Logs:Selfies, Shots, and Shooting

From NOLA: The Game that Care Forgot
Jump to: navigation, search


Selfies, Shots, and Shooting


Characters: Roland and Wesson
Date: 2020-07-06
Summary: Roland and Wesson meet then things get rather interesting.
Disclaimers: BDSM clubs, target practice, and some minor cussing.

Its pretty late at night, which is really the perfect opportunity for those who wish to dive deep into the hedonism that a strip club like this has to offer. Wesson, with her leather jacket draped across her arm (and the leather jacket look like its holding something pretty heavy in one of its pockets), makes her way through the front door. Without even a glance at the other patrons or the dancers, she makes a beeline to the Leather Room.

As soon as she steps in, the blued steel and fire woman stops in her tracks. Her hard features take on a bit of an uncertain edge as she is punched in the face with the raw sexuality of the place. She moves to the side as a couple bark at her to get out of the way, but there is little denying that she is sticking out like a sore thumb if she doesn't relax soon. Her yellow eyes scan the interior, pausing at the porn, then the hyper-styled image above the bar mirror before finally settling on the manniquin. With a deep breath, Wesson makes her way towards the bar, expertly slipping past the moving bodies. As soon as she reaches the bar she motions for two shots of whiskey, whatever is cheapest, and pulls out her phone. Once her order is given, she again takes another scan of the room, this time her eyes are on the patrons. She tries to be her usual vigilant self, but her attention keeps getting tugged by the leather-clad performers.


Sometimes, there are just stereotypes that have to be lived up to. And one of the few real pleasures of owning a strip joint like Bottoms Up is that a man gets to dress like he owns a strip joint. Roland Durant, Supernatural Bounty Hunter Extraordinaire, is wearing a pair of tight leather pants and a black wifebeater tonight, with a mid-thigh red leather jacket slung atop it. He's not tending bar, but he is loitering at the edge of the bar, watching a pair of leather-clad dancers entwine themselves on the outside of the metal cage, dangling over the stage by about five feet. Perhaps he's filling in for a bouncer. Maybe, though, he just really enjoys the show.

Around the time Wesson enters the room, though, there's a subtle change in the scruffy, sinewy, man. He straightens up from his slouch, chin lifting, idly reaching inside his jacket to fish out a pack of Marlboros. Fishing one out and striking it to life with a Zippo, he looks over the crowd attentively. He begins making his way down the length of the bar, toward where Wesson has just ordered her pair of Kentucky Derby shots.


The woman doesn't notice Roland right away, her focus is entirely on trying to see if she can find a certain someone. Lifting her butt off the stool, she reaches into her back pocket and pulls out a bunch of crumpled up bills to pay for her drink before reaching for it. Wesson takes a small sip, and the only hint of disgust is the faintest twitch of her lips, but she stomachs it without complaint like a pro. She seems to finally catch sight of who she wants, a portly man enjoying a dominatrix-styled lap dance that is definitely not from his wife nor his mistress. Flipping to the camera app on her phone, Wesson looks like she is about to take a selfie; except for the fact that she isn't smiling, and the guy she is trying to fool is right behind her, able to see that she is aiming it at the man. "Mind if I bum one?" she asks Roland without turning to see him just yet, the smell of his cigarettes is enough to get half of her attention.


The thing about sticking out like a sore thumb is, well, you get noticed. At some point in his journey along the bar, Roland's attention fell on Wesson and stayed there. Some itch in the back of his neck, some sixth sense, has already told him that there may be trouble of a different sort than the usual in his establishment. And then he spots the camera-phone. Taking a drag on his cigarette, he half-turns, leaning his hip against the bar as he smiles at Wesson. There's sharp intelligence in his vibrant blue gaze, but also a sardonic humor. The grin is halfway to a mocking sort of sneer, even as he offers over the pack of Marlboros. "Grab two, darlin'." He glances over his shoulder at the portly businessman, pointedly not trying to conceal it, then looks right back at Wesson. "What's your name?"


