1963-10-28 - Fight Night
Summary: Claire and Wesley attend a series of boxing matches for their second date.
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Theme Song: None
wesley claire 

The Garden's a pretty raucous affair on a Saturday night, but Wesley manages to get VIP treatment. The attendants seem to know him by name. When the two of you are lead to your seats, a few men pause to offer greetings, shake his hand. They're not exactly kissing his ring, but they're definitely showing a bit of deference, asking him to come say hello, wanting to get a meeting later. He handles them all with aplomb, but reminds them that he's just here to watch the fights tonight with the lovely young lady.

He buys popcorn from the kid working the stands and takes the seats at ringside, close enough to hear fist on flesh, to hear the slap of bodies as they clash, to smell the sweat. It's raw and physical and indelicate, not the sort of thing one would expect to charm a woman.

But Wesley figures Claire isn't a delicate flower - she's a different kind of woman than the flighty floozies most of his clients drag around behind them. He doesn't need a weak woman to prove he's a strong man.

"You want to lay any money tonight?" he says with a smile.


It was all a religious experience. She's been to a fight here and there, but up close.. so up close to see the intricacies of the footwork; to actually see the blood fly. It was something of a dream. Not that Claire herself was blood thirsty, it was a sport that was meant to be enjoyed, so she enjoys it wholeheartedly.

Though, it was a slight off-putting to see others doting upon Wesley as such, there was a slight little hesitancy as she takes the popcorn, but she smiles either way, immediately popping a few kernels into her mouth with a grin added. "No, I'm alright.." She confesses, crossing one pantleg over the other as she looks up to the match already in progress.

"So.. who were all of those people?" The question was asked with a slight lean, so that she didn't have to yell over the booming crowd.


Wesley shakes his head, "Nobody, really. It wasn't about me, really, I promise you. They want to do business with my clients, most likely, and they feel like getting in good with me might mean I'd put a good word in for them. Which is silly. I always advise my clients to do what's best for them, regardless of my personal feelings on a matter. I'm not easily swayed by a handshake and a cheap compliment," he says.

He eats a bit of the popcorn, leaning in and speaking into her ear to avoid shouting. Shouting could be grotesque if pushed to extremes. In the ring, one of the fighters throws a hard right cross, making his opponent stagger into the ropes right in front of the pair for a moment.

"It does get the blood pumping, doesn't it?"


"From the looks of it.." Claire leans in, in return, her cheek nearly brushing up against his as she keeps her eyes on the fight. "..you have some really high profile clients." She takes another bite of the popcorn, her face scrunching and wincing, even drawing her hand up to hide her face and left her leg in reaction. The smacking of the flesh was loud, the guy goes down but he gets right back up.. "Jesus.." There was a little pause, the popcorn soon set aside in favor of a glass bottle of soda.

"Anyone I know?"


Wesley smiles and considers, "Mmmmmmmmmm, unlikely. My clients are powerful men, but not seekers of publicity. They prefer discretion and efficiency, both of which I can provide," he says. He enjoys that brief friction, cheek to cheek, his own warming a bit at the contact.

He grins as she flinches a bit at the man nearly flung into them, the boxer seemingly inspired by that and striking back, a flurry of blows at his opponent. This fight isn't fixed, although the next one is. Wesley has every intention of making a substantial bet on that one. "Harrison there's quite an up and comer. I think Carver's underestimated him here. He should've followed up on that big hit, but he took the kid lightly and now he's paying for it," he says, taking a sip of his fountain drink.


"They must be known around the city if they're powerful.." Claire pries. But she immediately shuts up as the crowd begins to roar, Claire herself jumping from her seat to wiggle her popcorn into the air, even spilling just a bit. But, that subject was suddenly dropped as she settles back into her seat, laughing and clapping her hands at the joy of it all.

"I don't know who any of these people are. My mom used to say that this was such a barbaric thing that my dad used to enjoy." At least, that's possibly why she liked the sport. It reminds her of a father that never was. "You don't seem like the type though!"


