Bittersweet

Gentleman's Business Deal

Chapter Fourteen: Gentleman's Business Deal:

December 15th, 2009.

Satoshi sat inside a cosplay café. Everyone had the infectious Christmas cheer. The maids resembled Santa's little whores with their red miniskirts and matching little tops. Satoshi tuned out the Christmas songs around him.

Satoshi looked up at the Hello Kitty clock against the back wall. Ten minutes past noon already. He's late, he thought. Of course, this was expected. They had known each other for years. His friend was always late. I'll give him five more minutes, Satoshi thought. He looked up and noticed a Santa waitress staring at him.

"Yes?" he asked.

"Can I get you anything else?" the woman asked. Satoshi shook his head.

"No, no, I'm good," he said.

"Okay," the waitress replied. She returned to the singing chorus at another nearby table. Satoshi turned back to his spiced tea. Five more minutes…

The bells on the door jingled as the door opened wide. Satoshi looked up and smirked. Finally, he thought. A man in black looked around the café. The waitresses all drooled at this older man in black. His skin was a powder pale. He had his black hair gelled this morning. Even the scar under his left eye looked oddly attractive. Satoshi gave the man a cold smile as he walked over to him.

"Ah," he said. "You're looking well, my dear friend, Asmodeus. Considering…"

"Yes, yes," the demon said as he took a seat. The men didn't speak at first. Satoshi smiled at his old friend.

"Alright," he said. "What is it?"

"What do you mean?" Asmodeus asked.

"You never call to meet me anywhere unless you want something," the other man said. "So, spit it out. What's on your mind?" The demon held up his arm and a waitress came to his side.

"Yes?" she asked.

"One tea, please," Asmodeus said.

"Would you like to try our holiday special?" she asked. "We mix tea with all sorts of yummy spices." The demon shook his head.

"No, just regular green tea," he said.

"Okay," she replied. The Santa waitress disappeared to the back.

"Well?" Satoshi asked. Asmodeus held up his hand.

"Shhh," he said. "Not until after my tea." The other man sat back.

"Well?" Satoshi asked. Asmodeus held up his hand.

"Not until I had my tea," Asmodeus replied. Both men sat quiet as the waitress returned with the tea.

"Here you are," she said.

"Thank you, miss," Asmodeus said. He took a sip as she left.

"Ah, good tea," he said. The demon turned to his friend.

"Ah yes," he said. "I have a little job for you." Satoshi looked on at him.

"Really?" he asked. His demon friend nodded.

"Yes, yes," he said. "Consider this a handsome Christmas present from me to you." Satoshi raised an eyebrow at him.

"I thought you demons didn't do Christmas," he said.

"A myth, my dear boy," Asmodeus spoke.

"Ah," the other man said. The demon took another sip of his tea. Satoshi kept his eyes on him.

"So, what's this job?" he asked.

"Ah yes," Asmodeus said. He leaned in close to his friend. "I want you to torment someone for me."

"Who?" Satoshi asked. The demon reached into his coat and pulled out a photograph. The other man studied it for a minute.

"Her name is Kimoto Anna," Asmodeus replied. "That's the one who almost killed me."

"I see," Satoshi replied. "She's cute." But then, another thought crossed his mind.

"Asmodeus," he said.

"Yes?" his friend asked over the tea.

"Why me?" Satoshi asked. "Why do I deserve such generosity? Why aren't you tormenting this young lady yourself?" The demon took another drink of his tea.

"Ah, you see," he said. "I'm still not fully recovered yet." Satoshi blinked at him.

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"You see," he went on. "You angels and we demons have different ways of healing our bodies. My body may be healed, but my powers aren't back yet." He set down his cup. "As for your first question."

"Yes?" Satoshi asked. Asmodeus gave him a little smirk.

"Because," he said. "You are perfect for this job. You and I share the same taste in sadism."

"This is true," Satoshi replied with a nod.

"But," his friend cut in. "There is more." He reached into his coat and pulled out another photograph. Satoshi looked on with a puzzled look.

"Is that…" he asked.

"Yes," Asmodeus said. The other man blinked at first.

"But… what does Tsuzuki have to do with the job?" he asked.

"You know he and Anna are in a romantic relationship, right?" the demon replied.

"Yeah," Satoshi replied.

"Well, use that to your advantage," Asmodeus said. The angel pondered this for a moment. Suddenly, an idea came to him. His thin lips curved into a smile.

"You know," he said. "He might make a good tool to me after all." Asmodeus smiled.

"How?" he asked. However, he held up his hand. "Never mind, don't tell me," the demon said. "I don't like a spoiler to a good show." The angel smiled at him.

"So, who's getting the tab—me or you?" he asked.

"On me," his friend said. "Also part of your gift."

"Ah," Satoshi replied. "You are way too generous to me."

"Yes I am," his friend agreed. "Yes I am."

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