Chapter 1:- The meeting
D closed her eyes and swayed her hips to the sound of the pop-screamo music pulsing from the stereo system. The leathers she wore creaked softly as she danced, moving her body to the music in a hypnotic trance. The lights of the club beamed off the mirrors that covered the walls, ricocheting off the dancers and drunks' chains and piercings. Hard set bouncers in security tee's and jeans hovered near the bar and the exits glaring impatiently into the crowd daring one of the patrons to be stupid enough to try something.
She came to this club often. It was the only place in her life that she could be without a single thought in her head. Here she let her mind free and set her body on autopilot. Granted a bit like Cinderella she'd have to leave at midnight. The bills didn't get paid by dancing in clubs all night. She worked two jobs and went to the local community college. She didn't mind the work, she didn't mind the schooling, but after awhile it melted into one unending monotonous haze.
She had to take care of her sister being the only family she had after the accident. D had just turned eighteen when the accident had happened that took her mother away and D sure as hell wasn't sending her baby sister to a foster home. Luckily for D her sister was a social butterfly and went to her friend's house almost every weekend. Sympathy tried to make things as easy as she could for her and D and awkward weekends alone with her sister didn't quite work into that plan.
As the song ended D stepped off the floor and walked to one of the private booths that covered two of the wall from the entrance to the emergency exit and sat curled in the corner watching the crowd move in an unending sea of bodies. She often snuck into the club. The bouncers and bartenders left her alone as long as she didn't cause trouble and turned their heads when she bought a drink.
She and the owner had met a few years ago back when she was still in high school; he was a smart man who went by the name Marcus Saints, or "Saint" by the locals. Saint had the right connections and she had been there for his son when Hayden had been beaten and left for dead in a back alley of some dark corner on Bourbon Street. He was an old fashioned type of guy, an eye for an eye and a life for a life, or a life for a valid all-access pass into his club, minor or not. For the most part she kept her head down and simply danced.
D lolled her head back onto the cushion of the booth and closed her eyes dropping her mind into the darkness as she bobbed her head to the beat of the song. Opening her eyes again she jerked back smashing her head into the wood at the top of the booth seat. Grabbing her head as her eyes began to water she glared up at the man standing over her table with a wicked smirk of amusement. D ground her teeth and forced her hands down onto the table and smiled a gorgeous smile despite the pain throbbing viscously away at the back of her head.
He had light colored hair, a deep honey hue to it in the light. His eyes were a green moss. It didn't surprise her, there were a lot of pretty California boys with the tanned skin and starlight hair but what struck her was the way he seemed to own the room. And he knew it.
He slid into the booth stretching his arms wide bracing them on the wooden top of the booth. As he slid closer D eyed Jazz, a buff looking bouncer with a nose ring and a patchwork quilt of tattoos wrapped around his arms at the edge of the bar, he gave her a slight nod keeping an eye on the stranger sitting next to D.
"So you're the infamous D? The one everybody always talks about here," he said conversationally. D just shrugged and leaned back into the cushion of the booth. She watched the dancers as she studiously ignoring the man beside her.
She was often bothered by men like this. It wasn't because she was beautiful in fact, she was actually quite plain, with short mud brown hair that just barely rimmed the edges of her face, pale almost ghostly flesh that emphasized even the smallest blemish that marred her skin, she was larger then most girls not in height she just barely pushed the scale at 5'7" instead, she was built a bit like a linebacker, broad shoulders, a large frame and a face that seemed to scream "I'll kill you if you look at me again" even when she was just trying to be friendly. It had always been a problem in her life, many people avoided her due to her looks.
No, the reason men came to her was because of the tasks she performed for them, given that they could pay her price. This was one of her two jobs, a modern mercenary, of sorts, killing for hire, protecting drug-traffickers, little weasels with to much money to spend, and anyone who could else who could afford her price and the instruments she required while on the job.
But the men she protected weren't worried about other humans, she didn't specialize in the killing of mortals at all, no, her specialty was protecting the damned from the creatures they had sold their souls to, creatures people only met in their dreams, the Hellings.
"Ya, I'm the infamous D, so what do you want?" She sat up straight and glared at the man across from her in a business like fashion. He looked at her with surprise, most people didn't expect her to be so direct, often she unnerved people with the way she stared directly into their eyes and got down to business.
"I'm Carver's contact I'm here to pick your up for you twelve o'clock appointment," He grinned like a child making a stupid little pun, already she wanted to sew his mouth shut. She hated wise-cracking idiots like this that thought they were being funny. People like this never understood the danger of the situation, they never understood it until they wake up to find their family or friends standing over their beds weapon in hand with pin-prick pupils and over-sized irises.
She pulled her pocket watch from the leather folds of her pocket. With a brief click she had it open, it was fifteen minutes before his scheduled arrival. With a vicious snap she closed the watch and stood up stalking pasted Jazz, exiting through the "staff only" door into the security lounge. As she waited for him to follow she leaned against the wall of lockers that covered one of the four walls of the room. While she was perfectly able to talk business in the main part of the club she did all transactions in the back. Saint allowed her to keep one of the lockers in which she kept all her tools and payments. It was an easy solution to the bank accounts and IRS problems. No trail, no problems.
He entered after her a few moments later followed by Jazz. The comparison between the two was almost comical. The buff killer verses the lanky California suffer. D had to smother a laugh and hide her face until she could contain herself, turning her attention back to the issue she got serious again. "Okay now down to the real business. Did Carver get the materials I requested?"
She noticed Jazz glaring at the golden boy. It wasn't unusual; he didn't take to people well. It was probably the reason they got along so well. She didn't trust most people, especially the good looking "I've never had a single problem in my entire life," kind. The golden boy's kind weren't to be trusted, they where used to getting their way and when they didn't they were likely to turn on you.
