Tommy and Lisa made love for the fifteenth time that evening, with the same sweet-as-molasses slow jam playing as loud as local sound ordinances allowed. Their extended make-out session was gentle and erotic, and was in no way marred by the fact that Tommy resembled a malnourished manatee, or that Lisa looked as if someone had draped leather over a collection of the least appealing parts of a pig and bought the insult to the Lord to life through lightning from a passing storm. They could not hear each other speak, which was tragic, since their cries of passion were surely articulated well and structured in a way so that anyone who happened to walk in on them would be able to follow the story of their love-making without any difficulty or frustration at all. When the moment seemed right, Tommy and Lisa made brief but meaningful eye contact, as if the two lovers came to a tacit decision to take their tender make-out session to the next level. In this way, the act was completely consensual, and done with the grace that only two soul mates can muster. As the two became more intimate, the music became more poignant, and the couple shifted in bed in order to obscure certain important anatomical areas and suggest specific sexual acts. Anyone who might have happened to see the two would have agreed that their manipulation of the observer's field of view was masterful and tasteful, and suggested that they had practiced this act many times before they had staged this particular performance, which of course was the most important one of the night. As Tommy (who is probably the most handsome man you've ever seen and therefore completely deserving of your sympathy and undying admiration) rolled off of his future wife to let sleep take him, he did so gracefully, with the elegance and poise of a matador misdirecting a charging bull, which in no way is to suggest anything about the size and shape of his partner. The image of Tommy and Lisa, asleep, yet curled in such a way to suggest the tender curvature of two carefully crafted spoons placed delicately aside one another, was enough to make anyone who happened to see the two shriek in excitement and arousal before they collapsed on the ground due to sheer sexual exhaustion.

Tommy, as any successful businessman will tell you, does not set his alarm for the morning. Such an act could be considered an act of dependence, and Tommy does not depend on anything, except of course his beautiful and charming future wife Lisa, who has already proven to be entirely faithful and loyal to Tommy, and would never, in any way, shape, or form, do anything that would tear, either he, or his friends, or anyone on the planet, apart. In fact, this ironclad relationship is the engine behind all of Tommy's acts. The divine inspiration Lisa gives Tommy keeps him waking up every day at 6:28, not 6:30 (any successful businessman will tell you that starting the day ahead of schedule is vital,) taking the trolley to work (since using his readily available and well-maintained sedan could be considered yet another act of dependence,) and walking home (since riding the trolley too much could be considered an act of dependence, and should therefore be avoided, according to the aforementioned successful businessmen).

Lisa, naturally, misses her future husband for every moment that he is gone, but still finds things to do around the apartment. Life in the computer business is not glamorous, but Lisa's smarts and perseverance have put her in a position where she is the top computer businesswoman in all of San Francisco, which in case you didn't know, is the city in which Lisa and Tommy live. It is extremely important that you know where the two live, so every chance I get, I will mention their hometown of San Francisco, which also happens to be the setting of this story. Lisa, thanks to being near Silicon Valley or something, has picked up many tricks of the computer business trade. She is so efficient at her work, that an uninformed observer might believe that she does not work at all, merely sitting on the couch in the living room until her Tommy returns home. While Tommy is, of course, the rock upon which her life rests, she wouldn't dream of sitting around, getting fatter and lazier while Tommy goes off to work each and every day, where the bank puts his ideas into practice and is already making money. She also works hard to support the two of them, since any relationship that has lasted as long as theirs is built upon balancing priorities and obligations between the future wife and future husband. Lisa is well-aware of everything that Tommy does for her, and understands how much her present quality of life would be affected if Tommy were to be eliminated or if she (Heaven forbid!) were to somehow drive him away. But of course, neither of these concerns approach Lisa's mind, as they are circumstances too farfetched to be even considered. The changes in Lisa's mind that would have to occur for it to happen would be so complex and sophisticated (and yet, surely, well-thought-out and planned!) that it would take a greater intelligence than mine to sort through all the details and complications that would surely arise and treat each difficulty with respect and understanding, resolving any loose ends and plot holes that may arise.

