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The ticking of the clock got louder and louder; and the room had gotten so quiet that you could have quite literally heard a pin drop. Hana inhaled, her hands had began to shake, and in the blink of an eye, she felt like she was there again, reliving that moment like it was happening once more. Hana had been using her spare time, to study in the library and to get a break from home. The tension between her and her brother Ha-joon had finally eased up with her idea of a summer vacaction house for them to fix up together. It was a project for them to do, and a way for them to bond some where besides the city, that Hana knew to be full of dark twisted secrets, ones she still hid from Ha-joon.
Hana had hoped though, that with the bonding and decorating a summer house, that it would ease her into telling Ha-joon everything, she didn't wanna leave anything to risk anymore. Not where it concerned her relationship with him. Looking around, Sge still didn't see a single soul except for the old woman who ran the library, and even she was spaced out, probably looped on alcohol, because Hana could smell it on her every time she walked into this library. Deciding to get up and explore the shelves full of books, Hana made her way to the section that had a paltry selection of supernatural books; real facts based on real species that lived right here in the city. Taking the few books that sat there covered in dust, and even a cobweb or two, Hana sat down on the carpeted floor in between the shelves.
Even though it was night time, the librarian didn't mind. Hana was already well known and trusted here, so they normally let her stay as long as she wanted. Hana flipped the ragged book open to the first page, sliding the tip of her finger down the page, and pushing her glasses up the bridge of her nose. She'd began reading the first bit of the book, that was apparently based on the legendery Phoenix species, which she now knew as Niveis. Onward to the next page, and her heart nearly jumped out as a ton of books were pushed over onto her. She knew no one had been here with her at least until now. "Who's there?!" she called out, only to be met by a startling, eery (WHISPER).
Not thinking twice, Hana scooped her belongings up, as well as the books she'd found on the supernatural, and ran out towards the front desk, where the old librarian seemed to have vanished. "Mrs Smith? Hello?!" she called out, tears pooling in her chocolate gaze as she heard nothing except for that same whisper again. This time, it sounded as if it was right behind her. Being too afraid to look back, Hana sprinted for the door, and safely made her way out. She'd ran for what felt like ages, and saw nothing or no one in sight. The streets were empty, and that same whisper came back to haint her again. Looking back this time, she saw nothing, and the whisper had stopped; until she turned around again. The hairs on the back of her neck stood at attention, and Hana decided to run. Each time she looked back, the satanic child whispers stopped, only to start again the moment she turned and started running the opposite direction.
"Help!" she screamed hopelessly, and slowly but surely, she felt her lungs caving. Hana had been born with RSV, and now as an adult, she suffered with breathing problems.. especially if she ran, or did to many house chores, and excercise was normally out of the question. After making it to a rather public place area, where she felt as though she'd finally collapse, Hana took in the sight of a tall male just inches from her, with his back turned. Digging for her cell phone to call Ha-joon, her hands trembled, and her entire body blanked out from the exhaustion. She knew she was in harm's way, and whatever, or whoever had been following her, had scared her enough to send into a downward spiral with her psychical state.
Shaking and unable to breathe, a bystander had finally intervened, helping Hana to safety which ended up being the inside of a bar. She needed a drink, desperately. After sipping a few rum and coke's, Hana inhaled, feeling numb to the fear that had crippled her moments ago. But, she just knew she'd saw mr tall dark handsome again. The man she saw earlier, when she'd made an attempt to run away from those creepy ass whispers that played in a loop every time she face forward. Arching a brow, she took no more time before sliding out of the bar, hoping no one there was actually following her, and a small piece of her had even hoped, that she was losing her mind earlier, and that she'd never hear those voices again. But, that was to no avail; the moment Hana got back out into the streets on her way home, she heard it again. "Who's there?! Answer me!!!" she cried out, finally snapping around, and the voices again had stopped, but she saw him, she saw the male she assumed was behind all of this.
"What do you want?!" she then called out, hoping her voice reach him, he was a good distance away, but close enough for Hana to be able to tell it was him for sure. Finding herself in a pretty bad prediciment; Hana began backing herself up, until she hit a wall, breathing harshly as it made a small thud against the solid, cold bricks. Trembling and cold, Hana slid down the wall, crumbling as she got to her knees and curled her arms around her slim legs. Rocking back and fourth, she had only wished she hadn't left her and Ha-joon's house without telling him where she was going. Even if she had though, it's not like she was at a library now. Someone had followed her there, and now the same person was just mere inches from her.
