Y/n winced when her editor slammed the rough drafts of the new novel she was currently writing.
“Dry! Absolutely dry, Y/n! All these sex scenes are super boring. This is not what our target readers would like. The male and female leads romance is drier than a desert.” She sighed, pressing her temple as Y/n bit her lip, looking at her feet. She was getting scolded... for the same reason again.
Her editor sighed,
“Y/n, sorry to ask but please tell me... do you have any.... experience with men? Or are you into women?” She asked the young woman who blushed
“O-oh n-no Ma’am, I think like men!” She blurted
“Think? When was the last time you dated someone?” Her editor inquired; Y/n was feeling slightly embarrassed. She didn’t have an answer and her editor gasped
“You’ve never had a boyfriend!? You’re almost 24!”
“I’m sorry ma’am! I just never had the time to date...”
Y/n thought back to all the times when she would be invited for karaoke or mixers but she would always decline because there was always a book or manga she wanted to read or she wanted to finish her college assignments. She was never a party animal per say, she liked keeping to herself most of the times. Guys would often try flirting with her, but she was too shy or sometimes intimidated to reciprocate.
Her editor seemed harsh, but Y/n really looked up to her. She was shocked when they accepted her job application. She moved to Tokyo with high hopes of furthering her writing career and working at this publishing agency was a dream. She was at first tasked with assisting in helping other authors, writing fantasy tales and romance however as their popularity increased, mature readers requested a smut edition of short stories and Ohno-sama believed Y/n was ready to handle this.
’Y/n... Im not forcing you to go out and get a man. That’s your decision but you need to at least experience an orgasm once!” She slammed her fist on the table, startling Y/n with her enthusiasm.
“You need to understand how sex feels. Sex is beautiful! You’ll see a difference not only in yourself but in your writing. New experiences give you the passion and fuel to write.” The older woman sighed dreamily, and Y/n blushed
“Ohno-sama, th-this is really embarrassing!” She stammered and Ohno rolled her eyes
“You need to stop being so shy. Honestly, when I read your essays from college, they were bright and full of passion. I saw my young self in you, I still do… But you need bring that creative passion into this erotica. I know you can do it. You’ve just moved to Tokyo, have you explored? Get out of your comfort zone, Y/n!”
Y/n’s mood darkened as she began thinking about her motivation behind her passionate stories from college. It was until she experienced trauma that shattered her to the very core on the inside. She lost her confidence in her stories. She stood up when Ohno-sama addressed her again
“Y/n, Im delivering some stuff to your place. Think of it as a gift from me, to you. Hopefully they’ll help.” She said casually
Y/n was confused
“What will help?”
Ohno-sama lit her cigarette, she took a drag before grinning and turning her laptop around. Y/n eyes almost popped out,
“Um... tho-those are...”
She covered her eyes and Ohno-sama rolled her eyes
“For god’s sake… You’ll thank me later! Im gonna order some DVDs for you too”
“Please don’t!” Y/n said alarmed
“Sorry, they’ve already been sent.”
“Ohno-sama!” She whined
Ohno-sama fixed her bob before directing her attention to Y/n, getting serious
“Y/n I haven’t given you a deadline for this novel but... I want you to scrap these stories and start fresh. You still haven’t made a proper debut yet. Your first set of short stories attracted a good number of readers, but they weren’t your works. You just helped drafting the fantasy elements and vanilla romance to them. Don’t think I didn’t notice you skipping the smut scenes…” Ohno-sama gaze sharpened and the younger woman felt sheepish.
“This company publishes more mature books, our target audience is 21 and over. I’m giving you some time for a new first draft, till then maybe try exploring outside your comfort zone…”
Y/n bit her lip, her eyes sunk to the floor
“Yes Ohno-sama…” She muttered
“It feels so good to be outside” She stretched her arms as she left her office building, feeling content that she was done with the day. Y/n sighed, thinking about her talk with Ohno-sama as she walked towards her apartment.
‘Maybe I should try meeting someone…? It’s been a while since that incident… Nothing bad has happened so far…’
She felt her jaw tighten, remembering her time during college. That one guy ruined everything for her. Y/n stopped for a second, she felt uneasy. She felt the nostalgic fear that used to arise inside her during college. Amongst these unaware people, walking past her. She began feeling eyes… She felt queasy, she felt like she was being watched again… She wanted to go home. Y/n snapped from her daze and almost panic attack, her phone buzzing, alerting her.
“Otosan” She muttered, reading his text, he was sending her his love, asking how Maro was and she felt better when he sent a photo of dinner he had cooked tonight. It was difficult for him when she decided to move to another city, but he was ever supportive.
