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“...is that Ojiro sensei and the new music teacher?”

Fumino and her friends were walking back into the school after having lunch out on the front lawn when Oka-chan brought everyone’s attention to the couple at the end of the hallway. All four girls stopped dead, watching as a young, curvy woman smiled and playfully ran her finger down their homeroom teacher’s chest. It was a brazen thing to do in front of the myriad of students who were coming in from lunch, but no one seemed to be paying attention except for the four girls.

“Wow, she works really fast, doesn’t she? Didn’t she just get here at the beginning of last term?”

The other three girls spoke in hushed tones, giggling as they watched the flirtatious scene in front of them. Fumino couldn’t speak or respond to her friends at all. How could anyone make a sound when they watched the person they loved being touched so intimately by someone else? She couldn’t do anything but stare blankly at the scene in front of her, wondering why Sensei didn’t turn the other teacher away.

As if suddenly sensing her presence, he glanced up from the woman at his side and met Fumino’s eyes. They stared at each other for an immeasurable moment, her tear filled eyes meeting the intense gaze of his. She couldn’t move, couldn’t even breathe as she stood rooted to the spot by the pretty picture the two teachers made together. Couldn’t he tell her heart was breaking? Didn’t he know how jealous she must be when someone else could touch him so openly, and she wasn’t ever allowed that privilege? One tear rolled down her cheek and then she turned away from him, letting herself be pulled along by her friends on their way back into the school.

Fumino felt an impatient tugging on her wrist. “Come on, Kaji-san. We’re going to be late for class!”

She forced a smile and followed the other girls, needing the distraction of their chatter to get her mind off the scene that she was sure would be etched in her mind for a long time to come.

***

Fumino was quiet as she watched Sensei make dinner that evening. Ever since he had gotten home, neither of them had spoken or even made eye contact, as if they were both avoiding discussing what had happened after lunch. For Fumino, it hurt. If he didn’t want to talk about it, did that mean he had something to hide? She tried not to consider the possibility that he was having an affair with the new teacher, but it was hard to ignore. Sensei was a man, wasn’t he? He was holding back from touching her, his underage wife, because he wanted her to be old enough to make the choice of whether or not she wanted a physical relationship herself. But that didn’t change the fact that he still had needs that she wasn’t meeting. Was he getting them fulfilled somewhere else? Just the thought of that had her insides twisting into knots. She wanted to throw up.

“Buncha, are you fighting with Ma-kun again?”

Teppei, her precious younger brother, was hanging onto her arm and staring up into her eyes with tears in his. He hated it when they argued, and was happiest when their family unit was boisterous and lively. For a child of only five, he worried too much about the two adults in his life. Fumino really wished she could give him more normalcy, but this was the closest they had had to a real family since their parents died and she was trying her hardest.

Really she was.

“It’s not a fight, Teppei,” she promised him, smoothing back his hair with her hand.

“Then what’s wrong? Why didn’t you welcome him home tonight?”

Such an innocent question, but how could she possibly answer it? There was no way she could properly explain the jealousy eating away at her to a five year old. She couldn’t even explain it to herself. Sensei had never given her any reason not to trust him, but seeing another woman touch him so casually in public, knowing that it was something she wasn’t allowed to do… it hurt her more than she could have ever thought possible.

“Hey, Teppei, dinner’s almost ready. Would you mind setting the table while Fumino and I talk in the other room?”

Sensei rested his hand on the little boy’s head and knelt down to his level, talking to him like an equal, as he always did. In response Teppei grinned at him and nodded his head up and down. “I’ll pour the juice! Are you gonna make up with Buncha?”

“Yep!” Sensei grinned back and then turned his attention to Fumino. “Can I have a moment of your time, wife?”

Fumino’s heart raced in her chest but she managed to nod. She was surprised when he took her hand in his and led her into the room she shared with Teppei. Lately, he was in another one of his ‘let’s not touch’ moods, so this was the first time they had even brushed against each other in over a week. She missed him so much that it actually ached where he touched her skin.

