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Of All The Gin Joints In All The Towns In All The World



 
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Eden Kennedy

Two years. That's how long she'd been on her own. First she'd taken up residence in her apartment in Paris and returned to her former work there. Emotionally she was a wreck but she plastered on a smile and pushed through.

Six months later Eden found herself in the French Quarter. She found a small studio apartment and took a job at a nearby shop. When she wasn't working she met with friends and spent time exploring the city. She got great at pretending she was okay.

Seven months later she ended up in LA, once again she left without a word to anyone. She found a job at a local bar and threw herself into her new life. She was going to be fine, she told herself this so much that finally even she believed it.

It took another twelve months before she began to grow restless. In her entire life she'd never lived in a place this long. The constraints began to pull at her and Eden knew that she needed to get out. She couldn't handle it any longer. She booked a flight and headed to New York. Though she'd visited in the past she hadn't spent much time there. A fresh start, in a new city was what she needed. She'd find a new place and a new job and settle into her life once more. It would be home, for a little while at least.

August 31, 2020 12:11 am

Eden Kennedy

Two months after she arrived in New York she was starting to run low on cash. Even though she'd spent several months saving it hadn't taken long for her to blow through it. Her first stop after she got off the plane had been the small apartment she'd found posted online. Unfortunately New York was expensive and she couldn't afford a place of her own. So she got a roommate. Now rent was coming due and she didn't have a lot of money left, she needed a job.

Eden had searched through the ads in the paper but nothing seemed right, she needed something off the beaten path. She didn't want to meet up with anyone she knew. For her keeping the past a bay made it easier to be fine. She didn't want to relive those memories, that was part of the reason she'd come here in the first place.

She rarely saw her roommate. Ella seemed to work around the clock, she had mentioned once that she was a counselor of some sort. Twice in the past two months Ella had vanished without a word. Eden didn't ask a lot of questions, but it did make her wonder about the woman. She was surprised to find the note on the counter in the afternoon when she woke up . I know you've been looking, try this place. Scribbled below was and address and name, no number and the name was smudged beyond recognition. At least it was something.

Several hours later Eden found herself standing outside of a building, she was hesitant to go in. The building stood apart from the others in the fact that it resembled a cabin, but if there had been some sort of business here it didn't appear that it was now. The windows were boarded up and as far as she could tell no one had been here for years. She was just about leave when she watched a man walk inside. It seemed strange for him to enter an abandoned building, she shrugged and followed him inside.

The cabin theme seemed to carry over inside. It was a small place, a few booths and tables, the bar was lined with stools, and in the back Eden could see a game of pool heating up, no one even noticed when she entered. That suited her fine.

That just left one problem, Ella hadn't left the name of who she should talk to. She might not even be in the right place, the streets of Brooklyn were confusing sometimes. Eden shifted her gaze over to the bar. She knew who to ask when in doubt. She headed in that direction and slide onto a stool. She put the note from Ella on the counter, and looked over. The bartender had his back to her, he seemed to be invested in the game of pool underway. "Excuse me?" She waited for a minute but he didn't seem to notice. "Hey, excuse me?" Eden did her best to not sound aggravated.

This time he heard her, she saw him turn towards her and she started digging in her bag. "So listen, I know this might seem weird. but my friend gave me this address and said you guys might be loo--." As she twisted her gaze and eyes met with the bartenders. Her words came to an abrupt hault. It was clear this wasn't who she'd expected as the look of shock crept over her face. She looked towards the door and then back. Of all the bars in New York she ahd to walk into this one Eden sat frozen for a minute, of all the scenarios she had played out in her mind she this was not how it went.

Eden tried to find the right words, but none came. The decision was a simple one, she would beon the next plane back to LA, New Orleans, Paris, or even London. She didn't know how to face this and once again she would run from her problems. Eden shook her head. "Sorry, I'm pretty sure I'm in the wrong place." She turned and headed towards the door.
August 31, 2020 12:12 am

Jackson McCarthy

Jackson had a job. It was a miracle. Sort of. He still did matches, but he had needed something more to do because he'd begun a bad habit of sitting around and drinking beer all day, then going out to a bar or pub, wherever he was, hitting on random women, sometimes bringing them back his places, sometimes not. Then, Dessa had found him and they tried being together. As a couple. After ten plus years. It really didn't go the way either of them planned. Then there was Hadley, who disappeared. Yeah, Jackson totally had great luck with long term relationships. Never mind the fact that he also had two failed marriages under his belt. Sure the first one wasn't a major of love, but it was still a marriage and a failed one.

