Chapter 2: Moonlight.
Author's note: Yes I'm alive and still kickin.
Sydney sat with a definite pout on her face that she tried her best to suppress. She was planning on making his life miserable while he's here, but how in the world was she going to accomplish that if two of her sisters had already took an instant liking to him. Liza, the traitor had introduced him to her second sister, Camilla, with unnecessary friendliness that in her opinion was just plain wrong. Camilla was a people person and she usually get along with everyone within fifty-mile radius, but Caleb did not have to work his charms on her sisters. Sydney scrunched her face. He was a great actor, which she was aware of. He was incredibly polite and well mannered during the brief meeting compare to his meeting with her during this afternoon. Sydney concluded that she had gotten behind the real mask of that Caleb Uchiha. After all, why was he so rude and obnoxious to her while he was acting completely different with her sisters?
"Or maybe it was the fact that you jumped down his throat as soon as you realized who he was.' The tiny voice inside her head remarked dryly.
Sydney bit her lips, unaware that another set of eyes was observing her from the doorway of the kitchen.
"So, where is the guest of honor?" a sweet voice asked. Sydney turned to see Alyson standing there with a bottle of Poland Spring in her hand; her short blonde bob was perfect and knotless compare to her own.
Sydney frowned at the question. "Sweetie, did I not tell you that frowning like that caused nothing but wrinkles and negative vibes." Alyson chided gently before sitting next to her baby sister. Sydney and herself was only three years apart and in some way, Alyson understood her feelings the most.
"If you don't want me to frown don't ask me about that man!" Sydney remarked glumly.
"I heard he's quite the charmer, that one." Alyson remarked casually.
"Charming my ass." Sydney replied dryly as she rolled her eyes.
"Honey, that's not very nice." A new voice reprimanded softly as Sydney looked up to see her eldest sister, Mary breeze into the kitchen with some vegetable from the backyard garden. Sydney quickly rushed up to help her carry in the stuff for dinner.
"Sorry." Sydney mumbled an apology, sounding very trite. "But the sooner he's gone the better." She added underneath her breath. Mary caught the words and sighed. There was not anything anyone could say or do to change Sydney's opinion when she made up her mind.
"Have you met him yet, Mary?" Alyson asked as she took another sip of the fresh water and let out a contented sigh in the process.
"Not yet. We will all make a proper introduction during dinner. Speaking of which, Alyson, do you have time to help me make Mom's apple pie for dinner?"
"Wow. Special dessert during weekday." Alyson remarked impishly as she got off the stool and set the things for the dessert. Sydney smiled before slipping out the back door toward the backyard leaving her two sisters to cook the food.
A bark was heard and Sydney laughed when Rufus, the golden retriever attacked her playfully with a Frisbee in his mouth. "All right Mutt. I'll play with you." Sydney said before she took the slobbering Frisbee from the dog's mouth and tossed it over the grassy hill. Rufus instantly got to his feet and ran to chase after the toy. Sydney laughed when she caught the sight of Rufus wagging his tail happily before retrieving the toy and ran back towards her.
Caleb unpacked his belongings and hung them up in the closet that was possibly the size of a small bedroom. His room was huge, enormous in his opinion. It was daft and hallow, but thankfully, the bed was soft as a cloud. Three giant bay windows looked out into the endless deep blue Atlantic and the vast green field surrounded the mansion itself. This one spot would undoubtedly attract a lot of attention once the resort was build. Everything was perfect from the ground to the spectacular view. Yes, now all he has to do was convinced the sisters to take the money and run without pressuring them in any way.
True that he was a businessman and businessmen tended to take things seriously in a matter of life and death situation. He was no different but there were limits to these extents. It was a well-known fact that he had strong morals in doing things the right way and this situation was no different. He was fully intending on using his persuasion skills to convince the women that looking for a new home would be a wise choice. They would be rich after the sale after all. The property worth at least ten millions easily and they could have a luxury life afterward and he would get on with his project.
