Bloom

Hello,

here's some news for those who are still waiting for Bloom to be posted. It's finally happening. A miracle. I am starting to post it on:

http://archiveofourown.org

It's under my usual penname. I don't think I'll be posting Bloom on other sites yet.

 And I still haven't watched season 3 of Kyou Kara Maou! At this point, I don't think i ever will either.

As usual, all comments and support are appreciated. It's been many years since I started Bloom. The interest in KKM has probably lessened quite a lot, but I'm always late to all fandoms, so this is nothing new XD

Enjoy.

How many years, again?

I think it's about time I gave an update on what's happening with my fanfiction. I'll be pretty amazed if anyone still follows me here after all these years, haha Nonetheless, I felt some of you do want to know what's going on with me.

Everything's alright, even though by the time I finish some of my stories, you'll have long forgotten them. No, I'm not procrastinating while playing games. Not this time, at least. I'm, slow because currently I'm working on three fanfics: Bleach, KKM, and DBZ. I've restarted my work on Barracks, but somehow backwards. What I mean is that I'm writing the end of the story while a huge chunk in the middle is missing. I do this often, though, so not to worry.

A similar situation is going on with the KKM fanfic. It's nearly finished and will probably be about 35-40 chapters when I finally get down to copying it all from my notebook into Word and write the needed fillers between the main scenes. Only gods know when that will happen.

Bleach has quite a bright future because there aren't many things left to write (it was supposed to be finished by this time, though), yet it is over 10 chapters already as well. I hate my inability to keep it short. It jsut grows out proportions.

And that's all. Hopefully, will see you during the updates ^_^

Barracks

Hello everyone,

long time no see. I finally decided it is about time to give you some insight into my plans. So I finally quit that internet game and can return to my writing. So first about Barracks. I finished chapter 50 a few days ago and sent it to my beta. As soon as she returns it, I'll post it as per usual. I do plan to finish this story someday... It's been so many years already...

Concerning that unfinished KKM fanfic. It hasn't moved an inch. Well, since I haven't started posting it anywhere yet, I don't really feel responsible for it, haha So it will move when it will move. My priority is Barracks now.

Well, I think that's all. If you have any more question, feel free to ask. I do hope you'll like chapter 50 ^_^

Business in March

Hi, just wanted to drop a quick note to inform everyone wishing about what's going on with my writing. First, I'm still keenly working on Barracks and now nearing the end of chapter 44. The updates are a bit slow since my beta is busy with her work, but it also gives me more time to work on the further chapters without feeling pressured about updating.

Another thing. If you felt that Barracks was lacking in sex department, I believe that the chapters I'm currently working on will redeem that, haha Seriously, I have never written so much sex with such short pauses :D

Thanks for your support and have a nice day! :)

ACTA

Originally posted by kangawu at post
Originally posted by cantarina1 at post
Originally posted by electricdruid at The fiasco continues

ACTA in a Nutshell –

What is ACTA?  ACTA is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. A new intellectual property enforcement treaty being negotiated by the United States, the European Community, Switzerland, and Japan, with Australia, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Mexico, Jordan, Morocco, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Canada recently announcing that they will join in as well.

Why should you care about ACTA? Initial reports indicate that the treaty will have a very broad scope and will involve new tools targeting “Internet distribution and information technology.”

What is the goal of ACTA? Reportedly the goal is to create new legal standards of intellectual property enforcement, as well as increased international cooperation, an example of which would be an increase in information sharing between signatory countries’ law enforcement agencies.

Essential ACTA Resources

  • Read more about ACTA here: ACTA Fact Sheet
  • Read the authentic version of the ACTA text as of 15 April 2011, as finalized by participating countries here: ACTA Finalized Text
  • Follow the history of the treaty’s formation here: ACTA history
  • Read letters from U.S. Senator Ron Wyden wherein he challenges the constitutionality of ACTA: Letter 1 | Letter 2 | Read the Administration’s Response to Wyden’s First Letter here: Response
  • Watch a short informative video on ACTA: ACTA Video
  • Watch a lulzy video on ACTA: Lulzy Video

Say NO to ACTA. It is essential to spread awareness and get the word out on ACTA.

Via Tumblr




November Prattle

Hello to everyone who still had some hope that I would ever post an entry. Rejoice.