Then there was Eden. Neither of them was entirely to blame for their failed marriage. They probably shouldn’t have even got married in the first place. But that was then. And this job helped him forget about his failures.

Annie, I need more nuts.

Not sure I can help you there Jack.” She winked and headed off to the back.

He chuckled and went to wipe down the bar while it was currently unoccupied. Two regulars who regularly beat everyone at pool decided to play a game against each other, so of course everyone wanted to watch it. The stakes were high! The game was tense! Jackson would pop over every now and then to see how it was going, but for the most part stayed behind the bar.

Jackson was messing with the bottles of alcohol behind him, bringing newer ones up and setting aside those that were almost empty, just general keeping of the stock when someone tried to get his attention. He held up a hand, to let her know to give him a second, but she must not have seen.

Hey, Excuse me

She was already looking down when he turned, though it didn’t matter. He knew that voice. Of all the places…

He tossed his towel over his shoulder and smirked, waiting for her to look up and for realization to hit her. Jackson enjoyed her reaction. He really shouldn’t have. There should have been something else. Some other emotion, but the world just loved tossing them together when they least expected it. Maybe they needed to stop going to bars, because that’s where they always ended up running into each other.

Sorry, I’m pretty sure I’m in the wrong place.

Annie!” He shouted, “I’m taking a break!

Jackson hopped over the bar, dramatic? Yes. Necessary? Probably not, but he didn’t want her to escape. Why? Who fucking knows. He could have just let her walk out. He probably should let her walk out. That’s not how they were wired. Her, running away, him chasing her.

We really need to stop meeting like this, Love.” He ended up in front of her, blocking the door. A bit of a dick move. “What’s the hurry? You just got here.

A cheer filled the bar, though his gaze remained on Eden. What was it going to be this time? A slap? A gunshot? Completely ignore him and shove past him? Would she surprise him and do something completely unexpected? The possibilities for this situation were kind of endless. And for some reason, that fact amused the shit out of him.
August 31, 2020 03:44 pm

Eden Kennedy

It wasn't that Eden was surprised to find Jackson in a bar, for both of them that was normal. But what were the odds of her crossing paths with him in a hole in the wall in Brooklyn, one recommend by her friend? Greater than she had thought apparently.

She wasn't sure what to expect now that they were in this place. All those months ago he'd ]left her a note, something she was too familiar with, she'd done the same. She blamed him, though the fault was also hers, it was easier. That was the end. They had traveled this road before and she knew where it ended. Over and over they hurt each other. For the first time since she'd met Jackson she let go, or tried to. It was harder than she thought.

She spent months convincing herself she was fine and all it took was the mere site of him and she came undone. Words couldn't express all the emotions she was feeling in that moment. The one thing she knew she could do was put some distance between them, it better for both of them she told herself. She half expected he'd let her go this time but then she heard him speak as she headed towards the door.

"Annie! I'm taking a break!"

Eden's steps weren't fast enough to get her outside before Jackson was in front of her. She stopped so abruptly in her tracks she almost stumbled right into him. She caught herself and regained her composure to some extent. She looked towards the bar and her eyes wandered quickly over the rest of the bar. This was the only exit she could see. She suppressed a deep sigh. Twisting her blue gaze back towards Jackson.

"We really need to stop meeting like this, Love."

She might have appeared angry but there was something else underneath. She was not fine at all. "You think?" Her voice was too calm for a person as volatile as herself. She took a deep breath. She was not going to let him...

“What’s the hurry? You just got here.”

Too far.

"Oh gee Jackson. What do you think the hurry is?" Eden tapped her finger on her chin mockingly. "I have no clue what the hurry is. I'm sure any girl in here would love to be in your company, you don't need me to stick around" Eden turned back towards the crowd at the pool table"Hey, Jackson McCarthy over here needs himself a girl tonight! Any takers?" If anyone was paying attention she didn't notice. The idea of keeping her cool was gone, she was livid.

"Why are you even here? Why?" Eden lunged forward and made an attempt to shove him back. She did her best to keep her emotions bottled up but every single time they flooded back out like a tidal wave. She shoved him again. "How could you do that to me? Again?! It's not okay! Do you hear me?" So, now she was a hypocrite. Eden was just as guilty as he was. She didn't even wait for a response. "I hate you so much right now!

She took a couple steps towards Jackson. What she really wanted to do was slap the Hell out of him. It probably wouldn't make her feel better though. She just had to come here, she should have known she was tempting fate. She stared at him a minute, unsure what her next move was. Perhaps all those months of coaching herself had a small pay off after all. In a moment where she would have in the past become further unraveled she didn't. Instead without saying anything else she threw her arms around his neck.
August 31, 2020 07:38 pm

Jackson McCarthy

You think?

