With this chapter I will reach about 180,000 words. That is the length of two average books. Holy Moley. Thank you for reading this and giving me such beautiful reviews. My fiancé always knows when I post a chapter because I'm apparently walking on clouds for the following weeks every time I check my mail. Hehe.
I recently celebrated my birthday, today we got the first snow, and another chapter from Sensei is due - I want to celebrate! And what better way to do that than make you happy?
Love, from Sweden!
…. Let's begin!...
Ren glanced at the bag in front of him for the tenth time in as many minutes. It was filled to the brim with clothes and he already doubted he would be able to close it. He groaned and glared at the two shirts in his hands. There was no way they would fit, and he put them on the bed and sank down beside the bag it in defeat.
'Nervous much?' Justin asked inside his head and Ren bit back another groan. The character of Mary-Ann's husband had taken shape in his head more smoothly than expected and as soon as he had formed a mouth, he had put it to good use. Ren had suffered from endless commentary about his life the last few days and if he hadn't felt the restlessness oozing out of the character, he would have made Cain put a chokehold on him since long ago.
'Yes. Of course, I am. We are moving to the shooting location tomorrow.' Ren put a hand over his heart when the fact bubbled up to the surface again.
'Finally! I have missed my cute wife you know!' Justin made a loud cheer in his head. Ren felt Cain groan from a corner. He wasn't alone in the suffering at least.
'Ohh come on. You aren't only suffering. I can feel how excited and nervous you are.'
'I guess.' Ren admitted and glared at the bag on his bed again. He pulled a deep breath and flipped the lid close. A loud melody began to play, and Ren jumped a few centimeters off the ground before he recognized it and quickly hunted down his phone.
"Good evening, Kyoko." He couldn't fight the smile on his lips when he put the phone on speaker. He put the phone down on the bed as she returned the greeting.
"Good evening, Ren." He could hear her smile and the nervous energy in his body made him get up and begin to pace.
"Ready for tomorrow?" He asked and he heard her chuckle.
"I finished packing just now, I think. I have already finished four times so I'm not entirely sure there won't be a fifth." Ren laughed and felt some of the turmoil in his head still.
"I still haven't finished my first." Ren confessed and flipped the lid open on his bag again and tried to find some place to put the last two shirts.
"I thought you were used to packing by now? Or do Yashiro usually help you?"
"I usually pack my own bag." Ren frowned, dejected about her teasing tone.
"Then, how come you aren't finished yet?" She asked with a bit more worry entering her voice. Ren couldn't stop the blush on his cheeks. Ren used all his weight to stuff the shirts in one corner.
"I'm nervous." He confessed and pushed down harder on the lid and was finally able to push the zipper around one corner. He changed grip and worked the other end while he waited for her answer. He stopped himself after a little while and glanced on his phone to see if it still was connected.
"Why are you nervous?" Kyoko asked just when he was about to reach out to tap the screen.
"Why wouldn't I? It is a difficult script and it's a huge step towards my goal." Ren pouted a bit before his embarrassment made him pull the zipper a little harder and he managed two corners in one go. Just one left.
"Of course." Kyoko said and he could almost see her nodding with a face of thought. He chuckled and made a victory gesture when he managed to close the zipper around the last corner.
"Just so you know, I have finished packing now." He could hear Kyoko's chuckle from the other end after a moment's surprised silence.
"I thought men couldn't multitask." Kyoko tried to contain her laughter and Ren put the bag by the door and then climbed into bed. He turned off the speaker and put the phone to his ear.
"Well, I believe that is a myth. And if it isn't, you already know that I'm not like other men." He smiled as he turned his voice into a teasing one.
"I can't argue that." Kyoko deadpanned and Ren felt the smile grow on his lips when she hadn't fallen for his flirting.
"Hey, you make me sound like an alien." Ren complained and he heard Kyoko snort at the other end.
"Your planet better not send any more of your kind or I fear that earth would come to an end." Kyoko couldn't help the smirk from coloring her voice and Ren soaked in their easy teasing.
"I come in peace."
"If one Tsuruga Ren can make so many women crazy about him no men would have a chance if there were a handful of you."
"Oh, can I count on you being one of those women?" He intended to sound teasing, but Justin provided his opinion and he apparently sounded too hopeful to fool anyone.
"I'm your biggest fan." Kyoko stated confidently and Ren felt himself torn as it both pleased and disappointed him. "I probably know you better than most and I can say that I'm your fan with confidence."
"Thank you." Ren said and Justin provided that he had said it with a tone of irritation. That hadn't been his intention and he blushed. "For real. I'm honored. And I assure you that you know me better than anyone else."
"I hope to get to know you more." Kyoko said and Ren felt relieved when she had said it without teasing.
"The same." He smiled and then turned to the other side and groaned out loud when he saw his running shoes and bag of toiletries that he had forgotten to pack.
Kyoko put her bag in the wardrobe after she had unpacked her clothes. She turned around to take in the room again as she could barely believe it to be the one she would stay in for this round of shooting. It was as big as the one she had stayed in with Cain in Tokyo but this one didn't have a kitchen attached. Everything was one big open space and she had room for a queen size bed and a lounge area with two sofas and a low table. She peeked into the bathroom and saw a big tub with more buttons than should be necessary. She would have to stand in the tub to shower, but she didn't mind that. Kyoko returned to the big room and glanced around but stopped when she saw a door that she hadn't yet tried.
It was the same color as the wall and hid in the corner between the bed and wardrobe, so she hadn't noticed it before. She could see a lock over the handle with a little red dot over. It looked like a lock for a bathroom showing that it was occupied. A larger red circle could be seen over the first one. She couldn't figure out the purpose of two indicators but turned the lock and the smaller dot turned green. She tried the door, but it didn't move. She searched for the other lock but couldn't find it and the upper indicator still showed red.
A loud knock on her door made her call out in surprise and she flipped towards it.
"Kyoko-san?" Someone called for her and Kyoko took a moment to force her heartbeat back to healthy levels before she reached out her hand. She gripped the spirit of the confident actor out of the air and put it in her chest. She smiled brightly and walked to the door to open it.
"Hello." She greeted the person outside and bowed towards her. It was a woman slightly older than her with her hair up in a high bun and had dark clothes with a lot of pockets and Kyoko could see at least ten different strands of thread that clung to the fabric. The woman looked like she had just stepped away from sewing something.
