"You're good… so good…"

Desmond touched her head lightly and pulled away from her. Stuffing himself back in his pants he strode towards the door. Armond stood in the doorway. He spoke low and urgently, there was blood on his clothes.

Huh? What the hell–? At first, Akemi couldn't believe that Desmond was actually walking away from her. I've heard of mind games, but this is ridiculous. Then she saw Armond, saw the condition he was in, and her mind promptly shifted gears. Hold on, something's definitely not right here. With that apparent ease that only comes as the result of long training, she got off her knees and to her feet in one swift motion, and made her way to where the two men were.

"What's happened?" she asked. It was clear from the tone of her voice, and the expression on her face, that the wanton woman of a few moments ago was, if not completely gone, at least sublimated for the time being. Now Akemi was completely alert, ready for–nay, almost expecting–trouble. She seemed practically a different person, standing and moving with that economy of movement that suggests the experienced warrior.

She saw Armond reassess her. She couldn't tell what he thought by his expression.

I bet you disapprove of me, because I'm not the type you bring home to Mom. Though in your case, who knows what Mom would be like?

Behind the two, another man was sandwiched between two of Desmond's staff. The man's entire bottom half was dark with blood and he hung limply. The staff went through a door.

"Shit," Akemi muttered under her breath. Her expression and body language showed anger mixed with concern, but neither disgust nor revulsion, at the sight of the man's injuries.

Desmond stared into her eyes. "Go to my room and wait."

Such was the strength of his voice and will that Akemi found herself upstairs opening a door before her senses came back to her.

"What the fuck?" Akemi swore as she came back to herself. She looked around. "That bastard–he put some sort of whammy on me," she spat out. Then she took a deep breath. Still, that he could do that to me more or less confirms what I suspected: he's no more human than I am. Come to think of it, how did I even know which room to go to? Maybe they're all his, and it doesn't matter.

She looked inside. Well, I wanted to be here tonight, but not like this. And I can't sit still, dammit, but… I see Desmond's point. Me wandering around in a big, unfamiliar place isn't going to help, whatever's going on.

Standing in the doorway, she sucked in air through clenched teeth. Still, even though he told me to go to his room, there's nothing that says I have to go inside. Thus resolved, Akemi stood with her back to the door, which she left just slightly ajar. She cast her eyes one way, then the other, down the hall, still in her alert mode.