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[*] posted on 18-4-2011 at 09:22 AM
Main Office




Just a fancy way to avoid saying "The place with file cabinets, a desk and a wheely chair where Zori handles business".

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[*] posted on 7-11-2014 at 06:20 PM


Again with the apologies. She swore she would try to stop giving them, but here she was the day after the gala ready to give him an apology. It wasn’t for her husband this time though. This one was all on Fumie. She’d kissed him. She didn’t know what came over her. She just...he was so...She didn’t regret it. She was going to tell him how sorry she was for being so unprofessional. She was going to apologize for throwing herself at him and probably confusing the shit out of him. WHat she wouldn’t be apologizing for was that kiss. It was wrong, but she meant it. With every fiber of her being she had wanted to kiss Zori, so she indulged herself. Fumie kissed him and he kissed her back. And it was exciting. In the last 10 years of her marriage, Fumie had not once felt the way she had last night when she was tasting Zori. Fuck…

She had to keep her shit together. She could do this. fumie closed the short distance left between herself and his office door. She knew how out of place she looked in the gym, her heels clicking across the hardwood. Shit. The door was open. Half of her had been hoping he wouldn’t be here...That was good though. She was going to make this quick. She would knock, say her piece, and go. And above all else she was not going to let herself be alone with him in that office.

Fumie raised her hand to the door and knocked twice, poking her head in, her smile automatic when she saw him. He had been working. “Hi Zori-,” She stepped into full view, standing squarely in the door frame. “I hope I’m not interrupting too much. I was hoping we could talk a minute.”




I was a heavy heart to carry but, he never let me down.
When he held me in his arms my feet never touched the ground.
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[*] posted on 7-11-2014 at 08:07 PM


Nothing about work had been easy that day. Matter of fact, nothing about nothing had been easy for Zori. He'd gotten to work thirty minutes late, which was damn out of character for him. And on top of that, he'd broken his coffee maker and forgotten a meeting he was supposed to have with a contractor about a new addition to the gym. He was out of sync and it was all because of last night. What happened between he and Fumie was on him...heavy. He'd gotten stupid and...dammit. He shook his head as he sat at his desk, reading the same fucking sentence over again...for the third time. Everything he was getting, the "nothing's going right" morning, the way his mind kept straying? Everything. He deserved it. Because this was the kind of shit that happened when you kissed another man's wife. He scoffed, shaking his head at himself as he dropped the pen he'd been drumming against his desk and leaned back in his chair. He couldn't get any work done. Not feeling the way he'd been feeling. Maybe...if he'd gotten the chance to apologize for his actions. If he'd gotten the chance to explain himself. Maybe his conscious would've been cleared enough to at least get half of the work he needed to finish out of the way. But that wasn't the case as Fumie didn't even give him the chance to speak after it had happened, leaving him standing by himself, looking the fool he felt he was. He leaned forward with a heavy sigh, his elbows on the desk, rubbing the furrow in his brow. He couldn't keep thinking about the situation that had happened between he and Fumie...or how it had possibly fucked up everything that they'd been building...professionally, that is. When she was ready to talk with him, he'd apologize to her and they'd move forward...professionally, forgetting everything that he'd let happen at the gala and putting it behind them. Shit, if he was lucky...

His head snapped up as he heard the knock on his door, his first thought defaulting to "what now"? The way the morning was going, he wouldn't have been surprised to see Emma standing at the door, telling him the entire basement was flooded or that a customer had fucked up one of his priciest machines, which would be a fucker and a half to...

Fumie. Sitting up taller in his seat, he felt his eyes widen at her appearance at his door. He definitely hadn't been expecting her. Not so soon, at least, the shit from the night before was still fresh. But there she was, standing at his door...looking like her usual "million bucks". Even dressed down, she looked...and THOSE were the thoughts that had gotten them where they were right now...where Zori was right now. Awkward, embarrassed. Guilty.

"Hey..." He answered. his lips lifting into a friendly smile to hide his less than friendly thoughts.

"Nah, you're not interrupting me." He spoke over her words, his hand coming up to wave her into his office.

"Close the door...let's talk." He closed the file folder that sat on his desk, not thinking about his words until they'd already left his mouth.

"That is...if you want to. We can leave the door open, too. Whatever you're comfortable with."





"The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances."

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[*] posted on 7-11-2014 at 08:45 PM


Fumie’s smile didn’t falter as Zori fidgeted in his seat. He was surprised to see her. That was understandable after last night. Shit! She probably shouldn’t have come. This was too soon. He needed time to process what happened and here she was in his face again. She hadn’t thought this all the way through. She knew she wanted to get down here and make things right with him, but she never considered what Zori might want in all this. Maybe he wasn’t ready to see her...or maybe things weren’t as bad as she thought, his lips lifting into a smile as he told her she wasn’t interrupting. That was a good sign. HOpefully he wasn’t faking being comfortable with her there. She could totally leave if that’s what he wanted. With the way she’d assaulted him last night she wouldn’t blame him in the slightest.

Close the door...let’s talk. Shoot. She said she wouldn’t do this. She said she wouldn’t let herself be alone with him. She couldn’t be trusted! Zori knew it too, a correction to his words coming quickly after. Whatever she was comfortable with? It wasn’t about her. She had been the one all over him last night. She guessed if he was okay with being alone with her, she could be too...she would just keep her distance. Fumie chuckled a bit as she stepped into his office, closing the door behind her. “With what I did last night, I would argue this is more about what you’re comfortable with.” Her smile faded after her failed attempt to make light of a heavy situation.

“I came to apologize to you, Zori. I know I said I wouldn’t do that anymore, but...last night…” She needed to apologize. Above all else she needed to ensure that he was still in for letting Kidd’s Kids use his gym for the summer. She would be completely fucked if she had ruined a business deal because she couldn’t keep her emotions in check.

“I was unprofessional.”




