Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.
Okay, well, here this is. The final chapter in this fic of mine. It seemed to have taken such a long time for it to get this far, but here we are. At the very last chapter. It's hard to believe, but here we are. Haha. I'm so glad, so grateful for all of the kind and supportive reviews people have written regarding this fic. Y'all have no idea how much it means to write something and have it supported so much. Thanks so much! To each and every one of you, thanks! I hope you enjoy this final chapter. I didn't think I would be sad that this fic was done, but I am more than I thought I would be. But I am glad at the same time. This little bugger has been pestering me to finish it, and here it is! Completed. With 20 chapters, my longest fic ever. So far. Lol.
Also, I must note that this chapter is definitely what made this fic have a M rating. So if you don't like this kind of stuff, then navigate away. Or skip it. I dunno. The smut itself isn't going to be that bad. It's not like some of the other fics I've read on here. It's more tame, since I'm not really used to writing hard core lovin'. Lol.
This chapter is incredibly long. Microsoft Word says it's at 15 pages (which is long for my standards), so grab a cup of hot cocoa and a blanket, sit back, relax, and enjoy the final chapter of Sketches. (insert smiley face here)
Chapter Twenty: Irrevocably
She picked the red dress.
Red was her favorite color, after all. And Ino had once told her that this dress made her look like a movie star. Though she wondered what that exactly entailed coming from her blonde best friend, she figured she'd test the waters with it tonight.
No one had seen it on her except Ino - and maybe Naruto, but that was when he had barged in on her while she was trying it on. She also wanted Neji to be the one person she tested it out on. It was as silly thought, as well as something that she was certain might get her into a situation that she wouldn't want to get out of, but she had to try something.
She twirled slightly in front of the mirror, feeling silly for doing so. She'd often seen Ino or Temari do the same thing, to show off a dress. Though with Ino it was a serious gesture, and for Temari it was a mocking of Ino's girlish habits. The loose red fabric of the dress billowed around her legs and waist, flowing out to spin around her like a carousel.
The dress was a simple one, but beautiful nonetheless. It was a deep crimson in color, and the fabric was airy and light. The neckline was a deep V and plunged just slightly enough to show off the tiniest bit of cleavage. It was classy, but still sexy at the same time. It was a long dress, the silky fabric looking like water where it fell off of her frame. The fabric was tight around her bust and waist, but flowed outward airily when she turned.
Well, I suppose I look good. She thought to herself, smiling in the mirror. She twirled a lock of pink hair in her fingers. She had it lightly curled at the ends, but otherwise, it was left down.
Emerald eyes glanced up to the clock and saw that they had only ten minutes to leave unless they wanted to be late to the gallery. Sighing, she made her way into the living room portion of the hotel room and looked around. The artist was no where in sight, and groaning, she sat down on a plush, expensive looking chair.
The ticking of the clock seemed to be getting louder and louder every second she waited for the Hyuuga to emerge from his room, and she found herself leaning forward, elbows resting on her thighs and chin in her hands in a not-so-ladylike pose. Her stomach was twisting in a nervous knot, her heart hammering away in her chest. For reasons she had yet to decipher, she was actually nervous.
She sighed and looked toward Neji's door, as if willing him to be ready.
Funny that he takes longer to get ready that I do. She thought as a chuckle vibrated her throat.
Sakura rose from her seat, unable to keep a stationary position for long, and walked over to the kitchen. She retrieved a glass from the cabinet and filled it with water from the faucet. Drinking deeply, she closed her eyes and relished the crystal clear taste of the liquid as it rolled down her throat.
The voice startled her out of her pleasant reverie, and she almost spit out whatever drink she had left in her mouth. Turning around, she was face to face with the exact reason she was in a strange, yet beautiful city, feeling so many butterflies in her stomach it was a shock that they didn't emerge when she opened her mouth. "Maybe."
Neji smiled at her, a smile so tender, so heartfelt, that she felt her own heart start to pump frantically beneath her chest bone, hammering away as if to beat away the cage that contained it. He didn't wear a suit this time, opting for a more casual attire that consisted of a white button down shirt and a pair of black dress pants. The shirt was slightly unbuttoned and showed just a bit of his collarbone. His hair was fixed as usual, the loose strands that were free from his ponytail fell in his face casually.
