Wild And Tame – Chapter 1

Well, here it is. Chapter 1 of my long-awaited novel. I have NO idea how many chapters there will be. I hope there are quite a few. Hmm… I could turn this into a manga. It’s like… a shoujo novel!!! XD

Chapter 1

She stood at the top of the hill facing the great expanse over her town, and she never felt so free in her life.
At the same time, she never felt so empty.
The cool wind gently lifted her raven-black hair behind her, a few stray strands splaying across her face. Her slender fingers slowly swept the loose tresses aside as she forlornly eyed the valley below. The foliage was beautiful this time of year – leaves were just growing on the trees again, lush greens to symbolize the beginning of summer.
She loved coming up here to watch nature at its best. The last time she was here was when she was younger. Childhood memories suddenly resurfaced in her mind, bringing on a wave of nostalgia. Her heart beat a little more as she reminisced on times past when she could be young and without a care in the world, playing with her childhood puppy, flying kites, and blowing big bubbles with her chewing gum.
Today, however, she came up here to think. She pondered on how things were changing so suddenly for her. She had just recently discovered that she was the heiress to her late parents’ fortune.
She missed her parents dearly, and her life had been a whirlwind of tumultuous proportions after their untimely, accidental deaths – moving into her aunt’s house in the countryside, leaving behind her home and her small group of friends.
It was only until a week after when her parents’ lawyer sought her out, bringing with him a video tape of her parents stating that she inherit their vast fortune – but on one condition. Although she would have given anything to fulfill their last request, she found herself unable to come to such a decision so soon.
“You must marry our beloved friend’s son, Masaki Kaoru,” her parents had said on the video will.
She had no problems with the marriage, but it was rather the person she was requested to marry. Kaoru had known her since they were children, but they were never close. He always distanced himself from her, and she disliked him for that reason.
She sighed, brushing aside her hair again, worry etched across her face.
The money didn’t matter much to her either, but her parents worked hard to earn it, and she had to respect their decision to pass it on to her. She had a thought that she could donate most of it to charity and keep whatever was leftover to live comfortably, but not overly so.
The name flitted through her thoughts and she sighed as she realized that sooner or later, she would have to make a decision about him.
She hoped dearly that he possibly could have changed over the years. It would be a depressing notion to not only have a lack of love with her future husband, but a lack of anything remotely romantic as well.
She turned around, gazing back at the house in the far distance. It was time to go back.

“Where have you been all this time, Ayako-chan?”
Ayako blushed slightly, trying to brush away the grass leaves from her dress.
She averted her eyes from her aunt, Sunami, a woman that was still young-looking despite her age. She wore a pink ribbon that was woven into her hair, which was tied up in a bun. The ribbon matched her white kimono, due to the sakura petal pattern on it.
“I went for a walk, auntie,” Ayako responded in a small, mousy voice.
“Well, the Masaki family has been waiting for us all this time,” Sunami said. “You go and get changed while I call to let them know that we are on our way.”
Ayako nodded and headed upstairs to her room. The house was both old-fashioned and new. The structure was made of wood and glass for the windows, but the rooms still incorporated sliding doors, including the one in the living room that led to the backyard.
Ayako quickly chose a simple kimono to replace her dress, and once she was dressed properly, she tied her hair up, fastening it together with a hairpin.
After a quick retouch of make-up, she made her way down to the living room, where her aunt was waiting for her.
They drove out to the Masaki residence half a kilometer away. The house was almost the same size as Sunami’s house, except that it was completely old-fashioned, not even having glass windows. It did, however, have a garage.
“Shitsurei shimasu,” they both called out as they entered the house.
They were greeted by Kaoru’s father, a man of thirty who was dressed in a plain blue yukata with a white hemline. They left their shoes in the genkan and followed him into the living room, where Kaoru’s mother was seated at the table. Kaoru sat beside her, and another spot was open on her other side, with two cushions on the opposite side of the table for their guests.
The two bowed deeply, apologizing for their lateness.
Ayako took her seat beside her aunt, across the table from Kaoru. She chanced a friendly smile at him, quickly assessing his appearance. He still looked the same as when they were young, but with an air of maturity to him. However, her fears were confirmed when she noticed his sense of detachment as he stiffly bowed to her to acknowledge her presence.
“So, I understand that Ayako-san has decided to consider the terms that we and her parents agreed upon.”
“Yes, that is the reason for this meeting.”
Ayako didn’t pay attention to the conversation between her aunt and Kaoru’s father. She was falling into a deep depression, staring down at her hands in her lap. It wasn’t until her name was called that she regained her cordial composure.
“Hai, Masaki-san?”
Ayako looked over at Kaoru’s mother, a beautiful woman with long, flowing blonde hair and graceful features, as she stuttered her reply.
“There’s no need to be nervous. We and your parents were good friends, so we arranged this meeting in hopes that our family could be united. However, the decision is entirely yours. It is, after all, a modernized time.”
“Still,” she continued. “You shouldn’t just throw away this opportunity before you get reacquainted with Kaoru. After all, it has been many years since you last saw each other, and children have different impressions of each other when they are young, wouldn’t you agree?”
A gentle smile from Kaoru’s mother made Ayako realize that she was quite wise beyond her age, and decided that she should at least try to get to know Kaoru. Maybe he might open up.
“A-arigatou, Masaki-san,” Ayako said, venturing a nervous smile.
“Ah, good. I see my dear wife, Minako, has settled things,” Kaoru’s father said with a smile, scratching the back of his head to cover his embarrassment.
Sunami smiled in relief, glad that Ayako had decided to take the necessary steps towards the marriage. Whether or not she would accept it, only time could tell.

