My family leaves quickly after we eat the cake. Most likely the reason they picked a work day is because my uncle and I can only tolerate each other for so long. Tanaka remains awkwardly behind. Helping to clean with a guilty face. Not that his face shows that much emotion usually, much like me, but I know his tells. The way he averts his eyes. Bows slightly at the top of his back as if he has just been chastised. Izzy had announced she was going to take a shower. The water is running when Tanaka finally breaks his silence. I want to hear him explain and my arms are crossed. My foot tapping. He looks down for a moment, then confidently faces me. His eyes locking with mine. "Zara, I meant every word." I put my hands on my hips, "You did not discuss it with me beforehand."
"You told me your father would want me to ask him first." I had told him that."I didn't think you would ever actually ask. I thought you didn't want to get married."Tanaka swallowed, "I didn't when we were younger. I also got the talk." I stomp my foot."Are you telling me you gave into your parents? That is the only reason you asked." Tanaka bunches his hands into fists. Walks right up to me and puts his arm around me. He grabs my chin with his other hand, parting my lips with his thumb. He looks into my eyes asking with his own, can I? I part my lips and he takes mine. He leaves my lips abruptly. I am panting from the aftershock of his passion. "You are the only woman I want to marry. I want you to be mine. I want to be yours. Sure, you want a woman on the side, fine. Frankly, I don't need anyone else." My heart is thumping so hard, I am afraid he hears it."I love you," the words sound like a blanket on a cold night. Like a sacred prayer uttered on certain holidays. He rarely says it, but I know it to be true in my heart."I love you too, but, this could not have been more poorly timed," I call him closer to me as if Izzy can hear and tell him what happened earlier with her. He pulled back, "I guess it is good I staked my claim. She can share you, but I get first dibs. She had enough time." I gasp."You are too much. I am not an object, sir." I point at him."Seriously though, what do we do, Zara? Should we sit down with her?""I think I should talk with her separately, first. Are you staying the night?" Tanaka nods, "if things get hot and heavy, just stick a sock on the door - unless I am invited in that is." I walk up to him and slap his arm lightly, "you know I don't do threesomes.""A man can dream. Besides, I know that. I just like messing with you." Tanaka walks towards the living room as Izzy steps out the bathroom. Tanaka and his timing. Gods, that man.My eyes capture Izzy's. I nod toward my room. Her mouth trembles, she takes a deep breath and heads toward her own room instead and motions me over. Her room is the farthest from the living room. She shuts the door and locks it. She stands in front of it."You told Tanaka, didn't you? What exactly were you thinking today? Were you getting cold feet and testing the waters?" I hold up a hand in response to indicate I want to collect myself first. My back meets the wall and my arms crossed it is time to explain."Look, I didn't know he would ask me either. That doesn't mean I don't want to be with you.""Oh, so you want me to be your side squeeze after all these years?" I wince."I know it took me a while to say anything, but you didn't either. Also, you have been and always will be my best friend. Tanaka and I have been dating for years. Can you really delineate between you who has put more in?""I don't get you, are you friend zoning me? You keep acting like I am Venus. Then you turn around and decide to marry a man?""I didn't even know you swung this way until today." Izzy stands right in front of me. Her eyes looking me up and down."You are about to know it, very well." She walks up to me. Gently kisses my cheek. She runs her hand from my face down to my breasts."Izzy, this isn't a good time for this." She rubs my nipple through my shirt. Leans into me spreading my legs with her knee. Her breasts push against me. I gasp. Izzy. She withdraws as requested slowly. Not before lightly caressing down to my skirt. I quiver."Remember that feeling tonight." She opens the door and walks out. I crumble to the floor."Zara, are you coming?" Her voice rings from down the short hall. I get up and fix my skirt. My biker boots thump on the floor. Izzy is sitting on an armchair across from Tanaka on the loveseat. I take the other armchair. Tanaka looks at me, then I look at Izzy. Izzy looks at us both."Congratulations on the engagement, who gets