Rock Bottom is quite a mix of people ranging from twenty-somethings to men and women in their fifties. The draw of the microphone brings out all sorts of people who wanted to try their luck at singing. Of course, some were absolutely horrible while others received standing ovations. Contrary to my colleagues' encouraging that I get up on stage, I remain rooted to my chair at our table.

Here it was my birthday and I was just sitting at the table watching them beat up the dance floor while some older woman tried and epically failed, at singing a Katy Perry song. I cringe when she hits a wrong note but dutifully carries on.

Ugh, would someone please remove her from the stage!

Luckily, karaoke is only till 10:30pm, then the DJ will play dance songs the rest of the night. Taj, Amy, and Cody come over to the table carrying shots and Cody hands me one. I shake my head.

No way am I doing it.

Hard liquor and I do not get along. On more than one occasion, Cody has razzed me about the fact that I am a lightweight.

"Come on, Aki, it's your birthday." Cody yells over the music and shoves the shot at me.

I roll my eyes and, against my better judgement, take the small glass. But that is only the beginning, and after three more, I am feeling quite numb.

At least that is better than the pain I constantly live with.

The fast techno beat of the DJ's music selection booms through the speakers and my three colleagues are off again to the dance floor. This time however, I follow.

I let the music seep through my skin, my tortured mind, and allow myself to forget, just for a while, about him.

With the types of songs the DJ is playing I lose myself completely, my body flows with the beat. That is why I suddenly stop and open my eyes when the next song starts. It is not the stuff he had been playing. It isn't bad, it's just not as upbeat, Kelly Clarkson's Dark Side.

Why I get goose bumps and feel strangely uncomfortable as the song starts is beyond me, other than the obvious fact that the words hit me hard, until I glance toward the back wall of the bar and my eyes lock with those beautiful golden ones, the ones from my nightmare.

Asami….

Oh oh oh, there's a place that I know

It's not pretty there and few have ever gone

If I show it to you now

Will it make you run away?

Or will you stay

Even if it hurts

Even if I try to push you out

Will you return?

And remind me who I really an

Please remind me who I really am

Everybody's got a dark side

Do you love me?

Can you love mine?

Nobody's a picture perfect

But we're worth it

You know that we're worth it

Will you love me?

Even with my dark side?

Like a diamond

From black dust

It's hard to know

What can become

If you give up

So don't give up on me

Please remind me who I really am

Everybody's got a dark side

Do you love me?

Can you love mine?

Nobody's a picture perfect

But we're worth it

You know that we're worth it

Will you love me?

Even with my dark side?

Don't run away

Don't run away

Just tell me that you will stay

Promise me you will stay

Don't run away

Don't run away

Just promise me you will stay

Promise me you will stay

Will you love me? Ohh

Everybody's got a dark side

Do you love me?

Can you love mine?

Nobody's a picture perfect

But we're worth it

You know that we're worth it

Will you love me?

Even with my dark side?

Don't run away

Don't run away

Don't run away

Promise you'll stay…..

The chorus slams into me, like someone punching my chest as hard as they can. I wonder if I really see him standing before me or if it is just my mind playing tricks on me? Not a hair out of place on that silky chestnut hair, not a wrinkle on the fine three piece suit as our eyes remain locked on one another.

He steps closer when the chorus starts and for the first time ever in his life, I imagine, he looks away, almost ashamed, at the words to the song swirling around us.

As Kelly sings the chorus the second time, he closes his eyes, takes a deep breath, opening them and affixing them to mine when she sings…But we're worth it you know that we're worth it…

My mind is spinning, the song, his suddenly pained expression, and his steps closer…..and closer…..

He gets to me just as the song ends and in a low even voice says, "Don't run away," while shaking his head.

My mouth is gaping open like a fish as I stare up at him, only an inch from me. If anyone around us notices what is going on, they don't make it obvious. I wouldn't care anyway. I drink in the sight of him really being here in front of me, close to me. I can see him, smell him, almost taste him.

God, I have missed him!

"We'll make it work, somehow, some way, we will make it work." He reassures me while I still cannot get my brain and mouth to work together to make even a sound.

"You are absolutely worth it. Can you…..Can you love me?"

Asami's jaw is clenched, muscles tight and bulging under the fabric of his suit, but his eyes are smoldering. For him to ask that, to humble himself like that, tears at my heart. The man who saved my life, my lover, would never ever beg for forgiveness from anyone, not the Asami Ryuichi. Realization hit me, he broke me that night…..but I broke him too.

Having him so close, feeling his body heat already had my pulse quickening and my breathing labored. Every touch floods my memory and I want to wrap my arms around his neck and pull his lips to mine, but it don't, not here, not now.

His brow furrows and his eyes narrow as he sees the apprehension on my face but I lift my chin defiantly, desperately trying not to break down right here in the middle of the bar with people all around me.

"Come on," I motion to him by tilting my head and he follows.

Outside, right in front of the bar is a limo, waiting.

"Yours?"

"Yes."

I head for it and get in leaving the door open. Once he slides in and closes it, he uses the intercom and tells the driver, Kirishima, to drive around.

In the cramped dark space, I can see and feel his eyes looking me over, raking over my body with awe in them like a child seeing a present on Christmas morning, just before opening it.

