Author's Notes: Hi readers! Whoa, It's been a long time since I've updated! Yesterday I checked my email and received reviews and a message to update this story!!! I was really surprised that this story has kept such wonderful devoted readers. I'm very happy and thankful for the wonderful support I've received to continue with this story. I can't express how touched I've been. Though, it's been a while, I hope that you guys enjoy this story to the best, especially this chapter that has finally been released! Thank you all for the love and support!
She stared at her watch with trying patience as irritation began to build up within her. Sakura looked around, her emerald eyes uneasy as she pushed up the dark sunglasses riding low on her pert nose. Dressed in a white sleeveless shirt, black blazer, and dark jeans, she hoped that no one in the café would notice her.
As the door opened in the café, her eyebrows perked up as the person she had been expecting finally arrived. As the figure approached her, a frown appeared on Sakura's lips.
"What took you so long?" she asked in derision. "I've been waiting for over two hours! Did you even bring it like I asked of you?"
The person nodded and took his seat.
"I'm sorry I couldn't get to you sooner. I got caught up in a meeting I had to attend. But, I was able to gather the documents about the Uchiha Pharmaceutical Company. Our revenue is exceeding expectations and by next year we should be at the top of Japan's pharmaceutical market. Here are some of the confidential papers I was able to get."
Sakura's frown changed into a smile," Wonderful!" She grabbed the papers from the man and looked over them. Taking off her sunglasses, she searched into her red bag and took out an eyeglass case. Pulling out black spectacled glasses and putting them on, she smiled at her findings.
"My boyfriend will be the next owner of this company right?" she asked quizzically, staring into the man's eyes. " It's just so amazing how much this company has grown. I've been working too hard to make our relationship work for it to turn out to be worth for nothing."
The man nodded," Uchiha Sasuke has demonstrated immense ability to take over the company after his father. Rising from the low ranks of office to manager at the age of twenty-three, he's well on his way to taking over the company."
Sakura squealed lightly," That's what I wanted to hear. Dad will be so happy for me!"
"However," began the man, raising an eyebrow," If he is unable to protract marriage soon enough, it seems that he's going to have to watch his older brother take the lead."
Sakura's eyes widened," What? Why should he have to worry about Itachi?"
The man reached into the manila envelope and pulled out a copy of a document with an official stamp," Apparently, Uchiha Sasuke plans to leave the company when he turns twenty-five. This legal contract was written between him and his father. When he leaves, Uchiha Itachi will take over the business."
Sakura was appalled. " What is this bogus? How come you've never approached me with this before?"
The man shrugged," This is confidential papers, Miss Haruno. I try my best to give you as much information as possible for you and your father, but there are certain risks that can only be taken when the time is right. It took me over twenty years to gain the status that I do now at Uchiha Pharmaceuticals. Now, how about my pay?"
Sakura reached into her purse and took out a white envelope. She placed it on the table.
The man opened it and smiled at the numbers written on the check.
"Well, I shall have to dispose of this," he said, grabbing the documents on the table.
"Wait," said Sakura, displeased by the new information," Give me the copy of the document."
"Give it to me; I need to have it examined by my lawyers," spoke Sakura commandingly.
The man paused as he examined the young vixen's face. She was serious and hurt, and he couldn't help but pity these high society people with their lust to gain riches. Though he couldn't say much since he was practically stealing information from the company he worked at to give it to the boss's son's girlfriend.
The man chuckled at the irony of this world and handed the copy of the legal contract to Sakura. "Here." He stood up, bowed, and left the café. No one had noticed their conversation or was even the least bit interested inside the café.
Sakura bit her lip as she tried to reason with herself about the situation.
What are you thinking, Sasuke? How could you give up your title to the company? What's the reason?
"Mommy, I'm scared!" cried the little boy. He held on desperately to his mother as Hinata walked in with a tray.
"Hush, Katsu. Stop being rude," cried the woman. She looked at Hinata and bowed her head. "I'm sorry, my son hates going to the doctor."
Hinata smiled as she approached Katsu. "Hi, I'm Hyuuga Hinata. Don't worry; I'm only here to do some basic procedures." Hinata held up her hands to count the things she was going to do," I'll be taking your temperature, your height, blood pressure, eyesight, and your weight. Don't worry Dr. Sabaku is a nice man. From your document, you haven't been to the doctor since you were seven. And now that you're nine, you'll have to do all these things. You won't feel any pain, I promise you."
Katsu stared at Hinata, the woman he had scorned at earlier. Her voice was so soft and she didn't make him feel scared anymore. He nodded, a bit confused at what was going on. But since she made a promise that he wasn't going to feel any pain, he took her word.
"Okay, now follow me. Mrs. Nagashima, if you could please wait in the room, I'll be right back with your son," spoke Hinata, still keeping the smile on her face.