Snap snap goes the camera as the pictures upload to both the cloud and phone. Thankfully the portly man is way too focused on the male stripper teaching him a lesson to pay attention to his surroundings, especially since Wesson doesn't even smile for her own selfie. She is terrible. As Roland offers two, Wesson pauses to finally look at him. She blinks once before taking him in. His sneer causes her head to tilt to the side, but she obliges and takes two, tucking one of them behind her ear and the other between her lips. His pointed look elicits a quick, "Don't be too obvious." Says the woman who is hardly being subtle. She lowers her phone briefly, and turns to face Roland, though at an angle to occasionally glance towards the man she is spying on. "Wesson," she responds in her husky and deep voice around the cigarette filter. "What's yours?"


Roland sighs out a slow plume of smoke as he watches Wesson complete her assignment, not even bothering to conceal his annoyance. The smile is still there, but it's more of a sneer now as he hands over the cigarettes. He glances again at the portly man, then back at Wesson, and shrugs slowly. Some of the irritation fades. The smile grows a touch more genuine, even a bit rueful. "Hey, Wesson. My name's Ro Durant. Roland." He offers his hand out.

Clearing his throat around the cigarette, Roland says "I'm the owner of this fine establishment." There is a glance down at the bulge of Wesson's jacket, the way it's dragged down in a certain point. "I'm going to hazard a guess here," he says idly. "You're snappin' photos of one of my customers. And you're packing heat. Cop?" A beat. "No. You wouldn't be drinking if you were a cop, would you?"


His irritation doesn't even register with the woman, at least not at first. "Roland," she says his name, as if testing it on her tongue. "You don't look like a Roland," she adds as she watches him. The mention of him being the owner, however, forces her to straighten in her seat as she faces him fully. The question and dismissal of her being a cop is enough for her to lift her glass, tip it in agreement towards Roland and brings it up for a quick sip. "You're an observant one," she returns with a grimace she tries her best to hide the distaste of the Kentucky Derby. "I'm not a cop no. I get paid to spy on cheating fuckers for a quick buck; amongst other things. And that," she tilts her head towards her jacket while her eyes are on Roland, "is Little Harry. The best friend a girl can have." She is much more on edge, however, with all of her attention on the club owner. Mr. Cheater be damned, Roland is obviously not a typical strip club owner.


Roland's smile widens as he sees Wesson's attention snap fully onto him. "Yeah," he says in quiet acknowledgement, a hint of smug pleasure in his voice. He doesn't seem to be responding to anything she's said aloud, but rather to the way she suddenly looks at him full-on. He flicks ash off the tip of his cigarette before continuing. "I'm not sure what a Roland oughta look like. Knight in shining armor?" He winks. "That ain't me, no." And for a moment, it seems like Roland would leave it at that, turn around and walk away. But then his eyes narrow subtly. "You get this one as a freebie, Wesson, because you didn't know. But my customers are sacrosanct, so long as they're inside my club." Roland reaches out, quite casually, takes that second shot of Kentucky Derby and tosses it down without a blink. He turns the shot-glass idly in his hand before setting it back on the bar. "And another thing," he says, still staring at Wesson. "I know what you are. I feel you. Like an itch I just can't scratch. So here's another rule you oughta know: bring that sort of trouble into my place, and we've got grief."


His smug pleasure at her snap to attention is enough for her to narrow her fiery eyes. His joke about Roland being a white knight though, forces a snort out of her. "I was thinking of Roland the Gunslinger, from the Dark Towers." But all jokes are thrown out as soon as Roland lets her know exactly what he sees. The woman's eyes widen and the fire within flares in response. The same color in her veins brighten and rides up her body in angry waves. "What?" she breathes out, her eyes searching Roland, then around Roland, only to find nothing. "What," she whispers out again as she leans forward towards him, as much as the bar would let her, only to smell nothing. She doesn't care about the stolen booze, and the cigarette that was between her lips has dropped to roll in front of her. She splays her fingers against the counter as she braces herself, to stop herself from reacting too harshly. "What are you?" she hisses out.


Roland leans forward, enjoying Wesson's shock like a schoolboy opening a present. He actually claps his hands together in pleasure, a goofy and utterly-mischievous gesture, revealing a whimsical side that she hasn't seen from him just yet. And then, suddenly, he is deadly serious. "I am a gunslinger," he responds, in answer to her reference -- and also, perhaps, to her question. "The best you've ever met." He speaks in a soft murmur, the words carefully measured to barely reach over the beat of the bass. Dragging on his cigarette, he draws it from his lips and holds it out, offering it to Wesson in exchange for the one she's dropped. He cannot see her Mien, not truly, but he can sense the danger in her. Only a fool wouldn't. His free hand, not holding his cigarette, idly slides along to the small of his back. "Don't go getting angry now," he drawls. "Fact is -- I got nothing against you. Two others of your kind, they come here pretty regularly."


