Chapter 3

Chapter 3 The Sohma Secret
***Naomi’s POV***
I coughed and stuttered through the smoke as it slowly cleared. I could make out a figure, Tohru, sitting next to a cat and a pile of…clothes?
“Tohru, are you alright?” I asked as I got to my feet and dusted myself off. “Where’s Kyo? Why is a cat sitting in his clothes?”
Even in the dark of night, I could see Tohru’s already pale face turn white. I just had to put two and two together to get the answer that was right in front of me.
“Don’t tell me that’s Kyo,” I said, raising any eyebrow and pointing at Kyo like I was a toddler.
Tohru nodded silently, refusing to look me in the eye out of fear of what I‘d do or because she was embarrassed I didn‘t know.
I picked him up for a better look. He looked like a normal, everyday alley cat. Nothing out of the ordinary, except of course it was Kyo.
“Kyo?” I shook him, hoping to transform him back. Needless to say it didn’t work.
“Hey! Cut it out! I’m not some rag doll!” he cried out angrily.
I screamed and dropped him, backing away from him like he was a vile disease. “You can talk too?”
“I didn’t choose to be like this you know! I didn’t ask to be different. I can’t help it if it’s a family curse.” Kyo yelled defensively.
“A family curse? Does that mean Yuki is like you?”
“He’s a rat,” Tohru answered looking up at me as if to gauge my reaction. She seemed almost scared.
“A cat and a rat. It makes sense why you two are always fighting. So, how do you change back?” I chuckled lightly.
“It varies from time to time. Shouldn’t be too long now,” Kyo answered as a small popping noise, the same as before, echoed off the walls and orange smoke sprang forth like the rush of a waterfall. In the small alley cat’s place stood Kyo in all of his glory.
Tohru squealed and turned around panicky. I turned my head. Smirking at Tohru, I said, “Come on, why are you freaking out?”
“Why aren’t you freaking out?” she retorted covering her eyes and refusing to move her head.
I shrugged. “It’s nothing I haven’t seen before.”
Tohru’s and Kyo’s, who was now fully dressed, mouths fell open.
“Relax. I have an older brother and let’s just say his friends weren’t shy.” I shrugged again.
Kyo, who- I could have sworn- looked jealous, dropped it and said, “You’ll need to come with us; Shigure will want to know.”
As Tohru and I followed in step behind him, I asked, “Who’s Shigure?”
“My older cousin. Now, when you meet him, he’s a bit of a pervert, so don’t listen to what he says,” Kyo warned.
I nodded. If I could deal with Rei‘s college friends, I could handle some immature testosterone charged male.
After a few minutes, we arrived at the Sohma house. It was quite big, bigger than I had expected.
Yuki opened the sliding door, and he smiled when he saw me, “Naomi, a change of heart?”
“Sorry Yuki,” I shook my head. “Kyo said Shigure would want to know that I know about your secret.”
He frowned and looked at Kyo.
“Tohru bumped into me,” Kyo said defensively.
“It was all my fault!” Tohru cried.
Yuki looked at me and motioned for me to follow. “Come on, he’s in his study. Stay here, I’ll go get him.” Yuki disappeared down the hall and left me in the living room with Kyo and Tohru.
I took a seat at the table with the others. I waited nervously with butterflies in my stomach, like the kind you get before an important event.
A man with dark hair, who was wearing a grayish kimono, came into the room followed by Yuki. Both took a seat at the table.
“This is Shigure Sohma, our cousin,” Yuki introduced me.
“So, you’re Naomi Roshi?” Shigure asked giving me the once over. His eyes lingered on my chest.
Clearing my throat, I shifted positions and nodded, “That’s me.” I hoped I passed his expectations.
“I hear you know our secret. How do you feel about it?” His eyes found my own. He was dead serious now, but I could tell he was just an immature adult, acting like a teenager.
I shrugged. “It caught me by surprise, but I don’t really care. Everyone is different; everyone has secrets.”
“I like your attitude; I’ll have to talk to Akito, of course, but you shouldn’t have to have your memory erased,” Shigure said happily.
“Akito? My memory was going to be erased?” Questions popped into my head like popcorn with maximum heat.
“Akito is the head of the family and bears our curse. Outside the family, no one is supposed to know about our little secret. We have made a few exceptions,” he replied glancing at Tohru.
I didn’t say anything as Shigure left to talk to Akito. It was a lot to process.
“Well, I better get home,” I said at last as I stood up. I wasn’t looking forward to talking to Rei after our fight this morning, but it had to be done.
“I’ll walk you out the door,” Tohru said, getting up.
“See you at school,” I waved to Yuki and walked with Tohru to the door.
“Look, Naomi, please give Kyo a chance. He’s not as bad when you get to know him,” Tohru said.
I smiled, “Somehow I doubt it, but I’ll try and put up with him.”
“Does that mean you’ll stay with us?” Tohru asked eagerly.
“No. I want Kyo to ask me, and I want him to mean it. No pitying me.”
“I’ll talk to him.”
“Got to run. Talk to ya later.” I waved as I headed home.
I quietly opened the door to my house and tried to soundlessly close it behind me. I was halfway to my room when Rei stopped me.
“No, I haven’t found anyone yet. I’ll try harder tomorrow,” I told him before he got a word out. I pushed passed him and went into my room.
Maybe Kyo would work up the courage to ask me.