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For the Love of Revenge!

Chapter Text

My name is Kanami Inao. Kana, for short. Half-American, half-Japanese. The latter did not prepare me, however, when I found myself being transported back to Japan just shy of a year ago following a brief, yet close brush with the fuckery that could be US law.

The groups that sided with me called me a hactivist, and tried to misconstrue my actions as a message to large corporations and their mass exploitation. They thrived on the fact that I went against my own father’s software corporation and exploited a major vulnerability within their most recent release, causing millions in damages when their clients began noticing large amounts of data were being posted online.

You see, my father’s business was the backbone to many “unsavory” websites. There were a few other industries that made use of his work, and one major healthcare corporation, sure, but I was more interested in letting the world know just how many of their colleagues frequented fetish sites and jacked off to cam girls while their wives were away.

My supporters would’ve quickly turned against me had they known it was the exact money they so despised that bought me a comfortable life in Japan living in my mother’s estate. No one knew but my family that I would be relocating--the rest of the world thought I was being somehow reprimanded behind closed doors.

That wasn’t to say that my actions weren’t without consequences, however: law enforcement was able to convince my father that I, if properly trained, would be a fantastic asset if I had the proper computer training. Being my father’s only child, he was more than eager to ship me off to college to prepare me for my eventual role in running his corporation.

I have no choice in the matter, but I had to admit that it was better than being married to my father’s chosen successor, whomever that would’ve been.

That’s how I wound up at Ouran University, one of Japan’s most prestigious (and frankly, most pretentious) colleges studying Business Management and Software Development.

My father, of course, was in charge of deciding my course schedule. My mother on the other hand, was happy to let me reside in one of the many houses within her estate, tucked away where no one would notice my existence other than a select few maids.

I had never wanted the college experience. Truth be told I’m a horrific student, not due to my lack of intelligence, but my distinct lack of giving a shit.

Still, I spent most of my time at Ouran’s small, private campus. It was a sanctuary made up of pristine white buildings and enough foliage to trigger the slightest of allergies. The central, main building held the cafeteria and various lounges for students to gather in. I often found myself wandering around until I found an empty room to steal some time on my laptop once classes were over.

It was during one of those searches that I found myself at Lounge 3, where the door suddenly opened and I stood facing the blondest Japanese man I had ever seen in my life.

“Welcome, welcome. My you’re quite an exotic beauty aren’t you?” He stood much closer to me than most Japanese men ever dared to. I was used to comments about my slightly tanned skin and curled hair, but the closeness was enough to make me flush.

“Is it someone new Tama-chan?” A small, sweet voice rang from the room behind him.

“Indeed, it appears we have a new princess in our midst.” He spoke almost too quickly for me to comprehend. “Come in, beauty.”

Before I could protest, he took my hand and tugged me into the room. It was dimly lit with candles placed strategically throughout. Red, antique chaises and small tables replaced the normal furniture within the other lounges. Soft, classical music floated in the background.

Six men, including the one who had brought me in, stood seemingly waiting for my arrival. I couldn’t ignore the fact that they were all stunningly handsome, each in their own way.

“Tama-chan was right! You are very pretty!” The smallest one approached me first, holding a stuffed bunny in his arms. He was shorter than the rest of them, barely standing taller than my own 5'3. “I’m Mitsukini Haninozuka, but everyone calls me Honey.”

“It is a pleasure, Honey-sama.” I stammered. My conversational Japanese was less than perfect.

I saw Honey’s light brown eyes widen as I spoke. “You’re so proper! It’s cute!”

“Mitsukini.” The tallest, Honey’s near opposite, rested a hand on top of the shorter man’s head. He rested his eyes on me, regarding me quietly.

“I’m sorry Miss!” Honey giggled. “This is my cousin, Takashi Morinozuka. He looks big and scary but he’s a real teddy bear!”

“It is a pleasure, Morinozuka-sama.” Okay, admittedly, this was the only response to an introduction I knew. This sent two of the men into a fit of giggles.

“Just how long have you been in Japan?” One of them laughed.

“We’ve got work to do with you.” The second picked up seamlessly from where the first dropped off. They were the next to approach me, moving in perfect sync with each other. They were perfectly identical, with the exception of the direction that their auburn hair was parted.

“I’m Hikaru,” the one with his hair parted to the right said, “And this is Kaoru.”

“We’re the Hitachiin twins.” The second chimed in. I noticed his voice was slightly higher than the first.

I nodded in recognition at the surname. “Hitachiin-samas?” How on earth did I address two at once?

They burst into laughter again, not offering any clue about what I had said incorrectly.

“Please don’t let these two devils discourage you, my sweet.” The blonde swept in front of them, “You may address us however you wish. My name is Takmaki Suoh.” He took my hand and delicately kissed it.

I felt my face turn about six shades of red at his advance. I normally wasn’t affected by men, but this guy was truly something. His bright blue eyes searched mine almost expectantly. It took me a moment before I could respond.

“Thank you, Suoh-sama.”

“Please say that again, but Tamaki this time.” He pulled me closer, his lips a breath away from my face.

“So much for letting her address us as she pleases.” The final man spoke, still keeping his distance from me. “Tamaki, you’re overwhelming her.”

Tamaki’s face turned a similar shade of red as mine. “My apologies, miss, Kyoya is right.” He released my hand and stepped back, allowing me to breathe again.

I glanced at the final man, who was regarding me quietly behind a pair of wire-framed glasses. “Kyoya…?”

“Kyoya Ootori.”

“Ootori?” My stomach dropped along with any formalities I might’ve learned from studying Japanese. “Yoshio Ootori is your father?”

His expression darkened slightly, “I can assure you, miss, that any dealings you’ve had with that man will not harm your experience here.”
“I am here partially because of him.” I murmured. I hadn’t expected Ootori to have a son at Ouran, but that goes to show just how little I paid attention to the unexpected victims of my greatest hacking efforts. Had I done my research, I would’ve known Kyoya Ootori would be here.

“You know Kyoya-kun’s papa?” Honey asked.

“Not in person.”

“Regardless of why you’re here, we are glad that you’ve decided to come into our little club.” Tamaki swept in again, sensing my obvious discomfort with the topic. “Tell me, dearest, what is your name, and what brings you to the Host Club?”

“My name is Kanami Inao. Kana.” I couldn’t look at Kyoya as I introduced myself. “And, I didn’t mean to come here, I--”

“Of course you meant to come here, Kana-chan.” Kyoya interrupted me with such familiarity that it caught me off guard. “I’ve been expecting you, I apologize for not warning you about my companions.”

Kyoya’s gaze met mine; the intensity of his stare made me feel as though he were trying to pierce through me with his eyes.

“Of course, Ootori-sama. You shouldn’t apologize.” I smiled, my instinct telling me to play along.

“Come then.” He extended his hand and I stepped forward to take it. He gave a quick nod to the rest of the guys before leading me to a door in the back of the lounge.

“Oi, Kana-chan!” Honey’s voice called after us, “Welcome to the Host Club!”

***
Kyoya had brought me to what seemed to be a sideroom, where there was nothing but a large, more modern couch than the ones I had saw earlier. Unlike the lounge, there were no candles, instead I finally got to see him clearly.

He was, in a word, gorgeous.

Rather, gorgeously angry.

“What are you doing here?” He motioned to the couch.

“It was a mistake, Ootori-sama.” I had no intention of sitting down. Instead I crossed my arms and leaned against the wall. “I didn’t know I’d see you here.”

“My father didn’t tell you?”

I struggled to find the correct words. I didn’t interact with anyone outside of the classroom, where the lectures were taught in the formal language I was used to. “No. Only spoke to him over the phone, to apologize.”

“You’re well aware of the trouble you caused.” It wasn’t a question. He pinched the bridge of his nose and let out an exasperated sigh.

“Do you want an apology too?”

“Some of the information you exposed was my own.” He moved closer to me, almost dangerously close. I had to tilt my head to see his face. “Did you read it?”

“No.” I stood up straighter. I had never been one to let anyone intimidate me.

“Good,” he rested his palm on the wall beside my head. “Do you know what it is we do here?”

I shook my head.

“We entertain women. And sometimes, that entertainment…” he placed his other hand on the wall, effectively surrounding me. “...turns into more than flirtatious conversation. I won’t have to worry about you releasing that information, will I?”

I blinked, not fully understanding the situation. I briefly slipped back into English. “So you sleep around?”

“It’s different here than it is in America, especially among the social elite.” His own English was as hesitant as my Japanese.

I relaxed a bit, reverting back to Japanese. “I won’t tell anyone about your sex club, Ootori-sama.”

“Would you like to partake?” His voice fell to almost a purr. “The other gentlemen seemed quite taken by the American beauty. Although they did make you look much cuter in the press release photos. Your hair was down.”

I self-cautiously reached back to touch my braid, “I’m not interested. I’m here to be a student, not make connections.”

“Suit yourself.” Kyoya shrugged, dropping his hands to his sides. “Although you might benefit from learning from them.”
“And probably pay for doing so.” I rolled my eyes.

“In many ways, Kana-chan.” A small smirk played on his lips. “If you change your mind, we’ll be waiting.”

Chapter Text

The presence of a certain American woman had sent the Host Club into complete chaos. For me, anyway.

Fortunately, I had plenty of time to prepare my responses to their questions while we entertained our guests for the evening.

We were considered “open” from 5 PM to 9 PM three days a week, while the weekends were reserved for our more demanding patrons. Girls who wanted a live-in boyfriend experience, an escort to dinner, or late-night companion paid quite well for our services. Not like any of us needed the money; though it was quite satisfying to think of the astute businessmen we were screwing over while we fucked their daughters senseless.

Our weekday visits were more lighthearted, innocent. Boring. I rarely took on conversation partners, but I had the occasional request for a weekend fling. My role was running the business, ensuring funding was present, and ensuring the absolute confidentiality of ourselves and clients.

Confidentiality that the American had nearly destroyed.

Ouran University was built on the backs of rich families wanting to appease their spoiled children while giving them the best education possible. Many of the students here were destined to take over their family businesses, the American included.

The news had painted her out to be innocent, putting her hair in soft curls and pink lips for all of her hearings. She was easy to look past, despite whatever flaw she had discovered in her father’s financial software. The books for many websites and businesses were exposed, the Host Club’s included. Perhaps that was my punishment for using my own name to operate.

Or my saving grace, considering no one bothered to look at my own records once my father’s were exposed. Why he chose to use the software for his healthcare empire, I’ll never know. His response, however, puzzled me even more. Rather than pursue her legally, he paid for her to fix the damn issue then brought her here to study.

I spent the last hour of our business hours re-reading everything I knew about Kanami Inao. She was the daughter of Tatshiro Inao, owner of Inao Industries. Her mother was an American-born child actress that continued her fame in Japan long after her own country had forgotten her. Ms. Amelia Claire had a close working relationship with the Hitachiin’s mother, though I doubted either of them had heard of Kana before today.

Their combined worth was at least $3 billion yen.

Kanami had never been photographed publicly with anyone other than her father, and was reportedly reclusive. That would explain her strange way of speaking--her Japanese sounded as if she had only been listening to formal conversation or her dad’s personal conversations.

Had it not been for the stunt she pulled, she might’ve gone completely unnoticed until she had taken over Inao Industries with a spotless reputation.

Tamaki began ushering out the night’s guests before I realized it. I shut my laptop and braced myself for the onslaught of questions that was sure to follow.

The first, unsurprisingly, came from the prince of our club himself.

“How do you know her, Kyoya?”

Then the younger Hitachiin.

“Why do you get to play with her first?” Kaoru gave me a pout that would wreck any woman.

“Yeah, what if she wants to be with us?” Hikaru was curled almost protectively around his twin on the couch they had been occupying. “I’ve never slept with an American.”

“Is Kana-chan going to come back?” Honey, of course.

“She isn’t the type, Honey-senpai.” I said.

Hikaru jolted up, “You mean--”

“We get to seduce her?” Kaoru’s eyes widened.

“No.” Takashi frowned.

“Do you not like her Takashi?” Honey gasped.

“Of course he likes her Honey-senpai! He just doesn’t realize it yet!” Tamaki sat down beside me. “Are you going to answer my question, Kyoya?”
“Do you remember when some of my financial information appeared on the dark web?” I hadn’t told them much about the brief data breach we had experienced. “As you know, my father was also affected. In fact, he was the one who originally paid the guilty party to fix the damage they caused.”

“Was it someone in Kana-chan’s family?” Honey had a way of projecting his feigned innocence on to others.

I shook my head.

“You mean--that sweet princess was the one who did it?” Tamaki’s jaw dropped and his hands grasped his cheeks.

“She’s not a princess,” I learned back. “We shouldn’t treat her as such. From what I can tell, her father has kept her sheltered. Her intelligence was likely fed because of that.”

“But Kyoya, isn’t that a fairy tale? Princess kept away in a tower?” Tamaki grinned.

“Jeez, what he means is that she’s not going to fall for your shit Tamaki-senpai.” Hikaru rolled his eyes. “You’re lucky Haru-chan fell for you in the first place.”

“Hey Senpai, didn’t you say you wanted Haruhi to have more girlfriends?” Kaoru quickly jumped in.

“They do both sleep with other people…” Hikaru smirked.

“Do you think we can start offering a sisterly love package?”

“STOP IT YOU TWO!” Tamaki’s face turned a shade of red that only appeared when his beloved Haruhi was mentioned. “I will not let my Haruhi be involved in this.Besides, she won’t be back until the semester’s over.”

“We shouldn’t expect her to come back here. I don’t know the exact conditions of her remaining above the law here, but something tells me she’s not going to have time for our brand of extracurriculars.” I pushed my glasses further up my nose.

“You probably scared her off, didn’t you?” Honey pouted. “I wanted to be friends with her, her accent was so cute!”

“Quite the opposite, Honey-senpai. She turned me down.”

I felt the room go still around me. It wasn’t often a girl discovered us only to decide not to participate in our little games. Still, Kana had barely seemed fazed by our antics. She was uncomfortable if anything, judging from her face.

“She’s always alone. I have an analytics course with her.” Takashi’s low voice broke our silence.

“Feel free to observe here further Mori-senpai.” I nodded. His eyes met mine briefly, conveying his uncertainty on the matter. Takashi was a man of very few words, but anyone close to him could easily read the messages behind every gesture he made. Truly the master of nonverbal communication.

“Should we play a game, Kao-kun?” Hikaru’s arm tightened around his brother, his eyes lighting up like a child’s.

I stood abruptly and made my way to the door, ignoring Tamaki’s protests. I had no intention of playing any games, especially when they involved Kanami Inao.

Chapter Text

Despite my best efforts, I found that I couldn’t avoid running into the Host Club men in the weeks following our first meeting. Or maybe I had just began to notice them more around campus. I had the tendency to not pay attention to my surroundings; most of my twenty years had been spent alone, save for my private tutors and maids, so I had never gotten used to being around others. My father was a very protective man while I was growing up.

I didn’t hate him for it either. I don’t mind solitude. Being suddenly thrust into a campus society certainly wasn’t in either of our plans, but we had no choice in the matter following what I’d done.Still, I never registered any feelings of regret for my actions.

Takashi was the first to approach me. He was seemingly waiting for me at the university gates as I was about to walk across campus for my morning class.

We stared at each other for a moment before he held his hand out to me, his eyes moving to the light green backpack I was carrying on my shoulders. I hesitated for a moment and silently complied, handing him the bag that contained my laptop and a few other items I always carried with me. He slid the straps over his arms with a surprising grace for someone of his stature.

He tilted his head and started off, slowing his steps to allow me to keep up with my shorter strides. We walked in silence like that for a bit before I finally decided to say something.

“You didn’t have to carry that, Morinozuka-sama.”

“Mori.” He corrected gently.

“Mori-sama.”

I thought I saw the hint of a smile appear on his lips. “I’m a third-year.”

“A third year?” I pondered for a moment, trying to recall everything I knew about Japanese honorifics. “Mori-senpai?”

He nodded, satisfied with my answer.

“Thank you, Mori-senpai. I’m still learning how all of this works.” I said. He was the first to attempt to fix my mistakes. I had been addressing everyone I knew with the highest regard I could come up with, in fear of coming off as rude.

I felt his hand reach out and rest on top of my head, pressing my usual French braid into my scalp. His touch, though momentary, sent a wave of calm over me. In his own way, I knew he was telling me to stop worrying.

We continued in comfortable silence until we reached the building where my first class was located. Without missing a beat, he pushed the door open, holding it until I stepped in, then entered behind me. I couldn’t help but notice that he wasn’t necessarily following me, rather, he already seemed to know where I was going.

“Have you been watching me?” I asked.

He stopped suddenly, giving me a look I couldn’t quite figure out. Was it confusion, maybe?

“I sit in the back.”

My face fell. I hadn’t realized that he was in my business analytics class. It was one of the larger lecture courses, which could partially explain why I had missed him, but it was still no excuse. I should’ve assumed that there would be at least one of the Host Club members in my business classes--they were required for practically everyone who attended, and it wasn’t exactly the largest college either…

“Mori-senpai, I’m sorry.” I gave a quick bow.

He grunted, shrugging it off. There was still something in his expression that I couldn’t quite place as I followed him through the halls and into our classroom.

My classmates were unusually quiet as I followed Takashi to my usual desk located on the far side of the room. He made no move to sit at the desk next to mine that was normally unoccupied, rather, he looked at me expectantly as he placed my bag on the floor beside my desk.

It finally clicked.

“Will you sit with me, Mori-senpai?”

Chapter Text

My morning walks with Takashi became a routine of sorts after that first day. We only shared our morning class on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but even on the off days he was there waiting for me when my driver dropped me off.

Neither of us spoke much. I really only knew a few things about him: he was extremely polite, devoted to his cousin Honey, and he was a master at Kendo. Our walks began to become the best part of my day. There was something about the silent companionship that made me feel content.

My evening companion on the other hand, was the complete opposite.

The first time Tamaki Suoh showed up after my last class I convinced myself that he was waiting for someone else. I kept walking until I heard an undeniable “KANA-CHAAAAN” ring out behind me.

Still, I almost kept walking. My one prior interaction with Tamaki was overwhelming to say the least.

“What are you doing here, Suoh-san?” I asked once he caught up to me. Takashi had, fortunately, corrected me on many of the honorifics I had been getting wrong.

“I couldn’t let Mori-senpai steal you away, could I?” He flashed me a grin that made my stomach flutter. He fell into step beside of me as we exited the technology building where I had my last class of the day. “Where are you headed, my dearest?”

“Hmm. The library. Or somewhere else quiet.” And alone.

“Aww, don’t you have any fun, Kana-chan? Why don’t you come visit me at the Host Club tonight?” His hand brushed over my arm. The longing in his voice almost made me consider joining him, but I knew it was an act. It was all in the part he played as a member, surely.

“I have to decline, Suoh-san,” I said. I hooked my thumbs in my belt loops, trying to find something to do with my hands. “I’m sure Ootori-san told you, I have to maintain my class standing here.”

“I can fix that, if you’d like.”

“I highly doubt your father would allow that.” Truth be told, the classes were easy enough, I just needed an excuse to keep away from the apparent distraction that was Japanese men.

“We have a lot in common, you know.” When I didn't respond, he continued. “I’m only half-Japanese. And we’re both only here because of our fathers!”

“I’m here because I’m a criminal, technically.” I said bluntly.

I could feel his eyes on me. Before I could react, he stopped and grabbed my arms, and spun me around to face him. He pulled me too close for my personal comfort.

“Kana-chan, the only crime you’ve committed is stealing my heart.”

I stared at him for a moment. HIs deep blue eyes searched mine, almost begging me to respond. I felt a familiar tightening in my chest, suddenly hyper aware of everything around me. I could sense people staring. My mouth wouldn’t form words, my heart raced.

“Please cut the act Suoh-san.” I finally managed to stammer.

His hands dropped to his sides. I could breathe again.

“Sorry. Perhaps I’m too charming for my own good.” He gave a small smile. “Let me make it up to you--”

“I’m not coming to the Host Club.”

“You can sit in our side room. It’ll be quiet in there. I’ll make sure that no one bothers you.” There was a sincerity in his voice that I couldn’t resist.

“Fine.” I sighed.

His smile grew into another one of his damned grins as he took my arm and led me to the student building.

And that’s how I once again found myself in the side room of Lounge Room 3, albeit alone this time. Tamaki made a show of rushing me past the other club members. None of their female companions had arrived yet, thankfully.

I had to admit, Tamaki was right about the room being quiet. I curled up on the couch with one of my business textbooks and settled in for a long study session.

I wasn’t sure how much time had passed before I heard the door slowly creak open. I looked up to find none other than a scowling Kyoya. He shut the door behind him and sat on the opposite side of the couch, leaning forward with his elbows on his knees.

He looked, in a word, exhausted. His tailored button-down was almost halfway unbuttoned, and the sleeves were bunched midway up his arms. He rested his forehead in his palm.

“Ootori-san?” I whispered.

“Almost over.” He mumbled. I didn’t know if he was talking to me or himself.

I turned back to my book, assuming I wouldn’t hear anything further from him. Kyoya didn’t strike me as the kind of guy that thrived on social interaction, not like Tamaki or Honey.

“I apologize. Tamaki shouldn’t have forced you to come here.” His voice was low.

“I would’ve been doing the same thing somewhere else.” I shrugged.

“You’re actually taking this serious, aren’t you? Being here.”

“As a student? Of course. It was either this or run the risk of being quietly married off to whoever Father thought could take over the company.”

“You really think your father is going to turn everything over to you?”

“It was a very small factor in why I did what I did.”

He sat up, “Do you really think you’re fit to run his company, Inao-san?” Gone was the familiarity he had shown me previously. Curious.

I waved my textbook in front of his face, “I’m learning.”

True, I was much more interested in actually working with software development, not the business side, but there was no way my father would’ve hired me on until I showed him what I was capable of. No matter how many times my tutors told him of my skills he never trusted me to become more than the future wife of the next owner of Inao Industries.

“Typical. I’m sure you’re used to having everything handed to you, aren’t you?” He glared at me.

“Spoken like a true third son.”

I knew I had crossed a line before the words had even left my mouth. The tension between us was palpable in that moment, but I wasn’t going to back down, not to someone who got his rocks off for payment.

“You think you’re clever, don’t you?” He spat. “You have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“I think we’re done here.” I reached down beside the couch to find my bag.

He shifted his weight and snaked his arm over the back of the couch. The look in his eyes was murderous, almost terrifying. He slowly moved as though he were about to stand up, instead he positioned himself so that he was leaning over me on the couch, one hand falling on the armrest I had been curled against.

My breath quickened. Damn my mind for finding his anger so attractive. For the first time in a long, long time I felt truly vulnerable. I lost myself for a moment. I had every intention of demanding him to back off, to let me leave before things got out of hand. What came out instead, however:

“Kyoya…”

Chapter Text

I wanted to ruin her.

The way she said my name stirred something in me. She was vulnerable. Powerless.

I had seen so many women make the same face, heard so many whisper my name in the same tone that she had, but this moment was different. I wanted to pound her into the couch, bruise her butterscotch colored skin, and leave her begging for me to let her release. I wanted to feel her legs wrapped around me and hear her scream my name, over and over…

Those feelings didn’t surprise me. Those feelings were what made me popular with our more adventurous clients. Those women wanted me to be cold, harsh.

Kanami Inao was making me want to be something more. Something that went against what made me Kyoya Ootori.

There was a certain grace to the way she carried herself. She was guarded and kept her appearance simple. She was obviously highly intelligent. And so, so lost in her own world.

I wanted to ruin her, then show her how a man could care for her.
I hated her for nearly destroying everything I had built within the Host Club. I hated her for gaining my father’s attention.

I had to remain in control. But I wanted her.

I lowered myself so that I was barely touching her. I could feel the shallow rise and fall of her chest against mine. Her light green eyes held mine in their confused gaze.

“Say my name again.” I demanded.

“K-Kyoya,” she whimpered. “What are you--?”

“Shut up.” I growled.

I let myself enjoy one brief, angry kiss. I pressed my lips to hers, and felt her melt beneath me. I wanted nothing more than to touch her, to feel her soft skin mold beneath my hands.

But I couldn’t. I pulled back quickly and stood, leaving her alone on the couch.

“What in the ever-loving FUCK was THAT Kyoya Ootori?!” Alright, she fell back into English when she was under stress. Interesting. I watched with mild bemusement as she jumped off the couch, straightening her t-shirt.

“Such harsh language, Inao-san.” I smirked.

“KANA-CHAAAN?!” Of course, Tamaki. It didn’t take him long to burst into the room. “Kana-chan! I swore no one would bother you, but Kyoya insisted he come check on you. When I heard you scream I had to come in here, even though I don’t understand English! Are you hurt fair maiden?” He grabbed Kanami’s arms and shook her gently as he talked, clearly worked up over the situation.

“I thought I saw a bug.” Kanami said flatly. “Shouldn’t you be entertaining people?”

“But how can I entertain others when the true princess is hidden away in her room?” He pouted.

“Suoh-san, please. We’ve talked about this.”

Takami released her, a blush rising on his cheeks. “My apologies, Kana-chan. I just wanted to check on you.”

“Then say that. I’m not one of your clients,” she flashed a smile.

I cleared my throat. “Tamaki, have the rest of tonight’s visitors left?”
“They sure have. It should be safe for you to leave now, Kana-chan.” He held his arm out to her, “Please, let me escort you to your car. I’ll see to it that you’ll be getting home safely.”

Kanami nodded her agreement. She gave me a quick glance before they left the side room. I followed shortly after, watching as they left the lounge room arm-in-arm.

“Kyoya-senpai, if you’re going to have a private guest, shouldn’t she be paying you at least?” Hikaru wasted no time in approaching me with his shadow of a twin.

“She’s not that kind of guest.” I sighed. “Tamaki jumped her after class and he gave her somewhere to study as an apology.”

I could hear Takashi mumble something. He and Honey were clearing a tea set from one of the small tables.

“Takashi thinks you should know that he hasn’t jumped her!” Honey chirped. “But Kyoya, it really isn’t fair that she hasn’t talked to the rest of us.”

“I can’t control what she does.” Yet.

“Maybe we should all start walking her to class.” There was a familiar sparkle in Kaoru’s eye.

“That’s Takashi’s job!” Honey gasped.

“I’m sure Mori-senpai won’t mind if we join.” Hikaru grinned.

Takashi made a noise that could only be interpreted as a protest.

“Fine, we’ll just find her at lunch.” Hikaru shrugged.

“I wonder what she eats.” Kaoru pondered. “Probably lots of sweet things. Don’t all Americans do that?”

“I want to eat sweet things with an American!” Honey giggled.

I started packing up my laptop, only half paying attention to the chatter around me. My mind was elsewhere, considering the next time I would run into Kana. I almost wasn’t sure I wanted to, yet I had the feeling that she would somehow, in some way, become mine.

Chapter Text

Kyoya Ootori had kissed me, and i had no idea why.

The event left me reeling. I could barely respond to Tamaki as he led me to my driver’s car. I barely registered coming home. Meimi, one of the maids my mother had assigned to me, mentioned something about dinner as I came in the door to my comfortably-sized home within my mother’s estate.

My home was probably too large for just one inhabitant, but I didn’t mind. There was a spacious, modern kitchen and living room. I had a study that housed my desktop computer and shelves of all the books I had collected over the last few years. My bedroom was simply decorated with a queen-sized bed, a large dresser, nightstand, and a full-length mirror. The home didn’t scream “me”, but it was a place to stay.

I made my way to my bedroom. I peeled my slim-fitting jeans off, followed by my tee-shirt and underwear. I tended to dress relatively simply compared to my classmates. Part of me considered putting more effort into my appearance, but it seemed to be more trouble than it was worth. I prefered to be able to sleep in.

I slipped on a pink nightshirt that reached just past my thighs. Finally, I tugged the elastic out of my hair, letting it fall from the careful braid I had put it in that morning. The reddish-brown curls spilled around my shoulders.

I caught a glance at myself in my mirror and found myself wondering if Kyoya would ever see me like this.

Something told me Kyoya wasn’t the domestic type, that I wouldn’t be spending mornings with him drinking coffee and reading, if it ever came to that.

I didn’t understand why Kyoya had kissed me earlier. He seemed so angry with me, but maybe that fueled whatever feelings he was having in that moment. Maybe his rage was shielding something greater.

I couldn’t let myself think like that. My father would disown me if I brought an Ootori into the family. And my mother…

I couldn’t control the smile that spread across my face. My mother. I had proven myself to my father when I nearly destroyed his business, and now he was finally accepting that I was far more capable than he ever realized. Amelia Claire, on the other hand, she still treated me like a nuisance that would never fit into her world of glamor and fame.

I dug my phone out of my bag and sat down on my bed. I pulled up the app that I found for the Host Club. Within moments I had submitted a payment and blocked out four hours with the people who would certainly make sure that I fit into my mother’s world.

***
I arrived at the Host Club minutes before they opened for the day, having blocked out the entire evening with my chosen men. Still, my appearance apparently came as a surprise to the men, who didn’t quite know how to welcome me.

“Kana-chan, are you here to study?” Tamaki had finally dropped the host act whenever he spoke to me, even though it was obvious that he was trying not to slip into his over-the-top flirtatious routine.

“I’m here to see someone, actually.” I smiled. My eyes found the Hitachiin twins, who were sitting together. “Two someones.”

“You, you’re here for…” Tamaki’s eyes widened. “But Kana-chan, don’t tell me you’re into the…”

“Suoh-senpai, you’re very, very mistaken.” I cut him off. “Although, maybe I could be convinced.”

My sarcasm clearly went over Tamaki’s head. His face turned a remarkable shade of red.

“We told you Tamaki-senpai.” One of the twins stood up to greet me. “We’re glad you finally gave into us, Kana-chan.”

“Thank you for having me.” I smirked. I crossed over to join the twins on the couch they occupied. I let my eyes wander around the room for a moment before they finally landed on Kyoya, who was glowering at me from his table in the corner. I gave him a quick wink before I sat down between the Hitachiins.

“So what made you decide to spend time with us?” The twin with his hair parted to the left asked. The twins both sat close to me, then arms wrapped around my shoulders gracefully.

“Kaoru-kun?” I asked, not wanting to get the two mistaken if I was going to be getting to know them. When he nodded, I continued. “I actually need some help.”

“Maybe you should’ve booked for one of our weekend visits.” Hikaru grinned. “Or did Kyoya-senpai not explain that to you.”

“I don’t need help with THAT.” I blushed. This seemed to amuse the two of them. “Our mothers are friends, yes?”
“More like associates.” Hikaru’s expression darkened slightly.

“Yeah, I wouldn’t exactly call Mom and Amelia Claire ‘friends’.” Kaoru signed.

“Can I assume you see my point then?” My mother wasn’t exactly known for being the kindest person to those around her.

The twins looked at each other, then back at me. “What’s your plan?”

“I’ve heard you all are following in your mother’s footsteps into the fashion world.” I bit my lip. I had been dreading asking this question ever since I came up with the idea. “I have my reasons for asking, but I was wondering if you two could give me some tips?”

I regretted the question as soon as I asked. I had sent them into a brief fit of laughter before they realized I was being serious. Their expressions changed from amusement to something much, much worse.

“Hikaru, we’re always wanting new dolls to play with.” Kaoru’s fingers traced the length of my arm.

“And this one’s basically a blank slate, with how she looks now…” Hikaru looped his arm around mine.

I cleared my throat, “I, um, brought a notebook to write down your suggestions.”

“You won’t be needing it.” Hikaru pulled me into a standing position. “You’ve booked us for the whole night.”

“Even if we go over four hours, I’m sure Kyoya won’t mind.” Kaoru threw my bag over his shoulder, then announced to the room, ‘We’re out for the night ladies.”

I felt the gaze of the other host’s companions bore into me as the twins began to pull me out of the room. There were hints of jealousy and confusion on their faces. I tried to ignore it.

“Kaoru.” Kyoya stopped us just before we got to the door. “A word.”

Kaoru nodded, “Hika-chan, Kana-chan, I’ll meet you out front.”

Hikaru’s arm wrapped around my waist. “Come on, Kana-chan. We’ve got a long night ahead of us.”

What had I gotten myself into?!

Chapter Text

“I have to admit, Kana-chan, you look really pretty in this one.”

I hardly heard Kaoru’s words. I was too busy starting at myself in the full-length mirror they had placed in front of me. They had put me in a long, sleeveless, forest green ball gown with a sweetheart neckline that was lined with a silver lace trim. The dress itself was simple in comparison to others that I’d seen around the HItachiin mansion, but the way it clung to my curves made it appear much more stunning than what it actually was.

The twins had brought me to their home after I told them the reason why I had booked an evening with them. The pair jumped on the opportunity to get me out of my regular t-shirt and jeans and into their mother’s creations. They had rooms full of clothes that they were eager for me to go through, and we had spent the last couple of hours creating a wardrobe that was both simple (my request) while still being fashionable (their requirement). I had worn more skirts today than I had in my lifetime. I had to admit that I was having fun with them.

Hikaru clicked his tongue and came up from behind me, “You can’t wear your hair like this though.” He worked with nimble fingers to coax my hair out of its braid, letting it fall in a shroud around my face. “There.”

The three of us stood in front of the mirror together, the twins admiring their work while I tried to absorb seeing myself in something like this.

“You’re wasting your time with her, you two.” An all-too-familiar voice broke me out of my reverie.

I turned around to see my mother, Amelia Claire, standing at the door of the room we were in. She looked as gorgeous and put together as she always did, with her long red hair cascading down to her waist, and wearing what I had learned were clothes that Yuzuha Hitachiin had designed specifically for her. Most people said that I hadn’t inherited much from her, but we shared the same eyes, tanned skin, and soft curves.

She continued on into the room, walking past the racks of clothes that the twins had brought in for me. “Kanami, I’m surprised to see you here.”

“Likewise.” I stared her down. Mother and I never had the best relationship, saying the least.

“Hikaru, Kaoru, I apologize for my daughter. She doesn’t leave her room often, so I’m certain her manners aren’t up to par.” She smirked. “From what her father tells me, she spends all of her time in front of that computer.”
“You do know I’ve been living on your grounds for nearly eight months, right?” I gritted my teeth. I hadn’t seen the woman in nearly two years.

“I assure you, the occupance of my guest house hasn’t gone unnoticed.” She crossed her arms. “Has she told you why she’s here, boys? All that time she spent alone finally went to her head and she decided to nearly destroy her father’s reputation. I told him he should’ve put her out long ago but he never listened to me.”

She stepped closer to me and placed one finger beneath my chin, tilting my face upwards to look her in the eyes. “And now you’re here, weaseling your way into the Hitachiin household. Clearly they haven’t seen just how inept you are. Tell me, what act have you been giving them?”

I tensed up. Every response I could think of was catching in my throat. I couldn’t stand her. I hated the way she made me feel about myself for not being the child star she wanted me to be. I was too short, too shy, too something to appeal to any of her agents, no matter how hard she tried to sell me out.

She was the reason why I never went to public school, why I spent my life in my father’s house, locked away to only be able to interact with tutors and occasionally other family members. My father fed into her desire to keep me secluded, even after he stopped being useful to her and she stopped loving him. If she ever did in the first place.

But I couldn’t stand up to her, no matter how hard I tried. Coming here was a mistake, I realized that from the way she looked at me. I was stupid to even try to enter into her world.

“Pardon me, Amelia, but, please kindly fuck off.” Hikaru’s arm wrapped around my waist, pulling me away from my mother.

“You’re disturbing our guest.” Kaoru’s arm fell across my shoulders. “We would appreciate it if you’d just leave.”

“You should go work on your own manners while you’re at it.” Hikaru waved his arm at my mother dismissively. “Or maybe learn something from Kana-chan.”

“If we let her see you again.” Kaoru pulled me closer to him, his lips brushing my hair as he spoke.

If my mother was upset by their words, she didn’t let it show. Instead, she quickly turned on her heel and left as suddenly as she had come.

I let myself stay in their arms for a moment, the touch providing a certain level of comfort during the whole situation. I was finding myself slowly getting used to being around the men that made up the Host Club, despite never having much male interaction in my life.
“So, where exactly would I wear this one?” I asked quietly, turning back around to face the mirror. My eyes shone with the tears I was willing myself not to cry.

“Anywhere, if it makes that bitch mad.” Hikaru growled. “I hate her, Kana-chan.”

“Yeah, I do too.” I rubbed my face. “I, um, I hadn’t seen her in a while.”

Kaoru held my hand in his, “She pays Mom to come up with designs that are only available to her. After she’s tired of them, Mom releases them to cheaper stores, so that your mom’s fans can mimic her style.”

“I don’t see how her fanbase is still so big.” Hikaru said. “She hasn’t starred in anything since--”

“Since I was born.”

We stood silently for a moment, processing what had happened.

“Should we tell her why we picked this one, Hikaru?” Kaoru asked his twin.

“Yeah, I guess.” Hikaru shrugged, clearly still reeling in anger over what my mother had said.

“Kyoya asked us to pick out something formal for you.” Kaoru grinned. “He didn’t say why, but he was pretty insistent.”

“Ootori-senpai wanted me to wear this?” My face flushed.

Hikaru grinned, “I think he’s got something planned for you.”

“You should feel special, Kana-chan. Kyoya doesn’t show interest in girls like the rest of us do. He’s strictly business.”

“Interest…?”

“You can’t tell?” Hikaru laughed. “He looks at you like he wants to eat you.”

“That’s one way of putting it.” Kaoru stuck his tongue out. “Of course, he’d never tell us, outright…”

“He totally wants to ‘eat’ you.”

“HIKARU-KUN!” I shrieked. The twins laughed at my reaction, the interaction with my mother completely forgotten.

The twins’ enthusiasm had overwhelmed me at first, but as the night ended and they were arranging for all of my new clothes to be sent to my house, I found myself sad that the night was coming to a close. Friendship wasn’t something that I had known previously, however I sensed that it was something I had unexpectedly found within the Hitachiin twins.

Chapter Text

Saturdays were for TV and sweatpants. I would usually study some as well, but I spent most of the morning time drinking coffee and catching up on some of my favorite shows.

I had managed to sleep in until 10. I had insisted that my maids not come in during the weekends so I could have my small house to myself. That gave me the opportunity to make my own Westernized breakfast and walk around in my nightgown.

I had barely gotten into the kitchen when the doorbell rang. Still half-asleep, I went to the door without thinking and opened it, barely registering what was happening.

“Inao-san, is this a bad time?” Kyoya’s voice did little to hide his amusement. He wore a black, perfectly-tailored button-down that was open just enough to show hints of his slender chest. But I couldn’t think about that…

I held up a finger, “Moment.” WIth that, I shut the door, leaving him stuck on the outside.

My mind raced, panic rising up in my chest. Why was Kyoya here? And did he just really see me in my nightgown with my hair all over the place? What did he want with me?

