10 Years later
"Why do you know my name?"
I wasn't paying attention. I had been watching him from afar for three years through school. I borrowed out every book he ever read. Some of them I really liked and some didn't interest me at all. It was a small thing but it made me feel like I was getting closer to sempai. And throughout that entire time, I kept all my feelings for him locked up inside of my heart.
But when he stood in front of me and spoke to me so suddenly, it was like a dropped glass had broken into a million pieces. My feelings and my love for him just poured out of me. No matter how hard I tried to keep them in, they just flooded out.
I love you, I love you, I love you. Sempai...
"I love you..."
When I realised what had come out of my mouth, I froze. I couldn't believe it. I had just confessed my feelings to a guy who didn't even know me. As I felt my heart hammer in my chest, he placed his hand on my head and rubbed my hair. Then he said that he didn't mind going out with me.
Back then, everything was so pure...
But now, nine years in the future, I, Ritsu Onodera, the son of the King and Queen, at twenty four years old, am sitting in front of a woman who works at one of the most popular publishing companies, Marukawa Shoten, hoping to get a job into literature.
As I waited patiently, I clutched my lucky book to my stomach so no one would see. It was the Sleeping Beauty book that Saga Sempai had given me before he went to college. Nine and a half years I've tried to let him go, but my heart just wouldn't. Well, I hope he's found happiness. He deserves it. Going through my head was the question why am I getting a job? Simple, one was so then I understood the commoners better and I can treat them really well when I take over Father's place at the throne and two, I wanted to prove that even when I'm king, I'm not completely useless and spoilt.
"Um, Mr Onodera?" the lady said.
"Yes," I answered.
"There's no room in the literature department," she explained.
"But there's a spot in the shojo manga department instead," she said brightly. "Would that be okay?"
I ran the thought through my mind. Wait, didn't Uncle Tori say that he, Uncle Mino and Uncle Kisa worked in that department?
"Do Yoshiyuki Hatori, Shota Kisa and Kanade Mino work in that department?" I asked.
"Yes, do you know them?"
"Sometimes, too well," I answered sheepishly. "Sure, I'm happy to work in that department."
"Great, I'll take you over there right now," she said merrily. Holding my book, I followed her through an elevator and up to an isolated office.
"Here it is," she cheered. "The shojo…"
I frowned and followed her gaze. Oh great. I just walked in on a hell zone. I understood about what my uncles told me about the deadlines and the week they called "Hell Week" but this was just ridiculous.
"I'm so sorry," the lady said. "Good luck." And then she ran away. Rolling my eyes, I walked into the office and tried to wake up Uncle Kisa. Nothing. Damn him for being a deep sleeper.
"Sorry I had to do this," I said as I pulled a whistle out of my pocket. I placed it to my lips and blew hard.
"AH!" Uncle Kisa screamed as he woke up. "The pixies are loose in the fairy dust!"
I giggled as Uncle Hatori and Uncle Mino lifted their heads and glared at him.
"Relax, Uncle Kisa," I said. "It's just me."
"Ricchan," Uncle Kisa said. "What are you doing here? I thought you were going into the literature department."
"No more space," I said. "But they said that there was a spot available here so here I am."
"Great!" Uncle Mino said. "Here, we'll introduce you to our boss and "demon editor", Masamune Takano."
Suddenly, a ruler flew out of nowhere. Quickly, Uncle Mino ducked and grinned sheepishly at the person who threw it.
"I heard that, Mino," The person snapped. I looked at him. He was as tall as Uncle Tori, had shaggy black hair and golden brown eyes. There was a pair of glasses sitting on his face.
He was looking at me wearily.
"Are you a part time worker?" he asked.
"No, full time. I'm Ritsu Onodera."
"Masamune Takano," he said. "Have you ever worked in manga editing before?"
"No," I answered truthfully. "But when I was in high school, I often helped my uncles with their manuscripts."
He stared at me and frowned.
"Is something wrong?" I asked.
"Not really," he said. "Come with me. You can see some of the work that we do for our authors. One of them is showing her manuscript in today."
