"Did you hear about Atobe-sama!? His parents is forcing him into an arranged marriage!?" whined a girl. Her friend besides her rolled her eyes as she doodled on scratch paper.
"He's a diva; I doubt that there would be any other reason that he would get marriage. I rather see him fucking die alone." she muttered as drew an ugly monkey.
Her friend blinked. "What's gotten into you, Rei-chan? I'd never seen you this upset before."
"It's nothing, Hikaru-san." answered Rei.
"You're upset that Atobe-sama's getting married, aren't you!? After having him as a partner in every class, you finally developed feelings towards him, is that it?" her friend exclaimed.
Rei stood up and hit her desk angrily. "Why would I have care about that arrogant jerk!?" she shouted then stomped out of the classroom.
Hikaru blinked. "What's gotten into her...?"
Rei sighed as she ran her hand through her short black hair. Just a week ago she finally found out why every single year the teachers make Atobe and her partners for everything, their parents wanted them to get to know each other before announcing that the two are engaged. She was completely angry at her parents for forcing her to marry Atobe, but she knew that she couldn't disobey them.
"Arn? There you are, Rei."
Rei stopped, but she didn't need to turn around to see who it was. "I never let you call me by my first name, Atobe." she said, each word dripping with venom.
Atobe sighed and ran his hand through his grey locks. "Whether we like it or not, we're eng-"
But, he was interrupted when Rei put her hand over his mouth. "The last thing that I need is to be killed by your fanclub when they find out about THAT!"
Atobe looked at her annoyingly, then pulled her hand off and kept a strong grip on her wrist. "Nobody will dare harm Ore-sama's girl."
She glared at him and pulled her wrist away. "I will never be your girl!" she shouted then ran away from him.
Atobe sighed, frustrated, and rubbed his temples. Normally he would never have problems with girls since they all usually fawn over him the moment they saw him, but this was a different situation. He had known about this arranged marriage even before they had enter junior high, but even from the beginning, Rei seemed to have hated his guts and now that she knows about the engagement, she seems like she wanted to kill him. But, he knew one thing... he was not going to break off this engagement no matter what.
Rei left the changing room wearing only her gi. She took a deep break before she started training. She was the captain of the karate team at Hyoutei and one of the strongest members in the school.
She pictured Atobe in front of her and started punching and kicking her image until she saw him a bloody mess in her mind. She doesn't know why, but every time she thinks about Atobe, her blood just boils. She had hated him from the first time she saw him walking up the stage and giving his pompous speech in their first year.
She sighed and laid down on the wooden floor of the dojo. No matter how upset she gets, being in a dojo had always made her feel better, which is obvious since she's the daughter of the famous Suzuki karate dojos and Hanako tea ceremony schools in Japan.
Rei felt someone poke her and was about to kick the person until she saw it was one of the freshman. "Ah? Did I doze off?" she asked as she sat up.
"I guess so."
Rei stood up and looked around looked at all the members while dusting off her gi. "Don't just stand there! Start warming up and then we'll have sparring matches!"
Rei sighed as she left the clubhouse. "What is Atobe?"
"You're coming to the tennis match this Sunday." he demanded.
She glared at him. "Don't order me around! You have no right to order me around!"
Atobe stared at her then took a step forward, causing her to take one backwards until she reached the clubhouse door. He slowly approached her and pinned her wrist against the door. "W-what are you doing!?" she said as her face slowly got hot.
"I'm going to be your husband, there's no avoiding it; the least you can do listen to me once and a while." he said as his lips moved closer and closer to hers.
Rei struggled against him, but even as strong as she is, for some reason, she wasn't able to get out of his grip like she did this morning. "L-let go of me...!"
Atobe smirked. "Arn? What's with the stuttering?" She can feel his hot breathe against her lips and it gave her the chills. Wait? Is that a good or bad thing? She didn't know, all she knew was she wanted to get out of that position.
Just as Atobe was going to kiss her, a voice stopped him. "Atobe-sama and Rei-sama!?"
The two look over and saw two freshmen, both blushing like ripe tomatoes. Rei smiled, she was so happy to see them.
Atobe scowled then let go of her. "Don't forget." he said as he walked away from the group.
Rei bent down and placed a hand over her beating heart. 'Why is it beating like this!?' she thought as she mentally slapped herself.
Rei looked up to the two freshmen and pat them on the head. "Thank you for coming at the right time. Don't tell anyone what you saw." she said then left them before they started questioning her.
Rei sighed as she walked home. The scene continued to play and replay in her head; she still didn't understand what made Atobe do that, but what she didn't the most was the way that she had reacted.
Wanting to forget about it, she looked around to see if something can distract her. She peered into a bookstore and saw a familiar face leaving it. "Tezuka!"
Tezuka Kunimitsu looked up from his book and was equally surprised to see her. "Suzuki-san."