I quickly ran back to my bedroom and went through my now-packed closet. The Hitachiin’s had sent me home with more clothes than I knew what to do with, especially in this situation. What was I supposed to wear for a visit like this? I didn’t have my t-shirts to fall back on anymore. I quickly decided on a pale yellow tank-top and a pair of shorts. I threw my hair back into a messy bun and forced myself to return to the door to properly greet Kyoya.

I slowly opened the door to find him waiting patiently. He had brought the messenger bag I often saw him carrying while he was at school. I gazed at him for a moment before finally speaking.

“I’m sorry. I wasn’t expecting anyone.”

“I would’ve called if I had your number.” Kyoya flashed a smile that made my heart pound. “I could use a place to study, if you don’t mind to return the favor.”

“Um, sure.” I nodded, motioning for him to come inside. “I was about to make coffee, if you’re interested.”

“Very.” He stepped inside, leaving his shoes by the front door. I watched him look around my living room and kitchen area.

“It isn’t much.” I walked to the kitchen and started measuring out coffee grounds. “They turned the second bedroom into a study when I moved in, you’re welcome to it.”

He left his bag on my couch and joined me in the kitchen, “Kaoru called me last night.”

“Oh?” I poured water into the reservoir and started the coffee maker. I stood watching it the machine work, not quite ready to think about the encounter I had with my mother or about the twins’ comments on what Kyoya felt about me.

“Coffee first, then.” It was as if he had read my mind. He came from behind me and rested his chin on top of my head. The gesture was almost too human for him. “Do you always watch it drip like this?”

“I usually make breakfast or something.” I tried to relax and not let Kyoya get to me. “Are you hungry, Ootori-senpai? The maids are out, but I can cook something.”

“Honey-senpai was wondering what you ate. I guess I can give him a firsthand account now.”

“I’ll take that as a yes.” I turned around, trying not to press myself into him during the process. This whole situation felt almost too domestic. “Do you like sweet things?”

“For breakfast?”

I found myself smiling. Of course Kyoya was too practical for something like that. I should’ve known. “Eggs then. How do you like them?”

“Surprise me.” He stepped aside so I could reach the refrigerator. He leaned against the counter while I worked. “Had I known your mother would be at the Hitachiin’s I would’ve kept you from going.”

I stopped for a moment, having just cracked four eggs into a skillet. There was no way he could’ve known how she and I felt towards each other.

“I do a lot of research, Kanami-san, when someone comes to the Host Club. I have to know who we are welcoming in.”

I nodded. I attempted to flip the eggs using a spatula, and wound up breaking the yolks instead. Shit. Scrambled it was, then. I took my whisk and began scrambling the eggs quietly. After a few moments I put some bread into the toaster and seasoned the eggs with a heavy amount of pepper.

“I made assumptions about your relationship with her, and I understand those were correct.”

“Coffee first.” I said quietly.

We ate together at the counter. Eggs, toast, and strawberry jelly I had sent over from the States. He seemed satisfied with what I had made him. I noted that he took his coffee black, like I did. I typically made my coffee stronger than most people enjoyed it, but he didn’t appear to mind. We cleaned up quietly after, working in tandem together.

It was nice.

Once we had finished, he sat down on the couch and motioned me to join him. I sat on the opposite side, leaving the middle cushion between us.

“I’m used to being alone, because of her. I don’t think she wanted to have me, you know?” I hugged my knees up to my chest. “She and my father were at odds after that, so I went with him to America and grew up there with him.”

“Probably for the best. I don’t think life as a child celebrity would’ve suited you,” he said gently. “You’re far too smart for that.”

“I didn’t have much else to do besides study, but even then, you know my father underestimated me.”

“So you tried to take him down?”

“I could’ve done worse,” I risked a grin. “I didn’t want anyone else to get involved, but it couldn’t be helped.”

“But you proved your point.” He smirked. “Which brings up why I wanted the Hitachiin’s to find formal wear for you. My father is hosting an important event in three weeks, and I’d like for you to come, as my guest.”

I turned to face him, understanding his motives perfectly. “You want him to see us together. You want him to see you with the girl that could’ve destroyed his reputation.”

“Think about it, Kanami-san. You said it yourself, I’m the third son.” He edged closer to me, his eyes burning with intensity. “I have my own point to make.”
I found myself growing excited. “Should I ask him questions about his infrastructure? His network security? Do you want me to act like those hacker types in the movies?”

“God, you’re fascinating.” To my surprise, Kyoya cupped my face in his hand, and drew me in for another long, almost desperate kiss. I let myself be pulled closer to him, and felt his hands trace down the sides of my arms.

He pulled away suddenly, “I’m sorry.”

“Why?” I asked breathlessly.

“I fear I can’t control myself around you.” He stood up. “So you’ll come? And ask Father about those… things?”

I barely processed what he was saying. There was something about Kyoya Ootori that was so… Arousing. It wasn’t a feeling that I had experienced before. I wanted him to tear into me, I wanted to hear him moan my name.

He would be my first, I decided.

“I’ll come.” I purred, hoping that I was coming off as seductive as I was trying to be. “Did you want to study, Ootori-senpai?”

His face flushed slightly. “If you’ll join me.”

“Of course.”

Chapter Text

Studying with Kanami Inao was delightfully unproductive, for me anyway. We sat in her study, surrounded by her books. She lay stretched out on her stomach with a textbook and her laptop in front of her. I caught myself glancing at her frequently from my spot on the couch. She had offered me her desk, but the view from here was much more appealing.

She was distracting me without realizing it. The way she was propped up on her elbows gave allowed for the slightest bit of her chest to be exposed as she focused on taking notes on what she was reading. Her shorts were just short enough to show her slender, smooth thighs.

It wasn’t enough that she was probably much smarter than I would ever be, but she had to be damn gorgeous on top of that. Had she been anyone else I would’ve had her already, but there was something innocent behind the way she acted that kept me from coming on to her. The way she kissed me bled with inexperience. She was pure, and as much as I wanted to ruin that, I knew I had to take time with her.

“Have you taken this class, Ootori-senpai? You’re studying business too, right?” Her voice broke me from my thoughts.

“Yeah, last year. I had it with Ito-San.” I closed the book I had been struggling to read.

“I can’t figure out what he’s asking.” She sat up and grabbed her laptop. “We’re meant to be writing an analysis of the importance of marketing trends, but I don’t really get the requirements here.” She moved towards me and placed her laptop on my knees, the screen facing me.

I glanced down at the laptop, seeing the assignment I had help Ito-san create when I had taken the class last year. I couldn’t ignore the image of Kanami on her knees in front of me. I felt myself wishing I could tangle my fingers in her hair and pull her on to me, and feel those full lips wrapped around my now-throbbing erection.

“He’s asking for a real-life example.” I managed. “Something you’ve noticed happening in marketing recently, and whether you believe it is effective or not.”

“Like live streaming?”

“Pretty cliche, but yes.” I nodded. “I can’t give you too much help though. Ito-san would notice.”

She sighed, “Probably. Ouran’s too small.” She took her laptop and shut the lid. “I need more coffee.”

“Maybe we should take a break.” Not like I had even started. I kept thinking about tying her to the legs of her desk, keeping her on the floor where my good girl belonged. I wondered how she would handle being tied up, if she would even be interested. I was almost scared to ask. I wondered if she would even want to take on my particular brand fucking.

“You seem a bit off, Ootori-senpai.”

I pushed my glasses up on my nose. “You’re very intuitive, Kanami-san.”

“What’s on your mind?” She stood up. My eyes were immediately drawn to her thighs. I wondered vaguely what it would be like between them. Her innocent concern was more than I could handle.

I pulled her down to my lap, positioning her so that her knees were on either side of me. My hands went to her hips as I kissed her slowly, letting her body ease against mine. Her movements were hesitant and unsure, a contrast to her normal confidence. Her hands rested on my chest softly. I let my hands wander, running over her sides, her legs.

This time, it was her that broke away first. “Ootori-senpai, all of this, it doesn’t seem like you.”

“What do you mean?”

“You showed up at my house, ate breakfast, helped me clean, hatched a plan to get back at your father, and you’ve kissed me twice.” She spoke so rapidly that I could hardly keep up, her American accent certainly didn’t make it any easier. “I thought you hated me.”

“Maybe I’m using you.” I shrugged. She had apparently figured me out easier than what I had realized.

“Makes sense.” She gave me a pained look before getting off my lap. She wordlessly left the room.

I ran my hand through my hair. She was right. Coming here wasn’t like me. When Kaoru told me what Kanami’s mother had said to her,I had wanted to go to her side immediately. I wanted to remind her that she was more than what Amelia Claire had perceived her to be. I wanted to show her more than my normally stoic self.

My feelings toward Kanami were complicated to say the very least. The rest of the Host Club noticed, despite my best efforts to keep them under wraps. I held both anger and affection towards her, and every emotion in between. She and I were the same on the most basic level. We both wanted to be more than what our parents would ever allow us to be. But even beyond that, we both had walls that had yet to be breached.

Normal Kyoya would’ve left. The Kyoya that Kanami needed me to be pursued her.

Chapter Text

I found Kanami outside on her back patio. She was standing with a cigarette between her lips, facing the sun. I couldn’t read her exact expression.

“Didn’t know you smoke.” I said.

“Bad habit.” She shrugged, taking another hit before tossing the filter into an empty flower pot. She hesitantly approached me. “Do you think they can see us here from the main house?”

“If someone was really looking, maybe.” I looked off into the distance, where Amelia Claire’s mansion loomed against the sky. “I didn’t exactly disguise myself when I came here.”

“Maybe I’m using you, too.” She stood painfully close to me. “It would cause a bit of drama if any of our parents saw us.”

“We have an understanding then.” I smirked. It was easier if she thought our relationship was purely one of mutual gain. “Perhaps I should take you out here one night.”

“Take me…?” She tilted her head to the side. Her face reddened after she realized. “Y-you want to…?”

“Oh, Kana.” I found myself laughing. I crushed her against me, wrapping my arms around her small frame. “You’re innocent, aren’t you?”

She nodded against my chest. “I never had an opportunity to… you know.”

“You’ve got plenty of opportunity now. You’ve seen how much the Host Club fawns over you.” I wanted to hear her say that she wanted me, instead, she reminded me of why I caught interest in her in the first place.

“I have considered calling Suoh-senpai a few times. He seems really sweet.” She looked up at me, her eyes twinkling. “Or maybe Mori-senpai. He’s always walking me to class.”

“Would you consider me?” My hand rested on her lower back. I knew I had just given her what she wanted, but I didn’t care. I’d play along with her.

“I believe you know that already, Ootori-senpai.”

“Say it.” I growled.

“Say what, Ootori-senpai?” She was playing a dangerous game. She wanted to be cute, that much was obvious. She would learn.

“I don’t play these games, Kanami-san.” Against my better judgement, I took her chin in my hand in a tight grip, tilting her face towards me. “I am not going to be the sweet, sensitive lover you’ve read about. Now answer me this. Do you want me?”

Something in her expression changed. Her eyes locked to mine, and I felt her resistance weaken. The look in her eyes was one I had seen many, many times before. It was a look of submission, acceptance. I worried I had gone too far too soon with her.

“I want you, Ootori-senpai.”
“Use my name from now on.” I spun her around and held her from behind. “I’m going to go slow with you. But I will have you out here, naked, and screaming my name one of these days. Think Amelia Claire would enjoy that?”

“Only if we can do it at your place too.” Her hands rested on top of mine.

“Naturally.” I kissed the top of her head.

Her fingers laced through mine. She slowly guided them over her body, just narrowly missing her most intimate areas. She was teasing me.

“Come back inside with me, Kyoya.” She whispered.

Chapter Text

Kyoya wanted me. Even if it was only to piss our families off, he wanted me. And I wanted him, even if he was somewhat intimidating. I had a feeling that his need for constant control would make its way into the bedroom, but to what extent I wasn’t sure. I had read enough smut to last any woman a lifetime, but I had no idea what to expect in real life.

I allowed him to come into my bedroom. I could feel the look the twins had told me about. Kyoya’s expression did read as something like hunger.

“Do you ever pleasure yourself here?” Kyoya asked, gesturing towards my bed.

The question caught me off guard. “Y-yes.” I stammered. I sat down on the bed.

“Fingers? Toys?” He sat beside me. His fingers traced along my thighs, and I could feel his breath in my ear.

“F-fingers.” I whimpered.

“Don’t be shy, pet.” He pulled my hair out of its bun, letting it fall around my shoulders. His demeanor was different than what I had grown used to. “I’ll be slow with you.”

“I trust you, Kyoya.” I breathed.

He pulled me into a kiss, different from the ones he had given me before. His hands traveled from my face and down to my shoulders before sliding down my stomach. His lips broke away from mine and moved to my neck, sending shivers down my spine. I hesitantly tangled my fingers in his hair, encouraging him to continue.
“Just say stop if this is too much.” He mumbled, his lips tickling my collarbone. “I want to make you come, Kana.” He slowly pulled my shirt over my head and unhooked my bra, tossing them both to the floor beside the bed. His eyes ran over my breasts as he unbuttoned his own shirt, throwing it to join mine.

I let my hands run over his chest, appreciating his pale, toned form. “Kyoya…”

He slowly laid me back, letting my head fall on my pillows. His mouth went to my left breast, kissing and sucking my nipple until it hardened, then doing the same with the right. My breathing grew shallow with excitement, and I felt a familiar ache between my legs. I felt his teeth sink in ever so slightly on my breast, causing me to moan.

“Too much?” He asked, his tongue flickering over the spot he had bitten.

“Not enough.” I heard myself say.

“God, you’re perfect.” His teeth sank in again, harder this time. I cried out, the pain sending waves of electricity through my body. He sucked on my flesh for a few moments before pulling away, admiring the purple bruise he’d left just below my nipple. “You like this.”

“I don’t know why.” I murmured. My fingers grazed over the bruise.

“There are two particular types of people, Kana.” His hand traveled down to the waistband of my shorts. He unbuttoned them and slowly slid his hand inside, his fingers running over my raised clit. “People like me, who enjoy causing pain, then there are people who like to be on the receiving end.”

“I must be part of the second group.” I gasped as his fingers continued to stroke my clit.

His mouth returned to my left breast, biting and sucking the same spot as he had on the right, all while slowly teasing my now moist sex. I bucked my hips against his hand, begging him to continue.

“I’m not going to take you today, pet. But I’m going to show you how I can make you feel.” He tugged my shorts and panties off. “Every time you’re here fingering yourself, you’re going to think of me doing it. Every time you come, you’re going to wish it was by my hands instead. Understand?”

My heart fluttered. I felt vulnerable, exposed. Alive. Kyoya was more than I could ever imagine him being. I desired him. All of him.

“Yes, Kyoya.”

“Good girl.” He stretched out on his side next to me, propped up on one elbow. His other hand continued to tease me slowly, his finger making small circles around my clit.

“Please, Kyoya…” I whimpered. Any reservations I had were overshadowed by my need to have him pleasure me.

I felt his index finger slowly enter me, his thumb remaining on my clit. He slowly moved his finger, in and out, just barely brushing against my most sensitive areas. After a few moments he added a second finger and began reaching deeper inside of me, causing me to moan loudly. My legs trembled slightly and I moved my hips with his hand.

“Don’t come until I say so.” His teeth nibbled at my earlobe. It was as if he knew I was already near release. His pace varied with my reactions. He would move slower if I got too excited, then picked up speed again once I had calmed down. I felt like an instrument under his touch, and he was an expert musician.

“Kyoya, I need to…” I bit my lip.

“You need to what, Kanami?” His voice was low, demanding.

“I need to come, Kyoya.” I gasped. “I need to, please.”

“How badly?” He smirked, continuing his ministrations.

“Bad, please Kyoya.” It was taking all of my willpower to try to hold in my release. I felt as if I was coming apart inside.

“Ask nicely.”

Every ounce of pride I had left was lost in that moment. “Can I please come, Kyoya?”

“Come for me, Kanami.” He thrust his fingers deep inside of me, causing me to come apart. I cried out loudly, my hips bucked against him as I came. It felt like nothing I had ever experienced on my own. It was different, somehow, and a feeling I couldn’t place.

His fingers traced over my skin as I came down from the most incredible orgasm I’d had in my entire life. I knew he was watching my every move, and I suddenly felt shy at my exposure. Sensing this, Kyoya rolled out of the bed and tossed me the nightgown I had been wearing earlier. I slipped it on quietly.

“Kyoya, that was,” I sucked in a breath, “That was something.”

“Your moans are really cute.” He chuckled. I couldn’t help but notice the obvious bulge in his jeans.

“Y-you’re… Do you want me to…?”

He glanced down at himself, “As much as I’d like to fuck your throat, today is about you, Kana.” He reached down and brushed the hair out of my face. “I don’t want to break you, not yet.”

“Break me?” I felt my heart pound again.

“You’ll learn, in due time.” He grinned. “Just trust me, my pet.”

Chapter Text

Mori-senpai’s reaction to my Monday morning outfit was worth the 30 minutes it had taken me to put it together. Despite everything that Hikaru and Kaoru had taught me, I found myself struggling to find things to wear on my own. I had finally settled on a knee-length lilac dress and a pair of grey tights.

When Mori saw me approaching the school gates, he flashed me a rare smile that instantly made whatever feelings of self-consciousness I had fade away. Mori never said much, but after spending time with him I learned that his gestures spoke volumes. I could appreciate that about him.

“Kanami-san.” He reached for my bag, initiating our normal routine of him walking me to our first class.

“Wait,” I said. I reached inside my backpack and pulled out a small box. “I heard Honey-senpai was curious about what I ate, so I packed him some American candy. Can you deliver it to him?”

Mori took the box, turning it over in his hands a few times before putting it into his messenger bag. “He’ll like it.” He said softly.

“I hope so. I don’t think there’s a word for them. They’re fruity.” I had included Starbursts, Skittles, and Jolly Ranchers, all things Dad had sent over to me in care packages.

He nodded, and took my bag from me. We started our regular walk through campus. I couldn’t help but notice that Mori had slowly grown more relaxed when we were together. He seemed calmer, almost.
“Hey, Mori-senpai? Ootori-senpai invited me to the… thing his father is having. Is it a party?”

He shook his head. “Something more formal.”

“Are you going?”

“With Mitsukuni.”

“Not taking a client?”

Mori made a noise that I could only interpret as displeasure. From what I had gathered, Mori was only around to keep watch over Honey-senpai. I didn’t understand their relationship entirely; I did know that Honey also studied martial arts with Mori, so I assumed they had been friends for a long time.

The rest of our walk and the classes following were uneventful. Mondays were typically busiest for me in the mornings, with my first class starting at 8, with two more following after. It was usually around 2 before I even considered having lunch, and even then I normally only had a protein bar on my way to the library. My father had signed me up for a very full course load, despite me requesting that he gave me time to ease into my new surroundings.

I ran into Hikaru and Kaoru just outside of the library. They were sitting on one of the large brick planters that held flowers that seemed always be in full bloom. Both of them had their attention focused on their cell phones. I nearly continued on without acknowledging them. I still wasn’t used to having people to talk to regularly. My only concept of friendship was born from reading novels as I was growing up.

“Um, hi you two.” I tentatively walked out to them and gave Kaoru a small poke on the top of his head.

“Kana-chan? You actually exist outside of class?” Hikaru raised his head.

“We never see you around campus. Only at the Host Club.” Kaoru slipped his phone in his pocket.

“I’m not exactly the social type.” I shrugged. “Did I do okay? With my clothes, I mean.”

“You want our approval, Kana-chan?” Hikaru’s eyes widened excitedly.

“Don’t take it like that.” I sighed. I sat down in the space between them. “I want to thank you guys somehow for the other day.”

“There are plenty of ways to show gratitude, Kana-chan.” Hikaru grinned at me. I felt my heart skip a beat. I had to admit the pair of them were incredibly attractive. I’d never pursue either of them, but the attention was surprisingly flattering.

“Hika-chan, remember what Kyoya said.” Kaoru warned.

I blinked, “Wait, what did--?”

“You can thank us by coming around more.” Kaoru interrupted. “We never get the chance to tell Amelia Claire to fuck off.”

“I’d rather not be anywhere near her, honestly.”

“She doesn’t deserve you.” Hikaru spat.

“Hikaru’s still mad.” Kaoru said. “I told Kyoya what happened.”

“He showed up at my house, actually.”

The twins exchanged a look.

“We TOLD you he was interested.” Hikaru chuckled.

“It’s not like that.” I blushed, remembering the events that had taken place two days ago. “More of a… Revenge plot.”

“Keep telling yourself that, Kana-chan.” Kaoru rolled his eyes. “We’ve known Kyoya for a long time, he doesn’t do anything without there being some grand purpose behind it.”

“Exactly. We both want to make our parents mad.” I nodded. “A revenge plot.”

“You know, Kao-chan, we could create our own ‘revenge’ plot.” Hikaru moved closer to me, his lips brushing against my ear as he spoke. “You know we turned your mother down when she came after us on our 20th birthday.”

“You… Turned her down?”

“She wanted to experience the ‘brotherly love’ package.” Kaoru mused.

My eyes widened. “My mother wanted to… both of you?” I asked in a hurried whisper. I felt my face redden significantly.

“Yeah, but we said no.” Hikaru laughed. “And now you’re here, Kana-chan.”
“So, you two want me to sleep with you to get back at my mother?” I managed to choke out. My mind was reeling. I had barely held it together when I was with Kyoya. I didn’t have the same feelings towards Hikaru and Kaoru as I did with Kyoya, however. Sure, the twins were incredibly handsome and fun to be around, but with Kyoya there was something much deeper involved.

“You could at least consider it.” Hikaru nudged me.

I shook my head rapidly. “No. No offense. But no. If I were more adventurous maybe, but…”

The twins laughed maniacally, apparently satisfied by my reaction.

“Your face Kana-chan!” Kaoru sputtered.

“You fucking shitheads.” I swore in English, poking both of them in their stomachs.

“That’s a new one.” Hikaru’s laughter stopped. He furrowed his brow as he attempted to repeat my words. “Fucking… Shit… Heads.”

“You could at least give us your number.” Kaoru winked at me, handing me his phone. On the screen I saw that he had already created a contact listing for me that was missing the number.

“Um, sure. I don’t exactly check the thing much.” Lies. I had checked my phone approximately 78 times in the last two days after I had given Kyoya my number. I took Kaoru’s phone and entered my number, doing the same with Hikaru’s after he gave me his.

“Shouldn’t you be studying, Kanami-san?” Kyoya’s low voice cut through our conversation. I looked up to find him standing in front of us, a hint of a scowl on his face.

“Ootori-senpai,” I smiled at him, feeling an unfamiliar wave of excitement washed over me. I stood up to greet him. To my surprise, he pulled me close to him, one arm wrapping around my shoulders almost possessively.

“I told you to use my name, didn’t I?” He snapped. Shit. He was mad. “What are you doing out here?”

“We can talk to her too, ass.” Hikaru crossed his arms. Kaoru gave him a quick warning nudge.

“I took a bit of a break before I went to the library.” I leaned into Kyoya’s side. He smelled amazing, unlike any cologne I had smelled before. His scent alone was enough to make me stir.

“Midterms are coming up.” His eyes softened slightly as he looked down at me. After a moment he turned to the twins. “Shouldn’t the two of you be working on something?”

“You worry too much, boss.” Kaoru shrugged.

“Maybe you don’t worry enough.” Kyoya said. “Kanami-san, I’ll help you find somewhere to work.”

It wasn’t a suggestion. The tone in Kyoya’s voice made me feel as though I had little choice in the matter. I gave the twins a quick goodbye before Kyoya led me into the library. He held my hand in his, but it felt more like a parent leading a child rather than a romantic gesture. I didn’t understand what had upset him.

He half-pulled me through a row of shelves, guiding me to a completely empty section of the library that contained rows of Chemistry textbooks. He finally stopped there, ensuring that we were alone before he slowly backed me against one of the shelves. He had a terrifying look on his face, one that I didn’t know how to comprehend.

“Did they try anything?” His voice was cold, demanding. I could see his chest rise and fall under his shirt with each shallow breath.

“N-no.” I whispered. I knew better than to tell him about the prank they attempted to pull by asking me to sleep with them to get back at my mother.

He pressed against me, one hand falling to my hip while the other cupped my chin. “You’ll tell me if they do. If anyone does.” Once again, a demand, not a request.

“I don’t belong to you, Kyoya.” It was true, I didn’t. Every part of me understood that, despite how I felt, Kyoya saw our relationship for what it was: a defiant act by two rich kids.

“I could make you come right here, you know.” The hand on my hip slid down my thigh, then slowly inched under the hem of my dress, raising it up as he went. “I can make you wish you belonged to me.”

My heart jumped to my throat. I couldn’t think straight like this. Every part of me reacted to Kyoya in a way that was completely foreign to me. In my head, I told myself that he was only doing this to get ahead, to find some way to control the situation.

But he wouldn’t control me. I had to protect my own heart. I couldn’t fall for someone who was only using me.

“I’m not playing your game.” I grabbed his wrist and locked my elbow, preventing him from moving any further. “I don’t know why you’re acting like this. You said it yourself, you just want to make Ootori-san angry.”

Kyoya pushed his knee in between my legs and lowered his head so that his lips were nearly touching mine. I held his gaze, praying that my eyes didn’t convey the swirl of emotions I was feeling. I was angry at him for even thinking that I belonged to him, after he blatantly told me that he was only using me for personal gain. That anger didn’t outweigh the disappointment from realizing this. I wondered if I could keep my emotions in check long enough for our plan to succeed.

I could feel his arousal against my thigh. Both of our bodies were betraying us.

Why did I have to be so damn attracted to him?

“If you were any other woman I’d have you on your knees right now.” His words would be my undoing, I swear.

But I could play too.

“And what makes me different, Kyoya? Why am I not on my knees, doing your bidding?”

“Because you’d have no fucking clue about what you were doing.” With that, Kyoya released me. He glanced at his watch before sauntering off, his shoulders stiff with an emotion I couldn’t read.

Chapter Text

Fuck her.

I stormed out of the library, headed towards Lounge Room 3. My pace was steady as I made my way through campus, ignoring everyone else around me. I had to get out of my own head, somehow.

She was driving me insane. Every encounter I had with her led me to feeling more and more feral. Out of control. She was cunning in her own way, despite her inexperience. She had no idea what she was doing, yet somehow she had a hold on me that I couldn’t shake.

Seeing her with Hikaru and Kaoru enraged me. The way they were sitting close to her, taking her number, and speaking to her with such familiarity made my blood boil. I wanted to kiss her in front of them, mark my territory on the woman I had already claimed in my mind. I didn’t care that she didn’t feel that she belonged to me. In my head, she was mine.

Fuck.
I was jealous.

Over a woman.

I had spent the remainder of my weekend thinking of her after I left her house on Saturday. I couldn’t focus on anything else.

I had spent Saturday evening with a client. Even then, I found myself forcing my way through the motions of pleasing her. When she writhed underneath me, my thoughts were solely on Kanami Inao. I realized then that no matter who I was fucking, she was the only one I would be able to picture. I damn near had to pretend I was sleeping with her instead of my client to even perform.

I could still see Kana. We had an agreement, I told myself. I had to keep it at that, no matter what feelings surfaced. I could force myself to keep things on a business level. I had to. I could still screw her and keep within our plan.

I just had to convince myself that these feelings were nothing more than my own physical need.

It was just after 3 by the time I made it to Lounge Room 3. Two hours before we would start seeing women who were eager to spend their evenings being enchanted by us. Two hours to get my head straight.

Tamaki was in the room when I arrived, laying down on his back on one of the couches. He had his phone inches away from his face, playing a game of some sort. When he saw me he quickly tossed it aside and rolled over to rest on his elbow.

“You’re upset.” He said. Whether I liked it or not, Tamaki could read me like a book. We had known each other for nearly a decade. He was my best friend. Our relationship was special in a way that was difficult to describe to most. We each had a persona that we used with everyone as part of the act we had built as hosts, and those personas carried over into our personal lives. He was the only one who I let see beyond my harsh facade, and in turn I saw more than the princely act he used to entrance others.

“A bit.” I dropped my bag on the floor and sat down on the couch Tamaki was occupying. He scooted back just enough to make room for me to settle against his stomach. He tucked his legs up slightly, giving me an armrest of sorts. Normally I didn’t make physical contact with men, but Tamaki was an exception. A part of me had fallen for the charms that he had reserved for our clients.

“Tell Daddy what’s wrong.” He stroked my arm gently. The use of his high school nickname brought a smirk to my lips.

“I saw Kanami with the Hitachiin’s.” I sighed.

“Can she not have friends, Kyoya?” Tamaki raised an eyebrow.

“Not friends that want to sleep with her.”

Tamaki chuckled, “My Haruhi has slept with both of them, you know. She still chose me.”

“This is different,” I mumbled. “You’ve met Kana, she’s… You know.”

“Completely immune to me?” Tamaki pouted. “If I can’t win her over, what makes you think they can?”

“She gave them her number.”

Tamaki’s face fell. “B-but, I don’t have her number!”

“You’re not getting it either.” I snapped.

Tamaki gave me a knowing look that only confirmed everything I had been feeling. Why should I care who had her number? It wasn’t like I had been messaging her, but she hadn’t messaged me, either. But what if they decided to start calling on her? Should I try to talk to her more? Send her texts to see how she was doing?

“You’re spiraling.” Tamaki sat up and wrapped his arms around my waist. “So what have you told her?”

“About what?”

“About why you’re paying attention to her. I know how you work, Mommy.” Tamaki’s lips tickled my ear, causing me to shiver slightly.

“I invited her to the Ootori Group gathering under the impression that we were doing it to anger Father. Things… Escalated from there. And now they’re just complicated.”

“Need me to take care of you before you talk to her again?” Tamaki brushed his lips over my neck. “When’s the last time you allowed me to service you, hmm?”

“Two years ago.” I couldn’t help but smile at the memory. Tamaki and I had gone through an experimental phase together towards the end of our high school career. The blonde had single-handedly sparked my curiosity in bondage and controlling others in the bedroom. He had been such a willing participant in letting me fall into my more dominant tendencies.

“Two years too long, Sir.” Tamaki lowered his eyes before giving me a soft kiss.

My hand found Tamaki’s throat, squeezing just enough to draw a gasp from the other man. “I’ll always consider you my first love, Tamaki, but I’ll only be thinking of her. That wouldn’t do you justice, would it?” I slowly released him and planted a kiss on his forehead.

“May I dance with her at your father’s party?” Tamaki asked.

“You’re asking my permission?” I raised an eyebrow. I couldn’t tell if Tamaki was just playing a submissive, or if he was being polite.

Tamaki grinned. “I want to get to know the woman that’s stolen my Kyoya’s heart.”

“If she agrees, dance with her as much as you’d like.”

Chapter Text

It was now Friday. I hadn’t spoken to Kyoya since Monday. I had certainly seen him around campus, just always out of reach for me to catch him. He seemed to always be somewhere near me, as though he were observing me from a cautious distance. He hadn’t called or texted me either.

I couldn’t say as much for Hikaru and Kaoru, however. It didn’t take long for the both of them to start texting me through the day. I had somehow wound up in a group text with the both of them. They were constantly sending me memes and videos they found amusing, while occasionally asking me about how my day was going. I usually only responded once every few hours. Didn’t want to encourage them too much.

That didn’t stop them from inviting me to my first official college party. They insisted I came with them tonight to take a break from studying just before midterms started. After getting close to fifty messages about the subject I finally agreed to let them take me out for the night.

We had met just after 10 pm at a venue I had never heard of in downtown Tokyo. I rarely ventured into the city--I hadn’t had much reason to before. I found myself at what appeared to be an abandoned warehouse that was teeming with people who all appeared to be around our age, some a bit older. The three of us entered, and I quickly found myself overwhelmed with what I had been thrown into.

It was dark inside; the only light came from a series of multi-colored strobe lights that had been set up overhead. Once my eyes had adjusted I was able to see solid blue and purple lighting that served as a bit of a backdrop to the flashing lights. There were people everywhere, dancing and mingling to the heavy, pulsing music. There was just enough space to keep everyone from being on top of each other, giving room to move around. At the far end of the warehouse I could see a DJ set up, his tables lofted above the crowd.

“Guys…” My eyes were wide as I looked around. It was almost too much. I forced myself not to run back outside, into the clean air.

“Come on.” Hikaru’s lips were in my hair. They had insisted on picking out my attire for the night, which included requiring my hair to be left down in its natural, wildly curly state. They had sent over a short, form-fitting sequined black dress that glinted with the flashing lights. My shoulders were left bare, a fact I was sure to be grateful for given the warmer temperature at the party. The outfit was completed with a pair of strappy magenta heels that brought me close to being the twins’ height. Kaoru had sweetly offered to keep my cigarettes in his shirt pocket, in case I wound up wanting them through the night, as my attire didn’t exactly offer any storage space.

Kaoru took my hand and led me through the crowd, moving slower than his usual pace to prevent me from twisting my ankles. He brought me to a makeshift bar that had been set up at the edge of the building. It was occupied by three bartenders, all female, and all exceptionally gorgeous.

“Hey cuties.” One of the women approached us and leaned over the bar, her cleavage threatening to spill out of her skin-tight top. “You two are here early.”

“Breaking in the foreigner.” Hikaru nodded his head towards me. “She’s on our tab tonight.”

“You’re a doll. Name’s Mika.” The bartender winked at me before turning from us briefly to grab three shot glasses. WIth an expert hand, she filled each one with a clear liquid before sliding them over to us. “Cupcake vodka. Can’t stand the shit, but these two love it.”

“I’m Kana.” I had the distinct feeling that formalities weren’t something Mika would appreciate. I reached for one of the shot glasses and sniffed it, my nose curling at the smell.

“Do you drink, Kana-chan? I guess we should’ve asked.” Kaoru downed his shot quickly, making a face as he did so. Hikaru followed suit, downing the liquid without the same reaction his twin had.

“It’s been a minute, but yeah.” By drinking, I meant that I used to sneak my dad’s whiskey whenever he was gone on long trips. I took the shot quickly, stifling a cough as the alcohol burned my throat.

“Too sweet, isn’t it?” Mika giggled.

“Do you have anything that isn’t?” I couldn’t help but grin back at her.

“You wanna get fucked up?” She leaned forward again, her attention focused on me. “I love a drunk American. You’re at least half, right?”

“Exactly half.” I felt a surge of confidence race through me.

“We’re getting fucked up tonight.” Hikaru was pressed to my side. I felt his arm settle around my waist in a comfortable fashion.

“I’ll take good care of you, Kana.” Mika winked at me again.

Three more shots and a dark beer each later the three of us were in the midst of the dance floor, moving as though the music were controlling us. The alcohol surged through me, easing my nerves just enough so that I was finally able to enjoy my surroundings.

I danced, probably not that well, but I danced. At first just with Hikaru and Kaoru, their bodies pressed against mine, our hips swaying with the beats. I had the sensation of losing myself as I felt foreign hands touch my sides, my back, my shoulders. The music felt louder and louder as I found myself being absorbed by the crowd. It was freeing.

Hikaru left us briefly and returned with a bright green drink that tasted like sour melon. I drank as I danced, trying to push back the sense of impending doom I normally felt in social situations.

Another drink came, then another. More songs played. TIme felt both as slow as syrup and fast as lightning.

I needed to smoke.

Kaoru hadn’t left my side the entire time, fortunately. I turned to him and poked the pack of cigarettes in his pocket. He took the hint and pulled me through the crowd and outside. The cool air smacked me in the face. My head spun.

“You’re having fun.” Kaoru’s face was flushed. His shirt was unbuttoned halfway from the bottom up, exposing his taut abdomen. His jeans were hanging dangerously low on his hips.

“Surprisingly enough.” I took my cigarettes from him, pulled one out of the pack and lit one up with the lighter I had shoved inside of the pack. I held the open pack out to him, and much to my surprise he accepted, taking one and flicking the lighter with a practiced hand.

We leaned against the building, quietly smoking together. My head was beginning to spin, as if the nicotine was only amplifying the buzz I had gotten from drinking.

“This is more of Hikaru’s scene.” Kaoru spoke after a moment. His cigarette hung almost delicately from his fingers.

“What’s your scene?” I asked.

“Something a bit quieter.” His voice sounded pained, almost sad.

“Why’d you drag me into it?” It was growing difficult to speak. My words kept wanting to come out in my native tongue.

“I wanted you to have a chance to see something besides Ouran.” His amber-colored eyes met mine. “We know what it is like to be isolated, Kana-chan. Hika and I both want you to know there’s more to life than being alone.”

“Kao-chan…” I whispered, using the name I’d heard Hikaru refer to him as.

“He and I had each other, but you grew up without anyone, didn’t you?” He dropped his cigarette and held my hand in his.

I was dizzy. I took another long drag before I could find the words to answer him. “I had my father. And there were tutors. A driver. The maids.”

“You’re letting us in though. Me and Hika and Mori and Kyoya.” The sound of Kyoya’s name made me flinch.

“I didn’t have much of a choice.”

“There’s a girl. Haruhi Fujioka. Tamaki’s fiance. When she’s here, I want you to meet her, okay?”

“Tamaki has a fiance?” I slurred.

“She’s special.” Kaoru took the cigarette from between my fingers and tossed it away. I had nearly forgotten about it. “She helped me and Hika become our own people. We used to not be able to stand not being in the same room together, but now… Now I can stand out here with you, Kana-chan, and be okay.”

“I can’t imagine being that close to a person.” I closed my eyes, trying to keep my head from spinning.

“I wish I would’ve met you before him.” Kaoru said so quietly that I could hardly hear him. “But I hope Kyoya pulls his head out of his ass and realizes what he can have.”

“Don’t talk about him.”

“Are things not--”

 

“Shush.” Without thinking, I gave him a quick peck on the cheek. I felt the heat rise to his face beneath my lips.

“What was that for?” Kaoru sputtered.

“Sorry… I think I’m drunk.” The look on Kaoru’s face was priceless. I couldn’t hold back the laughter that fell from my lips.

“I think I am too.” Kaoru half-smiled. “Forgive me, Kana.”

“For what?”

Kaoru slowly cupped my face in his hands and kissed me gently. His lips were soft and pleasant against mine in a stark contrast from the one other that I had kissed in my lifetime. It was nice, kissing him. There wasn’t any fear of facing his anger after, or being immediately left alone. There wasn’t any urgency. I liked it.

I didn’t have time to feel conflicted about what he was doing. In that moment, it felt right.

I let myself kiss him back. My fingers skirted along his exposed flesh, just above the waistband of his jeans. His tongue flicked against my lips. I instinctually opened my mouth, letting him enter. I let out a soft sigh as he explored me with his tongue. Everything about this was nice, sweet.

It was over too quickly. He pulled back first, his hands still holding my face as his eyes searched mine.

“Don’t be sorry.” I whispered.

