"Out Of The Blue" (Neko Book 4) Chapter 27e (20190620)

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Re: The Neko Story: Book 1 (...And Nakai Makes Three) releas

Post by NekoDude » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:15 am

HANAKO

“Th-this will do n-nicely, Kenji. Ch-cheers.” Even without any real idea what I like to eat, he made some interesting and tasty choices. I wouldn’t have expected that the cafeteria would have anything appealing on a Saturday, especially right before closing until evening, but the chicken curry and shrimp chips in front of me say otherwise. Anything would have worked though, since microwave popcorn wasn’t going to hold us for very long.

I have another problem looming, and that’s the wine, or more precisely, its temperature. It wasn’t that cold to start with, and the cooler bag is only partially effective at keeping it that way. The plan that seemed so brilliant last night, sneaking the refrigerator from the tea room into my room for the weekend, seems to have backfired. The warmer the wine gets, the more it takes on an unpleasant metallic edge.

“Say, K-Kenji, d-do you have a f-fridge?”

“Of course I do! Otherwise my milk would go bad before I could drink it. Maybe it’s broken, my milk does go bad before I can drink it. Or someone is infiltrating and swapping my good milk with their spoiled milk!”

While I could see someone stealing milk, I can’t imagine they’d bother replacing it with spoiled milk. That doesn’t even make drunk-sense to me, yet somehow this seems perfectly reasonable to him. I doubt this issue will be any more open to reason than any of the others we’ve discussed today, so instead I’ll make it useful.

“M-maybe we should be w-watching for them then? Catch them in the a-act?”

“I like how you drink, er, think, Ikezawa! Let me check the hall… is there a phone in here?”

I don’t know what those two things have to do with each other, but… “Y-yes, it’s on the wall n-next to the d-door.”

He gets up and stumbles in the wrong direction entirely, so I grab his arm and lead him to both the phone and the door. “Uh, thanks.” He picks up the phone and dials a fairly long number, then rests against the wall as he waits for it to go through. After maybe half a minute, he disconnects and tries another number. A half minute of that, and he hangs up the handset. “I think the hall is clear. I don’t even think Nakai or that crazy gaijin girlfriend of his are around.”

“Y-you know that from t-two calls that d-didn’t c-connect?” Since when is Hisao seeing a gaijin? Does he think Hisao is dating Lilly? And just what right does he have to call anyone crazy?

“Oh, they connected. Let’s go before things change.”

I give him a paper bag for his Jack, and hide my cooler-boxed wine among his blankets as I pile them up for the trip.
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Re: The Neko Story: Book 1 (...And Nakai Makes Three) releas

Post by NekoDude » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:18 am

MIKI

“So stop me if this sounds really dumb, but it seemed brilliant to me.” I take another hit before passing to Neko, and count to fifteen in my head. “You know the bridge hand on a pool or snooker table? It’s gotta do all sorts of contortions and shit, but once it’s in position, it doesn’t move again.”

Neko nods and hands the joint back, and waits to exhale before speaking. “Yeah, I know what you’re talking about.”

“Well, what if you and I, we had hands that we could, ya know, just sorta bend into shape with the other hand until we needed them to be something else?” I take a hit.

“Gumby hands!” Neko starts giggling uncontrollably, until she starts coughing. I hold the J between my lips and thump her on the back. “I’m sorry, I wasn’t laughing at you, or your idea. Actually, I’m pretty eager to try it.” Her face takes on a surprised look, and she pulls a white glove from her pocket. “I completely forgot I had this – and it’s a left, too. I’ve got a can full of modeling clay, wanna give this a shot?”

When we walk back inside, we can hear the table is already in use. I follow Neko into her room, but stand back when she goes rummaging through her closet.

“Sorry, I haven’t used it in so long I’m not entirely sure where it is.” She’s crawling on her knees and pawing through random items on the floor. “Aha!” She emerges with a coffee can half filled with black clay, and we start stuffing the glove like the fingers were sausage casings. Last, we fill the palm area with a flat disc and smash the fingers into it to form some sort of unified shape. A binder clip on the back makes sure nothing falls out. “I’m excited! Let’s do this!”

I’m quicker up stairs, so I call next as I near the top, drawing the ‘Are you kidding?’ look from both Abe and Hisao. “No joke guys, we really want to play when you’re done.”

“We want to give Thing here a test.” Neko waves our creation in the air as she finishes the last few steps.

Their frame wraps up pretty quickly, and Hisao kindly re-racks the reds and spots the pink and black, leaving only the D and the blue for us to spot. Both cues are leaning against the rail, but since we’re trying to play with a shared left hand, we might as well also play with a shared cue.

Boy do we both suck at this. Both of the guys are suppressing laughter with every blown shot, yet they continue to encourage us. The main problem we’re having is that we’re just placing the hand on the table, fingers up, which is not a very good way to make a bridge. We’ve only potted four reds by the time we decide some rethinking is in order, and let the guys have the table back for a while.

“I have an idea,” Neko offers, “but first let’s go smoke the rest of that roach.” That’s the best idea I’ve heard since we last smoked.

Fifteen minutes later, we’re back to waiting our turn for the table, but with two critical changes. For one, the original Thing is now crudely but securely duct taped onto my forearm. This means I can use it the way we originally intended – I use my actual hand to shape it to my liking and just leave it that way until I need it to do something else. For the other, we’ve made a duplicate which Neko has shoved onto the hook of one of her old arms, which isn’t even secured properly. It’s the best we could manage, since she didn’t bring one with her this trip.

Once we reclaim the table, we don’t bother racking. We just scatter some balls around the table and take shots at them. There’s no way we are going to finish a game in a reasonable amount of time, so why even start one?

We still suck, but at least now we can tell it’s a lack of skill – me because everything is all backward, Neko because she’s never actually played the game before. The ‘hands’ aren’t rigid enough for some high bridge positions, and sometimes the fingers bend at inopportune moments, but the experiment seems to be more of a success than a failure... and nobody is laughing any more.
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Re: The Neko Story: Book 1 (...And Nakai Makes Three) releas

Post by NekoDude » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:21 am

HANAKO

The one place in the room that isn’t completely filled with clutter and clothes is the bed, and the meter or so surrounding it. This leaves Kenji and me in those two places, respectively. It’s not that the room is dirty, he’s actually pretty good about picking up his trash, and keeping his dirty clothes hidden. It’s just filled with odd bits of things that are useful, might be useful, or once were useful… I guess. Bringing the party here was a good decision overall, even if it is crowded. Only two of the rooms on this hall are occupied, and Hisao is nowhere to be found. That means I don’t even have to worry about using the bathroom – which I do, frequently.

He seems more comfortable in his own blanket pile, even within his own room and on his own bed. I wonder if the guy is really a lizard or something. There are plastic bins under the bed as I would have expected, but there are also items stuffed underneath somewhat chaotically, including magazines of some sort. At first I resist the temptation to take a peek, but it’s not long before I grow tired of hearing him talk about the same conspiracies and psychic spies and… did he just say vampires? That’s it, I’m going for the magazines.

«Modern Drunkard Magazine.» I am neither shocked nor disturbed by this, but it’s the level of detail that catches me by surprise. It must be a highly functional group of drunks that put this together, as it’s a high-gloss full-color package. Set that aside, at least it seems worth reading.

“Wait a m-minute,” I interject, jumping off whatever he said last. “If they are both ps-s-sychic and v-vampires, then h-how do I d-defend against them?”

“Have you not been listening to me?” You couldn’t tell?Don’t think! That’s how!” He takes a good pull off his Jack, which to my surprise is only a bit more than half empty, and I climb over the clutter to the fridge to tap the box of wine.

“Couldn’t I j-just… I d-don’t know, s-stick garlic in m-my ear?”

“You can’t help thinking, can you? Less thinking, more drinking!” He takes another drink. So do I. “Wear this, it helps a little.” He reaches between the mattress and the wall and comes up with a neatly folded hat made of metal foil.

I don the official hat of the Paranoia Party, but it proves difficult to keep balanced when I drink. I wonder if they have garlic at the convenience store. I return to digging for magazines as Kenji continues.

Thai ladyboys? What. This I have got to see. I continue to mmm-hmm and ahh at his rant while I thumb through the pages. Wow. Most of them are obviously guys with implants, but a small fraction are quite convincing… and quite large. Is this what he’s into? Set that one aside as well.

«2600: The Hacker Quarterly». Why am I not surprised? I think I’ll have a heart attack and die from not-surprise, but then a certain memory starts to surface, and I drown it in wine. Maybe he was actually right about it being best to drown ideas when they are born.
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Re: The Neko Story: Book 1 (...And Nakai Makes Three) releas

Post by NekoDude » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:29 am

HISAO

A soak after a swim – that’s what I miss when I swim at the school. Being able to push off the walls and know how far I’ve gone is a nice touch though. I’m glad I get to do both.

I nudge Neko and lift my head very slightly in Abe’s direction. He’s unable to conceal his grin as he sits next to Miki and gets an eyeful of her, and it’s pretty apparent she’s letting him have it. It’s a little bit hard to blame him though, I’d probably be more inclined to look myself if I wasn’t already happily occupied. Both buoyancy and water in general tend to be flattering to the female form.

Would Neko be upset if I was checking Miki out? It would seem grossly unfair if she was, all things considered. Could she possibly blame me for finding her (presumably ex-) girlfriend attractive? I already know I, like half of the population, am ‘not her type’. Eye appeal is nice, but being obtainable is pretty high on my priority list when it comes to picking a date.

After a few seconds of watching Abe openly fawn, Neko splashes water at him and pretends to look offended. Miki opens her eyes, grins at the proceedings, and resumes stretching and putting on a show. Yeah, she does have nice…

Splash. “Hey!” Now it’s my turn to get the Neko scowl, and Abe’s turn to laugh. I try to apologize non-verbally, and she nearly crushes my hand between her thighs, but then she laughs and puts her arm around me.

“I’m not mad, love. I’ve stared at the same thing myself, plenty of times,” she whispers in my ear before kissing me on the cheek. Yes, but it feels different as a couple than it did when we were… whatever we were. ‘Triangle’ wouldn’t exactly be the right word for it, as that implies all three corners connect to each other. Have we only been a true couple for four days? I decide that I don’t care how we got here, because we’re here now.

“Maybe it’s the heat, or maybe I’m not completely recovered from my little sickness a couple days ago, but I’m kinda tired. I think I’ll head upstairs.” Miki stands up and waits for most of the water to stop running off before stepping out of the spa. She dries enough to not leave a trail of water before heading into the main part of the house. Abe looks crestfallen.

“Don’t look so glum, kid,” Neko teases. “You wouldn’t want me to tell your girlfriend we caught you checking out her best friend, now would you?”

That’s not nice. He looks like a deer caught in headlights. “It’s not worth getting yourself in hot water – well, more hot water than you’re already in, in any case – over her.” I try to clue him in on the reality of the situation. “She’s not just out of your league, she’s playing an entirely different sport.” He looks perplexed. “You’re not her type.”

Now he looks crestfallen again. “So… what exactly is her type?” I guess Suzu hasn’t whipped him into shape yet then.

Neko lets out a chuckle that borders on a snort before giving him the answer that finally sinks in. “Me.” She watches him for a moment before continuing. “Seriously, you had no idea? Ah, the innocence of youth.”

“You mean she’s…” He searches his brain for a word, and comes up blank. “...like, into girls?”

“It’s okay Abe, we’re not easily offended.” Neko smiles at him gently. “Yes, we’ve been trying to tell you that she’s a gaylord. Lesbian. Yuri. Whatever word you want to pick.”

It takes him a moment to wrap his head around this one, but when he does he immediately jumps to another conclusion. “Wait a minute then… her best friend…”

“...is just a friend, Abe,” Neko finishes for him. “This we know, she’s told us herself.” She glances at me and I nod.

“Miki’s not going to steal your girlfriend.” No matter how much she may want to. Question is, can she steal mine back?

We soak a while longer, and I realize I’m starting to turn into a prune. I jokingly hold up my prune-fingers for Neko, and she shows me the same before returning her hand to the underwater realm.

“Here’s hoping this isn’t shriveling up,” she whispers as she makes a grab that causes me to jump. It doesn’t seem like Abe’s presence bothers her much, as she plants a kiss on me the moment our eyes lock. Her hand is down my shorts within seconds, and I maneuver to get my hands on her as well, without breaking her wrist with what she’s currently doing. Definitely not shriveling up.

“Ahem.” I give Abe a glance out of the corner of my eye. Sorry dude. You’re on your own. “I think maybe I’ll give Suzu a call and see if she’s feeling any better.” He stands up and waits for the torrent to stop before stepping out. Once he walks back into the kitchen, I mentally count to ten before giving my hands free reign anywhere near the waterline. It takes an additional two seconds before her top is sinking to the floor of the spa, followed quickly by the bottom.

She lets go of me just long enough to give another knob a twist, turning the jets up to full blast, then my shorts are sinking to the bottom as well, at least until they fill with air and bob to the surface. I’m about to grab them, and maybe sit on them or something, when she mounts me. Oh well, there’s no hiding what we’re doing now. I wrap my arm around her and pull her in close, and for a moment I’m smothered (but I could die happy) as she uses her hand to guide mine downward. Once she’s satisfied with my positioning and my technique, she puts her hand on the rim of the spa for support as she rides me, and I’m able to breathe again. She wraps the short leg around behind me and uses it for leverage as she bounces… and she most certainly bounces.

As I near the point of no return, my head rolls backward and my eyes close. She knows exactly what this means and slows down instantly, so I need to pick up the pace with my fingers. She sounds quite pleased by the increased attention, and I want to get her as close to the edge as possible before she carries me over with her. She may not have two hands, but I do… make good use of them! And a mouth too. The pace quickens once again, and she emits little squeaks unlike anything I’ve ever heard from her with each bounce. Oh! She’s actually trying to be quiet! I let her control the tempo while I concentrate on my fingers. They’re getting a bit tired, but this is not a good time to worry about it and I press on.

She throws herself forward onto me again, wrapping both arms around my neck and leaving just enough separation at the top of each gradually lengthening bounce to catch a breath. I start to thrust as well, matching my timing to hers so as to give her a moment of solid grind at the bottom of each one. This seems to be the last missing ingredient, and she yelps and squeaks over the course of perhaps half a dozen long, slow, deep strokes. Although she is spent, she is aware that I am not, and picks up the pace once again. It doesn’t take long to reach the moment where I truly understand how two become one. With a huge sigh, she collapses forward onto me, once again forcing me to find a way to breathe. Tilting my head forward just a bit allows me a little bit of air space, and we just sit in this position nearly motionless for what seems like an eternity. When I’m no longer sufficiently aroused to keep us joined, she rolls to the side, back onto her prior seat.

My shorts are still bobbing up and down right in the middle of the water, and I retrieve them and slip back into them but do not bother tying the drawstring. Next, I feel around with my feet and retrieve one piece of her outfit – the bottom, as it turns out. I hand it to her and she too wriggles back into it. When I locate and deliver her top, however, she just sets it on the deck outside. I realize it’s the yellow one – the same one she lent Suzu three weeks ago because it no longer fit her. No wonder she was busting out of it. I wonder who that was supposed to impress. Me? Abe? Miki? All of the above?

I can smell food. I hear my stomach growling, even over the noise of the spa jets.

“Ha! My thoughts exactly. Would you mind helping me back into this?” She holds up the bikini top, and I take it as she turns around. I wrap it around her, and she pins it to her side. Whoops, I probably should have gone the other way around with it. Oh well. I clasp it in the back and she straightens it out in the front. “Thanks, love.” She kisses me, then takes my chin in her hand and looks me in the eyes. She says nothing, but I understand her just the same. She lets go and rises out of the water, then takes a seat on the edge and turns off the jets. “I’m just dying for a smoke right now, would you care to join me?”

“Sure, why not.” I just stand up and drip-dry in place.

“You probably want to get out of those wet shorts before you step outside; it’s getting a bit cold for bare skin. Let’s go change first.”

Once dried off and changed, we hang our wet garments in her shower. She retrieves a mint tin out of a drawer and grins with a gleam in her eye. “Let’s do this.” She slips on shoes as she leads out the front door, and produces a small pipe from the mint tin. “Safety should always be our first priority.” I’m not at all sure what she’s getting at, but she’s already busy tapping the ashes out of the pipe and reloading it. She holds it up for me. “Honors?” Now I’m really not sure what she’s talking about, and apparently she realizes it. “Do you want to go first?”

“Oh. No, it’s fine, it’s your stuff.”

She shrugs, holds the pipe in her lips and supports it with her arm, and flicks the flame of the lighter across the surface of the plant material as she inhales. She turns to me with the pipe balanced on her arm, so I take it first, then she hands me the lighter. I imitate what I just saw, and have to suppress coughing to keep it in. Some smoke curls out my nose just the same.

She exhales. “If it’s too harsh, take in some air from the corner of your mouth at the same time.” She retrieves the pipe from me and places it back in position, then takes the lighter again. She sparks the pipe once again, sees it burn out, and starts tapping it out while still holding in the smoke. She has it reloaded and hands it back to me before she exhales. “Really, have the honors this time. There’s more kick in the first hit.”

I do as suggested, mixing air into the stream to keep the smoke from overwhelming me. She takes the still-smoldering pipe from my hand and immediately draws through it, not bothering to shift it to her short arm or grab the lighter. With the pipe curled in her fingers, she makes a flicking motion with her thumb. I try to hand her the lighter, but she waves me off. Finally she exhales. “I’d appreciate it if you’d light it for me. As you’ve already seen, I can do it myself, but sometimes it’s easier to accept a bit of help.” I apply flame as she takes another drag, then she hands the pipe to me. “Kill it.” She sees my confusion and rephrases. “Finish the bowl.”

I finish the last of what’s in the pipe, flip it over, and tap on it with the end of the lighter to knock the ashes out before handing them both back. “I think I’m good.” I actually have no idea if I’m good because it hasn’t kicked in yet, but after the cookie experience I’d rather be safe than sorry.

She opens the mint tin, taps all of the loose contents into one corner, then loads the pipe and the lighter back into the remaining space. “Need a kit? I’ve got enough spare parts to make you one.” She snaps the tin shut and we start back into the house.

“Thanks, but I think I’d rather not make a habit of it.” Or be caught with it, since I don’t have a family that has paid the school to look the other way.
Last edited by NekoDude on Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Neko Story: Book 1 (...And Nakai Makes Three) releas

Post by NekoDude » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:30 am

ABE

“Sorry it’s not fancy, but I’m not much of a cook by myself.” I lay out a tray with grilled hot dogs and chicken breasts, buns, lettuce, tomatoes, and condiments. “I’m glad Dad left me something simple, since he sort of left… well, nobody in charge I guess.”

Neko whispers something in Hisao’s ear. She giggles, he just winces a little bit. Neither one hesitates to dive in and make themselves sandwiches.

“Did I hear the magic word, ‘food’?” Miki wanders in from the hallway in a brown bathrobe, looking groggy. “Oh, epic win! Hey, save some for me!”

“I can put on some more, I didn’t want to make too much. What would you prefer, hot dogs, chicken, or both?” I head for the refrigerator.

“Chicken, I think.”

“In that case, you can just take what I made for myself, and I’ll make more.” I toss some chicken into the grill, close it, and switch it on, while I get to preparing the bun and vegetables. I really don’t mind letting her take my share, I like it best when the meat is still steaming from the grill.

“So…” Neko starts talking with her hot dog sandwich held in front of her mouth to conceal the food within. “Where’d your Pops go?”

“Wherever your mom did, she came back and picked him up.” I shrug and resume putting mustard on my bun. “I didn’t ask, I figured they’d tell me if they wanted me to know.” The grill timer buzzes, and I extract my chicken.

“Well, you did good here. As long as I have a say in the matter, and as long as you want it, you’ve got the job here. You might not be a master chef yet, but you inherited the ability to improvise. That and persistence mean you can eventually be whatever you put your mind to, and nobody doubts your work ethic.”

Wow. Such praise. So admired. It’s one thing to get a pat on the head from parents or teachers, but it really means something to hear it from someone I admire, someone who isn’t obligated to like me. All because I made hot dog sandwiches for dinner.
Last edited by NekoDude on Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Neko Story: Book 1 (...And Nakai Makes Three) releas

Post by NekoDude » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:34 am

HANAKO

“Like, p-people who sort of fit into b-both genders. Half and half, or s-something. Wh-what do you th-think of them?”

This gets Kenji to drop the blanket, but I still don’t think he can see me. “Where did you hear about this? Have you actually seen someone like that?”

“Only in p-pictures and on tel-television. Docum-mentaries and stuff.”

“Oh.” He sounds disappointed, but looks relieved. Suddenly, he revives. “It’s not supposed to happen. They’re not natural. It’s a conspiracy!”

“A c-conspiracy of wh-whom? And why?

“The Magician’s Union, who else! They have a few too many mishaps with the sawing-people-in-half trick, putting the boxes back together wrong, you know? Magician ‘A’ magically separates a girl into two halves somewhere in Uzbekistan, and Magician ‘B’ separates a guy into halves in Mexico, and then something happens. You know, like a wormhole or neutrino flux or quantum tunneling, something scientific like that. Not magic, at any rate. So when they put these people back together, presto change-o! The top half is a girl and the bottom half is a guy, and on the other side of the world, exactly the opposite just happened. Only the magicians can’t fix it, they have no idea where the original bottom half went! This is why you must never volunteer to be in a magic show.”

“O-okay. I p-promise I won’t.” It takes all my self-control not to burst out laughing. “S-so what is som-m-meone to do if they f-find themselves with h-half the wrong b-body?” Bwahahaha!

“Are you holding out on me, Ikezawa? Are you trying to tell me you have junk in your trunk? I’m sorry, I don’t know how you can find your other half. Maybe go on one of those television shows and hope your other half finds you. Or sue your magician.”

Holy shit, this can’t be happening. “Th-thank you, you’ve been a g-great help. Excuse m-me, I have to g-go to the b-bathroom again.” Because I’m going to piss myself with laughter if I don’t.
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Re: The Neko Story: Book 1 (...And Nakai Makes Three) releas

Post by NekoDude » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:45 am

MIKI

“We’re going to go watch a movie,” Neko announces. She gives Hisao’s fingers a quick squeeze, and he breaks out of his daze long enough to smile, nod, and be led down the hall. O-kay, I believe you! He’s baked and you’re horny, and if I had to take a guess, already full of baby batter. Everyone knows where this is going. It looks like it’s Wii time for me.

As I configure the television for gaming, they make a great show out of selecting a disc from the library: «Snakes On A Plane.» As for me, I think I’ll go bowling. I’m seven frames into a warm-up game when Abe decides to join me. Since it’s a warm-up, and I’m starting to get the feel back, I have no objection to restarting. While he goes through the menus and picks out his Mii, I slip into the bathroom and put an ear to the bedroom door. I hear nothing but movie.

As I step out of the bathroom, I address Abe. “Go ahead and throw a few frames yourself. It wouldn’t be fair to make you start out cold when I’ve warmed up.” I close the outer bathroom door, but do not latch it, then wait for Abe to let me know when he’s ready.

“I think I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. This isn’t quite like the real thing.”

“No, it’s not, but at least you don’t have to change your shoes.” I restart the game and we select our Miis. My first frame, I let go of the ball on the backswing, scaring the crowd behind us and bringing up a tutorial screen. Thanks, I know this, my finger just slipped. I make up for embarrassing myself by throwing a resounding strike.

The kid isn’t bad himself, but would probably get more breaks on slight misses if he threw a ball with more of a hook to it. Third frame, he crosses the headpin and leaves himself a dreaded 6-7-10 split. While this would be merely really hard for me, it’s next to impossible for a left-hander to pick up. He grumbles a bit, then tries to throw a high loft shot. Letting go of the ball too late brings up another tutorial screen, much like the one I activated on the backswing earlier by letting go too early. There is no penalty in either case, so he gives it another try. It looks to be too far inside the line needed to tap the 6 pin across the lane, but it hooks at the last moment, somehow bouncing the 6 off the outside wall to careen across the lane, taking out the 7 pin while the ball carries the 10.

“Woo!” He jumps around victoriously a for a few seconds, then goes for the high five. Our controllers clack together.

“Nice shot. Couldn’t have done it better myself.” Then I realize from his glance, quickly averted eyes, and rapidly spreading blush that my bathrobe came untied when I put my arm up. Sorry kid, tying knots is still a bit difficult for me. I try to fix the bathrobe as best I can.

The game continues in a similar pattern – more strikes than spares for me, more spares than strikes for him, and neither of us leaving an open frame. The final score reads 202-187.

“I have a feeling you wouldn’t leave so many 7-pins if you’d throw it out a bit wider and hook it back harder. Right now, when you miss the pocket a little bit, you’re not getting enough pin action to allow yourself to get lucky. If you carry the 7 on just one of those spares, you just might have won.” I can see though that after the flashing incident, 7-pins aren’t where he’d appreciate a little luck.

“Umm… thanks. Again?”

“Maybe, gimme a second.” I step into the bathroom again and give a listen at the door, and again hear nothing but movie. “Yeah, I’m good for another one.” I start another game, and this time I leave the 10-pin on my own first throw. Although I pick it up, it looks like I’ve opened the door right from the start.

He tries my suggestion, moving his aim point out a board and a half and trying to hook the ball harder. Failing on the latter half means he misses the headpin entirely, leaving 1-3-6. He has no difficulty picking this up, but loses any possible advantage I might have just given him. As the game continues, he keeps at it but is still a bit erratic with the hook. When it works, it really works, but it’s something he’ll need to practice a little to make consistent. Also, he fails to convert a split this game, which basically ends any hope he might have had of catching me. 199-156.

This trip to the bathroom, I hear the distinct sound of giggling and kisses. It’s getting close to time to make my entrance. “Thanks, and good game, but I have other matters to attend to at the moment.” I make my way upstairs and find my travel tin, then return to the bathroom downstairs and keep my ear to the door. I catch the little squeak! I’ve heard so many times. It’s time to make my move.

I step out of the bathroom again, and make my way around to the door on the hallway side. From there, I just let myself in and head straight for the window. Hisao stops at the bottom of a thrust, looking like someone just let all the air out of a balloon, but Neko is seething.

“What… the… fuck do you think you’re doing?!” I watch for flying objects, but none come my way.

