\ 22:38 "The date, proper" | unlimitedi.net
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2021-05-11 22:38 - Tuesday

The booth Sandoval left him in was plush and comfortable, allowing Logan a second of respite before he noticed the commotion that was growing in the bar. Ah, crap. The frightening sound of gunfire had caused half the patrons to flee the area, while those who stayed were now gawking and glaring like they were on the set of some Hollywood action film. The cops were scrambling to defuse the situation, offering up bogus explanations to anyone who may have caught a glimpse of the Kaoshians.

"Oh my god." Cadee broke through the crowd, pushing her way towards Logan. The remnants of his tattered shirt was soaked in blood, burn marks covered his exposed chest and shoulder and the way he was holding one of his hands did not look good.

"You know, it seems every time we run into each other, I'm getting into trouble. I'm beginning to think you're a bad luck charm." He tried to force a smile, but his weary eyes spoke volumes.

“You can call me Jinx..."Cadee scanned his wounds quickly and tried to smile. Not good, not good at all.  “Damn, boy, what happened to you?” Without waiting for his response, she turned around and shooed away the patrons gathering around Logan’s booth. 

“Show’s over, fellas, let’s give the man here some oxygen. ” She searched and found Angus with her eyes, and sent him a silent question. At his nod, she added. “Free drinks at the bar, for your inconvenience. You better hurry before Angus’ generosity runs out. ”

Pablo stepped to the side to let Cadee in. She seemed to know some first aid and he was still coming off the stress of the fight outside. He glanced back to his table where he knew he had a beer waiting and saw Alison making her way towards them. Pablo straightened his shirt and wiped his face with Cadee's towel before standing to go and meet her.

People moved away from the table: some to collect their free drinks, some heading outside to check on the commotion first-hand. Cadee slid into the booth next to Logan. He was resting on the back of the seat and had closed his eyes, his breathing quick, but steady. She looked at his scrapes and cuts, but focused on his burns. “What happened, Logan, did you stumble into a grill or something?” she asked. 

A slight chuckle turned into a cough, which had Logan wincing. What was he supposed to tell Cadee: there was a brawl outside the bar with a bunch of demons? When he had been introduced to the supernatural truths, Balthazar made it clear that it's not a topic to discuss with anyone outside of 'the know'. The pretty little blonde waitress was most definitely not in 'the know'.

"Some gangsters lit this homeless guy on fire," Logan finally lied, having overheard a bit of the cop’s story. "And what kind of guy would I be if I only came to the rescue of attractive, blonde bartender types?"

Cadee giggled, as she wiped the blood from Logan's chest. She knew better than to believe Logan’s lie about a homeless bum set on fire, but at the moment she was at a loss, and she wasn’t about to ask and blow her cover. You’ve got to be a liar to spot another, she said to herself. Never mind, she’d find the truth soon enough.

“A very bad guy indeed. Not at all like you, right?” Then she got serious again. She looked for Sandoval with her eyes; maybe he had other plans, but saw that he was engaged in conversation with the vampire lady. “Do you want me to call anybody? 911, perhaps? Somebody should take a look at those burns…”

Pablo stood awkwardly in front of Alison. Hug, kiss, what’s appropriate?

"Sorry for the excitement. It's the city. Always on duty. I'm glad to see you, though."

"Excitement is right." Oblivious to his indecision, Alison peered over Pablo's shoulder at the man in the booth. Cadee had got there first and was already tending to him. "What happened out there? I ran into a traffic jam on the way here - I presume that had to do with whatever this was about. I think your buddy there needs an ambulance."

"One of the horrors of the city. A homeless man set on fire by hoods. He ran into the street and set a car on fire. Needless to say, it caused a traffic issue. The guy in the booth is a bystander who rushed in to help." Pablo looked over his shoulder, "It's rare to find a person who will risk himself for a stranger."

He glanced back to Alison, "There are two of the men from my department out there dealing with it. It’s under control. I didn't want to miss you."

