Our Little Secret

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  1. Note: This is a libertine thread turned to regular romance 1x1. Notify me if any mature content has not been spoiler'd. Thank you.

    One in the afternoon, on a Saturday. Monthly, he stuck to this sort of routine when it came to his hair. Nicoli Zangari was raised to believe that a man must look his best at all times. It meant he wore a face of success, with a confident hairstyle that represented more than charm.

    Nic left his penthouse to see Sasha, his usual stylist. By far, she was the only one who could make him look exactly the way he needed to look. A shiny black dress shoe pushed on the break pedal of his car so he could stop at a red light. Meanwhile, his chocolatey eyes cast a glare at the mirror hanging above, where he could see the bit of shagginess showing around his ears. This certainly wasn't a dignified look for him.

    When it was time to resume his driving, he continued his short journey to the place where Sasha worked. After parking his vehicle, Nic got out to drop some coins into the parking meter. There was a generous amount of minutes when he was through emptying his pockets. Not so much was he doing a good deed for the future customers who needed parking; he just wanted to get rid of all the loose change.

    The air was slightly chilly, he noticed. Autumn was upon the lively city he lived in. Two large hands smoothed out the cobalt colored suit he wore before he headed to the door, so as to not be late. The man had an intimidating presence with the confident way he walked, his posture flawless and his eyes strong, but cold. When he got inside, a thick knuckle rapped against the counter to get an employee's attention. This was a perfect example as to why people said he wasn't a very talkative person. They knew who he was and why he was here, so he saw no reason to say much.

    As he awaited someone's assistance, he thought about how he had to work later. Not at the office; he had weekends off. The other 'job' he had didn't come with days off, though. There was a meeting scheduled with an arms dealer named Rodrigo, who didn't know any English so there would be the hassle of dealing with a translator, and probably some trigger happy thugs. The transaction would be worth it, though. And with luck, it would be the last time he sees Rodrigo ever again. He was getting tired of hearing how they were essentially brothers because their fathers used to work together. Unlike his father, Nic wasn't the loving family type.
    #1 Fluffy, Jan 3, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
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  2. Sasha was running late that day- well, not really running late. It was more like a customer service problem. Some idiot had come in asking for five inches off, and didn't realize how much that would really take off, even when properly demonstrated- now she was up in Sasha's face, complaining.

    The stylist's response was simple, grabbing a blow-dyer, pointing it at the woman's face and turning it on high. The woman then stormed out and Sasha looked to her boss, gesturing to the events that just happened, as if in defense of her actions. She had a problem of too much sass at times, it was something she worked on... sometimes.

    One of her co-workers let her know that one of her regulars was here- and she smiled slightly. Nico had been coming here for some time, and though he didn't say much- she was thankful for his visits- honestly he had been one of her first regulars since she got a job here. He wasn't demanding and the style was easy to keep to- she honestly couldn't understand why anyone would have trouble keeping up with it.

    She walked into the foyer of the salon to collect her client, no need for saying anything more than his name with a smile. "Nico!" She grinned as she spoke, beckoning him to follow her.

    She didn't need to go through the motions of idle chitchat with him, he never seemed to be one for chatter, the guy always seemed silent and observant. Honestly, it was a nice break here and there. She lead him over to the sinks and gestured for him to sit and lean back as she put a towel around his shoulders and turned the water on at a good temperature, warm but not too hot. Sasha was quick to wash his hair and then turned the faucet off, drying his hair enough so it wasn't dripping all over his nice suit before she led him back to her station, sitting him down and lowering the chair a bit so that he wasn't too tall for her to work on- with that she got to work with a comb and scissors in hand, humming some small tune as she snipped and trimmed away at the shaggy bits that had grown-out since last month.

    "Sasha, you're not going to believe what my boyfriend did last night"-

    "Focusing over here, Britney. You know the drill." She interrupted, checking her work in the mirror every now and then as she made sure of her progress. Normally she was pretty damned talkative, but the vibe she got off of Nico was always the same, he just wasn't that talkative and that was fine- gave her no distractions as she worked- and with how expensive his clothes always looked, she wanted to make sure she got everything right. She might stick a blow-dryer in someone's face, but that's usually an isolated case and honestly shouldn't be held against her. Normally she could tell where sass and pride might get you in trouble.

    "Seriously, though- he was in bed with-"

    "Brit, you know how I feel about this guy, he's cheated on you... five times now? Get over him." Sasha finally responded. "And I'm still working, so shut your face and work, or take a break." She spoke curtly before turning her attention back to Nico, picking up the blow-dryer and using it quickly, taking a break here and there to trim up anything she might have missed.

    "Ok. I believe that does it." She commented, standing back and looking him over, nodding slightly.
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  3. Nic preferred the humming over the small talk that stylists seemed to think was important. The expression on his face was absolutely blank as she got to work on his hair. He could admit though, the shampooing had a positive effect on his mood. It felt nice to having someone else's nails massage your scalp while they washed your hair for you.

    The woman known as Britney made him roll his eyes at the mirror, then he let his brain go numb so he could tune her out. Sasha's attempts to silence the girl were not getting anywhere. Maybe her co-worker needed a blow dryer to the face, too. Seeing that customer get shot with hot air was highly amusing, but there was a severe absence of a smile when the event occurred.

    Feeling the warmth of a blow dryer against his neck, he realized he almost forgot where he was. There was such little worry to be had that he could fall asleep in this chair. Sasha always went beyond expectation for him and it was always rewarded with a generous tip. There was never any loose little hairs stuck on his clothes and she made the style look exactly the same every time.

    After she stood back, he looked himself over from a few different angles. "Well done. Thank you." Nicoli's voice spoke lowly with an Italian spin to it. He grunted with approval and nodded, then got up from the chair. With cautious steps, he made it past the small piles of hair so he could get the purchase made and get out of here.
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  4. Sasha smiled at Nico's praise, nodding slightly as she watched him get up and maneuver around the clippings of hair. He was a simple customer, easy to take care of and please- and the tips were always a welcome bit of income. She walked up a few moments after Nico, having cleaned up her station a slight bit. The receptionist was already plunking away at the numbers and totaling him up.

    "You let me know if you ever want to change your style up." She spoke softly and respectfully as she leaned on the counter next to the receptionist, facing Nico before raising her arms and stretching her body a little, getting the kinks out before resuming her lean against the counter. She rarely made conversation with the guy, and for some reason, today it struck her as highly curious information. The guy always came in dressed nicely- much more nicely than just some stiff at the office, and he was always pretty well-groomed. Hell, the stubble he had was more well maintained than some rich-folk's front lawn. The guy always just looked... business-ready. And rich.

    His suit probably cost more than her rent.

    Rent that was coming up in two days actually. And she was not doing so well in keeping up with it, truth be told. She still need quite a bit more cash to make that bill. But that was a thought for later, to deal with as she took a shot of vodka and set pen to paper in the constant struggle of having to write apologies to her landlord and ask for the billing to be done a week later. Never worked.

