“You’ve got to be kidding me!” Smoker sensie barked at me after reading the note.
I crossed my arms and said, “If anything, sensie, I like the idea even less than you. But it’s natrual, right?”
He rubbed his temple and glared at me before sighing, “I actually thought it was something seriuse.” He told me, “If we lose you, we might as well forfeit now.”
“Smoker-sensie, even if it were serious, I’m not backing down from this up coming meet. I’ve trained too long for it.” I told him, “And it’ll be done before we get that far.”
“Just don’t scare me like that again.” He warned.
“Oi! It wasn’t my idea to jump me, ya’ know.” I defended.
“Stop before I give you laps.” he said.
I nodded and walked away starting to stretch out. Today I was going to be doing weights as he marked the new partners go at it in the ring.
I walked out of the change room just as the bell rang, I leaned against the wall for a moment finishing the last of my braid. I wore them to school, and through out class. I figured why not for the ‘date’?
I sighed thinking about their faces when they see each other at the restaurant. They were put over by my father.
And I was right. I got to the front door, and saw them glaring at each other.
“Yo!” I called walking over to them.
I smiled and put my hands behind my back.
“I know what each of you are thinking.” I told them, “We’ve all sorta been had by my father. He said it was a date to each of you, when in truth it’s a way for us to collaborate, or getting used to it rather, for when we take over.”
“That sly bastard.” Law muttered.
“Why don’t we go in?” I suggested trying to clear the air, “My father’s paying for it as is.”
“Lady’s first.” Hawkins told me opening the door for me.
“Arigoto.” I said and walked in.
“Ah, Ceerie!” Patty said coming up to us, “Your father has it all set up.” He told me, “Your table is this way.”
He lead us to the back. The table Luffy, Sabo, Ace, and I would usually sit at.
I sighed and slid in. Better get this over with, I thought.
He handed us menus and said he’d back in a few minutes.
To be honest, I loved the food here. But I was so nervous, my stomach was in knots.
I placed my menu down knowing what I wanted, and waited for the others.
“And what will it be?” Patty asked coming up.
“Onigri.” Hawkins said.
“Fried rice.” Law said.
“spaghetti.” Killer told him.
“I’ll have the sushi boat, and a coke.” I told him.
And then it was quiet.
“So~.” I said eyes darting around trying to find a piece of conversation, “Um, Law. What was the price for the factory?” I asked figuring it couldn’t hurt.
“We managed to get it for 27 million.” He said not looking at me.
I whistled, “Not bad.” I said, “My father said it look a while to get them to agree to it.”
“it did.” he said, “But we managed. That’s also why we went over by two million.”
I nodded, “Well, we got it that’s what matters.”
I went quiet again. I felt my palms get sweaty.
“Any word on him yet, Killer?” I asked.
He looked at me before saying, “Lucky wanted to be the one tell you, but we managed to find strange denden mushi number.” I nodded, “We’re still trying to trace it, but we know it’s in the Black family.”
“Good job.” I told him, “Think we’re getting close?”
“We’re hoping so.” He told me, “But I can’t make any promises.”
“Here’s your order.” Patty said placing our food in front of us.
“Arigoto.” We said and left.
“Hawkins, have we established a stable way to the next town yet, or are we still waiting for it?” I asked before picking up my chop sticks.
“We figured it better to make it dirt instead of the grass.” He told me, “It should be finished by Sunday if all goes well.”
I nodded, putting spicy tuna in my mouth.
Then it got quiet again. I didn’t like it, maybe it was because of the tension in the air. And I was the only one who even touched their food. They sat there with arms crossed on their chests, and I felt myself sink into the booth behind my sushi boat.
I sighed and placed my chop sticks on the table before sitting up right and looking at them. I had Hawkins on my right, Law on my left, and Killer was next to Law.
“Gomena.” I told them.
Killer started waving his hand in front of his face, “You don’t have to be sorry, Ceerie. It’s not your fault.”
“But I didn’t warn any of you either.” I said and stared at the table, “And for that I’m sorry.”
There was a pause as they all looked at me.
“I know you guys hold negative feelings towards me, and to be honest I don’t blame you for it at all.” I looked up at all of them, “I don’t want it to turn into what happened with my mother. You can hate me, I don’t care, but I ask you trust me. I can’t forgive disloyalty.”
“Exactly what happened to your mother anyway?” Hawkins asked me.
I averted my eyes again, but this time to my lap.
“We had taken on a subordinate.” I told them, “I don’t really remember much other than what my father told me, I couldn’t have been more that three. His name was Rockstar. And he was good, amazing at his job. So much so that Lucky stepped down from leading the specialty wing of the family and let him take over. He was loyal, or at least that’s what we thought.” I paused and started playing with one of my braids, “I guess a letter came from my mother. And Rockstar was the one who received it and gave it to my father. But not before he memorized the return address. About a month afterwords, she was found dead. And then we realized what happened. Rockstar had fled, I think it was five years later we found him and he was killed. My father learned the hard way to know who you work with as well as yourself.”
“Gomena.” Hawkins said, “I shouldn’t have asked.”
I shook my head, “You all deserved to know.” I told him, “I just don’t want that to happen again.”
“I may not be able to speak for these two, but I never held any negative feelings for you, Ceerie-ya.” Law said.
“Really?” I asked.
