[P] [M] - The Darkest Depths

WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

Specifically, this thread is marked mature because of: drug use & graphic violence.

Their second outing to La Estrella had been Aidan’s idea.  It continued to be a more challenging place to socialise and interact, but it had the added advantage of giving the pair access to hot springs.  As the days had become shorter and winter had bared its fangs, it had become harder to soak aching muscles.  Aidan’s combat training and patrols were intense, and the Henchman was very aware of how his servant’s manner of walking, effected his back.  So Aidan had paid the entrance fee and had taken Silas to the springs, where they had bathed, eaten and drunk a little.  Aidan had also spent some time playing the card game from before, figuring that if others were foolish enough to throw away their goods, he would collect them willingly and gift them to his pack.

Aidan was aware when it was time to leave a place though, and he had noticed that his success had drawn the ire of those who were losing, mostly through their own stupidity.  The evening had been a fruitful one, and it seemed foolish to overstay their welcome, so Aidan had taken his winnings and the pair had left.  Even now, Aidan could feel the effects of the hot springs.  His muscles were loose and his movements as fluid as they ever were.  The night was cold though, and even the Henchman had to admit, he looked forward to returning home, not least because he knew that there, they would be safe.

The Henchman was also aware that something was…not right.  His senses had been sharpened, the taste of the air was crisper, and filled with many more sensations then usual.  After a few more steps, Aidan paused.  The lights of the stars fell around them, though the Henchman himself was partially obscured by shadow.  The noise and music from La Estrella Roja could be heard only as distant snatches on the breeze.

”I’ve no doubt that the hot water from the springs has helped your back.  It may be an adjustment, but do not walk hunched over again.  You will cripple yourself, and none can make use of such a thing.”

Aidan took another breath, the evening lighting up through his senses, but it was far brighter than it should have been.  The Henchman was carefully attuned to his body, and it was becoming clear that there may be an issue.  To speak something like that out loud, may well warn the ears of any listening.  So, Aidan determined to do, what only months before, would have been unthinkable, he decided to trust his servant, and his servant alone.

Something is wrong.  Aidan’s senses are too sharp, and Aidan’s heart is beating too quickly.  Aidan and Silas must return to Salsola as quickly as possible.

The gestures were fluid.  There was no hint of panic, or urgency in the execution of the message.  Aidan was still in control and planning, his logic dictating his actions.
Silas had honestly been a bit surprised when his master had not only sought the desire to return to Roja again, but that he wanted Silas to come along with him. In a much more practical manner, it made sense. So long as he was going somewhere, it would make sense to have his own servant coming along with him, but in the back of his mind, he knew there was much more to it. Aidan didn't really need him. He was a capable warrior, and could easily protect himself outside of Salsola. It didn't seem to be even under the pretense of going there as another lesson, which was even more strange.

Considering how some of their much more recent interactions went, he couldn't help but wonder if he was going to return home feeling broken again.

But still the silent man came, ears moving up when the man had paid for their entrance and led them over to the hot springs. He had come once with Kahlifa, though that outing was clearly for more personal gain than to treat the servant that worked so hard for the kingdom he called his home. This was something much more. His body had lowered into the waters, relief instantly washing over him. His body had curled some into the warmth, it doing wonders to his back.

Soon after, they had taken to other offers from the establishment. The Henchman had done well with the games, far better than they had last time. Being smart, and releasing he had been ahead was a perfect time to take their winnings and return home. Silas was quick to follow behind the other male, arms carrying the winnings in their travels.

He had actually managed to smile, long before they were leaving.. but he could feel it falling again. It wasn't entirely his fault he walked the way he did, but being told not to anymore, he could not disobey. Surely it would be ok if he continued to hunch over to keep himself lower than others, but he would do his best not to go on all fours again. He had adjusted the items in his arms, looking to free his hands so that he could sign. Maybe he would be permitted to his natural four legged form then to feel more at ease.

But Aidan's hands moved first.

The servant didn't like the manner in which his master had chosen to refer to himself in the third person like he did. Silas did it out of a desire to prove he wasn't a person. He was a tool, so why say 'I' like he was worth something when he wasn't? It made his face twist, but it faded soon at the warning. There was no panic, and the Henchman moved cautiously. The servant's hands moved again to adjust their belongings, if only so he could at least move one closer to one of the daggers he wore.

