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 .




Choko had a massive headache where she lay under the duvet. She sniffed as she pressed her nose into the pillow where Lulu's head had rested a few hours before. Choko had awakened earlier and reaching out for Lulu, had found her wife's side of the bed empty. From the coolness of the pillow, it was obvious that Lulu had already left hours ago. Knowing where her wife had gone, the tears had begun. She had wanted to hold her and kiss her before she left. What if she didn't return? Would she be able to continue without Lulu? Fresh tears began to fall and she clutched the pillow to her.

“Is there any chance that I can get my pillow back, aiko ?”

Choko's breath hitched and she lifted her head. Could it be? “Lulu?”

“Were you expecting someone else, wife?”

Choko sat up. Calmly, as if she had never left, Lulu sat at the foot of the bed. Her hair was damp and she was dressed casually in blue jeans and a tight white t-shirt. To Choko she looked like she'd just walked right out of her dreams. She crawled over to her wife and threw her arms around her.

“You're okay.” She pulled back and let her eyes roam over Lulu's body. “At least you look okay.”

“I am. But I was hoping to catch a few hours of sleep before we entertain our guests again. I thought I'd cook them lunch and then we can take them out for dinner to that new sushi restaurant.”

Looking closely, Choko could see exhaustion etched on her wife's face. She pulled Lulu with her as they both crawled towards the center of the bed. “I will hold you while you sleep. But first…” She took Lulu's lips in a gentle kiss. “I want you to know that I love you,”

The dark eyes softened. “And I love you.”

Choko leaned over again and planted a kiss on each of Lulu's eyes. “Let all the bad visions be gone from your mind and may you have peaceful dreams.”

With the ritual complete, they curled into each other's arms. Lulu was asleep almost immediately.


Manu carefully lifted the duvet and slid in next to her slumbering fiancé. She was glad to find the blonde asleep, knowing than she was going to give her an earful for having snuck off like a thief. She lifted the duvet up to her neck and sighed softly. The quick shower at Lulu's safe house had helped relieve the aches and scratches. Now all she was looking forward to was a few hours of sleep and she would be completely restored.

She closed her eyes. Almost immediately, she felt herself being pulled into the gentle quiet darkness of sleep.


Manu's eyes shot open again. She felt the bed shift and she was rudely pushed onto her back. Logan's eyes were wild and her hair even wilder as she stared down at Manu. The blonde just stared at her without saying anything.

“Are you okay, Lo?”

“No, I'm not.”

Manu slowly sat up. “What is it? Tell me.”

Logan dropped her face in her hands. Manu was getting worried the longer the blonde sat like that. She heaved herself up until she was leaning against the headboard. She gently pried Logan's hands from her face. When she saw the tears on the beautiful face, she angled her body so she could lift Logan onto her lap. She pressed a soft kiss on the fragrant hair.

“Please tell me what's wrong so I can make it right, babe,” she pleaded softly. Logan pressed into her, but still didn't say anything. Manu decided not to press and waited until Logan had pulled herself together.

“I'm scared, Manu.” There was desperation in Logan's voice. “I…I've tried to be strong, but…but I can't anymore.”

Manu cocked her head. “I'm afraid I don't understand what you're trying to say.”

Logan lifted her head and Manu was stunned by the anguish on the blonde's face. “I'm not sure I can let you go through with this. I know that I have no right to ask this of you and that you've promised to help Choko. But…but…”


“No, let me finish. I might not have the guts to say it again. I don't want you to risk your life. I mean we can go someplace else. I can run the office from anywhere in the world. Technology allows us nowadays to…”

“Listen to me, Logan.”

Logan looked at her pleadingly. “Please let me finish, Manu. I need to get this off my chest.”

Manu gave Logan a searching look, before she gently pushed Logan's hair out of her face. “But you don't need to. We already took care of things.”

Logan blinked in surprise. “But…Wait, are you saying you and Lulu…you already…?”

Manu nodded. “We just returned a few minutes ago.”

“But how? You were asleep next to me.”

“Look, don't be angry, okay. We left about two hours ago while you were both asleep.” Manu said slowly, inwardly waiting for the explosion to come.

“And Purcell?”

Manu pursed her lips. She didn't like to draw Logan into this part of her life. “He's been taken care of.”

