Author's Note: Thank you for the reviews. :) I'm sorry for the late update. I've been busy with school and whenever I get home from school, I'll feel so tired and sleepy that I totally don't feel like writing. I apologise for the lousy chapter. ;A; And yep, I know nothing about law firms so I'm just gonna use my imagination for this, so don't blame me if it sucks. :3
Disclaimer: I don't own Gakuen Alice or any of its characters.
It's Just an Act, Right?
Chapter 3: My New Life
Who am I? It's an idiot-proof question, I know, but somehow I can't answer it.
White Christian Dior blouse- checked. Armani blazer and pencil skirt- checked. Black Prada stilettos- checked. Yes, you got that right. Christian Dior, Armani and Prada. How in the world can a receptionist afford designer clothes? Well, apparently a receptionist whose future in-laws own two mega companies. I smoothed out my new pink hair and did one last twirl in front of the mirror. Perfect.
I padded downstairs to grab some breakfast.
"Good morning, Misaki-san," Aoi said brightly, winking. She was at the dining table, sipping cappuccino and dressed smartly in a black suit. She was, not surprisingly, a lawyer at Igarashi's Law Firm.
"'Morning, Aoi," I grinned back and picked up a piece of toast. I stuffed it in my mouth and held it between my teeth while I went over to the shoe rack and rooted about for some shoes, preferably comfy ballet flats. I finally discover a pair of black and slightly scruffy flats and pull them on with relief.
Aoi raised an eyebrow. "No heels?"
I simply shook my head. "Nope. I can't stand heels."
"Anyway..." she scraped back her chair. "We'd better get going to the law firm anyway. Don't wanna be late. Are you coming with me?"
"Sure." I nodded, grabbing my white suede bag. "Let's go."
Igarashi's Law Firm was sure enormous. It was a modern building mostly made up of huge glass windows and they were glinting so brightly in the sunlight that it hurt to even look at the building.
"Come on!" Aoi laughed. She pulled on my arm and dragged me into the building.
Oh, wow. The foyer was gorgeous, unlike my previous workplace. Hah! Eat your heart out, Sumire Shouda. I was admiring the big pot of ferns and flowers arranged tastefully that was placed in the centre when Aoi said, "So, I'll be working late tonight. Natsume-nii will be sending a chauffeur for you. I'll see you later!" I barely nodded, still too entranced by my surroundings.
"Misaki, there you are!" a woman strode over to me, her high-heels making a soft clicking sound on the marble floor. "You've disappeared for weeks! Do you have any idea how I had to work your shift too?" Her strawberry-blonde hair hung just an inch below her toned shoulders and she was wearing a simple white blouse, grey blazer and grey jeans. I recognised her as Luna Koizumi from the file. A scowl flickered past her face before she quickly camouflaged it with a grin.
"Just kidding! I appreciated the work, actually... I needed the money. So I should thank you, shouldn't I?" she winked and gave me a somewhat sickly sweet smile. Oh God, it must be my imagination. I must be a mean person deep-down. I mean, someone was smiling at me and I was thinking that she was a hypocrite? Man, I was the hypocrite here.
"I should buy you a drink, don't you think?" she smiled. Was that a little furrow between her brows? Like, she actually doesn't want to buy me a drink? Oh, crap, I was really paranoid.
"You don't have to. I'm sorry I disappeared for such a long time," I replied.
"Oh, that's too bad! Next time, then?" I could swear there was a hint of relief in her eyes. And she didn't mean it. She didn't want to buy me a drink. I knew she didn't. And I just know that I'm not being too paranoid. Well, maybe.
"Yes, next time," I forced a smile. "Maybe," I added as an afterthought. "You know, I might be too busy."
"But of course! I suppose you'll be busy with your... marriage planning?" Luna scrunched up her nose, as if the thought of marriage was revolting to her.
"Well, I guess so." I nodded absentmindedly. "I, um, can't wait to get married to Natsume. He's, er, really sweet! And we've been living together. It's been really awesome this past few months." I emphasized on the word months.
"Definitely," Luna said curtly, rolling her eyes. It was as if she'd dropped all pretense of being nice and trying to be friendly. "I guess you two have really been hitting it off, hm? Who am I kidding? You two are practically lovers from the cradle!" she drawled, her voice scathing and her smile icy. "Enjoy your marriage life!" The way she said it sounded like she wanted to say, 'Have fun being tortured by your stupid fucking marriage, bitch.'
