Ren escorted Kyoko to his car which wasn't parked very far. He was eager to start their date, eager to get her alone and away from leering eyes. He didn't let go of her till she slipped into the passenger seat. It was wonderful, being able to hold her, to touch her soft silky skin. The date already started out well.
Kyoko froze when she felt his arm around her. She hoped she hid it well as she spoke to the older students. No one seemed to mention her initial discomfort. After a few moments, his hand, his arm felt like it belonged there. The heavy weight of it felt comfortable as they walked. As soon as he let go, opening the car door for her, she missed the weight.
"First off, have you eaten yet?" He asked after starting the car. Ren maneuvered out of the lot and merged into traffic. The mention of food made her stomach growl causing her to blush profusely.
He laughed. "I take that as a no. Alright, I know the perfect place." He has been in this area before and remembered a small restaurant that delivered to one of his shoots that was rather good. It was after the normal lunch rush so hopefully it wasn't busy.
"How have you been recently?" He asked. She was so quiet beside him. His eyes flickered to her found her fidgeting with her hands still blushing.
"Um, good," Kyoko said shyly. "Today went well except the second scene. Rumi-chan seemed to be distracted by something and kept forgetting her lines. I hope everything is okay. I wasn't able to speak with her at all about it."
Ren smiled at her concern for her co-star, "I'm sure she's fine. Perhaps she was intimidated by you," he teased.
"Eh? No. I was being nice to her in that scene. Well, as nice as Natsu gets to a normal person and her victim."
He laughed. "Natsu is intimidating no matter how she is acting. That is her character. If she is being nice or cruel she has this force, this demand on everyone around her. You pull if off very well, Kyoko."
She blushed with a smile. "You were watching today? For how long?"
"Just the last scene really," Ren replied, "I finished my interview early and instead of going home, I came here. You swim like a fish. Were you on a swim team or something when you were younger?" He arrived at the little restaurant and turned off the car. He turned towards her as her face refused to return to her normal color.
"No. I didn't have time for joining any clubs or such. Plus they all required money at some point in time, and I could never ask for it. I do enjoy swimming, and the school allowed a free swimming time during the summer break. I was always going when Sho wanted to go. That was the only time I was allowed." Her voice got sad as she continued. He always seemed to bring up bad memories for her. He would ask her a question about her past, and it was just filled with that asshole then she would get sad. Didn't she do anything without that guy?
He smiled at her trying to return her to his side. "We're here. Ready to eat?" He announced trying to change the subject.
She perked up and nodded enthusiastically. It was a teppanyaki shop. They entered into the standard dinning area for normal sitting and eating. The shop was actually larger than she thought it was. The hostess walked up to them with menus. The place was pretty much empty, having only two customers who seemed to be finishing their meal. It was perfect.
"Two?" The hostess asked politely. Ren nodded but hoped for something more than just a table.
"Yes, are any of the teppanyaki tables open?" Ren asked. He didn't know the place was that type. Since it was available to them, why not take advantage of it?
"No, sir I'm sorry, we don't open those till five tonight." She bowed down in apology.
"Ah. Would it be possible to open one up for us? I'm more than willing to pay for the chef's time." He smiled charmingly at the older woman, and she blushed gently.
"Ren, it's fine. We can eat…" She squeaked lightly and her words fell. He glided his arm up behind her back, settled on her waist, and gently pulled her against him. She felt such a tremor run down her body that she hushed up immediately.
"I would really appreciate it, please?" Ren tilled his head and smiled brightly.
"I'll see what I can do," the woman said hurriedly and bowed slightly, but her eyes never left the handsome man. She left, and Ren didn't take his arm from Kyoko's waist.
"Ren, we could just eat at a normal table, we don't have to eat at the grill." She looked up at him concerned, "especially if it costs more."
He squeezed his hand at her waist and gently pulled her to him and whispered, "Don't worry so much. Just enjoy yourself and let me treat you. One of the perks of dating me is that I have money." He smiled at her.
"I'm not dating you for your money," she growled angrily. She crossed her arms with a scowl. Ren was about to apologize, but the hostess came by.
"We can serve you. Please follow me." The woman turned to lead the way, and Kyoko was the first to move. She stomped out of Ren's embrace and quickly followed the hostess's form.
That was stupid. Why did I say that? Ren sighed and followed behind the two women into a small private room. Inside was a large grill table with eight seats surrounding it. He took out a few notes and handed them to the hostess.
