(Remember, this is an original and being written sporadically, do not expect regular updates and do not pressure Addis into finishing. That will make her lose motivation.)
“Where are you going?” The voice sounded out roughly into the morning. The sun was still climbing it’s way up into the sky and the brisk air was almost chilling to the bone. Even though it was almost February, the weather was still not warming up and it felt as if it would snow at any time. A man was standing in a foyer, his arms crossed over his chest, the sleeves of his kimono long. He was a larger man, very muscular and with a stern face. His hair was a bright amber color which made the scowl on his face more threatening.
Shouta looked over at his father and scoffed, “Work, you lousy father.”
Osamu’s face instantly dropped and his lips stuck out as he pouted, he turned to the slim woman beside him, pulling on her arm as he whined, “Honey, Shouta called me lousy.”
Shouta’s mother was lithe and yet still looked like she could win in a fight. Her long light brown hair was pulled into a thick bun, and she looked unamused. Chika lifted an eyebrow as if this was not a new statement, she tried not to roll her eyes as she responded, “He’s right. You are lousy. Go get back to work.”
Shouta’s hair was the same color as his mother’s, a light brown but with some streaks of amber highlighting the strands. His eyes were the only thing that did not look like either of his parents. Where his dads eyes were a bright green, his mothers were a vivid blue. Shouta’s eyes were a mix of the two and the only thing he seemed to have inherited from his father.
Even as his father pouted to his wife, Shouta thought that it might really be a good thing he hadn’t picked up any of his father’s traits.
“But I really, really, don’t want to.” Osamu whined in a very childlike voice. He still had his lip out and his hands clenched around Chika’s arm.
Shouta groaned, unable to resist it any longer. “Too bad, Dad, you’ve got a lot of stuff to do today.”
With a narrowing glance, Osamu looked over at his son, his eyes almost accusing. “How do you know? You don’t even want to succeed me.” He then paused, and let go of his wife, taking a few steps towards his one and only son. His tone became serious in a instant. “I know you think you shouldn’t since you’re an omega, but you have the brains and talent for it.”
Osamu put his hands on his son’s shoulder, his fingers lightly brushing against the teal scarf wrapped around his neck. Shouta moved away from his dad before the scarf could fall any further away from his neck then it already was. “I don’t want to succeed you, Dad. Have Kurose do it.”
From the shadows, like a ninja, a man appeared beside Shouta, on one knee and his head slightly lowered, “You called Young Master?”
Shouta screamed loudly and jumped away from his father, glaring vehemently down at the man kneeling on the ground. “What the freaking hell, Kurose!! Don’t appear out of nowhere like that!”
“I heard my name,” Kurose said, his head still lowered, looking at the ground, “so I have arrived.”
“Well go unarrive or something.” Shouta grumbled under his breath before walking over to the front door to slip on his shoes. “I need to go to work.” He reminded the two hyper males behind him. One was enough, now two?
“Why are you working there Shouta?” Osamu asked, his serious tone still there. When Shota looked back at him, his arms were crossed over his chest, his face scrunched together in confusion.
Shouta sighed, and spoke the truth, “Because I love working with the children.”
The confusion was still plastered on his father’s face before a look of almost pleading rippled across his expression before disappearing. “Just have a lot of your own children and succeed me.”
“You know…” Shouta began, watching his father’s expression. How many times would he have to say no before his father finally accepted that he didn’t want to?
“What, Shouta? Succeed me.” His father stretched out every single syllable until it was almost echoing in the halls like the cry of a banshee.
Fed up with this conversation that happened almost every single day in this household, Shouta said bluntly, “That’s the reason I don’t want to.” He didn’t want to tell his father that being in this house, or taking over the family business felt like a burden. Almost like a cage that would bind him and trap him within this house for the rest of his life.
“Honey,” Osamu continued to cry, now turning to his wife, hoping she would talk some sense into their son. “Shouta doesn’t like his papa any more.”
The look Chika gave her husband was nothing if not sorching. “I wouldn’t either if I were him,” she harrumphed under her breath, turning her head away before walking to her son. “Hurry up and go before your father stops you again like he did yesterday.” His mom straightened his jacket and his scarf, as if on accident, she brushed her fingers lightly across the back of his neck, feeling how raw that new mark still was. Making sure to give Shouta a hug and she whispered into his ear, “You need to decide when you are going to tell your father about this. We can’t keep if from him forever.”
That night, after he had been marked and found himself in the spare apartment he used when he was trying to hide from his father, he had run home. But because he was not use to the mark being there, before he could cover it up, his mother had seen it. He had been forced to spill the entire story under her piercing glare.
“I know Mom. But I don’t think he will take it well. Especially since the one who did it is avoiding me.”
Chika felt the sorrow echoing throughout that one sentence and pulled away from their hug to look her son in the eyes. He had never revealed who it was that had marked him. “You know who it was?”
