Hey hey hey! New chapter! Woot, woot!
Sasuke: Don't forget what you said last chapter.
-raises eyebrow- I forgot what I just did five minutes ago.
Sasuke: Oi! You said me and Sakura would have a nice moment here! -glares-
-checks last chapter- huh. I did say that.
Sasuke: You better keep your word.
Maybe I will, maybe I won't. -grins- Looks like you'll have to wait and see. TO THE CHAP!
Sasuke typed at the document on his laptop, trying his best to concentrate on work. His eyes shifted over his laptop, staring at his office door for a moment with expectancy. His fingers stopped moving across the keyboard. When Karin was working for him, she popped her head in about every twenty minutes to tell him something or to ask him something. Sakura, aside from greeting him in the morning, seeing her when a client entered his office, letting him know she was taking lunch or saying goodbye at the end of the day, did not do the same. While he would say he was glad when Karin didn't do this, for some reason it irritated him that Sakura wasn't doing the same. He wasn't seeing her that much. He wasn't seeing her enough. Was she having a hard time working? It had only been two weeks since she worked for him. Yet she didn't ask questions, or pester him like Karin did. Sasuke closed his eyes in annoyance, trying to regain his focus and typing up the document. Only to stop again. His teeth gritted and he slammed his laptop closed with frustration. He sat back in his chair, with on arm propped up on the arm of it, placing his curled hand beside his lips. Why was she on his mind constantly? He couldn't work like this. A knock on his door brought him out his thoughts. He sighed.
"Enter." He gruffed out, eyes closed.
"Sasuke-kun! I'm taking my lunch brea-" Her voice stopped and Sasuke opened his eyes again. There she stood, her green eyes concerned. She was wearing a green blazer, one that matched her eyes. Beneath it, a white button down tucked into black slacks. On her feet, she wore black heels.
"Your lunch break? Fine. See you in an hour." He said quietly. He felt himself relax a bit, seeing her, still it was nothing compared to those talks with her at the bar that Saturday. Sakura's eyebrows lifted.
"Is something wrong?" She asked, stepping closer and stopping in front of his desk. Sasuke raised an eyebrow.
"Everything's fine. Why do you ask?" He answered. Sakura's eyes lowered.
"Well, you seemed aggravated. Is there something I can do?" She queried. Sasuke was rigid. He wasn't a revealing man with his emotions. He had spent years developing a mask, even when he was angry about something. How could she see through him like that?
"Hn. I'm fine Sakura. Thank you for your concern." He answered, checking his watch. Noon already? He grabbed the coffee she made for him this morning, drinking in appreciation and picking up his phone, deciding to check his emails. Sakura tilted her head.
"Maybe a bit of air will help, Sasuke-kun. You've been working really hard and considering you had that you had that meeting at eleven thirty last night, you must be tired. Why don't you come to lunch with me?" She offered. Sasuke's eyes flickered back to her. She remembered his schedule? Then again, of course she would. She put it together for him in the first place. Karin would always forget. He would have to constantly remind her when he had a meeting so she wouldn't barge in and bother him.
Maybe she was right. He did feel a bit tired. Some air may be good for him. He stood.
"Alright." He said, walking. Sakura smiled, turning and walking ahead of him. He stared at her back as they walked down the hall and to the elevator. She didn't look back at him once. Why was she so different? Why wasn't she fawning over him like almost every other girl he just as much as passed. He supposed he could be grateful that she wasn't annoying like others. However, instead, he felt another kind of annoyance from her.
He looked away. Why was he so...expecting of her? He reached her side as she stopped for the elevator. She gave a stretch. He eyed her.
"How is work coming along? You haven't asked me anything since your first day." He inquired. Sakura's gaze turned to him, a smile on her face.
"No worries Sasuke-kun. Every since gaining instruction from Juugo-san, I've been managing quite well." His eyes narrowed with the sentence. It bothered him. Yes, he had asked his trainer, Juugo to get her used to their system but...why did it suddenly bother him when she said that?
"I see." He said quietly, turning away his gaze. He was suddenly angry. Sakura raised her eyebrows.
"What is it? Did you find something wrong with my work? Did I forget something?" She asked. The elevator came and they stepped in.
"No. It's all been perfect so far." He answered. Sakura smiled again.
"I'm relieved. I thought that's why you looked angry." He looked back at her, staying quiet.
"Why are you angry Sasuke-kun?" She asked, her voice a bit hesitant. He looked ahead pushing his hands into his pants pockets.
"It's nothing. I'm just tired, like you said." He diverted, his eyes lowering to the maroon colored floor of the elevator. He heard her phone ring.
"Hello?" A pause.
"Ah! Shikamaru! How are you? It's been so long." His eyes narrowed, unable to stop from shifting again to look at her. Shikamaru? Who the hell was that? The look on her face was excited and joyous.
"No! No! I'm not very busy. I'm just taking my lunch break with my boss." Sasuke's eyebrows knitted together. She laughed, eyes closing in delight. The elevator doors finally opened and they walked out together.
"I miss you too...Sure! Sounds great! I'll see you tonight at your place?" His eyes widened,filling with sudden anger. She missed him? Why was she going to his house? What would they be doing? He glared again, head shifting. Now everything made sense. That's why she didn't bother to pay attention to him or fawn over him. She was taken. His frown deepened. Why did he feel pain? His chest hurt and his heart felt like it was going to burst. He felt angry and disappointed. He felt crushed. He scoffed to himself.
"Okay! See you later, I should be there by six o'clock." She hung up. Sasuke's eyes narrowed further, glaring at the sidewalk, his hands in his pockets turned into fist. Depending on her travel time, that was an hour right after work.
"What do you want to eat, Sasuke-kun?" She questioned.
"Nothing." He responded. His eye shifted to her.
"I just realized...Sakura, I may need you to work late tonight." He looked into her eyes. Her lips parted in surprise and eyes filled with disappointment.
"O-Oh! I-I see. Do you have a time frame?" Sakura asked, fiddling with her fingers. Sasuke's eyes lowered.
"I need you to join me for a few meetings tonight at five-thirty, seven-fifty and ten." He didn't know why he was saying this. He never brought his secretaries to meetings before.
