stuff us in boxes that's where you want us
cardboard is boring, we brought our matches - look how it burns
That deceptive lighthearted chuckle... those good natured words ALL of it was unnerving. All that showmanship and bravado... called upon like the switch of that song. It was fucking disturbing if you asked her. Chase seemed all but cowering away in a corner, as if this wasn't his booth, as if he couldn't get anymore away from him, his gaze never wavering his feet while the more macho dominant vampire lingered. Was he truly that... submissive? He didn't even dare to look her way as though somehow... to gaze upon her would be like looking upon the cowboy himself. It was a curious thing, her mind returning to that pyramid and clear hierarchy in full effect before her.
That façade... for what it was.. was convincing enough to fool the patrons of that bar. That crowd thoroughly wooed. The women practically swooning... and the men.. desiring to be him. Fucking idiots. They all were. If they could fall into that charm so easily. How she knew better. That man... despite those chiseled good looks.... was all violence and rage. That threatening growl he hid from the crowd was evidence of that. That promise of a reward in exchange for those phones.. now that seemed to get the rowdy crowd's attention. Their eyes practically glinted with that hunger for money that was within his possession. It was torture to watch them all line up, offering their phones for a chance of those bills... for a chance to rub elbows with the vampire she would have given near anything to escape.
It was hell watching them all come forward, barely giving her a second look as they filled the box within her hands. Each one of them.. could potentially seal her fate. She knew that her death would hardly be a quick one. Would it be Darcy and his deadly stare? No, that would be too quick.... Too painless for a perceived traitor. Or maybe Risque herself, the thought seemed to draw an icy shiver down her spine, how she knew the feline queen would desire for another reason to gut her. She would peel her like an apple, she was sure.... Or perhaps.. No... she couldn't let that fear control her... she couldn't simply resign to her own dismal fate. There simply had to be more than this. That walk back, amongst the floundering dancing crowd was taken in complete excruciating silence, they reeked of booze, sex, pheromones, and cheap perfume. Every step seemed to resonate within her very bones in clear dread as she stared at those devices within the box. Couldn't she just break them all? A slip of her powers.... Surely could do something. After all, there was plenty of metal parts in technology. Princess, as always seemed entirely content to follow her master, quick to keep up with his long quick stride, placing herself before her. How little she cared in that moment that a cat named Princess seemed to have far more standing than even her.
Harley could not help but allow herself to lag behind, deep in the dismal, quickly spinning thoughts contained within the confines of her own mind. It took very little time even though it felt much longer to make it back to the private corridors even though it had felt like an eternity. The rooms from where most of those vampire's who dwelled were all but ignored... after all, there were all out and about doing their vampire duty or some shit. Did they get days off? She wondered for the briefest of moments. Yet how little she truly cared... She studied Princess then, watching her smooth, feline movements as they made their way to Darcy's room, his door standing out against the rest. He kicked the door close with a mighty flinch inducing slam she could feel in her bones. She very well could have been that door. Once more.. she was trapped.. trapped in this prison of Darcy's room with the man himself.
He seemed too confident with this potential newfound evidence. It was the subtle shift in his demenour that made her incredibly... on edge as if he knew something she didn't. What were the chances that there was something within one of those phones... It seemed like a stab in dark... but all they needed was one badly timed photo and she was done for. Maybe there was something incriminating. The way he unlocked that phone with such ease only made her shift upon that bed nervously, she almost longed for the fugly chair in the far corner for that room.. Hell.. she longed for her own bed... something safe. How her hand almost shot out to pet the feline beside her, as if the simple absent minded action would have settled her nerves somehow. Fuck this wasn't going to end well.
She refused to be some sitting duck.. waiting for him to find something... No.. she wasn't just going to walk easily to her execution. It was then Harley shattered that quiet.. in attempts to appear helpful... and reduce her chances of getting... caught.. It was unnerving the way he pivoted with in his comfortable chair at his desk creaking as if to only add to the dramatics, turning to face her those unusual eyes boring into her like his fangs promised to. Now she did it.
