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Nikolai Valenza

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a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by Saviarre

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An up and coming family that seeks to spread its influence. As individuals they have their own goals and desires for the family and Wing City, but as a group, power is the name of the game.

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Another failed relationship. I held on to this one for three weeks... but it made me realize: every girl I've dated has dumped me. Why?

So, I set out to figure it out.

My first plan is to contact all of my ex-girlfriends.

Ugh... that sounds like a lot of work.

I'll start later.

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So begins...

Nikolai Valenza's Story

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Three weeks! Three whole weeks and she just dumped him, just like that… as if those three weeks meant nothing to her. The way she slammed the door in his face, Nikolai wondered what had been so bad. He’d stared at the closed door, hearing Alice’s muffled raging on the other side of the door, the frustrated screaming, the shattering of glass as something (probably the vase of flowers he’d just given her) was hurled against the wall beside the door. With a heavy sigh, he had turned away and, hands dug deep into his pockets, wandered aimlessly for about an hour wondering exactly what it was that he’d done wrong.

He needed a drink. As soon as the idea entered his mind, he noticed the bar. Gambits. He’d never been here, but it didn’t matter. A bar was a bar. As long as they served alcohol. Pushing open the door, he looked around, wondering for a moment if he had entered a gay bar until he noticed the woman. Okay. Not a gay bar. Good. Making is way in, he glanced at the patrons, subconsciously gauging his chances with the lone female – measuring himself against the other males in the bar. But wait, Nikolai… hadn’t Alice just taken your manhood and smashed it to smithereens at the slamming of the door? Okay, alcohol first… and then… time to get back on the horse.

Spotting the entry of another female into the bar, Nikolai couldn’t help but grin slightly. Perhaps his luck was looking up. Less competition… But yes… alcohol first. Approaching the counter, a few seats down from Charlotte, he scanned for a bartender, mistaking the electronic menu for the little bar game kiosks he was familiar with. “Bit of service?” he called hopefully.

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As the bartender acknowledged him, Nikolai nodded, tapping his fingers on the bar, but it quickly became obvious that something was up between the bartender and the other female. Poor bloke, he thought. Sounds like I’m not the only unlucky bastard getting dumped today. Hanging his head, he frowned as he thought about what Alice had said before she slammed the door in his face. He’d even brought her flowers! Chicks liked flowers, right?

Rubbing his finger along the surface of the bar as he waited for the bartender, he glanced to the chick off to his right. Pretty. Frilly. Girlish. Girls liked guys who were heartbroken, didn’t they? Clearing his throat, he nearly said something before hit with a blast of air from… somewhere. What the fuck? Looking up to the bartender and the female, he tapped his fingers on the counter again. All he wanted was a beer… He considered getting one for himself so the bartender wouldn’t be interrupted.

Wait… was she… He turned to look at Charlotte fully. She was. She was smiling at him. Unable to help himself, he grinned back at her. Alice? Who’s Alice? Say something, Nikolai… “Um… hi.” Nice, Nikolai… nice.

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She didn’t respond right away with more than a wave and Nikolai let his eyes wander to the bartender. Oh for God’s sake… It’s just a freaking beer… He frowned slightly, tapping his fingers impatiently on the surface, his eyes sliding toward the other women in the bar, notably Skyler. She looked familiar… Like Anna. Or was it Dawn? One of his ex girlfriends anyway.

Turning his eyes back to Charlotte, he noticed her staring at him and shifted uneasily in his seat. She still hadn’t said anything. For some reason, that bothered him, wondering irrationally if Alice had phoned her opinion of him out to every woman in the world in the time it took for him to walk from her flat to the bar. But then he noticed the notebook. Blinking, he read her words, staring at the heart for a few moments. Charlotte. And she’d added a heart. He looked up at her, studying her face. Pretty. Very pretty. Was she a hooker? He looked back down at the words. Could be a hooker. Oh hell, he could use a shag. “Charlotte… it’s a beautiful name.” He furrowed his brows, wondering if she could even understand him, or if he should write things down. He would talk with his hands, but… well… he didn’t know how. Speaking slowly, he pointed to himself. “Nikolai.”