When they were alone in the room, the door closed to give them a bit of privacy, he pulled her against his chest and stared down at her. “Now, I know what you must be thinking, Fumino...”

Tears sprang to her eyes and she turned her face away from him. She didn’t want to look at him right now, not when his eyes were so full of pity. “You have no idea what I’m thinking, Sensei! Having to watch another woman with her hands on you, slipping you her phone number, while my friends talked about how pretty she was on the way back to our class? They said how much she suited you, and I couldn’t do anything but keep quiet because no one knows you belong to me!”

Pain ripped through her as she she pushed against his chest. Just thinking about how nice the two of them had looked together earlier was like a knife in the stomach. Was that the kind of woman he would have been interested in if he hadn’t married her out of sympathy? Was she holding him back from having a normal relationship with someone else? Did he regret marrying her in the first place? She couldn’t figure out how to ask him any of these things!

He moved his hand up to stroke her hair, and the gentle touch was enough to open the floodgates. Tears came hard and fast, dripping down her cheeks and onto her sweater. She couldn’t stop them, wasn’t even sure if she wanted to. Right now she was in so much pain that trying to bottle it all up would be difficult. It was even worse because he just kept touching her hair and didn’t say a word.

“Do- do you think she’s pretty?” Fumino whispered through her tears. It wasn’t exactly something she wanted to know, but she had to get him to say something to break this silence.

“Asahina Sensei is a fairly pretty woman,” he admitted, “but she’s not my type. I don’t find myself attracted to her at all.”

“But she has big boobs!” Fumino clapped her hands over her mouth, horrified that she had said that part out loud. It had been something that had bothered her all day, but she hadn’t meant to actually bring it up to him! He didn’t need to know how self-conscious she was about her lack of female curves! If he knew… he might tease her even more than he already did. She definitely didn’t need that.

Surprisingly he didn’t laugh at her sudden outburst. Instead, he pressed a kiss to the top of her head and uttered one word: “So?”

She was confused. Wasn’t Sensei always saying that he needed to feed her more so her breasts would grow? Didn’t he tease her and say that he wasn’t interested in doing anything physical until she was at least a C-Cup? The new teacher was even bustier than Meg! How could she not be his type?

“Then what is your type? What kind of women are you attracted to?” Maybe if she understood that, she could work hard on being that for him. At least she would know which types of women she didn’t have to be jealous of.

He tilted her chin up so he could look into her eyes, and she realized he wasn’t smiling. His eyes were just as dark and intense as they had been that afternoon when he looked at her across the hallway. It was the look that always came before a passionate attack, and it was a precursor to having to hide kiss marks at school the next day.

“My type is Fumino,” he said quietly, moving one hand to tug the collar of her shirt aside. His lips descended to her neck and she could feel the sting of his teeth as he marked her. They fell to their knees on the floor, her legs unable to keep her upright, but his mouth didn’t leave her skin for a moment. Her cheeks grew hot as blood rushed to her face, but she didn’t dare push him away. After being eaten alive by jealousy all day, she needed this moment to remind herself that she was his and he wanted it that way.

He marked her again and again, his teeth and tongue moving over her neck as though he was possessed. She held him against her, arms wrapped around his shoulders to keep him close. “Sensei,” she whispered in his ear, her breath coming in sighs as he continued his sweet torture, “I want to mark you too. I want to leave a kiss mark on your neck so that everyone knows you belong to me.”

At her words he froze, his entire body as immobile as a stone statue. After a long moment he pulled away from her, his eyes guarded as he looked into her face. “That’s not a good idea.”

“Why?” The pain of his rejection crushed her, making it hard to breathe. “No one but the two of us would even know it was me! You don’t wear your ring to school, so how are other women supposed to know you’re taken? Please… please, just this once.”

She covered her face with her hands as the tears started up again. Why was she always so pathetic when it came to him? Was this the real reason he kept her at arm's length? She wasn’t mature enough to handle jealousy and desire? Ugh, she hated herself.

