Kumiko the Demon-girl
(A Lime-flavored Original Fic)
By Ammadeau


Chapter 16: Setting up Shop


Twin moans of ecstasy filled the air as the bodies of the
two lovers slid up against one another in a steady rhythm, growing
faster and more urgent as they both neared orgasm. Hands tangled
in long blue hair, caressing the delicate strands while sliding down
to the woman's pert bottom. Kumiko gasped, but then smiled and
kissed her partner deeply, savoring the other's mouth as her own
hands wandered, leaving trails of warmth behind.
Only moments later they lay collapsed in each other's arms,
thoroughly exhausted, but each filled with a deep satisfaction
spread all the way to their toes. Kumiko reached out to stroke the
short hair of her lover and said, "You were great, Natsume-chan."
"Gahh!!" Natsume exclaimed as she awoke, shaking her
head to dispel the lingering images of her friend's girlfriend
smiling at her in a way that was far beyond friendly.
The sandy-haired girl couldn't help wondering just what
had brought that on. She had entertained a few fantasies of
Kumiko after they first met, though nothing quite so explicit, not
seeing the harm since she had no plans to act upon them. Her
relationship with Kumiko was strictly platonic, whether she liked it
or not. Those fantasies immediate had been dropped in favor of
slightly more realistic ones when her new roommate had arrived.
"What am I doing in bed?" Natsume suddenly wondered
out loud, looking around to find herself in her futon with the sheets
all tucked around her, despite the fact that it was still clearly
daylight outside. She was also still fully dressed. Groping for her
nearby glasses and brushing the hair out of her eyes, the sandy-
haired girl attempted to take stock of what had happened.
She had been cleaning the remaining stubborn bits of old
grime from the kitchen when Ayame had slid in on the waxed floor
like an out of control skier, headed right towards her... then her
world had been filled with the sight of her guest's simple white
panties, brushing up against the tip of her nose. That led to a
whole host of hentai associations that nearly caused another
nosebleed just remembering them. She must have fainted after
Knowing there was important work that still needed to be
done, Natsume dashed out of bed, only to come to a screeching
halt before her full-length mirror. A couple passes with the comb,
smoothing out the wrinkles in her clothes, and just a hint of
perfume. She really wanted to be at her best when she apologized
to Ayame for fainting on her like that, and Kumiko might stop
The sandy-haired girl slapped her forehead in an effort to
drive the hentai thoughts away. She was never usually this bad;
there had to be something in the air.
"Ayame!" Natsume called out gleefully to her new friend
as she bounced down the stairs, nearly bursting with eagerness to
put the finishing touches on her first major business venture.
Only after finding that her beautiful guest was nowhere in
sight, did Natsume realize that while she had slept, the main room
of her coffee shop had been transformed. The tables and chairs
had all been set a comfortable distance from each other so people
could relax without bumping elbows; so well organized that it
seemed they had been placed that way purely by chance. Each
place setting was ready for its customer, organized mostly from
mismatched items she was able to buy cheap, but somehow looked
better because of it. Walls of pale yellow surrounded all this,
along with a few scattered decorations she had bought to make the
place seem more comfortable. It was everything she had hoped
and dreamed for, ever she had skipped school with Mio to visit a
coffee shop for the first time in the next town over.
Hearing sounds of movement in the back, Natsume quickly
made her way through the main room towards the kitchen,
carefully moving among the tables as if they were delicate works
of art. She was tempted to never open her shop so nothing could
be disturbed, maintaining its simple perfection forever, but she was
well aware that if she didn't open 'Natsume's' to paying customers,
she wouldn't be able to own it forever. More important to her now
was this was all due to a very special friend who she was probably
going to fantasize about a lot more from now on.
"Ayame-chan!" Natsume shouted in glee as she leapt into
the kitchen and threw her arms around her friend, enfolding her in
a warm hug. Only there seemed to be something a bit off about
her guest now. She was sure that Ayame was taller, of more
slender build, had longer hair, and most importantly possessed a
much larger chest. The sandy-haired girl looked up in shock at the
face of a grey-haired middle-aged man.
"Aarrgghh!!" Natsume screamed in fright and disgust as
she quickly released her hold on the stranger and scrambled to get
a hold of a nearby mop, which she proceeded to beat him over the
head with, all the while shouting, "Pervert! Burglar! What have
you done with my friend? Have you no shame, old man?!"
Noriaki was a rather powerful angel; as a result he was a
very hard person to harm. A plastic mop handle repeatedly
striking him on the head was less painful than a bug bite, but far
more annoying. He struggled to respond between hits, "Really,
Takemori-san... I can explain everything... if you would just stop
hitting me."
The sudden assault stopped. Not because Natsume had
believed him, she hadn't even noticed that he spoke, but because
she was already out of breath and needed to take a short break
before she could return to her earlier hysteria.
"I am Ayame's uncle, Noriaki. I was only waiting here for
her until she returned from an errand," Noriaki spoke quickly while
he had the chance. It was stretching the truth a bit, since all angels
were related however distantly, but Natsume hadn't given him time
for any deep thinking. He was ashamed that he had become so
involved in the simple task of cleaning and otherwise getting this
place into shape that he had forgotten all about her.
Natsume did not resume her attack, but she did narrow her
eyes at the intruder and clutch her mop threateningly. She knew it
wasn't a very good weapon, Mio's guitar had always been much
more effective, but she had to make do with what she had. She
studied him intently as she asked, "Are you really Ayame's uncle?
You don't look much like her."
"She takes after the other side of the family," Noriaki
replied with a small cough. He was a bit surprised that the woman
who had immediately welcomed Ayame into her home and life
could be so distrusting, but then he hadn't made the best of first
impressions. He really couldn't think of any proof he could offer
that wouldn't put both he and his young charge in a lot of trouble,
so fell back on flattery instead.
"My niece recently called saying what a great new friend
she had just made, who was generous enough to let her stay with
her. I have come to thank you in person," Noriaki spoke, then
bowed deeply to Natsume. "Thank you for taking care of my
niece, Takemori-san."
"It's not that big a deal... I mean I had the extra space
anyway," Natsume replied with a small stutter as she blushed in
embarrassment, mostly over the sort of images that 'taking care' of
Ayame conjured up.
There did seem to be something vaguely similar to Ayame
about this Noriaki person, now that she actually took the time to
consider it, though wasn't sure was it was exactly. It was almost as
if an aura of serenity surrounded them, like the lingering fresh
scent of some far cleaner and more natural land was seeped into
their clothes. A bizarre thought, but it did make her willing to
believe Noriaki, at least until Ayame returned to verify his story.
"My niece truly needs a good friend right now to help her
overcome... certain insecurities. I am sure you have been a greater
help to her than you realize," Noriaki spoke seriously as he stood.
It was the reason he had not protested the Great Chorus's
judgment, believing that some time spent in the human world
would help improve Ayame's confidence. "Anyway, I have
lingered here for far too long already and really must be going."
"But I thought you were waiting for your niece," Natsume
called out to him as the middle aged man navigated the tables of
the main room with the grace of a ballet dancer. The sandy-haired
girl noted that Ayame moved with the same effortless poise, at
least when she was sober. Must run in the family.
"It was nothing really important, and now that I know
where she is staying, I can contact her anytime," Noriaki replied
with a slight trace of nervousness, hoping that Ayame wouldn't
overreact when she heard about their sudden familial connection.
Being an administrator for so long had dulled his memories of the
human world, making him a bit careless. Still, no harm had come
from it. "Good-bye, miss Takemori."
"Good-bye, Noriaki-san!" Natsume shouted back with a
wave as the door shut with a small tinkle of bells. She really
hoped that she had made a good impression on him, at least to
make up for smacking him around with her mop.
Taking the most tender care of Ayame was one of
Natsume's priorities, but she had too many things to do to sit idly
and wait for her guest to return. She had fliers and other
promotional materials to distribute, but first a call into the health
inspector. She was confident that with the help of Ayame and her
uncle, Natsume's coffee shop was ready for business.