Zara on the weekends?" The bitterness in Izzy's voice sets me off guard. Tanaka leans forward folding his hands."Tell us how we can make this better. What is it that is upsetting you?" Izzy stands and stomps looking down at him. She sways her hip and leans to one side. Her hand taking its perch, fashioning her glorious one-handed grab. Her ass perfectly jutting out and breasts moving slightly forward. I put a hand over my forehead, covering my eyes."She has obviously been in love with me for a long time. You knew this. I thought we agreed to give her time to accept it. Then you turn around behind my back and get her a ring." My hand drops."Wait, what the hell are you talking about?" I look at Tanaka. He puts both hands up."Look, Izzy knew and approached me about it. Since I am your boyfriend, er, fiance now." He smiled obnoxiously, then continued, "we decided not to pressure you."I stand and look at Izzy directly. "Hah, who is treating who like a child?"Izzy glared at Tanaka before shifting her glance back to me. "Yes, you have been through a lot. We considered your feelings carefully. It was hard enough after your mother died; your uncle freaking out when he found out about her faith. Adding you being bisexual to mix just wouldn't be well timed.""As if the jerk can't tell."Tanaka stands up and bridges the gap to join the two of us. "Zara, one thing at a time was what we thought. I erroneously thought Izzy had given up." Izzy scoffs, "okay, I selfishly wanted more of you to myself.""I see." I return to my seat and cross my legs. Both of them follow my cue and do the same. This talk is not nearly close to finished."Okay, so clearly Tanaka wants to marry me and I want to marry someone.""Hey," he looks me up and down then smirks. Yeah, ok bud."Izzy, in your ideal world what do you want? From me, or maybe even from him?"Why couldn't I just be in love with one person? Life would be so much more simple. A fuzzy feeling comes over me. For a moment I feel as though someone is listening. The feeling then passes shortly after."I want you, every day, here. To see you in the morning and at night. To be the one to cook for you. When you need someone to hold you—I want to do it." Izzy puts a hand to her chest, "at first your boyfriends were fine with me," Tanaka was not my first boyfriend, but certainly the last for more than a few years now. Izzy continues, "—they were outside our domestic realm. Simple distractions to pleasure you. This though," she looks at Tanaka like a piece of trash, "threatens to take you from my daily life. That I will not have." Her eyes sparked with anger, Tanaka's drawn into her smoldering gaze. He sits back. his arms on both sides of the sofa. His face saying "fuck you" all over it. I have never seen such animosity between them. They have been friends for years. I let out a measured breath."Fine, then what if Tanaka sold his apartment in the first tier and moved down here with us?" They both turn and look at me in unison. It is comical the way both of them cock their heads like mirror images. We have been doing this all along without realizing we were."Tanaka comes to stay the night anyway on occasion. We don't have a fourth bedroom, but maybe we can convert the office for nights he just wants to be by himself." He sits up casually putting his hands over his legs."I get to be, first-wife," Tanaka remarks stone-faced. Izzy and I start laughing at the obvious reference to the period dramas we have all watched together."Fine, I have dealt with Zara enough that I will be second-wife" Izzy puts a hand to her mouth as if to exclude me from the conversation, she whispers, "and have some affair on the side. Just know, the children of my union with her will take over the family fortune one day. Also, I am the favorite."Tanaka slaps his leg, "It's settled then, I am moving in." I didn't expect them to agree so easily. Did they have a private conversation about all of this? If I keep thinking they are working behind my back together I will go crazy. This confusion simply does not suit me."Good, now that that is settled. You two make up." Time to go into the office and do the thing I was planning on. I wink at Tanaka. He nods while Izzy grabs him to hug him and her head is turned. She can not follow me in. Not with what I am about to do.
YOU ARE READING
The Alter Mysteries: Death ShadowParanormal
Zara, a private investigator and founder of The Paranormal Investigation Task-force, solves paranormal crimes on contract for the police. In over her head, she is pursuing a serial killer that threatens the delicate acceptance paranormals have recei...