Haruhi walked up and down the hall, knocking on doors and calling, "Come on, guys. They want us in the dining room. You can finish packing after dinner."

Hikaru and Kaoru popped out of their apartments and said, in unison, "Haruhi, are you going to help us pack?"

From halfway down the hall, knocking on Tamaki and Kyoya's doors, she laughingly responded, "No. I've told you before that I'm not your maid. Ask Shima to help you."

"NO. She'll stand over us with a disapproving look and make us do it all ourselves," Hikaru whined.

Chuckling, Haruhi said, "So you have to do it yourself either way."

Kaoru pouted. "You're just being mean!"

"No, I just have my own packing to do yet," she retorted as she knocked on Mitsukuni's door.

When the door opened, Haruhi stepped back, startled because Takashi answered the door rather than Mitsukuni. "I did mix up the rooms? I thought this was Mitsukuni's."

"No, I was just helping Mitsukuni pack because I'm already done," Takashi said.

"Oh, okay. Well, it's time to head down to the dining room."

Mitsukuni popped out from behind Takashi. "Let's do down together."

"You guys go ahead. I still have to get Tamaki and Kyoya. They didn't answer when I knocked on their doors."

Mitsukuni said, "Oh, I just saw Tamaki walking around outside. Takashi and I can go get him while you check on Kyoya."

"Thanks. I'll be down as soon as I let Kyoya know it's time for dinner." Haruhi smiled at the cousins as she walked back to Kyoya's door and knocked again.

She tried the knob and found it unlocked. Opening it a few inches, she called again, "Kyoya?" Hearing a noise that wasn't really a response, she opened the door further and looked inside. Kyoya was sitting in an armchair, staring at an empty suitcase on the sofa.

Haruhi walked up behind Kyoya and placed her hands on his shoulders. He jumped slightly at the contact and looked up.

"Oh, it's you," he murmured. "Did you want something?"

"You must not have heard me calling. I was sent to tell everyone that it's time for dinner. Everyone else has already gone down but you weren't responding to my knock." There was a trace of worry in her voice.

"I guess I was lost in thought." He shrugged indifferently.

"Kyoya, you're shoulders are really tense." Haruhi started to massage gently and he leaned his head back, relaxing as best he could into her gentle ministrations. "If I didn't know better, I'd think you don't want the summer to end. Or is it that you just don't want to go home?" she asked tentatively.

"Do I dare let my guard down and tell her?" Kyoya pondered. "As close as we've all gotten this summer, am I willing to air my family's dirty laundry?" He rotated his shoulders as Haruhi's hands kneaded a particularly stiff spot on his right shoulder.

She patted his shoulders gently and said, "That will have to do for now. They're expecting us in the dining room."

Before she could move her hands, he grasped the one on his left shoulder with his right hand and pulled her around in front of his chair. Looking up at her, he said, "You're right. I don't want to go home. I received a message from my father this morning complaining about the balance in my investment account."

"Is there a problem with your account? Has the Hinan family been costing you too much?" Haruhi asked, concerned.

"No, no. It's not the Hinan family. That's a separate account all together and those investments are doing fine. My father doesn't know about that one. The one he's talking about is the one he has access to. My siblings and I are expected to maintain a certain minimum balance to cover our day-to-day expenses." Kyoya shook his head in frustration. "Even when I meet his demands, it's still not good enough."

Watching the corners of his mouth tense into a frown, she asked, "What exactly is the problem? If you're meeting expectations, what more does he want?"

"He wants to know why my investments aren't yielding better returns. I can't exactly tell him, 'Sorry, Father, but my best investments are hidden so you can't access and squander them.' You remember what happened when my balance was down after purchasing the company before Tonnerre could." Unconsciously, he ran his thumb across his bottom lip.

Remembering the bruises and split lip, Haruhi's mouth hardened into a straight line and her eyebrows pulled down into a scowl. "Yeah, I remember." Noticing that he was starting to tense up again she walked around behind him and started massaging his shoulders again.

"Too bad you couldn't just live here at Hinansho," Haruhi said offhandedly. She absentmindedly continued massaging his shoulders, trying to dispel some of the tension.

Her mind wandered, turning over the problem in her head. "What would it take for him to live here? I mean, security isn't a problem. I'd hate to pull Tachibana away from his family even more than he is now. If only there were a way…"

"Wait! That's it! You could live here."