Chapter Text

I woke up to the sound of my ringtone blaring beside my ear. I immediately felt the effects of my escapades from the night before with Hikaru and Kaoru. My head was pounding so hard that I swore I could hear it, and everything hurt. I didn’t want to open my eyes.

My phone stopped ringing briefly, then picked back up again, the K-pop song I had it set to immediately going into its chipper chorus. It was too much.

I reached out and fumbled around, trying to grab it without looking. My fingers finally found what they were looking for, and I forced one eye open to see who would be calling me on a Saturday.

Kyoya Ootori.

Ugh.

I hesitantly answered, laying the phone on my ear so I wouldn’t have to sit up. I wasn’t ready for this.

“Hello?” I mumbled.

“You’re still in bed?” Kyoya’s voice, as smooth and even as it was, held a hint of disappointment.

“That a problem, sir?” Sarcasm was the only defense I had left with him at this point. My throat was sore, a tell-tale sign that I had either puked or smoked too much the night before. Probably both.

He was silent for a moment. “I’m coming over. I need to talk to you.”

“You’re talking to me now.” I groaned, not wanting to face him in the state I was in.

“In person, Kanami.” His voice was pinched, as though he were straining to find words. “Half an hour. I’ll bring coffee. Black, right?”

“Black as your soul.” I hung up. A night of being around Hikaru had apparently sparked my temper.

I forced myself into a sitting position. Thirty minutes. Thirty minutes to make myself decent and try to get my head to stop pounding and get out of the dress I had worn the night before.

I looked at my phone and found that I had 6 missed calls from Kyoya at various times, starting at 10 am. It was now just after 12. What could be so important that caused him to be so insistent?

Memories from the night before flooded back as I brushed my teeth. Kaoru and I had kissed. In public. I had liked it. I had let myself enjoy his affections for the rest of our night out, the hand-holding, cuddling in the car rides to a 24/7 restaurant with Hikaru, and eventually back to my house… But that’s where it stopped. I couldn’t remember getting to bed, or saying good night to the twins…

I rinsed my mouth out and typed a quick text to Kaoru:

Hey. Kyoya is coming over. How did I get to bed?

His response came quickly:

We didn’t sleep together if that’s what you’re asking. You passed out in the car and we carried you in and left. Text me when he’s gone.

I sighed. His words didn’t offer as much assurance as I had hoped. Hikaru and Kaoru had been in my house, that thought alone was stressful enough to deal with.

I pushed the thought aside and continued to get ready. I pulled my hair back into a low ponytail and slid out of last night’s outfit (I had apparently slept in it). A glance at myself in the mirror showed that my eyes were swollen and puffy, with huge dark circles shining underneath. I looked like I hadn’t slept in days.

Kyoya would just have to deal with my appearance, I decided. I was kind enough to brush at least. I threw on a long, baggy cotton shirt and a pair of loose shorts, not wanting to expend any energy in throwing together something cute to wear.

I forced myself to drink a glass of water while I waited for him in the main room. My body felt heavy. I kept the house dark, hoping that the absence of light would keep my headache from getting worse.

Kyoya made it to my place within a minute of half an hour. He was punctual, at least. I heard his car pull up in the driveway, and opened the door slightly, leaving it ajar so he could come in. I sat down on the couch, a sudden wave of nerves hitting me.

Kyoya wordlessly came inside, carrying two large to-go cups of coffee. He regarded me for a moment before sitting on the opposite side of the couch, handing me one of the coffees.

“Thank you.” I muttered. I took a long sip of coffee, enjoying the bitter liquid. In the back of my mind I knew the last thing I needed was to dehydrate myself further, but I didn’t care. Coffee made me feel human.

“You went out last night.” I refused to look at Kyoya as he spoke. He sounded judgemental, almost.

“I don’t have to answer to you.” I was beginning to grow tired of Kyoya’s stuck-up way of thinking.

He tapped the side of his coffee cup. “I’m aware, Kanami.”

The sadness in his voice was startling. It was a side of Kyoya that I had never seen before. I had only seen him express two emotions until that point: anger and arousal. If you could consider arousal an emotion.

We sat in silence for a few minutes, drinking coffee like some sort of old couple. The unspoken words between us were almost palpable.

“I feel like shit today, if that makes you feel better.” I offered, trying to lighten his mood. In spite of everything, I didn’t like seeing him down.

“Kanami, if you wanted to experience the city, I could’ve taken you.”

My eyes widened. It hit me in that very second , Kyoya was jealous. Jealous that I had spent time with someone else. Jealous that he wasn’t the one who I had spent time with.

“You didn’t ask. They did.” I shrugged, trying to contain the strange sense of glee that the realization had left me with.

“Father’s event is next weekend. Perhaps the weekend after--”

 

“Midterms.” I rubbed my temples. “Midterms are in two weeks. You can study here.”

“We both know what happened the last time we studied together.” Kyoya grinned. He took a sip of his coffee. “I wouldn’t mind a repeat.”

My mind immediately went back to the feeling of Kyoya’s fingers deep inside of me. The recollection was enough to cause me to blush.

“Do you want to sleep with the twins?” Kyoya’s sudden seriousness threw me for a loop.

“I hadn’t really considered it.” I blinked. “Why are you so concerned?”

“Kana…” Kyoya seemed to be struggling to find words, a rare sight from him.

“Kyoya, my head hurts. I look like shit. Do you see anyone else around right now to see this part of me?” I put my cup on the floor in front of the couch and turned to face him.

“Come here.” He stretched his arm out, inviting me to lean into his side. I found myself happily complying. It was beginning to get difficult to hold my head up. His arm draped over my shoulder, his thumb ran over my collarbone delicately.

“I’ve made arrangements to have my sister’s stylist here next Saturday to assist you with getting ready. She’ll be bringing your dress.” Kyoya said, back to business as usual.

“Don’t think I can get ready by myself?” I smirked.

“You can consider it my way of spoiling you, if you’d like.” He said. “Besides, if we’re going to make my father--”

“Right, right. Your father. For a second I genuinely thought you were being nice.” I rolled my eyes. This hangover was making me a jerk.

“Still up for speaking with him?” Kyoya asked, ignoring my comment.

“Don’t worry. I’ll act like I’m completely devoted to you all while acting like some elite hacker.” I laughed. “Is this why you came over? To coach me?”

“Partially.” He stroked my hair. “I might’ve wanted to see how you’d be handling your hangover.”

“You were checking on me.” I chuckled.

He remained silent, affirming my assumption. His hand moved from my hair and back to my shoulder, coming to rest just above my breast. His touch was gentler than normal, as if he were trying to make me feel better. We stayed like that for a few minutes. I listened to his rhythmic breathing, content with the interaction.

It didn’t take long for the coffee to catch up with me. I needed more water, something to cut the acidic taste in my mouth. I shifted and slowly sat up, my head pounding in protest.

“Ow…” I groaned.

“You’re dehydrated.” Kyoya said, studying my face carefully. “I’ll get you some water. Have you showered?” He stood up and made his way to my refrigerator.

“You didn’t exactly give me time.”

“You’d feel better if you did.” He returned to the couch, a bottle of water in hand. I reached to take it from him, but instead he pressed the bottle to my lips, holding it at just the right angle to allow me to drink. “Let me take care of you in the way I know how.”

I took a few swallows of water. He tilted the bottle back once he knew I was finished, as if instinctively. “What do you mean?” I asked.

“I’m not the sensitive type, Kanami. But I know how to help with pain.” His face was suddenly close to mine.

He was making me dizzy. “I thought you only caused pain.”

“I would like to show you both sides, if you’ll allow me. I fully intend to use your body in ways you’ve never even dreamed of, but…” His eyes gazed deep into mine.

“I’ve read enough books, Kyoya. I know what you’re wanting. I think.” I was slowly beginning to understand what Kyoya was all about. He needed the control, the power. “You want me to be submissive to you, is that it?”

“I’m not going to force you.” His breathing grew shallow. “I’m tired of playing games with you. I want you. Forget wanting revenge, or whatever guise I was pretending to follow.”

I felt my heart stop. “What brought this on? Why the sudden change?”

“When I heard you were out with Hikaru and Kaoru…” He shook his head. “You don’t have to give me an answer. Just let me care for you today.”

My head hurt too much for this. I couldn’t process half of what he was saying. “Alright. Just for today, for now.”

I watched as his demeanor visibly changed. He went from a man who was struggling to express his feelings to a man in complete control His shoulders straightened, his gaze narrowed. He brought the water bottle up to my lips. “Drink.”

The strength behind the command was almost startling. I immediately parted my lips and allowed him to slowly pour water into my mouth. HIs eyes never left mine as he did, as if he were gauging my every reaction. After I had enough, he set the water aside and carefully took me into his arms, carrying me bridal style from the couch towards my bedroom.

He kissed me deeply before gently putting me down on my bed. I watched confused as he went into my bathroom, leaving me behind.

“What are you doing?” I called.

I could hear the smirk in his voice. “Drawing you a bath, of course.”

Chapter Text

I had known Tamaki Suoh for over a decade, yet his way of convincing me to drop my typical behavior never ceased to amaze me. He was the first to sense my rage upon hearing that Kana would be accompanying Hikaru and Kaoru on their regular Friday night clubbing excursion. He understood me on a level that no one else did, and managed to bring me back to my senses by reminding me that Kana wasn’t bound to me in any way. He also brought me to the realization that if I wanted Kana to myself, I had to be the one to drop our pretense and reach out to her.

I had barely slept that night, knowing she was out with the twins doing God knows what with them. Even though I knew they would never take advantage of her I still found myself worrying that she would find herself in a compromising situation, one that she probably didn’t know how to get out of. I wanted to protect her above all else--I didn’t know if her innocence drove me to that conclusion, or if it was my ever-growing feelings toward her. Either way, I knew I needed to see a side of me that I normally kept locked up.

While I had many sexual partners in my past, I never had anything that could be called a true relationship. I wasn’t one for romance or dating, but I resigned myself to be willing to try for her, if she would have me. It would ultimately be her decision.

Kana reminded me of a bird. I worried that if I held her too tight, she would break. Still, I wanted her, mind and body.

I was pleasantly surprised when she agreed to letting me care for her. I wasn’t sure if this was the first hangover she had experienced, but either way I wanted to make sure that she didn’t have more pain than necessary.

I had left her in her bedroom while I prepared a warm bath for her. I was pleased to find that she had a large master bathroom, despite the small size of her house, that included a bathtub that was almost too spacious for one person. There was a basket of bath oils and soaps hidden away in a corner that looked untouched. I wondered briefly if Kana wasn’t a fan of the luxury, or if the supply was replenished on a regular basis. In our world, it could go either way. I selected a bubble bath that was scented with mint and eucalyptus in hopes that the scent would help clear her headache.

“Kanami?” I called to her. Within moments she joined me in the bathroom. She looked a bit worse for wear with her baggy clothes and dark circles, yet she still held herself with a certain grace that came only with being raised in a wealthy household. Kanami didn’t show it often, but it was apparent in how she behaved that she had never wanted for anything in her life. It was an attitude that I could appreciate. She fit in with me.

“Smells nice,” she whispered. She looked at me with a bit of hesitation. “Should I…?”

“I’ve already seen all of you.” I said, amused at her shyness. I hadn’t forgotten either. The image of her writing naked on her bed while I fingered her was seared into my mind.

“That was different.” She rolled her eyes at me. With a sigh, she slowly took off her shirt, revealing that she hadn’t been wearing a bra underneath. She pulled down her shorts and panties with one motion, leaving her standing completely exposed in front of me.

I allowed myself to admire the view for a moment. She was curvier than other women I had been with, yet still very slight. I wanted to run my hands over the curves of her hips and squeeze her pert ass. For now, I had to restrain myself.

“Let me help you in.” I held out my hand and slowly helped her into the bath. She immediately seemed to relax once she had submerged herself, leaving only her head above water.

“Planning on joining?” She asked, closing her eyes. Her head rested against the edge.

“Is that an invitation?” I raised an eyebrow. I was surprised she had even suggested it.

“What were you planning on doing?” She opened her eyes and gave me a look that I could only interpret as confusion.

I shrugged. She got me there. I had considered taking the opportunity to look through her library, or anywhere else that I could find out more about her.

It was her turn to laugh at me. “Come on. It’s nice in here.”

“If you insist.” I didn’t take baths often, but this was a chance that I wouldn’t turn down. “I won’t have anything to wear after.”

“Send for something, or just put the same things back on.” She shrugged. “Unless you want to wear my clothes.”

“That would entertain you, wouldn’t it?’ I smiled. I removed the sleeveless hooded shirt I was wearing and draped it over her vanity. My black jeans and boxer shorts followed. I watched her reaction carefully as I stood naked in front of her. I was only slightly hard, but that alone was enough to bring a deep blush to Kana’s face. She quickly looked away.

I lowered myself into the bath beside her. My legs brushed against hers as I leaned back, leaving just enough space so that we were barely touching. I wanted nothing more than to pleasure her right then and there.

“This is making me feel better.” Kanami murmured. I felt her hand slowly run over my thigh, as if she wanted to make a move but didn’t know how.

“Good.” I took my glasses off and gently rested them on the edge of the bathtub. She closed the gap between us, shifting so that her arm pressed against mine.

“Kyoya, can you show me how to…” Her voice trailed off. Her eyes met mine. I could sense the lust coming off her. Her demeanor surprised me. I hadn’t come into this situation with the intention of doing anything more than caring for her.

“How to what, Kanami?” I slid my arm around her, pulling her close to me. Her legs tangled around mine.

“I want to return the favor.” It was strange seeing her normal confidence fade away, turning her into an unsure, self-conscious girl. “In the library you said I wouldn’t have any idea about what I was doing, so… Show me.”

“Did that bother you?” I didn’t give her the chance to answer before I crushed my lips against hers. I loved how she melted against me, putting up so little resistance. Her fingers brushed my face, leaving wet fingerprints on my cheek. I let my hand explore her under the water. I teased her nipples, gently pinching them between my fingers. Her hand slid down my chest, and slowly made its way to my now fully-erect manhood. I felt her thin fingers circle around me gently, as though she were afraid of harming me.

“Grip me harder,” I gasped. My hand went to hers, wrapping around it to show her what I wanted. I began slowly stroking myself with her, guiding her on the rhythm that I often used on myself. I released her hand, letting her continue. Her thumb brushed over the tip, causing me to jerk from the sensitivity.

“I want you to think about me when you’re doing this to yourself.” She said, mimicking the words I had previously said to her. Little did she know I had already spent many nights imagining her beneath me.

But I couldn’t let her have that kind of hold on me. She would have to learn who would be calling the shots in our relationship, sexual or not.

“You wish for that, don’t you pet?” I forced myself to stop her ministrations. I repositioned her so that she was sitting between my legs, her back against my chest. Through the dissolving bubbles I could see her breasts bobbing just at the surface of the water, almost exaggerated by her shallow breathing. “Allow me to have fun with you.”

Once she had nodded in agreement, I allowed myself to become a bit unhinged in how I treated her. I had already warned her that I wasn’t going to be a kind lover; it was time to give her an idea of what that meant.

One of my hands went to her throat, gripping it just tight enough to force her head to tilt backwards, but not enough to actually choke her. With my other hand I began squeezing one of her breasts, molding the soft tissue beneath my fingers. I heard her moan as I pinched her erect nipple lightly.

“You’ll tell me if this is too much.” I said firmly. I pinched her nipple harder, twisting it slightly. I felt her body tense up before she let out a sharp cry. “Too hard?”

“More,” she gasped. Her body went slack against mine, as though she had given up any remaining resistance.

“I’ll learn your limits, pet. Don’t be afraid.” My desire to ruin her grew even stronger. She was so damn perfect, as though she had been crafted for me. I pressed my throbbing manhood into the small of her back, my way of telling her how badly I wanted her. I continued teasing her nipples, squeezing and twisting them until I hit the sweet spot that made her cry out in a wonderful mix of pain and pleasure.

After a few minutes of this, she finally spoke again, her voice quivering. “Kyoya, I need you. I want you inside of me.”

“Your bath isn’t finished.” I chuckled and nipped at her earlobe. I slipped two of my fingers inside of her mouth, effectively silencing her. After a moment I felt her sucking on them gently, sending shivers of desire down my spine. With my other hand I began teasing her clit lightly, rolling the small bud beneath my finger tip. I was careful not to enter her--water wasn’t exactly the best lubricant.

Her body responded to me beautifully. It wasn’t long before I felt her legs tense up and her breathing went shallow. Every single part of me ached for her, whether she was mine or not. I continued toying with her for a few more minutes, bringing her just to the brink of release before backing off, then starting all over again.

“Please Kyoya…” She whined, pulling my fingers out of her mouth. I could sense the desperation pouring out of her.

“You want me to fuck you, don’t you?” I purred. I slowly removed my hands from her. “If you’re ready, pet.”

She nodded. I nudged her softly, motioning for her to get out of the bath. I pulled the plug once she had gotten out, and together we dried off with the white fluffy towels that were hidden away in a linen closet in her bathroom. Her eyes never once left me, as though she were searching for some sort of assurance about what we were about to do.

I led her into the bedroom and pulled her onto the bed with me. I guided her on to her back and kissed her softly, encouraging her to relax.

“I’ll be gentle. I can’t promise you won’t hurt, but…” It was taking everything I had to keep myself from completely ravishing her. I positioned myself between her legs and stroked her sex lightly, pleased at the warmth I felt growing there.

“I trust you,” she breathed.

With that, I slowly pushed into her. I watched her face carefully, memorizing the way her eyes widened as I sank into her. She was almost painfully tight around me, yet I found myself relishing every single second of it.

“Kana, you’re fucking perfect. I can’t say it enough.” I moaned. I paused once I was completely inside of her, letting her grow used to the feeling. “Is this still okay? Do you hurt?” My level of concern was almost startling to me.

“It’s more than okay.” She shifted slightly, her legs wrapping around my waist.

“Good,” I kissed her forehead before I started slowly pumping in and out of her. To my surprise, she seemed to already be enjoying it. Her face contorted in pleasure as she let out soft moans with each thrust. Her arousal only seemed to grow as I thrust in and out of her.

I wouldn’t last long with her. I had wanted her far too long at this point.

Her back arched after a few moments, and I felt her spasm around me. Her cries grew louder as I picked up the pace. Her hands went to my shoulders, her nails dug into my flesh. There was a wild look in her eyes that I had never expected to see from her.

“Did you just…?” I panted.

She nodded, “Don’t you dare stop.”

I normally wasn’t one to show my own excitement in bed, but with her I felt confident enough to let my barriers fall. I buried my face into her neck and gripped her hips tightly, allowing myself to moan freely. I felt her nails run over my back, felt her hot breath in my ear. It wasn’t long before I felt myself hitting my own edge.

“I’m going to come, Kana.” I groaned. I released her hips and let my hands rest on either side of her head, wanting to see her face.

“Go ahead, Kyoya,” she breathed, giving me the permission that I didn’t realize I had needed.

With that, I spilled into her, releasing everything I had into her lovely body, crying out her name as I did. Sex with her was strangely liberating. I had the sense that I could allow myself to drop the constant need of being in control of myself and everything around me.

“Are you alright?” I panted. I slowly slid out of her and rested on my side next to her. My fingers traced over her stomach lightly.

“Quite alright,” she gave me a lazy grin. Her skin was slightly flushed, a color that I hoped to see on her again. “My legs feel shaky.”

“That’s normal.” I reassured her.

“What do you normally do? You know, after.”

Leave. I thought. But, as she had constantly proven, Kana was different. I didn’t have the desire to immediately escape once I had finished.

“I’ll get you some water.” I reluctantly rolled away from her, unconcerned with my lack of modesty as I crossed the room. “Then, we’ll see about getting lunch.”

Chapter Text

I felt strangely hollow after my encounter with Kyoya. I wanted something more, something intense. I knew he had been treating me with more care than what he would typically give to one of his partners and the thought made me ache for the real side of him. I wanted to see that dark side, the side that was demanding, controlling. He had sparked a curiosity that practically kept me up at night.

I needed to know that I could handle him.

I retrieved his glasses from the bathroom before following him out of my room and into the kitchen. I found him standing by the sink, still completely naked as he poured bottled water into two glasses. He was remarkably careful in his actions, as though doing such a simple task was something he wasn’t quite used to.

I had to admit, it was kind of nice to stand naked in my house with him. I still wasn’t sure exactly how I felt about him, how I should feel about him, but I could at least enjoy the view while I figured it out.

“Still feeling hung over?” His eyes traveled over my body as he turned to hand me a glass of water. In return, I handed him his glasses, which he quickly put on.

“Not so much.” I smiled and took a long drink. It was just cold enough to make goosebumps appear on my skin.

“Good.” He drank from his own glass. “You’re certainly not shying away from me.”

“No, I think you were the one that was shying away, Senpai.” I placed the glass on the counter and stepped closer to him.

“Hmph.” Kyoya smirked. “Forgive my manners, but I have to know. We didn’t use protection. Do I need to--?”

“I had terrible skin as a teenager. I’ve been on the pill since I was thirteen.”

“And you’ve been taking them properly?”

“Every night at 8.” I couldn’t help but giggle at his professional manner.

“You know that I’ve had my share of partners, Kana. You should know that I have had screenings performed on each of them to make sure their health is in order. I also go through regular screenings to confirm my own health. SInce you were a virgin I was a little more lenient in my usual routine.” He observed me carefully as he spoke.

“Should I see a doctor?” I asked.

“If we are to continue this arrangement, I would like for you to be examined. I’ll send you to my most professional and discrete physician.”

“Agreed, on one condition.” While I understood where Kyoya was coming from, I had my own needs to satisfy. I moved closer to him and hesitantly let my hands rest on his chest, feeling the toned muscle beneath his porcelain skin.

“Name it.” His expression darkened. He placed his glass on the counter. His eyes narrowed as he peered down at me with his deep brown eyes.

“Show me what it’s really like to be with you.”

His hands circled around my wrists firmly. “To what degree, Kanami?”

“I don’t know if I can word it correctly.”

“Would English help?” He slipped into my native tongue easily. His English was heavily accented and slow, but surprisingly fluent. “I need to know what you desire from me, pet.”

I nodded. “I am willing to be submissive to you. But I don’t know what that really means. What you want from something that belongs to you.”

“Allow me to teach you.” He paused for a moment, as though he were considering is words carefully. When he spoke again, it was in Japanese. “Submission is a gift I will not take from you without your complete understanding. I am not a typical Dominant. I won’t humiliate you or degrade you. I thrive on control, Kanami. But to have control, I need a certain amount of trust from you. I will not force you into anything that you truly cannot handle. I will need to build a relationship with you. I wouldn’t consider this a fling, if you’re truly interested.”

I felt something stir within me as he spoke. The thought of having that type of relationship with someone seemed strangely freeing to me. I had read my fair share of novels that featured dynamics such as the one he proposed, but had never considered delving into it myself.

“Teach me. Please.” I felt myself suddenly trembling as a wave of arousal hit me.

“The thought alone makes you want to come, doesn’t it pet?” He spoke in a low, firm tone. “But you’ll only come if I allow it, understood? Pleasure is a reward.”

“I understand.” I couldn’t help but notice his growing erection. He wanted this as much as I did, it was obvious.

“You will address me as ‘Sir’ or ‘Senpai’ while we are playing. I’m only Kyoya to you when we are among others. Is that understood?” His hands gripped my wrists tighter.

“Yes Sir.” I whispered.

A low growl escaped his throat. “If I hurt you more than what you can take, you will stop me by saying ‘red’. Tell me you understand.”

“I understand.”

“You understand what?” He snapped.

“I’ll say ‘red’ if it is too much, Sir.” My heart was pounding. I had no idea what I was getting into, yet I craved it more than I could handle.

“We will discuss more as this goes on, but for now, do you wish for me to fuck you like the good little girl you are?”

My knees went weak at the name. Good girl.

“Or if you’d like…” He bent his head down so that his lips were against my ear. “I can treat you like my bad little girl.”

I moaned softly. I couldn’t help it. The feeling of powerlessness was something I apparently desired more than what I could’ve ever realized.

He knew he had me. His teeth sank into my earlobe, biting down until a cry escaped from my lips. “Take your hair down and come to the couch with me.”

He released the hold he had on my wrists and brushed past me to move to the couch. I quickly pulled the elastic from my hair, letting it fall wildly around my shoulders and down my back. I followed him to the couch on shaky legs, unsure of what to expect.

Kyoya sat on the middle cushion. “Lay facing down across here.” He instructed. I complied, allowing him to adjust me so that my hips were on his lap, giving him full access to my most private areas. I let my hands fall beside my face on either side.

“You wanted to know how you could pleasure me, right pet?” His hands caressed my butt, squeezing and kneading it to increase the blood flow to the area.

“Yes Sir.” I mumbled into the couch.

“I promise to show you once I’m done here.” I felt one of his hands go to the back of my head, tangling in my hair. “You wanted to be treated like the bad girl you are, so I’m going to spank you. Normally I would use something else, but my hands will do for now. You’ll tell me if I go too hard.”

My breath quickened in anticipation. Fortunately I didn’t have to wait long before I felt a strong smack against my ass.

“Harder.” I gasped.

I felt the fingers in my hair tighten. He sharply tugged my head backward, tilting it upwards. “What was that?”

“I can take it harder, Sir. Please.” My voice was strained.

“Such a naughty pet.” Despite his words, the approval in his voice was apparent. He spanked me again, harder this time. I felt a sharp sting that quickly turned into an aching warmth. Another came moments after, harder once more. Then a third, harder still. The fourth came, this one much sharper on my flamed skin.

Too much.

“Red, Senpai!” I gasped.

I felt his hands immediately leave me. “Good girl. Do you need to sit up?”

“No Sir. That last one was just… Too hard for me.” I turned my head so that my cheek was resting against the fabric of the couch.

“May I touch you again, pet? I won’t resume until you’re comfortable.” His voice was smooth, almost kind. I was surprised that he was asking me.

“Yes Sir,” I breathed.

Kyoya’s hands went to my stinging flesh and began rubbing it gently, bringing a cool comfort to the areas. I felt his long fingers trail to my sensitive sex. He trailed along my slit slowly before reaching my engorged clit.

“This is turning you on.” Kyoya mused. He rolled my clit around with his fingers, causing me to moan.

“The one before the last one was good, Sir. I… I like it.”

“I can keep it at that level, pet, if you would enjoy more. If not, we can stop here.”

“May I have more, Sir?” My request surprised me. I couldn’t control my own desires around him.

“If you give me my way pet, I’ll make sure you feel this tomorrow every time you sit.” His hand returned to the back of my head, turning it so I was face down once more.

The thought sent shivers down my spine. “Please Senpai.”

“Such a good, good girl.” He crooned.

It wasn’t long before the spanking resumed. He kept the level just hard enough to cause me to cry out, but not hard enough that I didn’t enjoy it. Through the stinging pain I felt a growing warmth of pleasure building. My cries slowly turned into loud moans as he continued.

His hand came down on my left butt cheek one final time before he stopped, letting his hand rest there softly. I could feel his labored breathing along with his rock hard member pressing into my hip.

“You’ve turned a lovely shade of red, pet.” His voice was soothing.

“Thank you, Sir.” I gasped as his attention returned to my clit.

“I want you to get on your knees in front of me. Legs spread.” He commanded. “I’m going to fuck your throat, pet.”

“Y-Yes Sir.” I carefully rolled off the couch and onto the floor in front of him. I knelt before him and spread my legs, giving him a full view of my glistening pussy.

“Such a gorgeous sight.” His expression was intense. He moved forward on the couch so that his hard member was just in front of my lips.

“Will you show me what you want, Sir?” I asked, suddenly self-conscious about my abilities.

“You’ve got such a lovely mouth.” He smirked. “I want you to take the tip of your tongue first and lick from base to tip.”

I nodded and hesitantly touched my tongue to the based of his member and slowly inched it up to the very top, flicking it over the tip. I felt him suck in a breath as I repeated the motion, more confidently this time.

“Good girl. Take me in your mouth, mind your teeth.” He instructed.

“Yes Sir.” I said, my lips brushing his tip as I spoke. I carefully slid my lips down his shaft, feeling the firm, velvety texture across my tongue. I could taste myself on his skin from our earlier encounter. I felt him hit my soft palate, just at the back of my mouth. There was still a few more inches of him to take in, yet I wasn’t sure if I could handle that much of him.

“I’m going to guide you, pet.” His voice quivered a bit. His hands went to either side of my head and slowly started moving me up and down his shaft. “Breathe deep through your nose, let your jaw relax.” He picked up the pace steadily and I found myself allowing more and more of him slide into me as I relaxed into the motion. “Finger yourself for me, pet.”

I began teasing my clit for a few moments before I slid two of my fingers deep into my pussy. I pumped in and out of myself in rhythm with Kyoya’s motions. It wasn’t long before I was moaning against his shaft almost uncontrollably. I was losing myself with him.

“That’s my good pet.” He purred. “I want to use every bit of you. Want me to explain how?”

“Mmyes Sir.” I mumbled around him.

“I’m going to bring you to my mansion and tie your ankles to my desk. Then I’m going to bend you over and tie your wrists down and leave you completely exposed to me.” His pace quickened as his spoke, as though he too, was losing himself. “I’m going to plug your ass and leave a vibrator deep inside of your pussy. Then I’m going to take a cane to your thighs and ass until I’ve left welts.”

My moans grew louder as he spoke. I was dangerously close to coming then and there.

“I want to fucking bruise you, Kanami. I want to split your delicious skin before I fuck you mercilously. I’m going to break you then put you back together, my perfect pet. I want you to be under my control.” His voice was shaking with desire. I glanced up to see his eyes staring straight into mine. “I fucking want all of you, you fucking delicious woman.”

His fingers tangled through my hair as he began pounding harder into my mouth, nearly hitting the back of my throat. The noises that came from him were dark, almost animalistic.

“I’m going to come, pet. Come with me.” His eyes pierced into mine. I felt his cock spasm inside of my mouth, pulsing as he emptied himself into my throat. I, too, met my own release, leaving me shaking and weak before him.

He slowly slid out of my mouth as I swallowed his salty release. We sat there for a moment, breathing heavily as we regarded each other. His face was flushed and his glasses were teetering at the end of his nose. It was a stark contrast to his normal composure.

“Kana, I--” Kyoya seemed a bit thrown off. “Can you stand?”

“I think.” I unsteadily rose, feeling the blood rush back to my legs. He pulled me to his lap, his arms circling my waist as he pulled me close to his chest.

“I must apologize. I fear that I exposed too much of myself there.” He nuzzled my cheek in the most caring gesture I had ever experienced from him. “Did I scare you?”

“No Sir, not at all--”

His finger went to my lips. “You don’t have to address me like that now. I want your real thoughts.”

“Kyoya, you didn’t scare me.” I curled against him, my head coming to rest just underneath his chin.

“I might’ve scared myself.” He admitted. “There’s something about you. From the second I had you alone I had to force myself to resist you. Your mind and body have captured me.”

“Is that why you’ve been such an ass lately?” I chuckled, picking up on the phrases that I had heard from the other hosts.

“It would explain my behavior.” He said thoughtfully. He began to gently run his fingers over my body in a tender gesture. He kissed my forehead softly, once, twice, then again. “I meant it when I said that you’re perfect. Would you consider me, Kana?”

“You’re forgetting both of our own duties, Kyoya. You’ve got an obligation to your family, and I to mine. I don’t think either of our fathers would’ve selected us to be partners.” I sighed. “I’m surprised Ootori-sama hasn’t had you marry yet.”

“There have been prospects, Kana. I can’t lie to you. I’m certain you’ve had proposals as well.”

I chortled. “I’ve been hidden in isolation for the majority of my life. My mother doesn’t speak of me, I’m sure, and Father is, well, Father. He wouldn’t have told me if anyone were interested.”

“I’m not the only one that’s been selfish with you, it seems.” He held me tighter. “I won’t deny you the chance to experience life now that you’ve got the opportunity, just please understand my jealousy might get the better of me when it comes to you.”

“And what of you? You’ll still be seeing clients, right?”

“Would you rather I stop?” His voice was earnest.

I shook my head. “I know what the business can potentially bring in for all of you. And, if I really wanted to see who you were with, I can just find out in my own way.”

“Please just ask me, if you’re that curious.” Kyoya pushed his glasses closer to his eyes. “Isn’t your computer access monitored?”

“I could easily bypass it if I truly wanted to.”

“Why haven’t you?”

 

“School is a lot better than American prison. Ootori-sama’s deal had a lot of contingencies.” I thought for a moment. “I see where you get it from.” I shivered slightly, suddenly cold.

“The adrenaline is wearing off.” His demeanor changed. He slid his arm under my legs and picked me up bridal style. “You need warmth and rest. I’m going to put you to bed.”

“Stay with me?” I asked, feeling strangely vulnerable.

A small smile crept to his lips. “Of course, my pet.”

Chapter Text

I had gone too far with her. I had let myself say too much, do too much to the innocent creature that was snoring softly beside me. She was far, far too precious to have to experience my words and actions toward her.

It had been a mistake, a lapse of judgement on my end. Despite her consistent reassurance, I truly felt that I had overstepped my boundaries with Kana. She was far too inexperienced to know what she truly wanted from a sexual relationship, and I had more or less forced my desires on to her. What if I had warped her understanding of what a typical relationship looked like?

Perhaps her upbringing could be blamed. She was repressed, kept from exploring her desires, whatever those might be. She would naturally fall for a relationship that presented itself in such a controlling manner.

The thought nearly made me sick. Sure, a lot of my clients had daddy issues of their own, but I refused to allow myself exploit Kana in that way.

I needed to give her space, I decided. Kana needed time to consider if a relationship with me would be something she could handle. Maybe she needed to experience another, a more typical lover…

I stood up, feeling angry at the thought of someone else having her. Why, why was I so possessive of this girl? Was it because I knew she could easily outsmart me?

Why couldn’t I understand my feelings toward her?

I went to Kana’s bathroom and tugged on my jeans before I quietly left her bedroom. She had passed out almost instantly. I didn’t know how late the twins had kept her out the night before, but she was clearly in need of more sleep. Part of me wanted to leave her home, the other part wanted to finally get around to the exploring I had intended to do earlier.

Curiosity got the better of me. I wandered into Kana’s library and began going through the volumes that lined the entire side wall. She was obviously very well-read. I had very little doubt that she had been through every book that she owned.

After a few minutes of browsing I was able to somewhat determine how she had arranged her books. There was a section for technical manuals, another for classics, then further sections for various types of fiction. Judging by the amount, I gathered that the particularly enjoyed fantasy novels. The vast majority of her volumes were in English, naturally. Fortunately I was fluent enough to understand the unfamiliar titles.

It wasn’t long before I found what I was looking for. Kanami had apparently gathered quite the collection of romance novels, many with titles corny enough to bring a smirk to my face. I found myself flipping through one of them, my eyes widening at the explicitly detailed scene I found within the first few pages.

So this is where she had learned from. I had always thought Sleeping Beauty to be a children’s fairy tale, but this was far, far beyond the innocent story that I had previously known.

I wondered vaguely how she’d react if I called her my Beauty…

No. I couldn’t let my mind go there. Not for now, anyway. I had to let her figure out how she felt before I pursued the matter further.

I returned the book to its place on the shelf. I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket before I had a chance to select another title.

“Hm?” I answered with an annoyed sigh.

“KYOYA!” Tamaki’s voice rang from the other end. “I tried ringing you at home but your butler said you were out.”

“My butler was right.”

There was a long pause.

“Well then where are you?!”

“Do you really need to know?” I rubbed my forehead. Tamaki could be incredibly overbearing.

“This is an urgent matter!”

“Fine, I’m at Kana’s. What do you want?”

“Kyoya, you know she was out with the devil twins last night?” Tamaki’s voice dropped to a loud whisper, as though he were afraid Kana would somehow hear him over the speaker.

“Why do you think I’m here?” I rolled my eyes. “Is that all?”

“And you know she sent Honey a box of candy from America?”

 

I didn’t, actually. “Why is this such a concern?”

“SHE’S BEEN FRIENDLY WITH EVERYONE BUT ME!” Tamaki sputtered. “If she’s going to be seeing you, she should at least talk to your best friend!”

“We aren’t exactly ‘seeing’ each other.”

“Then why are you at her house?”

“Because she’s incredibly hung over, Tamaki. If you don’t mind, I need to--”

“Wait, you’re not seeing her?” Tamaki sounded somewhat hurt at the thought.

“I’ve told you before, this is nothing but an arrangement between the two of us.” And I had to keep it that way, for now, until I truly understood what she felt.

“You still can’t admit it, can you?”

“There’s nothing to admit.” I growled. “I took things too far, alright? I might’ve let a few things slip. I told her I’d stay until she woke up, so I’m here.”

“Oh.” Tamaki paused for a moment. “That’s not like you, Kyoya.”

“Trust me, I’ve been regretting it for at least an hour now.” I sat down on the couch. “Listen, if you breathe a word of this to the twins--”

“Your secret is safe with me!” Tamaki seemed almost giddy at my admission. “How did she take it?”

“Take what?”

“I’m assuming you’ve introduced your Dominant side to her.” His voice grew husky. “Was she a good girl?”

I considered my words carefully. Tamaki was the only other member of the Host Club that knew just how controlling I could be. “She was open to it, Tamaki. Maybe a bit too much. I didn’t want her first encounter to be so sudden. I should’ve given her more time to consider, I suppose. I’m worried I brought her in too quickly.”

“She’s getting the better of you, isn’t she?”

“To say the least. Dammit.” I rested my chin in my palm. “I gave her the option to explore other pursuits, and she understands that I’ll still have clients.”

“So, what are you worried about then?” He prodded.

“I don’t want her to be with anyone else.” My voice shook. “I’ve never cared about that Tamaki, you know? She’s just--”

“You should tell her, Kyoya.”

“I can’t.” I spat. “I can’t. She has to come to the conclusion herself. I won’t let myself interfere with what she wants. I’m afraid that if she commits to me she’ll never know anything else but control. You know about how her mother treats her, right? She deserves more than that. More than me, Tamaki. Fuck.”

“I thought the same of Haruhi, you know. Not with the control, but in general.” Tamaki mused. “Sometimes the right person walks into your life--”

“You know I don’t believe in that nonsense.”

“Haruhi understood that I could never physically belong to just her, but she would always have my heart. Maybe Kana understands you.”

“Perhaps.” I couldn’t let myself truly believe that, as much as I wanted to.

“Say, Kyoya?”

“Hm?”

“Maybe I could make love to her. You know I’m basically the opposite of you--”

“Goodbye Tamaki.” I scowled, ending the call.

Chapter Text

I couldn’t help but admit to myself that Tamaki could be right. Tamaki behaved like an idiot, but he was far more intuitive than what he let on.

I didn’t have time to process this however, as the sound of the front door unlocking broke through my thoughts. My mind reeled with possibilities of who could potentially have a key to Kana’s home. Her maid was off for the weekend. Maybe she had an appointment with someone from the main house?

