The Dresden Files: Portland

Side Job: The Insider (Part One)

Karkana Chronicles Thirteen

April 5, 2013

According to Quincy, his trial should last about three more weeks. This means only three more weeks of anxiety for Brianna.

She contacts her accountant, Stan Lyman. She reaches a female receptionist who answers “Lyman Financial Services.” She asks to speak to Stan and is asked in turn who she may say is calling. “An old friend,” Brianna says.

Stan finally takes the call. As usual, Stan seems nervous, but glad to hear from Brianna. He says he had to drop some clients due to the recent investigations, but that the two of them are solid. Their old terms are fine. Brianna says she’s glad to hear it and hangs up.

Brianna then goes out and buys a new phone and then she and Joey head out to Shakey’s bar to see Mel. They spot the fight promoter at the bar. Brianna buys the man a drink and has the bartender send it his way. Mel turns to see where the drink came from, sees Brianna and says “Oh, shit.”

Brianna approaches Mel and takes a seat beside him. “Mel, the horribly inaccurate charges against me have been dropped and the US Treasury department has apologized for an inconvenience on my behalf.”

“Really,” Mel says, incredulous.

“Yep. I’m in full control of my accounts, which is lovely. I surely hope this does not eradicate any arrangements which we had in the past. I hope I’m not in some kind of quarantine period.”

“Well, luckily your stink didn’t glide out into the Syndicate. And your boy here was starting to pull some money in.”

Brianna nods. “If you need to think about it, give us a call, but we got it in our blood. I know my boy has been itching to get back out there.”

“Tell you what. Show up at Sibley’s tomorrow morning. Spar some. We’ll see.”

“Fair enough.”

They finish their drinks, pay for Mel’s, and head out. Brianna and Joey head for the fitness gym and workout hard. Afterwards, Brianna texts everyone with her new phone number.

That night they head out to a hockey game for Brianna to “sip” on the surrounding rage and then head home.

April 6, 2013 (Saturday)

Brianna and Joey head out to Sibley’s Gym. Looking around at the familiar faces is refreshing for Brianna, but also disconcerting as it is obvious that everyone there can see that they have the ‘taint’ of the recent government investigation about them. People are not quite as friendly as they were in the past. It’s going to take some time to rebuild those bridges.

Sib is there talking to another manager and fighter. As Brianna and Joey approach, he introduces them. The manager is Aaron Borland and the fighter is Ricky Cortez. Sib suggests that Joey and Cortez spar. Borland seems amenable and Brianna has no objections. Each pair goes to their respective corners to get their fighters ready.

Brianna really relaxes in the glow of Sibley’s—a real boxing gym as opposed to the “douchebag” fitness gyms that they’ve been having to workout in during their hiatus.

The two fighters meet in the ring and fight. Cortez comes out on top—but it is a near thing. Joey is pissed off, but manages to not be too big an ass about it. Borland invites the two of them to lunch and Mel says that he has a Sunday slot for Joey if he wants it. Brianna thanks Mel and takes Borland up on his offer for lunch. Borland names a place downtown and Brianna says that they’ll meet them there at noon.

The place Borland chose downtown is nice, but not intimidatingly so. He and Cortez already have a table when Brianna and Joey arrive. Throughout the lunch Borland is very charming and polite while Cortez is clearly enjoying himself. Both Brianna and Joey are quiet and reserved.

Borland apparently came to Portland after hearing about the up and coming fight scene, intending to get in on it. Brianna gets the impression that this isn’t the whole story, but doesn’t press him. He’s mostly been working on the West Coast. He met Ricky in Los Angeles.

He asks Brianna what brought her to Portland and she says that it was much the same thing that brought him—the up and coming fight scene. She says that she plans to be here for a while.

It turns out that Cortez is also fighting on Sunday night. There’s talk of running into each other then, but then Borland says “Maybe we can have dinner sometime. May I call you?” And Brianna gives him her number.