There's nothing interesting going on with my writing except that now I don't feel like  taking a break from Barracks at all, which is a good thing, I suppose. Not a very good thing is that I don't work on that new KKM fic (or should I say old, already?, hehe). For now, Barracks has been taking all of my concentration.

There was one thing I wanted to share with everyone. I was reading a manga yesterday - namely, Renai no Kamisama ni Ie (which is written by one of my favorite authors and which is fun and seems to be shaping up nicely), when I came across an expression I've never seen before (keeping in mind that I'm not a native speaker, it's an almost daily occurrence,  haha): "going commando". I am pretty sure that all native speakers know it, so it's rather people like me I'm talking to. So anyway, this character talks to another (one of them fell into a pool and the other brought him to his house) and says: "Unless you've gone commando..." And I was "HUH? Commando where? Commando what?" And I check Wikipedia (oh, praise Wikipedia!) and it appears that he is wondering whether the other one is wearing undies underneath. Certainly, there is the whole origin explained and stuff, so I won't repeat it here. Well, so this was what I wanted to share with you, hehe Now you can expect this expression to show up in my fics :D Oh, and now you've gotten a pretty clear impression of what kind of manga I read, haha

May

Hi,
it was long ago I posted here. Well, it's because I don't really have anything to announce. Writing about my daily routine...who the heck cares about that?

So anyway, what concerns Barracks, in my answers to your comments, I mentioned that I may take a long hiatus after chapter 30. It may and probably will happen but not after chapter 30 but after some chapter 33 or so. I am still pretty interested in that fic.

Now, if we talk about "Bloom" (the KKM fic in the making), there are 17 chapters of it but with my jumping between these two fics and whatnot, I decided not to take chances and post it only after it's done or nearly done. Just to be safe. Ah, I also need a new beta. HARPG0 was kind to beta-read 14 chapters of it but the next three are still not beta-read. So if you want to read those 17 chapters, you can volunteer. I will warn that, as usual, I'm looking for an adult native speaker good at grammar.  Oh, there's one more thing about "Bloom" - it is heavy with an OC, so keep that in mind.

Otherwise, I can't wait for lessons to end. Seriously, give me, oh mighty gods, summer.

Bloom

Okay, I got a comment where I was asked when I would post Bloom (the new KKM fic), so I thought I would give an update on that story. I have 13 chapters of it. Currently (right, at this exact moment) I am working on the 14th. It is not exactly what I have expected it to be, not I think what fans of my trilogy expect it to be. Unexpectedly, Bloom has taken its own course and I am helpless to stop it, and it's not that I really want to stop it. Bloom, however, is a very melancholic piece. I decided to give a little demo version so that you know what to expect and maybe not waste your time by waiting for something you don't want to read in the first place. I don't know when I will post the whole thing. Hopefully, this year. Comments are welcome whether you liked the short preview or not.

by chayron (lttomb@yahoo.com), beta-read by HARPG0

 Part 1

 Wolfram was sitting on a patch of freshly mown grass along the fence which separated the stables from the training yard. He was watching his soldiers honing their skills. Behind him, on the other side of the fence, men were gentling their horses. Wolfram could hear shod hooves hitting the ground, clinking against occasional stones on their way.

 The blond had already done his share of training and now was having a break. He was also waiting for his king to finish his duties and come down into the yard for a ride on his new horse. The tame mare had been chosen by Conrad, who knew that Yuuri was not very skilled in horseback riding. Even so, the horse and the rider had to get used to each other and form a bond of mutual trust.

 The prince leaned backwards intending to lie down on the grass. But, then, he frowned and returned into a sitting position. He rolled his left shoulder. Then, he massaged it with his fingers. He had sprained it while sparring with one of his bodyguards a few days ago. It was nothing serious and Gisela had prescribed him a jar of ointment that had a tart smell. He had rubbed it into the skin a few times and it seemed to be working, but, occasionally, the dull aches still reoccurred.

 Trying to do so without aggravating his shoulder, the prince lay down. Inhaling the pleasant scent of the freshly mown grass, he looked at the sky. There was no sun. Despite this, the heat was sweltering. The sky was dotted with blotches of dark clouds which didn’t move in the absence of wind. The swallows, nesting under the roofs of the stables, were also flying low. All signs showed rain; he wished Yuuri would hurry up.

