They're Trying to Catch You

Warehouse District 
#1


Every kid who had ever seen an action movie and perked up with an exclamation of, 'Oh, cool, a stake out!' when one was mentioned had been lied to by the glitz and glamor of Hollywood, period.

This was a fact that Detective Tomas had come to terms with years ago. Stake outs were, in reality, a lot more like sitting in a stuffy car, trying to be entertained enough that you didn't lose focus, but not so entertained that you... lost focus. It smelled like stale fast food and felt like your ass falling asleep. Stake outs were not the most reliable ways of getting what you needed, but sometimes you just had to sit and watch a warehouse building in the near distance and remind yourself that the boredom was better than a shootout.

On his lonesome at the moment, he'd been at this sit-and-wait game for a while. Two more hours and then he was going to have to call it in and wager they were going to have to do this tomorrow. Maybe he'd bring company for a second shift. Deals were made here, allegedly, quite often by someone they had been on the trail of for the last few weeks. A seemingly reliable tip-off that didn't really feel like it was panning out right now. But that was just boredom talking, out-shouting his usual patience.

Then he thought he saw some movement in the area he was scoping out and sat up a little, reaching for the camera he'd left sitting in the center console of the old hatchback he'd been lent for this job. Inconspicuous.
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#2
 Having restless energy was fun a bitch. Having restless energy on top of being a territorial wolf whose protective nature had been thrown into overdrive was even more fun of a bitch. So she was running. This late at night, the Cage was closed and so was the Brewery. Trick was off doing his drug lord thing and Avery was watching her kids so Alina was pretty much on her own right now which was fine, but she couldn't sit still anymore. She didn't feel like shifting at the moment, either so.

 Here she was! On mile 5! Running! With music!

 Running also helped because it was pretty similar to patrolling the area, just faster. After Dante had run out another vampire, Alina was pretty much done playing nice. The first whiff of one and she was going to hunt them down and kill them. No exceptions.

 A vampire wasn’t what she caught the scent of, though. No, the scent she caught was... vaguely familiar. Enough that she slowed to a stop at the next corner to “catch her breath”, glancing around as she did so to try and figure out who, exactly, she was smelling.
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#3
He'd rolled the window down a touch--manual control, this car was basically horrible and ancient--in order to get a clear view without any casting light on the glass. If this turned out to be something, it was going to be hard enough to catch any video in the dark, even with night-mode on. That was another thing he hated about these stakeouts. Just, nothing was convenient. And even a work-obsessed detective could be annoyed when things were unnecessarily difficult.

What he saw was! Definitely! Weird!

It was too late and too sketchy a neighborhood for joggers. Or so he would have assumed, if he hadn't caught sight of what was clearly a woman, clearly on a run, clearly not afraid to stop for a moment. In a dark warehouse district.

Hopefully she knew what she was doing, but he had enough doubts that he found himself watching her, just in case.
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#4
 The scent was suddenly stronger. Almost as if...

 Alina looked around again, this time looking for something that wasn't like the way it was before. It wasn't something obvious, but it was there. She knew it was there. Buuuuut where...

 Movement. Predator eyes focused on it, red for half of second as her gaze settled on the car and the face peeking out of the window. The face was just as vaguely familiar as the scent, and the two of them together wassss... Not helpful.

 So, she called him out, raising her voice. "You got a fuckin' problem?"
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#5
Someone was paying a shit-ton of attention. Maybe she was (rightfully) paranoid. She didn't sound scared, though, calling him out. Clearly knew what she was doing and that the neighborhood was sketch. There was something familiar to her voice, but it was too dark out for him to make out any details, so he wasn't about to put two and two together without getting closer.

But getting out of the car now was basically asking to be treated as a threat.

There was a reluctance to respond, if only because this had been a stakeout and this was absolutely blowing his cover. But with her staring him down, raising her voice, he was already done. Pack it up, move along. And maybe no response would have been the best. It crossed his mind only now that maybe she was here for the drop, though she was so far from fitting the profile that he didn't put much stock in that answer.

