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The Asset

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A tale of mystery, secrets and information. Falling in love was never in the plan but it was bound to happen. ★★★★★ "I gave you a job, I didn't say it would be easy." the General said looking at Jace directly in the eye. "At this point she's going to get everyone killed, myself included."Jace was at the point of begging, a point he had never pictured himself being in. The General didn't bat an eyelid as he calmly stated, " And its your job to make sure that that doesn't happen. If you don't, its your head on the line and my job too. So keep her safe." Jace gave up his argument but that didn't stop him from asking, " why are we even protecting her? She has enough man power to rival the queens. Besides .... She's a criminal. " The General pinned Jace down with a stare and ground out, "She's an asset! And your job is to protect her no matter the cost. Now go, your flight leaves in 0800 hours. You're dismissed." Jace knew that any more argument was null and void the minute the general got back to his paper work. So he stood up and walked out the door with only one thought, He was royally screwed. ★★★ Jace Mathers a decorated marine comes home from war having experienced what most people would call hell only to find that instead of high collar jobs that were best suited to his expertise, he was stuck babysitting a kingpins daughter.

Romance / Action
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

Start writing here… Target: 27 year old female, Ethnicity: African. Height: 5'3,

Name: Katana G Myra
Ties: daughter to Samuel D Katana, leader of the Katana clan heir to the throne as head of the clan.
Distinguishing features: dark brown hair, curvaceous figure, wears eye glasses, almond brown eyes.
Katana Clan: information peddlers, blackmail cartel.

Jace looked at the file over, for the fifth time. After two years on leave, he was pissed. He thought he'd get a proper welcome back mission, only to be assigned the worst mission in the history of military surveillance. He was supposed to babysit some wannabe criminals daughter. He almost threw the file on the floor and stomped on it.
But he knew if he did, it wouldn't change the fact that for the next few months, he was going to be babysitting some crime boss brat who had possible ties to every Mafioso around the world.
Letting out a sigh that could put every disappointed fathers to shame, he opened the file to where her picture was and he stopped when his eyes landed on a close up picture of her looking straight at the camera with a mischievous smile etched on her face, she was beautiful and not even the camera could emphasise her beauty, her brown hair was set up in huge curls that landed at the top of her shoulders. It looked so soft and silky to the touch, her eyes were big but the right size, beautiful chocolate brown pupils brought a stark contrast to the white in her eyes. Her nose was slightly big but proportionate to her chubby cheeks as she smiled. Her lips were full and pouty, they were kissable lips with a dark matte shade of lipstick that made her white teeth appear even whiter.
There was a mischievous glint in her eye as she smiled at the camera, one finely drawn eyebrow cocked as if in challenge. That look, even if innocent, promised dark pleasures unimaginable to any person.
The next picture showed her time in the army and in action, dusty, dirty with a riffle hanging off her shoulder but an enormous smile on her face, despite the standard issue combat gear, her curves still managed to make a stunning appearance. The next photos were of different time periods, detailing her 27 years on earth. He went over the photos once more and he finally landed back on the first photo. He let out a sigh he didn't realise he was holding as her eyes drew him in. He felt a stirring within him that he urged away constantly as he looked at the picture. He tried telling himself that he was memorising her features but that's a lie his conscious plowed through. Closing the file abruptly he stood up, running his hands frantically through his hair he paced through the tiny room before sitting on his bed. Hanging his head, he let out the words he knew would be the detailing of the next few months.
"I am screwed."

With his solitary duffle and backpack , Jace got off the plane. Already used to the jet lag due to his years flying to and from major war zones but the absence of the regular backache he was accustomed to, when he rode across Iraq on cargo planes, was gnawing against his brain. He still held his ticket stub, he looked at it almost unbelievingly, the large words there almost as if to assure him that in deed he had flown first class. His Commander, who was also his uncle, had insisted on first class travel trying to butter him up but to Jace, a protective detail was babysitting in his book.
Tightening the strap of his bag, he headed out into the hot midday California sun. It was hotter than expected but having lived in arid and semi arid areas most of his adult life, his body acclimated quickly from the cold in Washington, from where he had flown in from.
