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For the most part, sleeping hasn't been something that came to Henri as easy, not ever since he got jammed and hijacked in his own therian form. Every day became his alert, there was always a reason for the male to look very alarmed at every single thing done. And could anyone blame him for being slightly paranoid after what happened? Cut him some slack. Despite having bad memories tainting his head whenever he wishes to go take a walk down his memory lane, there were still good ones. Memories of his wife and daughters, for instance. Memories that will never leave him and subsequently, made him feel guilty for their untimely deaths. Why? All because he couldn’t be bothered to shed his title. And for what? All to appease his selfish mother too. Nobody in their right mind would trade their beautiful spouse and children for a title.
But he did, and he will forever regret that decision for the rest of his life, which he intends to be a very long… long time. Especially with his protectee, Venetus, going off the rails doing god knows what, for the last few weeks. The Venetus today differs from the Venetus he knew when he set foot on the Isle. But it was understandable why he would behave the way he behaves now, though that doesn’t warrant his mood swings. Henri usually doesn’t bode well with individuals who tends to lash out for no reason in particular, that person seemed to be Ven now. But for the sake of his own consciousness that never faded, he swore to protect the Aspect of Realms and he will do exactly that.
His steps felt light against the carpeted floor as he maneuvered the entire manor in search for his Aspect, to which he, thankfully, found in the wine cellar. That wasn’t surprising at all. This has got to be the 4th time he's found the other male shacked up by the corner while drinking his sorrows away, giving the most inclusive reason for every question he asked. Honestly? Henri wasn't sure what he could do now. It was clear that Ven wasn't going to take his advice now, he's never taken his advice that much even up to hundred of years ago when he became his personal guard. Henri remembered when he first met the Aspect of Realms, neither of them was delighted to hear the idea of being close to one another. Don’t get him wrong, when Henri first joined the Guard, he kept to himself and only responded when he was needed. He did his job and stayed behind the curtains, and he’s always been good at that.
Sometimes, people didn’t even realize he was even in the room. Aside from working in the laboratory as part of the forensics, he was also a good tracker, like any other therians would be. With their enhanced senses and connection to nature, it wasn’t surprising to see him prancing around and tracking the people they were told to track with ease. He was only nearing his 50s when he was promoted to be Venetus’ personal guard. At first, he didn’t mind it despite being a bit nervous since a personal guard is quite possibly the highest honor for all of them in the Guard. But now? He would do anything to be out of earshot. That's why he decided to occupy himself with something to do; an errand, preferably. Though he totally didn't expect to find the Poison to be his destination, this was definitely new for the therian. A pleasure house, really, Henri?
With a sigh, he shook his head and thought he should just this thing over and done with so he could get moving on to the next. That's the only reason he was even able to set a foot inside the place. His eyes scoured the entire space, searching for a specific person; the renowned Nadiya Delca. Obviously, it didn't help that he may have stood out like a sore thumb but still. A job is a job.
It took a lot for Nadiya to mentally overcome the last few weeks, the situation she had found herself in was incredibly triggering; and despite not allowing Damien or her girls seeing that side of her, she could always feel the anxiety creeping in when she was in a small room, or trapped between a group of people with no way out. She also noticed that her need for blood since the ordeal had increased tenfold; Carmel had been woken up that day too, after almost a year of being suppressed in the deepest darkest corner of Nadiya’s mind. It was hard to not over do it when it came to feeding, even with Damien in the room watching her; in fact, he made more of a point to come and see her now, to make sure that there was no repeat. Yet, that didn’t matter in Nadiya’s mind, she could easily take him if the need became too strong and she needed to get her fill. However, Diya was surviving and her business was thriving so she assumed as long as she had Poison, she would get by; she had people that relied on her, plus she couldn’t bear the idea of disappointing Gideon who she had promised that she would never get that bad again.