Each night, Hana made it back home safely, but every night after that, had always resorted into the same events. The library, the demonic whispers that sent her running, followed by whomever that was, following her a good ways away from the library, and then.. mr tall dark and handsome.
Days had went by, and Hana knew now that she was being followed. She'd even seen his face from safe distances a few times, and she decided it was time to tell Ha-joon. During her time out of the house this evening, she'd found herself in this crazy cycle again; It always startted normal, then whatever had started following her, posssessed a demonic child-like whisper to scare her even more, after that... mr tall dark and handsome had appeared. Human or not. Tonight she would find out why. This had all spun Hana inside out, shaken her to her very core.
Little did she know, her parents had everything to do with it, and soon enough, her and Ha-joon's entire world would be shaken.
Cases were piling up at the station and he had been given orders to check into a home robbery above all other cases. However he couldn’t get rid of the deeply chilling feeling that the case he should be focused on was one which involved a double murder and prior to the murder a stalking report. The problem with the report was that no suspect was listed, it was just a feeling or being watched and followed, of strange occurrences and whispered nefarious voices. Given there were no leads to go on the case had been set aside and left on the lower end of priorities. But something was bothering Graydon, something he couldn’t put his finger on, which was why he had gone back and looked at the footage in the area before the murder had occurred and before the last stalking report. There wasn’t much on the footage which was helpful but there was someone else in each frame as well, someone who was still alive.
There was a chance that the woman in the videos had something to do with it or perhaps she was just an innocent bystander and it was just a coincidence. In Evermore there weren’t many coincidence though and so Graydon had started to keep any eye on her in his down time. Or more currently, what was following her. Never had be gotten a clear look but he knew that he wasn’t the only thing watching her. Whenever he seemed to get close to her whatever or whoever he was following seemed to disappear or at least given more distance but it was truly hard to tell. It seemed like the woman was the target and likely in danger but that was all just observations and what Graydon was assuming.
It had been rather easy to learn the young woman’s schedule since she tended to spend the greater amount of her alone time at the library alone and along didn’t seem like the best of options for her. Tailing her had taken a lot of his time and he was sure that she had noticed him from time to time. Their eyes occasionally locking since he didn’t try to hide, he just kept his distance. This was after all a police investigation, he wasn’t exactly doing anything wrong. However he knew that he needed to approach her at some point but if he did that would give away who he was to whatever was after her and he knew the only thing he really had going for him was that neither the young woman or what was following her knew who he was or in this case, what he was. With all the cases piling up and his superior wanting him to focus on another case it was hard for him to continue to keep an eye on her but he did his best.
The library was a given but it had been hard to keep an eye on her and scan the perimeter for anyone who might be familiar. By the time her full blown panic attack took over there was nothing he could do but leave the library as well trying to make sure someone or something wasn’t trying to flush her out into the open. Clearly she had seen him and the fear in her eyes caused the natural protector within him to surface, he knew she was likely afraid of him as well since he didn’t try to hide, especially while out in the open. It was a large city after all but it wasn’t unusual to see the same people. It was probably wrong to use her a bit like bait but he knew what he was tracking was also tracking her so she was the only link that there was. Though he knew it was doing nothing for her mental state since it wasn’t the first time she was yelling at a phantom, or more importantly, him.
Tonight she was looking directly at him and there was no doubt of who she was yelling at the panic clear in her voice, a slight tremor being hard to hide. If he said nothing he knew it wasn’t going to help and it would cause her to fear him when he was only trying to help. But if he revealed himself he lost the small edge he had over what was hunting her but he at least owed her that much, especially if he was supposed to be looking after her. Releasing a sigh he knew that she didn’t have much left mentally and causing her a mental break which put her in the psych ward at the hospital wouldn’t do any of them good. As she broke down he finally came to a decision he may regret. Stepping forward he kneeled in front of her, moving his jacket so she could see the badge on his belt. “I’m not here to hurt you. Just breathe.” He did slow exaggerated breathing so she would hopefully follow suit since it seemed impossible to have a serious conversation with her right now. A shiver once more went down his spine as his eyes quickly moved to once more assess their surroundings because they didn’t seem to be alone.
Hana's state of panic had consumed her at first. She just knew for sure he was going to hurt her. Why else would she have seen this man so many times before now? And each time she'd seen him, had been in the moments she found herself running away from danger. Her mind had conjured up so many reasons why he was here. One: He was here to kill her, for something her and Ha-joons parents had done, that she wasn't aware of. Two: He saw her as a pretty, vulnerable female he could take advantage of in the darkness. Three: He was bored and lonely and this was the highlight of his life; making Hana miserable. And four: He'd been paid to follow her. None of the reasons she'd came up with were ones that would make anyone feel easy.
