Chapter Thirty-Nine: Love�s Battle:

Tsuzuki didn�t feel trouble hit until the next morning. When he made it to Ju-Oh-Cho at 7:30, he found Tatsumi waiting for him at the doors. A puzzled look came over the older shinigami�s face.

�Tatsumi?� he asked. The secretary gave him a stern look.

�The chief wants to see you,� he said. Tsuzuki couldn�t understand what was happening.

�Tatsumi?� he asked.

�Now,� the secretary pushed. Tsuzuki pressed his lips together.

�Alright,� he said. He followed his former partner to Konoe�s office. The whole time he tried to guess what this was about. Is it because I visited Akio? Did I ruin their surveillance because of it? Tsuzuki shook his head. No, it can�t be that. Maybe, it�s not even that. He�s probably going to give me a stern talking to and let me go. Yes, that must be it. The men came to Konoe�s office. Tatsumi quietly showed him inside. Tsuzuki looked to see Konoe sitting at his desk with a stern look on his face. The older shinigami swallowed as he prepared his defense.

�You wanted to see me, sir?� he asked. Konoe shoved forward a small stuck of papers. At first, Tsuzuki didn�t get it.

�What�s this?� he asked.

�You tell me,� Konoe said. Tsuzuki got a better look at the papers on the desk. It donned on him what he was looking at. All of the color drained from Tsuzuki�s face.

�Where did you get this?� he asked. Konoe glared at him.

�Let me tell you a little story,� he said. �Yesterday, three agents from the Tokyo sector were running surveillance of Kimoto Haruka and Akio. Haruka said something rather interesting.� Konoe put his hand to the papers. �When was the last time you reported on the Mother?� he asked. Tsuzuki did the math in his head.

�Earlier this month,� he answered, �Why?�

�Can you explain why we had to find out about the Mother merging with Anna�s soul through the records of your wife�s core?� the chief asked. Tsuzuki gave him a sheepish shrug.

�I forgot?� he tried to lie. Konoe narrowed his eyes at him. This time, that excuse wouldn�t work.

�You wouldn�t forget something this big,� he pointed out. �Tell the truth. Why did you neglect to tell us about the Mother�s condition?� Tsuzuki looked down at his feet.

�I want to save her,� he mumbled. Konoe gave him a puzzled look.

�What?� he asked. Tsuzuki lifted his head with a determined look on his face.

�She�s still there,� he insisted. �I can get her back.�

�You know once the Mother merges with the chosen woman, the vessel�s soul is gone!� Konoe argued.

�I am aware of this,� Tsuzuki said with clenched fists. �But I�m sure she�s still there and I will bring her home.�

�And what makes you so sure about that?� Konoe asked. Tsuzuki bit his lower lip, but didn�t back down.

�I just know,� he pressed. The shinigami took in a deep breath. �Please, give me five days to get her back,� he pleaded. Konoe raised an eyebrow at him.

�You know it is impossible to bring the vessel�s soul back,� his boss pointed out. �You could risk losing your soul as well.�

�Please?� Tsuzuki asked. �I just have to try. I can�t lose her again! I love her that much!� Konoe huffed at the puppy dog eyes and other features he gave him. The boss frowned and rolled his eyes.

�Fine,� he muttered. �You will only get five days. If you fail, we will have no choice but to kill her again.�

�Thank you, sir,� he said relived with a bow.

�Just get out,� Konoe complained.

�Yes sir!� Tsuzuki repeated. He turned and headed out the door for his latest battle. Konoe shook his head in doubt. Again, he just bent to Tsuzuki�s will about Kimoto-Tsuzuki Anna.

I need to tell him no at one point to keep this all from getting worse than it already is, he thought as he buried his head in his hands. Damn all of this crap. We don�t need this.