The Name Game


Jaya.jpg Max.jpg

Date: 2010.09.25
Location: Jaya's Bar
Synopsis: Max heads down to Jaya’s bar looking for information over the name given him by Jinnet. What he comes away with is heavier sense of foreboding than when he went in.
Rating: PG13 - Language
Logger: Max

The bar has closed, its last patron sauntering out with a wave to both barkeep and barmaid. Jaya is behind the bar cleaning out the last of the mugs Suli deposited, the scarred-faced woman looking to be in a good mood despite the lateness of the hour. Suli is out by the tables looking a lot more tired than her own boss, the broom sweeping in slow motions as her attention is keeping within the woman. Neither is expecting any more arrivals into the bar, it being one of those nights where things usually close up without much fanfare. Jaya's blissfully ignorant of any dramas going on in the beast cavern, even of a certain gardener that has lately been frequenting the bar just to ply his charms on her. As for Suli? Jaya has yet to notice why the towering woman has been oddly quiet lately, seeming to keep a lot of her opinions to herself. She's yet to register that as worry.

It would be those very dramas going on in the beast caverns which draw Max’s path toward Jaya’s bar this late evening. Hands shoved into pockets and expression darkened with poorly suppressed worry, his strides are purposeful as he rounds a corner, down the hallway and then steps over the threshold and into the bar a pace or two. Dark eyes narrow first onto Suli, his mouth setting into a disgruntled line for the barmaid’s presence and then he’s disregarding the woman for the time being and heading straight over to where Jaya works on cleaning the last of the mugs out. Plonking his butt down onto a stool, arms fold on the counter before him and he sets a long and silent look onto the dark haired woman before stating quietly, “We need to talk.” No, ‘Good evening, how are you?’ nothing, just that.

Usually Max's arrival into the bar means something not good, in Jaya's estimation - based on all the times he's been in there before. When she looks up from her cleaning and finds the beast manager arriving, her expression slips into one of wariness at him in silence. She's assumed everything serious or wrong that goes down to be associated with man since he doesn't come by otherwise, so the expression stays with a darting glance towards the equally watching barmaid. Suli straightens sharply at his arrival, as if someone had went behind her and stuck a board up her ass. Clearly the older woman did not expect the man to show up at the bar after their altercation, so her own wariness is for a different reason than Jaya's as she connects a look with her. His greeting, as it were, only made tensions worse, for the words are met with silence from them both for a long moment. "It's late," Suli is the first to respond, forcefully putting herself into the conversation whether Max had wanted her there or not. She didn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon either, but she was certain any moment now, Jaya will dismiss her to speak to him privately.

Jaya would be right in assuming his presence here this evening does not bode well. That plain to see in the tight expression he wears that displays just faint bruising and an almost healed cut above the one eye. At any other given time, he might even have risen to verbally baiting Suli simply because it provides him with dark amusement to do so. Or perhaps even come with specs in hand on potential runners found for her to take a look at and collect the deposit they’d spoken of. As it is, Max’s hands are free such documentation, and with barely a turn of his head in the barmaid’s direction, keeps an intent gaze on Jaya and states in that same low tone, “She needs to leave.” Suli, that is.

"Call it a night, Suli." It's the first words Jaya says since Max's arrival, her eyes never leaving the man as her movements in cleaning the current mug finally still. Dark eyes take in Max's face, the cuts and bruises still visible from where she stood before Suli is at the counter and giving her a hard look. "Are you sure you….?" the barmaid is leveling this low at the bar owner, eyes cold and hard as she is being, predictably, dismissed. The Telgari wasn't liking this one bit. She thought at first that the beast manager was there indeed to collect on their business deal, but seeing as how he had no documentation on him, her suspicions were rising to hysterical levels. Being more than certain that one of Lo's men was still in custody… Jaya finally breaks her gaze from Max to pin one on Suli. "It's fine," she returns shortly with a brief incline of her head. "In the morning." They will talk in the morning. There wasn't much that the Bitran kept from the older woman, so Suli finally concedes and nods. She turns toward Max, her look scathing as she starts to walk right by him, and then the barmaid's heavy steps start to disappear as she vanishes from their presence.

