By: bakayaro onna

Begun: 6/16/05
First Draft completed: 12/28/2007
Second Draft completed:
Word Count: 5700

Summary: After all their years together, Shuichi suspects Eiri is cheating on him.

Acknowledgement: Thanks to Aja, for her beta that took me two years to work through and resubmit because good betas will tell you what needs to be fixed to make it a better story and sometimes a piece needs a lot more work to get it ready for publishing.

Author Note: Some may not realize this – all my stories are writing exercises where I challenge myself to try something different, whether it is a specific writing style or a particular scenario that catches my muse's attention. For this piece, the exercise was:

1. a rebuttal to all those poorly written "Eiri screws around and gets caught by Shuichi" stories
2. no dialogue
3. must have some angst because I find it difficult to write
4. some small element of humour had to be apparent because it wouldn't be a story by me now, would it?

Disclaimer: I don't own Gravitation in any way, shape or form.

While he sat on the rumpled bed and watched his lover dress one morning, Shuichi noticed a few long red rakes on Eiri's back. He grinned wickedly, thinking he had just gotten a little too enthusiastic during sex the night before. He loved taking advantage of his life mate's sensitive and erogenous back. The shuddering gasps and groans he could pull from his usually verbally-restrained lover just by scratching his partner's shoulders, back and bottom with his fingernails were a major turn-on and power trip for the younger man. Eiri had been very responsive to Shu's talented digits that night and they had both enjoyed themselves immensely, finally passing out – tightly wrapped around each other - in glowing, post-coital contentment.

In the kitchen the next morning, Shuichi glanced up from his breakfast manga and mug of hot jasmine tea as Eiri sauntered in for his first cup of coffee of the day. His penis jumped for joy; his lover was still slightly damp from his shower and delightfully naked except for the small burgundy hand towel he was using to scrub his hair dry. Shu first ogled his lover's shapely ass - with visions of biting it rampaging through his head - then his eyes drifted upward. In the dim recesses of his skull, he somewhat questioned the new red streaks he saw on his life mate's back, but quickly dismissed it. He had been too 'busy' to tally up all he had done during sex that prior evening. Eiri had felt the gnawing need to be poked, probed and penetrated that night and Shuichi had enthusiastically performed to gratify, satisfy, pleasure and please his partner as thoroughly as possible. He figured the marks could have occurred at any point during their many position changes and subsequent new and passionate responses as the result of each pleasurable shift. Sipping more tea, he hid his lecherous smile behind his mug.

While brushing his teeth on the third morning, Shuichi glanced into the shower room as Eiri stepped out of the stall and eyed his wet naked lover with giddy anticipation. When the blond turned around to close the glass door and retrieve the grey bath sheet on the shower door handle, the singer's butt ogling was violently interrupted. The long red welts had multiplied across his lover's back and new patterns criss-crossed the pale skin. This time he knew exactly how they had satisfied each other the night before. Employment obligations had kept them both away from home until after midnight so they had both gone to bed later than usual. Already exhausted from their long working hours earlier, they had given each other languid kisses and mutual hand-jobs before falling asleep together shortly thereafter.

Shu instantly felt like he had been viciously booted in the balls and his brain went into overload at the implications. Doubt and betrayal were evils he had not felt in years. Had Eiri's so-called dinner meeting with his publisher the night before actually been an excuse for a lover's tryst with someone else? Was Eiri bored with him? Did Eiri even love him anymore? Shuichi's gut reaction was to immediately confront his lover with his infidelity and without further thought of any consequences, the vocalist did so, first by throwing his electric toothbrush into the sink so violently the plastic casing fractured.

As Eiri turned to face him, Shuichi started yelling questions incoherently, spewing flecks of toothpaste everywhere. The fast tirade - how could Eiri have done such a thing after all this time, when had it happened, what could he be thinking, was Eiri tired of him – finally concluded with a quick verbal stream of "why? Why? WHY?" as tears burst from the vocalist's eyes. Shu immediately turned and bolted out the room, dodged their bewildered cat in the hallway and headed for the apartment door, still covered in minty foam. The slamming door shook the entire apartment.

