Chapter 4 - Double D Dice Club
Five in the morning
While Socrates was driving them to the Double D Dice club, Maximus remained focused while looking over the folder, reviewing each Vampire’s photos. Maximus didn’t get much sleep since he was nervous about the mission, though he did his best to keep that to himself. He kept looking over Raphael’s photo, the same Vampire who killed the teen couple. The image of his bloody fangs burned into his brain, along with how he killed them effortlessly and without remorse. It disturbed him. To think, he was the least dangerous out of the three. Maximus felt himself getting angry over the thought, so he decided to close his eyes and relax for the rest of the way. Socrates ended up stopping the van two blocks from the club, just at the end of the Nightlife District of Novatown. The neon lights of the club just now turned off. After turning off the engine, Socrates takes the pictures and looks at Maximus.
“There’s a slim chance the Vampires might be in there. If that’s the case, do not attack. They must be dealt with one by one. If you can get Ace to talk, then maybe he can provide us with something useful. Avoid the Kitsunes, especially Kate. Grab Ace, get out, then get the info. Got it?”
“I don’t even know how she looks like, or Ace.” Maximus said.
“Ace is the only Dark Drow in there, so that won’t be hard to figure out. Kate will most likely be the one closest to him since Kitsunes never like to be far away from their mates.”
Maximus nods while looking straight ahead, almost like a soldier. Socrates reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out a pair of brass knuckles though something about them looked off.
“Take this,” Socrates said while holding them out. Maximus looked over at them briefly before looking back to Socrates.
“I haven’t trained with them.” Maximus said.
“I trained you in combat. These only enhance the damage you inflict. Put it on.”
He takes it from Socrates then slips them on. The cool metal now between his fingers felt and looked good to him.
“Now click the sides together twice.” Socrates said.
He glances at Socrates again then does as he requested. Once he did, three-inch spikes spring out from it. From the looks of it, they were sharp.
“Holy Shit,” Maximus said in a shocked but pleased tone.
“Yeah, holy shit is right, don’t lose them.”
Maximus smiles as if he just got a birthday present, but soon after, it fades.
“Wait. I thought I’m just supposed to get Ace to talk, not kill the guy. Right?”
“Right. Those are just in case things go sideways. I’ll let you keep them if you don’t end up using them. Tap them again to make those spikes go back.”
Socrates pats his shoulder as a gesture for him to go, then says, “Now get your ass out of here.” Maximus opens the door then hops out.
“Oh, and Maximus, when you’re done with the mission tonight, make sure you come alone. We don’t need that type of heat following us home.”
Soon as he closes the door behind him, Socrates drives off. Maximus makes his way behind the club to a small dark alley with a single light above the rusty looking door. It wasn’t a pretty sight. When he grabs the doorknob, it’s, of course, locked. Out of habit, he glances around the alley before using his Lycan strength to turn the knob forcefully. After it snaps, the door slowly starts to open. Maximus decides to peek inside before going any further. It was utterly dark, but luckily he could still see. The hallway was short, with a left turn that led to some unknown part of the club. Maximus took a deep breath and proceeded, with only a small amount of light from outside coming in from behind. Once turning the corner, he could see that the hallway extended further down, some doors on each side. Even though it was still dark, he could see the rugs’ stains. The walls didn’t even have any picture frames either. It all made him feel like he was in a factory rather than a strip club. With everything noted, he continued at a slow pace, ready for anything. Once near the end, he saw a doorway with a large dark curtain acting as a door. When he approached it, he slowly moved it aside to reveal the central part of the club.
It was like day and night compared to the section he just passed. Above the center, a giant moon acted as a disco light with grayish light coming from it that worked like a nightlight since it was the only source of light left. Although this was a mission, he couldn’t help but be starstruck. The bar was huge, blue, and green mixed color made of marble. The see-through poles looked like it had water inside that resembled Aurora Borealis lights. The place was huge. The whole area even had dark purple carpets along with little booths for private dances. During his time of being amazed, he catches the leftover scent of Kitsunes. He assumed there were Kitsunes anyway. He then suddenly heard what sounded like a metal door open, so out of instinct, he slides on the floor and crawls under one of the tables. He peeked around till seeing a light shine from behind the bar counter just as a Kitsune comes out from under the counter and grabs one of the drinks displayed before going back down. The light faded out exactly when the same sound of metal getting shut echoed. After a moment, he gets up and slowly makes his way around the counter but saw nothing, no visible exit or entrance. As he examined the area some more, he stopped where the Kistunes scent was most vital. Once he stayed quiet and closed his eyes, he heard the faint sound of air coming from underneath him.
