Universe: Sin City, created and owned by Frank Miller. Borrowed without permission, but in the sincerest hopes that no offense is taken.
Rating: R (everything I write is R)
Feedback: Yes, please.
For: _givemeabeat Challenge, “Bad” by Cowboy Mouth
“Mr. Marv, sir?”
She’s a kid. A goddamn kid. I knew she was young. Yeah, most strippers are, but Nancy’s barely out of high school by my guess. She comes to find me in the back alley behind Kadie’s. Damn johns busted again. She must be between sets.
Her big eyes go all scared. I don’t blame her. It takes a pair to come and find me. I’m not the approachable type, if you know what I mean.
“Just Marv,” I tell her, trying to smile. That scares her more. She starts to tremble, so I stop. “And no ‘sir.’ Please.”
“Marv? I have a favor to ask.” Her fingers clutch her robe shut as a breeze blows ‘round. Storm’s coming off the desert. It’s going to be bad. “Kadie said you’d help.”
Tucking it back in, I’m done. She doesn’t even flinch. Working at Kadie, I doubt she would. And Kadie’s an old softy for tough luck stories. It’s why she lets me drink for free some nights. I wonder what Nancy’s is.
“Sure, kid. What’cha got?”
She tells me. Some college bozo from campus has the hots. He won’t lay off and has a hard time understanding ‘No mean no.” Chuck’s tossed him out a few nights. I’ve seen him, just never put two and two together before.
Last night, he followed her home. Tonight, he’s here with two buddies.
Sounds like my kind of fun.
I tell her not to worry about it. Tightening the belt on my penny pinched London Fog trench coat, I hold open the back door. She smiles like a little girl safe once again.
She makes me feel old when she does that.
It’s hard to spot them from my place at the bar. While the other girls are up, the three of them are quiet by the stage. But once Nancy’s song starts pumping through the speakers, the stupid little fucker gives himself away by waving a twenty dollar bill around before she even hits the stage.
He’s all up in her act, but Nancy’s a pro. She doesn’t miss a beat with those hips. Her smile says more about sweetness than any amount of sugar. Sure, she’s got a body that won’t quit, but it’s her smile that gets us. No one at Kadie’s has enough sweetness in their lives.
Finishing up, she doesn’t even pick up his twenty from the stage. I can tell he’s not getting the clue, though I can’t tell if it’s on purpose. Either way, I’ll help him get it even if I have to jam it down his throat and pull it out his ass myself.
Time to get him and his buddies outside. This is always easy. Young men wear a chip on their shoulders a mile wide. I’d have to be blind not to knock it off.
“Hey, asshole, watch where you’re going!”
The old drunk stumble spills his beer down the front of his Izod. He puffs up his chest like he’s some kind of man, and I let him. For now. “Fuck you!”
“Fucktard? What’s that? Son of bitch, you pansy, run out of real insults all ready.” I poke him one in the chest. Hard. I look up and spot Nancy peeking out from back stage. He does too. Perfect.
He taps his buddies on the shoulder. Next thing, I’m in the back alley again, with one of them on either arm. They throw me into the wall, each taking turns slamming their fists into my gut. All the whisky and brew threatens to revolt and I let out a groan. I’ll feel this in the morning. They’re young bucks in their prime. They work out. I’m just some old guy in a dank bar.
This is just the warm up.
He strolls out like he’s Emperor, coming to pronounce my fate. I can’t help the smile. Honest. For that, I get a right cross. Blood trickles out my nose. I can taste it, along with the alcohol still on my lips. I don’t smile at him this time.
“Think you’re so tough? You’re not so tough.” Another round-house smashes his fist into my face. My ears ring like it’s Sunday Mass. Yep, going to feel this in the morning, but that’s all right. “Me? I’m bad.”
I shake off one of his buddy’s in time to catch his next blow. I smile. “Now, it’s my turn.”
I’m no prize fighter. I won’t win any martial arts tournaments. What I’ve got is training and an instinct to kill, and that’s enough to keep me in return trips to prison. I beat the hell out of those three frat boys, using my hands and anything else I can get my hands on to smash some sense into them. Teeth fly, blood flows and I laugh at it all because damn, it feels good.
Damn, I feel young again.
“Now, you listen. You don’t ever come back here, got it? And if I catch you so much as looking at Nancy, I’m going to make sure you have to eat with a tube for the rest of your life. Got it?”
His gurgle says it all as I drop him into the garbage heap with the other pricks. I head back into the bar, striding like I’m some sort of goddamn peacock.
Yeah, don’t think about the jail time coming, Marv. Don’t think about the beating the police are going to give you by the way of these boys’ parents. None of that means anything right now.
Nancy’s with Kadie behind the bar. Her worry goes wide eyed when I sit back down. I wipe the blood from my face with my coat sleeve and grin. “I don’t think he’ll be bothering you anymore.”
She takes off running. I can’t say I blame her. I know how I look right about now. That was some beating I took, but nothing compared to the one I gave. I’d apologize, but Kadie sets down a fresh brew for me.
“Thank you, Marv.” Two slender, perfect arms try to wrap around my shoulders. That body, that heavenly, young body presses full length against my back. And I swear, where those fists didn’t break me, her hug does. “How can I ever repay you?”
Aw, crap. “Listen, you owe me, all right?”
Something as sweet and young as her doesn’t need me messing it up. The offers tempting, but I couldn’t live with myself. She tiptoes to place a kiss on my cheek before running off to change.
I blush. Damn it.
“Don’t you say a word,” I warn Kadie before downing the cold beer. The old broad grins and walks away before she can get into any trouble. I wish I was that smart.