Love After Marriage

It's amazing how you can fall in love with a person you didn't even notice the first time you meet them.
- by Owm'r Faruuk -

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Chapter 1: Prologue

I'm sorry, Fuusuke. But..." The redheaded former ace striker of Prominence trailed off his sentence, averting his eyes from the girl standing in front of him. He couldn't bear to see her right into the eyes, fearing that he might lose the courage that he had been building for this moment in these few months. The girl's dark blue eyes shakily scanned his facial expression, desperate for an answer. For the words that he left off, that are not uttered from the lips of her lover.

"...H-Haruya?" She whispered the name in uncertainty as she hesitantly walked forward, trying to close in the distance between where they were standing. As if that will somehow shorten how distant she felt he was for the past few months. She had a feeling that something was off in their relationship but she had shrug it off as pressure and stress from the preparation of U-20 World Cup..

But now that the built up pressure and stress have led to this, this...something that shouldn't have happen between them.

"Fuusuke. I-I'm so sorry! What we have together is beautiful, I love you so much and you love me a lot, but..." Nagumo inhaled sharply, tugging on some of his hair and let out a frustrated groan before he finally said it.

"...but you're not that girl I love. Not anymore."

His words thundered her whole being to the core. She stared at him with a surprised and unbelieaving look. "W-What?"

"Fuusuke-"

"What do you mean I'm not the girl you love anymore?! I don't get it!"

"Fuusuke."

"If this is one of your damn tricks, Nagumo Haruya, I swear I'll-

"Fuusuke, listen!" He shouted and grabbed her by her shoulders before shaking her body. "I started seeing another girl two months ago!"

A pang of sadness washed over her. She froze, stunned by his confession.

"H-Haruya?"

"Fuusuke, I'm sorry. But...I don't love you anymore. I'm leaving you." He finally opened up the secret that he had been keeping for the two months he had been going around behind her back.

The hurried three knocks on her bedroom door pulled her out from the flash of her memory. Instantly, she reached for the box of tissue on her study desk and wiped the tears fell down her cheeks. In the process, she realized that some had dropped on her reference book and she grunted a bit at the mess she made. She decided to let it be for a while, simply closing the large book and walked to the door.

"I'm coming."

She opened the door and smiled when she saw her adoptive father, Kira and adoptive sister, Hitomiko at the door. "Otou-san. Onee-chan. Come on in." She said and stepped aside for the two guardians of Sun Garden children to enter her bedroom.

Kira entered first and he scanned over her bedroom. The space was not too small nor too large, walls were painted light blue and have all the basic necessities of a bedroom like a bed, study desk, cupboard and mirror. Pictures of her and her adoptive family and friends were framed and some of them decorated her desk while others were hang. He noticed that one of the picture frames on her desk had been closed down.

He trailed off his line of sight to his daughter who had sat on the single bed next to him and received a reply in the form of a small, watery smile. They both had a pretty good idea as who was in the picture and why. Both of them recalled what had happened two months ago between the girl and her ex boyfriend. Hell, there were even all over the newspapers!

"Otou-san, Onee-chan..."

The two turned their heads to the small voice coming from the girl.

"What do you want to talk to me about? Did something happen?" She asked with a frown, concern filled her voice.

Kira and Hitomiko shared a troubled look. Hitomiko nodded her head at her father. The old man sighed and went to Suzuno. "Fuusuke, my dear. Please, sit down first." He said gently, leading Suzuno to the chair she had been sitting on previously. The silver-white haired girl slowly sunk herself on the chair, her heart beating faster than usual.

The old man took Suzuno's right hand into his and rubbed it with his thumb gently. It felt like it was only yesterday he held the same hand, but it was much smaller and the girl is still little, small enough for him to carry around. "Time flies by so quickly. The next thing I know, you grew up to be the magnificent girl you are today."

"Fuusuke, my dear." Kira let out a deep sigh before he continued. "I honestly have no idea how and why, but..."

The girl had a puzzled look on her face, still waiting for her adoptive father to continue. "O-Otou-san...?" She tried calling him when he simply looked at her in the eyes with paternal love mixed with sadness clearly written on his face.

"Fuusuke." Hitomiko suddenly said and she turned to her adoptive older sister. She, too, had the same look as her father. She gestured for her to come sit between them and the two adults make room for the girl. Although she was still lost with where this is going, but she complied. The second she sits down, Hitomiko instantly pulled her into a hug. Eyes widened, Suzuno laid her head on one side of the young woman's shoulder.

