Author's notes: Hello! This is not strictly Chapter 11, but I was asked to place this here, so here you go. This is Chapter One of the sequel to this story, which is entitled "The Getaway Girls". It's posted on its own. The Terrible Trio's and Sakura and Syaoran's stories continue there. Chapter 2 is already up. Here's the first part, for those who didn't see it:
The Getaway Girls
This continues where "Are You Gonna Let Her Get Away?" leaves off. Happy reading!
Summary:Sequel to "Are You Gonna Let Her Get Away?" Can the Terrible Trio, Sakura, and Syaoran find their happy endings despite everything life throws in their way?
Disclaimer:Syaoran belongs to me. In another universe where pigs can fly, that is. Actually, he belongs to CLAMP and they really should clone him, Eriol, Fai, and Kurogane and pass them around, sigh.
As our story opens, it is February and there are three beautiful women on a beach. They are on an island which is but one of seven thousand in a tropical country—a logical getaway for people who have to live with snow. Their names are Mei Ling Li, Sakura Kinomoto, and Tomoyo Daidouji.
One has long, straight, raven hair, blacker than night ever thought of being; her reddish-brown eyes flash with her emotions, and she attracts stares from beachgoers due to her magnificent body being in a skimpy gold string bikini. Quite a few men have already slammed into coconut trees gawking at her. But they do not dare approach, because the last man to hit on her is still groaning in the sand and spitting teeth from his mouth.
The second woman is, for the first time in her life, a cute pink bikini, nowhere near as revealing as the first woman's. But she is covering it up with a sheath. She has large jade green eyes flecked with gold, honey-gold hair, a sweet expression on her face, rosy cheeks and lips, and a slender, athletic body. She is staring off into the distance, lost in the magnificent sunset that is a kaleidoscope of reds, oranges, pinks, and blues.
The third woman has porcelain skin, which she is trying to darken with the help of tanner. She designed the bathing suits they are wearing; hers flatters her womanly curves, pleasant and soft without being fat. Her long dark hair curls at the ends, and she has startling violet eyes. If she opened her mouth, a beautiful song would burst from it. She is thinking about the one she loves, and her eyes are soft.
They are waiting for the men they love; one of them joked that the first man to come and claim his beloved would be the one most worthy of his woman's love. For they are not where they call home; their men will have to cross an ocean to find them.
One of these women is pregnant; the second was tricked into coming to the island; the third woman came along for fun.
And by the time this story is over, one woman will be married to the one she truly loves.
Before New Year's Day (One month before the prologue)
A tall, tousle-haired young man named Syaoran Li, an executive vice president for his family's large business group, arrived home a day after Christmas. He was quite unaware of how his chiseled cheekbones, deep-set brown eyes, and leanly muscled body affected the women who had seen him walking home—floating, to be more accurate.
He was smiling softly; his new fiancee, whose heart he'd won after just two months, always left him with a warm feeling inside. Her name was Sakura Kinomoto, and she had wandered into his life like a stray angel from the heavens, and shown him a world in which work was not the only thing that mattered. Without even trying.
Which probably explained why he had been willing to marry her so soon into their relationship. Women like her are like falling stars; blink and they're gone, he thought. And so he was happy when she had felt the same way about him, willingly accepting his proposal of marriage and loving him as much as he did her.
He was surprised to see his mother waiting in the entryway for him.
"Mother." He looked straight into the black eyes of his tall, regal mother, nominal head of his clan until she retired and he took over.
"Syaoran, you are aware that as the eldest—and only son—of the eldest Li before you, you're supposed to propose using the Li engagement ring?"
Syaoran's heart sank. Now he knew what had happened to the ring. He'd probably lost it during the tussle with his ex, Kendra, during their company's Christmas ball...and somehow, his mother had found it. He'd been planning to propose to Sakura and was carrying it around in hopes of finding the right time.
"Have you also forgotten that should you ever find the occasion to remove that ring from the Clan's vault, you're supposed to inform the Elders, get their approval, and have an engagement party?"
Yelan looked at Syaoran appraisingly. "No, you don't want an engagement party or no, you haven't forgotten?"
"Mother. Why not just speak openly?"
"Ah. You said it, then. This was found in the hallway outside the ballroom of the Seasons Hotel." She opened her hand; in it was the green and silver box that contained the ring. "Did you propose yet?"
"I thought you didn't like her?"
"I never said that, son."
And suddenly Syaoran was filled with hope, and affection for his mother. She was still expressionless, but he knew—she liked Sakura.
"Actually, Mother, I proposed anyway."
Yelan Li did something she rarely did; she choked.
"I did. And," he playfully raised his right hand, the fourth finger of which sported a loop of red yarn.
"Yarn. Whatever for?"
"I had to improvise," Syaoran grinned.
