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Richard Clarence

Rock 'n' roll will never die, I won't lie

0 · 275 views · located in Boston

a character in “Boston Nights”, as played by Faith Fanon

Description

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Name: Richard 'Rich' Clarence.
Age: 33
Occupation: Rockstar, singer
Hometown: London, England
Sexuality: Bisexual

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Personality:
Rich is burned out after 10 years in the limelight and two years out of it. Having lived the cosseted rockstar lifestyle and waited on hand and foot for so long, he's not used to normal social behaviour. He can appear naive, insensitive, oblivious to others' needs, but is usually charming, friendly, genuinely interested in the lives of other people. He's used to having minders, so his awareness of personal danger is low. His contradiction is that he wants the world at his feet, but at the same time wants to be anonymous. He wants to inspire awe, respect and lust, but wants to be 'just one of the boys'. He wants to have a good time, all the time, but hate being put under pressure to perform the rockstar role.


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Physical description:
Tall and slim, Rich is not muscular but is extremely athletic from years of high-energy performances. Off-stage, he moves slowly, with a languid grace in his slender limbs. His facial features are fine-boned, and his long dark hair often falls down over his large, dark eyes, which he regularly enhances with eyeliner. He usually wears a black leather jacket over a loose-fitting floral-patterned shirt, black skinny jeans with a thick studded belt, and black Chelsea boots. He has large hoop earrings, and wears bunches of wooden beads.

History
Rich and three boyhood friend started Mirrorball in the late 90s, playing a mix of sleazy glam, power chords and English wit. After a couple of years playing dingy bars and clubs, they started picking up a lot of interest from competing record labels. As a result, they started receiving a lot of media hype, selling out tours of England before they'd even finished recording their debut album. It was a massive seller in Europe, and as they'd written hundreds of songs in their formative years, Mirrorball were able to release a second album, almost identical in style and quality, to feed the appetite of their fans. The second album blew up in America as well, and a year-long world tour followed, complete with headline appearances at Coachella and Glastonbury. Rich and his friends revelled in their newfound fame, wealth and power, buying expensive clothes and cars, throwing enormous parties, and taking copious amounts of drugs and alcohol.

Their third album was a quieter, more mature collection, but the fourth, written and recorded as all four members crested the wave of cocaine addiction, was their brashest, funkiest yet, and broke sales records in England and abroad. However, the supporting tour was a disaster. Each band member was a mess - the drummer was usually too drunk to keep time, Rich was getting paranoid that the star guitarist was getting more of the limelight than he was, the star guitarist was doing his best to undermine Rich, and the bassist had started carrying a gun with him everywhere, even onstage. Halfway through the tour, Rich was arrested in Australia when customs found 10grams of heroin in his luggage; the rest of the tour was cancelled as he spent two months in custody until a fast-talking lawyer got him back to England.

Since then, Mirrorball haven't played together or recorded - no-one knows if they've officially broke up - but Rich in particular has become the favoured prey of tabloid newspapers. His phone has been tapped, photographers camp on his doorstep, all sorts of rumours whirl around him. After avoiding a jail sentence for punching out a paparazzo, Rich fled to America, where he has merely fallen out of the limelight a little, rather than being hounded by the media. After two months in the Betty Ford Clinic, he's off hard drugs, but still likes a drink, and has just moved to Boston to get away from his sobriety sponsor.

So begins...

Richard Clarence's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maya "Lalita" Aitken Character Portrait: Bridget MacGuire Character Portrait: Richard Clarence
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He ran his fingers through his trademark long fringe, sweeping it back out of his eyes, and pulled on a black beanie cap. For the fourth time in five minutes. 'C'mon, c'mon,' he muttered to himself in the mirror. 'Okay, okay, hat.' He grabbed a stub of kohl pencil from the bathroom shelf and drew on the thinnest of lines under his lower lashes. Nodding once at himself in the mirror, Richard Clarence turned on his Cuban heel, clattered down the stairs, shrugged on a blood-red leather jacket and slammed the front door behind him. 'Tonight, the light... of love is in your eyes...' he sang under his breath.

He'd liked the feel of Boston when the band played here first, 10 years ago, and they'd tried to make it a fixture on every tour since. Bostonians got on with things, he felt. It wasn't like they were disinterested in other people, but they had their own business to be dealing with. They were absorbed but not self-absorbed, not like New Yorkers, always out for an angle, always interested in how your business benefitted their business, how your presence built their presence.

He grabbed a cab, muttering 'Across Mystic River, matey,' as he slid into the back seat. 'You mean Tobin, sir?' the cab driver drawled. 'Tobin? 'Oo the bloody 'ell is Tobin? Mystic River Bridge,' Rich snapped back. The driver turned back to the road stoically. They sat in silence for a few minutes, buildings flashing by, until Rich spoke up. 'Sorry 'bout that, mate. Just need a drink.' He received a nod in reply. The cab driver began to dawdle as they came down from the crest of the bridge, then looked back at Rich expectantly. 'Jus' drive me round a bit, mate. I'll tell you when.' He'd spent the last few days in Chelsea, visiting the cemetary, Bellingham-Cary House, the clock company, other places of interest, and now he was bored of the days out and the nights in. He didn't know what he was looking for, but he knew he'd recognise it when he saw it. Story of your bloody life, he said to himself.

