A/N The events in this story take place after the Fourth Shinobi war.
She watched the sun's delicate, golden glow seep over the Hokage Monument. The sunlight slowly crept over the village, softening all it touched and revealing small details that normal eyes wouldn't see in the darkness that night represented - but her coveted eyes were no 'normal eyes'.
It was going to be a beautiful day; the way the light danced seamlessly across the translucent surface of the mirror in front of her, creating tiny but colorful prisms in its own perfect light. But she knew today was going to be horrible - perhaps as horrible as last night.
Flinching at the sudden noise, she saw their eyebrow rise at her skittish behavior and blushed. Tsunade was looming in the doorway of her office, regarding the Hyuuga with concern and interest. She flashed a sad smile.
Reflectively Hinata's eyes snapped away from the woman's face, favoring the floor - or anywhere that wasn't the assessing eyes of the Hokage. Tsunade frowned before she treaded into the room to take a seat at her desk.
"How are you feeling, hmm? Better, I hope?" Tsunade mumbled as she idly picked up a stack of paper and began to sort through it.
Hinata shifted on the uncomfortable plastic seat positioned craftily in front of the Hokage. Her limbs were still sore and stiff and her head was throbbing but the pain had become a dull sensation, though Hinata ignored it. The cut running down her arm wasn't bleeding anymore; Sakura had tended to it earlier. "Better." She murmured, noting her voice was still raw from screaming. She blushed harder, her whole face aflame with a dusky pink.
"That's good, very good, that's really good. I'm sure everyone will be relieved to hear that." Tsunade nodded, feigning exuberance but failing as she sorted through more sheets.
Hinata glanced around the room as Tsunade roved through her precariously stacked papers in search for some document that was deemed important for some reason or another. The carpet was a dull brown and the white walls had various cracks from Tsunade's fists; however most of the damage had been hidden - poorly - underneath pictures and posters depicting great events in Konoha history.
"Aa, H-Hokage-sama-" Hinata started, she wanted to leave.
"-Hinata." Tsunade cut in brashly, finally setting her papers down. "Do you remember anything? Anything at all? Hair colour, skin complexion, place name?"
Hinata began to furiously bite her lip. Her pale eyes preferring the backdrop of Konoha oppose to the probing expression of Tsunade.
Naruto was usually the peak of her focus, the one presence that seemed constantly on her mind - either subconscious or not. The blonde was always usually there. Whenever there was danger or darkness it had been the blonde who saved her numerous times and she usually felt secure in the fact he would arrive when she was in danger. But this time his presence was completely absent from the entire event, she hadn't even called his name for help.
But suddenly… everything shifted. She couldn't shake the sight of the forest clearing. It was seared into her memory. The reflection of the pools of blood, the bodies, the scream that had pierced the silence - the scream she didn't consciously remembered making. The feeling of hands roughly grabbing her, dragging her from the Hyuuga compound.
The vision of Kō's still, lifeless body caused her to bite back a scream even now. Her bodyguard's disembodied head, eyes that had once been ivory were the colour of old bruises. For a moment she forgot that she was in the Hokage Tower with Tsunade - wounded but safe. Except that wasn't exactly true, she wasn't safe - she wouldn't be here if she was.
"I don't… I don't remember anything." Hinata admitted, her voice rawer than usual but still ultimately breathy and soft.
She didn't remember anything, but that wasn't exactly true. She remembered everything - and saw it continuously. Yet she didn't remember anything important. She hadn't caught any names, any distinctive features like a headband or uniform.
The details were blurry - tainted. She'd been ripped from her bed, promptly knocked unconscious before she was dragged mercilessly out of the compound and into the woods surrounding Konoha.
A sudden blow inflicted to her head jolted her back into consciousness, her vision blurry,her movements jittery as she desperately stumbled forward out of the grasp on the back of her neck. She managed to worm out of one of her adversary's arms and conveniently into another.
She'd fought, her palms flailing and veins flanking her translucent eyes. But the prevalent fact she was fighting against ten shinobi who were surrounding her with increasing irritation was a haunting prospect, and the odds of her winning… weren't good.
She flinched internally away from the memory of Kō coming to her rescue quickly and being struck by who appeared to be the leader of the group. He'd cleanly raised his blade and aimed for Kō's neck. She had screamed then, a scream that she didn't consciously remember making, but the high pitch of the cry had reverberated through the clearing, bounding off her ears continuously until a cold silence claimed the forest once more.