Rei pouted. "I told you, Tezuka, not to call me 'Suzuki-san,' I told you to call me 'Rei'."
Rei smiled. She had known Tezuka since she ran into him at the hospital; him having sensei examine his elbow and her, her ankle. "Still a man of few words, I see? Do you mind if we go somewhere to catch up or do you have somewhere you should go?"
"I don't have any plans, Rei." he replied and she smiled and grabbed his hand then started pulling him along.
"Then come on!"
She pulled him to a little expensive restaurant, but they were going to decline her access since they were both wearing their school uniform. She slipped the waiter her name and was quickly seated in an exclusive part of the restaurant.
Rei looked at Tezuka and saw that he was sitting there, uncomfortably. "Ah, I'm sorry! I forgot that you're not use to this, but the cakes here are delicious. Just relax, I'll handle everything."
Rei sighed. She knew that he wasn't much of a talker, but she did enjoy his company. "How's your ankle?"
Rei looked up. "Huh? Ah! My ankle. I still go to sensei periodically just to make sure that nothing will happen to it when I fight again. So far, everything has been okay. How about your elbow?"
"It's back to prefect condition." he answered, but she didn't believe him that much.
"Oh? Can I see?" she moved over to beside him and looked and felt it. "You'd been playing matches again?" He didn't answer. "You really have to be careful; I'd seen you play tennis and your moves are amazing, but too much stress on this elbow would harm your tennis career."
"I'm willing to sacrifice it for the Nationals."
"Ah, that's a buchou talking. Even I know, since I'm the buchou of the karate team, but rushing into things will definitely harm you, not help you. Please tell me you have a break coming up."
"No, we have a match on Sunday."
"I see... well, I'm going to come to make sure that you don't anything reckless, Tezuka." she said as she winked at him, completely forgetting what Atobe had told her this afternoon.
"Let's see... this would count as a school event, right? So should I wear my uniform? But, I'm going to cheer for Seigaku... maybe jeans and a shirt would be a better idea." She pulled out a pair of black faded jeans, a white tank top and a blue jean jacket. She looked herself over in the mirror and smiled then ran out of the house after bidding her parents good bye.
The walk to the courts wasn't as far as she thought it would be, but when she got there, there were only people setting up for the match. Rei frowned. 'He told me this time too.'
She turned around and smiled. "You guys kept me waiting."
"Ah? Tezuka-buchou, do you know her?" asked a tall second year.
"Rei-san, it's great to see you here." he bowed.
"Oishi, you're always so polite!" Rei laughed.
"Even Oishi-fukubuchou knows her?"
"Ah, I should probably introduce myself, I'm Suzuki Rei. Nice to meet you all! Please continue to take care of Tezuka!"
"Rei." Tezuka scowled as most of the team turned around and snickered.
"Rei-chan!" shouted two people. Rei turned around and was glomped by a red head and an orange head.
"Jirou! Gakuto! What are you doing here?"
The two got off her and looked at her weirdly. "Aren't you here for our match?" asked Gakuto.
"You guys are playing today...?"
"Hai! I'm going to show you my awesome volley, Rei!" exclaimed Jirou as he bounced around.
"Arn? So you did show up, Rei." said Atobe as he and the rest of the tennis club walked up to them.
"Rei, why aren't you in your school uniform?" asked Oshitari.
"Etou... well, to tell you the truth, I came to cheer on Tezuka today. I didn't know you guys were playing." Rei shyly answered.
Atobe eyes harden. "Rei, I told you that our match was today."
Rei glared at him. "Well, do I really listen to you, Atobe?"
Atobe stepped up, grabbed her wrist and pulled her along. "We'll meet each other on the court, Tezuka."
"Oi! Atobe! Let me go!" she shouted as she tried to pulled herself away from him, but he had a firm grip on her. He pulled her into a dark hallway and shoved her against the cold stone wall. "What's the meaning-" but she didn't finish her sentence when she saw the angered and hurt look on his face.
"What's you're relationship with Tezuka?" he commanded, coldly.
"Why do you have to know this!?" she shouted.
He punched the wall near her head. "Damnit! Just answer me!"
Scared, she answered. "I met Tezuka at the hospital when there were problems with my ankle; we both had the same doctor."
"Why are you here for him?"
"Because I'm worried about his elbow."
Atobe sighed, then started to walk away from her. "You're going to cheer for me when I have my match against Tezuka."
When she could no longer hear his footsteps, she slid down the wall. For the years, that she had known Atobe, she had never saw him like that before. He seemed truly angry and hurt because she said she was there for Tezuka and not him. She stayed there in the shadows thinking everything over.
"Atobe! Atobe! Atobe!"
She could hear the screams from all of Atobe's fans. She looked up and she knew that she should be out there for his match because she never wants to see him look at her like that anymore.
