Author's Note: Inspired by DP. Enjoy this action-adventure/romance.

Update: so it's April 5, 2007, less than two months after completing this baby. I read through the whole thing at a steady pace and realized I could finish this in an hour. It's pretty exciting, and I guess I could admit it freely about this piece. I just love the hell out of this main character I made. I think what the story makes up for lack of detail it compensates with extremely uber dialogue. There's some mild eroticism in this one, but it's mostly romance, action-adventure, and comedy. I do not know why this made me laugh, especially considering that I wrote it, and most everything I write, even when it is somewhat humorous, no longer strikes me as humorous when I read it to myself. Maybe someone will want to read this poor piece. It is COMPLETE at ten action-packed chapters, and, also, edited a little bit. But not that much. Thank you to all readers on this site; I feel the love and wish I could tell more and more stories.

Thank you for the awkward PM's, too. This was fixed by request, and I'm happy to have it a part of the PoplockingNinja canon!

Chapter One

"Unhand me, you tool."

"Yeah. Keep calling me names when I've got C4 strapped to your belt, sweetheart."

"You were supposed to save me, not kidnap me, you idiot."

Mint poked the fire and snuffed a loogie right near the girl's boot. "Just keep talkin'."

The desert was only to get colder and darker as the night wore on. This hellhole was the singular advantage he had. And even when he knew the terrain, it was still a long shot from surviving the whole five-day trek to Tenanbul without starving, freezing to death, or killing his ransom. He shot a sidelong glance at his precious cargo, not much older than he, which would have been another advantage if she weren't so unattractive. Not only was she a stout, flat-chested brunette, she was a stout, flat-chested brunette with a whole lot of mouth. Why, if she wasn't a woman, he would've already just clocked her in the gullet.

"I will keep talking until you untie me, you uneducated brute. I'll have you know that they're probably looking for me right now."

"Look, you're not the first daughter of some rich guy I've kidnapped, and you certainly won't be my last, so just shut your damn trap and save your breath, you cow." Mint poked the fire, waiting for his ration to finish warming up. "And I've smacked a bitch sideways before for her foul mouth. I ain't hurtin' you, so the least you could do is give me some peace and quiet." He scratched his midnight black muss of hair, and flakes rained out of his head. Frankly, he hadn't taken a shower in three days. The first of those days he spent making a good impression on the ransom's father, the most gullible, fat water tycoon of the whole desert.

"Don't worry, Sir. I'll bring her back safe and sound." His deviously wholesome, brown eyes had smiled. He inclined his chin to hide his devilish grin within his clover, diamond, heart, and club-studded red handkerchief.

The tycoon had already made a deal with Mint that he couldn't turn down. He got on his knees like the spineless bastard he was and took one of Mint's hands. "Please, Sand Ghost. Bring her back to me soon."

Soon, the renowned Sand Ghost himself was to run out of rations, time, energy, patience, and clients. His reputation was growing as the most treacherous mercenary in the whole desert. He had to make this one big. Retiring was wishful thinking, but he could at least save himself a good three-year period before the next heist and the next big charade.

Mint pulled his ration can off the fire prematurely and dropped it in the sand with a cloud of dust. "Goddamnit—"

"Look at you. You can't even handle your own food."

Mint shot her a look. Man, why did it have to be this bitch? Why couldn't her sweeter, hotter, older sister gotten captured?

"Aw, poor baby. Burnt your hand?"

Mint's under-eye twitched. He stalked up to her.

"Wh-what are you doing—"

He took a spare handkerchief from out of his inner breast pocket, not daring to use the trademark red handkerchief already concealing his "handsome" features. He tied the spare deftly around her head and gagged her mouth. Saliva dribbled down her chin. He hadn't even the patience to say another word to this bitch, this Klenny chick.

She muffled and wormed as she threw a fit, falling off her rock and squirming on the ground.

He bent near her ear. "Shut up and stop moving, or you're going to blow us both to smithereens."

She seethed and stopped squirming around. She began whimpering instead, half her face covered in sand.

Mint stood up and went back to his meal, dusting the dirt off of his can of rations. He ate in silence, watching the sky darken.