lv90047: Hey everyone. lv90047 here. I'd like to apologize for the ridiculously long wait for this chapter. Both of us have been extremely busy lately. Still...that's no excuse for leaving you guys hanging. But if I had to be honest, this isn't SuzukiChiyeko's fault for the lack of updates. I'm putting the blame on myself since I've been *squirming around nervously* neglecting this update in order to finish my studies. Hehe. Sorry about that, you guys. ^^; Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the chapter.
SuzukiChiyeko: Well, we've both been busy, but still...sorry for not updating for so long :/
Chapter 2 – Sensing Danger
It was late afternoon.
Misaki was walking along the pavement, staring down at the hand-written directions towards that stranger's penthouse his brother had given him. He could have easily gotten a ride from his brother, but he chose not to since he knew his brother had a hectic schedule this week.
It was a beautiful day outside. The sun was beaming down the sidewalk, leaving trails of gold against that hard, worn ground. The breeze whistled amongst the trees, startling a young sparrow that flew anxiously above the cloudless sky. This was a day everyone could appreciate. The mere simplicity nature displayed here was elegant enough to drown in its beauty. Too bad the brunet couldn't enjoy it though—he was too busy bitching about his situation.
'Argh!' Misaki thought, cursing mentally, 'I don't want to do this shit!'
'There's no use complaining about it,' his mind told him, 'What's done is done.'
'Shut up,' he snapped in his thoughts, 'You're the last person I want to hear that from.'
'It's the truth,' was the blunt reply of his mind.
Misaki scowled, resisting the urge to scream. The logical side of him was right. This was no time to complain. He owned this meddlesome deed to his brother—it was only reason he was doing this, after all. He wanted to make his brother proud. His brother had sacrificed so much for him…the least he could was meet his brother's expectations. He was so tired of seeing that concerned expression clouding his brother's eyes every time he witnessed his schoolwork.
No, Misaki couldn't let his brother go through that any longer. Takahiro didn't deserve that type of hardship. Even though the teen didn't like the idea of getting tutored by some random stranger, it was his only option if he wanted to go to Mitsuhashi University.
An unexpected gust of wind grasped the piece of paper, but Misaki caught it quickly. When his gaze left the directions, he caught sight of an incredibly expensive-looking building. It was undoubtedly the residence of the great Usami Akihiko. The brunet rolled his eyes at the title; his brother had been praising the man so much that it irritated him beyond words.
Getting closer to the building, Misaki suddenly began feeling a bit nervous. It was the first time that he had been in this part of Tokyo and it surely wasn't the right place for an average high school student like himself. After all, it was the best district of Tokyo…and definitely the most expensive one too.
The doors opened slowly and Misaki hesitantly walked in, meeting the elevator the second he entered. There were two doors on either side of him, but Misaki paid no mind to them. Takahiro had told him that Akihiko lived at the top floor of the building, owning a five-bedroom penthouse. Shivering at the thought, Misaki stepped into the elevator and pressed the button with his shaking forefinger.
The air became thick as Misaki counted mentally, wondering how long it was going to take before he was at the top floor. As time passed, it became harder for him to breathe. His throat felt dry and his heart rate was increasing.
'Shit, calm down,' Misaki told himself, but it did not calm his body and mind in the slightest. Instead, he started to feel light-headed as a ping echoed inside the elevator. It wasn't the time to chicken out, yet nothing could expel the uneasiness Misaki felt. While the doors opened, Misaki took a deep breath and tried to muster some courage.
Finally, the teen wobbled out of the elevator and headed towards the front door of Akihiko's penthouse. The door in front of him stood tall and mighty, utterly reeking of the majestic vibe. Nervously, he put his hands in his pockets and yanked out a piece of paper that was essential for his entrance, the stranger's password written on it. He didn't know why the man had such a need for a built-in password. Wasn't that what house keys were for?
'Bastard would probably lose his damn keys,' Misaki thought darkly.
After entering the password for the fifth time—thanks to his shaking fingers—he secured the doorknob within his hand and helped himself inside. Upon laying his eyes on the penthouse, Misaki felt the oxygen leave his body. To say that the inside was incredible was an understatement.
Never in his entire life had Misaki seen an interior so grand. He was standing before a high-ceilinged living room that seemed to scream the aristocratic touch. The walls were painted a soft, faded white—yet it was hard to tell since they were covered with various artwork that seemed as though it came from a museum. Priceless originals, no doubt, but for some reason they seemed to belong here. The north-facing wall had been decorated entirely with glass, and beside that laid a massive, overwhelming staircase that seemed to dominate the west side of the room. The floor gleamed with perfection, almost as though it were sunlight on a stream.
Once again, the brunet felt oddly off balance as he took in his surroundings. Did he not belong here? 'No, of course not,' he answered quickly, shaking his head in regards to that stupid question. How could he ever belong here? The world this man seemed to live in screamed the utmost importance, and someone as normal as Misaki could never understand the way this man lived. Still…despite these thoughts, he still couldn't help but be dazzled by the scenery spiraling around him like a moth to a flame.
'Ugh. Get a grip,' Misaki scowled, 'It's just a damn house.'
Determined not to be swayed again, he set his sights on the couch in front of him and sat there. He sighed peacefully as his body started to alleviate based on the utter softness of the couch. He leaned back and closed his eyes as the peaceful thoughts started to claim him. How long had it'd been since he had the chance to relax like this? It seemed like every possible moment he lingered on earth, he never had enough time for himself.
