Toma felt the wind from the sea kiss his hot skin as he looked at Gabriel, one of the Iguaran mafia members. Until today, this man had been one of the only contacts Toma had had in the Colombian crew. Now he felt like he knew half the Iguaran family the way the foreign language of Spanish was echoing near the Pacific ocean. “You take care of everything now yeah?” Gabriel stuttered out in his limited English as he rubbed his arms for a second. “This city is cold. Too cold. Not like Tokyo.” Gabriel pulled out a cigarette and lit it under his palm. Toma took one out of his own and Gabriel shared the light so they could puff away the chill in their bones.
But Toma realized that the chill in his would not let him rest so easily. His shivers did not come from the cold but from the impending fate of this shipment that he was no longer sure how to manipulate to his favour.
No, nothing about the next couple of hours really felt safe for him anymore. He had thought he had this shipment in the bag, but the ride here had proved him wrong. He’d fucked up and the worst part was he really didn’t know what to do about it. He took a long drag of the stick, filling his lungs with smoke.
Even if he did want to save her, which he wasn’t sure he did because the nosy bit had basically ruined his whole life, how long could he hide Lillith’s secret for her?
Jin was at the other grounds and, well, if Lillith had communicated that address properly to her team, right now the guy was probably hiding from the cops. If Jin came back, and Toma asked him not to tell Takuya about that location, that would be betraying the clan.
And if Takuya found out that he had hid this from him, there would be no question what his fate would be.
He’d be dead in seconds.
So there really was no way to save her, this little cop who had gotten herself involved in more than she could handle.
“Do not worry Gabriel,” Takuya spoke fluidly as he came over to Gabriel’s side, eyes watchful over the workers unloading from the ship and walking towards the “vegetable produce” trucks that were a safe distance. All in all, there would be four trucks of merchandise, of course there was only about two crates of actual dope in each one. Diversifying the lot was the best way to keep it hidden. “Toma is very reliable and we will make sure that your involvement henceforth won’t be necessary. We can manage our own city.” Takuya grinned, obviously trying to hint at some connection with the legal authorities.
“The Level 2 inspection went okay?” Toma asked turning to look at Takuya, who nodded pleasantly. The Level 2 inspection was after all just another way of Takuya affirming that he didn’t trust anyone in his ‘house’. It was his way of testing the quality of the dope.
It was the only reason Toma hadn’t been allowed to be present at the inspection. He was just one other person Takuya didn't trust completely.
“Jun and I confirmed it with the chemist, now we just have to get the goods to the storehouse and distribute it to the peddle hands in Akihabara and Ginza we’ll win. That simple.” Toma couldn’t help but wonder what they were winning because this had never felt like a competition, it had always felt like a crime. And could you win crimes?
Takuya smiled at Toma with the proud expression of a father now and though Toma smiled back at him tightly he felt his skin crawl. It was like he had made his entire body feel uncomfortable by the role that he had made it wear, but then...his skin should have been used to this role. He had been wearing this mask for so many years now that he easily forgot who he was without Takuya as his leader.
The motion of the wind slapping his hair into his face brought him back to the past for a brief moment. He was alone, in a room so dark that all hope seemed to be dead. A lone light swayed over his head as Takuya crushed his nose into his face. The sound of the blood stickily gushing out of his twisted flesh echoed in his ears. Then came the screams that hollered against his rib cage as his bones were shattered to powder under the force of the strongest man in their 'family'.
Just as quickly as it had come, the memory disappeared. Toma sniggered for a moment to himself.
Christine thought he hadn’t fought for her.
Which he supposed was true. It wasn’t like he’d been any good at fighting back then, it had ended up being more that he’d been beaten up for her.
This was not the time for humorous musings on his convoluted interconnection with this family. “Have they finished loading it into the trucks?” Gabriel asked and Takuya shrugged looking at Toma.
