Alright, world. This is something from me that you almost never see… an AU. Dun Dun Duuuuuuun! Complete AU, but expect lots of show references, and some gratuitous cheesy action violence. Challenge pairing for round two of the YGO Fanfiction Contest, Chaseshipping, DukexTristan. I had a lot of fun with this, so I hope you enjoy.
"Secret Agent Man"
The life of a courier.
The wind in your hair, the sun in your face.
Working your own hours, on your own time. Just a man and his bike.
The life of a courier sucked.
"Hey, thanks. I appreciate it." Sarcasm tinged his words as Tristan took the clipboard from the nameless, faceless woman in exchange for her package. It was a pretty slow morning, and the tips matched—it was nothing to start a party over. Tristan shoved the helmet on his head and started his motorbike again, heading back to central where he would pick up his next package. He weaved back and forth through the streets of San Francisco with practiced ease—it really wasn't too hard once one got the hang of it, but in about an hour the streets would become clogged with tourists, families, or school groups, and he wasn't quite sure which was worse.
"Hey, Tristan! Working hard or…?" His package manager joked as he entered the dingy package center.
"Shut Up." It was really shaping up to be one of those days—and his boss really needed to save the stand-up for the weekend. "Can I get my next package? I'd really like to get back on the road." And out of here.
"Sure." The manager stretched his stubby-fingered hand, grasping a medium sized paper-wrapped box. "You can take Ryouta's, he never showed at work today. It's a little farther away, but I'm sure you can handle it."
"Right." Tristan shut the door a little less gently than he would any other day, tucking the surprisingly light box under one arm as he moved back into traffic. He stopped at the first red light to check the address. Who the hell gets a package delivered while staying at the Intercontinental? At least his day looked to be shaping up—this had all the signs of a great tip in the making. He swerved over a lane to turn left, a black SUV making the turn right behind him as the light changed to yellow. Tristan pulled the throttle, glancing instinctively into his side view mirrors as he drove closer to the hotel.
It wasn't unusual, he supposed, to see formal black cars, the city got that kind of traffic, after all, but as he changed lanes he noticed the black SUV veer into his new lane, two cars behind. He shrugged it off; he was just being paranoid.
The multicolored flags over the entrance to the famous hotel beckoned him closer like a lighthouse beacon. Tristan left his bike next to the row of similar looking cycles and dashed into the building's marble-clad lobby. Looking at the tag on the box for further instructions, he read:
Deliver in person to:
The Intercontinental Resort
San Francisco, CA
Room 341, shouldn't be too hard to find. Tristan stepped into a waiting elevator, pressing the '3' floor button so it lit up, and waited. When the doors opened with a loud ping, he moved as fast as his feet could take him down the plush carpeted hallway. Room 341 had a 'do not disturb' sign hanging from the doorknob. Forget that. Tristan raised his hand and knocked twice on the door. When there was no response, he knocked again, folding his arms across his chest.
"Don't you see the sign?" The voice from behind the closed door was just as clipped as Tristan's mood.
"Look, you're gonna want to open the door for this." Tristan moved the box so it was in sight of the hole he was certain 'Duke' was looking out of.
Almost too fast for him to react, the door was yanked open and Tristan was pulled inside. The man on the other side of the door harshly pressed him against the closed door, a suppressed semi-automatic so close to his neck that Tristan felt the cool metal. "Who are you?" The man's voice was beyond angry.
"I'm a courier! What the hell!" Tristan's face heated as he blurted out the first words that came into his head. Sure, he had seen more than his fair share of guns during his gang days, but those days were long gone—not that this didn't have his full attention. "Now would you get that thing away from me? Ever hear the phrase 'don't shoot the messenger?'"
To his surprise, the man laughed—not a loud, belly laugh but more of a quiet, amused chuckle. He withdrew the gun yet still kept it pointed right at Tristan. "Fine, I'll play. Where do I sign?"
"Hold on." Realizing that he was in no position to make threats, Tristan held the box tighter against his chest. "Care to explain what this is all about? You know, you're not very good at making friends."
"Yeah, it helps me stay alive…" He paused. "Wait, were you followed?" He paced the small hotel suite, his eyes constantly darting between the door and the window. He ran a hand through his already messy bangs. "Damn. You are an idiot."
