Cruel Punishment

Dirty Dancing

A young man hurriedly ran through the dimly lit halls. He eagerly pressed a button repeatedly to summon one of the elevators of the tall, dark building. He took it to the top floor.

He exited the elevator into a very large, poorly lit room. The room looked very old and ancient, as if it was plucked from time. It had a very high stone-vaulted ceiling and its floor consisted of long planks of dark-stained wood. The large tinted windows at the opposite end of the room added a more modern touch to the overall rustic look. The windows stretched high until it reached the ceiling. Its design was intentional. The owner wanted it to resemble a church or cathedral claiming that it kept him centered and focused.

The young man cautiously walked towards a desk that rested in front of the large windows. Behind it was the man he had come to see. His boss was sitting in his chair looking out of the tinted windows at the cityscape below.

The young man swallowed hard as he slowly approached his boss. He carefully placed a folder on his desk.

"Um... excuse me… Mr. Kazama…"

Without saying a word, Jin slowly turned in his chair to face the young man. He gave him a slightly bored and irritated look.

"Um… Our servers were compromised last night." The young man mumbled softly.

"What else is new…" Jin said flippantly; feeling unimpressed. This wasn't the first time someone attempted to hack into the Zaibatsu infrastructure and it definitely will not be the last. Hackers were a daily occurrence for the Mishima Zaibatsu. There were many rebel groups out there eagerly wanting to dismantle and destroy the corrupt corporation.

"Well uh… This one is different sir."

The young man pointed at the folder on his desk. Jin curiously picked it up and examined its contents. The folder contained pictures and profiles of three people. The first was Bryan Fury. He remembered seeing him in a few of the Iron Fist tournaments. The second one was Anna Williams. Jin felt a little intrigued by this. The last one took him by surprise.

"Lee Chaolan?" He muttered to himself. He stared at Lee's picture feeling quite astonished to find it in the folder.

"We were able to trace the signal sir." The young man said; interrupting his boss's thoughts. "It seems like the hackers are in America… The signal originated from Violet Systems."

Jin's mind swarmed with thoughts and assumptions as to why his estranged uncle suddenly seemed interested in the Zaibatsu. Is he really after the Zaibatsu… or is it something else? He pondered quietly. Ultimately, it didn't matter. He decided to end whatever his uncle's dream and aspirations were by sending him a very poignant message.

Jin steeple his fingers as he leaned back into his chair. He looked at the young man with renewed determination.

"Summon that man I hired to my office." Jin commanded.


Bryan walked down the street with an added bounce to his step after his encounter with Anna. He hasn't felt this blissful in a long while. He finally had the upper hand with that arrogant bitch, he thought to himself. He felt somewhat liberated. He wanted to use this tiny bit of information to his advantage, as best as he could. Perhaps he can even use it to attain his freedom.

However, Bryan was curious. He had so many questions. He wanted to know what her plan was and if she was working alone. For the moment, he had decided to keep his discovery a secret. He would be a fool to run and tell Lee what he had learned without investigating the situation further for himself. He felt confident that all his inquiries will be answered in time now that he discovered her dirty secret.

Bryan entered a small convenience store located near his apartment building. He bought a case of beer and a pack of cigarettes. Bryan was in a good mood. Tonight he will celebrate. He planned to get drunk and watch a game of football.

His phone rang as he exited the store. Bryan didn't recognize the number but he answered anyway.

"Hello?"

"Bryan?" A familiar voice asked nervously.

A mischievous smile curled on his lips. "Oh Anna, I wasn't expecting you to call so soon." His voice was full of sarcasm. "It's good that you called now since I'll be busy… You know… celebratin' and shit." Bryan teased and chuckled.

Anna growled and gritted her teeth in anger over the phone. It made Bryan laugh loudly as he walked through the street, garnering a few stares from people as he passed by.

"Look Bryan…It would be really nice of you if you didn't speak a word of what you saw today with Lee." Anna pleaded.

