Rhythm of the Night (Lago Lagarto)

Reserved for: Piper and Bao (I.E. plethora of random characters et. al... )

<3 <3 <3 <3

Having come from a community where her entire world revolved around a very draconian lifestyle, Piper’s newfound freedom was at times overwhelming and scary. Unfortunately she was very stubborn, and her curiosity more often than not pushed her well outside of cautious limits.

Sitting in the back of a cab, the young woman stared out the window, not really noticing anything save for the blurs of street lights as they passed by. She was excited… her world was opening up, and like any young adult she was hungry to begin exploring.

Her meeting Larenzo, and his invitation to Lago Lagarto intrigued her. Querido Quetzal, where she worked, was a jazz club. The atmosphere was mellow, friendly, and sultry to say the least. She felt very at ease, and happy there.

So, she wondered what other clubs were like. Larenzo had said their’s was  different than jazz. Plus, Piper was curious to experiment a bit on her own… She served drinks all day long, but was never so bold as to ask to try any of it. The last thing she wanted to do was risk getting tipsy in front of her co-workers. Their respect meant a lot to her, so the invitation was a bit of a golden opportunity for her. She could expand her pallet and learn to advise, and mix a bit better… and she would get to see what kind of business Santo— who was clearly good friends with Oz— ran.

The cab made a final turn, and slowed down in front of what appeared to be a huge line of people. Piper blinked rapidly… oh… that line looked so long…

And it was chilly out… and she had worn a skirt.

Sigh.

She reached over and paid her fare, making sure to give a decent tip before opening the door and slipping out. She took a moment, smoothed her clothing, and tossed her hair back in in effort to do some last minute primping. It also allowed her to watch the door… people approached, saw a man check a clip board, and he either let people in, or sent them to the line.

A check in of some kind?

She decided to go find out. Chin up, she confidently approached the bouncer— who asked for her name, and which she supplied.

Which direction will we go in?

    • Bao
      Bao

      The nightclub was the ever present tropical paradise in the concrete, gloomy island of St. Canard. Even underneath the cold winds of a January night, the boisterous aura of the hot spot warmed up the block. It glowed with the glitz and glamour of the lively club scene and its particularly ritzy patronage only added to nightclub's chic style. The building was lit up in pinks and purples and a vibrant neon sign carefully spelled out the location's name, Lago Lagarto.

       

      The bouncer, a hefty bull, intimidating and powerful was every bit the professional. His smiled to the confident little duckette gracing his presence and flipped through the list of guests in his hand.

       

      "A'ite, Miss Lee. You're on the list." He confirmed, stepping aside and parting the red velvet rope that protected the entrance to the palace, "And at the top of the list! The VIP room is right past the dance floor, there will be a lit up staircase leading up to it. You'll find your hosts there."

       

      He opens the door to finally reveal the coveted paradise, even more breath-taking than its outside. Feel good vibes blasted along with the feel good rhythms and the floors were filled with patrons as beautiful and fashionable as the tropical decor. Drinks were a plenty and so were the goods. As the bull had mentioned, past the dance floor a royal staircase lead up to a more intimate room. Here it was more like a lounge with a personal bar at the end of the room. The lighting was softer and so was the music, but the atmosphere was definitely more fiery. Lorenzo tended the bar, a hobby of his, and he was currently sharing a few words with striped big cat wearing a fine, tailored suit that could easily cost more than the rest of the crowd combined.

      • Piper/ Jade
        Piper/ Jade

        Doing her best not to look surprised (and probably failing), Piper followed the bouncer’s gesture and walked into the club. VIP? She wondered how she had even managed that…? She hoped that it was not a mistake and there was another Piper Lee who was going to get left out in the cold.

        Any concern was quickly chased away when she was greeted with the vibrancy and atmosphere of the inner club. Taking a moment to appreciate the lights, and music— she understood what Lorenzo had meant by ‘different.’ Vastly different… there was a buzz of hyperness— bounciness… hard to explain. It made her feel as though she should move, dance, jump right in…

        “Staircase… right…” she reminded herself as she spied it from across the dance floor. With amazing dexterity the young duckette was able to weave and dodge her way to them. With each step she noticed that it got quieter— a bit of a relief since she had a terrible time being heard over louder music. Her voice was simply too soft for it, and the strain of trying would leave her hoarse.

        She glanced back down— one last look at the other patrons who all seemed to be having a livid and wonderful time. It made her smile… happy people being happy and all. Shifting her weight, she turned back to what could only be described as a lounge. More comfortable than the crowded downstairs for sure.

