Here, new update !

(Sorry, I know, my chapters are kinda short, but I'll upload the rest of the story asap !)

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The night air was chilly, but Karen couldn't care less. She was walking fast, head bent, looking down at her feet and the pools of light the street lamps were pouring on the pavement. Her thin hands were curled up in fists and her nails were bitting on the soft flesh of her palms.

Sooner than what she had been expecting, she found herself in front of the building she was heading at. She circled it, went down a few steps, pushed the metallic door and found herself in a poorly-lighted corridor. On each side were little rooms people could rent to put there some furniture or whatever stuff they wanted out of the way – in their case, that "stuff" was enough guns to give anyone a heart-attack.

Hell, even her was breathless for a sec after she closed the door behind her and turn on the neon lights, even though that wasn't the first time she had come here. That really was a fucking lot of weapons, to the point where it made her slightly unconfortable. It wasn't that it was reminding her how much blood the man she loved had on his hands, not really – that was something she just couldn't ignore anyway, not when living on a daily basis with Frank and his scars and his nightmares. It was most like it was... shit, it was a goddamn arsenal, that was all.

Her bag crashed near her feet and Karen took a few steps towards the wall, where every gun had been carefully suspended. Her fingetips brushed against a frame-thrower and what she believed to be a bazooka – she had to admit it was tempting, but no.

She took instead the assault riffle she was confortable with, because she had fired with it a few times – at empty unmoving cans, yeah, but that was better than nothing.

When she span around, looking for magazines, her gaze fell on Frank's bullet-proof vest, the one with the infamous white skull spray-painted on it. She remembered he said it was caughting the ennemy's eyes so they would be firing at it and not at more vulnerable body parts. She shrugged. Well, she wasn't planning on getting shot tonight, so why not – that was the reasonable reason though, because the dark part of her being was delighted at the idea of showing up with this on her chest and looking at those assholes' faces when they would recognize the Punisher's symbol.

Karen took her trench coat off and put on the vest. She had to tighten the straps to their full range so it fitted her slim frame, but it would do his job. She then grabbed some addhesive tape and used it to maintain the riffle against her chest, hidden by her coat. She examined her work with a critical gaze – she looked a bit larger and kinda stiff, however it wasn't too obvious.

It would have to do it, anyway.

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As Karen was getting close to the adress she had been given, she tried to focuse on her breathing to steady herself. That wasn't really working though, mostly because she felt the weight of the assault riffle tapped against her chest each time she inhaled. The reminder wasn't as reassuring as she thought it would be – as she hoped it would be.

God, suddenly she wasn't so sure it was a great idea after all. When you got a gun, you had to be ready to use it, she knew that, but... was she really ready to pull the trigger, to kill ? She had done it before, however tonight she would have to be the one to make the first move, she would not have the luxury to just react, caught in the action, without a second thought. For God's sake, she was the one coming in with a military gun !

She shook her head, as if it could push away her thoughts.

Those men would have gladly kill her if it wasn't for the register they wanted to get back, she didn't have the slightiest doubt on that. Moreover they were threatening to kill Frank, and even though they probably would not actually do it at midnight – because if so they would lose their leverage – she was positive they were going to hurt him more. That being said, she really didn't want to found another tape – or worse – on her doorstep. So there was only one path, and it was forward.

Karen's hand clenched on the strap of her bag and her pace quickened. Memories of the last year flashed in her mind. Their first encounter, in the hospital, the dinner, the woods where she had said he was dead to her. That make her scoffed – boy, how had that changed. Then the time he had reached out again, searching for Micro, the metting by the river at night – "I want there to be an after, for you" and I maybe a little bit for me too –, the time he came to rescue her, the elevator. She had known at that time, or at least she had finally acknowledged, that she loved him. What she didn't know, though, was when exactly she had fallen for him. Right from the beginning, she had seen past what the medias said he was – a maniac, a psycho-killer – but from that to romance, there was a rather big step. But there was no arguing with her heart and so, a few months later, they were officially dating – no matter how irrealistic it sounded.

That had led them to live together. Now Karen was used to call that flat "theirs", she was used to fall asleep in his strong embrace, wearing one of his shirts on top of her sleep pants, and to wake-up on Sunday mornings to the smell of pancakes – turned out that Frank was a great cook when he grew tired of canned goods and take-outs. She was used to have someone waiting for her when she left her office, or to wait for him to come home on other days. And there were so many other things – him paying for her order at the coffee shop the days he left for work to early to see her, the pages they marked when they were reading a book so the other would know that they had found that funny or thoughtful, the pics of cute dogs they were sending each other, the long talks in the bed with the lights out...

She wasn't losing that.

Karen repeated this thought in her head like a mantra as she crossed the parking lot that was separating her from her destination. From the corner of her eye, she caught a glimpse of light on what might have been a gun, pointed at her – one of the watchers posted outside the building, probably. It didn't matter. They were letting her in.

Hell, what a mistake.

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Thanks for sticking with me ! I'd love to hear your thoughts...
There will be action in the next chapter :D