Cruel Punishment

The Faithless

Silence.

It was all the Russian heard from his cold, grey cell. He hadn't heard any signs of life since Bryan left the mansion however, he knew he wasn't alone.

Dragunov carefully picked up the small pocket knife from off the floor. He turned and angled it in an awkward position as he tried to pick the lock that bounded his hands together. His movements were slow and deliberate; he did not want to drop the knife as he had numerous times before.

If he wanted to escape, now was his chance… possibly his only chance. Lee's mansion was under staffed. There were not as many guards around the mansion as there were a few days ago. Escaping should be easy so as long as he successfully frees himself before lunchtime. Lee's naïve secretary will come soon to serve him lunch; it will be the perfect opportunity to make his escape.

Suddenly, he heard a loud commotion on the floor above him. He stopped picking the lock and focused his attention to the noises overhead. There were people walking around and talking loudly. Their voices were muffled so he couldn't decipher what they were saying.

Dragunov listened as a group of people banter on. The tone of the discussion seemed heated and intense. Dragunov was able to identify two of the muffled voices. One sounded like Lee, another was his secretary. He tried to make sense of what they were saying, but their voices were too distorted.

The conversation quickly ended after Lee yelled something angrily. The mansion fell silent once more, but only for a brief moment. He heard Lee's footsteps, a few others followed closely behind. He quietly listened to them as they exited the mansion. Moments later he heard a car start up and drove off shortly after.

Dragunov quickly returned his attention on the lock. He finally heard an audible 'click' after fiddling with the device for a few seconds. The shackles fell from his hands; the Russian was finally free. Normally a person would be elated by this, but the man remained completely emotionless. He may be free from his shackles but he wasn't free from his cell… not yet at least.

Dragunov gazed at the small knife in his hand before calmly sheathing the blade and putting it in his pocket. Then he placed the shackles back on his wrists, but did not lock them. He leaned back against the cold concrete wall as his icy, blue eyes glared at the locked door in front of him. He silently waited for it to open.


Samantha watched worryingly as Lee and some of his men entered a black car and drove off. She thought that Lee was not his usual self. He was angry and cold; A complete opposite from how she known him to be. His shift in character was especially noticeable after the discussion they had moments ago.

Lee had ordered two of his men to torture and kill the man locked in the basement. Samantha tried her best to talk him out of it. She thought it would be better to turn him over to the proper authorities where the judicial system will determine the ideal punishment for his crimes. Her reasoning did nothing but anger him more.

Samantha suddenly heard two of Lee's men chuckling as they exited the living room behind her. She turned to face them. They were brandishing guns in their hands; making sure they were nice and ready for the murder they were about to commit. Their smiles and laughter quickly subsided when they noticed the woman glaring at them. The two men gave her a look that was a mixture of seriousness and concern.

"Samantha…" One of the men said softly. "Just stay up here where you'll be safe… We'll be back shortly." He calmly ordered.

Samantha glared at them for a moment longer. Then she quickly turned around and angrily walked towards the door and exited the mansion. She made sure to slam the door angrily behind her. She walked over to a nearby chair that was on the porch. She sat and cupped her hands over her face and began to cry.

She couldn't believe what was about to happen. Even though that man in the basement deserved death for what he had done, she would rather see him get that punishment the legal and just way. What the men were about to do wasn't right. It went against all her moral beliefs.

She was also shocked that Lee wanted this. She thought that he was better than that. She had worked for him for so many years and had never seen this side of him before. He looked so vengeful and vindictive. His behavior seemed very similar to the family that he despises and disowned.

Suddenly two gunshots were fired. The piercing sound made Samantha fearfully jump out of her seat. She turned and faced the front door of the mansion. She stood and trembled as she waited for Lee's men to open the door and tell her that she's safe now.

Moments went by, but it felt like an eternity. Suddenly, the door slowly opened. Samantha gasped in horror as she saw Dragunov walked through the door. Blood was splattered all over his face and clothing. His eyes quickly focused on the woman as he slowly began his approach.

Samantha nervously backed up as she kept her eyes on the tall Russian. She eventually bumped into the porch railing. She was too frightened to run away. Her eyes darted to one of his hands which held a small knife covered in blood. The mere sight of it caused her to hyperventilate.

"P-please…. Please don't k-kill me." Samantha muttered nervously as he eyes welled up with tears.

Dragunov said nothing as he quietly closed the gap between them.

