Chapter Eleven: Emiko�s Past:

August 13th, 1960.

Emiko ate without complaints. Today�s menu consisted of roasted lamb, fresh rice balls, roasted eel, toasted seaweed, grilled vegetables, and fresh apan. Her new friend brought her the good stuff here. Emiko paused over her eel. Come to think of it, Sumire did look kind of cute.

The other woman watched her eat. Her hand fidgeted in her lap. The sound of morning crane filled the air behind them in their field.

"I hope everything's to your liking," she said.

"Yeah," Emiko said. "I'm just happy to have real food for a change."

"Real food?" Sumire asked.

"Yeah!" the butch demon said. "The meals I usually got were dry and bland."

"Usually?" Sumire asked. "Where did you come from?" Emiko paused with a rice ball in her hand.  Should I tell her the truth? Can I trust her? Emiko studied Sumire's face narrowed eyes. She looked trustworthy, but it could be a trap. Emiko smirked.

"I could ask you the same thing," she said. Sumire blinked at her.

"What do you mean?" she asked. The butch demon sat back.

"Who are you really?" she asked. "Where did you come from? Why are you being so nice to me?" The other woman shrugged.

"I'm Sumire," she said. "I just thought you needed a little help out here." Emiko raised an eyebrow at her.

"Is that all?" she asked.

"Yes," Sumire insisted. Emiko pondered this her reply.

"I'm on the run," she admitted. "That's all I can tell you right now." Sumire opened her mouth to speak, but Emiko held up her hand.

"At!" she said. "That's all I'm saying." The butch demon noticed her new friend pouting at her. She sighed aloud.

"Okay, I'll make a bargain with you," Emiko said. "Each day, we will exchange information while I try to figure out what to do next. You tell me about yourself and I will do the same. Deal?" Sumire gave her a little smile.

"Deal!" she said.

January 8th, 2010.

Emiko paced around in the hall, panting. She shook her head hard. Get a whole of yourself! You can't let the past interfere! Not yet! Get through this first and then get on with life! Emiko drew in another breath. "Right," she mumbled. The butch demon turned and walked back into the dining room. The other demons waited for her.

"What?" their leader asked. Hotaru's hands trembled.

"Emiko-sama," she spoke up. "Is something wrong?" Her girlfriend eyed her.

"What?" she asked. "What do you mean?"

"Why are we doing this again?" Hoto-chan asked. "Please don't lie. I won't get mad. I promise!" Emiko lowered her gaze.

"I�" she began. �I made a promise to someone� years ago�"

"Who?" Hotaru asked. Her girlfriend felt her heartache. She didn't want to tell the truth, not like this. Too late now. Emiko lifted her head.

"Sumire," she mumbled. Her girlfriend gave her a strange look.

"Who?" she asked.



Emiko's face turned bright red as she balled her fists. "Sumire! Sumire! Sumire-chan!"

Hotaru's mind went into a tailspin. "Who's Sumire?!"

"She was my lover," she said. Hotaru broke down in tears as she ran out of the living room. Mike and Kazue turned to Emiko. The butch demon lowered her head. That was only one flap and more still needed to be unfolded. Her heart ripped in her chest.