The Accidental Playboy Chapter 11: Playboy—and Playgirl!—Preparations

Previously: Sakura kisses another boy; racked by guilt, she turns to Yukito and gets good advice.

The usual and unoriginal disclaimer: They don't own me, don't sue them. Or is it the other way around? Just kidding.


"My dear Fujitaka-san," the beautiful dark-haired woman smiled, "such a wicked test you've put our children through. How has it been so far?"

Fujitaka Kinomoto's eyes twinkled. "Syaoran's dates appear to have been unpleasant for him, Li-san. Except the last one, last night, on that sea cruise. Masayoshi Reiko liked him, and it seems poor Syaoran-kun was finally able to relax. They've become friends." Indeed the two had exchanged email addresses, and Reiko-chan had said happily to Fujitaka that Syaoran was like the brother she never had.

"Oh? Do call me Yelan. After all, we might be meeting in the o-miai soon," Yelan Li smiled as she mentioned the traditional meeting between two families seeking marriage for their children. "If not now then in a few years. You do realize that when my son decides to do something, he never stops until it's done."

"I know that; I've seen him grow up too, and remember, I did send you those reports," Fujitaka chuckled. "I'd almost lost hope that he'd ever confess his feelings to my Sakura-san."

"You approve of my son for your daughter?" Yelan sipped her tea, which Fujitaka had served in lovely porcelain nadeshiko-patterned cups.

"I've watched him grow as a person," Fujitaka said thoughtfully. "He's always been steadfast in his love for her. And do you know, even when I sent Arata, Japan's most expensive lady of the night, to seduce him, she failed. He offered her ten thousand yen to sit down and explain to him what women want, both in and out of bed. He insisted on learning how to please a woman using diagrams and illustrations, mostly."

Yelan almost hooted in laughter. "My Xiao Lang paid her to talk to him?"

"Indeed." Fujitaka smiled. "When she reported to me, she was quite infuriated; she said, 'Why did you send me such a hot, wonderful boy if I wasn't gonna get to taste him? He's so in love with his little girlfriend!' I had to apologize profusely." He laughed, as did Yelan.

"He is so like his father," Yelan said wistfully. "Xiao Lang even looks just like he did when we first got married. What did he pay that woman to tell him?"

"He asked for tips on how to pleasure a woman, how to make them happy, how to write love letters . . . old-style courtship and lovemaking—although as I said, Arata had to draw diagrams. Syaoran reluctantly touched her when she was teaching him things like, well, you know, pleasures of the body. You ought to have heard her complain . . . come to think of it almost all of Syaoran's dates complained that he wasn't 'all there,' like he was thinking of someone else. And yet they could not fault his politeness. I feel a little proud of him."

"As do I." Again Yelan laughed. "I know Sakura slapped little rich boy Kotohiko, so I know she does not go for the trappings of wealth. I asked you to send him because my daughters all hated him. Do you know that he had the nerve to complain to me that I had no right to set him up with someone who 'refused to put out for the amount I spent on the meal'? And he tried to get me to pay for Sakura's 'share' of the meal?"

Fujitaka laughed. "Well, at least Sakura knows there are rich little—ah, what's a nice word?" He grinned, then, "Jerks, that's a good word. There are rich little jerks out there. Syaoran has money but he manages it well, and for all appearances is like an ordinary boy."

"I ought to thank you," Yelan said as she sipped her tea and smiled. "You practically helped raise Syaoran, you and your family, and he's turned out a good boy."

Cocking his head, Fujitaka raised a brow. "Perhaps your daughters' harassment of the poor boy at home was what drove him to make permanent residence here," he pointed out with a gentle smile. "Your stern demeanor with him didn't help."

"My son is adorable," she laughed. "Every time he came home and saw me, he'd stiffen like a little soldier and would be all, 'Mother! I am number three in overall grade standings this year! I regret I did not top my class in Japanese and English! I shall work harder!' Oh my darling son," she said fondly.

"I'm glad our children are together," Fujitaka said. "I hope this little set of dates will show them something about each other as well. Maybe they might even learn that there is no need to hurry into marriage . . . or lovemaking."