"We would like to stay alone please." He smiled at her and she nodded. Since it was slow, she took their orders a few minutes later and then they were left alone with their drinks. Ren watched Kyoko take in the room, but she wasn't talking. She wasn't nervous nor was there a hint of a smile on her lips.
"Kyoko, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like that. I just don't want you to worry about the cost." He tried to peer at her face, to get her to look at him, but she was acting distracted by the décor.
"Just because you are well off doesn't mean you should spend it so carelessly. We could have left and gone to another tappanyaki restaurant that had their tables open. We could have just had a simple lunch at the table," she said seriously. Her anger started to dissipate, and she looked down at her hands on her lap upset.
"I'm here for you, not the things you can do for me, not your money or your fame. I just wanted to spend time with you without the excuse of work." Kyoko admitted. She looked up at him shyly and was temporarily blinded.
Ren felt something inside of him snap. She wanted to be with him, just him. He smiled a blindingly radiant smile, and she was lost in the light. She felt his hand at her cheek and the next thing she saw was his face so very close to hers. His lips pressed against hers softly and her eyes fluttered closed. He had the warmest, softest lips. She pressed her lips against his, her hand reaching up lightly grasping his arm as he held her face. She felt him pull away, and it was difficult not to follow him.
"Thank you," he whispered, his breath tickling her sensitive lips. Her eyes blinked open to that same smile.
"For what?" She asked confused.
He sat back away from her, and she missed him. "For saying yes, for being you," he told her. She blushed at his words and he continued, "I want to be with you too, Kyoko. I want to see you smile and laugh. I want to be the one to make you do so. Please let me try the best way I know how. That would mean letting me spoil you with things like this."
She shook her head but sighed in defeat. "I would be fine with me cooking at your place for a tenth of the price."
"What good is money if you don't spend it?" He asked taking a drink of his water.
"You earned it. You should spend it on yourself, on things that make you happy or need." She liked her reason. It made sense.
"You make me happy, and I need you happy to be happy," he spoke softly. The sincerity of his voice made her heart flutter. She felt his fingers caress her temple and slid back into her hair sending shivers down her flesh. She was saved by the chef coming in with the raw ingredients of their meals. He smiled and bowed introducing himself.
"Thank you for doing this for us." Ren turned towards the chef as he started preparing the meal.
"Of course, sir. I remember being young and wanting to impress my future wife." He smiled at the younger couple as the girl grew bright red at his comment.
"Enjoy your meal, please." He bowed once again and started cooking. They quietly enjoyed the show as he prepared the food in a ringing clamor that Kyoko recognized as music with rhythm and kick. Here and there he called up a flame and dashed the sauce in controlled arcs. He was the eldest of the chefs, and he loved to see their eyes trying to follow his sliding hands as he performed feats that culminated in a delicious meal. The rich boy was quietly enjoying the show, but the chef noticed his eyes were more for the enchanting girl beside him. It was nice to see people unspoiled by money.
As for the girl, she was so very animated, gasping and awing at some of the simplest things he did. Her eyes shinned in glee that he only saw in children most of the time. To see a pretty young girl be herself and be happy about it made him happy to serve them once he was done. He bowed down lightly, serving their food and was greeted with very enthusiastic clapping from the young lady. The boy thanked him discreetly with a handsome tip, and he left the room to the young lovers.
"Is this your first time at this?" Ren asked. She was just so adorable. She was more entertaining than the performance, and this chef was one of the better performers.
She swallowed the piece of shrimp she just put in her mouth and answered, "Hmm, yes and no. We had a chef come in to the ryokan every Friday. I was able to watch from afar as he did his thing, but I was always too busy to watch the whole thing and he was never asked to perform for the family, just the guests who paid."
She turned and looked at him with a cheery smile. "Thank you for doing this. It was fun to watch." She turned back and a piece of squash with her chopsticks. "And the food is very good."
"Anything for you," he stated softly and smiled at her. Kyoko blushed and then something entered her mind.
"I hope you don't mind me asking but what brought this on?" She asked quietly. "I mean I'm happy you asked, but I never thought… I mean, I'm just… I…" her words died away.
How did he explain that he over heard how she felt about him? How could he explain that he was waiting for a chance like this to come along so he could finally start wooing her, being with her as a man and not as a sempai? He couldn't tell her he loved her right away, could he? What would that do? Would she run away?
