"Behind the Masks: Love's Flare"
Due to tradition, Kahoko needs to hide her face and true identity behind a mask of black or white cloth. No guy that courted her ever saw her pretty face. Because due to their custom, if a guy saw her face without the mask accidentally—will have to vow to marry her at her age of 18. One day, Hinos have visitors and Kaho excused herself to use the bathroom but then that was the time, Len, one of their visitors, is roaming around the house. He opened the bathroom only to see the masked girl unmasked.
Now, he has to agree to marry her after few months from now on. Will this help in their situations? Will romance actually bloom?
"Kaho, dear." Mrs. Hino continued to shake her daughter awake from her so called beauty sleep.
The crimson-head 17-year old girl slowly opened her golden eyes and blinked when she saw her mother sitting beside her in her bed shaking her awake—which is very rare.
Mrs. Helena Hino shook her head in disbelief. "I am here shaking you up awake to remind you that there will be visitors coming this morning for some sponsoring. You better get up because they are the Tsukimoris and Kajis." She paused and glanced at the white linen cloth –mask- on her daughter, Kahoko's, table. "You should put on that mask again, Kahoko. We don't want you being married young, do we?" she teased numbly.
Kahoko nodded as she sat up in her bed. "I will wear the mask as long as I need to, Mama… Don't worry. I won't let anyone see my face and true identity besides you, Papa, Oneechan and Oniichan." She vowed with a forced smile forming in her lips.
Mrs. Hino giggled and stood up. "I'll –we'll- be meeting you downstairs, Kahoko. Dress casually but, hide your face with your mask. Hide your hair and face." She reminded and bowed as she departed.
Kahoko watched as her brown-haired mother went out off her room and walked downstairs waiting for their incoming visitors. She sighed and took out casual yet, simple dress from her drawers and went to the bathroom to start dressing up and fixing herself.
After about half an hour, she put on her cream colored dress with lace on the back and designed with sparkling roses. A dress which is reach down one inch below the knee and put on her sandals and ponytailed her hair as she put on make-up which won't be revealed due from the mask she'll be wearing few minutes later.
She finished dressing up and fixing herself up and placed the mask in her head. The mask was curved fitly with her head. It is kind of thin but, surely, though, you have very clear eyes, and you won't be able to see her face-only the shadows of her eyes and the shape of her nose and lips. She frowned and stood up. "Time to go downstairs."
They're living in a modern way but, by their birthplace's location, they have to respect the tradition that the youngest or only daughter of the family of Hinos and more designated families should wear mask to hide who they really are.
She stepped out from her room and went downstairs formally. She nervously went to the downstairs where she heard voices laughing or chatting. She smiled and revealed herself from the shadows but, embarrassed by her mask.
"Oh, Kahoko." Mr. Karasuma Hino gasped as he saw her.
"Join us and introduce yourself my dear." Mrs. Hino offered.
Kahoko nodded and bowed keeping her voice loud enough. "Good morning. I'm so sorry for being late. I am most grateful for you visiting us here. I am Kahoko Hino—please to meet and see all of you." She greeted warmly.
Aoi Kaji, the golden haired stood up as a representative or substitutes of his father and bowed. "Good to see as well, Miss Kahoko."
Kaho giggled. "Aoi-kun….it has been awhile but, you still didn't accept my offer to you to call me Kaho instead."
Aoi smiled gently. "Kaho, then."
Kaho sat down beside her mother as the new comers stood up and bowed as well.
"I am Hamai Misa Tsukimori. Pleased to finally meet my best friend's youngest daughter." The pale blue haired lady introduced softly.
"I am pleased as well." Kaho responded with a smile.
The gentleman beside her introduced next. "I am Lloyd Tsukimori. Glad to see you."
Kahoko nodded in return.
The azure-head lad raised his head and met her gaze with a cold one. His eyes are golden-brown ones with dangerous look and his lips are curved into unwelcome smile. His brows are also burrowed together. "I am Len Tsukimori. It's my pleasure to meet you."
Kahoko stiffened and stuttered. "I am—Um, it's also my pleasure to-to meet the Tsukimoris' son."
His face was blank but then an unnoticeable smile formed in his lips as a response.
