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Amamizu: Chapter Thirteen

When we arrived home, Shuuya found the sword wrapped in silk, sitting in a wooden box on the front porch. I smiled, got the bag out from under the seat and kissed Shuuya on my way into the house. He pulled me back gently, picked me up and kissed me back. I couldn't help but giggle.

 

"Do you like it koibito?" I asked.

 

"Of course I like it Yuri! Why wouldn't I? It's...amazing. Why'd you...how'd you...wow? Thank you enjeru." He spun around with me in his arms still.

 

"You know what? I can't wait anymore enjeru." Shuuya said, smiling from ear-to-ear.

 

"Wait...for what Shuuya?" I asked quietly.

 

"You'll see. Now, go get dressed up really nice. We're going out for dinner." He said, sweating slightly. I frowned, in thought as he set me down carefully.

 

"Dress up? Like...really nice in an evening gown n'make-up n'stuff?"

 

"Yep." Shuuya replied, taking his sword upstairs. "Try to hurry please enjeru. I'll be ready to go in a few minutes."

 

I followed Shuuya upstairs slowly, wondering what we could be doing. About that time, Nicola called.

 

"Hello?" I said into the receiver.

 

"Yea, hey Yuri. Whatcha up to?" Nicola asked.

 

 

"Not much. Shuuya is taking me out somewhere fancy. He told me to get dressed up and ready as fast as I can."

 

"Oh. Well, why'd he say that Yuri-chan?"

 

"I have no idea." I said bluntly.

 

"Oh. Well, I was just calling to say hey."

 

"M'kay." I replied, smiling.

 

"Alrighty then, I'll call you later Yuri, bye...Oh! And tell me where you two go. "

 

I laughed. "Okay Nicola-chan. I'll call ya back tomorrow."

 

"Okie dokie." She said.

"Love ya, Yuri, bye." she added.

 

"Love ya too, Nic-san." I said and we both hung up.

 

 

I walked upstairs hurriedly and looked through my closet quickly, pulling out a long, strapless light blue dress. I pulled my clothes off and hcanged bras, putting on the dress. I picked out a good pair of heels and carried them with me to the bathroom. Shuuya was in the sitting room getting dressed as well.

 

"You look...wow enjeru. You should wear that more often." I giggled.

 

"We normally don't go out places that require clothes like this koibito."

 

"...Oh yea." he said, blushing slightly.

 

 

I got a little box of make-up out and applied eyeshadow and blush lightly with a little eyeliner. I put a light pink cream kind of lipstick on and put my hair up with a silver pin. As I walked out, Shuuya walked in to put cologne on and straighten his hair.

 

I sat down on the bed, putting my shoes on and then grabbed a white shoulder wrap out of the closet, along with a matching bag.

 

"So, where are we going koibito?"

 

"You'll see enjeru. It's a surprise, and I know you'll love it."

 

"Oh come on. Now I really want to know. Please tell me Shuuya, my koibito?" He shook his head and I sighed, going downstairs.

 

"I'll be in the living room."

 

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Shuuya scrambled around the bedroom; searching for the ring he bought for Yuri while in Asin earlier that day.

 

"I think she'll like it." he whispered to himself. "I hope so anyway."

 

Shuuya then sprayed on a little cologne, brushed his hair back and put on his coat. He was wearing a black pinstripe tux, with a red shirt and vest underneath. His shoes were freshly polished and buffed. "Now, where are the keys? Gah! Where'd she put them? Crap! I didn't get roses. I'm so unprepared. I hope she says yes..." Shuuya spoke to himself. He found the keys, put the little velvet box with the ring in his pocket, and walked downstairs trying to meditate. Yuri saw him and smiled, rising gracefully from the couch. Shuuya thought to himself, "Wow. Yuri is beautiful. She's...wow. I love her so much. I hope she says yes. God, but she's so amazingly gorgeous. She put on make up...where is it? I don't see it. Must be a chick thing."

 

"Shuuya! Koibito! Have you heard me?" Yuri said quietly.

 

"Oh. I'm sorry enjeru. I was lost in thought." Yuri smiled.

 

"She has an amazing smile." Shuuya thought, and then he shook his head. "Let's go." Shuuya beamed and held his arm out for Yuri.

 

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"Well, that was odd." I thought to myself. "He didn't even hear me. Oh well. That's alright. It doesn't happen often." I looped my arm through Shuuya's and followed his lead.

 

"Will you tell me where we're going now koibito?" I asked, smiling up at him.

 

"Nope. Not yet Yuri, my enjeru." Shuuya smiled back down at me.

 

"Okay." We walked out to my car and Shuuya opened the car door for me. I got in slowly and fixed my dress when he closed the door. When Shuuya was in, we left for the mystery location.

 

"Wanna listen to music koibito?" I asked.

 

"I want whatever you want enjeru." he smiled and held my hand rubbing the back of it gently with his thumb. His palm was kinda sweaty, but I didn't mind it.

 

"Okay. Well then let's just talk." I smiled and squeezed Shuuya's hand delicately.

 

“I wish you’d tell me where we’re going.” I said, and looked out the window. “I don’t want to be over dressed or under dressed.”

 

“You’re perfect enjeru. Absolutely perfect.”

 

There were many trees where we were and the moon was shining brightly into the window of the car. In the not-so-distant view, mountains stood majestically, casting their shadow on the trees and ground. We were heading up a mountain too; the winding road moved my vision continually to a different, yet familiar horizon.

 

“Shuuya, where are we doing?” he smiled and turned onto a side road that was well-lit by lantern poles and a brick wall lining the road.

 

“Are you sure we’re dressed properly koibito?” I asked again.

 

“Shh.” He said, smiling and now grinning, “You’re gorgeous enjeru. Don’t worry.” I sighed and straightened myself up again, smoothing my dress out.

 

We slowly approached a little restaurant on the side of the mountain that overlooked the valley below. The sign read “Rivera Valley Restaurant since 1998”. This little place had been around for a long time.

 

“Shuuya, we came all the way up here to eat?” I was wondering as to why we were really there.

 

“Don’t worry Yuri; just let me take care of this. Just relax honey.” Shuuya parked beside the restaurant and got out before I did. He came around and opened my door, then held out his hand to help me out of the car.

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Yuri took my hand as I helped her out of the car. Her skin was soft and warm. She stood slowly, smiling; it was the prettiest smile I had ever seen.

 

“Shuuya, are you okay my koibito?” she asked quietly.

 

“Yea, I’m okay.” I answered. “Why?”

 

“You just look kinda pale is all?” She said, almost a whisper.

 

I smiled widely to let her know I was really okay. Yuri held onto my arm with both of hers after adjusting her shoulder scarf thingy. Oh man. Her breasts are around my arm. No! Don’t think about that. Stop. Come on, come on. Gotta keep my thoughts clean. Gotta stay focused.