The camera was dropped to his lap, at least, unlikely to be of use.

"No problem, ma'am, sorry if I disturbed your run."

Literally just going to go for the non-creeper route and hope she moved along.
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#6
You know what Alina wasn’t good at? Being subtle. Hence calling him out while she stood across the street, using her not-inside voice. And also what the fuck was that in the dude’s hand that he suddenly put down? And also also why the fuck was he just sitting out here, staring at people?

While she could sense that he wasn’t a Were (or anything else supernatural, as far as she could tell), none of this added up to anything good and, protective and territorial as she was, Alina felt like running him off. Also because she had a lot of aggression right now and exercising wasn’t fucking helping.

Stepping off the curb, Alina began her approach, her back and spine prickling as her proverbial (and metaphysical) hackles raised. One hand on the car’s hood, she leaned down to peer through the window at him, voice lower than normal but! Her eyes were blue again so that was good.

"What are you doing?"

She didn’t acknowledge the little niggling thought that she knew him.
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#7
Oh, she was going to just... come over here. This didn't panic him, but he did wonder wildly where she got her sheer nerve from. Most women--or even men--would have very logically rolled on past and left him to it, not wanting any trouble. She was either involved in something or she was a strange one, indeed, and he...

Paused.

Because he knew her. Not incredibly well, but she was tied to a case that hadn't been put to rest, so she still had a place in his mind. He'd learned since then that she was a decent business owner in Cedar Creek and had a good reputation. Hadn't offered much to that cold case in the end, but no one really had.

"Miss Sinclair?" he questioned, not answering her question because he was a bit taken aback by her being here at all. (And because it wasn't her business.)Then again... she had been pretty confident on these similar streets that morning he'd met her. Somehow it began to all make a little more sense, but only just.
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#8
He knew her name and it made her eyes narrow, focusing on his face. His scent, much stronger now, combined with the very upclose look she has at his face and his voice made it all snap into place for her.

The cop.

Was this a stakeout?

Was he tracking Sullivan’s drug trade? Was he still investigating that murder? What was he doing here?

He was a threat. He was at risk. He was —

He was a cop.

She forced the wolf back for a moment, toning down the aggression a touch. "Not great with names. Help me out here."
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#9
There was no offense at her not remember his name. Most people didn't remember names nearly so well as faces. The sort of fact that didn't always make his job simple, but something he'd long since come to terms with.

It was a little odd, being the one sat in the car being interrogated while she stood outside. It gave her some authority over the situation. Luckily for her, the whole night was blown by this turn of events, so he wasn't going to cause too much fuss about it. He didn't like to abuse his job's perks by pushing his weight around needlessly.

"Detective Tomas," he told her, then added, "Dakila," to tone the thing down, circumstances what they were. "Afraid you've caught me on the job." Which was still so interesting. How had she even realized he was here? Just incredibly observant, maybe.
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#10
He answered her without argument. This was something she could appreciate, even if that appreciation was fleeting. He also provided her the information she’d asked for before, which was that he was on the job, which meant this was likely a stakeout.

Still. She played a little dumb.

"It’s your job to sit out in Cedar Creek all night? That sounds like fun." A distraction. There were thoughts circling her brain, ones that she wanted more of a chance to think about.

"More vampire shit?" She questioned, referring to his job.
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#11
"It's thrilling," he said, definitely not about to give away the details. Wasn't something for her to worry about, and she surely already knew that there was a drug problem in Cedar Creek if she was paying enough attention to suss him out while confidently running down the street of the warehouse district at this time of night.

He shook his head, though, quick to be reassuring. "This is an odd part of town, but thankfully not every case is terribly unusual."

