A/N: Hello, everyone! This chapter took a while. As a warning, I won't be uploading very frequently. Thank you to all who R&R this story! I would like to make this as good as possible, so please give me your thoughts. I would love to hear what all of you think and I will accept new ideas anytime.
Once upon a time, there was a lonely little boy. Mother never loved him, see, and so he was sent to an orphanage. The boy was unhappy. He had no friends; nobody cared for the bastard of a penniless woman. Day in and day out meant absolutely nothing to him. His only companion was anger.
Years passed and the child took the burden of age upon his shoulders. With it came greater understanding of his surroundings and the growth of experience. Yet, this only fueled his hatred, his self-despair. He was turning into a beast more than a mature human being. The youth sought revenge for his abandonment. He stole away from his melancholy days on a quest of vengeance. And so he found his mother, sick and dying in a run-down apartment, and let her fall from his grasp… out the window.
Blood rolled into the sidewalk, people screamed and stumbled back from the sickening sight. He ran but could not forget the sound of her impact onto the concrete. It played multiple times within his head, cascading into a beautiful symphony. Raw power flew through his veins that day. This was how the boy became a man. The days of fleeting adolescence waned before the youth stumbled across his father, the one he had seen in pictures from the time predeceasing his birth. He ended the man's life.
And he still ran.
He fled from place to place, continuing his work, unsatisfied. His bloodlust could not be quenched.
He was called the Hebi* of Japan, he was…
"Kai-dou R-e-n!" said Sayomi. He heard her approaching him.
"Ojou-sama? How are you today?" Ren said, blinking out of his reverie and wiping sweat off of his brow. The sun beat mercilessly upon his back. His sleeves were rolled up and he was busy hauling ceramic plant pots to the shed. Autumn would be coming soon, and so the household was preparing to change the outlook of the garden to fit a cooler theme.
"I'm fine. I thought you might be thirsty…" She handed him a glass of iced lemonade.
"Oh?" He raised a brow questioningly. "I thought Hasegawa-san gave that to you."
She blushed prettily, long black hair shielding her eyes from his sight. "You look like you need it more than me."
"Thank you." He accepted the drink and they strolled to the shade that the patio provided.
"Your first name is Ren, correct?" The word rolled perfectly off of her tongue.
"Yes," he said, smiling. The tangy liquid flowed down his throat. Ren ran a hand through his hair and put it on one hip.
Hasegawa rounded the corner and found himself face to face with the driver. "You dumb kid, didn't I tell you not to slack—" he started, then caught sight of his mistress.
"Kaidou-san needed a break Hasegawa ojii-chan**. Please don't be angry." Puppy eyes assaulted the caretaker.
"Apologies, Ojou-sama." The old man harrumphed and began pruning the roses. He kept a close watch on the criminal.
A moment of silence stretched between the two, though it was not uncomfortable—rather, it was calm and peaceful. Sayomi peeked at him occasionally while he drained the glass.
"He likes you, you know," she said quietly so the caretaker could not hear.
"I was unaware."
"Whenever he acts surly and bad-tempered around other people, it means he thinks you are a good person."
"Really now… How about you? What do you think about me?" He caught her stare, looking deeply into her eyes. She was close enough that he could watch her confused emotions flicker across smooth features just by tipping his face down. A smirk crossed his lips and his grip tightened on the glass.
"I believe…" She began twisting her small fingers. "That you are an honest, hardworking man and that you could be doing something greater than working here."
"Hmmm? That's very perceptive of you, Ojou-sama."
"W-well, the reports I received based on your workmanship have been excellent!" she stammered. "Do you plan on moving to some other place soon?"
"Maybe. But I like it here." He released a sigh and watched the clouds laze though the clear blue day.
"Well, if you ever do, I would be happy to refer you to some places."
"There's no need."
"I will always extend help anyone in my house. Just ask if there's something you need." She gave him a one-shouldered shrug before several other male servants entered the garden. Hasegawa immediately shouted for them to start working and stomped back towards Sayomi and Ren.
"Kaidou-san! Go buy these things. These guys will finish your work." He tilted his head to the people behind them and shoved a long list into the driver's hands.
"Yes, sir. Excuse me, Ojou-sama." He nodded to them both and walked back into the house.
A small shopkeeper bowed to him as Ren exited the store with groceries in hand. "Thank you for your continued patronage, sir," she said and winked, slipping a piece of paper in his hand.
He smirked and tipped his hat to her. As soon as he was outside, he balled up the sheet and flung it in a nearby trashcan without a single glance. Stupid woman. Was it so hard to tell he was not interested in her? He was only curious about one in particular. They had exchanged friendly words earlier. If he were an ordinary man, such infatuation would end in tragedy due to his low social standing. For him, there was time to let it fester for a while longer… Perhaps something interesting would happen.
Nothing had ever kept him from attaining a girlfriend besides, maybe, his work. His personality was smooth and cool. He certainly had the looks to back that up. Each one he saw, each one he turned to was boring. Every. Single. One. No one compared to Sayomi; she was a real challenge, one that he would enjoy chasing when the opportunity arose. He could even hold off his murders for a while to do so. The top two buttons on his shirt were unfastened, showing off a little of his lightly defined pectorals. Women old and young ogled shamelessly as he walked by, swinging his plastic bags carelessly.
