True Shades of Darkness: Chapter 2

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The Amethyst Club was Lucius’ pride and joy. A beautiful, black marble structure built in one of the most central areas of Sanctum, the capital city of the nation of Santificado. He spared no expense in the construction of this beautiful tourist attraction and favorite party spot of the locals.

Walking in, patrons are greeted by a large, mirrored dance floor. Santificado was one of the few nations in Eitoria that had been able to harness the power of electricity, and Lucius definitely used his access to this. Vivid purple and blue lights set the mood for the main room of the club. Two bars were found on the right and left of the entrance, with a third, large bar at the back of the club by two staircases. The staircases led up to the interior balcony bar that wrapped around the club’s centerpiece, a massive, beautiful amethyst that filled the entire club with an essence of sin and debauchery.

Beyond the interior balcony bar, there were various private rooms where customers could pay to spend time with any of the many hired dancers of the club. Further out, there was a more substantial, exterior balcony with various tables for lounging in the open air. On the roof of the club was a lounging area where customers could order hookahs and sit in private booths.

It was mid-afternoon, and the club was not yet opened for the night, but various staff members were already showing up.

As Lucius stepped through the main entrance, he was approached by a beautiful dark-skinned Eitori woman. A tight, low-cut halter dress seemed to be struggling to keep her lower body hidden and her upper assets contained. Long black hair hung behind her just above her rear, dark brown eyes were locked on her boss, a crimson smile adorning her pretty face, “Welcome back, Mister Nox!”

“Tamica. How is everything going?” Lucius replied in acknowledgment, though he didn’t stop walking.

Tamica offered a smile to Shani, who was now all showered and dressed in a pair of grey denim pants and a black crop top. Shani returned the smile, reaching out to tug the back of Tamica’s dress down, playfully. As Tamica waved her friend’s actions away, she chuckled and looked at Lucius, following behind him, “The girls are all here, and everyone is ready for tonight. Bianca is upstairs in your office.” She informed him as they reached a staff-only door by the back bar of the club, “Oh… before you go in. There’s a young man here tonight who wants to try his hand at dancing. Some of the women who come out often complain we don’t have male dancers, so I thought he might be a good addition to try out.”

Lucius placed his hand on the knob of the door and looked back to Tamica, “Hm.” He let out in thought before nodding, “Sure, try it out. See how it goes.”

Tamica smiled wide and nodded, “Thank you, Mister Nox! If he doesn’t work out, you won’t even notice he was here!”

Lucius nodded and entered the staff area. Back here, the mood of the club remained, but the lighting was brighter, making it easier for the staff to see. As they passed an open door, Shani stopped by, peeking her head in to speak to the women inside who were all changing into their outfits for the night, “Good luck girlies! Work hard tonight!”

An assortment of hellos and confirmations returned from the room, and Shani moved along to catch up to Lucius. The pair made it up a flight of stairs to wooden double-doors. Beyond the doors, a quiet, dimly lit office was contained. The office held a warm aroma of rich tobacco and incense. The office furniture was mostly dark wood and black leather. Against the right wall, there was a glass display case with various types of jewelry sporting beautiful, amethyst stones. The left wall had an assortment of shelves filled with varying books of all origins.

The center of the office had two, black leather couches and a diamond-shaped glass table with a black base. At the back of the office was a large wooden desk with various papers scattered about. The back wall of the office was made of thick, one-way glass that looked out into the club.

Upon one of the couches was a woman with neatly tied, purple hair in a ponytail. She was wearing a pair of black tight, black cotton leggings and a matching, long-sleeved crop top that showed off the tan tone of her skin. Upon her arms were a pair of metal gauntlets with beautiful amethyst stones set into the back of her hands. She smiled as Shani and Lucius walked in, greeting them as her lovely green eyes locked on them, “Welcome back, y’all.”

Lucius nodded, making his way to the opposite couch, “Likewise, Bianca. Shani tells me you have news.” He stated, taking a seat. As he let Bianca reply, he took the decanter of golden liquor from the table, pouring the liquid into one of the crystal glasses on the same table.

Bianca smiled with a soft chuckle, “Straight to business, then?”

Shani muttered as she walked by the pair, to Lucius’ desk and sitting there to look over his paperwork and sort it, “You know how he is, hun.”

Bianca nodded, closing the book she was reading through, “Well, yes. I do have news. When I couldn’t find any leads on Miss Nori, I began to wonder if maybe the child was not with her any longer, so I began to look through the orphanages of the area.” She explained before pointing to a folder of papers she had placed on the table when she had arrived earlier.

Lucius’ brow perked up slightly. He then took the folder, flipping through the papers in it, “Go on.” He muttered.

“Well…” Bianca started, “It took a while but eventually, I found the mention of a pretty lil’ twelve-year-old girl named Yuki.”

Lucius nodded slowly before his gaze shifted up to Bianca, “Is it her?”

Bianca smiled a bit, “Well, the age lined up… but the give away was her eye color.”

At this point, Shani put the papers in her hand down and stared at Bianca, “No fucking way.”

