I finally sat down to write a sequel to A Troublesome Wager. Actually I've thought of the barebones of this story a long time ago but never got around to writing it. It's been a long time since I've written something so I'm incredibly rusty. Please forgive me for spelling and grammatical errors. I'll be happy to correct them if you could point them out to me.

Disclaimer: Never own anything Naruto.

A Troublesome Favour

It had been two years since Shikamaru had lost the wager to Temari. Many things have happened since then but their relationship had remained more or less status quo. They hardly had chance to meet and their chance encounter brought nothing much than short conversations and polite greetings. They were kept busy with missions and for Temari, domestic affairs prevented her from visiting Konoha as frequently as she previously had. Moreover, neither wanted to move away from the tentative equilibrium they had established for their relationship.

Until one fine day, a letter from Sand carrying Temari's seal landed on Tsunade's deskā€¦.

"Hokage-sama." Shikamaru acknowledged as he entered Tsunade's office. "You called for me?"

"Yes. I have a rather interesting task for you." Tsunade said as she twirled the envelope in her hand. "But first, do you or do you not owe Temari-san a favour?"

"Uh.. yes." Shikamaru answered warily, not liking the sparkle in Tsunade's eyes. How had she known about the favour anyway?

"Very well then. Promises must be kept and favours must be returned. It seems that you will have prepare to leave for Sand immediately. Temari-san has need of your presence in Sand for a week."

"Chou... choutoumatte..." Shikamaru was taken aback. He had little chance to meet Temari over the past two years and Shikamaru was surprised that Temari suddenly wanted to see him urgently. He thought the whole situation sounded suspicious and wasn't too eager to throw himself into the unknown. "Is this alright? I mean... being a jounin, isn't it inappropriate to leave my job to settle personal matters? After all, this isn't a mission."

"Nonsense! There is nothing more important than upholding one's promises. I'll just hand your duties to someone else and dock seven days of your salary. Or would you prefer to take seven days of leave instead?" Tsunade inquired innocently.

Shikamaru choked. Damn Tsunade was trying to rip him off! "Leave... I'll take 7 days of paid leave to go to Sand..." Shikamaru said, resigned.

"Brilliant! Have a fruitful trip!" Tsunade called after Shikamaru's retreating back. The door closed none too gently, but not before Tsunade heard Shikamaru mutter "troublesome women" under his breath. Tsunade smiled. It was always so interesting when those two kids were together.

What could have possibly happened for Temari to request for me so urgently? Shikamaru wondered as he sped through the forests of Konoha. A hundred possibilities ran through his head and he silently ranked them by their probability, dismissing the unrealistic ones and pondering over the more probable ones. Temari was such an indefpendent girl that Shikamaru had serious doubt that she needed his help in some task. It was more likely that she wanted to pull a prank on him or that she wanted his company to while away the time. The latter was truthfully, not such a bad though. But what if... what if she was really in some kind of trouble? What if it was something urgent that required his help? Shikamaru couldn't shake away the nagging feeling of anxiety. Unknowingly, he increased his speed in the direction of Sand.

It was dusk when Shikamaru finally arrived at the gates of Sand. He had ran almost all the way, stopping briefly only to replenish his thirst and hunger lest he collapse from lack of energy. Standing outside the gate panting slightly and feeling worn-out, Shikamaru suddenly felt very silly for rushing from Konoha to Sand. He had acted like there was an emergency when logic told him there wasn't one. Seriously, what was becoming of him. No sooner had the gates to Sand open that a blond, hysterical, very female shinobi charged at him and squeezed her arms around him, nearly removing all the air from his lungs.

"SHIKAMARU! You are here!" Shikamaru looked down at the blond female who was now rubbing her face into his very dusty and dirty neck. Her arms no longer held him in a vise grip but the breasts pressing against his chest was giving him some difficulty breathing. Shikamaru could hardly be accused of being dimwitted but it was a few seconds before he recognized that the crazy blond was none other than Temari.

"Uh... Temari..." Shikamaru reached for Temari's waist, intending to extract himself from her hold but Temari flung her hands around his neck and pulled him closer till she was pressed full length against him.

"Don't say anything." She hissed urgently into his ear. "Just do what I say and I'll explain everything later."