"Please… I- I beg you…" She said as she anxiously gripped the railing behind her. She looked up at Dragunov that now stood a few feet in front of her. The Russian's face was devoid of emotion which frightened her even more.

Samantha stared at him fearfully. She was unsure of what to do. Her mind raced with thoughts, memories and regrets. She did not want to die.

Samantha suddenly felt a jolt of pain on the side of her neck which caused her to let out a short yelp. She kept her eyes fixated on Dragunov's as she felt her body go limp and collapse on the wooden floor below her. She continued to watch him as her vision slowly faded to… black.


Bryan slowly walked to the car and entered. He looked at Anna through the tinted windows a final time. The woman looked frightened as she stared at him. She was like a deer caught in headlights. Bryan gave her a smirk before the car finally pulled off. He felt a little concerned for her but he was fairly confident that she will be fine.

Bryan turned his attention to the man sitting next to him. Lee was looking straight ahead. His expression was stern and serious. Bryan thought it was unusual to see Lee in this way. He always had a pleasant disposition. Even thought he was angry or upset, he always manage to put on that fake smile of his and act like nothings the matter.

"So… Where are we headed?" Bryan asked calmly; breaking the silent tension in the car.

"To Violet Systems." Lee said simply.

"Violet Systems!?" Bryan asked feeling thoroughly perplexed. "Why?"

Lee looked at him and smiled. "There is something I want to show you and there are things that we need to discuss."

"What is it?" Bryan asked as he looked at the man curiously.

"You'll find out when we get there." Lee said as he turned to look out the window. He was determined to find out Bryan's loyalty. Does Bryan know of Anna's whereabouts? Is he helping her in some way? Lee thought it was impossible, absurd even. They both hate each other. But no matter how ridiculous the idea may sound, the possibility was there and he had to be sure.

Bryan quietly gazed out the window. He wondered what was so urgent that Lee went driving around the city to look for him. What was he up to? Bryan was very suspicious to say the least. He didn't trust Lee at all.

The black car eventually slowed to a stop in front of Violet Systems. Both Lee and Bryan exited the car. It was the first time either of them had visited the building since the attack. After days of government investigation, Lee was finally allowed to enter the building to survey the damage himself.

Thick ply boards surrounded the building as if it was a construction site. It served to keep the view of the building hidden from the public eye and to keep intruders out since most of the glass doors and windows on the ground floor were destroyed in the attack.

One of the government agents allowed them to walk pass the wooden barricade and enter the building. The building was still occupied by government agents who were only there to guard the building to prevent any other attacks. Lee quietly walked pass them with Bryan following not too far behind.

They both entered an elevator and took it to the 43rd floor. Lee took in a deep breath as he mentally prepared himself to exit the elevator. It was the floor that received the most damage. It also held his most important and sensitive research, but almost all of it was all gone now. The loss was still very tough for him to bear.

Lee slowly exited the elevator with Bryan following behind. The glass windows in the burnt and charred hallway were all broken allowing the cold air to enter. The whole floor was very frigid and dimly lit. Lee walked down the hallway and stopped when he reached room 405. It was the lab Bryan had to report to everyday.

"I'm sure you have fond memories of this place." Lee said quietly with a hint of sarcasm as he entered the lab.

Bryan chose to ignore his comment.

Lee walked all the way to the back of the lab where a set of damaged lockers were located. He reached behind the lockers and tried with all his might to pry them away from the wall. Eventually the set of lockers awkwardly swung away from the wall as if it was a door. Behind the lockers was another door. It was a tall, stainless steel one with an access panel next to it. It looked like it was untouched by the fire. Bryan was surprised that it was there and was angry that he never detected it.

"A secret room?" Bryan said in disbelief.

"A secret lab to be exact." Lee said feeling pleased by Bryan's astonished tone. "It was hidden right under your nose."

Lee walked over to the access panel and smiled from ear to ear when he saw that it was lit and still functional. He was happy that not all of his hard work was destroyed. He quickly punched in the code and they both heard the door hissed and saw it slide open.

"Well, down the rabbit hole we shall go." Lee said calmly as he entered the darkened room.

Bryan cautiously followed behind. The thick, metal, door quickly shut after he entered. Lee calmly hit a switch and the fluorescent lights slowly flickered on; illuminating the small and cramped lab. Bryan eyes slightly widen at the sight before him. A few yards in front of him stood one of Lee's Combot machines. It was cladded in chrome and looked somewhat unfinished.

