Anything for Leonore
A One Shot
FNF#5: Image – A Knight on a Black Horse
Jason Morgan was planning a bachelor party.
Considering the fact that his boss Sonny Corinthos had been married so many times over the years, it was really astounding that this was the first time he had been called upon as a best man to perform such a duty, but, as he hung up the phone after arranging everything with Coleman down at Jake's, he was just glad that he was going through so much work for Spinelli and not his Cuban friend. After all, if it was Sonny who was getting married, he wouldn't be able to get away with renting out a bar, buying a bunch of booze, and hiring several strippers. No, Sonny Corinthos would imagine his bachelor party to be at a pricy resort and spa. He'd want expensive, catered food, and private, personal dancers flown in from some exotic and exclusive club only he knew of. However, doing something nice for his former roommate and tech genius was a much simpler procedure.
Spinelli didn't expect things of him, and he would be grateful for even the smallest, most unpretentious of parties. After all, he knew how much the enforcer hated crowds, so he wouldn't be offended by the fact that there would only be five people, including the groom and best man, present at the bash. Not really knowing who else to invite seeing as how Spinelli didn't really have guy friends other than him, he has asked Milo and Max, the two Giambetti brothers who worked as guards under him, to come along, and they, eager to have a night off, had readily agreed. And then he had blackmailed his understudy, Johnny Zacchara, into attending as well, threatening him with the idea of lessons on how to run the business with Sonny. One word about the dimpled don, and his someday replacement was putty in Jason's hands.
And, now, after ending his call with Coleman, everything was set and ready to go for a week from Friday night. They'd show up at Jake's around nine, after tricking Spinelli into thinking there was some kind of computer glitch only he could fix for the bar owner, then drink and eat bar nuts while playing pool for several hours, and, finally, at midnight, once Spinelli and everyone else, including himself, was sufficiently wasted, the strippers would arrive. There was no way he'd be able to survive such an uncomfortable situation – sharing the same space with Spinelli, his guards, and his junior enforcer, without being drunk. Plus, if he got the groom-to-be trashed enough, then he'd never remember what happened the night before when his fiancée quizzed him about his bachelor party, leaving Jason safe from the woman's confusing yet predictable tirades.
It was the perfect plan.
Picking up the rapidly cooling beer sitting next to the phone on his desk, the thirty-something year old, perpetual bachelor stood up, stretching the long, lithe muscles of his back and sighing in pleasure. He had the entire night off and to himself. Spinelli was off taking care of wedding duties liked the whipped puppy he now was, Johnny was out on a
date, the two M&M's were stuck at a family dinner with their Ma, and Sonny was on vacation with two of his three kids, out of sight and, as far as Jason was concerned, out of mind as well. Unsure of what he wanted to do with so much free, quiet time on his hands, the enforcer went to move towards the stairs, contemplating a nice, warm shower and, the idea of following it with a good book on some new country he hadn't yet explored himself, when there was a knock on his door.
Automatically, he knew that the guest wasn't good news. If it had been anything about business, one of his men would have either called him or barged in, forgetting the simple niceties of announcing one's arrival before demanding entrance, so that left him with only one option: it was a woman, and their presence at his penthouse was personal.
Just fucking great.
Without taking the time to look through the peephole, Jason swung the door open, his voice resonating loudly throughout the rather modesty decorated luxury apartment before he even knew who his late night visitor was. "What do you want?"
"Uh, excuse me," the petite blonde remarked dryly, fixing him with an annoyed glare of her own. "But I don't think that's anyway to talk to a lady, especially the one who's engaged to your best friend."
"You marrying Johnny now?"
"Haha," the woman pretended to laugh, strolling into his home as if she personally owned it herself without waiting for him to invite her in. "Very funny, but no." Spinning around on her designer heels – they were always designer with this chick, the challenging fashion maven demanded, "shut the door. We need to talk, and I don't need any of your flunkies listening in on our conversation."
"Those flunkies happen to be your soon-to-be husband's coworkers."
"Oh, please," she dismissed his comment with a simple wave of her manicured hand. "Just because they collect a paycheck from Corinthos and Morgan as well, that does not put them in the same class as Spinelli. My fiancé actually has a brain. He doesn't need to carry a gun around in order to receive respect and admiration, but that's neither here nor there."
