellish game of cat and mouse, but he'd managed to put a few more names in his roladex. Every day it seemed like new incarnates were popping up. How the hell had this become his day job?
Sniffing, he lowered his gaze and focused on putting one boot in front of the other. Their heavy soles thudded agains the pavement at an even tempo and every step brought him closer to his usual spot. As he approached, the brunet crossed the street and made a beeline for the unassuming stairwell. It was a dimly lit, steep flight down to an even more unassuming door. The only indication that there was anything of interest was the brick shithouse of a brute guarding the door.
“Mads.” He greeted coolly.
“Ki.” It was a greeting afforded with a brief nod before the door was opened before him and the rumble of heavy bass crept forth from the depths of a long, dark hall. The brunet strode in, embracing the vibrations and the familiar scents that greeted him. The farther he descended, the more the tension bled from his form. Beyond the red door, it was all love - all fun - maybe too much of the last one. Whatever the case, he was gonna' celebrate tonight. He worked too hard to be spending his nights in. Maybe for once he could enjoy a little company, too, without the dangerous disclaimer.
“Lord… cold as all get out.” She should've worn something longer, but if they were gonna' be dancing she knew a full ensemble wouldn't cut it, so the mini-dress it was. At the very least she had the good sense to wear a set of chunky heels so she didn't bust her backside when the drinks potentially started flowing. Hair slicked up and away from her face to cascade in the form of high pony, Nathalia fussed with her deep waves, stalking up to the front door of her best friend's place. Tonight was finally the night, and she was going to make sure she got that girl out of the house.
Sure, movie nights in and sleepovers were great. Who didn't love a good skincare night or a horror movie snuggled in with your ride or die? It was all well and good, but they had to get out of the house sometime. Even she had felt her own qualms about taking on the city, but it was time. Two years post-breakup was long enough. She was sad not dead,, and if she could get herself together for a night, so could her beloved sister. After all, that's what she considered her. They'd known one another too long and spent far too much time working their way onto each other's family tree not to. Alright…maybe that was just Nat, but she was big on family. Big on clothes, too, on any other given night.
Hustling her way up to the door, she cursed herself, rifling through her bag. Damn. “Hey-” a few modest open-handed bangs on the door. “Let me iiin, it's colder than a polar bear's ass out here.” Her voice trembled at the end for emphasis as a she hopped from foot to foot. Not even the shawl she'd drawn around her shoulders could temper the chill. “Girl, you better be in the bathroom or the second floor!” Even for a nice neighbourhood, standing out here at night didn't sit right with her soul. Honestly? It was probably the dress. Everything always seemed to be able to go wrong in a dress.
Deja’s shoulders felt like they were on fire and ready to fall off as her fingers slowly, painstakingly, wove the last of her cornrows. Her brow furrowed and her tongue snuck out from behind her teeth as she strained to get a glimpse of the back of her head in a makeshift two mirror setup in her bathroom. Doing one or two braids was hard enough. Doing multiple that involved flipped and reversed configurations? Impossible. As the random YouTuber’s two-hour tutorial came to a close, however, the tedious hairstyle actually didn’t look half bad.
There was a cheerful little ditty as the video’s outro played and Deja finally let her arms fall to her sides with an exhausted huff. Her dark eyes narrowed as she inspected her work from every angle, inches away from the larger of the two mirrors. The parts weren’t the neatest and there were too many flyaways for her liking, but it would have to do. Especially because several knocks at the door indicated that she’d run out of time.
“Shit!” Deja muttered, sending some miscellaneous hair products clattering off the tiny sink in her haste to get Nat out of the cold. She hustled to the front door, unlocked it, and yanked it open. Her face brightened with a wide grin at the same time Nat’s fell in confused disgust. Deja was still in the oversized leopard print moomoo she used as pajamas. As she registered this – a stark contrast to the sexy little number hugging Nathalia’s curves – she shrugged embarrassingly. “Sorry, the hair took longer than I thought,” she explained as her friend crossed over the threshold. “Gimme like, hm, twenty more minutes? And I’ll be good to go!”
