They had been driving a long time. Lily was restless. She couldn't shake the feeling that she was going the wrong way. She knew that K was helpless and soft. How could she have been so careless? K knew nothing, minor things at best. She wished she could put off this relentless pursuit to minnesota. She didn't know anything about the chip in her head. How had they missed it on all the X-rays and MRIs? This merely set her attitude about doctors. What do they know anyway? It was really just their best guess at the time. Hmmph. Why bother. Then of course, her rational side jumped in, maybe they don't study nanotechnology at John Hopkins. Shut up, the bitch side said. Fuck you, it shot back. Pissed about ...what? She was a victim here.

As sure as if she had been raped. Her will had been bypassed for the will of another who wished control over her. Wasn't that the definition of rape? To be forced against your will? Lily hadn't trusted Rock since sometime around Brazil. It seemed so ....easy. Set up almost. What was the game anyway? If what Rock said were true, then Daniel knew right away, didn't he? Her lips set grimly and her teeth clenched tightly. It seemed that everyone had been in on it except her. How convienient for them all. Men.

"So, now I am abandoning K for you. How does that make you feel?" Lily sounded very angry and sneered this at him suddenly, out of no where in his opinion.

"Are you? Are you choosing me over her? In what way?"

Lily made a small disgusted noise.

"Hello? Are we on the same planet? I shouldn't be with you now... I should be looking for who ever it is that has K. She is completely clueless and has no information for anyone! How did I get so careless I let this happen?" She knew how. Rock. He messed up her mind and her priorities every time. She didn't mean to. He was like a drug somehow. As long as he wasn't around, she was fine, but the minute he came into her life, she dropped everything and used him like heroin. He was just as disorienting. Rock glanced over at her, it was obvious she was distraught. He needed her to be clear right now. Not grieving. Damn. If only he'd realized how close they were. He gave it no notice, never having had a best friend. Friends were loose ends. Friends could be held against you. Executed for your disobediance. Not very useful in his line of work. He was an island. His moments of closeness and pleasure very far and few between and even then, held with the most casual of grips. What more could he hope for? He was hoplessly entangeled with the System. He had no out. He was a company man, start to finish. A woman, a beautiful woman, had discovered his talents and used her beauty, money and influence to seduce and introduce him a world of high stakes that had nothing to do with gambling or business, in the usual sense of the words. He was entranced. Enamoured. The money, the glamour. It was more than he could resist. How could he? The eldest child of two to a single mother, the money would mean comfort and ease for his elderly mother and his idiot brother for the rest of their lives. He got to travel the world, do as he pleased most of the time, with unlimited resources at his fingertips. How could he resist, and why would he want to? He had been ready to take his own life only a week before he met the woman. He had only been taking care of loose ends when he met her. It worked out well, there was no reason to stay and a million or more reasons to go. He joined. He was accepted and excelled as was expected of him. He was smarter than your average thug and quickly rose in the ranks to assassin. He was now the master assassin, training all others under him. Those not trained by him were jealous and felt slighted somehow, and yet they all aspired to reach his fame. Why couldn't he convince Lily that this was the place for her? WIth her skills combined with his, they could be a force to be reckoned with, but she was stubbornly her own person. Damn. And the system wanted her dead after all of this was done. No mistakes this time. No "accidents". He knew he was supposed to. He knew he had to. But what was he going to do? Damn!


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