DISCLAIMER: Cardcaptor Sakura is not mine. It's CLAMP's.
Breaking the Ice
"Tomoyooooo!!!!!! You've made my life ten times more miserable!" Sakura shouted at her best friend Tomoyo Daidouji.
"It's only one measly little date. It will be over before you say 'Merry Christmas.'"
"But Tomoyo this is complete torture. It's not fair. I can't believe you would go behind my back and do something so inconsiderate," Sakura whimpered, on the verge of tears.
"But I thought this might get your mind off of Ross."
Ross was Sakura's previous boyfriend and first love, since she came to the States. It has been over a year since they broke up. After many nights of crying by her lonesome self, twenty-one-year-old, Sakura Kinomoto of Japan, has lived quite a quiet life.
"Why can't you just leave me alone?" Sakura slammed a fist on the table as she cried.
People in the restaurant were staring at them now.
"Please Sakura, just one day. Let this be an early Christmas present for me, please."
"Fine! But I'm not speaking to you ever again!" With that Sakura left Tomoyo alone in stunned silence.
As Sakura drove her Honda Civic back to her apartment she cried. She wanted to call Touya and Dad. But, then they would be worried. How could Tomoyo give out her information to an online dating service? How could she? How could she?
December first, a week from this day, she would have to go to the house of a stranger who had agreed to meet her. Sakura slowly pulled to a stop at a red signal. Slipping her hand into her pocket she took out a slip of paper that wrote: 423-9071.
Reaching her apartment in a grim mood, the first thing Sakura did was pick up the phone, and dial the number on the slip of paper.
"Hello? Li residence." Came a women's voice on the other end.
"Hi, this is Sakura Kinomoto—"
"Sakura Kinomoto, I believe my son found out about you online."
"Yeah, well, you see, I'm—" Sakura paused for a moment and wondered if she should tell the woman that it was not her that gave out her own information and that it was her desperate friend who wanted so badly to ruin her life. But it would not be nice to mention Tomoyo when secretly all she wanted to do was make Sakura happy. "—I think that there has been—"
"My son Syaoran has told me a lot about you, even though you both haven't met each other, yet. He is really looking forward to this meeting on December first."
"Yes, about Mr. Li, may I speak to him?"
"Oh, he is not home at the moment."
"Ummm… Do you know when he'll be home…?"
"Well, he doesn't exactly live here anymore. He has a place in the city much closer to where he works."
"Huh? But then, why did he leave this number instead of his?"
"Well he kind of lives here on and off… Sakura, do you know who you are talking to?"
"Ah… No, ma'am, I'm sorry."
"I am Yelan Li, Syaoran's mother. Surely, you have heard of that name."
"Yelan?" Sakura frowned at the phone not sure what Yelan was trying to get out.
"You must be new, then."
"Not really, I have been here for two years attending school."
"Two years? Interesting… Do you keep up with news?"
"I'm not sure where you're getting at, Mrs. Li."
"Never mind, then. I'll just drop down the Li address and let you be on your way…"
After giving Sakura the address, Yelan hung up. Sakura sighed as she dropped to the sofa. "What have you gotten me into, Tomoyo?"
"Syaoran, I want you home on December first 6:00 PM sharp. Do you understand?" Yelan, a tall woman in her late forties towered over her son as she spoke.
Syaoran, sitting behind his desk looked up at his mother in wonder. "Why?"
"Because I have an early Christmas present for you."
"Why can't you just give it to me now?"
"Because it's too big to carry it all the way here."
"Fine," Syaoran grumbled.
Yelan circled his office, peering at the things he had. "Syaoran, have you found the right one, yet?"
"Mother, would you quit bugging me about it?"
"You have until New Years."
"The Elders are growing impatient, Syaoran."
"So, tell them to keep their pants on."
"Syaoran! I am becoming impatient! If you do not find a wife by January 1, I will be forced to take matters into my own hands. You are twenty-three and surely by now you have found your girl."
"I haven't, yet." Syaoran eyed her warily.
"Well, either see that you do, or face the Elders' decision."
December 1, 6:30 P.M.
