"Hmm." He muttered against her ears. "I know of plenty of ways to get back at her while enjoying ourselves, Ichigo." He softly blew the words at her before taking in her earlobe and sucking it gently.
"Ohh." She tried to fight the groan to no avail. The damn aching was coming back, now worse than ever.
"And it'll involve a lot more of those delicious sounds, Strawberry."
Chapter 30: My Happy Ending
His husky words made her shudder. Her body heated up with desire and something within her stirred at the feel of him pressing so close to her.
"R-ryou." She struggled to get his name out. "Sh-shouldn't we deal with the Mews…" Her words were interrupted with a gasp as she felt the thin texture of the towel just barely keeping her from touching him directly."…first?" It was difficult to form coherent thoughts, much less even express them with words.
"Hn." The blond grunted, his eyes glazed over with lust. He placed his hands at her hips, encouraging her to continue grinding against him.
"W-we have…to…stop." Ichigo croaked between breaths. Finally, she forced his hands off and unsteadily stood up, reaching for the doorknob for support.
"…Ichigo." Ryou was still staring at her through half lidded eyes and now licked the bottom of his lips, enjoying the view of her disheveled hair and flushed cheeks. She immediately spun away, before that look swallowed her whole and ran out the door.
For a moment, Ryou remained seated completely dazed, still recalling the feeling of Ichigo's thigh over his bare legs, so dangerously close to him. But upon realizing that she had suddenly run out in panic, a frustrated groan ripped through his chest.
"Ichigo!" He grumbled and hurried after the girl, just managing to grab her wrist as she slid out into his bedroom. Ichigo turned around, with a grim expression as she stared down at her hands.
"…Ichigo. I-I'm sorry." Ryou sighed, willing his arousal away though failing miserably. "I know I told you before that I'd prove to you I love you. I-" His eyebrows furrowed together as he struggled with his words. "I don't have any ulterior motives."
He looked at the redhead, eyes pleading for forgiveness but her attention was still focused on their hands.
"I'm sorry if that scared you." He said, each word growing more urgent than the last. Cursing to himself silently, he remembered the last time things had almost gone out of control and how awkward it had been afterward. Things were getting too far, too fast and he knew Ichigo must have been terrified.
"I'd never hurt you. I love you Ichigo." The redhead shifted beneath his grasp, still not meeting his gaze. Her lips were pressed together in worry.
Her silence killed him inside. Right after she had let him know that none of those things had been a dream. After she had finally clarified that she really did love him, that the drunken night of revelry had never happened with Keiichiro, that he was the only one who had ever touched her like that, Ryou had to just go ahead and mess it all up.
Three years of anguished waiting and he had finally gotten everything he ever wanted.
He couldn't possibly lose it all in the next minute because of his stupid hormones. His expression dropped more than ever. It no longer donned the emotionless mask he was so used to wearing.
"That…won't happen until you're ready Ichigo. So please, just please look at me!"
At his words, Ichigo reluctantly tore her gaze away from their entwined hands and slowly brought them to his face after trailing along the rest of his body. "It's nothing like that Ryou. N-Not at all."
He watched in surprise as her pleading expression transformed the moment she let her darkened eyes wander down the length of his exposed chest. Before Ryou could respond, Ichigo leaned against him, bringing her free hand across his back and up to his hair as she hugged him close. Her fingers weaved through his hair and her eyes met his with such lust that he was sent staggering backwards.
She pushed him back forcefully, with a look that made him shudder with delight.
Pulling her hand away from his, she shoved him against the wall before attacking his lips with her own. Taking the opportunity of his half parted mouth, Ichigo forced her tongue into his warm cavern before he could close it, licking and exploring every inch of him as she hungrily fed from his mouth.
Ryou's eyes went impossibly wide at her bold actions, but no sooner were lost to their own shimmer of desire. His hands slipped around her waist, kneading his fingers against her back as she let out a sharp breath. He struggled to breathe, mind going blank at the feel of Ichigo invading his mouth. Her warm muscle slid inside of him while her lips were still upon his. Finally it seemed as if she would pull back, but he greedily sucked on her tongue and bit down lightly, showing his reluctance for her to go.
