This is the edited version of my story, The Host. Up to chapter 9 that is. :)
I hope you enjoy the story!

Hinata looked up at the host club's neon sign. Pictures of the hosts were placed around the sign, one standing out to her more than the rest. Most of them were quite tanned, with dyed hair, but the one that stood out to her was pale with black hair, and had an allure all of his own. His expression was serious, unlike the others' playful ones. It was something in his eyes that drew her in, she could not describe it. She shook her head and looked back at the entrance. She still couldn't believe what she was about to do. She took a deep breath. God, how did she get herself in this mess again?

2 hours earlier

Hinata sat at a table with Naruto, Sakura, Ino, Kiba, Shikamaru and Temari. They had gone out for a meal before Sakura's party later that evening, which she had promised to be the best party in the history of the planet. Hinata somehow knew that she meant there would be a lot of alcohol. There wasn't any particular reason for the party, but Sakura had wanted an excuse to plan one, so it was a 'pre-Christmas' party. She stared at her drink, the voices of the others somehow draining away as she watched the bubbles float to the surface before disappearing, like a never-ending cycle. It didn't make any sense to her. Christmas wasn't for another 21 days.

Suddenly she heard Naruto calling her name. She shook her head and blinked a few times, coming back in to the real world.

"Thought we'd lost you there for a minute, Hinata!" Naruto laughed. "Are you ok?"

"Yes, I'm fine," she replied quietly, still in a sort of trance. She looked around the table at her friends, their voices fading away again as she became wrapped up in her own thoughts.

She could not help but feel like the odd one out. Everyone else was paired up in a relationship, but she was still alone. Usually it did not bother her, but today she was just not in the mood if they were going to start teasing her about it. She watched the bubbles again. This continued for another few minutes, until…

"Hinata? Hinata?" Sakura's voice pierced through Hinata's trance-like condition. She waved a hand in front of Hinata's face. "Are you bringing anyone to the party tonight?" Sakura grinned and winked suggestively.

"N-no, I don't think so," Hinata replied slowly, still bringing herself out of her semi-conscious state. Sakura let out an exaggerated sigh, rolling her eyes.

"God, Hinata, when are you going to get yourself a boyfriend? It's about time you stop waiting for the perfect guy and just get yourself out there!" Her words hurt Hinata. What if she didn't want a boyfriend yet? All the men she met were either already involved with someone, gay or complete idiots! Sometimes even all three! She didn't think she had ever met anyone who she would even consider dating. Well, apart from Naruto, but that was so long ago it was almost embarrassing. She wished they would all just shut up!

"Actually I do have a boyfriend!" The words were out of her mouth before she could stop herself. She clasped her hands to her mouth, eyes wide. Sakura's mouth hung open, until Naruto reached over the table and snapped it shut for her.

"Hinata! That's so cool! Why didn't you tell us?" Ino exclaimed.

"I-I um…d-didn't wasn't to m-make a big thing out of it," Hinata stammered, still shocked at what she had just done. She cursed herself mentally. Every time she thought her stammering had gone, she got nervous and it happened again.

"A big deal? Hinata, this is huge! How long have you been dating?" Sakura nearly shouted, coming out of her frozen state.

"A couple of weeks?" Hinata squeaked. She looked down at the table, wishing she could just disappear.

"Well we have to meet him! You can bring him to the party tonight!" Sakura said animatedly. Hinata's head snapped up to look at her, eyes wide.

"No!" Hinata said, maybe a bit too hastily. "Um…I mean… he can't, he has to um…work," she added quickly.

"Come on, just for a little while?" Naruto did his little puppy-dog eyes. "I want to meet the guy who's good enough for my Hinata!"

"Yeah, you're not getting out of this one!" Sakura added.

Hinata sighed, defeated. What was she going to do now? She sighed again, cursing herself. Why couldn't she have just kept her mouth shut?

"I'll see what I can do."

And that was how Hinata found herself outside the host club. She hadn't been able to think of any other solution. She could tell everyone that she had got into a huge argument and broken up with her 'boyfriend' when she saw them again. But then they would call her a liar, which she was, but not if she did bring someone to the party. She took a deep breath and walked through the doors.

Hinata entered the host club to be greeted by a very smiley blonde woman.

"Good evening, miss, how may I help you?" she said brightly. "Do you have any of our hosts in mind to make your evening special?" She took a quick look around the club before speaking. Ok, it didn't look too seedy or anything. Nice décor, and at least everyone seemed to be having a good time.

"I…um…do you allow hosts to um…go out places?" she stuttered. The woman smiled even wider.

"Oh, you mean a paid date! Yes we do, what day did you have in mind?"

