Standard disclaimers apply.

A CUP OF COFFEE

By Cassandra's Destiny

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He needed a cup of coffee… and fast.

The sun was shining brightly and there wasn't a single cloud in the sky. It was a beautiful day – outside, that is. Unfortunately, 24-year old Tokiya Mikagami was stuck in his publicist's office, and has been spending the last half hour staring at the odd painting opposite his seat.

"Tokiya Mikagami, just the guy I wanted to see!" He came in with a half-eaten bagel on his hands. And was that coffee?

Tokiya sighed. "You asked me to come here at ten o' clock on the dot. It's already half-past ten, Rick."

Rick was a short man with dark eyes and dark skin, and he can take on anything. A disgruntled Tokiya was no exception.

"I have important news for you, my boy." He set his styrofoam cup on the laminated desk. "As you know, the photo shoot you did for that magazine about two years ago was a big hit! It had the business reaching the stars! And it had you, my client, become one of the most coveted guys in the country!"

Tokiya grunted. He was already aware of his so-called fame and fortune, but Rick didn't have to remind him of the cause of his not being able to walk around the streets like a normal person. Moreover, seeing a 35-year old bald man beam like a ten-year old with candy was scary.

"Now, your business is going great. Your career is going great! Heck, you're Vice-President to Maeda Inc., and you have just been dubbedthe most eligible bachelor in all of Japan!"

Suddenly, his eyes lost its twinkle.

"But it's not enough. Think of this Tokiya," he slid a brown envelope into his hands.

"If you were to become more popular, gain more media exposure and attract more business dealers, Maeda Inc. will surely boom and it… will… All. Be. Your. Doing! And you are going to have more interviews with the press, be invited to more talk shows, be asked to guest in sitcoms and pose for every magazine there is!"

This time, Tokiya was sure Rick was trying to scare him with his over-excitement.

"…So what's your bright idea?"

"Look inside the envelope."

Tokiya unsealed the parcel and got its contents out. On a piece of white paper, written in bold letters, were the words: Devil's Isle.

He raised a brow. "Devil's Isle? You want me to die, go to hell and come back to the world of the living, just to be more popular? That's your bright idea?"

Rick furiously shook his head. "No, no, no! That's not it! Devil's Isle is this new reality show being produced by the top network in Japan. They invited big celebrities and a few other guests to stay in an island for a couple of weeks and try to resist all the temptations the 'devil' presents to them." Tokiya's head told him the explanation was logical, but his whole body found something terribly wrong. "There has to be a loophole."

"Shall I get your signature in black or in blue?"

"No." He answered flatly.

"What?"

"I'm reading through the material first before I sign anything. I want to know what I'm getting myself into." Tokiya got up and prepared to leave.

In a state of panic, Rick snatched the envelope and its contents from Tokiya's hand. "There is no need, Tokiya. I am your manager and publicist so I know what's best for you."

Tokiya sighed. His manager was nervous, that's for sure. But it's not like he was making things easy for him either.

"Rick," he said with a threatening tone. "Let me read the papers first."

"Well, uh, okay." He nervously chuckled, hiding the papers behind his back. "But on the condition that you only read one part of it."

"It's official. My manager has gone crazy." Tokiya sat back down. "Alright."

Rick grinned. Tokiya could've sworn he muttered a few lines of thanks to the heavens under his breath but it could have just been his imagination too.

"So which part?" He got the papers from behind and carelessly flipped each one.

"I want to read the rules."

"The rules? No!" He dropped the papers. "You mustn't read the rules! Don't you trust me?" Again with the nervous chuckling.

"No." Tokiya quickly replied, retrieving the discarded papers from the floor.

Across him was his manager, fidgeting like a wide-eyed four-year old, waiting for his mom to give him his punishment for eating the newly-baked cookies before dinner when she specifically told him not to.

Tokiya need not read the entire set of rules, because the first two words under rule number one were practically glowing.

"Each couple?"

"Ha, well, you see, Tokiya, this show is—"

"You got me on a reality show for couples? What were you thinking, Rick? You know I rarely date, let alone have a girlfriend! What the hell was on your mind when you entered me in this thing?" He wasn't angry. Tokiya told that to himself a couple of times. He was just… upset, yea, that's right. He was upset because he hasn't had his coffee yet.

Rick was chuckling nervously again, but this time, it was coupled with his fidgeting fingers. "Tokiya, I'm your manager and publicist so I know what's best for you…"

"Rick." Came his sharp call.

