They all returned to the city in high spirits. They barely had time to rest. New Year’s Eve was closing and everybody looked forward to the Masque Party.
Yoshiasu was slightly reluctant to the idea of dressing up but he gave in to Angela. After all she has done for them, he didn’t have the heart to ruin the fun! He agreed on letting her to pick whatever she thought it would suit them for the party. He was pleased to know that George was joining them.
George Brown, Angela’s fiancé was a good-looking, pleasant and reliable man. He was totally besotted with her and she was radiant in his company. Yoshiasu and George used to get well along and George was increasingly curious about Fuyuki. He treated Angela’s enthusiastic description with slight disbelief, but he had to put aside his curiosity for the moment. As soon as they arrived at the hotel, Angela handed the costumes to the boys and sent them to get dressed while she locked herself up in the other room with Fuyuki.
Puzzled but amused, George and Yoshiasu dressed up, laughed as they saw each-other
“ changed” into a samurai and a knight and decided to wait for their companions in the lobby. Some of their mutual friends were already there and the party was gradually gathering glitz and fun.
The girl in the mirror was incredibly beautiful. She had a delicate, oval face with soft skin like cherry blossoms. Her nose was straight, with nicely curved nostrils. The almond-shaped amethyst eyes were underlined by heavy black eyelashes and she had thin, well-shaped eyebrows.
The young auburn haired woman took a small brush and toned the delicately curved lips with a touch of crimson lip-gloss. She helped the girl to comb her silky black hair into a simple but elegant shape held up by hair-pins hid under cherry blossoms.
She then helped her into a red kimono decorated with silver and gold butterflies and tied the obi around her slim waist. She took two steps behind and looked at the young girl; she was pleased with the result.
-Gods, Fuyuki, you are too beautiful to be true!-she said.
-For me beauty has always meant trouble-replied Fuyuki.
-Come on, let’s go-said Angela. I’m sure that down there’s no girl more beautiful than you. George and Yoshiasu are waiting for us in the hall. I want to see their faces when they’ll see you.
-I’m not so sure-sighed Fuyuki but followed her.
Angela was looking sparkling in her moss-green velvet dress that underlined her appealing curves. She took Fuyuki by the hand and descended in the large hall. The party was just starting. Their partners were easy to point out: the handsome samurai and the good-looking knight were surrounded by happily chatting young ladies. Music, laughter and chatter filled the lobby as Angela and Fuyuki crossed the crowd. Though people around them were all looking great and having fun, slowly, people were making way to the fiery princess and the butterfly-girl.
They stopped next to Yoshiasu and George; the talking stopped abruptly. George’s eyes rounded as he spotted the two girls; Angela raised a finger meaning “Don’t ruin the surprise” and waited for Yoshiasu to react.
-Mr. Tanaka- she said. I think I found your lost butterfly.
Yoshiasu turned brusquely and stood still. Mesmerized by the look of the girl in red kimono he was unable to utter a sound. She looked like she just stepped out of a Japanese stamp. Under the intense scrutiny Fuyuki turned pink. He gazed slightly panicked into Yoshiasu’s eyes; the samurai smiled and whispered: “I love you. You are so beautiful…”.
He took the butterfly-girl by the hand and turned towards Angela’s fiancé:
-George, this is Fuyuki.
-You’re gorgeous-said George and they shook hands.
-Thank you-said Fuyuki with a shy smile.
-Ladies-turned Yoshiasu around-you have to excuse us. Angela, George let’s pick a drink.
The four of them left the premises followed by amazed or envious looks. George affectionately kissed his bride. “ You’re great!-he whispered in her ears. How on earth did you do this?-he asked incredulously.
-I’ve done nothing special-laughed Angela. I’ve just followed his natural beauty. They look great together, isn’t it?
The tall and erect samurai was moving ahead with dignity firmly holding the hand of his blushing butterfly. Together with Angela and George they chose a remote table in a quieter corner and the night went on pleasantly. Fuyuki relaxed and enjoyed himself with his friends. When the clock turned twelve and New Year arrived, Yoshiasu took Fuyuki in his arms and they kissed passionately in the middle of the cheering crowd.
By one in the morning they left the party along with their friends. Yoshiasu whispered a warm “Thank you” in Angela’s ear and hugged her. He then took Fuyuki and they disappeared in their room.
-I like Fuyuki-said George-but I would have never guessed that SHE is a man.
-He’s definitely a man, but he’s a milder, gentle one-said Angela.
-He’s a good addition to the strong-willed Yoshiasu-agreed George.
-And Yoshiasu is madly in love with him-laughed Angela.
-It’s written all over his face-chuckled George. I thought he might faint when he saw him tonight. I also saw a lot of envious or puzzled faces around; it was fun.
-Shame on you, George Brown-said Angela and kissed her fiancé.
They shut the door behind them laughing whole heartedly. In their own room, Yoshiasu and Fuyuki were getting off their costumes. Yoshiasu undressed easily but Fuyuki needed help. He turned his back to Yoshiasu:
-You have to help me out; I don’t think I can ask Angela now…
Yoshiasu grinned and untied the obi, letting loose the kimono. He bent over Fuyuki and kissed the soft skin of the neck; he then pushed down the kimono and took the younger man in his arms. Fuyuki’s breath hitched as Yoshiasu kissed his earlobe and lovingly laid him down on the bed. He slowly melted under the passionate kisses and Yoshiasu’s eager touch. They made love and they fell asleep tangled in each-other’s arms.
As holidays ended, life turned back to normal. Yoshiasu was quite busy at work and Fuyuki was working on his art projects; he was doing it successfully.
Winter was swept away by the warmth of spring and Nature came alive in full blossom. People themselves were changing along with the newly buzzing life. Fuyuki shortened his hair leaving it just a little over his neck but his natural beauty remained unchanged. Though he had gained a lot more confidence and it looked like that for now he could stand up for himself, he was still the same mild and sensitive person.
Angela and George got married in April and as their close friends, Yoshiasu and Fuyuki attended the wedding. They were more than happy to share their friends’ moment of utmost happiness. The messages they sent home from honeymoon spoke about the same state of bliss.