Chapter 4

TW: References to violence, gore, and drug use

(Saturday, April 3rd, 00:03)

Zero Hr Ch 4Asami had briefed the detective on the situation.  Shirai was quiet as he looked around the room.  He didn’t try to remove any evidence nor did he go near Jin’s body.

“What do you need from us, Asami-sama?” asked the detective.

“Just for appearances and to take the body away.  This penthouse, along with the rest of the floor, will be on the market by the end of the week.  I wanted to give you an opportunity to look around before we clean up.”

The detective was looking down at Tsuji’s body.  “I’m assuming that’s a separate, personal matter we don’t need to concern ourselves with.”

“Yes.  We’re going to process and dump him.  I wanted you know in case he’s found and you’re called in,” said Asami.  He pulled out a cigarette.  Kirishima stepped forward, lit it, then stepped back again.

“I’m sorry about your boy, Asami-sama,” said the detective.  “Is there anything you’d like us to do for you?”

“Yes.  Release the body right away to his parents.  No autopsy is necessary.  I want his funeral to take place by the beginning of next week.  And I would be much obliged if you would notify his parents yourself and tell them the funeral arrangements will be taken care of,” said Asami, glancing at Kirishima.

Kirishima nodded to let Asami know he was seeing to the funeral arrangements.

“I’ll go see his parents tonight,” said the detective.  Shirai glanced at Kirishima before looking back at Asami.  “May I call my men in now?”


Shirai went to the door and spoke softly.  The men filed in slowly, looking around.  “Asami-sama, may I please introduce Nakamura, a recent addition to my team.  He brings outstanding contacts and excellent field work experience with him.”

A young officer stepped smartly forward.  “I am at your service.”  He bowed low. “Please accept my deepest condolences, Asami-sama.”

“Thank you. This is my First Assistant, Kirishima Kei.  He will be your main contact should you want to get in touch with me.”

“I’m pleased to meet you, Kirishima-san.  I’ve heard much about you,” said Nakamura, bowing low.

Kirishima bowed as well.  “Thank you.”  Nakamura was tall, had a military style haircut, narrow eyes, and looked very good in a uniform.  Kirishima took in the details of Nakamura’s demeanor and then went back to focusing on his boss.

“I’ll send the medical examiners in now.  Do you need more time with him?” asked the detective.

“No.  I’m leaving in ten minutes.  If you need anything, please call,” said Asami.  He walked out of the room without looking around again.

Shirai looked at Kirishima.  “Permission to move the body.”

“Permission granted.  We’ll leave you to it.  We’ll clean up our own mess after you’re done,” he said, nodding towards Tsuji’s body.  Some of the officers left the room.  Kirishima stepped forward and picked up the shotgun still lying on the bed.  He paused, looking at Jin’s slender right wrist then pulled the sleeve back.  There was the mark of another fresh bruise around it.  Finger marks stood out plainly on Jin’s pale skin on the inside of the wrist below his thumb.  Kirishima frowned.

“I need a few minutes alone in this room with Asami-sama, please,” he said.

“Yes, of course,” said Shirai and left the room with the other officers.  Kirishima was the last to leave the room.  He closed the door and went to find his boss.


“They weren’t on his body last night or earlier this afternoon.  They must have been made after we left,” said Asami.  Kirishima and Asami were looking down at Jin’s naked body.  They’d gently removed Jin’s clothes by cutting away the gray sweater and pulling off his jeans and shorts.  They had inspected Jin’s body back and front and were focused on the bruises on his wrist.  There were no other marks on his body.  Kirishima noted that Asami was more business-like.  He seemed to have gotten over the initial shock of seeing Jin’s body.

“I saw the one on his wrist when you pulled back his sleeve.  I know you didn’t make it,” said Kirishima.

“How did you know it wasn’t me?”

“You would have never done anything that might frighten him at this delicate stage in his recovery, Asami-sama.”

“And yet I have a reputation for being sadistic,” said Asami.

“True, but this is Jin we’re talking about,” said Kirishima, “You would have been patient and gentle with him.”

Asami closed his eyes.  “He was happy last night.  Happy to be together.  He said he wanted to go away after we finished absorbing Andou’s business.”  Asami smiled just briefly.  “I told him I wanted to go somewhere warm and tropical, and he kept telling me he wanted to go to Paris because it’s so romantic.  When we were…in bed together, he was responsive but still frightened.  Even with all that, he made an effort.  He said he was sorry he made me stay away.”  Asami opened his eyes again.  Kirishima said nothing.  He knew it was important to let his boss talk without interrupting him with more condolences.  They stood together in silence for a few moments.  “What does this look like to you?” asked Asami, finally.

“It looks like two people forcibly injected Jin with heroin.”  Kirishima tilted his head as he looked down at the body.  “Perhaps one person was holding his wrists from behind.  When he was more or less incapacitated, maybe Tsuji shoved the gun into his mouth and pulled the trigger.  He would have needed only a few minutes to stage the suicide since he discovered the body.”  Kirishima looked at Asami.  “Probably Nishio and Sato.”

“Yes, that’s what it looks like to me.  Any idea why?”

“None at the moment though it seems like someone is trying to send us a message.  The method is clumsy.  The bruises, I mean.  Tsuji would have known someone would have noticed them,” said Kirishima, “Did Nishio or Sato say anything to you before you shot them?”

“No.  It sounded like they were having an argument in the security room.  Then they came at me.  Tsuji was probably counting on taking over getting Jin’s body out of here.  That might explain the clumsiness,” said Asami.  He pulled out a Dunhill.  Kirishima stepped closer to him to light it.  “Are you concerned about this situation, Kei?”

“Not really.  If it’s a message, we’ll be contacted again soon enough and we’ll find out what we’re up against.  I say we wait it out, continue as normal, rather than waste any resources.”

“Good,” said Asami, “You’re doing well.  I want to leave this house immediately.”

“There’s one more thing, Asami-sama.”

Asami looked at him, waiting.

“Jin’s cell phone is gone and it’s not on Tsuji’s body.”


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