The Dragon's Reluctant Bride

By: Serena Rose

“After we leave,” Yazmat said as he pointed a crooked finger at me. “You do not wait. We’ll put the assassins on standby, but if she refuses, you will watch your friend die before your eyes as a message for you to keep your dick in your pants from now on, unless we say you can.”

“Alright, I’ll go meet her at the bar.” I swallowed hard. “Can I at least get a ring for her first?”

“What a stupid western custom. You ask her to marry you, you bring her in front of us and we marry you. As a bonus, she becomes a citizen of Japan and gets all the rights afforded to her.”

I nodded. I had full confidence they would have the paperwork in place for this, since it was their idea and all.

“We will know her answer, so you can’t lie to us,” Yazmat said as they left my office.

I sat down and picked up my phone to let Rachel know that I wanted to meet with her at the same bar where we had our first date. She agreed, because she wanted to talk to me about the pregnancy and the options.

I sighed, got up from my desk and put on my blazer. I thought the whole Yakuza thing went over better than this shape shifter news will. I went down to the elevator and nodded to my receptionist, who looked at me with terror in her eyes. I guess she knew I was in deep shit, probably the entire clan did by now.

I quickly made my way through the streets of Tokyo and to the bar. “She’s already inside, boss,” the bouncer informed me. “She looks pretty upset.”

“No one else is in there?” My heart was pounding hard. I hope the assassins didn’t get in, this was my personal bar and no one was allowed inside without my express permission.

“Sorry, we had to let the other guy in. The Elders would have had my cock, otherwise.” He seemed genuinely sorry. I’d let it slide for now. Usually, such dereliction would mean he would have to gut himself at my earliest convenience.

“Well, let’s hope he hasn’t killed her yet.” I was fervently hoping she was still alive.

“Yeah, she’s still alive. I think he was waiting for you to show up or something. I don’t know, I’m just the bouncer. Just to let you know, you’re paying for the cleanup bill if he does whack her in the bar.”

“And I’ll carve it out of the wrinkly ball sacks of those foolish old men,” I said as I made my way inside.

Rachel was sitting at the bar, hunched over a glass of clear soda. I smiled. “Trying to be responsible already?” I really was trying to ease the tension.

“It’s the only thing I can hold down right now,” she replied. Her red hair was tied back in a limp pony tail. She was wearing a comfortable maxi skirt and a beautiful silk blouse, but her face was paler than usual. I don’t think pregnancy was agreeing with her.

“Look, I’m going to cut to the chase. Don’t worry, most…” I said as I stared at the strange man in the dark suit who was sitting in the corner, “of these men are mine. You’re in grave danger, but I know how to save you, and the baby.”

She looked at me with terror in her green eyes, mixed with relief. “Honestly?”

“Yes. You see, we have to get married.” I saw her green eyes fill with anger. I knew it wouldn’t go over well.

She punched me in the face. I felt a sharp pain as her fist nailed me square in the jaw. The bouncer sat at the door with an amused smirk on his face. Bastard. “What do you mean we have to get married?”

“You didn’t have to hit me, you know. That kinda smarts. Anyway, If we don’t, that guy in the corner will create a nice art deco painting out of your grey matter all over the inside of my bar.” I rubbed my jaw. “Can I get some ice, please?” I asked the bartender. I really didn’t want a bruise.

“Why, other than the fact that I’ll die, is it so important?” She was really pushing it. I picked up the bar towel that was filled with ice and placed it against my aching jaw.

I sighed, deeply wondering how to break the news to her. She already knew I was a kingpin of one of the most dangerous crime syndicates known to man, but how do I tell her about the Dragon? “Alright, I guess I shouldn’t hide this from you either. You saw my tattoo, right?” Well duh, of course she did.

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