For the second time that day, Yelan did something she rarely did; she walked forward, and embraced her son.
"I'm proud of you, Syaoran."
"For getting engaged?"
"For choosing such a wonderful young woman." Syaoran smiled at his mother, who smiled back, then groaned when she said, "All right then. Have you spoken to her parents yet? Have you decided on when to have our families meet? Goodness, we have so much to do before your engagement party!"
On New Year's Eve, another tall young man, who had dark blue eyes, a well-built, well-muscled body, and a thoughtful expression behind glasses surveyed himself in the mirror critically; he wanted to look good for his first real date with the woman he had adored for two years now, and was having a look at his outfit for the next day.
He rolled the sleeves of his blue madras shirt up three-fourths of the way; his jeans were nicely distressed, and his hiking shoes were scuffed. Like a regular guy—which was who he wanted to be for Tomoyo Daidouji.
Satisfied, he took the outfit off and put on an old, comfortable shirt and jeans. Despite his casual outfit, he was still devastatingly handsome; his pale skin gave him an otherworldly air, and his deep, husky voice could seduce women even over the phone.
He was Eriol Li-Hiiragizawa, cousin to Syaoran Li and the commercial relations vice president for the Li Group of Companies. Which pretty much meant he was free to go out, attend society functions, and seduce women.
Unlike his cousin Syaoran, Eriol knew he was handsome; he'd been taking advantage of his effect on the opposite sex since college. Though he was twenty-six, he looked younger thanks to regular exercise and a good diet.
The object of his affections, Tomoyo, was the vice president for finance at the same company, and an old friend of his cousin's. She had long, shiny black hair that curled gently at the ends, startling violet eyes, rosy cheeks, and a curvy, womanly body that Eriol had often dreamed about in the years he'd known her.
And now, after years of waiting, he was finally ready to take her out.
Since Christmas, he'd been planning where to take her for New Year's Eve. Eriol guessed that she was tired of pompous, self-important men. As they had talked on the phone every night since Christmas, Eriol had discovered that Tomoyo had never had a real date in high school and college. He'd been astounded, but he'd kept his reaction to himself, and quickly thought of a plan to give her a high school date. He'd rented movies and read books about high school dates, and when he thought he was ready, he called Tomoyo.
"Eriol!" She sounded pleased, and he smiled.
"Good to talk to you too, snow girl." Eriol dropped all terms of endearment—baby, lover, sweetheart, and variations thereof—that he once used on the women he seduced, from his vocabulary when he talked to Tomoyo, and used his own special pet name for her.
"Silly Eriol Blue," she said affectionately, and he was thrilled; she had given him a nickname too! "We talked last night."
"Ah, but that was several hours ago." Tomoyo imagined she could hear him grinning over the line. It was surprising how different Eriol was from what she knew and imagined him to be. He had never hidden his romantic past from her, but neither did he talk about it.
At first Tomoyo had thought of using Eriol, a notorious playboy, to satisfy her cravings for a relationship of any kind, but on Christmas, he'd told her that while he didn't mind being 'convenient' for her, he would prefer to have a chance to really get to know her.
And the more she thought about it, the better the idea seemed to her. Plus—and she blushed—he had the experience she needed for another thing she was curious about.
But he wasn't acting like a playboy at all with her. She sensed he'd dropped his facades, and could be wonderfully sweet and normal with her. He'd never attempted to use his seductive tactics on her...and she found it even more attractive, somehow.
"All right, Eriol. What's our plan for tomorrow?"
"I thought we might have a picnic," he said cheerfully. He'd spent the past few days preparing for it; he'd rented out a lighthouse on a nearby beach, ordered food for the picnic, and had flowers festooned around the lighthouse. He was trying hard for her sake to evoke the romantic clichés he knew women liked.
"Just a picnic?" He could hear the smile in her voice, and his heart swelled a little more.
"In the evening I'm going to surprise you. Then on New Year's Day, I would like to take you to the celebrations of the Lis. Will you come with me?"
"Of course, Eriol! But you're going to owe me, and I want to collect soonest," she giggled.
"Name it, snow girl. Whatever you like, within reason, that is."
"It's a surprise too," and she laughed.
"I love it when you laugh," Erio said softly.
"I love it when you love something about me, Blue," Tomoyo said. There was a companionable silence on the line, then...
"I want you to be kissing me," Tomoyo sighed. "I can't wait for tomorrow."
"Then don't." He laughed his booming laugh, then silence.
"What?" Tomoyo found herself talking to a dead line. She tried calling Eriol again, but she got the message, "The mobile subscriber is unavailable," and was redirected to his voice mail.
Why had he hung up on her? To her shock, Tomoyo felt tears start in her eyes. Oh no, no! She couldn't believe the effect he had on her, and so she wandered to the kitchen to brew some tea and to calm her nerves. She wrapped her dressing gown around her; it was soft cotton, and felt warm over her silk camisole nightie. No one could accuse Tomoyo of not spoiling herself; she liked nothing but the best.
