Disclaimer: It's been two years and counting since this story has been posted, and STILL I do not own Seto Kaiba or Yu-Gi-Oh!
A/N: Hello fellow readers and writers. This update was definitely posted way behind schedule, and I must extend sincere apologies for this. It has been a fun ride thus far, and without the support of you guys I'm not sure if the vigour to keep going would have lasted. Such is not the case of course, and so I present to you the next instalment of Model Behaviour. Special shout outs to sandsnowstorm for one of the most encouraging reviews ever, you really made my day :) Thanks for the support you have given thus far! Also, another special shout out must be made to my darling imouto-chan Serenity's Ghost for giving me that inspirational kick in the butt that I needed to keep pushing forward despite writer's block, love you sis! And as always, thank you to all my other special reviewers, readers, those that favourite, alert, or simply hit my page. You really make writing all the more fun!
- change in scene
-O-O- change in POV (same scene)
Chapter 8: Careful, Your Wings are Showing
The rich scent of expensive cologne tickled my nose, and lit my body with a desire to drown further into the depths of the sensual aroma the more I breathed into my pillow. Not wanting my euphoria to end just yet, I cuddled closer to the fluffy cushion and forced my eyes to remain shut, the cotton pillow casing feeling like silk beneath my fingers, the fragrance continuing to dance merrily about my nasal senses.
I never knew dreamland could smell this good.
Alas the sun thought my sleep prolonged as it peered through the curtains with a sharp stream of light, striking the very lids that refused to greet it. Alright Mr. Sun, I can take a hint.
Rising from my sleeping position, I felt a throbbing pain in the back of my head embrace me, the sensation as pleasant as the sound of a thousand school bells beating against my very brain. The pain was so intense that at first I didn't realize that the space I was in was not a familiar one, but once my head eased for a moment if just to allow my eyes to adjust to my surroundings, I soon came to realize that I wasn't in Kansas anymore.
My room had grown twice its original size, and bright lavender curtains once adorning simple windows had transformed into royal blue drapes of the finest quality, accenting French windows that framed the outside world like a landscape painting. The bed I laid on also seemed to have increased in size, and was now adorned with satin sheets to match the rich tones of the curtains, not to mention I gained a few extra pieces of furniture polished with fine teak oil.
After I had finished marvelling at my keen observations, alarm bells began blaring in my head flashing the sign "not your room" feverishly until my body took action.
I hurriedly jumped off the bed and made a dash for the nearest exit, but not before passing a standing full length mirror, catching enough of a glimpse of myself to turn back and ensure what I saw wasn't a hallucination.
Adorning my petite frame was a white designer shirt three sizes too big for me, and boxers with a cartoon print of the Blue Eyes White Dragon. I was wearing men's clothing, which could only mean one thing; something very bad happened last night!
I ran back to the bed and stripped it of its cover sheet, checking the white mattress for any tell-tale signs of certain activities that might have led to my new wardrobe and residence. Okay, no blood or any...fluids...so that didn't happen last night. But then, where are my clothes, and more importantly, where am I?
"Knock knock, I'm coming in!" a male voice called out to me from behind the bedroom door. Unsure of whether to run and hide or fight for my life, I grabbed the lamp on the nightstand and ran closer to the door, ready to swing at my kidnapper the moment he entered my room.
He entered back first, and as soon as I caught that flash of black hair, I charged at his head with the lamp full throttle. He fell to the ground upon impact with a loud 'thump'; I had knocked him out cold. Taking a moment to observe my captor I soon realized I had made a grave mistake.
The loud crash had attracted the attention of the maid who was nearby, and soon she was at her master's side, face mortified at the scene before her.
"Aye Dios Mio, what have you done to the young master?"
She stole the words right out of my mouth.
