The car ride home was met with silence. Not all that out of the ordinary when it came to Hiko Kari. Tationy had noticed many times that he focused on the road and said very little. It seemed to her that it was a time of reflection. When the Kari man gauged his feelings and browsed the disorganized archive in his head.
Every human being had one; memories, random facts, to do lists, and an endless amount of ordinary and often useless information. There was always something new and random inflicting their lives. Some peopled were like that; crazy and bustling all the time. Still, Tationy could tell it was wearing Hiko down. He wanted a quiet life.
It was hard to keep those feelings at bay that she was a complete and utter burden to him. With Anjou and her grandmother, Miso she always known she was. Hiko said often enough that if he felt that way she wouldn’t be around. She believed he meant that, but there was a dark part of her filled with self-loathing and doubt that thought otherwise.
Her conversation with the Prince of Aslann did nothing at all to quiet those feelings. In fact, it made them worse. She thought she was completely losing it before due to the episodes she kept experiencing, but now she had talked to a dead Prince about the future; one she could not see.
Hiko wanted to know, but she was uncertain if she should tell him. Afraid perhaps that it would change things; how he saw her for one. Tationy thought she was going mad, what would be think?
She was forced to push that question to the furthest part of her mind when she felt his arms wrap around her. Startled momentarily, Tationy eyes locked on Hiko’s as he whispered, “Hi.”
Instantly, she felt goosebumps form along her smooth skin; the way he looked at her conjured up feelings of familiarity and longing. Awkwardly, she managed to stumble over haphazardly formed words, “Why are you looking at me as though you have not seen me in a million years.”
Hiko didn’t say anything at first. Guarded he seemed. Eventually, he leaned in and whispered, “Sometimes, it feels like it.”
The pit of her stomach knotted as his face came closer to hers and the foolish girl that she is couldn’t stop herself from asking, “Are you…going to kiss me?”
He pulled away as a brief and short laugh left his lips, “You are very good at killing a moment, you know that?”
The pout formed quickly as a soft little sound of frustration escaped, “I’m sorry. I just…I thought we were waiting. I didn’t think…I never think apparently. Are you mad at me?”
“No, just stop thinking tonight alright?”
What did that mean? What was going to happen? She felt her stomach flutter all about as she slowly nodded her head, “I will try.”
Reaching for her hand he smiled, “That is all I can ask. Come on, we should shower if you still want to go dancing tonight.”
She no longer wanted to. Tationy was alright just staying in that moment and his arms. Had she not foolishly opened her mouth and ruined everything he may have kissed her and she would still be there. As they moved toward the bathroom she noticeably sighed which prompted him to ask, “What is wrong?”
“I don’t know. Sometimes I am just a big stupid head. I don’t know what is going to happen so…”
“It must be very hard for you when you have the ability to see the future and can’t. I imagine you get pretty anxious.” Hiko wasn’t wrong, but that still didn’t mean she had to destroy everything. Why couldn’t she just go with the flow to see where things take her? It was all she ever wanted to do anyway and now that she was capable of not seeing the future at his side, one would think she would be happy about that. His continued words hardly reassured her, “You didn’t ruin anything if that means something. The night is not over yet. Just…try and enjoy yourself.”
Hiko’s words were much easier said then actually done because there was plenty of nervousness being in the shower with him. Not long ago, during the summer months they had seen each other naked. It was not as though either of them were uncomfortable in such a state, but Tationy became acutely aware of his eyes scanning every inch of her.
The luxury of turning away was not available as his hands reached to her hair and began to pull it down from the rather confining buns she had worn that day. “Hiko, you don’t…” She had tried to stop him.
His gaze fixed heavily upon hers as his fingers adeptly eased her hair free while he spoke, “I’ve been thinking a lot about us and our future together. I know I have said that before, but perhaps I have not conveyed how much you are in my thoughts. The Kari, no matter how restrained are not passion free.”
“I know that,” She whispered softly.
His hands rested to her hips, “Regardless of the conflict surrounding us, I don’t intend to let you go.” Hiko’s statement was a declaration of intent. He had said it many times before, but for some reason the words conveyed at that moment sent a shiver through Tationy’s body.
He was power. The Prince of Aslann had said as much, but he called it raw and untapped. She could feel it and for some reason it both excited her and brought fear to her heart. “I don’t know where all of this conflict in our lives is going to take us, but I need you to understand that it will always be us against them. No matter who they are. Are you with me?”
Slowly she nodded her head and though it was not much it seemed to ease the conflict in his heart as he expelled air from his lungs in obvious relief, “Sometimes I am never certain what you will say or not say. It makes me nervous.” His body was put at ease and she realized far to late that he had been tense. It saddened Tationy a bit as Hiko pulled away from her to grab a bottle of shampoo, “I would like to wash you, is that alright?
Tationy blushed as she meekly managed to respond, “Only if I can do the same.”
