“Yokozawa-san—everyone’s going out to eat together after this. Would you like to join us?” Henmi called, glancing up from his cell phone as Yokozawa prepared to leave.
“Where are you going?”
“The same shop as always. I’ve got a coupon—but it expires at the end of this month, so. Oh—and if you go in a group of four or more, you get an even bigger discount, so we’re gathering a group together.”
“All right then—I’ll stay for a bite. But just so you know—I’m not treating you.” With the vacation retreat, he’d spent quite a bit more money than he’d planned on this month, and while he would’ve liked to have played the indulgent sempai, he had to hold off until payday.
“Yes yes, I know. Everyone’s wallets are feeling a bit lonely around this time of the month.”
“Is everyone ready to head out?”
“Three have responded so far—ooh, wait, might have caught another…” Henmi’s cell phone flashed brightly, likely indicating a response from another person he’d invited out to eat.
“…Hm?” From Yokozawa’s bag as well, his cellphone buzzed in manner mode to indicate an incoming message. He scrambled to pull it out, checking the display—only to find it was Kirishima calling. If he recalled correctly, the man had said he’d be out of the office on meetings with an author today, so it was odd of him to go out of his way to call Yokozawa at a time like this. “Yes, Yokozawa speaking,” he answered, tone suspicious, and the voice that came back to him sounded a bit frantic.
“Hey—can you speak right now?”
“I was about to head out to grab a bite for dinner—what’s wrong?”
“Sorry, but could you come meet me?”
“And I asked you what’s wrong?” Kirishima’s attitude seemed a bit different from usual, sending a chill through his chest. Maybe he was wrapped up in more trouble like before—his mind was filled with nothing but thoughts of worst-case-scenarios.
“I’ll tell you when you get here. I’ll text you where to meet, so just get your ass over here ASAP.”
And leaving Yokozawa no room to protest, he cut the line, the only sound still echoing from the cell phone receiver the robotic drone of a phone line being cut.
“I…don’t really know.” Yokozawa had merely been called out with absolutely no further details given. And yet—he couldn’t imagine that Kirishima would call like that for no reason whatsoever.
“Who was it from?”
Not bothering to respond to Henmi’s question, Yokozawa stood, bag and coat in hand. “Sorry—I’ll have to join you for dinner some other time.”
There was no point in sitting around here wracking his mind over the matter, so tamping down any feelings tending toward worry and anxiety, he dashed off to the address included in the text message he’d just received.
“That…was as tasty as all the reviews touted this place to be.”
“True—it was definitely delicious…but are you sure you don’t want me to pay for anything?”
“I keep telling you—it’s my apology for worrying you. Just sit down, shut up, and let me treat you.” Kirishima’s ‘emergency’ had turned out to be little more than a way to get Yokozawa to join him for dinner. Truthfully, this was supposed to be a reception for an author—but the author’s condition had been a bit dubious, so they’d parted ways after having a simple discussion meeting. Then it had simply been decided that if they were going to have to pay to cancel everything anyways, they may as well just enjoy the meal. In that way it had been decided that the pair would have dinner together.
So while there had indeed been some form of trouble, the whole thing had been somewhat anticlimactic to Yokozawa, who’d rushed over certain that something horrible had happened. But it seemed the entire point of not explaining why he needed Yokozawa to come had been purely to convince Yokozawa to come—so the plan had apparently worked.
Still, if things hadn’t worked out the way they had, they’d likely never have found themselves sitting here enjoying dinner in a three-star restaurant of a high-class hotel like this. Yokozawa had been a bit starstruck initially, but he’d found himself able to settle down and enjoy the meal, nonetheless.
Their reservations had them sitting at a table near the windows, looking out over the nighttime scenery. They were surrounded on all sides by couples sharing meals together, which left Yokozawa feeling more than a little awkward, so he settled for pretending he was simply there on business.
He’d told himself that the only reason he’d been called out like this was likely because Kirishima had hoped to lessen the financial impact of having to foot the bill for such a high-priced dinner, but Kirishima had settled the bill entirely on his own. When Kirishima refused to even tell him the total, Yokozawa had tried to get him to take what he figured was about what his half of the meal had cost, but he’d been turned down.
“Hey—where are we going? This isn’t the lobby floor yet,” he protested when the elevator drew to a stop, figuring Kirishima must have accidentally pressed the wrong button. He tried to call Kirishima back into the car as he stepped out onto one of the floors for the hotel’s guest rooms, but Kirishima simply turned to regard him, making no efforts to get back in the elevator.
“This floor’ll do fine.”
