Thursday, October 28, 2004

Chapter 5 .:. Protective Circle? .:.

Chapter 5

"You knew that something like this was going to happen, didn't you, Tsubasa?"

"Really, Tsubasa! You were too rough with her! Look, she has bruises on her wrist!"

"Well...if she didn't struggle with Akahito when we told her to come with us, she wouldn't have gotten any bruises..."

"Oh, shut up, you dolt! If you were her, would you have gone willingly with some strange guy with hair that looked straight out of some comic book? I swear, for the Head Boy of Kaisei, you can be so stupid some times!"

A snort.

Slowly, but surely, I came back into awareness and back into my body. Covers...warm. My hand reached out and I felt the luxurious feel of silk come in contact with my hand.

"Hey! She moved!"

A soft hand closed over my forehead, no doubt feeling for fever, and although I could've just said that I was alright, I didn't want to say anything yet. I liked the feel of the hand on my forehead...soft and somewhat...protective. I hadn't felt this way ever since my father was died...no, murdered.

That thought brought me back to reality...opened my eyes with a jolt. And locked eyes with Tsubasa's startling green eyes...our faces only a few inches away from each other.

I asked the only thing that came to my mind.

"Contacts?"

Smiling wryly, he shook his head. It was the first "real" smile that I had seen from him as of yet...and I knew at that moment that I had probably gone insane. How else would the thought "So...beautiful" come to my mind when his father killed both of my parents just to suit his own needs? Yeah...I had to have gone insane. That was the only reason for the peaceful and beautiful symmetry of his face to make my heart skip a beat.

"No. Genetic defeat." His hand fell away from my forehead and I felt faintly disappointed as he pulled away, allowing me to the see the other people in the room as well as my location.

"Hitomi!" A blurred form from the foot of the massive, four-poster canopied bed launched itself at me and I winced as it settled itself heavily on my legs.

Ayame hugged me tight and I wondered briefly what was going to kill me first: my ribs breaking one after another from her hold, or from strangulation.

"Ayame..." I managed to gasp and thankfully, she let go of me, although she was still sitting on my legs.

"I was so worried about you!" She cried out theatrically, but my eyes were on Tsubasa, following him as he turned his back to me and walked out of the room. And a massive room it was...at least three-times the size of my bedroom which was now non-existant. The room was only stocked with the bar nessacities; a bed, dresser, two doors that probably led to a closet and the bathroom, a small writing desk set by the bed and a small ottoman and armchair stationed next to the French windows which were currently covered by thick, black velvet curtains, making it impossible for me to discern if it was night or day. There was a lamp by the bed, switched on, and I had to ask myself...how long was I unconscious?

There was another girl sitting by the side of the bed and as my eyes fell upon her, she smiled at me. She was very pretty with a heart-shaped face and long black hair that was braided as a coronet around her head.

"Hi...my name is Kanae!"

"Ah...the youngest sister..." I said, more to myself than anyone else, but she heard and nodded. "Yep...that would be me."

I turned back to Ayame who had (thank god because she was pretty heavy for such a small girl) gotten off my legs and had stationed herself next to Kanae.

"Where am I?"

"Well...we can't tell you the location exactly...but all we can say is that we're about 45 minutes away from Tokyo." said Kanae and Ayame nodded.

Quirking a brow, I sat up in bed, feeling the wooden headboard press against my back, as if to reassure me that something solid was behind me and i wasn't going to fall flat on my back at any moment.

"Really? And why is that, Kanae?"

Ayame spoke up then. "It's because we're not too sure of where this place is either. Our mother found this place for you to hide."

"Hide?"

"Yes. Our father is still looking for you."

"Looking for me?" I was starting to sound like an echo.

"Er...yeah...and I just want to say that we'll protect you with our lives! It's not right for Dad to do this but no matter what we says, he never listens! He just launches into his stupid lecture of only the strong survive and blah, blah, blah..." Ayame trailed off for a moment but then a smile of determination crossed her lips. "Well, no matter. I'll still protect you!"

"Right...and exactly how do you propose to that? Counter bullets with your theory of life and death?" asked Tsubasa sardonically, as he walked back into the room with a glass of orange juice balanced on a silver tray.