A sudden gust of wind swirled around the alley just outside
Ken's apartment, resolving itself into the form of a tall,
immaculately dressed man with long grey hair, though he appeared
to be in his early twenties. He also extruded an aura of arrogance
strong enough to leave a bad taste in the mouth of anyone he met.
Katsuhiko frowned at his disheveled surroundings as he
adjusted his gloves and the far more stylish wire-rim sunglasses he
had only just created. Kumiko had never traveled to Osaka. It had
taken his finely-honed intellect only a half hour of questioning the
local populace to determine this fact. The human had lied to him,
but refined demon supposed it was his fault for heeding the words
of such inferior beings in the first place; not that he wouldn't teach
that human a lesson should their paths ever cross again.
Then came a strange sound that distracted Katsuhiko from
his musings. As he struggled to place it, the noise quickly grew
nearer and nearer. Just when it occurred to him that it might be a
good idea to move out of the path of whatever could create such a
cacophony, a comatose angel landed right on top of him, bouncing
his head off the concrete. Being a delicate and refined demon,
Katsuhiko was immediately knocked unconscious.
Ayame shook her head to clear it, the small dove-like
wings nestled in her strawberry blonde hair fluttering around
drunkenly as consciousness returned to her. The second time
witnessing such a vile and disgusting act though the window of
Ken's apartment should not have been that much a shock, but the
idea of a demon engaging in sexual activities with a human was
not one she could easily get used to. She had blocked it off in a
corner of her mind where she wouldn't have to face it, and the
sudden recollection had been the mental equivalent to a sucker
punch in the gut. It seemed that her plan to separate them had
failed completely.
Luckily, something soft and yielding had broken her fall
this time. A pile of garbage bags? Someone's old lumpy coach
that they had finally decided to get rid of? Ayame shot to her feet
as the form groaned and stirred under her, embarrassed to have
landed on someone, causing them harm and staining her own
purity slightly with physical contact. Then her eyes opened wide
in surprise when she realized that the demonic emanations she had
been sensing were not from her former friend Kumiko, but from
the morbidly dressed being still lying on the ground. Another
The angel-girl knew that both Heaven and hell each
possessed a small workforce on the mortal world, carrying out a
wide range of important tasks much like her current assignment.
Much as she disliked it, she knew she wasn't supposed to interfere
with a demon that was simply doing his or her job. However, a
demon suddenly appearing while Kumiko was busy... sating her
sick carnal desires was more than a bit suspicious. Ayame
returned to her invisible state and floated up to the second story
where she could watch and wait for this new demon to awake.
"Damn them all!" Katsuhiko cursed to the sky in a rare
show of emotion. His day so far had nothing but a series of
misfortunes, from hearing that Kumiko was temporarily exiled to
this crude excuse for a city to the very sky turning against him.
There was only so much that even a perfect demon could take.
It was all too much to only be coincidence. Someone, no
doubt jealous of his intelligence and grace, had begun a deliberate
campaign to make his life hell, metaphorically speaking. No doubt
their ultimate goal was to drive him mad, but he would show them
that he was made of sterner stuff than this and that their childish
pranks would not break his iron spirit.
The source of this outrage was already apparent. After all,
the latest attack had no come from below, but from above.
"All angels suffer from such crippling insecurity,"
Katsuhiko thought out loud with a slow shake of his head, as if
pitying his heavenly opposites. "They loudly trumpet their purity
and goodness to all that would listen, using parlor tricks to radiate
with divine light like some third-rate magician. Lies, all of it.
They shout because on the inside they know they are far from
grace, unworthy of the gifts which God has bestowed upon them."
Ayame's form flickered into view for a moment as her fists
clenched and her teeth ground against each other; her eyes taking
on an almost reddish hue. Somehow she managed to hold back the
impulse to draw her flaming sword and sever that lying head from
its demonic body.
The demon had been looking down at the moment so he
failed to see her, and the chill that suddenly crept up his spine was
passed off as one more annoyance of the mortal realm and made
him again long for the comforts of home.
"Demons are the true servants of God, taking upon
themselves all the most difficult tasks in fulfilling the divine plan.
And like a piece of untempered steel in the hands of a master
craftsman, demons endure the fires of Hell and emerge shining like
a newly forged blade, complex and perfect." Katsuhiko paused for
dramatic effect since he didn't need to breathe.
Ayame huffed in anger as she crumpled bricks to dust with
her bare hands.
Katsuhiko took long dramatic strides down the alley,
mainly to get away from dirt or whatever that had suddenly started
to fall where he had been standing. He looked up to the sky and
spoke, "Heaven is paradise, at least so I've heard, where angels
perform menial tasks without effort or hardship. It is little wonder
they are soft, weak, and so unworthy."
"Demon," Ayame spoke as she materialized in the air
behind him, her large dove wings spread to block out the sun. Her
face was slack and expressionless, and her voice both deep and
shallow, as if frozen of all emotion. Only her eyes burned, searing
flames directed at the insolent creature in her path. Those flames
died down for a moment as a giant flaming sword suddenly
appeared in her hands. The blade was taller than herself, but she
wielded it with ease.
"Yes?" Katsuhiko replied automatically, a bit too shocked
at the moment for deeper thought. This was the first time he had
actually met an angel in person, though he felt that his awe was
entirely one-sided.
"Die!" Ayame shouted as she dove with all the grace of a
hawk moving in for the kill. Her sword moved like an extension of
her arm as it came back and then out again in a wide arc, seeking
to cut the offending demon right in two. Ayame had to kick off the
alley wall to keep from crashing when her prey suddenly vanished
right before she struck.
"Well done, my dear. You did manage to catch me by
surprise, but you would hardly expect a demon of my caliber to be
stunned for that long," Katsuhiko mocked her from the spot he had
teleported to, only a few feet away from where his illustrious
career as a demon had very nearly been cut short. "Now that I am
well aware of your intentions, however, you must realize that such
acts are now doomed to failure. Put that oversized torch away and
spare us both the bother."
He smirked at the fuming angel, while in actuality it was all
he could do to keep himself from shaking. He considered such
combat barbarous and well below someone of his station, so as a
result he didn't have much experience in it. The sword he wore so
visibly was mainly to discourage situations like this from
developing in the first place. His pride, however, would not let
him simply teleport away like a coward.
Ayame snarled wordlessly, pushing herself off of the
building for that extra bit of thrust, hoping to catch the smug
demon by surprise. She had to shut that lie-spewing mouth of his
for the good of life everywhere. It was her duty to end his verbal
menace. The angel-girl growled as her prey teleported right before
she struck once again.
"Ah, I was obviously hopelessly optimistic to believe that
an angel would listen to another's advice, or realize her goal is
unobtainable," Katsuhiko taunted once more for the sake of his
pride, though he was seriously considering abandoning his dignity
in order to save his life. At the moment, there didn't seem any
alternate option open to him.

At the time it had seemed an impossible task, but somehow
Ken had managed to sate the demon-girl's sudden overpowering
lust, at least for now. Kumiko was currently snuggled up next to
him in bed, their cheeks touching as they had their arms around
each other, while they watched an anime from his collection. It
was one of those tender, lazy moments where Ken could pretend
she was a real woman and not a demon gobbling up his soul bit by
Due to the crippling of his finances when his parents had
moved to Hawaii, Ken hadn't been able to buy any of the more
recent anime, but there were always the classics to fall back on.
He still had quite a selection, so the difficulty came in choosing
something appropriate for the occasion. The last thing he wanted
to see at the moment was hentai, especially considering the
company he was in, and shoujo anime was likely to put them both
to sleep, so he opted for mindless violence instead. It seemed a
good choice since the demon-girl was enjoying it almost too much.
"Yeah!!" Kumiko cheered with a fist upraised as the
android samurai decapitated a dozen people in two rows, their
necks spraying out blood like ghoulish fountains. This seemed to
last for five minutes as the samurai posed dramatically with his
laser sword lighting up his red eyes, until finally the headless
bodies slumped to the pavement. "Serves you right, you mean...
what were the headless guys again, Ken-chan?"