As Tommy arrived home, Lisa greeted him in the room. Tommy presented her with a gift that he had previously wrapped at work- on his lunch break of course, as he would never dream of mixing personal effects with his incredibly important career. Tommy was no fool. Lisa unwrapped her new red silk dress with the grace of a swan. In literally no time at all, Lisa was wearing her present. Seriously, one second she was wearing jeans and a T-shirt, and the next moment she wasn't. It was as if the world had a collective stroke when Lisa took off her clothes. I cannot stress how quickly Lisa took put on these clothes.

Tommy found himself almost floored by a sudden wave of intense sexual desire towards Lisa, and would likely have taken her that moment on the couch in the room, had there not have been a knock on the door. Lisa, already deep in the throes of passion, stumbled to answer. There stood Denny, Tommy's quasi-foster-child, looking as poised and debonair as the day they first met. As he stood in the doorway, Tommy instantly recalled Denny's intricate and well-developed back story. Denny lived across from the room, out of sight from anyone else. He had been abandoned by his parents at age 2, and by age 3 he had learned how to forage for food in the deserted alleyways of San Francisco, where Denny was born and where the majority of the story takes place. He knew the ins and outs of the fair city of San Francisco-the setting of the story-and in five year's time became the most respected 8-year-old in the city. He mastered the art of combat by age 10, with no formal training and no equipment other than trash cans and discarded road kill.

Denny first met Tommy when he was 16. He, normally not one to meddle in the affairs of others, became enamored with Tommy when he saw him defend an elderly woman against a pack of muggers. Tommy skillfully dispatched six or seven of the vandals using several of the martial arts, which had been taught to him since his birth in Thailand. However, the sounds of fighting and the manly stench of sweat and testosterone (emanating from Tommy, of course) soon attracted the attention of nearly every gang of hoodlums, thieves, and ne'er-do-wells in the area. The screams and sounds of their comrades' broken bones enraged them all, and they descended upon Tommy like moths to a flame. Denny, nearly moved to tears by his philanthropy, leapt in to help Tommy, who was preparing to die a warrior's death. As 60-70 hardened criminals roared with anger, both Denny and Tommy knew that to lose one's emotions was to lose one's self (Master Fushitu's words echoed in Tommy's ears, as he recalled his daily Judo lessons in his birthplace of Kyoto). The masters stood back-to-back in the rain, which seemed to appear from nowhere. They fought efficiently but fiercely, as if they had spent days choreographing their moves. They went to work stopping never-ending waves of howling men who had given up on inner peace and were lost, unredeemable souls. Thunder clapped louder and lightning illuminated the sky, as all sensations were heightened. When they were finished, those who could still use their legs shuffled as fast as they could, many awkwardly carrying limbs that were severed clean by Tommy's chops. Denny and Tommy shared a curt nod, serving as a greeting, a farewell, and a "thank you": the warrior's Aloha.

As Denny prepared to meld with the darkness once more, Tommy grabbed his arm and offered him a warm bed and a roof. For as long as he could remember, Denny had wandered the streets of San Francisco, alone in a sea of faces. He had scaled the Golden Gate Bridge and walked along electrified cable car lines. He was prepared, but for what? Denny had felt something during that battle. He had discovered a kindred spirit in Tommy. The two understood each other, and Denny felt an emptiness that hadn't been there before. A void that this mysterious, handsome Good Samaritan had opened within him. He felt drawn to him. This gaping hole had been there all along, and at the tender age of 16, Denny was discovering himself, and he realized that this vacant hole could only be filled with Tommy. Alas, though Denny was (and remains) a precocious fighter, his weakness is pride. Obsessed with image, Denny agreed to live with him, with one condition. He asked that Tommy at no point reveal the true nature of their agreement. He could not allow anyone to believe that he needed another to survive. He had lived in mystery, and would have preferred to live the rest of his life alone than to allow others to believe that he was not self-sufficient. Tommy saw that this young man had not yet attained the warrior's inner peace, and seeing a potential pupil, quickly agreed to never tell a soul of their engagement. They agreed on an alibi. Tommy was to be "putting Denny through college," and while he was supposedly in class, Denny would roam the streets of San Francisco, so that no one would consider losing even a fragment of respect for the boy, who was certainly the most vicious fighter anyone had ever known. When pressed on the nature of their relationship, Tommy would merely respond that he "loved Denny like a son." This part, both warriors agreed, was not too bold a lie.