Disclaimer : I do not own Rurouni Kenshin.
A man in his mid-40's walked up the grand staircase and turned right. He barely glanced at the portraits decorating the stairway. His eyes didn't glance around to take in the beauty and magnificent splendor the mansion had. After all, he had been working there for the past 22 years and knew every inch of ground of the mansion. Stopping in front of a door, he took a deep breath before knocking smartly twice and waited for his young master to allow him to enter.
Opening the door, Hiroshi Nakamura walked in and placed the morning paper on the study table. Then, quietly and quickly, he slipped out and waited by the door. Waiting for the outburst that would come.
"WHAT THE HELL DOES HE THINK HE IS DOING!!"
Of course, he wasn't disappointed and stood away from the door just in time for his young master to fling the door open and strode out, murder in his eyes.
Hiroshi followed the young master faithfully.
"Get me my bloody car right now before I wring your neck!"
Of course, he was used to his master's angry outbursts also and scurried away to get the car.
He wondered what Master Hiko was planning to do to handle this ... delicate problem.
Kenshin Himura was not a man to ask much from life. He was thankful for his Shishou to take him in after both his parents died of a disease which he escaped from. He respected the older man for his businesslike demeanor and strength. Hiko Seijuro was after all a father figure to him. The fact that he was taking over the Seijuro Corporations was no surprise to anyone who had watched his Shishou train him since the boy was young enough.
He owed his life to his Shishou.
But this was TOO MUCH!
It started out as a good day. The business proposition had been accepted and he had good news to share with his Shishou. A lot was expected from the 23 year old young man and he lived up to the expectations of many. When he was at work, he was ruthless and sharp. People were afraid of him but respected him for it. The fact that he was a playboy also brought smiles of amusement to many who knew him.
Kenshin Himura was a good catch.
He never had a steady girlfriend. No serious relationships. His best friend, Sanosuke Sagara was also just as good a catch and both of them were hot spots for matchmakers all over Japan. Neither paid much interest in prospective marriages.
That DOES NOT give his shishou the right to do this.
As usual, his butler, Hiroshi delivered the morning paper at his study. Putting away his file, Kenshin reached up and opened the paper. And stared.
And stared some more.
What the hell!
FUTURE HEIR OF SEIJURO CORPORATIONS TO BE ENGAGED
...sources report that Kenshin Himura, future heir of Seijuro Corporations would be engaged to a young lady. The identity of the lady is unknown. According to the Director of Seijuro Corporations, the young lady is a family friend...
"WHAT THE HELL DOES HE THINK HE IS DOING!!"
Anger and disbelief filled Kenshin as he read and reread the news. Throwing the paper away, he flung the door open and strode down to the front of the mansion. He noticed his butler standing there and yelled at him to get his car. He knew Hiroshi most probably already know about the news before he gave him the paper and that annoyed him.
As Hiroshi rushed to arrange for the car, the news repeated itself in Kenshin's ears and he struggled not to strangle anyone. His maids disappeared from sight and he growled. The scowl on his face apparent as he entered his car and speed of to only one destination.
Hiko Seijuro was expecting his baka deshi to turn up at any moment and was coolly and calmly prepared for it. He was reading in the backyard of his small house when the door to the terrace was flung open and an angry Kenshin stood at the doorway. Hiko didn't even spare him a glance.
"What is the meaning of this?" Kenshin bit out sharply as he stared at his shishou's cool demeanor. Hiko barely glanced at him.
"What is what?"
"This!" Kenshin gritted out stabbing the news of the engagement in the paper in front of Hiko.
"Your engagement, I'm sure you can read it, baka deshi. I thought you that much," Hiko replied calmly as he went back to his reading.
Kenshin's fist tightens. "I don't remember agreeing to an engagement to an unknown lady."
"I don't remember asking your approval."
"It's my life and my marriage."
"It's my company and you're my heir."
"I can take care of the company without being married."
"Maybe. But you can't inherit it."
Startled, Kenshin looked up at his Shishou. "What? What do you mean I can't inherit it? Are you blackmailing me, Shishou?" Hiko laughed out loud as he picked up his sake jug. Taking a huge gulp, he turned to face Kenshin.
"Do you remember how this company was founded? Let me remind you that I had a partner. Kamiya Koshijiro was a dear friend of mine and he owns part of the share. He passed away 2 weeks ago and has left it all to his daughter, Kaoru. Since you are not my biological son, she has the right to the entire company if she wants."
Kenshin took in a deep breath and sat down opposite his shishou. "This girl...she wants the company?" he asked thinking about the company he had dreamed to inherit since Hiko trained him. He had given his all in bringing up the company and for it to fall into the hands of a woman who was completely absent from its growth made him angry.
Hiko shook his head. "Apparently, Koshijiro did not mention anything to his daughter. She is a student and has very little to absolutely no interest in business."
"If that is the case, why would she be interested in the company?" Kenshin asked clearly confused to where his shishou was heading. Hiko sighed. Did he actually raise a moron?
"She doesn't have an interest, baka deshi. Lawfully, the company ends up hers whether she wants it or not. I want you to have it. There are to ways to go about it. The simpler one, which would benefit both of you and also me, is to marry you two. That way, she gets her share and you, the company," Hiko said and raised his hand to still his apprentice's objection. "The other is so that you convince her to give you the company. That will benefit you but will deprive her of any guardians any money."
"What if I convince her to be a share partner with me so that I handle the company and she gets her share like her father," Kenshin said after a while. It made sense to him and he need not marry her.
Well, that would work if that 's all her father's been doing. Koshijiro is the legal advisor of the company and for your information, baka deshi, all our decisions have always been handled and approved by him first. He does his job."
Kenshin groaned. Was there a way to escape from this marriage? His mind tried to recall a man by the name of Kamiya Koshijiro. A thought occured to him.
"I am sure you have seen Kamiya Koshijiro, baka deshi. That night when you returned from your first match, he was walking out with his daughter," Hiko muttered as he turned back his attention to his reading.
Kenshin instantly remembered the dark-haired man with a bundle in his arms. He remembered the smiling face and the protective hold the man had with the child. Kenshin remembered a small child, with short hair tugged in Koshijiro-san's embrace.
"Didn't Kamiya-san carry his son then?"
Hiko nearly choked and turned to his apprentice. "Son?"
"The child in his arms with short black hair?"
Hiko laughed. "Oh that. I think I forgot to mention something.
Kaoru-chan is a tomboy."
Kenshin stared at his shishou. He stared and felt the anger rising inside of him. First, he finds out he is 'engaged' through the papers. Then, he finds out he can't inherit the company he dreamed of because of a 'child'. Now he finds that the said 'child' is a girl and a tomboy to boot.
And still a child.
"I am not marrying a child, Shishou. The difference between our ages is huge. Seven years! She is a mere child and I will not marry her! You will call her and tell her that I refuse to play babysitter and that she can try to live luxuriously of someone else! I refuse to marry her!"
Hiko looked at him in amusement. His mind's eye replayed the scene when Koshijiro was ordered to marry Naoko, Kaoru's mother. He too had the same reservations as Kenshin. However, Hiko decided to let time play its part with some help from fate.
"First of all, the age gap is not a problem. Second, she never lived a luxurious life and so isn't a spoilt brat. Third, she doesn't know of her engagement to you and it will remain so until I decide otherwise. You will not say a word to her. If you can convince her to be passive in the growth of the company well and good. Otherwise...marriage. For you information, baka deshi, she is only here temporarily. Her cousin is at an excavation site and will not be able to care for her for the nearly a month. That is why she is here. However I admit it was my rash decision to inform your...engagement to the press."
"Then take it back! Offer and apology and cancel this silly ridiculous thing!" Kenshin nearly shouted.
"Unfortunately, if I did so people would think she is undesirable since most of your women are the belles of the ball. You are to care for her and that is final."
Kenshin noted his Shishou's form and realised that nothing he said was going to make any difference. Hiko Seijuro has decided and that was that. Determined to put his fiancée in her place, he stomped out of Hiko's house.
Kaoru Kamiya stared at the house she grew up in for the last time. She had gone through each room and cleaned each piece of furniture with care. She only choose one or two small pieces for memory. One of them was her mother's necklace and the other was her father's pocket watch. He father had always liked antique stuff and her house was filled with them.
Thoughts of her father brought another fresh waves of tears as she fingered her family photograph. Sobbing, she thought of the mother she never knew and her father, who was her last anchor. She felt lost and abandoned. Her sapphire like eyes shone with tears that she couldn't stop.
The sound of the old doctor caused her to turn and force a sad smile on her lips. She didn't want him worrying about her. Kaoru was determined of that. She refused to accept sympathy from anyone anymore. She was alone now and she has to be independent. Wiping her eyes dry, she turned fully to the doctor.
Doctor Gensai looked sadly at the child who was trying hard to be brave. He felt sorry for Kaoru. She had never known her mother and her father was brutally shot dead. The old doctor tried to reach Kaoru's last living relative but a letter came back saying that her relative could not come back for another month. Kaoru was not willing to live in a foster home and that led to Hiko Seijuro, her godfather and her father's friend. The old doctor had contacted the man and he was willing to care for Kaoru.
"It's time to go," he continued softly and watched with a heavy heart as the 16 –year-old child locked the door and followed him with only a bag.
Together they entered a cab and headed for the airport.
Her flight had arrived two hours earlier than it had been expected. By then, Kaoru was tired and hungry. She knew she needed to go to Uncle Hiko's place and decided to head there by herself. She had no idea if anyone was sent to fetch her and decided to take matters into her own hands.
Getting out of the airport, Kaoru was lucky enough to hail a cab and gave the driver the address Uncle Hiko had passed to her. Then, sitting back, she threw her gaze outside the window and watched the scenery. Tokyo was everything she had expected. Kaoru instantly missed the country side and felt her tears gathering. Determined not to cry she wondered how Uncle Hiko looked like.
The only memory of him was when she was a child. Other than that, she could not even remember how the man actually looked like. She was small then, so she thought he was huge but other than that nothing came to mind.
The sudden swirl of the cab caught her by surprise and she nearly hit the front chair. Brushing her bangs away from her eyes, she turned to see the driver apologising before he got out and checked the car.
"I'm so sorry, miss. But both my tires are flat and I only can change one of them. I don't think I can send you any further," he apologised and Kaoru nodded her head in understanding. She got out and paid the man before taking out her things. The road was not so busy as they had taken a back lane. Before, it seemed like a good idea. Now, both were silently curing in their hearts.
She had not enough money in her purse and the feeling of dread filled her heart. Damn it, Kamiya! You should have waited for two bloody hours in the airport. But no!! You just had to get into a cab and into this mess!
Feeling like a fool, the young lady brushed a hand through her short black hair and decided to walk. With any luck, she could hitchhike a ride to the main road and grab another cab to her uncle's home. Carrying her back and thanking the gods that she packed light, Kaoru started her walk. Half an hour later, help arrived in the form of chickens.
The old man and his young son saw her walking along the road and offered her a ride. Gratefully, Kaoru climbed the back of the small truck, which were loaded with chicken and hay and told them her destination. Glad that they were heading the same direction, she relaxed and allowed the wind to blow her hair into a mess.
Whatever Kaoru had expected, it was not this.
The house...no, mansion that she arrived to was huge and dark. Somehow, it looked gloomy and she was suddenly very nervous. She hoped Uncle Hiko would not be angry with her for coming on her own. Needing to get down, she threw her backpack on the ground and jumped. Kaoru brushed the hay of her jeans and thanked the pair that had helped her. They declined her money just as the front door opened and she was about to wave a jolly goodbye when a chicken that the old man was holding somehow got out of his hands and started running at the yard.
Kaoru and the young man both went after the chicken while Hiroshi looked at the situation with anger. Just as he was about to yell at them, the young boy caught the chicken and smiled brightly. Hiroshi noted that the twinkle in the boy's blue eyes made him looked slightly...girlish.
Kaoru caught the chicken and gave it to the young man. Both were laughing and he thanked her before getting into his truck. This time, she waved joyfully as they left without another incident. Turning, her eyes met those of a stern 40 something man.
Stunned and startled, she only stared at him and he at her.
"The deliveries and maid's quarters are at the back."
"Huh?" she asked in confusion. Hiroshi glanced at the boy in annoyance.
"The kitchen where you make deliveries are at the back and if you are meeting any servants, their quarters are behind too," he repeated coldly as he stared at the boy with messy hair.
"Oh!" Kaoru realised he had mistaken her and smiled sheepishly. "You are mistaken. I..."
"I have no time for long explanations, boy!" Hiroshi cut him short and turned to leave.
This time, Kaoru's anger peaked. "BOY!? Who are you calling a boy, mister? Now look here..."
"What the hell is all those racket about?"
Kaoru and Hiroshi both jumped at the sound of an angry growl from behind him. Kaoru turned and saw a young man glowering at her in anger and felt an underlying unexplainable fear at the sight of the red-haired man with amber eyes. Squaring her shoulders, she spoke up before the stern man could interrupt her.
"I'm sorry but there seems to be a mistake." Bowing at his respectfully in greeting she continued. "You see, I'm Kaoru Kamiya."
Kenshin looked at the child before him in shock. Tomboy didn't come close to describing her. The supposedly fiancée of his had short black hair and bangs that covered her eyes. She was wearing old running shoes, faded jeans and an oversize sweatshirt that had hay sticking on it. Her hands were brushing some hay away from her short hair and trying hard to put it back in order.
His eyes traveled on her face and he noted with interest almost immediately that she had the bluest eyes he had ever seen. Kenshin gazed at her eyes with admiration. Beautiful. The only part of her that seemed beautiful was her eyes.
His gaze dropped to her lips. Her small pink lips looked soft to his eyes and he wondered how they tasted.
He wondered only for a second and caught himself.
"The only mistake you did was coming here," Kenshin growled again. Kaoru involuntarily took a step back and then checked herself. She wondered how a slight man such as him could radiate such power.
"I don't understand," Kaoru said instead as she glanced at the address in her hand. "I was told to come here."
She had to resolve this, Kaoru thought. She had to know if someone was playing a prank on her.
Kenshin looked at the skies and realised it was dark and going to rain soon. He reached out and pulled Kaoru by her arm. "It's too late to send you back. You will rest here tonight and we will figure this mess out in the morning."
His cold voice, her empty stomach, her long tiring journey and her father's death took the toll on her. With a rather brave control of her voice, she said to him. "I'm sorry that I became a burden. There is no need to trouble yourself. I'll leave."
Kenshin looked at her mockingly. "And go where?"
Kaoru sighed. "Anywhere."
"You'll do no such thing. It's late and not safe for you. You'll stay the night."
He dragged her up to a room and pushed her inside. Kaoru felt self-pity turn into rage at his treatment. "I do not receive orders from you, sir. If you would kindly step aside, I'll take my things and leave and not bother you."
Kenshin noted with amusement as her eyes flared and smirked. "It's too bad that I can't let you do that. Now wash up and get something to eat. You look like you will faint dead away," he muttered as he faced her.
She knew he was right and that made her even more angry. "I don't need to know what you let me to do or not to do. Are you Hiko Seijuro?" she demanded hoping he would say he wasn't. She was sure Uncle Hiko was older and bigger. Kaoru was not disappointed.
"No, I am not Hiko."
"Then, would you please get out of my room and let me be. I'll discuss whatever it is with Uncle hiko," Kaoru said decisively. Kenshin stared at her for a moment. Then, absently shrugging his shoulders he walked out.
Kaoru took a deep breath and wondered what she had got herself into. She had no money. She wasn't old enough to access her account and she was alone in a house...mansion with a red-haired jerk who seems to think he can control her. Looking at herself in the mirror, she gave a shudder of disgust before opening the bathroom and walked in.
She would take a bath and decided what to do later.
The sight of the large spacious bathroom with a tub made her knees weak.
It was going to be along bath.
Nearly an hour later, Kaoru walked out wrapped in a silk yukata and entered the bedroom. She allowed her self to take in the beauty of the room and smiled at the antique dresser. That made her happy. Startled at the knock at her door, she opened it to see a young maid with a tray of food.
"Ma'am, your food," little Tsubame murmured as she walked in when Kaoru moved aside.
"Tsubame," the young maid whispered shyly.
Kaoru smiled brightly. "Thank you, Tsubame-chan. That's kind of you."
Tsubame blushed prettily.
Before she could leave though, Kaoru asked her about Kenshin.
"Who is that red-haired man, Tsubame-chan?"
"Oh, That! That is Himura-sama. He is Hiko-sama's heir."
"Oh!" Damn it! He is not a servant. That made Kaoru sad.
Thanking the maid once more, Kaoru locked the door and dug in. The food was absolutely delicious and she sighed in pleasure.
Tonight, she would eat and sleep. Tomorrow, she would demand to see Uncle Hiko and work this out. If she was not wanted, Kaoru wanted to go back home. She can study and teach there until her cousin arrived for her.
Thinking of that, she emptied her plate and slipped into her pajamas. Kaoru slid into the bed and pulled the silk cover until her chin. The moment her head hit the pillow, she was fast asleep.
Hey everyone, this is my new story. It is different from Hazy Past and I hope you all would enjoy this. Thank you.