Trouble Comes In Twos

My computer is a tool of Satan, so I lost the first half of this log when it randomly decided to restart itself.


"Tha' a f-fact? Hmm, never r-really got away m-much." The Irishman shrugs and reaches back into his window, turning the radio off. "'Tazia', eh? N-nice name. Tha' Russian or s-somethin'?" He folds his arms and leans back against the truck, "An' ye l-like playin' at c-card, do ye now? What do y-ye do for work?"

Tazia lifts her broad shoulders in the semblance of a shrug as a gleam of laughter enters her eyes, "Yeah, somethin' like that," in regards to her name before shaking her head. "Always had a soft spot for'em, card games I mean. Don't mean I'm any good at'em, but I can't help tah play'em if I got the chance." All throughout her conversation, her body stays almost completely still with her legs spread a bit apart and her hands jammed into the pockets of her coat. She doesn't seem to take any notice at all of the small, thin plastic case under her arm, which upon first inspection appears to be a DVD. "I travel 'round, mostly. How 'bouts you? Ya definitely ain't from 'round here, sure'n as I'm not."

The broad grin returns to Calo's face as she comments on his heritage, "T-true enough. I'm f-from Cork County…Ireland." A slightly nostalgic gleam flashes in the man's eyes, but quickly vanishes. "I kn-know wh-what ye mean. The cards. I c-can'no help meself when they get t-to shufflin'. I g-guess tha's why I u-usually try to r-run the games meself. Keeps m-me from losing too much." He shakes his head with a bit of a snicker, then nods towards the case in her arm, "Movie night?"

"Ayup, was just 'bout tah return it," the blonde mentions as if she hadn't completely forgotten its existence, reaching over with her opposite hand to pluck it out from under her arm. She waves it in front of her, gesturing towards the nearby video store, "Was inna mood fer a bit'a laughter," she goes on, even though the title of the DVD is 'The Quick and the Dead'. With a couple of steps, she makes her way to the store and opens the drop box, shoving the case in to clatter into a bin with some other late returns. Marching back to her previous spot, she puts her hands back in her pockets and cants her head to one side as she peers unabashedly at Calo, "So whatchu doin' alla way down here in California way? Sure it's nice here, but I hear Ireland's not so bad."

Calo watches as she drops the video off, and says, "'Quick and the D-dead', hmm? Always good for a l-laugh or t-two. Yeah, Irelan's b-beautiful, sure as sure, b-but I had some bad bl-blood. Needed to g-get me arse outta d-dodge." He shrugs again and nods slowly, "Yeah, run af-foul o' me whole family. Kinda att-ttached to my pathetic l-life. So I left."

"I reckon angerin' alla yer kin ain't the smartest thing tah do," Tazia responds with a crinkle of her crooked nose. "Liable tah curse ya or shoot ya if yer not real careful, yeah?" she chuckles as she goes back to her eerily still stance, her legs still slightly spread and her hands in her pockets. Even though her posture would belie a sense of ease, there is the underlying notion that she could be ready to jump into action at any given moment. "If ya don't mind my askin' how'd ya go'n rile up that hornets nest?"

Calo draws a deep, slow breath, appearing slightly hesitant at first. "I ass-ssociated w-with Gadje. It's k-kinda a long s-story, ye know? There w-was this young lass, an' I w-was a fair b-bit pissed. They j-just tossed me out. But, every t-time I ran into one o' 'em…. Well, there was always b-blood to be had." He shudders for a moment, "Still love 'em. Fuck, I still l-love 'em. But there's n-nothing for it."

"Yeah, not everyone can be all over them Hallmark moments with their kin, ya know?" Tazia agrees with a dour nod. "Jus' cause they're related to ya don't mean they ain't flannel-mouthed bastards. That'n ya can't help but tah love'em still, no matter they're just a buncha idjits." Letting out a long sigh, she blinks her gaze around at the street at large before turning her attention back to Calo. "Dunno nothin' 'bout no gadje, or gadgets or whatever the heck it was ya said, but ya know mebbe in time they'll bring ya back tah the fold."

Calo smirks and repeats, "'Gadje'. I-it's a R-Roma word, meaning 'n-n-non-Gypsy', basically. Even so, I h-hate them, yet l-love them. I could sp-spend eternity considering tha' enigma, sure enough." He looks left and right, gazing down the street, "So, Tazia, wh-what are your p-plans for the n-night?"

"So long's I'm not stuck in some sorta room, I really don't much care where I get to tonight," the woman with the dishwater blonde hair responds, her head tilting back just enough for her to survey the nearby buildings. "Jus' always so loud round here, but amusin'. Sometimes a couple'a lunkheads'll go at it all fisticuffs-like, regular street fightin', but 'round here it's just laughable. Them nancies ain't got no real fight in'em, jus' what the firewater gave'em." Shaking her head, she again refocuses her gaze on Calo, "How's aboutchu? Gonna do anythin' fancy with them cards?"

