A/N: Hey all you peeps! Imma back mofos! xD jk! my creativity sort of went to the shitter, so I hope this is alright. I've went through some tough times, and my quirkness has turned more cynical. However, this is a little bit more light hearted than I intended (which I think is good), so I hope you enjoy! Btw, READ PINAYCOCONUT's SHIZ! AND EAT YOUR VEGETABLES FRIED IN OIL, THEY TASTE BETTER THEN!
The brisk, spring cold tousled my hair with its intangible hands, but I pushed onward. Shady parts of cities were almost like a second home now, due to the amount of people my sister found following me throughout town. I was trekking to a small Russian bar on the west side, where few outsiders visited. Rapping on the back door, the bouncer greeted me and stepped aside. Dark accents filled the venue, giving it an almost gothic feel. The bar was relatively empty, with only a couple of regulars passed out in the mahogany booths and on the stools. Vodka and bile weaved together to form a bastard of a stench, but I strode through, and plopped on a stool next to a familiar shadowy figure.
"Привет sister. How are you?" I heaved, before slumping onto the bar. A small hand smoothed my shoulder, and patted my back. Hearing a small sigh, I glanced up. My sister Natalia was wearing her usual "detective" hat and trench coat, her platinum hair pouring from the inside. Her usual aloof appearance expressed concern, and I turned back to the comfort of the cold table.
"Brother, you were looking through files all night again, weren't you?" She asked, but I knew the answer was implanted into her mind.
"Yes, I was… But not a trace of anything was found. The kidnapper left nothing. I'm down, but not out dammit. I will find him." I replied, determination coursing through my veins. The bartender, the only Polish guy in the house, slid me a shot of absolut. Feliks only tossed his golden hair and sauntered off. Throwing the liquid in my mouth with expert ease, it burned down my throat, tingling my stomach. Another sigh emitted from my sisters mouth.
"We're all still trying Ivan… You know that. If it makes you feel better, I called you here for a reason." She stated, before slipping a manila folder into my lap. "Not just because I want you to marry me." She added with a smirk. Only when I went to college she finally stopped her plans, because she fell in love with my childhood friend, Toris. But, he broke her heart after he told her he was… in love with me. Since then, she's had a long standing boyfriend named Gupta, who never talked, and Toris moved on to find Feliks, the friendly bar tender. Gupta still scared me with his quiet disposition.
"What's inside?" I asked, "If it's just people who are speculating again I'll be pissed." I added with a growl. Natalia scooted away, before composing her steely exterior. She cleared her throat before fishing in her pocket. A carefully crafted envelope was placed in my hands, with a scribbled "Ivan" on it.
"You'll have to look at it at home. You won't appreciate it." She whispered, a gentle smile gracing her lips. Shock plagued my features. Natalia smiled? I jerked myself out of my disbelief, before gingerly putting the envelope in my pocket. "However, the manila folder has photos of people who may be connected to the kidnapping, based on the contents of the letter in your pocket. I cross examined the handwriting and Gupta was able to find out the identities of those mentioned. All the information is in there. I'm not one of the most infamous private investigators for nothing, brother."
"Wait, who is this letter from?" I asked, with confusion pooling in my stomach. Was it from a witness? An accessory to the kidnapping? The kidnapper? I felt that the news I would receive would be grave. But, Natalia began to chuckle, until she blew out into full blown laughter. Natalia gasped and snorted, and the Polish man chuckled.
"What's like, all this giggling about, hun?" Feliks giggled to my sister, and she only sighed in content.
"Oh Feliks, Ivan just made me laugh with his face~. It's okay. I'm good now. No more laughy laughy *burp*… Hehe, okay, I lied…" She replied, and only then did I notice her speech was slurred. The burp and happy disposition also were clear give aways.
"…Natalia, are you a little bit drunk?" I tentatively inquired, and Feliks burst out laughing.
"Sweetie, she's been like, hammered waaaay before you got here. Vodka brings out her good side, so everything is, like, cool, y'know?" Feliks answered, before handing Natalia another shot of cherry vodka. Whisking up the fruity alcohol, I threw it down my throat and sighed. Growling, Natalia snatched the shot glass out of my hand.
"So who wrote this letter?" I pressed again, still in the dark about the whole situation. She grinned broadly, before gathering me into a hug. The scent of cherries and vodka was heavy on her breath, but I only realized that then.
"Someone who is very near to your heart. You know who it is." She replied in my ear. My eyes widened with the tears of joy threatening to fall. She held me as a single tear fell, and I couldn't help but smile into her chest. Letting go of me carefully, she inquired seriously to Feliks, "So, how's Toris?"
Feliks grumbled as he set a glass he was cleaning down. Mumbling, he replied, "He's been so like, distant lately, always talking to his boss or business partners. He says he is trying to support us, but like, I don't know what to think! It's just work, work, work, a quick hand job and more work! He hasn't had sex with me in like, three weeks!"
Patting her friend's shoulder in sympathy, Natalia sighed sadly. Tears threatened to fall for Feliks, who was on the verge of breaking down. However, he continued on.
"You're so like, lucky Natalia! Gupta is like so devoted to you! All he ever looks at is you, and all he ever does is talk or think about you! He better marry you, or I'm totally gonna like, go ape shit or something!" Feliks cried, before crumbling to the table. Natalia soothingly rubbed his back, as he heaved heavy sobs.
"Ivan, why don't you go look at the things I gave you, alright?" Natalia suggested gently, and I brought myself up. Fishing through my pocket, I found two twenty dollar bills.