She didn't remember escaping the assailants. But suddenly there was no hand grabbing her throat or attempting to tear her clothes off. There were no low chuckles and chortles as she whimpered and struggled.
But suddenly there was another presence in the clearing: one with equal darkness and a presence that caused even the assailant gripping her arms to stiffen. The reaction of her assassins had been unsettling and only heightened her hysteria as she used the sudden distraction of the new, sadistic presence in the clearing to weave out of her attackers' arms. She stumbled blindly forward, clutching her throbbing head and her bruised cheeks.
She'd blackout then, a pair of arms enveloping her form that was struck by a kunai. She'd absently heard them rip an article of their clothing to provide a makeshift bandage for her injuries.
"That's fine Hinata. You're safe, that's all that matters." Tsunade smiled softly.
Hinata didn't reply, she looked away. Tsunade was lying. Hinata wasn't safe. Nor was this kidnapping random. A month prior Hinata was subjected to another vicious kidnapping resulting in two branch member's death.
She wanted to become stronger. She needed to.
"Can I go now-" Hinata asked, her voice louder as her eyes met the Hokage's weary gaze.
"Hinata." Tsunade cut in sharply, glancing down at cream page. "This is the second attack in a month. That fact qualifies you as threatened by an organization whose sole target is you - or more specifically your position as heiress and your Byakugan."
Hinata remained silent.
"Since the tragic death of your previous bodyguard Kō," Tsunade ignored how Hinata frowned and began to anxiously fiddle with the hem of her shirt. "I've been requested by your clan to assign you a new bodyguard."
Hinata froze, her whole form stiffening at the mention of her bodyguard. Her features no longer held the timid and delicateness they had moments before. She looked outraged and appalled at the thought of Kō being replaced so flippantly. Her opaque eyes snapped upwards. "I don't think that is necessary Tsunade-sama."
Tsunade smiled stiffly. "It is, Hinata. Your clan has requested it." Request was a loose term, a furious demand was more accurate. Hyuuga Hiashi had really tested the blonde's patience this morning, bursting into her office with his eyes almost as cold as his tone, demanding his daughter a new, well-trained and dangerous bodyguard to accompany her everywhere.
Hinata involuntarily began to bite her lip as she looked down at her interlocked hands with hard eyes. She didn't want a new bodyguard; the concept of having someone babysit her was as degrading and humiliating as it sounded. However she knew there was little reasoning with the Hyuuga council, especially when it was regarding the voiceless heiress. She had little say in the doings of her clan, especially when it involved her, even now.
However there was the alluring prospect of whom her bodyguard might be. A dusty pink traitorously kissed her cheeks when she entertained the incredulous idea of Naruto being her bodyguard. Of course that idea was both asinine and imprudent: Naruto was far too busying with his mission and a looming promotion to his desired occupation as Hokage to mind her.
Perhaps Shino or Kiba might be assigned, however both were far too busy with their jobs: Shino was being groomed to be his clan next leader and Kiba was a jounin with a genin team he never ceased complaining about. She liked the idea of Ino, or perhaps Sakura, but she wasn't exactly sure either kunoichi had the time or patience for such a tedious job.
"W-who is my new bodyguard?" Hinata piped up, her voice filled with anxiety as she curiously peeked at Tsunade from her seat.
Tsunade's smile turned into a guilty one. "Uchiha Sasuke."
He walked through the clearing, effectively using two kunai to strike the assailant's necks and knock them out. Absently staring at the bodies failing to the ground with the final groans of alarm and protest, Sasuke frowned.
The Uchiha had already completed his mission - the assassination of a man with few redeemable qualities and his family.
The caliber of his opponents had been so putrid and their brash regard of the Uchiha, he hadn't deemed them fit to die by his hand, or even linger in his presence for a moment longer. The two assailants, who had been unlucky enough to encounter the Uchiha on his passage back into Konoha, he disposed of them and quickly - slowly on their part.
Pulling his red hood over his onyx spikes, he clutched the cloak tighter around his form as he searched his surroundings with emotionless eyes. Idly he stroked the blade in his palm, pondering the thought of attempting to annihilate Konoha again with mild amusement.