Kyoya huffed, "As much as I would like to do that, I can't live here unsupervised."

"What do you mean, unsupervised? There's Shima, Kairi, Atsuhiro, and all of the other employees." Haruhi pushed gently against his shoulder.

"But what about security?" he rebutted.

"Except for Shima and Kairi, they are all trained. But, I also had a thought. Why don't you talk to Tachibana about moving his wife and daughter here?"

"I…will have to consider that. It would allow him to be on the job but still have more time with his family." Kyoya's expression turned thoughtful. "Now I just have to address Father's questions about my investment balance."

She walked around his chair, pushed the suitcase aside, and sat on the sofa facing him. "Hmm, that could be tricky. You already know that he is the real reason your balance keeps declining. But you need to make him think you don't know that." Haruhi looked pensive and stared at the floor.

"That is the crux of the matter," Kyoya said wryly. "It's not as if the dividends from my companies haven't been depositing regularly, though come to think of it, I have noticed some discrepancies since my fiscal agent retired and Father assigned me a new one. I thought it was just more of his 'fees' but maybe the new agent has been—helping himself to my money."

Haruhi looked excited. "That's it! Just tell him that you have noticed discrepancies between your stockholder reports and your investment accounts. Tell him you have had more promising investment opportunities but didn't want to make any changes while you are investigating the issue."

Standing up, Kyoya smirked, "I like that idea. I just might be able to drag it out for three or four months. I think you've been hanging around me too much. You are getting more devious all the time."

Kyoya took a step toward Haruhi and started to reach for her hand when the door to his apartment crashed open.

"What are you two up to?" Tamaki demanded. "We've all been waiting for you in the dining room."

Kyoya rolled his eyes and said, "Haruhi was helping me talk through a couple pressing issues. We were just about to come down."

Tamaki looked back and forth between Haruhi and Kyoya suspiciously. Unable to find any improprieties, he turned on his heel and left in a huff.

"We'd better follow him or he'll have the rest of them up here," Haruhi whispered, blushing lightly.

"She really is pretty when she blushes," Kyoya thought. "I can't fault him for being upset. Who knows what I might have done if he hadn't interrupted." Aloud, he responded, "Good idea. After you."

As soon as Haruhi exited, Kyoya followed her and locked the door behind them. They walked to the dining room in silence as they each contemplated their own thoughts.

"I wonder if he was going to kiss me again? I was kind of hoping he would," Haruhi thought. "I know he is deferring to Tamaki, but I don't have feelings for Tamaki. He's really not my type and I will never be able to match the Haruhi in his mind theater. He would forever be disappointed because I know I wouldn't act the way he expected me to."

"Those were a couple of really good ideas Haruhi came up with," Kyoya contemplated. "I'll talk to Tachibana after dinner and see what he thinks about moving his family to Hinansho. The note to Father will have to be carefully composed to make it sound like it's an issue I've been looking into for a few months and I have an idea what the problem is but not how to fix it yet. That will take some delicate crafting."

As the pair walked into the dining room, Shima arched an eyebrow chastisingly and said, "It's about time you two joined us."

Hikaru and Kaoru snickered and whispered loudly, "Ooo, you're in trouble now."

Shima gave the twins a withering glance and gestured for Kyoya and Haruhi to take their seats at the table. "Kairi, we're all here. Dinner can be served."

Kairi opened the door to the kitchen and said, "Okay, we're all here. You can start serving." Then he took his own place at the dining room table.

Around the table sat the hosts, Ryoji, Tachibana, Fuyumi with her husband and children, Shima, Atsuhiro, and Kairi.

The kitchen and household staffs brought in the soup. Before exiting, Kosaku Ito, the new accountant, stepped forward and said, "On behalf of the kitchen and household staffs, I would like to thank all of you for our jobs here. We just want you to know that we appreciate the way you treat your employees. Please enjoy your celebration." He then gave Kairi and Shima a significant look as he closed the door behind him.

Haruhi noticed the look, watching Shima and Kairi nod in response. "I wonder what that was all about?" Before she could give it anymore thought, Fuyumi stood and called for everyone's attention.

"We are all here to acknowledge the end of summer and celebrate the next steps. For Mitsukuni and Takashi, that means moving into an apartment near Tokyo University as they begin classes. Mitsukuni will be studying physical therapy to compliment martial arts training. Takashi will be studying accounting with an emphasis on forensic accounting to better evaluate companies for partnerships, mergers, or purchases." Turning to the cousins, she continued, "You two will be missed, but we wish you all the best."

