Removing his rain-soaked flat cap, Matt enters the Kings of Cambridge offices with a briefcase and umbrella in hand, a small, stone-floored area covered in water between the lobby and front doors. Clearing his throat, Matt removes his wet jacket and carries his belongings with him, turning the corner to approach the front counter. “Hello?” the woman stationed at the front desk asks, a counter with a half-closed window between herself and the clinic’s newest therapist.
“Greetings, my name is Matt Tory… I’m the new therapist” the man replies, prompting the woman to stand away from behind her desk, a piece of paper carried in her hand. “This is the door code” the woman replies, the nameplate on her desk reading ‘Angela Steiner’, affording Matt the most familiarity he is going to receive. “Have a wonderful first day!” the woman replies with glee, returning to her desk without another word, leaving Matt to figure things out himself.
With a chuckle, Matt nods to himself and walks towards the door at the back of the room, a large area of offices and other various rooms kept locked away behind it. In the corner of his eye, Matt locates an older teenager in the corner of the waiting room, her hair as soaked as her clothes are, arms folded as her eyes stare off at a random corner of the room.
Glancing back towards the window, Matt considers the time for the moment before taking the time out of his day to approach the woman, not yet certain of how to begin a conversation. “These kind of things come in handy at times like these” Matt proclaims, his umbrella being the center of the conversation, the man pointing to the woman’s clear exposure to the world’s elements.
“I’ll keep that in mind” the young woman replies, her voice soft and demeanor unfriendly, “thanks.” With a nod, Matt begins to consider walking away, his eyes having different plans of their own in the moment, latching onto a ring on the woman’s finger. “That’s a nice piece of jewelry” the man explains, pointing to a wedding ring wrapped around her third finger, “just how old are you?”
Her arms tightening their grip upon each other, the woman stares at Matt, her eyes not leaving the man until she answers his question. “Twenty five” the woman replies, a clear lie being noticed the moment the number leaves her lips, Matt playing along with the response anyway. “I’m glad you’re twenty five… Getting married isn’t exactly the best idea for the young at heart” Matt replies, taking the seat opposite the girl, his briefcase and other belongings being left to the floor.
“I’m really glad I’m not young at heart then” the young woman replies, watching Matt’s smile precede a nod. “But you’re still pretty young, right?” Matt replies, the woman not offering an answer, instead opting to stare at the man ahead of her, feeling herself being judged by the man she’d only just encountered. “I made a lot of mistakes when I was younger, but I can’t say marriage was one of them” Matt replies, folding his hands upon his rain-soaked lap.
“Am I supposed to feel sorry for you?” the girl replies, watching Matt’s head slowly shake from one side to another. “You don’t need to feel anything for me, that’s not the point” Matt replies, his eyes directed towards the floor, “but the people that precede us always come with lessons they’ve learned… Their job isn’t to let the next generation make the same mistakes, it’s to use their experiences accordingly to make sure the younger generation never even needs to know their troubles exist.”
“Tell that to the boomers” the girl replies, watching the smile come over Matt’s face, his laughter hidden well beneath his breath. “I can tell that to any generation… They all failed in their responsibilities to their successors” Matt explains, the girl interested in the teaching’s she’s taking part in, “the generation that birthed you failed their responsibilities then, as will your generation fail the ones that are birthed from them… It’s inevitable.”
“Why?” the girl replies, curious as to how such a perspective can be taken, “I find it hard to believe the purpose of one generation is something that’s impossible.” Nodding to himself, Matt tells the woman that the world makes anything that comes perfectly impossible. “Mistakes will happen… Those that are imperfect, much like us humans, are bound to be imperfect in nature” Matt replies, “nothing is made perfect in the world, thus, nothing can live perfectly… Not even the world itself.”
Eyes turning away from the man, the young girl looks out at the center garden of the complex, the entire lobby empty aside from herself and the man she occupies the room with. Assuming the conversation to be over, Matt leans down to retrieve his belongings, the young girl ahead of him suddenly speaking up, a question being directed to the man who’s shown to be very generous with his time.
“When do our mistakes stop mattering?” the girl inquires, Matt having already left his chair, now looking down upon the girl with his belongings in hand, “when do we get to move on?” Parting his lips, Matt thinks twice and shuts his mouth for a moment, looking off at the garden in the middle of the clinic, a massive plot of flowers and other plants all in their final days as winter nears, the certainty of his answer as short-leashed as the remaining life in the budding saps just outside.