“…What’re you talking about?”
“Can’t you at least just do what I ask when we’re out on a date?”
“Huh? What the hell are you talking about—a date?” He grew confused at the strange choice of words, before scrambling to catch up to Kirishima, who resolutely plodded ahead.
“A date’s a date, you know. Now—after you, my good sir.” Kirishima swiped a card key to open the door of a room marked 2411, pressing the door open to invite Yokozawa inside.
“…And just why do you have a hotel room key?”
“Stop asking questions and just get inside.” At Yokozawa’s suspicious expression, Kirishima pressed his back to force him into the dark room, and the lights flickered on immediately at this, illuminating everything in a soft glow. Given the expansive roominess, this was likely a rather high-grade room, and that his thoughts immediately drifted toward I wonder how much this place runs a night… was testament to the fact that he was indeed a commoner.
“What—did you reserve this room for the author as well? You sure you shouldn’t have just canceled the reservation for the room at least, if not the meal?”
At Yokozawa’s comment, Kirishima released a beleaguered sigh. “Would you get a fucking clue already? Why would they put up one author staying a single night in a two-bed room?”
“Wait—you mean you actually reserved this room yourself?”
“Well, I figured it was a wasted opportunity to eat dinner in such a nice hotel and then go straight home, right? Plus, it’s kinda nice—all romantic like this.”
“…You’re such an idiot,” he muttered in shock at Kirishima, who winked at him knowingly.
“Says the guy who’d never book a hotel room with me if I didn’t pull stunts like this.”
“So then—was all that tripe about not wanting to cancel dinner just another excuse?”
“Nah—that was real. But what an opportunity, right? I figured it was worth it and booked a room while I was waiting for you. Ooh—check it out. Pretty rare for them to be shooting off fireworks at this hour…”
Yokozawa glanced out the window, following Kirishima’s own gaze, and in the distance he could see fireworks being launched into the air. The sight of fireworks blooming against the night scenery amidst the hills and valleys of the skyline was refreshing.
“What festival are those for? A little late for fireworks, isn’t it?”
“Given the area—probably Kuma Park, don’t you think? They always shoot them off before closing the park every day.” At this explanation, Yokozawa recalled how they’d visited the park—just the three of them—at the beginning of the month. They’d left before it was time for the fireworks display, but they’d promised Hiyori they’d come back to watch them together some other time.
“…Wait—stop trying to change the subject. We could’ve easily made it home in a half hour, so why the hell are we stuck spending the night at a hotel like this?”
“C’mon, it’s fine—I just wanted to be able to relax and talk with you.”
“You can do that just fine at home.”
“Hiyo’s at home, though.”
“Then we could do it at my place.”
“Yeah—but you’re a hell of a lot more open and honest when you’re dropped in an unfamiliar situation. You’ve been hassling me all this time—but you’re hiding something from me as well, aren’t you?”
“Me? Hiding something? What the hell are you on about?”
“You’ve just…lately you’ve been looking like you really want to tell me something.”
“That’s…” And here, he realized on his own what this something was that he was supposedly hiding. Except he wasn’t actually hiding anything, per se—it was only…he couldn’t find the right moment to address it.
“…What, it’s something you can’t discuss with me?”
“It’s not that I can’t—I just…never could bring it up, that’s all.” Hell, he never would’ve imagined that the very person he wanted to press on the issue would in turn press him for an explanation. But—maybe this was a good chance; without it coming to this, he would’ve admittedly found it difficult to broach the subject on his own. “The whole…marriage interview thing. It was bugging me, that’s all.”
“I heard from one of the girls at work—that a superior of yours brought up the subject of a marriage interview with you. And how since it was the daughter of a prominent business associate, you couldn’t turn it down…” And while it may have seemed like and incredibly big deal to Yokozawa at the time, putting it into words like this was…just embarrassing. It was pathetic how he’d gotten so worked up over a simple marriage interview request.
At his admission, Kirishima gaped at him in confused shock for a long moment—before at last releasing a loud explosion of laughter. “What the hell—that’s what you’ve had your panties in a twist about? Ah, I get it now—that explains why you’ve had this weird expression on your face all this time…”
“Don’t—fucking laugh at me!” he snapped at Kirishima who continued to laugh at Yokozawa’s expense.
“You’re such an idiot—I turned that interview down ages ago. I didn’t even look at any pictures of the woman.”
“Then—you should’ve said so sooner!”
“I just never thought it was something I really needed to go out of my way to bring up. My superior suggested it and I turned him down on the spot. Plus—I had no clue those kinds of rumors were floating around. Who the hell did you hear about it from?”
