Reign didn't handle breaks up well. Never had. There was the first time she'd been dumped by Bastian... Well Reign shuddered to think what she'd done that time. To this day, she could swear she'd watched her mother's hair turn gray. And of course, after her divorce she'd simply vanished. Truthfully, that had been her intent this time, but between Aishe's good influence, and the less noble goal of keeping an eye on that Diane wench and if possible tormenting the hell out of Bas, Reign had admitted she didn't -want- to run. She wanted to stay here.
The pack had given her motivation and courage she'd lacked and a real reason to stay in Nachton. But while the pack was family, it was new family. Occasionally she felt that she was still being sized up, as well she should be. Beyond that, she didn't really want to push to hard or overstay her welcome. So the pack didn't overwhelm her life, this gave her more than enough time to get into trouble.
Tonight, she was doing just that. She'd wandered into her favorite pool hall late that evening. Rick, the swing shift manager had quickly cleared her favorite table and Reign had set up shop. She wasn't here to be serious, that was quickly evidenced as she ordered a beer. Quickly she fell into a rhythm of shooting, being gawked at and accepting the occasional challenge. No one really gave her a challenge, they just wanted to say they'd played her and that was fine by her.
Strongly built, glasses, and an odd blue streak running through her hair Ambrose was intrigued. Even more so, when he watched her play, the bitch was –damned- good; over the course of play, she’d beaten the best players in the hall. Even more remarkable when he realized she’d been drinking the whole time.
The bad date had one final shouting match and left separately but Ambrose had changed marks. As the floozy slammed out it finally clicked with him where he’d seen this blond. No wonder she’d beaten all comers. That, however, didn’t alter his plans. The sound of voice calling him out almost did. He could hear the effects of the alcohol in her voice, not excessive yet, but they were there.
Reign was used to being looked at, but this was different. She didn’t know how but it was. This guy had been sitting on the bar stool next to his table since she’d first noticed him. He watched the room like a hawk and he seemed to always come back to her. It had been a long time since Reign had asked an unknown for a game, but tonight she felt like it. That and another beer.
Signaling the bartender, she put her hands on her hips, clearly challenging him.
“Quit watching and give it a try. Or are you scared?”
Part of her hopped he wasn’t scared, he wasn’t bad looking.
She had a good presence and knew how to use it. Back in his day, she could have slung iron, no question about it.
It had been ages since he’d been challenged. Although this wasn’t his preferred venue, the shootist in Ambrose couldn’t pass it up. He pulled himself to his feet, grabbed his cane and made a show of limping towards her.
“Couldn’t find enough of a challenge with those?” He jerked his head towards some of the guys she’d beaten, “Thought you’d pick on a cripple?”
“Cut the crap, rack and we’ll lag for the break. You can pick the game.”
“Two hundred or one fifty?”
All she said was ‘whatever’ and by mutual consent they lagged, he won. Ambrose could only imagine she let him win. He had a decent run, seven balls but missed a complex shot. Knowing he’d be sitting for a while he took the liberty of ordering his mark another beer. She was going through them. And there was nothing wrong with a drunk good-looking woman. Especially when you were hungry.
Watching him miss a rather complex shot, she stood, oh good she was starting to feel those drinks, to take her turn. Slightly fuzzy or no muscle memory, instinct and lots of training were enough to keep her mind and eye on the game.
Finishing off the rack, she let him set up the next one and settled back to break.
“I didn’t get your name.”
“Really, I would have though the way you were watching me you knew”
She replied with out looking up from her break. Ambrose decided not to call her bluff.
“I had a fair idea, still is nice to introduce yourself though. I’m Ambrose. Buy you a drink?”
Lord, she was going to feel this tomorrow. One should not drink scotch after a few beers. Oh, who cared? Seriously, who gave a damned. There was no one at home other than the mutt to worry about her and he wouldn’t be worried about her per say he’d be worried about dinner.
She set up the next rack since Mr. Limpy… Ambrose was taking care of the drinks. Now up by thirty or so Reign threw her next shot to see what he could do. She had something of a hustler in her and wasn’t above throwing a game, or at least toying with her opponent.
“You know you might regret fooling around with me.”
She grinned slyly at him over the edge of her scotch glass.