His eyes fell on a black sign, hanging over dark wooden panels, a warm orange glow streaming out of the windows into the night. 'Róisín Dubh? Bloody lovely. Irish pubs, best in the world mate. When you ain't in England anyway,' he said. He thrust a $20 bill at the driver, climbed out and checked his beanie and jacket were straight, before pushing open the door. He stood in the open doorway for a moment, taking in what he saw. In his experience, his also let people get a good look at him too, and that was just how he liked it.

His eyes swept across the bar, with a sharply dressed Latino on one side and a red-haired barmaid on the other, and a dark, brooding presence at a table in a corner, before alighting on a beautiful Asian woman downing a shot with a large, red-faced man. Her bravado won a cheer from a nearby crowd. There was an air of good-natured tension. Aha, the craic, Rich smiled to himself, slowly licking his lips. The woman excricated herself from the group of men and strode to the bar. The sudden application of alcohol hadn't seemed to impair her progress. Rich was impressed. Still, she seemed well-known here, so she must have built up a tolerence. He sauntered over to the bar, swinging his long legs, and leant on the polished wood as the woman ordered, his head cocked on one shoulder demurely, listening to her conversation with the barmaid. Her accent was a strange mix of American and Indian.

When he thought she was done, Rich fixed the barmaid with his crooked, little-boy-lost smile. 'Bridget, me dahlin', would you be so kind as to pull us a pint of your finest? I'm so bloody thirsty, I feel like I just et me own shoe.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maya "Lalita" Aitken Character Portrait: Greyson Rodriguez Character Portrait: Richard Clarence Character Portrait: Roderick "Sundowner" Finn
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Bridget seemed to have enough on her hands, so once the woman tended to Maya the dark skinned woman got up to leave. A strange new voice spoke to Bridget, a strong unfamiliar accent and strange phrasing sending a flag to Maya. New people were rare at the Black Rose, it was a pub that strived on tradition and the locals. A spindly pale skinned man with peculiar fashion taste had taken refuge at the polished bar of the pub. Looking past the new face, Maya could see Grayson enjoying a drink. Gesturing to the new face, Maya made a look of amusement to her comrade before turning back to the bar.

"Now I know you must not be from around here." Maya said, taking a seat once more and crossing her legs delicately. She drank the caustic amber liquid from her glass, there was a burn down her chest into her gut from the liquor. Setting the drink down, Maya's dark eyes flashed with humor as she got a good look at the man. "Most people are too afraid to walk in the Black Rose on their own, but you don't seem like you let much scare you."

With outrageous fashion choices like such a bright red leather jacket, you had to be a brave individual Maya deduced. He had such fine features that looked oddly familiar, and Maya had feeling she had seen the man before - but from where? "You look like someone I used to know." Her odd choice of words was due to slight inebriation, but her brashness was how Maya always was, drinking or not.

Looking across to Greyson, Maya tried to gauge his reaction of the new comer. The fact that he seemed so familiar put Maya on edge, wondering if he was an unfriendly face. He had just walked into a shark tank of the IRA without so much as flinching, Maya had to raise an eyebrow at his bravery. Perhaps she was mistaking bravery for ignorance, but she in no way could chance it.

Resting her elbow on the polished wood, Maya brought her lips to her glass to drink her whiskey with much gusto. Facing the man she spoke to, Maya leaned against the bar and sneaked her free hand behind her back. The feel of gunmetal brushed her fingertips, the semi automatic pistol in the waistband of her pants a common precaution in her line of business. The man didn't seem like much of a threat, but it was unsettling how Maya couldn't figure out where she had seen him before.

Eyes scanning the bar, Maya could see Roderick in the corner, as well as the muscle pack had taken notice to Maya's body language. The atmosphere of the pub shifted from light hearted to almost guarded as Maya determined wether the man had clearance to enjoy his time in their pub. In times like these, every new face in their territory had to be questioned - only what was known could be trusted.

However to an untrained eye, the subtle shift would be unnoticeable if not brushed off as paranoia. Maya still held herself in a casual way, to put the guest at ease if he was in fact friendly. One wrong move though and Maya wouldn't hesitate to put a bullet between his eyes.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maya "Lalita" Aitken Character Portrait: Richard Clarence
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Turning his attention back from the barmaid, Rich was pleasantly surprised to see the dark-skinned woman sliding back onto her barstool beside him. She looked away coquettishly, then crossed her long, graceful legs towards him. 'Now I know you must not be from around here,' she said, before lifting her glass to full, sensual lips. 'No. No I ain't,' he replied, his innate charm suddenly deserting him as the beautiful woman looked him up and down appraisingly. Rich was used to groupies just throwing themselves at him; he'd gotten quite bored by their lack of self-respect, almost sickened even, This woman was a fighter, he realised. She wasn't just going to roll over for him - literally and figuratively. She would demand to be treated like an equal.