    "See you next month, Nico, drop by if you need a touch up or anything else." She added, no emphasis on anything, nothing meant by it other than what was there. Meanwhile if you looked at the receptionist, he was giving her a cheeky look, and she frowned at him. "Ring him up... Sheesh." She muttered as she started to walk off, her hips swaying slightly, made more obvious by the dress she was wearing, the fabric flouncing around her knees and emphasized her backside perhaps a slight bit too much.

    She was quick to get over to Britney and apologize for the curt behavior and chat with her on her cheating boyfriend and a promise to meet up soon for drinks to get their mind off of stupid men. Sasha made the remark that Britney should just switch teams and Britney gave her a look. Sasha shrugged. "Hey, I'd be happy to take you out to a nice candlelit dinner." She stated with a grin as she resumed her work. She had a few more customers before the salon was finally done for the day and Sasha was handed her tips for the day. Shoot- three of her customers had left the shittiest tips, so even with Nico's generous tip, she still came under for the day. Maybe she could cook something for the landlord so her ass wasn't on the line this month.

    She walked out to her beat-up old car and got in, and drove herself home, not needing to stop anywhere for anything, she'd be content to just walk in, set her things down, and then collapse on her bed- and then write that really nice note to her landlord. She had pulled into her spot and got out of her car, clicking the button to lock it and got on her way to get up the stairs to her unit.
  5. Sasha's offer for him to return if any touching up was needed was responded to with a plain 'uh huh'. Normally he'd ignore somebody for telling him such a thing, but she got more manners from him than most. You shouldn't piss off the person who does your hair, cooks your food, washes your laundry, and what have you...

    Nicoli paid the correct amount, plus a twenty-five dollar tip for Sasha. As he brought his head up to bid her adieu, he was instead looking at her as she walked off. She was an attractive, lovely young lady. That was just it, though. She was young. He wouldn't consider himself an old man at the age of thirty, but she probably would. The spunky hairdo she had and the way she dressed would clash with his clean, proper appearance.

    Even so, she had an unforgettable image. The man was eager to get back outside before the red in his face might become noticeable. He was despising the quick pulse he was having, too. It made his heart beat so quickly that it made him feel sick. This feeling, amongst many others, did nothing but confuse him.

    By the early evening, he ended up at an old abandoned warehouse at the boat docks at the other side of the city. Arturo, the man that Nico trusted the most, was in the drivers seat. In the backseat, there sat two men who were armed like bodyguards, with stone cold expressions on their faces.

    "Your hair looks nice, boss." Art observed with a cheerful smile. Nic replied with a grunt and dismissed his friend with a wave of his hand. "Okay, I get it. Not in a talkin' mood." Arturo chuckled and rolled his eyes.


    Little did Nicoli know, a pair of cronies from Rodrigo's gang were plotting to squeeze more money out of the rich Italian bastard. Their boss would surely promote them if they did him this favor. If he could afford to give his hair dresser a generous tip with every visit, he could afford to pay some ransom too right?

    Finding close ties to Mister Zangari was a challenge, though. The women he took to dinners and parties were classy looking escorts, and he was seldom seen with members of his family. So they targeted the one person he seemed to spend the most time with outside of work: Sasha.

    In a car that was in as poor condition as hers, they followed her with hopes of going unnoticed. By the time they found a spot to park and turn off the car, she'd already gotten out of hers to make way to the stairs. This was a residency where they couldn't just grab her and go. She'd have to be lured to the car somehow...

    Not being ones for intricate plans, one hid in the shadows with a crowbar in hand while the other went upstairs with a sidearm in his fingers. They would get her knocked out and put her in the car; easy right? They seemed to think so.

    A simple knock was made to the door once he got there. Sasha would find a gun being pointed at her, and a tan colored lad about her age telling her: "Get downstairs. Now. You scream, I shoot you." That's all he needed was to get the rest of the residents' attention.
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  6. Sasha was relaxing at her apartment, happily laid on her bad, phone next to her ear as a male voice questioned her safety at the run-down apartment complex she lived at. "Hey, bro, I'm fine. The only thing I'm worried about is my ass when the landlord realizes I'll be late on paying rent, again." She spoke with a chuckle. she had started peeling off the trendy clothing she had been wearing, and continued to talk to her brother as he went through the process of worrying about where she worked- the whole damned area she lived wasn't exactly the best, but it was affordable, and that's what mattered.

    "I'm fine. Really." She repeated, an edge to her voice. She could take care of herself, dammit.

    The topic trudged on for a bit and she listened to her brother bitching and moaning about how she wasn't safe, and how many articles of people getting kidnapped and raped in her zip code pop up on Google, and there was a knocking at her door. "Hey, hold on, Mike, someone's at the door, I'll call you back, ok? If you're so freaked out, call me in fifteen minutes, if I don't answer, you can call the police. That make you feel better?" She asked with sarcasm dripping from her voice... that completely went over her brother's head. He was eager to make proof of her needing to move. Hell, maybe she wouldn't answer out of spite. Get his ass in a bit of trouble over abusing the police. Maybe that would teach him!

    "Ok. I'll talk to you in fifteen, ok?" She added then hung up before tossing on some old black tank top and some shorts as she moved towards the door. She was just fine- surely this was just her neighbor asking her to watch her kids again so her and her husband could go out tonight.

    Opening the door, she was faced with a situation so out of her league that she blinked a bit and then sighed.

    "Are you shitting me?" She asked, a tired look on her face, if they had come before that phone conversation with her brother... she might have been more scared. And they wanted her to come with them, so obviously they didn't seem like the type to hurt a hostage... She spent half a second considering her options. The windows in her apartment weren't the best to escape from...but.... there was a chance.

    "No." She stated quickly, shutting the door, moving to lock it and then ran back to her bedroom, trying to open the window, but it wasn't budging. "Where is all this money I'm not paying you going to, Rick? Sure as hell not maintenance." She complained as she worked. The doors in this place were pretty thin, probably wouldn't take much to break it down, and here she was, stuck at the window in her bedroom, because the window wouldn't open. She finally gave in, decided that a broken window and door might be better than risking someone shooting her, and took a chair to the window. She took two seconds to look back into the depths of her apartment, then took a running leap out, rolling as she hit the ground.

    Sure as shit hadn't been as easy or as painless as she had seen on tv. She was aching from that and she was cut up from the glass that proceeded her. "Fuck." She muttered softly, knowing at this point, she couldn't even fight back, it hurt to move.
  7. That... Wasn't what he expected to happen. In this thug's experience, most people would rather obey than try to evade him. This woman was braver than she looked.

    Cursing under his breath, he messed with the doorknob until he learned that it was indeed locked. Beyond the door, he could hear a lot of struggle to escape. She must have bad a really awesome backup plan for situations just like this! "Mister Zangari's hair lady is a badass, goddammit I should have known." That's when he decided to hurry down the stairs and tell his friend that they should drive away while they still could. The one armed with a crowbar asked what the hell was going on, loudly, in Spanish. He was promptly silenced with a mean hiss that echoed through the neighborhood. Did that idiot really want to give them away right now?