I was a heavy heart to carry but, he never let me down.
When he held me in his arms my feet never touched the ground.
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[*] posted on 8-11-2014 at 12:57 PM


What SHE did? So, she was in on the kiss by herself? That was interesting because from what Zori remembered, it'd taken two people to make that kiss happen. Not one. He was to blame too. He could've spoken up, pushed her away...something. But, he couldn't. When her lips touched his, something...felt right about it. Too much like right, if you asked him and that was probably enough to be the first one to end the kiss that shouldn't have been happening in the first place. But he didn't end it. She had. He would've been content as hell to keep right on kissing a married woman and that was why she wasn't the only one that was at fault. She needed to know that and she wasn't going to leave his office before she did. But, at least she was open to talking, just as he was. He watched her close the door behind her, not moving towards one of the chairs two chairs he'd placed in front of his desk. She wanted to stand? Okay, that meant the conversation would be quick and to the point.

He nodded slowly at her words when she finally said them. How she apologized for her actions, even though she'd told him she would stop apologizing. This was fair game. They both had apologies to make. Her for her "lack of professionalism" and him, for his.

"And I owe you one, too." He said, the baritone of his voice taking on a more apologetic tone.

"I really am sorry for...last night. What I did was disrespectful and I want you to know that I...I truly respect you, your husband and your organization, Fumie." He met her eyes, leaning over the desk as he clasped his hands together in front of him. He meant what he'd said to her. He did respect her. He respected the way she hustled. She always dressed the part of kept wife, her pricey high heels and her expensive dresses. But she didn't act it. She was a hard working woman and mother. A woman like that? She deserved respect.

"Crossing the line like that...it won't happen again. I mean it."





"The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances."

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[*] posted on 8-11-2014 at 02:32 PM


Zori didn’t owe her a damn thing. That whole night had probably been a shitstorm for him and it was 100% her fault. She honestly hadn’t meant for any of this to happen. She simply wanted...oh hell, she didn’t know what she wanted anymore! She was married, she couldn’t...even if her husband could sleep around with no regard for anyone else’s feelings but his own, that wasn’t Fumie. Or at least she thought it wasn’t. After kissing Zori? The horrible things she began thinking as soon as she closed that door? Why couldn’t she make herself feel differently about him? Most would think that the kiss they shared would be enough to make her think twice about whatever dangerous game she was trying to play. But all it really did was make her want more...dammit! She couldn’t be Shemar Kidd. It wasn’t fair to Zori...it wasn’t fair in general.

“Please don’t apologize-,” but he did anyway, his words falling over hers as his eyes connected with hers. He had no reason to be sorry. The kiss was amazing. He was amazing. He hadn’t done anything wrong. Quite the opposite in fact. Zori was the only man in her life that seemed to want her in his and that was an amazing feeling. Something she didn’t get from her husband and only occasionally got from her son. She liked it. Zori gave her that feeling and she liked it. That was why when he said his crossing the line wouldn’t happen again, she felt like she needed to be straight with him. Fumie stepped closer to the desk as he finished, placing her bag in one of the chairs beside her. She wanted to level with him. To be honest, so that maybe, this time, she wouldn’t be acting on her emotions rather than telling them.

“Zori, listen...I like you. More than I should actually-,” she was a grown ass woman. What was the point in hiding that fact? She wasn’t 16 and this wasn’t some high school puppy love crush. She liked him, as evidenced by the kiss they shared last night. “I wanted to clear that up so that what I say next makes sense to you.” Fumie inhaled deep, her words coming with her exhale.

“I can’t promise that I won’t cross that line again.”




I was a heavy heart to carry but, he never let me down.
When he held me in his arms my feet never touched the ground.
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[*] posted on 8-11-2014 at 05:39 PM


And there it was, the plea for him to stop apologizing to her. Zori had come to expect that from Fumie. Her inability to let him say "sorry" for something that he shared fault in. Which in this situation, he did. He couldn't let her take the entire weight of the situation, not when he'd let himself kiss her just as easily as she'd started it. He wasn't that type of man. The kind that avoided responsibility. He never had been. He knew the weight of being responsible for his actions...and he could carry it. His momma had made sure that he was man enough for that job. That was why telling him not to apologize never phased him and it still didn't phase him, even when Fumie asked him not to apologize in "that" voice. Like she was pleading with him to let her be at fault. Not going to happen. Not while he was still the man he was. Not while he could still say "Regina Blount raised him right".

He only smiled at her request, finishing his apology and meaning every word of it. If she wanted him to stop apologize, they probably needed to stop getting into situations that needed apologies. Like the one they'd been in last night at the gala. Conversing. Vibing...alone. But was it crazy that Zori just couldn't seem to stay away from her? Even though he knew her status from their first meeting and even though he'd met her husband, who he respected but he could safely say he didn't care for...he still couldn't stay away from her. Their business meetings were just that..."business". But Zori couldn't say that he didn't try to slip in a conversation or look for something that would make her smile or laugh. He enjoyed the time that he stole from their chance meetings when she passed through to get something signed or check how local sign-ups for Kidd's Kids Summer Sports Clinic were going. That was all that Zori would ever get though. And he knew just how important it was to be happy about that. Because nothing good ever came of fuckin' around with things that didnt' belong to him...

I like you. And even though he knew how dangerous it was, the corners of his mouth lifted as Fumie spoke, telling him how she liked him...more than she should've. And Zori didn't need to be a brilliant man to figure out what that meant. She liked him...more than the wife of Shemar Kidd should've. She liked him more than a married woman needed to ever admit to a man that wasn't her husband. But Fumie had done that. And like he'd done last night, Zori had failed to stop her in her tracks, which he should've the second she'd said those words.

"Fumie..." Zori stopped short as he called her name, her final words pulling him into a shocked silence. Wait. What was she admitting? That if the opportunity arose, she'd kiss him again? Maybe more? Zori's jaw clenched as he looked away from her, processing her words. But no way that he thought them through made them any more correct. Any more right. She was married. Zori didn't claim to know the details of her marriage, but the point was, whatever their status was, she wore a ring that meant she wasn't Zori's. And no matter how attracted he was to her...there was a respect that wouldn't stop yelling out warnings to him.

"Fumie." He said her name again, finally ready to respond to her words. "I'm a man that values respect. I've always prided myself on that. And you're a beautiful...sexy, amazing woman. Any man would be lucky to have you. But...I can't disrespect you like that again. I just...I can't."





"The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances."

