A few days earlier he had given Urufu a questioning look, or at least Ryu hoped he had. Still, in the end Urufu never budged one bit. He held on to Noriko’s phone and left Ryu to fend off the incessant attacks from the foreign girl. She’d be called Jeniferu-chan if she joined club, Coperu-san otherwise, but her joining was pretty much a given, so Ryu decided to go for the former.
“Look, Jeniferu-chan, I already have a girlfriend,” Ryu said, when the girl made herself comfortable by his table at the café.
Jeniferu-chan ate half of her biscuit and met his eyes. “She’s about as much in love with you as I am,” she said.
Dammit, you could at least pretend to be taken in by my princely charms like the rest of the girls. Ryu smirked, but then he felt his smirk twist into a grin. Jeniferu-chan was a little devil, but she was an irresistible one.
“I guess you played merry hell with the boys at your middle school,” Ryu said.
Jeniferu-chan looked up from her coffee, absent-mindedly dipped her biscuit in it and ate the second half. “What if I did?” She dropped her spoon and it fell onto the plate with a clattering. It almost sounded angry. “Boys are either too shy to say what they want, or take what they want without asking first.”
You’re a cynical one. “Look, I’m going out with Kuri, so just give up, will you?” And this was the real reason he was on a date with a girl other than his girlfriend. With said girlfriend just a door away. The date was Kuri’s idea in the first place. “You’re giving me a bad reputation, not to speak about your own.”
“Bad reputation? This is our clubroom, isn’t it?” Jeniferu-chan said and swept dramatically with her arm around the café.
Ryu downed his own coffee, waved to James for another one, and looked at the girl sitting across the table. Cute, but no match for Kuri after all. But damn what a presence.
Around them boys and girls alike either glared at them or threw them admiring glances. Kuri, what were you thinking? “Actually, it’s in there,” Ryu said. He pointed his table spoon in the direction of the door behind the counter. As is Kuri, he thought.
The two of them came here more and more often thee days. Club hours were a convenient excuse, but mostly they did so to get away from all the attention at school. And that made Jeniferu-chan a major pain, because she glued herself to him as far as Kuri tolerated her.
“OK, if we make you an official member, will you play nice then?”
“Sure. Long term I’m more interested in that Swedish guy anyway.”
Cynical indeed. “Which of them?” Ryu asked, but he already guessed the answer.
“So force him to join as well,” Jeniferu-chan said and surprised him.
What, not Urufu? Maybe a sulking Urufu wasn’t all that attractive. Which brought Ryu to his second problem. Kuri and him coming here almost every day Kuri didn’t have a photo shoot meant Urufu was demonstratively absent. He avoided Kuri to a degree that made Ai-chan seem almost clingy in comparison.
On top of it all Noriko seemed more morose than Ryu ever recalled her being, but she flat out refused to tell him what it was all about. Some kind of falling out with Nao-kun, that much was clear, because the tall senior never showed up with Noriko on his arm.
“Some kind of answer would be good,” Jeniferu-chan said.
“Uh, sorry. Sure, you’re both members.”
“Anything that stops you from making me look like a two timer,” Ryu responded and shot her an angry look.
“Maybe I’ll have the other Swede by the side. Like a snack.”
You bastard! “Wouldn’t it make you look bad if you went after Kuri’s discarded belongings.” I’m sorry for using your name like this, Kuri. “But then maybe that’s the best you can get.”
It was a dirty way to protect his friend.
“Discarded? I’ll make him shine so everyone understands she couldn’t keep up with him.”
Damn brat! But you probably could. Besides, who was he to decide whom Urufu got attached to? “I’d shoot you down. Prince of Himekaizen here.” Still, he just had to try protecting Urufu anyway. Jeniferu-chan was bad news.
The short period of grace time ended, and the café filled up with students from Irishima High who took longer time to walk here, Ai-chan among them, and in that crowd Kuri’s stalkers mixed in. Ryu saw her long term bodyguard move closer to the counter, and the escort Vogue had assigned to her entered through the door.
The joys of being famous.
Right now Ryu felt a sense of gratitude that their school uniforms were kind of drab. Kuri in Irishima High’s traditional sailor uniform, well, there was more than one way to be cruel to boys.
“Falling in love with your girlfriend?”
Ryu flinched and stared at Jeniferu-chan. What was that all about?
“You know, I can help with this. I’m not really an arse, but if you treat me like one I’ll behave accordingly,” she said. She looked at him, and at the moment she was merely cute. “I understand you’re torn between your ex and your girl, but don’t you think it’s better if all three of you talked it over.”
“None of your business,” Ryu barked.
Jeniferu-chan gulped down the remains of her coffee and tilted her head sideways. “I just made it my business.” Then she turned and faced the counter. “Christina, you can come out now,” she shouted in English.
“What do you think...”
“Stuff it! I’ll handle the stalkers.”
The door behind the counter opened and Kuri entered the café proper. Just as the first camera flashes started blinking from a multitude of phones Jeniferu-chan rose from her chair.
Ryu just had time to see her flash a devastating smile before she dialled her presence up to eleven and blasted everyone in the café with a wave of charisma.
Damn, why do every freak have to end up in our school? Ryu hardly had time to finish that thought before he noticed how quite a few girls glared at Jeniferu-chan and then threw him longing glances. Fine, including me. Still, why?