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#226
Old 12-09-2020, 02:30 PM

The woman watched as the two left the room, and sat down at the table. She was still pretty shaken, and tried her best to get a handle on her nerves. She needed to have a level head when the police showed up. Taking out her phone, she tried calling Vera to ask her if she was coming or not since she hadn't shown up, and felt uneasy when it went to voicemail.

Sophie followed Tai out to the dining area and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "I hate to say it, but i don't think it was a customer or random. Something doesn't sit right with me.." She said quietly. Where was Vera in all of this? She was the closing manager, so she should be here as well.

---

Derek was quiet as he followed the tabby, his hands in his pockets. "They won't recognize us like this, but the police don't really like outside help. They'll figure out what happened." He said calmly, though hus was worried about Sophie being involved. If those guys had anything to do with it, he didn't think he could keep himself from going after them. They got there just as the police pulled up.

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#227
Old 12-28-2020, 06:12 PM

It wasn't the answer that Tai wanted to hear but it was the one he expected. Sighing, he ran a hand through his hair before forcing out a terse smile. "Alright. We can tell the police our suspicions when they get here but I think...well, they will probably be thinking the same thing." It was just so strange for a little cafe to get robbed like this when there were better prospects even within the same shopping center. "We should be careful though, just in case."

Hearing the sound of two cars pulling up, Tai noticed the patrol cars and went to open the door, letting them in. "Hey. Thanks for helping out with this. Shelly is in the back calming her nerves. We're still waiting on Vera though..."

~~

"I see," Pedro murmured. "So are just monitoring then?" He squatted down beside one of the large bushes at the edge of the parking lot as he watched the police go in. He actually suspected that they might get recognized in their human form since Sophie was such a special woman but Derek definitely knew more so he didn't challenge the idea. The real question here was what could they do to help. "Do you think we should look around the building and see if we can find our own clues?"

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#228
Old 01-07-2021, 11:02 PM

Sophie nodded lightly when Tai spoke and glanced at the two male officers that came inside as Tai opened the door for them. She wasn't sure if she should wait to talk to them until they asked to talk with her, or go ahead and and talk to them.

One of the male's nodded in thanks to Tai and glanced at Sophie while the other headed to the back to talk with Shelly. "Ma'am do you work here?" The officer asked. Sophie nodded and nervously rubbed her thumbs. "Yes sir, I'm one of the waistresses. I was off today when Ms. Shelly called me." She said quietly.

"So you weren't present when the robbery happened?" He asked. Sophie shook her head lightly. "N-no sir." She murmured.

---

Derek nodded some when Pedro spoke. "Exactly." He said quietly as he lowered down next to the tabby. He was more worried about the police recognizing him than Tai or Sophie. "When they go back in the back, we'll take a look around for ourselves." He said quietly, wearing a small smirk.

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#229
Old 01-18-2021, 03:24 AM

The officers nodded at Sophie's statement. "Alright, that's fine, Ma'am. I'm officer Nolan. While my partner is talking with the witnesses, why don't you tell me anything you think is relevant. Suspicious people that may have come around, calls, or even coworkers that have taken unexpected time off. We're not sure what we're looking for yet, so whatever you can think of might help." He offered a smile before gesturing Sophie toward one of the tables so they could sit. Tai might not have had much input himself but he followed after them just in case Sophie needed the emotional support.

~~~

Peering out, Pedro decided he couldn't see the officers anymore so he carefully stood up. "I think they went farther inside. Or at least, they're not by the window anymore. We should be good to look around. Ah...what exactly are we looking for though? Shoe prints or something fun like that?" he added as he started along the grass, looking around for anything and everything that shouldn't belong. Like maybe that piece of trash or the broken flower stems? Oh, but they probably did that themselves hiding behind the shrubbery. It was one to know they were looking for clues and another entirely to know what those clues looked like.

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#230
Old 01-28-2021, 10:53 PM

Sophie nodded some and glanced at Officer Nolan. "Yes sir." She said quietly as she followed the man to the table, so they could talk. Sophie smiled softly as Tai followed them and gently held his hand. She took a moment to gather her thoughts and think about the passed week, noticing how Vera would only work so many hours whereas before she'd work all day whenever they needed her, she was a manager after all. "Um.. I've noticed how Ms. Vera, our night manager, hasn't been really working lately and asking Ms. Shelly had to cover for her. She was there when they closed last night, after disappearing and leaving Ms. Shelly alone in the store, and turned back up right after the break-in." She explained quietly, just loud enough for the officer to hear her.

---

Derek followed Pedro as he wandered off, and firmly grabbed the back of his shirt collar. "Don't look so much as smell." He said calmly, leaning towards him enough to talk into his ears. "Remember what you smelled when we ran into those guys at the Aquarium? Or when Soph came home with that scratch on her cheek?" He asked quietly.

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#231
Old 02-09-2021, 03:05 AM

The officer hummed as he took notes while Sophie talked, the sound low and comforting. "I see. Has Ms. Vera done anything like this before? Changing her hours or disappearing on a shift in the past? I take it that the two of you know each other very well so if you can guess as to why her behavior has changed, it would help our investigation out. I don't want to jump to any kind of conclusions but it's looking like Ms. Vera could be in a lot of trouble. Maybe she has a new boyfriend or a second job that caused her to work less?" He prompted, leaving forward in his seat with a serious look.

Tai bit his lip, shooting Sophie a surprised look even as he squeezed her hand in encouragement. He hadn't known about any of this and it pained him to not be able to help Sophie speak now. The fact of the matter was, he didn't really know these people.

