Hi ho everyone! I know it's been a little more than a year since I last updated. I'm sorry for that. ^^ I only had the inspiration to write a chapter tonight, and of course, I wrote this all at once! Nyahahaha! PLEASE enjoy! ^^
Hinata could not stand the feeling she is having and the crowd seemed to suffocate her. She informed Naruto that she will be heading to her quarters to rest. He didn't seem to mind as she left his side. The thought of him preferring Sakura beside him instead of her did not escape her mind. Yet, she should not dwell on that thought since she herself has her thoughts lingering on the Uchiha.
Everyone seemed to be too occupied to notice her departing. Another thought occurring to her is that if there's one thing she's really good at, it would be blending with the wall. She bets that if not of her title, no one will take notice of her even if she screams at the top of her lungs.
Instead of heading to her room, she went to the garden. The place her mother used to brush her hair and tell her that she's the most precious person in the world and anyone in their right head would love her for who she is and not just for her title. At that time, she truly believed her mother, but now, she doubted that. If not for her title, she'll be no one. She'll be left out, shunned and scorned. Sometimes, she too believes that Naruto would not have married her if not for her title. He would not even taken notice of her and take pity to her losing her mother then her father shortly after. Times like this when she feels so alone. There was a time when her Neji-nii will hold her hand or hug her when she's lonely or when she cries. It all stopped when she married Naruto. Perhaps he deemed it improper since she's a married woman. There are times when she wanted to seek the comforts of his arms again, but knew better.
During their younger years, she always thought that Neji will be the man she will wed. She would imagine herself being his bride, and would admit that it made her happy and giddy all over. That has changed when she overheard the conversation of her father with a man from China. Her father was setting an arranged marriage for Neji and the man's daughter Ten-ten. She soon learned that it was for a peace treaty with China. The man is considered a noble and has certainly liked the idea. Although Neji declined the proposition when he learned of it, the idea made Hinata push her thoughts away from Neji. From that moment, she realized that what she has for Neji, although still foreign to her must stop. She made herself believe that Neji loved her only as a younger sister and perhaps what she feels for him is just brotherly love too. She refuses to accept the thought that it is only out of duty that he protects her and stays by her side.
Hinata sighed. These thoughts should not go any further. She closed her eyes and took deep breaths to calm her raging heart. She does not want to cry but could not stop the tears escaping her eyes. She heard soft foot falls behind her but did not acknowledge who it was since she is not confident that her voice will not tremble and give away he feelings at the moment. It was the person who talked first to break the silence.
"You are being greatly missed by the crowd, my queen…"
Hinata did not have to turn around to know who it was. Even though she only heard him speak once, it's as if his voice has already been embedded in her memory. Not wanting him to see her tears, she did not turn to face him at once. She cleared her throat.
"I believe that it is the guest of honor who is greatly being missed Lord Uchiha." Hinata said. Not wanting to seem rude, she raised her hands to wipe her tears before she turned to face him
Sasuke bowed when she turned. "May I inquire why the queen is out here on her own?" He rose to his full height but did no move to shorten the distance between them, not wanting to seem bold. He did not inquire on the tell-tale sign of her pinkish nose either. Instead, he gave her a small smile with a curious gaze.
Hinata smiled back as she spoke "I'm not good with crowds. How about you? Why are you here?"
"Ah… I hope you don't mind me asking, but my queen, should you be offended if I were to voice out my thoughts?" he asked, his smile turning into a small grin.
"Not at all, please do enlighten me." Hinata said, her smile not leaving her eyes.
"Hmm… I'm not very good with crowds either."
She could not help the soft laugh that escaped her. "Lord Uchiha, I seriously doubt that, men and women alike flock to your presence and seemed to enjoy it very much, as I saw in the party."
"Oh… so the queen was actually observing me?"
Hinata blushed and was dumb-founded. Was the Uchiha flirting with her? She dismissed that thought completely, he could not be. He was best friends with her husband. Perhaps he's just cheering her from her obviously dampened mood.
Sasuke noticing her silence and the tinge of pink on her cheeks made a soft chuckle.
"I don't think Naruto would be very much happy to know that I'm not giving my proper thanks to the queen for her generosity"
Hinata shook her head "It is of no trouble at all. I am rather pleased to have met one of the precious people of my king." her response ending with a smile.
"ah, but you seem to not have enjoyed the party very much to have left it early, I have not even seen you dance."
"I had with Naruto" she said abruptly. Although it is just for formality to make the music start playing, and only lasted to a minute.
Sasuke smiled again "Shall I continue voicing out my thoughts my queen?"
Hinata a bit embarrassed by her defensiveness just nodded.
