From Russia...

He entered the pub like a cold breeze: unseen, unheard, but sending a shivering chill through those close to him. He alighted delicately on one of the bar stools, a tall and slender form wrapped in dark denim matching his personality.

"Vodka. Straight."

His words, too, were cold and crisp.

Sly eyed him for a few moments before turning to pour the drink, a look of unease crossing his face. It had been an interesting night, and his gut told him things were becoming even more so.

The man sighed, a gently heave of his broad shoulders. He knew that the table of women behind him was engaged in a mad flurry of gossip, and that more than one pair of eyes was fixed on his back. It came with the profession.

Sly returned with the drink, "Straight, no chaser." He smiled a little nervously, before asking, "Haven't seen you here before. What brings you?"

"I've been sent," he replied briskly.

"By...?" Sly implored.

A sip at the vodka, then, "Jack."

McKenzie looked up from his drink and conversation, senses stimulated by the name.

"One-eyed Jack," he continued, idly swirling the clear liquid in his glass.

He turned on the stool, back to Sly, elbows on the counter. Another taste of alcohol trickles down his throat, then he knocks the glass back.

The gossip girls in front of him stopped their banter for mere seconds, surprised to see him regarding them. He locked eyes with Anastasia, then turned back to the bar. Behind him, the table erupted in hurried tones.

He smiled, the first implication of the emotions playing behind his cold facade.

"Another one, 'keep," he quiped. Sly returned and asked his name, so he could start compiling a tab.

"Konstantine Konstantinovich." The name flew from his mouth, smooth and foreign.

"Come again?" said the slightly surprised Sly.

Smiling broader, Konstantine's lips passed over his teeth, revealing the long and pointed canines beneath.

"Kostya," he enunciated, throwing back the second glass. "And I'll need another."

Sly nodded quickly, retreating in shuffling silence.

The End

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