~~~

Pedro's eyes went wide at the sudden advice, something he hadn't even considered before. Honestly, what kind of cat was he to only think of looking for things with his eyes! "A-alright. They smelled a bit..." He furrowed his brow and started to sniff the air as he shuffled around to the side of the building. "Smokey, I think. And a bit like that club we went to. Can we find something that smells like that here? There's no way those guys would be lurking around, is there?!" he added with a far higher cry than his previous, whispered words. It left him glancing back toward the cafe, holding his breath as he waited to see if anyone heard them.

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#232
Old 02-10-2021, 04:47 AM

Sophie promptly shook her head at the officer's follow up question about Vera pulling something like this in past. "I've known Ms. Vera for a few years now, she's the one who gave me the job, so we work together pretty regularly, but I wouldn't consider us friends or anything.. But she hasn't started this until recently." She spoke softly, doing her best to keep her voice calm and level. She lowered her eyes to the table when the officer mentioned that Vera could be in a lot of trouble, and her lips pressed together to keep still. Why would she..

She blinked as her thought process shifted amd her brows knit together. Boyfriend? "There's a club a couple of blocks from here, behind us in the alley that I pass when I head home. When I was walking back to our apartment, I noticed her go inside with a guy. That's about when she started neglecting the bakery.." She spoke softly, remembering the guy clearly. He was with the guy who had gotten rough with her the other day. Was it possible she set them up, for a man she'd been picked up by at the club? She really didn't want to think of that possibility, but it was there.

"Ms. Vera would never.. Would she?" Sophie asked no one in particular, she wasn't really expecting and answer, but she always tried to see the best in people, amd Vera was someone she trusted. She trusted all of her coworkers.

---

Derek smirked some as Pedro seemed to take his advice seriously. "Right." He said quietly, his thoughts focusing on the club he used to go to. Derek tensed as Pedro's voice heightened, but he relaxed as no one seemed to have heard him. "Try to keep it down or risk getting caught." He warned quietly before continuing to the back side of the building. "They wouldn't be stupid enough to be hanging out around here right now." He said with a smirk.

"But.." He voice, spotting a familiar leather jacket on the ground and frowning some before slowly picking it up.

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#233
Old 02-26-2021, 08:58 PM

The officer breathed out, his smile coming out a little easier when Sophie offered the information of a boyfriend. It was exactly the kind of detail he hoped to learn. "Do you know this man's name? Or could you try to describe him to me? Someone young or tall? Anything that can help us find him. It's possible that Mrs. Vera never meant anything but we won't know until we find her." People never wanted to betray those they worked with and trusted but the officer had to admit that this was quite a break.

