Through dinner, I could feel my sister's eyes on me and I knew she was dying to get details on why Tadayoshi needed to stay with her. I was thankful that she at least waited until I had, for lack of a better phrase, come out of the closet.
Throughout the meal, my parents bombarded Tadayoshi with questions about how we met, where he was from, what he did for a living. Like always, he managed to stay calm and rationally answer the questions without giving anything away. Underneath the table, Tadayoshi's hand was still grasped in my own, calming my racing nerves.
“What about your family?” My mother asked, refilling Tadayoshi's water glass.
“I don't really have family. My mom died when I was young and I've never really gotten along with my father.”
“Oh,” my mother replied sadly, “You don't have any siblings?”
“I have a half brother, but we don't really get along,” he smiled back, trying to reassure her that she hadn't overstepped any boundaries by asking.
“Well,” my sister piped up, “That's okay. I'll be your big sister!”
I scoffed, only playfully, “Who wants that?”
My mother ignored us as my sister stuck her tongue out at me. “Well, you're welcome here anytime, Tadayoshi. I mean it.”
Tadayoshi looked down at his plate, smiling at the invitation into not only my parents home but the family as well. “Shota's really lucky to have such a great family.”
Everyone was silent, and I wanted to counter his statement, but I couldn't find my voice. That night, I knew I had the best family in the world. And even if I tried to say otherwise, we would both know that it was a lie.
I knew what Tadayoshi had gone through growing up. I knew exactly what his family life was like. And although my entire family was weird and always seemed to go out of their way to embarrass me, they were still better than I could have hoped for.
I nodded, feeling the tears come to my eyes again. “I am. They're really great.”
What should have been a touching moment was interrupted by my family's laughing. My brother-in-law reached across the table, mussing my hair as my sister pointed and called me a baby. And as much as this would have shocked and outraged any outsider, Tadayoshi was laughing along at their teasing.
And I finally understood that all of the teasing was just their way of showing me that they loved me.
After dinner was over, Tadayoshi volunteered to do the dishes, and though I tried to help him, he quickly shooed me out of the kitchen. In the hall, on the way to the living room, my sister stopped me. “Hey little brother,” she smiled and I knew that she wanted answers right away.
“Hey,” I replied back, nervously searching for something to tell her.
“Why don't we go outside and have a chat?” She put her arm around my shoulders and started guiding me towards the door.
I gulped nervously, still not sure what to tell her. It was clear to me now that she knew nothing of Tadayoshi's situation. And although they had been supportive of our relationship so far, I didn't know if I could count on them to support us once they knew all of the dirty details.
“Hey,” My mom stuck her head out into the hall. “Why don't you two come sit down? Its been a while since we've been together like this.”
“But Shota and I were just-” she started and I knew that she was getting impatient.
“Ah, okay,” I said, grateful for the interruption. I slid out of my sister's grasp and hurried into the living room.
I could hear her following me in and when I chanced a look at her, she was glaring at me. I ignored her and sat down on the floor next to my mother.
“Shota,” My mother smiled, wrapping her arm around my shoulders. “Thank you for bringing Tadayoshi home to meet us. I know it must have been difficult for you.”
I nodded, but said nothing. If I had known how easily I would receive their acceptance, I wouldn't have spent the past few weeks worrying over it.
“He seems very sweet,” she added. “The type I had always imagined you to settle down with.”
“Eh?” I choked out, surprised that my mother had imagined me settling down with anyone let alone another man. “Settling down?”
She smiled at the way I was blushing. “Of course. It must be serious, right? Are you two living together?”
I looked to my sister for help, but she just smiled wickedly. “Yep, they've been shacking up together for a while now. Shota is Tadayoshi's sugar daddy.”
I felt my face getting red again, and my mother reached over, patting my leg. “That's okay, Shota. I think it's great that you have someone to take care of. It's been a long time since I've seen you so happy and content.”
I looked over at my sister's face and for a brief moment, she looked almost guilty that she had teased me. That look was quickly replaced with a pout as she crossed her arms over her chest, upset that she would have to wait to get something out of me.
Tadayoshi joined me in the living room a few minutes later, taking a seat on the floor next to me. My father pulled out a pack of playing cards, “Do you play poker, Tadayoshi?”
Tadayoshi nodded in reply, scooting closer to where my dad was shuffling the deck of cards. I sat up on my knees, joining Tadayoshi's side as my dad started dealing out cards.
“Osamu, why don't you go grab us some beers?” my dad requested, and a few minutes later my brother returned with 4 cans of beer.
Tadayoshi looked at me as Osamu handed him a can, as if making sure it was okay. I nodded and he took it, but not before I noticed that my sister was heavily scrutinizing the exchange that had just taken place between Tadayoshi and me.
I wasn't good at cards, and I hadn't ever been. I opted out of playing, instead peering over Tadayoshi's shoulder as he looked down at his cards.
Three hands later, Tadayoshi had one every game, much to my father and Osamu's dismay. I had no idea that Tadayoshi was such a good card player, and my dad seemed thrilled that there was finally someone in the family worth playing against.
I, however, was starting to get bored watching them play. My mother was playing with the baby, and that left only my sister. When I looked over at her, contemplating whether it would really be safe talking to her even with so many others in the room, I was surprised to find that she was already staring at me.
I looked away quickly, but it was already too late. She had stood up from her comfy spot on the couch and was making her way over to me. I tried to protest as she grabbed my arm and pulled me up from my spot on the floor, but it was no use. Everyone was too absorbed in what they were doing to save me from my sister.
She pulled me back over to the spot and sat down, pulling me onto her lap. “Little brother,” She said, forcibly putting my head on her shoulder, where she promptly started petting my head. I didn't know if the gesture was meant to be loving or to frighten me. “Let's talk...”
“About what?” I said, hoping my voice didn't sound as nervous as I felt. As I should have guessed, having an audience would not have stopped her from bringing up what I was trying so desperately to avoid.
My sister looked at me seriously then. “Tell me what's going on. You know I love Tadayoshi, but if he is a yakuza or something,” she began.
I shook my head quickly, “Its nothing like that.”
“Then what is it?” She asked, poking me in the side.
I squirmed, trying to wiggle my way out of her lap. “It's complicated,” I answered still trying to find my way out of the situation.
“Shota, just tell me.” I could tell she was getting impatient, and I knew that I owed her an explanation.
“AH!” My dad shouted suddenly, startling both my sister and me. “He beat me again!” he shouted and then slammed his cards down onto the table.
Tadayoshi's face was red with embarrassment, but he still had trouble hiding his pleased smile.
“Tadayoshi,” My mother teased, “Why don't you let him win a game?”
“I'll beat him on my own,” my father grumbled, picking up his discarded hand and reshuffling the deck of cards. “One more game.”
Tadayoshi looked to his right and realized, for the first time, that I was no longer by his side. He turned around to look for me and blinked as he watched me still trying to squirm away from my sister. Sensing my desperate mood, he turned back to my dad. “I'm actually getting kind of tired.”
My mother sat up then, cradling my sleeping niece in her arms. “Shota,” she said, turning towards me. “Why don't you show Tadayoshi to your room?”
My sister loosened her grip on me and I shot out of her lap. “Come on,” I motioned for Tadayoshi to follow me and he stood up from his spot on the floor.
He grabbed my hand as I led him towards the staircase and I heard both my mother and sister, “Kyaaaa.” Embarrassed, I shot Tadayoshi an apologizing look, “Sorry that they're so weird.”
He shook his head at me, still smiling. “No, I think they're great.”
“Be safe,” My sister called, poking her head over the chair she was sitting in to watch us ascend the stairs.
“Safe?” I asked, turning to look at her. “We're just going to bed. It's not exactly dangerous.”
She laughed hard then, and Tadayoshi leaned over, whispering in my ear, “I think she's talking about using a condom...”
“Oh,” I was all I could say as my face turned red. Although my family could not hear what Tadayoshi whispered in my ear, they all burst out laughing at my realization of how air-headed I was being. I quickly dragged Tadayoshi the rest of the way up the stairs to my bedroom.
“Don't be so embarrassed,” he laughed, “I thought it was cute.”
When I moved out of the house after college, my parents let me take my western style bed with me. As a result, whenever I was home for the weekend, I slept on a futon on the floor. I noticed that next to our bags, there were two sets of futons and blankets.
I pouted silently, not saying anything as I set to work rolling out the futons. Somehow, I felt naive when it came to anything relationship or sex wise. I was beginning to wonder how a 23 year old like me was so much less experienced than a 16 year old kid.
I could feel Tadayoshi staring at me as I finished rolling out his futon and began to work on my own. I pulled my futon close to his, butting them up next to each other. I set the blankets aside, crossing the room back over to the closet and pulling out a bigger blanket. It had been four days since I had a good night's sleep, missing the warmth of Tadayoshi's body and his arms wrapped around. Having separate blankets was not going to work.
Tadayoshi smiled widely when he figured out what I was doing, taking the blanket from me and opening it before tossing it over our futons.
“Let me show you the bathroom,” I said and he nodded, picking up his bag and following me out of the room and down the hall to the bathroom.
I opened the door and turned on the light for him. “Did you want me to run a bath?”
“I will just shower quick,” he smiled and I nodded before he shut the door.
I went back to my room, exhaustion suddenly hitting me. I opened my bag, pulling out a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt, pulling them on quickly. I sat on the futon, on top of the covers, anticipating Tadayoshi's return.
Several minutes passed before Tadayoshi re-entered, already in his pajamas. I felt a bit disappointed, and then embarrassed for having such perverted thoughts. He came to sit next to me, reopening his bag and pulling out a magazine.
“Do you mind if I read for a while?”
I shook my head, but found myself disappointed again. He lifted up the covers on his side of the futon and crawled underneath, settling in. He opened the magazine to a dog-eared page.
I sighed, watching him for a moment before joining him under the covers. I began pouting silently again, wondering why he would rather read a magazine than be with me. In my opinion, we had been apart far too long and I only wanted some kind of physical contact from him.
I laid on my side, watching Tadayoshi read. I sighed again, worrying that the recent distance between us had made him lose interest me. He turned towards me, hearing my sigh. I suddenly felt sick to my stomach, afraid that our relationship was already coming to an end.
“What's wrong?” he asked, a look of concern crossing his face.
I shook my head, whispering, “Nothing.” I mentally cringed at how shaky my voice had sounded. I had already behaved like a needy child earlier today when we were alone. No wonder Tadayoshi was growing tired of me.
He reached over, brushing some hair from my forehead. “Tell me.”
“It's nothing,” I said, silently rejoicing as he set the magazine down and turned on his side to face me.
He watched my face, and I got the uncanny feeling that he was somehow reading my thoughts again. “I love you,” he smiled as if he knew exactly what I wanted to hear.
I couldn't keep the smile from my face as I scooted closer, kissing his soft lips. He raised his arm, resting his hand awkwardly on my bicep. Pushing me back a little bit he broke the kiss before I had the chance to deepen it.
“What's wrong?” I asked this time, my fears coming back as I wondered why he didn't want to go any further.
“Nothing,” he smiled, picking up his magazine again.
I sat up, frustrated with the situation. Pouting again, I pulled the magazine out of his hands and tossed it across the room.
“Hey! What are you doing?” he asked, slightly angry as he sat up. He tossed the blankets off of our futons, getting ready to go retrieve the magazine.
I said nothing, grabbing his shoulders and pushing him back against the futon as I brought my lips down onto his. I threw my leg over him, quickly straddling his body, while holding him down with my weight before he had a chance to push me away again.
I buried my hands in his hair, enjoying the silky feeling of his fresh cut hair against my fingertips. He sighed and I took the opportunity to slide my tongue into his mouth. A moan rumbled in his throat as he grabbed my hips.
I felt myself growing hard as he slid his tongue against mine, his fingers digging into my hips. My hands slid under his shirt and he shuddered as my cold fingertips brushed against his warm skin. I could feel him growing harder, his cock pressing against my ass.
My fingertips slid over his hard nipples and he moaned into my mouth again, his hands sliding up the back of my shirt as he dug his nails into my skin. I sat up, rubbing my ass against his hardened length. He opened his eyes, grabbing my thighs and stilling me. “Shota, stop.”
I shook my head, panting slightly. I wondered why he was being so resistant, but I didn't miss his eyes as they went to the front of my pants, or the way his tongue darted out to lick his lips as his hands crept up my thighs. “Touch me,” I panted, anticipating the roughness of his hand wrapped around me.
He shook his head. “We need to stop.” His eyes weren't on my face though, instead focused intently on my lap as my hard dick strained against my sweatpants, precum leaving a wet spot on the gray cotton fabric.
I ignored him as I wiggled my ass against his front again and he raised his hips at the contact. Underneath me, I could feel him start to roll his hips, although hesitantly, against me.
He seemed to have lost his will of resistance as his hand wrapped around my clothed dick. I moaned at the feel of the rough fabric as his fingers worked furiously at the head of my shaft. I looked down and he was watching me, through half lidded eyes, as I simultaneously thrust into his hand and rubbed my backside against him.
I had missed his touch, the lusty look in his eyes, the way he knew exactly how to pleasure me. “Tadayoshi,” I panted.
“Hmm?” he hummed, and I wasn't sure if he was even really listening to me as his grip on my dick tightened and I felt my orgasm near.
“Fuck me,” I begged, lifting my hips for a moment as my hands searched for the ties on the front of his pants.
His eyes snapped open then and he blinked at me before shaking his head. He removed his touch from my lap and pulled my hands away from his pajama bottoms. “Stop. We need to stop,” he said again, a desperate note in his voice.
“Because if we don't stop now, I won't be able to...” he trailed off, trying to move me off of his lap.
“I don't want you to stop,” I replied, my hips unconsciously starting to move, reveling in the amazing feel of his cock rubbing hard against my ass. “I want you inside of me.”
A moan escaped his lips, whether from the contact or my words, I wasn't sure and didn't care. My brain was full of thoughts of Tadayoshi making love to me. I could feel his hand wrap around my length again as I closed my eyes.
I wanted him to hurry up. “Please,” I moaned, in anticipation. “Fuck me,” I begged, not caring how desperate I sounded. I needed to feel him sink his length into me, his hands on me as he pleasured himself with my body.
The sheer anticipation, the desire to feel all of him built up and burst, and I cried out as I came, soaking the front of my pants. The desire didn't go away, my body was tired, my mind completely exhausted, but my hands again went to the front of Tadayoshi's pants.
“Shota,” he grabbed my face in his hands, stopping me. “Stop.”
“Why don't you want to have sex with me?” I asked, my body heaving as I panted.
“I do want to, and you keep making it really hard for me to resist.”
“Then stop resisting,” I said, leaning down to kiss him.
He turned his head away. “Not tonight. Not here in your parents house, and not when you're so tired.”
“I'm not tired, and my parents don't care.”
“Shota, you're going to make yourself sick. How much sleep have you gotten in the past week?” He had managed to sit up, pushing me off of his lap and onto his legs.
I didn't have an answer. Since Tadayoshi left, I don't really remember sleeping. I remembered laying down, and I remembered crying until no more tears would come out. But I couldn't really remember going to sleep. Just the groggy feeling of having been woken too early from a much needed nap.
“You don't look well,” he continued. “I know you're tired. And I want us both to enjoy the first time. I want it to be special.”
I smiled at his sweetness and crawled off his lap, understanding his feelings. He retrieved the blanket with one arm, the other arm wrapping around me and pulling me close as I laid down. Tossing the blanket over us, he kissed my forehead. “Get some sleep.”
I nodded, closing my eyes and falling asleep almost immediately.
When I woke up the next day I glanced over at the clock, noticing it was already after noon. I blinked the sleep out of my eyes and sat up, stretching. “Good morning sunshine.”
I looked down at my left side and Tadayoshi was watching me, a small smile on his lips. “How long have you been up?” I asked.
“A while,” he shrugged and I wondered if he had been watching me sleep the whole time.
“You could have gone downstairs,” I muttered, standing up and folding up my futon.
“I wanted to be here when you woke up,” he answered sweetly.
I blushed and motioned for him to stand up so I could fold his futon. He got up, taking the blanket and folding it, setting it on the stack of futons.
“I need to shower,” I told him, grabbing my bag and pulling out a fresh pair of clothes.
He nodded, “I'll go wait downstairs then.”
I took my things and showered quickly, afraid to leave him alone with my family for too long. Sure enough, when I arrived in the living room, they were all sitting around the living room looking at a photo album, the television playing loudly in the background.
“This is Shota in high school,” My mom pointed to a picture.
“His hair is blonde,” Tadayoshi said, astonished.
“And permed,” My sister snickered.
“He looked like a poodle, didn't he?” Osamu added.
I was frozen in the doorway, completely mortified.
“Is that a dress he's wearing?” Tadayoshi asked, holding his face closer to the photo.
“It was an ethnic skirt!” I stomped into the room, finally getting over the shock of the situation.
My sister and Osamu laughed, simultaneously saying, “It was an ethnic skirt!” in a mocking tone.
“Shut-up,” I glared at them.
“I think he looks cute,” Tadayoshi said, staring at the picture with a thoughtful look on his face. “The blonde suits him.”
I blushed. “Stop looking at that,” I complained, trying to pull him away from the album.
He was already turning the page though, getting to the Shota: The College Years. “Ah, a different hair style,” he said, examining the long black hair. He flipped the page again and froze, staring down at a picture.
I looked over his shoulder, staring down at the picture that caught his attention. It was a picture from a ski trip that Emi and I had taken together over winter break during our second year, the same weekend we had lost our virginity to each other.
“Is that Emi?” He asked, a hint of jealousy to his tone as he stared at the way Emi's cheek was pressed so intimately against mine, my arm wrapped tightly around her shoulder.
“Uh-huh,” I said, reaching around him and flipping to the next page.
“She's cute,” he said stiffly.
My sister giggled. “That's so cute. Tadayoshi is jealous.”
We both blushed this time and he froze at the next picture, looking down at it. “When was this?” he asked.
I looked down at the picture. “Oh, that was my twentieth birthday party.” The picture was of me, holding my first legal beer, a happy smile across my face as my family sat around me.
He smiled, still looking at the picture. “You look so happy. It's cute.”
“Why don't you take that one?” My mom, said, smiling as she looked at Tadayoshi.
“Really?” he asked, a smile spreading across his face.
She nodded, leaning across the table and pulling the photo out of it's place and handing it to him. “Here.”
“Thanks,” he said, setting the picture down gently on the table as though it was something very precious to him.
My sister exchanged a look with my mom and I knew, as they bit their lips, a pained look crossing both faces, that they were trying their hardest not to 'kya' at us.
I sighed, ready to yell at them when a beeping sound came over the television. Everyone glanced up as the screen went blue for a moment before switching to a scene of a newsroom.
“We interrupt this program to bring a special news report,” the reporter said, tapping a stack of papers she was holding against the desk. A picture of Tadayoshi appeared on the screen. “Ohkura Tadayoshi, the 16-year-old son of restaurant tycoon Ohkura Hideo was reported missing this morning. The youth ran away from the Ohkura estate roughly one month ago, according to police. Previously, Ohkura-san hired a private investigator who tracked Tadayoshi to his last known location at this refuge for troubled young men.”
A picture of the clinic crossed the screen. The reporter continued. “Ohkura Tadayoshi left the clinic roughly two weeks ago and has not been seen since. If you have any information regarding his whereabouts, please call the number on the screen. A reward is being offered.”
My entire family, myself and Tadayoshi included, stared at the screen for several moments after the news broadcast ended and the regular television show came back on. Then, they turned towards where the two of us were sitting, frozen in place.
Tadayoshi reached over, grabbing my sweaty hand, and I felt the world suddenly crash around me.