We checked out the Tsukiji Fish Market in the morning, and we sampled some of the best sushi in the world there with an early lunch. We spent the entire afternoon at the famous Ueno Park and Zoo, enjoying people-watching and sightseeing.

Over the next few days, we visited every shrine, temple, museum, and worthwhile sight in the city. Clark or Blake would snap pictures of us in front of all of the famous landmarks. I thought we must have taken at least a thousand pictures within the first five days of the trip.

We shopped for hours in the huge discount mall set up around the Senso-ji Temple, and ate various forms of street food. I tried it all gamely, but I would sometimes catch James clenching his fists when he saw me trying something.

“What?” I asked with a laugh. He’d been scowling while I’d tried a bite of a fried octopus ball.

“If you get ill from eating that, I’m going to go wring that street vendor’s neck.”

I wasn’t surprised. The man was never able to completely rein in his protective streak.

James seduced me in the Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens one morning, in a small shrine, in a private little glade. I was sure that Clark or Blake must have been standing by to guard against intruders, because he took his time on me there, bits of the sun bathing us through the leafy trees guarding our little slice of paradise.

We devoted an entire Sunday to Harajuku Street and the Meiji Shrine, since they were vast, but within walking distance of each other.

I tried not to be rude, but I couldn’t help but watch as one of the intricate wedding processions moved through the Meiji Shrine.

James wrapped himself around my back. I watched for a long time, fascinated by the lovely spectacle of it. I glanced at James when we moved on. I’d been expecting him to make a few cracks about weddings, but he’d been unusually silent through it all.

“That was beautiful,” I told him.

He just nodded, pursing his lips and looking down at our joined hands.

Harajuku Street was everything I’d imagined and more. I stopped and watched every time one of the Harajuku girls passed by, sometimes in packs, dressed like lollis, and gothic lollis, and some in full-on cosplay. I always got excited when I recognized the anime that they were imitating. James found this adorable, telling me so with his most indulgent smile.

I found us some matching T-shirts in an anime-themed shop. They were mock versions of school uniforms from an anime I liked. One was black, one white. I held them up and was startled when James shrugged out of his own shirt. I was as good as ogling his smooth golden chest as he pulled the white anime shirt on. It was tight as a glove.

I used a dressing room to change into my black version of the same shirt. The shop girl was giving James very wide eyes as he paid, and I couldn’t blame her. He had just given her quite the show. James baring that much skin was a mouthwatering display, no matter the reason.

I thought it was so sweet that he was willing to indulge me by wearing the shirt for the rest of the day. The material was soft and thin, and I couldn’t seem to keep my hands off his chest in it as we walked the crowded street. He didn’t mind.

We spent an evening in Akihabara, the Electric City, even wandering into one of the famous maid cafés. There were cute Japanese girls that looked too young to be working serving us food, and kittens wandering the café, one even jumping onto our table to be petted. It was charming, but would have been more so if not for the older men that seemed to be there to ogle the way too young girls.

James was a big hit with the girls, of course. The maid that served us couldn’t even look at him without blushing, and several asked to take pictures with him before we left, though there was a sign in English clearly stating that it cost forty-seven hundred yen to get pictures with them.

By the time we departed the city for the Mount Fuji portion of the trip, I felt I had seen and done every imaginable tourist attraction we could come up with.

CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR

Mr. Forever

We took a train to Hakone to enjoy a day and night of hot springs before we climbed the majestic Mount Fuji. James had rented out an entire property for us to spend the day. It wasn’t a Cavendish property, but it was impressive nonetheless. It was so huge that I honestly couldn’t tell if it was supposed to be rented out as a hotel or a house.

The property boasted traditional Japanese structures, the back half of the property lining up with the lake and dotted with countless natural hot springs.

It was the most relaxing day we’d had since we’d gotten to Japan. We stayed in and made love for what felt like the entire day.

We weren’t in the house for thirty minutes before James had dragged me to the hot springs, stripping us both as we walked.

The hot water felt delicious, the weather near the mountain marked degrees colder than in Tokyo. He shadowed me as I moved into the water, gliding to the very edge of the pool to gaze at the spectacular view.

He made love to me there, pressing me hard against the side of the pool as I gazed at a perfect view of the mountain while he fucked me senseless.

We got a late start on the climb up Mount Fuji the next day. James reassured me that we didn’t need an early start if we were camping out, and that the views were even more beautiful in the summer’s afternoon sun. So we had another lovely soak in the springs and then a leisurely lunch before finally heading out.

“Summer is best for Mount Fuji,” James told me as we began our climb. “But we need to come back to Japan in the spring for the cherry blossoms.”

We hiked side by side up the pronounced stone trail. I carried only the tiniest hydration pack. James wouldn’t hear of me carrying anything else, but he and Clark had weighed themselves down heavily with camping supplies.