The clock at struck 9pm and Diya stood in her room; she looked upon her reflection in the mirror and allowed her hands to smooth down the shirt she was wearing along with black jeans which hugged her figure well. Her darkened locks cascaded down her back whilst red lipstick painted her lips; all of this to disguise the uneasy feeling which sat at the pit of her stomach, threatening to escape at the mere sight of any Therian. It had annoyed her that one individual and caused her to be fearful of the other’s and she knew it was stupid but she couldn’t yet bring herself out of that mentality. “C’mon Diya, just another night. Same routine and probably the same old drama” She slapped her cheek numerous times to make her see sense before taking a rather steadying breath. “And worst comes to the worst, the shadows are there” The Valkyr nodded sternly at her reflection before spinning upon her heels and out into the hallway of Poison - she locked her bedroom door, to stop any adventurous individuals before descending the stairs where she was welcomed by the buzz of music, the ringing of laughter and many conversations.
Diya was greeted by many of the regular punters who frequented Poison; they typically didn’t always pick a girl to sleep with, but rather enjoyed the company and the drinks - which she couldn’t blame them. She continued her small talk, offering drinks here and there to help the waitresses yet her gaze fell upon her newest member of staff; Jonathan Bradford. With a wide grin, she wandered over to him and adjusted the glasses that he almost insisted he worse most evenings that he worked here. “Looking rather dapper this evening” She commented before winking at him. “Go get them tiger” She patted his back in encouragement before placing her hands on her hips with her first happy sigh of the evening as she glanced around; noting a few new faces and thus, lost souls but she was glad to see that her free girls’ and Jonathan were making them welcome. Thus, not needing to step in, she found herself wandering around the function room which resembled a large living room collecting empty glasses; humming to herself as she did so.
Venturing to the Poison Pleasure house was certainly not supposed to be on his list but when Henri realized he had to seek someone our one way or another, and with the time constraint he's currently facing, he'll resort to any method. And that was, to venture to a place he was sure he's more likely to have caused trouble at. So, yes, he is evidently trying to search for a way to escape the place unscathed with ease. Since it was night, it was relatively easier for the therian to navigate his way around the premise. His enhanced senses gave him enough heads up for anyone coming his way and while he's been trying his very best to avoid any contact with the girls around, it wasn't that easy.
Henri reminded himself that he was here to find Nadiya Delca, even if his heart is pounding rapidly against his chest, telling the snow tiger to go and drag his ass out of the place. A place like that is not a place for him, simply because Henri wasn't used to social interaction when not needed. The place was filled with people and once the song breaks out, he could even hear a few cheers coming from quite possibly ever corner of the space. Henri managed to get across the room without doing so much as trying to avoid contact with others, which was easier said than done considering the packed space. Everyone seemed to have fun so he didn't want to ruin that either. He was mainly here to meet one person, to confirm if she was the person he had been supplied information with from his other 'contacts'.
He stopped by the counter once his hazel hues fell on the sight of a tall female wandering around in a rather casual setting. It didn't take the Guard long before he realized he knew who that was; Nadiya Delca. Exactly who he was planning to meet. But before he could even get anywhere near, the lights were switched off and he could very well hear a few panicked whispers. What in the world? It was then when a scream broke out and a few grunts were heard that the lights were later switched on again. What was before him were two females covered in blood laid in the middle of the room. He couldn't ignore the feeling and tried to search for the culprit, only to spot him using the other back entrance. Unfortunately, his jacket was more than enough to draw plenty of attention to him later; someone who was sneaking out like someone who just committed something horrid.
It was not anything new when others watched Nadiya Delca offer some of her services to her customers; not in the sense of offering up her body for means of entertainment but in terms of being an assistant to the bar. Whether that was simply collecting glasses or actually working behind the bar when things got a little busy; in fact, she quite liked that side of things, she enjoyed making cocktails, she enjoyed engaging with her customers as they waited for their drinks. Diya felt that she truly got to know her customers at that point, after a few bevvies, they were always so eager to spill their secrets; it was the place to be, although she did assume her girls got a fair amount of secrets in the bedrooms also, and perhaps a lot of tears when the guilt washed over those who were happily married or in a secure relationship. Thus, once she collected as many glasses as she possibly could, she eagerly danced through the many bodies to get to the other side of the bar; where she greeted her barman, Conor with a wide smile.