It’s brief the manner in which Max meets Suli’s departing look of loathing sent his way, but long enough for his mouth to curl up at one edge in a slight smirk, his own eyes hard and unforgiving and then his attention is pinning back onto Jaya. Only once he’s sure the barmaid is well out of earshot, does he state his business with a simple opening question, “How long ago were you in Bitra?” There’s a tight tension in his voice that he’s not even bothering to disguise right now.

Once Suli is gone, Jaya drops her gaze and assumes a neutral expression with the beast manager. Well, since there was no current action going on in the Weyr - at least from what she gleans from her patrons - and since her couldn't remember the last time Max and her really fought over anything other than her visiting his stables, the bar owner just couldn't fathom his tense behavior right at this moment. She nearly blinks at that sudden question, it being not what she expected from the beast manager since they haven't really talked about her past in Bitra all that much. The mug gets carefully placed behind her, taking her time in clearing the counter before answering him. Eyes lifting to meet his, "Heavy question. Random. Who's askin'?" On this, she's giving a hard time, her gaze wary onto the beast manager as she looks him over.

At another time he might have approached the subject with a little more delicately, but given what he’s dealt with over the past seven or so; Max is pretty thin on either patience of etiquette right now. Leaning forward on arms that have remained crossed atop the bar counter, he keeps his attention firmly fixed on Jaya, eyes narrowing only slightly for the wariness coming off of her, “I am.”

Shifty. Jaya's acting a little shifty at this point, but it's brief and gone when she takes her gaze off of Max when he leans forward. The stack of inventory lists to the side of her suddenly get her attention, and she turns there towards them. "Don't seem to recall much about then," she lies smoothly, reaching to pick up the inventory lists and her writing stylus. Continuing to not look at him as she bustles about, "Not sure. A turn, maybe two. Moved around. Isn't that what traders do?" At this last bit, she does finally look up and over at him. Nevermind the fact that she was kicked out of a trader clan. "Why are you asking?"

One brow disengages from the light frown it had fallen into for the shiftiness coming off of Jaya and the beast maanger’s comes in an attempt at soothing whatever those frayed nerves are about, “I’m ain’t looking to bust your ass, Jaya.” He takes in the information given with a short nod following her bustling about with distracted attention, Max’s silence drawing out beyond the question she puts to him. When she looks over to him, his eyes hold to hers as he just drops it out there, “Tell me about Vaputero,” assuming that if this Bitran boss is as big as Jinnet led him to believe then a trader of all people should at least have heard of him.

Well. If the first statement doesn't calm the woman down, then the name-drop certainly wouldn't. At the name, all activity ceases from Jaya. A sharp look goes Max's way, and it would seem as if the bar is suddenly getting cold as color drains from her face. She takes a slow breath, exhaling it before she forces herself to look away from him. Woodenly, her voice takes on this quality as she asks oh-so non-chalantly, "Where did you get that name from, Max?" Did someone betray her? She's going over those few that know, and she was certain they wouldn't have gone to the beast manager. Right? At this point, Jaya's looking towards the entrance and was wishing she hadn't dismissed the barmaid after all. She was trying very hard not to panic in front of him, forcing herself to return to her inventory lists as if such a name meant very little to the Bitran bar owner.

Max takes it all in. The color draining from her face, the slow breath taken and the wooden tone of voice and then he nods slowly, his lips pressing into a thin line and his expression darkening. “That bad, huh?” meaning this Vaputero character and then lifts a brow when she asks where he’d heard it, “Does it matter? He’s sure as shards got you spooked worse’n a runner with a feline on its tail.” He needs her calm. At least calm enough to tell him what he needs to know to deal with the situation he’s found himself landed with. Reaching a hand out toward her forearm to get her attention if she doesn’t jerk away, “Jaya,” her name spoken in a low and even soothing tone, “Look at me. I need your help. I need to know what he’s capable of.” Hoping that perhaps appealing to her on that level will get him the information he needs.

"No." The word is spoke low, cold. Hard eyes lift to Max's own, "I need to know where you got that name," Jaya says each word slowly and carefully, making sure the beast manager realizes that this was no joking matter. Not that anyone was joking before, but… Eyes drop on that touch to her forearm, she jerks her gaze back up to him as her nerves look about to snap. Since Suli was not here to diffuse the situation, "I need to know now. Did he send you here?" She's not really connecting the soothing words he's giving her, his own getting mangled up in her head. All she's heard was that name. And then, she's taking a step back from him, snapping her forearm away from his touch as the other casually goes to the side where her knife is hidden.

