WITHIN THESE BELTS
Disclaimer: I don't own Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon and their characters. As simple as that! Other side characters that you're familiar and sure that they're from another anime/series, might be present. I don't claim ownership for them as well. If by any chance you like this story and/or got inspired from it, at least tell me of your feelings. You'll make me graciously happy.
Well then… On with the imagination!!!
"Are you ready, Michiru?"
"Come here, let me look at you."
"Do I look alright with this dress?"
"Wonderful! Sometimes, I wonder where that cute little girl in this house had gone. You've grown so beautifully, Michiru. You look just as pretty as your mother was."
It was a long haltered black gown with black strap sandals. Her back was exposed to the fullest as the dress hung lower than her waists.
"Oh, father. People grow, you know. Stop being dramatic. I'm still your daughter. Nothing can change that."
"Right. Right. Well then, please allow me to escort you, beautiful princess."
The two descended carefully to the manor's ballroom.
Michiru Kaioh was the only daughter of Genrou Kaioh, the president of Kaioh Corporation – the famous Japanese corporation that owned a large portfolio of businesses in different industries all over the country. She was seen as the sophisticated yet timid girl, a famous but modest violinist, and a woman whom no man could ever touch. Her aquamarine hair that flowed vibrantly over her shoulders, with every step she made, could only left the men in awe with such beauty. Yes, there were a lot of suitors but remarkably she declined all of them. Her reason? She was busy. She was busy with her violin concerts and acing every class in art school.
"Hey Haruka, aren't you done yet?"
"I told you I'm not coming!"
"WHAT? You better get your ass down here or else… I swear!"
The door opened. "Ruka, are you sure you're not coming? Dad is already angry, you know."
"Didn't I tell you yesterday? I hate parties. Why don't you just leave me here." She rolled and continued to stare at the ceiling. "Besides, I'm still going to be busy looking for an apartment."
"Right like there's still an agency open at six in the evening."
Haruka turned her back at her brother. "Whatever!"
"Haruka! Are you coming down here or do I have to drag you down?"
"Ouch! That's going to hurt." Her brother commented. "C'mon Ruka. What do you say? I'm going to lend you my tux. Just come along, ok? Please for me?"
"No, thanks. I have my own. And mine smells nicer too."
"So do you mean you're coming?"
"I guess I have no choice. The last time dad dragged me down, my butt's all sore for a week!"
"Hey… that was like ten years ago and you still remember."
It had only been less than a month that the Tenoh family had just moved from the US. Much to Haruka's resistance of going to Japan, she couldn't abandoned her dad, Yano Tenoh who was on the verge of making deals to further expand his business in the aircraft industry. The Tenohs should had moved years ago but Mr. Tenoh only waited for Haruka to get her engineering degree before flying back to get serious on her father's business. For this, the siblings had to forcibly close their booming auto shop to give way for a wider vision. Yuuki, Haruka's brother, had always told her sister that they would someday operate again, more profitable and popular than before, with Haruka, the unbeatable racer, and Yuuki, the genius mechanic.
"Nice place." Haruka followed by the men, got off the car. It was a huge manor, even close to a palace. The yard with its gorgeous landscapes was even as vast as the house was.
"Be sure to pick up some hot chicks tonight, Ruka." Yuuki whispered.
"Oh shut up, Yuuki!"
The older brother laughed. He loved teasing her sister that way. Haruka was a girl-magnet back in the US. Everytime she won a race, a fleet of girls suddenly swarm unto the blond as if she just saved the world or something. Though Haruka sometimes played along – a brief charming smile, a touch to the girls' cheeks, posing coolly with the wind – in the end, every flirting was short-lived. If there was one thing that Haruka hated the most, it was of being committed to somebody. That was totally the worst for her. As for all those girls, Haruka just played the part as the hero for courteousness' sake. It was even briefer than a one-night stand. Haruka never cared about those girls nor cared for those interpersonal love lives. She was fine with racing and the cars.
"I heard that, you two. You better behave now or else I'm going to tie both of you upside down if I'm not going to have a positive confirmation of an investment"
This was the annual grand ball that was hosted by President Kaioh in his own manor for charity yet it always ended up with business negotiations and deals. Businessmen and famous people all over the country were invited to have a good time during the night. And for such welcomed people, only the best was served. Everything was elegant from the gorgeous array of food and the gigantic chandelier hanging on the ceiling. The soft music of the waltz from the band at the sides illuminated the whole room as people talked and couples danced.