"Nice?" Bryan grinned from ear to ear. "Sorry girlie… 'Nice' isn't in my vocabulary."

Bryan heard her sigh wearily over the phone. He sensed her desperation. It excited him.

"You know… You can make this whole situation better for yourself if you know how to make me…happy." His words sounded dirty.

Anna frowned at his insinuation. "Bryan… You're such an asshole!" She said angrily.

"But isn't that what you do? Bryan pressed. "Lay on your back or get on your knees to give all the men what they please." Bryan laughed loudly again; impressed by his rhyme.

Anna shook her head and sighed dismissively at Bryan's failed attempt at an insult. "That sounded so cheesy."

"Oh, really… I thought it was pure genius." Bryan said feigning disappointment. "For a minute I thought I could be the next great fuckin' poet."

Anna tried to stifle a laugh but she couldn't hold it in for long. She giggled loudly over the phone. "I think you'd have a better chance at being a comedian." She breathed before laughing again.

Bryan smiled warmly as he heard her laugh over the phone. For some reason he began to think of Nina. He wondered what their conversation had devolved to. He didn't intend it to go this way. He thought their discussion would be more heated and serious. But somehow he ended up casually flirting with a woman he hates over the phone. He wondered why.

"Look Anna…" Bryan said calmly; wanting to bring their conversation back on track. "You know I hate your scrawny little bastard boyfriend. I have no intentions to help him. So just tell me what you're planning so I can watch it play out from the sidelines." He tried to reason.

Anna took a moment before responding. She was unsure whether it would be wise to tell Bryan the truth or not. On one hand, Bryan might offer his help if she told him everything. On the other, he may betray her and inform Lee of her treachery. She didn't feel safe telling him what she knows. She thought it would be better to persuade him to keep his mouth shut for as long as possible while she continued to carry out her plans.

"I can't do that." Anna said quietly. "No offense… but, you cannot be trusted."

"None taken." Bryan said simply and chuckled. "But, don't expect me to hold your secret for long."

Anna remained quiet on the phone. She was unsure about her decision.

"Perhaps I'll tell him tomorrow night, during that party." Bryan teased. "… Or maybe before then, who knows?" He chuckled some more.

Anna hesitated. "W-wait! I-"

"Later Anna." He said curtly.

Bryan ended the call before she could finish her plea. She sighed solemnly as she put the phone into her purse. She stared out a window wondering what she should do next.

She was in a taxi on a race home. She managed to sneak out of the lab undetected by Lee. Now she wanted to reach the mansion before Lee does in order to avoid any suspicion.

"What should I do?" Anna muttered to herself. She was unsure about how she should handle her current situation or what to expect. So many thoughts ran through her mind. There were so many choices, possibilities and risks but she couldn't decide on which one to take.


Lee rushed into the personal bathroom in his office while haphazardly putting on a tie. Anna was in there applying her make-up. Lee was in a hurry. They were running short on time and he wanted to look perfect.

"Excuse me my dear, if you wouldn't mind..." Lee said politely as he quickly and gently nudged Anna away from the vanity mirror with his elbow.

Anna was taken aback by his actions. "My, my… aren't you in a hurry." she stated quietly as she stepped aside.

"Well, this party is important." Lee explained. "A lot of important people and CEO's will be there. Rubbing elbows, chatting and networking with them will benefit and expand my company." He said as he continued to fix his tie.

"Will there be music playing?" Anna asked, while fantasizing something romantic.

"I suppose." Lee said simply as he began to comb his hair.

"Will you dance with me?" Anna giggled.

Lee stopped what he was doing and looked at the red-headed woman suspiciously. "After witnessing what happened a few days ago, I've learned to promise nothing more than a possibility." His words were cold.

Anna frowned. "If only you regarded our relationship the same way you do your meetings and dinner parties… then that night would have never happened." Anna spat as she exited the bathroom.