“I need to borrow your window.” I pull the blinds up a hand’s width, and raise the window a bit more than that before sitting on the floor. “It’s too cold outside.” Next comes the travel tin, and I’ve already packed the pipe so I close the tin, set it on the windowsill, and use that to support the pipe while I light it and take a drag. Neko sits up in bed and glares at me, doing her best approximation of folding her arms across her chest, while Hisao lays next to her. I can’t tell what’s going through his mind, but I doubt it’s friendly. “I take it you’re not joining me then.”

I take another hit and blow it out the window as well, then the third to kill the bowl. “That should about do it.” I can’t really tap the ashes out anywhere here, so I just put the pipe and lighter away with the ashes still inside before I stand up and close the window and blinds.

“Are you quite finished?” Neko spits at me.

I set the tin on the nightstand and pull the poorly tied bow on my waistband, allowing the bathrobe to fall to the floor. “No, not quite. I was hoping maybe you two had a little something left for me.” Neko grabs the covers and starts to pull them up over the both of them as I sit on the railing at the edge of the bed. I swing my legs over and roll in with them, and note that the covers are held up ever so briefly to let me in.

When I make a move to kiss her, she pulls away at first, but then I can feel Hisao giving her a little nudge in my direction and she changes her mind. Our lips meet, and her apprehension melts quickly. Her arms wrap around my head and lower to my shoulders as she draws me in, and there’s another hand reaching around behind me. First it settles on the small of my back, but then works downward. Neko never had two hands, and even if she did they wouldn’t both be right hands, so I can take a guess who this one must belong to.

I raise my left knee over Neko’s hip, and I feel the hand come sliding along the underside of my thigh. Nope, getting colder. Pulling my arm across my body, I grab hold of his wrist and guide him where I want him before settling my own hand between Neko’s thighs. Oh! We have contact. Let’s show him how this is really done. Quickly, I use my teeth to loosen and remove the bandage from my wrist, dropping it behind me wherever it may care to land and switching ‘hands’. Neko’s right leg swings up over my left, and she locks her short nub behind my knee.

Hisao takes advantage of the opening to get his left hand in behind mine. At first I fear we’re going to collide, but he’s making an effort to stay out of my way as we each find our own pleasure spot to rub. If he’s as good with that hand as he is with his right… Ah! because he Ah! Aah! sure knows what he’s doing AAAH! with his right… then Oh! I see why uNF! she keeps him. But OW! there’s such a thing as too much.

“Easy, stallion! Don’t abuse the cervix.” I had no idea his fingers were long enough to get there. He retreats a bit, but it’s going to take a moment to get back on track. Neko’s concentration was also broken a bit, but not for long. She’s squeaking between gasps, or gasping between squeaks, and he focuses his concentration on her. I’d rather he do that than hit that spot again, so I gently separate from his hand and unlock my leg from Neko’s. She immediately rolls onto her back, but there isn’t enough room for either of us to take advantage of this properly. Time to direct traffic.

I get out of the bed, and from the outside, start pulling Neko away from the headboard. Hisao catches on to what I’m trying to do, and helps lift her a bit without stopping. Okay, 40 cm should do the trick. It’s time for a little face sitting, and Hisao has used the extra room to reverse and stretch out, using his mouth to assist his fingers. Her tongue remains as quick and nimble as ever, and her fingers as responsive. It’s not difficult to find the groove again, as there’s nobody in the world who knows how to please me better. She slows and almost stops for a few seconds, and I press into her face to muffle her cries, after which she picks up the pace again. Despite her best efforts though, I’m just not getting there the way I was before I got prodded a little too deep. It seems that I may need those longer fingers for now. Or a longer something…

“It’s just not working. It’s not your fault, but I think that little bump in the wrong place may have broken me for the moment.” I unstraddle and let her breathe. I’m not terribly surprised when Hisao straddles her instead, keeping his face between her legs, but it does come as a bit of a surprise when she topples him over and rolls him onto his back to start in on him with as much eagerness as she had shown on me.

That’s it, it’s time to do this. It’s for your own damn good, Miura. I cross my fingers and search the nightstand – awww yiss, she does stock them even if she’s not using them. I tear open the package with the help of my teeth and let the empty wrapper flutter to the ground. I lift Neko’s chin gently with my wrist, and she lifts off of him with an audible pop. At first she looks confused, then she sees the condom in my fingers. Then she looks even more confused.

“I, uh… don’t need that.” She continues stroking him during the interruption, propped up on her elbow.

“No, but I do.” Her eyes go wide, and she pulls back a bit in shock. “I need to know if I can do this.”

She hesitates, but nods. “Unroll it one turn and twist the end before putting it on,” she offers as she sees me fumbling a bit. “It gives more space for uh… catching fluids.” She helps me guide it on, and we both feel his body tense when the cold gel makes contact. We roll it to the bottom together. I take up a straddling position and Neko takes a more upright one. I take a deep breath and look in her eyes as I slowly lower myself onto him. Well that didn’t hurt at all. I rise, then lower myself with a bit more authority. Again. Again. Nope, still doesn’t hurt. I deliberately let all my weight rest on our union, to see if that might be a problem, and… yeah, bottoming out isn’t the most pleasant experience, and he’s big enough to do that. It still wasn’t as bad as I expected, though.

I start with gentle motions, and slowly build up to larger ones. The cramps from the earlier misguided poke seem to be receding, and this is… starting to be fun.

It gets more fun when Neko takes up a position suitable for making out. She whispers into my ear, “Hold me up.” I put my hand and wrist on her shoulders, and she uses her hand on me. That seems to be the missing ingredient… mmm.

Ah. Now add a little grind at the bottom of each thrust. Two. Three. When he starts rising up to meet me, I decide to make a bit of a game out of it. I rise to almost the point of disconnection, and make small hip motions at that level. The more he strains to reach me, the more I back away. Then I fall onto him all at once and hear both of them gasp. I repeat, keeping the intervals unpredictable but trying not to move so fast that Neko can’t track me. I’m really liking the extra help. I don’t think I’d be able to get there from just the ride, but as part of a balanced, complete breakfast…

I need to finish this before I explode, or before he does. Neko seems to sense this, and lowers herself onto her elbows to free up my hand, while keeping her thumb rotations going. Yes! This! Is! Going! To! Work!!

Neko squeaks, but I grunt. Loudly. I can feel Hisao reach his climax just behind mine, and all three of us sort of collapse into a pile, with me on top. After a few seconds of this, Neko suddenly squeals and tries to sit up, toppling me into the wall with a thud. She rubs her ass, which bears a clearly visible bite mark.

“I couldn’t breathe,” Hisao gasps. “I had to get you two off of me somehow.”

“A gentleman, as always. Kiss it and make it better, and I’ll forgive you.”
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Re: The Neko Story: Book 1 (...And Nakai Makes Three) releas

Post by NekoDude » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:54 am

SALLY

Abe waves his controller toward Kat’s room.

All of them?” I ask, with a slight tilt of the head.

He nods a couple times. “Yup.” He throws his arms around himself and rubs his own back.

“Enough, I get the point.” Question is, which of them got the point? Kat keeps herself covered, but the last thing this family needs is a Miki oops.

I listen at the door and hear soft snoring. Slowly, I open the door. I can see that the room is lit by the glow of the television alone, and as soon as the opening allows for it I poke my head through.

Chaos. Madness. Or, just horny teenagers. On the floor are a bathrobe, a bandage, a condom wrapper, a blanket, and a leg. All three participants lie asleep on the bed, completely in the nude – unless you consider a used condom to be some sort of clothing. And the way they’re laying… means Miki was riding him! On the one hand, this is not a disaster. They were clearly careful. On the other hand, this complicates the situation quite badly, when I thought it had been resolved just a few days prior. Never assume anything where hormones are involved. I back out and close the door.

Ben looks at me from the kitchen end of the hall, and I walk toward him. I put my arm around him as we walk. “I may need you to help me dump some bodies tonight.”

“I’ll fuel up the wood chipper, boss.”

“Hold off on that. But do get me a martini or two, if you would.”

***

If they’re not going to wake up to «Apocalypse Now» going on right outside their door, then movies aren’t going to cut it.

“Abe, would you be a sweetie and fire up some of that Swedish death metal you seem so fond of? And turn it to eleven.”

“Umm, boss…” Ben looks at me sheepishly. “That’s mine.” Huh.

“Very well, I don’t care whose it is. I just want it at top volume.”

The first one out the door is Miki, clad in the brown bathrobe. She immediately heads up the stairs, pausing only to smile at me because she is holding the robe closed. Still having trouble tying bows, I see.

Next, Hisao exits through the bathroom, fully dressed and reasonably groomed. Nice try. Soon after, Kat follows out the hall door. I give a thumbs up signal, and Abe cuts the music to a dull roar. Since all three of them left separately, this gives me a chance to corner one of my choice – and I choose Hisao. I match his strides and walk alongside him.

“It is a very dangerous game you play, and both of them know it far better than you.” I let him keep going without me.

