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The skies above Evermore were grey and murky with darkness threatening from the north it left little doubt that there would be a storm overnight. From the highest floor of one of the tallest towers at the cities center a lone figure watched the weather as it shifted and moved. From a speaker music played quietly in the background as the figure remained perfectly still. After a moment he let out a sigh, muscled shoulders as he finally moved, turning away from the floor to ceiling windows that revealed a view of the entire city and the mountains and fields that lay beyond the cement and concrete jungle.
Jackson Blackford was a formidable figure to those that didn't know him. Despite handsome features and good looks, his stormy blue eyes were cold and hard. When he worked it was easy to put on a face and he was charming enough when he wanted to be but in the solace of his home and in his usual day to day outings, Jackson could sometimes be confused with those he put behind bars with his rough exterior.Tonight he was casual in jeans and a flannel shirt, his blonde locks left to do as they would. He walked away from the window and to his desk where folders lay strewn across and his laptop lay open to his case he was building.
This one was difficult but not impossible. The guy he was working to get solid charges on was a sleeze but he was a grunt for a powerful group that intimidated anyone they wanted kept quiet. Some went missing. Winston Bay could barely be called a member he was so low on the totem pole but he did some of the dirtiest work and was one the most dangerous men in the Evermore Underground for Humans. Jackson eyes narrowed as he brought up a picture of the man and, like a scene from a movie, lightening flashed and a moment later a crash of thunder followed. The DA chuckled and slammed his laptop closed.
The plan was simple, get Winston in custody with solid charges and get him put away. Strike a deal and get more names from Winston that would put men worse than him away. Winston played a part in the disappearances of women from all over Evermore, some barely old enough to be called women. They were never seen or heard from again. If there was one thing that Jackson could do with his time as District Attorney for the city it would be to shut down human trafficking. This grunt, Winston was just the start. Bringing a glass of rich amber liquid to his lips, Jackson finished the glass and set it down on the counter.
He had gotten word from some of his 'friends' around the city that a kid, Felix Morris might have just the right information that Jackson was looking for to get his hands on Winston and who knew who else. Digging into Felix had been easy enough. He was a part of the Therianthrope faction, one of several supernatural factions that resided in the city. Jackson's lips curled coldly as he thought of the supernatural. Jackson had nothing against the supernatural, it was more bitterness than anything else. He was the lone human in a family of Initia; both parents and siblings having the abilities as generations of their family had.
Grabbing his helmet, Jackson slipped on a leather jacket and ensured he had his credentials and tucked his gun into the holster on his lower back. Unlike most humans, his bullets were a special kind, adapted to effect various supernatural beings although, if needed, they would also hurt humans as well. The youngest DA the city had ever seen entered into the elevator and headed down to the private underground parking. Despite the storm there still wasn't rain. With a swing of his leg he mounted his bike and kicked it with a single start before roaring out into the city.
The ride to the university was quick, Jackson knew the way well as he had attended a few years here.Knowing his way around, he found the classroom he was looking for quickly and let himself in despite the professor being mid lecture. Closing the door silently behind him, Jackson leaned against the wall. Several students from various levels of the amphitheater style classroom looked over at him before returning their attention to their professor who was also starting at Jackson in confusion. Jackson's lips offered the smallest of smiles and he nodded. The professor continued their lecture on law though so gazes remained on Jackson a little longer.
As the professor taught, blue eyes surveyed the class until he found who he was looking for. Jackson's eyes narrowed slightly as he looked at the criminal justice student who had multiple ties to an infamous crime gang within the city. The class was almost over when Jax had arrived and within 15 minutes a bell rang and students began making their way down and out of their seats and began filtering out the door Jackson stood guard by. Pushing off the wall, Jackson's eyes found Felix's again...
To say that Felix’s life took a very drastic 180 from the path that it had been on is no understatement. Back when he graduated he was on the fast track to joining up with his family, becoming an official part of the gang, taking on that life. Even despite how many people wanted him to take a different path - his mother, his father, his uncle even if he’d never admit it, his honorary sister - he’d never imagined that there was one for him until that other path had essentially hit him upside the head.
He’s even still close to them, of course he is they’re his family. So to see the therian sitting in a criminal justice program is a strange thing to be sure. They’d been surprisingly supportive and proud of the direction he’d decided to take his life, almost entirely thanks to Orion’s interference, more so than he’d expected of them. Perhaps he’d underestimated just how much better they wanted for him his whole life. Either way he’s finally on the path to achieving it, now it’s just a matter of staying on it.
His pen scratches softly against the paper in front of him as he takes down notes from the lecture, one of the few students not doing so with a computer. That’s because he writes just as fast as they type and he also wasn’t raised with one so he just prefers it this way. It’s close to the end of class, his last one of the day, and he rather likes this particular one. Ethics in law, something most people don’t think about when they first go into the program but something he’s been encountering for most of his life. That tends to happen when your father goes to jail as much as Felix’s has. Even so he can hear the occasional crack of thunder from outside, smell the building of rain all day in the air, and it’s making him restless, forcing him to focus on what the lecturer is saying over his own desire of heading outside to take in the storm.