"Evil agents of the alien hive queen bent on conquering
Earth," Ken replied as he thought, *My cheap sound system must
be better than I thought. I could have sworn that sword stroke had
come from outside the window.*
"That looks like fun! I want a laser sword too!" Kumiko
enthused as the android samurai was quickly turning an army of
rampaging mecha into a pile of spare parts. The demon-girl posed
dramatically as she stood up in bed, her trim nude body bouncing
in all the right places as she began to make passes with an
imaginary sword, slicing down invisible foes.
"Err, they don't really exist, Kumi-chan. Most of what
happens in anime could never happen in real life," Ken explained,
though he would never have expected to become a sex slave to a
demon-girl in real life before. Maybe the self defense force had a
stash of laser swords they were just saving for an alien invasion.
"Aww," Kumiko replied in obvious disappointment as she
dropped back down onto the bed and tumbled into Ken's arms.
The android samurai looked like he was having a good time cutting
up anything and anyone in his path, though it was hard to tell with
his rigid expression. It was odd that even the non-robotic
characters also had rigid expressions, sometimes not changing
even when they were sliced into bits. Kumiko liked observing
people for all the unique and silly expressions people could have,
so made this 'anime' thing a bit unsatisfying.
"When we have some spare yen, I'll take you to the local
arcade and show you the next best thing...," Ken trailed off as he
stood, slipping out of bed and the demon-girl's warm embrace.
The way the bed had shaken slightly along with the noise from the
last blow could not have been his sound system. Something was
definitely going on in the alley just below his window.
Ken was a bit afraid of what he might find, but he had to
look. The realization that there could be more than demon-girls
that turned out to be real instead of creations of fiction, but he
couldn't help being curious to discover what other wonders the
world had in store. Besides, being five floors up should protect
him from any possible danger. He very slowly pulled back the
The telephone rang, startling Ken out of his thoughts. He
stood frozen in indecision, wondering if he should check the alley
before whatever it is gets away or answer the phone before
whoever it is gives up.
"I'll get it!" Kumiko shouted, springing out of bed and
leaping in the direction of the phone on the other side of the room.
About half a century ago, they installed quite an extensive
telephone system in Hell, despite the fact any demon could speak
to another simply by invoking the other's presence.
It had been another push for modernization by one of the
arch-demons, and had been used for roughly a month before it was
completely abandoned. Kumiko once had the temp job of a
telephone operator and missed it a bit. She had enjoyed the
pleasant jingle of unanswered phones, so much that she would lay
her head on the desk and just listen to them ring for hours on end.
This wasn't quite what her bosses wanted from her,
however, so they had called in her old instructor to give her a crash
course in being a telephone operator, mainly though the use of the
woman's special new electric whip. As a result, the demon-girl
can't hear the ring of a telephone without immediately trying to
answer it. By that time everyone had stopped using the system
anyway, so the demon-girl was shipped back to her old job.
*I guess that solves that,* Ken thought with a grin as he
returned to peer out the window, pulling back the shade once
again. The only sight that met his eyes, however, was the ceiling
as he was suddenly being dragged across the floor by a chain and
collar that had just appeared around his neck.
"Hello! Thank you for using HECS, Hell's Electronic
Communications Service. I am your extremely competent
telephone operator Kumiko. How may I help you?" Kumiko asked
pleasantly, a conditioned response drilled into her by countless
training sessions. Lying naked on the cold floor, Ken groaned.
"Hi, Kumi-chan. It's Natsume," Natsume replied after a
pause for laughter. She had been a little worried to speak to Ken's
girlfriend after the dream she had had a little while ago, but
Kumiko's quirky sense of humor definitely set her at ease. Ken
really was lucky. "How are you doing? I hope that Tokiyo wasn't
too much trouble last night. I offered to let her stay with me, but I
guess she wasn't comfortable with that for some reason."
Ken sprang to his feet and lunged for the phone in order to
prevent the demon-girl from saying something else that might give
away her secret, and probably doom him to a fate worse than
slavery. What he got was a taste of his wall as Kumiko turned
away, not seeming to notice him at all.
"Doing great!" Kumiko replied with a bouncy burst of
enthusiasm. There was nothing like spending half a day in a
sexual marathon, along with tasty bits of a mortal's soul, to pick up
one's spirits. When she thought of the intruder that she had
successfully driven off, the demon-girl's grin turned wicked, her
fangs poking out at the edges of her smile. "Ken-chan's little
cousin was no trouble at all once I explained things to her. This
morning we put her on a train that took her far, far away."
"That's good, I guess," Natsume said, not liking the sound
of Kumiko's chuckling. She thought Ayame had been
exaggerating out of grief before, but the blue-haired woman did
have a demonic side to her. She had probably brutally stomped out
Tokiyo's crush on her cousin, which the sandy-haired girl figured
was better than letting her linger on with false hope, but she didn't
need to sound so happy about it. "Actually, there's another reason
I called. My little coffee shop is nearly ready for business and I
need you and Ken to help me hand out flyers and put up posters.
I'll pay you both for it, of course. Is Ken there?"
"Yep! He's on the floor," Kumiko replied, peering down at
he slave who was sitting cross-legged on the floor as he rubbed his
face and tried to get the taste of plaster out of his mouth. The
demon-girl leapt down right into his arms, grinning as she turned
to him and said, "Phone for you, Ken-chan!"
After Ken recovered from having a naked, squirming
demon-girl dropped in his lap, he accepted the phone and spoke
into it uncertainly, "Umm, hello?"
"Hi, Ken. Your good and strictly platonic friend Natsume
here. Say, are you doing anything for the next hour or so?"
Natsume asked sweetly, though doubting that her special cute tone
wouldn't have much of an effect on him now that he had a
"Not particularly," Ken replied slowly as he glanced around
the room, trying to distract himself from the way certain parts of
the nude demon-girl were pressing up against his certain parts.
Such stimulation should have had zero effect after what he had just
been though, but he was a male after all. He couldn't let Kumiko
notice or he wouldn't have enough soul pieces left to last him
another month, much less a year. Thankfully, the demon-girl was
currently distracted leaning over his shoulder to trace mildly
ticklish patterns on his back with her finger.
"Great!" Natsume enthused. It seemed the power of her
cute voice over Ken hadn't diminished with the arrival of Kumiko.
Oh, it was such a crime for a girl as cute and sexy as herself to
remain unattached for so long, but she was hoping to fix that soon.
"Just come down to the coffee shop as soon as you can and I'll
explain everything I want you to do. And tell Ayame to come back
soon if you see her. Good-bye!"
"Bye," Ken replied lamely since Natsume had already hung
up. More work was not the top of his list for spending his free
time, but at least he would get paid, and with the added expenses
of a demon-girl who could shred clothes like a rabid wolverine, he
really could use the money.
"All done!" Kumiko enthused with a small giggle, capping
the black magic marker that had rolled against her foot after she
had settled down in her slave's warm embrace.
Ken could only stare at what he had thought had been the
touch of her finger. A permanent marker he had bought for
marking up his boxes of things when he had moved out of the
dorms, only to vanish soon after. Too afraid to look, Ken slipped
on a shirt and began to get dressed, hoping whatever it was would
wear off soon.
Kumiko hummed to herself happily as she browsed through
her slave's manga collection, looking for something appropriate to
wear. In a twirl, she was clothed in a tight-fitting ensemble sported
by the evil home wrecker of a shoujo manga series.
Both were startled when the phone suddenly rang again.
Their eyes locked, slowly traveled over to the phone, then back
again. In an instant, Ken and Kumiko were in motion, scrambling
over each other to be the first to answer the telephone. Ken was
fighting to save himself from further humiliation while Kumiko
was completely giving into instincts that had been whipped into
her. This time, fear of humiliation won out.
"Hello, Ken Iwakami speaking. What can I do for you?"
