Hello there to all my fans, new and old! This story has anticipated for quite some time now, hasn't it? So, as promised, I bring you the sequel to my story "Seemingly Innocent." This story will put a lot more focus on the monks and perhaps a new face or two…Right well, you didn't click here to read an author's note, you came for a story! Onto the fic:

Family Ties

Raimundo's POV

"We can't be caught…" She lowered her head in shame.

"But…we are." I took her chin in my head, lifting it gently. We starred into ear others eyes for a moment, and then I saw him

"Rai!" Kimiko piercing scream dragged me back into reality. I sat up in my bed and looked around, slightly dazed.

I had been dreaming peacefully, of course. About that day. That day nine months ago, when Ember, the famous "Phoenix" and criminal was finally caught. Ember, my love.

He approached silently from behind. In his hands he held thick steel cuffs. I saw him coming. But my mouth couldn't form any words, and he quickly slapped the cuffs on her.

"Huh? What?" Ember said confused her eyes dashing about wildly. She whipped around to face him

"Raimundo! Are you coming?" Kimiko screamed at me once more.

"Yes!" I snapped. "What do you want?" I added irritably.

"You have a letter!"

A letter? That was weird. I never got letters.

"From who?" I yelled.

"You're caught…it's over, Ember." He answers, trying to hide his pride and arrogance. "The phoenix has been caught."

"No…" Ember answers, a complete stunned look on her face. I can't see myself, but I only imagine my expression mimics hers.

He grabs Ember violently and roughly drags her to the car while explaining her rights. Standard cop procedure. Once they reach the reaming police car, the one Ember didn't have time to torch, he brutally shoves her in. He takes her away for eternity…

I think about that day all the time. I keep replaying the memory in my head. I can't get over it. I can't get over it, because I caused it. The night before that morning, I cracked, and spilled our location to the police. Ember and I were going to escape. We were going to go to Paris. But when we went to leave, it was too late. A brief struggle followed, and then came the arrest.

"I don't know!" Kimiko screamed back at me. "Just come get it before I throw it out!"

It was always like this now. I felt like my fellow monks had ripped out Ember and my happiness from right under my feet. And I was right. They did.

And my fellow monks, my friends, felt like I had betrayed them for a life a pleasure and wealth. And they were right. I had done that when I agreed to join up with Ember.

Eventually, after the capture, I decided I would go back to the temple, but things just haven't been right. The tension between us is huge, and fights are a common occurrence. But I try not to think about that.

Here, I'll catch you up.

He is a police officer that goes by the name of Jim. He told me his last name once, but I don't remember it. Jim had been hounding Ember all through-out her criminal history. Ember was a bank robber. But it was more than just that. She was a VERY good bank robber. I had heard that she could rob any bank all by herself and not get caught. And then do it again at another bank, and then another, and another…

She had been on the run since she was twelve, but was a criminal since the age of eight. It was all a complicated story as to why. I knew it and I could explain it, but there are more pressing matters at the moment.

Finally nine months ago Jim got what he wanted. He arrested Ember. I had stupidly decided to strike a deal with him. I gave him her, and he let me slip away with out any charges. It was a dumb move, but we both upheld our end of the bargain.

For the longest time I was so angry at him. There were times when I wanted to kill him, and I would start plotting. Eventually I scared myself. I mean I had actually thought about killing him. That is just wrong on so many levels.

I soon realized he was just doing his job, and I wasn't angry at him, I was angry at myself. I was the one who betrayed Ember. Eventually I moved passed all my emotional problems. I've put them behind me.

Five months ago Ember got her official sentence. She had been in like a holding prison before then. I didn't attend her trial, but was told that she didn't stand a chance. She had no lawyer, and the evidence against her was solid.

She was to be held in a juvenile detention center until she turned eighteen. Then she'd go to real prison for thirty years. She had done some bad stuff. I didn't even know the full extent of what she'd committed.

The place she was being held at wasn't like most jvuie halls. It was for kids and teens who, like her, had committed exceptional crimes but were still too young for prison. She'd been there four months now. Four months. Only thirty-three years and three months to go. Yikes.

I arrived in the kitchen where Omi was eating some cereal and Clay was reading the newspaper. I spotted Kimiko hovering over the waste basket about to throw a white envelope in.