"So, what do you think?" Lee said as he rested a hand on the robot's shoulder and looked at it adoringly. "It is my life's work."

"Heh! Looks like an expensive piece of shit to me." Bryan scoffed.

Lee laughed. He knew Bryan would say something rude and condescending. "Well, you're not completely incorrect with that statement."

Bryan perked an eyebrow at his response.

"It is still not finished yet. There is more research that needs to be done… Particularly with this piece…" Lee said as he fumbled around with the robots chest plate until he got it to open. Inside the machine's chest was the object that Bryan desired most.

"A perpetual generator?" Bryan muttered to himself.

"Correct!" Lee said gleefully. "The machine works, but the generator is unstable. The Combot machine would randomly short circuit or lose power. It is definitely not ready to be revealed to the world or much less, potential investors." Lee explained as he removed the device from the robot's chest.

"The doctors and scientists were pressuring me to allow them to conduct more intrusive and dangerous tests on your body. They wanted to figure out what was wrong with the generator, but I always refused. I insisted that they must find another way to solve the problem." Lee said as he carefully held the device between his hands.

"Do you want to know why?" Lee asked as he approached Bryan, however the man remained silent. He couldn't care less at this moment. His eyes were angrily fixated on the device Lee held.

"I considered you a friend Bryan… And I still do. I did not want to do anything that will permanently harm you." Lee's voice was filled with utmost sincerity. "But… I was given reason to distrust your loyalty." He said disappointedly.

"Oh really?" Bryan said amusingly.

Lee sighed solemnly as he looked at the perpetual generator that rested in his hands. For some reason he felt like the Shakespearian character, Hamlet holding the remains a person he once knew. Bryan's fate completely rested in his ability to trust him again; totally dependent on how he responds to his questions.

"I have a question that I want to ask and I need you to answer it truthfully." Lee said sternly as he looked at the scarred man. "If you do, then I promise to install the generator and repair your body."

Bryan suddenly laughed out loud. "Didn't you promise me that already… and you didn't keep your word." Bryan said mockingly as he rubbed his chin.

"You are right…" Lee said quietly. "…But things were different then. I didn't trust you and my research was still in the early stages when I made that promise. I didn't even have a functioning generator to repair you with when you returned from the Brazilian mission."

Bullshit! Bryan thought to himself. He thought that Lee was full of lies and he felt almost insulted that Lee thought he will fall for the same trick twice. He'd be damned if he allowed that to happen again.

"And why should I believe you?" Bryan questioned humorously.

Lee let out a sigh. "I don't know Bryan… there is honestly nothing I can say in order to regain your trust. You just have to have faith this time." He said quietly.

"Faith!?" Bryan repeated and laughed. There was no way in hell he is falling for that. However, he decided to play along for the sake of attaining his revenge. "Well, what the fuck you want to ask me?"

Lee remained quiet for a moment as he thought up the best way to word his question. "Do you… know where Anna is? Are you aiding her in some way?" He asked carefully.

Bryan snickered and quickly burst into laughter which caused Lee to feel a little perplexed. He looked on and observed Bryan questionably as he laughed uncontrollably for what seemed to be an entire minute. He was only able to respond after his laughter had subsided.

"You seriously thought that I would actually help that slutty, spoiled, bitch of yours!?" Bryan asked in disbelief before chuckling again.

"So I'm guessing that's a no, right?" Lee said feeling slightly insulted by Bryan's crude description of the woman he known intimately for over a year.

"No way…" Bryan concurred. "Why would I help that woman after all the shit she'd put me through?"

Lee looked at him skeptically. Bryan could sense that Lee wasn't buying his response. "Look Lee… You just have to have faith in me as well… This trust thing… it's a two way street you know." He said and smirked.

"Indeed, that is true… but still…" Lee trailed off as he rubbed his chin in thought.

Bryan chuckled. "This is fuckin' awkward…" He said sarcastically. "I feel like I'm trying to convince a damn woman to sleep with me or something." He said and chuckled some more.

Lee laughed and smiled at his comment. "I apologize, but obviously I have my reasons for questioning the loyalty of the people who are around me on a daily basis... I hope you understand."

"Yeah, yeah, I get it." Bryan said passively however, he was inwardly relieved. It seemed like Lee was beginning to believe his lies although he wondered if he went a little overboard with the laughter earlier.

