Lonely and Dark

“ Karaoke night Will be fun don’t worry so much” she said with a smile. She looked to Anna as if she were asking if she agreed.

Anna nodded. "I certainly think so. You've got a great singing voice." She smiled at Crystal and took a seat at the edge of the spring they were soaking in. Yet she felt a sharp pang in her heart upon realizing she was the only one here without someone. Crystal and Samuel were all handsy, and Jhonen had Noriko sitting on his lap.

She thoughtlessly held her arms and stared down at the warm waters.

Dastan chirped at the dragons as they messed around. Anya regarded the whole thing like a tired mother would, closing her eyes and basking in the sun as the younger dragons played. Dastan for his part remained on the building until he saw his bondmate's body language. So he opted to leap down and made his way to Anna and nuzzled her head with his snout.

"Hey," Anna smiled meekly and pet him back. "You sweet boy." This cheered her up some.

Noriko eventually clambered off Jhonen and gracefully exited the water in a picturesque manner. The light glistened off her wet skin, her tattoos on full display, she gave Jhonen a sultry look before looking to the others. "I'll make the arrangements for the party. Head to the ampitheater on the southeastern side of the island later in the evening. This will be a night to remember."

---

Jack Dark was silent the entire ride to Clarke Island. He was more than a little annoyed, to say the least. Cross had promised him and Joanna safety, and now Yakuza were around them. This wasn't what he considered safe. Still, Cross had given his word. He'd done more for him and Joanna than anyone on this rock had so far. Until it became clear that they weren't safe, Jack would play along.

So far they'd been given quite the treatment. The airship was luxurious, and the rear compartment had been made to accommodate Joanna in her weakened condition. And an old doctor in a very expensive-looking suit was sitting by her side, making sure she was okay as they made the trip to Clarke Island, then made sure she was transported to their suite with little fuss.

When the arrived, a woman was waiting for them on the landing pad. She was a gorgeous Japanese woman with tattoos covering her body almost from head to toe. She was wearing a thin robe that was open slightly, revealing the red bikini she was wearing. Yet the look in her eyes told Jack she wasn't just eye candy. This must've been Noriko.

She didn't smile when he approached her. "Jack Dark. Nice to meet you."

"And you." Jack said as he watched the Yakuza stitcher wheel his daughter to the entrance. "Where's Cross?"

"Getting some much needed rest." Noriko said. She had a glare in her eyes that told him she didn't much like him. "No thanks to you."

And that's why.

"How about we cut to the chase then?" Jack asked. "Why did you bring me and my daughter here?"

"To help Jhonen." Noriko said. "He sees himself in you. And cares for the well being of your daughter due to his own fatherly instincts. But Jhonen is a man who often focuses on the task at hand with such intensity he forgets anything else... Admirable, but mistaken."

"Sounds like you're soft on the Demon Hunter." Jack said. "Interesting, I wonder how the other bosses would react to knowing the heart of one of their leaders belongs to a dragoon peacekeeper..."

Noriko smirked. "My people and Jhonen have a history, one forged through blood and respect. The fact he is of The Law matters little, he's earned his way with us. With me."

That was interesting. Jhonen had connections with the Yakuza... This would probably merit some looking into. "Fair enough. But where does that leave me and my daughter?"

"You both have been marked for death by The Crimson Queen," Noriko said. "Our mortal enemy. Which means you are among friends. No harm will come to your daughter, nor to you. You will be tended to and kept safe. Clarke Island is Yakuza territory and I intend to keep it that way. So for now, rest, enjoy the amenities our resort has to offer, and care for your daughter." She turned and walked away. Leaving Jack to head off to find Joanna.

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