No. She said she loved him, not to his face but to her best friend. She wouldn't lie to Kanae so it had to be truth. She is scared of not being loved so if he told her it should be okay.
"I love you," Ren whispered not trusting his decision. Where was his courage just then? He was so pathetic. Why couldn't he say it with more confidence? He risked a glance at her, and it set him on edge. She was just looking at him with tears in her eyes. She looked distressed and on the verge of crying.
"That's not funny, Ren. To…to say something like that out of no where." A single tear ran down her cheek, and she wiped it away.
"Oh... the make up is going to get messy," she said calmly as if she wasn't falling apart at the seems. Then more tears fell, and she futilely wiped them away only for more to come.
"I'm not trying to be funny. I do. I've loved you for so long now. Why is that so hard to comprehend?" Ren pulled out a handkerchief and started wiping up her tears. He leaned in and kissed her again, putting more force behind it, trying to show her how sincere he was. He pulled away and looked into her watery eyes, praying she would understand.
"But…but… I'm no one and you're… you're… Tsu..." He kissed her again stealing her words.
"You want to be with me right? Not because I'm Tsuruga Ren like all the other women in the world, but because of me. How can I not love you?" He paused and smiled at her trying to cheer her up, "Please stop crying." He pulled her from her seat and hugged her to him.
She cried a little bit more, his handkerchief clenched in her hand. It felt like she was washing away all of her pain and worries into that little piece of cloth. Ren's arms wrapped around her holding her together as she fell apart. His hands smoothed down her back and patted her hair, putting everything back together again. His warmth and caring comfort helped her regain her strength. She pulled back with a smile, and he returned the smile.
"Do you believe me?" He asked her. He would say it a thousand times each day to make her see how much she meant to him. She nodded with a weak smile.
"I… I love you too, Ren," Kyoko whispered and licked her lips. She tasted the salty tears and a panic rushed over her. Her hands rushed to her face, feeling her wet cheek.
"I probably look awful. I'll be right back." She forced herself away and out the room before he could react to her words. He wanted to tell her she was talking nonsense and to get back here.
Her words kept repeating themselves in his head. I love you too, Ren. It was the most glorious sound in the world to him, like an enchanting melody in his head. He turned when he felt someone come into the room. He hoped it was Kyoko, but found the hostess instead.
"Is everything okay, sir? The young lady came out crying asking for the restroom," she asked worried, and he just smiled shaking his head.
"Everything is wonderful. Thank you for your concern." He couldn't stop smiling as the woman left and moments later, Kyoko sat down next to him shyly. Her face cleaned and refreshed. Some of the makeup washed away, but she was still just as lovely without an ounce of it on her.
"Sorry about that. I was just a little overwhelmed." She smiled at him and started eating again. They were sitting particularly close since they wanted to squeeze in as many people as they could for each table. He could feel the heat of her body radiate against him, the sweet smell of her skin, her hair waft up into his lungs. His arm slid behind her back against the edge of her chair, and she stiffened beside him. He leaned in as she visibly swallowed.
"Are you feeling better now?" He whispered in her ear, and she nodded, her voice not working. She felt the soft press of his lips at her temple and his hot breath at her ear, making her shiver.
"I love you, Kyoko," Ren whispered again and kissed her ear as her blood rushed to her face. He said it so easily, like he has been holding in his breath and was finally able to breath normally again.
"Ren… you should eat." She wanted him to stop but also never stop. It was just so embarrassing. This was just too new to her and he was so… irresistible. She wanted to just melt into his embrace, his words and love. Having some one that actually loved her back, someone who shared the same devotion she felt was an instant addiction.
"Feed me," he whispered, and she turned to him in shock. The emperor of the night looked at her making her heart stopped beating. She licked her lips as she felt his left hand run down her arm and to her right hand. She watched him pull the chop sticks from her fingers and set them down.
"But how…" Her voice sounded strange. She didn't recognize herself.
"Just pick up the food and feed it to me," he whispered into her hair. He was so close to her. He started running his lips along her skin, going from her ear to her temple as he spoke those words into her hair. His right arm behind her was still, his hand lightly caressing her bare arm when it was within reach. He pulled back and smirked at her.
She picked up a quarter of something between her fingers. He didn't look at the food, his eyes never leaving her face. He opened his mouth and took the piece of food into it then chewed slowly. She didn't feel his mouth on her fingers. He was very careful not to touch her fingers.
