Disclaimer: RK and all the characters don't belong to me. I merely borrowed them for my story.
A.N. Greetings! Welcome to Chapter 16! I hope the wait wasn't too long. I'm going to get a start on chapter 17 right away. I think the story is coming to a close in my head. Oh the screen, not yet, but I'm working on it. :)
A Forgotten Night – Chapter 16
The whole idea of Las Vegas had been Tae's from the get go. It had formed when the four women had been out for Megumi's stagette party. It all stemmed from the fact that Sano and Megumi had been trying to get Kenshin and Kaoru together since they had started dating! It was a common conversation between Tae and Megumi. Each and every time it was brought up, Megumi would start on a rant about the stubbornness of her cousin and the damn red-head.
Stubbornness that stemmed from the fact that neither Kenshin nor Kaoru wanted to be set up on a blind date and flat out refused to!
Stubborn. Stubborn. Stubborn!
It was no exception during the stagette. Kaoru and Misao had fled the table to escape from the embarrassing antics of Megumi and Tae and at that moment Tae had asked the one million dollar question: What was the status of Kenshin and Kaoru? True to form Megumi had launched into another rant about it when Tae had her brainstorm.
While Misao and Kaoru were in the bathroom the plan was put in motion, Megumi made a phone call to Sano and got the ball rolling. They were so sure of their success that they had ordered 4 glasses of champagne to help the cause. It took very little convincing on their part and soon they were toasting the new adventure Kaoru and Misao were embarking on.
To ensure nothing went totally wrong, Megumi flew into Las Vegas on a later flight than her fiancé and his friends. That had been the arrangement from the get go. She had settled herself into a dark corner of the hotel bar to watch the evening antics unfold.
Her eyes were transfixed on Kenshin and Kaoru. She counted the amount of times an empty glass was set on the table by both people. It was a nail biting start to the evening for Megumi. When the number of drinks kept climbing and nothing was happening she was getting worried that she was wrong about them being perfect for each other.
When Kenshin asked Kaoru to dance, Megumi started to breathe again. Taking a sip of her drink was almost fatal when she spied Aoshi hauling Misao onto his lap and locking lips with her.
Shock was not an emotion that Megumi experienced all that often.
The idea of Aoshi and Misao had never even entered into their minds. Aoshi was too much of recluse for anyone to attempt to set him up. The fact that they had gotten together had been an odd fluke which no one was about to argue with. Aoshi was in need of a breath of fresh air, and Misao was just that. She was perfect for him. A match made in heaven right under their noses the whole time.
Megumi planned to congratulate them on their intelligence once the dust settled.
Kenshin and Kaoru, on the other hand, were causing immense frustration for everyone in on the plan.
Megumi sat in her dark corner watching the couple on the dance floor. Kenshin and Kaoru certainly made the perfect match. They had been drinking all evening but both adults were still not quite drunk enough to start pawing at each other. They were close but there was a barrier set up between them that was preventing the full on kisses they should have been sharing.
Instead, the couple swayed slowly to a romantic love song. They were close, but not close enough. There were gentle caresses, but only on the arm or back. There was heat, but only through their eyes as they looked at each other.
Megumi sighed to herself.
"Something wrong, my dear?" Sano asked coming up behind his wife.
"They're not doing anything!" Megumi said.
"They're dancing, that's a big step for Kenshin." Sano replied, bending over and kissing his fiancé on the cheek.
"Big step or not, they should be kissing or something!"
"Ha! Kenshin would never kiss a woman the first night he meets with her. He's a prude." Sano retorted.
"Sanosuke! You have to get them to kiss!" Megumi ordered.
"What! What do you want me to do, smash their faces together?"
"I need them to kiss without anyone resorting to violence." Megumi rolled her eyes.
"Then how about more booze?"
"Booze is not doing it. They've had more than enough to lower their inhibitions!" Megumi said chewing on her thumb nail. Sano reached down and pulled her hand away from her mouth. He brought it up to his own and brushed his lips against her knuckles.
"Well then, I'll just have to work my magic." He said slyly.
The song ended and the couple on the dance floor broke apart. Kenshin went to the bar to get a few drinks for everyone and Kaoru went back to the table. Sano broke away from Megumi and snaked his way back to their table. Aoshi and Misao had left minutes before hand and Sano found Kaoru standing over the table staring at the empty seats that were once occupied by them.
"Where's Misao?" Kaoru asked.