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[*] posted on 9-11-2014 at 09:04 AM


There it was. Everything out in the open. Fumie couldn’t be trusted to keep her hands, lips, and anything else to herself when Zori was around and she wanted him to know that before he signed off on the deal she hoped they still had for these kids. Fumie still needed to do business with him and she could not guarantee that she would be on her most professional behavior with him. Was this right? Did she even really have to ask herself that? She knew nothing about the situation she was putting herself in was right, but she...she liked him. She wanted more time with him. She wantd to get to know him. And of course she had already told the Kidd’s Kids summer participants that they would be spending time in this gym. It would be awful if she went back on her word with them...But Zori needed to be comfortable too.

He could tell her, right here, right now that he couldn’t do business with her and she would be okay with that. She would hire a liaison that would get the time she wanted with Zori and she would deal with him not wanting to work with her. She would be fine. He would be fine. The kids would be good. Those were the things that really mattered here...but she hoped he wouldn’t say that. As he said her name again and paused to gather his thoughts, she hoped he wouldn’t say he couldn’t do this with her. That he couldn’t look at her everyday after what she’d done because she wanted nothing more than to do just that. Look at him. Talk to him. Just be near him...Her therapist would have said something like not exploring this was making her fixate on him. That was probably true.

She couldn’t help the smile that came to her lips as Zori told her that was was all of the things her husband spent most of his time telling her she wasn’t. She chuckled to herself as he finished, her feet carrying her to the other side of his desk, beside him. Fumie was testing her limits as she leaned against the edge, her legs crossing at the ankles before speaking, “That’s exactly what I’m talking about.” She looked at him then, their eyes connecting again. Zori was too sweet. Too honorable. There was no way she’d be able to keep herself in line around him. But she was practicing now. Trying her damnedest not let her daydreams about him bending her over this desk become a reality. She sighed.

“You’re a good man, Zori. That’s what makes me like you so much I think…-,” a short sigh left her again as she turned away from him, the corners of her lips still upturned. “And you never disrespected me. The kiss was amazing. That I’m not sorry about.” God she was taking all kinds of leaps today! She didn’t need to tell him that...but she wanted him to know. Full disclosure. That was why she came here.

“Like I said, I’m sorry about my lapse in professionalism. I could understand if you can’t work with me anymore after that and we can work something out so that you can still help the foundation and...not see me.”




I was a heavy heart to carry but, he never let me down.
When he held me in his arms my feet never touched the ground.
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[*] posted on 9-11-2014 at 11:47 AM


Zori was sure what he was saying was right. He was sure! He knew the kind of man he was, the one his mother taught him and raised him to be. You respect the sanctity of a marriage, Zo...you don't touch what ain't yours. He got it. He remembered. He knew better. But seeing the curve of the smile on Fumie's amazing lips at his words made him think different. And that was so wrong...because he shouldn't have been having thoughts, very explicit thoughts he might add, about a married woman. Thoughts that were the opposite of everything he'd just told her. How he was a man of his word and he meant what he said. How she was worth so much more than some random man she'd slipped up and kissed. How he respected her...and unfortunately, her ass of a husband, who even though Zori could safely say he hated the guy, was still a factor in the way Zori was responding to his wife. Which was with the utmost respect and...fuck.

The sliver of panic that Zori felt for a second was masked by the unreadable expression that covered his face...his saving grace as Fumie drew closer to him, coming behind his desk and leaning against the edge of it. If only his eyes weren't betraying him, narrowing as they traced the length of her legs in that skirt that he was pretty sure she'd worn on purpose. They stopped at her face, making eye contact with her. She wasn't lying. Everything about her being in his office seemed to be pushing her closer to him and he couldn't mistake the fact that he noticed she wasn't doing much to stay away. Because she didn't want to. She wasn't going to stop herself. And that made Zori wonder. Why the hell she was so sure that fucking up her marriage was a good route to take. Because that's what she was going to do if she even tried to take what she'd felt last night in that kiss with Zori any further. She was married. She had a family. Why was she so quick to want to give that up...for him? She didn't even really KNOW him. Outside of the occasional visits on business and the quick, superficial conversation, what did she really know about him? Was it worth it? Was he worth it?

The kiss was amazing. That, I'm not sorry about. Wow. Zori's eyesbrows lifted as he listened to her, almost in disbelief that she was saying the things that were leaving her mouth. Did she hear herself? Yeah, okay...the kiss was...Zori hadn't had a kiss like that in awhile. But, again. Was it worth it?

"Lemme get this right..." He rubbed his chin as he thought about what Fumie was really telling him. "You'd be willing to break what we've got going professionally and let someone else handle what we've been working on for weeks because...you're not above crossing the line with me? Wow..." He chuckled quickly, his smirk fading as he waited for her to rethink what she'd told him. Not that he saw signs of wavering. Matter of fact, he saw opposite. Her steady eye contact. The look of "no bullshit" on her face.

"Do you work out?" He asked, his gaze on her constant as a look of confusion spread across her face.





"The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances."

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[*] posted on 9-11-2014 at 01:26 PM


He didn’t understand. She could tell by the very suprised look on his face at her words. She didn’t regret that kiss and she would not apologize for it. But he didn’t get it. How could Fumie Kidd, wife of Shemar Kidd, mother of two, and brains of an organization be willing to throw all of that away on what he probably thought was a fling? He didn’t understand it because he didn’t know. He didn’t know Shemar stayed out six nights a week with hookers, or strippers, or whatever pathetic girl he could get to tell him he was “the greatest of all time”. Zori didn’t know that when Shemar was home he did nothing but terrorize his family. He didn’t know that when his temper got out of hand...Zori didn’t know any of this, so he couldn’t understand how she could say all of the things she was saying to him right now. How easy and freeing it was to finally tell the truth for two seconds and stop living her perfect wife, perfect life LIE. Ahh, the feeling was almost orgasmic! So yes, she’d just said everything she’d been thinking since meeting him. She’d laid all of her cards on the table and even offered him an out if he wanted one. But God she hoped he didn’t.

Lemme get this right...He was exactly right. That was what she was saying. She had people at the foundation that could run summer program this year. Fumie kept meticulous notes and records, all of the hard work was really done, and she would of course be available to answer questions. She could easily pass this project off if he wanted her to do so...but he didn’t. She could tell in the way his answer to her proposition had yet to come, ending his summation of her words with a soft “wow”. Not a “yes, find me someone else”. This was a good sign and as he opened his mouth to speak again, she was sure he would tell her something she wanted to hear...what?

