Bright Lights and Bourbon on Beaumonde (Day 2 - Early Evening)

Gill walked with a spring to his step. It was good to be in the world, any world, with coin in his pocket and somewhere out there a pretty girl to find. The others had a good few hours on him and he had no clue what drinking hole he might find them in so he tried them all.

The first establishment was a quiet place for locals and the barman gave him a suspicious look when he ordered but did not ask for ID. Gill was kind of disappointed but shrugged it off when the double was placed before him in a tin capped glass. He sipped at the drink and fought the urge to choke as it burned the back of his throat. That said once down it created a warm comforting feeling in his belly and the second sip was not half so bad. He asked politely after Serena and the others but was just met with blank stares so he decided to move on.

Drinking hole number two was a lively affair with a band playing and a hefty line for the bar. He scanned the crowd and shuffled in to grab a drink. No sign of the others. This time he was asked for ID and a flash of the card Bolak had given him worked like magic and he stepped away glass in hand to complete his reconnaissance of the bar.

Out in the early evening air he had a nice buzz going now and was looking forward to his next Bourbon. The last one had been served with a sweet mixer he had quite liked. He'd have to look out for it in the next place.

"First shot free." the voice came from his right and he turned to see a pretty Asian girl with her hair up in cute buns tied off with luminous string. She wore a tight shirt with the words "I put the ‘grr’ in ‘girl’" on the chest.

"W..what?" Gill stammered as he stopped himself from reading the slogan again.

"Free drink, I stamp your hand you get a drink. Look here." the girl grabbed his hand and pressed a stamp onto the back of his hand. It felt cold next to the warmth of he hand.

"I hope you have some fake ID or they'll kick you straight back out." she leaned in and whispered conspiratorially as she plucked a pen from her pocket and scribbled something on his hand.

"I um yeah. I'm good."

"Good." she grinned and as he walked by she slapped him on the ass causing him to jump and turn.

"Enjoy your drink." she called over and then she was talking to the next passer by and Gill made his way inside. Looking down at his hand he saw the she had scrawled her Cortex handle Diamondeyes307 and wrote "call me" underneath next to a kiss. He could not help but grin as he made his way to the bar and claimed his free drink. He knocked that one back and bought another before remembering his mission to find Serena and the others. A pang of guilt hit him then and he tried to scub the writing from his hand only to find it would not come off. Several minutes of walking revealed his friend to be absent and he decided to leave.

Outside, the girl was gone and his head was spinning a little. There was something about the night air that made the alcohol hit hard and he tried his best not to swerve as he walked. The grin periodically returning to his face only to be wiped off again by worry and guilt. He hadn't done anything, he told himself. He was just looking for his friends and...

"Woah there lad." an open palm came to rest on his chest and he was stopped short to look up into the eyes of a huge bald man with a scar through his upper lip. He had been walking without really concentrating and had swerved to enter yet another bar.

Gill stepped back unsteadily to take in the imposing sight of the bouncer, "Oh I er, just going in." he tried to explain.

"ID." the man said flatly.

Gill rummaged through his pockets and produced the illicit card. For the first time that night it was not accepted on sight. Instead the bouncer looked him up and down and held out his hand.

"Five local marks." he demanded.

"What? What for?" Gill asked.

"Five and maybe I dont look to closely at this ID of yours Barny."

"Who? Oh right sure." Gill snatched out five coins and pressed them into the mans hand. "Thanks."

"No problem kid." the bouncer handed back the card, "Have fun."

Inside Gill scanned the room. He was feeling quite unsteady now and everything seemed really loud. Still, another drink felt like the thing to do so he started for the bar.

That's when he saw her. Serena was standing with her back to him. He'd recognise anywhere...but who was she talking to?

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