Here is the update. Thanks for the reviews! I hope you guys enjoy this. This chapter will a lot longer than the other two.
Disclaimer: Hiro Mashima owns Fairy Tail.
The Decision and The Meeting
Lucy sighed again for the umpteenth time. It's been two weeks since her meeting with her father and brother and she still doesn't know what she'd do. Accept it and marry a stranger or refuse it, but it will disappoint her family and risking their family business that her father and Laxus have been building for years. She shook her head at the thought, she couldn't risk the Dreyar-Heartfilia Konzern, but she doesn't get married either! Lucy slumped to the table and sighed once again loudly this time.
"What's wrong Lu?" Levy asked averting her attention from her book to her best friend.
"Huh?" Lucy asks distractingly.
"You've been sighing since earlier. So what's wrong? And don't say nothing, 'cause it's clear there's something bothering you" Levy cut her off when she notices Lucy's attempt to denying her.
Levy gives her yes-it-is look at her question. Lucy sighed again and rubbed her face. Maybe I should just tell her. Levy is my best friend, she might have a solution to my problem.
"Do you remember two weeks ago Laxus want to meet me at the company?" Lucy asked slowly when Levy nodded, she continued, "Turn out they want to talk about some company matters"
"Okay?" Levy said, patiently for her friend to continue. And so Lucy tells her all of what her father and brother had told her two weeks ago and her distress to Levy. She told her that she has no idea what she'd do about the proposition.
Levy heaved and leaned on the bench backrest looking at Lucy and listen carefully to what she is saying.
"So you tell me that your dad and brother ask you to get married to some random guy?" Levy concluded.
"Not a random guy Levy. They said they know the guy," Lucy corrected her.
"But still Lu! You don't know him at all! "What if he is a psycho? Or maybe a murderer? What if he is a gangster leader?! Or worse!" Levy insisted hysterically, make people around them staring at the duo.
"You really think they will marry me to a bad guy?" Lucy sighed. "Come on Lev. Dad aside, but you know Laxus would never hurt me, right? You know how protective he is!"
"Yeah, you're right. He would never put you in danger," Levy relented. "What about your mother? What did she say about this?"
"She said she also agrees with them. Said she has been friends with the guy's mother like my father did. And have no doubt the guy would be a good person like his parents," Lucy informed Levy all her mother had said.
Levy hummed at that "So, what you're worried about then?"
"I don't know. I just- you know my dad never asked me to do something. He let me do whatever I wanted. This is the only time he asks me and I don't want to disappoint him. What should I do Lev?" Lucy told her, looking down.
Levy sighed softly, understand the pain of her friend's feelings and patted Lucy's shoulder. "I know you will find the answer Lu. I know you will. If the guy already proved by Laxus, then maybe he is not that bad. And your mom also said so. Who knows, maybe he is the one you've been looking for all this time!" Levy said cheerfully, trying to cheer up her best friend.
Lucy smiled at her, understand what Levy meant. Throughout her high school year and college life Lucy had asked out by several guys, but none of them catch her interest. Most of them asked her just either because she is rich or because of her body. They are all pervert, so Lucy always rejected them.
"Thanks, Lev. I'm glad I talk to you," Lucy felt her heart light after she takes it out. Their conversation had cleared Lucy's mind and she ready to make a decision.
Later that night, Lucy is having dinner with her family. They sat at a large, fancy rectangular table. Lucy's father sat at the head of the table, to his left is her mother and Lucy sat beside her while Laxus and his pregnant wife, Mirajane Dreyar-Hearfilia or Mira for short, was sitting on his right.
Lucy looked at the people around her, they all look relaxed enjoying the dinner. She cleared her throat when she thought the time was right and immediately all eyes were on her.
"Um, Dad. There's something I need to tell you," Lucy started. Jude put the spoon and fork he was holding on the table and leaned down before gave his full attention to his daughter.
"What is it, Lucy?"
"It's about what we were talking two weeks ago,"
It perked Jude's interest. "So you've decided?"
"Not really," Lucy tells him slowly. She looked at her family before looking at her father. "I want to ask what would happen if I refuse the condition they offered, dad?"
Her father frowned "I've already told you it would be weakened our company. We need their support so we can survive against our rivals. They have been using dirty tricks to bring us down. There's a rumor about our company is in bad condition," her father explained.
Lucy's eyes widened at that, she had heard about the rumor. They were talking about how Dreyar-Heartfilia Konzern is lacking talented people so they don't have investors want to work with them. It's saddened her when she heard about that
"And the company offered to help is quite influential people who are usually hard to agree with something like this. So this is a golden opportunity and this can also make the rumor subsided, hopefully," her father finished. "I know it's hard, Lucy. We're sorry,"
"No dad, I understand," Lucy assures him. "But, may I know who they are, dad? Don't you think I at least know their name?" She inquired.