Ken answered the phone with forced cheerfulness, mainly because
the demon-girl had him in a headlock as she continued to struggle
to wrest the phone from him. Though she was giggling now so she
couldn't be too angry about it. Either that or his own efforts to
maintain control of the phone were resulting in an accidental tickle
torture. He knew well how sensitive Kumiko's skin was, even
though jagged edge of glass couldn't leave a mark on it.
"Hello, Ken. This is your art teacher, Honami Matsuno..."
Honami answered pleasantly, trailing off as the nervousness she
was struggling to keep control of rose up again and snatched away
her words. Clearing her throat, she continued, "I'm sorry to call
when you're probably studying for one last final or enjoying your
vacation, but... I would like to speak to you about Kumiko."
It had taken her some time to build up enough courage to
make this call, fearing that it may result in being taken away from
the one she held most dear. She could not relax, however, until she
knew for certain whether Kumiko was one of Them or not. It just
wouldn't do to fear one of her own students, especially when it was
most likely just her paranoia making her imagine things. And if it
wasn't... She was prepared to fight for her freedom, though she
didn't have high hopes of success.
"Kumiko?" Ken echoed, laughing nervously as he put his
hand over the demon-girl's mouth to keep her from responding.
There was something about his Honami's tone that made him feel
apprehensive. He couldn't help wondering if the observant art
teacher had noticed a few unusual things about her new student
and had somehow managed to figure out that Kumiko wasn't quite
human. "What about-- YEEOUCH!!"
Ken suddenly remembered what had happened the last time
he had tried to cover the demon-girl's mouth, at least with his hand.
A familiar pain surged through his palm as Kumiko bit down on it
hard, using her demonic fangs to full advantage. As he studied his
hand with frantic worry, noticing like last time the skin had
remained unbroken, he realized he'd been had.
"Kumiko here! How may I help you?" the demon-girl
spoke in her telephone operator voice, but there was a smug grin
on her lips now. Though this was hard for Ken to notice at the
moment, since she was keeping him pinned to the ground with one
leather clad boot standing firmly on his chest.
"Kumiko?!" Homani exclaimed in surprise. She supposed
that it made sense that his girlfriend would be there with Ken in the
middle of the afternoon, but she hadn't mentally prepared herself to
speak with the source of her recent anxiety. "Ah, this is Honami,
your art teacher. Actually, I wanted to speak with you, but I didn't
have your phone number, and seeing as you and Ken are so
"Yep! He's right under my foot!" Kumiko agreed happily.
She had been a little worried about the sneaky art teacher trying to
take away her slave before, but her recent crushing defeat of
Tokiyo had filled her with limitless confidence. She even wrote it
in big letters to avoid confusion, which she could easily show to
discourage any would-be thieves. And if Honami had really been
after her slave, she wouldn't have given up so easily. She just must
be sneaky for some other reason.
The art teacher decided not to ask about that, already
observing how... enthusiastic they were about each other, not
seeming to care if people were around when they... Honami
blushed and chose not to follow that thought any further. It was
bound to lead to her own romantic fantasies and she had to get this
issue resolved before she could even try to make them come true.
"Well, the reason I'm calling is I thought that since you missed half
the semester already, I could give you a few private lessons to help
you catch up with the class while school is still on break."
Kumiko wasn't particularly into art or other high cultural
aspects of demonic or mortal society, though she used to listen to
long monologs about them from a very talkative demon friend.
She did like to doodle though and she had been running out of
things to doodle lately, and she really didn't like repeating herself,
maybe Honami could teach her new an exciting ways to doodle,
like how to write on the ceiling without having to unfold one's
wings in an enclosed space. So she decided that private lessons
just might be fun, under one condition.
"Sure, but only if Ken-chan can come with me!" Kumiko
insisted. Even though it was a practical request considering the
bond prohibited them from being more than a few feet away from
each other, the demon-girl just liked keep her slave in sight at all
times. A source of warmth, life, and occasionally just to look at.
Like now as she smiled down at him, wearing a grumpy expression
mainly because he was still pinned under her boot.
"I don't see how that will be a problem," Honami replied
with some relief. She couldn't imagine one of Them saying
something like that, showing such a lust for another. She didn't
think they were the kind to show such dependence. "I'm sure you
would prefer to practice in private, so I'll have to ask about using
the room and draw up an outline of the things we would want to
cover... Why don't you give me your phone number and I'll call
you directly when everything is ready?"
"Huh? You just called me. Don't you already have it?" the
demon-girl asked in confusion. When they had institution the
phone system in hell, everyone had received their own personal
number, chosen in a system that only the arch-demon who gave
them out understood. Kumiko had been very lucky to have a
number that was easy to remember, since it was all the same digit.
The problem came in remembering just how many sixes it was
supposed to be.
*Living together?* Honami thought in surprise, drawing
the obvious conclusion from her new student's statement. Again,
considering their healthy and active relationship, she should not
have been so surprised. It was a very large step in a relationship,
but Kumiko passed it off as an obvious and easy thing to do.
Maybe it really was like that...
The art teacher shook her head to clear it of any lingering
fantasies and said, "Yes, how silly of me to forget. I should have
everything ready soon, so I'll talk to you then. Good-bye,
"Bye-bye, sensei!" Kumiko replied with a grin, hanging up
the phone before Ken's desperate lunge could snatch it out of her
grasp. This sent them both tumbling to the floor.
Kumiko lay on the floor, a bit dirty from her brief roll on
the floor, with her hair all in disarray, but the clothes she had
chosen to wear were far too tight to be messed up much. He slave
lay on top of her, a comforting warmth pressing up against her own
body... The demon-girl blinked with something hard and familiar
pressed up against her thighs. Surprise gave way to joy as she
threw her arms around him and then kissed him deeply.
"But Natsume is waitin--" Ken started to say when it was
obvious what the demon-girl had in mind, which is what she
usually had in mind anyway, only to cut off when his mouth was
suddenly filled with a forked tongue. He knew Kumiko was doing
all the things that would shatter his resistance, but despite that and
the sexual olympics they had finished only a short time ago, he
couldn't help losing another tiny fragment of his soul now wouldn't
make that big a difference. She was going to take them all
eventually anyway, so he might as well enjoy it.
They both experienced the auditory equivelent to a cold
shower, however, when a very loud curse that came from the alley
just outside their window.

"Damn it!" Ayame shouted in rage as her giant flaming
sword suddenly sputtered and died. It was an extension of herself;
drawing upon her own energy. Still being a proto-angel meant she
could only feed it enough power for a short amount of time.
The bucket of cold water that someone had just dumped
over it and herself from an apartment above hadn't helped either.
Of all the nerve, calling her an arsonist. However, Ayame was
relieved to find out that Noriaki had been correct. Humans did
refuse to believe the supernatural right before their eyes, able to
edit giant wings right out of their memories. Perhaps she wouldn't
be quite as nervous around Natsume from now on.
"It has been mildly amusing playing with you like this, but
I really must be going. Unlike yourself, I have an important task to
attend to," Katsuhiko said with a chuckle before teleporting a block
away. Only then did he allow himself to break down and cry from
the pain of a dozen minor wounds and burns inflicted by all the
homicidal angel's near misses.
Perhaps sword mastery wasn't as barbaric as he had once
thought and something worthy of looking into. However, it was
far better to find Kumiko as quickly as possible so his path would
not cross with that angel ever again. He would resume his search,
once he had rested a bit that is. Teleporting so much in such a
short span of time had made him a bit light-headed, so he found a
serviceable park bench and lay down to rest.
Back in the alley, Ayame's anger was quickly fading into
depression. She slumped against a nearby wall, droplets of water
still falling from her hair as she assumed her human form. Now
her clothes were dry, but the skin underneath was damp and her
long strawberry blonde hair was soaked though. This was nothing
compared to how she felt on the inside, however.
Everything that demon had said was true, at least for her.