“I don’t regret much”
Loyal or not he was enjoying Reign’s flirting maybe he could get her to take a bite out of him and make it easier for him to take a bite out of her.
“You don’t strike me as the kind to have regrets.”
Damned she’d slowed down on the drinking since getting the scotch. But if he concentrated on her he could hear her heart rate increase and hear her shifting position. He had her interested.
Wow she was feeling these drinks. That was –not- something she’d typically say to a complete stranger. But it few out of her mouth before she could censor it. And why shouldn’t it? She was single and he was cute. Reign, however, took a long drink of the scotch to keep her from saying any more.
She was, however, rewarded by watching him pull up short and miss an easy shot. Maybe she still had a little something left in her. Something that hadn’t been sucked out by Bastian and Vince.
Reign wasn’t about to let the reaction slide and made eye contact with her competition not breaking it even as she chalked her cue. It wasn’t often she used that simple action as a form of suggestion, but today she would.
He waited until she was across the table from him so he was able to make eye contact.
“And if I said yes?”
“Then I’d say you’d better step up and win this game.”
She liked issuing the challenge. It put her back in the drivers seat. Teasing him slightly she moved around the table, hips swaying, and didn’t break eye contact until she went to line up the next shot. It was all going so well, until she was run over by what had to be a Mac truck and fell forward on to the table, missed her shot and scratched.
Like the gentle soul she was, Reign came up swinging.
“Fucking hell why don’t you look where you are going?!”
Doing his best to scout the place out and see if he could find a bar box some one had shouted at him “Hey Geronimo what are you doing out on a school night!” Drew hadn’t taken that well, especially as Geronimo was an Apache and he wasn’t, and had turned to say so and had lost track of where he was walking and plowed into what turned out to be an angry blond.
Drew immediately went into apologetic/defensive mode.
“I am so sorry I honestly didn’t see you there. Here let me make it up to you, let me buy you a drink.”
“Your shot, I scratched doesn’t matter why.”
She was amused to note Ambrose was a bit huffy too about her being run into. It had really ruined the flow they had going on. Now, why the hell was she no longer mad at this guy? Reign had held grudges longer for less of a reason but for some reason she found herself smiling at this guy.
“Scotch, neat. Get yourself on too and you can try and justify why you nearly killed me.”
With a menacing glare at the kid, he took Reign up on her offer and made his way to the table. God damned it for some reason she’d asked the kid to stay. He ground his teeth and played with such concentration that he would cut the gap in their score in half.
“You’d better make that three…” He’d almost said ‘chief’ but without knowing how his meal would take that Ambrose thought better of it. “boy.”
“Check that, drinks all around.”
Too bad, he wasn’t much of a scotch drinker. But when in Rome and all of that. He half jogged up to the bar and came back with the scotches. He smiled engagingly at the blond as the cowboy was still shooting.
“I’m Drew, by the way. I really am sorry about the whole running into you thing. What’s the game?”
“I’m Reign this is Ambrose and you’re at least two drinks behind, you’d best catch up.”
She flagged down one of the cocktail waitresses. She knew the waitress and was known to be a good tipper still the woman had seen how much Reign had been drinking tonight and gave her a questioning look.
‘Everything alright sugar?’
The waitress spoke softly which only brought out her southern accent. Reign answered just as softly, at first.
“Just fine Lisa, just fine.” Raising her voice she grinned at Lisa and the men. “After all I’ve gone from a night out alone to two dates. What could possibly go wrong?”
Lisa stuck around long enough to get all the orders, Reign goaded the darker one into ordering a double and quickly scurried back to the bar. Making sure to tell the bar tender Reign wasn’t driving home under any circumstances.
“Ambrose what did we say we were playing to?”
“You bargaining on a threesome there chica?”
He tossed her a teasing grin before sizing up a shot, which he missed.
Having deliberately not ordered another drink he stood by Reign in a manner that bordered on possessive. This was his meal the boy could go find his own fun.
“I think your exact words were “whatever” but either way I’m gaining on you.”
Reign had finished yet another drink and gone off to the table leaving Ambrose with the boy. Doing his best to stay semi friendly he nodded at this Drew character. So far all he knew was the boy had no sense of timing or manners.
“You play at all?”