Summary: "You know that evil, devilishly handsome womanizer type of guy that your father always tells you to stay away from?" he asked, staring directly into her eyes, causing her to flinch. "That's me." SasuHina AU
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto, nor am I making any form of profit in writing this fic. This chapter is taken from the first installment of Zoey Dean's The A-List series. The rest of the story will not comprise of any parts from this book.
My apologies for taking all the credit.
Hyuuga Hinata sat in her first-class seat, calmly reading a Fast Company magazine, legs tucked neatly into a corner, hands clasping the pages, eyes rapidly scanning the article. Her father told her to pick it up just before she boarded the place, because there was an article about a 17-year old CEO, a girl with a million-dollar idea, and an investment of a mere eight dollars.
Her father was always telling her to read up on things like this. Hyuuga Hiashi made sure that his successor was well-educated not only in business, but also in others' lives, with stories and examples from which she could draw conclusions from.
Though she seemed cool and collected on the outside, she struggled to keep her hands from trembling, and bit her lip in uncertainty. This was another skill that her father made sure she pick up. No matter how nerve-wrecked or apprehensive you were about the situation or coming situations, you must remain composed to the outside eye.
She sighed quietly, closing her eyes for a brief instant. For the first time in ten years, she would see her father and her sister.
Hinata was currently on a five-hour direct flight from New York to Los Angeles, California, Beverly Hills to be more specific. She was more than slightly nervous about her current predicament.
What if her father hated the length of her hair? How much had Hanabi grown? Would she even be able to recognize her father and sister at the airport? Would they even remember to pick her up? Or would the secondary driver come by, telling her that an "unexpected meeting" had come up, one of which Hyuuga Hiashi simply could not miss.
For the past four years of her life, she had resided in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the notoriously wealthier side of New York. She had just gotten her MBA in business management at New York University's Stern School of Business. At the age of twenty-one, this was considered quite a feat, but of course, this simply wasn't good enough for her father.
She graduated Salutatorian, to which her father replied, "Salutatorian? That is pure disgrace, Hinata. A Hyuuga achieves the highest honor in everything, including academic studies."
Hinata frowned at the memory.
"But father," she persisted, gripping the phone with exhausted hands, "the guy that did win the award was very intelligent. You've heard of Nara Shikamaru haven't you? He's already got several books published and—"
"Regardless," he interrupted, his voice condescending. "You should have received the Valedictorian award. I expect nothing less of you, Hinata."
She held in a sigh. "Yes, father," she replied.
"Now get some sleep," he commanded. "Good night, Hinata."
"Good night, father."
Previously, she attended elementary school back in Japan, and was then shipped off to Singapore in order to get her accustomed to a rigorous schedule at a young age. She had many sleepless nights back then, and was thrilled to find that her final three years of high school would be completed in America. Because of the difference in the Singaporean and American high school curriculum, she was immediately promoted to twelfth grade, and completed her graduate studies at NYU.
Now that she was done with school, her father wanted her back in California with him, in order to train her properly and teach her the fundamentals of becoming a business executive.
Hinata was half-excited and half-scared out of her wits, but refused to let it reflect on her outer appearance. She took a cautious bite of her linguini pasta, and grimaced, setting down her fork immediately. She hated airplane food.
"I know, the food sucks, eh?" murmured the man beside her, smirking at her reaction.
Hinata glanced to the side and resisted the urge to roll her eyes. He was probably nearer forty than thirty and balding. His hair had been preserved in such a way that there were probably ten long white strands combed to the side, and the rest of it was short and clipped, save for the huge, shiny hairless area at the top of his head. She knew his kind.
She defiantly stuck in a large clump of pasta in her mouth and grinned sweetly at him. "It's absolutely delicious."
The man beside her raised an eyebrow and shrugged. "Whatever tickles your fancy, I guess. Name's Bob Jones."
Hinata deadpanned. Tasteless name for a tasteless man, she noted dryly. "Shinobu Maehara," she replied quietly, staring at his wrinkled and layered forehead. "Pleasure to meet you." Two little white lies wouldn't hurt. She caught the eye of the flight attendant and requested another glass of ginger ale.
"Beauty of a name. If you want," he continued, "we could light up a couple buds, you know, primo shit. That's how I roll."