I give another signal – thumb across the throat – and the music stops entirely. Then I put my fingers in my mouth and whistle loud enough to make my own head hurt. All other noise ceases, or I just can’t hear it any more. I’m getting too old for this shit.

“Conference! Everyone in here. Now.” It takes less than a minute and a half to get everyone into the living room, with Abe deliberately pulling up last. Kat and Hisao are locked arm-in-arm, and a now-dressed Miki takes up a position near Abe. If they’re going to pretend it didn’t happen, then I’ll play along… for now. “Now that I have everyone’s attention, please follow me.” I turn and head out the front door, leaving it to the next person through to hold it for everyone else. I can sense the confusion brewing as each person takes a look at the metallic blue ‘car of the future’ before them. I’ll stay in the past, thanks.

I step up and open the left front door, just in case they hadn’t already figured it out. “Fresh off the boat from Shanghai – one new 2007 Honda Fit. Left hand drive, 5-speed manual.”

Kat has the most stones, or feels she has the least to lose. “Mum, I never in my life thought you’d want to drive one of these. Even with it right here in front of me, I still can’t imagine it.”

“That’s because I don’t want to. It’s not for me, it’s for you – all three of you. Abe too, eventually. You’re going to need a license, aren’t you Hisao?”

“Umm… I hadn’t really thought about it… but I suppose I do.”

“You’ll have to get used to driving from the wrong side, but it’s the price you pay for having a one-handed girlfriend… or two.” I hear the gasps, although he doesn’t react much.

Kat recovers her wits enough to deflect the topic. “Wait… I’m supposed to drive that too? Three pedals, mum.”

“And I’ve already got a garage lined up to install a finger-operated clutch on the shifter when that day comes. Yes, it’s for you too.”

“But why a manual?” Hisao asks. “Left hand drive I can understand.”

“Because someone here insists on an unrestricted license.” I nod at Miki. “That means taking the test in a manual. You have a little over a week to get used to it.” Kat and Hisao swarm over the car, jumping in and out of various doors and seats and pushing buttons and the like. Miki just looks at me sadly. “Oh come now, love. You couldn’t seriously think I was going to let you take a driving test in a Viper.
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Re: The Neko Story: Book 1 (...And Nakai Makes Three) releas

Post by NekoDude » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:03 am

NEKO

Hisao and I are just into our second cup of coffee – which I was only too happy to let him brew – each when we hear a commotion, a flurry of footsteps coming down the stairs. Abe rushes down the hall in a panic.

“Whoa there! Slow down before you hurt someone.” I put up my arm to indicate stop, but without a hand on the end of it, I suppose it comes across as more of a wave for his attention. “Where’s the fire?”

“I… she… I just woke up and…” He gestures as frantically as he babbles. “She’s in my bed!” He looks like he’s about to cry.

“Miki?”

“Yes! I swear I didn’t…”

I stand up and give him a hug. “Shh shh shh… it’s fine, you didn’t do anything wrong. She just does this. It’s not the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last. She has this habit where she gets up in the middle of the night to use the loo or something, and then she goes back to sleep… in the wrong bed. Nobody is quite sure why she does this, but we’re not going to blame you.

“B-but she’s…” He holds his hands in front of himself like he was trying to cover up.

“Ah. I can see why that might come as a bit of a shock.” Especially if she was poking you in the back. “Relax, it’s going to be fine. If you want to go back to sleep, take her bed.”
Mum pokes her head out of the bathroom. Not one hair out of place. “What’s all the commotion?”

“Not much, Miki’s just been sleepwalking again. Scared the pants right off poor Abe here, especially since she wasn’t wearing any.” He slips out the back to the laundry, perhaps to change his shorts.

“And here I thought you just called that ‘Saturday night’. Do I smell coffee?” There’s no need to reply, as she’s already headed toward it. The milk is on the table, yet by the time she gets to us, there’s already cream in her coffee – Irish, presumably. “So Hisao, can you be ready for your written exam a week from Tuesday? We’ve already got an appointment for Miki’s driving test at 10:30, and it would save us an extra trip into the city.”

“I should be able to manage. I heard they like to put in trick questions to trip people up, but I’m pretty good with those.”

“Good. You have a suit?”

“I need a suit to take a test?” He looks a bit puzzled.

“No, but it’s considered good form to at least wear a shirt and tie for your license photo… something nicer than a school uniform or a sweater vest. It remains to be seen if I’ve convinced Miss Naked Sleepwalker of this or not, but then, good form seems to be something she lacks.” Lowering her voice, she leans in toward us. “What went down last night? I don’t need details. I just want to know how it happened.”

Hisao and I both look at each other. Okay, it was my bedroom and my bed, I’ll take the lead. She probably knows everything already anyhow, so I’d better stick to the script. “She, uh… sorta walked in on us.” I can see him blushing. “Then she sat at my window, smoked a bowl, dropped the bathrobe, and climbed in with us.”

“And you didn’t say anything?”

“We both glared at her plenty. I guess she wasn’t open to taking hints. Even though I thought I knew her, she still manages to surprise me.”

She addresses Hisao without a hint of anger or derision in her voice, as if we were discussing a school project. “And what about you? I take it you weren’t just a passive observer here.”

“Oh, I umm… uh…” He’s now roughly the shade of a ripe cherry.

Mum makes a circle of her thumb and forefinger with one hand, and puts the forefinger of the other hand through it. Very subtle, Mum.

“Yeah, that was her idea.” Obviously I’m going to have to do the talking. I tip my head toward Hisao. “We were kinda…” I attempt to make a gesture that means we were pointing opposite ways, “...and once again she barged in. Lifted me right off him, she did. Then she told me she needed to know if she could do it. It seemed like a very odd thing to say, but it didn’t seem like the right moment to start asking questions.”

“Sometimes that’s just when they need to be asked the most.” She grabs my hand and one of his, and her hand is oddly cold. “I’m not going to make your decisions for you, but I won’t hesitate to point out when there’s a decision to be made. This is one of those moments. You have to decide who’s in charge, or she’s going to decide for you.” She lets go of our hands. “I need her. That just means you have to get along with her… it doesn’t mean you have to be her personal fuck toys.” Suddenly she looks up and toward the poolside doorway. “Abe! Is your father up and about yet?”

He’s just coming into the kitchen as we turn to look, so he hasn’t heard the conversation. “He’s out working with the colts and the yearlings.”

“Best we leave him to that then. Who’s making breakfast?” Mum looks at each of us in turn. “You don’t want to experience the joys of my cooking.” I already know that. You could burn water.

I put up my hand. “I’m good to make bacon and eggs, assuming we have them.”

“We do,” Abe says. “I’ll make toast and prepare some more lettuce and tomatoes.”

“What do you want me to do?” Hisao apparently feels a bit left out. Mum grabs the coffee pot, and empties the contents into the pump thermos.

“That’s funny, we seem to be out of coffee.”
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Re: The Neko Story: Book 1 (...And Nakai Makes Three) releas

Post by NekoDude » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:06 am

HANAKO

“That’s funny, we s-seem to be out of w-wine.” I pick up the box and shake it to be sure, but there’s nothing left.

Kenji drops an empty bottle to the floor with a sharp clank! “Jack has left the building.”

Well, shit. “N-now what?”

“Well you drank up my emergency supply, so you figure something out!”

“I c-coulda just drank the J-Jack, you know.”

“Hah! Jack isn’t girl whiskey. Maybe some nice orange-flavored shochu would be…”

“F-fuck you. I can d-drink wh-whiskey.” I wasn’t planning to make this trip alone, but now I think he’d just make me stand out that much more. “I’ll sh-show you!” I rise to my feet a bit less wobbly than I expected and manage to unlock every single one of his locks without losing a finger in my haste. I make sure to slam the door just a bit behind me. There’s nobody else around to hear it.

After a side trip to the bathroom, I check my cash supply. One thousand-yen note and a couple of coins isn’t going to go very far. Oh wait, I’ve got the card…

With renewed confidence, I make my way out of the boys’ dorm, only to be blinded by the midday sun. It takes all my composure not to eject my stomach contents, and probably my stomach lining as well, into the nearest trash bin. No time for weakness, I’m on a mission!

The walk down to the convenience store isn’t so bad. Here’s hoping the walk back up will be as forgiving. I try to be casual, grabbing a basket at the door on the way in and browsing the instant food aisle for a while, but the clerk seems more interested in watching baseball than watching his customers. Noodles. More noodles. Shrimp chips. More shrimp chips. A bag of Super Lemons. Pocky. Now for the real reason I’m here.

I work to the back and take a peek at the whiskey selection. Nope, nope, nope… even spending Lilly’s money I don’t want to pay too much. Oh, this will do… Suntory Red. Almost two liters of party for two thousand yen. How can I go wrong? I grab a cold two-liter of Coke too, just in case I did go wrong.

