Konnichiwa, Minna-san! I'm back with the tenth chapter of "The Forbidden Clow". I know it's not my best fanfiction, but I like it well enough. However, I owe all my thanks to about 12 of you who almost always review for this fic. ARIGATO SOOOOOOO MUCH!!! You guys keep my going on this story! Review if the time can be spared please! Arigato, and I hope you enjoy the chapter ^.^ ~Manda-chan

THIS CHAPTER: Oh Kami-sama! Sakura confessed! What will Syaoran do? And how will Meiling fit into the picture? You'll be surprised, Minna-san! I promise! ^^

Disclaimer: CCS belongs to Clamp.

Arigatos: Leeman (arigato for the sympathy ^^), Ashley-chan (arigato for your great review!), ~*Starlight Princess*~ (I'm glad you liked the last chapter ^.^), obiwankatie (here's the next chapter, gomen for leaving you hanging), Big Wolf (arigato for the kind review!), Katie Marie (you're welcome ^^ Glad I could help), Tomogirl (arigato for your review!), Geo (On the edge of your seat? Really??), Eternal Haven (Will he get the chance? Read and find out ^.^), Afan (Arigato for the encouragement! It really helps!), Jurei-chan (Arigato! Talk to you soon!), E.B. (Heyla, Aura-chan! ^.^ Ni-chan has the last 3 episodes of the CCS 2nd arc (can you say 'Yue'? ^^)!!! You've GOT to see them!), melfina (I'm still continuing, don't worry), Kitty (Was it really that sad? *rereads last chapter* Oopsy...guess it was ^^;), and ~*Just a Memory*~ (thanks for reviewing, here's chapter 10!). ARIGATO! THANK YOU! MERCI! GRACIOUS!

The Forbidden Clow Chapter Ten: Caught in the Act

"Because I fell in love with you..."

Syaoran's amber eyes were about as wide as they could possibly get. 'Masaka...She fell in love with me?'

"Sakura...I..."

Sakura took one last look at his astonished face and fled from the tree as fast as her legs would take her, heavy sobs racking her entire body as she ran. 'Why did I tell him? WHY!?'

In the distance she could hear Syaoran's voice calling out to her, but she didn't dare stop. All she needed was to get away; get away from him.

Get away from everything.

She bolted from the school, dashing all the way to her house. She knew there was no way she could cope with going back to class and having to deal with Syaoran and Meiling. She needed to be home now, where she could just break down and let it all out at once.

The distressed Clow Mistress sped through the front door and only paused long enough to remove her school shoes from her aching feet. Upon entering her room, she flopped down onto her mattress, crying uncontrollably into her soft pink pillow.

A drowsy guardian beast popped his head out from Sakura's desk drawer, having heard her entrance. "Wha? What's all the racket?" he questioned, eyes still half closed.

It took a moment for the diminutive yellow creature to fully awaken, then he realized where the noise was coming from. "Sakura? What's wrong?"

Sakura tried to choke back an oncoming sob. "Could you leave me alone for awhile, Kero-chan?" she requested in a near whisper.

Kero was confused as to why his mistress would push him away. "Did something happen at school?" Anger suddenly flared through the guardian's tiny body. "It was the GAKI, wasn't it!?" Kero seethed, "Why that little...I'll teach him a thing or two."

Without so much as another word, Kero flew out the open window like a speeding bullet, ready to pummel Syaoran to a pulp.

*****************************************

"Kahlm Samari?"

A girl near the front raised her hand. "Hai!"

The teacher went to the next name on the list. "Kinomoto Sakura?"

The room was silent.

The sensei tapped his pencil on his chin. "That's strange...I could have sworn I saw her in the hall earlier this morning."

Syaoran slumped in his chair, gazing sadly at the empty desk in front of him. He was planning on confessing to Sakura right then and there at the oak tree during lunchtime, but it didn't work out. Instead, Sakura confessed to falling in love with him, and then took off before he had the chance to reply.

He sighed in frustration. 'Baka, Baka, BAKA!' he self-chided, giving himself a good smack in the head.

Meiling stole a side-glance at her fiancé, noting to herself how he seemed to be beating himself up about something. 'Probably because he was so rude to me at lunch hour.' she thought with a dreamy smile, 'He must want to apologize to me!'