Tai noticed something off about Sophie's expression, however, and bumped a shoulder against hers. "Was that it? You're thinking about something else aren't you?" His eyes trailed to the marks still on Sophie's cheek. It couldn't be related to that, though, could it?

~~~

"Sorry," Pedro murmured before he spotted what Derek had already seen. A jacket? Bending down, he picked it up and gave the thing a sniff. "It smells just like those guys! Ah, but why is it here?" he added in a lower voice. It really was a miracle they hadn't been noticed sneaking around but he was too interested in this clue to care. The jacket seemed odd enough to be here but there was also a tear in the sleeve and a metallic scent that could only be blood just barely detectable on the leather. "Could they have gotten into a fight?" If they had, it must have been a small and quick affair or well cleaned up because he didn't see any other mess. Just this single jacket? It was strange.

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#234
Old 03-12-2021, 11:56 PM

Sophie was so wrapped up in her thoughts as the officer spoke, she jumped a little when Tai bumped her shoulder and twiddled her thumbs nervously. "I don't know his name." She said quietly. "He's maybe in his late twenties, tall, muscular, short dark brown hair, fair skin.. He really likes to wear leather.."

"Officer Nolan, this is really hard for me.." She admitted quietly after pausing, keeping her eyes on the table between them. "A couple of days ago, the same man I saw Ms. Vera with saw me walking home and tried to corner me.." She murmured, her voice a little uneven as she thought about the event and the man. Her hand had come to gently touch the scratch on her cheek without her realizing she was doing it.

---

Derek couldn't help the frown that tugged at his lips by this point. He faintly picked up the metallic scent on the jacket and his hand balled around the leather. "Bastard.." He murmured quietly, anger present in his voice. "It's possible, but the lady didn't seem hurt." He pointed out. "Now I wish there was a way I could talk to her." He admitted quietly.

Honestly, he wanted to head to the club and ask the guy directly, but he knew that'd be risky. He could fight, but he wasn't sure how many guys he could handle before getting his ass handed to him.

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#235
Old 03-29-2021, 05:29 PM

Tai's eyes went wide and he pulled Sophie's hands into his lap before the officer could manage his own reply. "Wait, wait! You said you didn't know who attacked you. If it was like this, you should have said so sooner!" He had to suppress a shiver at the thought of what happened to Sophie. She talked about it like it wasn't anything serious. But he also knew how rattled she was. It had made him suspicious of all these bad events clumping together. Now, it seemed like all of those suspicions were coming true. Breathing deep so he could keep his voice even, he offered Sophie another smile. "I'm sorry I spoke like that. I just want to keep you safe."

The offer nodded his head, seeming to finally recover from his own shock. "Ma'am, I know this is hard for you. There isn't anyone who wouldn't be rattled by what happened, but I'm going to need you to start from the beginning. This man is starting to look like a really bad person. We'd like to get him off the streets as soon as possible. Will you please tell me what happened the night you were attacked?"

~~~

Pedro was frowning too, both because of the situation and his own inability to understand it. "Maybe...maybe he didn't fight with the lady? Maybe he fought with his friends?" The jacket seemed to belong to the main troublemaker of the group but he had friends who could have been around too. But why fight with them? Nothing about the situation made sense. Keeping the jacket tucked under his arm, he considered what they should do with what they found. "Should we leave this here for the cops or should we put it somewhere they can see if more easily?" It had been pretty deep in the bushes so he could understand how the jacket got missed in the first place. "But I agree. We should go find the lady they're all looking for."

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#236
Old 04-03-2021, 11:50 PM

Sophie swallowed a sigh and glanced at Tai when he spoke and pressed her lips together some. She didn't know what to say after that. She glanced back at Nolan when he spoke and stifled a small frown. "I really didn't think it was anything, at the time.. " She admitted softly. But if Vera was somehow connected to this guy, and they had something to do with the robbery, she'd need to tell him and Tai what happened. The whole of it.

"I usually walk to and from work, sometimes I get off later in the evening after the sun has set, but I like walking. We live just down the road." Sophie started to say. "The club is around the corner, I pass by it everyday on my way. Guys come and go all the time, sometimes they try talking to me, to pick me up, and I ignore them. There's one guy, the one I described to you, he's one of the ones who I see the most hanging around the club.." She said quietly, taking a breath since it she sounded like she was rambling. "He was outside with a couple of other guys, and instead of turning down the sidewalk, i turned down the ally i walk everyday, and planned on just ignoring him, like every time i see him or anyone else outside."

Sophie gave Tai's hand a light squeeze and lowered her eyes to the table. "He started talking to me, asking why I walked and if i'd want to stop by the club for a drink. I ignored him and kept walking. He tried talking to me again about how dangerous it was for a girl like me to walk at night, but i've doing it for months now so i continued to ignore him.. Next thing I knew, him and his friends were behind me and i turned around to use my pepper spray on him, and he had knife i hadn't seen. He staggered back as he was reaching for me, i was scratched, i went home. Nothing else happened." She spoke quietly, her eyes not leaving the table. She was sure Tai was worrying more now than he was before, and she didn't like being the cause of that worry. Sure, it meant he cared, but this was something she was used to, before he started staying with her. She loved Tai, and didn't want to make him worry over things like this.