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Nikolai Valenza read the reply and smiled. A silent woman. That was good right? A silent woman couldn’t scream at him, call him all the names that he’d been called. A silent woman was a dream come true. “Sworn to silence, hm?” he asked, watching her with the electronic menu. “Shame. I bet your voice is as lovely as you are.” He smiled, reaching out to order himself a beer before looking at her. His funds were low… He only had about twenty left from the last check from his mom. But a little investment couldn’t hurt, right? Besides, if she was a hooker, maybe she’d forgive his inability to pay if he got her drunk enough. “May I buy you a drink?” He wanted to add that she had a monetary limit, but he didn’t want to put her off. Not yet. If he had to, he’d just drink PBR. Beer was beer, and a buzz was a buzz. “And yeah, I suppose I am trying to forget.” Use the sympathy card, Nikolai. “My girlfriend just dumped me. Said some pretty mean things.” Well… it was true.

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Nikolai Valenza wasn’t entirely a douchebag. Not really. The thing that set him apart from most other douchebags is that he wasn’t completely cognizant of it. He knew what it took to get laid. Or… at least… he thought he did. But he didn’t know what it took to be in a meaningful relationship. He tried. He desperately wanted to be in a meaningful relationship. He desperately wanted to mean something to someone. He just really had no idea how to go about doing that. And, thinking like a guy, he equated sex with love. Women used sex to get love… he’d figured that out long ago. So, if he offered sex, maybe he’d get love too? Yeah, he wasn’t entirely a douchebag.. just… misguided… It was rather pathetic, actually.

“They can be,” he agreed, sipping the beer the barbot brought him. “I just don’t understand them. You know,” he started, turning to look at Charlotte. “Every woman I’ve ever dated has dumped me. Every single one.” He shrugged and took another sip of his beer. “It gets rather old. Maybe I’m just attracted to psychotic women.” He shrugged and then looked at her again. “Are you psychotic?” There was suspicion in his tone, but it could easily be mistaken for a joke… It was actually a misguided compliment.

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He sipped his beer, running a hand over the stubble on his chin. “I think you’re beautiful,” he said as he moved a finger to the sentence that she’d just written. ’I don’t know how you would describe me. “And you’re pretty nice too.” He smiled again, sucking the beer down like he couldn’t drink fast enough. “I hope your boyfriend isn’t an ass like I apparently am.” He chuckled quietly and finished his beer, reaching out to order another.

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Nikolai Valenza stared at those words. ’I AM the boyfriend. He looked up at Charlotte and blinked and then back down. Lifting the bottle of beer to his lips, he tilted his head back and chugged before finally lowering the empty bottle and setting it quietly down on the surface. He glanced at the Adam’s apple, and again at the hands. Running a hand over his chin, he felt his stubble, exhaling long and low. He reached out and ordered another beer, glancing sidelong at Charlotte.

“So…” he started before shaking his head and chuckling. “So you’re a guy.” It wasn’t a question. “You’re a guy… in a dress… who looks like a chick… who doesn’t have a boyfriend… Who is the boyfriend… which means, you have a chick… You’re wearing a fucking dress… and you have a chick…” He threw his head back and laughed. “But I… I get dumped…” He shook his head, clapping Charlotte on the shoulder. “Good on ya, mate,” he laughed, lifting the new beer bottle to his lips. It felt like his world was warping, only to snap to clarity just as it had been before. “So, tell me, Charlie… Tell me about yer chick.”

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Nikolai shook his head at the offered stick of credits, pushing it back toward Charlotte with one finger. He stared at the picture he was showed, at what would appear to be two women… but one wasn’t, was she? What about the other. Was she really a guy too? Nikolai squinted at the picture, trying to search for some hint that this woman, Claire, was a guy too. But her features were too soft. He could see it in Charlotte now that he knew the truth… but Claire? No… she looked too… perfect.

