A Secret Proposal Part 1

By: Alexia Praks

“Baka!” They heard a feminine voice echo through the hallway. “Baka! Why does it have to be her who gets to wear Oba-chan’s precious necklace?”

Haruka glanced at her guest, hoping Sebastian didn’t mind the obvious loud argument happening in the house.

“It’s my niece Akira,” she explained. “I think she is still upset about the casting for the upcoming fashion show.”

Sebastian took off his shoes and nodded in understanding. “There’s another model Mr. Tachibana has enlisted to wear his finale?”

“Yes,” Haruka said. “Sakura.”

Sebastian felt his heart skip a beat and glanced at Haruka.

“Her name is Sakura Taito,” Haruka said, leading Sebastian into the living room. “She’s very beautiful and very famous, so I’ve heard. She will be wearing one of my precious pieces.”

“I see,” Sebastian murmured.

“Don’t look at me like that, Onii-chan.” They heard Akira snap. “I’m not jealous. So not jealous of her. I’m just pissed that she gets to wear Oba-chan’s necklace.”

“If she doesn’t wear that necklace, then who will?” the deep, manly voice of Sosuke Suzuki asked. “You?”

“Onii-chan!” Akira shouted.

“Dear me,” Haruka said the moment they were in the living room. “We have a guest.”

Akira Suzuki stopped her muttering immediately and smiled pleasantly at their guest. “Sebastian-san, how nice of you to visit us. When was the last time?” Akira cocked her head to one side. “Ah, two months ago. How shameful, Sebastian-san, considering the fact that you only live one floor above us and keep that beautiful view all to yourself. Not to mention the very private garden you have up there. Don’t tell me you don’t have one because I’ve seen the Sakura trees from the streets.”

Sebastian laughed. “You are welcome to use the private garden at the penthouse if you so wish. There’s no one to stop you.”

Akira pulled her face and flicked her short black hair. “How could I do that, Sebastian-san? Onii-chan would kill me.” She glanced at her older brother Sosuke, who was staring at her intensely. She secretly smiled as she watched him nudge his glasses up the bridge of his fine nose. She knew he was concerned about her wayward ways now that they were living here in New York. Sosuke needed to loosen up his uptight manner, even just a bit, she thought.

She continued. “Considering the fact that you have, what? Six other brothers living with you, and all still single.” She cocked her head to one side. “Hum, maybe I should really go up there and introduce myself.”

“Akira!” Sosuke said warningly.

Sebastian chuckled. He thought Sosuke was very much like Nicolas. It hadn’t surprised him at all that the two had gotten along so well since they first met and had become very good friends.

Akira laughed. “Don’t worry, Onii-chan. I was only teasing. Besides, I’ve haven’t met any of them yet, except for Conrad-san. Ah, he seems awfully depressed all the time. Poor man.”

Sebastian thought Akira could say that again. Conrad hadn’t been himself since one year ago when Sakura had left them. In fact, none of them had ever been themselves again. Darcy had been the worst. Of course, Sebastian knew Darcy was deeply in love with Sakura, and he hadn’t taken the news very well.

“Now, now,” Haruka said. “Let us have tea.”

Sosuke came to sit on the slightly raised floor with his aunty, their guest Sebastian, and his sister Akira. He watched as Haruka expertly prepared the green tea. He noted the sad expression on her beautiful face even though she tried to hide it well. He knew her heart was aching to find her daughter Sakura.

Though this Sakura wasn’t in any way blood related to him, he had to help Haruka find her, because that was what the head of the family should do. Sosuke had been the head of the Suzuki family since three years ago when his uncle, Haruka’s husband, had died in a car accident. Sosuke had known it hadn’t been an accident because the Suzukis were by far one of the wealthiest families in Japan, and they’d been targeted too many times to consider that particular accident an accident.

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