Bianca chuckled and nodded, smiling brightly, “Yes. She was adopted early in her life, but there is no denying it. She’s got dear ol’ daddy’s eyes.”

Lucius put the folder down, he didn’t seem happy at all, “Adopted, you said…?”

Shani sighed lightly, “Lou…” She let out before biting her lip in concern.

Bianca nodded a bit, her smile slowly fading, “Yeah… Apparently, they used to live in Sanctum, but when the adoptive mother died, the father was cut off from her inheritance. Now the two live in the slums of Vatic.”

Lou’s gaze drifted away from Bianca, to the liquor in his hand before he downed all of it. He let out a deep sigh as he filled the glass up once more, “Is… she happy?”

Shani and Bianca both stared at Lucius, trying to conceal their shock. This was the first time they had ever known those words to leave the lips of their boss. He was genuinely concerned for the well being of another living creature.

“I… I don’t know.” Bianca replied, “I saw her from a distance, but that was it. You told me not to approach her even if I found her.”

“Hm.” Was all that came out of Lucius.

Shani and Bianca looked at each other with concern before Shani suddenly stood up, “Drav–”

Lucius suddenly spoke up, “Shani. Draven needs me to go to Vatic, doesn’t he? To deal with the issues he’s having with the new inventory, right?”

Shani sighed after being cut off, and softly nodded with a smile, “Yeah. Should we plan to be there for a few days, then?” She asked.

Lucius nodded his head, “Yeah. That’ll work.” He muttered, still staring at his drink. After a sip, he darted his gaze over to the doors of his office just before the sound of a knock filled the room.

“Mister Nox, it’s Tamica. I’m sorry to disturb you.” A voice came forth from behind the door.

“Come in,” Lucius called out.

The door opened before Tamica poked her head through with a soft smile, “Sorry, but there’s a young woman at the bar asking for you. She says she has something important to talk to you about.”

“Young woman? What does she look like?” Lucius asked.

“Blonde, really pretty, big boobs, expensive clothes,” Tamica explained.

Shani sighed in frustration, lowering her head, “That little bitch. Just kick her out.”

Bianca extended her hand out to get everyone’s attention, “No, wait. Blue eyes, fair skin, swears like a sailor and has been drinking since she got here, right?”

Tamica blinked a bit and then laughed, “Well, damn, Bia. You’re becoming scary with them detective skills.”

Bianca sighed and shook her head, “No, no. I know her. She’s the other news I had for you, Mister Nox.”

Lucius spoke out curiously, “Other news?”

The others looked at Bianca questioningly and then she sighed again, motioning for Tamica to come inside, “Shut the door.” She muttered before scratching at the base of her ponytail lightly, “So… in my search for your family ties, I found something else. I thought that maybe your birth father was involved with your daughter.”

“Bianca.” Lucius let out in an irritated tone.

She held her hands up in defense, “I know! I know! I’m sorry! I know you told me not to get too close to that, but I was running out of leads! And… well. You have a younger sister.”

Shani sighed in profound relief as she fell back into Lucius’ desk chair, “Holy shit, for a second I thought it was Nori…” As soon as she spoke that name, Lucius let out a disapproving growl, making Shani look away.

Tamica tilted her head a bit, staring at Lucius, “Huh… yeah, she does kinda look like you around the nose.”

Lucius was staring at Bianca for a while before finally speaking up, “So. She’s… his daughter?”

Bianca nodded, a concerned look on her face, “Yeah… I’m so sorry. When I was digging around, she somehow got word that I was digging and made me. Either I told her why I was digging, or she’d sick the Santos on me.”

“Bianca!” Shani blurted out, “The Santos are involved now?!”

Bianca shook her head, her hands extending out as if to push the very idea away, “No! No! She has no idea what the relationship is! I just told her that if she came here tonight, she would get her answers from the owner of the club. I had her come tonight since I knew I would be back to explain things. I just didn’t expect her here so early.”

“So…” Tamica started, “What do I tell her?”

Lucius sighed lightly in frustration, sipping his drink before swirling it around in the glass for a few moments. Finally, he spoke as he looked at each of them, “Shani, have everyone in the club be on alert for Santos or anyone suspicious. Bianca, stick around and be on guard detail tonight for me. I’ll pay you. Tamica, bring the girl up. I’ll talk to her alone.”

“Sure,” Shani responded with a sigh.

“Understood,” Bianca replied with a firm nod.

“Yes Sir,” Tamica answered before the three women all left the room.

Once he was left alone, Lucius let out a deep sigh, leaning back into the couch. His head fell back, eyes staring half-lidded at the ceiling of his office. Various thoughts flooded the mind of this cold, powerful man. For a moment, his thoughts drifted to the blonde woman of his past, “I finally found her, Nori…” He whispered, “We were that close to being normal.” His head turned as he eyed the empty spot on the couch next to him. His hard stare drifted far as he spoke the second name to ever soften his gaze for the first time, “Yuki…”

The softened stare only lasted for so long; the man’s cold look returned quickly when a knock was heard at the door, “Mister Nox. Tamica again, I have Miss Autumn with me.”