"Hello." The woman smiled in return and bowed back. "I'm Mika from Wardrobe. I wondered if you were settled so we could go over some of your outfits and your wig?"
"Of course." Kyoko smiled back and checked her pocket for the key before closing the door behind her.
The woman named Mika led her towards a car waiting for them outside the entrance and they took the short ride to the set.
They were a few hours outside Tokyo and the landscape around them was rural. The hotel was located in a small town that simply flourished because it was located along one of the big highways that connected northern japan with the south. They rode for about five minutes and Mika pointed out where they were headed. A large house could barely be seen through a small patch of trees down the gravel road they traveled. They drove past large gates and Kyoko could see a handful of people outside moving equipment around a few temporary buildings that had been erected on both sides of the driveway.
The car came to a stop by the last of them and Kyoko followed when Mika climbed outside.
"Isn't it beautiful?" She asked and Kyoko followed her gaze towards the house. It was a western style, two storey building in grey and white bricks and with a black tile roof. White lined every window and the corners. A small porch in white and grey wood invited visitors to step closer. Kyoko pulled in a breath and smelled the scent of the flowers that could be seen everywhere in the garden. Ivy climbed over the wall in several places and roses joined them on either side of the porch. The garden made the place feel lived in and homey.
It was the castle that Mary-Ann would love.
"It really is." Kyoko answered Mika and smiled. "I look forward to shooting this movie even more!" The women giggled and Mika's smile turned warmer.
"Come here, let's meet my crew." Mika grinned and pulled Kyoko with her into a sea of new faces and new names to try to memorize.
Ren saw Kyoko from afar when she arrived at the site. He had left his bag in the car and rode with Yashiro directly to the site as Kurosaki had asked him to come as soon as he could. He had been a bit too early and Ren had taken an offered seat and a cup of coffee as he waited for the director to finish whatever task kept him busy. He couldn't mind waiting as he could watch Kyoko disappear into la-la-land at the sight of the house. The smile grew on his lips without him knowing and he soaked in the happy feelings in his chest.
'I'm working with an award-winning director, at a beautiful location, with the love of my life.'
"Tsuruga-san." A voice called him, and he turned his head to see the director walking up towards him. Ren got up on his feet and bowed towards him as he approached.
"Kurosaki-san." He greeted and couldn't help but smile when he was reminded of how the director used to dress. He was clad in a yellow dress shirt and pants made of a black leather-imitation.
"Thank you for meeting me as soon as possible."
"It's no problem. What can I do for you?" Ren asked and sat down in his chair again when the Director took the seat opposite him.
"I have been fighting with the schedule." Kurosaki frowned and put a heap of papers on the table between them. "The story will have three parts. The first is filled with a lot of story building between the main actors, dangers will approach but they will stand united." Kurosaki separated the papers into three different piles. "The middle part will be increasingly uncomfortable; the main actors will turn into the dangers of their home and turn against each other and the world. The last part will start when they begin to fight back. They will find themselves' again and it will be filled with complicated emotions." Kurosaki pointed towards the three piles and counted. "One two three."
"I noticed the three parts when we received the script. It will be hard but I'm confident that Kyoko-san and I will be able to portray them fairly."
"I know you will. What I'm asking is how to arrange the three parts to make it easier for your and Kyoko's emotions to develop in the right way. The first part needs to be extremely sweet and I know it's hard to do that convincingly before your characters have settled with each other." Kurosaki sighed and put his hand on the pile in the middle. "I was thinking about doing them roughly in the order two, three and then one. I'm just wondering if it will be hard for Kyoko in particular to make her character evolve in that direction." Kurosaki asked and Ren felt like laughing. He had almost snorted at the director's low expectations but then wondered when his own had grown so high. This was Kyoko's first leading role, and it was the first role with love as one of the main topics. He knew that she was in love and should be able to make the emotions believable, but he couldn't explain why he felt confident she would be able to act Mary-Ann without trouble.
"I believe you should ask Kyoko directly." Ren said and Kurosaki frowned.
"I find it hard to." Kurosaki admitted and Ren couldn't keep the surprise from coloring his face.
"May I ask why?" The slightly older man chuckled.
"I was planning to ask Kyoko to join us during this conversation. But when I saw her, I could barely recognize her. Everything has changed from the last time we worked together. And it has hardly been a year since then." Kurosaki said in shocked amazement. "Even her way of walking has changed since the script reading... It feels like I have no idea what to expect from her. It is an embarrassment as a director as I should know the people I hired." Ren couldn't help the laugh from slipping past his lips. Kurosaki gave him a troubled frown and Ren put his hand over his mouth in a try to keep it in.
"Have you heard about the Queen of beauty?" Ren asked and saw instant recognition on Kurosaki's face.
"Yes. A friend of mine is one of her protégés." Ren mused about how small the world was.
"Kyoko met that woman between the script reading and today. The Queen took a liking to her and gave her some confidence." Ren couldn't help the proud smile on his face. He had been even more rattled than Kurosaki when he first saw her after his mother's intervention. "And she is performing a role at the moment. The role of a confident and mature actress. If you meet Kyoko without anyone else around, the change won't be as huge as you imagine."
Kurosaki examined his face for signs that Ren was teasing him but couldn't find any.
"Why is she acting an actress?" He asked instead and Ren smiled fondly.
"She has never been a lead actress before. I think it is her way of escaping her own nervous feelings. She wants to succeed and believes this would help her on the way."
"Kyoko never ceases to amaze." The Director's smile grew and both men found themself grinning widely as they tried to guess what the girl would do next.
Kyoko listened to the sound of the dripping tap as she soaked in the warm bath. Fitting had taken hours and she had then been introduced to the makeup team that would work with her the next day. They had measured her head and had put her in a cap and quickly tried some different wigs to get a general idea. The real work would begin the next morning.
Kyoko soaked until the water turned cold and she climbed out of the tub and dried herself on a fluffy towel. She put on her underwear and dragged the towel through her hair to catch the last drops. A distant sound of a message reaching her phone made her walk out to the bed.
Yashiro had texted that he would retreat for the night if she didn't wish for anything and she quickly replied that she was settled. She put the phone down and moved towards the mirror that doubled as doors for the wardrobe.
She had only a black set of underwear on, but she felt completely comfortable. Kyoko smiled when she realized that Setsuka had tempered her about half naked attires more than once. Her blush stayed as a little ember and she saw the beautiful and confident woman in the mirror again.
