"I told you, I don't want to go to that kind of thing. If you eager to meet him then you can go yourself. Count me out", Erika said stubbornly before she covered her ears at the sound of her frustrated twin screaming her name.
"Actually.. Its not a bad idea. I won't tell mom. Why don't you go as me? That would buy me some more time and of course..I'll make it up to you somehow", Erika persuaded before rolling her eyes at the sound of her twin's protest when her eyes caught few guys came out the door and spotted the guy she saw inside the club earlier was being pushed around.
She let out a sighed as she heard her twin still lecturing her on the phone. In contrast to her, her sister is well behaved, feminine and everything a good daughter of a wealthy family should be. Straight A student, a great boyfriend and a good person overall. Not many people even aware they're twin as she hardly makes any appearance in functions, attend different school and live away from home.
She heard a few harsh warnings and words exchanged before saw few of the regulars started pushing and cornered the guy that seemed to be in trouble.
"... Anyway.. I don't want to go to an arrange marriage, engagement.. Whatever you may call it. I gotta go.." Erika cut her twin off before she can hear anymore lectures and shove her phone down her jeans pocket before casually jumped down from where she was sitting making a loud landing and startling them all as they looked at her.
She flashed a smile towards them as she casually walked towards them.
"Fighting over girl, boys?", she asked casually as she raised her eyebrows at them.
"This guy bothering Rika-chan", one of the guys said as the guy cornered looked taken aback.
"I wasn't bothering her. I told you! She asked my number and I told her I'm not interested. You must have misunderstood", he said as Erika chuckled.
"You heard the guy. Its a pure misunderstanding. He's with me", Erika said as the guy looked surprised and the rest looked equally surprised.
".. You joking right?", one guy asked as she gave him a sharp look.
"Do you have a problem with that?", she snapped back shutting him up as they all shook their head before muttering something to each other and one by one went back inside leaving them finally alone.
He looked at her in surprised and seemed speechless as she smiled at him.
"Relax! I'm not interested in you either. Just didn't feel like watching your pretty face got bashed in front of me. It won't make a pretty sight", she said nonchalantly as she walked away making him even more confused as she grabbed her keys and approached a motorbike before turning the engine on.
"Wait...", she heard him run after her as she put on her helmet covering her face.
"Thanks for that.. I guess. You really shouldn't have to interfere. They might do something to you..", he said as she laughed cutting him off mid air as he looked at her confused.
Under the minimum street light at the back of the club, he's really good looking. Those broad shoulder and good body proportion made him stood out in the crowd. That's what made her noticed him earlier.
"Don't worry about me. Worry about yourself and stop rejecting girls and break their hearts", she said as she put her hands down getting ready but he held her hand stopping her and making her looked up in surprised.
"I didn't get your name..", he said as she laughed again and pulled his hand away from her as she patted his shoulder.
"That's because I never said it.. Go home! And stay safe pretty boy", she chuckled as she drove off leaving him stared at her back as she made her way out to the main road.
Kenichi made his way back to the car park still in dazed over what just happened.
He can't believe a girl actually see him so weak she had to safe him when he could have easily take on those guys. And exactly who is she? The guys seems to know her well and scared of her. She was appeared out of nowhere and most likely has been sitting in that dark alley at that hour where no girl should really be. Why she bother saving him and treated him like a moron?
"Arghhhhhhh", he let out a frustrated scream. He threw himself on the bed as he got to his room.
"What's all the beastly behaviour?", he heard a voice said as he looked up to find his housemate grinning at him.
"Ah.. Were you still up?", he asked as Ryu laughed.
"What kind of question is that? So what's bugging you? Did you see her?", he asked as Kenichi shook his head and told him what just happened.
"She actually patted you like that? And told you to go home?", Ryu asked in disbelief in between his laughter.
Kenichi rolled his eyes as he kicked Ryu who rolled on the floor.
"Go on! Laugh some more! Some kind of friend you are", Kenichi said feeling annoyed.
"Sorry.. But for real? Did she know who you are?", Ryu asked still trying to stop his laughter as Kenichi shook his head.
"She won't even tell me her name.. And man! She really treated me like a fool and keep calling me pretty.. Arghhhhhh!", he said punching the pillow infront of him sending Ryu to another laughter fit.
"Oh well.. She sure have guts and confidence to do that. I take it she's pretty then?", Ryu said after he finally managed to control his laughter.
"It was dark.. I could be wrong but .. Something about her.. Just make me feel like I have to know her", Kenichi said as Ryu smiled.
"Aaahhhh... Love at first sight... When you meant to go there to check out your potential bride" He grinned as Kenichi gave him a nudge on his ribs making him wince.
