“I’m an executive with very little time to play around. If I’m not marrying her in the future…I wouldn’t care about the woman sitting in front of me right now.” The words came out so nonchalantly and obviously that they hit her like a brick wall. It was the most open overture she’d ever felt from him. She was dumbstruck. Her mouth parched like she’d walked miles in a desert. She reached for her cup of coffee rather shakily as she heard him speak again. “I don’t mean you in particular. I mean in general. I don’t flirt around because I don’t have the time to fuck off.” He corrected himself and she blinked quickly looking down at her lap. She didn’t respond. How could she? She didn’t really know what to say. She heard him sigh painfully though as if he was aggravated with himself. “You can stop looking so scared Talia.”
What the hell was she doing? Cup of coffee over or not, she needed to be leaving. “I should be going.”
“Because you would like for it to mean you in particular?” He tilted his head sideways and Talia gulped as she stood up and arranged herself. This was ridiculous. She started walking out aware of Keiichiro following her every step as her heels clanged along the sidewalk. “It was a joke Talia.” She felt his cold breath touch her ears and shivered irritably.
“It wasn’t a joke, you said it yourself. You don’t have time to mess around or fuck off. Why would you spend your time messing around with my head? Just for kicks?” She huffed loudly, the cold air in her lungs coming out foggy. “Don’t lie to me. I can tell you’re not messing around. You don’t just- look at me like that for nothing.” She shifted her gaze downwards to keep herself from getting distracted by his eyes. He looked like he pitied her. “You don’t just say the things you do for the hell of it.”
He growled a little as he stomped his foot idly in on the ground. She made a move to leave again but he stepped in front of her, blocking her path. “So you’d like me to be honest then? With you? Completely? No matter what? No fear like you had in the art store. You need to not look like I’m about to kill you with my words if you want me to be honest.”
“Yes.” She glanced up at him. Was that even an option? This complete open honesty? She was afraid of what he would say yes, but another part of her still was curious.
“Okay,” He nodded and then spoke slowly, as if to let the words sink into her skin. “I think you’re attractive.”
That was it? “Okay. I can handle that.” Talia sighed deeply. “If that’s it-“ She made a move to leave again but he clutched her wrist and pulled her back to stand in front of him so quickly she almost stumbled off her heels and fell.
He did not let go of her wrist instantaneously. She did not wrench it free.
“That’s not it. I think you’re brilliant.” She gulped. “I don’t often end up like this. Thinking only of a pair of eyes, twinkling with plans and thoughts and god knows what. I don’t care about these things because I don’t have time to…and yet here I am so obviously caring about you. I’m only happy to see your boyfriend at company functions because I know that inevitably he’ll be bringing you along and I get another few precious moments to glance into the soul of a woman who shines brighter than any other in the room. She bleeds honesty and dignity and pride with every word she speaks. She’s confident and tall, and I like what she stands for.” He let go of her hand. He was giving her the option to leave. “I think it’s impossible for me not to want you, when you’re close enough to touch.” She shifted slightly backwards but his hand reached out to her face anyways, his fingers running across her skin. “Sometimes I think you’re an illusion. A test.”
She shivered, his fingers were like ice and against her flushed cheeks they felt entirely too nice. His words even nicer, how could she move away when everything he said had basically melted her heart? Her guard? She was powerless right now, weak and vulnerable in front of him. “I’m not trying to test you.” She managed to utter out. “I’m sorry-“
“Why are you sorry when I’m the one whose wrong here? I know you don’t want this. I know you want to be in your innocent little cocoon with Haruma because honestly that’s not a bad place.” He corrected her and she felt him come closer to her. Her eyes grew larger, had his teeth always been so perfectly aligned and straight? Why did he look so happy to just look at her? No one should look that happy at the mere sight of someone. He tilted his head. “If you forgive me for everything that happens, whatever happens, then that’ll be enough.” He moved so quickly she didn’t have a chance to escape, her feet felt glued to the ground. His lips touched hers, it was a soft, intimate gesture. His eyes were shut, and hers fell shut for just a second. She felt like she was safe in the chaste kiss. His hands drifted to her neck and pulled her to him. She felt her lips move against his, just the slightest and slowly, but surely, as their lips marked each other’s and their surroundings blurred between buildings and streets and rooms and a bed and together and finally -
Talia was certain of this.
She fell in love.