So...hello XD It's very nice to see you all again...after that long period of time hehe. Don't kill me and everything will be fine. This lazy nyako tries to work hard. Most of the time. Enjoy the chappy! Byes for now, I need my daily doses of Sasuke XD.


What?

The pink-haired girl stepped carefully out of the yellow cab in her high heels. Taking her taxi fare out of her purse, she passed it to the patiently waiting driver. Waving a goodbye, he sped off to catch another customer. Sakura breathed in deeply and looked up to stare at endless black. The pitch black sky was dotted with masses of small shimmering diamonds. Breathing out again, Sakura turned to face the huge social hall that loomed before her. Here goes.

Sakura walked into the ball. The music and the chatter of people greeted her. She stood at the top of a grand stairway that led down to the dance floor. She was nearly overwhelmed by everything. Sasuke and Kano's work force combined was a huge number not to be taken lightly. There were a great many people on the dance floor and many at their tables chatting also . Others stood around engaging exciting conversations with people they met.

The ballroom was enormous and could probably house a thousand people. Its curved ceiling was painted a lovely golden color. A great chandelier sparkled and gleamed in the bright room. The majestic stairway could make any girl feel like a princess just waiting to come down to meet her prince. Beautiful elaborate curtains framed the magnificent windows skillfully making one feel entrapped in a wonderful, eternal fairy tale within the ballroom. Expensive paintings decorated the walls, while beautiful sculptures guarded corners. No matter how simple the great room seemed at first, at second glance one could see the effort, expense, and superior skills that went into designing it. The atmosphere created was simply awe-inspiring.

Sakura didn't want to run into anyone she did not want to see yet. There was still many people coming in through the doors. Instead of going down the stairway, she turned to her right and walked on the balcony of the ballroom looking down on the people enjoying themselves. It was not a very wide balcony, which only served as a place for people to walk a bit and chat. Even on the balcony, it still seemed like a palace. She walked slowly. Thoughtfully. After what seemed like forever, she reached the end of the balcony and was back at the top of the grand stairway.

Taking a deep breath, she descended slowly down the stairway. Against the magnificence of the stairway, her beauty shone like a silent precious gem. Hugging her curves alluringly, the long strapless dress held breathless promises of the beauty of her concealed legs. The soft green chiffon dress brought out Sakura's clear emerald eyes. A light-matching scarf adorned her shoulders and entwined loosely around her slender arms to fall delicately at her sides. Her hair was pulled up in an elegant up-do decorated with two simple, delicate green roses. Sakura kept jewelry minimal. She wore a simply glittery necklace and a pair of small matching earrings.

"Miss, may I escort you to your table?" a voice sounded behind her on the stairway. Sakura turned to look up. A good-looking escort smiled at her. "I just don't know how you could've slipped anyone's notice."

Sakura bowed slightly and said, "Sakura Haruno." He came down the few more steps to stand beside Sakura and extended his arm. Smiling appreciatively, Sakura accepted it and they proceeded down the stairway.

At the base of the stairway, several heads turned. Many of Sakura's coworkers and friends rushed up to Sakura.

"Sakura-chan!" Chiaki, her coworker from Sasuke's workplace, constricted her in another one of her famed bear hugs. The blonde girl suddenly stood back a step and beamed. "Oohhhh, kirei ne!" Heads bobbed up and down in the crowd. Sakura's face flushed with embarrassment.

"I-iie!" Sakura said shyly in front of everyone. "You all look lovely tonight."

"Of course!" everyone shouted and laughed. Many others went up to greet and hug Sakura.

Sakura suddenly remembered about her cute escort and found him standing patiently waiting for her. Guilt welled up inside her and excusing herself from everyone for a second, she trotted up to him to apologize and to tell him that he could he leave her. After the escort left with a sad grin, Sakura went back to her crowd of friends. (A/N who doesn't like a cute escort? Rarr XD)

"Sooo, Sakura-chan, got yourself a man yet?" Sakura's face flushed a deep red at that question. Everyone waited eagerly for her answer.

"Well I-" Before Sakura could answer, she caught sight of some dark hair. Her heart skipped a beat and she drew a deep breath. "Ano, not yet." Sakura mustered a smile. "Still looking." Sakura smiled teasingly at that. Everyone laughed.

