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 Chapter 1

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KO
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1   Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:42 pm

Chaos ensued and continued unabated until that one movie like moment when she saw her. Everything seemed to slow down as a beauty like no other fell into view, one she hadn’t seen for far too long. Kleo hadn’t had many of what most would call relationships; she could count the number of times she had truly felt in love with someone on one hand and still had four fingers left on her hand. The longest, deepest, and most intense feelings she had ever had for another was Kofo.

As she felt a glancing blow across her shoulder and turned to ram her baton into the thug’s nuts, she couldn’t help but wonder what had gone so terribly wrong. Flipping this one onto his back and cracking the silver across his neck, she tried to think back as she heard the hiss of air escape from the raggedy lips of the Hornet. Then it came back to her all to quickly with the sound of a voice, an all to familiar one that made her quickly remembering exactly why she was no longer with her love.

“You leave Kofo the f*ck out of this. You always get her in trouble. You always have. I told you about being around her. You don’t want to pull the Pharaohs into this. This is your last warning.”

“And as I have told you before, I don’t give a flying f*&^ about your idle threats. She may have decided on your pussy instead of mine, but that doesn’t mean…” she broke off as a body went flying down in front of her.

She looked around and noticed things quickly turning from bar fight into almost full fledge riot. Then heard the sirens, which were almost funny, she hoped that the couple of idiots coming down here that were going to get cuts in the pay off were the couple of moron pigs she didn’t like. The Hornets that were still conscious had already begun to scatter, she glanced at Parker who made a cutting gesture across his neck as he took off. She responded with the finger and saw both Viktor and Dru had managed to hold there own.

Gesturing to them, she looked back at Mos and said while pointing her baton at him, “This isn’t over.”

With Dru and Viktor in her wake, she quickly led them through the underground of Chinatown that she grew up in to the nearest safe house to wait for things to cool down. She knew she had to put in a call, but didn’t want to. There was the matter of dealing with Viktor’s insolence as well, but she couldn’t bring herself to do that either. The sight of Kofo still had things stirring up inside her, and she just needed some time to think for now.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1   Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:31 am

She slammed the door of the tiny little apartment behind her and started rubbing her temples. The headache was only just picking up steam it seemed which figured as she was just about to lose the rest of hers. Walking across the small sparsely furnished living room she went to the bedroom door and opened it. Just as she did, Viktor dared to speak.

“Why didn’t you just follow my lead back there? It seemed as if it was working, you could have simply followed me into the club and we would at least have been on your turf and could have used some of the muscle from the inside,” he let out with a huff.

In a mood to brood not argue all she could manage was, “I fight my own battles, not depend on others to do so. Besides, did you forget that we were told we would get no help on this mission? Even if I had asked, those loyal to me would not have helped.”

She wasn’t all together sure about this last part, it was possible that the order to give no aid had not filtered all the way down yet, but she doubted it.

“Perhaps, but with the Shield and half the Hornets entering the place daring to bust it up, wouldn’t they have had to intervene? Not that it matters anymore, the place and your town got mangled anyway. So what did you convictions really yield us other than more aches and pains?”

“You are being paid to endure any aches and pains I deem necessary. Furthermore, if you ever try to play me off like some cheap date that has any interest in a man again, I’ll cut off that two inches you call a dick and shove it down that cock gobbling throat of yours,” she said with eyes blazing as she rounded upon him.

“Just because I acted gay doesn’t mean I am. I did what I thought necessary to get us out of a dangerous situation without the violence you seem so addicted too.”

Both glaring at each other, neither seemed to remember that Dru was even in the room, that is until he seemed to clear his throat in an attempt to snap them out of their little spat. As he thought, this seemed to have each snapping their attention to him, and at least having Kleo seeming to calm, or at least tire into stopping.

“You wanted to say something traitor?” she said looking at him but feeling the anger begin to fade.

“Not that I blame you per se, I can admire playing both sides, really I can, but when it comes to playing my family and me, that is when I take issue. However, it would appear that Parker will no longer back you as he seems to think you are loyal to me, which remains to be seen. And even though I am required by Long Wei customs to kill you for your treachery I think you should know that I owe your old man a favor so will be sparring your life for now.”

“However, trust still needs to be earned, so as your first task, why don’t you tie up our insolent little friend here while I sleep on what to do with him.”

With a nod Dru went grabbed Viktor from behind without any warning and Viktor did the first thing he could think to do, insult her further, “He stabs you in the back and your having him tie me up? This is lunacy! I was just trying to help!”

“And stick a sock in his mouth too or neither of us will get any sleep.”

“I thought you fought your own bat…” he didn’t finish as one of his own socks was stuffed in his mouth while he was being planted in a chair.

She watched as Dru expertly secured him to the chair with rope, and was pleased with the result. Turning to face her once done, she looked over the job and nodded in satisfaction.

“You do good work without any mouth, keep it up and we will get along just fine,” she said and crossed back to the bedroom threshold.

“And Dru,” she mentioned as she began shutting the door behind her, “I meant what I said, keep up the good work and you will be rewarded, perhaps even double your pay. Now keep an ear out and don’t bother me.”

And with that she shut the door and fastened the lock. Scanning the room, she was pleased to see that everything was as she had left it the last time she was there. Fresh clothes in the closet, nice firm bed, and a bathtub just waiting for her to pour herself into.

Crossing to the bed, she sat down on it placing her elbows on her knees and her hands on her face and thinking back on the night. She had done it again; she had inflicted harm, wielded pain, and perhaps even dealt death’s cold kiss once more.

She looked at her hands, turned them over in front of her and wondered if she would ever be able to rub all the blood of her past off of them. It was hard for her not to feel dirty all the time, hard to not feel the blood flowing through her fingers. Yet it was harder still to forget the look in their eyes, that vacant look the moment she took them from this world.

It wasn’t that look that haunted her in the night though. It was those few remaining seconds before, when they knew they had come to their end, when they could feel the life beginning to drain from their veins. That was when she saw something that fascinated and scared her more than anything else. Some of her marks had not been afraid, or rather, had been less afraid of the others, as if they knew something that made dieing more bearable, or at least more acceptable.

And in all her travels, in all her killings, interrogations, and questioning of others like her, there had only been one answer that made sense. One reason that seemed to enough sense to be able to help the hearts of men slide into the here after, and that was love. Not that she had ever believed it at first, for if one hasn’t experienced such a thing how can one truly know its power.

But after her, after knowing her, being with her, cherishing her, she knew all to well the power of this one thing. The certainty you have that the love for this person can see you through anything, even death. It was then that she knew, then that she realized that as long as she had the love of the one she loved, nothing else would matter, nothing else could touch her.

But she was wrong, by creating such a powerful connection for another, she had set herself up to enable that person to strike deeper than any other. To hurt her more than anyone ever could to her, beyond the physical or the mental, and strike at her heart directly. If only she would have known, she wondered if she would have changed anything at all.

Her time with Kofo was the happiest she had been. She had shown her what that word truly meant and had made her feel more real. Before her there was only duty and honor, wielding the skills and knowledge to do that what was asked of her. To dispatch those that went against the Long Wei without fear or question.

At that time she had only known anger, death, and pain. She had never known what a real friend was like, had never experienced any longing for being with someone else. It was the first time she realized just how empty her life had become, just how much of a robot she had been made into.

Her pulse leapt when she heard the crash in the other room. Before she knew it, she was against the wall next to the door with her batons drawn. Crouching down, she tried to look through the peep hole and and listen for what may lie beyond it.


Last edited by on Fri Jun 08, 2007 2:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1   Thu Jun 07, 2007 2:32 pm

Tommy stood in the middle of the bar breathing heavily, each supply of oxygen bringing an accompanying stab of pain, he must’ve broken a rib. He held his staff securely in his right hand, as he looked around the room. The sirens growing louder seemed to increase the pain he felt in his head. A large goose egg was bleeding down the left side of his forehead. Things were starting to settle down in the bar, as people scramble to get away before the cops showed up, and Tommy noticed Kleo, Victor, and Dru, heading off. Tommy shook his head, he did not want to think about what kind of consequences might follow today’s fight. This was not just a fight, it was a battle. A battle that would begin a war... Tommy ran out a side door of the bar made and made a quick call to Kleo.

“I’ll be ready, when you need me.”

______________________________________________________

The cool wind felt refreshing against the sweat soaked tank top Tommy worse underneath his jacket, and it seemed to sooth the pounding of his head. When the shop signs changed from Chinese to English Tommy knew he was almost home. His ribs seemed to scream for mercy every time Tommy hit a bump, or had to lean into a turn, but he made it back to the Brimstone alive. Collin laughed as Tommy walked through the door, trying not to show the pain he was in.

“Have fun with your China friends Tommy!?”

Tommy’s laugh was quickly silenced by the broken rib. He groaned, and then smiled. “Yeah... now get me some ice.”
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1   Fri Jun 08, 2007 2:29 am

Kleo didn’t waste any time as she snapped back. A man lost his ability to reproduce just as she told Mos off.

“And as I have told you before, I don’t give a flying f*&^ about your idle threats.”

