Stein Willard © 2012


Part 1



The characters in the story are a product of my own imagination and hopefully have no resemblance to any living persons. But if it does it is entirely coincidental. Some of the places mentioned are either fictitious and or adapted to suit the plot of the story.

Sex: This story contains sexual content of a graphic nature between consenting adult women, thus if you are not 18 years old and not allowed to read content of this nature, please move on to other suitable stories.

Archiving : This work is copy written and should not be posted anywhere else without the writer's expressed permission.

Feedback: Constructive criticism is greatly appreciated, so feel free to drop a line or two at or sent me a friend request on Facebook .




Manu placed her hand gently on Logan's lower back as they made their way over to where Lulu stood. The Japanese woman took off her helmet and Manu gave her a cool once over. She found that Lulu was also looking her over, x-raying her for weapons. Occupational habit .

“Thank you for coming.”

Manu shrugged. “I said I would, remember.” Manu saw the dark eyes narrow slightly and grinned. “Look, Lulu, if we're going to work together, even just for one day, you'll have to steal yourself a sense of humor.”

Ignoring the barb, Lulu's dark eyes shifted from her to Logan. “Miss Keppler, thank you for making your plane available.”

Logan gave a shaky smile. “Well, you know when friends call for favors, I can never say no.”

Lulu blinked at Logan causing Manu to laugh softly. “That's my girl, warm and supportive.” Manu smiled at her obviously nervous lover and took her hand. She turned to Lulu, this time her tone was curt. “Are we going to stand here all night or are we going to get down to why we're here?”

“Yes. I've arranged for transport to a safe place.”

“How safe is safe?”

“You will be staying with me and my wife. She would love to meet you.”

Manu was surprised by that. Assassins were distrustful by nature. For Lulu to be willing to expose her private life to another assassin was tantamount to a breach of professional ethics. It was unheard of, but also strangely comforting. Manu decided to show her appreciation for the gesture. They will probably never trust each other, but at least they could be courteous to each other.

“It would be our pleasure and honor to share your home.”

Lulu gave her a faint smile and lifted a finger. Manu's eyes widened when she saw the odd shaped car coming around the corner of the hangar. She turned to Lulu and found the dark eyes resting on her.

“I want your presence to be a surprise.”

“I understand. But a bread wagon?”

“Less conspicuous. My father-in-law is renowned for being an early riser. He always demands that a fresh loaf of bread is delivered to his house at midnight for a snack and at two am for his breakfast.”

Manu shrugged and looked at Logan. “You up for a ride in a bread wagon?”


Lulu parked the bike in the hangar and walked over to where Mystique and her lover were softly talking to each other. They were both breaking the first rule in Assassin 101. Keeping your private life and especially your loved ones hidden, was pivotal to self-preservation. She saw the gentle way Mystique cradled her fiancée's hand. It all made sense all of a sudden. Mystique was doing this for her woman. She had flown halfway across the world to work with her nemesis. She had done the same for Choko. She had brought her nemesis halfway around the world to work with her.

The two lovers pulled away from each other when Lulu joined them. “Ready?”

“Yes. Do you think we could get something to eat on the way?”

Lulu smiled. “Choko wanted to prepare something for you, but I told her I will find out from you first.”

“Oh no,” Logan said softly, “it's almost midnight. We can't expect her to cook for us at this hour.”

Lulu was warmed by the woman's concern for her wife. “Choko would love to do it, believe me.” She gestured to door of the wagon. “Shall we?”

The ride over to the Nakamura mansion was long and silent. Lulu took the time to carefully study the two Americans as they sat close to each other. The blonde, especially, fascinated her. The woman was much different from the one she had met in Washington five days ago. She had been so arrogant then and vulgar in the way she'd been ogling her. The woman she saw now was holding on to her lover's hand tightly, looking content, in love and confident. Lulu had picked up on the woman's earlier unease around her and had tried to keep as much physical and verbal distance between them.

“Do you have any proof?”

Lulu reached into the inside pocket of her jacket. She pulled out a document which she handed over to Mystique. She watched the woman's face carefully as her eyes scanned over the document. To Lulu's surprise, the woman managed to keep her expression blank. After she had finished reading the document, she passed it on to her lover.