“I think most people… Myself included… Are still trying to figure that one out” Matt replies, offering a half-smile to the girl before returning to the door at the back of the room. “Who are you?” the girl calls out, Matt turning back around after punching in the locked doors’ keycode. With a smile, Matt replies in kind. “I am ready for our session in just three quick minutes” Matt replies, squinting towards the young woman, “that is, if I’m right in assuming that you’re Brook Kessler?”
“I… I am” the young girl replies, her head tilted back and eyes peeled, surprised by the response, “how did you know that?” Opening the door, Matt points out the tattoo and wedding ring on the woman’s finger as documented in her report. “Seventeen years old and from Salem, Massachusetts” Matt explains, nodding to himself as the woman leans slightly forward in her seat, watching the man walk through the doorway as he concludes, “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
= Kings of Cambridge is created by Zachary Serra, all rights to the series belong to Zachary Serra and his entity of Pacer1 from the start of Season 1 onwards =
“How much do you know about me?” Brook replies, stood across the room from the already-seated Matt, his hands folded in his lap as he answers each question asked of him. “Whatever you told the other therapist in your intake last week” Matt replies, pulling open his drawer and removing a file of paperwork from within it, “and whatever you’ve gotten documented over the numerous other clinics you’ve been to in the seven years.”
Her head tilted, Brook becomes overwhelmed with shame as if she were being bullied, Matt quickly noticing this and explaining his approach. “I’m not calling you out on anything per se, but I don’t know that my job here is to help dig through the clutter in your life with you” Matt explains, shrugging to himself as he considers the topics in the folder before him, “and there seems to be enough clutter to go around.”
“Okay, therapy man… What’s your plan then?” Brook asks, feeling the need to grow stern with the man on the other side of the desk, feeling the need to defend herself by default. His hand leaving the surface of his desk, Matt points towards the seat in front of him, watching Brook attempt to sit down before directing her otherwise. “Pick the chair up” Matt replies, Brook looking at the man with confusion, ultimately giving into what he says, “pick it up and toss it.”
Eyebrows lowered, Brook glances around the room for cameras, Matt assuring her of the genuinity in his directions. “You’ve got a hard exterior to get through and this is my first idea on how to soften it just enough to start chipping away” Matt explains, leaving his chair and taking the back into his own hands, “you’ve got plenty of reason to feel restrained and that’s not what’s going to be going on here… Take your chair and just toss it somewhere.”
Unsure of the importance in the activity, Brook gives into what is requested of her, taking her seat a few inches from the ground and shoving it forward, watching it gently bounce onto its side. “Very good, but you’ll get the hang of it the longer we go on” Matt replies, lifting his rolling chair into the air, allowing Brook to stand off to the side before hurling it across the room, letting the seat skip across the carpet before coming to a stop at his door.
With a smile, Brook nods to herself, Matt walking away from one side of his desk and pacing around the room, refusing to allow either figure to feel held to one place. “Walk around, venture wherever and only sit when you feel like you want to” Matt explains, every wall open to be walked beside, not a piece of decor obstructing either inhabitant’s path aside from the desk at the back of the room.
“What do we talk about then?” Brook asks, Matt considering the possibilities before glancing at the ring, Brook having expected the line of dialogue to be one of the first things addressed. In a surprising twist, Matt takes the conversation elsewhere, the sudden weight upon Brook’s chest being lifted away in the blink of an eye. “Let’s talk about you” Matt responds, watching a more-comfortable Brook begin to increase the pace in her stroll, “who are you?”
“Water on the rocks, please” Danny calls out to the guy manning the bar, his arms tucked together as they fall upon the shiny counter. “Did you get what you wanted last night?” a feminine voice calls out from afar, Danny’s eyes drifting towards its direction until finding the woman from the prior night approaching his seat. “You again?” Danny quips, watching the woman take the open stool beside him, “you think I wanted Julio dead?”
“You threw him to the literal wolves… What am I to suspect?” the woman replies, holding up two fingers, the signal for the bartender to make a second drink of Danny’s choice. “I did what I had to when I was called upon” Danny replies, graciously accepting the second glass slid across the countertop, lifting it to his lips as he finishes his point, “you should suspect that I was doing what was necessary.”