The effect was immediate. A stifled groan rumbled from within Ichigo. Teeth, tongue and lips clashed, desperately colliding together as if trying to take in everything within the shortest amount of time possible.
Her hands explored his exposed body, relishing the feel of his lean muscles. They trailed up and down, pressing against his skin as she fought to keep a strangled moan from escaping her lips. Her hands swept along every part of him that they could touch, though carefully avoiding a certain area underneath, running across so quickly over and over again that she seemed almost frantic. As if not getting enough of him. Not getting enough of feeling him.
"Ichigo…" His tone was smooth and thick with desire. His usual bright blue eyes darkened at her appearance. She was heaving – breathless. Her cheeks were rosy and heated. Her lips, slightly swollen.
"Ryou…" she breathed out. Their breaths intermingled as they leaned their foreheads against one another, staring into each others eyes.
Driven over the edge by her slight whimper and the sensual feel of her breath against his lips, he captured her mouth before she had the opportunity to close it again. He turned her around, pinning her against the wall as he hoisted her up.
She wrapped her legs around his body, hand grabbing onto a lock of his hair, desperate to hold on to something before she burst from all these sensations. He grunted as she moaned at the pressure of him pushing her up against the wall. He thrusted forward with his hips, causing a frenzied gasp to leave her mouth.
An aching need exploded from her abdomen, quickly spreading downward. She moaned, whimpered and made a series of incoherent noises, driven insane at the absolutely need for him to touch her.
"More." She said breathlessly, before sucking on his lower lip to pull a groan from him. She wrapped her legs around him more tightly, pulling him against her even more closely.
Her demand was met with a growl. Ryou's hand slipped under her legs, squeezing her naked thigh.
"Ryou" She gasped, causing him to shudder. "I…" She lowered her legs slightly, still wrapped around his body before sliding them back up over him. Abruptly, she pulled him in at the hips, knocking him into her.
He could feel himself right against her core, separated by only that thin and somewhat damp cloth. It stirred him on, causing him to give another thrust.
Ichigo's breath was knocked out of her. "R-Ryou…p-please."
Her soft whimpers drove him wild. He felt himself harden and a strangled groan tore from his lips as his hands slowly moved up her skirt. His fingers traced the edges of her panties. His hand clamped tightly around her thighs, eliciting another gasp from her.
Her throat felt dry and coarse from moaning, but she managed to utter one more word. "N-Now."
He felt the pressure against the towel threatening to rip it, until a moment later, it slackened and fell to the ground.
"Ichigo." Ryou growled, huskier than ever before. He stared down at her pleading expression through half lidded eyes, before allowing one hand to slip beneath her shirt.
She gave a stifled gasp as his hands pressed against her, fingers just tracing the bottom edge of her bra. Her desire flared and the ache between her legs was made worse by his teasing thrusts.
"I…want…" She moaned at another thrust, feeling herself get damper.
"I…chi…go." Ryou's expression was half crazed with lust.
"...you. I want it…to be you." She barely got the words out, before giving a frustrated growl. Her lips attacked his neck and they traveled upwards until her mouth reached his ear. She sucked it in, nibbled and licked.
He let out a shuddering groan. His hands slipped beneath her legs on both sides, sliding closer and closer towards her. Pushing her against the wall again, he slipped his fingers just beneath the rim of her underwear.
Ryou pulled back, only to let a hand rest against her, right at her entrance only separated by that single piece of cloth. She whimpered, grabbing at his hair more tightly. "R-ryou."
It was music to his ears, the way she was saying his name so breathlessly. An animalistic growl reverberated through his throat as he pushed his hand against her, kneading and pressing his palm against her growing dampness.
"Ahh…" Ichigo stifled her cries, struggling with it as she bit her lip. The pressure only made it worse. What she wanted more than anything now was his hands on her, in her, all over her.
