"NO!" Ren bellowed, "Absolutely not. I don't want a girlfriend."
"Oh come on Ren," Shay Lynn, Ren's youngest cousin whined, "You want to be shaman king don't you?"
"So?" Ren glared at her.
"So you'll need a proper queen, not some girl who loves you because you're the king." Shay Lynn said with an all knowing smile.
Ren groaned, "Keep your love sick dreams to yourself Shay Lynn."
"If you don't agree to get a girlfriend I'll show everyone the picture from that party we went to last Christmas!" Shay Lynn exclaimed.
Ren stopped, eyes wide in shock, "You wouldn't dare!"
"Try me!" Shay Lynn barked, "All I ask is you date three girls I picked out for you."
"You'll give me that picture or I'll take it by force." Ren growled
Shay Lynn threw the photo at her older cousin, "Take it. I have it saved to this laptop." She motioned to a thin laptop sitting on the table as she flipped the top open.
Ren stared at her for a moment, unsure of what she was doing. Shay Lynn looked up at him and turned the laptop to him, revealing the picture attached to a list of email addresses.
"If you refuse to get a girlfriend I'll send this picture to everyone I know who in turn will send it to everyone they know who will do the same! Just try these girls and we can avoid causing you this embarrassment." Shay Lynn's finger hovered over the button which would send the picture to twenty-three people who knew more people.
Ren thought of it for a moment; having to put up with three girls for a few hours or everyone seeing that mortifying picture… Ren sighed in frustration.
"Alright…" He muttered, "Where are these girls?"
"Oh Ren I knew you'd see it my way!" Shy Lynn cried, "Just wait right here."
Shay Lynn ran out of the room with the laptop under her arm.
Ren paced around the room trying to figure out a way to get the laptop away from Shay Lynn. I make one stupid mistake, Ren thought, and it comes back to haunt me… Why did I even do that?
Ren looked to the opening door expecting his cousin, but instead it was Tara. Tara was a servant of the Tao family and had been since she was a small child. She kept her long blonde hair hidden in the cloth she wore around her head; Tara was a very petite girl, she was often mistaken for a child even though she was fifteen.
"Good evening Master Ren." She bowed as she stepped in with the tea tray.
"Did I call for tea?" Ren thought aloud.
"Mistress Shay Lynn did." Tara answered as she set out five cups on the table.
"Great." Ren said with an irritable tone, "Those girls will be here longer than I thought…"
"Girls..?" Tara glanced up at him as she began to pour the tea.
"Never mind…" Ren muttered
"As you wish Master Ren…" Tara bowed.
She began to walk out of the door when she collided with a tall black haired girl. A loud slap rang through the room, fallowed by the sound of metal crashing to the floor.
"How dare you!" The black haired girl shrieked as she lowered her hand, "Watch where you go you little rat!"
"Forgive me ma'am." Tara said through clenched teeth as she picked up the tray.
Tara bowed and walked out of the room, wiping the blood from the small cut off of her face.
Shay Lynn cleared her throat, "Yes, well, Ren I'd like you too meet Cassandra, Tiffany, and Rose."
All three of the girls wore different colored kimonos. Cassandra, the tall black haired girl, wore an elegant baby blue kimono. Tiffany, a red haired girl, wore a green kimono that matched her eyes. And Rose, a brunette, wore a pink kimono.
"How do you do..?" They said in unison.
Ren was speechless. He still couldn't believe the way Cassandra treated Tara for running into her.
"Cassandra was it?" He said after he found his voice.
"Yes?" She looked at him, her brown eyes glowing.
"I think this will go without saying, but please leave." He said as he sat down.
"What?" she shrieked.
"You attacked my servant, a person who merely ran into you on accident. You were not even here for a minute before you ordered her around. So I'll say it once more. Please leave."
Cassandra stood in shock for a moment before storming out of the room. An uneasy silence filled the room.
"Rose will stay." Shay Lynn finally said.
Rose squealed and jumped up and down as Tiffany ran out of the room in tears.
"Oh honey I know we'll be together forever!" Rose squealed as she threw her arms around him and kissed his lips.
Instantly Ren felt a turning nausea build in his stomach as the taste of some former rotting animal filled his mouth as Rose slipped her tongue passed his lips. Ren threw her off of him; do all girls' kisses taste like that? He thought.
Rose looked at him for a moment before Ren left the room.
"I'm going to bed." Ren lied.
Ren rinsed his mouth out after the twelfth time of brushing his teeth. That was so vile…He thought as he walked outside. He walked around the temple in the cold night air when he suddenly heard a noise from a bush. Ren pressed his back to the wall as he carefully looked around the corner.
A small blonde girl ran passed him and down the stairs of the Chinese temple.
"Isn't that the girl who brought you tea?" Bason asked as he appeared next to Ren.
"I believe so." Ren replied.
"Where is she going?" Bason asked.
"We're about to find out." Ren said as he began to fallow her.
Soon Ren and Bason had fallowed Tara to a building called Crimson Night.
"He buddy." A tall black guy with dread locks said from behind Ren.
"I am not your buddy." Ren snapped.
"Chill, chill…" The guy said, "I just say you eye ballin' that joint over there. Before you go in though, you need the right threads."
"Why on earth do I need 'threads' to go into a building?" Ren asked
"I mean clothes." The guy laughed, "If you go in wearing that the big boys will tear you apart."
"Let them try then, I'm not afraid of them." Ren said.
"You got guts kid, just put this on, and don't worry about returning it, I grew out of those a while ago." With that the guy walked off.
Ren looked at the black jeans, red shirt, and black denim jacket the guy had handed to him. Well, I suppose I would blend in better… Ren thought.
After finding a bathroom, Ren came out in the baggy jeans, sleeveless shirt, and denim jacket that were two sizes too big.
"I practically swim in these!" Ren growled as he walked through the door.
Neon lights flashed around the room as loud rhythmic music pulsed through the air. Ren covered his ears to try to mute the thunderous music. He looked around until he saw Tara dancing in the crowd.
"Hey…" Ren said as he put his hand on her shoulder.
"R-Ren!" Tara exclaimed as fear flickered in her hazel eyes.
"We need to talk." Ren called over the music.
Tara and Ren stood in the ally behind the dance club, an orange street light flickered on and off above them. Tara looked different from before. Instead of the worker clothes she wore while in the temple; she wore a red shirt with long, black and white striped sleeves, a stripped beanie hat, and blue jeans-that looked like they were too big-which were held up with a red belt.
"So…" Tara said as she leaned against the ally wall, "When are you going to tell?"
"Tell?" Ren repeated.
"Yeah, you know? Servants aren't allowed to leave the temple." Tara watched Ren.
"I won't tell…" Ren said.
Tara looked at him for a moment, "What's the catch?"
"Catch?" Ren looked at her now.
"Yeah, what do I have to do to keep your mouth shut?" Tara looked at Ren with a look of distrust.
Ren thought for a moment.
"Well?" Tara said impatiently
Ren looked up at her. He put his hands on the wall to block her incase she decided to run, "Kiss me."