Chapter 25: Tension
Today, it had become quite evident in Angelina’s kitchen that there was something very wrong with Tendou’s mood. He was unusually quiet; a fellow co-worker had backed away with her inquiry when she noticed his menacing aura while stirring his bowl of melted chocolate as he rudely dismissed her. The staff was beginning to get anxious and forced one of the waiters to go to Ryo for help.
“Psst Ryo-chan… I think you gotta talk to Tendou-san… everyone’s too anxious to approach him” A waiter muttered into the cashier’s ear, and she raised a brow.
“So, I’m not the only one who noticed, huh?” She muttered, nodding as he took her place at the register. She walked into the kitchen where the other staff members nervously eyed her. With just a simple nod towards the kitchen’s backdoor and they all immediately walked out leaving the two be in the kitchen
“Oi…” She called out to him but Tendou’s back remained turned as he dropped the bowl on the table, haphazardly grabbing a whisk. Ryo rolled her eyes, why was he being such a brat? She grabbed Tendou’s wrist, before he could violently stir the chocolate. Feeling a bit intimidated when he turned to glare at her, yanking his wrist from her hand
“What? Can’t you see I’m fucking busy right now. Go bother someone else, Ryo.”
She cleared her throat before she closed her eyes, letting out a breath.
“Clench your teeth” She said with a smile
Tendou furrowed his brows
Tendou felt the sharp sting across his face, his eyes widened before he turned to her in shock
“YOU BITCH-SLAPPED ME! What the fuck, Ryo!?” He growled and she put her hands on her hips. Looking up to glare at him, in return. Frustration in her voice,
“I’m giving you a reality check, asshole. I don’t know what’s up with your mood today but no one in this kitchen deserves to be treated like shit. Don’t think you can be rude to me just because you’re having a shitty day… Now will you tell me… What is your fucking problem?”
Tendou’s shoulders slumped, he didn’t realise he was being an asshole until Ryo pointed it out. He sighed, putting the whisk down.
“Sorry Ryo… You’re right. I shouldn’t be a dickhead, but someone dropped flowers outside Y/n’s flat when I came back from that workshop…” He muttered and Ryo’s face went blank, she shook her head
“You’re behaving like a child because your girlfriend got flowers? Are you serious?”
He shook his head,
“You don’t understand…”
She gave him a puzzled look,
“I don’t understand that someone gifted Y/n, a beautiful young woman, flowers?” She said to Tendou like it was no big deal
He left his workstation, walking to his bag. Unzipping it, he ruffled around before he found the crumpled card, handing it to Ryo.
“This was the card they wrote for her…”
She read the message and frowned
“Okay… that’s something weird to write… really weird…” She muttered, handing it back to Tendou, looking up at him
“But why is this such a big deal?” She asked and he bit his lip
“Well… I haven’t really told you the reason why Y/n and I got really close in the first place…”
“What do you mean…?”
He took a deep breath, pulling the stool from his workstation
“Well Y/n-chan? What do you think?” Yasunobu asked, displaying the digital tablet to her. Y/n’s eyes glimmered, it was so simple, but it was lovely
“Yasunobu-san, you created this on this tablet? The characters look amazing!” She gushed and Ohno-sama nodded, raising a brow, humming when she noticed the tiny flush on his face and the smile creeping up, that he was trying oh-so hard to contain
“Is something wrong, Ohno-sama?” Yasunobu asked, fixing his glasses. She shrugged, turning to Y/n
“Y/n, can you get me some coffee please?”
“Ofcourse! Yasunobu-san?” She asked and he hummed, glancing at her face for a second before turning back to Ohno-sama
“Sure… thanks” He muttered, watching her leave the room. Ohno cleared her throat, looking at the image a bit more
“You really are talented… I also can’t seem to get over the characters… Although…”
She pinched the screen, zooming in on the love-struck couples faces
“They seem to really resemble Y/n and…” She looked at him,
Yasunobu cleared his throat, containing his stoic face, raising a brow at her
“Everyone has their own opinion; I created the characters based on how I perceived from Y/n-chan’s stories… This is what they look like to me…” He said, in a calm manner and Ohno squinted her eyes slightly.
“I see… So, this has nothing to do with your little crush on Y/n?” She simply said, pulling a cigarette from her pack. Yasunobu dropped his notebook, hands shaking as he picked it up in embarrassment, his cheeks flushed
“E-excuse me!? Don’t be absurd!
She huffed, taking a puff of her cig.