He was sure that persuading the fours sisters would not be that hard. It was Sydney that he had his doubt. The woman was simply irrational and extremely unreasonable at times. He had never met more stubborn woman than Sydney Langston. He could not understand why she was so hostile towards him. He understood the fact that he was here to buy the property but sellers and buyers tends to be on good terms with one another. He had no clue why she was so vehement on pushing him back to New York but he was also inflexible to have his way and by one or another, he was going to have his way. She was not the only one who was born with a will that could move mountains.
The sound of his cell phone trilling through the quiet atmosphere cut through his reverie. Digging into his pocket, he extracted the device and glanced at the caller ID. Smiling softly as the number flashed on the small LCD screen, he flipped the phone and brought it to his ear.
"Hello, Mama." Caleb greeted as he wandered over toward the windows.
"Well, I assumed that you lost my number that you did not call me for the past weeks." Came her dry voice and Caleb could already imagine her rolling her eyes upward.
"I was busy, Mama." He replied easily enough and it was the truth after all. He had been busy.
"Hm, so your father had told me. He also said that you're working on a new project somewhere up North."
"Rhode Island to be exact, and yes."
"I'll take a wild guess and say that you're not going to be here for Mr. Houston's Gala tonight either."
"You're good." Caleb said with a suppressed chuckle.
"Such a shame. His daughter, Emma had just come back from London. She would love to see you again." Sakura ventured innocently enough.
Caleb made a face. Oh, he remembered Miss Emma Houston all right. The great and proper heiress to the Houston's Magazine was nothing but short of a tramp. He shivered as he recalled the night when she had literally jumped him at her father's sixty eight-birthday bash in the men's room.
"I apologize, Mama." Caleb replied sounding innocent. He had realized that he would rather face a house full of women than to face Emma Houston again.
"All right, but call me if you can make it on time." Sakura persisted as Caleb suppressed a retort that he would rather face herds of buffalos rather to be anywhere in the fifty mile radius of the promiscuous woman.
"I will. Give my regards to father." He said before bidding his mother a farewell. He sat down on the edge of the bed with a sigh. He was suddenly so glad that he had made a decision of leaving New York before his mother could lay her guilt trip on him. Usually, his father would escort her to these events but there are times when even Sasuke Uchiha had his limits, which resulted in either one of the twins to accompany their mother, and when his mother had ask him, he don't think that he would be able to deny her. Now that he was away, there was only one other person that their mother would ask tonight. His cell phone rang again and Caleb laughed when he saw the number flashing on the screen. Flipping the device, he did not have time to bring it close to his ear as Jordan's voice rang out.
"Thanks a lot ass for landing me a date tonight." Came his twin's dry voice.
Caleb chuckled. "Mama gotten to you that fast already? I would have thought she would wait until later."
"Che, not likely. I had to cancel my date with Clarissa too."
"Well, then you can compensate that tonight. Emma is back in town." Caleb said.
"Fuck me. What is she doing back so soon?" Jordan's voice sounded surprised.
"Why are you so shocked?"
"It's just that she's in the middle of a nasty divorce."
"She's married? You don't say." Caleb remarked.
"Was, dumbass." His twin corrected.
"That's neither here or there. One thing for sure is that I am not going to be the one she jumps tonight."
"Yeah, yeah. You owe me big time." With that, Jordan disconnected and Caleb smiled. His twin was always going to be the same. His wild dating habits with different models and actresses has landed him as the playboy of New York in the tabloid, not that his twins did much to denied the title. Easygoing and charming, Jordan obviously had inherited that trait from their mother, while Caleb himself had inherited the seriousness and stoic from their father.
Sighing, Caleb glanced at the clock to see that it was already six thirty. He wandered towards the giant bay window that out looked into the Atlantic Ocean. The sky was impossibly clear blue reflecting the clear water and the waves from the ocean. He was so used to bustling cities, cars and tourists, mega shopping complexes and elegant restaurants that he almost forgot how people lived in quiet towns like this. His mother would have love Newport.
