Ashes to Ashes by Anna Clair
Summary:

Written for "The Cliché Challenge"

"You don't belong here." His voice challenged her even in the way it rose up and down threatening her. Telling her that he wanted her to leave. He was upset with her. Why wouldn't he be? She'd wrecked everything. She'd wrecked him.

That was all she'd been good for. That was her purpose.

So why did she feel like crying when she saw him in front of her? Why did she want to save him? And why did she want to turn her back on everything she'd learned all her life to have him trust her again?

Tomomasa Rie has always wanted to be a cop and she's on her way to becoming the most stellar officer in Tokyo after busting a large drug ring in Akihabara.

But when she goes undercover to stop a large cocaine shipment from entering the country Rie gets trapped in her new identity, the Takuya clan's family issues and under the hold of the very dangerous Ikuta Toma, who can't decide whether he wants to kill her...or kiss her.


Categories: Japanese Entertainment Characters: Arashi: Matsumoto Jun, Arashi: Sakurai Sho, Hey! Say! JUMP: Inoo Kei, Ikuta Toma, Inoue Mao, KAT-TUN: Akanishi Jin, KAT-TUN: Nakamaru Yuichi, KAT-TUN: Taguchi Junnosuke, Kato Rosa, Matsuda Shota, Mukai Osamu, NEWS: Kato Shigeaki, NEWS: Koyama Keiichiro, NEWS: Masuda Takahisa, NEWS: Tegoshi Yuya, Oguri Shun, Yuki Jutta
Genres: Action/Adventure, Crime, Drama, Romance
Story Type: Multi-Chaptered
Warnings: Character Death, Dark, Drugs, Explicit Sexual Scenes, Sexual References, Violence, Vulgar Language
Challenges: The Cliché Challenge
Challenges: The Cliché Challenge
Series: None
Chapters: 26 Completed: No Word count: 98790 Read: 5677 Published: Nov 21, 2010 Updated: Oct 16, 2016
Story Notes:
I love this story as my own baby. If anyone takes the plot and changes the names and puts it under their name I will take legal action against you because these will all one day be converted into original stories now that I have stopped relying on movies to inspire me.

Got it?

I don't know any of the asian celebrities mentioned here. They're my ideal cast =D I like to portray them in these roles if they seem to match my characters.



1. Prologue by Anna Clair

2. History by Anna Clair

3. Tryst by Anna Clair

4. Truth by Anna Clair

5. Assumptions by Anna Clair

6. Opportunities by Anna Clair

7. Entry by Anna Clair

8. Rules by Anna Clair

9. Action by Anna Clair

10. Believe by Anna Clair

11. Sacrifice by Anna Clair

12. Reveal by Anna Clair

13. Tell by Anna Clair

14. Deceive by Anna Clair

15. Pursue by Anna Clair

16. Admit by Anna Clair

17. Plot by Anna Clair

18. Burn by Anna Clair

19. Doll by Anna Clair

20. Slip by Anna Clair

21. Save by Anna Clair

22. Break by Anna Clair

23. Scribble by Anna Clair

24. Escape by Anna Clair

25. Reach by Anna Clair

26. Laze by Anna Clair

Prologue by Anna Clair
Author's Notes:
Two possible storylines posted up =D


“5!”

Since she was a little girl Tomomasa Rie had loved playing Cops and Robbers.

“4!”

Yes. Tomomasa Rie had always been the type of child her seniors and adults had trusted to do the right thing. She was the epitome of justice that little girl.

“3!”

She had decided on her path in life when she was barely seven. She knew she’d wanted to wear those starched blue suits, be a top-notch cop and catch the bad guys and put them away forever. She wanted to be a hero.

“2!”

By the time she was sixteen she had so strongly believed in eradicating the presence of evil from her society that she barely remembered that without the existence of evil there would be no good.

She did not want these horrible things like murders, robberies, rapes and other things existing in a society she wanted to raise her children in. She had always been a believer in good things, like pink clouds of cotton candy, blue water you could soak your feet into with your loved one and white extravagant wedding days. She was an eternal optimist, a strong source of good and she touched everyone whose life reached hers.

It was impossible not to be touched by the purity of a heart like hers.

“1!”

So you see…she had never expected something like this to fall upon her. She had never expected to be strapped to a chair, blind folded as she struggled to breathe slowly knowing that her entire body was facing a gun with a full barrel now finally in her twenties. The atmosphere around in the dingy dark room palpable as the countdown reminded her of that one fact.

That she loved to play Cops and Robbers.

A game she had immersed her life in completely, and perhaps that was her fault. After all… you were bound to get out one day.

Today was her turn to get out. She had never expected that she would run to save those very bad men from sure death and take the bullet herself for them.

She had never expected to end up here waiting for her last moment to hit her as she envisioned the man’s face and asked herself over and over again.

Why had it-

BANG.

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End Notes:
Are we excited?

I need to thank Christine for introducing me to the song that first brought this story out. The beginning was quite different. So thank you Heartbeat - Enrique Iglesias. Go listen to it legits.

I'm SUPER excited for this because I haven't written crime in a while. Thank you to everyone who voted for this story on the possible storylines polls. That story is now going to be deleted if you'd like to go read the excerpt for Blood and Tears and Crossing Borders the novel.

Previews for the Story:

“I will move in with you.”

“You’re going undercover solo for now which shouldn’t be hard for someone who was the best in their class right?”

“Don’t try to hide anything from me Tomomasa, I know everything."

“Don’t fuck with me little girl. I do not enjoy watching little girls who aren’t meant to be here walk in.”

“Don’t you EVER fucking touch me again, you pathetic little dirty bitch."
History by Anna Clair
Author's Notes:
...I'm happy.

Because I solved a problem.

Here you go.


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The door swung upon with such ferocity with the man yelling as if his life depended on it. “RIE!”

She turned around from the fighting stance she was in to see her fiancé running towards her as she got off the mat, her gloved hands falling to her sides as he crossed the wooden paneled gym towards her.

Today all the students had rushed down to the foyer to find out whether they’d gotten into the department and precinct of their choice when filling out their applications to each station.

Not Rie though, the moment she’d woken up she’d run to the gym to practice her boxing. She didn’t care so much about who she worked for so long as she worked for what she wanted.

Busting the bad guys and making sure they ate dirt and understood that they could never ever turn the law to benefit them. Without no good there would be no evil…and her job was to take care of that evil.

Of course if it were up to her she would work under Mukai Osamu without a doubt. He had been the best teacher she'd ever had, she grew so enamored with his stories of working on the front line that she couldn't help but constantly go up to him after class, invite him out to coffee, which turned into a dinner, which turned into that new cop movie...which had turned into a kiss that had changed them.

Which thankfully had now turned into something that she looked at now as her eyes fell on her left hand, inspecting the diamond.

She turned towards her fiancé as he ran to her and without a second's notice pulled her into the tightest embrace she had ever felt from him. “Osamu! Are you allowed to be here? You have work right now! Stop hugging me you’ll get sweat all over your grey suit!” She pushed herself off him as she straightened the suit of the ridiculously smiling boy in front of her.

“SO DO YOU!” He grabbed her again and pulled her in but this time she froze in his arms as she realized the implications of his words. What they meant, and what that meant for her.

She broke apart from him and stared up at his eyes. “Are you saying-“

“You made it into Drug Control Mukai Rie. Welcome to my world.” His smile was infectious and he looked so happy that when she finally let out a breath she was shocked at how relieved she sounded. She couldn’t stop the same foolish grin from spreading across her own face as she launched herself onto his lips and held him tight within her arms.

To hell with his suit she couldn't help but think as she clutched onto the lapels of his blazer and pulled away from him.

“God, are you going to be able to take me 24/7? And I’m still Tomomasa for a while you know.” She teased as she rested her eyes her half-gloved hands hanging limply from his shoulders.

“I ran here to tell you when I saw your name on the new recruit list. Can’t have more perfect timing too.” He embraced her and she raised an eyebrow.

“Why is that Mukai-san?” She teased and he moved apart looking coy as he waved his hands.

“Well our last hot girl is on pregnant leave.”

“Of course. I’m just filling out a quota.” She winked.

“And I want you to move in with me.” That caught her attention. His eyes danced with the light that was pouring in from the windows on the top of the large ceiling gym. She couldn’t help but hit him on the arm as she stared at him appalled at what he had just said. “OW!”

She glared at him. “Mukai-kun you are such an idiot, you asked me to marry you after you ended your class early at the academy in the most unromantic fashion in the world over McDonalds and now you’re asking me to move in with you without even asking me to dinner.”

“Would you like to go to dinner?” He acquiesced.

“No.” She rejected smiling. “But I will move in with you.”

The way he kissed her made her knees weak as she melted into him.

She was so sure of her happily ever after. She’d never thought she’d get one but meeting him had assured her that it was all negativity in her mind.

If only she could see into the future.

--------------------------------------------------------------

“Anata no namae wa?” The head of the department looked at her and she looked past him at Mukai who was giving her one of the most confident smiles she’d ever seen. She couldn’t help but look at him even as she responded.

“Tomomasa Rie desu, yoroshiku onegaishimasu.” She bowed low and bent her head back up as they all gave her a quick look.

“She looks like a decent enough worker…” One of them remarked.

“Ehh she’s Mukai’s girl isn’t she?”

“Her shoes are all wrong with that suit!” Another girl in the back said softly thinking Rie couldn’t hear. She kept her cool, she was the new recruit. Obviously people were going to target her.

“Tomomasa-san, there’s no room to relax here. Let’s get in the office and get you assigned to something.” Her ageing boss said as he indicated for her to follow him and she turned to look back at her fiancé who gave her a smile of encouragement as she stepped into her bosses office.

------------------------------------------------

“Filthy son of bitch, he is. If Rie hadn’t gotten him down no one would have been able to.” Osamu praised as he grabbed his future wife into his arms and pressed a kiss tightly to her temple. He was a little drunk, and she was as excited as him. She leaned into his grasp further as the rest of the department cheered her on for busting one of the biggest drug rings in Tokyo right now. They’d been operating in Akihabara, Roppongi, and a little bit to the south of the city.

“I couldn’t have done it without my team mates.” She yelled out loudly and the department cheered along with her as she pressed a light kiss on her fiancé’s lips not expecting the way he would deepen the kiss in front of everyone that mattered to them.

Even her boss let out a whoop as Mukai pressed into her so that she got a little dizzy from the lack of breath between them. His hands grazed past the side of her body and he used his arms to pick her up and place her firmly onto his lap pulling her so tightly into him she was sure that if he didn’t let her go soon he would throw her down and-

But Mukai wasn’t foolish and he left her lips softly looking up at her barely controlling the way his eyes raked over her flushed face. She couldn’t help but blush as she grabbed another cup of soju sitting contentedly in his grasp as he wrapped his guns around her and she felt the most happy she had in a while.

“Bosu?” Mukai shot out loudly past her and she turned to look at their balding boss who was smiling kindly upon them.

“Mukai! You picked out the best lady here.” He cheered her on and raised his glass. “To Rie!”

The crowd echoed their thoughts and Mukai yelled out drunkenly happy. “We’re going home! Sorry guys! I can’t stop myself any longer.” And Rie’s eyes widened so much that she couldn’t help but smack him across the chest.

They could have come up with another excuse honestly.

“Mukai’s always like this…but he’s a lot more faithful since he’s met you.” A girl yelled across the room and Rie laughed.

“Arigato neh! We’ll be taking our leave then!” She bowed to her co-workers a foolish sort of grin on her face as her future husband laughed and smiled at her again grasping her hand so tightly in his she felt the blood in her hand stop circulating.

“I love you so much Rie,” He whispered into her hair and she nodded. She knew that.

“I love you too Mukai,” She did…at least she thought she did. There had been no one in so long and Mukai well he was beautiful , loving and he only cared to make her happy. She had transformed the playboy of the department into a strikingly sweet man the moment he’d met her in their class. After that first time they had kissed she had refused to speak to him again choosing to sit in the back and run away as soon as class was over. A relationship between a student and a professor was strictly prohibited, especially at the police academy.

So he chased her. He followed her to classes and convinced the teachers there to let him guest lecture. He was constantly in the same coffee line up as her and he never ever let her study alone.

And because these actions proved to be harmless enough she let him do all of it. She still wasn't sure what it was about her that had struck a cord with him...but she was glad it had happened. He chased her so much that she got to know him so well she had been unable to push him away when he kissed her again and she’d felt those tell-tale sparks in her belly.

So when she felt him surrounding her again and whispering her name softly under the cover of the stars, in the house they would live in for the rest of their lives, and beside the moonlight that filtered through the curtain. She had to remind herself that this was where she was always meant to end up, that this was the end and there was nothing wrong with that.

When he wrapped her in his arms in the midst of their silent embraces and gasps she couldn’t help but try to writhe out. She couldn’t escape the feeling of being in a cage.

She had waited so long…she had cried so many times that she hadn’t been able to be with Mukai the way she’d wanted to while he’d been her professor at the school. She tried to ignore the way Mukai’s every soft whisper made her feel more confused than she ever had before.

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End Notes:
I love this story =D I can't stop thinking about it. I keep seeing scenes. Btw. Did you guys think that the bang was Mukai opening the door? I kind of wanted to test that out on you guys.



I love Mukai. le sigh. Thank you so much to everyone who liked and commented on this story. You make me want to write this even more than I already want to. which is hard to pull of O.O



BEECH HAS PHOTOSHOP AGAIN.



Thank you so much to everyone who reviewed and read the story =D Christine, Shan, Tali and Wanani I hope you all liked this chapter =D



Tryst by Anna Clair
Author's Notes:
Tryst is a real club.



It's amazing.



If you live in the area you should totally go.





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“RIE! MY OFFICE PLEASE!” It was the morning after the big drug bust. He wasted no time getting down to business as he turned the lock and turned to look at her with all of his steely superior airs. “Look. There was a reason I insisted you be placed in our department despite of the fact that there would be a conflict of interest with Mukai and you working so closely together.”

She had to refrain herself from slapping the idiot and telling him that she’d earned her spot here. “Yes sir, and I appreciate it and I believe I proved myself last night.” For a moment her mind flashed back to her thoughts as she had climaxed last night. She had never wanted to get away as badly as she had that moment.

God she loved Mukai, she knew that- but where had all of that come from? Had it been the exhilaration of the bust? Had she experienced that tell-tale sign that told her she wanted to advance more in her career before she got married?

Her boss gave her a quick smile nodded. “Of course you did and there’s no one who’s prouder of your accomplishments…but I can’t give you downtime. I just received knowledge that because of your big save in Akihabara last night, the yakuza from Ginza are trying to supply that territory with their cocaine. Now...because it's unanticipated business and they're lacking the supplies they’re shipping it in. I know nothing else...but I cannot have such a big shipment entering the country Rie.”

She nodded. “Of course not. How can I help you?” His eyes turned to look at her with such exhaustion that she had to ask herself for a second if she would look like that one day too.

“I need you to go undercover for me. All of this particular groups operations take place in a club called Tryst. I have managed to place you as a bartender there for now with someone who owes me a favor. You will need to infiltrate Tryst and find out the details of the shipment. Overhear and find out all you can. I am sure they’ll say something there...there should be a room where all of the operations take place. Infiltrate that room and you've completed the mission. Other than that I am so sorry I have nothing else for you to go on.” He looked at her apologetically and she shook her head.

“I know how to do my job sir. I don’t need much else, you know-” She bowed low before flipping her hair back up as she stared at her boss. “it would help if you knew the supposed date of the shipment?”

“It’s supposed to arrive within the month Rie. We don’t have time. Once all the files are put together I’ll call you in here once again. You’ll be given a new identity, and a new place to live for this short while. You are not allowed to interact with anyone from the station while you are involved in your mission am I understood? Not even Mukai.”

She had to stop herself from feeling restricted as she imagined living alone for a month. “Wait sir about back up, I can’t be complet-“

“You’re going undercover solo for now which shouldn’t be hard for someone who was the best in their class right?” He looked at her again with those same exhausted eyes and she gulped. It should be all right but she couldn’t help but feel as if it was a lot more dangerous than she would have liked.

“Of course not!” She insisted but she couldn’t believe she was being shoved in so unguarded. If she made even the slightest mistake she was sure they would have no problem wiping her out…and she had a life to live with Mukai. She couldn’t risk that could she?

Her boss looked at her with wide eyes. “Rest assured we will have people looking in on you Rie… but you cannot know or it will compromise your situation in Ginza. You have to remain unaware. For your own sake."

To be honest that only somewhat comforted her. “Okay,” She nodded affirming she’d understood but the man went on without a care for her.

“You’re going to be infiltrating the Matsumoto clan that rule Ginza…their head of smuggling,” Here her boss smacked down a grainy picture of a guy taking a smoke outside a shady looking convenience store with a hooded gaze in his eyes as he looked at what seemed like directly at the camera…but it couldn’t have been right?

“Ikuta Toma will most likely be taking care of both its safe arrival and distribution.”

“So then-“

“If you spot him going into any corners, follow him. He would probably be going towards the room where all the plans are laid out and the information is stored. He's extremely dangerous...and he doesn't seem like the brash kind. He will most likely know everything about the shipment. Tail him and you’ll be able to easily discover the plans. That is all I have for now.” As she attempted to ask question she was thrown outside the door with only one piece of advice sinking into her ears. “Don’t try to hide anything from me Tomomasa, I know everything…and I will know if you don’t tell me something.”

Why on earth would she ever want to hide anything? She wanted to help!

She had to stop herself from feeling nervous. She didn’t want to be thrown in blindly no matter how prepared these guys thought she was. She felt stricken and scared. She turned around to look at her fiancé who was sitting at his desk working hard as he always did. At the sight of her staring at him he smiled back and looked around for a brief second before he blew her an embarrassing flying kiss.

She had to stop herself from laughing as she blew one back to him and walked to her desk.

It really was ridiculous how something as small as that could comfort her.

----------------------------------

“Maguri Lillith desu yoroshiku onegaishimasu!” She bowed low but the girl in front of her simply shoved the clothes into her arms and pushed her towards the change rooms as she flipped open her lighter and lit the cigarette that hung off her hands.

“Get dressed. I’m not interested in who you are. Make sure you’re wearing a double push up bra and your hairs straightened and that’s all I care about. The tips get split at the end of the night and if no one pulls their weight they don’t get their portion understood?” The girl bit out as Rie gulped and stared at the handle of the door as she shut it and pulled her shirt off.

She was wearing a sports bra. How was she supposed to know being slutty was a requirement?

“What the fuck is taking so long?” The door crashed open and Rie immediately rushed to cover herself as the rouged woman pulled her out of the stall and looked into the mirror with her. “You have a nice enough body…but girl if you ever wear a sports bra again I will kill you.” Rie wanted to smack the woman and act stronger but she knew that doing that would ruin her cover. So she just nodded.

“I am a 34B…would you happen to have any spares?”

“We have a D. You can stuff it with toilet paper...that's coming out of your paycheck. Being as small as you are you're going to need a whole roll at least to pull of desirable.” The woman ran over to a piece of the wall and pried it open and Rie's jaw dropped. She stopped herself seeing the way the woman knew exactly which parts of the wall to press before the large marble tile slipped off. That couldn’t be the only place they would use technology like this. While she grabbed her a bra Rie’s brain whirred with possibilities of how she could attempt to push in the same method once she discovered the room.

The woman grabbed her a bra and placed the tile back on.

If this woman knew how to operate these tiles she was sure that the woman knew at least a little bit about the drug plan.

“I’m in charge of all the bartenders.” She started and brought the diamond studded bra back to Rie. “They’re all fake diamonds of course but it’s gorgeous. This is the type of equipment we expect you to have here. Am I understood Lillith?”

Rie nodded slowly as she caressed the cold material of the bra. It was ridiculously heavy she realized as she stepped back in and changed into it before buttoning up her black short sleeved shirt with the Tryst logo emblazoned on the side.

As she stepped back out the woman laughed again. “Where are you from doll?” With that she grabbed the shirt and popped the first three buttons leaving her bra completely open from the front. “Do you not know what bartenders usually look like? You make us look like nuns.” Rie gulped. She didn’t really club, per se.

It all seemed like a whole lot of nothing to her honestly.

“Do I have to look like a whore?” She couldn’t help but bite out as the woman got on her last nerve. The woman’s eyes that were previously amused fell into a mean gaze.

“Don’t fuck with me little girl. I do not enjoy watching twits who aren’t meant to be here walk in and think they own the place.” That shocked her. Rie whipped around to look at the woman who simply stalked out of the room. “Do your makeup and get the fuck outside. We need to start prepping.”

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rie had learned a lot from her first shift at Tryst.

She had learned that all the girls worked for themselves.

They would shake and twirl in such ways that Rie hadn’t even known possible. Her boss had paid for her basic classes bartending but she had no idea how to move or shake the way these girls did. They would grab the ice shakers and strain in such ways that the slightest bit of liquid would fall onto their chest and drip downwards. A seductive smile and a lean over the bar to let the men who were ordering ogle their assets adorned in beautiful bras that pressed down painfully into the skin on their breasts. Or maybe it was just her bra that hurt.

Then they’d promptly receive a couple of notes of yen that the girls would tuck half into their bras and the rest into the jar that their boss laid out for them. The numbers would get tossed into the trash or the napkins would be scribbled with a number and shoved back with a pressed kiss where the outline of their lipstick was clear.

Rie still wasn’t sure what that meant but all the girls seemed to be doing it like their own little secrets behind the bosses backs.

Across the room was a legion of male bartenders where no doubt the women flocked as half of them were half-naked and the other half were getting there.

She had learned that the men who frequented Tryst were foul.

They would come in drunk and order more. There was no such thing as a tap-off or last call at Tryst. They would shove you upright with all the Belvedeer you wanted as long as you could pay for it and you weren’t ready to be on an ambulance. The men, if they weren’t behaving, could reach over and grab for the girls for which the bouncers had been ordered to wait exactly one minute before intervening and throwing the guys out. If their little escapade was less than a minute...well lucky them they didn't get kicked out.

Even if they did they would get thrown out screaming WORTH IT! on their way out.

Rie had been groped so many times that now it ALMOST didn't even bother her anymore. The other girls had not bothered warning her...of course and every time she yelped they just scoffed and looked away from her.

“GIRLS GIRLS! Ikuta just sent me a message.” The woman who had adorned her with her diamond bra she had discovered was named called Christol…she wasn’t sure she liked her yet. Didn't seem to matter much though the way the other girls looked at her, no one seemed to like her. “We have to have their drinks ready. Daisy take Lillith and teach her okay? She may need to do it alone once or twice and I don’t want her messing up in front of them.” She looked at the girl Christol had addressed and couldn’t help but remember a term Mukai had told her once.

The girl was a regular BBB. Big-titted, brunette, babe. Rie couldn’t help but feel self-conscious for a moment as the girl stalked upto her in her bright blue shimmery bra that was covered with the scantily transparent black shirt and black short shorts under which lay lace stockings.

“You’re new huh?”

“Yes. I’m Lillith it’s a pleasure to meet you Daisy.” She held out her hand but Daisy brushed her hand back into her hair and looked away. The half looking girl simply shrugged her off and walked away as Rie gulped. Daisy made her way to the girl who was currently flipping the shaker in the air.

“Samantha! DRINKS PLEASE?! Could you work any slower?”

Samantha who was the gorgeous leggy blonde smiling at an equally blonde boy across her turned around slowly her smile changing into a plastic one as she turned towards Daisy. “Why don’t you-“ She paused letting her eyes drop low as she waved her hands around Daisy's face “shut the fuck up Daisy." Her smile did not falter as the whole show was left forgotten as she tossed and turned what seemed like millions of little containers with the other girls. Every once in a while the red head who had been working on Daisy's other side looked at Rie as she stood awkwardly around and laughed.

Samantha pointed Rie out to the blond boy and they laughed together their hands intertwining over the bar as she took another order for a customer.

Until finally a tray of all the drinks was laid out in front of Rie and Daisy. The redhead placed the last drink on the tray. "Keep the gin and tonic safe!" She winked at her and Rie could only gingerly nod at the piece of advice as she bowed and lifted the tray weakly.

Just then the door to the club let in a large group of men who inclined their head towards Christol.

Christol nodded back and poked Daisy in the back as the older girl yelled and Christol gave her a pointed look. “Get going now!! Or our asses are all on the line! It’s not like I’m not dealing with enough out here!”

Daisy glared at her and mumbled under her breath. "What the fuck are you dealing with anyways?" But Christol chose to ignore her words as she dashed away to the other side of the floor near the male bartenders.

Daisy turned to look at Rie but Rie was busy looking at the group trying to spot Ikuta Toma. They had disappeared past the large black curtain so quickly she had barely the time to rush and see where he was in the group. Was he the one with the white fedora on his head? Or the one that’s jacket was billowing so largely she could barely see through it? Or the one who had been smiling happily at the redhead as he walked past?

Daisy inclined her head towards Rie. "WALK! Come on! They’re expecting the drinks come on.” Rie nodded gulping nervously…this was her first undercover mission.

This was good, this was progress. She thought she would have had to go find the room herself but here she was...walking straight into it practically invited. It was helpful because she'd know where the room was located…then when she got off her shift in approximately an hour she would be able to sleuth around a bit hopefully.

Or maybe tomorrow before they arrived if she snuck out of the cleanup crew, she followed Daisy’s instructions but felt her arm falter for a second under the weight of the tray.

"HOLD IT STEADY!" Christol yelled at her and Rie nodded cursing herself. What kind of glasses were these anyways? Daisy turned to glare at her. “What the hell- keep that thing steady.” Rie nodded and lifted it feeling her arm go limp under the pressure as she struggled.

Daisy guided her past the guards who held the curtains open for her and just as she was starting to walk away she felt one slap her ass and she stopped transfixed in her tracks.

She flicked her head painfully towards the back to see the sure-to-be-some-sort-of-sex-offender and found him smirking back at her winking at her as her jaw dropped.

Oh no-

“LILLITH! SERIOUSLY!” Daisy yelled out and Rie rushed forward as she held onto the train and Daisy looked as if she was going to seriously injure the girl for not keeping up with her.

Daisy spoke to another guard outside the door before he let them in and Rie could immediately tell the difference between the club outside and this private room she had been guided to. It was all men in here, the setting looked far more professional from what she knew of other yakuza clans who operated in clubs.

The cafe they'd busted into at Akihabara had a room that was doused with the smell of marijuana. This was almost like a boardroom. The seats were couches of course but all arranged over one long glass table on one side and the other left practically empty. There was no clear head as more than three men were seated at either end. The lighting was dimmed and for some reason no matter how hard she tried she couldn’t seem to spot Ikuta Toma anywhere.

“Daisy!” A man stood up and came over and hugged her, Daisy smiled softly as she stayed in his grasp for three seconds longer than necessary. Rie wanted to punch her out. She could barely hold up the tray any longer and she felt her heels more than she had all night long. “My god, I haven’t seen you in two weeks and I swear you look more beautiful each time I lay eyes on you.” The man flattered her as Daisy let out an airy laugh that reached everyone’s ears and the men in the room looked at her appreciatively as Rie struggled with the plate in quite an ugly manner.

I mean she’d never exactly considered herself hot but come on- not even one look in her direction?

That was just pathetic of her as the future-wife of Mukai Osamu.

“Who’s the new girl?” A voice called out and Rie bit her lip so she could stop herself from smiling or frowning. It was the man who had smiled happily at the redhead at the bar. At last someone had noticed her but- was that really a good thing? She tried to stop the pain from her heels from showing on her face. “She looks like she’s ready to die in a hole.”

The other men laughed riotously as did Daisy. One of the younger looking boys, who had the distinct features of a Barbie Doll called out. “I wouldn’t mind getting into her hole.” Rie wanted to go die in a hole as they fist pumped each other.

She had never felt more assaulted in her life as she had been today. Talk about harassment in the workplace.

"Who is she Daisy?" A serious voice finally called out and within seconds Daisy was out of the man's grasp as she turned towards the voice and Rie reflexively followed her direction.

Daisy clucked with her mouth and shook her head. “No one important Ikuta-sama.” She threw her a look that made Rie feel as if she was supposed to be worse than dirt but Rie could barely notice. She was looking around the room and found Ikuta finally as he brought his head up from his hands. He had been the man leaned over the documents that were splayed out over the table. “Gin and Tonic please.” He ordered and Daisy threw her a look to go hand it to him.

SERIOUSLY? What was this girl even for? Was Daisy just here to entertain them while she struggled with everything else?

Rie ignored the blinding pain as she walked slowly towards the man in the black suit at one of the ends of the table. He barely threw her a second look as he poured his attention over the papers in front of him again. She leaned forward just the slightest to take a glance at the papers he was looking so intently at.

It was probably something about the upcoming shipment…if they had the data she required she could be done right now at this very point she could run away. She leaned over the slightest bit and-

Suddenly the tray lost it’s footing in her hand and it slipped off her grasp and fell entirely and completely on the two men directly in front of her, the sounds of glass crashing against the floor and liquid spilling over so loud that she could barely stop herself from gasping as she heard the loud clang of the metal tray come crashing down.

Her hands, now conveniently empty, rushed to her mouth in shock.

Wow did she know how to fuck up. She bent down immediately and started picking up the pieces. “I’m so sorry!” She bowed low finally speaking but really it was more like squeaking. She couldn’t risk a look at the men who she had doused in alcohol.

Until of course a hand clutched at her neck and shot her face upwards so fast that she felt a distinct sharp sting in the muscles he had pulled on. She found herself staring into the eyes of the man in the photograph as he narrowed his eyes with no emotion clearly decipherable. All she could sense from his gaze was power as he stared her down and she felt herself revert to a little girl. Could someone human really have a gaze so powerful? These guys were serious. The more she stayed here the more she got nervous that she couldn’t pull this off.

She was strong…but she was alone. Three weeks ago she'd been a student at the Police Academy. She was bumbling and stupid and making mistakes as foolish as this. Her chest heaved in anticipation of what he might say now. Daisy was silent holding onto the man who had affectionately wrapped his hands over her waist. None of this would have happened if she'd only helped Rie couldn't help but curse as she clutched onto the short fabric of her shirt within her hands, her eyes shutting tightly as she couldn’t stare at him any longer.

“I’m so sorry,” She breathed out softly and the foreign man who had also been affected beside Ikuta Toma finally decided to speak.

“It’s okay love, happens to us all. Doesn’t it Ikuta?” He tilted his head towards his comrade who continued staring at her his eyes narrowing dangerously. “You’re a pretty one though so sod it. We won’t bother this little gem too much will we-“ But Toma had already thrown her face back away from him and wiped his hands clean as she sat in the pool of spilled alcohol. She felt so ashamed…she couldn’t believe she had compromised everything like this.

It was supposed to be a quick drop in and out stay in the background. That was how all undercover missions went.

Not if you were Tomomasa Rie.

Ikuta Toma moved past her and took his jacket off throwing it into the garbage. She stared weakly as he took his tie off and threw it at her feet and he proceeded to whip off his shirt. It landed in the same arena as his jacket. Rie could hardly control herself from wanting to cry.

Toma turned to look at Daisy who was still standing looking at him as he stood in his white wife beater and black pants. “Get her out of here. I don’t want to see her here again. Tell Christol to hire girls that are worth our time. Am I understood Daisy?”

Daisy nodded and Rie felt herself pulled up from her puddle of shame and tossed out the door but not before the English man barked out. “And another gin and tonic for our crabby one here please! I cannot work with him unless he’s under the influence.”

“Done Oliver!” Daisy called back clutching Rie’s wrist tightly in hers so that Rie whimpered just the slightest with the impact of Daisy’s nails digging into her skin.

The moment they were out of the room she pulled Rie by her hair and Rie squealed at the impact on her head. “WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING?” She yelled out at the girl who couldn’t help but feel the tears hit her eyes.

She’d fucked it all up.

What was she going to tell Mukai now? What was she going to tell her boss?

You’re marrying a failure. You hired a failure.

Oh right. She couldn’t even see them…unless she compromised the mission.
“You’re talking to Christol about this. I’m not telling anyone how bad you fucked up in there. Toma doesn’t like being pissed- in fact Toma doesn’t like showing any emotion whatsoever if he can avoid it. Why the fuck did you have to go be an idiot and IF YOU CAN’T WALK IN HEELS WEAR FLATS!”

Rie felt the tears start leaking as Daisy tore into her. “Christol said-“

“Fuck that bitch… she’s never going to get kicked out of the club. YOU ARE! I suggest you go grovel to Toma the moment he’s out of the meeting if you want to even stay here. Which I suppose you have to.” Daisy glared at her and Rie couldn’t help but shoot back.

“How do you know I’m desperate to stay here? Why couldn't you have just helped?!”

Daisy scoffed as she tossed her hair behind her shoulders. “Please…none of us end up here unless we’re desperate...and you'd do your best to learn that we're all for ourselves here.” She walked outside the curtains and left Rie alone in the dark hallway to think about what had just happened.

She couldn’t stop herself from crumbling down in what felt like the tunnel of loneliness and breaking down into tears.

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End Notes:
Thank you guys for reading =D I'm sorry if it's slow right now T.T she has to kind of get into the system.



Thank you so much to everyone who reviewed =D I'm gonna go review reply right now. I love you all: Daisy, Wanani, ChriChri.



The models featured above are Solange Wilvert who represents the Daisy character and Jessica Stam who represents the Samantha character



PREVIEW PREVIEWS PREVIEWS



“Promise all to myself. I just like scaring the new girls. Keiichiro Koyama.”



“How do you pull that off creepy-san?”



“You can go all night can’t you gem?”



“Are you always so paranoid Ikuta-san?”



“Sex is not nothing! So please stop it! ”



Yeah we're going to go into some pretty mature undertones so please get yourselves ready if you're okay with that



Truth by Anna Clair
Author's Notes:
This chapter does have a little bit of rated stuff....



but if you're reading an M storyline I assume you guys are okay with this stuff and mature enough to understand and deal with it.





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She stood outside waiting at the curtain, hearing the raucous laughter coming from inside. It was 7AM she had officially been awake for far too long to have her mind be coherent. Even the tears had stopped from how tired she was.

“Why the hell are you still here?” It was the guard that had grabbed her butt last night…or today morning. God she couldn’t even tell.

“I’m- waiting. I can’t get fired from this job…I really need it.” She admitted as she slumped down against the floor and the guard sat down beside her and she watched his hands nervously. “Hands to yourself please.” She couldn’t stop herself from letting out and he laughed and held his hands up in confirmation.

“Promise all to myself. I just like scaring the new girls. Keiichiro Koyama.” He held his hand out and Rie gingerly shook it and nodded.

“If you had a girlfriend she wouldn’t approve.” She shot back thinking back to Mukai…did he ever do things like that before he met her in class? “Maguri Lillith. Are you single then that you’re doing this?”

“Quite the contrary.” He laughed back shaking his head and at that precise moment a girl walked into the club. Rie turned her head to watch the way their eyes connected across the room and a wide smile stretched on her face.

“Girlfriend?” Rie asked quietly the same smile stretched on her face at the sight of love in front of her. She liked seeing people who were entirely too much in love with each other. Keiichiro smiled back and shook his head to answer ‘no’.

“More like lover.” Rie’s eyebrows furrowed as the smile on his face grew increasingly sad as he stared at the wavy haired girl who looked riskily at Rie. As if she was worried…well Rie could have told her about the ass-grabbing but it was harmless now that she thought of it.

Wow she really had gotten jaded after her shift last night.

“How do you pull that off creepy-san?”

“Maybe I’m her boyfriend…but she can’t be any more than a lover because she can’t know.” Koyama gave her a shifty smile so that Rie could only stare on in confusion as he stood up and ran away towards the girl at the door. She looked at Rie with her own gaze of disapproval that changed quickly as Koyama grasped her hand and pressed it to his lips and ran out of the club entrance with her.

“Love…are you still here?” The voice of the English gentleman from last night rang out behind her and immediately Rie was on her feet as she bowed low.

“Is Ikuta-san inside?” She rushed rubbing her tired eyes as he examined her.

“You can go all night can’t you gem?” He raised an eyebrow and Rie gulped. She was sure she wasn’t the only girl who got abused by guests, guards, and gang members but god it felt awkward to her. She ignored the question as she struggled with her response.

“Can I go in?” She tried she honestly did but if the guy inched one centimeter closer to her and she could kick his ass. His eyes were drooped low as he brought his hands over her head and maybe his intention was to ruffle her hair but all she could feel was the way his hands entangled themselves within her hair. It felt more as if he was trying to make her feel like she had no other option than to leave with him. She remembered the moment she’d lain under Mukai after the big drug bust that had catapulted her to this moment. Made her look senior enough to get to this position, to go undercover, the man raked his eyes past her body and she couldn’t help but scoff as she pulled herself away. There she stood trying to ignore him in her diamond studded bra shielded by a button up see through black shirt with short black shorts and gladiator flats she’d managed to steal off one of the other girls but she hadn't caught her name.

He leaned closer to her ear as she felt him pull her forward towards him so that his every word shifted a tendril of her hair in the air “You can come home with me.”

His every hot breath rested directly upon her chin and she felt the hairs on the nape of her neck rise. She pushed herself back landing against a cart that had been left uselessly so that glasses fell off and the sounds of clatters could be heard loudly. Oliver fell with her and within moments Ikuta Toma himself came out and turned to look at the position they were in. His eyes glazed over as he looked directly at the British man. He looked so unaffected by the position they were in. Oliver’s hands half way up her shirt, her tousled hair.

“Oliver get the fuck off her...you need rest for tonight.” With that he walked back inside calm and collected as ever. Oliver threw her a look before letting her go and tilting his head towards her as he licked his lips and walked away. She was left heaving slow breaths placing a hand on her heart as she tried to get a hold of herself. She needed to learn whatever these guys did here didn’t have to shake her to her core every time.

If she hadn’t made that much noise she would have been assaulted and that could not happen. She had to learn to stand up quicker, fight against the way these guys grabbed whoever they wanted. She had to be the defender…not the victim.

What was she doing here? Why was she letting herself get all walked over?

She took another deep breath steadying herself before she started towards the door of the room and knocked on it before entering. “Ikuta-san?” She looked at him as he was hunched over the files again his hands dug into the sides of the leather loveseat he was on.

He looked bored as he continued looking at the papers that were splattered all across the table as he was alone now. He was obviously attempting to ignore her.

“What?”

“I just wanted to say thank you for- you know outside.” She gulped as he shot her a look of mockery. She didn’t want to thank the asshole but she had to. If he hadn’t come in and told Oliver to leave…well. She didn’t know what would have happened. She would have probably punched the guy out but she would have also probably revealed herself. No normal girl was as strong as she was. Explaining it would be risky. “I also just wanted to say that I really need this job.” She noticed then that there was the smallest cut on his cheek, it was fresh…and probably from a shard of glass flown astray from the impact of the glasses falling everywhere.

When he realized she was staying and he lifted himself up and walked up to her.

Without a moment’s notice he had her enveloped tightly in his arms and she felt his chest hard against her own hard chest…the backs of the diamond studs poking roughly through to her skin. She flinched for a second at the impact as his hands drifted past her entire body feeling her up for something.

No luck there.

“Do you now?” The way he was searching her was as if he was expecting to find her wired when he was sufficiently satisfied he pushed her off him, letting her crash by the drawer as he sat back down his eyes barely throwing her another glance.

She couldn’t help but feel even worse. What was with these guys? If she didn’t stand up for herself now, she probably couldn’t ever. “Are you always so paranoid Ikuta-san?” She pushed her shirt closed and wrapped her arms around her body shielding herself.

“I don’t hire prudes and I sure as hell didn’t hire you. Do us all a favour and leave. This isn’t the type of place for a girl like you.” There was such direction in his voice that she couldn’t help but take it as an order and no one got to order Rie around.

She was glaring at him but he seemed to not even notice as his fingers carelessly flipped the pages in front of him. He moved with such grace she found it hard to believe he was one of the roughest gangsters out there.

“What do you know about what kind of girl I am?” She replied the defiance clear in her voice as she moved up straight to look at him and bent down in front of him so that he could not just ignore her. When he still attempted to she turned his shoulder towards her forcefully. She had to be stronger…she had to prove to these people they couldn’t walk over her. When he saw she wasn’t letting him go he sighed starting slowly as if he was speaking to a child.

“You’re easy to read with those eyes that scream purity.” His declaration left her befuddled a she opened her mouth to contradict him but he placed a finger on her mouth and continued. “Let me finish, you’re honest and righteous. You like happy endings, you may even want one and this place is not at all for a girl like you.”

There’s nothing wrong with that. She shot back in her head but kept her mouth shut as she shook her head. “I’m not at all like that.”

“Do you have a boyfriend?” He asked suddenly and her eyebrows furrowed.

“What does that have to do with anything?” The indignation on her face apparent as he looked at her exhausted again.

“Answer the question Lillith.” He knew her name, she tried not to let that affect her as she shakily sat down beside him again.

This time his eyes didn’t seem to stray from her face at all. “Yes. I- It’s serious. It’s been a year.” She supplemented and a tiny grin touched his face as she shot back almost instantly.

“I didn’t ask about any of the details. I don’t have time for that kind of thing.” He turned his entire body towards her and faced her full on. She shifted backwards to give him more room on the couch but he only moved forward as he grabbed her hand within his.

He looked up at her slowly and Rie grew even more confused as she looked back at him. Shellshocked as she felt his fingers intertwine with hers.

“Sorry.” She said softly but she wasn’t sure about what she was saying sorry. For dropping the vast amounts of alcohol on him, for telling him more than he wanted to know.

He looked up at her and she felt his thumb slide up and down her palm and struggled to pull it back instantly. “That’s all right…” His voice grew soft as he brought their hands towards his lips and she felt the heat from his lips soak through her skin.

That was all she needed to break out of her reverie as she saw his drooped eyes looked back up at her and she pulled them back roughly.

“What are you doing?” She shot back evidently surprised as she rubbed the part of her hand where she could still feel his lips.

He smiled at her the same way a wolf smiled at their prey as he sidled closer to her. “It’s nothing.” He placed his arm over her side effectively blocking her exit as she turned her face away from him as he grew increasingly close. “It’s nothing. Don’t worry.” He used his other hand to bring her face to face with him directly. She stared at him shaking her head within his hands hold, her eyes shut tight as she tried to shift back without exerting too much force. He was playing with her…he wouldn’t do anything. He didn’t seem like the type. She had to wait it out. His voice grew silkier as he grew ever closer to her so that almost every single part of their bodies touched, his lips leaving soft wisps of air onto hers. “All of the other girls know it’s nothing-“ and she shook her hair furiously as she bit her lips and pulled them inside.

“Please I-I can’t- I” But he wasn’t listening. He pressed his lips directly onto hers and moved against them as she froze in his grasp. She remained unresponsive but he snaked his hand across her back and she squirmed trying to get away pushing roughly onto his chest but he wouldn’t budge as she felt herself pushed back onto the couch. She used her arms against him but he was firm pushing himself back down every single time she pushed him off her he’d close the gap insistently throwing himself on her harder.

The mission. Mukai. The mission. Mukai The images kept flashing by her head as she stayed frozen her only movement fighting against him as she felt his lips move away from hers but not far as they he pressed them down on her neck. His hands slowly working their way down the buttons of her shirt as she felt him push his face down further across her body, his mouth tugging at the skin he exposed as his hands crawled up to spread her shirt open farther. “Please-“She whimpered softly as he brought his lips back up to hers and moaned into her mouth and she struggled to get away. She could go nowhere she felt trapped in his grasp as his breathing grew heavier and louder near her ears, his hands rested firmly on her face now. “STO-“ But her words got lost as he took the opportunity to keep her positioned. He probed her mouth open with his tongue and she felt her heart ache as she thought of her fiancée. She bit down firmly on his tongue and lower lip together so he cursed loudly.

She couldn’t do that to Mukai.

That broke him out of his animalistic attack on her and she took advantage of his weakness for a second using all the strength she could without giving herself away and threw him off her so that he landed on the other side of the couch. “Sex is not nothing! So please stop it! ” Her final plea seemed to reach his ears as he laughed and she was stuck staring at him as he collapsing over his side. She couldn’t help the thought that she’d thought him a little different. He didn’t seem like he’d be interested in anything other than those papers he had looked at all night.

So what had just happened? She felt her eyes blind out with tears as she curled into herself weakly. He had saved her from Oliver…or had he? She touched her lips gingerly hearing his voice filter through her silence.

“It’s only everything if I’m fucking up your perfect little life. If you stay here...this club will definitely ruin your life the same way I almost did. So do me a favour and just leave. There’s no room for girls like you here…and I don’t have any more time to waste on this matter.” She didn’t need to be told twice as she ran her fingers through her hair sat up and dashed outside the room running away from whatever had just happened.

He didn’t bother throwing her a second glance as he took in the papers on the desk.

What was she going to do now?

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Before she left her apartment with Mukai, he had shoved in a small piece of paper into her hand and told her it was a number she should call should she feel as if everything was getting out of hand and she couldn’t take it.

She called him the next night before she was supposed to work and shockingly found it was the number of a pub where apparently Mukai was spending all of his nights as he wasn’t allowed to watch over her.

“Hey, I was hoping you’d call but it’s just the second day. Are you okay?”

“I can’t do this,” She let out shakily thankful that she had her fiancée on the phone now. He sounded happy. She could take the smallest bit of pleasure in that.

“Don’t say that what happened?” He let out softly as she felt herself struggling to not break down in front of him. She didn’t want to hurt him…she didn’t want him to come running to find her either otherwise they would be in trouble with shachou.

“I’ve just been pushed to my extremes…that sort of club Mukai. It’s- the men there think they can take whatever they want an- it sickens me.”

Mukai had gone suddenly silent as he asked very slowly. “Did they touch you Rie?” She gulped as she heard the edge of danger in his voice and quickly shook her head.

Not that he could hear her. “Did they touch you Rie?!” This time there was more urgency in his voice and she replied back quickly.

“No of course not! But do I have to wait till that happens to tell you?!”She shot back nervously. She couldn’t let him know. He would go crazy. He would barge into Tryst and burn it down, find Ikuta Toma and do everything short of putting a bullet in his chest to make him suffer. Mukai was not violent…unless it was about her.

“OF COURSE NOT!” He yelled back and she could hear the way his voice grew tired as he struggled to formulate an appropriate response to her plea. “I wish you were coming home. So- we could talk properly.”

“I just want to hug you right now and remind myself that there are men like you out there.” She sighed into her phone and she heard the breath in his throat hitch.

“I’m not perfect Rie. Where are you?”

“Ginza Square.” She sighed looking around the bright lights and jumbotrons around her.

“Walk five blocks north, walk into a pub that’s called Fiddler I’ll be in the third stall of the women’s washroom.” He hung up just as quickly and Rie stared at her phone. Should she go? Would shachou find out?

Fuck it. Shachou hadn’t been groped from all four directions the past 24 hours. He wouldn’t understand. She let her feet glide her upwards until she finally saw the pub and rushed in checking her watch.

She had an hour until she was supposed to start work at Tryst. She’s learned from yesterday and today she’s wearing black wedged booties that are comfortable with a black satin bra with gold studs adorning it peeking out of her see through black shirt. A big huge black bag swung over her shoulder.

When she walked in the barkeep gave her a slow smile and she nodded back knowing reflexively that Mukai must know this man. She couldn’t stop the way her feet rushed forward running into the washroom and banging the third stall open to find it empty.

She couldn’t stop the disappointment from falling on her face until she heard a voice behind her. “Sorry…it was kind of busy with this girl taking a dump that was so nasty I couldn’t stand that but I promise the fifth stall i-“ She didn’t let him finish as she launched herself onto his lips and wrapped her hands around his neck as she pushed him inside the stall and held onto him tightly after letting his lips go. She’s drowning herself in him before she does back before she has to be strong for all of them. Today she cannot let herself get walked over. Today is not yesterday.

“I’m sorry.” He said softly as she felt his hands come up running his fingers through her hair. “I don’t know why he sent you in like that…but there’s nothing we can do but be strong right baby?” She nodded slowly into his shirt.

“I just miss you.”

“And here I thought I was the one who loved you more in our relationship.”

“Shut up we love each other equally.”

“No such thing.” He stuck his tongue out at her and she made a move to bite it as he laughed. “But you’re close to loving me almost as much…you’re just scared. It’s okay Rie. You’re much younger than me. It’s okay to be scared. If I was your age I would have run away from us.”

“Isn’t that reassuring?” She shot back unable to stop the sarcastic smile from falling on her face as he ruffled her hair.

“It’s scary to find the person you’re meant to be with right out of adolescence Rie.” He held her closer and pushed her head into his shoulder and Rie wrapped her arms tighter around his neck taking a deep breath. Her heart felt immediately comforted with Mukai here. “Now shut up and let me hug you. I haven’t seen you in a whole 48 hours. It’s horrible…what’s your new place like?”

“I thought I was shutting up.” A pointed look from him just made her laugh and continue on. “The police really get some seriously low funding in Japan neh? The apartment is crap compared to ours!”

“Very low funding.” Mukai agreed as she hugged him back and forgot about everything else as she stayed with him feeling her heart calm itself in his presence.

Everything would be okay...as long as he was here.

But Rie couldn't shake the feeling that she should have told him about last night.

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End Notes:
So what is she going to do now? O.O Seriously. I don't know XD (joking joking i know what she's gonna do)



I really do appreciate all the support I got last chapter for this story *bows* And I hope this doesn't get too dark for you guys T.T You guys kept me going. inawza, daisy, kwen and christine =D so thank you a lot. *bows* I'm gonna probably majorly review reply tonight once I get home from work =D



...because I kind of want to put previews up =D



“You’re back new girl? I heard Toma fired you yesterday?”



“I don’t see him around. Are you going to go run and tell him?”



“If I’m out early I’ll definitely come see you. What’s your name?”



“Akanishi Jin.”



“I'm sorry...he got wounded."



Assumptions by Anna Clair
Author's Notes:
Happy Anniversary My Flowers =D
She’d stayed like that with Mukai for thirty minutes before having to rush out again and run towards Tryst. When she’d walked in Christol took one look at her and said “Acceptable.” before Rie could nod and run off into the lockers where all the other girls already were. She found herself pleasantly surprised when a girl who hadn’t been there last night raised her eyebrows at her.

“You’re back new girl? Yeona told me that Toma fired you yesterday.” The girl who addressed her was an exotic hybrid of everything. The way she looked at you was as if she commanded your attention and so Rie felt as if there was no other way but to look back at her and respond to her claim with a shrug. The girl had rolled Ikuta’s name over her mouth was as if it was extremely important to her with a possessive streak that was definitely apparent.

Well it would make sense he was laying one of the girls around… and it would also make sense why she’d gotten called in if this girl hadn’t been working last night.

Bingo. Rie couldn’t help but think as she stared at the girl who challenged her with her words. She tossed her hair back and faced her full on. “I don’t see him around. Are you going to go run and tell him?” Meeting Mukai, remembering the way she had allowed herself to get stepped over yesterday had made her blood boil in retaliation of whatever culture was on here. She was going to stand up today. She was going to be strong and show them that even if she wasn’t a cop here that didn’t mean she had to be a pushover, especially not to Toma’s little woman. If she couldn’t take her, she definitely wouldn’t be able to take that bastard on later.

Needless to say yesterday had ruined any image of him in her head. Not that she’d even had one but she hadn’t pegged him for the type he was in her mind right now. A horny insensitive genius smuggler.

The female across her simply looked as if she wanted to burst out laughing at the clear look of challenge in Rie’s eyes. “Hey man…it’s your prerogative. I was just asking. Not the kind of guy you want to piss off that’s all.” She clipped her name tag onto her shirt and Rie saw that her bra was red and silky and her shirt had an equally silky texture. “I’m Wana.” She held her hand out and Rie remembered her manners putting her own hand out.

“Lillith.” She let out a small smile as she banged her locker shut and straightened her shorts out.

Wana looked different from the other girls. “You grew some balls between yesterday and today didn’t you?” Wana’s smile was so genuine, Lillith hard to believe for a second that a girl like her existed here in the walls of Tryst.

“Just chopped some off some guy on the way here.” She joked and the way Wana’s face fell, Rie got scared that she had said another of her strange jokes. Just as quickly as Wana understood the joke though the smile was back on her face as she placed a manicured hand over her mouth to cover her girlish snickers.

“Girls! Chop! LET’S GO!” Christol yelled barging into the room to see the two being friendly and shaking her head. Lillith leaned back against the wall mimicking Wana’s move of shoving her cellphone into the underside of her bra and walking out with Wana directly behind her as Christol stared on disapprovingly.

“Don’t spill anything today or you’ll really be out on your arse.” Christol bit out and Lillith simply inclined her head forward. She’d learned showing any sort of work-ethic in Tryst meant you cared, and showing you cared meant it was easier for someone to walk right over you. Christol pushed past her not bothering to hear her response as Lillith grumbled under her breath and leaned close to Wana.

“Maybe if Daisy ever lifted anything with me that wouldn’t have happened.” Lillith couldn’t help but drop softly as she saw Daisy walking towards the change room late. Christol didn’t even throw Daisy a second glance and she couldn’t help the thought that it wasn’t fair. Why was it that Daisy got special treatment anyways?

“Oh…don’t get on Daisy’s bad side.” Wana shot out seriously. “Sho’ll really make sure you’re out on your arse…and he spends more time caring about her than he does doing his job.” She shot out bitterly as she stalked towards the bar, where no doubt in mere hours girls would be atop it serving drinks.

“Sho?” Rie questioned back as she ran a hand through her hair tousling it over one side of her head. Wana nodded her head approvingly.

“One sided toss, I like that…has a very bed head appeal.” She shuffled on her feet as she answered Rie’s question. “Didn’t you see him yesterday? You must have! I’m sure he was working last night.” Wana furrowed her eyebrows as she bent down on the ground to pick up a shard of glass and toss it in the garbage.

Sho…sho…“Was he the one who came up behind Daisy and hugged her?” Rie inquired again as Wana smiled and nodded.

“Probably. Their entire relationship is shrouded in mystery…not that I even care enough to unravel it.” Wana scoffed and took one look at Christol who was glowering.

“Am I interrupting some absolutely fucking lovely conversation that I’m sure you two will remember when you’re old and ugly?”

“You mean when we're yo--” Rie started opening her mouth but Wana whacked her side as she bowed in front of Christol who simply continued glaring at Rie.

“Sorry Christol! We’ll get prepping! Come on Lilypad.” She grabbed Lillith’s hand who turned to look at her with widened eyes and a foolish sort of smile on her face.

“Lilypad?”

Wana looked stricken. “You don’t like it?”

“No No!” She assured the sad looking girl as she followed her to behind the bar. “I do!”

Wana smiled widely. “Good then today I’m going to teach you how to shake your assets to get more tips!”

