Age is Just a Number – 3

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A Very Scary Family.

“Ichirou~!”

Hikaru called out to Ichirou as he walked into the house after coming back from his part-time job. And as soon as she did, a fluffy ball of sweetness and warmth jumped into Ichirou’s arms.

“I’m home,” Ichirou said with a faint smile. “Were you waiting for me?”

Hikaru vigorously nodded her head and said in the sweetest and the most affectionate voice available to mankind.

“Welcome home,” She hesitated a little before continuing with a slight blush. “Darling~”

Hikaru giddily and shyly said as she retrieved Ichirou’s blazer, tie, and bag. Ichirou was led inside their house by an apron-clad Hikaru as she hummed a sweet tune.

What’s with the sweet newly-wed atmosphere?

Ichirou was honestly a bit suspicious because her behavior right now was something he had witnessed when they had initially begun to cohabitate. It had been a long time since Ichirou was exposed to this refreshing cuteness. However, they were already used to each other to the point that they resembled a genuine married couple, so this conduct of hers was just a bit scary for Ichirou.

Did I do something?

“Oh, by the way.”

Ichirou subconsciously braced himself for impact.

“There was a parcel for you from your sister…”

Hearing Hikaru mentions his sister, Ichirou’s eyebrows twitched.

“Which one?”

Two smiling faces crept into Ichirou’s mind as he asked with a bit of caution.

“The oldest.”

“Miyuki…?” His eyebrows twitched once again. “Where is it?”

Hikaru urged Ichirou to take a bath before they proceeded further into this ‘conversation’, and from this gesture alone, Ichirou had already started chanting prayers. Hikaru was always sweet and gentle to him, but when she was overly sweet, it was one-hundred-percent of the time a bad omen. Last time Hikaru was extremely sweet, Ichirou had to endure three days at a charity camp.

After taking a bath and changing into trousers and a t-shirt, Ichirou sat on one of the chairs placed around their dining table, already prepared for the worst-case scenario. After eating dinner and feasting on the dessert, Ichirou didn’t move from his place while Hikaru went in and did the swiftly did the dishes.

Hikaru came from inside the kitchen as she gently placed the apron on its designated hanger. She then proceeded to return into the bedroom before placing a box and a letter on the dining table and sitting down across from Ichirou.

“Open it.”

Hikaru gently pushed the letter and the box toward Ichirou as she looked at him with an unwavering and determination-filled gaze.

Ichirou unfolded the letter slowly, and as soon as he began to read the contents, Hikaru spoke up.

“Read it out, if you don’t mind.”

Ichirou knew that Hikaru was a very obedient and considerate person at almost all times, except when it came to his family.

“F-Fine,” Ichirou gulped as he began to read out the contents of the letter. “My dear Ichi, the month of October has finally begun, it has already been three weeks since I last saw you, I miss you loads and can’t wait to come to meet you again. Also, I thought that I’d send you a present, so please do make use of it and remember me whenever you do. The person who loves you the most (much more than Mayumi), Hashimoto Miyuki…”

Ichirou didn’t lift his gaze and silently opened the box which accompanied the letter.

“It’s a watch,” Ichirou lightly said. “Seems to be quite expensive. The price tag is severed.”

Hikaru fiddled with her phone for a bit before saying in a heavy tone.

“It’s a two-hundred-thousand yen watch.”

Hearing the price of the watch, Ichirou surprisingly wasn’t shocked. He just closed his eyes and mumbled under his breath.

“What are you doing, stupid? I know you earn in millions, but still…”

Ichirou opened his eyes, and after he stored away from the watch and the letter, the discussion finally began.

“Ichirou, do you know what occasion is on October nine?”

“It’s our anniversary.”

“Yes, I am glad that you remember,” Unbeknownst to Ichirou, Hikaru was genuinely happy from the bottom of her heart and was doing her best to not grin. “Now, I have decided to invite my parents over for dinner on that day, do you have any objections?”

“Wait, Uncle and Auntie are coming? That’s great! I’ve been missing your Mother’s dessert.”

Ichirou’s brows relaxed because he believed that this was the reason for today’s ‘strange’ atmosphere. However, Hikaru’s expression was still calm and serious.

“Ichirou, we’ve known each other for about twenty months and we are about to complete our one year together. You’ve met my parents, they were skeptical at first considering our age gap, but they immediately warmed up to you. At this point, they consider you a part of the family… Sometimes even more than their daughter…”

Ichirou’s body stiffened as he realized what was going to hit him next.

“Ichirou…” Hikaru was hesitating a bit, even though she had been preparing for this for quite some time, it was not easy for her to say. “I want to meet your fa-”

“No.”

An awkward silence descended in the room as Ichirou didn’t dare lift his head to look into Hikaru’s eyes. Ichirou was always a calm and composed person, often called ‘mature’ by his peers and seniors, but when it came to his family, he’d rather not talk about it all.

“Ichirou,” Hikaru sighed as she was already somewhat aware of Ichirou’s reaction. “My mother cooks the best food for you while my father and you watch baseball together… You are so close with my family and my family wholeheartedly accepts our relationship. However, I don’t even know what your family members look like. You don’t have any photos of them, nor do you invite them to your house. Ichirou, why don’t we invite them to our house on our anniversary?”