As soon as the three blonds walked in the party, the people stared at them for a second. They were tall and their refine walks were pulling the crowds' attention. But it was not long when the father broke away from the pack. This was a business party.
"I told you that I should have been better at home." Haruka looked angrier than her usual grumpy face.
"Just enjoy the party, Ruka. It's not everyday that we're going to attend a very elegant party."
"Yeah… a very elegant indeed. And we're just standing here at the sides. This is boring."
"Boring eh? Do you want to dance with me?"
"What? What's wrong with a cool brother asking his little sister for a dance?"
"You airhead! I'm in a tux, can't you see? Do you want to be mistaken as gay or something?"
"I don't mind."
"Ah! Don't tell me you don't want those lovely ladieslooking at you to think you're gay, aren't you?"
"Who cares about them anyway? Their gazes are irritating. Why does dad have to drag us with him? … Oh, I forgot. You were pleading to him. 'Dad, take us with you. Please? Please? Please?' Boy, you sounded totally pathetic. Did you know that?"
"Excuse your term… 'pathetic but cute'."
"Cute like a retarded 5-year old would! That's for sure."
"I can't help it. I'm sweet. Don't you think so?"
"OK, bro. You want to come to the party to meet some girls, right? So, here's your chance. Look! There are already a lot of girls looking this way. Go get them tiger! Ask them for a dance. That's what you're here for."
"To tell you honestly, sis, they're giving me the creeps. They're… well… they're… umm… they're too well-mannered, you know. Have you noticed?"
"They're supposed to. Have you forgotten where we are?"
"Haruka, they're looking at you and not me."
"You're such a coward! Now go!" She gave a push to the man toward the group of young-looking girls across the room. They must have been the daughters of the businessmen in the party, the same as Haruka and their brother were. Those girls were also dragged down to the party due to choicelessness or perhaps same as what Yuuki's intentions were. What a party! The whole charity ball thing was just a cover-up from the guests' interior motives.
Looking bored as before, Haruka headed for the bar and hoped that perhaps a drink could at least entertain her.
"Oh, Michiru, where have you been? I've been looking all over for you?"
"I'm sorry, father. I was at the kitchen, checking the service."
"Michiru…" He planted a kiss on his daughter's forehead. "Such a wonderful and responsible daughter you are."
"It's the least I could do for your party."
"Oh no, don't tell me that, Michiru. This is your party as well."
"Yes. Well, you know."
"Ah! I don't like that grin of yours, father."
The father came closer to the girl's ear.
"I'm hoping you will find a boyfriend tonight. But, there's no pressure."
"What? Not again! We already discussed this, father. I'm not yet ready."
"But this is already your last year in the university. You will soon graduate. Before you know it, your youth had passed by you. Try to make wonderful memories with somebody while you're young and free. You will…" Upon seeing his daughter's upset face, the father quickly apologized. "Just do it your way, sweety."
"I will know when I see him. But right now, the boys here are just too shallow for me." She thought to herself for awhile. 'Not to mention that all the single boys I encountered had such lewd eyes for me. It's disgusting.' "Don't worry father, I'll find a good man."
"That's my girl. Is the son of Lights Group of Companies asking you out? You should try dating him."
"Kou Seiya-san? Oh…" Michiru got reminded again. Not only should she choose a man who was 'not disgusting' but also a man who was suitable for her father's taste – a man who knows his money.
"That guy is good, no?"
"I'll think about it."
"President Kaioh!" A man from the corner suddenly called out.
"Chief Himura, it's nice of you to come. How do you find the party?"
"It's exquisite. Ah… how are you, Ms. Kaioh?"
"I'm fine and you, chief Himura?"
"Never felt better. Actually I want to introduce you to someone, President Kaioh. This is a very good friend of mine."
"Excuse me, gentlemen, but I need to go to the ladies' room." As soon as Michiru noticed that it was going to be another business conversation, she didn't want to take a chance of being involved to such lengthy talk anymore.
"Please do, Ms. Kaioh."
Michiru found herself at a side of the corner, peacefully alone. But in a moment, she noticed the crowd began to stir again. This was always in a party. Gossips abound.
"Hey, isn't that President Kaioh's daughter? Michiru, right?"
"Why is she alone?"
"Rumors said that she dislikes people."
"No way! A pretty girl like that?"
"She's an only child. She must felt lonely."
