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91.3% Candle In The Wind / Chapter 21: Chapter 21

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Chapter 21: Chapter 21

Akihito was grounded. He was bored but Dr Mashiro made it very clear. The omega didn't dare to defy the good doctor because Dr Mashiro's threat of giving Akihito a full body check up rang very true.

He stayed home like the good patient he was for a full week much to Asami's amusement and Ishida's relief. New Life didn't do much damage because Kirishima was quick to act. Akihito was thankful to the strict secretary. In fact, the combination of a thankful but bored Akihito meant that Sion was experiencing both heaven and hell. Asami had to stop himself from pulling out his gun whenever someone praised his mate's cooking. The alpha in him found it unforgivable for Akihito to shower so much affection to other men and his jealousy borderline ridiculous.

To calm the raging alpha, Akihito prepared special meals for Asami each time Ishida made the delivery. It was a wonder how the omega who was supposed to be resting managed to cook and deliver meals for over forty people. Asami was appeased when Akihito started including little notes with his food. The cute notes often containing words of encouragement, snarky remarks, bad jokes and sometimes challenges. Asami loved those challenges. He never failed to meet his kitten's expectations and would help himself to the reward, often in the form of sex. There was one note explaining how Asami shouldn't be jealous of the meals his men had.

[Your men are innocent, do not punish them. As the father of Sion, it is unbecoming of you to be jealous of your children's token of affection from their mother.]

Asami couldn't refute that logic and Sion faced slightly more peaceful days. Kirishima was slightly unnerved by how Akihito found out the likes and dislikes of over a hundred men within three days. Suoh no longer had corn in his meals, Kirishima received eggplants more often and many other changes were noted. The lunch boxes now had names scribbled on them, Ishida didn't know to laugh or cry whenever he made the delivery.

Kou and Takato were a little more difficult to appease. When they woke up to Fei Long and his men guarding them, they tried to fight and demanded to know where Akihito was. The triad leader had a hard time explaining things without having any of Akihito's friends flying off the handle, demanding to kill Sudo. However, after they understood what happened, Akihito's phone bill for that month blew up.

Asami enjoyed watching his mischievous mate struggle. To add fuel to the fire, he showed videos of Akihito ditching his guards. Kou and Takato chewed Akihito out and were only satisfied when Akihito promised to bring Asami to meet the Takatos. Asami was elated to meet his in-laws. He wanted to buy them cars and a villa for the betrothal gifts but after Akihito's hissing, the crime lord settled for good wine and a cheque. The omega didn't know that Asami prepared a blank cheque and the alpha didn't dare let him find out. Who knew what Akihito would do if he found out.

Akihito fully recovered after three long and torturous weeks. Luckily for him, texting Fei Long wasn't forbidden. The photographer knew that the triad leader was dying to know when the wedding date was but Akihito couldn't decide if he wanted a traditional wedding or a church wedding.

To solve the problem, Asami dragged his mate to try on clothes for both occasions. Kou and Takato tagged along to give their opinions. Fei Long demanded to see everything live so Kou helped to hold the phone up while Fei Long video called Akihito who tried on various outfits.

In the end, Ishida's wife to convince Akihito to consider both weddings, one for the public and one for friends and family. Asami was impressed by the lady's intelligence and asked her to become their wedding coordinator. She accepted it happily and Ishida was promoted to become the head of Akihito's security and personal assistant, much to Akihito's dismay. The man was too good at what he did after Akihito ditched them the last time. He groaned at the thought of having to introduce Ishida to his editor when he returned to his job.

***

The nerve-racking day finally arrived. Takato's mother had been calling Akihito, pressuring him to bring his high-profiled mate over. Asami was finally able to clear his schedule for the weekend after sending Kirishima and Suoh away so that the couple could spend some private time with the Takatos.

"Take the left turn here," Akihito pointed to Asami who was driving. The alpha didn't know what he was in for and could only follow Akihito's directions.

They arrived at a very ordinary looking house in Shinagawa and Asami wondered how such a quiet and peaceful neighbourhood could exist in Tokyo. The doorplate told them that they arrived at the right place. The Takato family's nameplate hung at the side of the wooden gate just like how Akihito remembered it to be.

The black Benz was parked at the side and Akihito bounced along the pavement. He rang the doorbell and Asami was surprised to see the blond letting himself in.

"You have a key?"

"They are my parents, you know. The doorbell was a courtesy to let them know that I'm back. The last time I crept back without alerting them, mom readied the kitchen knife. It scared the crap out of me so we agreed to always ring the bell."

Asami raised a brow. Takato's mom had an interesting character and he wondered if the Takatos who raised Akihito would be half as crazy as his mate. He found his answer as soon as Akihito unlocked the front door.