Sasuke inched a bit closer to her as he again bowed and stretched his palm to her, asking her for a dance.
Hinata gain laughed "There is no music Lord Uchiha."
Sasuke rose again and gave her another smile. "It is good to know that you are rather enjoying my company. I hope you don't mind me being a bit bolder. I would prefer it if the queen would drop my title since I consider her as my friend and that I am beneath her station."
"Oh. What should I call you then?"
"I would have preferred to just be called by my given name my queen"
"Alright then Sasuke-san, but I would ask you to do the same. Hinata-san will do."
Sasuke again smiled. "Hinata-san has a nice ring to it. But only when no one else is around, I would not like people to think me disrespectful of the queen."
"ah, alright then. Much as I enjoy your company, I suggest you go back to the party. Naruto will surely miss you"
"I agree, but before I go, I would like to have a dance Hinata-san" again, he bowed and stretched his hand.
"Again, Sasuke-san, there is no music" she again smiled, amused of his ministrations.
"But I do hear the crickets."
Hinata could only giggle and shake her head as she placed her palm on his.
Without any thought that this act is the first step towards her doom.
Neji noticed his cousin gone but did not make much of it since he knew that she is not very fond of the crowd. He noticed the Uchiha excuse himself to leave the room after awhile. He would have folloed him if he did not notice Sakura staring at the Uchiha's back while Naruto tapped her shoulder.
Sakura smiled at Naruto sweetly and bowed. He motioned her to follow him out. Perhaps if there was no crowd in the room, he would have held her hand. The crowd already drowned by the music and liquor did not pay any heed as the king left. Neji on the other hand, prepared to leave as well. Trailing not too far behind the king and his concubine, but not close enough to be noticed.
Naruto being cautious took Sakura to a room far from the gathering and locked the door.
"What is Sasuke doing here?" Sakura asked first.
"You still seem to worry for him more than I, so is it true that old flames are hard to die?" Naruto said with a trace of jealousy in every word.
"Nonsense, Naruto. But tell me, why is Sasuke here? I'm just worried." Sakura said as she lay her palm on his chast , using her charm to sway him from his angry stupor and kissed him at the corner of his lips.
Naruto kissed her back which much wanton while answering between breaths "He's here to help us get rid of her."
Sakura seemed content of his answer as pushed him on the bed and proceeded to do their musings.
Neji only heard whispers while leaning on the door. He could not decipher what they were talking about because of their hushed voices, but had the bad feeling that it has something to do with Hinata. He did not linger any longer when he heard the moans coming from the room.
"So tell me Sasuke-san, how do we do this?" Hinata asked, curious of how this will go
"I'm not sure myself. I've never done this before…"
Sasuke grinned as he raised her hand along with his. "Well then, we should do it like how it's classically done, don't you agree?"
Hinata had to smile, she learned how to dance but never had she danced with anyone for the classic. Naruto was not very good at dancing, and Neji was too stiff to actually dance. She was actually thrilled. Yet, she can still hear no music.
"You're still worried of the music. Close your eyes, I'm sure you know the beat."
"I'm not too confident at this I never did this dance like this before"
"I haven't either."
"What I meant was I never danced the classic with a partner other than my mother before."
Sasuke had to smile at that "Then follow my lead…"
Hinata nodded her head and closed her eyes.
"one two three, one two three…" Sasuke chanted softly
To Hinata, Sasuke's chant worked like magic. She opened her eyes and looked at their feet, as they began to move.
Left right left right, back step, forward, then he twirled her around. (Fine, I'm sorry, I can't describe the dancing since I don't even know how to dance! LOL)
"Can you now hear the music?" Sasuke asked her in a whisper
"Yes, Sasuke-san… I can hear it." Hinata said as she raised her head to smile at him.
"Good. Now let's bring it to the climax"
And they danced till the end of the song where the steps brought them closer, as he supported the small of her back while she leaned backwards.
"Thank you for the dance, you are a great dancer Sasuke" Hinata said, still leaning backwards with Sasuke supporting her weight, aware that her heart was pounding with the speed of light, all the while breathless from their dance.
Sasuke did not miss her forgetting to add the –san after his name. He only smiled as he supported her to her full height.
"You're very much welcome…" He only said.
Hinata could only blush when she remembered how she said his name without the –san. Embarrassed, she quickly bowed her head, too low for a queen, but low enough to hide her tomato colored face as she quickly mumbled a "good night, Sasuke-san" As she too quickly left.
Sasuke could only chuckle in amusement at her back as she walked away in such a hurry.
"Good Night too, Hinata…" Sasuke Said as he too left the place to go back to the party.
Unknown to Sasuke, Hinata giving her hand to him was not only the first step to her doom, it was his too.
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