The Gypsy’s Kiss had once been a high-end brothel, but after the previous owner died and left it in the care of his son, it had become one of the less appreciated businesses. Jack hated to say that he knew the place well, after spending much of his childhood hiding under the tables while his father spent his earnings. On occasion he would be let into the kitchens and the whores would cook him dinner, but he’d always receive a thorough beating when his father found him.
The wooden floors were now stained and splintered, and the stench of sweat and alcohol fermented through the walls. The few patrons who lined the bars nodded in his direction in respect, some probably confusing him with his father. If he were in another brothel, he might’ve stopped and asked for direction, but Jack knew where sickly whores were kept. He made his way to the back room, stone faced.
A man stood in the doorway of the room, which was covered by a loose curtain. He was yelling with his fists in the air, and drunkenly slurring his words. Jack came to a stop behind him, crossed his arms and grunted. The man turned to reveal his dark skin and bearded face; his nose appeared to have been broken in the past and was tweaked to the right.
“This one isn’t working right now,” the man spat.
Jack nodded and cocked his head to the side, and saw a woman shaped lump wrapped in blankets. “This one,” he said “Is my wife.”
The man’s jaw dropped, “She said you were dead!”
Once again, Jack felt the familiar twinge of his old self. The man very well knew that according to the law – Betha belonged to Jack. And the fact that he had profited from her without permission or forwarding the earnings was a punishable offence.
“That doesn’t surprise me,” he grunted. “Then I guess you can just pay me what you owe me and I’ll be on my way.”
The man stood staring in horror, his mouth gaping. “You can’t expect me to pay you! She’s dying anyway, she’s worthless!”
With a smile, Jack dropped his gaze for a moment. “You’ll pay me everything she’s made, and more for her death.”
“No I won’t! I won’t!”
There was a stir in his stomach, and a surge of something in his blood. Jack moved fast, grabbing the shorter man by the neck and lifting him off the ground. He looked up at the man, who squirmed and spat above, and felt a sinister pleasure in the pit of his stomach.
“Good doing business with you,” he snarled before releasing the man to the power of gravity.