"I will," I tried to sound matter-of-fact, but my voice was trembling. Just who was this woman? Well, yes, she was a Satan spawn called Luna Koizumi. But what was it to her? Had Misaki ever done anything that made her hate her so much?
"Well," the blonde hitched up a corner of her full lips. "Have fun!"
"Luna, what's taking you so long?" a woman with long dark blue hair came up to us. "Misaki!" her eyes lit up in recognition when her eyes landed on me. "How nice to see you again! How has life been treating you?"
"Fab!" I said, smiling faintly. Who was she? After the encounter with Luna, I had absolutely no bloody plan to ever meet any of my colleagues. The woman scrutinised me curiously. "So! Did you know that Yura was caught in the pantry with Hiro?" Her dark blue eyes twinkled. Okay, who the heck were they? My brain had officially switched off. I didn't even want to know my bloody colleagues. That Luna bitch had absolutely spoiled my mood. I just wanted to get this job done with for the day and leave.
"Um, lovely! I've always liked Hiro! His, er, services are great!" I nodded as though I knew what I was saying. Hiro must be some lawyer in the firm. Well, who else could he be?
"Services?" the woman looked blankly at me. "My dear Misaki, you must have been away for so long that you've forgotten stuff! Hiro is a dog."
I stared back at her as though she was an alien. "Dog. Well, of course! Er, so what has that got to do with anything?"
"Hiro is Yura's dog! Well, who would have thought that she, the goody-two-shoes, of all people, would bring her dog to work?" she laughed chirpily. "Anyway, glad to see you're back! You need to get back on tracks. Talk to you later! Ta!" She grinned, clapped Luna on her back and they sauntered to the front door together, chatting about nail varnish and spas. O...kay. That was... weird. I mean, I should have known that lawyers do not have a sense of humour. Like getting caught in the pantry with a dog is worth any gossip.
I collapsed on the chair behind the contemporary receptionist's desk. Okay. Time to get down to work and get the hell out of here. The phone rang almost immediately.
I pick up the phone and said in my best, charming voice, "Good morning. Igarashi's Law Firm. How may I help you?"
Finally, finally, finally. I was beginning to think that work would never end. I picked up my bag with a sigh of relief and trudged towards the main door. Just when I thought I'd safely got through the first day of work, my phone blasted out a cheerful tune. I flipped it open and stared at the bright screen in horror. The name 'Luna Koizumi' blinked up at me.
With shaking fingers, I clicked on the 'answer call' button. "H-Hello?"
"Misaki," the same dangerously smooth voice said.
"W-What's up?" I managed to say.
"Oh, nothing," she answered breezily. "Just wanted to ask if you're interested to join me for a drink. You know, I owe you one, don't I? Nonoko left early, so I figured you might like to join me?"
"No t-" I began, but was cut off by a familiar low voice saying crossly, "How long do you plan to stay there, woman? I want to get back home."
I gulped and spun around. Natsume was standing behind me, dressed in a simple black suit with the tie hanging loosely around his neck and two of the buttons of his white shirt unbuttoned. His hair was even messier than usual, but in a good way. I felt my heart slamming against my ribs but ignored the fluttery feeling in my chest.
"Ah, Natsume-sama, is it? Could you possibly put me through to him, darling? Hm?" Luna purred. She must have heard Natsume's voice.
"Err... fine." I held out the phone to Natsume and mouthed, "Luna Koizumi?"
He frowned and paused before snatching the phone from my fingers. He pressed it to his ear for a couple of minutes. There was the occasional 'hn' and 'tch' from Natsume's mouth. His brows were still furrowed in an annoyed way. Finally, he hissed, "Shut the hell up and get your ass out of my life." Scowling, he snapped the cellphone shut and tossed it back to me.
"You. Don't go near that woman, is that clear?" His eyes were burning with something dark and mysterious. Those crimson eyes were even scarier than usual.
I nodded and swallowed, not trusting myself to speak. Just who is Luna Koizumi?
To Be Continued...
I know it's a short and lame chapter, but I wanted to update this to let you guys know that I'm still alive. ._. I'll try my best to make the next chapter longer and better! It won't be any time soon though. ._. But there will be more drama, promise. :)) And my 'o' key is freaking annoying and stiff (Anyone has any solution to this? T^T It's so hard to type an 'o'. OTL), so I'm not really in the mood to type. ;A; Reviews are very much appreciated though. :) Advanced Happy Chinese New Year to everyone, especially those celebrating it! (like me :D) ^^