Scene setting : Elissa’s apartment.
co-written with VunG.
Razorbackwriter: When last Tommy had seen Frank and Elissa, it was when he had dropped them both off at Elissa’s apartment. Frank, being the man that he was offered to look after Elissa at her place since she had just been released from hospital and was still in a bad way. Parking his car, Tommy looked across the seat to the package that he had been given by Madame Rose Li. He shuddered as he remembered the sickening pictures of the Commander inside. He hadn’t even gone as far as to watch the DVD, but if the pictures were anything to go by, it certainly wouldn’t be suitable for viewing. As far as Tommy was concerned this was pure blackmail material. How long Rose had been sitting on it was unclear, but one thing was clear and that was that there was more to this than met the eye. A shift in power in the underworld perhaps. Tommy really didn’t know for sure, but if the Commander was working for one crime boss rather than a syndicate, than it would make perfect sense to tear him down and expose the Mister Big behind Joey’s murder. Armed with this knowledge, Tommy believed that this could only serve to help Frank and even make it onto the papers. Probably social media too.
Taking up the package, Tommy got out of his car and headed into the apartment complex. Taking the lift up to the third floor, when he got out he headed down to Elissa’s apartment. It was getting late now, and both Elissa and Frank might be sleeping. Tommy wasn’t to know, as he hadn’t bothered to call them. He was kinda in a rush to tell them what he had been given, even though part of him hated using anything brought up by Rose. There was definitely no good blood between them.
Tommy stood at the door and knocked three times, waiting for someone to answer.
VunG: Knock, knock, knock. Elissa jolted awake from her slumber, her good hand reaching for the knife she kept under her pillow just out of pure reflex. Eyes darting around, it took her a solid five seconds before she realized that she was just overreacting, as tended to be the case with these things. Shaking her head, she looked up towards the door to her bedroom and realized that someone must’ve been at the door. Jeeze… she must’ve been really tired, she didn’t even have any dreams while she was asleep. Frowning, she looked to the clock, and realized that it had only been maybe an hour or two since before… no wonder she didn’t feel refreshed.
Yawning massively, she got up, still dressed in her pants and tank top, and stumbled over to the door. She had to admit, she felt a little out of it; perhaps the painkillers were affecting her slightly, or just the blood-loss. Still, her shoulder didn’t hurt for the time being. Or maybe she still had a bone to pick with Frank…
Shaking off that thought, she went ahead and opened the door. Tommy would of course notice that Elissa wasn’t in any great shape at the moment; her hair was splayed every which way, she had full blown grocery bags under red-riddled eyes. However, she visibly perked up a little at seeing him, even if she was slightly surprised to see the reporter here after his rather hurried departure. Not really waiting for an explanation, she went ahead and ushered him in, figuring that it could perhaps wait until he was settled in.
Razorbackwriter: Tommy’s hand was still in the air as he was about to knock again when the door opened suddenly and Elissa appeared – looking like she had just rolled out of bed. Tommy made a slight face to see her like this. It was not like he was being rude, just shocked by her appearance. Hair wild. Wind swept and interesting. Her eyes had massive bags beneath them with red veins streaking across the white. She…was a sight. Tommy almost forgot what he was there for. At first he stuttered as he tried to find his voice. “God, did I wake you up?” This was said as he leaned forward a little. The parcel in his left hand making a slight crackling sound as he waited to be invited in. Course, she ushered him in kindly and he sort of hopped through the door. He looked awkward, like he was trespassing. Wasn’t Frank still here?
“I know I should have called first but….I’m still kind of in shock by what is in this package.” Finding the nearest table he placed it down, before turning and looking about the room for Frank.
“Where’s Frank?” Tommy again assumed he was there somewhere.
Not seeing him off the bat, Tommy then thought he might have been in the bathroom….or the bedroom.
While waiting for Elissa to close the door, Tommy started to explain more in depth why he was there.
“I’ve just come from my office. Had a run in with my editor WHO happened to have been chewed out by one fat prick at the NYPD top office.” Elissa would be able to guess just who he meant by that. “Then….a blast from the past.” A delicate way of saying Rose. “…was waiting for me in my office. With this.”
He spilled out the photographs and the DVD on the coffee table. The images were shocking to say the least.
“I…bet you can guess who the guy with the goat is.” Tommy said. He then waited for her reaction.
VunG: Elissa didn’t truly realize what sort of condition she seemed to be in, though if she looked half as bad as she felt she was probably a bit of a mess. Still, it wasn’t like Tommy was doing anything wrong. She shrugged lightly at his question, admitting that he did, but she didn’t even have the energy to be angry at him even if she wanted to be. As she closed the door behind him, she raised an eyebrow at the comment about the package, but she figured it was probably something either to do with the creature from the alleyway or something else of a useful nature. When the question of Frank came up, she sighed with frustration, shaking her head, fully intending to sign an explanation. She was still royally mad at the guy, mostly because she was worried about him… and also because she was angry at herself. However, before she could explain the situation to Tommy, he went ahead and began explaining that he’d already been head off at the pass by the commander.
