Authors’ Note: Normally – I do this at the end, but this time, I’m putting this here. This story is a sort of a sequel to a story that’s in HER POV that can be found HERE. This can actually be a standalone story but I strongly recommend reading HER point of view first, if you can, to understand this one a little bit better.
“You come, you go, I’m lost
You left me all alone”
“Shit,” he mutters under his breath as he enters his apartment, slamming the door on his way in. Closing his eyes, he whispers another expletive before removing his shoes and dragging himself to his couch. He plops down on it face down and groans.
The night isn’t supposed to end this way.
He should have stayed. He made her stay for another day for him so he should have as well. But then – he just had to open his big, fucking mouth and ask that question.
He turns over and places his arm over his eyes, mumbling another quiet curse before chuckling. He sure did pick up a lot of new curse words from his last shoot in LA. His co-actors would be proud of him.
But then he remembers what just happened earlier.
And he lets out another loud one.
“Fuck this. Damn it!”
He sits up and rubs his eyes with the back of his hand. He doesn’t understand why he feels this way. He doesn’t understand why he feels bad and angry, then guilty and just…
“It’s just a one-night stand, Fujiwara. Just a fucking one-night stand. Stop being melodramatic about it. This isn’t you.”
He has a magazine shoot to do that day. He should be focusing his energy on that instead. He even needs to start preparing seeing as his manager would most likely call him in a little bit. He needs to leave in roughly a couple of hours anyway. Okinawa, where the photoshoot will take place, is a 3-hour flight.
He should stop thinking about what just happened. He should stop thinking about her.
But why in the world can’t he stop thinking about her?! Why is it that regardless of all the things he found out about her – she’s still so prevalent in his head?! What the fuck is this shit?!
Any sane man would run the other way from what he just learned about her. He shouldn’t even be dabbling in complicated matters such as this. She’s complicated. Everything about her circumstance is complicated. His life as an actor is already complicated enough. He doesn’t need to add more to it.
And that’s one other thing. He’s an actor, for fucks sake. A world-renowned one at that. He could have his choice of women any time of any day. They all come flocking to him anyway at the snap of his fingers.
But. Why. Must. She. Still. Be. The. One. In. His. Goddamn. Fucking. Mind?!
“I must be insane.”
Yep. That’s it. That’s the only explanation. But then again – he did already run away from her.
Groaning once more, he stands up and drags himself to his bedroom. He desperately needs a shower. Especially since he could still smell her on his skin. Maybe that will help take his mind off of what just happened. He rushed out of the hotel suite they stayed in so quick, that he wasn’t able to clean himself up after…
He shakes his head. He initially planned on showering with her once she woke up before leaving for his flight and perhaps having another go. She was—is a wild, sexy vixen. And he never had sex like that with anyone. Ever.
But then – he had that irrational need to find out more about her. Well, because… And he just…
“Stop thinking about her, already! Damn it.”
Removing his white shirt on the way to his en-suite bathroom, he opens the faucet and starts filling his tub. Maybe a hot bath instead of a shower would help calm his conflicting thoughts.
As the tub slowly fills up, he takes his phone from his jean pocket and dials the one person he knows could help him make sense of what his chaotic brain is currently conjuring up. He just needs another sane person to talk with. Another person to tell him that what he did was… well, right.
It was right anyway, yes? Leaving like that? While he still could.
But why is he feeling all kinds of miserable? No. Not kind of. He really is miserable.
The phone at the other end of the line just keeps on ringing. It’s so early in the morning that there’s a possibility that the phone won’t get picked up. But then, after the fifth or sixth ring—
“Moshi moshi?” A sleepy, irritated voice finally answers.
“Touya, it’s me.”
A beat of silence. And then—
“What the fuck, Airen?! Do you know what time it is?”
He chuckles as he hears the irritation in his best friend’s voice. “Yeah, I know. Gomen. But I…”
He lets his statement hang. He doesn’t know how to begin telling his best and only true friend, if he’s going to be honest, about what just happened to him. No one really knows about what he did after that KTV night he had with Touya and another friend, including what happened the following day. Well, him and her were pretty much locked inside that hotel suite he got plus he turned off his phone during the entire time they were together. He wanted it to be just about them. He promised her that he would get to know her better. And get to know her better, he did. In every sense of the fucking word, or statement or whatever.
He hears some shuffling in the background and he knows Touya is probably sitting up. Regardless of his friend’s annoyance, he knows that he’ll make time for him. The same way he also always does for the moron. There’s a reason why they call each other “brother” whenever they are asked about the other on live TV interviews. Touya is Kagura Touya, a fellow actor and a childhood friend. And the one person who knows who he truly is without the actor mask he usually puts on and shows to the entire world.
“What is it? You sound like you have something bugging you,” Touya sighs resignedly.