He didn't even get the chance.
(+500) | NPCs: N/A
Let me know if there is anything you want me to change.
Silas del Morte
[Image: fWoACZC.png]

Avatar art by Kiri · Sig art by Despi
What occurred next, happened very quickly, but for Aidan, the world seemed to slow as his mind processed the information and calculated possible advantageous scenarios. 

The two Luperci had clearly prepared their ambush, and had concealed their scents.  Aidan should have sensed them though, and a sense that something was wrong continued to nag at him.  The two assailants had the look of wolves about them, though their genetics and features appeared to be muddied by coyote, dog and perhaps jackal.  The pelts were largely a dark grey and their markings similar, leading the Henchman to the conclusion that the pair were related.  Aidan recognised them both from La Estrella, they had both been patrons there. 

The ambush might have been a perfect one, but Aidan judged the pair had grown impatient when he and Silas had stopped, as the Luperci did not appear from behind them, but to either side of where Silas stood.  As the pair rushed forwards, Aidan drew his knives, but no matter how quick the Henchman might have been, their proximity to his servant gave them the advantage and they were beside Silas before Aidan could reach them.  Of course, the grey eyed Salsolan had trained with his servant and the other was no pup in need of rescue.  His reactions were quick and when Aidan had told him not to hold back, he hadn’t.  Luckily for the two strangers, Silas was burdened with the winnings from the night, which was perhaps the reason they aimed their attack for him.  The two were armed with one knife each, and brandished them threateningly in Silas’s direction, but halted after seeing Aidan taking out his own weapons and closing some of the distance.

”That’s close enough.” the taller Luperci growled, his accent exotic, but certainly not the sort of timbre one might expect from a thug. ”We know you were cheating, and we’ve come to take our stuff back.  Don’t do anything stupid and you and your friend can disappear off and no one’s hurt.”

Aidan’s face remained inscrutable, his breathing even.  The pair were clearly waiting for him to respond, and judge their reaction from the Henchman’s next move.  When he finally did speak, it was in his normal flat and emotionless tone.

”I believe you have misjudged the situation.”

Aidan could see the tension lines in their attackers, and the knives waivered, moving a little closer to Silas.

”That is not my companion, that is my property.  You are in essence pointing your blades at nothing more than a pile of my belongings.  That is my servant, and while its loss would be an inconvenience to me, my winnings would make my pack stronger, so I will not return them to you.  I must also tell you that I did not cheat, the game is merely one of observation.”

Aidan had come to realise, that his flat delivery often confused and disoriented opponents, particularly ones who were looking for a tell.  Aidan had become a far better liar, in large part thanks to Silas.  Now, the Henchman knew that to save his tutor’s life, he had to devalue him, make the pair believe that the male they held at knife point was of no consequence to Aidan.

”You’re lying.” The shorter mutt said, his voice oddly high pitched for a luperci of his size and build.  More importantly Aidan heard the uncertainty.  The phrase had been uttered, not in true belief, but out of nervous hope.

”I can assure you, I am not.” As Aidan spoke he felt the walls of his emotionless bubble wobble, something that had not happened for a long while.  It was interesting and piqued his curiosity.  What seemed stranger was that Aidan was sure he had begun to feel…annoyance.  Of course, his outwards appearance did not change, and perhaps only the male who had lived so closely with him for so long now, might have a hint that there was something uncharacteristic about Aidan.

”I no longer wish to waste any further time.” Aidan said finally, walking towards the three Luperci.  The attackers hesitated, unsure what was going on, and that was all that Aidan needed.

With a speed Aidan rarely employed outside of combat, he covered the distance and had plunged one of the knives into taller Luperci gut, and the other into his throat.  The action took less than a heartbeat, and a moment later, the Henchman withdrew the gut knife, filling the air with the smell of ruptured bowels.  The one in the throat he wrenched to the side, withdrawing it and sending blood spraying across himself, Silas and the other attacker.  With no loss of momentum, Aidan sent a swift kick at the one remaining stranger, sending the other’s weapon flying into the dirt and causing them to over-balance. 

Silas was safe, and Aidan was surprised to note that he had felt that.  He looked to Silas and that relief was clear in his eyes.  The Henchman knew that something was wrong, the relief died and instead a wave of anger enveloped him, and for an instant Aidan heard the cackling laughter of his sire.  Grey eyes, that seemed as though they would spark into flames turned to the remaining prone attack.

