|Petals of Blood
Author: theforesttree PM
Sasusaku. She keeps trying to run away. But he keeps pulling her back in. "I own you." He spoke expressionlessly, and she couldn't argue, no matter how much she tried. [Reconstructed]Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Supernatural - Sakura H. & Sasuke U. - Chapters: 5 - Words: 38,226 - Reviews: 289 - Favs: 238 - Follows: 264 - Updated: 01-11-13 - Published: 04-11-09 - id: 4984900
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
So many people have been telling me that they appreciate the length of my chapters. That's nice to know.
This chapter is ... fragile.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
My heart - …
Petals of Blood
…- handle with care
As I climbed into the car, my mind was whirling and my fingers were crossed. Which was ridiculous because why should I be worried that Sasuke wouldn't let me go to collect my own pay cheque? I worked hard for that money!
I already mentally planned my argument and my counter-argument and a counter-counter-argument should I have use for it. All ready and determined that I won't take no for an answer, I turned in the car seat, bringing up one of my legs while the other remained on the car floor.
"I'm going to go collect my pay cheque today."
There. Now there's that, what could he say about it?
In midst of pushing the key into the ignition, Sasuke turned his head to the side to glance at me from the corner of his eye and, his mouth pulled into a disinterested frown, replied, "Hn." The car's engine purred softly as his wrist turned the key.
What was that supposed to mean?
"If you could just drop me off at a metro station? That would be perfect." I asked meekly, still unsure whether he was allowing me to go, I changed tack and tried for the civilised tone.
He smoothly pulled out of the car park and the car zoomed towards the tall black iron gates of the school. The speed pushed me back into the posh leather of the car seat, tempting me to relax. Since I was studying his expression, I caught him rolling his eyes. "I'll drive you there."
He just topped perfect.
"Okay." I said, not knowing what to think.
(Sasuke. Sasuke. Sasuke. It has been two days.
How did you manage to turn my world upside down?)
We were driving through the forest that I saw from the classroom window yesterday at a speed that made it seem that we were flying – flying. Sasuke paid no heed when I called him a raving lunatic and told him to slow down.
It was a beautiful forest, not very dense but not sparse either. The canopies of the trees were very high, stretching towards the lightening sky. They casted shadows onto the car hood and the road, looking like disjointed fingers waving as the wind passed through the forest. It was already bright, maybe eight or nine in the morning. At the back of my mind, I hope that soon, I could take a hike through the forest and draw some sketches.
There was a comfortable silence between Sasuke and I in the car. I was in a pleasant mood because it was the first time I asked Sasuke for something and he had easily agreed.
It was a small huge step.
And he in turn, probably picking up on my mood, was relaxed comfortably in his seat, one hand raised to the steering wheel, easily navigating the car along the road.
I looked out of the window again, admiring the smooth road we were on that ran directly through the forest. The forest leaves were shimmering in the sunlight, turning a bright healthy green and several were starting to turn auburn in time for autumn.
I stared at the trees, a nagging feeling telling me that I was missing something.
Oh - Oh.
I whipped around in my seat to look at the man beside me. The man who was a freaking vampire.
"Sasuke! Sunlight!" Like a complete idiot, I pointed a finger at the sun that was shining down on us through the windshield, strong and mid-morning high. I could feel the heat of the sun on my knees through my jeans.
Sasuke who startled slightly but quickly recovered at my outburst cast a long look at me before returning his gaze onto the road in front of us, his flawless face expressionless.
"You're a vampire!" I said, pointing out the obvious like the Mr. Capitan Obvious that I was. And evidently, Sasuke thought the same since he let out an elegant snort. Ignoring the fact that it was the first time I had ever seen someone snort elegantly – I never knew it was possible -, I barrelled on, speaking quickly. "You shouldn't be able to come out in the sun. Look, sunlight is shining on your arms! Why aren't you dissolving or combusting?"
"Or melting." Sasuke said dryly.
I blushed and pouted. "Don't make fun of me."
Sasuke shook his head lightly, looking at me from the corner of his eyes, pinning me on the spot with his obsidian orbs. He spoke, a low baritone that made me bite my lip, "Vampires have low tolerance to sunlight. As we age, the tolerance wears off."
I sat straighter, a thoughtful expression on my face as I processed the information. "Oh. I see." I said, dozens of questions zipping around in my mind, like a hoard of angry bees on a warpath.
"As a child, we don't even feel the sun. Then, we start feeling a prickly pain. The pain gets more intense as we age and after some time, we can't go out in the daylight at all." Sasuke paused. "We combust."
"Does that mean you're a child?" I said, surprised. For a child, he really had the whole mean, cold, emotionless attitude going on that was honed into perfection.
And he really is too smexy, too good to be true, for a child! Inner Sakura shrieked.
"No. I can take a little pain." Sasuke deadpanned.
He was wearing a dark-colored t-shirt and dark wash jeans. His arms were in direct contact with sunlight since he had to place his hands on the steering wheel to drive. Even though the windows of the car were tinted, the sunlight still shined on him, still affected him.
I bit my lip. "Do you want me to drive instead?" I asked without thinking.
Sasuke shot a long look in my direction that had me doubting my IQ and the amount of cells that inhabited my brain.
