Chapter 1: Serendipity
Innocence is an art.
Take my hand and enter the velvet underworld.
Drown in iniquity
Open your eyes to a dreamland…
The crowd swayed to the music, some fans shrieking, others shoving forward to touch the members of Les Miserable. Roses flew from all four corners of the theater showering ALICE BLUE. The current epitome of beauty, the band consisted of four young men dressed in artistically shredded Victorian styled costumes. The vocalist waved to the crowd to join in the chorus. His slender hand fluttered gracefully under a lacy sleeve.
Come into my garden,
Of the beautiful and macabre.
Where roses bloom black.
'My God, how many times have I told you that I *hate* lemon-tea with sugar?" an exasperated voice floated from the dressing room. Cowering, a girl hurriedly ducked as a teacup flew in her direction. It hit the wall before falling and shattering on the ground, making an unpleasant crash!
The door opened again and a young black-haired man slipped through, surveying the scene before him disapprovingly. The girl had fallen to the ground, crying softly and scrambling to pick up the shattered pieces. He gently touched the girl on the shoulder to stop her. She looked up into his eyes before bowing her head again. Sighing, he whispered into the girl's ear and with a tender pat, sent her out of the room.
He turned and walked to the figure shrouded by the screen, looking down at the person with barely contained annoyance. Then the young man crossed his arms in front of him.
"What the hell was that for? That's the second girl we've had to fire for this month," he raised an eyebrow, " I know you have anger management problems but I didn't think it would extend this far. This is too much, Riku. You're pushing the limit."
A silence ensued before a yawn and then a mocking drawl, " Do I look like I care, Kiley? The only reason we've been firing these girls is because they're all the same. They don't listen to me when I tell them what to do and they're incompetent. Their lack of domesticity and capability makes me sick."
"You are such a bastard-"
"It's true!" the speaker whirled around and stood up. He was a few inches shorter than Kiley but his blue eyes flashed with emotion. "I am sick of all these girls! They pretend to be fans and fawn over us when they don't know us, not really. And I keep feeling stifled by all these people surrounding me."
"Sounds like you're becoming a claustrophobic," Kiley said wryly while brushing back a stray strand of black hair. "That's what mental hospitals are for, Riku."
"Shut up~!" Kaname snapped not sounding very upset now, and sat down again. The storm had passed like that. Like always, the younger shorter boy got what he had wanted even if it was unjustified.
"But seriously, Riku, you can't act so obnoxious to these girls. Their feelings are sensitive and you're a downright bastard at times. I mean, these girls aren't even really supposed to be following us around and obeying our every whim. We only need *one* maid to run small errands, clean our apartment, and cook us dinner. We don't even eat at our place every day either. Promise me that you won't treat the next one the same."
"Get a decent one then," the cocky young man said while rolling his eyes. " Get one who at least knows what she's doing. I don't care if she's ugly. I'd prefer it to be someone with a sense of fashion and a good taste in music, but that might be asking too highly in today's society."
"Yeah. Where will I find a girl who'll be like that?" Kiley snorted. "We'd be better off without one when your standards are so high."
"Dude, I am so not cooking for you. Do you want us to starve?" Riku snapped huffily. " And on your best days, you manage not to burn the rice. God, it's a rice cooker! How can you burn rice when you're using a rice cooker?"
"Screw you," the dark-haired boy mumbled, flushing. "Your culinary skills don't amount to much either."
Riku tactfully ignored that comment and continued, " Besides we can't live off instant noodle soup. The guy at the local grocery store is starting to know our names and everything. It's scary. And the apartment's looking like a dump ever since we fired the girl with freakishly long legs."
"Whatever. Anyways, my point is that we need serious help. Now. Not from some obsessive fan who can't even BOIL water."
"I'll do my best, Riku. But you know that this may take weeks. Maybe even months." Kiley said innocently.
"Start looking for a maid."
"NOW! GET UP FROM YOUR ASS AND GO LOOK IN THE NEWSPAPER OR SOMETHING!" the usually melodic voice was harsh and grating.
"Why don't you?" the taller guy asked.
"Because I'm special."
