PROLOGUE

It was a perfectly normal day, Yuzuha had thought, when she brought her two little red-headed boys to the park. They were twins, just turned six, and they were full of life, full of questions, and full of light in their eyes. She let go of their tiny hands, smiling fondly, as they ran before her, farther up the concrete path, to the little park they visited every day. These were the days when Yuzuha had been a stay-at-home mom, before her fashion career.

"I get my favorite swing!" Kaoru called to Hikaru, running ahead with a grin on his face.

"Of course you do, dummy!" Hikaru yelled after him. "We always get our favorite swings!" They ran into the woodchips and little pieces of wood splayed out behind their every step.

"Slow down!" Yuzuha warned, cupping her mouth with one hand. They didn't listen and kept on running. She smiled at her boys before turning away and meandered over to her usual bench on the edge of the park. Sitting gingerly onto the seat, warm from the midday summer sun, she threw her heavy bag down beside her and leaned back. Her bag was her boys' lives, really. Inside that giant tote were all of the toys they wanted to bring to the park that day. It was usually not the same combination twice.

She pulled her lone magazine and started flipping through it, trying to find the spot she left off the day before. A soft breeze pulled the pages from her fingers and she sighed, starting again. Suddenly, her boys appeared at her side, looking at her expectantly.

"Can we play ball?" Hikaru asked, leaning his arms on her lap, and looked at her with those sweet, innocent eyes.

"Of course," she said, setting the magazine aside again and opening the tote bag. She dug between the piles of toys to the blue ball in the middle. "Here you go, loves," she said affectionately, ruffling Hikaru's hair as he took the ball. And they ran off again towards the playground.

Yuzuha went back to reading her magazine, getting lost in a scandal between a few of her favorite celebrities. And that's when it happened.

A loud horn from a car on the nearby street caused Yuzuha to merely glance up from her reading. But a familiar small shriek of a certain twin made her leap to her feet, dropping everything from her lap. Her eyes scanned the park in a panic and then she spotted them, just as the car swerved to try to avoid her baby, her precious baby!

She screamed in complete utter terror in unison with Hikaru who was standing at the curb, as Kaoru, in the middle of the street, picked up that stupid blue ball. Kaoru grasped it in his little hands and turned around in surprise as Yuzuha screamed, "KAORU!"

And that's when he was hit and Yuzuha flinched. She ran out to the street, scooping up a wailing Hikaru, and running into the street. A crowd of people ran about her to help as she screamed and cried and screamed. Her little boy. There was so much blood and he was so lifeless…

And that's how Kaoru died.

Well, for a whole minute.