The dark hair belonged to some man. A pinch of disappointment formed in her chest, but she pushed it away. A cheery song came on and the crowd scattered off to the dance floor. As Sakura turned in the direction of her table, a voice sounded behind her.

Turning again, a good-looking young man smiled at Sakura. He extended his hand with a sparkle in his eye, "Dance with me?"

Sakura laughed softly and nodded. He took her hand and led her onto the dance floor. As they danced, Sakura found him quite annoying as he had the tendency to let his touch linger too long. When the dance was over, Sakura bowed and hastily excused herself. Sakura went to stand where the crowds gathered and a persistent nagging feeling lay heavy on her chest. She scanned the crowds, then scolded herself. I'm not looking for anyone…

Needing a drink, Sakura accepted a glass of champagne from a waiter. Sipping it slowly, she froze when a group of men came into sight across the big dance floor. She sucked in her breath. Kano and Sasuke stood among business associates chatting.

Unable to tear her gaze away, she scolded herself again. Looking down momentarily to look at her glass, Sakura looked up and met Sasuke's dark eyes unexpectedly. She sucked in a deep breath. At that moment, it seemed like everything around ceased to exist. His eyes traveled down her body. A delightful shiver ran down her spine. A trace of surprise had touched Sasuke's handsome face. Sakura's face flushed a deep red as she remembered that she was wearing his dress. Before Sakura could be sure of the grin that quirked the corners of his mouth, he turned and brought his glass of champagne to his lips.

Sakura stared dumbfounded. A pair of hands grabbed her shoulders with a 'boo!' and she screamed. Whirling around, Sakura faced a laughing Ino.

"O-omg," Ino managed between bounds of suppressed laughter. "D-did you hear your s-scream!" Ino burst out laughing again.

"Ne, Ino-chan," Sakura stared at her in squinted, animated eyes. "You scared me."

"Indeed," Ino smiled.

"I thought I was being attacked by a dog."

At that, Ino burst out laughing again unable to help herself. "Sakura-chan, do you still have that irrational fear of harmless, adorable puppies?"

Sakura managed a weak smile and in her defense, said "Dogs, Ino. Big scary dogs! And puppies…"

Ino smiled and said, "Baka."

Sakura lifted her chin in a lofty manner and said, "So?"

Her good friend laughed and shook her head. They were chatting when everyone was asked to sit down. A speech was to be delivered.

Kano and Sasuke climbed the platform and stood in front of the musicians. Wolf calls and whistles sounded from the audience. No doubt many of the female employees adored their handsome bosses, Sakura thought to herself. Even the older female employees on the company wouldn't as much as bet an eyelash for fear of loosing sight of the two handsome devils.

In the bright light of the ballroom, their attractiveness hit her once again. Their tall, handsome physiques lured even the most stubborn eye. Kano's playful personality only did good for his good looks. Women were attracted to him like magnets. Sasuke, on the other hand, had a cool, reserved manner, which women found mysterious and dangerously attractive. His dark ebon hair framed his cold, onyx eyes that seemed to bore into a person's soul.

Sakura sat up with a shock when she realized she had missed the whole speech. She clapped alongside with everyone, but she hadn't heard one word. Sakura was adjusting her dress when several shadows thrown over the table made her look up.

Sasuke, and Kano, along with several other people she didn't recognize stood around the table.

"Good evening," Sakura said as she stood up quickly and bowed. They bowed and everyone sat down. I knew there was something fishy about this table I was assigned to…It's bigger than most and is right in the front…Hell, it's the table for the powerful and important. How did I end up here?

Sasuke watched Sakura's wide confused eyes over the rim of his glass of champagne. Stifling an amused grin, he drank the rest of his champagne.

Sakura shifted uncomfortably in her seat. Daring to look around to see who her table companions were, Sakura's mouth dropped open slightly at the sight of Yumiko. Yumiko, at the same time, wasn't quite pleased to see her. She sat in between Sasuke and Kano. Another blonde girl who resembled Yumiko sat beside Sasuke. While the girl was also beautiful, Sakura could tell she didn't really have much of brains. Shooting Sakura a sly smile, Yumiko shifted closer to Kano.