He muttered quietly. “There seems to be a lot of things that chicks… er… women…” he corrected himself. “Don’t like.” Like me.

He read the words again, feeling something twist inside himself, his brows furrowing slightly as he read the words again. ’I’m going to marry her … one day…’ He’d thought that too before, hadn’t he? Turning to look at charlotte again, he realized how deeply he envied this… man?... He chuckled again. “A bloke in a dress… and I’m the one who gets dumped. So… she knows about your… um… dress… thing… Does she know you’re a bloke?” Something struck him, and he tilted his head, squinting down at the picture. The words were out of his mouth before he could approve them. “Is she a bloke too?” There was no malice in his tone. Just curiosity. “Maybe I should wear a dress…”

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Nikolai snorted at that. Women were indeed complex creatures. Shrugging to himself, he ordered himself yet another beer on Charlie’s dime. “Thanks,” he muttered. “I might not seem so bad to you, but maybe that’s cause you’re not really a chick… er… woman…” He shifted on his seat, finishing the beer in front of him. Three down, and he was starting to feel it. A few more and he’d be nicely buzzed. Gesturing down to the picture again, he lifted a shoulder. “She’s lovely,” he nodded. “Claire, hm? Lovely. I should only be so lucky.”

At the words about love, he snorted again, shaking his head. “Nah, mate… ain’t about love. It’s about respect.” He took a swig of the fresh beer. “Just wanna know what I’m doin’ wrong. For one or two girls to dump a guy… that’s one thing… but every…” he punctuated his word with a slap on the counter. “…single…” Slap “…one…” Slap. “There’s only so many times you can hear the excuses. ‘Oooh, I’m a lesbian’ or ‘Oooh, It’s not you, it’s me.’… At some point, it’s gotta be about me.” He looked down at himself. “I mean… Alice, the chick… er… woman that just dumped me… I brought her flowers!” Okay, yeah, he’d stolen them from a funeral home on his way to her flat… and he never would have been caught if he’d remembered to pull the card from the vase. Lesson learned. Next!

“Nah, not lookin’ for love… but… well… I wouldn’t mind it.” He eyed the woman who had skated/fallen into the bar. “Or just getting my mind off it.”

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Nikolai Valenza looked around at the others in the bar. Yeah, he was pretty sure he’d wandered into a gay bar. Not that that was a bad thing, per se… it just wasn’t his cup of tea. He eyed the woman beside him. No. Man. Man in a dress. Yep. Gay bar. Totally. “Yeah, alright,” he nodded, standing from the bar stool and wavering a bit. It may have only been four beers, but they were hitting him like a ton of bricks. Probably because he hadn’t eaten. Probably because he’d had a couple before going over to see Alice in the first place. That was why stealing the vase of flowers from the funeral home had seemed like such a good idea. Okay, yeah, Nikolai was a bit drunk. So leaving the gay bar with a man in a dress was the next likely step. “Lead the way.”

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Despite the fact that he was pretty sure Gambits was a gay bar, Nikolai found himself pushing open the door and glancing around at the patronage once more. It seemed a bit more diverse this evening than it had during the afternoon. A few more women. Oh… and Charlie. He’d already come to think of the ‘woman’ as a buddy. Why? Because drinks had been purchased and consumed. Really… it didn’t take much to worm one’s way into Nik’s heart.

For lack of anything better to do, and not really seeing anyone he’d hit on sober, he made his way over toward Charlotte, eying the jar she held dubiously. “Worms? Dude in a dress with a jar full of worms. I swear… this day couldn’t get any stranger.” He shook his head and sat down beside Charlotte uninvited. “How’s it goin, Charlie? Got a few extra bucks from my m—er… um… got a few extra bucks. Lost my buzz a few hours ago… wouldn’t mind getting’ it back. Will ya drink with me?”

