Chapters 84 – 89
Yuki and Seiko throw Kaida a 35th birthday party. It is a small affair. The only other guest for the party is Brad, who reports his recent work on Ronnie’s death, his body just found in the woods. Seiko attempts to confess to the murder but is not taken seriously. Even in privacy with Brad, she does not reveal Ronnie’s true killer to be Conrad, and Brad accepts the secrecy out of fear of leaks in the police department. Two more surprises await Kaida for her party. The first is Toyo, out of the hospital but confined to a wheelchair for the moment. He tells Kaida about running into Tristan at the hospital and reminisces with Kaida about her old home. The other surprise is a mysterious package left on the doorstep that turn out to be forget-me-nots.
Seiko emphatically refuses to join Yuki at her annual family reunion, so she takes Brad (as usual) instead. Yuki’s father, Dirk Ohtani, the man who gives Raidon his orders, harasses and heckles Brad about being a doughy weakling. Brad merely agrees and enjoys the free food. Yuki’s great grandfather, meanwhile, warns Brad about the bad eggs in the family, and both agree that Yuki is a gem among the others. Brad takes a moment afterward to confess his feelings to Yuki, but his long-time friend shies away from the idea of advancing their relationship — for now. Yuki’s third oldest brother Brandon later crashes the party, drunk, and causes trouble right in the middle of Yuki and Dirk’s friendly karate match. Brad subdues the party crasher without any fanfare and takes him to the police station where he and his coworker Tara discuss the complexities of love.
Mike and Alex are starting college! Mike begins with a visit to his psychiatrist, Dr. Shalon, and a request to go back on medication to help him cope with new stresses. Alex proudly shows Seiko around her alma mater after her unsuccessful job interview. She finds some inspiration from “Mason Hall,” and decides to ask her friend and former student Eric Mason for an endorsement. Eric is busy with a construction project and campaigning for mayor (and, of course, the press) but agrees happily to help Seiko. Tristan meets up with Seiko (since it is his neighborhood) for lunch, and Seiko reassures him that she is not interested in Eric, despite being flustered by his flirty ways. The two set up a formal dinner date for later and both proceed to prepare fr the date with every detail. Seiko gets her hair done and new clothes. Kaida buys her brother a suit, and Tristan carefully constructs origami flowers from red paper purchased with his meager funds. But, Tristan is delayed by his friend Sean’s suicide attempt. Rescuing Sean at the top of an abandoned skyscraper, Tristan refuses to leave his side. Sean vents his feelings over the loss of his sister Kylie and confesses his previous suicidal thoughts. Tristan convinces his to accept the help of Dr. Shalon, but then misses the last bus. At Seiko’s request, Eric comes to his aide and gives him a pep talk during their drive to the bookstore, and at the end of the drive invites Tristan and Seiko to his upcoming charity ball. Instead of a fancy restaurant, Seiko and Tristan spend the evening with Chinese delivery and a DVD.
A sulking Raidon is back to business as usual in the absence of Kaida. He chastises Meredith for not being further along in recruitments and gives her his new orders. There are several targets for her to handle with previous assassin Sydney, who agreed to return. Among the targets is Eric Mason. Eric noticed a strange phenomenon in the letters he had been getting, specifically that there are fewer of them lately. He rejects Kaida’s advice to get a bodyguard on the grounds that it is “elitist” (and also seemed drastic and premature) and also passes on Yuki’s offer to be his protector. Seiko discretely gives him Conrad’s card.