Never for a second would she have thought he was trying to protect her for someone who actually was following her and trying to hurt her. Hana's dark gaze averted from his face, to his badge as he knelt down and pulled his jacket aside; but even with that realization, the human shook like a leaf, and at this point, she struggled to breathe. Having an illness, only made her weak, and she was so fed up with being weak. Hana had endured countless hours of harsh training from people er father had hired, to prepare her to live a life surrounded by supernaturals, giving her the chance to take them down and have a fighting chance should one ever try to attack her. But even with all the training she'd been through, and all of the knowledge she'd gained, her illness was the one thing that still put her at a disadvantage.
Hana breathed through her nose and out of her mouth several times, and fished her inhaler out of her pocket. After taking a few puffs from it, the human eyed the dark haired male before her; fear striking her down even harder as she realiezed he had shivered in fear. "You're scared... so that means you're really not trying to hurt me" she stated, frowning because she felt bad that she'd been so harsh about him when she first began yelling at the male. "But who are you? and why do I always see you at the exact same time that i start running away from something in fear?" she asked bluntly, and closed her eyes, still attempting to slow her breathing as the inhaler did very little to help her in this moment.
Hana had been born with RSV; for an adult, classified as an upper respritory infection. As a child, she struggled to play with the other kids her age, and as she aged, Hana was limited to things she did as an adult as well. Now that she'd followed up with a lung specialist in the city, Hana had been diagnosed with Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, more popularly known as COPD; another secret she'd kept from Ha-joon. A frown lingered on her pale features as she locked eyes with who she'd named as mr tall dark and handsome. "If you're not trying to hurt me, then please.. tell me whats going on!" she then said, with a certain desperation in her tone as her lower lip trembled. "And I don't feel safe out here now.. it starts the same way every night, I go to the library to brush up on my school work to be prepared for college to start back, I stay until way after others are gone because the elderly lady who runs the library, knows me as a regular and as a favor, she started letting me stay and im the one who locks up for her, in return, I keep the shelves tidied up and clean up for her" Hana explained, but she didn't wanna carry this on where they were.
She had the feeling that whoever he was, he wasn't try to give that away.. at least not out here in the public eye. With that, she figured they could go else where, if he'd be willing to tell her who he is and why hes been following her. It was a little too late for that though as a red dot sat perfectly in the middle of the male's forehead causing Hana to gasp.. "you-you ..oh my god.. don't move.. or move quick." she said quietly, gulping. Hana now shook from the inside out "There's a red laser on your head" she whispered again, but the panic in her tone could be heard loud and clear. An assault riffle? Whoever was following and stalking Hana, obviously didn't want no one near her who wanted to protect her. She'd only hoped that this male before her didn't die because of her.
Graydon was more than aware of how intimidating of an imagine he painted. He was over six feet, dark hair, a few visible tattoos from his days in the MMA, his features were usually seriously and somewhat harsh and though he was slim it was clear he was both fast and strong even with the material of his clothes covering his muscular frame. Putting people at ease wasn’t exactly his strong suit, getting to the truth of matters and helping people was something he was very good at but it was sometimes hard to get people to give him that opportunity. Many times people had asked for their case to be handled by another detective because the sheer level of his intensity scared them and they wanted someone softer. If he started something though he was going to finish it, especially if there was no one in his way to tell him that he couldn’t. Clearly he had scared the woman but he did only tend to be around when things were sketchy because of why he was following her, or more specifically trying to track who or what was following her.
She seemed to be calming a bit when she realized that he was part of law enforcement, though he knew that even then not all on the force were on the up and up. Or he could have a fake badge but he truly wasn’t here to hurt her, he hadn’t intentionally hurt anyone outside of a fighting ring in a very long time. From his birth he had both an inquisitive nature and a protective one as well, however being inquisitive often caused him to inadvertently place people in danger. “I don’t know what sort of trouble your in but I do know that who or what’s after you is nothing to play with. What are you? Someone related to the triads in the city or something?” He had no idea why she was being targeted but it seemed like a likely conclusion since even in Evermore the triads and criminal organizations were a thing. Graydon had his own past with the triad but that was a long time ago and he wasn’t a part of that world anymore.