Y/n’s entire life, it had only been her and her father. She was too young to remember her late mother, so all her memories from her childhood, consisted of her hardworking father, trying to be the best role model as possible. He also was one of the reasons why she could never date per say. Unfortunately for him, his daughter had to grow up… The one topic he could never handle was boyfriends. Y/n was blossoming and had this innocent charm about her, which attracted a lot of attention from those carnivorous schoolboys. Being a beautiful girl was a blessing for her but a curse for him. He warned her that high school boys were wolves and she ever so obediently believed him. Sometimes he would pray to God with tears of joy during her teen years for giving him such an angel of a daughter. She never hid anything from him.
She continued down the streets when her eyes caught sight of her favourite patisserie. The desserts in this café were particularly her favourite. Each treat she consumed always melted away her worries, there was something about the flavours. They tasted like they were made with love.
The bell of the shop rung when she pushed the glass door open, she was immediately met with the tantalizing smell of the fragrant pastries and treats. She eagerly eyed the glass display, darting back and forth between the tarts, cakes, chocolates and pastries.
“Hello Miss, what may I get you?” The cashier politely asked, Y/n shyly stood up, feeling a little embarrassed because she must have looked like a kid in a sweet shop because she certainly felt like it.
“I can’t decide… They all look so good”
The cashier laughed,
“Makes sense, everything is so good. In fact, we have one of our limited-edition chocolate cakes left. Today’s the last day for it. Its experimental, our head baker used his own special made chocolate for this fondant cake. It’s almost sold out, but I could pack the last one for you?” She said, pointing to the last cake and Y/n’s eyes widened, she nodded looking at the scrumptious cake, its chocolate glaze shining under the display lights beckoning for her to devour it
“Yes please, that look amazing! Could I also get a box of those bonbons too? I know I shouldn’t but how can I resist?”
The cashier smiled as she ushered an employee to pack it for Y/n, while she took the payment and put the bonbons in her handbag. Y/n left the shop in a giddy mood, forgetting the stress that had emulated earlier. There was something about this patisserie. It just knew how to uplift her mood.
She happily made her way back to her apartment, humming to herself as she clutched the cake box carefully. Y/n was distracted as she walked towards her door, thinking about sending a picture of the cake to her father.
‘Oh, I should get my keys out! Maro’s going to be so excited to see me, I missed him today’ She thought to herself as she turned to rummage in her purse, walking up to her door. However, Y/n failed to hear her mysterious neighbour’s door open and
Y/n squeaked as she collided into something hard, gasping when her cake box dropped to the floor
“Oh no! My cake!” She cried, looking at the open box on the floor, the cake unfortunately smashed into pieces on the floor
“Shit, I’m really sorry!” a voice cut in, Y/n stood up straight, hearing the masculine voice behind her. She felt nervous as she faced him. Oh god… she was met with piercing red eyes, his form towering over her. The older man seemed a little intimidating, he was staring at the smashed cake, eyes a little wide when he recognised the box before he eyed his little meek neighbour, but Y/n couldn’t help but feel shy and very uncomfortable under his gaze. She dusted her clothes quickly
“I-it’s okay! I’m really sorry for walking into you. Goodbye!” She turned on her heel and quickly ran inside her apartment, slamming the door closed. Her back against the door, she felt her heart beating fast. Tendou stared at her front door, so she was the quiet neighbour who lived next to him? Who knew?
“What a beauty…” He muttered to himself, of course she would get creeped out by him, unphased by her reaction… He looked at the mess of the floor, eyeing the fondant cake, sighing before unlocking his apartment and headed towards his cleaning supplies
“Maro! Hi baby!” He heard her voice from his open balcony. In their apartment complex, two neighbours’ shared a balcony but they were divided by a separator. He happened to share hers. In the last few months, Tendou would sometimes listen to her talking to her extremely quiet boyfriend. Seriously, the guy never said a word, but her voice was so pure and angelic, he found it comforting. He’s feel creepy for eavesdropping but he couldn’t help it.
He quietly crept to his open balcony door, standing and listening to her as she hummed gently, after a few shuffles and giggles,
“Oh Maro, t-that tickles!” She exclaimed, laughing and Tendou’s eyes widened, he sighed quietly, sliding the balcony door shut, scratching his fuzzy head
“Gotta clean that mess up…” He muttered to himself, humming a familiar tune as he grabbed his cleaning supplies, going back outside. He eyed the chocolate cake, sighing as picked up the box and began wiping all the mess.
“I made her drop it…” He muttered…
Y/n smiled as she held Maro in the air above her, the sweet little hedgehog’s nose sniffing the air as he stared at her. Y/n’s father bought Maro after she went through that traumatic experience with her stalker from college. It was one of the reasons why he didn’t stop her when she wanted to move to Tokyo. He insisted she keep Maro with her in case she ever felt fear or anxiety and truth be told, the little hedgehog had made her feel better. She felt safer knowing someone was waiting home for her.
