A Secret Proposal Part 1

By: Alexia Praks

Mindlessly, he gazed at the tattoo he’d gotten nine months ago. It was a symbol of Sakura, of his Snow. He wanted to imprint her within his heart always and forever. Hence, every time he stared at the tattoo, he’d see her within his mind’s eye, and his heart would ache for her, for her love, for her warmth, for her kiss, for them to be together.

“Snow,” he whispered, his fingers caressing the tattoo. Instantly, his heart ached even more, and he had to take a deep breath to control himself. Then he splashed more cold water on his face to wake himself up. Once he was done, he headed out the door of his bedroom, out the door of the penthouse apartment he shared with his brothers, and into the private garden outside on the rooftop of the building.

Alone, he tilted his head, allowing the morning breeze to caress his skin as he gazed off at the orange glow of the sun just rising over the city of New York. A gentle breeze swirled around him and petals of cherry blossoms touched his cheek, attracting his attention. He brought his fingers to feel it. Something deep within him stirred. He closed his eyes and then he was there again—little Darcy resting his head on Sakura’s lap as he lay there on the grass, his eyes large, watching her as she stroked his hair.

“Snow? Why do cherry blossoms fall?” he asked, gazing off at the millions of tiny pale pink petals raining on them.

“They are tears of spring, Darce,” she replied, smiling as she, too, gazed up at the swirling flowers that surrounded them. “They tell us spring is here. We’re under this cherry blossom tree, Darce, and we are one.”

He chuckled, grabbed her hand that was still stroking his hair, and held it tight against his chest. “And we share the same thoughts.”

“Yes,” she said. “We are one and we share the same thoughts.”

Darcy took a deep, shaky breath that shook him to his core. “Sakura,” he said softly under his breath. “It’s spring again, sweetheart.”

A few minutes later, he was at the indoor pool on the second floor of their private apartment. He stood on the diving platform, closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and then ran off the board and did a beautiful somersault in midair. He was flying and then falling and falling and then splash!

The moment he was in the water, he took control and swam faster, kicking his powerful legs and propelling his strong arms—racing and racing as if he were being chased.

In the water, he opened his eyes, and in his mind’s eye, he saw the woman he loved drowning. He had to go to her. He had to save her. Sakura, he thought, I will save you.

He flipped, kicked his legs against the wall, and then swam the other way, harder and faster, working his athletic body to the brink of exhaustion.

When finally he was spent, he climbed out of the pool and sat on the edge, staring into space.

“Hey,” a voice said some moments later.

Darcy jolted back to reality and looked up to see his older brother Sebastian standing beside him.

“You’re up early,” Darcy said, flicking back his dark hair.

“You’re even earlier than I am,” Sebastian replied, eyeing the exotic tattoo on Darcy’s chest, right where his heart beat under his breastbone. Did Darcy really love Sakura so much to have a tattoo of something that would remind him of her on his chest?

Sebastian hadn’t been able to believe, still couldn’t believe it in fact, that two brothers were falling in love with the same woman who had happened to run away from them.

The brothers were silent as they stared into space, each in their own thoughts, both thinking about the same woman who had affected them so much. It was a companionable type of silence, and they both were comfortable with it.

A moment later, Sebastian expertly dived into the water.

Darcy watched as his brother swam toward the other side, stroking his powerful arms and kicking his strong legs. He watched Sebastian do a few more laps and decided he had enough and stood. He was heading toward the exit when he met Sosuke Suzuki, their new neighbor, coming in.

“Ohayo,” Sosuke greeted a good morning in Japanese.

“Ohayo,” Darcy replied, nodding his wet hair at the handsome Japanese man.

Sosuke said, “You’re early, Darcy-san. It is a Saturday after all.”

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