Brief: Please use discretion while reading this chapter! A big thanks to all those who have supported this story in any form, you guys are great!

Chapter Twelve: Refused not Rejected

No tumbleweeds or sandy winds were necessary in this overture to a western shootout. Two men angled perfectly to destroy the other. Standing between them the maiden that brought on their heightening adrenaline. Despite their differences they were thinking the same thing: "Why's he here?" Stephen bit down on his bottom lip as he tried to analyze the situation. Each possibility that came to mind brought him to being kicked out. Good thing he had thought of all this earlier. Even with him gone he would get under Shoji's skin. Hitomi on the other hand went through a paranoia fit. Unwanted images produced cold sweat and fidgety hands. Seeing the other man breathe made Shoji want to launch forward to strangle the life out of him. Masculine energy was boiling over nearly suffocating Kotara. She could tell they were about to brawl, but why? They both had reasons to hate the other yet she did not feel like one of them. Neither of them had the right to question who she invited into her home. So who was entitled to stay?

"Shoji, he's right. What are you doing here? And dressed so indecently! Were you sleeping in my bed?"

Shock sprung on each man's face, although Stephen's was more of delight. In his favor she handed down judgment on the situation.

"You can't be serious…can you?"

"This is a serious face isn't it?" Kotara's quaking finger pointed to her stern frown.

"We were supposed to practice table manners yesterday and you never showed. I called you a thousand fucking times!"

"My boss needed my support."

"Really was it work related?"


"And is feeding him a part of work?"


"Looks to me like you're trying to get in a relationship with your boss, right?"


"I bet the two of you were fucking!"

"No, not at all—"

"So you haven't thought about it?"

"No!" Her cheeks burned intensely. Having her virginity questioned was thwarting at the least.

"He looks like he took a shower. Sure it wasn't from fucking you."

"Please stop!" Kotara screamed. Standing up to him was taking a lot more energy than she had originally thought. Love for him still lingered inside her chest. She wanted to bow down to his wishes and apologize but she knew she wasn't wrong. It was her day off she could have done whatever she wanted. Sunday she wanted to comfort her boss. Work in her heart nearly shut down when Stephen held onto her shoulders. Genuinely he smiled encouraging her to go on. It was pissing Hitomi off.

"Y-you have no right to criticize me if I were sleeping with him! You are still with another woman. Aren't you! So you shouldn't care who I have around me!"

"That has nothing to do with you having him in my condo!"

"Just try and kick me out! I'll move in with Mr. Rodgers until I can get my own home! Is that what you want?"

Defeat rang through Hitomi's glare at the two of them. Mimi staggered as she approached him with her hand out. He winced unsure what she wanted.

"The spare key please…I want it right now."

A growl left his lips as he retrieved the item from his shirt pocket, "You giving up on me?"

"I should." Kotara snatched the key from him. "But I love you too much. I'll go through your little training ordeal, but I meant what I said that night. I am still single. If I fall in love with someone before you come to your senses it's not my fault."

"Fine…let me get dressed then I'll be on my way. We'll pick up practice tomorrow afternoon. And Stephen—"


"You touch her and you're good as dead."

"I'll keep that in mind." Stephen couldn't help but shudder a bit. He may tower well over Shoji but that man was a lethal fighter. Where Rodgers used his brains Hitomi preferred strength and affluence.

Stomping his feet harshly against the wooden floor boards Shoji re-entered the bedroom and got dressed. On his return he saw Kotara placing his spare key into Stephen's hand. He wanted to shout and bitch but he kept to himself. He had many more spares to the house. Not saying a single word he left the condo. Mimi locked the door behind him and with his absence came relief.

Such a minuscule thing resting in Stephen's palm made him derail from his tutoring attitude. Desire to snatch the small lady up and kiss her had him plotting. He could, he could get her on the couch. Then at the moment he was close kiss her and then press hands where his loins long to make residence. No this was all too soon and the key glistening in his hold could not mean what he had hoped.

"You really surprised me. I thought for sure that'd you would kick me out. Kotara…are you okay?"

Tears occupied her face even through her clear success. To him it was a success at least. The evil monster had been vanquished but, maybe it was the beast she wanted here instead. Dismal assumptions came one after another crushing his optimism.

"Yes but you know I am not good at arguing. I love Shoji so it hurts when he's mad at me."

"I know."

"But he has no right to try and control me like that! I knew if I kept you here he'd get the point. Maybe he'll leave Kayla tonight and hurry up and ask me out."

"Not likely, tonight's their anniversary. They do all the things he likes to do. Maybe tomorrow he'll leave her."

"What things? I can do them!"

Stephen tried his best to contain his laughter. No she could not do them; Shoji would no longer need to do those things with her around, of that he was sure.

"I doubt it seriously. Don't feel bad I'm not one to do those things either."

"What are they?"

"Dark stuff you don't need to know about. Let's just leave it at that." He tossed the key in the air and caught it before it fell. "So why'd you give me this?"

"Just in case…I don't know, but just keep the key. I might change the lock I might not."

"Fine by me." Stephen tucked the metal piece into his pocket.

"If you don't mind I'd like to take a shower before we start cooking again."

"Okay…I'll check on the sauce while you're gone."

