"Damn that was good!" exclaimed Naruto, as he placed his hands behind his head and headed to the bathroom. Before he entered through the door, he said, "Don't you think, Sasuke?"
Sasuke said nothing. Having finished his meal early, he was sitting on the couch, checking his emails on his smartphone. He had expected Naruto to bring up sex with Hinata after he had eaten, but since he didn't, Sasuke suspected Naruto had forgotten. That worked in his favor.
Turning around to glance at Hinata, Sasuke froze. He caught a smile adorning her features, and for a moment, he saw his mother from the back of the small girl. It was a stupid illusion. His mother was dead and nothing like the girl in his kitchen.
Hinata was in the kitchen washing the dishes. She was satisfyingly recalling the sight of Naruto and Sasuke finishing everything on their plates, even taking seconds. It was a compliment to her cooking, which was something she enjoyed doing whenever she had enough time to.
When Sasuke saw her looking for a clean rag to dry the dishes, he got up from the couch, stuck his phone in his pocket and approached her. Coming up beside her to open a drawer, he pulled out a towel and handed it to her. Then, as she took a wet plate in her hand, he positioned himself behind her and placed his hands on the counter on either side of her body to bar her to where she was.
"You messed up my sleeping schedule," he said, his voice low in her ear.
She bit her lip and continued to wipe the dish in her hand, albeit anxiously.
He took the dish from her hand, set it aside, held her hips and turned her around so that she faced him. "You're going to fix it."
"Right now?" she managed to say, surprised that her eyes could not leave his captivating ones. They only broke away when she saw his hand take a lock of her hair.
"After," he said, "you take a bath."
"A bath?" she looked at him questioningly. When his eyes dipped down for a second, she realized why. "Oh." Right. Unconsciously, she placed a hand to lightly touch her wounded side.
He gestured for her to follow him before he began to leave.
"But," she glanced at the remaining wet dishes in the sink that she still needed to dry.
Stopping at the doorway, he looked back at her and said, "Leave them."
With hesitancy, she placed the rag on the counter and followed after him.
He helped her start the bath. But unlike before, they weren't going to be taking it together. She was going to wash up and Sasuke was going to wait in his room.
She could take showers quickly, but since she was hurt, she had to take a longer time in the bath. Avoiding the bandaged area, she carefully washed her arms and legs and her hair. And when finally she was finished, she dried her body and her hair with a towel.
On top of the things she brought, Sasuke had given her an extra bag of clothes to have. It included pajamas, which she took out of the bag to wear instead of her own makeshift ones. It consisted of brown Capri pants and a thin, white shirt. Upon seeing them however, and considering what she and Sasuke were going to do throughout the night, Hinata thought it more flattering to keep the towel around her body instead.
As she headed to his room, she noticed his door was closed. She knocked lightly, and when she didn't hear an answer, she opened the door slowly. Sasuke was still fully clothed, his phone in his hand, lying still on his bed as if he were asleep. Wondering if he actually was asleep, she tiptoed her way over, got onto the other side of the bed, and sat on her legs, facing him. Just the same, he made no movement.
He was in fact half asleep. He could hear her but his mind was running a mile a minute with something sinister blocking him from being responsive to anything else. Darkness was invading his thoughts and he felt its familiarity from having seen it many times in nightmares. It was a memory he tried desperately to push away—the pool of blood, his parents—
Feeling fingers push strands of his bangs from his forehead, it took him a moment before he could force himself to react. When he moved and grabbed them, he opened his eyes and realized he had escaped from yet another nightmare about to plague him. His dark eyes met the kind, pearl ones of Hinata's—a sight he'd rather see.
Dropping her hand and sitting up, his elbow rested on his leg as he held his head in his hand. Fatigue was hitting him hard now. Since yesterday morning, he had had no sleep. Before he could think of reluctantly turning her away, he realized his phone was missing. He turned his body and searched around him for it before finding it placed on the nightstand. She must've put it there. When he looked at her, she shrunk slightly.
"I—I'm sorry. Did you want it?" She placed her hand in front of her on the bed to hold her up as she leaned toward the nightstand, her arm extended.
"It's fine," he said, making her stop just before she grabbed the phone. And it was then, as she slowly sat back on her legs, he realized that all she was wearing to cover her naked body was a white towel. His fingers hooked the towel, just below her cleavage. "You know what's tempting." A smirk teased his lips as their faces came closer to one another, mere inches apart.
"I… have to," she said just above a whisper.
He leaned back and looked at her straight.
Avoiding his eyes, she turned her attention instead to the belt around his waist, her hands holding the buckle as she tried to undo it.
