Life Is Not Always Roses

Sakura, experiment number 835429, has had a rough childhood and wants to know the truth of her past. The Festival of Roses seems to have some sort of connection but it could be a coincidence that is on her birthday. Dealing with a changing government she must find a way to stay alive and well.

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2. Blossoms of a Relationship

Summer Break Activities
♥End of school: June 4, 5002
♠Fair: June 4-6
♥Family vacation to Pearl City, BT: July 18-24
♦Refresher course:
♥♠First Aid: May 22
♥♦CPR: May 15
♥Circus: August 8-14
♠Farmers Market: Every weekend from April 11 to September 26
♥Karate tournament: June 21-25
♦Summer Cooking classes every MWF 10:00am-2:00pm: June 14-August 6 (Advising, teacher knows my schedule beforehand but wants a graduate of the class to be an advisor to the younger kids)
♥Dad’s family BBQ: August 14
♠Countess Isabelle’s Summer Solstice party: June 19
♥Hang out with friends!
♦Karate class every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:00pm
♥♠Excluding:
♥♦♥ July 18-24 (Our vacation)
♥♠♥ August 1-7 (Instructor’s Vacation)

Grandma and Grandpa work at a stand and says I can bring the children I babysit over. We will be going to the fair on the 5th. Find fun activities for the kids I babysit.


 

♥♠♥♦♥♣♥



Almost eleven years have passed now Sakura is 13 years old and Antonia is 10 with today being the last day of school before summer break. Sakura is excited she has only 1 more year left in Middle School before she goes to High School to join Emilio, and Ryu . Also that means she can babysit throughout the day instead of regulated to the weekends and after school. She has been babysitting for almost 2 years now and each year she does a refresher course that is needed with is usually CPR and First Aid course. Unfortunately her alarm doesn’t wake her up but her phone ringing that she bought for her because she is babysitting. Caller ID says it is Carl and normally he never calls this early in the morning but Sakura does pick it up.

“Hello,” greets a groggy Sakura. “Is there something going on?”

“Suki, did I wake you up?” asks Carl.

“Yes, my alarm is set up to go off in a half an hour and I need to be at school at 8. So why are you calling me this early? It is like 5:30 and it better be important that you are calling me this early since dad only wants emergencies or the house warning this early.”

“Well I’m driving you to school alright and yes this is a house warning. You know I’m staying in my parent’s town house here since I’m on a weeks’ vacation that needed to be used up before I work at the house and I’m out of school and I saw their van come by here several times and I’m sure they have come by your house. They almost got you a couple of times and I’m glad you know karate to keep you safe but it might not be enough this time. I think I saw a small female with them but that could also be coincidence. And I already called your dad so you don’t need to tell him. He or I will be picking you up so don’t leave your classroom until one of us gets there.”

“Is that it? I would like to sleep some more if I can.”

“When is your next babysitting gig?”

“Tonight I start at 5 and won’t be done until late since the parents have something major going and won’t be home until late. Why?”

“Ask the family if they will let someone come with you, if not I can pick you up and drop you off. You need protection and getting done at who know when will be a little more dangerous than if it was during the day.”

“I’m babysitting right next door for the Estéves family and I was originally a mommy’s helper to Mariam so driving won’t be that far and I don’t need to ask. They said if the house is actively pursuing me then I’m more than welcome to have you or a family member come along or I can ask to have Isaac walk me to and from the house.”

“Well that’s something to think about and I’ll be over for breakfast your dad said it should be around 7. Get some more rest and I’ll see you soon.”

“See you soon.”

Both of them hangs up but Sakura finds it hard to go back to sleep so she shuts her alarm off leaving Toni’s alarm on and getting in her and get into my school uniform. The uniform consists of a white button down top with a pink sailor collar and bow, a pink pleated knee length skirt, thigh high black socks, and black flats. I just pull up my black hair into a curly ponytail before heading down stairs. Sakura’s near 6’0” height and developing body makes it easy for the experimental house to identify her when most in the town aren’t as tall as her without looking for the tattoo or her markers. Well to be fair all are tall in this house with Dante being the tallest at 6’7”. As Sakura gets into the kitchen her dad is there and getting things on his own.

“Morning, sweetie,” he greets. “How was your sleep?”

“Good but did Carl call you?” replies Sakura.

“Yes, and I just told him to call you so you would know as well and Isaac came over and said that you can bring someone over for protection or to let him know if you want him to walk with you. You could have gone back to sleep after he called you.”

“I couldn’t get back to sleep and Nova and Sarima weren’t in the room to do the fairy magic that normally helps me sleep if I wake up from a nightmare. Then again I normally sleep for a long period of time after that. So I decided to get ready and to see what I could whip up for breakfast.”

“Well I’m making pancakes and eggs for everyone this morning so you don’t need to cook breakfast but I’m sure you have tonight’s supper in mind. Which what would that be I know it is fish since I saw that thawing in the refrigerator?”

“Grilled fish with probably rice and summer vegetables but I’ll look at that when I get home from school around noon time.”

“You don’t need to cook everyday while I like that you cook but your brothers can do the cooking or I can put something in the slow cooker so you don’t have to.”

“Dad, you keep saying that and that what money I make is mine that I don’t need to keep giving a percentage of what I make. There are 9 of us and I don’t know how exactly you make it work with your salary even if you are a governor. Not to mention our mother is out of the picture since I was 2. Besides you don’t give the money back to me when you don’t want it.”

“Because you don’t accept it back, I’ve been depositing what money you give me into a college savings account so to say for when you go to the house. And your mother does pay child support for the ones she accepts and are under 18 years of age since the kind legalized prostitution. You are making it easy to save for your etiquette house payments when it comes time and hopefully if the laws lessen up you going to culinary school. You don’t have that option with the laws right now but you would do well in culinary school and I could see you own your own restaurant or at least a chef in one. The monarchy was finalized when you were 3 and at 8 these house were finalized but the best part of it for you was that Carl came closer. I still wish you girls had more say in your future than what the government wants.”