“You know this is like my second home” She teased, and began to take orders from others, although she always had a funny feeling that he felt she was stepping on his toes when she was behind the bar; when in reality, they both had a good laugh - and always had the temptation to go Coyote Ugly on the bar top. Diya smiled at the very idea of that, and gathered that that wouldn’t be such a bad idea for a future event. The Valkyr buzzed around and at times moved happily with the music until suddenly everything went silent and darkness engulfed her very being; despite being a creature of the shadows, after recent events she couldn’t say the darkness was much of a friend as of late. Diya could feel her muscles tensed up, her nails clawing into the palms of her hands before she heard the screams and shuffling from those in the main room. Her head moved sharply to see if she could see the commotion but there were simply too many people moving around frantically - like rats in a maze.
Nadiya dropped her glasses, ultimately smashing them upon the ground before jumping over the counter top; as she did so, she was relieved when the lights came back on. However, that feeling did not last long at all, when she wandered into the next room to find a huddle of distraught and motionless people. “Move! Move!” She ordered, her tone harsh as she pushed the people out of the way; yet she wished she had never done so now. Her chocolate hues widened as they fell upon the two bodies which lay motionless at her feet; her hand naturally came up to her mouth to muffle the any scream or whimper that dared to escape her. It took a few moments before she crouched down to brush a strand or two of hair away from the deceased’s face. One of the females was a worker here, who Nadiya considered a daughter, whilst the other was simply a paying guest. She closed both of their eyes and stood up; Diya took a steadying breath despite not feeling very steady at all. “Graham!” She roared over the deafening silence. “Get everyone out of here now” The Valkyr ordered, her gaze roaming the scene before she caught sight of a somewhat familiar male; a guard.
Aside from the obvious mingling session going on in the room, he could see people crowding the bar at the west side, clearly having fun with their companions. How he found himself in a place like this is still beyond him, but really, was he surprised? A mission is a mission and he would be damned if he returns home with nothing to aid his search for this girl. The female he was looking for was apparently associated with this particular place, she's a regular, from the last time he caught wind of her. Considering Rebecca could run away from even the likes of their trackers, which also hurt his ego knowing the Ailwards had the best trackers in quite possibly the world. Every time he heard about her, they would try to set out a trap to capture the redhead but she always found a way to outwit them which does make it a little bit frustrating for someone who's been hunting her down for 20 years.
So here he is today, in the same place she ventures to frequently, he only needed to find the owner; Nadiya Delca, hoping she'd tell him something about Rebecca Hawne but when he saw two dead bodies on the floor after the lights mysteriously went out, his first instinct as a guard was to track the perpetrators down. So he did. Henri pushed himself on his feet and navigated through the chaotic crowd to follow the guilty male who tried to exit via the back entrance. He didn't even know there was a back entrance. "Of course, there's one" he mumbled to himself and tackled the male down after shifting into his tiger form. His white coat of fur was as intimidating as how he bared his teeth at the male, as the moon illuminated on him.
It was risky to transform like this but everyone would be too occupied by the scene earlier to go to the back entrance that only employees seemed to know about. Pinning the male against the carpeted floor, Henri growled, "You. What did you do to those girls" Despite his struggle against the larger tiger, the stranger refused to give him any answers which prompted the therian to give a warning roar. "Answer me or you won't have a mouth to answer me the next time" His job as a guard was always intermittent to the male, carry out your mission. He's not a saint anyway.
Poison was not unfamiliar with drama; in fact, there was always something going on most evenings - but tonight, tonight lowered the tone drastically. Although lives were lost, Nadiya couldn’t help but hope this would not impact the business in any shape or form; the likelihood was slim - people would still have their urges and their needs. If anything, it would just mean that she would need to implement tougher security measures for the future. Diya shook her head, she would think of this later, at this very moment in time, she had two dead bodies at her feet and a scared group of customers; so much so that half naked individuals began to leave their bedrooms to see what the situation was. The Valkyr pinched the bridge of her nose as she tried to compose herself, whilst swallowing back the urge to take the blood which pooled at her feet. “Fuck” She growled silently to herself and pushed her way back through the crowd toward her security.