 Wolfram was awakened from his doze by someone’s excited voice. A little surprised that he had fallen asleep, the prince stood up. Dusting the grass and ants off his trousers, he looked over the fence. The king was on his black mare already. Conrad was following him closely on his own. Gunter was catching up with the two, and Wolfram believed it had been his voice that had woken him up; he was shouting for Yuuri to wait for him.

 

The blond rolled his eyes. He started walking along the fence towards the gate leading out of the training yard and to the castle. Behind him, he could hear the horses galloping in a circle and the king’s voice. He had planned to join Yuuri, but now decided that he was too sleepy for that. Besides, with Gunter present, Yuuri’s attention was also going to be divided, Gunter’s colorful personality capturing most of it.

 The prince was halfway up to the yard when he heard a horse galloping in his direction. He turned around to see Yuuri catching up with him. Conrad and Gunter were a few meters behind the king.

 “Hi, Wolfram,” Yuuri greeted, his right hand letting go of the reins to give him a wave.

 Wolfram nodded. “How was your day?”

 Yuuri shrugged. “The usual…too much paperwork and not enough time.”

 “Not enough experience would be closer to the truth,” Wolfram muttered.

 Yuuri let out an agreeing sigh. Despite the fact that he had gotten much better at reading and writing, there were still a huge number of cases where he lacked even the most basic insights into the Demons’ culture, and he always double checked if he was not certain of something. He still required constant help from either Gwendal or Gunter regarding even minor matters.

 

As the blond continued walking towards the castle, the king urged his horse and sided next to Wolfram. They were passing men who were sparring and most of whom now were trying to show off their skill before their king. Gunter and Conrad fell behind, giving some privacy for the engaged couple to converse.

 “What about you? I thought you’d join me for a ride?” Yuuri asked.

 “Somehow, I don’t feel like it,” Wolfram said, giving a small yawn. “Feel sleepy. Besides, I went for a ride earlier.”

 “What? Without waiting for me?”

 “Yuuri, it’s going to rain – I didn’t want to leave Kerda without any exercise today.”

 The king upturned his head to stare at the sky. “Right.” He lowered his head once more. Then, he leaned down and patted his horse on the neck. “Conrad picked a good horse. We seem to understand each other perfectly.”

 Wolfram turned his head to look at the black mare. “What is her name?”

 “Ernesta.”

 “I see,” Wolfram said. The name sounded weird to his ears, as did all the foreign words Yuuri used. “Yuuri, you should turn around. I don’t think the soldiers will be very happy about your horse fertilizing their training yard.”

 Instinctively, Yuuri looked behind him, expecting to find a steaming pile but there was none. “Ah. Right,” he said, turning his horse around. “See you at dinner, then.”

 Wolfram nodded. He reached the door and headed for his room to get spare clothes. After which, he went to the royal baths. He had already washed his hair and the sweat off his body and was resting in the pool when he heard someone enter the baths. From where he was leaning against the edge, he raised his head to see the king walking towards him. Yuuri gave him a short smile then started undressing. Wolfram averted his eyes when Yuuri gave him an awkward look.

 Wolfram reclined his head to stare at the dome above. There wasn’t much to look at: there were no frescos as it was always damp and warm in the baths and the paint wouldn’t hold. As it was now, all he could look at was scaled scrollwork. The impressive windows of stained glass were on Yuuri’s side. But, even if he could look at them, today there was no sunshine to fall through.

 Wolfram heard the king ease himself into the bath. He watched Yuuri open a small cabinet next to the pool and take a bottle of shampoo. Yuuri was still sensitive about other people’s touch and Wolfram didn’t offer to do it for him.

 When Yuuri started washing his hair, Wolfram climbed out of the bath. He dried himself and, as it was evening already and he was feeling hot, dressed into a shirt and trousers, allowing himself to leave the jacket off. He left the dirty clothes in the basket next to the entrance and, without noticing Yuuri’s thoughtful gaze on his back, exited the baths. There were still twenty minutes left until dinner and headed upstairs back into his room.

 He found the book he had started reading two days ago. The title was The Art of War and Yuuri had given him a somewhat upset look when he first saw him holding it. Yuuri was a pacifist to the core. Meanwhile, Wolfram was not that certain that Yuuri’s good fortune would last for much longer and knew that the time might come when the peaceful demonstration of the Demon King’s power wouldn’t be enough. Sometimes, war was needed to keep the peace.

