Thirty minutes later they were in the nothing-special building going up to her apartment and as she opened the door she couldn’t help but remember how sparsely furnished it was. It didn’t look lived in at all!
“So this is where you live?” He pushed past her with the suitcase he kept firmly in his grasp.
“Have you never heard of letting ladies go first?”
“I apologize.” She wasn’t going to forgive him he was the worst sort of man and when he turned around to speak to her again she was even surer of it. “Am I in the presence of one?” His face was unreadable as always. If Mukai had said something like this he would have had a foolish smile on his face but Ikuta just looked blasé and uncaring. As if he actually meant it.
“Do you really hate the idea of working with me so much that you can’t even treat me with the slightest shred of respect that I deserve?” She bit out pushing past him as she cleared out her magazines that were on the table in front of her. None of her official plans for the mission were allowed to have hard copies. Every day a ‘maid’ made sure of it when she cleaned out the apartment.
Toma sat down on the couch looking extremely uncomfortable as he looked at the empty table and put the briefcase down on it. “Do you have any alcohol?”
Rie checked the cabinet she’d been shown had the liquor and found a bottle of scotch and brought it out. “Is this okay?” Toma nodded and patted the seat beside him.
“Come on...we’re losing time.” She nodded and sat down beside him.
“So just straight translating? No talking before?”
“You’d like to talk to me?” His eyes grew droopy as he took a laugh and swig of the drink in front of hi,. “Here I thought you were in love with your boyfriend.”
“I meant about the assignment.” She muttered out shaking her head.
“Relax and just translate. We’ll ‘talk’ after you’re done.” He closed his eyes and leaned his head back on her couch as she stared at him fearfully. It felt somewhat unnerving now that she was alone with him again that he could simply just fall asleep on her couch. She had a drug lord in her house and here she was translating his documents, not knowing where the weapons were tucked away in his body. And oh she knew he had weapons on him? How could he not? No self-respecting gangster didn’t keep at least two guns on his body and three knives tucked away discreetly like little treasures on them. She gulped as she felt her eyes drift to his belt. Was his gun tucked into the back? Or the side? He had to have o-
“What are you doing?” She felt her eyes shoot up at him and she gulped again as he went down for a second to where her eyes were directed before he started laughing. “Are you serious? I was fucking around with you.”
“PLEASE. I was just wondering where you keep your gun.”
“Does that sort of thing work for you?” He let out silently and Rie couldn’t help but contrast him again. The way his voice sounded like nothing all the time.
Like he was scared of nothing and a man who felt no fear was probably one of the scariest things she had ever come across.
She attempted to calm her now completely heated, embarrassed body as she shook her head to clear her thoughts and she hoped indirectly his as he laughed beside her. “Please. Let’s just get to work.”
She’d just started grabbing a book of the table when his hand jumped on hers and he whipped her palm towards him so quickly that it stung and she felt her expression of pain come on as he looked at her as if he’d heard nothing. “Why don’t you not worry about the gun… unless you have a feeling you’re going to be seeing it soon for other reasons.” He left off sounding serious as he looked at her for any hint of faltering. This she didn’t have to be nervous about. She stared back at him firmly and shook her head. She wasn’t sure if she was referring to her seeing him naked or seeing the gun because she was a fuck up but either ways it was a no.
“I know we didn’t cover this…but I am getting paid extra for this right?”
“You’ll get your compensation when we get the coke.”
“Then that’s all you need to worry about. Get the money ready.” She spoke firmly as he flung his arm over his head again and shut his eyes underneath them.
“Please. Get to work. For all of our sakes.” He agreed letting out the smallest chortle deep from within his chest.
This time when she opened the booklet she was shocked the found she wasn’t stopped. In fact the only sounds coming out of Toma were silent as she settled down with the book she was given. Electronic access to documents was forbidden to her and she started.
The shipment details were all written explicitly, the route by which it was travelling to get to Japan. Where they would stop over for fuel. The names of the gangsters bringing it across, the translator who would facilitate the transaction- still the details she required weren’t in the booklet at all which port they were docking into and when, how many pounds were coming into the country and how they could stop it in a clear cut way. This was the only document she had access to for today so there was no other option for her.
She sighed and got to work with the pencil until she felt Ikuta fall on top of her shoulder and turned to look at him as he stayed quiet sleeping away on her shoulder. She couldn’t shake him off could she?
“Thanks for making it awkward.” She muttered silently hoping he’d catch it and jump off but no the man was out as she sighed and now awkwardly started scribbling the documents into the notebook trying to remember every detail she could without making notes. She couldn’t risk it, not with him that close to her now.
“How was last night? Was it everything you would hope it would be?” Wana smiled cheekily as she winked at Rie who turned to her with a bemused expression.