Her eyes are glued to him. Even his whimsical show of delight doesn't lighten her mood, in fact it seems to set her on edge even more. Wesson inhales sharply when Roland mentions that he is best she'll ever see. That is not something someone tells Wesson without backing it up. "I doubt it," she whispers back fiercely. "You are not one of mine, but you know me, and others like me," the summary was more for herself to digest the information as she tries to reel in her sudden urge to lash out. The offered cigarette, though already well lit, is taken easily enough and goes straight to her lips. Wesson takes a deep drag then blows the smoke out below them, enveloping them in its cancerous cloud. The rush of nicotine, or maybe his words of nothing against her, is enough to finally ease the tension in her shoulders. She doesn't move from her position however, still leaning forward towards him. "You are not the best, big man. I. Am. The Gun."


Roland tilts his head back and laughs, deep and genuine. It's a belly-deep guffaw, brought forth as though the man has heard the funniest thing that's been said in quite some time. He reaches out and, unless Wesson recoils, pinches the cigarette back from her lips to take a drag of his own. It's not as though he doesn't have his own pack. He's proving a point. "You're adorable. You guys. Peter came in all hot and bothered too, made sure I knew he thought he could kill me." He drops the name casually, but there is sudden intensity in his eyes, a faint tensing of the muscles around his jawline -- Roland is hunting for a reaction. There is an insight here, if one were to draw it. Very little that this man does is by accident, even when it seems as careless as can be. "Wesson, I don't need to measure dicks to know mine's big. I apologize for that - I shouldnt'a let my ego get involved at all. Gun wants me to tell you, though, that you ain't it."


"Yea well, we tend to have a flair for the dramatic," Wesson replies warily. Her voice is deadpan though, the edge is still there, but the cigarette is gone as Roland takes it back easily enough. The name Peter doesn't seem to cause any recognition in the woman, or at least she doesn't show it. "Sounds like you have a lot people wanting to kill you when they first meet you," she snaps back. Although her face doesn't relax and her voice is deadpan, there is still the slightest edge of amusement. At the mention of a dick measuring contest, she finally cants her head to the side as her eyes trail down his frame then back up again. "With those pants you're wearing, I can see your dick. It's not something to boast about." Whether he takes a puff of the cigarette or not, Wesson does her own attempt at snatching it back. "You owe me a shot, Little Gun, then I can show you a real fucking shot."


Roland smiles slow and lazy, raising one eyebrow in the sort of move that absolutely has to be practiced in a mirror. He smokes the cigarette down to its filter in one long drag, then offers the nub to Wesson in what is, absolutely, a total dick move. Leaning across the bar, his other hand dropping away from whatever was concealed beneath his jacket at the small of his back, he grabs a bottle of Jack Daniels and pours a shot, sliding it toward Wesson. "I'm a grower," he remarks, unfazed by the comment about his pants. "And these pants are absolutely fab." He seems to be a touch more relaxed, now that Wesson's own anger has retreated a bit, the hard edge submerged beneath a touch of humor. "Drink up, then. You got a place in mind for a shootin' contest?" Because, it goes without saying, it sure ain't going to be here.


Taking the filter, Wesson eyes him then flicks it back in his direction. It isn't an intentionally malicious toss, and her aim isn't the best; its just enough to indicate just how she feels about his dick move. She then catches sight of the bottle and once Roland pours it out, she picks it up appreciatively. Lifting it in a salute to him, she downs the shot. The grimace is gone with this one. Enjoying it briefly on her tongue, Wesson savors it comparison to the Kentucky Derby. Plucking the second cigarette from behind her ear triumphantly, she places it between her lips before glancing over her shoulder towards where her client was supposed to be. The bastard is long gone, and though a look of annoyance flashes across her features, she doesn't really seem to care. There is a dick measuring contest she has to attend to. Her eyes are back on Roland once more as she finally sits up and reaches in her back pocket for a lighter. Taking the time to light her cigarette and repocket the lighter, she takes another deep drag before blowing the smoke back towards Roland's face. "I'm sure we can find something to shoot at."


