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Cocytus novel

"Cocytus -Ballerina Under the Moonlight" Episode 6 ※Contains sexual scenes.

"Cocytus. A river in the underworld of Greek mythology. A frozen hell that spares no traitors."

 

 

From then on, they spent as much time together as possible. Shunka wore that white dress without hesitation. It went well with the necklace.

After visiting the church, Nathan seemed concerned about something. He took Shunka's hand and hid them both behind a brick wall, kissing her there. It felt like they were playing hide-and-seek from something.

They went into a shop to buy a souvenir for Izumi. Shunka noticed a wooden toy for babies. It was a cute dog-shaped stacking toy, handcrafted by an Italian artisan.

While selecting it and heading to the register, she noticed a leather bracelet adorned with silver. It was a braided leather bracelet with a flame mark engraved on the clasp.

The shopkeeper, a woman, noticed Shunka's gaze and explained,

"It's a traditional charm."

"Traditional?"

"Yes, from this town. In the medieval times, lovers would make these charms for men going off to war. Now, they have changed form and are given to family and friends starting new jobs or journeys, wishing for their safe return."

"......"

"Are you giving it to him? It’s perfect for him."

"Oh, um, please keep your voice down. ...I'll take one, please."

"Sure, thank you."

The car drove on, passing by a lemon orchard from before. The sea breeze grew stronger.

"The sunset beyond here is amazing. The entire horizon turns gold."

"Is it true that most of the buildings in the town belong to the mafia?"

"Yes. It can't be helped. They paved the roads, after all."

"Is that why the police can't intervene?"

"Probably."

"...What is it that you need to do, Nate? You mentioned something like that before."

"Well, to put it simply, it's work. Ensuring the safety and success of our clients comes first. Until that’s done, I can’t leave the town."

Nathan's voice had a resolute tone.

Shunka nodded.

Eventually, the car turned onto a side road and passed through a tunnel. They reached an old road with exposed rock surfaces.

There were hardly any cars around.

They stopped at a makeshift roadblock, and the sea with its approaching sunset filled the front windshield.

The car's frame acted like a picture frame.

It was a moving painting, carved out from nature itself.

However, Shunka couldn't focus on the scenery in front of her.

"After it's done... what will you do?"

"I’ll go back."

Nathan answered clearly and looked at Shunka.

At that moment, Shunka couldn't bring herself to ask the next question.

 

 

The sun had set, and the faint streetlights illuminated the two people inside the car. Without exchanging words, Shunka leaned her body against Nathan. The comfort of their shared warmth and heartbeat was unmatched. She felt like she could fall asleep just like that, but unfortunately, the heat that had ignited deep within her body was urging them on.

Both desires were hard to let go of. Straddling Nathan, Shunka moistened her lips and kissed him. Nathan's hands caressed her slender waist, moving up to her chest, and began to unbutton her top. Chasing his inviting tongue, Shunka slipped her tongue into his mouth, tentatively exploring the hot interior and mingling their tongues.

It was the first time she had ever desired a man in this way. Running her fingers through his chestnut-brown hair, she broke the kiss to catch her breath. He planted a small kiss on her nose, making her eyes widen in surprise. His eyes, a rich amber that seemed to melt away darker than tonight’s moon, reflected Shunka.

As they gazed at each other, Nathan's hands moved from her waist to her legs, suggestively stroking her skin. With one hand, he unbuttoned her top completely, exposing everything underneath. The light blue lace lingerie peeked out from beneath her camisole.

Nathan's fingers brushed against her inner thighs, where she was particularly sensitive, igniting a slow-burning fire that made the heat seep deep within her, biting her lower lip to endure it. Lowering herself to avoid wetting her skirt, she was caught off guard by Nathan's hand caressing her bottom.

Her body jolted in surprise. His fingers slipped inside her panties, gradually exposing her bottom. At the same time, kisses rained down on her breasts over her bra. The lingering kiss marks on her breasts reminded her of the heat and made her throb with pain.

Her panties were wet again. Nathan must have noticed. The clasp of her bra was undone, and the straps slid down. Left partially undressed, her plump nipples stood upright, and he played with them in his mouth.

Shunka gasped for breath, her mind foggy, but she followed Nathan's lead, lowering her hips and caressing his body. She lifted his shirt, lovingly licking his firm chest. His occasional twitching response was endearing.