The young warrior leaned back in his chair, staring out the window as the sensei went on about 'Topics in Japanese Literature'. He could see the oak tree in the distance, shedding a few of its green leaves to the shadowy ground below.

'If only I still had the Time Card.' he thought, 'Then I could fix this whole mess.' He shook his head. 'Demo...that's the coward's way out.'

He sat up straight in his chair. 'You have to meet life head on.' he decided, 'So I'll have to break the news to Meiling, and then patch everything up with Sakura.'

He gave Meiling a woeful look as she hummed a happy tune to herself. 'Gomen, Meiling, but I love Sakura. If only you could except that someday...'

Syaoran knew that Meiling did truly love him, but he also knew that he couldn't lie and say he loved her back. He'd have to tell her the truth, even though he knew how much it would hurt his lovesick cousin. Hopefully she would except his rejection of her and head back to Hong Kong to start a new life.

Then again, this was Meiling. She would most likely scream and pout and blame the entire thing on Sakura.

He breathed heavily in annoyance. He knew precisely how this was going to turn out. He would tell Meiling, she would go into a fit of denial, and then she would probably run off to strangle Sakura.

However, in order to be free to love his cherished cherry blossom, he would have to somehow snap the small thread that still tied him to his obsessive cousin. He just had to make sure that he found Sakura before she did.

'No matter what happens, I've got to tell Sakura.' he vowed silently, 'That's the most important thing.'

****************************************

Tomoyo placed her arms on the desk, propping up her head with her hands. She was somewhat listening to the lecture, but her mind was elsewhere.

'I wonder where Sakura-chan went?' she thought, glancing at the vacant desk beside her, 'I hope she's alright.'

She took a quick peek behind Sakura's empty desk at Syaoran. 'It was him.' she realized, deciphering the look on his face, 'Li-kun is the reason Sakura-chan's not here.' She narrowed her eyes. 'I'll have a nice talk with him when school lets out.'

****************************************

When the final bell rang, students shuffled out of the classroom, hurrying to extra curricula's or to their homes. Only four of the students hung around, packing their materials more slowly and taking their leisurely amount of time to leave the building.

The raven-haired girl of the bunch clamped onto the amber-eyed boy's arm, hugging it for dear life. "Syaoran!" she squealed happily, "What do you want to do now that school is out?"

He gagged, feeling uneasy about her close proximity. "I need to talk to you, Meiling." he spoke emotionlessly.

"I KNEW IT!" she cheered gleefully, her twisted little mind thinking that he was going to apologize to her.

Tomoyo stopped Syaoran with a glare and an outstretched hand. "Just a minute, Li-kun. I have something to discuss with you too."

He bowed his head shamefully. "I know what you need to talk to me about, Daidouji-san, but I really need to talk to Meiling first."

Meiling smiled proudly and Tomoyo nodded. "Fine." she said rather coldly, "I'll give you a few minutes to chat with your fiancée, but then you and I need to have a serious talk."

He nodded in agreement and Tomoyo went off to converse with Eriol for the time being.

Meanwhile, Syaoran pulled Meiling out of the classroom and into the hallway. Once they had reached a rather secluded area, Syaoran pried his arm out of her iron grip and stood in front of her.

However, Meiling had her own ideas. She grabbed one of his free hands, grinning from ear to ear. "You really don't have to apologize, Syaoran. I understand."

Syaoran's eyes turned into dots, a sweat-drop forming along the side of his head. "Apologize? Apologize for what?"

Meiling stopped grinning. "You mean...you weren't going to apologize for the things you said to me at lunch?"

He shook his head to affirm her theory. "Gomen, Meiling, but I'm not apologizing for that. I only wanted to tell you to go back to Hong Kong and formally break off our engagement to the elders."

Meiling was completely silent for a moment, then a look of mortification washed over her face. "Y-You're kidding, right? You can't seriously mean that, Syaoran! You promised!"

Syaoran put a hand on her shoulder. "I'm really sorry, Meiling, but I don't love you that way. I love you as a cousin. I was six when I made that promise, Meiling. I had no idea what I was doing or saying." He sighed. "Look, don't make this harder than it already is. Just get on with your life and forget about me."