Oh gee Jackson. What do you think the hurry is?


Ha!” Jackson barked out a bit of laughter. So that’s how it was going to be. Sarcasm. He could take it.

He took her shooting him, pretty sure he could handle the verbal insults.

Hey, Jackson McCarthy over here needs himself a girl tonight! Any takers?

Jackson put his right hand over his heart, feigning hurt. No one turned around. Sadly, they were more or less used to women chewing him out, so this wasn’t anything new for them. The only reaction he spotted over Eden’s shoulder was Annie shaking her head at him. He supposed he was lucky everyone was focused on the pool game or she might have chased them out of there with her broom.

A smirk was plastered on his face until she asked him why he was there. Then he was confused. He worked here? She was the one he should be asking that question too. And he opened his mouth to do just that, but instead, he was taking a step back as she shoved him.

That was fine. He deserved a lot more. Honestly, he’d probably let her shoot him again, if it made her feel better. Really, what the fuck was it with them? He left her. He was done. It was better for both of them to be apart, at least, that’s what he told himself. Yet, here they were. Eden shouting and him letting her, waiting for her to be finished so he could get a word in.

Another Shove, another step back. It wasn’t that he couldn’t keep his balance against her shoves, even if she was a lot stronger than a typical human. He just didn’t want to. More accusations.

How could you do that to me? Again?! It's not okay! Do you hear me?

Again?” Jackson couldn’t hold back there.

I hate you so much right now!

Good.” He muttered, his face expressionless.

Where was this going? Was he going to shout back at her that he hated her too? That he wished he’d never asked her to leave with him that night? No. It’d all be a lie. Jackson didn’t regret their time together. He didn’t regret their off and on nature. For once, he needed a moment to breathe. How was he supposed to tell her that what he did, he did for both of them and that while he’d do it again, he had missed her, no matter how many times he told himself otherwise.

She took a couple of steps towards him and he was expecting another shove.

He certainly wasn’t expecting her to throw her arms around him. Not like this.

After a slight moment of hesitation from the shock, he wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her close against him. Jackson sighed and kissed the top of her head.

For the record...I work here.

He moved his hands to rest on her hips and gently pushed her back, so he could look her in the eyes. He was smiling again, “So I think the better question is what are you doing here? And, while you explain that…let me make you a drink. What do you want?

Unless you want to hit me some more.



Jackson headed back to the bar, using the proper way through. It wasn’t the easiest decision to turn away from her. He was giving her a chance. If she wanted to leave, he wasn’t going to stand in her way. Not right away anyway.

She runs...He chases.

But he hoped she would stick around. It might be good for them to talk like actual adults.

Maybe.
September 05, 2020 12:28 am

Eden Kennedy

"Good."

Yes. She heard him. It was a testament to Eden that she hadn't lost it at this point. It was tough for her to keep her composure. Despite how it looked this was her being calm. For the first time she chose to let something go or at the least ignore it.

Half the time Eden didn't know what to expect from herself. She let her emotions drive her and it made her a bit erratic. It wasn't a wonder that they were here now. Time after time the two of them had walked a this path. Careful as she had been Eden couldn't have avoided this. If not tonight in Brooklyn then it would been a six months from now in Paris or a year from now in London. She could go now but that wouldn't be the end of it. Hell, she knew that she should but she wouldn't. She wasn't good at letting things go.

Eden leaned her head on his shoulder and closed her yes. She wanted to be angy and more than that she wanted him to know just how angry she was. What had that ever helped? Nothing. That kind of rational thinking was out of character for her but so were a lot of things she'd done lately.

"For the record...I work here."

Her eyes shot open and she mouthed a silent 'Oh.' That did make sense.

For just a moment she let her gaze meet Jackson's before shifting around them again. There was nothing unusual about him (or her) being in a bar but this place was different. From the boarded up windows to the cabin look to the fact it looked abandoned, that was strange. She also wanted to know how the heck someone she'd met not so long ago managed to send her here of all places but that was unimportant for the moment.

"I think the better question is what are you doing here>"

Well, that was a good question. One she had a perfectly good explanation for!

Eden caught herself hesitate, her blue hues danced towards the door for a moment. Her instincts told her one thing but she did not follow them this time. "No. You've learned your lesson."

She returned to the stool where she'd sat before, scouring the area for the paper she'd left there. It was still in the spot she'd left it. "You shouldn't ask such loaded questions ...um...just vodka...straight. That's fine."