“Seriously kid, I have eyes on the back of my head... I’ve seen the way you look at her… ’Y/n-chan’? That’s quite friendly to me…” She ashed her cigarette, glancing at him seriously. His face was red, but he was at a loss for words
“Listen Yasunobu-san, you seem like a decent guy and Y/n is familiar with you, but… I think you shouldn’t waste your time on this. She’s the happiest she’s been in a long time and it’ll only be you, who’s going to get hurt in the end… You’ll find another woman, I’m sure”
Yasunobu felt anger seethe inside him, he furrowed his brows, fists clenching under the desk. This was not what he wanted to hear. It was breaking his heart… He could make Y/n even happier; he just knew it. There was no other woman, it had to be her. She was the one for him
Ohno-sama knew nothing.
He looked up at her, a smile growing on his face
“I understand, Ohno-sama… Maybe it’s best if I back off from her…”
“It’s also best to change the male character’s design… I want him to be taller… lose the hair, I want it very short and in a nice…” She waved her hand in a motion, pretending to think before looking at Yasunobu,
“…scarlety shade… same with the eyes… Ditch the glasses, none of the male characters wear glasses in this novel…” She muttered and he felt his eye twitch.
“Understood” He said through gritted teeth, writing down her pointers in the notebook…
Ohno-sama was basically giving him the hint to make Y/n’s damn boyfriend on the cover… This woman really pissed him off, but a job is a job. Yasunobu pulled his tablet back into his work bag, standing up
“Thank you for your time. I’ll make the changes soon” He bowed making his way to the door when Y/n had returned with the tray.
“Yasunobu-san, the meetings done?” She asked puzzled and he gave her a warm smile
“Sorry Y/n-chan, but I’ve got work to do… Thank you for making me coffee, I’ll take it to my desk. I’m sure it’ll be delicious because you made it” He lifted the mug, giving her another smile before he walked out. Ohno scoffed,
Oh, he was going to be a tricky one…
Y/n blushed, sitting in front of Ohno who crossed her arms
“Y/n… you know each other from outside of work?” She asked and Y/n nodded
“We were neighbours a long time ago, when we were really young. He moved shortly after, I almost forgot about him until we met recently” She explained and Ohno nodded,
“I see… Interesting” She said, so did Yasunobu suffer from the typical can’t get over my first love trope? It seemed highly likely now… She had noticed the way he would stare at Y/n while he worked from his booth… He looked like a schoolboy with a crush… It was obvious to everyone but sweet Y/n, who remained oblivious
“Interesting?” Y/n asked and Ohno snapped from her thoughts
“In a, ‘it’s a small world’ sense… Anyways, how’s the final story coming along?” She asked and Y/n sighed
“To be honest, I’m suffering from writer’s block again… I’m not sure what to write now… I feel like I’ve explored so many themes that my brain has conked out”
“It’s alright Y/n, take your time… but not too much. Just don’t stress over it, you’ll find some inspiration soon”
Y/n nodded, dismissing herself to get back to work.
Ryo let out a long breath of air
“Woah… no wonder she used to be so jittery and jumpy…” She muttered, still in shock form Tendou’s explanation. Now that she learnt of Y/n’s previous stalker, everything made so much sense to her. She turned to look at Tendou
“You really helped her… I didn’t realise…” She muttered and he nodded,
“That’s how much I love her”
She felt anger burn in the pit of her stomach,
“Poor cutie… she didn’t deserve that at all… I’m somehow very thankful she ended up as your neighbour… I actually feel sick, how could someone do that to her. How terrifying… I want to beat that guy to a pulp…” She muttered and Tendou dragged a hand through his growing hair, feeling worry arise in him
“Me too… I’m infuriated. She’s come so far, and I don’t want it to happen again otherwise she will be completely broken again…”
Ryo gazed at the crumpled card on the counter, unfolding it to read the message again
“You don’t think…” She started and he nodded,
“That he’s found her again…”
Tendou sat on the chair next to her, resting his head in his hands
“What if I’m overreacting? Y/n doesn’t seem disturbed at all… I hid the card from her and told her the bouquet was for me… a gift from the workshop… otherwise she would’ve freak out…”
Ryo shook her head,
“I don’t think you are Tendou-san… You’re the only man she has a connection with… this is too much of a coincidence… We need to keep a watchful eye over her, let’s see if we notice any suspicious people around.”
