stuff us in boxes that's where you want us
cardboard is boring, we brought our matches - look how it burns
Slap was the sound of his hands colliding in a loud, unexpected, jarring sound assaulting her. It was impossible to hold back that innate reaction, the way her body jolted in response to it, those piercing alarm bells ringing in her mind as if prepared for some impending attack. Fucking hell. She fed him the exact reaction he had wanted, that sweet scent of adrenaline coursing through her veins. It was only the beginning and she had already fallen into the vampire's trap. That chuckle, that perverse smile causing his fangs to glint from light of his screen, the woman's brilliant purple eyes could hardly help but draw to those knives for teeth. Every last molecule within her body to want nothing more than to recoil, to retaliate like cornered animal. How damn much she wanted to wipe that smug look upon the vampire's face and yet this was neither the time nor the place.
One day. She thought... and nothing more than a silent promise. How loud it echoed within her own head that she wondered if he could hear it, that threat that lingered beneath her skin before the vampire uttered those goading words. She could feel her jaw tighten, her teeth gritting in attempts to keep the words that so easily wished break through the proverbial floodgates. He wanted bite? Oh she had plenty...But that was exactly what he wanted and what good did that ever get her. That vampire surely wanted nothing more for a reason to meet an act of aggression with even more violence. It felt almost palpable that threat, that desire for an excuse to put that raven-haired woman in that perceived place. That threat to send her back to the cages she had received a taste of... a place she had no desire to return to. His smile seemed to continue to play upon his smug face, those monstrous teeth exposed as his stare honed upon her. She had perhaps stepped a little too far, too quickly. She rose a brow, as if weighing her options.. backing down. She crossed her arms, holding back those biting words, as if not quite trusting herself. Silence, that was a new one for her, if only she continued on with that trend. At the very least, his attention seemed to lessen, returning to his computer screen. After a few long moments that question escaped him.
Harley seemed to dance around that topic, her comment easily dripping from her lips. That mention of Risque's throwing arm had slipped... Yet, wasn't that common knowledge? Surely there were many eyes there and rumours that were sure to spread like wildfire. There was much talk about from that night, from the chaos she had helped create. Watching Risque losing her temper so... publicly, she imagined would be the perfect kind of gossip that was sure to run rampant. That comment, earned her little more than a snort and his gaze once more. Just hearing that compliment of his precious Risque was enough to make anyone gag. He better not start reciting poetry or she would have absolutely lost it. How demented did someone have to be to find perfection in evil incarnate? She hardly knew and hardly cared to delve too far in the psyche of Darcy's convoluted mind. All she knew was that he would be a criminal therapists wet dream. Could you imagine what couple's therapy would like? As far as Harley was concerned the well of psychotic seemed to run deeper than the ocean in this club of depravity she knew better than to question it. "Whatever floats your boat. No judgement here." She knew she tread in dangerous territory she hardly wished to meddle in... This she was certain was one subject she needed to avoid like the plague.. Truly, the fact that anyone thought that forsaken cat hoarder was someone's version of perfection had to defy any and all laws of attraction. Risque was certainly one fucked up lady with a hell of complex, but her bed was damn near perfection. She shook her head at the thought subtly from the afterthought.
It was then that Darcy gestured to his screen and Harley reluctantly drew closer to take a peek at what he was been staring at all this time. Harley peered at the image upon that screen with a certain level of curiousity. It immediately took her aback when faced with herself and the image of Matteo upon that screen, the hooded karma police exacting a little bit of revenge. She forced the recognition way back, she was quite certain he would have noticed any fluctuation of her heartbeat. Harley conciously stood as far away as possible from the vampire as she studied that image several feet away. Somehow, sitting or standing or moving.. he was still just as much a threat. Not that that space meant any difference in the world, it was a comfort she was content to fool herself with. Harley continued to gaze upon that screen in contemplation as she asked that question, bold... in everyway to question him. Yet it kept her heart beat steady enough to fool a lie detector test. If he was such a good detective, what did he need her for? Did he know something... something that she didn't? Did he suspect her guilt? Did she leave behind evidence? This was going to go very bad.... Very quickly.. No, she would be dead by now.. in Risque's office or worse. She was sure of it.