Streams of wet, glistening tears poured from her ruby eyes, some falling to the marble floor below. "But you promised me! You're a liar, Syaoran! LIAR, LIAR, LIAR!!!"

"Please understand, Meiling! I-"

"You 'WHAT', Syaoran?!" she spat, "You found someone else to love, is that it?!"

He nodded gradually, wondering how this was going to play out.

"I knew it..." she mumbled, feeling rejected, "It's that Kinomoto girl, isn't it?"

He paused for a second, then nodded again. "Don't get mad, Meiling, it's-"

"IT'S ALL HER FAULT!" Meiling screamed, her voice echoing through the school's hallway, "SHE TOOK YOU AWAY FROM ME! SHE POISONED YOUR MIND! THAT BI-"

Syaoran lost his temper. "STOP IT, MEILING!" he interrupted, "IT'S NOT SAKURA'S FAULT, IT'S MINE!"

Angry tears rolled down her flushed cheeks. "IT'S HER FAULT! EVERYTHING IS HER FAULT!" Meiling stormed toward the entrance doors. "I'LL TEAR HER APART, LIMB FROM LIMB!" she shouted, as the door slammed behind her.

Syaoran slumped to the ground, placing a hand on his forehead. 'That went worse than I thought it would.'

A few seconds later, Tomoyo and Eriol emerged from the classroom, making their way over to the disgruntled Syaoran.

Tomoyo looked around curiously. "Where's Meiling?" she questioned, "She was with you, wasn't she?"

Syaoran looked up, just now realizing that Tomoyo and Eriol were standing there. "We had a...disagreement." he explained, "She blew a gasket and stormed off."

Tomoyo raised an eyebrow. "A disagreement?"

"I broke off my engagement to her."

The videographer crossed her arms. "Oh, I see. Breaking Sakura-chan's heart wasn't enough for you. You had to break Meiling's too."

"You don't understand, Daidouji-san."

Tomoyo waved him off. "Oh, I understand well enough, Li-kun."

Syaoran was about to lose his temper again, but Eriol stopped him before he could blow. "Before you explode, dear descendant of mine, kindly explain to me what's going on." Eriol requested.

Syaoran blinked, letting his anger die away. "Well, to tell you the truth, I don't love Meiling, at least, not the way she wants me to." he elucidated, "I can't marry someone I don't truly love, so I broke off the engagement, informally for now."

Syaoran paused and Tomoyo took the opportunity to step in. "What does this have to do with Sakura-chan?" she questioned.

Syaoran really didn't want to get into that subject, but he realized that he had to. He knew Tomoyo was worried sick about her best friend and he was sure Eriol was concerned as well. 'Besides, how am I going to confess to Sakura if I can't even tell these two?' he thought.

He took a deep breath. "Sakura and I met at lunchtime and I tried to explain the situation about Meiling. I wasn't really sure how to clear up the whole 'engagement' mess, and I apparently upset Sakura. That's when she......."

"When she...?" Tomoyo pried.

"She said she was in love with me!" Syaoran blurted, feeling his cheeks warm at the recollection.

Tomoyo and Eriol looked equally shocked, but Tomoyo was the first to find her voice. "She...She confessed?" Suddenly, a new anger rose within the usually kind costume designer. "You REJECTED her, didn't you!?"

Eriol had to hold Tomoyo back from attacking Syaoran on the spot.

"NO!" the troubled male Cardcaptor insisted, "She ran away before I could say a word!"

Tomoyo calmed slightly, ceasing her struggle from the British boy's grip. "Then what are you planning on doing, Li-kun?"

"What I planned on doing ever since I asked her to meet me at the oak tree." he answered simply.

"What?"

Syaoran's face took on the familiar warmth. "Tell her that I love her."

"Well it's about damn time." Eriol muttered.

"By the way..." Tomoyo cut in, "Where DID Meiling go?"

Syaoran froze. "KUSO! I totally forgot about her!" he cursed, "She went looking for Sakura."

Tomoyo rolled her eyes. "What a genius you are, Li-kun." she drawled sarcastically, "Let Sakura-chan get beat up by your ex-fiancée while we stand here and chat."

Syaoran dashed swiftly down the hall. "I'll get there before she does!" he called, "She doesn't know where Sakura lives anyway."

