"'I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse.' Isn't that what you said? 'He'll pay the money or bits of him would be washing up on some countryside beach on Shikoku.' That's what you promised me." Fuyumi stared at her number two, her disgrace of a number two. Her stare turned into a scowl and the man, if he could be called that, squirmed in his seat. "Instead of any of that, you come back and tell me you want to wash your feet? You can't quit. It's not an option."
The man swallowed hard and put his hand on her desk, spreading his fingers out. "I'm willing to lose as many fingers as you want."
"It's not a matter of fingers!" Fuyumi leaned forward and pounded her desk with her fist. Her former number two jerked his hand back like he'd been burned. "I'll be the laughing stock of our organization. Other groups will smell the weakness and try to move in on our territory.
"Dammit! How hard could it be to collect money from one fucking realtor?" Fuyumi stood and looked out the window between the lines of the giant kanji character plastered across it. "I've lost four of you fags now."
The man hung his head. She was right. The first underling they'd sent to rough Sakamoto Realties up and let them know that the yakuza wanted its money had disappeared. Ten days later, they'd found him in Thailand, rather, they'd found her in Thailand after her sex change operation.
Next, they'd sent a pair of muscle guys, hoping that they'd shake the place up. They'd come back and asked to be let out of the organization so they could move to Australia and elope. Fuyumi cut off both of their pinkies and sent them away in disgust.
Now, her lieutenant was sitting in her office. He, too, had failed to get a dime from the real estate agent. Fuyumi had been sure that he would get the job done, yet here he was, asking to quit so he could start a drag bar.
"I said, 'Worthless.' Get the fuck out of here."
The former yakuza scrambled out of the office and out of Fuyumi's life.
Fuyumi sighed and sat back down. She looked over the books and the giant number that signified Sakamoto Realties' debt. The higher ups were starting to really pressure her to get the account closed. After this last failure, that meant she was going to have to do it herself.
She didn't work herself into her current position by being weak and depending on the help of men. Very few women rose to her level and she wasn't going to let some little real estate office destroy everything she'd worked so hard to get.
"Kota!" A young man stuck his head into her office.
"Go get the car."
"Right away, ma'am."
Fuyumi gathered her things and headed into the main office area. "I'm going to do what you dicks couldn't. Try not to fuck up too badly while I'm gone."
She headed out the door and walked into the street. Kota stood waiting for her. He was in the proper position to great his superior: his legs were shoulder width apart and his hands were placed just above his slightly bent knees, leaning him forward just the right amount. The giant pair of sunglasses she put on did nothing to help hide the condescending sneer she gave her underling.
The car's back door was open and waiting. Fuyumi got in and Kota closed it behind her. The boy walked around to to the front of the car and got in. Fuyumi lit a cigarette and told him to take her to Sakamoto's. She smoked when she was angry and she was angry enough that she knew she'd probably finish a quarter of the pack by the time they got there.
The two rode in silence. Kota was too scared to say anything and Fuyumi was too pissed. She looked at the four fingers on Kota's left hand. Another male idiot she thought. He'd been with her what, two years? Already he'd lost a finger.
Fuyumi wiggled all ten of her fingers. She'd never failed any task a superior had given her and she wasn't about to start. If she failed to get this money, not only would she be demoted, but Fuyumi wasn't sure just how many fingers they would stop with.
"We're here, ma'am."
Fuyumi stabbed out her fourth cigarette of the ride and waited for Kota to open her door. She looked at the rundown building in disgust. Like a real estate agent could succeed in a dump like this. That moron Akiko didn't even have a chance.
Fuyumi got out of the car and flicked her long black ponytail back off her shoulder.
"Would you like me to come up with you ma'am?"
"Just stay with the car and make sure it doesn't get stolen or something." Fuyumi headed into the tiny entrance way and pushed the button for the elevator. She lit up another cigarette and puffed on it. The chime sounded and the doors opened. Fuyumi sneered at the dirty insides and stepped on.
Somewhere during its slow ascent, maybe right after passing the second floor, Fuyumi finished her cigarette, dropped it to the ground and snuffed it out. The elevator was pissing her off. She debated about sending someone over and having him cut the wires after she was finished here. Even then she doubted it would pick up enough speed to actually damage the elevating trash box when it crashed to the ground.
