Three days later, I stood up from the mattress, dropping my cigarette into the ash tray. The thin noise from the radio was bothereing me, so I turned it off.

My heart was already beating fast when I stepped into the shower. Tonight, I would infiltrate the Russian family in Boston, using nothing but my wit, good looks, and Dan's .45. Needless to say, this plan was either going to flop or work out beautifully.

I lathered up and washed with some old hotel shampoo Dan brought me. My hair was going to take a while to dry, and I also had to apply accursed makeup. I had been dress shopping, and was just going to borrow shoes from Dan's wife.

The plan was shaky at best. But it was about all I could do working by myself in this case. None of the scrappers had the kahunas to help me, and the others were connected to the mob.

So again, I was alone. Whatever, I thought, stepping out of the shower and wrapping a towel around my hair. I brushed my teeth and got all my underthings on, then west about styling my hair.

It was a pain in the ass to work a brush through. The curls would all jumble together, and the length made it difficult to keep intact. I got out the crappy hotel blow-dryer and went to work.

The plan was simple, if I killed Yuri Petrov, the head of the Russians, my mom and dad could rest in peace. It was simple: infiltrate, kill, bugger off. The faster I could get the first couple of items done, the sooner I would accomplish the last one. Which, silly me, is the most important part.

I pinned my long curls into a pile on the top of my head. Parties and I didn't mix, unless it had fighting and more men than women. Unfortunately, tonight I was going to have to get out of my comfort zone. And my Russian was rusty.

The dress I had bought was a small, black number, with red and gold embroidery up the sides. It was curve-hugging, definitely something more feminine and uncomfortable that what I would have liked to buy. However, to pass as a prostitute, I'd have to tart it up.

I sighed, applying makeup carefully; the way children do to their mothers. The woman looking back at me was alien, beautiful but unfamiliar.

This night had to hurry up, I didn't want it to take forever. I was ready to be done with the killings and the blood.

It took me another half an hour to gather my heels and sharpen my knives. They were gonna have to go in my hair or some such nonsense. I didn't really know what to do. They couldn't go under this stupid tight dress, and I wasn't wearing much else. Instead, I grabbed a scarf to wrap around my shoulders, and then I could carry the knives with me. After that, I walked downtown, keeping my head low and pretending I wasn't visible.

When I got to the skyscraper the meeting was in, I ducked into a bathroom and ran into a stall. My butt made contact with the seat, and I just started breathing heavy. I was afraid, my fear outweighing any type of confidence I had.

It took a while, but I calmed down. Eventually it was just me being a drama queen and the Russians still alive upstairs.

I took the elevator. Chekov had said something about 20th floor penthouse, and so that's where I went. I exited the elevator, running into two of the biggest men I'd ever seen. They looked like those freaking Easter Island heads.

"Father Petrov sent me." I said, trying to sound surly and sexy. The two looked at each other, and then the one on the left spoke up.

"There's an important meeting going on right now, ma'am," he said in fast Russian, "Petrov can see you afterward."

"That isn't going to work out, darling." I said, drawing two of my knives and throwing them into the men's throats. They sputtered and then fell, the carpet absorbing much of their impact. I grabbed the one on the right and pulled him away from the door, out to where no one could see him, and then to the other one. I collected my knives and wiped them off on the collars of their shirts. I said a fast prayer, then pushed the main door open.

Shit. Chekov had fucked me over. I was the only woman, and one that they didn't know personally. Immediately, two of the men were on top of me, pinning my arms behind my back and pushing me to the floor.

"Is this how you men greet all the women?" I asked, in Russian. Maybe this would help me. It was worth a try, right?

"Nyet, just Danny Greene's little spies!" one of them roared in my ear, pulling me up off the floor by my hair. I struggled, but his assistant pounded his fist into my side, and I gasped. The two threw me into a chair and cuffed my arms in back of me.

"When will Danny come to get you, whore?" Yuri Petrov spit. I scowled and didn't answer. Petrov dragged me to the center of the room and began to talk loudly about how he was going to take down Danny from the inside, using me. I struggled against my cuffs, but it was nothing doing.

It was the end of the road for me. What would Danny do? If he was smart, he'd have my funeral, and give it up. The Russians knew everyone. I cursed under my breath.

"Listen, I think we got off on the wrong foot. I'm Rhiannon." Offering my name may help me a little.

"I know you, slut! I had your parents killed!" Petrov yelled, and his henchmen laughed. One of them walked up and punched me hard in the face. I felt my nose begin to bleed, and one of my teeth had cut my tongue.

Petrov and his men roared with laughter. "We will finish our meeting, then maybe have some fun with you." Petrov sneered, tapping his belly. "Keep her pretty. I like her pretty." He snarled.

One of the men took that to mean he should beat the rest of me up, and it was uncomfortable. I felt my shoulder snap out of joint, bruises and cuts on my legs, and two blows to the back of the head. If he kept this up, I would lose consciousness. Fast. My vision was already fuzzing up, my ears ringing.

Then, the ceiling caved in, and two men fell. I pushed myself over, snapping the chair and grabbing the legs cuffed to me. The two men pulled out matching guns and blasted all of Petrov's men. Petrov screamed and fell to the floor, right before the men cut themselves down. I jumped, landing squarely on Petrov.

He grunted, and I clubbed his head with the chair leg. He pulled his hands up, so I laid into his side. I felt his ribs crack and his breathing becoming labored.

Not that mine wasn't. I was woozy, and each blow was becoming more and more difficult. After maybe ten blows, I fell over, and lost consciousness.