He walked towards the cab station but just as he was about to get in one he heard someone call him, a smile came across his face as he turned and saw the one man who was more of brother to him than a friend.
Hugs were exchanged and big bellied laughs rang across the terminal entrance as both men reminisced and walked to the parked car, that would drive them to their destination.
Both men got into a big four wheel drive jeep and set off.
Jace looked over at his best friend as he told him stories about landmarks. Lieutenant Mark Western was his army buddy, they served for six years together, up until two years prior when the canter they were travelling in while delivering medication and food rations exploded due to an IED that had been rigged in the cabins under carriage, killing the rest of their teammates. Injuring both Jace and mark, and while Jace fought for his life in a coma Mark stayed at his bedside rarely leaving his side. When Jace woke up, Mark was the one who fed him, washed him and took care him.
"You know, you really should have come here sooner, Bonnie's been busting my balls for not making you visit earlier and now she's even more pissed since you're here on a mission. And to make it even worse you're staying at a hotel... Dude do you really want me dead? I mean, I love you but my balls mean a lot to me, and that small woman has claws!"
Jace laughed as he remembered Bonnie Marie Western, Mark's spitfire wife who waited for them both every time they went on a tour, for years she had been their guardian angel, at times it seemed as though she had been married to both.
Another reason why he had grown to avoid two of the only people he had grown to love more than anything in the world.
They had something he would never have, at the end of every dangerous mission Mark would always go back to Bonnie but he had no one.
He knew that Mark would always follow him through any piece of hell that he'd volunteered himself into, so he started distancing himself, drawing farther away from them. When Bonnie got a job promotion to move out west to LA. He saw that as the opportunity and headed east.
"Naah man, you know I can't bring that kind of trouble to Bonnie's doorstep. Besides, it might just be protection detail but you read the file yourself the Katana family deals with criminals from every corner of the earth, we never know whether the threat is coming from a small time gang or a crime syndicate. Plus, I hear that the daughter is firecracker. She's a trouble magnet and I really don't want to break Bonnie's good china.."
That kick started a laugh from both men as Mark took a turn, leading them out of the city into the rural countryside, shifting gears he mentioned, "She might be trouble but she's hot."
Jace had to sputter as his eyes bugged out and he asked, "Are you insinuating what I think you're insinuating or is the jet lag mudding up my brain."
Mark just smiled and gave a shrug before Jace continued, " She's a client, a total fireball and not to mention, a criminal... Besides, she's not even my type. "
At that Mark released a bark of laughter that further irritated Jace, in between chuckles Mark stated matter of factly, " I have lived in close quarters with you for far too long to not know what type of woman you like. I even know what type of toilet paper you prefer. Saying that I don't know that would be an insult to me and all the years I've known you, you forget, who took you bar hopping when you were 21."
At that memory Jace laughed. Parking in front of the large two story house that Mark had bought for Bonnie, they alighted the Jeep, Mark carrying Jace's duffel bag but not before commenting on how light it is, Jace carrying his back pack.
On entering the ranch style home Jace was accosted by two pairs of arms on his thighs, Mark and Bonnie's four year old twin girls, Candice and Janice.
Lifting them both, he couldn't believe how much they had grown, talking to his friends and their kids via Skype was very different from talking to them face to face. The feeling of longing was emphasised when a very pregnant Bonnie appeared barefoot from the kitchen with her five year old son Leeland trailing behind her eating a cookie.
Both mom and son redirected their attention and charged at him and engulfed him in a hug, Mark feeling left out, dropped the duffle and added himself to the group hug. Even though her voice was muffled from the tight hug, he still heard Bonnie when she said, "Welcome home"
He knew she meant it and he also knew that there was no other place in the world that he would have rather been in the world than in their arms at that moment. In his family's arms.

Jace couldn't help the groan he released the minute he began stuffing his face with Bonnie's homemade rib eye steak & mashed potatoes with gravy. His groan elicited giggles from the girls and a chuckle from Leeland.
"Now you know what you've been missing," Mark added before diving into his own over flowing plate.