Her father looking at her brother silently asking for his approval and sighed when he nodded before focusing her attention on Lucy once more.
"It's the Dragneels. You probably already heard about Dragneels Enterprises," He stated. Lucy widened her eyes, she had heard about the Dragneels Enterprises. They're the most successful trading companies in Fiore. Their name skyrocketed in just 7 years after they enter the business world. She heard it was because of the owner's children's hard work they could be this successful. "You're married with their second son if you agreed,"
Lucy contemplated what her father had said. If all her father said then she had no worries with the arranged marriage. Their family also is known as the kindest family ever, they're known not to be arrogant and highly respect other people, unlike other rich families she had known.
"Alright. I've decided" Her family looked at her, they hold their breath waiting to hear his decision. "I will meet the guy,"
Her family sighed in relief, although they feel bad forcing her to do this they were happy hearing her decision.
"Alright, it's decided then. Laxus, please arrange the meeting. I'll tell the news to them," Jude said receiving a nod from Laxus.
The dinner continued after the conversation was over, they fell on a light conversation as to how Mira's pregnancies are, how far along it is, how the baby is and other stuff.
Three days had passed since Lucy told her family about her decision. Last night her father told her that they would meet the guy this Saturday. She was glad she won't meet the guy alone, though. Her father told her that he and her mother will accompany her to meet him and his family. It gave them an excuse to reunite with their old friend, they said.
"What were you thinking Lu? You seem distracted," Levy asked, breaking Lucy from her thoughts. Taking a seat beside her, they are currently in class for their lesson.
"Oh, Levy. Nothing. I'm just thinking about this Saturday event,"
"What happens on Saturday?"
"I'll meet the guy I'm supposed to marry on that day," Lucy informs her.
"What? So you agree to the arranged marriage?" Levy inquired, curious about her best friend's decision.
"Not quite agree, I told my father I wanted to try to meet the guy first before deciding on anything" Lucy explained. Levy nodded at her, understanding her reason.
"You already decided what you're gonna wear to meet the guy?" Levy asked Lucy intrigued.
"Not yet. My father told me it wasn't a formal meeting so maybe I would go with a casual dress I have at home," Lucy shrugged.
"Oh no, Lu. You can't. We will go shopping after class ended. I'll help you looking for a dress that will attract the guy's attention to you," Lucy was about to refuse but Levy cut her off "And don't argue, you have to go with me," Levy said with finality makes Lucy shut her mouth and sighed in defeat.
The day came for Lucy to meet her arranged partner. They were to meet at the five-star restaurant called 'Blue Pegasus' at 5:00 p.m. Laxus had reserved them a private room for the meeting, so they can have privacy.
"Lucy, are you done yet?" the sound of her mother calling from outside her room came, breaking Lucy from her little trance.
"Coming, mom" Lucy replied, she snatched her purse from the bed and went out of the room to her mother. They together sauntered down the staircase towards Jude, who waited for them impatiently in the living room with Laxus and Mira.
"You look beautiful Lucy," Mira praised her, smiling at the young girl.
"Thanks, Mira," Lucy reply with a gentle smile. She ended up wearing the dress chosen by Levy. It was a pastel pink off the shoulder midi women skater dress with v neck and cap sleeves. The dress flared gracefully around her hips, stopping a little above her knees. She paired it up with nude patent heels.
Her blonde hair was in half-up half-down hairstyle with soft curls falls all the way over her waist. Her bang pinned to the side with several strands falling around her face. She wore light makeup like she always does since she was always one to have flawless skin. Simply put, she was stunning.
Before long, they arrived at the restaurant. They immediately entered the room that had been reserved by being guided by a waitress. The restaurant was Japanese style with floral paper doors and immaculate decorating. It seems they were early for the other party not yet present when they entered the room.
Lucy was nervous, it was the first time she attends this kind of meeting. She usually attended the Company party and there was a bunch of suitors trying to get her attention but she never felt this nervous. Maybe because this is the first time she came to a marriage interview. She shrugged off and began playing with the hem of her dress to distract her.
About fifteen minutes they are waiting, she heard some voices approaching the room and she felt her heart nearly stopped. '"Here they are,"' she thought.
She gulped and staring at the door when it opened. What she sees is not what she is expecting, even though she didn't know what she expected in the first place.