He didn't take long to recover; he jokingly thanked his hard head for that. I still couldn't help but feel utterly guilty for my actions, no matter how justified he claimed they were. I could have seriously hurt him, but he brushed the issue aside as though it were child's play, and to show he held no ill feelings, Mokuba invited me to have breakfast with him on his bedroom veranda, the same breakfast he was escorting on a trolley for me to have in the room I was staying in.
"I feel silly for still saying this, but I can't help but feel I haven't apologized enough...I'm really sorry Mokuba." A small tear escaped from the dam I had maintained thus far, and the more I looked at the icepack on his head, the guiltier I felt about what I had done.
"Please, I should be thanking you for this. Now I finally have an excuse to speak to Isabella's daughter; she's studying to be a nurse, and I wouldn't mind providing her with all the practice she needs." His words as suggestive as they were, dwindled in meaning once you took a glance at that innocent face that was full of talk and no real action. He may be attempting a playboy attitude of the classic handsome teenage boy, but beneath that facade was the same old Mokuba, playful, lovable, and a true gentleman at heart.
"Here you are señor Mokuba," the maid Isabella said as she placed a plate of fresh blueberry pancakes in front of Mokuba, the butter melting on top sinfully teasing your tastebuds the more you indulged in the sight.
"Muchas gracias, Isabella!"
"For you, señorita." Before me she placed a bowl of hot, steamy soup.
"Um...thank you." I hadn't expected such for breakfast, but Mokuba upon seeing the confusion on my face quickly interjected.
"It's to help you feel better after what happened last night."
Help me feel better? I don't recall being sick last night. What did exactly happen at that party?
I voiced my concern, and with a grave face he gave a response I would have never expected.
"You were drugged; the bartender spiked your drink with Ecstasy, and before we knew it you were gone, dancing on tables and what not. Seto was at the bar and saw what happened, but by then it was too late. You eventually collapsed after giving him a...ahem...lap dance, and we took you home from there. Lucky for us Isabella forgot something back at the house, so she was able to dress you into something more comfortable; you puked on your dress in the car."
As he recalled the fine details of what occurred hot tears streamed down my face uncontrollably. I didn't know what to do or say, much less what to think. There were important business clients there, reporters, colleagues, heck my boss was there and they all bore witness to my act of shame. I was sure to be fired after this, how could I have been so foolish to accept anything that scumbag Brittania made for me? I should have known better...Kaiba was right; I wasn't cut out for this business.
"Hey, don't beat yourself up about it." Mokuba attempted to pull me free of my self-berating, drying the damp tears on my cheek with the back of his hand and tilting my chin upwards to face him.
"Seto called Sharen this morning and scheduled a meeting with her tomorrow so you can confront the issue at hand and make a public declaration on the matter together. Don't worry about it; if it's one thing my brother knows how to do is negotiate a damn good business deal. That...and firing people," he joked, earning a small laugh on my behalf despite feeling utterly crestfallen.
I felt an ounce of hope restored knowing well the power of the mighty Seto Kaiba, and on that note my stomach reminded me that breakfast was getting cold. Examining the soup before me, I noticed it was a home favourite of mine. Spoon in hand I scooped up a generous amount, blowing slightly before having a taste. It was the best miso soup I had ever eaten.
"You seem to be enjoying your meal," Mokuba quipped. I blushed a bit at being caught scoffing down my soup, but looking at his once stacked plate of pancakes now practically licked clean, the guilt dissipated almost immediately.
"You're one to talk, I can't believe there were once 6 pancakes on your plate!"
"Touché" and we both laughed at our poor table manners.
"I didn't know Isabella could make such great soup, Japanese nonetheless."
"Oh Isabella didn't make it, Seto did."
My hand stopped short of my mouth upon hearing that statement; there was no way I just heard right!
"He's no great chef, but he's apt with the little things. Apparently dad made us miso soup whenever we got sick, so it's second nature for him to make it. It was the first and only thing he learnt to make from him before the accident..." He paused mid-sentence and chose not to complete it, preferring instead to drown his grief with the remainder of his orange juice. I wanted to console him, but I knew too well over time words of sympathy heal as well as a handful of salt on an open wound. I chose instead to meet his face with my warmest of smiles when he looked up, and he seemed to understand the message conveyed in it.