...It would be better than having to know she was with whoever that man is.
"S-Sasuke-kun...I-I-" He looked away from her, staring forward.
"I will compensate you of course. Sorry for cutting into your time." Sakura's eyes lowered. She brought out her phone, dialing a number.
"I-It's alright. I'll just have to cancel my plans for tonight." She said putting her phone up to her ear. Sasuke's gaze lowered again, his hands relaxed, not really understanding his actions. He knew he didn't want her to see that man...but why?
'You know why, idiot.' A voice from the back of his mind spoke out, just as angry as he felt right now.
"Hey Shikamaru. I'm so sorry. Something came up with my boss and I can't make it tonight." She said, her voice defeated and disappointed. His heart panged against his chest hearing her tone. She really wanted to see that guy…still, he felt nothing but relief. Maybe he should commission her to join him every night...to ensure she wouldn't see that guy.
"Yeah! Sounds good. See you at Temi's Saturday then. Bye!" His eyes turned back to glaring again. His hands clenched into fist again.
"Okay, Sasuke-kun! I'm available." She said smiling. She looked over only to grow confused. Sasuke's eyes were glaring dangerously ahead, even scaring some people who were passing them. With the hatred she saw in them, she imagined in another universe, they turned red.
"Thank you, Sakura." He growled. Sakura nodded, looking to the side with slight fear and uncertainty. She decided not to ask him what was wrong.
The end of the day came swiftly after that. Sasuke sat at the laptop finishing up a sentence while on his office phone.
"Yes, I will be bringing my secretary with me for note taking." He said over the phone. The man gruffed.
"Why the sudden change? I thought it would just be you and me." The man growled over the phone. Sasuke's stoic eyes steeled, remembering her excited voice. He also had another reason for bringing her.
"I'll see you tonight at your place?" Sasuke's frown deepened, his eyes glared this time at his office door.
"I've decided to change things up a bit." He stated matter-of-factly. He heard the other man growl.
"Hmph. Fine! Don't be late!" Sasuke finished typing and shut down his laptop.
"I never am...Danzo." He gruffed back, hanging up the phone before his five thirty meeting could, asserting his dominance. He stood, grabbing his briefcase and walking towards the door. Just as he opened it, there stood Sakura, hand up to knock on his door. From him walking out unexpectedly, they were just one foot apart from another and her eyes widened. His eyes grew in slight shock as well, though he tried to hide it. His lips parted as if to say something, but he couldn't stop staring into her eyes. Something inside him, with their close proximity made him want to grab her closer as his eyes lowered to her lips. They too were parted from surprise but he only watched as Sakura blushed. He was about a head taller than her and took look down at her like this he could feel a warm tingling in his chest. She stepped back.
"S-Sorry. I-I was coming to let you know I was ready." She explained. Sasuke could only stare at her, eyebrows knitted together. If she was taken, why did she give those looks? Respectable, taken woman were usually able to not show such questionable behaviour. She may have been good at work, but now he was starting to think he had misjudged her character and values. Maybe...he could change that.
"Very well. Have you clocked out?" He asked. Sakura nodded, the blush finally ebbing away. He nodded. So she noticed he always left fifteen minutes early. She really was quite excellent when he came to work. He was right about that.
"Good. Let's go." He ordered, walking ahead of her. Sakura stared at his back, looking at his black blazer. Sasuke had been acting a bit weird to her today. She didn't understand why. He never took her to previous meetings before. Was he really that tired? Did she make his coffee wrong this morning? In her week of knowing him, he wasn't a very expressing man, however his eyes today were more angrier. Even in his walk, she noticed a change. While he did walk with his shoulders back and head up in confidence, his stride was not calm. He stepped, but each step was accompanied by an air of tension, as though he was walking to go kill someone. They reached his car, Sasuke getting in the driver's seat and Sakura in the passenger seat. As they moved she looked to him worriedly. He still had that look in his eye, like he was thinking angrily and unsure. It was unlike him.
"So, Sasuke-kun, what should I be doing during this meeting?" She asked. Sasuke didn't look at her, only keeping his eyes on the road.
"This meeting is pretty important. I need you to vigilantly take notes and watch everything that happens. Danzo, is one of Uchiha Corps branch managers in Kyoto and I've been noticing something off with his quarterly quotas. I want you to analyze what he has to say. I'll make a decision from there." He answered truthfully. Though he could have did this without her, he had also remembered that she had even consulted Gaara's father. All the more reason to bring her along. Sakura nodded.
"Understood." She said. He looked to her, stopping at a red light. She reached into her bag, pulling out a black notebook and pen, before she placed the white bag over her shoulder. Was she always so prepared? His phone rang and Sasuke grunted, placing on an earpiece and answering the call.
"Uchiha." He answered, driving.
"Hello, little brother." Sasuke's eyes glared menacingly. Sakura's eyes turned worried.
"What the hell do you want?" He snarled, hands gripping tighter at the steering wheel. His knuckles turned white. Sakura got even more worried, her hands clutching the small black notebook with unease.
"Can I not check on my foolish little brother?" Sasuke's eyes narrowed.
"The only foolish one is you. What do you want, before I stop entertaining this conversation. I'm busy." He growled. The voice on the other end chuckled. Sasuke parked, freezing slightly as he looked to his right. He forgot Sakura was here. She was staring at him with a look of concern and he hated that look. She didn't need to worry about him. He preferred her smile instead. He gave her a look of consideration, before looking away and dropping his gaze.
"As always. But I need to tell you something about Danzo, I think you might find quite interesting." Sasuke's eyebrows furrowed. His brother, for whatever reason, constantly gave Sasuke information about his rivals in the business world. He never asked for anything in return, nor was the information ever false. Sasuke didn't like it, considering the way he grew up, but it did help, nonetheless.
"What…?" He asked reluctantly.
"Ask Danzo about where his embezzlement has gone." Sasuke's eyes widened. Was that true? He did see a decrease in funds with Danzo's quota which was what this meeting was about, however, there was an increase of investors. He had suspected himself Danzo was embezzling, but he didn't have proof.
"How do you know that's true, Itachi?" Sasuke asked, recomposing himself. He brought his suitcase, opening it and looking through the folders to find the financial files he got on Danzo for the last two years quotas.
"I looked into his accounts. He suddenly became wealthier than usual. I thought it was going back into the business, but it seems you've taken a small hit from his branch." He handed the folder to Sakura, who looked back at him with question. He opened it for her and watched her sift through the documents with analysis in her eyes.
"How did you manage to do that?" Sasuke inquired. Itachi chuckled on the other end of the line.
"Don't worry about that. Once you get rid of him, it should be an easy bounceback. However, there is something else Sasuke." Sasuke heard Sakura gasp, staring at something in particular. Her eyebrows knitted together and she looked through other pages.
"He's paying quite a lot of money to someone or something, disguised as the budget for human resources."
"Goodbye Itachi." Sasuke said, hanging up and turning fully to Sakura.
"What is it?" He asked. Sakura looked back at him with accusatory eyes.
"Sasuke-kun, don't you only budget about three hundred thousand into human resources?" She asked. Sasuke nodded impressed by how she already had known the financials of his company. This must have been what Gaara meant when he said his father gained consultation from her. Had she caught what Itachi was talking about? Did he have proof all along. Sakura's eyes looked back down to the papers, looking through them again as if to confirm herself.
"Well, it was that way for a while but every month, there's at least a fifty thousand dollar increase. He keeps putting in more and more into HR, totalling at almost five point seven million dollars. The employees of HR are still getting the same rate of pay. There's no raises or purchase of extra technology, but the rest of this money is just...not there. Instead, it coincides with the money lost to the company this quota." Sakura informed. Sasuke's eyes narrowed.
"Ask Danzo where his embezzlement has gone." Sasuke glared. To think, an old friend of his father's would betray the company like this. He grabbed the folder from Sakura's hand and put it back in his suitcase.
"Come, Sakura." He commanded her, getting out the car with her. She walked at his side, eyes stern and angered. He glanced at her, raising an eyebrow.
"What's wrong?" He asked. Sakura looked down.
"Tsk. How could he do that? Where is all that money going if it's not to the employees or the company. I hate people like that. Fucking pig." Sakura growled, a small personal grudge forming in her voice. Sasuke smirked, feeling an intrigue with her angry side. He had seen it that night at Temari's bar and he was even more interested to see what she would do about this. His first guess was that she would let him handle things, considering this was a work meeting and not a bar brawl. His second guess, stemming from the look in her eye, was that the minute she saw Danzo, she'd go for his throat. That was something he wanted to see. Her eyes widened, placing one hand over her mouth and eyes showing a bit of terror.
"A-Ah...excuse my language, I didn't mean to get unprofessional. Sorry." She apologized to him and Sasuke only continued to smirk.
"No need to apologize. I'm glad you're angry. It means you are on my side." He pointed out. Sakura blushed lightly, smiling towards the ground. To be by his side…
Of course, what kind of secretary would I be if I wasn't." She said smiling. Sasuke shoved his free hand into his pocket.
"A treacherous one." He answered bluntly. Sakura giggled, as they stopped at the restaurant doors.
Not too far away, on the rooftop of another building, eyes behind binoculars watched as Sasuke and opened and held the door for the pink haired beauty. Her lips moved in what was most likely a sign of thanks and after her onyx eyes followed her with gentleness in their gaze. The man smirked, pulling down the binoculars, his matching onyx eyes looking at the area.
"My, my, she's pretty, little brother." He spoke, the wind blowing through his long, black hair tied in a low ponytail.
"Oi, Itachi, if you're done watching that goody two shoes brother brother of yours, are we going or what?" Behind him a man with odd blue skin said, standing from being seated and tossing his cigarette. Itachi turned, putting the binoculars away in a duffel bag and walking to the doorway to the rooftop.
"Let's go Kisame." He ordered.
"Good evening Mr. Uchiha. It is an honor to be graced by your presence tonight, once again." The manager of the expensive restaurant bowed and Sasuke barely paid attention to him. He was looking at Sakura who was in complete awe of the place. Had this been her first time in a place like this? They had been taken to a private room, quieted from the rest of the restaurant. Her eyes were dazzled by the dark but elegant atmosphere, the room decorated in red and gold. He sat at the head of the table and she sat by his side at a table suited for four people. The manager noticed. In the numerous amounts of dinner meetings he had witnessed of the Uchiha, he had not once seen her enter with a woman at his side.
"Hn. A bottle of your finest red wine." Sasuke ordered, looking back at the brown haired manager.
"Right away, sir." He said quickly, walking off fast. Sasuke looked back to Sakura.
"You don't mind wine, do you?" He questioned. Sakura shook her head.
"I love wine." She answered, lifting the menu.
"Order whatever you want. It's on me. Part of my compensation for joining me in these meetings tonight." He told her, doing the same and looking through the menu. She looked down, smiling.
"I'll think I'll have the pasta. Shrimp, fettuccine alfredo sounds nice!" Sasuke looked. Not that price mattered to him, but she had chosen one of the cheaper things in this expensive restaurant. He would have assumed one would go all out, seeing as she was being treated to an expensive place. She truly was humble. Maybe he was getting mixed signals from her. She didn't seem promiscuous. The manager came back in hand a silver tray with a bottle and two wine glasses. He expertly placed the two wine glasses in front of them, and began to uncork the wine.
"I have tonight, Chateau Lafite. Surely, it will not disappoint you sir." He stated, popping out the cork and filling their glasses. Sasuke grunted, grabbing and sipping his cup.
"Hn. It's excellent, Sergio." Sasuke complimented. The man bowed, holding the silver tray before him in gratitude. Sakura watched the exchange. Sasuke sure did get a lot of respect. She had seen it with his clients and she was seeing it now. She supposed that came with being a powerful and successful businessman.
"Your compliment humbles me sir. Are you ready to order or shall I give you more time?" Sasuke turned to Sakura.
"You sure that's what you want?" He questioned. Sakura nodded, sipping the wine. It really was good. Better than any wine she had ever tasted. He turned his gaze back to Sergio.
"For me, the filet mignon, medium well, with a side of white rice. For the lady, shrimp fettuccine alfredo." He ordered and Sakura found herself blushing slightly. Why did she feel like this was kind of a date. It wasn't, considering they were here for a meeting but she had always imagined it would go something like this. She looked away. She was sure Sasuke didn't see her that way. She was his employee, nothing more and nothing less.
"Yes sir. I will be out with it in just a moment. Shall I bring out any appetizers for the wait?" Sasuke looked to Sakura again, awaiting her answer.
"No I'm alright. What about you Sasuke-kun?" She asked. Sergio raised an eyebrow, eyeing the two with his blue eyes. His eyes alighted with revelation upon looking at the usually stoic Uchiha. In his eyes was a warm gaze, looking at her with meaning. The man was handsome and had gotten attention from even his staff and no one had ever received a look like that from the famed Sasuke Uchiha. A smile appeared on his face before he hid it behind his professionalism, just in time before the CEO looked back to him.
"That will be all." Sasuke dismissed, sipping his wine with his eyes closed. Sakura sipped as well and Sergio bowed.
"Yes sir." He stepped away, giving a slight chuckle to himself. To think, he'd be one of the first citizens to witness such a tender look from the great Sasuke Uchiha.
"So, Sasuke-kun are you going to fire Danzo?" She questioned, sipping her cup. Sasuke looked to her, giving a smirk.
"A simple firing? No, Sakura. I'm going after him in every way. He won't just be fired, he'll be bankrupt. His life will be ruined. My employees at the Kyoto branch will also know about this as well and he will have to answer to them as well." He answered, sipping the wine again. Sakura's eyes widened.
"He has tossed dirt on my reputation. I don't do or need scandals in any part of my company. Now that I have found out the validity of my name has been compromised, I will be sure to break Danzo. I will not stand for this." Sasuke stated, bringing out his phone and texting something. Sakura's eyes filled with astoundment. Sasuke really was an honest and strong man. He was prideful and confident. While she supposed it was because she didn't know much about the business world, she wouldn't have thought of doing that.
"I hope you win, Sasuke-kun." She said looking down into her wine glass, hoping her cheeks would stop burning with the sentence. Sasuke gazed back at her, smirking again.
"No need to worry. I will win." He raised his glass to her. Sakura's eyes lifted, before she giggled at his tenacity, clinging her cup with his.
"I believe in you, Sasuke-kun." She said smiling. Sasuke felt his smirk turn into a smile and Sakura stared at him with pink blush on her face. Usually Sasuke only smirked but this look on his face, it was an actual smile. It was a uncharacteristically tender look though she had come to associate that look with herself. She had only ever seen that look on her, including the first day she came to work for him. She smiled back, liking the way he looked.
"You look better with a smile, Sasuke-kun." She chuckled. His look became flabbergasted, eyes shocked with realization. She only looked back at him, giving him a glow of her beauty. He stared, lost in her until hearing the clearing of a throat. Both of them snapped their eyes over to see Danzo, standing there in a simple black and white suit. His right eye was covered by bandages, apparently from an accident long ago. Sasuke's eyes steeled, lips turning downward, returning to a man Sakura didn't know or understand.
"Danzo." He greeted gruffly. The said man took a seat across from Sasuke and next to Sakura. Sakura sipped her wine, intending on letting Sasuke handle it and beneath the table cover, opened her notebook. She checked her phone, beginning to write.
Danzo arrives; 5:45pm
"Uchiha-sama. As always, it is an honor." Sasuke stared at him stoically. Sakura only eyed Danzo, making sure to do as Sasuke ordered.
"Glad you can make it. I grew concerned seeing you lose money for this quarter's quota. Can you explain?" Sasuke played off, lifting his wine glass. Danzo's only revealed eye gave a particular look, narrowing with agitation. Sakura wrote it down, feeling no detail was too small. Any reaction out of Danzo was enough considering the circumstances.
"I thank you for your concern Uchiha-sama. I apologize for the slight failure. I have been allowing of raises for the human resources department, including the needs of new computer equipment and other necessities." Danzo said. Sasuke closed his eyes, putting down his glass from the sip he had taken. Sakura wrote down the statement, taking a sip of her wine without her pen in hand to ensure Danzo didn't suspect anything.
"Is that so?" Sasuke questioned, leaning forward and placing a hand beneath his chin.
"Yes, Uchiha-sama. However, despite my failure, I guarantee you that such failure would not happen again." Danzo promised. Sasuke stared silently, his gaze practically digging through Danzo's soul. Sakura had not seen those documents but Sasuke knew already there hadn't been an equipment improvement for years. The older man stiffened. At that moment, Sergio was back, in hand a tray of the two orders.
"For you, Mr. Uchiha, filet mignon medium well, with white rice. For you, my lady, the shrimp fettuccine alfredo." He said, placing down their plates respectively. Sasuke's eyes shifted to Sergio when he had called Sakura "my lady". While the term normally would be a formal and conservative gesture for a servant, Sasuke couldn't help but be irked by it. Sergio noticed the look, and instantly bowed his head.
"Is there anything else you may need? Something for this gentleman, Mr. Uchiha?" He eased. Sasuke looked back to Danzo.
"Your cheapest wine for him. He is experiencing financial trouble." Sasuke ordered watching as Danzo tensed.
"I assure you Uchiha-sama, times for me are not that hard. I will be able to pay my share." Danzo said smiling. Sasuke glared, as did Sakura though she hid her look behind her hair, writing that down.
"Oh, I believe you on that, Danzo." Sasuke said, his voice on edge.
"So, explain to me again, Danzo. Why have you fallen behind on this quarter's quota?" Sasuke questioned. Danzo's eyebrows furrowed, the lines on his face showing obvious concern. Sasuke cut into his steak, appearing as nonchalant as he could while noticing Sakura take out her phone and place it on the desk, beside Danzo.
"As I said, Uchiha-sama, the human resource department in Kyoto needed more resources. Furthermore, I used a bit of company money for travel expenses in regards to meetings out of the country. I intend to put the money back this coming quarter." Danzo answered. Sasuke finished chewing his steak in satisfaction, watching as Sakura began to eat her pasta.
"Oh, I'm sure you will Danzo. You will give back a lot of money to me and my company." Sasuke hinted, shifting his gaze back to the said man. Danzo smiled graciously, bowing his head.
"I thank you Uchiha-sama. If I may say…" Danzo continued as Sasuke cut a piece of steak and fed himself.
"Your father is surely proud of you." He complimented and Sasuke glared, eyes narrowing harshly at who was supposed to be his most trusted branch manager. He had worked under his father before him. Now he was betraying everything his father had built.
"I believe he is. To follow in his lead, I'm sure he would ask you…" Sasuke paused, eating another piece of steak he cut, remembering Itachi's words.
"Where has all the embezzlement money gone to?" Sasuke questioned eyeing Danzo's reaction. His skin had gone pale, his only revealed eye widened. Sasuke stared, eating his steak and taking in Danzo's look. So Itachi wasn't wrong. Sakura's quick analysis was not wrong either.
"I don't know what you mean, Uchiha-sama. All funds go to the company and to you an-" Sasuke scoffed, cutting off the man.
"Cut the shit, Danzo." Sasuke growled menacingly, his eyes glaring with animosity and maliciousness. Danzo was taken aback, stiffening in his chair. Sergio had come back, placing a glass of wine before him.
"This is Tisdale Cabernet, sir. Our cheapest wine. Have you decided on your meal of choice sir?" Sergio asked Danzo. Sasuke stared at Danzo, nothing but contempt in his eyes.
"Hmph. That won't be necessary, Sergio." Sasuke stopped the manager. Sakura watched Danzo, seeing his eye show rage and his teeth grit in anger. She stared, remaining quiet and observing, just as Sasuke had asked of her.
"Is this how you treat your branch managers?! I know damn well, Fugaku taught you better than that!" Danzo yelled, slamming his fist into the table. Sasuke was nonchalant, eating his steak and some of his rice.
"You're right about that Danzo. Father did teach me better than that and then some." Sasuke said, cutting another piece of his stake.
"Like how to tell when an employee is being dishonest and throwing shit on your reputation." Sasuke said before putting another piece of steak in his mouth. Sakura was eating as well, only addressing Danzo's reaction and nothing more. Her phone was recording everything, something she had decided to do the moment Sasuke said Danzo wasn't just going to be fired. That meant he was going to be taken to court. With the evidence they had, it would be easy to convict him and if she needed to, she would give testimony for Sasuke. Having swallowed his steak again, Sasuke spoke.
"So, I'll ask again, Danzo. What has the embezzlement money gone to? Has it gone to yourself rather than the company? Or something else?" He questioned and Danzo had become even stiffer. Sakura found herself glaring, returning to eating her meal. If Sasuke was going to sue, it would be best to act as if she had no care of the problem. Danzo hadn't even considered her being here. That way she had a leeway in her testimony for Sasuke.
"There was no embezzlement, Uchiha-sam-" Sasuke glared harshly, his fist slammed against the table.
"So five point seven million just so happens to be missing from your branch?!" Sasuke yelled, startling those at his table, even Sakura. However, she brushed it off, pleased by the frazzled look on Danzo's face. She was glad Sasuke was being ruthless against him.
"F-Five p-p-point seven? T-tha-" Danzo stammered. Sasuke glared.
"Danzo Shimura, you're fired." He interrupted, glaring. Danzo's eyes widened and he stood from his seat.
"You can't fire me! I worked for your father! I practically help give birth to the company! I-" Danzo paused, seeing police enter the room and look to Sasuke. Sasuke pointed his his wine glass.
"Take him." He ordered, sipping his glass. The police officers handcuffed Danzo.
"YOU CAN'T DO THIS! YOU CAN'T DO THIS!" Danzo yelled in rage. Thrashing as police handcuffed him. Sasuke stared, undeterred by the outburst and turned to look at Sakura, his look becoming tender and warm.
"I'm sorry this meeting has turned out like this. I hope you are still enjoying your meal." He said to her, as Danzo hollered, and thrashed.
"That's okay Sasuke-kun. This food is really good!" She responded, giving him a smile.
"YOU BASTARD! JUST YOU WAIT! I'LL GET YOU! I'LL GET YOU!" Danzo screamed being dragged out. Sasuke only looked to her, feeling something in his chest with her smile.
"I promise the next meeting will not be like this. Actually, I think you'll enjoy it." Sasuke said, smirking softly. Sakura raised an eyebrow.
"What makes you say that?" Sasuke finished his wine, looking to her with a smirk still on his face.
"I've decided to put more investment money into the hospitals all over Konoha. I hope to improve the hospital systems and pay higher wages for the staff." He informed. Sakura's eyes widened, brightening and a smile of glee coming on her face.
"That's amazing Sasuke-kun!" She exclaimed excitedly. For him to do something like that, for something important to her, she couldn't be more ecstatic. Her happy face eased him, closing his eyes and looking away. A smile came upon his face again.
"I'm glad you approve, Sakura." He said quietly. She giggled, finishing her food and drinking her wine. Sergio came bowing before him.
"Forgive me sir. I should have ensured you and the madam were shielded from such behavior in my restaurant." Sergio apologized, lifting his head. Sakura smiled kindly and Sasuke looked down at his finished plate with indifference.
"Not your fault Sergio." Sasuke excused, though in the back of his mind, he was a bit upset. Danzo could have at least acted with dignity and class and took it all like a man. He didn't miss Sakura jumping in fright when he had snapped back at Danzo. He wanted her to have a nice evening tonight…
"Shall I refill your wine sir?" Sergio asked. Sasuke only gave a curt nod. Sergio looked to Sakura.
"Yours as well, madam?" He questioned. Sakura nodded, allowing Sergio to fill her glass. He then cleared off the table and bowed again.
"Once again, madam, please excuse the wretched indecency of that man. I will ensure the likes of him never enter my restaurant again." Sergio promised. Sakura giggled and Sasuke gave a slight glare. Was he flirting with Sakura?
"It's fine. Despite that…" Sasuke listened.
"I am having a bit of fun tonight!" She laughed. Sasuke stared in surprise before turning his head away. Maybe...would she want to join him more often? Did he make enough of an impression on her to forget that other guy?
"I am pleased to hear that madam." Sergio said, smiling at Sasuke's flustered look. He chuckled.
"If you need anything else from me, I am just a call away." Sergio excused himself, parting from the two. Sasuke looked back at Sakura a sudden loss of confidence overcoming him.
"Do you really mean that, Sakura?" He asked quietly. Sakura tilted her head.
""Mean what?" Sasuke looked away.
"Your...having fun? Even with that fiasco with Danzo?" He questioned, meeting her gaze again.
"Yes! Not for anything, I'm glad you were harsh with Danzo. Besides, it was him who got all crazy first and with as stern as you always look, I doubt every meeting is peaceful." She smiled, chuckling and drinking her wine. Sasuke smirked.
"I can look less stern for you, if you'd like." He said lowly, bring his glass to his lips. He froze however, realizing he just said that out loud. His eyes snapped to Sakura only to see a crimson red blush on her face. He felt a burning on his cheeks and instantly turned his head.
"This wine is good." He said quickly, drinking up.
"Y-Yeah, it is."
They drove up to Sakura's home. It was a bit late, but nothing both of them weren't used to. Sakura turned back to Sasuke.
"Thanks for the ride." She said and Sasuke nodded.
"Of course. Thank you for your help tonight, if you want, tomorrow you can start at nine instead of five." Sakura shook her head at his offer.
"Then who will make you your coffee?" She giggled. Sasuke smirked, looking to her.
"Then I'll see you tomorrow morning." He said, watching her get out the car. He stared as she walked up her brownstone home and Sasuke found himself smiling as he drove off. They really did have a nice night together. She was absolutely ecstatic at meeting the twelve chairmen of the twelve different hospitals he was going to be investing in. She and one of them even went into a conversation about internal medicine, though he would be dishonest if he said he wasn't fuming about how much they clicked. The last meeting had been with another of his branch managers from Hong Kong and that went smoothly. They had a number of drinks. Her face was happy the whole time.
See you at Temi's Saturday then.
He never got that out of his mind. Shikamaru. Even now he was angry about it. He couldn't stop seeing the light in her eyes as she spoke throughout that phone call. His eyes narrowed.
"Hm? Young Master, why are you dressed like that?" Sebastian raised an eyebrow. It was Saturday night and usually, the youngest Uchiha was always in a suit. Tonight he was actually wearing one of the few pairs of jeans he owned. His black button down was not tucked in, his collars were popped up. In his hands were sunglasses.
"I'll be going out tonight." Sasuke said quietly, putting on a hooded sweater and leather jacket, also propping up the collars. The butler gave a sly smile.
"Oh? Seems like that Saturday those weeks ago have loosened your rigorous schedule. You going to see that woman again?" Sasuke froze in step at the question, turning and glaring and the old man.
"What does a woman have to do with me, going out? I just want a few drinks outside the house, that's all!" Sasuke grumbled. Sebastian chuckled.
"Understood sir. Enjoy your night." He said bowing. Sasuke scoffed, leaving the house with the slamming of his door. Sebastian chuckled further.
"My my. He's got quite a thing for Ms. Sakura." He mumbled to himself, walking off to do his chores.
Sasuke stopped his car, parking two blocks away from Temi's. Sakura knew what his car looked like so it would be best to keep it a distance away. He put on his black sunglasses before stepping into the bar, the scene pretty much the same as the other Saturday he was here. There were a few less people but the bar was still bustling. Temari was behind the bar, working hard at making the drinks. He walked over, taking a table in the corner of the room, eyes sifting through the crowd for a familiar pink. A waitress with two buns in her hair came up to him, wearing a white tank top and black pants, around her waist an apron.
"Hi! I'm Tenten. Welcome to Temi's! I'll serve you. What can I get you?" She asked.
"Scotch." He ordered shortly, still looking through the crowd. Was she not here yet? Tenten nodded, walking off to the bar. Finally he caught her, across the way at the pool table. His eyes locked on to her, lips parting upon seeing her. She was wearing a red, low hanging v-neck t-shirt, that hugged against her curves. He could see the hem of blue jeans. She walked to the side of the pool table, bending over to take the shot, him getting a look at the profile of her body. He felt his cheeks burn, his gaze taking all of her in the stance.
"Here ya go!" Tenten placed his drink and a bottle on his table, at the same time, getting in the way of his view. He glared at her behind his sunglasses.
"Thank you…" He said a little too grudgingly. Tenten raised a brunette eyebrow before shrugging and walking off. His lifted his drink, turning his gaze back to Sakura. She was smirking now, holding her custom made pool stick like she was the queen of the bar. One of her hands were on her hip, as she said something to the guy she was playing against. Sasuke gave a slight glare, drinking. Was that Shikamaru? Her eyes caught something and even from the distance, he heard her squeal. She leaned her pool stick against the wall and ran towards someone.
"SHIKAMARUUUU! TEMARI! SHIKAMARU'S HERE!" He heard her scream joyously as she hugged a man with his hair in a spiky, high ponytail. He was wearing a beige coat, beneath it a plain white t-shirt. His grip on his glass tightened and he chugged at his drink, serving himself again.
"SHIKA-KUN!" He watched as Temari also ran around the bar and jumped on the guy having let go of Sakura. Sakura was laughing as the guy struggled with the sudden force, to keep himself from falling spinning around. He managed to keep his footing and put Temari down, though he still held her in his arms. Sasuke's eyes widened at what happened next.
Temari grabbed him by the collar of his beige jacket, kissing him in front of Sakura. He looked to see her gaze, only to see her smiling at the two with delight. So...Shikamaru wasn't a lover or something? Just some long time friend she hadn't seen? He looked down at his drink, sighing in both relief and disbelief. Why had he thought so irrationally? Why did he even bother trying to find out the relationships of her social life? Why was he such a moron? He grabbed his cup and drank. He was such an idiot. Worse, he had really thought of Sakura not having values. She clearly wasn't like that. His phone rang and without checking the caller ID because he was caught up in sulking, he answered.
"Uchiha." He grumbled, taking a chug of his scotch again.
"Huh. So that is you over there, Teme!" He heard Naruto's voice. His eyes widened and the scotch got caught in his throat, making him cough at the burning. He forced himself to swallow, looking around the room, only for Naruto to plop down in the seat next to him.
"Right here! What's with the shades?" Naruto grinned. Sasuke glared, eye twitching and he took off glasses.
"What are you doing here?" Sasuke growled and Naruto raised an eyebrow.
"Shouldn't I be asking you that?" Sasuke glared, looking away.
"I wanted a drink...and I liked the place the last time I came here." Sasuke excused, only for Naruto to start laughing. Sasuke turned back to look at him.
"What's so funny?" Sasuke sneered. Naruto took a drink of his beer, looking back at Sasuke.
"I know you too damn well. You are a terrible liar." Naruto said, shaking his head. Sasuke's eyebrows furrowed, glaring at Naruto with unease. Sasuke picked up his drink.
"Why are you really here? To see Sakura-Chan? Have you said hi to her yet? She's right over there." Naruto said, gesturing to where she was standing, talking with a drink in hand to Shikamaru and Temari. The guy still had his arm around the bar owner's shoulder. He looked back to Sakura feeling guilty again. He really was a moron.
"No. She doesn't know I'm here. Besides, it seems like she hasn't seen that Shikamaru guy on a while. I don't want to intrude." Naruto raised his eyebrow again.
"Neh? How do you know his name? She told you about him?" Sasuke drank before looking down at his glass.
"No...she had a phone call with him on Wednesday...talking about how she missed him and-" He was cut off with Naruto laughing again and this time, even harder than before.
"I can't believe it!" Naruto laughed harder. Sasuke's eyebrow twitched.
"What now?!" Sasuke growled irritatedly. Naruto wiped a tear from his eye.
"It all makes sense now! Haha! You got totally jealous!" Naruto laughed out, clutching his stomach with one hand. Sasuke glared harder.
"What the hell are you talking about? I did not!" Sasuke snarled, between gritted teeth. Naruto's laughs died down, eyeing Sasuke with a smug look and a smirk.
"Oh yeah. If that's the case, why did you remember his name? Also, why is the first thing that you recall is Sakura-Chan saying she missed him?" Naruto questioned. Sasuke stiffened. Why did Naruto always have to read into him like that? Ever since they were kids, he always did that. With nothing to say, Sasuke drank, looking away.
"Shut up dobe." He grumbled. Naruto laughed again.
"You came to see who he was to Sakura-Chan!" He bellowed. Sasuke glared, punching Naruto in the shoulder.
"I said, shut up, moron!" Naruto was still snickering, taking a chug of his beer and looking at Sasuke with a smile.
"You really do like her, huh." Naruto stated and Sasuke looked back at him with unease. He looked back down at his near empty drink, deep in thought. He wasn't really sure. He just knew that he hated the thought of her being with someone. He knew that her smile brightened his day and seeing her made his world fade away. Sasuke's eyes lowered, hidden by his bangs.
"I…" He trailed and Naruto gave a soft smile. Sasuke worked very hard and a majority of his teen years were spent studying business to succeed his father. He really didn't have much knowledge on social relations and even emotions. That didn't mean he didn't feel, but instead, had no idea when he was feeling anything other than anger, annoyance or tired. He placed a hand on Sasuke's shoulder, giving the dark haired man an encouraging smile.
"Hey, take your time, alright? I really do think Sakura-Chan likes you." Naruto told him. Sasuke looked back to Sakura, seeing her laugh at something Shikamaru said. Temari was back behind the bar, a big smile on her face.
"Sakura-Chan, other than around people she trust, doesn't really let her guard down and if there's one thing I noticed, it took just that night, here in the bar to completely bring down her walls. Actually, it was probably the instant you started buying her drinks. Even that is not enough to get passed her barriers and for you, they dropped faster than a blink of an eye." Naruto informed, still smiling and following Sasuke's gaze, over to Sakura. He took a drink of his beer.
""I know you're not good at expressing your emotions, but that will come with time. Just know, Sakura-Chan has already accepted you. Trust me." Sasuke heard him say. All he could see was her.
"Shikamaru is just an old friend of hers from the Accelerated Educated Foundation. They've known each other for years. In fact, it was Sakura who helped him get into a relationship with Temari." Naruto chuckled and Sasuke drank. That made a bit of sense. The Temari woman was definitely a hardass. He doubted fully that without some kind of strong effort and probably help that any guy would even be able to court the woman.
"It was Shikamaru who helped Sakura-Chan throughout her time away. She did get homesick a lot and since they grew up on the same block, he comforted her." Sasuke's eyes shifted to Naruto.
"He grew up in the slums with you?" Sasuke questioned. Naruto grinned.
"Yep. If I wasn't with you, I was him and Sakura-Chan. He's a great pal. He met Temari for the first time in Suna, with Sakura years ago." Naruto grinned. Sasuke refilled his finished drink.
"Sasuke-kun?" He tensed, hearing the voice. Slowly he looked up from his drink, putting the bottle down. There she stood, eyes wide in surprise of him and beside her, Shikamaru. She had just walked over because she saw Naruto over here. She thought she saw him too, but she wasn't sure from the distance and the hood on his head.
"Sakura…" He mumbled. Sakura tilted her head.
"What are you doing here?" She asked bewildered. Shikamaru seemed to be analyzing him.
"Oops! I didn't tell you Sakura-Chan! I invited teme out for a drink!" Naruto said grinning and wrapping an arm around Sasuke's shoulder. Sasuke shrugged him off.
"Stop being a moron." Sasuke growled, though he was somewhat grateful. He had just covered for him. He wasn't sure what he was going to tell her. Probably what he told Naruto earlier, but if Naruto didn't believe him initially, he doubted she would. Sakura smiled, giggling at them.
"Well, that's great. I'm glad your taking a break Sasuke-kun. You really do work really hard." He stared up at her, his eyes growing tender and soft. Naruto smirked.
"Ah! I almost forgot. Sasuke-kun this is an old friend of mine, Shikamaru. Shikamaru, this is my boss, Sasuke." She introduced side stepping. Shikamaru nodded.