Shikamaru gave a discreet nod, agreeing to play along. He was beginning to understand why he had been called here now. It was probably Gaara or Kankuro who had written the letter to Shikamaru. Temari had officially gone mad and they thought Shikamaru could bring her back to sanity. Shikamaru glanced at the blond who was now smiling sweetly at him, holding his hand while walking to the palace. I have work to do. Her condition is dire.

Temari led them into a large room within the palace that the Sand siblings lived in. Closing the door behind them so that they could have some privacy, she turned to look at Shikamaru. Even dusty, dirty and disheveled, Shikamaru was still capable of stirring something exciting within her. The years had been good to him and Shikamaru had filled out a little more since she last saw him. He was now eyeing her with a mixture of sympathy and kindness.

"Temari, have you eaten your medicine yet? Where's Kankuro and Gaara? I need to talk to them." Shikamaru said gently.

"Medicine?"Temari was confused. What the hell is that idiot talking about.

"Oh bother, she doesn't know that she's ill. I guess I'll just have to look for Gaara myself." Shikamaru muttered under his breath but not soft enough that Temari missed it.

"I'm not ill!" Temari exclaimed. "What do you think I am? Crazy?"

Shikamaru's pointed stare said it all.

Oh shit he thinks I've lost my marbles. Temari pulled Shikamaru over to the table and set him down on the chair. She then grabbed another one and positioned it so that she was facing him.

"I. Am. Not. Crazy." Temari said clearly, emphasizing each word.

"I know." Shikamaru said, somewhat patronizingly, as if he didn't believe her.

Temari was about to lose her mind trying to get across to him. She stood up and grabbed the back of his chair so that her face was inches above his. "Look, I am not out of my mind. I acted the way I did because there were people watching us and I needed your cooperation to get out of this mess. I needed people to think that we are together, that we are a couple."

Shikamaru blinked a few times, trying to digest the new bits of information. Temari didn't look like she was crazy. He admitted he had probably jumped to conclusions, in part because he was shocked by her behaviour. But Temari's closeness also had unnerving effects on him, causing his judgements to go awry. Right now he knew that he could see the valley of her breasts if he just so much as glanced down...

Temari sat down and Shikamaru's fantasy bubble burst.

"Eehm." Shikamaru cleared his throat. "Maybe you should explain from the beginning then."

"It's like this. A week ago, a very persistent suitor arrived. He's a very powerful and wealthy shinobi from the Sands. His family belongs to a very old and esteemed bloodline. He came to Gaara to ask for my hand, saying that he fell in love with me at first sight - bullshit really, and that he wants to pursue me but I really don't like him."

"So tell him that."

"If that worked I wouldn't have asked for your help! He refused to take no for an answer and has been hounding me everyday."

"So why can't you blow him away with your fan? You nearly did the same to me."

"Ha ha. Very funny. I did not blow you anywhere. In case you did not remember you held fast against me. Thing is, neither me nor Gaara or Kankuro for the matter can take action against him because it would mean offending some very important people and Gaara just can't afford that to happen. It wasn't easy for peace to descend on Sand and damn if I'll let my personal affairs risk that." Temari said vehemently.

"So... where do I come in?" Shikamaru asked apprehensively, even though he had a sinking feeling where this was headed.

"I figured if Daitaro: that's the irritating person's name, knew that I was in love with someone else, he would give up on me. I need your help, Shikamaru."

"Me?" Shikamaru gulped. Things didn't look good.

"You owe me a favour right?"

"Yep." Shikamaru nodded slowly.

"Would you pretend to be my lover then?"

Shit. He knew this was what Temari wanted. Damn troublesome women and damn their troublesome lives. "Er... you could have asked someone else... from Sa.."

"Damn it. Shikamaru, you know you're the best choice."

Shikamaru knew that she was speaking the truth. He was indeed her best and only choice. Being a foreigner would be a perfect excuse for many questions, including how he suddenly came to be her lover, or why it was that he was never around Sand. And most important of all, he knew that she was one of few people she trusted.

But no. He couldn't do this. This was trouble with a capital T! He hate being involved in pranks and lies, especially one as complicated as this. It didn't help that Temari, possibly the most troublesome person in his life was the mastermind behind this whole idea. No would do. He refused to get sucked into this madness.

