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Over the coming weeks, Hiko and Tationy made plans. First and foremost, was to invite his father and Suemeli over to their house. “I was starting to think that my son was avoiding me.” Tadayoshi spoke as he offered his jacket to Hiko, who took both his fathers and Suemeli’s to the closet to hang them up.

“Why would you think that?”

“I have not seen you since Sesiago’s funeral. When we came to the hospital to check on Tationy, you told us to leave.”

“It was a stressful time and Tationy did not wish to have visitors.”

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“Are you blaming it all on me?” Tationy questioned as she made her appearance the mobile child moving along behind her.

“I have known you long enough not to do anything so foolish.”

She smiled and Hiko made note that she wore the outfit that he had picked out for her, “Forgive us Mr. Kari. Little Kazuma decided he wished to be born early and there was some concern about my health. The doctors wanted me to avoid stress and considering we laid Sesiago to rest, just hours before, Hiko and I agreed that we should keep everyone away for a time. There was no disrespect intended. Since that time, we have been trying to spend as much time as we can together, considering Hiko’s busy schedule it makes things rather challenging.”

“I see.” Hiko noticed how his fathers scrutinizing gaze took in the small child who weaved around his mother. “He has the face and the eyes of a Kari.”

“Were you expecting something else?” Hiko questioned.

“There has been a great deal of talk that this child may be Sesiago’s.”

“I can assure you father, that is not the case. He is pure Tylo and Kari. His blood is not tainted by the Shima.”

The conversation stalled as father and son stared at each other. “Dinner will be done shortly, how about we sit, talk for a bit. Would anyone like a drink?”

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Hiko was grateful that Tationy had moved the conversation forward so he quickly fixed drinks for everyone who wanted one. When they were all situated around the room and comfortable his father finally spoke again, “You have certainly become the lady of the house.”

“Thank you. Not quite yet though, there are still things that need tending to.”

“Like what exactly?”

“That was her subtle way of reminding me I have not put a ring on it.” Hiko responded and made note how Suemeli glanced toward Tadayoshi. Hiko’s mother had left his father when Hiko was sixteen years of age. His mother called it a difference in opinions, but the day she walked away was the last day Hiko had ever seen her. He always wondered what his father did to her. It was not long after their separation and his mother’s departure that his father turned a thirteen year old servant girl into his concubine. Hiko was not really certain when their relationship changed, but the subtle glances that he often saw between the two, told him that their relationship was far different then it had been when Suemeli was a child. Regardless, unless allowed to, she never spoke. Her actions were always dictated by his father, he wondered if she even had any thoughts of her own in her head.

“Is it your intention to marry her?”

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At first Hiko simply looked at his father. He was not gauging him or even considering how he wanted to answer. He already had an answer to that question. These little details and how they would behave in front of everyone was well worked out in advance.  Hiko turned slightly so he was facing Tationy and she followed suit. His words at first were for his father, “My intention is to do a lot of things to her.” He reached out and took her hand their wine glasses clanking together.

The best acting was based off truth and these two were plotting and planning to bring down a kingdom together. In that regard, they were as good as married because they were sharing the same dangerous bed. “Hiko.” She whispered his name, her eyes remained fixed on him. He was well aware of how difficult this moment was for her, but she kept the strongest face he had ever seen, gave his hand a little squeeze, and added, “I do not believe your father wishes to know those details.”

“Those are the best sorts of details.” He responded. He noticed how she smiled and tilted her head slightly, it was something he had seen her do long ago when they were dating. It was her subtle way of saying that he should move along from this topic. “Tationy wishes to marry in the winter around Christmas time.”

“That is not a lot of time to plan a wedding.”

“It will be a small wedding. The amount of convincing it took Hiko to keep it just family was exhausting.”

“So, you will not be inviting business associates?”

Tationy tilted her head giving Hiko a hard stare, “Business is not a topic discussed in the home and Tationy feels it has no place at our wedding. I am alright with that, I prefer not to have a big fuss over a day that is supposed to be about us.” He stressed the last part of his words in a somewhat playful manner, “It did not take much convincing.”

The moment was interrupted, “Dada.” Kazuma had the best and worst timing as he tried to climb into Hiko’s lap.

“Someone wants daddy’s attention.” Tationy had responded and her light words caught Hiko slightly off-guard.

