Author's Note: Please read my story 'I'll Be Seeing You Soon' which can be seen as the sequel to this story.
"Want to go to the park today Kumiko-chan?"
Her little daughter looked up at her excitedly. "Can we momma? Really?"
Kurumu nodded. "I don't have to work today so why don't we go and play?"
"Yahoo!" Kumiko cried and pumped a tiny fist in the air. Her mother laughed and patted her head.
As they walked to the park with Kurumu holding her daughter's hand she drew a great deal of attention. Both men and women stopped to stare at her. A few took out cameras or camera phones while some came up to her to beg for an autograph. A couple men even tried hitting on her despite the presence of her daughter and a wedding ring. She brushed them aside and continued towards the park.
"How do you know so many people momma?"
Laughing Kurumu shook her head slightly. "Oh I don't know them, but a lot of them have seen my face so they know me." They just happened to be passing a grocery store. In the display window was an image of Kurumu in a maid outfit with a certain brand of furniture polish in one hand. "People see my face so they know who I am."
"Wow," Kumiko said amazed. She then looked a bit worried. "Momma, do you like the people who all know you?"
"Most of them," Kurumu told her. "It's fun to be recognized and get attention from people." Seeing a couple high school boys with a camera phone she turned their way and offered a playful wink and blew them a kiss. The two of them shouted.
Seeing this made Kumiko look a bit more apprehensive. "Would you ever like them more than me and poppa?"
Kurumu looked at her little daughter in surprise. She immediately stopped, leaned down, and planted a bunch of kisses all over her little face until Kumiko began to squeal with laughter. "Don't be silly. You're my little girl and your poppa is my beloved husband and my destined one. I could never ever, ever love anyone more."
"Good," Kumiko said emphatically. Which produced more laughter from her mom as they started walking again. "Momma, what's a dustinged one?"
"Destined one," Kurumu said carefully enunciating it. "A destined one is the one special man who you will really and truly love with your entire heart. He is the one you will spend your entire life with and have his children." She planted a quick kiss on her daughter's cheek. "He is the most special person in the entire world to you and he will be the one you build your life around. No one will ever matter to you as much as he will."
"Wow," Kumiko said sounding amazed. "And poppa is momma's des… destined one?"
"That's right Kumiko-chan," Kurumu said as she waved at a small group of fans.
"Momma, how did you know poppa was your destined one?"
Kurumu smiled fondly as she remembered that long ago day back at the academy. "Well, Tsukune and I were only 15 back then and freshmen at Youkai. Momma wasn't as… well as nice as she is now. I got into trouble with another girl because I was trying to take her boyfriend from her. I was in real danger and that was when Tsukune protected me." She blushed and felt her heart beat pick up as she remembered his words to an angry Moka. I don't think Kurumu is a bad girl… I know we can get along. She had tried to use him as nothing but a pawn against her rival. And when that had failed she'd tried to kill them both. Looking back on it she could see that she really had been nothing but a spoiled angry child. Despite what she'd done though Tsukune had not only forgiven her but saved her from an angry Moka. "Your poppa protected me even though I wasn't very nice to him. When he did that my heart began to go 'doki, doki' and I knew he was the one."
"Did poppa's heart go, 'doki, doki' too?"
"Yes, but not until much later," her mother told her.
Kurumu's smile became reminiscent and a bit sad. "There was another girl your poppa liked then. It took awhile for him to see I was the one he was meant to be with."
"What happened to the other girl momma?"
Taking her daughter's hand Kurumu began walking towards eh park again. "She disappeared one day."
Kumiko was playing with a group of other children near the swings. As she did so Kurumu was nearby talking to the parents who all recognized her. Happy to talk to her fans she didn't notice as a woman in a long coat and a wide brimmed hat came over to the swings.
"Would you like a push dear?"
Kumiko looked behind her and saw a woman with pink hair and green eyes. Around her neck was a black collar with a silver cross with red stone in its center. Kumiko thought the woman was very pretty and nice.
"Yes, please." She said and kicked up her heels.
The woman carefully gave her a push and Kumiko swung higher.
"Yahoo!" She called happily.
The stranger chuckled at that. "You sound like your mother, she used to say yahoo all the time too."
"Do you know momma?" The little girl asked.
"Yes, your mother and I used to be very good friends," the strange woman told her. "And I used to be very close to your father too. How… how is he?"
The girl looked at her unsure. "What do you mean?"
"Is your father happy?"
Kumiko nodded vigorously. "Poppa is very happy! Poppa is always smiling and giving me and momma kisses."
"That's good," the stranger said quietly. "I'm glad Tsukune-kun is happy."
"Then why do you look sad?" The little girl asked.
The woman forced a smile to her face. "Because I am afraid he is going to be unhappy soon."
Kurumu was chatting away when she felt a tug at her sleeve. She was surprised to see Kumiko there looking unhappy. "What's wrong dear?"
"Momma, can we go home now? Please?"
"If you want," she told her. "But why? Aren't you having fun?"
The little girl shook her head. "No momma, a lady said poppa was going to be unhappy soon and it made me sad."
Kurumu frowned. "Who said that to you?" If there was anything sure to upset her it was anyone saying something to hurt her little girl.
"A pretty lady with pink hair and a cross, she's gone now."
Pink hair and a cross? It was an odd coincidence, but there women with pink hair and crosses were fashionable. "Well whoever she was she was just saying something stupid. Your father is very happy and as long as he has us there's no way he could ever be unhappy, all right?"
The girl nodded silently.
Kurumu picked her up and gave her a kiss on the cheek. Then excusing herself she brought her daughter home with her.
Almost as soon as she returned the house phone began to ring. She set her daughter down and answered.
"Aono residence, the beautiful and talented Aono Kurumu speaking." There was silence on the line. "Hello? Is anyone there?"
The line was again silent and she was just about to hand up when a soft voice finally spoke.
"I'll be seeing you soon." The line immediately disconnected.
Being a famous model she had of course had a few obsessive fans. People who liked to imagine there was a relationship between them simply because they had paid for some of her photographs or for some other deluded reason. They were just a part of the price for being famous and so far they had all been harmless. But those few words bothered her a lot more than they should have. The voice had also sounded familiar; she had definitely heard it before. Though the words had been too few and spoken too softly for her to really recognize it.
"Oh well, it's not that big a deal," she said and put the receiver down.
She was soon in the kitchen baking cookies, what she always did to set her mind at ease. Before long Tsukune was home and seeing him set her mind at ease. The worries both she and her daughter had felt were banished by his hugs and warm words.
She felt certain that everything would be just fine.
Just then the phone rang.
Tsukune picked it up. "Hello?" An instant later he put it back down. "Whoever it was hung up. Must have been a wrong number."