"The game is kind of like a magic trick. It will show you how people truly are. Rich, poor, powerful, or weak. It will show you that no matter what everyone is the same in the face of greed. Tell a rich man you'll take everything from him or tell a poor man he could have anything in the world, and just sit back and watch. Like magic, human nature is revealed."
The elegant sounds of strings echoed through the expansive lobby area of the general hospital. Kai lets out another sigh after at least the fourth person openly stared at him and he could hear the whispers all around. He could only pray that this event ends soon as he getting really tired of this.
"Is that him?"
"Huh, I thought he would be a bit taller..."
"Heh, but he's at least cute..."
He felt like a freak sideshow here, and he's betting his whole paycheck that this is exactly what Morris wanted him to feel. A hand pats him on the shoulder making him snap his head around. He relaxes at seeing the familiar and smiling face of Rafeeqa. Both of them were dressed in their standard police uniforms, except their cap due to the inside venue. Kai was happy to know that his team was also with him, even Jaivon even though the other man clearly hated him. It was better than being poked and prodded by the disgustingly rich alone.
"You look like you want to kill someone." Rafeeqa says with a mischievous smile on her painted lips.
"Ha, what gave it away?" He responded with a laugh. "God, I can't wait for this to be over."
"Ha, well hold out for a little longer okay? Should be over soon." She said petting on his head.
She takes a spot next to him, her eyes scanning the floor.
"...It must be so easy for them..."
Kai turns to look at her, eyebrows scrunched in confusion. She looks back at him with an amused smile and nods her head to the floor of elites and politicians alike.
"Them. They just have it so damn easy. While everyone else just dirt on the road for them."
Kai turns his head to look as well. The party was beautiful even Kai had to admit that. The hospital lobby has been adorned with decorations. The attendees all dressed in the very best suits and dresses, only the very best for Lance Halloway as if it was were apparent. Mr. Halloway was a man who commands perfection in everything he did or had. Halloway General was one of the best and had the most extensive expertise in the medical field.
The kicker was, of course, it was heart-stoppingly expensive.
You didn't get treated at Halloway General if you were nobody.
"How envious.." Rafeeqa mumbles.
"Hmm?" Kai turns to her, not quite getting her last statement.
She was about to respond but as her eyes turn she let out a rather unladylike scoff. Her eyes seem to darken and her gaze goes cold.
"Heads up, we have company incoming."
Kai turns to where her eyes were trailing and lets out a curse.
Walking leisurely directly in their general direction was Lance Halloway and his son, Dante Halloway. The very last two people Kai was hoping to see at least until very last. Lance was greeting people along the way and hadn't noticed them as of yet but Dante clearly notices him. His light-colored eyes had a fire of rage slowly boiling in them and a sneer forming of his lips. His auburn color hair was pushed to the side and he was dressed in an all-black suit and tie.
"Remember what Morris said, play nice. I'll be right here with you." Rafeeqa says with a comforting squeeze of his arm.
It was at the moment Lance's eyes fell on Kai. His face slowly morphs from gracious show host to brutal businessman with an almost audio click. He then starts to move with purpose toward the two, his son trailing behind. His sneer taking on a more ugly glee.
"So you really did show.." Lance says, his eyes raking down Kai like he was examining an interesting animal or even a bug.
A wooden smile slowly comes to Kai's face after a helpful and pointed nudge from Rafeeqa.
"Ah, yes sir. We were told you would like police detail to keep an eye on everything." He said, his words feeling every bit disconnect from his body.
"Hmm. I see. Well, I guess I should feel really safe now that the Bloodhound of Briagas is here huh?" Lance says, leaning in for a bit with a loud laugh.
Towards the end of his sentence, his voice was purposefully louder than normal and invoked more and more people to turn their heads to them. Hearing Kai's famed titles, an even louder whisper than before starting to rise up around them.
"Ohh, the Bloodhound is here? My, my"
"Why do they call him the 'Bloodhound of Briagas'."
"Oh? You haven't heard? Do you remember the Graner trafficking case?"
"What?! That was him? A cop actually dared to take on Tristan Gardner?"
"Hmm, he did.."
Kai could feel that same white noise cropping up as more and more whispers joined in. His entire body was pulled tight like a spring ready to pop. Lance had a smug smirk on his face as he watches the subtle emotions cross Kai's face. He was spitting image of his son, just older, and meaner.
"Whoa... how scary. But why do they call him Bloodhound?"
"Haha... it causes.. like a bloodhound, he just doesn't know when to leave well alone. He'll never give up a hunt, even though he should know better."
And if that wasn't the truth, Kai didn't know what else was.
"Kai.." A gentle whisper came from his side.
His body uncoils like a puppet that lost its string as he turns to Rafeeqa. Her gentle smile was more of a relief than he could even understand. She then turns to Mr. Halloway with that still gentle smile.