After lunch, Brianna goes clothes shopping and then she and Joey workout. Later, she talks to Mel about Borland. Mel says he doesn’t know a lot about him, only that he’s a player out of the West Coast and a good talker. Cortez is apparently his first decent fighter in a while.

At the gym, Brianna checks in Brian O’Malley, the fighter that was hooked on “The Juice” and for whom Brianna bought his debt. He’s doing fine.

April 7, 2013 (Sunday)

At the fights on Sunday night, Cortez has a good fight but loses his bout. On the other hand, Joey has a close one, but manages to pull it out and win. Borland waves at Brianna while escorting Cortez to the dressing room. She also notices that Borland is in the crowd during Joey’s fight. Brianna continues to do her thing, schmoozing with the competitors and the managers, escorting Joey to the dressing room before and after the fight, etc. Borland comes up to her after Joey’s win and congratulates them. “Joey does good,” is all Brianna says.

After the fight, Brianna and Joey go out to eat. Between bites, Joey starts singing “Brianna and Aaron, sitting in a tree, F-U-C-K-I-N-G.” Brianna gives him a unfriendly, yet awkward look.

“I don’t know why he keeps hanging around,” Brianna says.

“He likes you,” Joey says.

“He doesn’t know me.”

“He wants to.”

“I’m not sure he wants to know the real me. It makes dating awkward.”

The two head back home and watch stupid television shows and then go to bed.

April 8-9, 2013 (Monday and Tuesday)

Mel contacts Brianna and lets her know that Joey is back on the Sunday schedule. Brianna and Joey continue their training regimen at Sibley’s and run into Cortez and Borland at the gym. Both are cordial and professional.

After working out, Brianna pursues some of her underground contacts for Red Court vampire activity out of Seattle. She doesn’t hear much, just that activity is up in Seattle and that it hasn’t leaked into Portland—yet.

April 10, 2013 (Wednesday)

That afternoon, after their workout, Brianna gets a phone call from Aaron Borland.

“I was wondering about that dinner we talked about.”

“I guess that’d be alright,” Brianna says.

“Great! Are you free tonight?”


“Good. May I pick you up?”

“How about I meet you someplace.”

“Okay. Name the place; I’m new in town.”

“The Screen Door,” Brianna says.

“Great. How about seven o’clock?”

“Seven o’clock would be a good time.”

“See you then.”

Brianna tells Joey she’s taking the car and taking Borland up on dinner. Joey says “Good.”

“We’ll see,” is all she says.

April 10, 2013 (7:00 pm—The Screen Door)

Brianna arrives at The Screen Door in a red sleeveless top and heels. Borland has already arrived and gotten them a table. He stands when she arrives and allows Brianna to sit.

“This is an interesting place,” he says.

“I heard it has good food and drinks. I guess we’ll see. And the neighborhood’s fun,” Brianna says.

As the night goes on, the two have a very intimate conversation. Borland has a way of making Brianna reveal more about herself than she intended. Finally, feeling embarrassed, she excuses herself. She returns a few minutes later.

“Turnabout is fair play,” she says. “You can talk about yourself for awhile.”

Apparently Borland grew up in California and used to be a fighter, now he promotes them. Brianna presses him again about why he came to Portland. He seems sincere about it being all about the new fight scene. Throughout their exchange, he’s very sexy, very charismatic. He offers to pay for dinner. “Maybe you can get the next one,” Brianna says.

“Then there’ll be a next one,” he says, smiling.

“This was fine,” Brianna says.

“I thought so,” Borland says.

Brianna goes to her car. After driving away from dinner, she goes to find a new club to feed from. A fight breaks out and she includes herself in it, feeding on the rage of the conflict. Then she heads home.

April 11, 2013 (Thursday)

Brianna and Joey head to Sibley’s for their usual workout. Cortez and Borland are there, but luckily Borland doesn’t make things weird for Brianna. He keeps his distance and Brianna’s glad for that.

Later that day they visit Sydney and ask that if she hears anything about Red Court vampires in the town, could she let Brianna know. This goes for Regi too.

