The week had gone by so quickly. Wednesday, Tationy and Hiko had hardly seen each other at all. There was so much work that Hiko had to finish, so he spent plenty of time in the library. He managed to survive his festival job with minimal damage, but he never wanted to see another pie again and he avoided checking in on his girl at the kissing booth. Tationy had met with her adviser and was assigned by the Disciplinary Committee to help decorate for the dance on Friday, seeing she had not been able to work at the cafe due to it being condemned.
On Thursday, much to their surprise they were both nominated for Spring Fling King and Queen. Acutely aware it had nothing at all to do with being popular, they just happened to be the most talked about couple at Sofore Academy. The school loved its scandals, gossip, and rumors and much to their dismay they were on the lips of everyone. There were people passing them in the hallways whispering and a few brave freshmen even asked Hiko if he had really beaten up Abe Sosa. Apparently, there were plenty of people at Sofore that wanted to kick Abe’s ass. It was a little shameful that the thing he would be known for during his high school years was beating up his rival, but he had somehow managed infamous status with the freshmen.
Friday morning he wanted nothing more than to sleep in with Tationy. Unfortunately they had an assembly to attend where the discussion regarding the schools closing was taking place. Tationy had practically slept through it with her head on his shoulder the entire time. Afterwards, she was off to help decorate for the dance. When she finally did get back, Eri had whisked her away over some crisis which seemly was due to a dress. Her return resulted in her crawling into bed and telling him she was staying there all night.
It would actually be him that dragged her to the dance; now as they stood waiting for their picture to be taken he was regretting it. He could have just snuggled with her and never left their room. Hiko had no idea what he was thinking when he forced her to dress and offered her a little gift. It was nothing special, just a little flower necklace he had picked up at the secondhand store for a whole three dollars. The ‘diamonds’ were not real and most likely neither was the gold chain. Still, as they made their way to the hall where the dance was taking place Hiko noticed that she would place her hand on the trinket now and again as though it were the most precious thing she had ever been given.
She sighed, “I am tired. Promise me we do not have to stay all night.”
Hiko could feel her hand upon his as her head rested to his shoulder, “We can leave now if you like.”
“Tsk, you are the one that dragged me from bed and told me to get dressed.”
“I am not sure what I was thinking.”
“Apparently, you wanted to get your party on.”
“No, I think I just wanted to see you in that dress.”
“We did not need to leave the room for that. Of course, it is probably for the best. This is the only way you would ever let me see you in a tux.”
He groaned, “I feel restricted.”
“Maybe we should have gotten you a bigger size.”
“I doubt it would have mattered. Though, if there is ever a next time I don’t want another pink shirt.”
“My Hiko looks so great in pink though.”
“It is too bright and girly…”
She quickly interrupted him, “Who is going to say anything about it? Hiko Kari the guy that beat up Abe Sosa, they would never dare even mention the color with the risk of death looming.” His response was a single grunt. Hiko was certain if anyone did mention the fact that his shirt was pink it would result in him losing his cool. All he could do was hope that no one was ballsy enough to bring it up.
Impatiently they waited for their picture to be taken. The entire thing was taking far too long, but Hiko did think it was rather nice having Tationy cuddled into him. Her body was always warm and distracting. While they waited he found himself wondering what their relationship might be like as they got older. Would it mature? He loved being with her, every moment he wanted them to share. Hiko could not help wondering about what their union might look like in five years or even ten. Would they have a house? A child? There were so many things on his mind lately and often he found himself saying, ‘Slow down, Hiko.’ There was some relief when the photographer finally said that he had gotten the perfect picture.
They moved into the main hall. The theme was a Garden in the City, apparently it had some significance to the school’s first coed dance held in 1929. Hiko was not really interested in the particulars, so he did not ask Tationy to elaborate. There were already plenty of students on the dance floor as they weaved their way through tables and people. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits, despite the changes the school was going through and the fact that many of them were being forced to ‘grow-up’ far sooner then they might have been ready.
Tationy’s soft yawn caught his attention, “Going to make it through the dance?”
“I probably won’t even make it to the crowning. No idea why I am so tired today.”
“Neither of us have slept well in that house. It is always so noisy. You were completely asleep during the assembly. Pretty sad that you got a better night’s rest listening to the Dean speak than you had since we moved in.” Hiko paused a moment as he added, “The decorations look great. It shows you did plenty of hard work here. Not to mention, whatever that crisis that Eri had. I am surprised you are still standing. Unless of course you are actually asleep.”
“I might be.”
