Harley made her way through the streets, her eyes drinking in the town she had for so long avoided so much as setting foot within. The houses were thrown together in close succession which made breaking in fairly easy, she found the one owned by the named target and climbed slowly through some scaffolding to peer in the window.
She slid into a crack and looked down onto the street, on time a small thin woman made her way out shouting something back into the house then closing the door and heading off up the street, Harley slid from her hiding place, then to a window, she pulled her knife and eased open the window before tucking the knife away and slipping in to the house.
While Harley made her way through the town, Domi was not far. He kept to the roofs, dressed in dark clothing with soft-soled shoes to keep his silence, she had remained composed thus far and Domi was pleased with this. On the house across the street, he lay down on his stomach, fixed watching within the house.
Harley crept through the bedroom, easing open the door and peering out listening, the house seemed quiet. She made her way back and began peering through various drawers, she was careful as she picked through various items before replacing each where it had been before.
She was so caught up in her search she never heard him approach only realising when he grabbed her hair and dragged her back causing her to yelp.
“What the fuck are you doing in my house,” He barked angrily, dragging her back and pushing her toward the window, his other hand now reaching to further restrain her.
As he grabbed her wrist she spun throwing him clear over her shoulder, his path yanking a chunk of her hair from her head as he fell, as she followed him to the floor, pulling her knife as he hit the ground planting herself on his chest her knife now to his throat “You shouldn’t sneak up on heavily armed women, and on any other day I would have cut your throat, lucky for you those aren’t my instructions so considering you just grabbed a girl by the hair and tried to beat her,”
“You broke into my house? And I’m at fault?” He spat back struggling beneath her.
“Please don’t make me hurt you, because I will and then I have a whole lot of questions to answer, and I don’t want to disappoint Aerian,” Harley sighed darkly as her eyes found his now, there was a coldness within as she looked at him “But if you try anything stupid, I will kill you, but you don’t seem the stupid kind,”
Harley slid back and stood to offer her hand, as he took it he pulled her, causing her to stumble, her head snapping off the window frame and she passed out.
The actions that followed after Harley’s head struck the window frame were quick. Domi appeared in the open window, catching her before her body hit the ground. His dark eyes fixed on this man, while the squat jar and long black hair were pulled back. “We are not here to steal. Though, why we are you should be concerned.” He easily scooped Harley up in his strong arms to place upon the bed, turning to face this man. “We have been hired to investigate, infidelity. What do you have to say about such?”
“So my wife sent the cute redhead to see if I’d jump into bed with her?” The man shook his head with a cold chuckle “And then she pulls a knife? And yet I’m in the wrong here? How does that work? It’s my home and I defended myself against an armed intruder, I’m sure our lawmakers will see I have done no wrong? My wife is a stubborn woman, and I do apologise for harming your poor girlfriend, but my wife has no proof of any wrongdoing and simply wishes to take my children and my home from me, I am a faithful man good sir, but my wife seems to lack the desire in the bedroom so to speak, so on occasion I will pay to serve my needs,”
“On the contrary, we have not stolen or harmed you. She merely defended herself, after all, you are a very large man in comparison. Needless to say, why do things lack in the bedroom between you and your wife? Is that the reason she wants to take everything from you? Because you go to the bed of another when you should fix the issue at home instead?”
“She doesn’t like sex, it’s a chore to her, one to add to feeding and cooking and all the other things a woman does each day, while I tend to horses and ensure the horses get to the relevant stables, she does not enjoy the act and I am rather fond of it,” He shrugged in reply now as he stared at Harley and the river of blood that now soaked into her hair “So who did my wife hire to end my life? And why am I not dead if that was girls’ intent?”
Domi already had busied himself with trending to Harley’s injured head, cleaning it up with a cloth and binding it tightly to stop the bleeding. “We do not believe in straight killing. There is a side to every story, we investigate each. I do not understand a woman that does not enjoy sex. But to turn it around as she has, there is no wonder. She will not have expected us to investigate. Though I need something from you. I need the name of a woman that you have slept with and the name of the establishment. I assume this lady of the night knows the reason you sought them out.”
“They take the money, and they spread their legs, it’s a fairly simple concept so I believe she is aware of my reasons, but Amber of the Mouldy Shark should be able to inform you of our dealings,” He replied flatly.