    Just when he was about to urge the other to start the car, a crash stopped him... Looking over his shoulder, he caught sight of a female figure making a clumsy fall to the ground. The roll she did reminded him of what was on television, something he wondered if she was trying to replicate. Whatever the reason, he gestured to his partner to follow to the scene of broken glass.

    "Sweet moves, brah." the man laughed, grinning darkly at the wounded woman. A strike to the head, and she was out like a light. Quite carelessly, she was dragged to the car where she was thrown in the back seat, with ropes that kept her limbs from moving. They knew how to knock someone out, but didn't know the medical dangers that came with it, or how long she might be passed out for.

    They made haste to the location of their superior, where Sasha was taken as well. Her arms were spread out to hug around a pipe, where her wrists were tied together on the other side. Since she was unconscious, it made it look like she was snuggling the pipe while she slept.The environment was unpleasant, though. Cold all over, the floor was hard, and there was a fishy stench in the air instead of the salty seawater that was more pleasing to the senses.

    In the background, Rodrigo was shaming his workers for doing something so idiotic, and then doing a sloppy job. Would Nicoli really want to pay for this woman's safety after seeing how beaten up she was? That's when the pair emphasized that she was not a whore, but his hair stylist.

    That's what Rodrigo considered that he really might profit from this. Nic was a cold blooded killer, but only where killing was deserved. It was unlikely that he'd let this innocent woman die.

    Outside, Nico's car had parked and he got out with three of his men. They were dressed as formally as he was, except for Art, who had the privilege of dressing in jeans with a comfortable leather jacket over his t-shirt. Puffing on a cigarette, he looked over a machete blade he often brought to meetings like this. It was sheathed so he could flick away his tobacco stick, and he looked to the dirty warehouse with a grimace. Nobody looked forward to this.

    A case of money was shoved into the arms of one of his weapons experts. "You'll do the exchange, then we're getting out. Should be plenty of room in the trunk for the cases of guns." Nic instructed, then gestured for the trio to follow him to the warehouse.
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  8. Sasha was almost glad for a temporary pain that led to being knocked out.

    She periodically woke here and there while being moved and then restrained to the pole, her body aching and her head hurting enough that she couldn't even manage to lift it. Hopefully her damnedable brother actually was as much of a worrywart as she hoped and had actually called the cops in the amount of time she was out- but even if he had... where the hell was she now?

    It smelled salty.. and fishy... and she looked around when she could manage to keep her eyes open- a warehouse of some kind?

    Her eyes swam as she tried to lift her head a little bit more, opening her mouth. To what? Talk? Scream? What good would that do?

    She shut it again, lowering her head as she tried in vain to get her head to stop aching and the light-headedness to go away. She felt like she was going to throw up, and a look at her arms gave her enough information to know about the rest of her body- she was cut up to hell. Blood was caked and smeared here and there from the glass cutting her up and she groaned slightly, unable to stop the sound coming from her lips.

    No. She needed to try... Just do something. Anything.

    She pulled her arms and found they were securely around the pipe- well there goes that. She looked around slowly, trying to see if anyone was nearby. She then heard the voices, they were talking about... Oh.... Oh my god, please. This was too much. Her attutide was coming out in a very unpleasant way.

    "You're shitting me. You're talking about my client. I got kidnapped because I'm his fucking HAIR STYLIST?! ARE YOU FUCKING SHITTING ME? DOESN'T HE HAVE SOME TROPHY WIFE, OR GIRLFRIEND OR... SERIOUSLY? ME?" She was hollering bloody-murder, rightfully pissed off. She didn't care what happened, this stupid of a situation deserved to be called out. "I'm a nobody. You might as well fucking shoot me, I doubt I'm cared about enough by a client to be ransomed. Because ALL I DO IS CUT HAIR. THAT'S IT. YOU CAN FIND TWENTY OTHER GIRLS LIKE ME. Fuck. This is so fucking STUPID." She complained and ranted, her head hurt like hell and yelling wasn't making it better, but at least it got the anger out. "What the fuck are your names, I'm suing you! All of you! Fuck.... FUCK. Get me the fuck off of this damned pole, I wanna kick your asses. Yeah, I'm talking to you, you over-sized piece of shit, c'mere! I... I....Uhhhhhhhhhgh-" Her rampage was cut short, her head lolling to the ground as she groaned, everything hurt too much to focus. "Getting you guys to pay for my medical bills if I get out of this alive." She muttered, trembling as she looked around again. Her strength and bravado was coming in spurts.

    "Seriously... The stiff who like never talks... is tied up in this shit?... Could you be more cliche? Wait.... IS HE HERE? NICO! YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE!" She snarled loudly, tugging her arms at the pole uselessly. "FUCK ALL OF YOU." She seethed. "NICO, I REALLY HOPE YOU HAVE A GOOD BACK-UP PLAN FOR YOUR HAIR, YOU'RE NOT WELCOME AT MY WORK ANYMORE!"
  9. A... Very familiar voice echoed throughout the warehouse. Nicoli paid little mind to it until he got closer, his footsteps suddenly slowing, eventually coming to a complete halt. His men exchanged puzzled glances before looking to their boss, expecting an explanation. Arturo went ahead and asked: "Yo, Nic. Everything all right, big guy?"

    "No," he answered dryly. Did those idiots really kidnap Sasha, of all people? As the well oiled gears in his mind turned though, he saw how that made the most sense. Of all the human beings he interacted with, she was at the top of the ranks. His life was full of loneliness that he long ago accepted. The success of happiness was lost on him, who believed money and power were the true keys to success.

    The man cringed as she launched swears at him with one of the most angry voices he'd ever heard in his life. Nicoli grunted in annoyance and then straightened up, knowing he had a job to finish. His confident footsteps reached the warehouse, where his eyes scanned the place for what damage had been done. They arrived with the weapons, as promised. But they also had his hair stylist chained to a pipe. She wasn't in very good condition, either. "Fucking great."

    Rodrigo laughed, clearly pleased with the Italian's reaction to this situation. One of the thugs responsible for the kidnapping spoke in English, to translates his boss's scratchily spoken Spanish: "He said to give him an extra ten Gs for the girl, or else he'll--" "Uh huh. I know what he'll do. The damn sicko," Nic interrupted, his icy voice heavy with hatred. How could he not get furious? This bastard was disgusting, overweight, lazy, and twisted in the head. One of these days, he'd like to shoot him in his big, round gut.

    "Look, does he have the firearms? I just want to get this over with. I'll give him his fuckin' ten Gs. Then I never want to see him again, or else I'll rape his ass with a shotgun." Flames burned in his dark eyes as he wrapped up the sale and agreed to their terms all at once. His stance still suggested he was calm and collected, however his fists were shaking at his sides. Rod chuckled heartily and had his crony respond: "Yeah, he's got your guns. I'll leave you to her once we have all the money."