"Gimme that!" I snatched the letter away before she could toss it. Normally I wouldn't have minded having to sift through the trash for it, but there was something green and moldy in there and I decided not to go through the garbage today.

I turned the envelope over and checked the address. I wasn't familiar with it.

"What's that?" Omi asks, craning his round head over the table.

"What do you think, dufus? A letter." I'm normally not that rude to him, but he'd particular pissed me off the day before during our training session. It was simply childish revenge.

"Who's it from?" Clay asks, but I ignore him and rip it open and start reading.

Dear Raimundo,

I would like to apologize about not getting in touch with you earlier. There were matters which I promised to inform you of, but was just so busy I didn't have the time. I know, that's not a very good excuse, but it's the truth. I've been busy. However, something urgent came up. I am still very busy, but I knew I couldn't live with myself if I didn't tell you this. I also apologies if this letter is sloppy, I'm writing it quickly while I eat my lunch, so it will arrive in time.

It was then that Raimundo spied a large mustard stain on the paper. But continued to read regardless of it:

I don't know the full details, but recently a colleague of mine found new evidence against crimes that Mary Smith, or Ember as you know her, had committed throughout the years. I don't know what these crimes are, but they must be pretty severe, for Ember's sentence has been increased.

Ember's sentence has been increased to the maximum sentence. I'm sorry Raimundo but…they're going to execute her.

There was a huge trail battling the judge's decision, but things would not change. As much as I do not like the girl, I never wanted to see her die, just punished. I swear to you that I have been fighting this, trying to get them to be more lenient, but to no avail. I even went so far as to hire a lawyer for her. He tried arguing that she wasn't even adult yet, but apparently there's some big legal loophole in the system, and it doesn't matter that she's a minor. I've done all I can, but unfortunately there is nothing we can no longer do.

She will be executed in seven weeks, by means of lethal injection. Though I hate to be the one to have to tell you this, Raimundo, I knew I had to tell you. I do have somewhat comforting news, however. You, and your friends, if they wish, can be allowed to visit Ember before…well you know.

If you are interested in this offer, please mail me back and I will make the proper arrangement.


Lieutenant Jim Cadicci

I starred at the letter in disbelief, trying desperately not to cry.

"What did it say, Rai?" Clay asks. "Your face looks pretty intense." Without answer I thrust the letter at his face. He caught it as it drifted through the air and read it out loud to my fellow monks in training.

"So…" Omi was the first to speak. "They are going to kill her?"

"Seems that way." Clay answered.

"Good." Kimiko says bitterly. That did it. Omi had to restrain me as I tried to tackle Kimiko. I didn't care if she was a girl, or my friend, she'd gone too far. I wanted to punch her.

Finally I settled down and sat at the table, still trying not to cry, but I feel some small tears slip away regardless. Kimiko is glaring at me, but soon takes pity at my tears and averts my gaze.

"I'm sorry Rai." Omi tells me.

"We know you really liked- er- loved her." Clay adds. Omi and Clay turn to Kimiko. She sighs.

"I'm sorry they're going to kill her, Raimundo. I don't really want her dead. I'm sorry for what I said." Kimiko says genuinely.

I can't hold back anymore. I bring my hands to my face and let out a big sob. I feel stupid, wailing like a baby in front of my friends, but I just can't help it. It isn't often you hear the girl you love is on death row.

Kimiko scoots her chair towards mine and awkwardly pats my back. Trying to comfort me, but doing a lousy job.

"Do you…are you going to visit her?" Clay asks, tentatively.

I hesitate for a moment, then, "Yes. I…want to see her…one more time."

"The letter says we can come too…" Omi says slowly, his voice hinting at me to answer.

"Do you want us to come with you?" Kimiko asks. The same question as Omi's, but more polite.

"If…if you guys want to come I won't stop you." Though I secretly wish they don't want to come. And that if they do, they'll go on a different day.

They read right through my words and Clay answers for the group. "We'll stay here, partner."

I pull myself together after a moment, and make my way to my room and get started on my reply letter.

And done with chapter one. This is probably the most shocking introduction chapter I've ever done. Oh, one quick note; this isn't so much of a sequel but more an aftermath. It's gone be a little on the short side. And If I had to guess, between 10 or 15 chapters, something like that. Okay, well feedback would be much appreciated!