“I don’t think that will happen, dad. That illegal house needs to go down first then hopefully open up more freedom to women otherwise it will be hypocrisy.”

“That house is being dealt with and the reason why the Jenkins family came this way to be the Earl in this area and to have a private etiquette house. Carl is starting his house residency there for 4 years since he just did a burn specialist residency while in Medical School for burns. From there he will apply to similar houses as the Red Rose House which are far and few between even in the private and exclusive center. Also I don’t think he will move away from you too much so he might stay at the house.”

“Dad, what are you talking about?”

“A secret organization called the Promising Future has been set up soon after the monarchy since the king isn’t responding to any petitions about the house or concerns about it. The main focus is getting this house into the public eye and taking it down so other young ladies like you do not have to go through their experiments. We are also looking into ways to help broaden the scope that you can do as well for careers but that is a secondary goal and we believe it will be achieved faster than taking down the house. It is still new but we have a lot of members not even in this area that has started their own chapters but the main one is located near the Red Rose House. When you are 18 you can join since we did put a minimum age people can join which is basically when a person is considered an adult. Carl joined shortly after his 18th birthday and this is why you are seeing papers in the house that has Promising Future on it.”

“What about me then? I would like to join and I have been through that do I still have to wait until I’m 18?”

“Ideally yes, but as your father I will not consider you or Antonia joining the group until you guys are at least 16 if the organization will allow it. Trust me Carl wasn’t happy about the age factor either but it is precaution that we don’t get a lot of flacks. I know you won’t because of what you have been through but not many teenagers seems to know fully what goes on in there. It is for persons who are interested in taking it down and knows what goes on so most are at least in their mid-20’s if not older.”

“I see, so do you need any help?”

“No, I’m good, Suki, but thanks for asking.”

“What about Ai, and Duke? Do they need fed or does Duke need walked?”

“I just fed them and I am getting to walk him. It is too early for you to go out with the house looking for you. I’ll lock the door and don’t open the door for anyone at this hour they can wait until I get back with Duke.”

With that Dante kisses his daughter’s head and heads out with Duke for their morning walk. Dante comes back within a half an hour and Carl is following him.

“Morning, Suki,” greets Carl. “Sorry to wake you up.”

“It’s fine, Carl, and morning,” replies Sakura.

“So exactly what is the plan after she gets off of school until she needs to babysit?”

“I’m free so I wasn’t planning much anyways it is next weekend that has the most plans since I’m hanging out with my friends then. But I don’t feel like rushing through grocery shopping so that will happen on Sunday even if the store will be busy. But if you have plans I would like to get into different clothes before we leave.”

“There is no true plans between then and her friends have agreed to meet up next Friday since others have family events going this afternoon for their small party for school letting out. I think you guys planned to go to the pool,” adds Dante.

“That is true, we will be meeting up at 1 and staying for pretty much the afternoon. Ms. Horak and Ms. Lykke are hosting it and will be our chaperones for the afternoon.”

“Could her and I get lunch out?” inquires Carl.

“If she wants to but I trust you with her,” replies Dante. “It’s not like you are using the neuroamour to get your way with her like many older ones do with the younger ones even if one is not part of the Locattiss Tribe. It doesn’t mean that I’m not blinded to the blooming relationship and you two having sex when you both want it apart from the 1st time with you both being drunk. Also you help keeping her away from the Experimental House.”

“Sounds like a good plan and I would like to change before then. And dad, you are relax about our age difference right now 5 years age difference for minors amongst my friends’ families they are not happy about it hell any one in high school they don’t like,” observe Sakura

“The age of consent for females has been changed to 10 years old and you are 13 years and will be 14 in late October,” Dante reminds Sakura. “Besides it’s not like you just started to get to know each other since you two have been friends since you were 3 years old. You have a different situation than your friends now if it was someone else I would be barring you from going with them.”

“And what if the condom breaks and I get pregnant?”

“We will deal with that when that happens unfortunately since your mother has yet to recognize you and I can get you on good birth control than just condoms. The doctors need both parents’ permission for that unless she gave up her right which she hasn’t done just denied that you are Sakura and is refusing DNA testing. Trust me I am waiting to hear that ether by him or by the houses and I will be surprised if you make it out of high school not getting pregnant. And it might confirm my fears when you were younger.”

“What do you mean fears?”

“Krystelle, the fairy that helped you escape when you were 2 and is working with King Hyun Jin, did something to you and Antonia. Shortly after the divorce she removed whatever spell she did from Antonia but not to you. I’m just afraid she messed with your fertility which in away with the houses is a good thing but with Carl when you two do get married and want kids could be problematic. Then again I have no proof she did anything to you though just that I walked in on her removing a spell from Antonia and she told me that. At least with Antonia the house isn’t after her and I can get her on birth control. If she did put a curse on you the best way to remove it is for the fairy that put it on you to remove it.”

“So what do you think she gave me?”

“I don’t know, I’m just speculating considering she said she removed a powerful curse that causes miscarriages every pregnancy because of King Hyun Jin’s fears that you two will be like your mother. After the divorce he thought that you were both in good hands but he doesn’t know who to believe about you. Until she gets the DNA test done we may never know.”

“Anything else you are afraid of?”

“Not with you at the moment but since Carl is older than you he may want to try to have a child earlier or at least not use condoms and leaving it up to whatever happens. You will not have much control over this, trust me. I know when I was getting his age I wanted children and was leaving it up to nature while not actively trying but not protecting it ether. While you may tell him to use a condom or try to help him put it on, it is his choice to use one even if you supply it. I was that boy and I hope Carl is different but I’m not putting it past him.”