”How dare you threaten me.  HOW DARE YOU!” he shouted, his tone full of a barely contained anger.  Turning to Silas he barked an order.

”Put that down, use their weapons and pin his feet to the ground.”

As Aidan waited for his servant to do as he was told, a distant thought nagged at him, that something was amiss.

WC: 936
Silas certainly didn't expect them, but the feeling that his master had gotten was enough to clue him in that he should be wary. Were he not carrying the items that had been won, he probably would have had more than enough time to grab his weapon before the attackers could get anywhere near him. Even if they had, once Aidan had given him the order to deal with them, he would show them no mercy. He had done so in the past, so why would it be any different now? Only Kamari so far seemed to be content to let attackers have the chance to leave with their lives.

And even with that offer they refused. These two were just stupid.

The silent man's neutral face didn't waver, even as the weapons were turned on him. How many times in his life had he stared down the end of some kind of weapon? Even when he wasn't fighting, it was a means of punishment. Such things no longer frightened him, so if their goal was to try and make him nervous for his own life, they had made a grave miscalculation. He stood still, keeping the items resting in his arms in a tight grip. His master had gone through enough trouble to win all of this, so the least he could do was make sure none of it had gotten damaged.

There was a subtle motion in the servant's eyes at the strangers' claim to what the Henchman had done. Cheat? Aidan? He wondered if it was some kind of new feeling to think that these two were just stupid. Was that the effect some of Salsola was having on him? Before coming here, he didn't have many of his own thoughts, let alone on any people. He was property, an object, and wasn't entitled to opinions of his own. He bent to the will of the one that owned him, or purchased him for the night as the case had been. Aidan's own words had reinforced this fact, one that didn't wound Silas in the slightest.

He had long since accepted his place in life, and those words would no longer get a rise out of him as they might have done before.

Regardless, the notion that these two thought the honorable warrior who needed the help of a servant for most of his social life would go out of his way to cheat was ridiculous. His servant wasn't skilled enough at games to teach him such a thing, and even if he knew how, it probably wasn't in the man's set of morals to do such a thing.

The conversation between his master and the two strangers went on without his own input, not that it was required. His eyes moved slightly to the attacker that spoke back against the Henchman, his voice not sounding as confident as it had once been. Another claim that didn't make any sense. Was the fact that the silent man wasn't reacting in any way other than standing still any indication that the Henchman was telling the truth? What reasonable servant would try to deny such a fact in front of someone? Well, in truth they could be doing an act, but then why reveal that Silas was even a servant at all if that were the case?

The thoughts didn't last long, the warm feeling of blood splattering against his fur drawing his attention back on Aidan and their attackers. One of them already lay dead at his feet, the other attacker kicked away from him, landing along the ground. He could see a tender look on his master's face when those gray eyes turned on him, but it was almost gone in an instant. A small bit of worry flashed through the servant. Anger overtook his master, an emotion that was almost never seen with him.

It was so... off-putting how fast that change had been.

Ignore those feelings for now, Silas carefully set down his master's winnings, moving not towards the attacker, but rather to the weapon he had dropped. He didn't take his time, making hast over to it and over to the dazed man, whether that be from the kick or the show of his friend dying was unknown. It didn't really matter anyways.

Seeming to understand what was coming for him, the second attacker braced himself back up, claws stretched towards the approaching servant. So it seemed he wasn't going to just let the servant pin him down without a fight. Silas' body hunched slightly, making a leap at the man before he could fully get up. He was easily pushed back over onto his back, though his claws began to dig into Silas' arms and legs, feet claws tearing to try and get the man to back off. If only he hadn't been so desensitized to the feeling of pain.

A silent snarl finally showed itself along the servant's face, taking the hand with the man's weapon to rise up. It had given his attacker a chance to move his hand, reaching to make contact with the servant's, if only to hold the weapon back from him. What might have seemed like an attempt of attack couldn't be further from the truth. The servant pushed the man's weapon back into his own hand, pinning it to the ground. With that one out of the way, he wasted no time in reaching for the blades around his own waist. He used one to pin the other hand down, then his gaze drifted to the first one.

His master did tell him to pin the man's feet down with that weapon. Holding the wrist down, the silent man was not gentle about ripping the weapon out to replace it with his own dagger. Hands done, he did as he had been told to do from the start, pinning the man's feet to the earth with his own weapon. Pushing himself back onto his feet, his gaze shifted back towards the Henchman, not letting their eyes meet as he signed, "Silas has done as told."