Calo grins broadly at the mention of a fight. "T-tell me about it. Th-these fellas c-can'no fight at all. M-makes me wish I w-was back in Cork, in th-the ol' pub. They knew how to fight." He retrieves the cards from his pocket with a flourish and winks, "My p-plan? Well, lass, tha's a trade secret, p-pure magic is it tha' I do." He laughs a bit and begins shuffling.

An almost sour expression crosses Tazia's face at the mention of 'magic', her nose wrinkling and her lips twisting into a frown. "Ugh, it ain't some voodoo mumbo-jumbo, is it? Never understood their whole deal with them chicken legs," she mutters, slowly shaking her head from side to side. "So lemme guess.. yer gonna swindle some'a these drunken goons 'round here with some card game? Wouldn't be too hard, I'll tell ya that. But look at'em, betcha they carry some shiny pennies in them pockets."

As Tazia speaks, Calo rolls his eyes, an almost patient look on his face. "No, no. I d-don't /actually/ do that d-stuff. Me g-granma d-did, though. Quite the d-deft han' on tha' one. I mean, I c-could s-swindle the lot of 'em, but it's n-not my style. I l-like a challenge, a r-real gamble." He eyes the cards for a moment, flipping through them, then pulls out the 'Death' card, showing it to her, "Pretty p-pictures, though, eh?"

Pursing her lips together, Tazia lets out a faint, "Mmhmm," while eyeing the card held in front of her judiciously. "Yeah, purty enough," she agrees after a moment of consideration, a peculiar glint in her greenish eyes, "So's what sorta trouble you wanna look fer tonight? Might find somethin' interestin' tah do, instead'a jus' wanderin' 'round aimless'n hopin' I don't plum die'a boredom."

Calo shoves the cards back into his pocket and shrugs carelessly. "Normally t-trouble finds me. An' I'm th-thinkin' it did." He adds another wink, then continues, "But I d-dunno. I r-really don' know m-my way aroun' so well. I've b-been to one o' the bars, but other th-than tha', I'm lost. Is th-there anywhere a-around tha's usually g-good for a time kill?"

Tazia lifts her hand to point a thumb over her shoulder, indicating someplace a bit further down the road, "Place called Calistro down yonder seems decent. All manner'a blue collar folks settlin' down, lookin' all disgruntled, but I wouldn' wanna start no trouble there. Kinda homey tah me," she shrugs at her explanation before shifting her standing position a bit, just enough to face south. "Then down thataways is a place jus' perfect fer some tusslin'. Called the Triangle'r somethin', real dive, jus' about perfect, if ya ask me."

Calo follows her gaze to the south and nods accordingly, "Sounds r-right enough. Give m-me a moment." He removes his sports jacket and sets it on the edge of the truck bed. Once his coat is off a leather chest holder, carrying a Colt .45 pistol and a Ka-bar knife, can be seen. Calo quickly removes this and tosses it in the window of his truck, then begins putting the jacket back on. He pauses however, nodding towards the pistol, "Unless ye th-think those'll be n-needed?"

A smirk crawls across Tazia's face as she eyes the hardware being peeled off of Calo's body, one shoulder hitching up in a shrug as she pulls a hand out of her pocket. Teasing a line down the lapel of her frock coat, she lets it open just enough to display her own nine mil tucked under one arm, then does the same with the other side, keeping her back to the crowd to keep anyone from freaking out. "Ya never know, pardner. Things gets outta control real easy, so's nice tah have some backup." She then puts her hands back in her pockets, long enough to pull a pair of red-lensed goggles out. She twirls them around one finger with ease as she glances to the south. "Think mebbe that ole Triangle'd be best. Sorta outta the way from alla these namby bamby richies who'd call the coppers sooner'n I'd like."

Calo eyes her hardware for a moment before shrugging and strapping his back on. "Those're s-sure some p-p-pretty pieces, there. Funny, though. I-I-I'd've pictured you w-with a .40 at least." He shrugs as he buttons his sports coat up, a playful gleam in his eye. "Should we w-walk it?" He asks as he rolls the windows up.

A bray of laughter echoes from Tazia's mouth at Calo's assessment, already striding in the direction of the aforementioned dive. "Yeah, well, these suckers pack less of a recoil'n ya can find ammo anywheres," she mentions off-hand while tugging the goggles on her head, leaving them up on the top of her head for the moment as a sort of makeshift headband go keep her long, scraggly hair out of her face. "Hoofin' it seems best. I'm real good at hidin' if things go south down there. Cops'll be lookin' fer vehicles anyhow, not just some folks on foot."

Calo slowly nods his understanding, then with a click, locks the doors to his truck. He trots a few steps, falling into line with the blonde woman. "So, ye d-do this often? I mean, m-meet strangers, go out l-lookin' for a fight?" He smirks a little, but seems completely calm, as if this were nothing out of the ordinary for him.