 

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Shuuya led me up to the restaurant’s front door. It was kind of cold, but I held close to his arm. I started getting ideas as to what we were doing. I looked up at him and he was sweating slightly.

 

As we approached the door, Shuuya opened it and bowed as I walked through. I giggled and kissed his cheek, straightening him up again, holding his arm as I now led him through to the man seating people. Shuuya told him we had a reservation under “Ankoku”. The small man, well small in comparison to my love, led us to our table. The restaurant was beautiful. It was painted gold and red. There were long panels of silk hanging on the walls and many statues and paintings embellished the entire restaurant. The ceilings were ornately carved wood and inlaid with gold. Shuuya laughed and poked me in the side gently and whispered, “Enjeru, we’re at the table. Sit down angel.” I blinked and sat down as Shuuya pushed my chair in under the table. He sat down across from me, smiling and took my hand from across the table, rubbing the back of it gently. I smiled, my eyes gleaming and a chill running through my body. It wasn’t a bad feeling at all. I had butterflies going through my entire body.

 

We ordered our meals and a glass of plum wine for me and some sake for Shuuya. He took a sip, and then set the cup down gently. I too took a sip of wine and didn’t have a chance to put my glass down completely before Shuuya started speaking to me. “Enjeru, Yuri, my love. My very dearest love…I have been meaning to ask something for a long time…I want…will…could we…” The server walked up and placed our plates on the table. I titled my head to the side, frowning slightly.

 

“What koibito?” I asked him quietly. He shook his head, sighing deeply. Nothing but silence for a few minutes. I started to worry about him so I leaned across the table and took his hand in mine again, rubbing the back of his gently. Shuuya sighed again and looked at me. His voice sounded like he was choked up. He began to speak again, his voice crystal clear.

 

“Yuri, you are the dearest, most important, most caring and loving woman. You have fun and aren’t afraid to embarrass yourself. You make me laugh. You are the first person I see every morning. You’re so beautiful.” Shuuya rushed the last sentence, quietly.

 

“Shuuya, I…I don’t know what to say honey. I…I love you so much. I…”

 

“I hope you find words for what I’m about to say enjeru.” Shuuya stood up and got down on one knee in front of me, holding my left hand in his. I gasped, breathing shakily and put my other hand to my mouth, tearing up already. My thoughts were scattered and my heart was racing. I could feel my pulse throughout my entire body and I was shaking with adrenaline.

 

“Will you, Yumemiru Hito Kagayakashii be my wife? Will you marry me Yuri, my enjeru, and my darling angel?” Shuuya said each word slowly and clearly.

 

I began crying as soon as Shuuya said marry. I was so happy I completely forgot to answer. He stood up and cradled my head against his chest.

 

“God Yuri, I’m sorry. Please forgive me. It’s too early to ask. I’m sorry.”

 

I pulled back, and he wiped my cheeks, cleaning away the tears.

 

“I love you Shuuya. I will marry you. I’m forever yours.” He immediately sank back down to his knee, pulling the tiny velvet box out of his pocket and opened it quickly. The ring was gorgeous and was woven white gold with a diamond between two emeralds.

 

“Enjeru, this represents our past, present and future. You loved me then, you love me now and I hoe you’ll love me in the future.” He took my hand and slipped the ring on my ring finger. I leaned down, kissing Shuuya passionately.

 

“I love you. I will love you forever and longer. I loved you then. You’ll always be the man I love.” I kissed him again and held his head against my stomach, rubbing his head and neck and back. He kissed me softly, and he stood up, kissed me again and we stood there for a few minutes, lingering in the kiss.

 

 

 

Amamizu: Chapter Ten

I was later awoken by shouting and footsteps. I sat up and it was still dark and night, I heard Shuuya’s voice. It was distant. I stood up, and leaned against a tree. I couldn’t call out. I didn’t want to. I began walking toward the sound of Shuuya’s voice. Gabriel and Nicola and Caiti were calling to me as well. I passed through a thicket and ran into Shuuya and Gabriel. Shuuya hugged me tightly and carried me back to the dojo; Gabriel went in search of Nicola and Caiti and brought them back to the dojo as well. On the way back, Shuuya spoke to me quietly.

 

“You don’t need to explain anything. I heard it through the trees. It’s okay Yuri. I love you.” Shuuya muttered “I love you” almost every other sentence. He put me down on the stairs of the dojo and told me to stay put, he was going to see if Gabriel needed help. A few moments later they returned. Caiti and Nicola didn’t’ know what happened, and I didn’t want to talk about it. They each hugged me and Nicola braided my hair, Caiti rubbed my back. Each of my friends was trying to comfort me. They said Elaina had to go home, and that she had to leave before my father brought me into the woods. Shuuya sat down beside me. He told me that my parents were inside the house, packing their belongings to go back to Mars as soon as possible. I was tired. I hoped that everyone would just leave soon, except for Shuuya of course. I didn’t want to see my father’s face. I guess he wasn’t really my father anymore. I didn’t want to see Kudo Kagayakashii’s face.

 

“I’m going to see if they’ve gone.” Gabriel said quietly to Shuuya and me. He walked off, and Nicola’s cell phone rang. She answered it and walked off motioning that she would be right back. I could hear her arguing with the person on the opposite line. She returned a few moments later and had a frown on her face. She stood in front of us.

 

“Caiti, we have to leave soon. My aunt doesn’t want us out late since you’re staying with us.” Nicola said. Both girls sighed and hugged me.

 

“Hope you get to feeling better.” Caiti wasn’t great at verbally comforting people.

 

“We will call and check on you in the morning Yuri. Sleep well okay?” I nodded and Nicola turned to Shuuya.

 

“Take care of her please. I’m not sure what happened, but lease make sure she gets some sleep.” Shuuya nodded and rubbed my back as Nicola and Caiti walked off, Gabriel returned.

 

“They just left for the spaceport Shuuya. Do you need help with anything?” I stood up and started walking to the house. I just wanted to sleep.

 

“Yea, Gabe. Can you turn off the lights here and lock up?”

Gabriel nodded and Shuuya handed him the keys. “Thanks man.” Shuuya called back, he grabbed my hand and held it tightly as we started walking toward the house.

 

“Enjeru please speak to me.” A million thoughts raced through my head. I wasn’t sure what to say to him. After all, Shuuya didn’t do anything to me. It was my father who was bothering me.

 

“I’m sorry Shuuya.”

 

“For what?” he asked quietly.

 

“For my father…or…well…for my…heh. For Kudo…eh…Mr.Kagayakashii…damn it! For whoever the hell he damn well is! I’m sorry.” Shuuya looked shocked at my sudden outburst.

 

“It’s not your fault enjeru. Don’t apologize. He was being…well he was being an asshole…but that’s not the word I was looking for.”

