[Catwoman/Penguin] The Bird Catches The Cat Pt 2

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Oswald Cobblepot sipped his glass of Champagne, washing down his mouthful of raw salmon. His thick fingers handled a pair of ivory chopsticks with surprising delicacy as he snatched up another slice of sashimi from the platter in front of him and stuffed it in his mouth.




Across the table from him was a woman. She was dressed in expensive, but unfashionable, clothes. It was the sort of outfit that the modestly wealthy assumed the extremely wealthy would dress in. It was poorly tailored and didn’t suit her body or face in the slightest but it did glitter with pointless adornments and overpriced tat.




She was talking, but Oswald hadn’t been listening for quite some time, only making the occasional reassuring grunt or humorless chuckle to serve as punctuation for her mindless babbling. She was wealthy enough to earn his presence at the table but not enough for his attention or respect. Hopefully, this inane conversation would result in her renting the Iceberg Lounge for an event of some kind but in the meantime, Cobblepot simply attempted to enjoy his dinner as best he could.




This long-winded stalemate continued for several more minutes until Cobblepot spotted Marko making his way through the crowd. Marko was one of his top men...that rare breed of henchman who was as comfortable when dressed in a tux and bow tie as he was when electrically castrating a stool pigeon. He wouldn’t be interrupting Cobblepot’s dinner, especially dinner with a potential client, if there wasn’t an important matter that needed to be brought to his attention.




“Just a moment, my dear. I believe there’s a message for me.” He offered his banal tablemate a feigned smile as he waved Marko over. The henchman approached, leaning down to whisper in Cobblepot’s ear.




“You’ve got a visitor in your office.” Marko was straight to the point. He knew better than to waste time apologizing for the interruption. “It’s Mister Kuttler. Says he’s managed to find something.”




Cobblepot’s smile widened into a genuine, wicked grin. He downed the dregs of his drink and got to his feet.




“We simply must meet again some time miss…” He struggled to remember the simpering woman’s name before giving up. She wasn’t worth the effort. “But I’m afraid I must cut our engagement short, some rather pressing business has come up that I absolutely must attend to..”




“Oswald, no!” She pleaded, her whining voice grating on his nerves. “I was just about to get to the best part of the story!”




“And I cannot wait to hear how the tale ends!” He assured her, taking her hand and patting it with false joviality. “But I really must be going for now. Please, let my man Marko know when you’re next available and I assure you that you’ll have my undivided attention!”




He tried to pull away but she held firmly onto his hand.




“Come now, Ozzy…surely you can put off this business just a biiit longer. For me?” She looked up at him, her face twisted into a theatrical pout. She leaned forward, allowing her low cut dress to expose cleavage that had seen far better decades. He had no idea where she had gotten the idea that she had any charms, let alone that he had fallen for them, but it seemed that the foolish woman was trying to flirt with him!




He leaned in close, his long nose nearly touching hers.




“Listen to me, you stupid cow.” His voice was a harsh, angry whisper, “Let go of my hand or I will snap those fat fingers off and feed them to my birds.”




Her eyes widened in shock and her grip loosened. He pulled free and instantly switched back to his sugary demeanor.




“Feel free to enjoy the buffet and the entertainment, but I must really be going.”




She watched in horrified disbelief, unable to muster a retort or question, as he strode off towards the private elevator to the upper levels of the Iceberg Lounge.




*********




“Hello, Penguin” Noah Kuttler was sitting comfortably in an overstuffed armchair, beside the window overlooking the Iceberg Lounge’s central clubroom. He looked up as Cobblepot entered, offering the shorter man a thin smile. “Sorry to interrupt your dinner.”




Cobblepot barely managed to suppress an open sneer and looked at the henchmen standing by the doorway, left by Marko to keep an eye on Kuttler. “He hasn’t touched anything, has he? Anything at all?”




“What? No, no sir. Just sittin’ there since Marko went to get you.” The man was burly and scarred, the look of dumb muscle. Like a side of beef squeezed into a tuxedo and taught to walk like a man.




“What’s the matter, Penguin. Don’t trust me?” Noah Kuttler got to his feet, showing his spread hands to indicate they were empty. “Don’t worry your little head. I’m a professional...wouldn’t steal from a client.”




Cobblepot glowered at him but waved at his henchman to leave the room. Like many in the criminal underworld, Noah Kuttler was known more commonly by an alias: The Calculator. An information broker, hacker for hire and blackmailer.




Neither of them particularly liked the other. Both were more or less in the same business...and competition in the criminal world could be lethal. Kuttler had been trying to poach the Penguin’s clients for years, but Cobblepot managed to keep an edge in Gotham with his contacts within organized crime. The old families didn’t trust or understand modern information-gathering techniques and they put a lot of stock in reputation and civility...Kuttler’s brash, unpleasant personality rubbed them the wrong way, allowing Cobblepot to keep a tight grip on Gotham’s underworld.




Unfortunately, when it came right down to it...he had to admit that Kuttler was the best at what he did: the man was brilliant, resourceful and tapped into the digital world in ways that Cobblepot jus

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WEITERGEBEN
Written by rpickman
Hochgeladen September 1, 2020
Notes A sequel to my first Catwoman/Penguin story.
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