How fucking much he hated those cat-like reflexes soemtimes. Harley, by the grace of Risques veritable gift of Were-blood to the woman, managed to move fast enough to avoid the strike of his hand that followed that spitting hiss. Perhaps he had been too tolerant with the woman so far. Allowing her to speak her mind too often. It would displease Risque if she was returned to her with a decidedly...mouthy demeanor that Darcy was all-too assured could be beaten out of her and yet Harley's very comments upon that vampiric woman had been her first mistake. Darcy unwilling, entirely, to allow another to so much as speak of his beloved mate in anything less than the most flattering terms. To suggest Risque had been with so many other men was...unflattering- and how it flared those fickle flames of jealousy within himself in turn. Princess was caught within the crossfires of that assault, the Lynx collided with as Harley fled his own strike. His precious pet sent hissing and spitting across the bed in clear disdain at having had her space intruded upon. How he enjoyed the territorialism of cats sometimes. Princess content to fix Harley with a near poisonous stare as the Were woman lingered near nervously out of his range lest he strike again. Hmm. she would learn soon enough to mind her tongue in his presence. A lesson she so desperately needed. His tolerance, this evening, grew thinner with each passing hour.
Her sad little efforts at an apology were all but ignored. Darcy instead content to return to his own mission. The vampire near fixated upon the task at hand. His mind, after all, found a curious delight of sorts in attempting to unweave that tangled web those criminals had laid. As if they believed they might outsmart him. As if they believed they might get away with such a strike agianst Syn. How desperately sure he was that they had underestimated his own tenacity for such tasks. Darcy nothing if not....determined to see through those very challenges put before him with a near vigorous fixation. That dedication, surely, one of the very reasons Risque had allowed him to live so long. The vampiric cowboy was near akin to a dog with a bone when it came to striking agianst their enemies- even if he needed to find those enemies first. That combination of protective and territorial instincts combined in a volatile, violent storm within himself. One Risque so often took the pleasure in coax into cyclonic proportions. His pen shifted to scrawl across the paper within the black book beside him. The vampire took several more notes on those observations he had made as he continued to move through those phones. His fingers taped with expert ease, several images brought up onto his laptop screen to eye more closely before being discarded- until that photograph of both of those perpetrators came into view.
The image remained blurry, out of focus and so unfortunately affording no view of their faces and yet that very angle so provided a previously unseen detail upon at least one of those figures. The distinct swell of her chest giving away the very notion that one of those beings was female. Her height next to the other being and in comparison to Randall in turn affording that assumption the other was male. Darcy's mind quickly seized onto that very consideration as his pen returned to paper once more. So little ever managed to escape his notice. The vampire nothing if not cunning in all things. Those very traits, after all, had so seen him make a career from gambling. The man long since mastered the game of body language, small details, patterns and obscure thinking. A man and a woman. Now- they were beginning to get somewhere. Darcy's gaze shifted sharply away from that screen then, his mismatched eyes falling expectantly onto Harley. The vampire so clearly anticipating that she had found something amogest hose phones he had provided her. The woman's insistence that dick pics were rife amongst that carnival of coloured canas earned littlemore than the curl of his lip The vampiric cowboy content to insist that a photograph of genitalia was perhaps the least filthy thing that occured within those restrooms. Darcy nothing if not familiar with all the inner workings of the club he presided over- even those less than savoury ones and yet- that those customers paid was all he truly cared for. The cleaning of the bathrooms, after all, was hardly his concern. A task for servants and the worthless.
The suggestion that the woman in the photographs may have been a vampire was easily dismissed. Vampiric speed was too fast for most cameras to capture at all, no phone camera held that ability. That blurry image was merely the fault of some moron of a human too fucking stupid to click a button. Harley's next suggestion, that the woman was blonde, readily prompted Darcy's gaze to narrow once more- his eyes fixing upon where the woman's hair would be. Blonde was....possible and yet those pixels revealed little. The vampire paused once more, several more notes added to that book. Those evidence and thoughts compiled neatly within a singular place for him to go through once more later on in search of patterns or...conicendes they might have otherwise overlooked. It was Risque who had taught him that coincidences so hardly existed in this life. Everyone acted with purpose, with meaning- with intent. Her ability to remain suspicious of everyone around her had seen her master that vampiric hierarchy and how right she had proven to be of the....flaws of others over and over again. If a pattern existed in those clues the cowboy was determined to unearth it.