 

I guess I was holding Shuuya’s hand tightly because now I could feel his pulse and his skin felt cold. I let go, but he took my hand again.

 

“It’s okay enjeru.” Gabriel was walking a few paces behind us as not to invade privacy.

 

We got to the back door and Gabriel came to tell Shuuya goodbye. They shook hands and did the whole ‘we’re just friends, not gay’ guy-hug thing. Gabriel hugged me and left to go home. Shuuya and I went inside. I sat down at the kitchen table and put my head down. He lifted my chin and kissed my lips gently. I started crying and he sat on his knees and held me close.

 

“I’m sorry enjeru. If I could’ve done something to prevent that…I’m sorry Yuri.”

I wrapped my arms around his neck and spoke quietly into his ear.

 

“It’s not your fault and there is nothing you could’ve done. This just means that we can be together and not have to worry about my parents ever bothering us again.” Shuuya’s arms tightened around me. I sat back in my chair and loosened his grip. He understood and let go of me, instead I held his hands. He leaned forward and kissed my forehead.

 

“You need to get some sleep enjeru. It has been a rather…eventful day. You should rest. And we have nothing to do tomorrow, so we can sleep in as long as you’d like.” I shook my head.

 

“No. I don’t want to dream. I know I will, and I know what of. I don’t need sleep. I’m fine. Really I am. You can go ahead to bed, but I’m going to take a walk.” I stood up, and went upstairs to get changed. Shuuya paused before standing up from the table, and he followed me upstairs. I sat on the bed as he changed clothing, once again admiring the way he moved and his gorgeous body. Shuuya’s motions seemed so…elegant…almost royal. He held such an extreme amount of power, and yet you wouldn’t expect it just looking at him once or twice.

 

Shuuya finished dressing and we walked outside. He took my hand and held it tightly, looping my arm through his. He knew that I didn’t want to talk about what happened, so we walked through the city quietly. My head was spinning so I slowed down. Thoughts filled my head, “Please, I can’t lose him. I didn’t mean to hurt Papa. Mother can’t honestly be that angry with me…can she? I hate him, why did he have to make my life miserable? I love Shuuya. Get over it.” A different voice, not my own chimed in, “You don’t love him.” My thoughts stopped. I wasn’t sure what would happen if I replied. I decided to try it, “I love Shuuya with all my heart and soul. Who are you to tell me otherwise?” No response. I guessed that my subconscious was trying to cause me even more pain. My thoughts returned and I became dizzy and nauseous. I put a hand to my forehead as that familiar darkness came over my vision. This time, in the distance was a golden red flower before my vision blurred and then blacked out completely.

 

 

 

Amamizu: Chapter Nine

I got cleaned up for the new harvest moon festival, and went to the basement in search of my nice kimono, obi, and getas. Shuuya didn’t want to dress up for the festival, but I pulled out one of Papa’s nice black and gold hakama and a blood red and gold yukata. I pulled out my getas.

 

 

“He can at least wear it for the arrival of our guests. He still hasn’t told me who is coming.”

 

I walked back up the stairs and dressed in the proper layers for my kimono. The obi was always so hard to tie. I wanted a traditional tie, but did a butterfly bow instead. Shuuya walked in as I was fixing my hair on the back of my head, into a bun held easily with chopsticks. I held Shuuya’s hand and led him to the closet where Papa’s hakama and yukata were hanging.

 

We walked into the closet and Shuuya walked right back out as soon as he saw them.

“What’s wrong koibito?” You act as if they are cursed or something.” I said quietly.

 

Shuuya sighed deeply and replied, “Okay. Yuri, the people who are coming to celebrate are: your parents, a small list of your friends I found in your address book and a few of my friends. I do not wish to wear your father’s clothing in his presence. I don’t feel that it would be proper.”

 

 

He had a point. Papa might not like it. I started to dread my parent’s arrival. I just hoped that they would gather their stuff and leave tonight. The sooner they left, the sooner I could change the house and move into the huge master bedroom.

 

Because my parents were such successful businesspeople, we had a lot of land and a large house. Shuuya held his arm out for me, and I took it as we went down the stairs to begin greeting guests. I could feel his eyes on my body, and I almost knew what he was thinking. He leaned down and whispered inn my ear as we crossed the lawn, which now had a path cleared and a dark red cloth leading to the clearing.

 

“You look beautiful enjeru. You smell like roses, but your face is too lovely to hide under that…that…war paint.”

 

I burst out in laughter and wiped my make-up onto my furisode kimono sleeve. He kissed my cheek and went inside the dojo.

 

“I guess he’s forgotten something that he will need.” I muttered to myself. I straightened the strips of gold and red cloth that adorned the edge of the woods.

 

It was dusk now and the guests would be arriving soon. Shuuya came back outside with a deep blue yukata and blue/black hakama on. A gold chain hung around his neck, and a tiny heart and pentacle charm hung on it. He was barefoot, which I decided to do the same. Getas were quite uncomfortable.

 

“Where did you get those koibito?” He said he wasn’t going to dress up.

 

 

“I found them in my closet at the apartment. I forgot about them until this morning when I ran out of shirts.” I laughed and took his arm. I could hear people coming through the trees down the lit and carpeted path. The first person to exit through the trees was Caiti. Behind her were Nicola, and Elaina. I had not seen them in years. All three of my friends had gone to Mars many years ago. I had been acting very anti-social while they were gone. I never really left my room. Without my friends, I was alone.

 

And then Shuuya called that night and I wasn’t alone anymore. I was loved and I could openly express my love for him. I ran over and hugged my friends. We all started discussing what each of us had missed out on while they were gone. My friends burst out in laughter when I told them about Shuuya. We had all gone to school together until they left. They knew that id always had a “crush” on Shuuya. And now that we were living together, and all of us had graduated, they still teased me about loving him.

 

“So, Yuri…have you kissed him?” Nicola said teasingly. I could tell I was blushing…and now grinning. Elaina chimed in.

 

“What? You haven’t…ya know…DONE IT with him yet, have you?!?!” Caiti’s mouth hung open and grabbed my wrist.

 

“No! You didn’t!” each time one of them spoke, I opened my mouth to answer, but they just kept blurting things out.

 

“Yuri, that’s soooooo wrong!”

 

“I can’t believe it! What?! Oh my god! Oh my god!”

 

I finally had my chance, “No, I have not had sex with Shuuya yet!”

They all stood there silently. A few moments passed all of us blushing deeply and I was rubbing my palms along my kimono. I heard Shuuya laugh loudly, his friend Gabriel had arrived too. Both men were doubled over, laughing their asses off. My friends glared at them, and I tried to sink into the ground. The two men walked toward the edge of the clearing, and Caiti, Nicola, Elaina and I went into the dojo. We each grabbed a plate and filled them, and our stomachs.

