River West looked up just in time to see what appeared to be the entire kendo team chasing a culinary school student down the hallowed halls of Cupid Academy. River recognized the black and white uniform that the cooking students wore.
“Save me. They’re trying to eat me,” the cutest little French-accented voice shouted.
Eat him? River supposed nothing was impossible when it came to students of this school. He’d been there nearly four years, and he’d seen a lot of stuff. Some of the guys chasing him were huge and didn’t look like they’d ever missed a meal. Before he could react, River was caught up in the melee, knocked down and entangled in a pile of arms and legs, like he’d been tackled by the football team. He was trapped in a most peculiar way, under a guy with the rarest gray eyes staring down at him. He had chubby cheeks, stained pink from embarrassment, and full pink lips. On his head was a mass of raven curls that River’s fingers begged to play with. His cock reacted as he gazed into the face of an angel. The little cook twitched nervously as his body responded in kind. River was flattered. Where has the cooking school been hiding this one? As student council president, he thought he knew everyone. And the guy smelled amazing, like brown sugar and cinnamon. No wonder the kendo team was trying to eat him.
The other students began moving away one by one until it was just River and this guy. He wasn’t very tall compared to River and the others, and he didn’t have much weight to him like most chefs River knew. He lifted himself off River and tried to hide his erection with his hands. Too late… River had already felt it.
Vincent Lambert, the student council vice-president whom River had been speaking with right before the ruckus happened, held out his hand and helped River up. The other guy moved behind River and used him as a shield.
River dusted off his clothing and straightened out his uniform jacket so it could hide his shame. It was hard to do with the little guy right behind him.
The dean eventually made his way over to them. “What is this all about? Why are you chasing Kylian?”
Kylian? What an unusual name.
One of the culprits spoke up. It was Kato Tanaka, the captain of the kendo team. “We need him.”
“Why?” the dean asked.
River was curious about that, too.
“Because it’s our year to choose the Valentine’s Day mascot, and we choose him.”
Hands gripped the back of River’s uniform coat.
Valentine’s Day was a big deal for their academy, even bigger than Christmas, which most Japanese did not celebrate. In Japan, the females went out of their way to give chocolates to the guys they admired, not the other way around like it was done in America.
“You want Kylian as the school mascot?” the dean asked. “What kind of mascot?”
“Cupid,” someone shouted.
The dean chuckled. “He does look like him.”
“I do not,” Kylian said, peeking from behind River. He finally loosened his death-like grip on River and faced the mob.
“My word, he does look like Cupid,” Vincent said as he checked Kylian out. “All he needs is a diaper and a bow and arrow.”
River quickly moved Kylian from his right side to his left before his man-eating best friend got a notion in his head to seduce Kylian.
“Never going to happen,” Kylian said, just as the strongest guy on the kendo team picked him up like he was a sack of flour and carried him off. The others turned and followed, leaving Vincent, River and the dean.
“This is going to be hilarious,” the dean said, walking away from them. Apparently, he was okay with one of his students being eaten by the kendo team.
“Why does it look like you’ve been struck by lightning?” Vincent asked as they headed for the student council chambers. The final bell rang, signaling the end of the school day.
River chuckled weakly. Struck by Cupid’s arrow is more like it. They entered the room. The other members would be arriving shortly. On the agenda today, the upcoming Saint Valentine’s Day Festival.
* * * *
“Why do you look like you’ve seen a ghost?” Milo Union asked Kylian when he returned to the cooking school they both attended.
“I got kidnapped,” Kylian said as he warmed himself by the big industrial stove in the kitchen. He’d forgotten to put on his coat before he’d left earlier. He hadn’t expected to be gone long, just a little while to deliver the cookies he and Milo had baked to the administration office workers, but he’d gotten cornered by Kato and all his big dummy friends from the kendo club.
“Kidnapped? By whom?” Milo asked as he took a pan of French bread from one of the ovens.
It was Italian night, and Jude Masters and Rohan Ferriero, two other senior students, had prepared lasagna. Kylian had made a delicious-looking tiramisu for dessert. “Kato Tanaka, Michael Smith and some of the other guys in their club.”
“Michael Smith? My Michael Smith?”
Kylian nodded. Ever since freshman orientation, Milo had had a gigantic man-crush on the handsome blond-haired, green-eyed American athlete. “Yes, your Michael Smith.”
