Author Note: This title is a direct sequel to Undercurrent (Wet).
Lulu held out a box of tissues to her boss and tried to pretend like he wasn’t crying. “Stan, it’s not that drastic. I’m not dying. I’m just resigning.”
“I know that,” he snapped, snatching a tissue from the box and blowing his nose. “I’m damn upset about it. You’re one of the best employees Voda’s got. You’ve been here since you were in high school.”
She smiled at the memory. “Yup. My very first job — cleaning the locker rooms after school.” She might not be crying but she was as upset about her resignation as Stan. Voda had been her life until that moment. “I can’t work here now, though. It wouldn’t look right for the wife of the owner and CEO of Onsen to be working at Voda. People would talk.”
“No one has to know you married Masato Mizuno. We can keep it hush-hush.” His voice sounded hopeful, and he gazed at her over his tissue with large pleading eyes.
“Yeah, except my last name is now Mizuno and my address looks a lot like the address for Onsen since I live on the top floor. Oh and I invited half the Voda staff to my wedding, which was held at Onsen. Sure, hush-hush. I’ll get right on that.”
“You don’t have to be a smartass about it, Lulu.”
She walked around the desk and pulled Stan into a hug. “I’ll miss you too. And I’m sorry, but it’s your own fault for sending me there. If you hadn’t, I would have never met Masato in the first place.”
It was true. Stan had sent her to Onsen to act as a guest and spy on the competition. Voda and Onsen were two of the top spa resorts in the state. They were an hour down the road from each other, which made them close competitors. Whereas Voda struggled each month to keep its place, Onsen seemed to get by with ease. Lulu had gone to find out why.
What she found was an old Mizuno family secret involving a living good luck charm that blessed the family with health and fortune. Voda couldn’t harness that and it couldn’t compete. And Stan would have had no way of knowing that Lulu would be the catalyst to setting the good luck charm free as well as falling in love with him.
The events that led to her wedding to Masato Mizuno still boggled her mind when she sat down to think about them. For one thing, her husband’s name was really Hotsuma. But since he was currently residing in Masato’s body, that was what everyone called him. No matter what his name, he was the man Lulu loved and had married. He was also the man waiting in a limo for her downstairs.
She patted Stan’s shoulders and stepped back. “I’ll come visit as a guest of the hotel or you can come visit me. It’s not like I’m disappearing. And my replacement is great. I trained her myself.”
“I don’t want a replacement. I want you.” Stan pulled out a few more tissues and blew his nose. “It’s not fair. I had you first. What gives that Mizuno guy the right to steal my girl?”
“I’ll tell your wife you said that.”
He sniffed and grumbled something under his breath she didn’t catch. He blew his nose once more and then straightened in his seat. Except for his red eyes and wet lashes, he looked like a businessman again, the CEO of Voda and a man not to be reckoned with. “I’m going to miss you, Lulu Swade… uh… I mean Lulu Mizuno. I hope you’ll be happy. And if that bastard ever does anything to hurt you, just let me know. I’ll use all my influence to tank that hotel of his in a hot second.”
“That’s a lovely sentiment, Stan, but not needed. Besides, if he ever does hurt me and we end up divorcing, part of that hotel will be my settlement. I would like it to stay thriving.”
“But that’s not going to happen. We’re happy.”
“And I’m happy you’re happy. Now get the hell out of here before I start crying again. Damn shameful for a man my age.”
He grunted and made a shooing motion with one hand as he pulled another tissue with the other. Lulu left the room without looking back. It was taking all her willpower not to cry along with him. Voda had been her home and her family for so many years. She had worked from the ground up to become a part of upper management. She thought she might even sit in Stan’s seat one day. If working at Voda wouldn’t be seen as a conflict of interests, she would never give up her job.
But it wasn’t like she wouldn’t be working. Her talents would be used at Onsen to help her new family grow bigger and brighter. She waved to people who called out goodbyes as she left the building. When the glass exit doors slid closed behind her, she breathed in a deep, cleansing breath.