    Nicoli made a frustrated sigh and pinched the bridge of his nose, his head lowering while his eyes knit shut. This whole ordeal was giving him a headache. What a stupid situation this was. Using his other hand, he gestured for his guard to trade the case of money for the firearms. Along the way, he picked up a neat stack of bills that amounted to ten thousand dollars. Nico could afford to walk around with large amounts of cash on him. No one was fool enough to try to rob him, or the ones who tried would get beaten to the ground. And he often wondered if there would be an emergency that would require lots of money...

    Rodrigo had his workers count the money out quickly to assure everything was delivered as promised. Satisfied, they left the scene to take their spoils home.

    "Arturo, Vincent, Willis..." After listing the names of his company, he slowly turned, all their eyes looking to him obediently. "Take the guns to the car, and drive it here to pick me up. See to it there's room for an extra passenger."

    Wordlessly, they left to do as told. Nicoli was now alone in the warehouse with Sasha, who was given a powerful stare that almost dared her to sass him. He was in no mood to deal with any bad attitudes, and he might be tempted to leave her behind if she gave him snark. The gaze held fiercely even when he squatted down in front of her, flicking open a switchblade he could use to free her wrists. He wouldn't need to worry about her trying to run away from him, he was guessing. Not with injuries like this.
    • Love Love x 1

  10. Sasha watched everything go down, trembling with rage as she watched Nico and these... fuckbags. He had talked more in this instance than in all the time that she had been cutting his hair combined.

    As he approached her, she realized that her anger was misplaced at this point. She knew she couldn't get angry at him either- he had just managed to save her ass. She didn't know what to do, honestly, she wanted something to tear into. She wanted to be able to get up and kick ass, but... that clearly wasn't going to be happening.

    "Sorry I essentially took ten thousand from you.... You... did save me... I'm... not mad at you." She muttered as he freed her wrists and she tested her hands and wrists, moving them this way and that, and nothing hurt too badly. "I... really didn't expect... Just so we're clear, I won't talk about this to anyone- but just to be safe... I should call my brother and make sure he..." She trailed ff, considering her next words. How the hell was she supposed to explain a brother like that?

    "I live in a bad part of town and my brother gets worried, I joked he should call the cops if I don't answer my phone in fifteen minutes... I think he called me five times while this was happening... felt it vibrate in my pocket." She explained, a grimace coming to her face, and then a much more serious look after that- that wasn't exactly the best thing you tell a shady guy, even if you do cut his hair, police weren't exactly a great thing to mention. "It's ok, I'll joke that I... I'll make something up. At a friend's or at a party or something." She wasn't exactly scared- just confused and trying to analyze the situation as best as she could so that she was alive for work tomorrow.

    "Probably would be best to stay away from home for no.... You do intend on letting me go home eventually right?" She looked up at him, then thought more, "I can't go to work like this..." She realized, then moved to sit up, wincing at that. "Do... Do me a favor and don't ask why I'm cut up like this... actually you don't talk much anyways, so I doubt you'd ask." She continued on, completely fine without Nico even saying anything, she was talking enough for the both of them. That was went she realized sitting up hurt a lot more than she realized, her head ached and she brought up a hand to the back of her head and put it in front of her face and whimpered.

    "Blood's gonna stain my hair and I'm gonna have to do it all over again before I go into work next...." She winced again. "And I still have glass in me... somewhere... I feel pieces here and there... can't... ergh." She groaned slightly, trying to get up but that was about as successful as a nailing jello to a tree. "I'm sorry for the trouble, thanks for saving my ass.... you're still welcome in the salon, I won't tell anyone about this, I promise." She muttered, trying to stand again, failing about as much as you'd expect. "Well, I'm officially fucked. I probably look like a battered wife... don't I?" She asked, trying yet again to stand and yelping at that point, the source of pain was definately found at that point, a jagged piece of glass in her thigh. "O... Oh holy shit... Nico. Please, free haircuts for the rest of your life, I won't ever talk, I won't even hum, I won't do anything, just... hospital, or... I don't know... help... please..." She was talking so fast it was hard to know if he even heard it, she was staring down at the glass in her leg and her eyes were as wide as saucers. "That's... That's a really... really big piece of glass."
  11. Was Nicoli going to get a word in edgewise? Once her wrists her freed, he expected her to keep quiet and just wait for the car with him. Instead, she started rambling on about phone calling her... Brother? Who called who, exactly? THE COPS? Just when he was holding up a finger to give his comment, she went into worrying about how bad she looked, how sorry she was, how--he could barely pay attention long enough to memorize all of this! He was stressed from the previous situation, he didn't need this!

    The man made a snort akin to an irritated wild animal while moving a hand through his hair, causing it to spike where there was hair gel. At this point, he didn't care what he looked like. His hair stylist needed medical attention, then he had to figure out what he was supposed to do with her. These promises to keep quiet weren't enough for him to go on.

    Outside, he could hear the car pulling up to receive Nic and the woman. Nobody walked in though; they'd be signaled if he needed them. A dry stare was following Sasha as she made her pathetic attempts to stand up. It sparked a rare instance of sympathy that reflected momentarily in his bitter eyes. No matter what she said, he was partially to blame for this. Everyone he ever socialized with was at risk, when it came down to it. It was upsetting that his efforts to have no close personal relationships still got an innocent girl in danger.

    Even though the blood would ruin his suit, Nico was sweeping his arms under Sasha to pick her up. He was cautious to carry her in a way that wouldn't make her impaled leg hurt too much. Hopefully he wasn't digging any glass into her skin by doing this...

    She asked him so many questions, but he was going to answer the only one that mattered: "You're going to be okay." Sasha was brought close in an attempt to hide her face into his neck, where she could hide from the outside world. With quick footsteps, he went to the car where his men were waiting outside. Two sat in front, one sat in the back with his boss, and Sasha. The young woman was seated on his lap, still in his protective hold while the car went into drive.

    "My place, Art. Then the rest of you go home." His voice carried heavy seriousness while his fingers moved along Sasha's arm with the lightness of a feather. He was searching for pieces of glass where there was exposed skin, to give him an idea of what work he'd have to do once they got to his penthouse.

    The car ride was silent. Nobody had anything to say, and having the beaten up woman in the car was awkward for all but Nico. He told them good night when he got out of the car, carrying Sasha to the doorstep where he managed to get it unlocked while holding her at the same time.

    Saying Nicoli was well off was like an understatement. The whole apartment building was his, each floor with its own use. Currently, he was going to the top floor where his living space was. Below that was his personal gym, below that was his hoard of weaponry and what have you.

    Lights turned on automatically when he arrived, and still lit his way as he hurried through the hallway to his bedroom and bathroom. He was going to fix her himself. A hospital visit came with too many risks. Since it would be most comfortable for Sasha, she was set down on his bed. It wasn't like that was his only comforter in the house. He then threw off his jacket and disappeared into the master bathroom. Items were clanked around until he found what he needed. An assortment of medical supplies were arranged neatly on his bedside table.