        But… did she really belong here? Noticing Lorenzo, her eyes brightened a bit. Familiar faces were always a good sign. A bit timidly, she began to make her way for the bar, politely keeping quiet while the two men spoke.

        From the corner of her eye she studied the man Lorenzo was speaking to. Although she would admit to his nice clothing, the richness of them escaped her. She wondered what got him on the ‘VIP’ list? Perhaps he was Santo’s friend as well.

        • Bao
          Bao

          Lorenzo and the liger shared a laugh and whatever new conquest the men had shared. The approaching patron catches Lorenzo's attention and he waves to his friend he'd be back with him in a bit. Though as soon as he recognized his acquaintance, the indifferent professionalism turned into a pleasantly surprised smile. 

           

          "Piper, you finally made it." Lorenzo greeted her, "I put your name on that list awhile ago." 

           

          His liger friend shifted in his stool to take a fine, long look at the fresh pair of assets that had walked up. 

           

          "This beautiful creature a friend of yours, Lore?" The businessman (term used loosely) asked, a fanged grin decorating his snout, "I didn't know you had room for another one... 'cause, you know, I'm your other beautiful creature friend, yeah?" 

           

          Lorenzo rolls his eyes, "Piper, Sam. Sam, Piper."

          • Piper/ Jade
            Piper/ Jade

            Perhaps her exposure to similar looks had dulled her somewhat… Piper did not seem to register the fact she was being visually assessed at great length by the Liger.

            But… it happened every night so…

            “A pleasure to meet you, Sam.” she said with a bright smile. Their lighthearted nature put her instantly at ease, and made for a much more pleasant introduction. She appreciated that since she was always slightly nervous. Though a bit of snark bubbled in her throat— a bad habit she was developing thanks to work— she managed to keep it choked down. No… he might not appreciate any sass from a girl he just met.

            Then to Lorenzo, she gave the tiniest of pouts. “I did try to come sooner, but you know…” small hand wave. “Getting the hang of everything.” It was not a complaint, rather, she sounded very enthusiastic. “And… thank you. I almost thought there was a mistake when they said V.I.P….’ she scratched her cheek in an absent minded twinge of embarrassment.

            Of course he’d have put her name at the top… he invited her.

            “I did not know you tended…” she added, noticing his place behind the bar. She perked a brow curiously… wondering what his real opinion of her first mixed drink had been.

            • Bao
              Bao

              Lorenzo nodded to her explanation and continued to mindlessly mix, pour, serve and slide glasses about the bar. Up in the VIP lounge, the smaller selection of patrons kept the flow of drinks at a calm place so the macaw, coupled with years of experience, could easily fill in requests and fill in casual conversation around him.

              "Oh, yeah, it's not really a job for me up here." Lorenzo explained as if he suddenly realized what he was doing, "I do it 'cause iti gives me a chance to show of cutting fruits."

              "And he really does like cutting fruits," Sambhev added jokingly. Though like a good and proud friend, Sam motioned to the numerous, carefully carved natural fruit that decorated the area of the bar. They also served as snack bowls, treats, and some were even drinks, "Knifing things is his thing."

               

              "I impale a lot of things." Lorenzo admitted.

              "So do I."

              "Hah."

               

              They high fived mentally and went back to Piper. 

              "What can I get you Piper?" Lorenzo finally asked, "We have a special on black and orange drinks for the ladies. You get a free liger to match it."

              "I'm the liger." Sam clarified.

              • Piper/ Jade
                Piper/ Jade

                Oh you two…Taking it as complete and total joking. (Naive little thing)

                Piper settled herself down on a stool at the bar, seeing as she was welcomed company there. Again, their ease of conversation made it enjoyable — and she was all about the friendliness.

                In her absentmindedness of admiring some of the carved fruit decor that Sam had pointed out, she slipped, “It’s a deal if the liger’s company is as intoxicating as the drink.” Spoken in an even—if not teasing tone. Blink.

                Oops. Come on, your not behind the bar, save the flirting for tips.

                “Ah, sorry.” she apologized with a grin and a hint of a blush. “Work habit.” What? You mean you’ll do it for money but not for funsies on your own time? Silly girl, learn to enjoy it!

                After a pause, in which she clearly was considering her options, Piper gave an embarrassed shrug. “I… honestly do not know what to order. I know the mixes, but I do not know what anything tastes like…” basically admitting to being a bartender with no pallet. Like a chef who never tried his own cooking. It was blasphemous.

