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Shall We Date?: Game Series One-shots

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 'Things are never what they seem, or even how people make them for that matter. Which is how I got to where I am today. One could say I was happy, while another could say I was living in some private hell. Neither would technically be wrong in my current situation, but am I gonna complain about it... HELL NO! But I will tell you my short and brief story of how I have ended up right where I am now. Though I am still a bit dazed and amazed at it.'


 

It had been a day like any other for me. I had crawled out of bed after my alarm had woken me up, took a shower, dressed, and brushed my teeth. Then while gathering all my textbooks for my college classes, I harassed my obnoxiously annoying roommate to drag her ass out of bed. Even after close to four years of having her as a roommate, I still had no clue what she did as a job. But whatever it was, she always came in at an awful hour banging into things, and at times reeking of alcohol and other various drugs, which made me wonder how she even pulled a B average to stay in the school.

Giving a small sigh as I placed the last book in my backpack, I reached behind me, yanking the sheets from her bed. "Shizuka, it is almost seven in the morning, and you have class in just under forty-five minutes," I said, getting a grumble from the very pretty and exotic looking girl, who just glared at me with brown eyes that had distinctive lavender flecks in their depths.

"Tsukikage, you're a bitch - you know that! I got in really late last night after work. Let me have my beauty sleep right now," she groused as she snaked out her hand, snagging the blanket from my own, before promptly turning over and going back to sleep.

With a soft laugh and a small shake of my head, I turned and headed towards the door, knowing full well this was just part of our ritual every morning. When I recall it now, it had first been a real pain in the ass to get her up outta bed, especially since I would get a fist landing somewhere on my body. But after a while, I had gotten used to that and learned to dodge, so she had eventually fallen out of the bed. That particular event caused us to actually get to know a bit about each other. We were both orphans, except that her parents had given her up because they didn't want her anymore, while in my case, I had no memory of who my parents were, what my lineage was, though I was sure it had Asian somewhere in it from my own looks.

As I walked down the dorm hallways, my mind recalled the lack of memories over my past, and I knew there was a small frown on my lips because as everyone called hello or good morning to me, they looked at me curiously. At least until I got to the end of the hall to go down the stairs and found the floor R.A standing there talking to another student with a pensive look on his brow. Their tones were hushed as they both made hand gestures, and neither noticed me, a fact I liked very much since it gave me a chance to look over and admire the beauty of one Yoshitsune Minamoto.

There was no denying that either was a living, breathing Adonis. Our floor R.A., with his half Japanese and half English heritage, with his long silken blue-black hair tied up with a pale blue ribbon that matched his eyes, and an angular face that was soft and kind. The other was an Asian and Scottish mix, with had red hair like a flame, green eyes that spoke of fun and utter mischief. Even his name spoke of it, Enya Kagurami, who also had a reputation for being the college's biggest playboy.

After few more minutes, the two just seemed to glare at each other before parting their ways, leaving me still standing there in a daze with a red face about one of the two men. I didn't even notice when Yoshitsune had come to stand in front of me until he spoke, "Tsukikage, are you okay? Your face is awfully red, which usually indicates that you have a fever. Are you pushing yourself too far again? Do you need me to take you to the campus clinic?" His voice was a soft, calming baritone that made me feel self-conscious as I looked up into his honest, caring blue eyes.

"N-no, you don't have to do that, Yoshitsune. I am fine, just a bit flustered because of some problems in math you know.. Uhh.. I have to go. Bye for now," I said in a low mumble as I darted around him, knowing that those around me who had seen us talking would inform his fan club. That would only make my day a literal hell since, like Yoshitsune, ninety-eight percent of this campus was wealthy, high-classed and privileged kids. Not to mention the fact that I actually liked Enya, but with his reputation, I got snappish with the said man, making living a bit awkward but easier since we came from two very distinct social backgrounds.

I had fought to earn my way into this college since it had the best medical program in the damned country. Couple that with the fact that I was an orphan and had not a dime to my name, except what I had earned from either of my three jobs on the campus and you could see why that put me in a non-favorable bracket, to begin with. Also on top of that, somehow in my first year, I had gotten the attention of not just Yoshitsune, but all eight of the other Adonis-looking men on campus. Safe to say that my first few months of college life had left me wanting to quit.

But somehow, I had stayed on and even formed my friendship with Shizuka who was being sponsored here by her adoptive family, the Akari's, who had a reputation of dealing with the darker side of things, according to the tabloids and rumors flying about. Our amiable friendship had been a major shock to everyone on the campus when she caught the fan girls literally throwing rotten eggs at me. Man, I saw a side of her that was downright terrifying as she beat the living crap out of them. Her words though had shocked not only me but them, as she declared that she'd damn near kill anyone who harmed her friend.

It was after that day that we started to hang out, and I found she was really intelligent and exceedingly athletic. Her adoptive family was making her attend college to become a lawyer for the family itself. She claimed she would rather be a fashion designer since she loved clothes. The memories of the next few years running through my head, I quickly made my way to my first class of the day, English Composition. The teacher had an odd knack for making his long lecture rather interesting, so his class was in high demand. But he picked his students personally based on their merits and attendance record, giving me the pleasure of being in his class since my Sophomore year.

 

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The day had gone by quickly after my first class, and it seemed like it would be a good day since none of the fangirls had cornered me yet. Which is how I came to be where I was currently at, outside on the campus grounds resting under my favorite tree, enjoying the warm breeze in the early June evening. Time was at a standstill for me, until I heard the high-pitched squeal of a woman before the sound of skin connected with skin, and a shocked, but playful admonishment. I sighed, only to have a tic appear under my eyes as I heard a male voice that was familiar to me.

I just wanted some quiet time to myself, and apparently, that was too much to ask of the damned gods. So quickly, I stood up, grabbing my backpack as I did so. The sounds of the 'couple' had gone silent as I made my presence known from standing up. Quickly, I cut my darkened gaze to the man in question, noting his green eyes opening in surprise as his eyebrows shot up into his red hairline. Giving a small snort of disgust, I spun on the ball of my foot, marching off to quieter and emptier pastures, while counting backward from ten in my head.

Like clockwork, I didn't even reach three before I heard him yell my name and command me to stop. Pretending not to hear him, I continued to make my way away from him, only to hear the pounding of feet on the damp grass, before a strong hand grabbed my shoulder, spinning me around to look at a face mixed with fury and fear. "Ms. Fong... what were you doing here? Why woman didn't you answer me when I commanded you to stop. Also please, oh please have the mercy to say nothing to Pamela." His voice was whiny from the fear and loud from his fury.

I stood there looking at him for a few seconds, careful not to show any emotions on my face, which was harder than it seemed. I spoke up in a monotonous voice, "Mr. Kagurami, I am not one of your household servants, and thus do not have to answer you when you command me to do something. And what you do behind your 'current' girlfriend's back is your own damned business, so please, for the love of my sanity, leave me out of your playboy games. As for what I was doing there, I would think it is obvious, I was enjoying the peace and quiet of the early evening. Well, that was before you showed up with a harlot to add to your black book, you playboy bastard." With that said, I lifted my hand up and plucked his hand from my shoulder, holding it like it was some filthy rag before I dropped it. "Now, if you will excuse me, I am going somewhere I can enjoy my quiet time before my evening classes."

I didn't wait around for him to say anything as I once more turned on the ball of my foot, and marched off from Enya. I left him standing there with his mouth gaping like a fish, while silently wishing for the gods to let a fly go down his throat and choke him. The images alone were enough to make me smile as I made my way back to my dorm room, to hide the wave of pain and guilt for what I had just said and done. Then again, I didn't like playboys and people who didn't take schooling very seriously. Unfortunately for me, Enya covered both of those categories, and I just happened to have a huge crush on him. Talk about a pain in the ass.

Once inside, I quickly ran up the steps to the third-floor hallway, where I rounded the corner from the stairwell to see a very familiar group of girls hanging around my doorway. Narrowing my eyes, I suppressed a groan, knowing if I ran it would be that much harder later. So with a deep breath, I walked forward putting a spacey look on my face, as if I didn't know that they were there until I was grabbed and pinned against the wall opposite of my door. Putting a small timid smile on my lips, I looked up at their ringleader, Chasity Valentine, as she glared down at me with a cold sneer on her face.

"SOOOOOOO we got word this afternoon that you were getting rather friendly with Yoshitsune again. How many times do I have to keep warning you Tsukikage, to stay the fuck away from our prince? You, who has no family name or heritage, don't deserve to talk to him. You are a pauper orphan, that in my opinion the school has taken pity upon and allowed into its prestigious halls," she snapped at me, deliberately making sure her spit flew from her mouth to land on my face.

Lifting a hand up, I wiped the spit flecks from my cheeks as I gave her a flat look, really not in a mood to deal with their shit. So all common sense and rationale that I would normally use were out the window as I replied, "Well for one, I wasn't getting friendly - he talked to me first. And, I believe you have told me before that I was to have manners if he did that. So I replied and left quickly." I gave a brief pause to note that she shook her head once as she recalled that, before speaking once more. "But then again Chasity, tell me who made you his girlfriend or keeper? Because last I heard he was still single, the Residential Assistant of this dorm floor. I mean, correct me if any of those points were wrong."

From the collective gasp as well as the way Chasity's face turned red with anger, I knew what was coming next. In the next second, I saw her step back, lift her hand and swing it at my face to strike it. Inciting her to rage was what I had intended, so before her hand connected with my face, I turned it ever so slightly to avoid the full force of the slap, thanking the gods for the evening self-defense classes I had been taking. It allowed me to make it look like she had hit me hard, even though she didn't. Even so, it stung like a bitch, and I was getting ready to retaliate when footsteps were heard coming down the hall, followed by a voice that made me laugh with glee mentally, as my eyes met his through the gap between a few of Chasity's groupies.

"Hey what is going on here? I don't recognize any of your girls as students who live on this floor," Yoshitsune said as he stopped on the edge of the group. His blue eyes narrowed as he looked at each of the girls who seemed to be acting ashamed all of a sudden, then went wide as he saw the pink spot blooming on my cheek. "I want you all off this floor now, and you are no longer allowed to visit here. If any of you have friends here, call them or have someone else come and get them. This school doesn't tolerate violence in the least, and seeing as one of you has hit one of my charges, I have to report it. Now leave!"

All the girls flinched at the anger in his voice, including me. Never, in the four years, I had been attending the college and known Yoshitsune, had I ever heard him get that angry. Blinking my eyes in shock, I watched as the girls practically ran down the hallway, allowing me to relax as I felt the tension leave my body to sag against the wall, only to stiffen once more as Yoshitsune came to stand in front of me, concern in his eyes as he looked down at me. But instead of feeling either relieved or calmed by the fact, the anger I had originally felt from Enya and his trysting partner boiled up making feel resentment towards the gentleman in front of me.

"Tsukikage, are you okay? Does it hurt really bad?" he asked softly as he raised a hand to touch my cheek. My brown eyes met his blue ones, only making me feel more resentful to him, even though it was undeserved.

So just as his hand was about to touch mine, my arm snapped up suddenly, stopping his with force, as I looked at him. My next words would later horrify me. "I will be fine, Yoshitsune. It isn't like this is the first time Chasity and those bitches did this to me. And since you don't seem to get why they are doing it, just don't concern yourself with it anymore okay?" My voice was cold, as I stepped sideways and then around him, only to see Shizuka standing in our doorway, a frown on her pert lips.

I hadn't even heard the door open at any point and wondered how much she had heard, but it didn't matter as she ushered me into the room rather quickly. I took a quick look over my shoulder to see her pull the door partially shut behind her as she stepped into the hallway, blocking Yoshitsune from following me into our room. I could tell from the way she held her back straight and her shoulders stiff, that she was pissed off, and he was gonna get words. Hanging my head, I stood there beside my bed, fighting the tears of hurt, anger, and sadness that wanted to fall, listening as they spoke.

"Shizuka, why are you blocking me? I want to ask her what she meant by those words," Yoshitsune said, his hurt and confusion clear in his baritone voice.

Shizuka gave a small snort before speaking up in an ironically calm voice, "You wanna know why I can tell you. A woman can only take so much pain, grief, and hurt Yoshitsune. More-so when it is caused by a friend unknowingly. Each time this happens to her, it is because of your naive ass, and it is high time you quit living in a fantasy world and start using that brain in between your ears to put two and two together. Think back to our first year, when the bullying started for her. What caused it each time she was bullied, Yoshitsune?"

A few seconds later, I head the door swish open over the carpet before it clicked shut. I heard the soft padding of her feet as she walked towards me before I felt her arms hug me from behind. Without hesitating, I turned around and placed my face on her shoulder and cried hard, as Shizuka smoothed my hair and made hushing sounds to comfort me. She knew full well how badly I felt at that moment for snapping and telling Yoshitsune off. He was my first friend at the college, and I had just hurt him.

"You know Tsuki, it is about time he opens his eyes to the reality of the situation. And you are not going to your night class, not that it is a college sanctioned credit class. Tonight, you are going out with me to drink and dance away your hurt of the day," Shizuka whispered in my ear, making me pull away from her to look at her in shock.

"What do you mean? I can't just miss a night class, Shizuka. And how is going out to a bar or club to drink and dance gonna help me?" I asked, looking at her with a bit of leer. She had that devilish grin on her lips, meaning that I wouldn't be able to win this one.

"Oh...I know that 'night' class you take, is down at the local YMCA, that it is a self-defense class. Besides, you promised me that you would go out once a month to a club or bar with me. And while I haven't said a single thing in the last three months about you not going, I am putting my foot down about it now. You need out and to have fun," she said, her eyes sparkling as she crossed her arms over her chest.

All I could do was nod my head in acquiescence, before hanging it in defeat, making her chuckle as she grabbed my arm to drag me to the bathroom where the night's annoyance happened. Once she got an idea into her head, I was nothing more than a piece of paper being blown around in her storm, but then again, having her for a friend was like living in a constant storm.

 

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Two hours later, I stood next to Shizuka in the bathroom, before the full-length mirror just staring at the person in it. Reaching out a hand to touch it, as it touched me back, I looked at my friend in amazement. Each time she did this to me, I always found it so hard to believe that the person in the mirror staring back at me, was me. This time was no different as I turned my gaze back to myself, and Shizuka broke out into loud, raucous laughter, let me know in her own way that she enjoyed my reaction to no end.

"I will never, ever get tired of seeing that child-like expression on your face, Tsuki. It is too priceless, and a lot better than you with puffy, red eyes from crying," she said as she placed her arm over my bare shoulder, leaving me feeling a bit self-conscious at what she had dressed me in tonight.

"Well, I am glad that I am a constant source of amusement for you, Shizuka. So who's driving tonight, me or you?" I asked softly as I continued to look at myself.

My reflection showed a girl of average height, in a blue, green, and gold strapless dress, that hugged modest feminine curves. On my face, she had artfully done makeup in the same colors, in such a manner that they accentuated my brown almond-shaped eyes, somehow making them seem larger than they were and gentler. But what always got me was how she knew to do my hair. She had pulled it back into a half ponytail, before doing a traditional twist bun. Then to hold it in a place she had used long silver hairpins with green and blue crystals dangling from the tip. To me, I was like Cinderella once more before the ball, except I was sure that Cinderella at least got to wear a bra and panties that didn't crawl up her ass.

"Hey, Shizuka, which place do you have planned for us to go to tonight?" I asked as I finally managed to tear myself from the mirror and walk out of the bathroom. I cringed, seeing our bedroom look like a hurricane had hit, as she continued to pull out pairs of high heels.

"We are going to my favorite one, down by the wharf, and to answer your first question, I called Kimiharo to get a ride for us. So we both can drink ourselves stupid. I mean, tomorrow is Saturday, and there is no class," she said as she stood up, holding out a pair of two-inch chunk green and blue swirl heels.

Shaking my head and pushing the ugly Gucci shoes away, I walked over to crouch beside her. Easily, I reached under her bed, being thankful that I knew her habits, as well as being the same size of clothes and shoes as her. After a few seconds of groping around, I pulled out a gray colored box that said David's Bridal on it and wiggled it at her. I watched with a smile on my painted lips as she took it and opened it to see which pair I had selected. Then she laughed as she let herself land on her butt on the floor in shock.

"Y-you want to wear these? But I thought that you didn't like wearing shoes with heels more than 3 inches...these are five inches. Then again, like always you know what shoes to wear with any outfit," she said with a soft laugh and a shake of her head, before handing the box back to me.

Taking the box, I stood up and walked very carefully back to my bed. I sat down and took the shoes out of the box, admiring them. The heels were, as she stated, five inches of gold mesh with green, blue and silver thread woven through it in a swirling pattern. "It's not that I don't like wearing shoes with heels bigger then 3 inches. It is just not tasteful or professional to do so in my field of practice. Besides, these are the only shoes that will look good with this dress, and you know it. But why a strapless?" I said, ending in a question.

"Because you have a point about professionalism, which is a crime against fashion. As for the strapless, you have kicking curves and need to show them off and feel sexy as a lady for once," was her easy reply, which brought a smile to my lips.

"No.. I have modest curves, you have kicking curves, Shizuka," I said, as I bent over to put the shoes on my feet.

As I stood up, allowing my feet to adjust to the shoes, I wiggled my toes in the small peephole. Something told me that today was a precursor to what I would find tonight, making me wish reverently that whatever happened tonight, would end on a very good note. That thought made me snort in amusement as Shizuka stood up quickly with a pair of black leather ankle boots in her hand, rushing to her phone which was going off.

I watched as she flicked her fingers over the touch screen, then spoke into it, "Yes...we are. Okay, just a second," she said as she hung up the phone, sliding it into the open handbag she used. "Well, I hope you're ready, cause that was Biwa, our ride. Let's go have some fun partying until the break of dawn." Her voice came out high-pitched and very excited and I barely managed to grab my clutch purse, before she grabbed my hand and drug me out the door, slamming it behind us.

 

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When we pulled up next to what looked like a run-down building, I did not need to be told that we had arrived at one of the less-known clubs in the city. It was called Cupid's Nest, which in a sense was fitting since it was on the wharf, where sailors come when their cargo ships and even some cruise ships come into dock. Slipping out of my side of the car, I looked over at Shizuka who held a rather pensive look on her face, as she chewed her bottom lip, messing up her lipstick. Curiosity washed over me, but I figured I would ask nothing about it. Placing a smile on my lips, I tapped the car's roof to get her attention, and waved a polite thank you to Biwa, before making my way to the door entrance.

Shizuka ran to catch up with me, just as people were yelling obscenities at me for cutting in line until they saw who I was with. A perk of being a friend or guest of a rich person was not having to wait in line for very many things. Still, some part of me felt bad as the bouncer motioned for us to go into the club quickly. Shizuka went in first, her head swiveling left and right, making me stop and look back at the Bouncer, who shifted his eyes downwards, indicating that he knew what or whom she was looking for and wasn't allowed to say. Sighing, I patted his arm and followed her into the club, straight to the bar.

"Well, well...look what the cat dragged into my establishment. It has been a while there, Tsuki, I hope you have been well," a tall man with a bald head and small goatee said from behind the counter as he wiped glasses.

Blinking a few times, I smiled up at Joe, the owner of Cupids Nest. "Yeah it has been, hasn't it. Glad to be here, since Shizuka last dragged me here. So, two double shots of tequila to start us off please," I said, humor lacing my voice as I glanced over at Shizuka to see her still scanning the crowd, before relaxing.

"Here you, go ladies. This is on the house since I haven't seen you in a few months. Also, we are having a Karaoke contest in an hour. Wanna join, Tsuki? I mean you have a pretty amazing voice, and I think you would do well since some of the people who have signed up would give you a run for your money," Joe said as he slid the two double shots towards us.

Shizuka chooses that time to turn around and sigh with what sounded like relief, as she grabbed her shot and downed it like a pro. "Oh I agree with you there, Joe, and if she doesn't sign up, I will sign her up myself," she said in a teasing voice, that sounded a bit half-hearted.

I rolled my eyes at the both of them since they left me little to no choice about entering the contest. Looking at Joe, I held out my hand for the clipboard. Scanning over the names, and feeling that a bit of competition wouldn't be a bad thing, I spoke up. "So what are the rules for this competition, Joe? I mean, how does one go to the next round? How are the songs picked for the participants?"

I laughed as I finished talking, scrawling my name across one of the entry lines. Handing the clipboard to him, I then slammed down my own shot, feeling the burn of the liquor as it made its way to my stomach. "Well, the first round goes like this: All participants will sing a preselected song by me. It is Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway To Heaven' since it tests one's talent and the ability for timing, as well as having to modulate one's voice too low octaves," he said, making my eyes raise up to my hairline.

Joe just looked at me with amusement as he continued to speak, "Well at the end of it, the 6 participants that have the loudest response from the crowd go on to round two, where the crowd chooses the song for each contestant. Then the three that get the best response get to go on to the last round, where each person chooses their own song to sing and is ranked first, second, and last. There are prizes, but I won't tell anyone what they are..." His voice was highly amused as he noted that he had me hook line and sinker since I had a slightly competitive nature and a thing for surprises.

With a smile on my lips, I nodded at him, as I felt my arm being grabbed. Turning around, I saw it was Shizuka dragging me to the dance floor. My eyes went wide, knowing that I hadn't enough alcohol in me to be on the dance floor just yet, but the look on her face yet again told me that I wouldn't be getting out of it. Giving a small resigned sigh, I allowed her to drag me out there, leaving me feeling a bit awkward as I more or less stood there in my spot and wiggled my shoulders and hips in time to the music.

After a few songs, Joe announced that the Karaoke competition was starting and all contenders should come up to the stage at the back of the room. Taking a deep breath, I tapped Shizuka who was grinding with a leather-clad guy. She gave me a look and nodded her head, before going back to her dancing. Quickly, I left the floor to join the other people who had signed up for the contest. Doing a head count, I found that there was nine of us in total.

Each of us was assigned a number based on when we had signed up, making me the second to last to go. It allowed each of us time to mentally prep ourselves before our turn came up. So choosing to take this time to listen to the competition, I leaned against the wall and watched as a short man with thick, turtle shell framed glasses took the stage and began to sing in a very soft voice. It was clear to me that he was rather nervous from the way he wrung his hands and missed several notes that were easily in his pitch range. It was obvious that he had some potential at becoming a decent singer from the way he held his body erect and was able to project.

Closing my eyes, I stayed where I was, listening to each person sing, and before long, it was my time to get on the stage. I pushed away from the wall, opening my eyes to walk up the stairs, and like any person, there was a small fluttering of butterflies in my stomach. Taking a deep breath as the music began to play, I snaked my hand toward the microphone holding it as my eyes fluttered shut, my mind and body feeling the music as the intro played. As soon as it came time for the lyrics, I did was came naturally, opening my mouth and letting the words fly on the melody I had come to love from this English Rock band. As I sang, I felt my body begin to sway in time with the song, a smile playing on my lips. Soon enough the song came to an end, the music fades away, leaving me standing there with my eyes now open to stare at a silent crowd before it burst out in loud whooping yells and clapping.

A faint blush on my cheeks, I looked at them all, before bowing and hurrying from the stage with the bar as my goal. Upon sitting down, I looked at the bartender and spoke up, "I want a bottle of Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA please." This earned me a raised eyebrow, before he grabbed one from the mini-fridge behind the bar, popped the top on the counter, and slid towards me.

"You sounded fantastic up there, Tsuki. So, you think you're making the cut for the next round?" Shizuka whispered in my ear making me jump straight up from the stool with a loud shriek, which only earned me a peal of laughter.

Spinning around, I playfully swatted at her, making a funny face. " I think I have a good chance. Joe will be announcing it soon I guess. Then we will find out. So you finished dancing with your uh...friend?" I asked, keeping my voice neutral as I noticed that she seemed to be searching the club once more for someone.

"Yeah, needed something to drink. Besides he was a shitty dancer, only wanted to grind against me instead of actual dancing," she said, giving a small sniff before shoving her nose into the air, causing me to roll my eyes.

Choosing to not ask what or whom she was looking for, I drank my lager. Soon enough, we both heard Joe call for the winners by our numbers. With a small huff, I slid off the bar stool and nudged her shoulder, as I passed her by. It looked like I would be the last person to go this time, since numbers one, four and nine didn't make the cut. Weaving through the crowd, I wondered what song was gonna be selected for me. Finally breaking free of the mass of people, I made my way to the side of the stage to see Joe holding a piece of folded paper with a black 8 drawn on it.

"This is the song you will be singing next, Tsuki.., Sorry it is what was chosen by the people for you to sing," he said as he handed the piece of paper to me. Unfolding it, the artist and song just stared back at me, as I felt a blush creep to my cheeks. Looking up with eyes that pleaded, Joe shook his head as he replied, "Nope, no getting outta that. I had six songs on a list, and this is the one they all picked for you."

Standing there with cheeks flaming red, I whimpered my response, "But...but it's 'Ride It, My Pony' by Ginuwine...That is a blatantly sexual song... I mean don't get me wrong, it is a fantastic song, and I sing it in my dorm room...but in front of people? JOE!"