"Err…t-tonight?" Hinata asked hopefully. The woman ran a finger down a page in a book at her side.

"I'm sorry, all our hosts are in the club or are already reserved for a paid date tonight," she said, the smile shrinking slightly. Oh God, what was she going to do now?

"Are you sure?" Hinata pleaded. "Please, it is very important." She hoped she did not desperate, but she doubted it.

"Hmmmm…well, one of our hosts may do it. It is his night off, but I can call him and see what I can do if you like?"

"Yes! That would be great!" Hinata said quickly. "I can pay whatever you need," she added, rummaging in her handbag for her purse.

"Ok, where is it you would be taking him?"

"Not too far from here, to Ginza," Hinata replied.

Hinata waited with baited breath as the woman dialled the number.

"Hello? Hi, I have a favour to ask you…I know it's your night off but would you do a paid date tonight?...I'll pay you a little extra…Come on, you should see the girl, she's so adorable!…It's in Ginza…yes….Ok, I'll see you soon, thankyou," she put the phone down. "He says he'll be here in twenty minutes," she said brightly to Hinata.

Hinata breathed a sigh of relief while the blonde took her to a small waiting area and sat her down on a small but comfy sofa. After a few minutes when Hinata's heart had stopped hammering, she looked around the room. It had a beaded curtain rather than a door to keep it separate from the main area, allowing laughter and the clinking of glasses to seep through. The décor was mainly purple and black, with silver furnishings on everything. Hinata played with her fingers nervously, her mind drifting back the host currently on the way here. She wondered what he would look like…hopefully she would not look too out of place with him…

She was distracted suddenly out of her thoughts when she heard someone clearing their throat. Her head snapped up to look at the entrance to the room, standing at the same time.

The man standing there nailed her to the floor. Her heart skipped a beat.

He was tall, very tall, at least 6'2" she would say. His immaculate black suit fit perfectly around his muscular body, probably tailored to fit him and him alone, and it looked like it had cost him more than Hinata's monthly rent bill. The top two buttons of his midnight blue shirt were left open, showing the promise of a well defined chest, making Hinata blush. And as if that body wasn't enough, his facial features were devastating. Black hair that was in a messy style she couldn't even describe framed features so perfect he looked more like an ancient Greek statue come to life than a man. His chiselled features were actually quite feminine, but that brow, high cheek-bones and strong jaw line made it impossible to think of him as anything but a man. Sharp black brows arched over eyes that were obsidian in colour, and his lips were just made for kissing.

Hinata quietly released the breath she realised she had been holding. She tried to clear her mind and actually form words, trying to remember if she had ever met a man who had had this kind of effect on her. No, she would remember if she had.

The black eyed man looked down at her, his gaze intense locking with hers, making Hinata immediately avert her gaze to his shoes. Very shiny, very expensive looking shoes.

"Good evening."

Hinata slowly raised her head to look at him. His voice was as enticing as his appearance. Deep and smooth, like velvet across her skin. The man held out a hand and smiled. Hinata's breath caught in her throat as she put her hand into his.

"I'm Sasuke," he said before kissing her hand, his eyes never leaving hers. "I will be your host for tonight. What is your name?"

"H-Hinata," she stammered, her heart beating wildly in her chest as he smiled slightly. He was even more stunning when he smiled, if that was possible. But then there was something off about it, as the smile didn't reach his eyes, which were completely expressionless.

"I'll take it from here, Mari," Sasuke said to the blonde hostess behind him, never breaking eye contact with Hinata. When she had entered the room behind him had somehow escaped Hinata's attention, which actually scared her a little bit. She had certainly never met anyone who had this kind of effect on her!

Sasuke took in the girl in front of him. Mari hadn't lied when she'd said she was cute. Her long black hair looked almost purple or blue, he couldn't quite decide, and framed her dainty features in an old-fashioned Hime-style cut. She was quite pretty, full, pink lips slightly parted, and a slight blush formed across her cheeks under the scrutiny of his gaze. Her eyes were unlike anything he had ever seen, so pale they were almost white, filled with innocence, and held a somewhat hypnotic quality. The blush that coloured her face at his gaze amused him slightly. Clearly she wasn't used to having so much attention. He wondered if she had been to any of the other host clubs in town but then thought it unlikely. She wouldn't be this nervous if she had.

Sasuke's eyes never left Hinata's.

"You had better watch out, miss, he can be quite the charmer when he wants to be," Mari said brightly as Sasuke took her hand and lead her outside. She wondered if it was his real name or the name he had chosen for working at the club.

Once they were outside the club, Sasuke stopped and turned Hinata to face him.