In his need to get out and away, Shu did not catch Eiri's reaction to his garbled accusation.

Throughout the workday, the songster listened to his partner's hourly phone messages as each arrived. Eiri went from sounding confused initially to outright angry during the last voice mail. Shu refused to call the home-wrecker back and tried to drown his pain by singing with all his heart. The production staff and other band members were quite concerned by the grief tingeing the lyrics but the vocalist refused to say a single word about what was tearing him up inside.

That night, Shuichi came home late with a large, comfort food-filled shopping bag from the local convenience store. Their cat did not greet him at the door like she usually did and was found hunched outside Eiri's study, looking pitiful and confused. She slunk away as he approached. Shu was shocked at the sight; the study door was shut for the first time in years and he heard angry keyboard key pounding through the closed door.

He stomped to the kitchen and, after ignoring the plastic wrap-covered and carefully prepared plate of homemade onigiri in the refrigerator, he grabbed some cold sodas and left the room. He spent the rest of the evening planted in front of the TV, pigging out on junk and watching bad game shows, ridiculous reality TV shows and even a cooking show about the science of Swedish meatballs.

At length, he became too fatigued to stay up any longer. As he staggered down the hallway to the master bathroom, he still heard the continuous clattering behind the closed door. He knew that meant Eiri would not be emerging any time soon for any confrontation or discussion. Shu was determined he would not be the one to instigate the conversation; he was the victim! He considered crawling into their warm cozy bed and stewing there, but he refused to slumber in their bedroom on principle; as much as he was used to sleeping next to his life partner, he would not lie next to the man while thinking he was a cheater.

Shu had another reason to steer clear of their comfortable nest. Shortly after their unspoken commitment to each other, the men had made a deal about sleeping and fighting; they agreed to never go to bed together when they were angry with each other. The reasoning was simple: by staying awake and avoiding their bed, it would force the stubborn men to face their issues and settle them in a timely manner. In actuality, they used the agreement in an entirely different fashion than the original intention; any bed was considered strictly off-limits while they fought. When they could not resolve a conflict by bedtime, not only would they not sleep in their bed together, neither would attempt to crash on their guestroom bed alone, either. They definitely would not leave home to rent a hotel room, or go to work to sleep on office couches or go drinking in a bar to escape the situation.

Naturally, even while they were brawling they had to meet their work obligations; they could not just stay home and spend as much time needed to eventually end their skirmish. However, both understood it was important for them to return home and remain there during the evening hours after each business day and eventually face each other to settle the quarrel. Running away was no longer an option for either of them.

Sometimes, when they were both pigheaded, resolution did not come about straight away. When the conflict lasted longer than a few days, exhaustion eventually overtook them and they could not help but fall asleep in creative positions and strange places throughout their home. Invariably, they would wake up from their awkward postures with strained, sore muscles and not feeling refreshed in the least. A couple of days dealing with poor sleeping arrangements, plus not sleeping next to each other, usually kick-started the forgiveness process for them, but their bodies, souls and minds all suffered until then. Their dependence on each other - they were so used to being physically, mentally and emotionally close together whenever humanly possible now - forced them to resolve their issues quickly.

In the early morning hours, with his neck tilted back on the cushion behind him, Shuichi finally conked out while still sitting on the black leather couch. The television chatter and the muffled keyboard clatter continued and his loud nasally snore soon added to the cacophony.

He awoke at dawn to the TV screen lights flashing on the ceiling and hyperactive squeals screaming from the daybreak tabloid gossip show. The inside of his mouth felt like a desert from sleeping with his lower jaw hanging open and his throat was sandpaper scratchy from snoring. When he bent forward in an attempt to look at the TV, he was stabbed with a piercing painful crick in his neck. Finally, he hauled himself off the sofa and groggily stumbled down the hall.