"She left with Shinomori a little while ago." Sano replied. Kaoru looked down at him. Misao just up and leaving without telling Kaoru was something that never happened. Kaoru chewed on her lower lip nervously. That Aoshi guy was a little weird to her. He had just sat there saying nothing the whole time they were together. What Misao found so attractive about him was beyond Kaoru.
"Don't worry, Aoshi is nothing but a gentleman. She's fine. Besides I know that lady can take care of herself if she ever needed to." Katsu remarked, attempting to alleviate Kaoru's worried look. He had come up beside Kaoru and Sano. "Besides, they're perfect for each other. Misao is exactly what Aoshi needs in his life."
For some odd reason, Kaoru believed him and felt a little better. She found her seat and got comfortable.
"I never thought I'd see the day when a woman fit into Aoshi's life. I mean, I couldn't picture Shinomori with a woman, let alone a woman like Misao. Now don't get me wrong, she's a wonderful girl. But she just doesn't seem like the type to get the attention of Aoshi. Guess I don't know him as well as I thought I did." Katsu remarked.
"I know I didn't know him at all! I always thought Aoshi was a prude like Kaoru over there. I never thought he'd have the balls to kiss Misao like that!" Sano exclaimed laughing. Kaoru found herself sitting up straight, bristling at his comment.
"Excuse me?" she asked stiffly.
"Oh c'mon, Kaoru! You and I both know that you're a prude." Sano replied, smirking.
"I most certainly am not!"
"You are! Okay, case in point, you are obviously attracted to Kenshin." Kaoru blushed at the statement and Sano continued, "But you're too reserved and prudish to make a move on him!"
The statement was no sooner out of his mouth when Kenshin arrived at the table carrying two drinks in his hands, for himself and Kaoru.
"Prudish, am I? I'll show you prudish." Kaoru glowered as she shot to her feet.
And with that, Kaoru grabbed the lapels of Kenshin's blue shirt and hauled him to her.
Megumi almost spit out the mouthful of water she had just taken when she watched her normally reserved and shy cousin pull Kenshin to her and kiss him hard.
Megumi pushed her glass aside. Water had it in for her.
She didn't know what Sano had done, but she knew that her fiancé was a miracle worker.
The second her lips touched his own, Kenshin's entire world evaporated. Completely forgetting he even held drinks, he dropped them to the floor and freed his hands to bury them in her hair. She had initiated the kiss, but the burning desire he had felt for her ever since they met in the elevator caused him to take control of the kiss. He angled her head and felt her mouth open, entreating entrance for his tongue.
Kaoru's fingers loosened their grip on his lapels and splayed across his chest as she relinquished control over to him.
All anger was forgotten by Kaoru. Everything that Sano had said disappeared from her mind when her lips touched his. She had meant the kiss to be quick, hard, and passionate. But she forgot the reason for the kiss in the first place. She didn't care either. The man whose hands were buried in her hair and whose tongue was working wonders in her mouth was someone who could make a woman forget her own name!
Kenshin finally ended the kiss by pulling away from her slightly. He was pretty drunk, but he knew that he had just experienced the greatest kiss he would ever have in his whole life. Kaoru's eyes were still closed, his fingers still laced in her hair, and her lips were slightly parted.
Kaoru's eyes fluttered open slowly and found herself looking up into hot amber eyes. The gasp of surprise died in her throat as Kenshin pulled his hands from her hair and ran his thumb over her lower lip. Leaning forward, Kenshin brushed his lips against her cheek ever so slightly.
"Beautiful." He whispered softly, his breath sent a thrill through her spine as it brushed gently past her ear. "Dance with me."
She wasn't given a chance to respond, Kenshin's hand found its way to the small of her back and was steering her back towards the dance floor.
There was a stunned silence between the two men who were left at the table. They had witnessed the entire thing and Sano felt quite pleased with himself for succeeding. He glanced over to the dark corner that Megumi occupied and winked, knowing full well that she was looking at him.
The night only got better.
Sano and Megumi had to move fast to keep up with the couple. They had managed to catch the pair as they wandered off the dance floor towards the bathrooms. Thinking the couple needed a washroom break, Sano was going to follow Kenshin and find out about the progress being made.
Of course, the fact that the couple had been pawing at each other smack in the middle of the dance floor and been a pretty huge indication that progress was being made by leaps and bounds. But hearing it from the horses mouth was always good to have.
Of course, Sano didn't meet up with Kenshin in the bathroom. Instead he had rounded the corner to enter the hallway which lead to the washrooms only to find himself witnessing something he never thought he would see.