Red trailed down his fur, but didn't seem to bother the servant any.
(+1000) | NPCs: NPC Attackers
Silas del Morte
[Image: fWoACZC.png]

Avatar art by Kiri · Sig art by Despi
The sound of crazed laughter echoed in Aidan’s head.  The Henchman had heard that sound so many times in his dreams.  What lived in Aidan’s head was no longer his sire, but a distorted and grotesque amalgamation of memories, which had morphed and formed Aidan’s personal monster.  As a pup, Aidan’s mind had sought a refuge from the cruel excesses of his sire.  Somehow, a young Massacre had managed to break a part of himself away, and hide it.  Aidan had buried that part in a cold numbness, but that monster prowled around the impassable moat.  Aidan had learned how to deal with it, satiating its needs.  His ritual was quiet, unassuming and private, but it meant that Aidan survived.

Now though, something was stifling the Henchman's control.  A bridge had been formed and the void had shattered.  Anger, fear and desire struck Aidan with the force of a collapsing mountain, crashing into him and flooding his entire being.  Strongest of all was the aching, gnawing hunger which his sire had instilled in all his progeny.  Memories, jagged and disjointed flickered across his mind’s eye.  Each one a stab of pain, bringing with it a desperate fear.  Thankfully the sounds of Silas carrying out his order snapped him into the present.  The remaining assailant's yells made Aidan’s hackles rise in an exquisite tingle of pleasure.  A lazy smile spread across his muzzle, the sort of smile Aidan remembered his sire using, too broad and too filled with teeth.  The Henchman’s eyes shone feverishly bright, despite their grey hue.  Still retaining the warrior’s grace, Aidan closed the distance to his servant, seeming oblivious to the yells of the pinned attacker.  Leaning close he took a long and languorous lick of one of Silas’s wounds, shuddering with undisguised pleasure.  Moving his mouth beside the silent man’s ear, Aidan whispered softly.

”I can’t stand to see moron’s hurt things I care about.” His tone sounded as it never had before.  Not that Silas could know, but it was a close approximation of Aidan’s sire.  Aidan pushed his nose, searchingly, into Silas’s neck, surrounded by the scent of the silent man.  Aidan huffed a warm breath out, feeling the ripple in the other’s fur, before lifting his teeth to Silas’s cheek and nibbling delicately, before nipping at the cheek, producing a small wound which beaded with blood.  That same smile spread across Aidan’s face once more, and he opened his mouth to speak again.

Before he could though, pain in his head caused him to recoil and clutch at his temples.  Once more the jagged shards of memories flashed across his vision, but this time they were being pushed away, and he could sense the void.  With a violent snap of his head to one side, Aidan willed it away, and while it didn’t disappear, he knew there was still time.  That was when his eyes locked on the helpless attacker.  Aidan flicked his heavy braid over his shoulder and marched forwards, his expression contorting into something hate filled and lustful all at once.  Squatting beside the panting and prone figure, the Henchman took out his blade and rested it on the other’s belly

”I’ve learned that it can be surprising what another can live through.  I should punish you for your insults, but I’m tired and want to go home, so perhaps I should just kill you.  Of course, I could slice out your liver and let you watch me eat it before you die.  I bet you regret coming after me and my things now don’t you?”
Silas hadn't been paying too much attention to his master in the time when his focus was on the man he was working to pin down. He had an order that was given to him, and he couldn't afford to have any distractions while he was taking care of that. The screams of the man filled his ears, but they did nothing to him. He was not the first to be like this, bested by the silent servant and left to beg for his life. His former master would never let any live, and he was not one to stop his master from making that decision. He knew his place.

When the servant finally turned to the Henchman, the smile that was spread across the man's face looked... wrong. Aidan was a man of very few emotions, and when he might have shown interested, or happiness in something, a smile was not what came with it. It was his usual tone tagged with a long statement of appreciation for whatever someone else had done for him. Silas had heard enough of it in the time he his debt had been placed in the man's hands. This was new, and something told him it was not for a good reason.

Golden eyes moved enough to the side to look at the Henchman when he drew closer, voice whispering in his ear. He could have sworn he felt a shiver move down his spine, something that hadn't happened for a very long time. He recalled when his former master had begun breaking him into his true lifestyle, sweet words making him feel so uncomfortable. He had grown used to them over time, and even his master would use such things with him. It wasn't uncommon for the dark man to take his injured servant and make the same sort of remark about someone hurting his most prized possession.