As he lurched past Eiri's office, he could still hear the clacking keys behind the door and shockingly, the noxious odor of cigarette smoke filtered through the cracks between the doorframe and door. Shu immediately stopped, astonished by the nose-assaulting stench. After much yelling and persuasion, Eiri had finally quit smoking a few years ago because of his fluctuating physical health. When news leaked that Japan's favorite romance novelist had quit smoking, the Tokyo papers had printed cheering encouragements to the writer on their front pages, much to Eiri's embarrassment and irritation. The various shopkeepers knew they could drop their guard about selling cigarettes to suspicious-looking blonds wanting smokes. The apartment had been cigarette-free and without any secret stashes after that time, or so Shuichi had thought. Maybe the new lover had given Eiri the smokes, or had given him a reason to start smoking again! The singer cleaned up, picked at his junk food leftovers breakfast and went to work, still distraught.

The two men avoided each other for the next few days and ignored each other if they accidentally caught themselves in the same room at the same time. They lost some dishes as Eiri hurled the ones with untouched meals at the kitchen walls, leaving permanently stained evidence of his rage on the wallpaper. Shuichi slammed any room or cabinet door he touched, causing paint to chip and wood to crack. Their cat disappeared to places unknown within their home, not wanting to be around either of the raucous, cranky monkeys. The physical racket made up for the vocal silence between them. The couple had stopped talking for the first time in who knows how long and Shu was not only upset, but scared. All they had worked so hard for, all the obstacles they had overcome; everything seemed to be slipping away from him.

Shuichi woke up the fourth morning of the battle to the flickering lights of his music computer's photo screensaver, with a strange sensation wrapped around his head, a muffled sustained chord close to one ear and biting pressure against his left cheek. As he became more aware, Shu realized had fallen asleep in his home studio the night before while working on an arrangement at his keyboard. The weird feeling grasping his skull and the chord sound vibrating his skin were from crooked headphones wrapped around his head and the pain came from the instrument's black keys digging into his face. He turned off the keyboard, pulled off the equipment attached to him and stretched his abused body as he watched the slideshow. The photographs flashing by reminded the vocalist just how much the two men loved each other and for how long. He tried unsuccessfully to rub the key indentations out of his cheek as he observed the ever-changing display.

Holiday shots with family and friends. Candid photos of one or both dodging the camera to keep from looking silly - and looking sillier because of the avoidance. Vacation snapshots from around the world. Sneaky shots while trying to catch each other naked. Relaxed photos with friends and family. Even underhanded pics of when one or the other was bathing, sitting on the toilet or drooling in their sleep. All of these happy and absurd moments cycled by Shuichi's eyes. He touched the monitor screen gently when a recent casual picture of the two of them appeared. The image captured smiling amber eyes and pale coral lips curled into a diminutive but toothy grin as Eiri stood with his arm nonchalantly draped over Shuichi's far shoulder. Shu's arms were wrapped tightly around his life mate's torso in a ribcage-crushing hug and the blond did not have that fight-or-flight look he typically wore when his lover seized and squeezed him in public. In fact, Eiri looked content and happy, something rare and precious in vocalist's mind. The photo, taken only last week at a company birthday party, made a public statement about a man who was satisfied with his chosen partner. It was not the face of a scoundrel and a cheater.

Shu's overly emotional brain finally started to accept reason. If Eiri DID have a new lover, would he not be seeing that fresh new person instead of being home every night when his old, cast-off lover returned? Why would he be cooking dinner and leaving a portion for Shuichi to eat if the older man did not care about him? Why would Eiri even stay at their home all the time if he had someone else? Shu started seriously questioning his own recent actions and reactions and felt his face flush warmly and his stomach flop as he considered the possibility he might have perilously jumped to conclusions. He had to admit he had been working intensely the last few weeks and had not been getting a lot of sleep. He became more emotionally strung-out when fatigued. His eyes suddenly widened as the notion of HIMSELF being the cause of their partnership's demise hit him square in the forehead and into the empty pit of his stomach.

In a panic, Shuichi decided to check on his lover. He rushed from his music studio and scrambled down the hall to the study. The stench around the doorframe had dissipated, thankfully. He tried the doorknob and gratefully found it unlocked. Gently pushing the door open, he slowly stepped into the room and waited for his eyes to adjust to the light. Much of the space was still dark but the half-open blinds shed narrow bright spears of morning sunlight on the far wall, accentuated by a smoky haze still hanging in the air.