Her gaze hardly strayed from that computer, as he took his sweet time in responding. He was undoubtedly fishing, searching for anything that would give her away. Oddly enough that image seemed to afford her some level of confidence. A reminder that there was always more than one way to skin a cat. She personally hoped that to be figuratively and not literal. She had been down that road before and had no desire to revisit it. There did however, seem to be some kind of divine power working in her corner if somehow one of the people who committed the crime was on the case. It meant he didn't suspect her... he wanted her help, that notion entirely laughable if only he had known! As soon as that comment was spoken she could hardly help that look of amusement from overpowering her features. That glimmer of hope appeared in an opportunity. She couldn't have written it better herself. She could talk to those recovered felines and Darcy clearly did not speak were... and she doubted they would be willing to give her up when she had been apart of their chance at freedom. Surely that had to earn her something. This was all going to go perfect... if she played her own hand just so. She might be able to keep the elusive Matteo and herself off the vampire's radar. Suddenly, Darcy, mid-word seemed to halt in his tracks. That lounging vampire drew her attention, suspiciously towards him. Oh, fuck. He looked like a man with a brilliant idea and that... did not bode well, she was sure of it. Darcy easily rose to his feet with quick precision, the predator filling that room. Princess seemed eager like the loyal pet she was to follow him. All of this not knowing made that room feel like a trap ready to go off at a given moment. It was that sharp command with both Princess and Harley's name barked out loud. Like he was commanding a pet to follow him. She was not a goddamn pet.. or was that all she was meant to be now.. some subservient slave girl to do as she was told. It left a bitter taste in her mouth, her gaze following the little Lynx before Darcy gave her that sharp look of warning, there didn't have to be words or threats to know what would happen if she didn't obey.
A sigh escaped her as she followed both vampire and lynx out that door. She turned, reaching out her hand to pull the door closed behind her out of simple habit. She had no idea.. what the relentless Detective Buckaroo was onto, but she could practically see those gears churning. Both vampire and feline were soon moving briskly with purpose down that hallway. Harley followed, but it didn't mean she needed to be eager about it. The man was on a mission, navigating his home with ease. Did he need to walk so fucking fast? It was then that Darcy paused to snatch a cardboard box from what seemed like a random closet, that was wordlessly thrust in Harley's direction. She had no choice but to move to take it. What the hell did a cardboard have to do with an investigation? This seemed to only perplex Harley even more but not long enough because they were on the move again... Winding and weaving until they entered that club portion itself. She was met with loud pounding music, a wide array of scents and energy so blatantly different to the quiet of those rooms that belonged to Risque's people.
Those patrons seemed to give her an odd look as she trailed behind that vampire b-lining to the very back of the club. If she didn't pick up the pace, it would have been easy to lose him between the alcohol perfumed guests. The blast of blue light shone in her eyes, causing her to bump into one of those eager dancers. A vampire whom seemed none too pleased with Harley's existence, as though she was worth no more than the cardboard box within her hands. Harley muttered something under her breath, continuing to follow Darcy through the amassed people bumping and grinding into the night. Princess hardly seemed bothered by the noise or close calls of being trampled by feet as she artfully avoided them all. They all seemed to subconsciously move on their own accord from Darcy's hellpath.. while Harley had to struggle to weave around the copious obstacles within her path. They made their way to that familiar DJ booth curiously enough, which only seemed to create more questions than not. Harley glancing around at those familiar surroundings, remembering exactly how she loaded that virus onto that computer to create the diversion of the century. She noticed that laptop was new.. Chase seeming both surprised and fearful of Darcy's presence, scrambling quickly to give the vampire wide birth. Without so much as a word as Darcy suddenly silenced that music mid-note with a simple flick of a switch. The customers cried out their outrage, one person yelling over the people. "FUCK YOOOU" some boisterous man yelled and the crowd erupted in chaotic unison. The place was going to turn out into an outright riot. She could see it upon their faces.
Just by that proximity alone, she could hear Darcy's irritation, that growl escaping him. Oh shit was going to hit the fan, she could feel it. That tension rose, between the crowd and the quickly irritated vampire seemed like a recipe for disaster.... until it suddenly stopped, just like that, that disturbingly good-natured salesman smile bloomed across his lips. Like a goddamn announcer, he puffed up his chest and unleashed his bravado upon Syn itself... How she saw through that unnerving charm as his voice flooded from those speakers. He ensnared the crowd with distinct ease, the room quieted as the vampire's voice prompted little more than an eyeroll from the were-cat. A real swell deal huh? She listened almost curious of what he was getting at.