    Nic bit his lower lip when he saw her thigh. That was going to be a horrible experience for her once he started pulling it out. "I need to remove the glass, starting with the big one," he told her calmly, his large hand settling on her head to brush back some of her hair. For just a bit, it looked as though he had actual emotions! "And then it will burn, because I'm going to pour disinfectant on it." Just like that, his voice got cold again. The affectionate fingers withdrew from her hair, and he turned around to get a washcloth from the table.

    It was held over her face so she could use it to bite down on and muffle her scream. "When you're ready."
    • Love Love x 1

  12. Everything was happening so quickly now that Sasha couldn't focus, and the magnitude of the events that just happened just came crashing down on her. Her life was worth ten grand... On one hand, that a hefty ammount of money, but... on the other... Only ten gran... no, she was a nobody, that was actually pretty generous for someone like her... and Nico had paid for it... honestly she hadn't expected that.

    Then she was being picked up and she couldn't help but flinch as Nico's touch. Not due to him, but she was still rolling over all the events so much that she wasn't entirely focused on what was going on, but when he hefted her into his arms, she was happy to nestle her face up into the crook of his neck, silent from the weight of the events on her mind. His answer was enough to earn the tiniest nod from her. They were getting into a car with all those men, she felt completely naked and scared at this point, She felt beyond vulnerable and all she had to go on, was the silent guy who's hair she tried her best to make perfect, was trying to help fix the situation that she got dragged into because of him. She didn't even care that she was caught in an unlady-like stance. At times she trembled slightly, still trying to get over all the shit that happened. She closed the door on her kidnappers, tried to escape by jumping out of a two-story window, rolled herself into glass, got held hostage while tied to a goddamned pipe... found out one of her clients was not so normal, was traded back to him for ten grand... and now she was in a car with him and other people she didn't know... hurt and scared and completely confused as to how a day like this went so wrong.

    "I can't believe I jumped out of a window." She muttered forlornly with a mixture of shame and a little bit of frustration. Great, if the cops did go to her place, oh, they'll find a hell of a situation. The broken glass and blood probably would be a GREAT way to keep things on the down low. How the hell was she supposed to go home? Could Nico pay off the cops so they'd look the other way? If she called her brother would he freak out.... yes, yes he would. Fuck...

    She felt him running his hands over her and every now and then she cringed or jolted, eventually trembling and moving against him and away from his hand, it hurt too much. She was shaking. All the bravado and anger had melted away and she was scared shitless of what was going on.

    Then they were out of the car and he was carrying her. She didn't even lift her head to see where they were. She didn't care. She didn't care anymore, she hurt too much to care. He seemed to have been carrying her for some time, wherever they were it was taking a while to get from point A to point B. Then she was suddenly on a bed and she looked up to see him taking off his jacket. "Where.... Your place, probably.... got it." She assumed softly, trying to keep from launching into another rant. She was still trembling every now and again, and it bothered her because she couldn't do anything to stop it. And then he was off.

    Yeah, course they didn't go to a hospital. That would be bad for him...

    He was back and she watched him as much as she could, unable to stop her curiosity. Then he was talking to her and she trembled again as she was told what the plan was, and his hand was smoothing her hair from her face and she looked to him with apprehension, which wasn't helped by his following statement. She looked up at him as he offered the washcloth and understood. "I.. I think I'm gonna need a drink after this... you probably do too... huh?" She offered up, then after a moment, nodded. "Gotcha... serious matter... this sucks ass and what was that guy's name? Rob-regis? Fuck him... Fuck it, let's get this over with." She muttered quietly, biting the washcloth from his hand and clenching down on it, she looked up at him and nodded. As ready as she'd ever be.
  13. Nicoli made a single chuckle that carried a heavy amount of sarcasm. Right after this, he fully intended to break into his cabinet of alcohol. He supposed he should share with her. The poor dear deserved something to calm her nerves.

    "Rodrigo," he correct her, not at all minding if she'd share hatred for that man with him. Merely saying his name made him sneer, attention going to her thigh. This wasn't the time to start brooding. He could do that later.

    Holding his breath, Nico wrapped his fingers around that large glass piece of glass. He saw to it that he wouldn't grip it in a way that would cut his hand. At worst, he'd get a poke or two into his palm. Most people might use a tool, but he trusted his hands better. The sharp item was yanked out, surely to be followed by a very pained yell muffled by a cloth. It didn't get any better when he made it sting with the solution that would clean the wound.

    For the minutes to come, he was completely concentrating on fixing this girl up. She could spit out the cloth when she wanted. Nic was handy with medical tools, but he wouldn't call himself an expert. Nevertheless, he was able to get her leg cleaned up and stitched together. Extra care was given by setting a gaze pad over the stitching, then wrapping her thigh with bandage tape. Once that was out of the way, he used tweezers to remove every shard of glass he could find.

    Small cuts were given band-aids, bigger ones were wrapped with bandages, and stitched if necessary. Her head was tended to as well. There was a spot that needed to be cleaned of blood, then patched up like the rest of her. Nicoli felt bad for her once he had a chance to look over everything he did. What she went through did not kill her, but damn it didn't look good. He knew how miserable it could be. All over his body, there were scars connected to the times he'd been beaten ruthlessly in a fight, or tortured.

    "You didn't break any bones, did you?" Nic was already inspecting her arms for any signs of a fracture. If nothing, then he could finally clean up this mess and sink into a chair for a bit.
    • Love Love x 1

  14. Sasha watched Nico carefully until his hands approached the glass, she then tilted her head away, not wanting to see what was coming- and then that pain... The washcloth did a good job of dampening her yell but she couldn't stop the tears beading up in her eyes and how she jolted away from the disinfectant. She was woozy for a few moments, her head spinning so much, she didn't even care what the hell he was doing- checking for more glass? Sure, go ahead. Let's just hope he didn't react to the black lacey bra she was wearing or the black underwear- hopefully he wasn't looking there. Honestly at that point her awareness was out the window, far far away. Felt like she was floating... floating and about to vomit.

    She looked to him slowly as he asked about broken bones and she blinked, thinking on that for a moment before shaking her head. "Nah. I think I got by without that... Ribs hurt, but I'm sure I'll be fine." She spoke softly, breathing for a moment, enjoying some peace and quiet for a moment. "I was serious. I'm not going to talk about it. I have no idea how I'm going to deal with the cops or the broken window at my apartment... I... I'll think of something." She started, looking to Nico. He had paid her ransom, and even taken care of her injuries. He wouldn't try threatening her, would he?

    "I understand if you want a different hairdresser. But... you're probably gonna run into the same problem.... you should probably stick with me." She mused, still completely loopy from pain and shock. "It'll be our secret." She spoke, looking over at the man before groaning slightly. "I... Propose a deal." She started up, lifting herself up a little bit on the bed so she could see better. "One night- that's all I ask. Take me to dinner. I don't want to loop you into anything else. I just want food. I'm broke, my rent's probably going to be extremely late and I might have to do some damnable acts to keep myself from getting evicted from my apartment, I could use a night out- and you seem like you don't have enough fun. At all. I just want to see you smile for once. You constantly look like you're planning how to murder someone when I cut your hair, now I'm wondering if that's the least of my worries.... They were looking for someone close to you, right?... and they picked me? I'm your hairdresser- not a friend or a girlfriend or... whatever the hell else you hang out with. I figured you were the married type or something.... or are you?" She was moving to get more comfortable, asking her questions slowly and deliberately. "I'm sorry, but with all this... I want answers. Why the hell did I get kidnapped? Why did you want guns from them? Why the hell did you save me- there are better hairdressers out there, you... are aware of that, right?... Seriously. Ten grand. You saved my ass. I don't understand." She stated as she got a good look at the guy who she had always been paid to make sure looked fan-fucking-tastic. Now she actually was looking at him seriously for the first time and... he wasn't bad looking at all, he was undeniably handsome, and now that she knew he was actually capable of speech, she wanted more talking out of him. "Take me to dinner, and explain what the hell happened today, and I'll leave the issue at that. We'll go back to being hairdresser and client and I'll shut my co-worker the fuck up with a pair of scissors if she bothers you while you're there." She said as she gave a cheeky grin.

    "I don't want your money, though that would be nice, and I don't want anything else from you. Just that. Answers and food." She repeated. "And maybe ten shots of anything that will make my body stop feeling like it's on fire."
    • Love Love x 1
  15. Nicoli was relieved to hear that he wouldn't need to be treating any broken bones. That was his cue to start tidying everything up. Waste was properly discarded into one place, the surface of the table was cleaned, the first aid kit was put back together. He did all of this and more while he listened to her start chatting away. How could she be talking so much after all she just went through!? He expected her to just pass out by now.

    The bloody dress shirt was removed when he got to his bathroom, still paying close attention to Sasha's voice. Using his reflection in the mirror, he got smudges of blood and filth scrubbed from his skin. There wasn't much, mostly just spots of red in his neck where she hid her face earlier. Thinking back to that memory gave him the chills. Despite all that happened, he was intrigued by the warmth her body had given to him. It came as no surprise, he was a stranger to very simple acts of touch.

    Nic returned at the side of the bed where he was earlier, his toned arms crossing over his burly chest. It was clear that he stuck to a strict exercise routine, giving him a healthy build of muscle that was more than just for show. "Dinner?" he inquired, suggesting that this was a preposterous idea. The police were going to want to talk to her, and he might end up getting involved because they'll question all the clients she had that day. Being seen in public with her could be so suspicious! Then again, Nico did have a tendency to be too paranoid.

    "Good lord, Sasha." He let out a sigh while lowering his head and pinching at his nose, something he had a habit of doing in times of stress. Was she seriously this desperate for food? He was aware that she had a lot of fees to pay off and bills that are overdue. It would come up in conversation from time to time; sometimes he actually listened. Obviously, his generous tips weren't generous enough. He really would be willing to pay her a bunch of money just to shut her up and make her leave, but she seemed to really want... Dinner...... And smiles, apparently. That was more absurd that going out to dinner with her.

    Nic did not want to lose his cool in front of her. That would be chaotic. They didn't need that. So he built up the strength to work past all the need to yell and fuss, so that he could form a civil response. "Okay... You want to go to dinner. That's fine. I can do that for you. Wherever you want." A hand swept through his hair while he nodded, another sigh leaving his lips. His accent was about to get much thicker now that he was in this heated discussion. He was more passionate than his cool demeanor led on. "Since you need to know so badly: I'm a loner. I have no family, I have no friends outside of my gang, I don't even have a house cat. I live this life by choice so shit like--" he paused, gesturing to the wreck that was Sasha. "this, doesn't happen. Yet, they still managed to cheat me out of money by abducting the one person I see most often outside of work. I depend on you for something, and that's reason enough for you to be a weakness."

    He looked away, feeling ticked off that he had to just tell her all of this. His pride hurt, that was never a good feeling. "I can be a cruel man, but I wouldn't let an innocent girl get tortured and killed by that rat bastard. Even bad guys have morals.

    You can stay here until it's safe for you to go back home. All right? Now get up, come on." That was all the talking she was getting for the moment. His brain needed some numbing. An arm reached out to Sasha so she could use him as a crutch on the way out. She could have her drinks with him, and he could get the bloody comforter replaced with a clean one.
    • Love Love x 1

  16. Sasha grinned slightly as Nico answered her. The look on his face almost had her burst out laughing. He looked pained and frustrated- Because she asked to have dinner with him. Oh this was just too good. But seeing him without a shirt on had her keeping her behavior in check. Ok, she might have licked her lips.

    Oh fuck, this was gonna be a really long night wasn't it? She was trying her hardest to remember to look him in the eyes. Honestly, why the hell wasn't the guy already hitched? And then he agreed to dinner, and she was all grins and smiles- that made sure she was fed for at least one night. "I want crab legs." She stated proudly with the biggest shit-eating grin anyone had the audacity to muster up. His accent was flaring up more now as he was explaining his situation and she tilted her head. Somehow, none of that computed with her. "Not even like... a guard dog? Nothing? Seriously?" She seemed honestly astounded, and then as he gestured to her within the phrase "shit" she set her jaw at an angle and frowned. "Well, aren't you a lady-killer." She muttered dryly. Suddenly it was making quite a bit of since that he was alone, given his wonderful personality.

    He seemed irked by all of it, and his explanation as to why he saved her had her confused still. Still, he reached out for her and she grabbed onto his arm. They were going to the booze, right? Booze was a good idea right now.

    "I've been doing your hair for how long? Honey, I don't think you're... bad... just not exactly anyone's usual archetypal hero... You saved my ass today, and I'm thankful. I still don't understand why. Yes, I get it, whoohoo, save the innocent woman- ten grand. That's a lot of money and I know a metric shitton of people who wouldn't save someone if it meant parting with their pocket change. Besides, for all you know, I kick puppies in my spare time or shoot up on heroine or get preschoolers addicted to meth- how do you know I'm innocent?" She spoke softly as she gripped onto him. "I think you're better than you give yourself credit. Then again, there's probably more that I don't know." She mused.

    "You're like... Wolverine, from X-Men!... Grumpy but usually the good guy... just a very.... very.... very... grumpy good guy." She explained. "Very grumpy." She cemented the fact down, looking up at him with another shit-eating grin.

    "Seriously though.... I did not expect this. Nico, I would have completely understood if you fucking turned your back on me- that's humanity, it's shitty, it sucks, it doesn't tip well and it leads to having to dance in clubs every once in a while to support bills. It means a lot to me. So fucking thank you." She stated seriously, joking aside. She understood exactly how wrong things could have turned out for her. She really was trying not to focus on it though. "You could have turned around and found a new hairdresser. Or fuck, have one of your... body guards? Friends? take up the craft so they can't kidnap the person doing your 'do." She explained slightly... then shook her head.

    "Aaand I think I'm at my limit without alcohol. Hell, I'd take a Bud Lite at this point and maybe only complain for five minutes." She joked, then let the conversation fall for a bit.

