"I don't want to go," she whispered, her face buried on his shoulder. His arms were clasped tightly about her shoulders as he held her to himself.

"I know," he repeated, trying to soothe her tears. But though he would never admit it, he was close to tears himself at the thought of leaving her.

"Promise you'll call me," she sobbed. "Write to me, email me, talk to me."

"I will, babe, I will," he murmured, knowing he would keep his promise until the day he died. He didn't know what he would do without her.

From down on the road, the driver impatiently honked the horn. "Come ON, nee-chan!" Damien's impatient voice called. "We're gonna be late!"

With a tearful sniff, Sakura took herself out of Sasuke's strong grip. It was difficult for both of them; he never wanted to let her go. It seemed only yesterday that he had fallen to the floor, bleeding from his shoulder where a bullet had punched through it, knowing that she had saved them all. But that had been three years ago, she had been his ever since.

"Wait," he said, trying to hold her back from the inevitable. Sakura turned to him, her eyes filling again. For the last time, Sasuke enfolded her into his arms and kissed her gently, deeply, filling himself like a gas tank with her scent, her presence. It was all he would get for the next three months.

The door behind them opened and Sakura's mom came out, fussing with her purse. She saw Sasuke holding Sakura's hand and kissing her like he never wanted to stop and simply smiled. She hated to break the couple up now, but it really was time to leave.


Sasuke gently released her lips. He stroked her cheek with his thumb. "Take care, my beautiful cherry blossom," he said softly as Sakura's mom passed by them.

"Thanks for helping me get my stuff into the truck," Sakura said, mopping her eyes. "I'll really miss you, Sasuke-kun."

She held his hand as long as she could, until the length of the stairs down from the front door forced him to release her fingertips. Sakura climbed into the car along with her mom and brother and buckled up. Sasuke came down the stairs to her house as the car pulled away. Sakura rolled down the window, turned around, and waved for as long as she could see him. Then the car rolled around a corner.

Sakura was gone.

And he was empty.


Here's the start to your sequel! More to come!