She went ahead and knelt down by the coffee table at his explanation. And then it all came out onto the table… and leaned over to look at one of the pictures thoughtlessly, letting out a tired yawn, smacking her lips as she tried to focus on it. Okay… so someone was caught in a compromising picture with… wait that was the Commander with a… was that a… goat? Immediately she shook her head with shock, smacking herself in the cheek as if she was imagining things. “Wht?!” she whispered aloud, spreading out the pictures before sputtering into a fit of coughing that didn’t know if it was laughter. It was kind of like a train-wreck, disturbing in a way that you wanted to look away, but you couldn’t.
Eventually she pulled away from it and looked at Tommy with a strange expression, half-way between horrified and amused. He’d probably just given them a hell of a lot of ammunition to use, and there were so many ways that they could use it. Sighing softly, she said to him with a light smirk, ~You’re so bad for even considering these helpful.~ At which point she leaned forward towards him, folding her hands over each other and looked up at him with a tired but wicked smile, ~So how are we going to use them?~
Razorbackwriter: ~You’re so bad for even considering these helpful.~
“Hey, I’m not the one having sex with the goat!”
Tommy had a smug expression as he stood with his arms folded before Elissa. “I mean, I have heard of loving animals, but that’s ridiculous.” Pointing at one picture in particular. It was disgusting. The reporter would not ever normally consider using such images on social media or print media, but Frank’s career and the lives of those he cared about were being affected by the crooked Commander. Elissa’s reaction was not totally unexpected. A sort of horrified giggle in seeing the shocking images came from her though silently as she had no voice. ~So how are we going to use them?~ That was Elissa’s next question and an important one.
“Use them as leverage. Send him one and say there is more and that unless he met our demands then his goat love affair will be plastered over ever possible social media service on earth.” At the end of saying this, Tommy flashed a grin. He was feeling a bit cocky for even going this far.
“I can’t wait for Frank to see these.”
Still Tommy had not cottoned on that Frank was not in Elissa’s apartment. He was so caught up in his plans with the dirty pictures that his rush to tell Elissa had him missing the clues that Frank had left.
The reporter let out a loud yawn as he had still not been to bed for two days. Patting his hand over his mouth, he asked.“Can I bum a coffee from you?”
VunG: Elissa snickered a bit at the man’s protests; she’d largely been joking with him. It was disgusting, yes, but she had to admit that this sort of thing was solid gold as far as what they needed in this situation. She wasn’t the sort of person to do these shadowy backstabbing skulduggery things, but desperate times called for desperate measures… and there were some enemies that were just worth the pleasure of watching them squirm. It would be a shame that she’d never get the chance to see the looks on the commander’s face. She returned his grin tiredly, eager to follow through on this plan of his… though she almost wanted to get some electronic copies. Shame that that sort of stuff would be easily traced if she wasn’t careful.
And then he mentioned Frank. Immediately she winced, guilt crashing over her like a tsunami wave. She’d been forced to abandon the man by her damn injuries, but she’d taken her sweet time in letting Tom know. Not that they could probably do anything… it sounded like the pizza place was just a stopping point, wherever Frank was headed after that was anyone’s guess. Sighing, she nodded to his request, gesturing to the coffee machine on her desk, a bright red Folger’s can next to it. However, before he could get away, she grabbed his hand to get his attention and explained. ~Frank flew the coop,~ she told him, concern apparent in her eyes, ~He received a call from someone, Isolde I think, and left without explaining. But… I don’t know… he looked like he was going to his own execution.” Sighing she shook her head and bit her lip, continuing to sign, “I don’t know if he’s planning on doing something drastic or just needed to get away, but… I should’ve gone after him, injuries be damned.”
Razorbackwriter: Tommy was about to help himself to a hot cup of joe, when Elissa grabbed his hand in order to get his attention. The reporter had been yapping so much that the poor girl could barely get across the fact that Frank…had flown the coop. Watching her hand signing, he realized that Frank must have just came up for a moment or two with Elissa and then taken off again after a call from Isa. The last part of her signing had Tommy start to have a fit.
“He was SUPPOSED to be taking care of you!” Oh Tommy was angry. He threw his head back and let out a strangled sort of noise. If that son of a bitch was going to go do something drastic rather than stand and fight, Tommy would never forgive him. Or himself. It was not like Tommy could baby sit Frank 24/7, but some days that was what he felt he needed to do. Ever since Rory’s death, Frank’s life had crumbled into the pathetic existence he now suffered. Tommy instantly forgot all about coffee. Turning to Elissa he went to reach for her shoulders, then realized that he would do her an injury. Tommy stopped himself in time and seemed to just have his hands hanging in the air…..like he wanted to throttle something. He had the goods on the Commander, to make the Boss back the hell off Frank. It would give them breathing space till the real shooter was caught. The reporter was starting to wonder if he was in the right job.
“You are injured, Elissa. No way should you have followed him. Damn, you look like you could use another eight hours of sleep.”
