|Orion Kazuo Korematsu|
That was six years ago. Since that time, I have changed my answers. Who am I? Orion Korematsu. What am I? A capo for the Ishiguro family. What place do I deserve in their lives? Her husband, his father. As it should have been, but I was too much of a broke-ass punk to realize that my presence, my support and my love would have more than compensated for my lack of financial stability. The day I walked out burned vividly in my mind. I’ll never forget it and I shouldn’t. What I did to them is unforgivable. Yet I want the chance to make it up to them. I’m certainly in a far better position to take care of them now. As caporegime for the Ishiguros, I have become a wealthy man; though I am not one to show it off. It's not wise for a man in my position. I'm the head of the southeast region of operations. The underboss, Seiichi Ishiguro, is very close to me, as I was fiercely loyal to the family, and have been from the day I started working for them. I owned a very nice apartment and two cars; my crews take care of our region and keep things moving. I could give them a good life, a better life. Not to mention that there was a hole in my heart that needs to be filled and I can’t go on until it is.
I always assumed that Phaedra would name our child Orion after me; she absolutely loved my name and what it represented. But I heard her call my son one day and then learned that she named him something else. She called him Quintaz, which was not the name we’d agreed on, but a nice name regardless. However, I wanted my son to have my name. Selfish, I know, considering what I did, but Orion Jr. is my son’s real name.
|Phaedra and Quintaz|
Every year, on May tenth, I send Quintaz a birthday gift. Something he can use, anything I think Phaedra might want for him. Anything that will help him in school. I also send her presents. She has always been partial to jewelry and pretty feminine things. When I send Quintaz’ present, I send hers as well. You see, I am still in love with her. Six years have passed and that has not changed at all. However, with my current job status, I’ve ended up with another girlfriend. Her name is Nysha, and she’s pretty. We’ve been together three years, and she’s great. Nysha is protective of me and somewhat jealous, although she has no need to be. But I don’t love her. I like her and I care to a certain extent, but as far as loving her goes, there will never be a chance of that. My heart has always belonged to Phaedra. Nysha doesn’t know I have a son; it’s really none of her business.
But thoughts of Phaedra and Quintaz are overwhelming me. I could do so much for them now. I could set Phaedra up in my penthouse and shower her with gifts. She wouldn’t have to work another day in her life. I’d give my son the world. I want the chance to do that, more than anything else. I want the chance to make up for abandoning them. Nysha wonders why I don’t want to make love to her. It’s because I want Phaedra. Nysha is attractive and sexy, just what a man like me needs on my arm. But I want Phaedra back. I still want her, and I’ve decided that I’ll have her. She’s mine.
|Watching Phaedra from the Jag|
Twice a week, Phaedra took my son to a local playground where he spent time running around with some other kids, and playing with her. I used to sit and watch them from the luxuriant confines of my Jaguar, with Sadao, my ever-present second. Sadao never questioned me about our regular visits to the playground, but I know that he was well aware of why we visited. I wasn’t the least bit clandestine in my observations of my son and his mother.
|Phaedra & Quintaz|
Just as of late, I started getting out of the car, leaving Sadao behind. I wasn’t worried about retaliation from rival crews or families; this area was known Ishiguro territory. I either stood by the perimeter fence or over by a large tree, watching the two of them from a distance. This particular day, I was early. It was cold and snowflakes swirled around and around. I stood by the fence, perfectly warm in a leather trench, gloves, and a backwards-turned Kangol. I didn’t have to wait long. I had this particular routine memorized. Soon, Phaedra walked up, with Quintaz in tow. She had him bundled up like an Eskimo, and he tried to run ahead of her. She gave chase and caught him, laughing. Then she dropped to one knee to adjust his coat and hat. I saw her smile at him and I closed my eyes. Phaedra looked fine as ever in a pair of black jeans, furlined boots, and a heavy hooded parka. She helped Quintaz get into the swing and started pushing him. I heard his laughter and I was lost for a moment; longing and desire washing over me. I wanted to be over there with Phaedra and my son. I had been an utter fool to leave them.
I snapped out of my thoughts. “Sadao?”
“Boss, why are we here?”
