A.N.: I am sooooooo sorry for the slow update. I won't even bother hiding behind Hale (hides behind Trick)
"Hey, Trick! Trickster?"" Kenzi called out as she barged past the Dal's entrance. Glancing around she added in a sing-song voice, "Oh Mr. Fitzpat- What the Fae?"
The resulting silence stopped her as she took in the area around. The pub was empty; and not only empty, but the kind of empty that sent the tiny hairs along the back of the human's neck shooting upward. Despite the late morning hours, the chairs and stools were still stacked on top of the tables making the area appear wider and far less inviting. The sunlight filtering in from the window did little to help, providing a sharp, bleached contrast to the bar's normally warm glow. And the serious lack of a grouchy bartender was doing nothing to calm her nerves.
"Shit-balls,"she muttered to no one in particular. By the looks of things, the Ash's men may have already payed the Elder Fae a visit, "Now what am I suppose to do?"
She had figured (hoped) the Ash's orders wouldn't have extended to the Fae bartender or, baring that, Trick would have simply told the Ash where to shove those orders. It had always struck her that, in his own way, Trick was above his people's laws even though he practiced them out of convience. A suspicion not in a little aided by the lightning bird's comment and Trick's evasion to her questions after. In any case, she highly doubted a couple of the Ash's stooges could easily pry the small man from his domicile without his consent.
Which means he went with them willingly, she thought angrily, why the hell would he do that?
The truth was, though, there were many reasons why he would. The Ash's impending hit on Dyson sprang quickly to mind. She wouldn't put it past Trick to use the opportunity presented to cash in on an audience with his Ash-hole-iness and buy the shifter some time. Plus, he could always tag team with Hale and bust out of there; which, while good, was completely un-useful to her at the moment.
Wringing her hands as she let out a mini-roar of frustration, she glanced in the direction of the entrance to Trick's lair. If she couldn't have the Trickopedia, then his books were probably the next best thing. Except Dyson needed help now and research was kind of a later process.
"What I wouldn't kill to just to have to look up a couple plates right now," she groaned, storming towards the back.
Completely unbidden, the image of Dyson's wolf with a licence plate hanging on the end of his tail sprang to the forefront of her mind. Choking back a snort of laughter, Kenzi paused beside the bar to give herself a mental kick. Focus Mama, she admonished herself, potentially crazy wof-shifter research now. Doggy driving humor later. She refused to acknowledge the laugh helped suppress the not-so-small fear that if the books could tell her how to help Dyson, they would be equally useless telling her how to find him.
Refocused, she took a step forward only to hear the high pitch scrape of wood against wood directly behind her. Her years on the streets and a lifetime of instincts took over as she whirled to face what might have been not so empty a bar.
"Whose there?" she demanded, not seeing anything. Please, God, don't let something answer.
At first the bar remained still. Nothing moved and, more importantly, nothing seemed out of place. Scanning the room side to side, Kenzi couldn't shake the feeling, however, that someone was watching her.
"Trick?" she called out once more; then, a little more timidly, "Dyson?"
When no answer came, she forced out a sigh of relief. Clutching her chest, she took a couple deep breaths to calm herself. Now is not the time to be loosing it, mama, she gave herself another mental kick. Taking one more look around, she turned to leave when something caught her eye. Turning to her right, she frowned at the table closest to her. The chairs on the table had been in the process of being taken down with half being set on the floor and half still on the table. Of the ones on the floor, the third one from her was pulled out a little further then the others. Normally, it wouldn't mean much but the sound she'd heard had come from something wooden.
Cautiously, she approached the chair, frowning as she examined it. It didn't seem weird or freaky in any way. Just a typical chair in a typical bar run by a typical Fae bartender. Shaking her head at her ridiculousness, Kenzi reached over to push it in. Rather then the hard back she was expecting, however, her hand fell on something soft and squirming.
"Yaagh!" she let out a girly scream, pulling away and backpedalling behind another table.
"Oh shit," a male voice muttered softly in the area. Kenzi's jaw dropped open as the chair became momentarily enveloped in a silvery sheen. When the light fell away, in the place of the chair squatted a young man.
"What the? Who...who are you?" Kenzi exclaimed, stunned. Then, taking in the man's attire as he stood, added, "And what the hell are you wearing?"