    "I'm going to take advantage of the fact that I'm wounded and ask something else you can't hit me for- when was the last time you got laid? Seriously... You're all nerves and worry-lines and anger. Try smiling." She offered. "And maybe getting your rocks off." She added with a devious grin. Oh, he was in it deep now, if he thought that she was going to be just as quiet as she was on the clock. No, she had been through hell and she was hell-driven to take it upon herself to deliver the justice that was... making some cranky rich dude learn how to chill the fuck out, apparently. Cranky rich... bad guy... dude... Whatever, doesn't matter. She was getting food out of this, it wasn't a raw deal and the guy had saved her life.

    "How'd you get into this, anyways?" She asked quietly as she looked to him.
  17. Sasha made a good point. They didn't know each other well enough to truly know how much innocence existed between them. Nicoli was confident in his judgement, though. She was a spunky hairdresser just trying to make a living. That's all he needed to know, up until this point. Their fates intertwined in a way he never expected, making it necessary to get more personal, he supposed.

    While pondering on her comparison between him and Wolverine, he arched a brow at the grin that split across her face. Usually his nights were peaceful, but that routine was going to be sabotaged by this woman's presence. All she wanted to do was talk, it seemed. He dearly hoped he wouldn't lose his temper. There was a dark side to him that he was sure she wouldn't like. Believe it or not, he wanted his relationship with his stylist to stay well and good. He would be loathe to find a new one, but would if he had to.

    "I wouldn't let any of my guys touch my hair," he commented with a chortle of amusement. They arrived at his dining area, where she was helped to a seat at the table that could seat a family of six. Once she was seated though, he was appalled to hear that she wanted to know a private piece of information... Appalled by this question, he leaned in close to her face, his dark stare locking onto hers. Such a little tease, he thought. That aside, the issue of him having little time for sexual relations was giving him urges. It wasn't exactly at the top of his to-do list. "It's been a while, actually. Try not to poke fun at this," Nico warned her in a low voice, then stepped back to collect bottles of alcohol they could share.

    A lineup of alcohol was set up on the table, varying from beer to whiskey to rum, whatever she preferred. There were shot glasses and drinking cups available. Hopefully it met all her needs. It saved him the hassle of asking what she liked, so there was that benefit. He just needed to get something in his system, fast.

    Nic poured a little glass with some whiskey, which he swallowed in a pinch. He relished the burning sensation that went down, then he turned his gaze to Sasha. A second shot of booze was set aside before he leaned against the table, and sighed. "Let's just say it's a family thing. My father died, I inherited his business. I can't tell you much more than that." Technically he could, he just wasn't going to. "I apologize that you got wrapped up in it all. I'll do what I can to fix this." The apology was sincere, a thoughtful look taking over his face as he looked down at his drink and then downed it.

  18. Sasha had waved Nico off, unperturbed by what sounded like a threat. Didn't guys constantly fire that question off at each other? She supposed that usually they did know each other a bit more before t... No, actually, she did know Nico. She had been his hairdresser for quite some time, dammit. No one told her that this all happens sometimes when you have a very quiet customer. Besides, she was right, wasn't she? The guy needed to get laid. "Do something about it." She muttered back dryly.

    There was a freaking cornucopia of bottles on the table and she was almost at a point where all of it made her drool. Damn, there was being well-stocked, and then there was this guy.

    "Holy... shit." She murmured softly, almost reverently at the amount of booze he had.

    She was quick to meekly snatch a bottle of scotch and poured herself two-finger's worth of the stuff into one of the glasses, sipping at it slowly.

    "Ok, gotcha, family business." She responded slowly, then looked to him as his apology. "It's ok, I don't think anyone expected that... kind of scenario. Besides, I got myself fucked up- the glass was my own fault. They tried nabbing me at my apartment and..." She actually managed to chuckle. "I dunno, I was mad... my brother had just been on the phone with me telling me about kidnappings and rapes in my area... seemed stupid, you know? So they tell me essentially to come with them and not scream, and they're pointing a gun at me. I'm still in my apartment. All I had to do was shut and lock my door. So I told them "no" and did just that." She was giggling now, and at this point, it was nervous giggles, where she knew what she had done was extremely risky and could have gotten her hurt, "So," She continued. "I ran to my bedroom with the intent of escaping out the window. and the damned thing wouldn't open. So I broke my window with a chair, jumped out like a scene in a TV show, and it didn't go as planned." She spoke, rubbing her forehead as she considered her stupidity before taking another sip of her drink. "I think one of them hit me with a crowbar."

    She looked to Nico and shrugged, as if that was just something that happened in life. "My brother probably did call the cops, and they are probably looking for me, but I need to come up with a plan that doesn't lead back to you." She pondered, "You've been a good client... honestly you're the nicest one, and you almost never talk... that's kinda sad. Speaks a lot about the clientele. I was really surprised that this whole thing led to you. I had figured you for... like... cross fit and office jockey with a side order of promotions and maybe nailing one of the secretaries. Not this." She shrugged again, sipping her drink before downing the rest of it and pouring herself more.

    Then slammed that down her throat as soon as it was in the glass.

    "And tomorrow was going to be my day off, but they need me to come in... I have to call them at some point. Not looking forward to that." She chuckled dryly any lack of business was pouring salt on the wound that was the fact that she was deeply... deeply broke.

    "Fuck it." She exclaimed, looking to Nico as she poured herself more, drinking that immediately as well. "This isn't the worst thing to happen. Not the first time a gun's been pulled on me." She admitted in a dark tone, but the way she said it was remarkable because it was the one thing she seemed to not want to extrapolate on.

    Changing subjects again, she leaned towards him. "I still don't get it. How do you happen to have more humanity than half the goddamned shmucks I see at work? Yes, you can afford the tips and the ten grand, but... you don't have to. Plenty don't. That's why I'm confused- you're what? Some kinda... dealer? Provider? Whatever... and I have a doctor, some kinda nose-throat-ear specialist who comes in all the time to trim up his hair and help with some mild balding- dude never tips more that four dollars. I got tons of clients like that, and then there's you. Why the fuck shouldn't I be confused? I have trouble paying rent because half my work is commissions, and my faith in humanity is shakier than a sapling in a tornado... and here you are." She looked at him closely. "I don't get it. I really don't. We almost never talk when I'm at work, and somehow I still get kidnapped because I cut your hair- damn that is ruthless and I still think it's stupid." She remarked. The drinks were hitting her hard now and she blinked slowly, looking to him.

    "I wanna fuck that guy's shit up. Roberto... re....Rio..." She was pondering the name for a moment, the shrugged. "That fucker. It seemed like those two henchmen-y dudes didn't get me under his orders, I couldn't understand what they were saying, but the big guy seemed mad that I was there, and they were trying to explain? That translator dude... I didn't like him. I think he was the one that hit me... almost certain of it. Yeah... Yeah, he was!" She seemed proud of herself for remembering that, then looked to Nico. "I don't like having guns pulled on me, it makes me really, really angry. Don't like being hit in the head either. I wanna fuck his shit up." She was slightly belligerent but still calm at this point. "Sorry I got blood on your clothes.... and your bed... not sorry that you're not wearing a shirt right now... Nah... kinda happy with that." She remarked, nodding slightly. "I'd be up for it." She murmured softly, looking him dead in the eye before smiling and pouring herself another glass.
  19. 'What in the everlasting fuck is happening right now?'