Jace couldn't help but chuckle when Mark released a twin groan identical to his but instead of a smile from Bonnie, he got a swat up side the head, but just as he was about to say something that could have guaranteed a laugh from the entire table, his phone rang.
He took it out of his pocket and one look at the screen had his face paling, Bonnie was the first to notice and she gave him a discrete nod which he was grateful for, he stood to go pick the call
Mark leaned on the door frame and watched as Jace started repacking his things the minute he finished his call.
"So what's up"
Jace only gave him a side glimpse to acknowledge him but said, " I didn't expect them to give me a cover this early, I thought I could have a few days before, I'm really sorry dude,"
"No problem, I know the drill, when the call comes be ready to leave. Bonnie's in the kitchen packing up some food for you, she cooked enough to feed our entire platoon so you'll be set for about two weeks, she'll top you off every once in a while, you know how that woman loves to cook."
That made Jace smile even though he felt a tug in his heart, he had just gotten reunited with his family, getting away from them felt wrong even though it was a few hours drive away.
A month and a half later

Jace was tired, bone tired, after a month and a half of following his target discreetly he now knew that his target had the metabolism of a hummingbird. The woman was clean as far as he could tell but he had handled people who were good at hiding their evil sides before and he knew not to dismiss her.
All she did was run errands all day and go to the gym, he knew by the hours she spent at the gym that she was a religious gym rat. A twenty got him information from the floor manager about what she did at the gym, she swam, ran on the treadmill and had some martial arts training before retiring to the sauna for recon. At first he was shocked at how she was able to maintain her curvaceous figure even after working out as hard as she did, but that was before he saw her eat. The only person who could compare to her in terms of appetite was Mark, and the man was 300 lbs of pure muscle.
Myra could polish off three plates of food and still have room for desert and coffee. She was smart to keep her weight in check while eating to her hearts content, eating only healthy foods and always hydrating.
Other than the gym, restaurants, flower shops and the post office which he had always staked out before she'd arrive, Myra spent a lot of her time at her fathers office working part time.
Instead of having countless bodyguards, Myra had only one. A woman by the name of Lea Walker, a fellow soldier who was trained by the best only to succeed the best. A black belt in almost six forms of martial arts, multi lingual in 7 international languages and master of almost all weapons known to mankind. Outside of Myra's company which was as rare as seeing a pink lion, her facial expressions seem to be completely stoic but in Myra's company she could often be seen with a smile and even rarer than the pink lion, she would laugh .
Jace knew that even though Lea was more than qualified to do the job, she couldn't do it on her own, Jace had made over six men and women, all protection detail for Myra Katana but as he had suspected, all were sloppy and Lea wasted no time before informing them.
After a long period of surveillance he was tired and frustrated, not only physically and mentally but also emotionally. She was a minx and she was proud of it.
As he sat at the bar of the Green Tiger bar and grill, he couldn't help but let his mind wander.
Not concentrating on one particular thing but letting his mind rove. He had just completed a three day shift of watching the little hellion and he had three days to recharge, instead of going back to his apartment he decided to visit the Green Tiger, a bar and grill that was a bit on the expensive side but served up the best barbeque and chilli cheese fries in town.
A plate of those fries was cooling right in front of him but he had no appetite, although it was mid afternoon the bar was jumping with foot traffic as the bartenders and mixologists got ready for happy hour, but he was still seated nursing his second drink of the day watching as the gooey cheese on his fries start to solidify. The bartender was a guy with tattoos riddled all over his dark skin with a neat afro and a friendly face that tempted anyone to spill all their problems to him, handed him a shot of vodka before shrugging and saying, "its on the house, I've been were you've been before so I know you need it,"
That etched a smile on Jace's face as he gave a nod and downed the shot. Pushing the glass back to the bartender he gave a smile before asking, "you say you've been where i am before, where exactly is that,"
The bartender pointed to Jace's forearm tattoo and simply shrugged a shoulder before answering and saying, " I was in the army, did 3 tours before I decided that I had seen enough bloodshed for a lifetime. "
Taking a sip of his now warm beer, Jace listened to the guy talk, figuring it was better to listen to someone else talk instead of all the voices in his head. He nodded signalling the bartender to continue.