Kenshin had Kaoru pressed to the wall, one of her legs was wrapped around his waist and the kiss they were sharing was nothing short of pure uninhibited passion.
Sano backed up and retreated before he was spotted. Instead he stood guard at the hallway to ensure the couple got their privacy.
Kenshin inhaled deeply, smelling the intoxicating scent of Kaoru as he pushed her into the wall and buried his face in her neck. She was like a lifeline to a dying man. Kenshin couldn't get enough of her. Even if he was drunk he was still thinking about a time when she wouldn't be in his life and he didn't like that thought at all.
"Are we crazy? Why are we acting like this?" Kaoru breathed as Kenshin nibbled suggestively on her neck. Her arms and legs were wrapped firmly around his whole body. Her lips were red and swollen from his kisses and her mouth still carried his taste.
She wanted more.
She needed more.
"All I know is that I can't get enough of you." Kenshin replied, pulling his face away from her neck and capturing her lips with his own again. Each kiss they shared was powerful and exciting enough to cause Kaoru's toes to curl in her shoes. Her heart was pounding in her ears and her breathing was shallow.
She never knew she could be so turned on by a man.
"I need to make love to you, Kaoru." Kenshin whispered against her neck. His hands ran up her sides sending shots of electricity down to her feet. She was dizzy with passion and alcohol. Kenshin nibbled on her neck, then flicked his tongue against the same skin as he pushed himself even closer to Kaoru. The need Kenshin was feeling was unbearable. It was consuming his whole person as he felt Kaoru tremble against him.
"Oh. My. God." Kaoru whispered. She felt the very same need coursing through her being. The thought of being naked with the man before her caused her mouth to run dry. She entangled her fingers in his hair and leaned her head back, giving him more access to the sensitive spot in the hollow of her neck.
"I need to make love to you, Kaoru. And I want to marry you." Kenshin whispered. Kaoru felt no surprise, no apprehension, no worries about the bombshell Kenshin had just dropped. Instead she grabbed his face in her hands and kissed him.
"Yes." Was her only response.
"Which one first?" Kenshin breathed, not caring either way. What mattered is that he had her. Her touch, her smell, her voice, her laugh. Her eyes.
"Marriage. Then we don't need to leave the hotel room for a week." Kaoru breathed.
"Month." Kenshin corrected huskily. That made Kaoru's toes curl all by itself.
Not wanting to waste another second, he released her from his prison and took her by the hand, leading her out of the bar and into the brightly lit foyer of the hotel lobby.
Sano and Megumi were close behind.
"Okay. Wedding. Old. New. Borrowed. Blue." Kaoru mumbled going through the traditional checklist for unknown reasons. Kenshin heard the checklist as she said it and stopped dead in his tracks next to a man sitting on a wingback chair in the middle of the lobby.
The man was speaking on a cell phone but stopped when the obviously drunk and thoroughly flushed couple came to a halt before him.
"Can I borrow that? We need old, new, borrowed and blue. That's old and borrowed." Kenshin asked. The man stared up at the couple in confusion. Kenshin reached down and took the phone right out of his hands and then walked away.
"Hey! That's my –" the man exclaimed as he jumped to his feet. A firm hand on his shoulder stopped him and he turned to see a tall brown-haired man standing with a smile on his face.
"I apologise for my friend. He's a little drunk. I'll gladly replace your phone with something better. How much?" Sano asked, pulling out his chequebook. In the blink of an eye the man was standing alone in the hotel lobby once again with a check for $1000 in his hands.
The only coherent thought in his head was whether or not he had ended the conversation he had been having.
"Okay. Old and borrowed. We need new and blue." Kenshin said.
"Your shirt is blue." Kaoru offered.
"Excellent. Now new."
"I think I'm gonna be sick." Kaoru mumbled. The booze was catching up to her fast. Pulling her hand out of Kenshin's grasp she bolted for the nearest bathroom.
Kenshin found himself standing alone in the middle of the lobby.
"Need something new for your blushing bride?" a voice asked. Kenshin turned and saw something he wasn't sure was real.
"Megumi?" he slurred.
"Oh you are so cute when you're plastered. Come, lets get her something new." Megumi said, hooking her arm in his and dragging him away from the bathroom.
Megumi brought him to the jewelry store in the hotel. Inside there were millions of dollars worth of jewelry from earrings to bangles. Megumi brought Kenshin straight to the case that held rings of every shape, size and colour.
"What shall it be, Kenshin?" Megumi asked.
Kenshin wasn't able to focus on the rings. He was craning his neck to see if Kaoru had arrived back in the lobby. He was half afraid that she had gotten lost, or worse, walked out on him.
