Chapter Fifteen: Narcolepsy:

It was just like when her friends coaxed her out of the water. Anna sat in her room in a daze the whole day. Tsuzuki watched her from the doorway. He hated her like this; her pain made him untouchable. He didn’t know how to help her at a time like this. Tsuzuki was about to attempt to do so when Hisoka touched his shoulder. His partner looked up at him as the boy shook his head. Tsuzuki pouted at him.

“Let her be,” Hisoka whispered. The older shinigami opened his mouth to speak.

“But…” he tried to say.

“Let her be,” his partner said again. “She’ll talk when she’s ready.” Tsuzuki reluctantly lowered his head. Hisoka gave him a kind smile.

“Come on,” he said, “We have work to do.” She heard them from inside as both boys walked away. Anna was there physically, but distant mentally. Her mind kept playing that night over and over again in her head. Asmodeus meant to have her. He let her go this time, but next time…

I don’t want to tell Asato-kun about this, Anna thought. But, he has to know. What if Asmodeus decides to… Anna shook her head, No! I don’t know what I’d so if anything happened to Asato-kun! She huddled her knees to her chest tighter.

Hours later, the door slid open. Tsuzuki peeked around inside. “Anna-chan,” he whispered, “You in here?” Tsuzuki carefully walked inside when he received no answer. “I brought you some tea,” he whispered as he took a step forward. He found her near the door still looking out of it. Her lover sat down next to her.

“How are you?” he asked. Tsuzuki looked into the darkness when she didn’t respond. “If you want to talk about it, I’m right here. Okay?” the shinigami offered. Tsuzuki took in a breath and got up to leave.

“I saw a murder six years ago,” Anna spoke up. Tsuzuki paused in his tracks and glanced over at her.

“Sorry?” he asked. Anna stared at her tea with blank eyes.

“Back in ’04, I was at a party at Clare’s beach house,” she explained in a trembling voice, “I couldn’t sleep that night. So, I wandered out to the beach.” It hurt to say it, but it had to come out. “I saw this man rape, eat, and kill an angel,” she broke down, “I wanted to run, but my legs wouldn’t move. Finally, he saw me. I really panicked then. I thought I was going to die.”

“Listen, you don’t have to say anything else,” Tsuzuki insisted as came back over to her. Anna quickly shook her head.

“No! I have to say it!” she cried. Tsuzuki held back as he sat back down next to her.

“Drink up some first,” he told her. Anna nodded and took a sip. She kept her eyes to the floor.

“He came up to me and kissed my hand,” she went on, “Then he said in my head, ‘I will devour you the next time we meet. But tonight, I will let you go.’” She took another sip. “And last night, he tracked me down,” Anna forced out of her mouth, “Asmodeus had thrown me into his vile game. And… And I don’t want you dragged into my mess!” Her thoughts broke with a light shush. Anna looked up to see Tsuzuki’s face inches from her. He lightly shushed her again.

“It’ll be okay,” he said softly. Anna stared at him quietly.

“But…” she murmured. Tsuzuki pressed his forehead against hers.

“I won’t let anyone hurt!” he declared.

“But… he’s not like my family!” Anna yelped, “Asmodeus is more than a monster! He’s…” The shinigami gave her a little kiss on the lips.

“We will be okay,” he told her.

“Asato-kun…” she murmured.

“We will be okay,” Tsuzuki told her, “Say that to me.” Anna stared deep into eyes as she gulped softly.

“We will be okay,” she repeated. Tsuzuki kissed her on the forehead and caressed her face. The numb feeling began to ebb within Anna.

Outside, Asmodeus had watching them from outside, but anger wasn’t on his mind. In fact, he was plotting to use this relationship to own advantage in his game to ravish the witch. I will wither their love!, he thought with a smirk as he vanished into the thin night air.