During the congratulations for the university-bound pair, the kitchen staff brought in the next course. Conversation flowed freely as everyone enjoyed the food.

When Fuyumi judged that everyone was done with the second course, she stood again. "Now, let's congratulate Kyoya and Tamaki as they begin their final year at Ouran." Someone started to applaud and everyone else followed. Kyoya only nodded but Tamaki beamed in appreciation.

"When I find out who started the applause…" Kyoya thought darkly, embarrassed by the attention focused on him.

Tamaki stood and gushed, "Thank you all for your kind thoughts…"

He was interrupted when the kitchen staff brought in the main course. With everyone's attention elsewhere, Tamaki shrugged and sat back down to enjoy the meal.

As everyone was enjoying the delicious dinner, Ryoji piped up, "We should also remember Haruhi, Hikaru, and Kaoru who are starting their second year at Ouran. I am sooo proud of my baby girl and all she's accomplished, to get and keep a scholarship at such a prestigious school. Her mother would be so proud of her as well."

Kaoru spoke up, "We've been privileged to have her in our lives. Two years ago, Tamaki brought our three spheres together." He gestured at himself and Kaoru, Mitsukuni and Takashi, and Tamaki and Kyoya. "But during this last year, Haruhi was able to open our spheres and show us a whole new world."

"She may have joined us in an unorthodox manner, but she really has enriched all our lives," Mitsukuni added.

The other hosts chimed in, "Hear, hear."

Haruhi blushed at the attention and praise. "I may have been reluctant at first, but you guys really grew on me."

"Yeah, like a fungus," Kyoya called, looking pointedly at Tamaki.

Rising to the bait, Tamaki responded, "I suppose you're alluding to all the mushrooms I used to grow."

"What do you mean 'used to,' Tono?" Hikaru jibed.

Kaoru inserted, "Yeah, it was just this morning when Haruhi sat between Takashi and Mitsukuni at breakfast, rather than next to you."

"Oh, you devil twins," Tamaki growled in response. The rest of the table laughed at the antics of the hosts.

Kairi stood and gestured for attention, "If you have all finished you dinner, I would like to present my dessert masterpiece du jour."

"I've heard so much about your desserts. I can't wait to see one for myself," Ryoji enthused, clapping his hands excitedly.

Holding the kitchen door open, Kairi gestured to the security staff waiting there. They carefully wheeled in two carts, a small one with a tea service and a larger one with an elaborate dessert display.

Before anyone could get up to examine the desserts more closely, one of the security staff members stepped forward. "I know that Kosaku expressed the appreciation of the staff for the way you all treat us. The security staff would also like to thank you for allowing us to do more than just walk around patrolling. You've allowed us to also garden, prune shrubs, mow the grounds, and work around the pool, basically blending in to better do our jobs while also indulging in our outdoor interests. Thank you for such a wonderful work environment."

After the security staff left, the party finally had an opportunity to admire the dessert display. There were small servings of dark chocolate mousse, fresh strawberry tarts, crème brulee, carrot cake with raisins, and lemon tarts surrounding the centerpiece, an elaborate four-layer cake, each quarter a different flavor.

Mitsukuni looked at the cake and practically drooled. "I see chocolate, strawberry cream, and lemon chiffon, but I don't recognize the fourth kind."

Kairi smiled. "That's german chocolate cake. It's made with dark baking chocolate and has a special coconut-pecan frosting."

"It sounds yummy," Mitsukuni replied as he cut a generous slice, grinning broadly.

Tamaki grabbed Haruhi's hand and tugged her over to the desserts. "Look, my darling daughter, they have your favorite—strawberries."

Haruhi rolled her eyes and reclaimed her hand. "I am NOT your daughter. I thought you finally got over that this summer."

Looking at her with dreamy eyes, Tamaki said, "That means you've reconsidered being my girlfriend."

Huffing in annoyance, Haruhi responded, "No. I thought I made it clear, I don't feel that way about you. You're like a brother to me."

Tamaki's expression fell. "What about the approval of my grandmother and father? What have I done wrong?" he whimpered.

Haruhi pulled him to a corner of the room. "Tamaki, please try to understand. I don't fit your ideal of a girl. I would make you miserable because I would never act the way you expect."