On edge, I quietly left Kana’s study and made my way into her front room. The door had opened to reveal who I assumed to by Amelia Claire. I took a moment to observe her. I could see traces of Kana on her face. Kana had her mother’s eyes and curly hair, but the similarities seemed to end with that. Amelia Claire was taller, thinner, and had a sharper facial structure than her daughter.

Her eyes fell on me. I couldn’t help but notice that she was subtly running her gaze over my shirtless frame. A small, tense smile appeared on her lips.

“You must be the Ootori boy. I heard rumors that you’ve been lurking about here.” Her voice was even.

“Kyoya Ootori.” I bowed. “I apologize if my being here has caused any trouble.”

“You may call me Amelia.” She crossed to me, moving gracefully in her form-fitted dress and heels. “What business do you have with Kanami?”

“Inao-san is a classmate of mine. She wasn’t feeling well this morning.” I crossed my arms over my bare chest. “She’s sleeping.”

“So then why, Kyoya Ootori?” She stood dangerously close to me, her eyes once again running over my frame. “Why are you here?”

“She requested that I stay, Amelia-san.”

“Just. Amelia.” She ran a long fingernail across my cheek. “I never quite understood the need for such formality in Japan. Say it.”

“Amelia.” I echoed, the word catching in my throat. I was beginning to understand the Hitachiin’s disdain toward the woman.

“You appear to be more than just my daughter’s classmate. Why aren’t you being honest with me, Kyoya?” Her eyes, so similar to Kana’s, were locked to mine. I hated the way my name sounded when she said it.

I held her gaze intently. “I can assure you, I am treating Inao-san with the utmost respect.”

“And what would your father say if he knew you were here?”

“As far as I’m aware, you personally have no dealings with him.”

“Ah, but my daughter’s actions reflect on me, yes?” Amelia closed what little space remained between us, her lithe figure now pressed to mine. I allowed my arms to drop to my sides. “Your sister, Fuyumi, was it? She’s written to me in the past. I’m sure she would be just thrilled to find her brother having such a close relationship with me.”

“We’ll never be close.” It was a struggle to keep my voice even. I refused to back down from her.

“But your father, he might not be as pleased. If you want a relationship with Kanami, you’ll need me to smooth things over.” Her hands came to rest on my upper arms. “Is he as handsome as you, Kyoya?”

That struck a nerve. I felt my face twitch slightly. “Inao-san doesn’t need you interfering with Father. She is proving to be quite an exceptional student, and is holding up her end of the deal for being here.”

“You don’t know my child, Kyoya. She’ll fail, eventually. And you’ll need me when that happens.” Amelia’s face twisted into an ugly smirk. “I’ll have my own conditions, of course. Kanami is nothing without me. You should know that she has nothing to her own name.”

Before I could reply, I felt something soft hit my back. I turned to find my shirt bundled on the floor behind me, casually tossed my way by none other than Kanami. She stood just outside her bedroom door, her hair piled high on her head. She had put on an oversized sweater and a tight pair of dark jeans. Her face was expressionless. Her eyes met mine briefly before she brushed past us.

“That’s making you look bulkier than you already are.” Amelia hissed.

If the comment affected Kanami, she didn’t show it. Instead she poured a glass of water and lit a cigarette, flicking the ashes into her glass. I hesitantly tore my gaze from her long enough to pull my shirt on and adjust the hood.

“It’s all that ramen she eats.” Amelia continued. “Kyoya, if you ever take her out, you’ll have to watch her intake. If you’re not careful she’ll eventually balloon up to be her father’s size. The cigarettes help her appetite, of course.”

 

“Is that where you got the habit?” I asked Kana through my teeth. Kana’s figure was perfect in my eyes. I loved the soft curve of her hips.

“And others I’m sure that she hasn’t spoken about.” Amelia knew she had gotten to me. She was intending to drive a wedge between us, that much was obvious. “I’ll never forget her first audition. She was quite the chubby child, Kyoya, and she’s always been such an awkward girl. I had tried to shield her from the comments--”

“Ha!” Kanami’s sharp laugh caught me by surprise.

“Don’t interrupt, child.” Amelia’s tone was almost sinister. “I gave you every opportunity to follow in my footsteps, did I not?”

I wanted to go to my darling woman, hold her, shield her from her mother. My fists clenched at my sides. Why couldn’t I be more bullheaded like Hikaru? Or impulsive like Tamaki?

My heart broke for her. I had never wanted to see exactly how her mother treated her. I was fine with hearing the stories and listening to what little she revealed. I had my own issues with my father, I understood the type of pressure she was experiencing.

“After I left her father, his business took a turn for the worse. I kept them afloat, so long as he kept her under control. You don’t want this disgusting girl anywhere around you.” I watched as Amelia continued her onslaught against Kanami.

“Then why keep her here, Amelia?” I couldn’t look at Kana as I spoke.

“Consider it a sense of obligation. She came from me.” Amelia waved her hand, dismissing my question. “We’ll have to re-educate her. She’s clearly forgotten everything I’ve taught her about society.”

“There’s no ‘we’ in this situation.” I growled. “She is doing fine.”

“She’s whoring with the Hitachiin’s, and now she’s got you in her house. I taught her better than to sleep her way--”

“That’ll be enough, Amelia. I know what I need to know.” I forced myself to give her a warm, polite smile. “May I show you out? I’ll be leaving shortly, after a word with Inao-san.”

“I knew an Ootori would understand.” Amelia gave me a brazen kiss on the cheek, “I’ll see myself out.”

Kanami and I watched in silence as Amelia left the house, letting the door slam behind her. I felt myself shaking with built up rage. How dare she speak about Kana like that? What the hell was she trying to accomplish?

Kanami quietly lit another cigarette. She was waiting for me to say something, anything.

“You shouldn’t smoke indoors.” I managed.

She raised an eyebrow. “I’ll go outside then.”

“No.” Without thinking, I went to her and grabbed her wrist, pulling the cigarette to my own mouth. I took a quick hit and coughed as the smoke hit my throat. I needed something to calm myself down. “Do you have alcohol?”

“Not a good idea.” Her voice was flat.

“That’s not an answer.” My anger was threatening to get the better of me.

“Why are you still here?” She couldn’t look at me.

“Would you rather I leave you?” I wasn’t good at this, at comforting. If anything, I felt a strong desire to take my rage out on her, give myself a controlled outlet to deal with my own anger.

“Did you not hear any of that?” Her voice broke.

“Kana, she said I don’t know you.” I slammed my fist down on the counter. “What is it then, what don’t I know? Your ‘habits’, your ‘whoring’?”

“Oh my god, is that really what you’re focused on?” She snapped. “You’re the first person I kissed, you know? I wouldn’t know how to--”

“I know. Fuck.” I bent down, resting my elbows on the counter, head in my hands. “I know, Kana. Why would she say that? Were the twins--?”

“Alright, you don’t know me. Fine. Especially if you really think--”

“I don’t think anything!” I shouted, my fingers tangling in my hair. “Fuck. Why, why would she try to do this to you?”

“Because that’s what she does. I hadn’t even spoken to her before she showed up at Hikaru and Kaoru’s. Before that, she visited me on my eighteenth birthday to--” Kana took a breath. “This is just what she does.”

I couldn’t contain myself any longer. I was on her with one swift motion. I dropped her cigarette into the water, letting it fizzle out as I took her face in my hands. I could smell the fear rolling off her, mixed with hurt and confusion.

“You’ll tell me if she comes here again. If I can’t get here I’ll send Tamaki, or Mori. You aren’t dealing with her alone anymore. Is that understood?”

“Yes.” The relief was obvious on her face. “Yes, Sir.”

This woman. She understood me.

The realization hit me like a ton of bricks. It would be so easy for her to crumble right now, to expect something more comforting from her lover.

“I need to know what else she’s convinced you to do to yourself. I’m not going to force you to quit anything you’re not ready to.”

She considered this for a moment. Wordlessly, she pulled away from me and opened one of her kitchen cabinets. It was lined with prescription diet pills, laxatives, and a tea that I didn’t recognize.

“I don’t use them. Or, I haven’t in a while.”

“Why keep them?” I asked gently.

“Sometimes I need the pills to stay awake for a few days, when I’m working on something.” She shrugged. “I’ll need them for midterms.”

“Nothing else?”

“Nothing else.” She chewed on the inside of her lip. After closing the cabinet, she turned to me once more. “I don’t want to talk about the rest right now. I know you have questions.”

“I do. We are more similar than what you think, Kana. My father had his own way of raising me.” I drummed my fingers on my leg. “I don’t talk about it, either.”

“And your mother?”

“She left when I was very young. I don’t remember her.”

“That’s her loss.” A small, cautious smile crossed her face.

“Kana, if you’ll allow me, I need to speak with the rest of the group about this.” I drew her against my chest. “I won’t tell them anything they don’t need to know, but I need their assurance that they’ll protect you. We’ve got many connections between all of us, and if I’m ever preoccupied--”

“You make me feel safe, Kyoya.” Her face was buried in my shirt. “I trust you.”

I kissed the top of her head and took my phone out of my pocket to send a group message to the rest of the Host Club.

Cancel all clients tonight. Meet at the usual place in one hour from now.

Chapter Text

Chapter Twenty

Kaoru

 

“Hika.” I felt my eyes widened as I read Kyoya’s text. 

 

Cancel all clients tonight. Meet at the usual place in one hour from now.

“Hnnh?” My twin had been absorbed in his handheld gaming console, not paying attention to his phone. We had been laying together on my bed, avoiding the schoolwork we were meant to be doing that day. At least, that was the excuse we had given Kyoya when we requested to not be booked that weekend.

 

“Kana’s been with Kyoya, and he just…” I held my phone out to him. 

 

Hikaru’s ears perked at the sound of Kana’s name. He hit the Pause button on his game and grabbed my phone, his face growing concerned as he read the text. “Shit. The last time he did this, Haruhi had that run-in with--”

 

“That one really skeevy man--” Even when we were alone, Hikaru and I had a habit of finishing each other’s thoughts.

 

“What was his name?”

 

“Tatsuo. Or something.” 

 

“But Kana-chan doesn’t interact with anyone else. Except…” Hikaru’s eyes met mine. He grabbed his phone and began furiously texting. Within moments, my own phone buzzed, a next text appearing in our group text with Kana.

 

What’s happening? 

 

I quickly typed my own message. 

 

Kana, are you alright? Are you with Kyoya?

 

Hikaru and I stared at each other in silence, waiting for our newfound friend to respond to us. We both cared for her, in our own ways. Hikaru seemed to regard her more as an extension of the two of us, a potential sister to add to our mix. I, on the other hand…

 

“God, why isn’t she responding?” Hikaru tossed his phone to the floor. My twin’s temper flared easily, especially when it came to people close to him. Kana hadn’t been in our lives very long, but she had impacted us in a way that few others had.

 

“She has to be with Kyoya.” I squeezed his hand reassuringly. 

 

“Does that make you feel any better?” Hikaru’s fingers wrapped around mine. “You two were really close last night.”

 

“Were we? I hadn’t noticed.” I shrugged, knowing there was no real point in trying to hide from him. He could read my mind as easily as I could read his. 

 

“You’ll blame being drunk, but I know you Kao.” A mischevious grin stretched across his face. 

 

“This isn’t the time Hika!” I groaned. My attention turned back to my phone, where a message from Kana had appeared across the screen.

 

I’m with Kyoya. I’ll see you in a bit. 

 

“So she’s coming.” Hikaru let out a long sigh. “I can only imagine that Kyoya ran into her mother.”

 

“We should get ready.” I stood up and moved to change into something other than the sweatpants I had been wearing all day. 

 

“Mm, second.” 

 

I glanced back to see Hikaru huddled over my phone. “What are you--?”

 

“Nothing.” Hikaru stuck his tongue out at me. “Gotta go change!”

 

I unlocked my phone once he had left, only to find that Hikaru had sent several heart emojis to Kana.

 

Fucking hell…

 

---

 

Hikaru drove us to a small, upscale restaurant that held our private meeting room where the Host Club often met to discuss matters we wished to remain secret. It was in that room where we decided to offer more intimate services to clients we trusted. It was where Tamaki had divulged his plans to propose to Haruhi. And it was where Kanami Inao now sat next to Kyoya, their arms touching on the table.

 

The room was small and held a long, circular booth covered in black leather. The table was made of a rich, espresso-colored wood. Candles were placed around the room, the only light source, given that the curtains were drawn shut, as usual. Even in the low-light I could tell Kyoya was silently fuming. 

 

“Where is everyone?” Hikaru slid in the booth next to Kyoya. I know good and well that he intended for me to sit next to Kana. Not wanting to give him that pleasure, I slid in beside my twin. 

 

“Tamaki went to order food for Kana. She hasn’t eaten today.” Kyoya gave us a pointed stare. “He insisted.”

 

“That’s the boss.” I sighed. I could feel Hikaru tense beside me. 

 

“He’s ordering for all of us, Kyoya-senpai.” Kana rolled her eyes.

 

I allowed myself to get a good look at Kana. She seemed fine, yet her eyes were filled with an emotion I couldn’t quite decipher. Worry? 

 

“You can’t blame us for her not eating.” Hikaru glowered. 

 

“No, but I can blame you two for how late she was out last night.” Kyoya raised an eyebrow.

 

“Can you stop, please?” The sharp tone in Kana’s voice caught me off guard. “I had fun last night, Hika, Kao. Kyoya’s just angry at the moment.”

 

“That’s for sure.” Hikaru mumbled just loud enough for me to hear. 

 

“Oh, you’re here Kana-chan!” Honey’s chipper voice cut through the tension. He had entered with Mori just behind him, as usual. 

 

“Honey-senpai!” Kana gave Honey a warm smile, obviously grateful for a distraction. 

 

“Thank you for all of the candy you sent.” Honey quickly sat down next to Kana and took her hands in his. He gave her a small kiss on her knuckles. “I liked the little square ones the best.”

 

“They’re called Starbursts.” Kana’s face flushed. Was she really flattered by Honey, of all people?

 

“I’d love to repay you somehow.” Honey lowered his chin slightly, looking at Kana through his bangs. 

 

Kyoya cleared his throat. “We might have an idea in mind.”

 

Mori had taken the spot next to Honey. His eyes narrowed slightly at Kyoya’s words. “Tamaki?”

 

“Right here, gentlemen!” Tamaki, always once for grand appearances, came in carrying a full tray of drinks. “Kana-chan, I wasn’t sure what you would like, so I just ordered what I usually get.”

 

“She doesn’t like sweet drinks, boss.” Hikaru smirked. 

 

“And how exactly do you know that?” Tamaki stopped in his tracks.

 

“Because we spend time with her.” I grinned, catching on to Hika’s game. 

 

“Kana-chan, I’ll get you something else! Whatever you’d like.” Tamaki sputtered. “Anything for my--”

 

“Suoh-senpai, please calm down.” Kana’s blatant disregard for Tamaki’s flirtation was obviously disheartening to him. “I’m guessing it’s this pink one?”

 

Kyoya began speaking once Tamaki had sat down next to me and the drinks had been passed around. Alcohol was the last thing I wanted after last night, but I couldn’t turn down a Peach Fizz. 

 

“I had a rather interesting encounter with Amelia Claire earlier today while I was at Kana’s house.” Kyoya spoke slowly, as though he were considering his words carefully. “She had a key.”

 

“Don’t tell me, she caught you two--”



“Hikaru!” Kana hissed. 

 

“Anyway, for those who haven’t met Amelia, her treatment of Kana isn’t what we would consider desirable by any means.” Kyoya continued, unphased by the interruption. “I am requesting that we take Kana into our protection for the time being, until I’m able to remove her from her mother’s estate. That matter will be complicated, I’m afraid.”

 

Mori grunted. His hands gripped his drinking glass tighter, threatening to break it. “Kanami-san, I’ll escort you to every class from now on.”

 

“You’ve got your own classes, Mori-senpai.” Kana said quietly. Mori gazed at her unwaveringly. After a moment, she finally nodded, an unspoken agreement between the pair. 

 

“Wait, Kyoya, you can’t just say that without an explanation!” Tamaki burst, overreacting as usual. “Is our Kana’s life in danger?”

 

“Nothing that bad.” I said, not being able to resist divulging I knew even more information that the blonde wasn’t yet privy to. “But bad enough.”

 

“Do you want to tell us, Kana-chan?” Honey took Kana’s hand once again, an effortless gesture. 

 

I wondered just how much Kana would reveal, or what it was that caused Kyoya to bring the Host Club into the situation. I did my best to remain calm, observe quietly, while Hikaru was visibly upset with the situation. 

 

“My mother didn’t want to have me, so when I was old enough she tried to force me into an acting career, and when that didn’t work…” Kana took a sip of her drink and made a face. “She was in financial control of my father’s business after she left us, and she took that opportunity to maintain control over me. Why do you think you all had never heard of the heir to Inao Industries?” When none of us responded, she continued. “There’s a lot that I don’t want to get into. I think my father’s plan was to quietly marry me off once he found someone suitable. He was just as influenced by her as I was. He had to convince her to allow me to have any education. I think that, if she genuinely had things her way…” 

 

Kanami clasped a hand to her mouth. I watched as Kyoya whispered something in her ear. The act sent a sharp pain through my chest. 

 

“Kaoru, would you mind going outside with her? You smoke don’t you?” Kyoya’s question caught me off guard. “Hikaru and I will explain the rest.”

 

“Um, yeah. I’ll take her Kyoya-senpai. We’ll go out back.” 



Kanami and I wound up behind the restaurant, away from the street. The restaurant staff had agreed to keep our meetings to themselves. Hikaru and I often had members of the press following us, whenever our mom was going to release a new collection. 

 

“Never would’ve guessed that Kyoya would willingly let you come out here alone with me.” I quipped. I leaned against the brick wall and watched her pull two cigarettes from her pack with her small fingers. 

 

“Why not?” She lit one of the cigarettes and passed it to me before lighting her own. 

 

“I’m guessing you didn’t tell him that I kissed you last night.” I said bluntly. 

 

“I didn’t have time to fit it in before Mother decided to tell him all sorts of lovely things about me.” Kana took a long drag. “Figured he’d heard enough for one day, you know.”

 

“I’m sorry, Kana. I shouldn’t have brought it up.” 

 

“I’m not mad at you, Kao-chan. It was nice.” She gave me a small smile that didn’t reach her eyes. 

 

“But since you and Kyoya are--”

 

“We haven’t really discussed much, but he’s still taking clients. And he’s given me the option to explore other opportunities.” Kana spoke quietly. “I liked kissing you, Kao-chan. I’m just--”

 

“You’re overwhelmed, aren’t you?” 

 

“Yeah. Between the Host Club, school, and Mother…”

 

“What exactly did she say that sent Kyoya into such a tailspin?” 

 

Kanami sighed, then went through the details of Amelia Claire’s visit to her home. I felt my stomach drop as she described how her mother treated her as she was growing up. 

 

We smoked in silence for a few moments while I absorbed what she had told me. I wanted to scream, honestly. 

 

“I’ll talk to Mom about cutting her relationship off with Amelia.” I pulled her into a tight hug. “She needs to know how evil that woman is. Besides, I need you to be able to visit us without worrying about her being there.”

 

Kanami wrapped her arms around my waist. “You don’t have to, Kao-chan. You can just come to my place. Kyoya doesn’t want me to be alone there until he can get all of the locks changed.” 

 

“Wait.” I pulled her away slightly so I could get a look at her face. I couldn’t help but to give her a wicked grin despite the situation. “Does that mean we get to have sleepovers?”

 

“Don’t get too many ideas.” She winked. 

 

I felt my heart flutter. Now, if I could only convince Hikaru to let me visit her alone...

Chapter Text

Tamaki had gone overboard when ordering dinner for our group. When Kaoru and I had returned, the table was full of traditional dishes: rice, vegetables, and various types of fish. My stomach growled as I took my place between Honey and Kyoya, ready to finally get something on my stomach.

Kyoya touched my thigh gently as I reached for my bowl. With a small smile, he took my bowl and filled it with rice and vegetables. “Do you prefer your fish grilled? Or perhaps fried?”

“Grilled is fine.” I said, suddenly feeling shy. My mother’s words echoed in my mind. As much as I tried to ignore her remarks, they still stung deeply.

“As you wish.” Kyoya returned my bowl to me before preparing his own meal.

“We need a strategy, men.” Tamaki said in between bites of food. “Kyoya has entrusted us to keep watch over Kana-chan. I propose that I temporarily move in with her until the locks have been changed, so Amelia Claire won’t be able to enter without her knowing.”

“Vetoed.” Kyoya smirked.

“At least let me take the first watch.” Tamaki pouted. “Kana-chan, wouldn’t you like for me to stay with you?”

I nearly choked on my rice. “Why do you want to stay with me? I’m sure I’ll be fine overnight.”

“Tama-chan’s right.” Honey said through a mouthful of food. “We don’t know if she’s been coming in without you noticing.”

“And we can’t be certain that your maid isn’t going through your things on her behalf.” Kyoya touched his napkin to the sides of his mouth. “Have you done a background check on her?”

“There’s nothing in that house that they can use against me. My computer is set to automatically…” I frowned, my Japanese suddenly failing me. “They won’t be able to get any information from it.”

“Automatically what, Kana?” Kyoya asked.

I thought for a moment, then spoke to Kyoya in English. “It is configured to erase the hard drive if I enter a specific password from my phone. If anyone attempts to log into it, I’ll get a notification. Sure, if someone knows what they’re doing they’ll be able to gather data from the slack space, but they’ll need a specific set of--”

“I’ve really got to get better at English.” Hikaru shot me a confused look. “You’ve only taught me a bunch of bad words.”

“I could say the same about my Japanese.” I couldn’t help but chuckle.

“What Kanami is saying is that unless someone is as brilliant as she is, they won’t be getting any of her personal information from her computer.” Kyoya explained.

“You’re really good with chopsticks for a foreigner.” Honey commented. I hadn’t noticed that he was watching me eat.

“Father would occasionally have Japanese guests. We tried to accommodate.” I had nearly finished my bowl of food. I was hungrier than I realized.

“Can we get back to the matter at hand?” Tamaki had barely touched his own food. “You never answered me, Kana-chan.”

“We’ll have to be discrete. I have a feeling that Amelia dropped by once she realized that I had been paying Kanami visits.” Kyoya seemed frustrated by the thought.

“That just means we’ll have to sneak into her room.” Hikaru grinned.

“Maybe we’ll find the sleeping princess in one of the lace nightgowns we gave her.” Kaoru was obviously trying to get a rise out of Tamaki, but the comment still made me blush.

It was Kyoya, however, who reacted to the remark. “And did you model these for the twins, Kanami?”

“Don’t tell me you really believe them.” I rolled my eyes. Kyoya’s hand once again came to rest on my thigh, squeezing tightly.

“I’ll stay Sunday night.” Mori’s voice was low.

“Ah, so you can take her to the early class, right Takashi?” Honey seemed oblivious to the tension between Kyoya and the twins.

I felt Kyoya’s hand relax a bit. “It would be preferable, Kana. I’ll be able to have a member of the Ootori police force change all of your locks by the middle of the week.”

“Fine.” I sighed.

“So that settles it. I’ll be keeping the darling Kanami company tonight.” Tamaki flashed me a wide grin. “Kyoya’s already been outed as having a relationship with her, so naturally--”

“We’ll take Monday night.” Hikaru and Kaoru said in unison.

“And I’ll stay Tuesday.” Honey rubbed my arm affectionately. His expression darkened a bit. “I hope Amelia Claire comes by. I’d like to meet her.”

“You’ll stay in our side room while the club is open.” Kyoya pushed his glasses closer to his eyes. “The less you’re in that house, the better.”

“Why don’t we just move her out completely?” Tamaki asked.

“I don’t have my own bank account. Or anything of my own, really. Everything’s in Mother’s name.” I admitted. “Unless I was very specific in where I made withdraws, she’d be able to track me anywhere.”

“And there’s always my father’s stipulations for not pressing charges against you.” Kyoya frowned. “I’m sure he’s expecting there to be some sort of supervision over your behavior.”

“There’s a monitoring software on my computer. My phone too. But like I said before--”

Kyoya pressed a finger to my lips. “Don’t even try it.”

“You must be really smart, Kana-chan!” Honey giggled.

“So Kana-chan.” Tamaki leaned forward. “I hope you’re ready to finally be charmed by me. We’ve got a whole night together.”

I blinked slowly. These next few nights were going to be interesting, to say the least.

Chapter Text

The car ride back home was eerily silent. Kyoya seemed to be lost in his own thoughts after we left the restaurant with promises from Tamaki that he would be at my house within an hour. The moment we stepped inside however, Kyoya spoke.

“Are you sore? Hurting?” His voice was low.

“My ass still stings a bit.” I admitted. I made my way into the kitchen, where I intended to make another pot of coffee. I would need it if I was going to be dealing with Tamaki all night. My mind was still reeling from the day’s events: losing my virginity, seeing my mother, and stepping into what could prove to be a dangerous dynamic with Kyoya. It was almost too much to comprehend.

“Good. Good.” Kyoya followed close behind me, acting as my shadow as I moved through the house. “Do we need to talk?”

“Later.” I shook my head as I prepared the coffee. Talking was the last thing on my mind. Kyoya would understand that. We were the same in that regard. We both withdrew from conversation when we were overwhelmed or emotional, and instead found other outlets. For me, it was coffee, cigarettes, my computer.

I wasn’t prepared to find out Kyoya’s personal outlet. I let out a surprised cry when I felt his hand circle my neck from behind. He jerked me to his chest and held me there, squeezing my throat tightly.

“Same rules from earlier apply, pet.” His teeth grazed my ear. “Tell me to stop now if you’re not willing. You wanted me to stop holding back, right?”

“Yes Sir.” I managed to gasp. My heart thudded in my chest. I felt a mixture of fear and desire rise in my stomach.

“Such a good girl.” His hand snaked down the front of my jeans, beneath the waistband. His fingers quickly found my clit. He stroked it once, twice, then gave me a rough pinch that sent a shockwave through my core. I could feel my knees growing weak. “Strip. Now.”

He shoved me against the counter, allowing me space to quickly pull my clothes off my shaking frame. The look on his face was one of pure, controlled anger.
Our eyes met as I stood naked before him. It was in that moment that I truly grasped the situation. He needed this as much as I did. He needed to take out his frustrations, just as I needed to escape from my own. The air shifted between us. The look in his eyes told me that he knew that I understood what he needed.

Then he slapped me.

I couldn’t hold back my scream as his open hand collided with my cheek. I barely had time to register the pain from my stinging face before he grabbed my arm and twisted it behind me. With one motion he pushed me facedown on the counter and held me there, bent at the waist. I heard the unmistakable sound of his belt being slid from its belt loops.

“I need you to tell me if this isn’t what you want.” I felt the sensation of leather tracing along the backs of my thighs as he spoke. He released his grip on my arm, giving me the opportunity to move if I wanted.

I didn’t have to consider. I wanted this. I could only nod against the counter, willing him to go on.

“Answer me, pet. Verbally.”

“Please us your belt on me, Sir.” I whimpered.

“And what will you say if you aren’t able to handle it?”

“Red, Sir.”

With that came the first SMACK across my thighs. I bit my lip, trying not to cry out. Kyoya paused for a moment, as though he were waiting for me to protest. When I didn’t, he continued until the stinging turned into a warm, dull pain.

I could feel the welts raising on my skin. A swell of emotion bubbled up within me as my brain caught up to what was going on.

My mother had met Kyoya.

Kyoya knew my most well-kept secret. He didn’t know the extent of my former reliance on medication to surpress my appetite, but he knew.

I was essentially being babysat by a group of men all thanks to my mother’s actions.

I couldn’t hold back the sobs. I was never one to cry, but for once in my life I was truly overwhelmed. Everything that had been happening lately came crashing down on my shoulders as Kyoya whipped me, as though the physical pain was allowing me to finally process my emotions.

Why did I enjoy this? Why was this helping me?

The tears didn’t stop. I heard Kyoya drop his belt to the floor.

“My darling.” I felt his strong arms wrap around me. He cradled me in his arms like a child, picking me up and letting my head rest against his shoulder. He held me as I cried, spilling my tears on his shirt. “There’s nothing wrong with you. You’ve done beautifully.”

“Thank you.” I whispered, unable to manage much else. He held me close and hummed softly until my tears finally ran out.

“I’ve done a number on you, pet. Can you give me just a few moments to care for you?” His voice was soothing, far from the angry tone he held earlier. When I nodded, he carried me to my room and carefully placed me on the bed so that I was laying on my stomach.

I drew my blanket to my chest. I heard Kyoya leave the room. My mind wandered as I listen to him move through my home. I could hear him whisper quietly into his phone, telling Tamaki to give him more time before he arrived. I heard the sounds of ice falling into a glass shortly before Kyoya returned to my side.

“I apologize, pet. The ice is going to help, but you’re going to be left with quite a few marks.” Kyoya rubbed my back gently. He began delicately tracing ice cubes along my stinging flesh, offering relief to the damaged skin.

“I didn’t mean to cry, Sir.” I murmured. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Why am I enjoying this?”

“You’ve been through so much, Kana. I struggled too, when I realized my sadistic tendencies.” He continued rolling ice over my thighs as he spoke. “Please, tell me your thoughts. Are you afraid of me now?”

“No.” I answered truthfully.

“I’m afraid of myself sometimes, especially when it comes to you.” His admission came quietly. “I feel that I am failing you. This is a world so new to you, and I fear that I’m manipulating you into the submissive creature I desire.”

“What if I want to be manipulated, Sir?”

His hands stopped at my words. “Kanami, I won’t allow you to make that decision right now. I fully intend to let you consider this over the next few days. Longer, if you need. Once you are ready we’ll truly discuss our relationship.”

“I understand, Kyoya.” I sighed.

“You’re going to be very well taken care of over the next few days, but if any of them make you uncomfortable I’ll be by your side in an instant.” He pulled me to his lap, holding me so that I faced him. “I need to sort out my own feelings for you.”

“Your own feelings?” Heat rushed to my face. “I thought that--”

“I did too.” Kyoya gave me a hesitant kiss, showing restrain that I had yet to witness from him. “I’m not an emotional person, Kanami, and I understand if you don’t share what I feel, but I need to give you the space to decide.”

It was my turn to comfort him. I held his face in my hands and stroked his cheeks with my thumbs. “Are we still under the pretence of business?”

“Outwardly, yes.” He leaned into my touch. “I have to admit, I thought that these feelings would disappear once I had slept with you.”

I didn’t know what to think. I hadn’t considered the possibility that Kyoya might actually feel something more than a physical need for me. He was so guarded, so calculated. Could his proposal of angering our families have been an excuse to get closer to me?

“We’ll figure this out together, Kyoya.”

Chapter Text

I came to Kana's house with one mission: make the American love me.

It had to be simple, right? If she didn't fall for my normal charming demeanor, I would simply have to adopt the persona of someone she already liked. I, Tamaki Suoh, would embrace my inner Shadow King!

(I'm completely kidding, of course. I could never pull off Kyoya's calm attitude.)

I had just under 24 hours to finally win her over, and I had the perfect secret weapon to pull it off.

My precious, adorable Haruhi.

You see, I brought my laptop with me to pretend like I would be doing homework all night, but instead, I planned on bringing my fiancee up on a video call so she could convince Kana to like me!

Perfect, right?

It was late when I arrived at Kanami’s house. In order to to raise suspicion, Kyoya sent one of his drivers to drop me off at the front so I could walk relatively unnoticed through Amelia’s grounds. For a celebrity her security was less than impressive, although I had a sneaking feeling that I was somehow being watched.

Kana’s house was much smaller than the mansion that occupied the majority of the estate. It reminded me of a commoner dwelling--it couldn’t be much bigger than the student housing Haruhi was living in while at law school. I knocked quietly at the door, suddenly feeling anxious about spending time with Kana.

“Pack enough for one night?” Kyoya answered the door with a small smirk on his face. He nodded at my overstuffed duffel bag.

“I had to come prepared, Mommy. What if Mori-senpai decides not to show up?” I pouted.

“We are talking about the same Mori-senpai, right?” Kyoya stepped closer to me. “A word, before you come in.”

“Let me guess, you’re going to tell me to turn down the charm because you’re afraid Kana will fall for me.” I grinned.

Kyoya rolled his eyes. “I was a bit rough on her before you got here. She handled it well, but if you don’t mind--”

“Giving her quite the introduction, aren’t you Kyoya?” I couldn’t resist taking the opportunity to get under his skin, just a little. “Couldn’t resist breaking an innocent girl?”

“I won’t have you talking about Kanami like that. Listen to me, if you breathe a word of this to the twins I will single-handedly ruin you.” His face flushed in anger and another emotion that I’d never seen from him. Kyoya never reacted this strongly about another person.

“You love her, don’t you?”

“I don’t know, Tamaki.” Kyoya sighed and pushed his glasses closer to his eyes. “That’s what I’m trying to figure out.”

 

Kanami appeared before I could respond. “Oh, Suoh-senpai’s here.” She stood just inside the door, barely visible behind Kyoya. Her hair was loose around her shoulders, and she wore a light pink camisole and a pair of grey pajama pants that were rolled at the waist, exposing the barest hint of her midriff. It was the most relaxed I had ever seen her.

Cute...

Kyoya seemed to immediately soften. He moved to her side, an arm coming to rest around her hip. “He seems to think that Mori-senpai will forget to show up tomorrow.”

“Is that why you packed so much?” Kana regarded me with a hint of amusement.

“A true gentleman is always prepared to meet the needs of his princess.” I purred, slipping back into my typical routine.

The sentiment was clearly lost on Kana. “What needs are you trying to meet?”

“Any that you might have.” I teased.

“That’s enough Tamaki.” Kyoya let out a small chuckle. He gently tugged Kanami to the side, making room for me to come into the living area. “Go ahead and get settled, I need to say goodbye. The couch in the study has one of those pull-out beds you love. First room on the left.”

My assumptions about Kana’s house were confirmed. It reminded me a lot of Haruhi’s student apartment. The kitchen and living room were all in one large area, with a hallway that was lined with a few doors. I made my way into the study, where Kyoya (or Kana) had already made the pull-out bed for me. Kana’s books lined the shelves around me, and there was a desk that held the most complicated looking computer I had ever seen.

I could faintly hear Kyoya’s voice from the main room.

“... He can be an idiot, but I trust him with everything, pet.”

So that’s what he called her. The sentiment sparked a memory from over two years ago…

******

It was the summer before our fourth year at Ouran Academy. Haruhi had already left for her summer job, the twins were travelling with their mother, and Honey and Mori were in Switzerland celebrating their graduation. That left Kyoya and I to our own devices.

I suppose I should’ve known something was on his mind when he asked me to join him on a trip to his family’s private beach. Kyoya would normally prefer to spend the time alone with his books, but instead he nearly insisted that I accompany him. He didn’t give me any details, other than to pack for as long as I thought I’d like to stay.

It didn’t take long for Kyoya to make his intentions clear. Once we had arrived at the hotel suite, he nearly cornered me in my room.

“Tamaki, I have a favor to ask.” His voice had been strained.

“I should’ve known you didn’t invite me here just to have fun.”

“This isn’t easy for me to admit.” He had sat down on the bed and motioned for me to join. “You’re the only person I can trust with this. You don’t have to say yes to me, nor do I really expect you to. If you say no, we can continue this little vacation as normal.”

“I don’t know what I’m saying ‘no’ to, Kyoya.” I sat with him. His tone had concerned me. Something was clearly bothering him.

His face flushed. “I am a man with needs, Tamaki. And I need help figuring those needs out.”

“Are you questioning your sexuality, Kyoya?” My voice squeaked with alarm.

“No, I still prefer women.” Kyoya smirked. “I have desires that can’t be explored on our innocent classmates.”

“So you come to me.” My heart fluttered. While I had only ever been with women at that point in my life, I had often found myself fantasizing about men. I had always known that my own sexuality was fluid, even at a younger age.

“Have you ever heard of S&M?”

Kyoya had taken great care to explain what he wanted from me. A submissive, just for the summer, just long enough for him to learn more about himself. Long enough for him to stop feeling guilty about his desire to exert control over those around him, even in the bedroom. He felt safe enough with me to explore.

I immediately accepted his proposal. Kyoya had always been my closest friend--why would I deny him anything?

Our first ‘session’ began with him tying me to a large hotel bed. I was naked, and positioned on my knees and elbows, with my hands clasped in front of me. Kyoya had bound me with leather straps around my wrists and ankles, anchoring me to the bedframe.

“You look quite lovely in this position, my little toy.” Kyoya stood beside the bed, admiring his work.

“Thank you, Sir.” I whimpered. While submission was never a kink I had considered, I allowed myself to fall into the role Kyoya wanted me to play.

I can still remember the first dull thuds of the paddle Kyoya had decided to use that day. Even in his inexperience at the time, each movement was calculated and well-aimed. I could only cry out through the pain, willing myself to bear it for him. It was never more than I could handle, he made sure of that.

Dominance brought out a caring side of Kyoya. It was the moments following his punishment that I found craving.

Once he was satisfied with the appearance of my ass and thighs after giving them a long, merciless paddling, he knelt down beside me and brushed his fingers along my spine. “You’re such a good toy, Tamaki. I love hearing you cry.”

His words brought a deep blush to my face. I closed my eyes and let my forehead fall against the mattress as he slowly kissed down my back.

“Thank you for allowing me to use you.” He moved behind me, his hands snarking around my waist. I let out a small gasp as his hand wrapped around me, teasing me into my full length. “Are you up for a reward, toy?”

“Please, Sir.” I moaned. This, this is what I had wanted. I craved affection from Kyoya in the worst way.

“You just want to come, don’t you?” Kyoya slowly began jerking me off with one hand, while the other stroked my thighs, running over the bruises that had certainly formed there. “You endure me only to get your own release. So greedy.”

“Not true, Sir.” My body betrayed my words. I couldn’t stop my hips from moving with his rhythm, begging him for more.

“You’re allowed to be greedy, toy.” He squeezed me tightly, picking up the pace until I felt a familiar tightening in my stomach. Kyoya sensed this and slowed back down. It was as if he enjoyed keeping me just at the edge, powerless to stop him.

He continued this routine for what felt like an hour, slowly building me up, then bringing me back down.

“You know what I’m waiting for, toy.” Kyoya was relentless. His voice did little to hide his amusement as I struggled against the restraints.

“Sir, please. You’ve got to let me--”

“I don’t have to do anything.” I felt his hands leave my body.

My body cried in protest. “I need this Sir. Please. Please let me come.”

“I don’t have it in me to say no.” Kyoya’s grip returned. “I want you to come for me, toy.”

***

Dammit, Tamaki. I couldn’t let my thoughts get away from me, not when I was spending the night with Kana. The memories of that summer and the year following often crept into my mind. Kyoya and I both had taken on more partners than we could count since, but I did find myself longing for him on occasion.