He seemed equally as awestruck by her appearance as well, ivory orbs lingered on every small detail of her as she stood in front of him. She moved around the counter, walking slowly, as to not topple over in her gold heels, and strode up to him, smiling gently as she did so.
"You look kind of nervous yourself." Sakura teased, her voice lilting and light, trying to ease the strangeness between them.
"Yes," Neji said, trying to force himself to relax when every male instinct in his body was urging him to ravish this woman, "but I'm not sure if it's for the reason you think."
Sakura laughed, a nervous tinge to her voice, but she walked past him, trying to be as graceful as possible. She grabbed her coat that was hanging limply off of the back of the couch and slung it around her shoulders. It was black and loose around her form, but warm nonetheless.
Neji smiled as he watched her fiddle with the buttons as he stepped forward, his own jacket in his hands. It was a tux jacket, matching the pants perfectly, and tailored to fit his body.
She grabbed a golden handbag that was latched on the coat hanger beside the door and Neji walked in front of her, opening the intricately designed mahogany door for her, letting her out before him.
"Thank you." Sakura said gratefully, her emerald orbs showing all the gratitude she felt.
Neji only smiled, trying to ignore the feeling of utter fire that consumed him as her forest green eyes stared so intently into his, hanging on his every word, every movement.
She walked out of the door, past him, and Neji could smell the scent of her freshly washed hair. Lavender and some subtle flower he couldn't name. He inhaled greedily, wanting to commit that to memory if tonight ended badly.
Inhaling deeply, he then followed Sakura out the door, bracing himself for what was to come.
Arriving at the gallery was something that completely overwhelmed the both of them. Sakura showed her awe, however, while Neji tried to keep his cool and not look like he had never seen something like this before - which he hadn't.
The gallery was larger than anything either of them had ever seen. People were everywhere. Apparently famous, considering the large amount of photography going on as people exited their vehicles and limos and whatnot. There were people calling out to some of the Parisian stars and the sound was deafening.
The pink haired girl was taken aback by all of the goings on, but she just stuck close to Neji's side, scared of what would happen if they were separated. She didn't think she could get back to their car if they lost each other. The place was so big, so spacious, it would be very easy to get lost among the shouting fans and the camera flashes and the famous faces that Sakura had never seen in her life.
Neji's arm was like a protective steel bar around her waist, holding her close, but not too close that she was uncomfortable. The very contact of his skin with hers caused her body heat to skyrocket, and a familiar warmth pool in her stomach and make its way downward. She shook her head slightly, trying to rid herself of the feeling, and walked forward.
"Shutterbugs hurting your eyes?"
She laughed at Neji's question as she looked up at him, her eyes soft and warm, "No, not at all."
The way she said that, the slight inflection of her voice, caused a shiver to curl down his spine. Somehow, he knew what she was talking about, but his mind caused him to focus it elsewhere, because that kind of energy wasn't something he needed to exude at his very first showcase in a famous gallery. Also, the little voice perked up in his mind and told him vehemently that she could mean something else entirely. Maybe it was his one-track mind that kept getting things skewed instead of Sakura's.
Finally, they stepped into the building where the gallery would take place.
The building was large, with a high ceiling and beautiful, arching doorways, spiral staircases that led upstairs to who knows what, and a chandelier right in the middle of the main room. It was even more lavish and luxurious than their hotel room, and Sakura was immediately in awe. Again.
It was surprising how much a building could make Sakura feel like she was in the midst of something great - which, by hers and Neji's standards, she was - and she couldn't help her eyes from glancing everywhere in curiosity. The two just stood in the main lobby portion of the large building, glancing about, watching people with their dates walk into and start to disperse into the various places of the building, no doubt looking for what they came here for. By the time the clock reached eight, two doormen stepped forward and closed the large, heavy oak doors, locking them.