She got up and stumbled out from the dark hall, covering her eyes from the bright day light.
"Come on, Tezuka-buchou!"
Rei looked on the court and there they were, battling for the win, but that didn't catch her attention. What she was most worried about is that their tied-breaker is already in the hundreds and Tezuka's elbow seems like it can give out any second.
"No...." she whispered.
"Game, set, and match! Hyoutei's Atobe wins! Seven games to six!"
She saw Tezuka stumble onto the bench and she ran over there, disappointing someone who wanted her to go to him.
"Tezuka! Let me see your elbow." She examined it and it broke her heart seeing him this condition. "Oishi... please take him to the hospital. Please! I'll call my driver to take you to save you some time." She pulled out her cell, but as she was dialing the number, someone snatched it away. "Atobe! This isn't the time!" He closed her phone and placed it in his pockets. Rei stood up and tried to get it out, but he held her wrist. "Atobe!"
"Congratulate me." he ordered, but she ignored it.
"Tezuka needs to see a doctor! Be reasonable, Atobe!"
"For Christ sake, we're engaged! Shouldn't you even act like it!" he yelled before he crashed his lips onto hers.
She struggled, but he had one of his hands behind her head preventing her from breaking it. Rei's mind raced; she didn't know what exactly was going on, but she knew that it wasn't right.
She managed to get one of her hands freed and pushed herself away from him. He glared at her, but his expression soften when he saw that she was about to cry.
"I... I HATE YOU, ATOBE KEIGO!" she screamed then ran away, not wanting to deal with it anymore.
"Atobe. Oi, Atobe!"
Atobe snapped out of his thoughts and wryly looked up at his teammate. "What is it, Oshitari?"
Oshitari smirked and pulled out a chair across from him. "You seem distracted, something on your mind?"
"Its nothing." he said as he looked at the papers in front of him. The Hyoutei ball is coming up soon and as president, he has to get it organized.
"Are you still thinking about what Rei said? Haven't she said that to you before?"
"But never like that."
Oshitari took the papers from him. "Maybe you should ask her to the ball?"
"Isn't it obvious that she's going with me?"
Oshitari sighed. "You don't understand a girl's feeling, do you?"
Rei lied in bed with the sheets over her head. She hasn't gone to school for the past couple of days since that incident to avoid Atobe; even when he called her, she didn't even bother to pick it up.
She heard a knock on her door and faintly said 'come in'. Her maid opened the door and Atobe walked into her room with another maid carrying several packages. Rei sat up and glared at him. "What do you want?"
Atobe sat next to her on the bed and pulled out a slip of paper. "I'm inviting you to the Hyoutei ball."
Rei gave him a questionable look. "What happened to your pride? Usually you don't do this, Atobe."
"Will you come or not?"
"Apologize to me first." she said, looking at him straight in his eyes.
"What? I don't apologize." he said, proudly.
"If you don't apologize, then I won't go with you, but instead I'll go with Oshitari." she said as she pulled out her phone.
Atobe sighed, frustrated, and placed a hand over her phone. He swallowed his prided, looked her in the eyes, and apologized. "I'm sorry."
"That wasn't so bad, was it?" she said as she went to pull her hand out, but he still had a firm grip on her. She looked up at him, about to say something, but stopped when she realized how close his face was to hers. "Atobe... personally space, please?"
Atobe didn't listen and instead moved his other hand up and gently brushed away a strand of her hair. "Atobe... are you drunk...?" Just as he was about to kiss her, a maid came in to announce that Rei's father is home.
Atobe cursed and got up. "Wear the dress I got you to the ball tonight." he said then walked out.
Rei sat there, trying to process what was happening a few moments ago. She could feel the heat in her cheeks and the fast beating of her heart. 'Please, please don't tell me this is true.'
The night of the Hyoutei ball had arrived and Rei was sitting in her car, waiting for the door to open. She had decided to go to figure out where she stands with Atobe.
She sighed and caressed the black and white mask that Atobe had left for her. The theme that that school had picked was Masquerade, but she didn't understand why Atobe had given her this mask when her dress was purely black. She was genuinely surprised at the gown that he had picked out for her, a black silk gown with Elizabeth style beading. It was very breathe catching and she knew that it must have been very expensive.
The car slowly stopped and the door opened. She place on her mask and walked into the ballroom in the west wing of the Atobe mansion, readying herself for what will happen this night.
Atobe took a sip of his non-alcoholic champagne at the regulars' table as he observed everyone on the dance floor. Dressed in his black suit with the exact mask, he waited for Rei to arrive. He knew that he would be pissed if she didn't show up after making he do what he did. If she doesn't show up, I'll send someone to force her here.' he thought as he impatiently tapped his chair.