“There it is.”
He places his hands on the ground and feels around till feeling part of the surface that wasn’t balanced. When he pressed down, he heard a click before it slightly pops open enough to grab hold of, so he does just that. He could see wooden stairs leading about twenty feet or so down to where a dim orange light laid at the bottom after lifting it. The hallway below led straight out of his view, enough where there was no way of telling what was further without going down to see for himself. He glances at the brass knuckles in his hands then taps them to make the spikes retract into the brass knuckles before taking them off and putting them into his pocket.
After taking a deep breath, he begins his descent. Although the steps are of wood, it was healthy. Which meant no cracking sounds with each footstep. Once he made it downstairs, he could see the long hallway had no carpets, just a blueish marble stone floor. It was nerve-wracking to see such a one-way path. If anyone were to come out of the many doors, he would have no place to hide. With that thought running through his mind, he proceeded. As he did, he couldn’t help but notice each of the doors beside him had a purple color, with nicknames written in front of it, almost how a child would have it. One read, Bubbles, another, Skittles, another, Candy. Stripper names for sure, or rejected members of the Spice Girls. Once he reached the end of the hall, he saw a door with the word ”Ace” written in front.
Just as he goes for the knob, he spots an unusual door. It stood out from the rest and was only to the left of Ace’s door. It had no color, no name, just a plain door. Before he had time to process it, he heard a faint female moan coming from behind the door. It wasn’t the pleasurable type, but one of pain. He froze, Socrates’s words replaying in his head “The mission.” He sighs but then hears it again. Ace’s door was right in front of him, so he didn’t want to risk investigating the noise.
“It’s probably nothing.”
It wasn’t a confident thought, more like trying to convince himself to follow orders. Maximus struggles with himself till hearing the moan again, but he could have sworn he heard a male grunting after this time.
He opens the rusty looking door, and to his surprise, it leads further down. Only this time, it looked like the inside of a cave with the surrounding area made out of stone. It looked like it’s been there for hundreds of years. It was dark, but it didn’t stop him from going further into the darkness of this cave-like path. Once he reached the bottom, he saw a door made out of metal-like material cracked open. He moved closer and slightly opened the door enough to peek inside. From what he could make out, he saw a dungeon-like room. He saw a Kitsune tied against the wall, topless, which caused him to be distracted for a moment. The Kitsunes arms were high above, with shackles around her wrist firmly against the wall. She was breathing heavily as the blood drips down from the visible cuts on her stomach. Just as he was about to enter, he saw a grayish man of color enter his view, also topless. Since the man’s back was facing the door, Maximus could see the different tribal symbols on the grayish man’s skin, along with some scars. The grayish man’s ears drew his attention, short and scarred. Maximus knew it must have been Ace. However, he didn’t have long black hair like how Dark Drows usually kept them. His black hair was short but was a mess, kind of how it would look after rubbing your hands against it when having gel. Ace grabs the Kitsune by the jawline, his fingers squeezing her cheeks.
“I sure love it when you scream for me, baby.” Ace said in a tone that was dark yet, full of lust. The Kitsune hisses at him. Shortly after, he lets her go then grabs himself over his pants.
“Yeah, baby, do it again .” Ace said with the same tone. Maximus’s eyes widen when Ace’s other hand comes into view. It was then when he saw the metal claw. A single claw was attached to each finger while blood dripping off them shown that it’s what Ace used to cut her. Ace presses himself onto the Kitsune and gives a single long lick to the side of her face, all while she let out a small cat-like growl.
“If I undid your shackles, would you try to claw me?” Ace whispered into her right ear. She narrowed her eyes at him then smiled widely. “Of course,” she whispered back. He grabs her belt buckle and gives it a slight tug.
“With those tight ass pants, you have on, why even wear this damn belt?” Ace said in his same dark lustful tone.
“Maybe to choke the hell out of you once I’m free?” she responded in a sassy, sarcastic tone.
