Ivo expected all eyes on the bar to be turned towards them, but no one was paying them any attention.

With three other screens, and ambient music playing out of hidden speakers, the patrons of O Bicho Come were more interested in their own conversations, and in the hypnotic beat and warm, seductive vocals, than in the two newcomers.

Davi shouldered his way to the front of the bar, and Ivo followed after him, afraid of losing him in the sea of false leather, chrome, and bare, inked skin.

They found Alina already sitting at the counter, nursing a colourful drink, and looking annoyed.

”How did you get here so fast? ” Ivo blurted out the question while sitting down on the rickety stool next to hers, Davi to his left.

He had the impression they had gotten there quickly, he couldn imagine how shed gotten there faster.

She raised a dark eyebrow at him, stray white curls falling in front of her eyes. ”I took the metro. ”

That didn really give Ivo any new information, but Alina wasn in the mood to enlighten him.

She leaned across the wooden counter to make eye contact with Davi and pointed with her thumb over her shoulder. ”You saw that shit? ”

Davi nodded grimly.

Ivo felt compelled to apologise. ”Im sorry. ”

Alina barely spared him a look. ”I got contact with Yunmi again, on the way here. She said something was interfering with her signal. Which was probably why the security cameras inside the apartment were turned back on. ”

”That wouldn have been a problem because of our optics and tattoos, if it wasn for him, ” Davi said.

His pale gaze narrowed as he surveyed Ivo up and down. ”I don think theres any commercial implants or mods on him, let alone the blackmarket stuff we use. ”

Alina swivelled around on her stool to give Ivo a good look. ”The plot just keeps thickening. ”

Ivo was saved from coming up with something to say by the arrival of a man with a towel slung over his shoulder. ”Alina, I have your pills. ”

For a moment, Ivo was taken aback by the sight of the man. He was very handsome, with golden skin, upturned sharp eyes, a wide nose, and a full upper lip, but his bottom lip, as well as the entirety of his jaw was made of black dull alloy. It snaked down his throat and disappeared in a sharp point under the collar of his loose tank top.

He caught Ivo looking at him and winked, running a red tongue over his lower lip. ”New friend? ” he asked Alina.

She ignored the question and reached out across the wooden counter. ”Titty pills. ”

The man snorted and ducked behind the counter.

For the first time, Ivo noticed that the counters surface, which he had assumed to be dark, was actually covered in writing: tiny signatures squeezed and scratched together, dates spanning back decades, declarations of love, insults, poems rhymes and slurs all pockmarking the wood until it was almost unrecognisable.

The barman reappeared with a holographic baggy in hand, and Ivo forgot all about the loves lost and found of people he would never meet. Now he was more curious about the contents of the bag Alina was inspecting.

”A months supply hrt, as usual, ” the barman said, pulling the towel down from his shoulder and using it to polish the bottom of a plastic cup.

Alina took the baggy and tucked it in her waistband. ”You
e a darling, as usual. ”

A wheezing voice cut in from Alinas right ”I have a buddy who could give you a really great rack for a very chummy price. ” A man with a scarred face and a gap-toothed smile raised his glass to Alina when she swivelled around to rest her elbows on the counter.

One corner of her pink mouth ticked up as she cupped her small chest. ”No thank you, I grew these myself, I like them the way they are. ”

The man chuckled and took a sip of his beer, returning to the conversation he had left to interrupt theirs.

Alina turned her back to him with a deep roll of her eyes. It was just a flash but for a moment Ivo thought he could see a blue serial number written on the white sclera.

She caught him staring. ”What about you? You think I need bigger tits too? ”

Ivo stammered for something to say. ”Uh-uh, no, I think you look nice. Very pretty. Your tits are pretty– I mean nice, too. ”

She threw back her head in a sudden laugh, holding on to the edge of the counter as if she might fall forward. ”Oh, you
e cute, ” she looked around Ivo to meet Davis eyes. ”Can we keep him? ”

Davi was sucking on the filter of a cigarette Ivo hadn seen him light and only grunted in response.

He had a grunt for every occasion — Ivo was beginning to find.

Alina patted his knee. ”Don be nervous, you
e not my target audience. ”

”We need to decide what to do with him, ” Davi rasped. The smoke of his cigarette billowed above his head in a cloud.

The feeling of being talked about as if he wasn there wasn something Ivo thought hed get used to. The insolent twist of Davis lips rankled him. It had been taunting him ever since they met.

”What the ** is your problem with me? ”

Davis nostrils flared, signalling his willingness to get into an argument right there.

Alina got down from her stool with a jarring screech of metal against tile. She closed her hand over the back of Ivos jacket and pulled him up and off his own stool.

”Hey, Edu, can we use the backroom? ”

The bartender gave her a quick thumbs up, already absorbed in conversation with another patron.

She nodded towards a metal sliding door behind the counter. ”Lets go you two. We
e talking this out. ”

点击屏幕以使用高级工具 提示:您可以使用左右键盘键在章节之间浏览。

You'll Also Like