A/N: Well, here it is…the first chapter of the sequel to 'I'd Rather Dream'. I hope you all enjoy it. It took me awhile to post because I kept starting, then hating what I wrote…then I would restart… It was a slow, annoying, process. But I finally figured it out! Please, if there is anything you would like to see in this sequel let me know. I'll see if I can accommodate. I have a storyline set up, nice suspense and all—plus lots of romance (you know Seto and Serenity are the focused on couple).
Don't own Yu-gi-oh or anything associate with it…
Thanks to my beta scuba muffin… you are awesome (and forgiving)!
Just about two months after the proposal. Everyone is in Domino, the rest of the story will unfold from there.
If you haven't read I'd Rather Dream, you may want to, otherwise you may be confused.
Anyway, please review and let me know if I am living up to the first…I would REALLY appreciate it! Thank you all too much, and I hope you like it…
Chapter 1 So It Begins…
The beautiful silk gown was slipped down over her head and shoulders. It glided down her body and then pooled gracefully around her feet. The cool material felt like a gentle breeze on her skin. Serenity slowly turned to look at her reflection in the mirror, then let out a soft sigh as her hand smoothed out the tiny wrinkles. Scooping her hair up in her hands, she mock-piled it on her head and struck a tiny pose as a smile slid across her lips.
Her eyes immediately settled on the ring, which was lying against her skin. The most amazing blue diamond was dangling from a platinum necklace. The jewel had never been tried on her delicate finger. Nervously, she bit her lower lip and looked down. Someday it would find its rightful place on her left ring finger, placed there by a man whose eyes rivaled the intensity of the diamond—if not completely eclipsing it.
"Serenity? Are you alright in there?" Tea called in as she slightly tapped her fingers on the door. "Do you need any help?"
"I'm fine, I'll be out in a minute." Serenity stared at her reflection, deep in her own thoughts. Seto Kaiba loved her, had proposed and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. What did she want? Sighing, she turned and opened the door, stepping through it for the first time.
"Oh my gosh!" Mai stood up from the plush couch and rushed the auburn-haired beauty. "You look amazing! I knew you would. I have to take pictures!" Mai raced to grab her purse, and then began firing off several shots of a dazed looking girl in a gown which was, honestly, to long.
"Um, Mai?" Serenity tried to gain her future sister-in-law's attention. "You've blinded me to a point where I'm beginning to feel dizzy. I think you captured the moment." Serenity rubbed her eyes in an effort to clear them.
"All three of you look gorgeous!" Mai giggled and hugged Tea, Rebecca and Serenity separately—seemingly trying to squeeze the life out of each. They were all dressed in the amazing gown Mai had chosen for her bridesmaids. Now, here they stood, awaiting the fittings that would make them perfect.
"I feel like a Barbie doll," Rebecca ground out, under her breath, to Serenity. The feisty blonde filled out the gown magnificently. Gone were the days of teddy bears and pigtails—there was no doubt she was a woman now. "Could this thing be any more revealing? I think I want the seamstress to sew up the neckline. If I take a deep breath I may put on a show."
Serenity giggled, "Mokuba would be the first one to cheer at that event!"
Rebecca scowled at Serenity, "I thought you were my friend."
"I am your friend, and as your friend I think you should simply jump the boy. He is hopelessly devoted and totally in love with you."
"Go scratch Serenity. I'll give Mokuba a second glance when you jump the iceberg." Rebecca challenged.
Serenity snickered and moved closer to Rebecca's ear, "I jump him every chance I get and twice on Saturdays…" With that comment she walked away, leaving Rebecca's jaw slack.
"Liar…" Rebecca finally managed.
Serenity gathered up the pooling material in her hand and wandered over to the display of wedding gowns. She wasn't needed right then, Tea was prodded and pinned first.
She simply walked past the creations, trying to imagine slipping into one. What would her wedding be like, would it be a grand event or something simple and elegant? Mai was going beyond decadent, thanks to the money Seto had given Mai and Joey—they had plenty to spend on elaborate plans. The house they purchased was also wonderful. Life was back to normal for them, if not a tinge better. Intense circumstances acted like a bond at times, and they were hopelessly in love. It was more than she could hope for two people she loved so dearly.
"Are you okay Serenity?" Tea asked as she walked over—Rebecca replaced her on the fitting step. "You seem distant."
"Just lots of food for thought, do you think of your wedding Tea?"
The brunette shrugged, "Yugi and I have talked about it, but I think I want something a bit more simplistic. This is just so above and beyond. Maybe we'll just invite a few of you, and our families, and we'll go to some romantic place to take our vows." Tea watched as Serenity's eyes wandered over a gown. "Do you think of your wedding?"
"I'm not engaged Tea," She absently played with the ring.