"What is this all about? Tell me." Although he had an idea, Tristan wanted to know the truth. Was it drugs? Counterfeits? Smugglers were either brave or stupid to courier that stuff.
"Well then… might as well. My name is Duke Devlin and I'm a freelance intelligence agent." Duke tucked the gun under one arm and extended his hand. "I have no idea what you are doing here, but now that you're caught up in this, and especially now that we've got the box, I'll do my best to get us both out of here alive."
"I'm Tristan Taylor… and I am so fired," Tristan shook the man's hand. "What's in that box, anyways?" Duke froze suddenly, still grasping Tristan's hand, and a second later pulled him to the floor just as the window pane of the suite shattered.
"I'll tell you later…Come on, let's get out of here!" Duke, leading the way, ran down the hallway in the opposite direction of the lobby. Still cradling the box in his arms, Tristan ran after him, his heart pounding from the adrenaline.
"Where are we going?" Tristan watched as Duke took a master key out of his pocket and swiped into an unmarked door.
"Maid's staircase," he motioned with his hand for Tristan to follow him, the other hand holding the gun as they descended the stairs. "I've got a car around back. We're dead if we stay here."
Oh, man… my bike! Reaching the bottom floor led them into another linoleum-tiled hallway, which they followed to the back of the hotel. A dark red sedan sat between two trash dumpsters. Without any complaint Tristan took the passenger seat, making a show of fastening his seat belt as Duke quickly maneuvered the car away from the hotel.
"Do you know what Kaiba Corporation and Schroeder Corporation are?" Duke took a left-hand turn, weaving through traffic into the commercial area. Getting closer to midday, the sidewalks and stores were flooded with people.
"I know KaibaCorp, weren't they the largest manufacturer of weapons… oh, please tell me this is not a bomb."
"No, they don't manufacture arms any longer. But those two companies, rivals with an almost exclusive monopoly on entertainment, both want what's in that box." Duke continued to glance in his rearview mirror as they drove straight through an intersection, then took an immediate left. "Okay, I don't think we're being followed. That means we can figure out what got you into this mess."
"You are what got me into this mess!" This was no time for figuring-out, Tristan wanted answers, now. "I was only trying to do my job!"
"You weren't supposed to get that package. We had a plant that was going to intercept it for us, but he must have gotten taken out. Now we just need to know which of the two players is after us, and before they find us again."
"But I thought we escaped them." Tristan couldn't help but shrink down into his seat a little—that tingling feeling on the back of his neck was there again; the feeling that they were being watched. Was this how Duke felt all the time?
"Rule number one of my business: they will always find you, and usually at a time that's most inconvenient to you." Duke reached into his pocket and pulled out a PDA. "Take the wheel for a minute; I need to send a message."
"Rule number two: when things start to get rough, call in your handler." The car slowed to a stop on a bland-looking street corner of Polk Street. Most of the businesses in this area were dry-cleaning stores or family-owned restaurants; Duke led them into a dark alcove with the sign 'The Rathskellar.' As they entered the dimly-lit establishment, Tristan was at least glad he was still wearing his leather motorcycle jacket—it seemed to be almost a dress code amongst the bar's patrons. Duke walked down the steps into the main room, swaggering as if he owned the place, his eyes scanning the bar until they stopped on one man slouched over a corner stool. "Tenma! Great to see you, under the circumstances."
Duke was already striding over to the bar, and in his haste to follow Tristan bumped into a man leaving the establishment. "Oh! Sorry," his reply caught in his throat, remembering that he'd best not make any more enemies today. Duke and Tenma, a lanky twentysomething with a surprising shock of bright blue hair hidden underneath a baseball cap, were already deep in conversation when he approached.
"And now the whole mission's gone to hell, and—" They stopped abruptly, noticing Tristan's presence. Tenma turned to face him, swiveling on the bar stool. "So you're the man who saved the package. I represent Industrial Illusions, the mediator between all of this chaos."
"Tristan," Duke interjected, "I2 has hired me to bring in the package to their central headquarters—right here in California, believe it or not. We're here to figure out what went wrong with that plan."
"I found Ryouta at his apartment—or really, what's left of him. Seems like their plan was to get the package before it could be picked up, but then you," and his gaze pointed directly at Tristan, "made things a little more complicated. I don't know if they know who you are, but I'd bet they've got a dossier on every employee at your little excuse for a delivery company. It's only a matter of time before they start beating down your door."