“They’re not threats, they’re inevitabilities. Kofo has moved on with her life. Now, why don’t you try to stay out of it?”

“She may have decided on your pussy instead of mine, but that doesn’t mean…” a man’s body flew as if it were shot out of a cannon in front of her.

Mos couldn’t hear her anymore. The safest thing for him to do was to keep his back pressed against Mono’s and hack at everything that moved. He could see Faces and His Cake working as a team to beat and bruise as many people as they could reach. Neither of them were trying to kill anyone, Cake was using his chain saw as a blunt object and Faces was littering her cards on the heads of everyone she’d knocked out, cheerfully reminding them to see her at Thai-t Tats tomorrow promptly at eleven a.m. or suffer the consequences of their tardiness.

Mono was spending most of his time watching Kleo’s slinky frame work. Mos felt like he was the only one who was actually focused in this fight. But maybe that was because he couldn’t go after the one whom he wanted the most. He was basically in the middle of Kleo’s living room. If he took her down now, they’d probably kill the closest people to him until they exacted their revenge for the kill. Not only would the Hornets want to take down Chinatown, Chinatown would raise a small army specifically to shred Mos into bits small enough to put into forturne cookies.

“These damn boxers,” Cake said giving one a haircut, “Where are they coming from?”

“I don’t know, I didn’t think they were a gang,” Faces said through gritted teeth. She had caught a stray jab in the stomach and she wasn’t happy about it.

“We’ll add them to the list, then. And find out their workout regime. Man, they’re buff,” Mono said.

Faces coughed an unsubtle “gay.”

Mos realized too late that they should have probably started their retreat.

“That’s the oldie but goldie,” Cake said.

“What?” Faces asked.

“The police song.”

The sirens started blaring in all directions. Mos only knew one way out of Chinatown and that was the way he had come in. He didn’t want his crew in jail. How was he going to get out of here? Kofo. She had been here with Kleo so many times she probably knew the enclaves of Chinatown like… the curve of Kleo’s back.

Mos grimaced. Kleo and Kofo together. It was disgusting. Two women. Disgusting.

He hated the image so much. Kissing each other, holding hands, cuddling. How could she want a woman? How would they do it anyway?

His mind wandered. Her lips were so soft. For years he had tried not to think of them at all. They were always cursing him out. But once he touched them—her—it felt like he had been wandering around in a pitch-black palace for years and someone had finally turned on the lights. Yes, he had “seen” it all along, but he was blind then. Now he knew all the tender, gentle curves and crevices he had missed.

But aside from her body there were things about Kofo that were absolutely mesmerizing, her mind for one, her cooking and her voice.

If Kofo didn’t have the most beautiful voice then the sun only came out at night. Why she decided to fall in love with science was beyond him. She belonged in a choir or perched on a branch with a bunch of birds. But she would never let him hear her sing. She told him she had grown out of it and hated him too much to do it for old time’s sake.

But sometimes he could sneak a listen. A tune when she was getting her mail, a lullaby for her sweet potatoes, a chorus as she drifted off to sleep.

At dawn she had woken up to take a shower. He had just got back in bed from praying. He was under the covers before she noticed he had been gone. He listened quietly in the dark to the water run down the glass walls and watched her through the fog of the shower. It was her voice. She sang a song he hadn’t heard her sing since she was a child in her mother’s choir stand at church. That was before he was a Muslim and before she left the church.

Did she still believe at all? He wondered. How could she sing so beautifully and not do it to praise? She would never let him hear her sing. Not since her last song at church. She had never let anyone hear her sing, anyone but Kleo.

It was such a little thing, he thought as he knocked a man into the future. Why did it bother him so much?

It didn’t matter, he decided. He was the one that coaxed all the sounds a man wants to hear from a woman from Kofo. It was him, last night, that went to that shower and did things to her that kept the glass fogged long after the hot water was gone. Not Kleo. Him. He was better than her. Much better. Even if Kofo and he were the worse match in the world, he was still a better choice than Kleo.

No, it wasn’t a competition. It was a mistake. This whole train of thought was a mistake. Kofo was a mistake. He had to control himself.

He couldn’t stop thinking about them. She must have been head over heels for Kleo because she practically moved to Chinatown when the two of them were “together.”

He never saw her anymore. He couldn’t mooch her cooking. He never heard her voice. He wouldn’t dare say that he missed her. She was stupid for attaching herself to a skanky stripper anyway. There was no way Kleo could show her any kind of love as cold as she was. What could she know about it, anyway? She gave herself to anyone—how could she learn to give all of herself to just one person?

And to think about how many diseases that hoe must have had. That reminded him, he should probably wash himself in bleach after being with Kofo. Kleo probably gave her the nasty-woman’s disease.

“This isn’t over,” he heard Kleo yell.

“Any time, any place,” he called back calmly. “And I’ll make sure it’s the last time we meet.”

Had he blanked? The battle was practically over. The ground was an obstacle course of broken bodies and faces. He had to find his way out of here and the only way he knew was named Kofo. But where had she gone?

“We have to get out of here. You’re the only person who knows a back way I need you to snap out of this and concentrate on—wait who is this?” Mos demanded. She was talking to a very lovely young woman. He couldn’t help but feel a flame of jealousy. Is this where Kofo found all her little girlfriends, in Kleo’s bar?

Changing Faces scooted right up to the woman. It was a known fact that Audrey Hepburn was her idol and this woman could have beat Audrey in a look-alike contest. She was completely geeked out.

“Hey my name’s Faces,” she said holding the young lady’s hand. “I like your dress. And your… everything.”

Mos rolled his eyes. They were everywhere.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1   Sun Jun 10, 2007 1:03 am

He couldn’t decide to whom to give the credit: the broken rib, or the unlimited scenarios playing through his head, and the resulting anger he felt toward Parker. Either way, Tommy couldn’t sleep. Something just wasn’t adding up right. As far as Tommy was concerned Parker was way out of line with what he did last night. To march into somebody else’s territory, and start a riot because he thought that Shu Li might have had something to do with DJ’s disappearance was not only disrespectful, and un ethical, even for the underground, it was plain stupid. One could only imagine what the repercussions would be. There were probably at least two persons from every gang in the city involved at that bar. No doubt some feathers were ruffled. It was an eye for an eye in Rockport: “You ruffle my feathers, I ruffle your face.” Not to mention the political ammo the brawl generously supplied; a fight like this would surely fuel the paranoia that the Mayor had already begun to paint the city with.

Tommy tried to count imaginary sheep as he rolled into a more comfortable position. Unfortunately the only things occupying his imagination were thoughts of tomorrow’s headlines.

”Raging Riot Rattles Chinatown!” they would read. ”Several pronounced dead, hundreds more injured.” ”Gang Problem Escalates! Is Your Neighborhood Next?!"

“Damn you Parker…” muttered Tommy out loud.

Collins Silhouette shadowed the doorway.

“What’s goin’ on kid?” Collin knew his son well enough to know that whatever was bothering Tommy was not some little thing. He had been distant all night.

“I don’t know yet dad… but this is bigger than a kid gone missing.” He sat up in his bed, Grimacing only slightly. “Shu Li hired four of us to get the dirt on what really happened to DJ, but before we could even get started Parker brought the whole damn city into Shu Li’s living room.” He was now pacing around the room. “The cops showed up before anything was finished. That’s what’s been bothering me: nothing was finished. Parker wanted to make a statement alright, but I don’t think the idiot knows what he said, or who was listening. Whatever ‘it’ is, it’s just getting started. Things are going to get ugly. Every gang in Rockport was affected by last night. Hell, every person in Rockport was affected. I don’t know what’s happening, or who’s behind it all… but this is not just about some kid who disappeared.”

“You mean kidnapped.”

“Maybe! I mean, how does Parker even know that DJ was really nabbed? For all we know he got pissed and fell into the river!”

“He has a reason to think what he’s thinking.” Countered Collin. “Parker has a hot head sure, but not even he would do something like this without a solid conviction.”

“Well I think he’s wrong… I don’t think Shu Li is behind it. What would she want with a Hornet? And if she did take him why would she want it a secret? And why would she hire us to find him? It doesn’t add up.” Tommy mostly did a good job of keeping his voice calm.

“So who do you think is responsible?”

“I don’t know!” the calm scattered with the cry, but quickly recovered. Tommy wiped off the beads of sweat that had formed on his brow. “I don’t know who… and I don’t know why.”
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1   Sun Jun 10, 2007 11:27 pm

(Few days Earlier)

She thought it was stupid how gangs always chose abandoned warehouses or old dilapidated buildings as locations to schedule their rendezvous. Why couldn’t they just pick a location that was enjoyable like normal folk? She hated gangs and was happy she wasn’t a part of one. Working alone was safer anyway. This way, you would not always have to look over your shoulder wondering when and who someone close to you was going to double cross you. It basically saves you the headache.