I quietly left the study, right in time to watch as Kyoya took Kana into his arms and kissed her deeply. The way he spoke to her, the way he held her made it obvious to me.

My best friend was in love.

My new mission: make the both of them realize it.

Chapter Text

Father,

I apologize for writing so late. I have had a very busy day. I am maintaining my grades and my Japanese is improving. I have found a few companions. Being around them has vastly improved my language skills. One of them speaks fluent English. Sometimes they’ll help me when I’m not sure of the words I’m looking for.

Mother visited today. I don’t expect that she’ll contact you about it.

Have you considered coming to Japan? I find myself missing America occasionally, but it is truly nice here. It would be nice to see you. I’m certain that you’d be satisfied with my progress thus far. Perhaps I could show you some of the programs I’m working on.

Your daughter,
Kanami

I hated writing emails. My father insisted on a weekly status report, as if having access to my grades wasn’t enough for him. I mentally cringed whenever he required all of my school log in passwords. I was sure there was a law he was violating somewhere, but I was in no position to protest. Between him and Ootori-san I was completely stuck.

I couldn’t help but wonder how either of them would react if they knew Tamaki Suoh was occupying the couch bed behind me in my study, wearing a pair of pajamas that had little teddy bears all over them. He insisted on changing whenever he saw that I was in my own pajamas, saying something about making it a true slumber party. I had to admit, he looked surprisingly adorable.

“Kana-chan, I’m curious.” He asked me. I turned around in my desk chair and found him peeking over the back of the couch, his laptop beside him. “Is being here different from what you’re used to?”

I shrugged. It was as if he knew what was on my mind. “I have friends here. The food’s different. And the language of course. Japan is a lot more formal than America.”

“You didn’t have friends in America?” Tamaki squeaked. His eyes were filled with sadness that I couldn’t comprehend. Why did he care?

“Not really. All of this socializing is a bit exhausting if I’m being honest.” I crossed my arms.

“Is that why you don’t seem to like me?” Of course that would be his motive. Still, he was Kyoya’s best friend, and if I was going to be with him…

No, that thought couldn’t cross my mind. I wasn’t ready to let myself entertain the idea of being anything more than part of Kyoya’s scheming against his family, whatever that might entail. Our difficult familial relationships were what bound us together. I had to keep telling myself that much. I know that he wanted me to consider our relationship, sure, but I had no idea what his true intentions where.

“Kyoya didn’t like me at first, either.” Tamaki let out a dramatic sigh. I swear, it was as if he could read me.

I fell for it. “Did he find you completely overwhelming too?”

“I suppose I do come off a bit strong.” He winked at me. I felt a blush rise to my cheeks. I couldn’t help but to find him charming. “Come cuddle me, Kana-chan. I’ve got a few things to show you.”

“I’ll sit with you, Suoh-senpai, but we are not cuddling.” I turned away quickly before he could see my blush deepen. Damn him. I shut off my computer and hesitantly climbed onto the sofa bed, leaving plenty of space between us. Not getting the hint, Tamaki slid closer to me, close enough that we were touching. His outstretched legs brushed against mine.

“I moved here from France when I was in middle school. That’s when I met Kyoya. Our fathers arranged for us to spend time together.” Tamaki held his laptop up to me to show me a photo of a very young looking boys. “He was serious, even back then. I was really excited to come to Japan after hearing about it for so many years. I kind of pulled him into showing me everything.”

I took a good look at the photo. Tamaki was right--Kyoya was a very serious child. His stern face was a stark contrast to Tamaki’s in the photo, who was beaming from ear to ear and giving a peace sign.

“He was the first person I asked to be in the Host Club. We started it in high school. Hikaru and Kaoru joined when they were first years.” Tamak brought up another photo, this one showing the younger versions of the men I had gotten to know so well.

“I don’t recognize him.” I pointed to a small brunette who stared at the camera almost shyly.

“Her.” Tamaki smiled. “Haruhi Fujioka. Of course, she disguised herself as a boy back then to act as a host.”

“Your bride to be.” I nodded. “She pretended to be a boy?”

“Haru’s never been one to enjoy labels.” Tamaki’s voice was dreamy, as though his mind had wandered off. “I was a bit selfish back then. I was happy to let the rest of the school think she was a boy. I’m a lot more open than I was back then.”

“What do you mean?” I couldn’t help myself, I wanted to know more.

“We both enjoy the more intimate sides of relationships, and not just with each other.” Tamaki quickly added, “I’m the most requested host, and Haruhi has her own needs.”

“Many lovers, but only one love.” I nodded. What had gotten into me? Was I really letting my closet romantic come to surface around Tamaki, of all people?

“That’s a lovely way of putting it, princess.” Tamaki dropped his chin and peered at me through his bangs. “I have to admit, the arrangement works to my benefit whenever I meet such beautiful women as yourself.”

“Suoh-senpai, please.” I covered my cheeks with my hands, frantically trying to cover my embarrassment. I could handle Kyoya’s brand of flirtation, but Tamaki was just too much. “I’m not a client.”

“Is that the only reason you can come up with for me to show interest in you?” Tamaki leaned closer to me. “I don’t see you as a client. It was only by sheer chance that you stumbled across the Host Club. I would’ve been just as enamored by you beauty if I had found you elsewhere, little flower.”

“Tamaki, I can’t--” Before I could get the rest out, he pressed his lips delicately against mine. His kiss was surprisingly sweet despite his forward manner of speaking. He kissed me as if he were afraid I’d push him away.

“You said my name, finally.” He rested his forehead against mine.

“Was that what you were after?” I was almost too flustered to speak.

“Maybe.” Tamaki threw his arm over my shoulders, squeezing me tightly. “You’re so cute Kana-chan!”

“You know, Kyoya told me to call him if any of you treated me disrespectfully.” I glared at him.

“Don’t call Mommy on me!” Tamaki pouted, not releasing me from his iron grip. “Let me keep you warm tonight and I’ll be as respectful as Mori-senpai.”

“Keep me warm?”

“Sleep here with me. Let me cuddle you.” His breath tickled my ear.

“Fine.” I found myself agreeing. A large part of me didn’t want to be alone after everything that had been happening lately. “But here, not in my room. If that’s okay.”

“Thank you.” Tamaki gave me a quick kiss on the cheek before loosening his grip slightly, leaving his arm dangling over my shoulders. “Kyoya wanted me to take care of you tonight. He didn’t get the chance to tell me outright, but--”

“He said he trusts you with everything.” I let myself lean into his side. “I’m guessing that really means everything.”

“Kyoya never gives details, but I know a bit about the two of you.” Tamaki was obviously being very careful with his words. “I know how Kyoya works.”

I nodded slowly. “You understand then.”

“I understand why you might need a bit of closeness tonight.” Tamaki said softly. “I have one last request.”

“What’s that?”

Tamaki’s attention returned to his computer. I watched him bring up a video calling program. “Stay with me while I say good night to Haruhi? I’d love for you to meet her.”

“Kaoru wants me to meet her too.” I said, vaguely recalling the conversation we had before he’d kissed me. “I’ve heard she’s special.”

“She is.” With that, he clicked a few buttons and brought up his webcam. I saw our tiny faces reflected in the lower part of his screen, with a note that we were visible to the person he was dialing.

It was only a few seconds before Haruhi Fujioka answered. Her face filled the screen. Her hair was a bit longer than what I had seen in the picture, and her brown eyes held a sense of maturity, but she still retained a very youthful face. From what I could tell, she was dressed very simply in a large t-shirt and wore no makeup.

“Is this an invitation to watch, Tamaki?” Her voice was amused. I could tell she was giving me the once over from her side of the screen.

“Not tonight, Haru.” Tamaki stuck his tongue out playfully. “I’m staying the night with our new friend, Kanami Inao. I thought you’d like to meet her.”

“So you’re the infamous Kana-chan.” Haruhi’s eyes glinted. She leaned closer to her webcam, as if she were trying to get a better look at me. “I’ve heard about you. It’s nice to finally meet you.”

“I’ve heard about you too.” I gave her a small wave. “All good things.”

“Kyoya called a few minutes ago. I hope you don’t mind, but he asked me to do some legal research about your situation. I’m still a law student, so I’m not practicing, but I’d be happy to help you in any way I can.”

“Which legal situation is he talking about?” I raised an eyebrow.

“There are multiple?” Tamaki glanced between us.

“From what I understand, Kanami, you essentially committed a white collar crime and Kyoya’s dad had you fix the damages, and now you’re studying in Japan to learn to use your abilities for good.” Haruhi took a breath. “But, your current living situation is less than ideal for reasons I don’t quite know, and Kyoya wants you out. You’ve got nothing to your name, and everything is connected to your parents. Right?”

“That basically sums it up.” I nodded.

“Damn rich people. What a weird situation. Had I done anything like that--”

“Haruhi grew up as a commoner, in case that wasn’t obvious.” Tamaki interrupted. “But now she’s at the top law school in Kyoto!”

“My father didn’t want me to go to college before I nearly destroyed him.” I said cooly. At least she had been given the opportunity, despite her financial status. “An arranged marriage wasn’t exactly something I was looking forward to.”

“You don’t have to explain yourself to me. I think it was pretty cool, honestly.” Haruhi grinned. “It just represents so much of what’s wrong with the legal system. I could go on for hours.”

“Tell me about it. I feel like Ootori-sama and Father pulled as many strings as they could to get me here.” I sighed. “So, Fujioka-san, do you have any idea on what I should do?”

“I’ll need some time to figure it out. Kyoya was pretty adamant that I did.” Haruhi rested her chin in her hands. “I’ll be in Tokyo once the semester’s over, we’ll have to spend some time together, yeah?”

 

“Am I invited?” Tamaki almost sounded bashful.

“I don’t know, I’ve never had the chance for girl time.” Haruhi teased.

“I haven’t either.” I picked up on her game. “Isn’t the whole point to not have men around?”

“Don’t make me dress up as a girl again!” Tamaki groaned.

“Wait, you dressed as a girl?” My eyes widened.

“Kyoya did too.” Haruhi giggled. “I’ll have to find a picture for you, Kana-chan. Tomorrow. I’ve got to get some sleep.”

“So do we, Haru dearest.” Tamaki blew a kiss into the camera. “Sleep well, darling. I love you.”
“I love you, Tama.” Haruhi blew a quick kiss back. “Night, Kana-chan. Nice meeting you.”

“Nice meeting you, Fujioka-san.” I waved.

Tamaki closed the laptop and rolled out of bed to turn off the light. He returned to my side, pulling the covers over the two of us. He rolled over to his side and pulled me against him, letting my head rest in the crook of his shoulder.

“May I kiss the princess good night?” Tamaki asked softly, his hand coming to my cheek.

“Just once.” I smiled. We were both missing our lovers, how could I deny him?

Tamaki gave me a small peck on the lips, once again a relatively tame gesture compared to what I had expected from him. “Good night, princess.”

Chapter Text

Tamaki was hot. Not in the I-want-to-jump-his-bones kind of hot, but literally hot. I woke up with his arms around me, his breath on my neck. His breathing was soft and even, as though he were sleeping deeply.

 

I carefully removed myself from his grasp and placed a pillow in his arms, hoping that would keep him from realizing my absence. I watched him readjust before I quietly left the room. I needed a shower, then I would make him pancakes. Surely he’d appreciate that. 

 

Although, the sugar might make him even more hyper. 

 

I let myself muse on that thought as I started the shower. My bathroom was always stocked with more product than I could ever imagine myself using. That’s one thing I could appreciate about my maid, Meimi; she had picked up on my preferences for scents and made sure I never ran out of the things I did like. When I had first moved in, she had provided me with mostly florals and fruity scents, but she quickly moved to the more herbal and somewhat masculine scents that I preferred, like tea tree and mint. 

 

I didn’t want to think that she could be spying on me on my mother’s behalf. She was the one good thing about staying here--she didn’t overstep or get frustrated when I insisted on doing things for myself, and there was always coffee waiting for me whenever I woke up during the week, along with an assortment of snacks to throw into my bag for the school day.

 

I would have to tell her to make dinner for three tomorrow. I wondered how much she was going to judge me over the next few days…

 

The thoughts ran away with me as I showered. I hated washing my hair. If I had any sense I would cut it off a la Jo March, but like Jo my hair was my one beauty, even if I kept it pinned up most of the time. 

 

Once I was finished, I quickly dried off and braided my wet hair in an attempt to keep it from tangling. I went through the rest of my routine on near autopilot until it came to picking out clothes. I still struggled with making sense of my wardrobe. Fortunately Hikaru and Kaoru agreed to give me plenty of neutrals, as opposed to their normal colorful sense of style, but there was no guide on what to wear when you were spending a day with Tamakim and later Mori. 

 

I finally decided on a pair of black leggings and a deep green flowy blouse that was accented with gold designs around the neckline. Satisfied with my appearance, I headed to the kitchen and started the coffee maker before I began making pancakes. 

 

It wasn’t long before I heard Tamaki’s voice. “Where’d you learn to cook, Kana-chan?”

 

I turned away from the stove where I had three pancakes warming. He was standing almost shyly next to the refrigerator, still in his pajamas. “I used to watch the cooks back home, one of them finally got annoyed with me and showed me a few things.”

 

“I can’t imagine anyone ever being annoyed with you. You’re so cute!” Tamaki closed the space between us and pulled me into a crushing hug. “Good morning princess.”

 

“Good morning.” I mumbled into his chest. I let him hug me for a moment before I squirmed away. “You can use my bathroom to get ready if you want.”

 

“What am I getting ready for?” He cocked his head to the side.

 

“The most boring Sunday of your life. I hope you brought some school work to do, because that’s what I’ll be doing.” I winked. I returned my attention to the stove and flipped the pancakes, happy with the color they had turned.

 

“I’m sure that I can find something to do.” 

 

Tamaki left me to finish cooking. I tried not to think about him going into my bedroom and bathroom. This whole arrangement had left me feeling as though my privacy had been seriously invaded. This was a far cry from my life just a few months ago, where I spent my time alone. Was this what having a friend group was like? The constant interaction, the feeling of belonging, the assurance that I had people I could turn to. 

 

I wasn’t alone anymore. There was no longer a sense of facing the world on my own. I had six incredible men who were more than willing to go out of their ways for me. Me, Kanami Inao, who had been raised to believe that I would never be worth more than my name. 

 

The thought made me want to cry, and I’m not one to shed tears. I was getting too sentimental for my own good. 

 

***

 

My suspicions about giving Tamaki sugar proved to be correct. How was it that a college-aged man was still able to get a sugar high?! He became even chattier than normal as we sat in my living room. He had barely touched his laptop, instead he was giving a running commentary on the movie we were watching.

 

“Kana-chan, this is the part where Gandalf fights the Balrog!” Tamaki pulled at my sleeve. “You need to watch this!”

 

I tore my eyes away from the half-completed code I had been working on. “This sounds so much better in English.”

 

“YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” Tamaki’s enthusiasm towards Lord of the Rings surprised me. I had picked the movie expecting him to be bored. 

 

“Are you sure we shouldn’t put on something else?” I grinned, my attention going back to my laptop. 

 

“I can study later.” 

 

“Sure.” I rolled my eyes. I managed to write a few more lines before I was interrupted again, this time by my phone.

 

The boss driving you up the wall yet? Kaoru’s message was sent to only me, not in the usual group chat we shared with Hikaru.

 

He’s actually behaving. I fed him pancakes.

 

Hika wants to kidnap you for our night. 

 

I raised an eyebrow. Why do I feel like you’re ruining a surprise?

 

Don’t worry dear, I’m not ruining the actual surprise. I could practically hear his evil grin through his text. 

 

Care to give me a hint?

 

His only response was a gif of a cartoon panda shaking its head. I tossed my phone to the side, not quite willing to play into his game. I knew that he wanted me to pester him. 

 

I managed to keep relatively focused until the end of the movie, despite Tmakai’s frequent interruptions. I was trying to get a head start on my midterm projects, which not only included developing a basic program, but two other projects for my business courses, on top of four tests. I was going to have to convince Father to let me drop down in hours before I went insane. Although, he would probably blame my friends to my lack of focus.

 

“Mori-senpai will be here in just a few minutes.” Tamaki’s voice snapped me out of my thoughts. “I hate to leave you, princess.”

 

“I have a feeling I’ll be in good hands.” I shut my laptop.

 

He closed the space between us and pulled me into a somewhat awkward couch hug. “I’ll spend the rest of my nights wishing I had you in my arms.”

 

“You can’t possibly mean that, Suoh-senpai.” I groaned.

 

“My Shadow King adores you, why can’t I?” He pulled away slightly so that he could look me in the eye. “Surely you see it.”

 

“I don’t think ‘adore’ is the right word.” I bit my lip. 

 

“Kyoya’s only pulled us away from clients once before, when my Haruhi was in trouble.” Tamaki’s voice took on a serious tone. “He wants to take care of you, Kana-chan.”

 

“I’m still not convinced that he isn’t just using me, you know? Or that all of this is just going to end. I’ve got the new girl thing going on, that’s bound to wear off.” Why did I get so emotional around Tamaki? Something about him brought out a sentimental side that I didn’t know I had. 

 

“I’m going to find a way to put your mind at rest. I promise.” He gave me a quick kiss on the forehead before he released me. “I better go pack up.”

 

It wasn’t long before Mori arrived and Tamaki gave me a rather dramatic goodbye. The two of them exchanged a few words before Tamaki left Mori and I just inside the door. 

 

Mori regarded my home with his typical cool expression. He seemed slightly on edge as he stood in my living room, as if something was on his mind. 

 

“I’ve got a couch bed set up in the study, if you want to get settled.” I offered. “Although, you might be too tall for it.”

 

He nodded silently. I gestured for him to follow me as I headed towards the study. I heard his footsteps behind me, followed by the sound of his small overnight bag dropping to the floor. 

 

Before I could react, I felt his hand clasp around my mouth. I barely had time to struggle as he pulled me against his broad frame. His other hand circled my wrist. I could hear my heart pounding in my ears as he effortlessly pulled me to the couch and forced me onto my back.

 

“Mori-senpai, what are you doing?” My eyes were wide in shock. His hand clasped over my mouth once again. He lowered himself on top of me, pinning me down beneath his weight. I couldn’t struggle, I couldn’t breathe. 

 

I felt his other hand slide down my thigh, then back to the waistband of my leggings. 

 

No.

 

I could only scream against his hand. 

 

What was he doing?!

Chapter Text

“What would you have done if it wasn’t me?”

Mori’s question had caught me off guard, but his actions had their intended effect. What would I have done? Would have I been left powerless against my attacker, and subjected myself to being assaulted?

Mori had wanted to teach me an important lesson. I had very little defense against someone who would want to harm me. I tried to convince him that no one was out to get me, but he refused to back down. I knew enough about Mori to understand that words weren’t his strong suit, rather, he preferred actions to get his point across.

And that’s how I wound up in my backyard learning the art of self defense from Takashi Morinozuka.

“Redistribute your weight.” In the last hours I had heard Mori’s voice more than I had heard it before. I had changed into the closest thing I had to gym clothes--a pair of black calf-length yoga pants and a tank top. “Even between both feet.”

“I won’t have time to think about that if someone’s coming after me, will I?” Still, I complied. I stood a few feet away from him with my feet shoulder-length apart and my elbows at my side.

“Practice. It’ll come natural.” Mori wasn’t taking any of my excuses. “I’m going to come at you from the front. Use what I’ve taught you.”

I knew Mori wasn’t acting at his full potential, but the speed of his movements was still quite alarming for a man his size. With a few steps, he closed the distance between us, preparing to grab me. I sucked in a breath, hesitating for only a moment before I acted.

I quickly knocked his hand away and pulled back for an open-palmed strike. He was too tall for me to reach his chin or nose, the method that he had taught me to use. Instead I struck him directly in the sternum with the heel of my palm. The blow barely seemed to phase him. He caught my wrist in his hand. WIthout thinking, I wrapped one of my legs around his and bent at the waist.

The movement knocked both of us off balance, sending us to the ground. I landed almost directly on top of him, my elbows hitting the grass beside his head with a soft thud.

“At least I have the upper hand now.” I panted.

“You’re still too slow.” Mori gave me a soft smile. He didn’t attempt to pull me away from him, instead he adjusted so that my legs were straddling his waist.

“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to defend myself against you.”

“You don’t have to.”

“I know you’d never actually hurt me.” Still, there were questions that I needed the answers to. “What brought this on, exactly?”

His gaze shifted to the side. I followed his eyes to my mother’s mansion.

“I don’t think she’d send someone to hurt me.” I said quietly.

“Kanami.” Mori seemed as though he were trying to find the right words. “We’ve all got our resources.”

“So you’ve heard something then.” When he nodded, I rolled off him, coming to rest at his side. “Fuck.”

“Mitsukuni will tell you more.”

“Why not you?”

“Thinking about it makes me angry.” His eyes met mine. They were full of emotion, something I wasn’t used to seeing from him.

“Then don’t.” I sighed. “Something tells me that I’m under the best protection anyone can ask for.” I added in an attempt to ease his thoughts.

“Yeah.” He seemed to relax. I felt that I had finally got to witness Mori in his true element. His normal front had been absent while he was teaching me how to fight.

“Another question.” I sucked in a breath. “What would you have done if I hadn’t tried to fight you off earlier?”

My question hung between us for a few moments. I was afraid to see his reaction; instead I focused on the darkening sky above us.

“I’d never hurt you.” His words were soft, careful.

“But would you have gone through with it?”

“Not like that.”

“How, then?”

I felt him shift beside me. My vision was suddenly obscured by his conflicted face as he moved on top of me, balancing his weight so that he wasn’t crushing me. His face hovered inches above mine.

So much of him appealed to me on a physical level. His strength, his voice, the way he moved. I felt an overwhelming urge to see more of him, to let him have his way with me.

It would never truly work out between us, that much I knew, but I couldn’t deny the physical hunger I felt towards him. My protector.

I knew that he wouldn’t be the type that would just take what he wanted. He was far too polite for that.

Kissing Mori ignited a spark within me. I let my hands tangle in his hair, pulling him almost forcefully to me. He met my enthusiasm with a low groan. His tongue pushed inside my mouth while his hands found my face. I felt his body flush with heat.

“Take me.” I said when we finally broke for air.

I didn’t have to ask him twice. Mori effortlessly carried me into the house, holding me so that my legs were wrapped around his waist. I could feel his need growing as I grinded against him.

We didn’t make it to the bedroom. He sat me down on the kitchen counter and peeled his shirt off, letting it drop to the floor. I allowed myself to marvel at his physique as he stood before me. I couldn’t resist pulling him to me. I let myself explore his chest and stomach with my hands and lips, tracing every defined line on his abdomen with my tongue.

I wanted more of him.

Acting purely on instinct, I slid off the counter and dropped to my knees in front of him. I tugged his pants and underwear down to his ankles, pleased with the sight that I was met with.

God he was hard. And huge.

I knew there was no way I could take all of him into my mouth, but I still tried, nearly choking myself on his length. I heard him moan my name. My nails dug into his thighs eagerly. I loved that I was doing this to him.

While I had been enthusiastic with my actions, Mori was almost frustratingly slow, gentle. After a few moments he gently pulled me back to my feet. He took his time in undressing me, kissing a trail up my stomach as he slid my tank top over my head.

“You’re lovely.” Mori whispered once I was completely naked before him. He lifted me once more, this time carrying me to the couch where he laid me on my back. He slowly ran his hands down my sides and lowered his face between my legs. His lips pressed to my inner thighs, almost too lightly for my liking.

“Mori-senpai--”

“Takashi.” He mumbled. His tongue found my entrance. He teased me, flicking his tongue over my clit. His arms circled around my thighs, positioning my legs so they were over his shoulders.

“Takashi.” I moaned. I squeezed my thighs around his head, unwillingly begging him for more. My hips bucked in a need for friction, for something to satisfy the growing tension building up inside me.

Mori wasn’t ready to comply. He continued at his own pace, as though he were trying to explore every inch of me with his tongue. He wasn’t letting me reach my edge, not yet anyway. He continued for several long minutes until he was finally satisfied. I let out a small noise of protest as he pulled away from me and sat on the couch.

He motioned for me to climb on top of him. He positioned me so that I was hovering just above his length. His eyes questioned me. When I nodded, he gently lowered me onto him, allowing me to adjust to his size.

I felt like I was being split in half, despite being incredibly aroused already. Just when I thought he was completely inside of me, he would lift my hips again and start over, pulling me down further each time until he was buried inside of me.

“You feel amazing, Takashi.” I rocked my hips, nearly losing myself in the pleasant fullness he was giving me. He granted me a few moments of this before he stood, pushing himself deeper inside me with the motion. He carefully moved to one of the walls, pressing my back my back to the cool surface.

This was Mori’s game, apparently. I wrapped my legs tightly around his waist as he ever so slowly moved in and out of me. He held my hips in place, preventing me from trying to quicken his pace. He was driving me mad with need. My body was nearly burning heat and desire.

“Fuck me Takashi. Please.” I begged.

Mori’s eyes locked to mine. A smirk grew on his face. I had given him what he wanted. Still, I wasn’t prepared for the sudden change in speed as he began pounding into me at an alarming pace. I dug my nails into his shoulders, unable to do much besides hold on to him.

The intensity of my release surprised me. I dropped my head to the crook of his neck, letting out a long moan. I felt myself convulse around him.

“Look at me, Kanami.” His voice was low in my ear. I complied. His gaze was intense. I felt that I truly saw him in that moment. I could feel the passion pouring from. It was enough to bring me back to the edge once more. I had never been brought to my limit again so quickly, not even whenever I tried it on myself.

Mori sensed this. His fingers gripped my hips tighter. I could tell that he was reaching his own release. His quiet grunts grew to match my own volume. His pace became more sporadic, needy. I urged him on until I felt him push once, twice, then a final time before we both came undone.

“Thank you.” He whispered as he slid out of me. He supported my weight while I tried to stand, my legs shaking almost uncontrollably.

“I should be thanking you, Takashi.” I rested my forehead against his chest. “You’re pretty amazing.”

This seemed to please him. He held me in a strong embrace, a gesture that I never expected from him.

That night, I convinced him to stay in my bed with me. He protested at first. Despite everything that had transpired between us, he had reverted back to the impossibly polite gentleman that I knew him to be. Still, we went to bed next to each other, his hand holding mine over the covers as we chatted about his dreams of running his own martial arts academy. He grew more vocal in his exhaustion, telling me all about the connection between his family and Honey’s, giving me a background on their relationship.

My mind returned to my mother once he had fallen asleep. I wondered what information he wasn’t sharing with me about her plans. I would have to find out more from Honey. Until then, I would rely on Mori’s protection.

Not a bad spot to be in, I decided. I allowed myself one last look at Mori before I rolled over. I had a strong feeling that my safety was certainly guaranteed as long as he was around.

Chapter Text

Chapter Twenty Seven
Kana

 

Everything hurt. My head, my legs, hell, even brushing my teeth was a struggle. I had never been one to enjoy physical activity, despite having grown up with a personal trainer. I hadn’t worked out since arriving in Japan. Even when I was back in America, I had the tendency to find excuses to skip out on my regular sessions. Not even the pleasant soreness between my legs could bring me out of the foul mood I had woken up in.

It didn’t help that it was just after 6 am on a Monday, that was for sure. Mori had unintentionally woken me up when he got out of bed. To do what, I wasn’t sure. I could hear him moving quietly through the house while I was getting ready.

I wasn’t up to looking nice. I wanted nothing more to wear an old pair of faded jeans and a plain shirt. Instead I reached for the easiest thing I could put together--yet another of ridiculously fitted jeans, a red camisole, and a long black cardigan. I knew that Hikaru and Kaoru would scream at me for not making use of the more feminine skirts and dresses they had given me. I mentally vowed to start wearing them once the weather grew warmer.

And then there were shoes. I had so many now, but I found myself wearing the same black flats on a daily basis. So much so that they had a permanent place beside my front door.

I found Mori in the kitchen, still wearing the white muscle shirt and long athletic shorts he’d slept in the night before. Much to my surprise, he appeared to be making rolled omelettes, and a large amount of them, judging from the size of the mixing bowl he was using.

Mori sensed my presence behind him. He gave me a cautious glance over his shoulder, as if he were expecting me to protest.

“I could’ve asked my maid to make something. She’ll be here in about an hour.” I gave him a reassuring smile. “Not that I mind.”

“Mitsukuni.” He gave a small shrug and turned his attention back to the stove, where he was carefully folding the eggs into their characteristic shape.

“Do you live with him?” Not wanting to wait for Meimi to make my morning dose of caffeine, I decided to join Mori in the kitchen to begin making my typical weekday breakfast--black coffee.

He answered with a short affirmative noise. I heard him slide the first omelette onto a plate before moving to a second one.

“Something tells me he’d eat nothing but sweets unless you cooked for him.”

“Yeah.” I could hear the smile in his voice. “Would you like one?”

I stifled a yawn. “I normally don’t have time to eat before class.”

I felt his familiar touch on the top of my head. I turned to face him. The look on his face told me he was mentally calculating something. It was a look I often saw from him whenever we walked together in the mornings. I let the silence stay between us for a bit. Conversational lulls came naturally with Mori and I. There wasn’t a constant pressure to come up with the correct words to say.

I poured myself a cup of coffee once the machine had clicked off. “Coffee, Mori-senpai? Or should I make tea? I think I’ve got juice, too.”

“Coffee, thank you.” He had finished a second omelette and was eying me almost expectantly.

“Would you make me a smaller one?” I was hungrier than normal, probably because of yesterday’s activities.

Mori seemed satisfied with my request. I watched him cook while I took a few sips of coffee, immediately feeling a small relief from my normal morning headache. I had trouble sleeping from a young age--I can’t remember a time where I ever woke up feeling truly rested.

I found a small bento box for Honey’s food while Mori finished preparing our meal. Despite my request, I noticed he’d made my portion as large as he’d made his own. I wondered briefly if Kyoya had gone into more detail about what Amelia had said about me, or if Mori was simply being kind. I was in no mood to discuss either of them, so I decided not to comment.

We sat at the counter to eat. I felt his eyes on me as I took the first bites. I wasn’t the least bit surprised that he’d manage to find a perfect flavor balance between the salty and sweet profile that the dish normally possessed.

“Another thing you’re amazing at.” Was I flirting with him? Did I even know how to flirt? “Thank you for making this.”

“Hm.” Mori hummed happily and started in on his own food.

“Thank you for yesterday too. All of it.” I stared down at my plate, my face suddenly feeling hot.

“Kanami.”

My head snapped up. I turned to see him staring at me with the same intensity as the night before. He slowly leaned forward, as though he were giving me the chance to move away. When I didn’t, he kissed me roughly. Even with the distance between our bodies I felt the spark once more light up inside me. Every fiber of my being seemed to react to him. Despite my body’s exhaustion I wanted him again.

He broke away all too soon. There was a faint flush on his cheeks, a hint that he shared the same feelings. “Finish eating.”

I couldn’t resist a smirk. “Of course.”

**********

Honey was waiting for us whenever we arrived at the school. It was almost obnoxiously early--Mori requested that we left before Meimi arrived as to not give her any reason to report she’d seen a man in my house. While I didn’t believe that she was the one who clued Mother in to Kyoya’s visits, I respected his feelings.

“Good morning!” Honey was chipper as usual. His attention immediately went to Mori. They were quite the odd pair between their height difference and clothing styles (Honey’s flamboyant attire seemed even more outlandish compared to Mori’s simple black blazer and pants), but the two of them clearly fit together. “Did you miss me while you were at Kana-chan’s?”

“Yeah.” Mori handed Honey the small bento he’d packed before taking my backpack. His fingers lingered on mine for a brief moment as I handed it over.

“Did you cook for Kana-chan too?” I couldn’t help but sense an ulterior motive behind Honey’s questioning.

“Kana-chan is quite full.” I could feel Mori stiffen beside me as I spoke.

“I knew I liked you.” Honey flashed me a wicked grin. Mori seemed to relax again at his cousin’s words. Honey reached for my hand. “I’d like to talk to you before class, ‘kay?”

“‘Kay.” I found myself echoing Honey’s sweet manner of speaking.

Honey laced his fingers through mine as we walked. Mori stayed a step behind us, moving quietly for a man his size.

“You’re walking slow today.” Honey was leading us to a secluded area behind one of the larger buildings.

“Sorry. I’m a little sore.” I quickly added, “Mori-senpai spent a lot of time teaching me how to defend myself.”

“Don’t be sorry, you just need to practice more!” Honey’s fingers tightened around mine. “So you know why I need to talk to you?”

I nodded. We had come to a stop in what I knew to be one of the few smoking areas around campus. It was a typical smoking site, even for Ouran, with a concrete picnic table that had traces of ashes littered across the top. Mori was already holding my bag out to me with a knowing gaze. Still, I waited for an approval before lighting up.

“Does the name Kasanoda mean anything to you?” Honey sat with his legs crossed at the ankles, a feminine gesture.

“Isn’t he Italian?” My gaze travelled between Honey and Mori. Mori had turned away from us, as though he were keeping watch.

Honey’s lips pressed into a wry smile. “Kas-a-no-da. Not Casanova.”

“I haven’t heard the name, then.”

Honey’s demeanor darkened a bit. “The Kasanoda Syndicate is one of the highest ranking yakuza families in Japan. Takashi mentored their leader, Ritsu. He came to us a few days ago asking about a job they’d been asked to take on involving a student here.”

“Am I that student?” I asked quietly. “What was the job?”

“We normally don’t ask for any details, but when we heard your name we had to know.” Honey took a breath. “They weren’t asked to kill you. But they were supposed to torment you until you had to go back to America, by any means necessary.”

“That isn’t the Kasanoda way.” Mori spoke firmly.

“Takashi’s right. Ritsu would never allow his family to torture an innocent woman.” Honey’s efforts to reassure me weren’t going unnoticed. “But they’re one of the good ones. He was worried that someone else would be hired.”

But I’m not innocent. I wanted to scream. I was a criminal in my own right. What if someone that I had exposed caught wind of this ‘job’ the Kasanoda Syndicate was asked to do?

“Was it my mother?” I tried to keep my voice even. I had smoked my cigarette down to the filter. I squeezed the tip tightly, welcoming the stinging burn as the flame died between my fingertips.

“The person that came to Ritsu was working for someone else. He’s asking his men to find out as much as they can.” Honey was suddenly on me. He pulled me into a tight hug, nearly smothering me against his chest. He was stronger than he looked. “I didn’t want to get you involved, Kana-chan. But with everything that happened Takashi and I had to say something.”

I was shaking. I couldn’t bring myself to return Honey’s embrace. So many thoughts were spinning in my head. I knew my mother was evil, but would she really turn to the yakuza to get rid of me? Who else could it be? Who else would want me back in America?

A lot of people would. I shouldn’t have made friends. I knew I was suddenly coming into the spotlight thanks to my being seen with the Host Club members. They were well-known. All it would take was someone doing a quick Google search of my name to reveal what I’d done.

“We haven’t told anyone else. Tamaki would overreact, and Kyoya--”

“Kyoya would lock me in a bomb shelter until the end of time.” I mumbled.

“Mitsukuni.” There was a hint of warning in Mori’s voice.

“Someone’s coming. Put on your brave face. We’re right here.” Honey whispered. He rubbed my back soothingly before he broke away.

“What’re you three doing?” I looked up to see Kaoru approaching us, a lit cigarette in his hand.

“Takashi made Kana-chan get here early, so we were just talking before class.” Honey was back to his cheery mood. It was a mask he wore, I realized. Either that, or he had two personalities. “Where’s Hika-kun?”

“Still asleep, probably. We were up too late.” As Kaoru got closer I could see the dark circles beneath his eyes. I didn’t have the words to greet him. Instead I moved away from Honey and lit another cigarette. There wasn’t enough nicotine in the world to deal with this.

Kaoru saw right through me. I had never been good at hiding my own emotions, no matter how hard I tried. It had always made me an easy target for Amelia; she always knew how to get a rise out of me. I watched as his eyes went from Honey, to Mori, then back to me.

“Does this have anything to do with the surprise you mentioned yesterday?” I managed to ask.

“That’s a secret.” He stood in front of me, looking down at me with a guarded expression. “Kana, you look like you’re about to have a nervous breakdown.”

“That’s a possibility.” My voice came out in a high-pitched squeak.

“Don’t tell me the dragon reared her ugly head again.” Kaoru rubbed his face tiredly. “I swear I’m going to--”

“You’re starting to sound like Hika.” Honey giggled. “You like Kana-chan too, don’t you?”

“I’m just tired, Honey-senpai. But seriously, Kana, are you okay?”

I shook my head rapidly. Why did it have to be Kaoru of all people to ask me that? Kyoya wouldn’t make me talk, and I could easily dodge Tamaki’s questions, but Kaoru wasn’t the type to back down.

Mori was at my side in almost an instant. “It isn’t something we can tell Hikaru.”

He was right. Hikaru’s temper was worse than Kyoya’s in some ways. I watched as Kaoru processed this thought. He chewed the inside of his lip for a moment.

“Hikaru won’t know then.”

“I can’t sit through this again.” I found myself leaning into Mori’s side, my legs threatening to give out.

“Take Kana-chan to class, Takashi.” Honey’s voice returned to the dark tone I’d heard earlier.

“Are you sure you should be going to class?” Kaoru raised an eyebrow.

I couldn’t respond. Everything was threatening to come out in English. I gave him a small nod, hoping it was enough to ease his concerns. I had to pretend things were normal until we had more information from this Ritsu person. There had to be someone to pursue before we could take action, that much I understood.

I took a last look at Kaoru and Honey before I willed myself to continue the walk to my first class. Mori walked quietly beside me, not saying anything until we reached the classroom. He stopped me before we walked in.

“Are you sure?”

“Honey told me to put on a brave face.” I sucked in a breath. “How am I doing?”

“Not the greatest.”

“Okay.” I forced a wide-lipped smile. “How about now.”

“Kanami.” Mori touched the side of my face lightly. “What is it called when a business analyst assesses the potential effects of a change?”

I knew what he was doing. “A business impact analysis.”

“Focus on something else.” He nodded.

“Business Analytics 220 will be my only focus for the next hour.” I promised. With that, I led us into the classroom, where he once again took the desk directly behind mine, no doubt shielding me from what was to come.

Chapter Text

“I think Mori-senpai’s spotted us.”

I glanced up from my phone. Sure enough, Mori was eying Hika and I from his position in front of the tech building where Kanami had her last class. He was holding true to his word on making sure Kana was escorted around campus. I had caught him darting through the common building earlier between classes. He was on edge--but then again we all were. Kanami Inao had unintentionally shattered what we all knew to be as normal. School, clients, events, that was our life. The seven of us, Haruhi included, hadn’t allowed anyone to get this close to us since high school. We kept everyone else at arm’s length, even the ones we allowed into our beds.

At least we wouldn’t get bored of her.