Suddenly, Lee's phone began to ring. He took it out of his pocket and noticed that it was one of the men he sent on a special mission earlier. He quickly answered it.

"Yes?" Lee said sternly.

"He's clean sir."

"Clean? You've found nothing?" Lee asked feeling quite astonished.

"We've found no traces of Anna in the apartment sir."

"That's good." Lee was relieved. He threw a glance at Bryan who was patiently sitting on a chair waiting for him to finish his call.

"But we have some bad news to report."

"Well, what is it?"

"We are currently at the mansion sir..." The man spoke uneasily. "… and the prisoner has escaped."

"What!?" Lee yelled in disbelief causing Bryan to perk an eyebrow. He was curious about the conversation Lee was having, he was annoyed that he can only hear a half of it.

"The two men you left to guard the mansion… are dead, sir." The man said solemnly. Lee's jaw hung open in shock. "But your secretary, Samantha , is still alive and well. We've found her unconscious on one of the living room couches."

"Very well..." Lee said quietly. "I'm returning to the mansion immediately." Lee quickly ended the call and pocketed his phone.

"Is everything alright?" Bryan asked as he stood up from his chair.

"I have to go Bryan." He spoke in a more serious tone as he quickly exited the secret lab.

"What happened?" Bryan asked curiously as he followed him down the cold hallway and towards the elevators.

Even though his men didn't find any evidence of betrayal, Lee still wasn't sure whether Bryan was trustworthy or not. He decided to not inform Bryan of the developing situation.

"Don't worry, I'll handle it." Lee said coolly as he entered the elevator and took it to the first floor.

Bryan was extremely curious. He wondered what that phone call was all about. It was obvious that something serious has happened but Lee has refused to tell him.

They both exited the building. Lee stopped and turned to face Bryan. "I'm sorry, but this is where we will part ways. You must find your own way home."

"Alright… no problem." Bryan said feeling a bit annoyed.

"I will contact you soon." Lee said as he walked towards his car.

Bryan watched as Lee entered the vehicle and sped off. He was happy that their little meeting was over.


Anna waited nervously in a fast food restaurant. She managed to escape the apartment building without being seen by Lee's men. Even if they did spot her, they probably would not recognize her in her hideous disguise.

The apartment building is located directly across the street from where she sat. She had a good view and could clearly see who enters or exits the building.

She was secretly grateful that she thrown out her dirty fur coat and tattered jeans earlier that day, but she wondered if there was anything else that could be traced to her. It worried her.

Hours passed before Anna had spotted Bryan. She watched him as he enter the apartment building. A huge smile formed on her lips upon seeing him. Never in her life had she ever imagine that she would feel so happy to see that man. She felt like she will be safe now that he is here. She quickly gathered her things and exited the restaurant.


Bryan walked to his apartment door and knocked a few times, expecting Anna to answer but no one did. He tried again to no avail.

"Fuck. Where is she?" He muttered to himself as he rested his head against the door. He felt tired after taking a crowded bus and train home. He quietly cursed himself for giving the woman his only set of keys.

Bryan suddenly heard the rapid sound of footsteps. He raised his head to look, but abruptly felt someone crash into him before he could see who it was. It took him by surprise. He almost fell to the floor, but he managed to keep his balance.

"Bryan!"

He looked down at person who now had their arms wrapped around his chest. It was Anna. She looked happy to see him. Bryan felt uncomfortable by her closeness, but not entirely. A small part of him was relieved to know that she was safe.

Anna quickly pulled away from him feeling embarrassed upon realizing what she had done. She knows Bryan doesn't like it when she does these kinds of things, but she couldn't help herself and did it purely by instinct. She pulled the keys from her coat pocket.

"Where the fuck were you?" Bryan asked tiredly as he took the keys from her hand.

"Wait!" Anna yelled. Bryan was about to open the door, but Anna quickly rested her hand on his to stop him.

"I saw them searching the apartment." Anna said nervously.

"Huh?" Bryan said feeling puzzled.

"Lee's men… they were here." Anna clarified. "I saw them in the apartment. I managed to get out of the building undetected."

Bryan smirked. "Oh really?" He said amused. "So that explains what that phone call was about… well, at least part of it." He muttered to himself amusedly.

"I went to that fast food restaurant across the street... I saw you when you entered the building." Anna explained nervously. She looked up at Bryan and was surprised to see him grinning from ear to ear.