Roland snorts as the filter smacks into his shoulder and drops to the ground. "Best she's got," he mutters, "And I don't have a damn thing to be afraid of." But he's clearly joking -- as casually arrogant as the man seems about his abilities, he also doesn't appear to take the whole thing too seriously. In fact, there's a ludicrously casual manner about him just now. He watches Wesson down the shot with approval, nods his head, and jerks a thumb toward the main entrance. "I know a junkyard, lets you in after-hours. I can give you a lift if you like." His smile is as innocent as daylight, as innocent as apple pie. Absolutely no bluster in his baby blues. He pulls out his pack of Marlboros, lights another cigarette. "My truck ain't much, but it comes with beer and with ammo."


At the sight of his baby blue car, Wesson can't help but mutter something about the man being secure in his masculinity before climbing in. With her jacket in her arms, she accepts a beer and opens it, but barely takes a sip. Instead, as they drive to the junkyard, she keeps looking around his car, as if it will give her some insight on the stranger next to her. Once they arrive, however, her attention is finally on whats happening outside of the car as she takes the junk yard in. "Remind me to call you if I ever need to dispose a hot car, or a body." It can be rather hard to tell if the woman is joking or not. Gathering her jacket as Roland parks the car, she pauses with her hand on the doorhandle to look at him, "Want to make this little competition interesting?"


"Well, this guy does have his limits. He lets us run a sort of shooting gallery, but I dunno if he'd dispose of a body. I would, though. For a price." Roland glances aside at Wesson as he pulls through the gated entrance. He parks outside the office, slams the truck into park, reaches into his beer cooler to grab a Yuengling and a box of forty-five ammunition. At the notion of a wager, the scruffy man looks aside at Wesson, tilting his head. "Sure. I tell you what -- when I when, you show me what you really look like. And if, on some insane chance, you win? What would you be asking for?" He opens his door, hops out. Without waiting for an answer, beer in hand, he begins walking through the winding array of piled scrap metal.


Wesson cants her head at the offer of disposing a body for her at a price, letting out small exhale, "Everything in this world is for a price, it seems." She then pauses at his request before her eyes narrow at Roland. "Becareful of what you wish for, Pistolero." A beat more before she nods in agreement. "Alright done. If I, on the small chance, end up winning, you tell me how you knew what I am and what you are, deal?" She quirks both eyebrows at him, to see if he'd agree before she opens the door.


"You have yourself a wager," Roland says, a bit too quickly. He's humming softly as he walks, leading Wesson along in the darkness without a second thought. He shrugs his shoulders as the pair draw up toward a makeshift shooting range. A car's hood serves as the loading table, and Roland lays his box of ammunition and his beer atop it. There are cardboard cut-outs set at five meter intervals, all the way out to fifty meters, but they're obviously hand-made. A few obstacles -- washing machines, things of that nature -- make the shooting a bit more tactical in nature, if that's what a person desires, but most of the targets are simple silhouettes. "Now. How you wanna do this? How about -- three shots. Best two outta three wins?"

She follows him along lightly enough, slinging her jacket over her shoulder as her eyes take in what she can see from the junkyard. Once they reach the carhood table, Wesson places her jacket down before reaching into one of the back pockets for her own gun. She pulls out a pretty little light revolver, with blued steel and a dark wooden grip. Its a Smith & Wesson 586. Wesson with a wesson. Her eyes flick over to his before she leans back to eye him in amusement. "You need three shots? And here I was going to show off with one. Have it your way, Pistolero. Two out of three." She places her gun on the hood before crossing her arms. "Lady's first." Hardy har har, a comedian this one.

At the mention of her last name, Wesson stiffens slightly before she rolls her eyes and mutters, "Look, I am not very creative when it comes to names, alright?" Oh it is definitly Smith. When he pulls out his gun, Wesson eyes it rather appreciatively. "Coyote tan," she murmurs with a tilt of her head. "Good for concealment in certain environments. Modern too." The favor causes her to pause once more as Wesson turns from the gun to Roland. "Depends on the favor. I tend to take them very seriously. Tell me what it is before we agree to this. If it is doable, then we can up the ante."