“I haven’t either.” Killer said, “If anything, I respect you more. Especially after beating Kidd.”
I smiled at him.
“I might have harbored negative feelings when I was young.” Hawkins admitted, “But after seeing everything you went through, I hold nothing but respect.”
“Arigoto.” I told them.
The tension started to lift after that. We chatted a bit about school and what we thought was best to do next. I can’t speak for them, but by the looks on their faces I could kinda tell that we all had a good time.
I walked home that night with a smile on my face. I think I made pretty good ground with them. I went right up to my room and did my homework. It wasn’t until about eleven, when I actually realized the time.
I quickly finished the last equation I had to do and took a quick shower. After I dried my hair and threw on a tank top and pajama shorts, I headed downstairs to the kitchen for a glass of milk.
It wasn’t until after I got it and closed the fridge did I realize that there were people in the dinning room talking.
Normally I would have walked on and left it, but my curiosity made me stay, I pressed myself against the wall the listened through the door.
“She’s going to have to know some time.” That voice I recognized as Benn.
“I know, but I don’t want to upset her.” That one was my father, “I just got her back, I’m not going to lose her again.”
“You didn’t lose her before.” Benn told him.
My father sighed, “She’s sixteen, Benn.” He told his second in command, “She has two more years, and then we can talk about it.”
“If she doesn’t know now she’ll resent you forever.” The new voice was Lucky.
“Why are we even considering this?” A new voice asked, I knew it to be Yasopp, asked, “We all know how much she loves her freedom, she won’t hear of it.”
“We know that.” Benn hissed, “But sooner or later she’s going to have to face the facts. Ceerie’s going to have to get married!”
I froze, I knew they were talking about me, but not marriage.
“I still say if offer her to Lord Crocodile, our we could Ge raw lumber and higher the Franky family to make goods to export.” Benn said.
“I will not have that far away.” My father argued.
“Lord Enlu, from just a few town over, has sent a letter saying has become very interested in, Ceerie.” Lucky told him.
“Doesn’t he already have a half-dozen wives?” My father asked.
“Actually, he has eight.”Yasopp cut in.
“Lucky if you offer up the Donflamingo family, I’m going to personally rip out your voice box.” My father threatened.
“I was going to say Sir Iceburge.” He told him, “He’s exceedingly powerful, and has a growing . . . pretty much everything.”
“Plus his town is only a day’s boat ride away.” Benn added.
“No.” He said.
“Shanks.” Benn started, “You know I’m the last person to tell you what to do.” pause “But Ceerie’s getting to that age where she has to think about these things. And as her father it’s your job to find a suitable spouse for her.”
“What if I don’t want her to marry?” he asked.
I heard something slam down on the table.
“Damn it Shanks!” Benn yelled, “You can’t be this selfish about her! I know she’s all you have left, but think of the family!”
“What do you think I’ve been thinking of this entire time!?” He yelled back, “Ever since she was born I thought nothing but how to make her the best Boss anyone could ask for!” His voice was so quiet next I had to strain my ears to hear it, “But this time I want her to do this because she’ll want to. She won’t have a problem finding love. But I want it to be true for her. After all, I was in charge of most of her life.”
“So, you’ll alow her the choice?” Lucky asked.
“I got it.” Benn said, “I’m sorry for snapping.”
“I deserved it.” He said, “I just want her to have enough freedom to make the choice on her own, and know I loved her enough not to marry her off to someone.”
“I think we understand.” Yasopp said, “We know she smart enough not to marry just anyone.”
I put my free hand over my mouth as I felt wetness come down my cheeks. I dropped the glass in my other hand and put that over my mouth, as I started to slid down the wall.
Before I knew it the doors were thrown open and the four of them came in. My father kneeled in front of me.
“You heard everything I assume?” He said.
I shook me head trying to calm myself.
“What’s wrong princess?” he asked softly.
I moved my hands from my mouth and started to wipe my tears away.
“Y-you love me that much. Y-you’dd rather m-me be here and ch-chose my o-o-own s-spouse rather than marry off to the best offer.” I stuttered through the tears, and let out a hiccup.
He took my face in his hands and gently thumbed away the tears that spilled.
“I’ll have Daddan clean up this mess.” he told me, “Why don’t you go to bed.”
I nodded and he helped me up. He left my side a moment as I finished wiping away the water from my eyes. He returned a moment later with a tall glass of water and handed it to me. He kissed me on the forehead before turning me around. I went without a word, out of the room and back upstairs to my room. But I didn’t go to bed right away.
I opened up the glass doors to my balcony and stepped out on it. I had a perfect look of the ocean. I put my glass on the table and sat on the thick cement railing. Most of the house reminded me of the renosaunce.
I stared out into the deep ocean. It was beautiful, in just the right light I had the same colour eyes as the sea on a tropical island.
I looked up to the dark sky. It had a million little stars up there. I smiled remembering when I was a kid. I had my brothers over and were out here really late, we tried to count all the stars in the sky. It didn’t work too well.
I sighed and shivered at the chilly breeze. I figured I should probably go to bed now. My father warned me about a few more meetings this weekend. One consisted of meeting with families.
I grabbed my glass and took a sip as I entered my room again. I closed one door, but left the other ajar. I put my half empty glass on my bed side table and brought the covers up over myself. I layed in bed for what seemed like forever, before I finally drifted off to sleep.