"But you know what, she's the sole heiress of the Kaioh. So, her partner might already be planned for her. Everyone knows she's the perfect daughter."
"Hey, are you talking about Michiru."
"Ah… I asked her out last year."
"You did? And?"
"She was so cold when she rejected me. I couldn't even remember her saying my name."
"That cold, huh?"
"She's evil man, she's evil."
'I can hear you, idiots' Michiru calmly walked away from the irritating sounds. Her blood boiled and she needed only a little spark before she would blow. Then finally, she wouldn't be the demure calm girl most people thought her to be but the evil girl who guys thought of her because of a stupid reason as rejection.
She was about to reach the counter at the bar when this tall blond man hit her with his shoulder. It was hard enough to let her gave off a low yelp.
"Oh! Sorry miss… I'm so sorry."
The blond turned around and held unto the smaller girl's shoulders reflexively. "Are you alright? I didn't mean to. Were you hurt?"
The man seemed so dashing in her eyes that she could hardly hear the words he was saying to her.
"Miss, are you alright?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. Umm… strong shoulder, you got there."
"Well, I… I… you can't really call a shoulder strong if it's just going to hit girls, you know."
Michiru pulled herself together and resumed her stature. In moments like this, she usually would leave the place right away and be somewhere away from the perpetrator. But this time, her feet were nailed to the floor for some reason she didn't know. And knowing how she must had look, she cursed herself, looking like a 7-year old having a crush for the first time with this gorgeous blond. It was the first time she saw him. Even she, herself, was surprised on how her body could react involuntarily upon this man.
"Aaa… how about I get you a drink as an apology… Here."
"Umm… I don't drink champagne."
"What? Are you allergic or something?"
"I don't drink those wines and stuffs."
"But this is champagne… Oh well… bartender!" The blond called out again.
"Here you go. That should be fine for you." And the man left without another word.
Michiru stared at the man's back walking away from her. Never did she experience looking at a man's back. No one walked away from Kaioh Michiru before. Especially not a man. She was the one who did all the 'walking away' after the rejections. But this one was different. She was amazed that he didn't even stayed for a chat. It was so strange. Did Kaioh Michiru's charms finally fade?
'Well, at least he offered me a drink.' She looked at the glass that the man had handed her, and immediately got confused. "Water? He gave me water?"
"What happened to your girls, Yuuki?"
"I just realized that those girls are really not my type."
"Hey, Ruka. I saw you with that girl at the bar counter. I think she's into you."
"Shut up! That girl's weird."
"She's just weird. You know, the pretty-rich-girl-I-don't-drink-champagne kind of weird?"
"She rejected you, huh?"
"Rejected my foot! I got her a drink because I hit her when I turned around."
"Ouch! That's gonna hurt. Your body's made of steel, Ruka."
"Yeah, and yours is made up of marshmallow, Yuuki."
"Wow! Do you really think that? So, do you like hugging me and cuddling my soft body, little sis?"
"Oh boy! I think I'm going to throw up."
"Well, better hold your puke, Ruka-chan, because your weird pretty-rich-girl-I-don't-drink-champagne is coming this way."
Haruka turned just in time to meet the gentle blue eyes that was staring right to her own green ones.
"I believe this is yours."
Haruka received the glass of water. "Oh, didn't I give this to you?" She could hear the snicker from her brother. 'Haruka, you gave the girl water to drink?' He laughed more silently. 'Oh shut up, Yuuki!'
"I assume you're new at parties like this, sir. When a lady is asked for a drink, she is not simply offered with water."
'And this lady is not allergic with champagne, eh?' Haruka coolly shrugged. "Sorry, got nothing else to offer."
"So, that means you still owe me an apology. The drink doesn't count."
"OK. What can I offer you?"
"How about a dance?"
TO BE CONTINUED
From the author:
Phew this dual POV is a little tiring.
Hi guys! I missed knowing, reading, talking… writing to you all! I'm bringing you another HxM fic, my fifth. This is going to be a whole different story again unlike the historical, sci-fi, and fantasy stories I worked on in the past. I'm taking a risk with modern romance. This is going to be a lighthearted story, I'm sure. So, those people with the weak of hearts can read this one. I guarantee this to be none/less angsty than my previous ones. I don't want to scare my readers anymore. I'm afraid I'm chasing you off my fictions with my "twisted endings". I'm sorry about that. This one's different. (winks) Enjoy!
I reread my chaps but sometimes there might still be some mistakes uncaught. Thanks for understanding.