 Wolfram found the king naïve. But, at the same time, he admired his innocence. He knew that deep down Yuuri realized that but he also believed that Yuuri would do anything to avoid bloodshed. The thing that was worrying Wolfram, though, was that he was not certain how far Yuuri would go in his effort to defend his viewpoint. He didn’t want to get up one morning and find that an army had invaded and usurped Shin Makoku because Yuuri had lacked decision and resolution.

 Wolfram closed the book and put it aside on the table. He had turned the page but realized that his eyes had been the only ones taking part in the reading process – his brain had abstained and he could not remember a thing he had read. Recently, he could not concentrate on anything, feeling restless. The reason was Yuuri’s upcoming birthday. It was going to be a huge banquet with people coming in throngs. But that was not the only reason for his restlessness. He was excited, excited to the point he felt giddy with anticipation and nervousness.

 For Demons, it was the age of sixteen when they were admitted into adulthood. For Humans, the number was eighteen. This was what Conrad had told him. He was certain that Yuuri was going to announce the date of their wedding during the banquet. He had been waiting for this moment forever, it seemed.

 Wolfram submerged into his thoughts then resurfaced from them at the sound of the dinner bell. He left the room and climbed downstairs, meeting Gwendal on his way. They exchanged a few phrases summing up their boring workday. Then, together with others, they filed into the dining room.

  The dinner passed in an excited hubbub created mostly by Gunter and Cecilie. Gunter had been talking excitedly about the preparations involved for the birthday celebration. Gunter liked banquets. He loved hustling and bustling halls. Wolfram knew that it was more than Gunter enjoying a relaxing evening. It was because every banquet had inexhaustible opportunities to make useful social contacts and to consolidate the existing ones. Gunter was a politician to his bones.

 After dinner, Wolfram left the table and went to the balcony to sit down on a bench there. The balcony had been open while they had been dining but it did almost nothing to refresh the sweltering heat. There was not a sign of wind. The black clouds were suspended above in silence.

 Wolfram watched the hushed and empty garden; the birds and animals had hidden themselves from the oncoming storm. He turned his head to look at Yuuri who joined him on the bench a few minutes later.

 “Seems like it’s going to be stormy tonight, isn’t it?” Yuuri said conversationally.

 Wolfram nodded. Yuuri was content after the generous dinner. He stretched out onto the bench, reclining his head and exhaled blissfully. Wolfram chuckled softly at the immodest display.

 “Your manners are outrageous.”

 Yuuri gave him a grin. “Oh, allow me a breather from being all kingly and mighty.”

 “Mmm…” hummed Wolfram, “and which part of you, exactly, is kingly and mighty?”

 “I’d say my horse.”

 Wolfram chuckled again. He turned away from Yuuri and, following his fiancé’s example, also reclined his head and relaxed. A small drop of rain wetted his cheek and he enjoyed the freshness it offered. He liked these moments with Yuuri when they could put all their problems behind them. They were even more precious as Yuuri was frequently absent for long periods of time. For Yuuri, those were mere days or weeks. Here, though, they turned into months.

 He could understand Yuuri and knew that it was hard and demanding to meet requirements of two absolutely different worlds. The thing was that at the same time he thought that Yuuri had his priorities mixed up. He was the Demon King and this was his kingdom and this was his place. For all Wolfram cared, the Earth could explode.

 Sometimes he wished it did.

 Wolfram turned his head to look at Yuuri. The king’s eyes were closed. He was blissfully enjoying the calm evening. He always liked looking at how contrasting Yuuri’s long dark eyelashes seemed against his skin. Yuuri’s dark eyes, hair, eyebrows and eyelashes had always seemed exotic to him, even after he had gotten used to his fiancé’s looks. He found Yuuri very attractive and maybe that was one of the main reasons why five years ago the idea of being Yuuri’s fiancé didn’t upset him, even grew on him like his second skin.

 If it had mostly been Yuuri’s looks at first, later it had been more about… Wolfram wasn’t certain what exactly it had been about, but its final result had been love. He had fallen for Yuuri, and hard. Yuuri was the first one he had fallen in love with. It hadn’t been a flash of lightning or anything, and, as he hadn’t been experienced in the matters of romance, the realization had come gradually.