"No, Temari, I won't do it." Came Shikamaru's flat out refusal.

Temari gave a resigned sigh. "I'm afraid I can't take no for an answer. I've already told everyone that we're a couple."

A few days ago.

Knock knock. "Temari-sama, Daitaro-sama is here again."

Temari sighed. "Tell him that I'm busy and won't be seeing him."

"Yes, Temari-sama."

A few seconds later.

Knock knock. "Temari-sama, Daitaro-sama said he would wait outside till you've finished your work. Also he sends this bouquet of roses."

Temari groaned. This Daitaro was like a cockcroach - irritating and persistent, she just couldn't get rid of him. "Tell him he can do whatever he wants as long as he doesn't bother me."

"Yes, Temari-sama."

Knock knock. "I said to not bother me!" Temari yelled without looking up.

"Erhm." A throat cleared delicately.

Temari looked up. "Gaara! I'm so sorry, I thought it was the irritating Daitaro again."

"Hm..." Gaara thought for a moment. "He's been bothering you?"

Temari nodded sadly.

"I take it then, that you do not like him." Gaara asked again.

"No!" Temari replied strongly. Then seeing Gaara's more expressionless-than-usual face, she asked, "Is there anything wrong?"

Gaara paced the room slowly, debating whether to let his sister know of the situation. "The council has certain... views about Daitaro Suzuki. They think very highly about him. There is more than one council member who looks fondly on a marriage between the Suzuki family and the sister of the Kazekage." Gaara paused, as if carefully choosing his next few words. "Without valid reasons, it would be difficult to turn down his advances without raising the ire of some powerful people." Gaara turned to look at his sister with just a hint of apology and anguish in his eyes.

"I hate to put you in this situation..."

Temari sighed. "I understand, Gaara. I don't want to put you in a spot as well. Nor do I want to cause disagreements within the Sand. God knows it wasn't easy for us to achieve internal peace. I'll think about it."

Gaara nodded. "I'll take my leave then." Gaara paused as he reached for the door. "You can't accept Daitaro because he seems slippery and untrustworthy... or because there's someone else?"

Temari was taken aback by Gaara's question which tugged so closely at her heart. "Both," she admitted.

"Ask for him then." Gaara suggested. "He may have some solutions." And then he left.

Damn her brother for being so perceptive. Temari massaged her temples. Why did her life have to be so complicated? But maybe Gaara's suggestion isn't so bad after all. Temari began hatching a plan...

Back to the present

"...I've already told everyone that we're a couple."

Temari watched Shikamaru warily. He had remained silent for the past few seconds. His hands were pressed together in the stance that signified that he was thinking.

Finally, Shikamaru spoke up. "I suspected that was the case. This is really troublesome." In a weary voice, Shikamaru said to Temari, "Could you give me some alone-time? I need to think things through."

Temari nodded, slightly apprehensive at the serious tone in Shikamaru's voice. She hadn't meant to make him this upset. She was just at her wits end and thought he made the perfect solution. Or was it? Perhaps she just wanted to see him again... Quelling the traitorous voice in her head, Temari walked out of the room.

Alone at last, Shikamaru decided to take a hot shower to clear his head. As the hot water cascaded down on him, Shikamaru analyzed the situation he had before him. He hadn't missed the slightly fearful look in Temari's eyes. Sh e must be in a big mess if the thought that he would abandon her plan unnerved her so. After seeing that look, Shikamaru couldn't bring himself to walk away from Temari's situation. Besides, I owe her a favour. Dammit. Why is my life filled with troublesome women!Then there was also the fact that she didn't like that Daitaro. Shikamaru wasn't going to let Temari end up with someone she didn't like. Not that she will anyway. But being around her.. I could look out for her I suppose. Keep the unwanted attention at bay. For some reason, the thought that Temari would be his for the next few days pleased him. I'll just let her do the talking.

After a nice long shower, Shikamaru, ignoring the hunger pangs, crashed onto the double sized bed in the room and fell asleep instantly.

A few hours later.

Shikamaru woke up with a start, he had sensed someone in the room. Being a shinobi meant that one was never 100% asleep. There was always a part of the subconscious that was watching out for danger. His subconscious had sense a trace of chakra.