With his attention so divided, the opening of the lecture hall door is enough to finally break his concentration. His pen comes to a stop and, like many of the others, he turns to see who would be interrupting class so close to the end. A single brow raises when he catches sight of Jackson Blackford, why on earth the city DA would be here he has no idea. Maybe revisiting his alma mater? Really the only reason Felix even knows who the man is is due to the newspaper articles and exposure he’s gotten for being so young getting the job. He turns back in his chair before Jackson’s eyes can lock with his the first time, preferring to refocus on the lecture since the instructor just spoke right though the slight interruption.
As the final bell rings and people begin packing up, Felix just grabs his backpack and sticks his notebook in, heading for the door even while zipping the old, beat up bag up. It’s only once he raises his head that Felix notices that the DA is staring directly at him, nearly prompting a sigh from the therian. He comes to a stop in front of him, noting the way he pushed off the wall as he neared, so this definitely has to do with him. “Whatever my uncle did now, I am not interested in testifying.” Then again it might’ve been his father. Either way. Realizing that might’ve come out with more bite than intended, Felix breaks the joke with a small grin, holding his hand out to the older man. “How can I help you?”
As Jackson's eyes met those of the young man, Felix's, a ghost of a smile crossed his lips before disappearing and his gaze drifted over to watch the instructor finish the lecture. The man droned on and on, his voice monotone and impassioned. Luckily the subject matter of the class was addicting or else this man would never have a long career as a professor, not at this university at least. When it came to blending the supernatural and humans, things were always much more interesting especially when some of the humans knew about their special classmates.
The professor concluded the class and immediately students rose to their feet to leave. It grew crowded around the door but Jackson's stormy blue eyes never left the moving figure of Felix Morris. He had fully read up on the kid and his entire family of course. But it was Felix that interested him the most due to his choice to switch and for the most part live a straight life. The DA smiled wryly at the thought knowing full well it was impossible to be 100% straight when your whole family was crooked but he also trusted the kid was looking to show were he really stood. If that was the case he'd be happy to give some names and more information on the trafficking ring Jax was working to shut down.
The class room had emptied of all, including the professor, and as the Therian approached, Jackson offered a ghost of a smile and pushed off from the wall to strike up a conversation with him. As Felix spoke, his words drew a wolfish grin from the young attorney. Taking the hand offered to him, Jax shook his hand before releasing him and walking to wards the professors desk. He appreciated Felix's sauce and spirit. It was something he could understand but Jackson's attitude had always come from fighting to prove himself his whole being the only human in a family of Initia. Leaning against the desk he crossed his arms before finding Felix's faze again.
"I hope I'm not keeping you from something Mr. Morris?" Jackson asked, his voice cool. "And I wouldn't dare ask you to turn on your family. I know how deep your family's blood runs,' he said, his stormy gaze hard for a moment before softening. "If you have time, I was hoping to pick your brain on a hard topic. Something I'm hoping to put a complete stop to in the city of Evermore," he said before rising from his seat on the ledge of the desk. "Care for a bit of a walk and a drink?" he asked, his lips curled in a smile.
It can be difficult to keep oneself from drifting back into old habits. Back in high school, Felix was not exactly a model student and now it’s sheer force of will that’s keeping him on task. Well, that and a genuine drive to do better since it’s someone else’s dime that he’s here on. Without Orion taking him under his wing he has no doubt that he’d be prowling the streets and would’ve landed himself in jail a few times. He’s not squandering this chance.
Of course when you have a professor as dull as this one it can be really hard to keep from daydreaming. The relief when the bell rings is almost palpable through the room, though for Felix that’s pretty quickly dashed when he realizes that it’s him the guest is there to speak with. Now Felix is far from dull, he knows perfectly well that this visit is going to have some connection to his past or his family and it’s not really a conversation he’s looking forward to having. Those that know about his family have given him a hard enough time as it is. Hopefully this won’t be more of the same, at least this guy has the decency to shake his hand instead of glare at him.
“Not at all. I work the night shift tonight so I don’t have to go in until way later.” Well there is lunch but working the night shift means he can eat there, even if Ember will give him a stink eye over it. He raises a brow curiously at the older man’s tone but waits for him to finish before he answers, shrugging a little. “Not sure how much help I’ll be but sure. Where’d you have in mind?” He waits for Jackson to lead the way out since he’s not entirely sure which direction the man would be taking. He can feel a great sense of relief upon finding himself outside though, the smell of rain on the air and just simply being able to move around releasing a lot of tension that had built up in him through the hours of sitting at a desk writing.
He’s quiet for a moment as he inhales deeply, then he turns to look at the man walking beside him. “Since it’s not my family I take it this is about a rival. I haven’t been involved in any of that for a couple years now so I don’t know how much help I’ll be but I’ll do what I can… provided my name is left out of it. I don’t want this falling back on my folks.” He may be out of it but he remembers perfectly well what those gang wars were like, how scared his mother was that his father wouldn’t come home or, worse yet, that the violence would make it’s way into their home.
