Chapter 07

Fuji walked back into his house at seven a.m. He’d tried to leave the brothel after he’d whipped Iwao, but Sora had made him stay and catch her up on all the information she didn’t have. Being an information broker could be an exhausting job.

He made his way up to his bedroom, relieved to see that Saeki and Ryoma were both sound asleep. He wanted to crawl into bed with them, but if he did that, he’d pass out for hours. And that would only arouse more suspicions from his already suspicious lover.

So instead he changed his clothes, peeling off the Fioraventi suit and replacing it with sweats and a t-shirt. Then he went downstairs and started breakfast. As long as he kept himself busy until it was time for his lovers to go home, he could avoid uncomfortable questions.

His lovers stumbled downstairs once breakfast was done, having been wakened by the smell of food.

“Morning, Syu,” Saeki said.

“Morning,” Fuji said, turning to look at Ryoma.

Ryoma grunted and took a seat at the table. He wasn’t a morning person.

Saeki frowned. “Ryoma, your manners need some work.”

Ryoma shrugged his shoulders. This early in the morning, he didn’t care about his manners. “Che.”

Saeki was silent as he divvied up the food between them. He set Fuji’s plate in front of him and claimed his own plate. Ryoma’s plate, however, he placed between him and Fuji, waiting for the freshman to come to his senses.

“Give me my food, Saeki,” Ryoma said, glaring at him.

Saeki raised an eyebrow. “Not until you lose the attitude. I told you before that manners are important. Have you forgotten that so soon?”

Ryoma scowled.

Fuji smiled as he watched the interplay between the two. He could step in and Ryoma would submit easily, because that was how their dynamic worked. But Saeki and Ryoma still needed to work out their dynamic and he wasn’t going to get in the way of that.

Ryoma turned to Fuji. “Syuusuke, please make him give me my food. I’m hungry.”

Fuji raised an eyebrow. “I’m not going to help you out of this Ryoma. My orders might have more weight than Saeki’s, but I’m not going to help you avoid following his.”

Ryoma glared balefully at Fuji for a moment before realizing what he was doing and who he was glaring at. He dropped his eyes and fell silent.

Saeki shrugged. “You can have your food when you remember your manners,” he said. Then he turned to Fuji. “Did you find out what Sora wants?”

Fuji nodded. “I did. It’s not a difficult job, so I won’t have to deal with her on a regular basis. But I need the two of you to stay away from her and anyone associated with her. That includes Tony, Ryoma.”

“Hai, Syuusuke.” Ryoma glanced longingly at the plate next to Saeki’s. He sighed heavily and pushed his chair back. Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes and walked over to where Saeki was sitting and stood beside him for a solid minute.

Right when Saeki was starting to believe that Ryoma was working up the courage to steal the plate of food and run with it, Ryoma dropped to his knees beside him.

“Gomen nasai, Saeki-san. May I please eat breakfast?”

Saeki moved Ryoma’s plate to where the freshman had been sitting. “You may,” he said. “I expect you to be respectful and polite at all times, whether you’re tired or not. Am I understood?”

“Hai, Saeki-san,” Ryoma said, not making a move to get up from his kneel. “May I be seated?”

“You may,” Saeki said, smiling as the freshman reclaimed his seat.

Fuji was amused. “I’m glad you two have started to find your rhythm. I know you wanted to spend the rest of the day with me, but I have to get started on the problem Sora gave me to fix. So after breakfast, the two of you are going to need to go home.”

“What?” Ryoma asked, then swallowed hard at the disapproving look Saeki gave him. “I mean, why do we need to leave, Syuusuke-san? I’m sure we could help you.”

Saeki gave Ryoma a small smile before he voiced his agreement. “We may be able to give you information you need,” he said.

Fuji frowned. “I appreciate that you want to help me, but this is an underground problem and it’s not one that I can drag you into. The best way for you to help me is to let me keep you safe. I don’t want my target finding out that there are people close to me for him to exploit.”

“But your target doesn’t even know you exist yet,” Saeki said.

“Yes,” Fuji said. “And I want to keep it that way. The fewer people who know what I have to do, the better. That way the element of surprise will work in my favor.”

Saeki frowned. “But we can help.”

Ryoma scowled. “Let us do something, Syuusuke. Like Sae-san said, we can help you.”

Fuji sighed. “You probably could help, but I can’t let you. And if either of you voice any further protests, I’ll punish you both for insubordination. Am I understood?”

Ryoma ducked his head. “Hai, Syuusuke-san.”

Saeki pursed his lips. “I don’t like it, but yes.”

“Good,” Fuji said. “So after you’re done eating, perhaps the two of you should go somewhere and get better acquainted. I have a lot of work to do today and I don’t want to worry about you.”

Saeki sighed. “Very well,” he said. “Ryoma, when we’re done, would you like to come with me to the pool hall?”

“Sure,” Ryoma said. “I’d hate to disturb Syuusuke while he’s working.” He didn’t bother to hide the bitterness in his tone.

Fuji’s eyes flashed. “Ryoma,” he said, his tone dropping into a low octave.

Ryoma flinched. “Gomen, Syuusuke,” he whispered.

“I’ll let it slide, this once,” Fuji said. “I understand you’re upset and I understand why. But if you ever talk to me like that again, I will take you upstairs and give your mouth a good washing out. Am I understood?”

“Hai, Syuusuke-san.”

“Good,” Fuji said. “I’ll be upstairs if you need me for anything before you leave.” He pushed his chair back and took his plate to the sink to rinse it off. While he wasn’t strictly lying about needing to work, what he needed to do before anything else was catch up on his sleep.

Chapter 6     Chapter Index     Chapter 8

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