I turn my head, my gaze, away toward the dark window. I am not sure how I feel just yet. Seeing Asami after all this time is wonderful and scary at the same time. After all, he did beat me. It may have been several months ago but the wound never healed, it just festered. Did he think it all had just gone away, that time made it any less worse?

"Takaba," he whispered, pulling me to sit next to him on the seat, closing the distance between us.

"Don't," I say with a shaky breath, but move to sit next to him anyway.

I am stunned at first by his movements but can only watch while he slides off the seat, loosens his tie, and kneels on the floor between my legs. He wraps his arms around my waist and buries his head in my stomach, holding me. Inadvertently, my hands slip around his head.

He raises his head and his piercing gold eyes lock with my confused ones, "I'm sorry."

If even one horn had sounded while he spoke those words, I would never have heard him. Then, without waiting for my response, he sits up and puts one hand behind my neck, pulling my ear to his lips.

"Don't give up on me," he breathes, "You know me, all of me, even my dark side."

"I know," I return unable to keep the sarcasm from my tone, "That's what scares me."

I know he can feel my body trembling as he continues holding me in place.

"What happened before…..it will never happen again. Ohh," he groans, "I want to take you back to that room but not to hurt you. Just to share that pleasure with you."

I close my eyes while he speaks, his husky voice sending shivers clear down to my toes. I can feel my body already responding to him.

"Asami," I breathe as he places his lips just below my ear.

I have never been able to resist him, his touch. I tilt my head as he continues to kiss along my neck, one hand reaching up over my shirt to caress my nipple.

What am I doing? I missed this so much I don't want him to stop and yet, I don't know if I can handle it?

I fist the front of his jacket not sure if I want to pull him to me or away from me. It doesn't deter him though as his hands come up to unbutton my shirt so he can move his lips across my collar-bone and down to my chest.

All I can hear in the back of the limo is our panting breaths and the thudding of my racing heart beat.

"Come back to me," he breathes between kisses and then pulls back to look into my confused eyes, "I will NEVER hurt you like that again. I swear."

His voice has an edge to it and his expression is deadly serious and I can see the torment, the pain he has gone through. I want to believe him, so badly it hurts, but I just don't know.

"Come back to me," he repeats as his lips wrap around my, now exposed, nipple. "Come back to me."

He continues to unfasten my shirt until he opens it wide, noting how tense my body still is. His lips, his tongue, leave a wet trail across my stomach.

"Come back to me."

I gaze down at Asami just as he looks up at me, his mouth closes over the bulging fabric of my pants.

"Come back to me."

Unfortunately, I could never hide how I felt and I know he can see my own pain and suffering clearly printed on my face like a neon sign brightly shining back at him.

"Tell me you want me," he growls low from his throat.

As the tears sting my eyes, I know I cannot lie, "Yes," I whisper.

Immediately, he climbs up and presses me into the seat as his lips descend upon mine. All the love I locked away is still there threatening to burst free from the hard demanding kiss and I snap.

Suddenly, frantic hands are removing clothes, both his and mine in our rush, our need for each other. I start directly with his pants and as soon as I kick off my shoes he pushes my pants off of me, he switches our positions so I am straddling him.

I glance down, knowing exactly how wonderful it would feel to have him inside me again. I fist his shirt, only managing to get his jacket off earlier while his hands roam over my hips, up my chest, and finally stop at my face.

Forcing me to look at him, he says, "Do it Takaba, put me inside you. It's your decision. Can you love me?"

Several seconds pass as we stare silently at each other. Then…..just when he is about to say something I take hold of his massive length and raise up on my knees. His eyes grow wide with anticipation and hope?

I sink down on top of him with a grimace and cry of pain as he stretches me. He leans toward me showering my chest and neck with kisses and licks while one hand closes around my throbbing cock. It takes me a minute to adjust to being filled so completely by him but the pain subsides and I start to slowly move.

Our eyes never waver from each other as the heat quickly builds. I had been too long for either of us so we could not go slow, no, we were pawing at each other while I rode him hard. Sweat dampened my skin and his shirt as we moved faster and faster.

"Ah, Asami," I moan, a pained expression on my face. I can't hold back! I want him! I need him!

Asami feels it too and strokes faster, pumping me furiously until I squirt like a freaking geyser with no end in sight. My body convulses as he milks me dry and I tense around his cock.

"Ahhh!" I scream.

He takes over, grabbing my hips so tightly that I know I will have bruises tomorrow, and impales me on his cock hard and fast.

With a drawn out grunt, he comes, holding me down on him all the way to the hilt as I feel his hot cum fill me.

Before I can do or say anything, Asami grabs my head and pulls my lips to his. Both of us trying to catch our breaths through the raw, almost violent, kiss.

Asami breaks the kiss, pulling me down on top of him, my head turned in on his shoulder.

"A…..Asami?"

"Yes?"

"I'm still scared that you might…..that you might….."

"No!" He tightens his arms around me, "I will never hurt you like that again."

I lean up to look into his smoldering eyes, knowing that he is not angry with me, but himself, for what he did.

"Do you love me?" he asks.

"Well obviously, you dense bastard," I say with sarcastically and roll my eyes.

He chuckles, that glorious sound just like I remember it. Then he pulls me back to him and I feel his breath in my hair as he softly says, "Takaba Akihito, I love you….too."