A wild grin overtakes Tazia's features, displaying the filed points of her eyeteeth briefly before she remembers her self and closes her mouth into a tighter smile. "Mebbe sometimes I do, jus' all depends on my mood'n that sorta hullabaloo'n what sorta strangers there are lyin' 'round, lookin' as bored as me," she explains in a rather matter-of-fact tone. Glancing to her side at her cohort for the evening, she never once breaks stride or slows down, "Do ya always take strangers up on their offers'a violence?"

"Always." Calo replies in a stately manner, "I m-make it my b-business." He can't help but chuckle at his own joke, then returns to his usual none-too-stately manner of speech. "Nice t-teeth. You get those d-done professionally or some j-just make you m-mad enough to bite 'em?" He chuckles again, and shakes his head, as if the second answer were all but impossible.

Again, another peel of laughter splits the night as Tazia returns her gaze to the street ahead of her, navigating the road without any sort of hesitation. "Yeah, was a real professional done this fer me. Was jus' what I needed. Makes fellers think twice 'bout messin' with ya jus' cause yer a broad 'n flashin' these babies is alot more legal'n flashin' what's under my coat." She pauses a moment as if thinking over his question, finally shaking her head. "Nah, why'd I go'n do that fer? You know what sortsa diseases they could be carryin'? Hoodalolly, I go 'round bitin' people like Tyson'n knowin' my luck I'd end up with tha AIDS."

Calo seems to lose his train of thought as she mentions 'flashing what's under her coat', and slows his pace for a moment, but quickly remembers himself and catches back up. "R-righ', righ', o' course. Don't w-wanna get ill, spread the d-disease to every other b-bastard who t-tries to mess with ye. Still, I'll b-bet it's hard to hold back the l-laughs when someone pisses thems-selves, yeah?"

At Calo's momentary blank expression, Tazia does pause suddenly in her stride in order to continue her laughter. "I ain't that kinda girl, tater. Believe you me, last thing anyone's gonna wanna see, or gonna get to see at all, is what's beneath alla my hardware'n the like," she mentions with a small chuckle before shaking her head and continuing her pace. "Ain't seen too many boys pissin' themselves fer that, I ain't that intimidatin', am I?" she asks, a tawny eyebrow cocked in Calo's direction.

Calo bites his bottom lip, obviously caught, "Err, w-well. I wouldn' s-say ye're int-t-timid-datin', really. But a guy g-gets to seein' a girl, then s-sees those. Well, it c-conjures up c-certain images, which he'd r-rather never think abou'." He coughs a little and shoots a sidelong glance at Tazia, "Plus, a b-bites a bite. They all hurt."

"Shoo, I knew I picked ya outta that crowd fer a reason!" Tazia exclaims before falling victim to more laughter. "If'n ya haven't noticed," she begins, though as she walks, she leans her head a bit closer to Calo while still keeping an eye on the street, her voice becoming more of a stage whisper, "I ain't that much of a girl." She then reaches out to slap his shoulder in a friendly gesture before walking nice and straight again. "Ya sound like a right knowledgeable feller on bites, Calo. How many times someone put tha chompers on ya? Jus' seems sorta odd tah me. Ya ain't that biteable. Ya don't look like no angus beef."

Calo shrugs and returns the friendly pat, "Yeah, I g-guess I can b-be knowledgable on s-s-some subjects. I m-mean, I run a casino, I need to b-be able to outsmart folks. But, y-yeah. I been nibbled on a bit, 'ere an' th-there, though I p-prefer to b-be the nibler."

At the mention of a casino, Tazia's head jerks around to stare outright at her current companion. "Waitaminute, ya said ya own a -casino-? 'Round here? Had no idear.. thought they'd be all illegal here." Her gaze turns more critical as she eyes the man, "Ya don't look like no casino boss I ever seen, but who knows. Takes all kinds. Why aint'cha hangin' out there? I bet lots of trouble can be found waitin' there, what with alla them people desperate enough tah cheat tah win."

Calo smirks and responds simply enough, "Simple, it's m-my place. Why would I w-wanna trash it?" He hums in faux-innocence for a moment or two before continuing to say, "Ye're r-righ', though. I d-don' look like one, do I? And they ARE illegal, b-but tha's half o' the f-fun, keepin' 'er qu-quiet en-nough." He grins mischieviously.

Another wild grin streaks across Tazia's face as she listens, nodding her head quickly. "Ah, I getcha now. S'pose that's why ya got guards tah do the nasty stuff fer ya. Ya don't look like no mafioso tah me so's I just hadta take a second glance, but I guess you Irish fellers've always got yer hands in alla them pies, too," she mentions idly, though unlike before she keeps more of a wary eye on Calo during her trek.

"Oh, I w-would never compare meself to a m-mobster. I d-don't go around b-breaking kneecaps. Then again, I don't have to. The f-few people I've lent money to are sm-mart enough to pay me back." He chuckles a bit darkly, then eyes the woman walking next to him. A bit of an offended look comes over him and he states, "I'll have ye kn-know, Irishmen aren' n-nearly as dangerous as m-made out to be."

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