Chapter Thirty-Seven: Abasiophilia:
March 3rd, 2010.
Do nothing days, they are the best kind with lovers like this. Tsuzuki and Anna knew this well. They lay on the guest house porch, enjoying the warm afternoon. She wore her charm necklace from last night. Tsuzuki caressed the silk of her kimono and kissed her on the head.
"My wife," he murmured. She cuddled in his arms.
"We have to go home tomorrow," Anna murmured.
"Yes, I know," Tsuzuki said. Another thought crossed his head. "Don't you like the dress I bought you?"
Anna nodded as she forced herself to smile. "I do, but�" She pressed her lips together. Her husband frowned.
"It shows your back?" he asked. She remembered the whip scars on her back. They didn't tick away her life anymore. She dodged that bullet in October. Now, her scars just scream at her. She wasn't comfortable with showing off her back to anyone�not even her own husband. Tsuzuki kissed her shoulder.
"All of you is beautiful," he said. "I mean that." His wife looked away.
"When will we tell the others?" she asked.
"What do you mean?" Tsuzuki asked.
"We have to tell them we got married."
Tsuzuki's eye twitched at those words. "Do we have to?"
"Yes! Keeping our relationship a secret doesn't work! We have to tell them!"
Her husband sighed. "Fine. We'll tell them� eventually." Anna nudged him in the ribs.
"Ow," he murmured.
"Promise?" she asked.
"Yes, yes!" he insisted. "I promise!" Anna turned to him and kissed him on the throat.
"I love you," she murmured. Tsuzuki patted her on the head.
"I love you too," he said back. "I love you too."
April 22nd, 2010.
Tana got a call just as she was about to leave for the pool.
"Hello?" Tana asked on her phone.
"Tana-san, oh good," Tatsumi said on the other line. "I'm so glad I caught you."
"Why? Have you found a break in the case?" she asked.
Tana sat down on her bed. "What did you find?"
"I took a sample of blood from one of the male victims and gave it to Watari."
"Took him a couple of days, but he found a high amount of an unknown poison in the sample."
Tana raised an eyebrow. "Poison?"
"Do all of the male victims have this?"
"And they passed it on to the females somehow?"
"Care to guess how?"
Tana folded her arms across her chest. "Sex."
"So� your best bet is to find a drug dealer linked to this case, right?"
"Not exactly," Tatsumi said. Tana�s interest peeked when he said that.
"Watari broke down the components of this drug. This isn�t something you buy off of the street."
She made a face as she dug in her brain for a guess. "Pharmaceuticals?"
"That's not all."
"What do you mean?"
"There is something in the combination of this drug."
"Blood, demonic blood."
"The blood feeds on the host's soul and blood when the body is in a heightened state."
"Such as sexual arousal?"
"Exactly," Tatsumi summed up.
"So, we need to find a pharmaceutical company or medical research facility in this section of this town?" Tana asked.
"That's not all," the secretary said.
"There's more?" she asked.
"Yes," Tatsumi replied. "I can't seem to reach Tsuzuki. I called his cell phone a couple of times, but he didn't pick up. Do you know what happened to him?" Tana shook her head.
"No," she said. Tana leaned against the headboard.
"The last I saw of him was with his wife for therapy and that was hours ago," she explained. There came an uneasy pause between her and Tatsumi.
"Somehow," he said. "That can't be good."
"Well," she said. "Keep trying, maybe he'll pick up."
"Alright," he said.
"I'll try on this end as well," Tana said.
"Okay," he said. "I'll talk to you later."
"Bye," the therapist said. Despite her confidence, Tana had her own doubts. She could only pray that the couple were fine and keeping to their forced chastity vow.