Ayako found herself walking beside Kaoru in the garden just beyond the backyard. It had already been five minutes, but neither had uttered a word.
She was starting to feel that this wouldn’t work out after all.
She widened her eyes as she heard her name being called. She looked over at Kaoru, who was looking at her expectantly, awaiting her response.
“H-hai, Kaoru-san?”
Something happened next that she was never expecting.
He closed his eyes and sighed in – relief?
‘Masaka…’ she thought in disbelief.
“Ano… how should I say this?”
His nervous voice belied the hardened expressions he always had, even as a child.
“I… I’ve always liked you, Ayako-san. E-Even when we were kids…” He nearly stammered out, a slight flush appearing on his cheeks.
“But… why? Why have you always acted so distant and cold to me all this time?” She asked, needing to know what his reasons were.
“B-because… I thought that you didn’t feel the same way about me. I… I was nervous and… it was the only way I knew how to hide it…”
“D-do you like me, Ayako-san?”
At this point, his face had become completely red.
She was speechless. On the other hand, she was also relieved at his confession. He was kind, after all. She smiled at him brightly.
“I do now. You were always looking at me so fiercely, so I had thought you didn’t like me at all.”
“Yokatta…” He sighed in relief. “I’m sorry that I misled you all this time, Ayako-san.”
“No, I’m sorry for being too scared to approach you!” She giggled.
They shared their first laugh and conversation together. For the first time since her parents’ death, things were starting to look promising.
Thunder rolled ominously in the distance.

“Ayako-san and I have decided to try dating first.”
Kaoru’s parents nodded silently, respecting their son’s decision, since Ayako was not the only one who had to make the choice to suddenly marry.
“How long will you two be dating before you make a final decision?”
Kaoru looked over at Ayako, who was standing by his side, nodding at him. Everybody was currently gathered at the front of the house. Kaoru smiled and turned back to his parents.
“We’re not sure at the moment. However, we want to make up for the lost time we had when we were children. You see… we didn’t really associate with each other when you and okaasan visited with her parents. We also have school to worry about, and entrance exams for university are coming up, after all.”
“Hmm… naruhodo,” he responded, rubbing his chin in thought. “I suppose there is plenty of time to make the decision. University entrance exams are also quite stressful too… perhaps something can be done during the summer break? Darn it, then there’s the issue of setting a date for the wedding, if you can’t decide by then. And if you do get married during the summer, either of you might want to switch universities so you can be together. However, university is pretty expensive, so one of you would have to move in with either us or Sunami-san. I personally don’t mind, especially if grandchildren may be running around the house. Ahahaha… grandchildren… what a nice thought…”
“Kaoru-chan, whatever you decide, your father and I will give you our support as we always have,” Minako said, interrupting her husband’s incoherant ranting.
“Domo arigatou, okaasan,” Kaoru responded, bowing deeply.
“Arigatou gozaimasu,” Ayako followed in response, also bowing.
“Sore ja,” Sunami said, bowing to the Masaki family. “We’ll take our leave now.”
“Hai, we’ll talk to you later, Sunami-san,” Minako bowed, guiding her muttering husband into the house while reprimanding him. “Honestly, Takeshi. How could you have said all those embarrassing things in front of everybody? You’re such a nuisance sometimes. You should learn to keep your mouth…”
Sunami and Ayako headed to the car as Kaoru followed his parents back into the house, sparing a smile for Ayako, who smiled in return.
They pulled out of the driveway just as Ayako gasped and smacked herself on the forehead. Sunami stopped the car and raised an eyebrow in Ayako’s direction.
“What’s wrong?”
“I… I forgot my purse in their living room.”
“Really? How convenient,” Sunami teased slightly. “You just want to see more of Kaoru-kun, don’t you?”
Ayako blushed slightly as she opened the door.
“I’ll only be a little bit, auntie.”
“Sure, sure,” Sunami grinned mischievously, leaning against the steering wheel. “Take all the time you need. I’ll just listen to the radio and take a quick nap.”
Ayako nearly fell out of the car, running full tilt towards the house in embarrassment as Sunami burst out into full, uncontrollable laughter.
“Ah… young love. Natsukashii na~” she sighed in remembrance of events she herself experienced long ago.