Lulu smiled at Hotsuma, who stood against his limo looking suave, wearing a dark gray business suit that showed off his lean, muscled physique. His black hair was slicked back with mousse to hide the awkward in-between stage of being past his ears but not quite to his shoulders. A pair of dark, fitted shades completed the powerful businessman look that made Lulu’s heart rate increase. “Yes.”
“That took longer than I thought.”
“Stan was crying.”
He walked forward and placed his palm against her cheek. “Not yet.”
“Don’t say that or I’ll start.” She wanted to push his hand away but stepped closer to him and laid her head against his shoulder.
He patted her head, burying his fingers in the thick curls of her loose Afro. “I’m sorry. I know how much Voda means to you.”
“I’ll be fine. In a few months, I’ll be totally okay.”
“I told you I could negotiate a merger with them and then you could stay.”
She shook her head. “No. I won’t do that to Stan or Voda. The competition with Onsen is what keeps it striving to be the best. If the two merged, then Voda would suffer, even with your powers.”
Hotsuma was a living good luck charm — an ageman. Because of his powers, his family and all of his family’s businesses in the US and Japan prospered. They might have prospered without his powers, but having them was a guarantee. No strife had ever touched the Mizuno family thanks to Hotsuma and those before him who had held the ageman power.
“As you wish.” He wrapped his arm around her shoulders. “Let’s go home.”
Lulu leaned against him as the limo drove them away from her old life toward her new one. She didn’t regret choosing Hotsuma over Voda. Nothing could ever make her regret that. But her heart still ached.
Hotsuma cupped her cheek and held her as he lowered his lips to hers. She welcomed his kiss and took comfort in it. But his hand on her breast made her pull back. “We’re in the limo.”
“I know.” He patted his free hand behind him and pressed a button. The dividing window between the driver and the back slid in place. “There.”
“That’s not very private.”
“It’s private enough.”
“Hotsuma, this isn’t right.” She said that but didn’t try to fight him when he pulled her across his lap and situated her knees on either side of his hips.
“Now it is.” He rubbed her clit through her lace panties. “And this wetness tells me you think so too.”
“You are the expert on wet things.”
“Yes, I am.” Edging her panties aside, he slipped two fingers into her hole. “Very right.”
She nodded as she bit her lip and started moving her hips so she slid against his fingers. “Oh, so right.”
Hotsuma unzipped his pants and freed his hard dick. After he scooted to the edge of the seat, he held her panties to the side with one hand and guided her down onto his length with the other.
Lulu sighed. All her sadness slipped away as pleasure took its place. “The driver deserves a raise for putting up with this.”
“Once he hears the way I make you scream, he’ll get one.”
She smacked his chest in a playful manner. “That’s not what I meant.”
“I’ll give him a bonus in his next paycheck. Happy?”
“I guess that’ll work.”
“Good. Now, then.” He hugged her waist, bringing her closer and pushing his hard arousal deeper.
She giggled when he used his teeth to unbutton her shirt and edged one of her nipples free of her underbust bra with the tip of his tongue. The man had skills. She loved when he used them on her. He flicked and suckled her nipple while moving her hips so she rode him.
The car hit a bump that made his tip bounce against the innermost part of her, sending a shot of pleasure through her body and making her moan loudly.
Hotsuma rumbled, “That’s the way. Let him hear you. He needs to earn that bonus.”
“I don’t want him to hear me.”
“Tough.” He started bucking his hips and sucked hard at one nipple while he tweaked the other.
Lulu couldn’t help the passionate sounds that left her lips. The driver had to be able to hear her. He had to. Even through the dividing window. That would explain why it felt like he was hitting every pothole and bump in the road. If she didn’t know better, she would think Hotsuma and the driver had conspired to work together so she came harder and faster.
Two men at once. The thought of it sent a thrill through her body that heightened the sensation of Hotsuma rubbing inside her. He gripped her ass, moving her so she took his full length with every stroke.
She hugged his shoulders and rained kisses over his neck and chin as she orgasmed. Hotsuma came soon after her, flooding her with hot cum.
