11. Blame it on the Fugu (3)

Then I pushed the thought aside.

Ryu sighed. His white teeth flashed for an instant, then the smile disappeared.

“Ahhh, so we’re in a mood tonight, are we? What’s wrong Ryu? Are you sad?”

Ryu did look sad. True, I hadn’t known him long, but I had never seen him that way.

“What are you doing to me?” he laughed ruefully. “You want to leave your mark on me? There’s no room on my body. This flesh belongs to the yakuza.”

“Surely, there’s a place for me somewhere.”

“Like the Americans? A heart with your name: ‘Erin Orison, My Girl.’”

“Yes, something like that. And I know just the spot.” I tossed my dark hair and leaned back, victorious. His eyes told me that I had left my mark somewhere deep inside him, but he would never admit to this. He laughed instead, roughly and without joy. Then he smiled and looked past me.

Poised for the summons, a waitress hurried over.

Ryu went through the motions. He placed our order. “Hamachi with white radish, octopus, ebi, then the fugu soup, of course, and sake.”

The waitress nodded. “Hai, Matsuda-san,” and rushed to the kitchen.

“They’re all so afraid of you,” I observed. That is one of the things I liked most about Ryu—that and the absence of sentiment. Without sentiment there is no pain. There was no room for sentiment in my life.

“But not you, eh?” Ryu raised an eyebrow. “You aren’t afraid of me?”

“No, but sometimes, Ryu, I am afraid for you. I was worried when you were gone. You run with a dangerous crowd. Men like Miura. Men who, like you, can do great harm.”

—DEAD LOVE/Chapter 11.3/Blame it on the Fugu


  • boldlow

    This is such a good chapter – thanks for the weekly posts. Ryu is such a cad …