Ayame stuck her tongue out at him and Kanae laughed. I felt like an intruder in this scene of a "Kodak moment" and so I tried to slide back into bed without drawing any attention to myself. Of course, Tsubasa had to see me.

Setting the tray on my lap, he waved toward the juice.

"Drink."

I did and suddenly, I was self-conscious at the way I was drinking the juice as all three of them stared at me until I finished the entire glass.

"Er...can I help you with anything?" I asked quietly, setting the glass back on the tray.

"Kanae, take the tray back to the kitchen and go back home with Ayame. Mother wants you both home by seven and it's already six. Sumitomo and Kenji are waiting for you two." said Tsubasa and shoved the tray into his youngest sister's hands.

"Eh?! We have to go now? But she just woke up!" chorused the two girls and Tsubasa glared at them.

"Leave. Don't make Father suspicious. He already knows that you're best friends with Hitomi and he'll think you had something to do with her disappearence. Got it?" Tsubasa took the seat by the side of the bed that Kanae had vacated.

"How come you get to stay? That's not fair!" whined Ayame and he cut her off with another glare.

"It doesn't matter if I'm home or not. He'll just think I'm staying with my friends." said Tsubasa nonchalantly and Ayame fumed.

"Not if he calls your friends and finds out that you're not with anyone of them." she countered and he quirked a brow. I, on the other hand, was having trouble trying to follow this exchange of theirs.

"Has he ever actually called any of my friends when I didn't bother coming home? Most of the time when I said that I was with my friends, I just stayed out at bars and slept at hotels. Remember that one time when I was out for an entire week. Remember what Father said?"

Ayame grudgedly shook her head.

"What did he say?"

She sighed. "He said "Ah...you were gone? Make sure to keep in touch, however. That's what he said."

Tsubasa nodded. "Yes. That's what he said."

"But that's still not fair, though. Hitomi is my best friend, not yours!"

By this time, I was starting to feel like a toy being fought over by two children.

"Please...you don't have to argue...I'll be fine, really..." I protested but neither of them paid anymind to whatever I was saying. I could've probably strangled myself at that moment and they still wouldn't have noticed.

"If you don't go, he's going to ask Mother where you and Kanae are and you ought to know by now that Mother never was able to lie."

At that, Ayame deflated like a balloon that had been popped by a needle. "Oh...fine...whatever."

And with a wave and a "See you tommorrow, Hitomi!" she and Kanae left.

Of course...that left me with Tsubasa.


((just as a request, I was hoping if whoever will read this, could possibly leave a note in the comments...^_^;; I'd just like to know how many people are reading this...))

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Chapter 4 .:. The Burning of a Past .:.

Chapter 4

“What…?”

I had misheard him. I had to have! My mind had turned his words around and made them turn my most terrible fear into reality. No…that couldn’t have been what he had said. He was wrong! Mom would be okay! She’d be waiting for me at home…yes, I knew it!

“She’s dead. My father made sure of it.”

I shook my head. No…he was wrong. There was no way he could possibly be right…he was wrong!

“No. You’re wrong. You’re so wrong. My mom isn’t dead. You’re just saying that to scare me. She’s not dead…she’s not dead!” I argued adamantly.

“Who are you trying to convince? Me…or yourself?” came his silky-soft reply and I refused to believe him. He was lying…he had to be!

I noticed the car slowing down to a mere crawl and although I couldn’t actually see anything out of the back windows, I could hear people yelling, shouting…sirens blaring. Where the hell were we? Almost instantly, a bead of sweat formed on my brow and I felt it fall down on face, even though it was cool in the car.

What was this feeling…? This feeling of unease that made me feel sick again…?

A small panel on the separator slid to the side with a barely inaudible mechanical whir and the action allowed a fairly thick stream of sunlight to filter through the darkness. Even though I had to first wince at the sudden stream of light, I lunged for the panel and stuck my head through the hole, desperate for a sight of where the hell we were.

“Sir…the street is a bit packed…must be all the spectators, I suppose.” said Akahito right next to my head and he was right. The street was packed with people, milling around with identical expressions of anxiety.