'I wonder what Ren will say when he sees me like this.' The blush climbed on her cheeks, but she forced herself to push it down. She would have to learn how to feel comfortable like this even with a house full of people, as it would happen sooner than she had expected.
'I need to practice.'
She had heard the rough order that they would shoot, and one scene in particular made her frown. She had hoped she would have time to prepare for it by slowly letting Mary-Ann evolve with Justin, but the new order made it one of the first scenes they would shoot.
Mary-Ann and Justin's sweet relationships would turn darker and more violent. As they still hadn't lost themself completely they were still filled with love, but the darker nature made their love more physical and the scene she worried about was one of the more violent one. They would tear each other's clothes off and even break some furniture. There would be some blood and a lot of touching.
A barely audible sound of metal gliding over metal sounded directly to her right and she saw that the previously larger red dot on the mysterious door turned green and then how the handle turned.
Kyoko lifted her eyes when the door opened, and a tall man stood on the other side.
'Okey! Let's practice!' She thought when she recognized the invader.
"Good evening Ren." Kyoko smiled and she saw the man freeze in shock at the sight before him.
Ren had sent Yashiro to settle for the night and finally got to inspect his own room. He had been shooting at location so many times that he had made a fixed ritual how he would secure his sleeping quarters. The ritual had turned so rooted in him that he knew he wouldn't fall asleep if he didn't do it. He had been forced to swallow it down when he had played Cain as it wouldn't fit the character, but he had taken comfort that no one would have liked to bother the siblings
The first thing he had to do was look for hidden cameras. He had learned it the hard way after Tsuruga Ren's name had begun to rise.
He turned off every light and pulled out his cellphone. He opened the camera app and carefully checked every corner of the room before he moved to the bathroom and did the same. After he was certain that no red lights could be seen on the screen, he scanned the small balcony and the wardrobe. He turned the lights on again and threw his phone on the bed. He glanced around for other hidden spaces and stopped when he saw the door between the wardrobe and the bed. Another lesson he had learned the hard way when a maid had hidden in a cleaning closet attached to one of his suits. He didn't hesitate but directly turned the lock and pushed the sliding door to the side.
His whole being froze when he realized that there was someone on the other side and that the person was less than decently dressed. He felt like someone had pulled the rug from under his feet when he recognized her.
"Good evening, Ren." Kyoko's voice met him and a shiver traveled from his head to his toes.
"Kyoko!? I-i'm so sorry." Ren fought the blush climbing his cheeks and didn't know where to look as the girl didn't move to cover herself.
"So that door connects our rooms?" She asked curiously and walked up to peek behind him. "Looks like the mirror image of my room." Ren barely dared to breathe when she moved that close to him. He could feel the heat from her body tickle his arm and knew he only had to shift his weight to be able to touch her. It took all his willpower to not act on his thoughts. He had no idea why she had ignored his apology or why she hadn't bolted for cover like he expected her to.
"This smells like the President's work." Kyoko smiled and stepped back until Ren felt safe enough to pull some air into his lungs.
"Y-yes." He nodded and backed half a step to give his mind some peace. When she was out of his immediate reach, he could kick his gears into some kind of function again. "Kyoko... I'm sorry. I had no idea you would be here or else I would have knocked. I will return to my room and you can dress without hurry. You can knock on the door when you are done." He cleared his throat twice and locked eyes with the girl again to not let his eyes wander. He had guessed she would suddenly realize her almost naked state at his words and blush like a fire, but he was met with much less than expected.
"Oh." Kyoko got a faint pink on her cheeks but then glanced down on herself and bit her lip.
'God, I want to bite her lip for her.' Ren groaned as Justin cheered from the back.
"Ren? Actually..." Kyoko began and his whole body tensed up as he heard the voice of protest. There had been nothing in his short speech that should be debatable. She had to dress, he most certainly would not be there for when she did, and they needed to speak about it after. "I need to practice this. I had hoped it would take some time before scene 45, but with the new schedule, I believe that it would happen sooner rather than later."
"Scene 45?" Ren asked a bit dumbfounded and Kyoko blushed brighter.
'Not a good sign…'
"The violent, bloody foreplay-scene." Kyoko sounded a bit stressed but not as much as he would have guessed.
"Oh." Ren couldn't do more than utter a sound of understanding as the particular scene got uploaded from his repressed memories. The color of his face began to deepen as he slowly began to remember the particulars and had the visuals in front of him that proved how dangerous that scene would be. He swallowed around the lump in his throat and forced himself to lock their eyes again when he found his eyes tracing her collarbones.
"I will return to my room then. I will see you tomorrow." Ren reached out for the door, but Kyoko quickly stepped forward.
"Ren!" He had to stop his action at her word but his whole body got ready to run away. Or rather run into a cold shower. "I... I can't practice being half naked around you… without you." Kyoko bit her lip again and Ren fought back a groan. His grip of the door turned almost painfully hard and he took his time to breathe a full circle to calm himself.
"Do you remember what I said at my apartment?" Ren let his emotions color his gaze and he saw Kyoko's breath hitch and her blush to deepen. He really didn't want to scare her if it wasn't necessary, but her little request really pushed him towards the edge. He saw her lower her gaze towards her hands and how she gripped her arms into a defensive pose. He relaxed partly when she seemed to realize what he was hinting but then had to grip the door even harder when she suddenly relaxed and the sexy smirk he only had seen on Setsuka's face pulled at her lips.
"If seeing me like this makes you doubt your restraint, maybe you are the one that needs to practice?" She asked and put her hand on her naked hip and shifted her weight like she was teasing him. "It won't do good for your reputation if you blow a fuse during the real shooting, right?" Kyoko smirked his way and Ren choked on the air he was breathing.
She really, really needed his help.
She had prepared for her role as Mary-Ann until she was as strong inside her mind as Natsu or Setsuka. She knew she could handle almost anything in the script with the role she had created as long as nothing too extreme happened. She had been confident in handling scene 45 until she had tried her different costumes that day. Mika had shown her the general style but the clothes they had spent most time on was the clothes for scene 45. As the shirt would have to get ripped off her body, they needed to fit her well but also tear at the right places. Mika had acted in Justin's place and pulled until the buttons had flown far and wide. Mika was as diligent about perfecting the visuals of the act as Kyoko was about her dolls but the more times they had ripped her shirt open, the harder it was to suppress the thought that Ren would be the one to do it in the end. Kyoko's imagination had given her the perfect visualization of Ren with the face of the Emperor of the night ripping her shirt open repeatedly.