"You should give him a bit of a break. He loves you the only way he knows how. His life wasn't exactly peaches and cream. Gozaburo jaded him to the point of almost completely ruining him. You had to see him the day you left, he was so frantic."
Serenity smiled at Tea, "Since the kidnapping, I haven't doubted his love. I have my own issues."
"Just don't let your own issues blind you to what's staring you in the face." Tea gently tucked an unruly lock of fiery hair behind Serenity's ear. "Seto Kaiba and I have had words in the past, and I'm sure we'll have them in the future, but I respect him for the job he did raising Mokuba and the way he is with you. Don't make him dangle too long." With that she walked away.
"Tea?" Serenity called out. When her friend turned around she whispered a small "thanks". Tea simply smiled and nodded.
Taking a deep breath and then letting it out slowly, her nerves began to calm. Loving Seto Kaiba was a challenge, an amazing, intoxicating, thoroughly enjoyable challenge. Time had passed since that day on the lake. Her feelings were still muddled, but that didn't stop her from spending almost every moment of her free time with a man who had captured her heart, making it seem effortless.
It was finally her turn. The seamstress pinned and measured the lilac silk. Funny, her and Tea had a running bet that they would be in hoop skirts and outlandishly tacky, 'poofy' monstrosities. They could never have guessed that Mai would choose Vera Wang, and then select the timeless gowns they were now in. There were no sequence, or taffeta, no sparkles or glitter, just complete elegance in the pure silk halter gowns. Yes, they were very hugging (she had no doubt that she would be attacked by a hungry dragon) but she did love the simplicity.
After she was fitted, she removed the gown and said good-bye to her friends. Her time was getting short and she had an important lunch date. Thankfully the traffic at this time of the day was minimal. For some reason she found herself aching to get to Kaiba Corp.. It was so funny how her friends, the same ones who once called Seto annoying and arrogant, actually defended him. Joey still had more issues than she cared to count, but at least the two didn't have to be pulled apart on a daily basis any longer. Though Joey still challenged Seto to duel, even that was beginning to wane.
"Good morning Miss. Wheeler," the security guard in the booth greeted her, as she pulled up to the corporate lot.
"Good morning," she smiled, "he's here isn't he?"
"In his office, as far as I know. I checked him in at seven and haven't seen him since." The older man smiled down at her.
"Thanks!" She waved as he opened the gate. Kaiba had designated a spot for her to park right beside him. It was nice to know someone at the top. She shut her car off, pulled out her purse and a small brown bag then began on her trek to his office. Many of the people there knew her now and she was greeted with a sea of smiles and hellos. The elevator took her to the top floor—his floor. The knots in her stomach grew in number and intensity. As soon as she looked at him she would feel them release as the butterflies took flight. No one on earth affected her like him—his simple presence…
"He's expecting you," Miss. Hirata smiled.
"Thank you," Serenity didn't hesitate as she walked into his office. He was there, behind his desk on the phone. He looked up in acknowledgement, and then held up one finger. Smiling, she walked over to the desk and placed the bag down as she rounded it. Blue eyes watched her every movement with obvious appreciation. Sliding up on his desk she crossed her legs and folded her hands in her lap.
His conversation continued, despite his distraction. Several times he asked, 'what'? Serenity smiled at those moments—knowing it was her fault he was so apathetic to the person on the other end. She uncrossed and recrossed her legs. His eyes were focused on her skirt, which rode up higher on her thighs. Finally, he hung up the phone.
"You know you are very bad for my bottom line," He stood up and placed a hand on either side of her hips. "You drive me to distraction… What do you have to say for yourself?" It was a soft growl inches away from her lips.
"I brought you your favorite cappuccino muffin?" She shrugged and playfully tapped his nose. "I figured you probably had no breakfast and I wanted to take care of you." Her finger stroked his lower lip, and then trailed down his chin.
"I don't need a muffin…I'm not hungry for breakfast." He caught her lower lip with his mouth and raced his tongue over it. Quickly, he pulled away.
"Well, that's why I'm here…" she purred seductively. With quick movements she caught his mouth, demanding a quick entrance, which he immediately granted. Slowly, and yet eagerly, she explored the recesses, tasting coffee and his own unique sweetness. His tongue slid along hers pulling sighs and whimpers from her. Fiddling with the buttons at the top of his shirt, she had already loosened his tie. One of his hands slipped behind her neck, plunging into her hair and tugging her even closer. His other hand moved to her lower back, stoking the sensitive area through her slip dress.
With deep regret Serenity pushed, gently, at his shoulders and managed to break the contact. Her honey eyes searched the deep blue depths of his. Their breathing was ragged and uncontrolled, as if they had been running for miles.
"Lunch?" She whispered, sounding a bit hoarse. He nodded, completely at a loss for words.
"Why don't you move in with me?" He asked as he pulled away and allowed his eyes to wander over her. With her hair a bit messy and the strap of her dress down her arm, she looked luscious.
