MC huffed as she slumped into her usual spot in the outdoor break area, reaching for her phone after setting out her lunch in its typical placement. As if on cue, the device buzzed to life and reflected an incoming text.
How’s things today, Dearest?
Hmm, how to respond to that?
Quarterly Reports Week always set management on edge which trickled down to the rest of the office, creating one big stress fest. Add in the fact the whole week had crawled by like a snail going for the new slowest record and she was grateful for the weekend like never before.
It’s fine. Can't wait to see you!
Short and sweet. I don’t want to load him down, his day has probably been a thousand times worse…
Of course, he somehow managed to see right through her. With a reluctant sigh, she let her thoughts flow through to her beloved on the other end. He would just poke and prod until he reached the center of the issue anyway.
He had forgotten it was a reports week for her. Four out of fifty-two weeks of the year that accumulate into a festering clot of stress as her office awaits progress reviews and productivity statistics for the previous quarter. Results of which would determine bonus distributions and possible reprimands. ‘Fine' never means fine. Seven Hells, Love! How much have you been holding back from me?
Mitsuhide glanced to the clock, already logging off his computer and calculating how much time he would need to put his evil plan into action. He paid no mind to the questioning eyes trailing him as he chuckled his way out the office.
MC waited outside his door.
She had received his message asking her to wait at his apartment since he had been kept later than expected at the office but shouldn’t be too long. She was just about to text him again when the elevator bell pinged through the hall and out stepped her golden eyed snek. The perpetual smirk he showed the world melted away once his eyes met hers. She met him halfway in the hall with her own lips tilting up into a natural, loving smile reserved only for him, arms happily enveloping him.
“Well, well,” he mumbled in her hair while wrapping her likewise in his arms. “With this kind of reception, I should have you wait for me more often.”
“Don’t you dare!” She glared up at him to see his usual grin in place and knew she’d made the mistake of rising to the bait of his teasing. Reaching for his hand, she noticed it already occupied and her face fell sullenly. “You kept me waiting so you could go shopping?”
“Oh, I’m sure you'll enjoy what I have in store for tonight.” His voice lilted seductively as his fingers brushed a lock of hair in place behind her ear, sending a wave of heat across her cheeks and down her neck. “But first things first...” With that, he snatched his loosened tie from his neck and wrapped it around to cover her eyes.
She couldn't help the giggle that bubbled up from her chest. “Is this really necessary?”
“Absolutely, my dear. You know my plans are always top secret until the last second.”
Now without sight, she allowed him to guide her back to his door and into the apartment. They didn’t stop once in the doorway like she expected. No, he continued to push her into what she knew as the apartment’s guest bathroom where he handed her the shopping bag. “Change into that but don't come out yet.”
The door clicking shut was her cue to remove the makeshift blindfold. For a moment, her nerves froze her in place while gazing upon the bag. It was a discreet brown bag with a black ribbon serving as a handle and gave no indication or clue from whence it came. Just what kind of game is he playing now?
A bout of laughter echoed throughout the bathroom and into the hallway once she finally peered into the bag. Piece by piece, she pulled out a soft cotton pajama set colored his favorite blue with matching fuzzy socks. Well, it’s definitely not our usual date night!
Once changed, she cracked open the door for her voice to be heard. “I’m ready!”
“Oh, are you?” She could hear the challenge in his voice from down the hall and felt her lips tilt up in response. “Come on out then, if you’re sure.”
She peeked around the door and couldn’t help the new round of laughter at the sight. Mitsuhide donned twin pajamas to complement her own including—the fuzzy socks—and held his arms open to her while battling his own laughter.
Walking into his arms once more, she had her first look into the living room. Every pillow he owned—plus a few new ones— were tossed into a giant pile nestled between the couch and coffee table. Said coffee table was now acting as a snack bar with several of her favorite candies, potato chips, and of course a large bowl of popcorn. There was even a small ice chest set up next to the table which probably held their favorite drinks.
Oh my silly, sneaky man!
“How did you manage all this?”
“That is for me to know and you not to worry about.” His fingers were brushing through her hair in that familiar way. Always long, soothing strokes that loosened her nerves almost as easily as the hair on her head. Then he was tugging her towards the pillow mountain and placed the remote in her hand.
As she started browsing for something neither of them had watched yet, she felt his hands in her hair again but this time they were moving with a deftness and familiarity she never would have imagined he possessed.
“Shh,” he cut her off with a smiling kiss across her lips. “Please, my love, don’t make it that weird.”
Her giggles finally died down as he finished the two plaits in her hair. He pulled her into his side and propped one of the newest pillows under her head while encircling a blanket around them. His cheek nuzzled hers and his lips found their place near her pulse point as the movie’s opening credits played across the screen.
Her content sigh was his signal that his evil plan had been a success.