“Rick Summers,” the man brushed by a few of the men.
“I’ve been dying to meet you.” He grinned.
“I get that a lot.” Rick chuckled nervously.
The man laughed.
“And he has a good sense of humor.”
The man then towered over Maru.
“I’m afraid you can’t joke your way out of this one, however.”
The man laughed once more.
“You’re quite amusing; it’s a shame I was sent to do this.”
Rick looked around cautiously as he tightened his grip on Maru.
“Hand her over.” The man demanded.
Rick laughed. He just kept laughing. The man looked shocked.
“Oi Oi, what’s so funny about what I said?” He asked cautiously.
“It’s just not my style to fight in front of a kid, you know?” Rick chuckled.
The man smirked.
“Well, who said you had to fight?” He asked.
“Just hand her over.”
Rick knew he was at a disadvantage. The man could easily orde
About a week had passed since the incident; however, Maru had seemingly moved on from it.While Maru quickly moved on, Rick had his concerns.What if the man’s call for the retreat was a hoax of some sort? What if he reported back, arranged something else, or had bigger plans?He couldn’t be sure.*“Rick?” There was a knock at the door.“It’s open, Sena,” Rick answered.The door opened to reveal Sena with a man behind her. Rick's eyes widened as his heart began to race.It was the man who led the rest of the men during the attempted kidnapping.“What are you-” Rick stammered.“Is something wrong?” Sena asked, looking at him in confusion.“Sena-” Rick began.“Can I talk to you?”Sena looked at the man then back to Rick.“Yes, of course."Rick pulled her to the kitchen.“Wh
After their unlikely friendship had begun, Chris frequently visited Rick's house, much to Rick’s annoyance.“Hey, what’re you doing?” Chris asked while hovering over his shoulder.Rick sighed while grabbing his pen.“Looking for a new job, I guess.”Chris laughed.“Hey, hey, don’t laugh right in my ear, idiot.”Chris smiled, amused.“I already have one kid I’m taking care of; I really don’t need another,” Rick smirked.“Hey!” Chris shouted, insulted.“By the way, where is the shrimp?” Chris questioned.“The huh?” Rick scratched his head in annoyance.“Maru,” Chris replied.“Oh, Sena and Abbey took her to the park,” Rick replied, checking the clock.“I think they’ll be back soon.”Chris nodded.“Any luck finding anything?
“Rick?” A small voice called across the room.“What’s up, Maru?” Rick answered, not picking up his head.The girl walked over to the kitchenette, where he was sitting reading the newspaper.“I’m hungry,” Maru whined.Rick nodded his head, flipping a page of the paper. He then quickly looked up.“You haven’t eaten?” He questioned.Maru nodded sadly.Rick chuckled nervously.“C’mon, we’ll go grab something from the cafe.”Maru’s eyes suddenly lit up.“Can I get a cheesecake!?” She cried out.Before Rick could answer, the girl ran to go put her shoes on.Rick let out a sigh.*“I told you to hold my hand while we cross the street, Maru!” Rick scolded the girl.Maru smiled sheepishly and gripped his hand.Rick bit his lip as not to let out a noise of pain.
“Hey, where are you going?” The girl tugged the man’s coat. Rick sighed as he knelt on his knee and faced the girl. “I told you already, didn’t I?” Rick smiled softly and began to gently stroke her hair. Maru bit her lip as not to cry. “Hey, why are you crying?” Rick looked alarmed. Maru puffed her cheeks. “I’m not crying!” She pouted. Rick chuckled. “I promise I’ll be back soon!” He stood up and gave the girl a quick head pat. “Promise, promise?” The girl turned to him as he began descending the stairs. “Promise, promise!” He shouted with a wave goodbye. As she heard the door close, the girl let out a whimper. This was the first time the two of them would be separated since they met. * “Morning, shrimp!” A tall man opened the door to the apartment. Maru turned her head to look at the man. “Chris...?” Maru questioned, looking up. “What’s with the co
The weekend had come after a busy beginning at Wildwood Elementary.Maru and Rick were seated on the couch, watching cartoons as they heard a sudden knock at the door.“Rick?”Rick looked up, half asleep."Chris?” He sleepily replied.The door flung open.“Hey! Are you trying to break my door down!?” Rick cried angrily.“Rick,” Chris began.“That certainly is my name.” Rick let out a sigh.“You’re not going to believe this.”Rick sat up.“What am I not going to believe?” He asked.Chris brushed his hair back.“Experiment Labs,”Rick’s eyes widened at the name.“Well,” Chris continued.“There was a rebellion by a few of the patients, they kidnapped the boss’s son, and now the labs are in ruins.”Rick quickly turned to Maru, whose eyes we
“Chris, sir?” A man knocked on the door. “Clark?” “Y-yes, sir.” “C’mon in.” The man opened the door. “Sir,” Chris shot him a dirty look. “...Chris,” the man corrected himself. “Get on with it, Clark.” Chris raised an eyebrow. “W-well Chris,” Clark stammered. “Before we came the other night to investigate the Labs, we set up cameras.” Chris sat up a bit. “And?” Clark handed him a camera. “Well, this...this isn’t one of our men.” As Chris pressed play, his eyes widened. “Is that...” * A man wandered the rubble whistling, swinging his keys. “Yeesh.” He sighed as he kicked a tiny piece of the ruin. “Glad I wasn’t on shift during this shitstorm.” The man suddenly froze. He looked around cautiously. There’s no way. Before the man could take another step, something grabbed at his leg. Startled, the man dropped his k
“A child...?” A woman questioned.“Clearly.” The man huffed in response.“Yeesh, what are you in such a mood for, big brother?” Another girl chimed in.“Tea is ready.” A third girl said as she walked into the room.The three girls and Norio sat around a table in silence.“What do you think mother will think, Nori?” The eldest girl began.“What does mother care?” Norio sighed.“It’s not like she’s ever around anyway...” He grumbled as he went to take a sip of his tea.“Big brother has a good point.” The youngest of the three girls said.“Yui, let us handle this, please.”Yui puffed her cheeks in annoyance.“Faye?” The eldest turned to the middle child.“Eh?” Faye looked up.“Hiromi,” she began.“I personally think mother would b
Norio closed the newspaper and huffed. “Looks like I’m officially out of a job.”He sighed as he sank back into the couch.“I’m surprised," Faye began.“I didn’t think you would be upset about it,” she continued as she placed tea down on the table.“You’ve said several times that you didn’t enjoy working at such a place.”Norio picked up the tea and blew on it a couple of times before taking a sip.“Weren’t you working there because you had heard rumors your bro-”Norio turned with a glare.Faye let out a sigh.“What’s got you in such a bad mood this morning, baby brother?” Hiromi questioned as she sat on the arm of the couch, ruffling his hair.“I didn’t sleep well, I guess.” He muttered.“Oh!” Faye exclaimed as if she had just remembered something.“What&rs