The way she had reacted to him, and to the sight in the window
only moments before, had proved all that. She was weak and
insecure. Her tasks up to now had been easy, leaving her totally
unprepared for the mortal world. *Perhaps... perhaps Kumiko did
make the right choice after all...*
"Here," said a male voice as a towel was suddenly thrust in
her direction. Ayame looked up to see Ken nervously staring back
at her, as if afraid she was attack him as well. She supposed it was
a legitimate concern considering her recent behavior. He had
provoked her, but maybe that had been unintentional.
"Thank you," Ayame replied, taking the towel and doing
her best to dry her hair. It was odd that for all her powers as an
angel, she would require the assistance of one of the very beings
she had been created to serve. She could purify the water that
soaked her with a thought, but that would just leave her clean and
damp. Almost to herself, she added, "Perhaps I've misjudged you,
Kensuke Iwakami."
"Well, I just happened to see that lady dump water on you
and thought you could use a towel..." Ken replied in
embarrassment. Since before he feared the angel would slice him
to pieces for a single suggestive look, he never noticed how
incredibly attractive Ayame was, especially with her hair all
disheveled, making her seem soft and vulnerable. Especially from
this angle, since he could look down her shirt, to a bust that was as
impressive as the demon-girl's...
"And he's all mine, so don't you even think about taking
him!!" Kumiko raged only millimeters away from the angel-girl's
face. She was sure the angel was still on the mortal plane just
waiting for her chance to snatch the demon-girl's slave from her.
She also had a feeling that Ayame was somehow involved in that
brat Tokyio staying the night. "See? See?"
The demon-girl, who had been riding her slave piggy back
all the way down the stairs of his apartment and out into the street,
now shifted around to cling to his chest instead, not seeming to
notice how Ken groan as his body strained to support this minor
feat of dexterity. She seemed to be torturing him deliberately,
making Ken wonder if the bond that also made her his literal ball
and chain also allowed her to read his thoughts. Then again, if
they were true, she would have made him suffer for virtually every
woman that crossed his path.
However, Kumiko did this simply so she could lift up the
back of his shirt without letting go, on which she had written in
large, sloppy hiragana, 'Property of Kumiko.' Ken didn't have to
be able to read it to know it was something really embarrassing.
"I don't want him!" Ayame raged back, not even noticing
Kumiko's crude penmanship as she glared defiantly at the demon-
girl. The very idea that she would do... that, especially with a
human... Only a completely disgusting being like Kumiko would
even suggest such an abhorrence. No, it was clear by what her
former friend had become, she had made the worst possible choice.
Especially when she...
"Good!" Kumiko replied, though she didn't sound at all
happy about it, forcing her slave to turn back around again so she
could stare down at the angel-girl with her unwavering gaze. This
was the person who had been only pretending to he her friend all
those years, probably laughing at her behind her back the whole
time. Kumiko knew she wasn't the smartest supernatural being in
the world, but she had her pride. She would not give the angel the
satisfaction by being the first to look away.
"Fine!" Ayame agreed in a similar tone as she thrust the
towel back into Ken's hands, though her eyes never wavered from
her enemy's. To look away would mean defeat, conceding that all
those horrible things that other demon had said about angels were
true. She knew she was a bit insecure, but she still believed she
could one day be a strong and confident celestial being of good
like her superior Noriaki.
Ken could feel the tension between the two extra ordinary
women as it filled the small alley, stirring small bits of dirt and
garbage like the first winds of an oncoming hurricane. He had to
stop this fast. Kumiko was his lifeline now; he was sure if she was
sent back to Hell, he'd be there for the ride. Also, his luck was bad
enough as it was. He didn't need the death of an angel blotting his
already spotty record with the big being upstairs, whatever
denomination he, or she, turned out to be. Most importantly,
however, if he didn't get the demon-girl off his back soon, Ken was
going to need some serious chiropractic aid.
"I was wondering," Ken said loudly to grab their attention,
using this moment of distraction to stand up quickly in hopes of
throwing off his demonic pet leech. However, Kumiko simply
altered her grip, slipping her hands around his neck. Sighing a bit
in this minor defeat, though he at least wouldn't need spinal
adjustment anymore, Ken pressed on while he still had their
attention. "Say, Ayame-san, who was that guy with you in the
alley a little while ago? Was he your ex-boyfriend or something?"
"He was a demon!" Ayame yelled at the human, irritated
over the implication that she would maintain such liaisons like she
was no better than some degenerate demon-girl. Perhaps she had
judged him rightly after all.
"All women say that about their ex-boyfriends, especially if
they were the ones who got dumped...," Ken said to himself
thoughtfully, only to trail off in horror when he realized he had
actually spoken his thoughts aloud. He edged away from the
angel, expecting her to unsheathe her giant flaming sword again at
any moment.
"No, he really was an actual demon from hell. I have the
power to sense supernatural beings even when they're disguised as
humans," Ayame explained, confused to why the subject of her
current assignment was acting so strange all of the sudden. She
took a step closer to him in attempt to study this behavior closely,
only for the frowning demon-girl to spring off his back and
intercept her path.
Why was this human so important to Kumiko? He didn't
seem at all exceptional like Natsume, but then the Great Chorus
themselves had instructed her to keep watch over him. There had
to be some hidden quality that the angel-girl simply didn't know
him well enough to uncover. Then again, if it was something that
a demon-girl would covet, she didn't want to know.
"Iwakami-san, you of all people should know what
dangerous and loathsome creatures demons are," Ayame told him
as she edged even closer, forcing Kumiko to take a step back.
"They are selfish, petty, amoral monsters who think only of
themselves and are willing to do anything, no matter how
repulsive, in order to achieve their goals. I had to try to eliminate
that rogue demon for the good of all humanity."
Kumiko growled, knowing that she and not this other
demon was the one the angel-girl was talking about. Her red eyes
shown with the glare of the sun while he hands flexed for the feel
of her whip, but she could see in Ayame's eyes that this was just
what her former friend wanted. So she bit her lip and kept her
silence, even though the one thing she really wanted to do at the
moment was give a certain angel a one-way trip back to heaven.
"Well, I don't think they're all bad," Ken replied nervously,
finding that short description seemed to fit Kumiko pretty well,
though he didn't think she was entirely self-centered. And even
though she was gobbling up his soul so she could live on, at least
she had chosen a very enjoyable method of extracting it. "I've only
known one demon, at least I think so, but my life is a lot more
interesting now than it was before... Of course, it's now a whole
lot shorter than it was before too..."
Kumiko smiled and felt her anger fade as her slave praised
her, at least she thought he was praising her. The demon-girl had
had the same problem with her superiors, finding something a bit
off about their complimentary words after successfully completing
her assigned task, though not always in the way they wanted her to.
Whatever the case, she felt reassured that the angel's words had no
effect on him.
"Don't be so easily deceived by her... base and absolutely
revolting trickery," Ayame told him firmly, looking like she was
about to be violently ill, but somehow managed to hold it back.
"Demons only think of themselves. Did she actually give you the
choice of forging this unholy relationship with her? And I'm sure
there are some very large consequences for you, since for her to
gain, someone else must suffer. Would you had really chosen her
company if the decision had been yours?"
Ken blinked and opened his mouth to respond, but no
answer was forthcoming. At first it had just been the shock of the
supernatural, and the rush of his first sexual experience. After that,
he had sort of gotten used to having Kumiko around and was pretty
sure he would miss her. But was all that really worth forty years?
Just that morning that judo girl Yui had been coming on to
him pretty strongly. Even though she had a painful reputation
when it came to men, she had definitely been attractive. He
doubted a single date would have killed him, but he would never
get that chance with the demon-girl chained to him.
"You shouldn't be so trusting of angels, Ken-chan,"
Kumiko interrupted his thoughts, perhaps feeling just a small blot
of fear over what his answer to Ayame's question would be. "They
act all righteous and selfless, just to hide the fact that are far
sneakier than any demon!"