The vocalist quietly moved toward the writer's desk in the semi-darkness. In the seat was a slumped-over, unkempt lump. He moved a little closer so he could see his partner more clearly in the semi-darkness. The blond's forehead lay against the laptop's keyboard and he could now hear the muffled snoring. His lover had nose-dived directly into the notebook. Shu momentarily panicked; he hoped Eiri had not drooled or he would be shocked in the mouth by the computer's electronics. He sighed in relief when he saw the laptop was either off or in sleep mode.

He gently lifted up one side of the blond's greasy lank hair so he could view the sickly pale skin and the dark smudges and puffiness under his lover's shut eyes. Eiri looked like hammered dog fuck and Shu's compassion and love for his life partner arose as his own guilt for putting his sweetie in this situation grew.

Quickly he surveyed the mess surrounding the sagging blond. Eiri's desk lamp was off and his glasses lay next to the light. Coffee cups with dried dregs sat singly or stacked in various places on the novelist's desk. Piles of cigarette butts overflowed the green marble ashtray while crumbled empty tobacco wrappers piled next to it. More butts and empty packs were next to a mangled empty cardboard cigarette carton resting on top of the waste paper in the brushed stainless steel rubbish bin on the right side of the desk. A quick debris count confirmed ten emptied wrappers and no open pack visible on the desktop. Unless Eiri had purchased a single pack or two during the past few days, Shu assumed the man was out of smokes and this would be the end of his smoking orgy.

Shuichi decided to leave his sleeping beauty in comatose state while he showered, dressed and ate. He wanted to fortify himself before he confronted the man who had an uncanny way with words and knew how to use them as weapons against him. As he fixed himself a quick breakfast at the kitchen counter, Shu heard the distinctive and familiar racket of his half-awake lover leaving his study and thudding off the walls like a pachinko ball as he groggily navigated down the hall to get to the front door. He knew the familiar routine: the blond was retrieving the morning paper and he would throw it in the general direction of the kitchen table during his return trip. Eiri's cell phone rang and his bumbling hulk made a bouncing detour into the bedroom to answer it. Shuichi wondered why the cell was in the bedroom and who would be calling Eiri at such a god-awful early hour. Instantly his mind lost its recent logic and went directly back to the new paramour. He found himself choking up again and he purposely kept his back to the doorway so he would not see the writer pass by. Shu could still detect his lover's movements, though, and by the affirmative grunts and lack of swearing he heard as the writer passed the kitchen door, Shuichi was sure the author was listening to someone not annoying him on the phone as he walked to the front door. After a longer time than it usually took for the blond to do the task, the vocalist heard the paper thump on the table as Eiri's scuffling footsteps receded toward the bathroom in their bedroom.

By the time Shu was finished eating and ready to brush his teeth, Eiri still had not emerged from their bathroom. Through the closed bathroom door he could hear the water running in the shower. He decided to risk confrontation by sneaking in, brushing his teeth and leaving. While Shuichi ran his new electric toothbrush, he heard a moan coming from the bathroom over the sound of the water. A groan and gasp followed shortly thereafter.

Shu was taken back and a bit miffed. Was Eiri jacking off, something neither of them did while they were at home together? Suddenly, his betrayed ire gained momentum again. Did Eiri have the audacity to bring his lover into the house while Shuichi was still there? Had the person been in the study all along and hiding in the closet when Shu had walked in? The younger man's territorial jealousy sprang into action: it was time for a showdown. He crept into the bathroom and snuck up to the Western-styled sliding frosted glass shower door. As usual during the warmer months, it stood slightly ajar to allow steam to escape more readily. Shu did not see two forms moving in the shower stall, only the blurred but recognizable pale shape of his partner. He took a deep but silent breath and hesitantly peeked through the narrow opening with one eye. The sights and sounds shocked and surprised him initially, then he leered wickedly, even though he was rightly chagrined at the same time. With Eiri's closed eyes and blissful face ingrained in his mind, Shu backed away and left the room quietly.

