Chapter Thirty: Wild Woman:

Her laughter filled the early morning hours. Annabelle danced around in the streets with her white high heels in her hands. Shouto walked behind her, smiling. He finally decided to show up at two in the morning. Tsuzuki and Anna walked side by side. They didn’t speak. He kept looking over at her. Anna didn’t have any emotion on her face. Tsuzuki looked so nervous.

“I’m not mad,” Anna said. Tsuzuki whipped his head around. She didn’t look at him.

“I trust you,” Anna said. “She was drunk. You weren’t expecting it.”

“But…” he said.

“Did you feel anything from that kiss?” she asked.


“Did you feel anything when she kissed you?” She looked him in the eye now.

“No,” Tsuzuki said without hesitation.

“Good,” she said. “So we don’t have a problem.” Tsuzuki blinked.

“Okay…” he said.

“We good?”

“I guess…” Talk died from there. Tsuzuki sucked in a mouthful of air. He shoved his hands into his pockets.

“You okay back there?” Shouto asked over his shoulder. The couple looked up.

“Sure, sure,” Tsuzuki said. “It’s good. We’re good. Everything is good.” Anna nudged him on the arm. The shinigami went quiet.

“Right…” Shouto said.

“So where are we going now?” Anna asked.

“Breakfast,” he said.

“Where?” she asked. Shouto looked behind him.

“The Pancake House,” he said. “Come with us.”

“Yes!” Annabelle shouted.  She pumped her fist in the air. Anna narrowed her eyes at her.


The Pancake House was a café that was a hole in the wall. Quite cozy actually.  The two couples sat near the front window. Shouto had his eyes on Tsuzuki. Annabelle danced around in her seat. Anna looked at the menu. Shouto took out a fresh cigarette.

“Tsuzuki, can we talk for a moment?” he asked. The shinigami looked up.

“Why?” he asked. Shouto lit up his cigarette.

“Let’s go outside,” he said. The man stood up and walked to the door. Tsuzuki turned to the two women. They didn’t respond. Tsuzuki stood up and followed behind his old friend.

Shouto stood outside, smoking. Tsuzuki slowly approached his friend.

“I love her, you know,” Shouto spoke up. The other shinigami froze. His friend didn’t turn around.

“Annabelle,” he said.  “She’s a force I cannot ignore. Everyone stares at her when she walks into a room.” He turned his head. Tsuzuki started to speak.

“We have wandering eyes,” Shouto said. “She and I. I let her roam. I roam too. But we come back together. I don’t complain.”

“Shouto…” Tsuzuki said. His friend shook his head.

“You caught her attention, I’m afraid,” he said.

“Look, I am not interested. I am married. I have a daughter. I love them both so much.”

“I know,” Shouto said.  “She knows too.”

“She kissed me. I didn’t do anything.”

“I know. I saw you.”

Tsuzuki blinked. “Where?”

Shouto flicked out his cigarette. “VIP balcony.”


The other shinigami waved his cigarette around in the air. “Listen, man. I know you love your wife. But do me a favor and don’t do anything.”

Tsuzuki shook his head. “I won’t do anything.”

“I know you won’t. But she won’t stop. Not while she’s drunk.” Shouto flicked out his cigarette. He started to walk back into the diner. But then he paused and whispered in Tsuzuki’s ear.

“If you betray me, I will never forgive you.” Shouto was already inside. Tsuzuki stood frozen in the cold. That tone, boy. Tsuzuki turned his head, trembling. When did Shouto get so scary?

Meanwhile, Annabelle giggled and smiled to herself.