"Anyway.. Why are you still up?", Kenichi asked changing the subject as Ryu shook his head.
"I just got back too. My date stood me up", he sighed as Kenichi's turn to laugh.
"Blind date?", he asked as Ryu nodded before rolling his eyes.
"My parents been nagging me to meet this girl and I kept avoiding it but tonight I thought it won't hurt to just go along and have them off my back but I guess she probably think the same", he shrugged nonchalantly.
"Wow! A girl actually stood you up. That's new!", Kenichi grinned as Ryu chuckled.
"Her lost!", he said as Kenichi nodded in agreement.
Ryu is the only son of a wealthy family and they've been a childhood friend, attend the same school and finally get their own place and live away from home with 3 other guys from high school.
"If you guys still up.. Just come out and joined us for a drink!", called Toru from the living room as Ryu and Kenichi exchanged glanced before grinning at each other and made their way out.
"What's the occasion?", Ryu grinned at him as he passed a can to him.
"Someone is back", Shun said excitedly as Naoto walked in making Ryu and Kenichi surprised before they all hugged each other.
"When did you get back?", Kenichi asked as Naoto smiled.
"An hour ago.. Glad to be back..just in time for our school 10 years reunion", he grinned as they all raised their cans towards him.
"Group dates?.. You kidding me right? No way!", Erika rolled her eyes making Hitomi chuckled. "And here I thought you all really shouting me dinner out of kindness".
"We're short one person. Come on! It won't be painful. I promise! Please...", she pleaded as she shook her head in disbelief.
"No", she said instantly before Hayaka pulled out her phone.
"What are you doing?", Erika asked her suspiciously.
"Nothing.. Just calling your twin and let her know where you live", she grinned as Erika panicly tried to reached her but she skillfully avoided her as Hitomi chuckled.
"Just give up and come with us for once", Satomi smiled making her sighed.
"Fine! Fine! Count me in.. Happy?.. I can't believe you all trap me into this ", she said as they all clapped excitedly before spotted few guys walked in the room and heard they all giggled making her rolled her eyes as the guys eyed them before sitting across their table.
She can't be more bored from all the bragging and how hard they all tried to impress her and her friends. She let out a yawn as she stood up and excused her self to the bathroom before glaring at Hayaka who shot her a warning glance.
"Erika?", she heard a familiar voice as she turned to find a table full of guys and spotted at familiar face. That pretty boy from the club the other night! What is he doing here?
She blinked a few times before a guy stood up and gave her a hug when she realise who was calling her name just now.
"Naoto?", she asked in disbelief as the guy stood before her grinned before putting his arm around her shoulder and pulled her to sit next to him as the rest of his friends stared at them including the pretty boy who seemed to recognise her as well when their eyes met across the table.
Without thinking she pushed his hands off her shoulder.
"What are you doing here? When did you got back?", she asked him as he smiled.
"Two days ago. Why? Missed me?", he asked as a guy next to him cleared his throat asking for attention.
Naoto looked at them before grinning at her.
"Oh sorry. Erika.. they're all my housemate. Shun, Toru, Kenichi and Ryu. Guys.. This is Erika." He said as they all nodded at her curtly and she did the same.
"My fiance ", Naoto added as Erika stared at him and stood up almost instantly.
"In your dream!", she said as he laughed and with that she nodded politely towards the boys.
"Nice to meet you all", she said before walking away and ignored Naoto who's calling her back in between his laughter.
"You knew her?", Kenichi can't help but asked as Naoto nodded looking excited without taking his eyes off her as she made her way back to her table.
"She was my girlfriend before I left", he said as Ryu raised his eyebrows at Kenichi and saw Kenichi also starring at her.
She still can't get over the thought of Naoto back in a flesh. She was so caught up in her own thoughts when she heard her name being called over and over and realise everyone was staring at her as she looked up and forced a smile.
She noticed her date was waiting for her response whatever he was asking her.
She glanced at her friends who smiled encouragingly and saw Hayaka hinting for her to nod. After what seemed like a very awkward silence she nodded at her date which make him smile so wide she regretted instantly she nodded.
All of them clapped excitedly as the other guys patted her date's back making her nudge Satomi next to her.
"What did I just nodding to?", she whispered as Satomi grinned cheekily.
"You just agree for a date with him just the two of you tomorrow", she whispered back and quickly squeezed her hand tightly preventing Erika from jumping off her seat as she glared at her friends murderously.
She was going to say something when all the guys and her friends stood up and bid each other farewell.
"Uhmm.. I'll see you tomorrow then. Thanks so much for agreeing. I really.. Really.. REALLY.. appreciate it." He said seriously making her widened her eyes in surprise when her date bowed 90 degree towards her formally. "I will make sure you won't regret it", he swore as if he just landed his dream job at a company.
She glared at her friends who bit their lips trying to held back their laughter at the sight.
The guy looked at her looking so hopeful and it made her feel sorry for him in a way. He looks genuinely excited as if its his first date ever. The guy keep on bowing in gratitude as he made his way out making her friends finally giggled uncontrollably as she rolled her eyes at them.
They all were about to leave and made their way to the car park when a hand grabbed her waist casually making her turned to see Naoto grinning at her.
"Group dates huh? I thought you can do better than that guy", he teased her as she squeezed his hand hard making him winced before pulling it back.
"Still like it rough huh?", he said as he rubbed his hand in pain.
"Mind your own business please", she said as Naoto laughed before noticing her friends eagerness to be introduced.
For a second they all stood there before she sighed heavily.
"Girls... This is Naoto." She said as Naoto raised his eyebrows in amusement at her.
She rolled her eyes. "This is Hitomi, Hayaka and Satomi.. They used to be my friends", she said as the girls burst into giggle fit.
Naoto introduced his house mates once again to her friends as they all smiled at each other.
"Time to go girls!", Erika called impatiently as the girls excused themselves before running after her towards their car.
"Erika!", she heard Naoto called as she turned to see him while opening the door for the girls.
"Still on the same number?", He grinned as she smiled sweetly at him.
"Why don't you try and find out?", she said as he shook his head in disbelief before she drove off making a screech noise and almost left a skid mark.
Ryu grinned at Kenichi who also stared at the car just as speechless as the rest of them.
"Looks like you're not the only one she treated like a fool. Even the almighty Naoto doesn't seems to move her", Ryu chuckled as Kenichi rolled his eyes at Ryu before they all walked back to their cars.
"But.. I guess .. I understand why you in trance. She's a knock out", Ryu winked at him as he get in the car.
"She's something alright...", he muttered as Ryu laughed.
Erika let out a heavy sighed as she heard her date's shriek for the hundred times as they watch the horror movie the next day at the cinema.
He looked so scared she was worry he might actually pee in his pants. Obviously horror movie wasn't his choice to begin with but the thought of going through a cheesy romance movie with this guy was just out of question.
He looked like the shy and super nervous geek that never been on a date and she felt sorry for him everytime he tried hard to impress her because it just failed miserably. To make matter worse, she wasn't exactly make things easier for him either.
She glanced at the time and excused herself as she made it out of the cinema leaving the poor guy alone screaming his heart out at her absence. She didn't realise she kept looking back to see if he followed her out that she didn't see her way when she bumped into someone.
"Ack! Sorry..", she said automatically as she looked up and found the guy she bumped into turned around to see her and stared at her in surprised as they both recognise each other.
"Ah.. You!", he said as she covered her mouth in surprise.
"Ah.. The pretty boy!", she said as he let out a heavy sighed at her remark.
"Its Kenichi. Stop calling me pretty boy..", he said sounded annoyed as she let out a chuckled.
"Sorry .. Err.. Kenichi", she said quickly as she looked around again when she realise the movie must have ended as people started to come out from the theatre she was just came out from.
In panic at the sight of her date she took a step forward and hid behind his back as Kenichi glanced at her in amusement.
"Who are you hiding from?", he asked as she rolled her eyes at him before she suddenly think of something and pulled his shirt down making him bend down toward her slightly.
"You gotta help me out.. You owe me one, remember?", she said as he shook his head in disbelief feeling amused at her and the way she sounded as if he really had to do what she said.
"I didn't owe you anything. You interfere at your own prerogative. I never ask you to butt in." He said as she stared at him in disbelief before he looked at her date who seemed to spotted her and grinned away.
"Ah... I see. Bad date huh?", Kenichi chuckled as Erika rolled her eyes at him.
"The worst ever! Just help me out will you!", she said again as he shook his head and pulled her hand away from his shirt.
"He's a big boy. Just tell him what you think", he said as he saw the guy walked towards them.
"You don't understand. He might cry if I do", she said making him bit his lip trying to held back his laughter as he took one look at the guy who looked as if he might just do.
"Ah.. Erika! I thought I lost you just now. Sorry to keep you waiting", her date said as he approached them making Erika glared at Kenichi feeling frustrated.
But he just smiled at her innocently.
"Satoru..", he corrected her as Kenichi chuckled.
"Satoru.. Look, I don't think I can stay any longer. I need to go", she said as Satoru looked disappointed before pulling out a note out of his pocket and glanced at it.
"But we haven't even go to amusement park and the lake, also I'm going to take you to that.. Uhm.. Uhmm.." He stuttered before he look at his note again.
Kenichi glanced at Erika who glanced back at him as if to say "did you see how bad this is?" It made him want to laugh.
"... Love hotel", Satoru finally finished his sentence before shoving the note back to his pocket making Kenichi burst out laughing after trying so hard not to laugh while Erika felt her jaw dropped in total shock at his plan.
She closed her eyes momentarily trying not to lose it before she opened them again and stared at Satoru who looked serious and doesn't think he said anything appropriate.
"You're serious aren't you?", she asked as he nodded vigorously. She could hear Kenichi grinning clearly enjoying the entertainment as she ignored him. She just regret she even asked him to help.
She should have left him out and deal with this herself.
"Let's go then." She said finally as Satoru looked excited.
"Where? Amusement park?", he asked as she grabbed his hand and almost dragged him out of there leaving Kenichi behind.
"Love hotel", she said as Satoru looked like he has hit a jackpot and Kenichi who just right behind them couldn't stop staring at her back who keep on walking dragging the guy as if she can't wait to get out of there.
He wondered if she's serious as he saw them leaving the cinema with her face looked so serious and her date can't stop grinning like an idiot.
"Kenichi! What took you so long? The movie is about to start!", he heard Shun called as he had trouble taking his gaze at Erika who's almost disappear from his view.
"Ah.. You guys go ahead. I forgot something in the car. I'll be back soon. Don't wait", he said without looking at Shun before he ran out the cinema in her direction all the while cursing himself for making her problem his.
"Look, Satoru. Expecting a girl to go to a love hotel with you on a first date is not something every girl would appreciate. Also next time, don't plan everything like that. You're a nice guy but you got it all wrong", she said as they walked on the side of the road towards the busy street ahead as the sun made its way down leaving creating a magical colour in the sky.
He looked at her but said nothing.
"I'm sorry I actually agreed to today's date. The truth is, I wasn't listening to what you said last night and I didn't want to embarrassed you in front of your friends", she admitted honestly when she realise he suddenly pulled his hand away from hers and stopped at his tracks making her looked back.
"Why did you came today then?", he asked sounded hurt as she sighed.
"Like I said, I think you're a nice guy and to me.. Promise is a promise. I promised you a date and so here I am", she said as he shook his head in disbelief.
His hand looked shaken as he run through his hair with his fingers as he looked away towards the traffic that passed them by.
"So its a pity date huh?", his voice trembled as she sighed.
"Look..no matter who's the guy, I'm not looking for a relationship right now", she said as he shook his head in disbelief again.
".. The love hotel.. Were you really going to go through it since you promised that too?", he asked suddenly as she chuckled.
"Ah...There's a karaoke box there." She smiled as he smiled before shaking his head.
"Thanks for being honest with me. I really appreciate that. You could have just rejected me coldly but instead you go through with it. Let's just call it a day. I won't put you through another second at a date you never want to have in the first place", he said as she smiled at him genuinely.
"You are a nice guy afterall. Thanks Satoshi", she said.
"Satoru.." He corrected her again as she nodded feeling embarrassed.
"Ah.. Satoru.. That's right", she said as he laughed and waved at her before walking away leaving her feeling relief as she turned and walked back towards the cinema.
From the distant she saw Kenichi was running towards her way as he looked around frantically before he spotted her and stop running.
She raised her eyebrows at him as she walked closer towards him. He seemed slightly embarrassed and lost for words as he combed his hair with his fingers.
"Lost something?", she mocked him as she walked passed him without stopping.
He muttered something before turning and walking alongside of her.
"That was one quick trip to love hotel", he said teasingly as she shrugged nonchalantly without looking at him.
"You know men. They don't last that long", she said almost choking him not expecting such reply.
"Were you worried? Guilty?", she asked as he shrugged.
"Why should I? I didn't even know you well enough to be worry nor guilty", he said as she snorted.
"Yet.. You run like a mad man and walking back with me now. I didn't know its common for anyone to run around like that before going for a movie", she said sarcastically as he cursed under his breath at her quick reply.
"I just don't want Naoto to blame me if he knew I let you go to love hotel with another guy without at least trying to stop you", he said quickly as she rolled her eyes smiling at him.
She was about to say something someone called out her name making them both turned to find a guy smiling at her.
Kenichi raised his eyebrows at her. In the short moment he knew her, it seems her world so full of guys.
"I thought it was you! On a date huh?", he asked as he eyed Kenichi when he heard her gave a short laugh.
"With him? No way!", she said as he shook his head in disbelief at her remark feeling slightly taken aback at her response.
"Ah.. That's right. You only date guys who 's into horror movie and love hotels. And guys that doesn't last long in bed", he said making her blushed unexpectedly as the other guy laughed at her expense making her glared at Kenichi murderously in turn.
"What is your problem?", she asked him as he looked at her amusedly.
"No problem at all if that's how you like your men", he said as the other guy looked at them both awkwardly.
"You're unbelievable!", she groaned in frustration.
"So are you", he said instantly before he could stop himself.
The other guy look at them both in turn before he raised his hand for attention as they both turned and glare at him.
"Err.. I'll see you around Erika." He quickly said as he stepped back and walked away before neither of them could say anything.
Kenichi let out a heavy sighed as he looked at her and glanced at his watch.
"Thanks to you I missed the movie", he said as she glared at him.
"Who told you to miss it? Didn't ask you to look for me..", she snapped.
"I wasn't looking for you..", he said defensively.
"Then its not my fault you miss the movie then.. Is it? Pretty boy..", she mocked as he looked as if he's going to strangle her any minute making her took a step back at his expression.
"If you dare say pretty boy one more time.. I swear.. I..", he said angrily when she look at him challangely.
"You what?.. What are you going to do?..", she dared him making him took a deep breath trying to control himself before he run his fingers through his hair frustratedly.
"Arghhhh! its impossible talking to you", he groaned before turning his back on her and walked away leaving her shaking her head in amazement.
"Weird guy!", she muttered to herself.
"I take it back! That girl drives me nuts!", Kenichi declares as he threw himself on Ryu's bed as soon as he barged into his room.
"Calm down for a second. Who are we talking about?", he grinned as he stopped his work on the computer and looked at him.
"Naoto's girl", he said as Ryu let out a chuckle before Shun grinned at him making Kenichi startled not realising his presence in the room too.
"Ah.. Kenichi, you like Naoto's girl huh? You mean the one that made you missed the movie today?", Shun teased him as Kenichi grabbed a pillow and covered his face playing dead.
"I didn't miss the movie because of her, ok?! I just didn't feel like it all of sudden", he said as Ryu and Shun both laughed.
"Sure.. Sure.. We believe you. Since you're the one dragging us to the movie today", Shun said as Kenichi let out a groaned before he got up and stared at them both.
"She's seriously crazy.. That girl!", he said as they both laughed again when Toru and Naoto entered the room with few Pizza box in their hands.
"Who's crazy?", Toru asked as he put the boxes on the floor and straight away all of them took a slice.
"According to Kenichi here.. Your girl, Naoto", Ryu said as Naoto looked at Kenichi amused.
"You met Erika?", he asked as Kenichi shrugged nonchalantly.
"Unfortunately..", he said as Ryu and Shun grinned at each other.
"What's the deal with her?", Toru asked Naoto as everyone looked at him including Kenichi as he chewed on the next slice.
"We went out before I left and something happened. We broke up, simple as that." He grinned at his friends as Kenichi looked at him before he look at Kenichi.
"But I think she's single now. So .. Its time to claim what should have been mine", he added as Kenichi shrugged.
"Good luck to you then.. Don't worry about me. I'm not interested", Kenichi said as Naoto broke into laughter.
"Its unlike you to be so worked up over a girl. And beside, if you really get to know her.. She's not a bad person. She may act tough and all that but the real her is actually very fragile. She had a tough time and hardly let people in. I just got lucky she let me in and I made a mistake and lost her", he said sounded a bit sad suddenly as Toru raised his eyebrows at others.
"What did you do?", Shun asked as he shook his head and chuckled.
"Ahhh.. Its in the past", he took another slice.
"Can we please talk about something else but her?", Kenichi said as he grabbed another slice sounded slightly annoyed as Naoto chuckled.
"If I don't know any better, I think you actually fall for her", he grinned as Kenichi rolled his eyes.
"Relax! She's all yours. I'm staying as far as I can if I ever see her again", Kenichi said as they all laughed before Shun mentioned about his work and get everyone excited over his latest project.
Shun worked in the entertainment industry and always has interesting stories and project that they all enjoyed listening to.
Toru worked for his own business in IT area where Ryu an architect working in Kenichi's father's company.
Naoto manages his parents hotel chain business and was overseas for the last five years managing their business overseas and overseeing the management there.
Despite having parents who had a very established business in real estate business, Kenichi followed his grand father's footstep instead and work in financial sector.
The five of them has been a good friends since high school where they're in the same basket ball team and has been quite inseparable ever since. They went their separate way to pursue their studies but at some point they all decided to get a place together and live away from home.