Late that night, Brianna gets a phone call from Quincy. Apparently he was attacked by some Red Court vampires at his extended-stay hotel. However, Loomis and two guys named Terry and Mike were there and helped him out. These were different vampires than those that attacked him last time. He reassures her not to worry because these guys were “permanently taken care of.” Apparently, Terry and Mike are friends of someone named Dexter Quinn. Loomis seemed to think Brianna would know what that meant.

“Be careful, Quincy,” Brianna says. “You’re the only family I have that I like.”

“I’ll do what I can.”

April 12, 2013 (Friday)

At 8:00 am, Brianna calls Loomis and thanks him for keeping an eye on Quincy. Loomis says he’s happy to do it. He figured the Margrave would make him target.

After getting off the phone with Loomis, she and Joey go to their usual workout. On the way, Brianna fills Joey in on what’s going on with Quincy. At the gym, Brianna spars with another woman to work off some anger. Borland is there, but seems to know enough to steer clear. While they’re at the gym, Brianna spots Mel and talks to him, letting him know to leave Joey off the schedule for the weekend of the 27th and 28th as they’ll be in Seattle again. Mel seems put out but acquiesces.

Later that afternoon, long after they left the gym, Brianna gets a phone call from Borland.

“I was wondering if you were free for dinner.”

“How about Monday instead.”


“Today’s not a good day.”

“You looked like you could use a friend.”

“Usually when I’m in this kind of mood, what makes me feel better is getting in the ring.”

“Fair enough.”

“I will figure out a place that will be fun to go and will let you know tomorrow, alright?”


April 14, 2013 (Sunday)

He texts back: SOUNDS GREAT!

That night, Joey fights and it’s close, but once again he comes out on top. Cortez fights and wins decisively. Borland and Brianna congratulate each other on their respective wins. Brianna spends the night doing her usual schmoozing and later that night, at the IHOP, she lets Joey know that she’ll need the car for her date with Borland on Monday night.

April 15, 2013 (Monday)

That morning, Brianna and Joey workout at Sibley’s as usual. Later, she texts Quincy to check in with him to make sure he’s okay. He’s fine. That night, she meets Borland at Marrakesh.

Both of them have a good time getting into the vibe of the place with the low tables, finger foods, and belly dancers. During the course of the conversation, it comes up that Brianna is going to Seattle soon for the trial of a family member.

“Can we do this again?” Borland asks.

“Maybe not dinner,” Brianna says. She sets up a “date” to go to the running trails at a park on Thursday morning.

April 18, 2013 (Thursday)

Brianna meets Borland at the park to run. The two run the trails and it’s apparent that Brianna is in better shape than Borland. They stop at a nearby food truck for a break. Brianna asks Borland how long he plans to stay in Portland. He says that it depends on how well Ricky does. Brianna ribs him about being out of shape and Borland admits that it’s been three years since he’s got in the ring himself.

“Do you mind if I ask you what your family member’s on trial for?” he asks

“I’d rather not talk about it. It’ll just get me in a bad mood. He’s innocent of what he’s accused of.”

They chit chat for a while. It comes out that he had been in town a week before he met Brianna. “Do you always ask people to dinner within a week of you getting a new place?” Brianna asks.

“Only the interesting ones,” he says.

“I never really thought of baggage as interesting, but to each his own.”

“Baggage implies a journey. Journeys are interesting.”

“Touché. I guess I’ll see you around the ring then.”

“I’d like to see you outside the ring,” he says.

“If Monday’s fine, we can walk around Chinatown, have some dim sum for lunch.”

“That sounds fine.”

Brianna says that she’ll let him know if there are any changes in her plans.

That day, Brianna does some asking around the fighting circles about Borland. She learns that he was a decent fighter before he got injured (rotator cuff). He’s a good promoter with the gift of gab. He works mostly on the West Coast. He’s a bit full of himself and he goes where the money is.

That night, she talks to Joey. She doesn’t know how much further she wants to take this. Joey says to take as far she wants to take it. “It’s not like I can really tell him what I am,” Brianna says.



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