Shoulders twitch and then set into a straight line with Max drawing away from Jaya as he starts putting a few things together, but holds to not handing any information of his own over just yet. “No,” he gives in echo of her, “I ain’t giving you nothing until you start talking.” He’s about to add more and then she’s putting him together whoever this Bitran thug might be. As such a brow lifts up high and the beast manager’s tone catches a note of steel to it, “I’d never even heard of him until a few days ago.” And then she’s jerking away from him and dropping her hand to where he suspects a knife is kept, “What the fuck is your problem? Jays Jaya, I ain’t the enemy here.” And as if to prove as much he slides off the stool and lifts both hands up and away from himself and whatever weapons he’s carrying.

"Well I'm not talking!" Jaya practically shouts that at him, being just as stubborn as her hand rests on the hilt of the knife. Calm down! She's shaking her head, blinking when Max says he's not the enemy. He's certainly getting a look as if he is one, but could that be because Suli has told her something about him? Breathing heavily, letting the intense silence between them lengthen as she watches him back away from her with both hands up in the air, "Want to know what Vaputero's capable of?" she puts his own question forward now, her words tight as she doesn't let go of the knife hilt at her side. "Murder, that's what." The rest of his words sink in then, and she adds briefly, "He's bad news, and that's all you need to know. This ain't Bitra. Your question's answered. You can see yourself out." Eyes remain hard on the beast manager as she turns to stone, waiting for the man to follow suit with her request.

Hands still held out where she can see them, they drop from having initially been up near his shoulders to somewhere to near his hips and his where his own knife is. He’s not the enemy but neither is he prepared to take a knifing if she flips over the edge and goes for him. And by his reckoning that’s starting to look more and more like a possibility. Max takes in all that she says, his expression darkening by increments as a muscle ticks in his jaw. Venturing a step closer, his tone breaks out low and flint hard, “No, this ain’t Bitra,” he states in agreement, “So what the fuck does a thug like that want with a runner down here?” And there Jaya has first clue as to what this might be about.

"You're asking me?" Jaya levels that question on the runner at Max, eyes narrowing dangerously. Was that what this was about? If Vaput was after a runner….or, wait- "What do you mean, him wanting a runner down here?" she asks now, brows furrowing as she starts to put the pieces together. Cuz really, there should be no reason for the Bitran to be interested in the south. Unless… Hand moves away from knife slowly, calmly. "I need to know where you got that name from," she's demanding again, low and heavy. There's hesitance here, the woman hard pressed before she bites out, "Please, Max. If you're not…..who gave it to you?"

With an expressive roll of eyes, “No, I’m asking the dimglow behind you,” Max’s patience has finally run out. And then drops quiet eyeing Jaya carefully as if trying to ascertain quite where the woman is in terms of freaking out and calming down to a more rational level. Its only when her hand moves away from her knife that he takes another step closer back to the bar counter, his own hand still within easy distance of his knife. “How the shards should I know? Unless of course…” here something that had been bothering him for the past few days is given voice, “that brain dead wherry sold me a runner destined for Bitra.” He had wondered at the time over the ‘too good to be true’ price attached to Renegade but had simply patted himself on the back for a deal well worked. Passing a hand over his face a heavy sigh spills out, the beast manager sending a long and silent look her way. “From a runner thief I got locked up in the beast caverns,” he finally gives on where he’d gotten the name. Taking a step closer again, “What’s your deal with Vaputero? And don’t tell me ‘nothing’. You reacted to his name like someone had just dropped you into a tangle of Thread,” eyes boring into her, demanding an answer, “I need answers, Jaya. The last thing this Weyr needs is Bitran crime bosses taking an interest in it.”