Harley groaned as she stirred the world coming into focus as she mentally checked herself before looking to Domi “What, where did you come from? Holy crap what hit me?” she breathed sharply feeling the pain that splitting at her head “You’ve spent more time patching my sorry ass up than anyone else in our group,”
The man simply stared at her as he looked from her Domi his nerve now clearly shaken as he stepped back toward the door.
Domi chuckled looking to Harley, “that I have.” He moved over to support her in a ride, taking his time to allow Harley to gather her bearings. “We’ve gotten information, it is time to move on to the final part of our investigation. Time to go to the Mouldy Shark.”
Harley looked to the man with a dark smile “Don’t go running, I hate having to chase a kill, makes me all kinds of cranky, and this you get for free, but if we come for you, I won’t be so nice,” She leant into Domi as they made their way from the house.
Aerian leant in Virra kissing her cheek gently as they made their way into the tavern, the Mouldy Shark was dark and dingy, the smell of sweat and beer ran rampant enough to throw Aerians stomach as she swallowed down the feeling in her gut. Silently they made their way to corner table as they settled a thin wiry woman made her way toward them.
“I’m .. um that is to say my name .. are you my contact?”
Virra scooped Aerian to settle in her lap, while fingers idly traced the fiery woman’s abdomen. Together,h a silent reminder of their current state, she kissed Aerian’s neck with a nibble to her lobe just as the wiry woman arrived. Perching her chin on Aerian’s shoulder drinking her in with a gesture to the empty chair. “Yes. I have things to do. So let’s keep this short and to the point. You know your husband is cheating on you. Why? Why would he do such?”
“My husband has grown tired of our life, he seems to have acquired the thought a woman’s place is on her knees before him, a servant to his whim, and lately he goes out late spends the evening with a woman, I do not blame this woman he can be charming when he wants something but my husband has broken his vows. But should I try to take a more legal route he will take everything from me and I will be left with nothing, I cannot allow that, not to the likes of him,” The woman spoke quickly but there was uncertainty in her voice as she stared at the lovers.
“So he is simply with another woman and you do not wish to lose your home? Hiring a contract killer is a little overkill, but hiring us? That is another level of hatred you know that right. We don’t tend to play nice, your husband disappears into the wind and you have nothing left but the guilt of knowing you’re the reason he’s gone?” Aerian replied softly “But truthfully I do not see sufficient cause to intervene, there are plenty of contract killers that will do this for you, leave quite a mess to clean up but for us, I don’t see a reason,”
“Please miss, I wanted the best, my husband, his demands are I serve at all times, to drop my panties whenever he desires, an act that is for lovers not because one or the other merely seeks to get off, my children will be left with this man, my daughter will likely end up a slave or I fear worse,”
Virra watched her, while a hand snuck to cup one of Aerian’s mounds this was slow and deliberate to cause more unease to the woman. “Do you love him? Let me elaborate, did you love him ever in your marriage? Perhaps he has money and could provide.”
“I did for a long time, and he loved me, but time has taken its toll, I no longer find pleasure in sex and I think he resents me for that. It’s not easy to deal with him, but he has his ways now. He seems intent to ensure we bow to him, I am a slave to him, not a wife,” She sighed deeply “But I did love him, I do love him, just not as I should,”
“Then you cannot find fault in the fact that he searches out others to relieve his sexual tension. Much better than to force it upon you.” Virra said calmly, lowering her hand. “You speak of love as though it shouldn’t be. He is your husband, of course, there are things you may not wish to do but make him happy in doing so. Vice versa. This to me is no reason to put him to death. But we will meet with the others to see if the stories coincide and go from there.”
“I would agree we have no grounds to intervene, we don’t just kill because we are paid to do so, no matter the rumours about us, The Ever Present is the balance between the law and lawless, we step in when the law cannot act but the guilty must feel the bite of justice. I would like to help you truly I would, you could take your children and you can leave anytime you wish, based on what we know he cannot prevent you doing so, your fear is been homeless but that we can fix,”
The woman stared at Virra then Aerian “I would be an outcast, you know marriage in the Everlands is binding to break that I would be worth nothing, my children would be nameless and forgotten,”
“In almost every city in the Everlands yes, save a few, Dentarius being one, my father has never seen a family on the streets, he wouldn’t allow it, there would be work too, money to pay your own way and your husband would be an idiot to chase you,”
“Unless your father is Kane Elcarus then running to Dentarius would serve me about as well as remaining with my faithless husband,” She snapped coldly, frustration creeping into her words now.