The beautiful Vietnamese lady walked into the Hornet’s hideout dressed in a black sleeveless traditional Ao Dai made of silk. Displayed along the breast of the Ao Dai were crisp white flowers that stretched their way on down to the to the edges of the long silk tunic, their vines curling slightly into the slits on each side. She walked elegantly as her silk tunic glided on the soft, delicate breeze that greeted her upon entry. Two burly men that flanked the door way immediately stepped before her, stopping her dead in her tracks. There was no mistaking that their duty here was to guard, however, she saw in their eyes the effect her beauty had on them, causing a subtle smile of delight to invade her countenance…. This was going to be easy, she thought to herself.

“What is your business here?” one of the men asked gruffly.

“Well, if you have to know,” she said raising her eyebrow. “I have been summoned here by Parker Shield to talk business.”

“What type of business?” the other man asked.

“None of your business that’s for sure,” Parker called out from behind the two men. He was seated at a wooden table at the heart of the abandoned warehouse. Above him, a bulb that suspended from the ceiling provided very little, if any, light for her to clearly make out his presence.

“Let the lady pass guys, she means no harm,” he assured the two men. Feeling slightly relieved, the two men reluctantly stepped aside, allowing the slender young lady passage. She pursed her lips and arrogantly walked by the two men with the wave of her long jet black hair.

“Are you Parker Shield?” she asked.

“Some would like to say so,” he replied with a smirk. “Come have a seat. I’ve been waiting for you.”

She took a seat just opposite him, folding her hands on the table before them.

“So as you know my boy DJ was nabbed the night before and you say you know who is behind it?”

“Some would like to say so,” she said with a smile. “You got my money?”

Parker reached beside him and placed a black duffle bag upon the table. She found it funny and quite interesting how gangs were so willing to trust a stranger when money was involved. The funny part was that even if it was them that had to hand over the money, they were still so very willing to trust. Maybe money, she concluded, was a type of assurance for them. Of course it would look kind of odd if someone gave up something for nothing, but then again those people would most probably be the very people she would be willing to trust.

He unzipped the bag, giving her a clear view of what was soon to be hers.

“Now, all you have to do is tell me who kidnapped DJ and all this is yours.”

“What guarantees do I have that you will not rat me out to Shu Li?” she asked.

“To tell you the truth miss, you have none,” he said, massaging his unshaven chin. “But I believe this is enough money to cover your tracks and leave Rockport for good.”

“You know damn well it’s impossible to leave this hell hole,” she snapped.

“Listen,” he said calmly. “Either you tell me and take the money. Or don’t tell me and don’t take the money…And I guess I’ll rat your ass out anyway. Your choice miss.”

She looked anxiously toward the money and back at Parker.

“Okay,” she surrendered. “I’ll tell you. I’ve been visiting the gentlemen’s club quite frequently. I know it’s a bit odd for a female of my beauty to dwell in such places, but I find the place quite amusing. I suppose it’s just one of those things you do without any explanation you know. Any way, I know that your boy DJ was a frequent visitor of the gentlemen’s club as well. I guess his main attraction was Kleo. No big surprise there. But, you know, he seemed like an interesting type kid so I decided to try and talk to him, but before I knew the kid goes running out the door on his way home. I guess Kleo already made his boat float and he was sated for the night. However, I took it upon myself to follow kid out the door, you know, to try to get a name or something. Half way out the door I notice two big men grab him up and Kleo was standing before them I guess directing the mess.”

“And what did you do?”

“What did I do? I got my ass back in that door, that’s what I did. I don’t think they seen me, which explains why I’m alive today thank God.”

“And you think Kleo was acting under Shu Li’s orders?”

“Who else,” she said with the wave of her hand. “Kleo and Shu Li are like this.” She wrapped her fingers around each other. “Everyone knows that. I’m sure even you know that. Kleo is a puppet. She would never do anything without Shu Li’s hand, you get me?”

“Yeah, you’re right.” Parker sat there for a while, allowing silence to claim the room. “Okay,” he continued, clenching his jaw muscles as if in fury. “This is yours. Have a good day.”

“Thank you,” she said with a bow. She uplifted herself from her seat and took the duffle bag into her possession. She spun around and headed for the exit.

“Hey,” Parker called out from behind her. “I never got your name?”

“Call me the Chameleon,” she called back with a smile. “It was a pleasure doing business with you Parker.”

32323232323232323232323232323232323232323232

Only until she was a few blocks away from the abandoned warehouse did she remove the wig and mask that she was wearing. She then pulled her cell phone from out of her bra and dialed the number of her father. Only after a couple of long boring rings did he decide to pick up.

“Hello daddy,” she said with a smile. “The cat is out of the bag and ready to play.”
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1   Mon Jun 11, 2007 3:38 pm

"Damn it!" Griffs hefted a fifty-pound hand weight and chucked it across the gym, slamming it into the concrete wall. The weight fell harmlessly, with a loud thud, onto the rubberized ground. He punched heavy bag after heavy bag, his fury repeatedly blasting into the leather, until he finally struck the speed bag with such force that the bag was ripped from its wooden stand. He fell to his knees, immune to the the scrapes on his knuckles and hands.

He's gone, thought Griffs. He's gone. Griffs pounded his fist into the ground. He just couldn't believe that his friend was actually dead, buried by the spawn of Rockport.

Ronny had always been the life of the party, and one of Griffs closest friends. BK watched from the side as Griffs continued to punish himself. He took a step forward to comfort his friend, but Nathan shook his head. Griffs needed a little time.

Griffs had tasted defeat before. He knew that the sour, bitter sensation was only temporary, that it would eventually pass. But this... This was different. While other kids had been killed in the streets before, none of them had been part of Griffs' crew. For two years, he'd worked so hard to keep these ones out of the fray. To provide something better for them. But now... Had he just failed?

"It's not your fault, you know."

The three boxers turned, seeing a familiar sillouette in the gym entryway. He wasn't quite as tall as Griffs, but it was obvious that he was no stranger to hard work. His powerful frame betrayed a lifetime of fighting experience. His black hair was short, but wild, and his oriental features were prominant in his face, proudly displaying his Japanese decent. The boxers knew him as Bobby Lawrence, the Grand Master of the Lawrence Dojo.

"He made a choice. What results from that choice is not yours to determine."

Griffs stood up, and walked over to him.

"You don't understand this one, Bobby."

"I understand perfectly, Gryphon," replied Bobby, stepping into the gym. He reached down and lifted the weight that Griffs had thrown. "Ronny made a choice, didn't he?"

Griffs glanced toward BK, and the young boxer bowed his head. "Yeah," said Griffs. "He did."

"And there's nothing you can do about that," continued Bobby. He replaced the weight onto the rack on the wall.

"But there has to be something I can do," replied Griffs. "It was Kleo's crew that killed him, Bobby. But it was that one with the pole that did the job."

"His name's Dru Valentine," said BK. "Parker recognized him when we turned that corner. He told us that he'd hired the guy to find DJ. Looks like the punk double-crossed."

"I don't care who he works for," remarked Griffs. "I'm still going to kill the guy."

"Whoa, there," said Nate. "You can't be serious, Griffs."

"An eye for an eye," said Griffs.

"I don't think that's wise," replied Bobby. "You're pretty high-profile around here."

"If the guy's a freelancer," said Griffs. "He doesn't have much of a choice. Kleo's not going to trust him no more, and Parker already doesn't. He's stuck in the middle."

"It won't bring Ronny back," replied BK.

"Yeah, but it'll sure save me a lot of grief," came the reply. He started to walk towards the door.

"There's a better way," said Bobby suddenly.

Griffs stopped, and turned. "What are you talking about?"

Bobby sat down on the bench press. "The Hornets have a pretty good numbers. Most of them are pretty much just average street fare, but they've got a few trained fighters. Shu Li's got her own crew, who aren't exactly strangers to street fighting. You can't expect to go at them one on one. They'll tear you to pieces."

"I can't just do nothing, Bobby. After that bar fight, we've got to hit back."

"Exactly," said Bobby. "We. I've got five black-belt disciples that I know would be willing to help. How many of your members could you gather?"

"At least four," replied Nate. "I know BK and I are in." BK nodded. "Willis and Chip would be ready in a second."

"And that makes nine," concluded Bobby. "Add in the last two and we've got eleven total."

"Eleven?"

"You didn't think that I'd just sit back and watch, did you?" Replied Bobby with a grin. "I'm going with you."

"You know this goes against everything we've taught them, right?"

"I do," replied Bobby. "Saru mo ki kara ochiru."

"What is that?" Said BK. "Some kind of Japanese proverb?"

"Yes, actually," replied Bobby. "Even monkeys fall from trees."

"Alright then," replied Nate, confused.

"It means," continued Bobby. "That even the expert makes a mistake once in a while. There's a time to follow the rules, and a time to break them."

Griffs grinned. "Sounds good to me."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1   Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:20 pm

Mos saw Kofo glance at Kleo as she disappeared through the door. Though her eyes usually betrayed her, for once, he couldn’t read her face. It was frustrating. The whole situation was spiraling out of his control.

Police officers threw smoke bombs through the window. He could feel the air rising closer to him. But he couldn’t tell if the men were actually officers or just uniformed thugs. He was choking. He gritted his teeth and picked Kofo up by the crook of her arm. “Nice meeting you, miss, hope you know a back way out,” he said to Lilly. “Kofo, we’re leaving.”