“Have you ever been in a…”

“No, what you two have is rare and many Locatti say they do but 9 times out of 10 they are lying since no actions change to the other. You twos action pretty much took a 180 turn towards each other shortly afterwards of it happening which should happen and it is rarer still to happen two you two when you guys were the age that it happened. Am I making any sense?”

“No,” both Carl and Sakura answer.

“What I’m trying to say a neuroamour normally happens during and after puberty when we are looking for boyfriends and girlfriends. For a neuroamour to happen pre-puberty like it happened with both of you, is insanely rare and is even smaller than the Locatti that do have neuroamours. Also Sakura, you were at the age while you may remember some things or at least strong feelings but you won’t remember much where you will go through a rejection phase. This phase is said to be triggered by the person only remembering that for their whole childhood and want more options but with you I could see it easily being stressed out from the house and trying to protect Carl. There isn’t to say whoever some hasn’t gone through this stage but it hasn’t been recorded to my knowledge.”

“So there is hope that I won’t go through the phase no matter how slim?”

“Correct but I have a feeling with that stage you will be trying to protect everyone one from what you are going through.”

“Well that’s nice to know.”

“I am going to start getting breakfast ready since I hear your siblings moving upstairs.”

“Ok, but I still say you are not as strict as you should be between Carl and I. Then again other than family members no one here is Locatti.”

Dante quietly laughs, “Well when you are parent you will parent how you see fit.”

At that Dante gets to making his pancakes and shortly the smell of pancakes fill the house which everyone in the house enjoys eating. Granted pancakes do take some time which is probably why Dante was up when Sakura got up to mix up the batter before walking Duke and then getting the pancakes cooking. Shortly afterwards the house starts to smell like pancakes and the other children filter in with the majority ready for their last day of school and Ben and Ken talking about high school graduation tonight which because of babysitting Sakura will have to miss. The Estéves family did try to find another a family member so she wouldn’t miss it but nothing panned out so it was only finalized on Wednesday night what truly was going on. Emilio is in his uniform for middles school consisting of a white polo, tan cargo pants, white no shoe socks poking out, and brown boat shoes. All the while the older brothers that are still in school are in a white button down shirt, black dress pants, socks and loafers, a brown blazer, and a pink, and white plaid tie.

“Suki, it sucks that you have to work when we graduate,” states Ben between mouthfuls.

“Yeah,” replies Ken. “We know not everyone can make it but you are our sister and it sucks that no one else will babysit for Estéves tonight.”

“They tried, trust me I want to go with you but I have to work,” adds Sakura. “Not to mention everything wasn’t finalized until Wednesday so it isn’t like they didn’t try. Besides it’s on the TV so I’ll still see it since their kids and I will be watching.”

“Why are they going out? They know the last day if there is graduation in the family you don’t do it?” ask Giovanni.

Sakura sighs, “Family issues that happened last week. I don’t know much details but what I do know one of their family member is in the hospital and they don’t think the person will make it. Tonight seems to be for the adults and I do think it got serious over this week. It’s the only reason I’m doing it since it doesn’t sound like children will be welcomed.”

“That doesn’t sound good,” adds Daisuke. “The Estéves family doesn’t need that. Do you know what exactly happened?”

“I think it is his mother as she just recently had surgery for something and with being of advanced age they had to put her in a medically induced coma. They won’t say much so I cannot make their children more scared but if it is him they are probably discussing health issues,” informs Suki. “They said they will tell me more tonight afterwards but they couldn’t go into much details when they called each night they called. If the children are asleep when they return then they will tell them the news in the morning but the timing is when the family could come together at the earliest timing.”

“That sucks, I would not want to be in their shoes. What was their relation?”

“I’m not sure really but the way the article read it maybe a sibling since I do know Isaac lost both of his parents and they have the same last name so they are related to him personally.”

They nod their head and the subject changes to summer plans before we all separate for the day with them either heading for work, going to school, or just trying to decide what to do right now. Sakura and Carl head to the middle school in his metallic dark blue Voltaire Ghost sedan.

“Did you really grow up fast to protect me?” asks Sakura out of the blue. “You are only 18 years old meaning you should only be finishing up high school now and looking into colleges.”

“No, I was on this road before we met and was begging my family to let me graduate high school early and let me enter college. You just gave me more ammo. Besides we had to have grown up fast in our own ways,” answers Carl.

“Carl, you are too young to be a doctor considering you just finished med school and residency at a burn center. Not to mention you are starting your residency in an etiquette house, it just seems you are putting your ducks in the row for something that you shouldn’t worry about now.”

“I know but I’m not like most men my age. I have a high IQ and I always wanted to be a doctor like my dad. I choose to grow up fast and you weren’t the only factor in my decision sure you were my main after we met. Originally I just wanted to be challenged and thankfully at that time the government allowed it and gave me my high school diploma when I was very young. Without you though I probably wouldn’t have gone as far though. I want to provide for us, for our family that one day we will have. I’m just sorry that you never had a choice to grow up how you wanted even if we try to give you the time to grow up as a child, your childhood was stolen from you.”

“You still have time to be a kid yourself, I’m only 13 years old and will be around 4-5 years before I turn 18 when I can join the houses. It’s not like you have to continue on this road.”

“I would like to get established in this career now than later so I can have more time to improve this system and hopefully have it removed. The burn center hired me since they saw my potential and the house I would rather not be too far away from you but still in a private house meaning I need to work in The Red Rose House. If there was another one around closer then I would have taken that to be away from my parents. As much as I love my father I would rather keep our names and legacy separated right now but that isn’t possible if I want to be close to you.”

“Follow your dreams, don’t worry about me I’ll be fine. I know karate and how to defend myself.”

“And what if you do get captured again? What if you escape and find you are pregnant? I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if I wasn’t close enough to help you, to protect you.”