With all of the things running through his mind lately, he had little time to address it all with Tationy. He spoke, “This conversation actually brings me to something I have been thinking about. Our room has to be packed up and cleaned by Sunday. What would you think if we did it all tomorrow and headed back to Thacian City? We can spend the night in our new home, get some much needed rest. Then, head back early on Monday and Tuesday for our exams. Unless of course, we should stay for another reason.”
Hiko was not certain how to answer the question without asking about their future, so he changed the topic when he noticed Eri. “What sort of dress crisis was it?”
The type of response that followed his question was one that sounded like it might accompany a shrug, “She might have gained a little weight since she bought it. Not a lot, mind you. Just enough that she was freaking that people might be able to notice. I took out the back zipper and replaced it with a wider one. It gave her a bit more breathing room and more importantly settled her down.”
“Is that so? Does that mean you can sew?”
Tationy chuckled softly, “I can do a lot of things, Hiko Kari.” He wanted to learn about each and every talent she had. The message from Mikio had been nagging at him. Hiko tried to hide his concern, though he was certain that Tationy was acutely aware he was troubled by it all. When he thought about it, the irritation was primarily settled around the fact that Mikio only had to ‘dream’ to know her. Even if Hiko, worked hard for ten years, he probably still would not know her as well as Mikio. That was frustrating for him. Hiko did not want to focus on it so he pushed the thoughts away as he maneuvered them through the hall.
They had found Kyo near the food and before Hiko could even greet him, Tationy had wandered off to check on Eri. “Where is your jacket,” Hiko asked as his eyes followed Tationy.
Kyo laughed, “Eri vomited on it.”
“You seem awfully happy. Are you sure she did not do it on purpose?”
“Actually, I think she was aiming for Moochie. I just got in the way.”
“Moochie, huh. So, you came with her after all.”
“Well, I did say I would and a Kari man never goes back on his word. Though, I did tell Eri if she told me not to go with Moochie, that I would not.”
“Is she alright with you going?”
“No, she is angry. She understands though.”
Hiko was not certain how true that was as he asked, “How are things between the two of you?”
Kyo shrugged his shoulders, “I asked her to marry me again. She did not give me an answer, but she did not tell me I am oppressing her either. I think the hormone changes might be working in my favor. The two of us are going to see a doctor on Wednesday. I think I am a lot more exited than she is, but at least she is …. ” He paused a moment as though he was considering his words, “Well, I would not say it is perfect, but at least she is trying. I am sure I will see the old Eri again. She might just need me at the moment.”
“Are you okay with that?”
“Not really, but as long as she is not pushing me away that is a good thing right? I am not delusional. I know things are not ideal, but at least she is letting me be there without fighting me. For how long, I do not know. Anyway, I am surprised the two of you actually came. I figured you would have found a reason to stay in your room.”
“We might not stay the whole time. Tationy is pretty tired and the two of us are going to actually pack up and move out tomorrow.”
Sagely nodding, “Let me know when you are about ready to leave. I can come in and check the room and get your key. Sign you out officially.”
“No problem. So, are you going to stand around all night or are you actually going to dance with Tationy.”
Hiko groaned, “I promised her two. One fast and one slow.”
“Still stubborn about dancing I see. Just think of it as sex, but standing up and with your clothes on.” Hiko had arched a brow at Kyo who only laughed, “Moochie, is making her rounds. Trying to get those last minute votes for queen. She comes and finds me when she wants to dance and be seen on the floor. I don’t dare enjoy myself too much because Eri is watching me like a hawk, even though she is pretending not to.” His relationship almost seemed normal compared to the people that were around him. Were the lives of his friends and family always so messed up? Something told Hiko that he had been just too self-absorbed to notice and that it was Tationy’s presence that made him acutely aware of what was going on around him. Some days he longed for ignorance again. “Here she comes. Time to get my dance on,” Kyo responded casually as moved toward Moochie.
For a time, Hiko watched from the sidelines until Tationy returned. He gave her no opportunity to speak as he took her hand and led her toward the dance floor. Away from the other couples, his fingers laced with hers as his hand pressed firmly to the small of her back. She was beautiful. Her hair was off of her face with that little trinket around her neck and the long flowing gown that hugged her perfectly. If this moment was any indication of what it would be like to have sex with her, then Hiko did not want to wait.
Tationy allowed him to lead. She never forced the pace to change. More importantly, her eyes always remained on his. The moment was sensual, stimulating all his senses. He took a breath, “I don’t know if I can wait to be in you. Maybe my head is clouded from the way you look, your scent, the music, and the way your body feels pressed in to mind. Would you think me selfish if I took you tonight?”