“Please get them out of here ASAP” She spoke sharply, a growl lacing her words; it was hard to think of much else now that the odour of blood was tempting Carmel out of hiding. “We won’t call the police, not yet.” Diya caught the look the security guard gave her before he simply nodded; he questioned her authority silently but knew better than to advise her otherwise at this moment in time. To try and distract herself from the blood, she recalled the guard at the back of the room, heading to the door outback. With one last look, she watched some get escorted back out of Poison and she took that opportunity to slip towards the back of the building; she had every right to trust a Guard, but why would he slip away without helping the situation? It was very questionable. She roughly ran her fingers through her hair before pushing to the back door open.
A squeal of sorts escaped her as she pushed the door open to find a white tiger pinning another man to the ground; and Diya found her back against the wall - her breathing tightening as unwanted memories began to flash before her. Of how a therian had tortured and held her captive only a few months ago. “This is private property!” Her voice took on new levels of squeakiness. “Stop stop stop!” She cried out, her nails digging into her trousers, she knew this could go one or two ways; she would attack the two in front of her or she would flee and let this mess be left until tomorrow. “We have a strict no animal policy!... Change back” Her last comment was weak, and almost a plea as she regarded the tiger.
The moment he chased the guy out, he knew he had only one thing in his head. Get him, ask him or interrogate him, either way he doesn't care, given the other male's criminal records that stretched our longer than a scroll he found for his Aspect the other day, get answers, seek Rebecca out. Job done. If only it was as easy as that. He knew there was a reason the redheaded Valkyr had managed to escape him all these years, it was easier than done. Again. But this was the closest thing he's gotten to a lead for months, he had to hunt her down and drag her to justice. Or else she wouldn't just keep on massacring places. Honestly, Henri was surprised that the Valkyrie hasn't sent anyone to hunt the troublemaker down. As far as rules go by, rogues or non rogues who cause trouble are usually given the orders to be put down if they cannot be reasoned with. Perhaps, there were just far too many rule breakers in the world.
He can't imagine they wanted to put down their own kind when there was a better option to make them better. But alas, not everyone is redeemable. Certainly not Rebecca Hawne. As soon as he shifted into his snow tiger form, he had his paws pinning the male down against the stone hard pavement, with his teeth barring, clearly threatening the male that he wouldn't survive the night if he still insists on telling him nothing. His growl grew louder and more vicious which prompted the assailant underneath him to squirm in pain from which his claws were slowly scratching the surface of his clothing, "She will kill me if I tell you!" That only aggravated the male even more, "Well one way or another you don't seem like you're going to survive the night."
Unfortunately, before he could question him any further, he noticed they were joined by another presence. Another Valkyr. He was just about to ignore it because he had more pressing matters in hand but her voice made him snap his head towards the source of the voice. There, a petite female stood, Nadiya Delca, the owner of this very premise. Following the words that came out of her made him stop growling at the male and stare at her in confusion, but who was he to deny her request? This is her property, after all. He had to scoff at the whole no animal policy of course. Cute. So he narrowed his eyes at the male before going behind the dumpster to revert back to his human form. Unfortunately his bag was inside the pleasure house and he wasn't exactly… decently clothed at the moment. "Uh… right I wish I could come out and talk but my bag is inside and the clothes are in there so… yeah." He's naked, he's not going to be able to go anywhere like this.
This had been the very first evening, ever since she opened Poison where things had not gone according to plan; never had she seen such violence in her home - of course, she did see some customers get a little too hands on with her girls and in turn, did not like how they were addressed when refused. Yet, they were easily handled by herself or by security; but this was a first and she truly hoped - the last. The images of the two dead remained in the forefront of her mind and she couldn’t deny there was every aspect of her that needed and wanted to feed upon their blood; the sweet aroma of the red liquid remained teasing her nostrils even when she decided to put some space between them. Following the two men towards the back of home, she didn’t know what to expect - of course, it looked like shady behaviour so perhaps she found the culprits, and if they were, what on Earth would she do? She’d probably want to kill them with her own hands, wrap them in shadows to hold for questioning before doing anything impulsive.