Jaya's frowning heavily at his initial words, finding it best to shut her mouth at it all. Dark eyes search Max's own as he speaks, the bar owner finding it hard to say anything as he admits that he has someone locked up in the beast cavern. She blinks once, which is probably enough to let him know that she was still there, still listening. The rest of her has turned stone cold at realizing that there's someone locked up and dropping names. Coincidence? And with Max demanding an answer, Jaya's just too far stubborn to give in that easily. Jaw visibly tightens on his demands, eyes going cold and empty as she looks the man over on the spot. Then, her voice hollow, "You're right," she gives quietly, coming to the fearful conclusion that Vaput has indeed, found her here down south. When she had been so careful…. "It is the last thing this Weyr needs," she continues to say, letting her eyes linger off of him to something beyond him. Perhaps to dark memories, or the darkness that tends to threaten her so late at night. Suddenly, her gaze connecting with his again, "If he works for Vaput, you best get rid of him," she notes too calmly, stepping back further towards the back room and away from Max. She won't detail what getting 'rid' of the man means, but she figures he could guess on his own. Chin lifting, "Vaput won't be a problem for the Weyr. I'm leaving." And she's putting action to words, the scarred faced woman turning from him and opening the door to the tiny room to sleeps in to get her meager things, hating herself as she does so. How could she be so stupid??

Lips press into a thin line as he watches and listens, an inscrutable mask in place until Jaya’s done talking entirely. “I plan to,” Max states on getting rid of Jinnet, “but only once I’ve gotten everything out of him that I need,” the curve his mouth takes, anything but pleasant for the implications given there. With the bar owner’s words the last piece falls into place in his mind and the beast manager swiftly closes the distance, reaching to grab her by an arm before she can get that door to her back room shut, taking his chances at being knifed, “Too late, Jaya. There was another one, put a hurting on Bo before he got away. Report’s already been made way I figure it. You run now? Leave the safety of the Weyr? It’s going to get real ugly, real fast.” A pointed look going to the scar along the side of her face. Fingers curl that bit tighter into her arm if he’s been successful in catching on to it, “You got people at your back now but if you don’t help us, we can’t help you.” Shooting a glance over his shoulder to where Suli had departed, “You don't say a word to anyone. Especially her. Lie to her and tell her it was something personal between us, I don’t care,” looking grim, “But I don’t trust that woman further than a runner could kick her.”

Max has her arm as Jaya opens the door, and she's shooting a warning glance that's probably more involuntary than anything. It gets her to stop at least. At hearing there was another one, "More reason to leave," she says coolly, frowning heavily at him. "I shouldn't have come here. The Weyr isn't that safe, evidently," and she pins a significant look at him. She hasn't forgotten about the dead body back before the hatching, for example. Jaya wasn't taking any chances. When his grips tightens, and at those next words, her eyes narrow dangerously at him. "I have handled myself on my own for turns now," she says, bringing herself to her full height before him with open arrogance. "I don't give a fuck about what gets reported! This-" and she points to her scar with her free hand, eyes blazing, "-is all I will let him do to me! And what do you know about Suli?" Topics change, the bar owner's panic rising with every moment. "I trust her! She's been protecting me from that bastard!" It's all spilling out now, even when she doesn't want to. Trying to free her arm from Max now, "I'm out of here," she states boldly, a slight wild look in her eyes. "Tell Rio and L'ron that I'm sorry….that, I can't…."

The more Jaya talks, the more Max’s countenance sets into a stone-like visage, not loosing his grip in the least. He ignores her first about the apparent lack of safety in the Weyr, except to add with a lift of brow, “If such things are dared in a Weyr, how much more so out there?” a thrust of chin to the unseen lands that lie beyond. Giving her arm a little tug as if to try and shake some sense into the woman over her arrogance for having handled herself in turns passed and thinking she can continue to do so, “Aye? And how long is it before your luck runs out, hmm? Don’t be a fool, Jaya.” As to the topic of Suli a rough snort erupts, “Protecting you or leading him right to you?” He has no idea, he’s simply trying to jar some sense into the woman. When she tries to pull free of his grip, it simply tightens, perhaps a little uncomfortably so, “You’re going nowhere. I’ll lock you in there,” her back room, “and put Yaron outside if I have to.” That threat not sounding at all if the steel resolve in his lowheld voice and the determined expression are anything to go by. And then leaning away from her he states in a more moderate tone, “You need a drink.”