"What's so amusing!? Don't you realize what happened!?" She asked feeling astonished by his behavior.

"Don't worry…" Bryan said and chuckled. "His men didn't find anything." He opened the door and entered the apartment. Anna followed closely behind.

"How do you know?" Anna asked curiously as she closed door. She made sure to turn and latch every lock.

"Just trust me… I know." Bryan chuckled as he plopped himself down on the couch.

"Are you sure it's safe to be here right now? What if he comes back?" Anna asked anxiously as stood by the couch where he sat.

"He won't... Something urgent came up and he had to abruptly end our little chat." Bryan said as he leaned back into the chair.

"What happened?" Anna said feeling concerned.

"He wouldn't tell me but it seemed important."

Anna was curious and felt concerned for Lee. Even though they are enemies, she hoped everything was okay. "Why did Lee want to speak with you?" She asked softly.

Bryan chuckled. "For some reason, he believes that I know where you are or that I am helping you." He laughed out loud.

Anna clasped her hands together gasped and was in utter shock.

"I've almost shit myself when he asked, but I kept my cool and played it off pretty well. He seemed to believe the bullshit I was telling him." He chuckled some more.

Anna was very alarmed to hear this. She was frightened to the core. She wondered how Lee was led to this conclusion. What clued him in? What's worse, she couldn't believe how Bryan was so unconcerned and indifferent about the whole thing. It made her even more worried for her well-being.

"A-are you sure we're safe. S-shouldn't we spend the night somewhere else?" She asked nervously.

"That's not happening girlie." Bryan said sternly. "I've just spent the last of my money buying you those clothes. I can't afford a night in a hotel… Unless…"

"Unless what?" Anna said as she perked an eyebrow.

Bryan smiled deviously at her. "Unless you don't mind spending a night in one of those love hotels."

"You asshole!" Anna yelled as she swiftly pulled off her cheap, black, wig and angrily threw it at Bryan. The wig hit him on the face but stayed atop his head as if he had sloppily put it on himself. Bryan threw back his head and laughed.

"How can you feel so care-free after everything that happened today!?" Anna yelled angrily as she crossed her arms and looked away defiantly.

"Because there is nothing to worry about. Lee believes my bullshit and his men didn't find anything incriminating in here, so calm the fuck down." Bryan said amusedly as he looked at her.

Anna turned and angrily glared at the man, but she suddenly was trying her best to prevent a smile from appearing on her face. Bryan still had the wig on his head. The black curls dangled sloppily at the sides of his face.

"Besides… a night in a hotel ain't gonna do shit but make my wallet thinner." Bryan said and grinned. "Unless you make it worth my wild…" he said shrewdly.

Anna had to work hard to stifle her laughter. "Do you know how ridiculous you look right now?" Anna said in a more snooty tone.

"Hey, I bought it I might as well wear it." He said flippantly and shrugged.

"I had enough." Anna muttered quickly as she swiftly picked up one of bags containing her newly purchased clothing and entered the bathroom. She quickly closed and locked the door behind her and immediately began to snicker to herself. She wondered if Bryan did that on purpose in order to calm her frightened state.


Bryan chuckled as he pulled the wig off his head and carelessly tossed it to the side. He got up to get a can of beer from the fridge and then tried to find something on TV to watch.

Minutes passed before Anna exited the bathroom wearing some of her new clothes. She walked in front of Bryan and sat down on the other side of the couch. Bryan instantly felt uncomfortable. He had gotten used to her frumpy and unattractive look. He hated to admit it but she looked somewhat cute. She wore a pair of black leggings with a purple T-shirt. It reminded him of the outfit Nina wore when he met her in the airport. Bryan shifted uneasily in his seat as Anna curled up on the couch across from him.

"What are you watching?" Anna asked simply.

"Some shitty late-night talk show." Bryan muttered.

Anna quietly watched the show with him; secretly enjoying his company. She still worried about what happened that day, but she decided to try her best to ignore her concerns. Bryan said that there was nothing to worry about and she had decided to trust his judgment and simply go with the flow. If something was to happen, she was confident that Bryan will keep her safe. The idea made her smile warmly.

Anna suddenly laughed at a funny joke a comedian told on the show. Her laughter took Bryan by surprise. It has been a while since he seen her like that. It was a good change of pace after all the crying and sobbing she was doing earlier that day. It was good to know that she was feeling a lot better.