Now Rie could have easily said no thanks but with the way Wana was looking at her she felt almost like it was unavoidable. So she set a tight grin on her face and reveled in the fact that she had made the energetic girl happy as she got to learning how to shimmy and serve at the same time.

Toma’s girlfriend wasn’t that bad…now how such a nice girl had fallen for such an asshole Rie would never understand.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The men were cheering around her as the clock struck midnight and Christol was watching from afar with a proud smile on her face. Wana and Rie simultaneously jumped onto the bar laughing and squealing girlishly as they poured an orange liquid from each of their strainers into a two glasses that rested with blue frosted sugar on the pedestal in front of their customers. The moment the last drops landed into the large crystalline structures they turned to look to the customer and his friends with identically seductive eyes.

The moment their customers started screaming in happiness Rie realized she REALLY didn’t feel like herself. She felt as if these girls around her had taken her in and transformed her today. She wasn’t sure why but she felt far more accepted today than she had yesterday. The redhead from last night she’d found out was Tsuki who was married to one of the lower henchmen in the little gang that operated the drug division for the clan. The Korean girl who wasn’t here tonight had texted her an aja aja text to keep her going and at one point Daisy had come up behind her and complimented her choice of bra. Only Sam hadn't really done anything and that was because she looked as if any moment she was about to puke.

Christol hadn’t jumped down her throat since the start of the night…which she supposed was enough showing off support for that girl anyways.

It was probably because all of them had heard how bad she had fucked up last night and figured she didn’t resemble any competition at all. Which was better for her anyways…she wasn’t here to work. Not as a bartender anyways. Nothing behind these women's movements could be out of the goodness of the heart. They may have changed but Rie hadn’t forgotten Daisy’s words from last night. She was no fool to fall for them again.

“You girls are the best bartenders we’ve seen this week!” One of the guys shot out and Wana pouted as she leaned forward over the ledge to stare at him right up in his face her silky bra conveniently offering him the best view he must have gotten all night. The girl may have been the sweetest thing possible but she positively oozed sex appeal when it came to milking her customers.

In fact if Mukai ever met her, Rie would want to go crawl in a hole because of her utter lack of appeal in comparison to this girl. Wana had totally transformed once the guys had started pouring into their side of the bar. Rie laughed at the parched look on the man’s face getting off the small marble standing that she had her knees on and massaged them lightly.

“Only this week?” Wana left soft wisps of words from her pink glossed lips onto his ears and the man in front of her shook his head gulping weakly.

“Our lives.” He corrected and Wana’s cute smile immediately got him throwing tips in their direction as the other men followed and one threw Rie a smile as if he expected her to follow some similar procedure like Wana.

She didn’t really do much other than drop his drink in front of him and caress the side of his face.

Which proved to be enough, thankfully as she felt a wad of cash being stuck in her hand. “Arigato gozaimashta!” She grinned looking up at him. She should look into doing this part-time once she was done with this mission.

Seriously the money was ridiculous.

“No no. Don’t say that until you’ve come out there to dance with me.” The boy retaliated and she let out a laugh. Ah that price for a good tip Mukai wouldn't be comfortable with.

“I’m working! You want me to get fired?!” She shook her head a serious look on her face.

“Both of you come! When you’re done your shifts!” The other boy who had liked Wana pushed and so the girl acquiesced to his wishes and politely nodded answering back so she left the guy in front of her hooting so loud an owl might have been jealous.

“If we’re off early we’ll definitely come.” Then the man who was interested in Rie leaned over the bar and clutched her hand as Rie heard Christol’s tell-tale screaming that the men had walked in.

“I really want you out there.” He told her and she looked back at him and somehow found herself unable to find him attractive. While she was sure half the girls in the club would have jumped to dance with this guy she couldn’t bring herself to even want to. In fact she almost welcomed Christol’s jab in her back when she wasn’t paying attention and pulled her hand away as she found her eyes looking towards the door.

The group with Ikuta this time had a completely different aura. They walked with more direction and less fool-hardiness. None of them paused to look at any of the bartenders each of them walking directly behind each other past the curtain that Koyama held open for them. They had grim looks on their faces and she swore she saw one yell at Toma and push at him.
Sho, Daisy’s boy was present, Toma himself…however Oliver was nowhere to be seen. Which Rie was happy about…but if there was one thing she had learned from last night was that Oliver was not not here for her comfort.

While she was making all of these assumptions she found herself caught off guard when she felt a press of lips against her cheek and she turned to look at the man in shock.

“Sorry…I couldn’t help myself.” Her customer bowed low. “You can slap me later if you’d like.”

“No no it’s okay.” She shook her head smiling unaware of a pair of eyes that had befallen on the pair. “If I’m out early I’ll definitely come see you. What’s your name?”

“Kato Shigeaki.”

“And I’m Nishikido Ryo.” The other boy yelled out seemingly jealous that Shige had gotten to kiss his bartender and he hadn’t.

"Will you two stop macking on your chicks now?!” Another boy from their group called out and Shige and Ryo smiled drunkenly as they were pulled away by their friends.

“Cute right?!” Wana yelled out over the music and Rie nodded as she saw Christol’s eyes fall on her.

“LILLITH! You’ve been requested to bring the tray inside with Sam!”

Christol’s eyes seemed to narrow as she stared at her. “I swear to god another fuck up like yesterday and you’re out on your ass. Understood?” Rie couldn’t stop her jaw from falling to the ground as she turned to look at Wana who had an identical shocked look on her face.

“But-“

“But what? Get the fuck ready and don’t mess up that’s it. Two instructions! Go follow them! Don't question them!” Christol yelled out.

“I won’t mess up Christol.” She replied back with determination present on her face and Wana gave her an encouraging smile that seemed delighted at the idea that she was going inside.

“Yeah. Okay we’ll see about that.” Christol scoffed and walked off while Lillith’s jaw dropped.

“What a-“

The moment Wana realized that Lillith was about to shit talk Christol she placed a hand over her new naïve friend’s mouth. “Don’t do it here. Christol’s situation here is a little complicated…Christol’s situation with Tom-.” Wana shot back her eyes wide as she let go of Lillith’s mouth once she was sure that the information had sank into her brain long enough.

Knowing now that Christol had a past with Wana’s boyfriend made Lillith’s blood boil in retaliation for her new friend, it was true that no one looked out for anyone here. It was obvious a girl like Wana would get walked over too if she wasn’t with Toma.

“With Toma? Are you telling me they have history?” When Wana looked like she wasn’t going to respond Lillith sighed weakly and continued her attack on Christol. “Not everyone is amazing Wana! You need to be able to see that here you know that right? Tryst isn’t your normal club.” She cursed stomping her foot childishly onto the floor staring at her friend who seemed to grow a little exhausted with her rampage for justice.

Wana finally turned back to her after smiling suggestively at another boy in front of her who seemed to melt a little bit into their bar. This time when she looked at Lillith her voice had a completely different tone to it. “Lillith didn’t anyone ever teach you that line?”

“What line?” She shot back a little angry with Wana for always trying to make everyone look more saintly than they were here. Especially when Rie was only trying to help her new friend out.

“That you should never judge a book by its cover.” The girl looked wise as she poured out another drink for a gentleman and tossed his glass onto the table wiping her hands loosely on the towel hanging off her belt. "And you don't want to judge an Ikuta without getting to know them first."

The prophecy hung silently between them as Rie was forced to agree with her for now.
End Notes:
To celebrate my anniversary all by lonesome without you guys I'll go to Tryst and take some pictures on Sunday Night =D and show you the kind of place I'm talking about. It's totally not for myself lies

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY.
Opportunities by Anna Clair
“Lillith! Hurry up!” Sam yelled out over them the rest of the girls and Lillith nodded rushing to join her as Sam held the tray within her hands. When Lillith reached over to grab some of it Sam shook her head.

“No freaking way I’m letting you touch this.” She shot back and for a second she felt hurt until she nodded with a look of nonchalance on her face.

“Fine.” She waved at Koyama as they walked through the curtains and she didn’t bother holding it open for Sam.

Someone should have probably told her that standing up for your self didn’t mean be a bitch to everyone but she simply bowed again as the guard from yesterday let her into the room.

The atmosphere in the room was tense but the moment the girls entered the room the tension seemed to dissipate.

“Ah! Toma look! Our beloved Clumserlla is here!” The younger boy from yesterday shot out. “Toma didn’t you let her go? Why is she back?”

“Some people don’t know how to listen Massu. She’s kind of like the gum on the bottom of your shoe. Don't know how to get it the fuck out.” Toma shot out as she turned to look at him with a tight smile on her face trying not to sock the shit out of the blasé expression he had on. He wouldn’t even meet her eyes as he insulted her. Rather he looked at Sam who had come in panting. “Sam.” He nodded as the girl stood straight glaring at Lillith.

“Ikuta-sama.” She set the tray down on the table in front of them taking a deep breath and straightening herself out before she bowed to everyone. “Matsumoto-sama. Sakurai-sama. Akanishi-kun. Tegoshi-kun…Junno-“ Her eyebrows narrowed as she took in an empty seat and she looked in confusion towards Toma again who gulped flicking his hand outwards.

“He’s in the back room. Which is why we requested you to come in. He’s hurt.” Sam’s face seemed to drain of the blood in it as she bowed quickly and dashed out leaving Lillith alone in the room of men.

Who was hurt? What back room?

“The Black Russian is mine!” Massu the young looking one called out as he pointed at the drink and Lillith nodded bending down to pick it up and held it out to him.

“I’ll have the Tequila Sunrise.” The man now looked incredibly recognizable to Rie. Today however Sho had a look on his face that wasn’t like last night. Last night he’d looked exuberant and happy, perhaps it had been the effect of Daisy. Today it was as if someone had come and sucked the life out of him.

“You’re such a fucking chick Sho.” The wavy haired man beside Daisy’s savior called out as Lillith handed it to Sho and he inclined his head thankfully. “I’m assuming you’re new so I’ll just let you know.” The wavy haired boy called out raking his eyes up and down her. “We don’t like telling you guys which one is ours generally you’re just supposed to know. Got it?”

Lillith nodded her head professionally. “Got it-“

“Matsumoto Jun-SAMA. Don’t forget that ending. It’s very important. If you do forget it, it’ll be your unhappy ending. Got it sugar cheeks?” He waved her off and she let out a small scoff.

“Of course Matsumoto Jun-sama, what would you like sugar cheeks-chan to serve you?” She was mocking his nickname for her and by that he seemed pleasantly surprised as he turned to face her full on.

“You. Come back later. I don’t drink.” If she had been drinking something she would have spat it out of her mouth as Massu burst into laughter at the look on her face. “Don’t look so shocked! It’s a joke girl. Relax.” Lillith nodded weakly and felt herself automatically look to Toma who was caught up in conversation with the last man in the room, who at the sight of her directed gaze pointed to the beer. She nodded and put the beer down when her mind came to the sudden realization.

The gin and tonic wasn’t here. It wasn’t on the tray.

She gulped weakly…why wasn’t it on the tray? Why was it every single time she found some way to fuck up Ikuta’s order?

“Go get it and come back.” Toma sighed weakly and she didn’t need much more of a signal as she ran outside the door barely pausing when she heard it.

The sounds of a woman crying…and she was sure that it was Sam. She froze knowing that while she should have just gone and gotten Toma’s drink this probably had something to do with the shipment.

She walked towards the sound precariously until she finally reached the source of the sound and saw the blond hunched over a boy who was bleeding from his arm.

“Sam. Sam stop it. You know I hate seeing you cry.” He spoke softly and Sam’s head shot up as she glared at him and looked as if she was two steps away from smacking him herself.

“Then why don’t you stop doing things that make me cry jackass?” She cursed and hunched back over him as he sat up from underneath her slowly and Rie recognized him from yesterday. He had been the normal nice looking boy who had looked like he wanted to laugh yesterday when she’d spilled everything on Toma.

He wasn’t laughing now…he had a smile on his face and his body shuddered with his every breath but that wasn’t from laughter. That was from the freezing pain Mukai had described to her was the sensation you got from getting shot.

“I’m lucky I’m not dead Sam…god. Telling Takuya about Oliver is going to be a bitch. We don’t have anyone else who’s fluent in Spanish anymore.” He brought his better arm around Sam and enveloped her in a one sided hug. “Let’s not talk about this okay?” He took a deep breath into her hair and she relaxed in his arms as the sobs let themselves freer a little more with every breath they took together.

“You’re quitting. I don’t want you there anymore.” She whimpered softly between her tears and Rie couldn’t stop her hand from touching her mouth as she stopped herself from crying for Sam as she imagined Mukai in this man’s position. She remembered hugging him, the feeling of him so distinctly still around her that she could not imagine the way she would feel if she knew that her husband was going into sure death every day.

Mukai was protected, Mukai was strong, Mukai was righteous and just like her…Mukai was safe.

“It’s not like I want you out there.” He shot back and at that the girl with a million and one opinions shut up as she grew ashamed for a second of the occupations that had brought them together but would now shame them apart. “We can’t change now. It’s too late…but I’ll make sure I will never let myself get hurt again okay?”

“Not good enough.” She pushed him away and sat on the side of the bed pulling her feet up to her sides as he shifted weakly towards her. He rested his head on her shoulder and as Rie saw Sam turn towards him and within moments they were leaning on top of each other as Sam cried into their kiss and held onto him tighter.

Rie turned away the moment she felt a hand touch her shoulder.

“Quite the little voyeur aren’t you sugar cheeks? If you wanted someone to take part in it with all you had to do was ask.”

She yelped as Jun pulled her away from the room quick as lightning and felt herself thrown against a wall so quickly that her wrist cracked the slightest from the impact. His words may have been filled to the brim with innuendo but the look on his face showed that he was interested in anything but sex right now. For that reason Rie felt safe as he bit out in a low breath.“Toma said Gin and Tonic. Hurry it up will you? He doesn’t work unless he’s inebriated.”

“Did Oliver die?” She couldn’t help but ask as she thought of the words she’d heard pour out in confession from Junno’s mouth in the room and Jun threw her a look filled with contempt.

“Gin and tonic sugar cheeks. It doesn’t concern you.” He started walking away and Rie didn’t know why but she felt it in her gut. That intense pull to understand that your only chance was walking away from you unless you didn’t do something about it yourself and Rie was not going to lose this opportunity.

“I speak Spanish!” She rang out, this was it. She could help. She could get in, find out, and get gone. She saw Jun’s eyes darken as he grabbed her rougher this time. He threw her outside the curtains that blocked the hallway without a care for how she banged out against a Koyama who yelped at the impact of a woman being thrown at him.

“We don’t fucking care! Now get a gin and tonic or I promise to god you will be out on your ass, follow your fucking orders.” He was angry as he stormed away from her and Rie heard the faint sound of the door banging as she felt a ball form in her throat as Koyama continued to ask her if she was feeling okay and she nodded weakly.

Rie rubbed her wrist faintly as she felt Christol come up behind her and place an arm around her shoulder and guide her towards the bar. “Take over Sam’s shift for now will you? She doesn’t end till 5.” Rie nodded.
Whatever she could do to help the girl she would. She’d seen the way she looked so utterly broken down. “Daisy! Go get Toma’s Gin and Tonic! Lillith can’t go inside again. She was a little foolish.” Christol sighed half-heartedly as she looked back at Daisy who suddenly looked stricken at the idea of entering the room still the girl whipped her arms upwards and tossed the drink in the air shaking it until it landed directly in her arms.

At the sight of that Wana screamed out from the back of the bar. “Shake it sistah!”

Daisy laughed as she placed the drink on a tray and walked past them giving Koyama a flirty look which he reciprocated laughing as Rie took her place at the bar beside Wana again.

“Toma requested you today you know.” Wana had the smallest hint of a smile as she poured another drink into the glass and smiled secretively at another customer before she turned to look at Rie.

“I didn’t know Toma requests the girls. Christol doesn’t assign them?” Rie asked in shock as she grew increasingly bewildered by the way this man functioned. Didn’t do work unless he was drunk, tried to convince her that this place wasn’t for the type of girl he thought she was, made her come into his office twice even if he disapproved of her and didn’t even bring his girlfriend inside…or girlfriends. She wasn’t quite sure what kind of relationship he had with Wana and Christol.

“No…and only the best-looking go inside. I’ve never been in there because-“ Wana stopped speaking as she looked back down and poured another drink. “Well…I’m Toma’s half-sister and he doesn’t want me in there. He doesn’t want me knowing what he does. He doesn’t need to hide it from me. I accept him for it…but he doesn’t want me to anyways.”

Rie’s eyes widened as she turned to look at Wana in shock. “Wait… so you’re not Toma’s girlfriend?”

Wana's face turn into one of disgust as she let out a loud sound promising she wasn't. “Heavens no. I wouldn’t want to date that with a ten foot pole. My brother's not exactly the type of guy you want to be in love with.”

Ikuta Toma…good brother or bad? She couldn’t make up her mind. “Do you two live together?”

“No he lives in the main house with the Matsumoto family. That’s if he’s ever home.” Wana wiped her hands as she grabbed another pair of glasses and stuck them into the dishwasher in the back. “Anyways. My shift is over. I just don’t remember him letting any new girl in that easily. Once maybe to test her out but twice in a row…I’ve never seen him do that. He must be fond of you even if he’s trying to convince the world of otherwise.” She looked cheekily at her friend waggling her eyebrows suggestively as Rie laughed shaking her head. "I'm only joking don't worry." She whacked her friend lightly on the shoulder with the rag in her hands.

“I’m sure it means nothing.” Rie assured her as she started to assure herself silently in her head as she grew nervous. It wasn’t so much the fact that Toma would even have that sort of possibility in his head. But rather the idea he could have spotted her as a mole already.

Wana scoffed. “Don’t be so sure of anything around my brother.” She leaned back against the back light display her heels lengthening her legs to extreme lengths as the men on the other side looked on appreciatively as they had their drinks and watched the two girls converse. “Toma’s waiting for me to get a normal life so I can escape his. Truth be told he’s probably tired of me.” Wana looked away from Rie for a quick second but Rie was sure she caught the slightest bit of pain in her eyes. “But no one else was hiring and “ well he had no other option. It was this or I get placed in the back. He didn’t want me anywhere near the male bartenders and I can’t leave yet…not until I finally get what I’ve been waiting for.” Rie looked across the room where the gaggling group of females surrounded the fist pumping manly Korean men across the room.

“JaeJoong and Seung Hyun are kind of my exes.” Wana joked transforming h features into one of her cute adorable faces as she waved at them and they nodded back to her. The male bartenders were also shirtless. “I have a thing for Korean boys,” She sighed weakly. “Anyways…you’re taking over Sam’s shift?”

“Yeah. For now…”

“Come out when you’re done okay? When you were gone those two boys came back looking for us. I might as well go have fun neh? Those Korean boys break my heart too easily.” Wana performed dramatically leaning backwards with a pained look on her face as she ran out behind the bar and Rie wasn’t sure.

But she almost thought she’d made a friend.

Too bad it was Ikuta Toma’s little sister. She sighed weakly as she saw Wana jump onto Ryo with a kiss on his cheek and Rie couldn’t help but sigh a little.

They probably couldn’t have been anymore different but for some reason she knew that she was going to like this girl far more than she should have. She saw Wana glide her hands around Ryo’s shoulders and then-

But a man blocked her vision and she recognized it as the guy who had been pouring over documents with Toma. “Can I have another beer?” He seemed to be talking to her but his eyes were directed at the same sight she was taking a look at.

Wana pulling Nishikido Ryo into a corner of the nightclub, Rie raised her eyebrows but stayed silent as she snapped her fingers in front of his eyes.
“And you would be?”

“Akanishi Jin.” He turned back to her smiling widely as if he was happy at what he’d just seen across the room as he brought his hands to his eyes.
Rie shook her head as she attempted to distance herself from the man in front of her. This story was not one that needed meddling with…especially not the meddling of an undercover cop.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
End Notes:
Double Double Double.

Because I'm feeling like it.
Entry by Anna Clair
Author's Notes:
Honestly the reason behind this double update honestly honestly.

Is just because I made a poster I'm super proud of.

WOW. i'm lame.


It was a week later and Rie was out on the floor again barely able to stand having worked two long shifts but she kept the flirty smile on her face and transformed her droopy eyes into bed eyes that made the man in front of her struggle to control himself. “Damn we didn’t get a break today at all huh?” Tsuki who had worked the past three nights with her shot out over the
crowd.

“I don’t know how you two are still standing up.” A pretty Korean girl named Yeona started and Rie sighed shaking her head.

“Yeah neither do I but at least I’m wearing gladiators instead of heels.” Rie shot back in reply as she flicked her eyes back towards the crowd.

“I heard about that.” The Korean girl shot back smiling widely. “I messed up too on my first day in the room but not as bad as you.”

“No she only ran up to Tegoshi screaming about how cute he was and yelled she wanted to adopt him.” The redhead shot back smiling.

“Lillith still owns the failure match then huh?” Yeona giggled at the other girls as the bar died down.

“You’re lucky Lillith.” Tsuki replied softly as she looked up at the stage where a band was rocking out on their guitars and Rie spotted Wana with Ryo as they danced the night away. Every so often the girl would wink back at her with a thumbs up. Wana had finished early tonight…probably because Ryo had told her he was coming back tonight to meet her. It hadn't escaped Rie's notice though that Jin hadn't come back to the club since the first night she met him. She had yet to ask her best friend here who he was.

Shige was a bit more drunk tonight and Koyama had had to toss the guy out of the club… but not before he accidentally kissed Tsuki’s cheek as she was working beside Rie. Koyama had gotten the biggest kick out of it as he’d smacked the drunken fool around shouting Massu was going to shoot this guy down if he tried anything like that again.

“Why am I lucky?” Rie questioned back straining a drink for one of the few customers left before she turned back to the fiery faced girl.

“Because! I’ve never seen someone able to stay here after being explicitly told to leave…plus you got to humiliate Toma which is always a good thing.” Tsuki nodded happily as she wiped the glasses and laid them out starting to clear up the bar as the good times started to fade in the crowd and Rie could hear the distant sound of the DJ yelling.

“She’s just upset don’t mind her.” Yeona shot back laughing as she took a shot herself before giving the tray to her customers. “You don’t mind right babe?” She breathed softly against the customer’s ear. He looked like he was going to die of happiness.

“Of course not! YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL!” Yeona let out an airy laugh and shook her head.

“How’s this? You go have them all…dance the hell out of your sexy little body and come back and get some more and we’ll do a lovers shot okay?” She winked at him and the man looked like he was about jizz his pants as he nodded eagerly downing them all ready to take his shot with Yeona.

If he had that many shots there was no freaking way this guy was making it back here, Rie realized as Yeona turned and snickered evilly beside her. “You’re not actually gonna do a lover’s shot with him right?” Rie shot back smiling as she wiped one of the glasses clean and Yeona turned to look at her appalled as the man ran off drinking like crazy.

“OF COURSE NOT! Tego would kill me! You’re single and cute if the guy makes it back here well- there you go. You go have a lovers shot with him.” Yeona rolled her eyes walking the length of the bar with a ferocity that would be expected of an aspiring model.

“I would have a problem with that.” A man shot over the bar and Rie turned to look at the offender. “Yo.” He smiled up at her from under his huge hat and the necklace he was wearing was hanging off his shirt and Rie gulped as she took in the way he was inclining his head towards her.

“Lillith stop drooling. You look like you’re going to eat the boy alive.” Tsuki slapped her arm and held out her hand to the guy. “Tsuki Matsushita. I’m so sorry about my friend’s behavior here. She’s obviously gone without for a while.” Tsuki teased ruffling the girl’s hair as Lillith continued looking doe-eyed towards the man, a foolish smile arising on her face.

“That’s my fault. Don’t worry…she looks like that often around me. Hikaru. Hongo Hikaru.” He held out his hand to Yeona as well but all Rie could do was throw the dish rag onto the bar and run out and jump right onto the man in front of her while trying to take in the fact that he was here in front of her. When she ended up in his arms she felt the way he magnetically pulled himself into her hair and even though she looked freaking weak doing it she took in the scent of him. He was clean and fresh and he smelt like the most wonderfully minty soap. God she missed him.

“Is this okay?” She muttered softly closing her eyes in his embrace.

“The boss approved me coming off work to see you.” He smiled and pecked her on the lips and Rie heard Yeona scream out behind her.

“Is that your boyfriend?!” Rie turned away from Mukai’s face to look at her and nod enthusiastically to her new friends.

“Yup. Guys do you mind covering for me for a while? Is it okay?” The identical looks on their faces assured her it was okay as they ran towards opposite ends of the bar and started their own little show for the few remaining members at the bar.

Rie didn’t wait. She ran out towards the dance floor and without taking no for an answer leaped onto her fiancé. She had her own little show planned for him. “What are you doing here?!”

“Well…the boss just wanted to give you a little reminder to get a move on, it’s been a week with basically nothing Rie. And he kind of told us to get it out of our system.”

“Get what out of our system?” She raised an eyebrow and Mukai sighed weakly.

“He found out we met and was- well a little more than upset about it. So I can come home with you tonight but that’s it. He’s had this little co-op intern Inoo Kei following me around to make sure I don’t do anything foolish like contacting you.”

Rie felt her mouth stretch into the largest grin she’d ever felt on her face as she hugged him tighter. “I AM SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW.” She yelled out and he grabbed her around the hips and nodded.

“Let’s just dance for now okay? So it doesn’t look too sketchy once we leave right after I showed up.” Mukai emphasized and Rie nodded as she flipped her back to him and his arms came around her holding her close towards his back.

“Have we ever gone to a club together?” Rie asked idly into his ear and he shook his head.

“You’re too nerdy. I could only take you to libraries, and amusement parks. No sexy clubs for you.” He shot back and at the look of indignation on her face he couldn’t hold himself back from laughing.

“Are you kidding me?! I am not too nerdy. I’ll have you know I’m one of the most desirable bartenders behind that counter.” She dropped her look of indignation from her face for one with that was filled with slightly more charisma and smolder. “I can prove it to you, you know.” She let one of her fingers fall onto his collarbone and trace down slowly as Mukai’s eyes widened and he laughed pulling her hand up to be within his.

“I don’t doubt it. Where’s your boss anyways? The bitchy one?” Rie rolled her eyes. Christol had spent all night on the other side of the room beside the Korean bartenders. Rie pointed her out as the brunette who was leaning into the half-naked Lee Joon. “She’s pretty hot!”

Mukai was being ridiculous. Here was his fiancée practically throwing herself at him and he was looking at Christol and exclaiming she was hot.

“EH!” She yelled out shocked as she turned away from him stopping the movement of her hips against his. “Are you serious?”

“You’re hotter for me chill out. But the girl does have the whole- look at me I’m so openly sexy thing going for her.” At a pointed look from Rie Mukai’s eyes immediately widened as he shook his head. “If you’re into that sort of thing which I’m-“

“Totally not right?” She answered back for him and they laughed as she leaned back into him and felt him bump into one of the many pillars that were set out around the club and she wriggled into him and felt his chest firm up against her back so that almost every part of them was touching close together. She flipped herself around and pressed her lips to his delicately so that it wasn’t quite a chaste kiss but she wasn’t shoving her tongue down his throat or anything either. “Just so you know...I can be openly sexy too.”

“My, my Rie what have you been up to here?”

She felt a smirk touch her lips as he blew into her ear and Toy Friend by David Guetta came on. “I’ve learned a lot Osamu.” She let her elbows rest on his shoulders and felt his forehead rest upon hers and his every breath fall directly upon her lips. He shifted her so that one of his legs lay between hers and one of hers lay directly between his.

“Care to demonstrate?” His voice was low and she didn’t need to be told twice as she lapped up his lips within her own and felt his tongue enter her mouth and she pulled on it with her own digging her nails into his hair and felt him moan into her mouth as his hands worked their way into the pockets on the back of her shorts and she giggled as she felt his hands rub her butt.

“Did you just laugh at me?” He shot back embarrassed and she wanted to laugh harder at that blush that rose on his cheeks even through this darkness and she shook her head.

“No no! It’s just ticklish.” She assured him trying to kiss him again and he shook his head.

“No no! You don’t get this sexy beast trying to get with you again you crazy giggl-y girl.” He teased indicating towards his decked out sexy body and they would have gone on in their little banter but Rie found herself faced with Christol.

“You’re wanted inside.” The girl looked clearly at her and then smiled at Osamu in a way that left Rie a little scared. “Don’t worry I’ll take good care of your guest.” Rie glared at her and shook her head.

“That’s okay. He doesn’t need any taking care of.” Mukai’s jaw hang loosely off its hinge and Rie swore she was going to slap him if he didn’t stop looking at Christol the way he was.

Christol shot out snarkily. “That’s not what it looked like. Get inside Lillith.” She turned to look at Mukai and he raised an eyebrow.

“Seriously Rie?”

She leaned into his ear to whisper softly. “It’s not that I don’t trust you. It’s that I don’t trust the old you with her. She’s exactly the type you used to go for. She’s not exactly perfect herself you know. She’s a total slut from what I can tell!”

But Mukai looked mad at her from the way he moved off her quickly and looked kindly onto Christol as if Rie was the one who had something wrong with her. “Way to have faith in me Rie seriously.” He shot out turning towards Christol. “Can you direct me to the lounges please? I’ll wait for my girlfriend there.”

Rie didn’t know why but the fact that he didn’t refer to her as his fiancée hurt her as she stalked off angrily towards the bar.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Tsuki shot out as she collided straight in front of her with her face flushed in anger as she leaned over the bar towards her friend.

“Absolutely nothing. Does Christol ever attempt to go for your boyfriends?” Fiancée ? Fiancée! Why hadn’t he used that term? He used it free enough at work. So what was the difference here?

“No…but yours is cute I’d go after him myself if I wasn’t totally involved.” Tsuki admitted freely as she shook the drinks and set out a tray in front of her. “Good to go?”

“Good to go. Is Yeona coming in with me?”

“Yeona went ahead. You’re gonna meet her inside with the drinks.” Tsuki said softly as Daisy came out of the break room and didn’t bother throwing them another look as she stalked to the other side angrily downing a shot of her own. “It’s nice to see you too Daisy.”

Daisy waved her hand back as if she didn’t care as Rie grabbed the tray from Tsuki’s hands and paused to smile at Koyama as he held the curtain open for her.

She saw the door open for her and rushed inside with the drinks on her shoulder.

“Don’t run or you’ll drop them on me!” Jun yelled at her as she set the drinks down in front of them all.

“Gomen nasaii.” She smiled as she laid out the Tequila Sunrise for his partner beside him who looked clearly displeased. “Is everything okay Sakurai-san?”

He turned to look at her for what might have been the first time and shook his head. “Not at all…but you don’t worry your little head about that okay?”

“If she hates you she hates you. What has she been doing here, sleeping with you for?! Relax Sho. When it comes to women it’s easy to bring them into our grasp.” Jun was mindful of his advice but Sho looked like he was about to rip, what Rie assumed, his best friend’s brains out.

“Shut your fucking mouth Jun. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Sho spat out as he dug his hands into his hair and the look of aggravation grew more extensive as Rie analyzed the way his knuckles flashed white. He had a death grip on his forehead and Rie couldn’t help but think it wasn’t helping his headache any.

“You shut yours.” Jun stuck his tongue out childishly and flipped his cellphone open. “Oi…drink girl. Number please.” His eyes were demanding as he stared at her ready to note down her number.

“Why?” Rie asked her eyes drifting to Toma who was ignoring them as usual. She wasn’t sure why…but she felt like she needed his permission. Where were Tegoshi and Yeona anyways? She was supposed to meet the two in here but once again she was stuck serving these guys alone.

Jun smiled up at her. “As much as I’d like to say it’s because of the fact there’s some burning passion between us I’m sorry this is strictly business. You speak Spanish right?” At his words Toma’s head shot up and looked straight at Jun.

“Absolutely not.” Toma shot out now incredibly aware of what was happening around him. He gave Rie a death look when she turned to him in shock.

“If you guys would like me to translate I could do that for you.” Try not to sound too eager or you’ll give yourself away she tried to calm her body. A week without any progress was shameful of her.

Easy access to documents and dates was all she could think of in her head as she looked directly at Toma attempting to convince him.

“No. She’s a bartender. She’s not even Christol. Leave her out of this.” He assured Jun who simply turned to look at him in shock.

“Why the hell not? She speaks SPANISH Toma. The very language that’s been cock blocking our every step right now.”

“She’s new she can’t be trusted.” Toma finished quickly and honestly as his eyes flicked back up to her as she stared at him even more confused.

“EXCUSE ME? If I can’t be trusted why the hell do you keep making me come in here to freaking serve you anyways? I was having a great time outside.” Rie shot back now thoroughly pissed off. True, she couldn’t be trusted but not because she was new. It had far more to do with the fact she was an undercover agent.

“You heard me. I wouldn’t trust you with my life AND you coming in here all the time has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that Jun likes the way your breasts look in that shirt.” Toma shot back at her standing up and running to the door. “Leave please.”

Rie turned to look at Jun who was suddenly blushing furiously red. “It’s true but you don’t need to look at me like that.” Jun explained rolling his eyes and looking away from her. “I’m a guy. I like the way a lot of people’s boobs look.”

Rie sighed. “Well at least don’t you want your gin and-“

“We can serve ourselves. Out.” Toma nodded and pushed her out the door without so much as another word as she heard Jun and him arguing from within the room.

“SHE CAN HELP US!”

“Can you please keep your penis out of this?”

“THIS IS NOT ABOUT MY PENIS!”

“It looks like it’s a little about your penis.” Sho agreed from within the room and Jun sounded aggravated as he yelled back and she stood with her ear pressed to the wall.

“Listen, all I know is this is coming too fast. Oliver’s dead. We have a ready translator who can help you Toma. I swear to god if you don’t listen to me I’ll get our boss to order it from you. You know he doesn’t like meddling with your operations but he will if I tell him how you’re jeopardizing it based on some fucking LANGUAGE barrier.”

“We can hire some outside translator.”

“And risk MORE knowledge than necessary spreading? Please just take the bitch and be done with it.” While Rie didn’t like being referred to as a bitch she couldn’t argue with Jun’s logic. So she shut her mouth as she listened closely Mukai all but removed from her brain.

The silence was long and she could only pray that they had listened to Jun.

She saw the door open and the light filter in and saw Toma standing before her tall, exerting his power over her as he pulled her wrist and dragged her into the room and shut the door. “You’re too fucking stupid for your own good.” He muttered softly as he threw her onto the couch.

She stared around at the three of them gulping.

She'd made it into the room.
End Notes:
Yayyyy Double Update Complete! Thank you guys for reading and I hope you had a great weekend =) I'm going to go shower now. We all have work tomorrow or school or other annoying sad things.

Aja Aja! Lets get through it together huh =D?
Rules by Anna Clair
Author's Notes:
I wanted to call this chapter Rules of Engagement but it didn't seem to fit as nicely as it should have because all other chapters are one worded. :( sadness.


Rie looked around the room vaguely as she saw the looks on each man’s face as their reactions at her entry into their secret little assignment was clearly visible.

Jun was blushing just the slightest and his mouth was stretched into a hidden smile that tucked into his dimples. Toma was obviously annoyed as his eyes landed on anywhere but her and Sho seemed mildly humored but other than that he had no other real care for the situation. In fact he just looked incredibly stressed as if he wanted to dash out of the room as soon as possible.

Remembering Jun’s words Rie was no fool. She knew it had something to do with Daisy but why would Daisy have ever hated Sho? Why would she continue hating him? It didn’t seem to make any sense to her at all.
Other than maybe Daisy was probably her strongest comrade here if she had something against these guys. This could prove useful if this entire deal she was about to plan out with them turned sour.

The face of the girl yelling for her to never trust anyone here came up behind her face and she was unable to shake it off as she heard Jun’s voice ring past her ears.

“Good so let’s plan this out. Toma gets the day with her and I get the night deal?” Jun offered but Toma immediately shook her head stepping between them as he came and sat down beside her on the couch and Rie couldn’t help but have her mind flash back to her first day at Tryst when this couch had painful dug into her back as she felt herself pushed further and further into it. She struggled for just a moment to stop herself from slapping him as she felt his leg touch hers.

He didn’t want anything of that sort. He’d been trying to make a point and she had to stop thinking about it because it would only make things tenser.
Still it didn’t make it any easier a pill to swallow so easily that here she was helping the living proof that she had cheated on Mukai accidentally or not.
“I swear to god if you lay one hand on this girl and PROVE my statement Jun. I’ll call your father-in-law and have him BAN you from entering our division ever again. It’s not as if he’s that keen on you anyways.”

“Don’t you threaten me!” Jun yelled out in retaliation immediately angry with Toma and Sho attempted to intervene and push his best friend back down but Jun was already up in Toma’s face glaring at him. While Toma looked calmly back at him barely a look of disturbance present save for the fact that Rie felt his arm firm up beside her as if he was ready to pounce on Jun the moment Jun dropped the punch that would break the entire place up into a bloody battle of fists.

The tension was too much for her. “STOP IT!” She yelled out and they all turned to look at her shocked that she’d said anything at all in front of them all. Jun lowered himself back into his seat as Sho looked back and forth between them.

Sho sighed as he brought his head back down to his palm. “This is what happens when you bring a woman into the fold.” He sighed. “This might be a good thing because I’m getting fucking sick of stopping the two of you fighting like cats and dogs anyways…and I’m tired of pretending to concentrate. I need to go find Daisy.” He stalked out of the room leaving the three of them looking at each other before Jun finally sighed and leaned back into his chair.

“Wimp was fucking pussy-whipped anyways.” He scoffed and Rie couldn’t help but feel her heart want to stand up for Sho who simply wanted to correct whatever he’d done to wrong the girl. Jun honestly just looked jealous. “So how is this going to work?” He acquiesced and Rie swore she saw a hint of a smile on Toma’s naturally emotionless face as he leaned forward. She didn’t understand men, they were almost like women in the way they bonded over the most foolish name-calling and gossip.

“Lillith will work her evenings as a bartender until the point at which we come into the club. After that point in time she will enter the room with our drinks.”

Technically he was requesting her right now but she knew if she said anything she’d probably be thrown out of the room again and she wasn’t risking that so she just listened silently as Toma continued.

“Meetings at which she will be required will cause the early ending of her shift. Otherwise I will go home with her after we’re done our meetings and translate the documents. She will not get any original copies. She will not obtain any other access unless she is with me. The translated documents will be placed only on my laptop. We will translate the documents at her house and she will get no access into the main household. Are you agreeing to these terms or do we end this foolish plan of yours right here Matsumoto?”

Rie gulped as she stared between the two men and meekly spoke up. “I don’t get a say in any of this right?”

“You got enough of a say when you volunteered yourself like an idiot.” Toma didn’t bother turning to look at her as he continued staring at Jun with the same confident look on his face that seemed to almost never disappear from his face. “If you’re okay with the terms I will agree to letting her translate our documents and conversations with the Colombians.”

Jun stayed silent for a moment as his eyes raked over Rie who was still looking at Toma as if he was debating the perks of this deal when it came to him. “Do you want ‘him’ to know about her?”

“Absolutely not. He disapproves of women in our line of work and a girl as weak as her he’ll definitely kill me for it even if she’s not on the front line. Hell he might even kill her. I don’t know but she’s an expense we can’t afford and by taking her on I’m practically handing over everything to you.” He sighed exhausted as he looked straight at Jun who scoffed smiling. “Don’t you even fucking think for a second that I’m giving everything up Matsumoto.”

“Maybe that’s my plan Ikuta…but she’ll help. Right now, we need all the help we can get when it comes to the Colombians. You know that.”

She felt like she was lost in translation…but she was the translator so she interrupted speaking up loudly. “I can take care of myself you know.” She crossed her arms over her chest with a look on her face that she was sure would demonstrate her capability to do the aforementioned.

Toma rolled his eyes as he turned his attention towards her and she couldn’t help but feel as if she was being directed. “Speak when you’re spoken to Lillith.” She hated that he was her boss here…she hated that he was even her boss.

“I’m not a little child!” She shot back rudely.

His smile looked utterly fake as he replied making her shut her mouth again. “Then don’t ask to be treated like one.”

“Seriously…I will duct tape you if necessary.” Jun shot back in determined to not be left out of whatever little banter they were all having. When they turned to look at him as if he was an idiot he couldn’t help but remark at how similar Lillith and Toma’s eyes looked and he heard the gears in his head turning as he flicked his eyes back and forth between the pair. “I have one more clause to add to this little argument here.” His gaze looked alight with mischief as he stared at them. “Let’s keep this entirely professional shall we? This is not a Christol case.” He looked directly at Toma at this jab. “Am I clear or do I need to make rules Toma?” Rie turned to look at Toma who had suddenly stiffened up at that comment before he unfroze again and shook his head so she was left wondering what Jun had meant by his comment.

“I don’t think you’ll have anything to worry about that in that regard Jun. ” He leaned forward and held his hand out but as Jun went to grasp it Toma pulled it back tilting his head sideways. “I hope you understand that this clause will apply to both of us equally.”

“Of course.” Jun leaned back smiling as he kept his hand held out and Rie saw the way the death grip handshake between them seemed to be grow tighter than any of the ones she’d seen them exchange before. A clear challenge between their eyes as they stared each other down waiting for one to crack before the other…what they wanted the other cracking for she knew had a lot to do with what was going down here.

“If that’s it can I go now?” She whispered softly feeling a little alarmed at what she’d been brought into. She wasn’t sure it was safe…but nothing about this mission was. It was the easiest way to access to the documents and she couldn’t complain. It would make her job a lot easier.

Toma twisted his frame to look at her and nod. “We’ll start tonight.” He agreed and Rie suddenly found herself transported to the dance floor…where she knew her fiancée was waiting for her.

“But-tonight-“

“Do you want to do this or not?” Jun questioned raising an eyebrow at the hesitation that they could all clearly sense from her voice. Toma looked even more disappointed in her as his forehead leaned into his palm. He looked so utterly lazy and perfect.

“I mean of course I want to! But it’s just-“

“Well then. No justs, buts, or whatever the hell it is you were about to say. If you’re serious about this. Go through with it. You’re in the business now…and you have to follow the same rules as the other guys even if you’re a woman understood?” He looked so serious, Rie found it hard to believe this was the same Jun who flirtatiously played around with her. He looked like the one who had scared her in the hallway.

“Fine…just give me a minute to go say goodbye.” She stood up and Toma waved his hand off dismissing her.

She ran towards the dance floor and heard Wana call out her name as she ran past her but she knew she couldn’t wait. She had to find Mukai.

And she did. She found him smashed leaning on Christol’s shoulder.

“How’s everything going here?” She asked the tight smile on her face making it insanely apparent how she felt about the current situation in front of her.

Mukai however turned to her and immediately stood up straighter as he brought his arms around her. “I can’t wait to go home tonight Rie.” He whispered softly into her hair and Rie realized he’d been drinking.

Screwdrivers to be exact…potent ones. She moved her head away from his. It was odd how bad alcohol began to smell on the breath of humans. As if at the simple touch of alcohol a poisoning of the soul occurred...people transformed and shifted into something completely different. Changing every cell so completely that their entire composition shifted to accommodate the poison that alcohol shoved into the body of a human being.

She turned to look at the girl who had a sinfully scary smile on her face. Oh god what else had he said to Christol that couldn’t be repaired.

“Uh…I’m sorry Hikaru I can’t tonight I have some work to do.” She looked up at him from under her eyes smelling the alcohol on his breath. Oh god he was drunk. What on earth was she going to do now?

“Are you ready?” A voice called out behind her and she turned to see Toma march up to her already dressed and Christol was on her feet as she bowed to her boss.

Rie sighed. “Yeah I’m just saying goodbye. I have to go now okay baby?” She heard Toma scoff behind her but she couldn’t be bothered to care at his judgmental looks as Mukai looked at her heartbroken. He looked like a lost puppy as he stared back and forth between Toma and herself unable to really grasp the situation in his state.

“You’re leaving me for another man?” He finally said as he stared hard at Toma and it didn’t escape Rie’s eyes how Mukai’s fists tightened at his sides and his froze into anger as he looked at Toma who seemed as if he couldn’t care less. Even if she knew Mukai was capable she felt her heart jump into her throat as she placed her hands onto his shoulders and pushed him back to calm him down, her fingers stroking the sides of his shoulders until his gaze turned towards her and grew softer.

She let her hand drift to his forehead as she brushed aside his bangs and cupped his cheeks within her hands. “Look at me…I would never do that to you.” She pressed a chaste kiss on his forehead and the way Mukai’s eyes shut close made her feel guilty she couldn’t leave with him. “This is strictly professional. We’ll talk later okay Hikaru?” Mukai still looked completely broken down as he nodded weakly and slumped back down on the couch fell onto Christol’s lap for just a moment. At the sight of that Toma’s head whipped around and Christol immediately lifted Mukai’s head off her lap placing him on the other side as he heaved a sigh unable to open his eyes leaning on the arm of the couch.

It made her feel horrible to stare at her fiancé and not be able to take care of him while he felt like this. Mukai had this incredible habit of growing lazy or extremely passionate when he had alcohol. She felt her face heat up as she remembered the last time they’d gotten drunk together.

That was the last time they’d slept together too.

Rie knew there was something strange about both of them but right now she couldn’t be bothered as she glared at Christol. She couldn’t help but have an extreme distaste towards the girl knowing no doubt Mukai would end up relying on her tonight.

She just hoped it wouldn’t be for what he usually relied on her for.

God she really did have no faith in her man.

As Christol saw Rie’s eyes light up with jealousy she smirked and shook her head as she leaned forward towards her fiancé and placed her chest precariously close to Mukai’s arm. “Don’t worry…I’ll take good care of him.” Rie couldn’t help but sense a bite in her words as she smiled and flicked her eyes back and forth between Toma and Rie.

She knew immediately that this had nothing to do with her but rather Toma and it disgusted her that Christol would use someone so easily to anger Toma. Especially because that someone was Mukai. She wanted to pull him away and slap the woman.

“Don’t take too much care of him.” It was Rie who wanted to say this but she was shocked when she heard the words fly out of Toma’s mouth. As usual accompanied by his expressionless face but Christol simply bowed her head and sat down beside Mukai placing his head on her lap this time willingly. Rie gulped weakly as she made a move to leave unable to observe the way Toma’s eyes were glued on the scene the same way hers were.

“That’s your boyfriend huh?” Toma indicated his eyes towards the slumped figures as they made a move to leave and Rie sighed disheartened as well that she wouldn’t be getting to spend the night with him.

“Yup.”

“WAIT!” Rie turned around and immediately felt a weight hit her as Mukai jumped on top of her and wrapped his arms around her shoulders, panting heavily. He came up right against her and he pressed his lips sloppily against hers and she swore to god she could hear Toma snicker beside her as she remained frozen still against Mukai’s kiss. Nevertheless the fact he hadn’t forgotten about her as she’d walked away depressed seemed to soothe her soul.

Finally letting go of her there was a foolish but incredibly happy smile on the undercover police officer’s face and he ruffled her hair. “OKAY! NOW THAT YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO REMEMBER ME BYYYY you can go!” He yelled out as Rie felt Toma’s judgmental look from the side. “She can’t cheat on me after that you know? I’M FUCKING AWESOME. IN BED.” He announced loudly and the few people that were around them cheered loudly and he immediately shook his head to them. “BUT NOT FOR YOU GUYS! ONLY FOR MY-RI-“ At this he burst into laughter and turned back to his girlfriend. “What’s your name again? I lose track.”

Fuck. She felt the strange look bearing into her back as Toma stared at her waiting for her to crack but she simply composed herself. Mukai was never going to be allowed to drink again. Rie turned to look at Toma wiping her lips as she attempted to erase any trace of what had just happened. “Let’s just leave please?”

“All right then.” He sounded suspicious as he started ahead of her walking towards the club entrance.

But Rie couldn’t shake the idea that something bad was going to happen tonight. As she turned back to see Mukai leaning his head on Christol’s shoulder and couldn’t help but force her thoughts to calm down. She had to trust him. Drunk or not, Mukai loved her more than she loved him…or so he kept claiming anyways. So she had no reason to be scared right?

“Are you coming?” She hadn’t realized it but the moment Toma’s voice broke through her thoughts she gulped weakly nodding as she saw where she was glued to. Stuck between the doorway as she saw Christol guide Mukai back to the couch and had to control herself as she turned back to face Ikuta nodding and letting her small black pumps guide her to the car that was parked outside that was being held open for her by Koyama. Who only looked strangely perturbed at the sight of her leaving with Toma.

“Be careful.” He muttered softly as she turned up to look at him as he held the umbrella over her head.

“You don’t have faith in me?” She said softly as she saw Toma walk with someone else to the front of the black Mercedes.

“I don’t trust Toma. That’s who I don’t trust.” Koyama bit out angrily as he opened the door for her. “Get in and just promise me you’ll be careful in the main house.”

“I’m not going to the main house.” She muttered out softly as she got in giving him a pitiful look when she saw the relief seeping into his face and couldn’t help but wonder why Koyama was so happy she wasn’t entering the main house.

“Directions.” Toma flipped out as if it was an easy curse on his lips and Rie gulped as she reached for her seat belt and he took a look at her the smile of mockery making itself apparent on his features as they started the drive towards her house.

What a night...and the worst part was that it wasn't over yet.
End Notes:
Yayyy for an update! I want to actually say that I'm not that satisfied with this ending because I feel like I could write more. And I have written more! But it's really long with it so that will come in with the next chapter and I hope you guys enjoy that instead =D when it comes up. Which should be soon considering I HAVE PREVIEWS =D YE YE.

You know you love me.

“Why don’t you not worry about the gun… unless you have a feeling you’re going to be seeing it soon for other reasons.”

“How was last night? Was it everything you would hope it would be?”

“You did good! You’re downing them like a Russian now!”

“Is water for a woman like you Svetlana.”

“Are you scared?”

Yeah kind of lame previews but I promise the chapter? Not lame at all =D

Thank you for all your support guys =D and I hope you enjoyed this chapter and I'll see you in the review boxes! MWAHS~
Action by Anna Clair
Thirty minutes later they were in the nothing-special building going up to her apartment and as she opened the door she couldn’t help but remember how sparsely furnished it was. It didn’t look lived in at all!

“So this is where you live?” He pushed past her with the suitcase he kept firmly in his grasp.

“Have you never heard of letting ladies go first?”

“I apologize.” She wasn’t going to forgive him he was the worst sort of man and when he turned around to speak to her again she was even surer of it. “Am I in the presence of one?” His face was unreadable as always. If Mukai had said something like this he would have had a foolish smile on his face but Ikuta just looked blasé and uncaring. As if he actually meant it.

“Do you really hate the idea of working with me so much that you can’t even treat me with the slightest shred of respect that I deserve?” She bit out pushing past him as she cleared out her magazines that were on the table in front of her. None of her official plans for the mission were allowed to have hard copies. Every day a ‘maid’ made sure of it when she cleaned out the apartment.

Toma sat down on the couch looking extremely uncomfortable as he looked at the empty table and put the briefcase down on it. “Do you have any alcohol?”

Rie checked the cabinet she’d been shown had the liquor and found a bottle of scotch and brought it out. “Is this okay?” Toma nodded and patted the seat beside him.

“Come on...we’re losing time.” She nodded and sat down beside him.

“So just straight translating? No talking before?”

“You’d like to talk to me?” His eyes grew droopy as he took a laugh and swig of the drink in front of hi,. “Here I thought you were in love with your boyfriend.”

“I meant about the assignment.” She muttered out shaking her head.

“Relax and just translate. We’ll ‘talk’ after you’re done.” He closed his eyes and leaned his head back on her couch as she stared at him fearfully. It felt somewhat unnerving now that she was alone with him again that he could simply just fall asleep on her couch. She had a drug lord in her house and here she was translating his documents, not knowing where the weapons were tucked away in his body. And oh she knew he had weapons on him? How could he not? No self-respecting gangster didn’t keep at least two guns on his body and three knives tucked away discreetly like little treasures on them. She gulped as she felt her eyes drift to his belt. Was his gun tucked into the back? Or the side? He had to have o-

“What are you doing?” She felt her eyes shoot up at him and she gulped again as he went down for a second to where her eyes were directed before he started laughing. “Are you serious? I was fucking around with you.”

“PLEASE. I was just wondering where you keep your gun.”

“Does that sort of thing work for you?” He let out silently and Rie couldn’t help but contrast him again. The way his voice sounded like nothing all the time.

Like he was scared of nothing and a man who felt no fear was probably one of the scariest things she had ever come across.

She attempted to calm her now completely heated, embarrassed body as she shook her head to clear her thoughts and she hoped indirectly his as he laughed beside her. “Please. Let’s just get to work.”

She’d just started grabbing a book of the table when his hand jumped on hers and he whipped her palm towards him so quickly that it stung and she felt her expression of pain come on as he looked at her as if he’d heard nothing. “Why don’t you not worry about the gun… unless you have a feeling you’re going to be seeing it soon for other reasons.” He left off sounding serious as he looked at her for any hint of faltering. This she didn’t have to be nervous about. She stared back at him firmly and shook her head. She wasn’t sure if she was referring to her seeing him naked or seeing the gun because she was a fuck up but either ways it was a no.

“I know we didn’t cover this…but I am getting paid extra for this right?”

“You’ll get your compensation when we get the coke.”

“Then that’s all you need to worry about. Get the money ready.” She spoke firmly as he flung his arm over his head again and shut his eyes underneath them.

“Please. Get to work. For all of our sakes.” He agreed letting out the smallest chortle deep from within his chest.

This time when she opened the booklet she was shocked the found she wasn’t stopped. In fact the only sounds coming out of Toma were silent as she settled down with the book she was given. Electronic access to documents was forbidden to her and she started.

The shipment details were all written explicitly, the route by which it was travelling to get to Japan. Where they would stop over for fuel. The names of the gangsters bringing it across, the translator who would facilitate the transaction- still the details she required weren’t in the booklet at all which port they were docking into and when, how many pounds were coming into the country and how they could stop it in a clear cut way. This was the only document she had access to for today so there was no other option for her.

She sighed and got to work with the pencil until she felt Ikuta fall on top of her shoulder and turned to look at him as he stayed quiet sleeping away on her shoulder. She couldn’t shake him off could she?

“Thanks for making it awkward.” She muttered silently hoping he’d catch it and jump off but no the man was out as she sighed and now awkwardly started scribbling the documents into the notebook trying to remember every detail she could without making notes. She couldn’t risk it, not with him that close to her now.

-------------------------

“How was last night? Was it everything you would hope it would be?” Wana smiled cheekily as she winked at Rie who turned to her with a bemused expression.

“Why are you trying to make it sound like I did more with your brother than I actually did? You know I’m just helping him with his assignment.”