"Damn it, Fujitaka, why didn't you just let them go on when you caught them?" Yelan protested. "I would have enjoyed scaring him with my 'stern demeanor' had you reported it to me. When we discovered Syaoran had been Googling sex and lovemaking, why, I was tempted to hold a party!"

"Maybe he just wanted to learn, you know," Fujitaka pointed out, smiling. "When I, ah, found him and Sakura-chan together, they were embarrassed and humiliated. Apparently my daughter had, er, injured a sensitive part of his."

"What?" Yelan looked up from her teacup, eyes wide open in alarm. "We must arrange teachers for both of them in the sensual arts!"

"Calm down—goodness, I doubt your children have ever seen you this out of character." Fujitaka chuckled. "Let them do it at their own pace. That's the lesson I hope those two learn from my little test . . . especially Sakura-san from that playboy your daughters recommended. I think she realized that sweet words, extravagant gestures, and flattery are not an indicator of whether a person is suitable as a lover."

"Ah but teachers can also help them later on," Yelan pointed out. "But I hear Sakura didn't like Shihibiki whom Syaoran's sisters chose. And to think he has a reputation for being good in bed."

"She'll never know because she ran away," Fujitaka chuckled. "Climbed through the bathroom window and fled. Shihibiki-kun wound up picking up and seducing the waitress who served them, can you believe it?"

Both parents lost the fight to keep their faces straight and began to laugh in a most undignified manner, Fujitaka slapping his knee and Yelan chortling like a child. When she calmed down, she asked, "What of Nico Nazume?"

"I don't know; I was at the college that night. We'll have to ask my colleague about that." Fujitaka looked thoughtful. "I had second thoughts about pairing Sakura-san with him. I trust my daughter, but hearts are never predictable."

"I was worried about that boy too," Yelan said quietly. "He was the sweetest thing. He reminded me of Syaoran's father, and I thought, maybe Sakura-chan might like him."

"You too?" Fujitaka adjusted his glasses. "He's kind of like a cross between Syaoran-kun and Yukito-kun, so I can't blame you for being worried. But Tomoyo-chan and Eriol-kun reported that Sakura practically dove for Syaoran the next day and kissed him."

"Guilty behavior," Yelan said. "Poor girl. Someone ought to tell her that it's natural to be attracted to others."

"Ah but she knows Syaoran is not the kind to even look at others," Fujitaka pointed out. "That makes it worse. She probably feels she cheated on him if she liked Nico."

"There is so much to learn," Yelan sighed. "But, with that final date coming up, I think we shall learn how deeply they feel for each other, yes?"

Fujitaka laughed. "That we shall, old friend. Now, let's move to the kitchen; I want you to try my pastries!"


"Why are we here?" Syaoran groused at Eriol. They were at a spa in a ritzy part of Tokyo on a weekend. A woman at least thrice their age looked at the two boys with interest, grinning at them. Syaoran suppressed a shudder; the woman was well-preserved but she looked like she was a little too eager to flirt with teens his age.

"Hm, here," and Eriol handed Syaoran a case with blue contact lenses in them. "Use these."

"Not that I give a rat's ass but why, again?" Syaoran asked pointedly.

"Two things. We need to disguise you and we need to teach you something you'll need."

"What will I need?" Syaoran asked grumpily. "All I need is Sakura . . ."

". . . and you will have her, haven't you heard that patience is a virtue? Honestly," and Eriol rolled his eyes. "You're being tested, remember?"

"I just wonder why she was so upset the other day at school," Syaoran mused. "Could my lo . . . I mean, letter," and he blushed as Eriol rolled his eyes, "have upset her so much?"

"Terra firma, Li," Eriol chided. "Sakura's world does not revolve around you—well, okay, maybe half of the time. But perhaps she was unhappy over something else."

"Has someone else upset her?" Syaoran's fists quickly clenched. "Is there anything I can do?"

Eriol decided against revealing the ending of Sakura's date with Nico Nazume—which he and Tomoyo had observed from a distance—to Syaoran; it was something for her to tell him, after all. "You ought to ask her. Now where is that guy?"

"What guy?" Syaoran raised his brows.

"Our friend, who will be guiding us through this procedure," Eriol smiled. "Ah, here he is."

"Welcome to the Hana Hana Flowery Spa and Salon!" boomed a voice Syaoran knew all too well.

