Here it is everyone, chap 2 of my little romance. Hope you like it and please let me know what you think. Ai Yori Aoshi was created and is owned by Kou Fumizuki. Enjoy!

Late Night Chat

Chapter two

Early the next morning, we find Aoi standing by the front gates, taking her time sweeping the light layer of snow from the driveway. She paused. With the back of her forearm, she rubbed the tiny drops of sweat from her forehead. Aoi exhaled so that she could see her breath. Watching the tiny cloud of warm breath disappear, she began to smile.

"Spring is just around the corner, but Winter doesn't seem to care. He still continues to lay his chilled white blanket across the land."

Aoi went back to sweeping the light fluffy snow from the asphalt. She was then startled by the sound of the automatic gate sliding open. She looked up and saw Miyabi in her Z3 pulling up. Aoi quickly walked clear of the driveway. Miyabi drove up and stopped once she caught sight of Aoi at the edge of the gate. When Aoi saw her roll down her window, she walked up to the car.

"Miss Miyabi, I thought you were already home long ago. Did you run into some kind of trouble?"

"No, no. Nothing like that, Lady Aoi. My, um, "Business" ran later than I anticipated. Much to my delight."

"Oh!" Aoi raised her hand to half cover her surprised smile. "I see. Well, then. Please, hurry up and get some rest, Miss Miyabi. You must be, ahem, exhausted."

"I certainly will, Lady Aoi." Miyabi said with a laugh and a bright smile. "I will see you later then."

"Have a good rest." Aoi bowed as the car started moving back towards the house.

As Aoi pressed the button to close the gate back up, she looked back at the house and at Miyabi climbing the steps to the front door.

'I don't think I've ever seen her so happy. It almost looks as if she's glowing.'

Later that morning at the breakfast table, when everyone was about to eat, Kaoru spoke up after noticing Miyabi's absence.

"Aoi-Chan. Will Miss Miyabi be joining us this morning?" He said, picking up his chopsticks.

"Miss Miyabi's business meeting with her clients ran quite late last night. Right now, she's catching up on sleep. She should be awake early this afternoon." Aoi said, sitting down and picking up her tea.

"Clients? When I saw her on her way out last evening, she said she was meeting with several executives from the European branch." Kaoru said, raising an eyebrow.

"Oh, that's right. Please forgive me. My mistake." Aoi said with a nervous laugh.

"It's alright. Miss Miyabi certainly works very hard. It's probably difficult for any of us to keep up with her."

With those words, everyone else at the table silently nodded their heads 'yes'.

The clock on Miyabi's nightstand read 1:05pm. Yellow sunlight poured in through her windows, bringing the temperature in the room to a comfortable warmth. The sweet smell of oak filled the room from the area of the hardwood floor heated by the sunlight.

Miyabi slowly opened her eyes. After her vision became focused and she saw the time, she took in a deep breath, let it out and slowly sat up. She rubbed the sleep from her face, tossed aside the covers and got up. Wearing nothing but a nightshirt and panties, she walked over to her jewelry stand to decide which necklace she should wear today. After looking through the drawers of her jewelry box, it occurred to her that her favorite silver watch was not there.

Frantically, she searched all the drawers again and again. Then she ran to her nightstand, not there. On top of her dresser, not there either. She even went through the sheets of her bed, in case she had forgotten to take it off. She threw aside the covers, brushed off the pillows and took off the sheets. Nothing.

"I love that watch. Where could I have left it?" she said out loud.

Her worry still weighing heavy on her, she got dressed and walked through the house. She looked here and there, hoping to catch sight of the watch, thinking perhaps that in her drowsiness this morning she might have taken it off and left it somewhere. Everywhere she went, not a sign of it. Her travels led her to the main vestibule where she saw Kaoru, Mayu Miyuki hanging all over him, Tina trying to pull her off, Aoi holding a nervous smile and Mayu's servant, Ruka Saionji holding a still and stern appearance. As soon as Tina noticed Miyabi enter the room, she immediately called out to her.

"Miss Manager! Could you please tell this brat that she can't come here no more! She has no reason to be here!"

Ignoring Tina's request, Miyabi gave a bow and said,

"Good afternoon, Everyone. Miss Mayu, always a pleasure."

"Yes, likewise. Thank you, Miss Miyabi." Mayu said, returning the bow.

"Awww, come on, Miss Manager! If you be nice to her, she'll just keep comin' back like a stray cat!" Tina protested.

"What was that?" Mayu said, getting in Tina's face.

"You heard me, you little punk!" Tina said, pressing her nose to Mayu's.

