Skip-Beat: The Morning After

Kiss of Veins

*Kiss of Veins is my original story idea so please contact if you want to use it*

Kyoko sucked in a surprised breath, hiccuping back on her seat. Her hand grasped the seat and her nails dug into the spongy material.
In her mind, she re played the last time she had seen him. Had it been months? weeks? She couldn't remember clearly, but it sure was a shock. This man hadn't only chased and almost violate her, but also kidnaped her greatest treasure-her beloved demon.
The mere memory made her shutter inside.
"You look like you've seen a ghost, Kyoko-chan. Why?" He said, his words and mysterious voice wrapping around her as if to choke her.
She swallowed the lump forming in her throat before responding.
"I-You just surprised me, that's all."
He gave her a crooked smile.
"Kyoko-chan." Hana warned behind her. "We are still on stage, beware what you say."
Kyoko looked down at the crowd, reporters stared at them, their pens ready to ink in the scene. With the best nonchalant look she could manage, she stood and looked at Reino.
"If you excuse us," she said "We should get going."
He gave her an amused look. "Yes, of course." He said while stepping aside.
Kyoko grasped Hana by the arm and slid her along.
I need to find the President...he managed to sneak out before me.
As soon as she stepped off the stage platform, she let out a huge breath of relief.
"What was that about?" Hana asked, stepping in front of her.
Kyoko dodged her gaze. "It doesn't matter right now...Do you know where President Takarada is?"
"Nope. But he seemed in a hurry to leave. LME maybe?"
A bit disappointed, Kyoko bowed. "I better go check, then. I'll talk to you guys later." She began turning around, then spotted Hauro.
"Hauro-san!" She called.
He looked at her and motioned to the door. She nodded wordlessly.
"We were gonna go out to eat.. you don't want to come?" Hana asked. Despite the pang of guilt forming, Kyoko shook her head.
"I have to sort something out with the President. I'm sorry."
Hana nodded. "It's cool. See ya."
They parted ways, Hana backstage and Kyoko towards the exit.
"How could he do this to me?!" She exclaimed as she reached Hauro. He held the door open for her before responding.
"Who did what?"
"The President! how could he put me in such an awkward situation? and with that man! that- that sorcerer!"
Hauro let out a laugh. "Sorcerer? I'm lost, Kyoko-sama."
"Reino. That guy, he can do sorcery and not the good kind."
"Why? have you witnessed this?"
Kyoko stopped walking, her face flushing of colour. "On multiple occasions."
He looked at her, a little bewildered at her sudden change of moods. She wasn't serious, was she?
"How so?" he asked, pulling her along.
She wobbled on behind him. "I'd rather not re tell it. Point is I can't be near him. Tsugura-san and Sho..." She stopped herself.
Ren and Shotaro...They will both kill me if I allow this.
Kyoko frowned and leaned over a bench. "Hauro-san, I need to go to LME. I need to void this movie."
"Kiss of Veins?" He asked.
Kyoko gave him a lethargic nod.
"You didn't sign a contract, though." He said. "So there shouldn't be anything to void. I am sure the President had a good reason to say what he did."
She stood, perking up. "That's right! I didn't sign yet."
What a relief.
"Well, come on. Let's get going before it gets dark."
She nodded as they got in the car.

Ren stared at his blank TV screen, hoping to conger up something to do. After seeing Kyoko at LME, his mood was spoiled, and according to Yashiro, he had nothing scheduled. Nothing except reviewing movie scripts.