****************************************

Along his marathon to Sakura's house, Syaoran was pelted in the side of the head with a large yellow bullet.

"Itai!" he yelled, rubbing the new bump on his head.

The yellow bullet revealed itself to be the false form of Kerberus, Guardian Beast of the Clow Book's Seal. "And that's just the start of what I'm going to do to you!"

Syaoran blinked. "Stuffed animal?"

Kero raised a golden paw/fist. "It's 'KERBERUS' you good-for-nothing Chinese GAKI!!!"

Syaoran waved the little creature away. "Not now, stuffed animal, I've got something important to take care of."

As Syaoran took off, steam shot out from Kero's ears at having been ignored. "Come back here you gaki!" he yelled, beating his wings to catch up with the rapidly-running Syaoran, "You hurt Sakura and you're gonna pay!"

"I'm going to fix that mistake!" Syaoran replied, picking up his pace.

"Matte!" Kero called, desperately trying to keep up with the warrior's speed, "Don't go near my Mistress, gaki!"

Syaoran ignored the golden creature and continued his wild dash for the Cherry Blossom's house, leaving the little guy on the pavement of the sidewalk, wings drooping and breathing rather heavily.

*****************************************

Sakura was running out of tears to cry. She'd been sobbing and crying uncontrollably for the last couple of hours and now her well of salty liquid was bone dry. She sniffled, hugging her pillow in an attempt to comfort herself.

"I hate Mondays..." she choked, another sob tearing apart her throat.

She started reminiscing on the past couple of weeks and all the adventures she and Syaoran had together. It tore her heart out.

They had become so close to one another. So close that Sakura almost thought he might have liked her too.

But it was all just a cruel illusion.

In reality, Syaoran had a fiancée. He'd kept that secret from her the whole time she'd known him. He led her on all those years. And she, not even questioning him at all, fell head over heels in love with him.

"I'm such a fool." she whispered, "Such a fool for falling in love with you, Syaoran."

Despite her low supply, a new wave of fresh tears poured down her face, soaking into her pillow as they rolled off her chin.

"I thought I could trust you...I'm so baka..."

And worst of all, even in the midst of her sorrow, she still loved him. Perhaps even more than before. Everything that had happened was just forcing her deeper and deeper in love with him.

And it hurt so much.

Images of the kiss floated through her clouded mind, reminding her of how it felt for his lips to touch hers. And the way he would smile at her in such a gentle, caring way. How his eyes could entrance her with a single glance. The way he would speak her name...

It haunted her mind. The facade she once called Syaoran. He had even led her to believe that he was denouncing his Clan for her, that he was giving up everything just to stay in Japan.

Demo...Was she wrong? Maybe Syaoran had a good reason for all of this. She recalled him saying that he didn't want to hurt her. And she ran away before he had the chance to say anything else.

She had to be wrong. Deep down, she knew Syaoran would never intentionally harm her or hurt her feelings. He wouldn't possibly do something like that. After knowing him for six years, she knew what a kind heart he had.

*KNOCK KNOCK*

Sakura almost jumped from the abrupt noise upon her bedroom door. 'Who could that possibly be?' She sighed when a certain golden mouse-like creature with wings popped into her mind. "Kero-chan, I asked you to leave me alone."

"It's me." Syaoran's unmistakable voice answered.

Sakura gasped out loud. 'How did he get in?' She sighed. 'Oh yeah, I forgot to lock the door.' She became angry as her earlier suspicions came to mind. "GO AWAY!" she yelled, her voice slightly muffled by her pillow.

He wasn't going to give up that easily. "Sakura, please...I have something I need to tell you."

"I don't want your wedding invitation!" she spat.

"I know I neglected to tell you about Meiling." he admitted, "But please trust me, Sakura."

Her face twisted in disgust. "How could I ever trust you again?"

"I know I made a big mistake, Sakura." he spoke reproachfully, "I don't deserve your trust at all, but I have to tell you something."

Sakura suddenly remembered what she'd been thinking about right before Syaoran knocked on her door. Now she could give him the opportunity to confer his reason for the whole mess.

"C-Come in." she stammered.

The door creaked open slowly and Syaoran walked into her room, quietly shutting the door behind him.