Her mouth had been dry, and her face had been so red that Mika had worried about her and forced her to drink water and sit down for half an hour before they moved on.
She knew that she was in deep trouble and that she needed to practice. So, when Ren looked like he would run for the hills rather than helping her, she let Mary-Ann, Setsuka and Natsu fuel her words to provoke him.
A distant part of her brain cheered when she felt confident in succeeding if she pushed the actor's buttons right.
It was equal parts Natsu manipulating, Setsu fueling her confidence about his attraction to her and Mary-Ann's mature reasoning.
She put the three characters as bodyguards around her as she refused to back down when the emperor arrived.
"I see your point." Ren said with a low voice that would have made her knees weak if she hadn't used all her mental power to block it from happening. "I really shouldn't miss this opportunity to practice with you." He let go of the door and stepped inside her room for the first time. Kyoko felt Setsu still fuel the sexy smirk on her lips and she gestured towards the sofa.
"Take a seat." She tested him again and she felt the cheering voices in her head gain in volume when he didn't refuse. Kyoko walked up to the bed and picked up the script with the curled pages. She walked with faked confidence to his side and took a seat beside him. She caught the tension in his body as she adjusted her position and put the script on the table in front of them. She remembered the page with scene 45 as it was the only one that had a missing corner and she flipped it open.
"Should we go over it together?" She asked and Ren reached out to pick up the papers.
"Sure." His low voice directly to her side managed to weaken her but as she was sitting, she could hide it. Mary-Ann gestured for Setsuka and Natsu to pull back as she was the one that would have to go through the tempering and Kyoko felt herself shiver slightly when the force of the power sisters retreated.
"Are you cold?" Ren asked and she exhaled when the voice sounded a bit more like his usual one.
"I'm fine, thank you." She smiled a bit sweeter and Ren's shoulders lowered. A genuine smile twitched his mouth and he turned to the script again.
"Let's see." He began to read the lines on the paper and Kyoko didn't have to follow as she had them clearly memorized. "I will begin by pushing you into the wall and kissing you fiercely." Ren said and his smile turned into a smirk. "Do you know how to do that?" He asked and Kyoko put her thumb under her chin and tapped her lips like in thought.
"Would the kiss in the cinema after the movie pass as a fierce kiss?" She couldn't help but pay back his teasing comment with a smirk of her own. She saw him zero in the finger tapping her lips and she bit it to test her theory. Ren swallowed and nodded.
"Yes. Just keep it more open so that the cameras can see." Ren choked out and Kyoko fought the blush again. Ren turned to the papers and continued to read.
"You will push me back until I hit the cupboard and break the glass." Ren said and Kyoko nodded.
"Where should I push you? Shoulders or chest?" She asked with a slightly animated tone and Ren tapped his shoulder.
"I would need to bend forward to kiss you and my shoulders would be lowered. If you push against them, you will need less force to get my back into the cupboard." Kyoko adjusted her position again as she waited for the next line. Ren glanced towards her for a moment and then focused on the script again.
"You will turn around with a teasing borderline evil smirk and I will grip your arm and push you into the wall again but with more force. You will be in pain but grip the back of my head and bring me in for a kiss. I will rip your shirt and you will then jump up and fold your legs around my waist." Ren read and Kyoko hummed. She needed a decent push from Mary-Ann to stay in front and voice her next opinion.
"I will need to practice that. I don't know how high I need to fold my legs to stay up and still be the right level to kiss you." She said and she could see the shiver in Ren's body.
"Later." He said and swallowed hard. He didn't let his eyes leave the papers as he continued. "I will kiss your neck and you will rip my shirt open. The buttons will be weakened so it will be easy to rip them apart." Kyoko rolled her eyes.
"I know." She tried to not remember how Mika's face had turned into Ren's earlier that day.
"Pull the clothes wide apart before you let go as they would want to show the forcefulness in the act." Ren commented but didn't lift his eyes. Kyoko glanced on his face and especially the wrinkle between his eyebrows. She began to realize how affected he was, and she almost turned and ran for the door before Mary-Ann stopped her.
'If you can't run, learn instead.' The character dangled in front of her and Kyoko bit her lip again and instead leaned towards him.
"I will then lift you off the wall and push you into the mirror that will break. You will get some cuts and they will break for makeup. I will get some cuts too from the cupboard."
"And then you would push me onto the kitchen counter." Kyoko continued as she was less interested in the makeup but how they would act the scene. Ren swallowed again and nodded.
"Hot water from the stove will splash over us both but we won't stop. I will kiss you again as I remove your pants."
"I hope you won't pull down my panties too." Kyoko grinned as she carefully leaned in closer and Ren snapped his head her way. They were close enough to let their noses touch. Ren seemed to freeze but Mary-Ann turned her grin into a smirk and winked his way. She barely finished the move when Ren suddenly was standing on the other side of the table with the script in his hands. He turned halfway around, and she pouted quickly when her tease had worked a bit too well.
"You will scratch me on my side. I will then pull your hips towards me until your feet can reach the floor and then turn you around. I will push your hips into the counter with my own and grip your neck. You will reach back and grip my hair and pull my pants downwards. The scene will cut, and they will film some graphic angles where I fold you over the counter and grab your hair to kiss you again. You will bite my lip and then our part will be over." Ren read quickly and then closed the script and threw it on the bed. He seemed to regret it the next moment because he immediately began to rub his palms against his legs.
Kyoko couldn't help but enjoy this new game. She had never seen Ren that flustered, and she prided herself in being able to push him there. Kyoko suddenly stood up and Ren jumped almost a foot high. Setsu didn't have to act to put the smirk on her face as she rounded the table and walked to her wardrobe. Ren stayed frozen behind her with his back turned her way and she pulled out a blouse and a pair of pants that resembled the ones she would wear during the scene. She pulled them on and put her arms in the blouse but didn't close it. She turned towards Ren again and found him still in the same position, so she walked up to stand in front of him.
"Should we practice then?" She lifted her face to his and saw the dark glow in his eyes burn strong.
"What part?" Ren's voice was low as a whisper and Kyoko felt the molten metal move in her lower stomach. A sudden rush of power flowed through her and she felt more determined to follow their evening through.
