'What have you done?'
Saya's weak voice rang loud and clear, repeatedly in his mind, over the din. Fumito signed the last document and closed the folder. His office was dim, with his lamp providing the only light. It seemed to mirror the mood he had that night. Envisages of her face flitted across his mind as he sat there in his vast office. The weak light of his lamp made several surfaces gleam. His office was all steel, wood and leather. All of this were the fruits of his frustrations, his hardships years ago. His colleagues had all gone pretty far, but not as far as he. A throaty chuckle escaped his lips as he stood up.
He had opted to drive alone for the night. A black hummer tailed after him. Fumito took the opportunity to relish the city's bright lights, the din that reverberated from every corner. It would be silent there, where he was going. Suddenly, his phone vibrated.
'Yes?' he said quietly.
'She seems ready, Sir.'
'Seems? Seems isn't the word I want to hear from you. I'm not paying you fifty-thousand yen a day to twiddle your thumbs and guess if she's fit for the stage.' Fumito whispered, even in his ears, his voice had a threatening edge. He drew in a deep breath, inhaling the pine scented air of his car. His free hand tightened around the steering wheel. 'Well?'
The person in the other line would have been racking his brains, sweating, loosening his tie (if, he was wearing one, of course), trying to come up a satisfactory answer. 'Sir…. Saya is in an almost catatonic state, she no longer responds—'
'Of course, she never does respond to anything, fool.' Fumito snapped. The traffic light turned green and he lurched forward. The person he was talking to might have jumped from where he was standing, or maybe Fumito's imagination was just hyper tonight. 'I will go there to see for myself if she is ready. Expect me in two hours, or less.'
'Good.' Fumito threw his phone onto the seat and turned right. The streets were emptier now, and the benches were unoccupied. The grounds had an air of aristocracy. It was, simply the perfect place for him to live in. He had not wanted to keep the house he'd inherited from his family. He'd demolished it the first chance he got and built another extension of his company there. Nobody was alive to contradict him now anymore, anyway. The doors opened immediately before he reached the top stair.
Welcome home, the staff had chorused.
Home. Fumito never knew what it truly meant. His mother had faded away from him to show him what it meant. He strode upstairs, not bothering to hear his servant's queries about dinner. 'I won't be eating here tonight.' Fumito answered, to maintain his polite aura with his staff. They didn't necessarily know about what kind of man they were working for, except that he was extremely wealthy, the sole successor of the noble Nanahara bloodline, who just suddenly brought home a dazzling infant girl a week ago. Lo and behold, the heir of the Nanahara empire, of his legacy, of hers. It was being kept in the dark, nobody in the world really had business knowing… The maids were very surprised, but nonetheless pleased. He'd named her Akane.
Akane's room was at the very end of the second floor hall. He had it decorated modestly—the walls were painted in the slightest shade of pink, her crib was wooden and the sheets were blood red. Toys littered the carpeted floor as he walked in. She was peaceful and dazzling in sleep. Fumito gazed at the girl, whose lips were quivering, as if craving for its mother's breast. 'Oh, if only I could give you your mother, sweetheart, I would,' he whispered, settling down on the chair next to the tiny crib.
Over the week, he'd learned that his daughter could be trained to digest human food, however, she still seemed to rely on the special formula the doctors had procured for Saya. The maids did not know why Fumito insisted on feeding the infant strawberry-flavored infant formula, but let him, thinking that it was just another rich man's whim. 'Let him do whatever he wants,' he'd heard one of them say as they mixed the formula one night. 'He's already spoiling her and she doesn't even know how to say "Papa" yet!' Oh, how ignorance was bliss. If they had known the formula they were carelessly spilling (in droplets) on the countertop cost thousands…
Akane stirred and waved her tiny, chubby arms in the air. Her tiny pink tongue stuck out of her equally petite mouth. She was beginning to wake up. It felt so odd, just sitting down like this, Fumito thought. 'Hello, sweetie,' he crooned, standing up to lift the infant from her crib. Akane had very fair skin, just like snow—just like Saya. It seemed that the only thing that she'd gotten from his DNA was her hair color and humanity (not that he cared to nurture his humanity.) The infant yawned in his arms. He supposed that infant breaths were sweet –or he presumed that it could have been the formula.
