*I do not own! The characters belong to Yamane Ayano, author of the Finder series.
The name came up simply as Asami on the caller ID. Takaba knew that Asami had just figured out that he wasn't coming home tonight. He had made his choice, just like Sudoh said he had to do.
Ever since seeing Asami with that actress, Takaba's eyes were opened and he was definatly not part of that world, the world of glitz and glamour. Corrupt and shady business dealings between the people of the high-ranking upper class.
He himself had infiltrated that world under shady pretenses, which seemed futile now. Everything changed when he fell in love, a one-sided love that tore his heart apart. He was addicted but now was the time to get clean.
He had no other option but to face the music and get it over with, then walk away. He would get out now but spend the rest of his life in mental rehab. His addiction would taunt him endlessly in his thoughts and dreams, it was not going to be a peaceful existence….
"Well, well, Aki, I don't believe it. It's been almost a year now and only a couple of calls during that time." The woman said in disbelief.
She hadn't changed a bit. Her long blond hair was twisted in a clip at the back of her head, dressed in a pencil skirt and blouse with matching heels, and carelessly holding a wine glass.
She was just like him. That aura of power and control radiated from her very being and flooded the room. Though she didn't own most of Japan and other countries, she was a force to be reckoned with.
"H-Hello Fuji, I'm sorry," Takaba stuttered, frozen half way into her enormous living room.
"I was wondering what happened to you." She stated curiously.
"I-I…I want out." Takaba stood firm with his chin held high. It was now or never. He wanted his life back, a life of photography and his friends, a life with the beautiful female who haunted his thoughts.
Fuji raised a brow at the young man, "I'm not surprised, you know." She swirled the glass and took a drink. "So the rumors are correct?"
"Wh-What rumors?" Takaba stuttered, narrowing his eyes.
"Why, that you fell in love with him. But even more interesting than that is that I've heard he fell for you too."
Takaba remained silent but shifted from one foot to the other while rubbing the back of his neck.
"I went to a lot of trouble to get you in there and now you want to simply quit?" She asked, accusation dripping in her voice.
"I have a life, or at least I did have before. I want that back." He insisted.
"Oh yes, you want to hit it big with the crime story of the year. Well, I was trying to give you that but if it's too much for you…." She said in a bored tone.
Takaba stepped forward, "Not like this, I don't." He stated evenly.
Fujira Natasumi sighed and stared at her younger half brother for several minutes while sipping her wine. She could be just as ruthless as the all-powerful Asami-sama when she wanted to be. Question was, did she want to be this time?
"Well….you did endure quite a lot while being involved with Asami. For that, I commend you. I mean, the Feilong incidents and all. That had to take its toll on you. However, you didn't bring back any useful information about Asami's business dealings."
Takaba could have come clean right then and there and told her about what he had seen at the club but by the time the place would be stormed, all the evidence would be gone. Asami had the best surveillance money could by and he would see them coming. Hell, he could probably smell them coming with his super human senses.
"I told you before, he wouldn't let me near his business. Said he was protecting me from all of that." Takaba said in defense.
"Well, since I'm feeling generous today….I will let you off the hook with the Asami project. That's not to say you are free by any means. But as far as Asami Ryuichi is concerned, it's over. Besides, I have been working on other means to bring that man down so it's fine." Her voice was sweet but her small smile didn't reach her eyes.
Takaba relaxed a bit and finally sat down. Fuji got up and after going to the wet bar, brought Takaba a beer.
"Though I am disappointed that you would turn your back on your family in such a way. What would father think?" She asked too innocently.
"He was your father, not mine." Takaba said with more anger in his voice than he realized.
"Oh please, Aki, his blood runs through your veins too. That was why you became a photographer in the first place. It was your connection."
"The only connection! He raised you while my mother had to work two jobs just to feed us. All my mother was to him was a fling." Takaba snapped back.
Fuji didn't immediately respond. He was right and he knew it. His father was married when he had the affair with Takaba Misuni. He never left his wife and daughter for Misuni so Akihito grew up in a single mother household, taking his mother's maiden name. When he was born, a fake name was listed as his father.
Later, when his father tried to start a relationship with Aki, he was already into criminal photography and Aki admired him. At the time, Aki was mesmerized by his father's stories of close calls and risks but the thrill captivated him. Such a naive boy could never have imagined that his father was on the take.
He was being paid by another group to help take down Asami's father. With his sources he was paid for his information until he had been caught. No one knows if it was Asami or his father who put the fatal bullet in Hataro's head but one of them had done it.
Fuji didn't particularly care which one it was, the whole Asami empire would be brought down by her revenge. When Takaba had come to her needing help a couple of years ago, she had told him that one day she would expect retribution.
That retribution came by way of setting it up so Aki would be seen and caught by Asami so he could infiltrate the lair and bring her information. Obviously, things went awry from the start and Aki failed.
His saving grace was the fact that she considered him family and since he did have all sorts of trouble fall into his lap once he met the yakuza, she understood some of what he was saying. That didn't change the fact that she still wanted revenge whether her weak little brother did or not.
"You look tired and I am sure that Asami is scouring this city looking for you so why don't you stay here as long as you need to." Fuji smiled warmly and gestured down the hall toward the guest bedroom.
"Thanks," Takaba said sheepishly and with slumped shoulders, trudged to his room.