"You can drop out," was the only reply Joe gave me, causing me to slump and shake my head to indicate that I didn't want to drop out.

With that done and said, he went up on the stage and began the second round. He bellowed out the number and the song they were to sing. Then with out preamble, he stepped back, allowing a tall blond woman with heavily painted makeup get on the stage to sing 'Gone With My Wind' by Dead Kennedys. Her voice was amazingly sweet sounding and pitch perfect as she sang the song, though her body movements left much to be desired with the type of song. Once she was done, she filed off as Joe announced the next person, number three, who sang 'Before He Cheats' by Carrie Underwood, which made me stifle a laugh, since it was a guy. The irony wasn't lost on any of us, making me think that he wasn't really popular.

The next two sang songs suited to them, impressing the crowd very well. When it came time for the contestant before me, number seven, I about fell down in shock at the song he was given. The man himself was a tall burly biker, with a long beard and many tattoos, and he had to sing, 'I Will Always Love You' by Whitney Houston. To the amazement of everyone, he sang it note perfect and damn near pitch perfect. When he finished, I saw him slip his hand out of his pocket and shake it as he limped from the stage. He muttered under his breath as he walked by me, 'it was worth it for that reaction, my poor boys', leaving me slack-jawed, staring at his back as he vanished into the crowd.

I was quickly pulled from my shocked state as Joe called my number and my song. I mounted the stairs, and he handed me the microphone, giving me a wink, as he mouthed 'Just have fun and go with it. You'll do fine.' Swallowing as I gave a nervous smile, I turned quickly to face the crowd as the music started. With a deep breath, I let my eyes flutter shut as I pictured myself back in the safety of my room, where I could belt out the song and move my body like I always did. Choosing to do that made the song go by really quickly, and as I opened my eyes on the last word, listening as the music faded away, I knew my face was flushed.

I looked out over the quiet sea of people, taking note that a few were rather slack-jawed, when I spotted a head of red-like a flame in a mass of blond, black, and brown hair. My eyes trained in on that person, and a sinking feeling appeared in my stomach when my eyes caught very familiar green eyes in a face that was completely stunned. Normally that look on Enya's face would have been great and given me a lot of laughter, but right now I felt horror as I placed the microphone back in its cradle and ran off the stand, doing my best to disappear on my way to the bar.

"I want three shots of Jim Bean please...now if you can," I called out, looking over my shoulder quickly. Not seeing Enya behind me, or even trying to make his way towards me, I let my shoulders slump as my shots were placed before me. Taking a deep breath, I slammed each of them back without a pause except to pick up the next.

Glancing up, I caught the bartender's eyes, wide with mirth dancing in their depths at what I had just done. Shrugging, I pointed at my empty Samuel Adams bottle, indicating that I wanted another. Giving a small tilt of his head, he walked down to get me a bottle, and I caught a flash of movement in my peripheral vision. Closing my eyes, I willed the person away, but knowing that would not work, I stood up, just as my drink was placed in front of me. Grabbing it, I wandered away from Enya just as he sat on the empty bar stool next to me.

I wanted away from him, and I attempted to weave through the crowd towards the dance floor, only to be stopped as I felt his hand clamp down on my shoulder, stopping me, then turning me. "Ms. Fong, I didn't know you frequented places like this. Or that you could sing and move like that." His voice was amazed and lewd as was he looked at me.

I felt very uncomfortable at being so close to a man I had a crush on, and abhorred for his womanizing play boy ways. With a quick jerk of my shoulder, I glared up at him as I spat out my retort, "Mr. Kagurami, I wasn't aware that you kept tabs on my personal being. Not that where I go or what I do is any of your damned business, but what gets me is that someone of your pedigree is in a low-class place like this. I mean, what would the tabloids think if they got a hold of the information or got pictures of the Heir to the Kagurami architecture company in such a place. Hell, what would your daddy think, huh? Would you like to find out?"

His grip on my shoulder tightened, making me flinch at the hurt and anger flickering across his features. "How much alcohol have you consumed, Tsuk...Ms. Fong? You are acting well out of character, and I don't think my father has any business where I decide to go. But for your information, people with my pedigree do come to these places when we want to wallow in depression," his voice snide as spat out his reply.

Reaching up for his wrist, I pinched the nerve with my fingers causing him to release his grip from my shoulder, before I tossed it to the side like I had earlier. Giving him a hard, cold look, I turned away from him, before giving him a reply. "Oh and you think you know what my true character is? How presumptuous of you, Mr. Kagurami, since you don't know me outside of school. Hell, you barely know me in school. I am just that convenient friend that is always in the right place at the wrong time, there for you tease or to help your sorry ass when your need it. Have you ever thought about what I might be feeling, Enya.. No, I don't think you do. As for how much I have had to drink - two beers and four shots of hard liquor. Believe me, if I am able to recognize you as well as have this conversation, I am still pretty damn sober."

Not bothering to hear his reply, I turned and marched out to the dance floor where I found Shizuka dancing with a rather tall foreigner. Tapping him on the shoulder to get his attention, I motioned for him to beat it, getting a rather comical expression on his face as he looked at Shizuka, who after one good look at my face just shook her head. The man left without giving to much of a fight, and I started to dance with her, our bodies weaving and dipping in time to each other, giving the illusion that we were touching but not actually doing so.

"So you gonna tell me what put you in this kind of mood? Or rather who...Never mind I see a familiar redhead on the edge of the dance floor looking like a kicked puppy," she said as we spun in a circle around each other, so we were now standing in the others spot. "You know, Tsuki...you have an odd way of showing your affection for that poor man. Look, before you say anything, I know he is a playboy prince, but he does care for you as a friend, even if it is in a stupid male childish manner. I think you should cool off, and go apologize." Her voice was soft, calming and holding rationale truth.

Sighing, I turned, pressing my back to hers as we rolled our shoulders together and dipped very low to the floor. "Shizuka...I don't wanna... But I guess your right. I mean, I have been rather nasty to him twice, today alone. But I...no matter how badly I have a crush on him, the fact that I know he is a perverted play boy, who's stuck his magic stick into several women's honey pots, just...makes me feel cranky and dirty being near him...on top of being jealous. But I will apologize after I finish the Karaoke competition," I said, hearing the defeat in my own voice cause I knew I was in the wrong.

"That's my good girl. I am proud of you for being the bigger person. Besides, I am sure that he will be pissed with whatever you have said to him, cause he is still staring at us with a blazing furor right at the moment. What the hell did you say to that poor man?" Shizuka asked, her question rather pointed.

I let a large pregnant silence go between us before telling her word for word what I had said to him, starting with this evening before coming to the room, and here at the club. It isn't often that anyone can make Shizuka go speechless and stop doing what she was doing. But I had just done that, making me slow to a stop and hang my head as she made a fist of her left hand, before proceeding to bonk me on the head three times in correction. The hits weren't hard enough to hurt, but they were enough to get her point across, and I lifted my head to say something as my number was called out for the next round of Karaoke.

"Come on young lady. I am gonna watch you win this competition, then make sure that you apologize to Enya. If he doesn't leave first. But don't worry if he does, I will call his scrawny half-breed ass back to the club. He doesn't like it when am angry at him," she said stressing a few words, a glint in her eyes as a evil smile curved her lips.

All I could do was nod my head, wondering what she was planning in that devious mind of hers. Once more, that sinking sensation crept into the pit of my stomach as we made it through the crowd to stand at the edge of the stage. The feeling of being watched intently caused me to tense as I turned my head to see who was staring, but I was unable to find anyone in particular. Standing there, I watched as Number four got on the stage and sang 'Endless' by The Cab and did a decent job of it, impressing me. Next came Number seven, the giant biker guy, and he announced his song, 'Outside Looking In' by Jordan Pruitt. Once again ,he left the crowd silent before applause broke out, in which turn, he gave them all a small bow and left the stage. Meaning it was now my turn, as I left Shizuka's side and mounted the steps.

Joe looked at me with a knowing smile on his lips as he spoke, "Your usual song then?"

Giving a nod of my head, I walked up to the microphone and spoke into it. "I am Number eight, and tonight for my final song, I will be singing for you is, 'Angel With A Shotgun' by The Cab. I hope you all enjoy it." Once more, I felt a rather intense gaze on me, as my eyes scanned the crowd. For some reason, they sought out a head of bright red hair, hidden away in a corner. I took quick not that he wasn't looking at me, just standing there slumped against the wall, looking at the ground. Swallowing a large gulp of air, I kept my eyes open as I heard the music began to play. It flowed around my body like a physical thing I could feel as I begin to sing the song.

 

Oh yeah, Oh yeah, Oh yeah!

I'm an angel with a shotgun, shotgun, shotgun.

Angel with a shotgun.

Get out your guns, battles begun.

Are you a saint or a sinner?

If love is a fight then I shall die,

with my heart on the trigger.

They say, before you start a war

you better know what you're fighting for.

Well baby, you are all that I adore.

If love is what you need, a soldier I will be.

I'm an angel with a shotgun, fighting til the wars won.

I don't care if Heaven wont take me back.

I'll throw away my faith babe, just to keep you safe.

Don't you know your everything I have.

And I wanna live,

not just survive tonight.

Some times to win, you've got to sin.

Don't mean I'm not a believer.

And Major Tom will sing along.

Yeah, they still say I'm a dreamer.

They say before you start a war.

You better know what you're fighting for.

Well baby you are all that I adore.

If love is what you need, a soldier I will be.

I'm an angel with a shotgun, fighting til the wars won.

I don't care if Heaven wont take me back.

I'll throw away my faith babe, just to keep you safe.

Don't you know that you're everything I have.

And I wanna live not just survive, tonight!

Oh, oh, whoa! Whoa!

Oh, oh, whoa! Whoa!

Oh, oh, whoa! Whoa!

I'm an angel with a shotgun.

Oh, oh, whoa! Whoa!

Oh, oh, whoa! Whoa!

Oh, oh, whoa! Whoa!

I'm an angel with a shotgun.

I'm an angel with a shotgun, fighting til the wars won.

I don't care if Heaven wont take me back.

I'm an angel with a shotgun, fighting til the wars won.

I don't care if Heaven wont take me back.

I'll throw away my faith babe, just to keep you safe.

Don't you know you're everything I have.

And I want to live not just survive tonight.

And I'm gonna hide, hide, hide my wings tonight.

They say before you start a war,

you better know what your fighting for.

Well baby you are all that I adore.

If love is what you need, a soldier I will be.

 

The last of my words trailed off as I quit swaying my body at the knees, and letting my free hand and arm drop to my side, I felt a few tears streaking down my cheeks. This song had a special meaning for me, and it was directed at one person, who still had his face towards the floor. With a small sigh, I bowed to the people before turning to walk off the stage. I had just reached the steps and looked down at Shizuka when the crowd erupted into loud applause, making me blush as I wiped away tears that had sprung from my eyes unbidden.

"I will apologize now, but I only ask that you bring him to the bar please. He was in the back corner while I sang," I said softly, pointing in the general direction I had seen Enya, then watched as she nodded and headed in the direction I had indicated.

With a sigh, I finished going down the steps and headed towards the bar. Once more, I felt that intense gaze in between my shoulder blades. This time, I choose to ignore it as I reached the bar and sat on a empty stool. When I caught the bar tenders attention, I held up three fingers to indicate that I wanted a glass of water this time. With an easy smile on his lips he picked up a glass, used it scoop up the ice, before filling it with filtered water. As I reached up for the glass of water, I saw someone sit on the stool next to me. I didn't think much of it until a voice spoke, one I would have rather not heard.

"You still have a voice like an angel, Tsukikage. I was pleasantly surprised when I walked in to hear you sing that song of all songs. So, how have you been?" came a deep baritone voice, that held a ton of sex appeal.

With out looking up, I rolled the glass back and forth in my hands, before turning to face a tall dark haired and skinned man with almost black eyes and an easy grin on his lips. "Thank you Noristune for the compliment to my singing. And I have been just fine since our break up six months ago. No offense, but what do you want, other then getting back with me. Because we both know that isn't gonna happen," I said in a voice that was cold and unrelenting.

His lips turned down in a frown as he narrowed his eyes. "Now now.. That isn't nice, Tsukikage. We were great together; there was a lot of fun times, you can't deny that. Besides, the reason we broke up...I am not satisfied with it," he said, placing an elbow on the bar top and leaning on his hand. "Hey bartender, two margaritas please, dirty."

Rolling my eyes, I just stared at his audacity, sipping at my water as I listened to him order us two dirty margaritas. "Noristune, it is the truth. I won't deny all the good we had together, since those are some of the best moments of my life. But when you became possessive, controlling, and wanting something from me that I wasn't willing to give, I was done. I gave you a few chances, but when you refused to respect the fact I didn't want to sleep with you, on top of you always picking fights and running off my male friends, enough was enough. And don't tell me you can change if I take you back. That is a lot of psycho bullshit, which we both know. Please, I beg you to accept that we can only be friends, or get out of my life completely," I said, ending by taking a deep breath.

The bartender put the margaritas on the counter in front of us, but I just turned my back to them, as I scanned the crowd for Shizuka, wondering what was taking her so long. Fear swelled up inside of me, that I had finally gone too far in my snapping at him. Turning back towards the bar, my shoulders slumped as I pouted. Noristune pushed the second margarita towards me, which I gladly took, lifting it to my lips quickly and downing the whole thing in one go. Then I put the glass back on the bar top, and with a small lady like hiccup, I looked at him.

"The way you are able to down alcohol still amazes me as well. It is a bit crowded in here, so let's go outside and get some fresh air and talk. Please for old time sakes," he said in a soft pleading voice, giving me the puppy eyes that had always worked in the past.

Narrowing my eyes at him, I contemplated doing what he suggested. "No, I can't. I am waiting for Shizuka and someone else to meet me here at the bar. The latter might take offense to you being here since you were an ass," I said as I once more turned around to scan the crowd, worry starting to cross my face since it had been over ten minutes.

"Really, that is a shame. I really wanna talk to you Tsukikage, alone since I have so much to catch you up on and confess. I feel I need to be honest with you completely," Noristune said, his eyes darkening to the point they were dark pools of obsidian, which had always fascinated me in the past.

"Maybe after I talk to Shizuka and our guest, then I will consider talking to you alone. But be warned, Shizuka won't like it one bit," I said after I let out a long sigh.

As we sat there a few more minutes in companionable silence, mother nature decided that everything I had drunk so far tonight, needed to be released. Hissing low under my breath, I squirmed a bit on the stool, trying to find a position that would take pressure off my bladder., but nothing seemed to work. And all the wiggling had made the piece of cloth called panties ride up uncomfortably into a super wedgie, which only served to make me not only more uncomfortable, but was also painful in a pinching manner.

Keeping my face as neutral as possible, I spoke to Noristune, "Hey, I need to hit the ladies room. If Shizuka shows up, please be polite when you tell her where I have gone, okay" Not waiting for his reply, as I knew he had at least enough decency to do that, I slid off the stool and made my way quickly to restroom.

When I entered it, a small sigh of relief escaped my lips, since there was no one else in there, meaning I had a clear shot without waiting for anyone to finish in a line. I made a quick bee-line for the nearest stall, making quick work of my call of nature. As I made my way out to a sink to wash my hands, the world began to swim around me. Looking in the mirror, a really flushed red face looked back at me. Blinking a few times, before washing my hands, I went to reach for a paper towel from the dispenser, which caused the world to shift out from under me as I fought to maintain my balance.

Taking a few tries, I righted myself by hanging onto the sink with hands that were drying naturally. Not sure what was happening to me, I decided to leave the restroom to go back to the bar, because at that moment all I wanted was to go home and rest my head. The world swam around me, and my vision began to go fuzzy at the edges. Something had happened, and I didn't know when it had started.

As I exited the door, my arm was grasped by a strong hand, that pulled me towards the back door of the club. "I think you need some air now, Tsukikage. So, just be a good girl and come with me," said a slightly disembodied voice that my mind placed as Noristune. A wave of panic crash over my nerves as I tried desperately to pull my arm from his grasp, but my body wasn't responding. I opened my mouth to scream and only a unintelligible sound escaped it.

Soon we were outside with no one inside any wiser. The cold air coming off the sea, tinted it with a tang of salt, blasted against my exposed skin and my slightly dulled senses. Once more, I tried to pull my arm free from Noristune, while trying to focus on that one act. This time, I had a bit more success, only to stumble and start to fall since he was no longer balancing me. My arms flailed in attempt to right myself as the ground came up towards me quickly.

My descent came to a halt when a strong arm grabbed me around the waist and righted me, as Noristune pressed my body against his. "You are being a bit difficult, and I really don't appreciate it, Tsukikage. Besides, it is your fault that you are here in this position right now. I got lucky in putting that pill in your margarita when you turned me down for a talk." His voice was a low whisper in my ear, causing me to struggle in his grasp.

"You can struggle all you want, hell even try to scream. It isn't gonna work since that pill is quickly disabling your bodily functions. Like I said, this was all your fault, Tsukikage. I tried to be patient with you. I mean hell, your a damned good looking woman whether you realize it or not. Your body in motion is like moving sexual temptation, making not only me but other men stare and want you in their bed. So many times, I tried and tried to keep my space and peace, but you are a temptress. Hell, I could respect that you wanted to save yourself for marriage, but that is an old fashion notion. Now I am gonna get from you what I should have gotten from you while we were dating for those eight months. And when it is all said and done, no one will believe you were raped, cause the pill will be out of your system, untraceable. So when you cry rape, all they will do after testing you, is say you were drunk and wanting it." he whispered smugly once more into my ear as he pinned my body to the wall.

Soon I felt his lips pressed hard against mine, making them feel bruised as I mentally screamed. I was grateful when he pulled his head back allowing me to breath in shallowly, before his head swooped down once more tracing small bites along my jaw line. He moved up to my ear, where he began to alternate between sucking and nipping at my ear lobe, causing my body to shudder in response, since he was hitting my sensitive areas from his knowledge of my body. I let a low whimper out of my throat as I tried to make my body move, though it just stayed there pinned against the wall, leaving my back feeling cold and slimy.

Already, his hands were trailing down my shoulders and past my collar bone, before he began to grope at my breasts. A small hum of pleasure came from him as he let my earlobe go to grin at me. His gaze met mine before pointedly looking down at the breast he had partially exposed with his groping. I closed my eyes as he began to lower his head, as I let out another whimper, feeling tears streak down my face. Suddenly, there was a rush of cold air as his body left mine. I opened my eyes to see the wall across from me, as the sound of skin hitting skin followed by a grunt of pain reached my ears.

"I am pretty sure that she isn't enjoying what you're doing to her, you conceited prick," a familiar voice said, and I turned my head to see a blur of red as it lifted up what looked to be a rather bloody-faced Noristune, landing a few more hits.

I let out a low moan as my body began to fall forward, my vision still hazy as the red blur dropped Noristune to the ground to catch me. Lifting my head up to look at who it was, I was shocked to find Enya now holding me up in his arms. Before the world began to go dark, I heard him speak to me even though I was unable to reply. "Hey, are you alright Tsukikage? Don't you dare pass out on me."

 

0000000000000

 

When my eyes next opened, I had to shut them quickly, the pain from the light that was in the room. Waiting a few minutes before trying again, I cracked them very slowly to allow them to adjust. It took me what I was sure was a few minutes, but when I did, what I saw confused me. The walls were artfully painted in reds, oranges, and browns, reminding me of the fall with the way the gray colored wall had the spattering of color all over it. Whoever had designed it was amazingly brilliant and talented. As I looked around at the furniture and decorations, I heard the door to the room open.

Slowly, I turned my head towards the door to see Enya shut the door and walk towards the bed. "Oh your awake, thank goodness. Then again, the Doctor said you'd come around in a few hours, but not have much motor control," he said, stopping by the edge of the bed to look down at me with genuine concern.

Opening my mouth, I tried to speak, only to have a hoarse squeak emit from it. Turning red in embarrassment, I tried again and got nothing more then a cracked, soft whisper. "What..happened? Where am I? How did I get here? Why are you here?" were the only things I was able to get out, before I was racked with a painful coughing fit.

"Hey!" Enya said in surprise as he quickly sat on the bed and rotated my body very carefully towards him, lightly patting my back until I quit coughing. "I understand your need to speak and those questions are important. And I will answer them, but first, take a few sips of water okay." His voice came out very soft, laced heavily with worry and stress.

Blinking my eyes a few times, I nodded my head, wondering if he was speaking so softly because I might have a headache. I quit thinking when I felt his hand shift me to my back before it went up to the back of my head, and tilted up. His other hand brought a glass of water I didn't know he was carrying to my lips. As soon as the first few sips of water passed my lips, I realized that I was insanely thirsty and tried to take huge gulps to down it quickly.

"Ah, ah.. no you mustn't drink the water so quickly. You will make yourself sick or worse choke," he said, taking the glass away from my lips. I whimpered a bit, even though I knew he was right, and I watched as he set the glass on the night stand by the bed. "As to your questions, I will answer them now. First, what happened was I saw your ex pulling you out the back door of the club, and while the look in your eyes was a bit glazed, you didn't seem to want to go, so I followed him. What I found was him holding you against the wall with his body as he sexually assaulted you. I know for a fact that you are not a promiscuous person. Add that to the fact that I saw you not responding, with tears falling down your face, and I knew something was wrong. Yeah, I beat the shit out of him, then you made a small sound, allowing me to turn in time to catch you before you kissed some nasty looking pavement. I called the cops while holding you, waited till they got there, and explained what I saw and why I beat the shit out of that mother fucker," he said, his eyes shadowing with what looked like anger as he spoke about what had happened.

Silence filled the room after he answered the first question, I watched his face as several more various emotions flickered across his lightly tanned facial features. This was the closest I had ever been to him, other than tutoring him in English and History. But those times qualified for a job so I had to be professional and not ogle him. So I took the time to memorize the way his nose sloped down only to turn a bit up at the tip, how his thin lips looked so soft. But what struck me most was that I saw in his green eyes, distinctive yellow gold flecks. His red hair was held back by a black head band, which caused me to smile. I could still remember the first time I had met him at the public library. It was on a weekend and I was there to tutor him, and he had that on to keep his shoulder-length red hair from his face. I had laughed so hard at him for wearing a female hair accessory, causing him to take it off and throw it on the table.

"You're smiling while looking at my headband. Recalling something particularly amusing?" he said making me pull my eyes away from the headband to look at his face, as I blushed and nodded my head yes. "Oh okay. But to answer your next three questions, it is simplistic, I am here because I brought you here after taking you to the hospital while you were passed out. As to where you are, it is the apartment my dad gave me when I started going to college, so I had my privacy while living near the school. This is where I spend most of my time when I am not at the campus." His voice was full of pride, but none of his normal cocky arrogance.

I wanted to say something, but had the feeling if I did another coughing fit would hit me. So I just looked at him, wondering why he even bothered to help me after all I had said to him. Pursing my lips into a thin line as I stared at him pensively, I noted that he almost seemed nervous or maybe shy. That struck me as odd, since it was way out of his character. All of a sudden, I was hit with suspicion that maybe he had done something to me while I was unconscious. So with a narrowing of my eyes, I glared up at him, only to see him look first confused, then jerk back in shock and anger.

"What the hell do you think I am Tsu...Ms. Fong? Some ravenous pervert, that I would molest you while you were blacked out? Please give me a bit more credit than that. I am not some pig like your ex-boyfriend. I was a perfect gentleman the whole time. Fuck, I even called my little sister over to take care of ...undressing you and putting you in the tee shirt you are in now," he said, jumping off the bed and pacing back and forth, a look of hurt on his face, before he stopped and stared down at me. "If you think I would really do that to you, or any woman, you must really hate me. And I am not saying I don't deserve it to some degree after hearing what you had to say at the bar. Well you still need some sleep, good night."

I just laid there and watched him during all this, unable to say anything. The fact that I kept lashing out at him, even silently, made me close my eyes after he left the room. Soon enough, I felt tears fall down the side of my face, self-hate and loathing hitting me really hard at my own stupid pride and arrogance. Things I always placed on him, but in the reality I was the weaker person who seemed to be acting without thinking at all. And more-so towards the man I had a major crush on...no who was I kidding? When I think about that pompous prick, I have always felt my face heat up and my heart beat faster. And when I am physically close to him, it is almost like time stops as my heart feels like it is about to burst. But the kicker was whenever I would see him with another woman, my reactions came from nothing more than pure jealousy.

A small choked laugh escaped my mouth as I laid there staring at the ceiling. "I am in love with that pretentious bastard, and I know it," I thought to myself. When I admitted it to myself, I felt a weight lift off my chest, as I continued to cry to myself until I fell asleep, vowing that I would come clean to Enya Kagurami in the morning.