“I know. I know. Geez kill a girl for having her fun why don’t you?”

“LILLITH!” Christol called out and Lillith turned her head up bowing her head before she checked her outfit out. No she was dressed good in a baby pink bra out that complimented her partner Wana’s rustic gold one almost perfectly and they were both wearing the opposite’s color in heels. Wana’s were higher heels of course, Lillith still wasn’t confident in them at all. “Stop checking yourself out…this is not about your outfit. It’s about your shift tonight.”

Wana looked towards her and Lillith gulped staring straight. That’s right she hadn’t told Wana yet exactly what it was she was working with her brother. Was she even allowed to? “Is everything okay?” Wana came up to her and Lillith turned towards her nodding.

“I’ll be out in a second. Don’t worry about me.” She let out a shaky smile as she followed Christol into the back room where she looked around the bare office that looked like it was a little more than a broom closet with a desk in it.
Christol walked towards her manager chair and sat down whipping out a pen and Lillith saw the schedule scrawled over the place…but she didn’t escape the picture of a young boy and girl that was on the desk that made her eyebrows rise.

“Is that you?” She asked softly leaning to pick it up to take a closer look at it but Christol’s hand blocked her path as she smirked.

“Yes.” Rie felt her hand pushed aside and got the message as she sat down in front of her with her back straight. “You’re going to be leaving with Jun. He’ll be coming to pick you up at 11. You’ll only be working for two hours. That’s all I’m allowed to know so far.” Rie nodded as she stood up firmly again.

“If that’s it. Then I’m going to go continue working.”

“Lillith?”

“Yes?” She answered back quickly and turned around to see Christol’s gaze sharp at her and they stared at each other, neither saying anything that would push the other over the edge. Rie felt her body tingle with questions on whether Mukai had gotten safe and she wondered if Christol felt the same way right now.

“Nothing. You’re free to go.”

------------------------------------------
Shige took another shot and Rie screamed out happily for her most loyal customer and they high-fived each other over the bar.

“You did good! You’re downing them like a Russian now!” Ryo clapped a hand over his friend’s shoulder and Shige nodded happily before changing his face to a serious one as he turned to look at Rie and Wana.

“Is water.” He bit out in a russian accent immediately breaking down laughing and placing a hand on Rie’s shoulder and Koyama was immediately by her side.

Koyama had become something of a big brother to her here. Which was bad…it was very bad. Wana might as well have been the bestest friend she’d ever found and honestly it all felt a little too comfortable here to feel real. Hell she was more comfortable here than she was at her real job.

That didn’t mean she was going to forget what she was here for though. “Is he bothering you?” He looked at the drunk Shige with eyes that pitied him. “You know she has a boyfriend right?”

Rie broke down in giggles when she saw the way Shige’s face fell and Ryo suddenly turned to Wana. “Yo you’re single too right? I kind of forgot to ask.”
“Don’t worry.” A new voice rang out and they all turned to look at the intruder who waved at Rie idly before turning to look at Wana. “You are right? Single I mean. That’s what she told me. Come on Lillith…we don’t have time I got stuck in some traffic.”

“Uh…I’m sorry I don’t- where’s Jun?”

“IS THAT YOUR BOYFRIEND?” Shige yelled out rambunctiously slapping his hand on the bar pointing at Jin. “LISTEN TO ME CLEARLY.” Her life at the bar would not be the same without Shige. She didn’t even have to take care of him that often anymore now that Ryo had stopped drinking to start hanging out with Wana sober.

Jin looked like he was about to smack Shige in three minutes but nevertheless he paused to listen to Shige. “I’m listening bro.”

“Take care of her or I’ll seriously fuck your face up.”

“She’s not dating me bro chill out. I was talking about the gold bra not the pink one.” He clapped a hand on Shige who pouted his large lips and flopped down on the chair breathing a large sigh of relief or confusion. He turned to look at Rie who had stepped out from behind the bar and buttoned up her shirt. “Did you really have to do that?” He looked on sadly and Rie rolled her eyes as she heard Wana scoff from behind them.

“Bye Wana! Hold down the fort.”

“No problem. I’m working with Daisy the rest of the night tonight and then I’m going home with Ryo.” She smiled out and Rie smiled widely nodding.

“I’ll text you tomorrow.”

Wana suddenly grabbed her hand as she almost left but then she lowered her voice looking back and forth between Jin and Rie who were looking at the girl in front of them with their eyes glued onto her face. “Be careful…please.”

Jin had a small smile tugging on his lips as she was pulled towards the door to leave the girl behind and reflexively even if Rie knew Wana cared a lot about her she could understand her friend’s words were not meant for her in the slightest.

------------------
End Notes:
I'm so sorry T.T i'm so tired.

I'm totally going to review reply when I get a spare moment. But right now I need to sleep or I'm going to keel over and DIE.

So just so you know. I usually go to Tryst right? That's my hang out? Well tomorrow night I'm going to C.I.T.Y. and who knows...maybe that will end up working its way into there if it's inspiring enough. =D

PREVIEWS:

“I still don’t trust her. Whose to say she won’t use the gun to turn on us.”

“Do you want a ride home?”

“They’re not sexy on you, you know."

"You really want to piss off Mao don't you Jun?"

"Are you happy?"

That might end up being over the span of two chapters ^ so forgive me if it does.
Believe by Anna Clair


------------------
“So what happened to Jun?”

“He got laid for the first time in his life. It really was a can’t be missed opportunity.” Jin explained as Rie burst out coughing furiously.

“Excuse me?”

“You misheard. It was always me who was coming to pick you up.” She made a small face of understanding as they sped on the highway and Rie wondered why all the men in the world loved speeding. Jin was pushing 180…last night Toma had been at a constant 200 the entire way to her home and god knew Mukai was constantly teasing her when they got home late from wherever they were by swerving to scare her.

“So where are we going?”

Jin smiled as he kept his hands glued as they took the exit up leading to a part of the city that Rie that looked completely shut down. It was stocked with huge large storage containers. The entire place was dead…and Rie wouldn’t be surprised to know if it was all just a big yakuza dump for all the shit they didn’t take care of. But even Toma wouldn’t be that stupid to take her to their hideout already. “Do you really want to know?”

He switched gears slowing down as they entered a lot and Rie shrugged. “I guess not…”

“Your translations were clear by the way. Thank you. Without them I wouldn’t have been able to complete my portion of this job.” He brought the car into park and Rie suddenly wished she hadn’t worn heels.

He unbuckled himself and Rie followed suit as they walked out and entered one of the closest warehouses. As soon as they came in it was obvious a group of guys were standing clustered together. Rie immediately recognized one of them as Toma, and the other as Jun. The others looked somewhat unfamiliar to her but one of them seemed incredibly familiar as one of the Korean boys Wana had pointed out.

“She’s here.” Jun leaned over to tell Toma and he looked up nodding towards Jin and turning to look at Rie who had for some reason started feeling sick herself at the thought of what she was about to take part in. This was unforgivable.

But how else was she going to prove herself? The only way to gain their trust was doing wrong.

Would her government understand that? “Thanks Jin.” He agreed and Jin only nodded weakly.

“Are the Colombians here yet?” Toma shook his head in response as he got ready to say whatever he’d meant to say to the group of them when he glanced downwards towards Rie’s feet and raised his eyebrows but kept his mouth shut.

How was she supposed to know she was going on a field trip with them today?

“This is a very general logistics meeting. We’re going to be arranging the financial matters of the shipment and agree on a bunch of details that you guys shouldn’t care about. If I could have gone to this meeting alone I would have but I don’t trust these guys. Neither should you guys. We’re partners I business. Not in relation. Please be safe today.” He finished looking around the circle at everyone. Jun nodded as he put in his own words looking back and forth between everyone.

“No one is allowed to bring guns out from our side first. However I’d just like to make sure with a show of hands that if necessary everyone is well equipped right?” As the hands went up in the circle Rie felt Jun’s eyes land on her and he looked towards Toma who rolled his eyes and tossed her a pocket knife. Jun looked at him as if he was shocked she wasn’t getting a more destructive device.

“I still don’t trust her. Whose to say she won’t use the gun to turn on us.” Toma bit out looking at her as his head turned away scoffing as if he still couldn’t quite believe she had wormed her way into their entire group so easily. Rie rolled her eyes as she grew tired of the way he distrusted her. Seriously if he ever found a girl there was no way he would be able to woo her with anything. He had no charm whatsoever and he had no idea how to speak to females.

Nevertheless she decided to put on a little show for him as she threw the knife up in the air and flipped it over catching it with her back hand and bringing it up in front of her again. “I don’t need anything else.” She assured Jun looking onto him with kind eyes as Jun shook his head and pulled her between Toma and himself.

“You stay beside Toma and I. We’re going to be the ones doing the talking anyways and you'll need to translate for us.” She stood quietly beside them nodding. As the rest of the group got lost in conversation with one another and she turned to Toma quickly asking him.

“There’s not going to be any shoot outs right?” She couldn’t get involved in one. Not only would she be unable to keep her cover, she would have to fight on the side of these guys. It would be detrimental to her mind and her career.

“That only happens in dramas.” Toma snickered looking at her as if he couldn’t quite believe she’d actually asked him that as she felt him look down again at her feet and she grew self-conscious. “Why are you scared?” When he did ask her this, his voice grew serious and she couldn’t help but feel her feet ache in her short heels automatically but it was probably psychological as she shifted from side to side.

Still in a moment of staggering honesty Rie nodded as she looked up at him somewhat letting the fear grow apparent on her face.

Before she knew what had happened she felt Toma’s hands wrap tightly around her arm and steady her so that she couldn’t move without awkwardly moving around his grip on her and worming out of it. He bent his face down towards her ear and even if his words were laced with venom his whisper made her shiver down her spine. “If you fall on me today I’ll fucking kill you. So stay still…if anything goes down tonight Jun and I’ll protect you. We have Sig Sauers on us. I have an extra I’ll give you later if it gets drastic. Other than that stay still in those freaking things.” Then as if he realized who he was talking to his arm dropped and Rie gulped weakly as she shifted from him putting distance between them as he questioned her again. “Do you know how to work a gun?”

Rie wasn’t sure if she should answer honestly so she simply shrugged and turned to look away so that he wouldn’t be able to tell she wasn’t really answering him. “How hard can it be?”

“I saw the show with the little dagger.” She wasn't sure but she thought the smile on his face was mocking her.

“I used to be something of a juggler.” She settled ending his suspicion she hoped and Jun whacked her arm as the door letting them all in opened again to let her know they were on.

She couldn’t control the fact her entire body felt like it was shaking in anticipation and to calm herself down she unwillingly squeezed Toma’s arm beside her and felt the strangest sensation of calm come upon her when he turned to look at her and whispered into her ear.

“Trust me…it’ll be okay.” She blinked shaking out the fear from her eyes as she stared at the group walking steadily towards them as she was struck with another fearful epiphany.

As he held on harder she realized he was not going to let her go tonight. He was going to keep her right here beside him, keep her safe. Right now…she did trust him. She believed him, that he'd keep her safe.

And that was scarier than anything that could go down here in the warehouse.

----------------------------------------

“So they’ll be coming through soon then. Are you guys ready? We’re just taking care of the delivery.” The Spanish man was surprisingly fluent in Japanese. Every once in a while he would look to her and ask her for a translation for a word but that was really all.

Toma seemed to not even take a note of her as she stood in the background as they discussed the business. “We will have the arrangements prepared. You just worry about getting the merchandise in the country and past the border guards.”

“We have that worked out.” He tilted his head upwards and Rie knew if somehow she managed to speak and ask what port they were docking in she would look suspicious so she kept her mouth shut and continued looking downward. “So that’s it then. Till we must meet again.”

The details of this entire operation were kept so undercover that Rie couldn’t help but hate it. It felt like the henchmen around her didn’t even know and honestly if she was actually an employee for them she would have felt slighted. Toma didn’t trust anyone did he?

She stood up to take her leave when the Spanish man looked to her and called out in Spanish so none of the others would understand their conversation. “Would you like to come home with me instead of him?” He indicated his head towards Toma and Rie simply smiled and shook her head.

“It was a pleasure doing business with you too.” She bowed low and as she raised her head she couldn’t help but note the way Jun cheekily smiled at her and came up and kissed her shoulder.

“We have to leave now…” Jun spoke out in English grabbing her by the waist as Toma scoffed turning away from the two of them as the Spanish man simply shrugged and walked away with his troupe.

Rie didn’t doubt that he had a million better girls in his apartment waiting to be with him anyways. With better figures than hers. Part of the reason she felt she was getting so much attention was because she was the girl brought into this circle. The only one. It wasn’t that she was exceptionally beautiful, or that she was smarter than everyone else…just that she was the only option and Jun laughed as he looked at her. “Got him good didn’t we? I just didn’t want you getting whisked away to Colombia after this operation.”

“I could have been a drug queen if it wasn’t for you.” She joked smacking him in his side as he let her go and they laughed together. Jun yelled at her but he played with her just as much.

They were leaving the warehouse as they all looked towards each other decidedly happy that none of them had to pull out guns today. Seung Hyun was even going partying with Alejandro one of the Colombians who stayed back. They were coming to Tryst so he could show the South American that the only people that they weren’t the only people who knew how to get down and rumba.

“No guns today.” She smiled as Jun and her walked side by side towards the doors.

“No guns. Aren’t you relieved?” Jun agreed happily as he wrapped an arm around her shoulder guiding her towards his car, unaware that Toma who had stayed back to speak quickly and privately with Jin turned his head towards the pair of them.

“I can’t say I’m not.” She nodded moving out from under his arms smiling politely as she bowed. “In my profession…I guess I’m not used to it much?” She had to keep her guard up and act as a translator.

“No our bartenders just get assaulted physically…they never assault anyone themselves.” Jun laughed and Rie had to slap his arm. He cleared his throat as they approached the parking lot and Jun let a small sigh as he stopped and turned towards her. “Do you want a ride home?”

Rie wasn’t sure how well Mukai or Toma would react to the idea of Jun driving her home. He was fun to hang out with but she so clearly remembered their conversations from last night and she knew reflexively it had quite a bit to do with his attraction to her. “Are you just talking about a ride here?”

“Wouldn’t you like to come on one with me?” He pouted as Seung Hyun punched his shoulder and walked away to his own car and Jun yelled a loud good bye to the Korean.

“She has work to do with me.” When he’d come up behind her she wasn’t even sure but with the look Toma was throwing Jun it seemed apparent enough that at least for today he wasn’t letting her go anywhere with Jun. He kept his hands to himself but the way he looked at Rie made sure that she had no other alternative but to follow him silently as she shrugged.

“The boss said I have work.” She sighed dramatically and Jun dramatically leaned back on his car seeming forlorn. Rie couldn’t help but giggle at his antics even though she knew she shouldn’t encourage behavior like that from him. He straightened up laughing as he opened the doors to his car slipping in.

“Another time then…I promise I’ll take you home one day.” He winked at her and Rie nodded banging fists with him.

Toma felt the need to interrupt their conversation as he pushed Rie to the side and leaned over Jun’s window looking into the car shaking his head. “You know…I can’t help but feel as if Mao won’t appreciate your behavior.”

Rie furrowed her eyebrows as she struggled to think…this was a new player in the court. She had never heard of Mao before today.

“Neither will DEAR Talia appreciate yours. I was actually offering her a ride home Toma. God only knows what you and Christine do behind Tali's back.” Jun bit back just as quickly giving Rie a quick nod as he shut his window and zoomed away in his black Lamborghini.

There it was again. Rie couldn’t help but feel just a little upset with herself.

She wasn’t sure why but she was upset. She knew that Christine and Toma were in a relationship but it seemed shrouded in so much more. So much she really didn’t need to know because her mission was about getting the knowledge about the shipment and getting out but she couldn’t help but be intrigued.

It felt kind of like her own personal mission…but she shook that thought out of her head as she took a deep breath as they walked towards Toma’s car.

“So…work to do huh.” Toma looked at her furrowing his eyebrows that she had actually attempted conversation with him before rolling his eyes and walking faster so that they didn’t have to talk to each other.

“What a jerk.” She muttered loudly knowing he could hear but didn’t seem to see any reaction from him so she walked on behind him keeping her distance. Seriously this guy was so tempermental. He needed to learn how to chill out.

“We have to make a pit stop first before I drop you home.”

“Is that it for tonight then?” She questioned back her feet in her heels trudging along like a trooper when she tripped and fell straight on his back and when he turned around to look at her, she gave him a foolish smile.
“Gomen Nasaii.” She stood up straighter bowing when he started to look aggravated with her.

“Why do you do it?”

“Do what?”

“They’re not sexy on you, you know.” He insisted shaking his head. “I mean Wana and Daisy can pull it off because they’ve practiced but you’re obviously not comfortable enough. It’s not like there’s some demented rule at Tryst where we like to torture you guys this way.”

“What?!” What on earth was he talking about? The only thing she could think about Wana and Daisy having in common was their secret-awkward loves with Jin and Sho.

Toma cleared up that doubt when he kicked her feet with his lightly and she couldn’t help but fumble at the gesture. It reminded her just for a second of Mukai. “Heels. It’s not sexy if a girl keeps falling in them. Stop wearing them.” She raised her eyebrows in response.

“Fine. I’ll stop wearing them don’t get your panties in a twist.” She stalked ahead of him and opened the door of the last car in the lot which was an ash colored Ferrari and banged it shut roughly. How could he tell her they’re not sexy on her? How dare he even decide to try and tell her what to wear? Was he her boyfriend? Sure she wasn’t as graceful as the others in them but seriously. Who the hell was he in the end? She felt him get in and shut the door extra slow as if to purposefully make a point.

“Just because you’re mad at me doesn’t mean you can wreck my car. You’ll have to pay for anything out of your pay you know.” If only he knew how much she didn’t need the money she simply put on her seat belt and turned the radio on.

“Where are we going?”

“I need to do something stupid.” His reply was candid and she could only furrow her eyebrows.

“Can’t you drop me off first?”

“You’re out of the way for me. So you can just stay in the car if you want.” He sighed deeply and she couldn’t help but wish he’d let her go with Jun. What the hell was she going to do in his car ?

“How long is it going to take?”

“However long I need it to.”

“Which means a while.”

“If you talk any longer and annoy me…yeah. I’ll have a lot more to think about.” She swore she saw a hint of a smile on his face and she rolled her eyes settling into her seat listening to the radio as she shut her eyes and felt a small slumber come over her.

If she wasn’t getting home anytime soon she might as well try and sleep a little right?

--------------------------------------------------------
End Notes:
Next chapter coming up super soon =) Thank you for reading =D Please review and comment if you have time.



P.S. I hope you all like the poster =D it was super quick to do. Toma's hair looks so choppy T.T i tried to fix that but it totally didn't work as well as it should have.



“You’re a child.”



“What do you have to think about?”



“Are you cold?”



“Are you going to offer me your jacket?”



“Not if you’re expecting it. It kind of ruins the gesture.”



Thank you so much for reading =)



Sacrifice by Anna Clair



“We’re here.” He roughly parked the car so that she jerked awake and her eyes widened as if she’d just taken a snort of cocaine herself. She gulped fumbling with her hair and straightening it. “You have drool on the side of your mouth…straighten that out first.” His tone was factual as he looked at her with a blasé expression on his face and she kissed her teeth.

“I’ll take care of my business in the order I want to.” Honestly…she should have taken care of the drool first and she knew but she wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of watching her jump around nervously wiping at her mouth.

She would have done it in a second if she knew what he was going to do otherwise. He grabbed her head and turned it quickly towards his as his thumb grazed past chin wiping it off shaking his head. “You’re a child.” He scoffed getting out of the car first and Rie couldn’t help but stare dazed at his back as he walked slowly away from the car.

What was wrong with him? Why was he so strange with her? She could never really understand what sort of man Toma was. He didn’t let anyone in…that she knew of.

She shot her head up and immediately gasped as she realized where they were.

THE OCEAN? No shit this was out of their way! She immediately rushed out of the car behind him and she couldn’t believe the way his hands flipped back to press the lock button on his keys as if he’d known and simply been waiting for her to run out bounding after him.

“THE OCEAN? Ikuta-san how are we supposed to get home in time?”
“Do you want tomorrow off from bartending? I’ll give it to you because I dragged you here.”

“But why? WHY did you drag me here?” She grumbled as she stepped beside him and he simply shrugged as he took a rest by ledge he wanted to sit on and sighed deeply.

“I don’t know the answers to those questions.” He turned towards her with his blank eyes as usual and she couldn’t help but grow angry as she sat down directly in front of him feeling the wind nip at her collar bone pushing her hair back like a lover would.

“Do you know anything?” He simply sighed and turned back to the ocean looking away from her look of scrutiny and she grumbled further decidedly totally unhappy with the situation she was in. Who wouldn’t be? Sitting looking at the ocean with some anti-social boss who you were supposed to bring down.

“I’m not too sure…I come here when I’m trying to find out.” His voice carried by the air reached her ears and she detected the sound of worry in his tone. Something she did not associate whatsoever with Ikuta Toma. If anything he was a cold, callous man who wouldn’t think twice to pressing a gun to the temple of your head if you messed up around him. Which was why she hated spending time with him, the way he made you talk more than he did was almost sure to lead to a slip up if you had something to hide.

Rie had a lot to hide. “What do you have to think about?” She mocked shoving her hands under her shirt and he turned to look at her raising an eyebrow.

“Are you cold?”

“Are you going to offer me your jacket?”

“Not if you’re expecting it. It kind of ruins the gesture.”

“I wouldn’t have accepted it anyways. I’m not the weak pathetic girl you think I am.” She couldn’t help but glare at him and he let out a loud laugh shaking his head.

“What made you think I think you’re weak?”

“If we fought do you think you’d win?” She asked honestly and he couldn’t help but widen his eyes at her response to him. She was slipping up and she knew it. “Battling with drunk guys is a tough job but I got the guns.” She fake kissed her arm muscles and when he only looked further confused she could only awkwardly laugh to diffuse the tension she had caused.

“You’re very strange.”

“So are you.” She agreed. “Two people who are similar can’t be friends huh?”

“I don’t know about people who are friends but you and I could never be friends.” He concurred and she swung her legs weakly on either side of the ledge as she felt the salt water air fill her lungs when she took in a deep breath attempting to calm herself. It felt unnerving sitting here casually beside him as if they really were just a boss and his employee.

“Why not?”

“You don’t listen to me. I don’t like that in my friends.”

“That doesn’t really sound like friendship.” She replied honestly. Seriously what was he a boss to even his friends? That seemed a little ridiculous.

“If I take the time to give you advice you should take the time to follow it.”

“What’s up with you and Christol anyways?” She asked silently closing her eyes knowing that he’d be looking at her and if he was she didn’t want to look back because she wasn’t really sure why she was asking anyways.

“Why are you asking?”

“You hear a lot in the locker rooms…it’d be good to get straightened out. That’s all.”

“Christine and I are just friends…it’s everyone else that thinks we’re more.”

“But she’s special to you?”

“Well…obviously.” He ended turning around. “Do you not like being quiet or something? I swear you talk more than a talk show host.”

“Special the way Jin is to Wana?” She couldn’t help but peek her eyes open to look at his reaction and saw him immediately stiffen up at the mention of those two. “What you don’t approve of them? They’re obviously important to each other.”

“Wana can do better than someone like us.”

“Like ‘us’?”

“Someone like Jin and me, someone in the family business. We’re tied to the family. She’s not.”

“Hmmm last I checked wasn’t she totally related to you?”

“I’m bound to the family in a way she isn’t.” This was the first time but she swore she saw him look disappointedly out at the world. “Maybe if I wasn’t bound I could have made those rumors in that locker room come true.” He smiled weakly laughing at himself and Rie couldn’t help but look on hypnotized by what she saw. He looked utterly defeated this man, not at all like the strong silent resilient force she sat Tryst that kept the place running.

It was just for a minute but she had seen it and she was sure of that. When he looked back at her, his normal expression back on him he looked annoyed with her. “Are you done or do you have more questions for me?” She’d irritated him but she didn’t care.

Rie gulped as she nodded. “One…is that okay?” When he simply waved his hand she took it as a yes and she looked up at the skies as she let out a soft breath that landed on him with such shock that he couldn’t help but be struck by a look of incredulity at the words that tumbled so easily out of her mouth.

“Are you happy?” When the words first left her mouth she felt his stare on her skin and she looked away unable to meet his gaze. Part of her wasn’t even sure why she asked him such a question. When she risked a look at him she was struck breathless at the way he was not even looking at her. Whether he was pondering a reply or just delaying a response she couldn’t quite tell as he stared out at the black expanse of water in front of them and she gulped. She should have kept her mouth shut.

Until finally he turned towards her and leaned back and yelled out a loud scream and she felt her heart freeze at the sound of the agony that came out so clearly from his own chest in response to her question but she couldn’t do anything other than stare at him as he screamed out loud. She was scared. She didn’t understand why she wasn’t stopping him. She wanted to stop him. She did…but she couldn’t. The way he screamed made her heart go out to him in a way that made it beat so furiously she could feel every pump like the feel of his own agony against his blood. She felt her stomach twist in knots, the sound of his voice yelling out, screaming for something she wasn’t quite sure if it was freedom or submission, made her want to throw up. Her muscles twisted as if they were in pain, cramping as she felt the tension wash over her body. She clapped her hand over her mouth and shut her eyes. She felt the water fill her eyes and she took a breath as he continued screaming, her ribs shook with her silent sobs and she felt the cold hit her arms harder than before. She felt like she was drowning the sound of his anguish.

Ikuta Toma definitely wasn’t a normal man. She’d known that before, but she’d felt it now.

Then he shut his mouth and he had grown exhausted because each breath that ran through his body flowed like water that rippled attempting to calm whatever had been released from within him. “I came here…” He coughed for a second bringing his fist to his mouth clearing his throat. “To question you. To find a reason to trust you…and isn’t it just foolish that you ended up questioning me instead?” She couldn’t do it. She couldn’t look at him straight in his eyes, her own were still watering and it was ridiculous. The man hadn’t shared some ridiculously sad story with her; she had never imagined anything like a simple sound would be able to make her cry.

God she was pathetic. She wiped her tears trying to turn away from him so he wouldn’t notice her. She was sure he did. They were sitting too close for her to keep anything truly hidden from him but he didn’t really question her reaction to him. She could only be grateful as she heard the simple words come out of his mouth making her feel stable again. “Let’s go…we have to get you home.” She nodded slowly as he whipped himself around bringing his feet to the ground and getting up from the ledge they were on. If she went home she could feel normal again…her real home, her house that she was going to build with Mukai. She could attempt to never react like this again to him if she went back there.

She had started realizing what his trust meant…she was getting access to a lot more than just some documents. She was privy to Ikuta Toma’s soul and god knew that wasn’t something she wanted. When she’d taken on this job she hadn’t expected to be looking at Ikuta Toma’s mind. She didn’t expect to understand him. She didn’t want to understand him.

But it was unavoidable that she did now and it was even more unavoidable that part of her pitied his life, his situation…he was a criminal. She had to keep reminding herself of the countless people that Ikuta had probably looked straight in the eye before bringing them to their discreet ends.

Then she turned her head to look at him, he was already standing beside her and holding his hand out.


She didn’t have to think that much to understand what it meant. Even if he didn’t get to ask her anything, he did trust her. “Are you getting up?” He said softly and she nodded weakly as she slipped her own feet onto the ground, slipping her hand into his as he pulled her up to his side like a true partner.

When he moved ahead she followed and let her body walk beside his. It felt strange being on the same level as him, while she was pondering she couldn’t help but notice a black car was behind them.

“Ikuta…” She felt her voice start as she saw a hand poke out of the car behind them. What was a car doing here anyways? Then as she narrowed her eyes she saw the figures in the car were shifting nervously pulling on each other and the next thing she knew she saw a gun poke out of the window and she grabbed him roughly by the arm to tell him what was happening but there was no time as he looked at her confused that she had pulled on him but there was no time for that. The moment she saw the man pull the trigger she felt her body jump in front of Ikuta Toma willingly as she felt the bullet hit through her arm.

And as she flew in the air taking the bullet falling to the ground as the car sped up Ikuta cursed pulling his gun out and shooting at them but he really only managed put out one tire as she lay the blood that gushed out of the wound staining the sides of her black shirt. And she was sure her bra was ruined now.

Great…another shopping trip, she felt her eyes scrunch up in pain at the thought and well at the pain in her side.

She looked up at him her eyes stinging from the pain as she took in how perfect his posture was as if he was ready to gun someone down at any point when needed and she felt her tongue get heavier with saliva. She was disgusted and she wanted to hate herself for pitying this man mere moments before. He didn’t need anyone’s pity. What was she doing jumping in front of him to take a bullet meant for him?

“Hey! Hey are you okay?” His voice sounded distant even if she was sure he was yelling right into her ear as she felt her body go limp on the ground…she was starting to feel cold. She’d never been shot before…was this how it felt? Was it something she’d have to get used to? She really didn’t like it. She tried to open her eyes to look at Ikuta but she couldn’t move. She felt too weak and when she felt his hands wrap themselves around her shoulders shaking her roughly waiting for some sort of response from her, she managed enough strength to shake her head. “Fuck.” He cursed as she felt his arms come around her waist slowly hoisting her up from the ground, so that she was more leveled and she groaned. He lifted one of his hands from holding onto her and raked it through his hair and she couldn’t help but enjoy the feeling that he was worried about her…that had to mean he finally trusted her.

That meant she could finally get everything she needed and leave before she got involved further in this mess of a clan. She could leave and go back to Mukai.

He lifted her up to her feet and she felt her arm pull downwards and she screamed as she crumbled into his side panting heavily as she felt herself grow more and more reliant on his side. The tears that had just left from her ducts flew back to her eyes and when she looked up this time she realized that Ikuta Toma looked to her right now like she’d never seen him before. Aggravated, scared as he lifted her from one side and they walked gingerly.

“Please…try and hold on okay? We’ll get you through this I promise.” His words were soft and might have even been sweet except she wanted to She didn’t want to cry but her every gasp that left her sounded like a cry of pain and she muffled it in his shirt, and she crushed herself against his side every time she felt like she was going to fall on her legs. They didn’t feel like her own as they grew heavier and she crumbled into him and he looked down at her with pity in his eyes as he put her into the car seat she’d slept in.

“Lillith…just hold on okay? Nod if you’re okay with that.” The saliva in her mouth was getting harder to swallow and all she wanted to do was curl over in herself and cry. “I’m taking you to Wana’s house. I’ll call Daisy over…she took Sho’s bullet out last time. She’s a nurse.” He bit his lips as he drove carefully looking at her as she brought her hair in front of her face ashamed of what she’d just done.

No way had she just put herself in danger for this man. What was he to her even? What did it even matter? What would Mukai think? What would everyone think?

There was no hiding this.
Reveal by Anna Clair
Author's Notes:
First of all.

Forgive me guys for not upload this sooner.

But this chapter was rewritten three times. I finally grew happy with it about a month ago...but then I wanted to save it for the anniversary update. I was very selfish. I know.

Thank you so much to everyone who reads and supports this story. I promise I haven't given up on it and it's actually one of my favourites to write. It's very different from my usual style, cause you know. Romance really isn't the biggest thing here.

It's a lot more mystery.

SO PLEASE ENJOY THE ANNIVERSARY UPDATE AND I PROMISE THE NEXT ONE WON'T TAKE THIS LONG!



As the entered the building lot she heard him whisper softly. “Don’t worry I’ll get them back for trying to do that to you.” Toma parked in reverse backing into the lot. Immediately as the car switched into parking, Rie felt her door whipped open and saw her friend looking at her utterly stricken. Jin came up beside her and she saw Wana move away from them as Jin looked at her not bothering to speak as Toma unbuckled her.

She looked at him as he worked desperately at the plastic and felt her breaths grow shallow, he looked sorry…as if he wanted to say the words but couldn’t. His hands were frantically pressing the button and Rie was shocked to find his fingers shook by her side. Her breaths grew labored as she gulped feeling the tears come into her eyes.

Why did he care?

When she looked back to Wana and Jin unable to stand the thought of a human Ikuta Toma, Rie couldn’t help but think that somehow Ryo would be upset by the fact they were together she didn’t really understand Wana and Jin either. Jin hoisted her up and slowly pullled her to her feet and as she looked at her friend’s eyes.

“How many more lives Toma?” Wana’s voice was soft as she glared at her brother after she scanned him for any signs of hurt. When she was sufficiently satisfied she turned her eyes to Rie’s wound and released a painful hiss.

Rie didn't want to look at it herself for fear that she'd faint. She already felt the pain, how much worse would it get when she looked at it. Her forehead was damp with sweat and Jin struggled to keep a straight face as he felt how warm it was.

“She’s not dead is she An?” Toma turned his high beams on and Rie put her hand on her eyes trying to shield herself from the light.

“I’m going up. Come after you’re done talking with him.” Wana informed Jin indicating her eyes downwards as she dragged her friend off upstairs and Rie turned one last time to look at Toma except his eyes couldn’t quite meet hers as his hands were fixed on the steering wheel and even though everything else around her seemed blurred he wasn't. His body was shaking and she seemed to be able to tell every droplet of sweat on his face apart as Jin and he stared each other down. It was strange how her eyes seemed to focus on him, everything else blurred out. She blamed it on her body's lack of energy.

“I don’t understand why she would have done something like that but if she hadn’t jumped in front of me you’d have ended up looking at a corpse.” Toma laughed bitterly as he looked at Jin, who shook his head at the man in front of him.

“Just because you’re a selfish bastard doesn’t mean everyone else is, Ikuta. Besides you said you were going to go translate after the meeting with the gangsters…so why is she bleeding at 5 AM in the morning Toma?”

Toma looked at Jin who was delivering the clear claim with his eyes and Toma placed his hands revving up the engine, unable to answer him clearly. He wasn’t sure why he had taken her out to the ocean, only known that he’d needed to.

“Don’t do anything stupid. We can’t afford another hindrance in our plans to get the cocaine in.” Jin knew that it would only worry Wana further if Toma got involved in any prison stints now. Not that Takuya would let him stay there longer than an hour of course.

“Tell Lillith that, when she gains consciousness.” Toma geared up to leave as Jin walked back to the apartment building whipping his phone out.

“Daisy? It’s Jin. We need your help.”

---------------------------------------------------------------

“Are you feeling okay?” Daisy had been by her side all day and had surprisingly been a real help to her.

Every time Rie stumbled Daisy would be at her side helping her up, like now as Rie faltered for a second on her feet reaching the entrance of Tryst. She wasn’t working tonight but her presence had been requested anyways. Just because she got shot didn’t mean her brain didn’t work. She could still work well as a translator and he had said she would need to attend some meetings with the guys right?

“Thank you for all your help. I’m sorry I’m putting you through this.” Rie saw Daisy’s eyes shoot up in shock as if she hadn’t realized how Rie perceived this.

“You got shot Lillith...what did you think I’d just abandon you after I mended you up? Besides Wana left early today and she said she’d go straight to work. You needed me.” Rie looked to her arm and saw the bright red dot that covered and seeped into the white gauze that held her wound together. It was still percolating underneath, the wetness of her blood against the fabric was a feeling that she was entirely too aware of. Sometimes when she closed her eyes she still felt like screaming as she felt Daisy pull the bullet out last night, they had tried to make her drink but she refused to drink the alcohol choosing to remember the pain instead. She felt her stomach twist, there was one pain that would be worse than this and she had a feeling if she felt this pain she could hold that pain off from ever reaching her.

“Thank you again. I just don’t know what else I can say…there’s nothing I can do to repay you for yesterday.” Rie admitted bashfully, even though she hadn’t liked Daisy before there was nothing she could say against the girl now. It was clear that in stressful situations she wasn’t the girl that she’d shown her on the first day of work.

Daisy was all too willing to provide her with a payment alternative. “There’s one thing you can do.” Rie let out a small smile. At least the girl wasn’t totally without her own agenda.

“What’s that?” Rie would do it. She just hoped it wasn’t anything too drastic. Nothing that could compromise this new trust she’d earned.

“Why don’t you tell me what you’re really up to Lillith? Because you can’t just be doing this for the money Rie. No girl jumps in front of a gang boss for money. There’s something you want from him, there’s something you’re trying to do here.” Daisy’s tone betrayed none of her emotions. It was blank, frank and caught Rie as off guard as she had expected the girl to be. It was clear that it wouldn’t be something light. “I want to know.”

Rie felt her blood run cold as she looked at the girl deciding to deflect the question. There was no logical way she could tell Daisy, even if the girl had saved her life. “Why are you here Daisy? We all know it’s not cause you’re desperate. There’s something more behind it.”

“Answer the question Lillith.” The exotic Daisy wasn’t playing around and as they walked towards the lockers. Rie felt the memories of last night flitting past her mind quickly. “Why are you doing this? What is it you’re after here? Why do you want to be a part of them when every single girl I know here wants to run away from this world?”

The question caught her off guard. Why was she here? The true reason was obvious…but the real reason was much harder to grasp now.

The bullet, Toma, drugs, a gang she was supposed to bring down. All of it was getting so muddled. She hadn’t been made in contact with yet but she knew after her getting shot Mukai had to be itching to come take her out of the situation. There was no way her department didn’t know right? “I’m not sure. I used to know why I was here…but I don’t anymore.” Rie was being honest and Daisy could see that but there was no way an answer as blasé like that was letting her get off the hook.

She tried to walk away but Daisy grabbed her hand and pulled her back roughly so that she yelped in pain at the unexpected tug that made the fabric of the white cotton unknowingly burn with friction against her skin.

“Enough. Enough and say the truth Lillith, and I won’t tell Sho I suspect you of treason. Otherwise he will make sure you’re shot in the head. Like I was able to heal you I could take that away just as easily.” Her voice was low and threatening and the lack of romance in her words made Rie’s blood run cold.

It was true, Sho seemed ready to do anything for Daisy’s sake in a way that didn’t seem to resemble any of the other guys here. She couldn't test that theory out could she?

Daisy didn’t sound like she was happy working here either…maybe she could turn into an ally…or at least stay out of her way if she provided her with the most basic details she possibly could.

“You really want to know? You have to promise not to sell me out.”

“That’s for me to decide and you to answer.”

“Daisy I’m not telling you if you won’t give me security in exchange.”

“If I deem you are harmless to me, you have nothing to worry about.” Daisy promised and Rie scoffed. That was the best she would get out of this girl.

“I’m here to bring them down.” She looked up at Daisy unaware of a shapely shadow stepping to the room. “I’m here to ruin this place.” Daisy backed away from her letting her hand go as she looked at her skeptically up and down and then bursting out in a laugh that was nothing but. It sounded cruel and bitter to Rie’s ears and she was happy to hear it stop when Daisy started taunting her.

“Forgive me if I don’t believe you. You’re not half as capable as me and I wasn’t able to bring ‘them’ down was I?” She lightly mocking the ability of the girl in front of her and Rie felt herself huff furiously.

If the girl was going to make fun of her she wasn’t exactly going to hold back either. “You fell in love though didn’t you? Aren’t you in love with Sho Daisy? Isn’t that why you think you can act better than the rest of us? Because you’re in love with Matsumoto’s weapons trader? ” At the attack of her feelings she came up straight and slapped Rie so quickly across the face that the only reason she knew she’d been slapped was the echo of the sound and a sting of pain on her cheek rested as she slowly raised her eyes to look at Daisy, ready to slap her back but-

Daisy’s eyes were tainted with so much pain that she couldn’t help but pity the beautiful foreign girl. “You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about you fucked up little bitch.” She barged out past her as Rie stood frozen looking at the girl as she barged out in her laced up black faded leather green military boots and Rie leaned against the wall covering her eyes.
She didn’t know why she was so intent on judging Sho and Daisy. After all, Daisy hadn’t so much as done what she had.

Take a bullet for a man who was supposed to mean nothing to her.

It was true that it was probably worth it, even for the mission. After all, now Ikuta Toma trusted her. She couldn’t help but think at what cost had she gained that trust? She knew the moment she was away from these guys, her team would reach out to her. How could they not? They knew right? They had to-

She heard her cell phone beep and felt her eyes widen at who had texted.

‘Hikaru’

She had changed his name of course so as if he did ever text her she wouldn’t arouse any suspicion. She felt her fingers glide past the rolling ball as she scrolled past the text and felt her heart jump into her throat.

Rie, be careful. Ikuta’s killed two guys. From what we know he was injured as well but there seems to be more going on here than just a race for the Akihabara district. I’ll try to call you later with more details when I get them. Be okay till then okay?

Her blood ran cold as she stared at the harsh light from her cellphone rereading the text over and over again. She knew Mukai had risked everything by telling her, but he wanted her to be safe and yet all she could think of was that idiot’s safety. Toma was hurt?

What had he tried to do? Why had he-

But who was she to ask a question like that? Why had she-

She gulped weakly feeling her stomach plunge down to her toes. Barely realizing she hadn’t thought of Mukai’s safety. She went back to read the text. It seemed for now he didn’t know that she’d gotten shot but how long would it be before he realized?

She ran out of the locker room barely noticing the figure that had come in staring at her, the girl’s eyes hardening.

Nothing was safe anymore.

---------------

Christol came through the swinging blue glass doors and Rie stopped wiping the glass she had with a dishrag. She still hadn’t seen Wana all day and Daisy had kept her distance. Yeona was forced to partner up to her today as Tsuki didn’t seem to want to get anywhere near her.

Koyama followed her shortly and they looked like they were in some sort of heated discussion so that Rie quickly excused herself to the washroom and snuck up through the crowd to get close to them to hear their conversation. It had something to do with Ikuta she could feel it. She ducked past the curtain and stood outside the room they were in. Christol was shaking furiously and Koyama was holding onto her by her shoulders as if to stop her. Her voice was low but Rie pushed through closer so she could hear, Christol sounded desperate, scared out of her wits. “What the fuck was Toma thinking? How could he go into their territory like that?”

“Christine… Christine calm down. No one can hear this-“ Why was he calling her Christine? Rie felt her curiosity piqued and listened closer.

Christol scoffed. “CALM DOWN? HOW THE HELL DO YOU THINK I CAN CALM DOWN RIGHT NOW? YAMASHITA WAS GOING TO KILL HIM. KILL TOMA KOYAMA.” For the first time in her time here Rie saw Christol’s face contort into something exquisitely human...despair, desperation, and above all sadness. She looked ready to collapse as if all the strain on her shoulders had finally become too much to bear.

“BUT HE DIDN’T DID HE?” Koyama yelled back quelling the hysterical girl before him who simply latched onto his shirt. “Yamashita-sama knew better than that…he’s upset. I’m sure he’ll let Toma out of the torture house soon. He’s angered because he’s just lost Ryo…and he’s almost lost Shige now. It’s no light cost losing your best sharp shooter and Christine, you went to see him. I’m sure that pleased Yamashita-sama. He wouldn't displease you to that extent. He knows better than to take away Toma from you like that. If he did so-”

It was as if Koyama had spoken some sort of secret whisper that only Christol understood because all of the sudden she was shaking and shivering in Koyama’s grasp. The woman who Rie found herself spying on right now was radically different than the one she was used to seeing on the floor. “I- I can’t go back there. Going back today was enough - I can’t Koyama. I can't! Not to that house!”

Koyama slowly hugged the girl back and brought her close to his chest, attempting to calm her frantic nerves. “Yamashita Tomohisa-sama is not the same man as his brother Yamashita Tomoya. Christine…he wouldn’t-“

“IT DOESN’T CHANGE ANYTHING.” The girl started heaving heavily again as if an attack were being raised on her lungs and she clutched onto her heart with a strained hand, the veins and bones so clear that it scared Rie. Christol’s eyes were flooded with oceans of water as if something horrible was rushing in waves back to her mind, back to her heart. “If Toma hadn’t come to save me back then I don’t know what I would have done…I can’t just throw away everything Toma did to go back to a guy who didn’t save me Koyama.”

Koyama’s stature hardened as he looked at Christol shaking his head. “Christine," He stressed and Rie raised an eyebrow. Christol wasn't her real name? "You know that if he’d known what Tomoya was doing to you, your husband wouldn't have even hesitated to come back and kill his brother before your beloved Ikuta Toma.” Koyama hissed as the water hit Rie’s eyes as she realized exactly what had conspired between Tomoya and Christol, the bile rose up from her abdomen causing her to curl over herself as she felt it burn through her throat. When Koyama spoke again he spoke with a tone of sweetness…this Koyama sounded like the one Rie knew. “You don’t have to leave now…you know I’ll always wait for the day you’re ready to go back to that house that day will have to come Christine, even if you hate it. One day Yamashita-sama will lose his patience with you…because he loves you too much to leave you here forever with Ikuta Toma of all people. The man you've described to him as the most important in your life.”

“Ikuta Toma’s engaged. There’s not much that his honor, his word of promise to Takuya, would let him do now. Yamapi has nothing to worry about.” It was like Koyama had swallowed a bitter pill himself. Rie shuddered, why would Koyama care if Toma was engaged? “I’m sorry I forgot.” Christol spoke back feeling sorry as she reached for his arm but Koyama shook her off attempting to gain back his strong stance.

Koyama snickered to himself shaking his head. “It’s fine…it’s good to remember it isn’t real, that when you leave. I’ll leave everything behind here as well Christine. You and I can move on together. I promise that I'll help you...if you help me." He pressed a quick kiss to her forehead smiling at her. Rie felt irked watching this, she'd never known Christol and Koyama were such good friends.

“Koyama,” Christol paused as she hugged him and threw Koyama off his feet for a second. “I’ll be back. I’ll go get changed and come back out.” She left him standing alone in the room and once she was gone, Rie was shocked to hear Koyama’s mouth move after a second.

“You can stop spying now Rie.”

“EH?” Not only had Koyama known she was spying he knew her real name?

Gingerly she stepped through trying to wipe any emotion she’d felt from Christol’s story.

He was smiling widely but his words held nothing if the unhidden threat of danger. Yet again. “If you repeat anything you heard today I will have to kill you is that understood? This story was not the reason you were brought into Tryst.” He placed a hand on her shoulder. “You’re a smart girl though aren’t you? Spying on everyone. Thinking no one notices…you’re quite cocky honestly.” She was unsure whether he was complimenting her or trying to scare the living wits out of her which he was doing an excellent job of. Somehow the fact that the nice Koyama wasn't quite so nice broke her heart. “Being a smart girl…I know you’ll make the right decision,” He came up close to her ear and she felt her body freeze. This was no longer the sweet Koyama who always seemed concerned about her.

No he’d never been concerned about her. That much was clear now. “Or you’ll end up at the bottom of the ocean. And Hikaru, gomen I forgot that was a fake name! Mukai Osamu-kun wouldn’t like that at all would he? Maybe I'd get to send him down there too... it's always good to do a public showing of killing the police. Reminds everyone how utterly useless you guys are anyways.” He patted her back lightly and ruffled her hair as she stared at him wide eyed as he approached her front again. “Don’t worry I won’t rat you out. I couldn’t. Yamashita-sama is the man who placed you here…and I cannot go against his wishes. He wants you here to ruin Ikuta’s plan…so you'll ruin it. Legally and all! Though honestly Rie, I've got to say for a girl who graduated at the top of her class you're a disappointment. You’re not doing that well are you Rie? I was supposed to stay out of this but it seems inevitable.” He sighed disappointingly grabbing her hand roughly. “You’re lucky that Ikuta’s still in Roppongi. It means we can raid his office, which I know better than you and I’ve never been in there. What a useless woman you really are." He shook his head continuing to put her down as Rie stared at him dumbly.

Who was Koyama? Yamashita-sama?

“Koyama!” She couldn’t take it anymore. It didn’t seem like the real Koyama and this time when he turned to look at her he actually had a small glimpse of pity in his eyes as he saw her eyes watering.

“Look…I know you’ve been through a lot here.” He was considerably kinder for a second…but then just as soon he was back on the train to run her down. “But I can’t waste time with you anymore Rie. You’re a liability. Every second you’re here Christol grows more suspicious of why I requested you be hired. Why do you think I smacked your ass on the first day? Established some semblance of a friendship with you? To keep her from realizing you’re a spy, that you’re here to ruin the man she loves.” Rie’s own eyes fell to the floor as she felt her heart speed up as she shivered when Koyama threw her into the room. “Hurry up. Get in. Get out. That’s how simple it should be. I'll knock when I hear someone coming."

And then there she was. Alone in the room she’d longed to be alone in for so long. The information stretched across the long table just waiting for her to read it.

So she grabbed a paper.

The paper that would undoubtedly ruin her life.
End Notes:
Ashes to Ashes everyone :)

Thank you for reading and enjoying the story. I would put previews up but even I don't know whats going to happen now :O

seriously!

JOKING HERE'S THE PREVIEWS GUYS XD.

"You belong to her."

"Don't cry."

"Don't lie to me! DON'T YOU DARE LIE TO ME."

"How could you fight for her? When you couldn't fight for me?"

Thank you to everyone who reviewed :) namely maohartjun, GIRL, ChriChri, harmony2244, nitelotus and lacey.

you guys rock :)

if you'd like to review this chapter you know what you gotta do :D

love you all!

Mwa!

Tell by Anna Clair
Author's Notes:
What's this...oh wow. This is an UPDATE. YES :D I'm not quite done my exams yet but it seems like this exam season the major source of inspiration is all for Ashes to Ashes so I hope you guys enjoy the update :)

Fair warning: This chapter has a little bit of violence. Also I ended up re-plotting this a little so the previews you guys previously saw will end up falling in the chapters after this one.

Thank you to the dear Christine for creating such an awesome poster :) She rocks. If you guys want to listen to the music I was listening to just listen to most David Guetta songs (Titanium, The World Is Mine). They match the tone of this chapter pretty well.



Rie looked at the man in the car beside her as he switched the car into drive and off they sped off into the crowded roads. He did not ask her for her help. Indeed if he was injured he'd hidden it well.

"Put your seatbelt on." He murmured over the silence and she immediately jolted backwards and grabbed the belt pulling it over her body. She hated this car. She always acted like an idiot in it.

No Ikuta Toma, other than to tell her to put on her seatbelt, wasn't going to pay her any attention or even tell her why she was here. Where they were going, or what they were going to be doing.

For all she knew she could be driving to her death right now. Yet somehow she felt like that couldn't be the case because he would have to show some emotion at the thought of her betraying him right? Maybe he was being nice because he realized she'd saved his life...maybe he'd kill her quickly.

She could only pray that Toma did not know what she had done last night when he was away being tortured for punishing the rival yakuza's men who almost killed her.

How could he know that she had already found everything she needed last night so soon? How could he know that it was all close to ending...this whole drama, the lies she'd been forced to feed everyone at Tryst for their trust.

How could he know that she was more confused now than ever that they wouldn't let her return to the office. That more than anything she knew the longer she stayed, the more danger her life was in.

----------------------------------
Last Night After the Meeting With Koyama

She'd decided once she read the paper that she knew what she needed to do and today would be the only day he could do it. No one was watching over her, she'd already been shot. Toma wasn't there and really he was the only one who was overly suspicious of her. Jun had left early after discussing something with Tegoshi who was going to go over to Seung Hyun's house after with Yeona.

No this was it. This was the only time she could relay the information to the chief and get the hell out. That paper could either save her or damn her and damn it she was going to make it save her.

She ran despite herself the moment she turned the corner from the club and was sure no one could see her. It wasn't to rush away from the club, but more to rush before she decided to back out of her decision.

She’d texted Inoo Kei an intern at the police department to come pick her up at Hibaya subway station and it was just a few away from Roppongi and Ginza.

She’d go straight to the chief’s house. This sort of information couldn’t wait. She couldn't let it filter through the system if it got distorted.

This was everything they needed to bring their shipment down. Tokaichi port that was where they were landing in three days, somehow they'd managed to get an opening on the border control lines she still wasn't sure but the main fact was they had to catch them as soon as they entered Japan's waters.

She heaved a sigh feeling the air burn in her lungs lighting them on fire. She had brought enough shame on her department by not completing the job on time. This should have been done at least a week ago but Ikuta wouldn't trust her, and righteously so. Any girl who took a bullet for you only so she could later stab you in the back herself couldn't be trusted.

Approaching the station finally she let her feet click faster against the ground as she ran and tumbled into Inoo Kei's car. She would have been more comfortable meeting Mukai but he was restricted from seeing her and the fact he still didn’t know about her arm made her feel like she should resist that temptation.

Keii's face grew aghast at the sight of her arm. “What’s wrong with your arm Tomomasa-san?”

“I got caught in a spat okay? Drive Kei. We can’t get farther away quicker, trust me.” Following her instructions the reckless intern started speeding but of course she couldn’t be bothered with that now. She'd be able to get him out of trouble if they got caught.

Getting a moment to breathe she wondered softly what the repercussions of this would be.

What would Ikuta Toma do to her if he found out? That was the only thing running through her head. Sure, she had saved his life but did it matter in the face of everything she was about to ruin? Did the man consider things like that a debt? Did he even trust her ? Or had that just been her imagination?

Most of all...was this the wrong way to do things?

How could there be a wrong way to stop a criminal?

Then they were there...and she was running out of the car again with Kei struggling to park and keep up with her. Her knocks on her senior's door loud and obnoxious as she saw the lights in the bedroom turn on.

Before she could stop herself the words needed to leave her mouth. Before she could make an even worse mistake and choose to support the wrong side.

“Tomomasa this better be good you woke me- Rie what happened to your arm?” With a surprising amount of affection for an officer he had left all but abandoned in the yakuza den she scoffed.

“Don’t act so shocked. With no direction what do you expect to have happened?” She hissed as she felt him slowly press against it, measuring the damage.

He looked down ashamed. “Why didn’t you tell us? We would have got you medica-“

“And compromise the mission? Are you mad? I didn’t do this half-heartedly sir. I did my job.” She bowed her upper half respectfully but nevertheless couldn’t hold back the malice in her voice. “The sooner I’m off this assignment the better sir. There is far too much involved at play here that I do not want to get involved in.”

“Like what?”

Like my strange sympathy for a criminal. “It is not criminal but the relationships between the gangs are more convoluted than you could imagine.” She remembered Christol’s- no Christine’s tears as she crumbled against Koyama’s front. It wasn't a total lie.

“Spit it out then. We’ll need you there at least until the shipment for Intel but we’ll have to bug you now Rie.” She’d already been felt up by Toma for wires but what if he felt her up again to find that she'd been lying?

Would he even be capable of it? She remembered Christine’s description. The man had obviously gone through a beating and a half. He wouldn’t be strong enough to fight her even if he wanted to. She could take him down, if it came down to it she could kill him.