"O-Onee-san?"

They stayed in that position for about five minutes before Hitomiko pulled herself together and released Suzuno from the hug. Suzuno looked between Kira and Hitomiko in confusion. "D-Did something happen? Why did the two of you look so sad? What's wrong with Onee-san? Is it something I-"

"Fuusuke."

Kira let out a sigh before he finally said what they had been meaning to tell her for the last two weeks.

"Fuusuke...you know that my company is going through a financial problem due to the Aliea Gakuen incident and the embezzlements that happened in my company recently?" Kira started the explanation, the words felt bitter in his mouth. After the news about him being the mastermind behind the whole Aliea Gakuen incident spread throughout the country, a lot of companies decided to stop doing business with him. However, he was lucky because his long time friend still have trust in him, and has been helping to get back on his feet by giving him business advices, introducing him to his business associates and even giving financial help.

If only he had known this was the intention all along, he would have rejected his help.

"Do you remember a friend of mine who always come for a visit at the orphanage?"

Suzuno instantly nodded, smiling a bit. "Yes, I remember! Kajiya-san, right? He always come with his wife, Akane obaasama. She's been teaching me how to cook. Why did you ask?"

"Kajiya has been helping me with my company's problems and the financially supporting the orphanage. And...he...he told me that...well, it's a bit confusing for me too, but he and his wife seemed to have taken a liking towards you."

Now she sensed that something's a bit off. D-Don't tell me...! "Are they planning to adopt me?"

"No! No, they're not! Thank goodness!" Kira and Hitomiko denied in slight panic, waving both of their hands frantically. "But I hoped they were...at least it's better than this..." Kira trailed off and Hitomiko sighed, nodding her head.

Now she's confused. "Better than what, Otou-san?"

And here comes the hardest part. "About two weeks ago, Kajiya and his wife came to my office. We agreed to discuss on the arrangement of the debt settlement. And that's when I found out the main reason why he has been helping us all along. Other than the fact that we've been friends and business associates for a long time, he's actually searching for a wife for his grandson. And..." Kira gulped. "He and his wife deemed you suitable with their grandson."

Suzuno's eyes widened at the last four words.

"They said they wouldn't ask for any money from us if you marry their grandson."

The girl's mind started to slowly processing the shocking news she had just received. Kajiya and Akane obaasama wanted her as their granddaughter-in-law?

Honestly speaking, she didn't think any family of their prestige would want her as a bride. Sure, she's fairly well-known, thanks to her being a in the girls' U-20 national soccer team and her participating in Football Frontier International. She's fairly attractive and average at doing household chores. But she's also an orphan, and it's universally known that most rich people look down on orphans, or generally, less fortunate people. So what exactly did they see in her that prompted them to make such a shocking decision?

"Their grandson...does he know about this?"

And this is another reason for here to be worried about. The one who the rich, old couple wanted to set her up with. It was undeniable that Kajiya jiisama and Akane obaasama are kind-hearted and very friendly, but the same thing might not be in the case of their grandson. What if he's one of the snobbish rich guys who have 'high taste' in girls? Or worse, he's turned out to be a total jackass who very much deserved to be beaten to a pulp?

"Yes, their grandson knows. They asked him first, and showed him your photo and your background details. They said he took one look at the picture and he immediately agreed." Kira said, sounding like he himself doesn't believe the revelation that came from his own mouth.

Hitomiko nodded, smiling a bit. "Perhaps he fell in love with you the second he saw your photo."

Suzuno snorted. "That's impossible...he couldn't be, right?" She whispered, feeling a bit uncertain.

How could someone fell in love by just looking at someone's photo?

"Kajiya told me that his grandson is the same age as you, and he's out of the country right now. But his grandson took a few days off to return to Japan before he has to go back." Kira continued after a few moments of silence.

"For what?" Suzuno asked.

Hitomiko chuckled, her gaze soften. "To see you." She answered, causing Suzuno to blush a little.

"Wh-why would he want to see me for?!"

"To get to know you, maybe!"

"But we didn't even know each other! How is this possible?!"

"At first I was worried. But after Kajiya-san and Akane-san assured us that their grandson is a good man, I felt relieved. So, even if you do end up getting married to him, I know you'll be in good hands." Hitomiko pretended to sigh in relieve.

A vein pooped on Suzuno's head. "Onee-san!"

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Thank you for reading. Reviews are welcomed. :)