That was responded by a mature, "Screw you."
Arisu bowed her head as the manager continued ranting.
"The customer were extremely upset! How could you mix up strawberry cheesecake with strawberry short cake? The customer stated that he was lactose intolerant- and this included cheese too! Now on top of that, the customer's vomiting right now. You're giving our café a bad reputation!" the nervous man fidgeted as his glasses slipped and he hastily shoved them higher on his nose. "A-a-arisu! Are you even listening?"
"Yes, sir! I'm so sorry!" the girl said meekly before pleading, "Please give me one more chance!"
"You're a nice girl, Arisu," the manager said sadly, "But you're too clumsy and absent-minded! This is going to be your last chance! See the customer that just stepped inside? The tall one with black hair? Find him a seat and whatever you do, don't mess up!"
"Yes, sir!" Arisu scrambled as fast as she could to the door. The customer surveyed her with a raised eyebrow. She blushed faintly, mentally calling the manager as many insulting names she knew. The waitress uniform consisted of black dresses with aprons, striped stockings, and black boots. Arisu thought it looked downright ridiculous on her. What she didn't realize was that most people were merely struck by how cute she looked in it. Simple, cute, and borderline Goth.
"Welcome to Pururu Café! Please follow me to be seated," Arisu led the customer to a booth. There was an awkward moment as she realized she was blocking the way. Blushing furiously, she stepped aside for the young man to go through. As he sat down, he turned his head up to order. Arisu couldn't help marveling at the man's elegance.
"What's your name, miss?".
"Eh? Arisu!" then she wringed her hands. Most customers barked that question right after she spilled tea on them or mixed up their orders. What had she done wrong? He had barely sat down! Did she forget to clean the table? Arisu became flustered and started talking, "AH! Mister, please don't ask to talk to the manager. I don't know what I did wrong, but please don't ask to speak to the manager! I'll even let you order anything for free (out of my paycheck) because my manager told me this was my last chance. I'm really too clumsy, but I need this job."
The dark-haired young man stared at her. Finally as if comprehending, he broke out in a warm smile. " Hey, no one's tattle-taling to your manager! I just wanted to know because you're such a cute girl."
Now it was Arisu's turn to give him a blank stare.
"Um," his eyes suddenly brightened, "Are you telling me that you might get fired?"
"Yes," the girl said flatly. She couldn't see why he was so happy about that. Some people wore their hearts on their sleeves. She knew she was supposed to treat customers with courtesy but that was a tad bit difficult when one of them was taking pleasure in her misery.
"Are you interested in a job?" Arisu was caught off guard. She blinked.
"Yes! My friend and I need a maid to tidy up our apartment every other day. We just moved to Tokyo, and it's been kind of hard to find a decent maid. You look pretty capable and right for the job," the young man said kindly.
"Me? I'm really clumsy, I'm don't know if I'm up for it, mister-?"
"Kiley. Kiley ," bright green eyes seemed expectant as if the name should ring a bell. Arisu stared back.
"Misou-san? Kiley?" Then Arisu bit her lip, "You have an english name!"
Kiley grinned shakily. "Yeah, my mom's American. NYC all her life."
"En-why-see?" the girl's eyes went even wider.
"New York City," Kiley said hastily. He had forgotten that some of the English acronyms were no commonly used in Japan. He had done pretty well, adjusting to the Japanese language in the last few days. After all, he didn't want people to think he was a gaijin. (Gaijin = foreigner)
"So do you think you wanna take the job?"
Arisu pondered the situation in her head, trying to look away from the mesmerizing green eyes. Glass green eyes. They were hypnotic and- she jerked her gaze away and concentrated on her hands instead. She wondered who this Kiley Misou lived. And with a friend? It's probably his girl friend or something, she told herself hastily. A tall, pretty, curly-haired blonde American girl (AN: :D *flees from all the blondes*). She didn't want to give herself any false hopes. With a face like that, Kiley probably had plenty of girlfriends, all whom were ten times prettier than her.
But, Arisu thought, there's no harm applying for the job. I can tell Manager that I got a new job, and practicing to become un-clumsy. He'll understand. And if I get fired...well, I guess I'll have to see from there. Right now I need a stable job and this guy seems to be really nice.
