Chapter 1: Someone New
Stretching was one of the most important things to do before dancing. We had just opened the studio and since it was Sunday, we accept walk-ins and did free sessions. Jotaro stretched with me, bending down to touch our toes. For the first time in years, we bumped heads. He smiled just slightly as he rubbed his head, and it made me laugh. Jazz music lingered through the speakers in the studio as we kept getting limbered up for the day’s work.
I wasn’t a fan of jazz much anymore since Sadao left me before Jotaro was born but, I wasn’t going to stop my son from listening to it. After he stretched enough, Jotaro got the cooler from the spare room along with a case of water. He was a strong young man, easily carrying the large case of water on his shoulder as he dragged the cooler of ice behind him.
The couple who owned the cafe across the street came in on every Sunday to socialize a bit more with me and my son. We go over there on Tuesdays as a treat. Jean Pierre and Mohammed were a very nice couple who bought the vacant cafe about two years ago and they served the best coffee, sweets and ice cream you would ever had! Egyptian coffee was my life after I met Mohammed! They soon came in, Jean gave me a big hug and Mohammed handed Jotaro a small tray of things they had baked.
It was our community building days on Sunday and everyone was welcome! Jotaro usually sat on the sidelines when it was this busy which, I would understand. He liked to watch the children mess up in small steps that he could do easily at their age. Occasionally, I would catch him smiling. After about an hour after opening, someone entered the chaos with a calm smile.
“Hello, Joestar-san, please allow me to introduce myself,” he said in a tone to put off that I should have already known who he was. “My name is Kakyoin, Kakyoin Juro.” Once he said his name, I did know he was!
“Oh, Kakyoin-san!” I exclaimed as I shook his hand, “What brings you here? This district seems a bit out of place for a tech business CEO.”
He adjusted his lapel and cleared his throat, “My son asked me to bring him here. From what I found it was free on Sunday, I thought it would be nice for him to dance here for the evening.”
His son? I had no idea Kakyoin-san had children, let alone that he was married. The news only spoke of him but no family attached to it. The dark haired man waved out the door and just in a moment later, in walked a young man in such stylish clothing. The only way I could describe him was “absolutely gorgeous”. He approached me with a smile before bowing down, “Hello, Joestar-san. It is a pleasure to finally meet you. My name is Kakyoin Noriaki, and I would be honored if you would allow me to dance with your company today.”
Dear me, this boy was so well mannered. He must have been thinking about coming here for some time. “But of course!” I replied, “Everyone is welcomed for the evening on Sunday.” In that, his father left and Noriaki started talking with some children as well as Mohammed. Jotaro hastily tapped my arm before just pulling me aside to the snack table in a hurry. His eyes were locked on Noriaki and he had me by the shoulders as he spoke, “Mom, that guy is really cute.” I had to guide his gaze to me with my hand on his chin, “Jotaro, look at me sweetie, then talk.” His eyes looked at me, shining like stars, “I really think he’s cute Mom. I wanna talk with him.” I couldn’t help but smile at the sudden puppy-love, “Then go talk to him, honey!”
“No, I can’t.”
“And why not?” I asked but he didn’t answer he just grabbed a cupcake that Jean Pierre had made and quickly shuffled his way to Noriaki. Oh my and dear me, I just watched. This was so wonderful. Jotaro offered him the cupcake and they started talking a bit. I couldn’t believe it; Jotaro had never just walked up to someone and began speaking. It warmed my heart to see him so straight forward with anyone that… wasn’t me. Mohammed came to me with a grin on his face, “I have never seen Jotaro approach someone.”
“Oh, I know! It’s just so perfect. I hope they become good friends,” I spoke with a smile. Rose and Mariah rushed in with their smiles blazing, taking my mind away from Jotaro and Noriaki. My closest friends always came in to dance with me and snack on Jean Pierre’s cakes. As they pulled my away to the back to do some dancing, my eyes caught Jotaro spinning Noriaki slowly under his arm. They both had such sweet smiles, their eyes locked and never breaking contact. At that moment I knew, Jotaro had made a friend.
Chapter 2: Teenage Dream
“One, two, step and turn! Very good,” I called to my class. The girls began to get out of pace and missing their timing. “Stop, stop.” I cut the music and rubbed my forehead. “Ladies, you all want to be the best? I’ll show you the best. Jotaro!” my voice echoed in the studio and Jotaro came down the stairs. The girls seemed shocked at how light his step was. My son came over in front of the class and bowed to the fifthteen or so girls. I couldn’t help but hear a few of them laugh and giggle. “Jotaro, can you show the class how to do the 82 routine?” I asked him. Jotaro gave a nod before readying himself to dance.