Fumie’s brows knitted together in soft confusion as she tilted her head a little.  Did she work out? What was that have to do with anything? It was a curious question but she would humor him, her head nodding slowly as she spoke, “Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for about an hour. Sometimes two if I’m lucky...Why?”

What? He was curious, now so was she.




I was a heavy heart to carry but, he never let me down.
When he held me in his arms my feet never touched the ground.
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[*] posted on 10-11-2014 at 05:12 AM


Was his question a little...off-topic? Definitely. But he wasn't making some crazy attempt to change the subject...but he was trying to change her mind. Not that her mind was made up. Zori figured it was the opposite. She was waiting for is decision. Would he chance them having another moment like they'd had at the gala? Or would he be the man that he claimed he was and take the temptation out of the situation by cutting off contact with Fumie? Both were unfair decisions to make. Because he liked her too. He liked the way she always smelled like...flowers. The scent was different almost every time he'd met up with her, but the fact was she was floral. Sweet. The kind of hot, summery, dulling sweet that was...intoxicating. He liked the way her voice rose when she was talking about something that excited her. He liked how she took charge, even now. He liked her. And not seeing her wasn't an option for him. Not when he'd come to look forward to her drop-bys. But letting her fuck her marriage up for someone she thought she wanted? No, that wasn't an option either.

"You, not working on a project that you put as much time and work into as you've done with this one? I can't let you do that on account of me. This...means too much to you." He began.

"And that's why we're gonna make a deal..." A soft smile broke on his face as he spoke. "...because I really don't think this is just about me..." To be completely honest, Zori thought she was...bored. She the wife of a wealthy, basketball "legend" and a mother of at least one kid. Her husband was probably busy and she definitely was busy as all hell, the foundation taking up so much of her time that it surprised Zori that she got the chance to even work out three days of the week. All she had was work...and work...and more work. Zori...and that kiss they shared last night was a change from the boring.

But him? It wasn't about being bored. It was about...her. Call it selfish, but he didn't want to stop seeing her. Her walking into his office after a day full of costumers' issues, payroll, repair requests, a radiant smile on her face? It was the highlight of his day. And he wasn't going to give that up for the fear of her crossing the line.

"I just think...you need a change." He leaned forward. "So...if you keep your hands to yourself and keep partnering me on the summer camp deal...I'll give you the something "new" that you're wanting. Let me be your trainer..."





"The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances."

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[*] posted on 10-11-2014 at 05:18 PM


Make a deal? Fumie hadn’t even had time to process that Zori had decided to let her stay on this project before he said something that peaked her interest a bit more. Her smile grew as his broke, his words continuing. Because he really didn’t think it was just about him...that was probably true. Fumie has seen, talked to, worked with men she could have started an affair with. Hard working, paid, but just as self-centered as the man she was currently married to. Nothing about Zori was like that. There were a number of things pushing her into his arms and his insight was one of them. He was right, kind of. It wasn’t just about him, really. It was about her too. Her son had outgrown her and her husband had stopped caring about her years ago. Occasionally she got in time with her daughter and she got to forget for just a little while how miserable she was, but...she was lonely. Zori acted like he cared.

“Okay-,” she giggled a little bit. “I’ll bite; what’s the deal?” She kind of liked how this was sounding. Making closed door deals with Zori Blount and his perfect smile. And he was trying to be respectful? By asking her to behave? Mmm...she grew less sure by the second that that was going to work for them. I just think you need a change. That was for damn sure. What was he getting at though? Was virtuous, respectful, honorable Zori about to change his mind about all of that? She wouldn’t be mad if he did...quite the opposite actually. But that wasn’t what he was talking about.

“My trainer?” Fumie laughed again, leaning away from his desk and coming to stand. Now it was his trun to make excuses to spend time with one another huh? He was cute. “And what exactly will we be doing in these…training sessions?” Oops. She could hear it in her voice when she said it. The sex in her words. To be honest, it slipped out. She hadn’t meant to say it like that as she was sure Zori’s offer was 100% above board, but it was already out.

Sue her.




I was a heavy heart to carry but, he never let me down.
When he held me in his arms my feet never touched the ground.
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[*] posted on 11-11-2014 at 03:56 PM


Her trainer. That's exactly what he'd said and as far as he was concerned, it was a damn good deal. Fumie, still being able to do what she loved and keeping her intentions in check and him...getting to see her a little more. Yeah, he knew it. He was walking himself right into a damn trap. "Wearing gasoline drawers straight into hell" as his momma would've put it. Setting himself up for the fail. But, he couldn't help it. He liked spending time with Fumie. He liked seeing her and having conversations with her that he wasn't having with anyone else. The only interactions he got were from his employees or his customers...or Papa. And conversations with a dog weren't exactly something you bragged about. He didn't want to be lonely. And she didn't want to be bored. They were both getting something in return, right?

"Yep." He answered simply, her laugh making him smile harder as he watched her lean away from his desk, looking down at him. His eyes met hers as she asked him what she'd be learning from him, a little spice in her words. He chuckled, biting his lip at her flirty question. Not that... He answered her..."question" mentally. Because what she was insinuation? That wasn't part of the deal.

"How do you feel about kickboxing?" He asked, letting her at least make a decision about what she wanted to learn. He was going to go with something a little more...exotic, but he wasn't training her for a future in mixed martial arts. He was just trying to help her fill some time.

"You're already in...incredible shape." His words had moved faster than his damn brain had...and so had his eyes as they unintentionally made their way from her toned legs and back to her face. He smiled again, shaking his head at how predictable he was. After years of avoiding anything that had to do with the female form, he still couldn't resist it...especially when it was wearing the skirt that Fumie had on.

"And..." Hesitation reached his voice as he tried to figure out how to tactfully say what was on his mind. And his mind was racing, back to the night before...back to the swollen lip he swore she was sporting underneath her flawless lipstick. Back to the Shemar's aggressiveness. Back to the unexpected kiss.

"...meditation." He finally said. "T Because for a woman who moves mountains...you seem to be having a hard time balancing them."





"The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances."