"Alright! I'll take the job" she said cheerily.
Kiley smiled, a slow and charming smile. Arisu tried to tell herself that he smiled like that to every girl, but she couldn't help smiling back. She couldn't stop the fluttering in her stomach either. Almost no girl could resist that beautiful smile. Arisu wasn't the first to fall for Kiley, nor would she be the last.
"Here's my number and address, Miss Arisu. Work starts tomorrow. You go to school, I assume?" Kiley asked, concern on his face.
"Of course! Kinokuniya Academy," Arisu said proudly. Kiley's eyebrows rose. Kinokuniya's was an elite private high school- a hotspot for going-to-be-Tokyo University-grads. Ivy Leagues also always recruited a few students from there. He had no idea why she would be looking for a job. Students at Kinokuniya's were on the most part, very wealthy or intelligent.
"Ahhh..." Kiley nodded his head. His eyes caught the clock and he jumped up hastily, grabbing his jacket. "I'm so sorry, Miss Arisu but I have to leave now. Call me!" With that, he exited the café. Arisu's ears perked as a conversation in the opposite booth reached her ears.
"Omigod! I can't believe she got a job for *him*" a girl squealed.
"Puh-lease. She's such a prep- my god, she didn't even know who he was," the voice snorted. It was slightly lower than the first and held barely disguised contempt.
By now, Arisu was starting to get peeved. Against her better judgment, she stood up and stormed to the opposite booth. She blinked when she got there, because it wasn't whom she had been expecting. A girl with long raven hair pulled back into two pigtails stared up at Arisu, blushing after realizing the subject of their discussion was standing right before her. The dress she was wearing made her look like she stepped out of a Victorian painting. To put it simply, Alice in Wonderland meets Gothic Lolita. It was a black dress with tons of lace, ribbons, and artistically torn. It almost rivaled Arisu's own outfit (her uniform) in bizarreness.
Her companion was a boy in 'punk-meets-prep' attire. He was dressed in a prep school uniform, slightly altered to his own tastes. Black tie rumpled and collar open, Arisu almost stumbled back. His face was perfection. Shiny dark brown locks seemed to be perpetually hiding a pair of extremely beautiful eyes. A hand brushed the bangs back in annoyance, and the violet-blue eyes stared back into her brown eyes.
His eyes were unnerving. Beautiful, cold, and now it sparked with disdain.
If it weren't for your beautiful face, I'd slap you right now for the dirty look you're giving me, Arisu thought. Out loud, she fixed an equally hostile stare at the boy before whirling around on her heels.
Riku was slightly taken back by the waitress girl. She was unpredictable but the glare she threw him before she stormed back into the kitchen...he shook his head. Kiley had been awful clever, seating them in the booth next to him so they'd hear every word of the conversation. The girl seemed eager enough to work. She also intrigued him.
"Riku~" he snapped to attention.
"What?" he asked in a bored voice. His companion, Ami, pouted. Riku thought that Ami was like the rest of them. Glass-eyed dolls who battered their eyelashes at him and talked in soft, sweet, demure voices. The only reason he had put up with Ami was because she was a model and his agent told him that it was 'good publicity'. But by now, Riku was quite sick of Ami.
"You weren't listening to what I was saying!" Ami whined. "So the girl starts work tomorrow? She doesn't know that you live with him?"
Riku glanced at a lone figure walking down the street. He tried to keep track of her as she crossed the street. But in a blink of the eye, she had merged with the crowd of faces. Riku turned his attention back to Ami.
Then, Riku's eyes glittered wickedly. For a second, Ami almost shuddered. At times, Riku truly scared her. He was so temperamental and volatile. She felt pity for the girl.
"She has no idea about tomorrow."
Hey, I'm back from the dead! I know that I'm going to be flamed by a couple of readers for not updating the rest of my stories and instead diving into another one. Who knows where this story might lead? But, I'm halfway done with chapter two so you readers shouldn't be too worried. ^^ I'll try to update more often, but I can't promise.
Please review, comment, flame, heck- you can HUG me. ^___^