Chapter 17

(Monday, April 5th, after 23:45)

ZHCh 17After Maseo had ascertained that no one was around, he and Asami walked to the building.  It was a long abandoned one story building that had been used as an office.  Wood had been hammered over all the windows.  He could see the door had been chained closed at one time but someone had cut it.  The lights around the building had been broken.  The bright blue light of the moon illuminated everything, not even flashlights were necessary.   Asami was armed, of course, but Maseo wasn’t.  This fact didn’t prevent him from walking in front of Asami.

“What are we looking for?” asked Maseo after glancing around them. Everything was quiet and they were alone.

Asami stopped walking.  “We’re looking for Jin.”

“Kei told me he’s been calling you.  Is that true?”


“Are you sure it’s him?”


Maseo looked closely at Asami.  “You’ve been having nightmares again, haven’t you?”

Asami paused.  “Yes, and they are like the ones I had when my father died.  The same hallway.  Him calling to me but I can’t find him.” He stepped forward, fixing Maseo with his piercing stare.  “You know I don’t believe in these things but I still need to see.”

“You believe in me, Ryuichi.”  Asami furrowed his brow for a moment then nodded.  Two cars pulled up.  Maseo glanced behind them.

“Kirishima?” asked Asami.  Maseo nodded.  They waited for the men to get out of the cars.  The men were quiet.

Kirishima and Suoh walked up to them.  “Kei, you know Maseo.  This is Suoh Kazumi,” said Asami, pulling out a Dunhill.  He lit it, watching the three of them.

Maseo noticed Suoh was staring at him, frowning.  He met his gaze squarely then Suoh moved closer to Kirishima, laying his hand on his lower back.  Maseo felt a surge of annoyance and waited, trying to identify the feeling.  Jealousy.  The feeling intensified.

Kirishima looked at him for too long then turned away to talk to Asami.

“I don’t think I like you,” said Maseo.  It was a statement more than anything else and Suoh completely ignored it.

“Not very subtle, I see.  Naive too,” said Suoh.  He stepped closer to him, sniffing the air.  “Your scent…it’s unusual.” He glanced back at Kirishima.  “You need to be careful with that.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” said Maseo.  He’d planted his feet and was still staring up at him.

“That’s where you’re wrong,” said Suoh, moving even closer, “I know more than you can imagine.”

Maseo frowned.  He had no idea how to respond to this comment.  He tried a different tactic.  “You shouldn’t be touching him like that,” he said.  He’d lowered his voice because the other men were watching.

“He’s my best friend.  I’ll touch him if he thinks it’s all right.”

“Kazumi, we have work to do,” said Kirishima.  Maseo’s breath caught as their eyes met.  He felt a surge of warmth then Kirishima looked away again.

“Yeah.  Right,” said Suoh, holding Maseo with his gaze before turning his attention to Asami.

Asami dropped his cigarette to the ground, stepping on it.  “Send someone to my penthouse to check on the men who are still there.  I want the outside of this building secured.  The rest of you are to come inside with me.”

“Asami-sama…” said Kirishima.

“I know what you’re going to say.  Don’t bother.  We’re going inside.”

Kirishima sighed.  He spoke quietly to the rest of the men.


The single floor building was in disrepair.  The building appeared to be empty:  there was no furniture, boxes, or equipment.  They walked into what used to be a reception area.  The men fanned out, guns drawn, to check the room and side rooms.  Most of the rooms were empty.  They all had flashlights but kept them turned off.  The door leading out of the reception area into the rest of the building wasn’t locked.  Asami pulled it open slowly.  It was dark in that part of the building but not so dark that they had to use a light.  Suoh moved forward, walking past Asami, and went inside first.  Maseo could see Suoh’s huge form silhouetted in the dark.  Asami went next then Kirishima brushed past him.  Maseo closed his eyes as a gentle desire washed over him. He knew Kirishima was experiencing the same feeling.  He ignored it, focusing on the potential danger in front of them.   He moved silently forward behind Asami who was staring down the hallway to the left.

They were at the apex of a long hallway that ran the length of the building in both directions.  Along both sides were doors.  Some of the rooms appeared to be larger than the others.  At either end of the long hallway was a window.  The window to their right was completely covered with wood.  The wood covering up the window to their left was broken in a few places, allowing bright shafts of moonlight inside.  Asami was staring down the hallway to the left, not moving.   Maseo could see his shoulders were tightening up again.  He moved next to him, past Kirishima, and leaned very close.

“Dream?” Maseo whispered.  Asami continued to stare down the hallway then turned to look at Maseo, eyes slightly wide.  He pushed past Suoh and began walking, pulling out his gun.  The rest of the men followed.  The hallway floor had thick, dirty carpet so they weren’t making much noise.  Paint was peeling on the walls.  As they approached the last third of the hallway, Asami stopped.  There was a small bluish glow coming out from the only door that was ajar.  Asami stayed still.  He seemed to be waiting for something.  Maseo tilted his head, listening.  Someone was moving beyond the door.  Asami was holding his gun in his right hand but he was clenching and unclenching his left.  Kirishima moved behind him, taking a step forward.  Maseo realized when they were near each other, he could feel where Kirishima was physically whether he could see him or not.  He took a deep breath to focus himself.

They heard a beeping sound.  It took Maseo a moment to realize the beeping was the sound of a phone dialing a number.  There was a pause while the phone rang.  Kirishima pulled the Asami’s phone out of his pocket which was set to silent.  He held it up so Asami could see it was Jin’s number.  Maseo saw that the time was 23:59.  Asami nodded then they all heard it:

“I’m still here, Asami, waiting for you.  Please come to me.  I can’t be here alone anymore.  I miss you so much.”  The voice was most certainly Jin’s or a very, very good imitation of it.  It sounded exhausted and melancholy.

Maseo grabbed Asami who had just started moving forward.  Asami turned to look at him.  His eyes had gotten even wider.  Maseo shook his head.  Kirishima grabbed Asami’s other arm and pulled him away.

Maseo walked to the door and slowly pushed it open.  In front of him sitting on the floor was a young man, his back to him.  He looked like Jin.  He had the same slender build, the same length of hair.  The young man was looking at the phone, the light from the phone illuminating his fine slender fingers and light colored hair.  Maseo opened the door a little wider.  The young man turned quickly and looked at him.

Maseo stared.

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