An irritated Syaoran walked into the Li Mansion with a scowl on his face. One of the servants greeted him and took his coat.
"Wei," Syaoran addressed the butler, "Why is there a car parked outside in my space?"
"We, have a guest, young master."
"Right here," said a new voice. Yelan walked up to her son as she spoke again, "You're late."
"Mother, why is there a car parked in my space?"
Yelan ignored his question and led him to the guestroom, while Syaoran continued questioning her.
Meanwhile, Sakura was sitting by herself in the guestroom, admiring her surroundings. She had never seen a house, let alone been in one, that was so extravagantly decorated. While she spoke to her self softly, she heard an annoyed male voice.
Turning slightly around in her seat, her eyes saw Yelan and a man dressed in a white dress shirt with no tie. "Who is this?" Syaoran questioned as his eyes examined the girl who stood and bowed to him respectfully.
The girl had on a red sweater with a black skirt. Her light brown hair was short and her Emerald eyes stared at him. Soon he noticed her cock an eyebrow at his question.
"Why, this is Sakura Kinomoto. She's from Japan and is staying here in the United States to study."
Sakura had on a confused expression. This man with golden brown eyes and brown hair, who had given his information to Tomoyo and asked to meet the said person 'Sakura,' had no idea that she is Sakura?
Still baffled Sakura greeted him, "It is nice to meet you, Sir."
Syaoran turned to his mother and gave her a scowl. In one swift movement he grabbed her by the arm and pulled her into the next room.
"I thought you said I had a month's time."
"You do, I just thought that I could have a few girls lined up for you just in case." Yelan said in a high-and-mighty-voice.
Syaoran let out a frustrated growl. "Who else is there?"
"Syaoran, she is the only one."
"I was only joking, Syaoran," Yelan assured him.
"But, what about Diane? I'm still seeing that woman."
"No you're not… You have not been seeing anyone since you mentioned Lizzie."
"Wh-What?" Syaoran stuttered. "Who told you?"
"Your grandfather." Yelan crossed her arms as she continued, "Madeline, Tory, Natalie, Jessica, Jamie, Erin, Anne, Monica, Lizzie, Diane, they were all girls you made up. You never had a girlfriend. All you've done is train and work."
Syaoran dropped his head down in shame.
Yelan sighed and spoke gently, "You are the only male heir of this clan, Syaoran. Besides, your grandpa wants great grandchildren before he passes on. You know the business is going to be yours for good, so do this for him and me."
"And if you want to win my trust again you better not ruin tonight," Yelan warned.
"But what if I don't like her."
"Then, we'll let you chose, but remember the deadline is January 1. So if I were you I wouldn't let this first one slip away just, yet. She might actually be the one."
Syaoran rolled his eyes as he pulled at the first buttons of his collar.
"I hate this, Mother."
"Merry Christmas, Son."
Yelan got up with a small smile on her face. She pushed Syaoran outside. Sakura looked up and for the first time Syaoran noticed how sad her emerald eyes were.
Syaoran sat on the arm chair as he corrected her. "Don't call me that. That's what they call my grandfather down at work."
A small smile came up to Sakura's face as a new question bubbled up. "Then, what do your co-workers call you?"
"They call me Sir."
"So you're the boss?"
"No, my grandfather is."
Tilting her head to the side Sakura asked, "Then what do you want me to call you?"
"Li will be fine. And I will be calling you Kinomoto," he stated firmly.
"Because I want to," he gritted.
Yelan popped out a few minutes later. "Dinner will be ready soon. In the meantime, you two better become better acquainted." With that she disappeared through the door again.
"So, what do you study?" Syaoran asked as he leaned casually in his chair.
"I study English, but I don't really have a major."
"Then, how will you make a living when you're done with school?"
"Well, I thought I could go back to Japan to live with my family again after I'm done with school here."
"How are you paying for school right now?"
"What do you do?"
"Sir, you're making me feel like I'm being interrogated for a crime I did not commit." She smiled at him innocently.
"I am only asking what you do," he replied bluntly.