Wesley smiles, "Never judge a book by its cover, Claire. I admit, I'm not a fan of violence personally - I've never been much for being beaten up. But watching others, well, it's different. And listen to the people, how much they love it - I think there's something primal in it, this…base instinct in all of us. I find it fascinating," he says. He's a voyeur of violence, having seen far more of it and much worse than any boxing match could ever offer.

He signals one of the kids running numbers, reaching into his coat and drawing out his wallet, "Five hundred on Sutter, in the next fight," he says, slipping the kid the bills and getting a hastily scrawled receipt in return.

"Yessir Mr. Wesley sir thank ya" the boy says, scuttling off.


One of the men lands a crushing right hook which Claire manages to witness, her eyes squinting shut, the crowd leaping and roaring as loud as they could, so much so that she leans into Wesley, her fingers plugging her ears and missing the fact that he enjoys the primal side of life. Her head even ducks down, but there was a grin upon her face. Seeing everyone excited as the referee begins the final count.

As the boy leaves, Claire stands, her feet lightly stamping against the ground in exasperation. "I wanted to bet.. dammit!" She hisses, then flops back into her seat. The crowd was going wild..

..someone was OUT!


Wesley snaps his fingers, getting the boy back, "My apologies, Tommy, I forgot to ask my lovely lady friend if she wanted to place a bet. The next bout is Sutter versus Dixon. Dixon's the favorite, with ten to one odds. I think he's ripe for a fall myself, but you follow your own instincts, of course," he says.

He takes a moment to draw out his cigarette case, pulling one and lighting it, offering one to Claire if she'd like. European imports. One of his clients is big in shipping.


The crowd was dying down, refreshments were needed, even though Claire didn't too much indulge, she had her purse ready and waiting as the boy returned. She sat and thought about it for a moment, throwing caution to the wind, putting at least a good three hundred on Sutter with a slight hesitant nod. "Uh.. put that on Sutter, then."

As the boy takes her payment, she leans into Wesley. "Throwing caution to the wind I guess!" Heck, the money was already going to go to the clinic, she wouldn't benefit a thing from it. She shakes her head towards the offer of a cigarettes. "You know those will kill you, right?" She asks. "Anything you have to burn to put into your lungs is bad for you!"


Wesley smiles, "Perhaps. But no one's immortal, Claire. We're all gonna die in due time," he says. "we have to take our pleasures where we can get them," he says. The intros start for the next bout. Clay Dixon's a massive man, thick-necked and bullish, with broad shoulders. Sutter's big, too, but leaner, rangier.

"I think Sutter's speed will get the best of the big man. If he can survive a few hits - Dixon's a hell of a knockout artist," he says, drawing on his smoke. "So what are your vices, then? You don't smoke, looks like you don't usually gamble…or are you just an angel, pure as the driven snow?" he says, a little teasingly.


Claire could understand that. And while she doesn't say much, she just bobs her head, continuing with her munching of the popcorn. It was clear that the fight was going to be in Dixon's favor; she just lost out three hundred dollars in rent money. But she wouldn't dare tell Wesley that. She was possibly getting paid less than the other black nurse she knows, but she still at least tried and lived frugally.

By starving.

"Hmm? Me? Vices?" She asks, leaning away a bit as the crowd begins to roar as the men smack their gloves together in preparation. She leans in again, to prevent yelling, but her voice is still loud. "I work too much! Eat, sleep, and live work! That's my only vice. And trust me, I am no angel!"


Wesley smiles, "I suspect some of your patients would disagree on that front. I imagine it must be quite a comfort to wake up and see your face hovering over them. Some surely believe they've died and gone to heaven," he says.

The two fighters circle around each other. Sutter's aggressive out of the gate, but Dixon's a bit hesitant for whatever reason. Dixon takes a few shots to the ribs and lashes out, throwing a glancing blow tot he ribs still hard enough to almost lift Sutter off his feet, making the slimmer man back away a bit, obviously in pain.

"See? Power. But power only works if it's properly applied. He's not going to knock Sutter out that way."


Claire blushes, her light brown cheeks reddening within the light. Her hands even lift to cover her mouth, and as her eyes direct towards the fight, she winces completely. "Come on!" She hollars out, others soon joining into the fray, Claire suddenly standing to throw out a few whooping cries and cheers.