 

We started talking about the current events and how they were unfolding. After about an hour or so, Shuuya, Gabriel and my parents walked into the dojo. I stood up quickly and bowed in front of my father, he had a stern face as always. I bowed in front of my mother and hugged her. Mama was cold and closed like always, but she did hug me in return. I was not looking forward to the lectures I’d soon be receiving.

 

All of my friends walked over quietly to where Shuuya’s friend Gabriel stood silently. Shuuya was standing close behind me with his arm wrapped around my waist. He was acting as if he were protecting me from my own father. Too bad it wouldn’t help if Papa decided to lash out at me. My father was an old, traditional man from the long lost country of Japan, before it was destroyed along with India. He believed that a woman was meant to be meek and humble until married. After marriage, she would always fight alongside her husband and would giver her life before his, so he could still procreate citizens for earth. I guess he was so thick-headed that he forgot a woman was the one actually holding and birthing the child. In any case, Papa didn’t think it was right for me to even wear my hair up and accept Shuuya touching me. My father was glaring at Shuuya and my mother was looking at me with a look of great disgust and shame. I just shrugged it off; I was accustomed to their disapproval of me. Shuuya looked like he was ready to use his shurikens. I almost wished he would. Finally, the long silence was broken by my father speaking.

 

 

“Yuri, come with me. We need to have a talk.” He looked over to my mother, “Sumire, stay here. This doesn’t require you.” For a split second it looked like she wanted to use shurikens against my father.

 

Papa took me by the arm and snatched me away from Shuuya, holding my arm tight enough to soon cut off the blood flow. I spoke quietly.

“Yes, Papa?” we walked deep into the woods.

 

“What the hell are you doing?” I acted innocent.

 

“Why Papa, I don’t know what you mean.”

 

“Don’t give me that bullshit Yumemiru Hito! You know what you’ve done.”

 

I wasn’t sure whether I should stand up to my father or become meek. I chose the first.

 

“I know well of what I’m doing. I have no regret for it either. And if you have a problem, then you can just deal.” My father was certainly ready to kill me. Another thing he believed. If his daughter disobeyed him, she would deserve death…and then not only deserve it, but most likely die. Luckily, Papa was clean. He carried no weapons. He could kill me with his bare hands if he wanted to. My father retired from the military and was in supreme physical condition.

 

“I’m going to let that comment slide this time Yumemiru. Why do you allow that man to live with you…much less touch you? You are not married to him.”

 

“Because he was not doing well all alone in that huge apartment in Asin. I had to help him.” My father shook his head and let go of my arm. He turned to speak but started walking back toward the clearing.

 

“You are no longer my daughter Ms. Yumemiru. Do not associate with MY family. You are a shameful person.” I never did have a good relationship with my father. But it didn’t mean I didn’t love him. Tears rolled down my cheeks but I wiped them away with my kimono. I did not want him to see me cry. Father walked out of sight and I fell to my knees and cried. My tear-streaked vision blacked out and I fell asleep on the ground in the grass and leaves of the forest floor.

 

 

Amamizu: Chapter Eight part two

   I awoke the next morning still against Shuuya’s chest. He had moved over to a wall and leaned against it, bringing me with him. He had his arms wrapped tightly around my waist, somewhat limiting my breathing. I didn’t move much, but it was as if just the change in my breathing woke him. Shuuya yawned and loosened his grip. I stood up slowly, using Shuuya’s broad shoulder as support. I stretched and opened the door to the dojo. All of the lanterns had been blown out.

  

   I didn’t hear Shuuya walk up behind me. He spoke quietly, and his speech was still somewhat slurred, having just woken up. “Good morning enjeru,” he kissed my cheek, “once again, thank you for letting me live here with you.” I crossed my arms, and leaned against the door frame.

 

   “I am glad that you are here koibito. I’m so happy to finally tell you that I love you.” I could hear him putting his boots and weapons back on. I decided to do the same.

We left the dojo and walked back to the house. Once inside, I undressed and put on a pair jeans and one of Shuuya’s large t-shirts. Shuuya had seemed to disappear. I went down to the kitchen and couldn’t find him. There was a note on the front door which read:

 

Yuri, I’m going out to pick up some last minute items for the festival. Be back soon. Be careful my enjeru.

-Shuuya

 

   I put the paper aside and went out for fresh air. I walked down to Igen Sensei’s dojo. I hadn’t gone to classes lately and decided I would start making them up. I bowed into the dojo and Igen Sensei looked out his office door.

 

   “You’re here Yuri san. Nice to see you! Are you training with us today?” I nodded and replied respectfully.

 

   “Hai Igen Sensei, I am.”

 

   “You are always welcome to train here Yuri san. Now, please begin the class with ibuki. I’ll be out after warm-ups.” I bowed, “Hai. Domo arigato Sensei.” And took my seat on the mat in seiza. As I sat down, a girl of about my height ran over and hugged me. She looked somewhat familiar.

 

   “Do you remember me, Yuri? Do ya, do ya, do ya?!” I sensed her ki and realized that this toothpick of a girl was Caiti. She had grown a lot since I saw her last. We were good friends in grade school, and then she and her parents moved to Mars on the fourth colony. I smiled and hugged her in return.

 

   “I do now Caiti san! How are you? Are you staying here on earth? What’s been going on?” Sensei clapped and walked into the dojo. We immediately stopped talking and Caiti found a place on the mats. I dropped into an imperial bow before Igen Sensei and began muttering apologies quickly. He laughed and told me to rise. “Please, just save the reunions until class is over.” We both bowed again.

 

   Sensei’s voice became deeper and I could feel his ki. Igen Sensei was the only person I knew who could hold so much energy and power as long as he wanted to. He was a small man, yet very skilled in aikido, kendo, jiu jutsu, kenjutsu, tae kwon do, judo, kali, shotokan, karate and tai chi. At first glance, Igen Sensei seemed frail and weak, but if needed, he could become the most frightening man alive.

 

   I once again took a place at the front of the mats in seiza. We all bowed into class and I lead in ibuki breathing. After meditation, a new student was told to lead us in taiso. He was a bit shorter than me, and about my age. Sensei always asked the new students to lead taiso so they could get more experience and understand the perspective of others. I understood his name to be Taki. He did the taiso pretty well. We moved on to practice with bokken and jo. Each of us went through the forms for proper and strategic defense. The younger and lower ranking students went home; their class was over for the day. The rest of the class, which was me, Caiti, Kutoku, Roy, and Haruhide were all left to continue on with more weapon work. This class was an upper level kendo class. We all changed gi and put on our hakama. An hour and a half passed by before Shuuya bowed into the dojo and took up a seat by the mats. We practiced for about 30 more minutes and then were dismissed.

