He was very meticulous with how he dressed. Today was a very important day for him. It was a day that he was proud of. It was a day he thought would never come. Through his hard work and perseverance, he had finally achieved his goal, his dream.
Sadly, he had no close friends or family to witness his accomplishment, but that didn't matter much to him. He was merely happy to have one successful triumph over the countless failures of his past. This time was it. He was determined to do some good in this world and leave his mark.
He cautiously fixed a policeman hat atop his head, making sure it was aligned centered with his face. The hat completed his uniformed attire.
He stared at his reflection for a moment; closely observing the final product of his efforts. The moment was very surreal for him and it made him smile proudly. He will officially become a police officer today right after his graduation ceremony.
He practiced his salute a few times in front the mirror; he wanted it to be perfect. Suddenly, he felt something wet on his gloves. He looked at them and cussed under his breath. There was blood smeared across it. He quickly glanced at his reflection thinking that there was a cut on his face, but there was none.
He began to panic as he quickly took off the satin gloves that were now completely soaked with blood. He hurriedly turned the faucet on the sink feverously washed his hands. But no matter what he did, he couldn't wash the crimson away. His heart raced and he breathed nervously. He didn't know what to do.
He abruptly heard a noise coming from the mirror. He looked up bewildered as he saw cracks mysteriously manifest on the reflective surface. The man suddenly yelled as he saw his reflection shattered into pieces before his eyes.
Bryan woke up feeling stunned. He breathed quickly; trying to catch his breath. He was having that lucid dream again. It always haunts him from time to time. The dream was a constant reminder of his former self; a time he wished he could simply forget. He was so far removed from that Bryan that existed years ago. He is a different person now. A complete opposite from what he was. Or that is what he liked to believe.
Bryan sat up on his bed and sighed heavily as he passed a hand through his short hair. His alarm clock suddenly began to ring. Bryan angrily hit the device; shutting it off. It was time for work, he thought. Reality quickly began to sink in. Any remaining resonance of the nightmare he had a moment ago quickly dissipated. He climbed out of his bed and headed towards the bathroom to get ready for the day.
Anna quietly lay awake in her bed. It was 6:59 in the morning. A mere minute before the alarm will ring. She had knack for waking up just before the alarm can do its job. Her internal clock was perfect.
She turned her head to face Lee Chaolan who was quietly sleeping besides her. She sighed heavily, feeling thoroughly tired of her situation.
She enjoyed living a glamorous lifestyle. She is a woman with expensive tastes. Lee provides her with the life she so desires but he wasn't the type of man she wanted. He was always too busy to spend time with her and she didn't like how he treated her in front of important businessmen and guests. He always spoke to her condescendingly as if her intelligence were below average. He never took anything she had to say or do seriously. However, she was a lot smarter and more dangerous than he thought.
By now, Anna should be used to this kind of treatment. After all, it is how the game is supposed to be played. She used her feminine charms to seduce and attract her prey. Her beautiful looks and timid, naïve demeanor always worked against her targets. Once she has successfully enchanted them with her spell, she uses them for what they're worth or kills them if she was hired to do so. She is an assassin after all.
However, sometimes Anna grows tired of the charade and simply desires to be with a man that truly cares and respects her; A more meaningful relationship. However, with the way that Lee was treating her, she felt that she was nothing more than a toy or trophy to flaunt among his peers.
Lee constantly showered her with money and expensive gifts to compensate for his short comings, but Anna was beginning to question if it was really worth it.
The alarm rang. Lee groaned and stretched his arm from under the expensive silk sheets to turn off the device. He then rolled over to where Anna was lying and snuggled close to her.
"Good morning darling." Lee murmured into her ear. "Have you had any sweet dreams?"
"Oh yes, plenty." Anna said sensually.
"What was it about? ...Purses and fur coats?" Lee said as he squeezed her close to him.
"You forgot diamond rings." Anna said jokingly.
Lee chuckled. "You know, I spoil you a bit too much. But I can't help it, I must give the pretty, young, lady what she wants."
Lee gently kissed her on her forehead.
"Perhaps we should go another round before we officially start the day?" Lee said lustfully as he positioned himself on top of her.
"Oh, we shouldn't." Anna said apprehensively. "That maid of yours will be knocking on your bedroom door at any second now." She tried to reason, secretly hoping that her prediction will come true.
"Maybe she'll be a little late this morning." Lee said slyly as his hand glided down her cheek.
Anna grinned nervously. She didn't know what else she could say to halt his actions.
