It was 12 o clock Jack was sitting behind the bar as he watching the patrons of his bar. He looked away at the clock. The band that would play tonight was late. He walked out of the bar to the dressing room. The guitarist of the band was on a chair by the door along and nearby was the drummer. Jack opened his mouth to ask them where the singer was until she walked out of the door. She scratched her hair to fluff them up again and pulled a lock of her hair, a pink highlight, behind her ear.
"Alexis, the man is waiting for us." said the drummer.
Alexis nodded and smiled to Jack and then waved to her bandmates to follow her.
"Tom where the hell are you ?" she called to find her bassist.
The bassist appeared with a glass of whiskey in his hand and a lady in his one arm.
"Sorry Jack. She just doesn't want to leave me yet. Having fun, babe ?" he asked and smiled at the young woman in his arm.
Jack scratched his unshaven chin and nodded an ok to the bassist and walked out. Tom walked behind him till he turned left to the bar's stage. Jack walked behind the bar again and nodded the bartender to notice the singer.
"Alexis is amazing, boss. Wouldn't you like to sh...!" the bartender didn't get to finish his sentence as Jack shoved a cotton towel with the brand of a whiskey in red letters in his mouth. He waved at the pile of dirty glasses and walked to the stage clearing his throat. He stopped in front of the microphone and tapped it twice.
"Tonight folks, I give you, the Asteroid Clouds. Have fun !" he said and raised his fist. The crowd cheered and then Alexis took the microphone as Jack walked off the stage.
Alexis begun singing a song of her band and Jack walked behind the bar again.
"To your question earlier : No, I wouldn't women are only to provide us with fun" shouted Jack at the bar tender.
"And that's why you will die alone, boss" said the bartender without a hint of a smile.
"I won't die alone, I will die with a whore beneath me. That's all. Now pour me a whiskey" he said and tapped his hand on the counter along with the music. "I don't like her voice. It's too husky" he said and greedily grabbed the glass of whiskey as the bar tender was still pouring. "Thank you Jeremy, you can be slower" he said sarcastically and walked between the dancing crowd drinking from his glass like he was all alone and the people wouldn't spill his drink.
"He's nuts" said the bartender and shook his head as he cleaned the counter with a towel.
The police cars stopped out of the Jack's bar. The neon sign glowed green on them reading "Peacock Tail" and a peacock made of wire shone emerald green.
"How do they make the signs glow in that kind of color. Same color as your eyes, Anne" said one police officer.
"Stop it and focus on the drugs. I know there are drugs in here" said the female detective, who was obviously more experience and walked in. With her hand at the gun and the other holding her badge.
"Open the door" she order at the other police officer.
The man approached and opened the door for her. She walked in, in a fast pace her leather boots reflecting the light of the spotlights.
"LAPD. Freeze !" she yelled, her eyebrows lowered and her eyes narrowed angrily the bassist dropped his bass guitar, ran and turned left to leave from the back door.
"I'll get him James, you stay here and search the others" yelled the detective as she tried to move through the thick crowd.
The bassist got quickly in the dressing room and grabbed a gun from beneath his jacket, which was on purpose shown to be laying about to cover his gun. With his finger on the trigger he waited.
Alexis and Jack walked behind the detective trying to explain that no other member of the band was doing drugs and that Jack wasn't the one that gave them to the bassist. The detective's face was bright red with anger and turned around to put handcuffs on Jack.
"Will this shut you up ?" asked the detective.
"Look, if he wants to die from drug overdose, it's his bad not my bad. I hope you get that through your dense skull" he complained
"He won't die. He promised me he'd quit them. He said he'd only do pot every now and then. He's innocent. You can't imprison Tom" Alexis tried in vain to convince the detective otherwise. She quickly exhaled almost puffing and brushed her hair with her hand.
"Alexis, don't worry. Let her get him. If he gets you in trouble, he isn't a worthy friend" said Jack in a calm, not-caring manner.
"It's not like that, he's my friend. We grew up together and formed a band. How...just how can you be such a selfish bastard ?" she "spat" angrily on his face.
"I just don't care. Take her to the jail as well, detective. I just don't care. Take these cuffs off me now. Will ya ?" he asked impatiently, tapping his foot against the well-polished, wooden floor.
"Will you two shut the fuck up ?" the detective said as James followed with the drummer at gunpoint and the guitarist in handcuffs.
"Will that get me to rank two, sergeant Brown ?" asked the police officer.
Sergeant Anne Brown sighed. "Just shut up" she whispered calmly and turned her back grabbing Alexis' wrist and Jack's cuffs and walking to the backdoor.