He opened his mouth to protest, but she continued. "Remember when I rode with you to the weekend at the Morinozuka estate and you first told me that your father and grandmother approved of me? You imagined how the scene would play out, but I didn't react according to your script."

Sullenly he murmured, "Yeah, I remember, but…"

"I really disappointed you, didn't I?" Haruhi asked gently.

"Well, yes," Tamaki allowed. "But things could change."

Haruhi placed a hand on each of his cheeks and looked him directly in the eyes. "If I have to change, then do you really want ME?"

Tamaki opened and closed his mouth a few times before he moved to the nearest chair and sat down, mumbling to himself.

"I hope I got through without hurting his feelings," Haruhi thought. She picked up two spoons, a strawberry tart, and a crème brulee. She place the crème brulee and one of the spoons on the table near Tamaki. She took the strawberry tart to the opposite end of the table and watched him surreptitiously.

Absentmindedly, Tamaki picked up the spoon and cracked the sugar crust. Slowly he ate the dessert, occasionally nodding his head or tilting it in confusion, apparently carrying on an internal conversation. His expression turned pensive, morphed into comprehension and, finally, acceptance.

Looking down at the empty dish, he smiled ruefully. He stood up, walked over to the sideboard, and left the dish there. Then he walked over to Haruhi.

He looked sheepish as he said, "You're right. I have been trying to make you act like my ideal girlfriend, but then you wouldn't be YOU and…" His voice trailed off as he struggled to express his thoughts.

"I'm glad you finally understand what I've been trying to tell you. Instead of trying to make me into what I'm not, you should be looking for the girl who already is your ideal." Haruhi smiled and patted his hand.

Across the room, Kairi felt a tug on his sleeve. Fuyumi's daughter Hibiki asked, "What are all the little desserts around the cake?"

Kneeling down to her level, Kairi pulled a package of small sampling spoons out of his pocket and then moved a serving of each of the small desserts to the edge of the table near them. He said, "Let's taste them all and find out. Which one do you want to start with?"

Hibiki pointed and Kairi scooped up a little on a sampling spoon. "This is dark chocolate mousse. It's like a fluffy chocolate pudding."

"Mmm, that's good," the little girl hummed. "What's that one?"

Kairi smiled. "I don't know if you will like that one. It's carrot cake with raisins. It's designed for people who want a dessert but don't want something that's really sweet." He put a small taste on a new spoon and handed it to her.

"Carrots?!" She made a face, but decided to tried the cake anyway. Surprised, she said, "That doesn't taste like carrots at all."

"What about me?" a little boy's voice demanded, jostling Kairi's elbow.

"Sorry, Masaya. I didn't know you were interested, too." Taking out more small spoons, he gave the boy a taste of the mousse and carrot cake.

"Hibiki's right, these are pretty good," Masaya stated.

Seiji stepped up behind his children and chuckled, "Will wonders never cease? He agreed with his sister about something and they both ate vegetables without complaining."

Kairi smiled and offered some sampling spoons. "Want to join the tasting party?"

"Don't mind if I do." Seiji helped himself to a taste of the mousse and carrot cake. "What shall we try next?"

Kairi turned around and addressed the rest of the room, "Don't be shy everyone, come join us. If you don't have a favorite, you can join our tasting party."

"What are these?" Masaya asked, pointing to the strawberry tarts.

"Those are a favorite but very seasonable. Those strawberry tarts are just three fresh strawberries in a tart shell, brushed with heated strawberry jam and garnished with a fresh mint leaf. They're just not the same with frozen or canned fruit. I wish I had a greenhouse so I could grow them year round," Kairi mused.

"What would it take?" Kyoya asked, startling the taste-testing party.

Kairi jumped. "Don't do that!"

Kyoya chuckled. "Sorry, force of habit. But really, what would it take to set up a greenhouse for you?"

"If you're serious, I have the information in my office."

"I am serious, but I don't want to interrupt the tasting party. We can talk later."

Nodding, Kairi said, "Sounds good. I'll find you a little later." Then he turned back to Seiji and the kids. "Let's finish our taste-testing."

Kyoya watched the quartet return to the dessert table. Then he noticed Tachibana gesturing to him. Walking over, he asked, "Do you need something?"

"Could we step out for a minute? I need to ask you something."

Stepping out of the dining room, Kyoya asked, "Is there a problem?"

Tachibana responded, "No problem. I just wanted to ask your permission to live here at Hinansho and move my wife and daughter into my apartment with me."