His nipples, erect like hers, resembled unripe berries. They hardened more as she nibbled on them. The car's interior became humid with their mingled breaths, creating an exotic space mixed with her sweet, floral scent and his warm, woody aroma.

Sweat glistened on their skin, and the night air could not cool their heat. Nathan took off his shirt, and their skin stuck together like it was suctioned. Sweat trickled down Shunka's cleavage, but it was unclear whose it was.

The space between her soaked panties dripped with lust, running down her inner thighs and wetting Nathan's jeans. Nathan exhaled a hot breath and unbuckled his belt.

Eventually, something as hard as steel brushed against Shunka's bottom. His arousal was also completely wet. Her bottom felt slick, and she heard the sound of a condom being prepared.

There was a brief intake of breath.

Nathan's hot member entered Shunka's melting entrance, sliding along her ridged inner walls until it reached deep inside. His satisfied breath tickled her ear. Shunka’s insides squeezed around him tightly, drawing him further in.

Despite the tightness around him, her juices kept flowing, spilling outside. Her panties were no longer usable. Nathan thrust his hips up, shaking Shunka.

The sharp pleasure shot up to her head. Impaled from below, her hips moved on their own.

――Shunka, you’re like an erotic work of art――

His whisper, like pouring heat into her, made her tighten around him, trembling from within. Engulfed by an orgasm, Nathan held her tightly, letting out a muffled sound.

This time, they climaxed together. Through the thin barrier, she felt his passion erupt repeatedly, filling her with a joyous shiver each time.

Soon, the pleasant fatigue made her eyelids droop. Nathan's hand stroked her hair as she closed her eyes.

When she woke up next, she was in the bed at Hotel Paradiso.

 

 

Shunka steadily gathered works of Dante’s Divine Comedy, and with Ayaka’s permission, she carefully wrapped each one. Paradiso painted post-war. The golden gleam of Beatrice. It was indeed a work she had a strong attachment to. She caressed the surface with her gloved hand and wrapped it securely. Their reunion would be in Japan. All that was left was to arrange the shipment.

As the room filled with packing materials, a sense of accomplishment and loneliness washed over her as she completed one task.
(It’s done…)
Shunka had finished all her planned tasks. Now, it was her free time. After attending the party Nathan invited her to the day after tomorrow, she would be on a plane the following day.

"……"
Her body lost strength, and she sat down, hugging her knees. The scent of gardenias did nothing to comfort her at that moment. She raised her head when Francesca contacted her. She was at a nearby café. They would soon part ways too. When she saw Francesca’s face, even her usual bright smile seemed shadowed.

“How was it?”
“I did some really good work. Thank you, Francesca.”
“I’m glad I could help. But it’ll be lonely.”
“Yeah. When you come to Japan, I’ll show you around.”
“Haha! I’m looking forward to it.”

They drank their coffee slowly, just enjoying the conversation. Francesca mentioned she had gone on a date with Lorenzo, but she said she couldn’t keep up with him.

“How about you, Shunka? Do you have a boyfriend in Japan?”
“I… don’t have one in Japan.”
“Really? I heard Japanese people aren’t very passionate about love. Is that true?”
“I don’t think so… but…”

She wasn’t confident in her words. Hadn’t she prioritized work over love herself?
“Luck plays a part in encounters.”
Francesca’s murmur made Shunka recall Nathan’s words. Things that attract each other. Could it be true?

But indeed, talking with Francesca was fun and their conversations flowed. When it came to art, they could talk for a long time. On the other hand, she didn’t even exchange contact information with people she couldn’t connect with. She had maintained a long friendship with Izumi, but what about her other classmates?

“...It’s said that people attract each other.”
“Huh?”
“Meeting and connecting with people isn’t about luck. Someone said that.”
“That’s an interesting philosophy. So, you, me, and Lorenzo were all attracted to each other?”
“But I couldn’t meet Lorenzo. Maybe that’s how it is.”
“Huh?”
“Lorenzo and I didn’t attract each other, but you and Lorenzo did… maybe.”
“That’s an interesting way to think about it. I don’t know what will happen with him, and there are many rivals because he’s bisexual.”
“You don’t have to force yourself to fit in.”
“Ah… that’s true. Maybe I was forcing it. By the way, lately, Crané-Géro has been quiet.”

Shunka stopped bringing her coffee cup to her lips.
“They used to be noisier. People said their capo (boss) directed all the pickpocketing and robberies. But lately, it’s significantly reduced. Several of their shops were crushed in the past few days.”