"Can you drive?" Sasuke asked. He was back to looking out onto the road, not at me at all.
I didn't answer his question right away. "Yes…I swear I can! It's just I hadn't gotten my license." I mumbled the last part. Why oh why was I always showing this man my inadequate sides?
I saw Sasuke's questioning eyebrow and guessed the question lurking behind it.
Mumbling under my breath, I spoke lowly, "Couldn't pay for the test." I wonder how much he caught. Must have been enough, because he nodded nonchalantly.
Or he could just be pretending to have heard me when he really couldn't care less.
I ignored my depressing thoughts and turned back to gaze out the window. Outside, the last of the forest disappeared and the uptown streets of Tokyo came into view. We were in the residential area for the people of the higher-income class. It wouldn't be long before Sasuke, and his insufferable need to drive fast, got us into the central area of Tokyo where Coffeesands stood.
I fiddled with the textbooks in my lap before bending down to place the books near my feet. By the time I had straightened, we were there. Sasuke had pulled to a stop just outside of the café entrance, idling on the curb.
I casted a glance to Sasuke and opened my mouth to tell him to wait in the car before I thought better of it and abruptly got out of the car.
To my surprise, I heard the clicking of the car door and then a soft slam. I turned, but Sasuke was already beside me.
"I'm not giving you a chance to get away from me." Sasuke said. His face was completely unreadable.
I bit my lip, unsure whether to correct him. I wasn't even thinking about running away. I looked down at his arms and then back up to his face. The sun shone on him without restriction. But…you're in the sun.
Sasuke raised his eyebrow condescendingly, nudging his chin at the entrance to the brightly lit café with the words 'Coffeesands' stuck to the doors.
I quickly made my way in, knowing that Sasuke would follow and therefore get out of the sun.
Pulling the glass door open, I walked through and held the door. Sasuke was right on my heels and the door swung shut with a chime of bells.
I gestured in the direction of the only empty table in the café indicating that Sasuke should go and get seated. He turned and made his way to the table in the back, giving me a good long view of his broad back. His black t-shirt did nothing to hide the back muscles the boy had.
He has a nice butt. Inner Sakura stage-whispered, her face partially hidden by her raised hands, her eyes twinkling.
Shut up! I don't need to know! I shouldn't be looking at his butt!
Blushing, I dodged the tables, making my way to the counter. I slipped through the door marked 'Employees Only', pausing to give a polite smile to Daisy, the foreign girl who was manning the cash register. I didn't know her well - we worked different shifts.
Kouhiseki-san, my manager, was updating the stock logbook in the back room. She was standing in the small space, surrounded by boxes of napkins, silverware and extra cups on one side, crates full of bread buns, bottles of sauces and small packets of sugar on the other.
She balanced the logbook on a half-opened box of plastic gloves, scribbling quickly and muttering to herself once in a while – "five cups broken… two plates…express delivery for ham... arriving on the thirtieth…"
"Kouhiseki-san?" I asked cautiously, knowing she didn't mind us interrupting her while she was updating but I felt it was rude all the same.
Her head whipped up, greying hair flying with her movement. Her glasses were perched on her nose bridge and her sharp eyes caught sight of me immediately. Kouhiseki-san was in her mid-forties, a fair woman who never forgot a broken cup or a complaint from a customer. She was kind though and she also remembered every praise.
"Sakura! Dearie, where have you been?" She eyed me from my top of my head to the tips of my shoes probably shocked that she was seeing me after I had missed two days of work without excuse or advanced notice when my track record had been perfect until then.
"I'm so sorry I missed Tuesday and Wednesday-" I started but she startled me when she threw her logbook down. It disappeared into the box of yellow plastic gloves. She grabbed the tops of my arms, looking at me worriedly.
"Are you alright? Anything happened to you, dearie? You look so tired." She asked, her eyes roving over my form.
Anything happened to me? Oh, NOTHING – just a really godly-looking male kidnapping me and then confusing me by doing all sorts of things that I don't know why he does for me. And he is a vampire. No madam, nothing happened whatsoever.
I held her hand that was gripping my left arm. "It's nothing to be worried about. I just couldn't make it on Tuesday and Wednesday. I'm sorry that I didn't tell you beforehand. It was… unexpected." I winced as I tried to be vague but sincere as I answered her question. "I hope you weren't too short-staffed."
She gave out a large relieved sigh, as if her biggest question in life has been answered. "No worries dear! When you didn't turn up on Tuesday, I called Daisy to come in for an extra shift. On Wednesday, Haru came in for a while. He whined my ear off. The dear boy can't take any hardships in life. So unlike his hardworking father – you know he was a fisherman for twenty years." She laughed heartedly as she talked about her son, Haru – short for Haruki - and her decreased husband.
"I know, I know. Haruki-san's a good worker though! Even if he does whine a bit." I smiled at the nice woman I so luckily had as a manager.
"Oh look at old me, talking about things young people wouldn't care to hear. Sakura-dearie, you're the only one who doesn't tell this doddering bat some fib to get away from her old tales. You looking for your pay? I have it here somewhere…" She dug through the box of plastic gloves again, finally extracting the logbook. She flipped to the back of the book and a Chinese red packet fell to the floor. I bent to pick it up, carefully avoiding the box of candles sitting precariously on other unmarked boxes.