'Most people are too afraid to walk in the Black Rose on their own, but you don't seem like you let much scare you.' The allusion to his bravery, from such a strong woman, flattered Rich more than he'd expected. What was going on? He waved a languid hand through the air, flexing his long fingers, to buy himself some time while he composed himself. 'Oh, I been in much worse joints than this,' he said breezily. 'You should see where I grew up.'

'You look like someone I used to know,' she responded, not biting on the opportunity to quiz Rich about his favourite subject - himself. Rich inwardly cursed himself for being so obviously self-interested. The woman looked away again. Damnit Richard, you're losing her!

'Well, I wish I was,' he said, gladly catching her eye again. 'Then we could get reacquainted.' The woman raised an eyebrow at his remark and Rich grinned, happy he'd hit the mark. 'I'm Rich,' he said, then stammered: 'Well - well, yeah, I amrich, that's not what I meant. Richard's me name.' That old gag had never let him down; it had even pulled him a British duchess, who really shouldn't have cared about his wealth, since she owned half of Wiltshire, but the mix of tongue-tied and cheek was a winning combination.

The woman leaned on the bar and sipped her drink again, then surreptitiously stroked her back. Oh come on, love, next you'll be stroking your hair, Rich thought to himself. But she was still giving him that critical look, so he refrained from blurting out who he was or where she might recognise him from. Among fans and groupies, and anywhere in England, he'd be instantly accepted, fawned over. Here, two years out of the limelight, playing the star could go down like a lead balloon. Anyway, this woman didn't seem the fawning type, and Rich found himself intrigued by that reaction. To cover his eagerness, he leant back against the bar and faced out into the room, his leather jacket slipping open to reveal his black shirt pulled taut over his slim frame. 'Wow, it's nice here, innit?' he said out of the side of his mouth as he glanced across the clientele. 'You know, best pint of Guinness I ever 'ad was in a little joint in the west of Ireland called Róisín Dubh. That's Gaelic for Black Rose. Well that's what the little buggers tol' me anyway. Could mean Fat Bum for what I know. I don't speak nuthin' but the Queen's, an' not very well at that.' He leant back to the woman, drinking in her flawless skin, and deep brown eyes. 'Know wot I mean?'

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Patrick O'Halloran Character Portrait: Bridget MacGuire Character Portrait: Richard Clarence Character Portrait: Sean MacGuire
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THE BLACK ROSE


"Aye lad it's good to see ya" Sean said firmly gripping Pat's hand in a hand shake.

It was good to see him Sean had always thought of Patrick like a son, a way for him to pass down things that wouldn't normally be passed down to his daughter. He loved her dearly but there were some things a man could only pass down to a son.

"Ya look well son and my daughter is a beauty isn't she, spitting image of her mother God rest her soul. And she's got the tenacity to go along with it, when are ya gonna settle down and marry my girl Patty. She needs a man that'll treat her right" he said with a chuckle that was followed by a coughing fit.

"Ah damn it all!" he cursed, "Only half an Irishman these days at least my livers still good. Well I wanted to let ya know Pat that I got your last job finished " he pulled out a piece that was specifically for Patrick. "A good gun is like a good woman, ya treat her right and she'll be by yer side for the rest of ya days" he handed the gun to Pat.




Bridget was wiping down the last of the tables as patrons either staggered out the door, were still lingering enjoying the company of someone and enjoying the more quiet nature of The Black Rose right before closing.

'Bridget, me dahlin', would you be so kind as to pull us a pint of your finest? I'm so bloody thirsty, I feel like I just et me own shoe.

Bridget gave the Englishman a nod and drew up a pint. He'd come in a few times before and was certain he would probably become a regular customer. She imagined it was close to a piece of home for him.

She brought the drink to him and "Here ya go, good to see ya here again, enjoy your drink".

She was beginning to feel fatigued and decided to take a breather and check on her father and Patrick. She gave a courtly nod to the man that called himself Rich and made her way to the back office.

She smiled hearing her father and Patrick chit chat, she knew the pair had a bond that Bridget couldn't break. When Pat was younger she could remember her father speaking of him, but she had never actually met him till she started school. Granted Pat was a few years ahead of her and she was always a bit quiet. But all the girls seemed to swoon and pine for the boy with the dark eyes and the Irish draw.

Stepping into the doorway of the office she smiled at her father.

Sean looked up to see his daughter beaming from ear to ear, "Aye Lassie what can we do fer ya" he asked.

Bridget shook her head "Funny I was gonna ask ya both the same question" she stepped in placing a hand on Patrick's shoulder. "Well Im gonna close up soon got a few still lingering but I'll be calling closing soon", she smiled at Patrick. "Ya need to get home to those pretty little girls of yours Pat, I bet they miss the daddy".

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maya "Lalita" Aitken Character Portrait: Bridget MacGuire Character Portrait: Greyson Rodriguez Character Portrait: Richard Clarence Character Portrait: Roderick "Sundowner" Finn
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A table against the far wall began singing a song they all knew, arms stacking onto each others shoulders as they swayed in unison slurring through the lyrics. Maya chuckled briefly as she shook her head at the group. Although they were regulars, they were in no way related to their business therefore their obnoxious behavior was excusable in Maya's eyes.