“You do not seem surprised?” Lulu had to ask. Maybe she had mistaken the assassin's real reason for coming here.

“Surprised? No. I have suspected for a while now that Purcell was involved with illegal extramural activities. He has sent me a few dodgy jobs in the past which I turned down.” The amber eyes were hard when they met hers. “So no, I'm not surprised. But I am enraged by what he tried to do. For that I will make him pay dearly.”

Lulu suddenly felt sorry for Purcell, but only for a brief moment. The man's greed had finally caught up with him by the look of menace in Mystique's eyes.

“Oh my…” Logan exclaimed, her eyes lifting slowly from the document she'd been reading. “It is almost too unbelievable. He was willing to sacrifice his country for his greed.”

Lulu grimaced. “My wife likes to say, greedy people are only loyal to money.”

The rest of the trip was undertaken in silence.


Choko was nervous.

It was too late to second guess herself now. But had she done the right thing to bring a deadly assassin who could very well turn on her wife, halfway across the world? What if the woman really turned against them?

She walked over to put on the kettle. They would be here any minute now and Choko wanted to have a cup of tea to steel her nerves for a meeting with the deadliest assassin alive. She was just about to take out the makings for her tea when the backdoor swung open. She turned around with a gasp and relaxed immediately when she saw Lulu. She walked over to her wife, her eyes scanning her body for injuries, as was her habit always. Lulu reached out a hand to her and pulled her to her side.

The Americans entered and Choko blinked at them. They were both very tall and beautiful. Which of them could be Mystique? The blonde radiated power and confidence, but lacked that edginess that assassins such as Lulu had. Her eyes moved to the tall, dark woman. She looked harder and knew immediately that she was facing the infamous Mystique. It was her eyes that gave her away. It had the same hidden darkness like Lulu's. It was visible only if you were looking for it.

She gave Lulu's hand a squeeze and stepped forward. She held out her hand to Mystique.

“I'm Choko, Lulu's wife. You must be Mystique.”

The woman stared at her for a moment before a beautiful smile came over her dark face as she took her hand “It's a pleasure to meet you, Choko. Please call me Manu.”


“Yes. It's short for Emmanuelle.” Those piercing amber eyes raked over her face and Choko knew then than the woman was trying to assure her that she meant them no harm.

“It's…it's a beautiful name.” Choko turned to the quiet blonde. “You must be Ms. Keppler.”

The blonde smiled and took her hand, gently squeezing it. “I'm Logan.”

Choko backed away. “Please have a seat. Can I offer you anything to drink or to eat?”

“Both, aiko . They haven't had supper.” Lulu walked over to the fridge. “Anything in particular that you would like to eat?”

“Lulu is a great cook. She can reproduce almost every dish imaginable.”

“The emphasis is on almost ,” Lulu mumbled.

Choko almost laughed at the slightly embarrassed look on her wife's face. She looked at the Americans and found them staring at Lulu with something akin to amazement. Oooh, they are fascinated by my dark butterfly.

“Anything light will do, if it's not too much trouble.”

Choko was charmed by Manu's politeness. “It will be no trouble at all. Lulu, make them your famous Yakisoba. It's my favorite.”

Lulu nodded curtly and pulled the ingredients out of the fridge. Choko kept herself busy making tea, but kept looking at the two Americans. They were both watching as Lulu deftly chopped the vegetables for the dish. The expression on their faces was intriguing. Manu eyed the knife warily whereas Logan was eyeing Lulu nervously. Choko wondered what was behind those looks. When Lulu had finished her chopping and put the knife aside, both Americans relaxed visibly.

Lulu glanced at them with a small smile on her lips. That small cocky gesture coming from her wife was so sexy that Choko had to remind herself that they had guests. Later, she promised herself.

She placed a tray with tea before the Americans. They thanked her and bowing slightly, Choko moved over to help Lulu. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Manu serve Logan. Just like Lulu did with her. For all their deadliness, assassins really seemed to be sweet.