"Just go ahead and take it, dearie! That's your pay. You'll be back here on Monday to work? Five o'clock shift?"
"Of course, Kouhiseki-san. Thank you again!"
I waved and turned to leave the back room. Walking through the kitchen to go back to the main café area, I folded the red packet (Kouhiseki-san always gave our pays in Chinese red packets, saying it was good luck or something) into half before tucking it into the back pocket of my jeans and pulling my t-shirt over.
I stepped back into the main area, the smell of cranberry vanilla latte macchiato that Daisy was blending making me relax. I didn't particularly like strong coffee but the smell of it was heavenly.
My eyes instantly found Sasuke, like a magnet drawn to the opposite pole of another. He was still sitting where I left him. Just sitting there, staring out of the café window. He was slouched slightly in his chair but it didn't matter - all eyes of female race in the café were drawn to him anyway. He chose the chair beside the pillar, placing him effectively in the shadows. His right hand was on the table, inches away from where the sunlight streamed in from the window onto the wooden tabletop. His other hand was relaxed on the dark jeans covering his thigh.
He was a man shrouded in shadows and mystery.
I stopped in my steps, observing Sasuke; the first time I did without him noticing. I pushed away all my prejudiced thoughts and preconceived notions about him. Sasuke looked like a dark knight: smouldering eyes, broad shoulders, muscled arms, lean profile, and soft looking blue-black hair stuck up in artistically messy angles. The guy had it all – tall, dark and handsome. No wonder Daisy was mistakenly mixing in caramel nuts into the cranberry vanilla latte macchiato, her eyes fixed upon the modern day Adonis.
Behind those dark eyes, Sasuke held a world full of secrets and supernatural wonder. If I was honest to myself, I knew I was curious. Two things I was: stubborn and overly curious. Both terrible traits that were going to get me in trouble one day, I knew.
I sighed. I never had a chance did I.
Everything was changing. Everything. For so long, I was holding, grasping, willing everything to not change because I was finally finally dependent and suddenly I wasn't again. I felt a toddler when I looked at Sasuke – someone that needed someone else to explain the world. Someone to tell me what to do.
I was so used to being the adult all the time – a child that grew up too fast. And now, I wasn't even in command of my own actions and I didn't understand anything.
I was uneasy – so uneasy about the relationship I had with Sasuke. He made me feel like everything I wasn't.
A soft tap on the back of my hand snapped me out of my slumber. Feeling disoriented, I blinked rapidly, trying to gauge my surroundings.
I was still in the car but we had reached the driveway of the manor. We were bathed in silence because Sasuke had already yanked the keys out of the ignition, effectively cutting off the soft purring that lulled me to sleep.
Looking at Sasuke's intimidating profile, I frowned, still caught up in my previous thoughts.
I pulled open the car door and stepped out. Without looking back, I walked up to the great doors of the entrance, tugging hard on the black iron handles. They didn't budge. Were they locked, or too heavy for me to move?
I dropped my hands, clenched and unknowingly, I was pouting like a child. Sasuke came up beside me, sliding a large brass key that he produced out of his pockets into the lock and turning swiftly.
The huge doors clicked open and Sasuke held the door out, raising an eyebrow mockingly at my expression.
Feeling irrational anger, I brushed past him harshly. Why did he always have to show me how freaking useless and worthless I was?
There was nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Now she was pissed.
What was the freaking point of having such a marvelous kitchen and pantry if there was not a scrap of food?
Her stomach was growling loudly. She hadn't eaten since the cream pasta and fries combo that she had scarfed down during Ino's apologetic speech.
With the whole almost dying thing during defense class and then taking in all the sweet smelling coffee at Coffeesands, Sakura was starving. The moment she entered the manor, she immediately searched for the kitchen that conveniently was located slightly down the main hall of the foyer.
Sakura's green eyes scanned the huge oddly modern space briefly before she made a beeline for the refrigerator. Small hands yanked the refrigerator double doors open, impatiently pushing empty, unmarked cartons and containers aside once she deemed them void of food. She was beyond the point of caring if she made a mess of the place.
(It's not your home. It's not your home.)
She huffed in frustration.
(You not supposed to mess up someone else's home.)
Sakura flung an empty container aside as she dived further in, her torso leaning against the shelf in the refrigerator as she rose onto her tiptoes. Her entire upper body disappeared into the cold confines of the refrigerator, partly because she was so small and the refrigerator was just that large.
(Mess your own.)
(Mess your own.)
Her right hand landed on the freezer compartment handle and she pulled back her weight to open it.
Then she was trapped.
("Yeah? Nothing's my own anymore.")
A loud crunching metal sound resounded in the enormous high-end kitchen and emerald eyes went wide.
His dark onyx eyes were glaring beneath dark raven hair.
His long legs were pressing up against hers; the toes of his shoes were touching the backs of hers. Leaning forward, he pressed his weight into her. The pink strands of her hair tickled his frowning face.
Cold air ghosted across Sakura's cheeks but she felt more of the heat Sasuke emitted.
In her peripheral vision, she could see the swell of muscles in his biceps ripple with power as he trapped her head between them.
