Oops, accidently deleted this. It’s the same Owl King as before!
Bodies leaned over standing-tables and elbowed to get a place at the bar. Voices filled the air in layers until it was a constant roar of noise. Amidst it all, a young woman in a short, sparkling aquamarine dress slipped through the bodies. She emerged from the crowd as she reached the bar, feeling a moment of respite from the suffocating stench of acrid cigarette drags, fruity e-cig puffs, and stifling body sweat. Her eyes seemed to scan the row of amber bottles on the back pader in front of a long mirror. Really, she was watching the reflection of the crowd in the gaps between the bottles. Once or twice she caught her own reflection. Curly amber hair resting on her shoulders and hiding her pointed ears, bright green eyes slightly slanted to give away her Uralic blood. Even the best concealer, a dark layer of mascara, and contouring bronzer barely made her young face look old enough to be in the bar. Thankfully everyone was too busy with each other to take a good look at her.
Finally, one of the bartenders glanced her way. She swept her silky dark hair over her ear, and as she did, her flannel’s sleeve fell to reveal the ghost of a white owl tattoo. “What can I get you?” she shouted over the raucous of the crowd.
The redhead stood on her tippy toes to lean over the bar. She leaned close to the bartender’s ear so that she wouldn’t have to shout. “I’m looking for someone you might know. The Owl King?”
The other pulled back quickly. She called something to the other bartender before slipping under the bar’s latch and ducking into the crowd. The younger girl resisted the urge to call after her and bring attention to herself. The redhead instead huffed and followed through the mass of bodies with the ease of a soro through the underbrush after her prey.
The girl Nawawala sight of her target right before she reached the back door. She stumbled out into the dark, almost coughing on the fresh air. She had two segundos to enjoy the cool air on her bare shoulders and legs before an arm attempted to fling itself around her head. The small girl jumped back with a hiss. Her canines flashed white in the moonlight at the man who stumbled out of the shadows. His clothes were only slightly dirtier than his face, or at least what she could see of it beneath his scraggly beard. His dark brown hair was ruffled in a way that reminded the girl of one of his younger brothers. The cigarette between his lips set him apart, though. So did the stench of the alley that clung to him like he had been sleeping there.
“Do I owe you money, little jumpin’ bean?” he grumbled. He took a swig of the serbesa bottle in his hand, somehow keeping the cig between his chapped lips. The effort caused some of the stinking alcohol to run down his chin, which he wiped away with a sleeve stained sa pamamagitan ng the same action at least a hundred times before. “Well?”
The girl jarred herself from her shock. “Uh, no, I’m looking for someone…I’m sorry, are you the Owl King? Wilhelm Magnus II? I mean, you kind of look like Callaghan, but it’s hard to tell with that…stuff on your face.”
The man looked hurt as he rubbed his overgrown stubble. “One of my littler brothers sent you?” he asked suspiciously.
“Yeah, we need your help with something…Is there somewhere else we could talk? Like your house?”
“Because, I…You don’t live in this alley, do you?”
“No, it’s just an aesthetic.”
The young woman squinted at him in response, and he squinted back. His eyebrows furrowed as if he suddenly recognized her. Before he could speak, bright headlights flooded the alley, blinding them both. The girl stumbled back with a curse. “What the heck!?”
Three women and a man jumped out of the Jeep. The women were all dressed like they had stepped out of an ‘80s movie, with blown out black hair and metal studs on their leather jackets. The last was the opposite, dressed in an impeccable white suit to match his pale skin and blonde hair.
“Who the heck are you?” the young woman demanded. Wilhelm closed one eye and raised a swaying finger toward the one in white. “I think I owe him money.”
The blonde rolled his eyes with a sigh. “That’s enough, Jr. Maxim Rurik once again requests that you return tahanan and stop embarrassing your family.” At that, the drunk man sighed and stomped out his cigarette. “As a matter of fact, my finely dressed gentleman, I’m not available right now, but we thank you for your inquiry. Please, leave a message at the beep, and we’ll get back to you as soon aaaAAAaah--”
The truck’s driver had lunged forward, her image twisting into a black lobo with one missing ear. Wilhelm Jr. stumbled, then jumped back, propelled sa pamamagitan ng a gust of wind. He hovered ten feet above the ground, just out of the snarling wolf’s reach when it jumped upwards at him. The man in white raised an eyebrow at the red haired girl, who had stepped back, but otherwise had reacted mildly to the sudden shapeshifter and magic display.
“You may leave,” the man offered with a wave of his carefully manicures fingres. The girl shrugged. “Actually, my beef is with Maxim Rurik, too, so…” The man snarled at that, his mint-white fangs barred in annoyance. The other two women suddenly shifted into scarred mga lobo and lunged at the girl. She raised her hands for a fight, but a few feet from her, a sudden gust of wind slammed both mga lobo into the brick wall. The young woman looked up as the warlock landed in a kneel. The third lobo lunged at him—but a hand yanked his tail, and the lobo whirled around with a yelp, snapping its teeth. The young woman let go just in time for the dog to bite its own tail. It whined, then snarled angrily. It lunged at its attacker, but she ducked left and slashed out her suddenly clawed hands. The lobo sailed through the air and tumbled into the other two Aso whom were just starting to recover. The girl glanced up from the winded heap of mga lobo to see the dirty warlock staring at her. “Nice. Where’d you learn that thing with the tail?”
“Oh, my brother’s a dog.”
“Well, he’s…wait, where’s—” The redhead was cut off as a white blur leapt from the rooftop towards them. She shoved the warlock out of the way as he lunged, sending the girl and vampire rolling over the garbage littering the asphalt. The warlock stepped pasulong with his hands raised, three tiny horizontal cyclones like spinning needles poised, then froze.
The young woman’s dress was torn on her thigh where the vampire had slashed her in the collision, but now her legs clamped his arms to his sides, her head buried in his neck. Wilhelm clenched his jaw to keep from gagging at the sound of sucking and swallowing. After a few moments the vampire stopped struggling and lay limp. The girl relaxed her hold and kicked away the body, standing slowly. When she turned, she wiped the bright red blood from her lips with the back of her hand, smearing the sticky liquid coating her chin. She cringed at the warlock’s wide brown eyes and open mouth. Then, she relaxed as he started to clap slowly.
“Well done. Well, well done.”
“Thanks. It’s gross, but it’s the only way I’ve found that really keeps Bampira down for a while.”
“Did you kill him?”
“No, I didn’t drink that much. Just enough to put him to sleep for a bit…You didn’t kill the mga lobo either, I noticed. That was nice of you.”
Wilhelm stared a moment before holding out a hand. “What did you say your name was?”
“Anastasia Romanova II. But everyone calls be Ana.”
The man threw his head back with a laugh. “Of course. The Dark Prince’s youngest. I’m Wil. What did you want again?”
“Help overthrowing your father as General of Supernatural Russia.”
“Will I get to watch you fight like that again?” he asked.
“Okay, then, done.” He waved a hand and started to leave.
“Wait, Wil! How do I call you?”
Ana yelped at a sudden searing pain in her arm and raised it to see a translucent owl burned on the underside of her wrist.
“Just say my name and halik your wrist. Goodnight, Anastasia. Nice meeting you!”
The young woman watched the warlock disappear into the darkness, then shook her head in amusement before teleporting herself away.