Well, screw my schedule; it's not working out xD I'm afraid that my updates will be very irregular.
- Year IV -
Chapter 34 – suspicion
"Is everything okay?"
Snapping out of his thoughts, Misaki glanced up. "What did you say?"
"I asked if you are all right," Takahiro replied with a worried expression tainting his face, "You were very quiet when I came home yesterday, so I started wondering if something happened."
Misaki shook his head. "There's nothing, Nii-chan. Speaking of yesterday, did Kajiwara-san like the gift?" The brunet tried to change the subject, not wanting his brother to discover that something had happened.
Takahiro's face lit up in excitement. "Yes, she loved it! I'm so glad that our relationship is turning into something serious. At first, I never thought Manami and I would stay together, but we're really close now."
"I'm very happy for you." His words were honest, yet Misaki couldn't bring forth the enthusiasm as he spoke. He was rather concerned about Haruhiko visiting Akihiko's place. According to Akihiko, Haruhiko rarely came over to talk to him, so it has to be something very important. Haruhiko mentioned that his half-brother called him and ordered him to keep that bodyguard away from Misaki.
Perhaps Haruhiko was trying to convince Akihiko instead of Misaki. That didn't seem like a logical reason to Misaki, because he knew Akihiko would just tell Haruhiko off and ignore everything he said. Either way, it was certain that his conversation with Akihiko would not keep the author away from his lover. He thought that as the man's half-brother, Haruhiko should know that as well.
Was there a different reason for his visit? What else could they possibly have to discuss?
Taking his cell phone out of his pocket, Misaki stared at the display absentmindedly. If he really wanted to know, he could simply give Akihiko a call or send him a text message. On the other hand, if it was really that important Akihiko would've let him know.
Takahiro thought that Misaki was texting a friend and got up. "I'll go make lunch now," he said as he walked to the kitchen.
Misaki watched his brother and was about to offer his help when a ringing sound echoed through the apartment. Wondering who it could be, the teen got off the couch and made his way to the front door. He blinked in confusion when he discovered that Haruhiko was at the door.
'I feel like this has happened before…'
"I'm here to talk to you," Haruhiko said, knowing what Misaki was wondering, "As you may know I had a talk with Akihiko yesterday and I wanted to clarify some things."
"Well, I don't know if that's such a good idea. I promised Usagi-san that I wouldn't talk to you anymore…"
Haruhiko cocked an eyebrow and folded his arms. "All I want is some information regarding a very peculiar thing he's told me."
Not sure what the other was referring to, Misaki tilted his head in a questioning manner. "Haruhiko-san, you mentioned something about getting rid of that bodyguard. Did Usagi-san call you about that?"
"Yes, he did. He explained to me that the two of you found a way to get together at the school festival and that the bodyguard failed to keep him away from you. I couldn't understand why Akihiko would go that far just for a child—"
"—so I decided that talking to him personally was a better approach. Therefore I told the bodyguard that he no longer has to watch you. I've tried to call Akihiko several times, but he appeared to be busy all the time."
Misaki nodded. "Yes, that's correct. He has worked very hard the last two months," he explained, "Apparently, there were many work-related gatherings."
"Strange…he's usually the kind of person who tries to neglect his duties."
Anger bubbled up within the teen as Haruhiko said this. It didn't matter to Misaki how much Haruhiko hated his half-brother; he would not let anyone talk about his lover like that. Sure, Akihiko could be lazy and evasive when it came to work, but in the end he always managed to get things done.
"I can only imagine how much trouble he causes for the people who work with him," Haruhiko continued, his voice laced with irritation and hatred.
"What did you say?" The man's gray eyes widened slightly.
Misaki's hands balled into fists and he looked up. "Don't look down on Usagi-san! Even though it doesn't always look like it, he works very hard. I've seen what he looks like when he hasn't slept for three days. Sometimes he gets so absorbed in his work that he forgets to eat anything and even collapses!"
The adrenaline rushed through the boy's veins as he shot Haruhiko a deathly glare. He was sweating visibly and panting loudly, and his heart was beating so fast that it could've jumped out of chest.
Minutes passed until Misaki slowly began to calm down, steadying his breathing and lowering his gaze. His face was bright red and his eyes slightly watery. He could feel Haruhiko's eyes bore into his skull, but he wasn't sure if the older male was angry of shocked by his outburst.
Finally, Haruhiko dared to speak again. "Tell me, why is it that you know so much about him?" he asked, "Akihiko hardly lets people into his life and I can't think of any reason why he would want to befriend a person so much younger than him."
"…" Misaki had no idea how to respond and didn't even spare Haruhiko a glance. The question worried him greatly. Either Haruhiko had found out about their relationship or he was trying to talk him into staying away from Akihiko once more.
'What can I say to him? The only plausible reason is that Usagi-san and I are dating, but I can't say that! He mustn't find out; that would only cause more problems.'
"You must know that I came here because of something Akihiko told me," Haruhiko pointed out as he adjusted his tie, "He claimed something most unbelievable."
"W-what is it?"
"That the two of you are in a romantic relationship."
Misaki stiffened and stared at Haruhiko in disbelief. He couldn't believe that Akihiko would tell his half-brother such a thing; it was supposed to be a secret to the entire world! What the hell was that idiot thinking?
Biting his lip, the young brunet tried to form an answer in his head. He knew he was a terrible liar, but he didn't want to admit that what Akihiko had said was true. On the other hand, said author would probably get in trouble if he denied it.
Much to Misaki's relief, Haruhiko was very patient and didn't feel the need to push him. Still, the man wouldn't move, and he kept staring down at the boy. Obviously, he wasn't planning to leave until the truth had come out.