"Me wrapping my legs around you." She said and she saw him close his eyes for a moment.
"Sure." He nodded and glanced around. His eyes landed on the small hallway that was the only wall free of decoration and walked towards it. She followed him and when he stopped, she moved in front of him. She put her back towards the wall. She felt like she put herself on the platter in front of a starved beast but pushed the feeling down as soon as it surfaced.
Ren bent forward until their noses almost touched.
"I will knock our heads together if I jump when you are this close." She commented and Ren hummed.
"You need to lead me towards it. If you grip my hair and my shoulder, I will know you are doing something that needs leverage. I could then help you." He said and Kyoko lifted her hands to grip his hair and put one on his shoulder.
"Like this?" She asked and Ren hummed as her grip of his hair made it impossible to nod.
"Pull the hair slightly to angle my face and then try to jump and hook your legs above my hips. I will try to help you with a hand in your lower back." Ren said and she nodded and did as he said. She pulled slowly on his hair and his face moved backwards. She still feared that she would knock their heads together and pushed her chest forward into his to anchor it and then made the leap. She managed to hook one leg in the right place but had to pull his shoulder to get the other one to follow. She slowly hiked it higher until both stayed over his hips. She felt a moment of victory before a low groan left Ren's lips and she stilled and focused on his face. She bit her lip when she saw the pained expression and the fire red blush on his cheeks.
'I have never seen Ren blush like this...'
She took his instructions with stride and he found himself spellbound as she angled his head and pushed their chests together. He just marveled over the feeling of her skin that touched his own where his V-neck dipped down. His hands hung useless by his side when she took the leap.
He felt her strong leg hook over his right hip but her other leg pressed against his thigh.
'Idiot. You said you would help her.' Ren cursed at himself and expected her to jump down for another try. Instead, he felt her push down against his shoulder and moved her right leg higher in several short bursts. Her hips jumped against his several times and every jump sent a thunderbolt into his groin. She had accidently grinded against him and the groan left him before he could stop himself.
He felt her tense up in his arms and he knew that if he opened his eyes she would stare at his face with worry.
"Did I hurt you?" She asked worriedly and he wanted to die of shame.
"No, I'm fine."
'I'm so NOT fine.' Ren took a moment to go through every memory he had of high school algebra in a try to get his mind and lower parts to calm down. It didn't help much as she stayed hoisted around his hip just above the dangerous area.
"Get down and we will try again." Ren forced himself to say and stopped the moan from slipping past his lips when she slid down over his hips before she relaxed her legs and let go.
"Are you sure you are okay?" She asked and he opened his eyes when the immediate danger was over.
"Yes. I'm sorry, I said I would help you but did nothing." He apologized and he saw her face lit up in surprise.
"Oh yes. My lower back." She said and then nodded. "Should we go again?" She asked and Ren took a deep breath and nodded.
Kyoko didn't say anything but pulled his hair slightly again and gripped his shoulder. Ren slipped his hand into the small of her back and got ready. She tensed up right before she jumped, and he pulled her towards him forcefully in a try to not let the same thing happen again. He had used too much force and they heavily impacted front against front.
"Aaahh." Kyoko made a choked sound that would haunt his dreams for weeks to come. It however didn't help his rising problem as her sound and the pressure against his body was exactly what he didn't need at the moment.
"Sorry, should we try again?" Kyoko asked and relaxed her legs and Ren realized he had released the pressure a moment too late. He let her go and backed up a step to move out of her reach. He opened his eyes and saw her worried expression again.
"Give me a moment." He said and she closed her mouth that had opened to ask him something. She tilted her neck slightly instead and her open blouse moved to show off more of her skin.
'I'm so screwed!' Ren wanted to laugh at how pathetic he was but knew that he needed a tad bit more than a moment.
"I will be right back." He said and ducked inside her bathroom and closed the door behind him.
Kyoko stared after the retreating man and didn't know what to think. She could hear Mary-Ann giggle inside her head and Natsu preened like a cat, so she didn't think she had done anything wrong.
She was glad they had practiced as it had highlighted a few troublesome areas. The first was how tall Ren was. Setsu had gotten to know how to fit herself to Cain, but their relationship wasn't the same as the one they would act. Mary-Ann should be used to Justin, but Kyoko didn't know the tricks yet how to compensate for their difference in height as a loving married couple. Another one was her inexperience with flirting. She glanced at the door that connected their rooms and smiled warmly.
'Maybe Ren would help me practice that too.'
Ren walked out after a few minutes and found Kyoko leaning against the wall with a thoughtful smile on her lips. She turned her gaze towards him, and the smile grew brighter.
"Ren?" Her voice sounded wondering and he nodded while he tried to force his heart to calm down again. "I thought about the scene. I don't think dark Justin would place just his hand on my back. Is there another way to grip me that will make it easier to be lifted?" She asked and Ren pushed down the images in his brain with the tenths of ways he could hold her to him.
"I could put my arm around your waist." He said and she hummed.
"Let's try." She moved her hips off the wall and reached out her arms to let him move inside her embrace and he did with bittersweet emotions wrecking his heart. He had to move closer to fit his arm around her waist and their faces were so close he could feel her breath on his lips.
"No, this won't work." Kyoko sighed as she got up on her toes and tried what direction his arm would take her. "Maybe if you grip my waist with both hands." He followed her command but was careful to put the blouse between his hands and her skin. She tested again and he pulled her towards him to let her evaluate.
"I think this is better. Should we try?" She asked and he could only nod slightly to show that he was ready. Kyoko moved and grabbed him again before she jumped. He was ready and both her legs landed safely above his hips.
"It worked!" Kyoko said happily and Ren couldn't help the smile of relief when they seemed to have avoided a disaster. He tilted his head forward when she lessened the tension and her face turned into a frown. He could understand why as he had to bend his neck almost to the breaking point to be able to reach down to kiss her.
"Again." Kyoko sighed and he helped lift her out from his body until her feet touched the floor. "Could you grab me lower? Around my hips?" She asked and Ren felt himself lose reason again.
