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Miyabi was awakened suddenly by the feel of a hand on her breast. Her eyes snapped open and she stiffened instinctively. A few months before she would have screamed, but by now she was growing used to being groped unexpectedly. Sure enough, when she glanced down she saw a tousle-haired blonde nestled against her. One of the girl’s hands fondled Miyabi’s breast as though it were a favorite toy. Miyabi glared. That Tina was so audacious during the day was bad enough, but being manhandled at night was going too far. She was about to throw the girl off the bed when a sound made her stop.

“Kaoru-san, I love you,” Tina mumbled, and she clutched at Miyabi’s body. Miyabi turned bright red; this wasn’t a fantasy she had any business being a part of. How had Tina wound up in her bed when it was obvious that the girl was seeking a different one?

Hot tears splashed against her skin. Tina was crying, fingers tangling in Miyabi’s nightdress as she pressed her face into the woman’s chest. “Why can’t you love me too?” she murmured, voice pleading. “I’ll do anything you want: I’ll work harder…I’ll only drink on weekends…I’ll stop annoying Kanrinin-san.”

Miyabi snorted softly. Now there was a difficult promise to keep. There was no one in the house that knew how to push her buttons quite like the brash American. Everywhere she turned Tina was creating new havoc – between her and Taeko, it was a wonder the place hadn’t burned down yet.

She was so lost in her own thoughts that she nearly missed Tina’s whisper. “Please, Kaoru-san…please… I don’t want to be alone, I’m afraid.”

Miyabi felt cold. She never thought she’d have anything in common with the blonde, but there it was: loneliness. It was terrible, an ever-present danger that haunted her. She knew she came off as cold, unfeeling even. If was her worst fear that no one would think to look deeper and see the person underneath, that they would believe her mask and abandon her, thinking her incapable of emotion. That Tina, loud and enthusiastic as she was, could harbor such fears as well made Miyabi’s irritation drift away. She carefully drew her arms around the sleeping girl, letting her body give comfort to a person she would have tossed aside only moments before. She did not expect to rest, as she had never been forced to sleep with someone so close to her, but the warmth of Tina’s body relaxed her muscles and she soon found herself dozing. When she awoke, it was to the sound of a shriek.


Miyabi opened her eyes to find Tina staring down at her. The American’s face went red as she looked down at her hands, which still rested incriminatingly on Miyabi’s breasts. Immediately the girl scrambled away, her limbs tangling in the covers and dragging most of the bedding with her in the process. When she finally rested against the far wall, a sphere of tangled blonde hair and blankets, she began to stutter apologies. “Sorry, K-kanrinin-san, haha, I must have just slipped, or, uh, gotten lost or, eh…”

She trailed off at Miyabi’s stern look. The older woman stood, pointing down at what was left of her bed. “You will fix this. Washed, dried, pressed, everything.”

Tina nodded frantically, tongue-tied.

“Then there is no more to be discussed.” Miyabi walked calmly to the door, then paused. She wished there was a way to reassure Tina that she was not alone, without embarrassing the girl overmuch. It would be rude to repeat what the girl said involuntarily as she slept. Without warning a wall of fabric pushed her to one side, forcing her to hang on to the doorframe for support. Tina half-ran, half-rolled down the hallway, pausing halfway to wave back at the astonished Miyabi. “Don’t worry, Kanrinin-san! Your secret is safe with me!”

Miyabi blinked at her, nonplussed. “My secret?”

Tina winked mischievously. “I won’t tell anyone else what you say in your sleep!”

Without another word she turned and ran, blankets trailing after her like some strange entourage, leaving Miyabi wondering what exactly had happened during the night.