Her comment reminded Lee of the conversation he had with Bryan the previous day. Lee quickly walked out the bathroom and looked at Anna curiously.

"Hey darling…"

"What is it?" Anna said gruffly as she sat on the couch. She was still little upset over comment he had made.

"Bryan has informed me of your sudden interest in your sister, Nina…Is this true?"

Anna was shocked by his question. "W-when has he told you this?" She asked nervously.

"Does it matter?" Lee said feeling a bit curious by her question. At the same time, he wanted to keep the conversation he had with Bryan a secret. "I just want to know if it's true."

Anna was frightened. She was suddenly thrown into a very tricky situation by a very simple 'yes-or-no' question. It seemed like Bryan wasn't bluffing when he threatened to tell Lee what he knows. Was this Bryan's way of pressuring her to reveal her secrets to him? … A warning perhaps? When did he tell Lee this? She thought to herself. She was certain that Lee didn't know everything, but she wondered how much did he know. Did he just ask her a trick question? Was Lee testing her to see if she would tell him the truth? Her mind swirled with thoughts but she was uncertain with how to respond.

"Well?" Lee pressed.

"…. Yes… It's true." Anna said softly.

Lee and looked at her curiously as he thought of her answer. Anna's heart raced in her chest as she waited for him to respond.

Suddenly there was a knock on the door. The door opened and Lee's secretary poked her head through. Anna was grateful and felt a sudden sense of relief by the secretary's intrusion.

" … Your limo has arrived sir."

"Thank you Samantha." Lee said and smiled. "Are you ready to go?"

"Yes I am sir." The Samantha said happily. "Oh, and is here."

"Send him in."

"Right away sir." Samantha said as she closed the door behind her.

"Your secretary is coming as well?" Anna questioned; desperately wanting to change the subject.

"Yes. She knows more about the guests attending the party than I do. She can give me tips on how to best converse with these important people in order to develop a good rapport with them."

"Sounds like you're going to spend more time with your secretary than with me." Anna muttered.

Lee smirked. "Now Anna… do I sense a hint of envy?" He teased and chuckled to himself.

Anna crossed her arms and looked away defiantly. Her actions did nothing but widen Lee's smile. He was happy to see those emotions. It showed that she still cared for him despite the fact that he didn't quite trust her anymore. He secretly hoped that his suspicions about her were wrong.

"Well I should finish getting ready. I don't want us to be too late."

Anna sighed dismissively as she watched Lee walk off. He entered the bathroom and shut the door behind him. Considering how serious he regarded this party, she knew for sure that Lee was going to ignore her throughout the event. It was more vital to him to network with other upper class, high-brow people than to spend time with her. She was not important. She was nothing more than an accessory. Just something to complement his suit, as one might say. Her only purpose was to smile and look pretty.

Anna saw the door to the office open once more. This time Bryan entered. Anna was surprised. At first she didn't recognize the clean-shaven, well-dressed man. She had never seen him in a suit before. As far as she could tell, Bryan seemed like he had a particular taste. His clothing always looked rugged and felt militant in some way. It was unusual to see him wear anything else.

Anna closely observed him as he walked towards her. He was wearing a gray, open suit and a white dress shirt with a few buttons undone from the collar. He also wore a pair of shiny, black dress shoes. Anna couldn't believe it, but she thought he looked quite handsome.

Bryan walked towards a couch that was located near where Anna was sitting. He sat slouched in his seat in a 'tough-guy' kind of way. Even though he looked like a gentleman his gait and mannerisms said otherwise, Anna thought to herself.

"See somethin' you like?" Bryan slurred sensually and gave her a mischievous smile. He had caught her staring.

Anna quickly looked away angrily; her cheeks flushed red with embarrassment. "You look… decent. I've never seen you in a suit before." She stated quietly.

Bryan smirked and cocked his head curiously. "Are you trying to flatter me? You think that will keep me quiet?" He said mockingly and laughed.

"No I wasn't!"

"Really?" Bryan said mischievously.