She was still motionless. Mono, Faces and Cake had their backs to him, each wrapping the long white and gold scarf Pharaoh’s wore around their mouth and forehead to conceal their identity. He had to motivate her. If she didn’t help them out of here they’d all go to jail or worse. He had to break their promise. “F*cking get up, Kofo.” She didn’t move. He whispered in her ear, “or should I pick you up like last night?”

She cut her eyes at him. He pulled her to the edge of the seat by her knees and started to lift her up to wrap her legs around him. “Come on, you can show Mono what we did last night,” he whispered. She hit him on the side of his face and kneed him in the chest. Faces jerked around in surprise. Cake helped Mos up. Kofo stormed to the back room where people went in and never came out.

“What should we do?” Mono asked. He was still fabulous, not a scratch on him.

“Follow her,” Mos gasped.

Cake hoisted Mos up and they followed after her as quickly as they could. Stopped only momentarily because Cake and Mono tried to walk through the door at the same time and got stuck.

They only heard Kofo drop into some unknown trap door that was behind a window that looked like a mirror. Mono closed the door to the back room. They could hear the police outside now making demands. Faces went first, Mono and Mos followed. Cake, the muscle, stayed last just in case they were discovered. He rolled the window closed after himself.

“Where are we?” Faces wondered aloud. “It looks like we’re in a basement. Kofo, what’s going on?” she asked.

Kofo wasn’t in the mood to talk to anyone, even Faces though she knew she had nothing to do with Mos’ assholeishness. They waded through what looked like a long, dark underground garage. There were cars in various states of repair, old couches and household appliances. A packrat’s paradise.

Kofo had a lot on her mind while she was wading through The Rat’s Nest. Why was she in this stupid situation to begin with? Was her bike going to be there tomorrow? Maybe if Kleo saw it, she’d keep it for her? Maybe not—were they even talking? Kofo usually didn’t have bad breakups but Kleo and she were in a different league. Even if Kofo wanted to believe it was a little fling, she couldn’t. It was real. The only way she was going to be able to get them out safely was by Kleo’s goodwill. And how far could she expect her to stretch it if she had Mos in tow?

She’d have to shake him, shake all of them. One because she was frustrated by this whole situation, two because Mos was so ridiculously annoying. But could she risk that? She’d seen Kleo kill someone for much less than she thought Kofo had done, anyway, and if she did go to her for help she didn’t want to think about what could happen to her if she caught her at a bad time alone. No, she’d have to risk it and get away from them. The next time she saw a vent she’d figure out a way to get them up at street level and tell them to catch a cab. She’d tell Mos to catch malaria and die as quickly as he could, but she wasn’t in the mood to talk to him.

Police cars speed by overhead. Damn… they’d really have to walk the whole way. She had more time to think. Lilly, what had been her deal? Why was she in a club like that dressed the way that she was? Why had she taken her time out to check on her? She sighed, maybe there really were some nice people in the world. Even rich ones.

Cake was whispering something to Faces. Soon Kofo heard short little skipping steps come toward her. Faces grabbed her hand and swung it back and forth. “Are you okay?”

Kofo stared at Faces. “Since I met all of you, have I ever been?”

She dropped her hand. Though she seemed tough, Faces was not only a little bi-polar she was also very really sensitive. Her feelings were really hurt. She liked being around Kofo and this was one of the only people that Kofo tried not to push away. “Well, then… fine,” she sniffled indignantly.

“No, Faces, don’t go. Thanks for trying to cheer me up. I’m okay, I guess. Other than seeing someone get burst open like a piñata, I’ve never been better.”

Faces smiled. They walked for a long time in silence.

”I know about you and Mos,” Faces whispered.

Kofo tried to stay cool despite the fact that she felt like she was having an out of body experience. “Know what about us?”

“That you both… you know.”

“Are uninsured? Have dogs? Like curry goat? Hate each other? What?”

“You know what I’m talking about.”

“I have no clue,” Kofo said. “Why don’t you explain it to me?” If she wasn’t talking about what Kofo thought she was talking about then she wouldn’t give anything away, if she didn’t have the guts to say what she was talking about then they could drop it. No such luck.

“Well this morning, as you know, you were under investigation for… well trespassing on The Answer’s trust.”

“Okay,” Kofo said. “I’m still alive so I guess whoever thought I did it was wrong.”

”Half that’s true, you are still alive. Buuuut when they were checking, your house was a mess so we all assumed you had been out.”

“Out of my mind, yes. I’m missing the point.”

“That’s interesting because when I checked your nightstand you were missing a lot of condoms, too.”

Kofo blushed, embarrassed, but tried to play it off by pretending to be hopelessly single. “I’d hardly call it missing. I don’t have a boyfriend so I wouldn’t need them.”

“But you did have a lot of used condoms.”

“Well Mos was in there bumping and grinding with Uncle And, apparently,” Kofo offered.

“Nope… I just like to pick on Mos, that didn’t really happen,” Faces laughed. “Unless it was a three-way.”

”Lord. What are you saying?”

Faces stopped and grabbed Kofo until she looked at her. That was the one thing about Kofo that you could count on, her eyes couldn’t lie.“You two totally did it.” She whispered.

“I did not,” Kofo looked away and walked away.

Faces almost howled. “I knew it!” she whispered to herself. “That explains everything. Why you’re mad at him, why you followed him all the way to this side of town, why he didn’t want to admit he’d even do you.”

“He said that? Who wouldn’t want—“

“Clearly, he didn’t mean it because you did it.”

Kofo squished Faces face in her hand. “We didn’t. We never would. That’s disgusting and—and erroneous. Here’s our stop.”

Faces had never seen Kofo scale a ladder so fast. Kofo moved quickly so she could leave her at the bottom. She knew Faces was scared of heights. It was the other three guy’s job to either sedate her and hoist her up or spend three hours trying to coax her to touch a single rung.

They were at the bottom of a familiar flat.

“The house that Kleo built,” Kofo said to herself. “Haven’t been here in a while…”

She was sort of paralyzed. She wanted to go in but she didn’t know how to force herself to do it. So much time had gone by that she could see Faces being drug out of the manhole in a headlock by Mono. Cake was behind them trying to make sure the two wouldn’t fall back down and Mos was sulking to himself like the five year old girl he was.

“Do you have a way in?” Mono asked putting Faces down after a good groping on his part and a hearty slap on hers.

“Yeah,” she said slowly, holding up something dull and brass. “I have a key.”

“Use it,” Cake said. “I don’t feel like busting down any doors. Where are we anyway?”

Kofo put the key in the door and turned it.

Before she could swing the door open a man grabbed her arm and threw her across the room. She landed like a starfish onto the couch and rolled off of it slowly to the floor. There was a man tied up, half asleep in a chair in front of her. He tried to kick at her but she moved in time to have Faces fly in a similar manner on top of her.

Mono wasn’t caught off guard, though, he whipped out his machetes and turned a vase into a collection of seashells—just missing their attacker. He got his legs kicked out from under him. Cake found out his chainsaw was out of gas far too late to recover from the chair that was broken over his head. He fell so hard, Faces cried out and tried to run toward him.

“No,” Kofo grabbed her by her belt so she wouldn’t run off to get herself killed.

The man started to tie Mos up but Mono was too busy taking off his new blazer and folding it neatly to help the Mos. The man in the chair, at this point had finally got himself free and tied his ropes around Faces legs and then around the legs off the chairs too quickly for her to even realize he had broken loose. Viktor, finally free, ran over to Mono and pulled him off the other guy.

It was a two on two battle and everyone had somehow lost all their weapons. Cake was still one floor, dazed, the door was wide open, Mono was locked in battle with Viktor and Mos was being securely tied into the chair Faces was already tied to.

Kofo was the only person who was not actively getting her whole ass kicked. That was also aided by the fact that she was hiding under a beautiful high lounge partially because she was afraid if she came out she was afraid that an hour from now the coroner would have remarked, “What pretty earrings” as he took a picture of her dead body and partially because she was afraid someone else was going to die in all this.

Summoning all her courage, she got up and tried to run for Kleo’s door. Maybe if she could open it, Kleo would recognize her and call off the Terminators. Or maybe she’d tell them to go into hyper drive. Either way she’d done enough cowering for today.

Right when she was running, Viktor caught her by her jacket and pulled her back. She reached her hand out again and barely touched the knob. “Kleo,” she gasped.

“She’s not in right now, want to leave a message?”

Kofo had a bomb in her hand and half the fuse was already gone. “Let go of me or I’ll leave this with you.”
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1   Fri Jun 15, 2007 2:30 pm

She had to admit it, it was hard being daddy’s little girl, watching people die for the sole cause of creating a successful political campaign. Sometimes she would ask herself, why didn’t her dad just do things the normal way? You know the usual climbing your way up the latter with the people you know and the money you have, but then again, her dad did not actually know that many people and wasn’t liked by most. But was that actually a just reason to stoop to such low and desperate measures all to obtain governor’s office? She didn’t think so. Of course she would have done things differently, however, this wasn’t her game and after all, she was daddy’s little girl.

