Tokyo Demons Book 2: Chapter 6, Part 2
A downloadable package of this chapter (.pdf, .epub, and .mobi) is available in the Sparkler Monthly Issue #005 back issue.
Ayase kept her eyes screwed shut. She bit her lip hard enough to draw blood. Flattened against the wall in her hotel room, she scraped her shaking fingernails against the wallpaper.
Don’t transform! she ordered herself. DON’T! TRANSFORM!
But fire burned along the edges of every cell in her body. Her pounding heart tried to fragment into deadly, piercing pieces that would burst through her ribcage and shatter it into more weapons.
She clamped down on that instinct with everything she had. And she forced herself to watch, through fragmented eyes, at Kadoyuki sobbing in Touya’s grip.
Touya let out a thin breath through his teeth. His gloved hand clenched on Kado’s collar.
“Are you threatening me?” he asked Kiyoshi lowly. “When I risked everything to save your life?”
Kiyoshi hesitated for a second; Jo saw something dance through his dark eyes. But then those eyes dragged back to Kado’s trembling form.
“Leave him alone,” Kiyoshi demanded. “He’s half your size.”
“He attacked me.”
“You attacked Jo! And k-kissed him!”
A sneer curled Touya’s mouth. “How did you know I kissed Jo?” he asked in a tone of ice.
Kiyoshi stopped. He opened his mouth, but offered nothing.
Jo’s thundering heart pushed words up his throat. “W-we’re sorry!” he croaked. “We set up a camera in here!”
Touya swung his head to Jo. Jo tried not to panic under Touya’s searing gaze.
“You’re lying,” he snapped.
Jo shook his head. “It was…awhile ago. After the last meeting. We were just trying to protect ourselves–”
“You’re lying,” Touya snarled. “None of you have been near this place since then.”
Jo didn’t know what to say. The back of his head still throbbed from being slammed into the wall; his spinning mind whirled through flimsy excuses.
Kiyoshi clenched his teeth. He ran into the room and slammed full-force into Touya.
Kado collapsed as he was released; Kiyoshi and Touya went crashing into the bedside table, knocking a lamp and phone to clatter loudly to the floor. Kiyoshi crammed Touya against the wall, but the upperclassman snarled and grabbed a handful of Kiyoshi’s hair.
Touya’s fist rammed into Kiyoshi’s stomach hard enough to lift the boy into the air. When Kiyoshi sagged on his feet, Touya dragged him by the hair to crash through the splintering table.
Jo cried out and ran for them. “Touya!” he shouted. “You’ll break his neck!”
Touya released Kiyoshi to fall hard on the floor, the broken table collapsing on top of him. Touya snorted and wiped his chin.
“You’re an idiot,” he muttered. “I could break you like a twig.”
When Jo saw Kiyoshi twitch, the adrenaline-fueled panic released its death grip from his heart. But a sick feeling moved in when he saw the look of disgust on Touya’s face.
Touya was their informant. He was probably protecting them. As much as Jo was scared of the guy, he was way more scared of whatever he kept Core from doing to them.
To Jo’s horror, Kiyoshi shoved aside the broken table and scrambled into a crouch. Before Jo could stop him, Kiyoshi tackled Touya around the waist.
The two of them clipped Jo before slamming into the floor. As they struggled on the carpet, Jo grabbed at Kiyoshi’s shirt and tried to pull him off.
“KIYOSHI!” Jo yelled. “BACK OFF!”
The fabric was wrenched from Jo’s fingers as Touya rolled Kiyoshi into the floor. He grabbed Kiyoshi’s flailing arms and pinned them into the carpet by his head. Kiyoshi cursed and wrenched his wrists, but Touya’s arms were like unmoving posts hammered into the ground.
“The hacker died,” Touya spat through labored breathing. “And you got to live, you ungrateful little snot.”
“W-we didn’t come here to fight you!” Jo tried.
“Shut up,” Touya hissed as he threw a furious gaze up at Jo.
There was loathing in Touya’s eyes. This was a far cry from Touya’s dangerous elegance, or even his razor-edged warnings–this was hatred, wild and unrestrained in a way Jo had never seen. Touya looked…overwhelmed. Possessed.
And his pupils were dilated.
Touya swung his head back to the boy pinned under him. “You only survived Pitch because it barely touched you. You and that useless thug Nick Marshall. You think a few little shots in the arm can turn a soft, boring human into some kind of super soldier.” Touya grunted. “That was nothing. You’re nothing.”
Jo wanted to say something, but he was too scared he would make this worse. Could they still salvage their relationship with Touya? Did they want to? Jo swept his gaze back to Kado; the kid was still crumpled on the floor, curled protectively around his right leg. Jo’s stomach sank.
Is it too late?! Jo thought.
Kado’s bloodshot eyes rose from the floor. He caught Jo’s terrified gaze.
And shook his head.
Jo forced himself to breathe. He dropped to his knees beside Touya, causing the upperclassman to look up.
“I-I’m sorry,” Jo offered, spreading his hands in supplication. “You’ve helped us. We owe you.”
Touya bared his teeth. “If you’re ready to offer yourself now,” he snarled, “I’m not in the mood for sex.”
Kiyoshi’s face darkened. He clenched his fists.
“Pervert,” Kiyoshi spat.
Touya ground his hips down, pushing Kiyoshi’s diaphragm into the carpet. “You’re in over your head, Honda,” he shot as Kiyoshi gasped for breath under him. “When was your last dose of Pitch? You can’t–”
“When was yours?” Jo asked.
Touya stopped. He looked up through his ruffled bangs, suddenly defensive.
Jo swallowed. “When was your last dose, senpai?” He pointedly stared at Touya’s wrist, and the trail of dark veins on the skin between his glove and a pushed-up sleeve.
Touya finally released Kiyoshi’s arms. He sat back, tugging his sleeve down as something dark flitted across his face.
He took a short, angry breath. “Two hours ago.”
Shit. Did that mean Touya was high?
“So…we should get the hell out of your face,” Jo offered weakly.
“Yes,” Touya snapped.
Jo felt a tiny thread of tension loosen in the room. Touya got to his feet, strangely quiet as he adjusted both his gloves.
It was all Jo needed. He helped Kiyoshi get up before crawling over to Kado. But when he tried to move the boy, Kado cried out and gripped his leg.
“I-I can’t stand up,” Kado wheezed.
Kiyoshi cursed and wiped sweat from his face. “Don’t cry,” he said gently. “I’ll carry you, okay?”
Jo could see Kado recoil slightly from the touch…but he still let Kiyoshi slide an arm under his knees and lift him from the floor. He whimpered as his bad leg dangled unnaturally from Kiyoshi’s careful grip.
Kiyoshi paled. “That’s definitely broken,” he breathed.
Touya growled. “I went easy on you, Honda. Now get the hell out of here before I change my mind.”
Move it, Kiyoshi!
Jo practically dragged Kiyoshi and Kado into the hallway. Ayase, her wig half-tilted on her natural hair, stuck her head out from the room next door.
Jo glanced back through the destroyed doorway. Touya’s eyes met his, cold and furious.
Jo ran. He shoved Kiyoshi ahead of him, but the guy didn’t need much prodding. Ayase took up the rear as confused patrons opened doors along the hall.
Jo didn’t look back.
Proceed to Chapter 6, Part 2, page 2–>