“I’ll cross that bridge when I get there but it isn’t something to stop my life for nor for you to stop your life for.”

“I see, but I am still following my dreams even if I have to be labeled in the same breath as my dad so this isn’t stopping my life. Now on to a different subject, how many children do you want?”

“I don’t know, not as many siblings as I had though since 8 children seem too many, you have 5 younger siblings. I think no more than 6 but ideally I think 2-4 children would be nice. Why? How many do you want?”

“I’m just curious and I think 4 would be a lovely number to have. I was thinking 4-6 children myself but you are the one carrying the children so you have the ultimate say.”

“You aren’t…”

“No, I’m not. I would like them one day but you are still too young to have children.”

Sakura does a relief sigh and they finally get into the middle school parking lot with students mingling but it seems her friends aren’t here yet or inside. As they head into the school, Carl instinctively wraps his arms around Sakura as a few of the boys still outside cat calling her and saying she has a fine ass. It is normal to Sakura but Carl feels out of place and through her skirt and embarrassing Sakura checks to see if she has underwear on.

“Carl, stop,” Suki hisses.

“Just checking,” he replies. “I wanted to make sure you had underwear on.”

“For heaven’s sake, yes I have them on, Carl. Sleeping naked doesn’t mean I go commando so you don’t need to feel me up. You could have just asked and they always do that since I have started to develop since I seem to be developing before other girls.”

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to.”

“A little self-control would help especially by what the boys are saying so you don't get paranoid. Trust me, they also try to hit on me given a chance though no one has tried any sexual advances.”

“Will do, and if you ever feel uncomfortable let me know.”

“You know I do.”

Carl laughs as they get into the secretary’s office so he can be signed in as a visitor before heading to her homeroom. Carl kisses her head when they reach homeroom and after she goes he checks out and leaves to get a few items that he wants. On the other hand, Sakura finds her seat as the students talk amongst themselves and Victor Lykke gets close to her.

“So,” he starts. “What are your plans for the summer?”

“Babysit mainly, my family does have a vacation planned out by Pearl City in July and seeing a circus in August but other than that nothing else much is going on. What about you, Victor?” replies Sakura.

“You know the usual, but Pearl City, huh? Is your boyfriend taking you?”

“He’s not my boyfriend, we are just friends sometimes with benefits and no he isn’t taking me. I’m going with family to the beach there and I think one day we are taking in the aquatic park to do what we please.”

“Damn, so Carl couldn’t get your father to agree with him to take you for a week.”

“As far as I know there was no discussion of that kind and if there was I would have known either by him or by my dad. What is with you and prying into my love life?”

“Nothing, it is just obvious you both have feelings for each other so I would have thought that he would have at least ask you to be in a serious relationship than just friend. Whatever though it’s you twos life and I cannot force you to be together.”

“I’m not saying we aren’t serious but there is more to meet the eye with us. I’m part Locattii and there is a rare phenomenon known as a neuroamour which as each person ages the relationship grows into a role that is needed. And before you ask, yes we are neuroamours which explains the way we act together.”

“Sweet, so you will have one true love. I wish my life was that easy.”

“My life is not easy as well, I just have more people to care about me.”

“Anyways, since the other people in our group has plans for this afternoon directly after school, do you have any?”

“Well Carl and I are going out to lunch soon after I change but other than babysitting this evening I don’t have many plans. Though Carl might have more things planned than lunch this afternoon. I just know he wants some time alone with me for right now.”

“Is that why he accompanied you today? I know some days that your dad does but both seems to be very serious situations and today with him it was a mixture.”

“A serious situation that I really don’t like but has been following me for a while now.”

“How long?”

“Since I was 2 years old almost 3 years old the mark on my right forearm is not a part of my Selimon Kkoch Mudang nor is a voluntary tattoo of mine to match the mark. The situation revolves around this mark and identifies me in this situation. The situation has picked up since I turned 10.”

“Does it deal with a van following you? Because I sometimes see that and they have even asked about a number, I say I don’t know anyone with that number and they seem to go away after that for me.”

“Yes, and they are using you for information on my whereabouts the mark is my number for that despicable place and they know I don’t have the best protection.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, so any word about next week and the pool party?”

“Not that I know of that we haven’t heard. Why have you heard something?”

“No, but it will be fun”

At that the warning bell goes off so whoever is in here gets to their seats and the people from the hallway comes in to take their seats. The noise is still rather high since everyone is talking to each other and the teacher isn’t doing much to stop it until the final bell rings even then she allows it as she just says goodbye and has her own music. In fact all of the teachers are like this for the day well except for one, the last teacher since he is very strict even in this few minute long class. He wants the students to start on their summer reading for their 8th grade English class. Neither one of the students could get far into the books before the bell rings for them to head back to homeroom to get their backpacks and leave. Carl is sitting on the floor outside of Sakura’s homeroom before the final bell rings playing on his phone. Once Suki is ready and the final bell goes sounds she goes out to him.

“So you ready to go?” inquires Suki.

“Yes,” replies Carl turning off the game. “How was your last day?”

“Good, we didn’t do much though, all the teachers only had less than 20 minutes with us so there wasn’t any point of doing anything.”

“Sounds like normal, the car’s close so we shouldn’t have any troubles.”

“What were you playing?”

“Solitaire, I can see if your dad will let me get you a smart phone if you want.”

“I’m good with my flip phone. Besides I don’t think dad would approve until I’m older.”

“True but I was asking.”

With that they head back to Sakura’s house and she gets out of her uniform and into her day clothes. For today she has decided to be a little more dressed up with a blue cap sleeve knee length dress with small black horizontal gradient stripes and the skirt is pleated. With the dress she pairs dark spotted tights, dark brown low heeled boots, and a blue bow matching the dress with a gold chain. After getting changed they head for Kaku’s Cafe one of the more popular spots in town amongst teen and young adults to eat.

