Wine, steak, and a proposition

Submitted into Contest #100 in response to: Start or end your story with two characters sitting down for a meal.... view prompt

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Contemporary Drama Crime

Wine, steak, and a proposition

The tension in the room was so thick you could cut it with a knife, which was appropriate since not only was it a dinner party but the three people that attended it were tempted to slit each other’s throats at any given moment. They would not call themselves enemies but they did severely despise each other for reasons unknown to their respective inner circles. The meeting held place on neutral soil since none of them actually believed that the others would behave on their own territory, this way no one had the higher ground and they could talk like the civilised adults they were. No guards, no other acquaintances and no weapons allowed on the premises of the mansion so affectionately nicknamed ‘The Shithole’. The meetings were held once every month and its purpose was to settle any conflicts and depts between the three rivalling organizations. The system has worked for years now and was unanimously established but that didn’t mean that the leaders enjoyed them. Nevertheless, the meetings were necessary and every 13th of each month Sean Michaelson, Diana Fraser and Achilles DuMourt sat down to a three-course meal. Just like they did right this second.

The table was round, a wise choice on the designer’s side since all of the guests would rather die than seem inferior to the others at the table. The room nicely lit and decorated in a gothic style that reflected the dreed any sane person would feel when faced with any of the three bosses. The silence was only interrupted by the clicking of the old clock and the plates being placed in front of each guest by a cook that was not affiliated with any of them – they didn’t want to get poisoned. The steaming first course was a soup so red it looked like blood. Sean already liked the cook the man had a sense of humour, he looked up from his dish and noticed that his ‘colleagues’ must have noticed the irony as well judging by the smirks on their faces. Diana was the first to start eating of course establishing her dominance was something she was known for. Everything about her screamed ‘I am in charge’ even if she stood next to her equals, the perfectly cared for fiery red hair, red strapless gown, red lips and heels. Everything had to be red hot like her temperament – which was a bit of an overkill in Achilles’ opinion but who was he to judge extravagance when he himself was always dressed to impress. He always wore a suit, only the colours and cuts of them varied, he never left his house without some kind of gold accessory on his person whether it be a necklace, earrings, or a cane that he didn’t actually need to walk – which both Diana and Sean loved to joke about. The enemy of my enemy is my friend solidarity at its finest. Sean was the complete opposite of them both when it came to looks and demeanour. He dressed in simple black jeans, a t-shirt and a leather jacket. If you’ve ever seen him in a white shirt that meant that he somehow run out of his usual attire or was too tired to notice what he was grabbing while getting dressed. He was calm, collected, had the gaze of a starving hawk and attitude of a stoic monk – silent but deadly, that’s what his acquaintances would describe him as.

Neither of them remembered why they decided to actually have a meal during those meetings it seemed impractical and dangerous to an extent. They were exposed, dropped their guard down to eat just like wild animals did. They had an agreement that the business side of the meeting would start after the first course and end right after dessert and drinks, after that they would depart from ‘The Shithole’ to report back to their people on the outcomes and probably bitch and moan about the compromises they had to agree on to their second in command. So when they all finished their soup the games have begun.

“I want your people out of my docks by sunrise” Diana begun, sending a deathly glare towards Achilles who simply smirked sipping on a cocktail that looked too colourful to be actually good.

“I will consider that If you call off your lap dogs from the south border of my territory” he answered nonchalantly “They are scaring the kids”

“Absolutely not, after your last stunt in DeLess I want all of the borders monitored so that your dumb sacks of meat won't ‘accidentally’ blow up another building under my jurisdiction” she bit back placing her elbows on the table and lacing her fingers together.

“Don’t forget that that happened in my part of town too” Sean cut in tracing the rim of his glass with a finger “So be so kind as to keep your idiots from walking the Night Street like they own it. Because next time I’ll see them there I’ll break more than just their arms”

“Moris says thank you for breaking his arm actually” Achilles chuckled and continued “turns out it healed wrong after the first time” Nobody laughed and Sean kept looking at him like he lost his mind – which was not that wrong of a guess. “Awww come on guys why gang up on me?” he continued with a fake pout as he turned to Sean and leaned in “Didn’t our sweet Diana fuck up your latest heist?”

“I paid him back in full last week” the woman commented as the second course made its way onto the table. Wagyu steak and green beans in wine sauce as the cook announced. They started eating again but the conversation was in full swing this time. Threats, demands, bargains and some more threats rung through the mansion like a deadly symphony accompanied only by the sound of utensils being scraped over the plates. Numbers and coordinates flew across the table only to meet with a derisive laugh a cold stare or an aggressive rebuttal. Accusations were always the last on the agenda, bitterness sweetened by the desert. As always Achilles accused Diana of stealing his cat Mr Snuffles – she denied it yet again. Diana accused Sean of running over her forger – which turned out to be true and an actual accident. Sean accused Achilles of being a dumb bitch – which was true as well. Same old same old. A meal with people you hate could turn out to be deadly but they had a system in place that hasn’t failed them yet. That’s why after the official meeting ended they sat in the drawing-room in front of the fireplace, sipping on the remnants of their drinks feeling content with the meeting and the things that they managed to negotiate. Achilles sighed and spoke, a shit-eating grin gracing his features.

“We have such good communication. We would make such a good throuple” Sean and Diana turned to him but neither denied the statement. 

June 29, 2021 09:17

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4 comments

Abbey Long
19:05 Jul 09, 2021

Very nice story - well done!

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Colin Devonshire
06:33 Jul 08, 2021

Different, and interesting. What time period was your tale set? And where? It was an enjoyable read. Well done.

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Anna Carter
07:30 Jul 08, 2021

Thank you! The point was to let the reader fill in the blanks themselves so it can be 1940 or 2020, New York or a fictional place. It's up to you :)

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Colin Devonshire
03:23 Jul 09, 2021

Okay, fair enough.

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