“True, let’s just stay on guard for the time being…”
“Um… guys…” A voice cut in,
Ryo and Tendou’s head turned to the back door where one of the chef’s sheepishly pushed their head in
“C-can we come back inside… it’s been an hour and… w-we’re cold…” She stuttered… making the two of them sweat drop. Tendou ushered them back inside, thanking the fact that there was no rush in the café at the moment. He turned to his workstation, preparing the chocolate moulds while he pondered over the situation.
How could Y/n’s stalker find her? He had been caught, hadn’t he?
‘I thought he was taken to the police station… How did he know where Y/n was again?’ Tendou felt chills crawl down his spine as he stood alert
He knows where she lives…
Y/n hummed as she left the office building, happily walking down the streets as she observed the hustle and bustle around her. She got done with work during peak hour, where a lot of office workers were rushing about trying to get home. She glanced at a nearby grocery shop, deciding to go in. It had been a while since she browsed, she was in the mood to make fried chicken tonight. (AN: Same)
‘I’m sure Satori would like chicken tonight too!’ She thought happily
Y/n was chirpy as she browsed through the aisles, looking at different products. She was lost in her own world that she didn’t hear the bell of the grocery store ring as someone walked in. There weren’t many people inside and she was busy eyeing various products.
She didn’t notice the sounds footsteps tapping against the tiled floor, approaching her from the other side of the aisle until she moved a box to the side, almost jumping when eyes stared at her from the other side. Her eyes widened and legs shook as she stepped back.
“O-oh, I’m sorry” She squeaked, putting the box back as she walked to another aisle in embarrassment. However, she froze in her steps when at the end of the aisle, a man stood, blocking the way. His hoodie was perched over his head, but she knew he was doing this on purpose… He titled his head upward and her breath hitched… She recognised the hoodie clad man from that night.
She slowly took a few steps back, eyes not daring to leave his form, in fear he would disappear. Her legs were starting to shake, and she felt like this was definitely not a coincidence. Y/n dropped her basket when he began stepping forward, the crash alerted a shop assistant nearby as she walked to Y/n,
“Miss! Are you okay?” She asked and Y/n felt her heartbeat at a crazily scary pace when she began hyperventilating, looking at the end of the aisle.
He was gone…
She couldn’t hear the shop assistant who tried to help her, she was feeling terrified
“Y/n?” A voice called to her before he turned to the assistant,
“Go get some water!”
Yasunobu bent down to her, shaking her shoulders gently
“Hey…” he said softly,
“Y/n… it’s okay, you’re alright. Just breathe with me”
He inhaled and exhaled, making her breath with him but she couldn’t stop shaking
“Ya-Yasu…nobu… That guy from last night… H-He was here, I s-swear!” She choked out and he gave her a puzzled look,
“Y/n-chan, I’m here alright. Nothing bad is going to happen, I promise… Let me take you home” He said gently, and she nodded, her mind went blank, still in shock from what happened.
“I-it’s happening again…” She muttered and Yasunobu frowned, grabbing her groceries and mixing them with his.
“Come on Y/n, let me pay for this and we’ll go…” He muttered
The walk to her place was silent; he tried his best to calm her down, but she seemed in a state of shock. She kept pondering over his face, he wasn’t the same stalker from her college years… She definitely had never met this man before. Something was definitely wrong… The knocking, her doorbell ringing…
Was he doing all of this to her? But why?
He carried her groceries as they climbed her stairs, Yasunobu walked with her to her door and she fumbled with her keys
“Thank you, Yasunobu-san… You saved me again…” She muttered and he rubbed the back of his neck
“I didn’t do anything… Um, Y/n, your groceries are mixed with my stuff…” He ushered towards the heavy bag he was holding, and her eyes widened
“Oh no, I forgot! Please come in!” She said, quickly unlocking her door and making space for him, as he hesitantly walked inside. Yasunobu couldn’t help himself as he inhaled the scent of her flat, he felt intoxicated, being surrounded by her scent. Controlling himself, he followed her into the kitchen where he helped her unpack the groceries from his.
“Y/n-chan? Are you feeling any better? What’s going on?” He asked her and she froze, biting her lip which he couldn’t help but stare at. She shuffled on her feet,
“I’m not so sure Yasunobu-san, I think I’m being followed again… but I’m not sure if I’m imagining all of this…” She muttered and he frowned,
“I told you to call me if this ever happened again…”
She shook her head,
“I-I know but…”
“She has me now, so there’s no need for Y/n to call you” Tendou cut in, turning their attention towards him. Yasunobu stood straight, gazing at Tendou who looked back at in in turn.