Anna sighed and looked away heatedly. She refused to carry the conversation any further. She wondered why she said that. She complimented him without having any hidden agenda or motive. She pondered what her sister saw in this man. From what she could gather, he was nothing more than a sleazy jerk. However, she had to admit that Bryan had an odd charm or quality about him. He had to. How else could he have collected so many women's numbers on his phone… including Nina's? How could she have fallen for this jerk? She questioned to herself.

"I know you told Lee some things." Anna said quietly; wanting changing the subject.

"About your interest in Nina? I told him that before I caught you in the lab." He said slyly. "Perhaps I'll tell him the rest during the party." Bryan said evilly and laughed.

Anna looked at him nervously. She wondered what she can do in order to keep his mouth shut. What she was planning was important to her and she didn't want this man to destroy her goals. She was willing to put aside her pride and do anything to achieve them.

"Alright, I'm ready!" Lee said happily as he exited the bathroom feeling completely satisfied with how he looked. "Why, hello Bryan." He greeted the man and smiled.

Bryan grumbled at his sudden appearance.

Lee observed Bryan's outfit for a moment. "Nice suit, but it's missing something." He said as he walked to his desk.

Lee rummaged through the draws until he found what he was looking for. "Here, catch." He tossed Bryan what looks to be a piece of fabric. Bryan unraveled it to see what it was.

"Remember, I said this party is a 'suit-and-tie' event. Well your suit is missing its tie." He said playfully.

Bryan sighed irritably as he rose from his seat. He began to put on the tie. "I hate these fuckin' events. Mingling with these high-brow bastards…. I hope I'm getting paid overtime for this."

Lee walked and gave him a friendly pat on his back as he passed by. "Don't worry Bryan. I'm sure you'll have fun at the party."

Bryan angrily muttered something under his breath. He was irritated by the man's actions. Patting him on the back as if they were best of friends. It made him furious that Lee saw him that way, but Bryan managed to keep his composure. He must play his cards right if he wanted to succeed. One day, he will get his revenge against Lee. And that day will be soon, he thought to himself.

"Well, let's go." Lee said jubilantly as he exited the office.

Bryan finished fixing his tie and left. Anna quickly put on her fur coat and followed closely behind.

They were waiting by the elevators. Anna quietly observed Lee while he was busy talking to his secretary who seemed extremely excited to go. The secretary had a huge smile on her face as she chatted and laughed with Lee. Anna sighed solemnly. She knew the event will be very boring and lonely for her when it should have been filled with romantic possibilities.

Anna noticed that Bryan was standing not too far from her. She looked at him coyly from the corner of her eye. He was busy playing around with his phone. Anna noticed something was off about his suit. Without saying a word, she walked over to him and quickly adjusted his tie. Bryan was baffled by her action.

"It was crooked." She said quietly as she returned her attention on the elevators.

Bryan looked at her curiously. He wondered what she was up to.


They were at the dinner party. The party was located in a gigantic, extravagantly decorated, Romanesque hall in a high-class hotel. It had a huge wrought iron chandelier as its centerpiece which filled the room with ambient lighting. There was a band at the center of the hall playing some high cultured, jazz-like music.

Anna quietly stood next to Lee who was busy conversing with other businessmen who had their own trophy wives and girlfriends dangling off their arms. The other women looked content with their title. They all gave a loving smile and pretended to be interested in the conversation. She, on the other hand, was bored out of her mind and tired of the charade.

The night had gone exactly how she thought it would. Lee basically ignored her. He spent more time with his secretary, Samantha who seemed to be truly enjoying herself. Anna sighed heavily. She had given up on her relationship with Lee ever since they had that huge fight. Now she was simply using him to meet her goals.

She wondered why her relationship couldn't have been better. She tried numerous times to talk with Lee; to explain why she was unhappy. But he constantly ignored her and regarded her needs as 'unimportant.' All she wanted to be was loved and respected but for some reason, she was constantly denied that right.