 

   As I headed toward Shuuya, he stood up and took my shinai, placing it aside. I bowed off the mat. Shuuya wraped his arm around my waist and I picked up my shinai. Sensei Igen walked over to Shuuya and me as we headed for the door. He smiled, and held out a hand to shake Shuuya’s hand. He smiled in return and took Sensei Igen’s hand. I put my shinai away into a locker and changed back into my jeans and Shuuya’s t-shirt.

I walked out of the dressing room and Shuuya regained his place beside me, arm around my waist. We walked out of the dojo into the fading sunlight. About one block away from home, Caiti ran up behind us, tapping me on the shoulder. I turned around; Shuuya’s hands went into his pockets. We all walked back to my house, Caiti and I talking the whole time. I could tell Shuuya didn’t mind, but that he was bored to pieces. He looked around; it seemed that he was scanning the area to make sure no one would be waiting to attack us. He had done this ever since that man with the rifle tried to kill me. Or he was looking for something in particular.

 

   As we approached the house, Caiti and I hugged and she went on her way. I smiled and looked at Shuuya.

 

   “It was nice to see her again. I’ve missed my friends since most of them went away to Mars.” Shuuya nodded.

 

   “We should go. I hear the Martian colonies are nice. If you want, I can get a military ship to take us Yuri. You should see your parents again.”

 

   Just thinking of visiting my parents made me a bit angry. Of course, Shuuya didn’t know that I had recently had a falling out with them…which is why they went and stayed on Mars. I talked to them a couple of days before he came to live with me. He also didn’t know that it was now just he and I in the house. My parents would be back on Earth soon to pick up all of their belongings. They decided to stay in colony #742261-004. #742261 stood for the model number of the colony, making it an experimental business colony. 004 stood for the fourth colony ever built and put on Mars. They helped to build that colony. I came back, after drifting off into thought. Shuuya held my hand and spoke softly, “You okay Yuri? What were you thinking about?”

 

   “It’s a long story koibito. A very long story.” He nodded.

 

   “Tell me when you’re ready enjeru.”  He clearly knew that I didn’t want to talk about it yet. But he probably also knew that it was about my parents.

 

   Shuuya and I walked into the house and sat down on the couch. He flipped on the television and watched the news for an update about the current bounty head. The news reporter began talking about the climate control dome. He said that the climate station was undergoing some minor changes and to expect rapid weather changes. About that time, a news bulletin came across the bottom of the screen, once again about the bounty head. It read, “UPDATE: the 6’1”, Caucasian, male, human has been named as ‘Tanryoku’. He can also be known as ‘Kai’. These names are believed to only be his aliases. A picture is available on this station’s webpage.” Shuuya looked over at me and went to the office/library to find Tanryoku’s picture.

 

   As Shuuya headed upstairs, I went into the kitchen and cooked some miso soup for dinner. It didn’t take too long to cook, so I straightened up the kitchen and did the dishes. Shuuya came down, a paper folded up in his pocket. I assumed that it was the picture of Tanryoku. I poured him a bowl of miso soup and put some wasabi in a small dish. Both Shuuya and I love spicy food. He sat down at the table and I sat across from him. We ate the soup in silence, but very quickly. We both shared a love for food and we ate quickly most of the time, normally wanting more. I didn’t know about him, but I was still slightly shocked from the men that were buried in the woods beside our house. When Shuuya was finished eating, I rinsed the dishes and put them into the sink. He kissed me and thanked me for the soup and then went back to watch the 11:10 pm news, and I went upstairs to get a shower.

 

   When I got out of the shower, I went straight to bed. Igen Sensei’s class really wore me out. I saw Shuuya already in the bed and I snuggled up close to him. As soon as my head hit the pillow, I fell asleep.

 

   I fell into a deep sleep. As I was walking through the woods, shadows drifted across my vision. I turned quickly to see if someone was following me. No one was there. When I turned back around, Shuuya was standing in front of me, Tanryoku close behind him. I went to grab Shuuya’s arm to try and pull him over to me away from the bounty head. My arm faded from my vision and Shuuya’s body blurred. I then knew that my dream was over and I was being woken up.

 

   I opened my eyes, and tried to breathe, struggling for air. Shuuya grabbed my shoulders, pulling me up and patted my back gently. I coughed and breathed in deeply. He was staring at me, checking to see if I was okay. When I grabbed his arm, he relaxed and pulled me close. His voice was deep and shaky.

 

   “Enjeru, you nearly gave me a heart attack.”

 

   “What do you mean koibito?”

 

   “Your body was cold. There was almost an instant change in your body temperature.”

I had no idea what he was talking about.

 

   “I’m sorry, but I don’t know why it happened. I didn’t mean to scare you Shuuya.”

 

   “I know. But I woke up and went to wake you, and you felt like ice.” I nodded and laid back down in bed, pulling the blankets over me. I actually did feel a bit cold. Shuuya held my hand and lifted me back up.

 

   “We’ve got to prepare for today’s festival.” I nodded and rubbed my eyes.

 

   “Okay. Will you make a pot of coffee?” He smiled and got out of bed. Laughing, he put on a pair of pants and went downstairs.

 

   I got out of bed and got dressed, bringing a shirt and boots down for Shuuya. He poured two cups and placed them down on the table. I put on my boots and pulled my hair back. I added sugar and cream and drank quickly so we could prepare for the festival. Shuuya did the same, and we both walked out of the back door to the backyard with the bags of extra supplies that he had purchased the day before. He and I walked back to the dojo and finished decorating inside and outside. We put everything down and set up tables to hold the food. While I arranged the decorations for the table, Shuuya headed back to the house to prepare the food so we could cook everything and be ready for the guests. Which, I still didn’t know who would be at the house for the festival. I finished the tables quickly and ran back to the house.

 

   I found Shuuya chopping meat into thing strips so I could make a teriyaki chicken and beef dish. I cut up the vegetables that would also be going into the entrée. I could hear the television turned on in the living room, Shuuya must have been waiting for updates on the bounty head. I stated thinking about this Kai person. He sounded arrogant and screwed up. I still wondered why the man who threatened my life called me a whore. That part was beyond me, I was a fairly reserved person. Shuuya poked my shoulder and was grinning.

 

   “Come back to the moment enjeru.” I shook my head and mumbled an apology. I threw all of the ingredients into a skillet.

 

   “Shuuya, would you mind cooking this until the onions brown?”

 

   “I don’t mind, I just hope I don’t burn it.” I smiled.

 

   “I have confidence in you koibito.” He nodded, and I put the apple rolls into the oven to cook.

 

 

Amamizu: Chapter Eight part one

The clearing was filled with red, green and gold paper lanterns. The clearing was decorated for the harvest moon festival. I looked at it silently for a long time. The dojo was illuminated as well, streams of gold and white cloth hung from the trees to the dojo roof. Smaller red and white lanterns were strung across the dojo. Shuuya's arms tightened around my waist.