“Lulu, do you think we can talk the plan over while we eat?”

Lulu looked up. “Yes, it will work. With two other sets of ears, we're sure to pick up any loopholes.”



Lulu's wife pleasantly surprised Manu. She was not at all what she'd expected from a Yakuza princess. Choko was petite. Even Lulu, who wasn't very tall by American standards, towered over her wife. Whereas she's expected the woman to be snooty and arrogant, she was struck by the woman's geniality. There was an almost childlike aura about the woman, but in her line of work, Manu had learnt quickly that impressions weren't always spot on. Choko was not a pushover for sure. She lived openly as a lesbian in a very conservative society, got married to a woman—a deadly one for that matter—and still keep her marriage afloat. That was the characteristic of a very strong woman. Dynamite came in small packages after all.


She had wanted to assuage the woman's fear when she'd introduced herself earlier and the petite woman grasped the meaning of the gesture quickly. Her concern for Lulu was commendable and then there was that moment when she gushed over Lulu's cooking. It was shockingly refreshing to see the dour woman look so embarrassed. Manu almost smiled as she remembered the moment.


“Wow, this is delicious.”

Manu turned to look at her lover. Logan was a big eater and she loved experimenting with food. It was thanks to great genes and her hectic lifestyle that she managed to work it all off. If Logan said it was delicious then it must be spectacular. She must've been so lost in thought that she hadn't realized when Logan had been served. She nodded her thanks when Choko put a plate in front of her. She tasted a forkful and chewed slowly. The flavors that burst onto her tongue were amazing. She looked at Lulu, who gazed at them while calmly sipping on a cup of tea.

“This is really good. I never would've taken you for a culinary expert.”

“It's just a hobby,” Lulu mumbled.

“One that I like a lot,” Choko gushed again and this time, Lulu blushed furiously. Manu gave the dark assassin a teasing smile and returned to her food. She saw Logan's plate was almost cleared and the blue eyes already checking out her plate. With a soft smile, she pushed the plate between them both, letting Logan know that she was willing to share.

Lulu picked up on the gesture. “There is more if you would like some.”

Logan shook her head. “What about the two of you?” Her eyes swung between the two women.

Lulu shrugged. “I have made enough. I knew Choko would also like to have some.”

Logan smiled. “In that case I would love to have seconds.” Lulu quickly served Logan and Choko before she fixed herself and her wife some more tea. By that time, Manu had finished her food and sat back sipping her tea. Lulu caught her eye.

“The plan is quite simple. We go in with guns blazing.”

Manu had to quickly swallow the mouthful tea she had to prevent herself from spraying her dinner companions. She slowly put the tea cup down. “That's it?” The other two women were looking at them quietly.

“Yes. The mansion is otherwise impenetrable.”

Manu felt a slow headache began to pulse to life behind her eyes. She was no stranger to impetuousness. She had tried it often enough, but not when the life of her fiancée hung in the balance. She took a deep breath, keeping her anger in check. Maybe she misunderstood Lulu.

“I really would be very upset if I had just flown halfway across the world to get my fiancée and myself killed. Are you sure that is all there is to the plan?”

Lulu smiled thinly. “You asked me to steal a sense of humor, remember?”

Manu shook her head slowly as she reached for her tea cup. Who would've thought that Chen could actually crack a joke? “Well, now we only need to work on your timing,” she said drily, causing Logan to giggle.

“You did tell her to lighten up, honey. I personally think there's nothing wrong with her timing.”

Manu grinned at Lulu. “You have no idea how relieved I am that the plan was just a joke.”

“Well…” Lulu pursued her lips. “Part of it was a joke.”

Manu's eye narrowed as she studied the Asian woman. “This is not another joke, is it?”



“So, what do you think?” Logan sat up in bed waiting for Manu to finished her nightly rituals and get into bed. Halfway through the discussion between Lulu and Manu, both she and Choko had begun to doze. Choko from obvious exhaustion and her from jetlag. Their partners had gently encouraged them to go to bed, but as soon as Logan had slipped into bed she missed Manu. She rolled around waiting for her fiancée to come to bed. Manu had entered the room ten minutes ago and Logan had waited patiently for the brunette to get into bed.

