The first time had been driven by impulsiveness.
The second possibly by recklessness.
The few times after by lust and a need for easy companionship.
Then the guarded barrier around Kaoru began to melt and Keigo saw a glimpse into the gentle personality which had been masked by hardship and survival.
When Kaoru felt that he didn't need to look over his shoulder, he absolutely fascinated Keigo.
As demonstrated by their current conversation.
"You know, one would think you'd look me up by now," Keigo remarked dryly.
Kaoru looked at him quizzically while drying his hair with a towel. "What do you mean?"
"Do you know how much I'm worth?" Keigo asked, curious to see Kaoru's reaction.
"A lot." Kaoru frowned. "That's a very strange question."
This would not do.
"That's not an acceptable answer, considering you're the only person I am sleeping with right now," Keigo declared. "Get your phone and come here."
A faint blush colored those delicate cheeks and Kaoru seemed momentarily startled. He obeyed dutifully though and sat down beside him on the couch, puzzlement etched on his face.
"Search for me on the internet," Keigo demanded.
"Um, okay," Kaoru unlocked his screen and typed his name.
It produced the expected long list of news (fake and real) and websites.
Kaoru clicked on the biography drawn up by a reputable news site.
When it popped up, Keigo's net worth flashed clearly at the top.
"You're worth that much?!" Kaoru exclaimed and stared at him in mixed horror and disbelief.
Not the reaction that Keigo was expecting but it charmed the hell of out him.
Since his company was private, he didn't have the heart to tell Kaoru that it was underestimated by, well, a lot.
"Did you really not bother to check before?" he asked instead.
"No," Kaoru admitted sheepishly. "It didn't seem necessary. I know that you own a company though."
"You are a very strange man, Aihara Kaoru," Keigo shook his head.
Kaoru tilted his head and just smiled. "I think I am very normal compared to you."
Keigo cupped his cheek and kissed him deeply.
"Wait, we just-" Kaoru started when Keigo started to nip at his neck.
"Shut up," Keigo murmured. "It's just a kiss. Contrary to what you may think, I am capable of keeping my libido in check."
Kaoru didn't even bother to hide his skeptical expression.
Keigo chuckled and drew back.
"I'll get you a cab home when you're ready."
It was a tour of the hotels in the city. That was how it sometimes felt like to Kaoru.
Despite what appeared to be a mercurial personality, Keigo adhered to a schedule in their arrangement. He would send a message on Thursday evening for a meet-up on Friday or Saturday night. Always after ten. A different hotel and under a different name each time.
Initially, Kaoru's heart wrenched slightly whenever he saw a message from Keigo. An uncomfortable sense of guilt and anticipation.
Then he thought about the loan which was being paid down nicely and that he could actually afford to quit his job at the club. Bunta just nodded at his resignation and turned his attention back to the floor.
Kaoru even started searching for part-time college courses he could take.
Ironically, this gave him some comfort. It protected his heart.
If Keigo wasn't so adept at being a good lover in bed. If he didn't bother to treat each meeting like a playful game of seduction. The actual carnal act, in Wada Keigo's mind, was to be absolutely enjoyable or it was not worth committing.
Whether he meant it or not, Keigo's gestures also softened the reality of their contract. He asked to meet and did not demand. He ordered food sometimes but Kaoru noticed that it was only for Kaoru's benefit. He didn't care about Kaoru's personal life but asked if his lease was secured.
Cash was placed in a beautiful and ornate envelope each time at the table and not to be spoken about.
In his own inexplicable ways, Wada Keigo was trying to be kind.
Kaoru found himself lowering his defenses.
Then Keigo made that offhand comment.
"Considering you're the only person I am sleeping with right now."
And Kaoru's defenses were in serious danger of collapsing.
'Not in the country for two weeks. Stay out of trouble.'
When he saw the latest message, he only smiled and felt a slight twinge of disappointment. Probably not a good sign but Kaoru couldn't even bring himself to be too concerned.
He closed the screen and looked around the junction of the road.
Turning around, he waved back at the familiar faces. Friends from high school he hadn't been very good about keeping in touch with. Partly because he didn't want their pity and mostly because he had been just simply worn out.
"Man, I almost dropped dead when you asked us out!" Miyagi, the most rambunctious of them all, greeted him with a good-natured slap on the back.
"Don't be mean. He still responded to our messages," Nakamura laughed.
"Sporadically," Miyagi snorted.
"Sorry, I know I've been very bad," Kaoru lowered his eyes and said a little shyly.
"Do you still do that?" Miyagi admonished. "Haven't we told you before?"
"Told me what?" Kaoru was confused.
Nakamura laughed harder. "The look! Your words!"
"He doesn't fucking learn," Miyagi shook his head. "How the hell did you survive the club?"
"Stop bullying him!"
Kaoru understood what they meant then although it escaped him why his mannerism was a danger. He admitted, "I didn't do very well. But I don't work there anymore."
"Oh, good," Nakamura commented and then glared at Miyagi. "Can we get some food now?"
"Okay, okay," Miyagi relented and then looked at Kaoru with a grin. "It's good to see you."
The same dynamics between the three of them, with Miyagi and Nakamura practically on the verge of bickering all the time and Kaoru watching from the side and trying to contain the explosions, warmed Kaoru's chest.
He resolved never to withdraw into himself so much again as he said, "Me too!"
Please switch to the pop-up to complete the payment.
Complete the daily and EXP missions, as well as every week’s reading missions to obtain EXP and SS as rewards.Learn more about the rules 1. You can obtain the corresponding EXP and Bonus SS as rewards by completing daily missions and EXP missions, as well as weekly reading missions. 2. The obtained EXP can raise your user level. 3. Bonus SS can be used to unlock chapters, gift authors, etc. They are effective for 30 days. 4. Daily Tasks and corresponding rewards renew daily at 00:00 UTC+8. Don't forget to claim your rewards in time. 5. Weekly Reading Missions refer to the time you spend reading novels and comics on Webnovel every week. 6. The weekly reading time is calculated while your device is connected to the Internet. This might result in a delay of several minutes.