What have you done?
The child felt excruciatingly tiny in his arms that he feared he might crush her. He supposed fathers often thought this way too. He didn't really have 'bros' to consult to. Sitting down again, he watched Akane flail her chubby arms around. Fumito still could not believe how tiny her hands were! 'I wonder how your Mother would react when she sees you, Akane-chan.' Fumito said softly. 'That's something I really am looking forward to seeing.' The innocent, dewy eyes of Akane stared back at him, as if she was telling him that she was thinking the same thing. He smiled.
What have you done?
'I keep hearing her voice, sweetheart.' he said quietly. 'Do you know what I have done? I do not either. But I made you…. will she get mad? I've already angered her mother so much that I'm scared of her revenge… Mommy might kill Daddy when the day comes…' Something cold and electric crept up his spine. Was it fear? 'Daddy doesn't want to die. I want to always be with Akane-chan…' The infant answered him with a crinkly smile and gurgling, which could pass as laughter.
She cried. It was heart wrenching and terrifying.
'Ah… is my baby girl hungry?' he asked, smiling.
Fumito thought that he was acting like an idiot, expecting an infant to say yes. 'Alright then… Daddy will get your milk.' Gently, he placed her back on the crib, then walked out of the room. A maid was already hurrying towards the room. Fumito held out his hand and the maid, bowing her head, handed it to him without a word.
Akane drained the milk bottle quickly as if she had been thirsting for a long, long time. Fumito watched the child drink the foul mixture of infant formula and human blood with growing fascination and receding dread. His phone vibrated in his pocket once more.
'Hello?' he said impatiently, his eyes still on Akane.
'She is definitely ready, come and see, Nanahara-sama.'
It was a voice he recognized. A smile crept its way into his mouth. 'Of course. Shall I arrange for her transfer?' He could his hear his heart hammering, he couldn't wait to see. He could not wait to start it. After a minute, the call ended and Akane's bottle was empty.
'Daddy has to leave, sweetheart. Your mother needs him,' he said quietly as he lay her back in the crib. Akane stared at him, with wide eyes. Her tiny hands clenched and unclenched on the lapel of his coat. Was she telling him something? Possibly. Possibly not. He's going insane. Fathers… they do go insane, right?
Saya sat on the edge of the bed, staring blankly at the black marble floor. Her hair was neat and her skin was slightly flushed. Fumito gazed at her for a moment behind a one-way mirror. His coat was slightly soiled from Akane's clasping. 'You may go inside Nanahara-sama.'
She looked up at him as he entered the room, mouth slightly gaping. Fumito smiled at her. 'Hello, Saya. How are you?' he said, but not really expecting an answer. Saya's eyes widened and narrowed, but she remained silent. 'I see you can behave now,' he said charmingly. 'That's great! Tell me… do you want to get out of here? Nod your head if you want to.'
For a long moment, he waited until she moved her neck gingerly, which gave his heart quite a jolt. 'I see. How does tomorrow evening sound?' There was no more reaction from Saya. Her silence was dour. Saya's eyes were narrowed and focused only on him. It wasn't much of a secret that he had wanted her to look at him for so long, so he enjoyed her undivided attention. He smiled serenely at his lovely treasure then stood up. 'Goodbye, my dear. I shall see you tomorrow night.'
'I…I can…. I can smell…' she rasped.
'Smell what?' Fumito asked, turning around.
Her eyes were narrowed still and gleaming scarlet, although dully. She must have been feeling very weak. Fumito scowled. He loved her brilliant ruby eyes. 'What can you smell, Saya?' he repeated patiently.
'Kin.' Saya looked bewildered.
Fumito stared at her and frowned. 'Kin?'
She said nothing more.
Thank you for the reviews I've gotten so far! I hope you enjoyed reading chapter four. We are definitely going to need diapers, lots and lots of diapers! Help us fund the Diaper Drive, willya? Haha. Please don't forget to review.
(Review = virtual cash for Akane's diapers, lol)