I heard people shout and my heart leapt into my throat, making me wonder if I was going to choke to death.

“There’s a big fire at the Elyss Village Complex!”

“I hear that they can’t put the fire out!”

Through the windshield, I suddenly saw the fiery inferno that my home had become and I felt my breath leave me.

“Well…Father certainly made sure to cover up his tracks…and rather well at that…” I heard Tsubasa mutter behind me but it was like I was hearing his voice from a million miles away.

My home…my dolls…my clothes…my photos…my memories were going up in flames…

“No…no…no…no…” I moaned, still unable to grasp reality. What…what was going on…? Why…was my home in flames…? Where was my mother? Suddenly…I felt like a little abandoned girl at a park whose mother told her “to be a good girl” and then walked off with a male stranger and never ever came back.

The car slowed to a stop. I could see a cop was standing at the front of the car and had prevented it from plowing anymore in the road. I saw ambulances stationed a few meters ahead of this sedan and I found myself wondering, ‘What ambulance is my mother in…?’

I saw the cop walk around to the right side of the car…to Akahito’s side. Akahito started to roll down his window and I wasn’t quite sure what had brought me back to reality like a slap in the face or a punch to the guts. Maybe it was the sight of the police uniform that the man was wearing. Maybe it was the blaring of an ambulance as it inched out and roared back to the hospital. Perhaps it was the people screaming, crying, shouting…when they could not find their loved ones in the crowd and wondered if their loved ones weren’t still in the fourteenth-story apartment complex. But whatever it was, I was galvanized into action.

I dove for the door handle…or at least, I tried too. Unfortunately…the hole in the separator was only big enough for my head and when I tried to wrench through, I felt like I was trying to push my body through a steel wall. Not exactly pleasant, don’t you think?

“HELP!!! I’M BEING--!”

Just then, I felt strong arms close around me and the panel was slammed shut right in front of my face, leaving me in complete darkness. My eyes were still adjusting from being thrust from mild sunlight to darkness and as I opened my mouth to scream again, Tsubasa’s hand closed down over my mouth, making it impossible to whisper anything much less scream my lungs out like I should’ve.

He held me hard against his chest, his right arm holding me across my chest so that my arms were anchored at my side and when I struggled, his arms pressed harder, making it hard for me to breath.

“If you want to breath, I’d suggest that you quit struggling.” He whispered in my ear, vehemently. His breath on my skin caused an odd reaction…shivers ran up and down my spine and I stopped breathing altogether for a moment. What was…this feeling…? Tsubasa let go of me…enough to let me breath…but not enough to the point where I could release my arms and attempt to strangle him.

I realized what kind of position we were on. I could feel his heartbeat on my back and his head was nestled on the crook between my neck and shoulders. I could feel his warm breath on my neck and my face grew red in the semi-darkness as I realized that I was sitting in his lap…and my face got hotter as I saw that my skirt had hiked up to the middle of my thighs. Not that I could’ve done anything about it though…

‘Oh…shit…’ I thought with embarrassment…but that was quickly dispelled when I heard Akahito and the police officer conversing.

“No cars allowed here.” The police officer said and I head Akahito’s voice filled with worry.

“But…sir! My sister lives here! Can you tell me what the hell happened here?!”

Good god…he would’ve made a killing as an actor. Guess being a bodyguard to the heir of the Tofukuji electronics company brought in more money.

I heard the police officer sigh. “Sir…you’re going to have to move your car. There needs to be more room for ambulances…quite a few wounded and hurt, you know.”

The swish of paper … money? I knew that I was right when the police officer yelled out that he couldn’t possibly accept any money. Then, I could faintly hear Akahito placating the man.

“Please…just for some information. Can you tell me if anyone died…? I just want to make sure that my younger sister is alright and out of the building…please.”

“He’s good, don’t you think?” whispered Tsubasa and all I could do was nod, since he still had his hand clamped over my mouth.

“Well…we don’t know anything for certain, but we’re positive that everyone has left the building and right now they’re just confining the blaze to the complex. The fire is too big and has damaged too much so we’re just going to get it burn down. As long as it doesn’t spread to the other buildings, they tell me that it’ll be okay.”

