Delicate Touch

Chapter 12

Sue set the flowers at her parents' graves and stood up. Hung stood next to her. It was a gorgeous sunny day, but the breeze ensured it wasn't too hot.

"I really don't know how we became assasins," Sue said, gazing at the headstones. "I mean, yes, I know, but it just seems strange, like a dream. The decisions we made were so stupid, but it seemed so natural at the time."

"That's usually how people get mixed up in bad things," Hung said.

"I suppose that's true. Monsters murdered our parents before our eyes, and tried to murder me and Lynn. I stand here thanks to the kindness of a single man. We asked him why he had come to our house if he had never been planning to kill us. He said that he'd been told the operation was only to steal the World Panorama, not to kill anyone. The other men killed our parents before he could react. Saving me and Lynn was all he could do."

Hung took hold of Sue's hand.

"He told us the names of the people who had hired them, because he knew we would want revenge," Sue continued. "He advised us to learn how to fight, first. He told us to take our time and learn to do it right. He expressed his condolences, and then he walked away. He never told us his name. It was so surreal.

"So over the next two years, Lynn and I became completely different people from who we were before. We went into hiding with the World Panorama and all of our father's research. We spent every waking moment learning the software, learning to fight, learning to shoot. Lynn devoted more of her time learning to fight, and I devoted more of my time learning how to be a hacker. I peeked into servers all over the world, and learned all sorts of nasty secrets, and I saw just how corrupt the entire human race is. We ran practice runs in office buildings at night when no one was around.

"When we felt we were finally ready, we did it. I became Lynn's eyes and ears, and she took out the bastards who ordered the hit on our family. Lynn pulled the trigger, but together, we got the job done. We killed them all that night.

"The next morning, suddenly we didn't know what to do with our lives. Infiltration and assasination were all we knew. We had learned how many terrible people there were in the world, so we just decided to kill them for profit. Neither of us said, "Hey, let's do this." We just naturally did it. It became our new normal. Lynn was smart enough to realize the danger, but to me, it became a game, and I almost paid the ultimate price for that arrogance."

They stared silently at the graves. The breeze caressed them. From a distance came the occasional call of a bird.

"You didn't become a completely different person," Hung said. "Despite everything you endured, there's still a part of you that's innocent and loves to play. A part of you that loves to tease, laugh, and eat cake." Hung squeezed her hand. "Those monsters didn't change you that much. They couldn't have."

Sue smiled wistfully. "Maybe not. But I still think Mama and Papa would be ashamed at what Lynn and I became." She bit back tears.

Hung held her. "I don't think that at all, and deep down, you know you don't either."

Sue wept on her shoulder for a long time.

When her crying had mostly run its course, Sue pulled away and said, "I am so happy you're here. I am so happy you're in my life."

"So am I," Hung said. She kissed Sue on the lips, good and proper.

Sue leaned her head on Hung's shoulder and looked at her parents' graves again. Hung wrapped an arm around her.

"Do you ever think of tracking down the man who saved you and Lynn?" Hung asked.

"Every day. And every day I come to the same conclusion: although I'm grateful he saved us, just the thought of him makes me sick. I don't want to know who he is. I never want to see him again. Let him rot in anonymity."

Hung nodded in understanding. "What do you think you'll do with the rest of your life?" she asked.

"Well, I was kind of hoping to stay with you."

Hung smiled. "I meant besides that. You're no housewife."

Sue snorted softly. "True that. I was thinking of becoming a private investigator."

"Really?"

Sue looked at her. "Does that surprise you?"

Hung smiled. "Well, I just thought you'd go into clothing design, or baking, or something."

Sue shook her head. "Nah. I've got a very special skill set, and I've learned that I can help people. It felt good helping you save those girls. I've learned that I am ambitious enough to do something for society, after all. The real trick is convincing Lynn."

"You don't need her permission."

"I don't want her permission, I want her to be my partner. But something tells me she's not going to love the idea."

"She might."

"She might," Sue conceded. "She's surprised me before. And if I do start a detective agency, I'll need partners I can trust. Smart, knowledgable, kick-ass people who have years of police experience and who know how to fight." She looked at Hung.

Hung laughed. "I can't! First, going into business with the woman I live with would be a disaster waiting to happen. And second...there's no way I could ever leave the police force. I actually love the daily grind too much." She shrugged. "I'm a soldier."

Sue smiled. "And I'm a bandit."

"No," Hung said, with all sincerity. "You're an angel."

They kissed, long and deeply.

"Come on," Hung said. "Let's not do this in front of your parents."

Sue grinned, and took Hung's hand.

Together, they went home.

Chapter 11

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