Just when Akihito thought he could bargain with Asami...
What was in the black box? Akihito wondered. Who was Harry Winston? The name sounded familiar to him, but he could not get himself to remember.
At the long last, he gave up, and got up from his seat at the window sill to lift the black box from the desk. He would only peek. He would put it back before Asami showed up. Even if Asami showed up and asked why he peeked, he'd just say he got bored waiting for the man to show up and punish him for once again taking pictures of mafia bosses making illegal deals.
He brought he box to his eyes level and opened the lid slowly.
His eyes widened and he almost gasped in a pleasant surprise.
Inside the box, nested nicely on a piece of soft, black velvet, there lay a string of diamonds. He could tell they were diamonds from the way the little gems stone. They were weaved neatly in the form of a necklace, about two inches wide, and twelve inches long.
Gods, he grinned. Some women were just lucky. He touched the diamonds carefully with fingertips, he had never touched a diamond before, let alone a row of them, it felt almost unreal. He did not know that Asami was into getting expensive gifts to his women, the necklace must have costed at least around several million yen. However, considering Asami once offered to buy him an apartment, that seemed to be hardly unusual.
Who's the lucky woman, he asked himself as he closed the lid, and now that he had seen the inside, he remembered that he read the name Harry Winston in a diamond ad in some high-class foreign magazine.
Akihito was extending his hand, ready to put the box back on the desk, but something struck him. He re-opened the lid, wrapped the necklace carefully but swiftly with its velvet lining, and slipped it into his jeans pocket. Then he quickly put the box back on the desk, right on its original place. He knew he was playing with fire, but he had gone through the worst with Asami, he would be able to take any consequences.
He was panting with excitement, and he sighed in relief when Asami only showed up a few minutes later, after he calmed down.
"I want my camera back," Akihito sulked, however, he was holding his breath as he watched Asami walked around his desk to his chair.
"Can't. This time, you need to really learn your lesson," said Asami, tossing him something. In reflex, Akihito caught it. It was a candy. He frowned. "Go home. Don't do anything stupid anymore."
"But the camera is very important to me!" Akihito snapped, tossing the candy to the garbage bin.
Asami glowered at him. "Then you'd better learn how not to lose it," he said as he sat down. "Kobe will walk you out." The man gestured at his bodyguard at the door.
"Don't bother," Akihito slipped his hands into his pockets, almost grinning when his fingers touched the velvet. "I know the way out."
In two minutes he was out of Club Sion, walking away awkwardly, expecting Asami's call on his cell phone, or his bodyguard to come and get him anytime, the diamonds were getting heavier and heavier inside his pocket by the seconds. He made it to the bus stop without any incident. Furthermore, he made it to his apartment thirty minutes later, which made him wonder what took Asami so long to find out that the diamonds had disappeared. Still he laughed as he pressed his forehead on the door, although he did not feel victorious for fooling Asami.
He knew Asami would come. Eventually.
And that happened two hours later, when he heard a loud knock on his door. Asami did not bother to call first, or to press the doorbell. He just banged on the door, hard, knowing very well that Akihito would have to get it or his neighbours would call the security, and Akihito did not want the latter to happen. Akihito quickly went to the door.
"Where is it?" asked Asami as he brushed past Takaba into his apartment.
With hands on his hips, Asami glared at Akihito dangerously. "You know what."
Akihito stared back at Asami, suddenly feeling like he was burning in fire. "I really..."
"Cut it off, Akihito. I have two bodyguards outside on stand by to tear this place off if you want to play dumb. But believe me, you don't want that. So just give me the damn thing."
Akihito nibbled on his lower lip. He knew Asami meant every word, but... did he have to give up very soon?
"I want my camera back," he blurted.
"I'm not open for negotiation," snapped Asami.
"Then you're welcome to...," Akihito gasped when Asami shoved him to the door, pinning him there with hand around his neck, strong and threatening, the man's stare stabbed through his eyes like a dagger. Automatically, he wrapped his hands on Asami's wrist, trying to tug him down, but Asami held on, strengthening his choke with each of Akihito's attempts. Akihito batted his eyelids, then stared back at Asami as sharply as he found to be able to breath, frantically convincing himself that Asami would not kill him.