The multiple business associates at the table chatted with Kano and Sasuke. Sakura, for fear of offending anyone important to the company, kept silent.

"Daddy?" Yumiko said to one of the men. "Did you know I had just run into Kano the other day at the mall?"

"Really?" the man said amused. He was in his early fifties and looked every inch the rich, important boss. He was tall. His dark gray hair gave him character. "What a coincidence. Here you are meeting him for what was supposed to be the first time."

"Yeah, I know," Yumiko smiled at Kano, pursing her lips seductively. Then turning to her sister, she said, "Akina, you should have come shopping with me that day."

Akina, the other blonde girl, sighed and pouted, "Oneesan, I know! I wish I had. Why didn't I? Daddy, I really wanted to go too…Oh, but that day, some guy took me to the zoo on a date. Can you imagine that? The zoo for a date?" Akina laughed, then resumed her story. "The lions were like…so scary. They had big teeth. I've seen them on T.V. a lot, but I didn't know their teeth were that big."

Sakura tried not to comment on the simplicity of her mind. Stealing a glance at Sasuke, she could see the odd look on his face. He was obviously trying not to laugh. Turning to look at Kano, Sakura got a shock as she was looking into Kano's eyes. He lifted a glass, smiled, and drank. Sakura smiled uneasily.

As everyone made small talk, Sakura's cell phone went off. Standing up, embarrassed, Sakura bowed and excused herself from the table. Hastily making her way toward the door, she flipped open her cell phone. As she was about to speak, she looked up just in time to see the spill of champagne on the floor that a staff hadn't gotten to yet. Sakura let out a small gasp as she slipped, and quickly shut her eyes.

Opening her eyes again half a second later, she realized she wasn't on the floor. Her heart was thudding and her head felt light. She was in the arms of someone. Closing her eyes again, she opened them to look up timidly.

"Sa…Sasuke?" Sakura asked quietly.

"No, lovely. I'm Itachi." Sakura stared a few more moments at the familiar stranger.

"Uh.." Sakura blushed as she was aware that there was a circle of people standing around watching them. "Ano, thank you…I'm fine now…"

"Are you sure you're okay?" Itachi said with a teasing note in his voice.

"Y-yes, thank you." He helped Sakura get up and she smoothed down her dress. Dropping her head embarrassed as she didn't know what to do about the crowd, she felt as if her heart was going to jump out.

"Itachi-sama!" Sakura looked up suddenly and was dumbfounded with awe as the crowd was no longer around them, but around him.

Sakura tapped Chiaki on the shoulder, who was prying to get a piece of Itachi as well, and asked bashfully, "Chiaki-chan, ano, what's this fuss about?"

"Omg, Sakura-chan! You don't know! It's Itachi-sama. Sasuke-sama's older brother. He doesn't come visit us often. Isn't he just so handsome!"

"Ah, I see."

Sakura had to step back as more and more people dashed straight toward Itachi. Some didn't even seem to see Sakura and nearly shoved her aside.

Sakura gasped because she had forgotten about her phone call. Grabbing her cell phone again, she blurted, "M-moshi moshi?"

"SAKURA!" Sakura's mom screamed on the other side.

"Mom…please don't speak that loud," Sakura whispered.

"How was I supposed to know what happened to my daughter?"

"Uh, hehe, gomen."

"Well, how are you? Enjoying yourself, Sakura? I heard this was an important night. Meet a good man, okay?"

"Na-nani!" Sakura's face turned bright pink as she tried to keep a grip on the phone.

Sakura went back to the table after the interesting conversation and sat down quietly. Everyone was seated, including Itachi. Before Itachi sat however, he flicked Sasuke in the head.

Sasuke grumbled, "Stop that, oniisan."

Sakura quickly swallowed a gulp of iced water to suppress a giggle. How cute…he still bothers him…haha…

As everyone waited for dinner to start, Sakura noticed how Yumiko wasn't adhered to Kano anymore, but actually beside Sasuke. Then it hit Sakura. Yumiko was Sasuke's date and Akina was Kano's date. Something boiled within her, but she downed some more iced water. The nerve of that girl…