"This is all your fault," Tristan had reached his boiling point. Suddenly the room they were in seemed decidedly too small, and too warm. He had clawed his way to where he was, and no one was going to take that from him. "I should have gone about my day and never been the wiser—now what, you're saying I can never go back? Screw this, I'm leaving. I don't want anything more to do with you." He turned to stomp out of the bar, shock more than anything else preventing him from moving when he felt Duke's hand firmly grasp his arm. Tristan had to suppress the thought that, even if Duke was a lousy secret agent, he had quite a grip.
"Look," Duke argued, "We may have gotten off to a terrible start, but I am sure as hell not going to let you die on my account." He paused, searching for the words that didn't quite seem to fit, and if there was any way for Tristan to understand this life, without actually being a part of it… but he wouldn't let Tristan's life be on his hands. "Just give me twenty-four hours … by this time tomorrow that box will be out of your hands and everything will be settled. Okay?"
Tristan let out all of the air he hadn't known he was holding. "I guess I have to stick around, until I get my pay for delivering this stupid box."
"Right then." Duke let a shadow of a smile drift across his features. Turning back to Tenma, "now, do you know if it's KC or Schroeder that's after us?"
"I'm pretty sure its KaibaCorp agents who tracked you down this afternoon," Tenma replied, pushing up his sleeves over his elbows as he leaned over the bar countertop. "All the usual suspects are there—just don't let them get a bead on you without cover. You know KC, they'll pull a gun on you without even thinking of the giant legal avalanche it causes everyone else. I'm starting to think Kaiba does it for fun."
"So then," Duke said, "We need to get moving. I2's headquarters are just north of San Fransisco."
"Wait, then… why will it take a day?" Tristan scratched the side of his head with his free hand.
"Rule number three: Hope for the best, assume the worst. Now let's get moving. Tenma, I'll be in touch."
The sun was just beginning to set as they drove away from the bar, the sun's light washing over the buildings and glinting off of the windows. Instead of driving directly to the highway, as Tristan had assumed, Duke took the car closer to the wharf, often doubling back and ever-so-slowly twisting and turning their way to the Interstate.
"Taking the scenic route?" Tristan couldn't help but interject as Duke pressed the button silencing the car's radio station.
In the ensuing silence, Duke's eyes flickered again to each of the mirrors in the car. "I'm just making sure that the unmarked car some yards back really has been following us for all this time. No, don't look," now his tone took on a level of exasperation saved for a small child whose hand was caught in mid-reach into a cookie jar. "Just take my word for it. How in the world did they find us…?" He reached into his pocket, removing his phone and rapidly pulling up a tab, causing one corner of the screen to light up and blink furiously.
"There's a bug, tracking our movements to them… how did that happen?" Duke's eyes narrowed, returning to the screen, showing an outline and heat/internet connected signatures. "And guess where the signal's coming from." Duke couldn't help the smirk. "Strip."
"Wait, what? Like hell I will!" Tristan's face blazing; he suddenly became very interested with the detail of the car's cup holders.
"You idiot—that bug is somewhere on you. We've got to find it and get rid of it, and if I have to pull this car over they'll be on us in seconds. Just shut up and find the bug."
Tristan pulled the seat lever, moving his seat backwards so he could easily move into the car's backseat. He stared down at the sleeves of his jacket, waging another inner battle. "You can't be serious…if this is some kinda joke—"
"Trying to drive!" Duke swiftly merged the car into another lane, increasing their speed as they added more distance between them and their pursuers. "Look, it's not like I'm not going to watch you or anything. I'm kind of preoccupied."
Tristan shrugged out of his jacket, glaring at the back of Duke's head hatefully as the car rounded a corner. He thought this was funny? He hated this—hated feeling so defenseless, so not under control. He kicked off his shoes and socks and then checked his pockets. Damn. Nothing.
Duke didn't want to tell Tristan that he was completely blocking the rearview mirror, so he just settled for a, "found it yet? Our tail is getting impatient."
His face now a traffic stopping red, Tristan pulled off his shirt, wanting to cheer when he saw a small metal circle stuck to the back hem of the fabric. "Found the bug!"