The 'friendly cop' gig was really easy when you had zero real suspicions about someone.
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#12
"Odd?" Her head tilted slightly, thinking over the word. "Not odd so much as..." She leaned down, the hand that had been braced on the car dropping so that she could instead lean into the open window, feet very firmly planted where she stood. All the while, Alina made a very obvious show of thinking about what to say. "To put it simply, Wolves own Cedar Creek. There's nothing that happens here that we don't know." She let the words hang on the air, watching him with a cool gaze. She knew what she'd just said; now she wanted to see how he reacted to it.
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#13
Odd. Yes, odd. Something about the repeating of the word had him feeling like this was odd. Why hadn't there been a, 'Oh, nice to see you detective, I'll let you get back to work!' moment by now? It felt like it should have at least begun to lean that way, but instead she was... leaning into the open window, anything but wary.

He opened his mouth, even inhaled slightly to ask her to please back up, his far hand shifting to his side just on instinct more than actual thought. Miss Sinclair wasn't a threat... he didn't think. Until suddenly he was less certain of that character assessment.

Wolves. We.

What?

"Pardon?" he asked reflexively, as if perhaps he had misheard. But he'd known what he'd heard, he just... had she meant it? Wolves. Once upon a time he would have quickly assumed she was talking about a gang or a cartel group. Now, though? When he spent so many of his cases sincerely needing to consider whether or not it had a supernatural spin?

He was a believer, completely, and he could not deny the prickle of wary expectation that he felt upon her telling statement. His hand found the grip of his gun, far from pulling it right off but definitely on the verge of the reflex becoming a conscious decision.
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#14
She watched his face as he processed what she’d said. It was curious, admittedly. He didn’t run screaming in horror (thank god) but his hand almost immediately moved to his gun. Alina’s wolf rumbled internally, metaphysical teeth baring while the human version remained stoic and unafraid.

"It won’t do anything." Being shot would still hurt but she’d heal from it. "Besides. You’re curious. You want to know what it’s like." Her smile was faint. She still hadn’t moved, both hands visible for the moment. He was a cop and her gut instinct told her he’d be a good person for the Pack.

The only problem was if he said no.
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#15
Good under duress, but naturally and by training, this was nonetheless one of the strangest situations that Detective Tomas had ever found himself in. For all her words weren't threatening, for all that she kept her hands visible and her posture somewhat invasive but also not aggressive he... felt pressured, somehow.

Bu he was the guy who thought everyone deserved a chance if he could give it to them. Wasn't the sort to pull his gun in a twitchy bit of upset. Though his hand remained low on the grip, unable to will his hand away from it, he still made no move to pull it, dark eyes fixed on the woman who was sincerely encroaching on personal space.

Curious, she accused him of. Curious as to... what it was like? Admittedly, curious about a lot of things, unwilling to believe that anyone was inherently evil or dangerous. He'd come to this town with intent of finding justice for anyone who needed it, not about to profile and condemn the supernatural just for existing but it had always seemed to slip his grasp when he got close enough for a look.

Maybe this woman was a part of that.

"Miss Sinclair, I'm going to have to ask you to step back." He needed some semblance of control on the situation.
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#16
He told her to step back and... she... did not. One, she didn't let others tell her what to do and two, he was poking around for his cases in places that would undoubtedly get him attacked, at the very least. It was one thing to be attacked by humans when you had a weapon that would actually be useful against them. It was an entirely different thing to be attacked by creatures that weren't affected by standard issue weapons. Tasers? That shit tickled. Bullets? Cops didn't carry silver, so bullets weren't life-threatening.

He was going to get himself killed.

She took a moment to decide and once she did, she was moving, reaching into the car with that supernatural speed with a hand that had grown claws. In the blink of an eye, she had scratched his arm. Nothing like the deep furrows that would happen in a violent attack but thin, red lines where blood began to seep.

Now, she stepped back, hands — both normal! — raised in a gesture of innocence. See how harmless she was?
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#17
Sure, he'd been aiming for control on the situation, something usually not too difficult to handle with a non-violent encounter. But it became violent in a flash of movement, and he yelped in spite of himself at the lance of unexpected pain. Had she pulled a knife and he hadn't seen it? Because it felt a lot like--

Wait, no. Several trails of blood. Not a knife, something else. Like he'd been scratched. Adrenaline seemed to slow the moment, gave him a chance to assess, to wonder at the state of his own slashed up skin, and then it all rushed as if to catch back up. He reeled away even as Alina's hands came up in a disarming gesture. He didn't understand what had just happened or why he was bleeding and he should have gone for his gun and might have if he hadn't instead clutched at the wounding.

