I do not own Strangers in Paradise. This awesome series belongs to Terry Moore. Please Review!

-What I Do Best-

'I just do what I'm told.'

That had become the motto of Cherry Hammer, one of the faithful and trustworthy 'employees' of Tambi Baker.

The thing was, Cherry was not sure if she still believed in those six words anymore.


Less than eight hours after watching Yoshiko "Ai" Takahashi disappear into the crowd on a busy Tokyo street, Cherry Hammer had come to hate those six words. Even more, she deeply regretted her passive inaction.

The tall, broad-shouldered blonde woman rubbed her temples as she rested against the pristinely starched pillows and sheets of the expensive hotel she was staying at; courtesy of Tambi Baker, of course.

In her ear, Elvis Presley serenaded her with "Love Me Tender," but Cherry removed the earphones and cut off her ipod with a sigh. Not even the "King" could take her mind off of her worries tonight. Especially when she was supposed to be on a plane back to the United States right now, but here she was –still in Japan and not following orders like she always did.

She knew Tambi would NOT be pleased with her.

She rolled out of bed, stretched and went into the luxurious hotel bathroom. Glancing around at the white marble counter filled with soaps, shampoo and other toiletries, Cherry picked up one of the mini sample bottles of perfume, opened it and sniffed it. She then tucked it in the pocket of the boxer shorts she was wearing with a men's white tank. She hoped that maybe she'd meet a pretty young thing that might like it –if she got lucky.

Cherry looked into the mirror and took yawned as she stared at her reflection. Her hair was an edgy blunt cut and usually disheveled, she preferred to cut it herself. Her blue eyes were ringed with smudged black eyeliner. She was a tough looking woman, but had a vulnerability to her. Her buff body was covered in scars what Cherry considered her 'battle wounds' for she was fighting a war…she just wasn't sure who's yet.

She didn't know if other women found her looks attractive, but she knew her personality (especially when intoxicated) and her special 'skills' seemed to get her fair share of dates, though her relationships usually turned out to be short-lived.

Cherry went over the gleaming white bathtub that looked as it could easily fit four people. She turned on the taps and adjusted them until the water was the right temperature. She picked up one of the many samples of bubble bath and sniffed one called 'Japanese Cherry Blossom,' and decided to indulge in what she considered a frivolous treat. She pulled off her tank top, took the mini-bottle of cologne out of her pocket, then stepped out of her boxer shorts and eased into the tub.

She closed her eyes and leaned her head back as the warm water enveloped her. She hummed a Dusty Springfield song as she tried to relax, but she could not rid herself of the memory of David's sister disappearing into the crowd, while she stood by helplessly and watched her go. Cherry took a deep breath and shook the image from her mind. It was quickly replaced by David's face, then Tambi's.

Why was she still in Japan? She'd never dream of disobeying the boss before. Why was she agonizing over David's twin sister?

Because Cherry knew she had the option to change the girl's life- for better or worse. Ai was struggling to make ends meet working two jobs. She had to pinch pennies and go without things she wanted. The blonde knew that lifestyle well, she had grown up poor and always struggled until she, well, "got lucky."

She could bestow good luck on David's sister. Ai was in reality a wealthy heiress worth millions. Armed with that information, was it fair for anybody to keep it from her?

Cherry didn't think so., but now she was in a complicated position. It wasn't good thing to get on the wrong side of Tambi Baker.

It was the most dangerous thing she could do, but for once she decided to do what she wanted to do instead of following orders.

Hopefully, it wouldn't be the death of her.

To be continued-

A/N- This is an almost completed story I wrote last year shortly after the end of the "Strangers in Paradise," comic series. I am trying to update regularly while I deal with a sudden health crisis. Please review- I know there is not much here but I will post the second (and last) chapter soon.