Matt Miller slammed his fist against the table, yelping at the pain and momentarily forgetting his anger. As he rubbed his sore hand, the Decker King recalled the day's events. When the Saints had stolen the technology needed to get into his computer systems, he had tried his hardest to fend off their leader. Valentina Kovalsky was a bull of a woman who refused to take no for an answer. The Russian was strong, level-headed, and fiercely loyal to her crew. She had even let him live when she defeated him (despite all the cheating he did). Of course, he had begged for his life and even helped the Saints' reputation by removing a video that Killbane (leader of the Luchadores) had him create and post online as well as send a copy to the media. The video showed Valentina, her homie Shaundi, and her social representative Pierce Washington dancing as the recently opened (and now destroyed) Hughes Memorial Bridge burned behind them. Of course, the Saints had nothing to do with the bridge's destruction. In fact, it was the Luchadores who destroyed it as the Saints tried to flee for their lives.
"Damn," Matt scowled, running his hands through his ebony hair, "damn....DAMN! If Killbane finds out-"
"If I find out what, Matty," the Decker King froze as the familiar, thundering voice spoke from the doorway, "what's wrong, my boy?"
"Killbane," Matt squeaked in terror, "uh, hello. H-how long have you been standing there?"
"Since you slammed your fist into the table," the burly man smirked, causing the edges of his mask to wrinkle, "very weak. You need to keep your thumb across these two fingers," he grabbed the boy's hand and forced it into the position he spoke of, "If you tuck it beneath the fingers like you did, you'll break it."
"Now tell me, Matty," Killbane dropped him, causing Matthew to stumble and land on his rear, "what's got you so worked up?"
Matt fell silent, not at all wanting to tell Killbane that he not only lost to the Saints, but also helped them. The man would kill him for sure! Just as he had Kiki DeWynter when SHE failed him. Matt still shuddered at the memory of the woman's neck snapping. And Killbane had done it with one hand like it was nothing!
"Killbane," Matt paused once more, trying to think of the best way to word it, "I can't do this anymore. I want out."
Killbane's smile vanished, and he gave a deep sigh, "Matty, walk with me."
Oh God, Matt shuddered as he approached the taller man, he's going to kill me!
He flinched when Killbane laid a beefy arm around his slender shoulders. Instead of saying anything, the Luchadore lead the Decker downstairs to his casino. Matt began to shake violently. Was Killbane going to kill him here, in front of all these people?
"I really wish you would reconsider, Matty," Killbane's voice didn't sound angry, but a little disappointed, "These hands of mine were meant to rend bone, not hunt and peck on a keyboard."
"Well, if typing's the issue, I can recommend some good voice recognition software, I-I-I know the best-"
"Shhh," Mattfell silent, still shaking, "You stuck with me when I rose from Phillipe's ashes like a phoenix. You and me, we've bonded."
"That's lovely, but I feel it's time for me to move on. To be honest, I'm a little scared of... well... dying."
Matt glanced up at Killbane, hoping and praying to whatever higher power was willing to listen and protect him.
"I do run a demanding workplace. Matty, I appreciate how you've shared your concerns. I mean, the way Viola and Kiki handled their... departures just made me wanna," growling, Killbane's arm wrapped around Matt's face, "kill someone, ya know?"
Terrified, Matt wriggled out of the man's grasp, "Oh, absolutely! Well, I've got a flight to catch, so-"
As he turned to leave, the Decker froze as Killbane's voice gave a small growl, "Matty?"
"Oh God," the boy didn't turn around, afraid of what might be waiting for him, "oh god."
"Feel free to list me as a reference, anytime."
Giving a breath of relief, Matthew Miller, King of the Deckers, fled the casino and the rule of Killbane.
"Hey playa," Pierce approached the couch where his boss sat, "what's up? We chased the Deckers out of town! It's time to celebrate!"
Valentina chuckled, "Just promise that you'll let OLEG plan party, yes?"
"You still holding those assassin hookas over my head?"
"Not just yours, Pierce," the pale woman smirked, "Zimos is just as guilty."
"Aw hell," the man pouted, taking a seat next to her, "see if I plan YOUR wedding."
"Never going to happen, comrade," she said, "ever."
"Girl," the pair looked up at the sound of Zimos' electronic voice box, "y'all need to get laid. You be too uptight."
"I have to agree with Z on this one, boss."
"Oh sure," Valentina rose to her feet, "let's all gang up on Kovalsky, yes?"
"Hey girl, sex is a great way to wind down."
"And something tells the Z that you've never gotten any," Zimos smirked, leaning close to her, "am I right?"
Blushing, Valentina scowled, "Of course I have!"
"Really," Pierce raised an eyebrow, "I've known you for years and I've NEVER seen you get that attached to anyone. Not even Gat."
"Do not bring Johnny into this, Pierce," she scowled, fingering her twin 45 Shepherds, "ever."