Harley's query upon Chase so momentarily drew Darcy's attention away from those internal thoughts the man remained content to sharpen like the blade of a knife with each new possibility. He had considered Chase himself and yet Chase had simply not possessed the time to commit that crime. The vampire had also risked Risque's wrath directly, a fool's ploy if it had been purposeful. Chase so hardly possessed the spine for such a task as that. The man was a coward at his core. A snivelling weasel who took every chance he could to grovel at Risque's feet in pursuit of the money he was paid. Chase was comfortable within Syn. His motivations were simple, his lifestyle too good. He would hardly risk it. Chase too- had been present when those cats were released. The vampire simply incapable of having been within two places at once. He possessed no powers to permit it. The Were Women's insistence that Chase had looked terrified to be in Darcy's mere presence prompted the faintest quirk to the man's lips as a snort of amusement rose from within him.
"Dat's 'ow I knew dat he ain't da one behind dis. He's too fuckin' submissive. As he damn well should be. If he ain't got da balls to fight me, he def ain't got the gall to go 'gainst Risque."
That hierarchy, after all, was absolute. Each vampire knew his place- and the price for stepping outside it without an assurance of victory. Those challengers for Risques own crown so forced to go through Darcy himself first- none yet so having managed to achieve that very feat, so few ever even tried. It was that very mention of Cade, however, that seemed to prompt Darcy's own return to irritation. That momentary reprieve all but obliterated as his jaw tightened readily at that name alone- let alone the suggestion Cade had 'a thing' with his own mate. Darcy's own teeth ground over one another. That hissing, rasping sound filling the room as that disdain upon his features remained clear. How dangerously close to death harley walked in that moment. Her each and every word so precariously balanced upon the proverbial knife's edge as she offered them. Yet- it was tha look upon her face tha so seemed to ensnare his attention. A momentary flash of recognition, of something she had considered that remained unsaid.
That command that she tell him what she knew was met with her near blunt refusal, the violet eyed Were insisting she wanted no part in it, that either of them were worse then Syn would ever be. Who was she talking about? What did she know? A ready growl of warning rose within the vampires throat. His precariously thin patience already far more trodden upon then he desired for this singular evening. Her job was to do as was commanded of her, no more and no less and yet she sought to conceal information from him.
"Yar tryin' me patience tonight, woman."
That, it seemed, was all the warning he was content to give. Harley has surely already been given to many chances. He had been to lenient on her so far. To kind. If she would not break easy then she could break hard for all he cared. One way or another, by the time they were through- Harley would be a perfect pet for his Beloved. For now however, drawing that information from her remained his singular goal. Her name was uttered suddenly, sharply, drawing her focus towards him and bringing her gaze to his own. How easy she was to ensnare then- the barest touch of his own powers so extending to seize her. Each muscle and limb, each tendon and bone gave way his influence as he so silently commanded them to seize beneath his gaze. Her response was sharp, irritated...impolite in its tone as she asked what he wanted. How readily he disliked that. How badly behaved of her.
"Yar mean yes, sir, dun ya?"
That near teasing simper found its way to his features then. How readily he knew she loathed to admit she was beneath another. The woman far too proud for his liking and yet how he relished in pulling that pride apart piece by piece. His own posture remained relaxed within that chair, as if she was nothing, as if she meant nothing, as if she were no more then one more being to batter and bruise and break before tossing aside once her usefulness had been used up. That look of expectation lingered within his gaze then. A wicked satisfaction so taken from forcing her to utter those words he desired. It had been far too long since Risque had given him anyone to play with. It was merely unfortunate his Mistress still desired this one alive. How very many words he was assured he could make her say by the end of the night. Darcy, it seemed, content to tighten that metaphorical leash around her neck when it came to her....manners.
That threat however was hardly finished. His own power readily increased then, seizing the womans legs and feet, robbing them of any ability to move as her heartbeat began to grow frantic and that predatory desire within himself began to spark all the more. How...tempting she was yet- how amusing it was to watch her struggle. That demand he release her was met with little more than the brush of his tongue across his lips.