 

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The sound of the door opening caused me to open my eyes and turn my head towards the sound. I didn't know how long I had been asleep for, but I recalled that I was in Enya's apartment, in his bed sleeping in apparently his t-shirt. I stilled as I recalled that, a faint blush creeping across my cheeks as I looked at him briefly before turning my head away in hopes he didn't see my now reddened cheeks. Right now, I was living one of my fantasies, more-so with him bringing me food to eat in bed, and to boot he was not wearing anything but a pair of baggy basketball shorts that showed off his toned abs, leading down into a perfect V that was hidden from view.

I listened as Enya came to a stop by the bed and put the tray on the nightstand next to it. "Well, it is good that you're awake. I don't have to wake you up. And I am gonna hazard a guess that you're not running a fever, and you're blushing because you turned your head away from me...Ms. Fong," he said with a bit of laughter in his voice, as I felt the bed dip beside me, letting me know that he had sat down on the bed.

I waited a few minutes, before turning my head towards him and speaking. "Uh.. Mr. Kagurami..No Enya, I owe you a few apologies and a reward for what you did for me. But first I want you to listen very patiently and quietly to what I have to tell you, okay?" my voice trembling as I spoke shakily.

His eyes met mine as he gave me a brief nod, the look on his face told me he was very curious and surprised since it had been over two years since I had used his first name. With a smile on my lips, I took a deep breath to steady myself inner self which was going crazy with my heart trying to jump out of my chest, then spoke, "First I want to say that I do not hate you, but can see how you have come to that conclusion on your own. My words speak louder than my actions do in this case. In fact what I really feel towards you is the total opposite, and has since our freshman year..."

At some point while I was speaking, my gaze had dropped down. And now I lifted it up to look at Enya's face, seeing a myriad of emotions playing across its fine-boned features as he assimilated what I had told him. When his mouth dropped open into a little oh of surprise, I couldn't help but giggle at it. His face went a bit red, and I wondered why, since I knew girls threw themselves at him a lot of the time, confessing their feelings for him. So why would me saying I liked him or even loved him affect him this way?

When he got a hold of himself, he tried to speak, until I gave a low growl of warning. He snapped his mouth shut as I locked gazes with him, then spoke again. "I am surprised that you didn't tell me I was full of bullshit or lying, but it is the truth. I do c-care for you deeply Enya, and I am pretty sure that I am in love with you. Why I act the way I do towards you and lash out...well that is because of my own stupid insecurities and being jealous of the women you always have on your arm. Hell, it grates on my nerves to hear the sex stories all of them tell about you, about your amazing skills in the bed or where ever else you feel adventurous enough to take them." The last sentence came out a bit colder than I wanted it too.

Still looking him in the eyes, I didn't miss the fact that Enya's face had gone completely the same shade as his hair, making him look like he was practically glowing like a Christmas tree light bulb. At the sight of it, I pursed my lips into a thin line and willed myself not to laugh. It was hard not to laugh, but I managed it. Still the fact that Enya was displaying shock and becoming rather embarrassed by what I was saying caused me to wonder why that might be. But he suddenly turned his face away from me, as he clasped his hand in his lap, silently waiting for me to continue.

Taking my cue, I continued to speak, "I owe you quite a few apologizes to be exact, but I will start with the most recent one. I am sorry for thinking that you would take advantage of a woman in any circumstance. Deep down, I knew you wouldn't, but then again thinking of you being a lecherous prig because of my jealousy towards other women colored that thought. I am also sorry for always snapping at you, and being a total bitch whenever I talk to you after somehow catching you with other women...again, jealousy. There was no reason for me to lash out at you verbally in any shape or form Enya, when it was just my own ego and pride that had been hurt, therefore making me the arrogant fool. I hope you can find it in that big, warm, and generous heart you have to forgive me at some point." My words trailed off as I waited for a response, or even a reaction from him.

In the silence that followed, I felt as if I was suffocating as he just sat there, looking at his clasped hands in his lap, back to me. I wondered if he was angry or if I might have broken him with all I just said to him. I shifted my body so I was sitting up, placing my knees under me., not caring that the blanket fell almost off of me, since I was decently clothed by wearing one of his shirts. Taking a second to gather my wits, I reached out and placed a hand on his shoulder, feeling the toned muscle as it tensed under my hand. The feel of his skin was smooth and very warm to my touch, making me draw a deep breath in through my nose, so I wasn't gasping.

When he still remained silent, I began to fidget a bit, but all of a sudden, Enya burst out with a small peal of laughter, causing me to draw my hand from him. I knelt there wondering if I should try to say something to him, but he beat me to it. "WOW...Tsukikage, that is...just WOW! I mean, don't get me wrong, I am happy to hear that you don't hate me. Hell, it makes a few things a lot easier on me, except in one area. But to find out it was all from you being jealous of the other girls, and me being a playboy...hahaha...that is just funny. I guess I owe you some explanations, then we can get to the reward you mentioned." His voice was tinted with his mirth as he turned to face me.

My eyes met his for brief second before I felt my cheeks grow hot under his gaze, causing me to turn my head away, as I realized he had called me by my name for the first time in three years. A small smile graced my lips as I looked at the wall. "There it is, the shy smile that says who you are so well. To be honest, about all those stories the girls are telling of their sexual exploits with me...You can just throw those out the window, cause I can guarantee you that I have only been with three women in my lifetime. My first being my tutor for English and history in high school, her name was Melissa, the second was my first girlfriend, Sandy our freshman year... yeesh she was a controlling bitch... and the last was Pamela, who I have dated for over a year. Yes, I admit to taking out other girls on dates, wining and dining them, but I never took them to my bed. Please believe me on this, Tsukikage." His voice was calm and very serious as he spoke, though it sounded a bit pleading to me at the end.

Turning my gaze to him, I looked him in the eye to see he was telling the truth, which made me feel like such a shallow and very callow person. I could of just asked him at any point if he had been that promiscuous. Letting my gaze drop in shame, I felt him shift on the bed as he scooted closer to me, making me swallow as my hands began to pluck at the hem of the t-shirt. Already my heart was beating hard in my rib cage, feeling like it was about to burst.

When I looked up at him, his face was less then ten inches from mine. "About yesterday, when you caught me talking to the girl. That was my little sister. I was asking her for advice on how to break up with Pamela, since I had been with her for over a year. In the time I had been dating her, I had come to realize that there was another woman that had slipped into my heart. She became all I could think about, dream about. And damn if it didn't hurt me and aggravate me to no end to see her date another guy. When she ditched him, I felt better, but I was already serious with Pam. Though when even our mutual male friends were near her it drove me insane with my own field of jealousy." As he talked, Enya's voice became very soft and shy again until it trailed off.

To say I was flabbergasted would be an understatement, but I was also feeling hurt that he was so in love with another woman. I had no chance now. Letting out a melancholy sigh, I placed my hand on his arm, giving it a squeeze for him to go on. Looking at me, he smiled and nodded before continuing, "Well uh.. yeah you popped up outta your hiding spot yesterday just after my sister told me she was happy that I was growing up and willing to change myself for this woman. And then she smacked me on the arm. I was horrified, because I didn't know how much you had heard, or if you would actually tell Pamela I wanted to break up with her. That actually went better than I thought, though she was still very pissed. Then I went to the club last night to wallow and think about how to tell this amazing woman that I want to be with her, when her opinion of me sucked, only to hear the sweetest angel-like voice ever singing a song and dancing to it like a sultry vixen. But when I tried to talk to her, I only got shot down again, making me feel like some dog shit on the bottom of her shoes."

As he finished talking, my mind went into overdrive trying to place the hazy events of last night, when it finally put two and two together, making me wonder if he really was talking about me. There was no way that Enya, heir to the Kagurami corporation wanted to be with me. I was beneath him as a silly little pauper orphan. Looking at him, seeing the intense gaze he was giving me, I shrank away from him, still uncertain of who he meant, and trying not to get my hopes up. But I knew one thing for sure, he wasn't lying to me, but telling the truth for once.

"You don't have to pull away from me, Tsukikage, I am not gonna harm you at all. Hell, after walking out of the club after your last song, thinking about what I could do to make you listen, I made myself go back in to look for you, so maybe we could talk. But then I saw you being drug out of there, and something inside me snapped. I finally was able to get through the crowd, hoping that he hadn't drove you anywhere. I was a bit relieved to find you were still there, before something in me completely snapped when I saw what he was doing to you, and that he had drugged you to do it. If you hadn't made a sound before falling forward, I probably would be in jail for murder right now. Never ever do I want to see that look on your face, one so sad, helpless, and broken. When I saw it, I felt as if something in me died." With that, his voice trailed off once more.

Not sure what to say to what he just told me, I looked at him as I felt a well of emotion surge inside my chest. The moment my bottom lip began to tremble, Enya just lifted a hand up to cup my face. Without thinking, I rubbed my cheek against it, feeling the warmth and callouses there. I closed my eyes, enjoying it while it lasted, as he took his thumb and ran it across my chin, making me snap my eyes open to look at him.

"Enya!?" was the only thing that I could get out of my lips, before he smiled and kissed my forehead.

"Tsukikage, do you understand what I am saying to you? In the span of one day, I broke up with my girlfriend of over a year, had a fight with a good friend whom I more or less treated like shit, and saved the woman I love from being irrevocably harmed," he said, his breath tickling my forehead.

He leaned back so he could see me, and my face flushed into what I was sure was a perfect shade of red to match his hair. It was confirmed a moment later, as he gave me one of his teasing knowing smiles. "Now what was this you mentioned about a reward? You never covered that topic, Ms. Fong," he said raising an eye brow at me expectantly. "I mean if we are gonna be completely honest with each other, you need to be forthcoming with that as well."

Letting out a low groan of mocking annoyance, I drew myself away from him and his hand, instantly missing the feel of it against my cheek. "Well about that, you saved me in more ways than one last night, Enya. I figured that you deserve a reward, and I am not doubting that you want it now from that look on your face. So I guess I might as well give it to you, but you have to promise me two things from now on. You will call me Tsukikage, and that you won't ever change who you are," I said, my voice sounding very soft, even to myself.

He just looked at me for a few seconds before replying, "Uh okay..I can do those. But why do you not want me to change who I am, if it means bettering myself?" His voice clearly showed his confused curiosity.

Placing a smile on my lips, I shook my head and chuckled before replying, "Because I want you to stay the same man I fell in love with a few years ago Enya, that's why. Now about that reward."

The look of utter shock on his face was priceless. So while he was stunned, I quickly leaned in, closing the space between us, and pressed my lips against his in a kiss. I wasn't sure if he would reject me, so I didn't apply any real pressure to it. After a few seconds, I pulled back to look into a pair of glazed green eyes, whose yellow flecks seemed to have become more prominent. Sitting back on my legs, I let his mental faculties catch up with what I had just done. It didn't take long as the red on his cheeks faded quickly, and he gave me a smoky hooded gaze.

"I know I am not dreaming that you just kissed me, but I find it hard to believe, so please do it again Tsukikage. That way I will know it is happening," he said, his voice an octave lower, making it sound husky and very sexy.

Feeling a sense of anticipation, my tongue darted out and flicked briefly at my top lip, before sliding back in my mouth. That single action caused Enya's breath to hitch, his eyes drawn to my lips like a magnet. Swallowing, I nodded my head yes. Then once more, I leaned in and pressed my lips softly against his, this time adding a bit of pressure, while enjoying the sensation of his soft thin lips against mine.

His lips moved under mine, and I couldn't stop a small moan from escaping my throat. At my reaction, I felt Enya's lips curve into a smile as he pressed his lips more firmly against mine, causing small electric shocks to go down my spine to sit in the pit of my stomach like smoldering embers. To say it was a nice feeling would be putting it very very mildly. In fact, it felt amazingly pleasurable, in a way that any kiss I had received before had ever made me feel. And I didn't want it to end, so I brought my hands to rest on Enya's shoulders as I sighed, parting my lips in invitation to him.

The response I got from him was a low growl stating his desire, but he pulled away from me, his eyes meeting mine before he pushed me back to my kneeling position on the bed. "Dammit! I..That was amazing. Never has a kiss made me feel so damned helpless and needy, Tsukikage. But as much as I want to continue, I know that once I start, there won't be stopping," he said, his voice shaky as he ran a hand through the hair at the base of his neck, while not quite meeting my gaze.

Feeling a bit dejected, and not to sure what he was talking about, I began to pluck at the Hem of the Tee shirt once more. My fidgeting hands got his attention, and he stared for a few seconds before reaching up to the head of the bed, grabbing a pillow, which he promptly put in my lap covering my hands, as I looked confused and hurt."What do you mean you wont be able to stop, Enya?" I asked, feeling stupid, naive, and highly inexperienced.

He just stared at me, with a level gaze, his green eyes having almost completely gone a yellowish color. Swallowing a few times as if his mouth as dry, Enya eventually answered. "Well to be frank, I don't want to just kiss you. I want to feel your body under me as it writhes from the pleasure I wish to give it. To hear you moan, as I touch the intimate parts of your body. I want to explore it, getting to know it, before I take it and make it mine. But I know that you are a virgin, and that is a special thing for a girl to give a guy, and I while I want to be that guy, that isn't my choice. Fuck, I want so badly for you to allow me to take you to my bed, and even be the last and only woman I bring to my bed, Tsukikage." His voice was still husky and very sexy, but strong and exceedingly firm on his last sentence.

It took a few seconds for his words to fully register in my mind, and when they did, the fact he had just inadvertently proposed to me, caused me to gasp and blush as my hands came up to my cheeks. For some reason, instead of feeling awkward or put upon, my heart fluttered around in my chest like a small bird trying to get out of a cage. The smoldering heat in the pit of my stomach seemed to burst into a small flame, making me shift my thighs so they were rubbing together. My eyes still focused on Enya's face as he stared at me, his gaze telling me he was fully aware of what he had just said to me.

We stayed like that in silence before I spoke in a voice that was barely a whisper, "Do you really mean that Enya? That you...want me to be the last woman you ever take to your bed?" In response, I got only a nod of his head as he kept his gaze on mine, like he was afraid to speak or look away, in case I suddenly disappeared.

In my mind, I quickly compartmentalized all the pros and cons of what he was asking, then rationalized that he was telling the truth and somehow I trusted him, while returning the same feelings of love. Pulling my hands out from the pillow, I picked it up and tossed it past him to the floor, as I spoke, "Enya, please." I once more placed my hands on his shoulders, but instead of leaning in, I pulled him towards me, as I lowered myself awkwardly towards the bed, while trying to bring him with me.

The look of disbelief on his face quickly faded as he put his arms on either side of me, bracing himself, and making it easier for me to lower our bodies to the bed. Once I felt my back against the mattress, I shifted my legs so that they were straight out, my gaze never leaving Enya's as I brought my head up to press my lips against his once more. My lips greedily moved against his, my tongue snaking out to lick his, as it sought entrance to his mouth. He obligingly opened his mouth for me, as my tongue darted in to explore, quickly finding his tongue. Soon our tongues were doing a dance of intimacy.

Once more, a moan escaped from my throat as Enya shifted his body so he was laying partially beside me, and partially on top of me, allowing him to rest his body's weight on his forearm which was flat against the bed. That small flame in the pit of my stomach was slowly being stoked into a blaze as I felt him take his right arm and shift it so his hand was now resting on my shoulder, as he traced lazy circles in the crook of my neck, sending small shudders through out my body, making me whimper.

I didn't know that my body could feel this way from a kiss, and simple touching. It was as if it was on fire, or rather that the fire was liquid and running through my veins, so when I was touched, it was like little electrical shocks being sent to my brain, which was slowly loosing its capabilities as it was being overloaded just from what was happening. I was trying to stay focused, not wanting to just run on my instincts alone, which were telling me that I wanted more of what he was doing to me, that my body craved for his hand to caress me, even kiss me in other ways. At that thought, I groaned in pleasure as my hips arched up to press against the half of his that was pinning me to the bed.

It was enough for him to break the kiss and look down at me with gold-green eyes filled with a desire as he whispered to me, "Are you absolutely sure? Because I swear I won't stop, until you are completely mine."

The only response I gave was a small nod of my head as I drug my fingers down his back, relishing in the feel of his warm skin and toned muscles. The effect it had on him was amazing, as I watched his eyes flutter shut and his head tip back. When my hands came to rest on his lower back, I used what little strength my body seemed to suddenly have to press his hips down against mine, arching my body up to met his. His eyes snapped open as he suddenly sat up, shifting his body so I was between his legs. My heart thumped so hard I was sure it would burst from my rib cage at the look he was giving.

"Alright then, prepare yourself," he growled low as he placed one hand against my cheek, before he swooped down to capture what I was sure were very swollen and bruised lips in a hungry kiss, as his tongue slipped back into my mouth.

All I could do was wiggle, as my body got used to feeling his weight on me, and moan as his tongue literally plundered my mouth, dominating me. So enraptured with his kiss, I gasped and arched under him, when his hands came between us and started to caress and knead my breast through the shirt. I could feel as my nipples became small, hard sensitive nubs that ached to be touched, and I didn't have to wait long before he brought both his hands up to pinch and roll them between his fingers, giving them an occasional tug. Each time he did so, I squirmed under him and gave a throaty moan, as if asking for more.

Once more Enya broke the kiss and looked down at me, his eyes so soft and gentle, holding a great amount of affection in them. "Well then, aren't you just a responsive little woman?" His voice was light and teasing as his hands slipped from my breast, to run quickly down my rib cage, into the dip of my waist.

I bit down on my bottom lip as I sucked in air through my nose in a attempt not to moan or laugh at what his finger tips did to my now hyper-sensitive flesh. With my mind reeling, it took a few seconds to realize that he was tugging the shirt up over my hips. Raising an eyebrow as he slowly pulled it up inch by inch, carefully watching me to see how I would react. My face suddenly got a bit hotter, which I didn't think possible since it was fairly glowing from the blood rushing to it. I kept my eyes on him, wondering what he was seeing in their hooded brown depths, as he kept up his agonizingly slow pace of removing the shirt.

After a few minutes, he had only gotten the shirt past my belly button. His eyes widened as a smirk curved his lips in amusement at seeing the white lace thong I was wearing. Feeling a bit embarrassed, I turned my head to the side as I puffed my cheeks. Already, I was becoming impatient with him undressing me, so I spoke softly in what I thought was a sultry voice, "You know, taking a picture would be quicker, since you'd be able too look at it as long as you want later."

When all I received was a chuckle from him, I jerked my head to face him, annoyance flashing in my eyes, only to see him as he leaned down and placed a kiss right over my belly button. My body stilled at the feel of his lips on my belly, and I lay there looking at his red hair that was slowly slipping out from his black head band. Curious if it felt as soft as it looked, I raised my hands and ran them through those flame red locks, massaging his scalp. Amazed was the only word that could describe what I felt at how soft his hair was, as he seemed to purr at what my hand was doing. Smiling a slow smile, I continue to run them through is hair, enjoying the feel of it between my fingers, occasionally letting my fingers brush lightly against the shell of his ear, making his body shudder over me.

"You should stop that while you're ahead, woman," he growled, his hot breath tickling the moist skin of my belly button, as he lifted his head up to peek at me from under the cover of his hair.

Raising an eyebrow, I looked at him, squirming a bit when his breath tickled me, before I replied, "Then quit teasing me and undress me already."

Yet again I received a chuckle, as he sat up and looked down at me from his position across my hips, a smile playing across his lips as he pretended to contemplate what to do next. With a roll of my eyes, I let them travel down his face to appreciate his strong but slender neck, as it blended into a set of broad and athletic shoulders. From there, they swept over his narrow but very muscular chest into the flat toned plains of his abs that seemed to contract and expand before they dipped into the V that led into his basketball shorts, which were sitting even lower on his hips then when he had entered the room. I could see that he wasn't wearing anything underneath with how he was straining against the shiny material, making me gulp at how huge he looked.

Snapping my gaze back up to his, I saw a look of triumph in his eyes before he reached out with one hand and pulled me up into a sitting position, as the other none to gently jerked the t-shirt up and over my head. Then in the next second, he let me go, dropping me to the bed stunned as the air rushed over my heated skin. And all I could do was just keep my gaze on his as tugged the shirt down my arms before throwing it to the floor behind him haphazardly. His look of desire changed to one almost predatory as he took in the sight of my bare breasts, making feel a bit self-conscious, as I tried to cover them with my arms.

His hands snaked out, grabbing me by the wrists, before pinning them above my head. "No, no. Don't do that! Bad Girl!" he whispered to me, before his head lowered to snag one of them in his mouth, making me gasp as my body bowed up towards him.

His mouth felt like heaven to my hot flesh, as his tongue laved at the tender bud, drawing circles around it before flicking it. Wave after wave of pleasure rolled down my spine to pool in the pit of my stomach, making the blaze into a uncontrollable fire, causing me to writhe under him as I whimpered like a small animal trapped like prey by the predator. Each time I whimpered, Enya would nip at the nipple, as if warning me to behave, but I couldn't help it since it only made me gasp and whimper louder. Then it was over with a loud pop as he released my breast from his mouth, a devilish grin curving his mouth, before he attacked my other breast, giving it the same treatment.

I tried twisting my arms and pulling them to break from his grasp so I could touch him, feel him beneath my fingers, to try and give him some type of pleasure, but all I got was his grip tightening on me as he continued to torture one breast then the other. Then, my body reacted on its own, making me glad I was so flexible. Trusting my instincts to time it right when he released a breast, I bucked up to unbalance him a bit, causing him to sit up straighter and glare at me. Then I brought my legs up to try and wrap around his shoulders, which luck allowed me to, before I pulled him backwards to the bed, pinned there.

Now free, I pushed myself up into a half-sitting position to look at him, as he pulled at my legs with his hand, growling like a caged animal. I found it rather sexy that he made those sounds and was trying to be free to dominate me once more. So relaxing my legs, I shifted so I was sitting up with his legs on either side of me, I glanced down briefly at him, before letting my eyes trace a lazy trail to the bulge in his shorts. Grinning impishly, I brought a hand up and began to stroke it softly in long strokes, feeling it twitch under my hand, as Enya himself went very still, giving me the ability to pull my legs out from under him and kneel between his knees.

Each stroke made me bolder and more confident as I touched him through his shorts. It was somehow erotic and very much a turn on to see him lay there with his eyes half-shut watching me, as the same small whimpers started to come from him. Feeling a wetness start to seep between my legs around the thin piece of cloth, I took my free hand and placed it between my thighs, and I began to stroke myself in time to what I was doing to him. This earned me a low growl of delight, as he watched, causing the flame to build to new heights inside my belly.

Tilting my head to the side, I looked at Enya, an odd idea coming to my mind. Pulling my hand from between the folds of my now soaking wet lips, I raised up on my knees to bend over Enya, without stopping what my other hand was doing. "Would you like to taste what you have done to me?" I asked, as I looked into his damn near feral eyes.

When all I got was a growl, I pouted petulantly, before sighing and acting like I was gonna move away. My juices on my hand were drying, leaving a sticky feeling, when I felt his grasp around my wrist as he brought it to his mouth. "I do want to taste you," was his husky reply before he began to stick finger by finger into his mouth and suckle them clean, while giving a small hum of enjoyment. "You taste wonderful, but it seems as if it has gotten on your palm," he said, as he began to flick his tongue across the flat of my palm, making me shudder at how enticing that was.

Blinking my eyes, my vision blurred slightly, causing me to quiver between my legs, and my hand squeezed lightly as it continued to go up and down his length. His hips at some point during this had started to thrust against my palm as his member twitched and pulsed at each squeeze, making some carnal part of me want to have that between my legs, which felt so wet from my arousal. Looking at Enya, who had finished cleaning my hand thoroughly, I took my hand back and drug it down his chest, making sure that my nails scrapped over his nipple lightly, causing him hiss as his back bowed. The sight gave me an empowered feeling, and I kept dragging them over the ridges of his abs. When they snagged on the elastic edge of his basketball shorts, I tugged at them slowly with that one hand.

I didn't miss the look of awe in his eyes at my boldness, but soon enough they had gone to being impatient as I took my time since I was only using on hand. Now, he knew what I had felt perfectly, which made me give him a toothy grin, before I yanked really hard on them to get them off him quicker. Enya willingly obliged by lifting his hips up, allowing them to slide down faster. My hand stopped what it was doing so the shorts would go all the way to his mid thigh, freeing his rod, which stood almost as straight as a flag pole.

I felt my eyes go round as I looked at it, since I had only seen pictures on the net or in the magazines that Shizuka kept in the shared computer desk. Darting my tongue out, I felt giddy as I couldn't help but stare at it. Finally I was able to speak, "That..That has to be at least eight inches long and two inches thick in circumference." My voice was a choked whisper as I reached out hesitantly to touch it.

As my hand wrapped around it, feeling the scorching hot skin that was somehow really soft and smooth in my palm, I began to run my hand up and down its length, giggling like a small child, as I felt it move. "Well to be honest it is nine and half. As for thickness, I don't know," Enya gasped out as I reached the base of it and quickly brought my hand up to the tip, swirling my thumb around the tip, smearing a small amount of pre-cum on the head before sliding back down.