"Kyoko…" He groaned but shook his head and bit down. "Yes." He said instead and forced his hands to move downwards. His big hands gripped her hips and his long fingers landed on soft flesh over her back, covered by just a few layers of clothes. His grip tightened and he bit back a moan when her rounded behind gave way for his fingers. He could feel her muscles tense up and he gave them a squeeze like a greeting. A gasp left Kyoko's lips and he snapped back into focus. Her mouth had fallen open and her eyes were wide and filled with feelings he hadn't seen since the demon commercial. It took everything in his body to not lean down and kiss her perfect mouth. Kyoko reached up and slid her fingers into the back of his neck and the other hand traced up his chest until she reached his shoulder.
It felt like they had done it a thousand times when she lifted her legs to wrap around his lower torso and leaned in until their noses touched, and their gasping breaths mixed with each other's. Kyoko released the grip of his hair and his face fell forward and their lips lightly touched. They stayed still, only breathing for several moments and their eyes hooded. Ren felt the full curves in his hands relax and he had to hold more of her weight. Her hand on his shoulder moved and she ran her nails lightly over his upper back.
The action made his lips tremble and they pushed slightly harder against hers. For a single moment, they both waited for the other to take the last step.
Kyoko felt safe. Her actions came naturally and she knew what to do. She dragged her nails over his back and his lips pressed closer.
A fluttering heartbeat transferred to the sensitive skin on the inside of her wrist that rested against his neck. She instinctively knew that his thoughts were the same as hers.
'Kiss me.' She wanted desperately to be brave enough to say the words out loud, but they stayed echoing around her head. She lifted her eyes slightly and met his gaze straight on.
The moment was gone. They both slowly pulled back and Kyoko was lowered to the floor and she leaned heavily against the wall to stop her knees from buckling, He gently released his grip and took a step backwards. They both needed to gather their minds and neither broke the silence for several minutes as their heartbeats returned to healthy levels.
"I think that worked." Ren finally said and Kyoko would have jumped high if her legs had been strong enough to do it. She pulled a smile on her lips as the blush grew on her cheeks.
"Yes. I think so too." She heard herself answer and a slight chuckle left her lips. "Thank you."
"The pleasure was mine." Ren said and his face contorted in regret the moment the words left his lips. Kyoko's giggle turned real when she saw his expression and she laughed out loud.
"I wouldn't call my experience unpleasurable either." She giggled and Ren's face relaxed as a slight blush colored his cheekbones.
Ren took a long shower after they parted and then fell on top of his bed with a wide smile on his lips.
'She liked it.' He wanted to toss and turn like a teenager all over the bed but stayed still as he knew that she probably was sleeping just on the other side of the wall.
'There is hope for even the hopeless.' Justin smirked inside his mind and Ren couldn't find it in him to get annoyed. It was day one on location, but he had already reaped huge progress in getting closer to her.
'She said she would fall in love with me during this project.' Ren pointed out and Justin smiled smugly.
'And how do you plan to find out if or when that happens? She has no idea about your emotions, right? Even if that girl is gutsy, she won't dare to throw her feelings on you without some solid proof that you won't hurt her like she has been hurt before.' Justin pointed out and Ren flinched. The smile slipped off his face and he sat up straight on the edge of the bed.
'You are right.' He gasped and Justin nodded and gave Ren a mental pat on the back.
'Don't forget that you still have solid proof she does not fear you at least. She provoked you a lot today, on purpose.' Justin used a gentler tone, but the smirk stayed on his lips.
'Then… How will I know if she falls for me?'
'How about asking her? She can't lie that well so it's an almost foolproof way of knowing.' Cain snorted from a corner of his mind and Ren stared at the brother for a moment.
'It's not a bad idea.' Justin shrugged.
Ren climbed under the covers as his mind weighed the pros and cons of their suggestion. There was barely any sleep happening that night, but Ren couldn't help but smile when the alarm sounded in the room on the other side of the sliding door.
Kyoko had to channel the confident and competent actor with every fiber of her body to not act as tired as she felt. She met her own eyes through the mirror in front of her and quickly rubbed her face in a try to get some life back into it. Mika had put her in a makeup chair to wait for the beauticians to unload their gear. She had greeted them the day before, so they had decided to get to work early.
"Kyoko-san." Someone called her attention and she turned to see a young man tipping on his toes behind her with a face of poorly held back excitement.
"Taka-san." She greeted, as she recognized him as a trainee beautician that worked directly under the make-up head, Satori. A woman that would have looked more at home at a corporate board meeting than at a shooting and Kyoko hadn't seen anything but a stone-cold mask on the woman's face during their meeting the day before. "Can I help you with something?" She asked when he opened and closed his mouth several times while his eyes darted from the phone in his hand to her face.
"Are you the True Fairy?" Taka looked like Christmas had arrived early and she was Santa.
Kyoko was too into her role as the competent actor to blush, but she lowered her face slightly and gave him an embarrassed smile.
"That's what they call me online." She smiled and Taka made a loud cheer that scared her for real before he turned around and ran. She could hear his voice calling out loudly for Satori and Kyoko couldn't help the shocked smile on her face.
The woman named Satori soon came skidding around the corner that Taka had disappeared behind and Kyoko upgraded herself when she saw the glowing eyes. She wasn't just Santa, she could very well be the full bag of presents if you considered how the woman in front of her smiled.
Ren had been occupied with wardrobe for a major part of the morning but had a prolonged lunch as the crew hadn't fetched him for his makeup and hair. He could see the excited faces of everyone that ran in and out of the make-up tent and it didn't look like they were anywhere near ready for him. Ren glanced to the side and saw Kurosaki hovering over some pages at a nearby table.
He glanced up as Ren thought about joining him and waved him over.
"Tsuruga-san. Please take a seat if you are done with Wardrobe." Kurosaki said and Ren tried not to stare too much at the pink and green shirt the director was wearing as he nodded and took a seat beside him. He saw several pictures before him of women. They had to be from one and the same family as they all shared some characteristics with another. He couldn't help but to look closer at one of the pictures as the woman seemed familiar.
"The make-up team is having a blast." Kurosaki sighed and ordered the pictures side by side. He pulled out another picture from a pile of papers and put it in the center.
Ren saw that the new photo was of Kyoko and he leaned forward as Kurosaki moved some pictures up and some down from the central line.
"I never had this problem before, that's why I need your opinion." Kurosaki said and gestured towards the table. "Who of these women is your wife?"
Ren frowned as he turned from the pictures to Kurosaki.
"What are you…"
"Look number eight. I personally like this one the best so far." A woman's voice cut him off and he glanced up to see a woman with a stern face and grey pantsuit and a woman that was like a dream standing beside her.