"I know out there more than you," Jaya returns on his question through stiff lips. She stops pulling away when Max tugs on her though, his words also causing her to still and regard him. When it comes to luck? "What do you know?" she growls at him, eyes piercing his own. "You're not on the run, are you? Are you??" Another tug at that caught arm, then she hears that threat and her eyes widen. She bypasses the barb made on her barmaid and she growls at the sharp pain in her arm as his grip tightens further. "You will kill me," she says roughly at that threat, at the thought of locking her here. "You think he cares about the fact that this is a Weyr? Or about you and what you got here? About anyone? I don't need a drink!" For once, she's turning down drinks, her eyes clouded. "What I need to do is /leave/!" But this is all too much, too soon. Jaya is tired, and that much is evident as she starts to sag. Some of the fight goes out of her and she turns from him, eyes shut tight as she leans against the wall by the door. She shakes her head slowly before bowing, her hair spilling forward to hide her face. She was reaching her breaking point, and with Suli not there to boister her up, all that is being shown to Max is a woman that has been on her own and looking over her shoulder for too long, and it was getting to her. Perhaps that drink is looking good, after all.

“Really,” Max gives flatly through an unreadable look to her knowing more out there than he does but he’s not about to give her any reason to believe otherwise. Lifting a brow, “No, I’m not. But only because I’m good at covering my ass,” thus perhaps giving hint that he’s seen his fair share of trouble over the turns. Jaya is set with a narrowed look when she accuses him of being the death of her if he does indeed follow through with his threat to lock her up. As she sags, he loosens his grip a little, dark eyes studying the tormented woman, his voice coming with a slightly softer more understanding thread to it, “You ain’t going nowhere, Jaya. Trust me. Trust us,” the Weyr and her more upstanding inhabitants, “To see right by you and get this mess sorted out, aye?” He has no idea what he’s been dragged into, but he’s certainly not one to run away from trouble. Despite their rather rocky and touchy beginnings, he finally lets his grip on her go and pulls her into his arms for a hug, if she doesn’t duck and bolt in the other direction. “Friends do for friends, aye?” this his explanation before letting her go and stepping back and toward her bar, having the audacity to fiddle about with the bottles under it to find a drink to pour the woman.

Jaya knows very little about Max's past, so his words on him covering his ass only gets the barest of belief from her. She At this point, though, she really couldn't fight him, so it expression is gone in an instant. Instead, she's reduced to just staring at him, letting her dark eyes search his through the words of trust and mess. When it came down to it, she really didn't know who to trust. "There's nothing you can do," is all Jaya could muster when he's done speaking, her voice taking a resigned tilt. Then she's being pulled into a hug, her back stiff at first against him before she sags. Granted, she still has feelings for the man, and she has gotten over the passion of it, but in light of what max has revealed this night, things like this were at the bottom of her priority list. She actually returns the hug though, her arms coming up around his own before he pulls away and mentions the last on friends. She lets him go and backs away again, eyes unreadable as she lets him rummage through her bar. "Not even sure what we are," she says very low on his last, probably low enough to not be heard. It's at this that she voices the fact that she doesn't see him, or he doesn't see her, but she doesn't elaborate. Who knows what Suli's been telling her as well, but at least she's not swinging at the man for going through her bar. The fight has long left her standing there, staring at the shadows of a past that seems to be now right on her doorstep.

It’s no wonder she knows little of his past considering the way the man plays his cards close to his chest when it comes to such things. But one can be sure that each of the thugs that look to himself and the Headwoman carry a piece of that patchwork with them. Max’s mouth flickers upward at one corner when she states there is nothing that can be done about the trouble that stalks her, but he makes no comment to what it is and isn’t he’s capable of doing. One hand to the edge of the bar top and head ducked down surveying the contents beneath it; his head turns slightly in Jaya’s direction having only caught the last few words and a light frown forms. Straightening slowly, a deep blue bottle in hand, he uncorks it and gives it a sniff before responding quietly, “I’m done apologizing, Jaya. But if you need someone at your back, you got me and mine.” Likely referencing Yaron, Waine, Daron and whatever other thugs he has wandering about the Weyr, not to mention a certain tanner and a bronze weyrling. Turning back to the counter a glass is found and a three finger measure of a toxic green looking liquid poured into it and slid to one side, clearly expecting her to come forward and claim it rather than taking it to where she stands slumped against the wall. Eyeing the thick green liquid dubiously, as he has know idea what he’s just poured her (his tastes are simple), he hauls out a bottle of whiskey and pours a similar measure into another glass and retakes his seat. Dark eyes flickering over the woman whose bar he’s just raided, a dry smile appears, “Now you gonna come over here and talk or you just gonna stand there feeling sorry for yourself?” The question designed to draw her out of the dark place she appears to have slipped into and back into the arena to continue fighting against whatever odds she has stacked up against her.

