AUTHOR'S NOTE: You didn't really think I'd leave Jeff alone, did you? This is a sequel to "The Road Less Traveled." Please read it first (click on my author name and select it) and let me know what you think of it.

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Chapter 1

The cool man watched the tall vixen-like woman in the ring with a keen interest. It had been some months since he'd been back in the States, due to unforeseen legal circumstances, and he was very anxious to return the favor to the group of people responsible. This woman would definitely do nicely for his plans. He nodded to Sergei and turned back to the scene before him.

The man's friend, Sergei owned a martial arts fighting club based in Florida that operated outside of the authorities' legal radar. He'd contacted his old friend as soon as he'd found a way back into the U.S. that wouldn't alert undue suspicion. Ever since he'd hatched this plan, he'd been overly anxious to put it into action. But why shouldn't he be? They ruined his life and ended his business. They'd cost him dearly. Fortunately, he'd invested well and could live comfortably even on the run. But he was still venomously angry with those who took away his company. They would pay. But only one would die. That's all he needed to do. Kill the one to destroy the whole.

"She is particularly vicious, no?" Sergei asked quietly.

The man nodded. The woman was magnificent. She stood almost six feet tall in her slipper-covered feet. Her long straight, thick hair was as dark as the night with a streak of neon pink going down the back. Her skin was olive, hinting at a Mediterranean lineage. Her body was clad in a deep purple, long-sleeved, Lycra bodysuit and the top of her face was covered in a matching mask. The costume fit her like a glove and hugged every curve as she moved. Her character name was Original Sin, or Sin for short, Sergei had explained. She'd already vanquished three opponents this night and showed no signs of stopping. Unlike most other fight clubs, in Sergei's company the participants fought four matches per show. Stamina was the goal of this game.

"She will do very nicely," the man murmured.

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Eden pulled a knife from her boot and sliced though her opponent's thigh easily, cackling as she fell to the floor. She hated fighting women. They were so boring. But Sergei had relegated her to this division for now. He had explained that there was more money in women fighting women. Men loved to see that. She wasn't sure about that, but the pay was good and her trainer encouraged her to make as much as she could while she was young.

Her victim, Calypso, lay writhing in pain and bleeding before her. She knew when to stay down and surrendered immediately. Eden raised her right hand in the air with her pinky extended, in her typical Original Sin gesture and ran to the back. She intended to get her gear, pick up her cash and go straight home tonight. Her trainer would be so pleased with her earnings. Sergei gave her a bonus every night she remained undefeated.

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"Sin," Sergei called to her later as she tried to leave the arena. She sighed to herself, hating the business end of her job, but pasted on a cheery smile and turned to greet him.

"Sergei," Eden said, turning her attention to the suave looking man he'd brought over to her.

"This is my friend," Sergei said. "He has a lucrative proposition for you if you're interested."

"Lucrative?" Eden asked with a smile. "I'm all ears."

"Well, I'll leave you two alone to discuss it." Sergei walked away to the office. Eden was amused to see that he'd left the door open.

"I've been admiring your work tonight, Sin," the man began in an overly smooth tone.

Eden nodded, pretending to be impressed. She had no use for anyone's opinion but her trainer's, and he'd already expressed his pride in her accomplishments.

"I have a job I need done that requires your particular set of skills and a ferocious violence," he went on. "I need to . . . dispose of someone. Preferably painfully."

"Why me?" she frowned, not sure was hearing him correctly.

"You're a woman," he stated simply. "I think it will be poetic."

"I've never actually killed anyone before."

"There's always a first time," he smiled. "Do you object to killing?"

"I didn't say that," she replied. "I just want to ascertain why you're approaching me."

"The man I want dead has a fondness for dangerous women," he said. "I think he will find you irresistible."

"I don't prostitute myself for anything," she hissed.

"You don't have to actually sleep with him," the man said smoothly. "Just make him think you will until you get him alone, then use that pretty knife of yours to slit his throat."

"You are a charmer, aren't you?" she said quietly. "Why the elaborate scheme. Why not just hire a hit

man to shoot him?"

"I want him to die by his own stupidity," the man said rather harshly. "This way, I'll have the pleasure of knowing I brought him down with his own weakness."

"I assume you're willing to pay well?" Eden said, not sure she wanted to get involved in something so overtly illegal but curious just the same.

"Very, very well, as you'll no doubt be forced to leave the country. The intended victim is a somewhat famous personality."

"Leave the country?" Eden sputtered. "The fee had better be adequate to cover my troubles."

"How's ten million U.S. dollars sound?"

Eden's jaw nearly dropped. That kind of capital would make her trainer very happy indeed.

"I'll need time to think about it," she said, schooling her features to appear impassive.

"I'll return in a week for your answer," he said, inclining his head and walking away.

She watched him enter Sergei's office and shut the door behind him then she left the arena to go find her trainer. She had much to discuss with him tonight.