A/N: Warning - this chapter has some greusome images. If you can't handle it, then don't read it.
That night, Clarance slicked back his hair and put it under a fedora, then put on his uncle's long coat. The brimmed hat sat on his head and covered his eyes just so; he thought it was possible that he would go unnoticed. He promised himself he wouldn't go up to the bar under any circumstance – after all, that was a great way to get him drunk and caught. Neither of those things was preferable, and he wasn't going to touch a drink with a ten foot pole tonight. He had business.
He took the public transport, not wanting to get caught driving his big, obvious red truck, and sat at the bar with a book upon arrival. In all reality, he was watching the Populars, not reading. But the less they could see his face, the better off he was.
As he was watching, Ana fumbled around in her black faux leather purse. The rest of the girls were scattered around, hanging on guys and flirting. All of their moves seemed to work on the males. As well as Hatter hitting on a guy, Jazz and Harmony were doing a sister duo threesome thing, both sitting on the lap of a broad shouldered muscular youth. Lindsay was doing her own thing, shoving her tongue down a teen's throat.
A stack of pictures fluttered from Ana's purse, and landed around her feet and under Clarance's chair. He put his foot on them, and sat there calmly, barely moving. A look came across her face like, Oh, shit, I lost those. He figured the photos were important so he kept his foot on them until she left. Then and only then, did he lift his foot and pick up the photographs.
At first, he was repulsed. The pictures were of bloody corpses with bite marks around the neck and throats of the victims, and bruises and whatnot. There were dead faces and tangled mats of hair. As he flipped through what little he had in the way of visuals, the more he thought that it could possibly be the demons' doing. Other than the little information Clarance had given her, Ana could have no clue that this was the case. Or did she? Clarance paused and glanced up, under the fedora. He frowned. Why didn't she tell him she had information? They were partners, and that was one of the rules.
These photos need to be confiscated. They're mine now. I could study them and maybe it'll give me a lead. He tucked them into his coat's inner pocket and began to return home, head down towards his feet and eyes on his book. Once he got back to his front door, his dog, Major, began barking. "Yeah, yeah… you'll get fed," he sighed. His uncle was away on business so Clarance had the house to himself, save for the little German Sheppard dog always trotting around.
Clarance unlocked the door, and entered, sitting down in the computer room to scan them in. Stolen property needed to be backed up someplace, especially images and documents. Major got a scratch behind the ears before Clarance got up to change into normal home clothes – jeans (he put the pictures in the pocket) and a basic t-shirt. He rinsed off his head and shaved, then sat down to eat a microwave dinner in front of the television. The news was on, so he absently watched, until the phrase "Fogview Murders" caught in his ears. He turned up the volume and listened more intently, taking a gulp of his soda.
The article mentioned that there had been more murders last night. Two bodies were found in the part of the Hell Hole nearest to a local bar, almost completely stripped of flesh. The sad part was they didn't mention which bar the murder was committed at. As much as he wanted to visit the scene of the crime, he knew he'd be in deep trouble if he did.
There was a knock at the door, but before Clarance could leave the comfort of his couch, Major started barking and growling, snarling at the person at the door. It was Ana.
Clarance was majorly freaked out by her sudden appearance. He answered and held back the barking dog as she stepped in, her lips pinched in a fairly annoyed expression. "You stole them, didn't you," she said in a huffy tone, and it sounded more like an accusation and a demand to give them back to her than a question. Her eyebrows were crinkled up and her high heeled feet were tapping impatiently.
"Stole what?" he questioned defensively. "I've been here all night, haven't I, Major?" Major barked again definitively. "Never left the house."
Ana snorted breathily. "Yeah, right. I know you were at Lucky's, Clarance; don't pull any of this shit with me. Just give the pictures back. You know they're mine."
"Oh, those old things?" Clarance dismissed this. "I know they're yours – after all, you dropped them in the first place, which was careless – but they're relevant to my story. You might not know this, as you have been giving me the silent treatment of late. Point is, they're mine now. I could care less what's yours."
Ana's jaw tensed. That was the exact reaction he was aiming for – anger. Getting her mad was the least of his troubles, and anyway, it was pretty fun to taunt her like this. "Clarance Reed, give them back to me right now."
There was a look in her eye that he'd never seen before. Though they were typically a natural color, brown, maybe, they shone red for just a moment like an accidental red eye in a family picture, and stuck out just as badly. Her jaws parted for a moment, and he thought he saw teeth reminiscent of a deep sea fish – long, tapered, and razor sharp interlocking canines that would make a professional wrestler gulp. He wasn't sure about this though, as both things were just glimpses. One thing was for sure though: she was growling like a wolf. Major quivered and hid under the couch, and Clarance glanced at the typically-valiant hound cowering in fear. He dipped into a martial arts stance, as he'd been training since he was eight. Hadn't made black belt yet, but he could easily get her into submission. She was smaller than he was.
He reached into his pocket and pulled them out. "Are these what you're looking for?" he asked her, eyeing her slightly nervously. He'd just seen something crazy, and he really wasn't feeling so sure about himself fighting like this. He was out of practice and something told him that Ana was tougher than she looked.
"Give them to me!" she yelped, and Clarance shoved past her outside. Ana tossed her bag to the porch step, where her pink and rhinestone covered phone clattered onto the concrete. She didn't seem to care about that, or the other things that spilt out of her bag, like makeup and perfume, either. She was seemingly targeting him. "You are going to get it, Clarance Reed!" Once again, he took a ready stance, and she leaped at him.
As it turned out, his first glance of an angry Ana wasn't the wrong one. Her fingernails became claws and her teeth, razors; eyes beginning to start glowing red with pupils like a cat or a snake. He lifted his hands to block her, still gripping the photographs in his hand, and she came crashing into him with the force of a small tsunami.
The well-built reporter got the wind knocked straight from his lungs on impact to the ground where her claws dug into his shoulders and she bared her teeth menacingly. Adrenaline thrummed through his veins; maybe it wasn't the best idea to annoy Ana. Because, well, perhaps this was the source of the demons that were the talk of the town. The Populars.
Clarance bashed his head against her face, which caused her to recoil in pain and grab at her now-bloody nose. He followed it up with a punch in the face for her, which shoved her off onto the ground. Then he took a few steps back to better look at the thing that replaced Ana.
He didn't have much time to look at her. After catching her breath, the demon righted herself and launched herself at him again, this time, latching her teeth into his arm holding the photographs. As his hand went limp, the photographs fluttered to the ground. He took a moment and panted. Pain lanced up his arm all the way down his back and made him shudder. Whispers from no one began to fill his ears, and all the noises began to give him a major migraine. Blood began to leak around her lips, and she recoiled, hissing, "You're disss-gusss-ting…" She licked her hand and made a disgusted face.
"Good," he retorted, and, using his good hand, punched her lights out.