"Wh.. what?!" Ayame stuttered out. She had been
expecting the demon-girl to lunge at her with her whip any
moment now and was completely unprepared for a sudden verbal
assault. "Angels are not sneaky in the least! How dare you make
such groundless accusations?"
"Not sneaky at all, eh?" Kumiko echoed with what she was
trying to be a slow chuckle, but instead ended up more of a
somewhat menacing giggle. The one good thing that had come out
of dealing with that clingy human Tokyio was discovering that
direct attacks weren't the only way she could fight a battle.
Sometimes the right words could be almost as effective as a good
lashing, if not quite as fun. "I wonder what Ayame was doing right
outside the window of my apartment then. Planning something
sneaky, miss innocent angel?"
"Your apartment?" Ken questioned the demon-girl with a
groan. As far as he knew, his name was still the only one on the
contract, but maybe that little brat Takashi fixed that too. Not that
it mattered either way when they couldn't be more than a few feet
apart. It wasn't like she could kick him out if she happened to take
his comments about another woman the wrong way. Though with
his luck, she would dangle him out the window instead.
"You're my slave so everything you own is mine," Kumiko
replied cheerfully as she turned back to face him, then frowned and
added, "Didn't I mention that already?"
"I was conducting official Heavenly business, which is
none of your concern," Ayame finally replied after calming herself
down. Yes, she was spying on them, which could be considered
sneaky, but this was a mandate from Heaven that she could not
refuse. It wasn't as if she wanted to watch them. If the angel-girl
had the choice, she would be back in Heaven right now with
Natsume... Ayame blinked in bafflement. Why in the world was
she confusing a simple mortal coffee shop with the grand and
majestic structures of Heaven? Kumiko must be getting to her
even more than she had thought.
"Oh, wow, look at the time. Natsume is going to worry
about what happened to us. We better hurry along now," Ken
came close to shouting as he checked his watch with exaggerated
motions. Seeing this was having no effect on the two supernatural
woman, who were currently staring back at him in surprise, he
gently pushed them out into the street, being especially careful of
where he touched the sword wielding angel. "I'm sure neither of
you want to disappoint your friend."
"I'm far closer to Natsume than she is," Ayame said as if
insulted by the implication she could have anything in common
with the demon-girl. She walked down the street to one side of
Ken, though still could clearly watch her former friend to make
sure she wasn't up to any mischief. "Kumiko hardly knows her."
"I was her friend first," Kumiko declared smugly, one arm
under her chest and the other keeping a firm hold on her slave.
"And I'm not some annoying freeloader!"
"Why you... demon!" Ayame shouted, fists clenched, as she
glared around Ken at Kumiko, who was certainly the source of all
her pain and anguish. She had no idea how even hell could stand
such an obnoxious dimwit.
"I am a demon. Biddah!" Kumiko opted for the witty
rejoinder of sticking her tongue out at the offending angel-girl.
She had been having fun on the mortal world until the stuck-up
know it all had shown up to ruin it. Why didn't she go back to
heaven where she belonged?
Ken could only sigh as the verbal battle continued around
him. At least they would be at Natsume's soon so he wouldn't have
to suffer alone.

Brimming with optimism, Natsume quickly filled in
tomorrow's date for her grand opening on her new flyers. The ones
she had just recently had printed up used a completely new design
than the old ones she had handed out a little over a week ago. She
thought the old ones had been cute, using her own beauty and
charm to promote the homey feel she planned for her coffee shop.
The second batch took into account her new employees, and she
was sure these would really catch the public's attention; the male
portion of the public at least.
Natsume paused in her work to rest her wrist, which was
starting to cramp up from writing the same thing over and over a
few dozen times. As she glanced down at the sparkling tile floor
of her coffee shop, she couldn't help wonder what errand Ayame
was on that was taking her so long. Even though her guest might
be carefully selecting a present to shyly reveal her true feelings for
her irresistible host, Natsume really hoped that Ken found her and
brought her home soon... though that made her sound more like a
housecat than a houseguest.
The sandy-haired girl really wanted to thank Ayame for all
the hard work she and her uncle had done in getting the coffee
shop ready for business. All she needed now was the approval of
the health inspector, who to her great surprise, had agreed to
inspect her shop that very day. No doubt he could not resist the
sexy allure of her oh so cute voice over the phone and had to meet
her in person. She would let him look all he wanted, if it meant a
glowing review for her coffee shop, but touching was reserved for
more feminine hands.
A single knock at the door was all that Natsume needed to
propel her up out of her seat and half way across the main room to
the door, flinging it open wide to welcome whichever of the four
potential arrivals it happened to be. She frowned a bit to see Ken's
face staring back at her. Not that she wasn't happy to see her
friend, but he was a man after all.
"Hi, Natsume. Sorry we're a bit late," Ken greeted the
person who, before he met Kumiko, was the only woman who
could actually stand his presence that he wasn't also related to.
Though she had her share of annoying quirks, he was
honestly glad to see Natsume, hoping she could do something to
break up the latest war of stares between demon and angel.
Whenever Kumiko was on edge, he was on edge, mainly because
he feared the remainder of his short life suddenly being suddenly
cut much shorter. Ayame was being a bit nicer to him now, but all
that meant is she would actually regret accidentally lopping off his
head in a fit of anger, at least for a few moments.
"Hi, Ken. No problem, I had to get all the stuff ready first
anyway," Natsume returned the greeting with a smile, finding that
she was happy to see him after all. They had never been really
close before, but then he had proven himself to be a trustworthy
guy and she did have a problem that she couldn't really discuss
with her female, and sadly all platonic, friends. Then she blinked
and added, "Wait, you said 'we'..."
At first glance, Ken had seemed to be alone, but Natsume
caught a flash of blue hair to his right and familiar strawberry
blonde to his left. Peering around him, the sandy-haired girl was
surprised to find Ayame and Kumiko engaged in a staring contest
with all the seriousness of an Olympic event. Something wasn't
quite right here, something she felt in the air, but before she could
identify it, Natsume noticed Ayame's currently disheveled state
and rushed over to her, full of concern.
"Ayame, what happened to you? Are you all right?"
Natsume asked in a voice tinged with worry while she checked
over her guest for any other sign of whatever harm had befallen
her. However, he clothes looked as if they had just been stitched,
and her beautiful lightly tanned skin was smooth and unmarked.
"I'm fine, Natsume," Ayame replied softly as she looked
down at the smaller woman, feeling warmed by her obvious
concern. The angel-girl had always striven to be independent,
especially after she and Kumiko had parted ways, but she couldn't
help but feel comforted that there was someone willing to look out
for her welfare. "I was just hit by water someone had accidentally
dropped out a window. I'm fine."
"Then you should take a nice hot bath so you don't catch a
cold," Natsume said in a voice that was trying very hard to sound
serious, though there was a faint blush on her cheeks. "I was just
thinking of taking one myself before the health inspector arrives."
"No, I'm honestly all right, and I have wasted far too much
time lounging in your wonderful furo as it is," Ayame declined her
host's offer as politely as she could. Not that she wasn't tempted to
relax in the soothing heat, but she couldn't be so self indulgent or
show any sign of weakness before the demon-girl. A moment too
late, she suddenly realized her mistake.
"Haha, I win!" Kumiko declared with a smug smile of
victory, doing a little dance of celebration that both Ken and
Natsume found intensely fascinating, though that could have had
something to do with the way her tight-fitting, low-cut top and
shorts ensemble did nothing to inhibit the demon-girl's natural
"Wait, that didn't count!" Ayame protested, balling her fists
in anger that the demon-girl could even dare claim such a such an
obvious interruption as a win. Really, she had no common sense at
all. "There was interference!"
"You looked away before I did," Kumiko taunted in a sing-
song voice, posing dramatically with two upraised fingers. "That
means I win. V!"
"Natsume, what did you call us here for anyway?" Ken
asked in an attempt to avert another major argument. While less
dangerous than charging at each other with weapons drawn, their
arguments were still painful for him to listen to. Also, he noted
that the both of them could sometimes get so into their verbal duel
that they allowed their human disguises to slip briefly, which was
something he really didn't want to explain to his friend.