"Yeah and a whole lot of questions before that," she said with a friendly smile.
"If your job is really that horrible, then you don't have to tell me what you do."
Sakura shook her head, "No, no, no. My job is fine. It pays for my apartment and a bit of my college tuition. The rest is taken care of by my family in Japan."
"I work for Tomoyo Daidouji as a model… Or at least I used to."
A model? Why wasn't Syaoran surprised? Because he saw it in her right when he laid eyes on her. Wearing clothing that shows off way too much skin, just to make money. He glowered at the floor when he heard her say she was a model. She was like the rest of them. They didn't care what they gave away as long as they had money.
"What do you mean you used to? Were you fired? What do you model in?"
Sakura could feel herself sweating at his questions. "Well, I got in a fight with my boss, so I'm kind of not talking to her. But before any of that happened, I modeled in almost all her designs."
"Like what, bikinis?" The man smirked.
"No way, Tomoyo would never make me do that."
"You address your boss by first name?"
"Well, actually she's a really close friend of mine and a cousin a couple of times removed. She's the only family I have in this country."
He looked at her eyes, and saw that they had gone from merry to gloomy again. He watched her silently.
It took her awhile before she looked up at him again. "Well, Li—I'm sorry I'm not used to calling people by their last names—what do you do for a living?"
"I work as Vice President of Li Enterprise."
"You make good money, then," Sakura joked.
"Not as much as my grandfather. But since we are family he shares his wealth."
Sakura laughed, but Syaoran showed no hint of a smile on his face.
"Then, I guess you will be president of Li Enterprise someday, judging by the position you are in now."
"Yeah, and in a month, the leader of the Li Clan," Syaoran bragged.
"I come from a long line of strong fighters. I've trained all my life. And I am the only male child of the entire family who can carry on the family name and business."
"Wow. That makes you a very important person."
With a slight blush on his cheeks he brought his hands up behind his head and swanked, "Yeah, I guess."
Sakura laughed at him. Once she started, she had a hard time stopping.
"What's so funny?"
"Has any one ever told you you're over-blowing your horn?"
He growled. "Stop laughing!"
Sakura covered her mouth with one hand, barely muffling her laughter.
A pair of dark brown eyes watched them in silence through the slightly opened door. Maybe dinner can wait a little longer while the two people could chat.
Dinner was long, and Sakura felt like she was going to explode. Yelan kept loading her plate helping after helping, while she fussed over how skinny she was. Somewhere between her fussing she asked her if she was anorexic. Causing Sakura to do nothing, but stuff herself.
At the end of dinner Yelan told Syaoran to walk Sakura to her car. Syaoran being the gentleman he was—not—obliged.
The pair walked casually and stopped by the small car.
"I had a fun time," Sakura said bowing her head slightly.
"Well, Mother has a way of making people feel welcome in her serious, arrogant way."
"I see where you get that from."
"That better not be meant in a bad way." Syaoran reached into his breast pocket and took out a notepad. "Do you happen to have a pen?"
"Sure," Sakura breathed as she rummaged through her purse. She handed him a pen.
Syaoran took it and scribbled his home, work, and cell phone numbers down. Tearing the paper out of the pad he spoke in a business-like tone, "If you are interested you can reach me at any of these numbers."
Sakura shook her head with a dreamy smile plastered on her face, as she examined his handwriting.
"Oh, Kinomoto, next time park on the left space. This one's reserved."
Sakura laughed as she hopped into her car and pulled out of the driveway. She waved at him with the paper still clutched in her hand. From her rearview mirror she watched as Syaoran Li walked back inside. She blinked down at the paper she still held in her hand. Her fingers slowly closed around it gently making a crinkly sound as it rolled into a ball. And with a flick of her wrist she threw the balled up yellow paper to the floor of the passenger seat.
This story was inspired by a friend of mine. And I thank her for lending me her knowledge. At first I wasn't sure if I should write this, but then she changed my mind totally. So here it is the first part of Breaking the Ice. I also wanted to say that I will only be focusing on this story until I finish it. So for those of you who are reading my other fics, I just wanted to say I am not abandoning them.