Two people in line in front of me. Fuck fuck fuck. Don’t panic. I think back to the large, friendly letters on the cover of Literature Club’s current selection. Don’t Panic. One person. The clerk is just zapping everything with his barcode reader with one eye and watching baseball with the other. Finally it’s my turn, and nothing changes. When he gets to the whiskey, the register beeps. I’m about to retrieve my ‘driver’s license’ when he punches a button and the register shuts up. Forty-two hundred yen. Heh heh. Forty-two. I hand him the pre-paid card, he swipes it, and hands me back the card and my receipt.

Could it really be that easy?

Apparently so. The walk back presents more of an obstacle than the entire purchase. I didn’t even have to present my ‘license,’ which is a bit of a disappointment. It’s very convincing.

BANG BANG BANG. “Open up, S-Setou!” Fuck my stutter. Fuck it right in the ear.

I hear locks being opened, and the door opens wide enough to hit the end of the chain lock, his last line of defense. “What’s the password?”

“Wh-whiskey.”

“Uh. Good enough.” He releases the chain and lets me through before securing them all again.

I find a cup that looks clean enough for him, and grab the one I so recently used to polish off a five liter box of wine for myself. I fill both about half full and hand him his. “Ch-cheers.” I take a sip. Nope. This isn’t for sipping. Down it goes. It tastes like burning, all over again.

His cup is empty as well. “You did it. You actually pulled it off. I gotta give credit where credit is due. You’re one hell of an agent, Ikezawa.”

“Th-thanks. It’s y-your turn to b-buy lunch.”
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Re: The Neko Story: Book 1 (...And Nakai Makes Three) releas

Post by NekoDude » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:09 am

SUZU

«Wake up, wake up
Children don't ya hear me comin’
Get up, get up
Because I got to have the honey»


I search in vain for a flat piece of glass. I don’t have a mirror in here, because I just brush my hair straight back and shake my head. I don’t even have a compact, because I don’t wear makeup. No pictures on the walls, just posters. Maybe there’s a stray plate in the common room… wait. The answer is right in front of me.

I turn over the picture on my desk, which I normally keep face down. It’s a portrait of happier times, my late brother and me with our parents, at Tanabata. I run my fingers across the frame for a second, but suppress the urge to reminisce. I have work to do. I strip the blade from the retracting knife I ‘acquired’ from the art room (it says «Keep Out Of Children», tee hee) and get to work. Scrape scrape scrape. This is too slow, and too likely to snap this segmented blade. I break off a chunk with a key. That’ll work.

«Wake up, children
Get right soul church, keep a lock on the kitchen
Do risks for your daddy (I’ll do it daddy)
Keep your eyes wide open and my shotgun loaded»


A stolen knife gets help from a stolen spoon, and soon that shard is turned to dust. I scrape the back side clean, and lick it to be sure. The taste is terribly bitter, but I don’t want anything to go to waste.

It’s time. Prepare your sinuses.

«My radio plays
Methamphetamine blues
and tell all the news
I'm rollin’ just to keep on rollin’»


The rush comes within seconds, like an avalanche to the brain. I feel like a trip to the convenience store for… I don’t know what. I guess I’ll figure it out when I get there, if I don’t think of something along the way. Keys, sunglasses, wallet. Time to move.

I seem to float down the hill, and everything around me feels cartoonish, as if people had inked-in black outlines. With wings on my heels, I reach the convenience store in a flash. Is that Hanako? She’s looking a bit worse for wear today. I remove the sunglasses as I step inside, twirling them in my fingers as I walk. What did I want again? Candy! Oh look, they got the slushy machine working again. That sounds good too. Oh, and some of those might not be a bad idea...

The line moves slowly, and my frozen treat is almost a quarter gone by the time the clerk scans the cup. What’s he so preoccupied with watching, anyhow? Oh, baseball, a perfect boy’s game. They’re always trying to get on base, but so rarely coming around to score.

Walking out into the sunlight, I realize the last thing I want is to return to campus. I don’t want to be in the library, I actually feel good for a change. No, not good… fucking awesome. I walk, not really knowing where I’m going, and gradually the familiar sights become fewer and fewer. Before long, I’m sticking to the only path I know, the one that leads to the ranch. Why not keep walking?

«Rollin’ just to keep on rollin’
Rollin’ just to keep on rollin’
I don't want to leave this heaven so soon»


Aaaand… I’m here. Funny how that happens. There’s a cute little blue car parked out front, I wonder whose that is. Knock? Nah, the door’s unlocked. I head straight to the kitchen, where Ben looks at me, wide-eyed.

“Son, look who showed up for lunch.”

Abe spins on his heels and also gawks. “How in the world did you get here?”

I glance down at my feet as I approach him. “ASICS Express, babe. I just started walking, and next thing I know, I’m here.” I toss a bag of mango gummies onto the table. “Want some?” I dive into the package.

«I've got to get to you first
Before they do
It's just a question of time
Before they lay their hands on you
And make you just like the rest
I've got to get to you first
It's just a question of time»


“We’re about to serve lunch, I probably shouldn’t. Afterwards maybe.”

I shrug and pop one in my mouth. “Can’t say I’m real hungry, but these just taste so good.” I pull the other two packages of candy from the same pocket. “Don’t worry, there’ll be something left for you.” After a cursory glance around to make sure nobody is watching, I lean in and give him a kiss.

«Well now you're only fifteen
And you look good
I'll take you under my wing
Somebody should
They've persuasive ways
And you'll believe what they say»


“Maybe we should use the dining room, as this table is a bit small for six, let alone seven,” he says after our lips part.

“Good thinking,” Ben says with his back still turned. “Go set up the table – and put out wine glasses.” I follow him out to see if I can help. After watching him set up one place setting, I start around the table in the opposite direction, copying what he did. We meet on the other side.

“Thanks. We only need seven settings, but I don’t know which seven, so we’ll just leave them all out for now.” He’s so cute when he’s all serious. He grabs four wine glasses from the rack and puts them on the table, then goes back for three more. I let him divest himself of the breakables before I pinch him on the backside. He jumps and blushes beet red. “I, um, need to get the salad plates.”

«It's just a question of time
And it's running out for you
It won't be long until you'll do
Exactly what they want you to»
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Re: The Neko Story: Book 1 (...And Nakai Makes Three) releas

Post by NekoDude » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:15 am

ABE

Dad is sitting across the table from me, instead of at the end next to me like usual. Sally has also abandoned her usual spot at the head of the table, sliding over one seat to sit next to Miki instead. It’s all very strange, and it gets stranger still when I feel Suzu’s hand on my thigh, under the table. Since she literally just appeared in our kitchen, she’s been acting… hmm. I guess it brings to mind a mare in heat. Is that what’s going on here?

She whispers in my ear. “I’d like to take a little walk after lunch, if that would be okay with you.” Even the way she nibbles on a meatball seems to be flirtatious. What have I done to deserve this?

“I have to check up on the horses, but that shouldn’t take too long, and you can come with me.” I don’t really see a need to whisper, but I keep my voice down.

“That will be just fine.” She squeezes my leg on the last two words before tucking back into her plate. After claiming to not be very hungry, she sure seems to be. More than that, she’s on her second glass of wine. I’ve never seen her drink wine before.

Then again, I’m on my second glass myself – I actually like whatever this is, unlike a lot of what gets served here. “Hey Dad, I like this. It’s not sour at all, it’s really good. What is it?” I want to include him in the conversation a bit, since he’s the only one not sitting next to someone.

“It’s sangria, which isn’t just wine. In fact, the way we make it, it mostly isn’t wine. You can have more if you like, it doesn’t have very much alcohol in it at all.”

Well in that case… I raise my glass, and Suzu does the same. “Cheers!” We both finish ours, and I refill them from the pitcher.

By the end of the meal, Suzu has eaten every meatball, though not much of the spaghetti. I guess that’s what I’d do too if I knew I wasn’t going to eat very much. Go straight to the best part, right? Out of the corner of my eye, I see Neko spear yet another meatball off Hisao’s plate, and hear him sigh.

“If you didn’t force me to eat with the wrong hand, I’d go a little bit faster.”

Across the table from them, and two seats over from me, Miki can’t resist commenting. “Don’t worry, you get used to it. Either that or you starve. I’m not real fond of starving.”

“Neither am I.” It’s Sally’s turn to chime in. “But once you reach a certain age, either the plate has to get smaller, or you get bigger.” I catch Neko rolling her eyes at that.

“No fair, mum. You know what happened the last time I tried to slim down. I ended up walking right out of my own leg, more than once. Like it or not, this seems to be my correct size. And you, dear,” she adds while addressing Hisao, “can have more meatballs if you want. Ben always makes twice as much as we actually need. We’ll probably be eating meatball sandwiches for lunch tomorrow.” As if to emphasize her point, she spears another one.

I start to collect the dishes of the people who have already finished, but Dad stops me. “It’s okay, I’ll take care of the dishes. Go look after the horses.” Weird! He hates doing dishes. We start out for the stable.

“So how long does it take to check up on the horses?”