There was indeed someone in the room. Shikamaru saw a figure approaching the bed, but his eyes had not adjusted to the dark yet to discern who the figure was. Refusing to take chance, Shikamaru leapt out of bed and pounced onto the figure, pinning him to the ground and drawing a kunai to his throat.

Actually, he was a her. Shikamaru could feel her breasts heaving up and down as her breath came in short pants.

"What the devil are you doing Shikamaru? Get off me!"

"Temari?" shocked registered in Shikamaru's face, wiping off the last vestiges of sleep that still clung to his brain. "What are you doing here?"

"This is my room, you idiot. Now move off!" Temari wriggled underneath Shikamaru and attempted to push him off.

Unfortunately Shikamaru still had her pinned to the ground. What was even more unfortunate was that her wriggling was causing Shikamaru much discomfort and Temari was beginning to realize that.

"Hm..." she said softly as she felt something warm and hard pressing against her belly.

Shikamaru was not unaware of his growing arousal. Temari felt impossibly soft beneath him. Who would have thought that this fearsome warrior would be all curves and softness beneath the hard demeanor. In the dark, he was acutely aware of her scent, her unique Temari scent. The one that had filled his nostrils when she had first jumped on him and he has lost the wager. It was causing havoc to his senses now as it did then. Shikamaru bent his head lower, eyeing the shape of her full lips in the dark.

"Shikamaru." Temari said. "Get. Off. Me."

Right. Get off her. Shikamaru immediately stood up and hauled Temari none-too-gently up and deposited her on the bed.

"I'm sorry, I wasn't aware that this is your room. Now if you could just tell me where the guest room is, I'll like to go back to sleep." Shikamaru said in a disgruntled voice. He was tired after running double speed to Sand and Temari had disrupted his sleep and she had interrupted him when he was about to...

"You're sleeping here tonight."

"It's okay, you don't have to give up your room for me. I'll find another room."

"No, Shikamaru, you don't understand. We. Have. To. Sleep. Together. In. This. Room. It would seem weird to Daitaro that we're sleeping apart when we haven't seen each other in 6 months and I know he has his subordinates stationed around to watch my on-goings. Besides, our sleeping together would convince him to give up the idea of pursuing me."

Shikamaru felt a little light-headed. This was getting crazier by the minute. How could he sleep in the same bed as her? His brain tried to find a convincing counter-argument but it succumbed to fatigue. Shikamaru was really tired and he wanted to sleep. "Okay whatever. Do what you want. I'm going to sleep." With that, he flopped onto one side of the bed and pulled the duvet over him.

Temari was a little surprised that he acquiesced without a fight. Shrugging, she headed to the bathroom for a quick shower. Taking care not to wake Shikamaru up, she dried her hair in the bathroom. Due to her thick mass of her, it was a good half an hour before she was done. As she turned off the bathroom light, the bedroom was plunged into darkness. Allowing some time for her eyes to adjust to the light, Temari slowly made her way to the empty side of the double bed. As she eased herself under the covers, she felt Shikamaru stiffened.

"Shh.. it's only me. Go back to sleep." Temari placed a hand on Shikamaru's shoulder and whispered softly.

Adjusting the pillow behind her head, Temari tried to fall asleep, but she was acutely aware of the shinobi lying beside her. Faint tendrils of heat was emanating from his body. Temari waited for his breathing to slow before turning on her side to look at him.

Shikamaru slept lying on his back, one hand behind his head, lips slightly parted. His spiky hair was a mess with some fringe falling over his forehead. Temari's hands itched to push away the hair, to touch his face but she didn't want to risk waking him up. And so Temari watched Shikamaru sleeping until she also fell asleep.

The next day

Shikamaru was aware of something soft and warm pressing against him. His eyes opened to see a mess of blond hair splayed across his chest. Sometime in the night Temari had used his chest as a pillow and had draped an arm dangerously close to his family heirloom.

Shikamaru groaned as he remembered yesterday night's conversation. That explained his current predicament. But still, how can Temari think to sleep with another guy in the same bed! Though we didn't do anything, likely because I was too tired. Damn this tempting wench.