The woman nodded, awed at the strong, but silent presence of this new assistant.
"You were wonderful today," spoke Ami with a smile. She had her bag in her hand was walking down the small clinic halls with Hinata. "Dr. Sabaku may be a quiet man, but I'm sure he appreciated all that you did. We were more efficient because of you."
It was past midnight and the clinic was empty.
Hinata chuckled," I see. But isn't Dr. Sabaku going home, too?"
Ami shook her head," No, he practically lives here though he has his own apartment."
Hinata was surprised," He does? It must be difficult for him to go home."
Ami nodded," Yes, but he likes it here. Believe me; I've been working here for a long time when his mother still worked here."
"Eh, his mother?" Hinata questioned; her voice a bit loud.
Ami brought a finger to her lips," Shh. He doesn't like to talk about her much, but she opened this place twenty years ago. I remember Sabaku as a little boy, always visiting his mother on weekends. He was only thirteen years old when she passed away."
Hinata was surprised and Ami could see her shocked expression. Ami couldn't help but chuckle.
"But don't worry, Miss Hyuupa. Dr. Sabaku is a strong man. He's thirty already."
"He's thirty?" Hinata gasped, covering her mouth.
Ami nodded," Of course. He's a very young doctor. He was very studious in his goal to be a doctor after his mother passed away." She chuckled at her own comment. "Oh, but he looks younger than his age doesn't he?"
"He got his aging ability from his mother; she was such a natural beauty that when she passed away, people were surprised she was forty years old," spoke Ami, sighing afterward. "However, Gaara's red hair never ceases to amaze me. It's what gets the ladies all the time when they come in. Talk about Dr. Rebel, huh?"
Hinata chuckled as she nodded," He's a handsome man."
Ami nodded as she nudged Hinata playfully," I am an old woman, but I can see a crush growing inside a woman when she stares at a man."
"Oh no, please don't take it that way!" exclaimed Hinata. She blushed and covered a side of her cheek that was visible to Ami. "I-I don't have those kind of thoughts."
Ami chuckled," I'm just kidding. Besides, Gaara has-"
"She doesn't need to know, Ami."
"Oh dear," hushed Ami as she turned around to see Gaara leaning out the doorway of a room. He eyed the two ladies.
"I'm sorry, Gaara, I guess I couldn't keep quiet," she said, guilt written all over her face.
Gaara shook his head," No, it's alright. I want to have a word with Ms. Hyuuga, Ami."
Hinata could feel the softness in his tone when he addressed Ami. However, when he mentioned her name, Hinata could feel disdain in it. She nodded and turned to Ami," You go ahead. I was going to walk you to your house, but I guess I can't anymore."
"Oh, Ms. Hyuuga, don't worry about it. I am a strong woman though my age has changed over the years. But I am sorry for mispronouncing your name," spoke Ami in a rush with her cheeks blushing.
Hinata nodded and patted Ami on the shoulder. She turned to Gaara," I'll walk Ami out the door and I'll come back to talk with you."
"No," demanded Gaara, though his voice was still calm, but deadly serious. "Right now, in my office." His eyes gazed into Hinata like he was upset with her and Hinata couldn't understand why as she contorted her face into confusion.
"You should go, Miss Hyuuga," whispered Ami, as she placed an arm on Hinata's shoulder. She whispered into Hinata's ear before she walked off," Please don't misunderstand Gaara. He's a good man."
Hinata turned to Ami and nodded. "I understand."
Ami smiled and she left behind a corner.
Hinata turned back to Gaara, but he was already walking down the halls to his office. Hinata followed after him slowly. They were silent the whole time as they walked the empty halls. Hinata couldn't help but feel a barrenness surrounding these walls that had given her boss much heartache and joy also.
I'm sorry, if I offended you, Hinata thought. As she looked up to stare at Gaara's moving figure. Hinata sensed a lonely aura as she stared at his back. She couldn't help but feel sympathy as he continued to keep a distance from her without saying anything. After what Ami had told her, Hinata couldn't help but admire Gaara for his accomplishment with this clinic. No wonder women were fascinated by him: He had good looks and passion for his job.
But Hinata was too scared of his possible reaction to say her words out loud.
"Why isn't she answering?" wondered Sasuke, holding the cell phone to his ear. It was one in the morning, but for the whole night he had been trying to reach Hinata. Every time he was directed to leave a message.
Sasuke wanted to see her again: To talk this time without Sakura being in the picture.
However, it seemed it wasn't going to happen any time soon since it was already late.
"Damn," he muttered as he dropped the cell phone onto his bed. He ran his hands over his ebony hair and took a seat next to his desk. Mounds of paper were stacked upon it and he had already finished looking them over. It was odd. Today, there were some documents missing this morning and then later in the afternoon when he took them home, he found them. The paper in front of him was the legal contract he had made with his father when he was seventeen.