He would have to keep in mind to bring his mother here as soon as the construction was done. Speaking of which, he was still have to convince the women to sell first. He was pretty sure that the other four would be no problem at all; it was the devil spawn from hell, Sydney Langston herself.
He was positive that the others were at least pretend to be nice and welcome him even though he was quite aware of their feelings of him invading their home like this, but Sydney, she did not spare him the welcome mat or roll out the welcome wagon. No, she intended to run him off as soon as she realized who he was. Caleb concluded that she has no manners of simple courtesy. He had a feeling that she was going to put up quite a fight before he could take her house. As strange as it might be, he was looking forward to sparring with her.
Eventually, he was going to have to face the army of women who possibly wanted to rip him into shreds. He sighed and walked toward the door to the living room where he imagined the women would be.
The house structure was incredibly amazing. He could see the hardship and labor the owner put into building this mansion. Everything spoke wealth and richness from the dark mahogany hardwood floor to the ceiling which he was pretty sure was hand carved. One of the sisters had told him about the history of the house and he was quite taken with it. The man who pitched in every penny he owned to build a mansion like this must have truly loved his wife.
Veering off to the right, he encountered the she-devil herself wrestling with the two children he met earlier. He leaned against the doorway with an amuse smile on his face. So the hissing snake had a soft spot after all. She was all smiling and laughing, her blond hair askew, her face flushed as if she had just finished making love. Caleb smacked himself mentally. He did not just think that. She was the thorn in his side after all. He was not supposed to think like that of her. He was named the ice king of St. Vincent Private Academy for Christ sake!
"Children, wash up for dinner." Mary's voice carried out from the kitchen as the children moan, disappointed that their game was interrupted by dinner. They marched sulkily toward the sink leaving Sydney to laugh at the antics and the cleaning. Her laughter was contagious, he noticed as he felt the ticking of his upper lips. He would have to remember that.
Sydney stopped laughing as she caught sight of Caleb. She did not even noticed he was standing there at all. She sobered up and began to pick up all of the cushions that came apart during her wrestling match with her niece and nephew, and in the process set on ignoring him even if it kills her.
"Hello Sydney." Caleb said in a friendly tone. "Nice day is it not?"
Sydney shot him a glare. "Nothing is ever nice with you around." She mumbled as she folded the blanket and put it on the couch.
"Are you capable of having a normal conversation?" Caleb asked with a shrug.
Sydney's eyes narrowed as she bit her tongue. "Apparently, you're always managed to get on my bad side."
"I can see that." He replied with a small grin. "I think I have a natural talent for that."
"For being an ass? Can't argue with you there." She shot back with equal smugness.
"For being charming." He corrected.
"In what world?" she scoffed as she turned to face him, hands on her hips as if she was facing an army instead of just a man.
"In whatever world you're living in."
"I was wrong. You're not only an ass, but also a narcissist as well." Sydney said with a roll of her eyes.
"CitY people tend to possess that quality." He stated with a twitch of his lips.
"Which is why I don't associate with them." she replied smugly.
"We also learn how to converse properly." Caleb added.
"Are you trying to imply that I can't 'converse properly?'" Sydney said as her anger sparked.
"Not can't, just won't." he corrected as his fingers touched a strand of her hair and tucked it behind her ear. Sydney stepped back.
"Have you ever thought of the fact that I don't have anything nice to say to you?"
"If you think really hard, you will." He countered easily.
"I'm not even going to bother." Sydney shot back.
A misplaced cough interrupted them as they both turn to see Liza standing in the doorway with a huge grin on her glowing face. "I hate to break up the spat, as entertaining as it was, we're waiting for you."
Sydney growled lowly underneath her breath as she tried her best not to storm away.
"That was quite…interesting." Liza said as she tried to hide her laughter.