Before she could however, he pushed her hands away. "Not anymore." What would he be without self-control? And anyway, he was suddenly just too tired.
She searched both his eyes, her expression a mix of question and concern.
But he gave her no answer, instead falling back on the bed smoothly and closing his eyes. When he heard Hinata shifting to climb off, he opened his eyes and caught her wrist to stop her. "You're still staying here."
Turning to look at him, her hand as well clutched the towel when she felt it begin to loosen. In thinking about his statement, she realized that, if they weren't going to be having sex, he was having her just sleep next to him. No one has ever asked her that, and, in treating this like a job, she found it unusual… and refreshing. "But… I need to change."
He released her, replying, "Make sure Naruto doesn't see you."
After Hinata left the room, Sasuke undressed down to his boxers for the night. When he was finished he went to his phone and passed a couple minutes. Upon hearing her reenter, he set the phone back down and looked at her.
He eyed the white shirt and brown pants on her. She was tugging at the ends of the pajama shirt she had on, appearing uneasy. It was definitely his conservative secretary's style, but it gave Hinata another aura. Very different compared to her streetwalker attire.
"This is the first time I've seen you in regular clothing," he commented aloud, stepping over to her.
"But," she reminded him, "what about the, um—the dress?"
"It doesn't count," he said, pulling her to him. His hands held the small of her back as hers were flat on his bare chest. "I could still see down it." His teasing eyes glanced at her breasts pressed against him.
Unexpectedly, Hinata reacted by biting back a smile and pushing herself out of his grasp playfully. And when she realized her silly action, she held her arms to her chest, her smile disappeared and her eyes bashfully looked up at him.
Taking her chin in his hand, Sasuke leaned toward her and pressed his lips against hers. This girl really amused him. Too bad he didn't have the energy to fuck her.
Before his body gave in to more than it did now, he parted from her. Her cheeks flushed lightly when she saw his satisfied smirk. Although it was surely a lie, he liked to think only he could do that to her.
Then he turned away and headed to his side of the bed. "Starting tomorrow," he told her, "you'll sleep on the couch unless I want you in my room."
Hinata followed him to the bed, pulling back the covers on her side to climb in. "Okay," she replied.
For this night, it seemed, there would be nothing but sleep for the two exhausted people that needed it.
Sasuke woke up to realize he had had a successful, dreamless night. Turning to look at the girl beside him, her back was facing him so that all he could see was her long, dark hair. He considered her a contributing factor, but didn't want to think she was necessary. Pulling the covers off him to get out of bed, he began to ready himself for work.
Hinata woke up a couple hours later to an empty room. It was another comfortable sleep however. Making her way downstairs, she heard no noise. No one was home.
When she stepped into the kitchen, she remembered what Sasuke had told her the night before during dinner: she was to clean everything in the home throughout the week. The two men's rooms were excluded, unless she was after breakfast and taking her pain medication, for the rest of the day, she was a maid.
It was definitely more than a day's job. Naruto had come home when she was working on the kitchen, about to scrub the floors.
"Hey, Hinata," he greeted.
"Welcome home," she replied, a rag in her hand.
"So," he said, leaning on the kitchen doorframe and eyeing her tank top and shorts attire. "Sasuke isn't here. How's about we…" He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.
It was her job to do as they wished, but she felt the urge to get this done before she did anything else. If he allowed it, she would be thankful. So she asked, as nicely as she could, "Um, may it be after this?"
It took him a second before he said, "Alright." Then before he left to go upstairs, he told her, "I'll be waiting in my room!"
Now down on her knees, she was scrubbing stubborn stains on the floor when the door opened some moments later. Sasuke came home.
He was in the middle of passing the kitchen to head to his room when he noticed Hinata through the corner of his eye. Stopping to watch her from the doorframe, he admired the angle he had of her while she was on the floor. Her tank top left little to the imagination, what with her breasts squeezed into it, asking for him to rip it off her.
When she felt his presence, she looked up at him. His intense stare made her feel self-conscious.
"W—Welcome home," she gave him a timid smile. Unlike with Naruto, her eyes couldn't stay on Sasuke's for long, so she looked back at the task at hand and continued to scrub. She heard him step closer to her.
"Naruto home?" he asked.
Nodding, her gaze was now on his feet that were a foot away from her. "He's upstairs… waiting for me."
What he replied with was something she didn't expect. "Too bad."
Now compelled, she sat on her legs and looked back up at him.
Kneeling down to her level, he said, "He'll have to wait a little longer." Pushing her hair behind her ear, his hand then trailed down her neck to her shoulder, his fingers pulling the spaghetti strap with them as they lowered to her arm. "Should we start here?" he said smoothly.