“Is he dead? Did you kill him?”

Manu debated on whether to answer the question. In the end, she remembered her promise to Logan that she would not hold anything back from her again. She averted her eyes as she nodded curtly.

The room was quiet for a moment. Manu still kept her gaze averted. She stiffened slightly when she felt a soft touch on her cheek.

“Are you okay?”

Manu almost laughed. Am I okay? She should be asking Logan that question and not the other way around. She lifted her head and looked into Logan eyes, searching them for disgust, fear…anything. Instead she found only concern.

“I'm fine, Lo. Thank you for asking.”

Logan gave her a small smile. “I know what was going to happen and I knew why you had to do it. I don't feel differently about you.”

Manu felt the air she'd been holding in softly escape her lips. “Thank you.”

Logan slipped her arms around Manu's shoulders and squeezed. “I love you.”

“I love you too,” Manu whispered. Her voice was heavy with emotion. “Will you hold me while I sleep? I'm really tired.”

Logan slipped off Manu's lap and laid back again under the covers. “I will hold you for as long as you like. Come, put your head on my chest.” Manu did as she was told and snuggled deeper into Logan's sweet smelling body. “You're my hero, Emmanuelle Mistral.”

Manu grunted softly. Surrounded by love and acceptance, she quickly slipped into dreamland.


“What are you doing up so early?”

Choko almost jumped out of her skin at the sound of Logan's voice. She turned to find Logan smiling at her apologetically.

“It's almost noon. I was thinking about preparing lunch for when you woke up.”

Logan glanced at the clock on the microwave. “Is it so late already? Let me help you.”

The petite Japanese woman nodded. “Lulu's the chef in the house. I'm nowhere near as good as her.”

“Not to worry. Manu has taught me a thing or two about cooking. Between the two of us I'm sure we can come up with something edible.” She winked at Choko. “Okay, now let see what we have in the fridge. Choko looked on as the tall American rummaged through the fridge. She was surprised by how comfortable she felt in the woman's presence. It was hard to believe that they had only met twelve hours ago. The blonde head turned suddenly and sharp blue eyes met hers. The American straightened.

“Are you okay, Choko?” There was genuine concern in the woman's voice. “Do you want me to get Lulu?”

Choko quickly shook her head. “I'm fine, Logan.” She folded her hands in her lap. “It's rather embarrassing, but I was just thinking how strange it was that I feel so comfortable with you. We barely know each other.” She felt a slow heat moving up her neck. Choko never make friends easily. She was too shy.

A warm smile came over the American's face. “I'm not that surprised. There are a lot of similarities here.” Logan took the chair opposite from her. “We love the same kind of women and we have been through the same experience last night. But the most important thing is that you are a wonderful woman and I think I wouldn't mind calling you a friend.”

Choko returned Logan's warm smile. “You are right. I would love to call you friend too.” She came to her feet. “Let me get you some tea. Would you like that?”

“If we're going to be friends, then I would suggest you stop treating me like a guest. I feel comfortable here. Let me get the tea.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, I'm sure,” Logan answered as she poured herself some tea. “So, what are we going to do about lunch?”

“Well,” Choko worried her lower lip between her teeth. “We could always call the main house and have them send something over. The family employs one of the most celebrated chefs in the country.”

Logan gave her a sly smile. “That sound like a great plan.”

“Good. What are you in the mood for?”

“I don't know. You choose. In the meantime, I will go see if Manu's up. Is it okay if I take her some coffee?”

“Of course. Lulu likes to drink coffee when she works late and I always make sure there's a pot waiting for when she wakes up.” Choko expertly measured off the beans and got the machine going. “It will not be long. I will call the main house now.”


Logan watched at the diminutive woman left the kitchen. She found herself smiling. Choko was such a contrast to what she'd expected. It was obvious that she came from money, lots of money, but the woman was very easygoing. She even dressed conservatively as opposed to her more flamboyant partner. Sadness came over her when she thought of the woman's illness, robbing her of her smile. She prayed it wasn't something too serious. She could see Choko as a permanent fixture in her life. The woman had a very calming effect on people around her. Last night she could see how Manu had gone out of her way to make the smaller woman feel at ease.