“That dress looks lovely on you,” compliments Carl.

“Thanks,” replies Suki. “You look handsome.”

“Don’t I always, so what do you think you are going to have?”

“One of their lemon chicken and spinach panini with one of their house made ice teas. The raspberry lemon tea sounds wonderful. What about you?”

“Besides coffee, probably a pasta dish but I’m not sure which one. When are we eating supper?”

“They need to be there by 5 so I was planning on 4 and I will eat with you before heading to babysit. Dinner won’t take me long to prepare if you are planning on staying.”

“I am staying and I’m helping you babysit so you are safe. And no we aren’t discussing it.”

“Carl, it would be nice if we could discuss it even if you are worried about my safety. While I don’t mind you coming along I would have liked it to be my decision since it is right next door.”

“What are their kids eating?”

“I haven’t decided, it would probably be a kid friendly meal that I know they will eat since we would have already ate before so there wouldn’t be much for me to consider for us. I’ll see what they have and go from there. And why did you change the subject? Carl, do you really think demanding things and just telling me would fly?”

“No, I just want you safe and I’m sorry if it came out that way.”

“I understand that but please don’t do that again.”

“I’ll try”

“Thank you, and why do I have a feeling you want to talk more about something.”

“I do but after we order our food.”

“Why after?”

“I want minimal interruptions while we talk about it. Of course as we age our neuroamour link plays a huge factor in our relationship so it does deal with that and if we are willing to head into the next phase.”

“I see, you know I can be rather impatient so why not tell me now?”

“Then we would be interrupted too much. Besides it's nothing important that we need to talk about so don’t jump to conclusions on what it is about.”

“Tell me please.”

“Soon, my cherry blossom”

At that the waitress takes Sakura’s and Carl’s orders and they talk about this coming summer. Their food comes out and Carl starts.

“I know we aren’t saying we are boyfriend and girlfriend yet but we are hanging out more that tends to be dates if we are alone and having sex,” starts Carl. “On top of that you are still in middle school all the while due to my intelligence I’m working in a field that I want to be in when I should be just going into college after this summer. I know a 5 year age difference is not much but in our situation it appears that it could be a lot older and even then while in school 5 years is a big deal. What I would like to get at is that we are in at least a serious relationship than just friendship meaning we are boyfriend and girlfriend but I don’t know what you think about this. I don’t know if this is too soon for you to happen as yet you aren’t even in high school yet. What do you think about this next step?”

“I don’t know right now, I know eventually we will go that way. To be honest I have mixed feelings, while yes I want us to be serious but there is our age difference, family, and I don’t want people to get hurt when the house tries to get me. I’m afraid if we get too close what happens when they do get me and it is forever this time? What if I have children by them? What if you seriously get injured by them?”

“All roads that may or may not be crossed in the future. A game of what ifs especially in the future is dangerous from living your life to the fullest. I know they are after you but if we were in a relationship I would be able to protect you more than what I can. If you want more time to think we can still be friends but I do wish this was more at this time because I don’t need an answer today. All I was doing was seeing what your thoughts are and it sounds likes you are hesitant for the next step right now. I’m fine with that, we’ll go to the next step when you are ready.”

“Thank you, I’ll give you an answer when I’m sure. As much as I would love it but I don’t know if now is the right time. It doesn’t mean we can’t technically date each other.”

“You know what I like the sound of that, date each other even if we aren’t boyfriend and girlfriend it is still a step up from friends. Maybe I was rushing things a little forgetting about dating since we normally hang out in a group setting most of the time aside from the occasional sex. So dating alone would be good.”

“You will still use a condom won’t you?”

“Yes, I know you are adamant about that and don’t want to get pregnant so young so I will honor it. Besides I haven’t forgotten once.”

“There is still that one chance.”

“Anyways, would you like to help me decorate my new apartment? I think it needs a woman’s touch.”

“If you wish me to but it is your apartment and I wasn’t going to invite myself over to help you.”

“Well let’s try for some time for this coming week depending on all what is going on after the festival.”

They both smile and after having lunch they end up going grocery shopping for dinner together and a few other things. Also everyone is back at the house getting ready for the graduation tonight with everyone in jeans especially Antonia with a black Cheshire cat graphic tee, her boot cut jeans, her grey high top sneakers, and her curly hair held up in a ponytail with a red rose on the band that she wore to school. Elementary you don’t have to wear uniforms but middle school and up you do so the rest of the siblings have gotten into comfortable clothes for the majority of the afternoon. For this afternoon, it is more getting ready for Ben’s and Ken’s graduation than actual relaxation but none the less it is relaxing. Also it is way too quiet on the house end for being spotted early today other than the van making patrols around the neighborhoods as if waiting for Sakura to be alone. Normally they would have been in the house once by now demanding for her making it very tense for a long time and possibly came back again to see if the answer had changed. They are nothing short than persistent in trying to have her even if most of the time they don't succeed. Though no one is complaining about them not showing up but rather relieved that they haven't. Sakura has the fish ready before everyone has to leave so they can at least have a family meal together and everyone leaves when they need to. The Estéves family opens their door and anyone could tell that what is going is very stressful as normally their house would be presentable then having toys and paper all over.

“Sorry for having you miss your brother’s graduation,” starts Isaac. “We had no other options as the nanny isn’t available and the backup babysitter cannot be here as well. Not that the nanny has been putting in long hours and this is the first we need a babysitter for this.”

“It’s fine, as much as I would like to be there I can still watch it on the local channel which is my plan if you guys don’t object,” replies Sakura.

“No, no objection to you watching it but who came with you?”

“I’m Carl Jenkins,” greets Carl. “I’m a family friend and her neuroamour. I’m just here for her protection.”

“Ok, so that’s why I wasn’t told if you needed my escort. Come in, both of you, we certainly don’t want the house to get a chance. But what is a neuroamour? I’m not familiar with that term.”