As Hana pulled an inhaler out of her pocket he couldn’t help but think that was just his luck. If they truly needed to run it wasn’t going to fast since it seemed that the lack of ability to breath might just cause her to pass out. Allowing her a minute to use the inhaler and start to calm down he was surprised that she noticed his shiver. Being a Niveis it was unusual for him to get cold but the shiver didn’t come from the cold, it came from the feeling of being watched and being at a pretty good disadvantage in this situation. If she hadn’t panicked and called him out things would have been alright but he couldn’t blame her for being scared, it wasn’t the situation most would remain calm in. “Not sure I would use the word scared but I’m uncomfortable.” He was a man of intellect and he hated having very little information about a situation. “I’m working a murder case and I think you were the intended target but two people got caught in the crossfire. I just need you to trust me right now because I don’t think we have a lot of time to discuss this.” He said as his eyes moved around the area once more, acutely aware of every movement.
Graydon reached out as Hana began to panic and rested his hand on the top of hers, he hated physical contact especially with strangers but he needed to her calm down. He had no idea how much time they had and being stuck out in the open wasn’t good for either of them but he was allowing her this moment. “I will explain everything that I can when I can, that I promise you. What you do need to start doing is changing up your routine instead of doing the same thing every day. Take different paths or go somewhere else first. You make it far too easy to follow and know your schedule.” He stated in a very matter of fact way as he usually did and he felt bad about it because she didn’t know any better but they needed to get moving so she needed to breathe and calm down.
Once her panic seemed to subside he felt it begin to build again and he didn’t understand why until she began to speak. Of course, this was definitely not the time for someone to be trying to shoot him in the head but it made sense, he knew better than to be in one place for too long while tailing and he made that mistake to try and sooth Hana. “Not going to move just yet. Hold on to my hand or you’re not going to be able to see alright?” He asked before shifting his hand to their fingers were linked as he focused on the condensation and water around him. Remaining focused despite her fear he could feel the water beginning to turn into a gas as fog appeared around them and once it had almost surrounded them he dodged to the left just as he felt the bullet sizzle by where he had just been. “We have to run.” He stated calmly he pulled her along with him as he ducked down a side alley knowing exactly where it lead. The trajectory of the bullet had come from a building so the person was either in a building or on one so they needed to made it as hard as possible to be followed.
There seemed to be a party happening on a nearby street and he knew their best option was to get lost in the crowd as he pulled her along slowly only once they began to enter the crowd. Wrapping an arm around her shoulders he leaned in a talked loud but clearly. “Act like this is normal and we’re supposed to be here, it’ll be harder for them to pick us out in a crowd.” That and it was unlikely anyone would shoot into a crowd at random since whoever was after her had already messed up once and he was sure another mistake wasn’t what they were aiming for. The Niveis was keenly aware of just how intimate their current position together seemed but he felt nothing but the will to survive at the moment and to keep her safe and that meant blending into to the mass of those around them and giving the appearance of a couple on a casual night out.
Intense? Tat was an understatement. He earned the title of mr tall dark and handsome, and Hana had never really saw a man quite like him. It was bittersweet however, because as intimidating and scary as he was, he was gorgeous, and she couldn't peel her gaze off of him. After mentally cursing herself, Hana finally looked away. She wasn't about to act like a swooning idiot in the midst of danger. She still had her guard up, frankly. Hana knew about the corrupt cops. She'd even encountered one once before.
Trusting people, was not Hana's strong point in life. She rarely ever opened up to someone, let alone trust them. But right now, she felt that this man was the one keeping her safe, so she didn't have any issue listening to him. Trust would take a little more time, and convincing. The last time Hana had spoken to either of her parents, was when she found out how bad the situation had gotten with them, and all of their criminal activities. Her parents had betrayed her and Ha-joon, and they were now the reason for Hana being stalked. She didn't know that she and Ha-joon would have had another sibling, if not for the crossfire getting their brother killed when he was only 3 years old. Hana nor Ha-joon had been born then, but Hana was told only part of the truth from her mother.
Resentment burnt through the human day in, day out. She hated her parents, and she felt like shit for even thinking that, but what kind of parents bargained their own flesh and blood off, to get their own asses out of criminal debt? She was sure that if it hadn't been for the man next to her, that her life would have done ended. And, she knew Ha-joon was in a world of danger now too. Not being near him to protect him, scared her greatly, but she hadn't even told Ha-joon what was going on, so he didn't even know his life was hanging by a thin thread now. Guilt stricken, the human broke down a little more as the male asked the one questions she had been hoping he wouldn't. Giving a nod, Hana sniffled, and swallowed harshly.
