Setback 7

Akane hid on the side of the car.

Sukihara took a turn down a street, vanishing from her sight.

"I'll be right back. Tell Fuuma that I went to look for a sanitized washroom."

The chauffeur looked unresponsive and continued to smoke his cigarette.

Like a stealthy spy, Akane crept through the street that Sukihara was walking on. She followed him and was gradually becoming proud of herself for not being detected by him.

Her cautious skills brought her to his final destination. She watched him stop in front of the 'Hana' building. Swiftly, she took out her cell phone. There was nothing appropriate about visiting a host club.

Gleefully, she snapped some shots.

She was officially the one with the leverage. She possessed the evidence against Sukihara and he did not have anything against her.

'This is the best week ever,' she declared.

Sukihara no longer hesitated with his decision. He walked into the building.

Silently, Akane whooped for joy behind the trash cans she was hiding behind. The feeling did not last long.

She needed proper evidence: Sukihara in a compromising position with a host.

Relying on her memory, she ran to the host club located in the building. Her snooping skills did not stop. She took every opportunity to hide from the sight of the customers and hosts.

Most of the time, she crawled on the wooden floor and peaked from the corners. Majority of the customers were women above the age of thirty.

Where was Sukihara?

"What do you think you're doing?"

Suddenly, Akane was being pulled off the ground by her ear.

"Ow ow," she cried in pain.

An elderly-looking woman, in a solid cream-coloured kimono, held a merciless grip on Akane's left ear. Painfully, she looked at the hostile woman and noticed that she was shorter than Akane.

"What are you doing, you perverted child?"

"Nothing," she pleaded, "I did nothing."

The old woman dragged Akane into the backroom that Takede had brought her to the other day. She believed she was going to be interrogated. However, the truth was that she wanted to stop Akane terrifying the customers with her wails.

Even when she was forced to sit, the old woman did not release her hold.

"What are you doing," she repeated.

"Nothing!"

A young man dressed in a grey suit entered the room. Out of recognition, Akane's eyes widened. It was Takede! He almost looked like a completely different person to her.

"Imoto-chan! What are you doing here?"

"Eh," she cried in unison with the old woman.

"Keiko-sama, what are you doing with my sister?"

Keiko-sama looked from Akane and to Takede. "She's your sister," she asked, narrowing her eyes.

"Yes," he replied, "I left her message telling her to come by the club as soon as she was done school."

Akane felt the old woman's hold loosen. "I didn't know your sister went to Kabushiki."

Takede nodded, "She's a really good student."

"A really good girl," he added, quickly.

Finally, Keiko-sama removed her hand away. Lovingly, Akane stroke her ear.

Keiko-sama flashed her a polite smile. "I'm so sorry. Please accept my apologies."

She did a slightly little bow. Akane wanted to bluntly refuse her apologies, but she caught Takede shaking his head violently.

Reluctantly, she bowed back, "It's ok."

"I'm so glad," Keiko-sama clasped her hands together.

Takede went to Akane's side and put his hand on her shoulder. "I'll quickly give her the money for dinner and I'll get straight back to work."

"Please do," she said, giving a little nod before leaving the backroom.

Once she was gone, Takede let out a sigh of relief. "You know you can take your hand off of me."

"Sorry," he said, quickly removing his hand from her shoulder. "I'm sorry you had to meet Keiko-sama like that."

"Whatever. She's just lucky that I'm not suing her for bodily harm damages."

Gently, she touched her ear.

"Don't worry, it'll heal. Just don't sleep on that side."

She went over to the door and peeked to see if she could get a better view of the host club's lounge. .

"Are you looking for something? Is that why you came back?"

Sukihara was not here.

Without looking back at him, she gave him a short answer, "No."

"Is it possible that you really want to be my Imoto-chan?"

"Definitely not."

"Did you come back to confess to me?"

Akane did not even need to say anything to him. With her evil aura, he sensed a definite negative. He stopped asking her questions. It was almost as if he was terrified of her next answer.