"No . . . Not that guy," he moaned. "And—double, no, triple flower? Who named this thing?"

"Oh? Am I not welcome?" Yamazaki pretended to pout as the salon attendants behind him giggled. "You don't like the name of this 'spalon'? Much effort was put into it by my ancestors, you know, Li-kun, and to suggest otherwise is to break my fragile heart. Ah!"

Syaoran hid his eyes behind one hand; where Yamazaki was involved, disaster was sure to follow.

And in his opinion, disaster was exactly what followed next. Syaoran was hauled by the female attendants to the salon where, as Eriol and Yamazaki held him down, his hair was given a temporary black dye and snipped into thicker locks, making him look a bit older. A facial, a massage-slash-body scrub (which Syaoran spent squirming and protesting as three giggling girls laved chocolate and pumice scrub all over him), and new clothes followed. All the while Yamazaki and Eriol followed him, coaching him on how to behave like a playboy.

"I already have that problem of people thinking I am a playboy at school! Why the hell would I want to act like a playboy?" Syaoran seethed as he read through a printout of "Syaoran's Suave Lines" from his two friends.

"Because this is your final test," Eriol said in a quiet, serious tone. He did not look at Yamazaki as he said this, but from many years of experience, his friend picked up the joking thread quickly. By now they were both experts on duping Syaoran about certain things.

"Kinomoto-sensei needs you to impress your last date. That way, he can give his permission for you to date Sakura again," Eriol continued.

"This test is ancient, did you know?" Yamazaki said in a hushed voice. "The girl may be the worst you've ever dated." He did not know who Syaoran was going to date, but he was confident Eriol would pick up on his bull and expand on it. "If you can make this woman happy, then you can make Sakura-chan happy. Parents give it to their children all the time on the theory of this: if you can please the worst, then you can do your best with the one you love."

Almost able to smell the aroma of bullshit in the air, Syaoran was about to say something rude, but his two friends weren't laughing, making him uncertain. "Are you two kidding?"

Eriol and Yamazaki looked at each other, then Eriol quietly asked, "How much do you love Sakura-chan?"

Blushing, Syaoran said, "L-lots."

"How eloquent," Eriol said dryly. "Anyway, we wouldn't do this without Kinomoto-sensei's agreement. You can call him if you like." He held out his cellphone.

Syaoran shook his head, then squared his shoulders. "All right. What am I supposed to do and learn then?"

"These ladies here," and Eriol swept a hand at the giggling spa attendants, "will teach you how to give a woman a good massage. Learn well."

"But I . . . I can't . . . ARGH!" Syaoran spluttered as the women dragged him into a well-lit cubicle. "Whatever for?"

"It is a test of fidelity," Eriol said, deadpan.

"After all, if another woman's body does not arouse you, then you are faithful," Yamazaki said solemnly.

"That doesn't make sense," Syaoran protested. "When that Kiriyu guy—you know, Meiling's uh, boyfriend, and Sakura's brother lectured me, they said that it was normal to be attracted to others. In an anthropological sense, it is a normal human reaction to find others attractive. Our teacher in . . ."

Yamazaki cut Syaoran off before he had a chance to go pedantic on them. "But how often does real life reflect our studies in school? We're in high school. College is when we get subjects relevant to real life."

Eriol gently trod on Yamazaki's foot; Syaoran was gullible but not stupid, after all. "The nature of a test is often unclear until we've passed it," he said. "It's like the way you're asked to collect water with holey buckets in your martial arts studies. It seemed stupid at first, but later . . ."

"Oh. Right," Syaoran nodded slowly. "The test made sense when the point wasn't to fill the bucket but to find solutions and to see how far my patience went."

Shooting Yamazaki a smug look that said, 'you just have to know how to handle him,' Eriol said, "Are you worried about practicing how to give a massage?"

"Er, yes," Syaoran muttered.

"Don't worry, Li-kun," Yamazaki smiled. "You can practice . . . on me."

"No . . ." Syaoran breathed as Yamazaki cheerfully stripped down to his shorts. "No way am I touching you that way!"

Yamazaki grinned. "Oh, so you prefer to cheat on Sakura by touching one of these ladies instead?" He indicated the attendants. "Or how about one of our older customers? I'm sure that matron at the reception area earlier would be happy to volunteer so you can learn on a real woman?"