His own desires were barely containable as he watched Ichigo's eyes roll back. If he wasn't naked already, he'd be taking of his boxers at this mo-
There was a knock at the door and then the concerned voice of Keiichiro. "Ryou? Have you seen Ichigo? Lettuce wanted to talk to her."
Ryou's eyes widened in horror as he suddenly caught a glimpse of Ichigo. Her clothes were in disarray as she panted with her reddened cheeks and lustful stare. He immediately pulled away, letting her slide against the wall until her feet once again touched the ground.
"Oh god, I-I'm so sorry Ichigo." His voice was deep, with traces of desire still leaking from it, but his eyes were sincere. He took an abrupt step back, looking completely shocked. Just far enough for Ichigo to see him.
Her eyes seemed to be taking in the sight, slowly trailing down his body until they widened so much, they threatened to pop out.
She turned the darkest shade of red he had ever seen her.
Seeing how the redhead was too tongued tied to be able to respond, Ryou spoke up, gaze never leaving the girl. "Y-yeah." His voice was strangely coarse and he cleared his throat before speaking again. "I was just speaking with her. She'll be down in a minute."
"Just speaking with her?" Keiichiro's suspicious tone caused Ichigo to jump, her cat features popping out at the motion.
Ryou's cheeks tinted a dull pink. "You can ask Zakuro about it."
Meanwhile, Ichigo had retreated to his bed, hiding under the covers. The blond smirked at the girl's actions. His Strawberry had chosen the worst place to hide.
"I-I'l b-be down soon." She called out from under the sheets.
With a sigh, Keiichiro spoke before taking his leave. "If you say so Ichi-chan. Just...be careful."
Ryou's darkened blue eyes narrowed. "He still calls you Ichi-chan?" He said in more of a statement than a question.
Ichigo's head just peeped out, catching a glimpse of her infuriated boss. Her cat ears had disappeared, but as soon as her gaze landed on his body, they immediately reappeared and she once again retreated to the safety of the covers.
Her stutters were audible even if they were a bit muffled. He just couldn't understand why she was cowering away from him. After everything they had done with each other, Ryou thought that she'd be perfectly comfortable with everything afterward. Well, maybe not perfectly, but she didn't have to be so nervous to the extent of refusing to look at him.
"You know I am." He growled in slight annoyance.
A wide grin made its way across her face, even if it was invisible to Ryou. "I like that."
Ryou's grimace relaxed at her words. His expression lit up, lips curving up into a real smile. It wasn't often that he smiled like that, but he found that those smiles were easily lulled from him with Ichigo around.
Ichigo was the reason he smiled, the reason why he was so happy at this moment. The reason for his uncontrollable urges that he never seemed to have for anyone else. She was his everything. His cute little Strawberry was his whole world and he couldn't be happier to find out that everything he had thought was a dream was actually reality.
For once, it wasn't too good to be true.
"Ichigo," He directed his gaze at the bed, his expression overflowing with warmth. "I love you Ichigo."
"I love you too." She responded with her own grin that threatened to split her face.
"So please get out of those covers and look at me. I don't know what I did wrong, but it kills me that you won't look at me."
Look at him? She shivered. Did he really want that? It wasn't that he had anything to be ashamed of, but everything was just so new to her. She could barely prevent herself from completely turning into a cat at the thought. And now he wanted her to look at him?!
"P-p-pants." The single word that Ichigo had barely gotten out of her caused Ryou to scowl his face in confusion, before he finally glanced downward and realized.
"G-got it." He swiftly ran to the bathroom with flushed cheeks, grateful that his clothes were already there so that he would not have to pass by Ichigo to get a new ones.
His lips were set in a grim line as he struggled to pull his pants over himself. When he was done getting dressed, he returned to his bedroom to find Ichigo still sitting on the bed, though no longer cowering at a corner.
She refused to look at him and spoke as calmly as possible. "I know how to get back at Mint."
Having slight trouble walking, Ryou settled for leaning against the wall, his arms crossed over his chest. His voice was slightly strained as he spoke, but he hid it well. "How?"
"I'll just 'tell' her what I dreamed about." She sent him a wicked smile, only to quickly turn around. "I-I still wonder how they p-pulled it off."