At least she thought so. “It’s Tokachi port, the shipment is coming across three boats each directing from different areas and convening about 300 km off the port before landing. The estimated time of arrivals is set for 3AM three nights from now on Saturday. There’s going to be approximately fifty people on site from the yakuza team. Thirty will manage the transportation of the drugs with the help of the Colombians into trucks disguised as being for food. I’m unsure exactly what brand or product exactly but it should be easy to trace once we’re there. Twenty will be guards armed with everything from knives to AK-47s and Colts. I imagine Ikuta and his chosen team will be overseeing the teams operations.”

“Our goal is to stop the shipment and get them once and for all. Am I understood Rie? I’ll still need your help for that. I need you to lure their team into an area where we’ll be waiting supporting you. We’ll have a stronger backing than them.” She nodded quickly as she felt her heartbeat quicken. It was here, the moment she’d been waiting for now. The moment where she’d become a national star, an icon of all that was good.

And yet here she was dreading it with everything in her heart.

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As if being woken up she saw him swerve out from under a car to avoid an accident and she gasped.

She shouldn't become so unaware in his car. It wasn't safe, not anymore. She didn't know when the cops would come to bug her but once it did happen she needed to become aware all the time.

“Are you all right?” She was the one who wanted to ask the question but it came from his mouth.

Unable to hold herself back from analyzing him for harm, she took in her fill of Ikuta Toma. For a man who’d been beaten up it seemed his face was relatively untouched. Only a small gash on the back of his right ear where he must have been spliced by a knife let her know anything had happened.

She wondered what lay under his shirt. What injuries lay behind the perfectly starched white fabric? What wounds percolated in agony, and blood seeped begging for oxygen... “I asked you if you were all right. Not to undress me with your eyes.” His tone was robotic and she immediately turned away scoffing.

"Don't flatter yourself. I- I overheard Christol last night. I know what happened. You didn’t need to kill anyone for me. I feel responsible for the injuries you went through. That's all. Are you feeling okay?” She bit out reluctantly. It was silent in their car long enough that she hit his arm lightly and heard him hiss. "I SAID ARE YOU ALL RIGHT? Don't just shut up and be silent."

He turned to look at her, his eyes narrowed in a glare until he started laughing. In fact he laughed so hard his eyes closed and his driving went wayward though where they were going as usual she had no idea.

Three nights. Three more nights of this shit and then she could leave. No more would she have to deal with him and his erratic barely sane behavior. She had never heard him laugh, not really. This one was true, but bitter yet. Like everything he did was honest and bitter. “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to laugh but did you honestly think that was for your benefit? I must say what an idea. Honestly, you are quite creative Lillith. Maybe we should have you designing bombs or something.”

“Don’t make fun of me. Why else would you kill Ryo? What had he done to you?!” She seethed in her seat turning away from him folding her arms over her chest as he sighed looking at her as if she was a child.

“Look. It’s not that I don’t appreciate what you did for me. I can’t say I know many idiots who would take a bullet for me-“

Oh no he didn't. “Gee thanks for calling me an idiot that makes me feel really good about the fact that I endangered my LIFE to save yours.”

“Well rest assured I appreciate it.” He cut back in and the tone of his voice let her know that no more interrupting would be allowed. “The fact of the matter is, they were there to kill me not you. I couldn’t allow people out there to take me for a wimp because I’ve been lying low.”

She did not want to know these things. She did not want to know why a killer thought the way he did, why he thought he could so cruelly murder someone. “Why are you telling me all these things?”

That caught his attention as he looked at her again, his driving precariously close to driving them into the curb. “This is it Lillith. You’re in. There’s no turning back.” His words seemed to indicate something else as if he knew what she had done last night but she turned to look at him and saw nothing but loyalty in his eyes.

No, this wasn’t about him knowing what she had done last night. This was about him telling her that she was part of them now.

That he did trust her.

The very thought of it made her want to roll down the windows and throw up. “I understand. I’m thankful…but I don’t appreciate knowing what influences you to take a gun to someone’s head.”

“You endanger my life I’ll endanger yours. It’s a simple philosophy. You can’t seriously be so disgusted by death if you’re planning on sticking around.” Again, just enough to confuse her but he couldn’t know. She’d been away. “It’s not like I got away unscathed.”

So he did get injured heavily last night...but not enough to demobilize him. “But you knew you wouldn’t die didn’t you? You knew Christine would have no option but to come save you.”

It was like something snapped in Ikuta as he turned quickly into a parking lot and stopped suddenly so that the car behind them honked back noisily but he paid them no mind. “How do you know her name? Her real name?”

“You mentioned it- out in the ocean. Don’t you remember?”

“No Lillith I don’t.” He narrowed his eyes. “Not that it matters, it's hardly a secret in the club. If there’s anything else you know that you shouldn’t you better tell me now.” He started the car quickly again but it wasn’t for long as they parked and he stepped out of the car indicating she should follow. They were at a hospital.

“You got hurt really bad last night didn’t you?”

He didn’t pause much or react to her claim which made her feel even odder for asking. “Yes. That doesn’t mean we’re here for that. I need you to sit on a meeting with me.” He moved so swiftly that even with her height she had to jog to keep up with him.

Without stopping at the reception to find out where they were going Ikuta Toma moved swiftly through the flurry of doctors and nurses. He was hard to keep up with but she noticed whenever he felt like she’d gotten uncomfortably far from him, he slowed down. He would never voice such a thing though. Before she knew it they’d reached the door they wanted to be at, it was not numbered. In fact it lay right between 152 and 153. As if the numbers had been shifted only to accommodate this particular patient.

They entered the room and she saw that it was a hospital room like any other, the man beneath the sheets almost looked familiar.

It was Shige but yet barely so. The man’s face was bruised and blue to an unrecognizable state, she looked at his arms and saw hints of burns.

"Can anyone tell me what would cause this sort of reaction on a human body? What crime?" Mukai called out over the classroom and immediately his best student shot her hand up smiling.


Arson. He was burned. She turned to look at the man beside her, her eyes flickering in fear. How had he killed Ryo? How had he almost killed Shige?

Despite herself she leaned forward to go sit beside Shige's tormented body, to beg for an apology for doing this to him. Ikuta grabbed her hand and pushed her backwards. “I did not bring you here to nurse the guy back to health, rest back Lillith.” He moved forward first and purposeful Ikuta Toma sat down beside the man he had crippled last night.

Shige did not shift except to exhale slowly in his 'sleep'. “Do you think you’re fooling anyone by pretending you’re not awake?” As if just noticing the bouquet of roses he smiled. “You know its really stupid for someone to bring you roses Shige, you’re not a girl.” Before she could stop Toma he had grabbed a rose from the top and took the petals off roughly pushing his hand onto the burn and crushing the petals in to mix with the blisters and hurt skin, the already weakened membrane was ripping apart under the harshness of the pressure Toma applied to the petals rolling them back and forth.

She never thought she'd see the day when someone screamed at the thought of roses. Shige's screams sounded like death to her ears. “That’s better Kato! Nice reminder from last night isn’t it? I’ll stop now.” He lifted his hand as Shige gave him an expression that showed if he could move past the pain he would have snapped Toma’s neck.

Rie wanted to puke. Shige’s forehead was dripping in perspiration as his breaths slowed. “What do you want?”

She had never wanted to run away as badly as she did right now.

“Nothing. I came to talk Shige…and give a message to your boss but we’ll talk first shall we?” He leaned back in the chair smiling. She was shocked at how handsome he looked and yet she had never seen a crueler smile on anyone’s face before. She held back an involuntary shiver. “Did you or did you not try to kill me?”

“It was an order. I follow my orders, Toma no hard feelings you understand I’m sure.” Shige spat out between gasps of pain. He hadn’t quite recovered yet.

Toma started laughing; except there was nothing funny about the situation they were in. “Why? I understand that Yamapi must be getting tired of losing to me but he should own up to it like a man. I sure as hell would not let a subordinate have the pleasure of taking me out. I want to kill him with my bare hands.” Rie’s eyes flew open. Toma as brutal as he was and as violent as he had a tendency to be, never ever openly vocalized his urge to act violent.

He acted it out but he did not threaten like this.

“You were not the target.” Shige seethed and looked at Rie. So he had noticed she was here she looked away. She couldn’t face him. Toma raised an eyebrow obviously not expecting this answer.

She didn’t know how to react. After all she’d just been told that she was supposed to be shot last night. “Well then, considering that there were only two people around last night, the girl behind me and myself why would you want to kill her? She's not fucking the lady of the house.” If she’d had any doubt about what Christine meant to him, she didn’t anymore.

Shige couldn’t hold back a cackle but hissed shortly after as he felt a pinch of pain. “You must be a fool to not figure that out right away. He knows about her. He doesn’t approve Toma and despite the fact we battle against each other. He called in a favour with Tomohisa-sama, and who is Tomohisa-sama to deny his father-in-law? He didn’t want it to be an inside job because he knew you'd find out about it and either you or Jun would convince him to let her live.”

He…Rie mouthed softly. Who know about who? Called in a favour to kill her? Who would want to kill her? She hadn’t quite pissed off Koyama that much had she? He was Christine's husband's father-in-law?

Toma had another answer on his lips. “Takuya?” Shige’s silence seemed like confirmation to him. “You’re telling me Takuya knows about her.” He pointed backwards to her but didn’t bother to look at her. She couldn’t make out what he felt like, it seemed like his face had lost all emotion.

She remembered when she started this, Toma had mentioned something. Someone if he found out about her and what she was doing for them, her life and his would be in danger.

“Absolutely not. He disapproves of women in our line of work and a girl as weak as her he’ll definitely kill me for it even if she’s not on the front line. Hell he might even kill her. I don’t know but she’s an expense we can’t afford and by taking her on I’m practically handing over everything to you.”


“It’s not so much her that pisses him off…it’s you. He wants to punish you for not staying true to his daughter, for back-using Jun to lie to him about Oliver’s death. She’s not even Christine after all and how many girls do you hope to amass Ikuta? He only tolerated Christine because of blood. This girl means nothing to him. He wouldn’t be scared of killing her off.” That caught her attention as Shige turned to look at her a frown set in his features as he coughed. “You’ve done so much better than this guy that it really does sicken me seeing you with him, Lillith.” Her name came out as an after thought and she felt her throat catch.

“I’m not with him!” She burst out. “It’s- it’s not what you think it is Shige.”

“Don’t try to lie to me!” He interrupted his voice revebrating off the blank walls of the hospital and she felt her body freeze. “I know what I saw Lillith, don’t you FUCKING try to lie to me. I saw you jump in front of this guy.” She cast her eyes downwards, the silence in the room uncomfortable. “No one in their right mind would save this jackass and I really wonder what’s going through your mind. You’re obviously a bat shit crazy slut. If only the world were to know.” He started laughing and suddenly she knew.

It all made sense. Why Koyama had only approached her after she got shot...why Shige was disappointed in her right now.

Koyama Keiichiro and Kato Shigeaki weren’t just anyone. They weren’t just people who had happened to get interested in her strangely as a new recruit at Tryst.

They were all taking care of her. They were watching over her just as her.

She felt her heart pump beyond itself as she realized.

They knew about Mukai.

They knew Mukai. They were part of the operation. They were the ones watching over her and yet they were meant to shoot her? How could they support her, a member of the justice department, and be criminals themselves?

Her officers had approve this? But last night, her chief’s face looked shocked as he took in her bloodied fabric. Mukai-

Before she could jump to her defense Toma had tightened his hold on Shige’s burn and she saw Shige wince. His body writhing in pain, but Toma didn’t stop. He pulled his hand away into his jacket and pulled out a lighter and got ready to light Shige’s body on fire again.

Before Rie could think more she jumped forward and pulled on his hand roughly. “Toma stop.” She whispered softly in his ear but he wasn’t paying attention, the flame from the lighter coming close to the white fabric an inch away from bursting into orange. “TOMA! STOP!” She shrieked as Toma continued looking downwards angrily at the cocky Kato who knew that by Toma’s actions he’d accomplished the best he could in this disadvantaged battle. He’d angered the guy to an unreal extreme. “Toma...he doesn’t deserve that.” Toma suddenly looked back at her his eyes slowly letting reality back into them as he shut the lighter off. He pulled his arm from hers.

“Don’t talk to her like that again if you want to live. She’s a far more honorable person than you are Kato Shigeaki even if she is an idiot half the time.” He got up quickly and gave her a look to follow him as they got ready to leave. Her confusion at his words marring her forehead with unnecessary wrinkles…she was not an idiot he needed to stop calling her that. “Tell Yamapi he won, Christine’s going back. Tell him to stay the fuck away from Lillith from now on, whether Takuya ordered it or not. And tell him if he wants to kill me to come out like a man and shoot me because I can’t stand this fucking shit any longer.” She was shocked to find that he didn’t bother waiting for her to keep up with him because he’d grabbed her hand and in an instant they were out of the door.

But not before they heard Shige laughing. “WE’RE CLOSER THAN YOU THINK.”

Rie felt a headache hit her because the we that Shige was talking about wasn’t him or anyone from the Yamashita yakuza clan.

It was her. She was their weapon and she couldn't help but think as she looked between where Shige's door had been and the back of the man pulling her ahead.

What side was the right side?
End Notes:
SO DO YOU REALIZE HOW HAPPY I AM BRINGING THIS CHAPTER OUT.

Yeah I'm really happy and just because I'm paranoid that I didn't explain the situation well enough and a lot of shit just went DOWN these last two chapters for anyone whose feeling confused about wtf just happened let me break it down for you very easily. Christine is Ikuta Toma's lover. She also happens to be married to the head of a rival Yakuza clan known as the Yamashitas. Christine used to be Toma's best friend and when she was being abused after getting married Toma saved her and kept her by his side refusing to return her. Yamashita sent in Koyama undercover to watch over Christine and remind her that one day she would be forced to return.



The two men in the car who shot Lillith a while ago were Nishikido Ryo and Kato Shigeaki, both are members of the Yamashita clan. Ikuta Toma managed to kill Ryo but not Shige. Toma was caught for his acts and tortured. Christine traded her freedom for his so he wouldn't be killed.



As for the whole what the hell are members of the Yamashita clan protecting/trying to kill Lillith? What is up with Christine and the whole mess with Toma and the Takuya-clan?



Yeah sorry that stuff will come up soon :D so I can't tell you guys now. BUT HOLY SHIT DID A LOT OF SHIT GO DOWN OR WHAT? Yeah sorry if it was confusing :( I'm really bad at accurately laying it out sometimes if you guys want to give me tips or pointers on how I could improve that would be great :D if you want to tell me you enjoyed the update that would be great too honestly because I'm really proud of it and it's always good to hear that people enjoyed it :D



That all being said I'd like to thank my reviewer(s T.T?): maohartjun :D thank you for reviewing sweetie :) and you'll all be glad to know things are going to start moving really quickly now. Once I figured out how to structure the last chapter and lead it into this one...lets just say everything's going to get a lot more gore-y and a lot more M-Rated than it has been so far.



ARE WE EXCITED I AM? OMG. I've never written gore or violence or blood and MY GOD AM I EXCITED. I'm probably turning off all my readers who are here for the romance...so DON'T WORRY YOU'LL GET A LOT OF ROMANCE TOO. I mean just look at all the revelations we had this chapter Christine is Toma's lover O.O? Like for sure for sure! She's married! Mukai KNOWS EVERYTHING. Yeah dw. The romance remains :) and intensifies.



NOW THIS CRAZY PERSON WILL SHUT UP. And shoot previews at you awesome readers :)



Previews:



“I’m sorry she left.”



“JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP LILLITH.”



“She’s my fiancé. She has to be if I’m supposed to contend to take over after Takuya. She didn’t want the business, neither did her sister…but if they didn’t get it their husbands had to.”



“Why are you so scared of him?”




“Because he needs a new victim Lillith and I'm sorry to say but you're the perfect target.”
Deceive by Anna Clair
Author's Notes:
So as you may be able to tell. I'm very very inspired for this story.

Hopefully this is a good thing :) Some questions you guys have had are going to be answered here.

I hope the answers are satisfactory.

If you'd like music, please listen to Fade Into Darkness - Avicii, Feel so Close - Calvin Harris



What was happening? Toma’s grip on her hand was painful and she felt a small slime on her skin, probably from the blisters on Shige’s arm and a part of her resisted throwing up. The wind slapped her hair against her face but at the speed they were walking at she barely had time to keep up with her thoughts.

Mukai wouldn’t be able to talk to her, he couldn’t. She was sure her chief would want her even more isolated than usual when it came to her fiancé.

The chief had not wanted her to know who her guardians were watching over her...but at the same time. All she wanted was to sit down with him and find out what was happening...why members of another yakuza clan were the ones taking care of her safety? Did he know that these people he had trusted had tried to shoot her? Had he allowed it? Was he behind the shooting? Who was behind the shooting? Was it really this Takuya?

Ikuta let go of her hand as they reached the car and she got in quickly. They were speeding down the highway and she was really starting to get scared when she saw the back of a white truck a little too close to the windshield.

Still she stayed silent because she knew that whatever she was feeling. That would be multiplied by ten for the man beside her.

After all Christol- no Christine had left. “I’m sorry she left.” She muttered out softly unable to hold herself back.

The grip he held over the steering wheel tightened as he shook his head. “JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP LILLITH." His loud words caught her off guard as she gripped seat belt to steel herself from any further words. The rest of his speech was considerably calmer. "That’s not what I care about right now. I'm more concerned about how I explain your existence to Takuya. Obviously Jun won’t fucking own up to wanting you as a part of the team…” He switched lanes cutting off a black car whose driver flipped him off. “We’re going there now and remember to only say what I tell you to say. If I don’t clear this up he-“ He shook his head. What on earth could he possibly tell her to say anyways? There was no way to prepare for this. They'd just have to go in headfirst. “On second thought, just be honest.”

Be honest. It was a simple enough instruction.

But nothing about her situation here was honest. “Toma-“

“Please Lillith. Just don’t talk okay? The less we talk about this, the more secure I’ll feel.” She agreed looking down at her lap playing with the frayed edge of her denim shorts sighing.

A few more minutes went by but they stayed in the right most lane, speeding far more than their counterparts in the other four lanes. Her eyes slid to where Toma gripped the wheel and held his bottom lip between his teeth. She’d never seen him so frustrated. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get us in trouble with Takuya. I honestly just wanted to help you guys out.” She turned to look at him and bent her head down in apology. She saw his eyes flicker towards hers for a second.

“You’re the only person you got into trouble Lillith.” He whispered softly, his tone melancholic. He switched gears and sped up as he looked at her arm. She saw the way his throat bobbled up and down as if the guilt from what had happened to her was choking him. It was barely visible under her black leather jacket but there was a chunky sort of feel to her left arm where the bandage was wrapped tightly. “He thinks that we’re together, I can tell because of the way Shige spoke. Takuya'd barely tolerated Christine...how could he tolerate anyone else? On top of that you’ve been brought into our plans. You’re close to Jun. For all we know Talia could have been the one who pushed this. Maybe even Mao but she's not that insane. Talia is though. Otherwise Takuya would have definitely brought it up with me at our meetings.”

“Talia?” It was a name that was unfamiliar to her...but yet sounded as if she had heard it before. For a brief moment she was brought back to her first night at Tryst but she couldn't remember meeting a Talia that day.

He winced as he spoke the next words. “She’s my fiancé. She has to be if I’m supposed to contend to take over after Takuya. She didn’t want the business, neither did Mao…but if they didn’t get the business, their husbands had to. Takuya wanted his blood to remain in the lineage.”

What a bizarre arrangement she'd gotten herself involved with. He was Talia's fiancé, the love of Christine's life, and her equal in all things criminal. She didn't have time to reply to his revelation though. The anxious Ikuta beside her fretted over words she hadn't yet said. “Please understand that everything you say to him can be used against you, one wrong word and he won’t think twice about-” His eyes raked her outfit, but there was nothing lustful about his once-over. If anything he looked worried as he looked at her bare legs and groaned.

“Why are you so scared of him?” She pulled on her shorts, trying to lengthen their reach to no fruition.

“Because he needs a new victim Lillith and I'm sorry to say this but you're the perfect target.” He looked down at her and grumbled further as he rolled his eyes. "Button up all the buttons on your shirt. We have to make you look as unattractive as possible. If you piss him off enough he won't just kill you but place you in the human trafficking department."

Rie bit her tongue as she curled over herself buttoning her shirt up all the way. “He wouldn’t.”

"He's a yakuza...a true yakuza. Who doesn't give a shit about anything. If he's interested he'll take you and toss you aside. He's not as nice as Jun or I." He switched lanes riskily. At least she was still alive but apparently it wouldn’t be for long. “And he would, especially if you’ve angered Talia. It won't be about his satisfaction...but your punishment.”

“Why would I have done that?! I haven’t even met the girl!” They would come to save her right? Mukai and her-

She couldn’t be sure of anything. Not after what Shige and Keii had become to her. God knew what she was doing here.

“She’s been to the club a few times. If she saw you with Jun and I- that would be it. It must have been Jun. He should have known better than to be so openly affectionate with you. I'm never with you out in the open.” Finally they were slowing down and heading off the ramp on the highway. It was a large open town, they were outside of Tokyo but not by far. Still the greenery showed that this area had yet to be tainted by the metropolis.

“I have a question Toma.”

“Since I seem to be in a mood to respond you can ask.”

“Why were you sleeping with Christine even if she’s married and you’re engaged? Why wouldn’t Talia kill her but feel like she had the power to kill me if she so wanted to?” She had no illusions about the nature of Toma and Christine’s relationship now. They were obviously meant for each other and yet the fact they couldn’t be together both pleased her and hurt her.

“If Talia asked Takuya to kill Christine, he probably would except Christine is the wife of the Yamashita clan." She nodded her understanding but it was short lived as Toma continued. "There’s one other factor that largely separates Christine and you.”

“What’s that?”

He gulped, the silence in their car making both their heads pound until finally Toma decided that she could know. “Christine is Takuya’s illegitimate daughter.”

------------------------

They moved quickly past the empty hallways of the traditional styled Japanese house, wooden floors creaked beneath their bare feet. Rie felt as if her heart started beating faster every single time she heard them creak almost prophetically.

Eventually they stopped by large doors guarded by five men. One in front and two each flanking each side. One of them she recognized from the club but he’d never been to any meetings inside. He gave Toma look noticing who was behind him but moved aside nevertheless opening the door. Toma nodded and they stepped through and Rie felt a strange sort of aura hit her.

The room felt dangerous like there would be weapons and arms all over but yet there was nothing of the sort. Instead it was quite beautifully arranged without arms or any products of warfare.

Outside a private screen door, there lay a lush scenery of green plants, flowers, and trees. Each side of that entry way was flanked by two bonsai. Indeed the only thing that let her know this room was dangerous was the people in it, most noticeably a man laughing with Jun and two other girls.

At the sight of Toma’s harried appearance and her own though, all smiles disappeared. Jun actually turned away from the sight of her completely as if ashamed of something. He was acting strange, he'd ignored her last night too. She felt her eyes probe his but he didn't return her gaze or her look. Just remained frozen holding onto the hand of the younger girl with a death grip.

“This is her then.” The older looking girl spoke out. Her limbs were folded over themselves while she sat but Rie could tell she was tall and shapely. Her mouth was stretched into a smile that instilled fear to those who were unlucky enough to see it. “She’s not bad Toma…I can see why you were unfaithful. She’s got a body like an assassin. Grrr.” She jokingly lifted her hand in a claw and at Rie's blank expression simply frowned. "No sense of humor though. Like a block of unfeeling ice. You could have done better there."

Rie saw Toma’s hands tense as his eyes narrowed at the girl who insinuated something. It was only for a second though as he turned his attention to the older man. The man held the smallest of smiles on his face as he took in Rie’s fear “Takuya…there is nothing going on between this girl here and I. Despite what Talia may be trying to insinuate.”

So that was Talia. The infamous fiancé.

“Didn’t you kiss her?” Rie’s eyes widened. It was Jun who said this. Why was he doing this? She looked at him helpless and he only offered her a snarky smile. He didn't speak to her in the past 48 hours and the first thing he said was this. What was he trying to do?

Still despite herself under the stiff collar of her shirt, she felt her neck get hot. “That was to prove a point, Jun. To get her to leave. Like you haven’t insinuated things with Lillith." His anger was starting to show.

How much longer till Ikuta Toma snapped like he had in the hospital room?

“I didn’t act on anything. Mao knows I enjoy flirting with the new girls and she’s completely fine with that.” Mao, the other girl here.

Rie noticed that at the statement, Talia looked to the plainer looking female. She looked very young, probably younger than she actually was. Her hair was brushed back into a simple pony tail and unlike Talia she did not dress glamorously or indeed look like a supermodel. Where Talia wore a well pressed chiffon cream skirt under which a stark black button up was tucked in, Mao wore faded denim with cut outs and a graphic tee. Talia's shoes of choice were scarily high brass strappy stilettos, and Mao's feet were snugly happy in home booties inlaid with fur.

Rie didn't need some sort of confirmation to understand that Mao must have been Takuya's daughter from a second marriage. Other than affection the two sisters seemed to share nothing.

Mao's expression was tight at Jun's words, her knuckles a pale white as if controlling her anger. Mao was the type of girl who could never be okay with Jun's words but Jun was not the type of man who would listen calmly to her desires, Rie was sure. He was forceful and if she argued he would yell. If she fought, he would scream. If she cried, he would simply leave.

“It’s not like I would have a problem with it if you two were doing things together." Talia corrected holding a manicured hand out. "To be fair though Toma, it's not my heart any of us were worried about it. Rather the heart of my dear sister, Christine. I refuse to let you take her for a fool.” Talia leaned back and examined her perfectly manicured nails then running them through her luscious brown locks.

If any of the three sisters that Rie had the inconvenience of knowing looked like Takuya it was Talia. Her eyes flashed with the same amount of ferocity. She was the most nonchalant of them all. She used humor as a tool of terror, and not to mention she was dangerously beautiful when she smiled.

Toma started laughing and clapped his hands as he dashed forward. In seconds he had grabbed the girl by the fabric of her shirt and was holding her up on her perfectly poised toes. He stared at her so intently that Rie felt goosebumps for her.

Talia wasn't fazed the slightest though as he snarled in her face, his teeth like a wolf that looked ready to bite out her jugular and toss it aside. “Then why the fuck are you still marrying me if you’re determined to help your sister out Talia?” Rie looked between them all, how could they all let themselves get this way? With their relations so horribly contorted?

Takuya had enough of this drama when he saw his daughter's life in Toma's hands. Not that Toma would have been foolish enough to do anything. He banged his fist against the table and everyone silenced as they looked at the man at the head of the room.

“Come here.” He ordered as he looked directly at Rie and now Rie saw Jun flinch as if he did want to protect her from Takuya.

After all, he had never intended on having her land here in front of Takuya. He’d just wanted to use her to get Toma out of the competition for the clan and boy had Toma fallen for the bait entirely too easily.

Rie slowly stepped forward trying to keep her hands from shaking but she knew it wasn’t working when she heard Talia snicker behind her palm.

Toma gave the beauty a dirty look and immediately his fiancé was silenced but the smile never left her lips, acting as a safe guard until she could laugh openly. Rie slowly sat down beside the yakuza as Toma trudged over loudly and took his spot beside Talia. It was a horrible sight seeing the two couples as all four of them were forced into this, none of them really wanting the other.

Rie was positively sure Mao was forced into this arrangement so Jun could garner the power he really required to snatch the title from Toma. He did nothing to respect her position, and she seemed to detest looking at him completely. Her eyes continuously transfixed on her thighs. Talia didn’t mind being linked to Toma but at the same time it seemed only because she had some other plan up her sleeve, or maybe it was because she was waiting for Toma to do something stupid enough to fuck up their engagement.

After all, he hated her too much to go through with it and loved Christine too much for it ever to be a real marriage. No, Rie realized, Talia already had a plan and she wasn’t going to let the world know and she wasn't going to rely on chance either.

And then there was her. Rie, who really didn’t know what she was doing as she looked into the eyes of Takuya. Even in Akihabara she hadn’t been this scared. There was something positively snake-like about his eyes that made you sure if you made one false move, venom would course through your veins in an instant. “Maguri Lillith desu. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.” She bowed her head only to hear the sound of laughter come through the chest before her.

“At least you have manners. Very well. If you’re going to behave with class as shall I.” Then the yakuza boss did something unexpected and lowered his head. “Kimura Takuya desu. Yoroshiku Lillith.” The silence was unnerving as they all waited for Takuya to do something to Lillith. Anything at all really - hit her, scream at her, whip out his gun and shoot her in the head, throw her out…but they remained silent. “Lillith, you saved Toma did you not?”

“Hai.” She kept her gaze downwards and heard Jun scoff. Despite the trouble that decision had brought her she couldn’t regret it because right now he was the only person in the room who would fight Takuya if she was killed.

Or at least so she hoped.

Shockingly understanding, she felt the man’s hands came to caress her cheek. From the corner of her eyes she saw Toma jolt forward as Talia grabbed his arm and pulled him back to his seat. “You can look at me you know…I won’t hurt you if you answer me correctly. If you don’t I’ll be forced to kill you or worse." She didn't need to put much imagination to that. Toma had already told her what was awaiting her. She was no Christine but still she hoped he wouldn't let that happen.

"However, if you’re willing to work with me. I’ll work with you Lillith! Won't that be nice?” She slowly brought her gaze upwards unable to stop her breathing from growing erratic. What a fucking wimp she truly was in the end. Placing her hopes for survival on Ikuta Toma. “Why did you do that Lillith? What on earth made you want to save this man? Can you tell me?” She couldn’t cry and yet her chest constricted. She didn’t even know herself what made her jump in front of him but how did this look? “If you don’t tell me soon I’ll call in the men with the guns outside Lillith…now come on we don’t want that.”

She felt a tear leak out of her eyes and Takuya’s hand moved it away. Toma lunged forward despite Talia’s move to hold him back and he looked Takuya straight in the eye removing the older man's hands from Lillith’s face. “You think if you stopped intimidating her she’d fucking speak up yeah?”

Jun hissed in pain as Takuya started laughing.Obviously that wasn't a good sign. “You want to be disrespectful Toma when I’m giving you a chance to keep this girl alive if she can fucking open her mouth?!” He yelled out and Toma flinched. He knew he shouldn’t have dashed forward but Rie understood that she must have looked so helpless he had no option. Even now as she couldn't control her breathing she felt his eyes on her, his own breaths at an even pace as if he was trying to influence her own so she'd calm down.

Takuya nodded as if understanding he dynamic between Rie and Toma. He brought both hands over Rie’s face and came close to her as if he was about to kiss her but he wouldn’t. She gulped softly unable to look away as all of the sudden she saw his hands move away and he punched Toma in the face so hard she saw blood rise to his mouth almost instantly. She moved back to look at it apologetically. What was she doing? She was never this cowardly.

That seemed to be the push she needed. Immediately, she turned back to Takuya, a strength building her body as she straightened her spine. No longer was she shivering or on the verge of tears. “I wanted to get his trust Kimura-san, plain and simple. It’s no fun working for a yakuza group if you don’t actually know what they’re doing half the time and Toma was making me translate all the boring things. Stuff that would make you yawn really…I mean think about it. The whole reason I volunteered was to become a dangerous femme fatale who was FINALLY doing something bad for the first time in her life and then this guy locks her out. I’m sorry that’s not living out my fantasy.” She shrugged as she moved back and hissed looking at Toma.

If Talia could make jokes, she could attempt to look just as confident. “You really didn’t need to hurt him that bad though…I admit we’re not doing anything you, Talia or Christine would be ashamed of. I couldn’t. I’m very much in love with my boyfriend; he’s far more perfect than the conflicted emotionally psychotic Ikuta Toma. So whatever motive you guys thought I had behind this you’re all sorely mistaken. It was a purely selfish act.”

With a final swoop she leaned back on her arms arrogantly as she saw Takuya’s eyebrows raised at her swagger. “If you’d like to kill me now please go for it. Though honestly you know it’s a mistake don’t you? You know that I could be of more use to you than Oliver ever could…because Oliver’s not me and I’m the best Kimura Takuya-san. I promise you that.”

It was a lot of lip to give to a yakuza leader but at least he hadn’t pulled out his gun yet which made her speech something of a success. She took a moment to look around the room and saw Jun smiling at her. She couldn’t forgive him and yet she felt happy seeing him smile. It was horrible but she still thought of the guy as her friend. Mao calmly spoke out for the first time. “I don’t think she’s lying.”

Takuya turned to look at his daughter with a smile on his face. “That’s why you’re my favourite Mao… you’re actually of use.” He laughed when he saw his other daughter fume as she stood up on her heels and made a move to leave in anger but then just rushed back to sit in her seat.

“Who am I kidding? This is the best entertainment I’ve had in this house since you announced Mao and Jun’s arrangement.” Being shockingly kind Talia pulled her future husband, who had been lying down beside Rie and Takuya, by the arm and sat him down beside her. Takuya must have really hurt him or so she hoped when she saw Toma wasn't struggling as Talia made him lean his head back so he was lying on the ground with his head in her lap.

For a second Rie saw the cruel girl's eyes fade to a more apologetic expression. As if this wasn’t what she wanted to happen.

They had never wanted Toma hurt in all this, just safe and sound and away.

Jun wanted to use the fake relationship he was promoting in front of Takuya to kick Toma out. Talia had wanted to kill her but never hurt Toma in her quest. Rie was supposed to die, and Toma was supposed to live on but never be a part of this clan.

She didn’t have time to focus on her theory though because Takuya turned her attention back towards him. “You can translate for us as long as you promise you will not be on the front of the lines when the shipment comes in. If you keep that promise…I’ll look into promoting you. Maybe even to human trafficking. You can manage some of my girls.” Rie’s eyes grew wide again as she remembered Toma's words. No way-

“You fucking put her in your brothels and I’ll burn them down Tak-“ Talia clapped a hand over Toma’s mouth as he grumbled and Takuya looked at Toma his eyes flaring up in anger again.

“I understand I’ve given you the liberty to do a lot of things but the next time you speak out may be your last Toma. Fine. She won’t go into human trafficking. You can stay right under Toma where he wants you.” He started laughing when he head Toma huff as Talia laughed and pinched his cheeks.

Rie's eyes widened. That was not the same Ikuta Toma she knew, he would never let her pinch his cheeks. “I told you there’s nothing going on between me and her.”

“Then stop being so protective of Lillith!” Talia teased laughing as she ran her hands through his hair. Toma slapped her hands away and sat up by himself again. If anything the two were more like brother and sister and Rie understood now. That was what Takuya saw Toma and Jun like…sons, which was why he allowed Toma to back answer him so freely to an extent.

She turned to look at Takuya who smiled at her and pressed a soft kiss on her cheek. “I look forward to your work, Rie. Don’t disappoint me. Or I’ll have to reconsider my decision to keep you alive even if you are too pretty to let go to waste.”

As if having had enough Toma grabbed her hand and lifted her up with such force she felt like she was flying in the air. They were just making a move to leave when the youngest of the daughters spoke out softly.

"Toma-" Mao blinked as she looked at her future brother-in-law. "She hasn't left yet you know? They're picking her up later tonight. She’s waiting to say goodbye.”

Rie's hand was immediately let go of and as she looked down at it she felt her throat close up. Toma moved towards Mao purposefully but it was Talia who spoke next.

“She’s not coming back this time. It's time she learned you won't always come back to save her. That he's a fate she simply must accept.” Talia uttered softly.

"Shut up Talia." Toma couldn't say it outloud but Rie heard it in her head. His words meant that no matter what they said to him...he would never let her go.

It was as if her presence was completely erased as Toma ran out of the room past her, his feet making loud noises on the wood.

Only when the area became completely silent again Rie realized that she was still here...with no way to get back, and no way to understand what it was she did next. Wait till Toma and Christine were done their good byes? That could take some time...and she wasn't sure she wanted to be privy to that yet.

Jun must have pitied her because he cleared his throat, directing all the attention towards him. “Is it all right if I drive her home?” He looked to Mao and Takuya both garnering their approval as he stood up smiling and Rie shook her head. “Now now…I promised you a ride that time! Remember! Outside the warehouse?”

He'd thrown her under the bus but mere minutes ago, no way she was going home with him. “Fuck off Jun.” Jun’s good humor immediately disappeared as he grabbed her hand and dragged her out of the room as she struggled against him and Takuya laughed openly and Mao muttered something about wanting to go paint.

She was a toy. She was a freaking toy in their world, someone who could be thrashed around and pulled when wanted closer or thrown away.

She still wasn't any surer which side was the side of justice.

But it definitely wasn't by Matsumoto Jun's side.
End Notes:
DID YOU HAVE FUN?

Okay... lets see some of the questons you guys had in the reviews and I'll try to get down some answers here. MUKAI IS COMING BACK. YES HE IS. That man is perfection.

Shige and Ryo- they're a little confusing right now but lets get them sorted out incase it's not clear. At the beginning of the story the chief assured Rie there would be some people looking over her but she couldn't know their identities for her own safety. The people looking over her turned out to be Shige and Koyama Keiichiro, who coincidentally are a part of Yamashita Tomohisa's gang. (Why are they both? We'll find out soon :) )

So why did Shige try to kill Rie? Takuya sent in an order to kill her. (More on this next chapter, it may still be fuzzy right now). To avoid facing Jun and Toma's questions he sent it to his son-in-law's clan. Yamashita Tomohisa decided Shige and Ryo would be the two that would take out Rie...they aimed incorrectly but ended up shooting Rie anyways because she dashed in front of Toma.

Better :D? As for the other stuff...why Toma let himself get tortured so easily? Why is Christine going back really?Etc. Etc. will all be solved in the future :D

I'd like to quickly thank my awesome reviewers :D maohartjun, Christine and Ooper! You guys got me to finish this faster :D!

If you enjoyed something or have questions on the story feel free to review and tell me! I'll try my best to answer them without spoiling anything for you lot :D

So I guess that's it? I've written quite a bit of the next chapter :) so that shouldn't take too long either. I have it pretty much down pat.

Previews :D

“I can’t do it anymore- I can’t support you anymore. Do you know how much that hurts?”

“We’re all caged here…not unwillingly but we are.”

“She’s not beyond it…she is born of the same flesh and blood that whole family is.”

“The funny thing is Toma, you couldn’t stand up for us…and that killed us. And now you're standing up for someone that will definitely kill you.”

Also, the easy answer to Rie's motivation is obviously her getting his trust...but next chapter we'll see Rie really try to understand why she did what she did. YES. YES. WE'RE GETTING TO THAT POINT IN THE STORY.

Till next time my beloveds :)

Pursue by Anna Clair
Author's Notes:
No music recommendations this time guys :)

I listened to Sabotage by Chisu if you really want something or Thick Twice by Groove Armada.

I love you all for reading this :) you are the bomb.




They weren’t going the same way Toma had dragged her through though. The myriad of hallways that she was being pulled through now were totally different.

She found her feet tripping over themselves as Jun moved swiftly through the short wooden and paper made hallways. He really didn’t care whether she banged against the wall or him or whether her limbs were bruised at the speed at which they were rushing through the house.

Finally they seemed to have reached their destination. She heaved soft breaths into her lungs placing a hand over the bones in her chest. It wasn’t at a door in particular but at the opening long corridor of rooms. “Out of breath already? Here I was thinking you had better stamina. What a disappointment.” She gave the man before her a dirty look as he snickered at her expression. “Relax I need to pick something up then we’ll go. Don’t move an inch and you won’t get hurt okay?”

“Would you really hurt me?” She couldn’t help but bite out. Jun liked to talk big but when it came to action she didn’t really see him ever really hurting her.

He scoffed. “I said that for your benefit more than mine. Stay where you are…or you’ll hurt yourself.” It was a strange parting gaze he gave her. A mixture of disappointment and pity and she couldn't help but hate him for it. Who was he to look at her like that when he'd almost killed her back there with his father-in-law?

Jun disappeared along the corridor and she stood quietly by the entryway. What choice did she really have other than to shut up and stay anyways?

That was when she heard it, the loud bellow of a man whose voice was really too familiar, at a scene that was too curious to not look into.

Jun may have been right but there was too much detective in her blood to not want to find out what was happening. “WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO SAY?”

A loud shriek interrupted the bellow as she reached the door and cracked it open just in time to see Christol slap Toma. “HOW ABOUT FUCKING SORRY? DOES THAT WORK FOR YOU? TOMA HOW COULD YOU DO THAT? DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE?” The girl’s eyes were tightly shut as if she couldn’t afford him seeing her weakness, every piece of her body shook with anger and Ikuta beside her tensed.

Both Rie and Christine would know why all his gestures were like this. Why he would hold himself back even though he so obviously didn’t want to. He couldn’t bear seeing Christol cry and know simultaneously that she was only crying because of him.

Yet he couldn’t say sorry because he wasn’t and Ikuta Toma was never the type of man who did things he would have to later apologize for. His every action was planned so that he would never have to demean himself like that and make himself vulnerable before another human. So all he did was move forward quickly and in a flash his lips enveloped that of the girl before him.

It was the only apology he could give her.

It was strange that Rie felt her eyes avert as quickly as she did because she found herself looking at the thin walls before her and gulped softly. It was like an automatic reaction she hadn’t even thought about. Had she wanted to look away? Not that she should be looking into these things or wanting to look into them- indeed she knew she shouldn’t. These moments were not meant for her eyes and yet she simply couldn’t walk away from them.

She heard a whimper fly to her ears accompanied by silent sobs and Toma’s heavy breaths as he pulled Christine to him. There was a rip of fabric and she gulped squeezing her eyes shut more than before as if she blocked out all sight so would the sound disappear.

A snarl came forth from Toma’s throat and she felt her heart jump into her throat, her stomach plunge all the way down to her toes and she leaned against the wall.

But it didn’t because Christine’s voice led out a series of notes in soprano and Rie felt her stomach turn over itself as she clapped a hand over her mouth to resist making a sound in response. She wondered what sound her own mouth would make if she hadn't covered it. Revulsion? Shock?

Or maybe she'd scream so loud she didn't know why she was screaming.

Though Christine was angry, Rie knew the girl couldn’t just walk away from all of what Toma was trying to sway her with…because after all Toma was the love her life.

And you can't just walk away from the love of your life...not when it was using it’s mouth to plead with you.

She wondered if she could have ever walked away from Mukai but she supposed she wouldn’t really know until they were in that situation. Would Mukai ever look at her like that, with desperation and disappointment?

Rie tried to calm her thoughts before they grew even more frantic and her heart before it became loud enough that they could hear. She made a move to start leaving, careful to tread softly, when she heard it.

There was a large intake of breath from both parties, they’d parted from ravaging each other.

Despite her better judgment she felt her eyes turn back to the scene playing out. Christine was crumbled on the ground in a heap. Toma was leaning down beside her. “I can’t do it anymore- I can’t support you anymore. Do you know how much that hurts?” Her face was dug deep into her hands as if she felt ashamed of the words leaving her mouth.

“I don’t need you to support me Christine.” His words were soft and the bitter edge to them could not be ignored. Christine lifted her eyes from her hands, her curly hair twisting over her face in a manner so pretty that Rie understood why half the men in the bar were crazy over her, why Takuya would want to use her as a means to an end.

“That's not my name anymore. You might still be Toma but I stopped being 'Christine' a long time ago. When you stopped being with me and when I married that asshole." She laughed softly but there was nothing funny about the situation, she was leaving for that asshole now after all.

For a brief second, Rie remembered Koyama who was one of Yamapi’s lackeys. Would he leave with her as well? Would he have another option? His official assignment hadn't been taking care of Rie after all- he'd always been here for Christine. If she was no longer there, there would be no reason for Koyama to stay at Tryst either.

When her eyes turned back to the two hidden in the room, Toma had started to cradle Christine in his arms like a precious jewel. Rie bit her lip to hold back a scream that licked the edge of her teeth teasingly. She shut her eyes as she saw his hands caress the top of her head as Christine’s arms wrapped around him in return. “I won’t stop…you know that. I won’t let you stay there. I’ll bring you back. I promise.”

“Don’t say that.” Christine’s tone was harsh and Rie couldn’t help but open her eyes again. She was looking at him like she didn’t believe him, but more like she was about to cry again. "The worst part is... you let him have me, the thing that I’ve exchanged for you…I can’t leave it alone in that world. Or another monster like Yamashita Tomohisa or Takuya would be created and I could never forgive myself for such an action.” She pulled herself off him and he looked at her hurt tugging on her hand again.

Rie found herself detesting the sight of the woman who could bring forth such a gentle Ikuta Toma. This was an Ikuta she had never seen herself nor did she think she would ever be privy to seeing. Rie wasn’t someone to protect to him after all…not the way Christine was.

“Christine-”

A bitter laugh stopped him from coming up with what would only sound like another excuse to Christine's jaded ears. “The funny thing is Toma, you couldn’t stand up for us…and that killed us. And now you're standing up for someone that will definitely kill you.” Rie opened her mouth to gasp and she felt a hand clap over it and saw the flashing eyes of a very angry Jun beside her.

Before she could look at Toma’s reaction to Christine’s words she was dragged away, struggling only slightly because she knew if Jun had never shown up then maybe she would have seen it all and she couldn’t bear the thought of it somehow. Like seeing everything they would exchange would-

Well the idea of it was just agonizing.

They were silent all the way to the car and it was only once she was in the car did she realize she had tears in her eyes, that she was crying and that no matter how many breaths she took or how much she slapped her cheeks that her tears weren’t relenting. A shriek escaped her lips despite her trying to control the level of noise she was making.

It didn’t matter that Jun was here and it didn’t matter that she looked positively insane doing it. It didn’t matter because it had been so long and everything that was happening was finally catching up to her. She couldn’t take it. It was as if Christine’s words had set off a bomb in her that wouldn’t shut up. She was going to ruin him. It was a fact beyond truth and yet the more she got to know him the more she understood that she couldn't do it.

She was shocked to feel Jun’s hand land on her curled back and slowly he ran his hand across her back trying to comfort her. There was nothing disgusting or lusty about his touch and it seemed to do the trick as she slowly raised herself back up unable to stop the sobs that continuously racked her lungs. “Because of me…because of me they can’t be together.” That is the only acceptable reason she can give him right now.

“It isn’t because of you.” Jun corrected quickly as her eyes directed towards his face. “It doesn’t have anything to do with you. None of this does…but we’re all using you as we like, maybe not the way we usually end up using the girls at the club but it doesn’t change its effect. It’s breaking you and I’m sorry about that.” He was apologizing for what he’d done back there. What he’d tried to make her so Toma would get in trouble, what had almost killed her.

She couldn't forgive him that easily. “Why did Takuya want me dead Jun?” Her question caught him off guard but he didn’t yell at her. Not like he had on the day he’d caught her staring at Sam and Junno. As if he understood that she was no longer just some girl in the club but a more important piece in this game than he’d originally intended.

A pawn who became a knight.

“Let’s drive for a while…then we’ll talk okay Lillith?” Her nod was the only agreement he needed as he turned out of the house quickly. “We’re all caged here…not unwillingly but we are.” His thought was meant to jog her mind she was sure. Jun didn’t drive like Jin or Toma. His moves were precise, like he’d already calculated how everything would turn out.

If a car came in front of him that he hadn’t anticipated, she could see his face contort distastefully and he’d snarl and swerve away from the unexpected event.

Finally they reached a place that she knew wasn’t her home and she knew it couldn’t have been because he didn’t want to take her home yet. Once she saw they were walking towards a bar though her feet stopped moving and she grabbed his arm roughly giving him a pointed look. “I need a drink if I’m going to be talking to you about this.” He explained quickly pulling on her hand without a care. He didn’t bother waiting to be seated but walked to an empty black booth.

She sat across from him and saw that shockingly unlike the Jun she’d seen inside Takuya’s house. The dim light surrounding their booth darkened his expression. His eyes looked puffy and she wondered what had caused this sort of a tiredness to grace his face. “It wasn’t Takuya Lillith, it was Christine who wanted you dead.” He cleared his throat. Rie felt her fists tighten at his next words as she looked away from his face.

“It’s my fault...it’s all my fault. That’s why I need your forgiveness, I didn’t want to kill you. I never expected it would go that far. I just wanted to use you to get Toma out of the running. Somehow contort what the two of you were actually doing into something much more. Christine overheard me whispering things in Takuya’s ears about how careful Toma is to never let you the new girl out of his sight. I don’t know what happened after but I’m sure she asked him to get rid of you somehow, told him why you two were together all the time. How Toma’s worked against him by hiring you…pushing all the blame on you. I’m sure of it. Takuya couldn’t use any of his own men of course…Toma or I would have found out and stopped anything from happening, we would have saved you. He couldn't let that happen so Takuya went to that monster son-in-law of his ,” Rie wondered why it was that everyone referred to Christol’s husband as such. Jun’s eyes flashed upwards as he looked at her again with the same pathetic pleading in his eyes. “She’s not beyond it…she is born of the same flesh and blood that whole family is.”

A silence came over them and she found herself looking up at him blinking silently. “The only reason she grew like that was because of you though wasn’t it Jun? You lied. You lied to Takuya that I was sleeping with Toma. You instigated everything in the end didn't you?” Her tone was so blank that it caught him off guard. If anything he had expected more questions about Christine, not accusations directed towards him. The more he spoke the more she felt her blood boil against him. How could he even-

“I’m sorry but-“

“DO YOU THINK A SORRY FIXES WHAT YOU DID!” She couldn’t control her shriek as she watched him shift back into his shell. Whatever confidence he’d had in Takuya’s room had been fake. She realized now why Jun would never become the head contender to take over Takuya’s clan. Why Takuya had chosen Toma. Inside, Jun was a coward. He never found ways to rightfully get what he wanted. “A sorry doesn’t equal what they have to go through because of you. Inadvertently because of you Christine had to save Toma and now they’re separating. You almost killed me. A sorry doesn’t equal my life Jun. Sorry can't fix this. You're going to have to do much better than that.”

The bar was eerily quiet and she suddenly realized that they were all looking at them. Jun leaned over clutching her hand but she quickly pulled it away feeling her stomach push its contents up through her throat at the feeling of his hand over hers. “I- never wanted this.” His hands were jittering and Rie looked at him unable to stop her eyes from watering again at his pathetic excuse. She wanted to barge out of this place and never look at this man again. “But Lillith-“

“What?”

“I agree…I’m a liar. I’m a horrible person and that maybe you should never forgive me for almost killing you with my words and my ambitions. I’m sorry that I can’t be the type of honorable man you seem to favour so intensely. I’ve never learned how to do things the hard way but you just proved me right. You've proven everything I've said to Takuya right.” He looked so sure of himself that Rie started doubting her own words.

“What do you mean?”

“Don’t lie to me. Not to me.” She felt a shudder come over as the darkness in his eyes grew. “I’m not interested in you, not the slightest. I treat you with respect that I would treat a fellow comrade. Someone I admire. So when I see you do things that make me ashamed of you and I ask you about them…don’t lie to me.”

Enough was enough. She couldn’t take this. “I’m not lying what the fuck are you talking about Jun?”

“Why did you jump in front of him?” The same question, over and over and her answer to the question wasn't becoming any more clear to her either. “Don’t lie to me. I know it wasn’t to gain his trust. I know you, something as cruel as that couldn’t be your motivation. You’re too pure despite you trying to act otherwise.”

How could he EVER even know purity when he saw it? She seethed in her mind. “If you think you know me so well why don’t you tell me the reason?”

“You have feelings for him” He did not even pause and Rie felt her heart freeze. This was the first time someone had insinuated so openly that she liked him.

Not that she was sleeping with Ikuta Toma, not that they were together against the world...no this was the first time someone had highlighted this particular fact. That it was her, and her alone, who felt things for Ikuta Toma.

She thought of the crazy lunatic that Ikuta was. She couldn’t have feelings for that type of man. He was insane, he had practically no conscience. He treated her like shit most of the time. Why on earth would she ever have feelings for that sort of man?

Especially when she was already engaged, sure Jun and their kind didn’t know about Mukai but she did! Why would her mind ever want to betray her like that?

No. She refused to ever consider such a ridiculous proposition. Sure it made logical sense, it gave her mind a reason to finally understand her own lunacy in jumping before him but that sort of reasoning was simply unacceptable to her. “You’re off the fucking base Jun. I’ll get home myself.” She shot up from her seat and darted out the door quickly and heard his feet sounding off the stone floor as they made their way outside.

When she realized he was closer to her she felt her feet pick up by themselves. She was running- but she had no reason to run away from him. Her arm hurt with every long stroke of her hands but she couldn’t bring herself to care. It was better to cry about something physically painful. She hadn’t cried so much since her first day at the club. She doubted she'd ever been this frustrated either.

She couldn’t run quite fast enough though. Jun may have been a coward but he was still an important asset to Takuya with his good looks, killer speed and quick mind. Before she realized what had happened Jun’s hands wrapped around her waist pulling her into the air. His arms were perfectly capable and a snake though he might be weak he most certainly was not. She kicked against him, her hands flying into the air as he attempted to block her attacks and she kept going. Her elbow connected with the side of his face and she felt him buckle over when her leg managed to twist and hit his stomach. He finally let her go dropping to the ground, groaning as he rolled over holding his stomach as she panted heavily falling to the ground beside him and crashing lightly on the pavement. Thankfully the only thing she could feel was a small numbness in her hip.

The sky was dark above them and the wind was bitingly cold on her bare legs as she looked at him with a narrowed gaze in her eyes. “Lillith,” His eyes shut soundlessly as he said it and she felt bad that she’d kicked him this badly. They opened again slowly to make sure that she was listening to him.

“What is it Jun?”

“Let’s agree that you didn’t jump in front of him for your feelings. That you have no feelings for him.”

“Because it’s true.” But was that really true? How sane were her motives really? Jun was right...she was never that scheming to think of his trust as her motive to jump forward. There hadn't been enough time to think of something like that. Besides hadn't she thought she'd already earned his trust when he pulled her up from the ledge?

“Why is it then that when I revealed what I did, and when you yelled at me, that you mentioned his suffering first? That Christine would have no option but to leave him? That you put your own death behind their love story?” Her limbs snapped into attention from their weakened state, her back sitting up straight as she looked at him her own eyes widening.

He sat up slowly as he grabbed her hands within his own and suddenly she felt herself reminded of Toma and Christine’s position but hours ago.

Had they done all they could before she left him forever?

Her heart sped up to an alarming rate and she cursed her mind for wondering whether they were still together even now.

Was Jun right?

She looked up at him and she must have looked beyond perplexed because she saw that look in his eyes again. The one of disappointment and pity, he lunged forward and grabbed her pulling her into his arms. She was so shocked by her own thoughts that she didn’t even care as his words echoed over and over in her ears. "It's okay. I won't tell anyone...I won't even tell you again."

Why?

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End Notes:
I know some of you might be getting annoyed with Rie and her indecisiveness. She overthinks a lot and sometimes she doesn't really understand things right away. I promise you that before the shipment comes in, so will Rie's understanding XD.

