A/N: I don't own Yu-gi-oh…
This is set several years after the final episode. There are major age jumps.
Seto Kaiba: 25
Anzu Mazaki: 24
Mokuba Kaiba: 20
Ryuji Otogi: 24
Everyone is pretty much aged within those realms. I have no idea if I will ever need all of the characters, it's possible but I won't commit to it at this point…The story will unfold as it moves along. I don't want to explain it to death here, but there will be romance and a mystery (love causing problems). I hope you all enjoy!Chapter 1
"The reason I brought you here today was to discuss your future…"
The words hung heavy in the mind of Anzu Mazaki. Her future. The career aspiration she had dreamed of her whole life was over now. Being a dancer was no longer an option. Thankfully, she was able to pick herself up and move on, achieving the highest grades in all of her college courses and now here she sat—in the office of the woman who ran the most prestigious hotel chain.
"You have been moving up in the ranks of this corporation for some time now. I've kept my eye on you and through experience and your education you've become a force to be reckoned with." The woman, Angela Thompson, stood and circled the desk. When she stopped moving she was standing before Anzu, arms folded across her chest, leaning back against the desk. "Do you know why you're here?"
Anzu looked up at her, in awe. The woman's demeanor screamed of the power she yielded and her attitude was of utter control. Thompson's climb to the top had come slowly, not born into money, but breaking through the glass ceiling and toppling the giants who had ruled in her wake.
"Hopefully for a good reason. I enjoy my job here and I think I've done quite a bit for the corporation." Anzu replied, trying to keep her voice steady, despite her nerves.
Thompson studied her for a moment, no hint of what was in store.
"You've done an exceptional job here and I know you would like the opportunity to advance, am I correct?" The woman graciously circled the desk, picked up a folder and started flipping through papers.
"I've done well in each position I've held here. Advancement has always been my goal." Anzu folded her slightly shaking hands in her lap. There was a small flutter in her tummy, a flutter that hoped she was about to be promoted into the vacated management position. It was a foolish wish, one she shouldn't even toy with. It was probably too soon, but why else would the head of this company want to speak with her? There were no other reasons.
Thompson sat and surveyed Anzu. "You must be aware that Mr. Murakami is leaving us. His retirement has opened a spot in the upper tier of this hotel."
"I was aware," Anzu tried not to smile.
Thompson smiled, "I suppose that you would jump at the opportunity to fill his position if I presented it to you?"
"If you felt I was ready for that step I would try my best to live up to the company's standards. I have many ideas and thoughts on improvement and tactics to attain an even greater clientele base."
Thompson's smile grew. "Since you've been here there has been an upward surge of business. I have spoken with your supervisors and they have told me of your changes and ideas. You have been very busy, changing so many things that stopped working years ago and streamlining to the point where this hotel is booked far in advance. I know you want this promotion, but I am afraid I can't offer it to you."
Anzu's heart fell to her feet. After all the praise and thumbs up—had this woman said the position wouldn't go to her? Why not?
"May I ask why?" Anzu asked in a small voice.
"Then why aren't I receiving a promotion I am more than qualified for? Seriously, I was one of the few around here who actually cared enough to push for changes and I managed to get things done—and very well I might add. I've spent extra days, weekends and most of my holidays here trying to elevate this hotel to a level of prestige that most CEO's could only dream of. I love my job and this place. I especially love the challenge and the people. Why would you deny me something I'm obviously more than capable of doing?" She wouldn't allow herself to get too upset, she couldn't.
Thompson smiled, "it's a heart like that which will see to your success. I don't want you to advance here because your talents would be wasted. I would rather allow
Mr. Masanobu to promote who he would wants here. You are no longer an option for him."
Anzu swallowed hard, "am I being fired?"
"Hardly," the woman smiled like the Cheshire cat. "You are about to be promoted above and beyond. What are your thoughts on relocation?"
"Have you ever wanted to travel? Perhaps to New York?"
Thompson laughed, "You've become an echo Miss. Mazaki. This is the opportunity of a lifetime. We're opening a new resort hotel in the Hamptons, very upscale very pomp and circumstance. Close enough to the city to cater to our business clients, and yet right there on the beach, with the rich and famous for those who want to have a vacation. Best of both worlds actually. Mixing business with pleasure is a very lucrative thing. I don't think there is anyone better equipped to deal with this opening than you."
"I'm so flattered, but I thought I should be in management and move slowly through the company—not catapult to a resort and run it with no experience."
"You've been with the company for several years now. You have quite a bit under your belt, and obviously you wouldn't be on your own. You would be part of the management team. I want the best and brightest—and you are one of them. Of course, if you reject my offer you are welcome to stay here…"
Anzu sighed. There was so much to consider. Leaving her home and friends, moving into untried waters and there was the possibility of failure.
"Here is the contract, look it over. If you find it agreeable, sign at the bottom and leave it on my desk. If not, simply return to your old job tomorrow. Just remember opportunity never knocks twice." Angela Thompson stood up. "It has been a pleasure meeting you and I would love to see you in this position—you are more than capable. If you accept, eventually I see you completely in charge of it—or in another location if New York doesn't suit you. But you never will know what you're capable of unless you take that leap of faith. I hope to see you in New York Miss. Mazaki."