---

Derek glanced down at the jacket once more. "No, we're taking it with us." He spoke quietly after Pedro asked. He glanced at the neko and smirked some. "We're also going to the club to see if our friend and his girl are in, and there might be a fight." He said. "Cops don't need this." He mused, using his free hand to take Pedro's and begin to lead him around the back of the building where there weren't any cameras, and down the ally that led to the club.

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#237
Old 04-25-2021, 08:29 PM

Listening to Sophie's story felt intensely painful for Tai. Just knowing that she went through this so many times and he didn't even know, that he hadn't been there with her or found some way to make walking home safe. It hadn't even occurred to him that the neighborhood might be a dangerous one. "I should pick you up at night from now on," he murmured under his breath, squeezing Sophie's hand so hard it probably hurt. He may have failed up to this point but Tai had no intentions of failing again.

The officer nodded his head in a soft acknowledgment of everything that was way. "I think that would be wise mister Devin. At least until this case is all wrapped up." The man reached across the table, briefly patting Sophie's arm. "Thank you for telling me all of this. I know it was hard and it's unclear if these two incidents are really connected but it was very brave to admit it. I can assure you that the department will do its best to increase their patrols in the area if that will put your mind at ease."

Sitting back in his seat Nolan glanced over his shoulder for the first time since they sat down. "Now, I think we have enough information to continue our investigation. If you don't have anything else to add, I think I'll go check on my partner and see how his and your boss's chat is coming along."

~~

Pedro nodded once though he wasn't sure that Derek's plan was a good one. It was, however, a plan he was ready for and almost excited about. "Alright. If they want a fight, then we'll just have to give it to them. No one hurts Sophie like that!" he exclaimed once they were well out of sound range from the shop. He knew his orange eyes were showing their cat pupils and it probably wouldn't take much for his ears to emerge either but he felt too strongly about this to care. They were going to cause trouble anyway. What would a little more trouble be in the grand scheme of things?

As they walked down the street, Pedro used his grip on Derek's hand to keep the other neko close. The club wasn't far away so it didn't even take long to walk there, leaving him pulling Derek back again, keeping him from going inside. "I just thought of it, but what if they're not there?"

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#238
Old 05-14-2021, 10:38 PM

Sophie felt Tai's hand tighten around hers and gave his a squeeze, nodding to the officer after he spoke, not sure of what else to say. Her anxiety was as high as a kite, and she was sure if she tried to say anything else, she'd just fall to pieces. She really hoped they could find whoever did this, and she hoped her night manager wasn't involved.