Konoha, the city he perhaps hated more than anything else in the world. He stared at its expansive green peaks and rugged mountains that jutted brashly out of the landscape and into the city. The Uchiha was no longer bent on revenge, nor was he full of unbridled hatred - though he did still loath most things. A full year in the village could do weird things to the Uchiha.
He was cold. Detached. Numb. He had nothing to live for, nor anything to die for. He maintained a steady hatred for most things, yet he was more apathetic to everything. He didn't care, he was merciless and ceasing someone's life no longer gave him the sadistic thrill it once had.
He was a vacant being; darkness had consumed him wholly leaving him empty. He didn't feel attachment, empathy, happiness. His life had become one continuous series of insidious missions - the mission that were a physiological risk for anyone without the mindset of the Uchiha.
He was the perfect killer. Efficient with no weaknesses. He had no bonds that an enemy could exploit; he had no fears nor wants. He had no qualms ending lives and mangling someone's feelings meant nothing to him.
It was a few hours past dawn, and as the soundless assassin moved through the village, using the skyline as a path towards the Hokage Tower, where he had been unusually summoned.
Tsunade rarely wanted mission reports from the Uchiha. She didn't need them and frankly didn't want to know what ever the Uchiha had to do to complete his missions.
This fact piqued the Uchiha's interest, as he wondered what his next mission would be. Or perhaps it was news of a war looming on the horizon. His shadowy eyes trained ahead as he watched the sky burst into a bright fusion of pasty pinks and warm oranges as the sun's new rays streaked across village.
His mind reflected back on his nights activities. Leaving for his mission at the stroke of midnight he had been aimlessly racing through the forest on the outskirts of Konoha when a scream reached his ears. A scream that was such a high pitch cry for desperation, the allure of it had tempted the Uchiha closer.
Black bangs hanging over endless eyes, he moved fluidly down the sterile corridors of the Hokage tower, avoiding making eye contact with the petrified inhabitants of the tower who scurried out of the Uchiha's path desperately.
He almost allowed himself to smirk at their expressions. Did they honestly think running from the Uchiha would save them? If he wanted them dead or harmed, they would be.
He absently opened the Hokage door, ignoring the protest from the Godaime's secretary, who advised him to wait until he was called.
The door slammed loudly behind him, as he moved deeper into the room, his eyes slid over the third figure in the room. He stopped in front of the large desk, his back towards the unnamed girl.
A frown curled across Tsunade's lips at the arrogance and indifference his eyes promised. Her fists tightened as she decided it was best to deal with him now.
"Uchiha." She said evenly, looking up from the file she was holding with distaste.
"Why did you summon me here?"
Her cheek twitched. Indignation lanced across her eyes. That cheeky brat got on her nerves faster than Naruto did with his loudness or crude words. Sasuke's snarky comments made her want to pummel his wiry figure into the ground.
"How was your mission?" She asked mundanely, in an attempt to make conversation.
"He's dead, so is his family."
"Aa." Tsunade nodded flatly, casting a cold frown at the Uchiha. "You've been in the village a year now Sasuke. Your carefully monitored probation ended almost two weeks ago, and you have yet to step out of line. Congratulations." Tsunade actually seemed quite happy about that fact.
Sasuke remained perfectly emotionless, his dark eyes taking in everything yet giving away nothing. "Thanks."
Tsunade bristled at his remark, all humour draining from her weary face. "Because of your good behaviour I'm assigning you a new mission."
"Go on." Tsunade's illusive sentence piqued his interests.
"This is an important mission Uchiha. One which could go on for an extended amount of time until you deal with the threat. This mission will also mean working closely with another shinobi from this village who has access to your seals."
He paused, slight confusion seeping into his face before he blinked and slid back into his usual stoic façade. His eyes darkened as they flickered to his marred wrists.
Tiny loops formulating a seal that bounded him to the village with the allure of gaining back the full use of kekkei genkai. His expression turned cold, a sadistic glint forming in his eyes as he glared at the Hokage. "And?"
She sighed exasperatedly. "There is no ulterior motive Uchiha. You have proved yourself - somewhat - trustable and you have been granted your full powers back."
"For your latest mission Uchiha." Tsunade snapped. "I've decided to grant you a different type of mission from your usual ones." Her brown eyes seemed to darken nervously as she eyed him. Searching for something she didn't seem to find.
"What is it?"