Twenty minutes quickly turned into fifty. That wasn’t entirely Deja’s fault, though. Her getting-ready-routine was continuously derailed as she exchanged life’s laments – the fact that she’d been fired from her executive assistant’s role at an indie production company after she’d declined a pass from said executive; and gossip – the fact that the new girl they’d hired was about ten years younger, thirty pounds lighter, and a complete airhead. Added to that she hadn’t planned an outfit for the night yet. The resulting fashion show alone to get Nat’s input ate up another fifteen minutes. Then there was the matter of makeup. That in and of itself would’ve taken up a good chunk of time with even-toned skin, but Deja’s autoimmune disorder that caused patches of skin to lose their pigment meant that the discoloration took twice as long to paint.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, she was ready. Counter to her friend, and against her many protestations that ‘hoes don’t get cold!’, Deja decided to layer up. Dressed in all black, she donned a cropped leather jacket, a tank with a titty window, skin-tight faux leather leggings, and a pair of knee-high heeled boots. A few gold-plated jewelries and a deep purple lip pulled the look together.
“Okay,” she said with some finality. “I think that’s everything. Got phone, wallet, keys…” She patted each pocket where the respective items were safely tucked away. “Am I missing anything else?” In an immediate answer to her own question, she snapped her fingers and exclaimed, “Shots!” Deja quickly scurried into the kitchen and returned with two gift shop shot glasses from Disney World both full of what she called her ‘dancing juice.’ … Tequila. It was tequila. She handed one over to Nat and together they raised them skyward. They hung there for just a half second too long as Deja tried to decide what to toast. “To… I don’t know, a ‘fun night’ seems too simple, highly overdone. How about here’s to… ooh! Here’s to the fucking men we leave behind and the fucking-men we find tonight!”
Deja laughed right along with Nat as they tapped their glasses together with a little clink and downed the drink. She pulled half a face as the burning stuff went down to warm her insides and imbibe her with the liquid courage she’d need for the night. Then, after shutting off all the lights, she looped her arm through Nat’s, locked the place up, and sauntered off with her into the bitter cold.
She'd better have had a damn good reason. “Ma'ame- MA'AME-” Nathalia groaned. “Sis, the dress is deeply dressing right now, and my cheeks are about to resemble ice cubes. Do kindly have mercy on me- oh. Ohhhh, okay, I see we were mid creative process.” She chimed with a little wrist rotation as she bounced her way in. Nat immediately gathered Deja for a tight squeeze before tugging a little the moomoo. “Now you know I love you in every way, but this is not gonna' fly. We are on a mission. Remember? Happiness Over Everything? How we s'pose to get our happy on lookin' like aunt Leticia?" She cast her a dramatic look and shooed her in the direction of the bedroom.
“Alright, uh-uh, let's get this together, cos the girl I know literally breaks necks.”
And Nat had no problem making herself at home, sprawled across the bed with her heels abandoned at the front door. She'd eventually opted for assisting in the hunt for a fit and had given her input where necessary. While Deja worked on her makeup, she'd taken it upon herself to look after those fly-aways for her and carefully slick any baby hairs that needed to be laid. It was always bittersweet when D put makeup on. Nathalia found her skin beautiful as is. Always had and always would, but there was never anything wrong with the artistry and dedication of a full beat.
By the time she was done, Nat had been posted up against the frame of the doorway with her signature look of triumph. “Like I said… necks.”
It wasn't long before she was also back in her heels, shawl draped, bowing just above her backside, smiling from ear to ear. She had been dying for a girls' night out. Deja scurried off for the goods and Nat tossed her head back with a short cackle. Maybe it would take the edge off the initial bite of cold on their way out. Her stomach was empty and she could only assume D's was, too. They raised, clinked, took a drink, and off they went. Arm in arm, the pair had stolen off into the night. Finally! Here was a toast for ‘em… to fuckin’ freedom. From shitty jobs, shitty men, and taking shit from anyone.
* * *
When it came to navigating, Nat took point. They had to take a train into the city proper, but it was a short ride and much less expensive than an uber. No way in hell she was wastin' drank money on an uber unless they were too drunk to navigate the metro. Stepping out onto the pavement from a glass elevator, she practically vibrated with excitement, shaking Deja by their linked arms. “Eee! Okay, so this place I've been telling you about - it's a little off the beaten path. I got the invitation from my boss' wife, so I'm guessing we might get the principessa treatment tonight.”
Leading Deja down a treacherously steep set of stairs, Nat took care to illuminate the way with her phone. When eventually they would reach the bottom, Ki would be right there waiting for them. Nathalia stopped short of the man, clearly a little awestruck. What size did he come in exactly? People weren't built like that. Brick shithouse didn't quite do it, but it was close.
“Name?” He prompted evenly, a touch of amusement in his gaze.