“It is a term for the Locatti Tribe in which I’m a decedent of,” starts Sakura. “Essential a neuroamour is like my soul mate but the level of a relationship depends on what is needed. I promise you we won’t have sex and he wouldn’t be here if the house wasn’t spotted.”

“Ok, so if I get it this right you two are almost married?”

“You can think of it like that but not quite.”

“So anyways, sorry for the mess neither my wife, the nanny, nor I have been able to clean well the past few weeks. My mother as you know had to have surgery a couple weeks ago but afterwards had to be put in a medically induced coma. We’ve been to work and the hospital but haven’t spent much time at home. She hasn’t come out of it and my family is finally able to meet up tonight to discuss our options with her. To say the least, we don’t know when we will be back or if more will be needed from you. Our children do know what is going on but with their ages we don’t want them in this meeting. You will be paid your holiday rate for this as you have to give up attending your brothers’ graduation and this was pretty much last notice.”

“Sakura, dear, I see Carl accompanied you,” greet Mariam finally coming out. “I have the children’s dinner in the oven since I figured you ate with your family. I take Carl is here for your protection?”

“Yes, Mariam, but how did you know him? He hasn’t been over here?” inquires Sakura.

“I introduced myself one day when he came over last summer. He seems to have a real liking for you. Anyways we need to get going, the chicken nuggets will be done in 11 to 13 since I just put them in for Oliva and Rueben and you can have them stay up a half an hour later if you so wish. You just need heat up the left over mash potatoes and corn from last night. I have my breast milk, for Ben, in the fridge if you need it but he was just fed and put down to sleep just recently.”

“Thank you, I could have figured something out.”

“Well we don’t have much time here right now with everything going on and I heart Isaac informing you of what is going on. Anyways, good luck and we’ll be back when hopefully things are settled we just don’t know when.”

“Take what time you need, this sounds like it is very serious.”

“Thank you, Sakura, you mean a lot to this family.”

At that point Isaac and Mariam leaves and Olivia and Rueben runs/toddles up to Sakura going a million miles on hour telling here things that she has missed in their house.

“Guys, do you want to watch something special tonight?” Sakura asks getting to their level.

“Like a movie?” replies Olivia. “Can we pick it out?”

“It’s not a movie, Olivia, it’s the high school’s graduation it is broadcasted on the local channel,” informs Sakura.

“Why?” inquires Rueben.

“Well, I’m missing Benito’s and Kenji’s high school graduation since I have to baby sit but if you want I could find a movie,” states Sakura.

“Benito and Kenji are your older brothers correct?” infers Oliva.

“Yes, they are. Well what do you two say?”

“Yes,” they both reply in unison.

“Good it will be on at 6. And how is your new baby brother doing?”

“He’s doing well but he’s no fun like Rueben,” starts Olivia. “He needs to get bigger for us to play with him.”

“Yeah,” choruses in Rueben.

“He will get bigger and you guys can play with him and now I get to finish your dinner.”

“Are you and your boyfriend eating with us?” inquires Olivia.

“We ate before we came and his name is Carl we are just friend,” enlightens Sakura. “I should have introduced you guys, Olivia and Rueben this is Carl Jenkins, Carl these are Olivia and Reuben Estéves.”

“Are you sure you two aren’t boyfriend and girlfriend?” adds Olivia.

Carl interjects, “Sakura is right we are just friends nothing more.”

“You two could be,” observes Olivia. “You two make a cute pair.”

“Thank you, Olivia, for the compliment but I need to finish your up dinner,” Sakura replies.

With that, Sakura goes into the kitchen grabbing the leftovers and getting ready to reheat them while Carl just hangs back not wanting to interfere with Sakura working or rather to look at her. Olivia and Rueben gather around her until she tells them to sit by the counter and will tell them what they can do once she gets things out which is mainly setting the table when she gets things set out. They like to help but with it being leftovers there isn’t really much to involve them in. But all in all the evening went uneventful with the kids rather enjoying watching the high school graduation before getting ready for bed. To say the least Carl is just taking this all in and can’t help but to think about when they become parents how good she will be with them. Though he does help out when he gets a chance. Around 11:30 while the children are sleeping Benjamin needed a late night feeding and Carl is just smiling at Sakura.

“Carl, is something on your mind?” asks Sakura.

“No,” he replies. “Just thinking how good of a mother you will be when we have one of our own. Seeing you in this element, which I never seen until now, makes you even more beautiful and you are good with them.”

“Thanks, Carl. But no trying for one now with me, I’m happy to have a few hours with them and then hand them back to their parents. I’m just not ready to have a child now as I’m too young and have my adult life to have children as I do want some sort of childhood. I do love doing this.”

“Do you want to school to become a daycare worker or having a daycare at home?”

“I haven’t thought of that for my future with me babysitting I could look into it. I have been mainly looking into becoming a chef but that career has now been blocked to any new females going into it.”

“Don’t you love doing this?”

“Yes I love doing this, but I don’t it’s just that I never thought I would be good with an actual daycare when I do have children. I guess you can say that is holding me back though. Besides wouldn’t you want me to be a stay at home mom?”

“I want you to do something that makes you happy be that a stay at home mom, working, or whatever you want. No way in hell will I control your life and you have to be happy with what you are doing though I do know you have a more of a passion for cooking but you have to make that decision I can’t do it for you. Not to mention you have a lot of time to decide. While you don’t need to work with what will become my salary but if you want to work I’m not stopping you. Anyways, beside my family, the Kuar family, and yours, do you know who is all coming to the fair with us?”

“Giovanni and Daisuke will be leaving early tomorrow to get their girlfriends but I don’t know their names. Ben is the neuroamour to Nila and you and I are nueroamours which is why we all go together if it is possible. Also I’m taking Giovanni and Daisuke are serious with their relationships since they have never brought any girlfriends to the fair as a family.”

