No, I won't smile, but I'll show you my teeth

The Cage 
#1
outfit, OPEN!!


 It was his first time here as Jesse was secretly intimidated to go anywhere that was considered a were hub. Stepping into the underground speakeasy after thankfully being permitted passed the door, the young raccoon shifter ran his gaze over the room to get the lay of the land. A few games of cards were happening in the dark corners, the cage where the bar got it's name from was temporarily empty, and most of the tables appeared occupied, save for the larger tables that could seat more patrons. Seeing as he was alone, Jesse approached the bar seating, not wanting to take up more space than necessary.

 He moved confidently to a stool and relaxed into the low backed seat, ears and eyes slowly focusing on faces and conversations. He didn't come to specifically find anyone, just to check out what the hubbub was about. He'd heard about this place from a few others but nobody ever said much other than that it existed. It definitely piqued his curiosity.

 Once the bartender was free, he turned his full attention to the person asking for his order, "Bourbon please, neat." He returned the customer service smile with his own charming bartender grin, one dimple pinching his smile to a boyishly lopsided angle. Once the room temperature amber liquid was in his possession, Jesse rested his elbows on the bar, swirling the drink absently while he continued to listen to the conversation around him.
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#2
He was here for the drinks tonight, not entirely looking for a fight. The incident at the Brewery meant he'd have to avoid the place until they forgot his face, so for now he settled for the drinks that the Cage offered. He'd come here enough to feel entirely comfortable, found people he could chat with and bet with, which he did with some surprising caution and self control. One of the very, very few lessons he'd learned from driving himself into the dirt; gambling was only as fun as you could afford for it to be. He was making money now, but not much, and he had to at least look like he was trying to save up for his own place. Though, admittedly, living with Iago was proving to be something he could get comfortable with. Even if his brother thought nagging him on safety was anywhere within his right to be doing.

That said, he'd bought a knife. Something simple, but durable, and easily produced if it came to it. A gun would have to wait until he had more money to spare. For now, his extra change was going right to the bottom of a glass. He wasn't drunk, but he wasn't sober either, which really was his preferred state of mind. He was bold when he was sober, but a drink helped him forget all the bullshit voices in the back of his head telling him that he should give a fuck about what anyone else thought of him. That said, he was eyeing the skinny kid that came and took a seat next to him. Bourbon, neat. Classy drink for somewhere like this. "You not here to fight, are you?" He questioned after a few moments.
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#3
 The smell of the bar was unique to establishments like this. A hint of multi-surface cleaner, dish soap, stale beer, hard liquor, sweat, hormones... the copper tang of dried blood... animal. A mix of them in a small place. His raccoon was not particularly enjoying the enclosed space with so many sets of beasts milling about in their own little corners. The person next to him at the bar, and the bartender were at least "pet free". The drink was brought to him, and he swirled it absently in the glass before taking a sip, letting the smoke of the alcohol warm him before letting it slide down his throat. It wasn't top shelf, and it burned his sinuses a bit, but it was smooth enough to be enjoyable.

 Jesse did notice the side eye he got from the man next to him, lingering scents a confusing mess around him. "I'm not much of a fighter. I prefer to observe, and commentate." He hadn't expected the stranger to strike up conversation, but Jesse wasn't one to shy away from socialization. His eyes slid towards the man, looking him over for a moment before taking another drink. "You look like you'd put up a better fight than I would- you planning on hopping into the cage tonight?" He looked scrappy enough, had some muscle under those clothes no doubt. His grin pinched at the corner as he exhaled through his nose before taking another deep inhale over his glass, masking the action to be enjoying the scent of his liquor.

 He didn't smell anything pungent about the man. A soft lingering scent of feline, but that could have been anything. He wasn't a shifter, and he wasn't a vampire.
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#4
How old was this kid? At least he didn't talk himself up, or else Mateo would have had to give him a lesson about being humble. He was even complimenting, with Mateo would flash a crooked smile at, the gap from his missing tooth visible for only a few moments. A hand moved to wave listlessly toward the cage, though, and he shrugged. "Yeah, I've hopped in a few times. Not tonight, though. Think I'll be betting, if anyone even gets in there." For now, it was empty, but it was always only a matter of time.

"You even old enough to be here?" Was it just him, or did every person under thirty look about seventeen nowadays? Maybe he was getting old. He wasn't gonna chock it up to that so easily.
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#5
 Looking over the older man, and seeing the missing tooth for a mere moment, Jesse wasn't in the least bit surprised he'd been in the cage. "A pity then, You'd probably be worth betting on I figure. Not that I really know much about the rough and tumble... but you look like someone I wouldn't dare fuck with..." Jesse purred, turning his body towards the man more rather than simply looking over. Yeah, he'd probably pay a bit to see the man spill some blood, but that was in his own strange interest.