"This is Hyuuga Hinata - your new charge. She's in need of a bodyguard."
There was a pause. A cold clinical silence that trailed across the dark-haired woman's skin, causing her to stifle a shudder. She tilted her head upwards, to peek through her bangs at the man just several feet in front of her.
His cheek twitched. A mundane action. A trivial one. An irrelevant gesture would have been easily overlooked on anyone else. But this was Sasuke. A simple cheek twitched indicated his reactions towards her. She had no idea whether this was a hopeful one. Her chest tensing as she felt the aura in the room cease into a stagnant standstill. Silence claimed the room for several long moments.
Slowly Sasuke's eyes flickered down from Tsunade to the third presence in the room. Hinata. His eyes, purely crimson with flecks of black consumed her entire being as they stared into her white eyes before his gaze snapped away.
Hinata released a breath she hadn't realized she had held and quickly dropped her gaze to stare at her interlocked hands. Her cheeks inflamed with a scarlet that would rival the Uchiha's bloodstained eyes.
His eyes had been so cold a shiver had ripped along her spine. He regarded her as nothing but a new charge. A new trivial captive who had been placed in his merciless care. Her heart clenched involuntarily at the mere thought of becoming the Uchiha's new charge.
He was her new protector. And despite the consuming terror she felt for him, she almost released a maniacal laugh at the truly ridiculous concept of the Uchiha protecting her - protecting anyone.
She was now at the complete mercy of the Uchiha for the foreseeable future.
"Can't her clan provide her with a bodyguard? Isn't she the heiress?" He asked absently, his voice held no malice. It was a simple fact, his eyes still holding a steady gaze forward.
Hinata's form dropped further into a submissive slouch. She began to furiously bite her lip, attempting to drown out the two-side conversation that the Uchiha and Tsunade were having about her like she was a frivolous child who didn't have an opinion. And if she did it was not valued.
Tsunade's eyes fluttered shut and strained look of concentration flashed across her pinched face. "We have decided that you have a set... of particular skills that make you the best suitor for this job."
The Uchiha remained silent, his eyes trained forward avoiding Tsunade's penetrating glare and ignoring the pathetic glances the back of his head was receiving from the meek Hyuuga.
He was weighing his choices. Did he really want to be stuck babysitting possibly the weakest idiot in the village? She had once - if not still - been in love with Naruto. That qualified her as maybe the most stupid and ridiculous person he knew. She was an idiot, and he didn't associate himself with idiots, they weren't worth his time. Not only was she an idiot but she was weak. And the Uchiha simply did not tolerate weakness. Added up she was everything he despised in a person. Could she really survive being babysat by him?
"Do I have choice?" He asked, his voice even and thoughtful.
"No Uchiha, you don't." Tsunade replied honestly. It must have made her happy to say that as there was a smile filtering through her voice and how her eyes were suddenly glittering dangerously. "But this mission has it perks. The Hyuuga clan has assigned a nice room for you and all your needs will be tended for at the Hyuuga compound. Also Hinata-sama here is one of the few shinobi who understands the workings of your seals. We will be lift the seal to give you a greater chance of finding out who is attempting to kidnap Hinata." Tsunade smiled.
"When does my mission start?"
"Your mission starts now, Uchiha. Are you ready?" Tsunade asked, raising a challenging eyebrow.
"Of course." Sasuke said slowly and deliberately, a sadistic smirk crept onto his dangerous features as he turned around to regard his new charge. His new little Hyuuga. His new idiot. His smirk deepened as he took in her meek features and the hot flush that flashed across her cheeks as she dropped her gaze.
Pale eyes peeked upwards at the delicate sky that was a fusion between perfect blue and the light wisps of clouds that wafted carelessly across the sky in the direction of nowhere. The sun, a burning sphere glinted downwards, spreading its light unequally. There were areas of Konoha that seemed to be in constant shade; the Hyuuga compound being one predominantly. Of course, this was no coincidence. It was a conscious effort, the clan walls were high and treetops were unruly and high banishing all light from the compound, creating a suffocating aura.
There was little light in the darkness that cursed the Hyuuga clan. In fact they welcomed darkness. Light was a weakness.
Hinata envied those carefree clouds as she bathed in the light of the sun. She had no light in her life. It had all been stripped from her, in a series of spread-out events.