Leaning forward, the woman presses her breasts against the clean countertop, her eyes drifting towards Danny, who takes notice of the gesture. “This is what ‘doing what’s necessary’ looks like” the woman replies, lifting herself up before placing her fingers together like a gun, pressing her thumb down to mimick firing a singular shot at Danny, “that’s what ‘murder by betrayal’ looks like.”
Shaking his head, Danny mutters “you just don’t understand” into his glass, the second party beside him challenging him to explain. “If I’m so out of touch, break it down for me” the woman replies, her voice soft and non-confrontational, but the bitter-heavy bite in her words shine through in each letter, “show me just how different the two are.”
Laying his glass upon the counter, Matt lifts one finger into the air, not pointing at anything in specific, instead, referring to the club as a whole. “I don’t have tits to press against a counter to get what I want… I have to make tough calls” Danny explains, holding a second finger into the air, this one on his opposite hand, “one choice keeps the club afloat, the other tears it down with ease… I chose to keep the place running.”
Watching Danny take the glass back into his hand, the woman makes a conscientious effort to beat him to the punch, wrapping her fingers around the same glass and pulling it away from Danny’s tense fingers. Keeping her eyes locked onto Danny’s, the woman takes a swig from the man’s glass as he watches, silently taking the show of disrespect with honor.
“What’s your name?” Danny asks, the woman quickly returning the cup to her lips and downing what remains. “Candy” the woman replies, watching the smile appear through the man’s chapped lips, laughter emerging from his mouth. “I meant your real name, dear” Danny replies, his hand in the perfect position for the woman to reply as wished. Shattering the cup over Danny’s hand, Candy watches the man pull his entire arm into his chest, confused at the show.
“None of your business, dear” Candy replies, pushing her stool back and returning to the floor, an injured and bloody Danny sitting back, watching the woman vanish into the crowd, at a loss for words.
“I hear the first meeting went well” Darlene exclaims just as Matt enters her office, the tidy room appearing very polarized in comparison to Matt’s own. “I’m not sure how you would know, but I’m glad to hear that nonetheless” Matt replies, taking the seat just in front of Darlene’s desk, his eyes falling upon the woman as she finishes up writing a report. “Angela said Brook was smiling after the appointment” Darlene replies, removing her eyes from the paper, “Brook never smiles.”
“I charm the pants off of everyone I meet” Matt says with a smile, Darlene only rolling her eyes with a grin at the gesture, bringing her pen back to the stack of copy paper. Looking around the room, Matt takes in the environment, looking along each colorful wall with his heart set on investigating every single picture frame, countless drawings and photographs lining every direction the office can offer.
“Any of this your kids’ stuff?” Matt asks, Darlene looking up for a moment to find the subjects of Matt’s inquiry, explaining otherwise. “I don’t have children, and I don’t think I ever will” Darlene replies, watching Matt glance back towards her with confusion, “those are from my patients… They’re all my kids as far as I’m concerned, just not in the traditional way.”
“Why do you say that?” Matt asks, watching Darlene’s eyes squint before he clarifies, watching her expression become one of disappointment, “why do you say you wont have kids?” Removing her reading glasses, the terribly-sighted woman leans back in her seat, finger still pressed between her fingers as her hand dangles off the arm rest.
“My family has a history of breast cancer… I’m afraid my genes likely aren’t much better than theirs” Darlene replies, looking off at the darkest corner of her room, its place shaded by the lack of sunlight through the rainclouds just outside, “I’m not going to sentence a child to that kind of torture.” Coupling his hands together, Matt lets his arms fall to his lap, apologizing for the insensitivity of his question.
“Don’t apologize for wanting to know more” Darlene replies, watching Matt’s head lift up, his posture having previously looked like a disappointed child, “it’s never a bad thing to want to know more.” With a nod, Matt places his tongue against the corner of his mouth as he considers further questions, his mind continuously coming back to the cancer revelation, his intrigue being stolen by every aspect of the potential conversation.
“What are the chances you have it?” Matt replies, watching Darlene’s head turn towards the window, her eyes gazing out upon the dreary city just beyond her cold window. “The odds are pretty high, but I get tested fairly regularly” Darlene replies, her head being held up by the base of her hand, the woman now leaning against the desk with her elbow placed firmly upon the surface.