Takato Minami was standing by the doorway when Akihito opened the door. In her hands was a confetti popper. Akihito yelped when the little bugger was fired and backed right into Asami's chest. The alpha caught his omega and chuckled at the clumsiness. For a kitten, he had rather clumsy moments and Asami sometimes wondered how Akihito was almost able to give his guards the slip.

"Mom! You scared me!"

Minami laughed and smacked Akihito on the back. Asami could tell at once that Minami called the shots at home. From background checks, she was an alpha who taught at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Takato's father, Takato Masahiro, was a beta who worked as an ordinary salaryman. Knowing was one thing, seeing was another and Asami knew that if he wanted their approval he was going to have to be very careful about the words he chose. Minami was no pushover.

"It's nice to finally meet you, Asami-san," Minami smiled after sending Akihito away to find Masahiro.

Asami gave the lady a courteous smile and bowed. "It's a pleasure to meet you too, Mrs Takato."

They settled in the living room and Akihito brought Masahiro over. Sensing the awkward atmosphere between his mother and his lover, Akihito came up with a random excuse to get drinks for them. He all but high-tailed from the living room much to Minami's amusement. Asami thought that Akihito was too highly-strung and needed to relax. The Takatos were not here to eat them, it was simply a friendly visit.

"I'm curious. How did you meet our Aki?"

Asami was ready for this. He spent time coordinating answers with Kou and Akihito to avoid any suspicions. "We met during one of Akihito's jobs. He photographed me at one of the charity galas a while back and I couldn't help but notice him."

That wasn't a lie. Akihito took his pictures and they had evidence. Minami didn't probe further but Asami knew she wasn't buying it completely. Masahiro was a very easy-going person who clearly loved his wife and was the passive partner in their relationship. He brought the betrothal gifts to the table and cut to the chase. Akihito wasn't present so it made things a lot easier.

"Minami-san, Masahiro-san, I've come today to ask for Akihito's hand in marriage. I know that we have very different backgrounds and there might be a lot of dangers in future for Akihito if he is with me. However, I'll do whatever it takes to keep him smiling until the day we die. Please give us your blessing."

At that very moment, Akihito came back with the drinks. He was surprised to see Asami lowering his head in front of his adoptive parents. All he could think of at that moment was how touched he was. Asami would never do this for anyone else and his mate's sincerity made the omega in him tremble.

Minami sighed. "I'll cut to the chase too. I know that you have many secrets and dabble in a lot of grey areas behind the scenes. I won't stop or question you because I heard it from Renji that you are Aki's fated mate. There is nothing I can do to separate you from Aki even if I disapproved. He is old enough to make his own decisions even though we often worry about him. I'm not a fool. Just know this: Akihito will always be a part of my family. If you make him cry, I will not hesitate to bring him back."

"Mom!" Akihito was shocked. Minami had always been a little assertive in the way she did things but it was the first time he saw her downright threaten the most fearsome man in Japan without batting an eyelid. He glanced between the two alphas worriedly until Masahiro gave Aki a gentle smile.

"I understand," Asami replied. "Rest assured, I take very good care of the people and the things that are mine. We may not have known each other for long but the trials we've been through have proven to me that nobody can replace Akihito. It is as you've said, I'm not a completely honest person and there are more shadows behind my name compared to others. I won't hesitate to get rid of anyone in my way using any methods possible. However, Akihito has taught me that it is possible to coexist and buy the hearts of your enemies with kindness. He's an independent person with the strength to continue living despite the odds stacked against him. However, I'm not such a strong person. I need him in my world."

Akihito's cheeks heated up and he felt his eyes tear a little. Asami was normally never one to speak of such things. He always teased him and distracted him to avoid the topic. Minami glanced to the side and was satisfied with Akihito's reaction.

"I've lost. Asami-sama, please take care of our Akihito. It looks like he's finally found the place he belongs to," she sighed with a small smile.

Akihito walked over to Minami slowly. "Mom..."

"Don't think for a second that we were fooled. I've watched you grow up alongside Renji, I know. It's great that someone can finally help to heal the wounds in your heart. Go, be happy."

Unable to hold back, Akihito launched himself at Minami and crushed her in a tight hug. Asami watched mother and son interact and almost forgot about Masahiro until the man spoke up.

"Do you have a wedding date in mind?"

Asami blinked. While Ishida's wife was in charge of arranging the ceremonies, Asami and Akihito have not decided a fixed date to hold the private wedding.

"Do you have a date in mind? We're intending to hold the official wedding next month after we sign the bonding certificate next week. However, the date for the private wedding is still not decided."

Minami looked at Akihito and back to Masahiro. "How about May? It's Akihito's birthday month after all."