Nat hadn't even realised she had leant away from him, lightly pressing herself into Deja.
“Nat-… Nathalia and Deja.”
With a nod, a jet black door opened and heavy reverberations drifted from within. “Enjoy, ladies.” He offered a faint smile, despite his serious demeanour.
Nathalia skittered along, arm tightly linked with Deja's. That was a whole lot of hell no, and she was not about to be freezing her titties off to get her shit rocked by some gargantuan--whatever he was.
“Okay-” Blinking against the dim lighting, Nat inhaled deeply. “Ready?” She gave Deja a pointed look, excitement returning full force as another dimpled smile took her features.
Down a hall with red recessed lighting that must've been painted jet black, there were muffled sounds of enjoyment. Music, muffled chatter, bass that was vibrating beneath their soles even now. Beyond that door was certainly an experience - one you only got by invitation, and Nat was ready to see it. After all, it wasn't every day you were invited to a members-only club.
* * *
Within they would find a lot more than they'd probably bargained for. Nat's boss had said nightclub, but this was--a lot. On the first floor was a VIP section, slightly raised and tucked further back by the stage to provide an unobstructed view of whatever performances were to be held there. To the right, the club opened up into a master piece. Balconies circled the upper level and overlooked a likewise circular dance floor set a few steps below entrance level. It glowed and illuminated the railings that cordoned it off, making it mostly safe from drunken bodies that might unsuspectingly venture too close. Beyond it, the aforementioned stage reflected the glow of overhead light recessed lighting where someone was making a real show of their rope skills.
There were bodies everywhere, from the bar to the gyrating sea of them on the dance floor - clas in leather, latex, and in all states of quarter, half, and full-dress. A soul-numbing beat seemed to be commanding the masses, and it was hard to tell what was really what in all the action.
Nestled in the far corner of the VIP section was a particular brunet, nursing a bourbon and inspecting the dancefloor below. No one had yet to catch his eye this evening, it seemed. With a deep sigh, Kiann rose from his place and strode easily for the bar, aware of the way bodies shifted out of his path. Enough height and plenty of mass tended to do that somehow.
He tapped his glass with a wry smile. “You sick of me already?”
“Look, we cool and all, but you're not my type. Take your ass out on the floor and find somebody else to terrorise.”
“Why you gotta' give me a hard time, man? It's Fri-day.”
“Exactly.” The bartender gave him a pointed look from behind half-mast lids.
“Don't make me come up behind that bar and do it myself.” The mock threat was made with the lean of a single forearm against smooth, polished marble. Luckily, he was in a playful mood tonight. Typically, the brunet was a man of few words, but get a few drinks in 'im, and he tended to liven up a little.
The young woman was only all too glad to let Nat lead the way to the super-secret-nightclub. One, because Deja was navigationally inept on a good, clear, sunny day – nevermind at night when the biting wind made you want to take cover inside the first place that opened its doors. Two, because she wasn’t as plugged into the nightlife scene and knew nothing of where to go or what to do if said activities lay outside the realm of ugly onesies and horror movies. Three, because her empty stomach and lightweight disposition meant that the lights began to blur together more than usual as they rushed by on the train. Luckily, her trusty guide was quick to loop her arm into the crook of Deja’s and steer her in the right direction.
One of the more difficult tasks of the night involved trying to get down the steep steps slick with the evening’s previous rainfall. Nat’s phone light helped. Only just, though. It was a good thing that Deja’s boots offered plenty of stability and support, but she still gave each step a tentative touch with her toes before putting her full weight on them. Each descending tread felt like a canyon’s worth of distance between the next stair and the last. She white knuckled the handrail. When they made it to the entrance at the bottom at last, she was sure that her depth perception must’ve still been extremely fucked because what else could possibly explain the need to crane her head allll the way back in order to fully get a good glimpse of the hulking mass of a man blocking the doorway?
Deja allowed Nat to do the talking, but whereas her friend shied away from the monstrous man, Deja held her ground. The tequila told her that he was all bark and no bite, and she was fool enough to listen. The small smile he gave only confirmed her suspicions, however, and she was happy to mirror the gesture right back in turn even as Nat pulled her away from him. She turned her attention back to her sister at her question and Deja shrugged her shoulders uncommittedly. Still, an anxious smile widened her cheeks. The door at the end of the hall was all but vibrating off its hinges, beckoning them closer with each resounding boom of the bass. Deep breath. And in they went.
