Having made up her mind, Nao launches her offensive. But is she really ready for all that it entails?
In those short moments where I'm caught between dreaming and wakefulness, I often carry over a feeling of being held by mama. I live for these moments, but they always fade too soon. Make that usually; they usually fade too soon. Both yesterday and this morning, it seems to have lingered for a while, and I have a suspicion as to why. I open my eyes and find I'm in your bed again. For a moment I consider just slipping out, so you don't get the wrong idea, since I really don't remember climbing in, but I can feel your body against mine, your arms holding me close in a warm embrace, and I just know that I really don't want to, consequences be damned.
And what the hell, maybe I can get a grope or two out of it.
"Don't even think about it," comes the steely voice as my hand hovers over a breast. "Whilst you're sleeping is one thing, but I know you're awake Nao. Try it and you get to sleep on the balcony tonight."
"Bah, fine," I answer, instead resting it just above a hip.
Long moments of silence fill the air, before you finally speak up. "Y'know, I did kind of mean the whole using me as a pillow thing as well, not just the groping."
I sit up, an arm either side of you for support. "Then why didn't you wake me when you found me like this?"
You hesitate before replying. "You looked... happy. I've not seen you like that too often lately. Well, ever really."
"I'd be a lot happier if you'd let me kiss you," I whisper, fingers from my right hand tracing along your jaw.
I watch the blush spread across your face, and I just want you more. Squeal for me Natsuki, squeal.
I lower my head slowly until I'm mere millimetres away, my eyes staring right into yours. And then I take your chin and turn your head slightly to the side, softly brushing my lips upon your cheek. "And a good morning to you too," I murmur into your ear before rolling out of the bed. A few quick stretches, some clothes thrown on, and I'm out of the apartment and on my way over to Mai's. I catch myself actually whistling to myself and I start to laugh. This is all so utterly crazy; in twenty-four hours I've gone from victim, through psycho, right to seductress. Or should that be tease? Well, I'm no stranger to either I guess, though this is the first time that I've actually wanted to follow through on my intimations.
A few seconds after knocking, a surly looking Mai slings open the door, an eyebrow twitching as she stares unseeing at me for a few moments, before cognisance finally kicks in and she realises it's just me.
"Honestly, it's an attractive way to be welcomed, but show some dignity would you?" I say, offering a leer before I step into her body, pulling the shirt together and quickly buttoning it. "Good thing you're not my type Tokiha, you're practically begging for someone to come along and eat you right up," I grin at her bright red face as I step past her and into the apartment.
I head into the small kitchenette and start making some coffee. "Go. Sit," I bark at Mai as she follows me in to start preparing breakfast. A few minutes later I return, bearing three steaming cups. She takes the one offered before first looking at the one I set down upon the table and then back up at me, a slightly confused smile on her face.
"I needed that," she sighs, having taken a large sip of the coffee, slumping back into her chair.
"Definitely," I grin over the top of my cup. "You're normally up and about when I arrive for feeding, and certainly clothed. Rough night?"
"No kidding. I was having a bad enough day before you tried to kick my door in."
"Yeah, I seem to remember Kanzaki and Tate were both here, weren't they? All you needed was the octopus brat to show up and you'd have the full set!"
Her eyes shift to the left and I can't help but laugh. "She did, didn't she? Oh I bet that was fun."
She shakes her head, offering me a wry grin. "Honestly, I'm thinking about swearing off men altogether."
"Speaking of which," I say, "could I borrow some lipstick? I left mine back at our apartment."
"Uhm, sure, go ahead," she replies, confusion etched in her brow.
I pop into her bathroom and quickly look through the various ones she has sat here, before settling on a soft pink one, honey-flavoured. I grin to myself as I finish applying it. I return to the main room and grab the third cup of coffee, carefully rotating it before taking a small sip from it, setting it back down upon the table, rotating it once again. Moments after I sit back where I had been, there's a knock at the door. Tokiha gets up to answer it, and I can hear voices from the doorway. I take effort to keep the Cheshire-sized grin off my face as I watch you enter, the tight smile you give me as our eyes meet making me want to laugh out loud.
You sit in a spare chair, the one with the third cup in front of as I had thought. Your body language is blatant; you're sitting straight up with your legs pressed firmly together, hands resting upon your thighs. Shut off, closed tight, sealed away. Perfectly under control. What a joke.
Tokiha says something, possibly about the coffee, since you look down at it and reach for it. As you start to bring it up to your lips, you look at me, and my own control goes to hell as I let loose the grin. Quickly looking away, your brow furrows as you drink from the cup, moving it slightly away from your mouth, looking down at the lipstick on the rim and then back up at me, at the smile I'm giving you, at my lips, knowing that it's their taste on your mouth.
Predictably, you blush and look away, trying to rotate the cup surreptitiously before taking another sip.
It's an hour later that we leave, and I'm busy mourning the stains down the front of my t-shirt. Who knew breakfast could be so hard, and most definitely messy, to eat seductively. Especially when half of this crap was sprayed across the room by you.