The look in his mismatched gaze seemed to possess the promise of violence and all the damn things she wanted to avoid. She wanted to cower... she felt it potently and yet she didn't. Like hell she would allow him to make her feel this way. She was Harley... and she had survived much worse vampires than him. If only her stupid heart got the memo in time.... It fluttered anxiously within the nest of her chest. The more he stared.. unblinking at her... she could see it. She recognized that look.. Hunger. All it took was one wrong move... and she became prey. He looked at her like she was some juicy steak he would have no problem sinking his teeth into. How about hell to the no to that.
She remained where she was... perfectly still...You know.... Like in any nature documentary. The moment you move to quick.... The chase was on. Her gaze lingering upon that dead, ravenous stare. She wanted to avoid those deadly fangs at all cost.. she tried to keep that thought of him feeding from her in that parking garage. How vividly she could remember it, at least for part of it. It was an odd thing to be on the wrong side of the food chain.. even though she was distinctly supposed to be high up there.. An apex predator.. Not some fucking meal. Her inner feline recognized that look.. abhorred it.. It seemed to settle that heartrate.. if only to turn into something else.. like she was not that delicious meal he thought her to be. The brush.... Of her own feline seemed to brush within her... as if letting her know its presence. There was something oddly.... Comforting to that feeling like she wasn't totally alone. Were the odd against her? Yes. But when were they not?
It was that sudden offer... that final polite plea.. that seemed to shatter his that trance-like stare. Please. It was almost a relief to his gaze darken... a vary in emotion even if it was not good.... In the least.. was better than that other look.
Darcy seemed to flash his teeth for added effect.. hell its like he enjoyed showing them off. Her feline desiring to show her own teeth, determined to not be a rabbit in the presence of a wolf. He was like an exhibitionist for fangs with just how much he was flashing them around tonight... How she loathed those fangs and the damn way he called her kitty made her skin crawl. The guy seemed one step away from murder, at every damn moment. The guy had issues... but she knew that already. Hell, you had to if you devoted yourself to someone with even more damn issues.
A frown formed upon her features as her shoulders rose and fell in a smooth casual shrug. "Alright, alright put your fangs away. You want to do all the work, suit yourself. But do I have to just sit here minding my own business or can I have a nap or something?" Alright she was really pushing it.. but maybe simply by acting like she didn't care made her seem like she had less to hide and truly... how could she nap in a place like this? How could she curl up in a corner somewhere with those fangs anywhere near her? She seemed to lean back slightly, acting like she could get reallllly comfortable, even when every part of her was on high alert. How badly she wanted to be in her own apartment or in a bar somewhere. A drink sounded really nice for her tattered nerves, one she was destined to be denied.
Darcy's unsettling gaze seemed to watch her for several moments before in some internal debate before finally offering her that phone. She seemed almost surprised by the abrupt change. He was a tough man to read.
How easy it would have been to have said something smart ass.... How difficult it was to keep her mouth shut. How she hated to use a filter and yet with her ass on the line.. she really should be.. a little careful, at least until she was free and clear of this mess. At least until those phones were sifted through. She had 50/50 odds that shit was going to hit the fan. She's suffered through worse odds. Those orders were as sharp as the points of his teeth and yet she mustered seeming compliant as that sarcasm allowed her to sound. "Alright... Will do." She responded simply, that intentional forced compliance seemed to stir something a akin to static of defiance within her, one she needed to ignore... to play safe. No one said anything about trust.. and getting the chance to simply avoid sending him incriminating photos was all she needed... perhaps a little slip of her finger could delete anything that had shown either her own face or Matteo's. This was going to be a very long night, she could feel it in her damn marrow a near audible groan escaped her.