"Good," Jackson nodded and without another word began leading the young man through the university hallways. Jackson knew his way through this school like the back of his hand having done some studying here as well as several other ivy league schools. Of them all though, Jackson had enjoyed his time here the most. "I think you'll have more information than you realise," the DA muttered quietly. This case had gotten under his skin immediately and he would be happy to finally have some of the ring leaders in custody so they could start their case against the big leader.
"There a little bar down the street," Jackson continued as they strolled down the old fashioned cobblestone streets of the school until they made their way out to the city streets. They strolled in comfortable silence for a few moments before Felix questioned again. Jackson shrugged. "Honestly I don't know at this time. I haven't been following your families business in a while as I've had other cases. Could be though," he said, his stormy blue eyes flashing as he looked over his shoulder at the Therian with a wolfish grin. "Here," he said opening the door with a nod and entering the small pub. It was a dark hole-in-the-wall type of place. But the owners catered to lawyers and, ironically, criminals. It was a popular bar where everyone respected privacy.
Sitting down, the bartender saw Jackson and brought over his usual whisky before looking at Felix. "What'll be kid?" he asked not unkindly. Jackson waited as Felix ordered before leaning back and watching the younger man. "Have you heard about the recent case I'm working on?" he asked. It was supposed to be unknown to everyone except him at this time but being DA it was hard to keep many things secret and with Felix's family Jackson wouldn't have been too surprised if he had heard some whispers. But overall everything was still all relatively unknown.
None of this feels like a good situation to the Therian but he keeps his thoughts to himself for now. Whatever this is about, so long as it doesn’t involve his family, he’s alright with helping out. He just refuses for them to carry heat over his actions and until they get out of the business, like he’s been trying to accomplish, that drive will remain. He wants his family safe, both the biological family and the family he’s managed to find since getting himself straight. He gets a feeling the DA knows this though so he’s carrying certain expectations.
Thankfully Felix is one that’s generally alright with the quiet, the wind carrying the smell of rain and the small conversation more than enough to tide him over until they reach the small bar. He recognizes it as one he’s passed by many times but never actually stopped in, a benefit to growing up in the city he supposes. “My family doesn’t get involved in anything too heavy. But people like to talk, especially in those circles, so even if I don’t know anything now I’m sure I could dig something up for you.” He keeps his voice down as they head into the cozy place, no one paying him any mind at all as he takes a seat next to Jackson.
Normally he’d never consider drinking on a work night but since this looks like it’ll be a while and he doesn’t have any cases lined up he indulges and orders a whiskey from the bartender, nodding some in thanks when the man walks off to fill their drinks. Felix shakes his head a little as Jackson questions him, leaning his elbows on the bar. “Not really, at least not enough to know what specifically you’re talking about. There’s a lot of whispers that reach me. Though since you sought me out I can only imagine it being bad.” He looks over at the older man, his own blue eyes catching the light and for a brief moment causing them to shine like a cat’s. “So… fill me in and I’ll see what I can do to help you out.”
The pair were sat quickly as they entered the bar. The corner was dark and private, Jackon's usual preferred spot; he was known to do business here. As they ordered and awaited their drinks the DA watched the younger man carefully, noting his subtle discomfort and obvious distrust. His body language showed nothing but it was the little fidgets that told Jackson the Therian wasn't exactly pleased even with as politely as he spoke.
Stormy blue eyes met those of the young man as he ordered his drink and Jackson smirked, nodding in approval at his drink of choice. "I'm glad your so open to hearing me out," Jax murmured, quieting as the waiter brought their drinks. Sipping his whisky he nodded in agreement. "This isn't something I think your family is involved in. For criminals, your family is still quite clean-cut," he smirked as he spoke but his words were true. As far as criminals went, Felix's family hid things well and weren't scummy.
Leaning back against the booth seat, the blonde male breathed in deeply as Felix explained he couldn't be sure what Jackson was specifically referring to. "Fair enough," he answered, swirling the ice around his class before continuing. "I've been assigned one of the largest cases of my career so far and easily one of the dirtiest," he growled, his eyes sharp as they met Felix's.
"Everyone talks about trafficking and what an issue it is in the world but no one realizes how close to home it really is," Jax spoke, his voice hard. "We've known it's been an issue in Evermore for a long time despite the supernatural presence. Women and girls missing suddenly without a trace and without ever seeing them again. Trafficking rings are notoriously difficult to take down because there are so many layers," Jackson paused, sipping his whisky. "We've recently cracked the first tier of Evermore's trafficking circle and are building our way up to the top. We have our suspicions on who the top man is that runs the ring here but, as usual, the issue is getting evidence against him since, by all appearances he has no hand in anything and all the lower grunts do all the dirty work."
Jackson paused, stormy optics never leaving the Therians. "Is the name Daniel Salvadore familiar to you or your family?"