Why is my heart beating fast? Kahoko thought.
He sat down and sat still like nothing happened.
"So, we are gathered here to know who'll sponsor whose company. Right?" Aoi asked in a friendly way.
Kahoko nodded. "Certainly." she answered thought her voice's tone became quite different through the mask.
Aoi eyed her. "Looks like our little Kahoko is impatient today." He stated.
She flushed. "I'm not!"
Her Niichan chuckled. "She's always impatient so, do not be surprised Kaji." He joked.
"Hey!" Kaho protested.
"We are here for business aren't we?" Tsukimori Len reminded in a cold voice.
His tone brings chill in Kaho's spine. "Well, you could wait, can't you?" she snapped, her patience fading away.
He glared at her.
"Len, dear…" Misa Hamai giggled at her son's expression. "Forgive my son; he's kind of unused with these kinds of things. He's a little impatient and stoic as well." She apologized.
Her Neechan grinned. "Then, he and Kaho are soul mates." She teased.
Her Mom and Dad exchanged sparkling glances as Mr. Tsukimori grinned at his wife.
Aoi cleared his throat. "So, shall we start the true business talk?" he suggested smiling mockingly.
Kahoko nodded as an agreement as she saw Tsukimori-kun eyeing her.
The talk started and continued for several minutes and oh dear! Kahoko and Len never agreed in anything! And that's the reason why Len left to roam around.
She abruptly stood up and Len stared outside at how graceful she moves. "May I excuse myself? I just need to go to the bathroom?" she asked but, Len couldn't here what she has said cause the windows are closed…and he convinced himself that he doesn't care.
Kahoko went upstairs and leaned on the bathroom's wall as her heart pounded hard. Se just kept thinking of that azure-haired guy since he revealed himself. Somehow, she's pissed and captivated at the same time by that guy named Tsukimori Len.
Looking around, Kahoko faced the mirror and took off her mask and fixed her face and hair.
While Len's roaming around upstairs looking at different sculptures and antiques, he decided to use the bathroom for awhile and when he found out its open; he went inside only to see a lass with crimson hair and golden eyes.
"Who are you?" he blurted out.
Kahoko gripped her mask.
"You—Are you Kahoko Hino?" he guessed taking several steps closer.
"No! Don't come any nearer! Now, you saw my secret! You'll tell it!" she growled.
Absently, he shook his head and took the mask in her hands. "So, this is your face…"
"I—I—" she stuttered.
The others came to the bathroom when they heard Kahoko shouting. Unfortunately, Aoi and the others saw her face as well. But…Len is the first.
"You-You saw it Len?" Mrs. Hino asked in shock.
Len nodded. "I did….I'm so sorry…I didn't—"
"I presume you know what your responsibility to her is." Mr. Hino muttered.
Len glanced at Kahoko. "…."
Aoi watched in astonishment. He thought, he'll see it first than his best friend. He thought he'll—
"You'll have to marry her when she already turned 18." Kahoko's brother answered.
Hamai Misa bowed. "I'm sure, he'll agree."
Mr. Tsukimori nodded.
Kahoko's sister eyed him. "Will you do it?"
Len watched as Kahoko's golden eyes became agonized and hurtful. He took a deep breath and nodded. "I will do what I am obliged to do and marry Miss Kahoko Hino…few months from now." He vowed sealed by a kiss in her hand.
Kahoko stared at him wide-eyed. "Are you sure?" she whispered.
Len looked up at her. "I have to…or your future will be ruined because of the stupid me."
Dear God…I will marry the guy…The guy that I barely know.
"And to let you two know each other more…Kahoko and Len will live in one of Tsukimoris' states and start their life there together." Kahoko's dad declared.
Standing up, Len stared at Kahoko… Shoot! This is getting worse!
Worst, they said that they hate each other. Uh-oh, looks like this will be a good start.
A/N: I hope you liked it~ Please do leave a review! I worked hard with this!
If you saw any mistakes, I beg for forgiveness because I really am tired now.
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"Remove your dress." He ordered.
Kahoko flushed. "W-what?"
"Remove your dress and change it to a normal one." He repeated without turning away. How is she supposed to change with him inside their room!