Pulled the note towards herself for a minute reading over it again. Did she believe in coincidences? After all this time she wasn't sure. "Well, I was in Los Angeles...for awhile. Let's just say ... that didn't work out."

"So, I ended up here... not here but New York."

It didn't seem that explaining things was one of her talents. This was the first time in a long time she'd tried to. Heaven only knew why she bothered! " This friend of mine left this note for me this morning. She's a new friend. This is the address she left, she likes to point me to places that might need help... she did a swell job this time" She pushed the note back so he could see for himself.

"I had no clue you were here...really" Of course had she known she might have kept her distance. Eden had been avoiding this, intentionally keeping her distance from anywhere she thought he might be. Of course that was never going to work.
September 05, 2020 03:07 am

Jackson McCarthy

When he was back behind the bar, Jackson took out a couple of small tumblers and placed them on the counter. He laughed easily at her retort and grabbed a bottle of Absolut. He was just curious. Sure, he honestly thought he would never see her in Brooklyn. Hell, Jackson wasn't even sure if she knew this is where he lived from thirteen to his mid-twenties. It never really came up.

He poured them each a couple shots of vodka and nudged one of the glasses closer to her. Los Angeles...It really seemed like them running into each other was bound to happen one way or another. He spent time in Los Angeles frequently, even had an apartment there.

Jackson downed his drink, then took a look at the note she slid towards him. "Yeah, we've been looking for someone to tend the bar. She must be a regular." Which likely meant she was a werewolf, the partner of a werewolf or a very knowledgeable human. Very rarely did unknowing humans show up here. The outside looking abandoned kept most out.

"Still hanging out with the supernatural, hm?" he grinned and poured some more vodka for himself. The perks of being a werewolf working in a bar for werewolves...you can drink on the job! He totally didn't take advantage of that fact every chance he got.

"I'm not upset that you're here…" Jackson was a little confused by her words, but also understood. He was the one who ended it and knowing her, she'd do anything to avoid confrontation. Him, on the other hand, didn't mind the confrontation. The only reason he ended things the way he did was because she'd done a fan-fucking-tastic job at staying off the grid and hidden.

He sighed. This wasn't how he'd expect a reunion to go. Well, if he was being honest, he never really expected a reunion.

"You look good." Yes. Always a good choice. Not. He finished off his second glass, "Have you uh..met anyone?"

Did he really want to know?

Sure. Why not.
September 07, 2020 10:41 pm

Eden Kennedy

There was a lot of things she didn't know about Jackson. They weren't the Kumbaya, sit around the camp fire, and share types. Besides, there were many things about her life she didn't want to rehash, not ever. She found the best way to avoid questions was not to ask them yourself. Tonight it appeared that she was breaking that rule. She guess that bumping into your ex in a random bar, half-way across the world, again, was bound to bring up some questions.


Eden picked up the glass and but didn't drink it immediately. She was beginning to wonder if she had made the wrong choice. Either way she was here now. She downed the shot then placed the glass back on the bar. "I gathered that. Unless she's a genius mastermind and sending me here was a part of her plan..." She rolled her eyes at her own comment. She knew better than that. If anyone was working against them it was fate and she didn't really believe all that.


"She might be. Honestly, I don't really know her well. She left the note about it, I came." Sounded like Eden was still making world class decisions. Going into dark abandoned places where practical strangers sent her. No, she hadn't changed one bit, that wouldn't be a surprise to him though. "Oh! Her names Ella. She's probably twenty-something, brown hair, blue eyes." Truth was if she was a regular here he probably knew more about her than Eden did.


"Still hanging around with the supernatural, hm?"


"Seems I can't avoid it. I've tried."


There was some truth in that statement. Her entire life one event after another kept her drawn into a world she wasn't a part of, not really. She couldn't think of a single "normal" person that she knew.


She wasn't sure how to respond. She didn't think he was upset but also she wouldn't have come here knowing Jackson was here. Eden knew that it was likely to cross paths with him but she was not prepared for it to be tonight. "I'm sure it must be a relief to finally talk to a woman who's name you actually remember for more than two minutes. She wanted to stop herself but she couldn't. It was her go to reaction in situations she was uncomfortable in.


"I'm not upset either, just this is more than I was bargaining for. Old habits and all that. It wasn't an apology but it was a close as he'd get from her. "The last eight years pretty much guaranteed this was going to happen." She shrugged.


"You think so? It hasn't been that long... Were you expecting something different?" A smirk crept over her face.


"Guess that depends on what you mean. I've been a lot of places, met a lot of people, can't trust any of them. Better to keep my distance, you know that." Besides it was best not to further complicated her already complicated life. "I'm sure you've met lots of someones though." She knew she'd probably get an equally smart ass remark in response, that's exactly why she said it.


