Deep breaths. Okay. How hard can it be? Akane straightened her kimono, she looked lovely in it, checked herself in the mirror behind the bar, and made sure the white tube was tucked between her breasts. She was ready. She could do this.
Li Wei, the groom, was drinking with his buddies at a bar that overlooked the amazing Santorini view. The sun had just set and there was this afterglow in the atmosphere as it darkened. It was so wonderful up there, the steep slope, the waters below, it looked both eerie and magical at the same time. No wonder people wanted to get married there. Akane ordered a coconut rum cocktail and sipped it, thinking about her next move.
Okay, she was chickening out. She knew it. She had no clue on how to proceed. I mean, did she talk to him? Stumble on him, spill her drink? Cause an accident, start to talk to him? Did that even work outside the movies?
No, that was dumb. She didn’t wanna mess it up the truth was, she was chickening out.
She could hear the men laughing and drinking. They spoke in Chinese, with their sharp words and flared nostrils. She couldn’t understand them, another thing she was woefully unqualified for. But she knew from Li Wei’s file that he spoke English, so that was something at least.
She glanced at the man. He had black hair, a great smile, and he was truly beloved by his friends. Akane could tell by the way they behaved, they wanted to celebrate his last day as a bachelor and make it memorable. There were no silly strippers, no party hats, none of that American crap. It was just a bunch of good friends hanging out in a Greek island and having the time of their lives.
Akane actually felt bad about the whole thing. She hadn’t been told exactly why she was meant to kill him, only that he needed to be removed. She studied his file and read between the lines. Li Wei was working in a Chinese firm that handled the Piraeus port, and he was a stickler about some pesky rules that prohibited some powerful individuals from bringing guns into the country, and through it, Europe in general.
Such a silly thing. Paperwork. Killing a man over paperwork.
So, he had a conscience. Big fucking deal.
He deserved to die over that? Just because some bigshots had the next guy in line prepped up and paid off to just smooth over the shipping manifests?
Akane didn’t actually know that part, but it was what she assumed. It wasn’t a big leap after all.
She didn’t stare, because that would look suspicious. Hence the mirrored wall, she sat at an angle where she could peek at her target discreetly.
They didn’t seem to mind, the Chinese guys were laughing and telling jokes from their childhood and reliving funny and embarrassing moments. Akane didn’t need to know the language to understand that they made fun of each one in turn, reliving memories that only good friends would cherish.
It was Li Wei’s turn, and he covered his face in shame. They were talking about something involving a coca-cola, Akane could make that word out. His buddy, the tall one, mimicked how the canister splashed the contents all over someone. Akane assumed it was some teacher or parent. The shame in Li Wei’s face! Aww, how cute. The men laughed.
Akane laughed with them.
And Li Wei met her gaze.
There was some hushed talking among the men.
Akane fully turned her back to them.
Had she messed up? Could they have been tipped off? Was she gonna get made?
The horror of going back to her handler with a failure like that… She wouldn’t bear the shame of seeing his smug face, the one that would say, ‘Just as I thought, you failed.’
Oh, no. She sipped her coconut rum cocktail, at least that was delicious. It came inside the bottom half of a coconut, and had a yellow straw and an umbrella.
“Nice coconut,” a man said and she froze.
She looked up at the mirror. There he was, Li Wei. Right behind her. Oh, no.
She turned around, her lips still wrapped around the straw.
He must have liked the expression, ’cause he raised his eyebrow. “Do you have a name?”
Akane simply nodded, unable to think. Sip some more rum, that might help.
“No name? Okay then, Coconut it is. You know, I couldn’t help but notice your kimono, you’re really dashing in it.”
Akane gulped. “Thanks?”
He smiled. Damn, he looked good doing it. He leaned closer and waved at the barman. “Another one for the fine lady, what she’s having.”
Akane decided to shift gears. This was her way in. Flirting. Wasn’t that the whole point of her being there? She could do this. She was a pretty girl, men kept hitting on her in bars. This was no different than any other night out.
Of course, the other nights she wasn’t planning on getting the guy stiff and cold in the morning. “Thank you for the drink,” she said and smiled at him, batting her eyelashes.
“I’m getting married tomorrow,” Li Wei said, paying for her drink.
“Is that how you pick up girls?” Akane teased, accepting the second drink.
Li Wei smiled and leaned on the bar next to her. “No. I just wanted to be upfront about it. I love my girl, don’t get me wrong, but I would be seriously regretting it if I hadn’t come over and talked to you tonight.”
Akane played the straw with her tongue. “I see.” She left it at that, reeling him in.
He puffed his cheeks. After a long silence he said, “So… Do you wanna come and party with my mates?”
Akane looked around theatrically, as if she hadn’t been watching them for the past hour. “Who, them? Nah, not really,” she shrugged.
“Okay… Can I sit next to you?”
“The stool is free.” Akane tugged on her kimono, exposing a bit of her shoulder. She saw his gaze instantly travel her curves. Nice!
He licked his lips, chuckled a bit. “Okay then…” He sat next to her.
Akane decided it was now or never. She turned to face him. “You know, I changed my mind.”
Li Wei raised his palms and pulled back. “Oh, I’m sorry if I’ve done something untoward-“
“Untoward!” she chuckled. “No. I changed my mind about this bar. Say, will your mates mind if I borrow you for a while? I’ve always wanted to see the view from this particular spot I’ve seen all over Agora, but I didn’t wanna go alone. It’s supposed to be romantic and what’s romantic about seeing it alone? And it’s almost dark,” she pouted, looking out the window.
Li Wei coughed, turned to his mates. He waved at them. “They won’t mind, trust me, Coconut.” He offered her his arm like a gentleman.
Oh, she liked this one. Akane sipped her rum, making sure to take her damn well time. He waited. Then she hooked her arm into his and they walked out of the bar, and up to see the Santorini view.

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End of part 2

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