Syaoran gritted his teeth, then asked the grinning attendant nearest him in a small voice, "So how do I start?"

Over the next few hours, he learned how to begin a massage, what areas to focus on, how to vary pressure and strokes. Yamazaki didn't help; when he liked what Syaoran was doing, he would moan most disconcertingly.

"Will you stop that?" Syaoran hissed as he kneaded Yamazaki's back, using fragrant oil.

"I can't help it, I like it," Yamazaki protested.

"It sounds like I'm pleasuring you!"

"You are!"

"Quit it!" Syaoran clenched a fist. "Or I'll . . ."

"Fine! Then I'll talk to you more about how to be a playboy."

"That's worse!"

"But I have to express myself one way or another," Yamazaki protested.

"Miss?" Syaoran turned to one of the attendants. "Have you got a gag? A towel will do."

"Oh, you're cruel, Li," Yamazaki groaned.

Eriol was quietly shooting the scene with a tiny camera; he was definitely going to enjoy watching this with Tomoyo later.

Several threats (from Syaoran), moans and exaggerated lessons on 'playboyism' (from Yamazaki), and explanations of the various pressure points and tension points (from the attendants) later, Syaoran was done with the massage lessons. Tired out, he was unble to protest immediately when he was hauled into the private quarters of the spa.

"Look!" Syaoran growled. "We do not own this place! We should stop taking liberties with it!"

"S'okay, Li-kun," Yamazaki said cheerfully. "My family owns this spa."

Silence. Syaoran rubbed his temples, and decided not to ask anymore. He probably didn't want to know, after all. When will I ever learn that asking Yamazaki things always spells trouble? He thought.

But more trouble was around the corner.

"I can't wear this shit!" Syaoran gasped. His outfit outraged him: a tight forest green polo shirt, unbuttoned halfway down his chest; tight black pants (he had staged a mini-revolution over the leather pants); biker boots; a gold necklace; and a big gold ring.

"I look like a cheap trying hard pimp!" He tore off the necklace and ring, glaring at his reflection in the mirror, but the spa attendants cooed, "Mr. Li looks great!"

Syaoran didn't like what he saw in the mirror. Others could see a devilishly model-like young man with dark blue eyes and tousled black hair and a lean muscular body who bore a resemblance to shy, stammering Syaoran Li.

All Syaoran saw was, it wasn't him.

"Mr. Li looks like an idiot," he grumbled.

"No, Mr. Ichiban is dressing for the part," Eriol said firmly.

"Ichiban?" Syaoran turned to him.

"Yeah. Ichiro Ichiban. You are the super number one guy!" Yamazaki said. "That will be your name for your date. And stop fidgeting: a super playboy like Ichiro Ichiban will expose his muscled chest!"

"No, Mr. Li is going to button this damned shirt," Syaoran muttered as he did all the buttons. "What a lame name!"

Yamazaki came closer, and grinned in Syaoran's face. "At least leave the top two undone," Yamazaki said as he sliced them off with a small box cutter.


"Now now. Practice your lines on these ladies," Yamazaki indicated the spa attendants. "Come on. If you get this over with now, you can go home and rest. I promise!"

"Not that your promises are worth anything," Syaoran muttered.

"Come on, Li-kun," Yamazaki wheedled. "Take her hand and pretend she's Sakura."

Syaoran glanced at a quiet Eriol, who waved cheerfully and said, "Oh don't mind me."

Sullenly, Syaoran glared at him and took the hand of the girl nearest him.

"Ah my princess, 'tis wonderful to be with you tonight. My cup roam- uh, runneth over with joy," Syaoran said in a flat tone that made the girl laugh.

"What a blank face!" Yamazaki exclaimed.

"The cheat sheet he's trying to hide in his hand doesn't help either," Eriol pointed out, smirking.

"Look, this isn't me!" Syaoran roared as he passed his hands through his hair in agitation and sighed when they came up black from the dye. "I can't . . . I just can't . . . and why do I have to try so hard for a girl who isn't Sakura?"

Eriol swallowed a laugh. Little did he know. "You said it," he pointed out calmly. "It's for Sakura. Pull this off and the barriers between you will disappear."

"Are you sure?"