Taking his cue, he resisted the urge to bow to his master. He was, after all, but a puppet. “I’ll check with Jun,” He began to walk away a strange sort of fear coming over his heart, reminding him yet again that nothing about these docks felt safe. He knew he had no reason to worry but something felt innately wrong. He casually reminded himself that he had nothing to stress about patting the gun on his belt subconsciously. If somehow, he had managed to leave out any detail, he could shoot down the detail that challenged the security of his mission.
He heard something shift from the west end of the port and raised an eyebrow. That was where the trucks were parked. 10 of his men were supposed to be guarding the four vehicles, two at each vehicle and then two to circle the entire perimeter of the surrounding area.
“Why do you look like you’ve seen a ghost?” He turned around to see Jun grinning at him. He didn’t grin back, he was never happy to see his would-be brother-in-law. It might have something to do with the fact that Jun was forever ready to stick a knife in his back every time Toma turned around. “Something to do with Lillith?” Jun ventured with a hazardous guess. Toma narrowed his gaze just the slightest as he pondered if that girl was stupid enough to tell Jun where she’d come from.
Then again, Jun hadn’t called Lillith by her real name yet. What was it again? “No…I just thought I heard something from the west port. Have all the trucks finished loading the merchandise after the inspection?”
“Everything’s safe and sound Ikuta.” He clapped a hand over Toma’s shoulder in a way that was meant to be reassuring. “Including our little translator, even if you brought her in completely psychotic, with her shirt all ripped up, and her mind in tatters. I didn't you liked to make them insane.” Toma didn’t respond in any visible way, he didn’t want Jun to think about this any further but he knew that with the way Lillith had been mere moments ago, Jun must have come to his own conclusions that he had done something to make her that way. Jun didn’t seem to take the hint though, he brought her up again. “You know I always thought it was sadder for you than me.” Toma turned to look at him with a questioning gaze. “You’re marrying Talia, the troublemaker. She’ll never listen to you. She'll never cry for you.” At the mention of his future wife, he unwillingly remembered the last time he had seen her. It had been two days ago.
“What are you doing here?” Toma spoke threateningly as he saw his blue-eyed wife-to-be turn around with the smile of an innocent as she walked towards him. He didn’t have time for this. Takuya had already given him an ear lashing at his meeting with him. Talia was the last person he wanted to see.
“I just wanted to see if my husband-to-be was okay now that the love of his life is no longer rooming with him.” She caressed the side of his face lightly and he shook and backed away from her. The feel of her nails grazing his skin made him feel like they were knives, pinpricking his skin. She was just as deadly as her father, if not more. “If you need anything, I can always room-“
“Don’t bother finishing that sentence.” He lifted his eyes and saw her look at him in a peculiar fashion. Almost as if she was relieved at his sadistic answer. This was an appearance he was not used to seeing on her face. She was faking her sadness, though he couldn’t see if this was a deliberate sarcastic farce or whether she was just getting bad at acting around him. “The only thing I need from you is to leave me alone, and don’t come in here again if you know what’s good for you.”
“You know, Christine always told me you were the gentlest lover she had.” Talia mused softly swinging her arms by her side lightly. “I mean not that she had much to compare to what with being sexually abused and all but…I don’t think that’s true. You’re an asshole Toma.” She looked at him seriously now, all appearances of a smile off her face. “You know we won’t be happy together right?”
He felt a ball form in his throat. How dare she bring up Christine’s words against him? How dare she remind him of how many ways he had failed the woman who he felt the need to serve for the rest of his life? “I’m counting on it.” He grinned brightly at her. He stormed towards the door and pulled it open with a little more force than was necessary. “Please my lady, get the fuck out of my life?”
Talia curtsied and took her leave giggling.
To the visible eye, nothing had seemed out of place but the very fact she was there seemed to disturb the setting of his room.
It still didn’t make any sense to him why she’d bothered to have that conversation with him, she knew they were only going to be married in name anyways. Talia was a means to an end for him, and he really didn’t know what the hell he was to her but nor did he really care. She’d marry him because she was forced to, that would be that. He didn’t have time to care about her motivations so long as she moved ahead with the marriage.
