Natalia: Chapter 2

A few hours after Kento had gone out there was a phone call for him. As he was not in the person left a message with Ryo who had answered the phone. The puzzled look on his face told the guys that it was the same person.

Looking at the guys he knew that there was the same discussion running through their heads. Who was this mysterious person that their friend had been trying to talk to and what was his problem. He used to be such a happy go lucky guy. They all knew that in the states he was a respected speaker in the states of California and Oregon since they were the closest to the fault lines of the area. His suggestions for building had been taken seriously and had already been put to the test when a minor quake toppled some of the older buildings. The renovated buildings had stayed standing and he was now making money hand over fist and donating most of it to several charities.

Lately he had been very quiet and pensive when they all talked about their families. They wondered if he even had one of his own but not even Cye could crack the big guy. What ever it was, it was serious to the point where White Blaze started to follow him worriedly.

A few days later the mail that they had forwarded to them started to arrive and in the first pile of letters, cards and bills there was a plain envelope addressed to Kento at the Koji residence.

Kento quietly took the letter and the small package that it was taped to up to his room and shut the door. Hours later as the guys were worried about what kept him in the room they sent Cye up to find out what was keeping him. Cye came back puzzled, as Kento had no longer been in the room.

Suddenly they all felt a rumble and were violently thrown to the ground. Ryo and Sage were up in a flash with their sub armor on. Rowen thought a moment and followed suit. "That had to be the Iron Rock Crusher or I am not Rowen of Strata."

They all let their armors guide them and they found their friend in the middle of a ripped up field behind Mia’s house where Kento used to practice when he had lived there. Kento only looked as if he had tried to turn the blow on himself as he stood up. He looked around unseeingly and fell to his knees punching the ground. "NO!! No No No!! This can't be happening."

The guys, worried that he might so something drastic also noticed that White Blaze was there watching. Ryo was relieved that his friend had not been hurt, the others were glad that Kento was not alone. As they stood their friend up and walked him over to a large rock to sit on, Sage started healing him while Cye looked him over. "Kento, why won't you tell us what happened??"

Kento looked at his friend despondently as the tears flowed down his cheeks, pulled a small locket from under his armor out. The chain was small and delicate and looked more so in the hand of the Hardrock bearer. Cye gently took the locket and when he opened it he found the picture of a beautiful young woman on one side and Kento on the other.

"Who is this Kento, she's beautiful." Cye and the others stared at the picture. Her Asian background was obvious in her features. But there was something about her eyes that even though it was just a picture, held them all captive.

The warrior in Orange armored down out of his subarmor into his street wear as he took the locket back. "That was Natalia Blueriver. The most beautiful woman I know and my fiancée." The others were shocked as his voice caught on the last word and he broke into sobs again. Mia came up behind them all having been brought by Blaze to the clearing to help deal with the situation she had heard what her friend said.

"What happened to her Kento?" Her words were kind as she reached over as she sat down and enveloped him in a hug. His haunted eyes turned on all of them, "How can you expect to understand. She was the one. She knew who I was and understood me. I saw the signs and I tried to protect her. But I wasn't good enough. I couldn't save her."

This worried the guys more than ever since the last time Kento got like this his doubts and fears almost overwhelmed him. Ryo, who had tuned in to Kento better than the others some how gave his shoulder a squeeze. "Comon man, you can tell us. We may not understand exactly, but I can just about bet we will all listen and try to help you through it. No matter what."

Kento sighed and though his eyes still held tears and were haunted past their usual gray he started speaking softly. "She was perfect. I met her on one of my inspection runs after an Earthquake had hit the down town area of Los Sienna. I did not think that she could be true. I mean I know that I am not perfect or anything. But when our eyes met, it was like something clicked into place."

"Later on she admitted that she had felt it too. Like we were meant for each other. Then it started. Only occasionally and when she thought that I wouldn't notice, but I did. The shadows and the sorrow in her eyes. It killed me because I could not understand what had caused those sorrows. They were deep and painful. Every time I asked her about it she would tell me that it was nothing and change the subject."

Kento's tears flowed freely now as he remembered her. Her long beautiful hair and her soft skin. She was also no slouch in the gym either since she could keep up with him in most of the workouts. The only thing he passed her on easily was weights. He thought that she was beautiful when she was angry, but frustration just made her so cute that he could not help but love her all the more and then help her out.

Mia's eyes shadowed. She had a feeling that she knew what was going to happen and she really wished that she could have saved him from the pain. "Kento, keep talking. She sounds so perfect for you."

Kento pulled a tissue out of his pocket and blew his nose. "When I was away on business we used to talk for hours on the phone. I'm no dummy, she was lonely and sad. I could hear it in her voice and I wanted like anything to be with her. " He took a deep breath and sighed. "We were engaged four months after we met that was how certain we were of our feelings for each other and we were due to be married next August. You were all going to be invited, it was going to be fun." Kento lost his control again as he thought of their planning parties and how they ended up with some kind of silliness.

Sage, Rowen, Cye and White Blaze were all sitting on the ground in front of him and Mia and Ryo were sitting on the rock with Kento encouraging their friend to keep talking. No one knew what to think of all of this. They had never thought that Kento of all people would fall so hard and so fast for someone and to have that someone return that love.

"She was so beautiful, I loved gazing for hours into those dark eyes of hers. She always got a major kick out of me when I was being a goofball too. The letter I got was actually two letters. One from her mother and that was with the locket and the tape that got sent to me. The other was from her. She's gone. DAMNIT THE ONLY THING I WAS LIVING FOR AND NOW SHE IS GONE!!!" His sobs intensified as the reality hit him like a ton of bricks.

Through his sobs they could hear him say, "I can help save the world from an evil greater than anything they planet has ever seen but I can't save the life of the one woman I ever loved with my whole being."

Cye produced the tape that Kento spoke of and they heard the mildly haunting strains of the song that had been sent to their friend by the woman he would have called mother in law.

As the song came to a close they all had a better idea as to what Kento had meant by everything he had said. It was going to be a long and lonely holiday for Kento Rei Fung, for he had lost that last of that light that had burned so brightly when he had arrived.

As the guys left to let him deal with his sorrow, the reaffirmed that they would always be there for him should he need them. Mia opted to stay back and keep an eye on their friend for the moment. White Blaze stayed too as he sobbed, cursed and screamed his rage out into the darkening skies. Mia stayed with him and he knew that in spirit his friends were with him as well. He had given them all a lot to think about. If Kento could love so deeply and lose that which was most important to him so suddenly, what would happen when the rest of them lost too?

With the Holiday marred by the incident they carried on though not as brightly as before. When the time came to say goodbyes. Kento opted to return to Mia’s house and stay with her like in the old days. There was nothing left for him in the states and as he finalized his return to Japan with the company he worked for, he only returned to the states to say good-bye. Good-bye to the woman who had taught him so much about the joy and the sorrow that life will bring to everyone.