“My sister.” I heard Akahito prompt with just the right note of desperation. Yes…he was good. Oh, he was good.

“Ah…yes. Well…there has only been one casualty…but I’m pretty sure that you have nothing to worry about. It was a woman, older than yourself. Poor woman…”

Akahito feigned a loud gasp that I could hear through the thick panel. “My god…what happened? Smoke inhalation?”

“No…if it had only been that. Apparently…she WAS the source of the fire. They tell me that her next-door neighbor saw the poor woman engulfed in flames as well as her home. Gruesome, isn’t it?”


That was the final straw. I closed my eyes and let the blessed darkness take me away on its silent and velvet wings.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Chapter 4 .:. The Rivalry .:.

“None of this would’ve happened if your father --.”

I cut him off with a shake of my head. He had let go of me and I sat in the back seat with him, although making sure to keep some distance from him…meaning about roughly 3 inches between his body and mine…which wasn’t all that hard considering that the car was pretty big for a sedan. I still couldn’t see his face very well, as the windows of the sedan were tinted to the max, making me feel like I was in a box. There was a separator between the back and front seat so it was impossible to see where the hell we were going. The inside of the sedan was built like a miniature limo and again, I wondered, exactly HOW rich the Tofukuji family was.

But why was he talking about Dad? How did he know about my father?

“See…I’m not sure why you’re bringing up my father, but he died three years ago in a car crash.”

Even now, the memory of his death brought a twinge to my soul. Dad had been…wonderful. Always treating me like a princess…but tough on me when I had done something wrong. When Dad died, my mother was in the hospital for a few days for shock and I was sent to live with my distant relatives whose home smelled like seaweed and greasy noodles. It had not been pleasant. When my mother was released from the hospital, it was a relief to know that my dad had a small inheritance that was passed down to us. Sure, Mom still had to work, but we were comfortably off.

“Hitomi…that car accident…” He paused for a moment and then sighed, as if telling me was physically hurting him. Why should it? He didn’t even know me!

“Just…let me talk for a few minutes, but don’t butt in until I’m done, got it?” He said quietly. I nodded and waited for him to continue. In the back of my mind, I was still thinking about my mother. Was this all a joke? If so, it was quite elaborate.

But there was a seriousness surrounding Tsubasa that made me wonder about the actuality of this situation. What if…Inwardly, I shook my head. No. I wouldn’t deal with hypothetical questions. All they would do was just cause me to worry more…and god knew that I needed a clear mind to deal with this.

“Alright…your father should’ve listened when people around him told him not to mess with the Tofukuji’s business. Or more precisely, not to mess with Tofukuji Hiro. Unfortunately, your father was stubborn and went ahead to buy a failing electronics company. This was five years ago. Your father had amazing business acumen and he raised that company so high that it started to compete with my father’s company. My father didn’t like that. He was the one who operated the car crash that killed you father and for the past three years, right under your mother’s nose, he has taken out the people who were loyal to your father, and replaced them with his own men. He paid money to the government so that they’d look the other way as this was going on.”

He stopped and then turned his head to look my way…to gauge my expression. I stared at him though the dimness and then felt a smile curving my lips. This really was a joke!

I laughed and I could’ve sworn that I saw a note of disconcertion cross his stunning face. I never felt so relieved in my life! Electronic company? What electronic company? My father was a telecommunication’s director for a phone company!

“You’re kidding, right? Wow…you had me really going there for a moment!” I said, trying to get a rein on my laughter.

“Really.” His voice was void of any kind of emotion and in the silence that followed, I managed to stop my laughter, although I couldn’t do anything about the little burbles of giggles that spilled from my lips.

“You must have the wrong person, Tsubasa! My dad used to work for a phone company! I mean, don’t you think that --.”

My voice caught in my throat and died as he pulled something else from his pocket, sighing as if this was all just one big bother. It shone through the dimness and I felt a wave of nausea rising
in my body.

“Yes…I thought you’d recognize it. Isnt’t this your father’s wedding ring?”