Raising his chin, a determined look in his eyes, Syaoran proceeded to give an unintentionally hilarious impression of a playboy, clumsy at times and overblown in others. Yamazaki laughed and Eriol stifled his own mirth as Syaoran tried his pathetic best to impress the girls in an unintentional mockery of playboy style.

"If I had doubts about the rumors about him being a playboy," Yamazaki sighed as Syaoran bent to kiss a girl's hand and winced openly, "I think this proves he wasn't ever one. Even I do better with girls!"

"The only one he does well with is Sakura," Eriol grinned.

After an hour of that torture, Yamazaki left, thanking Syaoran for the best massage and laughs he'd had in a long time. The attendants bowed their way out, and then it was just Syaoran and Eriol.

"Any final words of advice?" Syaoran asked as he ripped the awfully tight, sexy outfit off himself so he could put his shirt and jeans back on.

"Only that if the opportunity arises for you and Sakura to make love, and you both want it, you should take it. Oh, and be careful—and by that I mean," Eriol held up a foil condom packet.

"That's advice?" Syaoran snorted. "Even I know that."

"I can't really give you advice on lovemaking beyond that and foreplay, you know." Eriol smiled.

"What do you mean you can't give me advice?" Syaoran asked suspiciously.

Eriol adjusted his glasses. "Tomoyo-san and I have never, shall we say, gone all the way. We have attempted everything from A-Y though, and I must say exploring the various definitions of pleasure that can be had sans full sexual contact is quite exquisite."

Syaoran's jaw dropped wide open. Then when he found his voice he yelled, "THEN WHY THE HELL ARE YOU ENCOURAGING ME TO GO ALL THE WAY WITH SAKURA?"

"Because, my friend, you and Sakura-san were—are ready."

Shaking in his fury and annoyance, Syaoran threw Eriol a glare before walking off, pausing only to rub at his eyes; the blue contacts were beginning to annoy him, but he could only take it off at home; the saline solution and case were in his backpack. But he'd put up with them; tomorrow, he would ace that final test if it killed him.

All for Sakura.


"TOMOYO-CHAN!" Sakura shrieked as a long, curling blonde wig was placed on her head. "What is . . . I look like . . . WHY?"

With her blue contact lenses in, Sakura gaped at the mirror; she looked like nobody she recognized. A stranger looked back at her, a stranger in a glittery, silky silver one-shoulder sheath that hugged her slender curves in a most flattering manner and had big blue eyes and silky blonde hair. Sakura thought she was looking at an arrogant model, then with a jolt realized it was herself.

"It's for your last date," Tomoyo said innocently, and Meiling nodded. The two were fixing Sakura up for her date later that evening.

"Your name is Hana Chichi Yaya, and you're the heiress to the Piffle Princess Cutesy Poo cosmetics and cute stuff empire," Meiling said.

"What kind of a name is that?" Sakura protested.

"Piffle Princess Cutesy Poo happens to be a cute name," Meiling deviled her.

"No, I mean, Flower. Chichi? And Yaya?" Sakura sounded stunned.

"So, think of it as the Japanese version of Paris Hilton," Meiling shrugged.

"Do I have to act that stupid as well?" Sakura asked timidly.

Meiling and Tomoyo began to laugh. "No, you need to be high-brow and snooty. No 'Hoe' and being sweet. You have to act blasé," Meiling said.

"You are a rich heiress out on a date."

"Why can't I just be me?" Sakura pointed out the obvious.

"Because this is the last date. Remember how your father said it was a test?" Tomoyo pointed out.

"Um, and how does this," and Sakura indicated her appearance in the mirror, "add up? I don't get it."

"Your father wants you to experience a lot of things so you don't change your mind about Syaoran halfway down the line," Tomoyo said sensibly. "Among them is being a beautiful femme fatale."

"Uhh . . . okay . . ." Sakura glanced at herself again, unable to recognize the sultry girl with the dark eye makeup and kiss-me lips. "I'm supposed to be sexy?"

"Sophisticated. Desirable. A woman your date desires. Be arrogant and unattainable, a beautiful butterfly men want to chase. After all you should know how to keep Syaoran interested," Meiling giggled.

