"He has his own money."

"Yeah, but it looks better coming from me, who was against Sara in the first place. Had he offered to give them his own money, it would seem like he was paying to keep his name out of things─almost like bribing them to forgive him."

Hanabusa rose an eyebrow, "And you giving them money makes it any different?"

Losing a little of her patience, she said, "Yes, Hana. It is. You are technically now the head of the family, which means you are in charge of the assets and the businesses that were in Father's care, how do you not know this? The Ichijo family has now been seen as incompetent and easily swayed since Sara was controlling Takuma, but to have me, an Aido, someone from a family that is known to be strong-willed─and being a pureblood helps because it is unlikely that I'd be swayed to do anything 'wrong'─is willing to clean up to mess and give compensation, and showing that Takuma is in my good graces, that really says something. Takuma's name has been tainted because of Sara, so my 'forgiving' him and willing to pay for everything has a lot of weight."

Hanabusa rolled his eyes. He had never been interested in what he would inherit at the death of their father. He didn't care about being a businessman or being the one that people in the family came to for strength because they couldn't find their own and instead needed him to lend them his. None of that interested him, and had, in fact, annoyed him when his father had begun to teach him what it meant to be the head of the family. It seemed to him that being the patriarch of the Aido family was almost like being a therapist.

Hanabusa clicked his tongue with irritation, "You should have been the head of the family, not me."

"Stop moping about and come shopping with me, yeah?"

-

The only reason Hanabusa agreed to go shopping with his sister was because he thought they were going to go the shops in town. But he was wrong. He ended up accompanying her on a two-hour car ride to the nearest city because she liked the stores there better. He had to admit that they suited to her taste in clothing much more than the shops in the town, but the fact that there were more clothing stores and they were bigger made him cringe and regret his decision.

He just hoped that Charlotte would take pity on him and not shop for very long.

"That is the eighth dress that you've tried on since we've come into this store," Hanabusa muttered with very slight irritation seeping into his voice. He was sitting on a couch next to another man in the same boat as he was. Charlotte and some other woman─probably the one who dragged the man out─were standing in front two intricately designed tri-fold, body-length mirrors.

"And this is the eighth dress that has caught my attention," Charlotte hummed with a patience that he wished he had at the moment. She was examining her figure in the mirror and her doing this really gave him some insight on her. She was always very confident, wore just about anything that appealed to her, and he now realised that she only had that confident because she knew that she looked good in what she was wearing. She never bought anything blind to how she would actually look with it on.

The man beside him snorted, "Women." Hanabusa looked over to him with a curious, yet annoyed look. The man saw the movement and turned to look at him as well. Lazily, he gestured toward Charlotte, "That your girl? You struck gold, mate. You don't find fine looking women like that often." He whistled for effect and shook his head as he looked away from Hanabusa to latch his eyes onto Charlotte with an almost hungry gaze as his eyes trailed over her body.

Hanabusa's irritation spiked, as well as a familiar protectiveness welling up inside of him and he said through grit teeth, "That's my sister, mate. And she already has a boyfriend."

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