"I came back home to find my mom's house foreclosed, my girl left and there were no jobs. I sat in this same bar just a few seats down, nursing a drink just like you, so I know where you are, out of experience."
The bartender finished off while wiping a glass, they sat in comfortable silence until Jace spoke, "I did two tours of Iraq and three of Afghanistan before I called it quits. I lost three members of my squad to an IED. Was in a coma for eight months, decided to relocate to some where no one knew my name or my past, I was succeeding until you had to give me that bartender voodoo ." That set of laughter from both men.
" Kenny"
"Jace," "neat.... Well just know you're not alone brother we vets need to stick together. There's a bouncer job available if you're interested."
Jace was grateful but, " thanks but I got hooked up with a bodyguard job by a buddy of mine as soon as I got in town. He didn't want me going over the deep end. "
Kenny gave a nod before saying, "I'm happy for you brother, it seems that you're set for a life as a civilian, but if you ever need someone to talk to, I'm here, its part of the reason I became a bartender," Jace gave a smirk before asking, "what's the other part?"
Kenny gave a wink before saying "The beautiful ladies and the free booze." Then he walked off to serve a few customers at the side. It was only four thirty but happy hour in LA came early.
He felt someone sit on the bar stool next to him, it was odd that the person chose the stool closest to him but it didn't bother him much, nevertheless his hand was close enough to his firearm that he was ready for anything.
The subtle flowery fragrance signaled that it was a woman, a petite one by her presence. When she spoke, he froze, "I'd like my usual and a scotch for my friend here, I'm sure his sick of nursing piss warm beer, or am I wrong Jace?"
He acted on instinct and drew his weapon but before he could point it at her he felt the cold metal of a gun seep through his jacket, at his side, chilling him to the bone.
Kenny answered from the other side of the counter unaware of what was going on, "just a sec Myra,"
Jace turned to face her and he felt his heart stop beating the minute his eyes met hers. He was lost in those chocolatey brown orbs, same as those in her photo but more real, vivid and bright. Instead of the pure mischief he had seen in the photo he could see that although the mischief was still present it was mixed with curiosity. Her eyes twinkled as she smiled, before she said, "you should take a picture, it lasts longer."
But it doesn't really capture your full beauty, Jace caught himself before he said those very words. He cleared his throat, clearly uncomfortable and embarrassed at been caught staring.
An alcohol laden frothy milkshake and a glass with what seemed to be top shelf scotch were pushed their way, a club soda was passed to the person who was holding a gun to his side, not that he was surprised to see that it was Lea.
Myra's voice broke him from his reverie. "Thanks Kenny, add it to my tab." To which Kenny gave her a nod before smiling and saying and walking away "will do gorgeous."
Myra gave him a megawatt smile, then it dropped it to a smirk as she looked at Jace.
She was dressed in a tight, maroon short sleeved turtleneck sweater that left a line of skin to be seen of her flat tummy, barely developed abs could be seen. She wore those spandex yoga pants that even he could admit hugged her back side quite nicely, black trainers and white ankle socks completed her ensemble, a white and maroon sleeveless kimono was worn over her sweater and pants.
"For a while I've known that someone was following me, I just didn't know it was someone as handsome as you are. When I first got your file, admittedly I was disappointed, I mean you are handsome and an navy man but I didn't just want eye candy, but then I got your second file and I hate to admit it but I swear my heart skipped a beat just then. You have been a busy boy for the past 31 years haven't you." She finished off the statement\question while twirling her straw around her glass. Jace didn't talk, he just looked straight forward, staring at the counter top, his jaw clenching and unclenching.
Myra then put her drink down and looked straight at him turning her body to fully face him, she asked expecting a response. "Don't you like scotch, you're file say's you do,". Silence.
Myra gave an exasperated sigh before saying, "look, I know I came off a bit strong but in good faith, Lea is going to put her weapon down as long as you take your hands off yours, deal?"
The gun lodged at his side was removed albeit reluctantly, he had no choice but to remove his hand and place it on the counter but he didn't talk.