Her voice was practically a whisper, “No, I would not.”
The words spoken by his love were words of permission even if she did not say as much. It was not just him feeling the moment. That alone was the encouragement that Hiko needed to take a breath and remind himself that they decided to wait for a reason. “Two years from now.”
A sweet smile adorned her lips as she questioned, “Two years from now?”
“I won’t wait any longer than that to have you.”
“Your willpower is far more impressive than mine. I would have given myself to you tonight.”
He chuckled nervously, “Don’t tell me that. I might have to change my mind.”
She teased him, “Nope, you cannot. You already decided. Two years it is.” He closed his eyes, but his body did not quite relax until she spoke. “Do you think we should go somewhere special?”
Hiko smiled, “Ahh, anywhere in the world you want to go. We have two years to plan the most romantic retreat.” Honestly, it was far too easy to get lost in moments like these and completely forget about all of the people around them.
Hiko hated dancing, but being close to Tationy made the moment seem less awkward and more enjoyable. Despite how nice it felt having her body close, he stuck to the two dance limit, one slow and one fast. Inadvertently, picking the two songs that would be theirs for their entire relationship. He thought at least they were not bad choices, it could have been worse. Tationy did seem a bit disappointed when he took her hand and led her off the dance floor. As they stood on the sidelines he watched her watching the couples. It was obvious that she was having a little fun and probably would have far more if she was with someone like Kyo.
He wanted to know if she was mad, but he somehow managed to refrain from asking. Confidence, that was what she kept telling him that he needed. She made an odd sound that made him instantly think she realized something, “We might not get any sleep tonight. Not that it is any different from any other night, but there will probably be lots of parties going on.” That was most likely true. When the Spring Fling dance ended people would gather to continue socializing, “Maybe we should pack up as much of the room tonight as we can.”
Smiling he responded, “So, does that mean you are not disappointed about getting out of here early?”
“Of course not. I would be fine leaving right now.”
“If we try to leave we will most likely be stopped by Eri. She has been eying us all night,” He responded.
Tationy laughed softly, “I noticed.”
“The two of you have been pretty close lately…”
She cut him off, “Don’t misunderstand. Eri does not like me. We are not friends and never will be. She simply has no one else to turn to at the moment.”
Hiko stepped in, resting his hand to the small of her back. Leaning in, he kissed her lightly before asking, “Are you okay with that. Don’t girls need female friends? Do you even have any?”
“I am Yamada, Hiko. Having female friends is not really an option. Even if I did, women are more likely to undermine each other; talking behind their backs, stealing their man, anything and everything is fair game to a woman. Sure women can empathize while they listen to you bitch and moan for hours about some guy that broke your heart. The reality of it is that they are tired of listening to you. Female friends can help you justify any decision even if it was bad one. Sure it was not slutty sleeping with three guys at the same time. You only did it once after all.”
Choking slightly as he stared at her. He almost could not believe she had said what she said. She continued talking, “Other girls can understand our over-the-top way of analyzing every conversation we have. How a simple, I don’t like that dress turns into he is cheating on you because you do not have the body he likes. Only with another girl or a gay guy can you say, OMG, I love this song and they completely get it even if it is the worst song ever made. Most importantly, girls have girlfriends so they have bridesmaids and bragging. It is not like a guy is going to care about a five thousand dollar pair of shoes unless of course he paid for them and is realizing how much they cost. Sometimes, you just have a really odd question that you cannot ask a guy. Not to mention, a girlfriend is about having a ‘sidekick’. All those things you want to do, but do not want your man to know about, she is there to back you up and say….‘the movie was great’, when what you really did was go to a club and got so drunk that you let a man drink from your navel.”
“So, no. I don’t have any friends that are girls. I don’t want any friends that are girls and the few that I might have considered, do not like me or try to get with my man behind my back. I am fine, really Hiko. All I need is you.”
He took her hand, “I will listen to every bitch and moan you want to share. I will not justify any bad action and I will definitely be killing people if you ever sleep with three guys. There is never a need to over analyze what I say. I will always be direct and honest with you. You can tell me you love a song and I will smile because it is cute how excited you get. I cannot picture you as the type of girl to brag about what you are wearing, but if you feel the need to I will definitely listen. I guess if you have no girlfriends for bridesmaids, then I have no need for a best man. So, when we get married, it will just be the two of us standing up there. You can ask me any odd question you want and I will always try to answer. I am not saying we will ever go to a club, but if we do I would be honored to be your sidekick, but the only guy drinking from your navel is me.”