“That depends on what I find. If they’re all doing well, we could be out of there in ten or fifteen minutes. If there are any difficulties, then it takes longer. Watch your step, there are still some ruts from the last time it rained.” This causes her to grab onto my arm a little bit. “Oh they’re not that bad. I just wouldn’t want you to turn an ankle or anything.”

“Oh, neat!” she exclaims as soon as we step inside the stable. “It has a loft and everything. Is that where you keep the hay?”

“No, we mostly keep straw for the stalls up there. Hay doesn’t sit around very long here, these guys eat quite a bit. Poop quite a bit too, but that’s a job for mornings.” The look on her face says she doesn’t want to think about that too hard.

I go through my usual checks, and she follows along anywhere from a step to an entire stall behind, since she seems fond of talking to the horses.

“They’re so beautiful,” she says to me with a look of wonder. “So strong, yet so serene. I can only imagine what it must be like to see them and work with them every day.”

“They seem to be on their best behavior for you. They usually are more inclined to whine and complain, but not today – not that I’m complaining myself or anything.” Nothing is amiss, everything checks out, but it’s almost like someone put wine in their water trough or something. “Are you ready for that walk? I think I’m just about done here.”

“Would you mind if I had a look up there?” She waves toward the loft. “I kinda want to see how things look from that angle.”

“Sure, why not. There are ladder rungs set in the wall right over here.” She runs ahead and is quickly a meter off the ground. “There’s a trap door at the top, just push on it. I’ll be right behind you.” I let her finish the climb before starting up myself, since if she were to fall… well, it wouldn’t be good if she fell no matter what, but it would be even worse if I were directly below her at the time. When I get to the top, she’s having a mock fight with a bundle of straw.

“Unhand the princess, or my noble steed and I shall hunt you to the ends of the earth! Take that,” she almost shouts as she delivers a roundhouse kick, “and that,” as she throws a not very frightening punch, or maybe it’s an imaginary sword thrust. “Had enough, have you? Give me the girl and I’ll let you live!”

“Been playing Zelda again, huh? I’m pretty sure you’re in no danger up here.”

“Oh, but it’s the harmless looking ones you need to watch out for. Those are the ones…” She wraps her arms around my waist and picks me up, spinning me around to just in front of the straw she battled, “...that will catch you by surprise.” She pins me back against the straw bundle and kisses me, much more intimately than she ever has before. By the time she breaks the kiss, she’s already completely unbuttoned. “I don’t care if it’s straw and not hay. I say we have a roll in it anyway.”

She grabs my hands and walks backward toward some straw bundles that could well serve as a sort of mattress, pulling me on top of her when we get there and guiding my hands under her unbuttoned blouse around to the back. I’m guessing she wants me to unhook her, so I do. She wriggles free of her blouse and holds her bra to her with her hand, as if gauging my reaction, before holding it up and letting it fall to the floor.

I’ve dreamed about this – no, more than just dreamed about it. I’ve taken matters into my own hands thinking about it. So why does it somehow feel wrong? No way, scumbag brain. I’m not letting you ruin this for me. Shut the fuck up. I take in the sight of her, now naked to the waist. I slowly extend a hand, but she’s having none of it, grabbing my forearm and pulling my hand straight to her chest. Oh. I like this. She hums softly to herself, then grabs me by the shoulders and rolls us both over so that she’s now on top of me.

She tugs at my shirt. “Lose it.” Yes, mistress! It joins her blouse and bra on the floor. She presses in and covers me, and the tingle of skin on skin is electric. Her lips meet mine again, and her tongue seeks mine with a passion I have never before known. She grinds against me before grabbing hold of my hand again – only this time she’s guiding it downward and inside her waistband of her pants. She slides up to make my reach easier, and I realize there’s nothing beneath. She’s going commando.

I close my eyes so I can see better and try to remember what I have read, but this is nothing like a book. This is flesh, and passion, and heat, and my head is spinning in the whirlwind intensity. I can’t wander in the desert forever though, and after an anxious few seconds of confusion, I find the target. She takes a sharp breath and bows her back, and turns just enough to place a firm, brown nipple centimeters from my lips. I can take a hint. I feel her reach into her pocket for a fleeting moment, but then she’s back to grinding on my fingertips as she unfastens her pants and slides them down, and I can feel her slip out of her shoes. Then she’s undoing mine.

What minor resistance my little soldier might have had to standing at attention is gone in a heartbeat, even with one layer of clothing between it and her hand. I wriggle as helpfully as I can as she pulls everything down past my knees, then she’s slowly stroking me with her hand.

“It’s dangerous to go alone,” she says in a sultry voice. “Take this.” As if by magic, she seems to summon protection to the other hand, the package already opened and discarded. She applies it with a sense of urgency and spends a second or two smoothing it over before straddling me and guiding me in.

So that’s what it’s all about. She keeps her hands on my shoulders, breasts gently bouncing in the faint light that filters its way up here. I’m content to let her be in control, choosing the pace and the depth, but she does seem to like it when I try to meet her in the middle as best I can. Then she hooks her hands under my arms and around the back of my shoulders, and I can feel her scratching at my back. It hurts, but it’s a good hurt in a way, and oh who cares, let her scratch, and she lets out a yelp and then another, and starts to shudder. I can feel her tightening around me down there and I think she wants me to let go and… Oh… it’s familiar, yet not. «Pakshet.» Is that all there is? I have scratches down my back, possibly bleeding ones, and a serious case of straw rash, but I could not possibly bring myself to give a shit as she collapses on top of me. I can’t shake the feeling that something was just not quite right, that something was just a little bit off. Maybe I’m just thinking about this too much.

After what seems like an eternity, yet also just a fleeting moment, we help dress each other and pick the straw out of each others’ hair, climb down from the loft, and start the walk we were supposed to have been taking in the first place – hand in hand, with a glow as warm as the sun on both our faces.
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Re: The Neko Story: Book 1 (...And Nakai Makes Three) releas

Post by NekoDude » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:17 am

MIKI

“I never thought going for walks was one of your little pleasures in life, but sure. I’m up for it.” I grab the open package of mango gummies off the table and pocket them before downing the rest of my sangria. “Let’s move.” Once outside, I can’t help wondering why we are out here. It’s not like she seems to have a destination in mind.

“What happened last night… simply can’t happen again.” At least she’s gotten straight to the point. “That wasn’t about intimacy or sex, it was about power and control, and you know it. I was willing to try to make this whole thing work, and although you may not know it, so was Hisao. The one with a problem here… is you.

We haven’t even gotten to the back of the house yet, and there it is. “Well it’s good to see one of us knows what’s going on around here. So tell me, Doctor Freud, why did I give him that pony ride? Surely he knows as well as anyone that it’s not going to happen again, and I certainly don’t want to steal him from you.”

“Power and control, over your own fears and weaknesses. You used him the way you used me… like I was a whore. And I not only let you, I helped. Don’t think I’ll ever forget it.” I believe you. “I don’t know why you needed to prove you could do that… not to me, not even to yourself.”

I guess she doesn’t know the price of ascension. “It wasn’t about you at all. You know that little thing about the line of succession – that’s not a question, I know you’re already aware of it. Well, it’s not free. When that time comes, I’ll have to accept an arranged marriage of political convenience, just like your parents did. More than that, I’ll have to prove that marriage, and… make another you. A pawn baby.” I pull the bag of candy from my pocket and hold it out toward her, and she just glares at me. Whatever. I pop one in my mouth before pocketing the bag again. “It’s not like I want to, but what else am I supposed to do, be a mule the rest of my life? I’ll try not to catch any nasty bugs while I carry the little ankle-biter.” She refuses to look in my general direction now, let alone face me, so I know my words are getting through.

When she does speak, it’s quiet enough that I have to stop chewing to hear her. “Fine. If that’s the life you want, you can have it. You can have her too. All I ever wanted was a little sign that maybe, just maybe, you actually loved me.” She speeds up her strides considerably.

“Love? Seriously? I wasn’t in love, I was just fucking you til somebody better came along – and I figured you were doing the same. Trust me, you should be glad I wasn’t looking for love. The last person who told me he loved me… died for it.” I let her walk away.

Off in the distance, I can see Suzu walking with Abe. Apparently, Neko has spotted them as well, as she breaks into her weird hop-skip that serves as her substitute for running. I wish I had popcorn, because it looks like the movie is about to start.
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Re: The Neko Story: Book 1 (...And Nakai Makes Three) releas

Post by NekoDude » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:22 am

NEKO

One of these days, that’s actually going to work. I’m going to lose my cool and take a swing at her, and she’s going to bust my chops. I know what she was trying to do, and the worst part is that it was working anyhow – but I’ll get over that. I always have before. The part that is going to take a while to wash away is that while she certainly could have been less of a callous bitch about it, it was all true. And though I didn’t realize it in the heat of the moment, that last bit sure as hell sounded like a threat.

I slow to a normal walk as I near Abe and Suzu. I address her first. “Miki stole your candy.” I point my thumb back over my shoulder.