"What the fuck?!"

Freaking out wasn't exactly normal for him, but it wasn't every day you got hit in the line of duty. It didn't stun him like getting shot would have either. It left him with plenty of voice to be bewildered because he was pretty sure Alina Sinclair, local businesowner, had just scratched him like a cat.

Or a wolf?
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#18
He was understandably bewildered. She'd moved too fast for him to see and now his arm was bleeding. He'd barely had time to react, which was fine since it meant that he was still trying to absorb what had just happened rather than pointing a gun at her.

His exclamation was expected but she did not acknowledge it. Instead, Alina watched him, watched how small bubbles of blood beaded on his arm where she'd scratched him. It wasn't deep enough to bleed freely but it wasn't a surface wound, either. If the infection took, the scratch would heal and she would explain but until then, she waited in silence, eyes locked on his arm while she remained aware of how he moved in case he did decide to point the gun at her.
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#19
Despite his flash of panic, Alina wasn't doing... anything. Just watching, wordless and attentive, and it went against everything that felt normal. Uncertain still as to if she was an actual threat, he didn't go for his gun, though perhaps he should have. Not one to escalate, he still had to do something. His hand coming down over the bleeding, as if it threatened to become worse, he used his other hand to reach for the handle of the door, shouldering it open.

If she'd let him out, he'd climb out of the vehicle, to demand answers from a better position than sitting in a death trap of a vehicle.

Little did he realize, of course, the scratch he was currently clamping with his other hand was no longer bleeding to any degree as it stitched itself back up with speed that would have been alarming had he been paying attention.
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#20
He started to get out and Alina made a motion with her hand, a signal to wait. "We shouldn’t talk out here. I’m no threat to you." A lie, if the infection hadn’t taken. "We can talk in the car or somewhere else. I’ll even sit in the back seat if you like."
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#21
He paused, door unlatched but failing to open more than a couple of inches before she stopped him. Verbally, again, somehow her words more confusing than her silence.

Alina's eerie calm and her desire to 'talk,' had him staring hard at her, even as the pain of the wounding faded without his consciously acknowledging that.

At this point, he didn't particularly want to be anywhere with her, unpredictable as she'd proven herself to be. "First tell me what you want to talk about," he said, a slightly harder edge to his voice than what she had heard from the detective previously.
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#22
He was pissy now, it sounded like. That was fine. Instead of answering him directly, she shrugged. "Look at your arm."
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#23
Look at his... ?

In spite of his sudden row of distrust, well earned by the enigmatic woman, he followed her instructions reflexively. Removing his hand, barely bloody at all, he almost didn't know what he was looking at for a second. But then it clicked. Slightly pink still, but maybe that was just an illusion born from the blood that had remained on the surface of the skin. Completely closed up, not even like a paper cut.

Bewildered, he looked wide-eyed up back up to the woman who seemed very much to know what was going on. "How's... what?"

How was this possible? What had she done?
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#24
"Thats what I want to talk about." A shrug, as if it were the simplest response in the world. To her, it was. To him... prooobably not.
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#25
Absolutely reeling, what else was he to do? He shook his head, but it wasn't a denial, it was just confusion as his eyes dropped from her face. Then he pulled his door back to full closed, looked at his very slightly bloodied hand and arm again, mystified. "You... yeah, just... passenger seat is fine."

Wasn't it?

Auto-piloting with the suggestion, he reached across the seat in question and pulled up the manual lock before he dropped back into his own seat, trying to decide how real any of this was.
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#26
The passenger seat. Alina was mildly surprised at the offer (much better than the back seat!) but did not ask him if he was sure. It would have been a foolish question to ask and probably would have made them backtrack instead of moving in the right direction.