"No thanks," she rejected politely, looking out the window, staring at nothing in particular. She sighed as they passed over New Jersey. He laid a hand on her knee, and she suppressed a scowl. "Back in the day you know, there was no way that I could afford any of this stuff, but you know, that ain't really matter no more…"
And so he began to recite his rags-to-riches story, no doubt told countless times before, and Hinata found it easy to tune out his droning voice. She still nodded politely and smiled at the correct times, but soon averted her eyes, searching for something, anything, other than his moon-like face. Her pearly eyes landed on a younger man, about her age, dressed in a dark blue hooded-sweater, with the words CHICAGO GSB, along with the school logo, in white plastered on the front.
Hinata could only stare. His hair was jet-black and spiked up in the back, his eyes were dark, his skin pale, and his facial features were princely. Chicago Boy was, in simple, definite words, a total hottie.
He winked at her, but she mistook it for an eye twitch, so she furrowed her eyebrows at him. Bob Jones placed a hand atop hers in order to get her attention again. "So yeah, that was my lameass life back in freakin' Brooklyn, before I started investing with this guy, and we formed a co… A coal… A co—coali—"
"A coalition," she offered, grinning only slightly at him.
"There ya go!" he said, nudging her side. "Man, I love a girl that knows her words. How about I get us a round of drinks? Hey, Miss!"
This time, Hinata really did roll her eyes, but not in a way that Bob Jones would see her. She turned to look at Chicago boy again and found him smirking at her, tapping the side of his nose. She could only sigh and smile slightly at him, offering a lame thumbs-up. He looked to the side and stood up, presumably to go to the bathroom.
"Here ya go," announced Bob Jones, handing her a vodka shot. He tipped his glass to hers and downed it, releasing a scratchy-sounding "Ahh…" before slamming his glass down on the foldable table in front of him. She mimicked his movements, hoping to drown out the buzzing of his annoying voice, the only one that was heard in the cabin. No doubt the neighbors in front and behind her were just as annoyed.
"Hey, let's play hangman!" he declared childishly, reaching for the remote stowed in his seat. "I bet I'll rock your ass off on his game. I'm pro."
Hinata sat up straight, legs still tucked under one another, but on the inside, she was raging and gravely annoyed. Her younger sister, Hanabi, would have dealt with this man in a single blow. After the first word uttered out of his mouth, she would have said a simple "FUCK OFF," that would have shut him up for the rest of the flight.
Hinata was finding this very hard to do. She pictured the words in her mind, imagined herself saying that to his man's face. But as soon as he turned to her with his wrinkled forehead and moon-face, the words died on her lips, and retreated back to the farthest corners of her mind, never to be said or thought of again. She hated being polite.
Hinata looked up, glad to see Chicago Boy smiling down at her. He had to be at least six feet tall. "Mary, is that you?" he asked again, his deep voice reverberating against her eardrums. He had a really nice voice. Nevertheless, she frowned in confusion.
"I'm sorry, I'm not—"
"Mary, surely you remember me. Remember when we met at that one party…" his voice trailed off, his eyes wide, as though he was expecting her to catch on.
"Ey bud, who the hell are you? Look here, this little lady told me her name was Shinobu, and I bet you've never even met here before. Back the hell off."
Whoever this Mary girl was, Hinata knew she was lucky as hell. She glared at Bob Jones, and started in a feeble voice, "You must be mistaken—"
"Remember me?" he asked again, leaning into the compartment above their heads. "There was this guy that was dead drunk and wasted or something, and I was trying to save you from him, because he just kept rambling about something or other…"
It was then that realization dawned on Hinata's face. He was trying to help her out. Hinata mentally smacked herself on her forehead. If she hadn't down that stupid glass of vodka so quickly, her mind probably would have been able to figure things out a whole lot quicker. "O—oh, Mark! Now I remember."
"Hold up, hold up," interrupted Bob, holding up his hands for emphasis. "She told me her name was Shinobu—"
"Okay then, Shinobu, how are you doing—"
"Hey buddy, in case you haven't noticed, this seat is taken. I was talking to her first. Now fuck off before I call the attendant."
Chicago Boy smirked at Bob Jones. "Switch seats with me, or I'll report the Thai stick you got sitting in your briefcase."
"Thai stick? Boy, you don't know what you're talking about—"
"Oh really?" piped up Hinata, smiling sweetly at Bob. "What was that thing you offered to be earlier… Oh yeah—'primo shit', that's what you called it."