“Hmm, you know, that’s not such a bad idea.”
Ace unhooks her belt-buckle and pulls it off. She let out a slight moan as he did. Maximus raised his eyebrow then decided he saw enough. Just as Ace was going to put the belt around the Kistunes neck, Maximus sprints over and grabs hold of him before tossing him to the other side of the room. Ace slides against the floor then sat up to face him. His already blue eyes make a blue glow as he did. It was at that moment where Maximus saw just how big this dungeon was. Only about 550 square feet, but it had various weapons and odd-looking tools hanging on the walls, along with sex toys, which confused him even more. Ace pops back onto his feet, his claw hand in front of him for an easy swipe in case Maximus came near.
“You dare break into my chambers?” Ace’s tone nowhere near how it was a moment ago. It was more serious, threatening.
“You’re not going to hurt her. We have to talk” Maximus said.
“Talk? You broke into my chambers, my club, to talk? The club is opened from 10 pm to 5 am. Those are the business hours.”
Maximus felt something wrap around his neck and pull him to the wall in a blink of an eye. It was the Kitsune. She managed to reach out to him with her legs that she now had wrapped around his neck. The shackles she was bound to held her up. Her grip was tight, and it felt like a snake had just got a hold of him. Maximus tried to break out of her grasp, but she squeezed tighter with each attempt while letting out a growl.
“This Frank wannabe interrupted our playtime. I should snap his fucking neck!” The Kitsune shouts. Ace stood in front of them, a small grin on his face while letting the index and middle finger part of his claws clank together.
“Don’t, Kate. I don’t need those hunters bringing more here. Let him go.” Ace calmly said.
“Let him go? Are you kidding me?” Kate shouts.
“Since he’s here, it means they know he’s here, which also means if he goes missing, we’re suspect number one. So let him go.” Ace explained while locking eyes with her. Kate growls again then pushes Maximus off. Ace moves out the way just as he stumbles past him. Maximus catches his breath then turned back to them just as Ace undoes Kate’s shackles. Once she was loose, Kate’s tail waved back and forth slowly while keeping her eyes on Maximus as if she could pounce on him at any moment. Maximus stared at her back until Ace stood between them.
“Never have a staredown with Kistunes kid. It invites challenge,” Ace said just as the glow in his eyes faded. Maximus wanted to ask how she knew about him being a hunter but knew it wasn’t more important than the reason for his arrival.
“Yeah, I’ll keep that in mind. Anyway, I need to know about the Vampires running operations at the Spencer Mansion.” Maximus said while trying to clear his throat.
"Spencer Mansion? What, isn’t it already simple enough? They’re Vampires, enough said.”
Maximus wasn’t expecting a response like that and it showed on his face. Ace tilts his head then takes a step towards him before continuing.
“I don’t know what type of answer you were expecting from me. Those Vamps are nothing more than men who like to watch my girls, like all men, no matter the breed.”
“Guess I do have to work on my poker face.”
Maximus sighed then took a deep breath.
“There’s gotta be something you can tell me. Unless you’re protecting those Vampires?”
“The hell with this dog! Let’s just cut him up to pieces and blame it on Bison!” Kate shouted just as she steps to Ace’s side, who at this point looked visibly annoyed at her outburst. Ace glances at her, then back to Maximus before continuing again.
“Let’s go into my office. Kate, you stay down here.”
“I’m not leaving you alone with a damn hunter Ace.” Kate quickly responds.
“Kate cut the Shit. This one is manageable.”
Maximus raised his eyebrow, curious and insulted by his words but chose not to address it since this was a step closer to completing the mission. Kate growls then walks off to find a shirt.
“Follow me,” Ace said while casually passing him by to head upstairs. Maximus took one last glance at Kate before following Ace. Once they stepped into his office, that was, of course, the one behind the door with Ace’s name on it, Maximus couldn’t help but notice how professional the room looked. The floor was wooden, the kind you picture in family homes. There was a mini version of the moon-lit ball that resembled the club’s central section, sitting in the middle of Ace’s desk. Even the office chairs that stood at each end of the table looked expensive. Ace opened his closet door that was near his desk then pulls out a leather coat. After putting it on, Ace sits down on the chair just behind his desk while giving Maximus an uneasy stare before reaching under the desk to pull out a bottle of booze. “Sit,” Ace said in a calm but demanding tone just as he pops open his bottle.
