Oh hi. Yes, my hiatus is…half in effect. I'm just not able to write as much anymore. But I am still imagining how to make my stories work, and how to finish them. DO NOT WORRY.
I'd been mulling through what I really wanted to include in this chapter, as well as for subsequent ones…. And I concluded with making them all a bit shorter than my usual chapters. I've been known for 15,000 words chapters. So….this is very small, comparatively so.
Anyway, as always, grammar and word usage mistakes need to be reported. Your reviews are heavily appreciated and loved as a parent loves a child. But remember….bad reviews get spanked. Brats.
Chapter 3: Client No. 1-Etsuko 'Taiseki' Kurosawa
Half-heartedly, Sumiko began compiling a list of potentials for her new client with the strange habit of wearing sunglasses indoors. She'd turned him away several times a day, each time waving off his pestering about whether or not she'd successfully found him a winner.
After a week, she'd found a decent match, and immediately called Mitsuki into her office.
"Miss Kurosawa," Sumiko began, trailing over the paper form with a finger, "is 29 years of age and three months shy of her 30th birthday."
The SFC manager sighed dreamily from his place in the guest chair, lazily tapping Sumiko's desk in sync with the dull tick of the wall clock. "A woman with experience…"
"Indeed," Sumiko grumbled heavily, her drawl laced with irritation. "She's heavily skilled in several forms of martial arts, as well as military training. She was dishonorably discharged under the pretense that she was attempting to suffocate her leading officer during a bout. She contests that she was merely better trained, and thus was framed by men who refuse to admit that her body is like that of 'the descendent of Adonis'. Her words, not mine. She's a strict feminist, apparently…"
Chuckling, the man pulled his blue locks back loosely, then let it fall about his face again. "A beast that needs tamed."
"Mr. Sarue, do you—"
"Yes, schedule a meeting," he pleaded, waving off Sumiko's further interruptions. "I'm sure she's pleasant."
Sumiko rolled her eyes so hard into the back of her head that she made herself dizzy."Do you understand that this is an initial trial to merely meet each other and share basic information? This will consist of the three of us meeting in this office and we will go from there."
He refused to succumb to her harsh glare. After all, it made her all the more desirable. "Sumiko, as you command."
Again, she rolled her eyes.
'Some days I really hate my job…'
The following week, Sumiko walked into the office as she would any Wednesday morning, and found both of her clients present. But…not in the way she expected.
Maeda, the poor clerk, clambered around the front desk and half-hugged, half-tackled the groggy nakoudo before she even had time to say 'Good morning'.
"Thank all things holy that you're here!" the younger girl whined. Her eyes were frantic. "The clients…! It's the clients…."
Sumiko grabbed the girl's shoulder firmly as she helped her to stand straight. "Maeda, what's wrong with you?! What's wrong with the—"
"That woman is NOT a woman, and that little hentai is finally figuring that out, and he—"
"What is going on?!"
Pushing Maeda away, Sumiko hurriedly continued to her desk despite her now-shuffled outfit and disheveled hairdo. Her eyes widened as she found Mitsuki's head pinned to the desk's surface, his aqua hair fanned out around his skull, shielding his face completely. The other client, Miss Etsuko Kurosawa, had one hand on her hip, the other pushing the little man's face into the desk with unnecessary force. The expression on the woman's face indicated she wasn't capable of any remorse for this circumstance…or quite possibly many others.
"Miss Kurosawa, what in the world is going on here?!" Sumiko choked out, dropping her bags and briefcase to the floor with a muffled fwump. "You can't just—"
"Little boy tried to rape me." The reply was more straightforward (and gruffer) than Sumiko expected, but she wasn't at all surprised. Certainly Miss Kurosawa had indicated 'female' on the form but…what stood here now was a chiseled, sinewy, and muscle-bound person that gave the nakoudo a hard time deciding whether or not this woman was actually a body builder in drag.
Sumiko gave a crooked smile. "Rape? I highly doubt that…"
With a single movement, Etsuko released the SFC manager and flung him into a neighboring chair. He yelped when he landed, just as gracefully as he was pinned to the desk. Sumiko thought she witnessed a few streaky streams of tears down his red face but her attention was quickly diverted back to her husky client, who took the other seat.
"Let's get this over with," the man-lady muttered, contempt difficult to hide.
Sumiko hurriedly walked to her appropriate side of the desk and riffled through a few papers before sitting down. "Now, may I ask what happened prior to my arrival? Perhaps there was a misunderstanding…"
"It's hard to misunderstand a grimy little pedophile grabbing at my hand and attempting to lure me into his debauched ways," the female client sneered, eyeing Mitsuki carefully. He still smiled craftily at her, as if analyzing her mentally, but thinking better of making any related comments. His face was still flushed, and his forehead started to show a slight beet-colored bruise just under his bangs.
"Explain yourself, Mr. Sarue," the nakoudo demanded testily.
