The water fizzled as the two white pills plunked into the glass. A calloused, scarred hand lifted it by the rim and swirled it slowly. Green eyes watched them disintegrate, and the glass was brought deliberately to pink lips hidden behind a well-trimmed black beard. The man sitting across the desk was nervous, sweat forming on his brow, watching the careful movements of this figurative giant. He let out a nervous squeak, muffled from the gag around his lips.
"They tell me you've been leaking shipment schedules, Sabin."
Garrett Hawke finally looked up, eyes like emeralds sparkling in the low light of his desk lamp. Sabin shook his head vehemently, looking sick. He rocked a little, but his struggle against the ropes was in vain.
"Are you sure? Think real hard," Hawke said, taking another sip.
Hawke looked up, gesturing at a figure in the corner. A thin, white-haired man with curious, swirling tattoos stepped from out of the shadows and removed the gag.
"I didn't do it!" Sabin said at once.
Hawke sighed and leaned back in his chair, arm draped casually over the back of it. He lifted a booted foot onto the desk and crossed one ankle over the other. "Fenris."
The tattooed man moved in front of Sabin, backhanding him soundly across the face before stepping to the side again. Sabin sobbed, lip bleeding.
"I swear. It wasn't me. It was that Orlesian, Hubert!"
"Really?" Garrett asked, lifting the glass to inspect it a bit more closely. Merrill was getting good with her calming tablets. He didn't quite trust the quality of the store bought ones, and the fizz of these settled his stomach nicely. "Because I have witnesses that say otherwise. They put you," he said, pointing with the hand that held the glass, "at the scene talking to one of the Coterie boys. Doesn't ring a bell? No?"
Sabin sniffed. "I… I didn't. I swear it."
"Mm. You said. Why don't I believe you?"
"They're lying! It was Hubert!"
Hawke gestured to Fenris again, taking another sip. Fenris stepped in front of Sabin and Hawke's lip quirked in a smile as he heard his enforcer's fist connect with the man's jaw. He only wondered if Sabin could still talk after that. Or beg as the case would be. Putting his glass down, he stood and stretched, then unbuttoned the cuffs to his sleeves, rolling them up slowly.
"I will ask you one last time," Hawke said, moving to lean against the front of his desk, looking down at Sabin. "Did you leak my shipment schedule?"
"No, I didn't!"
Hawke reached back, picking up a manila folder, letting it fall open in his palm. He pulled out a glossy 8 x 10 black and white photo from the top of the small stack. Clucking his tongue, he turned it around so Sabin could see it, and watched as the man's eyes widened. Depicted in the photos taken was Sabin, looking nervous, exchanging envelopes with another man.
"Tomwise got a good angle, don't you think?" Hawke asked, tilting his head a little, looking at the photo.
Sabin went the palest shade of white, then green.
"So," Hawke said, replacing the photo in the folder and closing it. "Do you want to tell me the truth or should we keep playing this game?"
"I'm sorry! They paid me; I did it for the money! I got debts!"
Hawke tutted. "I know, I know. You're a degenerate gambler. See, you didn't owe me anything though. Those Starkhaven boys that you owe, they might've just broken your kneecaps and taken that as payment. I don't play that way here in Kirkwall. This is my city, Sabin, and you crossed the wrong person. Do you understand how serious that is?" he asked.
Sabin didn't answer. Hawke leaned in close.
Sabin jumped, and Hawke scowled in disgust as a wet patch formed on the front of the man's pants, the acrid sent of piss filling the office. With a sigh, Hawke dropped the folder on the desk and held his hand out. Fenris stepped forward again, taking out one of his pistols and handed it to him. He pulled a silencer from his pocket and gave that next. Sabin's eyes widened.
"Please, oh Maker, please, please don't kill me. I got a wife and kid!"
"She should've picked a better husband," Hawke said with a shrug, screwing the silencer on. "You know," he said, scratching at his beard, "I was going to let you go, but then you lied to me. I don't really like it when people lie to me, Sabin." He released the safety and racked the gun.
Sabin rocked violently in his chair, babbling.
"Shh," Hawke whispered. "You don't want to wake my mother."
He aimed and squeezed the trigger. Sabin fell silent, head lolling forward. Hawke sighed and handed the gun back to Fenris, moving back around his desk.
"Have Carver help you take out the trash," Hawke said, ignoring Fenris's quiet grunt of disapproval. "If he's asleep," he added, "you can drag him bodily from bed. He's supposed to be on call tonight. If he-"
His phone rang, cutting him off. Rolling his eyes, he pulled the cell from his pocket and checked the caller ID. With a hand wave to Fenris, he settled into his chair and slid his thumb across the screen to accept the call.
"Aveline. So good of you to contact me at-" he checked his Rolex "-one in the morning. To what do I owe the pleasure?"
"Hawke, I'm in no mood. I caught a girl of yours working the Darktown circuit. I had to take her in."
Hawke pinched the bridge of his nose before reaching down to open his bottom drawer. He pulled out the bottle of Laphroaig and unscrewed the cap one handed.
He picked up his glass and leaned back in his chair so he could toss the fizzy water into the potted plant behind him. Making a face at the glass, he poured himself a measure of the caramel colored liquid and tipped it back, wincing at the burn.
"What?" he asked, missing what she'd said.
"Your whore," Aveline spat. "She says she works for her."
"Oh right. So you arrested her? For what?"
Hawke laughed. "Oh come on. Minor charge. Can't you slap her with a warning?" He contemplated the bottle in front of him, and poured out another small measure before tossing it back, sighing in satisfaction as it warmed his stomach.
The door opened and Fenris returned, leading a disgruntled looking Carver. Fenris flicked open a silver knife to cut the ropes.
"Wait, hang on," Hawke said to both Aveline and Fenris before looking up at the latter. "Take the chair too. It's got piss all over it, come on now."
Fenris closed his knife, pocketing it, and tilted the chair back, Sabin's limp head rolling on his shoulders. Carver made a face and grabbed the legs of the chair and they carried it out of the room.
"I don't even want to know," came Aveline's tired, tinny voice. "Look, can you just get to the station and sign the release so I can avoid more paperwork? I'd rather not book her for the night."
"Why didn't you call Isabela?"
"She won't return my calls."
"Probably because you call her a whore," Hawke said flippantly. "Fine, fine. I'll be there in fifteen minutes."
"You know, Hawke, you owe me for this."
"Put it on my tab," he said, and ended the call, slipping his phone back in his pocket.
He had one last staring contest with the bottle and lost again. Satisfied, he capped it and tucked it back into his bottom drawer before standing, rolling down his sleeves, and grabbing his long black coat on his way out of the office.