He used his hands on her ass to lift her so she freed him. Before any of his semen could escape her body, he shifted her panties back into place. “Keep that warm for me.” He patted her pussy then trailed his hand up to her belly. His touch was gentle, almost reverent, as he caressed her stomach.
Lulu knew what he was thinking without him saying a word. She was thinking the same. They wanted children.
They’d been married for four months and having sex every time they found themselves alone together. And every month, she’d had her period. She knew babies took time, but she was starting to wonder if she should go consult with a doctor to be sure everything was okay.
“Don’t, Lulu.” Hotsuma hugged her waist and laid his head against her breasts. “Don’t.”
“I’m sorry,” she whispered.
“You have nothing to be sorry about. We’ve both been stressed. That’s all.”
“I know you want –”
He stopped her words with a finger over her lips. “I want you. Everything else is a gift. It’ll happen when it happens. I don’t want you worrying about it.” He removed his finger and pulled her down for a kiss. “Okay?”
She nodded and then smiled when he kissed her again. Settling across his lap, she laid her head on his shoulder, enjoying his warmth and closeness for the rest of the ride back to Onsen.
When they got close, she fixed her clothing and took a seat next to Hotsuma. He pulled out a handkerchief and held it near his zipper. With a sweeping motion of his hand, he directed the moisture to the handkerchief. His pants were left dry and looking like nothing had happened. He pocketed the now-damp piece of cloth.
This was one of those times when Hotsuma’s control of water — and wet things in general — came in handy. Lulu, on the other hand, had to deal with her drenched panties. She balanced her weight on one thigh so the wetness wouldn’t soak through the back of her skirt.
The limo stopped and the driver came around to open the door. Lulu couldn’t look at him as she exited. Just in case her precautions didn’t pay off, she kept her back pointed at the limo. Hotsuma got out behind her. A rustling noise and the driver’s mumbled thanks caught Lulu’s attention. She glanced at the man in time to see him pushing a folded fifty into his breast pocket. He winked at her and she looked away.
He had most definitely heard her. Lulu would never be able to look the man in the eyes again.
Hotsuma slipped his arm around her waist and walked with her into Onsen. They hadn’t made it two steps when his secretary came jogging toward them.
The man held out a folder. “Sir, Atsuji Mizuno called twenty minutes ago and requested you call him back as soon as you got his message. I tried to call your cell. He did too.”
Hotsuma said, “I had it turned off.” He pulled it out and pushed the power button. A few seconds after the phone booted up, it rang. He tapped the accept button and put it to his ear. “Hello?” An angry frown marred his once calm expression. “How did you –”
The person speaking must have interrupted him because he stopped and listened, giving a stiff nod with an annoyed affirmative. He ended the call and clutched the phone.
“Everything okay?” Lulu asked, rubbing his shoulder in a soothing manner.
He looked at her for a second before turning his attention to his secretary. “Fine. I have work to do.” He slammed his phone back into its holster and snatched the folder from the man with a muted growl.
Lulu pulled out of his hold. “I’ll leave you to it.”
He caught her hand before she could walk away and brought it to his lips for a kiss. “I’m sorry. I’ll see you later tonight.” He kissed her fingers again and then released her.
She smiled at his affection and waved as she walked away. Her job at Voda was over, but Hotsuma’s at Onsen had started with a vengeance. He had taken over everything Masato left behind and then some since the family kept piling on more.
Now that she was no longer a Voda employee… officially, she could help him. Maybe not with his family, but she could at least take on some of the hotel side of things. It would take her a few days, maybe weeks, to learn how Onsen did things, but then she could help.
Her resolve to do just that firmed when the sun set and Hotsuma still hadn’t returned. Lulu paced around the living room of their penthouse home, the topmost floor of Onsen, debating whether she should go down and get him. Hotsuma had taken to working late into the night unless someone stopped him. She didn’t like him tiring himself out like that.
She glanced at the wall clock and resolved to give him one more hour. In that time, she would take a shower to relieve the tension she’d worked up waiting for him. She would be able to soothe his faster if not bogged down with her own.
With a nod to confirm her plans in her own mind, she headed for the master bathroom.