"Great, give it to me." Duke reached one hand backwards. Tristan yanked it off of the fabric, a small hole in the t-shirt the only reminder of its presence. He handed it to Duke, who promptly lowered the car's side window and threw it outside. "Now here comes the hard part. We've got to get rid of them, and they're gonna lose that signal and be on us—fast." He couldn't help it—his eyes darted back to Tristan, now decently clothed, and added, "Get back up here. I have a question: How well do you know these streets?"
Tristan, how back in the passenger seat, looked Duke straight in the chin—he couldn't meet his eyes, not yet, anyways. "These streets are my job. Of course I know them. Why?"
"On my mark, we're going to switch. You drive, and I shoot. Got it?"
"I really don't think this is a good—"
Duke jumped out of the seat and slid smoothly into the backseat as Tristan scrambled across the center console, his foot jamming on the pedal to retain the car's current speed. "Where do I go?" Tristan could plainly see the unmarked car tailing them—it was one lane over and one car back.
"It doesn't matter. Just keep driving until I shoot their tires out." Duke drew his semi-automatic and, fitting a suppressor onto the end, lowered the window a quarter of the way down. Tristan heard the roar of an engine, looking back to see their pursuers now directly behind them. "Damn, and they've got a V8!"
Tristan slammed on the gas, the car's speedometer cranking farther up as Duke pressed the tip of the gun into the space left by the open window and let off a few shots, which thanks to the suppressor, sounded like three exceptionally loud coughs. Their tail swerved into the next lane, coming back only a few seconds later.
"I think you made them angry!" Tristan hunched into his seat as the car rattled with the return fire. Coming up to an intersection, Tristan saw the turn lane change to yellow and gunned it. "Here's your chance!"
Duke aimed and took three more shots, the last connected with rubber, the car's tire loudly popping as it blew. They sailed through the intersection, turning left just as the light changed to red. They drove up the hill before Tristan turned them left, then right, and finally beyond the commercial sector before he felt safe enough to say, "We lost them, right?"
"I think so…" Duke exhaled loudly, running a hand through his bangs again—Tristan had noticed the habit, but had yet to figure out what triggered it. "Take a right up here, then go down a few more blocks."
"Haight-Ashbury? Why?" Tristan followed the instructions, turning the car when they got to the intersection. The famous progressive and music-cultured neighborhood was all around them, and at this late hour the streets were almost empty.
"I've got an apartment up here. The CEO of Industrial Illusions won't be in until early tomorrow, so there's no reason to head up there yet." Duke motioned for the car to continue, and then take the next left. The buildings here were painted with colors that might once have been bright, and on one side of the street was a fair-sized park.
"Wait… explain something for me. You've got an apartment, yet you were staying at the Intercontinental?"
"I'm not letting I2 pay me to stay at my own place," Duke laughed, the sound helping to relieve the tension caused by their recent escape. "Besides, this place is off the books. Secret. If I told you I'd have to kill you kind of stuff."
"I get it." Tristan smiled, and turned left at the light.
"So, is this home?" Tristan asked as Duke tossed the car's keys onto the sparkling granite kitchen counter. The main room of the apartment was bright and clean, but for as little as Tristan had known Duke, it didn't feel like him at all. It felt like an investment, not even an apartment.
"Where is home?" Duke moved straight to the fridge, its contents barely more than soda and prepackaged containers of fruit or sandwich meats. "I've been travelling for so long, I don't think I have one."
"So you've been an intelligence agent for a long time?" Tristan scrounged in the cupboard for anything other than Ritz crackers. Duke didn't look that old… was he recruited right out of high school?
"Long enough to not make stupid mistakes, short enough to not have made a name for myself yet. Not that I want that—the pay is fantastic, and I'm not looking to make any new contacts." Duke found a quart container of Gatorade and poured them two glasses. "Caffeine is bad news, but your body is going to react badly to the adrenaline from earlier without something in your system. Does this house have nothing to eat?" Duke continued to rummage while Tristan downed the glass, then poured himself another.
"Contacts? So, you don't work for the government? No secret intelligence agencies or anything?"
"I don't work for the government. Ever." The way Duke said it, with such finality, made Tristan feel a strange mixture of sad and curious.
Tristan paused to take another swig of Gatorade. The dehydration from the aftereffects of the stress of the day was really starting to make him tired. Besides, what did Duke have against the long arm of the law? Tristan himself could think of a few, but nothing that had to do with intelligence agencies. "Why?"