"Because then you would assume we would sleep together…" She slid off his desk, then bent over to retrieve her shoes, when had they slipped off?
"I would want you in my bed, but I've never pushed the physical issue." He needed deep cleansing breaths and thoughts of things other than her short dress, obvious cleavage and sweet smelling hair.
"Seto we both know it gets harder to resist. I want to wait, you also said you wanted me to be totally sure—remember?" She moved closer and adjusted his tie while buttoning his shirt. Fantasizing about ripping the stupid thing off of him, but denying the urge. "You make it too hard to say stop, and I'm not sure if you have enough will power to back down. Seto we can't live together and not be intimate. I'm not ready for either at the moment."
"I see the ring is still around your neck, not on your finger…" It was an observation, a rather cold one.
"I love you Seto…please not right now. I don't want to fight again. Isn't it enough to know that I will say yes…" Her eyes pleaded with his. The telltale sigh told her he was relenting. "No one holds a candle to you." Her hand slipped to his cheek. "I'll be yours soon enough, and the night you slip this ring on my finger…" She couldn't complete her thought—he was too busy kissing her. Moments passed and finally he released her.
"Lunch?" He asked, as he slipped on his jacket. He was pleasantly surprised to see her still in a daze from the kiss. "Serenity?" He called as he walked towards the door. A few seconds later, she found herself following him.
The restaurant was nice, a small place with nice atmosphere. Serenity gushed about the wedding plans, while Seto sat there staring blankly at his menu. He really could care less about this wedding. The dog was getting married. It could mean puppies, which were a bad thing. He smirked, thinking of how Joey shouldn't be allowed to reproduce. Unfortunately, he was going to be tied to Joey forever—through Serenity. How ironic life was. Tormenting and berating the Chihuahua forever and now, eventually, he would be related to him on the 'brother-in-law' level.
"Are you even listening to me?" Serenity gently pinched the hand that was wrapped around a water glass. Dark blue eyes narrowed on her. "You're in your own world, is something wrong?" She sounded concerned.
There was no way he could tell her that he was thinking about the ridiculous wedding in an ill light, so instead he explained there was a glitch in a holographic program and left it at that.
"Sometimes I think you're more computer than man." It was an insult. She huffed and grumbled something softly, not meant for his ears.
A warm hand slid on top of hers, forcing her eyes to meet his. "I'm just a man Serenity, no wires or technology, and if you come home with me tonight…"
"Are you ready to order?" The frazzled waitress asked. It was clear the lunch rush was getting to the woman, and by the looks of her, several lunches had met with her uniform—not the people who ordered them.
The heated glance Seto gave Serenity caused a deep blush to sweep across her nose and cheeks. There was one meaning behind that look; it was a meaning she echoed in her own wants. His words never reached her ears, as he spoke them to the waitress, instead she was more interested in his lips—the way they moved. His eyes never left hers as he placed his order, it was clear he wanted to finish quickly and use whatever left over time they had enjoying dessert alone somewhere.
"Do you think those gowns could show more skin?" Rebecca asked Mai as they walked into the house Joey and Mai had purchased. "I don't feel naked enough in it."
Mai smiled as she sat her packages down on the counter. It had been a long morning and afternoon. Fittings were going annoyingly slow. The worst was her wedding gown.
"Honestly Rebecca, I wanted a very tasteful gown for all of you. This one shows off your figures and yet doesn't look like it could be an outfit for a poodle to dance around in. Did you want the taffeta one in cherry pink? I mean I seriously could have made the choice of butt bows and obnoxious colors, but I figured elegant was the way to go."
Rebecca frowned as she slid onto one of the bar stools around the island in the kitchen. She sighed and plopped her chin onto her palm. Weddings and all the annoying things that went with it... what a joke! So much money, time and energy wasted on one day—ONE day. It made no sense to her.
"Besides," Mai smiled as she unpacked some groceries, "Mokuba's jaw will hit the floor when he sees you in that gown."
Rebecca's eyes widened but then she quickly recovered. "Yeah, and if he comes near me I swear I'll deck him. Who would have known the boy would have grown up to be such a pervert? Seriously, his mind lurks in the gutter. Everything that is said, well, he makes it sound as if…" Rebecca looked away. "He's a jerk."
"I think you're protesting too much." Mia giggled. "I've seen some pretty heated glances you've given him."
"They probably happened when I wanted to castrate him. I don't have any interest in him, why can't you all see that? I mean, seriously! He's as bad as his brother."
"In what respect? Kaiba and Mokuba are so different. Kaiba is…well, stoic and annoying, handsome, arrogant and completely in love with Serenity. I never thought I would see the day he would have interest in anything but beating Yugi." Mai jumped up on the counter and took out her compact to fix her nose after she had put everything away.
"I would agree with almost all of that. I don't know if he could be completely in love with anything except himself." Rebecca mumbled.