She began thinking of the encounter with her mysterious neighbour, she had never seen him before, sometimes she could hear him humming on his balcony but that was about it. Even just hearing him shuffling or humming made her feel shy, on the other side of the partition, she always tried to picture a face to that voice but seeing him up close was different. She could still picture is wide bright scarlet eyes clearly; however, she ran away before she could register his face. She was too nervous to face him properly. One look at his eyes made her drop her limited-edition cake. She gasped,
She sat up straight, Maro getting startled by the movements, realising what a big mess she had left outside her apartment. Her neighbour probably thought of her as a bad-mannered woman. Feeling anxious, she placed Maro down on the carpet, he scuttled around, eagerly sniffing the floor. Y/n shuffled towards the front door, rehearsing an apology to her neighbour. She flung her door open,
Oh, it was all clean. Y/n was almost uncertain if she imagined the entire scenario earlier.
“He cleaned it up…” She muttered to herself, staring at his door. She felt guilty, he didn’t have to do that. Maybe he was a nice man, after all? She contemplated whether to go back inside or try thanking him. Her eyes widened,
“Oh! I still have the chocolates!”
She rushed back inside, grabbing the packed box of bonbons. Quickly, fixing her appearance, she took a deep breath and rushed back outside. Her heart was beating fast as she knocked on his door. Trying to calm herself while she waited a few moments, she stood straight when she heard the locks turning. The door opened and he stood in front of her
“H-hello!” She said, looking up at his face.
Tendou was slightly taken back, not expecting to see her standing there.
“Hi there” He said with a grin, making her flush and she quickly bowed extended the box of bonbons towards him
“I’m terribly sorry for making that mess outside and having you clean it up for me. Thank you! These are for you” She pushed the bonbons towards him. Tendou blushed, his eyes were glued to her chest while she bowed. She was pretty stacked but judging from her behaviour, she doesn’t seem to realise what a treat she was bestowing upon him. He cleared his throat,
“That’s really nice of you but you don’t have to do that. It’s okay” He said, and she stood up straight, taking in his features finally. She held her breath, he had intimidating eyes but then again, his aura was not threatening at all. In fact, his face was really sweet? However, she was still on her guard.
“No please… um…?”
“Tendou Satori” He said with a grin, extending his hand out to her
“Oh.. L/n Y/n!” She grabbed his hand and Tendou immediately noticed how soft and delicate her hand was. She felt his rough hands, her cheeks were red, his hands were large… They both were silent for a few seconds, still shaking their hands before Y/n snapped out of her daze, a little flustered with her behaviour
“I brought these bonbons from my favourite patisserie. I haven’t tried them yet but I know they’ll be amazing. Every dessert I eat from there is heavenly” She grinned and Tendou felt his heart squeeze
‘Kawaii…’ He thought to himself, watching her chocolate coloured curls bounce when she giggled.
He clutched the other end of the box,
“Thanks Y/n-chan, I’ve… had these before so you keep ’em.” He handed the box back to her
“Oh, are you sure?” She asked, looking up at him.
Tendou grinned, rubbing the back of his head
“Y-yeah, enjoy them with your boyfriend” He said, reminding himself that she was taken already. Y/n looked at him confused
“…boyfriend?” She muttered,
She’s never had anyone over, its only ever been her and Maro. Y/n gasped,
“Maro!” She realised, that she left him outside his cage! He could be hiding anywhere in her room!
She startled Tendou, quickly bowing
“Thank you, Tendou-san! It was lovely meeting you, but I have to leave now. Goodbye!” She said and he was confused,
“Uh… yeah sure. See you” he said, watching her look at him one last time before she ran into her apartment. Tendou shut his door, his heart was racing, and he let out a blush
“Man, she’s so cute!” he groaned to himself. He really wanted to see her again, he needed some excuse. Tendou remembered the cake she dropped. It was one of his creations and he was secretly prideful that she picked both his cake and his bonbons from the patisserie he worked at.
Y/n scanned her flat, looking for Maro. She was feeling a little worried now, he could’ve gotten stuck under something.
“Maro?” She called, getting on her knees and looking under the couch.
“Oh, thank god!” She sighed in relief, there he was, laying down under the shadows of the couch. She scooped him up, rubbing his head
“You scared me!”
Walking back to his cage, she plopped him down, closing the door, watching him shuffle towards his food. Smiling, she turned and got ready to lounge around. After dinner and her bath, she relaxed. Making her way to the balcony, she pushed it open, enjoying the breeze, sitting on her floor cushion, her back against the partition, she looked at busy street below her, so much hustle and bustle, even this late at night.
She leaned forward, pressing play on her laptop as an old classic romantic film began playing, she rested her back comfortably against the partition, grabbing her box of bonbons as her eyes were glued to screen, she picked up one and placed it in her mouth. Her eyes widened, the flavour was ecstatic and the liquid that poured on her tongue when she reached the centre. It was spectacular
“Mmmm! These bonbons are delicious! I’m so happy” She grinned, eyeing the monochrome couple on the screen as they embraced.