He sighed. Rick was a short man with dark eyes and dark skin, and he can take on anything… and a homicidal Tokiya was no exception.

"Yes, I got you in a reality show for couples, and I am sorry for not informing you before this whole thing started, but remember what I said about media exposure?"

Tokiya slowly nodded. He was going to give Rick the benefit of the doubt – that, or a five-minute head start.

"Well, I swear I have searched far and wide for your perfect girlfriend. And I promise you she won't be a bore. She is one of the top supermodels today. I've only seen her once in person but it was enough for me to say she is a beauty… you know, perfect ass, perfect legs, perfect face, perfect eyes, perfect hair, perfect figure and all those works. She's perfect to be your girlfriend on the show. No one else will know you've never met each other before. No one else will find out you're just pretending to be dating. I mean, she has done some acting alongside her modeling work and believe me when I say she has the charms to be a good model and a good actress. Maybe she has a sharp tongue but what the heck? She can probably talk devil himself from taking her to the realm of the dead! Her manager and I have talked about it and things have already been set. All you have to do is—"

"—meet the girl?" Tokiya was now considering to give Rick just a little over two minutes for a head start.

"Rick! I'm sorry we're late." A tall man, probably in his late thirties came in. He had huge sunglasses that made him look like a bee, and a silver peace sign pendant that had him seem like a wannabee hippie.

"Martin! I'm so glad to see you." The two men engaged in a manly hugged. "Probably dumb and dumber." Tokiya thought to himself. "I was just telling Tokiya here about the—"

"The designers from that boutique we went to yesterday called and asked us to meet them in twenty." In comes a woman with red hair, in all her designer outfit glory.

"It's nice to see you again." Tokiya rolled his eyes. Rick should've just grabbed the girl's hand and showered it with kisses instead of politely placing a single kiss on it and ogling at her; either way, he looked stupid.

"Tokiya, isn't she a beauty?" There he goes again, beaming like a ten-year old with candy.

He gave her a once over, okay, maybe a thrice over but who's counting? Rick had a poor taste in most things but this wasn't one of those. It was almost sad that he had to agree with him when he said the girl would be beautiful. Perfect ass – check. Perfect legs – check. Perfect face – check. Perfect eyes – check. Perfect hair – check. Perfect figure – check. Wait, has he checked her ass yet? Well, there's nothing to lose if he does again… perfect ass – check. So maybe it wasn't perfect. Tokiya was smart enough to know perfection is a fantasy. But that doesn't make her ass seem less… pretty. Yea, pretty was a wholesome term for a PG-13 chick flick. Right?

"Hi, you must be Tokiya Mikagami." She extended her right arm, smiling at him. Her smile was not bright and cheerful like some dainty school girl. Her smile was sexy and mysterious… definitely a model's.

He shook her hand and replied, "yes, and you must be my new girlfriend."

She retrieved her hand as the corner of her lips curled into a sly grin… okay, it was sexy as hell.

"Aren't we a little bit forward?"

He smirked.

"Well, I think I speak for all when I say you sure are sexy in person."

Tokiya was taken aback, but as usual, he kept his calm demeanor and dealt with the matter at hand. But before he could say anything…

"Okay, you two, stop flirting and take a seat for the briefing."

Miki was first to sit down. Tokiya assisted her with her chair and she offered him a smile in gratitude. Taking a seat himself, her words rang in her head: "You sure are sexy in person."

Oddly enough, there was something familiar about those words – not the whole sentence but perhaps, a word or two. Nevertheless, Tokiya decided to set the thought aside.

"Well now, as you two know…" Two distinct cell phone ring tones filled the room.

"I'll just get that for a moment."

"Same here, excuse me."

The two managers went on opposite corners of the room to answer their calls. Tokiya took the opportunity to turn to his companion. "I believe I haven't learned your name yet."

"Oh, sorry, that was very rude of me." She gave him that… model's smile again. "My name is Miki."

Miki… now that's weird. The name rings a bell.

"Miki… just Miki?"

"I've been an orphan most of my life so a last name won't be necessary. Plus, Martin here, my publicist thinks it's a great way to catch a lot of attention, like it has caught yours."

There was something sinister about her smile now, like she knows something he doesn't, and it's bothering him to be honest. And yes, she does look a little too familiar.

"I know this may seem like a weird question, but have we met?"

Her perfectly shaped eyebrows shot up as she leered at him. "Yes, today. And if you like, tomorrow too, we could meet again… for coffee maybe?"

Tokiya was sure there was something going on.