Chapter 14: Dinner With Loved Ones (Rig)
Special chapter! Enjoy!
Time has been flying by.
There was only two days until the wedding, and Rig couldn't wait for it. Helena told him that everything was officially ready last week, so the only thing he's been doing is working and thinking about how his life will change with Kasumi as his wife. The thought of it used to make him nervous, but now he has no reason to doubt whether or not he'll be happy. He's glad that he and Kasumi didn't give up on each other when it seemed like the easy way out. These past few months have been hell, he briefly thought. Between giving in to his impulsive desires, working on his company's new product and preparing for his wedding, Rig didn't have much time to relax. That's going to change soon because Rig sees himself as the type of man who learns from his mistakes.
As he took a second to glance at the clock, he realized that he has a lot of time until he has to go home and get ready for tonight's dinner party. He could barely hide how excited he was about seeing Kasumi again – even if it'll only be for a couple of hours. His mind slowly wandered to thoughts about his business, which has been demanding more of his attention than it ever had. He already saw the modified version of the drug when he met Jacky and Christie on the night of his bachelor party before giving Jacky the necessary documents for the drug to be shipped. Rig was skeptical about having that drug created and sold on the streets, but when his father pointed out how much money they were making from it, he saw how his father was right. As long as all of the documents are kept hidden somewhere safe, no one will know about any of this. No one can know that Donovan Industries is behind this.
The was a knock at his office door before it opened to reveal Rig's father, Victor Donovan. It was unusual for his father to randomly stop by his office, so Rig put the papers that he was currently reviewing aside and focused on the man that he always looked up to. Victor entered the room and closed the door then sat down across from his son. "Good morning, Rig. Allow me to get straight to the point so you can continue whatever you were doing before I came in. Have you finished making the contract for H. Enterprises?"
"Yes. I already had it sent to the company although I haven't heard from the CEO yet," Rig answered.
"Good. I'm sure you know that Jo Hayabusa is a very powerful and well-respected man who has done wonderful things with his business. Keep in mind that I've been trying to form a partnership with him for years. This is the closest that the plan has ever gotten and we can't let it fail now," Victor warned.
"I know," Rig replied, nodding. Something about the plan didn't seem right, so Rig decided to voice his worries. "But, Dad, if Jo finds out why we're trying to do this, he could take down Donovan Industries without much effort. Is that a risk we should take?"
Victor frowned then spoke. "I don't think you understand what we're aiming for. If Jo Hayabusa agrees to the contract, we will have everything we need in order to have our drug shipped to and sold in nearly any country around the world. Imagine how much money we could make from that. Besides, I came up with a little plan that would prevent us from being 'taken down' as you call it."
The way Victor said the last part made Rig nervous, but his curiosity overruled it. "What did you come up with?"
"Don't get angry, but something about your fiancée's name convinced me to do some research," he began. "Kasumi Matsuo is the daughter of Shiden Matsuo, who just so happens to be one of the best lawyers in the world. If anything goes wrong, we can hide all of the evidence and have him represent Donavan Industries in court. It'll be easy for him to get us out of any situation. He might even be willing to help considering you're going to be marrying his daughter. Convenient, right?"
So many things were wrong with what his father said, and it didn't take Rig long to put it in a list. First, he didn't like that plan as soon as Kasumi was mentioned. Second, he wouldn't dare use her father to get out of trouble with the law if they ever got caught. Third, he couldn't believe that it seemed like his father only approved of the marriage because of the possible benefits. I didn't know her dad was a lawyer. I need to shut this down now, he thought.
"If you think I'm going to marry Kasumi because of her father's career, you're wrong. I love her and would never use her or put her and her family in danger. If something goes wrong, we'll handle it another way. I don't approve of your plan and I won't let it happen," Rig declared. The thought of doing that to Kasumi made him sick, so he's determined to avoid it.
