|Jack Roark||Jack Roark says, "Alright, Will, the orders are gonna start comin' fast and furious here in the next hour or two," comes an unnecessarily loud voice from the kitchen. "Let's get some fresh onions chopped'n battered, I know we got like three /tubs/ of fries blanched and ready to fry, but go ahead and portion out some patties now. We'll do the rest real M-T-O style, got it? Good." Emerging into the area behind the bar, Jack Roark takes a look around the room.
The place is just starting to fill up, around 7 PM even though they've been open since three, and a broad smile lights up his face at seeing his dream come to life, just like it does every night. He's dressed simply tonight in a tight t-shirt that reads 'Shake Me Up' in a funky font with gray wool slacks that don't really look like casual wear. With nothing better to do at that exact moment, he pulls out one of the towels from under the bar to polish the countertop for the fifteenth time that night."
|Ashley Graham||Look at those 21 and over girls! Yes those two right there. They certainly look 21 and over, don't they? The way they slip into the bar with a giggle, pausing to peek out the front window as though they expect someone to follow them. But no one does, and their smiles grow even brighter. One is a brunette, and the other a blonde, and vaguely familiar for most people who've watched the news in the last few years. She's beautiful, there's no getting around that, with platinum blonde hair falling in luxurious waves down her back that would make any Herbal Essence commercial jealous. Pale skinned, blue eyed, but skinny. Really the all-American girl. She's wearing today a khaki skirt, off-white knit leggings, and an ivory long-sleeve lace top. He friend is in heels, a jeans, and a t-shirt. They're grinning and giggling. "No, they still think we're in the coffee shop," the blonde confides to the other. Arm in arm the two move to walk to the bar, though the brunette breaks off asking to run to the restroom. That leaves the blonde, Ashley, to sit at the bar and give that tender a dazzling smile. "Hi," she says, pleasantly. "Can I have two sex on the beach? Or is it sex on the beaches? Sexes on the beach. I never know the correct way to say it." She laughs. She's cool as a cucumber, this one.|
|Jack Roark||"Welcome to Jack's Bar," Jack greets with a broad, winning smile. "This is the bar," he explains, slapping the counter with his towel, "and I- am- Jack, your friendly neighborhood bar-man." He's already moving with practiced familiarity to pull down a handle of vodka when he remembers that whole 'comply with the law or lose your liquor license' thing and glances around to see how many off-duty cops might be in the room already. None of the faces jump out at him, but he makes his way back over to Ashley with a sort of reluctant reticence. "You got an ID on you, sweetheart?" He grabs a French fry from a basket lounging back in his area on his way past, tucking it in the corner of his mouth like a cigarette as he leans against the backside of the bar to wait for her to pull it out, or not.|
|Ashley Graham||She's got that smile on steroids. And perfect teeth to boot. If she even showed her ID it's a wonder if he'd even see it in the blinding shimmer of those pearly whites. Those are teeth that have been well-cared for through every bite of life. "Hello Jack. I'm Ashley, and my friend is Candice. Wherever she went." Still ice cold, Ashley turns and looks around to see if Candice has yet returned from the bathroom. For now, there's no sign of her. The blonde seems content to wait for her drink until Jack comes back and she moves her head around again to face him. Smiles again. "Oh you flatterer," she says with a laugh, and goes into her handbag to dig out her wallet, which she opens and holds up to him. The bitch, even her license photo is flattering. Ashley Graham, it says, with a Washington, DC address. And a date of birth that puts her at the ripe old age of 18, if he bothers to look. Or if he bothers to care, once he's looked. Just look at those teeth. Those teeth //deserve// to sink themselves into a juicy drink, don't they? Don't they, Jack?|
|Jack Roark||Jack has a charming smile of his own, and maybe something about seeing it in the mirror every morning has taken just a little out of the effect everyone else's have on him. Maybe that's it. Because he takes her ID, gives it a glance, and with an apologetic grin, hands it back. "Sorry miss, but you gotta be twenty-one to drink at Jack's, 'least the liquor. I can make ya somethin' else tastes just like it, though," he adds, brightening slightly. "We also have a full menu for your perusal," and quick fingers snatch one out from below the bar to slide, right side up, towards her, the laminate glossy in the overhead lighting. Cracking a final smile, he puts the cherry on top of the introduction with a quick "Lemme know" and then he's scooting back down the bar to top off someone's beer.|
|Ashley Graham||Well that puts a slight damper on that glistening smile of hers. Ashley snaps her wallet shut and lets it sit on the bar, watching the man as he walks away with a slight narrowing of her eyes. Not angrily. More thoughtful, considering. She drums her manicured fingernails along the laminated menu for a moment before she slides it aside. Nope, this teen wants her buzz and she's not giving up. So when Jack comes back, she's got her wallet out again. "It's a silly law anyway," she tells him, honestly. Speaking from the heart on this particular issue. "I can sign up to go to war but I can't sign up for a beer? Ridiculous." She pulls out a crisp 50 dollar bill and folds it on the counter top, sliding it in his direction. "Well, make us something then. I hope this is alright, I don't have any smaller bills. I understand if you don't have any change this early in the evening." Smiles. Smiles again. Such bright smiles.|