“Oh snap no she didn’t…” She’s off to retrieve it, leaving me with a stunned Abe.

I put my arm around him. “I’m sorry, I had no idea she’d leave you for a pocketful of sugar.”

“I’m pretty sure she’ll be back, I’m not too worried about it.”

“So maybe I missed something and this was discussed at lunch, but how the hell did she get here? I don’t remember anyone coming around, not even a knock at the door. We just get the call for lunch and wham, there she is.”

“On foot.” He just shrugs.

“She just walked here? From school? I could see Miki doing that, or anyone else on the track team for that matter, but I never thought she was the athletic type. What, does she really like meatballs and sangria or something?”

“I’m pretty sure she didn’t come here for the meatballs, or the sangria.” He blushes and looks down at his feet and starts kicking at the ground.

“Yeah… I didn’t think so either. I think her reason for the trip is standing here in front of me. You haven’t been walking this whole time, have you?”

“I had to check on the horses first, so we went to the stable. So no, not the whole time.” He gives me a weak and utterly unconvincing smile.

“Well, judging by the goofy grins you both had before I came along, I’m guessing you did something right.” I’m pretty sure he’s not going to talk about it, so there’s no sense in badgering him. “If you want to talk – about anything – just let me know.”

It’s not like I would have had time to press the point anyhow.

“Victory is mine!” Suzu holds her bag of candy in the air triumphantly. She extracts one piece from the bag and holds it in her lips, then faces Abe and shares it with him. For the first time, I notice that they are almost exactly the same height. I wonder how long that will last. Then I spot it. Twitch. She still has leftovers from that little ‘party,’ doesn’t she.

It looks like it’s time for another chat with Mum, and it’s my turn to ask some uncomfortable questions for a change.
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Re: The Neko Story: Book 1 (...And Nakai Makes Three) releas

Post by NekoDude » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:30 am

SALLY

“So we’ll take that shopping trip tomorrow. Keep it to yourself, it’s supposed to be a surprise.” I can see the way Hisao keeps eyeing the candy on the table. “I wouldn’t touch those if I were you. If you do, you can face Suzu’s wrath yourself… and I’ll just watch. From a safe distance, of course. Hell hath no fury like a woman whose candy has been stolen.”

“I won’t, I know better. Besides, this is plenty sweet.” He raises his glass of sangria. “Probably better for me, too.”

I hear rapid footsteps approaching from the hall. “Mum. Private conference. Now.”

“But Hisao and I were having such a nice chat.”

“Good to hear. I’d rather have him along anyway. But I still mean private.”

“As you wish. One moment.” When I come back with the office key, Hisao is already standing alongside Kat, ready to go. I head through the dining room and unlock the door, and they step in behind me. “What seems to be the emergency?”

“Emergencies, actually. First, what’s this about an arranged marriage and a baby?”

“Why don’t you two have a seat before we get too deep here? There’s no sense in standing around.”

“No.” She’s tapping her foot. “You’re just going to hide behind your desk and stare at me like I was one of your sycophants.”

I sigh. She’s right, that’s probably exactly what I was going to do. “Fine. You take the couch and I’ll take the chair. No desk between us.” This is apparently acceptable, and we settle in. “First, this is not something you have to worry about, and I’m glad. It wasn’t something I was looking forward to explaining to you. You don’t think this business is based on good looks and charm, now do you? It takes commitment of a special kind.”

“And that includes bringing an innocent child into the world to satisfy some sort of twisted office politics?” The look on her face tells me I was right, despite her father’s objections.

You’d be eaten alive in this business. “What, do you think the child is going to suffer? It’s just been such a hard knock life for you, hasn’t it. The kid will be taken care of, just like you have. That’s more than I can say for the large fraction of your fellow students who were dumped there when they became inconvenient. You’re not getting a tear out of me on this one.”

“Fine. I suppose setting up another loveless marriage won’t bother you either.”

“Not particularly. We’ll try to set her up with a gay guy, and they can come to any agreement they want. As long as they can work together, nobody really gives a flying fuck about love. They can go get love wherever they want.”

“I suppose that might be for the best. Then she won’t have to kill him.” I start to laugh at this, but she’s not smiling. Hisao looks horrified. “You think I’m kidding, don’t you? She just got done telling me ‘the last person who told me he loved me, died for it.’ I don’t know exactly what that’s supposed to mean, but it might be a good idea for you to find out, don’t you think?”

“I think I have a pretty good idea who she’s referring to. You know she’s half American, right? Her father was a soldier stationed in Okinawa, and her mother was a local. She spent several years over there, until… well, until her grandparents said ‘wait, don’t you still have a mother?’ and shipped her back to Japan.” Kat stares at me blankly, but Hisao is nodding. “See, he knew about it.”

“Uh… well some of it, yes. Like the first half of it.” I can see him incorporating the new information into his mental file on her.

“It’s rather tragic, from the way she described it to me. Her older half-sister hung herself, and Miki was the one to find her. A few months later, her father drove off a cliff while drunk. It was deemed an accident, but she believes it was also a suicide. She hasn’t told you any of this?” This time I get both of them shaking their heads.

“You wouldn’t happen to know this half-sister’s name, would you?” Kat asks me.

“Oh, I do… give me a second, I’m having a senior moment. Mary? Mara? No, Maria. I’m pretty sure her name was Maria.”

I can see the wheels turning in Kat’s head, then her jaw hits the floor. “Mum, I think I know why she sleepwalks into other people’s beds. She has called me Maria in her sleep a number of times. I think that’s who she’s looking for.”

“Good to know. I don’t see how that really helps to stop it, but at least it makes a bit more sense.” And I can warn any guests.

“Well something’s gotta give. She’s not welcome in my bed any more. She has wallabies loose in the top paddock, and I’m beyond tired of dealing with it. But possibly more important, I need to know something. When did you supply her with amphetamines, and why? Giving speed to crazy people is like pouring petrol on a fire and you know it. What could possibly make you think ‘I have a problem. Hey, I’ll give her drugs!’ Now you have two problems.”

“Dear, I haven’t supplied her with any amphetamines for months. She only ever asked once. If I thought she was tweaking, you can bet I’d have a talk with her. Why do you think she was?” Because this would be an alarming development.

“Just a few days ago, after we had the first fight and I demanded my keys back, the three of us had a conference much like this one. I could tell she hadn’t slept in days, and she was hiding it under makeup. She admitted she’d been ‘partying’ with Suzu, trying unsuccessfully to get under her skirt. That’s the real reason Suzu didn’t come out with us yesterday, she was still sleeping off her crash – and then she walks here today and she’s high as a fucking kite. Miki seems able to control herself. I’m not sure Suzu can.”

“I’d say Miki can control herself just fine. She sat on that ‘party’ for almost five months without giving off even a hint that she was abusing it. I only gave it to her because she was worried about getting through final exams.” And then I completely forgot about it.

“Wait.” I’d somewhat forgotten Hisao was there, or I would have been a bit more circumspect. “Is that what she meant when she said she ‘needs company until the ride comes to a complete stop?’ We were supposed to be trip-sitters?”

“Alright, I’m convinced.” I give both of them a nod. “Not that Miki has a problem per se, but you’ve at least given me reason to believe she’s dipping into that supply. I’ll keep an eye on her to see if it was just a binge or if it’s a habit. You had just dumped her, after all. But Suzu… that poor girl. I’ll have a talk with her.”

“I’ll be honest.” Yes, you will. It’s one of your greatest strengths, and also one of your greatest weaknesses. “Miki is your problem now. I can’t say I’ll be keeping an eye on her any longer. She certainly let me know she doesn’t give a shit about me. But Suzu… we have to get that situation under control, and I do mean we. It would just ruin Abe if anything were to happen to his first love... and as of today, lover.”

That does complicate things just a little bit.

“I’m glad you’re on board, because I can’t watch over her when she’s at the school… or I’m in Peru. I needed to tell you about this sometime soon, I might as well do it now. I’m going to Peru in a couple weeks. It’s an up-and-coming, hip new wine country, and we intend to be the main importers for the entire Pacific Rim. I don’t know exactly how long I’ll be there, but it will be long enough that I’m making arrangements to have business handled without consulting me… much. Ben will run the household, but Miki will run the commerce.” I can see the look of concern on Kat’s face. “Oh don’t worry, I’m giving her my bedroom for the duration, and we’ll put a lock on your hall-facing door. I know she can pick them, but probably not in her sleep.”

“You’re going to let her handle business, even after what I just got done telling you?”

“Who else is going to do it? You? I didn’t think so. Hey, if she falls flat on her face, I’d rather find out now than a couple years from now. Consider it a trial by fire.” I will have to confirm my inventory before I go, though. “Last, but certainly not least, I’ll bring you up to date on the security system. I’d rather have someone other than the one handling my business be the one who can perform audits. See dear, I don’t completely trust her either.” Not that I necessarily trust you more, but at this point you two seem unlikely to conspire against me.
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