"W—Wait!" she said, raising herself quickly to go to the sink. She preoccupied herself by washing and drying her hands. It was interesting… how he so easily managed to make her feel hot. Calm down, heart. Calm down.
Coming up from behind her, his hands snaked under her shirt and held her bare waist. She felt his teeth pull down the spaghetti strap and then his lips press against her shoulder. His breath tingled her skin, and she unconsciously grasped the edge of the counter. Gradually, his hands moved higher, defying the space the tank top barely had to grope her breasts. Her back arched in turn to push her breasts toward his touch as her body gave in to the pleasurable sensation his fingers were giving her as he played with the pink in the middle. She crossed her legs, feeling wet down there.
"Not—Not here," she managed to say. As a sex worker, she shouldn't make any requests, but she couldn't help but blurt, "Your room." Just in case, she added, "Please—Sasuke."
The corner of his lips tilted upward. His voice low in her ear, he said, "Fine." His hands fell from her bosom. Taking her wrist, he led her up the stairs and into his room.
Naruto was left to wonder what had happened.
The next three days and nights were tiring. Not only did she clean, but Sasuke also made her in charge of cooking each meal every day. And at night, though not always, she had sex. It always ended up being with Sasuke. He always managed to take her before Naruto did.
It was strange too. Sasuke began to treat her more tenderly compared to the first couple times they had sex. Not only did she pleasure him, but he also allowed her to feel the same kind of ecstasy. It was nice.
One night, as they were in the middle of foreplay, his lips against hers, he parted from her and said suddenly, "Why do you do this?" But when he saw her eyes change to that of questioning ones, he looked away. "No, don't tell me. I don't want to know." And then he leaned down to kiss her neck.
It wasn't that he didn't want to know as much as it was that he shouldn't know. If he learned more about her and he heard her story, he would see her differently. No longer would she be the prostitute paying back her debt with sex. Instead, she would be a girl he was having sex with that had shared part of herself with him. And they would become more than they already were.
'Why?' she thought, as he moved lower. Even though anything was better than the life she was living now, her previous life… it was painful too, it left a whole in her heart too. The abuse, the deceit, the keeping up appearances… People didn't understand because all they saw was a girl from a wealthy family. "What problems could she have?" they would say. "Ungrateful child."
She took his face in her hands and made him face her. Her eyes spoke for her as they looked between the two of his. You know why, they said, but he didn't see it. His eyes were on her lips. Then he kissed her there.
Why? Because despite her unwillingness to do this line of business, it was the only option she felt she had. Because she lacked the self-confidence and self-worth to believe that she was capable of doing anything else. She ended up in a world that taught her that her body was the only worthy asset and that she wasn't smart or talented enough for other moneymaking possibilities. And that no matter what, there was no turning back the moment she walked out the door. Her family didn't want her back and they wouldn't take her back.
Neji reassured her of it.
The next day, Sasuke came home early. She expected him to take her to his room, but instead, he took her grocery shopping. They needed to go.
When he disappeared from her side for a moment to check something, he left Hinata at a cookbook stand, where she eyed the large amount of books. The one she picked up read: "Ten Dollar Dinners." The title alone had caught her attention because she considered it would be useful for when she returned back to the apartment with Sakura and Ino.
As she wondered how they were doing, whether they were all right and well, Sasuke came up to her and saw her faraway gaze on the book in her hand.
"Buy it," he said, just to get her to move.
Now back to reality, her eyes shifted from the book to him and then back to the book.
"You know how to make food."
It was his subtle way of a compliment. And she heard it—that she was a decent cook. After all, he would show her that when he finished his meals and nonchalantly helped himself to seconds.
Smiling to him, she said, "Okay."
His gaze fell to her lips, and stayed there a moment before he turned to look at the cart beside her. "You spend too much money on food anyway," he then added.
"Oh… I'm sorry." She eyed the food in the cart. "Then," she said, as she grabbed the container of baby tomatoes, "we could take some out."
Before she could set it aside, he stopped her, his hand on the container. "Keep those."
Hinata met his eyes. For some reason, she felt humored by his serious expression. He really liked his baby tomatoes.
That night, after washing the post-dinner dishes, she was drying her hands with a towel when she took a glimpse at her cookbook on the counter a couple feet away. In doing so, she recalled Sasuke's words from earlier, "You know how to make food."
An idea popped in her head then. What if… she became a cook? If she had to pick a "talent," or something she enjoyed, it would be cooking. Of course, before she could think to become a cook, she would go to school to further her skills.