“What kind of organization is Crané-Géro?”
“They seem to do everything except drugs... fraud, finance, cards, counterfeits... They call it protection for shops, but it’s extortion. Money laundering, real estate, restaurants...”
“Th-there’s so much.”
“Yes, that famous casino bar ‘Il Santo Della Forza’. Everyone pretends not to know. And they’re connected to politicians, prostitution, and the car business too.”

A shiver ran down Shunka’s spine.
(Car?)

“I get information because I’m from another town and was told to be careful if I came here. But many people don’t know. That’s where coordinators show their skills.”
“Cars…”
“Did something happen?”
“If you take a car for repair, it usually takes time, right?”
It should take a few days.
“Yes.”
“……”

“Did you know? The capo of Crané-Géro marks his subordinates as a sign of loyalty…”

When they were attacked by the bikers, Nathan had appeared at such perfect timing, as if he knew. It felt like time had stopped. After parting with Francesca, Shunka returned to Hotel Paradiso. Her steps felt heavy. When she ordered lunch, she was shown to the café space.

 

A newspaper had been placed on the table, catching her eye.

"Is a Crané-Géro Executive Murdered?"

A shocking headline. She glanced at it and saw the photo of a bearded man’s face, and the scars etched on his arm. The scars resembled a long line piercing through the middle, akin to an asterisk. Francesca had mentioned this before.

"Oh, excuse me," the manager said, attempting to remove the newspaper, but Shunka stopped him.

"Please, let me see it for a moment."

"This? It’s not good news."

"Even so, just for a moment."

"It has been discovered by local police that members of Crané-Géro are marked with knife-like cuts on their arms. As the name 'Géro' suggests, the marks are three lines extending in six directions, reminiscent of ice. These marks are usually on the left arm. The body found recently also had similar scars. It is suspected that he was Matteo, a Crané-Géro executive. While the reason for the executive’s shooting is unknown, if there were plans for a betrayal within the organization, future developments will be noteworthy."

The scars on the arm. The cut marks.

"……"

Suddenly, Shunka felt a sharp clarity in her mind. Her hands and feet turned cold, and her breathing became labored.

(Could it be that Nathan…?)

Is that why he knew the stores without mafia influence? Is that why his car was repaired so quickly?

"Miss, you look troubled," the manager said gently. His gaze seemed knowing, almost pitying.

"…He…"

"He’ll be fine. Just as you know well,"

he said in a soothing voice. Her eyes started to well up, but she held back the tears. He knew something.

"Please, tell me. Is he…"

But the manager shook his head, and enveloped her trembling hand in his, smiling.

"What you know is the truth."

With the manager’s words, warmth returned to her body. Shunka covered her face and cried silently.

 

"A man's true feelings are shown through his actions, not his words," Izumi's cheerful voice filled the room.

"Actions…?"

"Exactly. Men can act however they want in society, saying things like, 'I'm a good guy, I'm capable at work, I can do this and that.' They can say whatever they want. But in reality, many of them just want to make a good impression on the outside, without any substance. That's why my mom always said to trust the man who can keep his promises and show through his actions."

"And that's why you married him?"

"Yes. He's quiet, but he's a good man."

Izumi's presence was a comfort. Talking to her naturally eased the tension on Shunka's face. She couldn't wait to meet her after returning home.

"What about the men you've met there? Are they good people? Or good men?"

"…I wonder…"

"Keep it simple. Eyes don't lie."

Eyes don't harbor lies. His eyes were sharp but held a delicate light, always gazing at Shunka gently. But, he was probably part of the mafia.

(Is there some reason behind it?)

He had said he was protecting his clients. What did he mean by that?

—If everything ends safely, that's all that matters. I wish you success after your return.

Away from the mafia, to a safe place. He always did that.

"…Maybe a good…man."

"Haha, maybe an adventure isn't enough for you anymore?"

What would happen if things continued this way? How much could she trust Nathan? He had said he would finish everything and return. But what if he ended up like the man in the newspaper?

A chill ran down her spine. She hoped Nathan wasn't part of the mafia. That would be ideal. But her intuition told her otherwise. As the computer and lights all turned off, the sound of waves and the scent of gardenias filled the room.

They had shared love here. It was she who had invited him. In his arms, she felt protected. It was the safest place she could believe in.

"To be continued"→"Cocytus -Ballerina Under the Moonlight" Episode 7 ※Contains sexual scenes.

 

 

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