"So, where are we going tonight? Mari said it was in Ginza, so I'll have to be leaving by 9:30. I have a prior engagement."

Hinata was momentarily stunned by his bluntness, but at least he was telling her now. And she had stolen his night off after all.

"A-a party," Hinata replied, again looking down at the floor instead of up at his face. Sasuke remained silent, obviously waiting for her to elaborate. Hinata was surprised by his general manner. Weren't men who worked in host clubs meant to be warm and charming? Sasuke on the other hand seemed distant and stand-offish.

His stance was confident, strong, his shoulders broad, clearly well-built. He turned slightly to look at her, and suddenly she was trapped in those ebony black eyes, unable to look away. There was hardly any emotion in his eyes, and if she had to put a name to what was there…well, it was cold, uncaring…almost frightening. How the hell had he managed to get a job in a host club? God, maybe this wasn't a good idea after all. She remained trapped in his gaze, his cold black eyes keeping her captive. She took a deep breath. It was probably better to tell him the truth rather than lie. She had always been terrible at lying and this was already complicated enough.

"I told my friends that I had a boyfriend when I actually don't but they said I had to bring him to Sakura's birthday party so I thought if I go to a host club I could have a boyfriend for the night and then I'd just tell them I broke up with him or something I don't really know why I thought this could ever work I just...I don't know," she squeaked at the end.

It Sasuke a moment to process what she had just said.

"So you want me to pretend to be your boyfriend?" he asked, just to clarify.

"Yes," Hinata squeaked, her cheeks flushed a violent red. Hinata waited for him to say something, anything. He probably thought she was insane, asking him to be her boyfriend for an evening. But then wasn't that was practically what he was paid to do? She had to admit, she wasn't entirely sure what was involved in being a host.

Sasuke made an 'Hn' sound. So at least he could drop the host act for a while, until they got to this party. He didn't have to be doing this anyway, why bother staying in character somewhere he didn't need to?

Hinata looked up at him questioningly. What the hell did "hn" mean?

"You planning on getting changed before this party?" He said, giving her the elevator eyes. Hinata looked down at herself. She was wearing a simple purple knee length dress, red ballet pumps and a woollen black coat.

"What's wrong with what I'm wearing?"

"Your boyfriend wouldn't let someone as pretty as you wear that to a party," he said simply. Hinata stared at him. He was so rude! But, he had called her pretty. Did that balance it out?

"Well it's not a formal party or anything…" she replied, trying to defend herself.

"Well if you want people to believe you're dating someone like me you're going to have to make an effort."

Great! Rude and vain! She frowned at him. Where was the charming man from inside the club? "He can be quite the charmer when he wants to be..." Great, so he was only charming when he was in the mood for it.

A what if she didn't want to make an effort? She was comfortable in the clothes she was in. She folded her arms and looked at the floor, scowling.

Sasuke almost smiled slightly at her expression. But he did not smile often unless it was to charm a woman into his bed. She looked like a child who wanted ice cream, arms crossed over her chest and pouting. He grabbed her arm and dragged her to a clothes shop that was a few doors down from the club.

Hinata did not like where this was going. The shop was full of lace and floral prints, low cuts tops and short skirts. She nearly died when Sasuke spoke again. He grabbed a passing shop assistant by the arm. What the hell was a clothes shop doing open at this time anyway? Hinata glanced at her watch. Well, it was only just past five, so the shop was probably open for at least another hour anyway.

"Could you make this woman look like she's actually going to a party and not the library?" he asked calmly. Hinata flushed bright red. The shop assistant smiled dazzlingly at him, not even looking at Hinata.

"Of course I can, sir, it would be my pleasure," she said, taking Hinata's arm and leading her away.

"B-but I don't have the money to pay for this!" Hinata objected, but Sasuke waved his hand at her in a dismissive manner as the shop assistant lead her away.

"Consider it a gift," he replied casually, walking away to stand near the till. Hinata was distracted from him as the assistant started talking again.

"Don't worry, honey, we'll have you looking fabulous in no time at all!"

About ten minutes later, Sasuke arched a brow at Hinata as she was gently pushed in front of him by the shop assistant, who was presumably waiting for his approval. Who knew that under that thick woollen coat there was actually a figure? He let out a long, appreciative breath. The simple black court shoes she was wearing made her a good 4 inches taller, and even though Sasuke doubted she had worn heels before, she was adapting quickly. And, they make her bare legs look incredibly good. Larger than average breasts were squeezed into a simple, tight midnight blue dress (which matched his shirt perfectly) that showed her tiny waist and womanly hips. It finished mid-thigh, but she was still pulling the hem of it down in an attempt to make it longer.