Ichirou took deep breaths as he calmed himself down.

“Hikaru, you know how my family is, right? I don’t think it is a good idea for you to meet them.”

Hikaru placed her arms on the table as she stared into Ichirou’s eyes.

“What is your family like. I just know that you have two sisters and your parents. I know their names since you get gifts from your family almost every week. I don’t know anything else though.”

Ichirou closed his eyes and said in a solemn tone.

“My family, huh? If I was ever in need of a kidney… My family would start fighting over who would donate it to me. If I were to request anything from my family, no matter how expensive, they would do anything in their power to get me what I wanted.”

Hikaru’s brows sank.

“So… You have a loving family, is that it?”

“That’s an understatement, my love. Mayumi and Miyuki, both of them are hardcore bro-cons, and both my parents are excessively doting. Or rather, the word I would use is ‘devoted’.”

“I know that… I haven’t forgotten how you casually mentioned that you’d fancy a bike, and five days later, a limited-edition super-expensive bike was standing in our parking lot. However, I don’t get why I can’t meet your family.”

“Did you hear what I just said?” Ichirou’s face was somewhat pale as he said. “My sisters are hardcore bro-cons. They’re at the level that they haven’t had their first kiss despite being full-fledged adults because they ‘don’t want anyone but Ichirou’. Miyuki is earning more than ten million per month, and Mayumi is in her third-year at Tokyo University. Also, my parents, my father is the Japanese branch head of one of the leading companies in the world, and my mother is an ex-actress/model. Both my parents dote on me, they dote on me so much that I left the house before turning into a literal potato. Now, do you want to meet them? There’s a sixty-percent chance that you’d be eaten alive and forty-percent you’d be rejected and I’d be kidnapped and taken back to the house.”

“Really?”

“Parents are still okay… At least they won’t murder you. My sisters are intoxicated with me, you know? Even I, who’s at the receiving end of their emotion, find it hard to believe that a person can love their sibling so much. Well, it’s not like I don’t spoil those two either…”

Ichirou had a warm smile on his face which caused Hikaru to feel a bit uncomfortable.

“Okay, I promise… If a good opportunity comes our way, I’ll introduce it to my family…”

He said and clasped both of Hikaru’s hands and stared deep into her eyes with an affectionate gaze.

“Mn…” Hikaru was beginning to melt into her lover’s eyes, but she suddenly remembered something. “Ichirou, if your family is so rich, why do you work part-time.”

“Well… You see… The amount of money my parents send me every month is the exact amount that I need to pay all of my bills like rent, phone bills, electricity bills, etc. So the money I earn from part-time is completely my own to use.”

“But… If your family is so rich, then why do you not ask them for money?”

“Actually… The amount I told them to send me was exactly half of what I currently receive every month. I knew they’d not listen to me and send me at least double the amount I requested, so I deliberately tricked them.”

“Why?”

“Because I don’t wanna be spoiled rotten. Both my sisters are super-talented, I don’t want to be a mediocre existence that would stain my family name.”

“Oh… So that’s why.”

After that, they just sat on the couch in the living room as always and enjoyed each other’s company and warmth.

“By the way, I forgot to tell you this earlier but those guys from maintenance came today.”

Ichirou, who was caressing Hikaru’s thighs, replied.

“Is that so? How much was it?”

“About thirty-thousand yen. They said that the speedometer was malfunctioning so they had to replace it.”

“Um-hm, so, how much money do we have right now?”

“Your account or our joint account?”

“Both. I haven’t looked at the amount in quite a while.”

“Your account has about eight-hundred-thousand yen. My account has a bit over one million, and the joint account is about to reach four million.”

“Hm~ Is that so? We’ve gathered quite a bit of money, haven’t we?”

Ichirou lazily said as his hand moved upwards and began caressing Hikaru’s stomach.

“Well… You bring about one-hundred-thousand yen every month and combined with my five-hundred-thousand yen every month after bills, it’s gotta be that much. Also, didn’t I get that one-million bonus recently? I deposited that whole amount in our account.”

“Is that so? Don’t you want any of it?”

“No. I am the only one spending money in this house. I was just looking through our expenses recently, and I was honestly startled. The last time you spent some money was when you bought that phone of yours. Apart from that, you haven’t even spent fifty-thousand yen on yourself ever since we started dating.”

“Yeah… But that thing was super-expensive, you know? Less expensive than that watch she sent me though.”

“I know… But still… I don’t know… I just felt uncomfortable knowing that I have spent a lot more money than you.”

“Hey, what are you talking about? You’re a woman, you should be allowed to splurge on yourself a little. Also, I am aware that most of the time you spend money to impress me…”

Ichirou said so and softly nibbled on her ear.

“Mn~~”

Hikaru twisted a bit in Ichirou’s embrace, then she raised her body a little so that both their faces were at the same level. Hikaru looked Ichirou deep in the eyes before saying.

“Ichirou. I love you.”

Hikaru leaned forward and wrapped her arms around Ichirou’s neck, and shortly after, she kissed him on the lips. Ichirou’s eyes turned gentle as his arms circled Hikaru’s waist, only to pull her tightly into his embrace. The kisses continued as they transformed into something more passionate soon after.


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