Across town in the highest office of Club 10, Ten-Ten sat on her office sofa eating take out lunch from down the street and washing it down with a clod beer. She was going over the last month of the club. Making sure everything was in tact for next month and double checking her bartenders were ordering enough stock for the busy month ahead and the expected birthday bash in just a few weeks. While Ten-Ten sat with her lap top and lunch, her significant other was enjoying his after lunch smoke and sake while watching the security cameras for anything suspicious. So far Neji found nothing interesting and was even beginning to feel a bit tipsy from the alcohol. Ten-Ten asked him something about his cousin but he ignored her, suddenly something rather interesting was happening on the dance floor just a few nights ago.
Hinata was dressed in a white dress and talking to someone in the middle of the crowd. He was tall and blonde, just like that reporter pestering her at the reception for the funeral. Why was she willingly talking to him now? Who was he? Did he offer her something to want to make her talk? It was well known Hinata was notorious for avoiding the press. So that made Neji conclude that this was no one from any press. So who was he?
"Neji, I asked you a question." Ten-Ten was suddenly right next to him standing over him holding inventory.
"What?" He asked pausing the security cameras so he could see at least the profile of Naruto's face.
"Are your family heavy drinkers? I always order wrong with them can you help me out this time?"
"I'm sure what ever you have planned will be fine."
Ten-Ten was about to protest her boyfriends reaction when she saw what he was looking at.
"Hey, isn't that the guy who tried talking to Hinata at the Uchiha thing?"
"You met him?"
"Not really, but it's hard to forget a face like that. I saw him talking to her when I went to find her for the interview."
"Did you hear what they were talking about?"
"No," Ten-Ten cocked her head a bit.
"What?" Neji saw the smirk on her lips.
"I think Hinata likes him."
Neji wasn't sure how to react to that. Hinata was not in any place in her life where she had the luxury of any secret romances. He wondered if she was aware of that as much as he was, he was guessing she wasn't.
"Well look if your not going to help I'm just going to order what I normally do for parties, but I swear Neji if your grandmother comes at me again this time I'm not holding back this time."
Neji stared hard at the blonde in the frozen monitor while Ten-Ten raged about drunken relatives. He had to find out about who this guy was; if he was harmless then he wouldn't interfere with his cousin's life until he had to. But if this guy was someone, it couldn't be good for the family.
"I'm telling you they are bluffing there is no way there are going to pull who else would give then any support?"
Hinata was on the phone with her accountant. She had been in meetings all day and all she wanted to do was get out of the office for a few hours before she had to be stuck in meets all afternoon.
"Hyuga-sama." Her secretary interrupted her and stood in front of her desk.
"Hold on," Hinata turned to her secretary, "yes?"
"An Uchiha Sasuke has been calling your office all day ma'am. He refuses to leave a message but he said to call him back."
"Okay." Hinata took the number and went into her office. She got off the phone with her accountant looked at the number in her hand.
The Uchiha's were no strangers to her family or her father. There wasn't much good blood between the two families but it wasn't bloody enough to start anything, and she was determined to keep it that way. No one knew anything about Sasuke, all anything anyone knew what he was across he world for half his life with his mother and came back to deal with this fathers estates. That also begged Hinata to ask the question what he needed with the Hyuga's or rather, why he needed business with her specifically. As far as she knew there were no loose ends or affairs to tie up between the two families. Something told her she should call her cousin, or get the council to agree on it. Sasuke was too much of a wild card in their deck, and she knew it. But then again, maybe he had something to tell her he wouldn't tell anyone else. Who knew, who he knew since no one knew anything about him.
Sasuke wasn't surprised when he got the call from Hyuga Hinata her self. He noted her voice was very light on the phone, certainly not something you'd expect to hear from a future leader.
"You wanted to speak with me Uchiha-san?"
"Yes, I would like to speak to you in person however."
"I'm afraid I can't allow that right now on such short notice, but I assure you this is a secure line."
"Yes no doubt it is, but mu business needs to be conducted in person. I will be going out to lunch soon and be at Leon's Café close to your building, do you know it."
There was a very slight pause on the other end, almost undetectable. Almost.
"Yes, I know it."
"I understand you are a very busy woman, however if you wish to know what it is I need you for, I will meet you for lunch in one hour at Leon's Café, ask for the Hikura Party."
Sasuke hung up the phone, knowing he had her. He knew she would know of the café because his Intel showed that it was a place she frequented on her lunch hour. He also knew he had her thinking that same thing at this very moment and the curiosity that runs through her families' blood would propel her to go. Sasuke almost wanted to smile; some people were so predictable it was laughable.
