So, here is the third chapter and the introduction of the third main character for BURNING POTATOES FOR THE GLORY OF PEACE.
A warning, there is a bit more lust written in this chapter.
Chapter 3 (A friend locked away)
Keisuke squeezed the bridge of his nose while he packed kickboxing equipment. I’m glad Ami bolted.
He and Taisei stepped from the stuffy gym that smelled like old tube socks. The night air was refreshing, and without Ami around pestering them about John, it was quiet. The rush of cars. The bustling of bodies. And the laughter of men. No pain-in-the-ass Ami to be heard or seen. Bliss.
After cracking his knuckles, Keisuke pursed his lips. “Ami was being such a bitch earlier.”
Taisei chuckled. “You’re only saying that because she knocked you out.”
Keisuke chewed on his upper-lip. “It only happened because she’s a girl.”
“No … it only happened because she’s stronger than you … and me for that matter.”
“I could beat her if I wanted to.” Using my collection of bells.
Taisei rolled his eyes. “Sure you could. … Honestly, the only one of us who could even challenge her would be John.”
Through gritted teeth, Keisuke scoffed.
“You know it’s true.” Taisei jabbed Keisuke in the shoulder.
Keisuke rubbed at his shoulder. “I guess you’re right?”
“Yeah, yeah. … By the way, what did happen to John?”
“Your guess is as good as mine. The only thing I’m sure of is that Ami will not like the results.”
Keisuke spat. “Better for John. Do you really think he would want to get roped with that monster?”
“She is cute.”
“And the two of them like a lot of the same things. I don’t think it would be so bad.”
“You haven’t known her long enough then.”
Before grinning, Taisei narrowed his eyes. “You would know since she’s —”
Keisuke shoved Taisei and pointed at him. “Don’t finish that sentence.”
Taisei winked. He clearly wanted to say something. It was written across his face.
While they walked to the HUB — a chain-British pub — Keisuke made several attempts at calling John. None were successful.
One inside the HUB, Taisei snatched them their usual table.
Alone, Keisuke strolled up to the bar and ordered a few pints of beer. He returned to the table. “It feels weird without John here.”
Taisei took his beer and raised it high. “I know … but that’s not going to stop me.”
Keisuke laughed. “Well put.”
For some reason, beer always tasted better after working-out.
The sweet foam caressed Keisuke’s lips and danced across his tongue. The icy liquid that followed sent a jolt of ecstasy from the roof of his mouth, to the tip of his toes. By the time the beer had reached his throat, he had already melted. This was wonderful. It was how life should be.
Taisei nodogoshied — a gulping swallow followed by a relaxing sigh.
Keisuke returned the gesture. “Despite the god-like taste, it still doesn’t feel right without John.”
After nodding, Taisei’s phone rang. He answered, and when the muffled voice on the other end, his eyes bulged.
While his brow furrowed, Keisuke frowned. “What is it?”
Taisei hung up and stood. “John … .”
Don’t tell me … .
“He … has been arrested.”
Keisuke scrambled to his feet. “That can’t be right!”
Waiting, Keisuke paced across the lobby of the Omiya Police Head Quarters. What’s taking Taisei so long to clear things up?
The cold, stone floor made each, aching step reminded Keisuke that he was still exhausted. His muscles were spent. The stale air carried a sawdust-like scent.
He swallowed, and after gagging, he stopped breathing through his nose.
Every face in the room turned to face Keisuke. Their seats scraped against the wall and rustled the blue curtains by the far windows. Someone coughed, but no one spoke.
This wait is killing me! Keisuke ground his teeth.
The coughing man stood up and took a step forward.
Keisuke spun towards the man and growled.
The man started, and his head dropped. A few long moments later, he returned to his seat.
Why am I on edge? Keisuke massaged at his temples. It’s not like John did anything wrong, right? This has to just be a big misunderstanding.
The door to the back room creaked open.
Before turning to the door, Keisuke knuckled his forehead. I mean, he is always so careful and never does anything to get himself into trouble. He licked his lips. Unless … he suddenly awa—
The female police officer coming through the door clapped her hands. “Mr Keisuke? Are you listening to me?”
With great difficulty, he shook his thoughts off. “Yes … of course. … What did you say again?”
She groaned. “You may come into the back now.”
“Ah.” Keisuke took a deep breath before rushing forward and pushing past the female police officer. I’m not nervous. If John would have awakened, I would have known about it. He wouldn’t do anything stupid. I mean, he’s not Ami.
The compact, office-like room had less of a walking space and more of a balance-beam-sized opening between desks. Between mountains of paperwork, ancient computers buzzed and heated the sawdust air to the point that it could be tasted.