He wouldn't. Akihito steeled his heart, holding his stare.
Asami did not release his hand, although he did not tighten it anymore. It was tight enough already. If Asami did not take his hands off in one minute, Akihito knew he would die from being suffocated.
But Asami would not kill him.
Asami might be a bastard, and a ruthless man, but somehow Akihito knew the man would not kill him.
Asami would do bad things to him - tie him up, torture him, rape him - but. not. kill. him.
Then, why Asami did not let his neck go? Akihito could not do anything to convince Asami not to kill him. He could not speak with Asami's fingers wrapped around his neck painfully, he was too weak to move his legs to... to... Akihito batted his eyelids. He could not even get his brain to work.
Why didn't Asami just use sex to get Akihito to obey him, as usual?
Why the show of strength?
Was he serious?
As Akihito tried to take a breath, painfully, he finally realized, from Asami's look that the man would kill the entire population of Tokyo - men, women, children - now if he must. Let alone Akihito.
For the value of the diamonds.
This was just not the kind of consequence Akihito was willing take from Asami.
Akihito raised his hands in surrender. Asami released him. Aihito bent over, coughing. "It's in my jeans pocket, feel free to take it yourself," he said, after he had sucked enough oxygen into his lungs. "Just don't bother to stay."
Without saying anything, Asami stalked further into the apartment, grabbed Akihito's jeans from the bed, and searched the pockets. He found the velvet cloth, checked the diamonds, and pocketed it. Then he was gone.
Sitting on the floor, hugging his bent up legs, Akihito buried his face in his knees.
Having spent times of building rooftops all over Tokyo, Akihito knew which one provided the best scenery of the city. Thus became his favourite place to brood, where he could torture himself with chilly, sharp, strong winds while drowning himself in the turmoil inside his mind. Besides, it was not like he had anything better to do. Damn, he could not even work, since Asami still had his camera. If the still had it and not had it destroyed already.
Akihito was too caught up with his thoughts that it took him sometime to realize someone had joined him in that scenery viewing. When he did, he did not bother to greet, or even glance, knowing very well from the mix smell of tobacco and Calvin Klein's perfume, that it was Asami. How did Asami find him, he did not want to know. He decided that he was still angry with Asami.
On the other hand, same with him, Asami was not in a hurry to start a conversation. He enjoyed a full stick of cigarette, and lit a new one, making Akihito feel more and more awkward with the man's presence so near to him.
"The thing is, Akihito -," Asami finally talked, "there are some things you can't bargain with. For example, you don't bargain a fifteen million yen diamonds with a camera. They don't come in the same value, although you can fuss about how important is your camera, for memory's sake. And you don't bargain with me. I don't do bargain. And you have to know when you have to stop."
Asami paused to let the words burn into Akihito's brain, and to inhale his cigarette. Then he continued,"I'm sure you've learned your lesson now."
Akihito snorted softly. He meant not to say anything, however, after taking a deep breath, he said, "I just didn't realize that I didn't value as much as the diamonds."
Silence, as Asami took a deep drag of his cigarette.
"Just say," Asami said, his voice trailed off, "you have your own value in my life, and it has nothing to do with the value of the diamonds."
"Who's the lucky woman?" Akihito finally could not contain his curiosity anymore.
Asami laughed softly. "Who said it was a woman?"
Akihito scowled, feeling worse now to know the truth.
Asami took one last drag of his cigarette, dropped the butt to the concrete floor and crushed with his shoe toe.
"Come on," he said. "I'll buy you lunch.
"I don't need your filthy money," Akihito snapped. He decided that he wanted to stay angry with Asami for at least another couple of days.
"Well, at least you can save some money to buy a new camera if you don't have to buy your own lunch." Asami put his hand on top of Akihito's head, ruffling his head. "I'll even degrade myself and take you to Chomei Ramen, if that's okay to you?"