DISCLAIMER: i own nothing ;p

this isn't my favorite chapter.. kinda dramatic..but it is essential for the climax... i hope the next chaps would be better..

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Kyouya's graduation day celebration.. Ootori main mansion..

The place is pampered with grand decorations, showing just how royal the Ootori household is. The beautiful chandeliers, which cost hundreds of thousands each, provide a nice and relaxing atmosphere for the very large room. The classic music played by the world-class orchestra soothes the mood of every individual that hears it. The grandest foods which are prepared by the top chefs in the country overflows for everyone to savor. There is no doubt that this celebration is indeed carefully prepared by professional party organizers. It is attended by the prominent businessmen and known public figures in Japan...

The whole Ootori family is very busy entertaining the guests left and right; but of course, in every interaction they made, a business deal is always involved. Kyouya himself is making transactions whenever he finds a suitable opportunity.

"Ootori-san, you must be very proud of your son", a man who is probably at his 50s happily said. He is the owner of a big network company in Japan. Yoshio Ootori is meaning to close a deal with him. "He is a very brilliant young man. There's no doubt that he'll one day become one of the most promising businessmen in the world", the man finished.

"Of course", he said with a faint smirk in a businessman-like manner.
"So, about the proposal that Kyouya made for your company.."

"Ahh, yes! Please extend my congratulations to kyouya-kun for his job well done!" he said enthusiastically. "And congratulations to you as well Ootori-san", with that, the man shook Yoshio's hand.

--

"Tachibana?" haruhi tapped the window that separates her side of the limo with the driver's seat. The man in a smart suit opened the window and said, "Haruhi-sama, I'm afraid that we would be an hour late for the ceremony. I don't know what causes this heavy traffic. Perhaps there's a road accident or something like that.." he finished uneasily.

"It's okay tachibana. It's my fault anyway.. Don't worry.", she smiled but seemed a bit disappointed. "I know kyouya would understand." she reassured, hoping to relief the worry from the driver.

Earlier that day, right after Kyouya's graduation ceremony, Haruhi decided that she will go home first to change her dress. Apparently, she is not comfortable with the dress that she is wearing at the moment.
Fuyumi gave her that light blue formal long dress. It suits her well and she doesn't really mind using it; however, the frills on the neck and the shoulder area cause a rash irritation to her skin. Kyouya asked Tachibana to drive Haruhi; the trip from her apartment to the Ootori mansion usually takes only about 40 minutes, but due to some unexpected events, the trip will be delayed.

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Kyouya glanced at his watch; he looked around to see if Haruhi already arrived. He took out his cell phone and walked to find a relatively quiet place.

"Hello..Kyouya? Look, we're stuck here in a traffic jam. I'm really sorry but I guess that we'll arrive late.."

"I see." He answered. "Should I call for the helicopter then?" he asked in a rather devious tone.

Haruhi rolled her eyes. "No thank you rich bast--.. Eehh! I mean, Okay, uhm I'll see you later Kyouya!!" she almost slipped her tongue, she hoped that the shadow didn't notice what she was about to say.

He smirked. "Sure.. Bye.." At first, Kyouya finds haruhi's comments as offensive. But, he got used to it eventually. One of his hobbies anyway is to annoy the blunt commoner. To annoy Fujioka Haruhi. His best friend's girlfriend.. Kyouya sighed at the thought of Tamaki. It's been two years since they've last seen each other. The last time that Tamaki visited Japan was when his father launched the new Suoh real estate business. Kyouya was in his second year of college at that time. Tamaki didn't change much when he visited two years ago, he was still the idiot yet unpredictable king. And so, Kyouya doubt that tamaki is any different now.

Three weeks from this night, he would go with Haruhi to visit Tamaki in France. He is excited to see him yes. Although, he wouldn't admit that. However, somewhere in his heart, he could feel a strange pang of pain whenever he thinks about Tamaki and Haruhi together. Not that he is jealous or anything, he said to himself... He forced the thought out of his mind, not wanting to think about it. Haruhi is Tamaki's, and Tamaki is Haruhi's... he is supposed to be glad that two of his close friends are together.
He went back to the crowd and resumed to his business affairs. This is what he is supposed to do anyway.. This is what an Ootori is supposed to be.

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Nearly after an hour, Haruhi finally arrives at the Ootori mansion.. She isn't really surprised as to how big this celebration is. Well, she got used to these events after a couple of times that she attended social functions with Kyouya.

She walked around to look for Kyouya. Every now and then, she is approached by handsome bachelors who are attracted by her beauty. Indeed, she looks stunning that night. She is wearing a princess cut dress with thin straps and extends just below her knees. The dark brown color of the dress with a beige ribbon accent on her waist complimented her white skin. Haruhi is indeed a head turner sweet heart.

"Haruhi-chan." She stops and turns around to face the owner of the familiar voice.
"Ootori-san!" she smiles as she walks toward the man. "I'm sorry for being late"
"Don't worry about that.. By the way" he faces the two men whom Haruhi thinks as his business partner. "I want you to meet Kagome Asuki and Hatsuhoru Tatsuo. They own the second largest law firm in Japan right now."
"Hai! It's a pleasure to meet you Kagome-san" she shakes his hand.
"Hatsuhoru-san" she did the same and smiles. "I'm Fujioka Haruhi."

The two men are obviously fascinated by her. "I heard a lot of good things about you Fujioka-san.. To be honest, I'm actually considering you to be my son's fiance.." Kagome-san said smiling. Before Haruhi could respond, the other man speaks "Now, now Asuki. We want to be fair in here right? Don't forget that I have a son as well.." Haruhi just stared at them dumbfounded. The two men are about to start an argument when Yoshio cleared his throat. "I know that you want someone like Haruhi-chan for your sons, but I want to inform you that she is already taken."

"Oh.. Well, we lost to an Ootori again. Is that right Yoshio?"
"So, is it Akito-kun or Kyouya-kun?" the other man inquired.
"Suoh.." Yoshio replied automatically.
"Really? Now that's interesting.." The other man noticed that Haruhi's face turned slightly down.
"Alright that's enough. Gomen Fujioka-san if you feel uncomfortable hearing this conversation."

Haruhi looks at the man and forces a smile. "Iye. It's okay.. Uhm, will you excuse me for a while?"

The three men nodded and haruhi drags herself quickly away from the crowd. She finds an empty balcony and sits at the bench. She sighed. She stays in there and enjoys the serenity of the place as she looks at the stars in the sky.

She feels cold after a couple of minutes so she decides to go back inside the main hall. Haruhi almost jumped in surprise when she sees the shadow king standing a few feet away from where she was previously sitting.

"Kyouya! Don't scare me like that" she said with a slight pout. He smirked as he sits on the bench. "I didn't scare you. I was just standing back there.." Haruhi rolled her eyes and sits a few feet beside him.

"Oh kyouya. Here's my gift." She handed him a small box covered with metallic blue gift wrap. "It's not that much but I hope you'll like it." She smiles faintly.
"Thank you.. Should I open it now?"
"Later would be better if you don't mind"
He nodded. Kyouya noticed that Haruhi isn't as enthusiastic as normal. He looks at her and tries to figure out whether she is tired or she has a problem. She is staring blankly in space and she occasionally rubs her arms.

Haruhi's reverie is awakened when she felt that something warm wraps her body. She looks at her side and saw Kyouya's coat around her shoulders."Arigato" she smiles as she looks at him.

"You should know by now that I don't do things for free Haruhi.." Her eyebrows twitched and she is expecting an evil smirk from him. Yet, he is looking straight ahead at nothingness. He looks serious?
She sighed. "What do you want then.."

He faced her slightly. "I want you to tell me what's bothering you." He said in a monotonous tone and a nonchalant face.

"Eh? Uhm" she paused. "Well, what makes you think I'm bothered with something?"
The shadow king gave her the famous eyebrow that translates as 'don't you dare question me when I'm the one who is questioning you'.

"Okay. Okay. I'm perfectly fine Kyouya.. I'm just tired I suppose..."
Honestly, she doesn't want the shadow king to know that the thought of Tamaki is what's bothering her. Her relationship with Tamaki is getting quite complicated now. She is hoping to resolve some matters when she visits him three weeks from this night. Long distance relationship is not as easy as it was in the beginning.

"Let's go inside Haruhi." He offered his hand to help her stand.
"Hai." She took is hand. "Thank you" She removed the coat and hands it to Kyouya.

--

"Haruhi-chan! You look beautiful as usual!" the excited sister of Kyouya said. Kyouya looks atHaruhi and is stunned upon seeing how beautiful she is. He didn't really notice her dress earlier for the balcony is dim-lighted. He wants to compliment her, but he decided not to. Kyouya noticed just how many guys are staring at the blunt commoner. He wanted to glare at them, but of course he wouldn't do that. If only he has the right to protect her... if only...

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A/N: awwww i know i know this chapter sucks... i'll make it up for you guys someday... i apologize...

as for kyo-chan, we'll see what will happen... stay tuned for more ;p

reviews, advices, everything is welcomed.. please give me some love