The doors opened and Fuyumi was glad she was wearing her sunglasses. The bright florescent lights reflected off over every surface, the buffed floors, the polished counter top, and the polished window glass. Some bimbo sat behind the counter and greeted Fuyumi as she got off.
Fuyumi ignored her. "Akiko Sakamoto! Get your fucking ass out here!"
"Miss Fuyumi," the bimbo said. "I'm right here. Wow. I knew you'd come one day. I kept telling Sakamoto-san that you wouldn't keep sending underlings and you'd show up eventually. He seemed to relish in the fact when I told him that a woman held my debt. Well, his debt. He took it from me when I gave him my business, my apartment, and my car. God, if I still had all that, I'd be crapping myself right now. You are rather scary looking, you know? No wonder your guys were so scared to tell you they were gay. Though how Sakamoto-san knew, I don't know. but he was able to find them all their perfect little places. How about Yuki? Did she get her sex operation okay? I've been ... OW!" Akiko rubbed her cheek where Fuyumi had smacked her.
Fuyumi hadn't been able to see another away to get the former respectable business woman to shut up. "So, you signed away your debt? Where's the fool who took it? Who keeps fucking with my organization and keeps thinking he can get away with it?"
"I'll ... I'll go get him..." Akiko slunk away behind the partition. Fuyumi could her her animatedly explaining to someone that she was here.
"She hit me, Sakamoto-san! You can't make me go out there again. I beg you."
There was a muffled response that Fuyumi couldn't make out.
"I'm too scared to file." Another unintelligible response. "If you think it will make me feel better..."
A balding, portly man stepped around the corner and smiled at Fuyumi. She could smell him from where she stood. Had he bathed recently at all? She wrinkled her nose. His shirt and suit were a complete mess. They looked like he'd been sleeping in them for days, creases and wrinkles ran every which way. Akiko wasn't as stupid as she was pretending to be. Let this dumb slob take the fall; Fuyumi respected Akiko's craftiness.
"Kenji Sakamoto, pleased to meet you." He stuck out his hand and Fuyumi grasped his stubby fingers. She meant to squeeze them hard, to let him know she was going to hurt him, but as soon as she took them, her hand froze. Her hand like she'd been holding a block of ice while standing out in a blizzard for hours.
Sakamoto pulled his hand back and Fuyumi shook hers. She open and closed her hand. She had movement again, but her hand still felt cold. Sakamoto sat down and said, "Please, sit." Fuyumi sat down in the chair across the counter, like she was actually a customer.
"I'm sorry about my slovenly appearance. I'm not very good at getting things to the cleaners or taking care of stuff in general. You look like you take stuff to the cleaners a lot."
Fuyumi pounded her hand on the counter and stood up. "Don't fuck with me!"
Sakamoto held his hands up. "Whoa whoa. Calm down. It was a joke, a play on words. You know, you're yakuza and you clean people out, where I only take stuff to be laundered. I wasn't saying you're a maid or anything like that."
Fuyumi sat back down in her chair. What was this guy's deal? There wasn't a whiff of fear coming from him. "You owe me money."
"Yes, I'm aware that Akiko had quite a substantial debt with you. I was hoping that you and I could work something out. I don't think it's really fair that I should..."
"I don't care what the fuck you think is fair! All I care about is [i]my[/i] money," Fuyumi said. She stood and threw her chair. It went clattering across the floor, leaving nicks in the buffing here and there.
Sakamoto just sighed. "Akiko just buffed it this morning."
Fuyumi screamed and kicked the counter.
"Hey, hey, hey. Destroying the place isn't going to magically put the money in your bank account." He stood and walked over to the thrown chair. He picked it up and set it back down in front of the counter. "Why don't we sit down and talk this over like adults?"
Sakamoto put his hand on Fuyumi's back. Icy chills ran down her spine. She felt like she was leaning shirtless against a wall in a meat locker. Goose bumps appeared on her arms. The chill ran into her mind and cooled her anger. It didn't fade, it just went from fire hot to calculating cold.
.... There is more of this story ...