Vomit rolled into the back of Keisuke’s mouth, and his knee crashed into one of the small desks. He screamed while he stumbled forward. His hands flailed, and paper filled the air. Several hops later, he caught himself. “Fuck!” He rubbed at his knee. “That hurt!”
Several of the police officers turned to stare at him.
“Sorry.” Keisuke took a deep breath and scanned the room.
Taisei’s yelling voice erupted from the back of the room.
Keisuke shuffled towards Taisei, making sure to watch the path ahead of him. He didn’t want to perform another paper-throwing ballet in such a short span of time.
After grunting, Taisei slammed the door to the back room and spun on his heels. His face was red, and he huffed with his teeth bared.
Keisuke’s heart pounded, jumbling his thoughts. He proceeded forward, unsure what to say.
Taisei waved, though it seemed agitated while it jerked back and forth.
When Keisuke reached Taisei, he had gathered his thoughts. “So … what’s going on?”
After unclenching his fists, Taisei sighed. “Apparently, they caught John in the act of robbing a securities firm.”
Keisuke’s heart fell into his stomach. His chest heaved. Gold … . “That can’t be right … I mean, why would John try to steal gold?” Unless he had awakened. … But how would he have even known about gold?
“I know … .”
“Besides all that, that’s just not the kind of person John is.”
Taisei nodded. “I tried to explain that to then, but … .”
“Well, most of my coworkers are … a bit racist.”
Keisuke arched an eyebrow.
After clicking his tongue, Taisei glanced about the room. “Well … they’re actually bigots to the extreme with no redeeming qualities.”
“Oh.” Keisuke chewed on his tongue. “So, what do they have on him?”
“From what I can tell … a lot.”
“My thoughts exactly.”
“Is there anything we can do for him?”
Taisei wrung his hands together. “Get him a good lawyer.”
After shrugging, Taisei turned away from Keisuke. “It depends on what all happened and where the missing gold went to.”
“Yeah. From what I was told, there was a large chunk of gold missing from the vault.”
Keisuke’s brow scrunched. “Yet John was trapped inside when the police arrived?”
“I know … it doesn’t make any sense at all.” Taisei motioned towards the door on the left wall. “Let’s figure out what happened first.”
“That sounds like a plan.” While Keisuke followed, he tried to avoid thinking about the why of the situation.
John sat in the corner of the common cell, refusing to even acknowledge the insults shot him way from the other prisoners. He continued to weep, but his tears had stopped flowing long ago. This has to be a dream or something. After licking his salty lips, he pinched his arm. He yelped. No … not a dream. His mouth dried. Was I drugged again like that night with Haru?
The stink of piss and shit hung heavy in the cramped cell. The bars were grimy, and the floor did more than cling to his skin. The grunts and jockeying by the other prisoners made it hard to concentrate or even despair.
With his patience running thin, John stood up. “Why can’t the lot of you just shut up?”
A group of the loudest prisoners turned towards John. They were clearly preparing to extend their jabbering in his direction. The biggest one opened his mouth.
John’s rage flared to life, thinking about how terrible this day had been. He clenched his fists and gritted his teeth. “I said —”
The door to the cell swung open with a crack, and two police officers stepped in.
After John killed his rage, he sunk back down into his corner. Today was the worst day of his life. Well … the second worst.
The old bigot officer from earlier snapped his fingers. “Foreigner!”
John ignored him. He balled himself up and buried his face in his arms.
“Can you hear me, you dirty foreigner?” Loud, clacking footsteps announced the bigot’s approach.
John continued to ignore him.
A sharp pain shot through John’s side.
Before writhing about on the floor, John clutched at his side. He looked up. “Bastard.”
The bigot knelt beside John. “If you don’t get up, I’m going to kick you again and again until we have to pull you out in a wheelchair.”
Coughing, John nodded. “Fine.”
John growled, but he held his tongue. After pushing himself to his feet, he followed the two police officers from the cell and into a nearby office.
The bright, white lights that beamed in the room filled John’s eyes with spots. It was hard to see anything. A large mirror — probably a two-way mirror — spanned across the whole right wall. Potted plants lined the left, and a nondescript door, akin to the one John had just come through, stood across from him. A heavy-looking, rectangular table sat in the center of the room with two figures on the other side of it. The door behind John slammed shut.
While blinking, John rubbed at his eyes. “Am I here to get interrogated again?”
“In a way,” a pair of voices, on the edge of familiarity, said.
“What?” John’s vision cleared.
Taisei and Keisuke sat at the table, both smiling, though those smiles never reached their eyes.
“Are the two of you here to get me out?” John approached the table and took the seat across from them.
Keisuke shook his head. “I wish.”
With a frown marring his features, John scoffed. “I should have figured as much from the do nothing duo.” Why am I taking out my anger on my friends?
“You sound like Ami.” Keisuke smirked.
“Sorry.” John places his head on the table. “It’s just that this whole situation doesn’t make any sense.”
“That’s why we’re here,” Taisei said, “to help you sort this out and get this whole mess cleaned up.”
“What’s there to sort out?” After sitting up straight, John shrugged. “I went to work, met —” I should keep the magic bullshit to myself or even my own friends may commit me to a crazy house … or drug rehab clinic at the very least. “— a guy and ended up here.”
Keisuke arched an eyebrow. “How did meeting a guy land you in jail?”
Taisei cleared his throat.
“I mean,” Keisuke said, “what did this guy do to you, to get you to attempt to rob a securities firm?”
Tell me the truth of my existence. Before the thought could come to words, John killed it. He looked up and to the left. “He … threatened me with a long, jagged knife, and … his friend threatened one of my students … so I didn’t fight back.” That sounded awful.
Keisuke sighed as if in relief. “That makes sense.”
Really? John narrowed his eyes. “Why did you sigh?”
“Oh … that wasn’t a sigh … it was a … I mean, I’m just happy you decide to embark into a life of crime.”
Taisei clenched his fists. “Are your students okay?”
“I hope so.” Before scratching the tip of his nose, John bit into his lower-lip. “He promised me that he’d leave them alone before abandoning me in the vault.”
“So,” Taisei said, “he’s the one with the gold.”
John nodded. “Of course.”
Taisei stood and motioned for Keisuke, to do the same. “Just relax and keep your head, John. We’re going to get you out of here.”
John swallowed, guilt hitting him in the gut like a brick. “Thanks.”
Keisuke and Taisei walked from the room, nodding to a pair of guards when they stepped outside.
Before rising out of his seat, John groaned. Lying to his friends had left a bad taste in his mouth, but it couldn’t be helped. I’ll never get my peace back if everyone thinks I’m crazy. He turned away from the table.
Moments later, the bigot officer and his overweight friend came in from the back door. The lecherous smiles that decorated their faces said that they expected John to resist.
“Or revenge,” a small, gravelly voice — different from John’s — said in the back of his head.
John ignored the intrusive thought, and without protesting, allowed the police officers to drag him from the room.
Keisuke gulped down the lukewarm water that tasted like rust and tossed the tiny, paper cup into the trash can. I can’t believe that he could lie like that with a straight face, but at least he didn’t tell an outsider about our powers.
After Taisei had explained the situation and devised a plan with the other police officers, the discussion room beside the interrogation room had emptied out save for Taisei and Keisuke himself. Now it was quiet. Too quiet considering Taisei’s frantic pacing on the other side of the room. The thick fog of tobacco still clouded the air, stinking and making it hard to breathe.
Rubbing at his eyes, Keisuke coughed. How can so few people smoke so much in such a short amount of time?
Taisei clicked his phone closed and groaned.
Keisuke refrained from smirking. No luck?”
“Unlike earlier, no matter how many times I call, it just goes straight to voicemail.”
“That’s too bad.”
“No, it’s frustrating.”
“I can imagine.”
Taisei stared at his phone. “This piece of junk has been giving me problems ever since I got it, and now, it’s like five years old.”
“It’s not funny.” Taisei locked eyes with Keisuke. “Now you have to call Ami.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Slow your roll.”
“She has to know.”
After considering it for the briefest of seconds, Keisuke shook his head. “No, she doesn’t.”
“Yes … she does.”
“Because despite how you feel about her, she is one of John’s closest friends.”
“Only because —” Moe ordered us to watch him. “— she wants to get in his pants.”
Taisei slapped himself in the forehead. “Just fucking call her!”
“Fine!” Keisuke pulled out his smartphone and wondered why he had never deleted Ami’s number. Because Moe relays her orders through me … .
The first attempt to call Ami took forever to connect, but when it did, it went straight to voicemail.
After several more tries to the same end, Keisuke shoved his smartphone into his pocket. “Same results. Her phone must be off.”
Taisei chewed on his upper-lip. “Okay … one second, and I’ll give you a ride home.”
“Thanks.” I’ll discuss this with Moe when I get home.
After turning on his heels, Taisei stepped from the room.
Keisuke waited, trying to come up with a way to explain the shit-storm that had went down.
