It had been laughter that had started the whole thing. Barely enough to attract attention, but Kyoya heard something and it was niggling at him to figure out what was going on. He was, after all, the one who knew everything.

Which is why an unfamiliar emotion; confusion; washed over him at the sight in front of him when stepped into that alley. (Fateful thing)

Yes, the illegal slave trading market had been flourishing lately, but most people kept these types of dealings secret. Which is why seeing the girl, naked, surrounded by five or six boys was a bit surprising.

He knew the police wouldn't try to stop the boys. Trying to separate slaves from their masters was dangerous because the slave market was almost entirely run by mobsters. The girl was glaring at the ground, rubbing her neck with one hand and pressing herself into the wall of the laundromat tensely.

Kyoya stepped out of sight to assess the situation. With one eye around the corner, he could see the leader of the boys stepping up to her. It was slight, but Kyoya caught her shiver with the boy's motion.

She kept glaring at the ground. Eye contact was absolutely taboo, but so was showing negative emotion. Impressive, Ootori thought, adjusting his glasses. And he couldn't help but notice the girl's... assets. However small, one must always consider each of one's beneficial attributes. I suppose it's time for me to step in.

He stepped into view. The leader was running his fingers along the girl's hip, the whole group laughing and moving in. She was gritting her teeth and absolutely seething, grunts escaping and convincing Kyoya of his decision.

"Excuse me, gentlemen," He said, clearing his throat and smiling cordially. The girl thrust her eyes to his desperately, (laced with anger, but still desperate), the boys turned one by one. The leader, the most annoyed, only looked to where Kyoya stood. (After realizing her mistake, she had averted her eyes quickly, biting her lip)

Kyoya continued anyway, "But I believe I could make you an offer for that girl that would make you quite a bit happier than a simple release now would."

The leader turned from Kyoya to look dumbly at the girl. "I doubt it, dude. She's freaking hot."

He smirked. This kid was no business man, and the girl almost looked like she was going to roll her eyes. Actually she looked like she wanted to claw the boy's eyes out. "Besides," the boy continued, looking around to his cronies for backup, "how can a kid like you afford a fine toy like this? I just bought her and I couldn't have done it myself." His gang all laughed along with him, mutters about 'stupid pretty boys'. The leader grabbed the girl roughly and shoved her behind him. Even though he couldn't see her completely, Kyoya could tell she was shaking.

"Nonsense," he said, pushing his glasses up with one hand and gesturing broadly with the other. "How much did you pay for her?"

"6,000,000 yen, dude." He smirked, obviously thinking he had outdone Kyoya. (Already) I doubt if he can barter at all, this one. Kyoya had a quick mental image of the kid picking his nose and drooling stupidly. He smirked. I'd wager he's never aced a test in school once in his life.

So without a second thought, he countered, "I will pay you 7,000,000 if you hand her and her papers over immediately."

"7,500,000."

"7,600,000."

The kid was practically drooling now, causing Kyoya's mental picture to get clearer. He stammered for a second before he yelled excitedly, "Nine million! I won't take any less!" He said, his tiny brain spinning at the calculations. One of the cronies whistled. I bet they've never even thought of so much money at once.

And this turned into a bidding war with no warning, Kyoya thought, smirking to himself and pulling out his pocket book. Although I should have expected him to lie and say he paid something higher, like 20 or 30 million, I don't think he's capable of such a high concept. This, however, is just a drop in the bucket compared to some of the servants we've bought before. Not that the Ootori's did anything against the law... they just worked with the law to make life better."Eight million. And be glad that I don't report you to the police for public indecency."

His pants were unzipped. He blushed brightly, gruffly barking, "Fine! Eight. But you have to pay me now."

Some of the accomplices began to grumble. "Boss, you said we'd get some action!" One whined, glancing at the girl on the ground like a child without ice cream.

"Be quiet and be glad I let you come at all." The Boss said, digging through his pockets.

Kyoya ripped off a check and traded it for the certificate of purchase. He nodded at the boys, smiling, "Pleasure doing business with you gentlemen." And turned to the girl. "Do you have any clothes with you?"

She glanced at the boys, her expression unreadable and barely more than emotionless. "No."

Without hesitating, Kyoya pulled his jacket off his shoulders and gave it to her, motioning for her to button it and guided her away from the group. He flipped out his cell phone and gave his driver directions to where they were, then turned to her when they were a safe distance away. "What's your name?"

She was sulking. Sulking? I just rescued her from a gang rape! A strange look crossed her face. "...Haruhi."

"Haruhi, were you harmed just now?" He was ready for any answer at this point, as he had very little background to go off of how she would respond to different circumstances.

She paused for a moment, still wearing that expression, which was getting a bit obnoxious. "...Only if you would like me to have been, my lord."

Kyoya had picked a spot to wait that was ideal for their continued absense of running into those boys again, and seeing the road to watch for his driver. His brow furrowed thoughtfully. "That is quite the opposite reason to why I asked you that question, Miss Haruhi. May I call you Haruhi?"

Still not looking at him, she rolled her eyes. "My place is not to tell you what you may or may not call me, my lord."

"Using that tone is not the best choice for you, Miss Haruhi. I'd suggest you try something more suitable for your situation."

"Whore?"

Her bluntness surprised not only him, but her as well. However red she was turning, he always had an answer for everything.

He adjusted his glasses. "Not necessarily. My name is Ootori Kyoya. Please, you may stop with the 'my lord' business."

"What should I call you?"

He considered this. "Master in private. I suppose Kyoya-sempai will have to do in public as I cannot have my name ruined. Also you have not answered my question straightforward enough to my liking. Did they or did they not hurt you?" He angled his eyes over to her, gauging her answer.

She wrapped the coat tighter around herself, kicking at a pebble with her bare foot. "Not yet. He'd just gotten my papers."

"There's my car."

The brunette looked at the car, than back at Kyoya and finally settled on the ground by her feet. "So?"

She really has no manners. "I need to take you back to my home before I continue with my day. Are you ready?"

Haruhi kicked a bit and sighed. "I suppose..."

Kyoya was losing patience. "But what? Just get in the car. We'll talk about whatever it is on the way."

She glared at the car door. "But I'm not allowed in cars!"

He'd heard about the slave industry becoming harsher with their rules about what was proper, but cars? That was just getting ridiculous. What do they expect? Her to run? "I need you to change your thinking, then. I am your master and I am telling you right now that you are allowed in this car."

Her expression was unreadable. She looked at Kyoya's chest, the closest thing she could otherwise from his face. "As an expression of...?"

He took her by the shoulders and put her in the car. "An expression of sensibility. Getting you home by car is the fastest way when I shall need the car again soon. They will direct you to my room and you can wait for me there." He adjusted his glasses and began to shut the door.

A hand rushed up to halt it. "... But you're not coming?" She still didn't look at him, but she was wearing a pinched expression that spoke a thousand words.

Kyoya gently took her hand and led it back to her own lap. "I have business around this area that I originally came for. I will complete it as fast as I can." He wanted to run his finger down her cheek. Don't worry.

So he closed the door and proceeded to the front of the car to give his driver directions. "My business won't take me long. Take her to the house and come back as soon as possible."

"As you wish, young master."

The car pulled away and Kyoya watched it from behind shiny glasses. What have I done?


A/N: Revising most chapters. Chapter one is now completed. BD