“About the plan?”


“It'll work. It has to.”

Manu crawled into her arms and Logan moaned at the familiar warmth that came over her when she held her lover in her arms. It seems to intensify every time.

“I'm sure it will.” She kissed Manu's cheek. “Choko doesn't look too ill, does she?”

“She looks good.”

There was a short silence. “I like her.”

Manu shifted her body slightly to find a more comfortable position. “She's nice.”

Logan gently caressed Manu's back. “I want you to succeed for her too.”

“She's the reason we are here in the first place. Lulu told me that Choko didn't want her to take the Clan on all by herself. She made Lulu promise to call me to help them.”

Logan smiled. That was the sweetest thing she'd ever heard. To think that a woman's love for her partner would drive her to do the near impossible and bring two arch enemies to work together. Logan hoped Lulu realizes just how lucky she was to have a woman like Choko love her.

“That's so romantic.”

Manu lifted her head and searched Logan's eyes with hers. “It is love, sweetheart. Pure and simple.”

Logan smiled at Manu and brushed her knuckles over the soft cheek. “I will never forget it.”

“Forget what?” Manu laid her head back on Logan's chest.

“That you too are doing this out of love for me.”

“I will never forget that you came with me to take care of me.”

Logan brushed her lips over Manu's dark hair. “Then we are even. Sleep now, baby. You have a very busy day today.”

As Manu's breathing evened out, Logan lay there in the strange room and said a soft prayer that her lover would come back to her safely. With a soft kiss to Manu's cheek, she closed her eyes and went to sleep.


The house was quiet as two shapes stealthily moved around. The backdoor to the kitchen clicked open and they slipped out. They silently dissolved into the night.


Diasuke Tanaka turned in his sleep and automatically reached for the warm body next to him. He mumbled in pleasure when his hand touched a naked breast. Before opening his eyes, he allowed the activities of the previous night to rush through his mind. He felt his manhood stir as he recalled the vigorous workout his young lover had given him.

His hand clamped on the small breast. It was still very early. Enough time for him to have a bit of fun and still catch a few hours of sleep before his meeting. The girl moaned in her sleep. Daisuke pushed her onto her back and straddled her. Just as he was about to enter her, a loud explosion rocked the mansion. His eyes shot open as he dove from the bed. The girl's screams amplified his anxiety as simultaneously he raked his mind for where he'd put his gun.

The door to the suite flew open and four men burst in. One walked over to the bed where he unceremoniously pulled the girl off the bed and led her out the door. Daisuke grabbed the gown one of the men held out to him.

“What was that?”

“We are under attack, Taro-sama.”

“Attack?!” The Yakuza chief shook his head in disbelief. “By whom?”

The men looked slightly sheepish. “We are not sure. We thought to ensure your safety first before we joined the men outside.”

He wanted to scream at them, but noted that they were in fact only doing their job. They were his personal bodyguards and their first priority will always be him.

“Leave one man with me while I get dressed and go out there and kill whoever is doing this. Call in for reinforcements too.”

“Yes, Taro-sama.”

Diasuke will never admit it to anyone, but he was scared. Never before had anyone been so bold to attack his home like this. Whoever was attacking was either stupid or very dangerous or even both. He slipped into his clothes while the guard kept an eye on the door.



Manu's listened to the chaos their little impromptu visit had caused. She checked the magazine of her Clock. It was time to change the beat. The earlier explosion had been the result of six hand grenades aimed at the main entrance and the garages. If Tanaka and Purcell were in there, they wanted for them to remain there. She scanned the area where she'd last seen Lulu and smiled coldly as she saw a dark shadow moved along the wall with deadly purpose. They had less than twenty four hours to wrap this up. Lulu had a doctor's appointment she couldn't afford to miss. She shifted her body getting ready to sprint to the mansion, using the shadow for cover, but she quickly discarded the idea. Three black SUVs sped through the main entrance and came to a screeching halt before the entrance to the house. Men poured out of the vehicles and like ghosts, spread out into the darkness. Tanaka's assassins arrived. Manu gave a longing look at the smoldering house. She wanted so desperately to get to Purcell and have done with it. But it seemed she was going to have to take care of the outside problem first and while Lulu cleaned the house from the inside.