<Missing Pose>

"Peter and Lilium, alright, I can do that," Wesson agrees with a sharp nod. "Corps. I thought it was military," she returns before glancing at him. At his singing, she winces before rolling her eyes again as she steps back to give him space and distance from his voice. "Do not quit your day job, Roland," she tells him solemnly before moving to check twenty meters. "Sounds good to me," she murmurs as she checks her gun and cylinder. Wesson then lifts up her arm to level the gun, murmuring something quietly to herself. The thunder from her gun rips her hand back due to the recoil, and the bullet lands dead center. Dead. Like exceptionally so. The feel of the gun's release has cracked the woman's features. She is grinning, a wide, mad grin. There is pure, unadulterated euphoria just radiating out of her. It's the first time she seems to actually show some non-muted expression.

Roland is forgotten about for the moment. There is nothing but Wesson and Little Harry, aiming at the target. Another round is fired from her. This time it is even better than the last, a perfect shot that is dead center of the hole she created to a near unnerving degree. Her eyes widen with ecstatic glee as a rumble of laugh slips out of her throat. As if she can't control herself just so with the final release of so much joy, the third shot is still a success, but hardly as good nor as impressive. She blinks in surprise before lowering her gun. Her face is flushed and her breathing is ragged; the last shot blue balled her.


"Good. I just wanna know that they're in good standing with the rest'a you. Not full of shit. Not liable to bring trouble to me." Roland doesn't comment on the conclusions Wesson draws -- after all, he's already told her he was in the Corps. Whatever he became after that -- or even, whatever he did when he was still enlisted -- are not things for him to elaborate on just yet. Her recoiling away from his singing, however, elicits a wide grin. "Oh, don't worry. I love my day job too much. But I bring enthusiasm to my music. MAXIMUM EFFORT!" The last is belted out, too enthusiastically by half. Of course he's a Deadpool fan. He watches her step up and take her shots, nodding in faint approval. "Not too shabby, kiddo." Her raw...enthusiasm for firearms goes unremarked, but certainly not unnoticed.

He lifts his own pistol and raises it, speaking down into the slide. "Alright, Gun. You do you, huh, baby?" Walking to stand alongside Wesson, he raises the heavy weapon, adopting the isosceles stance -- knees slightly bent, leaning forward to absorb the recoil, body squared. He snaps his weapon up from the low-ready and fires. The three shots crack out in such quick succession that they seem almost to blend into one long boom. The first one takes a twenty-meter target in what would be its right eye. The second hits in exactly the same place, red pinpoint of the laser proof of the accuracy. It's as though recoil is something that happens to other people. The third follows suit, almost instantaneously. It, too, is so utterly flawless a shot as to be... well, frankly, effortless.

Roland steps back, lowers his weapon, withdraws his finger from the trigger well. He turns and looks at Wesson and breathes out a slow, shuddering, sigh. "Was it good for you too?"


The blue balls from her last shot just gets worse as Roland fires off three of his own. Wesson looks on with unblinking eyes as she watches the bullets disappear into the perfect center all three times. Its hard to deny it, but the man won. Her shoulders stiffen and her jaws tighten as she clenches her teeth. She doesn't say anything for a moment or two, just taking it in before she slowly brings her eyes back towards Roland. There is a new look in them, a look that screams 'I see you, Roland'. She swallows thickly, before finally breaking her silence. "Fuck, you are remarkable," she says it honestly enough. Game recognizes game. Her attitude even begins to shift as she reaches up to rub the back of her neck. The rush of blood that tainted her cheeks in euphoric blush before, is still there as she regards Roland, then his hands. Another thick swallow before she shakes her head with another whispered 'Fuck.' "That was hot," she finally admits ever so reluctantly at his shooting. She checks her gun again then moves back to the carhood to place her weapon upon it gingerly. "It's okay, Little Harry, we'll get'em next time." She then turns back to Roland to motion him closer. "You sure you want this, Pistolero?"


Roland is no stranger to the effects that violence can have -- he watches that blush creep further into Wesson's cheeks with a sly grin, head canting slightly. Notes the new look of respect in her eyes. His grin widens as he sees her swallow hard, hears the catch in her voice. When she reaches to rub her neck, he winks. It's insultingly confident, a silent 'Yeah, that's right'. "I am remarkable, yeah." Modesty? Not his thing. "I did warn you." He absently caresses his fingers along the length of his pistol barrel. "And yeah -- I know it was." Again, the arrogance masquerading as brash humor. But he, mercifully, does not taunt her further. "You ain't the first of your kind I've seen real-face to real-face," Roland says quietly, and walks toward Wesson. He's more somber now, not mocking her at all as he leans his hip against the hood of the ruined car. Absently, he thumbs the release on his magazine-well. Drawing out the mag, he slots in three fresh rounds and reloads the weapon. "Alright. Show me."