It made him shiver because of the man it came from. It was so unlike his new master. Aidan and Kruger should not be acting as one in the same. One was far kinder to him than the other was. Even so, he couldn't speak up. He stood, taking in the man's affections, his own arms moving up to take the Henchman into his hold. He was fine, he always was. Injuries didn't matter to him, much like damage done to any given object.
He was a bit surprised to see that one of his affectionate gestures had left him with a tiny wound on his cheek. Aidan had never hurt him before, no matter how small. That just made him worry more.

It didn't take long for the Henchman to return to the pinned man's side, squatting down and taking out his weapon. It hung just over the man's frame. His eyes must have been playing tricks on him, because all he could see was his former master, not the man he had come to know since living in Salsola. He hated it. It was so wrong. He was going to torture this person, just as his former master had done before. That's not who his master was. He couldn't let it happen.

Silas reached out for his master, arms wrapping around his mid-section from behind, working to pull the Henchman back to his feet. He buried his head and face into his master's back, holding him tightly. His hands move out enough so that if Aidan looked down, he could see the silent man signing, "Stop. Please. Silas can't watch this anymore. Master is too different. Master is not like former master. Please, hurt Silas instead. Silas has spoken out of turn and not done as told. Please."

His hands moved back against the man's chest, begging in any way he could to get his master to stop, or to even turn this new harmful intent on someone that didn't care about receiving it.
(+600) | NPCs: N/A
Silas del Morte
[Image: fWoACZC.png]

Avatar art by Kiri · Sig art by Despi
The shouts of his prisoner had turned into terrified whimpers.  The other’s chest heaved as every breath jostled the blades which pinned him and caused lances of pain to wrack through him.  Aidan silently watched, his grin unwavering.  His keen grey eyes saw the tremors of muscle and twisting of ligaments, and it fascinated him.  If he could prolong this moment, he would.  The desire, delayed and postponed was agonising, and at the same time, delicious. 

The arms snaking about him, and the sudden jerk to his feet, jarred Aidan, knocking him out of his focus and ruining his pleasure.  The Henchman’s mind whirled, the jagged shards of memory flying about his mind, as though Silas had shaken a snow globe.  Events whirled about him, and for an instant confusion gripped him.  All Aidan could do was peer at the hands making their signals.  The moment they finished though, the grace period was over. 

While the Henchman made no noise, a primal shriek, like that of an animal gone mad with pain, bounced around Aidan’s mind.  How dare Silas touch him! How dare Silas thwart him! Such insolence, such disobedience! Oh, the slave would pay! By the time Aidan had finished the miserable wretch would truly understand what it meant to be his property.  With a snarl the hybrid twisted around to face Silas, still in the silent man’s embrace and he raised a knife to slash…

Silas’s expression was concerned but determined, and Aidan saw no fear there.  The servant didn’t flinch or cringe, just held on tight to him.  Silas’s arms were strong, supportive, and it felt incredibly good to be there, as though the cruelties of the world could be held at bay for a moment if Silas just didn’t let him go.  Aidan felt his chest tighten at the thought of harming Silas, or allowing the other to come to harm.  The world was a dark and very cold place, but with the other Luperci, with his silent strength and…love, it was a little less cold.  It was then the word came to Aidan, the word his sire had taught him to retreat from…Silas was kind. 

In an instant the void was back, cracked and jagged but it was there.  With it, came the cool logic, detached strategy and balance.  The grin vanished, and the grey eyes which a moment ago had been realising a truth, had become flat once more.  The Henchman’s inscrutable appearance had returned.

”My Judgement is compromised.” He said to Silas, lowering his weapon as though the past few minutes had never happened. ”I’ve only experienced this sensation once before after I was goaded by family into drinking.”

Aidan felt drained and fatigued, his head was pounding, but he made no show of it.  Aidan would do his best to hide weakness, though perhaps it was too late now.

”Let go of me please.” Aidan said, disengaging from the other’s embrace as his mind presented him with options and tactics for how they should best proceed.  Could he trust those ideas though?  Over and over, he thought, like a master playing chess and seeing the pieces zip across the board in different combinations.

