I'm back with another chapter in, what, 24 hours? Ok, I need you guys to vote. Should you get frequent, short chappies like this, or infrequent, long ones, and risk me forgetting or not being able to update? You vote. Now chapter 3.

4:00. Time to start work. I had come to this tiny Chinatown shop for the second time in 24 hours. I know it sounds strange, to feel at home in a place such as this, that I'd only been in once before, and such a strange place anyhow.

Thick red curtains hung in the doorways and intricately patterned rugs carpeted the floor. The low wood table was still there, as was the censer, still spitting smoke. Tapestries hung the walls, deer, tigers (A.N. Hmm, some foreshadowing?), interesting animals she had never seen before. Plants, too, in emerald greens and jades, with flowers in scarlet and lapis lazuli hues, saffron and cream, fuchsia and royal purple. Beauty abounded in Count D's shop.

But now here was a man sitting with Count D. "Some thing big, something flashy, something WOW!" I heard him declare excitedly. Then interrupted Count D's friendly, feminine voice, "Ah, but sir, here we do not just sell pets, but love, dreams, and hope."

"Yeah, yeah, that's very nice, but do you have what I'm looking for?" the man rudely questioned. Count D's smile widened. "Of course, sir. Here, how would the last tiger of this kind in the world do for your purposes?"

"Great, great, just fine! The last, you say?" The rude man was grinning from ear to ear. "Oh yes," Count D smiled. "The very last." How did he cope with this rudeness? "Well, fine then! How 'bout you move the thing into my van?"

Count D turned to me. "Ayumi-chan? Would you mind helping me move this dear creature into Tanaka-san's van?" He inquired, pointing to a large, covered box-shape. I hadn't thought he knew I was here.

"Just one thing, Tanaka-san. With this comes 3 terms. A contract you must not breach, under any circumstances. I'm afraid, if you do, we cannot be held responsible for the consequences of such actions."

The rude, greedy man rolled his eyes. "Great. It's a pet shop for God's sake, and you already want me to lay down ink. Ok, what is it? Can we get this moving?" Count D just showed that solid, stable smile. "Of course, sir."

"The first term is to feed it only fresh meat, and twice a day. The second, to not mark it in any way. The third- to never under any circumstances let anyone see it. Never. Do you understand?"

Tanaka-san smirked. I really disliked this guy. "Yeah, got it. Now let's get a move on. I've got places to go and people to see." We loaded the large, white-sheet covered box into Tanaka-san's van, and he sped away.

I turned to Count D. "How could you stand such rudeness? And still remain friendly?" Count D turned and his eyes pierced mine. "It is important to be polite to the customers. It is also those who deserve politeness who will get it. But I think fate and circumstances have a way of giving people what they deserve. I believe those in India call it 'karma'?"

"You are very polite Ayumi, but you get ahead of yourself sometimes, ne? Please work on that." He gave me a gentle smile, so I guessed he wasn't angry. "Now please come back in. We have work to do still, do we not?" And so I followed the strange Count D into his strange shop, and wondered what exactly I had walked into.

Ok, I need you guys to vote. Still. Should you get frequent, short chappies like this, or infrequent, long ones, and risk me forgetting or not being able to update? The choice is yours. Now, go forth.

Peace, love, and mini-spazz huggles,

~Broken Wings.