This is going to take place prior to last week's episode. I've no desire to handle the emotional upheaval that is too come. Unlike other things I've written this will probably be updated sporadically and in short bursts. I apologize now for that.
Prologue: Bite Marks
Richard Harrow wasn't quite sure why he kept coming back to these sorts of parties. Jimmy always managed to find him a straw and some girl, but by the end of the night the glasses would all be empty and the girl hanging off of Jimmy. A bit of blond hair sat down beside him, and the edge of Richard's mask blocked out her face. The perfume smelled like vanilla, and Richard turned to glance at her with his good eye, his lips trying to twist upwards into a semblance of a smile. She grinned at him. Richard smiled back.
And she turned back to the man on the far end of the couch.
Richard felt his mouth twitch and sighed. The sound bubbled out of his throat and sounded nothing like a sigh. Across the room Jimmy stared at Richard over the top of his glass, and he waved his hand about, brandishing the drink and beckoning Richard over.
"Richard, I'd like you to meet the person who's going to take care of our Manny problem," Jimmy said.
He splashed a bit of whiskey onto the floor, and Richard watched the man sitting across from Jimmy shake it off his shoe.
"Al 'Pretty Boy' Roux."
Al Roux reached out for Richard's hand, and Richard shook it, nodding at Roux. Roux raised an eyebrow at Richard's mask, and opened his mouth to talk.
Richard nodded and Roux brushed his short blonde hair out of his eyes.
"Nice to." Richard felt the hum building up in the back of his throat. "Meet you."
Richard frowned, and felt his face twist into a grimace. Jimmy hadn't heard, a redhead that Harrow was determinedly not looking at had touched his shoulder, but now Jimmy turned back to the two of them.
"Al's going to take care of Manny for us without screwing it up."
"He's a hard." The hum again. "To kill." Richard swallowed.
"Not if I shoot him in the face," Roux said, staring at Richard's mask.
Jimmy laughed, clapped Roux on the shoulder, and turned back to the redhead. Richard glanced at Roux and shifted under the man's case.
"Why did you call me." He had to stop and remember how to say the word. "'Handsome'?"
"You're boss called me 'Pretty Boy'."
They stared at each other. Roux waved his fingers at Richard's ruined face, and Richard Harrow waited for the inevitable question, prepping his mouth to mutter "the war." Roux shifted in his seat and stretched out his lithe legs across the floor.
"Why've you got bite marks on that mask?"