After about 1 hour of doing so, he retreated to watch TV, since he had declined 'Kiss of Veins' and none of the other scripts appealed to him.
And after about 20 minutes of doing that, he turned the wretched thing off.
He sighed, running his fingers through his messy hair.
I should apologize to her...He thought to himself silently.
It's not like he didn't keep his own bucket of secrets form her up until recently, and they weren't in a relationship or anything to force her to tell.
He slapped his hand down on the sofa, exasperated.
"This girl, seriously."
Ever since Kyoto, his mind never strayed far from her. The way she speaks and acts, everything about her-he was falling for it all over again. And it pained him ever so slightly to see her so oblivious. She had kissed him, after all. And even if Cain and Setsu had made that promise to keep it hushed-they didn't.
He bit his lip.
Maybe she needs time. Hell, I need time!
Nevertheless, she was still in High school and Ren would never try anything on her. Not until she approves it. Not until she is out of High school.
Left with no other option, he switched the TV back on.
News, reality shows, Kyoko being interviewed with the President and others.
Ren stopped and put the remote down.
That's right, the interview.
"I heard that you are going to be appearing in a movie titled 'Kiss of Veins.' is this true?"
Ren stared at the screen, processing what the reporter asked. He watched as Kyoko's face turned into one of confusion.
"You're appearing in this movie?" He said out loud, glancing at the script on his coffee table.
"That's right." she said.
Ren arched his brows, surprised.
Maybe I should re think this movie.
The reporters nodded, scribbling on their note pads.
"You are a rookie actress yourself, how do you feel working with a new coming actor?"
"New coming actor?" she asked.
"Yes, Reino from Vie Ghoul will be playing the lead alongside you.
Ren stared at the screen, flinching at the name. He watched, speechless as Kyoko's face churned once again, this time with horror.
No. Never. I will not allow it.
Ren shut it off, not wanting to see anymore. Even though his own reflection stared back at him on the screen, he couldn't help but remember him. Remember how it was Sho Fuwa who was with her instead of him. Remember his panic when he finally arrived at the scene in Okinawa. Remember those valentine's day chocolates...
He stood, snatching his phone from the counter.
Yashiro answered on the second ring.
"I need to sign a contract for 'Kiss of Veins.' Now."
"Why? you said it interfered with something."
"I'll fix it. Meet me at LME."

30 minutes later, Kyoko and Hauro hurried into the agency.

