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The Girl I Haven’t Met

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*

Rainwater drips off Tomie's bangs.

"I am sorry to disturb you…" she murmurs. "I think I need help. I have lost my chaperone… and the rain won't seem to stop…"

The young woman gawks at Tomie lingering at the mansion's front door. Tomie's dark, long hair in wet strings. Her eyes so forlorn. Beautiful. That dark grey uniform wrinkled, its hem tattered and ripped. One of her slip-on shoes missing.

"Oh, you poor dear! Come in!"

She's rushed in, feeling a hand gently on her shoulder.

"Do you have a telephone?" Tomie asks monotonously, eyeing the nearby wall. There's a large gold-framed portrait high above of the young and pretty woman beside her. She's got straight, black hair like Tomie—but paler eyes. Specks of gold and green in the translucent quality of brown.

Very pretty.

(But not as pretty as Tomie.)

"Forgive us. The storm knocked down the lines. We're hoping they're restored by morning." Her hand readjusts to Tomie's upper arm dutifully. "Do you need a place to stay? You can call your parents as soon as we have our services working."

"I shouldn't… you have already been so kind to me…"

"You'll freeze," she insists, frowning. "Please stay here. It's only me and my grandfather here. I'm sure he wouldn't mind."

"Kaiya!"

Tomie finds herself led out of the grand foyer and into a parlor-room. "Grandfather, we have a visitor," Kaiya announces, stepping behind Tomie and grasping both of her upper arms now. "She's lost. She'll be staying with us for the night."

The elder gentleman gazes up from his newspaper, looking from Kaiya and to her.

Even from the distance, Tomie can see the faintest burning of lust. Deep, deep in his eyes.

Violent. Possessive.

Inescapable to him and all of them whenever Tomie appears.

"I see," he observes.

The corners of Tomie's mouth smirk. What a pathetic louse.

"Pleasure to make your acquiescence," she says, bowing her head. Tomie's voice high, sweet. "My name is Kawakami Tomie."

"Are you hungry, Miss Tomie?"

*

A cook serves meal after meal under orders. Veal, greens, decadent and candied fruits. Gold-flecked ice cream. Kobe beef seared in a pan and heaped with earthy, raw truffle. King crab legs in oil and butter. Oysters, saffron-flavored creams, wine.

She sharply turns up her nose, not lifting a finger.

Dirty plates. Silver-plated utensils that do not sparkle or shine.

Horrendous.

Kaiya doesn't seem to mind, leading her again, up to the bedrooms and walk-in closets. Tomie gravitates to the fur shawls, discarding her uniform and pulling on the rack of fine, silk dresses and blouses. She tries on the feather-hats and bodices, draping herself in jewelry made of diamonds and black pearls and rubies as magnificently sized as Tomie's littlest finger.

"You look at home," Kaiya murmurs, stunned by Tomie's very presence. She blinks, recovering. "I mean—"

"I am," Tomie declares with a cheerful grin, whirling around. "So what's it like living with an old man?"

"Grandfather?" the other young woman asks. "He's very kind to me."

Her innocent bemusement clenches a muscle in Tomie's jaw. Desire—she witnessed the desire in his eyes, rising, hot and noxious.

If Kaiya's grandfather had his way, he wouldn't beg for Tomie. He would take. Take her upon the dinner-cloth, hitting Tomie until she gave in, staining the white cloth in Tomie's virginal blood and his filthy, unworthy seed erupting deep inside her. He would lock Tomie in the attic, using her roughly for his pleasure, hoping secretly to impregnate her and break her will. Mold her anew. He's desired a wife resembling a submissive child-bride.

But truthfully, he would take a blunt letter-opener to Tomie's neck. Within mere days of capturing her.

Tomie saw it all the moment his eyes fell upon her.

Hmmrph.

What a pathetic old louse.

"Men are all the same. No matter if they're young or old… rich or poor…" she whispers grimly, approaching the mattress-edge where Kaiya sits patiently.

"They kill."

Tomie strips off the Parisian-style dress, leaving herself in her underwear, watching as Kaiya grows worried.

"Allow them whatever they please, and they'll kill you too. Defy them, and they'll kill you."

"Miss Tomie—aah?!—"

Tomie snatches onto the other woman's face with splayed, pale fingers, wrenching her forward. "Ignore them, and they'll seek to kill you for it. It never ends," she says out quietly, their noses and foreheads pushed up together. "Never."

After a moment of fearful hush, she shoves Kaiya backwards, releasing her.

Tomie returns to the vanity mirror, preening, as if nothing occurred.

"I'm bored," she says, sighing. "Let's have some fun."

Kaiya's little, pretty features flush as Tomie kisses her, crawling over her, stroking her thumbs to Kaiya's jaw and ears. She peels off the neutral-colored stockings. One of Kaiya's hands flutters up, accidentally brushing over Tomie's pink, perfect nipple. It feels divine. Being wanted. Craved. Loved by another woman. She returns Kaiya's hand to her breast, kissing her harder.

The ornate hair-brooch tugs out of Tomie's drying hair. She comfortably straddles above the other woman, grinding their bare mounds, concentrating and pricking her forefinger. Blood drips like rainwater, spilling onto Kaiya's opening, swollen lips.

Tomie gleefully slips her finger in, in past teeth and tongue and the throat's opening, inducing Kaiya's gags.

Slowly, so slowly, she will consume her. Until there's nothing left of Kaiya but Tomie.

The old man will be locked up in the attic's cage, forgotten.

Mr. Takagi will help her experiments.

Life will resume.

*