Romance seemed so nice…
“ You need to understand how sex feels. Sex is beautiful! You’ll see a difference not only in yourself but in your writing. New experiences give you the passion and fuel to write...”
Ohno-sama’s words fluttered in her head. Y/n was never a girl who could casually discuss such passionate subjects.
She wasn’t completely clueless, she had some loud-mouthed friends while growing up, often telling her about what they were up to with their boyfriends and then laughing at how flustered Y/n would get, when they had to explain to her what a blowjob was. Y/n was reserved, maybe if she grew up with a mother, it would’ve been a different story but Otosan still tried his best, he did his best. But obviously, there were certain topics that even he couldn’t handle.
Her eyes darted back to the screen, the woman wrapping her arms around the man’s neck, as he dipped her and kissed her. She brought another bonbon to her mouth. True love seemed so lovely. Y/n wanted nothing more than to hold someone’s hand, she wanted someone to wrap her in their warm embrace, she wanted to tell someone she loved him. But with relationships, came sex… She wasn’t scared of sex, it made her nervous but overall, she was scared of men.
She remembered how bad her final year in college had been, it first started out with love letters appearing in her books or her bag, then came gifts to her front door. Either flowers, her favourite snacks or trinkets and even jewellery… Both her father and her never spotted anyone drop them off. Otosan would immediately dispose of them, feeling uneasy over Y/n’s safety.
Then, came the text messages, photos of her in different locations, the sender making it clear that he was watching her. This made Y/n stay home, cancelling out on plans with her college friends... She became slightly reclusive and very paranoid. Often begging her father not to leave her alone at home. Otosan went to the police but they didn’t do much, giving up after a week saying there was nothing suspicious, it must have been a prank.
And then, the very last night which changed her life and instilled that fear of men…
“I’m sorry Otosan, my group project went overtime! I had to stay late; I’ve just gotten off the train!” She spoke into her phone as her dad sighed,
“Y/n, come straight home, okay.” He told her and she agreed, rushing out of the station and down the dark streets. Y/n clutched her bag, feeling a little paranoid again. She hadn’t received any messages or presents recently. Maybe the stalker had gotten bored. As she turned the street, Y/n was walking under the streetlights, eyes straight ahead. She eyed the alleyway nearing her, feeling uneasy, she decided to quickly cross the street, waiting for a car to pass, she was just about to cross when someone behind her muttered,
“I finally got you”
Hands grabbed her and pulled her into the alley, thrusting her against the wall.
“No! Let me go!” She shrieked, staring into those dark menacing eyes…
Y/n’s eyes burst open; her heart was racing before she realised, she dropped the box of chocolates.
“Oh man… the chocolates…” She muttered, sniffing, before bending down to pick them up, not realising her tears were streaming down her face… She wiped her face, feeling upset about remembering that memory. The movie in the background was nothing but white noise to her now.
Unknown to her, Tendou had been sitting in the other side, drinking coffee on the balcony every evening was his routine, he usually had a manga in his lap. Enjoying his little escapade before bed. He had been distracted when he heard her balcony door open, he was a little more alert. He was stiff as he heard the sounds of her laptop playing. He was concentrating hard, trying to figure if it was a movie or series, until her delighted tone, alerted him.
“Mmmm! These bonbons are delicious! I’m so happy”
Tendou raised his brows, a little blush on his face. She liked the bonbons. His chocolates made her happy? He was glad that he convinced her to take them back. It was a little surprise for him when he realised that she was a big fan of his creations. He thought of the ruined cake. One of his new recipes, it took him a while to perfect it. They were selling well for it’s trial day today. Who knew, out of all the people, she’d be the one who bought one of them.
Tendou wasn’t new to his feelings, he knew he had developed a little crush on his neighbour. It had been a while since his last fling. Hell, his last serious relationship ended when he moved back to Japan from Paris, two years ago. From then on, he was busy with his new position as a head baker in this patisserie, to be honest, he was more so the chocolatier there as well. He took the job offer mainly because he had been offered the chance to sell his own creations if he wanted and that’s what caught his attention. However, that didn’t stop him from his causal fling. He picked up a few moves when in Paris, he liked bringing them into his hook ups. It was a thrill for him to see the women’s reactions in the bedroom.
He heard her gasp,
“Oh man… the chocolates…” she muttered
He guessed that she must’ve dropped the box. She sounded really sad; he felt his heart drop slightly. He didn’t like hearing her voice like that… Tendou thought for a second before his eyes widened, he thought of a plan to see her again. He quietly stood up and walked into his room, carefully closing his balcony door
“This might cheer her up” He grinned to himself, humming as he skipped to his kitchen.