Suddenly Darcy plucked a bunch of money from his pocket, if he didn't have their attention then, he did now. Did he always walk around with that much cash? Harley all but gawked at it for a moment. Someone from that crowd yelled during that pause. "MAKE IT RAIIIIN" With as much excitement as a child offered free ice cream to the person who was the loudest. Darcy spoke again, silencing the excited murmurs of the crowd once more. The raven-haired were nearly paled, she nearly dropped that empty box right then and there. Oh fuck, this cannot be good. She remembered the uncertainty of Matteo's visions and what that might for her now. No one would recognize his face. But her? Well.. she had more on the line. Suddenly... everyone seemed like a perceived threat. Had any of them seen her face? She tried to replay every damn detail she could. Every flash of light that could have been a camera flash. That small window of time the French fae had been stalking that club hadn't been long. But like flies to shit... when money was waved in front of their faces, it was impossible to resist. Surely.. there was something incriminating. Immediately, there were quite a few people who came forward proudly, willing to offer their phones for the promise of money. Fucking snitches. All of them. Harley had no choice but to watch in abject horror as one by one she reluctantly collected those phones that were sure to seal her fate. She was fucked.. that dread gripped her, her stomach in knots. Darcy seemed to be eating up the attention too, speaking politely to the guests that flocked about the DJ booth.
What the hell was she going to do. If they saw her face.... Then she was done for.. doomed. The remaining moments of her life would probably be strung up in risque's torturous dungeon.. or worse yet... that stupid wall in her office or perhaps some weird public execution. Harley simply stood there as she watched her life... suddenly poof into smoke before her very eyes. That last person coming up she quickly seemed to ignore... moving away, shaking her head as if... that the time for collecting phones was over.. like one less phone would make a goddamn difference.
Just like that.. Darcy's mask was gone, that faux kindness reserved for those patrons gone and that order to return to his room with those phones felt like nothing more than.. an echo within her mind. She nodded solemnly, clutching that box tighter... leaving that DJ booth with a feeling of heavy dread, her steps mirroring just that. What if she had a mishap before she made it to that room... no, he would punish her an inch of her life, or simply kill her... she was not fool enough to assume he would forgive such clumsiness. Her mind tried to come up with a plan.. a way to spin this somehow, oblivious of Darcy as she disappearing the way they had come.
Once inside that room again, Darcy kicked closed that door.. that sound hardly causing a reaction as her mind reeled, deep in thought.
Sit. That single command sliced right through her, she could feel that icy dread right down her spine. She eyed the bed that she was supposed to sit upon, suddenly that uncomfortable chair seemed like a fucking lazy boy. This time... she decided it best not to enrage the vampire, she was quite sure he could manage that all on his own. She needed something to get the vampire off the scent. She peered almost warily at that bed, eyeballing that corner that was not occupied by Princess who was already quick to sprawl out, taking claim of that bed like it was best place to be. Well... better get this... over with. She lowered herself upon the edge of the bed, only after placing the box of phones upon the work desk, this was no good.
He seemed almost too eager to dive into this newfound lead... that twisted smile suggested that much, like a bloodhound on a scent. It wasn't even a pleasant smile. There was something malicious behind it, something that promised of violence and who the fuck knows what else. She did not want to be on the receiving end of those punishments.. she knew that for damned certain. She had to do something...
Think... Harely.. think. His fingers moved disturbingly fast to unlock the first of the pile of cellphones sitting within that box. It was.. impressive, truly.. how the vampire so seamlessly figured out that passcode. Harley's mouth went dry.. but she had to.. say something.. Do something.
"If you unlock the phones, I can look through the photos.. it will be much faster this way. You already showed me what to look for.." Harley so speaking out confidently, gesturing toward his computer despite that acidic pit in her stomach. She could play sabotage, if she could be given that chance. She somehow needed to sell herself as useful.. after all, that's exactly why he had summoned Harley in the first place.
This was the only way she was going to get out of this alive... minimize the chances of someone actually having an incriminating photo. It would be easy to delete anything that might incriminate her or Matteo.
"I can help. I think I will enjoy catching these assholes." She added for convincing flair. "If they could breach this fortress.. then who knows what they will do next..." She sold it.. damn she did.. as best as she possibly could sell bullshit. "Please." She asked quietly, ready to accept that first phone, reaching out her right hand for Darcy, waiting to hand over that mundane task of photo skimming. Certainly he wouldn't want to have to skip through every last stupid photo of clubgoers himself. He hardly seemed to have the patience for such a mind bleeding, mundane task. This seemed like the logical choice. "Why are we trying to find the people when its pretty safe to say that we know who sent them? What's stopping you from going in guns a blazing.. like you did to Haunt? Why go after the grunts when you can go right to the source?" Questions equaled innocence. Right? She had this..... she really.. didn't. But at least she could fake it like the best of them.