After Shattered

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Chapter Four

When Yvonne left them, she drove to the Cream Shoppe to pick up a tub of Mint Choc Chip and then home to Greenwood. Kendo’s car was in the driveway. She parked her Spyder and watched him get out of his car before she got out of hers. Her throat closed just at the thought of losing the man standing outside waiting for her.

Once out of her car, Eve couldn’t stop herself from moving into Kendo’s arms. He sighed and she wished that he’d never let her go. She was slightly comforted by the fact that he held her tight, as if he never would. With his arm firmly around her shoulder, he led her into the house.

They went straight to the bedroom. Yvonne sat on the edge of her bed, her head in her hands, the bag with ice cream presently forgotten on her table. Kendo closed the door and sat down next to her. He didn’t touch her.

“Why did you leave last night?”

“I was- overwhelmed by the discussions. I couldn’t bear listening to plans of you being married to someone else. I- I-” her voice shook and Kendo took her into his arms again.

“I love you, Yvonne. You are… my world. I’m sorry you have to go through this,” he said gravely. “She says she is seven months pregnant, but the tests are being done as we speak. By the end of the day, we’ll know if-” he swallowed, “if I’m the father.”

“And if you are?” she asked.

He tensed. “Then I will cherish these last few moments of my time with you for the rest of my life.’

“What?” her voice rose in slight panic.

Kendo released her slightly so that he could look directly at her, square in the face. “If I marry her, Yvonne, I can never see you. I’ll be obliged to stay away from you.” He felt his throat closing. “You know that traditional Japanese culture demands it, to preserve my family’s integrity… It would be for the best.” His voice broke on the last word. There was a long pause before he said, “God, I’d miss you! I pray she’s lying or she’s wrong. To think I found you… only to lose you because of a single mistake in my past.”

Yvonne moved closer to him and kissed his tears. He put his hands in her luscious hair and kissed her softly, then again with more passion.

He moved to take off her knit top, and then he stopped. He lifted her and placed her in the centre of the bed before continuing to take off her clothes. When all that remained was her lingerie, he removed his own clothes and knelt between her legs. Her stared at her for a long moment, memorizing every single detail that made up the woman he loved.

Then he began to make love to her in such a sweet and tender manner that she wept.

Reverence and adoration were in every caress and kiss. With a gentle urgency, Kendo branded his affection upon every inch of her skin, speaking a language that had been created specifically for an endless love such as theirs.

Yvonne could hear it like a sweet song composed to communicate his reason for being in the way he touched her and moved against her body. Surrendering to the mastery, Yvonne allowed his love to hold her captive in the experience and time suspended itself, removing all the grief which threatened their future together.

She wanted nothing else.

It was that first act of lovemaking which lingered in her mind, not the ones that followed which spoke of burning passion. He managed to pour out every part of him before lighting it on fire and loving her with wild abandon.

Later in the evening, his cell phone rang. He took one look at it and knew it was his father. Yvonne looked at him questioningly, with more than a little trepidation. He looked back at her with such emotion and threw his sophisticated device across her spacious room.

“Whatever the outcome is,” he began very seriously, “I’m not going to ruin tonight with goodbye.” He sealed her mouth with a searing kiss, stifling the sob she’d nearly released, distracting her from her tears.

The following morning, Yvonne awoke to hear the shower running. She joined Kendo and they bathed in silence.

Yvonne set out a simple breakfast and Kendo stirred his coffee absently.

“I’ll call you when I find out, after work.”

“But-”

Kendo shook his head decisively. “After work, Yvonne. I- I- don’t want to distract you,” he finished wryly. “In fact, I’ll come fetch you myself.” Pause. “That way if any goodbyes have to be said, we get it done,” he ended swiftly, unable to completely hide his own pain.

He dropped her off at work. He kissed her as if he was trying to share his last moments on earth with her. It ended too soon for the both of them . Kendo sat back and unlocked the car door with a press of a button.

Eve practically fled from the car.

Halfway through the day, Yvonne could no longer think straight. Michael was talking to her but she wasn’t listening. Instead she was thinking of how she’d met Kendo Kunosawa.

He had been representing his father’s computer company at a trade conference. He’d offered her a job on his finance team, so impressed was he with her affinity for numbers and making a profit.

She had declined but on the last day of the conference, he had approached her and asked seriously, “Since you’re so good with numbers, do you think you could do something brilliant with these ones?” he had then handed her his business card.

She had laughed and taken out her phone. “Sure.” She had put in his contact details.

He had smiled and walked away with a wave.

A few minutes later, she called him. “Good afternoon, Mr. Kunosawa. This is Yvonne Baker. I’m calling about services rendered to you earlier today.”

With a smile in his voice, “Yes?”

“It’s not my policy to do numbers without receiving some form of remuneration.”

“I see, what say you to a meal at Claire?”

“Mmm,” she pretended to think about it. “I think we could begin negotiations there, Mr. Kunosawa.”

“Please, call me Kendo. I intend for this to be an informal venture.”

“Super. Call me Yvonne then.”

The following night they’d had supper and lots of laughs.

Two weeks later, Kendo had declared his love for Yvonne. A month after that the two of them had introduced their parents and Yvonne had been a hit with Mrs. Kunosawa, an elegantly modern Japanese woman who ran her own antiques company. Over time, the older woman had even started to ask Yvonne for financial advice.

Eve was equally fond of Mr. Kunosawa, a man who admired the ability and professional outlook the young woman possessed. He always said that if he could, he would have endorsed the offer his son had made her at that conference months ago.

She sighed, now, as she remembered how distressed Ken’s father had seemed when Miss Konishiki had interrupted the cosy family gathering. She was certainly uninvited and no one had been expecting the bombshell she dropped in their midst. Kendo’s sister had literally spit and called her a gold-digger.

“Why else would you wait until you couldn’t possibly terminate it?” she had demanded looking murderously at the other woman’s swollen belly. Her own husband had had to take her away.

Kendo had specifically asked that Yvonne stay for the conversation that followed.

First, Mr. Kunosawa had asked his son if he knew Miss Konishiki and had ever slept with her. There had been such an infinite silence before Yvonne felt a piercing pain in her chest as Kendo had breathed the one word.

“Yes.”

Even though this had all happened long before they had become so committed to each other, it still hurt immensely.

Next Kendo’s father had demanded that Konishiki vow that it was indeed his son’s child.

She had done it with a straight face, though after receiving one look of pure malevolence, she avoided looking at Kendo.

When Kunosawa asked, “When do you expect to have the wedding?” Yvonne couldn’t stand it any longer. With a pained glance at Mrs. Kunosawa, she had quickly left the room.

Mrs. Kunosawa had found her in the dining room.

“I’m sorry. Please tell Kendo I’ve left. I can’t be in there…listening to that.”

Mrs. Kunosawa had hugged her. “Poor dear. I understand. It’s not as definite as it seems yet, Eve,” she said softly. “We will obviously demand a paternity test before going any further.”

Yvonne had managed a nod but she still knew it wasn’t a good idea for her to stay there for much longer, so she bid the kind woman goodnight. She had gone home then and cried herself to sleep.

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