Bryan slowly wakened from his slumber. He yawned and rubbed his eyes. He quickly noticed that the TV was still on and realized that he must have fallen asleep on himself. He stood up from the couch to stretch, but was surprise to learn that Anna was on the couch as well. She was also fast asleep.

He was surprised that he had actually watched TV with her. It was something he was definitely not accustomed to. He hated to admit it, but he actually enjoyed her company. It started off awkward but, they ended up commenting and joking over the programs they watched and somehow they had both fallen asleep.

Bryan quickly took out his phone to check the time. It was 2 a.m. He sighed dismissively as he passed a hand through his hair. He didn't know what to do. Should he wake her or let sleep on the couch? He wasn't sure. He decided to figure out a solution while taking a shower.

Bryan turned off all the lights in his apartment. The TV remained on and dimly lit the studio apartment with its blue, ambient glow.

Bryan walked over to his dresser to get a clean set of clothes. He then entered the bathroom and quickly showered and dressed. After he was done, he slowly walked over to Anna and carefully picked her up from the couch and carried her to bed.

Anna tried her best to pretend that she was asleep. The shower had awakened her, but she wondered what Bryan would do if she was still asleep one the couch. She was pleasantly surprised. She expected him to rudely wake her up and angrily chase off the couch, but that wasn't the case. Instead she was being carried off to bed as if she was a little princess and she enjoyed every minute of it. She smiled, but Bryan did not notice since the room was very dark.

Bryan gently laid her in bed and covered her with a blanket.

"Shit… She's heavier than I thought." He muttered tiredly as he walked towards the couches.

Anna's smile instantly disappeared. "Jerk." She whispered to herself before falling asleep.


Anna yawned and stretched as she got out of bed. The sun was up and it brightly lit the entire room. Anna was walking towards the bathroom but stopped when she saw Bryan. He was tossing and turning on the couch anxiously as if he was having a bad dream. Anna quickly grew concerned and knelt down beside him.

"Bryan?... Bryan… are you okay?" She gently shook his shoulder. "Wake up, you're having a bad dream." She said more urgently.

Bryan woke up startled and quickly grabbed Anna by her shirt collar. He glared at her angrily causing the woman to shudder I fear.

"Bryan, it's me… Anna!" She said nervously as she gripped the hand on her shirt. She saw Bryan's expression quickly softened as he slowly let go of her. Anna breathed heavily as she tried to calm herself. Bryan sighed as he passed his hand over his face. He couldn't believe that he had just lunged at her.

"Are you okay?" He asked quietly as he sat up on the couch.

Anna slowly sat beside him. "Y-yes… I'm fine." She said softly. She was still shaken over what had just happened. "Were you having a nightmare?"

"Yeah." Bryan said simply.

"What was it about?" Anna questioned as she gave him a concerned look.

"My past." Bryan said flatly not wanting to delve into it any further.

Anna was even more curious. She wondered what the dream was about, but she could sense that Bryan will say anymore on the subject. Anna was suddenly taken from her thoughts upon hearing a knock on the door.

"Who is that?" She whispered worryingly.

"Who's there!?" Bryan called out as he looked at the door.

"It me Byran… Lee Chaolan!"

"Fuck!" Bryan muttered in disbelief. Anna gasped in shock at the sound of his voice.

"Wait a minute, I'll be right there!" Bryan yelled back.

Bryan quickly walked over to the bed and instructed Anna to follow.

Anna anxiously stood beside him. She was overwhelmed with fear.

"Just stay calm and we'll get through this, alright?" Bryan said calmly as he looked at her. "I have a couple of boxes of stuff stored under the bed; use them to keep yourself hidden." He instructed sternly.

Anna quickly crawled under the bed . She made herself as small as possible as she pressed her body against the wall. She did as she was instructed and slide the boxes in front of her.

Bryan quickly grabbed Anna's clothes and stuffed them into one of drawers in dresser. He then walked to the door of his apartment and opened it.

Lee stood there with fake smile plastered on his face. Two of his bodyguards were with him.

"Good morning Bryan. I apologize for coming unannounced I hope you don't mind." Lee said quietly as he entered the apartment. "My, my… what a small place you have. It's very quaint."

"What do you want Lee?" Bryan said feeling thoroughly annoyed by his presence.

"I just wanted to discuss some things with you." Lee said calmly.

"Well, what is it?" Bryan said as he sat on the couch.