"Anyway, I should leave you to your meal. Isabella should be back soon with some proper clothes for you to wear, though I must say you look like a babe in my boxers and Seto's shirt." Flashing me a flirtatious smile enough to make me blush hard at his statement, he gathered his breakfast wares from the table and left them on the trolley for Isabella to collect.
"Oh before you leave Mokuba!"
"Um...do you know where your brother is? I...I should thank him for all that he's done for me, that you both have done. I could have been in a great deal of trouble if you both didn't come to my rescue, so thank you" and I rushed to his side, giving him the tightest, most gracious hug I could ever give anyone. He returned the gesture much to my pleasure.
"It's never a problem to help a friend." He glanced at his wristwatch briefly before addressing me again. "Seto should be in the indoor pool by now for his mid-morning laps; it's on the ground floor to the right of the foyer. I'll be in the living room playing some video games if you need me after, that's to the left of the foyer." With that he saluted me his farewell, leaving me in privacy to ponder on all that transpired that led me to their residence.
Once again Seto Kaiba, ice prince of Domino City, came to my rescue in the moment when I needed someone the most. But why...why would he care what became of me?
There was only one person that could answer those questions, so without a second thought I placed my empty wares on the trolley and made my way to the pool area.
The room was dimly lit by the candelabra adorning the stone walls, the likes of Johann Sebastian Bach engulfing the closed quarters with its dramatic symphony of one of the most revered cello solos to date. Studying art in high school gave me an opportunity to appreciate fine music such as this, and I respected Kaiba all the more for choosing such a piece during his moment of relaxation and exercise.
His movements in the water were clean and swift, long strokes of his arms and powerful legs piercing the liquid like a sharpened knife would paper. It was simply majestic watching him manoeuvre like that, and accompanied with the soothing sounds of one of my favourite classical composers I was hypnotized by this man and his motions.
Abruptly he ended his swim, pulling himself from out of the water in line where I stood. I was awestruck as to how he sensed my presence, but I wouldn't put it against him to say he felt a "disturbance in the force". Passing me straight he headed to the chaise lounge chair on the far wall where his towel resided, and as he dried off his face I took the chance to soak in the body usually hidden beneath expensive suits and trench coats.
He stood tall and strong on legs carved by Grecian sculptors, muscles pulsating from the vigorous training it underwent a few minutes ago. I wouldn't have taken him as the speedos kind of guy, but I had to admit it suited him well, and I didn't mind one bit. The swimwear after all, accentuated his finest assets nicely. His torso was lean and showed off 6 neat abdominals trimmed almost to perfection, and his biceps were more muscular than I had imagined, exuberating masculine strength and physique. If the girls back home got even a taste of what I was receiving now, they'd have died of severe blood loss from their noses.
"Finished staring as yet?" He asked with a tinge of playful seduction. His comment took me by surprise, and as I opened my mouth to retort I realized it was already agape much to my horror. He smirked at my apprehension, and ran his fingers teasingly through damp chocolate bangs as though testing the limits of my blushing. He knew the power his body held over women, and I was ashamed to say I was futile towards it, reluctantly giving him the blush he so desired on my behalf. Bastard.
She stood there, arms folded with a face painted red turned away from me, and the cutest pout I have ever seen on a woman adorning her lush pink lips. I couldn't stop the smirks from coming the more I lavished in the attention I was gaining from her. Course, she'd never know the silent effect seeing her clad in nothing but my shirt and my brother's boxers had on me, an effect that was beginning to manifest itself in my swimsuit the more I indulged in the seductive sight.
"Look, I didn't come here to argue with you," she said, pulling my thoughts from very dark, naughty places. Her posture was more relaxed as she lowered her hands and softened her features, taking a few precarious steps my way.