Giving him a brief glance, I took a deep breath, leaning my head in. I flicked my tongue over the tip, getting a tangy, yet salty taste in my mouth, before sliding the head of his erection into my mouth just as my hand came up under the base of the head. Slowly, I lowered my hand inch by inch, as I took each of those inches into my mouth. My eyes watched him for his reaction, and he didn't disappoint, his hands fisting the sheets as he let his head tilt back, moaning low and deep.

I continued my slow pace, slowly adjusting myself to what I was doing, as he began to push his hips up slightly, his motions almost a complete mimic of what I had been doing while he was suckling on my breast. Grinning lightly, I took my teeth and scraped them lightly on the warm flesh in my mouth, as I brought my head back up to the tip, where I slowly swirled my tongue, tasting once again the tangy yet salty taste of his juices. With a small moan of need, I began my descent a bit faster, as I let my hand creep back between my now parted legs to play with myself once more.

"GODS woman, you're teasing me in a way no virgin should be able to," Enya barked between moans and gasping for breath, his body shuddering as I felt him jerk in my mouth. One of his hands threaded through my hair, grasping it a bit painfully as I slid my mouth up once more. "I..OH Fuck!" he screamed as his cock twitched once more in my mouth, before I felt it spray at the back of my throat, causing me to gag before I reflectively swallowed. When it was done, I pulled my mouth from his member, looking at him in wonderment, as he stared back the same way. "Sorry," he whispered.

I felt him go limp in my hand, and a dejected look came to my face. Enya, seeing it, frowned a bit before letting go of my hair. Sitting up halfway on one elbow, he slipped his other hand under my armpit and pulled me up his chest. Not wanting to fight him, I moved with him, my hand still between my legs, toying with my clit. Upon seeing that, a small smile graced his lips, before he clumsily rolled us so I was laying beneath him, his full body weight pressing me into the soft mattress.

"Now don't look like that; I can make us even. Trust me," he said as he nuzzled at my neck, giving it a quick nip.

I gasping at the pain mixed with pleasure from that nip and turned my head to look at him as he pushed himself into a kneeling position above me, raking his eyes over my body, while he licked his lips. That feral, predatory look in his eyes matched the grin on his lips as he stood up on the bed, shimmying out of his shorts. He stepped out of them and once more knelt down, but instead of me being between his legs, he was now between mine. With a wink, he slipped his arms under my legs, hooking them at his elbows as he brought them up and placing them on his shoulders.

This new position left me feeling very vulnerable, leaving me no choice but to trust him. After he had me settled, his hands went to the thong, running his fingers under the elastic band before pulling them over my hips. With great care, he pulled them down my legs, until right before my knees. Letting go with his right hand, he lifted my left knee up, before continuing to pull them off one leg, then switching to the other. When they were gone, he reached to my ankles and crossed them behind his head, making me look at him in curiosity, before his head dipped down quickly.

His mouth pressed against my swollen sex, kissing it in light butterfly kisses, and I moaned, jerking my hips up. My ankles were pressing down on his back, forcing his face further into my core, and he obliged by licking with his tongue, causing me to gasp and squirm. I felt as if something in my body was gonna break soon. Soon enough, my body adjusted to the sensation of his mouth and tongue teasing my sex, forcing small mewls out from deep in my throat. I closed my eyes, letting my body just feel as I rode out wave after shocking wave of pleasure. Then Enya stopped and pulled away from me, making me open my eyes to pout at him.

"Oh don't worry, I am not done yet, but you might want to brace yourself," was all he said before his head dipped back down. He blew cool air on my exposed clit, as he traced the opening of my womanhood with a finger, before he simultaneously clamped down hard on my little bundle of nerves, thrusting his finger deep inside of me.

Unable to help it, I screamed aloud my shock mixed with pain and pleasure. After I started to relax, I felt Enya suckle lightly on me, his finger beginning to slip in and out of my chamber. As if possessed, my body reacted, arching my hips to meet his finger each time it was thrust into me. Shallow pants escaped my mouth, as I felt something deep within me finally burst. The inner walls of my sex tightened around his finger as it gushed my juices out and over my ass, leaving my body feeling shaky and light.

Enya lifted his head up from my womanhood, making me open my eyes to glance down at him, as his finger still worked away, slipping and sliding out of me. He finally pulled it out and rested his hand over me, the look in his eyes one of smugness, before he started to nuzzle at my inner thigh. "Are you pleased with your release, Tsukikage?" he asked as he began to plant small peck-like kisses, making it feel like he was leaving a trail of fire in their wake.

Taking a few deep breaths to calm myself, I said, "Yes. It..it was amazing, I have never, ever felt anything like that." My eyes caught the spark in his eyes, amazing me at how yellow they had turned the more aroused he became.

Finishing up his kisses on the inside of one thigh, he repeated the process on the other, making me moan loudly with need as I tried to wiggle away, causing my legs to slip free of his shoulders. "Good, but we're not done yet. Oh no...we still have the finale to do, and I can't wait to hear you and feel you as you come off that high. Now one last time, are you sure you want me to do this? I meant it, I don't want any other woman, but you in my bed," he said, his voice going from a sultry teasing to a serious tone.

A small swell of emotion welled up in my chest as he asked me once more if I really wanted him to take me, and make me his alone. Swallowing, I just nodded my head at him, making him smile. "Okay then. Let me grab a condom from the night stand. And fore-warned, you are untouched, so this will hurt at first. How much depends on your pain tolerance," he said as he twisted at the waist, easily able to reach into the night stand's top drawer for the condom.

I laid there, watching as he opened the packet and put it on his once more hardened member. I shuddered a bit in a mix of anticipation and fear, knowing it would hurt to some degree, but also knowing that it would be a very pleasurable act, since he was so attentive to me, showing his care openly. I watched as he repositioned himself between my legs, and leaned his long body over mine so his face was above mine. He brought his lips to mine in a gentle yet somehow sensual kiss, as his finger once more probed at the entrance to my well.

Moaning into the kiss, I brought my arms up to wrap around him, so that he could deepen the kiss. I felt his finger slip into me, stroking me as if to build up that smoldering bed of embers in the pit of my belly once more. My hips shifted in time to his hand as it pushed the finger back into me, but my body wanted what he had offered, not this cheap tease. I tensed up, feeling a bit of pain as Enya added another finger into my awaiting chamber. He let his hand go still while buried deep inside me, letting my body adjust to the new width, before pulling them out, shoving them in faster and harder.

The friction it caused, made me squirm as I whimpered into his mouth, allowing his tongue to slip in and once more tango with mine in a velvet dance of dominance. My hand hands found their way to his hair, pulling on it each time he flexed his fingers into me, making it seem like time was slowing down, as each thrust caused the bed of embers to burst into flames. My hips lifted to meet his thrusts, grinding against his hand as we kept up that pace for a while.

Breaking the kiss, Enya looked down at me before kissing the tip of my nose. "I hope you're ready, cause I can't hold back anymore," he whispered as I felt his fingers leave the warmth of me, making me feel empty before I felt the tip of his rock hard shaft nudge at the entrance to my core.

Fear must have flickered in my eyes, because Enya hesitated for a few seconds, before lowering his mouth to kiss me once more. His hands grabbed me around the waist, bracing himself before pushing into me a few inches and stopping. Not breaking the kiss, he pulled back, only to push in even further this time and stopping to wait as my body adjusted around him. Pulling out a third time, I felt his fingers dig deep into the flesh at my hips almost painfully, before he slammed all the way into me. A burst of pain shot through my body, and I cried out into Enya's mouth, my body clamping down on the invader that had induced the pain.

My breathing was shallow and quick, panic from the pain creeping into my mind as I tried to push Enya off of me. Understanding, Enya broke the kiss and looked down at me, still keeping my body pinned under his. "Shush...I can see it in your eyes that it hurt badly. I felt your hymen break, so please Tsukikage, try to relax and the pain will fade. I promise, if it doesn't, I will pull out and let you hit me until you feel better. So don't cry." His words were soft and soothing, and I stilled under him, taking deeper breaths.

After staying like that in Enya's gentle, loving embrace, the pain began to recede. When it felt it like it was gone, I rolled my hips to test how I felt. When I got no pain, just a wave of pleasure, I looked up at Enya who smiled at me. Grinning rather sheepishly, I rolled my hips more forcefully, watching as his eyes fluttered shut, before he gasped at the sensation it caused him. Letting my body go still, I pulled his head down so his forehead was resting on mine. The look in my eyes was the only hint he needed. Releasing his damn near death grip on my hips, Enya slid his hand under them and down to my ass, lifting it up off the bed a bit. Giving me a rakish grin, he pulled his hips back, causing his length to slide slowly out of me, before he thrust it back in at once.

I expected a small bit of pain, only to feel none as I shuddered from the delightful friction. I relaxed my body, willing it to respond to him, as my hands flitted through his red hair to trace the outer shell of his ear, making him moan softly. Knowing from experience that I liked my ears to be nibbled and sucked on, I shifted my head so I could grab one between my lips. As soon as I did, he reacted by jumped a bit and slamming himself deep into me, making me mewl with pleasure. Enjoying the fact I could make him react, I began to softly suck, then nibble on it, noticing how his pace would change with what I did. I kept a steady pace, feeling the fire in my belly begin to burn brighter and hotter each time he pulled out and pounded into me.

Eventually Enya spoke as I stayed latched to his ear, "Dammit you are driving me insane, and testing my will power. What are you, some devil woman?" The last part came out as a question, to which I responded by dragging my nails down his back as my hips arched up, allowing him to go deeper into me.

We continued on like that for a few more minutes before Enya pulled all the way out of me, making me let his ear go as I cried out my displeasure. He just stared down at me, before deftly flipping my body so I was on my stomach. Wanting to know what he was doing, I lifted up my head and turned it so I could see him. He lifted my hips up in the air, so I was on my knees. I pushed up with my hands so I could get a better look at what he was planning to do, and then yelped as he smacked my ass before lightly shoving my torso back to the bed. In the next moment, I felt his weight lean over me, pressing his shaft into my back.

"Uh-uh. You stay that way, and just enjoy what I am gonna do to you," he said as he raked his nails down my back, causing my nerves to jump as if he had applied electricity to them, bowing my chest further into the bed. "But if it hurts or is uncomfortable, tell me and I will stop. I don't want to harm you," he whispered as I felt him began to butterfly kiss where his nails had dug into my back, evoking a loud needy sound from me.

Each kiss took him down my back, releasing his trapped member from being pressed against it, and I unintentionally wiggled my ass at him, earning me another stinging slap across the other cheek. Flushing red, I looked at him with only one eye, as he finished kissing my back. Now up straight, I felt his fingers probing me again, before they vanished, leaving me wanting once more as a emptiness began to fill me. My eye watched his movements as I saw him place one hand on my lower back while the other seemed to be doing something hidden from view.

I didn't have to wait long before I found out what his other hand was doing. Soon enough, I felt a finger again at my entrance, before it moved away to be replaced with the head of his cock, which he moved in a slow teasing circle, making me cry out his name in need. As soon as I had, he slammed its full length into me. Leaning his body over me so he could place his hands on either side of my body, he began to pull out and thrust back in, in a slow steady rhythm. Each time, my mind told me he was reaching deeper and deeper into my very being, causing me to cry out from the pleasure of it, spurring him to go faster and faster.

My mind was quickly becoming foggy with the pleasure and need mixing in it as my hips rocked back to meet his thrust. The pit of my stomach felt like molten lava as it churned, feeling like it was gonna burst releasing the pressure that was building up and spreading down between my thighs. I felt my body began to squirm under him as I sought my release, only to find that there was nothing for me to grind against. Letting instinct guide me, I shifted, moving my hand towards that small bundle of nerves, so I could flick it a few times and get my release.

Catching onto what I was about to do, Enya once more grabbed me by my wrists and pinned them above my head, making me growl low in my throat from frustration. "Uh-uh, you can't do that. I want to be the only thing that is touching your body, giving you pleasure," he hissed in my ear, before his lips snagged the lobe into his mouth, biting it. I cried out as my body practically spazzed out, causing him to chuckle before he released my ear.

With that, Enya began to rise off my back, bringing my arms up with him, then my body. Soon we both were up right, my back flush against his chest as he kept his pace of pounding into me. He placed my hands behind his neck, pressing them there, as if to say, don't move them. When he let go, I complied with what he wanted as I stared across the room at the wall. I could feel my breasts bounce and jiggle each time he thrust up into me. My breathing was heavy, yet shallow, as I felt him lift my chin to angle my face towards his. Once he was satisfied, he captured my lips with his own, freeing up his hands which immediately went to my breast, kneading them in his palms, making me shudder against his body.

From the way his mouth moved against mine, I could tell he was smiling at my reactions. My body was screaming for its release, as I pressed my thighs together in a failed attempt to help me go over the edge. Once more, my actions earned me a chuckle before he pinched my nipples hard, making me whimper from pain. Enya was enjoying himself, and I couldn't deny I was too, as my hips began to roll around each of his thrust. Each time I did it, he moaned low into my mouth, his chest vibrating from it, only adding to the pleasure that wracked my body. Soon, his pace picked up as he slammed himself faster and harder into my body, jerking it against his own.

Bringing a hand down, he placed it right above my sex, his fingers teasing as he stroked my lips. Breaking the kiss, he spoke to me, making me feel all kinds of naughty, "I can tell you are ready to cum, as I am. Cum with me." I didn't get a chance to respond before he slammed his lips back on mine, slipping a finger into my quivering folds, and assaulting my delicate nub fiercely.

It was what I had wanted and needed, and I pressed my body tightly against his, my hips rolling faster as they slammed down to meet his shaft each time it pushed up into me. I moaned loudly into his mouth as I felt him somehow getting harder and thicker, stretching and filling me to the point I thought I would tear in half. When the dam in me finally snapped, I felt him move his hand from my breast to my shoulder and push me down onto him. It was painful as I broke the kiss calling out his name as I felt my body shudder time and time again as wave after wave flowed out of me, draining my body of all its energy.

We rode it out, pressed against each other, both laboring for air. Our bodies slumped forward until we both laid flat on the bed utterly exhausted. His weight pinned me, but not uncomfortably so, as we just stayed like that for gods knew how long. Then he rolled off to the side, taking me with him, his arms holding me close to his chest as he cuddled me.

Resting his chin on the top of my head, Enya gave me squeeze. "You do know that I am not letting you go. You're mine from now on, Tsukikage," he said in a hushed voice.

"Yes, I do Enya. And I think I can live with being yours from now on. So what is next?" I said before letting the room slip into silence except for our still slightly labored breathing.

"I don't know, that depends on when you want to get married really. But I can tell you this, I am not done with you yet. I plan to savor every inch of your body today, meaning you're not going back to the dorms at all today or tonight," was his reply, making my body tense up briefly at the thought of spending the whole day and night in his bed. "Oh yeah, don't worry. Shizuka knows where you are; I told her after I called her from the hospital. She is covering for you back at the dorms. That is a whole other issue that we can wait to deal with tomorrow, since I get to run a painful gauntlet via all the other guys in our group."

His words made me go still as my body relaxed, before I asked, worry lacing my voice, "What do you mean you have to run a painful gauntlet from our group of friends, Enya?"

Hugging me tighter, he gave a wry laugh. "Let's just say we have all had a huge crush on you for years now, and I did what we considered taboo. We all agreed to say nothing of our feelings, because we wanted to know if you had any reciprocating feelings for any of us. But I uh...couldn't wait, hence the break up with Pamela, and then telling you how I have felt," he said.

Shifting my body, causing his flaccid dick to slip out, I turned so I was facing him. Looking up into his face with my own, letting him see how stunned I was, I smiled and kissed his chin. "I am glad, because I would have never said a damn thing if things hadn't happened the way they did, Mr. Enya Kagurami. As for marriage, I want to wait until I graduate from college in the fall and get a job in a hospital. But other then that, I love you and can honestly never see myself with any other man but you."

With that said, I kissed his chin once more, before he tilted his face so our lips could meet, leaving me with a sigh of bliss. And that's how I came to be in my current situation.

Thanks again to my amazing and wonderful Beta Leoslady4ever for making sure that my stories are damn near perfect.

Thanks to SOLMARE for making this Otome (Girls Dating Sim) Shall We Date? Destiny Ninja. Which I would recommend to anyone to at least try. The app is free for both the Andriod and Iphone.. .

To you the readers, who have taken the time to make it all the way through this behemoth of a 20K worded story. As well as a special thanks to those who leave a review.. THAT IS MY CRACKFEED THE ADDICTION!

(The copyrights of this game and Character Enya, belong to Solmare and the designers of this game. I Take no, and I mean ABSOLUTELY, no credit what so ever for them. Just the original idea and the female protagonist Tsukikage.)

Side note, Tsukikage is Japanese for Moon Shadow if I recall correctly.. Which I got from reading & Watching Detective Conan.. A long on going series that amazing. CAIO! I am off to work on the next story as well as chapters for my other stories. *bows very graciously before my body shrinks and shifts into the form of a small red fox with sparkly fairy wings*

Chapter Text

The sound of small feet pattering down the hall reached my ears long before I heard the shrill laughter of two young children, causing a smile to creep slowly across my face as I stopped what I was doing. Quickly dusting my hands on my apron, I turned my body in the direction of the sound just as the door to our living apartment burst open.

"Mommy!" "Mama!" came two very distinct and child-like boy voices crying out to me, causing the smile on my face to widen at my twins.

Bending at the waist, I opened my arms as they came crashing into me in a fierce hug, their breathing labored, telling me that they had run a fair distance. "Alright you two, what have you all wound up like a squirrel with a nut?" I asked softly as I released them.

"Well Mommy, we were just talking to Cousin Cedric, and he was telling us how Uncle Sohma and Auntie Mabel met and got married," the older of my twins said, as I waited patiently for the rest.

"And that got Noritsune and I thinking, Mama. And...and we uh...we wanna know how Papa and you met, then married. Will you tell us?" my youngest son asked, his voice coming out as a bit of a whine.

As they spoke, I let my face fall back into a neutral state, while trying to keep the smile from returning. Letting out a small sigh, I stood up, fussing with my apron, and turned back towards the counter, as if to continue on with the prepping for dinner. It was a fact that all children, especially little boys, were curious, making it an only matter of time before they'd ask questions like this.

So with a wry chuckle and a shake of my head, I turned to face my sons, only able to see their dark outline against the candlelight in the room. Raising my eyebrows, I spoke to them calmly, "Oh you wanna know how your father and I met and got married, huh? Well first, tell me what your cousin told you about how your uncle and aunt got engaged."

With a bit of a groan from both boys at being put off, Noritsune spoke up, "But mommy, I wanna know about Papa and you!"

At the tone of his voice, I raised my eyebrows, pursing my lips, when my youngest Yoshitsune spoke up. "Nori, stop. That will make her mad, and you know it. Mama, Cedric told us that Uncle Sohma did something called courting for Auntie Mabel. And that she punched him in the face, breaking his nose before she said yes," His soft voice replied.

Nodding my head in amusement, I chuckled before giving my reply, "Ah.. so apparently Cedric didn't tell you the whole of it. But yes, your Auntie Mabel did punch him in the nose for the second time and broke it a second time. And I guess now I have to tell you how I met your papa and married him huh? So why don't you to help me with dinner by setting the table, okay?"

My only response was a double sigh before I heard their feet shuffle slowly across the floor towards the cabinets that held our dishes. They were my good little boys, and each was growing rapidly. I didn't have to crouch down to hug them anymore, meaning that soon enough they would shoot past my four foot nine inches. It was still hard for me to believe that they were even seven years old. Once I heard the clanking of dishes being moved I gave a small hum, as I went back to finishing up my cooking for the evening meal.

After a few minutes, I could feel their eyes boring figurative holes into my back. "Well, it isn't a very fancy or fun tale. You could say the first time I met your papa, I took an instant dislike to him, boys. You know how our family has gifts from the Rowan herself right? And don't ask when you will each get yours, cause that comes when you're thirteen...no rushing it. But back to the story, the meeting happened on a day when a bunch of new people came to our castle looking for employment. Your father tried to pass himself off as a scholar," I spoke, my voice holding a bit of a dreamy quality as I reminisced about it.

"You hated..." Noritsune started to say, as Yoshitsune finished, "...Papa when you first met him."

With a soft laugh, I stretched out my hand to find my stirring spoon, and closed my eyes, letting the images of my past crawl back. "Yes...yes I did. I had gone with your Uncle to meet the new hires, so to speak. The day had been like every other day, meaning there was nothing to expect. I followed Sohma down to the courtyard, where he began to question each of the people to get an idea of their strengths and weaknesses so they could be placed appropriately in our household. So, here is a question. Do you recall what your Uncle Sohma's gift from the Rowan is? And the price he pays to have it?" I said as I began to stir the lentil soup.

The silence followed as I continued what I was doing over the wood stove. I knew the boys were thinking in their own manner, hearing the soft scratching as Noritsune drew small circles on the table. It was in perfect sync to the soft rhythmic tapping of Yoshitsune's fingers. They were so alike, yet so different from each other. It kind of made me glad that they weren't identical twins.

"Uh..Uncle Sohma's gift is the ability to look at any situation and instantly come up with the best plan to tactically win," came Noritsune's reply, to which I nodded my head and gave a small hum of approval.

It took a few more minutes before Yoshitsune spoke up in his soft voice, "And the price he pays for that is uh...not having the full mobility or use of his right arm. It keeps him from being truly effective in combat but has allowed him a great insight for creativity to stop disputes on the field of battle... Which in turn has made him a very creative person for thinking of new ways to make work easier for those with a disability, right?"

Once more, I nodded my head and gave a hum of approval in his reply as well. Taking my spoon from the soup, I placed it beside the wood stove on the small counter space, before turning to face my boys. Tilting my head, I leaned back against the countertop, my eyes closed as the images of the day began to filter into my mind, and I let myself flashback to the past.

The day had been chilly, with a heavy frost covering the grounds that never melt, even with the sun out. All the studies had been done and my chores completed, when I heard the familiar footsteps of my older brother. He was making his way towards the entrance of the castle, which stimulated my forever curious nature. I hiked my skirts up and chased after him, earning me a small dismayed gasp from the female servants at the show of my ankles and calves.

My mind was set on my brother who seemed to focus on whatever he was doing, and from the way, his body seemed slightly hunched forward to my darkened vision, he appeared to be looking at something in his hands. Slowing my strides as I neared him, I carefully began to place my feet silently in hopes that he wouldn't hear me creeping up behind him., allowing me to get in a surprise attack.

"That won't work ,Tsu. Just because I'm focused on what I'm doing doesn't mean that I haven't heard all the gasping from our staff, meaning you're being unladylike once more. Drop your skirts, and then you can follow me. But, and I mean but, if your feet get frostbitten since you are not wearing shoes again, I will let mother have your hide," he said, as he came to a stop in front of the large oak doors.

I came to a complete halt with a small harrumph at the scolding from my older brother. "That isn't fair, Sohma. I have to be able to get in a surprise attack on you again one of these days, without having to have Mabel help me," I said, my voice a bit whinny, earning me a chuckle from my brother.

"It isn't ever gonna happen little one. Now hurry and slip on some boots, so mom won't eat you alive. All I am doing is greeting and assessing the new hires for the castle. You have to behave yourself, Tsu, cause the last thing I want is to tell dad that you have scared off people with your antics," he replied in his normal teasing manner, causing me to giggle.

Nodding my head, I continued to giggle at his teasing, before darting around him to slip into a pair of my winter boots that were always kept by the main doors. Once they were on, I stood up and tapped the toes against the worn stone floor to slide my toes into them more comfortably. I lifted my head up to see the outline of my brother as he stood there watching me patiently. With a quick salute of my hand, I turned to the doors and pushed them open on well-oiled hinges. The light caused me to blink my eyes as they readjusted to the brighter outside light.

Feeling Sohma walk past me, I let my eyes adjust, even though I would still see everything as if a black blindfold was over my eyes. Quickly, I fell into step behind him, taking note of my shorter height compared to his almost six feet. It had only been a few years since I had come to accept that I wasn't going grow any taller and that my short height was a rather useful tool when used appropriately.

The walk was a short one I found as I bumped into Sohma from behind due to my mental waffling. "Tsu, can you stand back a bit and just listen and observe please," I was asked, so I nodded and did as I'd been told.

Placing a very childlike look of innocence on my face, I stood there, watching the movements of both my brother and the people assembled there. Keeping one ear open, I let my mind wander to the various connections I had from my gifts. When I had come up with two gifts, there was much speculation, as there was a price to pay for having a gift from the fey blood of the Rowan flowing in our human bodies. It had caused a bit of worry for both our parents and when I hit fourteen, the color just faded from my vision over the next year and a half before it panned out even.