As the police sirens began to roar a few blocks away, the crowd of fighting power rangers dispersed like a group of roaches when the colorful lights come on, leaving behind one dead man with the company of a few broken bodies. What a pity that only one man lost his life tonight, she thought to herself. Now he has nobody to accompany him on his journey to the after-life. She shrugged her shoulders. No matter, it wasn’t like it was her lying on the floor in a pool of blood anyway.

She walked over to the motionless corpse, kneeled beside him and began checking his pockets, which consisted of a few haul wrappers, a five dollar bill, and a picture of a fairly attractive lady. She threw the useless possessions aside and dug deeper into his other pocket. A small smirk invaded her countenance when she felt something hard and rectangular. She jerked the item from his pocket and looked upon it with utter glee. It was the man’s ID card. This was going to come in handy for sure. She stuffed the item into her bra and uplifted herself from the now rotting corpse.

Crash!!! Tear gas came flying through the window at the far corner of the bar, shattering the glass into a million of sparkling pieces that cascaded to the floor like glitter. Two, three, four, they engulfed the bar with the deadly smoke as if there was still a fight going on within. How late the police were in Rockport. Her daddy was surely a gift to such a Godforsaken city. It was sad that the police were so scared of the violent inhabitants of the city that they threw tear gas into an empty edifice. Morons, she thought to herself.

A man suddenly grabbed her arm, his eyes as wide as that of an owl’s. “Nice meeting you miss,” he said formally. “Hope you know a back way out.” He then snatched up the other girl’s arm, who seemed to be stubbornly refusing such forceful direction from him, and said, “Kofo, we’re are leaving.”

So that was Kofo? She looked very different from the pictures Lily had of her. Well, most people looked extremely different in their mug shots of course. And yes, the man was right. She needed a back way out because the front was definitely off limits. She looked around the bar for awhile and finally concluded that she would leave out of the same exit the cold mean fighter man Griffs left out of. Slowly walking toward the exit, she lit a cigarette and pushed open the door.

The cool air of the night greeted her as she floated down the alley with that sensual, graceful sway of her hips, turning on Dewmont Street and wending her way from there. She decided she would get some Chinese food before returning to the inn she was staying at, making a quick and decisive turn on Bayview Parkway.

Like every night, the city of Rockport reeked of a pungent, foul odor that seemed to only pervade the town at night and no other part of the day. It took Lily some time to get used to because being reduced to such a decadent and disgusting lifestyle was a vast step from living the upscale life she learned to bask in basically all her life. This mission her father so wonderfully titled “Operation Clean Up”, sort of made her appreciate the material pleasures of her previous life. Oh how she longed to return to that life. Every day she wanted to complain to her father that she hated living like a rat out of a card board box all to make ends meet for him. She wanted to cry and scratch her face out of frustration every time she embarked on a new mission, providing a reason for the thugs to savagely and brutally kill each other. It was fun at times playing Miss Femme Fatale, or Madame Mirage, but the guilt that played on your conscience afterward was a killer. Knowing that every time you finished a mission and laid your head on that wonderful soft pillow, someone died or was crippled because of you wasn’t actually her ideal way of living. Hell, it wasn’t even close to it. However, she had to be grateful to her dad for not putting her out on the street with her mother and Dru. She had to show her gratitude somehow, and this was the best way, the only way.
Her father had been planning for Operation Clean Up two years before it was actually put into motion. When he had made the proposal of his plans to her, she couldn’t just refuse. She was hesitant though, but that was easily remedied when he showered her with the lecture of her ungratefulness toward him, making her feel like an abashed puppy. She just accepted it, and shortly after, her father had her trained by the best fighters he could get his hands on. She was trained in close quarters combat, guerilla warfare, and effective weapon use. It was hard not to believe that she was soon going to go to war with the whole of Rockport city. The idea, of course, was a bit farfetched, but anyone who was trained as hard as she was would most likely feel the same way.

Sadly while being trained she picked up the not so lady-like habit of drinking and smoking. Her father didn’t even know, or probably didn’t even care for that matter, that he was turning his daughter into a monster. Teaching her how to kill made her cold and ruthless. She was taught by practicing on animals such as kittens and dogs, breaking their necks or strangling them. She was taught how to receive orders and execute them efficiently without error. She was taught how to gut a man with a blade in a way that he didn’t survive. She was taught all a humans pressure points and exactly which ones to hit to make the blow fatal. She was taught to be killer, and the only two things of her previous life that she held onto was her lady-like fashion and her love for old black and white movies. She had a collection of them back at the inn like Casablanca, Dial M for Murder, The Wrong Man, Birds etc. She adored Humphrey Bogart and hoped that she could find the like of him in real life and possibly marry him.

She removed the cigarette from her mouth and exhaled the ghost-like smoke into the cool night air. She smiled as the streams of smoke coiled around each other like snakes before evaporating.

Evaporating, just like the trick she played with her many identities. They were nothing but smoke. Illusions provided to the onlooker just so she could get over. She had impersonated so many people that sometimes she forgot who she really was, which was not Lily Lockheart that’s for sure. What a bogus name anyway. She was the daughter of her father, how could her last name be Lockheart. Any idiot could see that, but first they would have to know that she was actually the daughter of the Mayor, whose last name was Valentine.

When she finally made it to the Chinese food Restaurant entitled, “May May’s Halal Kitchen”. She ordered a medium size plate of beef lo-mien to go. She quickly hurried out of the restaurant on her way to the inn she was staying at, flicking her cigarette expertly into the sewer opening beside her.

At the inn, she quickly undressed herself to tiny, attractive red underwear and stretched with a sigh of relief. She popped in the tape of Casblanca and turned the volume up to the last notch. She lit a cigarette and walked over to the wooden table that resided at the left side of the room and sat down. Leafing through the many files that were sprawled messily on the table with small rectangular pictures of owner at the corner of them, she stopped at Tommy’s and opened it. Then she leafed through the files yet again and took out Griffs, opening his as well. She read the contents until she was satisfied with the information she had. She stubbed her cigarette out in the ashtray and she made her way to the shower.

She slowly undressed herself and took out some blonde hair dye and scissors from the medicine cabinet. After her beautiful and luxurious bubble bath, she took the liberty of cutting and dying her hair. She gelled it back to the nape of her neck and drowned her eyes in black eye shadow. She looked gorgeous like always. Beautiful and dangerous was her style and sported it well. (I love The Long Kiss Goodnight. So I thought I could play with that.) She walked out of the bathroom and into the main room, clothing herself with a soft white bath robe that her father had provided her with. After all, she was still a woman. She poured herself a glass of whisky and held it to her lips while watching Casablanca.

Tommy is not going to know what hit him tonight, she though t to herself. Bye Griffs.

She then raised her glass to the television and said playfully, “Here’s to looking at you kid.”
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1   Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:30 pm

What Kleo saw unfolding through her keyhole was almost the last thing she would have guessed, next to perhaps a stampede of rhino trampling a marching band dressed in chicken suits playing Du Hast. So seeing Mos’s little band of Pharaoh’s getting their arse’s kicked by not only Dru but Viktor was quite a sight. And even a pleasant one, she thought, and began to wonder if she had misjudged Viktor’s uselessness. That was until she saw Kofo cry out for her just as the bastard dared to lay a finger on her.

In a three seconds Kleo was wrenching open the door, pulling the rifle out of her collection that was displayed on the wall beside her. In another two she had already taken a step inside, cock back the hammer, and had the weapon aimed right at Viktor’s head.

“You have three seconds to let her go, or go onto the next life,” she said flatly and kept rifle trained on him.

Viktor’s hand instantly unclenched as his eyes widened and the shock painted itself across his face. He knew she was pissed at him, but he had no idea she planned on redecorating her living room with the contents of his head. Blinking once, twice, he noticed in greater detail just what kind of weapon was pointing at him and then reconsidered, redecorating would probably not be an option as an M1 Garand would more than likely liquefy his head and go through the next building or two.

Placing his hand up, he managed, “Take it easy!”

Not removing her aim Kleo remarked, “Everyone else better cool the f off.”

As the room suddenly became as quiet as a monastery, Kleo repositioned the rifle on her hip toward the ceiling and continued; “Now you all play nice while I talk to my girl here. And try to resist the urge to be an a$$%^&*.” She finished this statement up while turning to look right at Mos and then turning right around and strolling back into the bedroom.

She tossed the weapon on the bed as it occurred to her that Kofo may not have remembered that she collected weapons as a hobby, but most were simply replicas that couldn’t fire or were as dull as butter knives. Although she wasn’t totally sure she cared, if she hadn’t remembered that it wouldn’t have surprised her, she wasn’t remembering a lot of things lately, like to call her.

She braced one hand on the wall by the window and looked out into the night. She smelled her enter the room before she even heard her enter and shut the door. It wasn’t some sort of perfume; for Kofo wasn’t big on that, it was just her and the hint of her deodorant. But it was more than enough to have the need stirring in her gut as well as the stab of rejection she felt deep in her chest.