"I just wanted to say thanks...thank you, for last night, and for everything that you've done for me." A smile was offered, and returned with a simple "Hn" on my behalf. I finished the last of my hair drying and draped the towel around my neck, wanting nothing more than for her to leave before she noticed a particular area was growing in size.
"Well you've cut my midday swim 10 minutes short, so if you don't mind I rather you spare me any more of your offerings of gratitude—"
"Why'd you do it?" Her words were gentle yet abrupt, and caught me off-guard. What on earth was she really asking?"
"Why'd you do it? Why did you save me last night? And not just last night...why...why do you keep coming to my aid when I seem to be in trouble?"
She challenged me now with eyes of pure curiosity, strong enough to compete with the incredulous look I was sure my face was contorted into. A question that had plagued my mind since the first time the damsel ended up in my arms at her debut was at last vocalized, and to this day the answer never truly came to mind.
"Reflexes I suppose."
"Reflexes?" Throwing her arms in the air clearly exasperated at my reply, she paced in small circles around the area where she stood, rambling nonsensically to herself before summing up enough courage to come face to face with me. She gathered some serious balls pretty damn fast to come headstrong and demanding my way.
"So you're telling me you saved me because it's so naturally imbedded in your good soul to come to the rescue of every damsel in distress? The hardass Seto Kaiba who doesn't give a damn about anything that doesn't have the name 'Kaiba' attached to it, is suddenly a godsend to mankind? I'm not five years old Mr. Kaiba, try again please, this time with the truth."
"Are you calling me a liar, after all that I did for you?" The nerve of this ungrateful creature.
"I'm calling you on your bluff. I don't believe you'd do such a thing unless it benefited you in some way, especially to me!"
"Like I intentionally wanted to give you such damn special treatment." This girl was starting to get on my last nerves with her accusations. I show her kindness, a rare feat to anyone other than my brother, and she slaps it back in my face. How dare her!
"Next time I'll be sure to leave your sorry ass hanging in a dumpster if that's where you end up, since I'm such a fucking heartless bastard. Now if you're done 'thanking' me get the hell out of my sight."
I stormed off without another word wanting nothing more to do with that woman, but I got as far as four feet away from her before she exclaimed "wait" and ran towards me, hugging me tightly from behind as if attempting to stop me from walking away from her. I froze, shocked at the audacity of this girl to hold me back the way she was doing now, but mainly surprised at how her body trembled against my damp back. Was she...crying?
My initial response of shoving her off and continuing my pace didn't kick into gear as it normally would, partly because I felt the small vibrations from her mouth against my back as she attempted to speak amidst soft sobs, and I was curious as to what she could possibly have to say after slandering me.
"Sumimasen..." was the soft apology uttered. "I didn't mean to sound ungrateful, I just...couldn't believe you could be so nice after all the horrible things people have said about you. Please forgive me Mr. Kaiba."
She released me at last, and I was amazed to see that she was down on all fours, body and head bent as low as they could go to the ground, and palms facing inward neatly placed before her. She was actually begging for my forgiveness; this woman never ceases to astound me.
"I think you've grovelled enough, now stop embarrassing yourself and get up."
Looking up with a face of uncertainty, she was met with a small nod of reassurance that my harsh words were a sign of acceptance of her apology. She returned the gesture with a bright smile.
Despite finally being able to leave the room and get dressed, I once again found myself stopping in curiosity at the antics of this girl. She had taken a seat by the edge of the pool, and was humming along to the tune emitted from the speakers. Since when was she culturally refined, and why the hell was I even sparing her a thought?
"What do you know about Bach?"
With a smile of sheer bliss and eyes half-hooded as she basked more into the melody, she simply replied, "Only that his violin concerto in A minor is one of my favourites."
It didn't take long for me to seat myself next to her as I learnt what this woman of many traits was truly about. I didn't ask for a life story, but as the conversation flowed I found myself genuinely wanting to know more about her and what brought her here. Apparently this modelling gig was the end all to a period of financial drought for her mother, despite her calling being in art and design. She turned down a scholarship to attend the Tokyo University of the Arts because she couldn't go to school without books and other basic supplies, and the man she once called father was too busy attending to his many whores and gambling vices to help fund the lives of his children. At the end of the day, her mother saw her looks as an easy way out and she took it, knowing well it'd not only make her mother happy, but benefit them both in the long run.
"Isn't it about time to start living for yourself?" I posed the question easily as I continued to stare at the placid waters before me, sweet music ringing in my ears.
"I beg your pardon?"
"You should have earned a fair amount of money by now to get a head start in something other than revealing your body to the public for their viewing pleasure. Besides, hasn't it caused you enough trouble as it is?" I was sure she would have taken offence to that remark, but either she matured and learnt to take criticism, or she thought no different as she gave a fair response to the comment.
"After last night, I'm positive I'll have to pay for damage control rather than the other way around, and sadly the money isn't flowing at the rate I need it to." The serene mood had sunk into a more desolate one as she hung her head low, using the tips of her toes to fiddle with the surface of the water as if distorting her reflection would better represent how she felt about herself. I wasn't about to allow her to throw a damn pity party, not in my presence.
"Worry about that tomorrow when we meet with Sharen. What's done is done, you can't change the past. You can however dust your ass from the floor and look towards a brighter future, one that you channelled for yourself instead of playing marionette with mommy dearest. Imagine a Japan concerned with nothing better than improving on nuclear weapon technology and selling these weapons to the highest bidder without remorse of who's on the receiving end. That is what I steered us clear from when I decided to follow my own path and use my skills for something more constructive. It may not seem like much, but it sure is a hell of a lot better than what Gozaburo had intended for me."
"Wow...I...I didn't know that."
"Little to no one does, and I intend on keeping it that way." She gulped slightly as I gave her a stern look demanding her lips be sealed on what I so casually divulged to her. I think she got the message loud and clear.
"I will say though, you made a lot of sense just now. If they give me the chance I think I'll finish off my contract till the end of the year and start afresh with my art career, maybe I might get lucky and sell a painting or two?" She flashed me a smile of hope, and whilst I'm not a fan of wishing on lucky stars, I returned the optimism with a "Hn" of approval. Hard work after all, always gets you far in life.
"You know Mr. Kaiba, you're alright for a big mean corporate exec. Heck, I might even start to like you if you keep this up." And without skipping a beat she placed a swift kiss on my cheek before quickly rising from where she sat and dashing off, leaving me to simmer in my thoughts at what just happened.
What the hell did just happen? Oh no, she wasn't getting off the hook that easily!
Her laughter sold out her location in the living room where she was apparently indulged in a game of Need for Speed with Mokuba, the both of them catching fits as they crashed several times into the heavy traffic before them whilst attempting to race each other. As much as I wanted to disturb her much the same way she disturbed me earlier, I couldn't bring myself to tear that huge grin off her face as she was in pure bliss with that game. I was growing a soft spot for her I realized, and this time I didn't mind it one bit.
I left them be and proceeded to get dressed at last. Besides, I had a couple of phone calls to make to certain reporters to ensure my little model got the media clearance she deserved.
My little model...hn...I kinda like the sound of that.
And that my friends is a wrap for chapter 8! Gosh yet another long one, really sorry that I overdid it on the page limit again, I do hope the read wasn't a bad one. Thanks a million to my supreme beta Most Unlikely Angel and Serenity's Ghost for always being there and reviewing my work for me, and giving great suggestions to help improve my writing and the plot. I would have asked you guys to be gentle with the critique, but after my long departure I say bring it on! Thanks again for still supporting me despite the inconsistency in chapter posting, I love you guys! 3