The next day came and came and came until it was already a month. Maimi failed again and again every night to make Tezuka sleep with her. Tezuka only focused on his work and he spent more times with his assistant, Ayaka.
Each day, Maimi would visit her workers and started to chat. They were pleased by her cheerful and friendly attitude since it was already a month they had been talking about so many things. Sometimes, Maimi impressed Tezuka with her intelligence in calculating the share amount everyday by using her head, not a calculator and that was her job now. She felt bored at first but despite that she was helping her husband, she kept on doing it.
Many clients from all over the world that had met her will like her. She was easy to be approached. Maimi was so popular in the company. Ayaka started to dislike her. But something was bothering her lately. She kept looking the calendar on her desk. She was worried. She kept walking back and forth in her office.
Every end of a month, her bad stepfather would come to their old house and ask for money. She remembered her mother did not have any money nowadays and she worried if that slut with hit her mother. And she needed to be there right now!
Maimi went out of her room and walked slowly towards the lift, hoping not to let Tezuka know about her leaving. Tezuka noticed her figure and looked at her entering the lift in a rush. He frowned.
Maimi took a taxi. “Sakura street,” she said. The taxi drove by. Tezuka saw that as he reached the maindoor. He started to suspect her. He took his car and followed her back.
The road he was driving to is unfamiliar and he never got there. It was a 20 minutes ride from the company and he was wondering where would she head to. She looked worried and that was the first time she went to a place without Tezuka.
After the 20 minutes journey, the taxi and Tezuka arrived at a low-price neighbourhood. Tezuka parked his car not far away from the taxi. He watched Maimi got out of the taxi and she ran into the neighbourhood. Tezuka sighed.
“Please, don’t do this!” Mrs. Kazui shouted when Mr. Kazui hit her. They were fighting at the house lawn and the other neighbours could only watch them. “Go away!”
“Go away? Go away?!!! I can’t go away without my money!” the drunken man yelled back and continued drinking his alcohol. He wore torn out clothes and his face looked messy. He was Maimi’s stepfather.
“Oka-san!” Maimi screamed as she arrived at the scene. She was panting. “Stop! Don’t hit her!”
Mr. Kazui turned at her and brought along a big stick. “Oh, Mai-chan! You look pretty in that suit. Are you working? If that’s so, give me money!”
Maimi held her fear. “I-I don’t-don’t have any money!”
Mr. Kazui stopped. He spun around and tried to hit Maimi’s mother but was stopped by Maimi. “No! Hit me! Hit me!”
“Oh...okay. If you say so, here!’ Mr. Kazui hit his stepdaughter with the stick. Maimi hugged her mother tightly, letting her back was hit by the big stick. She started to cry. They fell down. “Oka-san!!!”
Fortunately, a strong, manly hand grabbed the stick. Mr. Kazui froze and his eyes widened. It was Tezuka. The neighbours were shocked. “That’s the popular and handsome young manager, right? Mr. Fujimoto!”
Maimi looked up and gasped. “Nezumi-chan!”
“Who are you?!”Mr. Kazui asked in drunk. “You don’t interfere my problem, you bastard!”
Tezuka twirled the stick around abruptly, making the drunken man fell down. Tezuka threw away the stick and glared at him, “I’m Tezuka Fujimoto, a manager of a well-known share company, and Maimi’s husband.”
Everyone was surprised. Maimi smiled.
“Don’t you ever come here hitting them!” Tezuka shouted. Mr. Kazui was afraid and he immediatey got up and ran away, pushing aside the watchers. Tezuka sighed and looked back at Maimi. She nodded down.
Tezuka kept silence when everyone got in. He was sitting by the Japanese table with his mother-in-law. Mrs. Kazui served him crackers and a cup of tea. She sat along and looked down. Maimi was in her room.
“I’m sorry if she lied to you. She didn’t mean it,” Mrs. Kazui began. “She wants the best for you and your family. Especially your Grandma Megu. She told me that your grandma prefers a rich girl and everything about the saloons is a lie. But Peppei does work at a saloon. Maimi is a former worker there before she meets you.”
