Like a clever fox the young woman before him seemed. Her allure was not at all lost on the man as this night she happened to be more intriguin than was normal. But of course the man would be damned if he spoke those thoughts aloud. "Ah, so you pick and choose your battles then? Perhaps the best way to go about life." Erik said, a twinkle in his bright blue eyes that had not been there in so long. And when she was called away to help another, the man was almost disappointed as it had been the first night in so long he had allowed himself any form of lettinf someone slightly beyond the walls he had built.
The man had watched as the young woman had performed with the other young woman and he could admit the pair were not bad. But he had made a deal and so had to stick to it. It was when the night was getting what others would be considering late did he find his way to the stage and choose something that was older and seemed close to opera as that was a genre that he was familiar with and all the while the man kept his gaze upon the trio or rather Olivia as he sang.
Beatrice was actually amazed that she had enjoyed singing with Olivia. It hadn't really been a tough song that she had chosen but something she knew could light and fun. After all, that had been the point of the night.
It was when Olivia came to sit with them did Bea give a look of amazement. "You really made that deal with him?" She asked and then looked to Cecil when he spoke well of the man's singing. "Does he sing often?" She couldn't help asking.
It was when being "borrowed" for history did her cheeks turn a bright red and she let her hair curtain her cheeks to hide it. "Well...thanks...Maybe it is." And after her attention was on the stage as Erik's piercing gaze seemed to never falter from Olivia. To her, it seemed as if the man may actully be singing to her roommate, though she had to think it silly. Or was it?
Olivia gave an amused grin, that bright but mischievous gleam coming to her hazel green eyes. Leaning forward as if telling a secret she continued that grin. "That's because I'm horrible at it, deplorable really. If I want something I show it and will do it. If I don't, I won't bother. Rule of survival, pick your battles."
Not that it worked with him. At last, she was being hailed to work with a difficult man. "See you on the stage then, Erik."
Walking off, it was back to work as usual till she performed with Beatrice and it was surprisingly fun. Then as her finale before her shift would end did some Kongos.
Taking off the apron she walked over to Beatrice and Cecil. Spotting Erik on stage she gave a grin to Beatrice. "I said I would be early and good if he performed. Oh, hi, I'm Olivia."
"Cecil," Cecil said with a grin." Ah, that explains it. Prepared to be amazed then. He ought to be teaching singing but he refuses. Anyway, I'll be sharing your roommate with help with a research paper."
"That'd be good for her," she smiled. "Good for you, Bea."
"Everyone does have baggage..whether it be something big or small. Sometimes from a lie you told when you were five to robbing a bank and being recently released from jail.. Not to say that would be what Erik hides, but it does seem to be a huge thing." Came the woman's words in a thoughtful sort of tone as she lightly once more found her hand coming up to brush through her long red curls.
Cecil to her looked like he was wanting to get up. Was she boring him? Bea didn't know but figured it would be better not to ask. Besides, she was almost wanting a drink herself, but refused to leave the conversation as for once it seemed she found someone remotely interesting to talk with. "It appears that way. Makes me wonder who would will win."
Maybe it was the surroundings or maybe it was a little of the drinks she had already had that seemed to be getting to her head, but she had no idea what he was hinting at. All she knew, was whatever it was had to be played out by the two of which they spoke of.
Slowly she nodded. "Yes...it had always captivated me as a child. Kind of like a great story that we can learn from and congribute to..." Bea said quietly and then her eyes lit up as she gave a nod. "I would love that."
In the old times, Erik couldn't remember ever really having been to a bar or as they had more so referred to as taverns, but he had at least sneaked glimpses. And from what he recalled, none had the level or professionalism that Olivia had, nor had they been as good. He even compared her services to that of the couple of other times that Cecil had dragged him out and still she put many bar tenders to shame. The man, though not at all willing to say it would call her one of the best he had ever seen in working in bars.
A slight, almost amused smile graced his lips as she told him about there being things she would and would not do for tips. "Surely you've flirted and cannot be all that terrible?" He asked, seeing if he may coax her into more details as in this setting the woman seemed to draw out his curiosity all the more.
Slowly a hand came up to rest on the bar as she stepped around it, clearly on her break. Bright blue orbs on her the entire time. "Ah, I assume you would like that picture as it shows a side to me you have not seen.. and perhaps it was, one of few I dare give."