Other than that I'd like to thank all my dear reviewers from the last chapter :) you guys rock. Christine and Maohartjun :) you guys made me work harder on this. Please continue being awesome readers! I love the cues you guys bring up and honestly sometimes it forces me to think of things I don't see in this story right away either :)

As usual if any one else would like to review XD they're totally welcome to :D

The next chapter is complete :D but it won't be up for a while

But you still get Previews:

“You’re not precious to me.”

“He was an angry kid. He hated his life.”

“GET THE FUCK OUT OF THIS ROOM RIGHT NOW.”

“SORRY IS NOT SOMETHING YOU SHOULD BE SAYING TO ME. SAY IT TO YOURSELF.”

Question: Do you guys forgive Jun for what he did? I just wanna know :)

There you have it guys :) I hope you enjoyed this chapter :) As you can see the closer we get to the shipment the more drama there is. This sort of trend will continue.

Admit by Anna Clair
Author's Notes:
I've been listening to Cruel Fairytale -IU and

I Could Say - Lily Allen

Contrary to the nature of this chapter, both songs are quite mellow but angry in a sort of subdued nature.

I hope you all enjoy the chapter :D thank you for clicking on it you sexies :D


Rie looked around her as she entered the club for her second last shift before the shipment arrived.

Then again it was probably her second-last shift ever. After the shipment arrived why would she come back? Everything that she was sent here for would be complete, her life here as Lillith would be over.

How could she come back without asking to be killed right at the entrance?

This would also be her first shift without Christol breathing down her throat. The first weird thing she’d noticed as she’d walked in was that the club looked exactly the same as it had any other night she’d worked here. She’d expected it to look lacking without its head bitch boss and yet it looked like not a thing had moved since the night where she’d overheard Koyama and Christine.

She thought of Tryst as the representation of Ikuta Toma’s inner state. If it was well-composed so was he, and if it was in chaos- well she’d be better off avoiding him that night.

She swallowed the ball forming in her throat…did this mean nothing had changed for him? What was change anyways? She was reminded of his frantic face as he ran away yesterday leaving her to the lions to be with Christine…and why shouldn’t he? She shut her eyes but felt her heart jump when she saw the image of the two of them holding onto each other desperately, glued to the back of her eyelids.

How was she supposed to face him after seeing that? No doubt he would be here today, so would Jun. Though she knew Jun would stay out of her way, if not for her own sanity then probably for his.

She walked to the bar. Today she was decked out in a gun metal silver bra detailed with metal chunks and clasps around the A-line. She’d let herself wear relatively comfortable shoes, just simple black flats with a diamond ornament.

Spotting Wana, she smiled running to the girl immediately. If there was one person in this place that Rie knew she could rely on, it was Wana. Though she hadn’t seen or spoken to her in since she’d been shot. The last she remembered of Wana was that the girl had been crying holding her hand as she screamed while Daisy pulled out her bullet.

That could never be the last time they were in each other’s company. Once she brought down Wana’s brother she doubted the girl would want anything to do with her anyways. “Wana!” Wana turned to her and for a second her face seemed frozen. It was as if she didn’t quite recognize Rie but then her eyes lit up again and Wana hugged her.

“Lillith.” Rie gulped. That name. Why was it becoming easier to answer to? Wana’s arms were tight over her shoulders. Their embrace was almost suffocating and Rie parted from her in breathy gasps. “How are you feeling?”

“Better now that I’ve seen you. I’m not looking forward to today.”
“I don’t think any of us were.” Wana took a look at the girls and their dour expressions. So far just Yeona and Sam seemed to be working with them. It wasn’t that they missed Christol but none of them wanted her to have left the way she’d been forced to yesterday. “Can you grab me a glass from the other end of the bar?” Rie nodded as she marched forward to the end of the bar and leaned down to grab the snifter glass and turned around to see Daisy march up to her.

When had she come?

Her face was devoid of emotion as she pulled Rie roughly right in front of her. “Watch your back.” The harsh cut of her words made Rie’s knees quiver for just a second.

“What?”

For a second Daisy looked aggravated but then she glanced behind her and that expression disappeared. A colder look steeled her features as her mouth opened, her words obviously carefully thought out. “I said get the fuck out of my way I need a session glass.” Without another word Daisy grabbed her by the shoulder and pushed her to side.

That meant she couldn’t ask anymore. She’d already been told what she could be told. This was all Daisy could do for her.

Rie tried her best not to be irked but she saw Wana beckon her with her perfectly navy nails and marched back to her friend, planting herself by her side. As soon as the glass was in reachable distance Wana grabbed it and took a bottle of Korbel into her hands and expertly poured herself a glass of the premium brandy.

Rie stood blinking dumbly as she looked around her and saw no one had seen Wana down the brandy. “Wana are you okay? We haven’t even started working yet… you know we’re not allowed to drink.”

“Oh haven’t we started working?” Wana bit back laughing as Rie stared at her. “I mean it sure seems like we’re working already. Sometimes if I wonder we work all the time.” The rest of the night seemed just as strange with Wana almost making her drop three glasses due to the lack of synchrony between them in their routine. The customers glared at her, and for a second she was reminded of her first night here.

After what seemed like an eternity she saw him come inside. It was only 12 but then again he probably didn’t have anything to do before now that almost everything was ready. He came alone tonight; there was no usual Tegoshi and Massu flagging him. He looked at her and blinked. It wasn’t a sign or something she should take to mean he wanted to see her but that was all she needed to jump from her spot beside Wana and run towards him.

“Are you okay?” She saw his eyes shut tightly as if he didn’t want to really deal with the thought behind that question.

“I need your help. Tell Wana you’ll be busy and come inside.” He moved swiftly leaving her in the middle of the dance floor.

Wana didn’t complain, simply looked back blankly at her. “You’re really going to do this?”

“Do what?” She answered dumbly raising an eyebrow.

“Nothing Lillith. Go inside, help Toma while you still can.” Her words left a strange bitterness in Rie’s mouth as she moved off the bar and slowly walked to the back of the club. She was saddened by the lack of a Koyama there smiling at her. He would have teased her expression right now which was fraught with worry. Nothing was really blending in like it was supposed to. Nothing seemed right and yet everything was the way it had always been. The only major difference was Christol wasn’t here…and while that should have only made her feel better it made her feel scared.

She entered the room. She hadn’t been alone with him in here in a long time now. There was a pile of papers at the other end of the table. Toma had taken to the three-seater and was lying down on it with his hands over his eyes. He was sleeping, or so he wanted her to think. He was perfectly silent and yet not one inch of his body screamed relaxed. She could see the way his body jerked when she’d entered the room. She wasn’t blind. “Do you think you’re a better actor than Shige?”

A smile touched his lips as he sat up and shook his head yawning. “I was trying to sleep. I’ll need my sleep over the next two days. Translate the pile there for me. I need it by the end of your shift tonight.”

She should have cursed him. There was no way that she could translate that pile that fast but without another word she sat down and picked up her translation materials and started. If he’d expected a fight from her, he wasn’t going to get one tonight.

An hour passed in silence and while she should have bothered to be scared she couldn’t find the effort or capacity to be. Her attention had to be solely on the pile. She’d only done about 8 sheets and she still needed to get through about 20 more. The rate she was going at was no good. Toma leaned back on the sofa again lying down and she let her eyes flitter to him for a second before flying back to the pages. So far nothing useful, no other details she should have known. The only thing that had seemed remotely useful from the pages had been a description of the hull that was transporting the goods itself. The ship was a Panamax, identified as a ID 7C90, a large vessel that would no doubt be carrying a lot of other cargo on it in addition to the cocaine…probably the products that would be on the truck that would transport the cocaine. The mix would be figuring out which truck had the shipment once it was off the ship.

“I’m okay.”

That caught her attention. She let her eyes fly up as she saw him looking back at her. His hands were behind his head and his black shirt seemed to stretch abnormally tight over his arms and she blinked away back to the papers. She shouldn’t have looked at him in the first place. “Are you?” She replied back skeptically.

“No.” She placed her pencil flat down on the table. “Don’t do that. I want you to work.” She picked her pencil up again. “But-“ She clenched her teeth together and put the pencil down again. He was laughing at her obvious indecisiveness on whether to give all her attention to him or the translation.

He didn’t bother her again except she felt herself keep looking back at him as he tossed and turned and generally made himself an utter distraction. She couldn’t help but wonder if he really wanted to be where he was. If he truly loved Christol or Christine or whatever her name was at some point, wouldn’t he have wanted a life with her? A normal life? Where they could, like Mukai and she, live out their hearts desires? “Are you really all that evil Toma?”

He didn’t answer her right away and when she heard him sigh she was almost sure the answer she would get would be something like get back to work. Instead she was quite shocked to hear him encouraging her. “What does that word mean to you? Evil?”

“I mean do you really want to do what you’re doing right now? Don’t you want to be that boy again? The boy you were before you got involved with Takuya?” She could say it a million different ways but what she was really asking him was if he wanted to be good again.

“That boy hated his life.” That shocked her as she saw him turn around and look at her with a lazy expression that would have melted the heart of any girl. “Perhaps it would be more appropriate to say he hated his circumstances. He was born to be left forgotten. The one thing that gave him purpose was snatched away. The me that you see before you now is much more fitting to the image don’t you think? Without her, I was always meant to become this. A ruthless killer whose motives you should not be questioning. It wouldn’t do to be a hero when there’s nothing to save.” It was a small hint but she disregarded it easily. Her next question as eagerly pushed forward as the one before.

“Do you truly think this is what you were meant to become?”

“For a girl who speaks big destructive things in Takuya’s den, you’re mighty demure and good now.” She should shut up. Whenever he said things like this, it was an obvious sign she should shut up.

Yet somehow today she felt like she should push the envelope a little further. Or she’d never get a chance to find out the truth about Ikuta Toma before she ruined him. “I don’t think that’s true. I think that you’re not meant for this.”

“Is that what you think? How nice for you. You, like much of the human population, have a right to think. Even if what you think is absolute rubbish.” He smiled widely obviously enjoying his joke immensely at her expense.

“It’s only as rubbish as the person listening it to is.”

He groaned as if in agony twisting away from her so his expression was hidden. “Lillith… do your work and let me sleep. We won’t be getting much sleep tomorrow.” She was thankful he was turned away so he wouldn’t see her blush.

She looked back to her papers that mocked her with their incompleteness. Right. 10 pages done, only 10 left. This wasn’t impossible if anything talking to him was making her work harder and quicker than before. Still if he wanted her to shut up she would. She quickly scribbled away another passage on time zone variances and gulped as she felt the pencil between her fingertips pushing on her nails.

It was just a slight jolt but she felt her arm twitch as she stretched it a little too far while writing. Her injury only gave her slight shocks of pain now.

For a second, she was reminded of his expression as he took in her bloodied state. Begging her to reply to breathe to do something that reminded him that she wasn’t dead yet.

Coldblooded and ruthless, he most definitely was not. Toma killed with a purpose and that purpose was apparent to her now. Even if it wasn’t apparent to him. “You’re not.”

“God help me what the hell am I not now Lillith?” He didn’t turn back to look at her but his tone was different now. Where he’d sounded aggravated before he only sounded mildly humored now. It was the only reassurance he could give her to let her know it was okay for her to continue talking.

“You’re not a cold-blooded killer.”

“You haven’t seen me at my worst Lillith. There’s a reason I head the ‘team’.” He sounded tenser now but he kept his face away from hers. She focused her eyes on the Spanish passages but again she found the pencil in her hand loosing grip each jolt of pain only bringing back the image of the Toma who had saved her just as she had saved him. “I promise you I’m exactly as I say I am. I could kill you right now and you wouldn’t even realize what happened.”

“You aren’t Toma.” She pushed back insistently and saw him sit up. In a second he was in front of her, in another second he was uncomfortably close to her face. He was trying to get her to shut up. She growled under her breath. Like hell she was going to listen. “You killed Nagase because of what he did.”

She saw his expression fall. He’d wanted to challenge her but now he just looked appalled. “How do you know about that?”

She couldn’t answer him. She couldn’t tell him everything that she had heard between Koyama and Christine. To tell him that would be to sentence Koyama to death. “You were only protecting her. That’s what made you kill him.”

The sneer on his face grew stronger as he pushed her hands down on the arm of her chair and gripped them tightly standing up taller so he could lean forward towards her and she leaned back against the chair automatically.

They were running out of space between them.

She knew Ikuta Toma well enough now to know what the purpose was to do this to girls he wasn’t even attracted to. He wanted to make them scared, quiet them down. She wasn’t going to be quiet just because he was getting a little close to her face. He wouldn’t kiss her, he wasn’t in that frame of mind. All he could think of was scaring her into shutting up.
Poor guy didn’t know she feared almost nothing. “What about the men I’ve killed before Nagase? Have you thought about them?”

“Disilliusioned.”

“The only person who seems disillusioned right now is you.” He turned away from her but she grabbed his hand. She let go of it just as soon as she had pulled herself up from the arm chair and found herself face to face with him.

“You don’t kill to do anything other than protect those who you love and those who are precious to you.”

Suddenly his eyes widened and she saw his mouth stretch into a smile. She felt her stomach turn over itself flopping like it weighed a million tons. The mere sight of his smile made her feel like collapsing.

How pathetic. He leaned closer to her, his cheek achingly close to hers but never actually touching it. “Lillith…dear.” Her breath hitched in her throat as she felt his hand slowly shift back a strand of hair behind her ear. “You’re not precious to me.”

He was trying to make this more emotional than it was. He was trying to make her lose focus and she narrowed her gaze before he could let his hand fall from her face she grabbed his wrist in her palm and snarled. “You say that but I’m starting to think you’re a liar. You want to make yourself a killer? Fine. You’re a killer but don’t call yourself cold-blooded when you aren’t. You aren’t Takuya’s robot, nor his device or his toy who he plays with. You can lie all you want Toma…it’s just too bad I can see through every black word out of your mouth. Designed only to hide how you really feel about everything.”

“Lillith,“ She saw his face fall from its cruel expression into one more bewildered. “Why are you even-“

But she wouldn’t let him finish. “You have no intention of marrying Talia - in fact I wonder if you have any intention to even take over Takuya’s empire- maybe you’re just planning on ripping it all apart and burning even its ashes-“

“ENOUGH.” He boomed. The ferocity behind his language left her breathing hard. That and the fact she hadn’t taken a breath at all between her lecturing him. His eyes were enlarged looking down on her with such a strong ferocity that she felt her head go woozy. She had never challenged him so openly. “Get out.”

And she was starting to regret it. “But I’m not do-“

“GET THE FUCK OUT OF THIS ROOM RIGHT NOW.”

“NO.” She bit back roughly pushing his chest shocking even herself at how aggressive she was being. She saw him look down at his body and then he snarled and moved forward pushing her shoulder back.

Saying it didn’t hurt would be a lie. The amount of force he’d back into his hand left her rubbing her shoulders gently to ease the tension out. “What the fuck is wrong with you? Did you not hear me?”

“No. I-“

“Seriously. Why are you doing this? What kind of crazy woman are you? What benefit do you get from doing this? Nothing. So just stop. Stop trying to become something you can't repl-“

She couldn't let him finish that sentence. Or both she and he would end up on a road that wasn't meant for now. “BECOME SOMETHING?” She shot back indignantly. “I’m not trying to do anything but show you who you are. I don’t want anything from this you sick asshole!” She shot back. How could he say something like that to her? She didn’t want a thing! Did she? “Don’t you dare lie to me. You have nothing to gain from lying to me just like I have nothing to gain by asking you the truth.” She cursed back and saw the ridicule in his eyes.

He looked down and her eyes followed his. She saw his hands grip themselves tightly, the veins in his arms protruded angrily and she gulped. “Get out Lillith. Before I do something I’ll regret.”

Despite herself she looked back at him and shook her head. “You won’t. You’re-”

“LILLITH GET OUT.” He grabbed her hand and roughly held her wrist in his grasp and she was shocked to feel her heart stop.

Fire.

Fire was the only thing she felt. His one touch had brought such a heat to her body and she looked down at his hands. No- there was nothing cold about this guy. There was no way he wanted to be doing this.
Perhaps it was her own form of delusion but she did not want to see this man end up at the bottom of some prison hole and he needed to give her something to work with. He needed to give her a reason to fight for him.

She heard the gasps from the bar as they came forth from the curtains blocking the club from his office. She saw from the corner of her eyes Wana was running to catch up to her brother but she was held up by customers. Maybe Wana thought that she was in trouble. Wana gave her a scared expression but before she could mouth or return it with a calm one she was already outside the club staring at Toma’s darkened eyes as he whistled a cab down for her.

“You’re really starting to piss me off. I’m regretting keeping you alive.” She shivered under his stare. He was looking at her like she was a piece of meat to slap around and she knew that wasn’t a good sign for her but that did tell her one thing.

She’d gotten to him. Which was the only thing that mattered, maybe- just maybe - she could save him from the future that inevitably awaited this whole clan. “If I cared about that I’d have stopped pushing you a lot earlier.” She gulped as she saw the cab reach them. She only had about a minute before Toma’s curiousity ran out and he threw her unceremoniously into the back of this cab. “You’ve locked yourself into this cage and you don’t even know how you got here.” And if I can…I’ll try to save you.

He faltered, his grip went loose on her wrist before he let go of her completely on purpose. It was a guess. She didn’t know but she was glad she’d guessed it. She was stuck staring at him as his eyes cast downwards and she saw his adam’s apple bob. “I’m almost sorry to tell you, but you’re wrong Lillith. I know exactly how I got here and where I’m going.”

“I only wish I was. Life would have been easier for you and me both.” She let herself reach for the door of the cab willingly and entered it. He must have been expecting a fight from her but she was ready to leave. She couldn’t give him the satisfaction of her kicking and screaming against him right now. The cab driver sped off but not before she saw Wana tumble out of the doors of the club just a little too late.

Wana ran to Toma’s side and shook his shoulder but Toma’s gaze would not be deterred as it was kept fixed on the cab which was driving away. Wana was screaming at him until he turned his face towards her and she pointed to the cab.

Rie gulped. Something was happening. Everything was changing yet again.

But this time, it was no one’s fault but her own.

But the decision to save Ikuta Toma’s life, to reawaken his humanity, to do something to get him to admit the innate goodness she could sense from him- this was a choice that she could never regret.

Even if he did decide to kill her in the end.
End Notes:
Rie is deciding things! Rie is deciding to piss the shit out of Toma until he admits that he's a good guy XD !

Guys warning the next five chapters are the most EXCITING CHAPTERS I HAVE EVER WRITTEN IN MY LIFE.

I'd like to thank my reviewers :D Christine, MaohartJun, YoonEunHyeFan and InnocentDevil. I appreciate all of the feedback you guys give me :) it helps me to edit out some things and try and make certain characters less annoying etc. XD

Further warnings to come next time :D For now...I think lets give you guys a little Preview :D :

"I deserve the truth. What is it?”

“I should be going…the club isn’t opening today is it? I’m sorry for disturbing you.”

“You’re one to talk Ikuta… sounds like I’m not the only one nervous here.”

“FUCK LILLITH YOUR FUCKING TEETH.”

LOL think what you may with that last one. (TRY NOT TO THINK KINKY XD because it's really not)

So from the last chapter you guys said you don't really trust Jun but that he's starting to mostly redeem himself in your eyes but its not easy to forgive him (and that he better spend some more time with Mao XD) both will come dw :) Mao has a role that becomes more prominent after- a certain event.

Question this time :D: Do you think Toma's actually a good guy? Or Rie's delusional looking for a way to prove something that's not true?

I hope you enjoyed this chapter :) And I hope that we'll see each other again really soon :D

Plot by Anna Clair


--------------------------

She paid the driver and got out of the cab, slowly stepping up the stairs.

An empty apartment...but this was the last time she would be coming home to this place. Tomorrow was her last official shift, early morning of the day-after-tomorrow was the end. The shipment would arrive. The mission would be over.

Ikuta Toma...would likely disappear from her life forever if he didn't break.

And she had bigger things to focus on, her chief had asked her to distract the yakuza enough so that the cops could come in waves. She really didn't have time to be worrying about this guy.

Now that she was no longer in Ikuta Toma’s den she felt free in this silence of the hallway around her. As if she could see clearly everything she needed to be doing.

She opened her eyes as she pushed her door open and felt her eyes rise to touch the far reaches of her forehead. “Mukai,” She hadn’t expected him here, not now. Not so close to the end. Not on her couch with his eyes reddened with his hands folded in that distinctly disappointed way she hated.

His gaze towards her was stained with water and she gulped feeling her heart constrict. This was a side of him she had not yet been privy to seeing. He had never let her see him this vulnerable. His lips were twisted in between his teeth as she heard his mouth let out a sound of aggravation. His fists were tensed and clenched so she could see his veins grow defined under his tanned skin.

Then without another word he used his feet to kick the glass table before her and she yelped as she breathed a sigh of relief. Thank god it didn't break.

She felt herself glued to the door frame, as if she’d need to run out from it again. He stood up and looked straight at her in a way that made her heart hammer hard against her chest. “If you don’t tell me what the fuck happened straight-“

“I’m sorry-“

His voice was desperate as he glanced quickly towards her arm. “RIE!”

She felt her eyes bulge.

That was right.

That was her name wasn't it?

And yet she didn’t feel like Rie when he called her that. It was as if the girl she’d been being for the past few days ducked down and she remembered who she was almost shamefully.

She was this man’s fiancé, she was the best student the police academy had in the class of 2011 and she sure as hell was not that person she had been pretending to be. She was not Lillith. Seeing her startled he laughed mockingly. “You think your sorry is enough?”

“Mukai-“

“SORRY IS NOT SOMETHING YOU SHOULD BE SAYING TO ME. SAY IT TO YOURSELF.” He’d had enough of her, his anger was getting to him and he grabbed her arm and pulled her in roughly. The skin that had so precariously healed over her wound stretched and she gulped waiting for it to rip open and the pain to seep in again but it didn’t. “How could you Rie?” He banged the door shut as he leaned back on the white door.

If only she could answer him. “Hey-“ She walked forward so she was opposite from him and grabbed his hand. Their fingers automatically molded into each others. “I did what I had to okay?” She saw his eyes flicker to her arm. He was off the door in a second and he pulled her arm towards him again, this time with less force. His thumb ran across the bandages and she remembered she had to clean and switch them. “How long are you allowed to stay?”

“I’m staying the night.” He shot back forcefully. His eyes rising with anger as she nodded.

“Good.” She stepped up towards him and wrapped her arms around his waist. It was a comfortable feeling sinking her head into his chest, feeling the familiar beat of his heart enveloping her like a lullaby. She let out a breath she hadn’t realized she’d been holding when she felt his arms come up around her. “I missed you.”

“Don’t do anything stupid like that again. Or I’ll go down there and kill them all myself.” He pressed a quick kiss against the crown of her head and she shuddered feeling the warmth of it run down to her toes. Had she been cold before? “Did you have a hard day?”

“Not really…I translated some more documents. I was going to meet up with Inoo tomorrow and transfer the stuff to him. Why do you guys have him working on this anyways?” It was strange that a young student like Inoo would work on such a high profile covert mission vs. doing filing work like Rie herself had been made to do when she interned at the police academy when she was in high school.

“The kid insisted on being able to help the bird who killed Akihabara. You're his hero.” Mukai smiled, ruffling her hair as he pulled apart from her for a second. “Everyone’s expecting a lot but don’t let that affect you all right?”

“I won’t let you guys down.”

“You already did.” Mukai shot back softly and she felt herself stiffen in his grasp. “I told you to take care of yourself and you didn’t. You let me down.”

She should have been sorry she knew that but he was starting to anger her. Did she have a choice? After all the very people it seemed who were sent to protect her by the police force also wanted to shoot her…why were Yamashita Tomohisa’s guards Kato Shigeaki and Nishikido Ryo the ones that the chief had assigned to her protection? “Mukai…do you know anything about the people who are assigned to guard me?”

“Guard you?”

“Before I left for the mission…I asked for back up and support from the chief. He assured me people would watch over me and ensure my safety.”

“Hell of a job they did.” He scoffed skeptically but she tutted under her breath.

“That's not the point but you don’t know anything about them?”

“The chief hasn’t really given me too many details about your case because he knows I’ll feel emotionally involved… but if you want I can ask around the office and see if anyone else knows about whose supposed to take care of you.”

She already knew who was taking care of her. She simply wanted to know why…why were members from another yakuza team, rather than the police force, the people who were safeguarding her.

You’ve done so much better than this guy that it really does sicken me seeing you with him, Lillith.


“Mukai!” She shot out feeling her heart start beating quickly under her chest. Shige knew Mukai. Which obviously meant at some point in Mukai’s time he had met Shige otherwise there was no way that Shige would know about her from Mukai’s perspective which is what he had made it sound like. Mukai had told Shige about her. “Have you ever met a person named Kato Shigeaki?”

“Shige? That baka? I went to his marriage last year!” Marriage?! She must have looked stricken because Mukai laughed. “Don’t worry I didn’t go with anyone…though the girl who caught the bride’s bouquet was giving me some sort of bedroom eyes.”

So Kato Shigeaki was married and close enough to invite Mukai to his wedding? Why had she never heard of this guy before then? “Wait how do you know him?”

“He’s the delivery guy. He delivers things to the chief sometimes. He usually stops to chat around. Yui the girl in the back who sits by Hiroshi? She used to be crazy about him. I think they went out a couple of times and then she said that he wasn’t her type but she never really said why.”

She hadn’t spoken much to Yui but when they’d gabbed over coffee once Yui had mentioned she hated men who got angry, and lied about who they really were.

That definitely sounded like the Shige she was starting to picture in her head. “Has he ever delivered anything to you?” Shige member of the Yamashita yakuza clan and delivery boy didn’t seem to fit together. He either had to be one or the other and he’d already proved that he was a member of the clan at the hospital.

“Not that I can think of. Rie- what’s this about Shige? Did you meet him or something?”

“More like the or something.” He almost shot me. “Do you know Nishikido Ryo?”

Mukai nodded. “Only met him at Shige’s wedding. He was the guy’s best man.”

“What about a Koyama Keiichiro?”

“Rie! What is this about?”

“Mukai- these names. These are the guys the chief assigned to take care of me. To make sure I was safe and that I could do my job in comfort.” She waited for a second to see if the realization would dawn on him.

A metaphysical light bulb turned on in Mukai’s head and she saw him start nodded. “But they’re not from the force.”

“Not at all.” She nodded. She couldn’t tell him where they were from because Mukai seemed uneducated and for now she had to try to control the information inflow both ways. She could neither tell the force nor the clan about this. This was her trying to figure out why either side was trying to play her against the other.

“Rie what’s going on?”

“Nothing just a hunch I had.”

“Why are the guys protecting you not from the force?” The anger that had only just started fading from his eyes was back with a new fury. “I’m going to ask chief this first thing in the morning. We can’t have you going into the shooting range without real cops protecting you Rie.”

“Mukai- no.”

“Why would he send a delivery boy-“ She stayed silent looking at him as he let go of her hands. “Wait- is Shige a delivery boy Rie?”

She wanted to keep this information from him but there was no way Mukai would understand how imperative it was that he kept his mouth shut unless she told him what she knew, or at least the watered down version.

If he found out Shige and his best man was the one who shot Rie he would not be pleased. “Do delivery boys carry guns?” She folded her arms and watched Mukai scoff.

“There’s no way I’m letting you step into the field like this. I have to ask him first thing in the morning Rie.”

“Mukai no! I need to figure some stuff out first. This isn’t a very clear mission. This isn’t like Akihabara. This mission is about more than busting a drug ring. There’s another motive here that needs someone’s help…someone who either the chief owes or will owe. Otherwise why would he jeopardize me like this?"

“Rie what are you talking about?”

“Something big is going to go down at the shipment. I need you to stay calm and not run out to me. I’m supposed to distract the Yakuza and lead them towards you guys. Where a larger force of you will be waiting to make the arrest-”

Mukai was getting impatient. “I’ve heard this part before Rie skip to the point.”

She took a deep breath as she looked him in the eye. “Mukai…I need you to capture the cocaine the chief takes from Ikuta and put it in another location that no one knows about.”

“Rie- you know all the drugs we take go to the lock up-“

“No Mukai. I need you to take the drugs from the lock up shortly after they’re placed there and put them elsewhere.” She pushed and saw his face close into confusion. He understood where she was coming from but Mukai really didn't like breaking rules. He only gave of the image of a rebellious cop, he didn't actually like breaking the law.

“Rie what are you trying to do?”

“Just trust me!” She shrieked aggravated with him but felt her heart jump in her throat when she heard him yell back at her.

“I can’t just trust you!” That caught her off guard as she stepped backwards. “Everything you’re saying is making sense but you can’t expect me to blindly follow you into treason if you don’t tell me everything Rie. I deserve the truth. What is it?”

“If I knew it I’d tell you.” She mumbled softly. “All I know is the chief wants this shipment for a reason other than what we think. It’s not just for the law Mukai. There’s definitely something else at play. Something that’s been at play a long time before you and I.” That would explain Shige’s extended involvement with the chief as well...if he and Mukai had gotten that close they had to have been seeing each other over the while that Mukai had worked at the force. “To find out what that is- we need to take the shipment from not only the Takuya clan but ourselves Mukai. When it's away from the chief we'll find out why he wanted it.”

Mukai’s face crushed into itself as he realized what his fiancé was asking him to do, if they were wrong the consequences would be their jobs, hell maybe even time in prison. “Do you understand what you’re saying Rie? Look…if you’re really so desperate to find out why don’t we let him take it and track him?”

Rie paused as she looked at him…because doing that would mean she had succeeded.

To succeed would be to sentence Ikuta Toma to death.

If the cocaine was where he wanted it, the chief would then focus his attentions on punishing members of the Takuya clan involved. Toma and Jun would both be thrown in and she couldn’t let that happen.

The idea of any harm befalling him because of her made her stomach flop around inside of her, landing each time with a sickening thud of heaviness. “If you won’t help me. I’ll do it my own way. I’ll do what I need to.”

Mukai’s voice was so desperate that she felt like giving in. “Rie…do you understand what you’re getting into here?”

“I lost my loyalty when I realized that the same people who were sent to protect me were sent to kill me Mukai. Forgive me if I’m not jumping for joy at the prospect of giving the chief exactly what he wants…once he has that in his hands we’ve already lost our chance. We won’t know how to stop the chain motion of where the cocaine moves after. It’ll be too little too late Mukai.” Mukai gripped his fists as he growled.

He was angry because despite the fact he didn't want to do it, he knew she was right. How the hell were they supposed to stop it once it was already where it needed to be? The only way they could find out the real meaning behind this mission was by halting it.

“Fine…but you know I’m not going to be able to manage pulling out a whole shipment like that myself.”

“I know. I’ll help you…and I’ll have help too.” She believed it when she said it but Mukai was a little more disbelieving.

“Help?”

The moment Mukai said the word his face flashed before her eyes. A person who deserved the chance he had wanted all those years ago when Christine had been snatched from him.

Part of her really believed that the Toma she usually saw before her regretted the choices he had made back then and only lived with them because he saw no way out. That was why he yelled the way he did when she’d questioned him if he was happy.

Well she’d give him a way out then. This was his shot as much as it was hers. “Let’s just say I know what I’m doing...will you help me then?”

Mukai gulped as he looked frantically at her grabbing her shoulders. “Rie- you’ll be breaking the law.”

“I know…will you do it with me?” She implored clutching his hands in hers and pulling them down just as hard.

She didn’t get answer, but she didn’t expect to as Mukai pulled her into his arms and she clutched on desperately trying to recognize the feeling the warmth of his body arose in her heart.

He softly whispered yes in her ears as he pushed her stray hairs over her neck.

Then she let him kiss her and pull her up onto him.

She needed to remember this so she wouldn't grow weak again.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

One more day.

This was it. This was the end.

Tomorrow morning, in just a few hours it would be tomorrow morning and she could leave, pretend none of this happened.

Tomorrow morning she would go against Takuya’s orders and get to the port herself and distract the clan.

First she had to take it away from the clan, even if she had to take the cocaine away from the chief.

And today was officially her last shift at Tryst, and her last night as Lillith.

The first thing she realized looking at the image before her was that the club was eerily empty. Just like every day the music thumped noisily from outside the door and the gaggle of people fighting to try to get their way into Tryst was no different but inside the place was soulless.

She looked around her observing the grandeur of the club in its essence for the first time. The lights were in disarray flashes of red, blue, gold and pink flashing all over the room, the walls actually had indents in them she saw when they weren’t occupied by patrons. The same was with the bar but she quickly realized that she’d been wrong in thinking she was alone.

Ikuta Toma was here. Drinking. And he was drinking something a lot stronger than his usual gin and tonic.

He was smiling as he turned towards her, realizing he obviously wasn't alone in company. “Are you going to keep staring?" He yelled out towards her and she blinked quickly. The creepy atmosphere had merely shocked her but she couldn’t just stand there like an idiot. The moment she was beside him he laughed and started clapping his hand on the bar emphatically as if he was trying to rally a cheer but there was no one around him to laugh with him. “My bartender is here! Sit down Lillith!”

She turned her gaze away from him…because as much as she hated looking at him when he was angry she hated looking at him when he smiled even more.

Especially not like this when she knew that he really wasn’t smiling but dying on the inside. She’d come dressed for work but obviously she didn’t think the club was opening tonight. She was wearing red high heels, since today was supposed to be her last day on the job she’d thought she could go out with a bang and the heels matched her red bra perfectly. “SIT!”

Before she had a moment to think she found herself sitting across him and he looked her straight in the eyes, looking at her through a drunken haze that irked her.

Ikuta Toma did not get drunk.

Ikuta Toma was not vulnerable.

Ikuta Toma was-"I think it's time we had a chat." He took out the gun from his suit and placed it on the bar beside his seven shots. "Don't you?"
End Notes:
So the reason I'm updating even though I really shouldn't because I promised someone I wouldn't update until I finished her birthday story is because some weird shit happened today and I just wanted to post something okay?

So I hope you guys enjoyed that :)
The next chapter is awesome.
If you guys didn't know :) a week ago I turned 21 :D.

Yay!

That's the end :) thank you for reading and listening.

Burn by Anna Clair
Author's Notes:
This chapter is my 2012 going away gift to all of you :) I love all of my readers and I want to give you all a big warm *BURNING lol* hug this holiday season.

Hope you had a great Christmas and that you'll be having a greater New Years Eve Bash.

FYI if you want to go back and read some of the earlier chapters of this story before reading this chapter that would probably help quite a bit



“You look nice Lillith.” Ikuta Toma grabbed a shot and downed it like water and then picked up another. Rie could only make a disgusted face that made him laugh.

“Thank you.” What did he want her to say? There was a gun whose head was pointing beside her on the bar and the guy in front of her didn't look sane.

She played with her fingers thinking back to the night before and the way Mukai had held her all night, cradling her in his arms sorry for everything that had happened to her here when he couldn’t protect her.

“Lillith, Lillith.” He gulped as he finished the fifth of the seven shots he had laid out for himself. He swiveled in the chair facing her directly and placed his hands on her bare thighs without a care. “Did you know- the girl I loved left me? Forever? Isn’t that sad? Don’t you feel sad for me? Don't you want to drink with me?"

She looked pointedly at the firearm beside them and raised an eyebrow. "Is that how you get all your girls to sleep with you?" She saw Toma's face fall slack as he stared at her and it was disconcerting. This was not the Ikuta she was used to seeing looking at her. She directed her gaze downwards again before he could say much else. Her red nails were far more interesting to look at anyways compared to his perfect god-gifted bone structure. “I did indeed know Christine left you. It is sad and I’m sorry.” Every word sounded even more unfeeling than the one before but Toma still smiled thankfully, even if it was obvious she was lying.

Despite his better judgement she was sure, she felt him shift himself forward using her thighs to balance himself. He was close enough that she could smell his breath that reeked of vodka.

It was made her stomach twist over itself.

The warmth from his palms was sinking delightfully through the skin of her legs, making her lip quiver ever so lightly. She could only pray he didn't notice how nervous he was making her.

After what seemed like ages of his hands on her, he spoke. “Thank you!”

Then he did the most unexpected thing of all.

He hugged her.

Rie could only sit doe-eyed and scared as rabbit in the embrace of a wolf. His arms over her body were strong, and his grip on the fabric of her shirt iron tight. It felt like her limbs were being crushed and his face in her neck pushed her back to her first night here and how-

Before she knew what she was doing she had pushed him back in his chair so hard that he almost flew backwards.

He didn’t seem to mind though, he was still laughing as happily as before, but every snicker that flew past his mouth broke her heart a little more. Nothing about it sounded real. When had he become a robot? Did it even matter?

Had she been foolish to think she could save a man who didn't exist in this shell?

“I’m sorry…I shouldn’t have done that. I know you’re a very respectable girl.” He nodded sighing tiredly as he grabbed another glass and drank it down. His hands raked through his hair and she blinked quickly trying to swallow the urge to follow his fingers. He seemed to be reveling in the relaxation his hands brought on his skin.

“I should be going…the club isn’t opening today is it? I’m sorry for disturbing you. I really am sorry about Christine.” She quickly stood up and bowed unable to look at him in the eye as she dashed out. This was not a safe situation for her to be in, she barely trusted this guy and even when he was drunk which should have been his disadvantage she felt like she was trapped.

It was only when she finally reached the exit doors of the club and pulled hard she realized that she wasn’t just metaphorically trapped with her predator.

No matter how hard she tried to pull on the metal handles they wouldn’t budge as if they had been-

“Locked. I’ve locked you in here with me.” He turned around on the swivel bar stool. His face bright and smiling at her as he lifted himself from his seat. He was wearing plain clothes today, no shirts or suits or anything of the sort. Just jeans and a simple black polo.

She didn’t respond. He slowly walked up to her from his spot. She let her eyes follow his footsteps. Though he was drunk his direction didn’t waver one bit. He reached for her grabbing her hand and placing their enjoined fingers in the air above their head. “Are you scared?” When she refused to look up, a fury found its way in his tone. "Look at me Lillith!"

“No.” She flicked her eyes upwards and felt her throat constrict at the sight of his teeth stretched into a smile that looked ready to bite into her. “No. I’m not scared of you.”

He leaned down near her, his lips lined up with her ear speaking words that could only leave her legs shaking as she leaned on the wall for support. “Words that will definitely get you killed one day.”

He shifted himself off her just enough so that the gap between them was more prominent. It was strange how she would have preferred to have him close because having him his far meant he could look her up and down as he liked. It wouldn't be hard for him to see how vulnerable she really was in front of him right now. “What made you come here?”

“Excuse me?” He wasn’t letting her move even though the space between them was increasing as he shifted back but her hands remained held tightly in his.

“What made you come back the first night Lillith?” The carnivorous look in his eyes only intensified as she squirmed against the wall.

“I wanted to.” She grimaced, even to her ears it sounded like a cop-out of an answer.

“It’s that simple?”

“Yeah. It is.” The shorter her answers, the less she gave him a chance to twist them against her. The moment he let go of her she was going to dart to the far side of the stage. There had to be a back exit. She hadn’t used it yet but Toma wouldn’t have been smart enough to lock it, not if he was actually drinking.

Without a warning she felt a hand pressed up against the left side of her chest and she looked down at it in shock. It wasn’t exactly grabbing her breast or anything inappropriate, but it flattened and pushed down on the flesh so hard a blunt sort of pain bounced back to her nerves.

“Does your heart always beat like this around me?”

Vulnerable. It had happened. She had to leave. Now.

Without making herself overly obvious she scanned the way their bodies were positioned to see how she could twist out of this. His other hand was busy holding both her wrists and so its hold was weakening. He was probably getting tired, his own arm having been held up for a while.

She took in a deep breath. A little longer Rie…a little longer… she leaned her head forward shocking him as he backed up but she managed to stretch far enough to let her ear lie directly on his chest growing pleasantly surprised by the sound beating underneath. His heart was pumping away furiously fast and she wished she could check his pulse to feel the light throb of it. “You’re one to talk Ikuta… sounds like I’m not the only one nervous here.” He looked so stumped that before she could fully comprehend the freeness of her wrist she was just stuck staring at him.

She wasn’t quite sure what she’d said that would astound him like this but his mouth was open like a goldfish and if the moment was any moment but now she would have laughed and shut it close. A strange move for her and this guy who she had found herself caring about...but she would have wanted to do it anyways.

Luckily she managed to snap out of their stumped awareness of how they felt around each other first. Quickly with her free hands she pushed hard on his chest, letting her leg fly back to knock him twice with the back of her heel so he fell backwards. Stumped he looked at his chest and then his hand, his drunkness becoming her advantage as he stumbled to run after her. So they had been real shots.

She lunged forward and grabbed onto the railing to the stage rushing towards the back door. Toma may have been drunk but he was faster than her that was for sure. “There’s nowhere to run Lillith!” He boomed out as she almost reached the curtains that separated the magic of music from the madness that inspired it.

She could hear the cold air of the night whistling behind the door but then she felt that same iron grip that had all but broken her limbs earlier around her hips.

He’d managed to grab her but he was in the air and his fall took them both down onto the wood of the stage. They banged against the plain brown surface and she felt her elbow crack and screamed out feeling the pain course through her.

It wasn’t broken but the impact of the fall had left her arm severely damaged for now. She shut her eyes panting heavily trying to bite her lip to distract herself. Her arm wasn’t healed and now her elbow was stuck useless to her and the blinding pain in her eyes and the searing stage lights over her head were making her dizzy.

That was when she felt it, a large weight was on top of her cutting off her circulation and she gasped as she opened her eyes when she felt a pair of lips land on hers wrestling her lower lip from her teeth into his mouth. His tongue ran past her flesh making her stomach turn over itself. He smelled like sweat and alcohol and she could taste the vodka on his lips making her whimper. She tried to shift out from under him but he wouldn’t let go and she shut her eyes scrunching them when she felt his hold on her wrists tighten. Every time she’d try to scream his teeth would bite down on her lip and she’d feel like screaming more.

He let go of her hand, finding a new occupation for it underneath her head lifting it higher to meet his and she gulped. The way he held it was so- gentle and unexpectedly caring. As if he was holding something like a baby, careful to never let it fall.

But just as careful as he was with her head he was firm with it, unrelenting and refusing to let her part from him for air and she felt like she was going to faint. He was pushing her, for what reason or for what extreme she didn’t understand. She felt the tips of his fingers land against her scalp, an almost heavenly tingly feeling running itself down from her head to her toes.

Pain. Pleasure. Aggravation. Lust.

She was blind now emotionally and mentally. Like her whole body and mind was on overdrive and auto-pilot at the same time.

Finally, it seemed like he couldn’t breathe either because they parted for a minute as they both choked back large gasps of air. Each of them was too weak to move apart, so they chose to stay together for now. She wished she had left though when she felt his teeth grind into her neck and her hips buckle upwards to meet his lift. His shirt had shifted up and she felt the heat of his skin against hers.

She became vaguely aware of a loud snap and tiny little marbles of buttons flying around her as he groaned parting the see through fabric of her shirt. His mouth became occupied with biting his way down her body, his tongue teasing the exposed skin of her breasts.

She should have said something, she knew that, but all she could manage was a sound. A sound that encouraged his hands to take his shirt off his head as he brought his head back down to meet her quivering lips. As he shifted up she felt his knee lightly brush past her shorts and put her hands over her eyes.

Not only was this wrong, it was the scariest thing she had ever done and she couldn’t stop it. It wasn’t a force but more just a path, or maybe more like an escalator that she was stuck on and she knew no matter how far she tried to run back down she’d always end up going back up anyways.

She wasn’t sure if she wanted to run away from where he was taking her either.

Nothing that felt this good could be so wrong...right?

She forgot for a moment who they were, what the fuck they were trying to do to each other, and she grasped his head and pushed it down harder against hers though there was no way he could be any closer to her than he already was. His hands felt shaky as the tweaked her skin under her shirt. If she was worried about how scared she was, she realized that he was no less because really right now nothing they were doing made any sense.

Why the fuck had he kissed her anyways?

She tilted back feeling her body arch to meet his figure. His breaths held shudders and he shifted off her freely now that he realized she wasn’t moving out from under him that he had her exactly where he’d wanted her this whole time.

She felt her body snap up right as her thoughts echoed inside her mind. Toma was too busy making her neck his new toy and she writhed for a second under his grasp trying to clear her mind of the daze he’d put her in so quickly.

Her arms were wrapped around him, when had they done that?! They were gripping him like a life line!

Her nails were lost in the flesh of his back and if it hurt he didn’t seem to make it apparent. Her working elbow seemed to bend awkwardly at his side, almost pulling him into her and she gulped.

No, no she needed to stop. She was going to speak, and say something, anything to get this to stop because it wasn’t right and “

Before she could continue her thoughts she felt her mind go blank at the feeling of his mouth on hers again.

This time though she fought back, biting his lips as he yelped and jumped off her and for the first time they looked at what they’d done.

It was like whatever autopilot she'd been on finally turned off and she felt her hand rise to her mouth as she bent over herself staring at him, heaving and panting.

They could have gone to a place they could never come back from.

Hell, they were already halfway there.

The back of his chest wasn’t the only place her hands had involuntarily gone. The red marks were lined against the entirety of his chest, his hair was the messiest she’d ever seen and she scrambled seeing the way his lips looked. Puffy but not overly so, she felt herself touch her own lips and wondered what they looked like. “What the fuck was that?” Her whisper came out harsher than she intended because the moment the words flew out of her mouth his gaze- previously brimmed with desire- became steely as he remained positioned dangerously over her face. His arms came down at either side trapping her, and she wondered how strong he could be that he could remain in the push up position for this long. The veins on his arms almost twitched with stress.

“I wanted to.” The irony of the response was not lost on her as he let his head fall by her ear. “That’s why you came back right? You said it yourself. You wanted to.”

She felt her heart stop. He did this to use her words against her? To make it sound like this is what she came back for?!

She shut her eyes tightly and kicked her leg up narrowly avoiding his groin and threw him off her as she rolled out away from him quickly. “Fuck you Ikuta.”

“You almost did.” He laughed quickly standing up after her as she made a move to leave again but he grabbed her arm and pulled her back. For a second they froze as she looked at the hand in disbelief as it squeezed her hurt arm harder and she flinched. It wasn't bleeding at least, or if it was it was sheilded under the gauze for now. She shot him a disgusted look as she tried to wrestle it away, effort and frustration clearly showing on her face.

There was simply no way she could ever allow herself to stumble back into that situation again. She could never prove him right.

She used her good arm to throw a punch straight to his face. Right before she could gain control of her arm again, she felt his hand switch occupation. He grabbed her fighting arm and pulled on it roughly so that she was thrown off balance. She let her feet kick up around her struggling around his iron grip to reach into a power kick to his abdomen. She narrowed her eyes when she saw his fists tighten.

Now that they had paused for a second she let out a heavy breath and took a look at him. The area where she’d hit him was coloring quite nicely, she smirked to herself. If she didn’t know it was blood that lay under the pink of his cheeks she would have thought he was blushing. She let her eyes drift down to his clenched fists. They were simply an inch away from bruising her beyond recognition.

Good, she wanted him to hit her. That was probably the only way she’d forsake this guy, and finally realize herself that she’d made him a halfway decent person when really he was nothing worse than a gangster who knew how to use his tongue well.

For a foolish second her internal demon reminded her of exactly how he had used it a few seconds ago.

A quake ran through her body as she shook the image from her mind, her body was far less compacent choosing to betray her and remember the moment. “Do it.” She panted. “Hit me. You know you’re fighting every instinct you have to hold yourself back from hitting me.” She stepped a little closer barely aware of the desperation in her voice when she said it. “Just hit me and get it over with.” If he hit her, she could fight him. She could ruin him…then it would be that easy.

He looked shocked like she’d even suggest such a thing. “I’m not going to hit you.” She took his stupor to her advantage. She had no qualms about hitting him. His grip on her wrist loosened for just a second but it was enough for her to pull away and jump backwards in a circle quickly letting her right leg circle back to where she’d originally stood to throw a loop kick down to his chest.

He was too quick though and he dodged away before her foot could collide with his chest.

Instead by the time her feet had landed squarely on the ground she was grabbed from the back and thrown against the wall. The cool concrete was almost welcome against her body which had felt like, for the past while now, it was lit on fire.

Even with the pressure on the back of her shoulder blades, her body relaxed now that it was sandwiched comfortably between an immovable object and Ikuta Toma’s hatred. A shine from his hand caught her eye and she tilted her head back to see what it was blowing out stray strands of hair that had found their way in her mouth after their fight.

Her blood ran cold as she turned her head back quickly, a tremor running through her bones.

A needle.

She could fight against fists, and power. Needles though? Chemicals? What the hell was in that thing anyway? It could fuck up her mind, paralyze her, or worse kill her right on the spot.

She saw his hand rise.

No fucking way that thing was touching her. Summoning her left over strength she managed to evade the pressure of his arms and duck down straight to the ground before it could pierce the skin on her arm. She didn’t waste time as she heard him curse behind her feet as she ran.

She didn’t know where she was running. She was sealed tightly into this room with him. She knew that but anything was better than letting him get her with that thing.

There was definitely a plan beyond what he’d tried to make her believe. He hadn’t kissed her for nothing, and definitely not because he wanted to.

Ikuta Toma didn't do things because he wanted to do them.

Neither did she.

She tried to move faster but he’d caught up faster than expected. His pace was slower but his legs were longer than hers. She could hear his every growl grow louder in her ears as she tried to calm her own frantic heartbeat.

This time his arm came around her shoulders bringing her backwards against his chest with more force than required. She felt her elbow collide with his stomach but even though he grunted his pain he didn’t move away from her. His arm acted like a firm lock that refused to budge, he just held on tighter as she thrashed against him only serving to move him backwards until he collided with a pillar.

Ikuta’s shirt was still off to the side and the heat from his chest was permeating through to her back and she gulped. Like her body wasn’t already flaring up from everything it’d been put through today from fearing for her life to fearing for her soul.

She shut her eyes as she saw the light of the club glint on the tip of the needle. She didn’t want to be meek but if she was going out like this she wanted to know what it was that was going to bring her down. “So what is it? Is it heroin? Is that a lethal dose? Will you kill me?”

That caught him off guard but his hold remained steady only a scoff let her know he’d heard her. Strands of her hair touched his breath and kissed her skin as he spoke. “Don’t be stupid Lillith. This is just to knock you out.”

She shut her eyes tightly. There was only one last thing she could do-

It was too late she felt the needle pierce through the skin on her arm. Without a moment’s hesitation, with her last waking moments she let her head bend down to his arm and felt his skin enter her mouth as she bit down as hard as she could.

The bitter taste of iron flooded her mouth as she started to lose consciousness. While a slumber came over her and lulled her to a dream land far preferable to Tryst she saw Ikuta cradling his hand as he screamed soundlessly. He watched her smile as she escaped this world if for a few minutes but not before she heard him curse. “FUCK LILLITH YOUR FUCKING TEETH.”

If she was going down…she wasn’t going to go down without a fight.

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End Notes:
...what the fuck happened O.O?

First of all...if you guys can help me out. This is the first time I've done a really intensive action fighting scene. If you could let me know how I did in a review :) I would really appreciate it.

This is also one of my first smut scenes where I've tried VERY hard to plug in a lot of emotions and thoughts from one person's point of view...I'm scared it was messy so let me know what you think also :)

Those were the two new things I tried really hard to do in this chapter.

Other than that...I know what you're thinking guys!

WTF WAS THAT? WTF...NEEDLE? OMG. WHAT WAS IN THAT NEEDLE. WHERE- WHAT- HOW? SHIPMENT? ISN'T IT TOMORROW?

Yes it is 'tomorrow' in the AtoA land. In a few hours actually.

Yes...we are coming to the climax :) (like Rie...LOL XD jkjk)

Please look forward to the next chapter that will come out next year :D

Until then...

Previews

"This is only buying me time to figure out what she’s doing here.”

"I dated my professor at the Police Academy. I wasn’t planning on it being anything serious…but it turned out to be. So I applied to Drug Control. That was where he worked. I got in. I’d graduated at the top of my class last May you know?”

"Yokohama?! Why is it-"

“I was right wasn’t I? In the end, you’re going to have to kill me."


Happy Holidays lovelies :) Muah!!
Doll by Anna Clair
Author's Notes:
Please note...there are a lot of confusing little details in this chapter. If you don't read them and try to scan through this chapter, you WILL end up getting confused because all is not as it has seemed for the past 18 chapters and Rie is about to find that out herself :) Also fair warning, Mukai's part in this chapter can be a bit disturbing.

Ready?

Set?

Go.

Skyfall - Adele

Muse - the whole 2nd Law Album



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RECAP:

She shut her eyes as she saw the light of the club glint on the tip of the needle. She didn’t want to be meek but if she was going out like this she wanted to know what it was that was going to bring her down. “So what is it? Is it heroin? Is that a lethal dose? Will you kill me?”

That caught him off guard but his hold remained steady only a scoff let her know he’d heard her. Strands of her hair touched his breath and kissed her skin as he spoke. “Don’t be stupid Lillith. This is just to knock you out.”

She shut her eyes tightly. There was only one last thing she could do-

It was too late she felt the needle pierce through the skin on her arm. Without a moment’s hesitation, with her last waking moments she let her head bend down to his arm and felt his skin enter her mouth as she bit down as hard as she could.

The bitter taste of iron flooded her mouth as she started to lose consciousness. While a slumber came over her and lulled her to a dream land far preferable to Tryst she saw Ikuta cradling his hand as he screamed soundlessly. He watched her smile as she escaped this world if for a few minutes but not before she heard him curse. “FUCK LILLITH YOUR FUCKING TEETH.”

If she was going down…she wasn’t going to go down without a fight.


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The first thing Rie realized when she woke up was that she was strapped to something. Her chest was held back by this thick elastic that ran from her left shoulder to the edge of her right hip.

The next thing she realized was she was in a moving vehicle...and that strap was a seat belt.

Then she heard Ikuta Toma speak words that really did nothing to calm her already erratic heart. “Wana- Wana slow down.” She let her eyes slowly peek open. Thankfully, Ikuta Toma was not paying attention to her and she had woken up quietly. He was looking out of the windshield, driving responsibly for once because there could be no mistakes. They needed to get to the shipment location.

She couldn’t risk turning her head. If she did, he would realize she was awake. She heard him continue yelling at his sister through the phone. “What did you expect me to do?! Leave her for Takuya back at the club when he hears that she went for the fake bait! We’d be screwed for hiring her.” She heard his fist bang against the wheel and resisted jumping. “I can’t do that. Jin isn’t coming with us you know that. He’s at the fake location waiting to see who shows up there so we can know who Lillith works for. If I let her go, we'll never see her again.” Her blood ran cold. Fake location? Jin was staking out trying to see who she worked for? “We aren't going to attack them yet but it'll fucking help me and Jun get a strategy won't it? No, you know of course I won’t let it come to that.” She slowly sat up unable to keep the anticipation from being representative in her body now.

