I am back! Well, not really back. Classes are just suspended, and I haven't been to school this week yet. I miss school badly. Anyway, this is for everyone waiting. I'm sorry. :)
Hope you don't forget to drop by the review corner and give some words. I'll be waiting for your commentary, criticisms, flames, suggestions and blabla. =))
You know well that I do not own La Corda, so don't ask. :)
"Good afternoon, minna-san. Open your notebooks and take down notes about recombinant DNA technology..."
The last class for the afternoon passed in a blur. Nothing really got my interest. The teacher's high-pitched voice was killing my ears. How lucky am I? Maybe the purpose of her annoying voice was to keep the students up all throughout the session. Bravo for anyone who suggested that. I just wished the students won't go to them and complain.
I looked at the empty school quadrangle from the window. This was the only thing I wanted about this class, the sitting arrangement; my thoughts were diverted to the party tonight. As much as I love Tsukimori Len, I valued my precious life. So much for being a lovable, sweet, and caring boy... err... Fiancée.
I haven't met his grandfather during the engagement party because of Ryoutaro's instructions. I could visualize a blue haired elder with a few grays there in his glory, standing with poise and pride as he watched his family. Well, missing the chance to meet the head of the Tsukimori family was way better than missing that wonderful Friday night. His soft lips, his silky hair, and don't get me started with what we did.
Right now, I was scared stiff. It's not like that man approves of me. For all I knew he despised me because his grandson chose me instead of the one he selected. And it's not like I'm having doubts with saying yes to Len. I love him so much. I'm just bothered with what his grandfather might say to me. I'm not really best at handling those situations. I preferred to be silent and live a peaceful life, thank you very much.
"Kahoko, are you alright?" Mio asked, looking worriedly at me while waving her hand in front of my face. From the corner of my eye, I saw Nao muffling her giggles.
"Hai. Just peachy." I smiled sheepishly. For sure I'm blushing right now. I just embarrassed myself in front of my best friends. Great job to me.
"You can tell us if something's bothering you, alright?" Mio offered, smacking the back of Nao's head. Everyone in three-seat radius tried to cover their grinning faces. I have to admit, Nao looked funny there. I looked to the teacher to check if she's already giving us pointed glares. Safe. She's still busy talking to herself in front.
"Nothing. Really. I'm perfectly fine." I lied, shaking my head absent-mindedly., signaling the end of conversation. They didn't have to know that later, I'm going to face the worst thing that has ever happened in my uneventful life. Why do people always have to notice that I have problems? Gah.
I looked away again, now to the wall, drawing imaginary doodles with my mind. Silly me, using my abused brain over nothing good. But it's free, so I didn't have to care. I couldn't focus on the lesson, or my friends. Wow. Since when did this happen?
My nervousness raised a few notches after that small exchange with Mio. I was used on spilling to them every single thing that's bothering me, but lately, secrecy was a must. I didn't mean to keep them in the shadows. The matter at hand, I thought, was too personal and should be handled only by me. This was the product of what I did. Insanity.
'Hey. I'm going to meet Len's grandfather tonight, the one I haven't met because I ditched the party last Friday....' Yea right. What'd they do? They'd probably scare me because I haven't met the man at the party. They'd tell me that he's red with anger because his grandson went AWOL during the event. I could vividly imagine the scene. Ugh. Mental images. Oh Kami-sama, help me. Could you please help me remove those images in my poor brain?
Len's description of the old man didn't assure me. Though he said that he's a jolly and sociable person unlike Len, I couldn't trust anyone. The elder man might be keeping a fake façade for the sake of his grandson. Len's insensitivity towards negative emotions just added to the fire. I didn't know what's in store for me anymore.
Meeting his grandfather would be risky on my part, but since I'm already his fiancée, it felt more like an obligation. As much as nervousness pooled in my body, I couldn't deny the excitement radiating in my core. I'm proud of myself for deciding over this matter. Making this decision on my own helped me prove that I could handle myself, and whatever commitment I'm going to handle in the future would be successful. At the middle of my dilemma, the classroom doors flung open, hitting the wall with force.