"Anyways... so I know why you are here... like in this place but why New York... Brooklyn." She did recall one time he'd come to New York years ago, she wasn't happy about that then. Other than that she couldn't remember a time, but they had spent so much time apart she couldn't really know.


So, that's where they were now: polite chit chat.


She guessed they were gonna sing Kumbaya after all.


Some might call that progress.
September 09, 2020 05:22 pm

Jackson McCarthy

Jackson topped up her glass along with his when she finished hers. He laughed a little at her quip about the roommate. Maybe, sometime ago, that could have actually been possible. There was one time when he probably would have done anything to go and find her. Jackson didn’t chase anyone anymore. Not like that anyway.

He nods as she describes Ella. It sounded like someone he’d seen a couple times, but not someone he knew personally. Generally he didn’t get too familiar with the patrons. He was polite and chatted, but that was about it. Annie and Randy were different, they were the owners and he was close with them and some of their pack. But it was a bar for any wolf passing through to meet others and get a drink.

I'm sure it must be a relief to finally talk to a woman who's name you actually remember for more than two minutes.

If I’m never going to see them again, what’s the point of remembering their name?” He shrugged with a laugh. “But yes, I’ve met plenty of someones.

As she continued he heard someone come in through the back and start talking to Annie in the kitchen. Well...This was going to be interesting. He answered Eden, ignoring the conversation he heard going on in the back.

Mostly for this place. But this is also where I lived when my parents brought us to the states. I was turned here, my original back is still here. Annie and Randy, they own the place and they were part of my pack back then. Sometimes it feels like home. Guess I’ve been craving a bit of that for awhile.

Alright Annie, I’ll see you later. Have a good night.

Jackson downed his now third drink. Or was it fourth? He was never one to count. The door to the kitchen was pushed open and the other bartender, Emma, came out.

Emma had long black hair, likely dyed, that was pulled back into some sort of mess (ponytail, bun...he didn't know), was a few inches shorter than him, and dressed a bit like she was a punk rocker. She wasn’t his type, but that was kind of the point. Neither of them were looking for anything serious. And they worked together. Annie was a little annoyed with them at first, especially him with his track record. They showed her they could work together though and she was fine as long as it didn’t cost her another bartender. It was hard enough keeping them around when people came and went so freely.

Hey babe.” Emma leaned up on her tiptoes and gave him a kiss.

He returned the kiss and wrapped an arm around her waist. Jackson looked from her to Eden and went to make introductions, but Emma beat him to the punch.

Hey! I’m Emma.” She sticks out her right hand towards Eden. “Who do we have today? Ex-girlfriend, a fan?

That got an eye roll from him and he cleared his throat, “Emma, this is Eden. My ex...wife. Eden. This is Emma. My… sort of girlfriend.” They never really labeled their relationship, so he wasn’t worried how Emma would take that. But he wondered how much longer the pleasantries would last.

Another top up on his vodka.

Another drink.

Eden is thinking of working here.

Well. Probably not now.
September 14, 2020 06:42 pm

Eden Kennedy

For the moment she left the second glass untouched. At some point she'd have to find her way back through unfamiliar streets and she wasn't going to attempt that while tripping over herself. Plus it was best if she maintained her wits so she could keep a handle on her temper. Up to this point she'd done a fair job of it if you didn't count the small outburst a few minutes ago.


She wasn't surprised when Emma arrived on the scene. This wasn't some new, shocking fact, it was a regular thing. On several occasions they had found themselves in similar situations and they usually ended up with Eden screaming and throwing something. This bothered her just as much as any other time but she was careful not to let it show on her face. She wouldn't give anyone that satisfaction.


She downed the second shot.


“Emma, this is Eden. My ex...wife. Eden. This is Emma. My… sort of girlfriend.”


She stared at Jackson a moment and shook her head. Then she took Emma's hand and offered her most convincing friendly, I-dont-want-to-punch-you smile. "Yes, I'm Eden. The woman who is apparently incapable of answering for herself. I was actually his 'sort of' wife. It's nice to meet you Emma."


“Eden is thinking of working here.”


Just shut up Jackson.


She didn't say it out loud, but she wanted to.


"I wouldn't put it like that. A friend pointed me in this direction and I was checking it out." She spoke with a slight note of disdain in her voice, barely noticeable. "There's other places I'm going to check out... at some point." She shrugged.



Polite chit chat with Jackson and his girlfriend? Too much progress, too fast.



She probably should have taken the quicker way out of this conversation.
September 15, 2020 12:20 am
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