"Let's just say… the government, most specifically the military, and I have some irreconcilable differences. Ever heard of a little thing called 'don't ask, don't tell?' The corollary to that rule just might as well be, 'shoot first and ask questions later.' I'm just tired of it." He set his own glass down, his posture suddenly more threatening. "Don't look at me like that."
"No, I just know how you feel." Tristan's voice seemed to come from somewhere beyond the back of his throat. He almost whispered again, 'I know.' They stayed like that for several minutes more, leaning against the kitchen counters, drinking Gatorade and eating crackers.
Duke downed the rest of his drink, his eyes closed as if he was trying to block out the rest of the world. "Man, I love this city." It was also a whisper, and Tristan wasn't sure if he was meant to hear it, but he did, he understood, and he agreed.
Tristan woke up the next morning to a beam of sunlight resting on his face. He sighed, stretched, and rolled right off of the living room couch. Even the carpet of the house was plush—Tristan debated for a minute if he should just go back to sleep, but then stood up, his stomach leading him back to the fridge.
Ten minutes later the package of bacon he found in the fridge's lowest shelf was opened and cooking in the microwave. "Is that bacon?" Duke came wandering into the kitchen, rubbing at his eyes.
"Get your own." Tristan grinned, but moved to stand menacingly in front of the microwave as Duke moved to inspect the now-empty package.
"Alright, where's the gun?" Duke smirked, his grin widening as Tristan shifted to the left, a little unsure as to whether he was serious or not. Elbowing Tristan out of the way, Duke stopped the microwave just before it would have beeped, opening the door, seizing the plate and grabbing a handful of slices.
"Generous host you are," Tristan grumbled, wrestling the plate back, a little less than half the bacon still intact on its surface.
"Yeah… but get ready to leave soon, we're driving a little over an hour south of here," Duke's mouth, full of bacon, muffled his words but the message still came across. Tristan looked around the space, noting not for the first time that he had no belongings of his own with him. The box which he had yet to open hardly even counted, as he had to surrender it today. Get ready? I am ready.
The car ride was almost a letdown after the events of the previous night—the roads were clear, and despite some traffic they made good time; the radio played songs that weren't terrible and the car's two occupants were able to simply have a conversation. Tristan had almost forgotten the last time he had enjoyed himself like this—he hadn't kept up with his high school friends at all, and he never hung out with anyone from his courier job, not like he would have wanted to even if given the chance.
"This is the exit," Duke said, almost regretfully, almost forgetfully, as if they could just keep driving on Pacific Coast Highway and not have to worry about what the next day held. "I'ts just a few minutes up the road from here."
The car turned onto a four-lane side road, where a large glass-and-steel construction came into view, previously hidden behind a wall of trees. The building sat on a neatly landscaped hill overlooking the Pacific; the building stretched up several stories. Tristan was so engrossed in the edifice that he nearly missed the matching sign bearing the words 'Industrial Illusions' and the electronic gate which raised when Duke scanned a brightly colored card.
They parked and entered the building's expansive lobby, where Duke walked straight to the receptionist who appeared to recognize him. "We have something for Mr. Pegasus, please let him know that right away." Duke left her at her desk, finding Tristan staring out of the tinted windows at the waves crashing against the rocks. "Ready to go up? There will be a better view of the ocean from the top floor, I promise."
Mr. Crawford's assistant, a man who only introduced himself as Croquet, led them into an elevator and up to another lobby, this one serving as an entrance to the CEO's office. "Right this way, he'll see you now."
Much to Tristan's surprise, the CEO of Industrial Illusions—whose purpose, he had yet to discern—was a tall man with long white hair dressed in a rather bright red tailored suit. "Do you have it? Wonderful—I knew I could count on you. Who is this?" He turned his interest to Tristan, the newcomer.
"This is Tristan Taylor. He saved the package when KC infiltrated our designated courier company," Duke made the introductions, sneaking a look at Tristan who seemed surprised that he wasn't referred to as 'the courier' or even 'the one who almost got us both killed.' Tristan gently handed over the box to Pegasus, feeling relief more than anything else that the box was, now literally, out of his hands.