"My parents.. it's all because of my parents" she started, and gripped his hand, before continuing, without even realized she'd even grabbed his hand. "They're part of a crime organization; I wouldn't know the name, but the word Triads.. it cut when you said it, it has to be that" she nearly stumbled over the words leaving her own mouth, she couldn't believe that such loving father, who'd spent all his time and effort, making sure Hana was trained for a city like this one, could be part of a deal that would end up having her dead. "It started the day after I got the phone call from my mother. She was panicked, and told me that Ha-joon and I weren't safe here either. Ha-joon is my brother, but they were in debt with these people once before, and they ended up getting their way out of it, by my baby brother being killed; now I fear that it's how they're getting themselves out of debt once again" she stuttered a little, but managed to tell him the gist of things at least.
The way Hana had explained, was so minor in detail, even if to him, it sounded insane. Her and Ha-joon's situation was horrific, and there really was no proper way to explain that to anyone, not even a legal figure like him. When he acknowledhed the fact that she'd seen him shiver, Hana realized he didn't like that. Maybe he didn't like someone noticing when he was uncomfortable. Someone like him probably never showed signs of weakness, and hated it when he did. Hana nodded when he admitted to being uncomfortable, and she got that, because she was too. As he told her that he needed her to just trust him, because they lacked time to sit and discuss every detail right now, Hana inhaled, and decided that for the first time in her life, she was gonna have to trust someone she didn't know. "Fine.. just please don't get hurt because of me.. and don't let no one .. take me" she frowned, because she was only a puny human, and she didn't like to say something like that out loud. It now felt as though she wasn't even in control of her own life, and that made her sick to her stomach.
The human blushed, as she looked down realizing she'd been holding / squeezing his hand this entire time. "Sorry" she whispered, and withdrew her touch, but it hadn't been long after that, when she'd began panicking again, that he placed his hand on top of hers. And oddly enough, it did the trick. Hana locked eyes with him, giving a nod, letting him know that she understood as he told her she needed to change up her routine. She grimaced as he said it'd been way to easy to follow her. She supposed that was true. But she hated changing her whole life around, because she was simply to weak to protect herself. If she'd been more than a human, she was sure she'd never have to change what she was used to, instead, she'd snap those in half, who had bad intentions for her and Joonie. She would have done anything to protect her brother though, so she figured she needed to listen to this man "I didn't know the extent of how dangerous my situation was. I'll change it" she said in response, unable to keep a straight face as tears continued falling down her pale cheeks.
Hana's panic had only seemed to keep building up. Breathing properly became a thing of the past, especially right now, as she watched him create some kind of fog from thin air. "H- how?" she whispered, with widened eyes. But, she wasn't expecting an answer. When he said that they needed to run, Hana gripped his hand tightly, not wanting to be left behind because of her health conditions. "I'm scared" she then admitted, and in that moment, she felt as though she'd finally lost the security she had about herself. Being insecure was never something she imagined herself as, but right now, she was just that. Hana was thankfully lead to safety for now, and that bullet had only missed the male keeping her safe, by an inch if not less; she practically felt the air from it as it whizzed by him.
Hana watched, impressed as he pulled her into what appeared to be a party, and threw an arm around her before instructing her on what to do. With that, Hana quickly wiped her face, she knew they wouldn't blend as well with tears pouring from her eyes, and a look of horror on her face. "Are we safe like this?" she asked, but presented a smile as she spoke to him, before laying her head over on his shoulder. The two of them were now casually flowing through the crowd like everyone else was. She had no idea what to make of this, and if she had ever wanted to be close to mr tall dark and handsome, her chance was now. But, she could sense one thing about him, his will to survive, and keeping her alive in the process. She felt safe at his side, but she had no idea what would happen next, or where they'd go. All that she did know, was that she couldn't go home.. she feared that she would lead the person after her, right to Ha-joon.
"How did you do that back there? You created that fog out of thin air" she then expressed, giving him a side glance and acting as happy as she possibly could, to continue blending in. She knew she'd have to take a break, and catch her breath soon, and the only way to continue blending in with this party, were to do the things that others were doing. Most were dancing, and those who weren't were walking like Hana and this man were. Hana waited for a slow song to come on, because she damn sure wasn't going to embarrass herself in front of him by trying to dance to an upbeat song, so when the pace changed in music finally, she eyed him, "I need to stop for a moment" she whispered before gesturing to the few couples who'd gathered around to dance, and thankfully, there were enough spots for them to stand where their faces wouldn't be seen unless someone was looking hard enough.
She didn't imagine for one second that the person who wanted her dead, would start shooting in a random party like this. The male at her side had made a way for them to disappear from the sniper's eyesight, so for now, Hana was counting on him not knowing where they were.