 Was he old enough to be there? Cute. "What, are you going to I.D me?" His smile was coy, and his voice smooth. Jesse leaned closer slightly, daringly making eye contact before taking a sip of his drink. Perhaps he felt a little like being an idiot tonight.
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#6
What was this kid trying to get out of him with compliments? He didn't entirely mind them, and didn't think too much into the tone of it all. Instead, he gulped down his drink, chuckled at the question. "Nah, don't really give a fuck, just be impressed if you got yourself into a place like this with a fake." It was hard enough to get in regularly. He leaned away naturally, just getting more comfortable in his seat as he gestured around, "How about a bet on the next fight, then?" There seemed to be some movement happening in that regard, two men approaching the ring at a leisurely pace.
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#7
 His grin turned toothy as the man spoke. He wasn't quite sure if he should be flattered, or embarrassed by being assumed as under 21, but he'd take it as a compliment. "Funny enough I turn 30 in a little under a month." Another sip of bourbon warmed his chest. "You can't me much older than me... I'd peg, and excuse my rudeness if I'm off- 38? 40 at most?" He was never good at this game, so hopefully he didn't offend the shit out of this guy. He was attractive company to have in a den of wolves. Tough looking, in comparison to his own appearance.

 "That could be fun," he mused, offering a nod and looking to the cage where two new contestants were entering. Around the bar multiple eyes were being drawn to the same spot, a few murmmers beginning as people discussed odds. Jesse used his enhanced hearing to pick up on some of the points people mentioned about the fighters joining the ring. This was surprisingly helpful considering it was his first time in the bar, and didn't know any of the regular fighters.
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#8
Thirty??? Kind of milk did this dude drink growing up? Before he was even eighteen, people had mistaken Mateo for an adult. Though, really, it didn't ever matter in Mexico, when you went to the right places. Still, this kid didn't look thirty, but he was close in guessing his age. "I got about twelve on you, hombré." He said with a half cocked smile and a click of his tongue, shaking his head as he turned his attention fully to the two entering the ring. He'd seen one in before, big motherfucker, tattooed and bearded. Looked like a copy and paste of a lot of the dudes that hopped in the ring. His opponent was smaller, leaner, but not by much. They were matched in mass, but not inches, and from here they looked about the same age. Still, Mateo knew what to look for, knew how to spot weaknesses. "How's fifty sound? I'll go in on tattoo's getting laid out." He walked with a limp. It'd throw him off tonight.
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#9
 A coy grin inched across his face, crooked to the one side and dimple on full display as he leaned against the bar sipping his drink. He loved the warmth that flowed down his throat and into his veins, and while his metabolism was far to strong to ever really get drunk unless he wanted to drop a couple hundred down on just liquor, he still enjoyed the tingles it gave him, if only momentary.

 His company had a delightful accent, definitely Latin American, but Jesse wasn't well versed enough to place it to a specific country or region. Pulling his eyes away he focused on the two entering the ring. Whether it be the lean, or beefy man... Jesse would not want to pick a fight with either. The big boy could likely snap the other in half given the right timing, while the smaller opponent looked fast and scrappy. He hadn't been planning on betting, but he'd take the action, if only to have some entertainment, and more conversation.

 "Alright, I'll take that action." He relaxed into his seat, turned in the stool so his back was to the bar, and his attention on the cage...
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#10
There was something damningly satisfying about settling on a bet. With a nod and a half cocked smirk, Mateo would grab his beer to hold it in hand as he turned to fully observe the fighters. The bell rang, and the two men fell into a tousle. Both packed a heavy punch, and but while the leaner of the two moved faster, he started off worrying too much about keeping on the move, and not about blocking a heavy clock to the face, shaking him from the get go. Mateo grinned despite it, always enjoying a fight, and maintaining some faith that that limp would come around to bite tattoos in the ass.
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#11
for anyone wondering, raylers and I are rolling on discord for how the fight is going <3


 Watching the two square off, he immediately accepted the fact that... he had no idea who had the upper hand even from the get go. The lithe one was ducking and weaving, with a lot of fancy looking foot work, moving around tattoo's like he was dancing. Tattoo's stayed in the center, pivoting to keep the other in his eyesight. They traded a couple of blows, but it wasn't until lithe went for a risky weave that tattoo landed a thick hit. Jesse knew just enough to know that the fight was far from over. That was a wake up call it looked like, and lithe was back moving around, trying to sneak it little quick blows into the big boy's weak spots.

 "Now that the bet's been placed- why the little guy? I don't really know anything about fighting, but the tattoo fighter looks more seasoned, no?"
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#12
Mateo hardly took his eyes off the fight as the kid spoke to him, but he angled his head some to say, "Tattoos was limping, it'll slow him down. Why he isn't moving around much." It made sense to stay on the defense in the case like that, let the target come to him. But it made him easier to hit, if he wasn't quick enough to block and re-deliver. The leaner guy; Mateo's guy; was learning that quickly. He gave up on blocking in favor of aiming a sharp kick into the upper hip of his opponent, knocking tattoos off kilter and staggering to keep upright with the lame he was favoring. Mateo would cheer for that.
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#13
 Jesse too leaned in some to hear over the growing ruckus as more patrons got into watching the brawl, but his eyes flicked between his company and the match.

 He nodded to the words, and flinched as his man stumbled, but maintained footing. Tat's was on the defence now. He showed his teeth at his opponent and circled slightly, never giving up his guard or back.

 "He may have a limp, but I feel like one solid hit from him would make the skinny guy meet his maker." Jesse could be right, could be wrong. Only time would tell.
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