SUMMARY: Eliot resisted the urge to get involved, despite the fact that the expression on the woman’s face reminded him of a cornered animal.
WARNINGS: Creepy guys in bars, swears
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Written for leverageland's Flashback Challenge. Thank you to steffync81 for the artwork!
Eliot sipped his beer, keeping his shoulders hunched and his eyes downturned. Everything about his posture said don’t bother me, which was exactly as intended. Despite appearances, however, he was keeping a close watch on everyone in the bar, tracking their movements, reading their body language, monitoring the timbre of their conversations.
At the moment, he was preoccupied by the blonde at the other end of the bar. She was giving off some pretty strong don’t bother me vibes herself, a fact that the jackass next to her was completely failing to pick up on. He’d bought her a drink she hadn’t touched, tried to wheedle her name out of her without success, and was currently in the middle of telling her some complicated, dumbass joke that was pretty obviously not amusing her.
Eliot resisted the urge to get involved, despite the fact that the expression on the woman’s face reminded him of a cornered animal. Getting involved meant drawing attention to himself, and drawing attention to himself meant trouble. He kept his head down and quietly scraped the label off his beer bottle.
When the blonde didn’t laugh after the guy finally worked his way around to the semi-offensive punchline, the jackass started to get angry, and then he started to get mean. “Jesus, lighten up,” he sneered. “You don’t have to be such a bitch.”
Eliot’s hand came down heavily on the guy’s shoulder. “I don’t think she’s interested, man.”
“Who the hell are you?” the guy snarled, standing up and turning to face Eliot. His eyes widened slightly as he took in Eliot’s size and expression, but he was too drunk and too stupid back down.
“You’re making a fool of yourself,” Eliot said quietly. “Why don’t you go finish your drink over there.” He nodded at the far end of the bar.
“Fuck you,” the guy said, and took a swing at Eliot’s face.
Eliot sidestepped the punch easily, grabbed the man’s wrist, and twisted it brutally behind his back.
Which is when the woman’s hand shot out and tased the dude right in the ballsack.
“Jesus.” Eliot stepped back in surprise, letting the guy crumple to the floor in whimpering heap. The woman was grinning maniacally and the bartender was already reaching for the phone to call the cops. “Time to go,” Eliot said, and herded the blonde towards the door, being extremely mindful of the taser in case she decided to use it on him.
“I don’t need your help,” she spat, shrugging away from him as soon as they were outside on the sidewalk.
She frowned at him and then took off running in the opposite direction.
“You’re welcome,” he muttered. It was only after she was out of sight that he realized his wallet was missing.
See, this right here, this was why he didn’t like to get involved.
As soon as she was certain she was safely away, Parker ducked into a doorway to examine her treasure. The first wallet yielded all of twenty bucks and a bunch of credit cards, half of which were expired. What a tool. The second one, though, the one she’d gotten off the guy who’d tried to play Prince Charming, contained $500 in crisp new bills and no credit cards. Weird. The only other things in the wallet were a Kentucky driver’s license and a dogeared military ID, both in the name Eliot Spencer.
Parker froze. She’d heard that name before. Eliot Spencer was a thief like she was. Rumor was he’d pulled off the Antwerp Diamond Center job last year. He was also big time bad guy. She’d heard he once cut a guy’s ear off for trash talking the Dallas Cowboys. And apparently he’d also just defended her honor in a bar.
The next day she copied the address on the driver’s license onto an envelope and stuffed the wallet—money and IDs still intact—inside, along with a note:
Sorry I took your wallet.