As soon as I started the music, I could see him keeping time. He began to dance to the ballet music in perfect sync. The thing was, I couldn’t be on pointe when it came to ballet but my son was a master. It did my heart good when I heard and saw the shock from the students. Jotaro went on pointe and two girls grabbed their bags and left. Without missing anything, I handed Jotaro a juice box as he passed me to head back upstairs. “Okay, now show me what you can do,” I said as I restarted the music. The ballet classes seemed like they went on forever when the girls couldn’t get it right. It’s been five weeks, and they’re still not ready. I was asked to train them but if they can’t get it, they just can’t. I hate asking Jotaro to demonstrate, I know how much he hates being in front of strangers. At least it was five o’clock and I had my first private session with Noriaki to look forward to. As if on cue, the redheaded teen entered the studio doors.
“Hello, Noriaki-kun! Do you have the music that you want to dance to? I already have something ready for you,” I asked with a smile.
“Yes, I have the music for what I would like to do. It’s amazing that you came up with a routine in just three days, Joestar-san,” Noriaki said as he handed me the flash drive. After downloading the music to my laptop, I got the first track ready. He took off his coat and set it with his things and he began to stretch. To be honest with myself, I was curious about why he wanted me to teach him to dance and how he got into it all.
“Noriaki-kun, can I ask how you got into dance?” He gave me a glance after I asked then spoke as he touched his toes, “My mother enjoyed dance. And she spoke of you quite a bit before her passing. She said you were ‘an inspiration’ in the dance and fitness world. I wanted to learn how to in memory of her.”
Damn my mom feelings! This boy was going to make me cry. He must have been very close to her. “Well then, I better have you as good as me some day. That’s so sweet, Noriaki-kun,” I said with my mother smile. But what really made my heart go was the sound of Jotaro thundering down the stairs, slipping and falling then leaning in the doorway like nothing happened. He had a ocean book with him and tried to be smooth by sitting on the stack of folded mats with it. The book was upside down and I wasn’t going to tell him. It was cute! He was trying so hard to be cool in front of Noriaki.
After rotating his book, Jotaro pretended like he wasn’t eyeing up the redhead in the room. Noriaki and I stretched a bit more, I started the music to show Noriaki his routine at first. “Teenage Dream” began to play in the speakers and demonstrated each move to Noriaki. After an initial go through, we began to dance it together. He was very quick to pick up on the steps and movements. I wasn’t used to pop music much but I had to say, this is so much fun! Hands up, arms down, sliding my hands down my legs and waving my hips to bump against Noriaki’s. He had a wide smile and so did I and… I saw Jotaro with a smile too. Both Noriaki and I laughed as the music cut out and fade into the next track.
“I’ll go get us some water,” I said through my laughter and left to the kitchen upstairs. Two water bottles, cold out of the fridge are perfect after a fun jam like that! About halfway down the stairs, I heard a laugh. One that sounded too familiar; it was my Jotaro. I haven’t heard him laugh like that since he was a toddler. With my expert spy-mom skills, I peeked around the stair wall into the studio. Noriaki was on one side of the floor and Jotaro was kneeled on one knee with a big grin on his face. The redhead turned he song to track 8, “Time of My Life” and tossed the remote onto the mats.
A running start, Noriaki jumped into Jotraro’s arms and my son lifted him up just slightly before they both came tumbling down. I couldn’t help but stifle a laugh, a hand over my mouth. Both boys were a tangled and laughing mess. I was so proud of Jotaro for opening up to Noriaki. I came out of my hidey-hole with the water and looked at the mess of limbs on the floor. “Having fun boys?”, I said joyfully. Noriaki helped Jotaro up and I decided to give them the water instead. My son tried to calm down from his fun and then kissed my cheek.
“Thanks mom, this is a lot of fun.”
Chapter 3: Panic Room
There will be the beginning of Holly getting sexually harassed near the end of the chapter. If you are uncomfortable with this, please stop at the picnic section.
I love working with these two young men for the passed few months. Not high school age like Noriaki, twenty-seven year olds who had moved from Morioh Town. Both of them were very bubbly and all smiles. They had rhythm, spunk, moxie and they knew how to have fun! I usually never spend time with clients outside of the studio, but I really liked spending time with Josuke and Okuyasu. Usually when I went out for a drink, it was with Mariah and Rose.