Her next words, the dare game seemed ever more intriguing. "So if I sing, you will be 'better' about class and once more?" Came his muttered words as his brow raised faintly. And before he knew what he was doing, the man shook the woman's hand. Who knew, maybe ithe deal might hold an air of interest. Certaintly gave him something to do. "Deal."
The mutual curiosity was there on both ends. He was curious about her, all while admiring the red curls despite her being so calm. She was like a porcelain doll, it seemed. Delicate features and an uncertain demeanor. Cecil wouldn't assume that she was actually interested in him at all. No, that'd be a disaster.
"Everyone has luggage. I guess his is just a lot more than we do," Cecil said wishing he could get his drink but wouldn't interrupt his conversation. "It's almost as if they are trying to overpower each other. There's only on place that can end."
It was a hint at more there and it would be more interesting to see from them. "History, huh? That's what I do. I'm a student and a T.A. Currently helping my teacher with a research paper on Garnier right now. Maybe you'd like to join me sometime."
Olivia was good at what she did. At least the bar tending part, not the dancing part anymore. Any skill she still had was just memory of more innocent days when she hadn't been a stupid pawn that was played so often.
In all these days she never really had a long conversation with a patron, nor made so much eye contact. Giving a bemused smile, she glanced to see if there was anyone else who needed drinks.
"There's things you have to do for jobs. If smiling that stupid smile, overusing the word darling in Southern style for a good tip, so be it. But not flirting. I'm terrible at it," Olivia mused before leaning her elbows on the chestnut bar. In truth her back hurt, and her feet was sore.
Signalling for a break she walked across the threshold and on to the stool next to him. "Kicking and screaming is a better image. Oh, a compliment...I didn't know you were capable of that. Thank you."
Maybe a bit of a dare game would be fun. "I agreed to a duet with Bea. But...if you sing then I won't only be early, and hopefully awake, I'll sing once more before my shift is over."
Holding out her slender hand on the deal he gave a small grin.
Interesting the way the young woman spoke of the way those in New Orleans took bar tending to be as serious as anything else. Really something he had not known, though he may have if he would ever pay attention to the "fun facts" that Cecil did try and teach him so that he may be at least semi current with all the changes of the world. "Well, you certaintly tell them well and seem able to keep the attention of those around you." The man found himself muttering, almost in awe that he had spoken those words out loud to begin with as he had not planned on it.
For a second he wasn't sure what to make of her words, but then shook his head a slightly amused look gracing his features. "As much as you would like to believe I was 'kicking and screaming' when dragged out by my friend, that was not the case. It was more or less him convincing me and finally, though grudgingly agreeing to it." Erik yet again found himself answering her words. It was not like he wanted to really, but seemed as if he were almost compelled to answer.
Yet again he found himself almost baffled by the words that the young woman before him spoke. It was true she more than understood how a person could and would perform for 'that person of object'. "Perhaps I may, but I would much prefer to see you up on that stage again. You are quite good." The Phantom said as once more he found his gaze seeming locked with hers.
The man before her was so unlike many she had been around before. There was just an air about him that she found of comfort, though he seemed a bit strange. It was almost sad that after the last time she had been out with someone they had been horrid enough to make her swear of dates.
Quickly she had to push that thought away. The last thing she wanted was to seem odd or awkward. Honestly she was hoping to maybe be able to make a friend with the male.
"He seems hard to handle...like there is something he can't move on from and takes it out on the world..So how can you see how good he really is?" The young woman found herself asking as she was genuinely curious and because she liked how he seemed to have faith in the man who everyday practically gave his dancers hell. "And yes...as funny as it seems, you would think so. Like fire and ice those two."
Once more a smile graced Bea's lips as the pair found a place to sit. "Maybe there could be." She teased and then sat a little straighter, crossing her legs, tucking one ankle behind the other. "Aside from dancing...I work in a small café not too far from here. I also study history, hoping to maybe be a teacher for it...Umm what about you? Aside from trying to make sure Erik doesn't get into trouble, what do you like to do?" She asked quickly, a light red in her cheeks.
"They take their drinks as seriously as church and ghost tours in New Orleans. To tend bars there you need to tell stories and know the history of drinking," Olivia said wisely. Of course she said New Orleans the way that others did down there like 'New Awlins'. Only the Southern sound flowed off her tongue. "Kicking and screaming, I'll wager."
