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Bloodlust (11)

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Kong is lying unconscious on the ground as Bones is shaking him to wake him up. Bones, crying and bleeding from his head, hears Ash and the rest of the gang returning from outside the hideout that has been ransacked. When Ash and Alex step inside they can feel something is off. They rush in to see Bones, Kong and a few others that were left behind injured, and the hideout turned upside down as if there was a struggle. Bones says while maintaining his composure...

"Boss...E-Eiji..."

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You and Shorter got a ride back to your apartment while it was still daylight. Shorter kept up your apartment and paid the bills while you were away since he needed a place to stay; well, he had a bit of help from the Lee Corporation thanks to Sonny. It feels like nostalgia almost being back in your home with Shorter; it's as if nothing ever happened. Shorter even fixed the glass cupboard he shattered. The space looked normal, but you both knew the energy was different; there was a looming, dark cloud that won't go away until whatever Shorter and Ash started is finished now with your help.

You go into the bedroom, sit on the bed, and glance at the lotus still floating in water in its vase. Shorter sits on the bed beside you and entwines his hand with yours. You look into each other's eyes, share a soft kiss, and fall backwards to lie on the bed looking at the ceiling for half an hour. Little you and Shorter know this the calm before the storm.

Shorter's phone starts to ring and he answers, "Ash, what's up?"

"Where are you right now?"

"We're back at Lotus' apartment, what's goin' on?"

"I'll tell you when I get there" Ash hangs up the phone; this puts Shorter on edge and even more so on you. Given what you heard Ash is coming here and given that you all were together just a few hours ago only for him to come back you know something went wrong. You and Shorter put on new clothes, and prepare your weapons before Ash comes knowing Shorter may not be ready to fight again.

You hear a unique knock on the door that only Ash does so you open the door for him. Shorter sits on the couch, you sit on the leg of the couch, and Ash stays standing in the living room.

"Eiji is gone. Someone took him during the fight in Chinatown. Bones said it didn't look like any of Golzine's or Arthur's guys, but I bet that bastard, Arthur, was in on it. Not only was the fight to kill Shorter, but it was also a distraction. Fuck!"

"I'm comin' with you to find any leads" Shorter chimes in.

"No, you're badly hurt. Your girl, however, will do" Ash looks at you with fire in his eyes. What Ash said back at the safe house comes back to you. If Blanca had something to do with Eiji's abduction you would want to go after him yourself just as much as Ash.

Shorter rejects the suggestion, "No chance in hell. We barely got out of that. Lotu-"

"It's alright, Shorter. I'll go with you, Ash" You take your gun from earlier and check to see if it's loaded.

"No guns. Knives will do for where we're going."

"Which is?"

"Club Cod. We're gonna see our old pig pal, Marvin, and ask a few questions is all."

Shorter has been looking at Ash's expression since he walked in. Ash didn't have a look of anger or sadness; it was beyond anger and sadness, and he hadn't seen Ash like this since they met in Juvenile Detention which spelled multiple homicides with a capital "M".

"Baby, are you sure about this? You won't have me there to protect you" Shorter is trying his best to change your mind.

"It's cool. Ash has my back. If you trust Ash then I trust him."

Ash interjects, "It's settled then. It's almost sundown and Marvin doesn't get there to drop off 'cargo' until dark. We can get there before him and use the element of surprise if we leave now. Let's ride...Lotus." Ash walks out the door first, you follow him, but Shorter grabs you by the arm and stops you.

"Lotus..."

"Shorter?"

"Please don't go. Ash is not in his right mind right now. He will do anything, and I mean anything, to get Eiji back. Last time I saw that look in his eye he almost killed someone with a pool cue. Baby, I'm serious."

Ash notices you weren't behind him, "Come on, Juliet, Romeo can wait." You give Shorter a passionate kiss and head downstairs where Ash has started his motorcycle and gave you a helmet that has Eiji's name on it which pains you to see knowing he's not around. While you were putting on the helmet Ash began to behave weirdly; he became paranoid all of a sudden as if someone was watching him. You see him looking around frantically, "Ash, you okay?"

Ash ignores his senses, "It's nothing. Let's go." You and Ash are on your way to Club Cod as Shorter was watching you two from the bedroom window. When you were out of his sight he goes back in the apartment and is frustrated to sit idly by until you both return. A few minutes after you and Ash have gone Shorter hears a knock on the door...