Eyes narrow at his words on apologies, and it's that that gets Jaya to lift from the darkness that she's sunk herself in. Once the drink is poured and a glass is set aside for her, her chin lifts boldly and she takes heavy slow steps forward to reach it. Reaching the glass, "If an apology is what you think I seek, and what you think I meant, then you don't know me," she states easily the contents of the glass getting her regard than Max himself. "That is the problem. I don't trust you. You claim to be a friend, and this is the most I've seen of you in sevendays." Dark eyes flick over to meet his then. "You claim you want to understand my problem, and that I should stop running," she continues on, studying him now. "When I see the same darkness in your own eyes, Max." Perhaps she alludes to the fact that he does keep a company of thugs around him, much like Vaputero does in Bitra. That, and L'ron's cryptic words on her going to the beast manager since he has connections. Looking away from him then as she finally takes a drink from the glass, "I'll talk when you do."

A brow lifts at her opening words; Max’s attention set to the grain of the wood the bar counter is made from. Dark eyes slide upward and his words are delivered in even tone of agreement, “No, I don’t.” This to knowing her. Lifting his own glass to his lips, he takes a swallow of the amber liquid and exhales on a light hiss of a burn, taking his time before giving in a somewhat sardonic tone, “Been kinda busy, darlin’.” Beating thieves out of his caverns, tracking down the runner they’d scared off and then interrogating his prisoner. Jaya claiming to see a similar darkness in him has the beast manager setting narrow eyed look onto the woman, “You know nothing about me.” He decides to say as he straightens from the slight lean on his arms he’d taken to. A similar echo of her words to him. “You got something you want to know. Ask,” and that’s about as good as she’s going to get because he’s not about to start volunteering information. With a light roll of shoulders and another swallow of whiskey he sets Jaya with a somewhat challenging look, “You don’t trust me, and yet you expect me to trust you?” leaning forward again, eyes glittering with an odd light, “You’ve only got your own hide to keep in one piece. Me? I got others looking to me to keep both mine and theirs together. I can’t afford any mistakes. You’ve been out there on the road. You know what it takes to survive.”

Max is stubborn. Jaya is just as stubborn as he is. She gives him a derisive snort to his answers, looking away from him with a shake of her head. "Then the mark stops here," is what she says to that, bringing the green liquid to her lips. Jaw tightening then once she takes a drink and brings it down, "Neither of us will compromise. That is fine. Leave Vaputero to me." Nevermind the fact that she's been running from him all these turns, but by the set of that jaw, one would think this was not the case. Either way, it's her own challenge, and she's sticking to it. "You came to me, remember," she lets loose at his last, stealing a look Max's way. "Sorry about your runner, whatever happened. Don't know why they would want that. Once I figure my next move, they won't be bothering you and yours again," and the rest of the drink gets drained down in a healthy swallow.

Broad shoulders roll in a mulish display of it being fine by him that the mark stops there. Now it’s Max’s turn to snort on leaving Vaputero to her, “Aye, and how’s that been working out for you so far?” Sardonic. The next swallow of whiskey leaves his glass empty and he’s boldly reaching for the bottle again. Fingers wrapped about its neck, he stays the motion long enough to send a hard look Jaya’s way, “Came to you about a name. Didn’t come in here to cry into my ale,” nevermind that he’s not actually drinking ale right now. “Renegade’s fine. Got his foreleg cut up but its healing good,” he’ll give that much on the runner because it’s a ‘safe’ enough topic. Completing the task of pouring himself a refill, a shoulder twitches, “Gonna be seeing a man about a runner,” he gives on the topic of the motivation behind the thieves having gone after his runner, “Figure that broker done me in somehow.” Studying the glass before him, the beast manager lifts it all but drains half the contents in one swallow and then sets an unreadable look onto Jaya, “This Vaputero, he got any kind of a hand in them dirt ring fights up North?” Because if so, he might then well have a problem that’s come back to bite him in the butt.