Ami huffed while she ran towards the Omiya Police Department Head Quarters. How could this happen?
Despite the hour, people still crowded the sidewalks by Omiya station as she made her way to the other side. The stench of rotten eggs buffeted her in the face.
Gagging as she slowed, Ami spun around the fat man responsible. “Fuck-tard! Hold that in!”
Fatty grunted and rubbed the back of his head. “Sorry.” Despite his words, he didn’t appear the least bit abashed.
Ami bared her teeth but held in her desire to flay the fat pig. “Eat shit and die, Fatty!”
He opened his mouth.
I have wasted too much time as it is! Before any words crossed his fat lips, Ami increased her pace and dashed towards the exit.
School children packed the stairs down and out of the station, moving slower than Keisuke in a sparring match. They conversed about video games, anime and other sports, the variety creating a cacophony of noise.
Ami growled and rapped one of the children on the back of the head. “What do the lot of you think you are doing! Not only is it past your bedtimes, but these are the stairs out of the station. Move aside!”
The child she had hit began to cry. Neither he nor his friends budged.
After leaning in close to the child — face to face — she cracked her knuckles. “If you want to cry, I can give you something to cry about.”
He yelped and scurried to the side. His friends soon followed suit.
Once she made back out into the open, she hauled ass, thinking about John with every spine rattling step. From the way Taisei put it, they have enough evidence to put John away for a long time. She swallowed before turning a corner. Should I break him out?
The thought lifted weights in her head. She would do it. If there was no other option, she would use gold and rescue him from jail. But then what?
Ami wrestled with the idea until she reached the police station. We will run away together. She found herself smiling. Go somewhere far, far away. Just the two of us. After taking a deep breath, she marched up the stairs. We will be happy where no one — especially Keisuke — will be able to bother us.
Inside the police station, few people remained. Regardless, it still smelled like vomit and piss. On top of it all, the TVs blared the baseball game replay. The older man behind the reception desk stood when she approached.
While trying to appear confident, Ami nodded towards the back room. “I am here to John.”
The older police officer scoffed, and a frown flashed across his face. “Visiting hours are over.”
“I was told there would be an exception.”
Ami placed her hands on her hips and stopped herself from assaulting the officer with the narrowest of margins. “Let me speak with your supervisor.” I should just burn and walk past him.
“I am the supervisor.”
Screaming, Ami’s frustration overwhelmed her. “If you do not stop playing games with me, I will make you regret it.”
“Oh really?” The elderly man arched an eyebrow.
“Two phone calls.”
The old man blinked.
If Moe would actually get off of her lazy ass … . “One to Taisei to learn your name and the name of whoever is in charge. Then one to my company which has ties to DIET.”
“Oh … you’re the one that Taisei said would come.”
“Yes … .” Ami ground her teeth, using every last gram of her strength to avoid throttling this man. “I am.”
The man waved his hand. “Then go right in.”
“Thank you.” After shoving past the old police officer, she maneuvered through the narrow walkway of desks.
A sign on pointed to the far left door. It said, “This way to the prisoner conference rooms.”
Ami gathered her confidence and strolled into a conference room. I hope this is the right —
The far door opened, and John stumbled into the room as if shoved.
Ami’s heart skipped a beat. Her mouth dried.
John’s puffy, bloodshot eyes and disheveled, green-tipped hair shouted for her to dash across the room and embrace him.
With great difficulty, she restrained herself. In truth, Ami’s nerves were frozen. Her heart raced, and her hands trembled. “John?”
John blinked, and only then, seemed to notice her. “Ami? Is that you?”
Ami forced herself to smile. “Yes.” She rose on wobbly legs and walked over to John. “Are you alright?”
After shaking his head, tears formed in John’s crimson-colored eyes. “I —”
You can do this! Ami wrapped her arms around John and squeezed him in a tight hug. Come on, this is your chance to kiss him! She patted him on the back. “It’s okay. I am here.” Stupid! I am so stupid!
“Thank you, Ami.”
A shiver shot down her spine when his breath brushed past her neck. You love him! Kiss him now! “You know I am always her for you.”
“I know what happened.” Ami ran her fingers through his soft hair. A heat rushed between her legs, and she found herself panting. “John … .”
“I … .” John hugged Ami back, holding onto her as if his life depended on it.
A moan slipped through her lips, and Ami hoped that he had not heard it. “I have something I want to ask you.”
“What is it?”
Will you be my boyfriend and love me forever? Ami could not force the words to come out.