Hiko had agreed with his typical affirmative response, ahh. He had been right, she did enjoy it. Even as he lathered up her hair and got bubbles on her nose. The man that she cared deeply for was playful and teasing; a side of him she had never seen before. They explored and washed each other’s bodies and paid little attention as the water slowly chilled.
When it was her turn to wash him she was far more bold; her soapy hand found his need and his expression had changed considerably. Was she doing something wrong? She couldn’t really tell, but the man that had moments ago smacked her bottom for not holding still was gazing at her with rather heavy-lidded eyes. “Is this alright?”
“Mmmhmm,” He managed to mumble though didn’t offer anything further.
“Are you sure? I understand if you want me not to …”
His hand forcefully pressed against the wall which distracted Tationy from finishing her sentence, “Don’t stop.” Hiko’s words were breathy and begging and she realized that she had stilled her attention when he had unexpectedly braced himself. Tationy had never seen Hiko lose control like this. Sure he had two emotions; restrained and unbridled. There was never any in between with him, but the way he moaned seemed to her that he was being tortured.
“Is it really alright? Touching your…”
“My cock,” He said the word so easily and she blushed. Awkwardly he tried to secure himself as his hand moved down between them and she nervously squealed as his finger teased along the little mound of hair. He hadn’t yet washed her there; maybe he hadn’t intended to, but her brazen advance upon him seemed to give Hiko permission to touch her.
His fingers were a distraction and only served to numb her mind. She lost focus and her attention upon him dwindled. Then, she heard a brief chuckle leave his lips, “See, you can enjoy the moment.”
Had she moaned? Tationy was slightly dazed as she pouted, “Stop teasing me, Hiko Kari.”
He had only offered a smile as he moved his hand to her chin. Rubbing his thumb lightly over her skin he leaned in and rather emphatically stated, “You don’t have to ask me this time. I’m going to kiss you.”
To say she was surprised was an understatement; despite his attention upon her body she honestly expected him to continue to hold the kiss hostage. She knew that was not what he was doing, but they had been together for months and he had never once, not even a light peck kissed her lips.
When he leaned in she did the same, though with uncertainty as she tried to gauge which way she was supposed to lean her head, “Relax.” His words pierced her and only then did she realize how nervous she was.
His eyes seemed to veil over, softening as he looked upon her. She felt the changes in his body as he seemed to recognize the look she was giving him; every muscle taught, alert, and aware of the way his body was touching hers. She smiled meekly as they gazed into each other’s eyes, wanting more than anything to feel the others kiss.
Finally, Hiko couldn’t take it any more, leaning in, and claiming her lips with his own. Tationy’s sharp intake of breath clearly made him nervous that he’d misread what was going on between them because he hesitated. Then she relaxed and met each motion of his lips with her own deepening the kiss with every passing second. They were both desperate for breath by the time they finally separated.
Tationy’s chest was heaving, her breasts pressed against his bare chest. She had never before noticed how incredibly broad his shoulders were or how well defined his pecs. When her unusual blue eyes met his again, they were smiling and his happily matched hers.
The daze she was in and the sound of the water pushed the outside world away. It was all him as he pulled her into an embrace and his lips greedily trailed along her neckline. The floodgates holding back his passion had been released and Tationy was being swept away by its current.
Eventually and very sadly as far as Tationy was concerned they left the hotel room for the loud music and smoky atmosphere of Club Violate. Even though she had asked him if they could go dancing she had completely given up on the idea; simply wanting to remain in his arms the entire night. However, Hiko was having none of that and insisted they get dressed to head out on the town.
They found a spot in the VIP section and while Hiko ordered drinks, Tationy took a moment to scan the club looking for any familiar faces. None; at least as far as she could see and that meant his attention could be focused solely upon her. She rather liked that idea and Hiko must have thought the same because he rather brazenly pulled her in for a kiss.
It felt different now; not the kiss, but their relationship. A bridge was gradually being built and was uniting two halves of a whole together. It made her dizzy; how easy she got lost in it all and only realized how much so when she heard Hiko chuckle, “Distracted are we?”
“No,” She tried to deny and quickly changed the topic, “So….does my Hiko want to dance?”
“Not really. I actually think I would rather just hold you like this for a bit and talk.”
Even though he said that it was hard to hear even in the VIP section so she had to lean in a bit closer, “About?”
“Did you listen to everything Zen said?” Tationy only offered a brief nod of her head, “I don’t know how I feel about staying with him and his wife, but it would give us time to keep looking for a house.”
“Don’t you want to …. you know, maybe see Saitama’s place?”
“I know that my girl does,” He was teasing her. “If we are honest, I don’t particularly want to compete with a dead man for my woman’s heart.”
“It is no contest, my Hiko would win.” Tationy took a moment to pause before asking, “Are you worried we will buy it and then lose another house?”
Hiko’s expression didn’t hide the fact that he considered that a possibility, “I just don’t want you to go through that again.”