In a sudden movement, Sakura felt her body being yanked backwards by strong hands on her hips before she was twisted around and slammed back onto the surface of the recently closed refrigerator door, her breath leaving her abruptly in process of being manhandled.
Her chest was heaving with the harsh breaths she took to slow her pounding heart.
Tiny feet enclosed in white shoes dangled off the floor as Sasuke held her up by pinning her shoulders, bring her up to his towering height. Her shoulders were so small that Sasuke's long fingers were brushing against her neck. Due to their closeness, Sakura could see the darker tints of black that resided in his onyx eyes. In the back of her mind that was not quite frozen with shock, she realized Sasuke was even more beautiful up close.
(beautiful. beautiful. beautiful.)
A shock of electricity ran up her arms and down her spine causing her body to jerk closer to his figure and her breaths took on a more ragged pace as she felt a rush of sensations throughout her body.
"You… you s-shocked me again."
Sakura trembled slightly, her eyes prominent on her face, large and becoming greener and greener.
"You are not allowed to be here." His voice was twanged with a hint of fierceness. His breath brushed her face as he spoke and her senses were assaulted with the presence that was Sasuke.
"You never said that." Her hands came up to rest on the front of his shirt as she regained balance.
Sakura flinched and drew back before roughly trying to push him off her.
Emerald eyes glinted with anger when he didn't move back one bit.
He slowly brought her down to rest her feet on the ground, the front of her body brushing lightly against his with the movement.
His long fingers reached to grip her wrists tightly, feeling her bones click together. She realized that his skin felt slightly off normal temperature.
Sakura snarled and struggled out of his grip. Another shock passed through her. She gritted her teeth and growled, "Stop doing that."
"Get out of here." He growled right back.
"I'm hungry." She barreled on, feeding off her anger. Sasuke frustratingly stayed silent as he continued glaring. She shoved at him again, consciously ignoring the hard muscles she could feel beneath the shirt he wore, "I need food. Don't starve me."
His eyes bore into hers. He couldn't figure her out.
Grasping her wrist again gently, so gently it surprised her, he swiftly pulled her off the refrigerator surface and out of the kitchen. His fingers felt pleasant on her skin. She couldn't tell whether it was warm or cold. It was both, at the same time.
Sakura yanked her hand out of his grasp, turned and poised to run.
I turned away from Sasuke, not daring to look into his eyes any longer and just wishing to get back to my room to attempt to figure out the feelings that rushed at me suddenly when Sasuke had pinned me to the refrigerator.
I didn't hear Sasuke move, but all of a sudden he was right in front of me, moving too fast for my eyes to follow.
He was glaring at me fiercely. The dark depths of his eyes shone with frustration and anger, his facial muscles contorted, a deep 'V' between his eyebrows, his lips pressed in a thin, hard line – almost like he was trying to control his anger, but not quite succeeding.
"You're annoying." He wasn't accusing me. He said it like a statement. The truth – like everything else he said.
"Oh, yeah? Like I care what the hell you think about me." I spit back viciously. The words sounded wrong and tasted sour in my mouth, like I didn't mean them even though I knew I did.
He glared harder at me, his eyes blazing with untamed rage. What did he have to be angry about? He wasn't the one who had become someone else's slave without explanation or logical reason.
Suddenly, I felt his hand gripping my wrist (yet again) as he dragged me into the drawing room. The lights weren't switched on in this room. With the light flooding in from the open door leading to the foyer, I could easily make out the shapes of the furniture but everything was shrouded in shadows.
Dropping my hand like it had spontaneously caught on fire, he bit out, "Sit."
My legs folded beneath me against my will and I sat on one of the plush cushions of the sofa facing the door.
I felt my anger rise up several thousand notches. This was the problem – the fact that he could just command me to do something and I would do it, no matter my say.
I opened my mouth so I could vocalise any of my furious thoughts, to do it before he commanded me to stop talking – but he already interrupted me.
His arms snapped out and I felt the heat that emitted out of his skin as he splayed his hands on the sofa on either side of my unmoving body and leaned forward, not quite as close as before. His heat didn't affect me - I was angry enough that I wouldn't be surprised if I did spontaneously combust into flames. All of my supressed anger and frustration that I had accumulated since I met him came back at me full force, knocking me off my steed of control and leaving me with nothing but my anger to use as the last defence.
"What's wrong with you?" Sasuke asked, his eyes searching my face probably questioning my behaviour and (righteous) anger.
My mouth muscles twitched at the strain of trying to break his control over me. Tingles of electricity spread throughout my body, warning me.
I felt a wash of coolness flood through my body as Sasuke relinquished his control over the function of my mouth to form words.
"What's wrong with me? What's wrong with me? Tell me, Sasuke, what in the fucking world were you planning when you attacked me and made me your slave?" I could hear the outrage in my voice as it shook with the intensity of the feelings I was putting behind my words.
Sasuke's eyes narrowed at my expletive. I bit my lip, not allowing myself to feel guilty for cursing. I didn't do it very often - just when I was very frustrated. But I didn't doubt it was a useful skill, even if it was unrefined and vulgar.
