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It was strange, always looking down at neat black words entwined with small vines that crept up his arm. It was strange, seeing a name there in the sentence. Everyone is born with a soulmate mark, but not everybody keep their soulmate marks. Some soulmate marks disappear when you are very young, showing that perhaps your Soulmate died at birth. If your soulmate dies, your mark will be gone. If you die, you don't lose your mark, only your soulmate does. Soulmates apply, sadly, only to the living. Your soulmate marks are usually the first sentence, no matter how long or short, that your soulmate says to you.


With a sigh, Akimoto gazes at the neat handwriting along his arm, the vines entwined in the letters trail off up his towards his shoulder. The words 'You can just call me Larry' written carefully in loopy handwriting. He considers himself lucky when it comes to his soulmate mark. Many people he's seen and heard of have either unpleasant or sad marks. He remembers Seki's being something along the lines of 'Why the hell is it you?'


Akimoto's phone rings and he jumps slightly before answering it. Seki's voice rushes at him through the phone. "Is he there yet?" 


Akimoto frowns, "Is wh-" He freezes as he sees someone staring at him through the window. He recognises the man outside instantly as his favourite author.


Seki replies, "Do you remember when  I told you I knew this picture book author who was the brother of a friend of mine?" 


Akimoto replies, turning away from the window, "Yep. You showed me some pictures." 


Seki chuckles lightly," Amazing, right? Anyway, I heard he's pretty popular nowadays so his stuff is getting new goods lately. " 


Akimoto feels his blood pressure rising, "Yeah, but putting that aside... Tell me something, what is he doing in front of my store?" He turns around to look at the man outside the window. 


Seki replies, "Well you see, it seems he'll be staying here for a while due to work. Truth is I'd love to look after him, but I live in a tiny apartment, you know?"


Akimoto glares, "I see how it is. So you're pushing him onto me, is that it?"


Seki laughs, "You sure do catch on quickly, Akimoto." 


"Damn you." Akimoto mumbles.


Seki continues, " It's just for a year or two! He speaks Japanese too so it's all good! Besides, I think you'll really get along well with him."


Akimoto glares at the phone in his hand and jabs the end call button. He doesn't feel like speaking to Seki at the moment. He walks over to the door and opens it. At first he isn't sure what to say, but is silently glad he remembers the authors name.  


"Well why don't you come in for now, Laurence?"  Akimoto says, extending his hand for Laurence to shake. 


Laurence seems to pause for a few seconds before replying, "You can just call me Larry." 


Akimoto feels his heart skip a beat and then freeze all together. There's no way, he thinks frantically, is this what Seki meant by I'd get along well with him? Did he know?' Neither of them seem to know what to say, and they both realise they have found their soulmate without needing to confirm by asking.


Laurence doesn't seem to know what to do so he quietly says, "I'm not very good at these sorts of things." 


Akimoto looks up, "Neither am I, honestly. We should probably try and get to know each other more."


Laurence nods, "That would be fine."