"Is this a trap?" Sakura joked, looking up at Neji's face with a smirk, "I bet it's like one of those movies where this crazy madman traps a bunch of strangers and forces them to kill each other…"
"What kind of movies do you watch?" Neji asked, amused, as his arm found its way around her shoulders.
Sakura only laughed, the sound light and airy in the midst of the constant hum of voices.
Neji smiled at her and said, in reference to her earlier question, "Apparently, this is a big deal in the art world. Locking down just before it's about to start is a sign that things could be stolen. Security is on high watch."
"Damn! There go my plans."
Neji laughed as he maneuvered them into the main room, where all the paintings were displayed in their full glory. His ivory eyes roamed over each painting before settling on the one that had got him here. The one that had made all of this possible. He felt a surge of pride build itself in his chest as he gazed at it, a smile starting to form on his lips. He looked down at Sakura and saw her cheeks redden with embarrassment.
The picture looked just as beautiful as it did when it was first painted. Sakura's emerald eyes and carnation colored hair were a stand out among the other nudes, most of whom were either brunettes or the typical blonde. Sakura felt herself suddenly becoming self-conscious. She had forgotten that having this painting displayed would mean that many people would, technically, see her naked.
Neji stared up, his ivory eyes unwavering, as he looked at his work, which he considered his finest. Smiling, he took the hand that was around his date's shoulders and played with the slight curls that adorned her head.
Sakura reached out and touched the thick, delicately carved, frame that incased the painting of her. Her pale fingers traced the details and as she looked up, she felt an immense sense of pride. She had helped Neji achieve his dream of having a painting displayed in a famous gallery. Because of this, his name would be on the map. She felt her heart swell and tears form in her eyes. She pushed them away, not wanting to seem like an overly emotional wreck.
The brunette Hyuuga looked at her and smiled, loving the reaction he was getting from her at this moment.
Their small moment of reflection was broken by a man in his late thirties walking up to them with a smile on his face. Wire rimmed glasses adorned his nose and he pushed them up with his middle finger before he addressed them, "Hyuuga Neji from Japan. A fellow countryman."
Neji started and looked at the bespectacled man, his eyes wide, "Oh…my." He said, completely struck with amazement, "Shibuki Yue."
Sakura looked from the man suddenly identified as Yue to Neji and back again, the confusion growing in her eyes. Wow…he must be important if he caused Neji to drop what he was doing…
Neji shot out his hand, immediately taking the one that Yue had offered him with his own, enveloping the elder man's hand with care and reverence. "It is truly an honor, Shibuki-san."
Blinking, the carnation haired girl looked at the clasped hands and then up to Yue's face. His cerulean colored eyes were focused on her face, which was red with leftover embarrassment over her painting, and also red with embarrassment over not knowing who exactly this person was.
After his hand left Neji's, he moved forward to take Sakura's hand in his, delicately, and brought his lips to press against the top of it. "Bonjour, I guess I should say. As Neji so blatantly said, my name is Shibuki Yue."
A blush streaked Sakura's cheeks, making them even redder than before, "N-Nice to meet you, Shibuki-san. I'm Haruno Sakura."
"Please," He said, his voice like velvet, "I'm not a fan of formalities. Just call me Yue." He moved his eyes to Neji, "That goes for you, too, newbie."
"O…Okay, Yue." Sakura said, smiling.
Neji laughed at his title 'newbie' and just shrugged, "I was just trying to show respect for the best painter in Japan."
Sakura gasped, looking at Yue with wonder in her eyes, "Really?"
Yue looked at her, his eyes humble but a smile was on his lips, "He flatters me. That's what people say, though. And most people cannot ignore the media and what said media perceive as greatness."
Sakura looked at him, intrigued. This man was definitely interesting. Maybe the only other person from Japan here, and she was glad that he had made a point of talking to Neji. Maybe they would become friends and he could help him in the industry.
"I was just walking by and saw you two," Yue started, his eyes now focused on the painting of Sakura on the wall in front of them, "this painting has received the most buzz out of all of the ones here, and I was eager to meet the artist as well as the subject."