Damn, an actual conversation even if that tension was still sparking. Was it just her or did he look good in this setting.
"A soul knows what it really wants and will only shine for that person of object," Olivia shrugged. "Enjoy the drink. Maybe you should go up, dancing isn't really in your nature, is it?"
God, she was beautiful. By no means was he good with women. He was worse in relationships but at least he managed to keep some friends during the whole process.
"He's special but i know he's really not a bad person inside," Cecil said. He didn't have good faith in everyone but he did in Erik. "And hey look, no eyes being torn out. Doesn't it ever feel like suddenly they will have that match and then just make out?"
Taking her hand as to not lose her, he found a spot and smiled. "Sure there won't be anything for the backroom?" He teased gently. "So besides dancing what do you do?"
A hand came up and brushed some of her red hair back over her shoulder as she studied the male. At his words, Beatrice found herself giving a faint nod. A nod she didn't even comprehend fully giving.
"Yes...I believe that would be where. And we're not exactly friends...roommates and the same class. But I can agree, no one has the guts or tenacity that she does when it comes to Erik..." Bea muttered, almost kicking herself. She almost wanted to scream as normally she was better with people than this. Well a little at least.
"A drink sounds good and maybe finding a seat less crowded? And don't worry didn't think that you were. Just want to talk or observe others here, right?" She asked, head tilting a little as she took a small step back to allow the male to lead whichever direction he wanted to go.
As she studied him, Erik wondered why she was. It wasn't like he had asked for anything strange, just merely what she thought would be suiting for him as he did not much go out. When she began to speak and explain the drink that she had chosen, the man couldn't help but finding it impressive how well she knew the history of the drink or that she would even recommend it.
"Ah, a friend made me leave my dark room. Said I had to be social for a night." The man said with a faint shrug, though naturally he didn't feel as if he owed the young woman anything. But he had promised to at least 'try' and so that was the only means of why he had answered her.
He didn't even realize what look he must be giving until she spoke. Correcting it, or hoping that he had the man looked down and gave a shake of his head. "It is just you are different when here.. More to you then I would have expected."
Cecil could feel that spark, in that moment a light bulb lit up. He had seen how they were around the other and how the girl pulled him out. When Erik was gone, he formed a small grin before he remembered that he needed to watch where he needed to go.
"Oh, I should have. Too busy celebrating on the inside," Cecil said almost awkwardly before looking closer to her. So pretty and delicate. He gave a smile.
"Haven't I seen you are Garnier?" Cecil asked. "Yes, I have, friends with that girl that actually challenges Erik. Very brave of her. Um, want another drink or a place to sit? I swear I'm not hitting on you."
Olivia worked as a bartender long enough to know how to handle people. People like Ed were not bad, just so awkward it was painful. Glancing after Ed she hoped he'd give her a big tip.
Olivia didn't say anything to Erik for a moment simply studying him to see what would be good. "The Sazerac. Born in New Orleans,first cocktail in America in 1754. A little sweet but not too much," she said before giving a soft smirk. "You do have that aura. What drags you out of your dark room today?"
She still didn't care how she talked to him but it was mild right now. "Why are you looking at me like that? Normally I get a disdained look."
"So this was the first drink? But I guess it is true that what they say about firsts sometimes being the best." Bea caught herself saying as she was thinking about the drink and just how amazingly pure it had tasted on her lips and tongue. But then she tuned into the second half of the words that the other woman had said, them sounding bitter.
"You know, it's not really your fault. Just that you were young and wanted to believe that the world come offer the things you wanted...this isn't exactly a bad place to be." Again she couldn't seem to stop the words that slipped from her lips. All the young woman could hope was that she had not gotten the other angry with her.
Before she could even try and take anything she said back, Olivia told Beatrice that they could do the song in about a half hour, bit for the time she could roam and mingle if she wanted. She wasn't quite sure she wanted to do that but surely it was better than just sitting around and waiting for a turn at the mic. And so with a small shrug, the red head slipped from the stool and began to slip through the crowded bar. But she hadn't gotten far beforw she bumped into a male.
"Oh no, it's okay...I should have been watching..." And that was when her eyes fell on Cecil and she couldn't help her eyes from widening as she was sure that they had a class or so together. Bea tried to speak, but it seemed she was at a fail for words, which was more than awkward.
