It had been two weeks since Yin woke up from her coma.
Hei stood beside the window of their bedroom, a hand casually parting the blind that cover it to inspect the surrounding area for any suspicious activity. There was no incident so far, but that didn’t mean he should stop being vigilant. Who knew when the trouble was going to fall upon them. He needed to always be prepared for the worst kind of scenario.
The sound of the bathroom door being opened reached his ears and he diverted his gaze to the source of it. Yin emerged from the bathroom fully clothed after her shower with a towel on her shoulder. Hei watched silently as Yin walked straight towards the bedside table without any guidance and sat on the stool facing the mirror. She took the towel from her shoulder and began to dry her wet hair.
Instinctively, Hei closed the blind and walked towards his most important person in the world and stood behind her form.
“Hei?” She uttered his name questioningly when she noticed his presence.
He merely took the towel from her hand and helped her dried her wet strand. Yin relaxed her form and he saw a smile grazed her lips, initiating a small one on his own. Silence stretched between them but it was a welcomed silence, a peaceful and calming one. If only they could stay hidden away and lived peacefully like this forever, then it would be perfect.
But Hei knew that it was a flawed thought and his smile diminished when he informed her. “We need to get moving soon.”
He saw the subtle change in her expression. “I understand,” she replied in a small voice. He knew that she didn’t like it anymore than he did, but it needed to be done.
Feeling the need to cheer her up, Hei gave her a suggestion. “Why don’t we take a walk around the neighborhood this afternoon? There’s a park not far from the house,” he said as he stopped drying her hair and took the brush from the table, combing her silver strand.
“Really?” She inquired in her monotone voice, but there was the unmistakable excitement reflected in her eyes. “I’d love to,” she said.
It was the perfect time to go out. Most of his neighbors were clock punchers anyway so they never cross path with each other during working hours and Hei purposely avoided going out of the house when people were still outside.
Hei grasped Yin’s hand as they walked around the neighborhood. They were heading towards the park not far from the house. He glanced towards her face and he could see that she was happy with being outside. It was understandable since she was cooped up in the house since she was awake. A little fresh air might do wonder for her and she needed to exercise her muscle more. Yin was never an athletic person, but being in the cryogenic chamber for a long period of time made her weaker than before.
The wind was blowing softly in their direction and he couldn’t help the nostalgic feeling that crept into his heart. He remembered the times when they were at Okinawa, posing as a newlywed on honeymoon. He liked it there. It was quiet and peaceful, at least before the contractors found them.
“We’re here,” he said as he reached the park. The park was nearly empty saved for the two boys playing the see-saw a few meters from them. Hei led Yin towards the bench under the tree to shield them from the sun. “Wait here for a moment, I’m going to buy us some ice-cream,” he said. Yin gave him a small nod and he walked away from her towards the ice-cream cart not too far from them.
He glanced back at Yin’s direction when he reached the ice-cream cart while placing his orders with his fake Li’s persona. She was in his view so he could keep an eye on her. He saw her sat on the bench and out of nowhere Hei saw a young man was walking towards her direction. He narrowed his eyes at the man as he quickly assessed the threat that might be coming her way. He was sure that the man was not a contractor but he didn’t have to be a contractor to harm her.
From the corner of his eyes, he saw one of the two boys waved cheerily at the man’s direction and he was relief when he saw the man waved back with a grin on his face. They had to be related so his presence at the park was not planted. It was just a mere coincidence.
He could see that the man posed no threat to her. But an involuntary scowl appeared on his face when he saw the unknown young man walked and stopped in front of Yin. He saw the man started to talk to her and Hei wondered what his intention was since he couldn’t hear them from this distance. So as soon as he paid for their ice-cream, he walked towards them while keeping a close eye on the third party.
Yin sat on the bench as Hei went to buy the ice-cream he was talking about. It was quite hot, so she couldn’t wait to taste the cold, sweet concoction to counter the heat. She silently wondered what kind of flavor Hei would pick for her. She remembered eating ice-cream before and she loved it. She remembered eating ice-cream with Hei during their short stay at the modest motel at Okinawa. To liven up to their façade as a honeymooner, they took a walk every day to the beach where Hei would hold her hand, just like he did today on their way to the park.
But the feeling was a bit different from then because instead of dragging her and keeping her behind him, he chose to let her walked with him side by side. She liked the positive changes in their relationship and she liked the subtle changes in Hei’s demeanor even more. Hei was forever going to be a cold person but she thought that he was different when he was alone with her. She could see the other side of him that he never showed to anyone else.
Suddenly, she heard footsteps coming her way and she glanced towards the source. She knew that it was not Hei since it came from the opposite direction from where Hei left her for the ice-cream. She wondered who was coming towards her as an alarm rang inside her head but she took solace with the knowledge that Hei was nearby and he would alert her and take action if there was any danger around.
“Brother,” she heard a boy calling her way so she thought it was meant for the person that was nearing her.
“Be careful Sai, Isshin,” she heard the reply came from near her and soon she heard the footsteps stopped. She could see a form standing near her but with a failing sight, she could not make out his face. “Hi there,” she heard the man greeted her.
