CHAPTER 1

Her face cringed in agonizing pain. Her hands were balled up into tight fists, her knuckles turning white.

"You're doin' fine kid," the man said to her as he finished up. "There, It's beautiful," he said, admiring his work. As she continued to sit there in pain, too much to stand, tears appeared now on her bright red face. "C'mon," the man said as he gently patted her shoulder. "Want my stress ball? I'll get you some ice 'ta chew on."

"S-Sure," she said stammering as she very slowly rose from the sticky, black leather chair.

As she almost fell, a man grabbed her by the arm and kept her up. "You ok?" he asked his voice was gruff and deep.

When she looked up to see who he was, she smiled. "I'm fine, thanks."

He nodded and let go of her arm. He watched as she stumbled over to a nearby bench by a wall.

"First one, J?" the man called, poking his head around the store.

"Yeah, she's a soldier," he said walking out from behind a wall with tools in his hands.

"How big?" the gruff man asked walking over to J and leaned against the wall.

"Pretty big, Log. Covered most of the lower back," he said as he walked over to a sink and cleaned his tools.

"Sweet," Logan said as he walked back over to the girl and sat next to her. "Mind if I see?" he asked in a nice tone.

She turned her back to him, "Just be careful," she said. She shivered when she felt his cold hands slowly lift up her shirt. Just as he did, J brought a cup of ice and the stress ball to her. She took a piece of ice and bit down on it.

"Holy shit, J! Best I've ever seen!" Logan exclaimed as he look at all the fine details. Two huge red and black dragons. One was going from her right to left side. Under it was going in the opposite direction. Twirled around them were red and yellow roses of different sizes with green and brown thorns. The flames from the dragons' mouth were blue and purple. In the flames were the names 'Victoria and Julia' in old English styled letters. "Are you Victoria or Julia?" he asked putting her shirt down slowly.

She shook her head, "No, Victoria was my baby sister and Julia was my mother," she explained as she turned around, facing him. He was a little shocked at how she now looked. Her face was no longer bright red, and her eyes weren't full of tears. Instead, she was a lovely tan with beautiful dark green eyes and re-orange hair, up in a sloppy ponytail. "I'm Isabel, Izzy for short," she smiled and reached out her and to shake his.

"Pleasure," he said with a smile, shaking her hand. "If you don't mind me askin', how'd they die?"

Izzy took a deep breath, "Gas station hold up," she said sadly, watching his expression go from sad to devastated.

"Oh no. The one a few miles west of Brooklyn?" he asked curiously.

"Yeah, how'd you hear about it? They never showed it on the news. I guess it wasn't important enough," she said angrily.

"Oh, my friend Ororo saw the last bit of it. She woulda run in but it was already swallowed in flames."

"That's all you know?" Izzy asked as she tossed the stress ball from hand to hand.

"Yeah. Am I supposed to know more?"

"If you're interested I can tell you the whole thing, if your stomach isn't weak," she said with a smirk on her face.

Logan nodded his head up and down, "Imma big boy," he said as he pounded his chest with a fist.

"Alright. It started out as a regular hold up. Until one of the four men shot gunned the clerk in the throat. One of the others was carryin' either a really big knife or a machete; he sliced my mother in her stomach. They didn't know Vikki was there until she screamed and ran over to mom. Before she could kneel down, he sliced her in the throat. After they did that, they poured gun powder everywhere and one of 'em lit up a cig, took a few puffs then tossed it as he walked out. Cops say it coulda been a gang initiation thing," she explained as Logan sat there, listening intently.

"Shit, I'm so sorry for your loss," he said and gently rubbed her upper back, trying to be careful of her tattoo.

"It's ok, shit happens," she said shrugging and taking out her phone as it vibrated. "Damn, I gotta run. Dad's bitchin'," she said as she stood up.

"There went my next question," he said with a smirk and stood as well.

"Yeah, I don't like him much," she smiled and headed for the door. "See ya 'round?" she asked with hope in her voice.

"Yeah," he replied with a wide smile and waved.

"Quit scarin' away my customers Log!" J joked as he got his tools ready.

"Aw, come on, you know I'm sexy!" Logan said as he punched J in the back.

"Just sit down," J said and put on a face mask.

"You're so damn bossy," Logan complained and sat down.

"Yeah yeah yeah, so what's it gonna be?" J said irritated.

"I got the perfect idea," Logan said with his back facing J.