Natsume didn't like the growing tension in the air any more
than Ken did, so she took the hint from him and distracted Ayame
from her former lover by taking her guest's hand and gently
drawing her inside the coffee shop. She turned back to shout at
Ken, giving him a quick wink, "Hurry up inside and I'll show you!"
Ken was a bit stunned that a woman had actually winked at
him, only to realize a moment later that a wink from Natsume
could never be what he hoped it meant. A moment later, the
message she was actually trying to convey seeped into his brain, so
he put his arm around the still gloating Kumiko and guided her into
the shop after the other two. "Yes, we better hurry. Come on,
"Kumi-chan!?" Ayame echoed in shock, spinning around at
the same time Natsume was gently shoving her into the interior of
the coffee shop. As such, two of her sensitive areas were suddenly
squashed by her host's small hands. "Aiee!!"
"Sorry, Ayame!" Natsume apologized immediately, hiding
her hands behind her back. She wasn't really sure if it was
incredibly good luck or terribly bad luck that these sort of things
kept happening between them. While they did provide a perverse
thrill for the sandy-haired girl, she worried about how
uncomfortable they made her guest feel. "It was just an accident!"
"Sure it was," Ken whispered to Natsume with a slight grin.
Just like the first time she had met Kumiko, or that waitress on
their 'date', or a dozen little 'accidental' instances of feminine
contact that Natsume could skillfully manage. Once he had
begged her to teach him her secret, but she refused to tell 'for the
good of all womenkind.' It seemed no matter what happened to
her, his friend would never change. Once a flirt, always a flirt.
Ken was deep in thought, so the sudden elbow to the ribs
caught him by surprise. He stared at Natsume for some
explanation, she normally passed off his minor digs with either a
laugh or a grin, but she only huffed angrily and turned away from
him. She couldn't actually be serious about Ayame, could she?
She was an angel! Of course Natsume didn't know that, and there
was her theory about Ayame and Kumiko being former lovers...
Either way though, such a supernatural relationship was
doomed even worse than his own. Ken didn't want to see his
friend get hurt, but really didn't know what to say to discourage her
either. Natsume would see right through any lie and the truth...
either she'd think he was crazy, or actually believe it. He wasn't
sure which was worse.
Maybe it would be better to talk to Ayame about this
instead, but as he couldn't speak to her without Kumiko glaring
from over his shoulder, that probably wasn't such a good idea
either. He was probably just imagining things anyway. He knew
that Natsume had been looking for too long to pursue someone
without at least some sign of encouragement, and an angel was the
last person that would lead her on.
"I'm not paying you to stand around all day gawking, Ken.
Take a seat and get to work," Natsume spoke, snapping him out of
his thoughts. He felt relieved to see her grin, knowing this meant
he was forgiven for his minor transgression.
"All right, what do you want me... to do?!" Ken started to
say with a smile as he took the seat indicated, only to loudly exhale
the last part as Kumiko dropped right in his lap with a small
bounce. She curled her arms around him protectively while
occasionally glancing at Ayame seated across from them. The
angel in turn did her best to completely ignore the demon-girl,
though the way her hands clenched he could tell she wasn't being
entirely successful.
"Finish filling in tomorrow's date on these flyers," Natsume
explained, her grin a bit wicked as she watched Ken suffer under
his girlfriend's over-affection. She handed him a stack of printed
sheets and a large marker. "Once you're done, you can start
passing them around the neighborhood. That took me forever by
myself, back when I was just trying to drum up interest. With the
three of you working together, it should take no time at all
"Three?" Ayame repeated in surprise as she looked up from
her work, having already started writing diligently once her host
had explained what to do. This showed that she was certainly
more competent and reliable than Kumiko, who probably didn't
even know how to use a marker. At least she wasn't depicted
standing next to her former friend on the flyer, though she thought
her own picture was hardly flattering. She looked so nervous, but
Natsume had reassured her that it was the perfect image.
"Yes, I have to stay here and wait for the health inspector,
so I'll be relying on all of you to make my coffee shop a success,"
Natsume explained with a smile, while secretly hoping that
working together towards the same goal would help to heal the
lingering bad feelings between Kumiko and Ayame.
"That doesn't sound too hard... What the heck?!" Ken
shouted in confusion as he stared at the flyer for 'Natsume's,' which
from the picture on the front, he would have normally guessed to
either be one of those rip-off bars or a strip club.
The flyer was printed on pale yellow paper and had
'Natsume's' emblazoned across the top in stylized letters. Just
under this was a black and white photo of Kumiko, Ayame, and
Natsume in the middle, all frozen in very suggestive poses.
The demon-girl had a lustful, hungry look that was
normally reserved for him, his friend was bursting with excessive
cuteness, and the angel radiated a blushing innocence. He could
tell by the clothes that the picture of Kumiko had been taken on the
day that Tokiyo had shown up. Natsume and Ayame were both
wearing 'Natsume's' aprons, though he didn't think the angel would
be posing like that if she knew her picture was being taken.
As if anyone with a single hormone in their body couldn't
get the visual message, the paragraph underneath hammered the
point home. 'Come to Natsume's, the coffee shop of your dreams,
where the owner and her two star waitresses will make you feel
right at home with hot coffee and a warm smile.'
"Since they'll both be working here, I thought it was only
fair to put them in the advertising," Natsume explained without
looking up from filling in more dates. She was nearly done her
own pile, even if her eyes lingered over the picture a bit longer
than necessary. She did feel a bit guilty about it, but a struggling
businesswoman needed to use every possible advantage to make it
in a world where large chain stores ruled. Besides, she had already
seen that both waitresses were more than capable of fending off the
occasional amorous advance.
"Well, I'm going to be working here too, but I don't see any
mention of me," Ken replied gruffly. He wasn't as angry at
Natsume for using blatant sexual false advertising as the fact that
he was being secluded from it. He might have had problem getting
dates in the past, but that had been all due to horrible
circumstances combined with bad luck. He was sure his looks had
never been the problem. Even his own distant cousin thought he
was handsome.
"I was going to add 'watch in horror as women avoid the
lecherous advances of that infamous pervert Ken Iwakami,' but I
ran out of room," Natsume explained, sticking out her tongue a bit
for emphasis. "Sorry, Ken, but you have too much of a reputation
to be used as advertising bait. It's going to be hard enough getting
female customers with you working here."
Ken grumbled, but couldn't come up with a scathing
enough retort. He looked down to start his work, only to find the
flyers and marker were both in the hands of the demon-girl.
"Done!" both Kumiko and Ayame declared simultaneously
as they had been working quickly to complete the flyers while
Natsume and Ken argued. The angel-girl was determined to live
up to the faith her host had placed in her, while the demon-girl was
happy for a task she could easily accomplish. However, their prior
joyful feelings faded to anger as their eyes locked, another
unspoken challenge beginning to form between them.
"Nice work," Natsume complimented them both as she
portioned out the rest of the flyers to form three relatively equal
piles before her employees. "Now take these and hand them out
around town. Also make sure to tack up one to any bulletin boards
you happen to pass by."
"Right!" Kumiko and Ayame agreed at the same time, their
glares hardening as they stood up. A new unspoken contest was
agreed upon by short nods. Whoever could hand out all of their
flyers first wins, proving that they are the better supernatural being.
Kumiko snatched up her flyers and stomped her way to the
door, Ken quickly grabbing his own stack and following before
that bond had the chance to choke him again. Ayame bowed
silently to her host before quickly following, not wanting the
demon to have too much of a head start.

Now alone in her coffee shop, Natsume sat and waited for
the health inspector to arrive, spending the moments fretting that
her plan to help Kumiko and Ayame start to get along again had
just backfired badly. She wanted to be out there, helping to patch
things up between the two ex-lovers; at least she was almost
entirely convinced that that was the reason for their current
hostility. But she knew if she blew off her appointment now, it
would be a long time before they would be willing to give her
another one. She couldn't afford a long wait.