Lee walked over to Bryan and hesitated before sitting on the tattered and worn leather seat. "Well, um… Something happened yesterday."

"Wait a minute… what are your goons doing?" Bryan asked as he noticed one of them was inspecting the kitchen.

"I'm sorry Bryan, but you remember our discussion yesterday... I just want to calm my suspicions."

"I told you Anna is not here!" Bryan said angrily.

Anna was listening to their conversation and shuddered in fear when she heard her name. She quietly hoped that Lee's men will not find her.

"If that is indeed true, then this will not be a problem for you, right Bryan?" Lee said haughtily.

"Sir, I've found something!" One of the men yelled as he exited the bathroom. He walked over to Lee and handed him a red bra.

"Why was this in your bathroom?" Lee asked skeptically as he held up the piece of evidence.

"What about it? It belonged to a woman I've fucked last night." Bryan said matter-of-factly.

His crude language made Lee wince in disgust. "And where is she right now?"

Bryan chuckled. "How should I know?" He asked amusedly. "I kick them out once I'm through with them."

"I… see…" Lee said feeling thoroughly appalled by his behavior. "Well, I doubt this belonged to Anna. She will never wear something so cheap." He said as he handed the undergarment over to one of the bodyguards.

Anna quietly let out a huge sigh of relief upon hearing Lee's response. She was also surprised by how calm and natural Bryan sounded given their current predicament. His ability to remain level-headed under intense situations must've been something he learned when he was a cop, she thought. Anna was quickly jarred from her thoughts when she saw someone approach the bed.

The man knelt down beside the bed and pointed a flashlight underneath. Anna held her breath as she saw the light point in her direction. She made sure that every part of her body was hidden behind the cardboard boxes.

Eventually the man gave up his search and stood up from the bed. "There's nothing here sir, the apartment is clear."

"Very well." Lee said feeling pleased by the results. He was inwardly happy to learn that Bryan is not a traitor.

Bryan let out a quiet sigh of relief as he saw the two men return to Lee's side.

"So Bryan, as I was saying… Your friend Dragunov had escaped the mansion yesterday."

"Huh… is that so?" He said amusingly.

"He killed two of my men but spared my secretary, Samantha." He said solemnly. "We've successfully disposed of the bodies, I am confident that they will not be found."

"I didn't know you were capable of doing something like that." Bryan said and chuckled.

"I would've been thrown in prison if it was discovered that I illegally captured and tortured a highly wanted criminal without alerting the appropriate authorities… I had to do something." Lee explained with a hint of anger in his voice.

"Anyway, let's cut to the chase, shall we?" Lee said; wanting to change the subject. "I have a mission for you."

Bryan raised an eyebrow. "What is it?"

"I want you to go to Japan and do to Jin exactly what he has done to me." Lee said as he stared at Bryan intensely. His words were laced with hate. "Destroy the Mishima Zaibatsu. I will repair you perpetual generator if you are successful. I swear on my life that I will do it."

Bryan chuckled. "Those are some strong words. I hope you are ready to die this time if you don't keep your promise." He had no faith in Lee's empty promises, but he didn't have much of choice. He had to do the mission event though it was practically a death sentence. However, Bryan had beaten death numerous times before.

"I will this time Bryan." Lee said as he stood up from the couch. "I will contact you soon with the details."

Lee walked towards the door. One of his opened it for him.

"Bryan..."

Bryan raised his head to look at him.

"I am glad that you are not a traitor."

Lee and his men quickly left and shut the door behind them. Bryan waited a few seconds before laughing out loud. Lee was smart to suspect him but he was such a gullible fool. He was somewhat happy to be going to Japan and wondered what he will find there.

Anna cautiously crawled out from under the bed. She assumed the coast was clear when she heard Bryan's laughter. She had heard Bryan and Lee's entire conversation and it was shocking to say the least. She quickly ran towards Bryan.

"You have to take me with you!" She said urgently.

Bryan gave her a perturbed looked. "No fuckin' way! Are you crazy or something? You're actually safer here!"

"I have to go! My contact; The man who hired me would want me to go."

"Why?" Bryan asked dumbfounded.

"There is something there that he wants and if I find it for him he will help me find my sister!" Anna said anxiously as she stood in front of him. "I'm sure if you help me complete this task my contact will help you as well."

"And why would I need his help?" Bryan asked curiously.

"Because my contact is… Dr. Boskonovitch."


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