Keigo looked up from his laptop and was amused by the concentrated expression on Kaoru's face.
The hotel room today had a ledge running along one of the windows with ample cushion, which was currently occupied by Kaoru, his notebooks and pieces of papers.
"What are you doing?" Keigo walked over to look at Kaoru's tablet screen.
"Just researching some ideas for work," Kaoru answered.
"You seem to be enjoying your internship," Keigo observed.
"Yes!" Kaoru exclaimed. "I was so nervous at the interview. Luckily they liked my sample portfolio. I couldn't have gotten through if it wasn't for Miss Tachibana's reference though."
"Don't underestimate your own talent," Keigo pretended to be stern.
Kaoru giggled. "Not everyone has your confidence."
"Confidence?" Keigo retorted. "When did I suffer a downgrade from arrogance?"
"It's a good thing!" Kaoru laughed.
Keigo sat on the ledge beside Kaoru and studied the color chart which was opened on the screen.
"Aren't these the same?"
"No, they aren't," Kaoru's response might as well say that he had just committed blasphemy.
"It's blue," Keigo remarked wryly.
"Different types and shades of blue," Kaoru disputed.
"With names," Keigo said emphatically. As far as he could tell, dark blue was dark blue.
Kaoru widened his eyes and was suddenly fired up. He pointed to the various sections of the chart.
"Forget the names. Just look at the colors. Doesn't this remind you of the sea? And this, it's like when the sun is setting in the sky. Or this one, in an antique ceramic bowl."
Keigo was amazed by the passion and the beauty of Kaoru's descriptions.
"And this," Kaoru's voice softened. "This reminds me of the color of your eyes."
That, Keigo did not expect.
Kaoru noticed his silence and quickly emphasized, "So, they are not the same."
"I see." Keigo smiled.
"W-what were you reading?"
Keigo let it pass and refrained from teasing him.
"Nothing as interesting, I'm afraid. Financial reports."
"Are you..trying to be modest?" Kaoru wore a genuine quizzical frown.
Keigo raised an eyebrow. "Was I? It must be your bad influence."
Kaoru bit his lip to hide a pout and Keigo fought the urge not to start ravishing him right there.
"Do you have a lot more to do?" Kaoru asked.
"A couple more hours." Keigo smirked. "Be patient. I'll lavish you with attention afterwards."
"Go-go away," Kaoru sputtered.
Keigo chuckled softly and bent down to kiss his forehead.
Kaoru was munching his sandwich at a nearby park for lunch when the phone rang.
He beamed when he saw who it was.
"Sorry, I need to reschedule this weekend," Keigo sounded irritated over the phone. "Something came up at work."
"Is there trouble?" Kaoru was worried.
"No. A last minute favor. Can we meet next week?"
"Yes, sure. Take care - I mean, don't overwork. If you can," Kaoru fumbled.
"Are you feeling concerned for me, Kaoru?" Keigo teased.
"Of course I am!" Kaoru exclaimed before he could consider a more restrained response.
"I'm touched." Keigo was pleased. Annoyingly so.
"Nevermind," Kaoru muttered.
"I am going to make this business associate pay for coming between our weekend," Keigo declared.
"That's…dramatic." Kaoru was both perplexed and amused.
"Did you expect less of me?" Keigo queried.
Kaoru thought about it for a bit.
"I suppose not?"
"Precisely," Keigo lowered his voice. "Besides, you love it when I am dramatic in bed."
Kaoru nearly dropped his sandwich. "Keigo, stop it! It's lunchtime!"
An incorrigible, satisfied laugh echoed over the line.
"I'm going to finish my lunch," Kaoru grumbled.
"Until next week," Keigo murmured and Kaoru could almost see the wolfish grin on his face.
He hung up and sighed.
"Aihara! Are you having lunch here too?" a familiar voice called out.
Kaoru nearly jumped. He looked up and saw a couple of his seniors from work walking up to him.
He hoped that he was not flushing red in the middle of the park in broad daylight.
"Mind if we join you?"
"Of course not. Please." Kaoru edged over on the bench to make space for them.
They sat down and the conversation veered towards work. Topics which were appropriate and safe.
Then one of them looked at him and commented, "You're really pretty. Do you have a girlfriend?"
Kaoru immediately thought of Keigo and answered, "N-no."
"Don't tease him, Rika!"
"Oh dear, he's blushing."
"Don't mind her. We're just curious. Someone like you should be very popular."
"I need to focus on work," Kaoru replied and at least that wasn't a lie.
"So responsible! Someone is going to be lucky to date you one day."
Kaoru mumbled a thanks.
It was the last of the seven sessions covered by the advance. That seemed so long ago. Kaoru had almost forgotten.
He didn't want to mention it when they met. Keigo didn't give any indication that it was on his mind either.
So Kaoru tried to remember every second of the evening. How strange that every detail could be so much more vivid when one wanted to commit them to memory.
The faint smell of Keigo's cologne. How the corner of his mouth tilted upwards slightly right before he made any outrageous comment. The softer laughter when he was genuinely amused.
Keigo raised the subject after sex, when the sheets were still freshly stained.
"This is the seventh, isn't it?"
Kaoru's breath stopped.
"Yes," he merely said.
Did Keigo notice how desperately he clung onto him tonight, aware that it could possibly be the last time? Was that why he even asked?
"I wanted to pick somewhere special outside the city," Keigo told him. "If I didn't need to fly out in the morning."
"It's okay. I'm afraid I'll get used to all the nice things," Kaoru made a poor attempt at humor.
"Perhaps you should."
There was an intensity in Keigo's voice and his glance.
Kaoru didn't dare to speculate his meaning. To hope.
"Let's go to the springs when I am back."
A feeling of relief and much more coursed through Kaoru's veins.
In the spur of the moment, he threw his arms around Keigo and hugged him tightly.
Keigo gave a low, husky chuckle.
"What time is your flight?" Kaoru asked, his voice muffled.
Keigo glanced at the clock beside the bed. "We have a few more hours."
Kaoru shivered as Keigo whispered the next words.
"It'd be a shame if we waste them."
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