Taking out his cellphone, he tried to ring Frank. All he got, was his message bank.
“It’s Tommy! You call and let us know where you are. I swear to hell and back if you do something stupid, I’ll kill you myself!”
Tommy ended the message and stared at Elissa with a grumpy look.
VunG: Perhaps she should’ve just kept her mouth shut. Elissa knew damn well that Tommy had every right to be angry, and she was right there with him, but by the same token she didn’t want these two friends getting into yet another fight on her behalf. And damn it all, she was too tired to deal with any more drama. For a moment when Tommy raised his hands she thought that he had lost it and was about to shake her, but apparently he caught himself before he followed through with whatever it was. His words cut a bit, though she knew he meant nothing by it. She shook her head insistently declaring defiantly, ~I’ll live,~ not truly realizing the irony of the statement.
However, she definitely had no complaints about what he said to Frank, and while it was perhaps a bit harsh, the man needed something harsh to wake him up. When the man hung up the phone, she responded to his comment with a shrug then reached for his hand, holding it calmly between both of hers. Then she did a rather dramatic inhale, her entire body puffing up before she let out a noisy exhale. She repeated this once or twice, then released his hand and gestured for him to copy her. Right now getting worked into a frenzy wasn’t helping anyone. However, she didn’t go anywhere; right now coffee, sleep, and all that nonsense took second place to simply dealing with the interpersonal nonsense that needed addressing in the here and now.
Razorbackwriter: Elissa was being so strong and making out how she’d live, even though it was pretty clear that she needed rest to help her get better. How were the painkillers to do their job if she didn’t get some sleep? Feeling Elissa take his hand and try to hold it between the two of hers, Tommy stared at her oddly; still annoyed with Frank. She started doing this dramatic and bizarre inhaling and exhaling. You know the kind you do when you are in a pregnancy class. It looked odd, but she must have had a reason for it. “Ohhhh you want me to ….oh right.” Hearing the noisy exhale, Tommy puffed up his chest – inflating his lungs to the max and then let out a really loud long sigh. Did it help? Hard to say, but it took his mind off Frank. He did another one and you could see his body was starting to relax. His shoulders dropped slightly and the furrowing of his brows stopped. A last sigh, and Tommy made up his mind what needed to happen now. No more chasing, no more running after leads. Elissa’s health came first. Tommy resigned himself to now being Elissa’s babysitter. Not Frank’s. Frank had yet to return his call, so he tossed his cell on the coffee table that was covered in the dirty photos.
“Right little lady. Bed…and I won’t have a word of argument. Not one. And no wicked hand signing either.”
There, he had given the order. No sooner said, he took off his jacket and tossed it over a chair, before kicking off his shoes. He threw himself on the couch and rummaged for the TV remote.
“I wonder if Dancing with the stars is on.” He was speaking now to himself, thinking she would be a good girl and just go to bed, like he had told her too.
VunG: To Elissa’s relief, Tommy caught onto what she was trying to do, and she watched as he very visibly calmed down a bit. Granted, she doubted that such things would be enough to completely calm him down, but it was a place to start. As he released his own sigh, she eased off and released his hands. With that done though, she realized that he was probably going to wind up babysitting her, and as humiliating as that was, she was admittedly a grateful that he cared that much. Finally letting her barriers drop as he somewhat bossily told her to go to bed, she responded with a sleepy but bratty looking, ~Yes dad.~ However, as she was turning to go to her bedroom and take another shot at getting the rest she so desperately needed, she paused and turned back around. She caught his comment, but it wasn’t of much consequence to her at the moment.
As she looked back to Tommy, she couldn’t help but feel a slight warmth in her cheeks. He was acting so selflessly on her behalf, and when they had only just met too. Biting her lip thoughtfully, she re-entered the room and went over behind him on the couch. The man would find her arms lightly wrapping around his chest as she leaned behind him, then, leaning up to his ear, whispered a raspy, “Thanks.” Giving him a light peck on the cheek, she then went ahead and returned to her room, giving one last look towards him with a thin smile before ducking inside and finally trying to get some sleep again.
Razorbackwriter: Feeling the warm arms wrap around his chest caught the reporter by surprise, but he quickly accepted it when he felt her breath upon his ear. That deep raspy wisp of a voice offering thanks made him chuckle. If only everyone knew the delight of a breathless thank you. Frank patted her arm on feeling the light peck of her lips to his cheek.“You’re welcome, hun.”
Watching Elissa finally make the trek into her bedroom and closing her door, Tommy put his feet up on the coffee table and started to flick through the channels. Infomercials, old soaps, gory news bulletins from around the globe and finally a repeat of Dancing with the stars. Oh this was candy floss for the brain and after about two minutes the remote slid from Tommy’s hand as his head lolled back and a loud snore erupted.
The poor guy finally gave up fighting the need for sleep and succumbed like a baby.
On the idiot box, the dancers were doing a slow tango. Brightly coloured garb swirled on the dance floor; with judges to the side looking bored shit less.