It was like being hit by a truck. Disorienting stimuli slammed into and overwhelmed Deja’s senses immediately. Bright lights seared her eyes, thundering music deafened her ears, clouds of smoke suffocated her nostrils, and seas of sweaty figures pressed against her body. In contrast to the bitter cold of the outside world, there was an omnipresent heat pressing down on everyone in the club.
“Well, this is… something!” she shouted over the blaring noise. It was far from Deja’s typical scene, and even further from one that she would’ve preferred. Why couldn’t Nat have been invited to a jazz lounge instead? Someplace with soft music, dim lighting, plush cushions, and the capacity to think clearly. The woman shook the image from her head; what good would wishing for a change in scenery do except stoke her distaste for the one in which she currently found herself? No. She should at least give it a try before turning tail and booking it out. An hour, she decided. One hour to settle in and see where the night went and then they could reevaluate from there.
The pair wove their way through the pulsating throng of people to the VIP section by the stage. There, they found a long leather couch positioned behind a circular table topped with a small placard that had their names written on it. The music was louder right next to the gigantic speakers, but at least there was room to stretch out some. A win in Deja’s book. As they settled into their seats, they were immediately greeted by a beautiful scantily clad blonde who presented them with an iced bottle of expensive looking, impossible to pronounce bubbly. She tossed Nat an impressed look as the other woman poured them two flutes and sauntered off. They toasted again, although this time without words given the volume of the setting. Deja threw it back in nearly one gulp. It was good stuff – smooth, rich. However, she knew that she’d need something stronger in order to acclimate to the club properly.
“I’m gonna be right back. Headed to the bar. First round’s on me – what d’ya want?” Deja nodded after Nat mouthed something to her even though she had no idea what was said. Whatever, she knew what she liked. Then she braved the battlefield of bodies once again to cross over to the bar. She cozied up to a spot next to a tall drink of water with brunet hair. A contender? Potentially. His looks were certainly on par with her expectations, and the fact that he had access to the club in general meant that he was above the normal riffraff of passersby on the street. But as was the way of beautiful women, Deja made no effort to make the first move. At least not yet. Eyeing him out of the corner of her periphery was enough for the time being. Instead, she rapped her knuckles against the sticky counter to quickly get the bartender’s attention. “One shot of 1942, one tequila tonic, one vodka cran splash of lime,” she rattled off succinctly. The man presented the shot to her in no time, and she circled her finger over the lip of the glass. “So,” she prompted, a confident albeit flirtatious lilt to her voice. “Are you going to make me drink alone?” she asked the stranger as the bartender finished fixing up the other drinks.
Okay, this was certifiably wild as hell. The sheer heat, coupled with the lights and-- what the f- was this fog? She struggled her way through alongside Deja and gratefully collapsed into the VIP section upon their arrival. All this pomp for them? It was so perfectly timed - the women, the drinks. Their quick toast was punctuated by a quick toss back of what was clearly a vault special, and a second later sis was making some obscure announcement about--oh, BAR. Nathalia rattled off the first thing that came to mind with a cheerful shrug. “Surprise me!” Then she was gone - disappeared into the sea of bodies. Nat sank down against buttery soft leather when someone reappeared to freshen up their glasses and immediately perked up.
Moment's later, there came a shift in the lighting and it seemed like many of the bodies that'd been overcrowding the floor and byways were disappearing. There also seemed to be a change in the personnel as well, as things shifted to more of an--exclusive mood? Nat checked the time and wondered if they'd missed something. Still, those who were also in the VIP section, among others, had remained. Steadily, it seemed the crowd was shifting to one a little more refined.
“Would you look at that.” quipped the tender, turning his attention to Deja. “You got it, Sugar.”
The stranger beside her cocked a brow, lips curving in mild amusement. It was seldom that such a snub would amuse him, but depending upon his relationship with you, allowances could be afforded. His gaze then fell to the woman that flanked him. She was cute… definitely gave Kiann the feeling he would have to watch his step, though. “Depends on what you're drinking.” He offered, inclining his head thoughtfully, form angled slightly toward her. Despite their proximity, he respected her space. After all he was a gentleman. Unlike this fool behind the bar.
“Sir.” His tone was giving mock disapproval, warranting a laugh from the barkeep as he set down her drink order and topped up the brunet's glass.