“Is there anything in the world that you haven’t seen?” I asked him. “I’d love to go someplace that’s actually new to you.”

He stopped to give me one of his most intense, heart-stopping looks. “Everything feels new, now that I have you. The world’s gone into color now, and I want to see it all again with you.”

We made good time up the mountain, since we were all in good shape, and the ones’ weighed down with heavy packs were in great shape. We stopped often to enjoy the views, but we made up for that by setting a brisk pace otherwise.

James handed me a lychee rice energy drink in a silver bag. It was a strange little on-the-run meal that we’d picked up a few times. It hardly fit in with his usual dieting standards, being mostly sugar and simple carbs, but he’d been pretty lax about that on vacation.

I drank the strange drink, which was basically a packet of calories on the go, and enjoyed the view.

I felt such a sense of wonder about where I was as I watched the great shadow of the mountain move across the land. The world felt so big here, and I so small, and I felt that was a good thing. So often in my life the world had felt too small, as though no matter where I went, all of my problems could still follow and devour me. I felt the opposite of that here—my problems becoming too small to even worry me.

I caught James watching me, a bemused look on his face.

I smiled at him. “I love it here,” I told him.

One corner of his pretty mouth hitched up wryly. “I hope so. It seems we’re spending the night. I must say I was surprised to find you were the camping type.”

I shrugged. “I’m not, really. I’ve only been a few times with friends, but it was easy enough, and the thought of doing it here was just too tempting.”

“When was the last time you went camping, then?”

I had to think about it. “Last summer, up at Mount Charleston, with our crew.”

A brow rose. “Anyone I know?”

I sighed. “Murphy and Damien, and some people you don’t know.”

His jaw clenched.

I gave him an exasperated look. “Really, James. You just need to get over being jealous of him.”

“I assume you didn’t share a sleeping bag?”

I rolled my eyes, the beginnings of anger stirring. “No. I shared a small tent with Stephan.”

He nodded. “I’m not jealous of him anymore. Or at least, I’m taking care of it.”

I studied him, baffled. “What on earth does that mean?”

He grinned, the tightness in his expression just disappearing. “I’ve decided to set him up. If he’s blissfully in love, perhaps he won’t think about you so much.”

That surprised a laugh out of me. “Are you really matchmaking again? You take the word controlling to a whole new level. Your control freak tendencies and that Cavendish charm are a dangerous combination to our friends’ love lives.”

He just shrugged. “I know he’s your friend, and I actually even like the guy, but just knowing the thoughts he must be having about you, considering the way that he feels, was driving me mad. To cope, I had to come up with a strategy on how to deal with him. Seeing him with Jessa was like a light switching on. He’s into her, more than I think he realizes, but he was just so hung up on you for so long that he was blind to it. Don’t get me wrong, I sympathize with that. Being unreasonably obsessed with you has become one of my favorite hobbies, but I’ll be damned if anyone else gets the honor.”

I thought about Damien and Jessa. “It’s a match that makes sense to me.”

“An old friend of mine is in need of a new flight crew for his private jet. I’ve recommended Murphy and Damien as his pilots, and Jessa as his flight attendant. It will put the two of them in close proximity often. All we can do is hope that will be enough.”

“That’s so sweet of you. I was just worrying about how Damien and Murphy might not get to work together anymore, and how sad that would be.”

He winked at me. It made my stomach do little flips. “I know you were. I have my eye out for jobs for your friends, since so many will be unemployed within the year.”

God, I love him, I thought, for the millionth time. “Thank you for that,” I told him.

He stroked my cheek. “I love your soft heart. I’ll make it my life’s mission to accommodate it.”

We continued to briskly climb the trail. Even stopping frequently to enjoy the incredible views, we made the climb in just over four hours.

We had a spectacular view of the sunset as we reached the crater at the top of the mountain.

“We couldn’t have timed it more perfectly,” I said, in awe of the view. It was unquestionably the most beautiful sunset I’d ever seen.

“Yes, I know,” he said succinctly.

I shot him a look. “You did time it?”

“Yes. I wanted today to be special. I wanted it to be perfect.”

I still studied the view as he spoke, but I felt him studying me. I shot him another quick glance. “What’s so special about today?” I asked, a serious note in his tone alerting me to his mood.

My heart stopped and then did one slow turn in my chest as he got down on one knee in front of me.

“I wanted you to have a perfect view of the world that I want to lay at your feet, my love,” he began. His eyes were clear and impossibly beautiful with what could only be a plea.

My eyes filled with tears as I saw what he was doing, and how painstaking of an effort he’d made for it to be perfect.


Tags: R.K. Lilley Up in the Air Erotic
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