"Hey," she said, catching him off guard after minutes of awkward silence, "Did a high school guy come in here?"

"Eh?"

Frustrated, she turned back to him, "Did you see a boy, wearing my school uniform, come in here?"

Takede took a moment to recollect. "No," he concluded.

Where the hell was Sukihara?

"Maybe he's at the other club."

Akane saw Takede's demeanour change. He was no longer happy-go lucky.

"There's another host club?"

"No, it's only us and the girls."

Machiko's shrieking face entered Akane's thoughts. He's with the human-Chihuahua?

Rather than encounter Machiko, she wanted to run into a hole and die.

"Why do you ask?"

"There's no point," she said, matching his depressed tone.

She should just be satisfied with the pictures she already had. They were condemning enough for her. She did not need to take the extra steps to get stronger leverage against Sukihara. Her life was more valuable than a silly blackmail attempt.

Defeated, Akane headed to leave.

"Good-bye, Takede's sister," bowed the insincere Keiko-sama, as Akane passed her.

Weakly, she waved good-bye.


Akane was surprised to see Fuuma and the car in front of the building.

How did he find her?

As if he read her mind, he said, calmly, "GPS chip."

GPS chip?

"That's illegal," she gaped, outraged.

He shrugged. "It's for your safety."

"Where is it implanted," she demanded, while getting in the car.

"You don't want to know."

"Imoto-chan!"

Fuuma, Akane and the chauffeur saw Takede running down the stairs towards them. He was waving something in his hand.

"You forgot your cell phone."

"Eh," Akane checked her pockets and felt nothing.

"Here you go," he placed the phone in her hands.

Fuuma appeared to be confused by Takede's presence. "Akane, did he just call you his sister?"

She flushed, "It's nothing."

Clearly, Takede did not know how to keep his mouth shut. "I called her that because my boss thought that she was sneaking in."

"Sneaking in?"

Akane felt her life was ending right before her eyes. As soon as they would get home, Fuuma would tell her parents of her adventures at the host club. Her mother would definitely call her out on hypocrisy, while her father would cry for his daughter's virginity. That was a sight Akane wished to never see.

"Takede, what are you doing out here?"

In addition with Takede, Fuuma, Akane and the chauffeur turned to look at the steps. All four saw a little blond woman dressed in a tight red dress, her arms clinging on a dark-haired boy wearing a Kabushiki's school uniform.

Out of nowhere, Akane screamed. The dreaded human-Chihuahua was standing before her.

"Machiko-chan," Takede cried, "What are you doing with that kid?"

"He's a customer," she asked, unaffected by his pain, "What are you doing with that girl?"

"She's not a customer."

Fuuma took it upon himself to address the situation, "What is going on here?"

He stared straight at Akane. "I don't know," she said, in a very quiet voice.

"Isn't he your schoolmate?"

He was pointing at a startled Sukihara, who seemed to have turned into a rock.

"Yes."

"Why were you sneaking into the host club?"

"I don't know."

Seeing that he would not get much out of Akane, he turned his attentions onto Machiko. "Release that boy or you'll be sentenced to jail for conducting relations with a minor."

Slowly, she removed her arms from Sukihara. For the second time, Takede rushed to hold her back. Fuuma, the chauffeur and Sukihara got the opportunity to witness the 'Rage of Machiko'.

"I'M NO CRADLE-ROBBER, YOU POMPOUS FOUR-EYED BASTARD! LET ME AT HIM! LET ME AT HIM!"

Takede managed to shout over her screams, "I don't how long I can hold her."

Akane felt a sudden hint of appreciation. This set off Machiko even more. "STOP LOOKING AT HIM LIKE THAT, YOU WHORE!"

Terrified for her life, Akane jumped into the car.

Fuuma managed to drag a stunned Sukihara into the back seat. The chauffeur dropped his cigarette and crushed it with his foot.

"Crazy batshit," he said, turning on the ignition.


A/N:

Imoto-chan: little sister