“Do you know their names?”

“I heard Sabine Maksimov from Daisuke and Juliana Chavez from Giovanni but I can’t be certain. Though for the time the have been home they talk about them a lot and are going on dates with them when they get the chance.”

“How about your dad? Has he found anyone?”

“I don’t think so as he never says anything let alone bring a woman around then again he may not bring anyone around for a while considering he is our dad. But I’ll be back as he finished the bottle so I’ll change his diaper and put him back down.”

Sakura gets Benjamin ready for bed before come back out to the living room as Isaac and Miriam gets back in. Also Miriam gets Sakura in a big hug.

“Thank you, Sakura, you have been a big help tonight,” starts Isaac. “We got a lot of things accomplished tonight for my mother and an actual decision.”

“You’re welcome, I’m sure your family made the best decision.”

“I hope we did, just so you know we did end up ending life support as there is no hope she will recover and it has basically went to end of life care just making her comfortable. She has had major health issues especially concerning her brain and aneurysms so she wanted surgery to get it fixed. Unfortunately no one knew that this would happen as she has had it done before and she has come out of them this time she hasn’t. We didn’t want this to go all over even if we know you won’t tell many people but for the sake of our children as they would find a way to weasel the answer out of you.”

“I understand, and I’m sorry for your loss. If the kids ask me what am I to tell them?”

“We will tell them what we can tomorrow but if they ask you anything after the funeral or otherwise, we want you to use your best judgement and if needed you can always say that they should ask us.”

“Call me if there is anything you need me to do during this time as well be it more babysitting hours or returning to help in some way. I’ll find a way to work things out.”

“We’ll be fine and can lean more on family during this time which is what happened here as they all wanted to come and try to help. I’ll write you a check and you two can get home since it is so late.”

“I can come back late to get it.”

“It’s fine as we normally pay you before but with us not knowing how long we’ll be her have to pay you after. So we owe you $180 for tonight correct? Miriam?”

“Yes considering we are doing the emergency rate which I would argue we could do the holiday rate making it $230 because she wanted tonight off to see her brother’s graduation,” inputs Mariam. “All the difference is the bonus we feel we can give her.”

“The extra $50 won’t hurt us, so the holiday rate it is.”

With that Isaac hands Sakura the check for $230 and Carl and her take their leave for her house. Carl puts his hand around her waist while looking out for anything strange. Thankfully there wasn’t nothing out of the ordinary that night and Sakura had a reason to be out past curfew. Carl kisses her goodnight before they both get ready for bed and fall asleep. Sakura gets to her room that she shares with Antonia while Carl is getting ready down stairs since as always he will be sleeping on the couch here. Carl just gets into his summer sleeping shorts and a tank top in the down stairs bathroom before grabbing the blanket and pillow that Dante set out for him. All the while Sakura is trying not to wake up Toni who is sleeping on the top bunk while she gets ready and looking around the room.

“Did you two have fun?” she asks sleepily.

“We were babysitting,” replies Sakura. “And are you sleep talking?”

“No, but still did you have fun babysitting?”

“Yes, the kids wanted to play after watching the ceremony so we all played monopoly until their bedtime. Now I’m tired and would like to go to bed and I’m sorry if I woke you up.”

“You didn’t wake me up, oh and by the way I think dad wants to talk to you and Carl in private soon. He was talking to Nathan after the ceremony and it sounds like there is a plan going right now. Are you two moving in together soon?”

“Toni, I doubt that is the plan that I move in with him maybe spend a few days with him here and there but not to fully move in with him. Nila and Benito hasn’t moved in with each other and I know there was talks of that brought up by Nila and Benito but both parents denied. I don’t see how we will be any different other than our age differences.”

“Carl has a job Benito does not which was the deciding factor if you remember.”

“And they are further along in their relationship than Carl and I. We are still not fully boyfriend and girlfriend as you would think, we are just now getting away from the group setting and going it alone for our dates. Outside family and friends we don’t have much alone time to talk that isn’t used for more physical aspects because of my body. Even then that is at a premium especially here. I think it would be too much of a jump to go from always having a group setting to it being ourselves. Ben and Nila have been dating for 2 years now and do have the desire to move forward with their relationship. They just aren’t at the age to.”

“Hmm, maybe it is about something else then. Anyways have a good night.”

“You too, Toni”

Toni rolls over and Sakura gets in the bottom bunk pulling the red covers over before falling asleep herself. Though, she does make sure the door is closed first since both she and Toni sleep naked so having the door closed keeps the brothers out for the most part. For two hours the house is in peaceful slumber but only to be broken by Sakura screaming from nightmares for someone to stop and looks like she is trying to push someone off. This causes Toni to wake up along with Dante and Carl running into the room and a fairy hovering nearby. Carl gets by her but her hands try to push him away even with him trying to get her in a hug.

“Suki, wake up,” states Carl. “You are having a nightmare. I’m here, you’re dad’s here, we will protect you and they won’t be able to hurt you anymore. You aren’t in that awful place but safe.”

“Sakura, baby, it is just a dream and nothing to be afraid of,” Dante replies.

Sakura hasn’t fully woken up or stopped saying no and stop but has stopped trying to shove the invisible person off her. With that Carl gets her into his arms and kisses her forehead which seemed to have worked as her eyes opens to a degree and is coming to her sense.

“Dad, Carl, why are you here?” asks Sakura tired.

“You were having a nightmare,” Dante replies. “Do you remember any of it?”

Sakura breathes, “I remember seeing him raping me and laughing saying that I will never get back to my family that I will always be in the house.”

“The house cannot get you and if they try I will protect you no matter what. They may try to get you but they won’t succeed in their plan as they’ll have to pry you from my dead cold hands. I love you and I don’t want you to experience the house again,” adds Carl before giving Sakura a kiss on the lips.

“They are trying though. Don’t leave me.”

“I won’t.”

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

“I’m going back to bed myself,” states Dante. “Try and get a good night’s sleep though I think Nova is here to help.”

Sakura nods her head as she and Carly try to get into a better position since this is only a twin size bed for both bottom and top bunk. Once Dante left the room Nova quietly does the sleeping charm by chanting in a dead language dormiat in pace foede~ or rather in Lucian sleep into restful peace. The rest of the night goes smoothly with Sakura wrapped up in Carl’s arms. In the morning Sakura wakes up around 9 and Carl is still asleep still in the spooning position though the position isn’t what woke her up. This is much later than she sleeps and her body was saying she needs up but she groans realizing that she woke up too soon after a wet dream.

“How in the hell am I to get off right now? Carl is still asleep and still has his arm around me so I may just wake him up if I move,” muses Sakura.

With that Carl is up and kisses her neck.

“I could wake up like this all the time,” he states.

“Carl,” moans Sakura. “That’s not helping matters much.”

“How isn’t it helping? Sakura, are you alright?”

“I’m fine but I woke up a little too soon after having a wet dream so my body is already very high on needing to get off and any more sexual things will take it over the edge.”

“I think I can help with that.”

“Carl, what about my sister?”

“She’s not in here, I woke up slightly when she left an hour ago so we have our privacy.”

Sakura notices a mischievous look in Carl’s aquamarine blue eyes before he goes down on Sakura is one way to get her off and fast as they only have limited time before Carl’s family comes and before Anna and Lucas can barge in on them. Once Sakura if finally gets off she heads to the bathroom to get ready for the day and Carl just finds a free one that is just down the hall. Sakura gets in a white short sleeve graphic tee that has candy hearts, black skinny jeans, pink leopard socks, blue converse, and a white wool newsboy hat that has a flower on the side Because of the hat her curly hair puff out at the bottom. Sakura gets down to see the rest of them and most of them are following a similar pattern of t-shirt and jeans with a few of them in skirts mainly Nila, Anna, and Isabelle either in a dress or skirt. It seems that Daisuke and Giovanni do have a female quest with them but before she can be introduced to them her dad just motions for her to get into the kitchen. Sitting beside Carl, Sakura, Dante, Isabelle, and Nathan are hoping to see where they are headed physically.

“What is the time line for you two to be living together?” inquired Nathan. “Ben asked about this a week ago with Dante if he and Nila can live together now. While understandably that cannot happen at this time for them until Ben is able to provide for the two of them, you two do have that stability and we have no say when that happens. Carl, you do have the job and a way to have her which is they only reason why we have no say. The laws here state if a neuroamour has a way to support themselves then they can live together even if the parents don’t agree with.”

“I don’t, we don’t know. Dad, mom, Dante, we aren’t truly boyfriend and girlfriend yet so to go from one extreme to the other will not help much. My timeline is when we fully move in together would be around the age she wants to go to the house so another 5 to 7 years before that happens unless we agree to it earlier. What we agreed on right now is to actually go on more dates alone considering other than the odd chance we do get alone time it has been in a group setting be it with family or friends. This is the next step for us. I brought this up yesterday and I don’t want to rush it she is younger than me by a few years and we aren’t at the level in the neuroamours as Ben and Nila are. The only way without us agreeing I could see us living together earlier if she does have a child either by my or by the houses,” answers Carl.

“I would not be comfortable right now to live with him as I still want my dad and I do babysit around here. Also I haven’t thought of when we should move in together. Really all I want right now for Carl and I is to have more alone time because what time we do have alone is very precious to me and I’m sure to Carl as well,” adds Sakura. “Going from having no time alone to have every minute alone with him seems to be a big jump and one I’m not exactly ready for at this given time. I’m not even ready to officially say we are boyfriend and girlfriend without a few dates alone that is not with friends or family.”

“So moving in with each other is either not on the radar or very far off unless there is an agreement or life happens?” infers Dante.

“Yes,” Sakura and Carl replies in unison.

“I see no reason why you two were worried about this,” adds Isabelle. “Considering Sakura’s age she still holds majority of the cards and according to what we were told it will progress at Sakura’s level not Carl’s as he is the eldest. Let’s not forget there is 5 years between them. Besides their timeline matches up to Ben’s and Nila’s as Ben is about to go to college and Nila the house the only difference would be having jobs at that point or at least a better paying job for now.”

“Ben doesn’t even have a job right now, not that he isn’t looking but he wants to work in construction and he has applied to apprenticeships but has yet to hear back from them especially around the school he is going to. So it’s not like he isn’t trying it is just hard for him right now to get anything. He has to quit his job at the grocery store here to go to his college and he wants a job there and preferably in his field. Even then he would hardly afford an apartment here or in Jackson without a second job as Nila also once she finishes the courses in the house to become a teacher. Even then it would be hard,” informs Dante.

“Can we go now? I want to get breakfast,” interrupts Sakura.

“Yes, you can, there is nothing else we want to talk about.”
With that Sakura gets up and gets herself some cereal to eat before Daisuke and Giovanni introduce Carl and her to their girlfriends in which Sakura was right on what she inferred. With everyone having breakfast, they all go to the fair and have a lovely day having fun and just celebrating summer vacation.

----

Clothes for this chapter (Not all of them are detailed in the story) at polyvore: Middle School Uniform: Girls and Boys, High School Uniform: Boys, Sakura’s outfit #5-6, Antonia’s Outfit #1-2, Sabine’s Outfit #1, Juliana’s Outfit #1, Nila’s Outfit #1, Sarita’s Outfit #1, Lily’s Outfit #1, Sondra’s Outfit #1, Isabelle’s Outfit #1, and Anna’s Outfit #1

~Latin

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