Sasuke made arrangements to leave and his brother walked in the room eating fruit.
"Going somewhere?" Itachi asked.
"Where is Naruto?"
"Don't know, haven't seen him much lately, you got him on that Hyuga project still don't you?"
"Call him; tell him to lay off the daughter and scope at that place the party is going to be."
"Any reason why?"
"I need a vantage point in there, tell him not to get caught, they Hyuga's will be around too he can't be seen."
Sasuke left the house in a hurry. Itachi couldn't know anything just yet, he had to secure Hinata's role first.
Sakura stood by the door of a very dark, dingy and dirty shack on the water front. It smelled of rotted fish and blood, it was nauseating. The sounds coming from the shack were even worse. She sometimes hated this part of job, she was glad Kakashi was proving his hired loyalty by taking care of the shipping yard complaints. She had no fear doing this in bright day light of the afternoon because she knew no one was dumb enough to interrupt whatever was going on in this small smelly shack.
Blood sprayed her face again and their captive cried out in agony. He coughed and choked and spit out several teeth. His face was swollen and bloody, he didn't even look human anymore. Sakura doubted he could even see anymore his eyes were so swollen shut.
"I think he's had enough." She said coolly and Kakashi dropped the led pipe he had been using to coax the shipping yard captain into talking.
"Yes, yes please!" He could barely speak. It was disgusting to look at.
"You bought Shame's merchandise from you?"
"This pipe can go longer then your face old man; now tell me who bought the Shame's merchandise?"
"His…name…I…don't know." He coughed blood.
"They came the night…the shipment got…here…they gave me…the…money…and…then…just took it. I haven't even...spent the money…"
"Where is it?" Kakashi demanded picking up the pipe.
"Under the bed…" Their captive was quick to answer now.
"How much?" Sakura asked.
Sakura wanted to punch him. Who ever took the guns gave him double what they charged the Shime and he didn't even have to cut it with anyone.
"You don't remember anything else?"
"No…he said…the ten million was for the guns and…my silence… he made me promise to say…he was never there…"
"But never gave you a name?"
"No…I beg you, no he didn't. And with that much money cane you blame me for not asking?"
Kakashi pulled the money from under the bed. It was in two big duffle bags. He looked at Sakura holding a bag and she nodded. He took one and poured half of the second bag on the bed taking the remainder two bags out.
"Tsunade will be taking her cut. Half. Part tax, part protection. You and I both know if this mysterious buyer finds out you ratted he will kill you. We will send protection, next time you tell us before our customer's calls, next time I can't promise you will live and that will just be inconvenient for everyone involved."
"I'm going to cut you loose, you try to attack me and I will kill you."
Sakura left the small smelly hut on the water front and met Kakashi at the car.
"That's a lot of money to a lonely shipyard caretaker. Anyone you know have that kind of cash to throw around?" Kakashi asked lighting a cigarette.
"No, not anyone interested in the gun trade."
"They don't have anything to gain for it. If anything they loose profit from us instead of gain it from the guns. No, this wasn't them this was someone who wants an army."
"Yeah, just not sure who just yet. He was smart not to leave his name to anyone. Let's take this to Tsunade, she might know something more."
"Sure thing boss." Kakashi mocked while Sakura started the car, Sakura ignored his sarcasm. The thought that someone had ten million to throw on a few guns was distracting her. Adding that she had no idea who it could be off the top of her head was bothering her even more. Tsunade had to know more.
Hinata walked to Leon's Café and asked for the Hikura party like she was told. The familiar server who always said hello to her this time quietly led her to the back of the restaurant. The handsome strong figure of Uchiha Sasuke stood to greet her. She was not blind to his astonishing good looks she like any women wasn't, but she saw something dark in those onyx orbs in his head. He held out his hand to the seat across from him and he sat down.
"Thank you for meeting me," He said his voice was as deep and smooth as it was on the phone. Only this time she had the pleasure of a matching the perfect face to the perfect voice.
"Your welcome Uch-"
"Hikura," He interrupted her.
"Hikura-san…no may I ask why it is you asked to meet with me?"
"I would like to be invited."
"Invited?" It took her a minute to know what he was talking about. And then she tried no to laugh but she knew he saw her smirk. He was asking for an invitation to her sister's birthday party, it was a very amusing thought.
"I am back in town now, and sorting out my father's affairs. I am well aware that your father bought out my father on many of his colleagues." His tone was dark.
Hinata straightened her back; she had a bad feeling in her stomach.