Shikamaru breathed in Temari's scent mixed with the apricot smell of the shampoo she had used. She smelled good enough to eat. Her closeness was causing him increasing discomfort and Shikamaru hoped Temari would wake up soon before he did something rash. Giving in to temptation, he lifted a hand to stroke Temari's back which was warm beneath her nightclothes.

"Hmm..." Temari woke instantly, her bleary eyes opening to look at Shikamaru.

"Morning sweetheart." Shikamaru grinned. He was slightly surprised at himself when the endearment slipped out.

Temari's heart did a somersault as she took in Shikamaru's tousled hair and wry grin. Suddenly realizing that she was draped across Shikamaru's body, she blushed a deep red and hurriedly sat up.

"Sorry about that. I move about quite abit when I sleep. I'm surprised I didn't wake you up." she muttered.

Shikamaru had wondered about that too but he didn't say anything. He was too amused by the blush creeping across Temari's face.

Knowing that she probably looked like crap, Temari excused herself and headed for the bathroom to wash up.

Shikamaru gaze up at the ceiling, unwilling to leave the warm, nice smelling bed. A man could get used to waking up beside a woman like her.

At breakfast, Shikamaru and Temari discussed their strategy to get Daitaro Suzuki-san off Temari's heels as soon as possible.

"Okay, so what's our status?" Shikamaru asked.

"We're lovers after last night."

"What!" Shikamaru nearly spitted out his coffee. They could have carried on the lie without having to sleep together last night but Temari had deliberately led him to believe that they were supposed to be lovers before yesterday night. "You..."

Temari gave him a pointed gaze, "You just assumed. And isn't it better that we're supposed to be lovers? That would dissuade him more easily."

Shikamaru sighed. Perhaps on the battlefield his wit would grant him victory but in everyday life he was always outwitted by Temari. Troublesome.

"I think I should take a break from my duties and we should spend some time in Sand together. By hanging around in the public together, we could show Daitaro that it's impossible for me to be together with him."

"Alright. Whatever you say."

"Tsk really. I thought you'll have something to say against that."

"Will it really help if I disagreed with you?"

"Not really." Temari smiled sweetly at Shikamaru.

Temari has got to be the most troublesome person I have ever met. Shikamaru thought as he resigned himself to acting as Temari's lover. After all, he did owe her a favour.

They didn't hold hands as they walked. Both agreed that even if they were a real couple, they wouldn't hold hands in public. It was too restrictive and too public.

They were walking for about five minutes when Temari stiffened. Daitaro had seen them and was approaching the pair.

Shikamaru noticed the change in stance in Temari and he looked ahead to see a smiling man approaching them. He was about thirty years of age with jet black hair. He was of a rather large built, easily half a head taller than Shikamaru. His sleeveless shirt revealed thick corded muscles and yet he wasn't heavy set. He was in fact rather good-looking except that if one looked carefully, one would notice that his smile didn't reach his eyes.

"Good day Temari-sama. Is this your new surbordinate?" He inclined his head at Shikamaru.

Shikamaru disliked him immediately. He was only mildly offended by the condescending statment. No... what irked him more was that this man, this Daitaro was openly leering at Temari. Shikamaru knew a lecherous look when he saw one and he couldn't help noticing that Daitaro's eyes lingered more than necessary at Temari's chest.

Before Temari could say anything, Shikamaru had draped an arm across Temari's shoulder in a protective stance. "I'm her lover from Konoha. And could you possibly be a mercenary from Sand?" he said lazily.

Daitaro bristled. To be called a mercenary was a minor insult in Sand especially given the recent emphasis on peace and internal stability. Smoothing his displeasure with another smile that failed again to meet his eyes, he addressed Temari once more. "Surely this man must be joking. I hardly know Princess Temari to have any dealings with other man, especially one such as him."

Shikamaru's eyes narrowed. He really disliked this Daitaro.

Before Shikamaru could speak up however, Temari had stepped in front of him and pulled his arms around her so that he was holding her from behind. "Shikamaru is telling the truth, Daitaro-sama. You haven't seen him around because he's a shinobi from Fire country and we hardly have chance to meet. But we are most definitely in love." At that, she glanced up at Shikamaru, eyes shining with love.

Shikamaru felt a jolt at his heart. If Temari's acting was convincing even to him, Shikamaru had no reason to believe that Daitaro would suspect otherwise.

