Shadow of Greed
By: DEVILZ CHIK
For all those who waited patiently and are continuously giving their support, I salute you and thank you. Here's the sequel of Your Shadow. I do hope you all will like this and will be with me all the way. By the end of Your Shadow, there was an overwhelming number of Author Alerts so I do hope that all of those who subscribed are all excited for this. Enjoy reading, people.
I don't own CCS.
Sequel to Your Shadow. No moments forgotten, no feelings vanished. Sakura and Syaoran meet again – are they ready to be together now… with the shadow of greed looming over their eyes?
Another note about the title:
Hey guys! Before plunging in the story… raise your hand if you're a Star Wars fan. Well, if you are, you might have guessed correctly already that 'shadow of greed' is jealousy. And, I think I'm going to create that drama with that very powerful emotion. Here's the last note, don't worry.
Enjoy reading now.
chapter one: morning surprise
Everything was in place.
The garden was adorned with light yellow daisies and laces with the color of aqua. The red carpet was proudly laid on the grass and the arch was strong and still in front of the podium for the priest. The chairs for the guests were in rows of seven; some are already being occupied.
There were only fifteen minutes until the ceremony.
The guests were both anxious and excited for the couple that was to be married that afternoon.
Inside the house, the groom with his best man stood in front of a full-length mirror, admiring themselves in their stylish tuxedos. The best man loosened his bowtie slightly and wiped the sweat on his forehead. He looked more nervous than the groom.
"I can't believe you're getting married, man," he told the groom, giving himself one last look in the mirror. "How long did you wait for this?"
"Forever," was the groom's simple reply as he could not help his grin getting wider by the thought of getting married with the most wonderful woman in his life.
"Let's go, then?"
The two men exited their room, slowing down where the bride and her friends are. They could hear faint giggles and laughter inside the room but they knew better than eavesdropping so they continued their way to the garden.
Only boxes of the accessories were left on the bed as the bride carefully place them on her ears, around her neck and around her wrist. She felt wonderful, gazing herself at the mirror with her elegant white dress flowing down to the floor.
Her brown hair was fashionably styled for the occasion. Her face did not have much make-up on, highlighting her natural beauty. She looked gorgeous.
"This is such a great day!" exclaimed one of her friends from behind her. She was one of the bridesmaids and was currently holding a very handy camera. "I'm so excited! I get full coverage of the proposal and the wedding! This is absolutely terrific!"
"Tomoyo," the bride whined. "Are you still gonna hold that camera when you're walking down the aisle before me?"
"Of course not!" Tomoyo replied. "I'm going to have my men film every moment of the ceremony. I just get the behind-the-scenes."
"The guys are down there already," another bridesmaid said. She was by the window and had put the curtains aside to get a better view of the garden downstairs.
The maid of honor rushed to the window as well and looked at the garden.
"Wow, the garden looks amazing from up here," she said.
"Well, it was all thanks to you," the bride told her maid of honor. "You're the best wedding planner ever, you know!"
The girls joined in for a group hug and broke apart before their hairs get ruined. Everyone took a deep breath and let it out all at the same time. With one final look at the mirror, they all exited the room and proceeded to the garden.
Without further ado, the march on the aisle started.
The groom stood determined at the end of the aisle already, with his best man beside him. They watched as each of the bridesmaids walked down the aisle followed by the maid of honor. And lastly, the bride… with her arm around her beloved father, who looked noble with his tuxedo.
Finally, the two of them stood in front of the priest.
"Do you, Takashi Yamazaki, take Mihara Chiharu, as your lawfully wedded wife to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, for sickness or in health, to love and to cherish 'til death do you part?"
"I do," was Yamazaki's sincere reply.
Sakura as the maid of honor stood still and had an elated feeling as she watched her friends finally tie the knot. She sighed softly and grabbed the tiny bouquet of flowers in her hands. Tomoyo who was beside her nudged her.
"Don't they look majestic?" Tomoyo whispered.
"Yeah, they do," Sakura replied dreamily.
Sakura never knew that she could explore her artistic skills and creativity in college. But the beauty and the aesthetic elements of art just greatly amazed her. It definitely surprised her that she would become an event planner, a successful one at that. Her business was doing incredibly well, and she smiled at herself for being part of so many events with her friends.
The wedding ceremony ended well and everyone proceeded to the other part of the garden for the reception. Pictures from the high school days of the newly wedded couple were being shown on a projector and everyone watching the slideshow was awed by the fact that the relationship lasted long.
Sakura, being the wedding planner of the event, forgot about her maid of honor duties and checked if everything was going well. She walked to the kitchen and greeted the chefs and the waitresses. Before exiting, she sneaked one plate of strawberry pie that was meant to be served later on in the evening.
Her eyes scanned the garden.
Tomoyo was currently giving orders to her men to capture every moment of the event. Chiharu and Yamazaki were sitting comfortably on their tables. Naoko and Rika were by the buffet tables, getting food. The two families were happily mingling with each other… Another successful event, Sakura, she thought to herself.
As she took another bite out of her pie, someone came up to her.
"Say, where did you get that tasty-looking pie?" the man said.
She turned to the person and smiled innocently.
"Hello to you too, Mihara-san," she greeted politely, looking ashamed at her pie.
"I see you're having a lovely time consuming that dessert," Chiharu's father teased.
Not knowing what to do in such an awkward situation, Sakura shyly offered it to Mr. Mihara.
"Would you like some?" she asked.
"I'm not really a fan of strawberries," he admitted, smiling. "You just enjoy yourself, Sakura. You did a great job today. Thank you very much for organizing this event. The family really appreciates it."
"You're very welcome," she replied, flattered at Mr. Mihara's comment. "But you don't really have to thank me. Chiharu has been one of my best friends since elementary."
"Ah, yes," he said, remembering his daughter's younger years. "You've always been there for Chiharu. I remember hiring you every summer to be with Chiharu when we leave the country."
Sakura's face fell for a second, remembering those days when she worked for the agency, but she brightened up quickly afterwards.
"Yeah… it feels like a totally different life," and her statement held so much more meaning than what she wants Mr. Mihara to hear.
"You are all grown-ups now," Mr. Mihara almost dramatically. "My little girl just got married. Maybe soon, I will be a grandfather."
Sakura could only smile at the older man. Did time really pass by that quickly?
Well, it had been seven years since high school. Things were so much different now.
She completely resigned from the agency. Touya was still in the agency, though. He married his old childhood sweetheart, Kaho Mizuki, since meeting her again brought back the old sparks. She gave birth to a beautiful son, Mitsui Kinomoto. Fujitaka Kinomoto still did not look a grandfather and was still strong enough to go to archaeological journeys.
Tomoyo has her own clothing line and she does video work on the side. Naoko just finished her first book. Rika was currently working her way up in an advertising company. Chiharu was doing well in their family business. Yamazaki became a talented comic book artist at a young age…
…And Sakura became an event planner.
They all seemed so satisfied with their lives right now.
And just like Sakura said… the past was like a totally different life.
Chiharu's mother called Mr. Mihara so he politely took his leave from Sakura. Finishing her pie, she decided to walk around the venue.
However, her feet seemed glued to the floor as soon as her eyes gazed at the pictures that were currently showing at the projector.
They were pictures of Yamazaki from his high school days when he was in the soccer team. And just who was standing out in the pictures in Sakura's eyes?
Her eyes never left the pictures where Syaoran is.
Without being aware of it, her heart was suddenly beating faster… her chest tightening… her palms sweaty… her breath short… her eyes teary…
His name or picture never had such an effect before. Why was this happening to her now?
She admits she missed him but she already accepted the fact that he might never come back. True, from time to time, she would remember him… but she knows thinking about him was useless and pointless. She knew that thinking about him was not going to bring him back.
…Not like I want him back, anyway.
Sakura's Point of View
I glanced at the clock in my car. It read 7:20 in the morning. Yawning, I slowed down and parked the car nearly at the Takashi's driveway. There was a cab waiting there already and before I could come out of the car, Yamazaki went out of the house with two suitcases in his hands.
"C'mon, Chiharu!" he called out, handing the suitcases to the nice cab driver. He watched as the driver put the suitcases neatly in the trunk. "We're going to miss our flight if you don't hurry!"
I laughed softly and went out of my car.
"Can you just chill for a moment?" I heard Chiharu shout from inside the house. "Sakura's not even here yet."
Hearing my name, I decided to announce my presence. I walked over to where Yamazaki was and smiled at him.
"I'm here, Chiharu-chan!" I shouted towards the house. And as if on cue, Chiharu came running out, with her dog in her arms and a stylish bag.
"Okay, Sakura," Chiharu started. "The life of Kero is in your hands," she handed me her cute, little dog. "He hasn't eaten breakfast yet. I was going to feed him but you showed up and we're running late. This is an extra key to the house," she handed me the key. "If you need anything, we are permitting you to go inside the house."
I stared at them, bewildered. Was this the reason why they wanted me here early in the morning? I thought they only wanted me to see them off…
"We trust you that much, Sakura," Yamazaki said beside me.
"But…" I said. "…I don't even think I'd need anything from your house."
"Kero has his mood swings, most of all when he's in an environment he doesn't recognize so it will be nice to bring him here from time to time when he's… out of control," Chiharu explained. "But don't worry, Kero likes your apartment the best, but just in case, keep the key, okay?"
I nodded. "Okay, I'll take care of everything, I promise," I told them.
"We know you will," Chiharu replied, giving me a hug. "We'll see you in a month."
Yamazaki gave me a hug as well. "Bye, Sakura," he said.
"Bye, Kero-chan," Chiharu said to her dog in my arms. "Mommy will be back in one month. Behave, okay?"
Kero barked softly in reply and made almost a whining sound when he saw Yamazaki and Chiharu got in the cab. I stayed in the driveway until the cab was out of sight.
I sighed and cuddled Kero in my arms. I walked towards the house and went to the kitchen to look for Kero's food.
Chiharu had prepared for everything. She left little notes about Kero… where his food was, his toys… his little bed… I poured some dog food in his dog plate and settled down on one of high stools behind the kitchen counter.
I was too sleepy for this. I only had to meet one client today and it was in the afternoon. And after staying up so late last night celebrating the wedding… I was anticipating sleeping in for today. But, Chiharu had sounded so eager this morning… who would have thought that she only wanted me to take care of Kero?
I rested my head on the counter and watched Kero finish up his munchies.
All of a sudden, the doorbell rang.
That's odd. Did Chiharu and Yamazaki forget something?
The doorbell rang again before I could reach the door. Okay, maybe it was them. It seemed urgent. I walked faster to the door and opened it but only to reveal a man who was facing his back to me.
"Ano…excuse me, sir?" I said, trying to gain the attention of the man.
The man turned around and he looked awfully familiar. I searched my brain to locate the name of the person… but before I could pinpoint who it was exactly, he spoke.
"Sakura?" he said.
Although I was slightly freaked out, I was determined that I did know this man from somewhere. Even his voice was familiar.
The deep brown eyes… the chocolate hair…
I was still holding on to the doorknob. I then forced my eyes to look away from him, only to gaze at the two very familiar people waiting by a black car, parked behind my own car. It was Ken and Yuri.
I looked up at the man in front of me.
No friggin' way.
This was not happening.
"It's me – Syaoran," he spoke out.
"Huh, what?" I said, terribly confused what was happening.
Was he really standing there in front of me right now?
"I missed you," he said softly, his eyes sparkling with something I cannot really recognize with my sleep-deprived condition.
Before I could check if I was dreaming or not, he leaned closer and pressed his lips against mine. My eyes widened at the contact and I stepped backwards in surprise. He held on to my waist though and pushed me closer towards him, deepening the kiss.
And then, I could hear a doorbell from far away. I could hear Kero barking as well. Was Kero getting mad that he could see me kissing Syaoran? Would he go off and tell Chiharu and the others? And why wouldn't the doorbell stop ringing? Was Syaoran still pressing that button? And who the hell is tugging on my pants?
Tugging? Pants? Doorbell? Kero?
I lifted my head from the counter and lazily walked towards the door.
"Coming… coming," I said sleepily, but loud enough for the person who was behind the door could hear.
The remnants of the dream were still fresh and I unconsciously touched my lips. Why would I even dream about Syaoran now? What a very weird timing. I shrugged, taking my final steps to the door. Maybe it was because of the pictures from yesterday.
Yeah, those pictures.
Pursing my lips together, I opened the door and revealed the same man from my dream. He was wearing something different though – as he stood in front of me right now, he looked gorgeous in his elegant business suit, compared to his casual attire in my dream.
But the point is… Syaoran's here!
I furrowed my eyebrows and cocked my head to one side to get a better look at him. He seemed to be doing the same thing. We both looked confused as our eyes met and felt the awkwardness of the situation.
"Sakura?" he spoke up.
Okay, this was becoming like the dream I just had, which was really creepy.
As I felt the goosebumps overtake my body, I quickly slammed the door in front of him. Once safely inside, I rested my back against the door since my feet were glued to the floor.
My heart was racing.
My vision was spinning.
Don't tell me this is another dream.
I bit my finger hard and let out a soft 'Ow' as I felt the pain.
This was real?
The doorbell rang again.
Taking deep breaths, my heart rate slowed down slightly. With one final long intake of air and with my eyes shut, I completely opened the door.
I opened one of my eyes slowly then the other… and closed them again and opened them again…
He was still there. Not disappearing. Looking at me closely.
And now, smirking at me.
Yeah, it was him.
I sighed, crossed my arms and pouted.
"You're really here, huh?" I managed to speak out.
"Yep," was his simple reply.
"You're not going away, are you?" I asked, narrowing my eyes, as if still in doubt that this was still a dream.
"Not this time," he answered and I caught the ambiguity his statement held.
"No one told you to go away last time," I muttered under my breath, refusing to look at him.
"Sakura…" he said, as if pleadingly.
"What are you doing here, anyway?" I asked, making it sound that I was not liking the conversation we were having right now.
"This is Chiharu and Yamazaki's house, right?" he said. "They sent me an invitation for their wedding but I couldn't get out of the country yesterday so I didn't make it. I'm here for business today though and I thought I'd catch them before they leave for their honeymoon."
Chiharu and Yamazaki sent him an invitation? How did that happen without my knowledge? I was their wedding planner. I checked the guest list and the names for the invitations. Syaoran's name would have caught my attention.
"You just missed them," I replied. "They already left."
And then, silence.
Shouldn't he be starting to walk away now? He didn't have any purpose here anymore.
"Can I just leave my gift, then?" he asked.
"Sure," I replied as polite as possible.
He then took something out of his jacket. An envelope, which he handed to me. I received it and watched him stand there.
"Is there anything else?" I asked him.
"No, nothing else," he answered but it seemed like it was forced. "It's nice seeing you again, Sakura."
"Sure," I said indifferently.
He turned around and walked to his car, where I'm sure his bodyguards were waiting for him. Before he reached his car and drove off, I went inside and closed the door behind me. I let out a breath and only realized how intense it was seeing him again like that. Talking to him. Face to face.
The last conversation I had with him was that phone call the day after he left. If that was even him – the caller didn't even talk… Huh, come to think of it, I was not even sure if it was him.
But he was here now. I could ask him. This was my chance to ask him.
I opened the door quickly and was glad that he was just getting inside his car. Was he walking that slowly?
"Hey! Wait!" I called out, running towards him.
He gestured to his bodyguard that it was okay so the suited man walked away and eased.
"Yeah?" he said expectantly. I wanted to rub off the grin off of his face.
"Did you…" I paused, looking for the right words. Would I sound so stupid if I ask him? Oh well, whatever… What have I got to lose? "Did you call me the day after you left for Hong Kong?"
He looked hesitant to reply until finally, "Yeah. Yeah, I did."
"Why didn't you say something, then?" I demanded.
"I don't know," he shrugged both of his shoulders, confused. "I just… I thought it would be better for you that I leave sooner and I didn't really know what to say. I was ashamed that I couldn't even say goodbye to you properly and every time I go here in Japan, I would always pass by your house –"
"What?!" I exclaimed, hearing his last sentence. "You have been going here in Japan? You would pass by my house!?"
Syaoran rubbed the back of his neck and looked down at the floor.
"Yeah, but I never had the courage to knock and –"
His bodyguard broke him off. "Mr. Li, you'll be late to your morning conference meeting," the man told him.
Syaoran looked helplessly towards his bodyguard. "Yeah, I'm coming," he said monotonously. He then turned towards me.
"You should go," I said softly, nodding towards his car.
"No, it's alright now," I told him. "I just really wanted to know if it was you who called seven years ago."
"Mr. Li?" his bodyguard asked for him again.
Syaoran ignored it.
"Goodbye, then," he said in a low voice. He opened his car door but before he got in, he looked at me straight in the eye and said, "…And Sakura, I want you to know that I'm here to stay."
end of chapter one
preview of next chapter:
Sakura has baby-sitting duties and someone just happens to show up on her doorstep. With Syaoran's coming back, will it be high school all over again? But wait, Sakura has an admirer? And of course, Syaoran is not happy with this.
Well, that was Chapter 1. I hope you all liked it. I made Syaoran come back and meet Sakura in the first chapter – tell me that's wonderful. The best man is an insignificant person… or let's just say, a very close friend of Yamazaki that has been behind the scenes perhaps? And yes, Kero is owned by Chiharu. And yes, Syaoran is there to stay, but to get Sakura back? You have to wait and read on.
With lots of love,