.:'chapter seven-kick me':.

Willard sits in one of the many booths of the tavern, a cold mug of ale in his fist. I was late, purposely; I sat in the corner of the room, hidden by a partition, and still sit, watching to be sure no one else has come. The man is either naïve or a boy scout, he did as I asked.

I finally slip out from my hidden table and join Willard. He stares at me with disbelief. "Are your eyes glowing?" The tint was slight, but it was enough.

"We'll get to that," I grunt, and take a large gulp of my warm beer. "Where are you on the country club murders?"

He ran his fingers through his disheveled hair. Without missing a beat, he slid onto the table several papers, all with pictures and names. "These are the current suspects, both Hampton and Donatello featuring the list. However, none of the surviving witnesses can place either of them at the scene of the crime. Many of the witnesses are claiming there were several gunmen, the first being our Jane Doe. She was heavily drugged with a substance we've never come across."

Willard pauses, glancing at my eyes. "I'm sure that's something you can elaborate on."

"I'd much rather hear the rest of your story," I smile sweetly.

With a shake of his head, he rolls his eyes and continues. "Three people have given us a rough sketch of a similar man." He sorts through the papers on the table and comes up with a hand drawn man, mid thirties, with a narrow face and flaring nose. "They say he was near Darcy Hampton when he was killed, the first to go of fifteen. This is believed to be our second gunman; I however, am convinced he used no gun at all."

The papers are spread on the table again, and this time he points to a picture of Darcy Hampton's body sprawled out on the floor, his forehead missing from a gunshot. A hole in his chest was crested over with dried black blood. "His heart was stabbed; we kept this from the news media. It was odd, why take the time to stab a man shot in the head? Darcy was shot first, that was certain, all witnesses concur on the fact.

"My boss is rushing me with this case; he wants everything wrapped up by this coming Monday. I'm told to give the news media a story explaining who and why this Jane Doe killed all these people. I have nothing of fact, and nothing feels right."

"Was I right about her being a performer for the night?"

He nods. "She was performing a skit; no one realized she was unauthorized to be there. She was performing a dramatization of a play, using the gun as a prop. It wasn't until she actually fired into the crowd that the patrons realized something was wrong. That's another thing, the country club is guarded, and everyone has to go through a gate entrance, show proof of identity. No one at the gate remembers her. She had to have had inside help. I'm hoping I can find a lead on this second man."

Willard stands, walking away from the table only with his mug. I look at the papers on the table, picking out the victims from the witnesses. It's only a moment before Willard arrives, two mugs in his hand this time. He slides one before me, and takes a drink of his refilled one.

"I'm looking for this man," I point at the sketch. I rub my eyes and think of the prior night in Hampton's club- I did not remember seeing him before entering my drug induced state. "You've gotten no leads?"

"None."

"Before I begin with findings in my investigation, I would like your word," I speak calmly, "I would like you to remain open to anything I say. My employer, who at this time will remain anonymous, has led me down a rabbit hole I can't seem to find an exit to."

"Of course," Willard sighs. He's losing his easy edge; he's becoming aggravated, thinking I'm only playing games.

I slide out a vial from my pocket and set it on the table. "Have you heard of DNX?" He shakes his head and I smile. "It's a new drug, the reason behind the entire bloodbath. Everyone wants to be top dog in this new market, and apparently, our mysterious suspect, is just the new dog. Only problem is, I'm learning the facts too slowly to find any information on him at any relevant time."

"Is that why your eyes are red? Are you on drugs right now?"

I shrug my shoulders. "I used a small amount; I wanted to see what the effects were. When I used a whole bottle, I blacked out; though, now I'm wondering if that was the effects of some other drugs I was slipped earlier in the evening."

I tap the vial. "It is highly addictive, and Hampton is distributing it to a vast amount of people. My advice to you, find out what's in this thing and if there's something people can take to kick the addiction before half the city dies."

"Which Hampton are you referring to?"

"Vlad."

He nods. "Darcy and Vlad were opposites. Vlad was the adopted Russian nobody, Darcy was the Wall Street playboy. It wouldn't surprise me if Vlad killed his own brother and tried to pin it on his rival."

"So here is what I propose," I take a drink of my ale, and set it down empty, "Help me find our second country club murder, use the database in the police force, and give me whatever information you can. I'll go through all the grunt work, following dead ends and tracing new steps. If you prove to be useful, not only will your name go down in fame on this case, but you'll have cracked open a bust on one of the biggest drug lords in the city. You can have all the credit."

For a moment I think he's going to reject me. The bar is buzzing with new activity, a large group of twenty-something men have turned on a soccer game. My eyes are on them, wondering if anyone has been listening.

"I see why it would be beneficial to me, but what's in this for you?"

I scoff at him, rolling my eyes. "What? I don't come off as a good Samaritan?" Willard smiles and shakes his head, slowly drinking the last of his mug. "Perhaps it is because my employer has it in his head that I can solve this case, and on the fat chance that I do, I can get paid, use that to live off of for at least a year, and pretend I don't know anyone named Hampton or Donatello or Willard."

"I have one more condition to add before I agree to help," Willard speaks slowly, eyeing me up, his eyes finally settling on my holster beneath my jacket. "I asked around about you, why you were let go; it seems you have quite the happy trigger finger. If I'm working with you, there's a small chance people may find out, and I don't want any unwanted cocaine binge shootouts linked to my name."

"That was one time," I mutter, but nod after a moment's thought. "But I will try to refrain from harming any innocent civilian. And to clear things up, I may have killed two people, but I caught the guy. The mayor even awarded me a medal, which ended up getting confiscated when the cocaine aspect came into light."

Willard simply shook his head. "Let's hope you on DNX is not as bad."

Yeah, let's hope, I grimly think, already knowing that I was craving the new found drug which should have never found its way into my body a second time.

After Willard drinks another beer, it is time to leave. We stand, making our way outside, the afternoon afoot. The sun bakes down on us, the early fall wind kicking up. We walk together down the street towards Willard's car, a light yellow volts wagon with a dent in the driver's door. As careful as I was before, I knew now that a man took too keen an interest in my movements.

"Did you bring anyone with you?" I jab at my companion.

He shakes his head. "Why would I?"

"Hug me goodbye," I speak through clenched lips, and spread my arms for him in an instant. He gives me a dumbfounded look but complies. I slip my arms down to his waist, grabbing his gun from his waist holster. "In ten seconds, I'm going to run after a man about sixty feet from us, standing by a bus stop. I'm going to try my best not to break my end of the bargain, the part about not shooting an innocent bystander."

I release him, he tells me to wait, but it is too late. I turn and sprint towards the man. Even from the distance, I can see his eyes are red. Behind me I can hear Willard shouting for me, running after me, but I can't slow down, the man I'm after turns to run. I love the chase.

The DNX is pumping through my veins. Despite the low quantity, I feel empowered. I feel like a God. I feel-

Nothing.

A car hits me as I step into a crosswalk, sending me into the air. In the instant before my body hits the pavement, I see the driver, red eyes hidden beneath glasses.

.:A/N:. I'm trying to avoid author's notes in the story, but if someone could explain how to do this I would love them for it! Just PM me. But anyways, I cannot seem to figure out how to make the regular editor appear, the one that allows for the insertion of lines, bold, italics etc. Instead I get an older html version. I really want to switch it, because I can't figure out how to add lines anymore! Or bold my titles! Thanks for reading btw! Love ya lots! -Alice