Maya never experienced being belligerently drunk, figuring it was a vice only men seemed to inhabit. She is no stranger to intoxication, in fact in that moment in time Maya felt her inhibitions loosen from the liquor consumed thus far. However when Maya got drunk the worse she had done was stumble down the last three stairs on her way out. At the pub she had seen men pass out cold onto a table, breaking furniture under their weight. A couple bar fights had happened before, when ale and anger had the right chemistry. She turned to place her half gone glass onto the bar, meeting the dark eyes of the stranger beside her.

'Well, I wish I was, then we could get reacquainted.'


A smirk lit her features, charmed by his wit. There was a way that he spoke and his body language that made Maya soften. He didn't seem to be any threat. Readjusting her posture, Maya let her shirt fall to conceal her weapon, giving a signal to those who had been paying attention that all was well. Gradually the ambiance of the room began to shift back into drunken joy and the blissful state of ignorance.

I'm Rich....Well - well, yeah, I am rich, that's not what I meant. Richard's me name.'


She had to admit that his accent had a similar affect on her as those of the Irish, feeling herself defrost as he spoke. However the line seemed a little lame, like a sore attempt to flaunt his wealth. This man definitely wasn't in the know, anyone with a shred of street smart didn't walk into the Black Rose admitting they had money at a risk to being robbed. Despite finding him slightly clueless, he did have some charm beneath his poor game.

Eyes remaining alert to her surroundings, Maya spoke softly, barely audible to Rich despite being next to her. "I quite like that name, Richard." it reminded her of her step father who was now rotting away in a cell. Finishing her drink, Maya set the glass on the far side of the bar and looked back to Richard.

"Maya," she gestured to herself, turning to the pub as Richard did.

. 'Wow, it's nice here, innit? You know, best pint of Guinness I ever 'ad was in a little joint in the west of Ireland called Róisín Dubh.....

It was at that point that a short balding man stumbled into the bar, he held a strong chin up as if to prove he wasn't afraid. However Maya could tell by the twitch of his wrist that he was nervous at least. Smiling to Rich as he finished speaking, Maya realized he had been asking her a question belatedly. She had lost his train of thoughts as her possible client walked into the bar, and instead of coming up with some witty reply Maya just let out a care free laugh.

"You're quite the character Richard, it was lovely talking to you," Maya rotated on the seat, shifting so she could steady herself on the stool by precariously balancing on her knee, "perhaps I'll see you around." She used one hand to support her weight as she leaned across the bar to grab the bottle of whiskey Bridget had been too occupied to serve and a couple of glasses.

Swiftly, Maya was able to get back onto her feet in one smooth movement. Looking back to Richard, a Cheshire smile replaced her grin. "Would love to stay and chat, but I've got business to tend to.." Waving the bottle as an indication and walking away from Richard.

Whiskey hasn't impaired her gait, Maya was still able to glide across the pub effortlessly to the secluded section, seeing Matthew stand as she rounded the corner, surely to guide the balding man to the back. The edges of her mind were fuzzy, but Maya had no problem composing herself for business.

This being a first time meeting, once the man who introduced himself as Gale Pricher mostly was just going through a screening process. For what seemed like hours the two indulged in mild mannered chit chat until the alchohal began to make the otherwise ladylike Maya begin to get a bit of a sailors mouth.

"Don't think ye can fool me, ya bastard."
Maya shouted excitedly as Gale tried to show Maya a magic trick, to which she managed to figure out despite her now drunken state of mind.

Chuckling, Gale made his first slip up of the night. "I wouldn't day Lalita."

Maya stiffened, unable to control her immediate reaction. Briefly she noticed Gale had stiffened as well. Glancing at Matthew who had been with her and Gale as they sat in the booth, she could see he had picked up on Gale's fluke as well. Never had Maya mentioned her nickname, Lalita, a name only used out of pure affection from her mother or those close to her.

Only someone who had been doing their research could know about that name. "Do it again." She said dangerously, leering forward so that her face was only inches from his. She could count the stubby eyelashes framing his cobalt eyes.

Gale looked up at her, locking eyes as he felt the cool metal of her pistol between his legs against his privates. Her face took a deathly serious stare, beside her Matthew drew his own weapon rounding to Gale's side and roughly pulling him out of the booth. A gun clattered to the floor, firing off a bullet into the wall.

"Damnit, keep him quiet." Maya hissed, removing herself from he seat, bending down to pick up the Glock Gale had snuck into the pub. "Not a smart choice Gale." Maya said in a sing song voice, kicking the man in the gonads as Matthew restrained him. Tucking away both weapons, Maya looked to Matthew. "Take him through the back, they had to hear the gun shot - I'll distract everyone....clean this up." She looked to Gale with disgust, he would spend his night having every drop of information tortured out of him until he would end up in the creek, too bloated to be recognizable. He had dug his own grave.

Before the whole IRA would rush to the back room, Maya composed herself and walked back into the main area of the bar. Most of the crowd had gone home over the hours, but there were a few people that seemed to have panic stricken faces at the thought of a gun men in the pub. "No worries, folks. Just had a raccoon amble in through the back door." Maya explained, showing her pistol so others could identify her as the one who fired the shot. People seemed to find a female with a gun less threatening than a brute like Matthew.