He wanted to beat himself with a steel pole for hurting her this much. By the looks of it, she'd been crying for quite some time. Her hair was laid about her pillow in tangled disarray and stained pools covered the cottony fabric of the pink pillowcase below her head.

Syaoran bowed his head. "I'm sorry, Sakura. For everything. As for Meiling, I-"

"You don't have to explain that again, Syaoran." she interceded, sitting up, "I already know."

"I broke off my engagement to her." Syaoran stated.

Sakura's mouth dropped open. "You-You what?"

"It's true." he confirmed, "I told Meiling that the engagement was off."

"But...why?" Sakura questioned, unable to find a suitable reason for the sudden disjunction of him and Meiling.

His amber eyes locked with hers. "Do you want to know the real reason?"

Gazing into his eyes, Sakura suddenly felt that she could trust him. "Yes."

Syaoran closed the distance between them, and after sitting on the bed next to her, he wrapped her slim form into a gentle hug. "Because I love you, Sakura." he whispered huskily into her ear.

She had to be dreaming. Syaoran loved her? She was the reason he broke his engagement with Meiling?

"Hontou?" she asked.

He pulled back from the embrace to face her. "You don't trust me?" he teased.

"Demo...demo..."

He placed his index finger on her lips. "No buts, Sakura." He gave her an almost seductive smile. "I'll show you how much I love you." (NO you hentais! Not like THAT).

He swiftly pressed his lips against hers, firmly locking them together in a tender yet vigorous kiss. He had almost forgotten what a sweet strawberry-like taste her lips held.

Sakura let him do the work. She merely drowned in the sensation of feeling his lips upon hers again. It seemed like so long since the first time they engaged in liplock.

He was much bolder now. And kissed with more passion than she deemed possible. She thought that maybe she'd heard his words incorrectly, but his kiss told a whole different story.

****************************************

The ruby-eyed teen searched for nearly half an hour, until she finally had the sense to ask someone where the "Kinomotos" lived.

Now she stood at the front door of a medium-sized yellow house, unsure of what to do. She thought of knocking or ringing the doorbell, but she had the feeling that no one was home except for Sakura. After another moment of silent debating, she opened the front door and went inside, immediately heading for the stairway.

When she reached the top of the stairwell, she heard noise coming from the first door on the left. She creeped up to the door and placed her ear against it, eavesdropping on the conversation inside.

"I'll show you how much I love you."

Meiling gasped. She would recognize that voice anywhere.

Syaoran was in that room.

Instead of throwing the door open, like she had originally planned, she slowly edged the door ajar and peeked through the three or four inch crack she had created.

Meiling's eyes broadened into saucers and she stifled a shriek.

Right there, on what she guessed was Kinomoto's bed, Syaoran was kissing Sakura. She felt her eyes begin to water. As much as she didn't want to admit it, this situation didn't look like Kinomoto's fault at all. From what she could see, it looked like Syaoran's.

He was the one with his arms seraped around Sakura's form and he seemed to be the one doing the kissing. Sakura simply sat there as far as Meiling could tell. 'So Syaoran was telling me the truth?' she wondered, 'He really loves her?'

She kept vigil a little longer and stuck her tongue out in disgust. 'It looks more like he's trying to eat her face.' she thought, sickened by his display of affection.

****************************************

Sakura's eyes snapped open when she heard a small sound come from the door. She took a glance in that direction and felt her eyes go very wide.

Meiling's face was peering through a large crack in the doorway, apparently revolted by what she was seeing.

However, Syaoran didn't seem to notice. He was too busy making sucking sounds against Sakura's mouth to realize that his former fiancée was watching him from the door.

Sakura tried to pull away from the busy young warrior, gently at first. "Mmmph!" she mumbled, trying to push away from his strong embrace.

In response to Sakura's resistance, the male Cardcaptor pulled her closer and only disengaged his lips long enough to say, "I'm not finished yet." and refastened his lips over hers again.

Meiling almost laughed at the scene before her. She never thought Syaoran could be so...clingy. 'Poor Kinomoto...' she chuckled, 'She'll never win against Syaoran's sheer power.'