“Sadao,” I say, “I want to ask you something. What do you think of that woman and her little boy?”
He shrugged and took a long look. I knew Sadao knew that I was there because of Phaedra and Quintaz, but he didn’t know who they really were.
“Mmn. She’s hot. I’d fuck her.”
I knew he would say something of the sort. There was no shortage of jump-offs in Sadao’s life, but I didn’t like the idea of him even thinking that about Phaedra. “What about the kid?”
“Would you believe me if I told you that was my son?”
“That cute little boy, as you described, is my son.”
Sadao looked at me. “Boss, you got a kid?”
“Does that mean…?”
I looked at Sadao. “Yes.”
He looked at Phaedra again, who was bent over tying Quintaz’ shoe. “That’s your girl?”
Sadao looked at me. We were close. He had my back, as I had his. I knew what he was thinking, and also knew that he would say it aloud. “You downgraded, Orion.” He called me Orion whenever he was dead serious about something.
“You think so?”
Sadao eyed Phaedra. She was standing up, smoothing her hands over her jeans. He whistled. “Yep. Nysha isn’t anywhere near that sexy.”
“She would disagree. As would quite a few of the guys.” Nysha had no shortage of admirers in my crew, and I was certain of two things: 1. That none of them would step to her out of loyalty to me, and 2. She had no interest in dating lowly yakuza thugs. Nysha was a showstopper, a bombshell, arm candy, and she was too self-centered and too much of a diva to be with a man who couldn’t afford her. But Sadao understood things as I did; after the shiny and flash, the shallowness, and the surface perfection of my current lady, Phaedra was like water to parched earth. She was real in a way that Nysha didn’t know how to be, and I longed for that.
“That’s because they haven’t seen that one over there. Damn, Orion…how in the hell did you leave a woman that fine? Look at that ass. She’s wearing those jeans, don’t you think?” Sadao looked at me and grinned. “So she’s single?”
I eyed my friend. “You leave her alone, Sadao.”
The playful look in his eyes died out in a flash. He knew by the sound of my voice that I was completely serious.
A very long moment passed, where we watched her play with my son. Sadao said quietly, “What’s her name?”
“Boss, she’s beautiful. What’s his name?”
“His name is supposed to be Orion, but she calls him Quintaz.”
“Six years ago, I walked out on that beautiful little boy and that gorgeous woman. I’ll have to tell you why one day.”
“You’re an idiot, boss. She’s a knockout. I know you don’t think she’s still single after six years. She’s way too fine to be left alone. Some brother’s tapping that.” He eyed me.
I wasn’t idealistic enough to think that Phaedra had been pining away for me for the past six years. I wasn’t dumb enough to think that she hadn’t moved on. I wasn’t crazy enough to think that no man would want her. Please. Still, I couldn’t help but say, “She’s off limits, Sadao. I’m serious.”
“I know that, boss. But I’m not the one you need to worry about.”
I looked at my friend. “Oh really?” Sadao was a flirt, but I knew he wouldn’t do anything, not after this conversation. “If not you, then who would I have to be concerned about?”
Sadao inclined his chin. “Him.”
I turned to look back in Phaedra’s direction and was quite surprised to see her liplocked with some guy. I’d never seen him here with her before.
“What the hell?”
The man then picked up my son and gave him a hug. Quintaz hugged him back and started gibbering in excitement. Then the guy put him down and grabbed Phaedra’s hand. They walked out of the park.
Sadao whistled. “I told you that she was too fine to be single, boss.”
I stared, feeling like a dumbass. Who was that bastard? “Motherfuck…”
Sadao looked over at the receding trio. “How do you want to handle this, Orion? Does it require handling?”
That wouldn’t be the best way of going about trying to get Phaedra back. I didn’t discount the possibility entirely, as I did not know the man, and if he got in my way, it could become an issue.
“Not at the moment, Sadao.”
“So what are you going to do?”
I adjusted my coat and gloves. “I’m going to rectify the mistake I made. Phaedra’s mine, and I’m not about to sit back and let another man raise my son. Find out who he is and where she lives.”
Sadao nodded. “It’s as good as done.”
|Pensive, seductive Orion|