The more Ikuta Toma spoke, the more she heard her world come crashing down around her. Bait? What the fuck had she done? Had she put the police force in danger? She was sure her fingers were shaking. Ikuta Toma was so distracted he didn’t even notice her. “Wana, you know that killing Lillith is an absolute last resort...but it sure as hell would be fucking easier if I could.”

There it was.

The declaration of everything she’d thought was true.

This mission had always been a bit of a death sentence and now she’d heard her punishment called out.

She’d gotten caught…she deserved this death.

Yet after everything that she’d been through these past two days it made her hate him a little that he could say something like that. Like- everything -

“You’re going to kill me?” She whispered softly and turned to see his eyes turn to look at hers. His eyes told her that he regretted saying what he did now that he knew she was awake...and she must have looked pretty much like shit because the look of pity in his eyes was almost too much to bear.

She saw his hands turn on the wheel towards her, the car followed and swerved quickly as he concentrated on the road again.

“Wana I have to go.” His tone was curt and biting as she heard the car rev under the pressure of his foot on the accelerator. The scenery around her was passing by so quickly she should have been scared but she could only muster a mild amusement. There was nothing to fear. After all, she was going to die. He’d said it now so she might as well accept it. Maybe his kiss hadn’t even been anything but a farewell, maybe that’s why he had been sad…because soon she would be leaving him like Christine would too.

As soon as the thought ended she couldn’t help hitting her head roughly. Ikuta Toma didn’t bother reacting as he continued looking at the road. How sad was it that the first thing she thought of in the face of her imminent death was his reason behind kissing her?

She was a sick, pathetic, twisted human.

A coldness came over her, the coldness she recognized from the bullet that had pierced her flesh and had left her handicapped for quite a few days now.

The truth was she would much rather prefer to think of that then the idea of her lifeless body. Part of her wished now that maybe she could have ended her life then, that the bullet could have pierced her chest because at least she wouldn't have known, she would have died valiantly

Dying now was like dying as a coward. Dying weakened by her emotions towards this guy, dying a cheater, dying disloyal.

The open expanse of the road was not lost on her. They were not going towards Tokaichi that must was sure. If she could see a sign she could figure out where they were but the road seemed abandoned, even by the government.

A fake location.

It didn’t take long for her to put it together now that she was more awake. When Koyama had pushed her into the room, he had thought Ikuta would have been careless enough to leave location details out in the open. Ikuta had been testing her by leaving out papers with a fake location name...he'd left them out every day knowing that one day she would break in and find them. She had failed his test. Just like he'd expected from the beginning, he had never trusted her. Like a fool, she hadn’t tried to find out if the specs matched.

Now that she thought about it, Tokaichi could never make sense. Tokaichi was located in a small part of Japan, the size of the port could never measure up to the size of the ship that was docking in with the cocaine. She shut her eyes, feeling a headache rise. How could she have been so stupid?

Then her head shot up…even if she hadn’t realized it. A man like the chief should have known, the people on the team would have to have known they would have told her she was wrong.

Unless…

But she didn’t get to finish her thought because Ikuta Toma was speaking to her again and it was like her mind blanked out just so it could focus on the sound of his voice. “Lillith,”

That name.

How she hated that name right now. She felt her hands clench into fists at her side. That name was the reason she was going to die.

“I was right wasn’t I? In the end, you’re going to have to kill me. Like you said…you’re only prolonging the inevitable. So why didn’t you just drug me a greater dose of the tranquilizer and put me to sleep forever?” She saw him cringe as if her words made him uncomfortable. She felt her skin crawl as tears stung her eyes.

This was Lillith’s future…and Rie would have to pay the price for it. “Lillith…” If he called her by that name one more time- “Lillith nothing is going to ha-“

“MY NAME IS TOMOMASA RIE.” She shrieked out unable to control the sobs leaving her chest now as she fell over herself crying. She couldn’t bear to see his face. She couldn’t bear to see what he’d think of her now. Not that he'd even figure out what the significance of the name 'Tomomasa Rie' was.

Slowly she realized what it would mean to die. She'd never get to see her wedding day, or the sight of a plus sign on a pregnancy test, and most importantly she’d never get to lose her last breath satisfied with the life she lived surrounded by those she had raised, those who loved her.

The car started slowing down.

Her eyes flitted to the clock, 1AM. Apparently, he’d only lied about the location. They only had two hours until docking. “Please,” She pleaded softly. Her voice was hoarse and she felt the car come to a stop. One of his hands roughly grabbed her shoulder and pulled her up from her cowered posture. She lifted her hands to cover her face. She was so ashamed of what she was about to tell him. Her motivation might be premature but if she was going to be killed she wanted him to know. She wanted him to know everything.

Because despite everything Ikuta Toma did, she knew what the one thing was that he really wanted to do.

He wanted to burn it all down and then laugh at the people who had ruined him as he ruined everything they’d ever worked for. That was why he’d screamed that day on the beach.

That motivation would be enough for him.

The only way to ignite Ikuta Toma’s dormant anger against this world he’d trapped himself in would be to tell him the truth…about everything. She was sure it would work.

Because if she died...who else could she trust to bring down the corruption she had found herself entrenched in? Who else could she trust to figure out the true motivation behind her chief? The Yamashita clan? Hell even the Takuya clan?

“Ikuta Toma…” Her voice shook as she slowly looked up at him, words flowing out so perfectly she almost looked practiced saying her speech. “My name is not Lillith. It’s Rie, Tomomasa Rie. I'm an undercover officer for the Drug Control division of the Tokyo Police force and let's be honest with each other for the first time since we've met.” She felt his eyes turn to stone. All the frantic worry he’d held for her disappeared as she let her lips say the words that would seal her fate. “I was sent here to ruin you.”

She let her eyes risk a glance at his face when the silence in their car grew deadly. No, he wouldn’t let her see what she was thinking. “What are you talking about?”

“I dated my professor at the Police Academy.” That was the first thing that left her lips and she saw his barely put-together façade almost snap. He was not interested in this topic. “I wasn’t planning on it being anything serious…but it turned out to be. So I applied to Drug Control. That was where he worked...that's why. Then, I got in. I’d graduated at the top of my class last May you know? So it didn’t come as a surprise when I busted the amateur drug ring in Akihabara now almost three weeks ago.”

“That was you ?” The skepticism in his voice didn’t evade her. She squeezed her eyes shut.

“That was me. I was so prized that the chief thought I’d be ready for this…this-“

“Open your eyes.” He grabbed her hands. She could feel his fingers pushing into her flesh so forcefully it hurt, she heard an anxious edge to his voice she hadn’t expected. Ikuta Toma was not an anxious person.

“He thought I’d be ready for this mission-“

“LILLITH. OPEN YOUR EYES.” Her eyelids flew up as she heard his panic echo through the car. He looked as hurt as she felt. “Li-“ Then as if he realized what he had been calling her all this time she saw his face slack and a truly disgusted sadness rose upon his features. Her tears pooled in her eyes, Ikuta Toma had never looked so angry and disappointed with her. Like he was dealing with a child who had taken a crayon to the walls and created a mess not even he could not fix. “Rie.”

Her heart broke hearing her name come out of his mouth like it was a curse. To him, it was. It was the last straw. “I was sent to stop the shipment. I was sent to Tryst to infiltrate it. To make you trust me.”

“Fuck off, Lillith.”

Why didn’t he correct himself? “My name is-“

“Yeah, I know what your name is and I don’t give a shit. I don’t have time to get to know some new fucking bitch.” He pushed back obviously irritated that she’d tried to correct him. “I just thought you were fucking around with us from Yamashita’s clan…I didn’t think you were actually a cop.”

“Well I am.” She laughed nervously though what she was about to say next was no laughing matter. “So you can just kill me now and get it over with. That’s what you guys do right - kill cops?”

She was shocked to find him looking at her like she was an idiot. Shocked and relieved. Relieved that she had at least a few more moments until Takuya got to her and put the bullet in her head himself. “Don’t be stupid. I can’t kill you.”

“Why not?”

“You saved my life. I owe you a debt.” She sat softly in his seat as she sighed feeling deflated. “But I can’t just save you either. What you’ve done…you should have never told me.” He pushed his hands in his hair and she saw the way his knuckles grew white as he gripped the steering wheel and she gulped. “How am I ever supposed to get them to forgive you, Lillith?” He kept trying to say her name as if that was the only way he could reinforce that she deserved his help.

It was Lillith, the sexy Tryst translator, that he wanted to save. Rie, the cop, could go to the dogs for all he cared.

She laughed. There was no way she could even entertain the idea of going rogue and switching to the other side. “If you get them to forgive me, the force will shoot me down themselves, I don’t win here.” She’d just made everything worse for him but she wasn’t even done. She had to tell him about the chief, about Koyama, about Shige, about Mukai- “Toma…I need to tell you something.”

“I think you’ve told me enough for now Lillith.” She bit her lip. No she hadn’t! She had to tell him so much more! He had to know what was really happening here, what she suspected because she wouldn’t be able to find out the truth herself after today. She needed him to, and he would only do it if he believed her-

“Toma-“

“NO, RIE.” The tone of harshness at the edge of his voice made her retreat back into the curve of her seat as she crumbled over herself again. It was strange that hearing her real name from him felt like a whiplash. “I’m handing you over, please understand that I can't do anything else in this case.”

“So they can kill me? So you don’t feel guilty about it?”

“Can you stop being so obsessed with the idea of your death? I’m not going to let anyone kill you. I already told you that.” Toma cleared his throat and she felt the car start again. “Just be prepared…before I figure out a way to fix this they’re not going to go easy on you.” She supposed he would know, he had probably faced the same treatment himself when Christine had gotten married.

The rest of their drive passed in silence as they drove towards the new port and she saw a sign flash above their heads. "Yokohama?” He took an exit off the highway but didn’t respond. So that was where the shipment was landing, now she was certain there was no way that the force would be able to get to Yokohama in time once they realized that the location she'd given them was not right. The drive to Tokaichi from Tokyo was four hours long. By contrast the drive to Yokohama was only about an hour.

They passed a residential street rolling down a slope and she tried to control her breath as she felt him speed up. They drove by the sea face reaching the outer regions of the city. Finally she saw the tell-tale port imagery come before her, large ships had already docked in. There was that distinct ocean smell that took her back to the innocent summer days she used to play at the beach with her parents, aunts and uncles and cousins. She shut her eyes as she felt Toma park the car and get out of the door. Slowly but surely she followed.

There was nowhere to run, or she would have tried. She was still too cowardly to toss herself into the ocean. She saw Toma turn around to look at her and shake his head. “Come on…walk faster. We don’t have much time now.” Her feet felt like lead…how could he ask her to move them faster when they were walking to a place where she didn’t even know what would happen to her?

When he saw how still she was, he grabbed her hand and dragged her but there was nothing about his hands that made her feel like she was safe. She felt like throwing up and her stomach did twisted somersaults in her body making her feel even sicker. What was she supposed to say to him right now at this moment? “Hey Toma-“

“Yeah?” He muttered back softly as they made their way past a large tin carrier.

“I know I shouldn’t be saying anything right now but- it’s okay if you don’t end up saving me.” His own feet stopped walking as he turned around to look at her.

“You want to die don’t you?” This time he was pissed. He was wringing his hands frustrated, they were on the edge of his holster anyways.

“Why? Are you offering?” She laughed and saw his face grow even more furious with the broken record in front of him. “Look…I’m saying that because I know that there’s probably nothing you can-” He quickly strode forward and grabbed her shoulders like he would grip a life line.

“You don’t know what I can and cannot do. So don't try to damn yourself just because you can't trust that I'll keep you safe.” His voice was so confident and yet so threatening. They stood breathing heavily for a second as she shut her eyes trying to hold back tears.

Fearful that the insane woman in front of him was going to run off and go try to commit suicide herself he grabbed her hand and interlocked their fingers. Right now, she could pretend that the way he was gripping her hand aggressively was a metaphor for their situation. That he wouldn't let her go, that he wouldn't let her be ripped apart from him...at least not yet. She looked up at him the water from her eyes flooding her gaze, blurring his figure so she looked downwards again. She shouldn’t cry. There was no reason to, Toma had asked her to trust him. Could she?

He walked unbearably fast, and it seemed like in mere seconds they were in front of the dock she knew the ship would land in. “Ikuta!” She looked up to see Jun walking towards the two of them, his eyes falling to the image of their hands conjoined and he looked at her tear stricken face. As he realized that Rie obviously wasn’t supposed to be here from the meeting they had had with Takuya, he looked at Toma fearfully. Takuya would kill them both if he found out that Rie had been brought here. “What is she -“

“It’s too long a story to tell.” Toma replied quickly cutting Jun short as Jun frowned obviously dissatisfied with his answer. Rie herself was shock that he hadn't sold her out yet...but then again his first priority was the shipment. “Are they coming in?”

“About an hour till the ship docks... they’ll be hidden with the talcum powder shipments.” Jun said looking back at Rie who struggled to keep her whimpers silent and looked at Toma. “What do you want to do with her?”

“Hide her, I don’t know man - fucking take her away. I can’t take care of her and the shipment.” Jun nodded as Toma walked away…presumably knowing where he was going.

Once he was out of earshot Jun turned his attention on his translator. “What happened?” Rie shook her head. What could she tell Jun? Everything - she had ruined everything. “At least you should have put on proper clothes Lillith.” Jun took off his blazer and whipped his shirt off before putting his blazer back on over his undershirt. He tossed her his shirt as she looked at him. “Put that on. I don’t want to know what happened anymore so don’t worry. I won’t push. I don’t have time for it anyways.” He hoisted her up to her feet. “Let’s get you hidden somewhere so that Takuya doesn’t see you today huh?”

“He’s coming?”

“Of course…this is one of his biggest deals. He’ll oversee it with Toma. If he wasn’t here it would be insulting the cartels who are supplying us.” Jun ruffled her hair as if she was being so cute and childish by not knowing what on earth was going on around them. “I can’t baby sit you though…I have to be out there with them.”

She looked at him as he guided her to an empty tin surprisingly supplied with electricity. It must have been their regular haunt here. The paint was peeling off the can, the air was stale, but there was a chair and a table. “You going to be okay? Seung Hyun will be with you.” Jun questioned her and then checked his phone and furrowed his eyebrows. “Toma told me to lock you in here for the next little while.” When he saw her face fall despairingly, he couldn’t help but look back from his phone to the broken figured girl in front of him. She looked like she was so exhausted she was on the verge of collapsing. “Lillith…answer me. Will you be okay if I lock you in here?”

She struggled to calm herself. She had to trust him. She had to. Toma had promised her she wouldn’t die…but she couldn’t shake the feeling. She was starting to understand why some people believed that you could predict your own death. This blanket of cold that was over her head right now must have been that feeling, reminding her what a small amount of time she had left to live. “Jun, you were right.” At his misunderstood expression she elaborated, the breath leaving her mouth growing foggy for a second in the cold as she wrapped his shirt around herself. “I have feelings for him.”

Then she saw it. The pity in his eyes that so obviously meant he thought that was the reason she was such a wreck, and sure the over-exertion of her emotions might have had something to do with it but it wasn’t everything. “Lillith-"

“It’s okay… don’t worry. I’m fine. Just- if you can get Toma to come talk to me as soon as possible…tell him it’s important. Tell him, I need to tell him something. It’s worth his time- it doesn’t have to do with my feelings or anything.” She corrected seeing Jun grow increasingly uncomfortable at the way the words flowed out of her mouth. “Please, Jun. I need your help.”

“I’ll do what I can but he seems to want to avoid you right now- and I don’t have time for this today- you can just talk to him later okay? Personally.” She felt ridiculous now, because she was starting to cry yet again. She held back her sobs, the pain only amplifying in her chest because of her restraint. It was hopeless, how the hell was she ever going to tell him that she was starting to think that the chief had his eyes on the shipment for Yamashita’s clan?

She sure as hell didn’t want to tell Jun who would use the information to both get her and Toma out of his way to become the primary heir to the Takuya clan.

She felt a thumb glide across her cheek and looked up to see Jun staring at her, shaking his head. She gulped back another knot in her throat as she heard him speak again. “Don’t make yourself weak for him.” Then he smiled tightly as if his facial features just hurt from telling her all of this.

After getting a guard to look over her, he walked out of the tin, leaving her with Choi Seung Hyun who only nodded lightly with his large AK-47 in his hand. Seung Hyun smiled at her. "This is good...we'll be away from the action huh Lillith?"

She simply nodded frowning because she couldn't talk. Now she was so tired that her body seemed intent on collapsing in a heap even if she had been unconscious mere minutes ago.

She sat down leaning her head against the cool metal walls, her eyes shutting soundlessly as she felt all her limbs go slack and then she escaped this world.

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Mukai looked around him, the air was cold around Tokaichi and he was starting to feel scared. It was 2:45 in the morning, and they hadn’t seen a single ship come into this small port. Indeed, the entire town seemed dead.

“You okay?” He heard one of his partners say and saw Ryuusei smiling at him. Then, as if he had read Mukai’s mind he started speaking again. “Don’t be worried Mukai…Rie’s a trooper. She’ll be fine...and you're here too now to stop anything from happening. The Chief's done everything possible to make sure she's safe.”

He knew Ryuusei was only trying to put his mind to rest but he only frowned harder at the statement. Rie was new, beyond new, now that he thought of it, putting her on a mission like this was smart of the chief but also extremely careless. She wasn’t strong enough or smart enough to know how things worked with clans- but with Japan’s large yakuza community everyone knew you could only go undercover once before everyone found out who you were.

Unwillingly, her words flitted back to his mind. The chief is stopping this shipment from being in Ikuta's hands…but that doesn’t mean the shipment is confiscated.

Not only was she sleeping in the enemy’s den, she was trying to make an enemy out of the very force that was supposed to work for her but he couldn’t argue that there was something fishy going on here. “What’s that?” He heard Ryuusei say and they saw it finally…a tiny boat flitted to the dock, so small it really had no business coming into the docking station for carrier ships but yet it came. It came unmanned…or at least there was no one directing it.

“Mukai!” He heard his assistant chief Inagaki-san yell out to him through their communication devices. Out of their team of 10, he was the one who was not supposed to be on the case but he had pushed his way into this heist to keep his fiance safe. Was Rie here? On that boat? Somewhere? "Go see it!"

A bitter taste flooded on his tongue as he slowly moved towards the dock, now well aware that he was exposed. He could be shot down any moment, if the wrong person saw him reaching into this boat.

But this tiny thing couldn’t have the shipment in it. As he got closer he felt a foul stench fill his nose, he covered his nose with his hand. It smelled like shit, quite literally. Mukai leaned down and started climbing down the small steps to reach the boat.

“Oh dear god.” He muttered as he took in the image of Inoo Kei, the co-op student who had driven Rie to the chief’s house.

Kei's face was screaming, though it had long been silenced. His eyes had been pulled out of their sockets. The boy looked positively ghoul like and Mukai covered his mouth trying to keep from throwing up. Despite himself he looked down and just as he expected there was a large incision made on Inoo’s intestinal area with quite literally his guts spilling out of his tiny teenage boy frame.

The boat which had at first seemed red was just painted with Inoo’s blood.

It was the worst kill he had ever seen in his time in the force. So, as the tears sprung to his eyes he let them come. “WHAT’S DOWN THERE?” He heard Inagaki speak out to him through his walkie talkie, his assistant chief sounded desperate because it was becoming very clear that this was a set up and that there would be no one coming to the Tokaichi port.

Mukai wiped the tears that ran down his face, never ceasing. Mukai didn’t consider himself an emotional man, no he had quite heartlessly broken many a woman’s heart whether it was his mother’s or many of the women who had walked in and out of his life.

So he was shocked at his reaction because the flood would not stop, and he realized why. This had nothing to do with Mukai’s personal feelings to Inoo Kei. Inoo Kei was just a boy and really not one he was that close to, he was not family, he was not a friend…but as a human, Mukai felt wronged for him.

No one deserved to be mutilated like this, least of all a boy who had barely existed in the world as a man.

He wasn’t even supposed to be on the case - he had just volunteered to pick up Rie.

A role now, Mukai cursed himself for not taking on.

At least he would have been able to defend himself. “Officer down sir, I repeat officer down.” He whimpered out and heard the team rush towards him one by one assuming that he was the one who was down. Inoo Kei was not technically a police officer, but Mukai refused to give him any treatment that would state otherwise. He had died because of his duty, which made his death just as sad and significant as any other death would have been on the team.

As the group of officers, collectively huddled around the boat Mukai fell back in a daze, leaning against the cool stone of the port.

This was not about shooting them down or catching them vulnerable. No one else would be harmed today from their force…but whoever had sent this body to them they were sending them a message that they were watching them, their every move, and they knew that someone had ratted out this location to the cops.

The more they chased, the more they tried to shut down one of the biggest clans in the city…the bigger the price would be.

Right now it was a student, inconsequential at most- a civilian life but Mukai knew that this was the killer's way of warning them to get officers off the case and so now the only way he could take that message now was …

Rie might be next.
End Notes:
The obvious change to Mukai's point of view was a bit different...I know...but I feel like if I don't publish everything that's happening and just stick to Rie's point of view the reading experience of Ashes to Ashes is limited. So for now, at least in the first draft I think I'm going to start alternating the experience when ABSOLUTELY needed.

Okay...now because I know how confusing this chapter was...feel free to ask me what on earth all of that up there was about...because this chapter is super important and you really need to understand what happened so that you can enjoy the next chapters properly :). Plus it helps me so that I can edit this and make somethings more clear as necessary.

The mind warping will continue...this night is eventful for all three groups in the story. The force, the Takuya Clan and the Yamashita clan.

Who knows we may even get to meet Mr.Yamashita himself soon :)

I would also like to apologize if you're uncomfortable with the way Inoo was killed...tbh I took the description of the killing from Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez. This is the same way Marquez's character Santiago Nasar is killed. So I clearly admit my inspiration came from here :)

P.S. R.I.P Inoo Kei :( I really didn't want to kill him but I had to. Who do you guys think killed Inoo?

PREVIEWS

"You little bitch."

"There's only forty of us and they're taking us out circle by circle!"

"WHERE IS SHE?"

"I always knew you were a liar...but coming here and finding out you were a cop. That was hilarious."

"Oh please, the real joke here is the one I found! I'm sure Toma's so happy that the woman he won't let himself stop loving is still fucking around with her husband."

"Talia? What are you doing here?"

A lot of these are tentative T.T because the next chapter hasn't been finalized.

Mwah! Hope you guys enjoyed it! The ride's only going to get more fun from here :D!

Slip by Anna Clair
Author's Notes:
If you like drama and action
Enjoy :D
Coldplay and Zedd (as well as Calvin Harris) will do well with this chapter.
Ty to Chri for helping me plot some things related to this chapter

------------------------


Toma felt the wind from the sea kiss his hot skin as he looked at Gabriel, one of the Iguaran mafia members. Until today, this man had been one of the only contacts Toma had had in the Colombian crew. Now he felt like he knew half the Iguaran family the way the foreign language of Spanish was echoing near the Pacific ocean. “You take care of everything now yeah?” Gabriel stuttered out in his limited English as he rubbed his arms for a second. “This city is cold. Too cold. Not like Tokyo.” Gabriel pulled out a cigarette and lit it under his palm. Toma took one out of his own and Gabriel shared the light so they could puff away the chill in their bones.

But Toma realized that the chill in his would not let him rest so easily. His shivers did not come from the cold but from the impending fate of this shipment that he was no longer sure how to manipulate to his favour.

No, nothing about the next couple of hours really felt safe for him anymore. He had thought he had this shipment in the bag, but the ride here had proved him wrong. He’d fucked up and the worst part was he really didn’t know what to do about it. He took a long drag of the stick, filling his lungs with smoke.

Even if he did want to save her, which he wasn’t sure he did because the nosy bit had basically ruined his whole life, how long could he hide Lillith’s secret for her?

Jin was at the other grounds and, well, if Lillith had communicated that address properly to her team, right now the guy was probably hiding from the cops. If Jin came back, and Toma asked him not to tell Takuya about that location, that would be betraying the clan.

And if Takuya found out that he had hid this from him, there would be no question what his fate would be.

He’d be dead in seconds.

So there really was no way to save her, this little cop who had gotten herself involved in more than she could handle.

“Do not worry Gabriel,” Takuya spoke fluidly as he came over to Gabriel’s side, eyes watchful over the workers unloading from the ship and walking towards the “vegetable produce” trucks that were a safe distance. All in all, there would be four trucks of merchandise, of course there was only about two crates of actual dope in each one. Diversifying the lot was the best way to keep it hidden. “Toma is very reliable and we will make sure that your involvement henceforth won’t be necessary. We can manage our own city.” Takuya grinned, obviously trying to hint at some connection with the legal authorities.

“The Level 2 inspection went okay?” Toma asked turning to look at Takuya, who nodded pleasantly. The Level 2 inspection was after all just another way of Takuya affirming that he didn’t trust anyone in his ‘house’. It was his way of testing the quality of the dope.

It was the only reason Toma hadn’t been allowed to be present at the inspection. He was just one other person Takuya didn't trust completely.

“Jun and I confirmed it with the chemist, now we just have to get the goods to the storehouse and distribute it to the peddle hands in Akihabara and Ginza we’ll win. That simple.” Toma couldn’t help but wonder what they were winning because this had never felt like a competition, it had always felt like a crime. And could you win crimes?

Takuya smiled at Toma with the proud expression of a father now and though Toma smiled back at him tightly he felt his skin crawl. It was like he had made his entire body feel uncomfortable by the role that he had made it wear, but then...his skin should have been used to this role. He had been wearing this mask for so many years now that he easily forgot who he was without Takuya as his leader.

The motion of the wind slapping his hair into his face brought him back to the past for a brief moment. He was alone, in a room so dark that all hope seemed to be dead. A lone light swayed over his head as Takuya crushed his nose into his face. The sound of the blood stickily gushing out of his twisted flesh echoed in his ears. Then came the screams that hollered against his rib cage as his bones were shattered to powder under the force of the strongest man in their 'family'.

Just as quickly as it had come, the memory disappeared. Toma sniggered for a moment to himself.

Christine thought he hadn’t fought for her.

Which he supposed was true. It wasn’t like he’d been any good at fighting back then, it had ended up being more that he’d been beaten up for her.

This was not the time for humorous musings on his convoluted interconnection with this family. “Have they finished loading it into the trucks?” Gabriel asked and Takuya shrugged looking at Toma.

Taking his cue, he resisted the urge to bow to his master. He was, after all, but a puppet. “I’ll check with Jun,” He began to walk away a strange sort of fear coming over his heart, reminding him yet again that nothing about these docks felt safe. He knew he had no reason to worry but something felt innately wrong. He casually reminded himself that he had nothing to stress about patting the gun on his belt subconsciously. If somehow, he had managed to leave out any detail, he could shoot down the detail that challenged the security of his mission.

He heard something shift from the west end of the port and raised an eyebrow. That was where the trucks were parked. 10 of his men were supposed to be guarding the four vehicles, two at each vehicle and then two to circle the entire perimeter of the surrounding area.

“Why do you look like you’ve seen a ghost?” He turned around to see Jun grinning at him. He didn’t grin back, he was never happy to see his would-be brother-in-law. It might have something to do with the fact that Jun was forever ready to stick a knife in his back every time Toma turned around. “Something to do with Lillith?” Jun ventured with a hazardous guess. Toma narrowed his gaze just the slightest as he pondered if that girl was stupid enough to tell Jun where she’d come from.

Then again, Jun hadn’t called Lillith by her real name yet. What was it again? “No…I just thought I heard something from the west port. Have all the trucks finished loading the merchandise after the inspection?”

“Everything’s safe and sound Ikuta.” He clapped a hand over Toma’s shoulder in a way that was meant to be reassuring. “Including our little translator, even if you brought her in completely psychotic, with her shirt all ripped up, and her mind in tatters. I didn't you liked to make them insane.” Toma didn’t respond in any visible way, he didn’t want Jun to think about this any further but he knew that with the way Lillith had been mere moments ago, Jun must have come to his own conclusions that he had done something to make her that way. Jun didn’t seem to take the hint though, he brought her up again. “You know I always thought it was sadder for you than me.” Toma turned to look at him with a questioning gaze. “You’re marrying Talia, the troublemaker. She’ll never listen to you. She'll never cry for you.” At the mention of his future wife, he unwillingly remembered the last time he had seen her. It had been two days ago.



“What are you doing here?” Toma spoke threateningly as he saw his blue-eyed wife-to-be turn around with the smile of an innocent as she walked towards him. He didn’t have time for this. Takuya had already given him an ear lashing at his meeting with him. Talia was the last person he wanted to see.

“I just wanted to see if my husband-to-be was okay now that the love of his life is no longer rooming with him.” She caressed the side of his face lightly and he shook and backed away from her. The feel of her nails grazing his skin made him feel like they were knives, pinpricking his skin. She was just as deadly as her father, if not more. “If you need anything, I can always room-“

“Don’t bother finishing that sentence.” He lifted his eyes and saw her look at him in a peculiar fashion. Almost as if she was relieved at his sadistic answer. This was an appearance he was not used to seeing on her face. She was faking her sadness, though he couldn’t see if this was a deliberate sarcastic farce or whether she was just getting bad at acting around him. “The only thing I need from you is to leave me alone, and don’t come in here again if you know what’s good for you.”

“You know, Christine always told me you were the gentlest lover she had.” Talia mused softly swinging her arms by her side lightly. “I mean not that she had much to compare to what with being sexually abused and all but…I don’t think that’s true. You’re an asshole Toma.” She looked at him seriously now, all appearances of a smile off her face. “You know we won’t be happy together right?”

He felt a ball form in his throat. How dare she bring up Christine’s words against him? How dare she remind him of how many ways he had failed the woman who he felt the need to serve for the rest of his life? “I’m counting on it.” He grinned brightly at her. He stormed towards the door and pulled it open with a little more force than was necessary. “Please my lady, get the fuck out of my life?”

Talia curtsied and took her leave giggling.



To the visible eye, nothing had seemed out of place but the very fact she was there seemed to disturb the setting of his room.

It still didn’t make any sense to him why she’d bothered to have that conversation with him, she knew they were only going to be married in name anyways. Talia was a means to an end for him, and he really didn’t know what the hell he was to her but nor did he really care. She’d marry him because she was forced to, that would be that. He didn’t have time to care about her motivations so long as she moved ahead with the marriage.

“With Talia comes the title so I say no to your inevitable fiancé switching proposition Jun. I’d much rather keep her…besides if you think you could manipulate that one better than me, you’re misinformed.” He grinned tightly, making it clear he no longer wanted to talk about it. “You concentrate on keeping your little Mao in line all right?” Though he really needn’t have said that, Mao was the most sub-servient docile girl in the house.

“Does Mao even step a toe out of line with me?” Jun shot back an equally captivating smile on his face. “But if I thought I was rough with my women, I stand corrected seeing how you treat yours. The marks on her were coloring quite nicely when I saw them.” A sound mixed with awe and disgust left Jun's lips. When his eyelids shut, for a second all he could see was golden flesh and buttons scattered around him.

Toma cleared his throat, pressing his lips together so he could at least attempt to ignore Jun’s reference to Lillith. This was made considerably easier by him walking away from him towards the West port, knowing full well Jun would be following him. “The merchandise is all loaded up?”

“Sure.” Jun drawled back enjoying the way he saw the side of Toma’s jaw tighten, it was the only sign of his frustration. Jun enjoyed frustrating Toma, it was the only way he could make the prodigal son-in-law fuck up. Jun had always tried to take the easy way out and ruin Toma rather than just do better himself.

“Everything okay?” He saw Toma ask the security guard at the very first truck.

The man, Kusano Hironori, calmly responded. “Yes sir, we’ll be driving out soon correct? The fourth truck just finished loading a few minutes ago.” Toma nodded as he saw the guards. The guards would double up and one would enter the back and the other would drive the truck to the trunk house they’d rented out.

Toma sighed, looking at the slowly lightening sky for a second.

And then the sound cracked through the peaceful calm of the night as the light of dawn began to kiss the seashore.

It was the sound of a gun-shot and the bullet was embedded in Hironori’s body. The man slumped against the truck he’d been standing against instantaneously and gasped for his last breath.

Toma looked around erratically, barely registering the blood on his shirt as he pulled out his gun and held it in his hands aware of Jun on his back. “Jun! Do you see anyone?” He cursed quickly seeing Hironori succumb gasping to his death. “Hironori-”

“I’m fine sir just it’s from-“ He pointed weakly towards his left but the life ran out of him before he could finish and his hand fell to the dirt. Toma gulped seeing a figure on top of a shipping container. The figure twitched, aware that it had been caught.

“Go after the fucker.” Jun looked at him and nodded. “I’ll manage back here.”

Toma saw the figure bolt as he started towards it and leaped using some sort of roping device to latch on and throw itself off the space between containers. Finally, jumping down to ground level the figure ran towards the edge of the port and Toma quickened his pace.

It was a man, and he’d used a sniper gun that was looped around his back now as he ran ready to rip the black mask over the guy’s face off. He was closing in just a bit when the guy tripped and fell to the ground and that was just as well because Toma was on top of him, pinning the little fucker down for thinking he could come here and get out alive after hurting one of his guys.

He wasn’t sure what he was expecting but he sure as hell wasn’t expecting the guy to start laughing at him, clapping his hands together as if he had already given up. “Aren’t you going to rip it off?” Toma raised an eyebrow as he punched the guy so that he stopped laughing and then ripped the mask off his head. He didn’t recognize this guy at all. He’d never seen him before and he was going to make sure he never saw him again. Toma pushed his gun into the guy’s head. “That’s a little rash don’t you think?” He pouted looking up at him.

“You know what you just did is a suicide mission…don’t you think that's a little rash?”

“Be that as it may,” The guy sighed dramatically as he looked upwards at the sky. “We’ve gotten what we came for. So it really doesn’t matter.” Toma punched the guy again enjoying the way the blood was rushing to his mouth and spilling out of the smart ass’s mouth. “Is the great Ikuta Toma mad? You should be. You’ve lost.”

“What the fuck are you-“ That was when he heard it. The series of gun shots ringing out from the port that they’d left behind and the guy burst into cackles, immensely pleased. “Who the FUCK sent you here?” For a man who was all laughs, he was immediately silenced and looked at Toma with a steely gaze. When he didn’t respond, Toma grabbed his arm and held it above his head despite the guy’s resistance and placed his gun at the place where his elbow met his arm. “If you like having your hand, speak up, otherwise I’ll bid it goodbye for you.” He jabbed the end of the revolver roughly into his skin seeing the guy shake his head.

“What the hell does it matter? It’s done. You’ll run back and it’ll be over. We’ll have taken everything. You think we don’t know your security pattern. There’s only forty of you…and we’re taking you out circle by circle.”

“The shipment-“ The guy started laughing again though he was obviously in pain when he was doing it and Toma asked again. “What are you laughing at?” When the guy didn’t respond Toma growled and pulled on his hair with his free hand and decided that fuck it.

If he didn’t hurt this guy, the little bitch wouldn’t tell him anything. So he steadied the guy’s head in his hands squishing the guy’s cheeks together as he glared at him. “Say goodbye.” He let his fingers push on the soft flesh of the guy’s arm and the bullet ran through the guy’s body making him holler in pain, the echo damaging Toma’s ear but he didn’t care. “I’m not out of bullets yet and I can think of plenty of more interesting places they can go.” He changed the position of the gun to the hollow of the guy’s neck. “If you don’t start talking-“

“Where do you think I’m from?” The guy shot back panting as Toma used the elbow on his free arm to lean down and grind it forcefully into the guy’s secreting wound.

“I’m sorry was this the “Fucker whose under me thinks he can ask questions” segment on some fucking game show?” He would have used his hands but from previous experiences he knew how much he hated the stickiness of blood on his hands. Metaphorically he didn’t care for it, it was too late to care once you lost count of the number of men you killed. “Hurry up buddy, your time to answer the question is running out.”

That was a lie. Well. He didn’t know the number but he never forgot a kill. No matter how known or unknown they were to him, it was hard to forget their faces when they so easily came to haunt him at night, reminding him that he’d cut their time short. That he’d played god where he really shouldn’t have.

“Yamashita.” Toma froze as he looked down at the guy. “I’m one of the Yamashita Shatei.” Toma hadn’t promised anything to the guy but he’d been planning on taking him as a hostage. But now that he knew it was one of Yamashita’s men, he couldn’t control the internal urge he had to just take him out.

First Yamashita took Christine, now he wanted to fuck up his shipment? No, he had to kill this one. “Why did he send you here?” A phone started ringing and Toma felt it vibrate under his leg and pulled it out to see the guy had gotten a message. He was also idiotic enough to not have a locking code.

We took Rie. Did you distract Ikuta?

He looked at the guy who was watching his reaction carefully. Though Toma didn’t know what his face was doing, he wasn’t sure what the text message meant. Why did they know Lillith’s real name? “I’m only going to ask you this one more time.”

“I won’t answer anything. I’m not stupid, I know you’ll shoot me anyways.” He replied back and shut his eyes. “So go ahead.”

Toma’s gun released a second bullet. The boy died quickly.

Toma lifted himself from the dead body as he tucked the guy’s phone away into his pocket, feeling it buzz again he pulled it out to read the message. He was only greeted with the image of a girl doing the peace sign with the text Good morning Yuki baby!

He dropped the phone by the guy’s side and shut his eyes as he ran away from the body and back towards where he’d heard the shots gulping trying to erase the image of the guy’s girlfriend from his mind.

I am not weak. I am not weak. He repeated to himself.

---------------

A gun shot was what woke Rie up from her nightmare as she saw Koyama barge into the can and heard a guy yell from outside. Seung Hyun was on his feet but before he could do anything Shige had come in behind Koyama and shot the guy that she had once seen Koyama hug in the head.

Rie froze as she saw the Korean fall back lamely against the ground and twitch just exactly once, as if releasing every last ounce of life from his body. His eyes were white and rolled into the back of his head.

Rie screamed and tried to run but there was no point. Koyama had lunged after her and grabbed her by the waist. “Rie-RIE CALM DOWN.”

She couldn’t. How could he ask her to calm down? He had just killed someone he had spent the last five years around! “Rie if you don’t calm down I’m going to have to drug you. RIE CALM DOWN. PLEASE.” She didn’t feel a gun on him, so at least she knew she could physically fight him. She threw her legs aimlessly around them hoping she’d hit him and he’d let her go. “RIE STOP IT.” Koyama’s hand clamped over her mouth.

“Is the slut giving you trouble Koya?” Shige drawled back lazily and she saw him take out a cloth and dab a substance on it. He walked up towards her limping slightly and she remembered the way he’d looked in the hospital. “Thanks for your notes Rie baby.” He leaned forward and pressed a kiss to her cheek as she screamed into Koyama’s palm hyperventilating. How the hell could her translations have gotten to Shige? “Really…they were utterly useless and we had to rely on Koyama’s girlfriend to get us here but you tried your hardest didn’t you?” He ruffled her hair and then looked at her seriously. “I’m not as nice as Koyama Rie baby…you see more than just the fact I’m a bigger asshole. I really really don’t like you. So let's make this clear then? If you don’t shut the fuck up and leave with us quietly now like a good girl, I’ll put this to your mouth and let you be unconscious.” He caressed her hair and Rie felt bile rise in her throat making her hunch over herself. She saw Shige’s mouth curl into a cruel smirk. “And I’ll let the rest of the boys play with you while you’re sleeping.” He winked at her as she suddenly froze in Koyama’s grasp. “Good girl. Koyama let go of her mouth.”

Koyama’s hand dropped from her mouth. Instantly, Rie spat at Shige’s face, shouting curses at the crude gangster. “Fuck you!” Shige slapped her and proceeded to whip her head with his pistol.

“You little bitch.” Shige spat back in her face. She gasped in pain as she felt his hand rub her skin and she struggled to hold back the scream bubbling in her chest. “Now now, that wasn’t very nice Rie. You act like an animal and I’ll treat you like one? Sound fair?” His fingers scratched into her cheeks and she yowled. She knew it was coming but even so she tried to kick her legs up and land on Shige’s chest so she could launch herself off him and flip out of Koyama’s grasp but it was too late for that.

The cloth was already covering her mouth and her body slacking Koyama’s grasp but not before she heard Shige talking on the phone about being done their part.

They’d come for the cocaine, but she was their perk. As Koyama lifted her hazy form over his shoulder she was vaguely aware of their bodies clanging together before sleep claimed her as its victim yet again.

---------------------

“Rie,hey Rie...” She looked up to see Toma smiling at her grasping her hands in his. “Will you be okay?”

“Okay?” She questioned back dumbly as he nodded and looked worried for her. This wasn’t the Toma she knew, the Toma she knew showed as little emotion for her as possible. That was…if he even held any emotion towards her.

She thought he did but she couldn’t just assume it. “You’re going to go through a lot in the next couple of days.” She felt the pads of his fingers run past the inside of her palm and her breath caught in her throat. “I won’t be allowed to come to save you, you know?”

Her eyes flickered upwards to meet his. “I know,” She did know. She didn't know how she knew but she did. “I won’t need you to save me.” She saw him crack a smile, his hands trailed up her arm slowly spiraling up towards her neck. With every graze her spine straightened just a little more, her body leaning just the slightest bit towards the pressure of his hand.

Finally as he reached her neck, his hand clasped around its side and pulled her towards him. It was a possessive, aggressive gesture, one that she really shouldn’t have enjoyed as much as she did. He leaned his mouth towards her left ear...

She heard him lick his lips. She hadn’t even known it was possible to hear such an action. She shut her eyes, begging him to understand everything her body was silently begging him to do.

Kiss me. Kiss me. Kiss me.

But all she could feel was the warmth of his breath as he opened his mouth to whisper into her ear. “Don’t die without me.”

And then he stabbed her.

-----------------------------
End Notes:
Rie/Lillith has more cryptic dreams...what else is newwww (nothing o.o)
So...quite a few of the previews from the previous chapter showed up. I hope you guys enjoyed AtoA Slip. Thank you lovely reviewers :D Kristy and Ezdaahaaa. You guys are awesome!!
PREVIEWS
"I'm so sorry Massu."
"How boring...she looks like all muscle and no fun."
"Wasn't Jun there?"
"I vote we release him from his services temporarily...and that he is punished by exile from the clan."
Previews are tentative as always.
I hope you guys enjoyed the chapter!!!
Thank you again!
Mwah
Save by Anna Clair
Author's Notes:
BC its been exactly two years...and I figured that's a bit long.


Toma reached the trucks parking point, his mind in a panic as he took in the aftermath of this night’s catastrophe. He could see the last of the vehicles take a turn and screamed after them, his feet kicking up harder against the ground.

He was too fucking late, or he was just in time. Depending on whether he was happy, he would get to live since everyone that had come to disturb the shipment had vanished from the scene. God knew he would have been out numbered if that guy on the beach had been telling him the truth.

As he grew closer the stench of death hit his nostrils, the blood seeping out of the bodies around him was fresh. He coughed covering his mouth, running harder and feeling his eyes bug out of their sockets as they took in their surroundings. He dashed from body to body, the panic in his heart growing ever faster still.

Not one of his people was alive. “What happened?!” He screamed but no one was alive to listen or answer.

He was too late, fuck he knew he shouldn’t have spent all that time with that idiot out there. The last figure as he reached it, he saw was Massu and his heart hammered in his chest as he lifted the boy on top of his arm. “Massu, Massu!” He shook the boy by his shoulders. “Come on! Massu! Are you-“

After what seemed like eternity a look of discomfort mixed with pain crossed the young boy's face. “Fuck off Toma, you’re too late.” The guy coughed out, blood spattering out from his mouth and the guilt set into Toma's face.

Massu looked at his boss in somewhat of a shock, he didn’t often see Toma emotional but right now it looked like someone had taken Toma’s guts out of his body and left them outside for all the world to stare. He heard the older man gulp noisily as he wiped at Massu’s forehead. He might as well tell him what happened with his last few breaths…anyone who looked this sorry to see him go deserved to know whatever they wanted.

Massu felt bad dying without helping Toma get his justice, when it was too obvious now that no one had planned for tonight to succeed. “He was here. He’s stronger. They’re all stronger.” He doubled over himself with a sudden bout of pain and Toma felt his instincts kick in.

"Don't say another word." If Massu had the energy to talk, he had the energy to be saved. He quickly picked the guy up onto the back of his shoulders and somehow managed to run the 10 minute distance to his car within an alarmingly short time. He passed the port and felt his eyes drawn towards the sea. It appeared as if it was the only pristine section of the area not littered with some dead body or the other.

Now that he thought of it, it had been smart of him to park so far. “Fucking leave me Toma, Jun and the others ran like dogs its okay.” Massu grunted out in pain as he struggled to get away from him. “You can run too.”

“Shut up and save your energy. This isn’t for your sake. We’ve lost too many men for me to let you die now. I need people on my side.”

“The Spanish-“ Massu coughed out and Toma panicked just a little seeing the way his skin had turned into a stony grey colour. Like there was barely any life in him.

“They’ll take care of themselves. Takuya would have been smart enough to get them safe, and Jun was with you guys wasn’t he?” Massu coughed, or it could have been laughter. Toma couldn’t really tell but he knew he’d just given a sorry excuse for his own absence right now. “I’m sorry I wasn’t around.”

"Why? They would have just shot you too and this time that girl wouldn't be there to save you." Toma looked shocked at the crass way his junior spoke but he couldn't hold it against him. Massu leaned against the back of the seat as Toma sped through the highway. He’d drop Massu off at the hospital and drive away as soon as possible. Maybe hide out in the house...then again considering that the shipment had been fucking stolen he probably wasn’t safe in the house either.

It wasn’t like the streets would be safe either. The police were probably pissed since he’d fed Rie wrong information and sent them to a completely different port.

Quickly remembering Jin must have messaged him he flicked through his phone. He was happy to see he was right, but as he read the text he realized exactly how much more fucked they were. Someone knew they had sent them to the wrong port, and they were trying to make sure the police had a crime to charge someone in their clan with.

Some kid in a boat showed up dead. He used to work with them. Someone’s trying to fuck us over. As soon as I saw that kid tailed it out of there. Meet me at the house. Takuya’s going to need to hear about this.

Fuck. Someone was trying to frame a murder on them…and the police always made such a big fucking mess of things when it was one of their own. Toma groaned and looked at Massu who grew paler and his breaths became even more shallow. “A bit longer, then we’re out of the woods.” He said as he sped off the exit. “Just a bit longer Massu.”

And then there was Rie. As they hit a stoplight he banged his fist again the steering wheel and pushed the accelerator anyways, he didn’t have time to wait and thankfully the streets were abandoned enough that he didn’t die because of his impulsive behavior.

After reading that message- there was probably only one outcome for her anyways. Whether she was with the Takuyas or the Yamashitas. He didn’t know why they’d taken her, maybe that had been what she so desperately wanted to tell him-

And he hadn’t let her.

He felt his throat close upon itself and his fingers tightened on the stick shift as he changed gears and parked in the hospital bounding outside of the door. He stepped through with Massu’s weakened body and realized that he had been shot in exactly the same spot that Rie had.

He rubbed his head, it had never been him they’d been after that night, Yamapi, Christine, Takuya or whoever the fuck it was that was trying to mess up his life. It had always been her. They’d always been trying to shut her down. Why she’d turned into the victim, he wasn’t sure but he was pretty sure of one thing now.

She definitely had a reason to be paranoid that she was going to die.

Why else would Yamashita want a cop who had failed to do her tasks properly? The only girl who had challenged Christine’s standing in Tryst, in his world?

He shut the door seeing the doctor’s rush to work on Massu and drove into the house.

And now he really didn’t know how he was going to keep his promise.

Because keeping her safe seemed like the hardest thing to do in the world right now. Unlike his assumptions, Rie seemed destined for death.

------------------------

“She’s taken somewhere and I’m sure of it sir, she’s not safe. I assure you that. We need to get in and pull her out.” Mukai was thankful that chief assistant Inagaki was the one saying all of this and not him. “Kei and she were the ones who carried over the information to you that night, that means she’s in danger.” The chief turned to look at Inagaki and Mukai and shook his head.

“Do you think I don’t understand that? I have the world scouring for her and that shipment but you know the rules, it’s 24 hours missing until we decide to pull her out. Or we jeopardize her cover. We do not invade the Takuya house until that point.”

“How much more can she already be in jeopardy? Fuck cover!” Mukai didn’t realize it but he was yelling. Everyone else in the department had realized it however as they watched the fiancé of their rookie run his hands through his hair. “It’s already too fucking late. We need to get in there. They must have known she was a rat why else would they have given her the wrong information. They’ve done something to her. I’m sure of it sir. Please…don’t let her stay there any longer.” The pain in his voice left an uncomfortable sort of atmosphere in the department as everyone looked at each other with barely withheld pity for the guy in their eyes.

“I don’t think they quite had time to Mukai.” Ryusei spoke up from the back of the room. Mukai turned on him, his fury at being contested evident on his face. “My sources at the hospital tell me they’ve been treating one of the Takuya members for gunshot wounds. We all know what Ikuta Toma did a few days ago, sending one of the most prized Yamashita assassins to his death. No matter if we were assigned to the wrong area there is some inter-clan tension here and it came to a head last night.”

“Are there any updates on Rie and the shipment?” The chief called out exhausted as he walked towards his office, indicating his conversation with Mukai and chief assistant Inagaki-san was over.

“She’s not at her apartment, I just got back from checking.” Mukai heard Hidori speak up, the girl still had her jacket on. Mukai nodded gratefully at her as she avoided his gaze and sat down in her seat.

“The Tryst girls say they haven’t seen her seen the day before last. I don’t know how much we can trust them but there you have it.” Eisai spoke up and Mukai nodded at him too. He doubted those girls would say the truth, they were fucking covers for the gang in the first place…but maybe if he scared them into it one of them would end up cracking.

“We can’t track down any of the members, they’re all in the Takuya house. I could be wrong, but they’re definitely mourning something. Spies in the area say no one has entered or left that house since 5AM last night when Ikuta’s car drove in. We know from the 2005 invasion the Yamashita’s placed on the Takuya house, on those days no one leaves the house. The shipment is either kept there or that’s exactly what they’re mourning. Ryusei and I have this theory that the Yamashitas did what they do best and hijacked their shipment last night.” Chihiro turned to look at Mukai sadly and felt his gaze drop to the floor.

“Keep working on that Chihiro I think it’s a probable idea, we can’t reach out to the Yamashita spies but- if we can prove Ikuta was the one who handled the murder a few days back, I have a feeling Takuya will let him go to prison this time. We can finally bring down one.”

“To what let another one back on the throne?” Mukai muttered under his breath and saw both chiefs turn to look at him shocked at his words. Mukai had never been that blatantly disrespective of the chief’s orders before. Inagaki looked at him with a mixture of pride and regret at his bravery. The chief looked like he was about to discipline him.

“Go home Mukai.”

“Why because I’ll challenge you again?”

“Our job is putting guys like Ikuta away...Mukai don’t you think you’re forgetting that?” The department peered on closer as they saw the way the chief belittled the star of their department. While the two normally got along well it was no secret that because Mukai had climbed up the ranks so quickly, the chief made more than enough allocations to keep him happy in his current position…including letting Rie be in Drug control.

“Bet he’ll back down and go home.” Chihiro heard Ryusei whisper in her ear as she rolled her eyes.

“Do you even know Mukai? There’s no way he’s backing down from that. He’ll get suspended but he won’t let the chief talk to him like that.” Ryusei held his hand out for the bet and Chihiro placed her hand in his shaking it profusely as they watched as the two power figures in their department stared each other down.

Then finally Mukai spoke. “No, our job was to stop the drug shipment from coming into the country AND we failed. It’s time for damage control but for some reason-“

“Before you say something that makes me suspend you Mukai leave. Inagaki.” The chief looked to his assistant to nodded and grabbed Mukai’s shoulder clapping a hand on his mouth just in case he said something he would regret.

Now Mukai understood. Now it made perfect sense why Rie had been so scared when she’d spoken to him that night when he was in her apartment. How could he have just- he shut his eyes tightly willing himself not to cry.

If she wasn’t dead yet, he was sure she would be in the next 24 hours.

------------------------
“DAD!” Mao shrieked as she walked into the room and saw half of Toma’s face stained in the red she recognized all too well. His blood had splattered over the wooden floor of her father’s office, no doubt from the multiple hits he’d faced by now. As she looked closer she saw that there were fresh red gashes, slashed across his chest like someone had been trying to make myriads of whip marks into patterns.

The bile rose in her throat as a hand rose to her mouth, tears flooding her eyes. She felt her mind shut off as she made a move to stop this. She raced forward to try and stand by her brother-in-law’s side when she felt Jun’s fingers reach into her shoulder and pull her back. She looked back up at him and then at Talia who was standing frozen as she took in Toma’s bloody frame. “What are you two doing?” She hissed quietly as she looked at the image in front of them. These were the two people who were supposed to be closest to her and right now she was disgusted by the mere sight of them. “He could kill him, Talia stop dad!”

“And what? Hand over the business to your scheming little fiancée there? As if. Toma’s safe… he just needs to be punished which if you ask me with the way he’s been behaving isn’t such a bad idea.” Talia rolled her eyes and at the exceptionally dirty look Jun was throwing at her, simply tossed her hair over her shoulder. “It isn’t Toma’s fault anyways what happened last night. Dad knows that, he knows there’s a rat. He just can’t figure out who it is…that Lillith girl vanished into thin air. It’s probably her.” Talia’s breath was a bit ragged though as she spoke and Mao couldn’t help but shudder internally. “Don’t you think so?”

“Why do you think so? Any of us could be the rat, anyone who had access to that information. Lillith didn’t remember? Last time she came here she talked about the way Toma didn’t trust her.” Mao muttered. She didn’t think there was anything indicating that the girl was a rat, for heaven’s sake she’d been abducted and T.O.P had been killed “ but then again Mao had never been particularly knowledgable about these things. Content to sit out. When she’d spoken out of turn as a child she’d been beaten bloody by her own father.

And looking back at Toma’s own bludgered face, she thought it was only too easy to remember why she resisted speaking up in the first place.

“Why would the Yamashita’s take her if she wasn’t their rat? I don’t think she was abducted Mao, I think she was saved. If she was really one of us she would have been shot last night along with T.O.P don’t you think?” Jun offered up and Mao was shocked at the smile that grew on Talia’s face as she realized Jun was supporting her.
“Right. Mao, it makes total sense you’re the only one that doesn’t see it. Tell Dad Jun.” Talia patted Jun’s shoulder happily. “And it makes perfect sense that Toma would fall for her.” Talia laughed rather cruelly Mao thought. “He’s never been very lucky has he? Every time he even lets his heart falter, it ends in catastrophe.” At that, Jun cracked a smile.