At his teasing, she rolls her eyes at him yet again; anymore rolling and they'll roll right out of her head. When he becomes more somber, she gives him a quick nod before looking down at herself, perhaps checking something. Closing her eyes, she exhales a slow, meditative breath. The air around her warms ever so slightly, like she's feverish. Then it happens. Her skin pulls away, as if it was paper thin and ripped off by an unseen hand behind her. The dusky skin tears silently to expose her real skin, the color of blued steel just like Little Harry, shiny yet muted in the darkness. Her veins glow every so faintly in sharp contrast, as if they were windows to the low fire burning within her. Her hair pulls back to reveal streaks of the same fire, hidden within the very strands themselves. She opens her eyes then to look at Roland's expression. Her eyes have been burned away, leaving nothing but pure flames, brighter and all encompassing. "Witness Me," she says in her monotoned but husky voice. See, she can quote movies too.


Look, Roland has seen women lit on fire before. It happens. Usually, it happens because someone chucks a phosphorous grenade into a room without checking for collateral damage, or because a tracer round gets stuck. Or because you've been hired to kill a vampire, and a blow-torch seemed like a convenient way to go in a hurry. Regardless -- he's seen it before. But this. He doesn't bother to hide his astonishment as the heat begins to radiate off Wesson, shaking the air -- and then her skin is gone, revealing the liquid steel beneath. He tracks her veins with a long look up and down, noting their faint glow in the darkness. Roland shuts his mouth with an audible click, reaches into his jacket, produces a cigarette. Lights up, takes a long drag. He seems genuinely at a loss for words for a few heartbeats. And then, slowly, he grins. "Shiny and chrome, huh, darlin'?"


There is something freeing about finally being seen by those who can't see you, even thrilling thanks to the danger it possesses. Her eyes are still on Roland's, studying his expression as much as someone who is so divorced from human emotions can. "Shiny and chrome," she agrees with narrowed eyes. "I wasn't kidding when I said I am the gun. Was the gun," Wesson corrects herself. Reaching up, she pulls her hair band to free her firelit hair, shaking out the wavy mass to give the two of them a faint glow. Reaching into her back pocket, she pulls her own pack out to get a cigarette. "I suppose I may have been better as the weapon than the wielder of one."


Something that Wesson says elicits a sympathetic look from Roland. He steps closer, raising one finger tentatively, prodding at her shoulder as she grabs for her own cigarette. Inhaling, holding the smoke in, exhaling, he says "You aren't a bad shot, buddy." The lack of his usual bantering tone, his usual masculine bravado, is telling. Roland is simply stating facts. "But if you used to be a weapon? That means you aren't. Not anymore. Me?" Smoke clouds his features as Roland exhales, shaking his head subtly. "I'm always going to be a weapon. The bar's nice, but call it a hobby. Side gig. Almost nobody can outshoot me and Gun, alright? That's just -- that's just how I was made, I guess." Is he speaking of Intelligent Design? Roland doesn't strike one as a religious nut, that's for sure.


When he touches her, he'd feel her skin is warm, the kind of warmth heated metal provides, but still soft and yielding as normal flesh. Wesson flinches, but steels herself to not move back. Her free hand reaches out to grab him by the wrist; if she catches him her grip would be firm. "Don't give me that look," she suddenly snaps back at his sympathy. "I need to be a weapon again. This isn't an 'I'm a broken and tormented soul' moment, Pistolero." The hard edge of her tone returns, her eyes brightening as the flame is fuelled from within. "The softer I get, the less I can get back what I lost. And there is nothing, *nothing*, that will stop me from getting it back." The Elemental steps towards him, her lips pulling back into a little snarl, "You a weapon? Made this way? Then aim yourself at your Creator and blow his fucking brains out."


