AN: Hey, hey people! How's it going? *Looks at 75K word story* I've been ah...a bit busy. It's also been a while since I've written in first person. You all know the deal here so I'll keep it brief. Let's get to the action, shall we? ~enjoy

"Speech"

Thoughts

Top Floor Please!

You know when I first heard the ringing coming from my pocket I thought I finally snapped after all of the shenanigans from that night. My buzz had long since faded while the two women, one naked the other one unconscious, were both in front of me proving it was all real.

To be honest I was hoping it was all some drugged up fever dream and one of the boys pulled a nasty prank. Considering the fact that I could feel the cold night air around me and that there were no crazy visuals I knew it was too good to be true.

Well that and nobody here would have anything in the first place...Japan was strict on crap like that.

A little apprehensive, I pulled my phone out of my pocket as the obnoxious ringtone continued dinging. Just before I flipped the device open I thought This isn't even my normal ringtone...what the hell?

The crappy burner opened up with a just as obnoxious voice exclaiming, "Welcome to the world of tomorrow!"

The voice came out rather high pitched but still decidedly male. It also had the sort of eccentric flair you'd see from some type of thrill-seeker, all hopped up about the next new thing. Putting it on speaker I responded, "Who in the hell is this?"

On the other end, the man let out a furtive cough before replying, "Oh come on, can't you just play along? Please? I had a bit prepared and everything."

Looking off into the distance, my eyes slowly zeroed into my hotel a couple of blocks away. It was a pretty large place sticking out from the rest of the buildings. Me and my *ahem* associates rented out the entire top floor for our business endeavors.

"Can you just not? I don't have enough alcohol in my system to deal with any more of this shit. Just get on with it already." I vented all the while motioning for Akitsu to follow behind me.

The diminutive girl kept pace with me, not saying a single word. Looking over at her I could see some of her...ah curves sticking out beneath my jacket. It didn't seem to fit her quite well. Pale flesh peeked out just below in a manner that would make a pervert's day.

The snow woman didn't seem to mind it at all though as she stood by my side. Suddenly her eyes met mine and she quickly looked away. A hand covered by the long sleeves of my suit jacket shot to her mouth just barely covering a growing blush.

Shaking my head a bit, I turned back towards my hotel where, hopefully, no one was back yet.

"Well drat, you're no fun. Fine then...You've recently winged Sekirei number-" in the background, I could hear the sound of papers flying before the man brought his voice back into focus "-number four? Wait that can't be right..."

From the other side of the call, I could hear more papers fly followed by some frantic yelling before the man finally seemed to finish whatever little search he was doing. In the end, he came back then said, "You actually winged Sekirei number four...that's wasn't supposed to happen. Well, all in the name of progress!"

Already annoyed with the man's antics, my finger began to slowly drift towards the red button on my flip phone. All it would take is a little push. With my blood pressure rising I pulled my thumb away before roughly gritting out, "What do you want? And I swear to all that is floating in the heavens above if you say one more slapstick line I'll hang up."

In a jittery tone, I heard the man cough before he finally deemed me with a response. The same almost maniacal laugh was heard before he said, "But that's what this is all for! You, Jackie Estacado, have been chosen to take part in a game of the gods!" (1)

Under my breath, I let out a small curse in Italian before roughly pushing the red button. I didn't know what in the hell the maniac was talking about nor did I really want to learn more about it. Whatever game he was toting could leave me the hell alone.

I'd come to regret hanging up that call, but that would be much later.

My family's little trip to Japan was supposed to be short and sweet with nothing going wrong. We'd already set up talks with some of the country's locally organized groups, and we were just waiting for a time and a place to meet.

Slowly looking over to the shuffling girl to my right I thought I didn't sign up for this crap.

The weird-ass supernatural chicks could stick to themselves. Now I know that might seem boring, but hey I'd call it smart. Who in God's name would want to take part in all this crap besides some stupid kid looking for a way out of his boring life? The only thing I could see the whole debacle as was a good way to get myself killed. It would be better to just stick with what I know.

Well let's just say that I'd like to live my own life, and that doesn't include two magical chicks, one with a hate boner for me and the other spitting out ice sickle in every which way. Pulling me out of my thoughts was Akitsu herself.