"Ya, he got all the stuff, though why you need so many mirrors I don't know. You sure as hell don't seem like the vain type, you actually look more like you avoid mirrors," he laughed at his little joke. She glared at him tilting her head until her brow shadowed her eyes giving her a demonic look. It was a useful trick, one she had learned when she was younger. She had always been bigger and stronger than the other kids when she was in elementary, junior high and even most of high school, at least until the boys had hit their growth spurts. She had always been a joke to the others. So, finally, she became what they wanted of her, she became the scary demon they had so long called her and eventually they left her alone.
The golden boy shut his mouth, instead choosing to pull a manila folder from the inside of his hoodie. D raised an eyebrow, she had no clue how he had managed to get the thing past security. He handed it to her and hopped on to the desk that held the computer and security system for the club only to be pushed off the desk by Jazz, who then took his place.
She opened the folder and examined a few of the rough sketches Carver had drawn. It wasn't much but it gave her an idea of what type of helling she was facing. She reached back into the folder and pulled out the thick wad of bills thumbed through them quickly; she pulled a random amount off and handed them to Jazz who pocketed the bills without comment. She checked her watch again, "its twelve J, your shifts over, you coming with, or are you going to wait until Jacob's back?" He paused a moment and looked at the analog clock at the back of the room. Lifting a hand to scratch the back of his head, his bluish black hair ruffled and reflected in the light giving off an almost purple aura around his head.
"Nah, they don't need me, it's a pretty docile crowd tonight. Brian and Tif can handle the crowd tonight until Jacob's back-," before Jazz could finish his sentence golden boy cut him off.
"Hell no, I'm here strictly to pick up the dyke not you as-," before he could finish the word Jazz had him against the back wall, his left fore arm had his chest pinned to the wall the right was across golden boys wind pipe closing it off.
"Do you really want to finish that sentence?" Jazz pressed harder against golden boy's throat making his face turn a deep shade of crimson before turning a plum purple. Golden boy somehow managed to nod. Jazz leaned in and whispered under his breath his eye seemed vacant like something out of a horror movie. "Be careful of who you insult next time, because not everyone is so nice about things," with a slam he released golden boy just as his eyes bulged and started to roll into the back of his head.
D eyed Jazz who shrugged and leaned back against the lockers before continuing. "Anyway Brian and Tif can handle the crowd. Jacob should be here in the next couple of minutes so it won't matter if I leave. Do you mind if I come with?" He pushed off the lockers and walked to his, unlocking the combination with quick practiced movements.
"No, I don't mind. Actually I think I might need your help this time. I don't trust Carver as far as I could throw that idiot over there," Jazz chuckled as they glance over to see the golden boy trying to regain some form of respiratory control.
"Word on the street is Carvers trying to go the good route. Think it'll last?"
"After I'm done, not a chance, he won't have any guilt left to hurt his petty little conscious. At least for a while at the rate he works." She watched as Jazz opened his locker and pull out one of his favorite hair band tee-shirts before stripping off his security tee. Any other girl would have been dumbed to a stop at the intricate tattoos that wound his toned body and even more at the grey wash wings that graced his back. But D wasn't any other girl.
Jazz threw his security tee into his locker before pulling on his Iron Maiden shirt. "And what happens then?" He grabbed his leather biker jacket from his locker. He kicked the door shut as he swung the jacket over his shoulders and slid his arms into the sleeves.
"I guess that's what repeat business is for," with that she turned to the still bug-eyed golden boy and slid her hand into his pocket and pulled the keys to an escalade from the depths. "Oh, looks like we're riding in style tonight." She grinned at Jazz who just rolled his eyes.
"I'm still taking Maggie, D. I don't trust idiots like him and their stupid car fetishes," he pulled the keys to his Honda shadow from his pocket and spun them on his index finger. She laughed as she took golden boy by the collar and dragged him out the back door into the darkened alley behind the club. D rolled her shoulders as the warm, humid, Louisiana air hit her. Jazz followed and walked to the back of the alley throwing a leg his bike that was almost invisible in the blackness. D turned the corner and walked onto the street as Maggie's engine echoed through the alley. D spotted the only escalade on the street and managed to manhandle golden boy to the car. With quick movements she had the car unlocked and had golden boy in the passenger seat.
Jazz rolled up next to D as she straightened. He pulled the lid to his helmet up and looked at her. "Where to?"
She held up a finger then leaned into the car bracing her arm against the passenger seat. "So…where to pretty boy?"
Golden boy glared at her as thee disorientation began to fade. "Bite me you ugly-" D grinned vindictively as he spewed a line of curses. She placed a hand on his bruised neck and squeezed threateningly.
"Don't tempt me pretty boy. See here, I don't work for you. I was hired by Carver and from what I hear he's much worse then me or Jazz here. If I don't show up for my, oh what did you call it? Oh, that's right, my 'twelve o'clock appointment' Carver's going to be really upset. What exactly do you think he's going to do to you then, hmm?" D knew she'd hit a nerve as his eyes widened and his pupils narrowed. Carver wasn't known for his forgiving spirit; in fact she wouldn't even have this job tonight if he did. "Ya, you want to go there with me golden boy?"
He shook his head and opened the glove compartment of the dash and pulled out a scrap of paper with the address on it. She snorted as she studied the address; it was a large residential area of New Orleans. She handed the paper to Jazz as she walked around the car and climbed into the driver seat. She buckled in before sliding the key into the ignition and leaned back as the engine purred to life. She looked over to the golden boy who ignored her as she smiled. "I guess we're off."