AN-I know right? A fast update, impossible! Hehe, anyway! Another Yuki chapter! Now before you read ahead I just need to clear some things up that may be a little confusing but please bear with me…In this fanfiction due to reasons that will be revealed later on, Kaien is Yuki's REAL father, and her mother is an unknown woman who died in childbirth. However, despite this she still retains her appearance as she would as Yuki Kuran, so long hair and such. I hope that isn't too confusing O.o even though I know it isn't that way in Vampire Knight…please bear with the for this fanfiction as it made things easier as you'll see later on! Anyway enjoy this new chapter and thank you so much for reading!
"A-arranged marriage?" I only just managed to stammer as my mouth fell open in shock, spoon suspended above the bowl as the porridge I had been carefully guiding towards my mouth slipped from the spoon, making a rather off-putting 'plop' sound as it fell back into the bowl. My father nodded, hands folded in front of him a confident smile on his face. My father had always been the cheerful type, not seeming to twig that this news was the last thing I had ever hoped to hear. My hand trembled as I regained the power of movement. Slowly I lowered the spoon back into the bowl, instead using my hands to clutch the edge of the table like a life support as I absorbed this information.
"To a very wealthy young man from another local area. I hear he is descended from royalty…I believe his grandfather was King of France, however his parents wanted him to experience something different so they brought him here to experience a different way of life….something about having the culture…upper class of course…" He went on, his blond ponytail bobbing enthusiastically as he nodded at me, the blue ribbon holding it in place swaying along with it. I released my grip on the table, my knuckles white and sore from clutching the table too tightly. I rested the palms of my hands against the wood of the table taking a deep breath, still struggling to make sense of what he was proposing…or who was proposing…I shook my head unable to grasp the concept of being told to marry some man from some far off country I'd never been to before…This was not how romance was supposed to be….Not how I had pictured meeting the man I would spend the rest of my life with.
"Surely…I mean…don't you need me here? S-Shouldn't I marry someone from our area? One of the son's from the Aido or Ichijo family?" I asked almost hopefully. I had met the young men next in line to run both of the families, Hanabusa Aido and Takuma Ichijo, at soirees and gatherings. I wasn't in love with them or anything, I simply knew they'd seemed like respectful and kind boys, boys I has actually met in person and knew a thing or two about. The idea of being wed to a complete stranger frightened me to my core. What if it turned out he was a lot older than me? Father had mentioned he was foreign, what if we had trouble communicating? What if he found me unladylike and childish? A man of noble decent…a prince essentially. So why would he want to marry me, the daughter of the mayor of some little area that was most likely of little significance to him?
"Hmm…I should be honest with you Yuki…I've been considering it lately…I know you are almost at the age where young woman are meant to be married off but…" My father bit his lip, his eyes shining a little as he spoke as if he were struggling to admit whatever came next. "I…I…I couldn't bear the thought of giving my little girl away!" He announced, his lower lip practically trembling as he spoke. I stared at him in disbelief, if he felt so badly about it why was he telling me I was to be married to his 'wealthy' man? Had this man's status and money really changed my father's mind so easily? My father was quite laid back considering…I was lucky to have such a kind understanding father. Still, I didn't feel ready to leave the care of my father yet; especially not when I would be passed over to a man I'd never even met.
"Father…then why are you insisting I marry this other man?" I asked softly, not liking questioning my father's decision but terrified of the outcome if I simply went along with things. He cocked his head, propping his elbows up on the kitchen table he folded his hands in front of him, resting his chin against his folded hands. He smiled warmly at me as if I had said something pleasant rather than question his authority. I felt my stomach knot as he stared at me with a knowing smile on his lips as if he was keeping a secret from me.
"He came to one of the recent soirees under the guise of one of the wealthy family's sons…" He began, drawing the words out as if he was relishing divulging this secret, as if he was enjoying making me wait for his answer.
"But father, I thought you said he WAS wealthy?" I interrupted confused by this, hasn't he called the man 'very wealthy' before telling me anything else about him? Hadn't he made it clear he was from good lineage? Wasn't that supposed to me some kind of enticement? Not that I felt it was.
"He is, incredibly wealthy. What I meant was he wasn't announced as special guests usually are…at his request of course…anyway, I thought it a little bizarre but who was I to decline his request? As it turned out, my dear Yuki, he was searching for a bride…his father told me he is not fond of soirees and didn't like the thought of the women flocking around him trying to impress him…it would seem he wanted to see what the young ladies were really like…" I could feel myself becoming tenser and tenser as my father continued, his eyes seemed to sparkle as he spoke about the soiree, about the mysterious young man who had decided to sneakily hide himself amongst the young men and women whom had attended the soiree. I was vaguely aware that I was simply nodding in response to his explanation; already feeling a little nauseous at what I knew was coming. I could feel my stomach knotting and my head spinning as he continued.
