Hyde growled after the guards menaced him over his attachment to Beryl and his mood did not improve until he was securely in Beryl’s room. He took off his hat and tossed it to the hat rack, “Remind me not to be too obvious while you’re out.”
“I’m close to an answer,” she told him quietly. She was dressed in a new entertainers red corset, short black skirt, red stockings, and feathers clipped to her ear. “As long as he does not discover the truth I will have the answers before the end of the month.”
Hyde smirked, “Well… If things go wrong… Do you need any help with a plan B?”
“Finding the evidence was plan B,” Beryl giggled as she drew him to the bed.
“Mmh. What do you need?” Hyde asked eagerly as he anticipated burning this place to the ground when this was over. “Blackmail? Poison?”
“What I need….” She paused for the effect as she traced his scruffy face. “Is his bodyguards to have…accidents.” Hyde laughed as if he had been given an early birthday present. Taking a sterner tone, “And I mean a slip and fall accident. The kind where they break a leg or sprain it for a month would be best. If Domino wanted in like you said he needs to have a guard unable to work.”
Hyde grinned thoughtfully, “I think I can arrange something like that.”
“In a disguise, or with Tepic using trip wires or oils, whatever works. But the fewer guards the better for me soon.”
“Maybe if I poison the tips I hand them?” Hyde offered wickedly, but Beryl was not happy. She did not want to kill the men, especially not the ones who just needed the job.
Rather than defend them, she tried a more reasonable approach, “That’s…not the best idea. What if you touched it too by accident?”
“Drat…” He sounded disappointed. “…but I noticed something about the brothel itself.” He threw her to the bed and laid on top of her. “You know how there are no bars on the windows leading to the girl’s areas?”
“I had noticed, but it doesn’t do me any good.” She teased as she pulled the curtains closed. “But you could get in.”
“When do the guards usually fall asleep?” Hyde whispered conspiratorially.
“Around three or three thirty am. There’s always someone awake downstairs. But… they… would be easy to drug. I have been thinking about how to get in their office for over a month now.”
“So… I could knock the first guard out… Possibly make it so he can’t work…”
Knock him out? She hoped that was an expression considering her other plans, but Hyde would deal with whatever came his way if he didn’t go to Tepic as she said. “Wright had his eye on one of the men who follows me. Perhaps him and another.”
Hyde tossed off his jacked and let it litter the ground. Just in case they had ways of looking in, “Does the bastard sleep in his office?”
“I believe he does so I’m playing this carefully. He will let his guard down…he already is around me.” Beryl saw the concerned question forming in Hyde’s gaze. “He thinks he controls me.”
“Does he?” Hyde nodded hesitantly as he caressed the less swollen area of her eye. “How close is he to breaking you?”
Cyan’s words from the night before returned to her. She turned away not meeting Hyde’s gaze directly, “He isn’t and that is not the point. He’s not going to break me.”
Hyde lowered his voice as he shrugged off his tie and shirt for the floor. “Alright, good deal of people in on this are getting worried.”
Thankfully only Cyan knew her entire first idea then, Beryl thought as she removed the feather clip from her ear. “Perhaps you will be happy to know plan A was to try to openly leave his service. That is what got Amnelys killed after all. If I can’t find the letter, but he tries to have me killed….well we know the answer.”
Beryl watched Hyde’s face to see if it betrayed the same concern as Cyan’s. For a moment he seemed confused, but then he smirked. “He’s never attacked the equivalent of a black panther, has he?”
“No,” Beryl admitted, but that was not her plan if she could help it. “No he hasn’t. But he has guards and I’d rather not have to fight all of them.”
“Say no more,” Hyde assured her as a sinister grin spread across his usually harsh features.
Once again she got the impression Hyde would do something directly. She tried to warn him one last time, “Just don’t do something where you will be caught whatever you plan. It would alert him if it became too obvious they were targeted.”
Hyde grunted that he understood, and it would be out of her hands now what he did. She brushed the matter aside with a wave of her paw toward the door, “Well, I think it’s time we put on that show for them. I will scream louder tonight than usual. I‘ve got bruises to account for in between everything else.”
Hyde rolled over so he was right on top of her, pinning her below him. “So you need me to rough you up a bit, luv?”
She grit her teeth at what was to come and breathed slightly before she nodded. Hyde giggled wickedly as she began to sing her screams for him.
Hyde had departed early that night at her insistence, eagerly heading to recruit his cohorts for his nefarious plan. While he went about that hoping to catch his subjects off guard, Beryl went to Mr. Nicholas. He had heard her screaming and expected a complaint, but what she did have to say made him drop his drink.
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