What in the hell do I do with her? I pondered as we came up to my hotel.

She looked to be homeless when I first met her, but with something decidedly weird going on in this city, I was starting to doubt that. Maybe she did something to get her thrown out of whatever little group keeps people like her?

None of it seemed to really make sense.

Roughly I rushed past the bellboy as he opened the door with his eyes going wide at the sight of the woman following behind me. I could see the younger man go red underneath his collar as he decided to bring his eyes up towards the ceiling, smart boy.

Luckily enough for me, it was already rather late and almost no one was at the hotel, well at least not in the lobby.

Heading towards the lower floor's main elevator I pressed the button with an arrow pointing up; immediately it lit up, glowing a vibrant white. From behind me, I heard a diminutive voice ask, "Where are we going?"

I continued to stare up at the slowly decreasing number marking the elevator's fast descent. Without even turning around I replied, "I pay back my debts, ice mage or no. We're going to go upstairs get you a stack like I said then you can go do whatever the hell you want."

Before she could respond the elevator doors popped open with a light, "Ding!" Moving as quickly as I could I trudged into the carrier with Akitsu following just behind. Looking over she seemed to have something on the tip of her tongue.

The woman's face was nervously moving to and fro in any direction that wasn't at me. I could see one of her hands daintily pull itself up like she wanted to get my attention before it dropped back down. Taking pity on her I inquired, "What is it?"

"I-I don't need the money..." Akitsu started still with the same nervous undertones still present within her voice. It felt like she was teetering close to collapse, an abject fear building beneath the surface. For me at least, I couldn't understand it.

Pressing the button for the top floor, both metal elevator doors closed locking us inside the contraption. Slowly I felt it begin to move with an upturn similar to that of a roller-coaster building within my stomach.

Akitsu appeared to steel herself as the floors quickly passed by. Her eyes filled with determination she exclaimed, "I just want to stay! Please!"

As the words left Akitsu's mouth she roughly grabbed onto my white undershirt wrapping a hand around me. A look akin to that of a kicked puppy appeared on the woman's face as she slowly pushed me up against the elevator's wall. Fear was still ever-present within her eyes, burning a guilty hole through my head. I could feel her warm breaths slowly creep along my neck.

Another loud ding rang out as we reached the top floor. I wasn't paying too much attention to that though, with the beautiful woman literally clinging to me. A little bit flustered at first, I didn't answer.

Akitsu's hand holding onto my arm started trembling as the silence continued. I could see that same deadened expression from before start to build upon her face. Memories of my family buying out the top floor of the hotel brushed through my mind as I thought It couldn't hurt right? For just a day...

Interrupting the little moment was the voice of the person I'd least want to see me in such a situation. In a teasing tone, from the hallway outside the elevator, Vinnie called out, "Well look at you, Jackie! Didn't know you had it in ya!"

Roughly turning my head to the side as Akitsu continued to press her entire body against my I could see the rather short man quickly pulling out a phone from his back pocket. Before I could even react the familiar noise of a camera's snap hit my ears.

Still leaning up against the elevator's wall I whispered, "Fuck."

AN: Well that's a wrap folks. I know it's been a while and I apologize for that, but I'm mostly going to be pushing along my main focus right now, A Different Kind of God. From time to time I'll be updating this, but not at my normal rate of 1-2 times a week like my other stories.

One thing that surprised me at least was that this story had a rather large following it gathered for being so small. I'd keep getting emails saying someone new was following or favorited this story long after I've posted the last chapter. It's encouraging to see at least.

I don't know when I'm going to start the next chapter of this right now. I'm thinking of just writing a bit of it when I normally write and when I get to the usual chapter size just posting that. I've got nothing else for ya today and like always I accept any and all criticism so hit me with it!

(1) I mentioned this earlier that I'm basing this OC on one of my favorite videogame characters. My Jackie doesn't have anything from the Darkness videogames or comics but he does look pretty similar. Backstory wise, he's almost a completely different person with how he joined up and whatnot. There's nothing else from the videogames specifically that's going to be included; I just really liked Jackie's personality from the games.

~ciao