Roland tilts his head faintly as his finger sinks in a bit -- he can feel the metal, feel the heat of it, but it doesn't seem to be unyielding in the same way, say, a car-door would be. And then her hand closes around his wrist, and she is snarling at him. Any look of sympathy vanishes from his face, replaced by something that she hasn't seen from him before -- genuine anger, bordering on contempt. The pistol at his side twitches upward, leveling itself at Wesson's stomach. And there is a moment -- there is a moment where it seems that he is struggling with the weapon, before it lowers itself again to his side. Wesson may not even notice that any of this has happened, that his arm seems to be flexing against some pressure, resisting some force. "Let me go." The words are level, flat, inflectionless. He continues in that same empty voice. "You wanna be a weapon, Wesson? Better learn. Never point yourself at something you don't intend to destroy." His cigarette flares as he inhales, leans forward to speak in a soft murmur. "I'm not the guy to point yourself at."


Her attention was so fixed on his that most of his struggle with his arm goes unnoticed, but his anger that rises up to hers is hard to ignore. Wesson doesn't let go of his wrist at first. Even though he already demonstrated his mastery of the weapon she claims to be, there is a certain death wish feel to her as her fingers dig in deeper into his wrist. The warmth intensifies a few more degrees as she locks eyes with his, fighting back her own temptation to let loose. "No," she finally relents, letting go of his wrist. "You are not the one." Her hand with the cigarette pack flicks it open to get it out and place it between her lips. She is silent as she tries to tamper down her own fire.


Roland stares at Wesson as she tightens her grip on his wrist. The pistol doesn't rise back to her belly, but the tension in his arm beneath hers -- and in his whole body -- is perceptible. He is coiled, coiled like a whip, ready to spring into lethal action if the necessity arises. And for a few moments, it seems as though it is going to. He can feel the heat through her metallic skin, even as he stares at her fiery eyes. If the Lost Boy feels afraid, he hides it well. But when she finally relents, finally releases her grip, the exhalation that follows is something akin to relief. He absently shakes his wrist out, reaching to pinch his cigarette between thumb and forefinger as he takes another drag. "What I am," he says after awhile, "Is one of the two people you hire. But if you ever come at me like that again, sweetheart, I will fucking kill you. Be told." He closes his eyes for a long moment, breathing in through his nose, exhaling out -- and seems calmer now, his smile returning. "As for my own Maker -- don't think I don't intend to do exactly that.."


"The only thing I came at you for was to quit feeling sorry for me," Wesson snaps back, some of the residual tension still in her. She takes her own deep breath before lighting up her cigarette. As soon as the cigarette is lit, the air about her warms yet again, and her skin is ripped silently once more. This time it exposes her Mask underneath her Mien; the dusky skin, coffee black hair and amber eyes returning with the very smoke she inhales. Sheathed once more. "You can threaten all you want, but death is not what I am scared of, Pistolero. I just need to finish something first before I can welcome it." Blowing the smoke out between them, she looks back up at him as the man has quite a few inches on her. At the mention of his intentions, she couldn't help but admit, "then you and I are kind of similar in that sense." She glances towards the target practice where Roland beat her soundly. "How about this, help me with mine, and I will help you with yours."


"You have got to be," Roland drawls, "One of the two prickliest people I know. I think it'd be a real terrible idea to introduce you to Gray. Cannot wait to find out." His grin now is wicked, reflective, and a bit distant -- as though he is, for a moment, thinking of someone else entirely. But then Wesson begins to shift -- that snaps his attention back, as crisply as a whip-crack. "Sometimes," he says in a far more friendly tone, "Threats have to be issued. People gotta know. Things got to be said aloud, or they sit there in the shadows. Understand?" He draws on his cigarette, looking down at Wesson with a contemplative expression. "I'm happy to help with yours," he says after awhile. "So long as my partner can come along. And so long as you pay. That's how this works, see, Wesson. I kill for money."


"I'm not prickly," she returns in a rather, well, prickly manner. Still, Wesson gives him a nod at the mention of Gray, noting his rather distant look. She seems curious about him showing such an emotion, but she remains silent for the most part. At the mention of threats needing to be issued, Wesson can't help but add, "Be careful with your words though, Pistolero. Sometimes words are far stronger than you realize." She reaches over to grab her gun and slip it back into the pocket of her jacket. Flicking the extra ash off her cigarette once done, she moves to lean back against the hood of the car. "I don't think even your shooting can do what needs to be done, you don't have to kill it. That's my job. I want you to teach me how to do that," she nods towards his bullet holes. "I am not exactly rolling in money, but if you're willing, I can try to find something worthy to pay you with."