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[*] posted on 11-11-2014 at 05:34 PM


He wanted to train her. He was right, that was something different. She didn’t too often work out with anyone, usually opting to take a run around her neighborhood or pick up the occasional pilates class. This would be...interesting, to say the least. She could imagine all of the chances for error in this scenario. Zori’s hands correcting her form leading to a lot more positions that he...they weren’t trying to get into. It sounded like fun though. Especially when she heard his suggest kickboxing. Fumie’s smile widened a little as she thought that over...again, interesting.

“Okay-,” she started, her teeth catching her bottom lip as he told her how she was already in good shape. And she hoped he knew she noticed his eyes wandering. He did, a short chuckle leaving him after his eyes found his face again. Okay. Maybe she’d worn this skirt for him today. Shemar would never allow her out of the house like this; plain white tee and a high low pencil skirt? No. She would be dismissed as basic and forced to change, but she was comfortable like this. She felt better when she got to dress herself and for once not live by Shemar Kidd’s rules and impossible standards...Lucky for her, he was barely ever home and he for damn sure wouldn’t be hanging around here. Of course she could spend more time with Zori, she--meditation?

Fumie looked away from him at his half compliment. He wasn’t wrong. Her life stayed “off balance”. Hell, with Shemar smacking her in the head so often, she was surprised it wasn’t more literal. “If only you knew-,” her voice had fallen as her thoughts turned darker, but she didn’t want that. She wanted to be right here, in this moment...with just Zori. She looked back up at him, her hand extending in front of her for him to shake.

“You have got yourself a client Mr. Blount.”




I was a heavy heart to carry but, he never let me down.
When he held me in his arms my feet never touched the ground.
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[*] posted on 12-11-2014 at 06:13 AM


If only you knew. If only Zori DID know, because what he thought he knew was enough. There were signs that he couldn’t shrug away last night, none of them showing him anything positive about what Fumie was with her husband. Shemar Kidd was a jerk...a shadow of what Zori had previously believed to be a “greater man”. That didn’t necessarily mean that he was any of those things when it came to Fumie. Assumptions were the kind of thing that Zori refused to base his actions off of, so he stayed quiet about what he “assumed”, offering a sort of a friendship instead of what he knew Fumie wanted. Or thought she wanted. This was safer. For her...and definitely for him.

“And you’ve got yourself a trainer.” He replied, smiling as he grasped her hand in a friendly shake. She was as warm to the touch as her smile was. Zori’s gaze met her eyes as their agreement handshake lingered a bit too long. Dropping her hand, he smirked at himself. It was damn hilarious that he truly believed he was going to come out of this thing lily white. He was playing with fire to them most dangerous degree. All because he’d met a woman that interested him? That he couldn’t stop thinking about? It was amazing that he’d stayed out of trouble with women for as long as he had. Obviously, he couldn’t get enough of it! He was fooling himself. Telling himself he was stronger than temptation, that he was more disciplined and sold on his moralistic promise to himself. Look, but don’t touch. Other people’s property needs to stay that way. But how long was that mantra going to play in his head? How long would it take the loud voice to become a whisper?





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[*] posted on 7-3-2015 at 08:41 AM



____________________________________________



The alarm went off on Zori’s phone for the second time that night, his finger swiping at the screen absentmindedly to silence it. He’d told himself he wasn’t going to do this again. This, meaning staying in his office until after midnight, doing work that he couldn’t saved for the next day. But work meant a busy mind and a busy mind meant he wasn’t thinking about Fumie. Because he was always thinking about Fumie. It’d been two weeks since they’d had “the talk” at her house. No. Their house. “Their” meaning her kids and her husband, better known as the invisible force that no matter how unseen he was, weighed heavily in Zori's thoughts, right along with Fumie. Because Zori had chosen the high road. And no matter how many long nights at work he spent avoiding it, he resented his decision. Resented it so much that even his Momma could tell the difference in him during their weekly call. He was serious, focused...boring. Their call last week had to have been the first time his Momma actually made an excuse just to get off the phone with him and he could see why. That pointless ember of hope that he subconsciously held onto when it came to Fumie was gone. Now that he’d told her “no” for the last time, outside of friendship, there was nothing to hope for.

“The fuck is that?” Zori heard himself say, a loud rapping on the glass front door of the gym breaking his concentration. The gym was closed, as that was usually what “afterhours” meant. No one was coming in and he would be the only one going out when he shut it down for the night. So, what the hell was someone doing beating on the door of his business like the cops? Something told him to keep the damn lights off in the weight room when he’d closed it for the evening.

He got out of his chair as he heard the rapping again, more knocks coming this time. His eyes narrowed as he walked out the door of his office, rounded the corner and looked out the front door and onto the street.





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[*] posted on 7-3-2015 at 01:48 PM


She didn’t know where else to go. Fumie knocked desperately at the door of the gym. She didn’t know his address like he knew hers. All she could do was hope he was still here. What time was it? She probably looked crazy out here, black scarf hiding her hair, sunglasses hiding her face. She was sure she looked like a fashionable burglar and for what? To bother a man that wasn’t her husband with her issues? That was what marriage was supposed to be for. For better or worse. But what was she supposed to do when the man she married was the absolute “worse” in her life? She didn’t know anymore. She didn’t know anything anymore...but Zori...Zori made everything right. He made everything feel better and right now that was all she wanted to do. She wanted to feel better...

Fumie knocked again, harder this time as she tried peering through the darkness inside. She thought she saw a dim light in the distance, but maybe she was just hopeful. She wanted to see him. She needed to see him. She called out through the door hoping he could hear her, listening to her voice break. She was still crying. She didn’t want to meet him like this. She thought she’d stopped this weak shit in the car. She just wanted to see him. She didn’t want to talk about what happened, she didn’t want to meditate or workout. She just wanted to see him.

She needed a friend.




I was a heavy heart to carry but, he never let me down.
When he held me in his arms my feet never touched the ground.
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[*] posted on 7-3-2015 at 02:23 PM


"...the hell?" Zori whispered to himself as he walked closer, seeing the silhouette against the darkness of the only person he wanted to see and didn't want to see at the same time. Talk about mixed emotions. Part of him wanted to smile as soon as he saw of the body that he'd know in the dark show up at his door. The other part, the part that noticed her scarf-covered hair and her shades and damn near eleven o'clock at night, cocked his head to the side as he walked to the door, hearing his name through the door. She didn't sound right. Of course, he was hearing her...through a door, but something was off about her voice, which made his last few steps to let her in quicken. "Puzzled" was surely the look on his face as he twisted the lock on the door and opened it to her without hesitation.