“So what would you like to apologize for first? Bringing your entourage into our place to destroy not only it but my men as well? Forgetting I even exist for the past week, which can be the only reason for you to have not even called me? Or for making the room we’ve shared so many precious times in be sullied with an argument?”
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1   Mon Jun 18, 2007 11:55 pm

Kleo burst through the door, summoned a weapon bigger than Zeus’ bolts and poised it to whisk Viktor’s head into a fine Christmas pudding. Kofo pushed away from him when she realized that he was peeing on himself.

“Gross, dude,” Faces wrinkled her nose and avoided the wet spot spreading across the floor.

“You have three seconds to let her go, or go onto the next life,” Kleo said evenly, her arm steady as the steel she held.

Viktor unhanded Kofo as if she were a flaming sack of shit. “Take it easy!” he squeaked.

You take it easy, prick,” She wet her fingers and put out the fuse of the bomb then slapped Viktor in the back of his head. He knew better than to try to retaliate.

“Let me out of this d*** chair,” Mos bellowed.

“Everyone else better cool the f off,” Kleo warned.

Mos glared at her but no one had anything profound to say with that rocket launcher serving as an eloquent threat.

“Now you all play nice while I talk to my girl here.” She turned to walk into the bedroom. “And try to resist the urge to be an a$$%^&*,” she said over her shoulder.

Mos was tempted to retort but Mono shook his head—or was he fixing his hair in the mirror?

Kofo started to follow her in. Mos grabbed her arm for the fifth time today. “Don’t you follow her in there, Kofo. Your relationship with her is over. It never was. Stop doing this to yourself. It’s disgusting.”

Kofo wrenched her wrist away from him. He was unable to defend himself. She snarled at him. For a moment Mos believed she was going to scratch his eyes out, she did too. But he did not dare flinch because if he did, she would.

Kofo wasn’t too keen about the stunt he pulled at the bar and they hadn’t had their argument about that yet so he wasn’t off the hook. Not to mention the fact that she had spent some time in jail that morning because of him. Finally there was the matter of her house being destroyed, twice. That was three strikes and according to her, Mos and his opinions were out. “I’d shut the h*** up if I were you. You’ve got three a**whoopings pending and don’t think I forgot.”

“This is a vice. A stupid fling,” he groaned. She was so frustrating. Why couldn’t he get through to her? “You’re letting this thing take you over. It’s not love, so leave it alone.”

“What do you know about it, anyway? When was the last time you were ever in love, Moses?” Kofo glared at him and waited. Slowly, it seemed, everyone in the room was trained on him.

He didn’t have anything to say about love. He had never felt it himself. He could only tell her what he believed was right but Kofo was someone that lived in a world of experience, logic and reason and love was out of this realm. For that reason she wouldn’t trust his guess about what it truly was.

“That’s what the f*** I thought. So you can feel free to shut up at any time. And stop touching me, I’m not going to untie you. This is probably the only way I could get you to stop harassing me. And thanks a lot for putting all my sh*t on complete blast.” As if she were possessed, she took Mos’ white and gold scarf out of his jacket and tied it around his mouth to silence his protests. It was way too tight. He would have probably suffocated if she hadn’t let Faces loose in time to give him a space to breathe.

She left them in the living room, but not before knocking Mos and the chair to the ground. All eyes were on her as she rounded the corner to the bedroom. They all wanted to catch the smallest glimpse into Kleo’s world. She closed the door behind her, no more free shows.

Kofo took her shoes off as she always did when she came in the room. She was a little surprised at what she saw.

Cardboard boxes. That was what she expected. All her schoolbooks, video games, clothes, everything in square cardboard boxes. All of them would be taped neatly and labeled accordingly. But when she walked in it seemed that everything was still the way it had been before as if she had been there that very morning and every day before it. Kleo hadn’t packed any of her things up at all.

The darkness of the room was an intimate veil. She felt that the space between them was closed, even though they were apart. The darkness pressed in all at once and stopped stiff as the breath before the plunge.

Kleo stared out of the window as a lioness surveys her kingdom. She was a beautiful danger, Kofo thought. It seemed everyone got tripped up on the first part of her then fell victim to the other half. Not Kofo. Pretty wasn’t enough—if Kofo just wanted to be around someone she thought was good looking, she’d hire a kid to walk beside her with a mirror. There was more to Kleo than her looks and because she knew better she could see past her fury long enough to enter.

Kofo sat down at the edge of the bed tentatively, as if she were sure there was a landmine that she could tread upon or a trap door would open and swallow her forever.

It was quiet until she was seated. She felt like she had triggered something and in her stomach a swirl of panic rippled through her. She didn’t know what Kleo was going to say and she hadn’t been able to stammer a reason for being here. Her time to talk had expired, Kleo began.

“So what would you like to apologize for first? Bringing your entourage into our place to destroy not only it but my men as well? Forgetting I even exist for the past week, which can be the only reason for you to have not even called me? Or for making the room we’ve shared so many precious times in be sullied with an argument?”

“I don’t think we’re going to be able to side step an argument,” Kofo mumbled to herself after putting a pillow over her head. She lay back on the bed and pushed the gun onto the floor. In the back of her mind, Kofo willed it to go off so that the ambulance could carry her away from this fight. No dice. It lay on the floor peaceably. Somehow she felt like a trip to the hospital could be a strong possibility without the gun.

She and Mos fought all the time but they were only half serious. Even Mos’ most scathing words were nothing compared to the ponderous silence settling between them. Kofo sighed. She had to answer some time and for once she wouldn’t wait for Kleo to clear her throat to remind her to do it.

“I didn’t mean to bring them here. I couldn’t get rid of them, especially Mos. It’s just that when I finally made it over here I… I don’t know… I couldn’t make myself come in. I knew you were going to be mad… but I needed your help.”

Apologize! She said to herself. Be sorry that you didn’t call her. Feel bad about it—come on! She did feel bad about not calling Kleo. She missed talking to her on the phone and she missed seeing her—but there was something in Kofo that made an apology about as alluring as a street-side lobotomy. She also had a tendency to do things to Kleo that would often make the procedure a necessity. Say you’re sorry, her mind hissed. No! I’m not sorry. I’m tired. I’m tired of her always thinking I’m creeping on her. She never trusts me and she was wrong. I don’t cheat on her and never have…

It was that last part that made her feel more terrible. As she watched Kleo’s reflection in the window it occurred to her that she did not think they were broken up. She didn’t believe her when she said she was leaving. She never took her seriously. No one did.

“I didn’t call because when I said that I was tired of you accusing me of all these crazy things, I was serious. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I don’t think it’s fair for you to assume I’m going to cheat on you with some guy I can hardly get along with when you’re out almost every night with dudes who’d die for a single chance,” she sighed. She pushed the pillow away from her face, took her book bag off and got comfortable again. She turned on her side and leaned on her elbow.

“You told me you weren’t attracted to men—I believed you. I see the way guys look at you but I never questioned it. I told you I wasn’t attracted to Mos and I’d never once did anything that would suggest otherwise but you couldn’t fathom that. I know you go to that club because you like to dance and how can I complain when I’ve seen you in action? You’re amazing. But let’s face it—I was willing to share you with the world if I could just be with you… And you would be with me, too—but only if I would promise to stay alone while you were away.

“Mos is my friend, well, kind of. The kids at that school are f*cking anti-social, elitist b*stards. Half my family stopped talking to me when I stopped going to church. I don’t have any other friends. Who can I talk to all day? The wall? Or would you get jealous if there was a poster on it that wasn’t you?”

She was quiet for a minute because it was hard for her to get her feelings out and she was angry now. She had a hard time explaining things and she didn’t feel like she had even said what she wanted to correctly.

Still, she omitted the part about her and Mos doing the unthinkable because it had happened while she and Kleo weren’t together. It doesn’t count, she thought to herself, but even when she thought it she crossed her fingers.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1   Tue Jun 19, 2007 11:39 am

She heard her sit down, heard her kick the gun to the floor with a resounding thud right between them. And couldn’t help but wonder if what was between them had also fallen, and lay cold and lifeless on the floor.

“I don’t think we’re going to be able to side step an argument.”

She knew it was true, but she didn’t feel like arguing at all. She felt wounded, more than she had admitted to herself up until now. But seeing him here with her brought it all forward, like a ten ton weight being tossed around her stomach in a game of pong.

“I didn’t mean to bring them here. I couldn’t get rid of them, especially Mos.”

Especially Mos, she heard it echo in her head. He haunts her still and yet she thinks there is nothing there between them.

“It’s just that when I finally made it over here I… I don’t know… I couldn’t make myself come in. I knew you were going to be mad… but I needed your help.”

“You know you’re always welcome here, and you have my help. But I still think I deserve to know why I am being blown off,” she said and could feel her eyes begin to water.

“I didn’t call because when I said that I was tired of you accusing me of all these crazy things, I was serious. I couldn’t stand it anymore.”