Anna took a sip of her champagne as she listened to the men banter on about their businesses and clientele. She casually looked around the party observing all the guests who had attended. Her eyes stopped when she saw Bryan leaning against a wall at the opposite end of the hall.

She laughed quietly to herself as she watched him hit on women as they passed by. His attempts were unsuccessful as all the women simply brushed him off or ignored him completely. Anna saw an opportunity to tease the scarred man. It was a much needed distraction from her lonely situation. On top of that, she could also try to convince him to keep her secret. Anna politely excused herself from the group and walked towards the man.

"Having a rough night?" Anna said mockingly as she approached him.

"What are you doing here? Shouldn't you be with your dumb ass lover-boy?" Bryan smirked as he took a sip of his drink.

"He's busy… as usual." Anna pointed over her shoulder at the group of people behind her. "He doesn't have time for me." She said nonchalantly.

Bryan glanced at the group then looked at her again.

"Oh, I see…" A sly grin formed on his face. "I have to be your surrogate boyfriend ag-"

Anna angrily punched him in the arm before he could finish his sentence. Bryan laughed.

"That is not why I'm here." Anna muttered irritably. It was a half-truth. She wanted to believe her own words however, she cannot deny the fact that she felt lonely.

"Well, that's good to hear." Bryan chuckled. As you can see, I'm tryin' to chat with one these broads and you're crampin' my style."

"Oh really?" Anna said sarcastically. "And how's that panning out for you?" She gave him a sly grin.

"Not too good I must admit." He looked at her amusingly. "What's the deal with the women here? They're so fuckin' uppity."

Anna laughed loudly. "It's the suit." She breathed.

"Huh?" Bryan said bemused as he examined his clothing.

"All the women here can tell you're wearing a very cheap suit. It reflects you financial status." Anna explained then laughed some more.

Bryan grumbled as he quickly finished his drink. "I hate these elitist fucks."

Anna smiled as she watched him. She enjoyed getting under his skin. "Well, that tie alone is worth more than your entire outfit." She said teasingly as she pointed to the small piece of fabric wrapped around Bryan's neck.

"Really? Perhaps I'll pawn it once this shit is over and buy myself a car." Bryan said mockingly.

Their conversation was suddenly interrupted by a waiter. "Hors d'oeuvres? Do any of you care to have a hors d'oeuvre?"

Anna turned and saw the waiter standing beside her. The man was holding a plate filled with tiny snacks. Bryan examined the food the man was carrying. He saw one that took his interest. From what he could tell, it looked like jelly smeared on a cracker.

"What's that?" Bryan asked gruffly as he pointed at the item.

"It's caviar, sir." The man said politely.

"Carry- what?" Bryan said perturbed.

"It's raw fish eggs." Anna clarified with a smirk on her face. "It's an expensive delicacy."

"And these rich bastards eat this shit!?" Bryan said amusingly as he picked up one the crackers. His language made the waiter furrow his brow in disgust before leaving.

"I must admit, that snack is pretty foul." Anna said jokingly and smiled. Despite their circumstances, she was really enjoying chatting with him.

"Then why do they eat it?" Bryan asked curiously.

Anna shrugged. "I don't know… but I bet you can't swallow it down." She said sensually.

Anna was surprised by what she just said and how she said it. She had let her guard down. She wondered why. Why with him? She admits that Bryan was a completely different person than how she imagined him to be. His company, as crass and vulgar as it may be, was definitely a lot better than being ignored and talked down to by Lee. However, it wasn't her main reason for approaching him in the first place. At some point during their conversation she realized she had forgotten her goal.

"A bet, huh?" Bryan said amusingly, however, Anna's sudden flirty attitude puzzled him. He wondered if the seductress was up to something. She is an assassin, he thought. She must have some trick up her sleeve but he planned to turn the tables on her.

