A/N: Back with a head of steam. Thanks to CelticX, Wittman the Tiger Ace, cncgamefan, and everyone else that has read and/or reviewed the last chapter. It really keeps me going! This chapter gets us to the mansion. I hope that you enjoy and let me know what you think, okay.
Disclaimer: The characters in this story do not belong to me; Fumizuki Kou-sensei has that distinction.
Taking a Chance
Chapter 17: Living Together
Tina checked the address one more as Suzuki-senpai turned into the long driveway. If she didn't know that she was in the outskirts of Tokyo, Tina could have sworn that she was on a plantation like Gone with The Wind's Tara. The driver let out a long whistle, "I didn't know that a place like this could exist in the world, much less in the Kanto region! How the hell did you and that mopey Hanabishi swing this?"
Not wanting to share too much, Tina thought for a moment and fibbed, "One of my father's business contacts set us up here because he needed someone to keep the property in good shape in case he needed to bring a client here." Okay, so it wasn't a complete lie, but it stretched the truth enough that it satisfied her nosy senpai.
As the mansion came into view, Both Tina and Suzuki-senpai were shocked. Instead of the Georgian-style mansion that they had both expected with the long, tree-lined drive, it was a lovely Tudor-style home. Home is a slight understatement because Sakuraba House was a very large and elegant mansion, just not the colonnaded white manor that they had imagined.
Stopping in front of the house, Kaoru greeted his senpai with smile and his girlfriend with a quick kiss on the cheek. Tina winkled her nose at the strong odor emanating from her beau. "Ugh Kaoru, why are you so smelly?"
Chuckling, he responded, "This place has not had anyone in it for at least 20 years, and Miyabi-san and I have been busting our asses all day trying to get it cleaned before you or Aoi-chan arrived."
"Well, I guess I can understand that," the blonde sniffed. She then decided that the sweat of a hard-working man was attractive in its own way. Besides, Kaoru was wearing shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt that displayed his muscles in way that had Tina feeling a little weak in the knees.
Suzuki-senpai coughed politely to remind them that their stuff was in the back of the truck that he had borrowed from his dad; a truck that his dad needed back as soon as possible. "So Hanabishi, where should we put your stuff? I can't stay very long. There's an exciting program about American trains on TV Tokyo tonight!"
"Well, until we get the mansion and the servants' quarters clean, we'll just have to unload it in front of the servants' quarters. I'll be staying there," Kaoru replied thoughtfully.
Tina was confused, "Why will you be staying in the servants' quarters, Kaoru? I thought that we were all going to live in the mansion."
This was the moment that Miyabi appeared and answered, "Kaoru-dono and I both felt that it would be improper for him to live in a house with three unmarried women. While I have no fear that he would do anything perverted; we simply cannot have it known to the Sakuraba elders that a man is living in the main house," she finished, suddenly realizing that Suzuki was standing there. She introduced herself, "Good afternoon, I am Kagurazaki Miyabi, the Kanrinrin of this property. The landlady, Sakuraba Aoi will be here shortly. She, Foster-san, and I will stay in the main house."
Gazing at the statuesque woman, all thoughts of trains fled from Suzuki's head. "My pleasure, Kagurazaki-san," he said in his smoothest voice. "If you ever come to Meiritsu University, I can give you the grand tour." To Kaoru, "Hanabishi, I'll see you Monday." As he drove away, he thought, 'Older women might just be better than trains.'
Kaoru and Tina looked shocked. Kaoru asked, "Did Senpai just hit on Miyabi-san?"
Nodding, Tina dazedly replied, "I never thought I'd see the day. Gotta hand it to him, Senpai was pretty smooth there."
Miyabi was oblivious to the whole exchange as she had already forgotten about the train-loving Photo Club President and was now engaged in her main occupation, worrying about Aoi-sama. Her charge was going to have one hell of a fight on her hands if she wanted to wrest her betrothed from his pretty American girlfriend. She thought to herself, 'I'll put him in charge of taking Aoi-sama's luggage to her room. The rest will be up to her. Although, I personally would not mind watching him move furniture some more; he has some attractive features for such a young man. What am I thinking about? Kami, I need to find a boyfriend of my own after this is over.'