She watched Nolan leave to go and talk with his partner, and allowed her eyes to settle on the table. "Tai, can we go home?" She asked quietly, doing to her best to keep her voice even and keeping from giving her away. He was probably already worried more than a mother, and he could probably feel her hand shaking under his own.

~~~

Derek's own cat pupils were showing as he thought about those guys messing with Sophie, why though? Why did he feel so infuriated? He hadn't been staying at the house very long, and he didn't know her.. So, why? He was quiet as he led Pedro down the alley, feeling his old self slipping through. "I'll kill him." He heard himself murmured under his breath, so quietly he could barely hear it.

When they arrived, he paused when Pedro held him back from going inside, allowing himself to calm down just enough for his eyes to go back to normal. "I can almost guarantee he'll be here." He said quietly, giving Pedro a small smirk before opening the door and leading Pedro inside and towards the back of the club.

A couple of the boys they ran into on their 'date' turned from their seats in front of the back room and stood. "Hey, long time D-man! Who's your friend?" " Are you coming to have some fun with us? Or maybe you're still mad about us crashing your date." Derek used his free hand to grab one of the guys by the scruff of their shirt and shoved him into the back wall. "Shut the hell up and the tell me if Gin is in or not." He demanded. One of the guys laughed. "Oh man, he's really mad. It's been awhile since we've seen you like this." He said sheepishly.

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#239
Old 11-20-2021, 04:23 AM

Tai nodded and offered a smile, as weak as it was. Just seeing Sophie this shaken had him more anxious than he'd felt since he was a high school freshman. It was going to make him come undone so he couldn't even imagine how Sophie must feel. Keeping hold of her hand, he pulled the woman to her feet. "Of course. I don't think either of us can manage staying here a minute longer," he murmured. Making sure Sophie had her purse, he began to lead her to the car and helped her sit before getting into the driver's seat himself. For a second, he just sat there though, watching his own handshake where it had naturally reached out to clasp Sophie's again.

"Will you be okay while I drive?"

~~

Pedro wasn't sure but he thought Derek said something about killing and that left a frown on his face but before he could really stop and question it, Derek had pulled him inside. The dimness of the bar left his eyes adjusting furiously, his pupils almost to the edge of his irises. There were multiple eyes on them, familiar eyes. Right, but that was the point.

Pedro strode up, standing tall and proud next to Derek as he grabbed the one guy and slammed him against the wall. "Answer his question. Where's Gin? We have business to talk about with that guy," Pedro snapped. Now that he was standing proud, it was easy to see that the orange-haired neko was the tallest in the room and even if he didn't know much about fighting, it would be foolish to ignore him. He stepped forward threateningly. "It turns out, both of us are in the mood to fight today."

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#240
Old 11-26-2021, 05:09 PM

Sophie easily allowed Tai to pull her to her feet and grabbed her purse and followed him to the car, her hand giving his, what she hoped at least, a comforting squeeze. Once to the car and he helped her into the car, setting her purse on her lap and feeling Tai's hand on hers again once he himself was seated in thr car, she nodded lightly when he spoke and glanced at him with a small smile she wasn't really feeling. "I'll be alright." She spoke softly.

~°~°~


The guy up against the wall irrupted into laughter at Pedro's threat and the other looked a bit more weary of the situation, though remained silent. Derek however wasn't having any of it and moved to pull the guy in his grip, away from the wall a bit just to shove him back into the wall roughly, knocking the wind out of the guy. The other guy standing off to the side frowned some and placed a hand on Derek's arm to take charge since his friend was being a twat. "He's in the back, he'll only want to see you and you know it." He spoke calmly, opening the door for the black cat.

"Too bad, he came deal with both of us, he's with me and I won't leave him in your care." Derek said with a growl as he dropped the guy in his grip and firmly, yet lightly as to not hurt him, grabbed Pedro's hand and led him through the door that led to the back room.

A young man, a least a few years older than Derek, with short spikey red-ish orange hair and caramel brown eyes sat on a couch with a woman on either side of him. At the sight of Derek and a stranger, he propped his leg over his knee and leaned back against the couch with an arm around both of the women, an amused smirk tugging at his lips. "Isn't this a pleasant Derek, what brings you back to me?" The man nearly purred the words and Derek scowled.

"What do you know about a robbery at the local bakery?" Derek half snapped.

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#241
Old 03-24-2022, 09:56 PM

It wasn't that reassuring but Tai deciding to trust Sophie as he finally put the car in drive. Nothing could stop the nervous jitter in his hand but at least he remained silent, not letting his nerves show too much all the way back home. "Thank goodness we don't live far," he murmured to himself when they finally pulled into the driveway. A second later, Tai was on the passenger side, opening the door and offering Sophie his hand again. "Come on. Let's get you inside. Should I make us something to eat or do you feel more like a nap? Whatever you want to do today, Soph."

~~~

Pedro wasn't sure he scared the other guys much but Derek was fierce, almost seeming to leave sparks coming from out of his eyes. If Pedro wasn't on a mission himself and still bent out of shape with anger, he might have found himself speechless. Maybe he could even say he felt entranced. Regardless, the thugs must have felt it too because they bent to Derek's will, finally pointing them to a door that revealed a posh, clearly VIP lounge. The man occupying the couch there left Pedro shivering.

"Hey," he murmured against Derek's ear. "Neither of those women look familiar, but I've seen this guy before. He was flirting with the cashier at the supermarket that Sophie goes to." Did that mean he was planning on doing the same con he did at the bakery? Seduce a pretty girl? Rob the place? The thought had Pedro gritting his teeth again in anger.

"We know you had a thing with a woman from the bakery down the street. Actually, we know a lot of things," he added in his best attempt at a tough voice. After a second, he lifted up the jacket that Derek told him to bring, figuring it would really catch this guy's attention if it really was his. "So, maybe we should talk alone?"

 


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