True Shades of Darkness: Chapter 5

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A few hours after the discussion with Veronica, Lucius found himself sitting on a bench. Before him was a small park with a group of children playing and a few parents scattered about. He was watching a young girl in the distance who was playing with a group of much younger kids.

The girl had short, black hair cut in a messy bowl cut. She seemed to be in her preteens, and the younger kids seemed to be treating her as an authority figure during play.

One of the boys kicked a ball away from the group, and it rolled towards Lucius. The man watched the ball until it was within his reach. He leaned down to grab it and locked his gaze on the little boy. The boy stopped in his tracks, looking back into Lucius’ eyes. The adult’s cold glare crept directly into the boy’s spine, but he wanted his ball, “H-hello… sir… c-c-can I have the ball, please?”

Lucius glanced up at the girl he was watching before, who was making her way towards the two. Before she got too close, he tossed the ball back, and the kid responded with a nervous smile before grabbing the ball off the ground and turning back. He stopped by the girl and spoke out, unaware of his own volume, “Yuki! Yuki! That man has eyes like yours!”

Yuki blinked at the little boy, curiously, “Oh yeah?” she asked before she looked at Lucius, who was now looking away. Something about the man was drawing her attention.

“Uh-huh! He looks super mean!” He explained before laughing and running back to the other kids.

Yuki glared at the boy, “Hey! You little jerk!” She yelled out as she ran after him.

“Gross…” Shani’s familiar voice rang out to Lucius.

He looked to the caramel-skinned female as she approached him, “Hm? What’s gross?”

Shani eyed the man suspiciously. Her hip stuck out to the side and her arms crossed below her chest, “You look happy…” She commented.

Lucius, who’s cold expression looked just as it always did, aside from the questioning brow at the moment, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You did gross stuff with that slutty woman, didn’t you?” She asked, “That’s why you’re so happy, huh?”

He rolled his eyes and returned his gaze to Yuki and the kids, “No. I didn’t. She had info on an amethyst in the area.” He explained before glancing at her for a moment, “What makes you say I look happy, anyway?”

She took a seat next to him, taking his hand off of the bench and placing it on her lap, idly toying with his hand as she spoke, “Dunno,” she said with a shrug, “Sometimes the air around you is different, I guess. Whenever you do something you like, it’s… almost warmer.”

Lucius was still watching Yuki while Shani was speaking. Suddenly, his attention and the attention of many others in the area shifted to a man approaching the kids.

“Yuki!” The man yelled out angrily.

Yuki turned to look at the man, and she smiled through evident sadness, “Papa? What’s wrong?”

The man stumbled to reach Yuki. As he did, the other kids moved away rather quickly, leaving Yuki alone, “Yuki! Why aren’t you at home?!” He yelled.

Yuki’s forced smile never left her, “Sorry, papa. You were asleep, so I came out to play with the kids. I’ll go back home now. Let’s go.” She stepped closer to the drunken man, taking his hand. She led him away from the park.

Near Lucius, from another bench, a woman spoke out after a sigh of relief, “At least he didn’t hit her this time.”

Another woman responded, “Yeah… probably too drunk. Poor girl.”

“And then… there are times where the air around you is hard to breathe…” Shani whispered as she stared at the large fist that had formed on her lap, “That’s her, isn’t it?”

“Hm,” Lucius responded in affirmation.

“What are you gonna do?” She asked.

“Kill Veronica’s brother.” He responded before standing up with a deep sigh.

Shani looked up confused, “What do you mean?”

He began walking away from the bench, assuming that Shani would follow, “Veronica’s brother has an amethyst and apparently stole it from her family. Since he’s defecting from the family, she wants me to hunt him down. The amethyst is mine afterward, and we gain a partnership with the Vaterio Family.”

Shani was walking behind Lucius, taking in the sandy signs of poverty in the area, “Hm. You really want a partnership with a bunch of witches, or do you just want to sleep with Veronica?” She asked in an accusatory tone.

Lucius sighed, glancing back at her, “You keep bringing that up, are you jealous?”

Shani rolled her eyes, “Shut up. No. I just know that you always bring the worst out of the people around you. You’re gonna end up seducing her.”

“Uh-huh,” he started, “How come you never sleep with me, then? Let me bring the worst out of you.”

“Hah!” She let out, “Well, Lou-punk. I guess I’m just better than them.”

Continue to Chapter 6