"Working out just fine," Jaya tosses back coldly to Max's remark on things working out, eyes boring holes into the wall ahead of them rather than at him. "Still alive, aren't I?" As to his next, that gets a look from her. "And you got your answer," she says on that very name he came to her for, eyes narrowing onto him. "Yet you're still here, expecting me to talk and cry into my own ale. You assume too much of me, beast manager." She turns away from him then, brooding into her empty glass as he speaks on Renegade and nods mechanically to it. "Good," is all she says to that, fingers tightening around the glass she holds. She will lapse into silence until Max speaks again, drawing her attention from the thoughts within when she hears the name again. Eyes sliding his way at the question, "He has a hand in everything," she levels at him, studying the beast manager openly. "Depends on how north. You fight?"

Another rough snort echoed into the glass tilted up to his mouth and sent as response to Jaya’s replies. With her lapsing into that brooding silence, Max appears to take that as his cue to leave. Digging in his pocket a mark bit is tossed out onto the counter for the whiskey consumed and he swivels the lower half of his body, setting boots to the floor. Dark eyes flicker over to the bar owner and his mouth sets into a grim line. “Used to,” he gives flatly on fighting. Because beating the crap out of a runner thief and a certain trader still locked up in one of the Weyr’s storage caverns doesn’t count as fighting right? Now he stands to his feet and in that same flat tone names several undesirable dives in and around Crom, Tillek and closer to High Reaches Weyr itself but none far enough North to be too close to Bitra. “You wanted trust. You just got it,” he states with a tight look sent her way and then turns toward the doorway to leave not explaining quite why, aside from the obvious, that his involvement in such things could turn out to be a problem for him now.

When Max actually gets up to leave, dropping those hard-given pieces of information, it is Jaya's turn to take the bold step and stop him. Sucking her teeth and moving quickly around the counter to try and grab at his arm as he moves away. "Hold the fuck on," she states, trying to stop him in his tracks. Well, he did. Technically, he did compromise and the scarred faced woman's meeting that hard gaze with a guarded one of her own. If she stops him, "He did, too," she gives, mentioning the Bitran. "I know some of those places." There's a long pause as she considers what to say next, then she nods sharply to the stool he had just vacated for him to sit. Then she will return to the counter, grabbing that bottle and refilling both glasses without looking to see if he followed.

Max stiffens noticeably when Jaya’s hand lands on his arm and he doesn’t so much jerk away as take a half-step back regarding her in silence from under hooded eyes. But her objective has been successful and he doesn’t leave. Yet. Dark eyes narrow and he gives a curt nod when she states that the Bitran’s reach was felt in some of the places he’d named. He hasn’t followed but instead stays rooted to where he is for a few moments and then sending a hard look the bar owner’s way, takes the few steps necessary in order to be able to reach for one of the glasses. This time there’s no hiss for the after burn just a flat empty look thrown her before stating, “Then you know what goes on there,” pause, “I should go.” Clearly uncomfortable about saying anything more about that part of his past.

Since Max is still there once she's done pouring, Jaya takes up her own glass and turns to regard him where he stands. Leaning against the counter, "Then you know what kind of man Vaputero is," she notes on his last, dark eyes steadily on him. He gives, she gives. After another pause, clearly uncomfortable herself with revealing that part of her she kept jealously to herself from most, she fidgets a bit with the glass as she says, "Used to work for him." She drains half the contents of the drink then, and when Max tells her he should go, there's a grimace before she visibly relents. Meeting his eyes again with a hollow look, "Take care of yourself, Max." She just wasn't sure when or if she would see him again, allowing him to the space he needs to go without further argument from her.

All that Max gives is a grim nod, meeting her eyes steadily and then flicking his own shadowed ones away before downing the last of the drink poured for him. Perhaps now she might have some hint as to how he’d come to be associated with the likes of at least Yaron and Waine. Brows twitch only slightly toward a frown from out of his set expression in response to Jaya’s own revelation. His errors had been the simple follies of an arrogant youth too blinded by ego to realize what consequences there might be down the road. Hers…something he has yet to riddle out. Setting the glass down with undue care, the beast manager takes a step backward, “Don’t run.” He states quietly and then without further word or backward glance, leaves with far heavier thoughts on his mind than when he’d first arrived.

Jaya has those hints in stride, but she's not saying anything to them this night. She merely watches the equally troubled man as he leaves, not giving him any more parting words to his own. If his thoughts are heavy, then hers are just as bad as she finally turns from watching him leave. If only they could just set their egos aside enough to talk to each other….

Closing Credits Theme Music: Disturbed - Deify

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