Disclaimer: I do not own any of the CCS characters.
Part 4 : Revealing
The intrusion was inevitable.
They had received some amenities from Wei in a few minutes, relaxing to their conversation. They managed to speak of everything and nothing at all. Smiling gently, and guffawing at their own insecurities. Sakura had decided to tell him the whole sordid tale behind her parent's romance, which had him pointing out that it had not been sordid at all, using her own words. She confided in him that she used the word to make it sound more dramatic than it needed to add more romanticism to the tale.
"You're so…" he struggled to find the right word to describe what he was thinking.
"Flighty?" she supplied, smiling as he seemed to mull over the word and decide against it. "Well, that was all I could think of."
"Really?" he raised a brow, smirking in return. Sakura felt blindsided by the appearance of a dimple on his right cheek. She felt mesmerized by how perfect he looked, itching to have a camera nearby and have captured it.
Syaoran cleared his throat, feeling overwhelmed by the fact that she had just seemingly zoned out while staring at him. He decided not to tease her about it, hiding the satisfied smile that was trying to burst forth from him over it. He felt that he could dare anything. But would he? Time was drawing near.
He hadn't completely dared do this, but there was almost no time left before he had to return to complete his obligatory rounds for the night. "Sakura," she looked up from the desk to him, sensing a bit of urgency, thinking of the cryptic thirty minutes reply Wei had given him before.
"I have to go now," he smiled at her while he stood from his seat. He rounded the desk and walked to the table she had left the book on. He took it with him and extended it to her. She waited for him to explain, only to get no question dealing with the book whatsoever. But she had so many of her own she could only shout in her mind with great urgency as she felt him pull further away. Where are you going? Who are you? Can't you stay? Take me with you. The last was cried out rather sharply into her heart as it galloped against her breast in anticipation and at the same time expecting refusal.
"Do you drive?" Syaoran felt like his tie was strangling him, his voice hoarse. He couldn't even understand his own mind as if already formulated a new plan to follow. He'd caught a flash of regret on her eyes as he'd walked away, only to apprehensively wait as he returned with the object in his hand. It wasn't logical how it seemed that she had so much influence on him.
She wanted to run her hand through his hair, disbarring the perfect locks from their place and disrupt his image. She didn't know why she wanted to do such a thing, but maybe this way she would be able to leave a mark and he wouldn't forget about her, couldn't keep her out of his mind even if just for a few minutes before they had to return to those who awaited them beyond that door.
"I was somewhat taught by my brother, but how could I describe it, rudimentary," she felt rather shamed of such a thing. She didn't know what was the right answer. To admit to know how to drive in their world would mean that she didn't expect to be driven anywhere, a profession that bestowed status onto the rich who ordered others to do their bidding. To say that you didn't would also reflect on the flight for freedom she denied to wish for. "Why?"
"I would like to invite you for a drive," he finally posed a request, his eyes lingering on her hands as they gripped the small book. "Would you mind?" He hadn't meant to say the last aloud, opening the request further and unequivocally asking for her feelings.
"Syaoran," she stood from her own seat, smiling in invitation as she returned the book to his hands. "I would love to."
"I'm sure I'll be able to bribe someone in the kitchen to supply the fare for us," he didn't feel as confident as he tried to sound.
"I could bring something instead," she offered, straining against her closed throat that refused to obey most of her signals to let her speak confidently.
"Can you cook?" his question paused her.
"Do you mean just generally or specifically?"
"Generally," he decided to go with that particular description.
"I'm a good cook," she boasted. "Although that's by my family's standard, so they may have been trying to be kind."
"Then I'll drive and you'll supply the food, so it's an even exchange between us. You can then tell me what you thought of the book and its philosophical inquiries," he teased her, his hand bringing a pen from the inside of his jacket. Rather easily he wrote a phone number on the first page.
"Sakura Kinomoto," he extended a hand, she took it without much fuss. "It was a pleasure to make your personal acquaintance," he surprised her, slipping her hand upwards and giving a most proper kiss.