"She doesn't like me." Caleb said with a chuckled.
"Why do I have the idea that you're enjoying making her mad?" Liza asked curiously though her eyes portrayed differently.
"Do you?" he asked indifferently. "I have no idea."
Liza giggled. "A piece of advice, if you're going to continue to provoke her, makes sure you have a really good coverage on your health insurance. You're going to have your hands full."
Caleb chuckled. "I'll call my insurance to check." He said before walking toward the commotion.
"Make sure you do that." Liza said before following him into the dining room.
Sydney scowled with all of her might as Mr. Narcissist laughed easily to one of Alyson's joke. She would give him credit for being such a great actor, but she could see through those amuse eyes that cast frequent glance at her. He definitely had a challenge in his gaze, inviting her to start something. She bit her lips and narrowed her gaze, her knife and fork cutting viciously through the tender steak. She was looking forward to dinner especially with Mary's specialty on a weekday, but somehow, she would rather prefer his head on her plate and the satisfaction of sawing the jagged knife through his skull.
Camilla, her second sister had smiled easily along enough with the conversation, throwing her opinion when needed. Mary, the eldest was looking as calm as usual saved for the tired eyes of having to watch two hyperactive children. Her third sister, Liza was openly enjoying Mr. Narcissist's company way to much along with Alyson, whom Sydney had labeled the traitor since she was the closest to Sydney, she should feel the hatred emitting from her youngest sister. Sydney felt that she was the only one fighting to keep the house, but she immediately crushed the thought. Every family member wanted to keep the house as much as she was and Sydney felt shame for even thinking of that. She blamed it on Caleb and his unannounced arrival here for the cause of her mixed up thinking. Of course, everything that goes wrong today had been his fault and she was not taking that thought back.
Her thought immediately went murderous when Caleb caught her gaze and winked cutely. The poor plate did not have a chance before it cracked into two even pieces.
Caleb thought he ought to retreat to his room before Sydney decided to frost him on the spot with her immense glare. Seriously, how in the world does anybody keep that kind of glare twenty-four-seven? However, Sydney seemed too had mastered it perfectly. The debacle during dinner was nothing short of comical. He was sure that she was not aware of her strength and was even more surprised when she cracked the plate into two. It took everything
inside of him not to laugh aloud. The blonde-haired nymph was too cute for her own good.
After dinner was over, the four women had invited him to sit in the living room and insist on getting to know one another. He should have declined since opening up to women was not his specialty, but Sydney's scowl had widened at the request and he could not pass up the opportunity.
He learned their family history more in depth and he felt a twinge of guilt that Sydney did not get to see much of her parents before they passed away. Was that the reason why she was always so bitter and lack manners as well? He was not suicidal enough to ask that directly. The sisters were openly nice to him, asking him about his work and him returning the answer ignoring the last sister's snide muttered comment every now and then.
It was sometimes before nine before he excused himself to his bedroom. The night sky was dark with stars spreading wide across. He had never seen so many stars in the states as much as he did in Japan, but in Rhode Island, it was pretty damn close. The waves were calm tonight, bashing softly against the rock as the crickets chirped softly. It was nice compare to the bustling noise of New York. He could clearly see the garden from here. The blooming flowers reflected brightly against the moonlight accompanied by the cool breeze. Irresistible, he decided that a walk in the garden was needed. Placing his light sweater on, he opened the back door noiselessly and slipped out into the shadow.
He hasn't had time to sit and appreciate the view like this in New York. Despite his workaholic antics, he was a nature lover since birth and appreciates everything that nature has to offer. His light footsteps were soft against the cool dirt beneath his feet and it actually took him a while to figure out that he was barefoot. Funny how he had forgotten to put on simple thing like shoes. The relaxing and calm atmosphere seemed surreal and Caleb smiled and absorbed in.
The tiny movement against the bush had him fully on alert. He crouched into the shadow and slowly made his way towards the suspicious place. What he saw made him smiled.