He had a lot of thinking to do today.

Eiri did not know what had come over his lunatic lover and the man was not speaking to him to explain the situation. One moment they were going about their lives, sharing blissful satisfaction and a comfortable home life together and the next instant their contented world was crumbling around them. He had absolutely no clue what had caused Shuichi's explosive outburst in the bathroom that terrible morning. The scene ran repeatedly in his mind: the loud clatter behind him had caused him to turn around in alarm - to behold his life partner standing rigidly stiff but visibly trembling, his hands in tight fists. The younger man was literally foaming at the mouth and one look in his lover's anguish-laden eyes told Eiri something was seriously wrong that morning. Shu's jumbled yelling and subsequent mad dash out the door had bewildered Eiri. Was the idiot ill? Did the new toothpaste taste horrible? Had Shu found his first grey pubic hair? Were the Martians attacking? Was the end of the world beginning?

Later that odd morning, when he realized Shuichi was disregarding his first few voice messages, the writer had stomped out of the apartment and taken a walk. On an angry whim, he had stopped at the convenience store, purchased a carton of cigarettes from the new cashier (who had no clue she was not supposed to sell cigarettes to the frowning tall blond), opened them immediately, and, after not touching one for years, had begun smoking again. His lungs protested and his eyes and nose burned with irritation, but the immediate buzz soothed his frazzled nerves. Initially he had blown the smoke out the office's open window but after the outside temperature had dropped considerably that afternoon, he had shut the window and quickly filled his workroom with the stench and haze.

After having his phone calls go unanswered all day, Eiri had finally retaliated by closing up, both physically and emotionally. He knew Shuichi would read the study's shut door as a symbol of rejection but he was just protecting himself in one of the few ways he knew he could control. And while he felt guilty about it, even their innocent cat was locked out. Shuichi ignoring his calls had wounded him more deeply than he wanted to admit to himself. He also refused to confess to himself he was frightened of losing the only person he truly loved and trusted in the world. The truth trickled out anyway; as he pounded the notebook's keypad viciously for hours at a time, his writing reflected his deepest feelings.

All he wanted to do was take Shuichi in his arms and ask what was wrong, but his lover's body language and hateful aura prevented Eiri from getting even moderately close to him. Shuichi was a scrapper and Eiri had been a victim of his heavy fists, bony, sharp elbows and large stinky feet enough times to avoid physical confrontation whenever possible.

He also knew he could easily become verbally abusive to his lover, spitting out words he would immediately regret and fucking up the situation even more. It was better for him to lay low and wait, for now, even though he was petrified. Deep breathing barely kept his anxiety in-check.

It was now day four of the fracas. Eiri had yanked himself awake early that morning to prepare for an emergency early meeting and been waylaid from his daily morning paper retrieval mission by a cell phone call. As he lumbered into the bedroom and picked up the wayward instrument, he looked at the untouched bed before him and felt his chest tighten and his throat constrict. It was all he could to grunt affirmatives to his editor without breaking down. He even stopped in the hall at one point because he was shaking so badly. The sight of his lover's back and hunched shoulders in the kitchen when he threw the paper at the tabletop brought unwanted tears to his eyes and he moved abruptly to hide out in the shower. He brought himself back under strict control under the pounding spray, but not without a few soft sobs escaping his mouth first. As he washed, he gave himself some small physical reassurance to calm himself down but it did not alleviate the misery deep within his chest. The pain remained concentrated as he got dressed and left for his meeting.

Eiri's phone chirped its voicemail signal as he sat in the conference. Glancing at the screen, he stopped hearing the boring chatter around him and immediately stepped out of the room to check the mailbox. He sighed when he heard the light voice; after four agonizing days of silence, the blond had finally received a message from Shuichi - saying he would be bringing home dinner that night and telling him what time he expected to arrive home. He was cautiously optimistic. Shuichi's voice in the message, while not its usual vivacious tone, was also not sounding wounded or hurt.