Akihito blinked. He exchanged looks with Asami and the businessman smirked. "We could hold it on children's day but I'm just afraid someone will be cranky if I decided to skimp on the birthday gifts."

Akihito bristled. "I'm only cranky because you're a terrible gift-giver!"

Asami raised a brow. "A Porsche is perfectly justified. You rejected the Ginza shop deed too. It's just too difficult to please you..."

Before Akihito to argue further, Asami pulled out his betrothal gifts smoothly. Minami blinked at the vintage wine and envelope. Masahiro was humbled by the sight of the wine. As a wine lover, he'd only heard of it but never had the opportunity to see the wine itself that now stood on the table before him. Minami opened the envelope expecting cash but was greeted by a very puzzling cheque. It was signed but no amount was written anywhere.

Akihito was curious. What did Asami give that made his mom freeze? He knew that his dad was probably frothing at his mouth mentally but it was way better than the other things Asami wanted to give. He walked around the couch and glanced over Minami's shoulder.

His jaw dropped.

"Asami!"

The businessman feigned ignorance. Akihito started his one-sided argument with Asami about the crime lord's lack of common sense. Minami wasn't sure how to react. She knew her future son-in-law was exceedingly wealthy but for him to be this generous, Minami wondered if it was really alright to accept such gifts.

While money was a common gift along with some food and symbolic items, the Takatos weren't too particular about the kind of gifts they received. It was the thought that mattered more. Asami's gifts were something they didn't know how to react to. How could they possibly return gifts of the equivalent value?

Sensing Minami's worries, Asami smiled. "Don't worry about returning gifts. I don't have a family to accept them."

Minami snapped out of her thoughts. "No, that's not right. Even if we are unable to return gifts of such value, we would still like to exchange gifts as a sign of acceptance. Dear, could you go get them?"

Masahiro got up and went upstairs wordlessly. Akihito was curious as to what his unconventional parents were up to. Knowing Minami, it wouldn't be a common gift.

Akihito was proven right when Masahiro came down with an envelope. Asami was curious about it and received it with both hands, wondering if he should open it on the spot. Akihito rolled his eyes and snatched the envelope from his mate before tearing it open in front of everyone. He frowned at the unfamiliar things he was seeing but Asami recognised them at once.

"This is..."

"Plane tickets for your honeymoon. There is a time limit of one year so please travel before it expires. I'm sure you can manage Akihito's travel issues with ease."

Asami smirked. "Rest assured, I will take care of everything. Also, thank you for giving us your blessings."

Minami grinned. Now that the serious stuff was over, it was time for some long overdue fun.

"Dear, can you bring that out? I'm sure Ryuu-chan is dying to know how cute our Aki was."

Akihito paled and tried to stop his dad but his mom was faster and blocked the path. Asami wondered what they were talking about. Akihito was quite red and embarrassed so he grew intrigued.

Masahiro returned with a thick book and Akihito decided that it was better to cover Asami's eyes instead. Unfortunately, Asami was stronger so Akihito surrendered and willed himself to suffer eternal humiliation.

"We call it Aki's book of shame," Minami smirked and flipped the page. Asami leaned forward for a better view. He never thought that he'll be seeing photos of Akihito during his younger days. Now, this was what quality bonding time with the in-laws was. Asami was glad he made the trip.

***

A week after the embarrassing visit, Asami and Akihito were dressed in suits waiting for the traffic to move. In the limousine, six men groaned when the car stopped at another red light. Kirishima was close to road raging and Suoh had to calm his friend down while assisting with the navigation. Kou and Takato sat awkwardly on one side while Asami made Akihito sit in his lap not that there wasn't enough space for everyone in the car.

That's right. They were heading for the office to officially register Asami Ryuichi and Takaba Akihito as husbands and mates. Akihito decided to sign everything at once so the bonding certificate was also added to the list of documents to be signed. Ishida's wife had arranged a congratulatory party after the signing ceremony was completed. Unfortunately, traffic had to conspire against them. If Asami could shoot everyone on the road just to make things a little faster, he would've done it an hour ago.

After two hours, they finally made it. Akihito wasn't in the mood to argue or read, he simply signed on the bottom of every page and demanded to be out of the building as soon as possible. Asami had to keep the smirk away when Akihito complained about having to sign every page. Things were going smoothly and Asami loved how easy it was to fool Akihito into signing contracts. Yes, not all the pages were related to their official recognition as a couple. Asami might have pulled a few strings to slip in some pages about property transfers.

After Asami finished signing the documents and handed it back to Kuroda, they left quickly. Akihito may not know it now but Asami wondered how his mate would react if he knew that he now co-owned Asami's empire.


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