"Good, we're making progress. I think we are going to be really great friends." Myra finished off with a slight giggle that he refused to find adorable but he found himself with a small smile on his face, throwing caution to the because he had already been made.
"I don't think that that's gonna happen miss, its against protocol to be "friends" with targets."
Myra didn't skip a beat when she said, "yet here we are, having drinks at a bar, none of us even thinking about drawing our service weapons, well except Lea, she's always thinking about her gun."
"I've been made so as protocol i have to go back to base and be reassigned."
Myra gave a smirk as she twirled a piece of hair round her finger. "I know you'd really like that. I can tell that babysitting a wannabe criminals brat isn't your cup of tea, but.... I have news. I have officially requested you to be part of my protection detail, your reassignment letter will be sent in by tomorrow morning, you see Mr Mathers i have access to almost every confidential file out there, I have dirt on almost all of the worlds criminals, politicals, soldiers and I never stop digging."
Jace cocked a brow at her before slightly turning his body to face her, " no wonder someone wants you dead, its shocking that its only happening now."
"When my father took over from my grandfather, he took out a criminal life insurance policy for himself, sadly it doesn't cover family. No one can touch my father. If anything happens to him, information on every criminal, low life politician, gang & cartel comes out. So its in everyone's interest that he doesnt kick the bucket."
Jace put down his drink on the counter then fully faced her, "if you knew that you were going to be getting into your family business then you should have taken insurance like your father."
To that Myra gave a shrug. "Well I was quite cocky and I believed that no one could touch me as long as I had dirt on them. Let's just say I was wrong." To which Lea on his other side let out a snort and said, "understatement of the century." Myra narrowed her eyes at her friend before saying, "good help is so hard to find that is why I'm interested in you. Tomorrow at 8:15 sharp you will receive a package. Your new allocation as my bodyguard. When you're with me, no suits, I hate suits unless they are tuxedos, I love a fitting tux. Jeans, shirt and jacket will cut it. At 11am my dads plane is leaving for Istanbul, pack light because that place is hot. If that plane leaves without you, I won't hesitate to place a kill order on you."
With that she stood up straightening her clothes before tossing three one hundred dollar bills on the counter and signalling to Kenny who came over immediately. " Thanks for the service hon,I got his tab keep the change you deserve it."
"Right back at you doll." She then blew Kenny a kiss before turning to Jace and drawing closer to him and leaning her chest against his. "You see that helper monkey retard you have on my tail, the one supposedly protecting me. Get rid of him before one of my bullets gets to him first, he's a walking target."
She then touched his jaw, running her fingers upto his ear before tucking an errant curl of Jace's hair behind his ear and saying, "Don't be late Jace, I really don't like to wait, its not in my nature." She then stepped away holding eye contact even as she gave Kenny a small nod. Then she turned and walked away, hips swaying side to side.
Jace watched her walk away, her brown hair gleaming in the light giving off a copper shade. He was broken off his trance by a chuckle from Kenny.
Embarrassed at being caught staring he cleared his throat and faced Kenny before laughing and saying, "that right there is trouble ."
Kenny laughed along before shrugging and saying. "She might be trouble be she has a fine ass and she tips quite generously too." They sat in silence for all about two seconds before Kenny said, " She seems to like you,.... I've known that girl for far too long. She's a big flirt but I see that she really likes you. Be careful with that one brother, if you break her heart, she will kill you, just pray she does it before her father or Lea does it."
Jace chuckled before saying, "Im just her bodyguard, I'm going no where near her heart, that I'm sure... I've had enough of women for this lifetime."
"Whatever helps you sleep at night mate. Just know that some women are like perfume, they hang around but they don't stay for long enough. While some are like drugs, seductive and addictive. Myra is one of the most addictive woman I've ever met, men chase after her but they are never able to penetrate that shield she has round her heart. I'm not sure you'll be successful to do so but I do know that once you get a taste, you'll never get enough."
Seated in his rented apartment, debating with himself. Jace knew that the only way he could get a straight answer was only a phone call away.