“With Talia comes the title so I say no to your inevitable fiancé switching proposition Jun. I’d much rather keep her…besides if you think you could manipulate that one better than me, you’re misinformed.” He grinned tightly, making it clear he no longer wanted to talk about it. “You concentrate on keeping your little Mao in line all right?” Though he really needn’t have said that, Mao was the most sub-servient docile girl in the house.
“Does Mao even step a toe out of line with me?” Jun shot back an equally captivating smile on his face. “But if I thought I was rough with my women, I stand corrected seeing how you treat yours. The marks on her were coloring quite nicely when I saw them.” A sound mixed with awe and disgust left Jun's lips. When his eyelids shut, for a second all he could see was golden flesh and buttons scattered around him.
Toma cleared his throat, pressing his lips together so he could at least attempt to ignore Jun’s reference to Lillith. This was made considerably easier by him walking away from him towards the West port, knowing full well Jun would be following him. “The merchandise is all loaded up?”
“Sure.” Jun drawled back enjoying the way he saw the side of Toma’s jaw tighten, it was the only sign of his frustration. Jun enjoyed frustrating Toma, it was the only way he could make the prodigal son-in-law fuck up. Jun had always tried to take the easy way out and ruin Toma rather than just do better himself.
“Everything okay?” He saw Toma ask the security guard at the very first truck.
The man, Kusano Hironori, calmly responded. “Yes sir, we’ll be driving out soon correct? The fourth truck just finished loading a few minutes ago.” Toma nodded as he saw the guards. The guards would double up and one would enter the back and the other would drive the truck to the trunk house they’d rented out.
Toma sighed, looking at the slowly lightening sky for a second.
And then the sound cracked through the peaceful calm of the night as the light of dawn began to kiss the seashore.
It was the sound of a gun-shot and the bullet was embedded in Hironori’s body. The man slumped against the truck he’d been standing against instantaneously and gasped for his last breath.
Toma looked around erratically, barely registering the blood on his shirt as he pulled out his gun and held it in his hands aware of Jun on his back. “Jun! Do you see anyone?” He cursed quickly seeing Hironori succumb gasping to his death. “Hironori-”
“I’m fine sir just it’s from-“ He pointed weakly towards his left but the life ran out of him before he could finish and his hand fell to the dirt. Toma gulped seeing a figure on top of a shipping container. The figure twitched, aware that it had been caught.
“Go after the fucker.” Jun looked at him and nodded. “I’ll manage back here.”
Toma saw the figure bolt as he started towards it and leaped using some sort of roping device to latch on and throw itself off the space between containers. Finally, jumping down to ground level the figure ran towards the edge of the port and Toma quickened his pace.
It was a man, and he’d used a sniper gun that was looped around his back now as he ran ready to rip the black mask over the guy’s face off. He was closing in just a bit when the guy tripped and fell to the ground and that was just as well because Toma was on top of him, pinning the little fucker down for thinking he could come here and get out alive after hurting one of his guys.
He wasn’t sure what he was expecting but he sure as hell wasn’t expecting the guy to start laughing at him, clapping his hands together as if he had already given up. “Aren’t you going to rip it off?” Toma raised an eyebrow as he punched the guy so that he stopped laughing and then ripped the mask off his head. He didn’t recognize this guy at all. He’d never seen him before and he was going to make sure he never saw him again. Toma pushed his gun into the guy’s head. “That’s a little rash don’t you think?” He pouted looking up at him.
“You know what you just did is a suicide mission…don’t you think that's a little rash?”
“Be that as it may,” The guy sighed dramatically as he looked upwards at the sky. “We’ve gotten what we came for. So it really doesn’t matter.” Toma punched the guy again enjoying the way the blood was rushing to his mouth and spilling out of the smart ass’s mouth. “Is the great Ikuta Toma mad? You should be. You’ve lost.”