The man glanced down at his clothes then back up at her. He appeared young, possibly a couple years older then herself. His features were narrow, but too pinched looking to be considered attractive. Long, shaggy red hair (which she wondered briefly if he thought made him fashionable) gave him an unkempt appearance, particularly given his vest. The gaudy article of clothing itself was red as well, made of fox tail fur with the tips of nine tails dangling at its bottom like some sort of creepy fringe. As he shot her a withering glance, she realized there was a yellow tint to his eyes.
"I'd ask you the same thing," he responded airily, looking down his nose at her.
"Well, I asked you first," she shot back sarcastically, leaning towards him.
"Well, you're the human," he mimiced her mockingly. Kenzi opened her mouth in shock.
"Oh, you did not just go there," she exclaimed, pointing warningly at him. Feeling braver, she stepped towards him, drawing herself to her full height. Relatively speaking, she struck a more intimidating figure against the chair-morphing creeper then someone of Dyson's height (Fae or otherwise). Curling her hands into fists, she glowered at the man and threatened, "Look, buddy, I have had a long day and I don't have time for this human/fae bullshit. So either tell me what you're doing here or I'm going open a Kenzi-style can of whoop-ass on your...tragically styled behind."
It was the man's turn to look stunned. Starring at Kenzi as if he never seen a human act this way before, he fell back a couple steps.
"I'm Liam," he finally responded sourly, crossing his arms "And Trick called me over."
"Trick called you," Kenzi replied in surprise, "Why?"
"He said he needed a tracker," Liam replied haughtily, "Didn't say why."
Liam eyed Kenzi's confused expression and sighed exasperantly.
"Someone who finds via their scent," he explained as if she were a small child, "Try to keep up darling."
"I know what a tracker is for," Kenzi half-snarled at him, her eyes narrowing. Her opinion of the man was lowering with every word he said. Privately she thought, I guess this is how Trick planned to find Dyson, "So, do you know where Trick is then?"
"Don't know, don't care," responded Liam, liking the human about as much as she did him, "Can I go now?"
"If you don't care, then why were you...what were you doing exactly?" Kenzi demanded, ignoring his question. As much as she didn't want to talk to him, she needed information and this asshole was her only source for it.
"I heard you coming in," said Liam, "And since Trick wasn't here, I couldn't trust that you weren't a hunter."
"A hunter? What in the world would I be hunting?"
"My tails," was the only response he gave, softly stroking the fringe of his vest.
"O-kay," replied Kenzi, trying and failing not to look at him like he was crazy, "Well, I'm not and that vest looks like it belongs in an eighties music video, dude."
Liam glared at her and let out another exasperant sigh.
"You know what," he said, throwing his hands up, "I don't have to deal with this. Tell Trick if he needs to find his wolf, he can call someone else."
Turning, he made to leave. Shit, Kenzi thought as her suspicions were confirmed. Almost instinctively, she moved to follow him.
"Wait!" she called out. If Trick was going to use this guy to find Dyson, she couldn't let him get away. Liam stopped.
"What?" he demanded, looking over his shoulder at her.
"I thought you said you didn't know what Trick wanted," Kenzi said the first thing that came to her mind.
"Well, considering he gave me a call in the first place it was kind of obvious," Liam replied.
Liam smirked patronizingly, "Well, there are plenty of other trackers in the city he could have called but he chose of a fox? Must have thought the relation to the wolf would help me know where to sniff him out."
"And do you?" asked Kenzi, grasping at straws. If she could find Dyson while Trick and Hale were doing whatever it was they were doing, at least she would be contributing something. She needed to do something.
Liam frowned thoughtfully.
"I suppose," he replied finally, "But why should I even bother and, more importantly, why do you care?"
"Cause the guy Trick wanted you to find is a friend of mine," said Kenzi, "And I really need to find him."
Liam tilted his head curiously, examining her for a moment. For a suspended second, Kenzi watched as he considered the situation. Finally, he shrugged and let out an exhale that wasn't snobbish or exasperated.
"My standard rates apply," he said, turning back to her, "Do you have something with his scent on it?"
"Er, no," was Kenzi's immediate reply, as she was slightly taken aback. Suddenly, the image of her blanket and pillow jumped to mind and she added quickly, "But I know where I can find it."