The way she stuttered was so irresistibly cute. Ryou lowered his gaze, sending her a look that would otherwise cause her to jump on him had she seen it.
"I don't even care anymore." His deep voice was smooth and husky. "You're the only thing that matters. As long as I have you, I don't care how many stupid pranks they pulled on us to get me here."
She looked at him, eyes wide with a grin shining almost as brightly as her glowing red cheeks. "Me too Ryou. I should probably be thanking Mint for making you fall in love with me."
"I think you've got it wrong Strawberry. I've been in love with you, I was just too stubborn to admit it out loud. I should be thanking her for making you fall in love with me."
Ichigo looked away from him, certain that meeting his intense gaze would only make her cheeks redder than they already were. Her lips were set in a wide grin, positively beaming at his words. "Mint's somehow managed to make me the happiest girl in the world."
Ryou scowled. "Mint?"
"You know what I mean!" She pouted. At this point her cat ears twitched in embarrassment. Although it was nice to finally be able to speak so honestly to Ryou, it was still a little embarrassing to admit that her feelings for him ran so deep. The only comfort she had for seeming so heed-over-heels in love with this man was that he seemed to share the same feelings for her.
"Maybe. But I'd still like to hear it."
She stuck out a tongue at him. "Can't you feel how much I love you without me saying it?"
Strolling over, Ryou pinched her nose. He leaned over until his eyes were level with hers and softly whispered, "I don't know about that yet. But I do know that I love hearing you say those three words and I'll never get tired of them." Fixated on Ichigo's swollen lips as he watched her pout, he closed the gap between them, muttering his words quietly as his lips very lightly brushed against hers. "No need to pout. There's plenty of time to prove how much you love me."
She sighed a breath of contentment as she felt Ryou's soft lips slide against hers. He pulled back at the sound to prevent the kiss from intensifying, as his kisses from Ichigo had that nasty habbit of doing.
"Someday, I'll seriously thank that blue headed witch for getting us together." Pulling herself up, she headed a little shakily towards the door, like Ryou's faint kiss had almost sucked the consciousness out of her.
"But…I'd still like to get back at Mint for all that torture she put us through. That last prank was totally unnecessary." Ichigo gave a glance behind her, eyes glinting mischievously at the thought before turning the doorknob and walking out with a slightly crooked grin.
"That's my girl." Ryou watched the cat girl skip outside in excitement, tail lapping vigorously behind her. He loved that look on Ichigo's face with her darkened narrowed eyes so focused on her plotting at hand that she would not even notice the slight upward turn of the side of her lips. It was captivating, beautiful, suggestive.
Whatever Mint had in store for her, it was bound to be good.
But that wasn't the reason why Ryou had the strangest urge to dance around and scream with utter happiness, or to go down to the café and treat every customer there. It certainly did not explain the beaming smile that refused to leave his face even if he tried to wash it off. No, it was all because of Ichigo.
His Ichigo. His Strawberry. The love of his life who finally loved him back despite all his shortcomings.
It was because Ryou Shirogane, the poor orphaned child who had experienced his share of suffering and struggles, finally had his own happy ending.
My second story is finally complete! Look for the sequel: The Prankster's Revenge (may be subject to change)
Sorry for the late update! This chapter was supposed to be longer and the story wasn't supposed to end for another 2 chapters, but I decided to include it in the sequel. The sequel will explain how Mint managed to pull off the prank and will be about Ichigo and Ryou getting back at her. It'll be about Ichigo and Ryou's relationship after getting together and Masaya's return.
The sequel will probably be much shorter than this story. I'm still deciding on the rating for it. At this moment, I'm thinking that it will be a T, but if more people prefer an M rating, that's what it'll be.
Thank you all for the support! This has been my most successful story so far. And it is finally, FINALLY over! I can't believe I actually made 30 chapters. You guys have been wonderful and you kept me going! Thanks for spending the time to read this, and to review if you did. It really means a lot to an aspiring writer, especially during a slump. I am thankful for every second of time you spent on this :D