Anzu stood, and after a quick handshake Thompson left. Anzu plopped back into her chair, scanning the contract. The pay increase was above and beyond, as were the bonuses and incentives. She even had an expense account. It would be more money than she could ever imagine making, there were also opportunities for advancement. It was as if Christmas and her birthday had arrived on this one day. Out the window she could see Domino. This was her home, her friends lived here and family, she had thought to grow old here and…
Dancing was no longer an option, and this was a magnificent opportunity. The contract was for a year. In the grand scheme of things, a year was a short period of time. This would help her future aspirations for success, she would get to see New York—a place she had dreamed about, and she could afford to bring her friends over for visits and she could always visit home as well. Without another thought she quickly signed the contract.
Dark blue eyes scanned the figures he had entered into his computer. He had just a little time left before he presented his bid to the new enterprising company. With the new methods for programming designs he had managed to wipe out a whole amount of 'busy' work. This enabled him to lower his price even further. It was practically a guaranteed contract. No other corporation could undermine his bid and provide all the assurances he could.
This would be a cakewalk, all except for having to travel to New York. He had no idea how long he would have to stay in order to go through this bidding process. Always wanting more for his company, this contract in the States would bring in amazing amounts of recognition and company stocks would soar like never before. Kaiba Corp. and StellarSyntec were like two perfectly fitted puzzle pieces. The companies that were also involved in the bids were hardly competition for him, but he smirked when he saw that Ryuji Otogi had thrown his hat into the ring.
Otogi's business was fairly large for Japan, but Kaiba wasn't sure if he was ready for expansion on such a grand scale. Only time would tell and, when he failed miserably, Kaiba could torment him a bit. It was such fun to have rivals like Otogi. Maybe if he concentrated more on his business than on running around with a bunch of assorted women he would get more accomplished.
"Mr. Kaiba?" His secretary's voice startled him out of the mental insults he was preparing for Otogi.
"What?" He growled, hating interruptions on any level.
"Everything is prepared for your New York trip. The last of the reservations were just made. May I bring in your itinerary? Just to make sure I haven't missed anything?"
Kaiba thought about it for a moment. "No, I trust it's all together. I'll be leaving shortly, if there are any concerns I need to address I suggest you get them to me now."
"No Sir, everything is in order. Have a pleasant trip." She tried to sound cheerful, but she knew her boss was anything but that. All business—and there was no room for niceties in the business realm.
He quickly packed his briefcase and grabbed his schedule on his way out. Thankfully his staff would have seen to his packing. Mokuba and him would be on their way tonight. The boy had to start learning the ropes, and maybe showing him how others crumbled in Kaiba Corp's wake would speed the process along. Technologically he knew Kaiba Corp. was, by far, superior. He only hoped Mokuba could appreciate the tactics and skill it took in order to secure a contract of this magnitude.
All hopes were dashed when he walked into the mansion. Mokuba stood there looking as if he were going on vacation. Was a suit too much to hope for?
"Stop scowling big brother," Mokuba chuckled. "Why should I have to look impressive for a long-ass plane trip?"
"It's a business trip," Kaiba had tried time and time again to instill a work ethic, but never managed to succeed.
"But it's in New York! This is going to be great! I want to go to the clubs, see the sights, maybe even go to the Statue of Liberty. I hear the girls in New York are something else…"
Kaiba smirked; he had foreseen this problem and had already remedied it. "We won't be staying in New York Mokuba, well in New York, but not in the city."
"What do you mean not in the city?" Mokuba looked like the end of the world had just been announced.
"Lucky for us the head of StellarSyntec has a place in the Hamptons, and that is where he will be assessing the bids for the contract. There is no need to stay in the city. We can devote tons of time on going over business strategies and ethical maneuvers. This is a business trip…not a 'Mokuba needing to be picked up from some police station for disturbing the peace' trip."
"Hey! That only happened once and it was hardly my fault, besides, you forgave me for that." Mokuba growled.
"It doesn't mean I'll forget little brother." Blue eyes flashed.
"You might still have a few inches on me, but I could take you," Mokuba threatened.
"I've proven you can't time and time again. Now we really need to get to the airport."
"Seriously Seto, you need a girlfriend or something. You need to loosen up and don't even say that blonde-haired she-devil is your girlfriend. I know you only use her for appearances. At least you could have chosen someone with an IQ that topped her shoe size. What were you thinking?"
"Ashlyng happens to come from a very prominent family. Her father owns a company in the states, which is very similar to Kaiba Corp. It isn't nearly as large, but it's formidable." Kaiba tried to explain.
"Plus she's easy on the eyes, huh Seto?" Mokuba laughed.
"Grow up Mokuba." He thought more of the company ties than of her as a female. It was a sad fact, but still a fact. He honestly didn't have time to entertain women for reasons other than business. Someday perhaps, but not at the moment. He had things to do and too much on his shoulders.
A/N: This is simply a set-up chapter, explaining where the characters are and what is happening. Next chapter will be set in the Hampton hotel, with Anzu already working there. Yes, Seto and Anzu will have their first encounter. It should be up within a week or two. The second chapter is already started… Let me know what you think! Thanks…