Neji looked genuinely flustered, and Sakura thought that this man must be a very important figure to him if his very words could cause Neji to become humbled.
"Everyone's saying you will be the new 'it' boy because of this," Yue continued, his gaze staying steadily focused on the painting, "and I can't help but agree. This painting is gorgeous and you can tell it was painted with such emotion. It's quite inspiring."
"Thank you, sir." Neji said, his voice calm and trying not to break from the excitement he felt. Obviously being praised by Yue was something not a lot of people had the honor of receiving.
Yue just smiled and reached into the pocket of his coat, getting a piece of paper and handing it to him, "Here. My card. Feel free to call anytime. For pointers, or if you just want to talk. I'll most certainly listen to someone with as much talent as you. I'm surprised you've gone unnoticed until now."
"That's - just, thank you!" Neji exclaimed, obviously unable to keep his enthusiasm under wraps any longer, "Thank you so much."
"No problem. Always glad to help artists with actual talent get off the ground and make a name for themselves." Yue said, turning from them, "I expect to hear from you."
"Of course, sir!"
With that, Yue left the two to revel over what happened. Neji was holding the card with his number on it with particular reverence, as if it were something holy, and he glanced at Sakura, "I cannot believe that just happened!"
Sakura felt herself grinning ear to ear, just by witnessing the extent of the Hyuuga's happiness. "I'm so happy for you, Neji!"
She threw her arms around him, and pressed him close to her form, laughing as Neji slightly stiffened. It wasn't enough for her to notice, but Neji could feel his muscles tense as the pretty girl enveloped him in an embrace. It was only for a second, however, because then he loosened up and hugged her back.
In her glee for his advances in his career, she didn't even think when she lifted herself to press her lips against his.
Neji's eyes widened out of their sockets. He didn't think that she'd be the one who broke the ice first, even if it was unintentional. He felt her lips working against his and he kissed back. The kiss itself was slow, but had an underlying current of what was to come.
Sakura pulled away first, her eyes downcast and her face red and flustered, this time it was not from embarrassment, "Sorry."
Neji wasn't going to have any of that, and he ducked his head, kissing Sakura's lips as if to shut her up, "Don't be sorry." He murmured against her lips.
Pulling away slowly, her eyes half-lidded, but tinged with a slight surprise, she said with a joking nature, "I'll keep being sorry if you kiss me like that again."
Neji didn't reply. His heart was pounding furiously in his chest at her words. She didn't even have to be "sorry" for him to want to kiss her like that. She was looking at him, and the want in her eyes was apparent, even to him. He supposed she had been just as riled up as he had from being in the same space with her, and that the simple kisses they had just shared had stirred everything up.
Waiting, like the small voice in the back of his head had suggested, had caused the tension to become almost unbearable. The fact that he now knew that she wanted him just as much as he wanted her was a comforting thing that allowed him to do what he did next without any regrets.
Taking his thumb and tracing the outline of her lips, he brought his lips to her ear.
"Soon." was all he muttered.
The nervous coil in Sakura's stomach seemed to be winding and unwinding as the car moved on, filling her with tortuous anxiety.
The banquet went off without a hitch. Everything was overwhelming. Everyone talked to her and Neji, complimenting both Neji on his work and Sakura on her…well, what he had painted of her. But all Sakura could think about was the simple word Neji uttered just minutes into the banquet. It had been on repeat in her head like a sick carousel, rotating around and around, filling her head with images and things that she should not be thinking in a crowded room, causing her to ache with barely suppressed want.
She looked over at Neji, who was glancing out of the window of their car. Her heart sped up as the reflection of his eyes in the glass looked over at her, piercing through her with a desire that Sakura had never before seen in her life.
She had only been with one man in her life. Sasuke, unfortunately. And while had looked at her with kind eyes and a smile, he had never really looked at her like Neji was looking at her now. With pure, unadulterated passion, adoration, and lust. He wanted her, and the fact that she knew that was a bit unsettling.
"Soon." The voice in the back of her head repeated.
But how soon? Sakura said, as an ache settled itself in the bit of her stomach. She found herself surprisingly anxious, nervous, and aroused all at the same time. She had also never felt this with anyone else.
