It was like a sequence of steps, one naturally segueing into another; enter conflict, enter murder, then a promise of revenge and the possession of power. And then: the cork board he’d draped over the wall in his old room in his home which he shared with his lover, and which he had adorned, shortly upon it being mounted, with every photograph and a newspaper clipping seemingly random to anyone who saw. All attached together by strings: red for direct association (guilt), yellow for suspected, green for underlings that would be a problem, white for everyone innocent despite their distant connection. Blue was miscellaneous. He wouldn’t explain a word. It was hung on his wall, as wide as his person was tall. As tall as the half of its width, stretching still with enough of an overbearing character it looked like a miniature map of this world. Scaled not to threaten and frightening the spectator regardless possibly due to every pin through every face in every individual corner and scattered throughout the middle. A mapping not of the literal world, but a small, secluded part of it usually known as: the black market.
But only its branch of sorts.
Malakai stepped back from the view most would have pinned with concern, grabbed his jacket and he was off. Down the streets of San Francisco but he began choosing his paths without caution. Barred it when he put himself into the streets full of vagrants. A warren of criminals as it was known, a den of casual, mortal evil since it had nothing quite on the size of the sort that lurked in the genuine and ashen below. Hell had its ways of bleeding over into this world, and Malakai didn’t deny: he had walked over to the gates to both worlds and smoked there, for whiles after. Like he could have summoned the angel and demon that guarded both and when he approached, he swore he had felt it some, the flutter of swings and the silent, warning:
He had not. But he walked down the streets of the city back on the point, at least the parts of it not too populated by anything incredibly well-intended, and ducked into a place well known. The Rusty Nail. An edgy name for an edge-less shithole. But Malakai wouldn’t complain. Inside, he ordered, grabbed a drink he wouldn’t empty at all, and sat himself with a backwards lean at one of the available tables, looking the part of a man too fatigued to talk although with a beguiling, great sharpness to him that easily discouraged just anyone from a lofty approach. Legs out, his hand around the drink he wouldn’t put to his mouth, and he knew he’d not have to wait long.
Sell information and collect information. He’d hardly learned this from his Hutton. Although he appreciated the man’s guidance, and even the meddling concern from the fatherly figure not to continue to get himself involved. It was thanks to Hutton he was enhanced overall. A flesh binding that had been performed in repeat to stack it, the strength, the speed, the senses of a supernatural being and then one borrowed ability, adding to what Malakai dully stated made for an over-powered individual. Whoever needed this much power?
If not someone out to get their vengeance?
When she approached, he’d sensed her. A whiff of magic ‘round her but it was vague enough, generic enough he couldn’t tell what species she was. She must have seen him order, or even sit down at his table for she tracked him, with her eyes, with her presence, and then she was at his table, sitting down without a given invitation.
A customer, then.
His eyes didn’t even narrow. Stern and neutral, they pinned themselves on her--
“Speaking,” he rigidly answered. He leaned forward. Arms folded on the table between ‘em and his drink ignored evidently and again, his one arm remaining on the table but the other lifted to place his fingers at his temples, giving him an appearance of a thoughtful philosopher.
Although with the cutting, severe acuity of a general, with the green of his eyes appearing unusually sable.
Must have been the place they were, or the lack of an emotional response.
He noted her, however, in every manner a person could be noted.
Her scent and the dark magic around her, pinning her a supernatural.
As was he.
Filled to brims with magic, his core thrumming with energy. Hadn’t he branded himself with a rune right on the top of his hand at the moment, spelled to hide his presence, he’d have been ranking up the joint with magic ready to overflow. At least his wouldn’t kill him, if he deigned not to practice it again in the future.
His attention was on her.
“I am assuming,” he spoke, in a chilly, inflection-less drawl, “that if you have addressed me, you know who I am--”--unlikely--”--or you suspect you do, and either way you want something of me. Very well.”
He wasn’t wearing a very well expression.
Too cold and devoid of any emotion. Too intense, regardless. And focused on: her.
“What is it?”
And when he asked this, it was with a cluck of his tongue, and then: silence.