    For a while, Nicoli was just standing there, staring blankly as she talked...some more. At least she was enjoying his healthy supply of alcohol. He could afford to have a little of everything, and it was always useful for his formal house guests. Nic didn't much like to have people be at this private abode, but sometimes it was necessary. Such as right now, with Sasha.

    When she finished explaining embarrassing details to her kidnapping story, he took a seat in one of the chairs under the table. He sat on the opposite side as her, and thought about how amusing it was that she actually tried to dive out the window like a stunt man would do. The story failed to make him smile on the outside, but inwardly he was having a laugh. All stupidity aside, she really did do her damnedest to escape the greasy clutches of those gangsters.

    The mention of the brother calling the cops just made him shrug. Even if he did get arrested, he'd get back out in a matter of days at most. There was plenty of money to bribe the officials with. He also had allies on the inside, and there were court employees that owed him for past debts. The worry was all rolling off his shoulders now that she was not bleeding to death. Drinking helped too, of course.

    Nic nodded when she said it wasn't her first time having a gun pulled on her. Following that, his head tilted to the side so he could pop his neck. The pleasure of it mingled with the warm feelings provided by his whiskey, inspiring a light hum of satisfaction to drum in his throat. Perhaps their histories were the same in some ways. Sometimes he forgot that a person's age didn't always reflect their life experiences. A lot can happen in just a decade, then another, then another...

    Chocolatey eyes looked into a beverage he had his hand wrapped around. Now she wanted to ask more questions about him. This must have been all that was building inside her skull after all those days of not exchanging words. Stylists liked to learn a little about their regular clients. Yet he had to be such a stuck up grouch and deny her that simple privilege. Maybe it was because of the alcohol, but for the first time in forever he actually felt bad for being an ass. Now she had many more questions because she witnessed what was supposed to be a private transaction.

    "Those are two things you can call me," Nic told her with a nod. He was a boss, a dealer, a provider, a criminal--he was many things. It was complicating, full of dishonesty and bad decisions. Yet, there was the point she just made: he wasn't all that bad a guy deep down. Until he met her, he didn't consider himself difficult to understand. "I've worked hard, and made many sacrifices to get where I am today. I may have wealth, but it doesn't corrupt me like it does others. My money actually has more use than to just buy me nice things and pay assassins to kill my enemies, that's what separates me from the stereotype, I think. I donate to charities, I send gifts to my family in Italy, I fund art gallery events so kids and adults can showcase their masterpieces. People believe I do this to make myself look good, which is exactly how I want it to be." A knuckle rubbed against his eye. This was more talking than he was used to doing. It sucked, for lack of a better word. "My soul may have turned black from all the bad I've done, but my heart...is a different story. That sounds about right, yeah." The man looked off to the side so he could swallow the last of the whiskey he was holding onto.

    Nico could relate to her wanting to give Rodrigo what he deserved. Should he ever see him again, he'd be glad to include her in some way. He wouldn't want her involved with the savage beating, but maybe he could give her a souvenir photo. "He'll get what he deserves, one day." he assured her. Nic believed all evil people would be paid a proper visit by lady karma. Then she made a small subject out of him being shirtless. Would she not prefer someone more her age? More importantly, someone who wasn't mafia boss? Nic was looking back with the same level of eye contact, and started assuming it was the alcohol and her head injury. She was bound to say weird things as a result of those. "You need some sleep after this." Nicoli commented, resting back in his chair with his eyes closed. She wasn't the only one.

  20. 'Are you shitting me? I don't need sleep, I need more answers' She thought to herself.

    Sasha nodded in acknowledgement of his statement, then her eyes widened. "Hey, it's gonna be fine- I know how to get this routed arou... no... I really don't want to take that risk... you may be scary but given everything you've said, I doubt you'd hurt me... but, Mark..." She shook her head after mentioning the name, her brows furrowed as she thought a bit more.

    "I never made a claim against him... I could use this to my advantage... but he's probably as slippery as you are... and I'd rather not risk having to jump out my window again." She explained softly, her eyes narrowing and darting around as the thoughts in her head went around and around. "Whatever... I'll figure something out..." She spoke as she relaxed slightly, huffing a bit.

    "Get me that translator's head and we're good." She muttered out of the blue, a dark tone in her voice as she looked to Nico, completely serious. "Yes, I'm your stylist and I was affiliated with you- but I'm placing the blame on those two goons. I want their heads." She snarled softly, huffing under her breath. "And that fucker. They seem like sick fucks anyways, why not do a bit of vigilante "spring-cleaning"?" She asked, looking up at Nico, spite in full force in her her eyes. "They messed up my hair, got you out ten grand, general assholes, and made me break a window and hurt myself. I've got a grudge. And I don't like grudges." She explained. Her eyes swept over Nico again and she made some small noise of approval low in her throat- him being shirtless for this conversation was easily making it hard to keep mad for long.

    So what if he was a bit older? The guy was damned handsome, intelligent, unattached, and had saved her bleeding ass. She'd had flings with worse prospects. If she wasn't scraped and cut up to hell, she might have made a move by now. She considered the thought, then shook her head. The guy seemed to have a stick up his ass that was far more than she could take on, maybe if he loosened up a bit more...

    Probably not the best idea to think on that.

    "I didn't used to work at the salon that I do now. I used to work at the one down a few intersections- you know, the really fashionable boutique-looking one. What was it... "Louvre" or some fancy-sounding shit... I was actually pretty top shit up there... but..." She trailed off, pouring herself another drink, knocking it back with an eagerness that spoke volumes on the subject. "Shit happened. Got fired- got fired quite badly, actually. Had to move into the shitty complex I'm at now, and take a job at that...place." She muttered, rubbing her forehead. "It's frustrating. I played by the books, I was good. I just made one mistake, and then... everything went to shit. I can't work anywhere else. No one wants my name on their books. So I'm stuck dealing with rich doctors who stiff me, and... gang-type dudes who save my ass and make me question the state of the world." She muttered, looking to the empty glass. "My kingdom for a "reset" button." She murmured darkly as she looked from the glass up to Nico, a small huff of a chuckle came out of her, not so much humorous as it was just a press of air out of her system. "I probably do need sleep." She admitted, sighing before she poured one more sip into her glass, holding it up and looking to Nico, a ghost of a smile on her lips. "To us." She toasted sarcastically then knocked it back.

    "Aight... Hun, where do you want me for the night? Honestly with the blow to my head, I'm skittish on sleeping alone. I don't feel sick or dizzy or anything... I don't think I have a concussion... but... I really hate to ask this and be more trouble, but could you check and make sure I'm alive every once in a while? If I die, whatever, life was shit anyways. You have my permission to dispose of me in a way that doesn't lead back to you."
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