Next she took a slice of the shitake mushroom and this time his lower lip grazed her thumb. Just a small contact had her breath hitch in her chest. She was frightened and excited by this. She was so scared of what he was doing, of what he was going to do. She was at a total loss of what was happening right now. And yet, her heart was pounding in her chest, and her fingers, her skin was eager to feel him again.
She picked up a piece of the tuna steak he ordered. It was medium rare so it didn't fall apart in her fingers, and it had a white balsamic reduction poured over it. The sauce over the sliced piece of fish started running down her thumb and onto her wrist. She gasped as he grabbed her forearm and then turned his head to the drip running down her hand.
He watched her just as she watched him and his mouth opened slightly. She took a shaky breath as his tongue licked her skin, licking away the trailing line. The intense look on his eyes as he watched her, as he tasted her was doing things to her she didn't understand. His tongue reached the top of her thumb and he wrapped his lips around the piece of meat and the tips of her fingers.
She was having trouble breathing as it slipped out of her fingers and into his mouth. But he didn't let go of her arm. He licked her fingers and then kissed them once before chewing the succulent flesh.
"Thank you. Are you not hungry anymore?" His voice was deep, a rumbling that made things inside of her quiver.
"I am," Kyoko found she was able to speak and apparently he liked what he heard. He smiled at her a sinful smile. Her eyes widened, and she felt the blood rush back to her face. She didn't even notice when she stopped blushing. The whole room felt hot as he took a piece of her shrimp and held it in front of her.
She sheepishly took the food between her lips without touching his fingers. She ate it quickly and swallowed. It left his fingers shinny with the lemon butter sauce, and she wondered if he wanted her to lick them clean too. She didn't feel like she could do that. Thankfully he pulled his hand back and licked them clean himself.
"That's good too." Ren smiled at her. "But…" she watched him press the pad of his thumb onto his plate coming away with the reduction. "I think I prefer mine on you." He turned and smeared his thumb across her lips.
Before she could speak or even react, he engulfed her lips with his. His right arm moved from the back of her seat and pulled her towards him. He licked and ate at her lips ferociously causing her to whimper, her mouth opening slightly at his assault which only pushed him further.
Kyoko felt his tongue slip between her mouth, just the tip, and she moaned at the feel of it. She could feel his hand grip her dress tightly behind her as if he was trying to control himself. He didn't dive into her mouth like Sho did that day. She was shocked to find his tongue and her mind went back to that day thinking he would do the same, but he didn't.
He gently tasted her lips, just brushing his tongue between her lips and then only once touched her own tongue. He pulled back slightly and gently kissed her lips one final time. She sat there flustered and heated as he pulled back into his seat.
"I could eat like that everyday," he said with a licentious tone, and Kyoko squirmed in her seat at the implication.
"The food is very good here," she whispered. Her hand clenched at her chest, trying to hold her heart within her chest.
"Ah yes, the food is good too." She turned darker at his words, and he chuckled. Ren continued, "That's why I brought you here in the first place. The food here is very good." He turned away from her and picked up his own chopsticks. She looked ready to crumple, and he didn't want a stone pile for a date. He was so happy with her words, and she looked so beautiful he couldn't help but want her. He knew that she wasn't ready for that type of relationship, but he really couldn't help himself around her.
After a few moments and a rather long drink of the cold water provided, he saw her pick up her chop sticks and start to eat. "How did you know about this place?"
"They delivered food for us at one of my shoots. It was one that stuck in both Yashiro and my mind. I looked it up since we were going to be in the area." His voice was so calm and collected. She didn't understand how he did that. Her mind was still clouded over by his pheromones.
They finished their meals rather quickly with minor chatter. She really was ravenous and it was delicious even if it wasn't hot anymore. He used cash to pay, and she forced herself not to see the amount he paid. He wanted to do this. If she knew the price she would get upset about it, and she didn't want him to get upset either. Just look at other things. She told herself.
They stayed there for about an hour and a half, and they could see the sun looming lower. It was spring, and the days were growing longer but it was still too soon to see an 8 o'clock sunset. It will be dark before 7.
"Thank you for the meal, Ren. It was…" Her mind flashed throughout the meal, and she couldn't settle for just one word that could describe it, "exquisite," she decided.
"You make it sound like the date is over. The day isn't over yet." He was going to have her for as long as she would let him. She turned bright wide eyes to him.
"I didn't know… I'm not expecting anything, and it's already so extraordinary," she revealed timidly.