Something told me that the changes weren't done, though I remained silent as my parents and Sohma seemed happy that was all that seemed to happen. By the time I was sixteen, I had noted that the edges of my vision had begun to go dark. Before long, my parents noticed that I would turn my head to look at things instead of using my peripheral vision like I had previously. Eventually, by the time I was seventeen, my vision was like I was looking through a thin black blindfold. I could tell where people were, even if they were only black outlines, just like the furniture against the light in the room. My parents kept it a secret so no one other than them, my brother, and my Uncle Fitz, the bastard son of my grandfather, knew the truth. And it was a well-guarded secret.

I was pulled from my musings when I heard a rather heavily accented male voice speak, making me turn my gaze towards it, only to make out a figure that was almost as tall as my brother. "I come from the orient. I am versed in a few scholarly arts and wish to be a governor here if you have need of one. If not, I am a good keeper of books and such."

Something in me made me creep closer to my brother, and I narrowed my eyes, carefully analyzing the man before me. Taking into account the way he stood, I tugged lightly on the back of my brother's tunic, trying to get his attention, since something about this man didn't sit right with me. I knew it was a gut instinct that he wasn't telling the truth. "Sohma, don't hire this man," I said softly as I continued to stare up at the foreign man with narrowed eyes.

I saw the man tilt his head down so he was looking at me, as he spoke to my brother, "Forgive me my lord for being rather blunt, but I was taught that children should be seen and not heard by their elders. I presume that this is your little sister, the one I heard about when I was asking about places that were offering employment. In your sister's case, it means that particular rule applies twice as she is a lady of the keep."

I felt Sohma's hand on my shoulder as my natural reaction to dart in and kick the arrogant man kicked in. By trying to be my better and thinking I was a little kid, he had just overstepped his bounds in my book, and I was about to say something when Sohma spoke up in a mollifying yet curt voice, "You are right, she is my little sister, and while that tends to a rule, you will find here that women speak their minds without question. However, do not worry. I will take her to task for being rude to you without a cause. Tsu, apologize to this man now, please."

Knowing his tone of voice was a warning to both of us, I sucked my lips into my mouth. Everything in my body was telling me emotionally and instinctively that this man wasn't to be trusted. That he was hired, I just shook my head violently as I jerked away from my brother gasp. Puffing up my cheeks, I turned my gaze to my brother, before turning and running away, ignoring his cries for me to come back and do what was right. When he found me later, I would have explaining to do, but I could live with that because I had to get away from that man.

Three days later I was in my brother and sister-in-law's quarters teaching my five-year-old nephew, Cedric his family history on top of normal history lessons. Having been scolded by not only my brother, but also by both parents for my actions the other day, I had kept out of sight, practically forgetting the new hires as I went about my daily routine. So when a knock on the door disturbed my lessons, I didn't think of who it could be. I simply walked over and opened the door, only to be met with a darkened profile as a sinking sensation hit the pit of my stomach.

Unable to get the door shut before he shoved past me into the room, I barely caught the muttering under his breath, "They are letting a child of twelve teach their child. What are they thinking?"

Feeling a small tic under my left eye, I watched him make progress towards my nephew and felt a small smile curve my lips as he came to a stop. The smile only got bigger as he started to address my nephew who was a perfect blend of his parents. "Hello, young Cedric. My name is Hyuga, and I am gonna be your new Governor. Apparently, I will be teaching you foreign history and politics alongside your Aunt over there." His tone was cold, distant and rather perfunctory.

I didn't have to wait long before Cedric stood up and slapped his hands down on the table, telling Hyuga that he was an arrogant and pompous dick. Truly, I can claim to listen to my nephew chew him apart about his manners when talking to a son of nobility. He then went on to declare that the tone he had used to address me was less than respectful, and he should apologize for it since I was the daughter of the current lord. Silence reigned in the room as Cedric sat back in his small wooden chair, leaving Hyuga to just stand there taken aback.

Not wanting this opportunity to slip by me, I took a few steps forward, clasping my hands before me as I spoke in a stern voice of an adult while remaining true to the nature I was raised in, "Cedric, that was a bit rude of you, do you not think so? He was just introducing himself to you, even if it was a bit brisk. He is new to our country and does not fully understand our ways or culture yet. So, you must be the better person and forgive him while being patient. Your father personally hired him to help me with teaching you."

With that said, I took a step towards the text and papers I had been using to write out my notes, which I knew had to look horrendous to the tall man, who stood there stiffly and almost devoid of emotions. As I began to gather up my supplies, I heard my nephew stand up and apologize to him, though it was rather forced sounding, before he plopped loudly into his chair in his normal dejected manner.

"Well, I am done teaching him for now. He is all yours. I hope you are able to keep him focused on his studies...Hyuga," I said as I flit past him and out the room's door before I could burst into a fit of laughter.

Oh how well I knew my nephew, and what he would do to put that man through the ringer. There was a trick to handling my nephew that no cajoling, wheedling, or bribing could do. He was, after all, that perfect blend of Sohma's diligence and pride, coupled with Mabel's stubbornness and witty intelligence. Shaking my head, I made my way down the hallways to return the text to the library, silently wondering to myself if he'd even last an hour with Cedric. I couldn't help wondering what that feeling I got from him every time we came near each other meant. The only thing I knew for certain was that it had nothing to do with my fey gifts since those were animal based.

After the incident, I was scolded by my sister-in-law and mother for leaving him alone with Cedric. It wasn't really a scolding since they ended up laughing because of what Hyuga's face had looked like when they found him. I had asked Cedric what he'd said or did to the poor man to scar him. I got full details after threatening to hang him over the castles' east rampart wall by his ankles again, and it left me laughing so hard that I had to hold my sides as I crumpled to the ground. Of course, I re-iterated what his mother had told him about not doing it again.

So, it was a week later when I came across Hyuga out behind the stables. I could hear a voice talking softly to someone. His words were a bit hushed and sounding urgent when I heard the yip of a dog. Blinking as I pressed my body against the wall to stay hidden, I listened in as best I could to what he was saying, but was only able to truly hear what the dog said in reply, thanks to the fact that my gift from the Rowan was the ability to understand and talk to animals, as well as sense and track where they had been and gone to. The conversation was not very enlightening, and I could tell from the change in the tone of Hyuga's voice that he knew I was there.

Then he told the dog to go and play, and I heard him stand up. It was all silent until a shadow fell over me, and looking up, I could see that odd spiky hair blowing in the winter wind. Immediately, I turned, trying to run away from him, only to have my shoulder grabbed as I was tossed back against the wall. He just stood there, barely exerting any strength while his whole body was nothing but a bunch of coiled tension waiting to be released.

"I wasn't aware that it was a practiced habit for a lord's daughter to go sneaking around and spying on people in their personal time. You, young lady, are too unruly and should be thoroughly whipped for your continuous actions. And believe me that I am more than willing to do it, if not for your station. So here is your only warning...stay the hell away from me. I have no interest in a girl who is flat-chested and not even a woman yet." His voice gruff and threatening, his accent heavy as the first show of anger seeped through his careful control.

Swallowing visibly, I just stared up at him, my heart racing from his hand pinning me against the wall, feeling like a brand, as if it could burn through my blouse. My mind finally placed why I found him to be a threat this whole time. He was obviously a trained warrior, but I was unable to figure out what kind. He completely controlled his muscles, so the body didn't have any extra movements that were not needed. The way he walked was more the stalk of a predator, silent and graceful. At his words, I nodded my head in compliance, though my eyes narrowed in anger that he thought of me as a little girl.

Quickly, he let go of my shoulder and turned, taking his leave of my presence. I stayed there against the wall, stewing in anger as the heat from his hand cooled and my heart calmed down. "BASTARD! Arrogant lying bastard!" I shouted over and over in my head, as tears sprung hot to my eyes before falling down my cheeks in frustration.

When I was able to get control of my emotions, I made my way into the stables to my horse's stall. Lifting my hand up and over the door, I wiggled my fingers and felt the soft velvet of his nose nuzzling against my hand. Soon enough, his head was over the door and brushing against my face as he tried to nibble on my hair. I giggled at his antics as I stepped back and took measured steps to his feeding sack, which he willingly let me put over his head. As he inhaled the sweetened oats with dried apples and carrots, I stroked the side of his face lovingly.

"Testament, I don't know if I am angry, scared, or excited. But I do know one thing...that new teacher, Hyuga isn't what he really claims to be, and one way or another I will find out why he is here, and stop it," I whispered, only to get a soft whinny in response as Testament continued to munch away on his snack.

Four days later, a full two weeks since that man had joined our staff, Hyuga had become the bane of my existence. Some of our more observant staff had noticed that we both went out of our way to avoid each other whenever possible, which worked fine until I was called to the reception hall by my father. The meeting didn't go very well, as it ended with me being told to act my age and rank. This left me in one hell of a bad mood, which meant that Wyatt, our resident trainer for our warriors in time of battle or war, got the brunt of it.

"Whoa whoa... Tsukikage, easy does it. Your movements are a bit sloppy, even if they are quick, leaving you wide open. What the hell happened to put you in this kind of mood? Does it have anything to do with that new teacher your brother allowed on? There are rumors flying all over the servants quarters that you two are like two wet cats in a sack... always circling around each other, glaring, gauging, and swiping at each other," his ancient and wise voice asked me, making me drop my practice sword to my side as I leaned on it.

"Oh really there huh. Well, they aren't wrong. I just refuse to accept that man as a part of this household in any regards. He isn't outright lying or father would know, but I have watched him. And one thing I know is the marks of a trained, seasoned warrior. Have you seen how he walks? There is no excessive movement, and there is always coiled tension as if he is waiting for something to attack, Wyatt. Besides, a few days ago, he pi..." I said, trailing off as I realized what I was saying.

My eyes went wide as I became very still. There was no sound outside of my labored breathing and the slight nasal wheezing from Wyatt, who after a few seconds, turned and began to march out of the training pen, causing true fear to well up in me. Dropping my wooden sword on the sandy ground, I made a mad dash at Wyatt's back, causing my skirts to slip free from the belt that had held them up while I did my practice.

"Stop, Wyatt! Please, I am begging you...don't do what I know you're going to do," I half cried and half pleaded at him.

The shadowed outline of his form stopped moving, allowing me to catch up. A part of me was feeling thankful until I laid a hand on his back. It was vibrating as heat radiated from it, let me know he was angry, which I soon heard in his voice. "Tsukikage, you asked me not to report something like that to your parents or brother? What the hell do you think you're asking me to do? He laid his hands upon your being, a noble daughter, and he is nothing more than a hire to teach. TELL ME now young lady...did he touch you in an unwanted or inappropriate fashion? Was he being malicious with an intent to harm you? Be clear now, or I will drag your sorry carcass before your parents with this right now."

Stepping away from Wyatt, I felt my body begin to shake in terror. The normally calm, patient, and gentle weapons instructor, had become the fearsome man I heard stories about at dinner time. My mouth worked a few times before I was able to choke out what I wanted to say. "Because I...I did something to warrant his anger and put myself into that position. And I am asking you to let me deal with my problems, Wyatt. As for doing anything inappropriate...no, he didn't touch me or harm me. The intent was not really malicious per see, other than he finally showed an emotion...anger. As for how I warranted it, I had gone to the stables and heard whispering from behind it. When I recognized his voice, I sorta...kinda...maybe listened in..hehe."

With a groan, I saw Wyatt's shadowed profile lift a hand and run it over his face, then through his long shaggy hair. It took a few minutes before he was able to fully collect himself, but when he did, I could tell from his stance as he lifted up his own wooden practice sword and pointed back to the arena what he wanted. This made me groan, cause now he was gonna go at me seriously. Even with all the training, I had received from both him and my brother in melee combat, on top of Uncle Fitz's special brand of training in stealth and subterfuge, I would be especially hard pressed. Then again, I had done something stupid and this was a punishment I would gladly take.

I made my way back to the center of the training ring, using my feet to feel for the wooden blade. When I did find it, I bent to pick it up, only to roll forward and twist my body around in time to stop Wyatt's blade from whacking me very painfully on the head. Giving a toothy grin, I pushed my blade towards him, sliding it along his own, contracting the muscles in my belly to make me roll forward so I could stand up in his guard zone. With a small grunt of approval, he came at me again, his strikes sure and strong, with an accurate precision that jarred my bones as I continued to block and try to get my own opening.

The beating I had received from Wyatt had left my body too sore to move, my skin rather black and blue. At least the bruises were in places that my normal everyday clothes would cover easily. It would be a hard thing to explain to my mother, who would most likely kill both my dad and brother. Shaking my head, I placed my hand on the wall outside of my bedroom, mentally counting each step that was measured from habit, as I made my way towards the kitchen for a bit of food to eat, after missing the evening meal due to my body hurting.

Sighing with every other step, I made my way down the stairs from my tower and through the hallways that were now dark, with my stomach voicing its need for food louder and louder each time it sounded off. Soon enough, I smelled bread baking for the morning fast and started to pick up my pace. When I reached the doorway to the kitchen, the sound of two familiar voices reached my ears, which seemed to be turning red.

"Shizuka, please come back to Japan and the clan. They sent me to get you because I was your last pupil, one, I might add, you didn't finish training all the way. I had to beg and plead for a new master since you abandoned me like you did. It gave off the message that I was worthless in your eyes," Hyuga said, his voice laced with barely contained anger.

"I told you once already...my answer is no. I refuse to go back to the clan and be a puppet or broodmare for their sakes. What I have is what any decent person should wish for...freedom, independence, and most importantly, a family that is full of love and equality. Do you not understand that, Hyuga? I am truly happy here," my mother spoke, her voice lilting back into its oriental accent, matching Hyuga's.

"You know the rules for breaking away from the clan, Shizuka. There are only three ways that you can stay free now. I take you back with me, where you will do as you are asked by the clan elders, you send one of your children in your place to train in our art, or I take your head with me. That last one is one I don't want. Though if it comes to that, with the way you hold yourself, I can see that it would not be an easy task. It is obvious you haven't gone rusty in the last twenty-two years," was Hyuga's reply, his voice sounding sad and almost desperate.

"If you are threatening my family Hyuga, I would suggest that you leave this castle right now and never come back, and when you reach the orient, tell the elders that if they send someone, we will be prepared. My husband is very well aware of what I used to be. After all, I was originally hired to kill him, but instead fell in love with him." My mother's voice was dripping with ice and venom as she spoke.

"Shizuka, please...I beg of you. Don't make me do something desperate. I promise that I won't come after your family, but that only leaves me with two options...you coming with me or your head," Hyuga whispered as something was set on one of the wooden countertop.

I took in a deep breath of air, my mind beginning to swim at what I was hearing. I had known my mother was a foreigner from the Orient, which was probably where I got my exceedingly short stature from. But the fact that Hyuga claimed my mother was like him, a warrior trained to obey orders and kill... Somehow, even with her not denying it, there was no way my mind could wrap around it. Sure, I knew my mom was harsh and controlling even, but to say she was a killer made no sense to me. She was a really sweet woman who loved my father, brother, and me. She was a lady who was fair to all who lived in both the castle and on our lands. I just couldn't picture my mother being anything like a murderer.

Not catching the last of what was said, I heard them start to move, and I quickly ducked across the hall to crouch down behind an old bookshelf, then waited till both of them passed by me to go to their respective bedrooms. At least, I hoped that was the case. No longer hungry, I stood up and began to make my way towards my tower bedroom, my mind mulling over everything I had just learned. The biggest thing popping up was that my mother had always raised Sohma and me to pay back our debts so our slates were clean, though it had never really made sense to me why she was so adamant about that until now.

A small pain tore at my chest from the knowledge that my mother had a debt to settle with her old clan and family back in the Orient, one that could be settled easily in one of two ways, foregoing her death of course. Grabbing my head, I came to a conclusion that I knew what Hyuga would do in the coming days. I let out a sigh and wondered if my parents and brother would ever forgive what I was about to do. Out of all the choices I had ever made in my life, I knew this one would be the most life-altering and the heaviest burden for me to bear. With that, I started up the stairs to my room to start enacting my plan.

Two days later found a small Calico cat winding itself through my legs, mewling piteously to be picked up. Giving a half smile, I obliged the small creature, which immediately placed its paws upon my chest and nuzzled my chin. It continued its mewling at me, telling me what it had seen and done like I had asked it that night. What it told me made me laugh. I ran my hands over its head and neck, before bending my fingers to rake the long, soft, furry body, which earned me a rather pleased rumbling purr.

I put it on the ground, giving its body one more stroke. "Good boy, Seamus. Keep watching and have the others help you, okay?" I said softly, only to have the cat place its paw on my knee and give a worried mewl, making my smile become sad as I replied wistfully, "I am sure of what I am gonna do. There will be no backing out of it, for better or worse, but I promise that I will be safe and home."

With a flick of its tail, the Calico put his paw on the ground and stalked away. As its soft footsteps faded, the sound of a mocking half-laugh came to my ears. Standing up quickly, I turned to face the person. "So I guess you think those animals are your personal servants, huh? Why am I not surprised that you think you can talk to a cat and give it orders with the expectations that it will obey you? I guess the good thing for you is that the animals can never tell on you for whatever you are planning," Hyuga said, his voice laced heavily with sarcasm.

Not bothering to reply, I raised an eyebrow at him, the sad smile on my lips becoming a genuinely bright and earnest smile. Tilting my head to the side in a nod of acknowledgment, I stepped around him, making sure that my body didn't brush against his as if intentionally saying he was filthy, while silently wishing I could see the look on his face. Keeping my pace to an easy simple walk, I made my way to the dining hall for the evening fast, knowing that Seamus or one of the other cats would be there to watch and warn me as I ate like they had been for the past days. My keen ears caught the barely audible sounds of footfalls behind me, as Hyuga eventually began to follow me towards the hall.

As I reached the archway to the dining hall, the sound of feet rushing towards me from the front caused me to stop. Waiting patiently, I heard Hyuga stop behind me, waiting for me to move so he could enter the hall itself. "Lady, I just came from the stables. Testament has gotten out and isn't anywhere in the castle. It seems he has somehow gotten outside the castle again. Please forgive me, my lady," A harried and very apologetic male voice said to me.

The smile on my face didn't falter as I lifted my head up to him. "It is alright. You know he is a smart horse and does this from time to time. You are not in trouble. It is late winter, so he is probably escaping to find wild mares somewhere around here in heat. He is a stallion after all, and like most men has his needs to take care of," I said, knowing my words would make the boy in front of me flush a dark red. Giving a small dismissive nod, I continued into the dining hall, since the reality was that I had let Testament out earlier.

Though the boy didn't say anything, I let the smile on my face get bigger and full of amusement. I walked through the archway into the dining hall to hear a delighted squeal from Mabel, before she commented on how happy I looked for the first time in a while. Giving a small laugh of amusement, I heard my father call out to Hyuga, asking him to serve the wine for the main table once more.

Soon, the meal was started, and I felt a weight in my lap as a cat jumped in it. It mewled it is hello, letting me know it was Seamus. I petted it as the food was placed on the plate before me, making my mouth water as the smell of boiled potatoes, fire seared lamb with herbs, and fresh rolls reached my nose. Swallowing the excess saliva in my mouth, I waited for my parents to take the first bites of the evening meal, before allowing myself to dig into my trencher with a lady-like zeal.

After ten minutes of eating, my father called for wine to be served. With practiced grace, I slipped some of the lambs from my plate to the cat in my lap. He purred ecstatically at the treat I was being given, chomping into the delicious piece of meat, when a voice spoke soft into my ear, the tone a cruel teasing tone, "I wasn't aware that animals like cats were treated as nobility and allowed to eat from the table, little brat."

I didn't bother to turn my head as I heard a small threatening growl being emitted from Seamus. "There is nothing that says I can't feed the cat from my plate after taking my fill. So, if you will just fill my cup and leave, I would be ever so grateful." I kept my voice low so only Hyuga could hear as I lifted up my small wooden cup, which he took from me to fill.

Once he had filled it, he handed it back to me. Making sure that I had a grasp on it, he muttered under his breath about impertinent little wenches and how good wine was wasted on a child. Pursing my lips, I shifted it from my right hand to my left, my face still looking forward, when a soft mewl from Seamus came to my ears, warning me that the man had done something to the wine. Once more I smiled softly yet sadly. As I heard Hyuga continue down the table pouring wine for the other family at the table, I placed my left hand on the table sliding it along it until I felt my sister-in-law's cup, which I grabbed and switched with my own.

My heart was heavy and full of guilt at what I was doing, causing my chest to feel tight and constricted. But it was needed for a dual purpose if things were to happen as I had planned. Letting my eyes slide down, I heard Mabel pick up the cup and offer a sip of her wine to my brother, making me swallow a cry in my throat. I needed them to take the drugged wine and sleep or be paralyzed. Closing my eyes, I let a soft sigh out, before reopening them and lifting my head up with a smile on it once more.

The dinner passed slowly for me after it had been done, my wine-cup drained completely, the food on my plate eaten and not refilled as I refused any more food or drink. When the dining hall began to quiet, I pretended to give a large yawn as if tired, then excused myself from the table to go to bed a bit early. Once my father and mother gave me their hugs, refusing their offer to have my maid sent to my room, I swiftly made my way to my room, where I readied myself in my traveling leathers, slipping my nightgown over the tight-fitting black clothes.

I climbed into bed, relaxing my body as if I was asleep, listening for any unnatural sounds as the castle guard called out the hours. It was midnight when I heard the door to my room open up with a small creak. I wanted to smile at the soft hiss that was issued from the intruder, but keeping my calm, I continued to look like I was still asleep. The footfalls across my room were almost silent, and I felt the air shift over me, as the intruder stopped at the bedside and leaned over. I kept my breathing even and deep like it was in sleep when I felt a cloth being placed over my mouth.

Slowly I opened my eyes, glad that I was partially blind, so it made me look truly disorientated and struggling to wake up as I felt my arms being lifted and tied. With the little light left from the embers of my fireplace, I made out the spiky short hair that belonged to Hyuga. His hands were quick and gentle as they lifted me from my warm bed, and I attempted a rather half-hearted struggle, earning me a hiss of annoyance before I went still.

When he was certain I wouldn't try anything, he spun on his feet and began to walk from the room. I kept my eyes half-lidded as he stalked his way through the castle, easily avoiding the few sentries that were placed at night, leaving me a bit impressed that he had done his research on their inspection routes. Though soon enough, I have a small hiss as the cold air hit my skin. He came to a stop, and I attempted to move my head to see where we were when he leaned his body forward through an opening I assumed to be a window.

I felt my body being rested on a wooden object before I heard him climb through himself. Then, I was once more lifted up and being carried, the light of the moon allowing my shadowed vision to see that he was heading towards the southwest wall and the stables. But when we shot right past the building and towards the small servant's door in the corner of the southern and western wall, I had to bite back a small gasp of surprise, so I didn't alert him that I wasn't drugged.

Soon, we were at the door and through it, my body starting to shiver slightly from the chilly winter night. The soft nickering of a horse reached my ears before it started to move towards us. "Good girl Yuki...good girl. Here lean down, so it is easier for me to get on you, without harming our guest," Hyuga said softly, his voice warm and affectionate, making heat rush to my cheeks in awed shock, as once more my heart began to beat faster.

The frost-covered grass crunched as the horse did as it was commanded, letting me know it was very well trained. Then once more, Hyuga was moving, and I felt his body shift as his leg swung over the horse. When he was settled into the saddle, he cradled against his body rather snugly, taking the reigns in his hands. He gave a 'tsk tsk' sound, causing his horse to stand up and canter forwards, while he guided using both the reigns and his legs.

I waited patiently, trying to gauge the right moment for me to make my move. It wasn't easy either as Hyuga was being cautious and keeping his horse off the main roads, only moving either a slow canter or a walk. My eyes fully open now, I looked everywhere to find anything of recognition like a landmark on our lands to indicate the direction he was going. When it came, it was in the form of the forest that separated our land from the next, making me smile widely.

I shifted my body so it was curling in towards his as if I was trying to get warmer like any small child would do, and I slowly began to raise my outer arm up, so that my hand was near my mouth without alerting him. When my hand was within reach of my mouth, I placed two fingers to my lips and gave an earsplitting sharp whistle, causing Hyuga to startle and jerk in the saddle, giving my body the room I needed to sit up and shove him with the elbow of the arm that was pinned between our bodies.

The sudden commotion caused the mare to partially rear up, and with my shoving his body with my elbow, I dislodged him. The sound of air escaping his mouth after a rather painful sounding fall was my only indication that he was somewhat alright. My body already precariously balanced, I threw myself towards the mare's head, feeling as the pommel of the saddle hit me in the ribs. I whimpered in pain before I began to make calm shushing sounds. In the distance, I could hear the sound of horse hooves beating rapidly against the ground towards us.

Once the mare was calmed down, I rocked myself into a sitting position, listening intently for any sounds from Hyuga, which were plentiful since he was hissing in pain and cursing me under his breath rather loudly, all on top of the sounds of him standing to his feet and moving towards me. "I wouldn't come any closer to me if I were you. You will be dead in less than a minute. So if you value your life, you will stay where you are Sir and at least listen to what I have to say," I called out as I fumbled for the reigns of the mare. When I got them, I used them to make the mare walk a bit away as the sound of the thundering hooves came to a complete stop, followed by a light wicker, letting me know that Testament was there, awaiting my command.