Which is probably why I chose Eriol for...
Her doorbell rang.
She glanced at her clock. Almost midnight. Who...could it be Eriol? She shook her head to disabuse herself of the silly notion, and peered through the viewfinder.
She opened the door. "Eriol, wha..." Tomoyo never got to finish her sentence, because Eriol seized her chin in his hands, then bent down to give her a passionate kiss that took her breath away. His tongue found the entrance to her lips, and nudged its way in. Tomoyo sighed; it was the kiss she'd been waiting for.
As they finally pulled apart, Tomoyo touched her lips. Eriol was grinning, and he said, "I just came to give you a good night kiss." He turned, as if to leave, when Tomoyo grabbed his hand and pulled him into her condo, slamming the door behind him.
"Who says I want to stop at that?" And Eriol was surprised when she grabbed him in turn, pulling him down to kiss her again. His last thought before becoming thoroughly engrossed in her nearness was, Who would've thought Tomoyo was this aggressive? And it delighted him to be with her; whatever she commanded, he would gladly obey.
When Eriol finally left, it was morning, and he was wearing a shirt Tomoyo lent him...because they had somehow managed to tear his other shirt apart. His mouth was still full of the taste of Tomoyo...and his memory filled with images he would never share with anyone else...and he raised a hand to touch a tender spot on his neck. He smiled, and whistled a happy tune as he walked towards where he had parked his car.
It was gone, and in its place was a notice from a towing company. "Overnight parking in red lane not allowed," was the violation cited.
Eriol threw his head back, and laughed heartily, startling those passing by. It was going to be a beautiful day.
Mei Ling Li, another cousin to Syaoran and Eriol, was sitting in a small cafe with a man named Fai Flowright. The contrast between them was startling; Mei Ling was a petite girl with smooth skin, expressive eyes, and a very generously proportioned body. Even when sitting still, she vibrated with energy. Her long raven hair fluttered in a small breeze, and she lifted a hand to tuck it behind her ears. She tapped one foot impatiently, and her companion recognized the signs of her fiery temper threatening to emerge, as their order was late.
Fai watched her cheerfully. He was six feet tall, slender, had artfully mussed blond hair, mild blue eyes and a perpetually cheerful expression on his face; if he was so inclined, he probably would have been a top male model. He was calm and jovial, a perfect foil to Mei Ling.
He had not yet told Mei Ling that he had gone after her in his senior year of high school, and she had gently turned him down because she thought he was in junior high; not only had he been shorter, his voice hadn't broken yet. Fai had reached puberty much later than other boys, and had spent half the school year wishing he didn't look like a twelve-year-old. By the time he'd finally caught his growth spurt, Mei Ling had been dating the most popular boy in school.
Fai had begun to use his second name and his mother's maiden name after college, because he wanted to get away from what he had been. He buried his sorrow in the ethereal watercolor paintings for which he was now known across Asia and in America. Now that he was someone of means, he'd returned to make another try at courting Mei Ling, and he was enjoying her presence despite a tender spot on his chin, courtesy of a punch thrown a few nights ago by another admirer of Mei Ling's.
What those men didn't understand about Mei Ling was that while she was aggressive and haughty and even at times bratty, she was essentially a girl who wanted to be loved. And he fully intended to be the one to give it to her.
Before Mei Ling could pick a fight with a waiter or waitress, Fai reached out for her hand.
"Mei Ling, don't," he said calmly, and then he ran a finger from the back of her hand, up her arm, and up her neck to her cheek. She closed her eyes, savoring the feel of his touch, and Fai smiled, stroking her cheek gently.
He summoned the waitress instead, giving her a megawatt smile, then said, "Pardon me, but we've been waiting for our order. Might I trouble you to check the kitchen for it? We asked for..."
"Two American breakfasts, sir," the girl smiled back. "Sorry for the delay, I'll go check on it."
As the girl left, Mei Ling reluctantly admitted, "Okay, that got results. So I have a nasty temper."
"It's what makes you you," Fai said.
She lazily opened one eye. "Isn't it too early in the morning for insults?"
"Not an insult," he responded. "Just a fact. Without your temper you would be..." and he searched for a word, "...diminished."
"Really?" Despite herself, Mei Ling was interested. Her previous boyfriends had always cited her temper as a problem in their relationships, and here was this guy...this increasingly interesting, delightful man...who was saying it was—a good thing?
"Can I at least ask who the guy was who gave me a shot to the chin?"
"Not now," Mei Ling snapped. Though she instantly regretted being rude to Fai, she would be damned if she let him know. Besides, this would test how serious he was about her; if she managed to push him away, then she'd be proven right.