Bryan stuffed the cracker in his mouth. He silently agreed that Anna was right. He gave her a disgusted look as he chewed the food. Anna giggled to herself in amusement. Bryan thought the food tasted terrible, but he wasn't about to be beaten by a tiny snack. He chewed and swallowed it down completely.

"Looks like I won." Bryan said slyly. "Now what's my prize?"

"What do you want?" Anna flirted back.

Bryan smirked. "Answers." He said simply. "What are you planning to do to Lee?"

"Unbelievable." Anna sighed dismissively. "You know I cannot tell you that. In matter of fact, that is the reason why I wanted to talk to you." Her words were only half true.

"So you're not going to tell me?" Bryan asked curiously.

Anna shook her head no.

"Well then… it looks like Lee is gonna hear some bad news later." Bryan said deviously.

"There's no other way we can work this out?" She questioned desperately.

"This is not a fuckin' negotiation Anna." Bryan said flatly. "I'll give you the rest of the evening to decide."

Anna looked down and sighed wearily.

"Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go take a piss." He chuckled.

Bryan saw her disheartened look. He grinned from ear to ear. It wouldn't be long now, he thought to himself. He turned and sauntered off to find the restroom.

Anna didn't know what to do. She didn't want Bryan to tell Lee that she was spying on his company. Nor did she want to tell Bryan the truth. It was too risky. Anna tried her best to quickly think up a plan but none came to mind. Her only option was to treat Bryan how she treated other targets in the past. To use her looks and her charms to seduce the scarred man into doing what she wanted. She didn't want to resort to this but she was desperate and it was her only option left. Anna swallowed her pride and quickly ran after the man.

Anna walked as quickly as she could through the large hallways of the hotel to catch up with Bryan. She turned a corner and saw him. He was about to enter the men's room. Anna took in a deep breath and tried to garner as much courage as she could for what she was about to do. She quickly walked in front of Bryan and turned around; blocking his path.

Bryan was surprised to see her there. He gave her an amused look. "What? Are you stalking me now?" He said with sarcasm.

Anna didn't say a word. She timidly grabbed hold of his tie. She rubbed the silky fabric between her fingers. She eyed him seductively and gave him a suggestive smile. Anna began to gently pull the tie; guiding him towards the ladies room.

Bryan was surprised beyond words. He didn't expect this to happen. He definitely did not. How desperate was she? How important was this secret she was keeping that she was willing to put aside her dignity? Her actions did nothing but made him more curious to learn the truth.

Bryan amusedly followed the woman into the ladies room. He was curious to see far things will go. Luckily the place was empty. Anna led him to the very last stall of the bathroom. She opened the door and gently shoved him inside and locked the stall once she had entered.

They stood mere inches apart from each other within the cramped space. Anna could smell his cologne emanating from his body. She was increasingly beginning to feel uncomfortable. She suddenly wished that she had a few more drinks. She quickly brushed aside those thoughts and tried her best to focus and deal with her current situation.

Anna yanked his tie to pull Bryan down to her height. She closed her eyes and gave him a slow, languid, kiss. Bryan slowly felt the curves of her body as he returned the gesture. Anna's heart beat nervously in her chest as images of Lee flashed through her mind. For some reason, she tried to imagine that she was kissing him instead, but it was hard for her to do so. Bryan's kiss was different. There were more lust and desire behind it. It was far more passionate than Lee's. Anna hated to admit it, but she enjoyed Bryan's kiss. It made her feel wanted.

The kiss eventually ended and their lips slowly parted. Anna breathed heavily. She began to second guess her decision but quickly reminded herself what she was doing this for. She looked up at Bryan. He smiled wantonly with half-lidded eyes.

His expression made her blush. Anna pushed him unexpectedly. Bryan stumbled back a little and landed on the toilet seat.

Anna looked at Bryan and hesitated for a moment. She started to think of Lee again. Her eyes darted at the tie Bryan wore. It belonged to Lee. It reminded her of Lee. She looked at it and tried to imagine that it was him in the stall with her. She wondered why she was thinking of Lee so much. Why did she feel guilty? He was a man who only pretended to love her.