"Fumie?" He asked, his voice sounding the confusion that he knew he felt as he grabbed on of her hands that was still pressed against the front door's glass. He pulled her into the gym and instinctively positioned her behind him as he looked out the window, locking the door again.

"Are you okay?" He asked immediately, his voice flat as he scoped the outside of the gym. He didn't know what the hell was going on and as "off" as Fumie sounded, he took a moment to make sure that whatever the situation was, it wasn't going to bring itself in his fucking gym. Turning around, he looked down at Fumie, giving her a second to collect herself and finally give him some clue about what was going on.





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[*] posted on 7-3-2015 at 04:22 PM


Fumie? She took a deep breath as he said her name, attempting to steady herself. She felt her lips pull at the corners as he held her hand in his, looking for something outside of the gym...Oh! God, no. No one was after her or anything she just...she wanted to see him...when Zori was satisfied that they were safe for the moment he turned back to her. He looked stressed out too. And what was he doing here so late? She never did figure out what time it was...It was dark though. It was late. She knew that and she shouldn’t have been here. But she was.

“I’m fine Zo. I just…-,” she cleared her throat her voice still sounding off to her. “I just really wanted to see you.” His hand was still holding hers but she shook herself free and hugged him. She honestly didn’t care how he felt about it right now. She just wanted to be held. Just an hour ago she thought she might die, Shemar’s hands around her throat, squeezing as if he wanted to see her head pop. She’d earned that. She shouldn’t have said all those things to him. She should have let him be after what happened with Koi. But she didn’t. She’d asked for that.

Now she was asking for Zori. “What are you even doing here?” Fumie pulled away from him, asking that as if he were out of place and not her. This was his gym. He worked here. He had every right to be here...She was glad he was here. She’d thought about that before coming over here. After dropping Eri off with Ipo (she couldn’t leave her at home; Shemar might have come back) and sitting in the KPD parking lot for an hour and a half trying to decide if she should file a complaint, she thought of nothing but seeing Zori. He’d said it by her pool the day he came over, he was going to be there for her. Well there was here and now and here she was too.

“I didn’t need to other you so late I just thought...I don’t know what I thought.” It was too late! What was she even doing here? Bothering this man as if she had the right.He was probably busy. He was probably working late the way he promised he’d cut down on doing. “I’m sorry-,” She shook her head, her hand snatching at her glasses so that she could rub her eyes. “I didn’t think about the time. I should probably...go.” She made to move past him. Why was she all over the map today?




I was a heavy heart to carry but, he never let me down.
When he held me in his arms my feet never touched the ground.
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[*] posted on 7-3-2015 at 05:14 PM


Fine? No, she wasn't. Zori wasn't at all convinced by her words as she cleared her throat that sounded like it was still heavy with whatever she'd been dealing with before she he let her into his gym. This wasn't Fumie, at all. But lately, this kind of emotional breakdown was her regular. The day after they'd had dinner at Spago was just like this. She was off. Yeah, she'd been a hell of a lot more pissed and withdrawn. That night, something had her shook. She looked like she'd been through hell and she'd never come to his gym this late. Why was she at his gym? She knew he pulled late hours some nights, but if she was looking for him, that was a bit of a gamble. But here she was, her arms going around his neck as she shook loose of his hold. The sudden closeness surprised him, his arms hesitating going around her...but not for long. He closed her in his embrace, feeling her tighten her hold on him as he did. Why was trembling?

"Fumie..." He made to ask how she was again...how she really was, but she interrupted him, almost as if she knew that he wasn't about to drop it. And he could tell by how quickly she focused in on him that she wasn't in the place to discuss anything that had happened that night, the only thing on her mind why he was still in the gym. An unintentional smirk crossed his lips as she pulled away from him, a look of concern on her face and he would've answered her if she hadn't looked like ten thousand thoughts weren't speeding through her mind.

"What?" He asked, her words speeding out almost as fast as her thoughts seemed to be. She was leaving? No. No she wasn't. Not in the state she was in. She looked like she wouldn't have been able to get her car out of the parking lot and back onto the road if she tried and it kind of amazed Zori that she'd gotten to his gym like this all the way from wherever she'd come from in one piece. Where HAD she come from? It struck Zori that he still didnt' know what was going on and no matter how many times he tried to ask, he was sure that she wouldn't give him a straight answer and that worried him even more.

"You're not leaving." He said, watching her take off her glasses and rub her eyes. Almost as if she hadn't heard what he'd said, she tried to walk past him, talking about the time and other things that didn't matter...until he stopped her. Not to keep her from walking out. Not to tell her "don't leave" again. Not even to ask her about her night...because he didn't have to ask. Everything that he needed, he saw as she stood next to him. He saw it...what she was hiding behind her glass.

"What happened...to your face, Fumie." His voice was even flatter than it had been before, his heart speeding up in his chest as he stared at the side of Fumie's swollen cheek. He didn't even notice how tightly he was holding her around the waist until he saw her flinch. He let her go, standing in front of her to block her from the door...his fingers going to her scarf, looping into the folds that gathered around her neck, pulling until he saw her completely.

"What...the fuck...?"





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[*] posted on 9-3-2015 at 09:27 AM


Why had she come here? No really. Outside of her own selfish, senseless need to see him, why had she come? Did she think there was anything Zori could do? Of course not. He’d already told her, he couldn’t be more to her while she was still married to that man.The man that had just...she couldn’t do this. She shouldn’t even be here! Zori was so sweet for opening the door to her in the first place. She was obviously a nut, but still he at least pretended to care. She should leave him to whatever he had been doing before she imposed. She told him this, making to move past him, but he stopped her, his hands holding her waist. What? Why wouldn’t he want her to leave? She...looked a mess, she was nothing but drama and trouble he couldn’t...her thoughts paused as she realized how he was looking at her. The way his grip tightened on her waist.

