years I've walked in the coldest winds
from sorrow and pain I find my strength
the more I hurt, the clearer I see.
An audible sigh left Tetradore's lips as he stared up at Ian, his intensely vibrant emerald gaze simply watching with remarkable apathy as the vampire struggled to hang those red and black balloons. This task, he was assured, was meant to torture him if only for being so blatantly menial. The buzzing of his cellphone in his pocket caused his gaze to deviate from the otherwise pointless task, resulting in Tetradore merely releasing his altogether weak hold upon the ladder as he reached for the cellular device. His fingers flicked over the screen of the cellphone, that text message from Tobias prompted his head to tilt to the side ever so slightly as he eyed the emoticons displayed in front of him. They were, admittedly, the best manner the deviant had discovered to communicate, though the result often left him puzzling over that text message for several minutes before he made that connection. This time was hardly any different. A small frown crossed his features and yet, Tetradore all but ignored the cursing that echoed somewhere above it. He was, admittedly, just as inattentive to the weight of Darcy's gaze upon him, after all, his whole life had nearly been spent beneath the weight of that glare - the Alpha in turn so entirely used to simply tunning him out. His eyebrow rose at a glimpse of understanding before his own fingers slid effortlessly across the screen, sending his beloved companion back a row of emoticons in return. Frankly, he'd much rather be back at the Ark overseeing the turbulent fights then spend another evening here in the depths of Syn while the vampire's basked within Risque's glory. The very idea of it was enough to make him roll his eyes.
Tetradore slid his phone back into his pocket, his gaze briefly shifted upwards to meet the scowl upon Darcy's features. The man's shoulders rose in a brief shrug before he reached out to grasp that ladder again, steadying it under his grip, much to the delight of the vampire perched precariously on top of it. He could hear the clicking of Darcy's boots across the dance floor in between the echoing, overwhelming beat of the music and yet, his gaze hardly deviated from lifelessly staring at those black and red balloons fastened to the second-floor balcony. Darcy, he knew, would hardly be inclined to bother him until he was certain the rest of his event was going exactly as he had planned. Tetradore himself had hardly bothered with any sort of present for his vampire mistress, the man far more inclined to simply pretend it was hardly different than any other day. He had tried, once, to give her a gift when he had been twelve in some vain attempt to please her. She had viewed his efforts as little more than an insult, the lashing he'd received as a result cemented his complete disinterest in any birthdays since. Tonight was no different than all the other years that had come after. It was the sudden barking of his own name that caused his gaze to shift from the fumbling vampire. The Were-King was all but sluggish as he complied, his gait alone surely giving away how much care he dedicated to tonight's festivities.
Hardly a syllable left his lips as he moved to stand in front of the vampire, Darcy equally wasting no time to pull as he reached in his pocket to produce a small, sleek ebony jewelry box. He reached out for the box, flipping the lid briefly to glance at the bracelet nestled within the depths of that black pillow. A soft nearly judgmental sound left his lips before he snapped the box shut, shoving it into the pocket of his jeans before he reached for the key in Darcy's palm. Darcy had already cornered him several days prior, the vampire entirely catching him off guard with those infernal mismatched eyes and that equally as deplorable affinity. He'd hardly been able to move beneath that stare, accompanied with the pain Darcy was capable of on a mere whim and that 'lesson' Risque herself had ingrained in him just a few weeks prior, Tetradore begrudgingly agreed to what he was sure was a senseless present at his own expense. That threat upon Darcy's lips was hardly astonishing, really, though he had little doubt that the vampire would entirely make him suffer if Risque's birthday party did not go exactly as he had outlined. "Yeah, yeah, whatever." The Alpha muttered as he shoved that small key into his pocket. He wandered towards Risque's garage, hardly wanting to utilize his own vehicles for that trip. The jaguar was already fueled and ready for him, the keys waiting on the hood of the car, left there from Darcy's theft of them from Risque's desk drawer the night before.
He plucked the key fob off of the hood, his finger pressing lightly upon the surface, causing the car to light up in the process. The Were-King pulled open the driver side door, only to pause at the very sight of a collar awaiting him in the passenger side seat. A visible grimace crossed his features, even though he'd known exactly what tonight would consist of. Risque had yet to force him back into those metal pronged chokers, the woman apparently sufficed in her ownership of him with that Pheonix that eternally dangled from his neck. Tetradore coaxed the sleek Jaguar through those quiet, sleepy southern streets, the park hardly terribly far and just as empty as they had anticipated it would be. He parked the luxurious sedan on the very curb of the park. He stepped out of the vehicle, pulling the box and key he'd been given only to toss them upon the leather of his seat. Tetradore peeled his shirt off of his caramel muscular frame, the thin cotton fabric tossed onto the floor of the passenger side. His shoes, jeans, and boxers soon followed suit and yet, the Alpha was hardly perturbed in the slightest at his state of undress in the middle of the public's view. The Alpha reached for that collar he so abhorred, the man simply staring at it for several long moments before his lip curled ever so slightly in his own irritation. Why did he have to be used as some fucking toy for a fake hunt? It wasn't as if he hadn't tried to escape them in this exact manner before time and time again, only to be caught and captured each and every time. Darcy was taunting him - wasn't he?
"Fucking vampires." His complaint was little more than a mumble on his lips. His fingers worked deftly to attach that small silver key to the leather and silver color, only to bring his burned fingers to his lips, sucking on them in a brief effort to assuage the lingering discomfort caused by the metal. Softly he exhaled, steeling himself for that very sensation of silver against his skin before he brought that large collar to his neck, fastening the leather with ease, even if he wore it far looser then he knew Risque liked. He could already acutely hear the hiss of those barbs against his neck and yet, for now, he strove to ignore them as he reached for that black box, taking from its depths the diamond-encrusted bracelet. The thing must have cost a small fortune for all the stones that glistened and glittered in the pale moonlight. It would have looked much better on Mira's wrist than Risque's, though he doubted the she-wolf would have liked such ostentatious jewelry in the first place. In fact, it was what pieces she might actually appreciate that lingered upon his mind as he fastened it around his own wrist, only to tuck the car's keyfob under the driver seat. Tetradore firmly closed the door to the Jaguar, the man stepping away from the car only to settle upon his knees in the grass before he finally let the shift overcome him.
Bones and muscles snapped and twisted, his body contorting quickly and easily from his human flesh to the sleek ebony fur of the panther. For a moment, Tetradore paused, checking to ensure the bracelet upon his front arm remained intact. He was well aware of just how his feline form had filled out the collar around his neck, his own head shifting to and fro ever just so in some effort to find some sort of comfort before the panther turned on his heels towards the forest. 'Run', Darcy had said. If they wanted to hunt, he had every intention of making sure that this one was hardly as easy as any of the other times before it, his own gift for teleportation allowing him the careful craft of ensuring his scent all but disappeared, that trail all but going cold at various points as the panther simply let loose. How often was it, truly, that he was given a chance to just run? To feel the wind flowing through his fur as he gracefully raced along with the evergreen ferns and blossoming trees beneath the light of the moon. It would have been peaceful. For a moment, he could almost forget that he was the eternal prey of two particularly sadistic vampires - until his ears twitched at the distant sound of something crashing through the underwood. That daydream all but shattered as those shadows raced to his form all over again.