"People who are afraid of failure are those who do not try. They believe if they do not, then they have no way to fail or to make fools of themselves." The man said quietly as eyes never did seem to leave Olivia as she had been on the stage. Even after she had done, his eyes couldn't seem to be drawn away. This was a side of the young woman he had never seen before. A kind of intriguing side, if he were honest.
"She is very good. This is what I had been told about her when she had first become a student at the studio...And just what is that to mean, Cecil?" Erik asked as a brow raised and he gave his friend a pointed look. And when he got the answer of getting drinks, the man cringed on the inside. It appeared that again the male was up to his tricks.
"Very well...but only because I very much want a drink as well." And with those words he left Cecil to go and get drinks. And as he got closer and closer he could hear the words spoken by the young woman, almost amused. It seemed that she did know how to direct others in the way of manners, where the man she spoke with had very little class.
When it came to be his turn, Erik's eyes fell on her. It took him a moment and he gave a slow shake of his head. "I do not get out very much. Perhaps you would know of a good drink?" He asked, blue orbs never faltering as they stayed upon Olivia, waiting.
"That's the first drink I ever learned to make. Back in New Orleans when I was going to Tulane. There was a jazz band that played and it was always busy," Olivia recounted before smiling, even sadly to a point. "It was there I found true love in music and man then threw it away on a stupid promise. So now its here with the Hemingway wannabes."
Her bitterness was in her follies and stupid mistakes." Yeah, that sounds good. I will be able to in half an hour. Um, you can mingle. There are some interesting locals here."
There was more work to do and the same sort of patrons. Giving a small groan, she saw the same tall skinny guy that always came in and hit on her and skulked off like a beaten dog. She of course didn't see Erik by there.
"Ed, you're going to say a new horrible pick up line that should be left dead. I'm going to be nice because that's how I get tips. Let's do things different tonight, shall we?" She took a breath looking to that vacant expression Edward had. "You need to go over to that girl there. She's clearly a tourist. You do not say pick up lines, at all costs then...you ask how she is doing, ask where she is from and tell her of charming local places and you may get lucky. Savvy?"
She handed him two drinks watching him go off shaking her head lightly before turning her attention to the next person surprised to see it was Erik. "Um, hi...what can I get you?"
"Well, what sort of person doesn't at least try?" Cecil asked before looking back to him and the stage. He hadn't seen that look on his face before. Cecil was certain there was something there. He had seen the sparks fly.
"She's good. Maybe it's time for another approach," Cecil suggested. "I'll hold down the fort if you will get the drinks."
Of course he had little intention of staying instead when he could he went off to find some other people before finding himself bumping into a pretty red head.
"I'm sorry," he said giving her a smile. Hopefully she was interesting since that was the only people he could get along with.
Erik could tell that under that calm demeanor that he always seemed to have about him that the male to his side was inwardly gloating. It was like he knew that the place called to something deep within him and had decided it to be the place to be just so that it may for want of better words bring back a small bit of his humanity. And though he did not wish to admit it or acknowledge the fact, the man known throughout history as "The Phantom" was slightly brought alive due to their surroundings.
"Tell me.. if you know the stories as well as you so claim then why do you bother? Wouldn't it be wiser to let it alone and let what may come come?" The man asked as he was trying to annoy Cecil a little since he had been dragged for a night out. "And I can see that many know this place."
As the pair made their way to seats near the stage, a silent groan slipped the man's lips. The male upon the stage looked utterly out of place, or that was just his thoughts. But hus singing was even worse. "I cannot believe they allow people to slaughter the arts and beauty of songs in such a manner." Erik muttered, as it were more then tempting for him to cover his ears as the man in stage sang.
When the song ended, Erik let out the breath he had been holding. He had been about to suggest leaving but then Cecil's words caught his attention and his eyes were drawn to the stage to see Olivia upon the stage. "It...it would appear to be so."
Her first draw of a sip from her drink had been a small one as she was uncertain of the drink, but found that it was a blast of flavour in her mouth. It was so sweet and evenly mixed that she could find no fault. A smile slipped to pink lips as her gaze fell on the woman. "This..this is one of the most amazing drinks I have ever had." Bea found herself saying as she was listening to the song and cringing as even she could tell how it was being killed.
When it was done, she found herself nodding to Olivia and reaching to a song book to look through it. She had to admit that the woman was good. Definitely had the range and vocals, which was more than she could say for others that had been on the stage.