So maybe, that could be her goal. Like how Sakura and Ino have theirs, she can finally name one of her own. After all, she truly enjoyed cooking for others. The mood is always better when a hungry person has eaten. And maybe, even further than being a cook, she could own a restaurant. It could be next to Ino's flower shop. They could be close to each other that way.
Setting the towel down, she took the book in her hand. Since the men seemed busy for the night with their upcoming deadlines for work, she went to the living room, sat on the couch and began reading and familiarizing herself with the book's contents.
The next morning, Hinata awoke early.
Upon realizing she woke up before the two men did, she decided she would make coffee for them. It wasn't long before Sasuke woke up, and Naruto too. Both came down to see their cups ready.
Naruto, after finishing his coffee, set the cup in the sink. Then he turned to Hinata, who was cleaning out the coffee pot next him. With a grin, he said, "Thanks again, Hinata!" and slapped her butt.
She jumped slightly, not expecting his action, and glanced at him as he began to leave the kitchen. Sasuke, who was leaning against the counter with his drink in hand, watched Naruto through narrowed eyes.
Later that day, Sasuke made it home before Naruto once again.
But this time, something was different.
After he slammed the door shut, all Sasuke saw was red. "Damn it!" he yelled, as he hurled the keys in his hand toward the narrow table against the wall just ahead of him. It hit a glass vase.
Hinata was upstairs cleaning the bathroom mirror when she heard the noise. Rushing to the stairs, she climbed down halfway then stopped when she saw Sasuke looming over broken glass, his hands balled into fists.
His death glare met her shocked gaze, causing her heart to skip a beat. As if to avoid her, he turned to disappear into the kitchen.
Climbing down the rest of the stairs, she placed the rag she had in hand on the small table before bending down to clean the mess. Carefully, she began by picking up the larger pieces. But then Sasuke suddenly reappeared and bent down to stop her.
"Leave it," he commanded harshly, grabbing the glass from her hand carelessly. "Fuck," he growled, causing her to flinch as he retracted his hand. Inspecting it, he noticed a line of blood beginning to trail down from an ugly cut on his palm. Damn it, he grit his teeth. If there was one thing he couldn't take, it was blood. He had seen too much of it in his childhood.
Immediately he rushed into the bathroom. Before he had done so however, Hinata had seen his hand begin to shake. She followed him, standing at the door. He had his hand under the water pouring from the faucet. His hands were shaking still, confirming she didn't see it wrong.
Shutting the water off, he grabbed a towel and covered his burning hand. His eyebrows furrowed. Damn hand. It wouldn't stay the fuck still.
Then gentle fingers took hold of his quivering ones. Sasuke met Hinata's eyes. He saw concern.
"I don't need your pity," he glared.
"No," she said, telling him what he wanted to hear as her gaze fell to his towel-covered hand. "I don't pity you."
"Then don't look at me with those eyes."
She was about to glance up at him when she decided against it. Instead, she began rubbing the towel to help dry him.
Although he was in no mood to deal with her, he didn't stop her. He didn't push her away.
The moment she felt his hands were a lot calmer, she opened the small drawer beneath the sink. Then she turned to him questioningly.
"Upstairs bathroom," he answered in a less hostile voice, knowing she was looking for Band-Aids.
After he told her, she nodded and scurried out.
While she was gone, he was going to attempt to stare at the pulsing wound head on. Such a trivial thing, he decided, wasn't going to own him the way it always had.
Even when Hinata was shot, his hands reacted as expected. If it weren't for the fact that he was carrying her to and from his car, it would've been more obvious. This apprehension… it angered him, mostly because the measly cut on his hand daunted him as much as Hinata's wound, which was much worse.
He grasped the towel. Muscles tense, he was about to pull it away when Hinata returned.
"Don't," she said, stepping over to set down the antibiotic cream and Band-Aid on the counter. Her hands now free, she wrapped them around his wounded one. Then she looked at him.
Sasuke was holding back everything he was feeling to save face. Reading nothing on his end, she took the towel off and gazed at his cut.
He unconsciously averted his eyes. After he did so, he glared at nothing in particular. Damn it to hell. He hated how this still got the better of him.
Hinata saw his other hand clench into a fist and thought it was because the antibiotic cream she was rubbing into the wound was painful. With quicker movements, she opened and placed a Band-Aid over his cut.
And so it was over. A migraine formed because of this situation now and because of his frustration at the earlier predicament at his work. Placing a hand over his forehead, he tried willing the migraine away. It wasn't uncommon for him to get headaches.
Although she hesitated in asking him, she nevertheless did. "Are you okay?" she said softly.
He removed his hand to look at her straight.
"Oi! Sasuke!" came the unexpected voice of Naruto after he came through the front door. "Where are you?"
Sasuke left the bathroom.
