Thursday, May 5, 2011

The guy who enters is instantly identifiable as a cop, plainclothes or not. Average height, a little soft around the middle, hard eyes that have seen too much, a mouth set in a grim lime except when he remembers he's supposed to be undercover. The shoulder rig is way too obvious; he evidently can't afford custom-tailoring to hide it. He reminds me of Danny Glover, as in "I'm too old for this shit"….

He bellies up to the bar and orders a beer; then he swivels on the stool, and his eyes do a slow, careful sweep of the taproom. I smile and tip my glass toward him in an abbreviated acknowledgement. He memorizes each face without giving it away, but even the rankest kid off the street can feel the cop vibes coming off him like summer heat.

Tannr is really putting the booze away, whatever it is he's drinking over there. Raina looks concerned, but she's wearing her "he's a big boy" face; she won't interfere. The brand must hurt like a sonofabitch if he's trying this hard to numb it. The pros say that burns are the absolute worst kind of pain….

Tori's close by, not exactly hovering but never out of sight of Tannr for more than a few seconds. Guunnar is staring openly as he wolfs down his latest half a steer, washing it down with a keg of mead. Gag. How can he drink that stuff? Tradition is tradition, but… ick.

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