 He still wasn’t experienced when it came to the matters of romance. He wanted to be, wanted very much.

 Yuuri’s eyes snapped open and he jerked away from Wolfram as if someone had scalded him with burning oil. Wolfram tried to kiss him again and, this time, Yuuri pushed at the blond’s chest violently, moving away from him. Yuuri yelped as he suddenly slid off the bench. The painful howl that followed Yuuri’s fall made Wolfram’s blood stop in his veins.

 Wolfram’s outstretched hand hovered in the air for a few moments while he was staring down at Yuuri. As if in a dream, the blond’s eyes focused on his still outstretched arm which had failed to catch Yuuri. Then his attention returned to Yuuri who was writhing in pain on the floor and holding his left arm. It was bent in a very unnatural shape.

 Wolfram shook himself off the trance and sprang to Yuuri. “Gisela, call Gisela!” he yelled towards the dining room. “Yuuri has broken his arm!” He held his hands over Yuuri but didn’t touch him and, at the same time, Yuuri raised his eyes to give Wolfram an accusing look.

 In fact, Wolfram couldn’t help Yuuri. Gisela was going to come and do what needed to be done. He had seen his share of broken bones but his skill came to nothing when compared to a professional’s. It was best to just wait for the doctor to come.

 Gisela rushed into the dining room a few minutes later. She passed the formed crowd of onlookers, set her bag with instruments down, and leaned over Yuuri. She cut Yuuri’s sleeve off with scissors to reveal the place of fracture. After a few prods and a dozen of painful shrieks from Yuuri, he had his arm in a sling in ten minutes. He was given a cup of bitter medicine and escorted to his bedroom where he soon fell asleep.

 Wolfram returned to his room. He was still shaking when he sat down on his bed. He was in shock. He could still see his desperately outstretched hand and Yuuri’s accusing look. Accusing, angry with him for trying to… The thought of them kissing was so repulsive to Yuuri that he had fallen off the bench.

 The realization had come to Wolfram on the balcony. But now the full extent of it hit him like a rock between the eyes. The pain in his stomach was sharp and pulsing and he felt faint.

 He had noticed, of course, had noticed long ago. Only that he had chosen to justify, ignore or pretend not to notice those peculiar things Yuuri had been doing for five years. He had put them down to Yuuri’s ignorance of Shin Makoku customs, his extreme shyness, their different characters or interests. To anything but the expression of Yuuri’s true feelings. He had known that this chasing after Yuuri had turned into a humiliating addiction. But despite knowing this, he could not stop himself.

 Wolfram used to get everything he wanted. He loved Yuuri. There had not even been a thought about Yuuri not loving him back. It was unthinkable, inconceivable and…very painful. Yuuri was a challenge and he had also believed that Yuuri just needed a push and he would realize he liked him. There was no way Yuuri wouldn’t. And during all these five years, he had given his all to make him realize they were meant for each other. He had nearly pushed Yuuri off both the literal and proverbial cliff. This time, it was a bench. Next time, gods only knew.

 About half a year ago, Yuuri had also started locking his chambers before going to sleep. He didn’t allow any touch nor touched himself. Yuuri also felt awkward after catching Wolfram’s dreamy gaze. Not that he did that frequently – he instinctively knew and tried to avoid causing this kind of reaction. Delusion tasted much sweeter than rejection.

 He should have let go long ago but his entire essence protested against the very thought. He loved Yuuri, had created thousands of future plans in his head for them both together. He had been deluding himself, though. How low would he have sunk further if not for this evening?

 It was enough, simply enough.

 The decision made it all somehow better even though he was overwhelmed by a wave of self-pity. He swallowed a lump in his throat. He left the bed and, staggering like a drunk, went for his wardrobe. He clumsily peeled his shirt off then pulled his trousers off and found his nightshirt. He climbed back into the bed and fell into a restless slumber.

 In the morning, Wolfram rolled out of the bed at the usual time but without any enthusiasm. He washed his face in the bowl and then dried it. Looking in the mirror, he groaned after seeing his ghastly face. He tried to fix this with cream and a sprinkle of powder but the result was so terrifying that, in the end, he washed it all off. He dressed in his uniform and combed his rebellious hair. Deciding that he looked awful but just right for a man who was going to call off his engagement, Wolfram left his room.