"He must be gone by now. I hope Jerry got him" she said.
Tom grabbed a girl that entered from the backdoor by the hair as she screamed and placed his gun at her temple. As he was about to make her walk in the dressing room with him, the detective rushed there.
"Put the gun down !" she said calmly aiming at him with her own gun. Tears were escaping the eyes of the teenage girl. "Don't cry" said the detective and her trainee walked behind her with the drummer, the guitarist, Jack and Alexis, who followed out of curiosity.
"Help me please" begged the girl.
"We can talk this through, Tom" said Alexis with a sad smile, pitying him in his condition. His eyes were red and swollen.
"This doesn't require talking" said Jack and approached slowly and carefully. Tom pointed his gun at him.
"No, don't shoot at me. I'm your friend" said Jack and approached him as Alexis rolled her eyes.
Suddenly, Jack rushed and jumped to him. His elbow beat Tom's skull. Tom weakened his hold on the girl that ran away immediately and fell in Alexis' waiting hug. Tom punched Jack on the chin as they were rolling on the floor. Jack was now on top of Tom and punched his stomach once. The bassist then was weakened and Jack pinned his wrists down with his own hands.
"Come 'ere, detective" said Jack triumphantly.
"Well done, mister Jefferson. The LAPD thanks you for your services, but unfortunately you will have to join me to the police station. If you don't mind, we need to identify your fingerprints"
"Yes, ma'am" replied Jack.
"James take the drummer and guitarist to Jerry. I will take ms.Nelson and mr.Jefferson and that scum to the police station" said the detective.
"Okay, Dirty Harry" mocked her assistant and took the drummer and guitarist with him. The drummer had kept his cool and insisted that he was innocent all the way to the police car waiting behind the back door with the lights on top turned on and bathing everything in electric blue light.
Sergeant Anne Brown took Jack and Alexis with her and pushed them in her police vehicle as her assistant was in another car with Jerry, another rookie. She grunt in pain and held her head as with her other hand she started the engine.
"The way to the police station is short. It would be better for me if you were quiet" she said and with that she pressed the gas pedal.
"So..." Alexis attempted to start a conversation.
"So..." repeated Jack "Where are you from ?" he asked softly trying not to annoy the detective.
"I'm from Berkeley, you ?" she asked in return.
"You know, Burbank. Not much. I've never been to Berkeley, how is it like ?"
"It's good...Do you like my music ? Do you think I have hopes in the music industry ?" she asked again.
"I like your music but your voice is hoarse. I don't like that" he said and frowned at her. She perceived it as annoyance and stopped talking for the rest of the way to the police station, getting closer to the door. Jack remained silent for a while and turned to face her. She was looking out of the window and he softly pressed his index against her shoulder. She suddenly turned back to him.
"It was meant to be constructive criticism. Sorry if I...hurt you" Jack said softly, barely audible. Alexis gulped and used her hands to wipe her face off the tears.
"It's ok. All this time, Tom told me I was good. I guess he was high when he said that" she said and giggled awkwardly. "I never noticed how soft my fingers were" she said trying to change subject.
"I like your band" said Jack dryly and focused in the rear-view mirror looking at Sergeant Brown's eyes.
"You mean it ? I'm very soft when it comes to my band. I love Asteroid Clouds and I'd do anything for them. I'm not very soft otherwise" replied Alexis.
"I know" said Jack with a faint smile. "I invited you to play in my bar for that reason. You aren't just a girly" said Jack and gave her a warm, friendly smile and then brushed his hair behind. He picked a pack of cigarettes from inside his jacket and got his lighter out.
"Don't even think about it. We are getting closer be patient" said the detective. Jack rolled his eyes and put the pack back in his jacket along with his lighter.
He looked back to Alexis and then back to the detective's eyes.
"I don't like silence" he thought to himself and let his eyes wander to the sky. The stars were dim compared to the lights of Sunset boulevard and the full moon seemed the only interesting thing in the sky besides the clouds floating by fast, pushed by the wind. However, his mind was elsewhere. He looked back at Sergeant's Brown.
"You won't shut down my bar, right ?" he asked, worry evident in his voice.
"I don't know. If you are clean, then I will let you go and get back in your bar." she replied.
The radio beeped and then a deep, masculine voice begun speaking through it.
"Anne, I got them. Where are you ? James is already here" asked the voice.
"On my way, Joe. There's too much traffic tonight. Bear with me please" she replied and then sighed. Her lungs were full of air and in her stomach she felt a weight. It wasn't easy to be a detective.
Alexis and Jack's eyes met one last time and then both of them looked out of their respective windows.