Gaze sliding back down toward the mysterious cutie who'd addressed him, Kiann contemplated, accepting the shot his friend behind the bar had so graciously placed before him as well. Raising it subtly, he tilted it toward her for a small toast. She had guts, that was for sure. Most women didn't bother given the volume, his height, and what he guessed must've been a rather intimidating demeanour. Funny that on a night he fully believed he would be entertaining himself she should come along with what he wholly understood as a challenge.
“What's the occasion? Birthday? First time here…?" He'd never laid eyes on her before, and now in the shifting light and the less deafening atmosphere, he could certainly drink her in a little better.
Kiann's gaze shifted from her eyes to lovely full lips, studying the curve of her face and cascading over her chosen hairdo. There was something else about her that demanded his attention, but he couldn't quite place it. It was a sentiment reminiscent of deja vu, but--deeper. Had they met before? In passing, perhaps? Pools the shade of sea glass shifted in hue, stirring as his mind pondered the strange familiarity. He was sure they'd never met, and yet--something about her was known to him. Like running into an old friend.
“This is going to sound cliche, as I'm sure the answer is no, but we've definitely never met?” His brow cocked in wonder, form bowing slightly over the bar to allow him a better look at Deja.
Back at the table, Nat was being sweet-talked by a couple of ladies who were fawning over her outfit. Not that she thought that it was all that impressive, but they were insisting she dance with them, and honestly? She was sure her sister would figure it out. Still, she made sure to fire off a quick text that she was migrating to the dance floor in case she went looking for her and to grab her when she was back. Nat was never the sort to just up and abandon anybody, so the last thing she'd want on their first night out in an eternity was a crisis cos one of them went missing.
Deja glanced around as there was a definitive shift in the atmosphere of the club. Only a select bunch remained. It seemed like it exclusively included the more well-to-do patrons at that. With the dwindling numbers, the volume of the place also dropped drastically. This allowed Deja to actually hear what the man next to her was saying without straining as much to do so. He’d taken the bait, extending a shot glass of his own in her general direction as he simultaneously inquired what brought her to the establishment.
She smiled knowingly. “Does there have to be an occasion? You’re here, and so am I. Seems like plenty.” She flicked her eyes up to meet his while lifting the glass to her lips. After the shot, she pointedly ran her index finger along the outline of her mouth. It acted as both a useful maneuver to clean up any smudges resulting from the drink, as well as a gesture to draw attention to that area of the face. Deja had been out of the game for a little while, but that didn’t mean that she’d forgotten how to play.
Despite her interest, she still kept her body language semi-closed off. She only ever angled her head towards him while her body remained facing towards the bar. Additionally, she kept her arm atop the counter as a meager barrier between the two of them. After all, this little song and dance was but a preliminary step. God forbid she ever come off as ‘too easy.’ Or that she’d get in too deep before realizing that he was a total psychopath. He’d earned some points in his favor for maintaining the comfortable distance, though.
Deja’s pocket gave off two short vibrations in the middle of the stranger’s next question. She raised a long, slender finger to him as she disengaged from the conversation to fish the phone out of her jacket. “Sorry,” she muttered without really sounding apologetic at all. Another calculated power move. The harsh glow of the screen illuminated her face for a moment as she read Nat’s text. A quick grin danced along her lips as she succinctly tapped out a response: ‘cool. @the bar with a Prospect. keep ur phone on jic i need an out pls~’ Deja clicked the device off and stowed it away again before returning her attention to said Prospect.
“Sorry,” she repeated, this time sounding more sincere. “You were saying about…? Oh! That’s right. Well, lemme get a good look at you.” She leaned back so she could position herself further away from him. Cocking her head to the side, she scanned him from head to toe. It took a hot sec considering his height. That, and the fact that she let her eyes linger maybe a second longer than was necessary. She gave a soft little hum and her chin a thoughtful tap before she finally shook her head. “I don’t think so,” she said as she returned to her original position. “And I’ll answer your cliché with another one; I would’ve remembered.” She winked and tucked some of her braids behind her ear.
Although the club had cleared out a bit, the oppressive heat was still rampant, so Deja shrugged off her jacket and hung it in the crook of her arm. Once the bartender placed her requested drinks in front of her, she again took her phone out of the pocket to pay with it. Oh, the wonders of technology. When finished, she took a testing sip out of her tequila tonic. She smacked her lips satisfyingly before beginning to stir the drink with the thin plastic straw that protruded from it. “I’m curious: is that ‘have we ever met before’ thing a canned line, or do you genuinely believe that we have?” There was playful teasing to the question. “And if it’s the latter, then follow up question: what makes you think that?”
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