~ Prologue ~

Saemi didn't flinch as the razor wire tore through the nearby window, shattering glass scant inches away from her head. Although slightly early, the intrusion wasn't all together unexpected, nor unwelcome -- it was always nice to know her information was impeccable, especially when she was counting on an outside source for her exit. Gray eyes glinting with laughter, she focused more intently on the task at hand. Imakiire's unconscious form lay sprawled on the bed behind her, an absurd sacrifice if one knew what was to come -- and knowing, Saemi quietly counted the seconds as her nimble fingers continued to work the lock in the false bottom of the jewelry box. Her soft cry of triumph was rendered inaudible as the door slammed back on its hinges, the lock springing open in near-perfect synchronization. Pocketing the papers hidden within the narrow compartment, fastening a delicate opal bracelet around one slender wrist almost as an afterthought, she rose smoothly to her feet.

Flashing her dimples at the young man standing in the doorway, she reached out to catch the waiting wire in a leather-gloved hand. "I'm afraid I was just on my way out, but Imakiire-san is at your disposal." Literally. Flinching at her own thought, she casually straightened the line of her cap in a jaunty little salute, and slipped out the window before the startled intruder could react.

"Nani??" Yohji gasped, feet sliding on loose sand as a sudden weight nearly pulled the wire out of his hands. Ken can't be finished already! Eyes widening behind his sunglasses, his experienced gaze picked out a shapely feminine form descending through the darkness toward him moments before he discovered the same up-close and personal. Rocking backwards to keep his feet as her slim form impacted with his, he was thrown even further off balance as her legs wrapped around his waist, her arms slipping around his neck.

"Nice catch, koibito," she breathed, her voice sultry and teasing, raw heat in the cool night air. Soft lips pressed gently against his, lingered briefly, and then withdrew as suddenly as she'd arrived, leaving Yohji standing unsteadily, shades askew, heart pounding like he'd never been kissed before.

He was staring blankly after her, the platinum bounce of her ponytail fresh in his memory, when another sharp pull on the wire roused him from his dazed stupor. As the metallic rasp of Ken's descent signaled the younger man's arrival, Yohji straightened his glasses and muttered a single, heartfelt word.


Sekihara Tae
December 11, 2000