She looked like she could be twenty-five. Her clothes were stylish and playful. He would never be able to guess her heritage as her face was a perfect mix of many. Her straight hair was shoulder length and platina white. Her dark blue eyes were highlighted with tasteful makeup and framed with dark eyebrows and a light rouge on her cheekbones. Her lips were slightly tinted with pink gloss and a smile grew on her lips while Ren took her in. A dark eyebrow lifted in question and he couldn't help but feel his heart pick up pace.
"Kyoko." He gasped in surprise and then realized what was happening. The pictures on the table were all off her. He shouldn't be surprised anymore with how profoundly she could change herself but found himself stumped once again.
Kurosaki sighed by his side and Ren couldn't help to break out in a smile at how faked it sounded.
"I hired one woman, why do I suddenly have to choose between eight of them?" Kurosaki sighed and Ren could see the stern woman at Kyoko's side snort at him and then how she gave Kyoko warm eyes.
"I could make it 20 women if you don't decide soon." The woman threatened and Kurosaki couldn't help his true emotions from slipping through.
"20? For real, Satori-san?" He gasped with eyes glimmering with happy surprise.
"She is the True Fairy so it would be easy." The woman said and Ren tried to hide his laugh. He saw when Kyoko turned towards him with her teasing smile.
"Maybe it would help if Justin joined the party?" Mary-Ann asked, and Ren immediately let out her husband.
"Honey, what are you signing me up for now?" Justin asked as he knew that look in her eyes.
"Suit up, Mr. Wayne." She gave him the perfect opening, but it felt like a trap.
"Does Gotham need me?" He asked teasingly and Mary-Ann closed the distance between them and gave him a smug smile.
"No, your wife does. And a man such as yourself shouldn't leave his woman waiting..." She learned in towards his ear and Ren felt her hot breath ghost over the shell of his ear. "Or wanting." Justin smirked and stood up so he could tilt her head towards his and carefully stroked her cheek.
"Humm. It might be good to see them side by side to evaluate their chemistry." Kurosaki said as he watched them play with an amused smile on his lips.
Justin retreated when he felt Mary-Ann be replaced with Kyoko.
"Come with me then Tsuruga-san." The woman named Satori gestured and Ren couldn't help but like her straightforward manner. He turned towards Kyoko and felt his knees weaken a tad bit when he saw her again. He knew they both were out of character, but he couldn't help the teasing smile on his face.
"Be right back, honey." He winked and was rewarded with Kyoko's wide eyes and blushing cheeks.
Kyoko wanted to stomp her foot hard into the ground to channel the feelings in her body at his words but had to use the mental strength of her composed actor spirit to push them down instead.
She stared after him as he followed Satori towards the tent.
"Take a seat, Kyoko." The director gestured to his side and she joined him on the sofa. She could see the many Polaroid pictures of her looks on the table and she somehow knew that her reputation as the True Fairy would soar after this day, as Taka also had taken pictures of every new look with his phone.
"You can be yourself around me, Kyoko." Director Kurosaki said and she turned to him in surprise. She could see his troubled expression and he could probably see her questioning one as he spoke again.
"I barely recognize you at the moment and it unsettles me a bit." He confessed and Kyoko relaxed.
"I'm sorry for being weird." She quickly bowed and she caught his shoulders relaxing.
"Don't worry. Ren explained why and told me about the Queen of Beauty. It helps a bit, but I ask you to be yourself when I'm around." He almost pleaded with her and Kyoko blushed again.
"I'm sorry." She let the confident actor go and her blush burned brighter as Ren's parting words still echoed around her head. Kurosaki shook his head and glanced down on the pictures again. Kyoko took out the polaroid of her eight look and put it down by the rest.
"I think you fit well in lighter hair. Justin will have dark hair and green eyes so there would be a nice contrast between you two." Kurosaki said and Kyoko felt her heart tremble.
'Green eyes. I wonder if he will use the contacts or be without.' She already knew what she was hoping for.
"These three are my favorites." Kurosaki said and Kyoko saw that he had pulled out the ones with lighter hair and less makeup. She couldn't help but nod in agreement.
They only had to wait for half an hour before Ren was back and Kyoko swallowed loudly.
'No contacts.' She could recognize his real eye color from afar and she stood up. She could feel Setsuka stir in her head as Ren's completely black hair had been formed into a playful style that was just a tad shorter than Cain's. His eyelashes were dyed black and she marveled over how long they were. She had to force her mouth to close as a teasing grin lit up Ren's face.
"Missed me?" He grinned and she heard the challenge in his words.
"Not more than I do every day when you go to work." Mary-Ann smiled and stepped into his arms. Kyoko thanked Setsuka for teaching her how well she fitted in his embrace. He wrapped one of his arms around her back and lifted the other to stroke the hair behind her ear.
"So... a lot then?" He smirked and she sighed before lifting her face to smirk back at him.
"More than you think." Mary-Ann let her emotions color her face and Justin's mirrored hers. They looked into each other's eyes for a few moments before a flash interrupted them. They didn't move apart but just lowered their arms and turned to watch where it had come from. Satori stood a few feet away and waved the polaroid in the air before handing it to Kurosaki.
"Thank you." He smiled and they saw his face split into a smile when he took a closer look on it.
"Satori-chan. I have an idea." Kurosaki said and picked up three pictures off the table and then gestured for her to follow him into the makeup tent. Kyoko and Ren followed them with their eyes and saw Kurosaki turn around towards them for a moment.
"Thank you for today. We will begin tomorrow at eight for scene 42." He smiled and then disappeared before they could answer.
"I thought we had more to do today?" Kyoko asked and Ren shrugged.
"Seems like he got inspired to do something. We should return for now and he can call us back if he needs us." Ren took half a step away and Kyoko had to stop herself to not follow. The feeling however reminded her of her thoughts from the evening before.
'I need to practice flirting.'
"Do you have any plans for the evening?" Kyoko asked and could see him tens a tiny bit before he shook his head.
"Yashiro is returning to Tokyo for a few days. So, I have nothing planned. Would you like to join me for dinner?"
"Yes, I would like that."
Kyoko gave Taka the wig before sharing a ride with Ren back to the hotel. She could see the indicator turn red on their shared door and heard the shower start a little while after. She followed his example and locked her side until she was showered and dressed. She smiled when she saw that his lock had turned green and knocked on the door.
"Come in." Ren said on the other end and Kyoko pushed the door to slide into the wall. She quickly found him on the sofa with the script in hand.
"Preparing for tomorrow?" She asked and he nodded. She saw him glance quickly on the empty sofa to his side but then moved a bit to the side to allow her enough room to sit beside him without touching. Kyoko promptly ignored it and fitted herself to his side.
'This is flirting, right?' Kyoko asked and Mary-Ann peeked out and glanced on Ren's face before she gave Kyoko a thumbs up.
'Looks like it is working too.' She chuckled.
"Kyoko..." Ren sounded hesitant and she beamed a smile his way.
"Can we go over it together?" She asked and Ren swallowed loudly before nodding.
"Scene 42." He opened the script again and Kyoko sat close enough to see without leaning.
"That's the breakfast scene, right?" She asked and he nodded.
"We will fight for the first time." He said and Kyoko smiled fondly.
"We have practiced that before."
"Yes" Ren's smile turned a bit more relaxed and he began to read. "Justin is standing at the kitchen top making eggs as you walk down. It has been a sleepless night and we are both exhausted." Ren said and Kyoko smiled.
"Do you know how to cook eggs?" She asked teasingly and Ren's smile turned even brighter.
"I can fake it well enough." He smirked and Kyoko giggled softly as he glanced on the script again.
"I pick up a cup of coffee and sit by the table without a word. You glance at me but don't have the energy to question my cold behavior." Kyoko read and nodded.
"I put the eggs on the table, and I eat in silence. You are basically ignoring me, and I can only take that for so long. I lean over and kiss you and you return it sluggishly. I deepen the kiss until you bite my lip enough for it to bleed." Ren said and Kyoko sees him glance quickly to the side.
"How should we kiss? Like we usually do?" Kyoko asked when she suddenly remembered her lack of knowledge in the area. She had only kissed as Setsuka and didn't know if there were other ways to kiss. She could kiss fiercely like after the movie or relaxed as the siblings usually had done. She was startled out of her thoughts by Ren's embarrassed coughing.
He had to put a stop to this soon. His brain could only take so much before his mind jumped on the same track as his heart and it was getting harder and harder to hold himself back. She sat right up against him, talking about kissing him.
He already had one sleepless night because of their near kiss the evening before.
'Let me kiss my wife!' Justin's less than helpful voice echoed in his head and Ren turned towards Cain for support.
'Don't look at me. You just realized how many liberties you took with my sister. The way you two should kiss for this movie is exactly the same as we did with Setsu. That means you pushed me too far before.' Cain snorted and Ren wanted to rip his hair.
He glanced towards Kyoko and saw her big eyes aimed towards him, waiting for an answer.
"Like after the movie should be good for this scene. When we are shooting part one, the siblings' usual way of kissing should be enough." Ren said and wanted to bang his head into something hard. It was almost a confession. He just told her that the siblings' kisses had been kisses of passionate love. He waited for her reaction as it was too late to take the words back.
"Did I do alright then?" She asked and he saw her eyes move towards his lips.
Alarms blared inside his head and he knew he was threading on a fine line.
"Yes." He said not too quickly and not too slow.
"Okay." She bit her lip, and a light blush colored her cheeks.
'You idiot. She wanted to practice!' Justin groaned in his head and Ren exhaled in relief.
Ren turned to the script again. He had to get this over with as soon as possible and continued to read.
"I will get angry and as I yell at you, I see that some emotion has returned to your eyes. You are fighting back but a smirk plays on your lips." He had no doubts about her being able to do that part of the scene. Kyoko nodded and then read the next part.
"In the middle of our argument I will grip your hair and bring you in for another kiss. It will startle you, but you give in and kiss back. I bite you again and in anger you bite back. When you do, I'm almost as myself again and leave with a smirk on my lips. You stay and glance after me with confusion and worry on your face. Then you lick your wounds and follow after me with the same smirk." Kyoko read the scene to the end and Ren closed the script.
"Any questions about the last part?"
"No. I think Mary-Ann would be able to handle that." Kyoko nodded and pulled out the memories of the scenes following. Number 43 would feature only her, and number 44 would focus on Justin. Number 45 would follow that. "Is there a chance they would shoot number 45 tomorrow too if we do well? I have no idea as I haven't been shooting in a real house before."
"Yes. It's the first day of shooting so they might not count on it, especially as they don't know how well we will do. But they are normally able to pull it together as the scenes are mainly in different rooms." Ren said and saw Kyoko nod with a face full of thought. He waited for her to finish whatever occupied her mind.
'Can I do scene 45?'
'Do you plan to fail?' Natsu snorted and pushed Kyoko's buttons exactly right.
'No!' Kyoko gasped and felt the fire burn strongly inside of her.
'Well succeed then.' Natsu shrugged and waved with her hand in a nonchalant gesture.
'I will handle it.' Mary-Ann giggled, and Kyoko stared in confusion when one of her grudges broke away from the pack and moved closer to Mary-Ann. The married woman opened her mouth and the grudge dived inside. A dark glint moved past her eyes while the other characters watched in wonder. 'There! Ready to rumble.' Mary-Ann grinned, and the darkness flashed once more.
'Cool.' Setsuka smirked when the dangerous glint in Mary-Ann's eyes almost made her think of Cain.
Kyoko stared transfixed at the married woman for a few moments before she relaxed. Her grudges had always given their all without restriction and she suddenly realized that her character was as near perfect as she was able to make her. No one would ever be able to bring another Mary-Ann into the world that would rival her creation. The tension in Kyoko's body melted like warm honey. Only confidence and pride were left.
She even felt confidence to ask the question she had tried to ignore since the script ended up in her hands. She snapped her head towards Ren, and she could see him flinch back in surprise.
"I have one question." Kyoko asked and she fought the blush that already tried to take over her cheeks. She didn't stop herself as she knew that the answer to the question could make Mary-Ann completely without a flaw.
"I will do my best to answer." Ren choked out and Kyoko cleared her throat once before she trapped his eyes with hers.
"What does sex feel like?" She asked and saw that Ren stopped breathing.
Don't worry folks (or sorry to those who began to hope) I won't take these babies to some other rating than the manga. I will stay in the same ratings as Sensei, I just want to push the boundaries a little and begin to force them to new things.
Cliffhanger again…. Sorry but I will post the update within 2 weeks so stay with me.