Bob Jones scowled at the idea of being ousted by two immature brats and remained in his seat, arms crossed. "It's got your name on it," said Chicago Boy, waggling his eyebrows. Bob grudgingly got out of his seat, retrieved his briefcase and waddled over to the seat Chicago Boy had pointed out. He glared at them, fishing out an older version of the Sony CLIÉ from his pocket, and pretended to make himself busy.
Chicago settled into the seat beside her and offered a charming smile. "My name's not really Mark."
"That's okay," she said with a grin. "My name's not really Shinobu. Not that he could tell the difference."
"You read manga?" he asked with some semblance of surprise. "Reference to Love Hina?"
"Guilty," she admitted, a small blush grading her cheeks.
"Wow. You seem like the prep-school-cool type of girl," he replied, "you know, cool enough to drive with your legs crossed type of deal."
"Teaches you not to judge a book by its cover," she quipped with a coy smile, sipping the last of her ginger ale.
"Sasuke Uchiha," he said, extending his hand.
"Hinata Hyuuga," she replied, taking hold of his. His hands were nice. She didn't let go.
"Hope you don't mind my swooping in to save you," he murmured, eyes flicking salaciously to her lips. "I could sense your dread from a mile away."
"My agony was that palpable?" she inquired, raising an eyebrow at him.
Sasuke expelled a great gust of air that appeared to be a chuckle and he responded, "You just said palpable. And you used it in context. I didn't realize there was any girl that wore high heels and had a matching mani-pedi combo knew what 'palpable' even meant."
Hinata's eyes glittered daringly. "Want to hear more?" she began, licking her lips that were suddenly so dry. "Agglomerate. Intransigence. Licentious."
"Who are you?" he wondered aloud, propping his chin on his free hand.
"Does it really matter?" she retorted, grinning at him.
A sort of excitement rose up from within Hinata and simmered in her stomach. She was flirting with this handsome man that had just completed his degree in business, just like her, and was heading to California for a friend's engagement party, after heading to New York for a short vacation. She told him about finishing up her graduate school, and moving back to LA so that her father could keep an eye on her, and train her to take over the family business.
"Hyuuga," murmured Sasuke. "I know I've heard that name before. Hyuuga Enterprises, perhaps?"
"That's me," she confessed, wringing her hands. "Don't take it too seriously though. I'm trying to convince my dad that my younger sister would be a better leader than me. I want to become a doctor."
"Then I guess we're in the same predicament," he affirmed. "I want to be a lawyer, or something of the sort. Anything to get away from all these numbers and conniving business execs. I've also got to take over a business."
"Uchiha," she whispered, testing the name on her lips. "I think Father has mentioned your name before. That's a biopharmaceutical company isn't it? Uchiha Corp?"
"You got it," he replied, smirking. "Stock went down when news broke out that I'd be stepping up to replace my brother. Stupid guy wants to retire at the age of thirty, which is like, in five years."
Hinata giggled, brushing her hand against his shoulder. "I'm sure you'll do fine. After all, you graduated from the best business school in the whole country."
Sasuke grinned at her. "Hey, how about you come with me to the engagement party I was talking about? I'd love to see you again."
"Really?" she asked, purely surprised. "I wouldn't mind that at all." She turned down to retrieve a pen and a piece of paper, but he grabbed her hand and jot down his phone number on the palm of her hand. He twisted his Mont Blanc pen and tucked it back into his pocket. "Call me," he said with a grin.
They had talked through the entire flight, and now they were landing. He, as chivalrous as one could get, got her bags for her from the overhead compartments, and insisted that he carry them for her through the terminal. "LAX is a big place," he told her carefully. "Wouldn't want your bags to get stolen or something."
They walked to the front and he set down her bags. "My ride's here already," he said, signaling to a man in a black Lexus. "Maybe I could give you a ride to wherever you're supposed to be?"
"No thanks," she said with a polite smile. "My dad's coming to pick me up."
"Alright then," he said, giving her a small peck on the cheek. "I'll see you around."
After he disappeared into the car and drove off, Hinata tentatively touched the spot that his lips had touched, only moments ago. Los Angeles was already proving to be quite the exciting place.
No offense to you if your name is Bob Jones.
It's a fantastic name, really.
And I think I need beta.