A Secret Proposal Part 1

By: Alexia Praks

Sosuke turned to look out the window at the clear blue sky. Cherry blossom petals swirled about as they rained down from the Princetons’ private garden above. He knew the garden was particularly beautiful because he’d seen it by accident one day while he’d been exploring. Why the Princeton brothers had gone to such lengths to build such an exotic garden on top of the four-story building was beyond him. At the same time, however, it mesmerized him. Then he wondered if Sakura, Haruka’s daughter, would be as beautiful as the Sakura flower that was so loved by everyone. Now he simply couldn’t wait to find her and meet her in person. Sooner or later, they’d find her, and Sosuke smiled at the thought.

* * * * *


It didn’t turn out right. It was supposed to be a dragon, but this piece of artwork looked more like a teddy bear gone seriously wrong than a dragon. Sakura Tanaka sighed in vexation as she put down the jug of hot milk. She’d just have to practice some more, she supposed.

She placed the two cups of coffee onto an antique silver tray and turned to her two guests, brother and sister Luke and Jane Hamilton, who were waiting patiently for their hot drinks.

“Sorry about that,” she said softly, placing the tray onto the coffee table before them. “My coffee art seems to have turned for the worse recently.”

“No worries,” Jane said, gladly taking a cup. “I’m not here for the art. I’m here for the coffee. It’s totally worth waiting for.” She inhaled the lovely aroma as she closed her eyes. When she opened them again, her thick glasses were already fogged up from the hot steam. Jane didn’t care, however, and took a quick sip. The hot liquid burned her tongue, and she quickly swallowed. Then she huffed and puffed, sticking her tongue out to let it cool.

Sakura laughed at her friend’s reaction. This attracted Luke’s attention.

The man couldn’t help but gaze at her, taking in her exotic beauty. To say she was beautiful was an understatement, as there was nothing he could think of that could compare to her uniqueness. Her long tresses, an ombre of pale blond and brown, were braided loosely and resting on the left side of her slender shoulders. The length reached all the way down to her waist. Her skin, smooth and porcelain white, begged to be caressed and touch. Then there were those eyes—the two different colors, one azure-blue and the other mauve-grey, so mysterious and intense, and they fascinated him so much he couldn’t stop staring. Those weren’t her real eye color, and Luke knew for a fact they must be brown. Though how dark and how deep he wasn’t sure.

This new obsession of his was to Luke’s mind merely an observation and nothing more. Luke liked to observe—that was what he told himself he was doing—observing and not gawking at Sakura Tanaka, the gallery owner, painter, and freelance photographer.

Today she was wearing one of her long, flowing skirts and a peachy-white blouse she buttoned all the way up to her swanlike neck. The front of the pretty blouse also had frills, which added more femininity to her already elegant and feminine person.

To Luke, Sakura looked like a Victorian noble lady, refined and elegant and certainly to be valued like a precious diamond no commoner like himself could ever afford or touch. She should be put upon a pedestal to be marveled at with love and affection. That was what Sakura Tanaka was to Luke, and he was sure she gave the same impression to every other man who happened to catch a glimpse of her as well.

“Dear me, Jane,” Sakura said. “You should at least have waited until it cooled a bit. How’s your tongue?”

Jane pulled a face and nudged her glasses up the bridge of her nose. “Blast it! It burns, Sakura! It burns.”

Sakura laughed again. “Who told you to hurry? No one’s going to steal your coffee.”

Luke said, “It’s a privilege to drink your coffee, Sakura. Those famous cafés up in Manhattan cannot compare. I’d gladly pay for mine if only you’d let me.”

“Don’t be silly!” She waved, frowning at him.

Gosh, Luke thought, she still looks pretty even with the frown on her face.

Sakura turned her attention to her friend, Luke Hamilton, who happened to come into her gallery six months ago, looking to buy some paintings and photographs for his boss, who he’d never named. The boss liked to keep his identity anonymous, Luke had told her when she happened to ask him one day. Sakura didn’t mind, just as long as this boss liked her paintings and photographs and bought them regularly. That was all she asked for, to keep her business afloat.

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