“Don’t remember—some chick.” He’d been completely preoccupied with the words marriage interview at the time—he’d lost all composure. Looking back, it was shameful how thoroughly he’d lost his presence of mind over little more than office gossip.
“Well—the women in my division certainly do like to gossip, and it’s not like I went out of my way to try and keep it under wraps, so I suppose someone might’ve picked up my mentioning it in passing.”
The fact that he’d been so shaken upon hearing about the marriage interview made it seem as if he’d been distrustful of Kirishima himself—and worried that he might have offended Kirishima in his way, Yokozawa hastened to explain himself, “I mean—don’t think that I was doubting you or anything, all right? It just…bugged me that you hadn’t said anything about it, that’s all…”
“Yeah, I know. I understand well enough that it wasn’t because you didn’t trust me. You really have next to no self-confidence, you know?” Yokozawa swallowed thickly as Kirishima hit the nail on the head—and as he ducked his head in shame, he found himself wrapped in a sudden embrace.
“I know how you feel. I mean, I worry sometimes too…”
“Sure—I mean, it’s not like I’m psychic and know immediately what you’re thinking or anything. Even if I can divine some things by your expression, I can’t really see deep down, underneath everything.”
Kirishima settled his forehead against Yokozawa’s shoulder, confession falling from his lips in a forlorn voice. “I’m still…not really sure of how you feel about me. You’ve never just…come out and said it, after all…”
“That’s not—” true, he started to protest, before realizing that indeed, he’d never spelled it out in so many words, and his chest clenched at the somewhat lonely expression on Kirishima’s features.
He always ran away, every time—and if in doing so he’d somehow hurt Kirishima, then he truly had never meant it.
“…Being human sucks some times, huh. I guess I just…assumed that being with you like this was good enough, but it only made the grains of worry build up over time…”
He’d been so happy—and that was frightening. Gaining something great also brought with it a great price to pay. He knew fully well that his attitude could easily fill Kirishima with doubt and worry—and while his actions were by and large merely attempts to hide his embarrassment, it couldn’t have felt nice for the guy to have his advances rebuffed again and again.
“Well—just, I mean…it’s not like I’m trying to get away from you because I hate you or anything. I do honestly…ve…you…” His voice was so low and soft that the most important part was nearly unintelligible, but it was the first time he’d every voiced his feelings aloud.
He stood there tamping down embarrassment that threatened to boil over—when Kirishima glanced up, grinning so happily it made his previously dejected state seem like a lie. “…You finally said it.”
“…You…just…” Realizing that the entire ‘depressed mood’ had been an act, Yokozawa felt like he could just drop dead with anger right there. Blood rushed to his head—too quickly—and he found himself groping for words.
Kirishima, in turn, confessed without pretense, “And I love you, too,” grin so wide he seemed on the verge of tears, leaving Yokozawa speechless. Maybe Kirishima’s penchant for teasing was like Yokozawa’s vain attempts to hide his embarrassment—it was too much to handle, so he covered up his shame with teasing.
“That…was not fair,” he spat back spitefully—but Kirishima’s response was calm and collected:
“You’ll find that adults rarely play fair. You’re the same yourself, right?”
“I’m not as bad as you, at least.”
“Well, that’s just a matter of age and experience.”
“You know—I’ve been thinking this for a while, but I’m pretty sure your elders would pitch a fit if they heard how often you play the age card at your age. Cut it out.”
“It’s fine—I pick and choose my moments carefully.”
“Yeah right—you’re always quick to toss it out whenever you damn well please.”
“Maybe—but so long as it sounds like I gave it some thought…”
“Don’t shatter the dreams of your subordinates, now.” If any of the underlings who worshiped Kirishima heard that confession, they’d probably be crushed.
“You’re the only one I ever tell how I really feel, you know. And you think I’m awesome no matter what, right?”
“…That’s not something you’re supposed to say yourself!”
“Not like I can help it—I mean, you wouldn’t say it again for me, so…” Kirishima announced peevishly, a childish pouting tone in his voice. For every moment he acted older than he truly was, there was one when he could behave more immaturely than Hiyori. Yokozawa occasionally found himself shocked at the behavior, but these were undeniably all pieces making up the puzzle that was Kirishima.
Adulthood was not something reached simply by aging—you matured by struggling and surmounting obstacles—and it was precisely because of that childish side Kirishima showed him now and then that they were now able to spend their time together like this. If Kirishima had been an impeccable, perfect human being, Yokozawa would have likely given in to his pessimistic nature and long since broken down.