Smirking and lifting his now lukewarm bottle of beer to his lips, Jason took a generous gulp of the, what he hoped to be, fortifying liquid before returning, "It isn't?"
"Boy, you sure are chatty tonight."
Finishing the rest of the alcohol, the hitman dropped the empty container into the trash before moving across the room and taking a seat on his leather couch. Propping his motorcycle boot clad feet up on the coffee table, he pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration, willing the woman standing several feet away from him to leave while his eyes
were still closed. Popping them back open, he found that she was, unfortunately, still very much there. "What do you want, Maxie?"
"I want to talk to you about Spinelli's bachelor party. Seeing as how you are his best man, I assume you've planned one for him, right?"
Nodding his head, Jason answered, "yep. Just got off the phone will Coleman, in fact. Everything's set for next Friday night."
"Yeah," the pretty blonde drawled out, the amount of disapproval in her voice dropping like an anvil onto the enforcer's shoulders. "That's definitely not going to work."
"What do you mean," he inquired, standing up to face off against the barging in bride-to-be. "Look, if you don't trust your fiancé to look at strippers and not touch them, then that's your problem."
"Please," Maxie rejected with a roll of her wide, sparkling eyes. "Like my Spinelli would ever cheat on me. He knows that he's damn lucky to have me, and he's not going to do anything to mess that up. No, your plans won't work, because that's not what your best friend wants for his bachelor party."
And just when he thought there would be no demands or expectations…
"Spinelli would never come to you himself," the police commissioner's daughter explained. "In fact, he's not even expecting you to throw him a party, because he knows how much you dislike celebrations, but, even if he won't say anything to you, that certainly doesn't stop him from yapping on and on about it to me. Now, I'm getting what I want for my bachelorette party." As the young woman stopped to place her hands on her already angled hips, Jason sent up a silent prayer, despite the fact that he was definitely not a very religious man, that she would not see the need to share with him the details of her own plans. "So, I think it's only fair that Spinelli gets what he wants, too."
"Alright," he relented, moving back towards his desk in order to write down her instructions so that he didn't forget anything. "You win. If it'll get you out of my penthouse, then I'll do whatever you want."
The blonde graced him with a cheeky, exultant smile before carefully sliding her hands into the front pockets of her finely tailored trousers. "So, Morgan," she drawled, and her very tone made him tense with apprehension. "Tell me, have you ever heard of a little place called Medieval Times?"
It was official.
He was in hell.
Beside him, though, his best friend was in raptures, was absolutely giddy with childhood delight and awe. "Stone Cold," Spinelli breathed out, his rather puny, accident prone body actually hopping with anticipation and excitement. "The Jackal cannot put into words how appreciative he is of your most altruistic gesture to throw him a bachelor party. How did you know that your faithful Grasshopper desired to attend a dinner and show of such medieval proportions on his last night before becoming a wedded man?"
"How do you think, Dipshit," Johnny asked him rhetorically, following up his mocking inquiry with a swift clap upside the nerd's head. "Your keeper told him."
"Aw, the Fair Maximista, she did all that for me – going to the formidable if not intimidating Stone Cold to request of him to throw her most fortunate fiancé a humble, little bachelor…"
Interrupting the soon-to-be married man, Max questioned, "I thought you said you were too grateful to Jason to talk, kid? Let's go back to that idea, okay?"
And, with that, surprisingly, Spinelli fell silent, simply gaping with a mouth wide enough to catch at least a dozen flies at the sights, sounds, and, Jason wrinkled his nose, stenches that surrounded them. While he realized that the people who ran the show would strive for but inevitably fail to capture the true essence of the middle ages, he had hoped that they were cleanlier than those they wished to emulate, but the drifting scent of horse manure told him otherwise, and, right then and there, he promised himself that he would not touch a single piece of his food that evening.
Following his friends and coworkers, he scowled in abject contempt at everything around him. After getting their cards, they were shown to their seats and offered a crown. Spinelli immediately put his on and began practicing what he believed to be a royal bow but, really, came off as more of a curtsy, Max and Milo kept trying to put theirs on each other, shoving and pushing one another like only two brothers can, and Johnny immediately let his fall to the floor, kicking it under the table they would soon be forced to sit and eat at. He, however, refused to even take the offered headgear from the server who attempted to give him the plastic trinket, instead scaring her off with a simple yet well practiced glare.
With an hour and half to kill before the actual show began and the meal was served, they were supposed to have their pictures taken with the various members of the cast, but Spinelli's hopes of getting digital reminders of his evening at Medieval Times was crushed when his coworkers immediately denied him his wishes, and, while they could have perused the gift shops offering overpriced junk, the man of the hour was again refused by the various members of his wedding party.
"So, then, if we are not going to pose for pictures with King Phillipe, Prince Tristan, Princess Leonore, The Royal Falconer, The Lord Chancellor, and Harold of Leone, and, if you won't accompany me to the Hall of Arms for a little souvenir shopping, what do you want to do for the next eighty-four minutes?"
Despite the fact that the question was posed to Max, Milo, and Johnny, the three younger
men turned towards their boss, insisting that Jason answer the nerd's question. And he only had one possible response in mind. "Let's find the bar."
He was already walking off when his hacker's voice sounded behind him. "But, Stone Cold, there is no partaking of alcoholic beverages at Medieval Times. This is an establishment which strives to be family friendly. Sadly, for you, the closest thing you are going to find to either beer or ale is root beer and ginger ale. However, I happen to know for a fact that they serve the nectar of the gods here, so, if you and my fellow minions would so desire, I would be happy to procure for us all some tall, frosty bottles of orange soda."
"Spinelli," Johnny stated slowly, drawing out the kid's name. "I want you to speak plainly and run that by me again, alright. Did you just say that there is no booze here?"
At the straightforward reply, all four older men broke out in loud, ugly strings of dark curses, capturing the attention and the disapproval of those passing by them. In fact, they would have still been swearing if a young, pretty woman, obviously a part of the show due to her elaborate, period appropriate costume, hadn't approached them.
"Excuse me," she said politely, timidly, stopping to stand in front of the enforcer, but, after those two words left her full, plump, rosy mouth, all shyness disappeared, and she started rambling so fast, they all had to crane their necks in her direction to listen more carefully. "I know this is uncommon and, frankly, odd, but a situation has come up. The actor who plays Prince Tristan never showed up for work this evening, and, if we don't find someone to replace him, we'll have to cancel the show, and, trust me, with this crowd, you do not want to make them angry."
Taking a breath, she pressed on. "And I was just passing through on the way to talk to our manager when I happened to see your group standing here, and, you," she admitted, blushing slightly while addressing Jason. "You captured my attention."
Grinning cockily, he asked, "Really?"
"Yes, you see, you're the perfect size for Prince Tristan's costumes." He could feel his smile fall only to be replaced by a look of what could only be described as sheer panic. "And I was just wondering if you'd be willing to help me out this evening. I know it's an imposition, but we'd be willing to pay you, and your friends' meals for the night would all be on the house. Please," she practically begged of him, surprising the mafia hitman further by reaching out to grasp his large, brawny hand in her own petite, unbelievably soft one. "You have no idea how much this would mean to me."
Needing more information, Jason prompted her, "Prince Tristan…"
"Oh, yes, he's my husband," the brunette answered, laughing softly at the mistake. "Well, what I meant to say was that he's my character's husband. Will you… does this mean that
you'll do it? Will you help me out?"
Shrugging and ignoring the snide, mumbled comments coming from his men behind him, the enforcer replied, "yeah, I will."
"Oh, that's wonderful," the pretty actress beamed, using her grip on his hand to pull him along behind her. "By the way," she started to introduce herself. "My name's Elizabeth, and I play Princess Leonore."
"Jason," he returned, suddenly very angry with himself for denying Spinelli the chance to take pictures, for, if they had gone to meet the cast, he would have been able to lay eyes on the bewitching woman several minutes earlier in the evening.
"Well, Jason," she interrupted his thoughts, smirking at him. "I just have one question for you." Her sapphire eyes danced with merriment, and he knew that, whatever it was she was going to say next, the inquiry had more than one meaning. "How are you in a saddle?"
Oh, yeah. Definitely a double entendre.