Talia gulped down a glass of red wine as she looked to her boyfriend.
Who had spent the past 30 minutes stressing about his outfit. She laughed a bit to herself, he was becoming more of a girl than she was.
Miura turned to look at her sourly. He was preoccupied with buttoning up his vest. “Talia don’t drink so early on in the evening.”
“Sorry…I’m nervous.” She slipped and he looked at her strangely. He had every right to look at her that way too. Why would she, on the day Miura was getting an award, be nervous? “I’m worried for you. You’ve always been a bit of a klutz.” She smiled and walked up to her boyfriend, pressing a kiss to his nose. It was an innocent gesture and it made Haruma smile back at her, all suspicion erased from his face as their arms looped together, ready to take on the night like a pair of celebrities with perfect fake smiles plastered on their faces.
Talia proved to be a rather useless partner. She was discarded off to the side in most conversations once Haruma started speaking with passion about his future initiatives, wowing and impressing everyone from the janitor to the CEO. That was what she loved about her boyfriend, he never saw anyone as beneath him. He actually chose to care about everyone equally…and it was a trait that though she admired sometimes she wished she could be treated just a little bit more specially. She was his girlfriend after all, his one and only companion in bed and out, she hoped.
Was she allowed to hope such things when she'd messed up the way she had?
After a few tiresome dead conversations where she'd stood like a blank fish staring at the rest of his co-workers she decided she'd be better off disappearing to the lobby. She hadn’t spotted Koyama yet either. She had overheard someone say that he would be late. Which was just as well, maybe she could convince Haruma to leave before he even showed up, maybe there was hope yet that today wouldn’t be-
“Hi,” She turned to look at her side. Koyama took a seat beside her on this plush beige leather ottoman. His black hair stood out today, maybe it had something to do with his grey suit…and Talia kept her gaze steady on him. She liked looking at him like this, polished and ready to make an impression as the textbook image of perfection and the visual definition of dashing. It was a little strange that this man would be interested in her, not that she was unattractive or anything but she was almost certain she wasn’t his ‘type’ to say the least. He seemed responsible, a Jackie type of guy where really she was more of a Marilyn.
After a moment of them just peering at each other, he smirked and looked away as if he’d read all her thoughts and they’d made him happy. There was no hint of tension on his face, even if it was the first time he’d seen her since he’d fallen asleep and she’d slipped out quickly in the dead of the night. “Bored?” He asked her, his deep voice reminding her of nonsensical things he'd whispered in her ear before.
She felt a small tremor run through her hands as she struggled to maintain control over herself. She couldn't show a shred of emotion. “A little.” She admitted. She gulped as she felt his eyes back on her. They were intent, a strong force and she had no idea whether she was supposed to look back or not. She should get up and leave, it felt as if the mere act of sitting beside him would be enough proof that she had wanted to break Miura’s heart by letting this man stray her away from her 'duties'.
“Do I make you anxious?” He asked, his voice now a little softer than before. She was thankful everyone had kept themselves in the banquet hall and that there was no one here in this marble lobby to look at her as she turned to look at him quite nervously indeed. “I guess that expression answers my question.” He laughed at her so openly, and loudly for that matter, that it made her uncomfortable. How could he ever expect her to be comfortable in this situation? She stood up and got ready to walk away but he latched onto her hand tightly and pulled her back to him. They were standing face to face.
She felt body transport itself to the last time he had done that. This time she was going to be smarter, she was going to be one step ahead. She wrenched her hand away from him. “Leave me alone.” She muttered out ready to walk away when she heard his voice call after her and froze.
“Is that really what you want?” He tilted his head sideways as she twisted herself around. Leaving felt like it would be a mistake. “I could. I have actually…other than a misguided 2AM call and an apology message I have stayed away haven’t I?” Talia did not know what to say about this Koyama Keiichiro. He was alarmingly honest…and alarmingly perceptive as she was deemed to find out. “You don’t look any happier.”
“Why do you care if I’m happy or not?” She spat out. She was happy! She was! What did this idiot even know about her?
“I don’t know. I don’t know you…and I shouldn’t care.”
“That’s not good enough.”
“But I do.”
“Still not good enough for me to continue this conversation.”
“Why are you so scared of me?” He shot back.