Eiri impatiently waited out the afternoon behind his protective closed study door, too anxious to write. He worked half-heartedly on some Internet research but found himself staring at the web pages for minutes at time without registering the words. To keep himself from just sitting and fidgeting or pacing back and forth, he cleaned up the disaster area covering his desk. He actually felt nauseated from the dead cigarette stench so he quickly took out the trash and sprayed the room with an odor remover to completely rid himself of the disgusting evidence. Finally, he heard the door slam, announcing Shuichi's return, but as had been the case these days of their fight, Shuichi did not call out [his arrival home in his cheery voice. In fact, slamming doors had been the only thing Eiri had heard from his lover recently. His heart tightened with pain at the sound of the bang.

The novelist got up from his desk and moved quickly to the door, putting his ear against the wood. He heard drawers sliding, cabinet doors thunking and tableware clinking, reminding him of Shuichi's take-away promise. The scraping and thudding sounds created in the hall and other areas of the apartment made no sense whatsoever.

He almost leaped out of his skin when Shuichi tapped a familiar rhythm on the door, and subsequently, through his ear. It was Shu's way to say dinner was ready when he knew Eiri was working diligently on another novel. Shuichi had been using the unobtrusive knock for a long time, even back when he regularly kept the study door closed during their first few tempestuous years together. He held and rubbed his ringing ear for a moment then cautiously opened the door. He was disappointed to find his lover not standing there, waiting for him. Sighing, he guardedly stepped into the hall.

The lights were extinguished throughout the living quarters. Eiri peered into the dark kitchen and did not see the evening meal; in fact, the dinette table and chairs were missing. He decided to follow what little light he saw in the darkened apartment. He made his way toward the living room and warily walked into the room.

Lit by a single thin white taper in the middle of the table, he discovered the dinette placed in the centre of the living room. In the gloom surrounding the table, Eiri spied some of their living room furniture pushed against the walls, allowing the dinette to be the focus of the space.

Shuichi had gone all out to make the meal special. A large white linen tablecloth covered the top and hung over the sides of the small square table. The artfully placed small white porcelain plates held many of the novelist's favorite sushi choices. His lover's cuisine was waiting on the place setting to the right of Eiri's dishes, Shu's traditional spot for meals every day. Directly opposite Eiri's place at the table was a third place setting. Instead of food, the plate held some small shaped items the blond could not identify from where he stood with just the faint candlelight to illuminate the tabletop.

Eiri decided to sit down and wait. Shortly thereafter, he heard movement behind him and Shuichi walked into his lover's line-of-sight and to his seat. He assumed the man had been lurking behind him when he walked down the hall. The smaller man was clad in a skin-tight white tank top and form-fitting black stretch cotton bike shorts. Neither left much to the imagination and Eiri's eye went immediately to the bulge at Shu's crotch to gauge his lover's emotions. He was saddened to see his partner was not remotely excited.

Shu sat down and they silently began to eat. A few minutes into the meal, Shuichi bowed his head and quietly began mumbling into his plate about his suspicions, ending with a confirmation he had proof Eiri was fooling around behind his back. He knew he did not want to see Eiri's face at the moment of truth but Shu looked into his lover's eyes anyway. Eiri sat there, sushi poised to go into his mouth, stunned.

The daze lasted only a moment, then shifted from shocked to angry. Eiri was incensed his lover was making such accusations to him about infidelity. He had remained boringly monogamous after Shuichi had first barged in on him years ago. Struck speechless by the allegation, he just sat and gawked at the man across the table.

Shuichi quickly said he did not want to compete with Eiri's lover and was willing to share him. He did not want to be selfish and would rather split Eiri with another than lose him altogether. Shu looked pleadingly into Eiri's eyes before breaking contact and staring at his plate again, blushing slightly.

Eiri's rage dissipated as he became more and more confused over what Shu was saying. He knew he had not been with anyone else in, well, for longer than he could remember. His idiot was the only one in his life, his only focus, his only love. Their therapist had finally convinced Eiri his love for Kitazawa, despite the fact the blond had been willing to have sex with the tutor, boiled down to a twisted but platonic love for someone who had accepted him for the person he was and had not judged him by his Western appearance. The love Shuichi and Eiri had for each other was the strong and powerful force that defied time and convention.

