A group of men sat on couches, including Asami. There were two open briefcases on the table in front them, full of cash. More men stood around the edges of the room. Two of them were reaching into their jackets. Akihito caught his breath. He knew they had guns.
Asami stood up, glancing at the two men. They stopped reaching into their jackets and relaxed. Asami excused himself and walked towards Akihito, an expression of curious concern on his face. He had showered and changed but Akihito could still see that uncharacteristic openness in his eyes. Akihito’s breath hitched as Asami came closer. His heart was thumping and the longing was stirring in his chest again. They were standing outside the open door in the hallway. Asami had pulled the door halfway closed. Kirishima was standing a little ways away from them.
“I’m hungry and I want to talk to you,” said Akihito, looking up at him. Asami took another step closer. The longing turned into an ache rushing through him. He needed to reach out to Asami, to touch him, but managed to stop himself.
“You were supposed to wait in my office, Akihito,” said Asami. He wasn’t angry at all. He glanced over Akihito’s head at Kirishima.
“I got tired of waiting,” Akihito said, taking a step closer, “I came here on my own to see you. I’m more important than whatever is going on in there.” He took an audible breath and reached up to touch Asami’s lapel. He could feel he was blushing. He wanted more than anything to fall into Asami’s arms again.
“We’re almost finished with this meeting. I’ll be along shortly,” said Asami leaning towards him.
Akihito was tracing his fingers slowly along the edge of Asami’s lapel. “What’s with all the cash?” he asked. He knew he shouldn’t have asked but he couldn’t resist.
Asami grabbed Akihito’s wrist, pulling him up against him. “None of your business,” Asami said in his ear. The sound of Asami’s voice made him shudder.
Asami released his arm and stepped away from him. “Kirishima, take him back to my office and get him whatever he wants for dinner,” Asami said, still not taking his eyes off him.
“And who is this beautiful young man, Asami?” The speaker had come out of the VIP room and had a cultured voice with a trace of a British accent. Akihito turned around. The speaker was a dazzling man, perhaps a few years older than him. He was taller than Akihito and gracefully slender, his beautifully cut dark suit showing it to best advantage. He had mesmerizing green eyes. His thick, silky black hair came to his shoulders and he had a beautiful pouting mouth. He smiled a breathtaking smile at Akihito. He had an almost royal bearing, a person who was accustomed to the best things in life.
“It’s not your concern,” said Asami. Akihito felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked up at Kirishima who was standing directly behind him. Asami turned back towards the VIP room but the man grabbed Asami’s shoulders. Akihito started as the man leaned into Asami, something he knew not just anyone could do. Kirishima’s hand tightened on his shoulder.
“This must be your Takaba-kun, Asami. Oh yes, we’ve all heard the stories and now I’ve finally seen him.” The man glanced at Akihito again, this time dismissing him. “He’s pretty, it’s true, but I can’t imagine why he holds so much value especially when there are others who could be so much more to you.”
Akihito’s heart was hammering in his chest. He felt on the verge of panic. The man had not released his hold on Asami. Akihito didn’t like the way he was touching him. Asami had no reaction, merely looked down at the man. “You need to return to the room so we can continue the meeting, Ravi. The others are waiting.”
Ravi allowed his hand to trail down to Asami’s right elbow. His touch was very familiar. “You should think about your position in this world, Asami. You don’t want to be seen connected to someone who is so obviously beneath you.”
“Take your hands off him. Now.” Akihito was surprised at the calm in his voice. For once his anger was grounding him, keeping him cool. He stepped forward, shrugging off Kirishima’s hand, and clenched his hands when Ravi didn’t move. “I said, take your hands off him!”
Asami looked at Akihito, surprise registering on his face. Ravi’s beautiful smile only widened. “I see I’ve hit a nerve,” he said then he tilted his face to Asami’s, slipping his arms around his neck, and kissed him. Akihito’s vision blurred for a moment and he heard a roaring in his ears. He slammed into Ravi, shoving him against the wall. Ravi collapsed to his knees. “You…How dare you!!” Akihito yelled as he kicked him.
“Takaba, stop!” Akihito felt Asami grab him from behind. For a moment, he was acutely aware of Asami’s warmth and the familiar feeling of his arms around him. The yearning that had begun when he first entered the club surged through him like fire. Two bodyguards with guns drawn appeared in the doorway but Akihito didn’t care.
“He shouldn’t be touching you like that, much less kissing you. HOW COULD YOU LET HIM DO THAT?” yelled Akihito, rounding on Asami, his fury reddening his face.
“Takaba…” Asami started to say, his hands still warm on Akihito’s back.
Akihito grabbed Asami’s lapels. “You belong to me!!! Understand??!! ME, DAMMIT!!!”
Asami drew him close and said low in his ear, “Akihito, this is a sensitive business meeting. Wait in my office. Kirishima will take care of you.”
Akihito let go of Asami’s lapels. He was shaking. He stepped back reluctantly, staring at the ground. Embarrassment mixed with the anger flooded him. Ravi was laughing at him.
“Don’t worry, Takaba-kun, it won’t take long for Asami to forget all about you. That was just one kiss. Asami needs the company of a better class of person,” Ravi said, smiling at Akihito while he brushed off his suit. His beauty radiated from some ethereal place.
Akihito glowered at him and without thinking punched Ravi in the face, knocking him to the side. “Don’t you even THINK…” Akihito shouted, his hand still fisted, ready to hit him again. Someone grabbed his wrist. One of the Ravi’s bodyguards in the doorway stepped forward pointing his gun at Akihito.
“STOP!” Asami shouted. The raised sound of his voice brought everything to a standstill. Asami was pressing his gun to the side of the bodyguard’s head. The man lowered his gun. “Kirishima, take him away,” Asami said.
The hand on his wrist tightened. He wasn’t surprised to see that Kirishima had grabbed it to keep him from hitting Ravi again. Akihito wrenched his arm away from him then ran blindly down the hallway. He could hear Asami’s voice but didn’t understand what was saying.
Akihito flew through the first open door he found. He was on the main floor and ran through all the elites, knocking over waiters. He ran into the elevator as two well-dressed older men were coming out and pressed the close door button. He stood gasping, clenching and unclenching his hands. He looked up. In the right corner was a security camera. He glared at it then turned his attention to the elevator doors so he would be ready in case Asami had sent some of his men to intercept him on the bottom floor.
As soon as the doors opened, he ran for the front entrance. The two doormen were there but he barreled right into them, pushing them aside. He shoved through the door, knocked a semi-famous starlet aside, and ran out into the street without looking. Cars screeched and slammed on their brakes. The two cars nearest to him barely missed each other. He heard the shouts of angry people. Akihito stopped when he reached the sidewalk on the other side of the street and glanced back at the club’s entrance to see Kirishima coming through the door. Then he took off running again.