“Auntie, you didn’t have to go that far with your teasing,” Ayako mumbled to herself. She slowly opened the front door and peeked her head in. “Shitsurei shimasu…”
She stepped into the genkan and took her shoes off, walking into the living room.
“Hello? Is anybody here?”
The living room was empty. She didn’t hear any voices, so she guessed that they might have gone outside. She slid the door open to the backyard, but saw nobody around.
Shrugging, she slid the door closed behind her, picking up her purse, which was by the table, and headed out towards the genkan. Before she reached there, she bumped into a hard wall that wasn’t there before, and she fell on her backside, disoriented.
“Ite-te-te…” A voice muttered in pain from in front of her.
She opened her eyes and saw a young man standing in front of her, rubbing his chest in pain. He had long, shaggy hair, which was streaked red, and he wore a white t-shirt and a pair of well-worn jeans. He smirked down at her.
“Well, well. What are you doing in here, ojou-chan?” He said in a deep voice, using casual speech.
“I… I was getting my purse,” she said, offended by his manner of speech and attitude.
“Is that so? Tryin’ to do a hit-and-run, it looks like t’me,” he accused. “Grab the stuff and get the hell outta here, is probably what you were thinkin’, ojou-chan.”
“I… I did no such thing!” She said in exasperation. “Who are you, anyway?”
“I should be the one askin’ you that question, ojou-chan.”
“M-my name is none of your concern!”
“Really? Well, I have ways of getting’ it outta ya, if you catch my drift.”
His eyes bore a hole into her, almost as if they were piercing her right to her very soul.
“Uhh… m-my name is…”
“Nah, it doesn’t really matter. I don’t care who you are, anyway. Just gimme the purse and get outta here before I change my mind.”
“B-but… it’s my purse!”
She was getting frustrated and scared at the same time. This man was incorrigible, rude, and mean, to boot! It was like trying to get through a door that wouldn’t open.
“I’ll be the judge of that.”
He forcefully took the purse from her. When she tried to stop him, he merely held her aside with no effort while he dug through it. He pulled out her wallet and browsed through it.
“Hmm… Nakajima Ayako. Nice picture. Ah, well, I guess I was wrong.”
He gave her purse back to her and held a hand out for her to take. Instead, she slapped it away.
“Oh-ho, you’ve sure got spunk, Ayako.”
“Don’t call me Ayako, you beast!”
“Well well. The vixen’s definitely got a fiery tongue, especially one who is dressed so formally. You might want to watch that mouth of yours or you’ll never get married.”
“For your information…!”
“I don’t really care.”
She stood up and slapped him in the face, her anger boiling inside of her. This BOY was pushing all of her buttons. She had never met anybody like him before. She would rather face an emotionless Kaoru a million times than this person.
The sound of the slap resounded throughout the house. His head was down as she breathed heavily, staring at him with her hand still crossed over her body after the slap. She thought for a moment that she had seriously hurt him until he suddenly yelled out like a wild animal, rushing at her and forcing her to back up against the wall, his hands slamming against the wall on either side of her head, his face mere inches away from her.
“Nobody dares to touch me like that,” he said in a calm voice, his sudden animal nature hidden as if it wasn’t there in the first place.
“What’s going on down there?” Kaoru’s voice came from upstairs.
“K-Kaoru-san!” Ayako called out in panic and relief.
Kaoru appeared at the top of the stairs, looking down at the scene before him.
“A-Ayako-san!” He gasped, rushing downstairs and staring at the man and Ayako, unsure of what to do.
“Hey, Kaoru, you know this ojou-chan?”
“Kyosuke, what did you do to her?”
“W-wait… how do you two know each other?” Ayako asked, now curious.
“I’m his older brother, ojou-chan,” he grinned mischievously, turning to Kaoru and giving him a thumbs up. “She’s a cute one, Kaoru. A bit on the spunky side, but whatever floats yer boat, ne?”
The first thing that Kyosuke said suddenly registered itself fully into Ayako’s brain. Her eyes widened in surprise.
“Brother?? WHAAAAAAAAAT?!”

Additional Resources

The one with all the Lesson Reviews.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with this blog ever since I started using Hummingbird last fall. So, I decided to try an idea of mine called Lesson Reviews. Essentially, it’s more of a “what I learned from X anime” than a review, but the thing is, there will be good and […]

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