The car pulled up to the hotel.
Neji got out of the car first, and motioned for her to wait for a minute. Seconds later, he was opening the door for her, helping her out of the expensive car that had chauffeured them to the banquet and back. His fingers brushed her heated skin and she felt goosebumps form on her flesh. She tried to calm her breathing, to make it not so audible to his ears, and then she sighed, the breath she let out making a mist in front of her face.
They entered the rotating doors and walked to the elevator. She looked at Neji, who was obviously trying his hardest to control himself.
But she didn't want control. Not now. Not when she was absolutely positive that she loved him.
Of course. She could think of no other word that could accurately describe what she felt for Neji. And she knew that this was what she wanted. More than anything she wanted him. All of him. No reservations, no pulling punches.
I want him.
So, as soon as the doors shut, she gathered her resolve and turned to face him, her eyes boring holes into his own. The ache had intensified to where it was almost unbearable. The look in her eyes seemed to trigger something deep inside Neji, for he launched himself forward, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her tight against his body. Sakura groaned at the instant contact, something she had been craving all night.
His lips found hers in an instant and they were wrapped up in each other.
So glad we were the only ones in the elevator. Sakura mused blissfully as her mouth worked in a fevered manner against his.
Neji moved his hand to cup the side of her face as he kissed her plump lips. She breathed into his mouth as she felt his budding erection graze her. "Neji…" She moaned as he fisted his hand in her hair, bringing her closer, if that was even possible.
Ding! Went the elevator, but the fact that the sound resonated was lost among the two.
Neji was the one who found the will to move forward, gently guiding Sakura forward, while her back was to whatever was in front of him. She was stumbling slightly, so Neji brought his hand under the crook of her knee to hitch herself around him, so he could carry her without her falling. The resulting friction of her legs wrapped around his waist caused him to almost growl with the intense pleasure that it resulted from.
Eventually, finally, they made it to their room. Neji fumbled around for his key while Sakura kissed his neck, nipping and licking the exposed flesh, causing Neji to contemplate taking her right there in the hallway.
Fortunately for him and any other people that would possibly walk by, the key unlocked the door and the two stumbled in, barely able to contain themselves.
Neji slammed the door with his foot, and the action almost made the walls rumble with the force of it. Sakura held herself against him, her legs wrapped as tightly as they could around Neji's waist as her fingers found the fabric of his jacket and pulled, relieving him of the pesky clothing. He kicked his shoes off, as well as his socks, leaving them in a pile beside the couch.
The tailored jacket fell to the floor, pooled around his feet as he stumbled forward, pressing her lower back against the back of the couch as she fiddled with the buttons of his shirt. He worked on her jacket, discarding it and throwing it to the floor as well.
She finally got his shirt off and stared in rapt fascination with the taut muscles of his chest. She leaned forward and pressed a kiss to his chest bone, right between his pectoral muscles. Her lips against his body were heaven, even in just a slight display of affection, and he felt his mouth curve into a smile.
His hands lifted and moved to the back of her dress, where the halter of her dress was connected, holding it to her body. He moved the clasp, and slowly he moved the top of the dress down, exposing her chest to him fully. A breath of frustration escaped his lips and he dove his head down into the valley of her breasts, kissing her between her breasts, as well as licking and suckling on the bud of her nipple, while he palmed the other in his hand with care. Sakura arched her back as his hands roamed over her body. "Neji." She breathed, fascinated with the way he made her feel.
He moved his attention to her face, his ivory eyes caring and intimate. He moved his hand to the back of her dress, finding the zipper and pulling it down. She moved herself to get out of the crimson fabric. Now she was fully exposed to him, the only barrier between him and her was her panties, wet with her arousal, and his clothes, which she had yet to get off.
Neji stopped pinning her to the back of the couch and she adjusted herself against him, her womanhood brushing his erection in all the right places and he groaned, desperately trying to get a hold of himself. "God…Sakura."
Sakura was panting, out of breath, but feeling amazing as she shifted herself against the clothed erection. She could only imagine what it would feel like once they were both fully exposed to one another.