Finally she found a song just as Olivia had come back to her. Slowly she slipped her drink back on the counter and nodded. "I think I have. What do you feel about doing Dark Side of the Moon?" She asked as she began towards the stage, leaving enough time for the other to say whether she would rather a different song or not.
Cecil just loved about everything of this place. The smell was rich but also old. There was a familiarity to this place that even seemed to be reaching Erik. Cecil fought back the look of triumph.
"I heard the old stories," Cecil nodded knowing it was the same conversation over again. If there was someone to draw him out of that shell. "Almost every creative student knows this place."
Finding a seat that was close enough to the stage. Currently, a Hipster was getting up to sing an American rock that had elements of jazz to it. "Of course they also kill songs. But it's all for fun."
When that guy was over, his attention was on the stage surprised to see Olivia on there. "What do you know...small world."
Olivia had made a New Orleans special of Bourbon and a sweet flavor. It was the right amount of flavors. She gave a small grin waiting to hear that it was good. Only to hear a song she happened to love horrendously killed.
"Pick any song and we will do that. I need to avenge my homeland music," Olivia straightened. Approaching the stage she had told the person in charge the song.
She sometimes played but those who were there frequently loved her. Taking a single moment she started with Dragonfly by Shaman's Harvest. She had the passion and the range, but there wasn't as much control.
Finishing she gave a vague smile to the crowd before calmly returning back to work. "Did you decide?"
"So much of me is gone as there is, it would hardly matter if anger was like a 'hot coal' as you put it. You of all people should both know and understand that about me." The man said, words quiet as he spoke. But then a sigh slipped his lips. "For JUST this night I may try a little. For I do know it is the only way to have you off my back."
Erik did find himself listening to how Cecil described the place and even though he would not admit it found it to be intriguing. And he noted that as they entered the place that it was definitely older fashioned and a place that the artsy type would look to in order to draw some inspiration.
"I can see what you mean. Have you come to this place often?" The one once called 'The Phantom' asked as he did allow his gaze to wander the place.
Even if the two didn't much talk or seem to see eye-to-eye for want of better words shw could not help but be interested in what was said. It seemed that Olivia liked her job, though that would more than what Bea could say for her own when she was not at school or having their instructor on her back. However, the young woman did not say as much.
Long slender fingers reached up and brushed her hair back, a faint smile tracing her lips. "I would have thought working in a bar one would like to drink. And that does sound wonderful, considering I don"t drink much and am always open to trying to new things."
As the other spoke, her eyes found their way to the stage. "Maybe, but only if you do too."
Olivia didn't mind this job. It was monotonous toa degree but she was always busy and learning about new things. It was a strange spark in her life.
Looking to Bea she gave a small chuckle. This was a more active bar but it was a popular place for artists and musicians alike.
"Sometimes but the crowd is usually tourists ans the artistic sort," Olivia said actually pausing. "Truth be told, I don't actually drink that much for being a bartender, but I can tonight. I'll make you something I learned in New Orleans."
It didn't take too long to make it before looking to the stage. "Do you want to try?"
"Because anger is like a hot coal waiting to throw it at someone. It hurts you more than it hurts them. Maybe this time you could try a bit more," Cecil remained calm. "Besides this place is very bohemian."
It was Bahamian. Brick, wood and a nice stage. "This is where people who live for more inspiration go. It's open mic night, too."
"You know that I have never been good with people and why should I be? They have never been kind to me." The man retorted, knowing that yet again his protests would only be taken in and refuted. But that the way it was and the way it had been since the pair had met and since Cecil had said he would try and help him. Did the other male not het that he did not want help or to be saved. Not really.
"Vefy well, but I shall not enjoy it. Places like that always leave me with such a headache." And with that being bis words, Erik left the other male for a few moments. When he came back, the man was in a simple button up and black slacks, bright eyes on Cecil as he soon motioned him to lead on. It was clear he wanted nothing more than for the night to be done and over with.
With the wave of the arm and hearing the other's voice, it did not take Bea long to find Olivia. Of course finding the other young woman had been her main objective and she could see that she had not been disappointed. A smile came to her lips as she walked over. "Hey, seems busy tonight. Is it always like this?" She asked.
Soon she was leaning lightly against the counter and looking up at the drinks. After a moment she did give a small shrug. "Which drink is your favourite? Maybe you could stay and have a couple with me?" It was a kind of peace offering for the night and she did hope the other would take her up on it.
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