“We aren’t exactly hiding, Hika.” We had been sitting on a bench, waiting for her for the last half hour.

“Should we? This is a kidnapping attempt.” Hikaru crossed his arms, still staring Mori down.

“Well, we didn’t exactly take her bodyguard into consideration.”

“Think he’s going to let us take her?”

“He might protest.” I shrugged.

I hated keeping secrets from my twin. It went against every fiber of my being. We’ve always shared everything from the time we were born. Not only was I keeping a secret from Hika, but Kyoya and Tamaki didn’t know Kana’s situation either, and I doubted that Honey had told Haruhi.

“Takashi and I will be keeping watch over her until we hear back from Ritsu.” Honey’s words were surprisingly lighthearted. “But since you know too, you’re going to help keep her safe, ‘kay?”

I wasn’t a fighter. I could hold my own, sure. But there was something more that Kana needed beyond physical protection. The pain in her eyes was a look I recognized far too well. I knew she would hide behind her walls and try to keep us out.

“We’re up, Kao.” Hikaru grabbed my arm, tugging me along behind him to where Kana was making her way out of the tech building. “Time to give the princess a distraction for the night.”

A distraction. That was exactly what Kana needed. Her posture told me everything. Normally she held herself with a certain stature that could only come from someone who had lived a much harsher life than they deserved, yet still came out stronger on the other side. Now she looked like she was trying to make herself smaller, less noticeable. Her arms were wrapped around her stomach and her shoulders were tilted forward slightly.

“I believe you’re being relieved of your duties, Senpai.” Kana’s lips curved into a cautious smile.

“She’s right. As of now, Kana-chan is officially ours for the night.” Hikaru draped his arm around Kana’s shoulders.

“We’ve got plans.” I took Kana’s hand, forcing her to uncross her arms. “You’re staying with us tonight.”

“Kaoru.” Mori’s voice held a bit of a warning.

“We’re working on our midterm project.” I winked. I met Mori’s eyes for a brief moment. He blinked slowly, keeping his expression blank. “So we’ll be staying in tonight.”

“Don’t ruin it Kaoru.” Hikaru, clearly oblivious, was stroking the side of Kana’s face as he spoke.

“Make sure she’s up in time to eat in the morning.” Mori touched the top of Kana’s head lightly.

“Yeah, yeah. Don’t worry, we feed our models.” Hikaru turned, causing Kana and I to move with him.

“Your models?” Kana shot me a worried expression as we were half-dragged along by Hikaru. “I don’t do pictures.”

“What the hell was up with Mori-senpai?” Hika was clearly avoiding Kana’s statement. The three of us made our way through campus. Part of me wondered if Kana noticed the eyes that were on us, mostly from females who were obviously being way too judgemental for their own good. Hikaru and I were used to drawing stares everywhere we went.

“He’s probably tired from chasing me around all day.” Kana sighed. Her fingers were loose around mine. “How did he even know my schedule? I didn’t tell him.”

“Kyoya.” Hikaru and I said.

“I knew he’d been following me.” The thought seemed to annoy her. Curious.

“Could’ve been Tamaki. His father’s the President, you know.” I shrugged.

“I don’t think that Tamaki’s that close to him.” Hikaru frowned.

“Blaming Kyoya’s easier.” Kana’s eyes narrowed. I sensed a small bit of a temper within her. I didn’t know if it was her lack of language skills or a stellar sense of self-control that had been keeping it at bay.

Still I wondered how far Kana could be pushed before she eventually broke. And I wondered which one of us would be the person to pick up the pieces once she fell.

--***--

“There’s no way that’s going to fit me.”

Hika and I had brought Kana back to our mansion, where we had set up one of Mom’s dressing rooms with our midterm project for our design class--aka the deep burgundy evening gown we had designed just for Kana. Well, technically Hikaru had designed it while I had spent the last two nights doing the majority of the stitching to meet his specifications. I wasn’t surprised at Kana’s reaction--the gown was made to show off her figure. It had a high neck with tulle paneling in the front, an open back, and a slightly flared waist that led into the full skirt.

The design overall was simple for Hikaru. Normally he’d add a ton of embellishment and he tended to favor a mermaid fit, but he genuinely took Kana’s simpler preference to heart.

“Trust us Kana.” Hikaru wrapped his arms around Kana’s waist, holding her from behind. He still had it in his mind that we could sway her with our typical act.

I took Kana’s face in my hands, feeling her face warm beneath my touch. “Trust us.”

Her eyes searched mine. I saw the briefest flash of fear. “I’ll try it on, just don’t laugh.”

“We promise.” Hikaru and I said.

“We’ve got a condition of our own.” Hikaru’s lips were close to Kana’s ear. “Wear it to the Ootori gala this weekend.”

“But what about the other--”

“Kana, that was one of Mom’s designs. We want you to wear ours.” I grinned.

“So that way, when people ask you who you’re wearing--”

“--you’ll have to tell them it came from us.”

“Are you sure this is for your midterm?” Kana raised an eyebrow.

“Partially.” I admitted. “We might also want to prove a point.”

“Consider it a favor to us.” Hikaru said.

“I exploit software vulnerabilities, you two send me to an event in a dress you made instead of your mother.” Kana shrugged herself out of our touch. “I’m in.”

This set Hikaru into action. Before Kana could protest, he was pulling her behind a privacy divider, giving her instructions on how to get herself into the gown. I watched in mild amusement. This was Hikaru’s element. He was the one with the potential as a creative director and designer, while I was happy with staying mostly in the background. I preferred working with fabric, not people. Models could be unbearable.

Hikaru stood beside me while we waited for Kana. I could sense his nerves rising. Hikaru would never admit it, but he was desperate for her to like what he’d come up with. He thrived on approval. We both did.

My breath hitched in my throat once Kana reappeared. Hikaru had been right, the fit and style were perfect for her. I watched as she found her way to the three panel mirror we’d set up for her. The lining of the bodice hugged her figure, showing off the generous curve of her hips. I had to force myself not to comment--I knew the curves that I adored so much were most likely the target of her mother’s abuse.

“We did good.” Hikaru’s hand had found mine.

“That we did.” I cautiously met Kana’s eyes in the mirror. “What do you think?”

“I was right to trust you.” Her lips quivered as though she were trying keep herself from smiling.

Kana’s words sent Hikaru into work mode. He tugged me forward. “Check the fit. Kana, let’s talk heels. Are you more comfortable in a platform or a stiletto?”

“Can you even walk in heels?” I couldn’t keep myself from poking fun at her.

“Can you?”

“Yes.” Hikaru and I answered together.

Kana blinked slowly. “This isn’t my first event. Just nothing too high, please.”

“Size?” Hikaru was already halfway to the door.

“Twenty three and a half.”

“Mom wears the same size. You might’ve just bought me an extra minute here.” I said once Hikaru had left. “Mind raising your arms for me?”

“Did you make this?” Kana asked, holding her arms to the side.

“Hika came up with the idea, I put it together.” I ran my fingers between the fabric and her skin. “I need to take this up a bit here. Is it too tight anywhere? Too loose?” I tapped her arm lightly, signalling her to put her arms down again.

“It’s amazing, Kaoru.” Much to my surprise, she wrapped her arms around my waist, holding me close to her. “I love it.”

I held her face in my hands. “As much as I’d love to kiss you right now Kana, I’ve got something I need to ask before Hika comes back.”

“What is it?” Her brow furrowed.

“Did I add enough support?” Even after asking this question dozens of times to the models we worked with, it still felt weird asking Kana. She still seemed completely innocent to me, even though I was certain she had slept with Kyoya at this point. “To your… You know.”

“You know, I was wondering how you managed to guess that one.” She narrowed her eyes at me. Despite her expression, I could hear the playfulness in her voice. “You tell me. Do they look okay? Just pretend this is business.”

I nodded. I took a step back, allowing myself to get a good look at Kana’s partially exposed breasts. The dress’s paneling was cut just enough to show the slightest glimpse of her cleavage, something that Hikaru had insisted on. “We could stand to add a bit more of a lift. If you’re comfortable with that.”

“I’ll let you make that call.” She flushed. “If I’m being honest, Kaoru, I’ve never worn anything that makes me look so…”

“Appealing?” I offered. “Do you not see how people look at you Kana-chan?”

“I just thought that’s how the Host Club treated everyone.” She shrugged.

“It isn’t just the Host Club, dear.” I ran my hand through my hair. “Do me a favor and start paying attention to your surroundings, alright?”

Hikaru was back before she could respond. He was carrying a stack of boxes that threatened to topple over. “I think I’ve got it narrowed down to these. Did you talk to her about accessories Kaoru?”

“He’s having way too much fun with this.” Kana whispered, giving me a small wink.

“Oh, and Kana?”

“Hm?”

“We’ve got to do something about your hair.”

Chapter Text

I needed a distraction.

Convincing the Ootori private police force to change the locks on Kanami’s house without Amelia Claire’s direct permission had proven to be difficult. They finally agreed once I had explained that my own security would be at risk unless further measures were taken. Of course, that naturally meant that several members of the police force were now aware that I would be spending time with her.

People talk, and money can only silence so much.

It wasn’t as if I minded anyone knowing about Kanami and I. Anyone who knew our families could easily see why we would be drawn to each other. It was the uncertainty of where I stood with her that disturbed me the most. I was used to women throwing themselves at me in hopes of becoming part of the Ootori family. While I wasn’t particularly interested in the software field, I was interested in Kanami. Whether she returned that interest was something yet to be discerned.

Of course she loves me, Tamaki would say if he could hear my thoughts. She just needs time to see it.

This exact sentiment was probably why he’d insisted on spending the evening with me on the night Kanami was set to spend with the Hitachiin brothers. Unfortunately for me, this also meant that my typical outlet was completely out of the question.

Tamaki and I had known each other long enough to not need to fill every moment with aimless chatter. Yet that didn’t stop him from constantly muttering under his breath while he was working on homework. We were sitting together on the couch in my personal study, our books piled on the coffee table in front of us.

“You know, Tamaki, when I agreed to let you come over I assumed you’d learn to be quiet for once.” I sighed, not looking up from the novel I had been reading.

“You’re the one who forced me to get some work done.” I could practically hear Tamaki roll his eyes.

“Procrastination isn’t one of your healthier habits.” I flipped a page, knowing my comment would fall on deaf ears. Tamaki was brilliant enough to not need to devote much time to school, even though he had the tendency to forget about assignments until the day they were due. I had lost count of how many times I’d received three am emails from him asking for me to review a paper that was due six hours later.

“Just like bottling up isn’t one of yours.” He quipped. I listened to him type for a few moments before he spoke again. “Are you going to tell me why you wanted me to come over?”

“I didn’t want you to come over, you invited yourself.” I grumbled.

“And I’m sure you would’ve protested more if Kana wasn’t being entertained by Hikaru and Kaoru tonight.” He shifted so that his back was against my arm and his legs were dangling over the armrest. “You practically begged me to come over.”

“I don’t beg.” Still, I couldn’t say that I completely detested his company. I glanced at his laptop screen, where he was working on a paper of some sort. “Is your spell check even on?”

“You’re my spell check, Mommy.” He tilted his head up. “Are you really okay with her being over there?”

The look in his eyes made my heart skip a beat. “We’ve talked about this.”

“Would it help if you knew that I didn’t ravish her when she and I stayed together?”

“Would it help if you knew that I spent that night with one of my clients?” I closed my book.

“The entire night?”

“No. I left once she had passed out.”

“Just when I thought Kana had given you a soft side.” Tamaki sounded almost sad.

“Even if she had, that was a client. Not anyone I truly care about.” I closed my eyes. Tamaki and I had been down this road before.

Tamaki’s response took me by surprise. “That must mean you care about me, then.”

“And what makes you think that?”

“Because you always stayed with me whenever I asked.” Tamaki placed his laptop on the coffee table.

“I could easily prove you wrong, you know.” And I could. I knew how to break down every person close to me. It would be simple enough to destroy his confidence. A few remarks about his illegitimacy and convincing him that we were only friends out of obligation to the Host Club would leave him spiraling. That’s why I refused to allow myself to be truly transparent around anyone. No one could learn my breaking point.

“I’d like to pretend you’d never do that.” Tamaki turned so that he was sitting on his knees facing me. He was almost irritatingly close. “You’ll never get rid of me.”

“Your stubbornness is unparalleled.” I leaned against the arm rest. I couldn’t deny that he was right. No matter what I did early on in our relationship to get rid of him had worked. Tamaki was like that--once he had made up his mind that a person would be in his life they were there to stay.

“Funny, you’re the most stubborn person I know.” Tamaki was slipping into his characteristic charm. He looked at me through hooded eyes as he traced my jawline with one finger. “Do you ever think about when we were together?”

“We were never ‘together’, Tamaki.” I stared at the floor, not quite willing to meet his eyes. “And if memory serves me correctly, you were the one who broke it off to pursue Haruhi.”

“You were my first love too, you know.” He gave me a small tight-lipped smile. “I don’t know if I ever told you that.”

“Is there a reason for telling me now?”

“I think I know why you’re so stressed out about Kana-chan.”

I stood up, my knees nearly colliding with the coffee table. “Nothing that happened between us has anything to do with Kanami and I.”

“Kyoya, you’re acting the same way with her that you did with me when things stopped being just about sex.” Tamaki’s voice rose. “And just because your jealousy--”

“Shut up.” I spat. I couldn’t look at him, even though there was plenty of truth to his words. Tamaki was only other person that I’d felt anything for, before Kanami. I could feign passion and interest well enough, and as much as I had denied feeling anything toward Tamaki he had pushed through my guise.

He and I would’ve never had a future together, even if my jealousy hadn’t pushed him away. Tamaki had always been in love with Haruhi, and our families would’ve disowned both of us. While Tamaki had never been interested in impressing his father, I had always been more than willing to push my own personal desires away to keep my father happy.

Still, he remained by my side through everything, no matter how hard I’d try to push him away.

“Just because you and I didn’t work out doesn’t mean you should give up on another relationship.” Tamaki stood and faced me, forcing me to meet his gaze. We stared at each other for a long moment before I grabbed his upper arms and kissed him roughly.

It had been two years since I’d kissed Tamaki like this. While any romantic feelings I previously held for him had certainly long since diminished there was still something at the surface between us that I couldn’t quite place my finger on.

“You should go.” My voice was hoarse. I dropped my hands. Damn him for making me feel anything.

His fingers traced his lips lightly. “Afraid of what would happen, Kyoya?”

“Not particularly.” I shrugged.

“I might be.” Tamaki brushed his bangs out of his face. “I’ll see you before we open tomorrow.”

I spent the rest of the night reading once Tamaki had left, trying not to dwell on what had gone on between us. Time slipped by until I heard the sounds of the housekeepers leaving for the night. I grabbed my phone to check the time only to see that I had two missed calls. My heart dropped when I read the caller ID.

Kanami Inao

Chapter Text

Chapter Thirty

Kaoru

 

“Kana’s phone, Hikaru speaking.”

 

“Why do I have a feeling that you just fucked up?” I whispered. I rolled over to face my twin, taking care to not disturb the sleeping Kana that was curled between us in Hikaru’s bed. Judging from her snoring and the amount of wine she’d had earlier that night, she wasn’t going to be waking up any time soon.

 

“She’s asleep… Why the hell does it matter?” Hikaru sat up in bed. “You’re the one who told us to watch her.”

 

Kyoya, of course. 

 

“Just hang up.” I groaned. 

 

“It’s fucking midnight… Let me ask Kao.” Hikaru turned to me, his eyes blurred with sleep. “Do you know why she called Kyoya?”

 

“Beats me.” I mimed drinking from a glass.

 

Hikaru nodded. “Yeah, we’ve got no clue… I’m not waking her up. She’s fine. You want a fucking picture?!”

 

“Hika.” I warned. 

 

“We drugged her and slept with her. Both of us. Is that what you’re wanting to hear?” Hikaru’s voice rose.

 

“Okay, Hikaru.” I sat up and grabbed the phone from him. “Kyoya? It’s Kaoru.”

 

“Would you mind explaining what that was about?” Kyoya’s voice was cool and even. 

 

“Have you heard Kana’s ringtone? You woke him up.” I rubbed my face as Hikaru leaned close to me. This wouldn’t be the first time that I had to play mediator between Hikaru and Kyoya. The two of them had never truly gotten along.

 

“I received two calls from Kanami a few hours ago. I specifically told her to call me if something happened.” 

 

“Maybe she just wanted to talk to you.” I shrugged. Or, maybe the wine went to her brain, but I couldn’t tell him that. 

 

“Are the three of you sleeping together?” There was a slight edge that rose in Kyoya’s voice.

“Literally or figuratively?” I felt Hikaru’s shoulders shake in silent laughter at my words. 

 

“I’m not in the mood for games, Kaoru.”

 

“Look Kyoya.” I sucked in a breath. “Kana doesn’t belong to you. It isn’t my business to tell you what she’s up to. Go to sleep.”

I heard the line cut off. I handed the phone back to Hikaru so he could return it to the nightstand. 

 

“Bastard.” Hikaru adjusted the blankets around Kana, who was miraculously still asleep. “Why does he have to be so selfish with her?”

 

“Beats me.” I rolled out of bed. “I need to go outside.”

 

“Something on your mind?”

 

I wandered around in the dark until I found the pack of cigarettes I’d left on Hikaru’s dresser, taking the opportunity to figure out my response. “I’m taking her on a date next week.”

 

“Don’t tell me you’re nervous about a date with Kana.” 

 

“Not nervous. I just don’t want to piss off the Shadow King.” My diversion had worked. It certainly helped that Hikaru couldn’t see my face.

 

“Fuck him. You’d treat her better.” I heard the bed creak as Hikaru laid back down. 

 

“We’ll see.” I made my way to the balcony door and slowly opened it. “Go to sleep, I’ll be back in a few.”

 

The night air was cool on my skin. Hikaru’s room overlooked the resort-style pool our mom had installed after one of our family vacations in Cozumel. Hikaru had insisted that his room be moved over to this side of the mansion, presumably so that he could spy on whatever visitors happened to be using it. 

 

Just a few short hours ago I had shared this view with Kana. She had already had way too much to drink by the time we’d found our way out here. The poor thing was terrified, whether she would admit it or not. While Hikaru and I drank all the time, it was clear that Kana had been trying to use the alcohol to escape that day’s earlier news. 

 

We had spent most of the evening treating her like one of our dolls. Hikaru had insisted on showing her how to manage her wild curls. It wasn’t long before Hikaru brought up Kana’s lack of social media accounts. We wound up showing her OC-Connect, Ouran’s private forum, where a post titled Who is Kanami? had been gaining traction over the last few days. The comments were innocent enough for the most part--it seemed as though she had been avoiding talking to nearly everyone in her classes. There were a few quips about her background, but what seemed to set Kana off was a comment thread about her relationship with the Host Club.

 

TeaPrincess: I wonder how much she’s paying them to follow her around.

 

Ichijo: I saw Hika and Kao take her home one night--do you think she’s into both of them?

 

ProfessionalSkeptic: She’s American right? Aren’t Western girls total sluts?

 

TeaPrincess: This one apparently is!

 

“You’d think people would be more upset with why I’m at Ouran, not that I’m spending time with you guys.” Kana had said once she and I had gone outside to Hikaru’s balcony. She held a wine glass in one hand and was lighting a cigarette with the other. Hikaru had styled her hair into a huge bun at the base of her neck. She had her typical indifferent expression, but the way her hands shook told me that the comments had bothered her.

 

“We’ve got a few crazy fangirls.” I shrugged. “It was worse when we were in high school. I’m about 80% certain that one of those comments was from one of Kyoya’s fans.”

 

“I should create an account.” Kanami had already finished her glass of wine. It was probably her fourth one at that point. “It’d be better than letting them talk about me without saying anything.”

 

“I’m surprised this is bothering you, considering everything else that’s going on.”

 

“I finally have people I can talk to, and people are assuming that I’m paying them off.” Her voice was flat. “Should I be paying for your company?”

 

I rubbed the small of her back. “That would be a hell of a profit for us.”

 

“So you’re losing profit by spending so much time with me?” Her face had flushed. “How much do they charge babysitters these days anyway?”

 

“Kana, we aren’t babysitting you.”

 

“What the hell do you call this, then?” Kana’s accent grew more pronounced when she drank. 

 

“We would’ve wanted to spend time with you even if we hadn’t heard about your mom.” It was hard to reassure someone like Kana. The look on her face told me she didn’t believe a word I said. 

 

“Maybe one of the Host Club fangirls sent the yakuza after me.” She lit another cigarette after crushing the first between her fingers. I found myself wondering how she managed to keep herself from flinching whenever she did that. 

 

“I doubt that, but we can’t rule it out.” I leaned against the railing. “Are you scared?”

 

She muttered something in English. When I didn’t respond, she said “Terrified. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, Kao.”

 

“You could always stay with me.” The words had left my mouth before I had time to think about them. In my head I knew that Honey or Mori would be a better choice for protection. 

 

“I’m not sure I could handle being made up on a daily basis.” She rewarded me with a smile that nearly shattered my heart. 

 

“Do you not enjoy it?” I cautiously closed the space between us. When she didn’t move, I wrapped my arm around her waist and pulled her against my side. 

 

“It just seems like such a silly thing to think about with everything else going on.” She tossed her cigarette into the planter we used as an ashtray, nearly missing it in her tipsy state. Much to my surprise, she absently started trailing her fingers over my chest.

 

“Would you rather think about the yakuza coming after you?” 

 

“Not particularly.” 

 

“You don’t have to when you’re with me.” I repositioned her so that she was facing me, her back to the railing. I held her against me, close enough that I could feel the rise and fall of her shallow breaths. “We’ll talk about it if you need to, but just say the word and I’ll keep your mind away from everything you need me to.”

 

“Give me something else to think about, then.” She tilted her chin up slightly. 

 

“Would you go on a date with me, Kana?” 

 

I watched as her face turned the most brilliant shade of red I’d ever seen on her. “I can’t say I’ve ever been on one.”

 

“We’ve got a lighter class schedule next week with midterms coming up. I’ll take you somewhere special, if you’ll let me.” I lowered my voice to a near whisper. “No distractions, no yakuza, no makeovers. Just the two of us.” 

 

“Is this Host Kaoru or the Real Kaoru?” Her disbelief stung a bit. 

 

“Add ‘No Host Club’ to that list.” 

 

“I’d like that a lot.” She took my face in her hands. “Don’t apologize for kissing me this time, okay?”

 

“I won’t.” 

 

Kana tasted like wine and cigarettes, a combination I would forever associate with her after that night. Her kiss was much more solid and forthcoming than what I remembered, as though she was allowing herself to finally feed into her own desires, desires that I knew I would be more than willing to satisfy. 

 

My hands slowly traveled down to her hips and around to her generous ass. I squeezed gently, molding her flesh between my fingers. She pressed against me almost desperately. I could feel the heat rolling off her. I wanted nothing more than to worship every inch of her body, her hips, her thighs, her stomach. 

 

The moment was broken by the unmistakable sound of the balcony door sliding open. With a small groan I tore my lips away from Kana’s, noting how they remained rosy and swollen after our contact. I didn’t have to turn away to know my twin had picked the perfect moment to make an appearance.

“Just thought I’d let you two know that dinner’s ready.” Hikaru seemed unphased by the sight of us. “I can just tell the maids that you’re busy if--”

 

“Kana needs something on her stomach other than alcohol.” I hesitantly pulled away from her, despite my body’s protests. 

 

She stuck her tongue out at me so quickly that I almost missed it. “Not babysitting, huh?”

 

“Shh.” I gave her a quick kiss on the forehead before we followed Hikaru back into the house.

Chapter Text

Truthfully, I had never really considered how others viewed me based on my appearance. I barely even looked at myself in the mirror--I wasn’t the type to check my hair or clothes throughout the day. Thanks to Hikaru and Kaoru showing me the forum post where other students were speculating about who I was, I found myself constantly glancing at my reflection as I walked through campus, wondering what it was that other people saw. It was as if some sort of hyper-awareness had come over me. I knew people were watching.

I had learned to never truly trust the intentions of others. If Amelia had taught me anything, it was that. Everyone had their own agenda, it was a matter of figuring out what they were after. No one would ever truly be interested in me; they were interested in Inao Industries, or my family’s money. Everything was a political move in our world.

I don’t know what I had been expecting when I decided to post all of that data online. I just knew that someone would have to listen to me once I had been caught. I made it easy for them, really. I didn’t disguise my IP address or go through any hoops to remove my own digital footprints. For a brief moment, the look on my father’s face had made everything I had gone through up to that point worth it. Did he expect his quiet, reclusive daughter to threaten his entire empire? Certainly not, no matter how many times I’d tried to prove that he didn’t need to marry me off to find a suitable heir.

There was talk of how I would be reprimanded for my actions. Cyber crimes had advanced further than what the law could keep up with, so no one knew exactly what kind of time I would be facing. It would’ve been nearly impossible to calculate the amount of damage I might’ve potentially caused. Then Ootori-sama contacted my father with a deal, one that meant I had to spend many hours reversing the damage, and meant that I would be shipped to Japan to earn a degree while the dust settled. My class standing, my online activity, and any spending I might be doing would be tracked to ensure that I wasn’t doing any other illegal activity.

Despite being back under Amelia’s eye, it was the most freedom I had ever experienced in my life.

Everything was strictly regimented when I lived in America. I spoke to no one without approval. When I attended formals, I danced with a cousin. I spent my free time with my computer, learning everything I could under the radar until I had enough.

Do I regret any of it, even knowing that there was certain danger ahead? No. Yakuza and my mother be damned, I finally felt a shred of happiness while living in Japan. I had made up my mind that nothing was going to send me back to America before I had held up my end of the bargain with Ootori-sama. Sure, I was still terrified of what and who was after me, but I wouldn’t be stopped.

Besides, I had six beautifully dangerous men behind me. I knew they had motives of their own for keeping me around. Kyoya’s was the most noticeable, naturally. The rest I had yet to figure out.

Except, maybe Tamaki. In my mind, I knew he was more genuine than the rest. That’s probably why he scared me as much as he did. Genuine people don’t exist in this world.

--------------

To my little surprise, there wasn’t much information to be found on ‘Yakuza syndicates that attack Ouran University students’. Either everything had been redacted, or Ouran truly was a magical safe place for rich college kids. All I needed was a name, then I could find out more.

I couldn’t concentrate on much else. I could hear the quiet murmurs of conversation going on just outside of the small side room connected to Lounge Room 3. Mori-senpai, under Kyoya’s orders no doubt, had brought me there immediately after my last class of the day. I would have a chance to speak to Honey and Mori again that night to see if they had heard anything else from Kasanoda.

It wasn’t long before I heard the door creak open. I knew it was Kyoya even before I looked up--his distinct cologne filled the space the moment he entered. I wondered if he wore it to impress the clients. I couldn’t quite figure out the exact scent; there was a clever blend of spice and musk, with the smallest hint of citrus.

“A word, Kanami.” There was an edge to his cool tone. I heard him lock the door once it was closed.

I quickly snapped my laptop shut. “And hello to you.”

There was a certain tension between us. I stood up, allowing myself to meet his gaze. His grey eyes held a guarded expression, one that I knew would be reflected in my own. It was a dance we had both rehearsed all our lives, figuring out what parts of ourselves we would let the other see.

“Was there a reason for your phone calls?” He crossed his arms over his chest.

“There was.” But not one I could tell him, anyway. In all honesty I was fortunate that he hadn’t answered last night. I could only vaguely remember having a moment of weakness in my inebriated state. Oddly enough, I had wanted to talk to him about the apparent threat I was facing. Somewhere deep in my mind I wanted to run into his arms, but I wasn’t allowing myself. “I wanted to talk to you.”

“About what?” His eyes narrowed. “Did something happen?”

“Nothing worth noting.”

“Can I assume that I was on your mind, pet?”

“Depends.” I gave him a mischievous smile. “Was I on yours, Sir?”

“Games will only get you in trouble, you know.” He stepped closer to me and took my wrists in his hands.

“I might’ve thought of you a time or two.” I knew better than to get under Kyoya’s skin but I almost couldn’t help myself. I considered him my equal in intelligence, yet he was more powerful than I in so many ways.

“I might’ve thought of you as well.” His lips twitched into a hint of a smirk. “Everything has been sorted for your locks to be replaced. I’ll be working with a few members of my family’s police force tomorrow.”

“Do I want to know how you managed to convince them to rekey someone else’s property?” I raised an eyebrow.

“I simply had to mention that my own security would be compromised.”

“So you told your family’s employees that you’d be spending time there with me.”

“I’m assuming you see my reasoning.” Kyoya was certainly clever. There were no secrets when it came to the employees of a powerful family. Some of my earliest memories involved hearing the maids whispering about my parents’ relationship.

“Should I also assume that I’ll be seeing you there tomorrow once I’m done with class?”

“Naturally, we’ve much to discuss.” He dropped his chin, bringing his lips close to my ear. “If my pet is ready to learn more.”

“I’ve given it some thought, and I would like to discuss this further.” While the thought of diving deeper into Kyoya’s world was somewhat scary, I couldn’t deny my own curiosity. I couldn’t quite explain the release that came with the pain he brought upon me. I didn’t understand why I craved the sting of his belt, or the bruises that came from his teeth.

“Then we shall.” His breath tickled my ear. “For now, however, can you be a good girl and come to the main room with me? Honey-senpai is insisting that you join him for tea.”

“With your clients?” My breath hitched.

“You’ve nothing to worry about. Won’t you let him entertain you for a bit before he takes you home for the evening?” Kyoya’s lips pressed against my jawline, sending shivers down my spine.

He had me and he knew it. “I’ll be a model guest for you, Sir.”

Honey was waiting for me once I had followed Kyoya into the candle lit lounge room. He was quick to bring me into a tight hug, a gesture I was slowly getting used to from the hosts.

“Kana-chan! You’ve got to try the cake we have today!” He exclaimed. He lowered his voice to a soft whisper. “Takashi would prefer it if you were close, I hope you don’t mind.”

I gave him a small wink, signalling that I understood. “I’d love to try it.”

“Good. Today, you’re our guest Kana-chan.” Honey grabbed my hand and led me to the couch where Mori-senpai was waiting. The couch across from him was occupied by a few other women who were eying me warily. My attention however, was on the table between the two couches. It held quite the assortment of sweets and a gorgeous teapot.

My sweet tooth was calling. I could put up with the other guests if it meant I could indulge myself a bit. I could only picture Amelia’s face if she knew what I was eating.

I braced myself and put on my brave face. It was time to see what the Host Club was truly all about.

Chapter Text

“Ladies, this is Kana-chan. Kana-chan, this is Utano-chan, Emiko-chan, and Sachio-chan.” I watched as my guests regarded Kana with smiles laced with jealousy. Women were easy to read like that. My cousin often said that it was easy to figure out who the bad guys are, and the same applied to the women who sought out our company.

Kana was harder. She wore a lovely mask of shyness and innocence, but that mask had cracks. Very obvious cracks. Takashi had noticed them before I did. He saw her loneliness and the wounds her mother had left her. Yet it still surprised me when he began seeking out her company.

“So you’re Kana-chan.” Utano leaned forward, resting her chin on her palm. I didn’t like the tone in her voice. “We’ve heard about you.”

“I’m not sure I want to know.” Kana shifted uncomfortably. She sat between Takashi and I. I could only guess that Hika and Kao had dressed her that day. She wore a long-sleeved, knee-length dress that had a flowy patterned skirt. It was cute on her, but it made her look like everyone else.

Maybe I was selfish of Kana’s cuteness. Not selfish for myself, but for Takashi.

“You’re Amelia Claire’s daughter, right?” Emiko’s eyes lit up. “Do you think you could introduce us? What’s she like?”

Kana’s response took me by surprise. “She’s quite busy so I don’t see her often, but I’ll see if she’ll come visit campus sometime.”

“It would be interesting to meet Kana-chan’s mama.” I gave the girls a sticky sweet smile. I took a sidelong glance at Takashi, who was casually pouring Kana a cup of tea. His knee was pressed ever so slightly against hers.

“Is that why you’re so close to Hikaru and Kaoru? We’ve seen you walking around with them.” Utano pressed.

“Kanami.” Takashi’s voice rumbled. I turned to see him gently bringing a forkful of cake to Kana’s lips. Takashi’s attempt at distraction worked--not only did Kana’s cheeks flush, but the action sent the other women into a fit of giggles.

“Mori-senpai, why don’t you feed us like that?” Sacho pouted.

“Don’t tell me that Mori has a crush.” Emiko’s eyes widened.

“Honey-senpai, have you tried this?” Kana’s voice had grown adorably high-pitched. Had we found a weakness of hers?

“You like cake too, Kana-chan?” I giggled. I reached for my own plate of cake and took a bite, relishing in the rush of sugar that hit my palate. Today’s cake was vanilla with hints of citrus.

“I like this cake.” She took another small bite.

“I wish I could eat sweets.” Utano’s voice held a sinister tone. “It must be nice to eat whatever you want.”

“Why don’t you?” Kana tugged at the hem of her skirt, pulling it further over her knees.

“I think you should eat more sweets, Utano-chan.” I slid a piece of cake over to her. “Would you please try it?” I ducked my chin and looked at her with the best puppy dog eyes I could muster.

It worked, of course. While I was slowly growing out of the boy Lolta type, it was still easy to channel my inner softness. I let my attention return to Takashi and Kana. Takashi had draped an arm over the back of the couch, his fingers just barely brushing her shoulder. She was so small compared to him, but it was so easy to picture the two together.

I knew something had happened between them. Takashi had grown more and more protective of her. I found myself wondering what had happened when he spent the night with her, alone. I could picture the two of them. I knew the type of lover Takashi tended to be.

The mental image of him ravishing her was intoxicating. I envisioned him teasing her, pinning her with his strength and bringing her to a sweet, sweet edge. I wondered how her wetness tasted on his tongue, and if her fingers tangled in his hair while he was between her thighs. Did she scream or whimper as he poured into her?

God.

I quickly shoved a large bite of cake into my mouth, willing the images of Takashi fucking Kana out of my head.

She would probably be weirded out if she knew of my voyeuristic desires. But what if she wasn’t?

Another bite.

***********************

Takashi and I left with Kana the second the Host Club closed for the night. I could tell Kana had grown exhausted from the interaction with our guests. Still, I had to admire her for keeping her cool despite their obvious jabs against her.

“Takashi’s going to stay with us tonight. Hope that’s okay.” I linked my arm through Kana’s as we walked to Takashi’s car. Takashi walked behind us, carrying Kana’s bag, as usual.

“Is it hard being away from him?” Kana asked.

“I think he misses me when I’m not around.” I stuck my tongue out. “Don’t you, Takashi?”

“Sometimes.” Takashi smirked.

I heard my phone’s text tone chime from within my pocket. I couldn’t stop myself from smiling at the name that lit up the screen: Reiko.

To the one who has captured my soul, I have received a vision of great danger around the new treasure in your midst. I advise that you keep that treasure close until I can get a better reading.

What kind of danger, love? I managed to respond as we walked.

Of that I am uncertain. Might I meet this treasure?

“Say Kana-chan, would you like to meet my girlfriend?” I squeezed her arm. “She’s asking.”

“Your girlfriend?” A look of surprise crossed her face. “I’d love to. I’m sure she’s lovely.”

“She is.” I grinned.

She’d like to meet you~ I’ll see that it happens.

“What’s your girlfriend like, Honey-senpai?”

“Hm. She’s strange. She’s very into the occult. In fact, she threatened to put a curse on me at first.” I chuckled. “But I love her. We’ve grown so much together.”

“Are you sure it isn’t the curse?” Kana’s eyes were wide.

“Do you believe in that stuff Kana-chan?”

“I’m not sure.”

Takashi made a small warning noise. I broke my eyes away from Kana’s to see another man headed straight toward us, absorbed in his phone as he walked. I managed to tug Kana out of his path, but he still clipped her shoulder as we passed.

“Ah, sorry!” He exclaimed. Takashi quickly moved closer to Kana, positioning himself between the two of them.

“Are you alright Kanami?” Takashi’s eyes narrowed.

“I’m fine. I should’ve moved quicker.” Kana gave Takashi a small smile.

“Kanami?” The man stopped. “Kanami Inao?”

“Should I know you?” Kana sounded almost defensive. I watched her eyes run over the man’s unassuming frame. He didn’t look dangerous, quite the opposite really. He reminded me of Haruhi when we first met her, with his shaggy black hair and thick glasses.

“Probably not. I’m in your development class, but neither of us talk much.” He flashed a wide smile. “I’m Takumi Shido. You’re new this semester, right? I’ve got a lot of experience, so if you need help--”

“She should be offering you help.” I interrupted. “Kana-chan’s smarter than you think.”

“I-I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend.” Takumi gave a small bow.

“Please don’t apologize, Shido-san. I’ll see you in class.” Once Takumi had left us, Kana turned to me with a strange look on her face. “Honey-senpai, if I wind up having to tutor him…”

Takashi let out a small chuckle. Still, I couldn’t help but notice the concern in his eyes as he watched Takumi disappear into a building. Takumi seemed harmless, but Takashi had a way of seeing through others. His silence made room for those around him to speak more, reveal more. I admired him for that.

I insisted that Kana sit in the front seat next to Takashi on our way to her house. The back seat was a small price to pay to watch them together. I pretended not to notice how his hand captured hers as he helped her into the car, and how he ran his thumb over her knuckles before he closed the door behind her.

It made me smile.

“Are you tired Kana-chan? Or can we stay up for a while together?” I shimmied over to the middle seat so I could talk to her easier. Not that there was much room to move--Takashi, despite his size, had a thing for sports cars.

“We’ve got an early morning tomorrow.” Kana sighed. “I’m sure Mori-senpai will want to be out before my maid comes in.”

“Can’t you just tell her not to come?” I pouted.

“I think I have her number…” Kana pulled out her phone. “What excuse should I give her?”

“Hm. Tell her that you have two stunning men sleeping over and you want some privacy.” I leaned forward and tickled her ear while I spoke.

“That’s the truth though, not an excuse.” She turned her head and gave me a goofy grin. Her words hinted that she had grown used to being flirted with, but the blush on her cheeks showed that my words had still gotten to her.

“Maybe I can finally repay you for the candy.” I lowered my voice to a whisper.

“Honey-senpai!” She squeaked. “You two are keeping me safe, that’s more than I could ever ask for.”

“About that.” Takashi’s fingers drummed on the steering wheel.

“Have you heard something?” Kana asked as she typed out a message on her phone.

“Not yet. Kasanoda promised us that he would have an answer this weekend.” I sighed and fell back against the car seat. “Apparently one of his guys found the person who had made the request, but he isn’t talking.”

“I don’t think I want to know why he’s promising information by this weekend.” Kana wrapped her arms around herself.

Before I could speak, Takashi reached over and rested his hand on Kana’s knee, not taking his eyes off the road. Kana seemed to immediately relax under his touch. She hesitantly put her hand on top of his, her fingers closing around his palm.