Neji carried Sakura into his bedroom, kissing her neck and making small bites along her collarbone as he did so. Sakura arched her back and pressed her hands against his chest, nails slightly scraping as she did so.
He barreled into the bedroom, unmistakable want and lust on his face as he pushed Sakura gently into the mattress that had yet to be slept in. Both of her legs were still on either side of his waist, her panties soaked through with her arousal. He watched as her gaze moved to his pants and she found her slender hands moving to unbuckle the belt from his waist, then tossing it to the side.
She then worked on the zipper, and the knowledge that her hands were so close to his manhood caused a pleasurable shiver to roll down his spine. She unbuttoned the top, her fingers trembling slightly, and Neji reached down to help her, smiling all the while. As soon as he got the pants undone, Sakura's hands were on the waistband, moving the pants downward so there was one less barrier between them.
Neji kicked his pants off of his ankles, and heard a satisfying thud as they landed on the floor below them. His boxers were less confining than the pants, but still, there was too much keeping them from each other, it seemed. He noticed her shoes were still on, and with either hand he grasped each shoe and pulled them off delicately, tossing them to the floor.
Neji planted a kiss to her breast before her hands moved to grab the elastic waistband of his boxers. With several pulls, they were discarded, and Neji was left naked before her. Her breathing started to become erratic, rushing out of her throat in desperate gasps as she looked at the appealing naked man that was hovering atop her.
His hands moved to grasp the dainty waistband of her panties, fingertips delicately brushing against the sensitive flesh of her stomach, then pulled them down, slowly, deliberately. She bucked her hips into his hands as they hovered over her womanhood teasingly.
"Easy…" He muttered in a voice like liquid fire, though he wanted to be inside her much more than anything he had ever experienced in his life.
"Neji…" She moaned in that voice of hers. The one that caused chills to race over his arms and all the blood to move straight to his manhood, causing his erection to become that more painful and needing release. "Please."
Neji moaned at her voice, his thickness throbbing with those words she had just groaned at him. He could hardly contain himself. He adjusted themselves, moving her to lay normally, her head at the headboard of the bed, and he hissed out a groan as his length brushed against her womanhood. She did the same, her fingers twining in the sheets as he brushed the outside of her. Neji stopped himself and reached into the nightstand, grabbing a condom, and quickly rolling it onto his member.
Sakura looked at him in wonder, "You…came prepared."
"Always." He smiled at her before he captured her lips with his. Her hands came to rest on his shoulders and she looked him in the eyes. "Are you…sure you…want this?" Neji said, in between kisses.
Pulling away, Sakura simply stated, "I want you."
Smiling, Neji kissed her again, holding her lips as he adjusted himself over her entrance. Slowly, he slipped into her, feeling her tightness as she adjusted to fit him. She arched her back, tears coming into her eyes at the pressure of it. He was much larger than Sasuke, and it was straining against her to hold him.
"It's okay…tell me if I'm hurting you." Neji murmured against her lips. She nodded, but kissed back.
He was fully inside her, and his head was reeling. His pressed his mouth against her neck and breathed. She shifted slightly, trying to ebb away the pain, and then the pleasure hit. "I'm okay, Neji." She said, bringing her legs to wrap around his waist and pulling him even tighter against her.
"I'm glad." He breathed against the column of her neck, then he groaned as he brought himself out, then pushed back into her walls. He repeated this process, gaining a rhythm that caused Sakura to chant his name and grasp his back, moaning and writhing beneath him as he continued the motions.
Neji grunted as he filled her up, then pulled out, his motions becoming faster and faster when he was sure Sakura could handle it. The minutes drew longer and longer and she was nearing her release, he knew, and so was he. With one final push inside of her, she came, crying out his name as she felt ecstasy overcome her. He wasn't far behind, breathing her name across his lips as climaxed and fell atop her, exhausted but completely satisfied.
Her breasts were pressed firmly against his chest, and he was panting heavily, as was she. He pulled out of her and rolled over, separating themselves for just a moment to get rid of the condom. Then he curled beside her, his arm wrapping around her thin form, soaked with sweat and smelling like sex and him.