 

   "Do you like it my enjeru?" I was awe struck. My mouth made words, but I couldn't speak them. I swallowed and tried again.

 

   "I love it. It's beautiful. Did you do this instead of training today?" Shuuya nodded.

  

   "But it's only us for the festival koibito." He smiled and I could tell he was keeping a secret from me.

 

   "The next part of the surprise will come during the festival. It's not just us." I turned around and looked up at him. I arched my eyebrow.

 

   "It's not? Then who's coming?"

 

   "A few people Yuri. You'll see."

 

   I sighed and walked toward the dojo, Shuuya followed close behind. I had just noticed that he was carrying all of his blades. We bowed into the dojo and rolled the mats away. He sat down on the floor and put his swords aside. I started to sit down and suddenly remembered that I was going to make Shuuya a nice meal.

 

   "What's wrong enjeru? Come, sit with me."

 

   "I was going to cook a nice dinner for you tonight koibito."

 

   "That's okay Yuri. We can grab something in a little while. Some sushi or tofu or somethin'. Now...come and sit with me." He smiled and I nodded and took my boots and sword off, laying them carefully to the side. I smiled and made myself comfortable leaning against his chest. He wraped his arms around my shoulders, and held my hands. I rested my head against his chest, as he kissed my shoulder and neck. He smelled good too. I couldn't help but grin. Shuuya made me happy whenever I was with him. I started getting drowsy. His ki was warming his body and made me even drowsier. I stared out the open screen panel on the far wall, at the lanterns. I dozed off soundly, listening to the steady beating of Shuuya's heart.

 

Amamizu: Chapter Seven

The next morning, I awoke and Shuuya was not in bed. I sat up and looked around. I could feel his ki somewhere nearby. He wasn't in the house, so I got dressed. On my way out the door, I put on my sword belt and tied my katana onto my left hip, hiding shuriken and throwing knives on my body and in each of my boots. I walked through the backyard and into the woods, to a small clearing where my father built our little family dojo. I knew Shuuya was in there. He didn't hide his ki from me. I walked into the dojo and removed my boots and weapons, storing them in the closet that father made for me. I walked to the shomen and bowed, speaking meekly and respectfully. "Minasama domo arigato gozaimasu, O'Sensei." I stood back up and moved over to a corner in the back of the room, sitting in seiza. Shuuya walked in from the dressing room, wearing one of Papa's old gi.

 

   "I hope you don't mind Yuri, but I don't have anything else."

 

   "No, I don't mind. Its work clothes. Papa won't mind either." I smiled and walked over to him. He picked me up and kissed me, then set me back down carefully. I thought to myself, "He treats me like a porcelain doll. As if I could break at any moment." Shuuya didn't ask why I was blushing, and instead, he slapped my butt and told me to get changed. "Go get changed. Let's practice. I wanna show you some forms." He was grinning form ear to ear, and I was too.

 

   "I can't Shuuya. I need to go get some groceries." He looked a bit sad, but then sighed. "Okay...hurry back then enjeru." I nodded and put my boots and weapons all back on again. I opened the door to leave when Shuuya called me again, "And Yuri..." I turned around.

 

   "Yes?"

 

   "Please be careful."

 

   "I will. I'll be fine." I smiled to reassure him and then left.

 

   It was a nice day, with pleasant weather. I decided to walk. It was only about four or five blocks away. I stopped in a little herb shop and picked up a few ointments, dried herbs and oils. I didn't believe that some modern medicine technologies worked better than herbal remedies.

 

   I exited the little shop to head on to the grocery store. The streets were empty for the most part. A few people rode by on bicycles or in cars. As I approached the store, there were a few rough-looking guys sitting outside smoking cigarettes or cigars. One looked up at me and then went back to reading his newspaper. His ki didn't seem to be very threatening, or even directed toward me.

 

   The cool air of the store greeted me as I walked in. I grabbed a basket and gathered everything I'd need to make Shuuya a nice dinner that night. I paid for the groceries then left for home. The men outside were gone, but the smell of their cigarettes still hung in the air.

 

   "It's just going to kill them. Thank the light Shuuya doesn't smoke." I walked home in silence, and with a quick pace. The sky got darker and I could smell the rain coming in. The dome that served as protection from the sun, also helped keep our climate under control. If the planet got too hot, it would be cooled with rain. Stations below the oceans helped keep them cool or warm depending on the current. It started to rain, which always gave me a cleansing feeling.

 

   As I approached home, I saw Shuuya sitting on the balcony upstairs waiting for me. He smiled and jumped down to help bring in the groceries. Well...he wouldn't let me carry them, and took all of them himself. I followed Shuuya into the kitchen and put the herbs away the way I wanted them. Shuuya laughed.

 

   "What? So I'm picky about how they're stored." I said putting my hands on my hips.

 

   "I didn't say a thing Yuri. Not a thing. And besides...I wasn’t laughing at that."

 

   "Oh? So what was so funny smart ass?" I was grinning widely.

 

   "I love looking at your butt." I could tell that my face showed just how shocked I was, because Shuuya laughed even harder this time. I shook my head, and realized I was blushing slightly, putting the rest of the groceries away.

 

   "Come with me for a sec enjeru."

 

   "Um, okay. Lead the way koibito." I smiled and took Shuuya' hand. He told me to close my eyes, and he took my other hand as well. I closed my eyes and walked cautiously across the back yard, holding his hands tightly.

 

   "Just a little bit farther enjeru." I could tell that we were in the dojo clearing. He pulled me close and held me with my back against his chest, his arms folded across my waist. He leaned close and whispered in my ear, "Open your eyes Yuri." I took a deep breath and opened my eyes.

Amamizu: Chapter Six

Shuuya and I went outside and buried the bodies. We went back inside and got a shower. It was 10:41 pm earth time. I washed my face as Shuuya got cleaned up. My skirt and yukata reeked with the stench of blood. I put them in a garbage bag and threw it away. My boots could be washed and oiled. I wrapped a towel around me as I waited for Shuuya to get out of the shower.

  

   I flipped on the TV and clicked over to the new channel. Shuuya was a bounty hunter and he was often either ahead off, or not far behind the new bounty heads. The text at the bottom of the screen read "Middle aged man, 6'1", Caucasian, human, brown eyes, blue hair. Name not yet know, updates at 11:10pm." I heard the shower cut off and Shuuya walked out in a pair of black baggy shorts and a grey tank top. He looked over at me and smiled, though his eyes showed some inner struggle. I smiled back and removed my towel as I walked into the bathroom.

 

   While in the shower, I kept thinking about possible reasons why Shuuya could be having a hard time. I figured that it was probably the death of those men today. As a bounty hunter, he wasn't supposed to kill his bounty. Otherwise, he wouldn't get paid. I let my thoughts control my conscious mind, and my mechanical mind finish cleaning the blood off my body. I got out of the shower, toweled off and put on a pair of shorts and tank top as well. While my hair was still wet, I braided it and then wrapped it around in a bun on the back of my head.