“What the fuck are you-“ That was when he heard it. The series of gun shots ringing out from the port that they’d left behind and the guy burst into cackles, immensely pleased. “Who the FUCK sent you here?” For a man who was all laughs, he was immediately silenced and looked at Toma with a steely gaze. When he didn’t respond, Toma grabbed his arm and held it above his head despite the guy’s resistance and placed his gun at the place where his elbow met his arm. “If you like having your hand, speak up, otherwise I’ll bid it goodbye for you.” He jabbed the end of the revolver roughly into his skin seeing the guy shake his head.
“What the hell does it matter? It’s done. You’ll run back and it’ll be over. We’ll have taken everything. You think we don’t know your security pattern. There’s only forty of you…and we’re taking you out circle by circle.”
“The shipment-“ The guy started laughing again though he was obviously in pain when he was doing it and Toma asked again. “What are you laughing at?” When the guy didn’t respond Toma growled and pulled on his hair with his free hand and decided that fuck it.
If he didn’t hurt this guy, the little bitch wouldn’t tell him anything. So he steadied the guy’s head in his hands squishing the guy’s cheeks together as he glared at him. “Say goodbye.” He let his fingers push on the soft flesh of the guy’s arm and the bullet ran through the guy’s body making him holler in pain, the echo damaging Toma’s ear but he didn’t care. “I’m not out of bullets yet and I can think of plenty of more interesting places they can go.” He changed the position of the gun to the hollow of the guy’s neck. “If you don’t start talking-“
“Where do you think I’m from?” The guy shot back panting as Toma used the elbow on his free arm to lean down and grind it forcefully into the guy’s secreting wound.
“I’m sorry was this the “Fucker whose under me thinks he can ask questions” segment on some fucking game show?” He would have used his hands but from previous experiences he knew how much he hated the stickiness of blood on his hands. Metaphorically he didn’t care for it, it was too late to care once you lost count of the number of men you killed. “Hurry up buddy, your time to answer the question is running out.”
That was a lie. Well. He didn’t know the number but he never forgot a kill. No matter how known or unknown they were to him, it was hard to forget their faces when they so easily came to haunt him at night, reminding him that he’d cut their time short. That he’d played god where he really shouldn’t have.
“Yamashita.” Toma froze as he looked down at the guy. “I’m one of the Yamashita Shatei.” Toma hadn’t promised anything to the guy but he’d been planning on taking him as a hostage. But now that he knew it was one of Yamashita’s men, he couldn’t control the internal urge he had to just take him out.
First Yamashita took Christine, now he wanted to fuck up his shipment? No, he had to kill this one. “Why did he send you here?” A phone started ringing and Toma felt it vibrate under his leg and pulled it out to see the guy had gotten a message. He was also idiotic enough to not have a locking code.
We took Rie. Did you distract Ikuta?
He looked at the guy who was watching his reaction carefully. Though Toma didn’t know what his face was doing, he wasn’t sure what the text message meant. Why did they know Lillith’s real name? “I’m only going to ask you this one more time.”
“I won’t answer anything. I’m not stupid, I know you’ll shoot me anyways.” He replied back and shut his eyes. “So go ahead.”
Toma’s gun released a second bullet. The boy died quickly.
Toma lifted himself from the dead body as he tucked the guy’s phone away into his pocket, feeling it buzz again he pulled it out to read the message. He was only greeted with the image of a girl doing the peace sign with the text Good morning Yuki baby!
He dropped the phone by the guy’s side and shut his eyes as he ran away from the body and back towards where he’d heard the shots gulping trying to erase the image of the guy’s girlfriend from his mind.
I am not weak. I am not weak. He repeated to himself.
A gun shot was what woke Rie up from her nightmare as she saw Koyama barge into the can and heard a guy yell from outside. Seung Hyun was on his feet but before he could do anything Shige had come in behind Koyama and shot the guy that she had once seen Koyama hug in the head.
Rie froze as she saw the Korean fall back lamely against the ground and twitch just exactly once, as if releasing every last ounce of life from his body. His eyes were white and rolled into the back of his head.
