Chapter 9: Happily Ever After?

"There's a place that I know.It's not pretty there and few have ever gone. If I show it to you now
will it make you run away? Or will you stay, even if it hurts, even if I try to push you out? Will you return? And remind me who I really am. Please remind me who I really am. Everybody's got a dark side. Do you love me? Can you love mine? Nobody's a picture perfect, but we're worth it. You know that we're worth it. Will you love me? Even with my dark side? Like a diamond from black dust, it's hard to knowit can become. A few give up, so don't give up on me. Please remind me who I really am. Don't run away. Don't run away. Just tell me that you will stay! Promise me you will stay. Don't run away. Don't run away. Just promise me you will stay, promise me you will stay…"

- Kelly Clarkson

Darren's POV:

All of us – Seiji, Akira, Erza, and I – walked back to Aiko's house calmly in pairs. Seiji and Akira were holding hands lovingly, while my hand was protectively wrapped around Erza's waist while her pretty head rested on my shoulder. Nothing could prepare us for the huge shock we were about to see. Let's just say, we were all speechless at the sight in Aiko's house. It's not bad or anything! It's just slightly awkward… We were greeted with a cuddling and surprisingly kissing Aiko and Misaki. I repeat they were K-I-S-S-I-N-G!

Reminds me of what immature kids would say, "Aiko and Misaki on a couch! K-I-S-S-I-N-G!" They were sitting on the leather couch peacefully and wrapped together in a thin brown blanket. Startlingly, Misaki was the one who looked like the person who started the hug because her arms were around Aiko. I smirked as I noticed that Aiko looked frozen in the position and his usually cold eyes were widened in pleasant surprise as Misaki's lips were on glued onto his. Both of their hair was messy and disheveled.

Aiko's normally perfectly straight neat hair was all untidy and in tangles. On the other hand, Misaki's wavy black hair was all over the place and basically disorganized for an average girl. However, neither of them seemed to mind. Also, they both had gentle smiles painted on their content faces. Who knew that romance would blossom between the two?

"Aw… they're so cute!" Erza quietly exclaimed while gently tightening her hold on my stiff hand.

I grin, hold her hand tighter and arrogantly yet playfully remark, "I know I'm drop dead gorgeous, but there's no need to show it publicly."

Erza frowned and glared at me. "Is this how you treat your girlfriend?" I chuckle teasingly until I realize what exactly she meant. Erza thought she was my girlfriend? I can't believe it! I glanced shyly down at our entwined hands and shake my head. No, it's not possible. No one would love Darren Satoshi aka Mr. Monster, right? My timid eyes met Erza's curious ones and I noticed she was pouting all the time I was in 'Wonderland'. Her hands were now on her waist and now longer on my lonely hand.

My hand rustled through my neat blue hair and commented, "I didn't know we were like that already…" Erza looks confused, but then I see the wheels turning in her mind and an imaginary light bulb turn on. Her cheeks blaze red as she tries to avoid my amused eyes. Erza can be so dumb sometimes… But then there are other good things about her.

She's the first girl to approach to me as a friend and not as another annoying fan girl after I've been cursed with that hideous tattoo, treats me like a human being with feelings, and finally cares for me. You see, I've been raised into a wealthy and worthy family. In my case, it's the Satoshi family. My family has been made up of lawyers and doctors for centuries and they aren't planning to stop. Even my parents fully expect Seiji and me to take a lawyer or a doctor for a career someday.

Honestly, I wanted to work for the government as an underground, secret agent. Don't you think I'm perfect for the job? I'm sly, witty, athletic, highly intelligent, dangerous, and attractive. I don't think the last attribute counts, but it counts in my world! I know I'm very full of myself. Oddly, my brother is the complete opposite of me. Unlike my arrogant and proud behavior, my brother's emotionless and cold. When people first meet us, they expect my brother to be the arrogant one and me the silent and impassive one.

I guess it's because of the hair. Seiji has spiky blonde rebellious looking hair and eyes that seem to change color from time to time. Sometimes it appears green, but then the next time you notice it, it's actually blue-grey! I, on the other hand, have neat straight blue hair and dark observant eyes. Sounds like the obedient one, huh? To be honest, I don't really follow anyone. I just follow myself. Well, there are a few exceptions like Seiji, Aiko, and Er-chan… No, I don't really listen to Erza.

