Meeting Mrs Nonaka

Great, just great, Ryo thought to himself, watching as Rika stormed out of the studio. The designer is in a huff, and the model is aweing over her brother, he turned back to Suzie, still with her arms around her older brother. And the photographer is trying to deny romantic involvement.

As much as Rika liked to call him a ditz (and to tell him that he should just bite the bullet and dye his hair blonde, so that everyone else would know it, too) he wasn't so stupid as to not realize the tension Kazu had been showing all day... in fact, he had probably noticed it a lot sooner than the red head, what with her nose stuck in her sketchbook all day, I'm surprised she noticed anything at all.

"Suzie!" Ryo cooed, stepped towards the girl and her brother; he saw Kazu tense from the corner of his eye. Oh relax you spaz! "You've gotta come and sign your contract now..."

"Contract?" Henry blinked, a frown marring his face. "What contract?"

"They wanna make me a model, Hen-nii-chan," Suzie replied cutely, pulling away slightly to smile gorgeously up at her big brother. Though I can see why Kazu likes her...

"A model?" he raised an eyebrow in question, looking up at Kazu for his response.

The photographer shrugged, not meeting Henry's eyes. "When I met up with Rika yesterday she said that I needed a female model willing to sign onto her company... and the only girl I could think of was Suzie."

"And you didn't think about talking to me about this first?" Henry gritted out.

Ryo couldn't help but snicker as Suzie stepped away from her brother, hands on hips and a glare already being sent in Henry's direction. "I'm old enough to make my own decisions, Henry!" She chided him, before turning on her heel. She stopped to look at Ryo, a defiant gleam in her eyes. "Ryo-kun, where do I have to go?"

"We're gonna go see Rika's mom," Ryo said easily, hooking his thumbs into the pockets of his jeans as he leaned back on his heels. "And she'll go over everything with you and sign you up for your courses and-"

"Courses?" Henry stepped in again, putting a hand on his sister's shoulder as he did so. "What kind of courses?"

Oo-kay then. Way overprotective. "Ever since Rika's mom was told she was too old for modeling, she decided that any model going into the business should have a back-up plan," he explained with a shrug. "She was already well-connected enough that it didn't really matter for her... she started up her modeling company easily enough. But some of the girls come in, last a few months and then are never seen again." He gave Suzie a huge smile, and watched as the girl's eyes lighted up. "But you're pretty enough, Suzie, I'm sure you would never have to worry about the courses... No photographer is ever going to want to let you go."

Suzie giggled, and Ryo glanced up at Kazu; the brunette's knuckles were white from how tightly he was gripping his camra. Relax Kazu!

"Well, I have to go," Kazu said loudly, commanding attention. "Work and all. I'll see you la-"

His words were cut short as Suzie bounded over to him and pulled him into a bone-crushing hug. And if Ryo wasn't mistaken, the pretty young girl pressed a soft kiss to Kazu's cheek before she pulled away and smiled at him. "I'll see you at work later, Kazu! Onii-chan is going to take me to dinner before we go in..." she looked over her shoulder at Henry. "Right, onii-chan?"

Henry sighed, and Ryo smiled again. Aa... sibling love. "Of course, Suzie."

-----

"Mom!" Rika called as she pushed the door open to the lush office. Her mother was sitting behind her desk, typing away at her laptop... but she never fooled Rika. She knew that her mother was just scrolling through pictures of other models, admiring and wishing she was still in the spotlight. Never doing work like she's supposed to be doing... but that's what her assisstant is for, apparently.

"There's no need to yell, Rika," her mother scolded lightly, a smile on her face as she looked up at her daughter; the wrinkles around her eyes and lips were a testimond to her age, to the reason why she no longer was the girl the photographers swooned for.

"Suzie Wong is showing up." Rika bit out, crossing her arms over her chest as she looked away from her mother. "She's going to be the female model for the collection that I'm doing... and make sure that it says somewhere that she's not allowed to lose more than 10 pounds! I don't hate those stupid annorexic models who-"

"Rika," her mother's musical voice calmed her, as it had done when she was a small child. "I'll make sure that your model doesn't become annorexic," her mother's lavender eyes, just like her own, shone with mirth and merriment. Why isn't she taking me seriously? "Suzie Wong did you say?"

"Yes mom," Rika grumbled, moving to sit in one of the plush chairs in front of her mother's chair.

"As in... from the Wong family..?" Rika nodded. "As in Henry Wong?"

Rika blushed, looking away from her mother. "What does that have to do with anything?"

She saw her mother leaned forwards onto her desk, a smile on her lips. "He was one of the boys that you used to spend time with when you were a teenager... right?" Rika nodded again, not wanting to speak. "And he was the one who gave you your first ki-"

"Mom!" Rika snapped out. "That's besides the point!"

"Of course, Rika darling," her mother sat back up in her chair as a knock sounded at the door. "Oh, that must be your model now... come in!"

Why me? Rika asked herself as the door opened behind her. She heard Ryo's cheerful hello to her mother, and crossed her fingers out of habit. Why must I be faced with him now after such a long time..? I was doing such a good job just not thinking about him or being around him and now-

"Rika, don't be rude," her mother scolded her.

"Of course mothing," she muttered under her breathe as she stood up from out of her seat. She turned slowly, her breathe catching in her throat... but when she turned fully, Henry wasn't there. "Wh-where's Henry?"