“I don’t really know how to begin.”
Touya huffs in irritation. “You woke me up and yet you don’t know what to say?! Just spit it out, damn it. Or I’m hanging up!”
He chuckles again. “Ok, ok. Stop screaming at me like a banshee.”
He laughs. Laughing is good. It’s going to help him forget if he just laughs it off, right?
He takes a deep breath and finally launches into a short account of what just happened for the past day and a half, starting from their drunken KTV night all the way to what happened earlier this night. Or morning, depending on how one looks at it, considering it’s almost 3AM.
“I don’t know what I’m doing anymore, Touya,” he concludes. “Why do I feel this way? Why can’t I get her out of my damn mind?”
“Do you like her?”
“What kind of question is that?” He says, his voice pitching higher.
“It seems like you do,” Touya answers and he could just imagine the asshole shrugging. “Otherwise, you won’t be this affected.”
“Didn’t you hear a word I just said?!” He almost screams.
“I heard you, moron. But I also heard that underlying neediness in your voice. And happiness, come to think of it. I know you. You won’t be this affected and you won’t be calling me at fucking three in the morning if you didn’t feel anything for her.”
“But…” Airen stops. In a way, he knows that he does like her and that he feels something for her other than that initial physical attraction and connection. He doesn’t understand it entirely but Touya’s right – he won’t be this affected if it’s just any other girl. Girls come and go, he’s used to that. And they’re usually just faceless, nameless women, whom he can get himself off and who also just want to have a good time and have a small piece of Fujiwara Airen.
The last time he felt this way about a woman was when he got together with Mizushima Aiko, an actress he was paired with for a drama. They fell in-love during and after the entire drama series and he felt at the time that she was going to be his endgame. But then she broke his heart when she told him that the only thing he was ever going to be good at was being an actor and she couldn’t live like that forever. She said she needed stability. She needed more. Then she broke it off with him and to top it off and to make matters worse – she immediately got a replacement for him, only two months later, in the form of a company president, whom she married only after dating for a week.
It was why for the next months that came after that messy break up – he did all he could to divert all his focus back on his career.
Oh, he wasn’t celibate ever since that happened. Nope, not one bit. But it wasn’t a priority anymore for him – relationships. He figured that since Aiko told him that all he’s ever good at is being an actor – then he’d do his best to be the best there is. And all the perks that came with being one. Including the women who come at his beck and call.
He, together with Touya, would always have regular one night stands. What? They do have certain… needs. They can pick up random girls, or boys, everywhere. They’re actors. It is easy for them to just turn on the charm and get the sex that they want. From anyone.
And most of the time, they don’t mean anything. It’s just sex.
He sighs as he slowly lowers himself in his tub, hissing slightly as the hot water envelopes his tired and tight muscles.
Touya huffs again. “Listen. Who cares if she’s still married? It’s just on paper now and she won’t be for long. Their divorce papers are already passed, right? It’s only a matter of time before that’s finalized. Who cares if she already has kids? You love kids. That and she has plans to migrate here with her kids around next year too, correct?”
“Yeah, but… Touya, that’s still going to be complicated. She’s an ordinary and still married woman. Even though they’re divorcing. I can’t just swoop in immediately after that! She has kids, who I don’t even know if they would like me if I meet them. If anyone finds out, imagine the kind of field day the tabloids would have. I just… I can’t have that. It’ll be messy. My career could suffer.”
“Since when have you thought about what the tabloids say? You’re the rebel, remember? You don’t care about what anyone really say about you. It’s why your manager is always pissed at you. Plus it seems like you’ve done a lot of thinking about this already.”
“What? What do you mean?!”
Touya groans in frustration. “Look here, asshole. You know I also suck at this emotion thing. I don’t even do this shit, you know that. But based on what you’ve been saying so far, it seems like you have a connection with this woman. You felt it. Or else you wouldn’t be thinking this much about it. About her. You’d simply fuck her then forget her and move on to the next available pussy. Or ass.”
“Don’t do this shit, he says,” he mumbles under his breath. “Then what’s this issue going on with you and Haruka that I’ve been reading about?”
“Urusai!” Touya exclaims. “We’re not talking about me here, dumbass! Don’t change the subject. Plus I’m over that woman. She’s nothing but a user. She’s nothing to me anymore.”
“Oh yeah? Then why is it that—”
“Do you want to die right now, Fujiwara? I live right next door to you, if you’re forgetting and could easily kill you, you know.”
He laughs. “Fine, fine. Shutting up now.”
“Good. Now, as I was saying, it seems like you already know what’s really going on with you and your woman. You’re just being hard pressed and stubborn about it. Like the moron that you are.”
“She isn’t my woman!” Yet. He adds in his head, to which he suddenly shakes it off. What in the world was that just now?! Yet? What ‘yet?!’