"Kenshin! Will you look! This is Kaoru we're talking about. She deserves your undivided attention when you pick out her ring!" Megumi exclaimed. Kenshin's eyes snapped away from the lobby to the rings. Megumi was right. The first thing he laid eyes on was a sapphire ring. The blue reminded him of Kaoru's eyes.
"That one." He pointed. Megumi glanced down at the ring he pointed to and smiled.
"Perfect. You may go. I will get this taken care of and leave it in the capable hands of the hotel manager. He will see to it that you get it." Megumi purred. She playfully sidled up to Kenshin's side placing a hand on his chest. She tweaked his nose with her finger and kissed him on the cheek.
"You always were adorable, Kenshin." Megumi said. "I never knew there was an animal of lust buried deep inside."
Kenshin ignored Megumi. She always flirted with him. It bothered Sano which is why she did it. His eyes were focused on the lobby once again. He saw Kaoru arrive and look around very confused.
"Only for her." Kenshin said. Megumi followed his eyes and saw Kaoru. Turning back she watched the amethyst eyes transform into burning amber. Megumi's breath caught in her throat when she saw the look on Kenshin's face as he stared at Kaoru.
He was an unbelievably sexy man.
Kaoru was an extraordinarily lucky woman.
"Go get her." Megumi said, stepping away from Kenshin. He walked out of the store with purpose and headed straight for Kaoru. Megumi turned back to the ring case and look up at the jeweler. "He would like that ring for his new bride."
Nodding, the jeweler pulled out the sapphire ring.
Sano watched Kenshin stride across the lobby towards Kaoru. He looked like a predator stalking its prey. Kenshin walked with purpose. Sano saw Kaoru turn and spot the redhead just as he was bearing down on her. Kenshin grabbed Kaoru by the back of the neck and hauled her to him, planting his lips on hers hard and forceful.
When he pulled away, Kaoru was breathless once again. She had managed to keep herself from throwing up in the washroom and took the opportunity to clean up her disheveled appearance. She was getting married after all.
"Let's go get married." Kenshin said softly. Kaoru only nodded in response and followed Kenshin out of the hotel. The couple both forgot about the 'something new' part.
Sano and Megumi didn't follow them. Their job was done.
Kenshin stood staring up at Megumi in surprise. The memories of the previous night were still fuzzy to him. But he remembered being in the jewelry store with Megumi. He looked form Megumi to Sano and back again.
Realization dawned on him and he felt a sick feeling form in his gut.
"You did set this up." Kenshin said softly.
"Now, Kenshin. All we did was give you a nudge in the right direction!" Megumi said as she flipped her long hair over her shoulder.
"A nudge? You call marriage to a stranger a 'nudge'!" Kenshin exclaimed, his voice rising.
"The whole marriage idea wasn't ours Kenshin! It was you two!" Sano said, immediately going on the defensive.
"That doesn't change the fact that this was all a set up!" Kenshin said. He was angry. Not because Sano and Megumi had deceived them. No. His anger was because Kaoru had been hurt by the whole thing.
"Kenshin..." Aoshi started.
"No! They hurt her!" Kenshin said angrily, silencing everyone in the hallway. "Peoples emotions aren't toys."
"You really do love her, don't you?" Sano asked.
"More than life itself."
All eyes were back on Yahiko and his very childish remark.
Kenshin sighed. It was all a disaster. A set up. Their meeting had been a set up.
"Uh... I hate to break up this little conversation. But I have a wardrobe malfunction going on here." Aoshi replied. All eyes were back on the sheet wearing man once again. "And where the hell is that draft coming from!"
"Aoshi, you bring a whole new meaning to the term 'air conditioning'." Sano retorted, trying not the laugh out loud but failing miserably and snorting.
Aoshi glared at him.
"Okay, okay. Let's get you some clothes." Sano said, still laughing.
"I'm going to see Kaoru." Kenshin said, punching the down button on the elevator. "I'll deal with you two later."
Megumi and Sano both swallowed nervously.
The elevator dinged and the doors slid open. Katsu stood with a bleak expression on his face. He had his hand palm up in front of him, close to his chest.
Resting in Katsu's palm was Kaoru's engagement ring.
Kenshin's heart sank to his feet.
A.N. Dun dun DUUUUNNNNNNNN!
Hehehe. Yeah, so wow. Another chapter pumped out. I think the comedy is still there but there's a more serious note to this chapter. Don't worry the comedy will return I promise!
Until next time!