Alison quirked an eyebrow. “Wow. You have changed. I remember you standing me up more than once because duty called.” She smiled to take the sting out of those words. “Not that I minded, really. I understood. Like now. If you need to deal with this, we can take a rain check.” Once upon a time she’d have been horrified to hear about someone being set on fire. After living in New York for several years, she’d become somewhat inured to such things.

"Back then, I was trying to make a name for myself. I was a rookie cop with a chip on my shoulder and something to prove. Nowadays, I’m more confident in my career. People respect me and my position. I can afford to give some time to... other concerns. And maybe it’s about time I did." Impulsively he leaned in and kissed her.

It only took Alison a microsecond to get over her surprise and to respond to Pablo’s kiss. It was familiar, comfortable, and it didn’t particularly carry any overtones beyond that of old friends meeting each other after many years apart. But it was nice. He tasted of beer and jalapenos – sort of nutty and spicy, and it made Alison feel safe.

“It’s good to see you again, too,” she murmured. “Now, let’s get this poor man seen to. I think Cadee’s running out of towels to mop up his blood.”

Cadee was trying to clean an ugly cut in Logan’s arm without actually worsening things, when Logan finally answered. “No. No 911.” He could understand her concern, but Balthazar wouldn’t like to be oiling the path out of a 911 situation. “Just give me a few minutes and I’ll be good as new.”

She stopped her ministrations and frowned at him. “No way you’re leaving here like this. Either you tell me who to call or I’ll take you to a hospital myself. Or tell the detective right there that you’re being stubborn.”

Logan made a face but acquiesced. “Just let me call my boss,” he said, taking a cell phone from a clip in his belt. “He’ll send someone.”

An EMT walked into the bar and looked around. Pablo spotted him and waved. "Excuse me, Alison. Just some wrapping-up to do. I promise I’ll be right back."

Pablo showed the EMT his badge and handed him a card, "Listen carefully, take those dead and charred carcasses to this address. Tell them 'Code Seventy-Seven' and they will take it from there. Don't worry about anything strange you see, it isn't your problem. And while you’re here..." Pablo looked over at Logan who glared at Pablo. He didn't want to be seen. He also wasn't going to get better.

Pablo decided to stick his neck out for him. He'd saved Pablo's life after all. "Take care of this guy but don't put it in your log. If you need to put a name, put mine. It's on the card. I take full responsibility."

Cadee relaxed when she saw the EMT head their way, even if she saw Logan didn’t like it a bit. But, what the hell, he needed medical attention. She got up and left space for the technician to work.

“Well, I leave you in good hands, Logan. I have to go or Angus will have my head.” She smiled at him before leaving. “Let’s hope our next encounter doesn’t include a fight, ok?”

He smiled at her, but immediately gritted his teeth as the EMT started to work on him. "Third time's a charm right?"

Pablo slid in to the booth that Cadee had vacated. "Logan, I owe you so if you need help, just let me know. And don't worry about this," he said indicating the EMT. "It’s off the record."

He slid a card cross the table. "You have my number; I’ve got to go."

Alison caught Cadee's eye before she headed back to her job. She figured she’d get more information out of the waitress than from Pablo. "Is it always this... eventful in here?" She indicated the burned man in the booth. "Who is he? You seemed to know him."

“What can I say; it’s a cop bar.” Cadee laughed, then she looked again at Logan, who was now talking to Pablo, the phone forgotten in his hand. “Actually, no. He just helped me with a bothersome drunk last night, and we sort of connected. And now this… I guess he’s a Good Samaritan type.” She winked at Alison, “And I like him.”

Alison's gaze slid from the burned man to Pablo, who was already rising from the booth. "Yeah," she replied wistfully. "You should hang on to the ones you like."

She shook herself and looked back at Cadee. "Well, I shouldn't keep you from your work. It was good to meet you again. And who knows, you may see more of me here, if all goes well." She could feel Pablo stepping into place beside her so she said no more but merely smiled at Cadee.

"That'd be great," Cadee answered, smiling. She looked at Pablo who was approaching them, and realized what she meant. Niiiice. "Good luck with that."

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