Her eyes flickered down from the sky to shyly peek sideways at her companion. The Uchiha was still wearing his form-fitting uniform, absently carrying his mask in his gloved hands. His eyes too, were trained upwards and looked distant.
She'd never been this close to him before. To study him and admire his famed appearance. Of course he was attractive in the most obvious sense. Tall with pale skin and unruly dark spikes. His aristocratic cheekbones and jaw line showcased his exceptional heritage and his renowned dark eyes were oddly deep and alluring for such an inky colour. Pools of utter blackness that took everything into their deeps and gave nothing away. They were completely reflective - almost mirror like, and it was after she noted that fact, that she realized these mirror like eyes were looking at her.
"What are you staring at, Hyuuga?"
Her eyes widened for a second before she quickly dropped her gaze to the ground, her form freezing as her mind reeled. She'd been caught staring, gazing and admiring by the Uchiha. Her face drained of all colour.
"What were you staring at?" Sasuke repeated, his voice colder this time. She could feel his glare on her face.
"I-" she tried, her gaze still staring timidly at the floor. For that moment, time seemed to slur to a halt and the ground seemed to swirl along with her empty thoughts. She paled.
Suddenly a hand snapped around her chin jerking her face upwards to meet a pair of cold and purely cruel eyes that were glowering downwards. "Hyuuga." He seethed out quietly. Her heart clenched. His grip was cold, but his fingers were oddly warm and soft. "If you want to survive this mission it would be good for you to learn to answer me when I ask you something. I don't like being ignored."
His unyielding eyes bore into hers for the second time that day. Completely consuming and seeing far past the paleness of her translucent eyes and into her being, searching for something Hinata couldn't decipher. A slow rush of pink flooded her cheeks and she dropped her eyes from his, favouring the floor and noting how his sandals were flushed with hers.
"You're weak." Sasuke murmured as he stepped back from her. His eyes still watching her, tearing her up into digested pieces and crumbling her composure.
It should have been you. A distant voice murmured as the image of her bodyguard and relative glimmered in her mind. Jaw slack, eyes yellow and endless, mouth parted and body torn. He died for her.
Like so many others. Neji.
Reflectively her hand flew to her chest to clutch the dull throbbing of her heart. Her beloved cousin who selflessly sacrificed himself for her.
She realised he was still staring at her, in a clinically searching way, his eyes missing little. Snapping her formulating tears briskly away. She strolled past him wondering why out of everyone was Sasuke her bodyguard?
"Are you scared to die?" He asked her, his voice pointed and mocking as an easy smirk crept into his features. He tilted his head sideways, enjoying the chaos that was swirling around inside her mind.
Was she? She blinked, her unnatural fear of the darkness since she was a child, her wariness of fire, the panic that accumulated inside her when she realised she was alone. It had started when her mother died.
"Are you scared to live?"
He froze, almost jerking away from her. His smirk fell away. She was no longer shaking; she looked affronted clutching her heart and staring at him blankly with those weird, large eyes of hers. Every morsel of emotion was eradicated from her face, which was unsettling to see her morph into the perfect bleak Hyuuga she was always suppose to be.
"You want to die." Hinata continued, her voice quiet. "You just can't find an honourable way to die yet."
He quickly decided that he hated her, he hated her because they both knew the answer to her question and it enraged him that he truly is afraid to live and he has always prided himself on never being afraid of anything. He loathed the fact that this little Hyuuga heiress with one look at him could see the veiled weakness inside of him.
"You want to live." He seethed, moving closer to her. "You want to desperately find something to make you worthless life less pathetic. You're terrified of dying and nobody caring. Because you're worthless. Useless. You're weak." He smiled, darkness pinned to one cheek and a smile to the other.
He wanted to see her cry. To fear him. To shake. To even scream perhaps.
Instead of crying, or jerking backwards or lashing out at him, or anything he expected her to do, she merely smiled thinly at him. It was not a smile that reached her eyes, he could tell it was one that bordered on understanding and pity. Sympathy. He found himself hating her even more.
"I could give you a nice death." He said quietly. "I could save you from the horrors that's your existence."
"I-I'm not afraid of living," she whispered back. Her expression still sad and gentle, although he never remembered it looking like anything else when he had been younger.