“I’ll stand. So you’re going to tell me something useful now?”
Ace took one long sip of his drink while keeping his stare on him. After a few seconds, he rests the bottle on his knee while maintaining a good grip on it while leaning back on the chair.
“I might have some piece of information that you can use, but I’ll warn you now, it isn’t much but still dangerous as they come.”
“I’ll take it,” Maximus said in a semi excited tone.
He hated that he came off as desperate. Ace smirked then continued.
“Spencer himself made the original deal with this club. Way back before he got done in. Lavon, who is his right-hand man, took over. But the thing is, I haven’t seen or heard from that dude since it all went to Shit.”
Ace takes another long sip of his drink. Maximus had all sorts of questions about Lavon and Spencer. But again, he knew he had to focus on the mission, so he remained quiet as Ace continued.
“This new crew ain’t as new as you think. They got turned shortly before Spencer’s death. I believe they’re the ones that did him in, but hey, that’s not my business.”
Although this information was useful, he couldn’t see how it was” Dangerous” info. However, just after his thought, Ace hit him with it.
“Bison comes here every Friday night, sometimes he pays the dancers, sometimes not. The girls here don’t like him because he’s too hands-on. Sure, I can send him away, but for the same reason why I don’t do it with you, I can’t with him, too many alibis. Here’s my suggestion, before he comes here, which is always around midnight, stop him. Do whatever you’re going to with him somewhere else. I don’t like violence in my club.”
“Your plan is stupid .” Maximus bluntly said.
“If I kill Bison before he gets to your club, you’ll be blamed for his death since I’m sure his people know his schedule. They’ll know he was heading here.”
“No. Bison’s crew will pay me a visit, check my cameras, and know that he never stepped foot here. My cameras are always on during work hours, which means lucky you.”
Maximus took a moment to gather his thoughts till finally managing to get a question out.
“So this new group of Vampires doesn’t finance this place?”
“Of course they do, weren’t you listening? If you do your job, which is, I assume, kill these fuckers, then I can go back on doing business with Lavon. He’ll show his face again once these punks are gone.”
“What makes you think he won’t be my next mission?” Maximus asked since he was sure Lavon would be next, eventually.
“You better hope he isn’t. Lavon is an Elder. You’ll surely die by his hand if you go up against him. Hell, if you somehow manage to kill him, I’ll let you have a week of free access to any girl you want. Speaking of, you owe me twenty bucks.”
“What? For what?”
“You saw my girls perfectly round tits. This ain’t no peep show.”
“Well, consider my debt paid when I kill these Vampires.”
Ace smirks then took another sip of his drink before standing up.
“Sure, we’ll go with that. Remember, Friday Night. Don’t disappoint me, kid.”
A portal opens beneath Maximus, which sent him straight into it. Ace waved just as it closed, then sat back down and finished his drink off. Once Ace finished, he tossed his bottle to the side and closed his eyes to rest.
“So, whatcha think of him?” Hazard said in a humorous yet, dark tone while standing by the door. Ace slowly opened his eyes, then turned his gaze to him and asked, “What are you doing here?”
“Oh, you know why I’m here.”
Ace narrowed his eyes then stood up in a fit of rage.
“No! It can’t be that time already. You said-”
“Shh, shh, shh. Ace, keep the little dignity you got left and accept it.”
“I have too much going on. I want to see Dante and his boys get what they deserve.” Ace said in a demanding tone.
“I’ll do you one better if you play along. How’s that for impressive?”
“What are you talking about?”
Hazard grins then walked straight up to Ace’s desk. Hazard’s eyes lock on his as his tone get’s darker.
“Honer our agreement, and I’ll show you.”
Meamwhile, a portal opens above the back alley of the Double D Dice Club just as Maximus falls out and lands on his feet. He dusts himself off and looks around to see where he was.
“That was freaking trippy.”
Twenty minutes later. Kate comes back up from the basement and knocks on Ace’s door. When she doesn’t hear a response, she growls to herself.
“Ace, stop being a baby. I know your not mad at me, right? I’ll let you choke me with the belt for as long as you want if you’re not mad.”