He felt someone nudge him on his side and was going to say something until Oshitari pointed to the top of the staircase. Atobe looked and was astounded; there she was beautifully and gracefully descending the staircase clad in black. Atobe stood up and went to the staircase as if he was under her spell.
Rei walked down the steps feeling nervous because she knew that everyone had their eyes on her. She saw someone walked to the staircase and immediately recognized him because of the mask. "Atobe...." she said as she reached him.
"You took a long time." he said as he held out his arm.
"My parents wouldn't let me out of the house until I looked my best." she replied as she hooked her arms to his, allowing him to guide her to the regulars' table.
"Senpai... you look beautiful tonight." complemented Ootori.
"See, Atobe? That's what you do when you first see your date, what you said was wrong." she said then turned to Ootori. "Thank you, Chouta. Oh? Are you here by yourself?"
Ootori slightly blushed. "Hai, senpai."
"Well then, save me a dance tonight, Chouta?" she said with a wink, making him blush even more.
"Arn? The only person you'll be dancing with, Rei, would be Ore-sama. Ne, Kabaji?"
"Hush, Atobe. I chose my dance partners, not you."
The night went well. Rei was able to dance with Ootori, plus a few other regulars besides Atobe. Just as Rei was going back to the table, a waiter came up to her and hand her a note. Confused, she opened the note and a dead rose petal fell out of it. "Get to the pond." was all that was written on the note. Rei looked around, trying to guess who could have sent her the note, but she gave up and started heading towards the pond.
"Shishido-san, where is Rei-senpai going?" asked Ootori.
Shishido looked up from his plate and saw Rei leaving then a few moments later a group of four girls went into the same direction. "Atobe."
"We might have trouble."
Rei came out to the pond and saw that no one was there. 'That's strange.'
"Ah, so you did come, you bitch."
Rei turned around and saw a group of four girls, all in slutty dresses. "Don't tell me, Atobe's fangirls? Look, I don't have time to deal with you." She went to leave, but one of the girls shoved her back.
"You're not going anywhere." one said.
"The whole school knows that you're engaged to Atobe-sama." said another.
"So, break it off." they commanded.
Rei glared at them. "I will not."
"Don't argue, Rei. Our four companies combine has enough money to buy you out." they smirked.
"You empty threats doesn't hurt me." Rei said.
"You don't care if your family becomes poor?"
"I know how to take care of myself and so does my family; we're not spoiled brats like you. Plus, the Atobe family won't allow it."
"Hmph, as if the Atobe family will ever protect a fucking leech like you." said the leader as she stepped close to Rei and shoved her into the pond.
They laughed when Rei got out of the pond, her silk dress, ruin. "Oops." they said as the poured their drinks on her head. "Stay where you belong, leech."
"That's it." Rei said as she got up, scaring the group a little. "As much as I hate his pompous attitude, I will not break this engagement because I-" but she didn't finish the sentence.
They girls laughed. "You what? Because you love him?"
"Do I love Atobe?" she asked to no one in particular.
"Hmph. You don't love him. We love him. We always loved him!"
Suddenly the area around they lit up and the four girls looked around, surprised, while Rei continued to ponder about her feelings.
"Arn? Don't you think that we have enough proof to expel these girls, Kabaji?" asked Atobe as he stepped into the area with the rest of the regulars' team.
"Yup! I have everything that had happen recorded." said Gakuto with a grin.
"Not only that, everyone at the ball is currently seeing everything." smirked Oshitari.
Atobe placed his jacket on Rei's shoulders then snapped, calling the guards to come and drag away the girls. He turned to the camera. "Listen up! If anyone dares to ever harm Rei again, I will not hesitate to act." he threatened then guided her away from the group. "You're safe now." he whispered.
Rei stepped out of the shower and placed on a bathrobe. Atobe had taken her to one of the private rooms so that she could wash up and change into something dry. She walked out of the bathroom and saw Atobe was in the room, wearing a white suit, and a beautiful white gown, embedded with diamonds, set out for her.
He went up to her and gently pushed her back against the door. "Keigo."
"Would you stop calling me by my last name and call me Keigo?"
Atobe moved his hands up, firmly gripping her shoulders, and looked at her seriously. "Listen, you and I both know that there is no relationship if we don't love each other. I can proudly say that I love you, but if you don't love me back, then I shall break off this engagement." He leaned forward and gently kissed her cheek. "Give me your answer tonight, Rei."
He went to leave, but before he was out of her reach, she grabbed his hand. "Wait!" Surprised, Atobe looked back at her and saw her face flushed. "I... I'm still uncertain about my feelings for you, Keigo. You can definitely be a jerk at times, but then you do this and I don't know what to think anymore, but I know one thing, I don't ever want to break this!"
Atobe pulled her close to him and gently cupped her cheek. "Then I won't." he said as he leaned down and kissed her.