Anna slowly walked over and sat in Bryan's lap, straddling him. Anna tried to think of Lee as she kissed Bryan again but her illusion did not last long. It was hard not to enjoy his kiss. Bryan's kiss was not empty or devoid of emotion. Nor did he kiss her as if it was a chore.

Suddenly, someone entered the bathroom. Their lips quickly departed once more.

"Miss Williams! Miss Williams, are you in here?" Someone called out.

Anna recognized the voice. It was Lee's secretary, Samantha. She quickly grew nervous. Her plans will be destroyed if she caught her in the bathroom with Bryan in this very distasteful position.

"Y-yes I am in here!" Anna responded nervously as she still sat in Bryan's lap.

Bryan quietly smirked. He thought their current predicament was amusing.

"Lee is worried about you. You've been gone a long time." Samantha explained.

Anna was surprised to hear this. He actually noticed that I was gone? She thought to herself. "Well tell him that I'm okay." She said calmly.

"I'll wait for you." Samantha said as she took a few steps closer to the stall.

Bryan began to chuckle. He thought things were starting to get a bit more interesting. Anna quickly covered his mouth with her hand to try and keep him quiet.

"T-that's alright. You go on ahead, I'll catch up." Anna said nervously.

The secretary stayed quiet for a moment. "Um… okay." She said feeling a little puzzled.

Anna listened to the secretary's footsteps as she exited the bathroom. She felt a sense of relief when she heard the door closed behind her.

"That was close." She muttered to herself as she removed her hand from Bryan's mouth. Anna got off his lap and began to fix her dress. Bryan simply leered at her with a cocky smile on his face.

"Shall we continue this later?" Anna said as she adjusted her bra.

"… Only if you want to." He said shrewdly. "But don't think that I will be inclined to keep my lips sealed."

Anna was dumbfounded. "W-what do you mean?" She asked incredulously.

Bryan chuckled. "Like I said… this is not a negotiation. Either you tell me or I'll tell him. It's as simple as that."

"B- but…" Anna was speechless. "I thought-"

"You thought wrong Anna." He said slyly.

"Then why did you agree to this!?" She said angrily.

"I didn't agree to anything." Bryan said amusedly. "You pushed yourself on me."

"Then why didn't you say something!?"

Bryan chuckled. "What man in their right mind would turn down a free lap dance?"

Anna was astounded by what he said. She wondered how far their actions would have gone before he stopped her… if at all. Surely Bryan must've known why she did it. Why she swallowed her dignity and pride. She did it on hopes of gaining his cooperation. Something he was not willing to give in the first place. He saw her desperation and took advantage of it. It hurt her immensely. "Why? Why are you such an asshole?" Anna said disbelievingly

"Pay back is a bitch. That's what they say huh, Anna?" Bryan glared at her evilly. "Both you and Lee put me through shit ever since I came to Violet Systems and I couldn't dare say a word. I have to do what you guys say regardless whether I wanted to or not… I was nothing more than dog to you… Right Anna?" Bryan chuckled to himself.

Anna remained silent.

"For what it's worth… you'd make an excellent whore. Your skills are-"

Bryan suddenly grunted in pain. Anna had slapped him hard across his face. It left a red mark on his cheek. Bryan rubbed it trying to make the pain go away. He was dumbfounded and surprised by her assault. He looked at Anna curiously. Her face was red and her eyes were glassy as if she was about to cry.

Anna quickly exited the stall. Bryan heard her footsteps as she ran out the bathroom. He wondered if he had gone too far.


The day went by very quietly, Bryan thought. He went through his normal routine at work and as usual, Lee had called him to his office at the end of the day.

Bryan was concerned. He pondered what Lee was calling him for. He wondered if it had anything to do with Anna. He hadn't seen or heard from her since the dinner party last night. Lee and Anna had abruptly left the party shortly after the incident in the bathroom.