 The blond started every morning with exercising with his men or riding Kerda. Today, though, he had no heart for this. He was so nervous that all he could do was keep himself from running around the castle in search of Gwendal. He doubted he would be able to concentrate on anything. He wanted to be done with this as soon as possible.

 Wolfram had hardly slept all night, thinking. And when he did sleep, his dreams were interrupted by various images, coiling in his psyche and permeating him to the core. Through all this, he could hear thunder rumbling, flashes of light reached him even through closed eyelids, and he could feel the bed vibrating. Before dawn came, though, he had already steeled himself to do the unthinkable – to terminate the engagement.

 Walking past a window, the prince noticed that there had been not a sign left of the violent storm at night. The thirsty ground had greedily drunk the offering. The small puddles which were still left were already evaporating into the morning air. This was going to be another day of boiling hot weather.

 First, Wolfram wanted to consult Gwendal. When it involved the king of the country, it was not only his concern but the entire country’s as well. In fact, he didn’t want to discuss the matter with his elder brother but right now, Gwendal was the only one he could seek help from.

 Gwendal was an early bird and Wolfram found him outside, next to the stables. At first, the general paid him no attention as coming to the stables belonged to Wolfram’s morning routine. Then, after looking at his face more intently, he climbed off his horse; this was serious.

 “What is it?”

 “Good morning,” Wolfram nodded, somewhat amused and warmed up by the concern in his brother’s voice. Trust Gwendal to know from one glance that he was in trouble. “I would like to talk to you.”

 “Alright. Let’s go to my study.”

 “Oh, we can talk after you’re done here,” Wolfram said, motioning with his hand at Gwendal’s horse.

 Gwendal raised his eyebrows at him, wordlessly asking him why he had come here, then.

 Wolfram was somewhat ashamed. “Well, yes. I simply can’t think about anything else.”

 Gwendal threw the reins to one of the soldiers and, silently, both he and Wolfram turned back to the castle. Once in Gwendal’s study, the general motioned for his brother to sit down. Gwendal himself moved into his usual place behind his desk. He pulled his chair closer to the desk, leaned back into it, put his arms onto the desk, crossed his fingers and raised his eyebrows encouraging Wolfram to speak.

 “I’m thinking about annulling my and Yuuri’s engagement.”

 Gwendal’s eyebrows reached unimaginable heights. “You are?” he finally managed.

 Wolfram nodded. He found Gwendal’s reaction funny. Everything seemed so…unreal. He felt somehow detached. He had reached the decision last night, burned it into his brain, and now he was just following it blindly.

 “What resulted in this sudden decision?”

 Wolfram shifted in his seat uneasily. “I’d rather not talk about it.”

 Gwendal gave him an inquiring look but didn’t pressure. “Are you really certain?” he asked.

 “Yes, I am absolutely certain,” Wolfram confirmed.

 Gwendal nodded. “You’re doing the right thing.” He gave a surprised Wolfram a serious look. “I just regret you didn’t do this earlier.”

 Wolfram found himself wanting to ask why but then closed his mouth. He knew why. He guessed that any bystander could see that his and Yuuri’s relationship didn’t work. There was nothing potential between them. He could presume that Gwendal had been painfully aware of everything which had been happening during these endless five years.

 “Have you discussed this with His Majesty?”

 “No, not yet. First, I wanted to consult you and know your opinion on this matter.”

 “You have my full support,” Gwendal said nodding. “I see why you’re concerned – there are less than two weeks left until the King’s birthday. Nonetheless, if handled properly, there won’t be much commotion either way. So will you wait or do it now?”

 “Why should I wait? This will be a perfect birthday present for Yuuri.”

 “Save your sarcasm for some other time. So how about it?”

 “I want to do it as fast as possible. Today sounds perfect.” Wolfram could see that Gwendal wanted to ask him if he wasn’t being too rash but then his brother swallowed the question and nodded. Wolfram lowered his eyes to the surface of the desk. “This farce has been going on for too long already.” Both of them understood that the sooner it was done, the less painful it would be and he could start recovering faster.

 “Alright, I’ll ready the documents,” said Gwendal. “You go and talk to His Majesty. After he has had his breakfast, preferably.”

 “I don’t think it’s necessary. He will know and understand at once why after seeing the document.”