                But… that was part of the reason for her being here.

                She rested her elbows on the bar, and propped her chin in her hands, looking to Lorenzo with what could only be described as an ‘innocently lost’ expression. “Surprise me?”

                • Bao
                  Bao

                  "Oh, no, no, no." Sam shook his head, "No need to apologize for that. I do love some bantering back and forth. Drink up, cut loose, and we can hit the dance floor to see if you can keep up with the scene."

                  Lorenzo topped his friend off again and decided to start Piper off with something sweet, fruity, and light. Shaken coconut rum with a sprinkle of lime, Curaçao,  and a fruity garnish always seemed to be the favorite tiki cocktail for the younger crowed. He places the drink on a coaster and scoots it toward Piper. 

                  "There you go," Lorenzo offered, "Mai Tai. We put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up quite literally around here. Another difference between your club and mine... "

                  Sam raised his glass toward Piper's, "To your first venture into the waters of Lago Lagarto."

                  • Piper/ Jade
                    Piper/ Jade

                    Eyes immediately brightened… she’d hoped to get to dance at some point. One step at a time though…

                    Her attention turned towards watching what Lorenzo was doing. Pointers for later perhaps? No sense in not learning something while… learning something? Anyway, he seemed much more comfortable in his role than she was in hers— which made sense. He was more experienced and knew exactly what he was doing. She still needed recipes. Mental pout… buuuut, she reminded herself, her main job was not bartending.

                    No… she helped, but her main assignment was carrying drinks to tables. And she was good at it. Hadn’t dropped anything on anyone’s head. Yet.

                    She sat up a bit straighter when the drink was put in front of her. Oh look, snacks! She liked snacks.

                    At Sam’s gesture, Piper lifted her own glass and with a smile and a laugh, then tapped it to his. “Thank you. Here’s to not drowning.”

                    Because that was a real possibility. She took a small sip of the drink, allowing the scent to work it’s way to her nose… there was only the faintest hint of alcohol… the rest was covered by fruit and sugar flavors.

                    Clicking her tongue as she dwelled on the taste, she decided it was good. So, she proceeded to take a second, much longer drink. It was like a dessert really.

                    “That, is wonderful.” She said, setting her glass down and tearing off a bit of the fruit garnish to nibble on. Praise to Lorenzo, though she doubted he needed it. “Can barely taste any alcohol.”

                    • Bao
                      Bao

                      "Wanted to start you off light and easy," Lorenzo said, "Test the waters before you go crashing down the rapids. Don't count drowning out yet.... it's really easy to around here."

                      And how. That was a fair warning from the macaw, who typically had a wing in unraveling a guest's self-control at the Club. He was the patron saint of vices and he made sure to lead at least one new victim down that path once a week. It wasn't for the commission more so as it was for his own desperate need to find new flesh to indulge on. For now, he spared the innocent duck. The whirlpool at the lake was an unforgiving one.

                      Sambhev, on the other hand, was a cat with honest intentions and a pair of paws nowhere near the ground of reality. He lived in his own little world and was always willing to share this with the newest cute face to cross his stripes. This time, he didn't have to look far. 

                      "So, you're new around here I take it?" The liger began, "Never seen you around before and I know everyone needing to be known."

                      • Piper/ Jade
                        Piper/ Jade

                        For Lorenzo, a look of appreciation. She took his mercy for friendship— which meant the Macaw was instantly rewarded with her trust. Possibly foolish? That awaited to be seen, but she was only superficially aware of who he was.

                        It did not take much with her. New people were new opportunities, and she tended to see everyone through rose tinted glasses unless they gave her reason not to.

                        Lifting her drink once more, she sipped for a good while— until Sam interrupted. Brows shot up as she finished her swallow and set the near empty glass down now. Her sweet tooth was in heaven. “Ah… well…” she cleared her mouth before continuing. “I am new. Around here anyway.” she admitted, turning slightly on her stool to face him.

                        She tilted her head slightly, giving him a bit of a teasing smile. “Define ‘need to know’.” she said with a bit of challenge. Piper wondered just how honest he would answer that.

                        • Bao
                          Bao

                          "Well!" The liger's ears shot up in eagerness to give her the entire spiel of just how amazing he was. He reaches into the inner coat of his pocket and produces a business card. Subtle off-white coloring, tastefully thick, and with a watermark. He was a top executive of Sandeep Exports, Mr. Sambhev Sandeep. He places this in her hand and gives her the award winning smile only expensive dentistry work can afford, "As an international business man of my caliber, I only take care of expanding my network with the most renowned of people."