Her thoughts got stuck on the tall brunette she had left sleeping in the guest room. The smile returned to her face. Was it possible to keep on falling in love with the same person over and over again? She simply couldn't get over how lucky she was to have found Manu. She still felt a twinge of guilt for having been such an idiot before. What would she have done had Manu refused to give her a second chance? She finished her tea and grabbed an apple from the fruit display. Thinking about Manu had her yearning for the woman's nearness.

The blinds were drawn, casting the room in darkness. From the door Logan could make out the hump in the bed. Shedding her gown, she slid in next to Manu and spooned her.

“Hi, baby.”

Logan lifted her head off the pillow to peer at Manu's face, pleasantly surprised to find her fiancé awake. With gentle hands, she rolled Manu onto her back and looked down into alert amber eyes. Those were not the eyes of someone who'd just woken up.

“How do you feel?”

Manu stifled a yawn and stretched her tall frame. A soft moan escaped her lips as Manu's t-shirt stretched over her breasts. She looked away only to find Manu's amused gaze.

“I love it when you check me out. It's sexy.” Manu ran her gaze over Logan's body causing havoc to the blonde's libido. “Are the others awake?”

“Lulu's probably still sleeping.”

“Not a chance.”

“Why do you say that?”

Manu smiled thinly. “If Choko is up then she would be up too. We are trained to be awake when others are awake and only to sleep when others are asleep. A stranger in her house will cause her to stay awake. Not to speak of my presence here.”

Logan pushed her fingers through Manu's hair. “That's sounds unhealthy. Were you awake all those nights I worked late in my study?”

“I never felt threatened by you. If I was awake then it was just so I could listen out to be sure you were okay.”

Logan rewarded Manu with a soft smile. “You never answered me? How're you feeling?”

“Rested…and starving.”

“Good. Then you'd have to out of bed. Choko ordered us some food from the main house. She has some coffee waiting.”

Manu groaned softly as she sat up and Logan frowned. The assassin smiled at the blonde. “Just some sore muscles. I will work them over later. Did you say Choko's got a pot of coffee waiting?”

“Yep. But you'll have to share with Lulu.”

Of course.”

Logan watched appreciatively as the brunette crawled out of her bed and stretched her long frame again. Oh, how she wished they were somewhere private. She personally put Manu through a vigorous session to relax her muscles.


Lunch was a nice affair. With the threat of the Tanaka Clan over and done with, the mood was light. Even somber Lulu was smiling more than usual. The food from the main house was unbelievable. Choko had ordered them each a seafood soy hotpot and Manu couldn't find fault with the choice. Logan neither. The blonde were working Manu's plate from the side, stealing a prawn off her plate now and then.

Choko was in her element and Manu found it fascinating to see the woman so relaxed. She must've really been worried about Lulu. Speaking of Lulu, the woman's eyes followed her wife's movements like a hawk. On a few occasions, Manu had caught Lulu pushing her plate towards her wife, coaxing her to take a few more bites of food. Lulu, in turn , had caught her looking at them a few times, but had simply shrugged, seemingly not in the least embarrassed to be caught doting on her partner.

Manu's eyes trailed to Logan. The blonde was chatting and laughing with Choko as if they were old friends. It was wonderful to see Logan so comfortable. Anyone looking at her would not believe that the woman, sitting barefoot and stealing bites of food off Manu's plate, was the driving force behind Hansom Industries. Western media had made Logan into a celebrity. The blonde CEO featured regularly in business magazines and many business schools in the States had paid homage to the Logan's business acumen by naming lecture halls after her. Manu was proud of her and felt very lucky to be the one to see Logan like this. She smiled when she caught Logan's eyes and for a brief moment they shared a lingering look.

Choko cleared her throat softly and Manu turned to look at the petite woman. The dark eyes flickered between the two of the m. “Logan and Manu, I doubt you will grasp what your coming here meant to Lulu and I.” Choko grasped her wife's hand. “I have already adopted Logan as a dear friend, but you are more than that to me. I regard you as family and I will always trust the well-being of my family in your hands.” The Yakuza princess smiled warmly. “I want you to know that you will always have a place in our home.”

Manu heard Logan sniff softly and put her arm around the blonde's shoulder. She gave her an encouraging smile and received a teary one in return. Manu looked at Choko and then at Lulu. The Assassin looked slightly uncomfortable, but she held Manu's gaze.