The Uchiha wanted to tell her to piss off, he wanted to tell her that he didn't want or need her pity. He wanted to hurt her, this girl who had everything he didn't; this girl who was looking down at him as if he were some sort of helpless case she could nurture and improve.
They carried on in a heavy silence that weight on the Hyuuga's thoughts as the moved slowly through the streets of Konoha. The Uchiha welcomed the silence, and found it to be her only redeemable trait. She was still an idiot, but not a loud one. Something he was grateful for.
They received confused looks from people on the street, she smiled shyly at them while the Uchiha ignored their existence as always.
Of course they tried to converse with the unstable Uchiha, but he had repeatedly voiced his blatant opinion on them. He had no purpose, no goal. He was simply existing oppose to living and fulfilling what his brother had wished for him.
Inflicting pain or fear on someone was the only time the Uchiha felt anything. It had been awhile since he had turned his back on the light and had become completely submerged in a constricting black cloud of darkness that had morphed slowly into nothingness after the war.
He was numb, empty and cold.
The pair slipped lithely into the Hyuuga compounds impending walls, and into the dark coated streets. Neither faltered at the sudden darkness that had enveloped the compound. Sasuke's eyes had long since adjusted to impenetrable darkness in both the literal and figurative sense.
A dozen pair of eyes all akin to the colour of the moon flickered simultaneously to the second figure. The Uchiha, with his cursed lineage and tainted past, the Uchiha who was walking quietly alongside their heiress, who was weak and vulnerable and utterly innocent. The opposite of the dark figure who was walking so closely to her. Their eyes narrowed.
He was dangerous and sinister, with a slightly psychotic look gracing his angled features that whispered of the aristocratic clan he was the sole survivor of. He was a branded traitor, one who was not to be associated with. And yet their heiress looked oddly apathetic to his presence.
Hinata offered her shy, warm smiles as she greeted her relatives. A single dimple protruded on her dusted pink cheek as she called a meek greeting to one of her cousins who returned the greeting with a far more regal and composed nod. Their eyes remained cool and assessing as they followed Hinata and the traitor's forms.
The Uchiha ignored their niggling stares, and their hushed whispers as to why an Uchiha was accompanying Hinata-sama! Their disapproving murmurs echoed softly through the compound as several of the younger generations of Hyuuga children quickly disappeared from view in pure terror of watching such a man with such an aura, and eyes that spoke of a darkness no one else could understood.
Hinata silently walked through the courtyard of the Main House, rounded the glittering water feature that was erected in memory of all the Hyuuga who had perished in the previous war. In a war where Sasuke had been the opponent at the beginning. He had an immeasurable amount of bloodstain on his hands.
She padded down the dark hallways towards the guest wing, in which Sasuke would be residing in. The room was impeccable and white, almost sterile with no splatter of coloring which would amount to some amount of self-expression. All Hyuuga were the pruned to be the same, stoic, strong and regal shinobi that was expected from such an élite clan.
Hinata noted the Uchiha seemed very accustomed to a prestigious and strict clan life. He slipped off his sandals on the wooden porch that ran along the pond with golden and silver koi fish that populated the trickling waters.
The hallways of the guest wing were dim and empty apart from one maid from the Branch family who quickly scuttled out of the corridor the moment her eyes spied the Uchiha. The girl had unceremoniously bumped straight into Hinata's shoulder during her rush towards the exit of the hallway.
Hinata emitted a wince so quiet she prayed the Uchiha didn't notice. Her arms were still aching from the purplish bruises that donned much of her skin. Midway through healing Hinata, Sakura's élite medical prowess was requested for a team of Anbu in critical condition. Hinata didn't mind, her personal salves and creams she concocted in the green house from the Hyuuga gardens would heal away any bruising.
She didn't think that the silent Uchiha noticed her strained whimper, though his eyes never left her form. Somehow, he didn't chime in with a snide comment. She led him down into his assigned room and gently clicked open the door revealing a large room dressed exclusively in white.
He moved into the doorway, scanning the room blankly with curious and assessing eyes that gave none of his thoughts or opinions away. She remained there - next to him - awkward for a while, resorting to twiddling her thumbs as they scrutinised the room.
"I-I hope you like it."
He remained silent and absently ran a hand over the inside of his wrist, along the intricate lines of his seal.
"I could ask Otousan if there any other rooms-"
"-Are you staying in the guest wing?" he asked, his eyes meeting hers.