Lacey's was quiet, not an unusual occurrence for a Wednesday night. Aya surveyed her kingdom with the air of a benevolent ruler, smiling at the few regulars who hunched over drinks at the bar. There was a faint buzz of voices in her ear piece but as there weren't many people it was more the chatter of the collection of friends she had working for her than anything else. She nodded to Junior, her business partner and head bouncer. He grinned back.
Lacey's was a little, out of the way bar that had been many things since it's inaugural opening in 1921. A speakeasy, a dance hall, a billiards parlor, a restaurant, and now back to its original state of a bar. The only thing that stayed the same about the place were the stained glass windows. Rumor had it they'd been shot out by police during the Prohibition, but the owners just paid to get them replaced.
She glanced over at the two pool tables she had set up in the back. The usual crowd wasn't there yet, so they sat unused and silent. The dart players were there, laughing at each other when they missed the target. They weren't drunk yet so she didn't need one of her three bouncers chase them off.
She went back into her office and sat down behind the desk. The time sheets were already loaded into the computer. She started converting them from tiny bits of data into the hard copy paychecks she'd be handing out on Thursday.
“Hey boss, we've got two nuisances coming in,” Junior said. Though he was the co-owner of Lacey's, he preferred to act like he was just an employee.
“Who?” Aya asked.
“That reporter and a werewolf,” Junior said. “He's already pulling that attempt at alpha male shit at me.”
“Brendon told them to quit that,” Aya said.
“I don't think it's one of the pack,” Junior said. “He doesn't smell right and I don't recognize him.”
“Great, a stray,” Aya said. She pinched the bridge of her nose. “Which one's more important?”
“The reporter. He's got a camera.” Junior's voice held a hint of a growl. “He's pointing it at Randy, who conveniently had to run into the back. Everyone else is hightailing it too. Coop, Alex, and I are the only ones left.”
“I'm on my way,” Aya said. She got up and walked out into the main area.
“Ms. Winters,” the reporter said, holding his camera in one hand. He extended the other. “I'm so glad to see you. I really think we could do a great piece on this place, with it's history and all. If you and your staff would stand for pictures, we'd show what a great little family you've got here.”
Aya snorted. Family was a good term for the ragtag bundle of misfits that worked for her. She stared at the reporter's hand until he dropped it. “Mr. Kelley, I've told you politely several times what my opinion on doing a piece on Lacey's is. Let me be more blunt this time. No, you're not going to get our pictures. No, I refuse to give you access to our records. No, I do not want an article published anywhere on our establishment. If you even so much as try, I'll have a lawyer up your ass so fast you'll need an enema to get him out.”