"Do you think he's in his office?" she asked.
Hauro shrugged. "The President is quite unpredictable."
She sighed, knowing he was right.
They exited the elevator, and the President's mahogany double doors stood in front of them. Hauro reached for them, but she grabbed his shoulder.
She looked at him. "I kind of need to do this by myself. Could"
Hauro smiled. "Yeah, sure. I was kind of hungry anyway." he said, retracting his hand from the silver door knob.
"See you later, call if you need back up or something." He said.
She nodded. "Thank you."
As he walked away, Kyoko began to regret sending him away. True, she did not want him knowing the full details of why she was declining the movie, but truthfully, she didn't think she could face the President and tell him alone. He must have his reasons, ones that she obviously did not understand and maybe better left that way.
But she couldn't run the risk of working with Reino. Not ever.
She grasped the door knob until her knuckles turned an icy white. And she remained there, steadying herself breath by breath.
"You look like you've seen a ghost."
Kyoko flinched, turning around.
"Don't say that." She sighed. "You're the second person to tell me that today."
Ren shoved his hands in his pockets. " Really? Who was the first?"
She dropped her hand from the door and traced the lacy carpet with her gaze.
"I saw the interview." He said.
Her head snapped up. "You did?"
He nodded. "I didn't think we were gonna run into him again."
"Me either." She said.
He looked at her. She looked preoccupied and tired, bags sinking under her eyes. She avoided his gaze, though he sought it, craving to see those amber eyes that haunted his every waking moment.
"I miss Kyoko-chan." he said.
Kyoko looked at him, taken aback. "I..I am right here."
He shook his head. "I miss the careless, innocent you. The one that would laugh at silly things and smile at nothing. The one that would be happy with any simple gesture. What happened to her? Did the car accident hurt your head or something?"
For the first time in days, Kyoko laughed. A full-hearted, genuine laugh.
Ren stared at her. "What? Why are you laughing?"
She looked at him through teary eyes. He stood close to her, looking more concerned than anything. To her disappointment, his hair was straight. She had gotten so used to its waves and curls that she had grown to love them. His hazel eyes looked at her, though she looked through them, straight into those baby blue ones she loved.
"I just hadn't really noticed." She said. "I didn't know I was acting strange. I guess there's a lot on my mind."
Ren raised his brow. "But why were you laughing?"
She shrugged, a smile lingering on her lips. "I found it funny."
Suddenly, the doors began to open, pushing Kyoko into Ren. She groaned against him and lost her balance, but he caught her by the shoulders.
They stepped aside.
The President slid through the doors, wearing his usual extravagant outfit. A white Moroccan cloak outlined by lilac feathers and cowboy boots. Along his white pants where more colourful feathers.
"Oh, Kyoko-chan, Ren, I didn't know you were out here. Please come in."
Kyoko opened her mouth to say something, to tell him she had to see him separately, but Ren stopped her.
"We're here for similar reasons." He gestured her first and when she didn't budge, dragged her along.
"Why is it you two lovely people grace me with your presence this peculiar morning?"
"Peculiar?" Ren said.
"Morning?" Questioned Kyoko.
"Is this because of 'Kiss of Veins?'" Lory asked, laying on his desk.
"I cannot be part of that project," She said. "and you know very well why."
"I know you can't be in it. I would never do that to my little gem."
Ren and Kyoko exchanged a long look.
"Then why did you make me say I was?" she asked.
Lory sat up, making his papers and books scatter around the floor. "I wasn't gonna make you decline it in front of the press, that'd be silly."
"But now it's a bigger mess." Ren added.
Lory shook his head and wagged his finger at them. "Nope. All I have to do is call and say that the movie interferes with her schedule. Which it does, it intercepts the final scenes of 'Tragic Marker.'"
Kyoko let out a sigh of relief. "So I'm free right?"
Lory nodded before looking at Ren. "And what are you here for?"
He opened his mouth to answer, but decided that maybe fighting for the movie's lead would be too much. Kyoko was out, so there as really no need for him to anyway.
"No reason. I came to pick up something for Yashiro."
"You never do favours for that poor creature." Lory said. "How odd."
A monochromatic ring ricocheted through the room, making them jump.
Lory looked over at his phone; it was perched atop his desk.
"Excuse me." He said and picked it up.
Ren and Kyoko turned around and sat on an elegant looking sofa.
"I'm so glad that's over with." She said.
"What would you have done?" He asked. "If you had to be in it?"
She thought about it for a moment, looking up at the celling. Ren watched her thoughtful eyes silently.
"I would have probably protested a lot, but in the end I would have had to do it." she concluded. Her eyes flickered toward Ren. "I would have probably had someone with me at all times though."
He smiled.
"What would you have done?" she asked. "If I had to do it?"
Ren thought about it. "I would have taken the main role from him." he answered instantly.
"Really?" she asked. "You were offered it?"
Ren nodded silently. "But it interfered with 'Tragic Marker.'"
Behind him, Lory dropped the phone back unto its place.
They turned toward him.
Lory looked at them questioningly for a few moments before hopping off his desk. "I will be back, I need to take care of something." He said, walking toward the door.
"Show yourselves out whenever." he said before shutting the doors.
They stayed silent for a while, not quite knowing what to say. Kyoko looked at him.
"I better get going," she said, standing up. " I still haven't even gone to Daruyama."
Ren stood. "I'll give you a ride."
"No, It's okay, Hauro will-" she stopped, noticing the sudden shift in atmosphere. "Or I think he said he was busy?"
Ren nodded with a smile. "I was going to insist anyway."
She gave him a polite bow. "Thank you!"
They walked toward the door, dodging the scattered papers and debris.
"You have to wonder how he manages to live like this." Ren remarked.
Kyoko shrugged. " An odd lifestyle for an odd man." She said.
The doors opened in front of them, making them stop.
"Speak of the devil." She said.
But then she looked up.
"You guys were talking about me?"
Ren's eyes instantly flared with rage as he pushed Kyoko behind him. She looked away from the doors and held unto Ren's arm.
Reino smiled. "You two are the strangest people."

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