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Nikolai Valenza glanced around at the other women in the bar that Charlotte had referred to. His eyes lingered over Persephone for a moment, and he chewed his bottom lip in thought. He then shifted his attention to Lea and then to Alex before returning to Charlotte. “Out of my league,” he responded quickly, tapping in an order for a beer. “Too young, maybe. Not my type. Yeah. That’s it. Not my type.” Actually… despite his earlier ramblings about love, Nik was just far too aware of his failure to success ratio. Besides… Alice had just dumped him. And the next girl he tried to talk to had turned out to be a bloke. No… enough failure for one day, thank you. It was time to just drink. That he couldn’t fuck up. Right?

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Nikolai’s eyes swept the room again, noticing the blush. He chuckled softly to himself, running one hand over the stubble of his jaw. He watched the one move into the kitchen, the other scarf down the food. What did it hurt to answer Charlotte’s question. “Eh, Alice,” he started, turning his attention back to his non-lady friend. He scratched his forehead above his right eye before taking a swig of his beer. “She, uh… She just… I met her… um…” Crap, where had he met her? C’mon, Nikolai, it was only a few weeks ago. “She was only my girlfriend for three weeks. Shouldn’t even count, right?” He took another sip of his beer. “I went to a wedding with her over the weekend.” Another swig of beer, another idle scratch of his forehead. “She, uh… she had a lot of problems with me. Like, um… apparently, I got really drunk at the wedding. Cornered her mum by the bathrooms.” He chuckled and took another drink. “Guess you’re not supposed to kiss your girlfriend’s mum.” More chuckling, tapering out into a cough. “Not that I, um… you know… remember it.” He waved the bottle dismissively. “But, she totally kissed me back.” He winked at Charlotte before looking around at the other women in the room again.

“So, I went to apologize today. Took her flowers – Alice, not her mum.” He shrugged, focusing on peeling the label from the bottle in his fingers. “Maybe I kinda stole the flowers from a funeral home and forgot to pull out the card.” He shrugged again. “She said I was insensitive.” He pursed his lips for a moment before running a hand through his hair. “She’s probably right. But no, I didn’t ask her to do anything strange in the bedroom… which is strange, coming from a bloke in a dress. Never even took her to the bedroom.” Oh, no, he’d taken her… just never sealed the deal… and it wasn’t for lack of wanting to on her part.

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Despite the fact that he’d determined that Gambits must be a gay bar, Nikolai found himself once again back at the door, pushing his way inside. Perhaps it was because the drinks were relatively cheap. It definitely wasn’t because he’d had a lot of luck here with the ladies. Heh. Luck. Yeah, Nikolai was quite a bit short on his luck at the moment. Quite short. Between Alice dumping him as harshly as she had yesterday, and then the first woman he started hitting it off with turned out to be… well… a guy… Yeah. Luck was not in Nikolai’s corner.

Still… Gambits had beer. And Nikolai enjoyed beer. So that was what he would do. It surprised him to see the bar empty save for the serving staff. “Maybe they knew I was coming,” he muttered to himself as he took a seat at the bar and ordered his first beer of the day.

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Nikolai Valenza looked up from his solitary bottle of beer at the arrival of a new patron. He had intended it to be a quick glance to the newcomer, a quick assessment of the threat level, but his eyes lingered a bit longer than perhaps they should. Well into his second beer, it took him a little longer to realize himself before turning his eyes back to the boring ol’ bar counter. Violin? Had that been a violin? He turned his head again, merely to satisfy his curiosity. Yep. Violin. In a bar? Perhaps she was the evening’s entertainment. Finishing the second beer, he slid the empty bottle away from himself and waved the bartender over for another.