Tationy laughed softly, “Yeah?”
“Any odd question huh?”
Groaning he laughed nervously, “Why do I have a bad feeling?”
She had a rather thoughtful and yet mischievous look as she asked, “Would you rather me cheat on you or bring another man to our bed?”
Hiko was acutely aware that Tationy was playfully teasing him. He knew it, as he leaned in and claimed her lips this time more passionately. Deepening the kiss and savoring it for as long as he could, he only answered when the kiss finally broke, “I won’t ever cheat on you and I beg you never to cheat on me. I don’t know if I could stand letting another man touch you, but I would rather bring another man to our bed then betray you or have you betray me.” His forehead rested against hers as he took an anxious breath, “Do you…do you want another man in our bed?”
Softly her lips formed a smile as she whispered, “I just want you.” It was a sigh of relief. He was thankful for her answer and yet oddly nervous that someday a situation might arise that would put this question before him again.
Hiko was glad when the music suddenly stopped and people began to gather to the dance floor because it distracted his thoughts. “It is that time of the night already, for the official crowning of our Spring Fling King and Queen. Before I get to the nominations, I would first like to thank DJ Ryoko who dressed in his finest and came all this way to spin some records for us this evening. Let’s give him a round of applause,” Eri responded as she joined the student body in clapping for their musical entertainment. “The student body has been very vocal this week about why they nominated who they did. I have attended four Spring Fling Gala’s and this year has been the most exciting. There is just so much going on and I cannot wait to see who the student body felt best represented Sofore Academy in its final crowning.”
She cleared her throat, “Can I have the Queen nominee’s join me onstage please.”
Hiko held on to Tationy’s hand for as long as he could before she made her way to the stage. She gave him just a brief smile as she stood at the side of Eri and Moochie Sweela also joined them.
“First nominee is Tationy Tylo. She has actually only been at Sofore Academy for just a short time arriving here the thirteenth of May. I had to do a little research on her life before Sofore and I will get to that. To many here she is probably not that known. She served as manager very briefly for the Basketball team. Something I did not know, she actually came to Sofore with a pretty impressive academic record and as of three days ago she has one of the highest G.P.A.’s. While attending Aslann High School, one of our rival schools, Tationy was a member of the Cheer Squad, the Honor Society, Student Body Treasurer, and she participated in several Academic Decathlon’s as well as the Science Bowl. Very impressive.” Beauty and brains, she had both and that was part of what Hiko loved about her, but certainly not the only things.
“The second nominee is me.” Eri said in a little tiny voice before continuing, “I am Eri Maiba. I think everyone here knows me. I do not quite have the academic record of the two ladies on either side of me, but I have been very vocal as our school liaison for three years. I am Captain of the Cheer Squad, a member of the Public Service and Volunteerism club, and I have organized and arranged all events that we have here on campus for the past two years. How exciting this is.”
“Let me see, our final nominee is Moochie Sweela. She is a member of the Cheer Squad and Honor Society. Something I did not know at all about her is that she participates in the Travel Club. She has a 3.92 G.P.A. and is our female liaison in Science here at Sofore. She encourages young girls to explore their interest in Science and actually helps with the Robotics Club. I have known her for four years and never knew her passion for Science. I am in awe.”
She directed her attention toward the student body and asked, “Aren’t your nominees amazing? This is quite exciting,” She said as she opened the envelope and chuckled awkwardly, “Well, this comes as a complete surprise. This years Spring Fling Queen is, Tationy Tylo.” Hiko noticed how Tationy covered her face. They had talked about it a few times, but she insisted that getting it was a long shot and not something she wanted for a number of reasons. Moochie seemed rather annoyed as she wandered off the stage and Eri helped place the crown on Tationy’s head, “Congratulations.”
As a rather roaring round of applause started, Tationy seemed less than enthused as she responded, “Thank you. I am definitely surprised.”
Eri practically pushed her toward her seat to wait for the King announcement as she called them to the stage. Hiko felt like a deer trapped in the headlights of a car as he stared out at the student body. He felt Tationy’s hand grab his from where she was sitting, which relaxed him considerably. “Now for our King nominees.”
“Our First nominee is Hiko Kari. I tried to find interesting things to say about him, but he has only been on the Basketball team. Wearing jersey number seven, I was told that he averages over forty points per game since his freshmen year here at Sofore. I do not know what this mean, but I hear it is pretty impressive. Hiko is considered one of the best defensive power forwards playing high school basketball and he is capable of shutting down all five positions.”
Pausing only a moment she continued, “Shiano Nakamaru is our second nominee. This freshmen is a member of the Honor Society and head of the robotics club. He has had frequent participation in Academic Decathlon’s as well as the Science Bowl. Among the Freshmen class he has the highest G.P.A. and spent every day of this school term tutoring fellow classmates. Which has resulted in the Freshmen class having the highest collective G.P.A. here at Sofore Academy.”
Taking a breath she smiled, “Lastly, we all know Kyo Kari our Student Body President. He serves as Head of the Honor Society and Captain of the Swim Team. All of which keep him very busy, but he still manages to find time to serve as a Resident Adviser. When he does manage to find some free-time he uses it to serve as a liaison for the student body and to tutor those in need. Certainly the busiest man on campus.”
“Aren’t our King nominee’s just delightful?” Hiko thought Eri seemed rather disinterested in this portion of the event. Probably because the queen title was already decided and she expected to win. She meticulously began to open the envelope, her hand coming to her face as she chuckled softly. “Well, seems the student body has spoken. This years Spring Fling King is Hiko Kari.” He tried not to groan as she went to put the crown on him and he recoiled, “Come on, at least pretend to be happy.”
He sighed as he allowed her to place the crown on his head. Rather quickly, she presented the two of them as another round of applause broke through. Hiko was grateful when the music started until he realized that the two of them were required to dance again.
The moment others started moving to the music, he and Tationy tried to quickly make their escape. They unfortunately had not gotten very far as Kyo cornered them and Eri quickly joined at his side, “Congratulations on being the most scandalous couple this year.”
Hiko groaned as he scratched the back of his neck, “We don’t want these.”
Eri laughed, “Well think of it this way. At least you only got them because you beat up Abe and not because the two of you accidentally circulated a homemade porn video like the King and Queen last year. I am so glad that Kyo and I did not win. It means no one is aware,” A contented sigh left her mouth, “That makes me so happy.”
“I am not sure if I should be insulted that you do not want people to know of our situation,” Kyo responded.
“Please, as if you were not elated we did not win. Everyone knows that the title of King and Queen is …. ” Eri stopped talking suddenly. “Well anyway, congratulations.”
Tationy laughed softly, “Proudly we will wear our scandalous shame.”
Eri smiled, “I see you are slightly amused by this entire situation.”
Shrugging her shoulders, “I just do not intend to dwell on it negatively. How Hiko and I got together is part of what makes our relationship so unique and strong. We cannot help how others view it.”
“Is that why you were trying to escape unnoticed?”
Kyo chuckled, “Actually I think they were doing that for a little alone time.”
“Alone time for a couple that does not actually have sex, what does that entail exactly?”
“They probably play cards.”
Sighing Hiko spoke up, “Are the two of you done?”
“No, we probably have a few more in us,” Kyo responded.
Changing the topic Hiko asked, “Where is your date?”
Laughing Kyo said, “Moochie got mad and left. Seems she wanted the tarnished crown of scandal.”
Hiko’s lips pursed as the group talked among themselves. There was nothing to be happy about. Sofore had always been one of those schools that had rich kids trying to outdo each other. It was not about money; there was plenty of that in abundance. No, at Sofore the thing that catapulted you to infamy centered around whomever had the dirtiest secrets revealed that school year. It was nothing to be excited about, but a harsh reality of the world they lived in. In Aslann, when you are part of the upper crust success sells, but scandal sells better.
Hiko and Tationy stuck around a lot longer than they intended to. When they finally made it back to their room, Hiko did not give her a moment to catch her breath. Two years seemed like a long time to wait, but that did not mean he could not learn everything there was to know about her body. Seated on the sofa, he allowed himself time to indulge while memorizing her lips, her neck, and her breast. The house was noisy, shouting and music, it was distracting. He didn’t want to wait any longer to be in the privacy of their own home. Breaking the kiss, his fingers teased the fabric of her dress, “Did you want to pack up tonight? With the partying going on, I don’t think there is going to be much sleeping.”
She was practically teasing him as she said, “I know that you definitely will not be able to. You are such a light sleeper any little sound or movement wakes you.”
He apologized, “Sorry, most Kari men are like that. It is from our training during the trials.”
“Someday, you will have to tell me about it.”
Kari men never discussed the trials, not even with the woman in their life. It was a time-honored tradition, kept sacred and hidden. Shared only among the men. Could he really tell her? He wanted to share everything with her, all of himself. He responded though somewhat hesitantly, “Someday, perhaps.”
Her lips claimed his briefly, “Let’s pack this place up and get out of here.”
To Be Continued