“Zo…-,” he was hurting her. She winched a little and he let her go, the confusion clear on her face until…What happened? The fucking glasses. She was an idiot and she’d taken them off without even thinking about it. Fuck! She didn’t want to talk to him about this. She didn’t want to talk to anyone about it, she just...she wanted to...she didn’t know what she wanted. She wanted to be with him and alone all at once and neither of them seemed possible at the moment. She was just...wrong. Everything about her was wrong right now and she didn’t want him to know her like this. Weak. Bruised...Literally. But still her feet hadn’t moved. She stood still avoiding his eyes as his fingers came to her scarf, pulling at it until it fell. What...the fuck…Fumie’s hand instinctively came to her neck, trying to cover what she knew was there.

“I fucked up…-,” her words came in a sigh, a soft whimper following them as she took a step away from him. She fucked up by trying to stand up to Shemar, she fucked up in coming here after, and she was still fucking up in letting Zori know exactly what had her so shook up. She was just a fuck up. “He told me to leave him alone, but I pushed. I always fucking push.” She did. Because that was her place. She was the fixer. When she saw something wrong, she did what she could to try fixing it. But he’d told her that nothing needed fixing. And who was she to question him really? She…ugh. None of what she was thinking made any sense to her! She wasn’t this person. She wasn’t a problem. She knew it was him; she’d always thought that it was Shemar that was wrong in these situations, but...maybe it had been her all of this time? She was so fucking confused.

“I shouldn’t have pushed him…”




I was a heavy heart to carry but, he never let me down.
When he held me in his arms my feet never touched the ground.
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[*] posted on 10-3-2015 at 03:00 PM


Zori’s nose flared as Fumie’s hand came to her neck, the look on her face completely understandable now. He could still see the bruises as she tried to cover them with her fingers, dark and purplish against her brown skin. Bruises were so foreign on Fumie. They looked out of place on her body, out of the ordinary...so opposite the high-priced clothing she always wore, the delicate smelling perfumes she dabbed on in the morning...the smile that always graced her lips when she was with him. Her tears? those bruises? They didn’t belong there. And nor did the words that were leaving her...how SHE fucked up. How the things she’d been hiding behind her glasses and that scarf were her fault. Zori slowly shook his head at what she was saying, his eyes finally leaving the bruises and meeting her own, tearful ones.

“Don’t…” He spoke, but she kept talking. HE told me to leave him alone… Zori scoffed sourly, his lip curling at the mention of the man that he KNEW had done this to Fumie. It had to be him. Her son seemed like a handful, but he knew Fumie. And he knew that Fumie wasn’t crazy enough to let her son put his hands on her like that. No, it was one person and only one person that had a big enough ego and the least respect for his own damn wife to touch her the way that he had. This shit had Shemar written all over it. And Zori couldn’t stand to hear Fumie even make it seem like she’d deserved this. Because no matter how much she’d pushed, prodded...whatever she’d done, she hadn’t deserved the bruises that Zori saw on her face and neck.

“Fumie…” Zori called her name, an edge of warning in his voice. He couldn’t keep listening to her talk like this. She shouldn’t have done what? Zori didn’t have the slightest idea what had gone down in their house. He didn’t know how high tempers were, how serious the situation had been...but he knew what his Momma had told him a long time ago. You can’t call yourself a man if you’ve gotta hit a woman to feel like one… And that was law. Nothing about Shemar was a man anymore. Hell, he was barely a man in the first place, carrying on like a little ass boy at the gala and at dinner. But this shit? He wasn’t human anymore. An animal did this to Fumie. And to think that there could’ve been bruises underneath her clothes, in the places that Zori couldn’t see. Bruises from her husband. The man that was supposed to love her. The man that was supposed to protect her from shit like this. And even though Zori hadn’t heard their vows...the man that was supposed to cherish her all the days of her life. But Shemar hadn’t. He’d made her his fucking punching bag.

His hands were clenched. Zori hadn’t even noticed it, but he could feel the tension in his palms, his hands tightened into fists. His jaw squared, painfully, his teeth clenched in anger. He had to calm down. Now. Before he did something he was going to regret.

“Let’s go to my office.” He muttered, his mind turning to thoughts that were the opposite of what he was feeling. The hot blood pulsing in his veins, his muscles were so taunt that it hurt. Fumie’s face came back into view through his anger, her confusion mingled with fear. She didn’t need to be afraid of him.

“I’m too close to the front door.” He started, explaining himself. “If I stay here, I might leave out the door, find...him and put my foot up his ass. So I think…” He swallowed, anger still rushing over him so hard that he barely kept his voice calm.

“...let’s go to my office.”





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[*] posted on 10-3-2015 at 06:09 PM


He was angry. She was speaking, trying to tell him why she looked the way she did and he was changing. She watched his eyebrows furrow, his jaw clench, and his fists tighten...He was angry. She had yet to decided whether or not it was with her. She’d offered to leave him alone. None of this was his issue and he didn’t have to deal with it. She hadn’t even come here to ask him to really. She just...she knew Zori would make her happy. He always did. He never had to put much effort into it either, his presence was enough for her and...she should have thought more about this before coming here. She was horrible company to keep right now, for obvious reasons. She had come here selfishly and she shouldn’t have done that. A fact that was becoming more and more clear as Zori grew angrier.

Let’s go to my office. Words muttered through gritted teeth in a way that made her wary. She shouldn’t have been. Zori wasn’t Shemar right? He wouldn’t...it wasn’t him. Despite knowing that her body took a step back, her arms folding in front of her as she fidgeted a bit. She didn’t want to go with him if it meant an argument. Another fight. She didn’t have the strength to fight anymore tonight and she especially didn’t want to do it with Zori. She watched another shift in him as he noticed her new demeanor. Zori softened, only slightly as he tried explaining his sudden decision to move to his office. Too close to the door? What did...Oh…

So chivalry wasn’t dead. If she’d have been able she might have smiled at the sentiment. He wasn’t upset with her and that was something else that usually would have brought a smile to her lips. But not tonight. Tonight, she just turned, leading the way to his office, her arms still wrapped around her, seemingly holding herself together as she wondered where this might go. This was too much. The drama. Zori was her friend, her trainer, not her therapist. He’d said that before. He was nice enough to let her collect herself in the office, but after that, if he was as smart as she knew he was, he would tell her to go and never come back here...She was fucking up again.