He set his glass down rubbing the back of his neck nervously to recover from the fact that his face betrayed him. “I still cannot get used to being called that.”

“Hopefully by our second you will be an old pro at it.” He found the fact that she kept her composure, even when she was saying things he was certain she did not wish to be saying to him impressive.

Hiko lifted Kazuma up, his hand resting underneath him to cradle him in his arms, “Looks like he has a wet diaper.  I will go and change him.”

“Nonsense.” Tationy remarked placing her glass on the nearby coffee table, “Mr. Kari is it alright if I take Suemeli with me, give you boys some father son time?” Hiko placed Kazuma into the waiting arms of Tationy as his father gave a single nod of his head and the women left the room with Kazuma in tow.

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Hiko noticed how his father moved toward the window staring at the falling rain with his wine glass still in hand. “Did you and that girl kill Sesiago?”

“What are you going to do about it if we did?” Hiko paused a moment, “What was he to you to show such emotion at his funeral?” The long lingering pause caused Hiko to frown as his father stood silently refusing to answer. With how quiet it was, he did not need to hear a response. “Does uncle Katsu know you impregnated his wife?”

“It was a long time ago. A mistake on my part. They had been struggling to conceive and the doctors informed her that there was no reason she should not be able to have a child. She suspected that Katsu was unable to bear her children. She did not wish to shame him or damage his pride by even saying it was his fault she could not conceive so she asked me to lie with her until she was with child.” The news did not surprise Hiko as much as it might have other people. Secrets were in abundance within the Kari. Everyone had them.

“You kept this secret for so long, what makes you think uncle Katsu is not aware of your indiscretions?”

“It is a possibility, though he has never spoken on them with me. Now, how about you explain to me how it is that a woman you forced yourself upon is playing house with you now?”

“Haven’t you ever heard of rough sex?”

“Is that all it was? Sesiago went to great lengths to keep the two of you apart.”

“Sesiago was jealous and wanted to keep her for himself.”

“So why did you intend to sell her at your auction?”

“It was her fantasy.” Hiko remarked simply. Tationy had told him that he would have to make her out to be some sort of deviant for this ‘relationship’ to work. No one in their right mind would believe a rape victim would be willingly sleeping with her rapist. “Of course I was meant to be the one to come to her rescue, it worked out differently, then we had planned. Sesiago became her white knight, got her hot and horny, and me angry. Just how she likes me. Don’t let her fool you father, she is as sick and twisted as the two of us.”

“Then you used her to get Sesiago’s shares in the Shima Corporation.”

Hiko smirked, “That was just good business. I had something he wanted and he had something I wanted. She gave him a little taste of happiness before his death.”

Tadayoshi had turned to face him, the look he received told Hiko that his father was certain that he had played a hand in the death of Sesiago. The cold hard stare of disappointment and anger. He was used to seeing it by now. Hiko’s attention followed that of his fathers, as he noticed the return of Tationy and Suemeli, “Suemeli we shall be leaving.”

“So soon?” Tationy questioned.

“I forgot I have matters to attend to this evening.” His words were cold and Hiko noticed how Tationy glanced toward him before looking back toward his father.

“Perhaps another time we can have that meal.” Tationy’s words were polite even as Tadayoshi and Suemeli quickly made their departure.

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Hiko made note of the smile that passed over the lips of Tationy as she turned slightly to face him, “Your father seems pretty pissed.”

“He believes we killed his son.”

“His son…” There was a pause after her surprised reaction and Hiko could tell she was mauling over that information. “Figures, your family loves taboo behind closed doors. So what do you think he will do?”

“He will probably keep it to himself for a time, but my uncle Katsu is perceptive, eventually my father will be confronted and tell him of his suspicions. If I am right, Katsu should make his appearance sometime after that to see you.”

“Well then that means I do not have much time to get this house into order.”

“Excuse me?”

She tilted her head to the side and smiled, “Hiko, my love.” He could tell she was being facetious, “This place looks as it did when we were going out. Like you bought it as is. Now, not that I mind your man pad, but no one is going to believe we are together if it does not have a woman’s touch. So make your wallet available.”

At first he stared blankly at her before finally reaching into the inside pocket of his jacket, pulling out his checkbook. He quickly signed a blank check and handed it over to her. “You are going to have to work for it.”

“Trust me Hiko, I am already working for it.” She responded as she turned her back to him and he watched as she left the room, check in hand.

To Be Continued

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