“We accept your friendship and offer you ours. Thank you for the honor.”

She still held Lulu gaze, willing the woman to understand the significance of the moment. Manu was placing Logan's life in Lulu's hands, those very hands that almost took it away a week ago. Lulu averted her gaze first and Manu knew that the silent message was received.

Logan's hand slipped into hers and Manu turned to her fiancé with a warm smile. Logan really seemed to like Choko. It was somewhat odd since the Yakuza princess was the total opposite of Logan. Where Choko was soft-spoken, gracious, and humble, Logan was powerful, proud, and strong-willed. Their differences were understandable. Choko never had to compete in a male dominated environment. Logan, on the other hand, lived her life in a male-dominated domain. She had to perform as hard as a man, if not better. Manu squeezed Logan's hand. Their friendship was sure to bring a great balance to their lives.

“Good,” Choko said suddenly and all eyes turned to her, “because I would like to invite the two of you to join us tomorrow at the clinic.”

Manu blinked at Choko before her eyes turned to Lulu. Lulu's eyes were fixed on her wife, her shoulders tense. The married couple were staring at each other in silence, but Manu could tell that a long, probably, heated debate, was being had. After a long moment of silence, Lulu smiled and turned to face Manu and Logan.

“It would be a great honor to have you both there.”

Manu looked from Choko to Lulu. They both seemed relaxed. “If you want us to be there, then we will be.”


Manu and Lulu sat in the lounge while Logan was Choko prepared tea in the kitchen. Lulu carefully studied the tall American. Manu was dressed in jeans and a hoodie. She looked so comfortable where she rested her head back on the plush sofa. Lulu noticed a soft smile form in the American's lips. Her scrutiny of the woman had not gone undetected.

“Will everything be taken care of when you return to the States?”

Manu shifted her head and Lulu was pinned by a sharp amber gaze. “I have taken certain precautions to make sure that no one comes within hundred meters of Logan and me.”

Lulu was curious. Purcell's death was surely not going to be enough to get the hit squads off their backs. She pursed her lips. Manu didn't seem to want to elaborate and Lulu was not going to dig for it.

“I am willing to return the favor if you need my help.”

Manu smiled. “Thank you, but I would rather you take care of your wife for now. She needs you right now.” She sat up straighter and cocking her head to her side and stuck her finger into her mouth. Lulu watched, intrigued. After a few seconds, Manu held her hand out. A small tubular device lay in the palm of her hand. “Purcell didn't confess. I will have to use the files as evidence, but the recording shows how he begged before he died. Together I can compile a powerfully persuasive package for the remaining directors. They will want to stay out of my way.”

Lulu grinned at Manu. She wished she could be privy to the moment when the directors get their packages. “You're right. My help would not be needed.”

Manu shrugged. “This is my retirement policy.”

Lulu was shocked by the news. Her face must've showed her surprise, because Manu smiled, but the amber eyes were serious. Looking at the woman, Lulu experienced a mixture of emotions. The most prominent of them was admiration. Manu was the best there was and she doubted there would be another of her caliber very soon. For as long as she can remember, the woman had never made a mistake. To want to step away from something she was so obviously good at, was truly admirable.

“I've tried to walk away once.” Lulu saw the Manu's eyebrows rise. “I found myself missing it after a while.”

“I can understand that.” Lulu could hear the sincerity in Manu's voice. “But I have Logan to think of now. She asked me to marry her and I want nothing more than be her wife.”

Choko's face flashed before Lulu. Was her inability to walk away an indication that she didn't love her wife as much as she thought she did? What could be more satisfying than being married to the most wonderful woman on the planet? Has her ego got the better of her?

At that moment, Choko came toward her with a cup of tea. The dark eyes were warm with love as they met hers. Lulu's heart jerked. This was all she'd ever wanted. All she would ever want. When Choko held out the cup to her, Lulu clasped Choko's hand in both of hers. Quizzical dark eyes met Lulu's.

“I love you, Choko,” she murmured urgently. Choko's lips parted in surprise as her eyes wandered over Lulu's face. Lulu wanted to say more, but not with the other two women nearby. Choko swallowed slowly and nodded.

“Tell me again tonight.” Lulu reveled at the expression of love and desire on her wife's face.