Len was standing there majestically in a calmed pose. Arms casually hung beside him, his cold façade betrayed by the twinkling of his golden eyes, most likely because on amusement, and his azure tresses a bit tousled. He looked like a model that walked out straight from a photo shoot. Kami-sama, why does he have to look so good and ravishing?
"Hino-san." His velvet voice rang in my ears. We still called each other formally in public, though everyone knew about our relationship.
"E-Eh. Tsukimori-kun. What do they want?" I stood up, taking my things and walking towards the door. He wasn't really a fan of our department. This must be something important.
"May I excuse her for a moment?" He asked politely. That earned gasps from the other students. On the other hand, my friends thought their reaction was humorous. Just because they knew some things. I bet they helped Len to come up with that romantic set-up. The others just stared at me curiously, probably waiting me to spill the details so they'd have something to gossip about. The teacher nodded, and I followed Len outside. When I closed the door, arms wrapped around my torso.
"I thought you detest public display of affection?" I turned around, and my voice was muffled by his muscular chest. Fantasies started to pop on my mind as he traced my jaw line with his pointer finger. A shiver crept down my spine.
"With you, no." He started playing with my hair.
"They might see us in here. You know the teachers won't tolerate your flirty ways even though you're the Tsukimori Len." I reasoned out. At times like this, I really wondered why he's acting unfriendly with the others. I noticed the interaction between him and my other friends now, so maybe just a little push and he'd start opening up to them.
"I think they have to mind their own business. I'm sure they'd prefer moments like this to be cherished by only me and you." With his voice seductive and husky, it took me a lot not to do a replay of Friday night. I looked down, freezing while hiding my flushed face. Some sort of instinct was opening the mature part in me. I tried to clear my mind.
"Why did you call me?" Going back to the topic, I smiled at him. He gave me a pointed look that said 'We're not yet done.' I groaned internally. He wouldn't let me live this down.
"Can't I visit my fiancée?" He asked teasingly, giving me a smirk. I shook my head, glaring playfully on him. He knew I couldn't look that mad, nor could I hold a grudge on him. The Tsukimori Len was up to something.
"Be serious, honey. Please?" I touched his face, pouting. He could be in a mocking mode if he wanted to.
"I'll wait for you outside. Tell the teacher you have to go now." He kissed my forehead before walking away. His smell was a mixture of pine and spice. I couldn't get enough. One thing I loved about this relationship with Len was he's good in hiding things. Also, he drove me crazy with his silly antics every now and then.
The students started murmuring when I entered the room. Blushing, I made my way to the teacher's table and tell her about things. After that small talk, I rushed outside the room and ran to the nearest bathroom. We didn't do anything serious, but sometimes, Len could make me look as if we did something.
My questions were answered when I diverted my eyes to the mirror. My uniform was crumpled, probably from the hug he gave me a while ago. My eyes were alight with happiness, my hair disheveled because he played with it, and... What's that thing in my neck?
After fixing my physical appearance, I walked down slowly at the hallway. Suddenly, a loud voice called me.
"Kahoko!" Ryoutaro's voice boomed. I looked up and saw the green haired pianist with sweat dripping from his body. Was it really that hot around here?
"Ryoutaro!" I returned the greeting with a cheerful voice. How I missed him. It's been a while since we last hung out. Len would always kidnap me at lunch.
"Done practicing?" I added. He shook his head and sighed deeply.
"Iie. Coach isn't done killing us. Is he mad? Letting us run around the campus grounds five times?" He wiped the sweat.
"Oh. You can do it, Ryou-kun! Go go go!" I cheered.
"Thanks munchkin. Hey. Gotta scram. Still gonna run one last lap. See you!" He brushed my hair and ran away again, waving before disappearing in the corner. Great. All alone again.