"Mr. Halloway, thank you for inviting us. This event has been beautiful!"
Lance's eyes drift to Rafeeqa, doing a very obvious and long overlook of her figure before resting back on her face. His smirk widens ever so slightly which made the blood in Kai's ear boil. His jaw was clenched so tight it almost felt like his teeth could crack under the pressure.
"Ah, yes. Thank you, officer...?"
"Rafeeqa, sir." She responded politely.
"Hmm, Rafeeqa... a beautiful name for a beautiful woman.." His eyes drift again.
Kai could practically envision himself punch Lance in the face. The sweet satisfaction with it as well.
"Thank you for your kind words, sir. Officer Kai was actually also here to apologize formally sir." Rafeeqa said with another nudge to Kai.
Lance's eyes danced back to Kai with a look that he didn't like one bit. The smirk on Lance's face twitches a bit before he gestures behind him towards his son.
"Dante, come here."
It was a command that Dante didn't refuse. With an arrogant tilt of his head, he steps forward. There sneer still present on his face.
"The kind officer is here to give an apology for his behavior towards you."
Silence filled the space for a few seconds. When it lasts just a bit too long Lance turns back to the two officers. His face now taking on a stormy look.
Rafeeqa practically pushes Kai to get him to finally respond. His face turns to Dante, his eyes looking at Dante and through him. That same wooden smile forms back on his face.
"Mr. Halloway, I'm sorry about my behavior..truly."
Dante almost seems to drink it in as he lets out a small laugh. A cruel smile rests on his face as he looks Kai right in the eye.
"Ah... that alright Officer. Try not to have it happen again okay?"
Dante rests a hand on Kai's shoulder and gives a rough pat.
This whole exchange last maybe let than a minute but for Kai it felt like he was going through hours of long torture. He could feel Rafeeqa's eyes on him, warning him.
Dante finally steps back and Lance just gives a nod to the two before both continue onwards. But Dante doesn't just let that be it. While passing both he gives one last smug grin before disappearing from Kai's view.
The noise at this point is unbearable. Kai's breath was coming in a short burst, if not for the gentle hand guiding him through the crowd, he wasn't sure what he would do. The cold biting evening air was just what he needed after that. The noise died back into the background and the pressure just melted away. He let out deep shakily breathes as he leans over the railing to the patio Rafeeqa had taken him to.
"You did good." She said petting a hand over the back of his neck to over his head.
"Ha.. you're a terrible liar...."
Her laugh was light and lifted his heart.
"Well, you did better than I was expecting. You didn't punch him nor broke his hand like I was betting on."
"Ha, ouch you were betting against me?" Kai said with a smile that he didn't think he would ever have in this place.
"Honestly Kai, darling you 100% would have decked him if I wasn't here."
Kai lets out another laugh and nods before turning to her.
"Well, then it's a good thing you were here." He said to her with a meaningful look in his eyes.
Rafeeqa's smile falters a bit seeing the look in his eyes before renewing a bit wider. She then turns to the night sky. It was a full moon today, the stars sparkled in the sky.
"Sometimes I wonder...what the point of it all?"
Kai tilts his head a bit at her question.
"I mean honestly, all we do is just wipe the ass of these people for scapes. Where the justice in that?"
There's a pause for a few seconds before Kai responds.
She turns to him, an intrigued look on her face.
"But I think there is a point. That we try, even if it all doomed to be nothing but ashes. We tried for those who can't. The innocent ones who refuse or can't play this game called justice. We can give them a chance."
Rafeeqa's eyes don't leave Kai's face for a second during his whole speech. Her expression almost appeared ...sad?
"I believe that all people deserve a chance." He finished with a soft smile on his face before he turns to her.
Her face almost looked like she was about to cry which gave Kai pause as his face turns concerned.
She doesn't speak for a few seconds before slowly raising a hand to his face. Gentle running her fingers over his cheek before resting on his lips with a sad smile on her face.
".....You are ... really pure."
Kai let out a small confused laugh.
"What are -"
"....It almost makes me sad..."
Kai's face morphs into confusion as he tried to wrap his mind around what she was trying to convey to him. But before they could talk further, the sound of glass shattering and loud voices sounded from back in the lobby area. Both instantly returned to the lobby, scanning the room for threats. Fortunately, it was nothing of that level of seriousness but the situation wasn't ideal.
"....Is- is that ..?" Rafeeqa lets out a shaky breath as she took in the scene before her.
Kai was just the same as his eyes slightly widen at the scene before him. The party seemed to have continued as normal while they were gone however that was until a certain guest arrived.
A man that no one ever dared to even speak of unless behind tightly closed doors. A man that no one, not even Kai would dare to cross.
The devil of Briagas. Aresio Gasparini, the mayor and most dangerous man in Briagas.