As she settles in to hear the comment, she lets out a huff. "I think I bet on the wrong guy. He almost lifted him off the floor!" But still, Claire cheered him on, even though she could feel a lump growing within her throat.


The fight goes back and forth a bit, both men exchanging blows. "Not so fast," Wesley says, standing and putting an arm around her shoulder, leaning in conspiratorially, "The big man's spending himself. You can see he's wheezing already, sweating. I told you: ripe for a fall," he says.

The bell rings to end round one, with no clear advantage to either. Sutter's corner is closer, with his coach urging him on and telling him to go for the throat this round, go all out. Sure enough, when the bell rings, the smaller fighter unleashes a wild flurry, driving the bigger man back towards the corner.

"Ferocious, isn't he?" Wesley says, squeezing Claire's shoulder.


Claire wasn't the one to hold onto hopes and wishes when it comes to everyday life. Boxing matches and betting included. Hopes and wishes were only reserved for her patients to at least make it through the night. This was completely different. But there was a level of comfort when he puts his arm around her, her own hand reaching up to hold onto his as she uses the other to finish off the rest of her bottled pop.

"Yes.." She says quietly. "..but people can get a second wind." She wasn't hopeful, but damn it.. something had to give.


And give it does. Late in the second round, Dixon charges in, bull-like, and throws a couple of clumsy, loping swings that Sutter's able to duck. The last leaves him slightly off balance and leaning in as Sutter throws a hard, targeted right directly into the point of the big man's chin, jacking his jaw and sending him staggering first to one knee and then falling back onto the mat.

The count is academic at that point, leaving Sutter running around the ring cheering as Wesley laughs, "See, I told you so! Oh, I bet there are some unhappy souls in the upper decks tonight!" he says. Except, of course, for one man in a luxury booth, sipping quietly at a white wine and gazing out in corpulent, untouchable beneficence. That man smiles at a task properly done and awaits his winnings. Just like Wesley and Claire.

Ten to one odds mean Claire's getting three thousand dollars in return (plus her stake), while Wesley gets five thousand.


Claire was on pins and needles as she watches the fight. There was no cheering, a few snaps here and there until Sutter throws the hit. Dixon is down! From then on, her fingers were clenched, knuckles were bitten, her knee bouncing heavily until!


She shrieks out, nearly bouncing in her chair, her arms immediately tackling Wesley into a huge, laughing hug, even drawing him into a little rock back and forth as she releases to stand and clap hard. Yes, some were booing but.. "OH MY GOD!"

She was flushed, falling back into the seat, her hand clasped over her chest with a grin that just won't quit. She wasn't sure of the stakes or the odds, but damn it, it was about time some luck went her way. "Dois mio I never thought.. oh gosh.. we.. we need to get the hell out of here! I need a drink!"


Wesley laughs, "Let's get you cashed out first," he says. It takes about fifteen minutes, all told, for young Tommy to return to them with discreet envelopes of their winnings. Wesley pockets his carefully, giving Claire a moment to count and bask in the glory of her win.

"C'mon, there's a bar down the street, we can go and get a few now while it's quiet. Once the fights are over, it'll flood, but we've still got a good hour until the main event," he says, a lightweight bout cooling people down after that upset, before the heavyweights duke it out at nine. "We'll probably have the place half to ourselves. C'mon," he says, scooping her coat over his arm and offering his hand.


And basked she did. She was discreet as well, stuffing hers into her clutch, eyeballing the cash as she runs her fingers along the lines of it. Two months of rent, and supplies that she didn't have to steal, the purse was clutched against her chest and thanks was given in what was an honest match with good results. Or so she thinks. And she was quiet! Reveling in the victory! Gambling.. while not her thing, felt great once there was a payout!

As he takes her coat, she immediately stands and is careful, keeping her purse against her as she begins to shuffle out. "Goodness.." Is all she could say, flushed and well, pleased! "You -have- to let me plan the next date.." Of course, she was hollering. "I'm cooking! All my treat!" Obviou—.. wait. She was giving the money to the clinic. Dammit! But it was a little too late to back out. Oh well!


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