Disappointed in herself, she rubbed her cheek against the side of his head. She kissed at the side of his head, sure he could not feel it. Why could she not just confess to him? Why could she not just place her lips to his? If his soft skin were any indicator, his lips would be delicious. Images and desires danced through her head. Silently counting to three, she pulled back and locked eyes with John. Now was the time to kiss him.
“What did you want to ask me?” John’s eyes appeared hollow while he spoke, and his voice sounded as if his spirit had been broken.
Ami eased forward and froze just before her nose touched his. Kiss him now! “Who was the man that you told Taisei about?”
John frowned. “I didn’t mention his name?”
Before pulling back, Ami shook her head and allowed her nose to brush across his. The contact caused her face to blush, but it was the best she could manage. “No … .”
“It was an odd guy named Hyuga.”
Ami’s heart skipped a beat. “What did you say?”
“I said his name was Hyuga.”
Swallowing, Ami released John. “I … .” Her teeth chattered despite her best efforts to still them. She found her breaths coming in ragged gasps. “I will get you out of here. I promise.” The terror coursing through her veins fogged her vision. Before John could say another word, she stepped from the room and pulled out her cellphone.
Keisuke groaned when his smartphone began to ring. Who the fuck is calling me at this hour?
The boisterous rap music, flashing lights and vibrations had the smartphone dancing on the small table next to his bed. The sudden light that filled the room sent pain coursing from his eyes, to his lower-back. Moe rolled over and jabbed Keisuke in the ribs.
Grunting in agony, Keisuke clutched at his side. “What was that for?”
Moe opened her eyes then squinted. “Take your damn phone and answer it in the other room.”
She is rather beautiful when she’s not wearing a stitch of clothing. Blood rushed down between his legs, and Keisuke became erect despite having had sex not thirty minutes ago. “I have a better idea … .”
“No.” Moe rolled back over and put a pillow atop her head. “We have already fucked four times tonight. No more until I get some sleep.”
“Fine.” That’s too bad. Keisuke closed his eyes once his smartphone stopped ringing.
When his smartphone started going off again, a rustling noise preceded an eye bulging punch to the gut.
Keisuke gasped for air.
Moe reached over Keisuke, rubbing her soft breasts across his face.
Ignoring the pain, Keisuke gathered himself and brushed his tongue across Moe’s nipple. He pulled it into his mouth and sucked on it until it became as hard as his dick.
While moaning, Moe grabbed his smartphone. “What did I just tell you?” She pulled her breast out of his mouth and slapped his smartphone down onto his chest. “Take your hard penis and your phone into the other room and deal with them by yourself.”
“Awww, you know you want to.”
Keisuke sighed before climbing from the bed and moving into the living room. He turned on a light then gawked at his phone.
Ami was calling him.
“What the fuck does she want?” His voice rang louder than he had expected it to.
“Quiet!” Moe sounded like she was getting rather pissed.
This made Keisuke even hornier. She always fucked him harder when she was pissed off. After repressing his urges, he answered the phone. “What the fuck do you want?”
“Keisuke?” Ami’s voice cracked, and it sounded like she was trembling.
“I … .”
“Spit it out.”
“I just spoke with John.”
Is that what this is about? Keisuke chuckled. “I told you that John wouldn’t love you back.”
Ami inhaled sharply. “I will kill you.”
“Not in a fair fight.”
“I will kill you in your sleep. With a knife. Or a spoon.”
After taking several labored breaths, Ami yelled into her phone.
Keisuke yelped before pulling his smartphone away from his ears. He rubbed at his ear before returning his smartphone to it. “If you ever do that again, I’ll —”
“Just shut up and listen.”
“I don’t want to hear your sob story about how John didn’t want to date you.”
“Unfortunately, I was unable to confess to him when he was alone.”
“Fuck you. Although … I did learn who led him into that securities firm.”
Keisuke rolled his eyes. “And why did you call me? You should have told the police.”
“There is nothing they could do.”
“It was Hyuga.”
Keisuke moved his smartphone to his other ear. “I’m sorry. … I must have misheard you. I thought you said, Hyuga was the one who dragged John into a vault full of gold.”
“You didn’t mishear.”
After brushing his tongue across his teeth, Keisuke swallowed. “Meet me by the station in the morning. I’ll tell Moe now.”
“I figured the two of you were fucking tonight. I hope I interrupted.”
Keisuke couldn’t help but to chuckle. “Bye.” Once he hung up the phone, he rushed back into the bedroom. “Moe, wake up!”
Moe growled. “I swear to the heavens … .”
“It’s Hyuga.” Keisuke’s voice squeaked. “He’s returned to Japan.”
Next: BURNING Chapter 11