Chapter Forty-Four: Time of Day:


I: Awake

Why am I up this early? I’m not upset about anything, no nightmares tonight either. But for some reason I'm just lying here wide awake. What do I do now? A feeling comes over me that I can't explain and I look behind me at Anna-chan. Anna-chan looks so angelic as she sleeps. I reach over to push aside her bangs aside, and kiss her forehead.

“I love you,” I whisper.

It’s too early to get ready but I'm having trouble getting back to sleep so, I wind up getting out of bed and walking around the apartment.


II: Morning

“What are you doing up so early?” Anna-chan yawns.

“Don’t really know, I woke up and just couldn’t sleep anymore.”

“Something wrong, my love?”

I shake my head. “Nope. Just woke up early for some reason.” I answer while chewing another bite of white rice.

“You have another long day today, don't you?” she asks.

“Yeah,” I answer. “How’s the job hunt going?”

“Good so far. Slow, but good.”

“You’ll find something, I know you will.” I smile lightly as I try to reassure her.

“I hope so,” she sighs.

“You will.” I plant a soft kiss on the top of her head as leave my bowl and chopsticks in the sink.


After breakfast, I finish preparing for work, and set out for the day.


III: Work Day

Not much has changed, work is slow and boring as ever. I'm weighed down by mountains of paperwork, my boss still sucks, and I still have the same position. But there is one consolation at least - Hisoka looks like his old self again. On the other hand, Tatsumi is still kind of being a dick to me.

I at the stacks of paper in my inbox, sink down in my office chair and sigh. Yep, nothing has changed around Ju-Oh-Cho. They say I have, but I don’t see it. I’m still me. I’m still Tsuzuki Asato. I stare blankly out of the window near my desk, recklessly daydreaming. Pretty much wishing to be anywhere but here. When I turn back around, the real world comes back into sharp focus as I realize that there's still paperwork to do.


Fuck my life.


IV: Motive:

Tonight feels long and boring. I have still more paperwork to do. Doesn’t Tatsumi ever let up? I sit back, roll my eyes, and sigh. Do I have to do this? Would it be so bad if I skipped it tonight? I could try… Suddenly, my phone buzzes. Not only was I curious to see who was calling, I longed for the distraction so, I flip it open my phone to a cheeky surprise - one new message from Anna-chan. A brand new selfie!!

            I’m so lonely at home. Please come and play with me, baby!

The picture of her breasts proudly displayed in that black and white lace nightie of hers becomes motive enough for me to plow through the last few bits of paperwork. Once the last contact is signed, I'm out the door!


V: Red Swans

Anna-chan greets me at the door with a flirty smile on her face, wearing the gown she had on in the picture. “Welcome home.”

I smile back at her, but can’t keep my eyes off the gossamer black and white lace covering the globes of her breasts. “I’m home,” is my only reply.

She circles her arms around my neck and whispers “I missed you today… Kiss me.” I sweep her into my arms, and plant a blistering soul kiss on her plump lips as I carry her off to our room for a little playtime.


“You came back,” the priest said.

“Yes,” Megumi answered. “I did.”

“But why?”

She nuzzled his neck as they lay under their favorite red willow tree. “I had to see you again.” The priest held her in his arms and cuddled her as she spoke. “You were so sweet to me.” She looked up at him. “I think I might have fallen in love with you, a little.”

The priest didn’t know how to respond. He’d had a rough life early on. No one spoke a kind word to him in ages, leaving him with the feeling that everybody hated him. He found solace when he joined the monastery. For the first time in his life he had found peace and quiet. His fellow clerics provided brotherhood and a sense of belonging that he'd not experienced before. His stolen moments with the Goddess were singular because except for the time spent with her in the temple, he had yet to feel romantic love. Megumi rested her head against chest. She could feel his heart beating. The priest pressed his lips together in a thin line as he wondered to himself What do I do? An idea came into his head.

“I want to show you something,” he whispered, lips pressed into her hair.

“What is it?” she queried.

“Come with me,” he kissed her cheek, offered her his hand, and led her down to the lake. The morning sky was only beginning to morph from night to day and daybreak was still minutes away. Megumi stood at the water’s edge and stared out at the smooth glassine surface.

“What is it?” she asked.

“Shhh,” he whispered. “Just watch.” The woman continued to stare at the water. A firefly landed in front of them and on the surface and lit up. A second one fluttered down to join it. More landed and lit up in a small huddle. Megumi’s eyes shined bright with wonder.

“Wow!” she murmured.

“Keep watching,” the priest told her.

A red swan appeared and landed on the lake’s surface. The fireflies began to dance around the bird. Their lights added to its scarlet beauty. Moments later, another red swan landed on the water to unite with the first. The fireflies dance intensified as the swans began their own. Megumi giggled and clapped at the beautiful display before her. As the swans swam toward each for a “kiss”, the priest pulled her close, cupped her chin in his hand, and kissed her tenderly. She returned the gesture, making her feelings clear as the tranquil, ripple free lake. Leaving the man with a single thought:

I have to be with her... forever.


VI: Cool Blue

I pretend to be asleep when Anna leans into my ear and sweetly whispers, “I love you, Asato-kun. Now and forever.”