“That is true. He never knows how to hold himself back. He’s getting beat up because he refuses to admit that she’s guilty. What an idiot.” He agreed but neither of them could speak more as they heard Takuya speak again, his voice dreadfully calm.

“So what do we do now Toma? What do you want me to do with you?”

“Suspend me. You think I let a rat in. I don’t. I’m not going to change my-” He couldn’t finish his sentence though because he could no longer speak without coughing. Takuya saw Toma’s eyes squint in pain and he felt his heart squeeze for a second.

Toma was the boy he thought of as his son, even his hard heart couldn't bear the sight of the pain he'd put him through...but this was their business, their tradition, so he readied his hand again. “If I suspend you, you know what I have to do next.”

“Let Talia handle it?” Toma attempted to smile but his teeth were so caked with red, it looked rather disgusting if Mao had to say so herself. Even as he sniffled, and laughed acting like he wasn’t affected by the pain she saw the way the blood trickled down his mouth. He rubbed his mouth but it only served to stain the lower half of his face with a strange red tint that made Talia cringe.

Talia had never wanted him to look like that but she knew she had to stay impartial. Or there would be even worse consequences for her, she just needed time “ then she could do everything else she needed to. “No. I’ll be done with you. That will be it.”

“Like fuck you’ll ever be done with me.” Toma laughed a little more and when Takuya didn’t respond he just looked up at the guy. “Just fuck my life up a little more, I dare you Takuya-sama.”

“Toma don’t say another word, if I hit you anymore I’ll end up killing you.” This time Toma didn’t say a word, he just continued looking on at the floor. Takuya stood waiting for Toma to express some sort of emotion and when he didn’t he took the boy’s face and tilted it upwards bringing their gazes together.

When he saw shocked him. It was- gratitude.

Takuya was caught off guard as he examined Toma’s rigid face, the boy before him struggled to hold himself upright, each breath shakier than the last.

He could no longer stand the sight of the weak Toma before him as he barged out of the room and almost immediately saw Mao burst forward and catch Toma so that his bloodied figure fell on her dress and not on the floor, just so his fall from grace could be a little less painful.

She had always cared too much about people, Takuya couldn’t help but sneer as he watched his other children look between themselves as Mao yelled at them to bring bandages and balms. Toma didn’t fight her, how could he when he could barely move?

Takuya shuddered as he remembered the way Toma looked at him. He knew he hadn’t been fair with the boy, but even just letting him live had been the greatest gratitude he could afford the boy. He let his mind drift back to the first interaction he’d had with the boy.

As a child the boy had kicked at him through the stomach of his mother. He remembered when his mother had come to him with the news she was pregnant. She hadn’t been too special…and he’d debated killing her. What good was a prostitute in your brothel if she was pregnant? She begged to keep the child, kissed his feet, and pleaded with him. Forcefully she’d grabbed his hand and pressed it to her stomach, and even Takuya’s own inhumane soul could no longer endure it when the child kicked right at him. It was the first time he’d kicked she'd said. She could have easily been lying, but Takuya felt an odd connection with the child within her.

He knew there had been cases when the women had been allowed to give birth, he had let some of the women keep their children in a separate house. Takuya was an evil man but even he wasn’t without his good points. He considered that house where he raised these children to leave the business they were born into one of his only redeeming businesses. He never devoted too much money to it, just enough to keep it running after all- more than a few of those children there in the past had been his own. Christine was the perfect example of that sort of child.

When he started keeping track of Christine he learned that she had become close to that woman’s son and another daughter that lady had had later. He let them be, and live out their peaceful life. They went through all the proper procedures and left the house they were born into to build their own house.

He had been happy for her, though he didn’t have much affection for her he was happy that he had let that boy live when he was still in his mother’s stomach.

He’d planned on leaving them alone, until the Yamashita’s had massacred his world and in an attempt to salvage his house, his family and his clan he promised them a daughter but he couldn’t imagine giving Mao nor Talia to a house that foul and disgusting. The very thought of it made him feel like he would have truly lost to the Yamashitas. So he bided his time and offered Christine as his eldest daughter, claiming her mother had died- which was true, in childbirth Christine’s mother had died.

And why would they not be happy with her, Christine was ethereally beautiful, the daughter of a gorgeous German woman who had entranced him for weeks.

Within days, he had married his other daughter who had never done much more than look at from a distance- and yet he couldn’t help but feel apologetic towards her, and the boy he had once allowed to live.

Imagine his surprise when he saw the boy come back to this world he'd left, day after day to fight for her hand back- even after she was married. Initially feeling bad for him Takuya told the guards to send him away without a beating but when it got more and more irritating he was beat harder each time he came back.

Until one time he was almost left for dead and as he gasped painfully, Takuya wondered if being so persistent about something he loved wasn’t indeed a good characteristic. A man of such character, would it not be a waste to let him be killed like this?

So Takuya decided to save him yet once more. When Toma woke up from the last beating he'd gotten from Takuya before today, he pestered with the head of the clan with the same question he always did, 'Please may I marry Christine?'

This time, instead of laughing Takuya gave him a choice. He could train as a member of the clan and take her back himself one day or he could die today.

The hope of having Christine one day was enough for him to choose life in the clan. Once dedicated, Toma surprised him. Whatever the boy was determined to do, he did excellently and Takuya was shocked as he became nothing short of a killing machine. He was efficient, and he brought results, his most promising protégé Matsumoto Jun was quickly being dethroned as Ikuta took over the position that Matsumoto had slaved after year after year, the head of Drug Distribution.

Takuya had always wanted a son, but it had not been in his fate and his daughters had held no interest in the business so he decided that he’d make Toma family. It wasn’t a hard choice, and soon after Toma had been engaged to Talia he announced he was bringing Christine back to the family.

Takuya knew to trust Toma’s judgment and permitted it only because he knew that in Toma’s situation he wouldn’t have been able to hold himself back either. He’d made Toma promise not to kill the man who had taken advantage of Christine though. Their tentative truce with the Yamashita’s was all built on the one marriage. An unhappy marriage sure but it was necessary for the Takuya clan’s survival. Killing Nagase would only ruin that truce.

He should have known to never send Toma to retrieve her, because it was a mistake to let the man who loved his daughter so dearly, be in the same house as the man who had snatched away every shred of her dignity.

When Yamashita Tomohisa returned himself from his foreign education he asked for Christine back but Toma refused to give her…and so did Takuya. Christine herself refused to go…and so their strange tentative truce began to be broken apart every day that Christine stayed in this house with Toma. He knew he had been preparing for a war with that clan for some time now, but he’d let Toma do brazenly whatever he’d wanted because- well because- he didn’t love many people in his life… and he didn’t know how to show it either.

He wasn’t sure when he started loving the boy whose life he had only too many opportunities to end but something about the innocence of Toma’s behavior but his ability to change who he completely was to fulfill whatever his heart desired- Takuya had to admire him for that.

He hadn’t been kind to Toma, or to Christine for that matter, in their lives. He had let them live, but he realized now he had never given them a chance to live a life that they’d wanted.

He couldn’t do much to save Christine now. This time she had willingly bartered herself off to save Toma.

But he could still let this boy who had developed a strange affection for go away, live whatever was left of his life to his own devices…at least for a while. It seemed that was what Toma wanted as well, and so Takuya would do it.

As it was the clan was expecting his death, and Takuya couldn’t bring himself to kill him. It would be best to let him go with the police, at least there he’d remain alive. Takuya couldn’t guarantee his safety in this house where the clan would turn on Toma because of that girl.

What was her name again?

--------------------
Break by Anna Clair
Author's Notes:
BC a friend inspired me to try words again.
Rie looked around herself groggily. She had just woken up and she felt her mouth groan loudly. She was parched, she didn’t know what time it was, how many days had passed since Shige had knocked her unconscious, she didn’t know if-

“Oh good…you’re awake.” Christol stepped through the door letting in a glaring light that hurt her eyes. Rie blinked back as she squinted. God her head hurt. She tried to speak but couldn’t do it. “Oh, you’re thirsty right? Here.” Christol walked up to her and gave her a glass of water, Rie gulped it down quickly like she’d been roaming a desert forever. “That’s the effect of the solution they used on you, it dehydrates you.” Rie couldn’t speak. She just held her glass out and saw Christol grab it and go to pour another glass from the jar that was kept to the side. Well if they weren’t planning on making her die of thirst they must have been planning on keeping her alive that was some reassurance. “I know you’re getting your energy back but I’m not your slave so why don’t you go get it yourself next time?”

Rie couldn’t bring herself to do much more than just look at the woman before her. Right now the girl in front of her didn’t look like the woman who had bossed her around. She stood in plain denim shorts and a white T-shirt, a pumped-up ponytail swinging behind her conceited head, Rie thought cruelly as she wiped her mouth and growled internally. Right now she couldn't help but hate Christol, almost 110% certain that somehow she was behind her kidnapping. “Where am I?” She croaked out but her throat still felt so dry that she started coughing.

Christol gave her a look of pity mixed with disgust. “Where do you think you are?” Christol answered back dumbly. “Heaven?” She teased her. Rie could only imagine that God wouldn’t be so cruel to send Christol to pick her up at Heaven’s gates. “This isn’t a movie, and you didn’t die. You’re very much alive.”

“That’s not what I-“ She started coughing again as Christol rolled her eyes.

“Are you even actually in pain? Or is this just some show you put on to make guys pity you? Sweetie this really isn’t working on me.” Rie gave her the dirtiest look she could muster in her weakened state. “Fine, I’ll get you some food. You look pathetic there…moving like a snail. It’s depressing.” She whistled loudly and a younger looking fellow with a beard on his face stepped in. “Yuuki, can you get us some food? Nothing special, bread and butter will do.” Rie gave her a sour look. “What you’re not a princess darling. You’re a prisoner, I can’t very well justify serving you caviar can I? ” Christol laughed to herself as she sat down beside her and that was when Lillith looked down at her hands, each one had a link restraining it, she must have shifted around in her sleep quite a bit because there were indents and marks on her skin. She tried to play with her restraints, seeing how far they would let her go.

She looked up at the distance between Christol and herself. If she really wanted to, she could kick Christol right now…but she wouldn’t because she still didn’t know where the fuck exactly she was. “Where am I?” She repeated dumbly. “Why are you here?”

“You’re at your grave…at least I think you are. We’re all waiting for orders to confirm you’re safe to kill off. They have to kill you at exactly the right time you see, too early and it’ll be blamed on their clan. Too late and it’s too obvious what’s happening between your department and the Yamashita clan.” Rie felt her heart stop as she took in Christol’s smirk. “In the end though, what I wanted to happen, happened. So I really don’t care when it’s going to happen to you so long as you end up dead.”

Rie wanted to feel sad. She really did, but right now at this very moment she couldn’t bring herself to care because at least she was alive now. There would be time to panic later wouldn’t there? It’d be best to just goad more information out of this ditz in front of her. Then she could start planning her escape. “Why do you hate me so much anyways Christol?”

“I hate you because Toma doesn’t hate you. It’s really simple Rie, horrible name by the way, Toma likes you. Because I’m immature. There’s a lot of answers to your question. I don’t really know which one is most true but they’re all true in some way. Does that help?” There was a knock on the door to signal Yuuki’s return and Christol stepped away to grab the food and she came back quickly sitting yoga style in front of Rie whose eyes only increased in size as she saw the way the girl lifted her hand to feed her. “If they’re going to kill you the least I can do is make sure you die fat. Open wide Lily flower!” Despite not wanting to let this girl feed her it was better than Rie feeding herself so she opened her mouth and chomped down roughly on the bread.

“You say we, and then you say they. Why don’t you just decide if you’re with one clan or the other?” She spoke through bites. She should have been polite and finished her food first but fuck that, what need was there to impress the girl who seemed hell bent on ending her life?

Christol looked at her sarcastically, rolling her eyes as if she was saying Story of my life girl! “I would…but they don’t let me decide. You think I’d be here willingly? I’m only here because of you.”

At that Rie scoffed, the girl couldn’t logically believe that that sounded like a convincing excuse right? “Please Christol, you’re only here because of you. You’re enjoying watching me in this situation…but Toma’s not interested in me. Hell you didn’t need to plan that shooting either...if anything that just brought the two of us closer together because you didn’t expect that I was a decent human being did you?”

“No…I’ll give you that. But then again who knows if Ryo decided at the last moment that he’d get a lot more praise for offing Ikuta than he would offing a little noname cop? So maybe I do have something to thank you for Rie. I still wish you could have died when you were supposed to, would have made sure you stayed away from Toma longer.” Christol raised an eyebrow as her eyes trailed down to her chest and Rie followed her gaze as well as she could, part of the bruise that Christol was looking at was obscured from her vision but she could still follow along with what exactly Christol was looking at. “What is that anyways?”

That’s right. She looked back up at Christol’s eyes to see the girl looking at her with a desperate expression on her face. She looked frantic, and though Rie would have under normal circumstances if it had been any other girl, felt bad for her. Right now, Rie wanted to flaunt the bruise in this bitch’s face. “It’s a lot of things Christol." She was pointedly mocking her explanation from earlier. "It’s a test, an apology, a fucking hit and miss.”

“You really need to read more trashy romance novels babe because that’s a hickey...nothing better than a tramp stamp. No wonder Shige said he can’t wait to play with you.” Rie felt herself open her mouth despite herself and angrily take a bite out of the folded bread, plain as it was it tasted delicious and disgusting in her battered throat.

“Fuck off Christol.” She muttered as she chewed.

“You fuck off first, you slept with my boyfriend.” Christol growled back.

Oh god she wasn’t still on this was she? Now that Rie no longer needed to respect her as her boss nothing was holding her back from saying what was already on her mind. “YOU’RE MARRIED! Don’t you think it’s time you let Toma go?"

Rie saw saw a light fly out of her eyes. Whatever mischevious banter they’d been exchanging till now suddenly flew out of the window and they were stuck staring at one another in silence. A minute passed, then another, and all Rie could do was silently eat.

When she was done Christine picked up the plate and left the room.

And then Rie had nothing else to do but sit quietly in the room. The room itself was quite nice, and with her bound hands she knew she could get out and fight but she didn’t feel like it…probably because there had been something in the water, but Rie couldn’t help but doubt that and wonder.

Was she starting to give up? Even just on herself? It was so hard to fight, and now that she was here, at the end. Was there a point to exerting more energy?

Couldn’t she just go as peacefully as possible? It wouldn’t be long until her chief gave Yamashita the go to kill her right? Well so long as her suspicions about her chief were correct.

So Rie took in a deep breath and leaned against the cushioned wall of the room and stretched her legs out, slowly spinning her ankles to fully reach and pull every one of the muscles in her legs.

Mukai was probably worried sick about her though…maybe that would keep her alive longer.

--------------

Mukai drove like a maniac.

The chief wanted Ikuta Toma arrested? Fine. Mukai would go into that fucking house and arrest the bastard himself, no back up needed. No mess no fuss, and before he left the place with the ass hole to lock him up he’d make sure he found Rie.

He changed his lanes without putting on his indicator and heard a long honk behind him. He opened up his window as he sped up and threw his finger outside the window flipping off the driver behind him. It probably wasn’t the nicest thing to do but since last night a lot had changed, Mukai had seen a little boy die, his fiancé had all but dropped off the face of the earth and the man he had admired as his boss seemed to be the guy behind it all.

The shipment too, he’d figure out where that was and just like he was going to put Ikuta behind bars, he’d make sure his chief ended up there too.

------------

“Why aren’t you selling her out?” Talia muttered as she sat across from Toma as he lay in his bed, his eyes shut tight.

“Because I know she didn’t do it. She’s probably scared out of her mind right now, Talia.” Everytime he thought about Lillith he felt this exhausting version of guilt. Bringing her with him last night was a big mistake- hell everything about what had happened between them last night had just been the biggest mistake he'd ever made around her...and god knew that the more time he spent with the optimist the more he began to believe that maybe even he could-

No. He shook his head. He couldn't. He wouldn't. That wasn't meant for him anymore.

He would have called Christine to see if Lillith was still alive “ but he wasn’t sure she’d want to talk to him, and he was even less sure that she would have relayed that information to him no matter how much she loved him. Their parting while sweet hadn’t exactly been without its problems.

The last words he'd heard her say to him still echoed within the confines of his mind.

The sad thing is Toma, I'll always know- even if you don't want to tell me. I'll always know how you really feel.

“She could have done it you know- she could have fooled you, didn’t you think of that?” Talia pushing this topic was making him uncharacteristically growl at her. At closer look though, he saw Talia looked apologetic. Why would she be sorry? “I can’t believe he’s actually letting you go into prison for this my dad's crazy-“

Everything suddenly clicked into place as Toma peered closer at Talia, he shifted himself upwards to look at her and though it was painful being upright he made sure to look at her with enough ferocity in his expression that she’d know lying to him was a big mistake. "Talia, what were you doing in my room that day?”

“What?” She shot back faster than he'd expected. Like she'd expected and rehearsed this answer.

“My room. I left Rie decoy papers in the club. So you’re right she was a spy but she got the wrong information. Someone else didn’t. Someone else got Yamashita to the right information. What were you doing in my room that day Talia?”

“Rie- what? Toma-“

“Talia answer the question.” She was caught off guard. She’d thought she’d performed flawlessly. She’d done everything she was supposed to and tonight, after making sure Toma would live and apologizing to him (well…in her own way), she was going to leave.

She stood up, she’d made sure he was okay so she didn’t need to stay or answer his question. Toma had always been a vehicle by which she managed to keep her father’s attentions off her. His utility had outrun its purpose. “Why do you think I was here?” She finally said softly.

“I think you were here because you’re the rat.” She felt her lips quirk slightly. “It’s odd isn’t it? You stay away from me. I stay away from you. So why would you be in my room? I should have pushed you more that day but I was tired…and you were ready to run.”

“Aren’t you going to ask me why?”

“Weren’t you involved with Koyama, Christine’s guard, behind your dad’s back?”

“I was involved with Koyama long before he was her ‘guard’ Toma. I’ve been involved with him for the past five years. Then, he was assigned Lillith duty and ordered to snatch the information from her, but she never did get the right intel. I knew you wouldn’t trust her. He never believed me. So I got the information myself and proved it to him.” Talia raised her eyes to meet his. “You won’t rat me out to dad?”

“I could.” He shrugged but something about the way he sat and looked at her let Talia know that despite his words he’d give her a chance to run first, which is all she really wanted. Once she was in the Yamashita house she’d be safe, even from her own father. She wouldn’t be looked upon too favorably, people who betrayed their families never were, but it was the price she had to pay for having Koyama safe and in her life so she’d pay it. “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself though Talia? You ruined everything. You killed half our clan singlehandedly. And you don’t feel the slightest shred of remorse or guilt?”

“I do…but the alternative was far worse, at least for me. I can live with the choices I mea." Her hands were shaking as she looked up at her would-be husband."At least this way, dad will know to let me go.”

“Let you go?” Toma snickered, this girl was deluded if she thought this was any manner by which to get Takuya to healthily let go of his daughter and enter the folds of a clan he had detested since birth. “To heaven maybe...if he'd ever been ready to let go of you don't you think he would have left Christine and I alone all those years ago?”

She cringed. “Maybe he will kill me for this...but I did it more so that Koyama wouldn’t fail his mission and get killed himself, so I guess it’s not that bad an option either if I die in his place because I helped him succeed.” Talia hiccupped as she held back a sob. “I’m leaving now.”

“Look at us.” Toma snickered as Talia made her way to the door. She couldn’t stay any longer, simply for the reason that Toma could change his mind at any moment and holler for someone and then she’d really be stuck here forever, either in the ground or kept in her room locked away and neither seemed like an appealing option to her.

Not after they saw so many of their people buried today, and sure it was all her fault, but she couldn’t bring herself to regret it because she’d known if she hadn’t that Yamashita who had so cruelly snatched Christine away from their family would have put Koyama in the ground himself. His excuse to watch over Christine had always been just that- an excuse.

“We’re just all going off to make our own futures aren’t we? You’re running away, I’m being sent to prison, Jun’s going to take over, exactly as he’s always wanted, and Mao well she’ll stay here the good girl she is.”

“You should be grateful to Mao.” Talia bit back. “She’s the one who took such good care of you.”

“Yeah…after you made your father beat me up for protecting an innocent girl.” Though he was speaking of a harsh reality, Toma's voice held no malice in his tone. Regardless Talia felt herself become heavy with guilt when she heard him say the last words he would ever say to her. “Get out, Talia.”

She didn’t hesitate for another moment. As she began to leave the house she grew up in, despite herself she felt her eyes tear up. As soon as she reached her room, the bags that had been packed and waiting for her hidden in her closet were pulled out.

It was the dead of the night, and this was as good a time as any to sneak out.

As she covered herself with her scarf, she struggled to keep the sobs in her chest from releasing. She knew what she was signing up for the moment she’d betrayed her family, she knew that there was only path left for her and she’d taken her actions just so she could follow this path guilt-free.

So why did she feel like she’d done everything she’d wanted to in the worst way possible?

She could only be thankful when she heard the guards off beating someone else for trying to enter the house, this meant she could leave without much attention being drawn to her. Everyone knew that when the house was in mourning you didn’t leave…but she would. It would be the only way she could leave without being noticed.

So she ducked away into her car that she’d parked a few meters down from her house, away from all the cameras and drove.

She just hoped that Yamashita wasn’t as heartless as he looked and that all her sacrifices had guaranteed her future with Koyama.

Hell considering the way she’d behaved towards her own family she wouldn’t be shocked if Yamashita found her so despicable that he put the bullet in her himself.

---------------

“Little Rie, I heard you’ve been displeasing the lady of the house. Not smart.” Rie’s head jerked up at the appearance of Shige. “I came to tell you to- fuck it, you can’t be presentable. Can we let her shower? She can’t meet Yamashita-shachou like this can she?” He was speaking to someone outside, and Rie could only assume it was Yuuki the guy that Christol had called out to before.

“I’m not getting all dolled up for that bastard.” Shige turned to look at her with a smile on his face but she could tell that he was livid with her for calling his boss a bastard. She couldn’t bring herself to care.

“No we mustn’t forget, you’re Toma’s little slut...”

“Once again, you have the wrong girl Shige. That would be the lady of this house.” Shige came up to her and slapped her right across the face.

“She deserves respect in this house Rie, is that clear? If it wouldn’t kill Mukai to see you dead, I’d kill you myself…but your death needs to be handled with care or we’ll have the cops on our asses.”

When she turned back to look at him, she pretended to act innocent, despite the fact there was blood building inside her mouth. “Don’t you guys pay them off well enough that they’ll cover it up?” Shige’s eyebrows lifted as he smirked at her.

“Not as dumb as you look?”

“No, I am as dumb…you practically spelled it out for me in the hospital room, or don’t you remember?”

“No I remember…so you did understand what I was saying then. And I was way too high on pain killers.” He sat down beside her rather amicably she thought considering how their relationship had transformed since she’d first met him thinking he was an innocent guest at the bar with a crush on her.

“Mukai said you’re married. I can’t imagine someone loving you.”

“I am. He attended the wedding, I like your fiancé quite a bit actually so I invited him. Of course he has no idea who I actually am." He agreed. “He’s a good guy though, the type of guy I wish I could be. That’s why I messed with your head when I first got assigned to tracking your moves. I figured it’d be one step closer to being Mukai if I could play around a bit with you.”

Rie raised an eyebrow. “Why would you want to be Mukai?” There were miles and miles of differences between those two, but Rie had a feeling that if she vocalized her thoughts Shige would slap her again and as much as she hated him. He did slap quite hard, so she’d refrain from being cheeky for now.

“He’s good, he has a heart of gold, and I know that the type of guy he is. He’ll give anything to save you.”

“If you save me, you could be him.” She teased and Shige laughed right alongside her.

“Yes but then I’d have to like you and I realize that’s one difference with Mukai I enjoy having. I like being bad, I like being cruel and I like being able to know that I’ll be the one gunning you down in a few days Rie, women like you are the worst.”

“Yamashita gave you the grand honor so you decided to get to know your victim?” She pointed between them, for someone who had been direly scared of getting killed by Toma she was shocked to find that now sitting across this guy she felt shockingly calm as he announced he was going to be shooting her.

Shige didn’t scare her she realized, if she wanted to- she could get away and she would. “Something like that.”

---------------------------------

“Boss!” Takuya lifted himself from his bed as he saw his guard Yuu’s frantic expression. “They caught a cop outside. He was a bit “ rowdy so the boys managed to keep him calm but he’s looking for someone.” Yuu cringed as he saw Takuya’s eyebrows furrow and he got up and wrapped himself in his robe and came out of the room. As his guards surrounded him and they walked towards the entryway that Yuu led them to, Takuya saw Toma heading down the same way.

“If you’re already up and walking I mustn’t have hit you hard enough.” He called out to the boy who turned to look at him, for a second Toma looked caught off guard but just as quickly he shrugged it off.

“You probably didn’t." He agreed and then smiling responded. "You never do anymore. You’re the showy type of guy nowadays Takuya-sama, more blood less injuring.” Takuya wanted to laugh, because his son was throwing things back in his face so well that he was tempted to pat him on the back. “As it is, the cop asked to speak with me. Another one of the guard boys got me.” He limped towards the door and Takuya realized that kneeling for as long as he had had hurt his legs. He looked towards Yuu and immediately the guard had raced over to Toma’s side to help him walk.

When they stumbled upon their intruder on the floor, held up by his arms Takuya was shocked to find that the guy had more than a considerable measure of distaste in his gaze. “And who might you be to look at me like that, kid?”

“Bow your gaze!” One of the guards hit the cop’s head with the back of his gun and his head staggered over like a bobble someone might keep on top of a car. The guy shut his eyes groaning in pain.

“You’re her boyfriend aren't you? Rie’s boyfriend.” Toma muttered as the guy looked up. Takuya took a deep breath, if this had to do with that girl who had singlehandedly managed to seduce her way into this clan’s destruction he’d kill the guy on the spot.

Toma, he cared for. Whoever else she had screwed over, their lives were expendable. “Ikuta fucking Toma.” The guy sounded positively venomous as he looked up at him.

Toma looked to Takuya and nodded his head. “Sorry, I don’t know your real name or I’d fuck it up a bit too.”

“Mukai Osamu at your service.” The guy was struggling a bit with saliva and blood and Takuya cringed a little seeing the way the guy wormed the spit in his mouth and released it on his fine wooden flooring.

“Let him go,” Takuya squinted at Mukai Osamu as he collapsed on the floor rolling over holding onto his chest. “For a cop, you’re mighty weak Mukai Osamu-san. One wonders how someone like that thinks he can barge into my household and expect to live, on a day that most intelligent men in your force would not test our patience."

“Blame it on the fact you’re holding my fiancé hostage will you? Can’t focus on kicking your asses right now as well as I normally can.” He coughed out and Toma’s eyes widened as he looked at the guy on the floor.

Fiancé? Rie was this guy’s fiancé? “She’s not here.” The guilt that came when he thought of that foolishly loyal girl grew heavier when he saw the pang of pain flash through Mukai’s eyes.

With a voice demanding explanations, Takuya spat out. “What’s going on here?” He had never been so unaware of something happening in his own house under his nose. What was this girl and would she continue to disturb the Takuyas every step of the way?

“Takuya-sama, you never let me finish earlier today…will you hear me now?” It was true, he had been pre-emptively angry but it was only easy to blame the situation on Toma’s obvious partiality towards the new female in the clan who had gained importance startlingly quickly. The only one of their people whose body was not to be found on the grounds of the drug trade. “I knew there was something wrong with that girl. She was too shifty, too eager to please, too naïve and new, she was a horrible under-cover agent-“

“Though I’m sure in combat she kicked your ass.” Mukai coughed out and Toma almost smirked before he caught himself.

He couldn’t disagree. She did kick his ass and he’d never thought he’d have to actually use that needle in his jacket when he’d finally shoved it into her veins to knock her unconscious. “I planted false information for that girl because I suspected she was some sort of spy for Yamashita.” Toma finished finally as Takuya looked at the cop before him. “I sent them to a completely different port four hours away, it was better than not giving her any information at all. It was best to keep their resources and attention focused elsewhere.” Takuya marveled at his prize killer’s intelligence. There was a reason he had placed Toma at the helm of his operations and that was because nothing escaped his eye. His instincts hadn’t been wrong, but then what had happened?

Mukai nodded scoffing as he looked back between the boss and his crown prince eagerly discussing their illicit activities without restraint before him. They were probably going to off him too, just like Kei. “And you sickos sent us a nice gift with that too. You killed one of our team members.”

“We didn’t kill anyone last night. All of our resources were focused on the shipment. The only other businesses operating last night were the brothels and the traffickers in the areas, and unless your cop was trying to get smart with my madams he would have been safe from our side.” Takuya cut Mukai off with a clear glance to his head. “What is going on here Toma? If it wasn’t your little toy, who would be foolish enough to jeopardize their standing in the family by leaking information to that family?”

“Lillith was a cop Takuya-sama and this guy right here…I’m guessing he was just helping her try and take us down.”

Silence blanketed the hallway as Takuya felt his jaw drop and he laughed a little bit, covering his mouth in a way that made all the workers in the hallway cringe. It was his tell-tale sign he was ready to begin another rampage. “So we let a cop into our midst when we were trying to take over Akihabara? I really should have hit you harder today Toma.”

Toma laughed back, a little too arrogantly for Takuya’s taste. “Maybe you should hit Jun because he’s the one who suggested it.”

In a second, Takuya disagreed with him. “Or I should hit you because you let your judgment fail you from stopping him from making such a decision.” Really, everyone in the family knew that while talented Jun was too impatient, impulsive and impertinent. He didn’t have the ability to lead a group. Toma on the other hand was rational, careful, and aggressive... and so Takuya would rest the blame on his shoulders because Jun may have pushed it but Toma should have been the one saying no.

“Oliver was dead we had no choice!” Though if perhaps a girl like her had offered her services day and night, perhaps Takuya wouldn’t have been able to say no either in his past.

Finally tired of being overlooked their little cop barked loudly again, like an irritating dog that didn’t know when to keep its mouth shut. “Sorry to interrupt this little slap fest but if she isn’t here, where the hell is she? I'm not leaving this house without some shred of knowledge.” How valiant, Takuya smirked looking at the idiotically brave man before him.

Takuya’s eyes sidled over to the man whose arms were crossed over his chest. “She ran away with the Yamashita’s last night.” Takuya answered for him as Toma tutted and shook his head.

“No I’m pretty sure she was taken sir. She’s the perfect fall victim for the real culprit. She’s the newest, she doesn’t have the trust of the family, she pushes her way into getting more information- but there’s another person who did outsmart me.” Toma took a deep breath as he looked out of the window.

It had been at least an hour right?

He had done all he had to do for that girl by giving her the head start she needed. “I hate to tell you this but-“
------------------
End Notes:
Bc I miss writing and this story is always in my mind.
Scribble by Anna Clair
Author's Notes:
Bc it's time for a new chapter yay :D thank you Talia Koyama (aka Ooper for this poster :))



This chapter is mostly inspired by Bad Gyal RiRi or Rihanna with Calvin Harris - This is what you came for




“Has everything been taken care of on your end?”

“We are planning on using Ikuta as a scapegoat. Takuya has to be upset with him, we’ll take the heat off the shipment itself and try and focus on letting the media report on the Akihabara shut down and the capture of one of the country’s most fearsome drug lords. Your team shouldn’t have killed Keii though.”

“It’s another thing to tack onto Ikuta’s record. The farther away he is and the longer he’s there it’s better for me. You see that don’t you chief commissioner?” Yamashita Tomohisa smiled brightly as he looked down at the speaker of the phone he was using for the conference call. Koyama beside him was making a gesture to show he needed to leave. He would let Koyama do whatever he wanted from now on, the man had proved his worth. So Yamashita raised his hand to wave it and immediately the young man had run off quickly. “There better not be any trouble from your side, or you’ll know we’ll have to focus on eliminating all those who pose a threat to us on your end. As it is, your team member failed to provide accurate information which is why we have to go through the stress of eliminating her at exactly the right time.”

“I understand Yamashita-sama but none of us anticipated Ikuta was smart enough to-“

“Are you done your call? I’m really bored here.” Yamashita’s eyes shot up as he saw his wife staring back at him.

“I’m not done. You can wait.” He took a deep breath and started to speak again to the police chief. “You do understand that your excuses are meaningless and-“

“I don’t want to wait!” Christine huffed loudly marching over to where he was and taking the spot Koyama had left wide open. Who the hell had let her in anyways? “Can you hang up already?”

“Should we hire you another boyfriend so you’ll stop irritating me?”

“Alas, any person related to this family isn’t my style.” Christine had gotten mighty mouthy since the last time he had spent any length of a period with her when they’d first gotten married.

Unable to take the distraction of his wife as she threw her clad legs up on the glass table crudely he decided it was best to hang up. “Chief, we’ll continue this shortly.” He heard a brief sound of dissent to the chief’s voice but didn’t bother with that. Whatever it was, it would wait if he told it too.

“Wow, you’re mighty eager to please me.”

“For the time being, pleasing you is important. When it’s not. I won’t.” When they’d first been married all she would do is sit silently in their joint room. She would spend time with the rest of the family only at meal times, and would do everything that was expected of her by him outside those times.

Now she was like an irritating leak in their house that couldn’t be fixed, persistent, noisy, disturbing, but ever present because everyone needed her. All this thinking of water and yelling at the chief had gotten him thirsty, so he reached for his glass of water and gulped it when he heard- “So…wanna do it?”

He almost spat out his water in his wife’s face. “Is that what it’s going to be like?”

“Well…you need a child. I want out quickly so let’s get me pregnant and be done with it. I don’t think you remember well but you promised me the moment I give birth to your satanic spawn I’d be free to leave. I’ll go wherever the fuck I want to and we’ll be divorced.” That had been their deal…and he would fulfill it but only if he had to. He had plans to keep her here, not that Christine realized or he was sure he’d be forced to endure even more irritating talk from her mouth.

“Considering the fact your boyfriend’s getting put in jail, you’d like to sleep with the guy who’s putting him there right now?”

Christine shrugged. She was trying her hardest to appear as if she felt nothing at the statement, but Yamashita had caught the way her fingers had clenched the table just a little tighter. “Why not? I’m married to you, not him, am I not?” Her voice wavered, her eyes shut as her mouth made an exaggerated shape.

He gulped a little as he examined her. Bringing her back into the house had been harder than he’d thought, and then she had angered him by so blatantly flaunting her extra-marital relationship. Unlike her, he had actually refrained himself- not quite on purpose but watching through Koyama’s eyes as she lived so carelessly, it had irritated him.

He understood that their family had wronged her, had he known he would have never hesitated with returning to Japan but as it was he had hated the way his family had run- now at the helm he’d changed things. He had never been groomed by his father, that had always been his brother, so he had the room to experiment, and come up with his own values for their business- it would always be illegal but it didn’t have to be done with such disregard for the people they worked with.

“Is that so?” He moved his chair closer to hers, his hands folded together in his lap. Her eyes got a little wider because their faces were brought closer together, if he focused his hearing enough he could hear her breathing softly. His wife had always been a beautiful woman, but when they’d been married he hadn’t bothered to appreciate her because it hadn’t mattered if she was beautiful. All that had mattered was that he had been forced into this much the same way she was, but he was at a slight advantage.

He stayed in his home.

He made the move close their lips when he heard her scream loudly.

“I’m sorry.” She whispered softly, her eyes blinked quickly as she stared at her lap. She looked as if she didn’t understand her own reaction. Gone was the pretense of the irritating, confident woman who was ready to annoy him into freeing her. He glanced down at her fingers, they were quivering. He was just about to reach a hand out to her to steady them when she spoke again- “You look like him.”

Without wasting a second she had gotten up from the chair and raced out of the room.

He sat there, hunched over himself because though Christine was tall she was still a considerable bit smaller than he was and to admire her face fully when it had been pointed downwards he’d had to bend himself.

There were five guards outside.

Of course, no one entered.

He realized how sad it must have been to scream and not have anyone hear, he felt his blood boil when he imagined that someone who was his family, someone who he had once upon a time loved had muffled this girl’s screams as their hands had touched something that was so preciously hi“

“Sir-“

He was thankful for the distraction because he was drowning in his thoughts. He couldn’t think of Christine that way. He had to remember that saving her was not his problem. Christine did not want him to, she had a savior…and she had willingly sacrificed herself back to enter the lair of the lions for him. “Yes Shige?”

“I’ve brought her as you requested.” Shige had always been overzealous, too rough, too strong, too snarky but this came in handy when you wanted someone to focus entirely on eliminating a threat. Shige opened the door wider and he saw the way his man handled their little prisoner. He roughly pushed the girl through, normally he would chastise Shige but this girl had caused them a lot of trouble.

“Tomomasa Rie, welcome to our humble abode.” He threw his hands up in greeting, the girl with her long freshly washed hair was looking around them in fear. “There’s nothing to fear for now. We don’t have the clear yet. So you can rest assured in this room, you will probably be alive.” She looked even more stricken now that he’d read her thoughts. He still didn’t quite understand why everyone made such a fuss about the girl before, there was nothing overtly pretty about her. Her eyes were small and almond-shaped though he supposed her skin was her best point. Smooth, and it looked soft enough that you felt tempted to touch it. “So how have you liked your stay here so far?”

The traumatized look on Rie’s face almost made Shige want to laugh at her. The girl looked perplexed as to why Yamashita was asking as if he was the general manager of the hotel she was staying at and not the man who had trapped her in a highly cushioned cell with chains. “It’s been alright, but your staff can be a bit unpleasant.” Shige cackled behind her, ruffling her hair and pushing her head down roughly.

Rie looked between Shige and Yamashita careful to relay no fear as she folded her arms over her hands flinching as the pain shot through her shoulder. “Ah it appears our friend has hurt herself- remind me Shige where did you shoot her?”

“Her left arm sir,” At that she shot the man a dirty to look to which Shige just leered proudly.

“Ah well…then someone else must have smashed in her right.”

“Can we get to the point please?” This incessant banter was unnecessary and Yamashita looked amused that she had highlighted just how inane their chat was. “My physical incapacitations is obviously not why you have called me here.”

“You’re right…I’ve called you here to give you the decency of getting to understand where you went wrong.” Yamashita walked over to the seat he had at the head of the table and indicated his hand towards the one to his right. “Please, have a seat.” Rie didn’t move so Shige shoved her hard in her back. “So…since you’ve let us know of your preference to be completely honest…you have 24 hours Tomomasa Rie.”

Of all the times she should have been scared this would be one, but she could only muster a disinterested stare as she blinked looking between Shige and Yamashita. “And what do you get from revealing your plans?”

“Nothing…but we don’t hide anything here. We give everyone the opportunity to change their fate, though in your case it would be rather hard I should admit. You my friend have nothing left to offer. But I’ll offer you something, wine?”

“No thanks,”

“Sir-“ Shige’s eyes widened as he looked at his phone. “He’s been arrested.” Then he turned to look at Rie brightly.

“I stand corrected then Rie, you have been quite useful indeed.” Regardless of whether she’d accepted his offer for wine she found the glass in front of her. “It’s just that you’ve outlived your purpose now.’
“Who’s been arrested?”

Yamashita and Shige smirked at each other, surprised she hadn’t caught on automatically yet. “Ikuta Toma of course…you know I’d always known about him. Christine told me before we got engaged. She’d lived with a boy. She thought that would be enough to deter me from the marriage. What she didn’t realize was our marriage was a marriage of convenience. It didn’t matter who we were before or what we wanted. What mattered was the legal documentation. I mean the thought irritated me a bit but really nothing more that that. Drink up Rie, we can’t possibly have a civilized conversation with you looking at me like I’m the enemy!”

Rie raised an eyebrow. “How do I know you haven’t laced this drink with poison?”

“What kind of host do you take me for? Please. You will be killed, there’s nothing around that. You’ve managed to deflect the righteous cops, helped me steal away Akihabara and now you’ve even put Ikuta Toma in prison for me. Just rest assured that the right time is very close but not quite here yet. You can enjoy the wine in peace.” He got up from his chair and began to pace the room slowly. “So you see, I thought that was the end of the little boy who had fallen in love with the little girl that I stole away.” In what universe did she care about any of this- she wanted to block her ears out like a child but sadistically there was a small part of her that enjoyed hearing about this Toma. The person he was before he was the man she met. “Rightfully Christine was my property now.” Rie bit back a snide remark that it was no surprise that Christine stayed away from him for so long with the way he referred to her. “Imagine my shock when I found out that the little boy grew under my father-in-law’s tutelage and stole my wife away…and began to hijack my team members. Started raids in districts titled specifically in our name all without alerting my father-in-law to how he was growing the business exponentially. When I told him- Takuya disregarded it saying we were all the same family anyways what did it matter whose pocket the money ended up in.”

Shige scoffed. “We’ve tried to kill him before- get Takuya to send him to prison, give him up. Takuya was hell bent on having the boy succeed him…and nothing would make him break that. And then you came up as the perfect excuse to let that man go.”

“Yes, your chief did let us know he was hiring this brilliant little thing that was sure to get Ikuta in trouble when as predicted he tried to steal the Akihabara district from Wakama clan-“ Yamashita smiled kindly upon her but all of this revelation made her feel like throwing up. She hated the thought that she was gullible, that she’d been taken for a fool by the men around her. That they’d played with her emotions and her life and her beliefs. She felt violated.

“And what a brilliant little thing you turned out to be. You made him falter just as we expected but we didn’t expect that you yourself would be so invested in the drug lord.”

“You were better than what we thought, we thought you’d give up the shipment details but you did something better.” Shige snickered as he sidled up close to her neck. She kept her composure just barely, every part of her body wanted to slam into the man beside her and twist his neck.

“You managed to bring me back my family.” Yamashita bowed his head towards her. His teeth she remarked were perfectly set, always ready to tear into flesh should they be needed. “I am ever so grateful for your work so far Tomomasa Rie. Thank you for putting an end to a story that has really become too long.”

------------------------------------------

“Are you sure this is going to work?”

“You’re the one who suggested it.” Mukai grumbled late at night. “Besides you said you’ve been in that house before, that’s better than any of us.”

Once they’d told Takuya what had really happened, and once he’d tried to shoot Toma down for betraying his trust and selling his daughter out. He realized that the boy wasn’t lying. He conducted his own investigations and found Talia had been paying people off for a bit more than a year that she’d been with Christine’s bodyguard and given him the information after sneaking into Toma’s room.

Which is how they’d ended up here, in the assistant chief’s house as he got ready to explain why he’d broken Ikuta Toma out of the jail cell they’d only put him in yesterday. “Do you know what you’re going to say?” Mukai looked at him as Toma shrugged.

“You told me to keep my mouth shut. I didn’t realize I needed to have a speech ready.” It was then Mukai decided there was decidedly something infuriating about Ikuta Toma.

“Do you not want to help yourself? Because I promise you once this is done if you don’t start co-operating you’ll end up exactly where we’d put you earlier.”

“You’ll still need me to save your beloved fiancé.” Toma scoffed looking at the taller man with disdain. Mukai couldn’t help but feel as if he was being mocked. Which Toma affirmed shortly with less than choice words. “I’m fine as long as you’re incompetent enough to not take her back yourself.”

Just as Mukai began to raise his hand against the guy he felt someone pull on his shoulder and saw chief Inagaki shaking his head. “Leave him alone…he’s trying to instigate you Mukai. I’m disappointed you didn’t see through his technique, he’s been doing this since the interrogation yesterday.”

That was true. Ikuta Toma had been trying particularly hard to not cooperate with him. Though for what reason Mukai was not sure. “Sir, we need your blessing-“

Inagaki sighed. In his own house, in his pajamas the man didn’t really look like he gave a fuck about giving Mukai Osamu his blessing but Toma wasn’t about to break that to his overeager partner in legal crime. “What do you want me to say to the chief?”

“Nothing.” Mukai shook his head, eyes lighting up. “There’s no way he can know Ikuta Toma isn’t in prison. We can place our own team members there day and night, highlight strong cards, new recruits who the chief hasn’t yet made connections with. Get them to communicate that Ikuta Toma is there and safe.”

There was that word again, safe. Everyone was so concerned with his safety it made him feel bad. Lillith wanted to break him out of Takuya’s world, Christine had broken him out of Yamapi’s house and now here was Lillith’s fiancé trying to break him out of a real prison. Since when had the world decided to revolve around him? For a man who was practically an orphan it felt strange to know now there were too many people willing to put their lives on the line for his. “We can manage that but can you handle him? Who’s to say he won’t run away?”

Toma scoffed. “Takuya would find and finish me off faster than the police actually putting a real criminal away for once in their lives…I should take that back you guys never do that. It’s a bit unrealistic to compare against.” He grinned politely around the room as both gruff men looked as if they were reaching the end of their patience with him.

To be honest, he was quite enjoying this. He felt a bit like his older self.

In this room, he had no power. It was a refreshing feeling, he felt light for the first time in years. He didn’t have Takuya breathing down his neck, like he didn’t need to worry about Jun behind his back…ready to stab it, he didn’t have Christine’s painful expression beside him.

He had some very complicated feelings for those people, but for these people it was easy. He knew he had to hate them. “If you keep being this annoying, I’ll forget about you and end your life myself.” Mukai threatened.

“Sure, go ahead…but imagine all that paperwork. Reason for gunfire: I broke a guy out of jail and he was a real dick so I offed him because I’m- oh my god. I’m a piece of shit too! WE’RE BROTHERS! OH NO WHAT HAVE I DONE?” He burst out laughing as both policemen looked at each other. When people heard of him, they heard stories of his fearful gaze, his brute force, the violent way he behaved towards his juniors, the blood he shed readily- he was sure this wasn’t what they imagined and to be honest it hadn’t been for quite some time for him too.

“As much as you’re enjoying yourself Ikuta, we have an agent in trouble and we need your help to make sure we bring her home-

“Then rather than talking about it and spending the past 48 hours delving into the legal implications of breaking me out of jail can we go ahead and get her now? Because I’ve been waiting for you nuts to say that we’re good to go because I don’t want to keep her in there anymore than you two do.” He smirked as he saw their faces fall. He was sure he’d made them feel shafted by the curt tone of his voice. “I’m sorry was that too honest and forthright for you?”

Mukai glanced carefully at him, there was something strange about how he’d spoken about Rie. “No you’re right…so just tell us what we need to do to break into the Yamashita house. The rest of it we can figure out later, every second she’s there she’s in danger of dying.”

“And wouldn’t she be sorry to leave you. What use is a knight in shining armor if you don’t get to show him off at the wedding day?” Unwillingly an image of the two of them shot back to his eyes, the way the man in front of him had rushed into his fiances grasp to kiss her. How they were probably planning on embracing when they reunited.

Oh right, he was trying his best to not think of her. “Just shut your trap and tell us what we need to do Ikuta.”
“I would point out the irony of that statement but- Gladly.”

----------------

Rie walked through the grass, the field was open, the wet soil soft on the balls of her feet and she felt her body sink happily into the ground it was on. Her knees knocked beside someone else and she turned her head to find Ikuta Toma lying beside her. “Hi.” His voice was barely a whisper.

Despite herself, her eyes watered, the clouds that looked before like they were cheerful little pillows of joy, darkened grey and threatened to spill themselves. She crumbled into his outstretched arms, crawling like a child into his arms curling over his figure as she collapsed. “You’re scared aren’t you?”

She couldn’t speak, she wanted to there was so much she wanted to tell him but the words never left her mouth as she looked at him with wide round eyes. The rain started pitter pattering around them and as they became ever more soaked and she should have felt colder, all she could feel was the heat protecting her.

“I’m not scared…” She finally spoke up surprised herself that her body had allowed her to open her mouth. “Because you know everything now. I’m not scared.” It was true, telling Toma had to be the smartest thing she’d ever done because there was no one on the force she could really trust. Mukai had all but pushed her away but Ikuta- he was used to people betraying him. He wouldn’t doubt foul play and he would try- she wasn’t sure if he would succeed but the fact that he would try was more than enough comfort for her.

Rie shot up right, drenched in her own sweat. This room wherever it was in the Yamashita house, did not have the same comforts of air conditioning, and she woke up often like this. It had been three or so days, Rie thought since she’d first been bought here. Fewer and fewer people were coming to monitor her which was a clear indication that was becoming less important. She coughed and spoke up. “Can I have some water please-“

There was no response from the guard at the door. The time between her meals and water breaks was getting longer and longer. She wasn’t stupid, less valuable meant closer to death. She didn’t want to go down like this but she couldn’t imagine what else would happen.

Thankfully the door opened and Koyama walked in, with a water bottle- he himself was drinking. She lunged forward to try and grab it. She thought she was fast but she was obviously slower than normal because he lunged out of her way. Panting with exhaustion, she must have looked pathetic because he sighed and passed her the bottle. “So are you giving up now?”

“What’s the point in fighting? There’s no realistic way.”

“Oh come on.” Koyama scoffed. “You’d make a horrible protagonist, aren’t you going to find your way through the vents above-“She’d tried they were barricaded. “Or try to knock out the guard.” He was making fun of how approximately 16 hours ago now she’d tried to seduce and break the neck of a surprisingly very dexterous, very gay guard. She took a deep breath and gulped down some more water in a manner most unladylike that left Koyama scrunching up his face when he saw the sweaty dirty Lillith wipe her mouth with the back of her hand and breathe heavily. “So you’re actually giving up?”

“You said it yourself. I’ve tried everything I could think of- so how happy are you now?” She snickered closing the bottle off and almost suspiciously placing it behind her back to make sure Koyama didn’t take it away from her. After all, who knew how long it would be before she got water again?

Koyama didn’t say a word but continued to look at her. “You can at least be thankful it’s me visiting you and not Shige.”

“Am I supposed to be happy about that? At least he’s rude to my face.”

“Look Rie, I don’t know what you want me to say-“

“Why don’t you say sorry.” She sighed and leaned back against the room. “I thought you were my friend. I mean really at the end of the day we were as close as an undercover gangster and an undercover cop can be which wasn’t that close but I didn’t think I’d die…and I’m just taking the fall for your girlfriend right?” Koyama’s eyes shot up. “Come on, just tell me the truth. She was the one who told you everything but if Takuya found out it was her he’d shoot her himself so it’s better to accuse me.”

“You didn’t do your job-“ Koyama stuttered out as she started laughing. “Rie-“

“Come on… you and I know better than that. You set me up to fail. You just didn’t set me up to fall for your target and that fucked everything up.”

Koyama sighed. “It wasn’t just you if it makes you feel better.”

“What?”

“He changed. You changed him. Or rather, the way Christine put it, it was you brought him back. That was what made her jealous. Talia had never seen him as generous with those in the house, and he went out of his way to to protect a girl from the foul behavior that went on in Tryst for the first time- think about it-”

“Wana-“

“Are you his sister?”

No…she wasn’t.

“So Tomomasa Rie- are you ready?”

“Ready for what?”

“Ready to say goodbye.”

---------------------------------

When they brought her into the room she took a deep breath, they’d done well. Kept her blindfolded, from the voices she could make out about six distinct voices, two stationed at the door she’d walked through, three surrounding the room and one right behind the chair where she was sitting. Hands flittered across her shoulders that she cringed under.

Unfortunately she recognized those hands all too well. “Shige…”

“It’s nice to see you too Rie.” His voice whispered into her hair. “It’s finally time to punish you for the bad little girl you are.”

“I thought you said you were married, you talk like a freak.” She felt a fist flit across her face, her cheek stinging in pain.

“Let’s get on with this, I have to meet Chief Itano in two hours and you know what traffic is like-“ Yamapi spoke up.

The numbers started and she realized this was it. So she might as well take the next few moments she had to remember her life in its entirety. It wasn’t that she hadn’t wanted to fight this and it wasn’t that she couldn’t beat all these men into comas all by herself one-on-one, but all surrounded and trapped like this her soul had lost some of its fight.

This whole mission had dissolved some of the resolve she’d felt when she’d busted down that door in Akihabara. Right now as her eyes were shut the scene flew up before her eyes, she was arresting Shirota Yuu, standing before the lawyers in their deposition room and giving her statement.

Since she was a little girl Tomomasa Rie had loved playing Cops and Robbers.

Then she was five, she was looking up at her mother as she brought her brother in front of her, ear pinched in her hands as she scolded him for stealing from their father.

Yes. Tomomasa Rie had always been the type of child her seniors and adults had trusted to do the right thing. She was the epitome of justice in a little girl.

She remembered going to her first police station when she was seven and being enamored by the atmosphere of the busy cops around her as they hustled and shouted. Others yet were quiet poring over evidence, building cases, filing paperwork as required. She knew she’d wanted to wear those starched blue suits, be a top-notch cop and catch the bad guys and put them away forever.

By the time she was sixteen she had so strongly believed in eradicating the presence of evil from her society that she barely remembered that without the existence of evil there would be no good. She did not want these horrible things like murders, robberies, rapes and other things existing in a society she wanted to raise her children in. She had always been a believer in good things, like pink clouds of cotton candy, blue water you could soak your feet into with your loved one and white extravagant wedding days. She was an eternal optimist, a strong source of good and she touched everyone whose life reached hers.

It was impossible not to be touched by the purity of her heart.

And yet now looking back on her life and the past few months she felt her heart grow distorted.

Where was the system when Christine was snatched unwillingly back into her father’s grasp? Where was the system to protect her when her own husband’s brother was abusing her in her husband’s absence? Where was the protection for sex workers who had children snatched from them when they were barely two days old- and that was if they even got to give birth to those children or get safe abortions. Where was their law when men like Shige got to roam free for attempting to murder the people around him? For that matter, why wasn’t Ikuta Toma already in prison when the world had all but seen the damage this man was capable of after he had his own heart snatched away from him?

Yes, Rie had never expected to be strapped to a chair, her eyes blind folded as she struggled to breathe slowly knowing that her entire body was facing a gun with a full barrel now finally in her twenties. The atmosphere around in the dingy dark room palpable as the countdown reminded her of that one fact.

That she loved to play Cops and Robbers and she’d just realized what a stupid pointless game it was.

A game she had immersed her life in completely, and perhaps that was her fault. After all… you were bound to get out one day.

Today was her turn to get out. She had never expected that she would run to save Toma from getting shot, and take the bullet herself, but somewhere inside of her.

She knew her sense of right and wrong that had never failed her before had been irreparably twisted when she met him.

She couldn’t do this anymore. There was no way at this point when she imagined the chief’s false face in front of her eyes could she work for men like that again. She could never be who she was meant to be and part of her mourned the death of that girl before she could mourn her own death because she had wanted to save the world. As noble and impossible of a cause as it was, she had wanted it more than she’d wanted anything else in the world.