Whirling around and biting back the tear it was all she could do to stop from letting her emotions get the best of her and spout out, “And how am I to stand watching him look at you with that look in his eye? Every time I see you together I see something more than mere friends on his end.”

“I don’t think it’s fair for you to assume I’m going to cheat on you with some guy I can hardly get along with when you’re out almost every night with dudes who’d die for a single chance.”

Turning back around, she couldn’t believe she would say such a thing. It’s not her fault there are a plethora of primates that want her, nor does it even matter. She could give a rat’s a$$.

“You told me you weren’t attracted to men—I believed you. I see the way guys look at you but I never questioned it. I told you I wasn’t attracted to Mos and I’d never once did anything that would suggest otherwise but you couldn’t fathom that. I know you go to that club because you like to dance and how can I complain when I’ve seen you in action? You’re amazing. But let’s face it—I was willing to share you with the world if I could just be with you… And you would be with me, too—but only if I would promise to stay alone while you were away.

“Is that so much to ask?” she asked and already knew the answer. She knew it was wrong to want her all to herself and no other. She knew she had to let her have friends, have a job, and a life. But she couldn’t help be so…cosuming of her and her time. It was how she felt, and how can she blame her with looking at Mos when she’s around?

“Mos is my friend, well, kind of. The kids at that school are f*cking anti-social, elitist b*stards. Half my family stopped talking to me when I stopped going to church. I don’t have any other friends. Who can I talk to all day? The wall? Or would you get jealous if there was a poster on it that wasn’t you?”

She had to crack a smile at that last remark. Was she really that possessive? Yes, was the answer that immediately sprung into her head. She was all that and more. If she couldn’t trust her to stay faithful when she was with her friends, than this would never work, and she wanted to make it work, more than anything.

“I’m sorry,” she said quietly and then walked to the bed and sat.

Turning to look at her with sorrow in her eyes she said it again, “I’m sorry. I should have more faith in you, and trust that you care as much about us as I do and would never do anything to hurt it. If you can forgive me, I will try to stop harboring such resentment for your friends…for Mos.”

She thought about all the men that have wronged her, all the people that had called her friend only to use or back stab her, and knew what she offered would not be easy. But hoped she would give her a chance.

“I won’t say it will be easy or I won’t still slip up for a while. But I really hope you will let me try and change. I don’t want to be without you, and I shouldn’t expect you to not be with anyone else.”

She looked up at her and studied her face, hoping to find an answer even before she spoke one.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1   Thu Jun 21, 2007 10:47 pm

Kofo could feel Kleo smile though her eyes were closed. It was the same way a child could feel the kiss of July’s sun. She gave off a warm glow that spread to everyone it touched. And like the sun, no man had seen it directly.

What if she already knew? What if that smile wasn’t the kiss of the cosmos but the flash before the bolt?

“I’m sorry,” Kleo said.

For a moment Kofo had thought she was hallucinating. How was it so easy for Kleo to say the one thing she couldn’t? Half of her felt like she deserved the apology, she hadn’t done anything wrong at all. The other half thought she had negated it by destroying her living room. Kofo realized that she had just done what Mos always did to her. She had somehow convinced Kleo that she had done something wrong, when in fact she was the one at fault.

“Hmm?” Kofo raised her eyebrow confused.

“I’m sorry. I should have more faith in you, and trust that you care as much about us as I do and would never do anything to hurt it.” That was the exact moment that a boulder built up in Kofo’s chest and she began to sink in the endless ocean of guilt. “If you can forgive me, I will try to stop harboring such resentment for your friends…”

“Even for Mos?”

“for Mos.”

She felt the bed rock gently as Kleo sat down beside her. She kept her eyes closed because they always gave her away. She heard Kleo speaking but it was hard for her to concentrate on anything but what she would do when she found out about her and Mos. She would find out sooner or later, there was no getting around it. There were too many people who suspected. If Faces thought she knew the truth then there was no way Kofo could keep her from spreading the rumor without confirming it. She began to wonder if she wasn’t the worse girlfriend in the entire world.

“I won’t say it will be easy or I won’t slip up for a while. But I really hope you will let me try and change. I don’t want to be without you, and I shouldn’t expect you to not be with anyone else.”

If I tell her now, right now, Kofo thought, then it will give her a chance to dump me. That way I won’t be with her this whole time lying. Honesty was a hard thing to come by in relationships and Kofo was one of the only people she knew who dealt in it. She kept trying to open her mouth to say the words but she couldn’t force them out. She realized that she wanted Kleo still, even if she would only have her until the truth came out. That was better than losing her now, forever.

She would tell her, not today, but she would tell her someday. Kleo just wasn’t mad enough to tell her now. Kofo dealt bad news like a pyro. If a house was already on fire there was no harm in throwing on a gallon of gasoline. They would have to get back together good, then eventually get in another argument. That was when she would admit it. Hopefully Kleo would take it up to such a high level, she wouldn’t know what to do with herself. Kofo could use that as an opportunity to make it up to her, if she would let her, that was. But before all that could happen, they’d have to get back together first.

Kofo ran her fingertips down Kleo’s back.

“I missed you.” She said between the kisses she traced on her shoulders. She wrapped her arm around her and sighed, content. Today had been a ridiculous catastrophe but it made her think of the things she valued the most. “You know how much I love you. It’s been too long.”
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1   Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:27 pm

Yes it has, she thought and felt her pulse jump as Kofo used those soft full lips on the nape of her neck. Rising from the bed, she pulled away from her and casually made her way to the door and turned the lock.

“I’m feeling a bit dirty, so I’m going to hop in the shower,” she said while continuing toward the bathroom. Then turning a backward glace to Kofo she purred with a particularly coy face said, “Care to join me Sunny?”

Without waiting for an answer, she made her way into the large luxurious bathroom that she still couldn’t help but admire. She had hand picked it all, the crystal chandelier over the whirlpool tub for two, the smoky corian countertops with dual sunken sinks, the almost cloud like marble floors, and the cheery sunflower yellow paint on the walls.

While she was admiring, she was also lighting the aroma candles that were perched around the top ledge of the huge open slate shower that was equipped with nine showerheads and steam maker. Breathing in the sweet smell of lilac as she finished off the last candle, she dimmed the lights with a quick clap of her hands and turned on the blisteringly hot steam that instantly had the mirrors above the sink fogging.

She heard the door barely creek behind her and could already feel the anticipation mounting in her belly as she thought of her lover standing there. Without turning around, she took it upon herself to pretend she hadn’t heard her, and went about stripping off one layer of clothing ever so slowly after the next.

First the skirt was unfastened and let slip down along her thighs and to the floor exposing an ass that you could bounce a silver dollar off of that was in full view aside from the black thong that would be dispatched soon enough. Next she removed one long leather boot after the other, taking her time to unzip slowly following the fine contours of her long legs. The camisole seemed to come off almost if by magic, for it only took but the unbuttoning of couple of clasps before it struck the ground releasing it’s pent up sweater puppets.

Her jewelry she would keep, the earrings and necklace, to add a bit of sparkle to her. But her hair she wanted free so with one fluid motion she took out both silver sticks and set them on the counter and swung her head from side to side loosening her long dark hair.

She wondered as she spun to go to her lover that she wondered if she knew that she was the only one she gave personal shows to. The only one who she had ever wanted to, and the only on that seemed to want her right back with a need that was more than just a quick f***. Kofo loved her and that made her feel more beautiful than anything and as she spun it became more and more clear as her smile widen and their eyes met.

(To be continued…)
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1   Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:12 am

Ooc- This Post is Rated R for Ridiculous lol -Ooc

When Kleo pulled away from her, she felt like she had been unplugged from something electric. Her skin was so smooth that she slipped through her fingertips.

“I’m feeling a bit dirty, so I’m going to hop in the shower,” she locked the door that separated them from the stresses of the world.


A familiar jolt went through her. It was kind of like eyelashes tickling her stomach. She watched Kleo’s behind as she started to walk away. She flopped on the bed and slid off it toward the door. She put her hand on the knob. Could she really leave now? There were so many emotions inside of her. She wanted to do so many things to Kleo but not in front of an audience.

She started taking her clothes off. She cracked open the door and stuck her head out.

“Get lost, all of you. Kleo and I are busy.”

Mono stood up. “Um, what are you doing, exactly?” he asked merrily. “Something I’d like to watch?”

“No doubt,” Faces said licking her lips. “Sign me up.”

Kofo pushed her head away because she was trying to peak into the room. Mos was free now, he grabbed her outstretched arm and pulled her into the living room. That was when he realized that she was only half dressed. He caught himself hypnotized by the lavender bra she was wearing. The tattoos of rose petals fell from her bra and disappeared down her back into her jeans.

Cake was watching tv now, but he was gentleman enough to avert his eyes. “Wow,” he intoned.

“Not wow, what the hell is going on?” Mos demanded.

“Do I have to spell it out for you?” Kofo said.

Mos’ look was beyond fury. It was complete disbelief. “With… with her?”

“I like her better than I like you,” Kofo said.

“Just let me watch,” Faces begged. “I’ll be quiet, unless you need a hand.”

