Chapter 1

Himitsu Ai (Secret Love)

"Good morning, Sakura-chan!" twelve-year-old Tomoyo Daidouji greeted her best friend happily.

"Good morning, Tomoyo-chan!" an equally cheerful Sakura Kinomoto greeted, holding a stamped envelope up. "My first blessing for the day!"

Tomoyo beamed. "Ooh, Li wrote! Can I see what's inside?"

She blushed. "J-Just a how-are-you letter."

The long-haired lass smiled knowingly. "Of course." She glanced at her watch and gasped. "Oh no! Let's hurry to the Tsukimine shrine so I can do my chores before the class bell rings!" She walked hurriedly as her friend skated beside her.

"Eriol-kun will kill me!" she groaned.

It was Sakura's turn to tease. "I'm sure you're happy to die anytime as long as it's Eriol who will kill you."

Her cheeks burned. "Sa-ku-ra!!" But she can't deny the truth. Sakura knew her simply too well.

"Eriol is so intelligent! Imagine, you are extra nice to him, you always pack lunch for him, you always go where he is and you have staring spells at him in the classroom but still he doesn't notice." sighed Sakura exasperatedly.

"Just like you back in fifth grade." commented Tomoyo, subtly changing the topic.

The emerald-eyed girl blushed. "That was different! Who would have imagined that my rival in capturing the Clow cards will like me?"

"You know what, Sakura? You are so lucky. The guy you love the most feels the same way for you. While me.." She looked at her best friend wistfully before ascending the steps of the shrine.

They found Eriol Hiiragizawa already sweeping. He looked up when he heard footsteps going his way. "You're late." he told Tomoyo.

Tomoyo bowed down, not only to apologize but also to hide her slightly pink cheeks. She can't help but blush every time she sees Eriol dressed in hi shrine clothes. Or in casual lothes. Or in formal attire. Or even in school uniform. In fact, he looks perfectly handsome in whatever kind of clothes he wears!

"Tomoyo? You can look up already. You are forgiven." said Eriol, interrupting her thoughts.

"H-Huh?" Tomoyo looked up. She blushed again when she saw his beautiful prussian blue eyes studying her intently. "I-I'll go get the broom." she practically ran away.

Eriol sighed. "What's the matter with her? She looks.. preoccupied."

"She's in love!" giggled Sakura before waving. "I'll go ahead of you guys! Don't be late!"



Unfortunately, Eriol and Tomoyo didn't make it to class on time so they were ordered to clean the Faculty CR as a punishment.

As Tomoyo wiped the sink, Eriol swept. Both were quiet for a moment, engaged in their work.

"Tomoyo, go back to class. I can handle the rest of the cleaning." he offered minutes later.

She beamed as she continued wiping the faucet. "Nah! We were late for class because of me so I have to take full responsibility for this."

He paused from his work. He leaned on the tiled wall. "I have noticed, Tomoyo, that lately, you seem to have something on your mind causing you to lack concentration. Care to tell me about it?"

She turned her back on him so he won't see her blush. But to her horror, she was facing the mirror above the sink!

"You're blushing!" chuckled Eriol. "Sakura was right! You are in love!"

Her face went hotter. "I am not!"

"I am sure," continued Eriol, "that the man is a good one because he passed your discriminating taste,"

"You bet he is." thought Tomoyo as she opened the faucet to rinse her rag.

"Who is the lucky guy?" asked the boy.

Startled, she pulled the faucet too much, causing it to fall. The water pipe connected to it began t sprout fountains of water, drenching Tomoyo. Acting quickly, Eriol used his magic to repair the pipe. He then fixed the faucet to its place.

A very embarrassed Tomoyo bowed in apology at him again, but Eriol waved his hand dismissively. "It's OK, Tomoyo." He checked her wet face and blouse. "You can't walk around the campus looking like that!" He took the scarf off his uniform and used it to gently wipe her face, neck and arms and neck. Next, he used his magic to give her his black coat.

She smiled gratefully. "Thank you, Eriol-kun."

He smiled back. "Now let's get to work and start mopping the floor." She nodded.



You are my light

You're the lamb upon my feet

All the time, my Lord,I need you there...

As Eriol practiced with the school choir, Tomoyo did her best to make her singing good. She wanted to impress him.

While he was playing the instrumental, Tomoyo stole a look at the pianist. She watched in awe as his long graceful hands touched the piano keys alive. His eyes were glued to the song sheet so she had the chance to study his gorgeous face. Oh my, he's so adorable!

Suddenly, someone elbowed her. "It's your solo turn already!"

She looked around and saw everyone looking back at her expectantly. She sweatdropped. "S-Sorry!"



"Everyone did a fine job. I'm sure the churchgoers will love your voices. Everyone may go, except for Tomoyo." said Eriol, ignoring the teasing hums. Soon they were alone in the Music Room.

""Tomoyo, don't lose your concentration! If you have to daydream about your crush, don't do it here. We are having a serious rehearsal, understood?" he scolded.

"U-Understood." she whispered.

"I don't want this to happen again."

"Yes."

He looked at the wall clock. "Let's go to the shrine."



Tomoyo looked at Eriol in the corner of her eye. He was busy painting the bird house red. She let out a sigh before continuing what she was sweeping.

"Tomoyo?"

She turned to him. "What? Am I doing it wrong?"

He shook his head. "No, no. I just wanna ask if I hurt you in any way awhile ago."

She smiled weakly. "You only told me what is right."

"You haven't answered my question yet." he pressed. When she didn't reply, he continued, "Look, I'm sorry. Are you still mad at me?" he asked softly.

Mad? Madly in love with you, maybe. She shook her head. She suddenly remembered what Sakura told her when she found out about her infatuation with Eriol.

"Tell him. He will never know how you feel unless you confess to him." her best friend counselled, echoing what she advised Li back in fifth grade.

Maybe I should try heeding my own advice.s he said to herself."Eriol-kun, I've got something important to tell you." she began.

"Ow?" She saw a flicker of interest in his eyes-much to her surprise. She presumed that as the reincarnation of a wise mage, Eriol knew everything already. Nothing in this world is new to him, let alone something interesting enough to capture his full and undivided attention for a minute.

"Eriol, I.. I.. h-have a c-cru-I mean, I think I l-like." she paused when she saw him frown. Not a good sign."..to go home now. I'm tired." she finished lamely.

She saw momentary confusion in his eyes. "Sure, go ahead Tomoyo. Do you feel well enough to go home all by yourself or would you rather wait until I finish my tasks here so I can accompany you home?"

"N-No, thank you. I can manage." she stood up shakily. "See you tomorrow." she bade before going down.

"Tomoyo, be careful!" he yelled after her.

Instantly, she felt her heart flutter. He's concerned about her! As soon as she was out of Eriol's range of vision, she screamed happily. "I love you , my Ice Prince!" she pranced merrily, barely noticing the bewildered faces of the onlookers.

___________

End of chapter 1