“Why are you trying to make it sound like I did more with your brother than I actually did? You know I’m just helping him with his assignment.”
“I know. I know. Geez kill a girl for having her fun why don’t you?”
“LILLITH!” Christol called out and Lillith turned her head up bowing her head before she checked her outfit out. No she was dressed good in a baby pink bra out that complimented her partner Wana’s rustic gold one almost perfectly and they were both wearing the opposite’s color in heels. Wana’s were higher heels of course, Lillith still wasn’t confident in them at all. “Stop checking yourself out…this is not about your outfit. It’s about your shift tonight.”
Wana looked towards her and Lillith gulped staring straight. That’s right she hadn’t told Wana yet exactly what it was she was working with her brother. Was she even allowed to? “Is everything okay?” Wana came up to her and Lillith turned towards her nodding.
“I’ll be out in a second. Don’t worry about me.” She let out a shaky smile as she followed Christol into the back room where she looked around the bare office that looked like it was a little more than a broom closet with a desk in it.
Christol walked towards her manager chair and sat down whipping out a pen and Lillith saw the schedule scrawled over the place…but she didn’t escape the picture of a young boy and girl that was on the desk that made her eyebrows rise.
“Is that you?” She asked softly leaning to pick it up to take a closer look at it but Christol’s hand blocked her path as she smirked.
“Yes.” Rie felt her hand pushed aside and got the message as she sat down in front of her with her back straight. “You’re going to be leaving with Jun. He’ll be coming to pick you up at 11. You’ll only be working for two hours. That’s all I’m allowed to know so far.” Rie nodded as she stood up firmly again.
“If that’s it. Then I’m going to go continue working.”
“Yes?” She answered back quickly and turned around to see Christol’s gaze sharp at her and they stared at each other, neither saying anything that would push the other over the edge. Rie felt her body tingle with questions on whether Mukai had gotten safe and she wondered if Christol felt the same way right now.
“Nothing. You’re free to go.”
Shige took another shot and Rie screamed out happily for her most loyal customer and they high-fived each other over the bar.
“You did good! You’re downing them like a Russian now!” Ryo clapped a hand over his friend’s shoulder and Shige nodded happily before changing his face to a serious one as he turned to look at Rie and Wana.
“Is water.” He bit out in a russian accent immediately breaking down laughing and placing a hand on Rie’s shoulder and Koyama was immediately by her side.
Koyama had become something of a big brother to her here. Which was bad…it was very bad. Wana might as well have been the bestest friend she’d ever found and honestly it all felt a little too comfortable here to feel real. Hell she was more comfortable here than she was at her real job.
That didn’t mean she was going to forget what she was here for though. “Is he bothering you?” He looked at the drunk Shige with eyes that pitied him. “You know she has a boyfriend right?”
Rie broke down in giggles when she saw the way Shige’s face fell and Ryo suddenly turned to Wana. “Yo you’re single too right? I kind of forgot to ask.”
“Don’t worry.” A new voice rang out and they all turned to look at the intruder who waved at Rie idly before turning to look at Wana. “You are right? Single I mean. That’s what she told me. Come on Lillith…we don’t have time I got stuck in some traffic.”
“Uh…I’m sorry I don’t- where’s Jun?”
“IS THAT YOUR BOYFRIEND?” Shige yelled out rambunctiously slapping his hand on the bar pointing at Jin. “LISTEN TO ME CLEARLY.” Her life at the bar would not be the same without Shige. She didn’t even have to take care of him that often anymore now that Ryo had stopped drinking to start hanging out with Wana sober.
Jin looked like he was about to smack Shige in three minutes but nevertheless he paused to listen to Shige. “I’m listening bro.”
“Take care of her or I’ll seriously fuck your face up.”
“She’s not dating me bro chill out. I was talking about the gold bra not the pink one.” He clapped a hand on Shige who pouted his large lips and flopped down on the chair breathing a large sigh of relief or confusion. He turned to look at Rie who had stepped out from behind the bar and buttoned up her shirt. “Did you really have to do that?” He looked on sadly and Rie rolled her eyes as she heard Wana scoff from behind them.
“Bye Wana! Hold down the fort.”
“No problem. I’m working with Daisy the rest of the night tonight and then I’m going home with Ryo.” She smiled out and Rie smiled widely nodding.
“I’ll text you tomorrow.”
Wana suddenly grabbed her hand as she almost left but then she lowered her voice looking back and forth between Jin and Rie who were looking at the girl in front of them with their eyes glued onto her face. “Be careful…please.”
Jin had a small smile tugging on his lips as she was pulled towards the door to leave the girl behind and reflexively even if Rie knew Wana cared a lot about her she could understand her friend’s words were not meant for her in the slightest.