Chapter Twenty-Four: Drivin’ Me Wild:
The crew looked up when they heard the doors ripping open. Lucy and Stella looked in the house as if they hadn’t eaten in days. The Goth slut smirked at the shinigami and Anna.
"Hey boys!" she purred, "Hey Barbie." Anna raised an eyebrow at her.
"Barbie?" she asked. Lucy only waved her off.
"How's it hangin'?" she asked. The boys looked pale.
"H-How did you find this place?" Tsuzuki stammered. Lucy turned to her friend.
"Care to explain, Stel?" she asked. The wolf demon gave them a proud smile.
"I sniffed y'all out," she explained as if talking about her weekend without a care.
"You what?" Watari asked.
"Wolf demon," Tsuzuki and Hisoka said in misery. Their friend took a closer look at Stella. She gave him a wink and a smile.
"So she is," he said. Nervousness became bitterness when Stella saw Anna. The burn flashed in her eyes. Lucy gave her a puzzled look on her face.
"Stel, what's wrong?" she asked.
"I can smell kitsune on her!" she hissed.
"Huh?" Lucy asked as she turned her attention to Anna.
"I don't know what you mean," the third woman lied. Stella came within inches of her face.
"Don't fucking lie to me, bitch!" she snapped. Anna took a step back.
"Okay," she said. "So I am a kitsune tsukai, but I'm not with my family." Stella glared at her. The boys watched with confused and worried looks on their faces. The women were talking so fast in English, but judging by Stella's face, she wasn't too happy about whatever this argument was about.
"Anna," Tsuzuki whispered in his girlfriend’s ear. "What's going on?" The woman kept her eyes on the wolf.
"I think she knows about my family and me," Anna explained in Japanese. Her boyfriend shot a nervous glance over at Stella.
"Hey!" the wolf demon snapped. "Focus on me, bitch!"
"Excuse me?" Anna asked, starting to get offended.
"Lucy, do something," Tsuzuki pleaded.
"Fine, fine," the Goth brushed off with a shrug. She took Stella by the shoulders.
"Come on, Stel," she said. "Lay off of Barbie." Stella pushed her off.
"Don't you get it?" she snapped. "This bitch is part of the Eda-Kimoto clan I've heard about!"
"Really?" Lucy asked, turning to Anna. "This true, Barbie?" she asked. Anna pressed her lips together as she clenched her fists by her side.
"Yes," she hissed with her head lowered.
"See?" Stella snapped. "She admits it!" The tsukai woman jerked her head upwards with fire in her eyes.
"Yes, but I hate them!" Anna snapped. The wolf demon raised an eyebrow at her.
"Do you now?" she asked.
"Yes!" Anna screamed. “My Papa is dead because of them! Why would I want to associate myself with monsters that took away someone dear to me? What sense would that make if they were the people that killed me? Answer that, huh?!?”
"Leave it, Stel," Lucy said. Her tone shocked the shinigami. If Lucy is starting to get concerned about someone causing a scene, that’s a clear sign things are about to get ugly. The wolf demon chuckled to herself.
"Fine, fine," she brushed off, "I hear ya." Stella worked her way out of Lucy’s grasp. The crew relaxed, but the black wolf demon shot a glance at Anna. "This ain't over, sweetheart!" the look in her eyes warned her. Anna narrowed her own eyes at her.
The night sedated everyone's moods, yet it wound up something inside of Hisoka. He couldn't keep it buried in his soul any longer. It didn’t seem fair that Tsuzuki had been with him for close to fourteen years and never gave him a second look. However, his partner got to know Anna in five months and they were dating. Hisoka tried his best to keep a stiff upper lip and be happy for his partner. To his dismay, he found this wasn’t working anymore and decided to tell Tsuzuki how he truly felt. The boy found his partner in his room once the hectic showdown had grown quiet. Hisoka peeked in to see if Tsuzuki was alone.
"Don't worry Hisoka-kun," the older shinigami said at the window out looking the pond in the back of the house. "She's out at the moment." Hisoka stepped into the room.
"You sure?" he whispered.
“Yes,” his partner answered as he smiled to himself. Hisoka glanced down at his feet.
"Oh…" he mumbled. The body tried to form the words in his head. It all sounds backwards, slurred even. Just a few minutes ago, they sounded just the way that he wanted them to. The silence around him made it that much harder. Tsuzuki turned his attention away from the window to face his young partner.
"What's on your mind, Hisoka-kun?" he asked. The boy froze with a heavy heart.
"Uh…well…" he mumbled. What's the point? He already knew what the answer was going to be. Why bother coming out with it now after a month and a half? However, the boy had to say something. Hisoka drew his eyes closed. Why wasn't it coming out like he wanted it? It should have been simple with those three little words, right? He could do this even if he knew that he would be rejected. Tsuzuki gave him a patient smile.
"It's okay, Hisoka-kun," he murmured. "I'm always here for you." His young partner pressed his lips together as he drew open his eyes.
"I love you…" the boy mumbled, almost inaudible. Tsuzuki gave him a puzzled look.
"What did you say?" he asked.
"I love you," Hisoka repeated as he felt his nerve crumbling with each time he spoke those words. At first, Tsuzuki didn’t understand where this was going. In fact, part of him hoped that he was hearing things.
"I’m sorry," he said. “I don’t understand what you are trying to tell me. What do you mean?” Hisoka clinched his fists as his body trembled.
"I love you, you idiot!" he shouted. "I love you, okay?" Hisoka's cheeks went cherry tomato red. He looked up to see Tsuzuki still smiling as if to calm him down. His partner wanted to scream, "Stop smiling and say something, you idiot!" at him. Instead, Tsuzuki walked over to his side of the room and placed his hand on the shoulder.
"I am flattered," he said in a low voice. "I love you too, Hisoka-kun. It’s just…" The boy could feel Tsuzuki's serene sympathy flowing through him. True, Tsuzuki loved him, but more like a younger brother than a lover. His heart belonged to her. Hisoka already saw this coming, but it still hurt him.
"So what do we do about this?" Hisoka asked, pushing his hand away. Tsuzuki gave him an understanding smile.
"That's up to you," he said. "Whatever you decided, I will always be here for you."
"Stop saying that," the boy mumbled. His kinds words burned worse than the rejection itself.
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