Natsume sighed as she checked her watch. Only ten
minutes had passed since the three had left, though it had felt more
like an hour. She sat down and took out her small planning book,
detailing all of the little things needed to get a successful coffee
shop off its feet. Most of the items already had check marks next
to them, and majority of the remaining ones had been finished up
by Ayame and her oddball uncle. She had forgotten to mention
meeting him, though she guessed they could talk about it tonight.
The only things left over all had to be performed right
before her grand opening, like having the coffee and selected food
stuffs hot and fresh for the waiting crowd. She could hang up the
sign she had gotten to go right over the door, but that was no fun
alone. She wanted to do that right before the opening.
*That's right! I wanted to invite Nozomi-chan, some
people from my class, my old dormmates, and especially Aomori-
san...* Natsume's thoughts trailed off as her mind was filled with
images of her incredibly sexy mentor, who had been teaching her
the finer points of running a business that had been so useful in
setting up her own little operation. Which is why she hadn't
mentioned the coffee shop to Aomori, wanting to surprise and
hopefully impress her mentor with how much she had learned.
The sandy-haired girl reached for the phone behind the
counter, only to jump back in surprise when it started to ring.
Hesitantly, she picked up the receiver and said slowly, "Hello?"
"Hello, Natsume," the silken, familiar voice sent pleasant
shivers up Natsume's spine, nearly making her drop the phone.
"I'm sorry to call you out of the blue like this, but there's a small
matter I wish to discuss with you. I do hope that I'm not disturbing
"Aomori-san! You're not disturbing me at all. In fact, I
was just thinking... I mean, I was just about to call you!" Natsume
replied nervously, struggling to keep her mind from giving way to
her hormones, a battle that always occurred in her mentor's
presence. She was a bit less stimulating over the phone, but thanks
to Natsume's vivid imagination, not by much. She forced herself
to calm down by taking a deep breath and asked, "What did you
want to discuss with me?"
"A little project has quite suddenly dropped in my lap, and
now that your little exams are nearly over, I thought it would be
fun for us to work on together. Sound interesting?" Aomori asked,
her voice sultry and coy.
"Of course!" Natsume immediately replied. Her mentor
must really think highly of her abilities if she was willing to enter
into a partnership together, though the sandy-haired girl secretly
hoped it wasn't the lingerie shop Aomori had mentioned before.
She didn't think she would be able to take discussing sexy
underwear day after day. She fantasized too much was it was.
"You're always so enthusiastic, Natsume. That's one thing
I like about you," Aomori practically purred, or Natsume imagined
that she did. "I've recently acquired a new client for my talent
agency and I would like for you to be his agent. He's a former
child star so is somewhat familiar with the business already,
making him easy to manage. Of course, I'll be here to guide you
through everything else that you'll need to know."
"I'm not sure I'm ready for such a large responsibility,
Aomori-san," Natsume replied in a voice full of respect, though
she was really more worried about how she could possibly live up
to her mentor's expectations as an agent and run her budding coffee
shop at the same time. The fact that her perspective client was a
man didn't exactly spark her interest either.
"Oh, I have every confidence in your ability to handle
Satoru-san," Aomori told her, seeming to imply a bit more than
managing him as an agent. "We'll go over everything you need to
know in exacting detail, even if it takes us far into the night. I've
already seen what a quick study you are, Natsume. I'm sure you'll
pick up things in no time."
"Well, since you think I'm capable of it, I accept," Natsume
replied, wiping the drool from her chin from just imagining long
nights spent in the company of Aomori, though for some reason
these daydreams didn't involve much talking. Mainly short
"Wonderful. His name is Satoru Aoda and I think you
should set up a meeting with him to get a general feel of his talents
so then we can discuss a strategy on marketing him. His phone
number is...," Aomori rattled off a series of numbers, which
Natsume quickly scribbled down on the pad she had placed near
the phone for just this purpose. "Oh, and you said you were about
to call me before I called you? Was there anything you wanted to
talk about, Natsume?"
"Ah, yes, there was one thing," Natsume replied, suddenly
filled to the brim with nervousness. How would her mentor react
to her coffee shop? Would she love it? Hate it? Think it was a
waste of time? The sandy-haired girl feared Aomori's response,
but at the same time needed her to be there for the opening. "I
know it's short notice, but there's this... thing I want to show you
tomorrow, at noon. Here's the address... I know you're a busy
woman, so if you can't make it, I understand."
"I wouldn't miss it for the world. I just love surprises,"
Aomori said, followed by a short stream of throaty laughter.
"Sadly, I have a meeting in a few minutes so I can't talk any
longer. Until tomorrow then, Natsume."
"Yeah, see you soon, Aomori-san," Natsume replied softly,
holding the phone to her ear long after her mentor had hung up.
She regretted agreeing to the sudden partnership just a little bit,
knowing that she was going to be very busy from now on, but she
just couldn't break a promise with Aomori. There was nothing to
do but to contact this Satoru and hope for the best.

Satoru dragged himself back to his apartment, staggering
like a drunk, and smelling like one too, as he clung to the walls for
support. His new, stylish, and expensive outfit had been
completely ruined, looking as if he had been attacked by a pack of
wild animals who had also worn lipstick. The ends of frayed ropes
still tied around his body dragged behind him while handcuffs
dangled from one wrist. A female police officer had offer to help
him home, but his recent experience had made him distrustful of
all women, expecting bunny ears to suddenly spring out of their
heads, followed by lecherous grins.
Luckily, his keys had not been lost in the chaos of escape
from the clutches of those nymphomaniac bunny women, who had
jumped him while passing by a dark alley and then proceeded to
drag him to a nearby love hotel. Satoru shuddered to recall what
had happed there, in that pink den of lust, especially what had very
nearly happened. He idly wondered if they made kevlar boxers. It
would make it harder to go the bathroom, but it would be worth it
if he no longer had to worry about guarding his virginity against
the drunken advances of the bunny three.
Never had his bed felt so comfortable as Satoru lay staring
up at the ceiling. He didn't have any finals that day, but even if he
did, he would have risked failure just to do nothing by lie there all
day, safe in his own personal fortress. And naturally that was the
moment that the phone began to ring.
Satoru wanted to ignore it, even though it would only take
rolling to one side to reach the receiver, but if it was Aomori
calling him back he would regret missing it, and if it was his sister
Nami she would make sure he regretted it. He was sure that those
bunny girls didn't have his phone number, at least mostly sure.
With a deep sigh, he picked up the phone and said, "This is Satoru.
How may I help you?"
"Ah, did I wake you, Satoru-san? You sound sleepy,"
Natsume told him, wondering what sort of sloth she had been stuck
with, but she had to have faith in Aomori for creating this
opportunity. "I'm Natsume Takemori, your new talent agent. I
wanted to set up a meeting so we could get to know each other, but
I can call back later if now is a bad time."
"No, I'm fine. It just must be a bad connection," Satoru
explained as he sat up quickly, then had to clamp his jaw shut to
keep from groaning over the sudden pain that filled his skull. He
had no idea how much those crazy bunny girls had forced him to
drink, but he never was good with alcohol in the first place.
Having a female agent was a bit worrisome, especially
since she sounded like a teenager, but at least she wasn't calling
him Sato-chan. He had to have faith in the incredible Miss
Aomori. The least he could do was meet with this girl, but
definitely not today. "Yes, I agree we should meet as soon as
possible, though not today because I... I have a very busy schedule
and can't really spare the time."
"That gives the perfect idea on how to evaluate your
abilities," Natsume said with a grin, thinking of a way to combine
her two business ventures. "Just meet me a little before noon at
this address..."
Satoru scrambled for writing materials, finally writing the
address on the back of an old scroll that had rolled under his bed
when he had been throwing away all of his supernatural
paraphernalia. Something about this 'meeting' made his sixth sense
twitch, as it did right before the bunny girls stuck, but he decided
that his recent experience was just making him paranoid about
women. They couldn't all be bad.