 

    Our room still smelled like blood. Both Shuuya and I were still covered with the stench. My sense of smell was better than my eyesight. I suppose because my sense of sight wasn't as great as it should be, that my sense of smell made up for it. Shuuya had glasses, but never wore them. Except...he was wearing them now as he sat cross-legged on the bed. I smiled at him and ran toward the bed, jumping on it as I got close enough. I settled myself beside him, my knees tucked close to my chest. He laughed at me and kissed my cheek. "You're cute Yuri." I smiled again and returned his kiss.

 

   "Your glasses look nice." he paused and then took them off, setting them on the bedside table.

 

   " I can see without them just fine." I couldn't help but laugh.

 

   After a few moments, I remembered what the bulletin on the new station said. I told Shuuya, but he already heard it on the 11:10 news.

 

   "Yea, I think I'm gonna research this guy a bit."

 

   "Did they release his name?"

 

   "No. They're still clueless. I think the idiots are slacking off."

 

   "Well, they don't know everything Shuuya. Their job isn't bounty hunting. It's yours...and a handful of other people's." He nodded and turned the TV on again.

 

   "I wonder who this Kai guy its." I said.

 

   "Well, I think he might be a part of the mafia...or some wanna be gangster. Anyway, what kind of man calls himself a shellfish? I mean he seriously could've done better." I laughed at Shuuya's comment. He was right though. The name sounded pretty cheesy.

I yawned and lay down under the blankets. Shuuya kissed my cheek again, and got up, turning the TV off. He started to get up to go into the other room, but I grabbed his shirt, and pulled him toward me. Shuuya turned around and looked down at me. "Yes, Yuri?" I smiled slightly and spoke softly,

 

   "Please don't go...I want you here." A smile creased his lips and he took off his shorts and shirt, getting in the bed close beside me. I took my shorts off and put them on the floor.

 

   "I love you, my enjeru." Shuuya kissed my forehead softly and pulled me close to him.

 

   "I love you too koibito." After a few moments, I fell asleep, cradled close in Shuuya's arms.

 

 

Amamizu: Chapter Five

Shuuya and I put all of his belongings in my sitting room.

 

   "Are you sure this little room is enough space?" I asked.

 

   "Yea. I don't wanna sleep next to the laundry room. Besides, this room is larger than the one down there." I nodded and helped him straighten up the sitting room. He didn’t' bother with the boxes and just put them in a corner. We hung up his clothes in my closet, I glanced over at him. His face showed frustration.

 

   "What's wrong Shuuya?" He looked up at me, frowning slightly.

 

   "There are men outside." I paused a moment and then spoke quietly.

 

   "Okay...what about them?"

 

   "They want trouble with us. I won't let it happen." his face seemed carved out of stone. Shuuya grabbed both of his katana and climbed out of my window onto the balcony. He stared down at the men eyeing them like a hawk. I grabbed my staff and waited by the downstairs door. Shuuya called across the house, "I'm going down. Stay where you are Yuri..." the rest of his sentence was muffled by the sound of immediate gunfire. I stood very quietly by the door, with my back pressed against the wall. I was trying to hear what was going on. I started to call back out to Shuuya. He came back inside, and grabbed my arm, leading me down the hallway. "Wait here." he said sternly. Shuuya had a way of gluing someone in place with a simple change of the tone in his voice.

 

   "Shuuya! Where are you going? Let me help you."

 

   "No. I'm not going to lose youuu...eh..anyone else." He walked outside. I followed close behind. Shuuya turned back to look at me. He sighed and stood closer to the men than I. His hand was gripping the hilt of one of his katana tightly. Shuuya spoke to other men; I was too far away to understand anything he was saying. I studied the men from where I stood. There were seven of them. They all looked like thugs, and smelled badly of alcohol and drugs. One of the men had a knife and rifle, the others carried revolvers. I saw Shuuya's muscles tense and I could feel his ki surging through his body. His control was amazing. The man with the rifle pointed in my direction. Shuuya backed up, moving closer to me.

 

   Unfortunately, for the men they took it like Shuuya was trying to get away. They all moved closer to him. A short man punched toward Shuuya's head. He quickly dodged the punch and in turn, used the man's energy throwing him out of the way with a Kokyu-nage technique. The short man lay on the ground on his stomach. I watched as Shuuya attacked the next poor fool. He barred both of his blades, seemingly slicing through the air as man after man fell. Meanwhile, another car pulled up. Five more men got out of the car. They looked at Shuuya, who was now occupied with the last two men. I ran outside, bringing my Jo with me and dropped my ki, widened my stance and prepared myself to fight them. I brought my Jo up to hip's height and began countering their attacks. None of them seemed armed. As each man came in, I found myself laughing. They all tried disarming me. Bad decision. One man grabbed my jo, trying to snatch it away, I countered by throwing him using his own energy. My entire defense and attacked seemed almost mechanical, a strike to his chest and sweeping his legs out from underneath him.

Soon, Shuuya was behind me. His technique was smooth and flowing...which was difficult for me to maintain. His martial skill was far better than mine. Even though I hated the act of killing, Shuuya's forms didn't seem violent. The man with the rifle was gone. I let Shuuya take care of the last man, and went in search of the man with the rifle. I crept quietly around the house and found myself looking down the barrel of his rifle. My heart was racing. I could feel my pulse in my entire body. The man smiled at me and spoke quietly, "Don't make a noise. Drop the staff." I never thought that I'd see my life flash before my eyes. Thee man said something else, but I didn't hear him. A single tear ran down my cheek. I kept thinking, "...Shuuya...I'm sorry...I'm so foolish and stubborn. I never got to tell you...that I...love you. More than my life is worth. I hope that you know it..." The man yelled at me again, "Drop the god damned staff, girl!" He pressed the rifle's barrel to my chest. "Drop it! Do you want to die?!" I let go of the Jo and clasped my hands together. I had no other weapon. I had my hands and feet. I could kick and punch all I wanted...but I didn't want to risk my life.

 

   I heard Shuuya calling for me. I didn't respond and only hoped that he would find me. I looked down and noticed the man's ankles shaking slightly. "I bet they'll break easy as glass." I thought to myself. Shuuya rounded the corner, which worked out perfectly. I dropped down and swept the man's feet out from underneath him while he was distracted by Shuuya. Shuuya caught the rifle and pointed it down at the man as I stood back up. I picked up my staff and locked the man's arms behind his head, using the staff to keep pressure on his shoulders. Each time he tried to move, the staff popped his shoulders out of place little by little.

 

   Shuuya began questioning the man. "Who are you working for?" his voice was like ice. The man looked around nervously. Shuuya asked again, but was now yelling. "Who are you working for?! And why are you here?" I tightened the staff and one of his shoulders popped out of place. The man screamed in pain. I hated the sound of it. The man screamed in pain. He answered Shuuya quietly, "I work for Kai."