Turning back to Daitaro, Temari said, almost apologetically, "that's why I can never accept you, Daitaro-sama. Now if you will excuse us, Shikamaru and I have alot to catch up on."

With that, the pair walked off, leaving Daitaro gritting his teeth in frustration. He couldn't believe this was happening. His plan was supposed to be foolproof and now it was thwarted by this small child from Konoha. He was going to find something to use against that man.. that Shikamaru.

"Great acting." Temari said as soon as they were alone once more.

"You too." Shikamaru grinned, ignoring the slight disappointment that had arisen when he realized it was just acting.

"Yeah, and we got rid of him too." Temari smiled. "Thank you, Shikamaru."

"Tch. I owe you a favour anyway." Shikamaru said, slightly embarrassed.

"Well, since we've nothing to do now and the weather's looking good, shall I bring you around Sand?" Temari smiled brightly.

"Erm... why don't you show me a nice place to chill out and maybe nap?" Shikamaru ventured hopefully, loathing the idea of spending such a nice day gamboling around.

"Oh... Come on... Don't be such a lazy ass." that said, Temari dragged Shikamaru off to the markets.

First they went to the vegetable market and Temari marveled at the different types of greens available for sale. Much to her amusement, Shikamaru knew much more about the names of the vegetables than Temari did.

"Geez woman, have you ever stepped into the kitchen?" Shikamaru muttered.

"Not that I remember." Temari countered back.

Next, Temari brought Shikamaru to the street selling all sorts of craftwork and wooden carvings. While Temari was having her portrait drawn, Shikamaru disappeared. He came back shortly after and dropped a wooden cat into her palms.

A faint tinge of pink crept spread across Temari's cheeks. Fingering the exquisitely carved feline, she remembered to say "Thank you."

"Sure... it was... err... on sale." Shikamaru muttered, scratching his head and looking anywhere but in her eyes. But inwardly, he was pleased that she was taken with the gift. Besides, it was most certainly not on sale. In fact, Shikamaru had a sneaking suspicion that he had just been ripped off.

After paying for Temari's portrait and balking at the cost of it, Shikamaru followed Temari to the Sand Academy and Temari showed Shikamaru the Sand training grounds which were empty at the moment.

Shikamaru immediately zeroed in on a relatively sandless mound and flung his body down, back to the ground. Temari laughed and moved to sit down beside him. "Are you really that tired?" She teased.

"Course. It's tiring being your boyfriend A K A lover."

The word 'lover' slipped off Shikamaru's tongue like a gentle caress and Temari felt a warm feeling in her stomach. "Hn." was all she could manage to reply.

Peace at last. Although he had enjoyed roaming the streets with Temari (more than he would admit anyway), he was glad that they were alone together for now. He missed spending quiet moments with her. Not that she could remain quiet for long anyway.

Not ten minutes later, Shikamaru heard a loud groan from beside him. Turning around to see what had upset Miss Princess, he saw to his amusement that she had collected and stacked together a pile of stones that was now approaching half a metre tall. Her groan of frustration emerged because she couldn't find anymore stones within five metres of her.

"I'm bored... Shikamaru." Temari complained.

Shikamaru hid a grin and ignored her, continuing instead to stare at the cloudless sky.


He could tell that Temari had moved closer. This woman can never sit still.

Temari stared at Shikamaru's peaceful face, wondering how long he was going to lie there. She was b-o-r-e-d bored, not to mention just a little bit hungry.

"Nara..." Her voice had a warning tone to it. She moved even closer to him, planning to tickle him senseless until he gave in to her and started moving his ass.

But before she knew it, Shikamaru had flipped over onto her and pinned her to the ground, his strong thighs capturing hers together. His hands were planted on the sides of her head.

"Wha... what are you doing? Get off!" Temari commanded, unnerved by the body contact.

"Shhh..." Shikamaru leaned forward to whisper in her ear, sending goosebumps down Temari's spine. "We're lovers remember? I'm just thinking what lovers would do in a secluded corner where no one is in sight. Especially when they haven't seen each other in six months." With that, Shikamaru softly bit Temari's earlobe and gave her ear a thorough lick.