“You make me fuck up.” She spat out as she came closer to him, her voice dropped to a whisper. She saw how alarmed he look, he hadn’t expected her to come back to him a storm beckoning at her heels. “You make me think, you make me question. You make me want things that don’t matter. That shouldn’t matter. You are a curse.” She hissed and felt herself surprised at the way Koyama smiled back at her. “Why are you smiling?”
“Is it that they don’t matter Talia…or that they shouldn’t? Is it that I’m useless or I’m the best mistake you've ever made? Is it that you want to walk away because of Miura or because you're scared you're dying to make it again and you can't hold yourself back?” It was like he’d ducked himself into her mind and stolen her thoughts and for a second she felt highly like her privacy had been invaded but he had done none of that. He had just said exactly what she had said to him. “Kiss me Talia.”
“What?” She spat out as she looked around them. Thankfully the lobby was still empty because she was sure someone would catch them like this with their faces so close to each other that she could feel his breath on her cheeks, warming them up, and their eyes staring up at the other with innuendo and suggestion, lips daring each to break social norms and conventions and throw it all to hell. “You don’t know what you’re saying.”
“Kiss me…” He moved his head closer to hers. Their foreheads pressed up against each other she felt like her heart was going to jump out of her throat. "Kiss me Talia." He was 90% of the way there, a mere centimeter or two and they’d be-“Kiss-“
And Haruma lost her forever, in that one kiss that stole her soul and enraptured her mind. Koyama twisted her bottom lip into his teeth and she felt herself groan into his mouth. He let go of her panting. “It isn’t just me. I know it isn’t just me Talia. Don’t ignore this. I’ll get us to where this is supposed to go…just don’t be too scared to come with me.” Talia shivered as she looked at him. This was the man she was contemplating leaving Haruma for.
She slowly pulled out her phone and dialed Haruma’s number and cleared her throat. “Haruma?’
“Talia where are you?” He sounded worried. It made her feel worse for what she was about to do but it didn’t make her feel like stopping. She looked back straight into Koyama’s eyes as she spoke, seeing the person she was harming Haruma for gave her a sick sort of strength.
“I’m fine, I’m just not feeling well. The wine caught up with me,” Koyama bit back a laugh at this and she glared at him. He found this funny? Asshole. “and I think I might head home.”
“I can’t- we can't leave yet babe-“
“Look I know you’re getting your award baby,” Koyama stopped laughing. In fact, he looked considerably jealous that she was still referring to Haruma affectionately in front of him. His face was blank like a canvas. “Just stay. Come home later after celebrating with your boys. I’ll feel better by the time you get home.”
“But Tali just stay a littl-“
“Look I’m not going to take this night away from you but I really can't stay Haru." She uttered out and hoped that would be it.
“Okay…fine.” Haruma sounded like he didn’t understand why she was pushing this but she hoped that he’d just take it as another way she was trying to please him. “I’ll see you when I get home…I love you.”
Talia shut her eyes. She couldn’t look at Koyama as she said this...because regardless of what she was doing with Koyama this was still true. “I love you too.”
By the time she’d hung up and looked at him she felt guilty. “Don’t look at me like that.” Koyama’s mouth was stretched into a smile as he looked down at his feet. From where Talia was standing it almost looked as if he was trying to hold back his face from her sight. Like he didn’t want her to see him but then he looked back at her and she was sure he was unaffected. “I know what I’m making you do. I get it. I’m not a fool.” I know it’s not going to turn out the way I want it to if your heart isn't in this. She heard his silent words ring loudly in her ears as she started walking away from him. “Where are you going?”
“I thought we could get some dinner.” She paused at the door, Koyama started walking towards her and as they left the building, now truly safe from the stray eyes of the company, she reached for his hand. His fingers locked with hers. “I’m a little hungry. Are you hungry?”
“Good.” She nodded tucking her hair behind her ear.
So they ate, they laughed, they pretended like this was normal and it was allowed, like it was any other date. It was the best date Talia had ever been on. Koyama was hyper-aware of her, and he made every move possible to make sure she was comfortable with everything. Yet there was something distinctly manly about him, and he did boss her around a little…as bosses were prone to. She didn’t mind all that much though because what were his little flaws when faced with his kisses, the way he cradled her head when he laid her down against the soft pillow already, when he looked at her like he’d never been more thankful for anything else?
When they felt like they were the same person when their eyes connected in that one moment and the rest of their problems melted away?
Even if she hated herself for making the decision to continue this, she couldn't bring herself to regret it.
He was worth it.