She was going to be lucky to get out of this alive... but then again that had been the norm lately. Ass deep in vampire drama.. like she didn't have better things to do with her life. Darcy seemed content to offer his suspicions prompting a quizzical look to form upon the raven haired woman's face. He hardly seemed to quick to seize upon that easy scape goat, Cade. No that would be too easy. He seemed to continue on... still open to possibility that Cade was the culprit... but not sold. "You make it seem like there is a mastermind at work.. When often times.. it something far more simple. I mean it is possible Risque pissed off a Moriarty... The timing... of it all... seems... oddly convenient." Cade seemed the obvious place to put that blame. Of course, it would be too simple... to ask. That in itself, made this whole situation turn into something that could be manipulated to begin with. After all, all those suspicions and rising tension were felt. She thought about.. that word war, it struck her oddly. The woman forced to consider the weight of that word all at once and her own involvement. She easily, tapped upon that gallery icon of that unlocked phone, navigating to the pictures, falling silent as she did. Her thumb idly flicked across the screen, viewing so many senseless photos.. God... So many goddamn selfies... ugh.. She allowed an expression of vague amusement to cross her photos as she wondered why anyone would even take such painfully unflattering photos that no amount of editing... could save....
Harley supposed.... She had to find something.. anything... to keep Darcy off her mastermind plan... of operation sabotage. A risky mission she intended to come out unscathed. The looming vampire, fortunately seemed engrossed in his own cellphones.... Which seemed to be giving... him little judging by that look upon his face. Relief, and confidence along with it seemed to rise within her as those first few phones seemed to come up empty, except for but glimpses of those loud Blue Moon jackets. It was almost as if Matteo had staged and executed plan..... damn near close to perfection. Just how long was it until that luck ran out?
Darcy continued his musings.. outloud, giving her insight to his own suspicious mutterings. That potential of this.... Person knowing Risque. "I mean does she keep a list of scorned lovers... lying..ar... nevermind." Harley paused wide eyed, that suggestion clear enough to be ill received by the cowboy. She then shrugged, her gaze returning to the photos she scanned half-heartedly. How easily it would have been... to mention that possibility of Risque keeping a list of scorned lover's somewhere. She was brave... but she wasn't suicidal. Again, she returned to her mind numbing thoughts of... How many selfies does one need? How many photos of their food do they need.. There was a little something disturbing... one vampire.... Presenting.. their human meal....in an artful way.. snapping a picture of those puncture marks within their neck... so they could post it to fucking Instagram. Apparently, vampires were not immune to allure of social media and the sharing of food. Gross. Harley wrinkled her nose, shaking her head then to avoid thinking too in depth on things that would only serve to stoke the flames of nightmares. Not that she needed any help in that department.
It was the sound of that inhuman growl that had the woman on pins and needles almost immediately, her gaze reluctantly peeling away from the phone she could easily fiddle with within her hand. How many times had he played the video... fortunately it was better than radio silence.. but part of her expected to hear Matteo's French lilt come through from that speaker.. or perhaps even her own voice picked out amongst the muddle noise. The sound quality was atrocious... that loudness of the speakers hardly registering like poor concert footage. Darcy clicked that pause button for what seemed like the hundredth time, zooming in on that paused footage with a near predatory fixation. She could see the way he zoomed into those pixels upon that screen well over the shoulder of the person they were filming.
A woman... she could feel that paralyzing icy sensation dance along her spine. That could mean ANYTHING. So what if he could tell if one of them was of the fairer sex? It hardly implemented her in the slightest. She kept her cool of vague indifference. It would take a lot to pry him from his findings.. It was as if bombs could go off around him and nothing would have taken him away from that purpose. It was in that moment... that she knew he would make a dangerous enemy to have. Besides his physical attributes.. his most... frightening part of him was not his fangs made of nightmares, but his mind.