"For your information, there is only one reason why I visit here so frequently." Mayu then wrapped her arms around Kaoru, rubbed her cheek on his chest like a kitten and said, "Isn't that right, Hanabishi-Sama?"

"Um, heh heh heh." Was all Kaoru could say.

"Mayu, get your damn dirty paws offa him! And you, Kaoru! You're just encouraging her!" Tina yelled, pointing at him.

"Now, now, Tina." Kaoru said.

While all of this was happening, Miyabi gently pulled Aoi aside and quietly said,

"Lady Aoi, by chance have you seen my silver watch laying around. I can't seem to find it."

"Why no, Miss Miyabi. I haven't seen it anywhere."

"Okay, then. Please let me know if you find it."

"Absolutely. I hope it turns up soon."

"Me too." Miyabi said.

Miyabi then turned to the group and said,

"If you'll all excuse me, I have business to attend to."

Miyabi then left for the Mansion's garage. She unlocked her car door and got inside. She searched it from top to bottom. On the floor, under the seats, in the glove compartment, even in the trunk. Still, she found nothing. She laid back in her car seat and let out a frustrated sigh as she moved her hand to her forehead and ran her fingers through her hair.

'Where could it be?'

Miyabi went back into the house and straight up to her room. She took out her cell-phone and started dialing the places she went to last night.

'Maybe I left it at the restaurant or the dance club or the other places we went to. It's worth a try.'

An hour went by of pacing back and forth in her room, talking on her phone. After speaking with restaurant supervisors and dance club owners, she was still no closer to finding her watch.

It was now late afternoon. Very discouraged, the sadness she felt was beginning to show. She knew this, so she decided to retreat to her office where no one would see how upset she'd become. Once she entered the room she hoped that maybe some work would take her mind off of her loss.

Miyabi walked up to her desk and let out a depressed sigh. She looked down at the desktop and suddenly her eyes became wide with surprise and disbelief. For there, on top of her desk, was her silver watch with a note underneath it. She picked up the watch and held up the note. It read:

'Dearest Miyabi,

When I awoke this morning, I found your watch lying on my nightstand. I know this watch is very precious to you, as precious as the dawn to a blooming rose. So I return it to you along with all of my love.

Yours always,

Ruka Saionji

Miyabi almost couldn't contain her joy. She closed her eyes and held the watch and note close to her heart.

"I love you, Ruka." She said out loud.

"And I love you…Miyabi." Came a voice from behind her.

Startled, she quickly turned around and saw who it was.

"Ruka! I-I thought you and Miss Mayu had already left." She said, her face red with embarrassment.

'Did he hear me just now? Of course, he had to.'

"Mayu-Ojousama is still in the back courtyard with Kaoru-Sama and Miss Tina." He said.

Ruka then stuck his head out into the hallway, looked both ways in case anyone was around and then closed the door. He slowly walked up to Miyabi and took her hand.

"Ruka…what I said just now…"

"Shhh" He raised his finger to her mouth. "Is exactly how I feel as well."

As Ruka slowly moved in closer, Miyabi closed her eyes and did the same. The distance between their lips disappeared and they met in a slow and passionate kiss. After a moment or two of bliss, Miyabi slowly broke the kiss and dreamily stared up into his eyes.

"I have to admit, you certainly wore me out last night." He said with a smirk.

With a quick laugh and a big smile, she said,

"Did I, now? Don't forget, you gave me quite a workout as well." She said, tracing circles on his chest.

She paused for a moment as her eyes fell to the floor. Then she looked back up at him.

"Last night…was incredible, Ruka. I don't ever want what we have to end." She said.

"It won't end. I promise…" He then pulled out a small, velvet covered box from his back pocket and held it up to her as he bent down on one knee.

"…because we have all the time in the world."

Miyabi was completely surprised.

"Ruka…I don't know what to say." She said.

"Say 'yes', Miyabi…and I promise I'll be your devoted servant until the end of time." He said, opening the small box to reveal a rather generous sized diamond fitted into a beautifully formed silver ring.

"Oh, Ruka…Yes. The answer is yes!" She said, with so much happiness she was about to burst.

He stood up and wrapped his arms around her as she gratefully did the same.

"I love you, Ruka, my passionate poet."

"And I love you, Miyabi, my dancing goddess."

They held eachother tight, neither one willing to ever let go.

Outside, the sun had warmed the air over the course of the afternoon. All across the land, the snow had started to melt away, forming streams and brooks. On a tree branch outside Miyabi's office window, a sparrow perched and sat, and soon began singing its song. Spring had finally arrived and with it, a new beginning for two lives soon to become one.