Shuichi then muttered he wanted to invite the third party to the table. He reached over to what Eiri thought was the empty third seat and introduced the lover. The writer's sushi fell from his chopsticks as he gaped at the perpetrator of all their recent grief. He recognized their dinner guest's long graceful neck, large shapely head and short bristled hair.

Eiri whipped his head to stare at Shuichi, astonished. The younger man looked abashed. The blond put his elbow on the table, rested his forehead in his hand for a moment, shook his head, and then peered through his fingers at his distraught lover across from him. Sighing, he finally smirked in his hand at the situation, said nothing about the third party now at the table and began eating robustly. Shu picked at his food.

Eiri leaned across the tabletop and tapped the small objects on the secret lover's dinner plate with the thick end of one of his chopsticks. The hard shapes rattled on the china. With his free hand, he picked up one and scrutinized it before bringing it close to his nose. A faint lavender scent arose from the clam shell-shaped item. The author put the 'shell' back, glanced over at Shuichi and caught him smiling a sheepish grin while he still stared at his plate of uneaten dinner.

Eiri rolled his eyes, reached over to his partner's plate, plucked a shrimp off the top of his nigiri sushi with his fingers and presented it to Shuichi's lips. The singer blinked at the offering then cautiously opened his mouth. Eiri gently placed it on his lover's tongue then sat back in his chair, waiting for a reaction.

Shuichi's eyes began tearing up as he chewed slowly. He swallowed with difficulty, then slipped out of his chair and crawled into Eiri's lap, blubbering his apologies while drenching his partner's shirt with tears. The men held each other as Shu wept and stammered out the reason for his suspicion, finally running his hands over the novelist's back and shoulders to accentuate the point. Eiri quietly called his lover a long list of names focussing on his lack of intelligence while pulling the younger man closer to his body in a tighter embrace and rubbing his back soothingly. The blond found he really could not blame the idiot for his reaction; with the physical and visual evidence in plain view, Eiri could have interpreted the clues the same way Shu had read them.

Shuichi finally calmed down enough to consider eating some of his meal. Eiri kept his tight grip on the man in his lap and offered him more food. The gentle feeding turned into a sensual feast, with Eiri finally placing morsels between his teeth and Shu removing them by kissing his lover. Their four-day, conflict-induced abstinence quickly sparked their ardour. They were ravenous for each other and they hastily converted the table to a sex aid - first making sure the candle was extinguished and the china pushed to the side before they kindled each other completely.

Later that evening, they invited Eiri's long necked lover into the bedroom for a threesome. Shuichi was amazed at the new lover's abilities to draw such shuddering gasps from his blond life mate's lips.

The next morning, as their cat purred contentedly above the pillowed heads of the two men languidly cuddling together in their bed, they realized they had to decide where their new friend would live. Shuichi could not figure out where to lodge the new addition; the guestroom was too far away and any nightstand drawers would be too cramped and small.

Eiri finally came up with a practical solution to the housing question. He would attach a hook to the back of Shu's bedside table to keep their addition out of sight, because invariably questions would arise about why a soft-bristled, long handled bath brush for scrubbing backs was in the bedroom.

Food Notes:

Onigiri is a rice ball made by pressing rice into a shape with your hands. It can be wrapped in nori (seaweed) or other wrappings or left without any wrapping. Some onigiri have fillings such as fish roe, pickled plums or cooked chicken.

Read more about onigiri at the following links:



Learn how to make onigiri here: wwwDOTshejapanDOTcomSLASHjtyeholderSLASHjtyeSLASHlivingSLASHonigiriSLASHonigiri1DOThtml

Nigiri sushi is typically cooked seafood like shrimp (ebi) or crab (kani) on a formed rice rectangle. The seafood is either 'glued' to the rice with a dab of wasabi or the chef squeezes the rice and seafood together.

Some sushi links: