Rabbit and Carrot

Chapter 8

I covered my ears as a motorbike sped past us. Ichigo smirked, making me want to punch him, before heading to a small office situated beside the biggest circuit.

"I always come here to practice or kill time," He explained as we walked.

Every other Sunday we would meet up and get some studying done but since Ichigo seemed so confident about his studies, I decided to let him off for once.

And let me state this clearly -This isn't a date!

"Anyone here?" He knocked on the counter.

A slim man came to the counter. He had short black hair and three scars ran down one side of his face while the number '69' tattooed on the other side. He was the owner of this place and also a member of Kings.

"Hello, Ichigo," Hisagi greeted.

"Can you get some gear for this midget?" Ichigo pointed at me.

Oh, you're gonna pay for that…

Hisagi seemed to see me there for the first time and made a weird face, "Ah, sure…"

Ichigo raised an eyebrow at his reaction but didn't say anything. Hisagi came back with a white helmet and a pair of keys. "Motorbike number 15."

"Thanks," Ichigo took the keys and passed the helmet to me. He led me to bike number 15, a snow white motorbike. He clicked his tongue, "Hisagi shouldn't be handing these types of babes to people riding bikes for the first time."

"Who said this was my first time riding," I crossed my arms.

Ichigo looked at me, surprised, "Well, that's a different story, then. How familiar are you with the bike?"

"Better than you think," I replied while reaching for the handlebars. He went to get his own orange bike and we walked to one of the circuits.

The intermediate one.

"Think you can handle it?" He smirked.

A smile ghosted across my face. Time to get my money back!

"50000 yen if I beat you."

Ichigo burst out laughing, "You? Beat me? Dream on, Usagi-Kaichou. Like I said before, I'm the best racer in my gang."

"Oh? Scared you'll lose?" I provoked.

Ichigo glowered, "Fine, my bike needs a good wash anyway."

He called Hisagi over to be our referee, and everyone cleared the track.

"First to finish three laps wins," Hisagi said simply.

We stepped onto the tarmac course, put on our helmets and climbed onto our bikes. I gripped the handles tightly. The last time I rode a bike was almost seven months ago but the skills came rushing back when we took off. I laughed as the wind whipped past me and the audiences around the track blurred into the background. This was one of the rare times I laughed loudly, as the raging wind covered the sounds of my laughter.

And then it was over. I crossed the finish line effortlessly, jumped off the bike and took off my helmet just as Ichigo screeched to a stop behind me. The expression on his face was priceless. He opened his mouth but no words came out.

"We agreed on 50000 yen, I believe?" I held out my hand expectantly.

The goldfish finally recovered. "You didn't tell me you were a f*cking pro."

"And you didn't tell me you were a brainiac," I waved my hand, showing that I was still waiting. "Where's my prize?"

"Tch. How long have you been riding bikes?" he asked me as he reluctantly reached for his wallet.

I tapped my chin as I thought, "Uh… about 8, I think?"

Ichigo froze, "Are you kidding me? You've been riding for 8 years? When you were 9?"

I shook my head, "I started when I was eight."

He scoffed, "I'm not falling for that. Which crazy parent would let their child ride at the age of 8?"

I smiled at him, "It wasn't them. I don't remember my parents, Ichigo. The last time I saw them was when I was one. It was my brother-in-law that taught me how to ride, by the way. And I love it."

For the second time that day, I had driven Ichigo speechless.

"Can we go somewhere else?" I asked when people were walking excitedly toward us. Ichigo nodded and we headed off the tracks.

I saw a guy near the edge of the circuit looking at us. The silver haired man gave me a snake-like smile that sent a chill down my spine. Ichimaru Gin. I bit my lip and walked faster.

Why was he here?

"Rukia?" I looked up to see Ichigo watching me with a worried expression. "What's wrong?"

I shook my head. "Wanna try a harder course?"

Ichigo huffed, "Whatever. I'll beat you one day."

"I wonder how much money I'll win by that time," I pondered with a snicker that made Ichigo narrow his eyes.

"Rukia-san," someone called. "Fancy seeing you here."

I turned around after I swore under my breath. "Hello, Gin-san."

"Who's this?" Ichigo asked quite rudely.

"Ichigo, this is-"

"Her future fiancé, nice to meet you, Kurosaki Ichigo-kun," Gin said and they shook hands.

"What? No, no, no…!" I exclaimed at him then turned to Ichigo. "He's just the boss of one of the partners of Kuchiki Enterprise. Not my future fiancé." I turned back to Gin. "You were just joking, right?"

To my relief Gin nodded before glancing at Ichigo cheekily. "More like former future fiancé, ne?"

"What, no…"

Gin's smile grew wider at my flustered expression before making a show of checking his watch, "Well, I have to go, Rukia-san. That was a great race, by the way. I'll see you later."

"Former future fiancé, huh?" Ichigo suddenly commented as we watched Gin walk away.

I turned to him, "I don't know what my sister was thinking, alright? Don't misunderstand."

"Right… why are you so bothered about me knowing?"

I blinked in surprise. Yeah… why was I so bothered about Ichigo thinking Gin was my almost fiancé-to-be? It's not like he would care… Wait…

I shook my head to clear it. "Forget it. "Weren't we going to another circuit?"

"Uh, yeah," Ichigo studied my face. "Are you ok?"

"I'm fine," I snapped and walked ahead of him. For the rest of the day I immersed myself in racing. But what had happened refused to leave my mind.

I screeched to a halt outside my apartment building. After witnessing my mind-boggling skills at riding, Ichigo had let me ride his bike.

"I am never, ever letting you do that again," Ichigo said weakly as he stumbled off the bike. "Have you ever heard of speed limits?"

"Of course I have," I bit my cheek to stop myself from laughing at his pale state. "I just choose to disregard it."


"I aim for speed rather than comfort."

"I can tell."

"Thanks for letting me ride your bike," I handed the helmet back to him. "See you at school."

"Yeah, whatever," Ichigo sighed and got on his bike with shaking legs.

My smile died as he disappeared into the night.

Why hadn't he noticed?

I quickly shook my head. No, it was probably better he hadn't noticed. I shouldn't pull him deeper into this than he already was.

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