Hello, friends, flamers and aliens alike! Welcome to my freaky, twisted and slightly discombobulated world!
:) Sorry, sugar makes me go crazy a lot of times.
So...Fate?...I feel as if I should make some sort of introduction for it (you know, get in a rant in here somewhere) but people might start dying from boredom if I do so I'll just let Risa and Satoshi do the talking, alright? Bwahaha! I can hear the sighs of relief. Anyway, I'm actually very proud of this fic--I think it can really go places. :D I hope y'all like it.
Chapter One: Meet Mr. Icebox
Risa Harada, matchmaker extraordinaire, sighed miserably.
She stared resignedly at the print-out she had been losing all her sleep over for what could possibly be the thousandth time in the last two days.
Pulling at her shoulder-length hair, she turned on her laptop, vaguely wondering why she was having such a dilemma when she'd been in the business for the past year and a half without a hitch.
"Probably because the guy's a walking icebox," she mumbled to herself, browsing the almost endless list of debutantes and heiresses in her database.
A multi-millionaire—rumored to actually have billions in assets—known to be impassive and detached, at best. Surely there were women in the country who wouldn't mind his shortcomings. Right?
God, just the thought of him made her head throb.
A face caught her eye. Jet black hair, emerald eyes and an endearing smile. Risa clicked on her picture, heart racing and adrenaline racing through her veins. She was always like this when matchmaking.
"Angeline Rittman. 25. Chef at Romeo. Daughter of Francine, interior designer, and Nathan, businessman." Risa grinned happily. "Not bad." She scrolled down the page until she reached Angeline's self-evaluation.
I don't think of myself as overbearing or hard to please but I admit that I do get quite jealous easily. I'm a perfectionist and I don't appreciate it when people judge me by saying that I'm too absorbed in my work. I know how to have fun too, when I have the time. I love animals, cats especially, and I cannot understand why some rather not take care of a pet—unless they're allergic.
Here Risa frowned a little. "Well, I'm sorry I just don't want to have a pet." She wasn't allergic and she had both the time and passion for adopting a pet but she just didn't feel like it. She didn't see a crime in it.
I don't want to enter a relationship with a man who puts too much time in at work since that would mean we'd have only a few hours a week to be together—if that. I want a family man who can understand that my job means a great deal to me and won't mind if I'm gone for days on end while I'm at seminars or contests across the country. But that doesn't mean that he should quit his job and stay at home either. I'm not much of a homebody myself and I don't need a lazy man in my life.
Risa rolled her eyes and closed the page. "Of course she'd want a 'family man'."
"That means Mr. Icebox here didn't even stand a chance."
There were thousands of women who were waiting for a phone call from her. Someone should match this man's tastes. If she couldn't do this, her credibility would be a thing of the past.
Her line of work was simple. Risa specialized in hunting down women for first-class desperadoes.
Women from the age of 20 'til 40 came to her office and filled out forms about the usual trivialities—hobbies, job, interests in men, past relationships, what they were really after. They could even give names if they wanted.
The men would call or come to her in person to talk about what they were looking for. They would answer their own sheet of questions and it would be up to her to find someone that she thought would complement them.
Both parties paid for the initial meetings—with Risa as well as their possible partners—then a bonus if they ended up together. If it didn't work out, Risa would continue searching. She hadn't had any problem since she started. She had brought together a total of twenty-eight couples, quite a feat when she was the only one on her staff.
She chose not to enter the two-way stream for personal reasons. The women she worked with understood, somewhat.
"Here we go. Heiress and socialite. Jeanette Anderson. 22. Graduated in Journalism." Risa raised her eyebrows but said nothing. When she checked the 22 year-old's comments she couldn't suppress her frown.
I'm a very simple person. I don't really enjoy partying or club-hopping and I think people who believe all that tabloid trash are stupid. I'm looking for a simple man. I don't want him rich or poor, just an average Joe. I know how hard it is to live with cameras outside the front door and I've had my fill for one lifetime. I don't need a guy who's going to keep on being in the limelight. Oh, and I want him to be okay with the concept of the woman paying for most of the expenses. I mean, it's not like I can't afford it.
"It's like the universe just doesn't like this guy."
Risa took a moment before she began her next search. "Okay, so a busy career woman doesn't want to have an equally active partner and an heiress wants to be with a normal guy. So that would mean a plain face in the crowd-type would want someone famous!"
She set her mouth in a firm line. "Let's hope these women are as brutally honest as Angeline and Jeanette," she said with a tinge of hopelessness in her voice.
After an hour of going through at least thirty-five middle-class women, Risa was about to give up, teary-eyed from the strain and body sore from staying in one position too long. "Okay, last one. If she doesn't make it, I'll call him up and say that I wasn't able to find anyone for him today." She didn't have anyone else to cater but it was almost three in the afternoon. She had to meet up with her sister in a few minutes.
Risa winced involuntarily. She forgot that she was doing this without Mr. Hiwatari's consent.
A Dark Mousy—she was pretty sure she'd heard of him somewhere—called the day before yesterday and sent her a fax on the millionaire icebox. He had asked her to find the perfect match for him and that he'd triple her usual fee if she was able to accomplish the task. She was a bit insulted actually that the man implied she was in this only for the money but accepted anyway.
"I bet Mr. Mousy's going to be on the receiving end of all that frost if Mr. Hiwatari finds out," she mused out loud, drawing circles on her desk with her pinky finger.
For her last pick she got Ms. Andrea Carr. A pretty brunette who owned her own chain of cafés around the city. 27. From a working-class family. Only child. "At least that gives the two of them something in common."
I'd be lying if I said that I didn't want to go out with someone well-off. It's not that I'm greedy or anything but I've seen what poverty can do to people. And I want a good future. I don't think I'd really mind being in the public's eye—I might even benefit from it on some occasions. But the man should be warm and open with me if I'll have to live the rest of my adult life with him, his probably snobby family and the paparazzi. I don't believe that money is everything and if the man isn't willing to compromise or treat me right then I'd rather stand on my own two feet and wait for the right one.
Risa almost screamed.
If you aren't too pleased with this chapter, please tell me so. I already have a few ideas if you guys think this needs a little (or a lot) of tweaking. I think I over-exaggerated a lot here so I made sure to tone it down a bit when I re-edited it. Oh yes, my friends, flamers and aliens--RE-edited it. Sometimes life is just so unfair...:) But I'm sure a few reviews or shout-outs from you can change my pessimism. :D