Satoshi rubbed his hands together, wondering why he felt anxious about this whole ordeal. He had booked reservations at a swanky restaurant for Sho and Jun’s date, asking the manager in advance if it was alright that he would help out setting up a romantic mood for the guests. The manager agreed, and tonight was the night.
He checked his watch, then went back to the four-piece string ensemble who were on a break and ran over the plan. “Remember, when you see a good-looking man coming in, locking eyes with another good-looking man, that’s the signal to play.” The quartet nodded their heads.
He checked his watch once more. Yabai! Jun should be going through those doors any moment. Where was Sho?
“He’s coming, he’s coming.” Toma rushed in, having been the one on the lookout for Jun outside. Satoshi panicked, looking around for Sho. He and Toma bumped into each other.
“He’s here! He’s here!” Toma nearly scream. Satoshi shook him.
“Shit! Sho’s in the restroom. Go get him.” Toma ran off to find the man. Just as he left, Jun walked in. That was when Satoshi looked up and saw Jun at the door looking around for Sho. Satoshi’s jaw slackened. He swore he heard the chorus of angels sing harmoniously as heavenly light shone on the handsome man’s face. He felt his chest constricted, unable to breathe at the sight of him.
The orchestra started playing when Jun’s eyes landed on him. The man gave Satoshi a questioning look as if asking where his date went. Satoshi smiled. Jun smiled back. “You?” he mouthed. Satoshi nodded his head. Jun grinned brightly at him and walked towards him. Satoshi slowly inched as well, still unable to keep his eyes off Jun.
That was when something big blocked his view of Jun right in front of him. Satoshi stopped in his tracks. Sho had managed to come back inside and walked in between them. Satoshi swallowed the lump in his throat as he watched Sho walking toward Jun, with Jun gaping at the new guy who literally walked into his life.
Like tunnel vision, everything seemed to vanish except for the scene unfolding in front of Satoshi’s eyes. He watched as Sho took Jun’s hands in his. He must have said something to Jun because he blushed and nodded his head to Sho. Satoshi felt another clench in his heart, this time, it wasn’t because of something wonderful. Unable to breath, he tried to divert his eyes, but couldn’t.
He felt a tap on his shoulder and he turned to find Toma next to him. He must have said something because Toma looked expectedly for a reply.
Toma raised an eyebrow. “Boss, are you okay? I said mission accomplished, right?”
Satoshi plastered on a smile that he hoped make him appear satisfied. “Yeah. Great work.” He looked away from Toma and stole a glance at the couple, who had already seated themselves and seemed to be in their own world.
“Listen, I guess my work is done. I’ll be going then.”
Toma cried out in protest, but all Satoshi wanted was to get out of the place. He rushed out the door and to the parking lot. The car shook from the slammed door as he shut it behind him. Satoshi gripped the steering wheel, his breath hitching. His vision became blurry only to realize why when he felt something wet dropped on his arm. He glanced at the rearview mirror. He was crying.
“Dammit, dammit, dammit.” He pounded his fist on the wheel. No longer able to hold it back, Satoshi cried over his stupidity. He had lost Jun and had no one to blame but himself.
The beat of the club music blasting in the speakers didn’t mask what Sho was saying to Jun, who gaped incredulously at him.
“So you went to Harvard University to study law, and then worked in downtown Los Angeles as a public defender?” Jun could feel his eyes bugging out. Sho nodded, and sipped from his Corona beer.
“Yes,” he answered in a serious tone-- like it was no big deal. “I studied law to help people, and what better way to do so than offer my services to those who can’t afford a good lawyer.” He shrugged. “Besides, I don’t really need that much money.”
Jun stared at him, still in disbelief to know such a generous person like Sakurai Sho. They had been dating for a couple of weeks since they first met, but the man still didn’t cease to amaze him. He had found out then that Sho was the son of the country’s minister of finance. Satoshi had failed to inform him that.
Sho shrugged again. “And now, I’m back in Tokyo. Actually, my father has been asked to run for governor of Tokyo, and asked me to take over his office.” Sho smiled. “He knows my sexual orientation, and despite frowning upon it, he knew I would be right for the job.”
“And what if you find a life partner? Would he make you quit or fire you?”
“Oh, no. I don't think he would ask me to do it in the first place if he didn't accept every detail of my personal and professional life.” Sho paused, seeming to hesitate as he looked at Jun. “Will you mind being a politician’s partner?”
Jun gasped and felt his cheeks flaming. He grabbed his own bottle of beer and took a sip. Nobody ever asked him that way before, being in their future even though they had only just begun. The music continued to pound around them as Jun wracked his brain to think of something to say.
“I love you.”
Jun almost spat out the beer and whipped his head to Sho. He swallowed, now even more speechless. Sho shook his head and smiled.
“Hey, hey. No pressure,” he said, squeezing Jun’s shoulder. “I just want to say it so you know how I feel. It’s good practice, don’t you think?”
Jun opened his mouth to reply when something caught his eye across the dance floor. Over to the tables sat Satoshi and Toma, and a third guy around Toma’s age. Satoshi seemed to be having a good time talking to the younger man- the photographer laughed, his head fell back in a hearty laugh. A foreign feeling crept inside Jun and he narrowed his eyes at them.
“Oh, there’s Satoshi-kun,” Sho said, to which Jun realized he must have followed his line of vision and turned to find who he was looking at. “I haven’t seen him since I arrived in Tokyo. Let’s go say hi.”
Jun caught him by the arm as Sho got up from the barstool. Sho stopped and looked curiously at him. “Kiss me,” Jun said. Sho looked confused, but Jun pulled him back toward him. He seemed to take a hint because Sho leaned forward and obliged.
The pounding beat of the music resonated with Satoshi’s mood. He was glad he found some time to get away from work in spite him being dragged around by Toma. His assistant insisted he comes along to be his wingman. “Since you seem to be good at matchmaking, boss,” Toma had said at the office.
Earlier, Toma met this Yamashita guy and dragged him to the table where the man was seated. On the way to the club, Toma begged him to help him talk to the man, someone his friend from college had set him up with for a blind date. Satoshi thought to crash the car onto a pole to shut him up, but he thought about it. Toma did need to get laid once in a while.
Besides, he needed something, anything to forget the scene that played over and over in his mind: Jun smiling sweetly at Sho. Satoshi made a face. Then again, maybe not. As if he had conjured up Jun, the man was just across the room at the bar on another date with Sho apparently. He had looked up in time to see Jun pulling Sho to himself and kissed him. Satoshi made another face. That was the last thing he wanted to see: Jun making out with another man, even if that other man was one of his old friends.
“You okay, boss?” Toma nudged him with an elbow to the ribs, but Satoshi couldn’t seem to take his eyes off the scene in front of him. “Oh.” He heard Toma breathed out, most likely saw what he was seeing.
“What?” Yamashita asked.
“Satoshi-kun set up this guy he likes with another man, and now those two are making out over there.”
Satoshi turned to glare at Toma, who shrugged. “What? It’s true, boss.”
Without another word, Satoshi got up and left the club.
Follow the link for part 7