❤︎Chapter 15: Holding Hands

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"I want you to stay away from Momoka Namida. Once you process that -- I said it clearly, I think, take note that I will never associate myself with you again if you cause her any more harm."

Tomomi fixed his belt so it fit snugly around his waist, holding up his trousers. When his pants were secure on his legs, he slid his tie over his head and fit it around his collar.

"What?" The shock on Nanami's perfectly sculpted face was so satisfying to Tomomi, he would have cracked a smile if he wasn't so intent on being intimidating. Nanami had annoyed him so much -- after what she did to Momoka, he could barely stand the sight of her.

"Why are you so surprised?" Tomomi stared straight ahead at her, watching her sparkly eyes widening. Moments later, they were shimmering with tears.

"What's the matter?! I thought you knew me so well!" He finally grinned, watching her posture crumple before him. She looked like a spoiled brat who had finally been introduced to the word "no."

"But...but...why would you...but I've known you for so long...why her over me...? There's nothing special about---"

"What the hell is up with you people..." Tomomi ran his fingers through his hair, feeling anger rising in his chest. Would he be able to control it before he said something he'd regret?

He takes a careful, deep breath, "Don't speak about someone you don't know. If you know me well enough, like you claim, you know the kind of people I hate. You disgust me, attempting to put your nose where it doesn't belong. Don't ruin what I'm creating with Momoka. I promise you'll regret it. I've finished what I've had to say." He stands up, and with a swift bow, leaves the room. He wasn't sure how Nanami reacted after that, but it couldn't have been pretty. The conversation had been in front of the entire We Love Tomomi club. He made sure to say what he had to say to the president so it was clear -- he wasn't interested in his relationships being broken apart by nosy, conceited people.

Tomomi shakes his head to forget what he had recalled -- he seemed proud, but the situation made him a little uncomfortable at the time. If everyone was buzzing about what Tomomi said, surely it would reach Momoka's ears. She couldn't react the same as yesterday with Daisuke, could she?

What if this time she started to reconsider, thinking him possessive and all too threatening?

Tomomi stood in his full length mirror, completely dressed in his uniform. It was neat, prepared by the household maids, no fading, no creases. It made him think of the super boyish, rowdy, and rude kid he used to be before his weak heart got in the way. Like a wrinkled shirt under a hot iron, his grandmother smoothed a brand new surface over his old self. She shaped him into the Tomomi that Momoka knew and loved today.

I'm being reckless... Tomomi gazed into his own warm, hazel eyes. He couldn't believe the worry he saw in them. He had never been this afraid to disappoint someone in his entire life.

If I go overboard, she'll see the real me...then she'll...

Poppity-Pop!

Tomomi heard Momoka's text tone and felt his heart jump. Taking a deep, calming breath, he walked over to his phone. His mind raced with a thousand sad scenarios of her canceling their date or breaking up what was still developing. He didn't know if he could take the stress.

But when he pressed the home button on his phone, and her text popped up on the screen, he breathed a sigh of relief. His worries melted away, if only for a fleeting moment.

M: Tomomi! Are you still meeting me for a walk to school? I have to leave soon or I'll be late!

T: Of course. ^^ I'm leaving now!

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