"Yar dun make demands of me. Yar do what I ask ya an nothin' more. Do yar know what me favourite game used ta be when I was a young vampire? I used ta paralyse me victims arms an legs, leave dem helpless, let dem panic because it makes da blood flow faster. I used ta walk closer an closer an closer. I used ta watch em try again and again ta run- like a nightmare day can't wake up from. Dare little 'earts would go so fast it was like day gonna explode. Den i used ta tear pieces off of dem wit me teeth, bit by bit. Me fangs ain't like other vampires. Did yar know dat? I can bite through bone."
How fast her sad little heart was beating, how tempting it would be to rise from his chair and stroll towards her, step by step, if only to watch sheer terror overtake her when she could hardly flee. Risque had been the one to suggest he try biting through bone itself in those first months after they met. How....creative she had always been for such things. His lover so provided him with victim after victim until he had perfected that very art. Hmmm. Those memories were nothing short of pleasant and yet perhaps Harley would sooner suffocate in a room full of air. If she would not talk perhaps she would prefer not to breathe at all. Harley's very body seemed to still then. The woman so desperately attempting to remain in command of herself despite the way her nervous heart fluttered in the grips of his power. Her voice was cold then. Her words insisting there was no need for that. Darcy, this time, assured he had made his very point clear as he at last allowed his gaze to move from her own and free her from that paralytic hold. She was bold, this one, far bolder then so many before her. The woman refused to look away from him, even now. Hmmm. In the very least Harley never lacked for....entertainment. How he would enjoy ruining her entirely- later. The Were continued then- revealing her thoughts at last. Harley having come to the conclusion that outside of Cade there was at least one other vampire with a veritable score to settle agianst his beloved Risque- her brother. The very mention of his Mistress' sibling so readily prompted that lift of Darcy's lips once more. A low hiss rising within his throat in clear disdain.
He had conducted mercifully few dealings with Risque's brother over the years. Indeed, any interactions he had with the other man had been limited and few. Risque so prefering to deal with those matters of family alone and yet he and Darcy had so hardly seen eye to eye in any sense of the word. It would not be....illogical that such a thing could be his doing- or at his orders. He held little need for motive beyond that familial disgruntlement and he certainly had means. Yet- his Mistress was nothing short of private when it came to family. There was every chance she would hardly take kindly to him...meddling in family affairs if this was, indeed, that very thing. This...Ryker however was another matter entirely. Darcy's own thoughts shifted once more, his fingers drumming softly against the wood of his desk as he considered those very ideas Harley posed. Her insistence all vampires were psychopaths so met with a near absentminded half-simper.
"We ain't psychopaths, Kitty. Jus motivated."
The faint sounds of a chuckle rose within his throat all the same. Darcy continued to consider those very things internally before the sound of purring so readily seemed to ensnare his attention, those mismatched eyes slicing sideways to eye Harley's hand as it stroked his cat. Princess, despite her usual aloof nature, taking a clear pleasure in the touch of Harley's hand. Oh- how he loathed that.
That singular word was all but snapped, the Lynx, recognising her Master's irritation was quick to flatten herself low to the bed, her ears laying back in turn as she hurried from that bed like a liquid grey shadow only to slink beneath it. Darcy's gaze so readily snapped back to Harley in turn and yet, for now, he was merely content to fix her a look of violent intent. How that jealousy all but controlled him, in all things. Harley would pay for trying to turn his pet agianst him. That was surely what she had been doing after all, wasn't it? His words, this time, were decidedly lacking in any true emotion. That mismatched gaze continuing to rest upon the woman all the same
"I will discuss Risque's brother wit 'er later. As for dis Ryker- what you know 'bout 'im?"
Harley, after all, so clearly knew something. Darcy's gaze at last shifted away from the woman, the vampire moving to rise from his chair once more. If Risque's brother was the culprit then there was little else to be done without her direct consent. Yet- there was still one final theory to test. Darcy content to do that very thing.