"It's too short," she said, a blush colouring her cheeks brightly. Hinata looked at his shoes, which was apparently becoming a habit. Christ, if they didn't have somewhere to be, he'd already be taking her back to his place and be getting ready to peel that dress off her.

"I've seen shorter," Sasuke replied stoically. Hinata's heart started to beat faster as Sasuke's eyes travelled over her body. She stood up straighter, it was impossible to slouch in these shoes. She noticed he was wearing an expensive looking black woollen overcoat she hadn't noticed him carrying before. Strange, she was usually quite observant. She looked around for a men's section he could have bought it from but didn't see one. Before she could question him, the shop assistant handed her a black short fur coat and scarf while Sasuke paid for the items. He handed her a bag which contained her old clothes. Hinata stopped as they exited the shop, and what he had just done sank in. Okay, so maybe he was a bit vain and could be rude, but a complete jerk wouldn't have just bought her a whole new outfit right? Perhaps there was more to him than there first appeared. The thought made her curious about him, made her wonder what he was like when a person actually got to know him.

"Thank you," Hinata said quietly. She felt awkward about accepting his 'gift', but she had learned in the shop that he was very stubborn. She just hoped it hadn't been expensive, she hadn't had a chance to look at any of the prices on the clothes and had never heard of the shop before. Maybe she would have time to run back to her apartment and get some cash to repay him.

"Hm?" Sasuke said, pausing and turning around to face her upon realising she wasn't walking by his side. Hinata ran a couple of steps to catch up with him.

"I said thank you," she repeated. "For the clothes." He froze for a second, then blinked couple of times.

"You're...um, welcome," he replied. Strange, he kind of sounded like he wasn't used to others expressing gratitude, like he didn't know how to react.

Sasuke felt a strange sensation in his chest as she smiled at him. No one had ever smiled at him like that since he was a child. With no ulterior motives or agendas. A true smile.

His chest tight, they walked to that train station in silence. Strange how something as simple as a smile could affect him so. He looked over at her as they waited for the train that would take them to Ginza. She really was beautiful, he decided. And those lips... He was distracted from that particular train of thought as the actual train stopped in front of them. Stepping on, he sat down next to her.

"So, give me some facts about yourself," he said, deciding that if he was going to be her boyfriend, he should at least know some basic details about her.

During the short journey, he learned that she lived by herself in Ginza, in a small apartment. She worked in a restaurant, which she didn't really enjoy but it payed the bills. She lived there because she had gone through a tough time with her family that she didn't want to go into, which was fine by him. God knows he knew about pasts that did not need revisiting. She liked to cook in her spare time and she also enjoyed making artwork and going to the cinema. He liked the sound of her voice. It was melodic. At the same time, it sounded familiar, like a long-forgotten memory.

Hinata stood up as they neared the stop they needed. Sasuke followed her to the door and out of the station. He hadn't really bothered to tell her anything about himself as he knew there wouldn't be any need. When meeting someone new, one wouldn't bother with speaking to the person they know to find something out about the new person in the scenario. And it wasn't like he would see her again after this.

Hinata wrapped the coat around herself in an effort to stay warm. She shivered and hunched her shoulders up so that part of the scarf would cover some of her face. Sasuke on the other hand seemed unaffected by the cold wind, his overcoat hanging open and billowing around him, making him an even more striking and commanding silhouette. She stumbled in her high-heeled shoes and in a second Sasuke's arm was around her, making sure she remained upright.

"Still getting used to them, huh?" he said, keeping his arm around her shoulder. She blushed at the contact and laughed nervously.

"Yes, they're quite different, but I think I've done quite well to get this far without stumbling before," she joked. He squeezed her shoulder in response. They made it to Sakura and Naruto's building and waited to be buzzed in. He followed her to the elevator once they were inside. In the small space of it Hinata was suddenly very aware of Sasuke. His imposing presence seemed to fill up the entire space, and her heart beat wildly. She blushed as she looked across and saw him watching her out of the corner of his eye. He held his hand out to her. She looked up at him, confused.

"If you want them to think we're going out, you could at least hold my hand," he stated. She nodded and blushed even harder. She nearly gasped as his much larger hand enveloped hers. His hand was so warm! It made her wonder how warm the rest of him was...she shook her head to dispel that uncharacteristic thought. She had never held hands with someone...the contact made her feel happy, warm, though she wasn't sure why.

They stepped out of the elevator and walked down the hallway to the apartment. Sasuke watched as Hinata knocked on the doorway and waited for the door to open. He could hear talking and laughter from the side. Hinata smiled as an attractive woman dressed to the nines with pink hair opened the door to greet them.