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Realizing he’d been caught staring, Nikolai offered a sheepish smirk as he lifted the fresh beer bottle in a mock salute. She seemed pretty enough, that was for sure, but no. Nikolai was not here to meet women. This was, after all, a gay bar, was it not? Had to be. Not that it mattered one way or another. Gay bar, straight bar, he wasn’t here to meet people. Just drink. Or at least that is what he continued to tell himself as he took another sip of beer. At the entrance of the heavily armed woman, he raised an eyebrow. Okay. Yeah. That was normal, right? Heavy firepower for a bar? Yeah. Hmm… Maybe he should have just picked up a twelve pack and drank at home while playing video games. But, no, one of Gina’s complaints about him was that he wasn’t very social… that he played video games too much. That he wasn’t motivated. Yeah? He’d show her motivation… Later.

He took another swig of his beer. If nothing else, the bar had some interesting characters. Like the man in the silvery coat. Interesting. Maybe if he watched people interact, he’d get a better understanding of what it was that he was supposedly doing wrong. His eyes wandered to the woman with the violin again. Pretty. She could be his type… Stop it, Nikolai.

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Ah, so she was the bashful sort. Nikolai mused to himself as he sipped his beer, watching Doree from the corner of his eye. Girl knew how to drink though. Definitely his type. His eyes wandered to the violin again. He’d never dated a violinist… that’s what they called the people who played violins, right? Yeah… it sounded right. Violinist. Vi-o-lin-ist. Okay, Nikolai, slow down on those beers, buddy.

Before he even realized what he was doing, he slid down a couple seats until he was sitting beside her. Glancing over at her again, he gestured down to the violin. “So, I play guitar, right? And I know those are played with a stick of some kind but… is it anything like the guitar?”

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Despite the fact that he’d determined that Gambits must be a gay bar, Nikolai found himself once again back at the door, pushing his way inside. Perhaps it was because the drinks were relatively cheap. It definitely wasn’t because he’d had a lot of luck here with the ladies. Heh. Luck. Yeah, Nikolai was quite a bit short on his luck at the moment. Quite short. Between Alice dumping him as harshly as she had yesterday, and then the first woman he started hitting it off with turned out to be… well… a guy… Yeah. Luck was not in Nikolai’s corner.

Still… Gambits had beer. And Nikolai enjoyed beer. So that was what he would do. It surprised him to see the bar empty save for the serving staff. “Maybe they knew I was coming,” he muttered to himself as he took a seat at the bar and ordered his sixth? beer of the day.

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Rolling his head around on his neck, Nikolai was well on his way to relaxing into his first beer when the door opened and a female entered. He glanced over merely out of curiosity, but couldn’t help but stare. She was… different… than most other women he’d seen. This one he was pretty sure wasn’t a guy… but there was something about her… he couldn’t quite place his finger on it, but… yeah… she was different.

No women, Nikolai. Not for a long time. Like… two days, at least!

Turning back to his beer, he sighed to himself before pulling out a tattered journal, covered in stickers and doodles, the pages a hot mess, sticking out of the journal at all different angles. Flipping open to a clean page, he began writing a list in Sharpie. When the door opened again, he again looked up. Spotting the man in skinnies, the towel around his neck, he smirked to himself. Yep. Gay bar. He was safe here.

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When Judas moved to sit beside him, Nikolai looked up from the journal, his shoulders still hunched. He studied the man beside him for a moment, silent, before reaching for his bottle of beer and taking a swig. Straightening up, he laid the Sharpie down on top of the journal, a long list of female names written in pretty bad handwriting covering the page. Taking another swig of the beer, he wiped his lips with the back of his hand. Ah, here it was. Normally, he was the one with the pickup lines. It was strange responding to them… especially to a guy.

“It’s only my second time here,” he admitted before following the nod in the direction of Taria. His eyes lingered for a moment on some of her more curvaceous body parts before returning to Judas. “I’m just here to drink.” Lifting the bottle to his lips again as if to prove a point, Nik took another swig, emptying the bottle of all but the residual foam at the bottom. Tapping in an order for another, he looked back at Judas. “I’m not much of a fighter, and the second option isn’t likely, is it?” He gestured to the man with whom the woman was speaking. “Just beer. Cures what ails ya, right?”