“I will not forget.” Lulu accepted the tea and they both turned to their guests. The Americans were watching them. She doubted they had overheard their conversation, but Lulu knew that their body language could not be construed for anything but what it was.

Manu gave her a small wink and Lulu blushed. If they were to be friends, she'll have to get used to the teasing of the American.


Logan looked around the room. Nothing had changed since the last time she'd been here. She had bought the apartment six years ago to serve as a base for when she had to visit her area office here in Tokyo. The penthouse was in Tokyo's business district with large windows giving her an eagle's view of the bustling city. The apartment was beautifully furnished. She had commissioned a well-known Japanese interior designer to shape the space into one that would not be an eyesore for the business associates whom she entertained here on a regular basis. She liked the minimalist approach used, but even then the apartment was nothing more than an office where she could eat and sleep. It lacked the warmth of the three story townhouse she shared with Manu in Washington. Over the two years, they had turned their house into a home. Knickknacks from their many travels highlighted their home. The kitchen, which was used so often by Manu, was the heart of their home. That was always the first place she made a stop when she stepped into the house. More times than not, she would find her gorgeous fiancé in there whipping a meal together as Logan came home from work.

She turned away from her inspection of the room, her eyes seeking out Manu. The brunette was in the kitchen peering in the fridge. Logan's eyes lovingly traced the long frame. Now that they were alone, she felt the passion she'd held in check since they'd arrived in Tokyo bubble to the surface. There was no doubt that Manu was going to wreck her rehabilitation. She drew in a shaky breath and Manu's head turned, a questioning look on her face. Logan offered a weak smile. What she wanted to do was to walk over to Manu and tore at her clothes until that glorious body was revealed to her. Logan felt a wave of shame crash over her at the thought. If she was honest with herself she'd have to admit that she had subconsciously lured Manu here to have sex. She closed her eyes for a moment as the voice of her psychologist echoed through her mind.

The idea is not to remove sex from your life, Ms. Keppler. The aim is to cultivate a healthy sex drive. I would recommend, though, that you consider temporary abstinence. It will be a great personal indicator of how your treatment is coming along.”

When she opened her eyes, it was to find Manu standing very close to her, the golden gaze were ablaze with love and understanding. Logan felt her throat swell with emotion. They were both so imperfect—the killer and the sex addict. Perhaps their imperfections will mold them into a perfect couple. Manu's hand cradled Logan's cheek.

“We'll get through this, you'll see.”

A tear trickled down Logan's cheek and Manu's thumbs caught it. “I want you so much right now.”

“I know. I want you too.” Manu's thumb gently brushed over Logan's lip. “What I want to know though, is how you will feel about yourself afterwards. I could see you fighting it just now.”

Manu's voice was gentle and comforting, prompting Logan to slump against her tall, strong lover.

“I don't know.”

Manu pulled Logan into arms. Logan felt a soft kiss on her hair. “Then how about we wait until you know? I'm willing to wait forever for you.”

Logan's mouth fell open in a soft sigh. Even as her body screamed for release, she wanted what Manu wanted. She wanted to lie in her lover's arms afterwards, satisfied and guilt free. She lifted her face from Manu's chest and placed a small kiss on her lips. Her eyes searched Manu's eyes.

“Then I would suggest we leave here.” She squeezed Manu's sides. “You are truly going to be so bad for me, but if there was someone I would lust after I would want it to be you.”

A lopsided grin crossed over Manu's lips. “I like the sound of that.”

Logan pinched Manu's butt and chuckled when the large woman yelped. Heaven help her, but she didn't know how she was going to survive being around Manu all the time.


Choko's hand trailed down Lulu's back which was damp from the vigorous lovemaking session. Lulu was lying face down on the pillow next to her, her body lodged between Choko's thighs. She loved having Logan around. Even the slightly disturbingly dangerous presence of Manu was rather comforting, but having Lulu to herself was heaven. When their American guests mentioned that they wanted to check on Logan's apartment, her mind immediately jumped to how she could spend the few hours with her wife.

With a soft sigh, Lulu pushed herself up on her elbows. Lulu's hair pointed in all directions from the many times Choko had pushed her fingers through it. Choko smiled when she saw the dazed look in her wife's eyes.

