As the hour grew later, more people started to arrive at the small apartment. Some of them Rhea was familiar with from past nights. They settled in pairs or small groups on the floor. Those old enough brought their own assortment of bottles. The younger ones circled them, scrabbling dirty coins and crumpled bills, hoping someone would make a run to the liquor store and bring them the obliteration they sought. Those kids who didn't have enough desperately tried to pool their funds, arguing about who would get what share of the bottle to come.
All the while, Brad sat in the same spot, ordering people to bring him booze or light his smoke. He acted like he was King of the World.
Rhea absently watched as a girl named Chloe passed by his spot. He grabbed her by the wrist. “ Get me a beer, Girlie pops” he ordered her.
Chloe shook her wrist free and said “Fuck yourself, Brad. I'm not you're bitch.”
Suddenly, Brad launched himself from the sofa, more quickly than Rhea would have thought possible. He grabbed Chloe around the waist, and swept her feet from under her.
“What the fuck!” she shrieked, and struggled against him. Brad tightened his grip, and glanced at the people on the floor.
“Move” he said, calmly. Dumbstruck, nobody reacted.
“Move!” he screamed, and people scrambled over each other to get out of the way.
Brad calmly walked to the apartment door, completely unaffected by Chloe's struggles. Opening it with one hand, he pitched the screaming girl into the hallway. She hit the door of the opposite apartment and crumpled to the floor, silent.
Her boyfriend jumped to his feet, fists clenched. He cast a menacing glance at Brad.
“Stop right there, or they will never find your body” Brad, said, in a flat, calm voice. It was chilling.
Meeting his eyes, Chloe's boyfriend dropped the fighter's stance and ran out the door, head down. Brad slammed the door closed and locked it.
“Now, who's got a drink for me?” he asked. Almost everyone in the room either made for the fridge or offered their own bottle.
Rhea and Martin sat silent for a moment, watching as Brad settled back in his customary spot. The others settled back as well, the negotiations for who would buy and who would share starting again.
Maybe that's as bad as it'll get tonight, Rhea thought, and turned to Martin. “Got enough for a big beer?” she asked him. At least that might make her feel better about being here.