Slowly the chatter began to pick up, and those who understood Maya was covering something up carried on to be even more obnoxious as to distract others. Out of the corner of her eye, Maya could see Matthew ushering Gale out through the back. Pretending all was well, Maya approached the brooding figure that had been sitting alone that night.

"Roderick, lovely seeing you." Maya sat across from him, brandishing a faulty smile, "I wish we had more time to catch up, but Matthew actually has something he would need your help with in the back." she stressed the last part of her sentance as if to press the urgency of the situation. The night would soon be over, their blanket of darkness was the only thing on their side nowadays. Soon the sun would rise and expose the blood that stained their hands.

Before Roderick could respond, Maya left the table, going to where Greyson remained. "We need to catch up on some things, I have something's I have to tell you." Her tone was as if she were a child withholding a secret from a sibling. Greyson was another foreign ethnicity in the IRA, and the two got along well enough. They would crack jokes at others expense or even a couple times play fight when they had enough drinks. However by the look in her eyes, Greyson would be able to tell the seriousness of the situation. "Lunch around 1?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maya "Lalita" Aitken Character Portrait: Richard Clarence
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One minute Maya was laughing at his joke, the next she was walking away, heading into a back room. Rich admired her as she left. a runner, perhaps? Maybe kickboxing one of these other martial arts. Rich made a mental note to ask her if there was a good yoga class somewhere in the city. It was the only exercise he took, but it kept his slender frame in the trim condition that his fans - male as well as female - demanded of him. Maya was followed into the back room by the big man she'd been drinking with previously, and an unassuming-looking newcomer. Oh well, she'd said she had business. She wasn't going to drop everything for a complete stranger. Rich mentally patted himself on the back for not revealing his identity, despite Maya's questioning. Blowholing your own modesty, Rich? What a mess you are, he thought to himself.

A rowdy group at the other side of the bar started singing 'The Irish Rover'. Rich took in the rowdy lyrics and driving melody; he'd heard it before; once in Ireland itself, a few more times from the mouths of elderly Irish immigrants in London. A parody of the laments about enforced emigration from the oul sod, the song had at first surprised Rich at its seeming disrespect to the tragedies that had befallen the Irish people over the centuries. It hadn't been until an old Irishman named Crowe, at the climax of a long, boozy session in Kilburn, had yelled into his face 'Feck 'em all, feck the Brits, feck the Yanks, and feck all of 'em back home an' all!' that Rich had realised it was a song of defiance. He thought he could identify the chords; all of a sudden, his hands itched to pick up a guitar again.

A loud crack that could only have been a gunshot rang out above the racket in the bar and the tableau of revellers in front of Rich froze momentarily. Rich himself jumped in fright, slopping Guinness out of his glass, down his fingers and onto the bar. The base of the glass rattled on the polished wood as Rich glanced around the room in panic. In sharp contrast to the Englishman, the regular patrons of the Black Rose had, almost as one, taken up ready stances. Some balled their fists and strode towards the door to the back room. Others reached into jackets or behind their backs. But before matters could escalate, Maya emerged, brandishing a gun and an explanation. The regulars resumed their conversations, and Maya spoke with the brooding man Rich had seen in a dark corner.

Rich rose, barely trusting his shaking knees to keep him upright, and almost skated to the door. He took a deep breath of fresh air, then muttered excitedly as he exhaled: 'BloodyhellRichtheywereallbloodyarmedbloodyfuck.' He hailed a cab on the corner. 'Chelsea, and bloody step on it mate, if that ain't too much of a bloody cliche, mate,' he rushed out, taking a glance back at the Black Rose. In the ally behind the pub, two dark figures struggled with a heavy, body-sized burden.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maya "Lalita" Aitken Character Portrait: Patrick O'Halloran Character Portrait: Greyson Rodriguez Character Portrait: Richard Clarence
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From the corner of her eye, Maya saw Richard rush out as if he had seen a ghost. She supposed her probably came to the realization of the danger that was the Black Rose pub. It almost made her chuckle, although she had been curious as to what other sort of stories he had to share. Indeed as she had formerly stated he was quite the character, and in her drunken state he would have been a riot. However as Greyson set down his drink, Maya's attention snapped back to him.

Grayson kept an unreadable expression, leaving Maya scrutinizing him as he spoke. The whiskey left her giggly and blatant, a horrible combination for an arms dealer. That was one thing Maya had to admit Greyson had on her - he could definitely hold his liquor better than herself.

As he agreed for lunch, a smile split across her face. "Lovely," he then added that he would pick her up, which although unnecessary seemed like he wouldn't have it any other way, "alright, but don't complain if I leave you waiting." She warned, a constant offender of running at least ten to fifteen minutes late.

Their conversation was cut short as Patrick came to greet her, then bumping into Greyson and pulling the boy into a brief hug. Running a hand through her hair Maya sighed, "I'll let you off the hook this time O'Halloran, next time don't keep me waiting so long." She teased, winking playfully.

