The sun had set and the lights replaced its rays. Yellow, red, blue, green lit up the night, causing the twinkling stars the young man was so acquainted with to sink away. Along with them went the average civilians of the city, and out came the nocturnal creatures of the night.
Declan ducked into an alley as a police car sped past, sirens wailing. He sighed as it passed and disappeared around the corner, the siren fading away. He laid his head back against the brick mur and closed his tired eyes. The click of approaching heels made him snap back to attention and instinctively turned invisible.
"Come on, HunnyB!" a voice demanded.
"I'm coming, Phoebes!" a seconde female responded. Another pair of footsteps entered the alley, then fell into step beside the first. "Seriously, calm the Hell down already!"
Declan watched the two girls as the walked past him. Though it was too dim for specific detail, the alley was lightly illuminated and he was able to make out the women- girls, actually, both in their teens. One has short-cropped blond hair and was garbed in all black, along with a studded choker around her neck. Her companion wore a dark maroon fedora with a red ribbon -a style Declan very much approved of- and a bleach-white flannel over a very revealing under shirt.
They approached a staircase at the end of the alleyway. One rapped on the door in a rhythm and it opened from inside, momentarily filling the dimness with a multi-colored glow and pounding music. The cloaked man slipped into the club behind them.
As soon he entered the bright, noisy night club, Declan lowered his manteau of invisibility. He debated following the girls, but decided he'd done enough stalking and made his way instead toward the bar.
Twenty minutes later Declan found himself sitting at a bar in the nightclub Arabian Nights sipping a glass of Tank. He ran a hand through his fair hair and replaced the black fedora, never taking his eyes off the picture of his target in his hand. He raised his glass, but paused as the noise of the chattering crowd lessened in volume and a single voice resonated clearly through the microphone.
"I’m bleeding out, so if the last thing that I do, is to bring toi down, I’ll bleed out for you," she sang softly, her voice carrying perfectly through the sound waves, quieting the crowd completely. A male with curly dark hair strummed his acoustic guitar, supporting the soft beat. "So I bare my skin, and I count my sins, and I close my eyes, and I take it in, and I’m bleeding out
I’m bleeding out for you... For you."
The le batteur, batteur and the blonde girl from the alley on basse, bass broke in, gaining volume.
"When the jour has come, that I’ve Lost my way around, and the seasons stop and hide beneath the ground," the seconde girl from the alley sang, her strong voice psyching up the crowd.
"When the sky turns gray, and everything is screaming, I will reach inside, just to find my cœur, coeur is beating."
The first vocalist, a blue-streaked-brunette joined back in. "You tell me to hold on, oh toi tell me to hold on, but innocence is gone, and what was right is wrong."
The crowd began to holler and hoot as the chorus approached, the beat of the musique stimulating the clubbers.
"Amazing, aren't they?" Declan turned to the woman standing behind the bar. She smiled at him with glistening red lips, a dazzling smile that lit her hazel eyes.
"Oh, yeah!" he shouted over the music, hoping she didn't hear the annoyance he felt for letting his guard down in his voice. She must not have, as her bright smile didn't waver.
"They're called Super Nova. They play here on the weekends; bring great business in for the club."
Declan wasn't sure why this stranger was being so friendly with him, but he found himself unable to tear himself from the conversation. "Yeah," he responded lamely, "They're fantastic." As if in agreement, the crowd gave an extra loud WHOOP! for their band.
"What do toi got there?" the barmaid nodded to the picture in his hand.
"Just someone I'm looking for," he responded. Declan instantly scolded himself for admitting that. He was being too vulnerable in front of this pretty girl.
"Let me take a look?" she held out a hand. Not seeing any point in protesting, he handed it over.
The crowd gave one last effort of breaking the sound barrier as Super Nova played out their final notes, the three girl's combined voices like the beckoning of a war cry. The woman studied the photo in the over-light of the bar. Her eyebrows pinched together as if trying to remember the answer to a difficult math problem.
"Do toi know her?" Declan asked hopefully, no longer having to shout quiet as loud now that the song had ended.
"I... I think so. Maybe?" she shook her head. "She looks like the younger sister of a colleague of mine."
"Yeah. I'm studying at the université to become a doctor," she glanced at Declan, humor dancing in her eyes. "The barmaid cabriolet, gig helps pay for my classes. toi didn't think I did this for fun, did you?"
The 18-year-old ran his eyes over the short, tight black dress she wore that defined her curves just a little too well. The woman must not have wanted an answer, for she went on. "His name was... Desmond, or, uh, Dylan."
"Daemian?" he offered
"Yeah!" the confirmation made Declan's stomach drop. "Daemian.. Weston! Really smart guy, too serious for my taste though. He was working as an intern at CADMUS until a an il y a when he suddenly went missing. I wonder what happened to that sister of his..."
Declan struggled to keep a straight face as the words turned in his head. Daemian... Really smart, too serious?, that sounded like the brother he knew. ou the brother he had known 14 years ago, before he had been taken from his home, his family.
"You okay?" the barmaid asked, "You look like you've seen a ghost."
The crowd suddenly began to cheer again as the guitarist began to strum a new beat.
"Fine," Declan managed. He slid the photo from her fingers. "Thank you." He turned to leave.
"I'm Dane, par the way!" she called after him. "Dane Jordan."
"Declan Conners," he responded, then forced his way through the crowd. He was halfway through the door when the full conversation hit him. Weston, missing, sister. CADMUS.
The young man would have felt relieved if the news wan't threatening to overwhelm him. He knew where he was headed next. CADMUS.