The thick golden band with a single sapphire glimmered in the dark and I clapped a hand to my mouth, suddenly feeling like I was going to vomit all over the black leather. Bile rose in my throat and hot tears began to course down my face.
The ring…I remembered the day when he left and never came back…I remembered that day like it had only been yesterday. He had left the ring on the kitchen counter and I had tried in on, but of course, it was too big for any of my fingers and when he emerged from the living room, Mom helping him with his tie, I had handed him the ring and he smiled at me as he slipped the ring on his finger. It was the last time I got to see that smile.

“How…how…did you…”

The blonde shrugged. “My father needed proof that Tamae Masaki was dead. Before the driver jumped out of the car, he beat the shit out of Masaki and snatched the ring off his finger as proof.”

He made to stick the ring back into his pocket but I stopped him by reaching out a shaky hand and grabbed the hand with the ring. My mind was whirling around with the thoughts that Tsubasa had provoked and I looked up into his bitter-sharp brown eyes, trying to see the truth. There was no need to look for anything though…the ring had been truth enough.

“Your father…killed…mine?”

“Well…figuratively, yes. After all, my father isn’t the type of person to dirty his hands with blood. He’d just as soon as get one of his men to do it.” He said, settling back into the seat, my hand still grasping his. I could feel part of the ring on my hand, the metal warm from Tsubasa’s body heat.

“Did…did my mother…” I was still in shock, not completely out of it to form coherent sentences.

“Did your mother know about this? Yes, she did. She was the acting president at all the board meetings. But as you can probably guess, the board members were all loyal to my father and your mother never knew what hit her.” He said dryly as if this entire affair bored him to no end. I could see how it would. After all, this hardly affected him, didn’t it? If so…why was I in this car with him…? Would anyone please help me figure everything out?!

“But….she never told me…” I said, half to myself and half to Tsubasa. Perhaps…he could help with deciphering the mystery that my parents had suddenly become. After all…he seemed to know more about them than I did.

“Ah, and therein lies the smartness of your father. See, he was stupid in that he tried to challenge my father…but he was smart when it came to his family. Your father knew the danger of challenging my father and also knew that my father would strike it where it would hurt him the most. So…he never told anyone about his family. At the beginning, everyone though that he was just a bachelor with no family. And a good thing…or else, you and your mother would’ve been killed a long time ago. And when your mother came into the office right after your father’s death, I have to say that it struck quite a blow to my father’s pride.” A brief smirk alighted on his lips, but it was too dim to be completely certain. “So after Masaki was dispatched, it was your mother’s turn.”

“My mother…is…is she…” I couldn’t ask the question. I just couldn’t. Partly because I was still in the grasp of Shock and she wasn’t going to let me go without a good fight. But mostly, because I was afraid that I would hear the one thing that I did not want to hear. My mother was the only person in the world with any ties to me. She was the only person keeping me on the earth…like the earth holding down my dandelion stalk. Without her…I would just blow away with the slightest wind.

Tsubasa was quiet for a moment and then sighed again.

“My father killed her.”



Chapter 2 .:. Steel Wings .:.

Chapter 2

I stared at him for a moment. Master? Who the hell was he talking about? Or rather...what the hell was he talking about? And what the hell did he want with me? I didn't know anything about him but I had a feeling that I was going to find out whether I liked it or not. But that didn't mean I wouldn't fight him. I never went willingly with anyone. That was my ass-like stubborn instinct kicking in, inherited from my mother and my grandmother.

This time I wrenched harder, trying to disengage my arm from his iron grip. I only succeeded on drawing even more attention and now people weren't even pretending on just walking by. The students were settling on watching the show with gaping jaws, wide eyes...I felt my face pinken even more...to the point where it, literally, hurt my face.

“ I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, so let go of me right now!”

Since there wasn’t really much of a point in continuing this silent farce, I yelled and I could see an eyebrow lift on his face. He must’ve thought that I was going to go quietly. Man…he really should’ve gotten to know a person before he tried to drag them off.

“It’d do you well to keep quiet and follow me. After all, I don’t think you know that your life is on the line…”

“What…?”

So now he was threatening me? I glared at him.

