It was the end of dinner service and the bar was still fairly packed. Haru tucked his phone away as Makoto rushed towards the open end of the bar.
“I need to talk to you.” Makoto sounded winded as he shouted about the crowd. His cheeks were flush and eyes watery. His hair disheveled.
“What’s wrong? Did you run all the way here?”
Haru set a glass of water in front of Makoto which he downs instantly. “Aren’t you supposed to be on your way to the Maldives?” Haru knew what was going on but needed to gage Makoto’s reaction and as his best friend it was his duty to defend his honor from his past lover. “What did Sousuke do?”
“He lied to me.”
Haru paid someone out. “People lie all the time. Must have been pretty bad to keep you off a plane heading for paradise.”
Makoto threw his hands up. “Forget it.” And started to walk away. Haru shot his hand out grabbing onto his arm. When had he come around the bar?
“Sorry, that was insensitive of me. What happened?”
“You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you. I’m beginning to wonder if I imagined the whole thing.” Makoto sighed desperately.
He looked at a loss. Shrugging his broad shoulders. “My boyfriend’s a vampire.”
A hand covered his mouth. His eyes shot wide as Haru’s narrowed. “Keep your voice down.”
Makoto’s brows pinched together. “You believe me?”
Haru’s sharp eyes darted around and he nodded. “It’s not something we want getting around.”
“We?” Haru flashed him a rare smile, fangs and all. Makoto looked devastated. “Haru, not you too?”
He gripped Makoto’s wrist. “Sash, I’m taking my break.” Haru didn’t wait for a response. “Come with me.” He led Makoto through the kitchen to the employee break room and locked the door. He gestured for the larger man to have a seat. Numbly, he lowered himself into the chair. Haru followed. “Vampires are very real. We’ve been around for millennia. Most don’t seek out to harm humans. We just want to coexist peacefully. Occasionally you will get that one asshole who has a blatant disregard for life that has to be dealt with, but for the most part we try to keep that aspect of our life hidden.” Makoto was quiet so he kept going. “Sousuke should have told you when you two became involved.”
“You should have told me too.” Makoto was hurt but he was listening.
“I’m not fucking you, Makoto. I wasn’t obligated to.”
“Yeah, but you’re my best friend. How much longer are you going to stick around before you have to leave me too?” Makoto sat back in his seat. “I don’t care what you are. I’m upset that you couldn’t trust me enough to tell me. That and you’ll leave me behind, just like Sousuke will.” He choked on the last few words. “How is that fair? How am I just supposed to handle losing you both like that? With no explanation. That hurts, Haru.”
Haru didn’t know what to say. This definitely wasn’t the reaction he had expected. Makoto was hurt. He had thought he would be angry. As if on cue, his human friend spoke. “Oh, I am plenty pissed off, believe me. But you two are the ones I trusted the most. I would die for you. I would die for Sousuke.”
The vampire reached across the table taking Makoto’s hand. He rubbed his thumb over his pulse point. His eyes serious and unwavering. The melancholy he had seen bleed into Sousuke’s solemn expression from time to time was present behind his ocean eyes. Haru’s voice was soft and melodic. “Don’t ever say that. Neither of us want that for you. We would have to be dealt with if that ever happened. Especially Sousuke.”
“How do you know that?” He looked at Haru’s perfect pale hand on top of his.
“No more lies, Mako.” Haru took in a deep breath. “Sousuke and I have known each other a very long time. I was there when Rin turned him.” Makoto opened his mouth to ask more questions. “I can’t tell his story, you’ll have to ask him. He doesn’t speak about it. Just know he carries a lot of guilt and grief. And it’s why he does what he does now.” Haru gave a sad smile. “He has always wanted to help people.”
Makoto’s head was spinning. This was all so much. Emotions getting the better of him, he couldn’t help the huff of humorless laughter as he looked up at the ceiling, willing the tears not to come. Shaking his head as the first one fell, he look back to Haru. “How old are you?”
“Roughly around four hundred years old. I was born in France to aristocrats. I had no interest in their lifestyle. I preferred the humble existence of an artist. They disowned me and I moved to Spain where I met Rin.” He could tell that Makoto was not Rin’s biggest fan at the moment. “I will save you the details for another time.” His friend quietly soaked it all in. “Look, I know this is a lot to handle. Why don’t you go back to my place and we can talk more this evening. My break is almost over and I’m sure you have a shit ton of questions. I’ll answer them all except the ones about Sousuke.” Makoto’s face fell. “Fine. I’ll answer a few, but you need to talk to him.”
Makoto nodded. “I can’t do that right now.”
“That’s fine. Just don’t wait too long. You are the only thing he has ever loved, and I know this is eating him up inside. But let him wallow a bit. He should have said something.” Haru stood and pulled Makoto to his feet. “And so should I. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you and this was how you had to find out.”
Makoto gave him a tight smile. “I understand why you didn’t, I still don’t have to like it.” Wiping his face, he sighed. “I don’t have your key. I left everything at home.”
Haru fished them out of his pocket, relieved that Makoto was going to stay instead of bolting again. “I’ll be home in about four hours. Don’t drink all my wine.”
“I’m drinking at least one bottle. The expensive one.”
“I owe you that.” Haru smiled. “We good?”
“I guess. Just—” Makoto dithered, “let me see them again?” Haru opened his mouth. Fanged canines elongated and sharpened. Makoto took a deep breath. “Okay, so this really is a thing.” Taking the keys. “I’ll see you at home, Haru.”
Haru called Makoto a cab and saw him out. Pulling his phone out, got he hated these things, he shot off a text before heading behind the bar.
“Mako is going to stay with me for a few days.”
The response was immediate. “Does he hate me?”
Haru’s heart gave a sad thump. Rin was right, he always did have a soft spot for Sousuke. “No, love. He does not. He is just angry, confused and hurt. He’s not too happy with me right now either. Give him time. He’ll come around.”
This response took a minute. “Thank you, Haruka.”
“For you, anything. But I am going to kick your ass for this. You owe me a sparing session when all this settles.”
Haru bit the inside of his lip and messaged Rin. “Please stay with him. Don’t let him do anything stupid.”
Rin looked up from his phone at the brooding figure in the window. “I’m not going anywhere. And I won’t say anything to set him off.”
Sighing in relief, “You have my heart.”
“My life is yours, my love.”