“Fumino, it’s time for dinner. Why don’t we discuss this after Teppei has gone to bed?” He suggested, pulling her hands away from her face and brushing aside her tears with his thumbs. When he saw her eyes widen in surprise, he let out a resigned laugh. “This seems important to you, so I’ll consider it. All right?”

That was more than she had expected from him. He was going to think about it… actually consider letting her do to him what he always did to her. She hadn’t realized how much she wanted just that until right now. The feeling of his skin between her teeth, to hear him moan like she always did, nothing could be better than that. It would be heaven.

Now she just had to somehow convince him to let her do it.

***

Later that evening, after Fumino had put Teppei to bed, she joined her husband in the living room to discuss her request.

All through dinner he had been quiet, though as warm as he ever was toward Teppei. Only she could tell that he wasn’t quite his normal self. She wondered if wanting to mark him was really that uncomfortable a thought to him. Was he really so against her touching him? Or was it that he didn’t want to let anyone know he was taken? Either way, her insides were in an agonizing knot as she sat down at his side.

“B-before you say anything, can I ask you something?” Fumino blurted out, her cheeks flushing a dark pink in her nervous state.

He nodded, his eyes still just as guarded and distant as they had been when she had begged to touch him. “It’s only fair to let you get everything out before I say my piece.”

Her heart dropped into her stomach at his words. Did that mean he had already decided against it? Was there no hope at all? Honestly, what had she expected? He was always so careful about their physical relationship and even though he drove her crazy, he still kept a distance between them, a line he wouldn’t cross. She just hadn’t expected this to be beyond that line.

“Sensei… do you not want people to know you have someone? Do you really love me like you’ve said?” She squeezed her eyes shut against the pain of the words. Asking them had brought the tears back, as she braced herself for the answer she was sure she didn’t want to hear. Even though he had said she was his type… somehow she couldn’t believe it. Not really. She was just a seventeen year old girl, after all. He was a grown man. Surely he wanted more than she could give him.

His voice came in a strangled gasp, a true note of surprise in the husky depths. “Of course, I love you! I wouldn’t tell you that I do if it wasn’t true!”

“Then why are you so against me touching you?” She cried, letting her face fall into her hands. “It’s not even about leaving a mark anymore. You push me away every time I try to get close to you. Why?”

Her eyes flew open as he pulled her into his lap, her body crushed against his chest as he held her close. “You really have no idea what you do to me, do you? When you touch me, I lose all sense of reason. I can’t allow that to happen, not when I can almost have you the right way!”

He buried his face in her shoulder, his lips brushing against her skin but nothing more. He was holding himself back, just as he always tried to do with her. It was then that she realized what she was asking for. If he let her mark him, she would be pushing him farther than she ever had before. Teasing him without realizing just how difficult it would be for him to hold back from touching her in return. He really, truly wanted to wait until she had graduated before he did anything more. How could she make it harder on him than it already was?

“Okay… I understand. I won’t ask again.” The words hurt, but not as badly as she knew it would hurt him if he slipped up and crossed the line with her. If she couldn’t put her mark on him, it was fine. She would just trust that he would never betray her. He said he loved her, and that was enough. It would have to be for now.

Silence filled the space around them and then Kazuma sighed. “Mark me.”

“What?” Surely she had misheard him. Hadn’t she just told him it was okay? Why would he have agreed to it all of a sudden?

“Because I know how hard it is to watch you with Shouma and not be able to say anything… I’ll allow it this once. So, you can leave a kiss mark on my neck.”

He didn’t have to say it again! Eagerly, she leaned forward in his arms and unbuttoned the first few buttons of his shirt, exposing his neck and shoulder. She traced the muscles in his shoulder for a moment, awed by the beauty of his skin. It was rare that she saw him with skin exposed, she couldn’t help but enjoy it.

“I love you, Sensei,” she whispered and then bent over his skin and bit gently into his neck.