Rig quietly watched his father shake his head in disappointment for a few seconds. Victor stopped then met his son's gaze with a stern one of his own. "As CEO, you have to do what's necessary for Donovan Industries to remain successful. Whatever your doing to get things done doesn't matter as long as everything works out. There will be a time when you'll have to use someone to your advantage and I advise you to get ready for it, son. Also, if you truly loved your fiancée, you wouldn't have cheated on her with that prostitute Christie so many times."
Rig didn't say anything while Victor stood up and left the room. He knew that his father always had expectations for what he wanted Rig to be capable of, but lately Rig has been feeling like he's under a lot of pressure. He didn't have to mention my affair, Rig thought. Rig was used to the brutal honesty although the willingness to use a past mistake against someone was something unfamiliar. Guilt was a feeling that Rig hated experiencing – that's why he rushed to Kasumi as soon as one of his security guards told him that she was at the park.
He knew moving the wedding ahead was stupid, but he had to choose which rough path to travel at the time. If he would've told Kasumi the whole truth, she wouldn't have wanted to go through with the wedding. She would've left him where he stood and eventually moved on, which was something that Rig didn't want. I would rather deal with the stress of rushing the wedding than losing Kasumi, he decided. It's a small price to pay. Now he has to make sure his secrets remain secret and everyone is happy without things falling apart.
He suddenly grabbed a pen and threw it against a wall before he placed his head in his hands. The frustration from trying to figure out what he should do was beginning to make him angry. Maybe he's right. If I'm going to run this business, I have to do it the way it needs to be done. That might mean he'll have to look past what he considers right or wrong whenever it's necessary. It'll be a complicated line to cross, especially since he wants to be the most successful CEO of Donovan Industries and a good husband.
Rig was too wrapped up in his situation to notice how quickly time passed. He didn't notice until seconds after Kokoro entered his office to tell him that it was almost time for him to go get ready. He quickly gathered his things and told her to take the rest of the week off then left his office.
Despite coming home a few minutes after the intended time, Rig still had enough time to change. He already showered and brushed his teeth and he was currently trying to make a decision about what he should wear. After five minutes of staring at his clothes, he grabbed a navy blue button-down shirt and khaki pants then went to put the items on. Now that he was officially ready, he grabbed his keys and went outside. He almost ran into Christie, who was wearing a very short red dress and had a hand raised as if she was going to knock on the door.
He stopped and glared at her while she smiled at him. "Why are you here?"
"I came to see what you were up to. We could go out tonight," she answered, touching his arm. He moved out of her grip and walked to his car.
"No, I have other things to do that will not involve you. I told you to stay the hell away from me anyway. I finally fixed my relationship with my fiancée, so I don't need you ruining it again," he declared.
"Hmmm, the strawberry blonde? She's cute and I guess you're only with her because she's wife material. I personally don't think she has much to offer, but I'll love to find out myself if you catch my drift."
Rig slammed the door to his car then turned to face Christie. "Listen! Whatever was going on between us is over now, so you have no reason to keep bothering me. Do not talk about Kasumi that way either. If you do not leave me alone, I will make you regret it. I swear."
Christie laughed in his face and went to her own car. Before she got in though, she glanced back at Rig and spoke. "I'm not worried about your little threat, honey. You're going to miss not being with a real woman sooner or later."
Rig ignored her comment while he got in his car and left. Minutes later, he parked outside of the restaurant that was rented for the dinner party. He took a deep breath and removed all thoughts about what Christie said from his mind then got out of the car. Jann Lee was the first person Rig saw standing outside, so he walked over to him.
"Hey, man," Jann Lee greeted. "Are you ready for the best day of your life? It's only two days away."
"Trust me, I am," Rig responded. Jann Lee simply patted him on the back and led him into the restaurant. Both his and Kasumi's close friends and family members were here, which helped Rig relax. He talked to every person as he walked around then eventually found himself standing in front of Kasumi's parents. Her father didn't like Rig – probably never will – but it was okay because Rig thought that her mother was very nice and caring. If they knew anything about what happened between him and Kasumi, they didn't act like it. I wouldn't know what to do if they ever confronted me about it.
"Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Matsuo," he greeted. "How are you?"
"We're fine," Ayame replied. "What about you?"
"I'm kind of nervous although I do feel better around my friends, family, and future family," Rig informed. He chose to ignore the small frown that appeared on her husband's face and continued. "Have you seen Kasumi?"
"She isn't here," Shiden revealed. Rig's eyes widened in surprise and he tried to think of something to say. Ayame gave Shiden, who was smirking at Rig's fear, a look of disbelief then placed a hand on Rig's arm.
"I believe my husband was trying to tell you that Kasumi will be a few minutes late," she explained.
"Yes. It was lost in translation," Shiden added, still smirking. "Forgive me."
Rig was stunned by the man's level of sarcasm; he was sure most of it was natural and the rest came from years of practice. Fortunately, he was saved from the awkward part of the conversation by Jann Lee, who was on the other side of the room and loudly calling his name. The parents excused themselves and walked away before Rig went to where his best friend was standing.
"Dude, I saw that terrified look on your face. I knew I had to get you out of that conversation," Jann claimed, lowering his voice a little.
"Thanks for having my back. I wish I knew why Kasumi's dad doesn't like me," he confided.
"You're marrying his first daughter. That might be enough reason for him to kidnap you and leave you in the middle of a desert to starve."
"I know he would if it wasn't against the law. Hell, he could probably do it and not get caught. Jann, do you think they know about what I did?"
"Yes and no. Yes because last time I was around Kasumi and her parents, I could tell that they already knew something. No because Leifang told me that Kasumi snapped on Hayate for bringing up something that he shouldn't have in front of her parents, sister and other friends. She wouldn't tell me what it was about, though. Whatever it was had to be something that Kasumi wanted to keep to herself."
"Really? It's hard to imagine Kasumi yelling at someone," Rig claimed. "I'm curious about what could've made her respond to Hayate like that, but I won't say anything about it since I still have secrets of my own."
Jann turned to him, confusion written in his features. "Wait, let me get this straight. You went to Kasumi and told her 'everything' when in reality you're still hiding things from the woman who is about to be your wife? That's a bad thing to do, Rig. What the hell could you still be hiding?"
"I didn't tell her that the woman I was with was Christie," he confessed, whispering. "I told Kasumi what happened, but didn't reveal the name or what she does for money. Kasumi didn't tell me the name of the man she slept with either, but did say he was a stripper."
It was Rig's turn to be confused when Jann's expression changed to one of shock and – possibly – understanding. Before he could question it, his friend's eyes shifted to something that was behind Rig then refocused on his face. Jann nervously chuckled and said, "It might not matter after tonight. Kasumi's here."
Rig turned around and instantly saw Kasumi, who was wearing a gray dress and talking to her friends near the entrance. He excitedly approached her then opened his arms for a hug. He relaxed even more when she returned it and lowered his mouth closer to her ear. "I missed you."
"I missed you, too," she stated. She stepped back and continued. "I would've shown up sooner, but I took a nap earlier today and accidentally overslept. It looks like I showed up just in time."
Rig nodded in agreement then followed Kasumi to where they were going to sit. After everyone settled down, Helena stood up and went to the podium that faced the crowd. "Good evening, everyone. My name is Helena Douglas. Tonight we're here to celebrate the upcoming marriage of Kasumi Matsuo and Rig Donovan."
The crowd cheered after Helena gestured to Rig and Kasumi. She kept speaking when the crowd calmed down. "Don't worry, the celebration will be even better on the special day. This dinner party serves as the last time that the beautiful lovers will be with each other before they make the transition to husband and wife. Waiters and waitresses will be out to take your orders in a moment. Feel free to come to the microphone and give a speech whenever you want to."