So she moved to the other door and opened it, making sure her movements weren’t quick or threatening as she eased into the seat and shut the door behind herself. That done, she turned to face him, one leg curled beneath her on the seat.

"Youre going to be a Were now. A werewolf, to be exact."
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#27
This was weird. Incredibly weird. He felt a wary sense of anxiety, but also layered with resolve. Surreal as this was, it definitely seemed to be happening, and as Miss Sinclair climbed into the car, he rolled back up his own window, having a feeling this was... not going to be a standard conversation. Still, though his heart rate was inevitably up, he kept mostly calm, focused on his breathing and marveled silently at his arm for a moment. A rub of his finger took away the blood, but under there there was nothing but the faint trace of what seemed to already be a scar. Not much of one, barely even visible, but...

Reeling but not about to go running for the hills, he looked over at the woman as she spoke.

"Like you," he observed, neutral but very serious in his assessment as he looked to confirm what he already knew. Alina Sinclair, Cedar Creek local, was a werewolf.

"Why?" he asked, keeping it simple, and driving to the heart of it. Why on earth had she done this? Because it was clearly intentional. Maybe even premeditated. He sat hunched in his seat, watching her like he wasn't sure if this was about to get worse for him or... what.
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#28
"Like me," Alina parroted back to him, confirming with a slight nod of her head. Alina’s head tilted a little to the side, giving him a look that was maybe not entirely human, if you knew what you were looking for. She kept her beast down, though, keeping her eyes from shifting before him just yet. He had asked a question after all.

"To keep you alive." Her answer was given in a matter-of-fact tone. "If you keep sniffing around supernatural business, you’re going to end up getting killed. I’m not about cops getting killed on my turf, so..." One thing led to another and now, here they were.
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#29
He felt a little shiver at her confirmation, but he withheld his judgement. She could have mauled him, judging by how easily she'd done what little she had. He sank uneasily into his seat a little. Whatever she'd done here... she felt it was perhaps a kindness? Or maybe a convenience, for her.

Pressing the back of his fingers to his mouth while he stared out the windshield and thought, he found he believed her. But one question lingered... "So what is it that werewolves... do here? That you need to keep covered up." His tone distant, as he separated himself from the reality of how personal this was.

She was being protective. It wasn't that she was worried about his life--though maybe that wasn't completely off the table--but that was hardly enough motivation. A dead cop attracted attention. She didn't want that.
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#30
She let the silence stretch in peace, settling comfortably where she was while he seemed to think on it. This was a much better reaction than screaming of sobbing and Alina found herself pleased, and more again when he finally spoke a question. One she hadn’t expected him to ask.

"We run the brewery. And maybe a fight club that cops generally don’t know about. Helps us Weres keep our aggression in check." He didn’t need to know about the other things. Not yet, anyway. "What I was more referring to was the murder you’re investigating. Vamps left it on our doorstep to frame us. Things have been escalating between us and them and while I don't need another body to watch out for, a dead cop in Cedar Creek is not something I'm willing to risk."
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#31
A fight club.

Was this real life?

Apparently so. An actual werewolf fight club or... Okay, sure. No reason to believe she was pulling his leg, he let this all get filed away as a new point of fact to take into account. And her reasoning was not bad at all. Though, he was a bit surprised at a confirmed turf war between vampires and shifters. He'd wondered, with the broadcast, how relationships were between the different types. Apparently? Not good.

So it had been a vampire. It was almost nice to confirm that. Though he had a feeling that didn't give him the wiggle room to reopen the case. Alina wasn't telling him this so he could go stir the water again.

Silence lingered again. Dakila knew his own reaction was too subdued. But calm under duress was what he was made for, trained for. It wasn't like he hadn't been a believer before. But this was almost-but-not-quite like being tagged into a gang with no choice in the matter. He couldn't help but worry he was being asked to play against his duties.

May as well ask. "What does this mean? For me?" He looked back to her again, studying her out. She still looked entirely and exactly like a woman and nothing at all like a monster. Not a wolf. But he'd never been one to label them as dangerous from the gate, anyway.
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