Perhaps the final one of the show, a huge, flashy firework shot into the air, and taking in the glinting traces of light dotting the night sky, Yokozawa recalled that this was far from an ordinary setting.
Sometimes the guy deserved to have his wish granted, and Yokozawa gave voice once more to the words Kirishima had requested from before: “…You really are pretty awesome.”
At this, Kirishima’s face reddened right before his eyes. “That’s… It’s no fair pulling something like that on me when I’m not prepared.”
“I learned from the best,” Yokozawa returned, quite satisfied that his attempt at revenge had surprisingly succeeded. There’d likely be hell to pay for it later—but he’d cross that bridge when he got to it.
For his part, Kirishima simply turned a gaze of clear intent on the self-satisfied Yokozawa.
Kirishima, always ready with some needless quip on his tongue, was unexpectedly tight-lipped tonight, leaving the room filled with only bitten-back moans and rising sighs.
Fingers groped over Yokozawa’s chest, occasionally finding purchase on a nipple and teasing, but joined to the body behind him as he was, he couldn’t muster much strength. Conscious thought very nearly left him entirely in the wake of the tireless rhythm worked into his body.
The fingers dipped down to wrap around his stiff cock, but the condom he’d slipped on to keep from dirtying the linens kept him from enjoying the sensation of direct skin-to-skin contact, serving only to irritate and frustrate.
He buried his face in the plush pillow beneath him, biting back the sounds which threatened to spill from his throat—and perhaps displeased with this action, Kirishima tightly tweaked the nipples he’d been teasing.
“Make those sounds—like you did last time.”
“Like…hell…” He most definitely did not appreciate Kirishima making it sound like he’d been desperately moaning and gasping—it had only been that their location had made his voice reverberate more than usual. “Ha…ah—!”
Kirishima plied his body with punishing strokes, and sighs he could not hold back fell from his lips. Pressed to the edge, he felt himself melting from the inside out—yet still he stubbornly dug in his heels, refusing to give up his pride to the bitter end. He was already having that pride shoved aside as he was being fucked here—at the very least, he hoped to get by without falling apart at the seams.
But then—as if ridiculing this trivial attempt at stubbornness—Kirishima whispered his name into his ear in a soft breath, “Takafumi…”
In that instant, all of Yokozawa’s senses grew defenseless—undoubtedly Kirishima’s aim, for he resituated his grip on Yokozawa’s hips and stepped up the pace of his thrusts, leaving Yokozawa unable to dispel the lingering doubts at the back of his mind.
The sensation of teeth scraping along the nape of his neck was the final straw, pushing him over the edge. “Ngh—!” The space before his eyes flickered blindingly, and by the time his senses returned, he found he’d spurted out the evidence of his passion, his stomach quivering beneath him.
Climax passed, Yokozawa’s cock grew flaccid, and as he worked to settle his haggard breathing, Kirishima wordlessly withdrew from him in one swift stroke. “Wha—?!” He had little freedom to mourn the sudden sense of loss as Kirishima separated from him, though, quickly finding himself shoved over onto his back. “What the hell are you—”
He didn’t even have time to finish his protest before Kirishima pressed his legs apart and penetrated him anew. “Ah—!” His voice pitched upward in surprise as he’d let his guard down, and he quickly clenched his jaw, gritting his teeth against the sensation of penetration. As Kirishima practically mounted him, he found himself sinking into the bedsprings. “A little…warning…would be appreciated…”
“I never said we were finished. Besides—I definitely prefer being able to see your face…”
“What’s the fun in watching…?” The only light still on was a footlamp at the foot of the bed, but with their eyes having adjusted to the dim lighting, they could easily make out each other’s expressions—and that leer on Kirishima’s face was irritating as hell.
“Not so much fun as a huge turn-on. Makes me hot, seeing you all pissy like this.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment. Plus you’re not much better—getting off on this pervert fucking you.”
“Shut up.” He was hardly in any position to refute the accusation, so he settled for turning his face away. He couldn’t keep up with Kirishima’s banter anyways. The fact that he continued to rise to these challenges despite knowing fully well that he couldn’t compete with the guy was nothing more than sheer willful pride.
“I love you.” The random confession was likely revenge for Yokozawa’s earlier quip—and here Yokozawa was, with nowhere to flee and no way to plug his ears, both hands restrained as they were.
“Don’t…have to come out and say it…”
“Just thought I’d make sure you knew.”
“You never know when to quit…”
“And I don’t plan on quitting—all night…” he returned lewdly, a knowing smile playing on his lips.