Sydney was sitting on the opposite side of where he had been. Both of her knees were drawn up as she rested her chin delicately upon it. Her hair was loose from the ponytail she sported earlier. The silvery blond strands flew slightly from the on coming wind, but it was her face that held him. The deep shadow of loneliness as if she had just lost something precious to her.
He was hesitant whether he should make himself known or not. She seemed so down that he wanted to relieve her of her problem, but at the same time, it was none of his business and she was most reliable to scorn him more with her venomous words. He should not care at all since she had been nothing but plain rude to him. She had insulted him with every chance she got.
It was at her first drop of tear that had him straightened. Without thinking, so unlike him, he walked into the lioness cage. His senses told him to run away from her since he was never particularly good with crying women, saved from his sister, Alexandra, or Lexi for short. But his conscience, the traitor, was urging him on towards her, never mind the fact that she would probably ended up telling him to go to the devil or worst. Her mood was the most unpredictable thing he had ever come across. Clearing his throat he prepared himself to be known.
Sydney's reaction was that her head whipped around so fast to look at him with surprised before the pale blue eyes narrowed into tiny slits when she recognized him.
"May I join you?" he asked normally, careful to keep his tone neutral.
"No." she answered shortly before turning back around and set on ignore him. Caleb almost smiled at her behavior and he sat down next to her anyway.
"Too bad." He replied and made himself comfortable.
"Don't you ever take no for an answer?" Sydney snapped at him as she scooted away from him.
"It's not in my nature." He said with a grin.
"So you finally admit that you're an animal." Sydney said smugly as she bared her teeth in a resemblance of a smile.
"That's what most women say about me in bed, yes." Caleb acknowledged with a nod and got the satisfaction to see Sydney's face flushed deep crimson.
"Disgusting pig." She mumbled. "Go away will you? You're disturbing my peace."
"I don't think so. I feel peaceful right now." Caleb answered as he closed his eyes.
"Is that why you're going to take my home away? Because you're at peace when others are in misery?" Sydney snapped as she glared at him.
Caleb sighed as he pried one eye open. He felt that he should keep both eyes open in case she decided to murder him with that glare of hers. "Didn't we go over this already? I'm not here to take anything away from you. Your house is yours until you decide to sell it to me."
"So you can make it into one of your glossy hotels? You of all people don't understand what it means to loose something you love the most. Not that I expect you too, anyway. Why did you even target this mansion in the first place? It's not as if this is the only one in Rhode Island."
"True. You may think whatever you wish, but I get the feeling that the mansion is not really your source of anger."
"What are you talking about?" Sydney asked with a narrowed gaze.
"You are the only one who seemed so threatened by my presence here above all of your family members. Are you afraid of me?" Caleb asked with amusement as he struggled to keep his face blank and nearly laughed when her chest heaved with anger.
"Afraid of you? Why would I be afraid of you? You're nothing but a jerk who takes pleasure in running people out of their homes so you could convert it into one of your hotels. You're an inconsiderate jerk who makes my life miserable the first time you step into my shop with that arrogant attitude of yours and your big bad Range Rover. I'm not afraid of you, I loath you and your fancy tie and your Italian shoes and your methods of persuasion that made my sisters all…girly." Sydney finished somewhat embarrassingly.
Caleb was openly laughing now. "Wow. Does not that feel good to get off your chest?" he said between laughter as Sydney tried to control her breathing.
"Die, asshole." She snapped before getting up and prepare stalked towards the house angrily. Caleb snagged her wrist lightly but firmly to hold her in place.
"Just hold on a minute. You just insulted me back there and then you walk away? What happens to 'if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say it at all' rule?"
"You want an apology?" Sydney asked with a scoffed, and then she narrowed her eyes. "Okay. I'm sorry that I don't anything nice to say to you and I don't look up to you like some savior."
Caleb shook his head. "For the life of me, I can't understand why I'm trying to be reasonable with you." He murmured before walking away.