Mono started unzipping his pants, “Or a—“

“Put your clothes back on, both of you,” Mos clipped at Kofo and Mono. Mono did so immediately. “You too, woman,” Mos said.

“Funny thing, unlike Mono I don’t work for you. So stop embarrassing yourself and leave.”

Mos tried to grab him again but she was too fast. “I’ll tell Kleo you give your warmest regards,” Kofo said.

She closed the door and locked it. From the other side she could hear them arguing about how they were going to get back.

“Care to join me, Sunny?” she heard from the bathroom.

“Absolutely,” Kofo said following the sound of her voice. She made sure to bring some wine glasses with her.

What she saw was enough to pop a cork. Kleo took off her skirt and boots. Kofo leaned against the wall for a second to get herself together. She took her shirt off just at the same time Kofo hustled out of her jeans. She had no idea what she had done with her shoes, just now, but now she could only concentrate on the woman who was knocking her off her feet.

Kleo turned toward her and smiled. Kofo didn’t have time for all that. She had to familiarize herself with some things that she hadn’t been able to touch for far too long.

She pushed Kleo against the wall, firmly but not to hurt her. She missed the way their bodies felt together. She pulled her hair gently. “You know what I want, right?”

What she liked about having sex with Kleo was that she would let her be in control of the situation. In fact, she really liked it that way. Guys she’d been with said she was too aggressive, but she didn’t like to lay quietly with her hands folded. She felt like Kleo wasn’t judging her, that she could just be herself.

“Is all this for me?” she asked trailing her fingers from Kleo’s hair, across her breasts, to the waist of her thong. “What about this?”

Kleo protested. She didn’t like to do anything unless she was completely undressed.

“Okay,” Kofo said. “Then I’ll take it off for you.” She got on her knees and put her hands on Kleo’s hips. She tried to slow down, but she was too excited. She kissed her waist and slid the thong off with her teeth. It wasn’t long before she was making Kleo’s toes curl and listening to a symphony of her moans.
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 1   Thu Jun 28, 2007 2:13 pm

Shit hit the fan quickly. Spectators had gathered, drunk and raging for a fight. Boxers had shown up behind them with Hornets in front. Dru stood sideways with his chain and pipe primed to be dirtied up in the next few seconds.

This is gonna be painful.

Everyone stood waiting. Nobody knew who would throw the first assault. Dru's hands gripped his weapons, his knuckels turned white. If he managed to get out of this alive his day would have a big plus on it.

He didn't see who threw the first punch but soon fighting had erupted not only in the street, but the bar as well. Windows shattered and people started to fall before Dru realized what was going on. He tried to stay away from the bar patrons. Most of them were drunk and had never been in a real brawl. They were of little to no real danger. It was the Hornets, who were angry and ready to tear heads off, especially Dru's for the double-cross they thought he'd pulled, and the boxers, smart and cool, trained for a fight that he would have to worry about. They were the real danger to his immediate health.

He took a swing at the nearest Hornet's midsection, dropping him from the fight and leaving him cringing. Broken ribs today were better than a funeral tomorrow. A chain shot to the side left another one stunned, and Dru finished him with an uppercut to the chin. He dropped near his friend. The bodies were numerous now, the ones still fighting were dwindling.

Dru launched his pipe at the next target, a Hornet who had already dropped a few people himself. He saw it and knew his throw was off course.

Shit

The pipe connected with a boxer right behind one of the Pharoah's girls. Kofo. If he hit her he wouldn't still be standing. The boxers head opened up and bloodied up the surrounding area. He fell slowly to the ground and slumped where he was. He wouldn't be getting up anytime soon. If ever again. Dru had seen that look in too many pairs of yes not to recognize it.

F***

If anyone had seen where the pipe came from then Dru now had two gangs and all of Chinatown bearing down his ass. Not exactly the pay day any self respecting freelancer would gun for. He'd have a reputation after this though. People might line up to hire the man who survived Rockport's full wrath. Provided he actually did survive it.

A few more chains to the face and jabs to the gut and Kleo decided it was time to leave. She led them away from the fight and down back alleys all the while avoiding the ever loudening noise of the squad cars that were rolling closer to the battle.

There won't be anything left to do but clean up the bodies once they get there.

Viktor and Dru followed Kleo all the way to a little flat deep within the confines of Chinatown and in to the bowels of the building. The sound of the sirens got lowered and the group collectively exhaled before Kleo and Viktor decided to have a p****** contest. He cleared his throat to try and get them to shut up. Kleo turned and stared at him malevolently.

"You wanted to say something traitor." It was more of a statement than a question.

"I just think we have more important things to be doing than arguing over who has bigger balls here. And working two sides of the same coin is not betraying anyone. It's just smart business. Maybe not sound, but the pay is good." said Dru.


“Not that I blame you per se, I can admire playing both sides, really I can, but when it comes to playing my family and me, that is when I take issue. However, it would appear that Parker will no longer back you as he seems to think you are loyal to me, which remains to be seen. And even though I am required by Long Wei customs to kill you for your treachery I think you should know that I owe your old man a favor so will be sparring your life for now.”

What did someone like Kleo owe my father? She couldn't possibly know that he was really the Mayor's son. If she did he was surprised he was still living. Perhaps she was just mistaken. He left a mental message to pray for and thank anyone named Valentine who had once helped Kleo. Whoever the man was just saved his ass. Unless she really did know...

“However, trust still needs to be earned, so as your first task, why don’t you tie up our insolent little friend here while I sleep on what to do with him.”

Dru nodded and stood up. He was going to enjoy this. “He stabs you in the back and your having him tie me up? This is lunacy! I was just trying to help!”

"Yeah, but I wasn't the one questioning authority my friend." Dru said smiling.

“And stick a sock in his mouth too or neither of us will get any sleep.”

“I thought you fought your own bat…”

Dru finished his sentence by ripping off one of Viktor's socks and shoving it into his mouth before tying him to a chair. That was usually just part of the job but Dru was just a bit happy that he had the privelage of doing this. Not only that, by the sound of things he was still in at least one gang's good graces. He may yet live through this after all. Which was more than anyone in his position could hope for.

Kleo stood and looked over at Viktor. She smiled and indicated that she liked his work. He was rather fond of the sight in front of him as well.

“You do good work without any mouth, keep it up and we will get along just fine,” she said before walking back to the door of the ajoining room.

“And Dru,” she mentioned as she began shutting the door behind her, “I meant what I said, keep up the good work and you will be rewarded, perhaps even double your pay. Now keep an ear out and don’t bother me.”

Dru sat down and laughed at his situation. Viktor glared daggers at him. Dru didn't care. The morning started with him getting paid twice for one job. That had quickly gone south and the next hour he was praying that he would live to work another day. And now here he was. Sitting in one of Chinatown's safehouses, alive and breathing, and even looking at the possibility of double pay for his work. 20 large went a long way in this town. Especially if Chinatown ever decided to bring him back in. Life was pretty sweet right now.

Dru sat n the couch with his eyes sht as the hours dragged by. He wasn't really asleep, and he could tell from the silence that Viktor had stopped struggling to get himself undone awhile ago. That was when Dru heard the voices outside.

"Use it, I don't want to break any doors down." said one of them.

Dru untied Viktor quickly. "Stay there and look captive. If something goes wrong get up and start swinging. I'll be thankful if it isn't me your swinging at. Besides, I'm sure Kleo would'nt want to here you've been misbehaving."

He went to get Kleo but the door was already opening. He ran towards it and grabbed the person who opened it. When she was halfway across the room he realized it was Kofo. They head been followed. Which meant the others were undoubtedly Pharoahs. Dru went after the next one, throwing him onto the ground and delivering a quick one two to the gut and then kicking him in the side. Dazed now, the man was no match for Dru, and he quickly tied him up to another chair, before another beast of a man jumped on top of him. Viktor at this point had finished roping up another girl and pried him off. That was about the point Kofo tried to get to Kleo, and Viktor grabbed her throat.

“She’s not in right now, want to leave a message?”

Kofo had a bomb in her hand and half the fuse was already gone. “Let go of me or I’ll leave this with you.”

The room quited down, Viktor loosened his grip on her and Kleo cam barging out of her room, locked and loaded. A silent huh fell over the room. Viktor let go of Kofo and backed off. Kleo threw the weapon on the couch and pulled Kofo into the room with her. She instructed the crews not to fight, but that wasn't really much of option. They had to strain from hitting each other while Dru untied the two they had thrown down.

Only the man giant was still active and undazed. "Do they have a history or something?" he asked. A grunt was all he received from him. Apparently there pride was still battered.

Kofo opened the door and instructed her Pharoahs to leave. They wouldn't be needed. Kofo was also half-dressed at this point. The Pharaoh who had been tied up scowled at her, the female just looked aroused. They stepped out and Kofo shut the door behind her.

"Well that was interesting." said Dru as he fell back on the couch, not ready to leave the safe haven he was in just yet. He closed his eyes and tried to fall asleep. "You listen to them if you want Viktor. I'm sleeping that fight off while I'm safe. Something tells me we won't be for the next few days."
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