“And she’s a gaijin!” He’s grasping at straws now, he knows that, finding any reason to justify as to why his feelings aren’t supposed to be… right.
“So what? You speak English just fine. You actually speak it fluently. And didn’t you say she’s studying Nihongo for when she moves here?”
He finally falls silent, turning everything Touya just said in his head. He doesn’t really know what to say anymore. He just ran out of excuses. He doesn’t even know what to really feel anymore.
He wants her, that’s for sure. He wouldn’t have propositioned her that first meeting in that KTV bar’s hallway if he wasn’t at all interested in her. She’s beautiful, that’s why.
But then he got to know her better at her request. He doesn’t even understand why he agreed to that request of hers but he didn’t regret it one bit.
And that’s when he realized that he wants her not just for her face and body. She’s beautiful not just outside but inside as well.
He found that he likes seeing her smile, especially when that small dimple she has on her left cheek shows up. He likes her hearty laughs, the ones where she would throw her head back and just laugh with nary a care in the world. He likes that she doesn’t care what she looks like when she does so, even going so far as snorting unladylike in front of him. He likes how she was so carefree with him and that it seemed like she didn’t care that he was an actor. He could actually, for once, be himself around her.
He also likes her intellect. They didn’t run out of things to talk about. She could match him wit for wit. No other woman was able to talk with him like that or even challenge him on his thoughts and beliefs. Not even his mother or his sister or even his colleagues. Even his past relationships didn’t have that at all. They all thought he was just a pretty face actor. That he cannot carry a conversation outside the script given to him or that he doesn’t crave intellectual stimulation. But she—she was able to give that to him and more.
And the sex – man… Don’t even get him started on that. He didn’t know that sex could be that fulfilling and filled with meaning. It started with her kisses, which were already toe-curling in itself, her mouth fitting perfectly against his. And when they got down to it…
He probably shouldn’t even be calling it just sex. It was definitely much more than that.
They made love.
She connected with him in more ways than one. Not just with her body, but also with her mind and heart. He never felt that way before with anybody.
But this is still insane! Who could feel all of these just after spending a day with each other? A day. Just a freaking day. Why in the world is this happening?!
Because you’ve been looking for someone like her your entire life. His traitorous heart whispers. Because she completes you and you’ve never felt contentment until you met her.
Touya’s right. So what if her situation seems complicated? He could take it. A connection like this only happens once in a lifetime anyway. Didn’t he and Touya use to joke around about this connection? If there could really be someone out there reserved for them? Akai ito. The red string of fate. They used to joke around that it probably isn’t true. Though Touya had a much firmer belief on it than he does. What are the odds that among the 7 billion people on this planet, you could meet the one that is destined for you? The one who would complete you? The one you could say is the other half of you? He remembers often scoffing about the idea and laughing about it, even though at the back of his mind – he wants to believe in it. What? Of course, he wants to believe in it. Who wouldn’t want to have that someone who would be the one?
And now – Touya is making him realize that she could be that one.
He sighs, thinking about everything that Touya has just told him once more in his head. Of course, he could take it. He could take it, accept it, face it.
They could face it. Together.
“You’re finally realizing everything now, aren’t you?”
Yes. He thinks before chuckling bitterly and voicing out his thoughts. “But it’s too late now.”
“What? What do you mean too late?!”
Standing up from the tepid water in his tub, he grabs a towel from the nearby rack and steps away to dry himself off.
Putting the phone on speaker, he continues, “I left, remember? Granted she was still asleep when I did. But if she’s awake now, she would think that all I wanted from her was sex. That was the message my leaving would tell her.”
“Well, whose fault was that, baka?!”
“I know, I know. It’s on me. God, I’m such an ass,” he mutters tiredly as he closes his eyes and rubs the bridge of his nose.
Touya snickers. “And you’re only realizing that now? You’ve been an ass for a long time, Bakawara.”
“Yamete, Touya!” He laughs with his friend before drawing out a long sigh. “Anyway, I gotta go. I need to prepare for my shoot. My flight leaves in a couple of hours.”
“Wait. So… That’s it? You’re not going to do anything anymore about your woman?”
“What else can I do? And for the last time, she isn’t my woman!”
“Yet,” Touya voices out the same thoughts he had a while ago. “She can be if you want it to.”
“Her flight back to the US is at 2PM today. She told me last night that she needs to be back in time for her kids’ school on Monday. I already asked her to move her flight one day so we could… yeah… And I don’t—”
He huffs this time. “Touya, in case you forgot – I have a shoot that would take the entire day today. I can’t do anything at this point! And if there’s any – what can I even say to her? I left her. I already left her!”
“Again – and so?”
Why can’t his friend seem to understand?!