Yet, the scene before her was certainly nowhere near to what she had in mind; and it frustrated her that she was unable to keep her cool - her voice and physical reaction giving her way. She was never one to be scared and in all honesty, if she wasn’t the maternal woman she was, her alternative personality appeared; people were often scared of her. Perhaps now was when she needed Carmel to come out, to protect her for whatever was meant to come next; she had lived with this personality for so long, yet she still didn’t quite know how to wake the woman up. Carmel always came out when she least expected it; and clearly now wasn’t the time. Diya closed her eyes and exhaled, only to reopen them and at least force a stern look towards the tiger despite the fact that just the mere sight of the therian was triggering her. “Now” She emphasised her words, almost as if she was talking to a stubborn child.
Nadiya steadied herself when he moved off the other Valkyr to change back behind the bins; her eyes bored into the man who eventually stood up and appeared shifty. “You, you are not going anywhere” She stood up straighter now, and moved away from the wall to block one of the two escape routes. It was almost a stare off, he was not one she recognised - he would be a new customer and a new customer on the day that two people died did not pose well for her; it made him her number one suspect. Diya was taken away from her thoughts and what she should do with the mysterious man when the voice came trailing out behind the bin and she couldn’t help but snort. “You are naked in a pleasure house, I have seen my fair share of the male anatomy” She cooed, crossed her arms for a moment before narrowing her eyes in thought; they certainly couldn’t hold any investigative talks here, or use any torturous motions out in public, nevermind how enclosed they were.
“My security should have got everyone to leave by now, and the girls back in their rooms. We can head to one of the private suites” She eventually announced, and rolled her finger for the Valkyr to follow her. She knew if he tried to run as her back was turned, the Tiger would pounce; he clearly had something against him. Nadiya guided the group, her eyes shifting as she entered the room which had not yet been cleaned and she turned to the other Valkyr whilst the tiger got dressed. “What's your name? Hm? I don’t think I have ever seen you here before?”
He knew he probably shouldn't have gone on a solo mission like this without backup or having another plan to pull in case something went wrong. But Henri could be slightly impulsive at times, he never even thought about the repercussions on this. This mission was mostly personal to the therian himself because the female he was hunting and chasing down just so happened to leave a lasting effect on him a few years ago. It was hard enough to trace her down in daylight, much less at night time. So when he saw the window of opportunity, he took it. Unfortunately, she already made a mess and she wasn't even there in person, who knows what she'd do if that was the case? He couldn't get to her but at least this man he was currently holding onto might have something that would lead him to her. He had to at least try. There was no other way. With his fangs still bared at the other male who looked like he would rather be somewhere else, he almost didn't expect to be interrupted. Keyword being almost.
Normally, he wouldn't really mind anything and would most likely scamper as soon as someone sees him like that. But not now. The man is way too valuable for him to just leave there so if playing along is what he needed to do, then so be it. At the insistence of her demanding for him to revert back to his normal form, Henri sighed to himself and complied. If one were to hear inside his head, they probably could have heard the tiger grumbling the words in between fine and goddammit. His cheeks were slightly flushed when she said nudity didn't exactly phase her, "Still, I'm a decent person not to display myself out in the open like this" he mumbled absentmindedly, prancing around naked in front of a stranger is honestly the last thing he had in mind despite his usual compositions. Reverting back to his human form meant he was naked but he always had his bag that contained his clothes with him. He would just have to work with whatever he could now.
"I could be naked at a morgue where the people who worked there probably had their fair share of cleaning the human corpses too and it still wouldn't change anything" he added. He nodded to himself when she said they could talk in a better space afterwards. Henri waited for a brief while before trailing behind sneakily. He got dressed quickly and found his way to the said suite, closing the door behind him as he eyed the other male in the room, "He won't talk easily" he scoffed and narrowed his hues at the said person while growling gently. "I had his left ankle in my mouth earlier and he still wouldn't budge so…" Speaking of which, his gaze was cast downwards, the stranger's lower part of his pants, especially on his left side, was indeed covered in blood. He left a mark, that's for sure.