Tezuka looked at her. Mrs. Kazui smiled, “He’s my second husband. Maimi’s real dad is dead due to a car accident. But, her new dad is not what she wishes for. He’ll come every month asking for money. You see, I work as a vegetable seller for my friend but the income is not enough for us. I thank you, for marrying her in the first place. I just want her to live a life that she should have before.”
Tezuka kept listening. Mrs. Kazui swallowed and stared at him, placing a hand on his leg. “I want you to protect her. She’s beaten by that man. I don’t want that to happen again. And I wish you can figure out how to keep this secret. She needs you.”
Tezuka let out a deep breath. “Does she have the scars?”
Tezuka got up and bowed in front of her. He barged into Maimi’s room. She was sitting on her mattress in that narrow and small room. “Hey!”
She looked up weakly. Tezuka neared her and held her arms tightly while glaring into her big eyes. “Tell me! Did your stepfather beat you up?! Tell me!” He shook her body harshly, making her tears ran down her cheeks.
“Nothing matters,” she answered in a miserable tone. Mrs. Kazui just stood outside of the room, sobbing. Maimi cried. Tezuka unzipped her old sweater and torn it to see her body. Nothing was there. But then, he checked her back. There were many scars and swollen skins. He held her arms again, “Why don’t you tell me! Are you going to shut up all this time and be beaten by that old slut?! Huh?! I don’t like people hitting women! That’s my priority!”
Maimi was amazed by his words. She cried harder, “I want to but you keep pushing me away when I wanna sleep with you.” Tezuka realized he went overboard. He hugged her immediately. And that was the first time he hugged the old miss. Yes, he disliked people especially men hit women.
Maimi cried even harder. She was finally been hugged by her husband. Tezuka pushed her slightly and looked into her eyes. She was still crying. Tezuka’s heart was touched. He should have listen to her and sleep with her and do everything with her. Now, he knew she lied about her background. But he needed to keep it.
After a while, Maimi fell asleep. Tezuka covered her with a comforter. He exited the room and sighed. Mrs. Kazui was still there. “You guys haven’t slept together?”
Tezuka froze. Mrs. Kazui nodded, “I understand. You guys are not ready.” Tezuka looked at the door like he was looking at Maimi who was sleeping and said, “It’s just that....I don’t know her yet. How can I....sleep with a stranger?”
“She’s not a stranger. She’s your wife. Age doesn’t matter as long as you guys are married,” Mrs. Kazui declared. “By the way....you need to do it too to know her better. She needs YOU.”
Tezuka cleared his throat. He glanced at his watch. It was almost 9 p.m. and his work time was over. He skipped his work for the first time. “I need to get back home. I’ll let her sleep here for tonight. Tell her I’ll come to fetch her tomorrow morning before work.”
He went to the front door and opened it. He bowed at his mother-in-law and left just like that. Mrs. Kazui sighed. She was glad everything was clear now. Perhaps.
Tezuka calmed himself as he got into his car. It was shocking. Everything happened at once that day. It was like a fate that he followed Maimi. He knew she was something. But he never thought that her family background was like that. It was so rude. He felt like protecting her from that slut. He sighed when he flashed back at what he saw at Maimi’s body. It was terrible for a girl like her.
“Mai-chan!” Peppei shouted. She dropped by at her friend’s house the next morning as soon as she knew what happened. Mrs. Kazui was preparing breakfast. “Mai-chan!”
Maimi turned to her right and continued sleeping. Peppei snatched the comforter and Maimi shook her body. She ran her hand on her legs, finding the comforter. Peppei kicked her legs and stamped her feet on the tatami floor. “Wake up! You’re late for work!”
Maimi yawned. “I don’t wanna go to work. Save it.”
Peppei grunted and shook her friend’s body. “Wake up! Tezuka-kun is gonna be here in a while! Get up and clean!”
Maimi did not respond. She closed back her eyes and slept. Peppei sighed and kicked her again. “Wake up!”
Tezuka cleared his throat. Peppei gasped and bowed, “Good morning! Uh...” She went back to wake Maimi up. “Mai-chan! Tezuka is here!”
Tezuka was in his grey suits, reading for work. It was Friday and he brought a paper bag along with him. He neared Maimi and asked Peppei to go out. He sighed and looked back at Maimi’s back. It’s still worse. Tezuka shook her body, “Hey, old miss. Wake up.”
Maimi immediately opened her eyes and looked up. She curved a sweet smile. “Nezumi-chan!”
“Wear this,” Tezuka told her. He lent her the paper bag and got up. He exited the room and closed the door. He bowed at Mrs. Kazui and Peppei before he went out towards his BMW. Peppei widened her eyes, “Oh, my, God! Is that his car?”
Maimi took out a simple yellow skirt and a short jean from the paper bag. She was wondering why? She quickly went for a shower and got dressed up. She tied her hair into a bun and ran out. She hugged her mother, “I’ll be going now. Are you sure you okay?”
“Okay? I’m better than ever,” Mrs. Kazui told her and pointed at the front door. There was a lady bodyguard in black suits and shade was standing. “Tezuka hired her to keep an eye on me.”
Maimi laughed. She met Peppei outside and hugged her too. “Bye!”
“Mai-chan! What about the undies?” Peppei asked out loud. Maimi gasped and ran back towards her friend. She hissed with a finger on her lips, “Ssshhhh!!!! Don’t say that in public! It’s a top secret, okay? Let’s do it next time, okay? I promise!”
“Oh...okay. Keep safe.”
Maimi bowed and ran towards the car. She got in and breathed out. Tezuka looked at her. Maimi did not realize it because she was busy wearing the seat belt.
“Where’s your handbag?” he asked with a corny look. Maimi smiled, “I don’t have one. I can’t afford it.”
Tezuka looked away. Since the yesterday scene, the old miss seemed cuter than ever. Maybe when he strapped her sweater just like that and he felt touched about the scars and her family background and whatsoever. He bought the new clothes for her last night. And he was glad it did fit her. She looked cute.
“I’m going to work likewise and you just sit there. Don’t do anything,” he explained to her. Maimi frowned.
“Sir, why did you skip work yesterday? I was looking for you and I couldn’t reach your phone,” Ayaka asked as soon as Tezuka and Maimi entered the floor. Everyone stared at them. “There’s a client from Thailand yesterday and I had cancelled it. He said he can go for the second time today before he flies,” she added.
Maimi smiled at her. Ayaka glared at her. Tezuka sat down at his desk and sighed, “Something comes up. It’s my family problem.”
Ayaka looked down. She watched Maimi settled down on a couch and looked around like an idiot. “You should have told me,” the lady said, gawking at Maimi. Maimi just stayed there quiet.
Tezuka looked at his assistant. He adjusted his glasses. “I won’t do that again,” he said. He opened his files and cleared his throat. “I’m gonna be here for a while only. Before noon, I got somewhere to go. Cancel all my schedules for today after the noon.”
Ayaka’s heart ignited. She felt a twinge of fear and angry. It became worse as she glared at Maimi. “Yes, sir,” she sputtered then left the room.
Maimi laughed. Tezuka sighed.
“Where are we going?” she asked, drawing near towards him. “May I know?”
“You’re going to the hospital,” Tezuka vowed. Maimi gasped, “For what?”
Tezuka wrote something on his files while saying, “Your back needed to be treated.” Maimi gasped again and tried to look at her back, waving her hand. Tezuka rolled his eyes. He gawked at her. She pouted, “I don’t wanna go. I’m fine.”
“No, you must go,” Tezuka declared. “Don’t make me mad.”
Maimi smirked suddenly and leaned forward. “What did you see last night?”
Tezuka stopped. “What?”
“When you unzipped my sweater. What did you SEE?”
Tezuka cleared his throat and continued to do his surveys. Maimi breathed out and wagged her fingers on his desk while whistling a song. Tezuka sighed and gave a flinty look at her, “Would you stop that?”
Maimi stopped. She pouted again. Tezuka quickly looked back at his files. He realized her face was getting cuter when she pouted. Maimi jumped a little and stretched her arms. She danced some steps of a song and sang it. Tezuka closed his eyes.
“What’re those two doing in that room?” a worker asked. Then, the others joined. “I don’t know. Perhaps they’re making out? Mai-chan is wearing cute clothes today!”
On of them hit his head. “Don’t ever think that! They have a house to do so!” Ayaka who walked pass them stopped before she stared at the room. She was curious too.
“I’m bored,” Maimi said, swinging her hands.
“It’s been only 10 minutes, you little bastard old miss,” Tezuka jeered coldly. Maimi gasped, “What?” She looked around and found a magazine on the coffee table and threw it at him. The magazine hit his face and his glasses fell down on his desk.
The workers out there were shocked. They were guessing what was happening with the sudden shout from their respected manager.
“You did it wrongly!” Maimi’s voice was heard. A bunch of workers held their breath, thinking that both of them were doing something....intimate.
“What did I do?!!!” Tezuka shot her back, standing up. Maimi held her head up and shouted, “You should entertain me well! I’m bored!”
Tezuka ran his hand through his hair. He was loosing his temper. He grabbed for a pen holder and threw it back to her.
The workers covered their mouths. They thought they guessed the right thing. “Tezuka-kun is so fierce!” a worker said, giggling. The others nodded, “Poor Maimi, she’s too small.”
Ayaka grunted. She was guessing the same thing going on in the room. She was frustrated. “It can’t be,” she whispered to herself.
Maimi took Tezuka’s glasses and wore it then she ran around the room, not letting him to get back his glasses. “Hey! Get back here! Take it off!”
The workers widened their eyes. “TAKE IT OFF?!!!” they said. The women hooted happily. Ayaka felt miserable.
“No! I won’t!” Maimi shouted back, running. Tezuka took a file and threw it at her with fierce. The file hit her straight at the face. “Ittaaaaa!!!!!”
The workers were happy all of a sudden. Some of them could not hold the pain that Maimi is going. “Maimi is weak. How could Tezuka-kun force her?”
“Let them be,” the others said. Ayaka was truly shocked at the moment Tezuka asked Maimi to take off her clothes but end up forcing her. They were having fun....
Maimi sat down on the floor and cupped her mouth. Tezuka took back his glasses and wore it. Maimi wagged her legs, “It hurts!!!!!”
Tezuka closed his eyes and let a frustrated sigh out. He decided to go out. He opened the door and noticed his workers were hovering towards their places. He navigated into the rest room. Everyone was curious. They watched their boss walking to the room. Later, Maimi went out. The workers looked at her immediately. There were tears dried on her cheeks. She looked upset.
“Nezumi! Nezumi-chan!” she bawled and wandering around the area. Then, she saw Tezuka came out of the rest room. “Nezumi!”
“Let me see,” Dr. Kim ordered after Tezuka told him what happened to his wife. They were already at the nearby hospital. Maimi was afraid. She looked at Tezuka. He shot a glare.
“Uh....do I have to...”
“Yes, if you don’t, how am I gonna know your condition?” the doctor said, friendly. It was the doctor that treated her during the bathroom fall. Maimi shook her head, “No, you’re a man. I don’t wanna show you my back!”
Tezuka sighed. “Hey, old miss. Let’s get it over with. Show to him now.”
Maimi clinched at his right forearm. “No!” she barracked. Tezuka swallowed hard. He pushed her. Maimi stared at him. The doctor cleared his throat.
Lastly, she was asked to lie on the bed. She agreed. She pulled her dress into half and sighed. Then, she turned back. The doctor came and checked her back. Maimi was not comfortable. She shot a fear look at Tezuka, hoping for him to accompany her by her side but Tezuka was busy on the phone. She pouted.
Dr. Kim let out a deep breath. He patted his hand on her back softly. Maimi startled. “Is that hurt?” the doctor asked. Maimi nodded a little. Later, after the check was finished, Maimi sat on the bed and waited for the doctor to say anything. Tezuka varied his position on the seat. He watched Maimi was adjusting her dress.
Dr. Kim came to the front. There was a small plastic bag with medicines. He gave it to Maimi. “Those are bruises. Someone hit her, I bet,” he said, looking at Tezuka. Tezuka nodded, “I know. That’s why she’s here. I wanna know if she’s okay.”
Maimi smiled coyly since she knew that Tezuka did care about her. Dr. Kim agreed, “Yes. It was bad. I’m afraid the bruises will leave scars and she may not be able to sleep and lie down well.”
Tezuka nodded. Maimi got down with a thud and she almost fell down when her high heels cracked a bit. She looked up and smiled as she saw Tezuka and Dr. Kim stared at her. The doctor giggled. He smiled, “Use the medicine as it was told. You can keep healthy.”
Maimi nodded eagerly. She looked at her husband with a sweet smile. Tezuka thanked the doctor and came out of the room followed by her. “Nezumi! Where are we going next?”
“Back to work,” he answered shortly. Maimi pouted. “Uh...let’s go eat? I’m hungry. I didn’t take breakfast.”
“I’m busy,” Tezuka said, leaving her behind. Maimi grunted and ran towards him. She opened her arms in front of him, “Listen to me! Take me out to eat!”
Tezuka rolled his eyes. He pushed her to side abruptly. Maimi’s medicines fell down and they scattered. “Oh, my!” she said, trying to pick them up. Suddenly there were hands that helped her to pick up the medicines. Maimi looked up to see a man in smart clothes who was smiling at her. He had brown short hair and he got a Roman nose. Maimi smirked, “Thanks.”
She got up along with the guy. She was surprised that he was very tall. As tall as Tezuka. He got a perfect body and his legs were long. His smile was killing.
Tezuka spun around to call Maimi back but he froze when he saw that guy. He sighed. He walked towards them. “Hey.”
Maimi smiled, “He helped me.” That guy bowed, “Hi, Tezuka-kun.” Tezuka bowed.
Maimi glanced at both of them. “You guys know each other?”
“He’s Andrew. My childhood friend,” Tezuka told her. Andrew drew a sweet smile and looked at Maimi, “Hi. And you are?”
“I’m Maimi Kazui. Tezuka’s wife,” she replied excitedly. Andrew nodded, “I heard it. Congratulations.”
Tezuka glared at him. He drew it back. Maimi frowned, not knowing anything.
The three of them took their lunch together at an Italian restaurant. They ordered for steaks. Maimi ate it eagerly since she was so hungry. Andrew sniggered at her action. Tezuka saw that and he quickly distracted him by asking, “So, what’s up?”
Andrew cleared his throat. He looked down. “I just got back from France. I took a medical check-up just now.” He cut his steak, “I feel like working here.”
Tezuka gawped. He took a drink at his red wine. Andrew knew that by the looking. He was Tezuka’s childhood friend. They played together. But when they grew up, Andrew seemed to forget about their relationship. He kept avoiding him to study for any entrance exam to enter the best college. Tezuka was mad. He was left behind since Andrew got good grades and flied to France. Tezuka would never forgive him.
“What do you wanna do?” Maimi asked. Andrew smiled at her cuteness, “I wanna invest into Tezuka’s company.”
Tezuka looked up, frowning. Andrew smirked, “I really do.”
Maimi clapped her hands. “That’s great! Our company is going to do great-“
“Hey, old miss!” Tezuka claimed. Maimi stopped. “Don’t say anything.”
“Old miss?” Andrew asked. Tezuka continued to eat his food, “That’s none of your business.”
Andrew was taken aback. Maimi was afraid. She knew when Tezuka got mad, nothing can bother him. The best way to do is to keep quiet.
Tezuka slammed his coat onto the floor as soon as he got into the house. Maimi staybacked. She put her medicines on the dining table. Tezuka went to the sliding doors towards the balcony, with his hand son his hips. He kept hissing angrily.
Maimi was wondering what. She took a glass of cold water and put onto the coffee table. Then, she went to him cautiously and shouted, “Drink this!” She ran away into the kitchen. Tezuka turned back reluctantly. Maimi pointed at the drink. Tezuka sighed and turned back at the door.
Maimi pouted. That was all she liked to do. She decided to eat her medicine. She took out the medicines but there was no capsule. She kept rummaging into the plastic bag but failed. She got two bottle and they were cream to apply on.
“There’s no capsule,” she said. “Only cream.”
Tezuka pretended that he was not listening. He reached for his cellphone and called Ayase. He told everything about Andrew arrival. Maimi seemed not to bother. She sat on the couch and started to apply the cream on her back. She took off her dress. Despite that she was wearing bras and shorts jean, that was easier for her.
Tezuka finished talking with Ayase and turned back. He widened his eyes. He saw Maimi was half-naked, trying to spread the cream onto her back. He gulped. “Hey! Do it in your room, dummy!”
Maimi shook her head. “It’s up to me.”
Tezuka glared at her. He grabbed his coat and opened his door room. “Nezumi....”
He turned back at her. Maimi was pouting at him, “Can you help me put this on my back?”
Tezuka looked away. He shook his head and just walked into his room. Maimi sighed. She tried again.
Maimi ate her rice with curious while looking at Tezuka during their dinner. She watched him ate quietly. She cleared her throat, “May I know, who’s Andrew?”
Tezuka sighed. He took a mushroom and put in his rice bowl. “He told you.”
Maimi pouted. “I know. But.....why are you so angry with him?”
Tezuka chewed his rice without looking up. “Don’t butt in. Mind your business.”
Maimi sighed. She popped a veggie into her mouth and chewed. She was very curious. She leaned forward, “Do you want more rice?”
Tezuka shook his head slightly. Maimi ate more rice. Between the mouthful, she kept looking at him, wondering what was that all about? She swallowed hard and asked, “Where does he live?”
Tezuka gawped at her and then he looked down. Maimi understood it was a warning. She drank her strawberry juice. Tezuka took another mushroom and bite it, “Why did you lie to me?”
Maimi glanced at him. She hesitated. “Uh...um....I-I”
“You should have told me the truth. I don’t care where you came from but I do care about my family. They thought you’re rich,” he said, chewing. Maimi bite her bottom lip. She ate her rice again to finish it.
Tezuka took a peek at her. He suddenly remembered what Mrs. Kazui had told him before. He hoped he could understand but the problem was his family. Either he would tell the truth or just shut up.
He noticed her face turned pale. Maimi drank again her juice and collected her dishes. “I’m done!” she said and brought the dishes to the sink. She washed them in hesitant. Tezuka finished his last rice and relaxed his back against the chair. He was thinking about something.
“You should do it so that you can know her well.”
Tezuka sighed and tilted his head a bit. Those words were glued in his mind after then. He was curious too about her but the only way to know was to sleep with her. To him, she was a stranger who was 4 years older than him. He took his dishes and put them into the sink where Maimi was working on. Then, he left to the living room. Maimi let out a relief sigh. She was glad he did not ask again.
Tezuka saw the cream on the coffee table. He took it and read. It was a cream to apply on any body part like a lotion. He was wondering how did the old miss apply it by herself. Maimi came back after she finished her chores.
“Have you done it?”
“Done what?” she asked, sitting next to him. Tezuka looked at her, “Your back.”
“Oh....not really. I gave up. Hehe,”she said.
Tezuka swallowed a little and sighed. He opened the cream and swiped it. “Turn back.”
Maimi widened her eyes and smiled broadly. She clapped her hands happily and spun around. She tried to open her clothes but Tezuka pulled her hair. “Ouch!” she screamed.
“I didn’t ask you to take off your clothes!” Tezuka retorded. Maimi pouted. Tezuka pulled her t-shirt up slightly and asked her to hold it so that he can do his part. He put the cream and hesitantly spread it around the old miss’s back. Her back was badly injured and there were many bruises. Some of them tend to bleed. Tezuka sighed. Maimi was standing the pain in silent.
Tezuka stood up and went into his study. Then, he went out with an emergency aid box. Maimi frowned. He sat back next to her and took out a bottle of iodine and a cotton wool. Maimi just waited. She looked down. “Ouch!”
Tezuka was startled as she said that. He had just put the iodine onto the bleeding wound. He grunted, “Just stand it. It won’t be long.”
Maimi swallowed and gave a corny look at him. He did not respond. Instead, he kept doing the treat. Maimi was impressed by his hospitality service. She could feel the sensation from his touch on her skin. She giggled.
Tezuka rolled his eyes. He knew what had she thinking about. After they had finished, Maimi faced him with a sweet smile. Tezuka gawped at her, waiting. Suddenly, Maimi leaned forward and gave a peck on his left cheek. He was shocked.
Maimi sniggered. Tezuka’s eyes were opened as huge as he could. It was unpredictable. Maimi got up and ran into her room. Tezuka was left in the living room with a shock, enormous impact. He patted his hand on his left cheek and sighed.