“I’ll give you ten seconds to let go of my arm, you bastard.” I growled and the whispers around us intensified.

“I don’t think she believes you, Akahito.”

A new voice. A younger sounding voice, yet undeniably male. Another man came into my line of view just behind “Akahito”.

“Oh my god…isn’t that the Kaisei uniform?”

“What’s a student from Kaisei doing in a slum school like this? Hey, that’s the Head Boy badge!”

He was a young boy. Well…not young, per se, but looked to be either my age or perhaps a year older. The blue-white vest, long-sleeved black shirt and the black trousers definitely marked him as a student from Japan’s most prestigious high school, Kaisei Academy. And there was that golden prefect badge on his vest…marking him Head Boy. Being Head Boy at any school was an honor…but to be the Head Boy at Kaisei? You had to be kidding me. What the hell was the Head Boy of Kaisei doing here?!

He had a slight smile on his face…the type of smile that could either turn joyful or malignant, and usually one had to look into the other’s eyes to finish gauging the person. However…that trick wasn’t going to work on Mr-Head-Boy-from-Kaisei. His eyes were partially hidden behind thick bangs that would looked ridiculous on anyone else, but on him, it looked strangely right. His hair was bleached to a shocking color of blonde that seemed to verge into a silver platinum that contrasted sharply with the coloring of his…bodyguard? The oddest thing about his hair…or rather his hairstyle…was the fact that his hair was caught up in a bun at the nape of his neck by a single blue-jewel studded silver rod that looked to be about a foot or so in length. It stuck out parallel in equal lengths to his shoulder and he caught me staring at his hair instead of struggling (like I should’ve) in Akahito’s grasp.

If anything…the people just seemed to multiply into a huge circle around us. A Kaisei student would’ve been enough to draw the attention of a LOT of people. Add to the factor of the Kaisei student being the Head Boy, his good-looking bodyguard, and the rebellious Hitomi, and you were lucky if the whole school didn’t converge on the spot like hungry vultures over road kill.

“You like my hair, then?” His voice brought me out of a daze and I shook my head, trying to regain my equilibrium. The slight smile on his lips had changed into a “I know something you don’t know” smirk and it made my uneasy. What was making him smile at me like that? I wanted to find out…even if I had to beat it out of him. However…there was something about the way he held himself that made me think that he wasn’t a stranger to self-defense. It was just the way his hands hung at his side…the way his shoulders seemed to square under the blue Kaisei uniform that was the envy of all.

His voice seemed to ooze self-confidence and I found myself not liking him. Yes…he was wonderful to look at…but I hated his personality. He was like a rose…but studded with poisonous thorns.

“Tell your gorilla to get his hands off of me.” I said quietly, finally deciding that the passive way might’ve been the best way out of this, rather sticky, situation. The crowd all drew in a collective gasp at my choice of words and I expected an outburst from Akahito who merely smiled, a copy of the smirk on Mr. Head Boy’s face.

“The name’s Tsubasa. Tofukuji Tsubasa.”

Tofukuji…Tofukuji…It sounded so familiar but I couldn’t seem to place the name…

Just then, the truth slapped me across the face, almost leaving my breathless in its windless wake.

“Tofukuji! You’re Ayame’s older brother!” I breathed and he bowed as I stared at him in disbelief for the second time in less than five minutes.

“The one and only. I presume my sister has spoken to you of me?” He asked and all I could do was nod while staring at him. His sister?! Talk about him?! Ayame adored her brother and made him sound like some sort of benevolent being…but who was this cold student who stood before me? He was so different to Ayame. Ice to her sunlight…But she had not mentioned that he was Head Boy!

He laughed and then said, “Believe me. My sister had told me much about you, Hitomi --.”

He stopped in mid-sentence and paused. Then, after a split second, he stuck his hand into his pants pocket and withdrew a vibrating cell phone that was the size of my middle finger. Talk about being technologically advanced. My cell phone was the twice the size and weight (probably) of his phone and I had only bought it a week ago…

“Hello.”

A pause and then a change came over his face. The smile (or smirk…whatever you cared to call it) was gone from his face and was replaced with an expression that was nearly impossible to read in its blandness. But there was this aura emanating from him…an altogether demonic aura that seemed to taint everything it touched.