Roland snorts a soft laugh at the accidental confirmation of his opinion. He drops his cigarette underfoot, rubs it out, draws another one out and lights up. It seems to be a habitual thing, rapid-fire smoking -- as deadly, in its own slow way, as his gunfire. But he does her the credit of considering her words. "Wesson -- when I say I'll do a thing, it's binding. Know that about me. But I hear ya." When she slips her weapon into her pocket, Roland reaches behind himself, tucking Gun away into the Kydex holster at the small of his back. "You'd be amazed what she and I can do with cold iron bullets and the right preparation," he says quietly. "We aren't your average kill team, kiddo. But if what you want is to learn? Well, the two of us can do that too. But we're a package. First things first -- you deliver the goods on Lilium and Peter. They made me a deal, but I ain't seen 'em to live up to it."


The mention of cold iron bullet is enough to snap Wesson's eyes back towards Roland, staring at him for a moment as if trying to decide something before she breathes out. Taking another drag from her cigarette, she picks up her jacket to drape it across her arm. "I am not going up against an average enemy. Nor above average. No matter how strong you are, as long as you're...you, you're a temptation. We can discuss this later." The mention of him and Gray being a team, Wesson lifts up the hand holding the cigarette to flick two fingers from her temples towards him in a casual salute. "I get it, she's your girl Friday, your other hand, all that lovey crap you people seem to enjoy. If she can shoot as well as you can and is up for teaching me, then that's all I can ask." Reminding her of their bet with Lilium and Peter, Wesson stands back in surprise. "Not living up to your deal? Hmm. I will look into them. Have to get around and talk to my guys anyways, should be easy to ask around. As soon as I find out, I'll come to you." A pause before she cants her head to the side. "Or if you don't trust me either, you can find me," she lists her office, which is in an apartment complex oddly enough. "If you need to, ask for Wesson N. Smith. Not. A. Word."


Roland smiles slowly in satisfaction at that knee-jerk reaction from Wesson. He inhales on his cigarette, raising his brows slightly as he listens to the rest of what she has to say. "Hey, fair enough." He lifts a hand as if to forestall some future conversation, wagging it back and forth lightly. "I don't *really* want to be taken away and turned into some fucker's plaything. And we don't force our services on anyone." But as she touches on Gray, something in the man hardens, that lackadaisical attitude slipping a bit. He's still smiling, but there's a steely look in his blue eyes. "I think you'll understand better when you meet her," he says, deceptively mild. "If you really think I'd partner with someone just 'cuz of some lovey-dovey shit... well, you'll see. That's all. She may not be my equal as a marksman, but Gray brings plenty to the killing table. Lotta ways, she's better'n me." He shrugs his shoulders loosely as the subject changes again, nodding his head faintly. "To be fair, they ain't broken their word, exactly. They just -- ain't been here to live up to it. They promised me some modifications to our armor, in exchange for a few favors." Roland purses his lips slightly. "Why's it such a big deal, them not living up to their end?" But then -- the name. She did warn him not to say a word, but Roland can't help it. "See, you need your own partner. Sammy Colt. Or maybe Mister Koch Heckler."


His reaction to Wesson's comment about his partnership with Gray forces the Elemental to quirk her eyebrows. "I am sure your girl Gray is all that and more. I am starting to find out just how much there is between heaven and earth, even with unassuming people. You can bring whomever you want as long as you're willing to teach me." When he jokes about the names, however, a groan escapes from Wesson as her head falls back. "Fucking smart ass, aren't you," she returns before stretching up to gather her hair in a pony-tail once more. "Get me a Winchester at least, maybe then I can afford to take a few days off stalking assholes after assholes." She simply ignores the question about it being a big deal as she tightens her hair.


"Oh. Oh. Ooooooh." And Roland begins to laugh. He really does have a great guffaw, and this time it sounds genuinely unselfconscious. It's not at all a put-on. He's finding something extremely amusing, whether it's the woman's joke, his failure to get it, or her failure to explain it. He's still laughing as she grabs the beer from his hand. Roland turns and looks at the Elemental with a mock-indignant stare. "I oughta make you call a fucking Uber," he says, as he walks to his side of the truck and unlocks the door, hopping in. He leans across to unlock Wesson's door. "But since I got an entire beer cooler stocked with it, and two kegs, I think I'll let this pass. Hop in. I'll give you a lift to your office."