Raising his hands in defense, Pierce shared a look with Zimos. Leaving the pair, Valentina made her way down to the garage. Passing by her many vehicles, she smiled when she spotted her favorite. The Kaneda was a sleek, chrome purple with black trim and a violet fleur-de-lis on the seat. Grabbing the key from the rack on the wall, she started the engine and took off into the street.
Matt sulked on the curb in front of his gang's hideout, wondering where he should go. He'd better make his mind soon, before Killbane discovered what he had done. As he thought of going to England, a faint droning began to hum in the distance. With each passing second, it got louder and louder. Matt checked his watch. 12:47 a.m.
"Who would be mad enough to stay up at this hour," he scowled, frowning when he realized, "well...I guess I would."
Suddenly, a chrome purple Kaneda rounded the corner. Matt easily recognized the large breasts and cheerleader hairstyle. Valentina spotted him and turned her bike so as to drift up to him. As soon as she came to a stop, she cut the engine and glared down at him. Matt shivered slightly, turning his gaze away.
"Well," her accent was as thick as ever, "this is interesting. I figured Killbane would have killed you by now."
"Don't get your hopes up," Matt snapped back, rising to his feet, "I left Killbane on good terms...provided he doesn't find out about our little...business venture."
Valentina smirked, her gray eyes shining in the light of a nearby streetlamp "Ah yes. The weapon discounts are very useful. Thank you, Matthew."
Matt gave her a skeptical glance, unsure if she was being sincere. He then looked at her choice of clothing, noticing how it fit her very well. She had a black denim top that must have had sleeves at one point, but were ripped away now. Beneath that was a purple saints tank top. With the lack of sleeves, Matt could admire the tribal bands on her biceps. Her legs were protected from the bike's engine by black and purple motorcycle pants, and the only part of her combat boots he could see was what wasn't hidden beneath her pants. Beneath her right ear was a purple fluer-de-lis tattoo the size of her palm. On each of her wrists were a leather arm band with silver buckles. She must have gotten those at Leather and Lace, along with the "Mizunderstood Choker" around her neck. A pair of small earrings in the shape of handcuffs hung from her lobes, and she had a small nose piercing as well as an piercing in her left eyebrow. Her black hair was pulled into a high ponytail, leaving two thick chunks to frames either side of her face. And, whenever she moved, there were dark purple highlights that shimmered.
"What are you looking at," she snapped, grabbing his attention once more, "my eyes are up here, Matthew."
"I was just trying to figure out where you got such horrendous attire."
"You want a bullet in the mouth, you little bitch," she scowled, fingering her guns once more, "because I will shoot you."
Matt gulped. If there was once thing Valentina Kovalsky was known for, it was her accuracy with twin pistols. She had even named them; the white one was called Peacemaker while it's black "brother" was named Discord. She took better care of those pistols than any other weapon she owned.
The pair fell silent, merely glaring at one another.
"So," she finally spoke, "what will you do now?"
"I need to leave the country, where Killbane can't get to me," Matt shrugged, "I'll probably head back home to England."
"Ah yes," the woman's eyes lost their focus as her thoughts soared through the sky back to Russia, "home. It would be nice to return one day. See how the old gang is doing."
"You were a part of another gang," his eyebrows raised "before the Saints?"
"I'd rather not get into it," she said, snapping back to reality, "it's not a pleasant story."
"You think mine is," Matt chuckled, "geeky kid graduates college at age 13 only to become a gang leader two years later."
"I am 18 now, thank you. And you? You look to be about 25, if I'm guessing correctly."
"18," she smirked, pulling out her driver's licence, "check for yourself."
Matt looked at the piece of plastic before giving a surprised, "Huh! Your birthday is two days after mine."
"Yeah," he hastily pulled out his own licence, "see."
Valentina gave him a smile as she tucked the card back into her wallet, "That is something, yes?"
Chuckling, Matt proceeded into putting his own wallet away, "If you don't mind me asking, do you have any family waiting for you in Russia?"
Valentina shook her head, "I am last of family."
"Oh, I'm sorry. What happened?"
"Something that happened a long time ago," Valentina scowled, "I'd rather not get into it."
Sighing, Matt nearly jumped when her phone began to ring. Pulling it out of her pocket, she checked the screen and rolled her eyes.
"Pierce," she snapped, "I am busy....no, nothing like that...I do too know how to chill! You know what, Pierce, you don't need sex every night."
Matt blinked in surprise, suddenly feeling very awkward.
"Well next time start with that," she snapped, turning away from the Decker King, "fine. I'll meet you at Kinzie's."
As soon as she hung up, Valentina started the Kaneda and turned to Matt, "Duty calls. You take care, Matthew."
"You too, Val."
She raised an eyebrow, "My name is Valentina."
"I know," Matt said smirking, "it's a nickname. You know, something fun friends use to call you."
"We are not friends, Matthew," Valentina smirked, "associates, possibly. Enemies, of course. But we're not friends."
With that, she roared off into the night. Matt smirked and crossed his arms.
With a chuckle, he murmured, "Whatever you say, Val."