Patrick then left, Maya called out a good bye to Bridget, seeing Greyson follow just behind Patrick. He looked back briefly, his lips upturned into a handsome grin as he said, "I'll see you tomorrow then...by the way, you're looking good tonight."

She smiled back, batting the air before her. "Oh you've just had to many drinks, that's all." A light hearted laugh escaped her lips as she gathered her purse and adjusted the pistol that jutted out of the waist hand of her pants by her prominent hips. "Just wait until you see me tomorrow handsome." Maya jested, following him out the door and onto the street.

Luckily cabs were already lined up on the street, giving Greyson and Patrick a little wave, Maya got into the taxi and gave the driver her address. Once the car began to move, Maya involved herself in an addictive game of fruit ninja (which is always better when your drunk) until the driver told her that she was home. Mistakingly handing him a hundred dollar bill, Maya told him to keep the change and forced herself out of the car.

Her feet shuffled across the cement, her sluggish movements indicating she needed to sleep. Although she should have called Matthew, Maya couldn't deal with all of that right now. Taking the elevator to her floor, Maya felt a dull ache begin to take place in her frontal lobe. Whiskey and ammo had left her with a mild migraine and surely a hangover in the morning. Rubbing her temples, Maya walked onto her floor, taking out her keys as she approached her door.

"Sonofabitch." She cursed under her breath, struggling to unlock the door. Any minute Plato would hear her and assume someone was trying to break into the house which would provoke him to bark. Being a big dog, his baritone bark would wake the neighbors which would provoke them to complain and....

"Shit!" Plato begun to bark, scratching at the door as Maya struggled to unlock the door. She pounded on the locked portal, "Plato, shut the hell up!" Maya called out, fiddling with the keys until finally she managed to unlock the door and stumble into her home.

Immediately Plato jumped on his master, placing his front paws onto her shoulders as he stretched his full length to kiss her face. "Ugh, get the fuck off." Maya shoved the dog off of her, immediately going into her kitchen to grab a water bottle from her fridge.

In all honesty Maya should have taken Plato on a walk, but she was too drunk for all of that. Instead Maya brushed her teeth, relieved herself, washed her face and changed into her silk shorts and tank, setting her bottle on her night stand after drinking about half of it. Who knew what tomorrow would hold, what sort of information they could squeeze out of "Gale Pricher". Deciding only time would tell, Maya closed her eyes and fell asleep curled around Plato as if he were a body pillow.


Maya didn't need alarms, Plato never slept past nine, and seeing that he slept beneath her fluffy white comforter stretched out to his full length alongside Maya once he woke up - she woke up. It began with him digging into the blanket next to her, until a majority of the cloth was under his massive weight and left Maya exposed to the cooler room temperature and blindly grasping for the comforter. A dull pound on her frontal lobe left her sensitive to the light that creeped through the skylight of her room. Roughly kicking out her leg, Maya managed to push Plato off, hearing his nails skitter across the floor to regain balance as Maya pulled her comforter back onto herself.

Annoyed, Maya buried her face into her pillow as Plato's soft whimpers indicated he needed to start the day already despite his owners hang over. Groaning with discontent, Maya threw off the covers after a few minutes, shuffling into her bathroom. After relieving herself and splashing water on her face, Maya threw her hair into a sleek pony tail and throwing her Great Dane dirty looks as he whimpered for her to let him out of her room to prance down into the kitchen and lap up water from his steel bowl.

Before she began to undress, Maya led Plato out of her room, still half asleep as she drudged back to her dresser. Equipping herself with her runners watch, Maya then changed into a flimsy pair of shorts and sports bra, along with a fresh pair of panties and socks. As she left her room, Maya pulled a white tee over her head, just moving through the motions as Plato prepared for their jog downstairs.

"Plato!" Maya called out as she jingled his leash, putting on her sneakers. The massive beast sprinted with puppy like excitement, eliciting a smile from the dark skinned vixen. She linked the leash onto his fine leather collar, petting him between his ears. "Ya damn bastard."

Plato's head rolled around her hand so that he could like her wrist with affection. Making a face, Maya wiped her hand back onto Plato. She was selective about when she allowed Plato to lick her, not a fan of excess dog saliva. But he was as close to a baby as Maya would probably ever get. "Lets go." She enthused, encouraging the dog onward.

Although she was tired, Maya would take the ten mile run that included a break at a cute little restaurant on side street down town that had a patio that she was allowed to bring Plato into. Although she expected to go out for late lunch with Greyson at one, Maya was craving the fruit filled crepes of Lucille's.

So began their jog, Maya putting her iPod on shuffle. Putting the earbuds into her ears, she found herself on a monotonous pace, Plato keeping pace beside her. Some Nelly club remix song faded away as she passed the six mile mark after almost an hour, the energetic chords of Rock n Roll lie pumping her onward.

It was a song she hadn't heard for a while, and Maya found herself singing along mentally, lips twitching at certain parts that she favored. Whatever had happened to Mirrorball? She remembered seeing them once in Boston a few years back with some friends from high school. Maya remembered her friend Izzy had thrown her bra at the lead singer, Richard.