After another silent moment goes by, she becomes impatient and pushed the door open. To her surprise, she saw Ace on his chair, seemly lifeless. Her pupils expand before running over to him. “Ace?! Ace!” Kate shouts while shaking him by the shoulders.
“Ace, wake up! Wake the fuck up!”
She hugs him tight but felt no life in him, heard no pulse. Once the realization hit her that he was dead, she crawled herself on the table while keeping her eyes on him. Her nails dig deep into the table as she sobs. Suddenly, a small radio that was in the room went on. Kate shot up quickly and stood on top of the table with her hair puffed up. She then hisses at the radio as it played “Welcome to the jungle.” While it played, she let her guard down. “His favorite song,” Kate whispered as she remained still and filled with mixed emotions. Suddenly, Hazard appeared by the door.
~ You can take anything you want, but you better not take it from me! ~ Hazard sang out before continuing.
“It’s a great lyric, did you not hear it, Kate? Oh, right right, you were busy crying like a pussy. Though I suppose that’s understandable since your, well, a Kitsune.”
Kate narrows her eyes while growling in a loud tone. Her sharp nails come out as her tail fluffs up.
“Is it just me, or do you seem mad?” Hazard said in a mocking tone. Kate leaps for Hazard, but he manages to catch her by the neck quickly in mid-air before slamming her right back on the table. Dark mist fills the room as his eyes stood out even more. The aura that was coming off him cause her to be frozen. Her tail even remained still. While Hazard held her down by the throat, he leans his face to hers. His eyes were looking straight into hers while speaking in a dark tone.
“You listen here whore. Relax, and I’ll tell you where Ace’s killer is.”
Kate struggle for a brief moment then gave up.
“The hunter did this to him, didn’t he!?”
“Yes, a smart kitty you are.”
In a blink of an eye, Hazard was now by the door again. He watched Kate as she popped off the table. Her gaze straight at him, still angry and confused. After a moment, she tries to calm herself.
“Can you bring him back to life? After I kill the hunter?”
“I’m a Reaper. Of course, I can.” Hazard said in a cheerful tone while slowly rubbing his hands together, a wicked smile across his face. Kate lowers her head while trying to fight back any more tears.
“I’m Hazard, and if you agree to my Deal, you can be a hazard to the one who brought Ace death. All you have to do is follow my instructions.”
He extends his hand out to her while chuckling to himself. Kate looks back at him, nervous, but after a few seconds, she shakes his hand. The cold feel of his leather gloves on hers was unsettling.
“Deal!” Hazard shouts before vanishing. Meanwhile, Socrates was sitting on the sofa, tapping on the couch’s arm multiple times. His leg was shaking just a bit. He seemed on edge. Elf Dude came from out of the basement high on something.
“Hey, Maxwell still out there? Is it normal for uh, for the first time to be taken, so damn, damn, dammit, what’s the word I’m looking for? Oh right. Long?” Elf Dude asked, well, tried to ask.
“Just get your ass back downstairs.”
“Hey, don’t you forget who kicked your ass back in 68, ok? Say ok. Say it.”
“I don’t have time for your bullshit. Maximus is out there, alright.”
“If you’re so worried, then get your ass up, all the way up, all the way up, and help him. Oh, no, wait, I forgot, you can’t help him because of those rules and blah blah everyone is gay. Those rules are dumb.” Elf Dude said soon after he burps.
Socrates shot up from the couch and started to pace back and forth while speaking in an uneasy tone.
“You fucking damn well know the rules I have to follow with these people! They have been doing this Shit since, man, I don’t know, thousands of years. Your not apart of it, so it’s easy for your drunk-doped-up ass to judge. I keep you here with me as a favor, not for you to call me out on things you have no idea about. I wish I could go out there in the field, but I can’t, and you damn well know why so don’t give me any-”
Socrates cuts himself off when seeing Elf Dude already passed out on the sofa.
“And you’re gone, useless,” Socrates said while rubbing his eyes. He then hears the door open, which causes him to see who it was instantly since he was only a few feet away from it. When he saw Maximus, he was relieved, but of course, it didn’t show.
“Maximus, you made it back.”
“Well yeah, what were you expecting? Jeez.”
“Hmph. Did you get any useful information?”
“I most certainly did.”
Maximus smiles, then gives a wink and two thumbs up at the same time.