"Who the hell is Kai? Once again...why are you here?"

 

   "Kai. You don't know who he is?" the man laughed, "He’ll kill you...and this whore too." Shuuya put the barrel beneath the man's chin, and spoke again. He sounded like he was growling. "What is your name? And I'll ask one more time...why are you here?" The man swallowed and answered quickly, "I came for her..." he motioned his head toward me, "And I'd rather burn than tell you my name." Shuuya's face became harder, more like stone. "Then you shall burn." I had never seen this side of Shuuya before. "You're going to burn him?" I asked.

 

   "No." he responded oddly and pulled the trigger, killing the man lying on the ground. I still had a grip on the staff as Shuuya killed him. I pulled my Jo away from the lifeless figure. The front of my yukata and skirt was covered in the man's blood. Shuuya looked over at me and I stared at him blankly. I'd never seen that side of him before. It was absolutely shocking. I stood up and Shuuya picked me up, carrying me back into the house. He set me down in a chair in the kitchen. Shuuya wet a cloth and wiped his face. He was completely covered in the blood of the other men.

 

   "Why did you kill him Shuuya?"

 

   "He wanted to kill you." He spoke quietly.

 

   "Yes, but we have been through a countless number of fights together, and you have never before behaved like you did just then."

 

   Shuuya sat down across from me. "I...they were going to kill you. I didn't want any one of those bastards to come back for you Yuri..." he stopped mid-sentence.

 

   "Shuuya, I..." he put his hand gently over my lips.

 

   "I killed them to protect you. I love you Yuri. I want nothing more than to make you happy and keep you safe. I love you." My eyes began to tear up. I leaned across the table and kissed Shuuya's lips gently. He put his hand behind my head, and kissed me back.

 

 

Amamizu: Chapter Four

We finished eating and walked outside. Shuuya handed me my car keys and said,

"Sorry, but you fell asleep and I didn't want to wake you, so I figured that I'd carry you out and drive back."

 

   "It's okay Shuuya. Thank you for doing that, though. I was very tired. I hope that it wasn't too much trouble." We got in the car and headed back to his apartment. I decided to let him drive. He turned on the CD player and blasted the music. Shuuya drummed his hands on the steering wheel with the music. I leaned my head back and dozed off. Shuuya shook me softly. "We're here, Yuri." I smiled and got out of the car, following him up to

his apartment.

 

   We walked in and started packing his personal belongings and clothes. "I'm only going to take what I care most about."

 

   "What about the rest Shuuya san?"

 

   "Donate it. Someone needs it more than I do." I nodded and started putting his clothes in black garbage bags. He had a collection of swords, knives, and a large gun case which belongings and throughout the apartment, Shuuya had about four or five small boxes and two bags of clothes, sheets and a pillow.

 

   "Are we finished here Shuuya?"

 

   "Yea I suppose so." he took his car keys of the wall stand and we walked back down to the car. I carried the clothes, and he the boxes. Shuuya had to choose between his car and his motorcycle. Thankfully, he chose the motorcycle. I loved riding with him.

We piled all of the stuff into the trunk and the backseat. Shuuya put on his leather trench coat and got on his motorcycle. I got into my car and he revved the engine behind me. We sped off back to my house.

 

Amamizu: Chapter Three

As I waited, I dozed off in the large armchair which I was sitting. I must've been asleep deeply, because I woke up in my bedroom. I looked over at my alarm clock; it read 2:14 pm. I sat up and looked around. I heard the deep breathing of sleep in the sitting room beside my bedroom. I pulled my blue jeans and tank top off, putting on a dressing robe and tied it closed. I crept quietly into the sitting room, and saw Shuuya asleep on the pull-out bed of my couch. I stood quietly in the doorway, staring at him. He was a gorgeous man. Not to mention, intelligent, protective and kind.

  

   His body jerked as if he were having a bad dream. Suddenly, he started yelling something in a different language. I rushed to the bed and sat down beside him, rubbing his back gently. I whispered, "Its okay Shuuya san. It isn't real. It's okay my love." Immediately, my hand stopped moving. I thought to myself, "I just called him 'my love' out loud." Luckily Shuuya was still asleep. I could feel the heat rising in my cheeks. Slowly getting up, I walked into my little bathroom and got into the shower.

The hot water running down my back felt good. It eased my muscles. Feeling refreshed, I grabbed a towel and went to get dressed. As I walked into my bedroom, I saw Shuuya sitting cross-legged on my bed. He looked up as I walked in.

 

   "Oh man. I'm sorry Yuri. Please excuse me." he looked around nervously and then covered his eyes. I giggled quietly.

 

   "It's okay Shuuya san. I don't mind. So long as you don't stare, I don't mind." I smiled warmly at him, getting a white skirt and black/gold yukata. I could tell that even though his hands still covered his eyes. I dressed quickly and then sat down beside him. "You can look now." He removed his hands and smiled.

 

   "I think I'm going to shower too." He laughed, "If you saved me any hot water. You were in there for a while." I smiled and poked him hard behind his right shoulder blade. He just laughed and got up. I could never poke him hard enough to hurt. He called to me from the bathroom.

 

   "Where's the towels Yuri?"

 

   "Underneath the sink." I called back.

 

   "We goin' to my house?"

 

   "Yea, what time you wanna head over?" the water was running. He yelled over the sound of the shower.

 

   "Lemme clean up and get dressed, and then we'll leave." I stood up from my bed and put my hair into a long braid, tying it with a ribbon. I put on my boots and laced up the backs. I heard the shower turn off and a few moments later Shuuya walked out with a towel wrapped around his waist. He smiled and walked into the sitting room to get dressed. I went downstairs to fix some breakfast. My parents were never home, they were on Mars working to better the colonies and creating new space jets. Shuuya came downstairs and sat down to put his boots on. I watched as he laced them slowly.

 

   "Whatcha want for breakfast?" I asked.

 

   "I dunno. Anything you're willing to fix. I'll eat anything. You know that." He smiled widely and stood up. I walked over to the refrigerator and pulled out eggs, bread and bacon. Shuuya took the food out of my arms, setting it down on the counter.

 

   "Here, let me help. How many eggs do you want?" I knew he couldn't cook to save his life, but he was being sweet, so I let him go about what he was doing.

 

   "One of each please." I smiled and put the bread in the toaster. Shuuya seemed to be struggling to keep the eggs from burning. I couldn't help but laugh. He shrugged and grinned.

 

   "Would you mind taking over Yuri?" I laughed again and took the spatula out of his hand. I finished cooking, and made his plate. Shuuya sat down and thanked me while his mouth was full of food. I didn't take any offense. He was eating and happy. That's all I wanted to see.