It irked him.
Keigo's mood was not made better by jetlag and one of his uncle's visit to his office. The snake who tried to embezzle funds when his father was still alive and who Keigo had courteously offered an early retirement. A tantrum ensued and threats were made. Keigo sent him off with irrefutable evidence although he fully expected to be reprimanded by the old guards in the company for his behavior to an elder.
He poured himself a drink and sat on the leather couch in his massive office. He should redecorate it. His father's choice of colors was hideously boring.
Then he came to terms with the fact that he was not brooding because of embezzlement. That could be dealt with without incurring any personal emotions.
What truly, really irritated him was that he couldn't wipe that beautiful face out of his mind.
The last straw was him waking up in the middle of the night with a hard-on from a dream about fucking Aihara Kaoru right on the couch where he was sitting.
"Get a grip," Keigo muttered to himself. He wasn't some virginal hot-blooded teenager. He didn't lack any suitors. Kaoru was not even that experienced in bed, from what he could tell from their first encounter.
Nevertheless, he was mulling over whether he should track him down (if nothing else, Keigo liked to take matters into his own hands) when, as if on cue, a message popped up on his phone from one of his acquaintances.
'Free tonight? Ushida's buying. Just got his inheritance, that bastard.'
Keigo snorted. It was a good distraction though.
Keigo registered a sudden interest. This was a sign.
Would Kaoru be there tonight?
Only one way to find out.
'See you there.'
His bank account showed a positive balance even after paying for the current month's rent, loan instalment and medicine. Kaoru breathed a sigh of relief.
Then the stark reality of what had paid for all of this hit him. It caused a dull ache in his chest.
He wouldn't regret it. Neither did he find it easy to forget. Would he ever be able to?
Not that it mattered. That was a month ago. He wouldn't see him again.
He set his phone down on the counter of the convenience store and went back to finishing his bento.
Outside the window, he could see a group of college students walked past. Laughing and carefree, as if echoing the sunny day.
He remembered holding the acceptance papers in his hands and realized that he could never attend.
Sometimes, Kaoru wondered what it would be like. To be as carefree and happy. Hold another person's hand. Not having to just survive.
He caught himself smiling at the students' antics.
Then his phone rang. Kaoru picked it up when he saw it was his senior at the club.
"Hey, Aihara. Can you come in tonight?"
"Tonight?" Kaoru was curious.
"Yeah, couple of the boys got so wasted last night they're in A&E. Boss says he'll double the rate."
Kaoru hesitated for a moment before agreeing, "Okay. I'll be there."
"Great." Then the phone hung up.
He finished his dinner quickly.
The crowd was wild, precipitated by a table booked out by one of the regulars. Kaoru didn't know what the celebration was about. All he knew was that it entailed more rounds of topping up and clearing glasses than usual.
It also explained the owner's willingness to pay more for the shift.
At least no one seemed to mind him tonight.
He was taking a quick break in the locker room when he could see a familiar figure from the corner of his left eye.
His heart sank. Oh no.
Kaoru finished the water from the bottle and closed his locker.
"Wanna hang out afterwards?" the deputy club manager, Ijima, asked wolfishly.
He had been asking Kaoru ever since he started working here. So far, Kaoru had evaded him with some success since Ijima's attentions were often fixated on the latest catch.
Then he would get bored and his attentions riveted back to Kaoru.
"No, I need to go home," he gave his standard reply.
"Still playing hard to get?" Ijima advanced and placed a hand on his shoulder.
Kaoru backed away and glared. "Leave me alone."
"Come on," Ijima's grin was dark. "Surely you can keep me company."
"I can't," Kaoru turned around to leave. A hand grabbed his arm roughly.
"I saw you went up to Wada!" Ijima hissed. "Don't try to act all innocent on me!"
"Nothing happened!" Kaoru lied and wrangled his arm free.
He knew that Ijima wouldn't try anything stupid here if he stood his ground. True enough, the other man withdrew and glared. "Bitch. Just you wait."
Kaoru relaxed when Ijima stormed out of the door.
"I'm disappointed," a familiar voice announced with a dramatic sigh. "After all we went through."
He stared at the figure who just entered and was now leaning against the lockers.
Wada gave him a charming smile.
"What are you doing here?" Kaoru asked in shock.
"I was going to haul Ijima's ass off but you didn't need any saving," Wada smirked.
"I meant-" Kaoru began but realized that he was being complimented and teased. He flushed.
"Also, I'm attending an acquaintance's party," Wada continued and then admitted. "That's a lie. I was hoping I could see you."
"Why?" Kaoru was no longer in shock. He was simply bewildered.
Wada laughed easily. "Why indeed. Probably because I couldn't forget about you. I tried, mind you. But alas, you kept invading my dreams."
"Have you forgotten about me already?" Wada asked and let out another deep sigh.
"No, I-" Kaoru almost blurted out before shutting his mouth. He couldn't keep up. So there was only one option available.
"I need to get back to work," he managed and walked past Wada quickly, careful not to touch the other man.
"Will you be mine?"
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