|Jack Roark||"You got that much right," Jack replies, his mouth quirking to the right a little at the display of anti-law sentiments from such a bright, cheerful, preppy-looking girl, but if anything such rebellion pleases him. "Y'know," he remarks, stuffing the bill into his pocket for now and turning back to the wall behind the bar to peruse the refrigerator for juices. "If you sign up and they send ya overseas, we are just about the -only- place where the age requirements are different," he relates, glancing over his shoulder to give her a wry wink. Cranberry juice, peach cocktail, orange juice, and... oh, is that- is that just a water bottle without a label on it? Yeah, that must be what it is. Just watering down the sweetness, is all. With a cheery grin, he slides it across the countertop to her, leaning back against the wall next to a row of taps. "Tell me if that don't taste /just like/ sex on the beach. -Es," he adds, with a hint at her earlier confusion. That was cute, what she did.|
|Ashley Graham||"Sangria was cheaper than soda in Spain!" Ashley responds easily, shaking her head in disbelief. "And I don't think I was level-headed the entire semester I was in Paris. Not that it was bad; I did very well there. What we need is someplace that combines the common sense of Europe with spacious American bathrooms. That would be the true shining city upon a hill," she says, quoting Ronald Reagan, perhaps oddly. When the drink is slid in her direction she daintily reaches forward to pick it up and give it a little swirl before taking a light sip. "Mmmm. You're damn good with your chemistry, Jack." She sips again, this time a bit deeper, before setting the drink down in front of her. "You really should give up on this bar thing and open a mocktail stand. You'd certainly have my business." She grins to him as she lifts the glass again, the happy carefree grin of an 18 year old with illicit liquor.|
|Jack Roark||"Yeah, I spike 'em all with nail polish remover," Jack replies, without bothering to wink or look extra amused or anything else that might clue her in that he's kidding. Maybe he's not kidding! "You want anything to eat, then, Ashley?" Ashley. Ashley Graham. The name would be familiar if he turned on the news or did any reading online that wasn't from wild conspiracy sites. Actually, that might make the name more familiar in itself. But so far, the name's not clicking. "We got some kickass food."|
|Ashley Graham||"Oh you do? Good. I always thought dying young was better than getting old and wasting away. If I'm going to have my picture in the paper once, let it be when I'm young and thin." Ashley chatters, chipperly. She really does enjoy that drink, taking another deep sip. Only then does he bring her attention to the menu. At first she doesn't seem interested. But then, the man is hooking her up. So she might as well give him more of her business, to return the favor. She slides the laminated sheet back close to her with those painted nails again, blue eyes scanning it quickly. "Oh. Well..." she trails off, scanning the menu again and then folding her hands to look up at him, biting the lower right corner of her lip in thought. "I don't mean to be //that girl// Jack, but do you think you might have some kind of salad or something back there?" Because the camera adds ten pounds and she's on camera for every major holiday, smiling at her father's side and hostessing those big damn parties.|
|Jack Roark||"Sweetheart, you're far from /that girl/," Jack chuckles, leaning over the bar to tap the last item on the menu. "See that? That's my promise to you, a patron of Jack's Bar, that this will be the best bar experience of your life, and that includes something as easy as a /salad./" Don't be ridiculous, Ashley. "It was cheaper to only print on one side," he adds shortly, already turning to step over to the kitchen door and stick his head in. "Will! Put together a Caesar-" Back around the door- "You're not vegan, are you?"|
|Ashley Graham||"Well I might be, you just met me two minutes ago. Jesus, where //is// Candice?" Ashley pauses to look around, to see if the girl is back yet. She's not. "Her nose is going to be the most perfectly-powdered nose in this hemisphere when she gets out." Or she's pooping. Anyone's guess. But there's mention of salad, and a charming bartender, so the plight of the pooping friend is soon set by the wayside in favor of more conversation. "Hmm? Oh Lord, no. Cheese. Cheese forever," she assures the man, that bright smile returning to her features. "Although that particular promise of yours makes me dead curious, Jack. You've got to tell me. What's the craziest request you've ever had to fill to make your bar experience the best bar experience of someone's life?"|