"The business held between them was done in agreement. You father gladly and willingly sold the rights to my father…"
"I am not my father Hyuga-Sama." Something in his voice was threatening, even a bit mocking. Hinata narrowed her eyes.
"What does this have to do with my sister's party?"
"I know your father will be inviting some of our mutual friends, and I only wish to be able to get in contact with them. I feel the perfect venue would be at the party your family is providing. If you think about it, it really is a good idea. There will be so much commotion that no one will really be watching anyone, and y our sister will be the center of attention allowing other people to manage other business undetected."
The click of an automatic pistol is very recognizable if you've heard them enough. And Hinata and heard enough to know her host was holding her at gun point under the table. She then felt the barrel of the gun press painful in her knee that was crossed under the table. She knew she had her belt on her thigh and she knew she could reach it quickly but she would not be able to avoid getting hit. And in turn probably not be able to avoid getting killed or getting someone killed in the process.
"If you think about it." He repeated and Hinata held her breath as she felt the barrel dig harder in her skin. His eyes met hers and he dared her to say no. The intensity was palpable; all she could see was Neji or her father taking their hand across her face when they found out about this. But what could she do now?
"We will fax you the information. Your name will be on the list."
"Can I bring a date?" He smiled a dangerous smile.
"Of course." Hinata's eyes grew just as challenging.
"Call your girl now, and tell you to fax the information to this number."
Hinata didn't argue, she had enough sense to know you didn't argue when someone held a gun against you.
When it was done Sasuke smiled and pulled the pistol from her skin, it stung but she didn't move.
"No I know this is rude, but it seemed I had to double book, you don't mind if we take a rain check from out lovely lunch do you Hyuga-sama?"
He stood up and bowed to Hinata and left. He had odassidy to show his back to her, only insulting her. But Hinata's hands were tied, if she brought this to her uncle and cousins, she would be in trouble for making such a deal with someone who had such a past like Sasuke. Or she could wait till the party and answer the questions then, she wasn't sure what she could do just yet.
Naruto was supposed to be watching the Hyuga Tower but he got bored and nothing was really happening so instead of reporting to Sasuke that morning he had stayed in. He was a bachelor in a small one bedroom he found far away from Sasuke and his crazy ways. He played video games in his boxers and drank beer. He was half way through a boss battle with his phone rang. It was Itachi telling him to get the layout of Club Ten. Lucky for him he had been there a few times looking for Hinata, and he had enough to tell Itachi to be able to stay in his underwear on the sofa. He agreed to make another stop by the end of the phone call but didn't plan on following up with that any time soon.
When the phone rang again an hour later Naruto was sure it was one of them and cursed at it before picking it up.
"Naruto?" He knew that voice, his heart skipped a beat.
"Yes…are you busy?"
"No. No, what's up, what are you doing? What can I do for you? How are you?"
Hinata giggled and said she was fine.
"Do you want to go to dinner tonight?" He asked suddenly and she was obviously caught off guard.
"Yes." She said and Naruto was sure she could hear him smiling on the other end.
"That's great, tonight?"
"Okay. I'll be ready by seven 4274 Kara Street, Apartment 6061. Tell the doorman when you're here and they will tell me."
"Okay, yeah I'll be there."
"Bye Naruto." She hung up before he could tell her by; he guessed she was just nervous.
In the back of his head Naruto wondered why he was instructed to scope out the club. But he was too excited right now to really question Sasuke. Besides questioning Sasuke was nothing something you normally did no matter how much you didn't understand.
Neji drove to his cousin's place in the city. Hinata was happy living away from her family as long as she had been allowed to do it do. She had always been very independent despite her shy demeanor. That independence, Neji knew would be the deciding factor on what he was going to ask her. He had don't some researching and calling around and while no one knew for sure who that blonde guy was, he did get one lead on him. Someone had said he saw that man with someone else at the shipping yard. He didn't know what they were doing but he was with a lot of men and they were moving something in crates. Neji knew Tsunade was running guns in and out of the shipping yard, which made Neji connect the dots. This new guys had to be involved in one of the guys Tsunade deals with. If that was the case Hinata couldn't be involved in someone who could interfere with any business.
But Hinata wasn't home. Her doorman said she had left on a date with a handsome young man with bright blond hair.
Neji demanded to know which way they had gone. The door man said he didn't know, he just saw them go east on the guys motorcycle.
Neji thanked the door man and went back to his car.
"Where to now?" His driver asked.
"East." Neji said and called Hinata's number.
AN: So sorry about the long delays but juggling my job, my fiance, and kids life is hectic. I'm still writing just writing slower. Thanks for all the support guys, love you!