There stood three people, a middle-aged woman with light blue hair almost white with an annoyed face, and behind her is a tall man with red hair had a scowl on his face pulling someone she assumed their son. She couldn't see his face because her view was blocked by the red-haired man.
The woman's face brightened up when she saw them, "Layla, long time no see! I've missed you," she sauntered towards their table and Lucy's mother stands up from her seat to hug her friend.
"I've missed you too, Grandeeney" Layla greeted back. Their little greetings seemed to stop the two people at the door who were still arguing.
"Sorry, we're late. There's a little incident before we left home," She said calmly at first, then glaring at the person behind her when she said the last words who was cowered behind his father. Lucy could see a pink strand poking behind the tall man's shoulder.
"Sorry, we're late. There's a little incident before we left home," She said calmly at first, then glaring at the person behind her when she said the last words who was cowering behind his father. Lucy could see a pink strand poking behind the tall man's shoulder. She giggled inwardly, not to be rude. But, how come a man had pink hair?
"Natsu, apologize," Grandeeney ordered him sternly.
The pink-haired man stepped out behind his father and lowered his head and muttered small "sorry", before looking up revealing his face.
Lucy's breath caught after seeing the man standing before her. He looked a lot like the red-haired man Lucy learned named Igneel Dragneel, just a lot younger. He was handsome, he had pink hair, it suited him, though for some unknown reason. She didn't know that pink could look dashing in a man. He was muscular with tanned skin, a strong jawline with slanted eyes. From where she sat she could see the color of his eyes, they were charcoal and sometimes changed color to an olive color when exposed by the light. She doesn't know why but she felt drawn to him.
He seems to feel her staring and look at her direction, their eyes met and he is staring at her blankly for a second and then gave her a wide, radiant smile. Lucy could have sworn she felt her heart skip a beat and it starts to beat fast because of his smile he gave her. She felt her cheeks warming up and ducked her head, embarrassed he caught her staring and began to fidgeting, grabbing her pink dress. Pink! Oh god. Her eyes widened at the sudden realization. Her dress was almost the same shade as Natsu's hair it just paler! How fate playing with her life! She couldn't believe this! She curses at her luck inwardly.
Natsu cocked her head at her and studied her. He had seen her before, sometimes her face appears in magazines or newspapers but not often. She was beautiful there, but she's even prettier in person. With golden hair and brown doe eyes, she immediately captivated his interest. He could see her cheeks flushed slightly when he caught her staring at him, making her look cute.
Natsu cocked her head at her and studied her. He had seen her before, sometimes her face appears in magazines or newspapers but not often. She was beautiful there, but she's even prettier in person. He could see her cheeks flushed slightly when he caught her staring at him, making her look cute.
"Better late than never, my old friend," Jude said, breaking Natsu and Lucy from their inner thoughts, walking over to Grandeeney and Igneel. Jude then invited them to have a seat at the table. Knowing smile plastered on his face looking at his embarrassed daughter and Natsu.
Grandeeney cleared her throat and Lucy glanced over her. "You must be Lucy. You looked like your mother," she said, smiling at the nervous girl. "I'm Grandeneey Dragneel and this my husband Igneel and my son Natsu,"
"Pleasure to meet you Mr. and Mrs. Dragneel," Lucy said kindly before glancing at Natsu nervously, "Hi, Natsu". She gave him a shy smile before averting her eyes from his intent gaze. He was staring at her when he heard her voice, her voice was so smooth and feminine, that he couldn't help but froze.
Igneel nudged his son with his elbow who grimaced and breaking him from his trance of thought instantly. "Hi, Lucy. Nice to meet you," He said grinning at her. She returned his grin with her kindest smile.
They decide to have dinner first before going to the main reason behind the dinner. The dinner was run smoothly, though Lucy was a bit shocked by the amount of food Igneel and Natsu ordered. It seems the Dragneels man has a big appetite.
They talked a bit about their life, it was dominated by her parents and Natsu's though. They were catching up with each other. She also learns a bit about Dragneel's family. They had two sons and a daughter, Natsu's older brother named Zeref and his younger sister named Wendy. She also learns that Natsu had been helping Igneel and Zeref to run their company for a few years now and make them successful than before.
He was three years older than her, which means he was 25 years old now and he was so talented and kind. No wonder her brother praised him.
Jude cleared his throat, gaining the other attention, "Tonight, we are gathered here for the bonding of both our families through an arranged marriage of our children. My daughter Lucy Dreyar-Heartfilia and Natsu Dragneel. Through this marriage, we hope it will grant us security and blessing for both families,"
Lucy feels the burden on her shoulders and reached her mother's hand and squeezed it. Layla squeezed back in return silently comforting her daughter.