"What the hell you little witch! How are you able to be awake and move. And you think that I will listen to you at all." Hyuga barked at me, and I heard the crunch of frosted ground from beneath his feet, then a few quick hoof steps as Testament placed himself between Hyuga and me, giving a threatening snort.

"Move, you damned beast," he growled at Testament, as he tried to walk around him. An instant later, there was the audible click of teeth biting air, and more cussing from Hyuga, followed by the sound of him falling to the ground.

"I told you not to move if you wanted to live. Testament is bred from the strongest, fastest, and smartest of our horses. He is very protective of me and right now perceives you as a threat, so he will kill you." I replied, my voice coming out a bit more annoyed. "Now, are you gonna listen to what I have to say, or should I give him the kill command, you arrogant bastard?"

Silence washed over us, before I heard a defeated sigh. "Fine, call off the horse, and I will listen, okay?" he said, his voice coming out rather irritated and impatient.

Feeling a bit off balance at his rather easy acceptance of this whole situation, I sat there confounded for a few seconds. I blinked my eyes slowly before shifting myself in the saddle, causing the mare to move as well. When I was finally able to come back to myself, I straightened up to a full sitting position.

"Well for starters, I am willing to go with you back to the Orient, so you don't have to treat me as a hostage. And before you ask, a few nights ago I came down to get a late snack after missing dinner. Your conversation with my mother was rather uh...enlightening, which is why I am willing to go with you. My mother always said that if we had a debt, then we have to take care of it. Since this is her debt, and she refuses to pay it, I will go to her place to take care of it," I said softly and in a rather serious voice.

"I...I honestly don't know how to reply to most of that, except that I am not really surprised at you listening in on a conversation that you should have never heard. But since I respect my teacher.. a lot, I will take what I can get, as long as you obey whatever I tell you to do, got it? And call off that demonic beast. Considering he is here, I presume that you planned this all out, so you can ride him. I will untie your hands," was the reply I got from him, his voice laced with a small amount of amazement.

Smiling brightly at him, I called out to Testament, "It is alright, he won't harm me. Lay!"

I smiled at the sound of him gasping in surprise that my horse had done as I'd told him to do. Moments later, Hyuga moved slowly towards me, giving a rather wide berth to Testament, drawing a low giggle from me. My giggles didn't last long as I felt the mare move and give a soft whinny. Hyuga whispered comfortingly to her, before he lightly touched my hands in my lap, untying the ropes.

Giving him a nod, I heard him step back, giving me space to slide of the mare, which I did with a delighted relish. "Thank you. Let me get on Testament, then we should get out of here quickly because I switched my cup with my sister-in-law's. I was aware that you would attempt to put in some type of sleeping potion, and even if I told you how I knew, you wouldn't believe me. So let's get going, cause when my maid finds out that I am not in my bed at sunrise, you will have not only my parents but my over-bearing, over-protective brother after your sorry Asian ass," I said rather cheerfully, then gave a small whistle to signal Testament. I got an answering neigh from him, letting me know which direction to go.

As soon as I got to him, I slid onto his bare back and pressed my legs into him, causing him to rise. My hands threaded through his rough, black mane, using it to turn him to face Hyuga. I nodded my head in the direction he had originally wanted to go, a smile curving my lips, and as I listened for him to mount his horse, I began to undo the laces to my nightgown, shedding it. Hearing a small, shocked gasp, I let it slide off my shoulders revealing my black traveling clothes with a wry chuckle, then nudged Testament into a light canter, while waving my hand at him with a happy laugh.

It was the 24th of December, and I was lying curled up in a small ball on a hard, thin mattress in a cabin on the ship that seemed to be forever tossing and turning with the waves. Feeling very ill from all the motion, I began to slightly regret choosing to do this in the first place, but I knew it was too late to go back, after the hell of a chase that was given us.

At the thought of it, a small smile started to twitch at the corners of my mouth, before a wave of nausea hit me as the ship listed to the side. Trying to sit up only made me feel worse, causing me to puke down the front of my baggy boy's shirt. I groaned aloud as tears sprang to my eyes in a mix of frustration, feeling sick and annoyed. Scooting to the edge of the bed, I reached for the hem of my shirt to pull it off me.

All I wanted to do was clean myself and put on a new shirt, but as the shirt came over my head, I felt a bit of my puke slip from the cloth to my bound chest. Crying out in sheer anger, I hastily jerked the shirt over my head. Then the cabin door opened, and Hyuga stepped in, only to stop and stare at me. My mind slowly registered that I was sitting on the edge of the bed without a shirt on, draining my face of all color.

The door to the room clicked shut, making me feel very scared as I instinctively brought the messy shirt up to my chest. Hyuga growled low, yanking the shirt from my hands, "I can't believe this...you...not...How the hell. You have breasts!"

His actions and words bringing me out of my state of shock, I snapped my retort, feeling the blood rushing to my cheeks, heating them, "Well yeah I have breasts. You're the pig-headed idiot who has assumed this whole fucking time that I am a child, which I am gonna hazard the guess is because I don't break five feet. WELL excuse me for being short, you dick, but last I checked, I was a woman, who is two years...no three years as of today, above the marriage age. And too boot, this is the worst birthday I have ever had."

The tears that had been in my eyes before were now streaming down my face. Jerking my arms from his hands and tossing the vomit covered shirt at him, I flopped onto my side, my arms covering my bandaged wrapped breast as I started to cry silently into the sheets on the bed. It had just dawned on me that it was my birthday, and for the first time in my life, I wasn't with my family. The thought only made me feel worse, causing more tears to spill from my eyes.

Silence filled the cabin except for the sounds of my sniffling and sobbing. Eventually, Hyuga coughed, before he spoke up softly and in a very worried voice, "Look I am ...I am sorry that I ...assumed that you were a child due to your.. uh... height. And I know it... won't mean crap... but uh...happy birthday. But we now have a much bigger problem. If anyone on this ship finds out that you're a female and an adult one, we can be thrown overboard without a lifeboat. Sailors are a very superstitious bunch, and having a woman on the ship is a bad bunch of luck."

Stopping my wallowing in self-pity, I looked up at him, my eyes going wide. "You could have mentioned something like that before, you know. I may know how to swim, but the ocean is a far cry from a lake," I replied softly, letting my head drop back to the bed. "Thank you. It does mean something to hear those words."

A month later, we docked in the Orient after a fairly uneventful trip, except for Hyuga seeing me half-naked, which had caused him to become overly protective of his 'little brother' and start to smother me. He had even broached the subject of sleeping in the same bed with me. Though I had turned him down, he had acted on his suggestion, only to find that my small feet were planted in his stomach as I kicked him to the floor violently. It had started an argument between us, that had eventually helped us set some ground rules and get to know each other better.

Now, with a humid heat blasting at my face, I looked around in awe, as my hand was tugged upon. "Hey, stop stalling there Tsu. The quicker we get to the clan elders, the better we can figure out how things will be," I heard him whisper into my ear.

I blinked my eyes at him before smiling. "Yes, yes. How long will it take to reach them? I wanna get back home if it is possible. I believe that there has to be some middle ground for everyone to happy or at least content," I said to him.

The trip to where the clan lived took a week and a half. The land in the orient was vastly different than what was in Scotland. I enjoyed the smells and what little I could make out for the sights as we traveled through towns and the country. At times, I know I acted like a small kid, which often earned me much teasing from Hyuga. The two of us had grown closer with each passing day, though I had noticed at times that my heart would beat fast in my chest when he touched me.

It was the small things that he would say or do that made me smile as we rode our horse. I was confused at times as to how I have gone from hating him to actually like the bastard. I shook my head at the word as if to dislodge it, because the truth was, it no longer applied. With a small smile curving my lips, I let my darkened gaze slide towards him as he rode next to me.

"You know, you're not very subtle peeking at me. What's on your mind? Speak it now, cause we will be arriving soon, and they are expecting us," came his soft and mellow voice.

Raising my eyebrows up to my hairline, I turned completely to face him, my cheeks feeling hot at being caught. "Oh nothing, just looking at you to see if you were okay. And what do you mean they are expecting us? I haven't really seen anyone on the road at all," I told him, keeping my voice light.

This earned me a deep chuckle from Hyuga, which still took me by surprise since he was a person who always came off so cold and in control of his emotions. "Well, I believe we discussed this on the ship here at some point. I am and am not an assassin. Here in Japan, we are called Ninjas, shorty. We can double for an assassin, but most of our work is different. And as for not seeing anyone that is because they don't want anyone to see them or hear them," was his reply.

Narrowing my eyes at his response, I just turned my face away from him, puffing up my cheeks, knowing that was the best answer I was gonna get out of him. Ahead of us, I could just barely make out the outlines of buildings against the sky, but I was unable to truly gauge how far they were since I was in an unfamiliar place. So, I just let my body relax as I tapped Testament with my heels to make him pick up his pace, also to entice Hyuga into possibly racing me.

When I heard his mare Yuki snort and pick up her pace to match ours, I once more nudged my horse, causing him to spurt ahead in a fast canter. We continued to do this, swiftly covering the distance as the horse were at a full gallop, both of us laughing at the rush we got from it until the sound of voices reached our ears. Pulling on the reigns, I brought Testament to a standstill, as Hyuga continued to walk past us, speaking the tongue so fast that I found it a bit hard to keep up.

When things quieted down, I made Testament walk up to stand next to Hyuga's mare. Pursing my lips, I leaned in and petted him, as he snorted and pranced around agitatedly. "Be still you. Hyuga won't let anyone harm me, though I do agree with you about the odd vibe of this place. These people...I am not sure if they are very trustworthy." My voice was a hushed whisper, so it wouldn't carry in the ensuing silence.

Soon ,I heard soft talking and the sound of people stepping closer to Testament and me. The sound of his teeth clicking together let me know that someone reached for us. With a yank on the reigns to pull him back from biting anyone, I gave a hiss at Hyuga, who promptly spoke, telling them not to get near the horse or me if they cared to live, that the horse was trained to kill anyone it perceived as a threat to its rider and owner.

At his announcement, an elder voice spoke up, speaking very slowly. "Who is this you have brought to us? This is not Shizuka, Hyuga."

Narrowing my eyes, I not only turned my body but Testament to face the voice, and in a rather curt but very proud voice, heavily accented by my first language, I spoke in Japanese, "No, he didn't. My mother refused to come. So in her stead, I, Tsukikage, came in her place to settle whatever debt she has with you." As I spoke, my body began to straighten until it was stiff, my head tilting up in a show of my nobility as I looked down towards the man who had spoken.

There was a gasp through the people around us before it went dead silent. Unable to see what had made it go so quiet, I could only guess that this elderly person had done it like my dad did. I just sat there staring down at him with narrowed eyes from my high position on the horse. The fact I could feel the cold, angry glare meant that the man was not at all pleased by me answering.

"Forgive her Elder. She does not know our customs or a lady's place in our society. Where she is from...well, it is a far cry from here. But it is as she says...she is Shizuka's youngest child at nineteen. Shizuka had a son who is two years older than her. She is also from a noble family lineage. Before you ask, yes Shizuka's husband is aware of what she was before he married her," Hyuga quickly interjected before things could get out of hand any further.

A cough was the only reply we got as the sound of feet moving away from us came to my ears. Letting out a breath of air I wasn't aware that I had been holding in, I heard Hyuga do the same before moving his mare closer to me. With my hands shaking just a bit, he took the reigns and led us further into the village. Our passing was met with silence as we rode, which was completely fine with me. It gave me time to calm nerves that were somehow acting up.

"I do not know what possessed you to speak up like that, but you were rather brave standing up to the elder. He could have killed you at any time by shooting a special hollow-tipped needle at you, that was filled with poison. Please be a bit more respectful when we talk to him in his private rooms. And why haven't you ever told me that your name was Tsukikage instead of Tsu...?" he said to me, the question at the end catching me off guard.

Turning my head to look in his direction, I replied rather simply, "You never asked what it was. You just assumed it was Tsu, which was fine with me. And while I cannot guarantee that I will be respectful, I will do my utmost to not get killed."

We rode in silence the rest of the way, which seemed like the whole village. My body finally calmed down enough to relax and move naturally on Testament's bareback. The fact that Hyuga was close to me was also easing my nerves in some odd way or another, allowing me to let a small smile curve my lips.

Upon reaching the Elder's house, we were immediately shown through some hallway into what felt like a large spacious room. I followed Hyuga fairly closely until he stopped and sat down abruptly, to which I followed suit. It was about an hour later before the Elder deemed us worthy of his presence, and our lengthy conversation began.

"Hyuga, I am a bit disappointed in you for not bringing Shizuka so she could see the error of her way, but I am glad that you did not bring us her head. She was one of our finer examples of a female assassin. Do you think her daughter will be able to fill the roll, like only a female, can do?" the Elder eventually asked, making me tilt my head to the side and look at Hyuga in confusion.

After a few moments of continued silence, Hyuga spoke up softly, "Elder, I do not think so. She already has some training in subtlety and subterfuge. It is at times very adept, though it could use a lot more work. I can tell you that this young woman here has a lot of potentials, except at filling her mother's shoes in ...uh that particular area. She is not a full woman, but a maiden."

I wasn't completely clueless about what was going on or being said, but when the Elder had mentioned a roll that only a female could do, I felt a bit curious. I couldn't help but wonder what he was implying, when Hyuga spoke up, his voice sounding distraught if not outright embarrassed. My face instantly colored as I began to sputter, "Excuse me, but I am not going to be some damned prostitute for your ends. I was raised much better than that, Sir Elder. Now I think I know why my mother would refuse to come back to such a ridiculous life. I would rather just go back to Scotland than stay here if that is all a woman is capable of doing in your eyes, so you can just FUCK OFF!"

Without hesitation, I stood up and began to storm out of the room, only to have my hand grabbed and my body jerked back to the floor, making me turn my angry gaze towards the person who did it. Giving a derisive snort, I pursed my lips into a thin line, before turning my coldest and most baleful gaze back towards the Elder. Guessing by his silence, he was not amused at my outburst, which suited me just fine.

It wasn't long before Hyuga spoke up, his voice coming out a bit frantic, only to be instantly silenced. "I can see that she has her mother's rather outspoken spirit. Let's hear what she has to say since as you and she have stated, she is from a different culture. So Tsukikage, daughter of Shizuka, speak your mind. Enlighten me with what you think you know, child. Then, we will see where this will go."

Raising an eyebrow, I tilted my head in agreement, before looking towards Hyuga. It didn't take long for him to reply. "Hey don't look at me. You're the one who put your foot in your mouth. So, speak your mind. I mean, the worst thing that can happen is we both get killed."

While his words didn't exactly inspire confidence and bravery in me, my brother said I had those in spades, with no tact or filter to buffet them. Taking a deep breath, I stood up once more, since sitting was never my strong suit. Once standing, I clasped my hands in front of me and faced the elder. "Look, I won't pretend that I know anything about your customs, so I will only say this once. I am sorry in advance for offending because I know for a fact that I will offend you," I said in a very soft voice that was both firm and polite.

I began to pace back and forth, contemplating what I was gonna say to this man, a man who thought women were nothing but tools and prostitutes in one way or another, which only served to make me more irritated. Finally deciding on what to say, I quit my pacing and faced the man Hyuga respectfully called Elder. I was ready to do my best at speaking my mind without pissing the man off, meaning my life was forfeit.

"To be honest, when Hyuga came to our home, I had an instant distrust of him, my instincts telling me that he wasn't what he said he was. Over the following three weeks, it became more and more abundantly clear to me, using the 'gifts' passed down through my father's bloodline, which you need know nothing about. After hearing him have a particular conversation one night with my mother, I took it upon myself to set things up so he would have to take me to what he and mother called the clan," I said, my voice trailing off as I took a deep breath. I closed my eyes as I pictured those events.

With a smile on my face, I opened my eyes and continued to speak. "Hyuga made a few miscalculated errors, one being how old I was, just because I am short and keep my chest bound. Another mistake he made was not realizing how intelligent I was, which allowed me to be crafty. I was able to manipulate things so that he kidnapped me from my home to bring me here. After a small interesting chat, and a few discoveries, like the fact that I am a grown woman, things became a bit easier, and in all honesty, I have come to actually like your disciple here. I dare say I even respect him."

As I trailed off again, a rather large pregnant silence filled the room. I could sense impatience from the Elder, as Hyuga sputtered indignantly behind me, causing me to sigh and turn to look at him with annoyance on my face, effectively silencing him. Then I turned my attention back to the man in front of us.
"I will say that is an interesting tale, though severely shortened, but it is not what you want to say, child, so hurry and speak your mind before I decide I would rather have you dead," he said in a calm and gravelly sounding voice.

I drew myself up at the tone of his voice. A small smile graced my lips as the very distinctive bird cry resounded in the silence between us. Closing my eyes, a soft sigh escaped my lips as my body relaxed a bit. I gave a soft yet wry chuckle as I shook my head before opening my eyes.

"Well, from the sound of that falcon cry, you won't have to wait. It belongs to my brother Sohma, and it just let me know that he will be here in about a day and a half," I whispered before I dropped my head down to my chest, letting my hair fall forward over my shoulder to hide the tell-tale smirk on my lips.

The silence stretched on before it was disturbed by a soft knock. "Enter and speak quickly," the Elder spoke in a gruff, very noticeably irritated sounding voice.

Then there was the sound of the door sliding open, followed by the soft shuffling of movement on the floor. "Elder, we've gotten a report from our scouts that there are two people heading this way. They are pushing their horses fast, seemingly headed straight for our village. One is a foreign-looking male with brown hair, the other is a woman who looks of Asian descent. Her bearing is cold and angry looking," a man's voice said with a great amount of reverence.

I lifted a hand to my mouth, smothering the small laugh that begged to escape. Staying like that, I knew would make it look like I was being a submissive woman, though I could feel two very strong gazes piercing at me. Each had a different intensity, which I felt to be a bit nerve-wracking. I kept still like that until the man who spoke left, before I lifted my head up and tilted it in the direction of the Elder, waiting for one or the other two occupants to speak up.

The wait wasn't long before Hyuga spoke up, his voice quiet and confused, "I don't understand, Tsu... how? When? I mean, I thought we had detained them for at least a week when they chased us to that port."

"If I recall, it was an attempt to detain them, one I am sure my brother and mother both know I had a hand in. That is because I left a message behind for them to find, in a place that only my brother would know to look. Besides, did you forget that the port town was on my family's property? We always have a ship in the harbor, so I am guessing it took them only two or three days before they were behind us. You know full well that my mother knows where this village is. Besides, I would be useless to this clan. I am partially blind," I said, letting out a small sigh of annoyance.

Once again the room lapsed into silence, before it was broken, this time by the Elder. "Then we will adjourn our talk until then. Hyuga, you will set up a room, which you will share with this little upstart so that she can be watched until our other guests arrive." Once he was done speaking, I heard movement indicating that he was getting up, then his footsteps left the room.

The evening of the second day found Hyuga and I once more sitting in that large room with the Elder, each of us waiting for a servant to bring my family to us. My ears picked up the distinctive heavy footfalls that were coming down the hallway, both quick, sounding angry as I just sat there staring forward. In the pit of my stomach, I felt a swelling of trepidation mixing with a strong fear at the thought of how angry my older brother would be at my choice of actions.

There was a soft knock, and the door slid open without permission being given. Then a soft, cold voice barely containing its anger sounded, "It isn't a pleasure to see you again Kagetoki, or should I call you father? I do so hope that your granddaughter has driven you to insanity with her rather forward attitude and stubbornness."

My mother's voice caused me to go very still, as I heard my brother's breath sharply taken in. My mind reeled at what I just found out, leaving me unable to speak. "Shizuka, it is a pleasure to always look upon your beauty. Alas, she hasn't driven me to insanity. I believe you did that when you were young and decided that you should leave your family and clan behind," he said, his voice almost sounding endearing.

Once more, the room filled with silence but for the sound of footsteps coming up behind me. Not moving, I kept my eyes forward, swallowing as quietly as possible. The pressure of a hand on my shoulder told me it was my brother. My eyes went wide, as what sounded like a pained whimper came from the other side of my brother. Knowing him, his overbearing protectiveness was kicking in, and he was already hurting Hyuga.

Finally shaking my head, I gave a small exasperated sigh and spoke up, "Now that we have been enlightened in many new aspects, can we just get this over with? I stated yesterday to the elder that I would be useless to him cause of my partial blindness. I proposed a compromise with this arrogant, pompous man, one that could be very beneficial to each of our sides, and he is willing to listen now that we are all here."

Silence met my words, so I tilted my head to the side to look up at my brother's shadowy profile. He relaxed his grip on my shoulder, then spoke, "Just what could be a beneficial compromise between us? I mean, you practically ran away from home halfway across the damned world, had us all worried about your health and sanity. Personally, I think I should take you over my knee and beat the living hell outta your backside, Tsukikage. But if my mother is okay with hearing you, then, by all means, I will wait till we get home before doing so."

"Oh, I want to hear this Sohma. I left this all behind because I was tired of being a tool for the clan and my family," my mother said in that same soft, cold, and angry voice.

A small shiver ran up and down my spine. Taking a deep breath to steady myself, I eventually found my voice. "Well, I am useless to him, and Cedric is your son and Heir when you are ready to step down from being lord of the lands, Sohma. As mother has a blood and family debt to pay, this is what I offer up to the table. I am of marriageable age and am willing to give my firstborn son to them. BUT, and I mean BUT, only after he has reached thirteen and come into the gifts that come from our family lineage."

The sound of gasping and sputtering could be heard throughout the room. My offer was one of my own, and I waited for them to calm down before I could finish speaking. I knew I had to wait since everyone would want to interject their own opinion, or in my brother's case, absolute rejection of it all. Soon, it quieted down, and I turned my head back to look at the elder, who was lifting an eyebrow in question.

"If I may continue then... To make this fair, as you are my grandfather, you can choose a man from this clan as my husband to ensure that I am watched and this agreement is carried through. I am aware that just packing up members of our family at a certain age and sending them away would bring much speculation to the family reputation, so I propose to do it under the guise of a trade with this village. My mother has such beautiful clothes and silks from here that are of a quality that can't be found through any of our normal traders. How about horses like my Testament and those that my brother and mother rode here on, for that cloth? Does this compromise meet an equivalent exchange?" I hurriedly finish speaking.

The first to speak was my mother, which caused me to let out a relieved breath I hadn't been aware I was holding. "That is a fairly sound deal. I am not happy with it, but then again, I have always pushed upon your brother and you to pay your debts, while I ran from my biggest. And Sohma, before you say a damned thing, this is your sister's decision as she is a grown woman."

I could feel my eyes go as wide as saucers at my mother's consent to this whole mess. There was a small ray of hope starting to well up in my chest, though I was aware that I would end up being married to some strange man who wouldn't appreciate me the way I was. I would simply be a duty or an objective. But to make things right, I felt that I was doing the correct thing, more so since the Rowan didn't warn me away from it all.

"Mother you can't be serious about this! She is …Tsukikage is a special type of girl. Not just any man would be suited or be able to handle her...quirks if you will. I want to be allowed to approve of whom this man picks for her," Sohma said, his voice shaking with a myriad of emotions that were normally never there.

Reaching out a hand, I touched Sohma's leg, pinching it softly and getting a pained grunt from him. "This isn't your choice, Sohma. I am a grown woman, who has the right according to custom to make this deal. All Scottish women choose their husbands, and I am choosing to leave it in the...no, our grandfather's hands." My voice was soft, firm, and unyielding.

A soft cough broke into our 'family' discussion, making me, and I am sure, my brother's attention goes to the man in question. "That is a rather intriguing deal. More so for the loyalty and honor, you're showing to take up your mother's burden. Because of that show, you have just displayed, I will accept it and already have the perfect man in question. He is our best warrior, loyal, trustworthy, thorough, and very stubborn in his own manner. He is someone that I would trust even my own life with, and you seem very comfortable with him already. I may be old, but I am not blind. There is a bond of trust already there, one that can bloom into eventual affection. Do you agree to this, Hyuga? If not, I will find another for her."

Once more, there was a pause in the room, before the soft rumble of deep laughter echoed around us. It was a very unexpected sound to be heard, as my mind went reeling in so many different directions, I wasn't sure it would ever be found in one piece again. Never would I have thought of being permanently attached to the man who had been a constant thorn in my side. It brought a smile to my lips as he continued to laugh for a few seconds longer.

When it became silent again, I listened intently for his answer. "Elder.. are you sure you're not misreading what you saw.. I uh... I mean, I agree with her brother. This slip of a girl, or rather woman, is very outspoken, too brash and headstrong for her own good. She is always doing something foolish to be in trouble, more so with that mouth that is fouler than some sailors I know. But I think it would be an honor you are giving me since I know what her quirks are. Hell, after these last few months, I think she has grown on me."