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Nikolai Valenza raised his bottle of beer in a mock salute to the Irishman who had just said what his subconscious had been thinking. Beer was one way to get your mind off of an incredibly long string of failures. Sex was another. Of course, the latter seemed to open the gateway to further failures, so it was only a temporary solution… like a bandaid that ripped the scab from the wound as soon as the cheap adhesive gave way.

Turning back to Judas, he raised an eyebrow. “There’s one thing you don’t seem to be realizing, my friend.” He gestured around himself with the new bottle of beer before looking at Judas as if the answer was obvious. “There’s only one chick here, and she seems a might occupied by that bloke. And, sorry, I ain’t the sharing type.” Well… there HAD been that one time… no.. wait… three times… but… not the point. So, while you might say the second option is always an option, I’m going to argue in the negative.” He was about to ask Judas what he would know about bedding women as he looked like he preferred turf to surf, but bit his tongue, pouring more beer down his throat.

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As the door opened, Nikolai’s head turned to survey the newcomer and he couldn’t help but chuckle. Turning back to Judas he nodded before lifting the bottle to his lips again. “Indeed, my friend. Fish do travel in schools. More have showed up. More men.” He laughed and shook his head, relaxing back into the bar stool, stopping short of propping his feet up on the counter. “Ah, but it’s good there’s no available broads here. The last thing I need, I tell ya. Impossible to please, they are. ‘Fairer sex’? Bullshit. They’re assholes, man. Women? They’re assholes.”

Yep, Nikolai… time to lay off the beer…

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It didn’t take much to distract Nikolai… the curve of a hip, the swell of a breast strained under a shirt, beer… mostly beer. Out for a walk to clear his head, Nikolai had been passing Gambits, notebook tucked between his arm and his body when the latter distraction entered his mind. Yeah, he could go for a beer.

Pushing open the door, he glanced around. He’d once thought the bar was a gay bar. He still wasn’t sure that it wasn’t. Well, gay bar or straight bar, a beer was a beer and it tasted the same… He’d just make sure to drink from a glass and not a bottle so as not to encourage any unwanted attention.

Taking a seat at the counter, he ordered a tall draw and leaned back, tilting his head as he looked at his notebook.

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Glancing at the others in the bar, Nikolai’s eyes rested on Arianna briefly before shifting to Taylor. Both women looked as if they could kick his ass, so perhaps it wasn’t a good idea to attempt to talk to either one of them. See? Nikolai was learning. Also, women did not like to be referred to as ‘chicks’… Supposedly. Although he had no proof on this one, just the words of a friend.

He allowed his eyes to wander of the women again. Should he approach? And if so, what would he say? He wasn’t exactly gifted in interactions with women… But he was trying. Okay, he could do this. Standing from his stool, he held tightly to his beer, tucking the notebook closer to his side again. Okay… he could do this, right?

Taking a deep breath, he made his way over to Taylor. “Um…” Excuse yourself. “Excuse me, but…” Offer to buy her a drink! “I hear chicks dig it… er… women like it… when blokes buy ‘em stuff… so… You should drink another so I can buy it for you.”

Yep. Nikolai had this in the bag!

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His name? She wanted his name? “Um, Nikolai,” he answered, kicking out a chair and turning it so that the back of it faced her. Straddling it, he lowered himself until he was seated and studied her over the rim of his beer glass as he took a sip. “What’s your story, Morning Glory? Kicking back drinking like that, alone… are you here to pick someone up?”

He drained his beer and set the glass on the table, gesturing for another. “Want another?” he asked, gesturing to her mug, despite the fact that she hadn’t indicated that she wanted another. He gestured to the bartender to bring her a fresh mug of whatever she was drinking and then folded his arms over the top of the chair, peering at her. “You a whore?”