Kyoya leaned against the wall and crossed his arms across his chest. "Are you by any chance a mind reader?" he asked.

"Sir?" Tachibana replied questioningly.

Chuckling, he elaborated, "I have been reluctant to go back home now that the summer is over. Haruhi suggested that I live here. When I pointed out that I couldn't live here unsupervised, she suggested asking you to move your family here. Now, here you are, asking that very thing."

It was Tachibana's turn to chuckle. "I only figured that Hinansho is closer to Ouran and the Otori estate than my current home is. The reduced commute would give me more time with my family. Not to mention, I wouldn't have to maintain a separate home when I have a fully equipped apartment here.

Tachibana paused to consider something and then said, "I don't know how your father will feel about you living here. If there's a problem later, we can always move you home and have you come here often to use your 'office'. And if you happen to fall asleep while you're working, well, there is a bed available."

Kyoya shook his head and said, "Are you sure you're not in cahoots with Haruhi?"

"No, I'm not," Tachibana assured. "But if she ever asked me to help her with some scheme, I would not hesitate. She has been good for you. In some ways, even better than Tamaki."

"I see I'll have to watch my back if Haruhi gets any ideas into her head," Kyoya retorted. "Without even thinking about it, she collects co-conspirators like most commoners collect change. I can't think of anyone on this estate that wouldn't help her with a scheme. And then there are all those she's charmed at Ouran."

Tachibana smiled with almost a paternal pride. "The world better watch out. She is a force to be reckoned with when she makes up her mind about something."

Kyoya could not hide the affection in his voice when he replied, "And I wouldn't have it any other way."

Nodding toward the dining room, Tachibana said, "We'd better get back before Shima comes looking for us."

"Let's go try those desserts. The dark chocolate mousse looked delicious," Kyoya responded, opening the door.

Kairi had been watching for Kyoya and Tachibana to return. "I wonder what they were discussing? Well, no matter. It doesn't appear to be trouble since they're both smiling." He looked to Shima and she nodded her head encouragingly.

Once everyone chose a dessert and selected a cup of tea, they settled back down at the dinner table to relax and talk. It was obvious from the atmosphere that no one wanted the time to end.

Looking around, Kairi decided, "It's time." Standing he said, "The staff have asked me to speak on their behalf. First, I want to thank you for a wonderful summer. It was great to work with all the events. Especially easing into this new enterprise.

"That being said, we were talking recently and we all agree that Hinansho could handle much more. It would only require a few additional people to be able to have the restaurant open daily to the public and rent rooms to individuals as well as groups." He paused to gauge the reaction to the suggestion.

Haruhi glanced around at the other hosts and found them all watching her expectantly. She sighed as she realized, "They expect me to handle this. Oh well, I only have myself to blame since this whole thing was my idea."

Looking to Shima for her input, Haruhi saw her smile and nod. "Okay…Shima's on board with this, so opening up Hinansho more should be a good thing."

Turning to Fuyumi, Haruhi asked, "Were you aware of this?"

Fuyumi smiled brightly. "Actually, I suggested it to Shima, Kairi, and Kosaku. Kosaku's wife, Hibiki—I'm thrilled she has the same name as my daughter-asked if she could be the front desk clerk. That would also allow her to assist Shima with recordkeeping.

"I estimate we will need four full-time wait staff, two additional kitchen staff, and two additional security who would take the other two front desk shifts. I figured next week would be a good time to start since things will be rather dull around here with the Host Club at school and concentrating on their studies."

Haruhi considered the whirlwind of information that Fuyumi just provided. "It appears you've all talked and thought this through carefully. I would like you to consider adding a few more staff than those you've mentioned. I really like the idea of offering good wages to good people and we don't want to overwork anyone. Start with those you've already identified and then add more as needed. I suspect that the restaurant and lounge are going to become very popular once people find out about them."

Ryoji piped up, "Would it be possible for my friend, Shohei, to be hired as bartender?"

Haruhi replied, "That's right. He would have been working here as the bartender if it wasn't for the embezzlement and scandal. Give his contact information to Tachibana so he can do the background check. I'll leave it to Shima and Kairi from there."

She looked around the room. "Does anyone else have questions or suggestions?"

Tamaki suggested tentatively, "What about music for the lounge?"