He nuzzled his head against her neck and breathed in her scent, the smell of lavender was still there, and it clouded his senses. Planting a kiss on her pulse point, he smiled, his lips molding around the curve of her neck.
Sakura's eyes were closed, her breathing even and heavy all at the same time. She rolled over onto her side to face Neji, feeling the beginnings of slumber taking over. She felt Neji wrapping an arm around her waist, and a feeling bubbled inside her. She was so happy that a full blown grin was threatening to emerge on her cheeks, just as she was about to go to sleep.
She felt Neji pull her closer and kiss her lips, "Goodnight, Sakura."
She opened her lids slightly, and smiled, "Goodnight, Neji."
After saying those words, she felt her lids shut like iron doors and sleep overcame her.
Rays of sunlight peered through the blinds, waking Sakura immediately
She felt her mouth contract into a yawn, a slight one, and she looked at Neji, who had opened his eyes and was staring at her.
"Hey." was all he said.
"Hey." She repeated, suddenly feeling shy and vulnerable underneath his stare. "Did I wake you?"
"No," He admitted, his eyes not leaving hers. "I was up for a while. Just waiting for you."
"Oh…" Sakura felt her cheeks color crimson, "Thanks, I guess." She laughed, "What time is it, anyway?"
"Almost nine." Neji said simply, his eyes moving to the clock situated on the nightstand behind Sakura. "But we don't really have anything to do, so…we can pretty much just lay here."
"All day?" Sakura said, a tinge of hope in her voice, "My kind of day."
Neji smiled, "Mine too, as long as it's with you."
Sakura scoffed, her eyes teasing, "You say that to all the girls, don't you?"
There go her traitorous cheeks again, turning red with the blood surging beneath her skin. She took in a deep breath and gathered herself. The word were building and building in her chest, and she wondered how she should say them. Suddenly, she wanted to tell him how she felt. She wanted to let him know about her feelings, about every little thing that he made her feel…but she just couldn't find the words.
So she kissed him. It was long and deep and filled with all of the emotion she felt. She molded his mouth with hers, nipping at his bottom lip as she pulled away.
Neji smiled at her, "What was that for?"
"I just…" Sakura said, her voice trailing off, "I wanted to tell you something, but I couldn't find words…so…"
Neji cut her off, pressing his lips against hers, his large hand palming the small of her back, pressing her closer to him than before. Her eyes widened before she melted into the kiss, placing her hand against his chest and breathing in his scent.
"I love you, too."
Sakura started, pulling away and looking at the words that came from Neji's lips, "Wh-What…?"
"That's what you were trying to tell me, right?" Neji said, his eyes soft, like liquid silver, "And I'm saying I love you. Because I do."
Her heart hammered away in her chest, feeling as if it were so full it was about to burst. She jerked forward, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and burying her face into his chest, inhaling the scent that was just so definably Neji. She felt tears well in her eyes as she looked up, connecting her emerald orbs with his own ivory ones.
"I love you." were the words that came from her plump, swollen lips.
Neji chuckled, "I knew it."
Sakura laughed as she brought her mouth to his, bringing their lips together for what would be one of many, many times that day. She smiled, feeling her heart soar as his words repeated in her head.
"I love you, too."
He deepened the kiss, bringing her closer to him, feeling her lithe body move against his in a way that sent flames scorching up and down his spine.
As Sakura kissed him, she couldn't fight the smile from her face. She was just too happy. After all of the strife, all the trouble, they had gone through, here she was, in bed with the one man that she could see herself spending her life with. She loved him, and he loved her, and Sakura couldn't erase the happy feeling that penetrated her chest. She couldn't and she didn't want to. Not in the slightest.
She wrapped her arms tighter around his neck, bringing him even closer to her as her lips moved against his.
In that moment, nothing else existed. Nothing else except her and Neji. They were in their own little world, oblivious to the other happenings around them. They were just in their own little bubble, protected and secure in one another's arms.
And she wouldn't have it any other way.
End Chapter Twenty.