That was why she wanted to save him too.

In the darkness around her now she imagined Toma in front of her. He was looking at her quietly. Peering at her and she felt like she was looking in a mirror because when she lifted her hand he lifted the opposite one.

He was a symbol of everything the system had failed to do right. The symbol of someone who had never seen the other door to turn to, a blemish the world had turned a blind eye to until it became too large to ignore.

Here she was waiting for her last moment to hit her as she envisioned his face and finally answered the question that had plagued her since that first night she’d met him

Why had it been so hard for her to give up on him when she’d seen the damage he could do? When she’d seen how disgustingly murderous he could be? When she’d watched him all but sleep with the woman he loved?

The Toma in front of her glowed, and she felt his hand reach out to grab hers breaking his mirror movements.

There was a smile on his face, not like the ones she usually saw…this one felt genuine.

He was worth it. He was worth her pain, her sorrow and it was too bad that when she finally knew this she was going to -

BANG.
-----
End Notes:
Hope you all enjoyed it :D thank you everyone.


No previews because...hahaha
Escape by Anna Clair


Toma dashed through the room as quickly as he could, Mukai’s underlings behind him were doing a good enough job of securing Yamashita’s men so he could find and remove Rie from the situation in the room he'd known they'd keep her in. It was the same room they tortured him in a few times now.

He scanned the dark areas finally spotting her and saw the man beside her scram, he felt a smirk touch his lips. Good, his reputation in this house preceded him now and it was just as well this boy was a coward- Ryo, Nagase, Shige, Yuki all those men before them-

It was all forgivable if he could save her right now. Rie had messed up but she didn't deserve to die, especially not like this, taking the fall for something that wasn't her fault whatsoever. He tried his hardest to swallow the ball of concern that had formed in his throat as he saw her body quiver blindfolded. His long strides felt longer as he pushed through the punches and avoided a narrow kick. Someone came over to cover him as he finally kneeled in front of her. The whole room felt quiet even though the noises of the war around them were unavoidable.

Her face was frantic, her head moving from side to side and she jostled a bit in the binds of her rope.

More gunshots resounded and he saw her jump. “IKUTA-SAN! NOT SURE HOW YOU DO THINGS WITH TAKUYA BUT DO YOU MIND HURRYING THE FUCK UP?” Ryuusei a newbie cop yelled and he nodded apologetically. He got to work on the ropes around her hands, deftly untying them but felt his his hands freeze at the blindfold for just a second. Quickly enough though he pulled his arms around her head and untied the knot at the back of her head.

The look in Rie's eyes was one he had never seen in all of his experience with the foolish, stubborn and aggressive woman.

She looked relieved to see him.

She looked like she’d waited for him all this time and the knot in his throat as he stared at her only grew bigger.

He'd fucked up. He blinked dumbly back at her, his hands clutching onto hers ever more apologetically. That night when she'd asked him to listen to her, he'd fucked up hard.

“I told you I wasn’t going to let you die.” Despite their surroundings, tears hit her eyes and nonsensical words flew from her mouth as she tried her hardest to not cry. Her face contorted in an unattractive but not entirely unappealing manner...there was something hauntingly real about the way she was crying in front of him right now. He didn't know her story, not nearly well enough but she hadn't been ready for whatever she'd been asked to do here.

There was a small part of Rie here that had broken in this house. She brought her hands up to her eyes to cover her face as her shoulders shook.

More gunshots sounded out, someone tried to pull her away from his grasp and Toma sat up quickly kicking him away. He nodded at one of the other men with him. “At exit point 6!” He yelled out ferociously. Not a moment wasted now that they had a destination in mind. He’d been through this house far too many times for his own liking but at times like this he was grateful…and he was even more grateful to those inside this house today who would secure his path out.

The Yamashita house was far larger than the Takuya house. The gardens were richer, more plush and green and filled with exotic plant life that felt strangely out of place and overly snobbish. Everything about the Yamashitas had to scream superiority because everything about this family was meant to remind you that they were old, regal, classic money with bloody assassin history painted into their flesh.

Everything the Takuya’s had looked like a mere rip off compared but not without its own charm.

He saw guards ducking through hallways running to the scene they’d just left and he dashed in through the first door he found, which thankfully was nothing more than a supplies closet. Yanking Lillith in behind him, he felt her tremble in his hands. With more pity in his heart than he ought to have felt towards the girl, he brought her closer to his chest looking down at her with a finger placed over his lips.

Emotionally she may have been wrecked but she managed to understand as she sealed her lips but couldn't seem to stop her tears. In a manner not totally unlike rocking a baby to sleep, he placed his arms around her and moved her from side to side. She felt overly warm, like a little ball of toasty fire in this enclosed space. Or was that just him and his temperature?

He tried to focus on the words the guards outside were saying, peering at the group through the cracks in the door. “All entrances have been manned…and Lady Christine’s been secured but it doesn’t look like they’re here for her.”

“They’re here for that cop bitch.” Almost reflexively he shifted her away from the door but Lillith had stilled in his arms. She'd obviously heard.

“Keep looking, they couldn’t have gone far. Chief Takahashi said she had to be ended tonight and there could be no loose ends.” The men ran past them and Lillith jumped away from him.

Her voice still shook but she finally opened her mouth. "Doesn't look like we have a lot of time...how are we getting to exit 6?”

“Let’s just say…someone’s there to let us out so don't worry so much. Talia owes me.” He breathed softly. There was so much he wanted to ask her but there would be time for that later. Right now, all he had to worry about was securing the girl in his hands, and bringing her safely into the arms of her fiance as promised.

The knot in his throat grew bigger.

“Come on, we don’t have much time.” He opened the door stepping out carefully but Lillith tugged on his arm and stayed close to him.

He turned back to look at her and saw her look fearfully around them.

All he could think as the air burned through his running body was whether she had any idea that she was clutching his hand so tight he’d started to lose sensation in his fingers.

Still, he couldn't bring himself to let her go or even loosen his grasp on her hand...if anything he just held on even tighter.

------------------------------

Christine’s door banged open and she shot up in bed, her hands clutching the covers over her body.

She hated that they put her in the same room, the same room that she used to look at as she felt herself slip back into distasteful memories of a weight so heavy on her body sometimes she wondered if she had to live with it her whole life or if it could finally crush her to death.

“Good, you’re safe.” Her husband breathed heavily.

It didn’t take much for her to guess why he’d come running in the way he had. And it didn’t take much for her to realize either that this time Toma wasn’t here for her and there was no one coming, at least tonight, to snatch her away from the man in front of her. “Where would anyone take me now? Game over. You won Yamashita Tomohisa-sama. I’m not the one he’s here for.” She shifted her body back under the sheets stretching. “Now if you’ve had enough, can you please turn off the lights? I was trying to sleep before you so rudely barged in here.”

He was silent for some time but Christine felt her skin crawl when she wanted nothing more than for him to leave the room. She let out a sigh of relief when she felt his body lift off the bed and relaxed into the mattress when the lights turned off.

Then rather unexpectedly, a warm body crawled in through the sheets. Her back was still to him, she prayed that he wouldn’t try to touch her because this was already too much for her. “What are you doing?” She pleaded out shortly and felt his back touch hers.

“I’m just going to sleep beside my wife tonight-“

“You have enemies in here.” She thought this was rather a good excuse for him to get the hell out of here and take care of his house. The house that she’d quietly sacrificed part of herself for.

“Cops we pay for and Ikuta Toma- it’s nothing my men haven’t handled themselves before. They don't need me babying them. I need to be here. I can't be sure he's not going to come after you but I promise you I won't come after you here either. Not until you're ready.” He replied and she turned around despite her better mindset to look at his back. He kept a safe distance, a solid promise that he wouldn’t touch her.

Didn't he realize she'd never feel comfortable with him? Didn't he realize all she saw sometimes when she looked at him was his brother's eyes? Ambitious, disgusting and crawling with lust he couldn't control?

She often wondered why he didn’t just mess around with someone else and call it a day...divorce her, get rid of her- if he felt truly apologetic towards her and what had happened to her because of him then he would have. He surely would have.

But then she gave him and men like him too much credit. He had a silo-ed view of the world.

She felt his body turn and made a move to turn and get out of the bed herself when he grabbed her through her sheets careful not to touch her directly. “Stay.”

“Why?” She whispered softly feeling sleep touch her eyelids. The more she looked at the rest of his face she couldn’t deny a small sense of calm coming over her. The bottom half of his face was drastically different, when she was looking at his lips she could pretend he was a different person. Nagase's lips had been large, enveloping, swallowing. Tomohisa's were thin, small, light and when they smiled they were kind.

Between the three men who had affected her life the most she couldn't help but think of the strange way their personalities intersected. Nagase was brash, angry, grabby, but in person he was charismatic, a bit of a con artist.

Toma was too smart for his own good, he’d always been incredibly quick “ that was the primary reason she’d fallen in love with him. His mind moved with such speed it left you shell-shocked in and in awe. You wanted to be with him for the ride, you wanted to learn with him.

Yamapi- “I want to go to sleep looking at your face.” It wasn’t said with any particular tone of voice. “Yup, just that face.” He shut his eyes right after he said that and she gulped back the spit pooling in her mouth like she’d forgotten how to swallow.

“What face…?”

He was silent, but he moved closer to her and she felt her neck curl backwards away from him as his hair entwined with hers. His voice was low, and soft. “The face where I think you’re finally starting to look at me for me and not who I’m related to again. So I'll stay here, beside you...until you understand that I am me and you're safe with me. Safer than you would be anywhere else ”

Yamapi was strange.

-----------------------------

Mukai had sat in his car, impatiently mind you, because he wanted nothing more than to be the man that rescued his fiance from the Yamashita family.

However, reason outweighed emotions and Ikuta had been the best candidate to enter the hostile territory because he was the one who knew the house better than anyone on the force and his prior experience pissing off people who wanted to see his face making out with a gun was unsurpassed within the covert team that had been chosen for this rescue mission.

The worst outcome would be that they were too late and Ikuta and his undercover team would be caught in a shoot-out.

The best case scenario was they extracted her with silence.With how close they were cutting this he seriously doubted the latter being the case.

The past hour had been the most trying of his life. For five minutes he would think his wife-to-be would be fine, she’d been in a wedding dress come Sunday because like hell he was going to give her another chance to get kidnapped…

And other times he imagined himself crying in front of a black and white frame with ashes surrounding the face of the woman he loved.

His heart lurched in his throat as he finally saw the exit post open up and a strange boy he didn’t recognize step through and bring Toma and Rie out. His stomach flopped over itself when he saw how entrenched they were-, Rie was clutching onto his body but he didn’t have a chance to look further because they ran so quickly they were in the car in seconds.

“Drive! They were going to fucking kill her we need to leave now Mukai!” Ikuta Toma barked at him and despite feeling rather irritated with the tone of the man’s voice, Mukai followed his orders.

Toma jumped through the backseat where he left Mukai’s own abnormally quiet fiancé by herself and buckled himself into the front seat beside him. Mukai swallowed words that almost slipped out jealously when he saw the nail marks on Toma’s arm.

They were quiet for quite a while.

Of course, he wasn’t sure where to start. Rie didn’t want to talk and Toma had nothing to say to the couple before him. Like the masochist he was, Mukai finally spoke up asking a question his heart lurched at the thought of. “When did you get there?”

“Right before they fired.” The Challenger Dodge they were driving swerved as he struggled to maintain some form of calm. “If we were a second later-“

“I take it back, I don’t want to hear it.” He replied curtly. “Thank you.”

He knew he should be asking Rie if she was okay, if they did anything to her, if they so much as touched a hair on her head- but he was scared because the more he heard the more he wanted to turn back and burn that clan to the ground.

“So what’s next? We ran with her and what we keep running? What about the rest of them in there?” His point was valid. He wasn’t quite sure, he never thought most of his missions through. In soccer he played forward, quite decidedly because he was the type of guy to run head first into situations without thinking.

“The other team members will extract themselves, they've been trained for situations like this countless times...but what I do with Rie, to be honest I'm not sure.”

“We go back to the department.” Rie voiced from the back of the car. Mukai tried to resist the urge to yell at her because there was no fucking way they were heading back there. That was like asking to put a target right on her forehead.

“Excuse me?” Toma parroted his thoughts for him. "I didn't go through all that trouble back there to save you to hand you over on a silver platter to your corrupted boss." The more time Mukai spent with him the more he didn’t like how much the man said his words before he could say them.

“We need proof against the chief, we can’t get it in his house because we don’t have a permit so we have to hope that he slipped somewhere at the office- Shige delivered things to his office didn’t he?”

“I know you think you're smart but you're actually a bit of a dumbass if you think you can just go waltzing into the office of the guy who wants you dead. You heard those guys back there-"

Ikuta's words were cut short as Rie glared at him and very carefully bit out. “No.”

“No?” He replied turning around to face her full front now.

“No. You almost got me killed. I tried to tell you. I tried to tell you I needed to talk to you and it wasn’t about-“ She caught herself before she said anymore in front of Mukai, willing herself not to shake as she openly confronted him. “You, Ikuta Toma-san, used me, you hurt me and then you just saved me so please until I understand what the hell I’m feeling when I look at your face, you don’t get to talk to me like that.” Mukai couldn’t help but snicker as he saw the way the gang boss’s mouth dropped.

He switched lanes. “For now, I’m going to drop the two of you off. Ikuta, do you have someone who can convince Takuya to get you out of prison?”

“Why?” He shot back rudely. “I’d much rather spend time there than in the company of you two screw ups.” Rie raised an eyebrow and he shrugged. "What, it's true...."

“Rie’s right…we need to get something on the chief because until then she'll have to keep running and you're not safe either. You’re in legal custody though so we can protect you but Rie she’s prime target. I bet you the city will be crawling with spies. So she has to get out for now…just until I can control the situation.”

"And where exactly is safe for now?” The sarcasm was back in Ikuta’s voice which was just as fine with Mukai. The more he irritated Rie, the better Mukai felt.

“My grandma’s house.” The car grew eerily quiet as he saw the highway exit merge with the local road they needed to stay on.

The tension in the car was so thick it could have been cut with a knife. “I’m sorry, did your boyfriend just say we’re going to his grandma’s house together? The three of us?” Despite herself Rie felt a smile touch her lips at the incredulous expression on Ikuta Toma’s face. She had to agree, it was rather fucked up for her to be going to her boyfriend’s grandmother’s house with him of all people.

Thankfully she didn’t have to answer him as Mukai responded for her. “It’s the only place I feel safe enough to keep her, she’s so far out and so remote-”

“And then what…? Who’s staying with her because-“

“You have to. Or would you prefer I push your trial up with Judge Hirakata?” Ikuta grumbled. Rie was a little shocked that Takuya had let his prize prodigy go down for what had happened that night. She had already heard one side of the story, and seen parts of what had happened to the Takuya clan…with all the death in that zone someone had to be held responsible and even though Toma had done such a good job of keeping the information from her, he’d failed somewhere else. Someone who worked better than her had definitely screwed the clan over.

“You’re the boss…just don’t blame me.”

“You won’t let anything happen to her…or you’ll be in trouble. I’d be there myself but considering I’m her fiancé they’ll come looking for me. I’m risking a lot just driving you guys but I took Ryuusei’s brother’s car so it should be okay.”

“Oh don't worry...I'll take real good care of her...REAL good care.” He remarked snidely letting his gaze catch hers, his innuendo hanging in the air.

"Stop fucking around so much Ikuta and I'll make sure you don't actually spend the rest of your life in a prison cell." Rie felt heat crawl up her neck and she turned to look out of the window.

She brought her eyes to her hands and took a deep breath.

She was fine, she was going to be fine. She was safe. She was happy. She had survived.

So why did she feel like she wasn't herself in this skin?

------------------------

“Is everything okay?” Mukai’s grandmother mumbled as she looked between the three quiet faces during dinner.

“Sure thing hottie! Just consider yourself the luckiest woman in the world for getting the most handsome bodyguard out there!” Toma joked trying his best to diffuse the tense atmosphere that had pretty much persisted since their long car ride over here.

The poor old lady didn’t need to be dragged into their bull shit. If he had a grandmother he sure would stay away from her.

Mukai was the opposite as he shot Toma a side look that asked him to refrain. "God you flirt with anything that moves, that's my grandmother man! Rie I can understand but this is just weird.”

“Eh why not? I think we'd be great together. Age is just a number neh Risa-chan?”

“Araa! Mukai I love your new friend! Such a sweet young boy! Not at all like the men in this family.” Mukai’s grandmother giggled girlishly and Rie could only look on dumbly with her fiancé as Toma and this old lady smiled behind their hands.

“Why am I surprised…with some women it’s salt, with others it’s sugar but you sound like an asshole to both.” She muttered under her breath, she knew it was a joke but seeing him this way almost irritated her because she felt like it wasn’t real.

None of him was real, and it didn’t look like it ever would be whether he was a sour piece of crap or irritatingly clawing like honey.

Whatever smile had been on his face disappeared when he spoke directly back to her. “You know, I never was one for sweet things.” Her stomach twisted in knots but she didn’t dare look at him as she swallowed her bowl of miso soup in one gulp.

“Then have more seaweed dear! You too Osamu and Rie-chan! You both look so skinny since the last time I saw you-“ She continued to stereotypically prattle on, about all sorts of things. Rie could only nod along as she vaguely listened to Mukai’s grandmothers tales of how much Mukai reminded her of her husband and how much she wanted to see them get married but was worried she wouldn’t make it to the wedding.

It was all well, and had Toma not been in this room, the conversation would have been much more pleasant, enjoyable even for her because Rie enjoyed small parties like this.

As it was, their situation in this room was more complicated than Mukai knew so it almost upset her to see him smiling. It wasn’t fair to him, and it wasn’t fair that the smile on her face wasn’t exactly the same.

Time passed quickly, Toma smiled more but his body tensed further. Dinner was done and he volunteered to help Mukai’s grandmother pack things away in her kitchen while Rie walked Mukai out to the car.

“You have to leave now?” She didn’t really want him to leave, and it was selfish reasons of course. She wanted him to stay so she could feel warm and safe in his embrace, so she could fall in love with the way Mukai kissed her forehead right before they both fell asleep together.

But he was leaving, to protect her. Which made perfect sense to her as cop but as more she felt like throwing a tantrum, and huffing more air into the wind that licked their faces from the water dock beside the house.

“Of course I have to leave, they’re probably already looking for me and driving back will take its time.” He leaned forward and pulled her by the wrist closer to him and she sighed in his grasp feeling his arms come around her. “I’ll be back soon, and I’ll take you back I swear.”

“Promise?” She mumbled into his sweater and leaned her head upwards happy to feel her heart skip a beat as he smiled down at her.

“With every breath in my body.” He leaned down to kiss her and she let herself fall onto his frame when she felt his long lashes flutter against the skin on her cheeks. He moved left and she moved right in perfect synchrony and at least for a moment everything felt right.

All too soon, they parted and she reached for his fingers kissing them. “Come back soon.”

“We’ve already spent too much time apart…I don’t want much longer either Rie.” He kissed her forehead quickly and practically ran towards the car. She figured the longer he spent beside her the more he must have wanted to stay beside her.

She felt her hand rise to her lips, watching the car speed away from them and pushed her hair off her head messing it up.

For a second, she’d understood her situation…and then as soon as he left it all went to shits in her brain again.

She turned around to see Toma leaning against the entryway of the modestly sized traditional Japanese house. “How long were you standing there?”

He sneered. “Oh, long enough to catch the-“ He proceeded to obscenely recreate the motion of the kiss she'd shared with Mukai with the air around him. She felt herself groan exhausted. This was not the type of conversation she wanted to have with him at all.

This was definitely not what she had envisioned in that room.

“Just stop Toma.” After the day she’d had she was more than ready to go straight to bed so she made a move to walk past him and into the house but an arm came up at the door frame and she looked up at him with more than a healthy measure of anger.

She was a little shocked to see that the anger in her eyes was reflected just as well in his. “Wow…usually I have to do a lot more than risk my life to save someone to get that look.”

“Really..? I think this is how Christine was looking at you that day when you ran and left me in Takuya’s room. Or do you not remember that?” She huffed between words cursing as she pushed his arm away from the door and walked quickly through the entryway towards her bedroom.

She wasn't rid of him yet though, he persisted jogging behind her matching her pace a little too perfectly for her comfort.

“Jealous?” He meant it teasingly but it came out sounding arrogant.

“More like confused.” She responded.

“You’re confused? I think I should be the one confused.” There was no reason for him to be confused. She turned to face him full front as she reached her room ready to slide the doors shut on his face.

“Pray tell, why would I, a mere little underling in your grand plans with yakuza bosses and mistresses, confuse you?”

"Don't sell your self short." She saw his throat bob up and down uncertainly before he trusted his voice to speak again. “You’re the biggest liar I’ve ever met. There’s so many fucking lies running around in my head right now.” He laughed and shook his head. “I can’t make anything of you. Most undercover cops don’t risk their life-“

“We’re even now.” She cut him off. “We’re even, so don’t use that as an excuse, you did your job. You promised you wouldn’t let me go. You promised you wouldn't let me die. So thanks...and go back now.”

She tried to make a move towards entering her room, but he grabbed her arm and pulled her back. “You think this was my job?” The throaty growl that resounded in the hallway made her fingers shudder a little in fear. “You think I was running in there doing my job? You think saving cops is my job? If I had any sense and was doing my job, I would have put a bullet in you the moment you confessed but I didn't and why do you think that is?" His question threatened no one but himself.

“Then it was the debt.”

“Yeah, it’s the debt.” He rolled his eyes as the sarcasm hung between the air. “Rie,” Her name sounded foreign on his lips and it almost made the skin in his hand itch as she heard it. Like she was allergic to him and of all the reactions she expected to have finally talking to the man who had hauntingly entered most of the dreams she’d had in the Yamashita house she hadn’t expected this. “Is it easier for you to ignore it?”

“Ignore what?” She replied back dumbly. Maybe he was right, she was a total liar because she knew exactly what he was talking about and he was right, it was easier for her to ignore her feelings towards him right now.

“The debt, if that’s the answer you’re looking for, if that’s the answer you want - I’ll give it to you.”

She scoffed. “Then what is it? The guilt of fucking around with my mind?” She pushed forward getting surprisingly angry. “All I wanted was for you to hear me out but you know you used me. I couldn’t see it in there but you used me more than Jun ever did and he almost got me killed. You came even closer than he did!”

“What is wrong with you?”

“What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with you?! What the hell are you doing here? Why would you- be here? Why are you co-operating, being friendly with Mukai and his family and being so unlike yourself and being so-“ He blinked quickly and she paused. “I don’t understand you. Why did you come here? I know if you wanted to you could go back, you could go back to everything so why are you here? I know what you think of me, and cops, and trust and all the things you said were important to you so why are you doing this?”

She was half expecting the answer she always got when she asked him why. ‘Because I wanted to’.

She got something only very slightly different. “Because you wanted me to.”

The idea that Ikuta Toma had done something she wanted him to sounded ridiculous even to her own head. “What?”

“You wanted me to…you wanted to save me. So go ahead. Try. You have as long as I’m in police custody. Try your very hardest.” She’d thought he was trusting her when he gave her his hand that day on the beach but she was totally wrong because nothing compared to what he was giving her now. He was giving her…power. Over him. It made no sense, she knew who he loved, she’d seen it in front of her very eyes. “Takuya gave me up and when Mukai told him he’d use me in the time he was in police custody he gave me up. So make me stay. Change me back to who you think I was. I dare you…and all of this? This is just me helping you because you’re the one who said it. I’m not cold-blooded and I lied and you are precious. You're so pure and idealistic and you’re made to be a hero. So make me like you Rie, make me a good guy if you still think you can.” She stood there blinking at him as he looked back at her and a genuine smile broke out on his face when he took in her dumbfounded expression.

Then he shook his head and he did something incredibly uncharacteristic of the Toma she’d gotten to know in Tryst. “Relax, I could have asked for much more.” He ruffled her hair innocently but there was nothing innocent about the feelings tingling down to her toes when she felt his skin against hers. Just as well that he didn’t seem to notice how stone-like she’d gotten because he started to walk away from her.

“6AM!” She burst out. “6AM. We’re going running!” He waved a hand back at her to indicate he’d heard her and she gulped down the ball firmly lodged in her throat. “We’re going to plan the chief’s demise you know!”

“Wouldn’t have it any other way!” He called out as he turned to another hallway and she huffed turning back to her room.

She was in trouble.
----------------------------
End Notes:



No previews because...hahaha but hope you all enjoyed it!
Reach by Anna Clair
Author's Notes:
Its not technically all fleshed out yet but fuck it, I spend too long editing anyways! Enjoy bubbaloos! Straight from literally the last things I've written for this story

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Normally when she went running she tried to make sure her outfits were breathable but as it was she didn’t have any luggage up here so for now she’d go running in the shorts she’d slept in last night.

When she got to the door she was surprised to see Toma already up and waiting for her. She walked up to him bending her knee so her feet touched the small of her hip to stretch her thighs and hamstrings out.

On the other end of her, he was pulling his elbow to the other side. “So running huh?”

“Well I’ve been kept in a room for the past three days. I figured I could use a little fresh air, clear my head. Any problems?” She pulled on her ponytail nervously. Like her hair was going to help distract her enough from the fact that she was just nonchalantly talking to him like it was no big deal.

“No complaints here.” He affirmed but couldn't help but wonder when he took in her frozen posture, why this girl couldn't relax in his presence now? As Lillith, she had plenty to say, almost too much. She'd been the one who had pushed him beyond reasonable measure and had him end up right here beside her like this was the position he'd wanted to take all along.

This Rie he'd met now though, he could see she was much more guarded…which made no sense because at the end of the day unlike someone with split personality disorder, Rie was quite literally the same person. “I don’t think we actually ever asked you did we?”

“Asked me what?” She shook her arms out pretending to not care about a word coming out of his mouth as she bent to the ground. “Ready?”

He squatted down beside her rubbing the slight tinge of sweat that had started to work his way on his forehead in the unrelenting heat of the summer sun. “We never asked you if you’re okay.”

The blatantly obvious way in which he asked her this question jolted her out of her determination for a second, just for a second, because if she was being honest with herself she wasn’t okay…but was she going to be honest with him? “Are you okay?” She replied back with just as much brutal demand on her features.

“Touche.” He leaned down to the ground and stretched out his legs. “I’m ready now whenever you are.” The carefully chosen words in his response didn’t escape Rie’s notice but for now she chose to imagine he was telling her that he was ready to run.

So she sprinted forward without any more warning. She needed to get away from him, his eyes, his questions, his presence in her life like this. He made sense as the drug leader of the Takuya clan. Their relationship there had been confusing but defined, and it had an obvious line of good and bad. This one here, it felt blurred to her.

The air filtered through her lungs as she trudged along the muddy path. She was starting to feel free again outside taking in the view of the green leaves flying past her eyes with every step she got just a bit quicker. Her legs screaming delightfully how much they'd missed this.

Here, she didn’t feel like Rie the cop or Lillith the bartender she just felt like herself…whoever that was supposed to be.

She ran until she felt the recognizable burn in her legs that told her she should pause, and then she ran a little harder relishing in how her tightly wound joints felt. Part of her knew she should check on Toma because he hadn’t been able to keep pace with her so far, but she wasn’t sure if that was on purpose so he could look at her from the back, or because he just couldn’t run.

Finally at the end of the muddy path, they came to a clearing in the grass, a meadow of sorts surrounded with lavender flowers where there was no obvious road to take and Toma stopped beside her mere moments after she had. “You run fast,” He panted a little out of breath compared to her and she couldn’t help but feel a swell of pride build in her chest as she saw him squint at her through the sunlight.

“Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it in a few days. You did a good job keeping up with me. You only took a few more hours to reach this spot after I did.” She smirked and felt her body untwist just the slightest despite her best efforts to keep it guarded from his view.

“Let’s just say hand-to-hand combat is my specialty. I am not made for cardio.” He sighed and walked forward into the grass falling on the plush cushion. “Come on, what are you waiting for? Get down here.” He asked silently, his eyes closing as his back stretched on the green landscape.

“I’m not going to sit down there beside you…” She mumbled despite herself, this whole atmosphere between them felt wrongly tense and lying down beside him, even just in the grass felt like she was asking for trouble from the gods.

“Oh stop being such a big baby.” He grabbed her by the leg and twisted her with a shocking amount of strength for a man who had been out of breath moments ago. She yelped as she fell backwards, his arm cushioning her fall.

She couldn’t help but wonder yet again, if he was only pretending when he ran behind her. Just as soon as she was on the ground though, his arm was out from under her frame and she felt her body melt into the ground, the dew from the grass sinking into her skin.

“The grass does feel pretty good.” She reluctantly agreed taking a breath as she turned her head to look directly at Ikuta Toma beside her.

“So what’s going to happen now?” He took a deep breath, his chest rose and fell.

“Now we wait…Mukai will let us know when we’re needed.”

“And there’s a lot we can do while we wait-“ She made a move to get up from him but he burst into laughter and pulled her back down. She was extremely aware of the fact that she had landed on the ground closer to his face now. She felt him turn towards her and felt her mind try its best to explain to her body that she should be moving back. “Relax, I was only kidding.”

“I know...” She sighed exhausted with how easily he could tease her and not have any care for how his words were affecting her sanity. “Why do you want it by the way?”

“Why do I want what?”

“Why do you want to be saved?”

“Do I need a reason?” He asked back, too smart for his own good.

“No…you don’t. I’d like to have one still because I need a reason to save you.” She felt her heart quicken when he came closer to her with his eyes closed and she gulped her own eyes closing reflexively.

“Did you know I was pre-med once?” The words whispered past his lips and into her ears with no small amount of shock. Whatever reason she was expecting out of his mouth, it wasn’t that. “Did you know I wanted to save people like you too?” When she looked at him now, his eyes were open unlike anyway she’d ever seen before…his emotions as clear as day in this meadow. He looked longingly on at her. “I want that again. Maybe not as a doctor…but I want it. I want that feeling back. When I saw how you’d been twisted it pissed me off. It pissed me off you lied to me but I understood your situation- but I guess the reason I wanted to be saved so I could save you. So I couldn’t fuck my chances up again the way I had when I was younger. So I had a chance to be who I wanted to be from the start.” The ball in her throat was back and it grew larger. “Is that enough of a reason for you?”

She couldn’t respond clearly. What did she say? What could she say? Before she could stop herself, her hands reached for his and she felt her palms grow sweaty as they lay in the grass together.

They didn’t say anything else but they did lie there for a few minutes, looking into the sky together. Or at least she thought they were but the truth was it might have just been her because every time she hoped to observe him without him realizing-

She realized he was looking at her first. “Rie-“

“We should get back.” She cut him off before he could speak again and say something that would make her falter like she just had. She let go of his hand but he leaned forward to grab it again.

“Okay, lets go.” She wanted to let go but she wasn’t strong enough to try again and as it was she had to admit she relished in the feeling of being able to openly hold onto him.

---------------------

Thankfully whatever had happened in the meadow seemed to dissipate when they were back in the house and Toma became his new irritating persona of happy go-lucky man. “Ah Risa-chan, do you have any liquor?”

“Alcoholic.” Rie mumbled under her breath smiling despite the connotation of her words. When she saw him smirking at her she’d known she’d gotten just the slightest bit under his skin.

“I’ll have you know since you went and got yourself kidnapped I haven’t had one drop of liquor…I think I deserve a drink.”

“Rah, Toma-chan, Rie is right drinking isn’t good for your health!” Risa-san chastised him and then with a more than healthy sparkle in her eye, the old woman mischievously shuffled over to the back of her kitchen pantry out of earshot.

“Was that the only thing you could wear?” Toma was gesturing towards the loose yukata she’d wrapped around herself.

“Ah Risa-chan said she’d wash the clothes I was in before..but Mukai didn’t happen to bring anything else along.” How did you happen to have more than one pair of clothing on?

“Ah I just sleep mostly naked so it’s all good you know.” She started coughing on her water so furiously that while laughing he had to pat her on the back. “I was only joking there’s no need to choke yourself to death.”

While coughing she continued to glower at him, Risa-chan rushed over with a bottle of Umeshu in her hand. “Rie-chan, are you okay?”

“Fine baa-chan” She coughed one last time as she shuffled Toma’s hand off her back. “Just a little coughing fit.”

“It’s all a big ploy Risa-chan. Her throat is too dry, I think she needs the liquor more than both of us neh!” She wanted to jump on top of him and wipe the snarky smile off his face with her bare palm but she managed to control herself because of the immensely wrong way that might appear to the older lady.

“Mah mah, here.” The lady kindly poured both of them a glass and Toma returned the favour in kind as the three of them bowed their heads and had the first sip of Umeshu. “Wah oishii! It’s been too long neh- I feel sad drinking alone so I never drink anymore.”

“Whenever you need a drinking partner please, feel free to ask me.” Toma responded in kind replenishing Mukai’s grandmother’s shockingly empty glass. Even he hadn’t gulped down the Umeshu so quickly. “It was nice though.”

“It’s no gin and tonic but I have to admit it is delicious.” Rie chimed in, not willing to be left out of their conversation. "Risa-san, be careful...he's a little rowdy when he's drunk."

She swore she saw a blush rise on his cheeks and felt that bubble of heat rise up in her own face. He looked straight at her and nodded but raised a glass up to Mukai's grandmother and yelled brightly. “Kanpai!”

She had to admit, she had never imagined this sort of look on his face, the one where he looked kindly onto the older lady before him laughing and drinking and exchanging stories.

If someone had told her a month ago she would be here with the head of the Takuya drug group and Mukai's grandmother drinking into the night she would have asked them to check into a hospital.

And yet, here they were in this bizarre coincidence and she had to say she had never seen Ikuta Toma look happier than he did right now.

The smile dropped from her face.

Her heart beat even faster in her chest.

-----------------------

Mukai reached the underground parking lot where he was supposed to exchange the Challenger for his regular car…what he was expecting was Ryuusei standing nervously around with the keys to his Lexus shuffling between his hands.

What he got was extremely different. Matsumoto Jun was in front of him smirking and with no Lexus behind him. He felt his hands push on the gears as he drove the car quickly into the parking lot and practically ran out of the car. “Now, now- you shouldn’t look too eager. I’m not the one with your future wife.” The young yakuza called out with no care for how loud his voice was.

“What are you doing here?” Mukai thundered back despite himself. He could practically hear Rie chastising him, Stay calm Mukai! He’s trying to irritate you!

“Oh I’m sorry, where are my manners? I’m Matsumoto Jun-“

“I know who you are- get to the point. Where’s my detective and why are you here in his place?”

“Let’s just say, your detective is detained in traffic being tested for drunk and I’m here as your friend Osamu-san! Let’s just say I’ve got the inside scoop and I want you in on it!” Mukai grimaced as he heard the man's tone of voice. Matsumoto Jun gave you the very distinct impression of a used car salesman.

“What the fuck are you talking about?”

“In approximately five minutes your co-worker will be here and he’ll tell you, your chief is releasing Rie’s name on the most wanted list along with Ikuta Toma’s name and he’s going to yell to the world that’s she’s betrayed the force and her country. Most of your cops will wimp out of trying to help save your fiancé because most of them aren’t idiots like you. Most of them don’t love her and Toma will barely be able to protect himself let alone protect her.”

The meaning of his words echoed in the walls of the lot as Mukai couldn’t help but look around him suspiciously. “How do I know to believe you?”

“Well I’m not staying but I did want to give you the heads up- and give you an offer to think about because you’re stuck Mukai Osamu and my team can help you." All pretense of humor disappeared from his face and voice. This Mukai was thankful for because is it was it was hard to take this guy seriously. "We’ll give you what you want- we’ll help you take down the clan that’s really wrong here and we’ll help you burn your incompetent chief.”

Such offers of help never came cheap. Mukai knew this, and he knew he was only being invited further into the dark fold that Rie herself found herself entrenched in.

His treacherous brain brought up the first sight of his fiance he'd had in days as he saw how clearly in his mind she looked when she'd stepped out of the Yamashita house. How she'd looked upon Ikuta Toma like he was a saviour, how she'd clung to him like a child and how Toma had cradled her safely into the backseat before he came up and sat beside Mukai himself.

Now that he thought about it, no matter what she'd said to Toma. Her eyes hadn't been able to meet his squarely and she'd been so callous with him he hadn't realized it but Rie had trusted Ikuta Toma wholeheartedly with her life twice now.

She had worked closely with him, it made sense but despite himself Mukai felt his skin crawl uncomfortably. He remembered her kiss on his lips as he'd left her at his grandmothers but despite the calm the memory of her on him normally brought him today it evaded him.

“Come on, I don’t have time for your good guy irrational mind to come to its senses and take my olive branch.” Matsumoto Jun spoke up irritably knocking him out of his reverie. Just as well, he didn't want to think about it anymore either.

“What do you want?”

“Nothing! It would be nice to just get justice you know. Ra ra! Put people in jail! Ra ra! Yay for the Tokyo Met police actually doing their job for once! You get all the glory! We'll even get you promoted! On your own merit mind you! Takuya's too cheap to pay cops, did you know that?” The man took out a cigarette and lighter and offered him one. Feeling the stress he’d been under the past few days buckling on his shoulders he grabbed the pack from Jun and used his lighter to light both their sticks. “Of course if maybe just 25% of the tonnage of cocaine was to be returned to its initial holders-”

“Are you bribing me with assistance to save my fiances life?”

“Is that considered a bribe? I’m sorry I thought I was just offering a friendly hand.” He raised his hands up in the air. “Remember you don’t have to take our help Mukai Osamu. You can do this all on your own, you and your stellar piece of ass who could probably whip half of this city into shape all by herself.” Mukai raised his hand to punch the guy in the face but the snake was good at dodging and Jun laughed at his failed attempt. "And you're the star of the force...wow." He sucked the air through the cigarette and blowing it in his face irritatingly. “Oh calm down, I wouldn’t touch a hair on her head. She was starting to become popular around the bar though, guards, head honchos, drug cartel kings- Lillith could certainly hold her own amongst them. You must be very proud.”

“Fuck off.”

“I’ll try!” He grinned widely. He was back to being irritating. “So to summarize-“

Mukai cut him off before he could speak again. “I don’t need a summary. I understand your offer and will not be accepting the gesture please get out of my face before I beat the pulp out of yours.” He responded as kindly as he could but it came out looking rather grotesque as Mukai’s hands tightened by his side and Jun bowed his head graciously.

“25%. You have 48 hours. Make your choice, any later and the rate climbs up. Our services don’t come cheap. Consider this a family and friends discount from the new leader of Takuya’s Drug and Co.!”

Mukai snorted. “Whose family would you be?”

“Lillith’s of course brother-in-law! Lady’s practically a sister-in-law to me now!” His suggestive smile did nothing to quell the fear building in his heart. Why would he call her a sister-in-law? “Well, till you call me! Try not to take too long!”

Mukai stood there breathing heavily as he heard a sound behind him and quickly turned to see his detective Ryuusei turn into the lot.

When he turned back, Matsumoto Jun had disappeared with barely a wisp of sound where his car had once been. Mukai only prayed he wasn't correct but something did tell him that Matsumoto Jun wasn't wrong because after the corner they'd put the chief in- how else could this turn out?

How the hell was he going to do this with the whole country looking for the two of them?
End Notes:
Poor Mukai, he tries so hard.
Laze by Anna Clair
Author's Notes:
This was a weird chapter to write...mostly because it was a whole lot of nothing but fun for Ikuta and Rie...but Mukai oh Mukai...what are you selling? (Cause Imma hella buy it)
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“Reports say, recent inductee in the police force Tomomasa Rie is highly wanted. She is being charged with treason, unauthorized use of a firearm, possession of lethal substances. It is believed she is travelling alone. If spotted, please report straight to your local police station. In other related news, Tomomasa Rie’s partner has been captured and is being held in police custody.”

“Why didn’t they reveal your name? You’re obviously the ‘partner’ they’re talking about.” Rie huffed as she watched the T.V. lazily in the summer heat.

“Takuya probably paid extra. He can’t have everyone knowing my name if he still owns it.” Rie turned to look at him, a skeptical, sarcastic sort of vibe wafting off her so Toma just grinned irritatingly. “I’m special.”

“Special in the head...” She saw him turn to throw her a particularly psychotic smile, adding credibility to her words.

“I’m all about the head, baby.” He teased his voice dropping and stretching out the word baby in a manner so funny even Rie had to burst out snorting in laughter.

“Gross.” Toma snickered but it was more at her than with her. Like clockwork both of them lifted their Ramune popsicles to their lips beating the summer heat the best way they knew how. “Shouldn’t we go help Risa-san? She’s working on lunch.”

“I don’t know, didn’t you hear them on the T.V.? I’m highly wanted. I gotta stay low…like really low..like on the ground sleeping low.” Toma rolled his eyes and got up from their spot in front of the T.V. to go to the back of the house and help Mukai’s grandmother in the kitchen.

Rie took a deep breath relaxing her shoulders under the only source of cool in this house, the ceiling fan.

The last few days had been a lot of this.

She wondered if this was what Toma was like when he’d lived with Wana and Christine before, light, helpful, smart, carefree and perfectly normal.

He barely looked like the type of guy who knew his way around multiple firearms and three ways to kill a man with no hands!

It was only when they ran in the morning when she saw a sliver of the man she recognized from Tokyo. It was almost like he was on a vacation from himself and as much as she wanted to yell at him to draw out the real Ikuta Toma she’d gotten lazily accustomed to this one who pretended to be someone he wasn’t. He was someone she could avoid, he only very rarely made her heart skip a beat…usually when he was uncharacteristically forward and earnest.

This man was someone she could ignore which was something she was particularly grateful for.

Almost like he knew…but who was she kidding? Ikuta Toma was not being considerate of her. He was doing this for his own selfish reasons and she couldn’t be bothered to find out why.

“Are you coming?” She heard him call out from the entry to the living room.

“But I’m sleeping….” She shut her eyes and rolled on the ground. When she winked one eye open and turned over to look at Toma who was leaning against the sliding door she snickered a little. “Bring lunch to me!”

“Dear god…you really are spoiled.”

“What?”

“For a girl who looks so active in the morning, I would have never thought you were this pathetic the rest of the day.”

“Really? That’s weird…I’ve always felt incredibly pathetic around you.” She saw his eyebrows furrow in confusion as if he didn’t quite understand what she meant by that but just before he could question her again she jumped up from the floor stretching in her wonderfully loose and airy kimono. She whipped around to see Ikuta Toma peering carefully at her. “Take a picture, it lasts longer.” Her voice carried softly through the air, her hair covering half her face as she leaned back to stretch her body.

“You really don’t know how to tie these up do you?” She quickly glanced down at herself to realize that when she'd rolled around on the floor her kimono had come loose and her bra was now visible hanging out of her clothes.

"Shit shit shit shit." Squealing, she tried to cover herself up but she had no chance. Ikuta Toma had leaned forward and grabbed her by the edge of fabric belts that were hanging loose of her sides. He pulled her to him, tightening the knot with his fingers so she felt the fabric wrap around her securely.

She looked up at him completely caught off-guard as she saw him laugh at her like she was a child. Then he fixed the top of her kimono, adjusting her to be the picture of modesty. “Relax…it’s nothing I haven’t seen before. Hell this was your uniform every day and I wasn’t jumping on you then was I? Ah…well you can't really count the last time-” She felt herself straighten almost too fast as she saw him smirk at her. “Lunch, your highness?”

She nodded, but she wasn’t sure what she was nodding at as he turned on his feet and walked towards the kitchen but she felt the knot in her stomach twist harder as she tried to control her feet so she wouldn’t run after him.

--------------------------

Takuya sat across the cop who had barged in here for the second time this month and already felt he was far too superior to be sitting across a man as junior as him. Still the man talked a rough game.

“So you’re not here to accept our offer?” Jun questioned doubtfully looking at him with one eyebrow cocked up. “Are you mental? There’s no way you’ll make it through the city borders with her, without our help.”

“No. I cannot. I will not. This is something I can’t condone.” Mukai glared them down and saw the Takuya honcho grin in synchrony with the irritating Matsumoto in a way that irked him even more than Ikuta Toma. Something he hadn’t thought possible. Not for the first time he wondered how Rie had survived amongst such single minded irritating individuals.

“So what do you want us to do? Help you for free?”

“No. I understand where you are coming from “ so I’ll offer you this instead. Sacrifice the Yamashita clan in its entirety. I can get you immunity for that knowledge. Your knowledge is your power. In exchange, you will protect Rie until we’re able to neutralize their influence on the force and we keep Ikuta as insurance that you will do so to the best of your abilities as she is nothing more than a pawn in this game.”

“And why would we want him in the first place?”Jun scoffed. “This clan isn’t built on his back and it won’t break on his either. And immunity? Are you joking?” Mukai couldn’t disagree, no yakuza worth his salt would agree to this deal.

“I could just as easily arrest all three of you right now, it’s all out in the open that you are the ones who planned this and we have proof of so much but I’m not done-”

“On what charges? And on whose permission?” Takuya snickered. “Granted we may not be as well entrenched in your institution as the Yamashitas but that you can’t possibly think we’d allow that to happen Mukai-san….nor do you think your boss, or his boss, or the minister of justice for that reason would let that happen. We send a lot of dollars his way, and quite possibly into your pocket for all you know. Without us you wouldn’t exist, and vice versa.”

He felt the opportunity slipping away from his fingers and Mukai cursed the way his heart twisted inside of his chest as he looked across the room and resisted the urge to bow, begging for their help. He couldn’t look weak to them. They’d try to extrapolate even more from him. “When I meant we’d give you immunity, I meant we’d give you immunity as more than just informants. All of your businesses…should they be caught in any legal messes I’ll fabricate as required to ensure you’re saved. I’ll act as your personal agent…for one year.”

For a second, the silence made him nervous but he wasn’t sure what else he could offer them.

Then he recognized that silence at least meant they were considering his words with a fair degree of seriousness. He saw Takuya narrow his eyes as he glanced carefully at him. “And why would we let you stop after a year? How do we know you won’t use what you’ve learned in the year? How are you so sure we’ll let you survive if you just think you can leave the fold as easily as you’ve joined it.”

“I’ll protect you. I’m a man of my word. For that year. Please do not abuse this power but I will give you as much immunity as a man of my stature can guarantee and the rest of it- well I’ll work with you to make sure your businesses remain untouched for the year. As for killing me, you could, but that would come off even more suspicious don’t you think?”

Jun scoffed. Obviously upset that this wasn’t going the way he had planned. Little Mukai had given Takuya something truly priceless, and even he knew that. This was something with a long-term benefit that couldn’t be measured in dollars and cents. This was profit sure but it was peace of mind, safety, lives of those in their team and in the force for that matter…still Jun wasn’t going to give in so easily because this option? It gave him no leverage over Ikuta Toma and if he didn’t have leverage he didn’t have the chance to take over. “You can’t honestly expect that we’ll just give up a shipment we’ve worked so-“

“It’s a deal.” Jun tensed his jaw as he looked carefully at Takuya who was smiling kindly at Mukai who was starting to sweat at his hairline.

Jun felt sorry for him, to be honest he’d been letting him off easy “ working for a year with a group of people you can’t stand- well Jun had been doing it his whole life and he could have told the guy it ALMOST wasn’t worth it. “You can’t be honestly thinking this is sufficient Takuya-san-“

“And when did you honestly start thinking that second guessing my decisions would be good for you Jun?” Takuya flashed him the type of smile where he looked like he was two seconds away from ripping Jun’s throat out with his bare hands.

Jun glanced at the floor before he looked up and his eyes connected with Mukai growling. “Sure, let’s do this. Sounds great. I’m on board- I’m sorry you ever thought otherwise. This is a great idea, because we totally saw what happened the last time we worked with a cop.”

Happy now after seeing Jun's submissive behavior the Takuya patriarch clapped a hand on Jun’s back roughly, even for Mukai’s own taste. “Once more with feeling!”

-----------------------------

The next morning they ran again but today was different, Toma had gotten better to the point that he’d started bounding ahead of her and she had to actually put a fair bit of effort into maintaining her lead over him.

They were running towards the meet point Mukai had asked them to be at because he didn’t want his grandmother being too close to the point where they were being picked up in case somehow information got out and the pick-up turned sour.

Toma grinned back at her leaning backwards. “So explain to me again how is this going to help me be a good guy? I feel like I’ll be using these skills to run away from cops like you once we’re through here.”

“Ha, ha, ha.” Rie muttered huffing as Toma effortlessly sprang across a stray branch in their path and started running backwards in a manner so arrogant she had to roll her eyes.

“So what did Mukai say on the phone last night when I was with Risa-san?” She wondered why he loved spending time with Mukai’s grandmother so much it didn’t make any sense.

“He said someone is coming to get us later tonight and we should be packed and ready to go. He didn’t reveal the name but he did say it wasn’t someone from the force. We’ll meet him there at our safe house and discuss next steps.”

“So we’re still staying together?” He wiggled his eyebrows as she felt herself start coughing. “Good, here I thought I’d miss having you all to myself…”

“For now, I guess. It’s easier than having to guard two people in two different locations.” She chose to ignore the latter part of his speech and saw him smirk proudly like he was proud she didn’t address it right away. “So- why are you so into Risa-san anyways?”

Toma looked at her like she was oblivious. “Isn’t it obvious? She’s a mom.”

“Oh and that’s your type.”

“Well…you said it. Not me.” He teased and she snickered despite herself because she knew he didn’t mean it that way. “I- I knew my mother for a bit. Until I was like 5 I got to meet her every weekend, and she was beautiful, kind, wonderful in the kitchen but-“

“But?”

“She died.” He stopped, his footsteps unable to push him forward as he remembered her face again. “Most women in her line of work die…it’s just the nature of the job. That’s why I like Risa-san, she reminds me of a mother. Any mother. I guess I’ve always just wanted that back.”

“How did she die?” She paused as she walked back to him and saw him grin to himself.

“Trust me, you don’t want to know.” Even though she asked she didn’t really need him to tell her…she could remember how adamantly he had protested against Takuya who had suggested she work to manage women in the brothels.

She wanted to push him but she also knew that pushing him would mean opening up another set of emotions that she wasn’t sure she wanted released so she kept her mouth shut and nodded, sitting beside him on the ground looking out at the sun again. “What do you want Toma?”

“What do I want?” He questioned back softly. “It’s not entirely clear…but I think I want to be normal.”

“I don’t think you can do that even if you try.” She mumbled laughing at his innocent response looking up at him teasingly. “You’re too extraordinary for that.”

“Yeah?” He questioned back jokingly but she caught the slight hint of shyness gracing his features and couldn’t help but find her heart pull in her chest.

“Yeah, I don’t know any other guy whose as good as dodging my hits as you are.” To prove her point she made a move to hit his arm and saw him move backwards immediately. “See!”

“You’re not so bad yourself, Tomomasa Rie.” The way they were talking to each other reminded her of high school. Where they danced around each other and their unsaid words. Still she couldn’t bring herself to be the adult here so she just nodded continuing to expertly tango through their conversation.

A honk resounded from a few metres away and they saw the window of the Toyota RAV4 roll down and-
the driver honked again, loudly and then really loudly again. “Are you two going to keep making googly eyes at each other or are you actually getting in here?”

Rie felt her jaw drop as she looked at him in shock and then looked at Toma dumbly who looked just as astounded.

What was Jun doing here?
--------------------------------

Christine closed her eyes as she felt the maids of the house flitter around her figure adorning her with silks and satins and she rolled her eyes. “Remind me why I’m doing this again?”

“Yamashita-san always hosts a winter charity event.”

“Isn’t it all an excuse to exchange laundered funds?” The maids stayed eerily quiet as she looked at Talia who was laying quiet on the sofa behind her. “Are you okay?”

“Why wouldn’t I be?”

“You helped them get out didn’t you?”

“No.”

“Right, you made Koyama do that…he’s in charge of the dirty work of the clan after all.” Christine laughed as she saw her half-sister throw her a glare. “Oh come on, I’m just saying the truth. There’s no need to be so sensitive.” Her sister’s silence only served to egg her on more. “Don’t tell me you’re regretting it? You’re becoming really two-faced you know.”

“I’m two-faced?” Talia scoffed in disbelief as the maids looked between each other trying to avoid becoming caught between the cross fire. “You’re the one who has been stringing Toma along all these years…I’m glad he got sick of you.”

That hit home a little hard for Christine who had felt irked from the start that the man she’d loved since she was a little girl hadn’t come for her this time around. The reality of that move had yet to register fully in her mind. “He knows.”

“Yeah he knows…you’re not worth the trouble.” Talia responded cruelly as Christine turned around fully away from the mirror now to glare at her sister who shrugged. “I can’t believe you even went through all that mess to try to kill that girl ““

To be honest, Christine herself thought it a fault in her judgment looking back now. “Whatever, she was a cop I was doing the system a favour.”

“You didn’t know she was a cop then, murder was still an option for you? You act so saintly…but you’re just a bitch Christine…just like me…just like her…we’re all bitches.”

“I’ve never claimed I was a saint…and this conversation is a little too philosophical for me.” Christine corrected her quickly. “In fact, I’m quite aware that I’m never going to be the girl I was before your father ruined my life.”

“Well don’t worry- I ruined his and now I’m going to pay for that knowledge the rest of my life.” She sounded remorseful, then again why wouldn’t she be? Christine was an eye-sore and a sore sight for Takuya’s eyes, a beauty gone to waste. Talia was the prodigal child, the apple of his eyes.

“You’re regretting it aren’t you?” To this, Talia stayed quiet as she looked between the rest of the people in the room, it would be too foolish to let them out of the room now where gossip would only spread.
They’d probably already said too much but so far Yamashita Tomohisa didn’t appear bothered by the fact that Rie or Lillith or whatever that girl’s name was had escaped because his prize had been left untouched, pure and safe in her cage.

“Don’t be stupid. I’m just worried.” Talia responded but her eyes communicated another story to Christine. “I’m worried about Mao, Jun and Toma…he’s wanted isn’t he? He’s the partner they’re talking about in the news?”

“Well, by any means-“ Christine sighed as she felt her stomach churn and immediately covered her mouth, her eyes dangerously flashing in the mirror. As quick as it had happened, Christine appeared to shake it off and nod towards the maid. “The red one please.”

Talia furrowed her eyebrows as she looked at her but beyond that one movement Christine gave no indication she felt unwell. “Is everything okay?”

Christine only smiled fearfully as she looked at the mirror shaking her head. “Is it ever?”
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End Notes:
W00t w00t updateeee :D and now its all done :(
This story is published on Asian Fan Fiction at http://www.asianfanfiction.com/viewstory.php?sid=976