He mumbled something I almost didn't catch. After my screaming curses, his voice was soft. I thought he said 'I wasn't' but I couldn't be sure.
He looked at me, pinning me with his fathomless onyx eyes. He growled, "What are you so angry about?"
He leaned down so his face was right in front of mine. I fought the urge to lean backwards to put some distance between us.
"I'm angry-" I stressed my words, hoping to finally get him to understand. "- because you never explain anything. Did you think that you could kidnap me whenever you wanted to, hold me here and just command me to do things? Without me fighting back or at least trying to resist?"
He remained silent, both of us listening to my harsh breathing.
"You… you changed everything." My voice dropped into whispers.
I was too tired, too tired of everything.
"You brought me here and left me to be confused. You didn't explain anything. You changed my entire world by barely doing anything. Why is it that you can do that? Why is it that you're barely affected while my world was tipped upside down and is burning in hell now that I don't believe in anything? I don't even believe in myself anymore. I don't trust myself and its all your fault." My voice wavered and was so soft I doubt he could hear the words. I was speaking very quickly, like I wasn't allowing my mind to catch up with my mouth.
I looked up at him, taking in the dark, dark hair that looked almost blue, high aristocratic nose, thin lips twisted into a frown and dark onyx eyes as if it was the first time all over again.
"…I don't think I hate you for it." I breathed, half praying he couldn't hear me.
He was leaning closer to me now, having moved during my whispered speech, putting less than a foot of space between our faces. No part of his body was touching mine but it made no difference because I was acutely aware of him anyway.
"Will you let me go?" I asked once more, but this time there was no desire behind the words. They sounded hollow. I asked because that was what I was familiar with.
Would I leave if he said 'yes'?
My breath left me in a whoosh that I was sure he could hear. We were so close.
He studied me. His eyes taking in every feature of my face as I forced myself not to blush. I struggled to remain still under his scrutiny. My eyes fixed upon the details of the drawing room walls that I could see from above his shoulder.
"We…can come to an agreement." His voice made me jump, all my muscles hyperaware of him just in front of me.
My eyes involuntarily found his again as my mouth moved without my brain really processing the thoughts behind it. Could he like…move back a little?
"Like a compromise?"
He smirked, a tiny tilt of his lips on one corner of his mouth.
I nodded several times slowly, almost like I was trying to convince myself.
"What do you suggest?" I whispered. In tune with the mood compressing the drawing room: dark, soft, and subtle.
Since I was sitting facing the open door of the drawing room, my face was bathed in artificial light and Sasuke's face was hidden in silent shadows, only a slight illumination upon his features caused by the light reflected off my face onto his.
"I won't order you to do things unless it's necessary or if you're being stupid."
Although feelings of indignation bubbled within me, I kept silent, listening to him finish.
But he had stopped talking.
"Is that…all? I have no…duties?"
Sasuke had an indescribable expression plastered onto his face.
Slaves do things for their master right?
"Just don't run away." Sasuke added, almost in an afterthought.
"That's not really a deal, is it? It's like I'm not even a slave." I stated still extremely bemused.
"Really? You're not going to command me to do anything for you? Like...what do slaves do for their master nowadays – wash clothes? Check food for poison and rooms for hidden weapons or anything like that?" I asked, cracking my brain for some information I knew from my class with Kakashi-sensei.
Sasuke stared at me as if I grew two heads and polka-dotted horns.
"I just have to not run away? Run away from this place where there is free lodging, free schooling, free food and water and everything to sustain life?" I rambled on. The feelings of anger and frustration melted into feelings of 'this-is-too-good-to-be-true'.
He nodded. I stared into his face disbelievingly. I knew there is a catch – I just had to figure out what that catch was. He looked slightly confused – either he was genuinely confused about my reaction or he was an evil genius with genius acting. I chose the latter.
"I don't believe you." I declared even though my Inner self was commenting that he never did lie to me before. I wasn't stupid. I knew I had to be cautious of all deals, especially those that seemed overly generous. "I don't believe that you won't command me to do things against my will, like you would command me to shut up when I'm saying things you don't want to hear."
Sasuke exhaled through his mouth, looking annoyed. He leaned back, putting another foot of space between us.
"You mean you won't - if you can bear with me."
He didn't disagree.
"Then…Sasuke, why did you ask me to become your slave? You never told me the reason." I asked the question still burning bright in my mind like a gas lamp in the middle of freezing winter midnight.
He glared at me. But compared to all his previous death glares, this didn't even make me flinch.
"Just stay." He murmured. And I knew he was telling me not to run away.
He stood and walked out of the drawing room. I sat on the sofa, surrounded by shadows and staring at Sasuke's back.
A small, tiny hesitant smile was playing around my lips.
Because that wasn't an order.
And, as I was starting to learn, in Sasuke language, that was practically saying 'please'.
I pushed back the heavy velvet drapes to reveal the wide windows but left the translucent curtains. The sunlight shone through the material, making the drawing room brighter, less daunting and mysterious. The curtains lifted into the air and my hair flew across my face as the wind blew in through the open windows.
The drawing room had many couches and lounge chairs arranged in an artistically careless manner, several facing the fireplace etched into the wall, speaking of old antiques and the time when the world was younger.