Suddenly they both heard a loud knock at the door.
"See, I told you." Anna said and smiled; feeling inwardly relieved by the maid's intrusion.
"Mr. Lee !? Mr. Lee!?" The maid yelled through the tall, wooden doors. "It's time to get up sir!"
"Thank you Elizabeth! I'm already up!" Lee yelled towards the door as he rolled off Anna.
Lee sat on the edge of his bed and sighed. "Geez, that woman is worse than the mother I never had." He muttered to himself and chuckled.
"Oh, darling, don't be so harsh. She is just looking out for you." Anna said coyly.
"I know, I know." Lee said dismissively.
Anna crawled across the bed to where Lee was sitting. She draped her arms around his neck to give him a hug as she knelt behind him.
"Are our dinner plans still in motion for tonight?" Anna murmured in his ear as she hugged him.
"Of course, my dear." Lee smiled.
"And we are still going shopping today, right? Anna questioned as she sat beside him. "I want to buy a new sexy dress for our date tonight." She said sensually.
Lee cupped one of his hands around Anna's chin and pulled her close to him. He gave her a loving kiss on her lips. "I'll do anything my lady asks of me."
Lee stood up from the bed and began to do his morning stretches. "Anna, you seem pretty excited about tonight. You keep reminding me about it for the past week."
"I know." Anna said and giggled. "Oh, and I also got tickets to that opera show you like."
Lee suddenly stopped his morning stretches to look at her. "Really?" He said feeling a bit surprised.
Anna nodded. "Yes, darling. I've actually wanted to keep it a secret and tell you tonight at dinner, but I just couldn't wait." Anna said excitedly.
Lee felt a little puzzled by Anna's actions. It seemed like she was putting a lot effort into planning for their date together that night. More so than the dates they've went on in the past. Lee figured that she was excited simply because it has been a while. His busy schedule prevents him from spending enough quality time with her.
Lee couldn't help but think that Anna was little different from the women he has dated in the past. His past relationships consisted of gold-diggers who were only interested in spending his money. However, in return, he gets to flaunt them among his peers and an open invitation to have them in bed. Anna also enjoyed his wealth however; she also loved spending time with him. It was something he was not used too and he wasn't sure if liked it.
"My, that is a wonderful gesture Anna. I'll make sure that tonight will be one to remember." Lee said and smiled uneasily. "Now, let's get ready for the day."
Bryan finally arrived at Violet Systems. It was a tall, black building laden with steel and glass. It was one of the tallest structures in the city and it stood out from its surroundings with its unique architecture and design.
The building had tight security and required all its employees to carry a keycard. Bryan pulled his from his jacket pocket and waved it in front of the scanner. He waited for the red light of the scanner to turn green before pulling on the door to enter.
Two security guards stood at either side of the entrance. They looked at him nervously as he passed by. They were supposed to check the ID of everyone who enters, but they did not bother to check his. They were too afraid to ask.
The building's lobby was very spacious and the interior décor was ultra-modern and minimalistic. Bryan angrily walked across the huge lobby and pressed the button to summon one of the elevators.
He was frustrated at his current predicament. He was tired being Lee's little lap dog and desperately wanted to be free of him. He knew it was impossible. He needed Lee in order to live. Lee kept his perpetual generator functioning and if Bryan wants to keep on breathing, he has to do whatever Lee commands. His life and his free will were no longer in his hands; they were in the hands of a pompous, wealthy, entrepreneur.
Bryan grunted angrily at the thought. If Lee had kept his promise after returning from Brazil and permanently fixed his perpetual generator, he wouldn't have needed him anymore. He would have been free.
Bryan remembered the device Lee showed him before he left for his mission in Brazil. It was a device that was supposed to permanently remedy his problem. Lee promised to install it after he successfully completed his mission. However, in the end, the so-called 'device' was nothing more than a prototype for one of his Combot machines. Bryan quickly realized that Lee lied to him and that he had never intended to keep his promise.
The elevator finally arrived. Bryan entered and pressed the button for the fortieth floor.
He silently reminisced over his trip to Brazil. Nina Williams was his partner and accompanied him throughout the journey. He had pleasant memories with her from that mission, it made him smile.
Nina was the only person he had ever met that was so similar to him and he could relate with. The mission was tough and arduous but they fought through it together and succeeded. They had a mutual camaraderie and respect for each other. He thought of her as an equal. It was something Bryan was not accustomed to.