But how much she wanted to be wrong about him worried even her.
"All right then," Fai smiled as if nothing had happened. He had been worried for a moment there; she had been quiet, too quiet. He decided to bait her anyway. "I suppose he was Mei-Lily's first lover; no one reacts so violently for anyone else."
Mei Ling turned crimson, then said, "You have no right to ask or say that!"
"Perhaps not. But I was right, yes, Mei-pipi?"
"What's with the nicknames?" Her eyebrows went up.
"Don't like them, Mei-ming?" He laughed softly.
"No, actually, my parents were married when they had me. They were divorced later, which doesn't change the fact that I'm legitimate."
She looked at him incredulously. "You're impossible!"
He nodded placidly. "That's what my mom used to say too."
Since when has he turned back into the smiling idiot? Mei Ling thought angrily. She couldn't make up her mind about him; one moment he was tender and gentle, the next he was obtuse and difficult to understand.
So she grabbed his hand, pulled him close, and hissed, "You are not going to get the better of me, Fai."
"Why don't we make it a bet?"
"Good lord!" Mei Ling snorted. "I know this; I've seen this in movies, on TV, in anime, even in books! We make a bet about falling in love. Yeah right. Or something about whoever loses has to marry the winner. Get real, Fai!"
"No, not falling in love," Fai's blue eyes were serious. "Just a simple bet. Whoever kisses the other first today has to obey the other for the next 24 hours. Short of humiliating, illegal, or sexual things, that is."
"What makes you think I'm going to lose?" Mei Ling snarled. So much for what she'd said earlier; she was already in the spirit of it.
"I didn't say that. For all you know, I could lose on purpose," he baited, and smiled when the innuendo resulted in her eyes flashing. Fai couldn't help it; teasing Mei Ling was too delicious, too good. And of course he had gotten the idea from where she had accused him of getting it from. She could protest all she liked about his corniness, but she obviously liked it. And what she liked, she would get from him.
"You're insane," she said in an almost awed whisper.
"Where you're concerned, I never said I wasn't," he grinned.
"You stupid..." Mei Ling's screech was cut off when Fai leaned over and captured her lips with his. He loved the taste of her, and was gratified when she twined her arms around his neck and deepened the kiss. Losing to her and being her slave for a day would be heaven.
And then he felt someone grab him, and send him flying across the cafe. Vaguely, he heard, "You asshole! Keep your hands...your lips off her!"
Ah, the jilted lover returns, Fai thought wryly, as he picked himself up, brushing himself off and apologizing to the diners whose table he had landed on. He's getting better at stalking her. Ouch, that had hurt; he knew he would have bruises on his back and ribs to match the one already blooming on his chin.
Mei Ling was staring at Florian, who was red in the face, and screaming at Fai, who was smirking back. The waitress, who had finally arrived with their breakfasts, was gaping; it wasn't every day two men came in to fight over a woman, after all. Mei Ling was, for once, mortally embarrassed; the situation wasn't in her control, and she had been enjoying Fai's kiss when he'd been ripped from her abruptly.
She balled her fists and turned to face Florian. "You want a black eye? Leave me alone!" Mei Ling brought her hand back to slap him again, but was caught in his arms. God he still smelled as good as he had all those years ago! And then his lips were crashing down on hers, his tongue was in her mouth...again, after all those years...
Fai watched quietly as Mei Ling melted into Florian's kiss. He wasn't as sure of himself now as he had been earlier, and so he walked over to the counter, left a large bill to cover the breakfast neither of them had eaten, and walked away, feeling a strong stinging in his heart.
If Fai had stayed just ten seconds longer, he would have seen Florian doubled over in pain. Mei Ling, her cheeks flushed and her eyes wet with tears, had kneed him in the groin.
"You have no right," she said in a low, quiet growl. "to walk back into my life and to fuck it up this way."
"I still love you, Mei Ling," he began.
"No. No you don't," she said. "If Fai wasn't in the picture you wouldn't even be here. You hate losing as much as I do. You just can't stand not being in control."
"That's not true," Florian said softly. "I was an arrogant, prideful ass in college. I know it was a horrible thing to do to you. But if you'd just give me a chance..."
"You can start by not giving Fai a punch every time you see him, because he means more to me now than you do." Mei Ling watched and saw her cruel barb sink in. She turned to look at Fai.
He was gone.
"No," Mei Ling whispered. "No!"
"See, he left you," Florian began desperately. "He doesn't love you the way I do."
"Good, because that would mean he didn't love me," Mei Ling flung back coldly at Florian, and she ran out of the cafe to find Fai.
Florian stood there, watching her go, and this time, he didn't chase after her. What can I do to make it up to you? he wondered.
No need to leave a review here if you liked it; please just click on my pen name and click on "The Getaway Girls" to see what happens next! Thank you for reading:D