I hummed quietly as I made my way to the school grounds. The wind was a bit chilly, but it suited me just fine. There's a car waiting in front of the school gate. I went there, but nobody's in sight. Hmm. Where do I go now?
"Looking for someone?" Suddenly, my feet were off the ground, and I was slung at the hard back of someone.
"Leeeen!" I squealed, laughing a little. That boy. Didn't he know that he drives me crazy with what he's doing? He opened the door and I slid down to the chair. I waited for him to reach his own seat.
"What? No driver?" I asked. Since when did he learn to drive? Oh well. I guessed he could do anything, with an exception in cooking.
He just smirked. Damn. Why did he have to be that good looking? I was left stunned by my seat, just staring at his serene expression as he drove. There's something about him, maybe his cool or his unexpressive side, that captivated me. No matter what I do, there's no way I could escape him. We stopped in front of a boutique. From the glass window, I could see dresses of varying designs.
"Mom insisted on this. I know you won't complain though." He went outside to open my door. Offering a hand, we both made our way inside the store.
"Konnichiwa Len. Kahoko dear." Len's mother quickly hugged me and dragged me from my prince. Unfortunately for me, my prince didn't save me. He just waved and left me alone to his mother. Oh goodness. Didn't he care? But then again, if it's his mother, there's no way he's gonna save me. Len's deepest darkest secret was that he's afraid to his mother. To death.
"Misa-sama. Ohh. Wonderful to meet you again. It's been so long!" A chubby man in his early 40's appeared from the dressing room. There's a hint of gray hair in his head, with some raven black ones. His eyes were bead like and of cinnamon color. At first, you'd be intimidated by the loudness and pitch of his voice, but he when he smiled, all my negative thoughts were dejected.
"Kuku! I miss you! Really wonderful to see you again." The two gave each other a hug. It crossed my mind that Misa might be strangled because of the size, but the 'Kuku' guy looked too good.
"Kuku dear. I want you to meet my soon-to-be daughter. Kahoko. Kahoko, this is Kuku, our family's personal designer when it comes to special occasions like parties and weddings." My eyes bulged when I heard the last word. She didn't spread the news, did she? I mean, I kept my mouth shut at school. Misa-san, be fair to me.
"So she's your little boy's..." Kuku trailed, his eyes shining with delight. He snapped his fingers and out of nowhere, women in black appeared. One was carrying a clipboard filled with papers, another with swatches, and someone with magazines. I thought my head's not going to take it.
"People. Let us begin." Kuku clapped his hands. What's going to happen to me?
"So, you've finally decided to throw her to the lions?" My father chuckled heartily, amused. I groaned. How many times do I have to repeat myself? Not because I finally wanted Kahoko to meet grandfather didn't mean that I was risking everything. Come on. Grandpa wasn't that bad.
"Iie." My voice was dangerously low. I gritted my teeth in frustration. Since he fetched me in front of the boutique where I left Kahoko to the capable hands of my mom and friend (I refuse to call him by his name. 'Kuku'? Seriously? Was that even a name?)
"Don't worry son. I know your grandfather would adore her. She's lovable, after all." Finally, my father said something sensible and good to my ears. And I wouldn't disagree with his comment on Kahoko. She's lovable, kind, sweet, caring. What else could I ask?
I stared at the window, letting my mind relax from the exhaustion school had caused. Besides those offers for Kahoko, some of the girls were just pure idiots and threw themselves in me. Excuse me ladies, I've got something worth everything in my life.
We stopped in front of our house. Nothing special. There's a valet present who opened the door for us. I didn't contest. I'd just be given a sermon if I objected. I've had enough of their lecture about good manners and right conduct. I walked straight to the double doors, nodding with acknowledgement at the waiters and waitresses setting up the garden for later. I opened the door and was greeted by a booming laughter.
"Haha! That was... Haha!" Wasn't that my grandfather? And why was he laughing so hard? I froze on my steps when I heard a very familiar voice.
"It really is." Then it was followed by a heartwarming laughter from Kahoko. I looked at my father and he winked at me. I followed him inside the family room.