"Say Misaki, who's at the door?" Takahiro asked, his footsteps growing louder as he walked to the hallway. As he caught sight of the tall man standing near his younger brother his eyes narrowed. "Excuse me, but who are you?"
Haruhiko's lips formed a thin line. "My name is Usami Haruhiko and I came here to talk to Misaki."
Takahiro knitted his brows at the name. "Forgive my rudeness, but I must ask you to leave," he told the other, "I don't want my brother to talk to strangers."
From the looks of it, Haruhiko was about to protest, so Takahiro decided to threaten him to protect Misaki. "If you dare to come here again, I will call the police and tell them you're stalking my little brother."
The other scoffed, but then took a step back. "I will take my leave then." Turning around, Haruhiko walked towards his car parked in front of the apartment. His driver, who recognized Misaki, greeted them with a bow and then opened the car door for the man. He then got in and the car disappeared into the distance.
With a sigh, Misaki turned away from the door. When he looked at his brother, a very stern look could be seen in those brown eyes.
"Why does Haruhiko want to talk to you?"
Misaki didn't answer, but clenched his eyes shut instead. This was what he had been trying to avoid. He knew that Takahiro would ask for a full explanation if he saw Haruhiko or anyone else he found suspicious.
"I'm sorry, Nii-chan…" Misaki apologized, feeling bad about hiding so many things from his brother.
Takahiro emitted a loud sigh and took hold of Misaki's wrist. As he dragged the teen to the living room, Misaki struggled a bit in protest. The raven haired male sat down and pulled his brother down as well, forcing him to sit next to him.
"Listen to me, Misaki. I know who Haruhiko is and there's absolutely no reason for him to go to our house just to talk to you. He never visits me and I've got absolutely nothing to do with him, so how come he was standing at our door just now? I don't believe Usagi would ever introduce his half-brother to anyone."
Nervous shivers ran down Misaki's body. There was no way he could explain everything to Takahiro without mentioning that Haruhiko tried to keep him away from Akihiko. After all, that was basically the only reason why said man wanted to speak to him.
"Please tell me what's going on," Takahiro pleaded in a gentler voice, "I simply want to know what is going on. The fact that Haruhiko tries to contact you seems fishy to me."
"I-it's because of Usagi-san…"
"Haruhiko-san told me that Usagi-san doesn't get close to people very easily, so he thought it was weird that he has befriended someone so much younger than him. He thinks that it will be troublesome if I keep spending time with Usagi-san." Misaki looked up, emerald gazing intensely at the other. "He tried to explain all this to me, but I refused to listen to him."
"What was he trying to do?"
"Keeping me away from Usagi-san, but it didn't work. Apparently, Usagi-san called him and told him to stop, and now Haruhiko-san thinks that the two of us are…lovers…"
No reaction came, or at least not put into words. Instead, Takahiro's expression changed quickly from confusion to disbelief and even skepticism. Misaki wasn't sure if it was because Takahiro believed Haruhiko's words or because he thought Haruhiko was crazy.
Rubbing his temples, Takahiro closed his eyes and groaned.
"Some people really jump to the craziest conclusions."
Misaki was relieved by his brother's response, knowing that it meant Takahiro didn't believe that he and Akihiko had anything going on. He wasn't sure how his brother would have reacted if he found out it was true, but Misaki knew it wasn't going to be a positive response.
Takahiro opened his eyes and looked back at the young brunet. "How did he come up with something like that?"
"He thinks it's weird that Usagi-san refuses to let me go, so he is starting to believe that Usagi-san has special feelings for me."
"That's ridiculous! You are ten years younger than Usagi. If you were with someone of your age I wouldn't be so surprised, but Usagi is already an adult."
As his face reddened in embarrassment, Misaki gave an indignant glance. "Don't treat me like a child, Nii-chan. You know I can take care of myself; I'm already fourteen years old."
Takahiro laughed and patted his brother's head. "That doesn't mean that I can't look after you anymore," he pointed out, smiling at the pout decorating Misaki's face. In his eyes, Misaki was still too young and too fragile to take matters into his own hands. "Speaking of relationships, have you found anyone yet? I'm sure there are some very nice guys at school."
The question only intensified the blush on Misaki's face. "N-Nii-chan! Don't ask such embarrassing things!" Misaki then calmed himself. "A-are you really okay with the fact that I like guys?" he asked softly.
"Of course I am okay with it. Why are you asking that all of a sudden?"
"I just wanted to make sure, that's all…"
His brother nodded in understanding. "I want you to be happy," he said truthfully, "Now I should get back to making lunch. I'm sure you've gotten hungry as well."
"Let me help you!" Misaki offered instantly, jumping off the couch, "If we do it together it'll go faster." He followed Takahiro to the kitchen and turned on the stove. As he ran around to gather the necessary cookware, Takahiro smiled happily.
It didn't take long before lunch was ready. The two brothers set the table together and then ate without speaking to one another. They were both happy that things had been cleared up a bit. Yet, Misaki was still pondering, thinking about his relationship with Akihiko. He hated lying to his brother and really wanted to tell him, but he wasn't sure what the consequences of that action would be.
'Perhaps I should ask Usagi-san what we should do,' Misaki told himself. If Akihiko thought it was okay to tell Takahiro they were dating, then Misaki wanted to tell him. He would still be scared and nervous, but if they could tell it together it would be better.
If Takahiro really wanted Misaki to be happy, he would understand—or so Misaki thought.
Hmm...what do you think? What will Akihiko say? I want to get an idea of what my readers want/expect to happen, so let me know what you think! Will they tell Takahiro or is it still too soon for the truth?
Please review and hopefully until soon!
P.S. I created a poll on my profile. If you haven't voted already, please vote? It would help me out a lot! (Lol, sorry I'm so annoying xD)