' Minoru-Sama?... I... are you busy? '
" Not at all Yuzuki. Come sit with me, what do you need? "
Yuzuki looked straight to his eyes and he could see her shyness to start talking but her determination to go through it, she decided to ask how long would he stay first and move from there, he was amused by how straight forward she had become, it was for the best but that didn't mean he couldn't have a little fun, he would make her work a bit harder to stay on track with that list of questions she seemed to have in her mind.
" Am I interrupting your traveling schedule perhaps? "
' Oh no! Is not like that, it's just you haven't said anything, all I know is that you will be here long enough for my check up but was wondering if you were back for good or just visiting..."
Before she kept on rambling he figured he should step in, but that doesn't necessarily meant to end her suffering, the temptation was too great, it was too cute to see her like this to resist.
" Is my little Yuzuki all grown up?! Is it that you have a boyfriend or a very special friend you want to spend time with? It's ok to tell me you know "
She blushed a new shade of red ' No, no, I don't have any close friends, my closest friends are actually long distance, more like penpals really at the moment '
He was planning on teasing her some more but that caught his attention " Penpals? That is interesting, you never told me about that, will you talk to me about these penpals of yours? "
' I am sorry I didn't mention it before Minoru-Sama, our talks were so rare and so short that by the time we had time to talk I had so many things to tell you that that little detail seemed unimportant '
She started telling him about her penpals, he was shocked to find out that she had 3 snail mail ones and a couple of online ones, he was expecting the online ones, after all for her sending emails back and forth would be a lot like a human having an internal dialogue, except she has the direct input of a friend when she gets a reply that is, so somewhere between thinking, daydreaming and counseling mixed in together, however the snail mail was much more personal, she probably felt lonely. As she told him about her penpals, all females close to her age, he knew he had nothing to worry about, she needed someone to have girl talk, one of them didn't even know if she was a persecom like herself or not since they have never mentioned anything about it and her friend never asked, it was nice to know she didn't feel the need to clarify that, it meant that it makes no difference for her, she doesn't have an inferiority complex or anything, that is good to know.
' I don't know if I will ever meet them, I am comfortable with what we have but sometimes I think it would be nice to not travel alone all the time... Hibiya-San suggested that I show you the city and maybe a little trip together but I don't know how long you will be around or if you have the time for that matter so... '
Minoru couldn't help but smile, was his angel suggesting they elope like Hibiya-San adviced?
" Yuzuki, I am not sure how long I will be around, it depends on so many things, but I would love to go on a trip with you "
She couldn't help but smile, they started to talk about potential places to go to and they agreed a quiet place with lots of nature would be best, perhaps to some healing springs in the mountains where there was a very old and cozy inn, they were so into their plans that they pretty much agreed to leave the next day, they would pack tonight and would buy whatever they needed before heading to the airport, if they forgot anything they would still have to drive a little from there so they could get it before heading to the mountains, everything sounded perfect.
She did voice her thoughts about the possibility of something being wrong with her, after asking him if they should move the date for her check up to before the trip, Minoru said it would be better to wait until they were back unless she thought it might be an urgent matter, that wasn't the case so they said good night and each went to their room to start packing.
His mind was racing that night in bed, poor innocent Yuzuki didn't know what she had gotten herself into, he started talking about this amazing hot spring hidden in the mountains he had not gone to since his parents were around, he was not surprised she had never been there before, after all he failed to mention it was owned by some old family friends and it had remained closed for years, their owners not really needing the money took their time on the renovations because they couldn't make up their mind if they should re-open or not, He picked up the phone and made the call.
" ... Thank you for your help with this Hikaru, I know it's a lot to ask... yes it's better if you have employees that don't know me around... don't worry we will see each other before coming back home... of course you will get to meet her, I just want some quality time with her first... it is a little too soon to be thinking about marriage Hikaru but thank you for the good wishes... "
Hikaru was a close friend to his mother and the owner of the springs, Yuzuki probably knew her by name as she would call him while he was growing up, they would talk every once in a while but she never actually get to meet her, Hikaru's only daughter passed away in a tragic accident not much after he had gone overseas and she now would call him more often to remember good old times, she once told him how much she wished her daughter and him would have ended up together but at the same time that she was glad he didn't had to go through the loss of a young wife having already lost his parents and sister at such a young age, she still thought of him as the son she never had though so there was little she wouldn't do for him, specially if it was to help him achieve happiness.
It was a little rushed but she was happy nonetheless, it was hard to believe how she managed to gather the courage and actually follow Hibya's advice but she had never given her bad advice before and it truly was what her heart wanted so why not? Being the modest and somewhat shy girl that she was, she was not too thrilled about the idea of a hotspring, it worried her if it would acceptable to wear a bathing suit, wondered if it was mixed bath or separate, it would be kind of weird after all to go all the way there and end up spending a lot of time in the springs away from each other, on the other hand maybe it was mixed after all and they could enjoy them together, but it sounded like such intimate thing, a lot like the kinds of things newlyweds would do in her mind, well that and spending time in bed...
' Oh my ' she whispered to herself, trying to get a hold of herself , letting her mind drift into dangerous territory was the last thing she needed right now.
It was unlike her to not plan ahead and be completely prepared but common sense let her know that if indeed bathing suits were acceptable they would have some for sale, is not like she wanted something fancy so she was sure she could find something, she did not own one and was embarassed to tell Minoru to stop to buy it, she would probably take hours trying to make up her mind with all the options out there, if bathing suits were not allowed it probably meant separate gender baths and that was fine with her.
At the Hot Springs
It was a beautiful place, everything was immaculate, strangely enough it was quite empty. They were very well received, the friendly lady that registered them mentioned about how it was almost the end of low season, they were working hard in their preparations for the high season, so in a nutshell she let them know they had ended up with the best of both worlds, the place had just finished some renovations but they had the whole place to themselves! They had a small tour of the place and to Yuzuki's dismay it turned out it WAS mixed gender hot springs, she blushed at the thought but was happy, they ordered dinner and while waiting, they agreed to go to the hot springs right after for a while and enjoy the sunset outdoors.
' Just give me a minute, I need to go to the lobby '
Minoru looked at her with what seem to be curiosity, in reality he was glad because it would just make things easier but he feigned ignorance. Right now he felt a little like a cat must feel stalking his prey, he would pounce and planned to do plenty of playing before he was done with her, not that he would ever be done with her, she was a keeper, he always knew that.
' I'll have to buy a bathing suit Minoru-Sama, I forgot all about it... haha '
He had to struggle very hard not to smirk at her nervous laugh, she is usually so organized and prepared, that is why he convinced her to come here on a whim, he doubted she owned a swimsuit and if she did he had the whole staff on his side to conspire, he almost felt sorry for his angel, almost being the key word.
Note.- Next chapter will be interesting, dinner arrives and then it's bath time :O
Marina C. Luna