It seemed like a typical day at a restaurant while everyone's order was taken and their food was delivered. When things went back to how they were, Jann Lee took a break from eating and got up to go to the podium. Oh no, Rig thought as he watched Jann remove the microphone and stand closer to Kasumi and him.
"Hey, everyone. I'm Rig's Best Man and wanted to give my speech now just in case I don't get a chance to during the reception," he announced. "When Rig told me he was going to propose to the woman that he was dating for three years at the time, I laughed at him. I honestly didn't know he was serious about that; a part of me thinks my doubt really encouraged him to go through with it. The day he came to my apartment to share the news of his engagement with me is a day I can easily remember.
"Not only was I surprised that he actually got Kasumi to say yes, I was also surprised by how much Rig changed over those years. He went from a guy who didn't know what a stable relationship was to a guy who wanted nothing but that in his life. Change is good, so of course I was happy for my best friend. Kasumi, you're a wonderful friend and a great person. I will never understand how you managed to wrap him around your finger, but I think you did a damn good job because he likes it. Rig, you better treat Kasumi right. There is no one else in the world like her, don't let her go. If you do, I know another guy will gladly step in and do right. You're a smart man, so none of us have to worry about that. I wish you two the best of luck."
"I won't. I promise," Rig replied. Jann's speech was better than Rig thought it would be. He also didn't miss the subtle warnings that were in it. Why were all of my past mistakes brought up today? He hoped that it wasn't some kind of sign, if it was then he needed to figure out how to prevent it. The crowd clapped and Jann Lee put the microphone back in its place then took his seat. Rig shifted his eyes over to Kasumi, who was thanking Jann Lee for his speech. As he silently observed, Rig's mind began to replay the conversations that had occurred earlier today. They bothered him a lot, making him wonder if his father or Christie was right.
The idea of Kasumi being with another guy also gave him chills; it was something that he couldn't even imagine. He desperately wanted to know more about the stripper that Kasumi was with – wanted to know what was so special about him to make her come back to him again. She's always been faithful, but alcohol does change how a person acts. I wish I was in a better state of mind when Christie showed up. He regrets being drunk to the point where he decided it was okay to have sex with a prostitute; after Christie told him a few weeks ago that's what she does for a living, he immediately went to a doctor to get tested. All results came back negative, which was the best thing he ever heard since Kasumi agreed to marry him.
"Rig?" Kasumi called. He absently hummed in response while he tried to figure out if anyone said something that could jeopardize his relationship with Kasumi. "Are you okay?"
He calmed down when Kasumi placed a hand over his. The almost-constant suspicion was beginning to weigh heavy on his shoulders and distract him from important moments. "I'm good. I was just thinking about some stuff. Why?"
"It didn't seem like you were paying attention when Tina, Ayane and Eliot gave their speeches," she informed. "You don't look so good, either. Maybe you should go home and get some rest."
Did I really stop listening? He barely slept during the past three days and it was very obvious to her. She knows me so well. He didn't want to leave her or the party, though. "I'm fine, Kasumi. I got a little too deep into my thoughts. That's all."
"No it isn't," she argued, shaking her head. "I'm happy that we managed to be together for a few hours today, but I'll feel a lot better if you followed my advice."
"Alright," he agreed. The worry could clearly be heard in her voice, so he decided to call it a night. She gave him a small smile then reached over and hugged him. Rig didn't want to leave although leaving would be better than making his fiancée worry more. He stepped back then gently squeezed her hand. "See you in two days."
"See you in two days," she repeated. Rig quickly but politely told everyone else that he had to leave before he walked out of the restaurant. He hoped the reason behind his odd behavior today was the lack of sleep.
Otherwise, I'll have to get some help fast.
Well, well, well. I've been trying to find a way to explain what was going on with Rig, so I decided to put the spotlight on him. I hope I did a good job on the interactions and characterization, especially Victor because I don't know that much about him.
Thanks for reading! Reviews would be nice.