“Kasanoda isn’t a bad guy.” Takashi said quietly.

“But he is yakuza, and Takashi made it pretty clear that he wasn’t going to let anything happen to you.” I was torn between wanting to protect Kana from the severity of the situation and wanting her to know the truth. If Reiko’s vision was correct, she would be finding out soon enough anyway.

“Is it wrong to admit that I’m afraid?” Kana stared straight ahead. I could barely read her expression through the reflection on the windshield.

“No.” Takashi’s voice was firm. “We can work through it.”

“More training?”

“And meditation. Channel that fear and grow through it.”

I couldn’t help but smile. Takashi was an incredible teacher.

Kana’s phone buzzed. Her face twisted into confusion as she read the message. “Did someone give Tamaki my number?”

“Tama-chan doesn’t have your number?” I cocked my head to the side.

“Kyoya asked me not to give it to him. Something about ‘his constant flirting being a distraction’.” Kana’s voice dropped an octave, imitating Kyoya’s cool tone. “This message just sounds like him.”

“What’s it say?” I asked.

“‘Dear princess, you looked positively radiant today. I hope to see more of your stunning figure soon’. God, who talks like that?” Kana wrinkled her nose. Takashi’s grip noticeably tightened on her knee.

“Tama-chan doesn’t text like that. It’s mostly emojis and capital letters.” I frowned.

“Probably a wrong number. I’ll just block it.” Kana shrugged.

We finally arrived at Kana’s house. It was noticeably small compared to the other structures on Amelia Claire’s estate. Kana convinced Takashi to park in her driveway, saying something about not caring what her mother thought about her having company, and besides, she wasn’t afraid of a surprise visit when we were around.

The thought was comforting. Kana was showing trust in us. I knew it had to be hard for her. I didn’t know the full story behind her past, but I knew enough to understand trust wasn’t something she would give away freely.

Treasure indeed.

Chapter Text

Takashi’s fingers were deep inside me. With his other arm, he held me tightly to his chest, his grey eyes locked to mine. One of my legs was flung over his, granting him access. The sheets were bunched at our feet, tossed aside once the heat from our bodies became too much. The warmth from his skin was almost too much to bear. Still, he seemed intent on keeping me close.

Despite my successfully keeping the maid at bay, Honey had almost immediately retreated to the study once we had gotten inside my house. He had given Takashi a knowing look before making an escape.

Did he know?

Of course, Honey knew everything about his cousin. The thought didn’t disturb me as much as I thought it would. In fact, knowing that he was in the next room was quite… Exhilarating.

What had come over me?

My thoughts were interrupted as Takashi’s mouth captured mine. I felt his lips part and his tongue press gently against my own lips. I parted with a soft sigh, a shiver running down to my toes as his tongue ran over the roof of my mouth.

I wasn’t sure which one of us had initiated this encounter. All I knew was that as soon as my bedroom door had closed I found myself nearly tearing his shirt off, wanting nothing more than to feel his muscular frame surrounding me. I craved his strength, his scent. The need was more than anything I could comprehend. He had been more than willing to comply. He had effortlessly undressed me and covered my skin with needy kisses, our clothes left in a pile on the floor.

He wasn’t one for words, but I knew he felt the same. I had learned to read Takashi over the weeks we’d known each other. I knew that the gentle touches, the smiles, and all the simple gestures held a deeper meaning than the rest of the men’s flirtations. Yet I didn’t know if his feelings were purely physical or something deeper.

I didn’t care, not now anyway.

My hand trailed down his chest and stomach, and came to his hard shaft. My fingers grazed the tip, already slick with precum.

“Mm-mm.” He mumbled, pulling out of our kiss. I felt his fingers slide out of me, leaving me feeling strangely hollow. His fingers circled my wrist and pulled my hand back to his chest, leaving evidence of my own desire on my skin.

“Why?” I asked, my voice barely more than a whisper.

“This is for you.” Takashi gave me an almost devilish smile. He resumed his ministrations, his eyes once more locking to mine. “I like making you come.”

“You’re good at it.” I gasped. My hips bucked into his hand involuntarily as his thumb circled my clit. His mouth dropped to my neck and trailed to my collarbone, gently nibbling and sucking at my skin. I almost didn’t recognize the sounds of my own moaning as the pressure built inside of me. I bit my lip in an attempt to quiet myself, knowing we weren’t alone.

“Let go, Kanami.” Takahi mumbled against my shoulder.

“But Honey-senpai--”

“He’d enjoy hearing you.”

God, why was that my undoing? Takashi’s thumb pressed into my clit as his fingers found my sweet spot. I felt myself clench around him. His eyes quickly snapped up to mine as I cried out, unable to resist as the sensations grew far too much for me to contain. I bucked shamelessly against him, my thighs shaking as I rode out my orgasm. He moved with me, his motions slowing along with my own.

I kissed him, not quite ready to let the night be over. My hands brushed through his hair and over his shoulders. No words were needed between us, he knew what I was after. He grabbed my hips, moving so that I was on top of him, straddling his waist. I could feel his erection pressed against me.

“Do you like me on top, Takashi?” I suddenly felt shy. “You’ll have to guide me.”

Takashi gave me a reassuring smile. He effortlessly tugged me up to my knees and positioned himself at my entrance. I gripped his wrists, steadying myself as I slowly impaled myself on him. Our natural lubrication made the action almost easy, despite his length. Still, the sudden fullness was almost overwhelming. I paused for a moment, letting myself to adjust to him.

Takashi looked up at me with hooded eyes. His gaze traveled over my body as though he were looking at me for the first time. His tongue ran over his lips. “Gorgeous.”

“Takashi…” The heat rose to my face. I rocked my hips tentatively and was rewarded with a low groan. I couldn’t stop myself from grinning. There was something strangely empowering knowing that I could bring my protector this kind of pleasure. I teasingly grinded against him, gyrating my hips until I felt him brushing against the spots I craved the most.

My teasing didn’t go unnoticed. Takashi’s eyes glinted in understanding. His hands snaked up to my breasts, squeezing them beneath his large palms. He pinched my nipples lightly, adding to the growing pleasure that was already blooming inside of me once again. He allowed me a few more moments of teasing him before he thrusted his hips against me, urging me on.

The motion was unfamiliar to me. “Show me.” I whispered, silently cursing my own inexperience.

Takashi nodded. His hands returned to my hips. I braced my hands against his chest as he began thrusting into me almost painfully slowly. I fell into rhythm with him, urging him to move faster. His grip tightened, not quite allowing me to increase the pace. Rather, his strength held me in place as he moved, pushing deep inside of me with each movement.

He kept his grip firm, yet not firm enough to leave marks on my skin. He moved my body with his with ease. I felt like a marionette, moving only how my puppermaster wished. I loved it. Takashi made me feel small, almost delicate. I knew he was more than strong enough to completely overpower me, yet he treated me ever so gently.

Until he let his desires take over, that was.

My nails dug into his chest as his pace steadily quickened. I moaned in encouragement. The muscles in my legs grew pleasantly warm at the increase in speed, only adding to the heat between us. Takashi’s gaze flicked from my face and down to my swaying breasts. He adjusted my position slightly, angling me so that my clitorus was grinding against him. The sensation was almost too much for my already overstimulated body.

I cried out as the pressure threatened to overtake me again. I collapsed against his chest, my hair falling around us in a sweaty mess. I desperately bit down into his shoulder in an attempt to contain my increasing volume.

“Kanami. Don’t hide from me.” Takashi’s breath was hot in my ear. I could hear his soft grunts echoing the sound of our bodies slapping together.

I propped myself up on my forearms, despite my body’s protests. Takashi’s face was flushed. His movements grew more erratic, more needy. He pushed impossibly deep inside me. My body trembled as I clenched around him, the look in his eyes pushing me over the edge. I couldn’t stop myself from crying his name.

His arms wrapped around me, pulling me to him as he came inside of me. I could feel him pulsing inside of me as the heat spread between my legs.

We stayed like that for a moment before I slowly rolled off him, feeling his sticky release on my thighs. I laid beside him, shoulder-to-shoulder, our arms barely touching. I turned my head and watched the shallow rise and fall of his breath. I felt wonderfully exhausted.

“I’m sorry.” I gestured to the fading bite mark on his shoulder.

He laced his fingers through mine and brought my fingers to his lips. “You can’t hurt me.”

“I’ll train until I can.” I winked playfully. “Not that I want to hurt you, Takashi. You’re too good to me.”

“Not really.”

“You are. I feel safe with you.” I stared up at the ceiling. “You didn’t have to start walking me to class or carry my bag or help me with my Japanese. I just hope that this makes you feel as amazing as it makes me feel.”

“It does. You interest me, Kanami.” I could hear the smile in Takashi’s voice.

“You interest me.” I whispered.

There was a small knock on my bedroom door. I felt the color drain from my face as I remembered.

Honey.

He had surely heard everything. In the moment I hadn’t really cared, or grasped the situation. What had gotten into me?

“Kana-chan, do you have any candy?” Honey’s question was laced with giggles. He knew.

“In the cabinet somewhere. Um. Feel free to look.” I shot Takashi a worried glance. He didn’t seem phased. “Does this happen often?” I hissed.

“Hm? Does it bother you?” His voice was concerned.

“It makes me feel a bit shy, but…” I bit my lip. “He likes it, you said?”

Takashi nodded.

“Is it weird that I’m not sure that I minded him listening?” I sat up and unsteadily got out of bed, heading towards the bathroom for towels.

“No.” Before I could get too far, Takashi had gotten up and started tugging his clothes back on.

“Don’t you want to clean up?” I asked.

“Later.” He gave me a small wink and left the bedroom once he was clothed.

I quickly toweled myself off, trying to remove the traces of sweat and fluids from my skin. I tossed on a pair of sweatpants and a loose top before heading to the kitchen.

Honey’s eyes glinted mischievously at my appearance. “I found all your chocolate Kana-chan!”

“I keep up on the top shelf so I can’t reach it easy.” I crossed my arms over my chest out of slight embarrassment.

Before I could react, Honey had pressed his lips to my cheek, giving me a brief, sticky sweet kiss. “You’re so cute Kana-chan!”

“Honey-senpai--”

He dropped his chin, speaking just loud enough for me to hear. “I enjoyed it. Thank you. Was that too strange for you?”

“It’s something I might get used to.”

Chapter Text

Kanami’s house was almost too quiet without her there. As always, I had been struck by the lack of security on the property. If anyone noticed one of my family’s policemen changing out the locks on her doors, they certainly didn’t mention it. In fact, the entire estate seemed empty with the exception of my car in Kana’s small driveway. Amelia must’ve been out.

I had resisted the urge to use my time alone to look at more of her belongings. Despite knowing so much about Kanami, I didn’t feel as if I knew enough. She was a hard read, despite my incredible observation skills. Instead I killed time by continuing reading one of the novels I had purchased after I noticed on her shelf. The book’s spine was much more worn than the others, leading me to believe it was one she particularly enjoyed.

It wasn’t long before I heard the unmistakable sound of a vehicle pulling up. I felt my heart involuntarily flutter in my chest. Why was I still so anxious when it came to seeing her?

I left my book on the couch and opened the door. I watched as Kanami gave her driver a quick nod before shutting her door. I couldn’t help but to smirk at the look of slight annoyance on her face.

“Welcome home, dear.” I said as she slid past me to go inside. She immediately dropped her bag on the kitchen counter and turned to face me with an unreadable expression.

“When I first met you, I never expected that I’d be coming home to see you.” Kanami cocked her head to the side, letting her hair fall over her shoulder.

“Was my interest not immediately apparent?” I crossed over to her and rested my hands on the countertop on either side of her.

“If it was, I was too terrified to notice.” She chewed the inside of her lip.

“Are you terrified of me now?”

“Not so much.” Her eyes met mine. No matter how many times I saw her eyes, I still found myself struck by their deep-green color.

My lips crushed against Kanami’s. I felt her tense slightly, then relax, leaning into the kiss. Every part of me ached for her. It was a feeling I couldn’t quite comprehend. What I felt for her was more than just the physical lust I was used to. I felt her fingers slip just beneath the waistband of my jeans, beckoning me to come closer.

Yet I couldn’t comply with her. Not yet anyway. I broke apart from her, ignoring the pained expression that briefly crossed her face.

“Do you need coffee before we talk? A cigarette?” I pushed my glasses closer to my eyes.

“Depends on what we’re discussing.” Her arms crossed over her waist.

I pondered for a moment. “You’re still interested in learning more about the dynamics of what our relationship would entail, correct?”

“A cigarette, then.” The side of Kanami’s mouth twitched slightly. She turned to rummage around in her bag.

“I’m curious, Kanami.” I took the opportunity to run my eyes over her backside, scanning over the curves I had long since memorized. “What would’ve made you want a cup of coffee first?”

“Hm.” She turned to face me again, cigarette in hand. “Amelia. Or anything else regarding our families.”

“So cigarettes for everything else then?”

Her eyes narrowed slightly. “You’re trying to figure me out, aren’t you?”

“Does that bother you?” I bent at the waist slightly, bringing my face close to hers. “I need to know as much as possible about my pet.”

“Only if I can know as much as possible about you,” she challenged.

“Naturally. This is a relationship built on trust.” Of course, there were secrets in my life that I could never divulge to Kanami, as I was certain she had her own secrets. Secrecy came natural in our worlds. After a moment, I added: “Coffee helps me with difficult conversations too.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.” She led me out the back door, where she lit her cigarette the moment we stepped outside. The light breeze caught hair. I noticed she’d been wearing it down more often, and found myself wondering if it was due to my preference.

“I’ve arranged for the stylist to arrive here at four on Saturday. Think you’ll be awake by then?” I leaned against the side of her house, watching her take slow hits on her cigarette.

“I’m sure I’ll manage. We all can’t be awake by six am on the weekends.”

“I sleep in too, you know.”

“So what then, seven?” She raised an eyebrow.

“Occasionally eight.” I typically didn’t enjoy banter, but Kanami’s ever-sharpening tongue was amusing. It had been entertaining to watch her language skills develop under the influence of the Host Club. She was still oddly formal, of course, but her phrasing was slowly becoming more relaxed.

“I have a request, Kyoya.” Her tone was almost businesslike.

“I’m listening.” I responded carefully.

“I would like to keep my submission to you within the bedroom, for now. I don’t know what your intentions are regarding our relationship outside of that, but I’d like to be your equal.” Kanami’s words caught me by surprise, yet I didn’t show it.

“So you’ve considered having a relationship with me outside of the bedroom?” I kept my voice even.

The look in her eyes told me she wasn’t going to answer my question, at least not directly. She clearly hadn’t made a decision on that front, even though she seemed to be more than willing to be my submissive and play along with our plan to make a show of being seen together. I couldn’t blame her for being hesitant, nor could I promise her that a relationship could truly happen between us.

Not with what I was hiding from her and the rest of my companions.

“You’d be my equal.” I said, an empty promise.

My answer seemed to satisfy her enough. Once she had finished smoking, we returned to the living room, where her attention immediately went to the book I’d left on her couch.

“You’re reading Tess?” She didn’t bother hiding the excitement in her voice. She sat down, holding the book in her hands. “And in English.”

“I wanted to experience it the same way you did.” I shrugged as I joined her on the couch. “The older language has been quite the challenge.”

“I’d like to hear your thoughts once you’ve finished.” She shyly thumbed the slip of paper I used to mark my spot. “I know we’ve got other things to discuss now.”

I shifted slightly and pulled a small key from my pocket. “First thing’s first. I had two copies made. I can leave the spare here, if you’d prefer, but this one is yours.”

“You can keep the spare,” she said, almost too quickly.

“Second,” I continued, not allowing myself to get too pleased at her response. “I’ll be leaving one of my credit cards here with you.”

Her eyes widened in protest, “Kyoya!”

“Let me finish, dear.” I took a breath. “You’ll use it with the understanding that I’ll be able to see your purchases. Your current funds are connected to your mother’s account, correct?”

“You’re saying that you knowing what I’m up to is preferable.”

“Isn’t it?”

“That depends on what you’re wanting in return.” Kanami’s demeanor had grown suspicious. I had been expecting that reaction.

“Just another way for me to spoil you, pet.” I gave her a small smile. “Now, I have some questions for you.”

We spent the better part of the next two hours discussing what she had learned about BDSM. The conversation had been awkward for her at first, much to my amusement. Conversations like those were important, I had gently reminded her. I needed to understand the kinks she wanted to explore, and the aspects that were hard limits. I learned that she was vehemently opposed to the thought of suspension, tickling, and being excessively humiliated. Anal play was a definite “maybe”, along with being completely restricted from movement.

A few of her definite “yes’s” came with little surprise from me: the use of various striking implements, lighter forms of bondage, and sensory deprivation. She was open to the thought of being degraded and asphyxiation.

There was plenty more for her to learn, plenty more for the two of us to work out between the two of us, but it was a start.

I could tell Kanami was growing exhausted from the interaction as the evening moved on. Still, she seemed somewhat reluctant when I suggested that I leave for the night. Part of me wondered if she wanted my company, or if she had grown fond of having company each night.

I wanted to believe the former.

\\\\\\\

May I call you, Sir?

Kanami’s late-night text sent me on high alert. I had long since left her house and returned to my room in the depths of my family’s mansion. Much to my annoyance, I had found obvious signs of my sister’s attempt to rearrange my belongings. Fortunately for both Fuyumi and myself, I kept my more personal items locked away in my study.

Yes, pet.

I sat down on my bed and stared at my phone, answering it the moment I saw Kanami’s name light up the screen.

“Are you busy, Sir?” Kanami’s voice was low and breathy through the receiver.

“Not terribly.” I felt a smirk slide across my face. “Shouldn’t you be in bed?”

“I am, Sir, but I started thinking about our conversation from earlier, and…”

“And what, pet?”

I heard a small gasp escape her lips. “I want you, Sir.”

“Are you touching yourself?” I continued after her affirmative response, “Put your phone on speaker, pet, and lay on your back with your legs spread.”

I listened to her shuffle around as I unbuttoned my jeans, my dick already half-erect at the thought of her fingering herself on the other line. I leaned against the headboard and slowly began stroking myself. “Tell me what you were thinking about, pet. I want specifics.”

“Being tied up and used by you, Sir. Having your hand around my throat.” Her words were studded with a mix of shyness and desire. “Being spanked until I have bruises.”

“What a naughty submissive I have.” My breath caught in my throat. “Pinch your nipples, pet. Hard. Let me hear you.”

“Yes, Sir.” I listened to her moans turn into a sharp cry, letting me know she had obeyed.

“Harder.”

Another cry.

“Good girl. Finger yourself for me.” I quickened my own pace, aided by the first drops of precum that lubricated my palm. “Spread yourself nice and wide. Does that feel good, pet?”

“It does, Sir.” She moaned. “Are you…?”

“I’m so damn hard for you, pet.” I growled. “I want to squeeze your lovely neck until you’re gasping for air while I fuck you. Does that answer your question?”

My admission granted me an enthusiastic whine. I swore I could hear the unmistakable sounds of her arousal through the phone.

“Such a good girl. Your moans are incredible.”

“Thank you, Sir,” she breathed. “I need to come soon, Sir.”

“I’m not finished with you yet.” My own breathing was growing labored.

“But Sir--”

“You’ll come when I allow it, understood?” I gripped myself tighter. This, this was the part I longed for. I could picture her writhing in her sheets, her legs shaking. “Beg. Tell me how much you want it.”

“Please, Sir. Please. Let me come for you.” Her voice was strained.

“Not yet.” I could feel myself tensing up. My hips involuntarily bucked against my hand. All I could think about was getting lost in Kanami. I could practically feel her moving beneath me. “And I better not hear you slow down, pet.”

“But I need it, Sir. Please.” I could sense just how frantic she was becoming. So eager to please, yet so needy for her own satisfaction.

I listened to her pleas for a few delicious moments before I could no longer ignore my own needs.

“Come, pet.”

The sounds of her coming apart were my undoing. I grunted loudly as I came, feeling my hot seed spill over my fingers. My heart threatened to jump out of my chest while the rest of my body felt almost blissfully numb. After a moment I reached for the box of tissue I kept on my bedside table, listening to the sounds of Kanami’s breathing slowly return to normal.

“You did so good, Kanami.”

Her voice eventually came back to her. “Thank you, Sir.”

Chapter Text

The strange texts hadn’t stopped coming. The second one came shortly after Kyoya had left my house on Thursday:

Did you think blocking my number would deter me, Princess?

Part of me knew I should’ve blocked the number again, or asked one of the guys to track the number for me so I wouldn’t be marked with suspicious activity on my own computer. Instead, I simply ignored the text.

Until two more appeared on Friday, one in the morning, and another in the evening:

I look forward to seeing you gracing the halls of Ouran today.

Your guard dog can do little to stop me, Princess. You should remember that even the strongest of men have weaknesses. I hope for your sake that his isn’t revealed.

Friday’s evening text, as threatening as it was, had made me laugh. I knew whoever was texting me had spotted me with Mori. I knew my safety was guaranteed if they thought they would be able to get through him.

It was probably just some Ouran student who didn’t like that I was spending time with the Host Club, I had decided. It was nothing.

////

“Inao-san, look at me!”

“Kanami Inao, who are you wearing?”

I forced myself to smile. Kyoya had done little to explain exactly how large the Ootori’s event would be. I should’ve assumed it was more of a spectacle than I had originally thought, given the gown Hikaru and Kaoru had designed for me. Still, I would’ve never expected to find myself stepping out of a limo and into a large crowd of what I learned to be Japan’s version of paparazzi--media reporters who were more than eager to catch a glimpse of society’s finest before they entered the Ootori mansion.

“Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin created and designed this gown.” I willed myself to say to the closest reporter. This sent a flurry of activity through the group. I could barely keep their questions straight as their voices overlapped with each other.

Much to my relief, Kyoya appeared at my side seemingly out of nowhere. I felt his hand press on my lower back, his palm warming my bare skin. He purposefully pulled me close to him, allowing several photographs to be snapped before he led me into the larger-than-life mansion that loomed in front of us.

I tried not to think about the implications of the two of us appearing in photos together.

“Enjoying the attention?” Kyoya asked as we walked. His hand remained on my back, guiding me forward.

“Not in the slightest.” I allowed myself to glance at him, a blush immediately appearing on my face as I did. Kyoya was always remarkably put together, but seeing him in a tailored black tuxedo was an entirely different experience. I couldn’t help but notice that his tie and cumberbund were a rich burgundy, coordinating with my own gown.

The inside of the Ootori mansion was a spectacle. I found myself standing in a large foyer, with marble flooring and two ornate staircases leading to the second floor. The decor was remarkably spotless and well-maintained, even with using eggshell white and black decor. A large chandelier dangled from the ceiling. There were several guests within the foyer, all making their way through a large set of doors that appeared to lead into a ballroom. I could faintly hear string music over the multiple voices circling around.

“Might I take your things, Inao-san?” A butler had approached us while I struggled to take in the scene around me. He patiently held his hand toward my small clutch, where I had stored my phone, credit cards, and cigarettes.

“Please.” I murmured, handing the clutch to him. He left with a small nod, disappearing into a hallway.

Kyoya’s hand moved to my wrist, tugging me gently until I faced him. I watched as his eyes travelled across me, studying the stylist’s work. My hair was pulled half-back and styled in large, loose curls. I had convinced her to use a lighter hand at applying makeup, not wanting to stray too far from my typical natural look. Still, she managed to highlight my large eyes with a shimmering gold eyeshadow and painted my lips with a deep red. His eyes didn’t stop at my face, rather, I could feel his gaze travel over my curves almost hungrily.

“You’re just missing one thing.” He reached inside his coat and pulled out a small black box. He released his hold on my wrist to open it, revealing an ornate rose-gold, five band bangle. The design was immediately recognizable as one belonging to a rather famous American designer, with four intricate overlapping bands surrounding a single diamond band. “Would you wear it for me?”

My breath hitched in my throat. “Of course.”

He effortlessly slid the bangle onto my wrist before bringing it to his lips. My heart involuntarily fluttered as he pressed his lips just beneath my palm, his eyes never leaving mine. “You look absolutely ravishing, Kanami.”

“Thank you, Kyoya.” A smile curved on my lips. “You look quite incredible yourself, if I may say so.”

“Glad to have your approval.” Kyoya smirked. Before I could react, he started leading me into the ballroom, his hand returning to the small of my back.

The ballroom was much larger than what I expected. There were at least a few dozen guests milling around, some already waltzing around the designated dance floor, others socializing around the several tall tables that had been placed around the room. There were plenty of servers around, passing out small hors d'oeuvres and glasses of sparkling champagne. It didn’t take me long to spot Tamaki, who appeared to be in the middle of an animated conversation with a young lady I didn’t recognize.

“This is quite the showing.” I observed, taking a glass of champagne from a server’s tray as they passed by. I needed something to calm the nerves that threatened to overpower me.

“Only one of those until I’ve seen you eat something.” Kyoya’s voice was low. Despite my insistence that he treat me as his equal, I could sense the dominant tone in his voice as he spoke.

“Afraid I’ll have too much fun?” I took a long sip, letting the bubbles play over my tongue before I swallowed.

His eyes met mine. I could see the warning in his gaze. My mind immediately went back to being laid across his lap, remembering the feeling of his hand spanking my ass until it turned red…

God.

I gave him a small wink before I defiantly drained the rest of the glass.

We were approached by a few of the guests before he could react. I watched with mild amusement as Kyoya put on a remarkably charming performance, addressing each of them by name before introducing me as his date. I quickly tuned into his act, letting myself fall back on the impeccable manners I had learned growing up. We continued this routine for longer than either of us were happy about--I could feel Kyoya’s growing tension with each person that passed.

It probably didn’t help that I had not-so-subtly exchanged my empty glass for a full one.

After I had been introduced to more people than I had ever met in my life, Tamaki finally approached us, his date’s arm linked around his. She seemed to be right at home in the situation. Her gown was a cream color, understated while still being elegant. She had long blonde hair that was piled on top of her head, and her bright blue eyes were sparkling almost mischievously.

“Kyoya-kun, you didn’t tell me you had such a lovely lady in your life.” The woman’s Japanese was accented, even more than my own. “My Tama-chan said you were being someone special.”

“Always quite the pleasure, Margaux-chan.” Kyoya leaned in and gave Margaux a quick, chaste kiss on the cheek. “Margaux, meet Kanami Inao. Kanami, this is Margaux de Grantaine, Tamaki’s first cousin.”

My eyes widened a bit. The familial resemblance between the two was striking, and it somewhat explained Kyoya’s familiarity. “It’s so nice to meet you, Margaux-san.”

“You’re so cute! Please don’t use -san with me.” Margaux unlinked her arm from Tamaki’s and pulled me forward, kissing both of my cheeks with a flourish. “Do you go to Ouran too?”

“That’s where I met these two.” I gave her a shaky smile. She unnerved me almost as much as Tamaki did.

“Then you’ll be my Senpai next year!” Margaux squealed. “Tama-chan thought it would be good for me to come to Japan and study.”

“Kana-senpai does have a ring to it.” Tamaki winked at me. He gently took my free hand and brought my fingers to his lips. “You look absolutely beautiful tonight, Princess. Would you share a dance with me?”

“Now, now Tamaki. I haven’t gotten the chance to dance with her yet.” Kyoya’s arm wrapped around my waist almost possessively, a gesture that both excited and infuriated me. “Perhaps after, if Kanami agrees.”

“I’d love to, Suoh-san.” I polished off my second glass of champagne, ignoring the way Kyoya tensed as I did. I handed the empty glass to a nearby server and allowed Kyoya to lead me to the dance floor.

He was surprisingly quiet as we danced a slow waltz. He held me close to his chest, with one arm dangerously low around my waist. My face was even with his chest. I could smell his cologne, as if he had intentionally applied it to the areas he knew I’d be closest to.

“Margaux seems sweet.” I said, attempting conversation.

“She’s young.” Kyoya half-shrugged. I couldn’t help but notice that his dancing was almost as calculated as he was, while still appearing effortless. It was obvious that this was something he did because he had to.

I tilted my head up, “Would it make you happy if I ate something after this?”

“It would.”

“Then I will.”

I felt his fingers stroke my spine gently. “Good girl.”

“Should I expect to meet your father soon?” I asked, trying to ignore the heat that rose to my face.

“Not for a while yet.” Kyoya’s expression darkened for a brief moment.

I hummed quietly, letting my fingers reach up just enough to brush the tips of his hair, the most affectionate gesture I dared to attempt given our current situation. His eyes softened a bit at my efforts. I continued to let him lead us through the dance, my eyes not quite willing to leave his face.

Kyoya was the most gorgeous man I knew, but I still couldn’t quite grasp my feelings for him. Or maybe I simply couldn’t let myself fall for a man that terrified me as much as he excited me.

Kyoya gave me a small bow as the song ended. I could hear the other couples shuffle around us, some leaving the floor, others switching partners or readjusting for the next dance. Kyoya took my arm and led me to one of the tables, where we found Tamaki, Margaux, Hikaru, and Kaoru talking amongst themselves. I immediately noticed how Margaux seemed to be fixated on Hikaru, her eyes glued to him as he spoke.

“Kana-chan, Margaux-chan is insisting that Kaoru and I design her wardrobe for her first semester at Ouran.” Hikaru rolled his eyes at me, but the tone of his voice told me how much he was adoring the attention.

“I can give you a glowing recommendation.” I smirked. My eyes shifted to Kaoru. I found that he was staring back at me with an expression that I could only interpret as infatuation. “This gown certainly speaks for itself.”

“We had an excellent muse.” Kaoru’s eyes darted to Kyoya before returning to my own. I gave him a small smile, letting him know that the subtle flirtation hadn’t escaped me.

I settled into Kyoya’s side, listening as our friends carried conversation around us. I made a point to take a skewer of grilled squid from one of the servers as they passed by, earning me an approving smile from Kyoya. It wasn’t long before Mori and Honey joined us. Honey greeted me with his usual enthusiasm, while Mori flashed me a rare smile upon seeing my appearance.

I felt strangely at home, even with the formal event going on around us. Kyoya’s previous tension had melted away now that we were with our group. Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something big was looming in the distance.

“I’m stealing your date, Kyoya.” Kaoru’s voice cut through my reverie. “I need my nicotine partner before she goes off dancing again.”

“Use the side entrance.” Kyoya gave my hand a small squeeze before he released me.

I followed Kaoru out of the ballroom. My eyes were drawn to the exceptional tailoring work of his tuxedo jacket, noting how it came in perfectly at the waist to accentuate his thinner frame. He seemed to know the Ootori mansion well. Eventually we wound up just outside the side entrance. I let out a long sigh, enjoying the sudden quietness of our surroundings.

“Kyoya doesn’t see me as a threat.” Kaoru mused as he handed me a cigarette from his own pack.

“Does that bother you?” I leaned close to him, letting him light my cigarette with a flick of his lighter.

“Nah. It means I can steal you away easier.” Kaoru’s eyes glinted.

“You’re not stealing me from anyone, seeing as I don’t belong to him.” I chuckled. “I’m not a possession, Kaoru.”

“I’d never treat you like one.” Kaoru draped his arm over my shoulders. He took a hit off his cigarette before continuing, “My judgement was right, by the way.”

“What judgement?” I asked, already dreading his answer.

“Adding that extra bit of lift was an amazing idea.”

Chapter Text

I was beginning to fully understand the appeal of Tamaki Suoh. As ridiculous as it sounds, he made me feel like I was the only woman in the world when we danced together. His eyes were locked to mine, gazing at me with a softness that could easily make anyone’s heart melt. He was being quiet for once, until he glanced behind me for a brief moment.

“We’d better behave. Kyoya looks like he’s about to murder me.” Tamaki let out a small chuckle, his eyes returning to mine.

“Are we not behaving?” I smirked. I casually slid my hand from his shoulder and down to his arm, allowing me to close some of the space between us.

“Don’t tell me you’re trying to tease him, Kana-chan.” Tamaki adjusted his hold on my waist, his eyes sparkling.

“Maybe a little bit.” I winked.

“Don’t tell me the innocent Kana-chan enjoys the implications.” Tamaki raised an eyebrow, feigning shock.

“Didn’t you?”

Tamaki’s face flushed, giving me my answer. He pulled me in closer to his chest. I could feel his fingers tracing the curve of my hip lightly. He dipped his head, bringing his lips close to my ear. “I’ll be more than happy to make sure the princess gets what she wants.”

For once the nickname didn’t bother me. Instead, I felt my heart flutter involuntarily. Was it the champagne?

I let myself get lost in the string music and Tamaki’s gentle expression. He held me close as he guided me through the steps, paying little mind to the other couples around us. Waltzing had never been my preferred activity, but Takami made it almost fun.

The music faded almost too soon. Tamaki gave me a low bow before kissing my hand delicately once we had separated. I squeezed his fingers lightly in return, not quite ready for the moment to end.

It was almost romantic.

I let myself take in my surroundings once again. The band seemed to be taking a break. Conversations filled the silence. I could easily pick out my friends among the crowd--Honey was chatting with a group of people I didn’t recognize, while Hikaru and Margaux were giggling to each other at a table. Much to my surprise, Kaoru and Mori were standing towards the entrance of the room, seemingly in deep conversation.

I didn’t have time to ponder what they could be talking about, however. Kyoya had quickly approached Tamaki and I with an expression of annoyance across his face.

“Have fun?” Kyoya was quick to press his hand to the small of my back, as though he were reclaiming me from my dance partner.

“Tamaki’s a good dancer.” I leaned into Kyoya’s side, not quite allowing myself to admit how right it felt to be standing with him. I tucked a loose strand of hair behind my ear, listening to the sound of the bangles clinking against each other as they slid over my arm.

“As are you, princess.” Tamaki grinned. His eyes wandered over to Hikaru and Margaux, his grin only deepening once he noticed their flirtation. “I wish Haruhi was here to see this.”

“They do seem to fit.” Kyoya seemed to relax beside me.

“I can’t say I’m surprised. She’s got my charm and good looks, after all.” Tamaki folded his arms over his chest. “And the Hitachiin’s aren’t as concerned with political marriages.”

“What about your family, Suoh-san?” I asked.

Tamaki’s expression darkened slightly. “I’m illegitimate, so not much has been expected of me. Although my engagement to Haruhi wasn’t exactly easy.”

“Why not?” I frowned, my mind reeling at the admission.

“Father wanted me to marry her.” Kyoya said quietly. “Despite her poor background, Haruhi is quite impressive.”

“Why didn’t you?”

“She denied me.” Kyoya chuckled. “Haruhi had no obligation to say yes.”

“And she was already in love with me.” Tamaki’s eyes twinkled.

“Although, that did drive you to make your own proposal.” Kyoya smirked.

“I couldn’t give her the chance to say yes to someone else.” Tamaki slid his hands into his pockets, smiling at the memory. “Although, I did consider trying to convince her to marry Kyoya. At least he would’ve been married to someone he could care about.”

“I’m touched, Tamaki.” Kyoya rolled his eyes. I could sense that Tamaki had hit a sore spot. “We both know that wouldn’t have worked. She’s far too stubborn.”

“I can be quite convincing.” Tamaki gave Kyoya a lazy wink.

We were approached by one of the Ootori staff members. He was dressed more formally than the rest, and he had a serious expression on his face. He gave Kyoya a low bow before he spoke. “I apologize for the interruption, Ootori-san. Your father has requested that you and Inao-san join him in his sitting room.”

“We’ll be there momentarily.” Kyoya stiffened beside me. The man bowed in acknowledgement and quickly left us.

“Kyoya…” The concern was obvious in Tamaki’s voice.

“I’m fine, Tamaki.” Kyoya sighed. “Let’s go.”

Kyoya held my hand tightly as we navigated out of the ballroom and through the long halls of the Ootori mansion. I could barely keep up with his quick pace, thanks to the heels Hikaru had insisted that I wear. His mouth was drawn into a tight line, the tension obvious in his expression.

We eventually wound up in front of a large doorway, where there were two bodyguards positioned on either side. It was an eerily familiar sight; my own father often had his own protection even within our home.

Kyoya stopped just outside. “Kanami, I know you were expecting this, but--”

“You’ve seen Amelia Claire in action. Ootori-sama doesn’t scare me.” I wrapped my arms around his waist, ignoring the bodyguards’ gaze.

His eyes searched mine for a moment. He brought his hands to cup either side of my face before pressing a soft kiss on my forehead. Despite the current situation, the gesture made my heart swell. I felt a surge of emotion. I wanted to protect him all of the sudden. The look in his eyes was almost vulnerable, and so unlike him.

I had only spoken to Yoshio Ootori over the phone, and that did little to prepare me for how intimidating he was in person. He sat on a deep brown leather armchair with one leg crossed over his knees. His eyes narrowed slightly as we approached him. I could immediately see the resemblance between him and Kyoya--they shared the same strong jawline and silver eyes.

“Father, I would like to formally introduce Kanami Inao.” Kyoya’s voice was stiff.

“A pleasure, Ootori-sama.” I bowed at the waist, taking the opportunity to break the eye contact between us.

“Sit.” Yoshio linked his fingers together under his chin and leaned back, exuding confidence in his control over the situation. It was easy to see where Kyoya had gotten his controlling nature, a fact that I would never point out to him.

Kyoya and I sat down on the loveseat across from Yoshio, leaving a decent amount of space between us. I resisted the urge to take Kyoya’s hand, wanting to comfort him.

“Your father tells me you’re adjusting well, Inao-san.” Yoshio’s voice was even. “I must say that I was interested to hear that you would be attending tonight.”

“Kyoya-senpai was kind enough to invite me.” I crossed my ankles and let my hands rest in my lap, keeping my posture rigid. “He and his friends have been very helpful.”

“So you’re acquainted with the Host Club, I take it.” Yoshio raised an eyebrow.

I could feel Kyoya’s gaze on me. I kept my eyes on Yoshio, knowing better than to let my expression change. “My mother is affiliated with the Hitachiin family, and I have class with Takashi Morinozuka-senpai.”

“Tatshiro assured me that you wouldn’t disappoint.” Yoshio’s lips curved into a wry smile. “It didn’t take much convincing for him to allow you to come here. You have the intelligence to bring down an entire empire. We couldn’t allow you to continue down that path.”

“I assure you that I won’t be doing that again. I fully intend to use my education to better Inao Industries from here on.” I resisted the urge to pour out another apology for my previous actions. “My performance should be an indicator of my sincerity.”

“Has Tatshiro discussed your future in Inao Industries with you?” He leaned forward.

“Not exactly.” I admitted. I could feel Kyoya shift beside me.

“Would you consider affiliating yourself with the Ootori Group?”

Yoshio’s question hung between the three of us for a few uncomfortable moments.

“Father, she has obligations to her own family.” Kyoya finally spoke.

“Inao-san can speak for herself. I believe that is customary for American women.” Yoshio gave Kyoya a warning glare.

