To Give and to Take
Authors Notes: So, I finally remembered my password! I know its been a while, but here is a little update to kind of help me get back into the flow of things. I hope that you guys enjoys this and I'm looking forward to writing the next chapter!
Sasuke was Itachi's brother.
There was simply no way to get around it.
Now she wondered how she didn't see it earlier. Of course, she didn't know any of Itachi's family by names. Though they had been dating for over half a year now, they had always referred to their family by mother, father, and brother. Never by names. And even though she had thought Sasuke looked familiar, she hadn't thought to connect him to Itachi's younger brother.
Until he said he was a Uchiha…
Ino wanted to scream, so she did just that.
She grabbed the pillow on her bed, pressed her face hard against it, and let out a scream of frustration, one that was hopefully muffled enough that no one had heard and felt the need to get help. Seeing anyone was the last thing she wanted right now.
How could everything go so wrong, so fast? What was it about the Uchiha men that made them so damn irresistible? Her attraction to Sasuke had snuck up behind her, and struck her out of the blue. And it had to happen the day after Itachi left on his business trip!
Feeling a little better after her little scream, Ino rolled onto her back on her bed and looked up at the ceiling.
These past seven months had been amazing, although it had started out just as frustrating as it had with Sasuke. Ino couldn't help but chuckle as she remembered exactly how she and Itachi had met.
It seemed there was definitely more to the Uchiha men than being irresistible after all.
The chime of the bell took her attention away from the magazine she was reading. Despite the popularity her flower shop had gained, it had been a slow day so far, and she was more than happy to welcome a customer.
She smiled as her eyes settled on the onyx eyes and long dark hair. She noticed his neat appearance and the dark suit he was wearing. She wondered who such a handsome man was getting flowers for and for a second she felt a hint of envy at the thought that it was a girl like her mind immediately assumed it was. But just having gotten out of a seven month relationship, she knew she shouldn't even be considering other men right now. No matter how handsome they were… and how much of a sucker she was for men in suits.
So when he walked up to the counter and placed a briefcase in front of her, she was at a loss for words.
"Are there any flowers I can interest you in Sir?" she automatically asked, and was a little apprehensive at the way his face seemed to be devoid of emotion.
His dark eyes settled on her, and she felt nervousness in the pit of her stomach at the intensity of them. It was a gaze she had learned to recognize in the eyes of the most confident and powerful men, the ones that were after something.
"Yes," he said, "All of them."
Ino immediately knew what this was about. Her eyes narrowed and she squared her shoulders and met his intense stare as she tried to match it with all the confidence and defiance she could muster.
"No," she replied.
She allowed herself to enjoy the satisfaction that came with catching the glimpse of surprise and confusion that crossed his emotionless features as his eyes narrowed on her.
"Excuse me?" he asked, and she grinned at him, knowing the ball was in court before he even served it.
"I said no, you can't have my flower shop."
For a moment all he could do was stare at her, and she stared right back, unwilling to tear her gaze away and intent on holding her ground.
She grinned again, knowing exactly what he was asking, and only wishing that his face would show it more.
"My name is Ino Yamanaka, daughter of Inoichi Yamanaka, future millionaire extraordinaire, and the Yamanaka Flower Shop is my baby. I don't care who you are and what you're willing to offer me for it, my answer is no."
She didn't know who this guy was, but she knew what he was after. After all, she grew up in the business world as her dad started his business and began to branch out. She knew how the game was played, and she had learned how to play it herself. She knew that she was competition for other flower shops in the area, and the fact that she was new meant that she would be the target of many of those to want to buy her out.
And she assumed that's exactly what this guy was here for.
"It would be a mistake to say no to us," his eyes were unblinking as he said this, but that only made her resolve even stronger. Someone needed to bring this guy down a peg or two, and she'd be just the person to do it.
"Maybe. But it'd be an even bigger mistake to say yes," she replied as she crossed her arms and leaned forward slightly.
If she had learned anything in the business world, it was that the sharks ruled the game, and if you showed the slightest hint of weakness, they would dash in and tear you to shreds before you knew what hit you. Ino did not intend to be the prey in this situation, she would definitely be the shark.
"I don't think you realize who you are dealing with," she didn't think his eyes could grow more intense, but at this point she wouldn't be surprised if they melted a hole in the wall behind her.
Yet even that thought was not enough to have her back down. She was Ino Yamanaka damn it, and she never backed down from a challenge.
So instead she squared her shoulders even more.
"I don't need to know who you are, but all I need to do is keep my business from your grimy hands."
All he did was stare at her, and all she could do was stand there and stand straight with defiance. Even though her heart was pounding in her chest, she did not let herself show any sign of her anxiety and how this man would retaliate.
But after what seemed like a lifetime, a hint of a smile graced his features, and at the sight Ino almost gawked. She watched in fascination as he reared back and grabbed ahold of his suitcase.
"Very well Ino Yamanaka. You win. This time."
He turned around without waiting for a response, and walked out the door.
He had come back every day for an entire month, and every time her answer was the same: no.
Back then she had thought he was stubborn and insufferable. He walked around like he was the king of the world, and hid his emotions like he was above them. And now… she couldn't stand the thought of being without him.
She smiled as she remembered exactly how that changed.
The bell chimed at the same time it had almost every day for the past month; 12:30 in the afternoon.
