Chapter 18

Syuusuke paced the length of his bedroom as he waited for Saeki. Ever since he’d had that dream, he’d felt an overwhelming need to talk to his old friend turned lover. An edge of panic was coloring everything and he knew his text messages weren’t the only things being affected by his anxiety.

His father had warned him that his dreams coming back was a warning sign that he needed to visit her again. Syuusuke knew he couldn’t take a second session of torture from her. The first had nearly killed him. It had taken him four years to piece his mind back together. Who knew how long it would take him to rebuild himself a second time?

No. She was too good at torture. Syuusuke wasn’t afraid of many people. Sora, while she terrified everyone else around her, didn’t frighten him. Kirihara, who had the rest of the Seigaku team on edge, didn’t frighten him. Kirihara was just a challenge. But he was a strong enough challenge that Syuusuke’s blood boiled with the excitement of taking him on.

But Syuusuke would drop the challenge in a heartbeat if undertaking it meant another visit from her. He would do anything imaginable to keep her as far away from him as possible. Right now, she was in America. But if Syuusuke slipped up…if his father learned about his dreams…well. That would change.

I need to stop this, Syuusuke said. Saeki is going to be here soon. If I keep panicking like this, I might hurt him. Get yourself together. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, holding it for a count of ten before exhaling slowly. He took another two breaths like that and calm started to build in the pit of his stomach. Just breath, Syu. You don’t want to meet Saeki like this.

It took ten minutes before Fuji managed to get his breathing at an acceptable rate. Once he managed that, it took another five minutes before he was able to shake the fear from his mind. I can panic later. Right now, it’s more important that I keep from doing anything that Saeki might interpret the wrong way. After the text messages I sent, he’s probably freaking out.

The doorbell rang and Fuji closed his eyes, taking one last deep breath before he descended the stairs. He opened the door, drinking in the sight of Saeki standing before him. Saeki had changed out of his school uniform and into a pair of tight-fitted blue jeans with a green polo clinging to his chest. He looked distinctly uncomfortable, his hands tucked into his pockets as he looked everywhere but at Syuusuke. “Hey,” he said.

“Hey,” Fuji replied, pulling the silver-haired teen in for a searing kiss. Saeki melted under the assault, the tense set of his shoulders fading away. “I’m sorry I scared you.”

It was testament to Saeki’s inner strength that he didn’t protest the statement. He had been scared and while Syuusuke’s acknowledgment of that fear made him uncomfortable, he didn’t shy away from the truth of it. “What did you need to talk to me about that was so urgent?” he asked.

A shadow of fear flickered through Syuusuke’s eyes before he surprised it with a smile. “Let’s go to my room. My parents will be back soon.”

Saeki raised an eyebrow, but followed. Once they were in Syu’s room, he took a seat on the edge of the bed. “So,” he said.

Fuji turned so that he was looking out the window. He didn’t want to see how Saeki reacted to what he had to say. He was afraid to see judgment in Saeki’s eyes…afraid of what he would do if he saw criticism there.

“So,” Fuji said, voice soft. “Do you remember what I told you the day I came to your house?”

A minute passed before Saeki said, “You said a lot of things that day, Syu.”

Fuji acknowledged that with a slight incline of his head. “So I did. You asked me a question then.”

“Yeah,” Saeki said, shifting on the bed. “I remember.”

“I’m having dreams about it,” Fuji said, fighting a wince as he said it.

“Dreams about what?” Saeki asked. “You’re not making any sense.”

Fuji sighed and walked away from the window. He sat down beside Saeki and wrapped an arm around his waist, drawing the silver-haired man close to his chest. Closing his eyes, Fuji rested his chin on Saeki’s shoulder. “I’m having dreams about the woman who tortured me,” he said.

Saeki’s body tensed, but he didn’t try to pull away. “You don’t have these dreams often, do you?” he asked, his tone devoid of emotion.

Fuji relaxed. When Saeki used that cold tone, it meant he was forcing all potentially judgmental thoughts away from his mind. It was a skill that Fuji envied sometimes, as he could be quick to jump to judgment. But Saeki wasn’t like that. Saeki was calm and controlled. He evaluated each situation from all angles before he decided what he thought.

“No,” Fuji said. “I don’t.” His hands clenched and his nails dug into Saeki’s skin, making his lover flinch.

“Syuusuke, get your nails out of my side.”

Fuji unclenched his hand, freeing his nails. “Sorry,” he said. “I’m a little shaken.”

“I can see that,” Saeki said. “I know the dreams must be terrible, but why are you this concerned?”

Fuji shuddered. “Because I haven’t had these dreams in years, Sae. The last time I had them was right after she tortured me. A week after they stopped, my father told me that if I had them again, then he’d have to arrange another session.”

“What?” Saeki turned and grabbed Fuji by the shoulders, the movement so sudden it froze Fuji in place. “Your father told you he’d have you tortured again just for having a dream?”

Fuji nodded, mute. The rage in Saeki’s eyes calmed and frightened him. He’d never seen Saeki express that much anger at one time, but he knew it wasn’t directed at him. For the first time, he realized that Saeki was a formidable man of his own accord. He’d known Saeki possessed a great deal of inner strength—his ability to overcome what Fuji had done to him was proof enough of that. But Fuji hadn’t realized that Saeki possessed emotions that ran so deep. The man was so calm and controlled all the time, it was hard to tell what he was really thinking.

“If he tries it,” Saeki said. “I will kill him. I won’t let that woman come near you, Syuusuke.”

Fuji smiled weakly. “Thanks, Saeki. But if my dad decides to contact her, you won’t be able to stop her.”

Saeki raised an eyebrow. “Watch me.”

Fuji laughed. “I’m sorry, Saeki. I’m glad you want to protect me. But no one can protect me from her. She’s the world’s top assassin. There’s no way you’ll be able to get near her.” His tone fell flat on those last words as that truth sunk in.

Saeki drew him close, hugging him tight. “I’ll do what I can, Syu. You spend so much of your time keeping me and Ryoma safe. I can’t bear the thought that your own father would see you tortured just because you had a nightmare.”

“A nightmare?” Fuji asked, drawing back from the hug. “Was that all it was?”

Saeki smiled sadly. “Yes, Syuusuke. It was just a nightmare. Your father lied to you about it being a sign that you needed another session. It’s just another way he tethers you to him.” Saeki forced himself to stop. Speaking to Fuji about his father now was a bad idea. While Saeki found Fuji senior to be a despicable man, Syuusuke was strongly attached to his dad.

Fuji frowned, wondering why Saeki had stopped. He knew his lover disapproved of his relationship with his father, but the man was his father. Even though his father had him tortured, he’d done it out of love for his son. Fuji didn’t think he could ever express that sentiment properly to Saeki, because he understood why Saeki found it so reprehensible. “If it was just a nightmare,” he said, “then I overreacted.”

Saeki chuckled. “Yeah, but we all do that. Besides, your nightmares are darker than others. I understand why you got scared.”

Fuji nodded and pulled Saeki down to lay beside him on the bed. The two of them lay in silence, each enjoying the feel of the other where their bodies joined. “Thanks, Saeki,” Fuji said.

Saeki smiled and closed his eyes, grateful that the fear he’d felt earlier had been replaced with the warm contentment lying beside his lover always brought.

Chapter 17     Chapter Index     Chapter 19

Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. Chains of Choice Chapter 18 | Luana Araceli

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: