Summer Scent

Chapter XII

Unfortunately, Ryoma and Sakuya didn't get to finish their match due to the bad weather. Ryuzaki sensei had come outside to see them and barked out to stop the match, then went back inside. It was like Ryoma's match against Fuji, which was stopped due to the heavy rain. Yet still, it ended in Sakuya's favor.

After that, Ryoma went to see Ryuzaki-sensei. No doubt Ryoma wanted to ask about yesterdays meeting, leaving Sakuya to fume alone. Ryoma didn't look or speak to him at all. Having no outlet to channel his anger, he went home sulking. The rain had stopped, so he could walk around a bit before going home.

His feet brought him to the park, where he could see a few people playing tennis. Not again. Were people in this country obsessed with tennis so much? Sakuya was about to leave when he saw someone familiar. Wait a minute. Wasn't he the guy who played against Ryoma? A smirk slowly formed on his face. Well, this might get interesting.

"Hi, you there! Do you want to play tennis?"

Genichiro Sanada turned as he heard someone address him. Sanada's initial reaction was to say no to this unknown foreigner. However something stopped him when he saw that the stranger's expression was clearly enunciating that Sanada was below him. The stranger clearly looked at him as if he was something beneath him. What a rude and arrogant boy. Why not then? He could teach the brat not to underestimate Japanese people. However, it was him who lost badly. He was defeated quickly by the stranger 6–5, 6–3, 6–0. And that boy manipulated him throughout the entire game.

"I won," the mysterious boy declared. "This is so boring. I thought you could at least give me some better entertainment. I guess I had hoped too much." The blond shrugged in his shoulders and came to stand in front of him, smirking into his puzzled face. Sanada stared at the stranger's calm face, he didn't appear in the least bit excited, and he felt chilled at his casual manner.

"Well, see you later. Or not." And with that the blond left.

Who was this boy? And what was a foreigner doing here? Although he spoke fluently in Japanese, his green eyes and blond hair was enough to tell. From his appearance, he was undoubtedly in senior high school. A freshman. And for a moment, Sanada was reminded of another arrogant boy yet who was also a tennis prodigy whom had beaten him before. That boy from Seigaku, Echizen Ryoma.


Sakuya was feeling a bit better after beating that guy. And to think people called him 'The Emperor'. Please. He wanted to laugh out. Why did Ryoma have such a high opinion about them anyway?

Speaking of Ryoma, what should he do now? He sighed mentally. If Ryoma was mad at him like this, the probability that Ryoma would agree to go back to New York with him was getting smaller. And to think that at first he was so sure that Ryoma would agree easily to his request. Apparently he underestimated the whole situation. Not to mention his promise to his father. That damn promise. He only told Ryoma that his father was against his decision but finally relented. What he didn't tell Ryoma was the promise he made with his father. Now, he must reanalyze his plan.


"Yes?" He inquired.

"Ryoma-sama is here and wishes to meet you," the maid said.

"Let him in," he ordered

A moment later, Ryoma stepped into the living room.


Ryoma had gone to Ryuzaki-sensei, inquiring her about the meeting. For her credit, she merely explained it without asking the reason as to why he skipped the meeting. After it, he found out that Sakuya had gone home without him. When having a tantrum, Sakuya always retorted back to a five-year-old child, sulking and fuming. That was nothing new for him.

Why had he bothered anyway? Sure, Sakuya was his best friend but this… he sighed mentally and decided to pay visit to Sakuya. They really needed to talk anyway. So, he went to Sakuya's apartment in Roppongi Hills. On the way, he saw something in the book stall and smirked.

As he entered Sakuya's apartment building, he recalled their fight earlier. They had exchanged many nasty words. Sakuya even had threatened to go back to New York, to which he angrily agreed to. Knowing Sakuya, who tended to act recklessly in anger, Sakuya might be packing his bags now. Only to unpack when he had cooled off. That was typical of Sakuya.

It's not like he wasn't glad for Sakuya's presence. After all, he missed Sakuya. That was obvious. It was rather impossible to spend seven years with someone you had grown up with, to suddenly have to deal with their absence. They had practically grown up together, and were closer than brothers. He missed Sakuya. Missed that bright, wicked smile. Missed those huge mischievous eyes. Missed those impulsive hugs and wet, passionate kisses.

He wasn't being romantic or something. That's what he felt even though he never showed it. It might not bear any relation to what he felt, but he could always manage to stay cool and collected all the time. And after two month of not seeing Sakuya, only to end up in a fight because of Sakuya's dislike towards his friends in Seigaku was truly ridiculous. He had new friends now and he liked them, and that was saying something, considering the way he behaved around them. But they were not Sakuya. There's no one else he could talk to like he could talk to Sakuya. That never changed. No one could replace Sakuya.

He wanted Sakuya to get along with them because it would do well for Sakuya to have someone to talk to and not to rely on him all the time. Sure, he didn't mind that. But that was now. Soon, they would grow up and become adults. They would walk their own path then. What if he wasn't available? He didn't want Sakuya to be all alone. That's the reason he encouraged Sakuya's friendship with Momoshiro and the others. But the result wasn't what he had expected. He didn't understand it. Sakuya usually always respected people who were genuinely nice.