If it hadn't been for the fact that I knew he was purposely being a dick and teasing me to get a rise out of me, I would have risen to the bait. Instead, I just shrugged my shoulders and waited. "Then, it is settled. The fact that you all were rushed here means you will all want to return to your foreign country. So, in the morning, there will be a wedding. Shizuka, I leave it to you and Hyuga to make the announcements and get everything ready. Once it is done, you may all take your leave at your leisure. The sooner your daughter is knocked up, the sooner the debt is paid. Now leave me," Kagetoki said, his tone impartial as he dismissed us.

Standing up, I stretched my legs to get the tightness from them. I could hear my brother whispering to Hyuga softly, only to get a smothered whimper in reply. Realizing I would be a married woman in the morning made my cheeks color darkly in a blush. Feeling light-headed at how quickly this was happening, I felt the world tilt from underneath my feet, before I felt a strong arm catch me.

"You know, you should wait to do that at some other point, but I guess fate could be crueler to me than having me be tied to a loud-mouthed, over-opinionated brat like you, huh shorty?" Hyuga said as I felt him right my body.

His words came out in a teasing tone, mocking me and earned a dark chuckle from both my mother and brother. Pursing my lips, I reached up my hands, grabbing onto the front of his shirt, and pulled him down to my face. It was on a whim that I leaned into him and pressed my lips rather forcefully against his. Once I finished that kiss, I pulled my face back and shoved him outta my personal space. A rather large smile curved my lips since secretly I had been wanting to do that since coming to know him on the ship voyage here.

"I think I will enjoy making the rest of your life hell... Now, let's not dawdle. You have things to do. Sohma, let's go check up on the horse's mother and you rode," I said, knowing that I had a very shocked man standing to my side.

"EWWWWW...you kissed daddy!" Came the dual tone of both my boys before they broke into a small fit of laughter.

Shaking my head, I brought the food over to the table, carefully measuring my steps. It had been a long seven years, and I was proud of my small family, though I had yet to tell them or Hyuga that there was another one on the way. I grinned as I heard the door to our apartments open up, making the boys squeal in delight as chairs scraped against the stone floor.

"Welcome home daddy. Mommy told us how you met and married today," came Noritsune's voice, all kinds of excited.

"Oh she did, did she? I guess you're old enough to know. So how was my boys' day?" Hyuga asked as I heard him walk over to me, wrapping his arms around my waist in a hug from behind.

The sound of the men in my life chattering away happily gave me a wonderful sense of completion. Sighing softly, I sat down at the table to eat, wondering how they would react to the news I was gonna spring on them once they calmed down.


 

As always, thanks again to my wonderful Beta, Leoslady4ever. If you like/love Fairy Tail Fan Fictions, pleas go check her's out. They are amazing.

Thanks to SOLMARE for making this Otome (Girls Dating Sim) Shall We Date? Destiny Ninja. Which I would recommend to anyone to at least try. The app is free for both the Andriod and iPhone.

If any of you do decide to check it out and see exactly what the hotties I will be doing one-shots of actually look like, or Google the game name and Hyuga... Here is my friend Code: KaUKiEAKdg When you register the application it will ask for you to name your Character, and if you were invited, you would enter that code there under who invited you.Also Thanks to Fan Fiction . Net for allowing me to post my story. To you the readers, who have taken the time to make it all the way through this 15K worded story. As well as a special thanks to those who leave a review.. THAT IS MY CRACK FEED THE ADDICTION!

(The copyrights of this game and Character Hyuga, belong to Solmare and the designers of this game. I Take no, and I mean ABSOLUTELY, no credit what so ever for them. Just the original idea and the female protagonist Tsukikage.)

Side note, Tsukikage is Japanese for Moon Shadow if I recall correctly.. Which I got from reading & Watching Detective Conan.. A long on going series that amazing. CAIO! I am off to work on the next story as well as chapters for my other stories. *bows very graciously before my body shrinks and shifts into the form of a small red fox with sparkly fairy wings*

Chapter Text

'If it was meant to be yours, let it go and see if it comes back to you. Then you truly know that it was meant to be.' ~ My mother's advice on Love

The sound of feet running through the corridors of the house slowly brought me from my night's sleep. As I sat up, rubbing at my eyes, the dulled colors of red and orange could be seen through my sliding paper door, causing me to become more aware as the sounds of whispered frantic words began reach my ears. Then the door was thrown open to reveal our house's only maid, who looked to be in a tizzy.

Before I could say anything, she ran up to me, harshly grabbing my arm to pull me as she spoke in a soft fast tone, "Young Miss, you have to get into the hiding spot. It is terrible. They've set the manor on fire and are looking for the treasures."

Panic swelled up in me as she pulled me from my room and out to the veranda that wrapped around our house. I could hear her counting the pillars as we put the noise and fire behind us. We stopped at a rather large round support pillar that looked normal to the eye. In the next few seconds, she had it opened and was shoving me inside. It was then that I chose to come out of my shocked mental state, trying to desperately to get out of the hidden space.

"No, I have to go help Mother and Father. I command you to stop, let me out! Mother! Father!" I screamed as I attempted to push her away.

The maid gave me one last hard shove as she slammed the door shut. "Please Miss, stay here and be quiet. If you are taken, everything that this family stands for will be lost. I beg you stay put," she whispered, her voice laced with tears as it reached my ears through the thick pine wood.

As I stayed there, trapped in a standing position, the cries of our servants and my parents could be heard as they were slaughtered for not giving our attackers what they wanted, the three sacred treasures. The smoke from the fire seeped in through the wood cause me to cough as it heated up, leaving me to think I was gonna die being burned alive in the hiding place, when a miracle occurred. It started to rain, dousing the fire and saving my life. Closing my eyes, I let my body slump as far down as it could and cried myself asleep.

I was unsure of how long I had been trapped in that pillar when I heard talking outside. My body was now stiff and rather sore from the position I had been trapped in for that period of time. Shifting myself so that I was standing up straight, I pushed on the latch that would release the panel to my hiding spot. I cracked it enough to peek out, allowing me to see people moving around as though looking for something, but I didn't recognize the armor or uniforms that they were wearing.

Taking a deep breath, I swallowed back fear and listened to them talk amongst themselves. Hearing that they were looking for the treasures and my body, I slowly pulled the panel back into place, feeling as if my blood was freezing in my veins. Once more, I closed my eyes as more tears sprang from them, leaving what felt like scorching twin trails down my cheeks. There was no denying it now...my parents, our servants were all dead. I was alone in this world, left to carry on the burden that our family had carried for centuries for the Emperor's family...by myself.

After crying silently to myself some more, I slipped again into blackness, only to wake up to the sound of people moving around. This time, the sound of their muffled voices had a worried tone to them. Raising my hands, I forced my body to stand up straight, while smothering a cry of pain from how badly my body was hurting. I opened the latch to see out, this time through bleary, light-sensitive eyes As they slowly focused, I saw a few people shifting through the burnt remainders of what had been my home. The color and design of their armor made me do a double take, as a small ray of hope shone in my chest, for it was the Emperor's guard.

A sense of relief washed through me at the sight of them, as they rummaged through the wreckage of my ancestral home. My mind went blank as I stayed there watching them, when I heard someone call for them to leave. Somewhere in my hazed mind, that voice sounded really familiar to me. As they turned and started to leave, I finally came back to myself, shaking my head as I pushed weakly at the now partially opened door to my hiding spot. When the door swung open, I fell out onto the charred veranda, where I quickly scrambled to get up. My mind recalled who that voice belonged to, causing me to move quicker, as it registered it as that of the Emperor.

I opened my mouth to say something, only to feel a dry ache coming from my throat. Swallowing a few times, I took very weak and wobbly steps after the soldiers. As I finally got my throat wet enough, I called out, "Wait...Please wait."

Reaching out a hand towards the nearest soldier, I over-balanced on my already weak legs and promptly fell to the ground again. Lifting my face from the dirt, I could see that they had all stopped to look at me with a mix of suspicion, anger, and annoyance. Feeling hurt from their looks, I felt hot tears spring to my eyes, as I once more pushed myself up, only into a kneeling position.

Before my eyes, I watched them turn from me, once more walking away towards an ornate palanquin with the royal seal on it, when I recalled something my father told me as a child to use in a desperate situation. Opening my mouth, I spoke as loud as my dry throat would allow, the words coming naturally, "I am but a humble servant to the throne. My life duty is but to serve and protect what was given to my house. If an attack shall happen and our members should fall, we shall rise and rise again like the symbol of our house, the Eternal Phoenix"

At my words, I saw a hand snake out from the Palanquin, signaling the guards to halt their movements. Trying to stand up once more, I felt pain wrack my body, making me gasp aloud, but I smiled as I saw the ornate headdress of the emperor before his head popped out. I could see his mouth move, though there was no sound reaching my ears, then my world went black from exhaustion and pain, something within me telling me that everything would somehow be okay.

It was a week later I found myself sitting in the Emperor's personal chambers, staring at a checker board. My gaze focused on the board for my next move, while waiting for the Emperor, my uncle to speak his peace about what to do with me. Pursing my lips, I lifted my red piece and jumped over two of his black tokens on the red and black board. It was a temporary fix to my strategy, that was if he went for that piece ignoring the other one that was just a move from being crowned and allowing me to move all over the board freely.

"I have decided what we are to do with you, Tsukikage. The most important thing for me is your personal safety, which means you won't be staying here in the Imperial City. There are already rumors flying around that a survivor of the Kushinada massacre was found," he spoke as I looked up at him, trying to keep my face impassive.

"I know that my safety insures the safety of the three treasures that my family...that I protect. So whatever your lordship chooses, I will acquiesce to it. I know that you do it with the best of intentions, though I cannot say that I would enjoy it," I said softly, my eyes darting down to see him make his move, pressing my lips into a thin line to keep from smiling at him taking my bait.

As I lift my hand up and move my other piece to his side of the board, he hissed under his breath, as he crowned my checker piece so it was double stacked. "That is good that you understand it. I know that your birthmark, what makes you a true Kushinada is covered in scar tissue from the torture you suffered as a child when you were kidnapped to use against your parents, and that others believe that the birthmark is on your right shoulder. So, here is what has been decided," he said, his eyes hooding over as I looked back up to him. "I am sending you to the far west, to a small village that also is the home village to the Wind Ninja. The leader of the clan and I go back as they have served the Imperial family for generations. Hanzo the leader, has a son who is four years older than you. The young man should have married a while ago, but hasn't for whatever reason."

As he trailed off, his dark eyes searched my eyes and face for anything. I was truly shocked at what he was asking without saying directly to me. I was far from stupid, and it was obvious that he was playing matchmaker, though as far as my memory could recall, he had never done bad by me. He only thought of the best, even if what he was proposing wasn't exactly desirable. Closing my eyes in a slow cat like blink, I took a deep breath in and let it out in a swoosh.

"So, you would like me to marry this person, as it kills two birds with one stone, right uncle?" I finally spoke, my voice very quiet even to my own ears.

With a small nod of his head, he sat back, folding his hands across his ornate robes. "Yes, Tsukikage, but there are a few stipulations. For one, it is beneficial that he marry to produce an heir for the clan to continue with a leader of their line. And second, Hanzo will know who you are and what you represent, but you are to tell no one else, not even the young man who will be your husband. Last, but not least, you will no longer be going by your name. To completely hide you, on top of protecting any relation you have to the three sacred treasures, you will now assume the identity: Jade Kisuragi. Jade for the green tints in your eyes, and Kisuragi being your mother's and my wife's maiden surnames. This is only for the time being. Then, when it is all settled you may, if you choose, become Tsukikage Kushinada once more."

To his words, I just nodded my head as my eyes went to the checker board once more. Any joy I had felt playing the simple tactic game was gone. "Please understand that this is the best we can do. I knew you wouldn't like having to lie or be married off without falling in love, but this is a necessary evil. You leave in the morning, so you can arrive quickly. Upon your arrival, you will be immediately married. They have already received my missive and are preparing for the wedding," he said softly.

Once more, I nodded my head in acquiescence, then stood up and walked out of the room. I now had a lot to think on, as well as packing to do to leave on time in the morning. My heart felt heavy in my chest. I wished for my mother to be here to talk to me, which only caused tears to well up in my eyes at the loss I still felt for them after their deaths.

The trip to the wind village was pretty dull, with nothing out of the ordinary happening at all, but the moment I saw the small village nestled in between two hills at the base of Mt. Fuji, I gasped, the sight taking my breath away. There was green swaying in the seemingly constant soft wind as far as my eyes could see. Taking in a deep breath, I nudged my horse, Kurodayu forward, down the winding path of the hill we were on, that heavy feeling still weighing in my chest at the uncertainty of my future here.

As I felt him start to move down the hill, I glanced over my shoulder at the quiet guards who had been assigned to make sure I had arrived safe and sound, their faces impassive in their helmets as they followed me down the path to the village. In the two weeks I had been traveling with them, we had all gotten to know each other to some degree. It would be safe to admit I would miss them when they left after the ceremony. So lost in my thoughts, I was barely able to hear the sound of a hawk crying above me.

Lifting my head up, I found a tan-breasted hawk circle before diving down towards the ground. My eyes followed the beautiful creature as it landed on a elderly looking man, whose black hair almost seemed to glow green in the sunlight. "Good day. I am Hanzo, leader of this village. May I presume that you are the ones sent from the capitol?" he asked in a wise-sounding voice.

After staring for a few seconds, I felt my cheeks grow a bit red before replying, "Yes, I am Jade Kisuragi, the lady chosen to marry your son. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance." Again my voice sounded quiet to my own ears.

The man just smiled at me before motioning for us to follow him. He turned and began to swiftly run down the side of the hill, as if he was still a young man in his prime. Once more, I nudged Kurodayu forward, my eyes riveted on the man before us, wondering just what a ninja really was. There was so much speculation revolving around them and their abilities. I shook my head as Kurodayu stepped onto the flat road that led towards a small, neat house at the edge of the village, and followed the man before us who seemed to be rather happy.

As we reached the house, Hanzo stopped and turned, waiting patiently until I reigned in Kurodayu. Then to my surprise, he lifted me down from the horse as the guards dismounted. "Please follow me into the house, so we can talk more easily. You will also be meeting my son, Kazemasa as well before the ceremony. That is if it pleases you...Miss Jade," he said softly for my ears alone.

Not missing the fact he paused on my name, I nodded my head in assent. As soon as my feet touched the ground, he let go of me, turning and marching with a purpose into the house. Reaching up, I stroked Kurodayu's velvet soft nose, before looking at the guards. They both stepped up to me, one taking Kurodayu's reigns from me, while the other motioned for me to follow Hanzo. Putting on a small smile, though it was partially fake due to nerves, I walked slowly into the house.

To my surprise, it was a very quaint and normal looking abode. As I let my eyes scan it over, a small woman, whose corners of the mouth seemed to be perpetually upturned came around the corner. Taking one look at me, she gave a soft smile and sigh. "You must be the one that is to marry my son. Truly, I didn't expect a beautiful lady such as yourself. Hattori will be pleased to be wed to a beauty like you. Now come, we must be off to my husband's study." Her voice was mild and soothing, much like my mother's had been.

As I followed her, she spoke up, her words letting me know that she saw what I had been thinking, which meant that my emotions had shown bright as day on my face. "I have been informed that you have recently lost your family. Please think of me as your mother. Also, Hattori is my son's first name. Though those that are close to him call him Kazemasa, while others are restricted to calling him Hanzo, thought he isn't leader just yet." she burbled as she led me down several hallways.

When she came to a halt, I slowed my pace till I stopped just behind her. Softly, she rapped on the sliding paper door, before a small grunt came from the room. With a dramatic roll of her eyes, she slid it open, announcing my arrival. Then, before I could move she pulled me in, seating me on an empty cushion on the floor before excusing herself to get tea. My eyes darted around as the guard who accompanied me into the house just stood back by the door. When my eyes came back to land on Hanzo, I found him staring at me rather intently.

"You are here, I am sure, under less than pleasant reasons. I understand you recently lost your family, then being shuffled here for a marriage to a man you do not even know. While I want to tell you don't worry about him, that wouldn't be a truth. There are a few things you need to know and understand about my son. He takes his duty to this village very seriously, something you know very well. He is extremely loyal and devout to what he believes. Kazemasa doesn't tolerate rudeness or liars, but that is one topic that we cannot tell him just yet, as the missive I received was rather clear that he isn't to know about you or your past. Please, I ask you to try your best." Hanzo said in a very serious voice.

Nodding my head, I was about to speak, when quick-measured, heavy footsteps were heard, before the sliding door on the opposite side of the room was opened in a harsh manner. Instinctively, I flinched away from whoever was doing it, then with a timidness that I hated, peeked over, seeing a very tall man who looked like a much younger version of the man sitting across from me. Blinking, he turned cold, emotionless, sapphire eyes at me, causing me to swallow nervously as I immediately looked down.

"Ah Kazemasa, glad you have arrived. Now stop glaring at her like she is some spy trying to infiltrate our village. You're making her feel more uncomfortable than she already is. And before you speak your piece, I am sure she feels the same about this arranged marriage. You must also remember that you brought this upon yourself for being twenty-two and not having taken a wife. Naturally, the Emperor would intervene for the welfare of this Empire," Hanzo said with a bit of a gruff voice, causing me to look up in shock as I heard a deep baritone voice rumble a reply.

Peeking out of the corner of my eye, I watched him step into the room, shutting the shogi door behind him, before he came to sit on the cushion next to me. Now that he was closer, I could literally feel his presence like a wall of force. Doing my best to not scoot away from him, as if I was some scared animal, I sat up and stared ahead at Hanzo, who just gave me a small smile of gratitude. I was sure it didn't go unnoticed by the man next to me, since he cleared his throat.

Letting his mouth drop into a thin, grim line, he turned to his son. "Jade Kisuragi, meet my son, the next Hanzo...Hattori Kazemasa, who will this evening be your husband. And Kazemasa, this lovely lady is your wife to be, Jade Kisuragi," Hanzo spoke in polite tones, but there was an underlying commanding tone in it.

Turning my head to look at Kazemasa, I could feel those cold sapphire eyes upon me, and I gave a small timid smile, before bowing and speaking, "It is nice to meet you Kazemasa." I stayed in the bowed position until I was told to rise.

The silence that followed my greeting felt like an eternity, before I heard him speak, "It is nice to meet you as well...Jade. And you may call me Hanzo." His words clipped and to the point, cutting at me like a knife, as if I had just stepped over a line. "Father, now that we have met, I still have duties to attend to before the wedding at sunset. Excuse me."

I stayed in the bowed position as I heard him get up and leave without even being excused by his father, my eyes wide and burning with tears that threatened to fall. "Jade, child please rise and sit. I am sorry for his actions and words, but I did mention that he was well...as you see. He does have a kind heart that is full of courage, though I think it might take you two getting to know each other before he allows you in. I am sorry. My wife will be back momentarily. She will help you get into the wedding kimono, while I go take care of my stubborn son." His words were soft, caring, and full of shame as he got up and left the room

A short few minutes later, the Shogi door I had entered through opened, and I saw Hanzo's wife looking at me. Her doe-like brown eyes were darkened with some emotion as she came in, and kneeling down, she hugged me to her, making shushing noise like a mother to calm a child that was upset. It made me smile as I finally felt the tears fall down my face, leaving twin trails on my cheeks once more.

"Now now...he isn't a bad person. He just doesn't like it when things are decided for him, young lady. Now let's get you ready. Maybe it will make that pig-headed son of mine do a double take and feel like a heel at seeing you," she whispered as she led me away to another part of the house to prepare for the wedding.

As the sun set, I was walked out on the arm of Hanzo who looked like he was in a daze of some sort. A faint smile touched my lips as he led me towards the altar where the ceremony would take place. I could hear the whispers of the villagers as they got their first glimpse of me, making my cheeks color brightly, if the heat I could feel rush to my face was any indication. When we came to a stop, I peeked up shyly to see Kazemasa standing there in a formal kimono that looked gorgeous on him. Then he stepped forward and took my hand from his father, and with a small jerk, led me to the altar. It reminded me he wasn't happy at all about what was going on, and that he was just playing along.

The Monk, whose name I had learned was Beneki, officiated the ceremony, speaking the blessings for our union to come, as well as wishing us many children in the future, before asking us to say our pledges to each other. I did my best to make mine heartfelt, while his sounded hollow like he didn't care. I lowered my eyes in hurt, and then Beneki said the final word, telling Kazemasa to kiss me. I half-expected him at that point to peck my cheek and walk away. So, I was shocked when he lifted up the veil that had been covering my face and leaned in, wrapping a long, strong arm around me. He pulled me closer, before he dipped his head, planting a very passionate kiss on my lips. Though it was only a few seconds, I felt the breath leave my lungs, and I stood there dazed after he broke the kiss.

Blinking my eyes, I heard the whooping and hollering of congratulations at him for snagging such a beauty. I finally came to my senses, blushing darker as he pulled on my hand once more leading me towards the table where the food for the feast sat. My eyes went to the ground once more as we filled our plates, making our way through the party until his mother came to whisk me away to get me ready for the final part of our wedding day.

She explained about what was to happen, and that it wouldn't be so bad if I let him have control, having faith. That I might even enjoy myself before it was all done, making me go wide-eyed at her, which earned me a deep throaty laugh, as she undressed me, leaving me only in the sheer under Kimono and no underclothes. She led me to the futon, making sure I was laying there comfortably, before placing a soft kiss on my forehead, saying that her son would be here soon enough. As she got up and left, I felt panic rush through me. When the door to the room opened up, I felt my body go so tense, I swore I would break if I was touched.

My eyes followed him as he blew out the candles in the room, leaving it completely black. Now unable to see him, I could only rely on my sense of hearing, as he untied his own kimono and crawled into the bed. I lay there waiting for him to reach out, touch me or whatever he was gonna do, when I heard his breathing suddenly even out, letting me know he had just gone to sleep. I closed my eyes, not in relief, but from the shock of his blatant refusal to bed me, to make me his full wife. I rolled over and cried myself to sleep as silently as possible, feeling more lonely than I had since my parents' death.

Three months since I had married Kazemasa and become a member of the village, and not much had changed, especially his cold, unfeeling attitude towards me. It pained me on many levels how he acted towards me in both public and private. Still, we hadn't consummated our marriage, and I was too afraid to ask why. As each day passed, I settled into a routine, though it did hurt when the unmarried girls and the married women of the village would talk about either Kazemasa or their experiences with their husbands. I would just smile, repeat myself like a dunce, telling them that 'I was raised not to kiss and tell the intimate parts of my life', which always earned me odd looks or envious glares, making me feel like a bigger liar then I already was.

Kazemasa was gone most of the time on some mission or another after the first month, but when he was back, I would find myself watching him as he attended to whatever business the village had in his father's stead. I'd see how his face would soften, a small smile play upon his lips, causing small laugh lines at the corner of his eyes, which would at those rare moments go three shade lighter and sparkling more beautifully than the stones that they resembled. It would all vanish the instant that he would look up and see me staring at him, causing me to hang my head and hurry away as if I was ashamed, my heart heavy.

There had been a few points where we had actually attempted to talk, but that usually happened when he intervened between some of the younger, single males of the village, who would talk and flirt with me. After chasing them off, he would grasp my arm and walk away with me, lecturing me about being a respectable wife, not trying to ruin his family name. This only incited me to anger, though I kept my mouth shut and just nodded my head in agreement, as he stared hard at me with those deep, condemning eyes. It was during one of those talks about a month ago that I had jerked my arm free of his hand, glaring up at him. My anger was clear on my face from the way he had looked shocked for all of a second before his cold mask slammed down again. When he had reached for me again, I slapped his hand away, then turned and ran away from him as he called out to me.

Each time he acted and treated me like I was some unwanted thing, I felt like there was a hole in my chest, getting gradually bigger, making it hurt more and more, till I felt like I was drowning in pain. That day I had made my way back to the house, directly going to our room where I sat down and cried. By some odd twist of fate, his mother had come to see what was going on. Seeing me like that, she got angry instantly, making me become cautious as I explained what had happened from my point of view. She just silently pursed her lips as she stared at me, before shaking her head and sighing. Then telling me that Kazemasa had talked to his father about this issue briefly, she began to interrogate me about why I did what I did. After our talk, which left me feeling better, we both came to the realization about a few things, that I had fallen in love with him, and that his foolish stubborn pride was keeping her from having grand-kids.

Now, I was once more being led away by Kazemasa, who had yet again stepped between the young men talking politely with me about the farming in the village. As I waited for them to be gone, I began to count backwards in my head, recalling his mothers advice to just be angry and speak my mind, let him know how I felt. So as I watched him reach out to grasp my arm, I used a basic defense skill that I had been taught as a child to knock his whole arm aside. Standing up my full height of five feet five inches, I looked him in the eye, feeling my face flush with anger.