“So…he’s actually gone and done it, then?”

Silence. His bodyguard released my wrist and I rubbed it with my other hand as I watched Tsubasa. I didn’t know that it had been my one chance to escape and I stayed like a fool.

“I already have the girl. See to it that you keep me informed about everything.”

He snapped down the cover of his cell phone without waiting for a reply. Was I the girl he was referring to? Just what the hell was going on? Was anyone going to enlighten me?!

Apparently not…

Turning to Akahito, the bodyguard tilted his head slightly to one side as Tsubasa whispered in his ear. I had all but forgotten the crowd that was still circling us and then Tsubasa looked back at me.

“You need to come with me.” He said abruptly and turned on his heel, walking away. In the distance, I saw a black car stationed at the curb and I saw another man in black jump out of the front to open the back door for Tsubasa. He stepped back in and Akahito grasped my wrist again. This time, his grasp was hard and I knew there was no way in hell that I could weasel my way out this time.

“Wait…where are we going?!” I yelled as he dragged me toward the car. The students did nothing…stupid idiots. The best I could hope for was the some one, ANYONE, could see this kidnapping for what it was, and run for the teachers. Not like anyone could rescue me now, though…

Akahito opened the back door and shoved me into the dark, leather interior without a word. Slamming the door in my face, he turned and stepped into the front of the car.

Pounding on the window, I screamed for help.

“Please!! Let me out, right now!!”

Just then, a hand sneaked out of the darkness and wound itself around my neck. I was pulled sharply to a hard chest and someone whispered in my ear.

I had forgotten about Tsubasa.

“Shut up, you fool. No one can save you now.”

The car started and I watched as the school and the crowd vanished as feet after feet were eaten away by the wheels of my elegant, yet dark, trap.

“Please! If it’s a ransom you want, my mother doesn’t have much!” I pleaded and Tsubasa whispered into my ear again, causing odd shivers to run up and down my spine. His arm was still anchored around my neck, but I found that I could still breathe comfortably.

‘Alright…so he won’t kill me. Well…not right now, at least.’ I thought with some degree of relief, although it wasn’t much.

“You’re wrong. Your mother had too much and she paid with her life. If you don’t leave this area with us now, you’ll pay the same price.” He whispered and I froze in his hold.

“My mother…?” I whispered. My mother…? What was he talking about? She was…dead? He was joking! This had to be a big joke that Ayame was playing on me! God…how I hoped I was right about this!

“I’m the only one who can save you now.” He whispered…but this time…he was gentler…

“What…what are you talking about…?”

And in that dark interior of the luxury car…Tsubasa told me all.

Chapter 1 .:. The Summon .:.

Chapter 1

“Ne, ne! Sempai! Doko e iru no (where are you going)?”

I turned around to see the smiling face of Ayame Tofukuji. Both of us attend Fudai Academy which is located in the upper area of Fukuoka, Japan. The bite of the winter wind stung at our legs and I cursed inwardly at the short skirts of our school uniforms. Back in California, I had attended a private school that allowed for a casual dress code, meaning that I could’ve worn whatever the hell I wanted. However, schools in Asia are rigid in their dress code and when I tried to rebel against the uniform rule by dressing in street clothes, I got sent up to the principle’s office with my mother apologizing profusely for my disobedience. Then, I ended up sitting on my knees on our hard living room floor as my mother lectured me on the ways of listening to the rules. My mother left me to sit there for an hour just to think on my actions and I lost the feeling in my legs and ended up passing out. After that episode, I listened to whatever the teachers said and did everything they told me to do. Although, that didn’t keep me from cursing them in my mind.

It’s cold, isn’t it, Hitomi-sempai? It’s not cold like this where you used in live in America, right?” asked Ayame and I quirked a brief grin at her, as I tried to pull up my socks so that they’d cover a bit more skin. Unfortunately, that left about 4 inches of skin starting from the top of my knee to the middle of my thigh exposed to the biting wind and Ayame pulled me back up with her small hands.