"This is for the drinks and yourself Feliks." I stated, before pivoting out toward the door. Grinning with euphoria, I rushed out the door and to my home.
At Ivan's apartment:
Locking the front door, I weaved through the kitchen and rushed into my private office. Yao, the lazy cow, was snoring in the master bed room. Rolling my eyes, I folded the clasps on the folder and spread out the pictures. Attached to them were typed documents with background information about them each. I lifted the first one up, and grabbed for my reading glasses. Adjusting them, I began to read.
"Name: Xiang Chen
Race: Chinese/English Caucasian
Originally From: Hong Kong
Xiang Chen is the son of a British heiress and a Chinese businessman. When his parents died, he moved to America where he began to fall into the life of a mobster. He is currently living in an undisclosed location (for which I could not find) where he conducts his business. Know as the "Silent Stalker", he is known to help mobs get rid of undesirable people, although he does not restrict himself to one mafia. He has favored the "Iron Lotus" bar and restaurant, along with several other leads listed."
Under the small description was a young dark haired boy, standing against an alley way. His features were unmoving, giving of the appearance of disinterest. Immediately anger pooled in my gut. The boy's eyes were emotionless, and could have just as easily kidnapped my sweet Alfred. Placing the picture down with malice, I picked up the second picture. The photo depicted a girl, with flowing black hair. Adorning her head were jeweled bobby pins and a lotus flower, and she wore a floral pink cheongsam. The description read;
"Name: Mai "Pearl" Chiu
Originally From: Taiwan
Mai "Pearl" Chiu is a popular media harlot who has won over many male fans across the nation. Originally, her mother was a poor Chinese seamstress and her father was a farmer, but they sent their beloved daughter to America to study. Eventually she went to acting school and is currently starring in independent films. Mai is working under Xiang in secret, and has a deep infatuation for him. She also frequents the "Iron Lotus"."
Tossing her aside, I knew she would be easy enough to manipulate to do my bidding. 'Get that little Xiang boy and threaten him a little would make her like putty in my hands' I mused, before picking up the next picture. However, I was shocked to see who it was. The description read;
"Name: Kiku Honda
Originally From: Tokyo, Japan
Kiku Honda originated from a humble Japanese family, before moving to America to pursue mathematics and business. He spent four years at the same college as Alfred, and also went to his high school, making Kiku one of Alfred's closest friends in college. Kiku is currently supporting Xiang and Pearl financially, and is living with long time boyfriend Sadiq Adnan. He currently frequents the "Iron Lotus" as well."
Maliciously glaring at the photo, I saw the small framed Japanese boy with the dark brown eyes and bowl shaped hair cut. He was one of the first people interrogated by the police, and he said nothing for all these years. However, his day would come, and I place his picture amongst the others I read. Finally, I picked up the last picture, and smirked, not at all surprised with the find. In the description, it read;
"Name: Yao Wang
Originally From: Sichuan, China
Yao Wang's parents were both highly respected businesspeople, and as such, wanted their son to succeed. Eventually they sent him to an American high school and college, where he pursued a teaching career. He is currently living with Ivan Braginski (the only one who should ever read this) and will also visit the "Iron Lotus" on occasion. He also helps Xiang and Pearl with their underground affairs."
Below was a photo of Yao, with his regular ponytail and his stupid lopsided smile. Oh how I wanted to bash that stupid face in, yet I had to restrain myself so I could get enough information about the whereabouts of my angel. Shuffling them into place, I put them in my filing cabinet and locked it with the key. Grinning, I touched the small envelope in my pocket. Placing it upon my desk, I slowly wiggled the letter out. In shaky script, it read,
I don't really know how to start this, but I'm so glad I got a hold of this paper and pencil! Do you know how hard it is to find shit like that? Hahaha! Anyway, I just wanted to write and tell you how I felt. How I still feel. I wanted to tell you in person, but I never had the guts, so here it goes.
I love you. I honestly do. If you don't like me back you'll just have to deal.
I have since I was a freshman, and you were a sophomore. I would walk with my brother and his high school boyfriend, but I would always try and find you in the crowd. Remember when my cheeseburger flew onto your pants and they got all smudged with ketchup and mustard? Well, it was Gilbert Beilschmidt's idea (I don't know if you know him), but that's not the point. The point is that that was the first time we met in a series of occurrences. I'm glad we became friends so I could get close to you and learn more about you. I think about you and your smile every day here, and I tell the others about how wonderful you are. I remember when we were on the Ferris wheel at that carnival, and I didn't know if you were gay or not, so I just sat and smiled, just happy to be with you. I wish I could be with you now and tell you, but you've probably already forgotten about me, heh. It's been a long four years that I've been here with this lunatic. He's a monster. I can't tell you where I am, but I can tell you that there are people around you, people you know who may know where I am. Find the Italian mob twins on the east side of the city. They might help you.
Alfred, the one who accidentally got a burger on your pants"
Holding the card, tears streamed down my face. 'I knew it… I knew it… now I know where to look…' I thought, and smiled at how Alfred told me about memories that I already held deep in my heart. The handwriting, the style of his writing, and the way he dotted his "I's" all pointed to him. I held the letter to my chest, smiling to myself. Looking down at the forgotten envelope, I noticed a small back of a photo. Flipping it around, I saw that it was Alfred, grinning like a sunflower in the picture. However, he looked thinner and more frail than he had been, but he still held the beauty that caught my heart. I noticed the corner was open slightly, so I peeked under to see why it wasn't completely connected to the back. My eyes widened. The inside had one name, and told me to find him;