“How has it been?” the handler asked.
“Let’s skip that bit and get to the part where I tell you what’s happening,” I murmured. “I have become a part of Chen’s loyal bodyguards. I’m on shaky ground there, but give it time. We will be making this deal at a meeting point that Chen and his brother decided. We will stay there until everything is sorted out, but knowing Chen’s style that could take some time.”
“Has suspicions been raised?” the handler asked.
“Ever since joining I have been given the raised eyebrows, but I think they’ve just about lowered it. That’s why I’m nervous. I like knowing their suspicious and in this case, they either know or they don’t know I’m with the cops.”
“You mentioned making a friend?”
“Yeah, Chen’s daughter, six years old. She is as innocent as it gets and I watch over her with another bodyguard. I think that is the reason I’ve stayed on so long as Chen’s guard. Usually they are kicked out or killed, but his daughter likes me.”
“I see, I was hoping for someone who could help us.”
“You never know. Chen and is brother, Liu, they’re bringing their young daughters to this meet up. It’s clever, protect the girls, keep bullets from flying around. I think the rest of the gang would wage a war to the death over these girls.”
“Have you narrowed down the meeting point?”
“Just a few places. The garage shop in Chen’s front yard is ideal for us, but not for Liu. Still, ending a feud requires sacrifices and that’s why I think Liu might cave in. There is also the china store, but that doesn’t have any place for people to sleep, which is why I think the hotel will be ideal. There have been reports of disappearances there. It being in Liu’s territory, he thinks it best the brothers work on fixing that when they’re not discussing the feud.”
“I know Chen is in his forties, but how old is Liu?”
“Sun Liu is pushing forty, the youngest brother.”
“None, probably one reason he was happy to start a feud in the first place. However, you remember their father. I think with the anniversary of their father's death around the corner, these two are finding the sense to stop the blood flow.”
“That and it is bad for business.”
The handler put the pen and pad away.
“This is the last meet up until the feud is over.”
“If it ever ends…”
“Well, we can only hope. I have to admit, open gunfire on the streets has made it easier for us to make arrests, but it will never get us close to the snake’s head. In addition, we wish to avoid civilian casualties.”
They sure have their priorities straight back at the station. I wonder who will get the medal if this ever ends.
“Continue to maintain this momentary peace, agent, and remember. You are a nobody without us. If you tell them you’re a cop you will face a fate worse than they will ever give you.”
“You telling me that doesn’t make things any less stressful. I thought you were supposed to be help keep my head intact.”
“I am, because those guys would cave it in with a crowbar, you understand?”
“Yeah, I get it. I want you to help me out though. Find out about the hotel, intel is limited on what happened there, so perhaps you can give me some insight. Here’s the address.”
“I’ll see what I can do, now get out of here.”
The handler wandered off while I stayed behind. I removed the manhole I came from and climbed down the ladder. It was a short walk to the next point, but still, it was a sewer. The smell was enough to give me a headache.
Minutes later, I was street-level again and in a different alley. Brushing myself off, I walked back to the pavement and hailed a taxi. It would take me close to the apartment I was staying in, although after tonight's meeting with the handler I doubted I would get any sleep. He put more fear into me than Chen.
The old man may have been in his forties, but he still moved fast and carried himself with a sense of power. With that in mind, I was always cautious and confident around him. Weakness or crossing a line meant a quick end. Despite all this, I had grown used to Chen’s ways and soon we knew each other well enough to keep the peace.
However, the handler made it more than clear that I was expendable. Everything I did was for them until I messed up, at that point they didn’t know me and I was on my own. More than that, I worried that there was no way out. That I would be stuck protecting a mob boss until I died, which could be pretty soon given the work hazards
I ad to continue playing along, because I was the nobody. The one that had no chance in hell of making it through all this. To be honest, if I was given a way out I wouldn’t take it with that girl still living that life. Afterall, she was an innocent and she didn’t deserve to be targeted. If it finally came down to it, I would risk my life to make sure Sun Chen never saw her again.
I pushed those thoughts aside as I climbed the stairs of my apartment building. Or should I say, they were pushed aside by an uneasy feeling I had about the hotel. I knew the boss’s house, I knew the common meet-up places, but I knew nothing about the hotel.
The other bodyguards told me that it was an old place that belonged to Chen’s father, but nothing more than that. I suppose it wasn’t too important.
Entering my apartment, I walked straight towards me and fell into the bed. Whatever was going to happen I would handle it. I had to.
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