”Silas.” Aidan spoke finally, realising the only sensible course of action ”My judgement is compromised.  I believe we should kill this Luperci.  If he survives long enough to get back to La Estrella, he may talk about us, and the wounds in his hands and feet will likely kill him anyway, it may be a mercy.  However, I must give you another order.  I need you to use your judgement as to the best course of action to use and gets us back home.  I order you to overrule my judgement, and once we return to the territory, I will need charcoal food and water.”

The henchman understood the meaning of his order.  In essence he had handed complete control to Silas.  It had really been the only choice, and while Aidan hated to rely on another for his safety, it was the most logical course to be taken.
Silas wasn't sure what more he could do other than plea that his master would turn on him for punishment rather than the man that had ambushed them. He couldn't stand to see the way that Aidan's form seemed to be flickering to that of his former master. He was cruel where Aidan was not. He was selfish, where Aidan was not. He liked to drag things out, where Aidan did not. The uncharacteristic nature of his master made him want nothing more than for this all to stop, even if that meant he would take the pain instead.

The silent man's head moved, feeling the Henchman spin around while still in his grasp. He couldn't let his head be resting against the man's body to allow him to do this. Golden eyes moved enough to see the knife that was being raised against him, prompting him to move his head back down in surrender. He had asked for this, and he was about to get what he asked for. There was no point in trying to get away from it, or even flinch. He was numb to punishment, and had accepted it.

But the pain never came.

Silas found his gaze moving back up for a moment, noticing the hesitation in his master. What was he waiting for? Was it a matter of the injuries he had already taken? What did it matter? He was used to it. He deserved it. He had stopped his master from doing as he pleased. He got in the way. So what was he waiting for?

Aidan's voice soon came back, but the hesitance had not left him. His judgement had been compromised? What did that mean? He heard the Henchman's command, moving his arms away from the man's body. The servant stood alone, only the sound of their attacker's whimpers reaching their ears.

Another order came, but it was yet another he wasn't expecting. So much of this new lifestyle in Salsola messed with his brain. His former master had coded his mind to be a certain way, to never question an order that was given to him. Any order he was to see through... but Aidan made that so hard.

First an order to allow himself to do what he wanted in certain times.

Then an order that made him stop walking around on all fours.

And now this.

Silas took orders, not gave his own thought on matters. His own voiced thoughts were at other servants to just accept the position they were in, given he already knew better. It hurt in a way he had never felt before.

But it was still an order, so he was expected to deliver.

Golden eyes moved down to their captured victim. Blood continued to escape out of him from his hands and feet. As much as he would rather do for some mercy, there was too much risk of leaving him alive. He turned to his master, knowing the man wouldn't be able to read his hands, "Henchman is correct. He must be dealt with. Allow Silas to deal with him and hide the bodies. If something were to happen, Silas' capture or death would be far less meaningful than your's. Silas will take care of this and then return home with Henchman. Henchman should start heading back." No reason for both of them to get caught if that were to be the case.

The silent man moved over to the pinned man, motioning an apology to the man with his hands before closing his jaws around the man's neck. It was the most merciful way he could think to do it given the position the man was left in.
(+600) | NPCs: NPC Attacker
Silas del Morte
[Image: fWoACZC.png]

Avatar art by Kiri · Sig art by Despi
Aidan slowly rebuilt his control, reinforcing the void and sheltering within it, allowing all emotion to batter against the walls of it.  It should have been an easier task to complete, but something was interfering with it.  Aidan’s strength of will was enormous though, and he managed it.  The silent man’s hands demanded the Henchman’s gaze and he watched.  The directions made sense, and the logic was sound, but Silas’s lessons were clear, pack meant a bond, and Aidan wouldn’t ignore those teachings.

”There is no need to bury them, or hide their bodies, I’ve no doubt that scavengers will attack the bodies before anyone finds them.”

Aidan had no fear of being discovered, or being blamed for the death of their assailants.  The location was far enough away and somewhat secluded, doubtless the reason the ambush was set near here, the bodies would enter the food chain before they were discovered, and if anyone missed them, then it’d only be their colleagues.
Compromised judgement or not, Aidan wouldn’t abandon Silas.  The Henchman was aware that his servant could protect himself, but the Blacksun male never left anything to chance, which could be avoided.  He disappeared into the woods, making sure he was near enough to help should the need arise.  The two would return together, and Aidan would have the time to contemplate on exactly what had taken place, and the reason for such a catastrophic ending to what had otherwise been, a successful evening.

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