Flying Solo

He strode in much the way he had the previous night, a cold wind blowing before him.

Sly looked up from his glass-polishing and smiled weakly. "Kostya, back for more?"

"Course," the vampire replied, echoing the smile in more sincere terms. "You serve the good vodka, not the bitter water that runs from the others' taps."

An eyebrow raised itself as Sly responded, "And what would the 'good vodka' be?" He attempted a Russkiy accent on the words 'good vodka,' rousing a chuckle from Konstantine.

"Anything from Russia," he laughed.

Sly laughed too, and went to get the man -- err, vampire -- a drink, confident in what he would order.

"Empty, да?" Kostya asked, inadvertently tagging his native tongue onto the phrase. His inward thoughts hoped that everyone had Cyrillic installed on their hard drives.

"Yes, quite dead at the moment," came Sly's retort from behind the counter, full glass in hand. He slid it to Kostya, who promptly took a long drag on it.

"I like it that way."

Sly didn't know how to take the remark, stifling a nervous laugh.

Meanwhile Kostya finished the vodka, the water of his nation. He set the glass down easy, then dove into the interrogative.

"Sly," he started, "why do you insist on being the 'keep? You're certainly successful enough to at least hire someone, if not dream them up yourself."

"Huh," Sly heaved in return. "Never thought of that."

Kostya smiled, flashing his trademark teeth.

Sly returned the smile, albeit without the prominent canines, just as a grinning young woman waltzed out from the shadows.

She pursed her lips lustfully before saying, "Which one of you is Sly?"

A hand danced off her hip, bringing a bubble-gum pink lollipop to her lips. Sly knew it was his lucky day, despite the bum leg.

Splitting his face, his grin was white and sparkling. "That would be me, miss."

"I see." Her eyes slowly looked him over, tongue whipping across the hard, pink sugar. "Out from behind the bar then, boss."

The grin spread wider as Sly happily complied.

Kostya stared too, but his gaze was aimed at her tanned neck.

She swayed on over, passing both men without a care, each one turning his head as she glided by. She alighted behind the bar, where she donned an admittedly skimpy apron, tying it tight across her.

"Now, what can I get'cha?"

Sly's mouth clapped shut. "You're the new barmaid?"

She looked a tad confused, despite her lack of blonde locks. "I would hope so, unless you've changed your mind."

"Oh, no," Sly fumbled the recovery. "Course not."

The vampire was still locked on her neck, eyes unblinking. He knocked back another vodka, served to him by the new barmaid at Sly's suggestion.

"Is it always this dull?" the young woman breathed.

"Hah!" Sly bellowed. "Just you wait.

She didn't wait long.

The End

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