“I would request some time to consider, Ootori-sama.” It was the most diplomatic answer I could think of. I could only picture my father’s reaction if he knew I was considering working with Ootori Group. Even though they were one of our top clients, the relationship had always been strained. “I am the only heir to my father’s company.”

“Your father has never been one for tradition, Inao-san. It isn’t unheard of for American business owners to simply sell off the company once they retire.” Yoshio’s tone made it obvious that he knew something I didn’t. “He did seem interested to know that you’ve been spending time with Kyoya.”

“I’ll arrange to speak with him and see what he would have me do.” I dug my nails into my palm, unwilling to risk showing any hint of emotion.

“I’m pleased to see that tradition isn’t lost on you.” A slow smile spread across Yoshio’s face. “Would you join Kyoya and I for breakfast in the morning? I’ll arrange for you to stay here tonight. I would like the opportunity to learn more about you, Inao-san.”

I allowed myself to look at Kyoya. He returned my glance and gave me the smallest of nods, hopefully unnoticed by Yoshio.

“I would be honored.”

Yoshio dismissed us after I agreed. I followed Kyoya out of the room, his hand immediately finding mine once we were out of sight. We spoke in quick, hushed tones as we walked down the hallway.

“He’s planning something.” Kyoya’s grip was nearly bruising.

“Well, we got his attention with our relationship, isn’t that what we wanted?”

“I didn’t expect him to offer you a position within Ootori Group.”

“Did you expect me to immediately turn him down?” I raised an eyebrow.

“What will you do?” He slowed his pace to a stop. It took me a moment to realize that he hadn’t been leading us directly back to the ballroom. Just how big was this place?

“I’ll talk to my father. He’s not as calculating as Ootori-sama, I doubt he’s scheming anything.” My mind reeled. “I’d always assumed he’d find someone to run the company and force me to marry whoever it was. But after I did what I did, there was some hope that I’d get the company, you know?”

A noise of disgust escaped Kyoya’s throat. I could tell that his composure was slowly slipping away. “Let’s not discuss this further, for now.”

“Agreed.” I nodded.

Kyoya dropped his forehead to my shoulder, catching me off guard. I hesitantly reached up to stroke his hair lightly. He stayed there as he spoke, his voice barely above a whisper. “I don’t like being around him, Kanami. Nothing I do is ever enough for him. It’s exhausting, and I shouldn’t have allowed you to get so involved with me.”

“I wanted to be involved with you, Kyoya.” I knew there was more to his anguish than what he was telling me, but I wouldn’t dare ask, not wanting to risk hurting Kyoya further in his sudden vulnerability.

“I need my pet tonight.” Kyoya wrapped his arms around my waist and lifted his head, gazing at me with enough intensity to nearly bring me to my knees. “Are you willing?”

“Always, Sir.” My breath hitched in my throat.

“Stay by my side until this event’s over.” His hand went to the back of my hair. He gave a sharp tug, forcing me to look up at him. “And please, no more champagne. I refuse to play with you while you’re intoxicated.”

“You intoxicate me.” The words left my mouth before I had time to think about them.

He let out a short laugh and released me from his grip. His hand found mine once again, and together we walked back to the ballroom, the interaction with Yoshio forgotten, for now.

Chapter Text

Kanami had been far, far too good to me to deserve any of my typical punishment, despite having tried to sneak an extra glass of champagne while we were caught in conversation. Her elegance continued to amaze me as the night progressed. She moved through the event with me, speaking to my guests with exceptional politeness, and easily navigated us away from conversations when she sensed they wouldn’t go in our favor with gentle requests for another dance or a chance for some air.

The way she behaved was both impressive and intimidating. She used the same tactics I often found myself using when speaking to other members of the social elite. Occasionally the mask would fall and I’d be met with a quick eye roll or a small scowl.

It was a life we had both been trained for, and I couldn’t deny that she fit in perfectly.

“You know how to handle yourself.” I commented once we were able to escape to my personal wing of the mansion. My oldest brother used to occupy the area before he had gotten married. I had it redesigned for my preferences, opting for a cleaner, more modern look than what my brother had selected previously.

“Are you surprised?” Kanami’s eyebrow arched. She had gone back to her neutral expression, a far cry from the fake smile she plastered on when around others. Not that I had room to judge, seeing as I did the same.

“Maybe.” I led her into my study and watched as her attention immediately looked at my full bookshelves. I released her hand, giving her a small nod of encouragement. “There haven’t been many records of you socializing before this.”

Kanami gave me a lazy smile as she walked to my books, her eyes scanning over the titles. “I don’t know how to explain it in Japanese, but there was someone who taught me manners and conversational skills.”

“A governess?” I offered. I repeated the word in English.

“Governess.” She nodded, not offering any further information. She gazed at me over her shoulder with a questioning look. “When did you buy this one?”

I crossed over to her, immediately recognizing the title she was referring to. “Can’t I be interested in cyber warfare?”

“Should I read some books on accounting or healthcare?” Kanami turned to face me, an amused expression in her eyes. “You’re already reading Tess of the d’Urbervilles. If I didn’t know you, Kyoya Ootori, I’d say you’re trying to impress me.”

I took her chin in my hand, “And what would you say I’m doing?”

“Trying to figure me out.” Well, she had me there.

I pressed an uncharacteristically soft kiss to her lips, allowing myself to confirm her suspicions. I felt her hands go to my tie and gently tug me forward, closing the distance between us. I ran my tongue over her full lips, causing her to part them just enough to grant me access. I had been dying to taste her again and it showed in my desperate exploration of her mouth. She responded eagerly, her tongue brushing against mine as small moans escaped her throat.

I eventually pulled back, allowing us a moment to catch our breath. Her lipstick was smudged around the corners and her face was beautifully flushed. It truly astounded me, how she was able to completely quell the storm within me with the simplest of touches or with the sound of her voice, even if she didn’t realize it.

That kind of vulnerability wasn’t something I was used to, or something I would typically allow, but with her it somehow felt different than what I expected it to be. I’d spent all my life building up walls only to have them slowly torn down. It wasn’t their absence that terrified me, rather, it was the thought of exposure without acceptance.

I think I had fallen in love with Kanami Inao long before I admitted it to myself. But could I bring myself to overcome my personal fear of rejection and admit it to her, too? Even more than that, did the feelings I have for her surpass my own familial obligations?

“Even as a Dom, Kanami, there are times when I need your strength.” I brought my hands to the back of her neck, finding the clasp of her dress. “I need you tonight.” And forever.

“You have me, Sir.”

My mouth crashed against hers once again. I felt her lips part against mine. Her hands met mine, her deft fingers quickly making work of the clasp. It was a rush of teeth and tongue from there. I wasted no time in letting the gown drop to her floor and took the opportunity to attack the now exposed flesh of her neck, biting and sucking right where her neck curved into her shoulder.

“No one will come here unless I call for them, so I want to hear what I’m doing to you pet, understood?” I growled.

“Yes, Sir--ah!” Her voice hitched as my fingers twisted around one of her nipples, leaving it in a sharp peak.

“Sit.” I broke away from her and pointed towards my desk. When she hesitated, I brought my palm down on her ass, rewarding me with a sharp sting on my palm. “What are your colors?”

“Red to stop, yellow for when something needs attention, green for when everything’s good.” She recited, stepping out of her dress as she did so, leaving her in a pair of simple black underwear and her heels.

“And where are you at now?”

“Green, Sir.”

“Then get to my desk.”

Kanami had the audacity to smile at that. Her smiles were rare enough to break a man when they appeared. Part of me wondered if I could give her a world that would allow her to smile more often.

God, she was making me think like Tamaki.

My eyes trailed after her as she walked to my desk. I took the time to rid myself of my jacket and vest, draping them over the back of the couch along with Kanami’s gown. Typically I’d have her pick up after herself, but I was in no mood to stress about my normal behavior.

I rolled up my sleeves and slowly loosened my tie, already feeling myself growing hard at the sight in front of me: the Kanami Inao sitting at the edge of my desk, legs crossed, with one of her heels dangling off her foot. She held no sense of insecurity in her posture, rather, she seemed incredibly sure of herself.

“Trust me, pet.” I slid my tie off and crossed to her. I took a long look into her eyes before I used my tie as a makeshift blindfold, securing it in a simple knot on the back of her head. “Color?”

Her teeth caught on her bottom lip as she spoke. “Still green, Sir.”

“Such a good girl.” I crooned, relishing in the way her breath quickened at the praise. I nudged her legs open and ran my fingertips over her inner thighs, my touch almost featherlight. I continued upward, pointedly avoiding brushing over her most intimate areas as I explored her skin. I memorized every reaction from the small gasp as my fingers brushed over her hip bones, to the way her back arched as I ran a hand over her spine, all the way to the way her jaw tightened as I reached her ever-so-sensitive neck. I was intent on learning every single inch of my pet’s body, no matter how long it took.

I removed my hands from her body, letting them fall to my sides. I could practically smell her impatient arousal. I observed her for a long moment before I approached her again, this time grabbing her by the hips as my teeth found the side of her breast. I dug my thumbs into her, intent on leaving her bruised. I felt her hand fly to the back of my head, her fingers tangling in my hair. I quickly brought one hand up to grasp her wrist, feeling the bangle I had gotten her clinking with the movement.

There was a loud pop as I sucked her skin out of my mouth, leaving a bright red mark. I ran my tongue over it, smirking as her fingers twitched in my hair in response. Rather than pull her hand away, I simply let my own drop, realizing that I didn’t mind the sensation when it came from her.

Her touch was enough to stop me in my tracks and send me spiraling into another rush of emotion. I was torn between resorting to the belt to work out the overwhelming feelings I had towards Kanami, and for once letting myself feel something in its entirety.

“You’re insatiable, aren’t you?” I didn’t give her time to respond to my question before my mouth was against hers. I held her by her upper arms and lowered her down against the desk, my body laying flush against hers. I tugged at her underwear and Kanami lifted her hips slightly, making room for me to slide them down her legs. My face hovered over hers as I spoke, thankful that she couldn’t read my expression. “I’m going to admit something to you.”

“Sir?” There was no disguising the confusion in her voice.

I balanced myself on one forearm while I began teasing her moist entrance with the other. “As much as I’d love to find some sort of way to punish you for sneaking champagne or blatantly flirting with Tamaki, I’m finding myself needing to simply make love to you, in my own way.”

The seconds that it took for her to respond felt more like minutes. I briefly regretted my admission; I had made it clear to her that I wouldn’t be a kind partner in the bedroom, and here I was letting my feelings get in the way of my role.

“You have me, Sir.” She whispered, repeating her earlier statement. “Whether you want to punish me or make love to me, I’m still your pet, no?”

As cliche as it sounded, I felt the ice around my heart melt with her words.

“You are my pet.” I nuzzled against her cheek, my fingers circling her clit. Her hips bucked invitingly in response, urging me on. I placed a single kiss on her cheek before I stood. I shed the remainder of my clothing, unceremoniously leaving everything in a pile on the floor. Desperately wanting to be close to her again, I lowered myself between her legs, giving myself just enough room to gently push inside her.

I was impossibly hard, making the feeling of her walls squeezing around my length almost uncomfortably tight. I held myself up on my forearms, watching her face tense then relax as we both adjusted. I felt her legs circle around my waist.

“You feel… so fucking good, darling.” I rested my forehead against hers and pulled almost entirely out of her, then snapped my hips, entering her again in one fluid motion, low moan escaping my throat. I closed my eyes and repeated the motion, letting any remaining sense of control I still had slip away from me. For once I wasn’t contemplating my next move, instead moving purely out of need for her.

I couldn’t get close enough to Kanami. I fucked her into the desk, adjusting so that I was able to pin her wrists behind her head. Her breasts were smashed against my chest, only adding to the growing heat between us.

It felt almost feral. I couldn’t focus on the sounds of skin slapping against skin as I steadily increased my rhythm; instead, I only heard Kanami’s encouraging words that eventually fell into gasps as she, too, lost herself beneath me.

I tore the tie away from her face, leaving it tangled in her hair. I found myself seeing a look in Kanami’s eyes that I knew reflected my own. It wasn’t a look of pure lust, rather, it held something deeper, almost incomprehensible. I felt connected to her in a way that I’d never felt with another person.

Neither of us lasted long, whether it was from the amount of time we’d spent apart from each other, or the pure emotion filling the air around us I wasn’t sure. She came with a beautiful cry and arched her back, the action bringing me to my own release almost involuntarily.

I stayed inside her as we came back down. I buried my face in the crook of her neck, listening to her soft pants fading back into steady breaths. I held my lips against her skin, fighting myself from whispering the only words that I could find in that moment.

I love you.

Chapter Text

Everyone has a tell, a single gesture to indicate that their words or expressions weren’t their true thoughts or intentions. I had sharpened my observational skills enough to easily pick out the most subtle movements of those around me; even the smallest gesture was enough for me to discover a lie.

Hikaru and Tamaki had been the easiest to learn. Both of them wore their emotions clearly on their face. I could catch both of them in their fabrications--Hikaru’s eyes would narrow ever so slightly, as though he were trying to combat the natural widening that came with telling a lie. Tamaki knew better than to lie to me, but even among others, all they would have to do is watch the way his fingers would graze his jaw lightly to know when he wasn’t completely clear. Kaoru would feign maintaining eye contact by settling his eyes on the person’s nose. Even Takashi would tilt his head back, and Honey would run his tongue over his front teeth.

Rather than call my friends out on these things, I would wait for them to eventually come clean. Unless their deception benefited me, of course.

Kanami had been a hard read since the day I’d met her. I always had a sense that she had her guard up whenever I was nearby, although I had seen glimpses of expressiveness around the other members of the Host Club. She’d caught on to my attempts to figure her out almost immediately, there was no question about that. She was smart, that much was certain, but I could see the cracks beginning to appear in her mask.

We had gone to my room once we had both recovered from our time in the study. She was wrapped in my throw blanket, not having bothered to put her gown back on. My staff had brought her bag to my room, something I had arranged once I’d learned she would be staying with us. My staff would take the liberty of sending for her clothing for tomorrow. My father had high expectations for how his house was run, and our staff never disappointed.

“Would you like a shirt?” I turned my attention to my overstuffed dresser, making an effort to hide the fact that she was the first woman I’d brought back to my own room. I had slept with plenty, sure, but never in my own private space. It didn’t feel quite as strange as I had expected.

“I don’t want to stretch your clothes out.” I could hear Kanami’s phone trill to life from behind me.

“Keep it, then.” I found a simple black shirt and tugged it out of the drawer, along with a pair of pajama bottoms for myself. “Not like I would mind.”

“That’s almost sweet of you, Kyoya.” Her voice had taken a teasing tone.

I turned around to see her focused on her phone, her brow furrowed. “Something wrong?”

“Ah, just an email from one of my professors.” She set the phone down on top of the dresser, the screen facing up. For a split second, her index and middle finger came to the corner of her mouth, almost as if she were bringing a cigarette to her lips.

That was it.

Could her tell really be that simple? Or did she just need a cigarette.

Either way, something in my gut told me she was hiding something. I pushed back every instinct I had to confront her, find out what what going on in her head.

“While I admire your diligence as a student, I’d like to steal your attention away for a while yet.” I handed her the shirt and watched her slip it over her head, the hem falling just above her mid-thigh. I stepped into my own nightclothes. “Do you need to go outside for a bit?”

“If you don’t mind.” She said, already reaching inside her bag for a cigarette.

I gave her a small nod and watched her step out to my balcony. I could barely make out her figure, blurred from the outside darkness and my thin curtains. I kept telling myself I was going to get a pair that offered more protection from any outside light, but tonight I was thankful for the opportunity to see outside.

Only a few minutes had passed before Kanami’s phone chimed from the dresser. Against my better judgement, I glanced down at the screen to find she had received a text from an unsaved number. I mentally ran through the list of numbers I was familiar with--it definitely wasn’t one that I recognized. It wasn’t long before the phone chimed again, indicating a second text had come through from the same sender.

I knew better than to try to unlock her phone to read the messages for myself, however, something told me that I needed to get to the bottom of what was going on. I knew, deep down, that it wasn’t just my feelings clouding my judgement.

I found my own phone and quickly sent a message to Tachibana, my most trusted bodyguard, with instructions to find the owner of the phone number. If anyone could trace down the source with discretion, it would be him.

All I could do was wait.

/////

I wish I could say that I slept soundly with Kanami curled beside me, but that would be far from the truth. My mind was far too caught up in anticipating having an unexpected breakfast with my father. There had to be some reason behind his wanting to bring Kanami into the Ootori Group.It wasn’t possible for him to only be interested in her technical prowess, that wasn’t how my father worked. There had to be some benefit to having her associated with his company that I was somehow missing.What advantage would Kanami bring?

I was still somewhat lost in thought as Kanami and I made our way to the dining room. She spoke little that morning, telling me that until she had coffee in her system she wouldn’t be much for conversation, as if I didn’t already know. I wanted to tell her that, if she chose me, I would ensure that every morning was met with as much coffee as it took to bring her out of the fog of sleep.

But it wasn’t the time.

My father was already waiting for us when we arrived. I felt Kanami’s posture immediately shift once his gaze fell on her, as if she could feel the certain judgement in his eyes.

“I take it you were satisfied with your accommodations here.” Father, ever so observant, stated as I sat down next to him after helping Kanami into the seat next to mine. O

“I did. Thank you for allowing me to stay here.” Kanami was poised as ever, despite her lack of caffeine.

“Coffee, Ootori-san?” One of the maids had approached me. I gave her a quick nod and signaled for her to bring Kanami a cup as well. I was eager for my darling to perk up a bit.

Since when did I start thinking of her as my darling?

“I certainly hope you took some time to consider my offer.” Father’s eyes never left Kanami, even as the maids began placing dishes in front of us. Father tended to keep things simple when it came to his meals, opting to have a breakfast of fruit and toast served to us. Not like I was in the mood for much else myself.

“I would still like to speak to my father on the matter.” Kanami held her coffee cup to her lips. “Might I ask what you would have me doing within Ootori Group?”

Father took a bite of a strawberry before he spoke. “You would be managing our healthcare platform, naturally. It is no secret that your father and I have had our troubles in the past, and after his most recent data breach--”

“You no longer want to be his client, even though I caused the breach.” Kanami finished. “You want to move to an in-house model to manage your billing software, I assume.”

“Is that something you can do?” He asked. I involuntarily leaned forward in my chair, my half-eaten toast forgotten.

“Development is far different than hacking, but I’m making decent progress in my skills on that front.” Kanami’s eyes widened. “But that’s why I’m at Ouran.”

“Precisely.”

The word hung in the air between the three of us. Kanami stared into her coffee, her fingers tightening around the mug.

So that was my father’s plan, and Kanami had just figured it out. He convinced Kanami’s father to allow her to come to Ouran instead of facing punishment for her actions with the intention of stealing her away for his own use. I would’ve considered it a brilliant idea, had I not been so royally pissed off.

But how would he have done it had she and I hadn’t gotten involved?

“You would have to marry into the Ootori family, of course.” Father continued. “We can’t have someone in such a high position from outside our family. That’s how our business runs.”

I shoved my glasses up the bridge of my nose, trying to force myself into calming down. “Is this your way of deciding what to do with your third son?”

“You know better than to speak to me like that, Kyoya.” His voice rose sharply. “I would be willing to turn one of the companies over to you, if you were able to secure this arrangement.”

“What if I refuse?” Kanami spoke. Her fingers went to the corner of her mouth. There it was again. Now that I had noticed the gesture it was impossible to miss.

“Then I’ll be forced to use Kyoya as a bargaining chip in my attempts to fill the position. There are plenty of others that would jump at the chance to belong with us.” He leaned back in his chair, not disguising the satisfaction with the entire situation.

“I’ll consider it.” Kanami’s voice was barely above a whisper.

“I expect an answer by the end of this semester. We can’t have this matter hindering your studies, can we?” He stood and adjusted the collar of his shirt. “Now, if you two will excuse me. I’m certain the two of you have plenty to discuss.”

Kanami and I rose and gave him a quick bow before he left the room. She and I sat in an uncomfortable silence, broken only by one of the maids refilling Kanami’s coffee.

“I need to call my father.” Kanami finally said.

“And tell him what?” I kept my voice even. “I don’t expect you to give up on your hopes of taking over Inao Industries to satisfy me, Kanami. I’ve accepted my father’s indifference toward me a long time ago.”

“Is that what you want for your life, Kyoya? Do you want to be forced into a marriage? Even if it wasn’t with me, surely you have your own ambitions.” Her mask was gone. I could feel the emotion pouring out of every single one of her words.

“I do what’s expected of me.” I dug my nails into my leg. “I know what I’m capable of, but he’ll never see it. I won’t subject you to working for him.”

“Did you know about this?”

“No.” I faced her, not shielding my own emotion. I had no doubts about my love for Kanami, but this wasn’t a life I could allow her to live. I had wanted to do things right by her, and my father had to make it part of his grand plan to further himself as a businessman. “I would’ve pursued you without a thought, had that been the case. But Kanami, I swear to you that’s not why I…”

“I trust you.” Her hand found mine, squeezing it in a tight grip. “Inao Industries is finished without Ootori Group. I don’t know much about business, but they’re our largest client, and if they go--”

“When. Father’s made up his mind.”

“Fuck.” Kanami swore. She pounded her forehead with her free hand, once, twice, then a third time. “I’d make a terrible wife, Kyoya. I can barely figure out my own feelings, and when you told me to feel free to explore other opportunities--”

I cut her off, not ready to hear what I had long suspected about her having other relationships. “Refuse his offer, Kanami.” I want to marry you, but not like this.

“I can’t take this chance from you, Kyoya. He’d give you one of his companies.”

I pushed my chair away from the table. In one swift motion, I pulled her into my lap and held her close to my chest, unable to contain myself any longer. “You said you trusted me Kanami. And I need you to hold to that. He’s given me time to figure this out, but I need you to refuse if I haven’t gotten this sorted by the end of this semester.”

“You’re not alone in this, Kyoya.” She sat up in my lap, her hands resting on my shoulders. Her eyes glinted dangerously. “Give me a name and a computer, and I’ll get you any information you need, and do a little damage if you’d like.”

I couldn’t stop the grin that broke out across my face. Father had picked the wrong woman to deceive.

///

Tachibana delivered the information I had requested later that afternoon in the manner of a single slip of paper slid beneath my door frame. My breath hitched as I read the name, immediately recognizing who it belonged to.

A low growl escaped my throat. Shido. The name of my brother-in-law. The name that was shared with a family linked with one of the most infamous yakuza groups in our area of Japan.

My phone was in my hand before I could register what I was doing. I called the person that could withhold a secret from me, even though I had believed him to respect me enough not to do so.

The anger bled into my voice.

“Mori-senpai, mind telling me why Kanami is getting texts from Takumi Shido?”

Chapter Text

“I’m protective, not possessive.” Mori-senpai’s words from last night rang in my mind.

“What are you getting at?” I’d asked, not quite grasping what my upperclassman was telling me.

“Meaning, I’m not Kyoya.” He nodded in the direction of the dance floor, where Kanami was wrapped in Tamaki’s arms. It didn’t take me long to find Kyoya, who was doing little to hide his obvious annoyance at their closeness. Hell, it looked like he was about to physically tear her away from him.

A smirk grew across my face, “So we’re allies then.”

“Kasanoda will be at our place tomorrow. He’s got something.” Mori-senpai leaned against the wall and gave me a long, pointed look. “Ally.”

Unfortunately, sneaking away to Mori and Honey’s wasn’t as easy as I’d anticipated. Just when I thought I’d successfully left our home unnoticed, Hikaru managed to catch me just as I was about to get into one of our shared cars.

“Where you headed?” He asked. He casually rested against the driver’s side door, narrowing his eyes at me.

“Just going out for a bit.” I shoved my hands in my pockets.

“Uh huh.” Hikaru showed no signs of moving. “Is it Kana?”

“Not today.”

“Client?”

“Hikaru, why are you--”

“Because I know you’re hiding something from me.” Hikaru snapped. “And I’m not letting you go until you tell me what’s going on.”

Of course he’d been able to see that something was on my mind. We slept in the same room most nights, meaning my lack of sleep wouldn’t have gone unnoticed. And had I tried to start sleeping in my own room he would’ve just made a big deal of it. Any change in my routine would immediately spark my brother’s attention. He’d never say it, but Hikaru hated anything that had the potential to scribble over the picture of his life.

“I’ve got to get going, Hika.” I rolled my eyes.

“Then I’ll come with you.” Hikaru pulled his own set of keys out of his pocket and waved them in front of my face. “Where are we going?”

“We aren’t going anywhere.” I rubbed my temples. “Look, there’s something going on with Kana--”

“What is it?” Hikaru’s eyes flashed. “Is it her mom?”

“This is why I can’t tell you, Hika. You’re just going to go off and do something stupid.” I sighed. “I know she’s your friend--”

“Kana’s not just my friend.”

“What?”

“Don’t take it like that!” Hikaru snorted. “Kao, I’ve seen you throw yourself at dozens of women, but I’ve never seen you lose sleep over one. Don’t you think that makes her special to me, too?”

I bit my lip. I had to give it to him, he had his own way of forcing information out of me. “Alright, but I’m driving. The last thing I need right now is to deal with your road rage.”

Hikaru’s reaction only solidified Honey and Mori’s reasoning behind not telling him in the first place. I could barely finish my explanation before he started drumming his fingers against the window in irritation. I watched him go through his usual explosion of anger through my peripheral vision--the drumming turned into chewing his nails, to:

“Holy FUCK Kaoru.” Hikaru’s volume nearly caused me to veer off the highway. “What the hell did she get herself into? Who’d she piss off that badly?”

I gripped the steering wheel tighter. “My first thought was Amelia--”

“--piece of shit.” Hikaru continued muttering under his breath. I let out a long sigh and pressed on.

“She’s evil, but I think that evilness is pretty limited to being abusive and controlling.”

“Like that makes her any better!” Hikaru snapped.

“Hika.” My voice was sharp. “Let me talk.”

“Sorry.” Hikaru rubbed his eyes, only adding to the irritated flush on his cheeks.

“Like I said, she was my first thought. However, I did some digging. There isn’t much on the internet about the data breach Kana caused. At first I thought it was thanks to her father’s influence, but then I remembered that Ootori Group was one of the companies that had gotten exposed.” I took a breath. “So I looked up Kana’s name and Ootori Group.”

“I always knew Kyoya-senpai inherited his scheming ways from his dad.” Hikaru cut in, never missing the chance to insult Kyoya.

“There was a statement about the breach, but there was more than that, Hika.” I rolled down the window and rummaged around in the console for a cigarette, ignoring the side-eye I was getting from my twin. “Apparently, Ootori-san sued Kana’s dad nearly fifteen years ago over some nonsense about service delivery on their platform. The whole thing was above my head, but from what I can tell, that’s about the time when Amelia took over financial responsibility of the company.”

“Then why would he bring her here just to…” Hikaru frowned. “You think he’s behind it, then.”

I lit a cigarette and let it dangle out the window. “We’ll find out. Bossa Nova’s going to be at Honey-senpai and Mori-senpai’s.”

“She should move in with us.” Hikaru’s anger had shifted into something more terrifying. I could tell he was in serious thought as he spoke. “I don’t like that she lives by herself as it is. We can at least hide her.”

“I’ve thought about that, but we aren’t exactly equipped, you know?”

“Speak for yourself, I can at least throw a punch.” Hikaru scoffed. “Just because you’re about as useful as nipples on a man--”

I coughed, nearly choking on smoke. “Excuse you, you know our nipples are sensitive too!”

“It’s an expression, Kao!” Hikaru’s obvious frustration made me laugh, despite the situation.

“I think you’re looking for ‘tits on a bull’, idiot.”

“What does that even mean?” Hikaru’s brow furrowed.

“No clue.” I twisted the remainder of the tobacco out of my cigarette and shoved the butt in my pocket, mentally vowing to drop it in the next trashcan I came across.

I pulled into the large parking garage that was attached to Honey and Mori’s apartment building. The two of them had purchased the entire top floor in order to accommodate a decent-sized home gym and practice dojo. It was a little extra, even by my standards, but I couldn’t blame them for wanting to move out of their parents’ homes after starting university. We sat in the car for a moment after I’d parked, letting the engine run idle. Hikaru stared straight ahead, a blank expression on his face.

I took a breath. “Ready?”

He nodded. As soon as we got out of the car, we heard the unmistakable sound of tires shrieking behind us. At first I assumed it was Kasanoda, but once I turned around I immediately recognized the sleek black sedan that had parked haphazardly into a nearby space.

“What the hell, Kaoru?” Kyoya had practically thrown himself out of the car, his face twisted in rage as he approached us. My heart immediately started pounding--composed and angry Kyoya was intimidating enough, but enraged Kyoya was downright terrifying. “What’s going on with Kanami?”

“TURN OFF THE CAR KYOYA!” Tamaki’s voice was loud enough to be heard from inside Kyoya’s car.

“DAMMIT TAMAKI, JUST TAKE OUT THE KEYS!” Kyoya shouted back.

“He doesn’t know.” Hikaru’s eyes widened.

“What don’t I know?” Kyoya growled. His gaze shifted between the two of us. “And how is it that you two do?”

Tamaki had finally emerged from the car. His hair was a tousled mess, as if he’d just gotten out of bed. “I didn’t expect to see you two here.”

“We didn’t exactly expect you guys either.” I bit my lip. This was getting way too out of hand. “Maybe we should just get inside.”

“Not until one of you explains what’s going on here.” Kyoya crossed his arms over his chest. “I demand to know what you’ve been hiding.”

“Why, because you think you’re obligated to know everything that happens in Kana’s life?” Hikaru snapped. “If she wanted you to know she would’ve told you.”

“Let’s just go in. Bossa Nova will know more than what we do.” I ran my hand through my hair, desperate to defuse the situation. I wasn’t mentally prepared to deal with Kyoya.

Kyoya wasn’t budging. “Takumi Shido’s been messaging her.”

“Am I supposed to recognize that name?” I sighed.

“Don’t tell me you think that Kasanoda’s is the only yakuza syndicate in the area.” Kyoya rolled his eyes. “Do either of you pay any attention to the news?”

“Doesn’t he go to school at Ouran? Maybe they’re friends, or something.” Hikaru shrugged, his eyes narrowing.

“She won’t even give me her number, why would she give it to him?” Tamaki had the nerve to pout.

“Look, we don’t know everything about what’s going on. I don’t think Kana even really knows.” I resigned. “All we know is that for whatever reason, Kasanoda was approached about finding some way to get her to leave Japan. He said no, told Mori and Honey, and decided to find out who was behind it.”

“So I was correct in assuming that Mori-senpai knew what was happening.” Kyoya’s jaw tightened.

“You can’t blame him for not saying--”

“All of you hid it from me.”

“I didn’t!” Tamaki stammered. Even he was growing unnerved at Kyoya’s behavior. “You were the one who showed up at my house and threw me into the car.”

“Because I knew you couldn’t keep a secret from me.” Kyoya grumbled. Hikaru made an involuntary gagging noise in response.

I inhaled sharply. “As much as I hate saying this, there’s nothing any of us could have done, senpai. I know you have the police force, but it wouldn’t have been smart for us to act before we had more information from Bossa Nova.”

“He’s right, Kyoya.” Tamaki said softly. I met his eyes in silent gratitude. If Kyoya would listen to anyone, it would be Tamaki.

“Whatever.” Kyoya brushed past me, clipping my shoulder. “I’m still angry.”

Tamaki gave me an apologetic smile. I shrugged in return as I moved to follow Kyoya into the small entryway to Honey and Mori’s apartment. It only took a few seconds for the door to swing open, revealing a rather shocked Honey.

“Tama-chan and Hika-chan are here too?” Honey’s eyes searched mine for an explanation. “I guess I should’ve bought more cake.”

“No need.” Kyoya said flatly.

“Some tea would be nice. Something relaxing, maybe a nice chamomile…” Tamaki’s voice was much higher-pitched than normal.

Honey led us inside, not even bothering to make small talk as we made our way into their spacious living room. Honey and Mori had a very minimalistic style of decorating, something I had always assumed Mori had decided on. He didn’t strike me as the type to have clutter laying around. The living room was no exception. The room held little more than the essentials--a large sectional, mounted flat screen TV, a modern coffee table, and a few potted plants positioned on the end tables.

“‘Sup fellas.” Kasanoda regarded us warily from his spot on the couch. He hadn’t changed much since high school. He looked scarier if anything. His shoulders had gotten broader, his scowl deeper. He had unbuttoned his shirt just enough to show the slightest hints of what appeared to be intricate tattoos that started just below his neckline. “Wasn’t expectin’ this type of crowd.”

“Neither were we.” Honey quipped, turning on his heel to leave the room. “But I guess it was about time that everyone knew what was going on. You guys should sit down, I’ll go make some tea.”

A small grunt pulled my attention away from Kasanoda. I had been too focused on our old classmate to notice Mori standing at the opposite side of the room. His eyes were trained on Kyoya, who was doing little to disguise his irritation. There was a certain awkwardness that hung around the room.

I moved to sit next to Kasanoda in an effort to break some of the tension. I draped my arm over the back of the couch and forced myself to smile at him. “This is about to get heated.” I whispered.

“No shit.” Kasanoda raised an eyebrow. “We layin’ low?”

“Probably the best idea.” I chuckled, despite the situation. As much as I wanted everyone to get along, the thought of Kyoya and Mori going at it was just as amusing as it was terrifying. Hikaru sat on the opposite side of Kasanoda, leaving a frantic Tamaki standing behind the couch as Kyoya crossed over to Mori.

“Mori-senpai.” The tone in Kyoya’s voice made me want to disappear into the couch cushions. I couldn’t see his face from my position, but I could imagine the anger that was sure to be burning behind his eyes. “She’s in trouble and you hid it from me. Why?”

“Acting without a plan would have only made the situation worse.” Mori sounded calm as ever. I risked a glance to see that he had straightened his posture ever so slightly, allowing him to tower over Kyoya.

“I could have protected her!” Kyoya shouted. I immediately turned back around, not wanting to catch his gaze. “I would’ve kept a closer eye on her, had I known. She wouldn’t have left my sight.”

Kasanoda rolled his eyes and mumbled, “Fuckin’ rich kid ain’t got a clue about who he’s up against.”

“Damn Kassanova.” Hikaru had to cover his mouth to stop his laughter. I could only gape in response. This wasn’t the bumbling idiot we knew in high school.

“Do you think that’s what Kanami wants?” Mori responded, ignoring Kasanoda and Hikaru’s commentary. I resisted the urge to chime in, knowing that was the last thing she would want from Kyoya.

“It doesn’t matter what she wants right now.” Kyoya’s voice dropped an octave. “You kept this from me, Mori-senpai.Did you want to play hero by yourself, was that it? Did you think that by rescuing her, she would want you? You don’t think I haven’t noticed the way you stare after her like some sort of loyal dog?”

“Kyoya, maybe you should calm down. We still don’t know the full story here.” Since when was Tamaki the voice of reason?

But then again, nothing had really made sense since Kanami had come into our lives. It was easy to see that Kyoya had fallen for her. Mori had been harder to figure out, but he didn’t deny his interest when I’d asked last night. There hadn’t been a woman that threatened to drive a wedge between all of us since Haruhi, and even that hadn’t escalated to Kyoya growing this angry.

“Shut. Up. Tamaki.” Kyoya wasn’t finished. “I swear to you, I’ll--”

“Tama-chan’s right Kyoya, you need to calm down.” Honey’s sugar sweet voice was laced with venom. I turned around to see that he had come back to the living room, carrying a large tray with a copper tea set.

“Honey-senpai--”

“I’m serious, Kyoya.” Honey’s face twisted into a menacing smile. “You’re going to sit down and drink some tea while Ritsu-kun tells us what he’s found out.”

Kyoya looked like he was about to protest, only to be met with a low grumble from Mori. I watched the smallest hint of defeat cross his expression before he composed himself once more, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose. He and Tamaki moved to it down at the other end of the sectional, while Honey sat the tray down on the coffee table and started pouring tea. We settled in as Honey handed out tea cups filled with what smelled like a soothing mint blend.

“Alright fellas.” Kasanoda crossed one leg over the other, taking on an authoritative expression. His demeanor shouldn’t have surprised me as much as it did--he was the kumicho of a powerful syndicate afterall. “I ain’t tryin’ to pretend I understand what this Kanami girl did, but she’s pissed off the wrong people. My men found the guy who tried to get us to do the job and convinced him to tell us who sent him.”

“My bet’s still on Yoshio Oortori.” Hikaru shot a pointed look at Kyoya.
Kyoya took the bait. “Why do you think my father had anything to do with this?”

“It ain’t him.” Kasanoda scowled at the interruption. “Turns out it’s her own old man.”

I watched as the collective shock crossed our faces. My own voice surprised me when I spoke. “Then why doesn’t he just make her come back on his own? He’s her dad, right? Can’t he just… I don’t know, convince her to come home?”

“Kanami’s situation is a bit more complicated than that. I’m surprised you didn’t know.” Kyoya’s jab didn’t go unnoticed. “Father brought her here as a favor to Inao Industries. Kanami was never formally charged with the data breach because she had left the country shortly after it was announced. She’s been here nearly a year now, and I’m certain that’s long enough for her father’s company to have felt the financial impact. It wouldn’t surprise me if he was trying to get her back in order to force the financial responsibility on her. I think… I think my father knew.”

“What makes you say that, Kyo-chan?” Honey’s brow was furrowed.

“Not important.” Kyoya frowned against his tea cup. “Tamaki, I need you to call Haruhi and have her find out what Kanami might be up against if she’s charged. I have a feeling that if she goes back, Inao-san is going to sue her himself.”

“R-right. I’ll call Haruhi.” Tamaki’s normal confidence was nowhere to be found. In fact, he looked dangerously close to imploding on himself. “But what do we do about the yakuza?”

“You leave that to me.” Kasanoda leaned back and focused on Mori. “Senpai, we know the bastard’s got the Shido Syndicate workin’ for him now. Their kumicho’s kid’s a genius with all that technical bullshit.”

“Takumi Shido. I know him.” Mori’s eyes sparked.

“He has class with Kana-chan. He talked to us that one night. Had I known it was him…” Honey’s voice trailed off.

“He’s been in contact with her.” Kyoya said. “I saw a number I didn’t recognize come up on her phone and I had Tachibana trace it. I’ve got no idea what he’s been saying to her.”

“Why didn’t she say something?” Hikaru let out an annoyed sigh.

“You know Kana, she probably thought it wasn’t a big deal, or she didn’t want to bother us with it.” I mentally cursed her lack of self-awareness. “If he found out her number, who knows what else he’s been up to.”

Kasanoda placed his cup on the coffee table and stood. “Then we’ve got to move. The Kasanoda’s ain’t gonna let a buncha lowlifes come after a girl. And besides--” He turned to face Mori. “--somethin’ tells me it’s a bit personal.”