Fumie leaned against the front of his desk as he closed the door behind them. She was too restless to sit. She would only be up again in a few seconds and she didn’t want to make too many sudden movements...she caught herself thinking it and for the life of her she had no idea why. Zori was safe. He wasn’t going to hurt her and she needed to keep reminding herself of that. Her eyes connected with his again as she cleared her throat to speak.

“I didn’t mean to interrupt…” he’d been working. Of course he had. What else would he be doing at the gym this late. She obviously meant to interrupt. “I mean...you were working. I can…-,” she didn’t want to mention leaving again. He told her she wasn’t leaving and she was listening for a change. Listening and telling herself that she was safest here. She was safe with him.




I was a heavy heart to carry but, he never let me down.
When he held me in his arms my feet never touched the ground.
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[*] posted on 11-3-2015 at 05:39 AM


“Stop apologizing.” Zori said gruffly, his face as dark as it’d been seconds earlier as he closed the door to his office, turning to look at her sitting on the edge of his desk. He hadn’t meant for his voice to be as flat as it was...emotionless. But he couldn’t help but wonder as he looked at her. Wasn’t she tired? Wasn’t she damn tired of apologizing for shit that Shemar Kidd did, especially when she wasn’t at fault? It wasn’t her fault that he did this to her. No words were worth the injury that Zori was looking at. And he wasn’t just talking about the physical. She was broken. She looked...more fragile than Zori had ever seen her look, even more than that day in the sparring room. Looking at her was like looking at the aftermath of a violent storm and knowing that even if you rebuilt, nothing would ever be the same. Fumie didn’t have to apologize for that. She didn’t have to apologize for any of it.

Watching her for a second more, he looked away from her, walking around his desk. He opened the bottom drawer where he kept the staff first aid kit and although he’d never really needed it for anything more than a few cuts or scrapes, he was glad he’d had it today. Pulling it out, he placed it onto his desk, immediately reaching for the instant ice pack inside. He walked back to Fumie as he activated it, shaking the cold into the pack before pressing it to her swollen cheek.

“Keep that there.” He told her, his hand lingering as she moved to hold the pack. The cold anger left his eyes, a softness taking its place. He hated this. He hated seeing her like this. This incredible woman who basically lit up an entire room with her warmth and her strength and...she was weak. And Zori couldn’t help but think if it’d always been like this. If she’d covered up all of the pain and fear he’d seen on her face everyday, just to survive life with Shemar. He’d seen a glimpse of it the night of the dinner. How she played the role she had to just to keep everything together. Was this what it looked like when it fell apart?

He stayed quiet, ignoring the way she kept insisting on leaving. He wasn’t letting her leave. He just... he couldn’t. No matter how much he knew that it was probably not the best idea to get involved, he knew that pretending like it wasn’t happening wasn’t even an option. Because it was, right in front of his face. She wasn’t his to protect. Her family...the kids...they weren’t his to defend. But who the hell would if he didn’t? The cops? Yeah, Zori could’ve laughed out loud at that one. He’d seen enough abusive relationships to know that that was a dead end.

“The kids…” He said, his hand finally dropping to her neck, inspecting the bruises. “Are they alright?” Koi and Eri. The thought of Fumie’s children floated into his head. Where were they? Were they safe?





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[*] posted on 11-3-2015 at 10:11 AM


He told her to stop apologizing and she was quiet. She didn’t know what else to say but “sorry” at this point. Sorry she’d come here with this drama. Sorry she’d started any of it in the first place. Sorry that she could be the kind of mother she wanted to be for the son that really needed her. She was just...sorry. In every sense of the word. And Zori was sorry for her. She could tell in the way he watched her now, pity mingled with the seemingly irrevocable anger that would not subside. She wished it would though…He’s not going to hurt you. Zori is safe. She had to tell herself again. She was sure it was true, but she couldn’t help the way she felt. She was jumpy, unsettled, a hand continuing a slow nervous rub at her arm. She wasn’t in any trouble now, but...the adrenaline she guessed...

Fumie snapped out of her thoughts as Zori made his way closer to her. She stiffened. Shit. She wanted to apologize again. She knew he’d seen her do that, but she didn’t. She told herself to relax and watched as he moved behind his desk to get something out of a drawer. A first aid kit. Fumie allowed him to cradle one side of her face in his palm as he pressed an icepack to her swollen cheek. She winced as he told her to hold it there, her hand slowly coming to meet his. This was nice. Having someone take care of her for a change. Having someone else fix her broken, miserable fucking life...or at the very least her face.

“Thanks-,” she whispered it to him, her voice weaker than it had been. Fumie thought about the last time she’d thanked him and they’d been this close to one another...the last time she’d been close enough to smell him...to taste him. She snapped out of it as he spoke again, asking about her kids. Zori’s hand moved from the ice pack to her neck, inspecting the bruises there. Everything in her wanted to cover them. This whole situation was...so embarrassing. She was not this person! She was not a woman that allowed men to put their hands on her and keep coming back. She had been raised to be strong, independent. To fucking take care of herself! When had all that changed? Probably around the time she lost control of whatever it was she’d had with Shemar.

“Eri is...well enough.” She couldn’t necessarily say she was okay. She wasn’t. She was absolutely terrified since exactly what Fumie knew would happen, had. She’d heard her father yelling, cursing. She’d heard Fumie’s screams. When Fumie had finally gotten herself together she’d found the poor baby in her closet behind a dresser, crying her little eyes out. She wasn’t okay. No one in that house was. And out of it? “I don’t know where Koi is. He’s not taking my calls after…-,” There was too much to explain, a lot of which she still wasn’t clear on. She just...she couldn’t do it right now.

Fumie heaved a shaky sigh, blinking back the tears she could feel resting in her eyes. She didn’t want this any more. She didn’t want to explain why her fucked up life was so fucked up. She just...she wanted peace. Radio silence in that head of hers. A moment to not think a damn thing. She took the ice pack from her face, placing it gingerly on the desk beside her before looking at Zori again. Before she really registered what she was doing she had risen on her toes, her lips taking his briefly before she pulled away.

“I don’t want to talk anymore.”




I was a heavy heart to carry but, he never let me down.
When he held me in his arms my feet never touched the ground.
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