Chapter Nineteen: Sleep Apnea:

Anna awoke the next morning alone in bed. She looked around her in the morning darkness.

“Asato-kun?” the woman whispered, “Asato-kun?” Anna heard someone a murmur of discomfort in the dark. Her eyes turned to her boyfriend in the back corner. Tsuzuki was naked and huddled up trembling. His beloved sat up in bed.

“Asato-kun, what’s wrong?” she asked. He didn’t even look up to acknowledge her when she addressed him. Anna felt her stomach turn as she didn’t enjoy when this could be headed. She got out of bed and walked over to him. The woman reached out to touch him.

“Baby?” she asked as her fingertips reached his hair.

“Don’t touch me!” Tsuzuki cried. Anna stood rather startled by his outburst.

“Asato-kun?” she asked. He looked up at her so pale. The shinigami had been crying all night. All that he had left were dry sobs. Anna felt a tear in her heart.

“Asato-kun,” she said in a soft voice. Tsuzuki dug his nails into his knees. He let off a choked-up sob.

“I… I… I am a monster!” he shouted. Anna shook her head not understanding what he was going on about.

“What are you talking about?” she asked. Tsuzuki only shook his head feeling like he was going to throw up. Anna stood in worried as she tried to piece together what had happened. She leaned in close to his face.

“Asato-kun, what happened?” she asked, “Did you have a bad dream or something?” He still didn’t speak. He even averted his eyes away from hers. Anna worked through her theory.

“Was it about me?” she asked in a whisper. Tsuzuki froze in his black hole.

“I don’t want you to die again,” he muttered. His beloved sat down next to him on the floor. She lightly stroked him on the cheek.

“Is that what this is all about, hm?” his girlfriend asked. Tsuzuki shook his head as he pulled his knees tighter to his chest. The tear in Anna’s heart deepened; she didn’t seem to know what to do in a time like this. She took her lover into her arms.

“Listen, I will give it my all not to die again,” she promised in his ear. Tsuzuki glanced up at her with the eyes of a needy child.

“But what about from me?” he asked in a trembling voice, “I killed people. I let Ruka die! It’s all my fault! It’s all my fault!”

“Shhh,” Anna whispered as she held him close to her chest, “Shhh, it’ll be okay. We will be okay. We will be okay.” Tsuzuki said nothing as he let warmth of her bare skin numb everything inside of him. He rested his cheek against her breasts and closed his eyes. Through Anna’s torn heart, the old flame called rage began to heat up in her eyes. She had a clue as to who did this to her boyfriend. The woman held Tsuzuki closer as the fire flared up in her eyes.

Asmodeus! You have no right to harm my Asato-kun!, she thought, You won’t tear up apart! I will fight you to keep us together!” Anna cradled Tsuzuki in her arms as a guarantee.