Chapter 3: 60 Seconds

TJ turned on his heels toward his car. “Bad idea. Fuck, it’s a bad idea. They’ve got guns.” He slid into his driver’s seat and gripped the steering wheel with shaking hands. “Hurry up, Boss. Get in your damn car.”

Keitaro turned away from his closing crew, headed toward his Audi parked at the alley’s opening. He rounded his car to the driver’s side and stopped cold.

“What are you doing? Just get in…” TJ said.

Keitaro slowly backed out of the alley as a man approached him with a gun to his face.

Two guys got out of the Cadillac.

“Oh no. Fuck.”

TJ glanced over his shoulder at the taillights of Ramirez’s car just before they blinked out as he turned a corner, headed home. Dylan’s mom’s mini van had peeled out by the time TJ got to his car. “Fuck, fuck.”

TJ rocked back and forth in his seat. What do I do? What do I do? Call the cops.



When TJ looked up, Keitaro had somehow maneuvered the gun in his favor, and had flipped the gunman over and served him to the ground. Keitaro stood up apparently unharmed and accepted the challenge of the fight.

“Aw hell yeah, Boss. Get ’em.”

The fancy guy from the Cadillac threw a weak punch that Keitaro blocked. Keitaro punched the fancy guy in the gut then the forearm as the guy blocked his own face. The buff guy from the Cadillac held up another gun. Keitaro spun the same direction, letting the gun glide under his arm before clamping down, trapping the buff guy’s arm. The buff guy fired a surprised shot that disappeared into the night. Keitaro stomped on the first guy’s hand when he reached for his gun. Keitaro kicked the gun into the street, knocked down the gun from the buff guy’s arm, kicked the fancy guy backward, shifted his feet and flipped the buff guy over his shoulder.

“Holy hell! He can fight.” TJ leaned on his steering wheel for a closer view.

Something silver in Keitaro’s hand sparkled in the moonlight. Not a gun. The blade of his knife. The whole fight he hadn’t been punching, he’d been slicing. Hence why the fancy guy held his arm the way he did. Why the buff guy wiped the back of his hand down his sleeve. Keitaro hadn’t knocked the gun out of the buff guy’s hand, he’d cut it out.

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