"Not that she needs help there," Tomoyo grinned. "But, Sakura-chan, you have a chance to step into someone else's life, literally. Those stilettos are Jimmy Choos . . ."

And they are kinda hard to walk in without swaying my hips, Sakura added mentally.

" . . . your bag is next season's Prada . . ."

Oh gosh I had better not lose it! Sakura clutched it closer to herself.

" . . . those are real diamonds, Sakura, in the earrings, necklace, ring, and bracelet you're wearing, and that's a Lady Datejust Rolex, I got them out of my mom's vault for today . . ."

Sakura's eyes widened in fear; what if she lost those too?

". . . and your dress is a vintage Valentino."

The dress whispered on Sakura's skin; it was her favorite part of her ensemble, and the new silk underwear Tomoyo had forced her to wear did make her feel sexy and high-class. She smiled.

"You are heiress to a great fortune, not a sweet girl from Tomoeda. Never act impressed. Always seem bored. Your mantra is, 'been there, done that.' Can you pull that off?" Meiling said when she saw Sakura smile. "Stop being a sweet idiot!"

They expected her to get angry, but instead she went quiet.

Sakura was thinking about Nico and Syaoran. Despite what Yukito said, she still felt guilty about letting Nico kiss her, and for liking the kiss and the boy. She wished her date were Syaoran instead of some nameless boy, and that she could lose the expensive trappings (well, maybe not the dress), and just be herself.

She had decided that her date with Nico and the resulting kiss would just be memories from now on. When she thought of Nico, the more she thought of Syaoran, and how much she wanted to be with him. Sakura could spend the day listing why she liked being with Syaoran: he was so sweet, if a bit rough around the edges, tended to stammer, blush, and go stoic at the worst moments. She smiled as she thought of her beloved boyfriend's playboy reputation, and wondered how he had gotten such an undeserved tag slapped on him.

Then there were his warm toffee-colored eyes which would go dark when they kissed, and light when he was laughing or smiling at her. She loved the curve of his cheeks and nose, even the way his hair just always looked like he'd somehow gotten into a fight with a hair dryer and come out looking like he'd gotten it styled.

She sighed and smiled as Tomoyo fastened the wig with pins and made the final adjustments to Sakura's makeup.

"Well, you don't know who your date is and you're smiling already?" Tomoyo asked.

"If this means it will finally be over and done with, then I'm ready." Sakura set her chin and squared her shoulders. "Bring him on!"

"Actually, you're supposed to meet at the restaurant," Tomoyo smiled. "At seven."

"Hoe! It's already six thirty!"

"What did we say about 'hoe' earlier?" Meiling grinned.

"Oh right," Sakura said.

"And you will arrive fifteen minutes late . . . in my limo," Tomoyo grinned. "We even got male bodyguards for the occasion!"

Meiling winked at one 'bodyguard'; it was her boyfriend Kirigo in disguise, not that Sakura recognized him. The others were his friends. She walked up to him, pulled on his tie to bring him down for a kiss, then, "Kirigo, make sure my friend causes a commotion as Tokyo's Paris Hilton!"

"Only for you, Mei-babe," he grinned. Then he held out his hand to Sakura. "My lady," he said, and bowed, sweeping his other hand in the direction of the Daidouji limousine.

Sakura teetered on her heels as she walked to the limousine, then got the hang of it. Remembering Tomoyo's coaching, she gracefully entered the limo, crossing her legs daintily as she sat down.

A squeal of happiness from Tomoyo deafened Meiling. "Oooh, did you see that? My Sakura-chan is a sexy lady now!"

Meiling rolled her eyes. "I'm going off to set up the web feed onto the big screen at the Kinomoto house, okay? You go follow the lovebirds on their messed-up date."

"That I shall!" Eyes sparkling, Tomoyo hurried to a second car, which was waiting for her, and opened her laptop to check on the setup she'd placed in the five star restaurant Sakura was going to. "This is going to be so much fun!"


Suzaku was exhausted. He'd spent his weekend impersonating Syaoran and dating the "bitch queens" of Seijyu High, all of whom never realized—not even when he made basic errors such as Syaoran's home room number and schedule—that he was not Syaoran. All had tried to bed him, and each time only the intervention of his accomplices saved him. Not that he didn't have an appetite; far from it, but these women did not appeal to him.

The real fun would come that weekend, when he had manipulated all of them into meeting him at school at thirty minute intervals in places that had been prepared beforehand. He smiled. Blowing his cover for a good cause was always a good thing.

The weekend can't come fast enough, he thought to himself as he snuggled up to his closest accomplice. But before that . . . He grinned. Cousin Meiling had promised a show to remember tomorrow evening at the Kinomoto house. Syaoran should thank me for starting the whole thing that brought Sakura into his arms, he thought.

Satisfied, he went to sleep.

End of Chapter 11


WOW. Thanks for the reviews, hope you guys got my PMs! Chapter 12 is being revised, and ought to be up within two weeks. Pardon the delay but real life really does get in the way.

I had a long bout with writer's block, but I broke through it, first with the help of Sakura-chan Master of the Clow, who helped me with the plot outline; boreum dal, whom I tortured through countless sleepless nights with my ideas and insanity, and Sixteen Candl3s, who returned from hibernation and helped me out. Do check out their lovely stories, and I want to thank them here for all they've done.

Here are TWO previews of chapter 12:

Preview 1: "So, uh..." Syaoran started. Sakura—in the guise of Hana Chichi Yaya—looked up, eyebrows raised in curiosity. Syaoran couldn't look her in the eye for the next dumb line he was about to use so he slid on his shades as Sakura stared.

"Your feet must be tired."

Sakura cocked her head. "My . . . feet?"

Syaoran ran a hand through his hair in what Yamazaki said was a 'carelessly sexy' gesture. Feeling ridiculous, he jerked his hand away quickly and snagged his shades with it. Shit!

He fumbled with the shades and put them back over his eyes. 'Hana' gaped at him, her blue eyes wide with confusion. Great going, Li, he scolded himself.

"Yeah, because you've—uh . . . You've been running through my mind all day." He had to utilize all of his willpower not to drop his head on the table right then and there; he cursed Yamazaki and Eriol in his head, feeling like a complete idiot.

"Ho . . ." Sakura swallowed the word; would a rich heiress even say "Hoe?" of course not! "How can that be when we've never even met?

Oh great, Syaoran thought. None of the lines are working. I'm dead.

Luckily for him that was when Sakura decided to get in character as well. Flipping her long blonde curls, she tossed her head; Syaoran noticed that one lock of hair had caught on the foliage behind her. Should he say something?

"What is it?" Sakura asked in her Hana Chichi Yaya voice, a snooty half octave lower than her own.

"Uh, nothing," Syaoran said, then immediately covered with, "The way you toss your hair is . . . very arrogant . . . I mean, attractive," he said in his own fake gravelly voice.

Why does his voice sound familiar? I keep thinking of Syaoran, for some reason! Sakura thought. Out loud she said, "Well, it's to be expected. I mean, I am a heiress..."

"An heiress," Syaoran automatically corrected her.

"Oh, sorry," Sakura said, then almost had to smack herself; she wasn't supposed to apologize!

Idiot! Syaoran resisted the urge to smack himself. Don't make her feel stupid! "An heiress like you is expected to be a goddess among plants," he ad-libbed.

Immediately afterwards he wanted to sink into the plush couch he was on in a puddle of shame. Lame shame.

Tomoyo and Eriol looked at each other, stifling giggles. The conversation was worse than they thought it would be.

Preview 2: Syaoran kneaded 'Hana's' shoulders gently, but with firm pressure. He had a suspicion, and he had to make sure he knew before he said anything.

Under the guise of massaging her neck, he ran his fingers up her nape. Two reasons: he felt for her hairline and confirmed that there was a wig there. Smiling, though Hana—no, Sakura could not see, he used two fingers on each hand to run them teasingly over her neck to where it joined her shoulders. Sakura loved being kissed there, and when she shuddered, Syaoran lightened the strokes gently and lowered his head. Now for the final test.

Sakura was about to ask if all massages felt this good, then she felt his tongue on her nape, fluttering gently and teasingly the way only Syaoran did.

Oh my god! Only Syaoran knew that sweet spot, and this boy was teasing it gently with his tongue!

"Wh... what are you doing?" She forgot to disguise her voice.

She IS Sakura! Syaoran exulted. He didn't respond, but his hands began to slide the robe off her shoulders.