Holy shit!
Stopping in her tracks, Plato tugged at the leash momentarily before staring back at his master in confusion. She seemed to have turned to stone, eyes blank as the song continued over her headphones.
Could it have been the Richard from Mirrorball was the same Richard from the Black Rose last night? If not, damn that man could get a job as a double for the rock star.
It had to be him! It explained why he looked so familiar, why he was so casual about his wealth, his confident demeanor and charm. Yes, it had to have been him, and foolishly Maya had walked away.

As Plato began to sniff around in boredom, Maya got the hint and pushed herself to accomplish the last mile to Lucille's. Thinking back, Maya was relieved she hadn't recognized him immediately. If so perhaps she would turn into putty and wouldn't have handled herself quite as well. Most likely she would've made a fool of herself.

If her cheeks weren't already ruddy from her jog, perhaps they would have flushed with color in realization that he had made a pass at her. An insane smile stretched across her lips, she felt like she were a goon jogging through the streets of Boston with a dumb smile on her face. However having been known as the boyish Indian girl who hung out with all the Irish kids to being known as one of the successful sensuous arms dealer of the IRA, there was some things Maya wasn't used to. For a better part of her life the boys she had crushes on looked over her because she wasn't shapely enough (having been chubbier until Junior year when she gave up sweets), or because her dark features weren't what they considered beautiful.

Now Maya was getting the attention, even rock stars were hitting on her. It was the perfect ego boost to finish the last mile just around seven minutes, taking a seat at one of the chairs set out. White ornate tables with a bouquet of flowers in the center scattered the patio, a few early birds taking refuge in the quaint breakfast diner. Before taking a seat, Maya bought a newspaper from a machine nearby the stairs leading onto the patio.

Tying Plato's leash to the wooden rails of the patio, Maya was pleased to see her favorite waiter already at her table. "Hey Donnell, you already know what's on my mind."

The light skinned man, who was an actor around her age, beamed a smile. "Girl, I got you. Don't even worry about it, lemon fresher right up!" It was early, but there was nothing wrong with a bit of vodka with lemon water and mint in the morning to pick her up.

Maya was a heavy drinker by most women's standards, but in this lifestyle you drank to dull the fear that any moment everything could be taken away from right underneath you. She drank with most meals, mostly at night. She didn't drink heavily every night though, just most of them. Her mother had once said that she seemed to always end up with alcoholics - being as that Maya's father died in his own vomit and Richard had been an infamous drink.

Donnell returned with her drink and a bowl of ice water for Plato, causing Maya to smile. "Awh, you're the best! Thanks sweetie, I got a paper here so just bring the food out when it's ready." Maya said, grabbing her drink so Donnell could set down the bowl for Plato. Immediately the dog began to drink up the cold water.

"Awh, you were thirsty big guy?" The waiter cooed to the Great Dane, looking back to Maya as she spoke. "No problem, Hun. I'll be back to check on you, it shouldn't be too long on your meal."

Before Maya would dish out another empty notion of gratitude, Donnell turned on the ball of his feet and walked onto his next table leaving Maya on her own. Some people didn't like going out on their own, claiming the loneliness was depressing. Maya quite enjoyed alone time, it allowed for moments of self reflection and time to think out issues at hand. Plus no company was better than her own and Plato. Petting the dog before he curled up by her feet, Maya then opened up the Boston Globe to the sports section.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Patrick O'Halloran Character Portrait: Bridget MacGuire Character Portrait: Richard Clarence Character Portrait: Sean MacGuire
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THE BLACK ROSE


As Bridget looked into Pat's eyes it was like she was that little girl all over again, her heart beat a mile a minute and she felt her cheeks flush ever so slightly. She nodded as her hand slipped from his and he went to head home for the night. She turned to her father who was grinning from ear to ear at the sight he just beheld.

"Ah daddy why ya lookin at me like a jack ass eating briers", she said with a shake of her head, her curls bouncing.

"I think he fancies you a bit lass", said Sean with a smile.

"Oh daddy stop that's just Patrick" she said as she picked up the two empty glasses that Patrick and her father left.

"Honey all men get to a point in their lives when they stop chasing skirts and start looken for a wife. His little girls need a mother as much as they need their daddy, he walked over and put his hand to his daughters cheek.

"Lass I love ya more than life it self I hate seeing ya lonely all on my account. Iffin he is to pursue ya like I think his minden to. I want you to know that I approve and I would be happy to see ya with that boy. He may be into some things that aren't to yer liken yer mother thought the same thing about me. But deep down Patrick's a good lad and would treat ya like ya should be treated, looking over at the clock on the wall he sighed. "Now it's time for ya to close up shop lass", he said with a smile.

Bridget nodded and made her way back into the front of the bar, "Closing time one last call for alcohol. Finish whatever ya drinking you don't have to go home but ya cant stay here" there was a few chuckles that echoed around the room. This was a typical closing by Bridget and everyone found it amusing.

She patted British man from before, he was new "Maybe ya should come a little earlier next time that way you can get some better drinking in for I have to close the place" she gave him a wink. And then started calling cabs for some of the men that had passed out at their tables.