Misaki was always busy. If he wasn't at school, then he was working and if he wasn't working, he'd be studying his ass off for these stupid entrance exams he always seemed to fail—which consumed his time even more. It'd been while for him just to relax and sleep his troubles away. He had to admit this new-found relaxation felt good for a change. It was much better than being overwhelmed by the infuriating things life brought him.
As he sat there, completely absorbed by the addicting tranquility, Misaki could hear the faint sound of running water. It wasn't exactly loud, yet it was easy for him to hear because it was so quiet inside the penthouse.
'Sounds like someone's taking a shower,' Misaki thought to himself. He then shrugged and continued to relax on the plush sofa, praying that he could stay that way forever. The couch was simply too comfortable and the teen refused to get up from his seat. Akihiko would probably come downstairs to get him eventually, so there was no need to move from his spot.
Misaki opened his eyes and looked around to take in more of the beautiful scenery. Although he didn't want to keep praising Akihiko for the house he owned, it was impossible to deny how fine and in place everything seemed. There were potted plants surrounding the dining table in the shape of a perfect rectangle. The kitchen was spacious and had the most luxurious appliances one could ever wish for. He still couldn't believe that he wasn't just dreaming all of this.
Looking to his left, Misaki came face to face with a gigantic fluffy teddy bear. He cocked an eyebrow at the sight, wondering why a grown man would have such a childish toy in his house. Furthermore, what was this stuffed animal doing in the living room? It was the only thing on the entire floor that disturbed the perfection of the scene. The bear had a big blue ribbon tied around its neck, but it looked very sloppy. With a groan, Misaki moved closer to the bear and undid the ribbon, tying it neatly around the animal's soft neck.
"There you go," he said with a smile as he drew back. The teddy bear actually looked kind of cute, but it still didn't explain why Akihiko had it. Maybe the man had some weird stuffed animal fetish. One thing was for sure: Akihiko had a few screws loose. He definitely wasn't a normal person.
Speaking of Akihiko, it was taking awfully long for him to come downstairs. Misaki felt slightly insulted by this, even though he had arrived half an hour too early. At least being too early was a lot better than being too late. That didn't give the author the right to make him wait for so long.
"Selfish jerk," he muttered to himself, fiddling with the bear's arms, "I should just go home right now."
"Then why don't you?" a deep voice countered.
Misaki flinched from the suddenness that voice inflicted. He turned his head in order to contemplate the owner of that familiar voice. It was only then that he desperately tried to remember the basic concepts of breathing. In front of him stood the older male, but that wasn't what made his mind turn momentarily into mush; it might have had something to do with the naked body being presented right before his eyes.
Well, perhaps that wording choice was a bit much. The man wasn't naked—Misaki wouldn't know what to do if it got past that point—but he wasn't exactly covered up either. Here he was, leaning next to the door as if he were a Greek god on display. Misaki gulped, desperately trying to fight back the whimper that wanted to escape forth. He couldn't help but sit there in awe as he drank in the pale outline of the author's tall, herculean form that blazed proudly as speckles of water ran down the cut of his abs. Akihiko's hair was dripping wet and disheveled, but even so he looked as though he just came back from shooting a commercial for hair gel.
A swell of warmth began to cloud the boy's heart as he continued to gaze at those ashy locks that nearly matched the author's pale complexion. How could someone be this beautiful? It didn't make any sense to the brunet at all. His eyes swept around lingering body so much that he failed to see the man's face shift into an all-knowing grin as he caught sight of the boy staring at him.
"You like what you see?"
The sound of that sultry voice brought Misaki back to reality. Realizing that he'd been staring for way too long, he felt his face heat up immediately. What the hell had gotten into him anyways? Why was he getting excited about seeing a man in nothing more than a pair of jeans? It was just wrong in so many ways!
For a split second, Misaki began to wonder why his thoughts seemed so…gay. Hastily averting his gaze, he shook his head. There was no way he was gay, especially not for that smug bastard that was standing there oh-so nonchalantly, showing off his body. It was probably nothing more than admiration or perhaps even jealousy, but definitely not sexual attraction. It couldn't be; Misaki refused to believe it.
Akihiko watched the boy's facial expressions from where he was standing and his smirk only grew wider. There was something utterly amusing about the confusion and frustration written all over that young face. Misaki was something else, he had to admit, and teasing him was fun.
"Have you finished arguing with your hormones yet?"
Misaki looked back at him. "What are you talking about?"
"You were practically drooling just now," Akihiko stated, a soft chuckle escaping him, "I didn't know Takahiro's little brother was actually gay."
"I'm not gay!" Misaki yelled in response, his face turning beet red from anger and embarrassment, "You are way too full of yourself, you know that? Don't go walk around the house half-naked when you are expecting visitors!"
Akihiko shrugged. "It's not my fault that you arrived half an hour too early," he replied as he glanced at the clock.
"That's not the issue! Go put some damn clothes on!"
With a stubborn look in his eyes, the novelist folded his arms. "No," he said, "This is my house, so I can do as I please. If you want me to tutor you, that means you'll have to deal with this, whether you like it or not."
Irritated by the other's attitude, Misaki let out a growl as he squeezed Suzuki-san's paw harshly. From that moment onwards, he officially hated the guy.
SuzukiChiyeko: Oh Misaki, you're so cute xD
Thank you very much for reading! Feedback and reviews are welcome as usual. I hope we won't have to keep you waiting for too long for the next update ^^;;