Bradley Purcell's hands were shaking as he held the pistol trained on the door. The first explosion had caused him to fall out of bed in shock and terror. That was not a way for a man to awaken who had a bounty on his head. Since then it had been impossible for him to stop shaking. It worsened when the house was suddenly cast in totally darkness. As if from afar, he heard the sound of running feet as Tanaka's men patrolled the hallways. By the sheer sound of the footsteps rushing past his bedroom door, Bradley knew that Tanaka must've called in reinforcements. Realizing that, he took a deep breath willing himself to relax.

Tanaka was renowned for his small army of well-trained ninja assassins. That meant he was totally inaccessible. No one would get through to him while he was under the protection of the Tanaka clan. He felt himself relax a little more at the thought. On rubbery legs he made his way to the where he'd thrown his robe over a chair when he'd gone to bed earlier. Shrugging into it, his movements stilled for a moment. There was only one person who could get to him, no matter how many men surrounded him. But that person wasn't here. He picked up his gun and made for the door. He needed to get to Tanaka.


Lulu's body had shifted into assassin mode the moment she'd rolled out of bed two hours earlier. She had studied Choko's sleeping face, trying to commit the image to her memory. If something were to go wrong tonight, she'd have a wonderful image to take with her.

The Tanaka mansion was quiet and asleep when they had shaken it up with grenades. At the sound of confusion and fear, her rigid assassin's mask had slip, making way for something more dangerous—bloodlust. Before she'd met Choko, Lulu had enjoyed killing. She had thrived on the power surge she had when her victims knew why she was within touching distance of them. The realization in their eyes when they knew she would not leave until their blood was spilled and their breath smothered, was near orgasmic for her. But Choko's dark eyes, gentle touch, and warm, selfless love, had pushed that monster so far back into her deepest recess that Lulu had wondered if it even existed in the first place.

She knew now for sure that it did. The predator creeping down Diasuke Tanaka's dark hallways was chillingly familiar to her.

Running footsteps came in her direction and Lulu fattened her slender body against the wall. What idiots?! The first thing she did when she entered the mansion was to disable the main power switch. Still these idiots, knowing that the enemy was in the house by now, ran through the hallways like cattle. She let them pass now, knowing that if they were to die this day, Manu or herself would oblige them before the day was out.

Drawing a path through the darkness from the plans she memorized for two days, Lulu slithered down the quiet hallway. She came to an abrupt stop when she heard the sound of soft sobbing. She touched the doorknob, but quickly retracted her hand. She knew whom this room belonged too. Lulu's fight was not with the Tanaka women. She felt the hair at her nape rise and turned. Three dark shadows came down the hallway, as silent as death and just as deadly.

The ninjas have arrived. She knew they weren't aware of her presence yet, but would be soon. That meant she had to find a more specious place to engage them. The hallway would not suffice. Just as quietly as her enemy, she made her way down the hallway. There was a small courtyard up ahead, but it had too many potential hideouts for someone to pick her off with a gun. Lulu turned to see the shapes getting closer. It will be light soon and the advantage of darkness gone. She hated to do things this way, but there was no other choice for now. She lifted her gun and three soft pops sounded followed by the sounds of bodies dropping. It was disgraceful to take the life of a ninja that way, but she wasn't here to be target practice for them either.

Stealthily, she crept forward. Tanaka was nearby; she could almost sense his panic. He must know by now she was coming for him. A cruel smile lifted the corners of Lulu's lips. For once he would feel what it felt like to be the hunted.


Manu stepped over the slain bodies and moved away as quickly as possible. Brandishing a sword in one hand and her trusted Glock in the other, she melted into the shadows. The sword obviously lacked the reach of a gun, but it was silent and extremely effective. The four ninjas didn't know what had hit them when they happened upon her.