Kairi looked pensive. "I hadn't thought about that. I'll check around with some of my contacts and get their opinion. If they think it's a good idea, we'll make that 'Phase 2' of marketing Hinansho."

Kyoya spoke up, "For the first six weeks or so, you might consider offering an appetizer or small dessert to customers as incentive to fill out a questionnaire regarding their experience and anything additional they might like to see. That would give us some data points on which to evaluate the operation."

"Good idea, Kyoya," Haruhi said. Looking around at the other hosts, she asked, "Shall we leave it to Fuyumi, Shima, and Kairi to begin offering more access to Hinansho?"

Takashi responded, "Sounds good. We can evaluate it the first weekend in October when we get together to plan the Host Club Halloween Party."

"Excellent idea, Takashi," Mitsukuni agreed. He looked around the table. "Well, what do the rest of you say?"

Kyoya said, "A sound proposal."

Tamaki, Hikaru, and Kaoru all nodded in agreement.


Everyone gathered in the lobby, saying their goodbyes. Mitsukuni and Takashi were headed to their apartment near Tokyo University. The other hosts were headed to their homes to prepare for the new year at Ouran.

"Hey, Tamaki?" Haruhi asked nervously.

"Yeah?" he responded excitedly.

"Could we talk for a few minutes?"

"Sure, what do you want to talk about?"

Haruhi led Tamaki over to one of the grouping of chairs set in a conversation circle. She had a pensive look on her face as she gestured for him to take a seat and she sat down facing him.

"What's up, Haruhi?" he asked.

"Are we okay?" she asked hesitantly.

Tamaki frown. "Why wouldn't we be okay?"

Haruhi sighed. "We're still friends, right? I haven't offended you by refusing to become your ideal girlfriend?"

Comprehension dawned and Tamaki chuckled. "Yeah, we're good. Thanks for helping me face reality about us."

Smiling in relief, Haruhi said, "I'm glad. I'd hate to lose a friend."

"No problem. But we better go before the car leaves without us." Tamaki stood up and pulled her to her feet, heading for the front door.


Just before the first mandatory Otori family dinner following summer vacation was to begin, Yoshio sent for Kyoya to report to his office.

"Here we go again," thought Kyoya sourly.

"Kyoya, what is the problem with your investments? The returns have been much lower than usual during the past six months," Yoshio demanded, sitting like a feudal lord behind his dark mahogany desk.

Standing ramrod straight in front of his father's desk, Kyoya replied, "I have also noticed discrepancies between my stockholder reports and my investment account. My investigation has narrowed it down to just after Mr. Asano retired as my fiscal agent. The investment custodian sent me copies of statements for the past year and I am currently working on comparing receipts on those statements to my stockholder distribution statements."

"How long do you anticipate it will take?" Yoshio questioned.

"I started working on the project as soon as I returned from my summer travels. Given that I have twenty-seven investments in my account and have only completed examining the year for six of those, it will take a few months. A friend is lending me an office to work in so I don't have to pack the files away every day," Kyoya answered.

Yoshio looked suspicious. "Who is this 'friend' lending you an office? Is it the Suoh boy?"

"No, it is not Tamaki. This information is far too sensitive to allow random access by servants cleaning. The Hinan family has graciously permitted me to change the locks on an office at their estate for my use."

"Who is this Hinan family? Have I had dealings with them?"

"It is a contact through Ouran. They are new money and relatively unknown at present," Kyoya answered almost glibly.

Yoshio pondered Kyoya's response as he eyed him suspiciously. "Do you have any new investments in the works?"

"I regret that I have had to pass up several potentially lucrative opportunities because I want to find the problem in my investment account before I make any changes. I could inadvertently sell a productive investment while leaving a problem one in place. Despite the potential losses, I intend to keep my holdings static until my investigation is complete."

"Prudent," Yoshio allowed. "If you happen to encounter any more lucrative investments that you cannot avail yourself of, please feel free to inform me. I will make sure that the family benefits from any such information."

"I will take that under advisement," Kyoya conceded. "When pigs fly. I'll pass them to the Hinan family before I ever pass them to you, Father."

There was a knock at the door and Yoshio called, "Come in."

The butler quietly announced, "Dinner awaits."

"Thank you," Yoshio responded. "We will be in shortly." To Kyoya, he said, "I believe that covers everything—for now."

Kyoya bowed his head slightly in respect and waited to follow his father out of his office. "That went better than anticipated," he thought wryly.