Chapter Thirty-Nine: Uncoiling:

So much can happen in three days.

Isabel packed up to leave for the evening. She turned when she heard a knock on the door. She turned to see one of her coworkers watching her.

“Oh, Shun!” she said. “You’re still here?”

“Actually, I was just leaving,” Shun said. “What about you?” Isabel chuckled.

“I was about to leave too,” she said.

“I see. Say, you free this evening?”

“May I ask why?”

Shun chuckled and blushed. “I was wondering if we could go out for a drink or something.” He expected her to turn him down. Instead, Isabel smiled.

“Sure,” she said. Shun’s jaw dropped.

“Really?” he asked.

“Yeah,” Isabel said. Her coworker whistled softly.

“Wow,” he whispered. “Okay…” Shun never knew Isabel to have such a cute smile.


Shun took Isabel to an undisclosed bar. To his surprise, she could handle her drink really well.

“You can really put it away,” Shun said. Isabel downed her seventh drink.

“Yeah,” she said. “My dad taught me well.”

“Speaking of your dad, where are you from?”


“Ooo, a French beauty.”

Isabel giggled. “Thank you.” She ordered another drink.

“You know,” Shun said. “I don’t know much about you.”


“You barely talk about yourself. Do you have family in France? What kind of music do you like? Do you have a boyfriend?”

Isabel covered her mouth, giggling. “That’s a lot of questions about little old me.”

“Please?” Shun asked.

“Okay, okay,” she said. “But you have to answer one question for me.”

“What kind of question?” he asked.

Her coworker took a breath. “Alright. Do you have family in France?”

“I did.” A sad look filled her eyes. “He died when I was young. It was an accident.”

“Oh. I’m sorry to hear that.”

Isabel shook her head. “I’m fine now. My host family has been good to me in this country.”

“What are they like?”

“Mama’s really supportive of me. My little brother is sweet, but he’s sick.”

“Is it bad?”

Isabel shook her head. “It’s nothing too serious, really.”

“I had a father and a younger brother.”

“I see. What happened to them?”

“They’re still alive. My father’s a retired salaryman and my brother’s in high school.” Shun gently swirled his glass in his hand.

Isabel ordered another drink. “Do you have more questions for me?”

“Huh? Oh. What kind of music do you like?”

Isabel chuckled. “Pop music mostly.”

Shun’s jaw dropped. “Are you serious?”

“Yeah. AKB48 is my favorite band.”

“Really? I took you for a classical music fan.”

“I like a little bit of that too.” She tilted her head. “Let me guess. You like rock music, right?”

Shun gave her a fake gasp. “How did you know?”

Isabel shrugged. “I just read people.” She downed her eighth drink. The bar tender raised an eyebrow.

“Will she be okay?” he mouthed at Shun. The shinigami nodded. Despite his unease, the bar tender returned to his work. Shun turned back to his “date.”

“So… Do you have a boyfriend?” he asked.

“No,” she said. Shin’s cheeks flushed red. Wow! “Do you think that we…?”

Isabel held up her hand. “Maybe. It’s only the first date.”

Shun’s jaw dropped. “Wait. We’re on a…?”

“Isn’t that why you asked me out for a drink?” she asked.

“Well… yeah,” he said in a small voice. She smiled and finished her drink.

“Now, I want to ask you something,” Isabel asked.

“What?” Shun asked, blinking. She leaned on the bar.

“How do you kill a shinigami?” she asked. Shun smiled, confused.

“What?” he asked.

“How do you kill a shinigami?”

“You can’t; we’re already dead.”

“Yes, but supporting. How can you do it? Is it possible?”

Shun pondered the question. “I guess it is possible.”

Isabel ran her finger down her empty glass. “Oh?”

“The only way we can die is with Touda’s flames.”

“Touda? Tsuzuki’s shikigami?”

“Yeah. Touda’s flames are so hot that when it burns us, our bodies can’t heal.” The shinigami froze. “Why do you ask?”

Isabel shook her head. “No reason.” She ordered another drink. Shun shrugged it off, unaware that he just sighed his second death warrant.