Harley seemed to narrow her eyes in contemplation, staring at the undead cowboy while he was distracted. It was then that she saw his purpose... his value in this whole operation.. Psychopath and all. It was when the vampire abrupt gaze shifted toward herself that made he want to shift to the furthest corner of the room. The sad thing was he wasn't even trying to be scary... he was simply showing her a fucking screen. Come on.. Get a grip. It was that sound of that low ominous growl the formed in the pit of his throat. Did he realize what he sounded like? It was like she was leaning closer to a rabid dog with a steak strapped to her neck as he peered at that screen. He pointed right toward her... well... her in that image, zoomed upon a blurry freeze frame of her boobs. Here they were... in Darcy's bed room... staring at an image of her boobs. Of all fucking things to come into focus. There was nothing she could do about them, even in that damn jacket. She couldn't help that she was gifted with.... Those well pronounced swell of her chest.
"So what Sherlock, we are looking for someone short with excellent boobs.. I know.. a real rarity in this town." Harley couldn't help that easy sarcasm that all but rolled from her lips, downplaying what he had found. God that picture... felt so damn obvious it was her.. it was unsettling. She looked down at the phone in her grasp.. she scrolled... and that's when she fucking saw it... A picture of Matteo's beautiful face and her own. It was just incriminating enough to make her damn near uncomfortable. She was quick to press that trashcan option at the bottom. But... it made... her sarcastic demenour shift....to something far more serious at that looming threat of being ousted, here and now.
She grew curious as the vampire began to scribble down a few notes on a crisp fresh notepad that already had other bullet points of his findings. Once finished his gaze seemed to fall back upon her with clear expectation upon his face. She fucking hated that name.. Kitty.. How inventive it was. How nameless it truly was.. Kitty.. it could belong to just any were... Like she was disposable. She suspected only mentioning of the name would have made things much, much worse for her. Instead she answered him.
"I found a bunch of shit I cannot unsee.. Did you know someone took dick pics in your public restrooms? Classy... I'd hate to be the woman or man to get that... sent to me. There is nothing sexy about... those unflattering angles." How easily she could have begun that tangent. However, it was that look upon his unimpressed face that saw to her straightening. Definitely not having it then...
"Well.. one of the photos.. I sent to you.. one of them... looked really blurry.. it could be nothing..but it might suggest they are vampires. With the super speed and everything." Alright... that was grasping and yet... it was better than nothing.
"I also sent you.. another.. If you looked closely... I think the woman has blonde hair." She pointed at that picture.. it wasn't much... a bunch of blurry pixels on a screen... Illuminated by the club lighting in an odd way that made it look like there was hair poking out from that hood. Hair? The bunched up fabric.. it was hard to tell.
"Look at this one.. behind this couple.. you see.. shes walking to the back to the DJ booth. How well do you know your DJ?" She questioned, confidently like she was potentially on to something. Eyes bravely meeting Darcy's own at that moment, as though she wasn't completely talking out of her ass. How was she going to sell this without giving too much. Too many options... too many possibilities.. Better to keep it...that way. How certain she was.. that this would not suffice for long.
"Do you know if Cade and Risque ever had a thing? Or.... Maybe... someone else... Someone with people to command... someone.. powerful.... Someone.." She set this up perfectly...
"Oh.. fuck.." Harley's eyes widened as if stumbling upon a thought, nearly believing her own well of lies. As if she was actually onto something... and the woman in that photograph was not her. But it seemed logical... if nothing less. She hoped she wasn't going to regret this. She hoped it didn't bring her face to face with one of her biggest mistakes. After all, he was the reason why she was fucking here in the first place. That transition was offered too easily.. too casually. "No.... its probably nothing... I don't think these phones are going to give us anything else. It's all just party shots and selfies." She hated to gloat.. but the man wasted his damn money. All lead pointed to no where.. but maybe.. just maybe.. she could point it to somewhere.. somewhere.. where she knew Darcy would be hesitant to meddle in. Familial ties.. were a tricky bitch after all. "We would be better off retracing their steps.." Surely, he would not allow.. that recognition that flashed across her face go... right?