"My darling Yuki, it would seem he took a liking to you…he came to me at the end of the evening and asked for you hand." My father finally confessed a proud smile plastered across his face. My heart skipped a beat. The words I had been dreading had been spoken…my romantic fantasies of love at first sight, at falling when I least expected it seemed to shatter before me with my father's announcement. I stared vacantly down at my cereal bowl, attempting to think of a way to sway his decision, however the proud expression adorning his face told me that this was the best he could have hoped for, for his only daughter. I clenched my jaw together as if holding back the protests that were rising in my throat. I did this until my jaw ached and my eyes stung with unshed tears. I took a deep breath; it seemed my father was surveying me carefully, taking in my reaction.
"Father…I...I want to make you proud but-an arranged marriage?" I told him, desperately trying to keep the fear from my voice. His eyes widened slightly before a rather downtrodden expression swept over his face. My heart skipped a beat witnessing this sudden change of mood…had I caused it? He sighed looking very seriously at me, his intense gaze telling me he was going to scold me or attempt to sway my opinion on the matter. I gulped, my throat felt dry and I knew now even before he uttered a single word that I had no choice. That even if he told me it was my decision and that I could back out I would not….the thought of disappointing my father, the man who had already allowed me to get away with more than most girls, my lenient and loving father, tore me apart inside, and caused a pang of pain in my chest that throbbed more prominently than the pang of regret and fear that came with the thought of an arranged marriage.
"Yuki…this is an amazing opportunity for you, any of the young women at the soiree that night would give up their most prized possessions to be in your position." He began, however I was already mentally preparing myself for the outcome, resigning myself to my fate. I longed to turn away, ignore his pleading gaze and simply decline. However, I forced myself to keep staring, to face my father as he went on. "He's a fine young man Yuki. Not only is he wealthy but he is handsome as well, modest, the perfect young man for my darling daughter, I just know you'll realise this yourself when the two of you meet later today-" He continued, however I was no longer paying attention, I shot out of my seat rising to my feet.
"Today? Father I'm to meet this man today?" I questioned, unable to believe he would neglect to tell me this important detail. I knew my father was a little…absent minded at times, however surely this was the worst possible time to spring such news on me, why had he not told me sooner? Given me time to prepare myself, to practice my etiquette and manners? I watched his expression change to one that almost reflected humour as if the situation amused him almost.
"So you'll meet him? Oh Yuki I'm so glad! Not to worry, the servants will help you dress; he will be arriving this afternoon!" I shook my head unable to accept that this was happening…that I was meeting my 'fiancé' for the first time…I couldn't help but wonder for how long I'd actually had a fiancé I didn't know about. I felt a little queasy, I was certainly not ready for this, I needed time to allow the information to sink in…I suddenly felt a deep desire to see Yori, to confide in her and ask her for advice. Yori would know what to do, she was intelligent and realistic unlike me…I'd spent so long burying my head in romance novels that I had no idea how to deal with the situation at hand.
"Father can I not go to visit Yori first? Please I need to inform her of this news!" I pleaded, suddenly desperate to seek comfort from my friend, Sayori the girl who was like an older sister to me. My father arose from him seat striding towards me and gentle placing his hands on my shoulders.
"I'm afraid not today Yuki, we need to prepare you, this evening perhaps, after your meeting-I know you'll make me proud my daughter." He told me, flashing me a beaming smile before releasing my shoulders and attempting to move away, however I found myself wrapping my hands around his arm for support, suddenly feeling weak kneed and light headed. He pulled me into an embrace, and I couldn't help but wonder if he could feel the frenzied pace at which my heart was hammering against my chest. He ran a hand through my waist length hair, twirling the strands around his fingers. I clutched his shirt tightly, balling the material tightly in my fists. Couldn't he tell how frightened I was? Fell the trembling of my body, the pounding of my heart? Realise that I knew nothing about this man who was to be my husband?
"Oh Yuki there's no need to be nervous." He spoke softly, perhaps attempting to reassure me.
"I-I don't know anything about this man…I don't even know his name." I muttered, burying my face in his chest. His hand rubbed my back soothingly and he planted a kiss on the top of my head. I could feel my stomach knotting as moments passed. The possibility of him repealing the offer, telling me that I didn't have to go through with the meeting, with the marriage, was slowly ebbing away with every passing moment, and I found my hopes of actually falling in love depleting with it.
"His name." My father said slowly, softly as if not to startle me. "Is Kaname Kuran."