"This is all your fault of course Natsuki, you realise that?" I whine.
"And how do you figure that out?" you ask, a smile on your face.
"If you didn't play hard to get, I wouldn't have to do such ridiculous things of course. Definitely your fault."
"Seriously, did you have to do all of that right in front of Mai?"
I stop walking and turn to look right at her. "Did I make you too uncomfortable in there?"
"It's not that, it's just..."
"No, I guess you're right in a way. It's just between the two of us, for now at least. What goes on between us is our business and ours alone."
"I didn't mean that. Well, I guess I did, but did you have to do it at all?"
"Come," I say, taking her hand in mine as I lead her back to our apartment. Heh, 'our'. Not for long though, only a week or so until the new semester begins and we all get shuffled about again.
"Sit, please," I say, gesturing to one of the chairs.
I wait until you do so, your nervousness clear, before pulling up a chair opposite from you. I just sit there and stare at you for a bit, formulating what it is that I actually want to say. I can't help but be heavy-handed when it comes to this I guess, but I don't want to scare you off either.
"I'm not very good with words, so I'll try and get to the point. I make you uncomfortable putting all this pressure on you right? It's not fair on you, I know that, but it's hard for me not to just go all out about this. I want to touch you. I want to hold you. I want to make love to you. I want to make you scream out my name as I make you come." I can see that sexy little blush of yours spreading at that last bit, but you don't avert your gaze from mine.
"The thing is, what do I know about starting a relationship? All I know is leading men on by their dicks and then ripping them off." I pause, pulling a funny face at my wording as I see you blanch as well. "Financially I mean. Not literally. Ugh.
"Anyway, if you really want me to stop all this blatant flirting, I can't blame you. It's just I don't really know any other way to show you how I feel. But I can try. You make me want to try, to be a better person. To be someone who deserves you."
"I'm not that good of a person Nao, really. I have no idea what it is about me that you seem to love so much."
"What's not to love? I'll admit, you make it hard at first, keeping everyone pushed well away from you, but when we get in, when we get to know the real you, there's so much good about you. You're kind, like when you took me to visit my mama, even coming in with me. You're brave, like when you took on those guys at the store, even though they outnumbered us. You're focused and determined, you go out and get what you want. And hell, I'll admit it, the whole bad girl biker chick thing does it for me too."
I get up from my seat and move towards you; you shrink back a little but quickly relax again. I kneel down before you, taking both of your hands in mine. "I can't go halfway on this, I need you to realise that. I know I'm being full-on here, but you've seen what me fighting against my feelings is like. I've been struggling with this for a long while I think, and it's only been exacerbated by me staying with you. It's hard to escape when the two people you're most afraid of are you and the person you live with."
"You were scared of me?"
"Yeah, scared of how you could hurt me. How you can hurt me. Mama's the only person that's ever loved me the way I loved her, and look at how much she hurts me now. It's not her fault, there's nothing she can do about it, but she still hurts me. Imagine what you can do to me.
"I know what you said last night, about how you don't want to string me along, but I'm not sure I even care about that. It's like, I have this desperate hunger inside of me and I need to feed or I'm just going to curl up and die. But you can save me."
I pause, mulling over what I've just said. "I'm overcomplicating it, aren't I? OK, putting it simply, I love you. I want you. I need you. And more importantly, I need you to love me too. I'm not Fujino, I don't want to force you into anything. Stolen kisses and caresses are worthless, I want them freely given to me. Of course, that's not going to happen until you're good and ready, but I'm not really the patient sort. I can't go slow on this, I just can't. But I can't make you need me like I do you. I can stop the flirting, if that's what you really want. I can try and stop being so forceful in all of this, and I can try to wait, but I can't make any promises."
I lean forward and take your lips with mine, pressing hard against you before I break away, a wry grin on my face. "Sorry, I needed that one. Too much talking. I'm gonna head out for a while, give you some time to think things through. As much as I may want to, I can't rush you on this. You need to be clear in your head on where you're at and what you want from us."
I'm in the bedroom, changing my top, throwing on a jacket and out of the apartment in what seems like a flash. I just have to get the hell out of here. Keep on moving, keep walking, look right ahead, don't think about it. But I can't stop trembling, can't stop the shaking. I feel absolutely raw, every nerve exposed and bleeding, spiders crawling underneath my skin. I want to throw up, I can feel the roiling in my gut, and I recognise it for what it is. I'm absolutely fucking terrified. I haven't felt like this since the rooftop with Fujino and you, when I knew I was going to die, when I knew exactly what my life up until then had really been worth, at the absolute nothing that I'd done with it. All of it pointless, everything without worth.
I don't know where I am, but I don't much care. I cling to the wall until my legs can no longer support me and I drop to my knees. I realise I'm crying, the sobs tearing at my throat as I gasp for breath between the convulsions that are rocking my body. I'm scared, so fucking scared and I can't get away from it. I can't do anything, I don't have any control over it, I'm just a complete and utter fucking mess.
I don't even think to stop myself as the screams rip themselves from my throat.