part 1 available HERE
* * *
He pulled away, kissing Ryuhei on the cheek. “We’re only a few minutes away from Paris now,” Kiyoshi said. “I checked with the conductor.”
Ryuhei’s shoulders drooped. “How many minutes?”
“Fine,” Ryuhei sighed. He lowered his voice to a sensual whisper. “Only because there’s a nice, soft bed waiting for us there. While I make love to you naked between satin sheets, I’ll whisper dirty, dirty words to you in French.”
Kiyoshi rolled his eyes and bit down on his lower lip to hide his smile. Ryuhei caught his expression despite the faint glow of the compartment’s lantern swinging overhead.
“Ha, I knew it!” he accused. “You’re teasing me.” His closed his eyes and slumped back against the seat, distraught. “My French is terrible, isn’t it? All those damned ‘L’s…”
“Your French is wonderful,” Kiyoshi laughed again. “You are terrible.”
Outside, more and more people were bustling around in the aisle. The train started to slow down and Ryuhei pressed up to the window. “Paris! This is going to be a wonderful stay. There’s so much art in this city, so many things to do. We could stay here for years, I think, and never see it all.”
Drinking in his lover’s enthusiasm and the energy radiating from his body, Kiyoshi leaned across the seat and wrapped his arms around Ryuhei’s waist. “We can stay however long you like,” he said.
Ryuhei looked away from the window and touched the sides of Kiyoshi’s face. “Thank you, kimi,” he smiled.
Kiyoshi dipped in for another kiss, this one long and passionate. “Let’s find our hotel.”
“Right away,” Ryuhei nodded.
They gathered their things and joined the other travelers as they spilled out into the Gare Montparnasse train station. In spite of the early morning hour, dozens of people crowded the building with their luggage cases while workers milled about the depot. Posters for local cabarets and shops and boutiques covered the walls, scattered newsprints and other bits of rubbish gathered in corners after having been trampled underfoot by the daily traffic.
“This way,” Ryu tugged on Kiyoshi’s shirt sleeve and headed towards an open archway that lead out to the street below. He slipped through the crowd with graceful ease, not once brushing against a mortal as he cleared the distance. It was strange then that he bumped into a woman just as he reached the edge of the platform.
“Excuse me,” he said, startled.
The woman turned around and bowed apologetically. “I’m so sorry,” she said quietly, her hands pressed across the front of her kimono.
“Oh, you’re Japanese,” Ryuhei blinked in surprise.
“I just arrived on the train and I’m afraid I’m lost,” the young woman furrowed her brow, her small, plum-colored lips turned into a pout. Tears formed in her eyes, two shimmering orbs of viridian the same color as the flower print on her haori. “Will you help me?”
The girl was quite lovely, and the pleading look she gave him tugged at Ryuhei’s heart…among other things. He gave her a reassuring smile and returned her bow. “Of course,” Ryu said, straightening and reaching out to tilt her chin up. “How could we leave a young thing like you to wander alone in this city?”
“Thank you,” her face brightened as Ryuhei gently wiped away her tears.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
“Kaomi,” the young woman took his hand rather boldly and pulled him forward. “Help me find my way home.”
“We’re missing my companion,” Ryu stopped and the girl let go of his hand. He glanced over his shoulder as Kiyoshi finally caught up with them.
“Kiyo-kun, we have to help this poor girl,” he started to explain.
“Where did she go?” Kiyoshi frowned.
Ryuhei turned, the spot where the girl had been only a second before now empty. “That’s odd,” he leaned out of the archway and stared down the steps leading to the Avenue du Maine. The girl had vanished.
to be continued...