Mai smiled. "There comes a point when even someone as dense as Kaiba can fall in love. Maybe there's hope for you too. Mokuba is sweet, attentive, considerate and he has a killer sense of humor."
Rebecca rolled her eyes. "I have no interest in love. I have college and then I want to establish myself in my field. Romance and illusions of love—because that's all love is—are not part of my plans." Rebecca stood up and smiled at Mai. "I'll leave love for the rest of you to figure out. I want to work on things that could impact society, not screw it all up."
Mai smiled as she watched the kitchen door swing shut, following Rebecca's exit. Mokuba wasn't about to give up and Rebecca was trying too hard not to fall. It was only a matter of time and a little more effort.
"Do you honestly think this is the best solution to the problem?" The lieutenant asked the district attorney. "I mean, that kid of his is just as guilty as his old man. He could have released Seto Kaiba from that house at any given time, and yet he didn't. Do you think if his father had ordered Kaiba's death he would have prevented it?" The lieutenant was getting a bit irate. His pacing was getting more furious and deliberate, while his eyes tried to measure the DA for any reaction. Was she even listening? Because it was hard to tell from all the scribbling she was doing.
"What would you have me do?" She finally whispered, in a defeated voice. "We have Taylor dead on guilty. He even agreed to confess under the terms of the plea bargain if we didn't prosecute his son." She gathered the papers and evened them on her desk. "Do you know how much time and money it would cost taxpayers if we went through a full length trial?"
"So, that's it then? The bottom line is more important than the crime? Hell, you just made my life a lot easier. Maybe I'll sit back and let the criminals just get away with everything—I wouldn't want to be a burden to the tax payers." He was seething now. Mad as hell at this pencil-pushing bureaucrat. What a joke!
"I have next to nothing on Tristan Taylor. At most I could charge him with accessory to commit false imprisonment. I have nothing linking him with the kidnapping, the murder, or any other crimes. The man responsible for kidnapping Seto Kaiba is dead, the man who killed him is in prison—and will be for a very long time. Taylor will be in there for murder and kidnapping. He will never see the light of day again. Isn't that enough?" She placed the papers into a folder and closed them in a drawer next to her. She had just about had it with the overzealous detective's tirades.
"Doesn't it bother you that you're letting the son go? Hell, it's like unleashing the son of Satan…what are you thinking?" He slammed himself back down into the chair across from the supposed DA. He wanted answers and explanations and he wanted them now.
"I am getting a confession from the criminal kingpin. There will be no red tape, there will be no long drawn out trial—a trial he could rig and win, it's all wrapped up in a simple beautiful box. Yes, I am letting his son go, but I believe it is in the best interest of the public to do so. His son didn't kidnap, didn't commit murder, and didn't coerce Seto Kaiba into giving up industry secrets. The way I see it the boy was a victim of circumstance—Daddy made him do what he did. Heck, it's a classic defense. He was in fear for his own life so he went along with his father's plans. No jury would convict him and the judge would laugh me out of court." She stood up, leaning forward and bracing her hands on the desk. "If there is nothing else I would like to be able to get back to work."
"Is that what you call it these days?" His tone was sarcastic and cold. "I'm going to be keeping an eye on him, the apple seldom falls far from the tree—especially tainted ones." He rose and walked to the door. His back was towards her when he explained, "if I do catch him doing something illegal and I bring him in for prosecution and you sit on your hands again—I'll slap you with charges so quickly your head will spin."
"Careful, I could take that as a threat," she warned.
He turned to face her, his brown eyes flashed a dangerous warning, and "it wasn't a threat it was a guarantee."
Slamming the door on his way out, he stormed though the courthouse. It was ridiculous. The police had both Taylors, no questions. Plea bargains saved time and effort on behalf of the courts and attorneys, but this time it was wrong. He had witnesses to talk of how Seto Kaiba had been tortured and locked away with Taylor nowhere around. He was guilty of more than simple 'wrong place, wrong time'. The worst was Tristan was able to hold onto every asset of his father's company. Prior to all of the wrong doings, his father had transferred everything into his son's name. Taylor senior was basically penniless, nothing to confiscate, no monies to go to those who he had tried to destroy. Money was the root of all evil and a quick way to get out of that evil.
"She wouldn't listen would she?" His partner asked as he slid into the undercover car.
"You were right, she's a piece of work. Tristan Taylor walks away a free man, while his father rots away in jail forever, or until he comes up for parole. I bet she put a parole clause in there somewhere—maybe because he promised to build a new wing onto the courthouse when he gets out."
His partner sighed heavily, "She slammed the door in our face. The papers are undoubtedly signed. At least Taylor is going to jail—even if his son managed to escape prosecution."
"I just hate that we get to be the ones to tell Seto Kaiba that Tristan Taylor is a free man."