There were many strange and almost random objects in the drawing room. I recognised a globe and several rolled up scrolls on the oak table. But on it were many other things I didn't recognise. There was a tube-like thing that looked like a syringe without a needle. The fluid inside was translucent-white, shimmering in the light, as if it had miniscule particles of glitter suspended within in. I cautiously pulled in back onto the oak table careful not to jostle all the other weird trinkets and objects. There was also a telephone on the table, creating a juxtaposition of items from different centuries. There were many of such instances in this manor: heaters, modern bathroom, telephones, laptops, and energy-saving light bulbs. Not for the first time, I wondered how old Sasuke was.
Into the far corner of the room, next to the large windows was a large object covered with a white sheet, like when expensive furniture from old houses was preserved. Curiosity won over politeness to not touch things that weren't mine, and I pulled at the heavy sheet, leaning back on my heels. The sheet slid off, revealing a full-sized grand piano. It was all black smooth, polished wood.
It was beautiful. Based on my 'knowledge' (I used to walk by a music shop that sold instruments about two blocks away from Coffeesands whenever I went to work and would admire the pianos and guitars that stood in the display), I could tell that the piano in the drawing room was a seriously majestic one.
At this moment, looking at the grand piano and thinking about my previous conservation with Sasuke, the diabolical brain that resided in my head decided it was time to test the compromise between Sasuke and I.
He said he wouldn't command me to do anything, even if I was getting on his nerves – but I wondered what were the limits on 'getting on his nerves'.
I sat down on the leather bench in front of the piano, lifting up the key lid to reveal the black and white keys.
Tentatively, I pressed down on one white key, hearing the clear note resonate throughout the drawing room.
Smiling, I stood back up to heave up the piano lid, letting the sunlight shine onto the strings, hammers and soundboard. Lifting the lid would let the sound out, amplifying the volume of my playing, ensuring that Sasuke would hear me.
Using two fingers, I pressed down on the keys again, childishly delighting in the loud clear sound. Raising my left hand, I played more keys, my grin growing wider with every loud detached note.
I never played the piano before – ergo, I was terrible. Instead of creating beautiful music, the notes I played were all either too high, too low or simply didn't fit together.
This is sure to annoy you, Sasuke. You're not going to just let me make this racket. Go on, I'm proving you wrong right now – come and tell me to shut up.
I continued to pound on the keys, not delicate or graceful at all, instead deliberately playing badly. There was no tune, no rhythm, just awkward and mismatched tones one after another.
As I pressed random keys together, playing loudly, I waited for Sasuke to come bursting into the drawing room. I waited for the tingles to spread throughout my body after he commanded me to stop. I waited for him to enforce his will again, remembering the night sky and pink cherry blossom petals that floated down onto the manor's driveway on the first day I officially met Sasuke.
I braced myself for the sharp pain that would run up my spine and sink into my brain - the feeling of electrocution.
I waited for the colorless world.
(I don't believe you, I don't believe you, I don't believe you.)
But it never came.
My hands dropped into my lap.
He was really letting me to this, just like he said - he would bear with me.
I was starting to realize that he meant what he said when we 'compromised'.
I was surprised to find myself a little touched at the gesture – or no gesture this in case.
(You keep proving me wrong
again and again)
So…we're living here from now on? Inner Sakura said snidely. Like the worthless things we always prove to be?
Shut up. Maybe…maybe our life is finally turning around.
You don't really believe that, do you? Inner Sakura blinked at me pityingly.
I wanted to believe that maybe things were finally looking up. All of this: the room, the school, Sasuke… all seemed a little bit too good to be true.
But it is always good to hope a little right?
If Sasuke was putting in the effort…so would I.
Sucking in a lung full of air, my diagram expanded and I opened my mouth to shout in a clear voice.
"Sasuke! I'm still hungry!"
(maybe together we could make this work)
Even though, there was a shift in the fragile relationship Sasuke and I shared, I was still scared shitless out of my mind.
I stepped into the car without protest while my mind ran away without me, still contemplating whether I had made the right choice. I zoned out, lost in my thoughts.
I just looked, at him, at everything, at nothing.
Was I really going to let someone else seize such a large role in my life? And trust that he was not going to hurt me? Was it really all right to finally rely on someone else for a change?
All my survival instincts were telling me to bolt right out of the car and report Sasuke to the police for kidnap and assault. But another part of me was telling me to let things run its course, to let a shimmer of hope creep into my heart.
This trust I was trying to give Sasuke was the biggest I ever gave anyone. From the past few days, my life had completely changed because of him. If he wasn't going to treat me like a slave – like our compromise promised -, then this was a good change.
I was so scared that things would bite me the ass and throw me out in the streets, in worse condition than I had started in. It happened so many times already; why are you even hoping anymore?
There was an invisible weight crushing my chest, an invisible hand strangling my heart – strangling the hope out of it.
(Because that's how you'll live, you darling girl.)
When my eyes closed, when I saw nothing, it was as if I couldn't feel anything. The hope I thought I could give myself. The belief I thought I could give Sasuke. They will all turn into nothing once again, just like it always have.
My eyes slid open as I struggled to push all my previous disappointments and hurt away – to leave space for the new hopeful future.