Keeping the bloody blade against her pants leg, Manu slipped into the house through a room that was destroyed in the blasts. Keeping to the shadows, she made her way through the house. She peeked into a room and duck back just as a flare lit up the room. The bullet missed her head by a hairbreadth, causing her to hiss as a hot trail blazed across her left temple. That was too close for comfort. She crawled into the room, listening out for any movement. She had to draw the shooter out. She lay in wait like a tightly coiled snake, willing her prey to come to her. Seconds ticked by and still there was no movement.

“Did you get him?” a voice whispered in Japanese and Manu smiled coldly. Yep, she got them now.

“I think so. There's no movement,” came the answer.

“Maybe it was one of our guys.”

“Well, I don't know. Maybe next time I will ask for a name first before I shoot,” the second voice replied sarcastically. “It doesn't matter anymore. He's dead. Go check it out.”

“Hell no, why don't you go?”

“Bloody coward,” came the mumbled reply. “Come on. We need to get to the boss.”

Manu's eyes widened at that. She was in luck. Time to reel them in. She sat up with a groan.

“You bloody amateurs, you shot me,” she sneered in Japanese.

There was movement. “I told you it was one of our guys.”

“How sure are you,” second voice replied.

Rolling her eyes, Manu had to curb the urge to shoot them both. “Stop bickering like old women and go help with the boss. Damn, this hurts.” When there was no movement, she sneered at them. “What the hell are you waiting for? I will make sure that you both get skinned alive if something happens to the boss.”

She smiled when the men scurried past her, not even taking the time to check her out. She felt sorry for Tanaka to be guarded by these bumbling idiots. She waited until their footsteps disappeared down the hallway, before she pushed to her feet. The idiots were going to lead her right to her target. She silently followed them. She should be careful not to bump into Lulu on the way. It would be hard to explain to their respective partners why only one of them returned.

Out of the corner of her eye she saw movement and halted, holding her breath. According to the layout of the house she was in the Yakuza chief's private wing. His office was near here, but she doubted he would be in there. There could only be one place he could be holed up. She kept her eyes on the shadow and saw it move right past her. More bloody ninjas. She waited until the ninja had moved down the hallway before she continued her search.


Purcell was panicking again. He had been wandering the hallways for close to ten minutes. Where the hell was Tanaka? A shadow came down the hallway. For a moment he considered calling out, relieved to meet with someone else. At the last minute he pressed against the wall and held his breath. They were under attack and it would be amateurish to trust that everyone in the house was a friend. From what he'd heard during his stay and through his clandestine meetings with other Clan bosses, Tanaka has been a bad boy lately. Not only did everyone frown on his unusual business ethics, but he had stepped on a few toes in the process. Valuable investors had been scared off from doing business with the Yakuza. The Tanaka Clan was a threat to the livelihood of the Organization and anyone would want to take Tanaka out of the equation. The shadow stopped a few feet from him and Purcell felt his blood run cold. Has he been spotted? His hold on the gun tightened.

“Hiro, over here,” called a voice and two more shadows appeared. Purcell sighed and stepped forward.

“Don't shoot, I'm Tanaka's guest,” he said quickly when the three shadows turned to him.

The man called Hiro stepped closer. “You're the American. The boss wondered what happened to you. Follow me.”

Purcell didn't wait to be invited twice. On rubbery legs he followed the man down the dark corridor. It was heartening to hear that Tanaka had thought of his safety. Maybe he was too hasty in setting the man up with the other bosses. He made a silent promise to undo what he'd done if they survived this night.

They took a turn to the left and crossed a small courtyard. Tanaka's office was on the opposite end of the courtyard. He was eager to get out of this open place and hurried past the man before him. They were a few steps away from Tanaka's office when an explosion rang out. Purcell gasped as he was thrown to the ground.


Lulu had carefully stalked the Tanaka boss until she cornered him and his personal guards in the weapons room adjacent to the Japanese crime lord's office. From where she hid behind her pillar opposite the open door, she could see into the room. Under the light of a small solar lamp, the men hastily stocked up on ammunition. It was obvious to her that they meant to break out of the compound with guns blazing.

There was no escaping her. Tanaka was going to die.