"You're going to run away? Can't stay and fight a fair battle, Uchiha?" Sydney taunted daringly and Caleb stopped abruptly.
"Excuse me?" his tone cold as he turned his eyes upon her.
Sydney felt prickles along her nerves from his change of attitude. Her senses were telling her to run away, not to provoke him any further, but her pride held her back from backing down like a coward. "You heard me. People like you never fight fair. You use underhand methods to get what you want, not caring whether others get hurt in the process. You don't understand the meaning of the word fair."
"And you do? You didn't even give me the chance to defend myself before you jump down my throat. All you see in me is the person who's going to take your home away. Tell me, Sydney, how are you different than me?" he said taking a few steps closer to her. Sydney held her ground, refusing to back down.
"I'm not like you." She bit out coldly. "I will never be like you."
"Yeah?" he asked mockingly as he took the last step towards her. They were inches apart and she could smell his scent. Sandalwoods and spice. "Just how do you know about my 'kind' so much?"
"My father was married to one of you." She answered with a glare.
"Just because you've had bad experience with your step-mother, doesn't mean you can treat me like I'm a plague just because I happen to be the kind of people that your step-mother is." Caleb said as his tone calmed down a bit.
"You're all the same from where I'm standing." She shot back. "Greedy, selfish and very deceptive."
"Maybe you should change your angle." He suggested.
"I'd rather not." She shot back dryly.
"You know, I understand your feelings, but do you think you could at least attempt to act--"
Sydney bared her teeth at him. "If you're going to call me immature, I'm going to jump you."
Caleb wisely his amusement at the images brought to his mind by that statement. "I was going to say civilly. So how about it? For the duration of the stay, we'll act civilly toward one another. That means no name calling, no making rude comments and attempt to tolerate each other's presence."
"What if I have to tell you that you have a stick up your ass from time to time?" Sydney asked with a smirk.
Caleb held in his smile. "Please refrain from doing so." He held out his hand. "So, do we have a deal?"
Sydney looked unsure for a few moments before she hesitantly shook his hand with her own. "Fine, but as soon as we make the decision on the mansion, I'm going back to hating you."
"Couldn't agree more." Caleb consented with a smile. She looked so irresistible now that the initial bout of tension was gone. At this close range, he could see her bright blue eyes, her flawless skin and the tempting mouth she used to insult him so often. The full pout lips were pink and very, very tempting. How would it feels to taste those lips, he mused as her pink tongue darted out to lick the outer line of her lips.
Only one way to find out.
He pulled her closer and bent his head. He could feel the shock reverberating through her body.
Sydney was stunned. She did not expect him to kiss her. Most of all, she did not expect his lips to be so hot and hard. She had thought that men like him would kiss a woman with sophistication and bland. She was wrong. She was so wrong because when she managed to wrenched a gasp, he slid his tongue inside her mouth expertly. This kiss was nothing like she had ever experienced before. He was a stranger yet his kiss felt familiar to her. It was ridiculous, Sydney thought as she slid her arms around his neck. She was not kissing him back.
He lifted his head and looked at her in the eyes. She was breathless and so was he.
Caleb shook his head to dispel the thick haze of lust from his brain before he realized what he had done. Still holding on to her, he swallowed hardly.
"Sydney, I…" he didn't even finished the sentence before she wrenched away from him and managed to slap him on his cheek before turning her back and stalked toward the house.
Caleb stood stunned as he lifted his hand to feel his heated cheek. Many things went through his head. One, he could clearly hear his mother's voice reprimanding him for doing such a thing to a nice girl like Sydney. He snorted. Nice? He'd rather called the Devil and angel than to use the word nice to describe Sydney.
Two: he did not even feel sorry for what he did. If he could, lord, he'd do it again.
And three: so much for the truce between them.
Caleb groaned. The truce didn't even last two minutes!
Author's note: hope you like this chapter and hopefully the next one will be finished soon.