Lowered lights produced yawns in Kayla's mouth. Dinner long since had been devoured and she waited in a suite at the Four Seasons. A video camera stared back at her. Outlandish incidents were plentiful this year, perhaps he had decided not to show. She would be lying to say she wasn't happy. It would also be a lie to say she wasn't suspicious. The door creaked open and she jumped up from bed.

"You got the cam set up and you're in uniform good girl."

"Hitomi what's taken you?"

He gave a sharp glance and she begged his forgiveness until he waved away her sin. Kayla turned from him clenching a fist. On their anniversary this room became another world where she had no voice unless asked to speak. Shoji went around the large space turning on all the lights.

"You won't believe what I encountered today, Kotara and Stephen feeding each other. It appears they are already intimate. How does that make you feel?"

"I don't know. How does it make you feel, Master?"

Hitomi lingered in front of a long window, "I'm pissed. He has no right to invade on her. Believe this when I say it…she is mine. She is my property…no matter how hard I try to tell myself to let her go. I'll always want to bring her back home."

Here in this room he told the truth always. Kayla knew he hated her, and he was obsessed with dealing pain, he loved running more than work, and as far as women he only loved Kotara Mimi. It was because she was the one to save him. Just how and what she saved him from was still a mystery. All this was obtained from this room.

In a good strong yank he pulled the curtains from the rods. People could see in and that's what he wanted. He snapped his fingers twice and Kayla ran to grab him a glass of scotch. When this escapade had first started it was fiery. Now she really did feel enslaved.

"Thank you." Kayla spoke before handing him the drink. "Please enjoy."

He poured it over her head ruining her freshly curled hair. Boastful laughter bounced off the walls. Yes tonight he would enjoy hazing her.

"Sit." Shoji commanded before throwing the glass against the wall. "You're good enough to toy with. Isn't that what you said about me?"

"Yes sir." Kayla lowered her head. He grabbed her locks and pulled her face to his.

"I don't forget. You want him back you called me his damn name while we had sex! Let me send you a news flash darling…Stephen is well over you. He's got you tangled in his web and it's a good thing he doesn't know. But he does know he's encroaching upon my fresh territory. Since you want him so bad get him back. Do your job and look pretty and entice him. Keep him off Kotara for me okay? I want her pure as she's always been to me."

"Oh hell no—"Kayla stood up. "I don't take orders from you."

"Yes you do."

"Yes on our anniversary—"

"From this day on… everyday of the week and each moment until we are rid of each other's company you will do as I say. And you don't have to. I can ruin your life and family. Each horrid detail exposed for the world to see. Don't think I won't. Now do as you are told and sit!"

Soft breathing evolved into off rhythm snores. Mimi slept curled up against the couch with red sauce all over her face. On the counter top was a large bowl of Ravioli. Stephen exhaled as he finished washing the last dishes. After giving his knees a quick rub he joined his assistant. She had kindly offered him the bed but he didn't want to sleep where Shoji had. A small push got him enough space to lie as well. Being her pillow felt nice as it brought a good view of her legs with it. She rolled around releasing her squished cleavage. White lace embroidered the cups of her long cream gown. Having a young woman resting against him was a wonderful sensation he had been deprived of. Coming from her neck was the smell of perfume. Earlier she denied it but he knew the truth. Temptation replaced the air he breathed; he chewed his lips. As the hand on clock struck midnight Stephen made it official; he had gone two days without sleep. No longer wanting to stay up he let himself pass out with his fingers only an inch from her breast.

Kotara's eyes blinked open and she sat up. She turned around and noticed Stephen. Kotara was a blushing mess. She rolled on him like butter. Did he always look so stunning asleep? Using his abdomen she pushed herself upward.

"Good grief you must work out or something. I wonder what it looks like under there."

Any way to look at this it was wrong but her curiosity would not die unless she did. Mimi pulled up his loose T-shirt. He had an outty for a belly button. A few quick pokes got her into giggling spasm. Yet what surrounded it was much more fascinating and it didn't take much time to notice. Tiny freckles painted his midsection. Straight hairs lead past his cut abs to his brawny chest. She did not fold to propriety. Quickly she combed through his hairs with her fingers. Beneath it was much smoother so she did it over and over.

"Are you enjoying yourself Kotara?"

"Mr. Rodgers I am so sorry! Forgive me!" She jumped off his body. "I really didn't mean to. I didn't know you wanted to sleep on the couch! I'll just use the bed!"

Before he could get another word out she was in her bedroom, door locked. Her hands covered her heart as she slid down the cool barrier. No longer could she lie to herself there was an attraction to the man she hated. Footsteps echoed down the hallway and she held her breath.

"Mimi I know you are awake. Open the door please."

"Nun-uh…I am about to go to bed."

"I want you too."

Dust mingled with his announcement as it loitered in the air. She knew what he meant but wanted to pretend different.

"I wanted you since the first day I saw you running in that park. I kept quiet because I thought you were a school girl. You are quite young for me even still. I like you and that's good enough for us right?"


"For our sakes let us pretend none of this happened and go about our normal lives at work tomorrow."

"Great that's what I want! Good night and I'll see you there."

"Good night honey."