Tears gathered in my eyes as I realized exactly how reliant I had become on Sasuke and as I thought of all my previous experiences of relying on people.
(Bad experiences break you.)
I had placed a wall around myself, not letting anyone in – not letting anyone have the chance to hurt me.
But the moment I shouted at Sasuke that I was hungry… I gave him the reins momentarily. I gave him some part of my control. I gave him some part of my trust.
He broke the carefully constructed wall I had since I was a young girl.
Shivers went down my spine; I felt the imaginary cold seep into my bones, the structure of my being.
Everything that I used to believe in…
My pink hair was down, and it fluttered into my vision as I fought the tears back. As I repeatedly told myself that I was making the right choice - there was no need to be afraid.
Everything was blurry and unclear.
All I saw was pink strands and beyond that the passing road.
But when Sasuke spoke, "We're almost there", everything went back into focus, like an elastic snapping back into place.
We're almost there.
We're almost there.
We're almost there.
She felt again.
The words tumbled through her pink lips in whispers, sounding... unbelieving.
Sasuke looked at her through the corner of his eye.
He was the person that dragged her though the unknown.
Confused, hesitant and hopeful, she was the girl who followed, unknowing where they were going.
Sakura Haruno started to trust Sasuke Uchiha, just a little.
I watched as his hands smoothly maneuvered into the parking space and in my mind, I compared it to my clumsy movements when I test-drove. The muscles of his upper arm flexed slightly beneath his pale skin, showing power in his nimble movements. I silently cursed myself for staring at his hands and arms.
He 'hn'-ed and I wondered whether he took notice of my discomfort. His hands left the steering wheel to rest on his dark jeans. His skin was very pale, but he was beautiful.
I coughed lightly, turning my gaze to the world outside of the window. The sun shone brightly, showing off its mid-day power. It was so bright outside. I had to quint my eyes, already used to darkness and midnight.
Emerald met onyx when I turned back to him.
His face was expressionless once again.
This time, he turned away first and yanked open the glove box, I heard the telltale sounds of his hand shuffling through the items inside before he pulled out two dark-tinted sunglasses. Tossing one to me with a flick of his wrist, he slid the other on and was pushing the car door open before he stepped out with movie star grace. I felt a bout of confusion before I stepped out of the car too, quickly sliding the sunglasses to rest on my nose, the muscles around my eyes instantly relaxing once the sun was obscured.
He angled his face, his side profile to me as if he was waiting for me, already standing a few metres away from the car. Sasuke ran a hand through his hair, letting it drop into his eyes.
I shared a small smile with myself as I purposely slowed down my steps, walking at a ridiculously slow pace.
If I didn't keep my eyes on him the entire time, I might have not observed the furrowing of the brow and the defiant shift of his head as waited for me to reach his side.
Together, looking like movie stars, we walked into the grocery store.
A blast of cold air greeted us, raising the fine hair on my bare arms, as we passed through the sliding doors of the grocery store entrance. I grabbed a miniature wheeled silver cart from the line near the front door and followed after Sasuke who had his hands tucked into the pockets of his low-rise jeans.
I quickly scanned the grocery store, coming to the conclusion that this was more of a supermarket empire. It was huge; aisles and aisles of food, toiletries, wine and other household items.
I winced briefly, so many items – so many more chances of being tempted to spend money.
"Hey…Sasuke, you're paying right?" I asked, pushing the cart down the never-ending fruit aisle.
He looked down to face me – damn he was so tall – and cocked an eyebrow. "You don't have any money on you?" said Sasuke.
"Nope," I said, popping the 'p', consciously pulling my t-shirt over the pocket of my jeans, where the red packet Kouhiseki-san had given me was hidden.
Sasuke snorted as if he didn't believe me at all and nodded resignedly, continuing to walk down the aisle.
I grinned and pushed the cart with one hand while the other tenderly placed plastic bags of selected fruits into the cart.
My eyes examined each and every fruit carefully, searching for bruises. Distractedly, I asked, "Sasuke? Do you want anything?"
He didn't reply.
I looked up, clutching a mango in my right hand, to see him staring at my face with a mocking expression on his. His lips parted and rose, showing me a gleaming set of front teeth. A heartbeat later, his incisors sharped into sharp points.
Shit! Anyone could have seen that!
Hurriedly, I scanned the aisle, worried that people would start screaming because of Sasuke's 'I'm a vampire' presentation. No screams, and no one else were present in the fruit aisle - apart from me (the normal human) and Sasuke (the exhibitionist vampire).
I let out a sigh of relief, knowing deep in my gut that we could have been in the middle of a lot of commotion and police attendance (and maybe even garlic and holy water).
Stupid, Sasuke would never bring out his fangs if someone were watching. Inner Sakura commented.
Sasuke's lips had closed and were curved into an attractive smirk.
I wanted to hit him. Instead, I hissed, "I know you're a vampire, you asshat – I was just wondering if you ate anything else other than blood. It's not healthy to have a monogamy relationship with your basic diet."
Sasuke stared at me in silence, his eyes roving over my face, almost as if he was trying to memorize how I looked like.
I pulled a face.
I let the expression melt off my face, startled. "What? You eat tomatoes?" Narrowing my eyes, I thought of the red fruit. "It is because it is red like the color of blood?"