Mark answered the phone immediately his light Georgia drawl carried through the phone.
"Hey Jace, miss me already?"
Jace hung his head as he chuckled before he lifted it to stare at the pit black blank TV screen, "like i would miss a hangover, i couldn't miss you if I tried brother, you my friend are like a rash you never go away easily."
Mark gave out a large bark of laughter making Jace flinch slightly away from the phone. "Rash or not you love me brother, so what you want, since you so graciously declined dinner, Bonnie's going to have your nuts by the way."
Smiling he said, "you know me too well Mark. Remember that second background check on Myra I asked for, the not so secret one. The one my uncle didn't bother to give me,"
At the mention of her name he knew he had screwed up even as he winced when he heard Marks tone, "So its Myra now.... No more pain in my ass, Katana chick or spoilt brat. You my friend are getting too friendly for your own good. Anyway I got the background report yesterday, I was just about to call you. I went through it myself. Its sealed from high above, I'm figuring the only person who actually has clearance to see this file is God and my guy at Langley.
I'm telling you, this woman is as if Atilla the hun, Gaddafi and the Joker had a baby."
Jace released a snicker before saying. "Dude I know you're a drama queen but take a chill pill she can't be that bad."
"I'm serious, this woman is every criminals wet dream, combined with her looks.... Damn.. No wonder she's got you stumbling over your words.." Jace was about to object but he knew that denying it would only fuel the fire that is Mark Western.
"I'm serious, this chic is trouble with a capital T. She has connections to almost all cartels, gangs and small town dealers. She has dirt on everyone, I mean everyone. I'm pretty sure she has a file on me!"
"Jeez Mark, you should start a fan club... Its seem you're a big fan I'll give her your regards."
Mark went on talking, "naah man this woman is mind blowing, if I wasn't emotionally attached I wouldn't be able to resist wanking off to this file."
"Thanks for the nasty image in my head you bonehead, don't wank on a government file. At least not before you sent me a copy."
"Fine, I'll email you a copy... Wait what do you mean send my regards... You haven't established contact with the target have you? You know that is against protocol."
To that Jace told Mark of what had transpired between himself and Myra. After he was done a heavy silence hang between them. Mark broke it in two words that shook Jace to the core. "Do it"
"Dude you've just told me how dangerous she is. And you're telling me to travel across the world with a mass murderer."
Mark didn't skip a beat when he said. "I didn't call her a mass murderer. I said she was connected and has an outrageous amount of resources. Look she's dangerous but you've handled the Taliban and Alkaida and they are more dangerous than her. I say you do it, it just might be fun and God knows you need the excitement in your life."
Jace couldn't argue with that, as a matter of fact, he couldn't argue with anything Mark had just said, so he after his call with Mark was over he stood and started packing for either retraction or reassignment. He honestly hoped it was the former since he didn't know how much longer his bottled up sexual frustration could stay bottled up.
He had never been a promiscuous man, but at the moment he knew that seeing Myra in another one of her endless pairs of Lycra pants would make him explode in his pants.
An email alert broke him from his reverie, sitting down in front of his computer, he opened the email releasing a gust of air that he hadn't realised that he had been holding.
An hour later Jace stood up to get water but instead opted for scotch. Sitting back down he scrolled up wards the file having reread the file thrice up to the top, the attorney general's signature taking up most of the first page. Myra was a CI. A very valuable one, he determined after reading the entirety of the file. She gave the government sensitive information for protection and resources. It explained why his uncle was so adamant on picking Jace for the assignment. Jace knew that if anyone on the other side of the tracks had seen that particular file, Myra would be as good as dead. Jace felt some of the resistance he had for protecting Myra ebb away.
He was done packing and was just about to close his computer and get some sleep when he got an email. It was from good old Commander Green, his Commander and uncle. It was formal but Jace knew what it meant. He could literally hear the fine print scream at him 'DO AS SHE SAYS AND DON'T SCREW UP'.
Jace let out a sigh before closing his computer and staring at the ceiling. He was stuck in quick sand, his attraction to the little hellion was slowly dragging him down and God help him if he didn't like the feeling.

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