"Hinata, come on in!" she exclaimed, putting her hand on Hinata's shoulder and pulling her into the apartment. "Take your coat off and give it to me, I'll put it away somewhere safe. Is it a new coat? I haven't seen it before…"

"And who is this?" a blonde man asked to Sasuke's left, cutting the pinkette off.

"Oh, hi, Naruto, this is Sasuke," Hinata said quickly. Sasuke took his hand from Hinata's and offered it to the blonde, who returned the handshake.

"So, what makes you good enough for my Hinata?" the blonde asked suspiciously.

"What are you, her father?" Sasuke retorted sarcastically. The blonde, Naruto, laughed.

"You know, I think I'm going to like you."

"Oh my God, Hinata, you look amazing!" Sasuke looked back at Hinata upon hearing the overly loud comment. She had taken the coat off and, sure enough, was blushing furiously. The pink-haired woman, two blondes, and a brunette were commenting on her dress.

"Where is it from?" the blonde asked excitedly.

"Um...I don't know, Sasuke got it for me," Hinata replied quietly, clearly uncomfortable at the attention she was getting. The three women immediately looked at Sasuke, who replied with a designer's name Hinata didn't recognize. The women gasped, the leggy blonde in particular swooning and making a fuss.

"Oh, Hinata, he's a keeper!" Sasuke took the opportunity to stride over to Hinata and put his arm around her waist, pulling her closer to him. The pinkette turned to face him.

"So, how did you two meet?" she asked him, smiling.

Sasuke smirked to himself. They had created a whole story for this on the train.

About an hour later, Sasuke felt like he had been through a dozen interrogations. Was that what it was like to be in a relationship? If it was, he definitely didn't want one. Now, however, he sat in a corner away from the main party, watching Hinata across the room. She was laughing with the leggy blonde, Ino, who was quite drunk by this point. Hinata really did look amazing in that dress. He checked his Rolex watch. 9:27p.m. How was it that time already? Standing, he shrugged on his suit jacket and overcoat.

Hinata gasped as she felt strong arms encircle her waist from behind her. She turned her head as Sasuke leaned down to plant a whisper of a kiss on her cheek. Her eyelids fluttered. God, his lips were so soft. Did everyone's lips feel like that or was it just his?

"I need to go now, I'll call you," he said, his voice loud and deep next to her ear. He looked up at Ino. "It was nice meeting you." He turned back to Hinata and whispered next to her ear so that only she could hear. His breath on her skin and the quiet rumble of his voice sent shivers down her spine.

"It was nice meeting you too, Hinata."

And suddenly he was gone. The door closed behind him, and she felt cold without his arms around her. She put a hand to her cheek where he had kissed her, her chest suddenly tight. Would she ever see him again?

Sasuke looked back at the building as he left. Hinata had smelt so inviting when he had been so close to her before he left. One corner of his mouth quirked up. What he wouldn't do to take her away from that party and start something much more pleasurable. He sighed. But not tonight. He had somewhere to be, and he couldn't be late like last week.

He stepped on a train back to central Tokyo and within 10 minutes was at his destination. He stepped inside the door and went down the flight of stairs that led to the main club, turning left at the bottom to go to the small dressing room. An overweight, balding man met him as he opened the door.

"Nice to see you're on time this week, pretty boy," he mocked.

"Fuck off Takahashi," Sasuke snarled back. "You know I only do this job because I enjoy it. I don't need the money, and you can't afford to lose me, so I can arrive whenever I want, got it?"

The man laughed and shook his head. "You know, one day, that mouth of yours is going to get you into a real awkward situation." He turned to walk away. "Just be out in ten minutes, ok?"

Sasuke didn't reply as he closed the door of the dressing room behind him. Hanging his overcoat on the back of the door, he stripped down to his underwear before putting on a pair of black jeans and heavy boots. Still shirtless, he left the room and headed back down the hallway to the main room. He could hear the crowd even before he opened the door. Taking a bottle of vodka from one of the men at the door, he knocked back a few gulps before pushing the door open.

Hands clapped on him the back and people cheered as he made his way to the centre of the room. He smiled to himself slightly as the familiar adrenaline rush coursed through his veins. He was pissed off at Takahashi and was looking forward to venting his anger.

Cracking his neck and loosening up his shoulders, he focused on the man in front of him. Someone closed the cage door behind him and a loud horn sounded. The man lunged at him but he sidestepped the blow with ease.

It was good to be back.

Thank you! Please review with your thoughts, I would love to hear them :)

I wonder what Sasuke's other job is?...;) And will they ever meet again?

See you next time!