He smiled. "I hope you enjoy this too then." He droved through town and they arrived at a large park. They walked out, and it was beautifully designed with lots of green grass, flowers and trees. The sakura trees unfortunately already bloomed and left but the park was still nice. He walked with her hand in hand to the lake. He was excited about doing this for her.
For one she would be happy since it didn't cost much and then it was something she was bound to enjoy. As he set foot on the dock towards the rental, he felt her stop. He looked back, and she looked frightened.
"Kyoko? What's wrong?" He turned back to her, and she was just staring at the boats and the water. It was a lovely day, and he was surprised to see that there was no one on the lake. He contributed to the fact that it was late. Most people probably did this around noon rather than the end of a day and never on a Monday.
"Come on. This is where I wanted to take you." He tugged on her hand gently.
"A boat ride?" She asked frightened. He didn't understand. She was an excellent swimmer, so she couldn't be afraid of the water. Perhaps there was something in the water.
"Yeah. Do you not like boats?" He walked up to her and blocked her view from the small pond.
"It's not that… I've never been on one before of any type. It's just… a boat ride…" She licked her lips as her eyes flickered nervously to the water.
"You don't like it? It's a warm clear day. I promise not to let anything happen to you," he said sincerely. Ren smiled at her and took her face in his hands. She smiled sweetly up at him, and he took that as a yes. He left her at the edge of the dock and went to the stall. When he came back, he was just as confused by the sales man who was shocked to see him as he was with Kyoko's concern. The man whistled and said he was brave and wished him good luck.
Was this a bad idea? Kyoko didn't say no, but she didn't seem happy about it either. As he took one of the many boats that littered around the dock, he helped her in with a smile. He watched her as he rowed out. She wasn't worried about the boat tipping over. She wasn't clenching to the side as she sat down without that kind of fear. But everything about her said she didn't want to be here.
He set the ores down and hooked them on the boat, then watched her as she mumbled something over and over again.
"Kyoko, what are you doing? Do you really hate it this much?" He watched her give him a hopeless look.
"No, this is very sweet, Ren but… I would like to go back. Please, I'll explain after we go to the shrine," she pleaded with him.
Ren couldn't be more confused. "Why do you want to visit the shrine?" He started to row back. This was suppose to make her feel in awe, to make her see the little water fairies and the pretty scenery around them the way that only she does, like when they were little.
"We have to. It is an absolute must! Just quickly please," she urged him with her words, and they were on shore after only a minute. She quickly jumped off, took his hand and dragged him to the near by shrine.
"Kyoko? What's wrong?" They arrived at a small standard shrine, and she immediately kneeled down and clasped her hands together. She looked up at him and pulled him down harshly to his knees.
"Oof," Ren groaned. He looked at her incredulously as she prayed.
"Pray! Now!" She ordered him, and he said the most generic little prayer he knew. She leaned down to the lowest point and glared at him when he didn't. He sighed and did the same. The both stood up and she turned to him.
"Kyo.." He started, and she held out her hand.
"Money, please, hurry," she ordered. She was antsy, but he pulled out his wallet and handed it to her. She quickly opened it, took out a rather obscene amount of notes, and tossed it into the donation box.
"HEY!" He exclaimed. She returned his wallet, and she bowed once more then took his hand, and they left.
"Kyoko! What is that about? Do you realize how much you put in there? I pay for everything with cash so people don't recognize me with my credit card. That was a lot of money!" As soon as they walked out a ways she turned and hugged him. She buried her face in his chest and held him so tightly.
"Kyoko, please talk to me," he whispered as she sapped away his anger.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, but I got scared. I don't want to break up. This is our first date, and then the damning boat ride. I don't understand why you would want to do that. Don't you want us to be together?" She asked hurt and fear in her voice.
He looked at her completely dumbfounded. "I don't understand what you are talking about with the ride and breaking up. Where did that come from?"
"You don't know?" She asked.
"About what?" He said exasperated.
"The legend. The goddess at the shrine, Benzaiten, is a very jealous woman to couples. They say that any couple that go out on a boat ride are doomed to break up after they return to shore unless you pay her a visit. That's why we had to pay our respects to her at the shrine. She would have broken us up after that." She hugged him again.
That makes so much sense. He laughed. He couldn't help himself. She pushed away from him, and he had to grab her before she left him laughing alone in a park.