|Jack Roark||At the reply, Jack sticks his head back into the kitchen to yell "Caesar salad, extra Parm, just go nuts with it," and then he's making his way back out to the bar, his tight shirt with its 'shake me up' slogan not leaving much of his general shape to the imagination, and the shape of him is a very good shape. "Powder's important," he puts in with a defensive tone but a joking wink, a gesture that doesn't see much use these days but Jack is well on the way to reviving. "But uh, the craziest ever? There's a certain 'code' of barkeep secrecy against divulging the secrets of other patrons, but without being /too/ specific, we rendered emergency medical treatment to a girl right over there a few weeks ago," the man relates, pointing vaguely over towards one of the tables. "She seemed pretty damn glad to have wandered in when we stopped her from bleedin' out on the floor." Maybe not 'the best night of her life' but at least her life kept going afterward. Jack pauses in his story-telling to gather up a few more fries from his basket and shove them en masse into his mouth. "And its not an unshakeable guarantee," he explains around the fries, "it's just my promise to you to do everything I can to make it happen. Like when your dad says 'yeah, babydoll, I'll be there' and then he gets a flat tire. 'Cept in this illustration, Dear old Dad hitch-hikes the rest of the way and makes it in time for the seventh-inning-stretch." He seldom stops grinning, and while it may have faded during that story about the girl who got mauled by dogs (didn't mention that, did we?) it's back by the end of his probably all-too-familiar metaphor. But then he's glancing over her shoulder as another customer approaches. "Vodka and tonic? Comin' up."|
|Ashley Graham||"Oh right, of course. I'd forgotten about that. Lawyers, doctors, priests, and bartenders. Which makes sense, seeing as a bartender tends to serve as all the rest at some point or another. At least if the movies are true," Ashley says, watching him eat the fries with a flicker of burning longing in her eyes. Because what girl doesn't get trembly at the mere scent of french fries? Those sweet, beautiful, starchie little calorie sticks. Only Jack's mention of emergency medical treatment causes those blue eyes to flicker back to the man himself. "Jesus, really? Did she make it, I mean, is she alright?" There's real concern for this nameless, faceless stranger. She seems a little bewildered that a girl was bleeding out so near to her so recently, her eyes having gone wide at the story and then at the spot when she turns to look at it. Once again, Jack's voice breaks the spell. "Oh, juice me up again won't you?" And then she's looking over her shoulder for Candice, once again.
Candice actually does come back now! But she looks a little green, and she has one hand across her belly. The brunette slinks into the seat beside Ashley with a groan. "Ash, I'm sorry. I don't feel well. I think it's whatever Justin had in his flask at the coffee shop." The girl groans again, and Ashley puts her hands on either shoulder, shusshing her gently and looking around to see if she was overheard. More whispers pass back and forth. "How bad?" "Worse than my appendix." Things of this nature.
|Jack Roark||"Oh yeah, she's great now," Jack blithely replies, because he has no clue and he's not about to say she /died/ after being in his bar. Hey people, come drink where that girl died! No. The other mystery is how he maintains that chiseled physique on a steady diet of French fries, snark, and inadequate sleep, but Jack is a man of many talents and short attention span, after all. She asks for another, and he turns his back to the bar to get to work, doling out equal parts of each juice with a little kicker of 'water' at the end, and it's as he's poised with the half-crushed plastic over the drink that Candice returns and he glances over his shoulder, overhearing little snips of the conversation. Frowning, he tops the drink off and comes back over, looking between Ashley and Candace with his sharp blue eyes. "You alright, princess?" he asks of Candace. "We got some alkaseltzer and that kinda crap back here if you want it." His lips press into a thin, concerned line, not wanting to clean up puke this early in the day.|
|Ashley Graham||Candice rocks a little in her seat, her pretty but plain face pulled into a grimace of displeasure and concern. She looks to Jack, then shakes her head, looking back to Ashley. "It's like my stomach wants to explode," she explains, quietly. "And it's like it's pushing on my lungs." She looks to Jack, then back to Ashley.
Ashley, for her own part? Her brows lift. "It's affecting your breathing? Okay." She turns and looks to Jack again, biting gently on the lower right corner of her mouth again. "It's fine. I'm just going to take her to get it looked at." That seems to alarm Candice, however, and she reaches out to grab Ashley's wrist. "We can't go back out like this, we'll get seen and you'll be screwed!" Ashley looks back to Jack once again, and gives him one of those smiles. Not quite as bright as before, but pretty all the same. "Jack," she says, easily. She leans one elbow on the bar to rest her cheek against her hand and bat her eyes at him a little. "Would you mind terribly if we used your back door?"
|Jack Roark||"Do not explode on my seat, please," Jack requests quietly, because he just cleaned that shit this morning. He's not a doctor, though, and the alkaseltzer is about the best he can offer.
"Yeah, you can use the back door, sure," he agrees, nodding, while a giant sign flashes 'LIABILITY' in his head. "Come on, it's this way." And then he's pulling the bar-door open against his better judgment, maybe because he sees a lot of himself in Ashley, or maybe he just wants to help these kids and no one else is likely to. "It's through the kitchen."
|Ashley Graham||Ashley, for her own part, doesn't seem to think it's the least bit strange that this nice bartender is willing to usher herself and her sick friend out the back. Quite normal, this sort of thing! Quickly, Ashley packs up her purse and stands, sliding an arm around Candice to lead her around the bar and toward the open kitchen door that the man holds for them. She gives him another smile and bat of her lashes as she slides past him. "Not sure if it's my best bar experience ever, but it's definitely up there. I'll need another two or three times before I can make my decision," she says with a grin. Candice just groans again.
If Jack does look back, he'll see that Ashley's left another 50 on the bar.