Virra intervened before Aerian could speak further. “The choice is yours. We have given you options. It is not your place to question. So what will it be? The chance to start over or be condemned to a life of unhappiness? A fate that may doom your children.”
“And when he follows? To take my children?” The woman sighed softly
“He will have to answer to Dentarian Law, which thankfully is its own separate from the rule of the Everlands. Times are changing my mother has the crown to herself no more High Council placing the power with the wealthy or the self-serving, in time no one will need to fear their homes being taken because a marriage just doesn’t work. As for right now, I told you we are very good at making people disappear, and it won’t be long before I have the final information on your husband and we leave. You were to pay a small fortune to kill your husband now I’m offering you a better use for that money,” Aerian replied softly “The Ever Present is the balance between truth and justice, if your words are the truth then we will serve justice, you have a day to think,”
Aerian paused as she saw Domi and Harley enter the tavern, before looking to Virra and nodding to them, “Will you excuse us for a moment,”
When Aerian stood Virra patted her bottom and then joined the other two, kissing Domi. Though noticed the bandage on Harley’s head, incoming a brow but for the moment left it unmentioned. “What have you found?”
Domi shifted his weight looking to the table where the woman sat. “It seems both are unhappy in their marriage. He went to other means because his wife doesn’t enjoy sex. I see no reason to take a life.”
“Nor do we, seems like they are in different places and simply cannot find common ground, but what the hell happened to you?” Aerian stated looking to Harley
“Oh, nothing, I was looking through his stuff he jumped me, cracked my head open, left me unconscious, but he’s still alive, he said we’d find some girl called Amber who could vouch for his actions, which led Domi and me here,” Harley replied with a shrug “He’s a slimy bastard, and I wouldn’t trust him with a pet fish let alone a family, are you sure we shouldn’t kill him?”
Aerian didn’t reply simply looked to Domi “So we’ll keep the wife here, while you speak to this Amber chick? Then we can make a final decision?”
Domi nodded, glancing at Harley. “Come on, girl.” He said, catching her arm, guiding her to the bar, leaning over to tap the top to attain the tenders attention. “Looking for Amber.”
The barmaid looked up “She’s in room 4, up the stairs,”
Harley smiled and nodded before leading Domi off and up the stairs.
Amber was laid out on the bed as she stared at Harley and Domi entering “It’s extra for a threeway darlen, though the fellas kinda cute, or does he just wanna watch?” She rolled onto her side with a smile the dress that held every curve struggled to follow her movement as she looked at Harley “Or is it you that want’s to watch darlen? Either deal is fine with me but it’s an extra twenty per cent on whatever they told you downstairs,”
Domi closed the door behind him. “While you are a pretty thing, I’ll have to decline, my heart is to two stunning women. We here about a client of yours. Before you start with you can’t, his life lays at your feet.”
“I see, well that comes with a price as well, a lady shouldn’t kiss and tell, not good for business,” Amber replied softly watching Harley carefully.
“Andreas Whitewind” Harley stated firmly
“Slimy prick, likes to slap me around call me his wife’s name,” She smiled darkly “Lucky for me he doesn’t last very long,”
Domi considered Amber, removing a rolled up parchment and pencil. “Can you write an anonymous witness of character? Any other girls witness to this or just you? Compensation will be in order, do not worry, your name will never be brought up or any others. I can assure you.”
Amber sat slowly her eyes watching Domi calmly as she thought on his words before she took the parchment, “Every girl here has had dealings with him, after the last incident they sent him to me exclusively,” She smiled revealing the fangs beneath “We vampires can heal much quicker, Linnie was hurt pretty bad by his antics, broken arm, ribs, and bruising that took weeks to go down, we are a substitute in his words so he doesn’t harm his wife, he gets off on the pain,”
Harley shuddered as Amber spoke her eyes closed as she sighed softly “You’d almost believe he loved his wife in that case, though doesn’t excuse his behaviour women are property to him, to be used in whatever fashion he sees fit,”
“He talks about her, in a good way, she takes care of the house and the children but the bedroom that is a different story,” Amber replied softly “He only seeks to serve his needs, the women are irrelevant, though this is true of most men,”
“Most men. Not all.” Domi commented, hesitating for a moment. “I do realize, not all the women will speak to us. Could you pass this witness of his behaviour around for the women place their experiences? Yes, I agree. No one deserves such ill-treatment. Even if it is a profession. This is considered battery and assault.”