Sasuke looked away from me, his face contorted into a slight grimace before he said softly, "No. Does everything I do have to be because I'm a vampire?"
"No… but it is a pretty big part of you…" I trailed off. Pushing the cart further down the aisle, I came to the crates of bright red tomatoes. I tore a plastic bag off the roll and started to fill it to the brim with tomatoes.
"Is this enough?" I asked, holding the half-full bag near my face for Sasuke's inspection.
He looked at the bag disdainfully.
Sighing, I pushed the bag into his arms, not waiting for him to get a good grip before I let go. Faster than my eyes could catch, Sasuke had his hands out of his pockets and securely around the bag of tomatoes.
Tilting my head to indicate the crates of tomatoes, I said, "Pick out your own tomatoes – I'm going to find more food on the other aisles. Not all of us can live off…" I smiled angelically, "Tomatoes."
I pushed the cart away and turned the corner of the aisle, my laughter trailing softly after me.
Without Sasuke beside me, I could focus better – going automatically into grocery shopping mode. I grabbed the main staples: rice, bread, vegetables and bottles of water, before moving on to get other ingredients, all the while calculating the total cost in my head.
I moved into the lane lined with spices and picked out small bottles of the most important spices, throwing them into the rapidly filling cart.
Before long, I was back in the fruit aisle, having bypassed the huge wine section and the rows and rows of household items. Feeling satisfied with my haul and that all the items would not pass sixty dollars, I rounded the corner - then paused.
Sasuke was leaning against the crates of tomatoes, and had three plastic bags filled with tomatoes resting at his feet. His head was bent and his face set in deep concentration as he examined a tomato in his hand. I wanted to go and tell him not to give himself a brain hemorrhage over the simple act of picking tomatoes but I couldn't get close to him since the aisle were blocked by two girls about my age. They were standing in the middle of the aisle, giggling behind their hands, their heads close together to whisper the way girls did whenever they were admiring a hot guy.
And I could easily guess their topic of conversation.
The two teenage girls were obviously dressed to pass for twenty-one, in six-inch heels, push-up bras, and plastic (fake) IDs sticking out of their jean mini skirt back pockets.
From where I stood, at the edge of the aisle, I could hear them as their whispers got more excited and they bounced on the spot, accompanied by the occasional squeal. Like I saw it coming a mile away, they were talking about Sasuke, how hot they thought he was, with his gorgeous just-fucked hair and aristocratic features. There was also a great deal of loud-whispered discussion about his abs – although, how they could tell how hard and defined his abs are through his dark t-shirt, I would never know.
Oh, but you do know – you got a good feel of his abs just now in the kitchen, didn't you? Inner Sakura said, laughing boisterously and wiggling her pink eyebrows.
The girls continued to chatter in front of me, still blocking the way. They had moved on to discuss which of them would be a better match for 'the-really-really-hot-panty-dropping-man-over-there'. One of them started to straighten out her skirt while the other tugged at her halter-top.
They were pretty – if you liked the kind of girl you'll find in the backroom of hipster clubs.
As Ino would say: they were in the grocery store only to buy toilet paper so they can stuff their bra. Inner Sakura sneered.
I couldn't help it. I laughed out loud, trying to stifle my laughter behind my hand. The cart rolled forward as I leaned my weight on to it.
The girls didn't hear my muffed laughter but Sasuke's head snapped up. He threw the tomato into the fourth plastic bag he was holding and grabbed the three other bags around him. As if he didn't notice the two girls, he strode pass them and suddenly he had his free hand gripping the front of the cart. He moved so fluidly, so languidly and gracefully that I was surprised that the two girls scrutinizing him did not think odd of Sasuke's quick but smooth movements.
Due to his imposing hand, the cart I was leaning on stopped rolling forward.
I looked up at his very unimpressed face and rolled my eyes. "I wouldn't have fallen. I can always stop the cart…" Flashing him a brief grin before I straightened up, I whispered, aware of the two girls gawking at us, "-but I was just enjoying the blatant display of female predatory instinct of seeking out potential mates based on who has the greatest hair."
Sasuke swung the bags of tomatoes, all three and a half bags full, into the cart, adding on to the pile of food. "You're insulting your own species," said Sasuke as he grabbed the handle for the cart from me, pushing it down the aisle towards the checkout.
"Ha! I'm not anything like those girls." I said, shivering when I thought of myself going to a club wearing something so revealing.
Sasuke, having reached the checkout counter, started pilling my haul and his tomatoes onto the conveyor belt. "I know," he murmured, turning to push the cart back to the line of carts near the entrance.
"That would be eighty-two dollars and fifty cents," the man at the cash register drawled, his voice a sure sign of too many cigarettes.
Throwing out a polite smile, I stuck a finger in Sasuke's direction before singing, "He's paying."
I'm having lots of trouble trying to figure out what to put into chapter 6. So I would appreciate reviews telling me what people think might happen in the next chapter? Its always helpful to know what people think of the story so far.
Thank you to everyone who has been supporting me. I'm trying really hard to make sure school doesn't get in the way of my writing but it just started so updates probably won't be as regular as before.
Review! They inspire me to write.