Nodding, Shouta smiled sadly and brushed his own hand across the mark on his nape. Even if Ren avoided him for the rest of his life, at least he was able to savor that one night, right?
Shouta was helping a young boy take off his shoes when the front door chimed as it opened. Knowing Misaki had yet to be dropped off, Shouta couldn’t deny that his pulse and breathing quickened at the thought of seeing Ren. His thundering pulse soon calmed down as he saw that it was actually Hana with Misaki.
“Why are you dropping Misaki off?” Shouta tried to ask nonchalantly as he straightened the young boy in front of him and nudged him towards all the other children. Misaki had darted over beside Shouta and was attempting to take off his own shoes before Shouta reached over to help him. Shouta had known from the beginning that Misaki was not Ren’s so he was not surprised when Ren didn’t show up to drop Misaki off. But in his heart it still stung to know that he was being avoided.
Hana clamored in loudly, her steps heavy as she trudged forward. The look on her face was not exactly pleasant, one could tell she was furious. “Heck if I know.” she said trying not to swear, “Ren called me up this morning and said he had to go to an emergency meeting.”
“That sounds ominous.” Shouta muttered without much thought.
“Probably has something to do with his ex.” She said, taking of her shoes before donning a pair of slippers. Shouta hadn’t even noticed that he had stopped in the middle of taking off Misaki’s jacket until the boy twisted and ran away without a word. Thinking of that night where he and Ren were entwined, their bodies hot as their skin melded, Shouta realized that he didn’t even know if Ren had been single that night.
In all actualities, what did he know about this mate of his? He knew the feel of his skin, the touch of his lips, the love he had for Misaki and that he owned a cafe a few blocks from the preschool. But his past, family, what he liked to eat, what he hated? Shouta didn’t know any of it. It wasn’t a surprise, they had not actually had a conversation outside the one that occured between their bodies.
Shouta felt himself reach up to touch his lips as that ghost of a memory of Ren’s tender lips against his shuddered through his body. Shaking off the thoughts, Shouta sighed and stood up to follow Hana into the inner rooms where the children were playing.
“What was his ex like?” He asked unconsciously, just wanting to more about Ren. He had other ways of finding out, but he figured it was easier to ask someone who knew him rather well.
Hana lifted and eyebrow, he expression skeptical, “Why do you want to know?”
“I’m just curious.” Shouta evaded, shrugging. A small girl ran up to him giggling, her hair in disarray around her. After fixing the child’s hair real quick, Shouta continued, “It’s not often you get in depth gossip on an alpha like that.”
“You’re right about that.” Hana laughed, handing a stuffed dolphin toy to a five year old that ran up to her. She turned her head to look at Shouta, sighing before she began. “Ren’s ex is named Koutarou and he’s a beta. Their initial relationship started over fourteen years ago.”
There were many things Shouta wanted to say, but what he decided on was,“That’s a long time. How come the word initial though?”
Grumbling under her breath, Hana said, “That’s the thing. They dated while they were in college and one year after. However, it seems that Koutarou found out Ren loved someone else the entire time they were together.”
Shouta knew instantly who that person had to be. “You mean Misaki’s mom?”
Again, Hana shot Shouta a surprised look, as if she didn’t expect him to hit the bullseye. “How’d you know?”
Sighing, he responded, “There no other reason why he’d take care of MIsaki as if he was his.”
“You’re right,” Hana nodded, her eyes watched around her but they were looking into the past as she continued, “Ren has loved Kichirou for years, but my brother was his fated pair and even Ren couldn’t change that. So Koutarou and Ren split up for about three years. But somehow, right before Misaki was born, Ren ended up dating Koutarou again. I don’t know why they got back together, but Koutarou moved in with Ren.” Stopping to take care of another child who had somehow lost his glasses, Hana continued a little while later as they watched the children draw together.
“Did you know that Ren was once a high school teacher?” Hana asked quizzically, her hands twisting in her hair.
Shouta shook his head, but when she didn’t answer, he said, “He was?”
Hana hummed and bit her bottom lips, her hair tangling around her fingers again and again. “For almost ten years. He was Akira’s homeroom teacher her second year in high school.”
“You went to the same school as he taught?” Shouta asked in surprise. He hadn’t known that.
“Yeah, it was only for a few months after Misaki was born, but he was such a cool teacher too. He loved all of his students and he taught us diligently and patiently. All the students loved him.”
“Why did he quit then?” Shouta asked quietly, not understanding why someone who loved their job would up and quit. It sounded like it had been in the middle of a school year as well.
The answer Hana gave him was not something he had expected, and he felt himself wanting to go back into the past and mend Ren’s heart before it was ever even shattered to pieces. Those few words echoed in Shouta’s heart.
“It was because of Koutarou.”