Chapter One: Belladonna Petals:
It all started with an offer.
December 10th, 2009.
An angel had an interest in Anna. He didn't do romance, however. Sadism tasted sweeter than honey. He learned this from an old friend. This same old friend gave the angel a small request to fulfill. Because of the nature of the job, he gladly accepted. But first, the angel had to sell the proposition. Lucky for him, he had the perfect pitch.
Play Upon Concerns
Tsuzuki stared at the engagement rings on display in the window as the snowflakes softly fell onto his brown hair. The streetlights behind him only added to the teasing glimmer in the store window's reflection. Christmas would be here in fifteen days. Fifteen days to get Anna a gift. The engagement ring would be the ideal option. Sadly, he still lacked the money. Anna told him it was okay.
"I don't need a ring," she said. "I just have my answer." Yeah, that was all he had. No wedding plans. No wedding date. No ring. Just a "yes." Tsuzuki dropped his shoulders. An engagement ring would give them away. Still, he had to show something for his love. The shinigami pressed his forehead against the glass as he reflected on how he screwed up with his latest purchase today. That cake was so good, but now I can't afford a ring.
"Aren't they pretty?" he heard someone ask. Tsuzuki glanced to his right. A slender young man stood next to him, looking at the rings. The nature around him gave off a feeling colder than the very diamonds in the display window. Even his black-framed glasses chilled the warmth of a child's heart. He smirked and shook his head.
"I think it's pathetic, really," the man said. "They symbolize love forever, but where does that really get ya? Misery all the way to divorce." Tsuzuki blinked at him with a strange look.
"E-Excuse me?" he asked. The stranger looked up at him. His pale blue eyes reminded Tsuzuki of the first time he met Muraki. The young man chuckled.
"Sorry, just thinking out loud," he said. He held out a graceful hand in the snow.
"I don't believe we've met," he said. "I'm Saehara Satoshi."
"Tsuzuki Asato," the shinigami said as he took his hand and shook it. An icy feeling ran over the Shinigami. Instinct told him to get the hell away from him as fast as he could. Tsuzuki's eyes scanned for an exit while his mind dug around for excuse to depart from him. Satoshi drew back his hand. He turned back to the rings.
"So, who's the ring for?" he asked. Tsuzuki turned to the display as well.
"My fiancï¿½e," he replied trying to keep a brave face the whole time.
"Preparing to purpose?" the younger man asked.
"Already have," the shinigami said. "She said yes."
"Without a ring?" Satoshi asked. Tsuzuki nodded. His heart picked up speed. Despite the cold, he felt himself sweating buckets.
"Yeah," he said.
"What's her name?" the younger man asked.
"Anna," Tsuzuki let slip out. Satoshi looked up at him.
Satoshi smirked and turned to him. "Excellent, you're just the person I had to see."
Tsuzuki blinked at him. "What are you talking about?" he asked.
Satoshi took a step forward. "I have a little proposition for you," he offered.
Fire sparked up in Tsuzuki's violet eyes. His hands tightened up into fists as his mind screamed, "Attack!" "What?"
Make Him an Offer He Can't Refuse
The fact that people were walking around shopping in the busy streets of Tokyo didn't faze this cold man standing before Tsuzuki at all. They might as well have been in an empty room alone together having this conversation. To the outside, they just looked like two men talking about their days in front of a jewelry store. Tsuzuki on the other hand, prepared to lead this man off somewhere if it came down to violence.
"Give your body to me," Satoshi ordered.
"Why should I?" Tsuzuki barked. "Who the hell are you?"
"My client wants to put Anna through a little trial," the younger man said.
"What kind of trial?" the shinigami asked.
"A trial of suffering," Satoshi said.
"Never!" Tsuzuki barked. Satoshi smirked at the potential channel.
"I'm afraidï¿½ you have no choice," he said. Tsuzuki grasped his fuda in his coat.
"And why is that?" he snapped. In a flash, the now-white-winged young man's lips touched the shinigami's ear. A whisper as cold as ice filled Tsuzuki's mind. The fuda fluttered straight to the ground. Satoshi drew back with a grin.
"So, what's it going to be?" he asked. A sickly-pale-faced Tsuzuki stood silent. Anna didn't deserve this, but he couldn't lose her to Ju-Oh-Cho because of their secret engagement either. Not like that. He finally dropped his head and mumbled his answer. Satoshi licked his lips.
"Good boy," he said. "Nice to do business with you."
"And Anna-chan?" Tsuzuki asked.
"Safe from lasting harm," the angel lied. The shinigami didnï¿½t believe him, but found it too late to back out now.
"Just do it," he murmured in gall.
"Easy there, little lamb!" Satoshi said. "The night's still young. Come walk with me." Tsuzuki lowered his shoulders.
"Fine," he said, repressing his rage.
"Good, good," the angel said. Both men headed into the dark, snowy Tokyo night. Tsuzuki kept another fuda in his hand for safe measure.
"Oh come on now," Satoshi cooed. "If I wanted to fight you, I would've done it then and there."
"I still don't trust you," the shinigami hissed. The other man only shrugged his feminine-like shoulders with a vampire smile.
"Fine, fine," he said. "Suit yourself." Tsuzuki gritted his teeth. First chance that he tries to pull something, I will fight back, he thought. This was going to be a long night.