“Beginning to think I should have just killed him when he attacked me,” Harley muttered coldly before she smiled softly “We’ll be in the bar for a little while longer, once you have the information we will get it to the people it needs to be with, but I can promise he won’t be bothering you again,” She looked to Domi before she made her way to the door and then back out into the bar.
The girls had returned to the booth with the wife and were now in conversation as Harley made her way toward them.
Domi watched Harley carefully, though spoke nothing. Upon returning to the table, Domi spoke first. “It is best that you go into protective custody within Dentarius walls. You and the children.”
Virra looked from Harley to Domi. “Very well. What do you say?” She looked to the woman.
“I take it there was a development?” Aerian asked looking to Domi
“Yes,” Domi said calmly, as he settled down at the table. He looked to the wife for a moment, then to Aerian and Virra. “There has indeed. It is best that we get this woman and her children to safety. Her husband is a ticking time bomb.”
Aerian contemplated Domi’s words for a few minutes, as she settled back into Virra “I think we will need to have strong words with him, while assassination still isn’t required he needs to be warned going after them is a bad idea, and that we will be watching him from here on out.”
“We should kill him, he is a risk to any woman he comes into contact with, he is a danger Aerian he beat a girl half to death because he didn’t want to beat his wife,” Harley sighed softly as she stared at the woman before them.
“Oh he’s hurt me before now, while we were intimate he would get violent, then he would apologise and I would forgive him until I learned he wasn’t going to stop hurting me so I avoid sex when I can,” The woman replied softly.
“No. Harley, I’ve seen men like this. His crime is violence against women. This is punishable by death but in the means of the law. He is a loose cannon, our priority is the safety of his wife and children.” Domi stated. “We are gathering evidence from witnesses. This is all needed to incarcerate him.”
“Is it really? I hate to say this, but, I in terms agree with Harley. He won’t stop.” Virra commented.
“Need I remind you, we are the law when the law won’t step in? Now, that being said, the law hasn’t been made aware of his crimes. She wanted him dead because he was cheating not because of abuse.” Domi growled it was clear he was losing his cool, Aerian has never seen such.
“Fine. We need to get you to Dentarius. Leave anything you don’t need behind.” Virra responded to Domi’s frustration. “In the law or without. You need a new life.”
“We will arrange transport, be ready by noon tomorrow,” Aerian stated firmly watching the woman before she turned to Domi “We will take what evidence we have and turn it over to the authorities, but make sure we have a second copy sent to my father, I suspect he will follow her and when he does I want the evidence in my father’s hand to remove him from the picture as quickly as possible, but I’m sure another visit from us will perhaps stay his hand for now,”
“Thank you, truly,” The woman stated softly before moving from her seat and heading out of the door. Harley watched her leave before lowering her head “I see why you won’t act, but neither will the authorities here, as long as he doesn’t kill anyone they won’t care, and he’s been stupid but not reckless, even this place handed him off to vampire to ensure no one ends up dead.”
“And if he chooses to go after them we will act, my father, doesn’t settle for violence against women, or endangering a child, he will find the inside of a dentarian cell quicker than he can strike a woman, his crimes are horrid but they still don’t justify murder,” Aerian replied calmly though there was an edge in her words.
“So what he’d have to hit the damn kids before you act? This is what we are to become, we’ll steal and we’ll play the cards we have but hey beat a woman, rape your wife and we’ll sit idly by?” Harley growled angrily
“If he had harmed the children then we would act, but Harley, he is harming other women whom he sees as less because they are working girls, and he is harming them to avoid harming his wife, it’s a bad situation we don’t need to make worse if we kill him then she will suffer and so will the children, how is that better for them?” Aerian replied softly
Virra scooted Aerian off her lap, kissing each, Aerian and Domi. “I’ll keep watch over her this evening. Her husband will not take kindly to our known presence…I’m not willing to put her in danger, nor her children. You, Domi and Harley, stay would he return to raise his hand to another working girl. I’m the most stealthy to be a silent guard,”
“Just be careful baby please, the rest of us will prepare to have her moved and get our information into the right hands, we will see to her safety from him in the future,” Aerian added as she stood beside them.