Upon seeing him, Naruto said, "Did you really have to leave like that? I mean, I know it was a hell of a blow but—"
"Not now, Naruto." Irritated once again, Sasuke told him, "I have a headache."
"How convenient! You do realize you left me to deal with your crap? And what the hell is with the broken glass?" A momentary pause, and then, "Damn it! That was an expensive gift!"
"Shut the hell up."
Hinata came out of the bathroom then to find the two men shoving each other, about ready to throw punches.
"P—Please!" she said, her voice wavering. "Stop!" It was like watching two brothers fighting against one another, and despite feeling frightened, words were voiced without her really processing it.
When Sasuke was pushed back hard by Naruto, he accidentally knocked Hinata to the ground. Pain came from her side, where her wound was still healing, causing her to moan and clutch the area.
Naruto stepped past Sasuke to kneel beside her. "Are you okay?" he asked, as he helped her to stand.
"Let her go," Sasuke commanded, taking hold of her wrist to pull her away.
Naruto, whose hands held her arms, kept her firmly in place. "What's your problem?" he said angrily, shoving Sasuke away. "She's not yours!"
Sasuke glared at him. He was unable to say anything. It's true. She wasn't his. And for some reason, Naruto saying so made him seethe. "Fuck you," he muttered, as he moved past the two to stomp up the stairs.
"No, fuck you!" Naruto yelled back at him.
These cruel words being thrown at each other, it reminded her of a past she wanted to forget. Feeling her stomach twist, she freed herself from Naruto's grasp and left through the front door before he could see her tears.
Naruto didn't follow her.
Right after she had left, Hinata didn't end up going very far. She couldn't necessarily leave before the week was over, but she didn't want to go back inside. Not yet. So, until her tears stopped, she sat outside the door.
Bad things happened when people fought. That was what she knew. When it happened, it made her knees weak. It was something that made her sad, sometimes frightened, and it was something she always wanted to avoid.
An hour or two passed before she felt ready to go back inside. Wiping any trace of fallen tears, she entered the condominium.
Naruto was sitting on the couch in the living room, watching the television. When he heard her come in, he turned his head to her and gave her a weak smile. "Hey. I picked up the glass."
She looked to the floor where the broken shards once were. No more mess. "Thank you," she said meekly.
"No problem," he replied, his eyes back on the television screen.
Not knowing what to do with herself, she sat on the other couch and joined him in watching a random movie.
When the program cut to a food commercial, he was reminded of his empty stomach. Looking at Hinata, he waited for her to meet his gaze before he asked, "So, what's for dinner?"
"Um," she said, thinking. "I—I need more ingredients."
"Then let's go shopping!" He stood up and stretched. Then he thought aloud, turning to look at the stairs, "Maybe, by the time we come back, the bastard will have gotten over himself."
"He," she said, her eyes on her hands in her lap, "has a headache, right?" Although she said it as a question, it was her way of sort of sticking up for Sasuke and playing devil's advocate.
Naruto scratched the back of his head. "Yeah, that's a common thing. You just gotta leave him alone when that happens. Heh. I guess I should've picked a fight later, huh?" She didn't reply, and he decided to end the subject. "So, ready to go?"
She stood up abruptly, "One— One moment please." Then she rushed upstairs. Although Naruto had said it was best to leave him alone, she still couldn't help but feel the need to check on him. When she was in front of Sasuke's door, she hesitantly knocked on it.
Soon after, the door swiftly swung open, startling her.
"What?" he asked sternly.
Her hands fidgeted in front of her. "I—I'm going to go shopping," she said. "Do you—need anything?"
After a momentary silence, he replied, "No." His head still pounding, he grit his teeth and raised his hand to hold his temple. Then he told her, "Don't take forever."
Looking from his hand on his forehead to his eyes that were closed, she answered, "Okay."
To Be Continued
I'm sorry everyone for the very long wait! Please consider this a holiday gift. Happy New Years friends!
I had originally written 22-23 pages, and was in the middle of editing it (over a span of a few days), when I decided that I would be able to update a lot quicker if I just cut it in half. So, just like how I cut the initial first chapter into two parts, I am cutting the final chapter into two parts.
I was absolutely floored by the reviews I got for the previous chapter. It was the most I had ever gotten for one chapter in any of my stories and I was ecstatic when I received every single one of them. Thank you all very much! I truly appreciated your feedback!
I really wanted to give this to you during Christmas but I ended up busy. Even now I am busy with visiting family. Currently, I'm staying at my cousin's house and it's 5:35 a.m. and my grandmother just caught me on the computer. T'was quite awkward.
Anyway, please review and let me know what you think of this chapter!