"Wait, wait. I'm sorry." He smiled at her. "No, I didn't know about that legend. If I did, I would have never done it. Kyoko, can I tell you something about myself that you can't tell anyone else?"
Kyoko glared at him. He thought she was a foolish child, stupid and superstitious. She was curious about his question and nodded. He sat down on the grass and pulled her down with him.
"I'm only part Japanese, Kyoko. In fact, for the first 15 years of my life, I lived in California in America," he revealed to her. He wasn't ready to tell her everything yet, his identity or who his parents were or that he was Corn. Not yet. But this bit of information was okay. It didn't reveal much about him, but just maybe will get her to understand why he doesn't know much about Japan's traditions and legends.
Her face got softer as she thought his words over. So that's why he didn't know how tentekomai was being used. She smiled at him and laughed. She laughed until tears threatened to fall.
"I understand. I'm sorry. I should have said something sooner then." She wiped the tears from her face.
"So you forgive me?" He asked, and she nodded. He looked around for a moment.
"Well that kind of ruins some of my plans," he said with an embarrass smile.
"What did you want to do?" She asked curiously.
"Well I was going to take you around on the evil boat until night fall then we could walk around under the stars, but yeah it's not dark yet." He always thought the action of his plans were more romantic than saying his plans. Ren thought his ideas were foolish if he said them out loud.
Kyoko laughed at the word evil. She had an idea though. "How about we walk around the lake, and I tell you some Japanese legends, and you can tell me some American ones. Then as the sun falls we can pick up your plan."
He looked up at her suspiciously and murmered, "Are you sure it's safe to walk around the lake?"
She laughed. "Yes. I promise." They stood up, and she started her tails as they walked together hand in hand.
She told him about the Okiku doll, whose hair mysteriously grows for no reason since 1917 at the Mannenji temple in Iwamizawa. Of a lot of historical buildings such as the Nagahama castle, Fukushima bridge and others that were built with human pillars. They deliberately buried alive people inside these large scale constructions.
"They believed that a more stable and durable structure could be made by sealing people alive in the walls or foundation as an offering to the gods. It was considered a way of blessing the building," Kyoko explained. She looked up at him, wondering his expression.
"They say that the buildings that did it are haunted of course." She waited for him to say something.
"I'm not really superstitious so the haunting is far fetched, but I can believe that they did that long ago. What else?" Ren liked urban legends. They were fun. He remembered all the ghost stories from his childhood and was eager to learn about the ones from here.
"Here how about this one…" She started talking about Taira no Masakodo. For over a 1,000 years his rebel spirit of this decapitated samurai's head has been causing deaths and illnesses to anyone who disturbs it. She recounted all of the different events that had happened, and he had to admit that it was oddly creepy that everything seemed to happen around that little spot. It was even in Tokyo. To this day, the local population would pay their respects before the shrine that has been built, desecrated and then rebuilt over the years.
"We can go and visit it if you like. We would have to bring food and flowers though. The companies around it wouldn't like if we didn't bring an offering. Many people have died to it, and they are frightened."
"That's not necessary," he said. She smiled thinking she finally got to him. In all honesty he just didn't want to spend money on something he didn't believe in. Finally, she told him of the Kaikidan Ekotoba monster scroll.
"It's a fun little scroll with a bunch of monsters on it, a weird dog bird, ghosts and spirits and then mutations of humans. They all have little stories behind them. Nothing too detailed. Some of them are pretty funny." She tried to think of one.
"Near the city of Shizuoka, there was a man that was said to have testicles that measured about a meter long," she said, and he stopped and stared at her.
Kyoko laughed at his expression. The funny shocked look on his face of her knowing that and then that one being the first one she mentioned just made her crack up hysterically. She continued talking about the man with snakes in his legs having been born that way because of misdeeds in a previous life, a fish whose head measured to be two meters across, a mouth of a cave that looked to have eyes and teeth in the Kumamoto mountain range and a snake with a head of woman who kills people who see her instantly. Except of course for one of the group of six who was able to tell the tale of what she looks like but died three days later.
"Those are a few I remember. I'm sure there are more, but I can't think of any." She held his hand as they strolled around the park. "It's your turn," she said brightly.
He had to think about it. He was sort of worried of telling her some of the ones he knew like The Hook, Bloody Mary and La Mala Hora. She was superstitious, and he didn't want to scare her into thinking that she could never look in the mirror again.