A couple of weeks had passed since those clueless fools had shown up at the front door. The whole encounter had been dreadful to say in the least. At least it had been fun to watch the entire thing unravel from the security room. The police had come sniffing around to ask the Tsukino heirs for aid in finding him.
Too bad he was right under their noses.
On the bright side, everything was going according to plan. The Sapporo police had managed to form an alliance with Tsukino Co. They were working to uncover his identity at that very moment. Ren neared one of the Tsukino's black BMW's and transferred all the bags to one arm. Thrusting a hand into his pants pocket, he withdrew a small set of keys and unlocked the car. More ladies were starting to look at him—the car he drove to be more precise—in an annoying fashion. He flung everything into the backseat and sped away, flipping on the radio in the process. Maybe they would have more courtesy if they knew who he was… and who liked contacting him. He had managed to make a name for himself through illegal circles after all.
Right then, his cell phone began to buzz. Speak of the devil. Without looking at the caller ID, he swiped the screen and put it on speaker.
"Hello, Sakamoto-san?" he said. A traffic patrol cruiser was drifting two lanes down from his. He balanced the rectangular object on one thigh and kept both hands on the wheel.
"He is pleased with your work at the intersection, Hebi-sama. As a gift, we have transferred the money directly to your account," said a soft feminine voice.
"Oh, not even a greeting? Tsk, tsk. It's polite to say who you are before you start," he said sarcastically.
"We are waiting for your answer."
"It remains the same. You certainly must be aware that there are other things besides wealth to gain." The cruiser was getting closer.
"Perhaps we can arrange something else."
He ignored that comment and began mouthing words silently to the song that was playing. Soon the patrol car's top lights began flashing while it switched lanes to trail directly behind him. When he did not make an effort to stop, its siren wailed.
"It seems we have company. Goodbye!" He hung up and moved to the side of the road. The cell phone made its home inside the center console before he parked. Drumming his slender fingers on the wheel, he waited for the officer to come to his window.
"Hello, name and driver's license please." A man about his age peered into the car, glancing around.
Ren handed it to him. "Kaidou Ren."
"I see. This must be your employer's vehicle, correct? The Tsukino's?" He looked up from his notebook and passed it back.
"Are you making a phone call in here?"
Ren flipped off the music. "No, Officer…"
"Kobayashi," he supplied.
"I was just singing along to the music."
"I can see that. Please try to refrain from distracting measures. Pay attention to the road next time too. Others think something serious is happening when we turn our sirens on, you know," he reprimanded.
Static resonated from a walkie-talkie on his belt. "Code red situation. Officer Kobayashi, cruiser I-15, report to the station right away! I repeat, code red. Station out."
"On my way. Kobayashi out." He turned back to Ren. "Thank you for your cooperation. I'll let you off from a ticket today, Kaidou-san. This will not appear on your record, but we will have to report it."
"I apologize for the trouble. Good day, Officer."
Kobayashi went back to his car and drove off. Ren shifted the car into gear, fingers drumming serenely. He whistled a merry tune. Once he exited the freeway, the miscreant took a few turns and returned to the home.
No one was around. Ren unloaded his spoils and stocked everything in the kitchen.
A young maid named Akemi burst into the room. "Kaidou-san! C-come quickly!"
"What's wrong?" he asked.
"Th-the-the TV!" She ran up and started yanking his shirt sleeve.
They sprinted to the living room, finding themselves amongst a crowd of other staff members. It was about time, anyways. He had given them a while… He could barely see the top of the screen when stepping on the ends of his toes. Akemi hopped around in vain, trying to get a decent view. Everything quieted when the newscaster came on. The woman's face was flushed and her trembling fingers crinkled several papers.
"Breaking news! Double death report on Central Street. Two police secretaries were found in the basement level of the station. Both were electrocuted nearly to a point where they were unrecognizable. Not much information has been released on this tragedy, although it appears this was an accident caused by a broken electrical unit. More on the situation will be updated soon…"
The image switched to a split between two men who began discussing the occurrence.
"What do you think? Could this really have been murder?" said one in a red tie.
"After all the recent deaths this year, it might well be. You would have thought our luck would be better in 2014, but we were all wrong. " said another in blue.
"This is all speculation, of course. It would not be too far-fetched if we had any proof. The police…"
A wide grin began to spread across Ren's lips. All of his little animals were still glued to the screen. How far would he go? All they would be able to do is squabble like ducks and run around... And around…
This was too fun.
He quickly smoothed his expression over with one of mock horror. Patiently waiting until the report was over, he amused himself with eyeing little Akemi's hair. She had such pretty coffee colored locks. How much would it hurt if he plucked every single strand out?
The TV clicked off and its viewers began shuffling out of the room. Akemi had been the first to bolt once it stopped. Everyone was murmuring to each other in shock. Frightened squeaks and gasps met his ears every so often. He quickly scanned the heads around him for Sayomi. Did she know about this? He wondered what her reaction had been. Ren pushed his way to his room. The young man locked the door behind him and flung himself on the bed.
He stretched and yawned a bit, deciding it was time for a nap. Maybe there would be more fun later… His eyes slid closed sleepily.
And he chuckled softly into the empty air.
**Term of endearment meaning "Grandpa Hasegawa" all though they are not blood related.