9. Let’s Make a Deal (7)

It was immediately apparent that they were in a designer grotto. A high wall of bamboo ran around its perimeter and in the center was a series of natural pools the largest of which was fed by a vigorous waterfall. A wall of stone extended from the waterfall in this largest pool to the edge of another pool of much smaller dimensions. In front of the smaller pool was a grassy bank. Ensconced upon that bank were three throne-like chairs, and upon these sat three old men swaddled in thick terrycloth robes.

Ryu grunted, clasped his hands together, and bowed. Clément assumed a most casual posture, slouching onto one hip and looking over at Ryu with contempt.

One of the old men leaned forward. “Ryu, what is this?”

“Don’t ask him,” snapped Clément. “You must ask me. I am the one with the chip. And you must ask me nicely,” he concluded, his voice honeyed and low.

The old man looked shocked.

Ryu was mortified, like a dog that had fetched a piece of shit and dropped it at the feet of its disgusted owner.

“Very well,” said the old man irritably. “Where is the microchip?”

“Well, that’s a secret,” drawled Clément.

“Fool,” growled the old fellow in the middle. “If you have the chip you will give it to us. Grab him,” he commanded.

The two yakuza stepped forward, each taking hold of an arm.

“Oh, what are you going to do? Kill me?” sneered the clerk. He looked over at Ryu and smiled. “Yes, kill me,” he urged. “I’d love to see you try.”

“There are other ways to get answers,” said the first old man.

“Oh, really, and how is that? Torture? Something like this?” asked Clément, as he twisted away from the yakuza on his left.

—DEAD LOVE/Chapter 9.7/Let’s Make a Deal


  • boldlow

    This is one of my favorite parts of the book – Clement vs the yakuza bosses. Brilliant and imaginative writing. Thanks for keeping these excerpts coming, Erin!