Anatoly/ Ground Floor /Bar
"Err I think there was some guy giving them out earlier” Kleopas lifted a hand and pointed noncommittally to a space somewhere over his shoulder.
That doesn’t help me in the slightest. Aside from narrowing the card distributor down to being male…
Anatoly thought a bit plaintively, the wrench thrown into his newly forming plans dulling down the elation somewhat.
He shifted back a bit in discomfort as Kleopas leaned forward, giving him a wink and tapping his nose as if they were sharing some conspiracy between themselves.
"Dont worry Anatoly, your secret is safe with me ...”
His heart missed a beat.
“.... not everyone is good with directions". And then the man let out a throaty laugh.
Answering with a weak smile, Anatoly reached over for the Guinness and took another quick gulp, taking it as an opportunity to let his heart regain a normal pace and collect his thoughts back into order. He really couldn't explain it, but talking with Kleopas left him feeling in-over his head somehow, like he was being toyed with even. It was pretty much set in stone now that the man suspected something other than a lack of directional sense was causing Anatoly problems.
Kleopas gestured toward the card still being held in Anatoly’s hand, taking another sip of his whiskey. "But like I said if you need a hand with anything important
. Don't hesitate to ask, I find people have a habit of underestimating me"
But what reason would Kleopas have to care? Anatoly felt his heart rate pick up again, and took another glance at the man sitting before him with far warier eyes. Is it that you know something? Oh god. Could you be involved somehow?
No. There could be no way this man knew anything about Nick. He’d been reading too many Crime Noir novels in his free time and it looked like they were starting to affect his brain. Strangers with a hidden agenda and all of the answers didn’t just come by, offering cryptic words and an involvement in some complicated crime.
He let out a slow breath, taken aback by his momentary lapse into paranoia. It’s just been a long two weeks I think.
The reasons behind Nick’s disappearance were probably far simpler. Rooted in the real world and the usual motivations behind such crimes. No convoluted conspiracies, no gung ho solutions. Almost never a timely rescue either. That last part made him feel sick inside, and he pushed the thought away, refusing to accept it.
Still, the nagging uncertainty refused to fully go away.
He glanced up again as he heard Kleopas begin to stand up, the man absently gesturing toward the remaining drink as he caught Anatoly looking his way once more. "Although if your fine on your own, I can drink this drink here and be on my way to that rather attractive sounding dance floor and leave you to wonder down the rabbit hole alone?"
Who are you?
There was no hint of that grimy somehow predatory sensation he’d felt once or twice around people that didn’t seem like they had had the kindest of intentions his way. Just more of that muffled haze, further working on dulling down some of the sharper ‘feelings’ that had floated about Kleopas during the course of their conversation.
Anatoly stared at the space before him much like Kleopas had earlier, caught in indecision, a finger absently running along the rim of his glass. Then his shoulders relaxed a bit.
“Have fun…” He began to say, ready to put up that smile, and a nonchalant wave of farewell.
And what if I’m turning away somebody that can genuinely help?
The thought quietly ran through his mind. Then…
“Wait.” He briefly closed his eyes. I must be crazy.
No smile got in the way now as he looked back up at Kleopas, only worry and a modicum of weariness. “You're right…” The words came out hesitantly. “There is something else. Something that the guy on these cards would be really helpful for.”
Anatoly briefly glanced past Kleopas’s shoulder toward the people behind him, before looking back; hopefully his words hadn’t carried far past Kleopas, since he didn’t really feel like advertising his problems to the other strangers at the bar.
“So I really kind of need a description of what that person passing out cards looked like.” A small smile flickered back and then quickly faded.
“And anything else, well…” He paused, feeling out of his depth and with no idea as to what he should be doing or who he should be trusting in such a situation. “I guess I have no real idea who you are, but if you say that you can help then ...” He trailed off again, the uncertainty plain to see now in his expression.
He thought distantly. Nick, I think it’s now torn away the last few shreds of common sense I had. But maybe this is a chance I need to take to find you.
He picked up another card from the pile and started playing with it, fingers suddenly needing something to do. “Then maybe once things start to wrap up here we can talk.”