Disclaimer: La Corda D'oro belongs to its rightful owner.

~Never Too Late~

Pester, annoyance, danger-zone are what he calls her. How could she live in a home with this arrogant egoistic lad?

CHAPTER 1 (It's actually a Prologue)

She dragged herself from the midst of mishap and misfortune, feet sore and weary with the long walk. Bundles of things kept her little hands occupied. Beads of sweat appeared on her forehead as the sun hung directly overhead in the sky. There was nowhere to go.

As the scorching heat of the sun brushed her skin, she mechanically winced. She had been half of the day. "Where will I go now?" she whispered, tears starting to form in her eyes. Close to crying, she pressed her lips together to prevent them from overflowing.

"Ow! My feet are killing me. Gosh, what will I do now? Grandma, help me," she paused as her tears trickled down. She heaved a sigh and started to step forward.

"No! This is not what I want." she wiped her tears away. She raised one hand and clenched it into a fist. "I have to keep moving, I will definitely not let my life move forward without me." She laughed to ease the sadness.

"Anyways, where will I go-now." she was too absorbed in her thoughts to notice that she was in the middle of the road. . A black limousine screeched to a stop in front of the wide-eyed girl, almost killing her.

"Gaah! You-you almost ki-"

"Miss, are you alright?" a guy in uniform exited the car

"Put her in the car, immediately."

"Wah, who are you?" a blurry image came within sight but then all went black.

~NeKo Meow~

"Grandma wake up, please open your eyes, Grandma. Don't leave me please, grandma please, don't. I'll be all alone if you leave me and you-you promised that you'll always be there for me." in between each gasp and sob, she uttered "Why do you have to leave me…"

~NeKo Meow~

"Miss Hino?"

Kahoko opened her eyes gradually, and raised her hand towards her face. She was a bit puzzled when she felt that her eyes were wet. "Am I crying?" she wondered and glanced at the person in front of her.

"Where am I? What am I doing here and who are you? How did you know my name?"

She chuckled "I'm Manami Mori and you're in the hospital, you suddenly fainted when we-Uhm almost ran you over." she pursed her lips and looked at Kahoko.

"How- how did you know my name?" Kahoko voiced weakly as she struggled to sit up. Manami helped her and sat beside her

"I had to look through your things for any contact numbers of your relatives. I'm sorry, but I had no other choice, I had to."

"I don't have any relatives now."

"Eh! Pardon, did you just say something?"

Kahoko gazed at her and smiled "Neh! Nothing! Thanks for your kindness Ms Mori."

"You're welcome but you don't have to thank me, I'm not the one who brought you here."

"Huh! Then who do I have to thank—"

"Is she awake, Mori?" the door slid open, and an old man, approximately in his eighties, came in. He looked well-mannered and educated. He stood upright despite of his old age.

"Ah! Miss Hino, are you fine now?" his voice was serious and calm

Kahoko shifted her gaze and nodded "Yes, thank you very much Mr—" she paused to ask his name

"Hasegawa, Shouzaburou Hasegawa."

She smiled "Thank you, Mr. Hasegawa."

"You're welcome Ms. Hino?"

Manami stood up and offered him the seat. He sat on a chair while Manami stood behind him

"Ka-Kahoko, call me Kahoko, it's quite awkward if someone is calling me by my surname, I feel kinda old whenever I hear it."

Mr. Shouzaburou and Manami laughed at her frankness "You're quite funny child, ok I'll call you Kahoko. Is that right?"

Kahoko blushed a little embarrassed and smiled again.

"The doctor told me you're good to go home when you wake up. Can you give us any contact numbers of your relatives, so that we can inform them that you're here?"

"Uhm, I don't have any close relative here." Hesitation showed on her face

"I see then, we can take you home, at least."

"I don't have a place to go but-" she paused; she didn't know what to say, she had been forced to leave her apartment since she had not been able to pay the rent. For the time being, she was homeless and had nowhere to go

Mr. Shouzaburou looked at Manami, the girl nodded "Kahoko, if you don't mind you can live with us," Mr. Shouzaburou offered.

"No! I-I mean, I have relatives in the province. I decided to go there," she answered and shook her hands "I guess" Kahoko lowered her gaze, uttering the words to herself

"I think you're not sure about that, I must compensate you for almost killing you," he laughed. "Accept my offer as an apology for what happened earlier"

"But…" she protested, "They're doing too much, they took me to the hospital and now, they want me to live with them."

"Kahoko." Manami held her hands and looked into her golden eyes

"Ms. Mori?"

"Manami. You can call me Manami. Anyway, if you don't have any place to go, please accept Mr. Hasegawa's offer," she insisted and squeezed her hand a bit to encourage her

"I don't have a place to go and a kind person is offering me to stay with them, I guess..."

"O-ok," she whispered

"Really?" Manami looked at Mr. Shouzaburou and smiled, the old man smiled back and glanced at Kahoko

"But temporarily, since I have to find my other relatives."

Manami hugged her, swaying side to side "Thank you so much Kahoko, even if it's for a little while."

The girl's eyes softened and she chuckled, and then hugged Manami who was by then making her dizzy.

"Misa, this girl reminds me of you," he watched as the two girls laughed.

Authoress' note:

Combined two chapters. [Lessened chapters, is all, nothing has changed in the contents.] Thank you to Rena404