Rie screamed and tried to run but there was no point. Koyama had lunged after her and grabbed her by the waist. “Rie-RIE CALM DOWN.”
She couldn’t. How could he ask her to calm down? He had just killed someone he had spent the last five years around! “Rie if you don’t calm down I’m going to have to drug you. RIE CALM DOWN. PLEASE.” She didn’t feel a gun on him, so at least she knew she could physically fight him. She threw her legs aimlessly around them hoping she’d hit him and he’d let her go. “RIE STOP IT.” Koyama’s hand clamped over her mouth.
“Is the slut giving you trouble Koya?” Shige drawled back lazily and she saw him take out a cloth and dab a substance on it. He walked up towards her limping slightly and she remembered the way he’d looked in the hospital. “Thanks for your notes Rie baby.” He leaned forward and pressed a kiss to her cheek as she screamed into Koyama’s palm hyperventilating. How the hell could her translations have gotten to Shige? “Really…they were utterly useless and we had to rely on Koyama’s girlfriend to get us here but you tried your hardest didn’t you?” He ruffled her hair and then looked at her seriously. “I’m not as nice as Koyama Rie baby…you see more than just the fact I’m a bigger asshole. I really really don’t like you. So let's make this clear then? If you don’t shut the fuck up and leave with us quietly now like a good girl, I’ll put this to your mouth and let you be unconscious.” He caressed her hair and Rie felt bile rise in her throat making her hunch over herself. She saw Shige’s mouth curl into a cruel smirk. “And I’ll let the rest of the boys play with you while you’re sleeping.” He winked at her as she suddenly froze in Koyama’s grasp. “Good girl. Koyama let go of her mouth.”
Koyama’s hand dropped from her mouth. Instantly, Rie spat at Shige’s face, shouting curses at the crude gangster. “Fuck you!” Shige slapped her and proceeded to whip her head with his pistol.
“You little bitch.” Shige spat back in her face. She gasped in pain as she felt his hand rub her skin and she struggled to hold back the scream bubbling in her chest. “Now now, that wasn’t very nice Rie. You act like an animal and I’ll treat you like one? Sound fair?” His fingers scratched into her cheeks and she yowled. She knew it was coming but even so she tried to kick her legs up and land on Shige’s chest so she could launch herself off him and flip out of Koyama’s grasp but it was too late for that.
The cloth was already covering her mouth and her body slacking Koyama’s grasp but not before she heard Shige talking on the phone about being done their part.
They’d come for the cocaine, but she was their perk. As Koyama lifted her hazy form over his shoulder she was vaguely aware of their bodies clanging together before sleep claimed her as its victim yet again.
“Rie,hey Rie...” She looked up to see Toma smiling at her grasping her hands in his. “Will you be okay?”
“Okay?” She questioned back dumbly as he nodded and looked worried for her. This wasn’t the Toma she knew, the Toma she knew showed as little emotion for her as possible. That was…if he even held any emotion towards her.
She thought he did but she couldn’t just assume it. “You’re going to go through a lot in the next couple of days.” She felt the pads of his fingers run past the inside of her palm and her breath caught in her throat. “I won’t be allowed to come to save you, you know?”
Her eyes flickered upwards to meet his. “I know,” She did know. She didn't know how she knew but she did. “I won’t need you to save me.” She saw him crack a smile, his hands trailed up her arm slowly spiraling up towards her neck. With every graze her spine straightened just a little more, her body leaning just the slightest bit towards the pressure of his hand.
Finally as he reached her neck, his hand clasped around its side and pulled her towards him. It was a possessive, aggressive gesture, one that she really shouldn’t have enjoyed as much as she did. He leaned his mouth towards her left ear...
She heard him lick his lips. She hadn’t even known it was possible to hear such an action. She shut her eyes, begging him to understand everything her body was silently begging him to do.
Kiss me. Kiss me. Kiss me.
But all she could feel was the warmth of his breath as he opened his mouth to whisper into her ear. “Don’t die without me.”
And then he stabbed her.