"Kissing the hand of a fair maiden such as yourself, Miss Kurosawa, is hardly cause for alarm," Mitsuki chortled. "I meant nothing more, nothing less. Of course, it could mean more if you would prefer…"
The chair toppled over as the woman burst to her feet. "See?!" she shrieked. "That is what I'm talking about!"
Sumiko rose simultaneously, quickly preparing for another tussle. She wasn't going to let her business go under due to a bent-out-of-shape she-man with a complex and a penchant for violence. It was all she needed to lose her job… She could already hear and read the publicity and poor reviews…
"I do not think Mr. Sarue meant any harm by his actions," Sumiko started carefully. "Merely an attempt at an introduction. And perhaps he went beyond his boundaries," she gave him a harsh glare, "but as he is younger than you, Miss Kurosawa, he is by no means a pedophile. Nor has he done any action that would indicate he is a rapist. His background check reveals he is a perfectly safe individual.
"Now," she continued, finally taking her seat as her female client did, "let us properly begin introductions…"
After half an hour of basic conversation and forced sharing of general information (the athletic Etsuko flexed menacingly and darted her bearish eyes at the SFC manager every few minutes), the nakoudo weighed the future of her clients' relationship. Surely Mitsuki was eager to pursue further (when wasn't he…?), but the 'woman' was very badgering and hostile. Every word of hers seemed to quake the room, and sometimes the manager's resolve. But when the conversation continued (forced or not), he found comfort again and started returning to his typical romantic tactics. He'd retreat a few steps when Etsuko would give a battle stare, then plow forward when she calmed. If 'calm' could be used to describe her…
The conversation went from hobbies and interests (the culinary world and restaurant management for the little boss; exercising and athletic competitions for the behemoth lady), to what they could both expect for the next time they would meet. Only then did Etsuko's face light up, and Sumiko thought there had been a break through. What was said that changed this woman's expression so much?
"So," she treaded cautiously, "for our next meeting, where shall we meet each other? I typically meet with both clients together for three visits, just for mediating purposes. Is there a place where both of you would like to meet?"
As Mitsuki opened his mouth, Etsuko graciously supplied an answer.
"I will agree to another meeting…if this little man can pass a test."
Mitsuki eyed her incredulously. "What?! But we were getting along so well! I—!"
"No exceptions. I won't be seen with a man that can't prove his worth."
The hope accumulated in Sumiko quickly drained from her body. "What test…did you have in mind…?"
Clutching her briefcase tightly, Sumiko looked onward in disbelief. She'd let herself be led to a gym, and was staring at a floor mat in one of the place's many auxiliary rooms. A few wrestling bouts were going on in adjacent rooms. And she had a feeling another was going to begin.
As soon as she had thought it, Etsuko emerged from the locker room door in the corner, clothed in what appeared to be some sort of spandex-licra wrestling suit. It seemed to resemble a leotard and a surfer suit all in one, but what it actually was, Sumiko didn't know. It hid the parts of the body that it needed to, and it highlighted the chiseled parts that Etsuko wanted it to.
Mitsuki didn't seem to understand what was going on. As much as this was atypical (since Sumiko imagined him to be perverted in all circumstances), the nakoudo couldn't blame him; she was just as confused and concerned.
"Okay, little man," Etsuko crooned, flexing her fingers like spider legs. Her shoulders groaned against her outfit's fabric, her whole body waiting to pounce. "I like physical contact just as much as you. So let's see what you can do."
"I need to request what's going on," Sumiko spoke up from the sideline, risking a punch and a kick from the geared-up athlete. "If injury is a possibility in this, then we need to call this off and—"
Etsuko shrugged innocently, but her feisty brogue was anything but innocent. "There doesn't have to be any injury. I only promise to blow Mr. Sarue's mind. Seems to be what he's after…heh heh… Just a strength test. I'm sure you'll approve… Mitsuki."
With a flash of blue hair, Mitsuki turned to smile at Sumiko, his swooning demeanor returned. All seemed to be safe, nothing amiss…
"Nothing to be worried about, Sumiko-chan," the manager chuckled. "Don't be such a worry wart."
The nakoudo looked back at him darkly. "Chan? And I think you better look at this twice. Do you not understand that you aren't exactly gifted in the stature department?! She means to destroy you for whatever action you insulted her with earlier! She's in a wrestling suit, you're in a manager's suit. This is a set up for failure."
"You may be my nakoudo, but you aren't my mother." His tone was airy and already two steps onto the mat. "This will be a piece of cake. No one would dare injure their potential—"
Mitsuki Sarue woke up five hours later on a stiff hospital mattress, an incessant beeping issuing from an unseen machine and an oxygen mask cupping his mouth. The ceiling lights appeared as blurred blobs of white. Until a dark, ethereal person hovered over him, cutting off the view.
His vision cleared after several moments of blinking. The haloed person was his nakoudo.
"I forgot to mention that her wrestling name is 'Taiseki'," Sumiko snickered. "And that means 'boulder'."