                          He motions to the luxurious room around him, "And that's the only kind of people you'll find here. If not renowned or wealthy entrepreneurs... then very, very beautiful. You're that kind of beauty I'd embezzle a few millions over to have in my contacts, Piper."

                          Sandeep Exports IS responsible for a lot of embezzling...

                          • Piper/ Jade
                            Piper/ Jade

                            The smile earned one just as bright in response. It was hard not to reflect— especially when it was such a lovely smile. Piper accepted the business card, looking over the information while listening to what he was saying. She ran her thumb over the texture of the card, noting it’s finery.

                            So he was a somebody… she had not doubted his importance, but this put it into a bit of clearer perspective for her. She glanced up at his motion, allowing her eyes to dart around to the other patrons in the lobby— people she had simply overlooked since they were all seemingly engrossed in their own business and not some lost little duck. All of these people were important in some way or another? She blinked slightly, it clicking a bit in her mind just where she was…

                            At the compliment of her beauty, a flush crept up to her cheeks and she instantly felt a bit tongue tied. She had not learned to accept compliments well yet. Her response was still highly innocent.

                            “Now, now…” she said with a bit of a nervous laugh. “You’d not have to go to that much trouble.” she waved her hand. “Maybe only a few hundred thousand…”

                            • Bao
                              Bao

                              "It's no trouble at all." Sam assured her, leaning towards her in interest now, "Anything to buy me a little more time with a gorgeous duck. Tell me, Piper, are your eyes made out of absolute enchantment?"

                              He was feeding off of her reactions. The little flush on her face and her nervous little laugh fueled the already overgrown ego of the liger. His hand slowly crept its way towards hers and with the lightest of touches, he ran an extended claw up her arm. 

                               

                              • Piper/ Jade
                                Piper/ Jade

                                She did not lean away, as he was not the first male to have pulled such a move. Rather she paid him the attention that his body language was asking for. “Ah, well… “ a bit of a stammer. It was hard not to blush when he was laying the compliments on so thick and smoothly. Lost for words, again.

                                What really pulled a reaction from her was that light touch that ran up her arm. A visible shiver and jump, her free hand moving to rub the area that he had touched.

                                “You…” she said with a laugh, “Are quite a flirt.” Call him out on it. She did not sound offended, simply a bit flustered.

                                • Bao
                                  Bao

                                  "Only in small doses." The liger answered. He had a sly smirk plastered across his face as his claw found its way up to her chin to pull her closer up to his broad snout, "I tend to be too much otherwise."

                                  With a playful flick off of her chin, Sam returns to his drink. She looked so young and she sounded like she was in over her head. Quite the little slice of cake to serve yourself, Sam. He looks down to her, his own set of violet eyes holding a hint of trouble.

                                  It was all an act, really. While he did play the role very well, Sam never took his heavy, forward nature further were the receiving end an unsure target. With this new duck, he wasn't so sure. Her motions showed a somewhat flustered inexperience but her words seemed to egg him on. Perhaps he'll play with her a little while longer to figure it out.

                                  "How much of me do you think you could take?" The cat growled teasingly.

                                  • Piper/ Jade
                                    Piper/ Jade

                                    Her breath caught in her throat at the nearness of his nose, and the claw that so easily held her chin in place… he barely had to try… she simply followed his gentle leads.

                                    Her eyes were clouded by curiosity and excitement, and they intently searched his in effort to discern some kind of emotion. She felt no malice in his actions, only a boldness that she had not come across before. It was as though she were standing at the edge of a lake, testing the water with her toe before deciding if she would jump in or not.

                                    She had no doubt whatsoever that he could be too much.

                                    And just like that his claw was gone, and he’d freed her from that delicate hold.

                                    Rapidly blinking, she righted herself and turned to her own drink, wrapping her fingers around the pretty much empty, condensation covered glass. Heart beating fast, Piper recognized the adrenaline rush that was mirrored only in instances when she was about to knick something valuable.

                                    Vaguely, she wondered if she would get the same post-theft-high… She was quite addicted to it.

                                    Her thoughts were once again interrupted, and she forced a shiver to stop at the base of her spine when he spoke to her with a growl.

                                    How much could she take? Of all the things to ask a thief…. Her lids lowered slightly, and her mouth turned into a coy little grin that reached her eyes. “… as much as I possibly could, Sam.”

                                    Right into that lake.