He was certain that he would hear from her at some point during the day. But she never called or texted. Bryan even heard that she didn't even come to the office that day.

Bryan greeted Lee's secretary as he walked by. He slowly opened the door to Lee's office and entered.

"Good evening Bryan." Lee said simply.

Bryan took a seat in front his desk. "What is it this time Lee." Bryan said tiredly.

"It's about Anna." Lee said bluntly. "She came running towards me in tears last night over something you did."

"Oh really?"

"I don't know what it was exactly, but she told me you said something to her that made her upset. So much so, that she decided to stay home today." Lee said sternly. "I've never seen her cry like that." He muttered quietly.

"Maybe she deserved it. Maybe she did something to offend me." Bryan tried to reason.

"Then what is it? Explain to me exactly what happened."

"I'm afraid I can't do that." Bryan said and smirked.

Come on Bryan… I'm trying to be fair here." Lee pleaded. "This is your chance, your only chance, to give me your side of the story."

Lee waited for him to respond but Bryan remained quiet. "I really don't want to do this… I wanted us to get along …. And possibly be friends."

Bryan scoffed at his remark. "I think it's a bit too late for that Lee." Bryan said coolly. "That opportunity was lost the instant you decided to back out on your promise." He sneered.

Lee sighed resignedly. He didn't know what else he could say. Bryan had a point. He had a right to angry at him.

"Please Bryan… tell me what happened. Please don't make me have to do this…" Lee pleaded once more.

Bryan said nothing but glare at Lee angrily.

"Well Bryan… you leave me no choice." He said quietly. "Starting tomorrow, I will allow the doctors to conduct more vigorous tests on your body. You know what that means right?" He said; his voice was full of concern and worry.

Lee looked at Bryan curiously. He was clearly upset. "Their experiments could leave you unconscious and incapacitated for days at a time. The test can cause temporary or even permanent damage to your body… Are you prepared for that?"

Lee waited for him to respond again but received none. "Bryan, I really don't want to do this… honest. But I deeply care for Anna. She may not believe it… but I do. And I am willing to do anything in order to prove it to her. Now you've hurt her in some way that I do not understand, but I cannot let your actions go unpunished. I have to prove to her that I do care… Do you have anything to say about this?"

Bryan almost told him. He almost told him his girlfriend was a spy. He could have twisted the truth cleared his name, and put Anna in the hot seat. It would have been easy, he thought. He was tempted to but he didn't. He didn't understand why. He simply sat there and kept his mouth shut.

"Well?" Lee pressed.

"Can I go now?" Bryan said bluntly.

Lee let out a disappointed sigh. "Very well Bryan… you may leave."

Bryan was furious. Lee's punishment was harsh and he had Anna to blame for it. Being cut opened and picked apart like a butchered animal was not his idea of 'fun.' He might as well be a dead man all over again, he thought to himself.

Bryan heatedly stormed out of Violet Systems. He angrily took out his phone and called Anna.


Anna was quietly watching television at home. Her phone suddenly began to ring. She looked at the number and realized that it was Bryan. She hesitated for a moment before answering the phone.

"Hello?"

"Is this your idea of fun Anna!?" Bryan yelled furiously over the phone.

Anna was surprised by his anger. "What are you talking about?" She said; feeling a bit confused.

"You're trying to play dumb now?" Bryan spat. "You convinced Lee to 'punish' me for what happened last night!"

"I didn't convince Lee to do anything!" Anna yelled feeling thoroughly confused.

"Yeah, sure, I believe you." Bryan said sarcastically. "But before I go brain-dead tomorrow, I'm gonna tell Lee everything I know. And this time I'm fuckin' serious!"

"Bryan, wait!" Anna yelled but it was too late. He had already hung up.

Anna immediately tried to call him back but his phone constantly went straight to voice mail. Anna was beginning to feel nervous. She hurriedly got out of bed and dressed. She needed to find Bryan quickly before it is too late.


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