The first things I noticed when I arrived at the room were the standing figures laughing at the middle. Grandpa and Kahoko. But my eyes were only for the red-haired girl. She was wearing an off-white tube dress with golden chains. Her hair was resting at the middle of her back in waves, and half of it was held up by a diamond clip. She looked...
"Oh. Konbanwa Len." She released her hold from my grandfather and gave me a welcoming hug. I wrapped my arms around her and kissed her cheek.
"Hello to you Kahoko. Konbanwa, ojii-san." I pulled her to my side and bowed to my grandfather. He just waved his hand before motioning us to sit at the couch across his.
"You didn't tell me you have such a wonderful girl in here. Very funny and good looking." He gave us a thumbs-up. Kahoko giggled by my side.
"She really is." I simply added.
"And she helped me bake some cookies! They taste really good. We've kept some on the kitchen. Do you want to try it?" He asked. A plus factor for Kahoko. Grandfather really wanted to make cookies properly, but no one was there to help him.
"Hai. Arigatou." With a final glance, he went to the kitchen. I looked at Kahoko with adoration.
"He asked me to help him. And he's really pushy, but I'm really glad I met him." She was beaming, and I couldn't stop myself kiss her. Oh well. It didn't really matter. Nobody wouldn't care if I do that. So we stayed there in each other's arms, just touching. Only a cough pulled us back to reality.
"Cookies?" My grandfather offered, grinning evilly. He's never going to let me live this down.
Dinner passed by for us happily. When most of the visitors were there already, mom called us to the garden to lead the evening. We talked to the guests. I introduced Kahoko to the big names in the industry, and I was surprised that they knew her. Well, who doesn't? She was a fantastic musician. One of the bosses even asked her if she could sign a contract with their company when she finished her studies.
"May I have your attention please?" My mother's voice could be heard. Everyone looked at our table.
"All of you have been there for our family for the past decades, helping us as we showed the world the beauty music has. And now, with this music, my son has found his real happiness. Tonight, I'm proud to present, the newest member of our family. Hino Kahoko." A round of applause was presented. My mom reached for Kahoko's hand, and she took it as she stood up and proudly present in front of everyone.
"Uh. Good evening everyone. It's an honor for me to meet you. I hope you enjoy the night." She stuttered before sitting down and grabbing my hand.
"You didn't tell me I need to tell something. Arg. I looked stupid there." She groaned, playfully hitting my arm. I lifted her hand and kissed the back of it. The scarlet tint appeared in her cheeks again.
"You don't look stupid there. That's just fine." The orchestra started playing some classical music. Len took my hand – more like grabbed me from my seat. I thought we'd join the others, but we went upstairs, up to the music room. There's balcony in there where no one could see us, but we could see every dancing figure from the garden.
"Balcony, huh? I thought you'd be more... creative?" I placed my hands in his broad shoulders, as he did with his on my waist. We swayed slowly to the rhythm of the music.
"Romeo and Juliet. You know." I blushed. So much for getting carried away with my Literature class.
"Ohh. We don't need any classics. It's just you and me." He leaned closer.
"Really?" I tucked his hair behind his ear.
"Yes." He tapped the tip of my nose.
"And one more thing." Our faces were just millimeters apart.
"My love for you won't be compared by Romeo's love for Juliet. Remember that, Kahoko." And so, our lips touched, and unlike fairytales, there's no spell included in this.
So, that's it! :) Good or not so good?
Off to do chemistry homework and some stitching. Hay. :( I'm bored to death. Anonymous reviewers, here's the late reply.
Hikari Azumaya: Thank you for the 9 stars! Haha. I'm not gonna let the two make out, YET. =)))
Chamae_bunny19: So sorry for making you wait for 37 days. ( I counted it. LOL.) But, chapter 2's finally up! I do hope you'd come back and read again.
Gaela: Thank you! :))
Okay. That's it. Now, I'm gonna beg for reviews. (flashes puppy eyes)