"Hmm. Well there is one that if you eat this candy that pops in your mouth and drink a soda with it, it will make you explode," he said thinking it was safe.
"Ugh," she laughed, "What dangerous candy. What is it called?"
"Pop Rocks," he said it in English then did a rough translation in Japanese for her. "They were fun to eat though," he admitted and thought of an other.
"There was this hair style in the 1950s, where women piled their hair high on top of their heads called a beehive hairstyle. Well there were stories of a girl who wanted it and was afraid to wash her hair because then she would lose the style. Two weeks went by and she started to feel sick. She died and they found that spiders were living in her hair and were poisoning her slowly over time."
Kyoko quickly scratched her head, and he laughed. "You bathe everyday. I'm sure you are safe."
"Oh here's fun one," he started getting into story telling and remembering more. "This man found out he got AIDs from a one night stand, and he felt such anger and rage that he wanted to take it out on someone. So he took a bunch of syringes and filled them up with his contaminated blood. Then he rigged them into all of the seats in a movie theater so that when people sit in them, the needle would inject his blood into their system. When the movie goers pulled the item that hurt them out there was a note attached to it. Usually, it said something like, "Congratulations, you have AIDS!" or the similar."
"That's horrible! To ruin all those lives just because he was being stupid." She grimaced then looked up at him, "Those are sort of silly. Do you have scary ones?"
"Yes. We have lots of them. Do you really want to know those, Kyoko?" He didn't want to scare her.
"Hmm well just a few of them. I'll tell you to stop if I don't like it."
"There was this couple driving home from work or something and a truck was behind them. Well suddenly this huge mach truck flashed his bright lights on and then turned them off. Then he started honking his horn at them and the man driving started to slow to let him past. He wouldn't go around them though and throughout the ride he kept flashing his lights and honking. His wife was getting scared and the couple pulled into a brightly lit area and the trucker followed. They both got out and went to address the situation when the trucker came out scared out of his mind with a shot gun in his hand. The couple was extremely frightened but the man just went to the back seat door and shot through it. He opened the door and in the back seat was a man with a large knife hiding.
He was flashing his brights and honking his horn every time the man behind the seat tried to kill the two in the front."
A shiver ran through her, and he felt it as she cradled his arm. He frowned. No doubt she would look in the back seat when they went back to his car.
"Are you sure you want me to continue?" He asked. It was getting dark, and the lamps in the park had already started to light. "I wanted to make you smile and laugh not scare you."
"No, this is interesting. Go on," Kyoko told him confidently.
He sighed, but continued, "There was this rumor that if you see a car without their lights on, to not flash them."
"Why?" she asked timidly.
"Well it was said that they were gang members that did it on purpose, and it was part of the new gang recruits initiation to kill someone. So anyone that was kind and wanted to simply tell the other diver they forgot to turn on their lights would get killed. The car would drive up beside him and then… Bang!" He made it loud, making her jump. "They would kill the diver of the car."
She laughed nervously, "Geez. People are sick." He thought about for a moment.
"I think some group actually did do that once in Arizona. They were quickly arrested though." He felt Kyoko grip his hand tighter, and she was sweating.
He continued, "We have ghost stories too. America was overtaken by the English right?" She nodded.
"Well the Native Americans that lived there before had their burial grounds, each tribe had them. When the English men came and took over the land, they would disrespect the resting place and bad things always seemed to happen to the structure and people that did it, just like your story. Except there are hundreds of different tribes and burial places all over the country. We don't really build around those areas; the government sort of just left those areas to the reservations rather than deal with the consequences."
It started to get dark, and he wanted to move on from this subject. While he loved how much she clung to his arm, he rather it would be because she wanted to hold him than of how frightened she was.
"Let's get something to drink and maybe a snack, and let's move on. We can find a nice spot and talk about something else." He leaned down and kissed her hair. She nodded shakily, and they walked to a small little cart with crapes and drinks. He bought her a banana crepe and them both waters. They found a comfortable area, and she kept looking around nervously. He sighed.
"See, I didn't want to tell you the scary ones. Those weren't the worse either. Come here." Ren made her sit with her back to him. He wrapped his arms around her, and she was instantly encased within him.
"Tell me about work," he spoke into hair as she blushed in his arms.
"Um… I got a new complex role. Well it won't start for a really long time but the casting director liked me, and it'll give me something to look forward to," she told him all about it and was smiling and excited about it. She had read the few scripts she got and told him how she wasn't really acting yet. He felt better. She described the story with a full range of emotions while picking at her crepe. She would sometimes feed him a piece too, which he took great delight in eating from her fingers.
