The crowd laughs at something he says as she moves further down the bar, and places herself in front of the junior bartender. Steven looks a little less busy, and a lot more intimidated by her. Can't exactly contain a small smile when he jumps at her order, but she tries.
She turns her back to the bar, surveying the lounge. Brisk business already, and its hardly past nine o'clock, which means she probably won't get to talk to Viggo. Not that she's been looking forward to begging her boss for money, but her brother has started to give her looks over dinner - pleading, pathetic, worried - all in successive order. Its getting to be little bit too much for her, and Franka's found herself going to work early, far too early to easily pass off, just to avoid the situation.
She's a bit lost in thought, remembering Stefan's glare as she left the house, when Mary Ann breezes by and nudges her in the ribs, nodding towards the door. When she looks over, she sees Louise - still walking around with that dreamy expression - leading five men to the corner of the lounge.
"Hey, Steve?" she calls over her shoulder to the bartender. "I need you to add five whiskeys to that. Doc and the boys are here."
Franka hands out her orders quickly, saving her new table for last. When she slides up to them, tray of drinks in hand, Doc's face breaks out in a warm smile. She flashes him one of her own, a genuine one at that, as she's seen Doc too many times to fool him with anything but.
The first time Franka waited on the big man with the ruddy cheeks, she had no idea who he was. Fairly new to the whole job, she hadn't quite understood the hierarchy of gangs, and she sure as hell couldn't point out one of O'Banion's guys. But she quickly learned - was quickly told, actually - that upsetting this guy wasn't the thing to do.
"You don't even know who that is, do you?" Louise said, shaking her head, as she pulled Franka aside, later that night.
"Erm...name's Doc, right? Gangster, I'm guessing?" Franka replied, knowing her answer was probably going to make the knowledgeable hostess cringe.
Instead, Louise just laughed. "Yeah, gangster. He's one of O'Banion's. High up too." She glanced over at the table where a number of guys were stopping by for a chat. "Listen Franka... just don't piss him off. No bitchier than thou attitude, okay?"
Franka's cheeks flushed red at that, but she nodded, and looked over at the table. "How'd he get that name anyway?"
"Doc?" the hostess asked, with a raised eyebrow. When Franka nodded, she continued. "Well there're two answers to that. Depends which one you believe." Louise checked the door, and when she didn't seen anyone trying to make their way in, she pulled Franka further from the tables.
"Well, some people say it's cause he's smarter than the average. Probably smarter than Drucci or Weiss, at least." The names, Franka was only mildly acquainted with, but she nodded anyway. "Then again, some say its cause he can carve someone up better than a surgeon."
Franka blanched at that and Louise's smile widened. "Anyway, like I said...try not to piss him off, okay?"
Somehow, even as Franka stumbled her way through the rest of that night, Doc took a liking to her. And, while she never quite understood it, she became his waitress.
Doc's not too hard to please, though. He wants the same thing every time. Whiskey, and lots of it. No matter who comes with him - and there are usually two or three revolving people, in fact there's a new one tonight - they all have to drink a whiskey with him, first thing.
"Man can't trust someone refusing to nip from the bottle," Doc often commented to her, and Doc always made everyone prove that they could be trusted.
Franka pauses as Doc holds his glass, contemplating it. After a moment, he raises it and turns to the boy Franka's never seen before. "Here's to you, Patrick, m'boy."
The men around the table all hoot and down their drinks, and Franka watches the younger boy - Patrick - while she waits to see if they want a refill. He rolls his eyes at Doc, and Franka wonders if Doc'll catch it. He's never seemed like someone to tolerate insolence, not when it's directed at him, but if he did notice, Doc ignored the expression.
"Franka-girl, bring us another round," Doc says jovially, and he nods at Patrick. "We've some celebrating to do. My nephew," he continues with another proud look at the boy, "s'come to join us."
She smiles at Doc, who's patting the boy on the shoulder, and then at Patrick, though he doesn't seem as pleased as the rest. Franka isn't sure what it is in his eyes, but when they meet her's, Franka's smile falters.
Turning away, and then on her way back to the bar, she can't help but feel them burning through her back.