"I don't want this!" shouted Sasuke as he threw away the family pin from his black dress shirt. "I don't want to take over the company!"
Sasuke was silent as his father had smacked him on the cheek.
"Do you call yourself a man?" shouted Fugaku. His voice loud and angry as he stood in his office at the company; at the highest level of the building. "You are my son! If I knew you were going to be disrespectful I would have forced Itachi into taking over the company! But since he's a doctor now, I have no choice but to offer my company to you! A disrespectful, wild son of mine with no pride or honor!"
Sasuke read the contract. Its legal words would dictate him as be released as future owner of the company. But the results would leave him penniless and homeless. His father was going to end the relationship with his son permanently with no loose ties.
In two more years Sasuke would be rid of the company. Sasuke didn't want to be a part of his father's scheming ways that included blackmail, bribery, threats, and greed even though the company had grown prosperously and helped millions of individuals with their new products and employment.
Soon, I can get away from the lies, thought Sasuke as he placed the document into his desk drawer. No one knew about the contract except for his father, who was probably with one of his mistresses right now.
Since his mother Uchiha Mikoto passed away when he was thirteen, Sasuke was left under the care of his father who had taken him to Tokyo and taught him the ropes of creating and ruling a company with an iron fist.
Sasuke grabbed his black coat and walked out of his room. He needed some fresh air from this suffocating house.
"There are some ground rules we need to establish, Miss Hyuuga," spoke Gaara, sitting on a chair behind his desk. Hinata was across from him, seated as well.
"Okay," commented Hinata, her voice calm and soft as usual.
"First, my personal business should not be any of yours. Ami was my mother's friend and I appreciate it if you do not go to her for information about me," said Gaara coldly.
Hinata pursed her lips," I'm sorry, Dr. Sabaku, I really am, but-"
"Second, you cannot work here if you think my physical looks will affect your female hormones," continued Gaara, though his voice was clearly mocking her.
Hinata's eyes tensed as she looked up at Gaara," You misunderstand-"
"Third, women like you don't interest me. Our relationship is strictly professional."
Hinata was utterly offended by his words. He clearly shows no emotion except for anger and chauvinism toward the female race. He's made no effort to hear what I had to say and rudely intercepted my words as obviously useless for his obnoxious ears.
Gaara crossed his arms, his cerulean eyes waiting to see her face react. However, she remained calm, but her eyes had lowered.
"I understand sir," Hinata said in a quivering voice. He had hurt her pride. She wasn't here to seduce him at all. But if he wasn't going to listen to her then she rather proved herself the opposite of his assumptions. Hinata stood up and bowed.
" I'm sorry. I promise that it will never happen again."
Hinata sighed as she walked out of the clinic. Her first day had been great until her conversation with Gaara just now. Everything about it made her feel awful. Many people were still walking the streets like it was daytime.
Hanabi and father are sleeping by now so I can't call them, thought Hinata tiredly as she walked slowly back to her apartment which was blocks away. The good thing was that she didn't have to worry about taking a bus, taxi, or subway to work. The walking distance wasn't going to cause her feet to hurt immensely.
The cold night air cooled her warm cheeks, causing Hinata to shiver as she pulled her arms close to her chest for warmth.
Taking out the cell phone from her bag, Hinata was surprised to see seven missed phone calls.
They're all from Sasuke, thought Hinata. A smile crossed her lips as she dialed him.
"Hello?" answered Sasuke, purchasing octopus balls from a vendor.
"Hi, it's me."
"Hinata," said Sasuke with mild surprise.
"I'm sorry I couldn't call you. I just got off from work."
"No, it's fine. I wanted to talk to you and catch up on life."
Hinata grinned tiredly," That's great."
Sasuke paid the woman and walked off into the sidewalk with other people. "So, you're tired?"
Hinata nodded, shivering once again. "Hai. Do you want to meet now?"
"No, you rest. Have a good night, Hinata."
"Okay, Sasuke. Good night."
"Sasuke, you didn't do anything."
"I'm sorry that I didn't come back that one year."
"Are you crying?"
"Tch. Yea, you are. Don't cry, Hinata."
"It's just, I'm happy."
"Tch. Well, you're a bad liar, too. Don't cry over things like this. You're too sensitive."
"Goodnight, Hinata. I'll call you later."
"Okay. Goodnight Sasuke."
Author's Notes: So, how was it? I'm excited to hear what you guys think! Please leave a review and I'll be happy to answer any questions without spilling any of the beans. haha. Oh, and of course, THANK YOU TO ALL THE READERS THAT HAD REVIEWED THIS STORY SO FAR!! It's always a pleasure and honor to receive your thoughts and criticisms that will help me better this story. I love you guys and take care!