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"You're certain all the crates are empty Mr

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"You're certain all the crates are empty Mr. Cole?" Evelyn spoke into the phone as she gracefully slipped the last black stilleto on her foot. The sky had barely changed a few shades lighter since she had last looked at it a few minutes ago.

"Yes Miss Pierce. The Zifengs also left their calling card." Her assistant Cole answered from the other end of the line.

"Let me guess," she sighed crossing her arms in frustration "a yin yang above a queen of hearts with my face on it?"

The stress of dealing with the situation early morning was taking its toll on her. This was the third shipment in the month that had been vandalized.

"That and a King of knives this time. The captain and crew swear they didn't see any suspicious movement in the ocean but we're taking them in for questioning. We're also analysing the ships surveillance system."

Silence was all that came from the end of Evelyn's line as she sipped coffee from her mug. Her eyes were closed as she delved in its aroma.

She stared at the hot liquid for a moment as she wandered in her thoughts.

"Is Senia there?"

"I believe so, Miss Pierce."

"Put her on the phone."

"Of course, Miss Pierce."

Evelyn ignored the ruffling sounds that emanated from the phone, put down her mug, grabbed her keys and walked out the door. The firm thud assured her the door had locked automatically behind her.

She opened the driver's-side door and placed her arm on it when Senia spoke at last.

"Miss Pierce? Mr. Cole said you wanted to speak with me." said the slightly accented voice belonging to Senia, leader of the Japanese Yakuza in Los Angeles.

"What does a King of knives mean to the Zifengs? I haven't been able to review the reference book you gave me and this is the first time they send me this."

"The Zifengs only used a joker and a fool in the last two shipments. From what I'm seeing here, it was beside your Queen of hearts, that would mean only one thing."

Senia paused fearfully stirring up slight anxiety within the otherwise confident Evelyn.

"Well, what would that be?" Evelyn asked, closing her hand in a fist to seek some comfort. Regardless of how brief it might be.

The Zifengs game card messaging system was not impressing Evelyn. If anything it was annoying her.

"It means they've successfully placed a spy somewhere within your company, Miss Pierce. I would guess a position not too high up so as to not be suspicious, but not too low that they won't even see your face. Please tell me you hired a bodyguard from the agency in New York."

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