"Ren, did you go to college?" She asked suddenly.
"No. I really didn't think about going to college. Acting was my whole life. I didn't want to do anything else," he replied.
"You said you came here at 15. Did you finish high school?" She tilted her head back to look up at him.
"Yes. Well I tested out of it at 16. Lory was a big help on that one. If I wanted to I guess I could go to college. I probably would have ended up in the military or something of the sort if acting didn't work out." He tilted his head to the side to look at her. "Why?"
"Kurosawa-san thought I was a new student at the college. He helped me find the pool and was shocked to find I was actually an actress." She paused and looked out into the water.
"It never occurred to me to go to college either. Before I started acting, I didn't think that far ahead. Then as soon as I found how wonderful acting was, I didn't think of any other opportunities." She was thoughtful for a moment.
"I wonder what I would do if I wasn't able to act," Kyoko whispered.
You'd be my wife. I would take care of you for the rest of your days. He smiled to himself, I plan on doing that anyway. "You could cook. Perhaps you could become a world renowned chef." He grinned at her.
"That would be fun. Would you eat my food?" She asked shinning a smile up at him.
"Everyday," Ren stated obviously and tightened his hold on her, hugging her body closely against him. The evening continued, and it was getting late.
"I should take you home" he whispered almost sadly. He stood up and helped her do the same. Her smiled wilted lightly.
"Are… are we going to do this again?" She asked bashfully.
"I'm free on Thursday afternoon. Are you?" He asked. She was a little shocked at how quickly he agreed. She thought about her schedule.
"Ah I'm free till 6" she finally answered. He smiled at her and lifted her hand to his lips.
"Then it's a date." He kissed her fingers and then started walking back to his car. As soon as they arrived, she quickly looked in the back seat.
"Now what would you have done if there was a killer back there?" He asked with a sigh.
"Umm… I don't know. Scream?" She said a little embarrassed. He chuckled lightly.
"Thankfully, there isn't one," She declared and buckled her seat. She was a little wary of the cars around her until he took her hand. Kyoko jumped every time he touched her, but she quickly warmed to it. The ride home was over quickly, and he walked her to the door.
They stood at the side door of the restaurant, and he didn't want to leave. She softly looked up at him and was a little nervous of what was to come. He has kissed her before so he should kiss her at the end of the date. Knowing it was coming, made it seem more embarrassing though. Still when she felt his hand touch her arm and then take her waist she was excited.
Her eyes met his dark ones as he leaned down towards her. Her eyes closed before she met his lips, and she pushed herself up to meet him. She wanted to touch him as Ren kissed her, and her hands found the fabric of his dress shirt over the hard plains of his stomach. He groaned as her hand glided up his torso and rested her palm on his chest. His hand moved from her waist to the hand on his chest and pressed it against him.
He pulled back unwillingly and licked his lips. Kyoko was breathing heavily with her face flushed, and he wanted to ravish her. He didn't of course. They had all the time in the world, he could wait.
"Good night, Kyoko," he whispered. She smiled up at him, and Ren wished he could kidnap her.
"Good night, Ren. Drive home safely and don't flash your lights at anyone!" She told him causing him to laugh softly.
"Okay. I won't." He didn't want to leave. He stood beside her and kissed her once again.
"I'll see you in a few days, and you can always call me if you need anything," he told her as if she was the one worrying about not seeing him again. That comforting line was more for him than her, but she smiled anyway.
"I will. Good night, Ren," she said again.
"Alright, Good night." He forced himself away from her and walked to his car. He turned to look at her again, and he waved before getting into his car.
She watched him turn on the car and slowly leave the parking lot. She smiled to herself and twirled around once in absolute delight. She just finished an absolutely wonderful date with Ren! The man she loved the one person who was there for her and kissed her so sweetly.
She pressed her hand to her lips and smiled again then sighed. This was real, wasn't it? She felt the loneliness in her heart after the few seconds of not being with him and knew that it had to be real; otherwise she would still be with him every minute of every day she wouldn't leave his side.
"I'm dating Ren," she whispered to herself and smiled brightly. She opened her door with a flourish and escaped to her room wishing it was Thursday.
A/N: Remember this was only a story about this single first date. No more after this. I do hope you enjoyed this little story. Cheers!