“You look rather smug,” Lulu rasped.

Choko grinned and touched her lips to Lulu's. “I made you work hard, didn't I?”

Lulu thrust her hips into Choko's. “I made you come hard too.” The dark eyes leered at her and Choko chuckled softly.

“Now, who's the smug one?”

Lulu didn't answer her. Instead she took Choko's lips in a hungry kiss. Choko was breathless when the kiss ended. She rested her forehead against Lulu's as she waited for her breathing to even out.

“Are you nervous?” Choko asked as brushed the sweaty strands back from her wife's forehead. Hoisting herself on her elbows, Lulu's dark eyes were gentle.

“Not really. You will be there.”

They shared a warm look as Choko's hands clutched Lulu close when the assassin tried to move off her.

“No, stay.”

Lulu gently burrowed her body back into the cradle of Choko's thighs, causing the smaller woman to gasp in pleasure. After the shattering orgasm Choko doubted she was ready for another session, but she didn't underestimate Lulu's power of persuasion. Luckily, Lulu simply settled herself before she rested her head on Choko's bosom.

“Was it wrong of me to invite them?” Choko asked once she was sure her wife was comfortable.

“No.” Lulu's voice sounded sleepy. “I trust your instincts, aiko . You would know if they were good people or not.”

There was a short silence.

“Are you sleepy?”

Lulu's head lifted and droopy dark eyes met hers. “Not at all.”

Choko laughed and gently pushed Lulu's head back against her chest. Lulu always indulges her. She remembered when they were dating for about a month and after a tough day at work; she'd decided to spoil herself by going shopping. Quite early on in their relationship, as they were getting to know each other, Lulu had mentioned her aversion to shopping. It had to do with all the masses pressed into one small space and rude school girls hogging fitting rooms in boutiques. She was browsing through an exclusive boutique when she'd felt the protective presence behind her. Turning around, she was stunned to find a sheepish looking Lulu standing there.

“What…How did you know I was here?”

“I wanted to surprise you by picking you up from work. You came over here and I followed.” The dark eyes had avoided hers.

Since they were in a public place, she couldn't pull the obviously uncomfortable woman into her arms. The knowledge of how Lulu hated to be there, but still came had endeared her more to her lover. She'd offered that they go for an early dinner instead, but Lulu had refused saying that she would be happy anywhere as long as Choko was with her.

Choko inhaled deeply and cocked her head so she could look into Lulu's face. Lulu was fast asleep. She brushed her lips over the soft hair.

“I love you,” she murmured.

“Me too,” came the sleepy reply.


Manu hated hospitals or clinics for that matter. She hated the smell and the memories it brought with it. It was in a place just like this that Mystique was born. A wave of nausea came over her as she relived that night, twenty years ago.

A fifteen year old girl, brutally raped, was wheeled through the swinging doors on that cold Christmas Day evening. Three months later, a vengeful, orphaned sixteen year old left itching to meet her perpetrators again. She had avoided hospitals ever since, still haunted by her mother's voice screaming her name where they were both treated in adjacent beds. She was still awake when her mother's screams stopped—never to be heard again.

Unconsciously, she reached out and grabbed Logan's hand. The blonde gave her a searching look and Manu gave her a weak smile.

“You okay?”

Looking around the sterile waiting room, Manu nodded. Logan was worried enough about Choko. It would be selfish to burden her with more.

“I just wish they would turn the air conditioning down a bit,” she lied. Logan's eyes narrowed slightly at that.

“Do you want me to go ask them to do it?”

“I'll be fine.” She gave Logan's hand a gentle squeeze. The blue eyes still studied her. “Would you like some coffee? They have a Starbucks outlet in the cafeteria.”

“Only if you want some too.”

“I do.” Manu surged out of her chair. She didn't dare to look back. She could still feel Logan's eyes on her. Blocking out the white walls, she maneuvered herself down the corridor to where she'd seen the Starbucks earlier. Five people were in the queue and she fell in behind them. Her eyes swept over the interior of the little shop. Many eyes quickly looked away and Manu smiled inwardly. The Japanese were a very polite race, but her six foot plus frame made her the tallest person on the shop, thus drawing their stares. The queue moved fast and within a few minutes she was making her way back to the waiting room with two skinny lattes. Logan smiled her thanks when Manu handed her a latte. For a few moments they sat quietly, sipping their coffee. Logan was the first to break the silence.