"It will be a pleasure for my son to marry the daughter of my old friend that already knows us for years," Igneel responded with a gentle smile.
"Ah Natsu," Layla chimed in making Natsu when his name is called, "How about you take Lucy for a walk? I heard this restaurant has a garden," She spoke sweetly. Ignoring the small shriek of "Mom!" from her daughter.
"I think it was a good idea! That way you two can talk freely and get to know each other!" Grandeeney stated and giving her son look that said you-better-do-what-I-said-or-else look. Making Natsu nervous and stand up immediately from his seat before turning to look at Lucy.
He held his hand out to her, "Well, shall we go Miss Dreyar-Heartifila?" he spoke smiling at her.
"Yes," Lucy takes his hand and they walked out of the room.
Natsu leads them to the restaurant garden, they were walking at a slow pace. Enjoying the silence between them, even though they just met it wasn't an awkward silence it was rather comforting. The garden itself was small, consist only of a medium pond in the center and a flower garden on it left, there is some bench on the side.
They walked side by side around the flower garden, still holding hands. She doesn't know why, but she rather liked how her hand clasped with his. Compared to Natsu's, her hand was a lot smaller. His hand engulfed it perfectly and she felt comforted by it. She blushed at the thought, '"What the hell you are thinking Lucy! You just met the guy a few hours ago!"'
"So Lucy," Natsu said, breaking their silence. She glanced at him, he looked calm like he was unaffected that they were still holding hands. "You write a novel?" He asks curiously looking at her. Lucy was taken aback at his question but recovered immediately. All of the things, he asked her that? He was genuinely curious though she could tell by looking at his face.
"Yeah, I am." She answered him with a small smile.
"Cool! Can I read it?" he asks enthusiastically. She laughed at his reaction, she doesn't know he had this side. Despite his age, it seems Natsu had a carefree personality, she likes it though.
Natsu was amazed at the sound of her laugh, it was small but still captivated him making him want to hear it again.
"No," She said calmly but panicked when she saw his expression turn glumly "I'm not finished writing it. So you can't read it," she assures him.
"Whatever. I'll read it after we get married," he shrugged off, giving her a radiant smile. Lucy stopped forcing Natsu to stop, as well, since he still holding her hand. He turned at her noticing her sudden silence, "Lucy?"
"You're agreed with this arranged marriage?" She asks staring at his charcoal eyes.
Natsu blinked "Aren't you?"
"I don't know" Lucy shook her head slightly.
Natsu sighed and turned to face her fully. He became serious all of sudden. He then takes her other hand in his and staring at her brown eyes.
"... Listen, Lucy. I knew what I was going to say would sound strange to you. But, I think I like you. I've never felt something like this before. No one can make me feel what I feel for you. But... even though I have no idea about those sort of things. Something tells me that I shouldn't let this chance wasted," He said calmly, holding her tightly. "And I want to learn to love you through this marriage. 'Cause I know you'll be worth it,"
"I want to see your smile every day, make you laugh and I want to make you happy. I want to be the reason behind your smile and your happiness," Natsu added.
Lucy looked at him with widened eyes, his unexpected confession warmed her heart. She never felt warm other than her family and all of the suitors she had met mostly are a douchebag, snobby rich guy or a pervert. And all of sudden this man standing before her saying the sweetest thing she ever heard.
She pondered what he had said. This was a big decision for both of their lives and to tell the truth, Lucy herself feel attracted to him. Something about him tell her she wouldn't regret marrying him and she had a strong feeling Natsu was worth giving a try being her husband.
Her long silence made Natsu anxious and fidgeting on his spot, his hand still holding her hand. '"Was I too blunt? What if she thinks I was a creep?"' he thought. He had always been one to say what was on his mind without thinking first.
Lucy took a deep breath, "Alright" she said. Natsu stared at her expectantly. "Let's do this. I'll marry you,"
Natsu's eyes widened, "You will?"
"Yes, Natsu. Please take care of me," She said smiling at him and squeezed his hand. Suddenly she was pulled towards him, he hugged her and spun her around. She laughed at his antics and shouted at him too put her down. Another thing she notices about Natsu, he lacked personal space. Great Lucy groaned inwardly.
"Thanks, Lucy. I'll take care of you. I promise," He said grinning widely.
"You better," Lucy began, giggling. "I've never been in love before myself. It's something I take seriously. I trust you Natsu Dragneel," Lucy said seriously, which made Natsu gulped, but he was not going to back down. He was confident he could keep his promises.
"Let's go back then. I bet they were waiting for us for the news," He held his hand out to her to take. And they make their way back to their private room where their parents waiting.
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