The ninja crouched in anticipation. Of what, he did not know. His job was to be ready. For anything.
His eyes blazed a trail across the room leaving a ring of smoke in its wake. Years of guerrilla training let him search for danger without moving a fiber in any one of his well-sculpted muscles. A woman in a virginal white dress broke through the smoky haze and stared at him with open lust. The succulent flower above her ear promised more coral flowers to come. She licked her ripe, pouty lips slowly, the sweat beading on her dainty brow. Later he thought. He had a job to finish first. If the dame was still there when he was done, he’d take her home and pluck the petals off that flower one by one.
Two heavy guys to her left. They could have been thugs but for the bulky sketch tablets they balanced on their sizable laps. Sketching in earnest, their faces were soft and pliable, eager to capture the testosterone that dripped off his body.
Without warning, the ninja flipped through the air, performing a human acrobatic maneuver seemingly impossible on the tiny stage. The small crowd let out a collective gasp as he twisted and turned, his muscles rippling in the late afternoon sunlight that thrust through dirty windows. All at once, he was still. A new pose for them. A new view of the room for him.
His eyes landed on another woman. Also dressed in white. The purity in the room was stifling. She looked up from her sketch pad just as he started to look away. And stopped him in his tracks. The cold flat look in those eyes told a story. A lifetime of hard knocks. The white dress for her was a shield, a ruse. There was nothing pure about her.
He watched the careful strokes on her charcoal pencil, each mark correlating with a fingernail scratch down his back. Three nights of burning passion had left battle scars on his body and soul. His eyes glazed over for a split second, remembering the feel of her tight body astride his own. Almost a fatal mistake. Rule number one - Never let down your defenses.
He saw the gun before it cleared the table. The weak sunlight his ally as it glinted off the cold metal barrel. Two catlike leaps and a round kick had the Colt skittering across the floor and his elbow an iron vise on her slender neck. The tender hollow that he had kissed just last night. She looked at him, unflinching. Daring him. Wanting him. What a pair they would make, these two.
A snap of his powerful wrist and her neck cracked in two. A lone gasp from the room. The other woman in white. The rest of crowd settled in quiet anticipation. They knew the score.
The ninja twisted through an ancient warrior routine to clear his mind. Then assumed a tight crouch on the platform. His eyes burned into the woman with the flower until a small groan escaped her lips. Another pose today. Another dame tonight.