“Because they want me to be this year’s Valentine’s Day mascot.”
Milo chuckled. “What kind of mascot?”
That got an even bigger chuckle out of him. “What?”
“You heard me. They said I was perfect. I don’t think I am.”
Milo ran his gaze over him. “Short, chubby cheeks and curly black hair. Oh yes, I can see it.”
Kylian crossed his arms and pouted. “I thought you were my friend.”
“I am. You left home to meet people and experience new things, didn’t you? Besides the guys in our class and the workers in the administration office, how many other people are you friends with?”
Kylian continued to pout, even though he knew that Milo meant well and was right. “I know President River West.”
Milo stopped buttering the bread. “Who?”
“President River West.”
“The student council president? How do you know him?”
“I ran into him while I was trying to get away from Kato and Michael. I told him they were trying to eat me.”
Milo giggled. “You what? Why did you say that?”
“Because the word ‘help’ doesn’t work on its own.”
“So, what happened?”
“The jocks tackled us, and we all ended up falling on the floor with me landing on top of the president.”
If envy was a facial expression, Milo had mastered it. “He’s such a total babe.”
“Is he? I hadn’t noticed,” Kylian lied.
“Dude, he’s scrumptious. How did you not notice?”
“I supposed you can say he’s a babe.” River West was tall, muscular, smart and, if it were possible, could make pretty raven-haired babies with him.
“Did he help you at all?”
“Not really. He probably would have, had Dean Muto not given me to Kato.”
Milo started chuckling.
“He just told me to take one for the team,” Kylian said.
“Did he actually say that?” Milo asked.
“No, but it seemed like he did by just laughing at the situation.”
“So, what happened after that?”
“The members of the kendo team took me back to their clubhouse where they proceeded to have some girl measure me from head to toe.”
“They had a female on the campus?”
Kylian nodded. “She guaranteed them that she could have the costume ready for me by Valentine’s Day, which is about a month away.”
“She’s going to make you a diaper?”
Kylian shrugged. “I didn’t ask, and I don’t plan to participate.”
“I hate to bring this up, but don’t you still need ten community service credits to graduate?”
“Yes,” Kylian said. He hadn’t forgotten that. He had a meeting with the senior class counselor the next week. It wasn’t his fault that all students had to do volunteer work and earn ten credits before they were allowed to graduate.
“You can earn them easily by volunteering to be Cupid for the Valentine’s Day Festival.”
Kylian protested. “I don’t want people seeing me in a diaper.”
“Why not?” Milo asked. “You have nice legs. Are you truly willing to not graduate just for five or ten minutes of ridicule?”
“Yes,” Kylian answered.
Milo shook his head. “That’s too bad. That dessert café you want to open after graduation will never come to be.”
The other students began arriving before Kylian could comment. There would be five of them dining together tonight. Usually there were more, but the rest of the students were underclassmen who were still finishing up their assignments or busy with their clubs.
Kylian and Milo loaded the cart with food and pushed it to the dining room. The others had arrived. Present were Rohan Ferriero, Jude Masters, Akihito Kaminari and Genji Takamori. Milo had set the table earlier while Kylian had been away. He and Milo loaded the food onto a Lazy Susan so the members could serve themselves. Besides the lasagna and the bread, there was a leafy green salad and plenty of vegetable side dishes. There was even iced tea to drink. Milo and Kylian finally joined their friends at the table.
“Is the rumor about you true, Kylian?” Rohan asked.
“What rumor?” Kylian asked.
“That you’re going to be the Valentine’s Day mascot this year?”
Kylian spat the tea he’d just sipped. He cleaned up his face and the table with his napkin. “What? No.”
Milo chuckled. “The kendo team kidnapped him earlier and tried to talk him into accepting the nomination.”
Kylian rolled his eyes at Milo.
“I think he would be perfect,” Akihito said.
“I would not,” Kylian argued.
“You’d be the center of attention for the entire day,” Genji said, like that would convince him. “I’d bet the university will make a lot of money with us selling candy and you posing for pictures with lovestruck students.”
The rest of the group agreed with Genji.
“I am not going to wear a diaper! Kylian said. “I am a grown man, not an infant.” He started eating his salad while the others continued to make a business plan on how to market Kylian and the chocolates. In his head, Kylian was concocting a plan not to be the laughingstock of Cupid Academy.