“Come in.” He called out.

The door opened to reveal Tamica alongside a beautiful, blonde woman. The fair-skinned blonde didn’t seem to be a day over 18 years old. She wore a tight, black dress that stopped at her thighs and hugged her body well. Short sleeves adorned her slender shoulders, and small white gemstones lined the collar of the dress that just barely exposed her collarbones. Her long, blonde hair swayed freely as she stepped in, black heels clicking against the marble flooring of the office.

“Oh wow… what a beautiful offi—Oh! Those are so pretty!” Autumn stated as she drifted to the glass cases and the jewelry within them.

Tamica smiled a bit and looked to Lucius, “Do you need anything else, Mister Nox?”

Lucius shook his head, “No, thank you, Tamica.” As Tamica nodded and left the room, closing the door behind her, Lucius looked over to Autumn, who was still eyeing all of the jewelry, “Autumn is it?”

“Uh-huh.” She responded shortly, not bothering to turn around.

Lucius sighed a bit, “Want a drink?” He offered.

“Sure.” She replied again.

Lucius nodded slowly, pouring her a fresh glass of his golden liquor, “I can see you staring at me from the reflection of the glass, Autumn. Why not sit and face me?” He said before looking up to lock eyes with her via the reflection.

The girl scoffed, her gaze suddenly shifting to fix itself on one of the items of jewelry, “Wow…” She muttered before turning to face him, “Full of yourself, huh? I was obviously looking at your stuff. How much are you selling it for? I’ll have Daddy buy it for me.”

Lucius shook his head a bit, chuckling lightly, “It’s not for sale.” He said, pushing the freshly poured drink over to her side of the coffee table.

The girl walked over, rolling her eyes as she sat down, “Whatever. Everything is for sale. Seriously, how much do you want?” She asked, crossing her legs before taking the drink into her hand.

Lucius sighed a bit, leaning back on the couch, “So, I heard you found Bianca looking into things about you. You have questions for me, don’t you?” He asked.

She shrugged a bit, sipping the drink a bit before forcing herself to swallow it, “Mmm… um. No. I already know why you wanted me.”

He raised a brow curiously, “Sorry, is it too strong? I can have Tamica bring something with a little less bite.” He offered.

She laughed loudly and shook her head, “Oh, please.” She said before gulping down the entire glass of liquor. She put the glass down and took a deep breath before offering Lucius a cocky smile, “I can handle myself, big guy.”

Lucius nodded a bit, unable to ignore the sight of the tiny hairs on her arms standing as she tried not to react to the burn of the drink. He poured her another glass, though, and then leaned back, “Well, anyway. You already know why you’re here?”

“Yeah, and I’m sorry to say, I don’t dance for money.” She explained.

Lucius nodded slowly. She was way off base, but he would play along for now, “But… isn’t everything for sale? What do you dance for, if not money?” He asked.

Autumn sipped the drink again and chuckled, looking away from his gaze. She shifted her legs and sighed lightly, “Um… that was a joke. It’s whatever, I don’t want to work for you.”

“Why won’t you look me in the eyes, then? I feel like you’re lying.” He questioned.

“Fucking aye, man.” She said before locking her eyes with his own, “I. Don’t. Want. To. Wo–”

“You’re very beautiful, Autumn.” He cut her off.

She looked away instantly, hiding the blush that suddenly crept onto her face, “By the Mystics, you’re dumb.”

He shook his head, standing up from the couch, “Nah, I just have good taste.” He explained as he walked over to his desk, the woman’s eyes drifted to him when he wasn’t looking, “Glass, I see you.” He said, staring at her through the reflection of the glass wall behind the desk. She looked at him for a moment before turning away and taking a large gulp of her drink.

“Alright, listen. What do you want?” She asked.

“I thought you already knew.” He teased nonchalantly as he reached into a drawer of his desk, pulling out a brown cigar and a pack of matches.

“Ugh… alright, so I already said no. Now what?” She asked, frustrated.

Lucius began lighting his cigar as he replied, “Well…” He said before taking a few puffs, “What if I told you that I wasn’t looking into you because I wanted you to dance here?” He asked.

Autumn rolled her eyes, “What is it, then? You trying to get money from my Daddy by kidnapping me for a ransom or something?” She asked, “‘Cause if that’s it… I want a cut.” She admitted.

Lucius puffed on his cigar as he stared out the window of his office, into his club, “Hm. Really now? You’d worry your dear father so much just for some money?”

Autumn chuckled a bit and looked up at Lucius, “Yeah… I hate him, but he loves me… hell, I might even tell him I fucked you just to get under his skin.”

Lucius couldn’t restrain the grin that came across his face as his gaze shifted. He stared at her reflection in the window for a few moments before finally saying, “Why not actually do it, instead of lie about it?” He asked.

Autumn smirked slightly as Lucius turned to face her. The two stared at each other for a few moments before Lucius’ cigar was put down.

Continue to Chapter 2.1

Continue to Chapter 3

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