After giving his girlfriend a quick, loving smile, Kaoru went back to work helping Miyabi clean to main house for the ladies to live in. Tina watched him disappear into the mansion and suddenly thought, 'Wait, why can't I live in the servants' quarters with Kaoru and let the Ojou-sama live in the manse with her stuck-up nanny? I'll ask Kanrinrin-san about that later, but for now, I better chip in so that I can have some alone time with my Kaoru.'
With Tina helping, the mansion was quickly cleaned to the point that Miyabi declared it suitable for her mistress, and she excused herself to take a bath so that she could go get Aoi. With a pointed glance, Miyabi asked, "Tina Foster-san, could you please accompany me to the bath? I would like to speak to you alone."
'Hell no, why should I?' was Tina's first thought, but after a heartbeat, she replied flippantly, "I guess that I could, I don't want to stink in front of my boyfriend."
Miyabi's smile twitched, showing her annoyance, but she coolly invited, "Shall we then?" To Kaoru, she advised, "Kaoru-dono, there is a full bath in the servants' quarters, please use it and make yourself presentable for Aoi-sama."
Now it was Tina's turn to shoot irritated daggers at Miyabi. She crossed to her bemused beau and gave a gentle peck on the lips, "Don't be too long, Lover. I'd like you to show me around while we await Ojou-sama."
The air was getting heavy, so Kaoru did what any self-respecting man would do, and retreated to the servants' quarters so as to not be present when blood was shed. He was concerned that Tina and Miyabi were so tense around each other, and not being stupid, he knew exactly why. Miyabi was trying to protect her mistress, and Tina wanted to establish that she, and not Aoi, was going out with Kaoru. 'I'm glad that I don't have to be present for their little talk in the bath,' he thought until he realized that they would both be nude and he quickly revised that opinion. Being a healthy male, he was definitely interested in seeing them both nude, mostly Tina as their make-out sessions impressed in his mind that Tina's figure would be glorious. 'Does it make me a pervert if I want to see my girlfriend naked?' he mused. He chuckled to himself, 'Yeah, it probably does.'
A little later in the ridiculously large bathroom, the atmosphere between Miyabi and Tina was so thick that one could cut it with a knife. Tina began on offense, "I suppose this is the part where you offer me money to dump Kaoru so that your mistress can have him, right? I've already been through this once with the little Miyuki bitch. Don't you super-rich Japanese people have any original ideas? Kaoru is mine, and I am not giving him up, no matter how sweet your mistress is or how much you wish to protect her."
"Are you finished, Foster-san?" Miyabi asked contemptuously. "My actual intention was to remind you that according to the agreed ruled that Oku-sama set out, you and Aoi-sama are both dating Kaoru-dono. That being said, I request that you please refrain from being too possessive of Kaoru-dono in Aoi-sama's presence. She is quite delicate, and even though I believe that she has little chance of coming between you and Kaoru-dono, I cannot have you rubbing that reality in her face. Do you understand?"
Tina was a bit surprised. "If you believe that there's no hope, why are you encouraging Sakuraba-san?" She asked. "It's just going to hurt her more if Kaoru chooses to stay with me."
"I want to show Aoi-sama that dreams have no part in the world in which she must live," Miyabi explained patiently. "Oku-sama was completely truthful when she said that Aoi-sama has never asked anything for herself. She has always thought of her parents' wishes first. Well, except in the case of Kaoru-dono," she finished with a soft chuckle.
The tension in the bath lessened as both women thought. After a few moments, Tina broke the silence, "You know, I trust Kaoru totally, but I am not so sure that he will ultimately choose me. My mother bitched me out for this, but I really have no confidence in my ability to compete against Sakuraba-san because she's the epitome of Japanese beauty. I am too American to truly fit here in Japan, but because I've lived in Japan since I was 5, I'm too Japanese to fit in back home. Back home," Tina mused bitterly. "The only place that I've truly felt at home was at Meiritsu with Kaoru and the photography club. No one cares that I'm an American or that I grew up Kyushu. I'm their friend and classmate, nothing else matters. The only reason that I'm being this honest with you is that you were honest with me. I love Kaoru. He is the most important thing in my life, and I will never run from that again."