With a sigh she didn't even bother to turn towards the door to see who it was, and only spoke aloud as she arranged the flowers in her hand. He had not come the day before, and she felt an odd sensation of relief that he had not stopped coming by after all. She cursed the small flip her stomach did at the knowledge that he had come, and blamed her damn female hormones and his good looks.
"Listen, I don't know how many times I have to tell you, but the answer is still no. Why can't you move on to your next conquest or something?"
When she didn't receive a response right away, she looked up from her arrangement to the figure that had just entered the flower shop, and was surprised by what she saw.
There was no suitcase in his hand, and he wasn't wearing a suit. Instead, he wore a semi-casual button up shirt with dark jeans. This was the most casual she had ever seen him, and she had to admit that he did not look bad at all.
Instead of commenting on this change, she waited for him to say something. She was surprised when he walked up next to her and touched the flowers she was arranging. At that moment, he seemed to be analyzing the flowers, and she couldn't help but wonder what was going on through his mind as he delicately touched the petals.
"I can't seem to decide whether you're brave, or simply foolish," he said, and immediately Ino frowned.
"Why would I be either?"
"You took a stance without any knowledge of who I was and what I would be offering you. For all you know, I could have come with the offer to invest in your company and help you expand."
Ino couldn't help but laugh at his comment, knowing that was far from the truth.
"Perhaps, but that's not what you came to offer," she replied as she continued to arrange the flowers.
"How were you so sure?"
She was surprised by the genuine curiosity in his voice. The arrogance that he typically projected was absent, and at the sound her fingers faltered in their work. She went back to the first day she saw them, and didn't have to think twice about the answer.
"I saw it in your eyes…"
For a long moment he didn't reply, but she let him just watch her as she continued her almost complete work.
"I see," he finally said, almost as if merely accepting the answer.
Ino looked up to see him staring at her, and her heart skipped a beat. At the sight, she felt heat on her face and frowned at the fact that she was blushing in front of the man that had been adamant on taking the store from her.
"I have a new offer for you, if you will listen to it," he said.
At his proposal, Ino couldn't help but feel something different about him. She could almost feel that his intentions had changed. She could tell from all the way from his change of clothes, to the way he touched the flowers and the tone of his voice.
With a sigh, Ino replied.
"Fine, let me hear it."
"I will stop insisting that you change your answer, if you will agree to one thing."
"And what would that be?" she asked, a bit apprehensive at what that could possibly be.
But nothing she could have thought of came even close to what he asked.
"Have dinner with me."
She still remembered how shocked she had been, how she felt as if the ability to form words escaped her in that moment, and how all she could do was stare at the man whose name she did not even know. It had been strange, that even though she had seen him as arrogant, stubborn, and insufferable, she had still looked forward to seeing him every day, even if it was only to tell him no.
So when he had asked, it had not been hard to accept his offer, knowing that it still meant that she had won in the end. A matter that to this day she had not let him live down.
She smiled again at the memory, and felt the familiar butterflies in the pit of her stomach that she associated with Itachi. She couldn't help but feel that she had done the right thing with Sasuke, even if at that moment she had wanted to give into the temptation.
At that moment she heard her phone ring, and the familiar ringtone let her known it was the very man that had just occupied her thoughts. With jolt, she rushed to the phone across the room and smiled as she answered the call.
The sound of his voice sent chills down her spine, but what he said felt even better.
"I'll be home by tomorrow."
Comments: Itachi's coming home! Oh boy, this is where some new kind of drama begins! I hope you guys enjoyed my little ItaIno flashback. Those Uchiha men really love being told no apparently. So now let's see what happens when Itachi's in the picture. Let the lovers and brother reunite!
Thank you to my wonderful reviewers:
SasuIno, xxinoxx, please, Langioletto, Elegant Blue Seas, Kigaroo, ShikaInoInuKikIchiHime36, ElleGal, , Guest, x-GaaIno-x-For-Life-x, chibisamasempai20, OrihimeKurosakiInoue, Leviathan of the Skies , Jas, FragileAngel12, Sdf, XxWhyDoILoveYouxX, Renaerys, xLoveChuuChuuTrainx, Lady Eowyn of Ithilien, SasuInoLover, KiraAmano
I love the fact that you guys are enjoying my pace, and I can guarantee you that even though Itachi is coming back, there will still be development between Sasuke and Ino. Hopefully it'll be development that everyone can be happy with. I enjoyed listening to your concerns like that of Renaerys'. I agree that his attraction to her is shallow, but I would like to bring up how at this point and time, Ino is just a conquest and he really doesn't feel much for her other than a physical attraction, which is why if you see his conversation with Naruto, he was practically lying through his teeth when he said he didn't plan on using her or hurting her. But don't worry, I know exactly what you mean, and I had definitely considered that aspect when I wrote this. Like I said, my pace with this story was very slow, but I know exactly what direction I'm taking with it. There will also be plenty of more insight into Itachi and Ino's relationship and how it developed to where it is now. This was just the start.
So don't feel shy on letting me know what you like, what you don't like, and what you'd like to see. I am definitely planning on giving you guys what you want to see happen if I can manage it. I'm looking forward to bringing a little more drama to their lives, and its only a matter of time before the big confrontation happens.
Read and Review(: