A Secret Proposal Part 1

By: Alexia Praks

Then she turned her attention to Jane Hamilton. Her friend was in her late twenties, though she didn’t know the exact number because Jane was very sensitive about the subject. Sakura, however, secretly knew she was still a virgin, as was she. To be honest, Sakura was rather surprised she was still single since she was quite pretty with pale-blond hair and bright-green eyes. In fact, her eyes were so like the emerald gemstone that if anyone were to look closer, they’d be surprised at how beautiful and lively they could be. If only Jane were to discard her thick, very unfashionable glasses and wear contact lenses instead, Sakura knew for certain men would fall at her feet.

Sakura watched as Jane sipped her coffee, this time very slowly, savoring the beautiful flavor.

“Now then, are you so very sure I’m allowed to come tomorrow?” Sakura asked suddenly. “I mean, I’m not bothering you or anything?”

“Of course,” Jane put in immediately. “I’m an assistant of an assistant of Mr. Tachibana. I help organize everything. I’m the third boss behind the scene.” Then she muttered to herself, “If only they recognize my talent.”

Sakura didn’t hear that last bit as she was too busy thinking about something else. She felt her heart do a somersault at the thought that tomorrow she’d be able to really see her mother, Haruka Tanaka. She licked her lip and said, “I promise I won’t get into any mess. I mean, I won’t interfere with anything because I know how hectic it is backstage before the show.”

Jane nodded. “But you have to know if, and I mean only if, things get out of hand, I’ll need your help?”

Sakura nodded. “I understand. Of course I’ll help you in any way I can. Not that I know much about the backstage stuff though.”

“The Princeton Hotel is quite big,” Jane said absentmindedly, cocking her head to one side.

Sakura’s heart skipped a beat at the mentioning of the Princeton Hotel. She knew the event would be taking place there. She also knew Nicolas Princeton was now the CEO of Princeton group. It was hard to miss since it was all over the news for a couple of weeks.

Sakura wondered if Nicolas would be attending the fashion event tomorrow. What about the rest of the brothers? Would they be there, too? God! She hoped not. However, Sakura had already made up her mind that come hell or high water, she’d be there to meet her biological mother in person. Nothing was going to stop her, not even the presence of the Princeton brothers—her seven adoptive brothers.

“I would imagine there’d be lots of people there.” Jane continued. “Last I heard, there’s going to be at least two thousand guests there to see Mr. Tachibana’s spring-summer collections. Mind you, most of his collections are eveningwear, though there are some daywear and swimwear as well.”

“He designs for men, too,” Luke put in. “His taste is very top-notch. I was in his new department store a few weeks back with the boss.” By the boss, he meant Sebastian Princeton.

“Only the rich and famous can afford his brand,” Jane said matter-of-fact. “And we are certainly not the rich and famous.”

“Don’t you like Mr. Tachibana?” Sakura asked. “You’re working for him.”

Jane laughed. “Yes, of course I work for him.”

Sakura had the sudden urge to ask Jane about her biological mother. She really couldn’t help herself and blurted out, “Isn’t there a woman named Haruka Tanaka working for Mr. Tachibana as well?”

Jane glanced at her friend, her eyes large. She slowly nodded. “Yeah,” she said. “Though we all call her Ms. Ruka.” She leaned toward Sakura as she added, “She won’t tolerate anyone calling her anything else.”

Sakura cocked her head to one side. “Really?”

Jane nodded again. “She’s lovely but also very feisty. She likes men. The hotter, the better.”

Sakura frowned at that. “Why doesn’t she like anyone to call her by her real name?”

“Huh?” Then Jane laughed, wondering why her friend was so interested in Ms. Ruka, the famous Japanese stylist who had changed her name—actually she should say his name—from Jiro Tanaka to Haruka Tanaka. Ms. Ruka was a transgender after all, and why she’d decided to choose the exact same name as the well-known, wealthy Haruka Suzuki, the owner and designer of Jade Jewelry Co., was beyond her.

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