“Hi,” she said shortly didn’t want to come out as rude.
“I’ve never see you around before, are you new here?” Came the question. His tone of voice indicated that he was a friendly person, much like Hei when he assumed Li’s personality.
“Yes,” she answered truthfully. She knew that he posed no threat to her but she was not keen on making conversation with him in case she accidentally said something she shouldn’t. She didn’t know how well Hei interacted with other people from the neighborhood.
“I’m Natsume by the way, what’s your name?” He asked enthusiastically.
Yin wondered if she should tell him her name or should she lie to him.
Hei could hear the man asking some question to Yin when he was nearing them. He could see that the man was attractive with his messy black hair and tall physique. He instantly knew that the man was hitting on Yin and the poor girl probably didn’t even realize it.
“I’m Natsume by the way, what’s your name?”
Now Hei felt annoyance surged through him. The man seemed too interested and focused on Yin he didn’t even realize that Hei was walking towards them. Hei could see that Yin was hesitating to answer the question and he quickly come to her rescue.
“Yin!” He called out to her, his Li persona back in place.
Both of them glanced his way and he could see the curiosity in Natsume’s eye. Hei walked closer to them and gave a fake smile towards Natsume as he stopped beside Yin.
“Hi there,” he greeted the man with the same fake sugary smile on his face. “I’m Li, nice to meet you.”
“Hi, I’m Natsume,” he said with a smile of his own. “So, are you two related?” He asked looking back and forth between the two of them.
“You could say that,” Hei gave a nervous laugh as he answered. “She’s my wife, Yin.”
Hei saw Natsume’s eyes went wide at the revelation. “Wife?”
“Yes,” he nodded. Hei hoped that Natsume took the hint and scrammed, leaving them alone to enjoy their ice-cream.
He saw the disappointed and dejected look on the other man’s face. “Wow, you’re a lucky man Li,” Natsume said with a suggestive smile. “I have to go now, see you two around,” he said as he walked away from them towards the two boys playing the see-saw. “Sai, Isshin, time to go home,” he heard Natsume shouted to the boys. And soon after that, they left the park leaving Hei and Yin alone to enjoy their day.
Hei gave her a strawberry cheese cake flavored ice-cream as he sat next to her enjoying his chocolate hazelnut flavored one. No one said anything as they both sat there enjoying the cold sweet treat in silence.
“Seriously, you need to come with a sign saying that you’re taken,” Hei muttered after a stretch of silence.
“Huh?” He saw Yin stared at him with a questioning glance.
“It’s a joke,” he felt the need to point it out to her, afraid that she didn’t understand it.
“I know it’s a joke. But I never imagined that you would get jealous over what happened earlier,” she said as her eyes danced with mischief.
Now that was unexpected. Hei was rendered speechless at her words. “I’m not jealous,” he protested with a straight face.
“Yes you are,” she teasingly said with a smile.
Hei stared at the girl beside him. How come he felt that she was enjoying the fact that he got a little jealous over the brat. And she was the doll here. She was not supposed to understand it. Her evolution was escalating at a high rate and she kept surprising him day after day with her unexpected demeanor.
He didn’t know if this was a good thing or not but he was looking forward to discover the different side of her without the restriction of being a doll.
It was dark and windy.
Yin wondered how she ended up in this place. She looked around her. Somehow, she could see clearly without the aid of her observation ghost. The surrounding was barren, void of any other person except for her who was standing in the middle of a road, leading to unknown places.
Panic rose within her when she realized that she was alone. This place was dangerous. The vibe it radiated sent shivers down her spine. She wanted to get away. She wanted to be where Hei was. Hei made her feel safe and he always shielded her from any danger.
With no other choice, Yin walked forward hoping that it would lead her back to Hei. It was getting darker and the wind was getting more violent. Destruction was everywhere and the air felt heavy it was difficult to breath. The memory of being in the Hell’s Gate crossed her mind. Could she be inside the Hell’s Gate? How could she get out of this place?
“Over here Yin,” she heard the whisper that came with the wind. The voice felt familiar but she couldn’t be sure.
Yin continued with her journey in the deserted place, indirectly heading towards the voice that she heard. She was walking for some time now. She walked, and walked, and walked some more but the scenery didn’t change a bit and she still couldn’t find anyone in the vicinity.
“Yin,” came the voice again. But it was louder this time. She stopped walking and turned around, looking for the source. But she couldn’t see anyone near her. She knew it was not her imagination as she heard it loud and clear.
“Yin,” the voice came again and it was repeated again and again in every direction with each time louder than before. The voice was echoing in her mind making her feel dizzy.
Yin was startled as she heard her name being called loudly and she involuntarily took a backward step. Suddenly, her surrounding changed and she gasped as she recognized the landscape around her. There were flowers everywhere and she remembered the time when she was in her deep sleep period. This was where she retreated to when she stopped her awakening, her inner world where the mysterious soul resided when he latched onto her from the Hell’s Gate.
She felt a presence behind her and hastily she turned around only to be met with a boy with silver hair wearing a white shirt with black suit and pants.
“Who are you?” She asked. She didn’t know who this boy was. She never met him before.