“I’m thirty six right now, so the chances that something shows up before I’m thirty are pretty likely” Darlene replies, nodding to herself as she glances back at Matt, “the only question is whether or not we’ll catch whatever it is quickly enough.” With a deep breath, Matt nods to himself, the air escaping his lungs as the woman asks a question of her own. “Why are you so interested?” Darlene asks, watching Matt look up at her with confusion, “it’s fine that you are, but I’m curious as to why.”
“It’s just hard” Matt replies, choosing his words carefully, “thinking about someone you care about being on a timetable… It’s not an easy thing to hear.” Pulling her head back slightly, Darlene takes intrigue in Matt’s chosen words, picking at them as if they were an inflated balloon, a metaphorical thumb tac clutched between her fingers. “We’ve known each other for a day and you already care about me?” Darlene asks, Matt looking away from the woman for a moment.
“Yes” Matt replies, the word coming out sounding more like a breath than anything else, head turning back towards her, “you gave me this opportunity, I care for you out of appreciation for that.” Pulling her bottom lip between her teeth, Darlene nods to herself, head lowering as her hands place the glasses back over her face, intentions placed on returning to her work.
Returning to the door, Matt places his hands upon the wooden surface, the entrance opening a few inches as the man glances back towards Darlene. “Before I forget, I’m going to need a new desk chair” Matt proclaims, Darlene removing her glasses ass she stares at him in confusion, “I had to give her some reason to feel like she could open up!” Matt now gone, Darlene’s picks up on Matt’s drift, shaking her head in disapproval and returning to work.
Performing for the high-paying clients, Candy pulls in great money the larger her crowd grows, men lining up around her stage further and further until her attention is called for from the back of the room. “Got time for a private session?” Danny calls out, a stack of cash held in the air, flaunted in the spotlight to ensure his offer appears unmistakeable. “I think you’re gonna have to get in line” Candy calls back out, returning to her character, Danny refusing to allow such move to commence.
“As the owner of this club, I don’t think lines exist for me” Danny calls out, Candy halting her dance once more, eyes aggravatedly darting back to the bigshot in the back of the building. “I’ll say this one more time, just to make sure I’m not mistaken” Danny exclaims, removing a pistol from his waistband and holding it in the air, “either get the fuck back here or I’m gonna make sure this show gets shut down a.s.a.p.”
With a groan, Candy leaves her pole and struts down the stairs, brushing off gropings and other touches as she pushes through the crowd, continuing her angry pace every step closer towards the man. With a smile on his face, Danny grabs at a silky red curtain and moves it out of the woman’s way, Candy refusing to acknowledge him as she marches onwards, walking wherever the voice behind tells her to.
The further she walks, the more she loses track of what room she’s in, the dim red lights surrounding every inch of the interior rendering the building into one big maze with nothing more than an easily recognizable center stage. Dragging her long heels upon the carpet at times just to make herself aware of the surface she walks upon, a rush of light suddenly comes over her upon a final curtain being walked through, a room tucked away within the building’s bowels proving to be her destination.
“I’ve never seen this room before” Candy exclaims, turning towards Danny at the sound of a latch locking into place behind her. “You’re not supposed to… It doesn’t exist to anyone other than a select few as far as the head of the table is concerned” Danny replies, watching Candy’s expression fall. “This isn’t your club?” Candy exclaims, a rush of honesty coming over Danny in the moment, owning up to the white lie he’d become ready to reveal.
“It’s mine in everything other than payments… Other than that, this place belongs to the head of the table” Danny replies, watching Candy’s face light up. “This is the big guy’s club?” Candy replies, eyebrows lifted nearly as far as they can, only to lift further as another realization dawns upon her, “you know the big guy!?”
Rolling his eyes, Danny tells the woman to ask the questions suddenly dawning over her at another time, instead instructing her to listen. “I’m not pleased with the decision I made last night, but I’m not in any position to make decisions based on what’s right and wrong” Danny explains, taking a seat on the sofa, “the only choices I make are between what’s best and what’s worst.”
Puzzled, Candy gives into the man’s desire for dialogue, taking a seat opposite him and hearing out his side of the story. “Julio was like a brother to me, but he was never family” Danny explains, both hands laid upon his knees, “the only family I’ve ever known is the one I have here, and I couldn’t let Julio have a chance at taking that away.”
“So, you were given a choice?” Candy asks, the answer from Danny coming in a recitement of the options he was given. “I could either betray the table, or I could betray Julio” Danny explains, “on one hand, I become the table’s number one enemy… On the other, well, I’m still alive.”