 “Wolfram, I know that you’re upset and hurting, but common sense demands you talk to him first. You will regret it later if you don’t talk to him first,” Gwendal added.

 Wolfram gave him an unhappy look. “Alright,” he said, leaving his chair. He knew he was behaving cowardly, but he was apprehensive of his reaction after seeing Yuuri. It was easier to do this when the person involved was not in front of him.

 It was quiet at the breakfast table. At first, Yuuri had to assure everyone that his arm was not hurting and that Gisela said it was going to heal nicely. After that, the conversations dried up. Tentatively, Gunter tried to regain some of yesterday’s good mood, but the air was filled with impending inevitability. Wolfram noticed that Yuuri was avoiding meeting his eyes and when they accidentally did, he would lower his head guiltily. In turn, this made Wolfram feel guilty as well. Yuuri knew he had hurt his feelings. But it had been him who had been demanding Yuuri’s attention even if Yuuri never seemed interested. Yuuri didn’t pretend that there could ever be anything between them. The only thing he could accuse Yuuri of was the lack of sternness. Yuuri should have just annulled their engagement instead of allowing him to live in that vain hope.

 When breakfast was over, Yuuri went to his study to fight the hordes of paperwork. Wolfram gave him a few minutes to settle in his workplace then knocked on the door.

 “Wolfram,” Yuuri said a little surprised when he saw Wolfram enter his study.

 “We need to talk,” Wolfram said, walking over to the chair in front of Yuuri’s desk. He motioned at the chair. “May I?”

 “Oh yes, of course. Why so formal?” Yuuri wondered, forcing out a laugh. He patted the stack of papers on his desk with his right hand. “It would have been perfect if you had aimed for my right arm. No paperwork for me, then,” he tried to joke guessing that Wolfram had come to apologize. He quieted uneasily as the prince frowned at him.

 “I didn’t aim for your arms at all,” Wolfram muttered, looking at Yuuri’s black uniform. “What I had been aiming at was your heart, Yuuri.” He raised his head to meet Yuuri’s eyes. As usual, Yuuri avoided the statement by looking anywhere but him. This time, his gaze went out of the window to stare at the Royal Gardens.

 Once again, Wolfram swallowed a lump that had formed in his throat. “Don’t worry, I realized that it’s impossible. I want us to annul our engagement.” Now he had Yuuri’s full attention. No matter how painful it was, after seeing Yuuri’s reaction, Wolfram knew that he had done the right thing. Yuuri’s face showed everything: he was shocked, disbelieving, unsure, uneasy but, mostly, he seemed to be relieved.

 “You sure?” he asked after a long pause.

 “And you are asking me this after what happened yesterday?”

 Wolfram’s voice was hoarse and Yuuri sagged in his chair, his shoulders slumping guiltily. “I…” he trailed off not knowing what to say. “Mm… I…”

 Wolfram took pity on him. He stood up. “I see that you agree with the annulment. Gwendal is preparing the documents for you to sign. They should be ready by noon.” He started walking towards the door, indicating that the conversation was over.

 Yuuri watched the blond’s back. “Wolfram…”

 The prince raised his hand cutting Yuuri off. He shook his head. “Don’t. There’s nothing to say.”

 All Yuuri could see was the back of the blond’s head but he winced at the way Wolfram’s voice sounded. This was what he had been trying to avoid all this time. He didn’t want to see Wolfram suffer like this. He had wanted… Gods, he just wanted to be friends with Wolfram.

 “I’m sorry,” Yuuri muttered just before the prince closed the door.

 Once Wolfram left, Yuuri slumped over his desk, his forehead thumping against it. He wasn’t sorry because of the annulment. This should have been done earlier. He was sorry he had disappointed Wolfram so much. He was the one who never disappointed anyone, the one who always tried to justify everyone’s trust in him. Wolfram was someone he loved, respected, and trusted with his own life but he couldn’t give Wolfram the one thing he truly wanted. He could give it to any average girl, but not to Wolfram.

 Sometimes, he even wished he could.

 He was sorry about the pain he was causing Wolfram. He was also afraid that this was going to affect their relationship irreparably. He knew it was going to. There was no way it wouldn’t.

 Groaning, Yuuri rubbed his face with his hands and then did what he believed a man shouldn’t do – he cried.

 Tbc