“You don't like hospitals, do you? I've never seen you so uncomfortable before.”

Manu took a long gulp from her coffee, debating whether to simply laugh off Logan's observation or to tell her the real reason. She smiled at Logan and shrugged.

“I hate the smell.” It wasn't a lie.

“Yeah, me too. One day when we decide to have a baby, I want you to take me to one that doesn't smell like this.”

A stream of coffee spewed from her mouth as Manu began to cough uncontrollably, drawing the attention of a nurse. The woman quickly came over.

“Are you okay, ma'am?”

Manu nodded as she tried to smile at the woman. The nurse didn't look convinced, but decided to let it be. With teary eyes, Manu turned to look at Logan, who calmly looked back at her.


“You've never called me that before,” Logan said quietly, her eyes twinkling. “I like it.”

Manu blinked a few times. She tried again. “What made you think about a baby right now?”

Logan took a sip of her coffee. “Because I finally realized that Choko and Lulu are here to get pregnant.”

Manu gaped at Logan. Lulu was having a baby? She had flown all the way from the States to Japan to help her nemesis—now ex-nemesis—take on a Yakuza clan because said ex-nemesis wanted to have a baby with her wife. And now her fiancé has been infected too. Manu dropped her face in her hands.

“Just so you know I would love to have a baby too. So we need to address your fear for hospitals.”

Manu raked her hands off her face. Logan had an intense look on her face. She took a deep breath and nodded. “Duly noted.”

“I would've hoped for little more enthusiasm, but I'll take what I can get,” Logan said softly. Manu heard the faint hint of hurt behind the words and immediately snapped out of her gloomy mood. Being in public, she couldn't touch Logan, but she made aggressive eye contact with the blonde.

“I admit that it has taken me by surprise. You never mentioned that you were interested in having children. I, personally, never thought about it, but if the most important person in my life wants a baby with me, then I want it too.” Logan blinked and a tear escaped from the corner of her eye. “If you're happy then I'm happy. Always remember that.”

Logan wiped at her leaking eyes. “What bad luck for us to be in public at this very moment?”

“I agree.” Manu still held Logan's gaze. “Why didn't you ever tell me that you wanted a baby?”

Logan looked away, but not before Manu saw the flash of regret on her face. “I was messing up a lot…too much back then.” She turned back to look at Manu. This time her eyes were bright with love. “It's as if I'm seeing you for the first time again and I keep falling in love with you every day.” The intense look in the blue eyes made Manu blush. “I want to have your child more than anything.”

“I think we can find a way to make that happen.” She reached out and took Logan's hand. “I should warn you that I'm terrible with babies. They just take one look at me and then they bawl.”

“That's okay. I have the same experience with babies. We'll deal with it together.”

The clearing of a throat made them both look up. They blinked at a beaming Lulu.

“Everything went well.”

“We can see that,” Manu murmured. The woman looked different, with her dark eyes shining like polished opals and her face relaxed into a huge goofy grin. Lulu Chen was a beautiful woman, Manu thought as she studied the dark-haired assassin. Manu wondered if she too was going to look like that when her time came.

Logan came to her feet and held out her hand. “It's probably still too early to congratulate you, but this is the first step to a great future for the both of you.”

Manu watched as Lulu looked down at Logan's hand and then up at Logan. She stepped past Logan's outstretched hand and gently pulled the taller blonde into her arms. Logan's eyes were huge with shock, but she managed to return the tender hug. When Lulu pulled back, her eyes were soft.

“Thank you for what you mean to my wife. She doesn't make friends easily and because of the line of work I'm in, she tries to keep them away so they don't find out.”

Logan smiled back. “She's a wonderful woman and you deserve to have someone like that in your life.”

Fascinated, by the tender moment between the two women, Manu could only stare. A week ago, their relationship was that of assassin and target. It was almost inconceivable that they would be standing before each other trading compliments. Lulu gave Manu a curt nod before she disappeared down the hallway.

Logan held her hand out to Manu, who took it eagerly. “Let's go to the apartment. I want to be alone with you.”

Manu surged to her feet with a huge smile, almost dragging the amused blonde behind her in her haste.



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