Chapter Twenty-Nine: Anniversary Dinner:

March 2nd, 2011.

Anna staggered back to her bedroom. Tsuzuki had to hold her up.

“Hang on,” he said. “We’re just about there.” The black markings started to spread on her neck, hands, and legs. This was not how they wanted to spend their wedding anniversary.

The day started off so sweet. Tsuzuki woke up Anna with a kiss. He had start the morning off with her taste.

“Good morning,” the shinigami whispered.

“Morning,” Anna said back.

“Happy anniversary,” her husband said. He handed Anna a small pink box.

“Aw, for me?” she asked.

“Got it last night,” Tsuzuki said.

“Thank you, baby,” Anna said as she took the box. Her husband had the whole day planned out.

They shared a lovey-dovey breakfast. Tsuzuki pushed himself through work to finish early. His coworkers teased him about his happy mood.

“What do you have planned today?” Watari asked. Tsuzuki turned to him, grinning.

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” he asked. After work, the shinigami counted down to seeing Anna again. He sent her a flirty text to meet up at their favorite restaurant for dinner. From there, the night to be perfect. After a toast, dessert, and drinks, would come the seduction.

The date went as planned… up until the curse kicked in during dinner.

Tsuzuki took Anna back to their bedroom. She collapsed onto the futon. His knees came on either side of her.

“Hang on,” he said. “I’ll help you heal right away!” Tsuzuki untied his tie. Anna eyed him in a daze.

“A… sato… -kun?” she asked. Tsuzuki pressed his finger to her lips.

“Don’t talk,” he said. “Try to stay conscious.” Anna closed her mouth. Her husband removed his blazer. This wasn’t how he planned this. Tsuzuki wanted this part to be romantic. This felt like a rush job. She needed to feed or she would die.

He leaned in and kissed her on the lips. Anna’s taste was faint compared to this morning. Tsuzuki reached down and rolled her shirt black blouse over her head. The equally black markings spread over her torso in swirls. Anna’s breathing became shallow.

This couldn’t wait.

Tsuzuki finished undressing them both. He tapped Anna on her right cheek.

“Hey,” he said. “You still awake? Blink if you can hear me.” Anna’s eyes slowly closed and opened. Tsuzuki breathed out.

“Good,” he said. “Good, good.”


Only a key could wake up this dying land. A man with violet eyes reached into his heart and drew out a small silver key. The heart-tipped end fell into the ground. Pink lights rippled on the blackened ground. Tiny black butterflies circled a paper lantern. The warmth of the floating white light roused the guardian of Aphrodite’s place. Her silk white and brown dress made her look like a living doll. The star bows in her hair awoke when the man approached their owner.

“Has it begun?” the girl-child guardian asked.

“Yes,” the man answered. They looked up at the sky as ribbons of orange, gold, and crimson unfurled in the sky. The little black butterflies flew down and kissed the red buds.

Maids of Desire dressed in white silk watched the skies.

The red buds bloomed and turned white. One of Ecstasy’s maids rose to her feet dressed in white and green silk. She picked up her signature shamisen and began to play. Another picked up a shakuhachi. As they began to play, the maids’ black hair began to grow longer and flow towards the sky.

Their angelic music notes reached Love’s ears. A light pink waterfall rained from the black jiggered rocks. Little pink lilies popped up from the forming river. Love arose from the cool water. Reddish-pink silk swirled up and covered her tanned curvaceous naked body. Pink lilies bloomed on her hip and hair. Water dripped from her long black hair.

The man with the violet eyes gulped as Love opened her brown eyes.

“Oh, you’re here,” she said. He slowly nodded his head. Her lush lips curved into a smirk.

“So good to see you again, my husband,” Love said. She leaned in and kissed him on the lips, completing the renewal.


Tsuzuki rested his head on Anna’s breasts. “Happy anniversary, Anna-chan.”

Anna ran her fingers through his dark brown hair. “Happy anniversary, babe.”

“Sorry today didn’t go as planned.”

“That’s okay. I’m fine now, thanks to you.”

“That’s good. Maybe next year will be better.”

“I’ll take it.”

Both spouses drifted off to a peaceful sleep.