Two men stood guard outside. Even if she lured them away from the doorway, getting to them was going to be quite a feat. Unlike the others plodding around in the dark, these guys wore night view goggles. Before more men joined the group, she had to find a way to get to Tanaka. The horizon was showing faint signs of daybreak and she wanted to be out of here before that happens. She'd always prided herself on being ingenious when she took out targets, but this situation didn't ask for finesse.

“Daisuke Tanaka!”

A deathly silence met her call. When she peered around the column again, she smiled. They were just where she wanted them. The idiots immediately circled around their boss. She unclipped the last grenade from her belt. She pulled the pin and stepped out of her hiding place. Momentarily stunned by her sudden appearance and close proximity, the men hesitated. That moment of indecision was their downfall. Lulu threw the grenade into the room and ducked for cover. She heard the men's shouts of fear and the next moment the earth shook. The powerful explosion caused the pillars in the courtyard to crack and crumble to the ground.


Bradley stirred slowly. His eyes flickered open and he groaned. His body ached from being thrown onto the cobblestone floor. His head hurt and his ears were still ringing from the loud explosion. He sat up carefully and gaped at the destruction around him. The courtyard looked like a battlefield. Body parts were strewn amidst crumbled marble pillars and crushed flowerpots. He turned to face the men wondering why none of them rushed to their boss's aid. But there was no one behind him…or rather anyone standing for that matter. He made out three dark shapes lying on the floor. Bradley Purcell was scared…so scared that he felt something warm trickled run down his leg.

“Was it worth it?”

He jumped at the unexpected voice. He climbed to his feet as he looked around nervously. The voice sounded distinctly American. “Who are you and what do you want with me?”

There was short silence. “I want you dead.”

The voice sounded behind him and he turned around. No one was there.

“But…but I did nothing to you. I don't even know you.”

“Oh, but you do, Bradley,” came a bitter sneer.

When he heard his name, Bradley knew that his number was up. This was personal. He was the target and he was not going to leave here alive. A dark shape stepped out from behind a pillar. He took a step back as the person moved closer. The person came to a stop a few feet from him.

“I've asked you if it was worth it selling out your country to hide your little underhand dealings.”

Bradley swallowed hard. How did this person know about it? The only other person who would know of this was Tanaka. It didn't make sense at all. Tanaka had too much to gain to sell him out. Did the US government got wind of his plan and send someone? He lifted a shaky hand and held it out to the person.

“Look, I think there's a misunderstanding here.” He smiled weakly. “I'm being framed.” The person was quiet for a long while before he reached behind him. Bradley shuddered at what he knew was to come. “Look…Please…Let's just talk about this first. I'm sure we can come to an arrangement.”

“You want me to give you a change whe reas you gave me none, you bastard.” The person held up a gun. “You were willing to sacrifice me so you could appease your Yakuza buddies. On top of that you used my partner as bait.”

Hearing that, Bradley felt his eyes well up. If that is who he thought it was then he was already dead. No one had met this woman and lived. He fell to his knees. This was it.


Manu cocked the gun and without batting an eyelid, pulled the trigger. She felt a soft splatter against her pant leg. It was finally over. She looked away from the bloodied remains of Bradley Purcell and scanned the courtyard. Lulu should be somewhere here. As if she'd conjured her up, Lulu came walking toward her. Now that everything was settled and there were no threats to their lives anymore, what did it mean for the two of them? She squinted and could make out the shape of a gun in Lulu's hands.


“Lulu spread her arms. “He's all over the place.” She pointed at the body of Purcell. “I see you got your guy too.”



“What now?” Manu asked as she noticed the light tightening of Lulu's fingers around her gun.

“What do you want to do?” Lulu asked as she held Manu's gaze. The dark eyes were intense.


Maybe all the antagonism they'd felt toward each other would come to an end. Here and now… Manu's grip tightened on her gun. “Go home?”

“Sounds like a good idea. There are still ninjas roaming around.”

It was her training that kept Manu from sighing in relief. She was in no mood to kill the wife of a woman she'd come to like.

“Lead the way, Blade.”


To be continued...


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