"Splendid! You have our deepest gratitude." He punched several buttons on his desk phone, dialing what Tristan supposed was a secretary or another receptionist. "Make sure that Tristan gets a little something for his efforts, won't you?" He hung up the phone, turning to both with a wide smile. "Now then, would you like to see what is so dear to us all?" He gently broke the line of tape holding the box closed and eased open the flaps. He pulled out a fitted cushion, where seated inside was a shimmery, slightly holographic card with a bright illustration on the front. "You both have saved my company, and thus I owe you a great deal. You will both be adequately compensated. That is all." As they left he continued to hold the card up to the light, turning it around in his hands.
Alone in the elevator on the way down, Tristan let out a large breath, his shoulders sagging slightly as he expelled the air from his lungs. Disbelief in both his words and expression, he asked, "We did all that… for a trading card?"
Again, Duke found himself wanting to laugh. "I don't know much about the project, but it's not a card—it's an encrypted information storage device. A key card to some of the company's cutting edge research. It just… was styled to fit the company's product, that's all. Hiding in plain sight and all that."
The elevator doors opened and standing to greet them was the same receptionist from earlier. "A token of our appreciation," she handed each of them a small slip of paper. Tristan waited for her to turn around before quickly opening the envelope and glancing at the number on the check inside.
"Tristan? Are you okay?" Duke's voice seemed far away.
"Is this… real?" Am I holding a check in my name for one hundred thousand dollars?
"Well, if you don't want it, I guess—"
Tristan snapped out of his haze, reverently slipping the envelope into his own pocket. "I think I'll keep it, thank you very much." As they left the building, Duke realized that Tristan might actually have meant it when he said thank you, and by then it was too late to respond.
It had been two weeks to the day since Duke had left Tristan standing at the Del Monte building in San Fransisco, and he had done nothing except wave his hand and smile… and that was it. Duke sighed—he really needed to get back out there, take on another job. But for some reason he just couldn't leave the apartment. He had left for food, of course, but found himself rushing back and then, without surprise found everything exactly as he left it.
Two weeks to the day came a knock on his door. Duke opened the door, not knowing how to react to seeing Tristan standing on his doorstep, looking equally confused, unsure, and yet with the same smile Duke had found himself thinking about quite a bit recently.
"You never signed for the package." Tristan looked Duke straight in the eye. "For that package, see… you never signed for it, so I kind of need that, and… yeah…"
He trailed off, a little unsure of what to say next. Well then, actions speak louder than words anyway. Without a word, Duke reached out and forcefully pulled Tristan inside, shutting the door behind him.
Duke came into the grand ballroom with a swagger as if he owned the place, though in fact he was a guest at the annual charity ball for the leaders and elite of San Francisco. The floor was shining parquet and the multiple chandeliers hanging from the ceiling glittered in the candlelight, almost looking like twinkling stars. Duke scanned the room, his eyes coming to rest on one particular place. Purposefully he moved through the room, gracefully re-introducing himself to strangers he didn't know until he found himself at the buffet table. He picked up an iced cookie and bit into it.
"You better not be eating again. Remember the mission."
Duke sighed—his ear communication piece itched, but Tristan had the uncanny ability of knowing exactly when Duke wanted to ignore the mission and simply pretend he was in the moment, a part of the glitterati that hadn't a care in the world. He finished the cookie, brushing his hands to get rid of the crumbs. "I can allow myself a snack, can't I? One needs to eat before any important mission."
"Why are you the one in the suit, anyway? Why am I always stuck in the van?"
Duke smiled—Tristan was great at what he did, even if he was a glorified getaway driver and eyes in the sky, driving a van that patched into the security and traffic cameras which made their jobs much easier—and much more profitable. "Because I make this look good."
Said for Tristan's benefit as much as his own ego, of course. Hearing the grumbling from the other line, Duke moved away from the table and into the crowd. They did have a mission to think about, after all.
"Don't worry, I'll make up for it later."
Footnotes: All I have to say is that there are slight movie references in here, and you should recognize the names of Tenma and Ryouta from YGO. I think this might be too much of a 'cheesy spy story' but I dunno… I like it. Also, I'm not trying to make any sort of political/military statement or anything with the apartment scene, I just wanted to ground this in reality and provide some sort of way to make the whatcouldbe of their relationship plausible. I just don't like presupposing character's orientations in stories; I don't find it respectful to the characters. So I'm sorry if that offends, I didn't mean it to.
I hope you enjoyed the story as much as I enjoyed writing it, and please review to let me know what you think!