4th Story in the series. 1st Lost, 2nd Bloody Slippers, 3rd Mistake Reflection.

The Beating of a Heart


Chapter 1

The sound of a beating heart.

The sound of life.

The sound of love.

The sound of fear.

Research shows that we take comfort in the sound of a beating heart.

Babies are soothed by the sounds their mother's beating heart.

They say that it is the first sound we ever heard while being in the womb.

How is that this one sound can represent so many things?

The thumping of your heart when you experience love.

The pumping of the blood through your veins when your excited or scared.

This sound can bring so much.

But when it is gone we are left with nothing.


Naru sat in behind his desk reading over case files. It had been a long morning. He had met with a few clients. His stomach let out a growl as he leaned back in his chair and sighed. It was lunch time.

The door opened and a tallish, but slim older woman appeared carrying a tray. She was older than his mother, but she was his assistant. She was the only one with the guts to take the job and who could handle Naru.

"Lunch time." She said as set the try in front of him. "I thought you might like to take a break from work and watch some tv." She picked up the remote and turned on the medium size flat screen tv.

"I have too much work to do." Naru tried to glare.

Mrs. Yamamoto glared back with her violet eyes. She had grey hair almost white and a sweet face that would be in the story book as the fairy godmother or sweet grandmother. But when she glared she looked like a demon. It was enough to intimidate anyone, especially Naru.

Mrs. Yamamoto picked up the files from the desk and threw them out the door. "I don't think so, Mr. Shibuya. I will take of that later. Now you are going to relax and eat you lunch and watch a little bit of television. Try the news." She flicked to a news station and continued to glare at Naru.

"What do you want? Why are you still glaring?" Naru looked a little afraid and confused.

"I want to see you eat most of you soup before I leave." She watched him like a hawk.

Naru eyed the soup on the tray. Stu Leaks. His face puckered at the smell. "I don't want it. You know I don't like this stuff."

"Its good for you now eat!" She said.

"I am your boss and I don't have to follow your orders." Naru tried to counter.

"When the boss is an immature child, one must do what is necessary. You are a work a holic and live alone. If it wasn't for me, you would live off of fast food. And don't get me started on your women."

"Fine I'll eat." Naru wanted to avoid another lecture on his activities.

"It's a crime what you do. All those women. I know it's not very often, but you are a married man. You should be with your wife. Instead you are here working." She clucked her tongue.

"What makes you think I'm married? I have no wife." Naru looked away.

"Well lets see your mother talks about it and so does everyone else. Also you two were married and never divorce so technically she is still your wife." She stared at him with eyes that bore into you.

"That's none of your business. And refrain from discussing my past times with my mother for future reference." Naru said in between spoonfuls.

"I see." She folded her arms. She turned her attention to the broadcast. "Oh what have we here." She turned up the volume.

"In recent news, international sensation Mai Taniyama is making her film debut. The psychological thriller Black Swan. Our cameras were there at the press conference to ask Miss Taniyama about her role.

"So Mai, what made you decide to take on this role?"

"Well when I received the script, I immediately felt a connection to the lead. I can't go into too much detail about the role without giving anything away." Mai smiled.

"You are most famously known for your ballet. In fact they say that you have brought ballet back into pop culture. You have played the lead in Swan Lake and received critical acclaim for it. Did that help you prepare for your role?"

"That actually helped me quite a bit. Actually knowing so much about the white swan and the black swan helped me explore my character."

"According to your Wiki bio, you use to work for a paranormal investigation group. SPR?"

"Yes I did. I was a secretary. I did mostly office work." Mai smiled awkwardly.

"But sources say that you have some physic ability that helped solve many cases."

"Oh that was nothing as grand as you make it sound. I mostly just assisted in equipment set up and data collecting. I few gut feeling, but nothing that anyone else couldn't feel."

"Critics are saying you could possibly win the Oscar for best actress. Any comments…"

Naru got up and turned off the television. "What are you trying to do?" he yelled at Mrs. Yamamoto.

She was still just as cool as before. "The American premiere is this week and next week she shall be returning to Japan for the premiere in Tokyo. Then she will be taking a break and working on her clothing line."

Naru glared at her. "What are you getting at?"

She sighed and set the remote down. "You're still in love with her and she is clearly still in love with you. You should go see her."

"No way in hell." Naru sat back down at his desk.

"Now now, Mr. Shibuya. I happen to know for a fact that the entire team is going and is also attending the party after."

"And how would know this?" Naru looked annoyed, but he was intrigued.

"Ayako told me. In fact she is eager to introduce me to Mai. I was once a great ballerina, but that was many years ago." She sighed and took the tray off the desk and twirled out of the room managing to slam to the door at the same time with ease.

When he had hired her, and asked her to fill out the paperwork such as age and history of employment, she had listed "none of your business."

Naru opened one of his desk drawers and pulled out a photo album. In it were pictures of him and Mai's wedding and pictures from all of Mai's performances. Many of them dated after she had left him.

He hated to admit how much he loved her still. He tried to keep it buried because it hurt too much to think of her. In the end they had let each other down. It all stemming from the incident with Megumi.

Mai had said she had no hate for him and did not blame him, but she was still deeply hurt. She felt that they could fix their marriage by going to therapy together. Naru grudgingly went along, but could not bring himself to cooperate.

Mai would ask him how he felt and Naru being a man and a closed off one to begin with would answer with "I don't know." "Nothing." "I'm fine." "What does this matter?" "Whatever you want" or just completely ignore the question.

Mai took this lack of enthusiasm as a lack of interest in their marriage, but continued to try her hardest. Finally Naru took on a case without consulting her. He told her, as he packed his bags, that it was in Hokkaido and that it would take at least two weeks.

Mai protested and after an angry fight Naru left saying he would call her that night. to which Mai answered "Don't bother!"

The case ended up taking three weeks during which Naru and Mai did not speak at all. When Naru came back, Mai and her things were gone. Naru noticed there was a message on the answering machine which turned out to be from Mai. It was her goodbye message.

She had left him. She left him to continue her career because she no longer saw a point to their marriage. She was tired of trying and getting nowhere and choose to pursue something you could excel at.

There had been no divorce. Naru didn't pursue and neither did Mai. They had always had separate assets so it was not an issue. Mai had her inheritance and family's empire and she also had her career. Naru had his own fortune and his own business.

"So Mai is coming home." Lin appeared in the door way.

Naru looked down at her picture and quietly said "I guess so."


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