This was a nice change of my routine. Okuyasu had to leave before we could all go to the ice rink from the bar, so Josuke and I went together. He tied on his skates before kneeling down to tie on mine. I never really noticed how beautiful his eyes were. On the ice, Josuke was just as gifted as he was in the studio. They had “Don’t Stop the Music” by Rihanna playing in the empty ice rink and we were having so much fun. Josuke was hilarious with his childish dance moves as he zoomed over the ice.
Put his hand to his ear for the music to be turned up and a few fistpumps. It was rather adorable to watch youth energy like his. He and I skated on the ice until it was time for the skating rink to close. We held hands on the entire walk back to my studio. I only turned on a few lights in the large room and kept the stereo low. The last thing I wanted was to wake up Jotaro and Noriaki in the apartment above. Hozier began to softly play, “To Be Alone” filling the air. The young man offered me his hand; I took it. His gentle touch made me feel like my chest was melting. We slowly danced, hand to hand, chest to chest, eye to eye. I could not take my sight off his gorgeous eyes. His hand slid up my cheek to further steady out gaze.
“ Oh, to be alone with you, ” Josuke sang ever so softly before pressing his lips to mine. Shock overtook my body before anything else. Tense at first but then relaxing into his arms. My stomach was in knots to tell me what I was doing was completely inappropriate. For once since Sadeo, I didn’t feel alone. He pulled back just a moment to look at me. Heated cheeks were all that he would see besides the tears in my eyes.
“I’m sorry Joestar-san, I didn’t-” I stopped him during his sentence. “Holly… You can call me Holly,” I said with a small smile.
Josuke’s cheeks lit up to be as bright as my own. We shared another kiss before smiling wide. The night seemed so much longer with him there. All of my stress just faded away as we danced and fell further into each other. When day finally did break through the sky, I was absolutely exhausted. It was odd to wake up to someone after being alone for so long. Josuke looked much different with his hair all messy it was so long!
I didn’t want to wake him up, he just looked so peaceful. As delicately as I could I got up out of the bed and made my way to the bathroom. The water took a bit to get warm so I checked out my reflection. Ugh, I really needed to work on getting rid of my eye bags. The last thing I want is to look as old as I feel. Showering off the sweat of last night, Josuke slipped into the bathroom then into the shower with me. He pressed a kiss on my shoulder before wrapping those strong arms around my body.
“Good morning, Holly,” he tenderly whispered into my ear from behind. His black hair clung wet to out skin as he kissed against my neck.
“Josuke, stop it,” I wiggled out of his grasp with a smile. “Good morning. Did you sleep well?”
“Best night’s rest I’ve had in a long time,” he chuckled as he smoothed back his hair.
We both took our time to shower. It was soothing to just enjoy each other’s company. I asked him if he wanted to stay for breakfast but he insisted that he should go before the studio opened. Josuke left with a smile and his hair up in a messy bun. Jotaro and Noriaki gave the leaving man a small glance at the kitchen table. What was more funny than that, was Noriaki reacting to breakfast. I guess he wasn’t used to an American one! Jotaro showed him how to use a fork to eat the pancakes and eggs. We didn’t usually eat American food, but it was indeed a nice treat every now and then.
Noriaki entertained us for the morning meal with stories of his trips to various countries with his father. Jotaro ate in a usual silence but I felt his air change whenever it came up that Noriaki and I had visited the same places. After breakfast, Jotaro helped me do the dishes as we did every day. There was something off about my son. I couldn’t quite place it until I saw him look at Noriaki drawing at the kitchen table. His eyes fell into a softness that I’ve never seen from him. That softness, was love in his gaze. And love can lead to things like-
“Jotaro is that a hickey?”
My son froze at my question, his hands stopping immediately. Even Noriaki looked over his shoulder from his drawing at us. I pulled the collar of Jotaro’s sleep shirt to the side and what I saw shocked me. He is shoulder was littered with deep hickeys and bite marks. My stomach felt heavy, so heavy it was painful. Jotaro looked like he was about to be sick.
“Boys, we need to have a talk,” I said as I tried to keep my voice from wavering. I wasn’t mad. Just, very shocked that my son was at this part in his life without even noticing. He’d never shown interest in anyone before so it was rather difficult to pick up on his specific romantic signals. Ever since he was a child, he told me that he’d never fall in love. But then again, most of the ones fawning over him were girls. We settled down in the sitting room, both boys looking pale and nervous.
“I’m not angry, boys. I just want to make sure you’re… being safe,” wording things like this was like trying to swallow a cotton ball with a dry throat. “And that if you need anything-”
“Yes,” Jotaro blurted out as he held onto Noriaki’s hand. “Yes, we need some things.”
My mind was at a full halt. I don’t understand why this came as such a shock to me as it did! Was it because he was my only child? I didn’t get it and I know they wouldn’t either. It was an awkward conversation for us all but it was necessary!
Another uneasy moments with the boys and it was time to open up the studio. Juro had come to pick up Noriaki when we did finally open. He was dressed in a suit and his hair was neatly combed, “Thank you for letting him stay, Joestar-san.” Juro spoke to me with a smile as Noriaki and Jotaro spoke outside by the Kakyoin’s executive company car. “It’s delightful to have him in such lovely company. He speaks a lot about you and your son. Noriaki is quite fond of both of you.”
His gaze flickered but quickly met my eye again with am out of place grin, “I can’t say much more myself, Joestar-san. You’re a very lovely woman,” Juro’s tone had changed a little. It made my chest feel hollow the way he was speaking. Juro gave me my payment for his son’s next month of lessons before taking his leave. His hand squeezed my backside as he exited my studio. I felt like I was about to be sick. My heart lurched when I felt his touch, standing up straight and whipping around to stare out the glass pane door. Jotaro met my sights and even he noticed that something had happened.
“Mom? Are you okay? You’re pale,” he asked with concern. There was no way in Hell I was going to tell Jotaro about this. “Yes sweetheart, I’m fine! I just need some water. Could you go get the cooler?” I spoke in my normal peppy way so that I wouldn’t worry him. He didn’t buy it at all but, he went to get me a bottle of water.
“He did what?!” gasped Rose from across the table. “That’s so disgusting! He knew exactly what he did!” Mariah sneered beside Rose. I fiddled with the olive in my drink, “I don’t know what to do about it. I can’t just-”
“The hell you can’t!” Mariah pointed at me with her empty own martini glass, “You should slap him across the damn face next time he tries that!” Rose nodded, finishing her first drink. It was nice to meet with my friends to talk about what happened. But I feel that a few drinks at the bar was helping with it as well.
“I’ll try and have a talk with him first and if that doesn’t work, I will,” I popped the olive into my mouth before setting my glass to the side of the table.
“And if he doesn’t take a damn hint, Rose an’ I will fuck him up for you, Holly. Nobody messes with our best girl!” Mariah stood with her hands on the table, her passion burning in her eyes. Rose calmly had her sit back down and the waiter took out empty glasses.
“Holly, we care too much to see some bozo harass you,” Rose spoke calmly. Nodding a little, I tried to take my mind off of Kakyoin Juro.
Rose called me a cab to make sure I got home alright. I think it was around ten o’clock at night when Jotaro helped me up the stairs to the apartment. I wasn’t drunk but I sure as hell wasn’t steady. Jotaro sat me down on the couch before handing me a glass of water.
“Thank you, sweetie,” I said to him with a smile.
“No problem, Mom. Drink that then go lay down after you eat. There’s some pizza on the counter top that I ordered a few hours ago,” Jotaro kept his voice low before moving my bangs out of my face. My son went to his bedroom, leaving his door open. He was such a sweet boy.
Saturday was sunny and fluffy clouds dappled the sky. Noriaki insisted that he take Jotaro and I out for a picnic in the park. The only issue was Juro had accompanied his son against his wishes.
“Joestar-san, you look so pretty in that sundress! Wherever did you buy it?” Juro asked with a sickening fake smile. I didn’t answer him, pretending that the sound of the children on the playground were too loud to hear him. Noriaki and Jotaro were wrestling in the grass in the heat of the day.
I tried to keep my focus on them. They both were so happy! Jotaro’s first friend, crush and now, first boyfriend. Happiness overwhelmed me but that feeling was quickly drowned by a hand resting on my lower back. I couldn’t move, not even being able to look at the man next to me. I knew it was his hand.
“Kakyoin-san, please stop,” I finally managed to force the words out of my throat. Jerking myself to another part of the blanket, I could look at him head-on. “I’m sorry but I don’t feel that way for you. I would appreciate it if you’d quit touching me like that,” I kept my voice firm.
His violet eyes changed from vibrant to cold and harsh, “Noriaki!” Juro called to his son with a cheery front. “Can you and Jotaro-kun run to get some ice cream from that vender across the lake?”
My heart was pounding against my chest. Pure fear coursing through my veins.
Don’t leave me here with him!!
“Oh, okay,” Noriaki said in surprise. I tried to say something but Juro clapped a hand on my shoulder. Jotaro and Noriaki started to walk the long trail that lead around the lake. Juro leaned in close to my ear, “Now, Joestar-san, don’t run away before we get to the fun part.” His hands grasped my breasts, elbow digging into my ribs. I wanted to scream, cry and break his nose all in one flash of emotion.