She was soon cleaning the quiet of the bar was a bit eerie, her dad was running a broom along the floor. And her mind kept going back to the look that Pat had given her before he left, was her dad right about Patrick, did he actually fancy her more than just tossing some flattering words back and forth.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Maya "Lalita" Aitken Character Portrait: Story Lynn Brooks Character Portrait: Richard Clarence
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Pound, pound. Left, right, left, right. In, out, in, out. Lift foot, slam foot. It was like a mantra, the rhythm of his footfalls, the rasp of his breath in and out, the thump of his heart. No matter that the rhythm was overlaid with a disjointed melody of traffic noises, Richard was finally able to clear his mind.

He'd had a restless night, as images of Maya flashing a smile alternated with images of Maya brandishing a gun. How to reconcile her elegance and charm with the hidden steel? Richard had made many conquests in his time, some more challenging than the groupies who threw themselves at him, and he found the danger arousing - like the time he'd bedded the Japanese finance minister the night before he was due to deliver the annual budget speech - but guns terrified him. The street gangs of East London had just been getting their hands on them when he was growing up, and the way they could mete out the ultimate sentence, the ultimate punishment, with the tug of a trigger, without a second thought, chilled him to the bone. So much lost at so little cost. When Ollie had drawn on him - never mind that it wasn't loaded - that had been the end of Mirrorball.

Pound, pound. Left, right. Occasionally the two images of Maya had been supplanted by a third - that of two men struggling with a heavy burden in the alleyway by the Black Rose. But mostly it had been of the beauty of the dark-skinned woman, the way she'd laughed, the way her smile curled her full lips - and the way her lips had drawn back almost in a snarl, revealing sharp, dainty white teeth. Richard had also taken in how her breasts rose and fell as she'd drawn calming lungfuls of air even as she'd held up her gun. In, out. Lift foot, slam foot. Even his habitual morning yoga, which he'd learned in the Betty Ford Clinic and which had helped him reorganise his mind and decide to keep on living, to go back to real living, had failed to clear his mind of the conflicting visions.

So he'd dug out a battered pair of Converse, cut off some baggy jeans into shorts, and tied on a bandana to keep his hair out of his eyes. Sure, he looked ridiculous, but no-one was going to recognise him. Joggers always looked ridiculous. He slipped on a pair of sunglasses just to be sure. And at some point as he'd taken Alford Street across the Mystic River, as he took in the ugliness of Boston's docksides, the endorphins had driven Maya and the Black Rose from his mind. Now he was deep in Boston, and all out of endorphins. Pulling up, bent double by the pain in his side, Rich spotted a small park and shambled over. One of the soles of his Cons had come away almost completely. Just inside the gate of the park, he crouched to examine his tattered shoe, and out of the corner of his eye glimpsed a familiar but unwanted sight: a large lens pointed right at him.

Goddamn paparazzi, he groaned as he dived behind a flowerbed. Even here? How did they know? He peeked through the flowers, and saw the blonde behind the camera had turned its gaze elsewhere in the park. As if he was going to fall for that, after being hunted by these media vermin for over a decade. He couldn't be snapped like this, who knew what the tabloids would make of his current appearance. He peeked again. The blonde was still pretending not to have seen him. Well, two could play at that game. Rich stretched out behind the flowerbed, flexng his legs to avoid cramping.

No more than half an hour later, the blonde stood and left the part. Amateur, Rich scoffed. Giving up so easily? Then it occured to him: suppose she'd already got her shot? Of an addict rockstar, bizarrely dressed and face-down in a flowerbed. It wouldn't do. He leapt up and ran after her, catching up as she stopped at a pedestrian crossing. There was no sign of the camera, so Rich grabbed the woman's backpack and wrenched it, dragging her backwards as he tried to wrest it off her back. 'Think you're smart, huh?' he yelled, all his calm gone. 'Playing it cool, are we? Gimme that fucking camera, you Yankee wench!'

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Story Lynn Brooks Character Portrait: Richard Clarence
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#, as written by xRoo
Story's mind had gone a million miles per hour as soon as someone gripped her backpack and yanked her off her feet. She struggled; assuming it was some thug trying to steal her expensive goods. She groaned and wrestled, jerking her arms left to right, anything to get free of his hold. "Let go damn it!" She shouted, rolling her body around as soon as she felt like she could escape. She turned around and her eyes widened. The man didn't look like a thug, and for a moment, she found herself confused. "Excuse me? Yankee wench? Is that the best you could do? How about sleeze, immature moron, or an annoying rat." She said, her eyes locked on his. Story was bold. Maybe too bold for her own good.

"Who the hell do you think you are?" She then challenged. Her hand stuffed the photos back into her bag. Some were falling out, most of them were of rivers and parks and the deaf family. She narrowed her eyes and swung her bag over her shoulder. "I could have you arrested for assault."

Who was this guy? He looked familiar but she couldn't recall his name. She knew her friends would criticize her for being out and about like she was, but photography was her life. Her lips pressed together and her eyes showed bravery and yet, there was another feeling among them. Innocence.

"So?" She asked, her eyebrow lifting slightly in question.