She couldn’t hide her surprise; was he being so hesitant about buying a house because of her? “Tomorrow we should go to that auction,” She stated firmly. “I want to be in a house with my Hiko. Sleep in a bed that is ours. Even if it takes us a while to make it our own, I would rather know that I am sleeping in our bed and in our house.”
His lips formed into an awkward, yet oddly endearing smile, “Alright. We will go then.”
Excitedly she reached for her glass and his, “Can we toast then, to our future home?”
He laughed, “We do not even have it yet.”
“We will though. My Hiko will make it happen,” She stated simply as she offered him his glass, “So, to….”
“What are we toasting?” Tationy inwardly groaned because she recognized the voice as belonging to Aoba Waichia; the tool that she was once to marry. “Am I interrupting,” He questioned when he did not readily get a response.
Inwardly Tationy was screaming for him to get lost. Hiko on the other hand played it cool, despite the snarl to his tone, “We decided to buy a house.”
“Congratulations on that. I heard that there was an unfortunate fire with your last home. Hopefully, the same bad luck will not befall the two of you again.”
Tationy opened her mouth to say something, but Hiko was quicker, “Congratulations to you as well. I hear your blood is dropping off like flies and you managed to secure yourself a position of importance.”
“How callous,” Aoba responded.
“Well what can I say, you interrupted me and my girl for …. ”
Hiko’s words came to a sudden halt as Aoba joined them without being invited to do so, “Business actually, if you have a moment. I thought we might discuss the Lord of the Shima.”
“What about him,” Tationy asked.
Aoba only glanced at her a moment before directing his attention upon Hiko again, “I was recently invited to a small gathering by the Matriarch of the Yamada. The Lord of the Shima was there practically delighting in the fact that he has you by the balls.”
With a solid thud, Hiko’s glass was slammed upon the table, “Is this the business you want to talk about or are you just here to rub it in?”
“Well there is some enjoyment in seeing you get irate, but you are really a little fish in a big pond as far as I am concerned.” This is why Tationy thought him a tool. Aoba was a complete and utter imbecile. Who did he even think he was talking to? She wanted to scream, he is Hiko Kari, but she doubted one bit that Aoba would even hear her. It frustrated her, especially seeing Hiko said nothing in his defense, “The Shima, Yamada, and the other elite clans have held power over Aslann for far too long. Businesses are stagnant. Growth is minimal. I can’t make money if they are in power.”
“So, what are you saying?”
Aoba glanced toward Tationy who got the distinct impression she was no longer welcomed at this conversation. With an annoyed sigh she stood, not because she wanted to leave. No; she knew Aoba well enough to know that he would not finish his words unless she took a walk. He was that kind of tool. “I need to powder my nose,” She responded and took off before Hiko could stop her.
There was no calming herself in the bathroom. Other girls all about talking among themselves. Some of them even bold enough to discuss her as though she was not standing a few feet away. She was fidgeting anxiously wondering how long she should wait before returning to Hiko.
It was not as though she couldn’t be away from his side for more than a few minutes. She simply didn’t trust Aoba, not a single bit.
The Prince of Aslann told her that she needed to stop running away from her abilities. That the medication she was on was hindering her. If she wanted her man to rise to the top, then she could not shy away from the darkness that lurked within her. Sacrifices would have to be made; from her and from him.
Tationy needed to peel back the veil and clear a path for Hiko if she wanted him to overcome these obstacles. That was what she was told by Tatsuya. Inwardly, she sighed at the ugliness of it all. She would be lying to herself if she said she was not willing to make him a king among men; crushing anyone under her heel that even considered crossing him, but would he still feel the same way about her if she became a monster? Could she love him if the beast was unleashed?
She despised Aoba and whatever plan he was hatching regardless of what Hiko would gain would also hurt him. The Waichia were selfish creatures who marveled in war. It dawned on her far too late that this was what Aoba wanted to purpose. He was going to send Hiko out front to do the dirty work as his dog of war against the elite of Aslann.
Unsteadily she moved from the bathroom. She needed to get back there before Hiko agreed to anything foolish. Not that she thought she could stop him, but she was going to try.
Tationy, however, didn’t get very far. Out the door and past one of the bubble columns she heard a voice call out, “Hey, do you know who we are?”
At first she thought the question was directed toward someone else as she glanced over her shoulder and saw too Ishi standing there staring back at her. Distracted from her mission she asked, “No, should I?”
The taller of the Ishi shifted his eyes as the other spoke, “Satisfied? Next time I tell you that this is a waste of fucking time listen to me. It was bad enough you dragged me to this shit-hole and I had to listen to him tell us that it was not even worth it, but this bull ….”
“He…” Tationy interrupted, “Are you talking about Kuro of the Ishi? What does he have to do with the two of you?”
Neither Ishi offered any response to her and the irritation it caused forced Tationy to try and peek beyond the veil, a mistake on her part.