So, new chapter!



Iris half-expected Phoenix to yell at her for lying over the phone line, yet that wasn't so.

"Really now? Never thought it'd happen to me…well, who cares?" She could hear his accepting voice, acknowledging the fact.

"Please…I'm Iris, Dahlia's twin sister…" she told him, her voice quiet.

"Well, that explains a lot. Like the fact that whenever I try to talk to your sister, she brushes me off."

"I'm not like her."

"Up until today, I thought she was trying to keep 'our' relationship under wraps all this time." She could literally hear him sheepishly smile.

"Glad I could reveal the truth for you…" she trailed off, sighing in relief.

"Glad I could accept it. Now, we need to plan…"


Sometime later…

Phoenix sighed as he closed his cell phone shut. He needed to go retrieve Iris before Dahlia could catch on to what was happening. Based on what Iris told him, that task was far from easy. He first needed to go to the temple to meet up with her and further discuss this issue.

Just then, he was hit with a thought. Perhaps his best friends could help him…

Worth a shot, he thought as he grabbed his cell phone again and started to dial the only other number he knew by heart.


To say that Larry Butz's apartment was as clean as a pig sty would be a total lie. Despite his lack of thought organization, Larry was a very clean man (though his record with women was an entirely different story).

This fact was true when he heard the phone ring. God, need t'get my number back on the 'do-not-call' list…

Finding the device was easy due to the cleanliness of his apartment. Picking up the phone, he pressed "ACCEPT".

"Larry here," Larry began, "What's up?"

"Larry? It's me, Phoenix." Larry almost got taken aback by his friend's voice.

"Dude! Never thoughtI'd hear from ya!" he heartily replied, "So what's the deal?"

"Bit of an emergency, man. I need to talk to you." Butz could almost hear Phoenix's urgency in his tone. This sounded bad.

"Ok, cool, so—"

"In person."

"Uh…sure, fine. You know where to find me, right?"

"Yeah." Larry could almost hear an "oh!" at the other end, like there was an afterthought to be added. "Can you call Miles and let him in on this? There's something he should know. Also, I'm bringing a…friend. Yeah, a friend. Mind if I bring her along?"

"Sure…what for?" Now Larry was getting concerned. This didn't sound like it would end well.

"Trust me, it's important. Like…if I don't do this, I might die."

"No shit!" Larry was surprised; his shock hitting him like a cannonball was aimed at his stomach.

"Yeah. No shit."

"Ok, I'll call Miles to let him know."

"Can you see if he can come over to your place?"

"Might as well, man. Just worry about what you need to do and I'll take care of the rest, ok?"

"See you when I get there." With that, the line went dead.


Phoenix tried hailing the nearest cab, running up to it as it stopped. He quickly opened the door and got inside, sighing in relief as he failed to spot any redheaded women.

His entire body was on hyper-alert. His eyes continuously scanned the area surrounding the cab as he told the driver to head to the train station, pronto. Every fiber of his being was taut with adrenaline pumping through each at supersonic speed.

Then, his fears went sky high as she passed the cab, her redhead not even turning to see who was inside the vehicle as it rolled along the streets. He immediately ducked down out of sight, praying that she didn't turn around to look.

God, please, a little help over here!

Dahlia didn't turn around, so he climbed back into his seat, relieved.


Dahlia was on her way back to campus after a day at the spa, one the luxuries her twin didn't have, what with her being cooped up in the mountains with a crazy nun and all.

If only Daddy kept Iris, maybe she could be more civilized, Dahlia thought. No matter. I need to know if that spiky-haired naive bastard is six feet under and that necklace is off his neck. Time to go give ol' Iris a 'sisterly' call…


Sometime later

Iris was halfway finished packing when she got word that the phone near the bridge rang.

Hoping it was Phoenix; she picked up, her hopes high. "Hello?" Her voice was cheery, filled with relief and hope that it wasn't—

"Rissy? It's me." Oh, hell no! It couldn't be—!

"Dahlia?! W-what do you want?!"

"I want that necklace off his neck and that naive bastard six feet under. You should have known that. Now I want you to tell me what I want to hear."

Iris panicked. This wasn't looking good! "Uh…I've hit a little…bump regarding Fee—I mean, that naive bastard being dead…"

"You mean he's still alive?! You cheating little whore! What'd you do wrong this time?! Not enough arsenic?! Can't get the proper gun license?! The rope's too short?! Lake's too shallow to drown him?!"

"I'm trying the best I can! Right now I just hit a snag, that's all!" Iris's voice almost burst, but she held herself back. She couldn't afford to have too much stress, not after Mother Bikini warned her that it would damage the child!

"Is the necklace off his neck?"

"No, not yet…please, Dollie, give me at least some more time! I'll have the necklace back! Just don't—"

"I don't have any more time to spare you, sister. You either get the necklace soon or I'll get it myself."

"Dollie, please, no—!"

"Why not? It's not as if you've made any progress beyond making him fall in love with 'me.' " As much as Iris hated admitting it, Dahlia had a point.

"That was because he couldn't tell the difference!" Iris argued. Not until I told him…

"Iris, you better have that necklace when we speak again. And that bastard better be taking a dirt nap, too, or else."

"Doll," Iris almost cried in panic, "Just gimme nine months! That's all I'm asking for! Nine months and you won't have to worry about that necklace or that bastard anymore!"

"Nine months, Iris?!" Iris could hear Dahlia's fist slam the side of the phonebooth she was in. Her voice was near hysterical. "What the hell?! Why the hell do you need nine months?! You ungrateful little bitch! I've given you long enough to kill that naïve bastard several times over!"

"I—I…I just need more time!"

"You've had enough!"


Iris's breath hitched as Dahlia's rage almost peaked. Oh no, this was going to end badly—

"Fine…" Dahlia sighed. "You've got nine months to kill that bastard and swipe that necklace off his neck. If I hear that he's still kicking, you're in for it."