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Brian was somewhat more articulate. "We're going to support my cousin. She'll be doing her first show there tonight."

It wasn't that Jerry was antisocial or unfriendly. It wasn't that Brian didn't like him or didn't really want him going. It was just that Jerry wasn't really the sort to go out and do... well... anything. Brian realized that he knew nothing about Jerry outside of work. He never talked about his weekends. He never went out drinking with the guys. The walls of his cubicles were sparse, devoid of anything that might bring a sense of his personality. He wasn't aloof or rude; just a little distant.

"Sounds like a good time," Jerry said with his typical lack of inflection, taking a spoonful from his pudding cup.

"Okay," Greg said. "Meet us at Leshka's at eight."


***


Leshka's was a Ukrainian club that dated back to the 1920s, built with the art deco optimism of the decade. It'd been a movie house first, then a speakeasy, then a private sex club in the 1970s. Age had mellowed the place little, and the 21st century found it a cult hit as a thriving burlesque. The decor was a steamy mix of flotsam and detritus gathered over the near-century of its life, resulting in a gaudy eclectic mix of classical hedonism.

Jerry met the others out front under the cycling yellow lights of the marquee, dressed in a light gray sports-coat and darker corduroy trousers. He was more formal than Greg and Brian in their jeans and t-shirts, just enough to appear awkward next to them, but compared to the patrons passing them in formal Victorian garb and goth fashions that bordered on fetish-ware, he felt positively under-dressed.

The quartet went inside. The club was busy, but not yet crowded.

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