However, they had to go their separate ways after they had completed their task. Nina was working for Kazuya at G Corp. at the time. They never kept in contact or seen each other since their journey has ended six months ago. Bryan wasn't even sure if Nina still works at G Corp. He had heard rumors that she had left shortly after the mission.
The elevator doors opened and Bryan exited. He walked down a wide hallway that was brightly lit with sunlight that entered through the large, glass windows. The environment was very sterile; it reminded him of a hospital. He walked alongside scientific labs and research facilities. The floor that he was on was one of the many that were responsible for robotic research and development.
Bryan's destination was one of its labs. His role at Violet Systems, other than being Lee's personal body guard, was to be a test subject; a guinea pig of sorts. He had to subject himself through many experiments and be poked and prodded by scientists and doctors who were all curious to learn what made him tick.
The findings from the scientific research will not only help Lee perfect the design of his Combot robots, they will also help Bryan. Each experiment offers more knowledge, insight and a better understanding on how his body works, which could be applied to figuring out how to repair his damaged generator.
Bryan entered an enormous lab near the end of the hall. Even though the lab was huge, it was littered with various computers, desks and other strange equipment that made it seem smaller than it really is.
There were two doctors who sat by a desk near the end of the lab. They were typing vigorously on their computers. They passively greeted Bryan without removing their eyes from off their screens. Bryan grunted in acknowledgement as he walked towards an experiment table.
He began to disrobe as the doctors got up and gathered their equipment and supplies for the day's test. Bryan knew the routine all too well. He removed most of his clothing, only leaving his underwear on. He proceeded to lie down on the table.
One of the doctors approached him with a syringe in hand. The fluid it held would put the cybernetic man to sleep. Bryan was grateful for that. For the doctors, the experiment will last hours, for him, it will only last an instant.
Without saying a word, the doctor injected the fluid into his arm. Moments later, he fell asleep.
Lee was sitting at his desk in his overly sized office. He was hard at work. He was busy making phone calls, flipping through important paper work and writing correspondents to important businessmen and associates.
He wanted to get all of his work done quickly and he was running out of time. It was already in the middle of the afternoon. Lee had promised Anna that they would go shopping together and if he wanted to keep his promise, he had to make sure he handled and took care of all his responsibilities for the day.
He didn't know why, but Anna seemed particularly excited about tonight and had planned for it for a while. He didn't know how to feel about their impending date or what it really means to Anna. He felt slightly confused about the whole thing. A part of him didn't want to disappoint her; another part of him didn't care.
Suddenly, his business phone began to ring. It was his secretary. The secretary informed him of an important businessman urgently waiting to speak with him on the other line. Lee agreed to take the call and the secretary patched him through.
Lee exchanged a few words with the man on the phone before he hung up. He felt a little disheartened. He glanced over his shoulder at Anna who was sitting on a couch near the end of his office. She was flipping through a fashion magazine. Lee turned back around and sighed heavily at what was about to come. He picked up his phone to speak with his secretary.
"Yes, Mr. Lee, how can I help you sir?" The secretary said in a professional manner.
"Samantha, could you please call Bryan Fury to my office?"
Yes, sir. Right away sir."
Bryan finished putting on his clothes and was gathering the last of his things. The tests were over for the day and he was free to do what he wanted until tomorrow. He put on his jacket and began to walk towards the exit of the lab.
"Mr. Fury!" One of the doctors yelled out just when he was about to walk through the door.
Bryan turned and looked at him curiously.
"I just got off the phone with Lee's secretary. Lee wants you to report to his office immediately."
Bryan groaned. "Fuck. What does that asshole want?" He muttered under his breath as he angrily exited the lab.
Bryan took one of the elevators to the top floor. He walked pass Lee's secretary. She nervously smiled and greeted him as he walked by. However, Bryan did not bother to acknowledge her. He heatedly entered the office and sat in a chair that was placed a few feet from Lee's desk.
"What do you want Lee?" Bryan said gruffly.
Anna was a little surprise when she saw Bryan entered the room. His presence made her nervous. She wasn't the only one, almost everyone who worked in the building was afraid of the scarred man. She hadn't conversed much with him since he had returned from the mission. In fact, she had gone out of her way to avoid him.
Anna slowly put her magazine down and cautiously walked over to where Lee sat and stood beside him. She nervously looked at Bryan.
She noticed that he had changed dramatically after returning from the Brazilian mission. He is a lot more serious, quiet and distant. He no longer had that arrogant smirk plastered on his face nor did make any rude or outlandish comments. He was always scowling and sometimes seemed to be brooding over something.