That Command was uttered toward Harley as if she were no more than a dog, a simple snap of his fingers adding a definitive sound to that command that so indicated he expected it to be obeyed. Darcy reached for the bedroom door once more, the vampire striding out into the hall with Harley forced to hurry to keep pace with that near inhuman walking speed. Darcy paused at the end of the hall, his own keyboard fished from his pocket before being held up to the door, a subtle click indicating it had opened before it slid aside- allowing the pair entrance to a single set of stairs that wove downward and into the depths of Syn itself. A back entrance to those cages beneath. Yet another warped path in that maze that coiled like a serpent beneath the clubs dance floors. Darcy moved with singular purpose down those stairs, the steel protesting beneath his steps before that card was held up once more to allow them to pass yet another door, and another, Darcy expertly navigating that underground network before a final door so omitted the pair entrance into that veritable jail beneath Syn. That room lined with rows upon rows of silver cages. The vast majority of them still empty. Risque yet to repopulate her stocks of feline pets. Their order of feeders still yet to be filled leaving only a few haphazards, hopeless beings to supply that club with its blood supply and what few cats they had been able to recover. Several of those felines stirred at the sight of Darcy, slinking to the backs of their cages. A singular, braver Cheetah offered a hiss in the direction of Harley and Darcy both and yet, for now, the vampiric cowboy ignored the disobedient little wretch. The man pausing instead beside a unique, steel cage. One that he had never known Risque to fill. After all, they so rarely ever had Fae to hold captive within it.
That singular command was uttered into the darkness of the halls. Darcy hardly had to wait long before the sound of someone approaching echoed along those empty rows. Of all the vampires Risque commanded it was perhaps only Rueben whom Darcy was inclined to admit he found....unsettling. The man was pale even by vampiric standards. His long black hair so eternally appeared thin. The vampire himself much the same. Tal, thin, sharp- weasley looking by Darcy's wn description. Ruebun's long fingernails clicked agianst the bars of those cages as he slide out from the darkness, one hand dragged along as he did, his near black eyes readily found Darcy, his thin lips splitting into a grin of sorts that displayed those long, sharp and yet oddly crooked fangs. Yet- it was hardly Darcy that grin was for. The near corpse-like vampire fixating readily on Harley instead. You brought back one of my Pretties!" Rueben had been the career for Risque's felines for nearly as long as Darcy himself had walked at her side. The mans obsession with those animals was fucking unhealthy as far as Darcy was concerned and yet- he remembered every single one of them. For that reason alone Risque surely kept him. His lover having admitted more than once she found the man himself near repulsive as he hid in the dark like a serpent. Rueban's hand reached for Harley then, those bony fingers and long fingernails extended only for Darcy to smack it away. The singular strike hurriedly seeing Rueben withdraw his hand. His black eyes widening, shocked, almost panicked at such a strike, his movements near animalistic and seeming to momentarily consider a near violent reaction before his gaze obediently looked away.
"She ain't for yar tonight. Less she keeps being disobedient like. I got questions for ya."
Yes, Master Darcy, of course, yes
His eyes never left Harley, the man near besotted by her and yet it was hardly her human form that enchanted him. Rueben had always been...mystified by Risques cats and yet not in the same way as Risque herself. No, Ruebens fascination was something entirely more.
"Da night of Dee Incident-"
All of my pretties were taken, all of them, I feel their loss."
"Dun fuckin interupt me yar damn prick."
Darcy's voice snapped like that crack of a whip once more. Rueben, near on instinct, flinching readily as if anticipating some strike from the more dominant vampire. Darcy, for now, merely content to offer that singular growl before he continued once more.
"We got some of dem cats back, 'ow many of dem was Were's."
"One sir, we only got one back. A precious, pretty one he is too."
"Dis Were, he wouldda seen who let 'im out dat night. Take us to 'im. I need ta ask 'im what he knows."
"Risque prefers they stay as cats, so do i, it is much nicer, they are much prettier that way. He cannot talk to you as a cat and he won't change back unless Risque commands it. She does not like to be bother-"
"Dun tell me 'bout me own mate an what she fuckin' likes. Yar lucky yar allowed to so much as breath 'er name. Yar think I'm an idjit? I brought a cat ta talk to a cat. Dat's what she's for."
Darcy gestured easily toward Harley then. The sense behind that plan seeming to dawn at last in Ruebens gaze as he hurried ahead of them into the darkness, waving for Darcy and Harley to follow as he led the way toward that cage. The tall, thin vampire pausing only once to peer back toward the pair that followed him, one hand lifting to gesture accusingly toward Harley then.
"She was not allowed food when she was here last. I remember. I gave her none. She is difficult that one."
"Will yar shut up an just take us to da cat...."
Fucking fools. He was surrounded by them.
"Keep up, Arley. Yar fall behind an yar can stay behind."
We are rough men and used to rough ways.