Chapter Twenty-Five: Fox Trap:

“Anna-chan,” Tsuzuki spoke up. “We need to talk about last night.” His wife stared at him with a poker face.

“What about it?” Anna asked. She guessed where this could be headed.

“It was great,” Tsuzuki said. “But, what was that?”

“I don’t know,” she said. Tsuzuki walked forward and kissed her. He pulled away, shaking his head.

“It’s not there,” the shinigami said.

“What?” Anna asked.

“Last night was…” He struggled with his words. “Was… Was…” Tsuzuki put his hand to his forehead. “I can’t explain it.” Tsuzuki touched her cheek. “Don’t get me wrong. I still love you and I love sleeping with you. But last night…”

“Did you like that one better?”

“I can’t say.”

Anna kissed him on the lips. His hands crept up to hold her, but she pulled away. She clutched her kitten charm.

“You’re right,” the woman said. “I think I know why.”

“What do mean?”

“Is the shield breaking?”


“I felt the Mother trying to feed.” Anna’s voice trembled as she spoke. Tsuzuki gave her a stern look.

“What are you talking about?” the shinigami asked.

“I can’t explain it,” she said. “It was like the Mother was trying to break the shield.” Anna moved her hand to her chest. “I could feel her hunger.” Tsuzuki’s eyes shot wide open. So that’s his angle!

“What angle?” a woman’s voice asked. Tsuzuki felt jerked back into reality. Amber eyes glared at him. Her husband gulped.

“Ka-san,” he said. I forgot she can hear thoughts, he thought. The Mother snorted.

“What are you talking about?” she asked. “What angle? Whose angle?” Tsuzuki pressed his lips together.

“I can’t tell you,” he said.

“And why not?”

“I can’t…” He couldn’t look her in the eyes. Maybe she would take a hint from him. “Can Anna-chan hear me?”

“Why?” The Mother raised an eyebrow.

“Please! This is important! I have to know!”

The Mother rolled her eyes and grumbled. “Fine. Yes.”

Tsuzuki looked so pale. “Oh.”

She put her hands on her hips. “Spit it out! What don’t you want Anna to hear?”

He clinched his fists at his sides. “I just can’t! He made me keep quiet!”


Tsuzuki shook his head. “I can’t tell you anymore! Please, stop asking me questions.”

The Mother’s face resembled a demonic Noh mask. “This is bullshit!” She closed her eyes and Anna returned, collapsing to the floor.

“Anna-chan!” Tsuzuki cried as he raced forward. He caught her just before she hit the floor. She looked up at him.

“Asato-kun,” Anna said as she recovered from the change.

“You okay?” he asked.

“Yeah,” she said. “I’m sorry. She takes over when she gets pissed off. I need to work on that.” Tsuzuki kissed her on the forehead.

“I’m so sorry,” he whispered. “I can’t tell you everything just yet.” The shinigami pulled her to his chest. “When this case is over, I’ll tell you everything. I promise.”

“What are we going to do?” Anna asked. “What if the shield fails?” Tsuzuki squeezed her as he breathed heavily.

“I won’t let that happen.”


“Don’t worry, I will find a way.” At least now, he learned Asmodeus’ true motive for his game. I will not let you have her, you monster! I will fight you!