Letting out a sigh, Candy apologizes half-heartedly, feeling her response to the man’s decision to still be warranted. “You shouldn’t have been put in that position, but I’m not apologizing for what I said” Candy explains, “regardless of how you make peace with it, what you did was act as a conspirator to murder, that much I am correct on.”
“But that’s not the only thing that I am” Danny replies, leaning forward, making sure he cuts slightly into the space between the pair, “I didn’t want our first interaction to be cut down to just… that.”
With a nod, Candy runs her tongue over her lips, eyes taken by the floor as she ponders her following question. “Why are you telling me this?” Candy asks, eager to hear Danny’s reasonings, “I know you’re supposed to keep things pretty tight-lipped, so what does it matter whether or not I think you’re an asshole?”
“I don’t really know” Danny replies, stumbling over his words, stopping and starting his responses before Candy’s mouth drops, already predicting where the man is taking the conversation. “I’m a high-cost stripper, Danny” Candy calls out, hands placed firmly upon her lap, “if you’re about to tell me that you’re getting feelings or something, stop before you open your mouth again.”
Taking Candy’s advice for what it’s worth, Danny closes his lips tight and nods to himself, “okay” he mutters beneath his breath. “Wonderful” Candy replies, continuing to silently nod to herself for another few seconds before standing up, immediately taking herself to the door the pair entered moments prior. The metal latches squeaking as the door shuts, Danny is left to ponder his own thoughts as the only inhabitant of the near-empty room.
Adjusting his raincoat, Matt emerges from the building with his eyes set on his car, the appearance of a man on the younger side of twenty standing beneath heavy rain capturing his focus. “Can I help you?” Matt calls out, umbrella held over his head as he stands at the base of the staircase, the kid remaining silent, refusing to respond to the man at first.
Falling with such intensity that it splashes upon the ground with force, the rain accompanies a cloudy night sky, both men staring at each other, caught beneath the tears from the heavens above. “If you’re just going to stare at me, I’ll be on my way” Matt calls back, walking away from his position as the worrying figure remains stood there, just watching the man return to his car.
“It’s not over, but it can be” the man calls out, prompting Matt to stop walking once more, his eyes returning to the figure stood in the street, hands nonchalantly tucked away in his pockets. Expression changing, Matt steps away from the parking lot and turns back, cautiously stepping closer to the cloaked figure with intrigue. “What did you just say?” the man asks out, calling for the man to repeat the words he heard very clearly the first time around.
“I said, it’s not over… Even if you think it is” the man replies, his hands still tucked away in his pockets as he finally steps forward, doing his part the close the distance between himself and the therapist before him. Head covered by a long hood, the figure approaches Matt, only a few feet separating the pair by the time each set of feet stops progressing forward.
With a better look at the man’s face, Matt nods to himself as the voice finishes it’s statement, listening carefully to each word said by the younger man. “But it can be over if you’re willing to do what’s necessary” the man concludes, watching Matt’s eyes narrow, knowing his words to be directed at the properly intended individual. “What’s your endgame here?” Matt calls out, his chin tilting upwards slightly, the change in his posture providing very little, but now sporting conviction.
“We both know my family has lost touch… I want it all now” the man replies, taking a few steps closer to Matt, both men now only inches away from each other. “You’re Chris Gillcrest?” Matt asks confidently, watching the smile come over the cloaked-man’s face. “You can call me ‘Stucky’” Chris replies, his head lowering, eyes still kept steadily towards those of the man before him, “I think you and I could do great things together, Table Man.”
With a brief chuckle, Stucky backs away from Matt, turning his back to the individual whom he’s come to know the true identity of, walking the path he took to get to the scene in reverse. “I’m certain that you know where to find me” Stucky calls back, unaware of the change in Matt’s expression, the revelation of his identity being known by the kid not sitting well with the man.
With a scowl, Matt turns back towards his vehicle, his feet stepping over the wet concrete on his way back to his car, a set of overwatching eyes kept upon him from afar. Sat at her office window, Darlene watches Matt enter the parking lot, enter his vehicle and drive in the opposite direction to that of which the young man walked, suspicious of the man’s interaction. Staying silent, Darlene turns away from the window, returning to her work with her mind caught upon the sight she’s witnessed.
== Kings of Cambridge ==