Touya tuts at him disapprovingly. “You really are an idiot. Don’t you have her contact details? You should have her email at least. Don’t tell me you didn’t even get that.”
“I do have it. But like I told you – what can I even do—”
“Argh! I give up! Kami-sama, Airen. You have her contact details. She’s about to leave. You finally realized that you have a fucking connection with her and that this is the first time you felt this kind of connection with someone. And you’re still asking me what you are supposed to do?!” Touya screams at him. “And people say you’re supposed to be intelligent. Whatever happened to your management degree if you can’t even manage your own life?!”
“Call her. Right now, Fujiwara. When we put this phone down, call her. Or I swear to God, I will march over there and beat your ass if you don’t. Tell her to rebook a later flight again. Rebook it for her if you need to. Upgrade it even if it isn’t upgraded yet. You have the means to do that, right? Tell her that you’ll meet with her right now.”
“I have a flight that leaves in two hours, Touya!”
“Tell her that you want to talk to her,” Touya continues as if he didn’t even speak. “No. Tell her you need it. Emphasize your need. You can rebook your own flight for a later time too and you know that. To hell with your shoot. They can wait. Tell your manager something important came up. This is more important. She is more important, isn’t she?”
“You are going to apologize to her for leaving like that. You are going to grovel at her feet if that’s what it takes. If she needs to go back home to her kids, let her. But you will follow her later to wherever she goes once it’s ok to do so. Are you taking all of these down, Fujiwara?”
He is suddenly struck speechless. He doesn’t even know what to retort back. As he turns everything that Touya is suggesting he does once more in his head, he finally sees what his friend is trying to do. What Touya is trying to make him understand.
He can salvage this. He can do this.
He would do this.
For her. And for him.
Since when does Touya make so much sense?
“Now that it seems that that brain of yours is finally working again, do you see what I’m telling you to do? Do you finally understand?”
“Yes,” he breathes out.
“Fucking finally!” Touya cries out in relief. “Now go! Do what you need to do. I need to start preparing myself as well. I have a show to run.”
“Hai. Hai,” he playfully responds. “Oi, Touya?”
“Arigatou. Hontouni, arigatou.”
“Eh. Nandemonai,” Touya dismisses him before adding quite seriously, “Just don’t fuck this up, Airen. If she is who I think she is, you better make sure that you don’t fuck things up again. Kami-sama, I need to meet this woman of yours. She better be worth my losing sleep over.”
He laughs, this time fully and heartily. “Oh believe me, she is. She’s all that and more.”
This time, it’s Touya who laughs. “Man, you aren’t even together yet but you sound like you’re already whipped.”
“I guess I am.”
“Yeah, yeah. Just go now. Call me again later. I want to find out what happens, ok? Ja.”
“Yeah, ok. Ja, mata.”
They both hang up and sweet silence descended upon him. He gazes at his reflection on his bathroom mirror and smiles, his eyes now losing that troubled look and instead, is replaced with something akin to hope. And dare he say it, love.
“Now or never, Fujiwara. You can do this. You need to do this. You can’t lose her when you just barely got her.”
He picks up his phone and quickly goes to her name and presses her number to call. It rings for a while and for a moment, he got afraid that he might, once more, be too late.
But then he hears that small click that signals the call being picked up and—
He lets out a breath he doesn’t even realize he’s holding before he clears his throat and says…
“Iris-san, it’s me. Where are you? Are you still at the hotel? Can I come see you now? I need to talk to you.”
“Oh! Airen-san! Uh… I’m… Well…” He hears her falter a bit as she takes a deep breath before sighing. “I’m actually about to check out and go to the airport. It’s early but I thought it better to just wait there. I mean you… Uh… Well… I was just about to leave the suite but then… Uhm… you suddenly called.”
“Stay there!” he blurts out loudly. “Please. I’m going back now. I know you’re probably thinking about so many bad things regarding my leaving a while ago, but please. Please, Iris-san. Onegai. Ikanaide kudasai.”
She doesn’t respond and for a moment, he panics that she probably hung up. Or that she didn’t understand what he just said. He’s about to say something else but then he finally hears her take another deep breath.
“I yo,” she says quietly. “Koko ni nokoru desu.”
“Oh, thank God. I was afraid that… Iie. Betsuni. I’m going to dress up now. Wait for me, ok? Don’t leave until I get there. Onegai.”
She chuckles. “Yes, yes. I’m not leaving. I already said I’ll wait for you, didn’t I?”
“Ja, mata atode.”
He grins as he hangs up. His smile is so wide that he feels like his face is about to be split in two. But he doesn’t give a damn. Not when his woman just said that she will stay and wait. For him.
Well, she’s not my woman. Yet. But soon, she will be. I will make sure of that before she even leaves today.
His grin becomes even wider.