The Dresden Files: Portland

Side Job: Whiskey in the Jar (Part II)

Karkana Chronicles Twenty-Six

December 13, 2013 (Friday night)

Brianna turns to Sydney. “Will you be willing to come look at something for me? It’s somewhat of a private matter and I’d rather you didn’t talk about it to anyone else.”

The young woman pauses for a moment, then agrees.

“Then I’ll come pick you up, take you to a place of business, and have you tell me what you See.”

“With the Sight?”

“Yes. There will be other people there.”

“Wow. I’d prefer to only do that for a short time.”

“I think that can happen. There’s an area of the building i’m specifically interested in.”

Sydney explains, “It can be psychically harmful to me to be in the Sight too long.”

“Oh.” Brianna looks concerned. “Is this a bad idea, then?”

“No, I just don’t want to do it for a long time.”

“Well, I don’t want you to do it for a long time if it’s going to hurt you, but I could use your help. There are magics involved and I’m just flying blind here. It’s not my area of expertise.”

“Okay.”

Brianna arranges to pick Sydney up tomorrow at 7:30 and describes what sort of attire to wear. Back in her car, she checks the Raven and Rose’s website to see if she can find more information on this David character. His full name is listed as David Shenaut.

It’s around 11:00 at this time, so she swings by the apartment to pick up Joey. They head out to fight club so that Brianna can feed.

December 14, 2013 (Saturday)

Brianna hits the streets early, asking around the supernatural community for any word on David Shenaut. She discovers that he’s part of the “scene,” connected with the Winter Court in some way. She’s pretty sure he’s Fae, but she doesn’t know what type.

Brianna also asks around about the business owner, LIsa Migrant. Migrant is a mortal, but she has some sort of arrangement with the Winter Envoy. Word on the street is that it’s because she’s in debt with the Winter Envoy. The Ladd Carriage House itself doesn’t have a long history with the Fae community. But when the restaurant became the Raven and Rose in 2011, it became a hot spot for Winter Court and Wild Fae to gather. Apparently, it is one of the “cover” business that the Envoy has started to give Fae reliable, legitimate jobs in the mortal world.

This business has Abby Miyazaki’s fingerprints all over it. Fuck that man, Brianna thinks again sourly, cursing Hubbard’s name.

At 7:30 that night, Brianna pulls up to Sydney’s house. The young woman is wearing a slinky red party dress and looks quite striking. As she drives, Brianna lays out the situation. “As far as tonight goes, this is something that I need you to not reveal to anyone else. Not the name of the business, nor what I was having you look at.”

“I understand.” Sydney takes Brianna’s hand. “I swear upon my Power that everything we do this evening will stay a secret.”

Brianna nods at the seriousness of her vow. “I greatly appreciate it. I’m working for a client, and the client wants something that this business has. I have a feeling that it’s in some sort of warded area, but it’s hard for me to tell.”

“Okay.”

“And there are a lot of Fae around. When I was doing a bit of research today, I found out that apparently this a really happening place for them to hang out. This is why I suspect that it’s Fae magic we’re dealing with. I don’t know if that makes a difference in what you need to do.”

“Well, it’s just that sometimes Fae magic acts differently than mortal magic.”

Brianna explains the general layout of the building. “There are two locked cases behind the bar. I’m not which one has the item I’m looking for in it, but at least one of them has some sort of ward on it.”

“So you want me to look for the ward?”

:“Yes. If you do see anything else like detection spells or traps, that would also be helpful to know.”

When the two women arrive at the Ladd Carriage House, the hostess directs them upstairs. Light music is playing and people are everywhere. The bartender recognizes Brianna and calls out a greeting. Brianna and Sydney move towards the bar and find a place to sit. Brianna pays for drinks, then tries to engage the bartender in idle chit-chat to distract him from whatever Sydney is going to do. He does talk with her a bit, but still moves around to help other guests.

Sydney is slowly looking around the bar, taking in the room. Although she’s very good at hiding it, Brianna can tell that she’s under a bit of distress. Brianna leans closer and whispers quietly, “Are you okay?”

After about a minute, Sydney takes a deep breath, “Okay.” She picks up her drink and downs it. Brianna orders her a second one. She doesn’t want to ask Sydney any questions yet, so engages in light conversation. As they’re chatting, Brianna notices that David Shenaut has entered the Rookery and is looking in her direction. Brianna suggests that they get a table and move away from the bar.

David intercepts them as they’re heading to the table. He turns to Brianna, “Welcome back.”

Brianna gives him a quizzical look, drawing out his name as if trying to remember it. “Daniel?”

“David.”

“Ah. Yes. Why thank you.”

“I see you brought a friend.”

“Yes.”

“I hope you both have a good time this evening. If you’d like, I can mix you a drink. Complementary, of course.”

Brianna smiles, “Thank you, that would be lovely.”

“Excellent.” David moves over to the bar and starts pouring alcohol.

Brianna leans over and whispers in Sydney’s ear, “Watch whatever he’s doing.”

“Do you mean watch watch?”

“Not necessarily that. Can you tell if he puts anything weird in our drinks?”

“Possibly.”

“Okay.”

Both women watch David mix the drinks. Brianna can’t see that he’s put in anything different that what the bartender’s using. Sydney remarks that he’s not moved towards the warded cabinet.

David returns with two swirling green drinks in martini glasses. Brianna thanks him. “Thank you for your patronage,” he replies in turn. Although his words are pleasant enough, Brianna can feel a very cold attitude from him. David smiles, then moves away.

After he leaves, Brianna asks Sydney to check and see if she can detect anything on the drinks. The young sorceress shakes her head no. "Well, he said one thing, but sure as hell meant another. Did you feel how cold he was behind his words?

Sydney shakes her head again, “No. He just seemed very pleasant.”

Brianna takes a small and cautious sip from her drink. It appears to be just a very fine cocktail. The two women hang out for a little bit, watching the scene. At one point, the bartender pulls out a bottle from the other locked cabinet for a well-to-do patron. Afterwards, he locks it back up. Brianna takes a look around the room to see if she can spot any security cameras, but she doesn’t find any.

After a while longer, they head out. One the way downstairs, Brianna tries to spot any sort of surveillance. She doesn’t spot any inside the building, but outside there are fixed security cameras over doors and windows.

Once inside the car, Brianna turns to Sydney. “Well?”

“I’d say that half the staff and about a third of the clients that I saw had glamours, including your bartender.”

“Yeah, I spotted a glamour on the bartender yesterday.”

“The guy that gave us the drink wasn’t upstairs when I was looking.”

“I have reason to believe that he’s Fae as well. I don’t know what kind of Fae, just that he is one.”

“The locked cabinet on the left definitely has a ward of some sort, but it may also have a land mine. I think it has something to do with cold.” Brianna explains the hand gesture that she saw David use when opening it. “It’s probably something to deactivate or temporarily disable the ward.” Sydney didn’t see any other magic traps or wards inside the bar. The two chat about the possible effects of the ward for a bit, then Brianna takes Sydney home.

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