"Nice to meet you. I've read a few articles about the Uchiha Company and its success. I hope you'll find that Sakura is quite the worker and will be able to further that." Shikamaru said. Sakura laughed.
"No, no you've got it wrong. I'm just his secretary." Sakura waved off. Sasuke sipped his drink.
"Indeed. She is excellent at work. She has already helped me with quite a few things." Sasuke said, closing his eyes in comfort. Sakura gave a light blush, looking away. Shikamaru and Naruto chuckled and the blond stood.
"Well, I'm out of beer. Gotta go get another! Come on, Shikamaru! We're not done catching up!" Naruto excused, walking away from the two. Sakura watched them, raising an eyebrow before turning back to Sasuke. She smiled at him again.
"So, how long have you been here? How come you didn't come find me?" She asked. Sasuke didn't look at her as he drank.
"I haven't been here long...you looked busy so I let you be. Naruto just found me as well." He answered. Sakura drank her drink as well.
"I see. Want to play a game of pool?" She asked. Sasuke smirked.
"Bye, Temari! Bye Shikamaru! Have a good night you two!" Sakura laughed out, Shikamaru holding up a drunk Naruto, his tired looking eyes twitching.
"What a drag." He groaned and Temari laughed, locking up the bar.
"Hiiiiinnnnaaaatttaaaaa-Chaaaaaan!" Naruto slurred grinning and blushing. Shikamaru's face deadpanned, his eyebrow twitching.
"Can't you lock him in the bar until tomorrow again?" He asked Temari who laughed. Sasuke's eyebrow raised. That was here when Naruto complained that happened? He was literally shunned by Hinata for a week before she forgave him. He had to spend that week at his place.
"Haha! Stop being such a lazy ass. After I explained things to Hinata, she begged me never to do that again and I gave her my word." Temari said, putting the keys in her bag. Shikamaru sighed.
"How troublesome." He moaned. Sakura laughed.
"So Shikamaru, how long will you be in town this time?" Sakura asked. Temari looked to Shikamaru, as he placed a still mumbling Naruto in the back of his car.
"Actually, I'm here to stay. I've finally gotten out of teaching for the A.E.F and now I am going to be working here as a teacher in Konoha high school." Temari's eyes brightened with surprise and she gasped.
"Really?!" Shikamaru smiled at her.
"Yeah…sorry for not being able to do it sooner." He said turning. Temari jumped on him again, wrapping around his neck.
"That's great!" Sakura exclaimed, laughing.
"Need a ride, Sakura?" Sasuke asked, hoping she'd say yes. Sakura looked to him, eyes widening.
"Are you sure Sasuke-kun? You don't have to. I can just ride with them."
"Well, Naruto is taking up all of the back seat." Temari pushed, looking to Sasuke with a sly smile. He glared at the woman who knew too much briefly, before turning his gaze back to Sakura.
"It's fine. I don't mind." He answered. Sakura looked up in uncertainty before shrugging and smiling.
"Okay then. Get home safe you guys!" Sakura bid her farewell, waving. Temari waved back.
"You too!" She grinned. Sasuke began to walk, Sakura following him. Shikamaru watched, sighing in tiredness.
"What's your deal?" Temari asked, raising a blond eyebrow. Shikamaru opened the passenger car door.
"For being so smart, Sakura can really be dense sometimes." He sighed, getting in the car. Temari giggled. So even her boyfriend could see it? The only one who didn't seem to know was Sakura.
Indeed, she was a little dense.
"Sorry to have to make you walk. I parked a little far because there wasn't much parking earlier." Sasuke said. Sakura smiled to him.
"Don't worry about it. The air is nice tonight, don't you think?" She commented and as if on cue, a gentle breeze passed them by, blowing through her hair and open black petite coat. Sasuke looked down.
"Yeah…" He murmured, turning the corner his car was parked at. Sakura turned with him, only for one of her three inch heels to get stuck in a crack in the street. Her eyes widened, tripping and falling forward.
"Ah!" She yelped in surprised, but instead, she collided with Sasuke's solid chest, regaining her footing and gripping his chest. He had her at the arms, holding her firmly.
"You alright?" He asked with concern. Sakura looked up to him and Sasuke felt his heart hit his chest, beginning to race faster than a speeding train. She was so close to him. He watched a blush form on her face, eyes wide. She must have noticed their proximity too. Like this, their faces were even a bit more closer than they were on Wednesday, when he had unexpectedly opened the door. His eyes traveled to her parted lips again, eyeing them in a sudden trance. Her hands were on his chest and he wanted to feel their softness through his black shirt. Naruto's words came back to him.
I really do think Sakura-Chan likes you.
"I'm sorry, Sasuke-kun, my heel got stuck." She apologized. Sasuke looked away, pulling his hands from her.
"It's fine. You should be more careful." He said softly, turning away in cowardice. Sakura looked down, playing with her fingers, feeling embarrassed.
"Y-Yeah…" Sasuke's eyebrows furrowed.
Hey, take your time, alright?
I know you're not good at expressing your emotions, but that will come with time.
Sasuke turned turned to her, having reached his side. He offered her his arm.
"You...should hold onto me." He said hesitantly. Sakura's eyes widened, a blush coming on her face again, seeing his arm.
"The car is one more block down. So, you should hang on, before you trip again." He said softly. Sakura blushed harder, interlocking her arm with his. He felt so muscular.
"T-Thank you, Sasuke-kun." She said softly. He blushed himself, turning his head to hopefully hide it.
"No problem." He mumbled, before he gave yet another look to her. His eyes grew slightly. She was smiling, looking at the ground and walking in step with him. His eyes warmed, before he looked back forward. On his lips, a small smile of his own.
Sasuke: Hn. -smirks-
Sasuke: I could be more satisfied.
-grins- Welp, sorry. Buuuut things are about to get hectic for you!
Sasuke: -eyebrows knitted and glaring- What does that mean?!
See ya next chapter everybody! Thanks for the support you have given so far! -walks off-
Sasuke: Oi! Don't just blow me off like that! Oi! I asked you a question. Oi! OI! -chases-