Anna understood why Bryan has changed so drastically. Lee had failed to fulfill his end of the deal and it angered Bryan immensely.
Everyone was worried that he would snap one day and take his anger out on the people in the building. That was not too hard to believe considering the fact that he sometimes stare at people as if he was about to murder them. Like what he was doing to Lee right now.
Anna hated to admit it, but she secretly wished for the old Bryan, the one she had grown accustomed with, to return. She feared the one that sat in front of her now.
"Yes Lee, why have you called him here?" Anna said quietly.
Bryan quickly glanced at Anna which made her flinch a little.
Lee sighed heavily as he put his pen down. He looked at Bryan wearily. "Bryan, I have a favor to ask of you." Lee said calmly and smiled.
"What is it?" Bryan said bluntly; unmoved by the man's warm gesture.
Lee sighed again. "Hmm… How should I say this?" He said as he rubbed his chin. He took a few moments to mull over his request. It was an unusual one and he knew Bryan will hate it.
Bryan was growing impatient. "Well, what is it Lee?" He questioned through gritted teeth.
"Well, I don't know how else to put it so I am just going to say it." Lee said resignedly. "Um, Bryan… I need you to accompany Anna on her shopping venture."
"WHAT!?" Both Bryan and Anna said in unison.
Lee was taken aback by their response, but quite honestly, he should have expected it.
"Look Anna, I was just called into a meeting with one of my important business partners." Lee nervously tried to reason.
"So why don't you just cancel!? Tell him that you've got something more important to do!" Anna yelled vehemently.
"Yeah Lee! Drive your own god-damned woman around town! I'm not a fuckin' chauffeur!" Bryan said murderously. He was utterly dumbfounded by Lee's request. He refused to be demoralized any further than he already had. He was already Lee's little lap dog, no way in hell was he about to become Anna's little bitch.
"Things are not that simple Anna, and this meeting is more important." Lee said as place one of Anna's hand into his. "I'm sorry, I cannot take you shopping, but I promise that we will still go out to dinner tonight." Lee said calmly and smiled.
Anna furiously sighed as she pulled her hand from his gentle grip. She crossed her arms angrily and quickly pondered over what he said.
"And besides, Anna, my dear. Wouldn't it be better if I didn't come? Whatever dress you buy will be a surprise for me to see at dinner tonight." Lee said convincingly.
Anna honestly thought that it was a good idea to leave the dress as a surprise. "Fine." Anna said frankly. "But, I don't want him tagging along. Either have someone else accompany me or I'll just go on my own."
"Yeah, I 'm not driving your little gold-diggin' whore around." Bryan sneered.
Lee angrily looked at the scarred man. "Watch your mouth Bryan, remember who owns you." He said threateningly.
Bryan clenched his fists and muttered something to himself that Lee couldn't hear.
Lee returned his attention to Anna. "My dear, I'm sorry, there is no one else who can escort you and I refuse to let you go alone."
"Well, as you know I'm a very wealthy and powerful person." Lee spoke as if he was talking to a child. "Wealth and power can also attract a lot of trouble. There are people out there that want to take that away from me. If those people knew that you are in a relationship with me, and knew that you are roaming the city alone, they would target and use you as a means to getting at me and I do not want that to happen. Do you understand Anna?"
Anna understood what he meant, but she was angry that he said it in such a condescending manner. She wasn't a simpleton and she hated being treated in that fashion.
"Yes, I understand." Anna said calmly; feeling slightly annoyed.
"Bryan is the best candidate for the job and he is the only one who can do it." Lee said reassuringly. "If does or say anything to hurt you, let me know and I'll deal with him personally. I promise."
Bryan grunted angrily. Lee spoke to Anna as if he wasn't there and he didn't like that one bit.
Anna looked at Lee worryingly. She didn't want to go anywhere with Bryan. He was frightening to her. However, she really wanted to go shopping for a new dress. Tonight was very important to her and she wanted it to be perfect. She wanted Lee to see her in a different way. She wanted him to see her as more than just a trophy, but a woman; a woman to be respected and appreciated. She desperately wanted that.
Anna convinced herself that she shouldn't fear this man. Lee was right; he can't say or do anything to hurt her. Bryan wasn't dumb enough to risk it. If he did, he will have hell to pay. She was willing to do anything to make tonight perfect.
"Very well Lee…" Anna said quietly as she turned to look at scarred man. She felt uneasy about the words that were about to escape her lips. "I will allow Bryan to come with me."