Something clicked in the raven-haired girl's brain when she saw the two of them together. She hated to admit it, but it looked like they belonged together. And something inside her jealous heart told her to except it. 'Syaoran didn't really like me that much anyway.' she thought, 'But despite his obvious disinterest, I clung to him all the time.' She sighed. 'I guess it's best for him to be happy. And if Kinomoto fulfills that role, I suppose I'll just have to let them be together.'

Sakura was still occupied with trying to alert Syaoran to his cousin's presence. "MMMPPHHHHHH MEI-MMMPHHH!"

However.......Syaoran still didn't seem to want to let go.

Meiling couldn't take it anymore. She burst out laughing and fell to the carpeted floor, accidentally pushing the door wide open.

Syaoran finally pulled away from Sakura to find out who was laughing so hard. When he saw his cousin and ex-fiancée rolling with laughter on the floor, he raised an eyebrow. 'Is that Meiling? Or am I seeing things?'

Sakura was completely dumbfounded. She thought Meiling would be furious by this point. Her eyes turned into anime dots. "Hoe?"

The crimson-eyed teen regained her composure and stood up, still chuckling lightly to herself. "I've seen a whole new side of Syaoran."

Syaoran's face began to turn red. "Y-You saw that, Meiling?" he choked.

"That's what I was trying to tell you, Syaoran." Sakura explained, "But you wouldn't really give me the chance to say anything."

Meiling smiled in Syaoran's direction. "I saw the whole thing."

Sakura sighed and Syaoran swallowed a huge lump in his throat.

Meiling tapped a finger to her chin and set her gaze upon her ex-fiancé. "I have a question for you, Syaoran."

He nodded, swallowing yet another lump.

The ruby-eyed Chinese girl grinned. "Were you kissing Kinomoto, or trying to eat her face?"

Syaoran's face heated up to somewhere around 300 degrees farenheight, turning his skin to a dark crimson color. He held out a shaky fist toward his widely-grinning, raven-haired cousin. "T-T-T-That's none of your business, Meiling! You shouldn't be spying on people!!!"

"Oh, but it was SO funny!" Meiling continued, amused by her amber-eyed cousin's reaction, "The way Kinomoto kept trying to pull away from you. Jeez Syaoran, I never knew you were so desperate and persistent!"

Sakura blinked, still confused about the whole ordeal. "I thought you would be mad, Meiling."

"Oh, I was at first." Meiling admitted, "But then I realized just how kawaii you two looked together, and I decided to let bygones be bygones."

Sakura smiled brightly. "Arigato, Meiling-chan!"

Meiling waved her index finger reprovingly at the Card Mistress. "Don't get all soft on me now, Kinomoto-san!" she chided, "And don't let Syaoran push you into doing anything you don't want to do!"

The red color reinhabited the warrior's face and he turned his head away with a grunt.

Sakura blushed a pinkish color too, even though she didn't really understand what Meiling was saying (she's dense, remember?). "H-Hai."

Meiling dusted her hands approvingly. "Well, my job is done. I'll leave you guys alone for awhile, so Syaoran can continue sucking on your face."

Syaoran morphed into an angry tomato. "MEILING!"

Meiling sweat-dropped and shook her hands in front of her. "Just kidding, just kidding."

She gave a quick wink to her cousin and left Sakura's room, shutting the door behind her. Syaoran and Sakura let out a sigh simultaneously.

"I thought she was going to kill me." Sakura mumbled.

"That certainly wasn't what I was expecting from her." Syaoran agreed.

Something near the pillow caught Sakura's eye. "What are these?" With a closer look at them, she recognized the white backs almost immediately. "WHOA! Black Clow Cards!" she exclaimed, picking them up off the bed.

Syaoran looked over her shoulder. "Are you sure?"

She put them in his view. "Yes! Look at them all!"

Sakura started reading off the cards one by one. "The Attract, The Growth, The Emotion, The Fear, The Wild, The Charm, The Knowledge, The Luck, and The Evil."

"Nine cards altogether." Syaoran counted.

"But how did we seal them?" she wondered out loud, "I'm going to need to talk to Kero-chan about this..."

How did you all like the chapter? I though it might be funny for Meiling to find them kissing, but instead of getting angry, accept the inevitable. What did you think, Minna-san? ^.^ Review please! I'd be very grateful.

The disaster is about to strike! Stay tuned! ~Manda-chan