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Naru looked in the mirror and finished adjusting the bow in her hair. The emerald earrings that were her mother's birthday gift to her dangled, sparkling, from her ears. They matched her emerald green dress perfectly. The dress had a square neckline, cap sleeves, an empire waist, and a softly draped skirt that reached to just above her knees. It was a very sophisticated dress, Naru thought, and she felt very grownup in it. She slipped her feet into the black high-heeled pumps she had bought to go with the dress, and twirled in front of the mirror. Perfect, she thought. She looked and felt perfect. The way she should on her eighteenth birthday and her first official date with Nephrite.
They had met frequently for lunch or ice cream, and at tennis tournaments where Rui, whom he had continued to coach was playing. Nephrite had encouraged Naru to accept invitations from boys she knew at school; he wanted her to be certain she would prefer to date him rather than someone closer to her own age. After a few awkward outings to movies and the restaurants and video arcades where the high school kids usually hung out, Naru knew that she preferred Nehprite's company to that of any other guy. And now that she was eighteen, the age difference between her and a man who appeared to be in his mid-twenties was less noticable.
Her mother and Detective Katayama had married only a few months ago. Mr. Katayama -- Naru still hadn't decided whether she felt more comfortable calling him "Satoshi" or "Dad" -- had moved out of his tiny bachelor apartment into the Osaka apartment, and he and Kimiko were looking for a small house to buy. Naru would live in the apartment above the jewelry store while she attended college, and she was looking for a roommate to rent the extra bedroom.
Naru had been accepted into the nursing school associated with Juuban University, and would be starting with the new school year. Usagi would be enrolling in the interior decorating program at the local vocational college. She was also engaged to marry Chiba Mamoru, that older college guy who at first she had thought was stuck up and snobby, but whom she had gradually fallen in love with; the guy who was her adored protector Tuxedo Kamen; her beloved Endymion, Prince of Earth. The wedding would be soon, and Usagi kept hinting at momentous events which would probably take place soon afterwards. She wouldn't give Naru any hints about them; she said she wasn't sure exactly what would happen or when, just that there were going to be some huge changes and that she was going to have a lot more responsibilities afterward. In the meantime, she was going to go to interior decorating school and try to live as normal a life as she could. Naru had no idea what Usagi was talking about. All she knew about the future was that the very strange little pink haired girl who sometimes mysteriously appeared was supposedly Usagi's daughter from the future.
Nephrite's friends were making good lives for themselves. Through the contacts he had used to set himself up as 'Sanjouin Masato,' Nephrite had established identities for them which would withstand any background check. All three of them had joined his imports business, and he had changed its name to Shitennou Imports. Jadeite was his assistant in managing the main Japanese division, Zoisite traveled around the world as a buyer, choosing the finest hand-crafted textiles, dishes, furniture, jewelry, and decorating accessories for the business. Kunzite handled negotiations, contracts, and supervision of the craftspeople who made the goods. All in all, life was good for all of them. The priestesses had never reappeared; Naru assumed they still preferred to live the way they always had.
The doorbell rang. Naru put the finishing touches on her lipstick and mascara. In the hall, her mother opened the front door and greeted Nephrite. "Naru-chan!" she called out. "Are you ready?"
"I'll be right there, Mom." Naru gave herself one last glance in the mirror, then hurried out of her room. Nephrite was waiting for her in the hall. He wore a gray suit with a dark blue silk shirt, and a long black duster coat. He helped Naru on with her black velveteen quilted jacket. "Ready?" he asked.
She looked up at him, unable to restrain the excited smile on her face. "Yes!"
"By midnight," Naru's mom reminded them as they left. Mr. Katayama came up behind her to see them off.
It was cold outside. Even with her jacket on, Naru shivered. Nephrite's red Ferarri was parked at the curb. They walked over to it, but instead of opening the door right away Nephrite pulled her into his arms. "I've waited nearly four years to be able to do this," he said. Then he lowered his head and pressed his mouth to hers.
Shivers that had nothing to do with the cold went up and down Naru's back. She flung her arms around his neck and stood on her toes to reach him better. The warm, soft kiss went on and on until Naru didn't think she would breathe again. Then Nephrite pulled away and brushed her hair back out of her face, smiling. "Definitely worth the wait," he said.
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return to Index
The Nephrite and Naru Treasury