Li. fuck responsibilities

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Having to save a civilian is not fun. Especially when you're a) contractually working for the CIA, b) you're wearing heels, and c) you're barely trained. Let me just emphasize point c), the fact that my background is an English major and most definitely not an agent.

Adrenaline rushes in my veins, instigated by the panic in my mind. All the breath was sucked out of my lungs by the sound of Katrina's voice. "Listen to me very carefully, you're giving me that ring."

"What's going on?" Chase says over the earpiece. "Where are you?"

"Upstairs bathroom," I whisper.

"Don't do anything stupid," Ace seethes. "Your life is most important."

Charlene Cho freezes in place. The ring on her finger was the decoy, and the real ring with the database was in my possession. Thirteen's people were late to the game. A smirk tugs on Katrina's face, and Charlene shakes her head. Katrina grabs Charlene's hand, locking it against her back, then prying the ring from her finger.

Katrina puts in the suppressor on her gun with the smirk growing larger. I know that Ace cared for me, but the Thorned Kings have killed too many people. Hell, Ethan practically died in my arms due to the dark-eyed woman. My top priority as of now was to make sure Charlene survives.

"Hey Bert and Ernie muppet!" I yell.

Katrina flinches. When her dark eyes flicker to meet mine, she smiles. "Snow. Long time no see. Should I put on another show like with Ethan?"

I held out my own gun and the real ring. My limbs refuse to move to show her how much that comment bristled my fire. "Let her go, and it's yours."

Katrina smiles. "What if I don't let her go, and just kill you as well?"

Tears start to pool at Charlene's eyes. My gun points, unwavering. Shit. I needed to keep Katrina distracted until there others got here. Think brain think. "What font is alphabet soup in?"

She lets out a dry chuckle. "You're kidding, right?"

"If you get it right I'll give you the ring you... you mailbox that's awkwardly too far out into the road so it creates a risk of car crashes."

Katrina laughs. "I see why Ian's kept you alive for so long."

"Why do you help him anyway?" I spit. "He doesn't care about anyone except himself."

She softens. "I love him. And he loves me."

But Thirteen said he was looking for his Queen... How could he also love Katrina? My hand flinches. I wanted to say more but nothing came out. In that moment, Chase arrived on the other side of the hallway. I quickly fire near Katrina's foot.

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