A series of muttered rumbled beneath her exhale as she guided the two men towards one of the suites; her eyes shifted to the corners of her sockets to make sure the other Valkyr was behind her - because it didn’t take genius to figure out that it was him who killed two of her girls for the sake of doing so. Yet, perhaps she was being too trusting - particularly with the Therian; who was to say it wasn’t him that had killed her workers, after all, she had not seen either of these two men in her establishment before. Nadiya groaned internally as she realised she probably should’ve walked behind the two to make sure neither of them could flee the scene; Diya truly didn’t want to get the police involved in this. She wanted to somehow sweep this under the rug as respectfully as she could - besides, if she needed to get someone in, she could call upon her friend Logan who worked for the ECPD.
Once she had entered the room, she turned on her heels to watch the two men follow after her and glanced between the two of them. Diya could cut the tension or at least the testosterone in the room with the knife and rolled her eyes dramatically; however, the roll was somewhat cut short as the aroma of blood teased her nostrils. Her gaze dropped to the Valkyr’s ankles and saw the blood seeping through and staining his jeans - now, blood was blood to her, and it drove her crazy but it was only intensified after she tasted Damien’s blood a few months ago. “For fuck sake, do something about that before I do” She hissed at the other Valkyr, her jaw aching as she craved to wrap her teeth around the fresh wound.
Nadiya swallowed hard as she began to salivate at the sweet aroma which continued to tempt her; her nails picked at her sleeves just to try and distract herself from waking Carmel who would be all over the Valkyr like a rash. Which, it wasn’t completely wrong to say that, that wouldn’t happen particularly if he was the one to have killed within her home. “Why does he need to talk?” She replied to the therian with a quirked brow. “How do you know him? And why, why did you both feel the need to do whatever the fuck happened out there?” Her control over her emotions was weakening, her voice began to rise in pitch. “Not to mention, one of you killed two of my workers! Why should I let either of you out of here alive?”
He had to admit, of all the things he had expected to happen tonight, or at least even the smallest possibility of what might happen, this was definitely not on the list. Not even close. But he didn’t have anything to argue about, one, she’s the owner of the place he ‘supposedly’ trespassed and the least he could do is behave in a well-mannered pose after he caused trouble in her premise. Besides, he needed to interrogate the male. He had the chance to flee and drag the suspect with him but he didn’t want to leave a bad impression with the female Valkyr, it wouldn’t be good on his look if he fled the scene honestly. The last thing Henri wanted to do is to make him look like he’s the shadiest person there. Technically, he didn’t commit any wrong in this. He noticed the reaction she had crossed over her features when he followed her gaze to something he did earlier, ah right… the fresh wound he left as a mark to the other Valkyr in the room.
Any other day, he would’ve been so smug to know he was able to inflict such damage but judging from her tone and frustration, Henri figured it would be better to comply. So he did. He went over and spared the male a dirty look before wrapped the wound with a fresh cloth, he’s an Ailward guard, if he didn’t know basic first aid, then he’d be damned. Though, he did wonder why she looked as if she was about to go into a frenzy when it’s their own kind. Question for another time, maybe. “You okay? The wound should stop bleeding but this guy right here is gonna have a trip down painland because I bit hard.” He always bites hard. When asked why he did what he did, Henri sighed and took a seat nearby, “Well long story short, like how the authorities go to arrest the offenders, I’m the same. This guy did something wrong, or at least his… employer did” he purposely hissed at the word employer while narrowing his hues toward the said person, clearly he didn’t like that he had to drag it out like this.
Torturing wasn’t his forte but he’s a guard, what wouldn’t he do? Interrogation, however, that’s his second nature. “Sorry I caused chaos but he was going to get away and I can’t get him in this form” he basically admitted that he was much like a dog waiting to bite his target, but isn’t that what he actually is? He’s a big dog, at the end of the day anyway. “I don’t particularly know him personally, I’m just hunting his master who caused a lot of trouble and he won’t give her up” he grumbled dismissively, “She doesn’t care about you, you know… she never cared about anyone before. That’s why she’s notoriously known to be a cold-hearted bitch.” He quickly raised his hands up in defense when she got louder, “Don’t look at me, I wasn’t the one who killed them. I’m here hunting him down, why would I have the motive to hurt another?”