She beamed at him, a tingling sensation making its way from her fingers as his lips brushed against them and touched her chest. How it traveled, or what it was, she didn't understand.
She waited patiently as he slipped away, but not before getting her to promise to call him soon so they would set the date. "Are there promises?" she asked herself, listening to the absence of sound from the door he had left ajar for her. She had to go do her duty to the party. She absently made her way to the ballroom, the book carefully tucked under her arm and her unemotional face put forth for the throng.
His eyes scanned the sea of faces that lay just a step beneath him as they all waited for him to blow out the candles his mother had set ablaze for him. He was sure he would be able to find her face if he focused enough. They all looked the same to him, blurring together as he denied himself the pleasure of focusing his eyes. He wanted to believe that he would be able to feel her, which made no sense whatsoever when he thought of the facts of his tenuous relationship with her.
He had left it open completely to her. She would be the one to choose to call him or let the time pass so this night would be somewhat forgotten. He wanted to believe that he would have made a good enough impression to have her interested. He felt the pull to confirm her attention now, while he was completely bare to the world in the sphere he was building his life, expecting her to see the same man that listened to her laugh just minutes before.
He caught her hair, unturned to him as she spoke to a woman that he could guess to be the grandmother that had accompanied her. She finally turned, somewhat chastised, her eyes cast down. If he had to suppose, he would have to say that she hadn't immediately joined the room like he had, but had dragged her inevitable exit from the refuge she had embraced with him.
There was surprise in her eyes, so green and open to his stare. He wasn't trying to mask his attention to her, wondering if anyone was really paying attention to him or to the event that was more important. She drew back somewhat, thoughts and feelings flashing rather clearly over her face as she refused to look away from his search.
He was somewhat apologetic over the shock of finding him the center of attention, giving her a boyish grin as her eyes darkened over the surprise and getting somewhat peeved over his omission. She hadn't registered his name until this moment. He was more than happy, elated with her honest reaction and the smile that was breaking forth on her.
Sakura just had one point to make. He had not looked vulnerable when their eyes had connected, but more aloof and cold from those that surrounded him until he had broken into a smile. It was infectious, as she felt her own lips curl, the urge to laugh aloud brimming to the top.
He saw her lips move, quite easily making out her 'happy birthday' congratulations. It was probably all he would get as he saw her urge him with a slight nod of her head towards the blaze that still waited for the traditional blowing of the candles.
He winked at her slyly, before complying with the action they all waited as the crowd burst into cheers and applause. There was a secret, which made him more close and warmth to the kiss his mother gave him. Syaoran enfolded her into a hug which he sensed surprised her. There was a closeness that he'd been avoiding with the passing of years and the maturity of adults that should be bypassed on the celebration of the closeness of mothers and sons.
"Thank you mother," for everything that has led me to open my eyes to a new experience. To wherever it would lead. He looked down to where Sakura had been standing, to find her gone. He could see her withdrawing from the room to accept a drink for the toast. He recognized the woman she had been speaking with as she approached his family.
It wasn't hard to get a name and to easily make the connection. He was pulled away from giving the name more attention from others who wanted to personally congratulate him. This is much more their day than his. When he slipped back into his office a few hours later, the house blessedly silent and his birthday officially over, he found a scribble on top of hi folder he had closed. There had been no hesitation in her use of the blank space that served as a cover for very important papers. She had snuck back into this room after he'd been surrounded before she left.
That was rather surprising, finding you the reason for my being present in this house tonight. You were wonderful though, being able to hide that angst you were taken over with in here. I'm not the only one with a decision here now. Sakura. The name was flourish and curved in the exact places it should be, her number followed with large scribes which had him smiling. He liked this feeling she evoked in him. He made up his mind. He was going to be the one to call first. One day would be enough.
Here's the end of Distracting, bringing us to a close on Syaoran and his decision to like such distractions. There's a following titles A Drive. Look forward to it.