"Okay." I followed Takano through the elevators and down to the second level.
"Why are you clutching that book?" he asked as we reached a woman with manuscripts in her arms. I looked at him and then looked away, making sure that I was hiding the book further into my jacket.
"It's special," I answered quietly. He rolled his eyes and took a seat across from the lady. I mimicked him, watching as he flicked through the pages.
"This is really good," he said. "Sorry for asking you to finish it in short notice."
"That's alright," the author said cheerily. "I had time."
Suddenly, he stopped at one page.
"Have you got your tools with you?" he asked.
"Yes," she said as she pulled them out.
"Could you make the kissing scene a little more dramatic?" he asked as he handed the page back.
"Okay." Immediately she started to draw. Takano-san shook his head.
"No from this angle," he pointed. Again, she tried to redraw it.
"Excuse me, Takano-san," I said hesitantly. "Aren't we pushing time a little?"
"This is one of the things you're going to have to learn while you work here," he said bluntly. Then he turned back to the woman.
"No, you're still doing it wrong," he sighed. "You've been kissed before haven't you?"
The woman blushed while I frowned. Isn't that sexually harassment?
"Yes I have," she said. "But you can't really see yourself while you do it." Then, she gave a nervous laugh. Takano-san frowned.
"You've got a point there," he said. "Okay, I'll show you an example but you'll have to be quick."
"Okay," she said.
"I'll go get some references," I answered as I got up. Takano-san took off his glasses and then grabbed my arm. With a sharp tug, he turned me around to face him. He placed his hand on my chin and placed his mouth on mine. I froze as the blood rushed to my cheeks and my arms dropped my book. Suddenly, my body started to respond. My eyes were closed and my arms were around his neck. This was bad and yet, the feeling was incredible and so familiar.
Suddenly, he stopped and released me, causing me to fall backwards on my weak legs.
"Did you get that?" he asked as he turned back towards the woman. She nodded.
"Okay, ink it quickly," he said as she drew as fast as she could. I felt tears form in my eyes. Takano-san looked at me.
"What's wrong with you?" he asked. I shook my head and ran off. The memories of Saga and how much I loved him, they were so painful. Why was my life so cruel?
I rolled my eyes as he ran off and took the pages.
"They'll do," I said. "Have a nice day."
"You too," the woman said and she walked off.
Just as I got up, I noticed that the new guy had left his book behind. Well, I better give it back to him. As I picked it up, I noticed the title; Sleeping Beauty. What the heck was a full grown man doing carrying around a fairy tale book?
There was a card attached to the back of the book. Curious, I read it. My eyes widen at the text.
This was my favourite fairy-tale when I was young. I always thought that love only existed in stories, but you showed me that's not true. I'm sorry for what I did. I love you, possibly more than life itself. Please, give me another chance. All my love, Masamune Saga.
This was my old book, the one I gave to Ritsu Oda. I felt my blood boil as I ran after him. What was he doing with my old children's book and how did he get that card?
When I found him, he was talking with Kisa and Mino. Quietly, I stood behind the door and listened to what they were saying.
"What should I do?" Onodera was saying. "I feel like I've betrayed Saga-sempai." My eyes widen at that. Could it be?
"Ritsu," Mino said. "Just calm down. Hatori, Kisa, Chiaki, Yukina, Yuu and I know that you love Saga and we've tried everything to find him but he just disappeared right off the earth."
"But how is that possible?" Onodera had tears rolling down his face now. "This is my entire fault. If I hadn't kicked him in the first place or if I just forgave him, I wouldn't be in this situation."
"Ricchan," Kisa said as he held out his arms. I watched Onodera walk into them. It really was him. That does it. I stepped out behind the door and looked at them.
"Nine years and you haven't changed, have you Ritsu Oda?" I stated. I watched Ritsu raise his head from Kisa's shoulder and looked at me in confusion while Mino and Kisa's eyes widen.
"What did you just call me?" he asked timidly.
I'm so sorry that it took me so long to update and to leave you with a cliffhanger. I've graduated. Yay! Nothing's stopping me from writing now. Until next time, sunset siren curse.