I hear a soft gasp and my eyes catch sight of Misaki realizing they've been caught by us. Aiko also looked surprised and embarrassed at the same time. I simply smirk while everyone else – Seiji, Akira, Erza – grin mischievously.

Misaki groaned and asks painfully, "Did you see us do… that?" To her horror, we all nodded our heads with naughty smiles planted on our mouths. I started to chuckle at Aiko's unusually pale face and before I knew it, everyone was laughing in their own ways. Akira and Erza were giggling like little girls, Seiji was snickering with a small smile painted on his face, and I continued chuckling with a wide smirk on my mouth. I guess forbidden love truly exists? To be quite honest, I never thought I would be with another girl or a girl like Erza for that matter. I didn't even consider to actually being happy in the future. At first, I was absolute certain like 100% sure that I was going to live depressed for the rest of my life and die.

However, now that I have Erza, I'm not sure what's going to happen to me in the next years of my life to come. Would Erza and I become married someday? Eh, I'm only fourteen though. Maybe when I turn nineteen or twenty I'll propose to her, if we're still together. Or would I become a father? I'd probably be a bad father though. How could I – the once possessed tattooed boy – be able to raise a family when I experienced a traumatizing childhood?

If Erza ever heard me say that she'd frown and say, "No, you'd make a great father! How could you think that, Darren?" I chuckled to myself. That is exactly how Erza would act because I know she'd be concerned for anybody. Like how she made the decision to help me – a complete stranger who happened to be injured – on the fateful day we met. Personally, if I were in her shoes, I would have walked away and forgot I ever saw that stranger. What? That's my true personality.

"I didn't know Erza had a boyfriend." Aiko looked at me from the corner of his blank dark eyes with evident suspicion. Oh right, we've never met in person before. Seiji most likely told Aiko about his big brother, but not what he looked like. Erza blushed genuinely and took a sudden interest of her white socks with tiny pink ribbons.

I smirked at Erza's reaction and held my hand out to Aiko, "I believe we haven't met yet. I'm Darren Satoshi and I think my little bro, Seiji, has talked about me at least once." Seiji immediately glared at me in a playful sense which earned a mischievous grin from his brother. Hey, I'm speaking the truth!

Aiko hesitated before shaking my hand and replied, "It's nice to finally meet you, Darren. I'm Aiko Ashitaka if you didn't know that already. Are you the current boyfriend of Erza?"

Erza face transformed into a red tomato and she complained (more like shrieked in my opinion) with her eyes closed, "Aiko! Ever heard of personal space?" Everyone laughed at Erza's humiliated response which of course included me. What's more fun than annoying the one you like? I guess boys like me express their feelings in a different way than girls. Normally, when boys tease or make fun of girls in their childhood it generally means they don't hate them, but like them. Don't ask me why because I don't have any explanation or answer. Let's just say… it's the human nature of young boys. Girls are different than boys in many ways which include 'liking' or 'crushing' on people.

When everyone finally calmed down, Aiko answered with his usual cold voice, "Yes, I do know what 'personal space' means. Do I look that stupid to you?" Misaki tugged at his sleeve which was probably a sign to stop and let it go. Aiko glanced down at the girl whose arms were wrapped around his sleeve and sighed. It's funny how no one else but Misaki has full control over Aiko. I swear what I've heard from the rumors, Aiko is a bad guy with a deep dark secret who secludes himself from the rest of the student body. Girls would swoon at his 'hotness' from afar, guys would glare at him for stealing the girls' attention, teachers would praise him for his intelligence, and Aiko would just do absolutely nothing at all.

I don't get how girls always find the bad guys cooler than the good guys. It always seems to be like in anime shows, dramas, and sadly reality. How do girls find an emotionless, cold, anti-social guy like Aiko cool or 'hot' or cute? I've got to admit, girls actually drool whenever they see me. I'm the guy described with the abnormally blue hair, excellent reputation, wealthy heritage, and calm yet cocky demeanor. But, I still wonder, what will happen to us all now? My curse was broken already thanks to Erza. Hm...