“Don’t worry about that. You can always wear the white stockings. But since it’s still fall, we can’t wear it until next week, sempai.” I merely nodded at Ayame’s words and she linked her arm through mine. Seemed like everyone was accustomed to the chilly wind but me. Then again, they had their entire lives to get used to the winds. I had only arrived two months and it was still warm then…

At first, when I first started to attend Fudai Academy, I thought it was really odd how much “skinship” was shown. Skinship is just a combination of skin and ship…like friendship. Unlike America, in Japan, people are really free with their feelings and you can always see schoolgirls holding hands with their friends, or boys hugging their friends in front of everyone. No one thinks anything of it…and that’s one of the things that I like about Asia. You don’t have to try to hide your feelings…you can just let them out like the breeze.

School had just ended 10 minutes ago and students were streaming out of the double-doors of our third-story high school. In Asia, high school is 10th through 12th grade, unlike American schools, where high school is 9th through 12th grade. Everywhere, people waved to other people and to Ayame and I. Ayame was popular with everyone even though she was only 10th grade, because she was so nice and kind to everyone, plus she was quite cute with her short black hair and 5 foot frame. Besides, behind the round face, was a brain that was hard to beat. She would always score higher than anyone in her grade in the monthly exams and she was a talented pianist. I was well-known by everyone because I was “the girl from America” and because of that one time when I rebelled against the uniform rule and also because I happened to be pretty decent looking and was good at sports, such as kendo and archery. Also, I wasn’t stupid myself and always came out in top 5 in the entire school.

“Sayonara, sempai!” yelled out an eleventh grade by the name of Mai who was in the archery team and I waved back.

“Ja, Mata ne, Mai-san.” I yelled back and Ayame pointed past the gates to a black car that was waiting at the curb, practically right in front of the gates, Another reason that little Ayame was popular. Her family was rich and it wasn’t the new kind of rich. It was the kind of rich that went back generations and there were rumors that her family descended from the shoguns and when the Tokugawa reign ended, her ancestors held top positions in the Meiji government. All I know is that her family owns stock in many companies and own an electronic company called Fujiwara Inc, and that they’re filthy rich. That’s why Ayame always has a car drop her off and pick her off, partially because her family wants to show off the wealth and also because they’re afraid that some rival company will try to kidnap their children. That’s also why Ayame’s other two siblings attend other schools. Her older brother, who’s also a 12th grader like me, attends Kaisei Academy which is reputed to accept only the smartest students of Japan, is called Tsubasa and he also gets picked up by a car and her younger sister called Kanae attends a nearby middle school called Kanon Middle School, and SHE also gets picked up by a chauffeured car. All three of them are driven to their palatial home in the outskirts of Tokyo at different times and different locations of the home. Like I said, their parents are way too paranoid.

A black uniformed man stepped out of the front seats and opened up the back door for Ayame who quickly unlinked her arm from mine and winked at me, before jumping into the car. The chauffeur/bodyguard nodded to me before stepping into the car. I could vaguely see the waving hand of Ayame through the tinted glass as the car drove off and I smiled.

‘Ayame…’ I thought fondly, and then turned back to walk home. Just then, someone stepped into my line of vision and also blocked my way.

It was a tall, extremely pretty looking guy who looked to be about early/middle twenties. His hair was long and hung in a ponytail that trailed down the back of his black quit and his eyes were covered by black Matrix-style shade. I could hear the students whispering in awe as they walked past us, gaping at him. It was hard not to. Even though I try not to pay attention to the opposite sex, this guy was pretty impossible to just ignore. I could see a faint lump at the hip of his suit.

‘A gun…?’ I thought to myself and merely shrugged. He was probably looking for someone else and I was, no doubt, just in his way.

“Sumimasen…” I muttered and tried to walk past him but just then, his hand swept out and grabbed my arm. I could hear the whispers intensify and I heard someone whisper to someone, “Ne, Kaoruko? Did Hitomi have a boyfriend…?”. My face grew pink and I tried to wrest my arm from his tight grasp without making too much of a scene.

“Let go of my arm…” I whispered fiercely at him.

A faint smile appeared on him lips.

“The young Master wants to meet you.”