“Good evening Tendou-san” He bowed, and Y/n greeted Tendou
“Satori!” She said in relief, going up to him. Tendou was concealing his foul mood
“Hello…” He muttered, not liking the fact that another man was in Y/n’s kitchen but he didn’t want to show it.
“It’s nice to meet you again Yasunobu-san, what brings you to our humble abode” He said, and Y/n looked at him
“Yasunobu-san was kind enough to walk me home… our groceries are mixed in the bag, so we are dividing them” She explained and Tendou gave a confused look
“You were shopping together?”
She shook her head,
“Um… no, something happened and Yasunobu was there to help me again!” She said and Tendou glanced at Yasunobu
“Something happened? What do you mean, again?”
“You’re her boyfriend and you don’t know that Y/n’s been feeling uncomfortable the last few days. She thinks she’s being followed.”
Tendou felt his eyes widened and he turned to her, grabbing her shoulders
“Why didn’t you tell me Y/n!? You’re not supposed to hide these things from me!” He said and she bit her lip
“I was going to, but I wasn’t sure if I was just being paranoid!” She justified and he frowned, Yasunobu pulled Tendou’s hands from her shoulders
“You’re hurting her. Listen Tendou-san, I know you must be a busy guy, but you should be more aware of what’s happening in Y/n’s life. She’s lucky I happened to help her home last time this happened and today. Be thankful, I kept her safe…”
There was something in Yasunobu’s tone which made Tendou freeze, he glanced at Yasunobu who gave him a strange look, turning to quietly pack his groceries before he announced his departure
“Are you sure you wouldn’t like to stay for dinner?” She asked out of ocurtesy but he declined,
“Thank you but I think I should leave…” He muttered
“I think so too” Tendou replied and Y/n looked at him in shock
“Satori, don’t be rude!” She whispered to him, but he ignored her, following behind Yasunobu walking him out the front door.
“Thanks for walking Y/n back home…” He said and Yasunobu nodded,
Tendou was about to close the door,
“Oh, by the way…” He started and Yasunobu turned to him
“Y/n hates petunias.”
With that Tendou closed the door, leaving Yasunobu to stand in the hallway,
“Petunias? What?” He muttered in confusion, walking down the stairs, “Fucking asshole…”
Y/n had her hands on her hips, frowning at Tendou
“Satori, why were you being so rude? He helped me!” She argued and he turned to her, walking up to her and she froze when she saw how upset he looked. He hugged her tightly
“Y/n, what happened while I was gone?” He asked and she looked down at her feet
“Um… I think I’m being followed…” She mumbled and he shook his head
‘I knew it…’ He thought, he sat her down on the couch and she explained about the hoodie clad man that she had seen around and how Yasunobu helped her out. Tendou listened intently, feeling a little bad for telling Yasunobu off but he had a bad feeling about him as well.
He turned to Y/n, feeling a little sad
“Why didn’t you tell me Y/n? I’m your boyfriend! You should call me immediately when you feel unsafe!”
She fiddled with her thumbs, feeling tears prick her eyes
“I’m sorry but I didn’t want you to get worried, I thought I was just being paranoid” She began crying and Tendou felt really bad, immediately pulling her in for a hug, hushing her as he rocked her quietly
“No… no, don’t cry baby. I’m sorry for yelling at you, you didn’t deserve that. I just felt guilty because another man rescued you and not me… I’m worried about this Y/n, I think we should call your father and”
“No!” She cut Tendou off,
“We cannot tell him Satori” She said, and he looked at her confused
“Because, if he finds out, it’ll worry him even more and he’s just started seeing someone… I can’t let him give up his life for me again. He will worry and he’s old now, I don’t want him to be stressed”
Tendou swallowed, he promised Riichi to keep her safe and he felt like he was betraying him by not telling but he didn’t want to break Y/n’s trust. Tendou massaged her scalp
“Okay… but Y/n, I can’t let you go out alone anymore, not until we deal with this situation. I’m gonna pick and drop you to work, if I’m working overtime, Akira-san has to drop you to me. No public transport for the time being. If its groceries, we’ll go together, or I’ll get them…”
She nodded, feeling comfort form his support, as her tears dried, she sat up, looking at him. Tendou cupped her face, staring into her eyes
“Y/n, I don’t feel safe living here…” He began and she looked at him confused,
“What do you mean?”
Tendou bit his lip before he sat up, looking at her seriously,
“Let’s move in together… to a new place.” He said and she froze.