What Ryoma hadn't realized yet was Sakuya took them as competitors for his attention. Sakuya obviously didn't understand. Sakuya, who had been given everything his heart desired ever since he was born.

It's a psychological thing. Some parents showered their children with gifts to show that they cared. If they cared about their children, they would buy this Nintendo Wii for them. If they loved their children, they will allow their children to spend their holiday in Switzerland at a ski resort. Some parents just wanted to spoil their children silly. And some parents wanted to compensate their absence at home by granting their child's every wish.

The latter one was what happened to Sakuya. James was always busy with his work and as a result, indulged Sakuya's every whim. His father's way of making him happy was to say yes to everything he wanted, but no child should have that much freedom. Sakuya knew his father could never deny him anything. And as result, he unconsciously equalized the love given to him by all those things.


Ryoma saw Sakuya sitting on the couch and chose to sit in front of the blond, staring at his best friend.

"I'm sorry," Sakuya suddenly blurted out.

He almost didn't believe his ears. For someone with Sakuya's pride, he knew it would be hard and he certainly wasn't expecting an apology. Sakuya probably had never apologized for anything in his life.

Sakuya, on the other hand, only wanted to get back in Ryoma's good graces.

"…If you don't like it, just go back to America."

"Maybe I will."

"Fine. Good riddance."

He grimaced at the memory. For now, he better not do anything that could spark Ryoma's wrath. What if Ryoma suddenly got serious about his words?

At first, he was attracted to Ryoma because Ryoma was different from everyone else. For possibly the first time in his life, he was sure that someone was interested in him for himself alone and he found the knowledge oddly satisfying. And after seven years, he found himself incapable to be parted with his dark haired friend. He came to Japan, aside from persuading Ryoma to come back to America, was because he was bored and lonely. The void created by Ryoma's absence made time move with unbearable slowness.

But what about Ryoma, what if Ryoma and he both each had different opinion about their relationship? After all, he had always known that he needed Ryoma much more than Ryoma ever needed him.

"Sakuya, are you listening?"

"Ah, yes…" With a shake of his head, he pushed away all the gloomy thoughts out of his mind and tried to concentrate on the present.

Ryoma didn't look like he believed him but continued his words. "The meeting was to explain about the friendship tournament with USA West Coast team. So, we are going to the training camp. 28 players from several of the surrounding schools will gather at a camp to decide the 8 people who will be representing Japan against the American team."

"Oh. Okay," he said, not knowing how to respond to that.

"Anyway, I got this for you." Ryoma stopped talking and handed him something wrapped in red paper with a gold ribbon. His favorite colors.

"What is this?" he asked.

"Just open it."

He did. It was only a book. "Danger! Ego out of control!" he read the title and looked at Ryoma with disbelieving eyes. "Recognize the warning signs. Dominates everything, loves power, must be the center of the attention, has a high opinion of himself and his abilities and always thinks he is right…" he trailed off. "Ryoma!" he whined. It was one of the gag gifts Ryoma usually gave him but it also a way for telling him that they were fine, for now at least.

"It suits you." Ryoma took a quick look at his watch. "I have to go now. We'll come back from the camp in two weeks. I will call you, okay." Ryoma then kissed him on the forehead and left, leaving him with his thoughts alone.


Meanwhile, at the same time in New York. In the highest building at the Rothstein Plaza, James Rothstein was having meeting with his board of directors to discuss the coming annual general meeting of shareholders.

"Based on the income statement which has been audited by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, a professional services firm under Swiss Verein, we recorded a net income of $48.6 billion on a $477.5 billion of revenue in this fiscal year, an increase largely due to the escalating oil prices, making us the world's largest company by revenue. We propose to use 60.0% of the net income for dividend and 40.0% for next year capital expenditure, combined by hybrid financing." Philippe, his nephew, who was one of the directors, said.

He nodded and proceeded to the next agenda when his Blackberry flashed, indicating a new email message.

"…high price of oil will ultimately reduce the dependence on oil. With a really high price you encourage the exploration and development of alternative sources of energy…." Philippe continued but James's attention was already on the email Takagi had just sent, which informed him about Sakuya.

He might not able to say no when Sakuya wanted to go to Japan. But he managed to make his son promise him that if Sakuya failed in his quest, he would go back to America, alone.

Author's Note:

Hi. It's me again. I read the reviews and it's true. Even I have lost interest in prince of tennis years ago well but I still write this story now because I have to finish it since I already plan the whole story till the end. I don't want to make Ryoma out of the character because the reason why we like him is because his cool personality.

But in real life, if a girl got a cold boyfriend like that I don't think she will like it. At least he might be cold towards other people but he has to be nice to her. After all that what a boyfriend should do to their loved one. That's what I'm trying to do with the whole Ryoma and Sakuya relationship.

The last, please give me reviews. At least once. It makes me know that there are people out there who read and like my story.