Temari couldn't help it. She moaned out loud, her hands clutching Shikamaru's shoulders in pleasure. Who would have known that the ear was so sensitive.

Shikamaru stilled for a moment. He had merely wanted to tease her for disturbing his peace but she had looked so delectable pinned beneath him, soft pink lips slightly parted and head flung back showing plenty of pale smooth skin. He had given in to temptation and bit her earlobe. Her soft cries nearly undid him. He knew he shouldn't be doing it but he couldn't help himself.

"To hell with it..." Shikamaru murmured as his mouth descended on Temari's pink lips.

Shikamaru's mouth connected with hers and Temari gasped in surprise. This allowed Shikamaru's tongue to enter her mouth and make a thorough sweep of it. He then proceeded to lick her lips and nibble at her bottom lip, as if taking his time to taste a succulent peach. His hands moved down her body to cup her breast and Temari moaned in pleasure. The musky smell of Shikamaru filled her nose and she revelled in the scent of her man. Yes, he's mine.

Shikamaru's palm found Temari's full breast and gently teased its nipple through the layers of clothes. Temari's soft cries encouraged him and he continued his administrations until she was writhing beneath him. Temari's response was driving him crazy and Shikamaru was helpless to stop himself until he heard Temari's stomach make a soft grumbling noise.

Shikamaru and Temari stilled. Temari's traitorous stomach gave out yet another loud grumble.

"Ah... it seems that... um.. I'm hungry." Temari silently broke the silence.

That seemed to jolt Shikamaru out of his sense and he got off Temari. Helping her to sit up, he carefully smoothed her clothes and her hair. "We were... er... pretty convincing right. I hope Daitaro's men would report what they saw to him."

"Yeah." Was all that Temari said.

"Um. Shall we grab lunch then?" Shikamaru suggested, unsure of how to dispel the awkwardness that now hung between the both of them.

"Okay." Standing up, Temari looked at Shikamaru straight in the eye and said cheekily. "I liked that you know, we could do it more often." And then she walked off calmly, leaving a flabbergasted Shikamaru behind. It took Shikamaru a few seconds to recover and his mouth turned up and in lopsided grin. That cheeky vixen...

They had a sumptuous lunch at a ramen place that was unfortunately spoiled by compliments from Daitaro-sama.

The manager looked apologetic as he placed the bottle of sake on the table. "I'm sorry that Temari-sama and your companion doesn't like the sake but I was commanded by Daitaro-sama to present it to you as a token of his regards."

Temari was about to ask the manager to throw it away when Shikamaru stopped her. "Since it's free we might as well enjoy it."

Temari ended up drinking three quarters of the bottle of sake while the rest were spilled in her attempts to pour it. Shikamaru had merely one cup himself. Although he hated it when his companions got drunk, Shikamaru allowed Temari to indulge herself, knowing that it was probably a long while since she had let her hair down. After paying for the bill and noting that his funds were fast depleting, Shikamaru helped a tipsy Temari out of the shop. With an arm around her waist and the other holding her other hand, Shikamaru slowly helped a very noisy Temari back to her room.

"I'm talking gibberish aren't I?" Temari asked Shikamaru for about the twentieth time.

"No, sweetheart, you're not." Shikamaru said gently, surprised by himself once more when the endearment slipped out.

Slightly tipsy, Temari resembled a child that had gotten into trouble and was afraid of being admonished. Shikamaru removed Temari's shoes and tucked her under the covers. He then brewed a hot cup of green tea and brought it to Temari. "Drink this up before you sleep."

After Temari finished her cup of tea, Shikamaru poured one for himself as well. Before he had finished his cup, Temari had fallen asleep.

Shikamaru stared at Temari's sleeping countenance. Who would have thought that such an angelic face could cause so much trouble. Shikamaru sighed. In the past few days Temari had turned his feelings and thoughts upside down. He needed to think things through. After giving instructions to the guards to look after their princess, Shikamaru changed out into training attire and headed out to the training grounds to train. Training always helped ease his troubles.

I've tried writing this many times but it always turned out to be very long and rambling so I always gave up before I reached the end. I've decided to soldier on this time and write a story that will span at least two and maybe three chapters. Hope you liked it and do review if you do. It's great encouragement to the author knowing that the story brings a smile to someone's face.

Thank you!