Ameya had woken in a foreign bed; confusion coupled with a feeling that she had lost many hours. Perhaps even days of her life. The last thing she remembered was being at work and staring at the face of Bak Ishi.
The pit of her stomach knotted; it always did when she thought of him. It was one part excitement and danger coupled with loathing and uncertainty. Perhaps if he called her something other than the little cupcake girl she would feel more at ease with their potential relationship.
At least she had thought there might be one; he flirted and charmed. Then, it always transitioned strangely to amusement on his part and hurt feelings on hers. Maybe she was simply too sensitive or reading into what was going on around her. Whatever it was, the only thing she was certain about was seeing his face and how she callously told him to come back.
She managed to ease herself to a sitting position. The strange home she was in was decorated in dark decor and she realized far too late that she was wearing something rather provocative. Had she been stripped? Defiled? Her mind conjured up all sorts of unsavory things as she stood on wobbly legs.
There was little time to search for an escape. From the looks of it she was on the second floor and there was no knowing where the descending staircase would take her. There was, however, a soft melody drifting toward her ears. Almost beckoning; familiar to her heart though she hardly knew its name. Boldly and without thinking she moved down the stairs
Only then did she catch sight of him and her memory came rushing back. She was working, but Bak Ishi was not the last person she saw. The strange man spoke to her about how dangerous Bak was and then nothing. Silence and darkness; this feeling that she was traveling. Yet, there was no memory. Was she floating? It felt like such a silly notion seeing herself as being on a cloud, lounging around as she was ported from once place to another; without a single care.
“Who are you?” Her voice was whispered as she stopped moving suddenly and watched him. There was so much familiar energy around him. She could not explain it nor understand what it was.
“I am disappointed, Meinome (Pronunciation: mah-no-me).” His words tease her, “A woman, dressing like a child, looking for a man to be what exactly? Her daddy? Her savior? Pink cheeks, red knees, pigtails, cutesy clothing, and a heart that is lying. When did you become this girl?”
“Maybe you felt as though I had forsaken you. Abandoned your heart to the one called Ryuuki Sou. Onii-chan you called him. Though he was hardly your brother. Something else, something more, something forbidden. I think that is why you let him have you. It had nothing to do with what your heart deserved, but the feeling of being taken and conquered.”
“Spinning so quickly that your heart feels alive; that is the only way for you to be happy. Even if he is not what you want. Even if his darkness could not embrace your light. Still you spin, trying to match his ideal image. Silly notions that you could not compete with Yuka in sex-appeal, so you hide yourself behind childish ways. No man finds that attractive unless he is looking for a daughter.”
“Who do you think you are, saying all of this?” The emotion was clear in her tone. The anger etched across her features, though he never once stopped playing that same melody that tugged at her heart.
“I was your king once, Meinome. Look at you, standing in this humble dwelling. Your hair finely clasped and off your face. A dress provocative with a hint of grace and elegance. A woman that could command, but maybe you want nothing more than to lick daddy’s boots. I miss the girl with the vibrant smile. The one that was young and filled with compassion; gone she is for whatever creature you have become for your onii-chan.”
“There was some foolish part of you that truly thought he would follow you, but he only ever saw you as a troublesome little sister.”
“That is not true. We shared a kiss, he gave me…” She reached toward her neck to place her hand on her most treasured. “Where is it?” To anyone with a heart and a soul it would be clear that she was frantic.
Apprehension came to her heart when the man behind the piano suddenly stopped playing, “A keepsake given to you by a boy who did not even love you enough to follow you here. Go ahead, tell me how important he is.” There was a pause from the man that had kidnapped her, “I thought perhaps I would make you forget him. Maybe even I would strike him down for laying his hands upon you. Instead, I decided to keep him alive. Let him live out the rest of his years with Yuka. Force you to face reality. While I adore that lovely young smile, I admit, the pained expression of your heart tugs at mine.”
“So, am I your prisoner? Are you going to force me to love you? I want my necklace back.” Demanding from him seemed impossible; there was no love in him at least none that she could see. Yet, when he played that melody there was something. It felt as though his heart was crying; calling out to her. What did that mean? His words were so harsh and ugly. How dare he. Why did he have to make her think of Ryuuki; she had tried so hard to push him to the darkest part of her heart.
“Meinome,” He called her that word again and it was only then that she realized he had closed the distance.
Her heart was pounding so hard, despite what he had said to her, “Why are your words so hurtful?”
“Why are you?”
“Me? I have done nothing…”
“Haven’t you? Wild assumptions by a young heart. Shutting yourself off to those that care about you and opening your arms wide for a false sense of appreciation. I have worried about you Meinome and you callously disregarded my feelings. Blinding yourself to them and pretending I no longer exist. Doesn’t that make you the one being hurtful?”
The man had leaned in just a bit closer as he whispered, “Remember me Meinome.”
“Meinome, meinome. You keep using this word as though it means something.” She practically stamped her feet as she snapped. Though his expression caused her heart to swell with unwanted emotions.
“Meinome…” He repeated the word, “My love, my heart, my everything.”
“Your…everything?” There was something tickling her memory. She could not quite grasp it, but his words were familiar. Who was this man? What was he to her? How did he know about Ryuuki, Yuka, and Bak. Had he been stalking her? More importantly, what did he mean when he said he was once her king?
Any opportunity to ask was taken away from her when he took a step back, placing his hands behind his back, and responding simply, “You should rest.”
“But….I am not tired. We are not done talking. You have not returned my necklace,” She rambled several things as though that would keep him from walking away from her.
“I am no saint Meinome; do not tempt me any further with your presence for I fear that I might sin and do it quite well.”
There was a subtle gasp of realization which froze Ameya in place.