Miyabi's mouth quirked into a half smile, and with an ironic tone, said, "Well, Tina-san, you could be Aoi-sama's sister in the confidence department. She is every bit as insecure as you are. She can hide it under generations of nobility. Do not let that fool you though. Aoi-sama has a will of iron when it comes to Kaoru-dono. So we understand each other, do we not, Tina-san? You are not Kaoru-dono's only lover for the duration of this contest. If you play any dirty tricks, be assured that I will not let it slide. I will protect Aoi-sama, even if it means breaking your heart to guard hers."
Tina responded, "I understood that from the start." She looked distracted for a moment and suddenly fixed her gaze on Miyabi's chest. "Wow, Kanrinrin-san, you have some serious melons!"
Flushing with embarrassment, Miyabi covered her chest, and asked archly, "Are all Americans obsessed with breasts?"
"Nah," Tina answered, "I'm just weak to them. There's something about breasts that make me want to touch them," she finished, reaching for the older woman's torso. Miyabi slapped her hand. "Cheapskate," pouted the blonde.
Regaining her composure and feeling that there might be an opening for her mistress, Miyabi queried, "Tina-san, do you like women as well as men?"
"No way," Tina replied. "I just can't stop myself from touching other women's boobs. It's really embarrassing!" The two women laughed together, and finished their bath. "Well, Kanrinrin-san, it's been fun, but I think that I'll get out first so I can steal a kiss or two from my Kaoru before I have to share him," she winked getting out of the bathtub.
After Tina left, Miyabi was allowed herself to relax in the bath, enjoying the warm water. She chuckled in spite of herself, thinking, 'That girl is going to be a handful.' Just as she had that thought, she felt two hands come from behind and grope her chest. Amusement turned quickly to anger. She screamed, "Tina-san!" Tina laughed as she ran out
Moments later, Kaoru was relaxing on his futon when a blonde blur jumped on him, "Hide me please, Kaoru!" Tina yelled urgently.
Just before he asked why, he heard Miyabi bellow, "Tina Foster, I'm going to break your hands!"
Looking askance at his girlfriend, Kaoru wondered what the hell she had done to send Miyabi around the bend. Catching his expression, Tina began to explain. "Well, it's like this. I have a really bad habit of groping the breasts of other women. I can't help myself. It isn't anything sexual. I'm just fascinated by large breasts."
Kaoru chuckled softly, "So is every heterosexual man on Earth. Wait, did you grope Miyabi-san?" Her guilty look made him groan. "Tina, we have to live with these people. Please do not antagonize them, or we'll both be in trouble." He paused, seeing her penitent expression. He was unsure of how to continue when an idea came to him, "How about you allow Miyabi to return the favor? Or would you rather have me do the honors?"
Tina turned bright red and then laughed, "Thank you, Kaoru, but I don't think Kanrinrin-san would be satisfied with that and for that matter, neither would you, you little pervert. I promise that the day will come when I will be ready to give myself to you fully, but for now, please be satisfied with this," she finished as she kissed him passionately.
Melting into the kiss, Kaoru's only sane thought was 'I hope Aoi-chan gives us another day before she arrives. I would love to spend the afternoon kissing Tina.' Unfortunately for our couple, a limousine pulled up in front of the mansion, and the slamming doors meant only one thing, the Mistress of the house had arrived.
A/N: Sorry that it took me so long to finish this chapter. I wanted to do two things with this chapter: move them into the mansion and to introduce a little of Tina's canon personality. Be prepared for more boob groping. One other quick note, Kaoru's harem will only consist of Tina, Aoi, Mayu, and maybe one more. Thank you for reading and please be gentle if you think that this chapter was terrible.