The boy walked towards her. “It’s me,” he said. Now standing this close to him, she could hear his voice loud and clear and she instantly knew who the boy was.
“You’re the soul resided in me before,” she stated.
A smile lit up on his face. “Yes,” he said with childlike eagerness. Suddenly, he came barreling towards her, enveloping her in a bone crushing hug. “I miss you,” he said with sorrowful voice. “I was lonely without you,” he uttered looking at her with grief.
Yin stared at the slightly shorter boy who stood hugging her to his form. From this distance she could see that the boy had a pair of beautiful pale violet eyes. It was similar to her own except that hers was more vibrant with purplish-red tone while his was more purplish-blue.
“Yin, let’s be together again,” he looked up to her with a hopeful face. “I am stronger with you by my side. Together, we can do anything and no one can stop us,” he said with an excited glint in his eyes.
This sent an alarm to Yin. “No!” She protested as she pushed him away from her. “We can’t.”
“Why?” The boy questioned.
“Only death and destruction occur when we are together,” Yin said, averting her gaze from his cold accusing glare. “I don’t want that to happen.”
“You’re lying,” he countered. “It’s because of that man, isn’t it? The one called Hei. He’s the reason we’re separated in the first place,” he yelled.
“I’m sorry,” Yin said. “But we can’t be together.” She felt sorry for the boy but there was nothing she could do about it. Together, they were a disaster.
“I can’t accept that,” he protested. “Tell me where you are Yin, so that I can go and get you. We belong together,” he tried to persuade her.
“No. I will not,” she shook her head in defiance taking a step away from him.
Suddenly, the scenery changed and darkness enveloped the place. The fiery wind was howling around her she had to shield her eyes from the turbulent.
She felt something trying to prod inside her mind and she tried her hardest to block it. She knew what he was trying to do. He was trying to see inside her head, trying to forcefully extract information out of her, to get her location. She couldn’t let that happen. She tried her best to push him out of her mind.
“Your effort is futile Yin, I will find you and when I do, we will be together again and I will kill Hei for taking you away from me,” he warned her.
“You will not,” she countered.
“We’ll see about that,” she heard the malice in his voice and that’s when she felt extreme pain in her head.
Yin screamed when the pain became unbearable and she felt her body shaking uncontrollably.
“Yin!” She heard her name being yelled by the familiar voice of Hei and she opened her eyes only to be met with his worried gaze. Just like that, the pain was gone as if it was not there in the first place.
Without taking her eyes from him, she noticed that she was in their bedroom and she was lying on the bed.
Without any warning, Yin hugged Hei tight to her body, feeling relief that he was with her. Tears glided from her eyes and she sobbed when she thought that she would never see him again. She was so scared at the thought of losing him.
She was glad that everything was just a dream.
No it was not just a dream. She quickly corrected herself. It was more than that. The malevolent being previously resided in her made contact with her. He did so when she was sleeping, when she was the most vulnerable with her guard down.
Hei held Yin close to him as she suddenly hugged him after she woke up. She was shivering and cold sweat coated her skin. He was so scared when he heard her screaming in her sleep, wondering what kind of nightmare she was having to make her scream like that. So he quickly called her name and shook her form to wake her.
“Hey, it was just a dream,” Hei tried to sooth the sobbing girl in his arms.
“No it’s not.”
Yin’s reply made his eyes widened and he looked at her face to see the anguish in her teary eyes.
“Yin, what happened?” He asked suddenly feeling alarmed with the whole situation.
“He tried to find me,” he heard Yin said which made no sense to him. Who was trying to find her?
“Who tried to find you Yin?” He asked gently. She was already distraught. There was no need to add more stress to her.
“The spirit that resided in me before,” Yin muttered. “He has his own body now, and he wants to be with me because being together make him becomes more powerful. He wants to kill you for separating us apart,” she explained as a new batch of tears fell from her eyes.
Hei narrowed his eyes at the revelation. He brought Yin closer to his chest enveloping her in his warm embrace, to make her feel safe.
“I’m scared Hei,” Yin whispered. There was a slight panic and urgency in her voice. “He’s looking for me, and he won’t stop until he finds me.”
“I’m not going to let anything happen to you Yin,” Hei quickly interjected. “I won’t let him take you away from me.”
He felt Yin nodded against his chest and he continued to hold her until she went back to sleep. What had happened today was unexpected. Sure, he didn’t expect them to always have a peaceful and quiet life. But he couldn’t help but be shaken when knowing that it would end soon because as always, chaos and trouble managed to follow them around, waiting for their time to make their presence known.
“It’s going to be difficult,” Yin said as they were sitting in a train that would take them away from Tokyo.
“I know,” Hei replied quietly holding her small hand in his larger one. “There is nothing that we can’t handle,” he told her.
Hei looked at Yin as she leaned her head against his shoulder with a small smile playing on her lips.
It was true. There was nothing that they couldn’t handle if they were together.
Hei couldn’t imagine his life without her. He would be lost without any direction or purpose. His life was meaningless without her, so he would never allow anyone to break them apart again.He would fight for her, for their life and for their freedom.
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