Taking a deep breath, I held up my hand to stop him from speaking, as I spoke. "You are an ass, you know that. Every single time they talk to me, you always have to butt in, misunderstanding the whole situation. For your information, all we were talking about was the quality of the farming soil in the surrounding area of the village should it have to expand. Then, to make matters worse you keep embarrassing me in front of the whole village, by dragging me away like I am some... some errant, misbehaving child you have to either constantly correct or some hussy that is spreading her legs for everyone but you! You tell me that I need to respect you and my position as your wife, not that I can actually be called that since you sir, have had absolutely no inclination to bed me in the last three months. Though, from the sound of it, you have been doing your business with all the other women who are willing in this village. That respect you want is something that is earned, and before you get that from me, you need to earn my trust." My voice didn't raise a single octave as I ranted, and by the time I'd finished my tirade, my chest was heaving.

My eyes never leaving his face, I saw his eyes go wide, then narrow. His mouth worked for a few seconds in shock before he was able to say anything. I just watched as he took a few deep breaths to calm himself, before he spoke in a low, almost threatening tone of voice, causing me to shiver, "If you want to talk about trust, then Jade...I would suggest you tell me the truth about you. My father and you must think I am stupid to not realize that there is more to the emperor making you my wife, at just a convenient time. Or that when you two are talking you go quiet when I enter the room. Yet when I do ask you about it, you clam up and look away. So that is a two way street on the trust and respect. Besides, you are my wife. If I don't want you to be talking to other men, and so frequently, then it is my prerogative, to which you can't say a thing. What I do in my own free time and with whom is not your concern. You really should learn your place."

My body went cold as so many things suddenly welled up inside of me. He was right about trust and respect being a two way street. Taking a deep breath in hopes to calm myself I spoke once more, this time my voice honey sweet as I let a smile curve my lips, "I told you I am not allowed to tell you that, and I am sorry for it. There is nothing I can do about that, though you just refuse to accept it. Because if I could tell you, dammit I would tell you, Hanzo Hattori Kazemasa." My tone held a finality to it, as I raised my small sandal-clad foot and slammed it down on his with all the force my leg could muster.

As he let out a bellow that would do a bull elk proud during mating season, I turned and marched stiff-backed away from him, not caring that he was hopping up and down on one foot, causing the villagers to look on in speculation at why he was doing so or that I was walking away uncaring. Quickly, I let my feet take me to the house, where I saw a palanquin outside with a phoenix emblazoned on the side. My eyes went wide in shock and happiness, and forgetting propriety, I lifted up the hem of my Kimono, showing my calves as I ran the rest of the way there.

Bursting through the front door, only slowly down to take off my sandals, I ran through the house to my father-in-law's study. Coming to a stop, my breath coming in heavy pants, I knocked on the door, waiting for the perfunctory grunt to come. As soon as it did, I slid open the door, stepped in, and closed it behind me, before staring at my uncle just sitting there with a cup of tea in his hand. A smile on his face, he beckoned me over with his free hand. Not hesitating, I practically threw myself at him, in a fierce hug.

"Ah you seem rather happy to see me, Tsukikage... Sorry, Jade. I take it that your life here is going well? I hope you are happy with your married life," he said, ending in a rather curious tone of voice as he asked his question.

My body froze, as I immediately let go of him. Sitting back on my legs, I stared at him, watching him as he watched me. The look on his face darkened, making me realize that I was showing my emotions on my face once more. "Life...here is fantastic. I have come to love this little village, the people and my in-laws in the three months I have been here. Of course, I miss the city, court life, as well as Aunt Yuki, your son Ryu, and most of all you," I finally said, avoiding the topic of my married life.

Deep inside, I hoped he would let it go, but the rational side of me knew better. "Young lady, you didn't answer me completely. What is wrong? Does he treat you badly? Hanzo, what do you know of this situation? You promised me that she would be taken care of properly," my uncle barked out, his face flushing in anger, causing Hanzo to flinch back in fear.

I reached out, placing my hand on my uncle's shoulder, making him turn his hard gaze on me. "Stop, it has nothing to do with him. We just are having marital problems is all, because he wants to know the truth which, no offense, is your fault, since I have to lie to him, and he can't abide dishonesty any more than I can. It can be made better if you allow me to tell him." My voice was soft and pleading.

Silence ensued for a few minutes before the Emperor set his cup down on the saucer on the small table before him. His gaze only going darker at my request, he gave a harsh shake of his head, causing the small dangling ornaments on his headdress to chime. I just sighed, wanting to crawl deeper into a hole than I had ever wished to do before. When I opened them, I found both of them staring at me, one in disbelief and the other in disappointment.

"You know very well I cannot allow that. If that is all there is to this marital problem, then I shall talk to the young man. I mean, he isn't so petty that he would withhold himself from you physically because of it. Really, you are so much like your mother, making things seem worse than they are," he spoke, only to trail off as he watched my face.

I knew there was no hiding my horror as he nailed it in one. Swallowing in fear as he just looked at me, I hung my head and responded to him, "I am sorry, but only in name are we married for these last three months, your Imperial Highness. All because he thinks I am a liar." My voice was so small, as the tears from earlier finally began to fall down my cheeks. "I beg you, just take me back to the city, allow me to live there as a servant in your household. I wanna come ho..."

My words were cut off as the door to the study was thrown open, revealing a very angry man. I looked up to see he had his eyes trained upon me, that he didn't realize he was in the presence of the Emperor. I could only stare like a cornered animal, then with a low hiss of breath, he stalked over to me and jerked my hands from my uncle's shoulder. This earned a rather loud cough from his father, bringing him back to his senses in a second. When he saw who was before him, he let go of me quickly, dropping into a kneeling position.

"It is an honor, my lord. Forgive me for my rude behavior, but I have come for my rather ungracious wife, to take her to task for her actions. She had a small tantrum and stomped on my foot before running off, leaving me to embarrassed in front of the villagers." His voice was humble though a bit contrite as he spoke.

Looking away, I pursed my lips, a blush coming to my now tear-stained cheeks. My eyes instantly met those of his dad's, who just remained silent as I watched his eyebrows climb up his forehead. Swallowing, I let my head hang in shame at my actions, though I believed I was totally justified for his pretentious actions. When a deep guffawing laughter was heard to my side, I gasped at the same time as Kazemasa, and my head whipped around to look at whom was laughing.

"Well then young man, I do believe that if a woman strikes out physically at a man, more so her spouse, there is usually a warranted reason. My own wife has done similar things to me, though not publicly. I just heard her ask me to take her back to the capitol and have me employ her as a servant in my household, instead of staying here. This young lady I have known for a while and she would never ask for something of that manner unless she is serious," he said as his laughter died down to a rather serious tone of voice.

In the following seconds of quiet, I could hear my heart beating in my ears. We were all watching Kazemasa as his face went through more expressions than I had ever seen before, ending with it going blank as he stood up, a frown curving his lips down. His unrelenting gaze bored holes into me, making me look away from him. His silence spoke volumes as he turned, going to the door and opening it and stepping out.

Before he shut it, he spoke only a few words, "You're the emperor. You may do as you wish with her. Father, I am going hunting for rabbits for the harvest dinner tomorrow. I will be back later tonight. " His voice was so devoid of emotion, it would make you wonder if he was human.

The door shut behind him as he walked off down the hallway, and I just sat there, my hands at some point coming up, grabbing at my kimono over my heart, which felt as if something sharp had just been driven deep into it. My gaze fixed on the door, unseeing of anything else, as yet more tears fell down my face. Unaware of how long I was permitted to stay like that, I felt a hand on my shoulder, causing me to turn my gaze to the two men in the room with me. The looks on their faces varied, but worry and anger were clearly there. Unable to say anything, I felt something in me break, allowing a sob to be torn from my throat. Standing up, I bowed at the waist before exiting through the other door, heading to my room.

It was a few hours later, the sun almost hidden behind the horizon, when a soft knock came at the door. Not caring who it was, I just sat on my futon staring out the window, my tears long ago shed with no more willing to fall. My hands still worried at my kimono, having pulled it from the obi, to reveal a great deal of my cleavage. The sound of the door being opened came to my ears, as I just sat there staring.

"Jade...sweetie, you can't stay in here crying and pining. I am sorry that things have worked out like this. The Emperor is very very affronted by this whole situation. So are my husband and I at his actions, that he could toss you to the side. But I think what has the Emperor in such a state is that he hasn't consummated your marriage because of the fact you can't tell him the truth," Kazemasa's mother said softly, as she walked over to me.

I saw her kneel beside me from the corner of my eye, before she pulled me into a very tight hug. "The choice to go back to the city is yours, Jade. If you do, I know that you will be missed, not just by my husband and I, but all the people of this village who have come to respect and love you. Right now, my husband is out with our headstrong son, trying to get him to change his mind. Though if you ask me, I think he doesn't want you to leave, and that is why he spoke the way he did, because some part of him cares and was hurt by you wanting to leave."

At her words, I turned my head to look her in the eyes. I just remained silent as I stared at her, some part of me wanting to believe her kind words, but the part of me that was hurting where my heart should be wouldn't allow it, wanting to keep me from being hurt further. Shaking my head in a negative fashion, I turned to continue to stare out the window. The sky was now a deep indigo of night, letting me know it had to be after nine o'clock at night. I took a deep breath as my stomach growled in protest from lack of food.

That earned me a soft chuckle from my mother-in-law, who let me go. "Well at least I guessed right about something today. I brought you some bread and miso soup, figuring that the last time you ate was mid-morning before going about your errands. So, why don't you eat up, then gather your bathing supplies and go the to hot spring house. No one will be there at this hour and I am sure that my husband and son won't be home for a while anyway. But before you go, you should talk to the Emperor. Let him know where you are heading at this late hour," she said as she placed the food before me, giving me a quick kiss to my temple before she stood up and left the room, shutting the door behind her.

My stomach rumbled in protest once more at being empty, and quietly I ate my food, making sure that it was all gone. Now with a much happier stomach, I gathered up the dishes and stood up. The concept of a hot bath, a chance to think everything through, clear my head with no one around appealed to me greatly. Swiftly, I took my dishes to the kitchen, before stopping at the guest bedroom and rapping softly on it, waiting for a indication to enter.

When I got it, I opened the door, stepping in and quietly closing it behind me. "Your Imperial Highness, I was asked to inform you that I was heading up to the hot spring bath house. My mother-in-law thinks a good soak will help me clear my head and think things through." My voice cracked from all the crying I had done.

Silence prevailed for a few minutes, making me shift a bit uncomfortably. "That is fine, Tsukikage. I appreciate you heeding her advice to tell me. Your safety as a member of my family is most important to me. Do you think you will have an answer for me in the morning concerning coming back to the city with me?" he spoke quietly, though the aura his body exuded was still that of an irate man.

"Yes, your Imperial Highness. I will have my answer for you in the morning," was all I said, before I started to turn and leave.

"Wait Tsukikage, two things," he spoke up, halting me just as I was about to open the door.

Turning back to face him, seeing his dark brown eyes as they met my own. "Yes?" was all I managed under that gaze.

"You are to stop calling me your Imperial Highness. I am your uncle, young lady. And I want an honest answer to this, no avoiding it. Do you love this young man at all, in any shape or form?" His voice was very soft, caring, and understanding while demanding.

Giving a soft sigh, I let a small smile curve my lips, knowing that it didn't reach my sad eyes. "Yes, Uncle. I love him very much. I do not know when I fell in love with him, except it was a few months ago that I realized it after a talk with his mother," came my reply, my head hanging to hid my blushing face as I finally admitted it aloud.

"Okay, then go. Be safe, relax, and clear that head of yours. I trust you to do what you feel is right in all this." Lifting my head at the warm tone of his voice, I walked over to him, knelt down, giving him a quick hug of thanks, before taking my leave of the room.

Swiftly, I made my way back to my room, gathered up my necessities and slipped into my thin silk bathing robe, before putting on an over robe. Looking out the window to see the stars now shining like bright little jewels in the night sky, I left the room and house, quickly making my way in the eerie silence of the night to the bath house, a treasure in itself within this small amazing village.

Upon entering the place, I felt the steam cling to my skin. Walking over to a hand hewed stone bench, I set my bathing supplies down before disrobing down to my bathing Kimono. My eyes darted around in amazement at how silent it was when no one was here. I felt like a giddy little kid who was getting a special treat. Putting a large smile on my face, I grabbed my bar of soap and some soft sand that had been scented with sakura petals, I made my way to the edge of the hot spring. Not having to observe the normal rules of the bath house, I sat on the edge with a small thud, dropping my feet into the deliciously hot sulfur smelling water.

Taking a deep breath, I set my stuff off to the side, before sliding into the water like a little kid, allowing it to wash over me up to my shoulders as I sat there. In the three months I had been here, I had never had the chance to walk around the springs, seeing just how big it was. Giving a small devilish giggle, I stood up and did exactly that. By the time I reached what was the middle of the hot spring, it came up to right under my breast while standing.

Spinning around, I dragged my hands on the top of the water playfully, enjoying how it lapped at my body, breaking over my shoulders and occasionally hitting my face. Feeling like a little kid, I leaned back and just floated there on the top of the water, getting a decent look at the ceiling of the building that had been at some point painted to look like the night sky, as I lifted a hand up, using a single finger to trace out the constellations I found there.

When I could find no more that I knew, I tilted my body so I was standing once more, only feeling the water come to just above my hips, when a voice spoke up, causing me to freeze as I realized who it belonged too. "So much for having a quiet relaxing bath. Though watching you act like a silly little kid is amusing, to say the least you can attempt to look cute."

I was frozen to the spot, so many things began to rush through my head, "How long had he been there? I am damn near naked. Why was he here? Should I leave or demand that he leave? What am I gonna do? Did he just insulted me twice in one breath? I can't take this, why do the kami's keep hating me!" I just stood there, staring at him horrified. Finally able to get my mind to settle, I turned my back to him, and started to leave.

Throwing words over my shoulder as I walked away. "I am sorry for intruding upon your privacy. I will just leave you be. And please do not tell me I am acting like a silly little kid. That is rather insulting." My body was once more tense.

So focused on getting away from him, I wasn't paying attention, so I didn't hear him get up and walk towards me. The moment I felt the water crash against the middle of my back, I flinched inwardly. I tried to keep my gaze forward, only to fail as I took a look behind me to see a rather tanned and chiseled chest mere inches from me, giving me a good view of a scar that crossed it. Panicking, I tried to dart forward only to trip on my own foot, causing me to fall forward into the water.

Flailing my arms trying to get my balance, I felt a strong arm wrap around my body, just under my breasts, righting me, "You woman, are a klutzy, silly little kid. You don't have to leave at all, we are married, so therefore we can share the bath," he said as he removed his arm from my person.

The sound of water moving made me turn my head over my shoulder to see his retreating back as he made his way to the other side. Unable to help myself, I watched him turn and sit back down where he had been before. Mesmerized was the only way to describe why I couldn't take my eyes off his lean, muscled form, knowing this was probably the first and last time I would get to see his body without clothes.

At the thought, I closed my eyes and sighed softly and sadly. When I opened them again, I saw him staring at me intently. Not liking being under his scrutiny, I snapped at him, "What!? Do you have to stare like I am some foreign object that is fun to look at?"

My words made him narrow his eyes, causing them to glint in an unpleasant manner that seemed almost predatory. "Nothing, was just noting that your childishness stops at the mental and emotional state," he taunted with a quirk to the left side of his mouth, making him look like he was smirking.

Turning around to face him completely, forgetting that my bathing robe was white and now see through from the water, I crossed my arms under my breasts as I puffed up my cheeks and stepped through the water, cutting the distance between us by over three quarters. "Yeah, well you know what, if you were any other man... Then.. Then you would have already figured that out. But since you hate me so damned much, I think that it would be best for both of us... if I just leave here, and never come back." My words started out angry at him for his taunting, only to go to a mere whisper as I finished, the dull ache in my chest flaring up painfully.

Not bothering to wait for his retort, I lowered my eyes, feeling that familiar burning sensation again, making me amazed that I still could cry tears. With a wry laugh, I turned and started to walk away, my arms no longer just crossed under my breasts, but holding myself for comfort. Barely having taken more then a few steps away from him, I felt his hand upon my arm, stopping me. Anger flared up in me at him once more thinking he could control me, make me do what he wanted even if it was just stopping.

Dropping my arms from around me, I spun quickly to face him. Once facing him, I lifted my right hand and swung it forward to smack him. Hissing my anger when he caught my hand, I spoke to him, "You just can't leave well enough alone, can you? I make you miserable, and you hate me. I get it, okay? Because I am bound by an oath to the emperor to not tell you the damned truth, you won't even give me a chance. Then you being possessive, implying that I am some hussy in one way or another, not caring that I have to hear about all y-your conquests before I came to the village from the unmarried women and some of the younger widowed women. I have to feel ashamed at listening to them talk about their marriages and exploits with their own husbands, while fending them off for details. Yet...yet I get to watch you smile, joke, and talk all friendly with other females and suffer from the jealousy it makes me feel. I am nothing to you, so just leave me the hell alone, Hanzo...I am tired of having my chest ache for loving your ass and not being loved in return."

I stared up at him, breathing heavily from my tirade as tears fell down my face. My feelings had been laid bare, and he just stared down at me, his face unreadable except for those cold, hard sapphire eyes. I tried to jerk both my arms free from him, when he pulled me against him and stepped back to his seat. I struggled to get away from him, small sobs coming from me, as he sat down, pulling me into his lap, before he spoke up, "Well, I suppose you feel better now that you have ranted again. This is the second time today you have tried to strike me. I don't want you to leave; I want you to stay, Jade. I am sorry for making you feel ashamed like that. It was wrong of me, that I will give to you. But never again say that you are nothing to me. You are my wife, even if it is in name alone." His voice was a soft deep rumble that held a bit of awe in it.

I felt him shift his arms so that he was holding me around the waist, effectively keeping me in his lap unable to speak, as I turned my face away from him. His apology helped to assuage my hurt ego and pride. "But you know that it goes both ways. Did you not think of my feelings this whole time, other than I was being a jerk or an ass, as you so eloquently put it? That perhaps I would be a little bit jealous of how easily you talked and smiled with the men of this village, both married and single? How you could smile and fit right in with the women so naturally with little trouble, yet the moment you would see me when you were having a good time, that smile would go away and a facade of polite detachment would wash over you from looking at me. I won't deny that hurt me, seeing you being able to be your natural self around others, but not around me. Though I know, after listening to my mother and father, that is in part my fault..." he said in a soft whisper, shame coloring his own voice.

Slowly, I turned my head, tilting it up to look at his face, allowing me to see the guilt in his eyes and lining his face. It caused me to suck in a deep breath of air as I just stared at him, before looking away once more. I couldn't doubt his sincerity on what he had said, which made us both at fault for our actions, but still, it didn't make me feel like he really wanted me to stay here. Shifting my body in an attempt to get comfy in his lap, I heard him take in a deep breath.

Tilting my head a bit to take a peek, I got a glimpse of a faint blush on his cheeks. Curious is what killed the nine lives of a cat, and it made me ask, "What? You look like you just swallowed a fly."

Again, I moved my body so I was more or less facing him, making him take another deep breath in, as he rolled his eyes up to the ceiling. "Don't move like that. It is a bit troublesome...if you get my meaning," was all I got as he let his breath out in a shuddering gasp.

Clueless to what he was talking about, I pouted, looking at him silently before speaking. "No, I don't get your meaning? Why can't I move as I want too?"

My questions were sincere, and it must have reflected in my eyes, because he turned as bright as a cherry. "You.. You really don't know what that is doing. Kami's!" he exclaimed, as he let go with one arm, before grabbing my hand and dragging it down between our bodies, where I felt my hand brush against something underneath a towel.

Having been instructed on the male body and a few possible ways it could react to a pleasing sensation, I felt light-headed as I jerked my hand away. "Oh kami, Oh kami, let me go now!" I pleaded as I began to squirm in earnest to get away from him.

My actions got only a grunt from him, as his arm still holding me tightened almost painfully around my ribcage. "If you would stop moving, it would go away. You're only making it worse with all this squirming. Besides, we are not done talking, cause I refuse to let you go until you agree to stay here in this village. I meant what I said, I was jealous, and that is why I always pulled you away from the other males. Hell, if you leave, it would be rather boring without that easily provoked temper of yours. And I might possibly miss those sweet sesame seed rice balls you make," was all he said in a teasing voice.

Settling down at his command, I glared up at him still embarrassed, my eyes trying to travel down and look at his broad shoulders and muscled chest. Knowing it was an obvious thing I wanted to look at him, Kazemasa shifted his body so it was leaning back, while somehow still pinning me in his lap. "Look at me all you want. You can touch as well," was his reply while he waited for me to respond to his last words.

"Why would you be jealous of the other guys? I mean, you didn't seem to give two feathers when we first met, and on our wedding night, you had no desire to bed me. Instead, you went right to sleep next me, making it clear what you thought and felt about the whole marriage thing, Hanzo." I said, letting my eyes drop down and memorize his shoulders and chest.

My response was a rather loud snort, giving a quick glance up as I continued to follow the contoured lines of his chest with my eyes once more. "Well, if I recall, you didn't seem too happy about that forced marriage thing any more then I did... As for why I would be so jealous, you really have no clue do you? The first time I laid eyes upon you, after you quit flinching away from me after my entrance, I saw the most beautiful woman ever. The first thought to cross my mind was that the Kami's had sent an angel to earth, and it was by some odd miracle that I was getting to marry her." His voice trailed off as I reached out a tentative hand and brushed it across his left shoulder, feeling the muscles shift under my fingertips.

"I find it hard to believe that you thought I was beautiful, not with how you reacted. Why didn't you take me as your wife, if you thought that?" I asked, tracing the curve of his shoulder as it swooped into his neck.

It was a few seconds before he spoke, "Relentless, that describes you, along with tenacious, obstinate, and stubborn. If you must know, I wasn't gonna force myself on a scared, nervous virgin and ruin her first time. As time went on, I realized that you were keeping something from me. To make matters worse, my father knew what it was and wasn't telling me either. I saw how it was eating at the both of you, but to see you look away with shame and guilt clearly written over your face upset me. Things just blew up when I asked you about it the first time and you lied. By the way, you're a horrid liar. From there, I guess things just escalated between us." His voice went a few octaves deeper, causing me to look up at him in curiosity.

As my eyes found his, I couldn't help myself as a gasp escaped my lips. His eyes that were usually so hard, cold, and condemning were gazing at me with a softness that made them vibrant. My hands on his shoulders slipped down in my shock, grazing his chest, eliciting a small rumble from his chest. Unable to pull my eyes away from his, I felt my cheeks heat up at the sound he emitted. I couldn't help myself. I knew now that leaving him would be the hardest thing ever, and it must have shown in my eyes, because I felt his arm tighten around me, pressing me against his chest, pinning my hands between our bodies.

"I told you I don't want you to leave. You said that you loved me, and it hurt to do so because of my actions. Well the same could be said for you, Jade. At some point in the last three months, I don't know when, my heart became yours. Seeing you interact with the villagers, being able to put yourself on the level of the children as you played with them. Hell, you were able to take that step back when something happened to be an adult. I wasn't insulting you when I said you were like a silly child. It was a compliment, my way of saying that you'd make an excellent mother one day. That is why I don't want you to leave. I want you as my wife, not by force, but by your terms." His voice was a low whisper to my ears, as I continue to look into his eyes, seeing his face flush a faint red across the bridge of his nose.

Just sitting there speechless, I stared at him. It took me a few minutes before I was able to respond. "You...love me? You...think I will be a good mother? I...I ...I mean, that is...you make me so damned confused, Hanzo!" I sputtered, ready to say more when he leaned in, placing his forehead against mine, effectively silencing me.

"Kazemasa... or please call me by my first name," was all he said before I felt his lips capture mine like they had on our wedding day.

A small shiver ran down my spine, as my body instinctively pressed into his and my lips moved with his. Slowly, my eyes fluttered shut, a low moan creeping its way up my throat. The kiss was evoking things that I wasn't aware I could feel. Curling my fingers against the taut muscles of his chest, I felt his hand around my waist come up and begin to fondle the underside of my breast. Arching my back, causing me to break my kiss, I gasped from the pleasure it sent through my body.

Some part of me was wanting more of his touch and kisses, but my mind brought a fact forward. We had talked and cleared up almost all of the important things. Pushing with my hands to break our bodies apart, allowing me the space to reign in what little self-control I had, I met his eyes with a serious look. "I don't want to leave Han...Kazemasa. What I want is to stay here in this village that has become my new home, but if we are to make this work, then there mustn't be any lies or secrets between us. Do you not agree with that?" I said softly.

He remained silent for a few minutes, a small secretive smile on his face, that seemed contemplative. "I do agree with you on that. Thank you for saying my name," he whispered to me, then going silent, waiting for me to finish.

I swallowed hard as that light-headed feeling came back, and waiting for it to pass, I looked at him, my own smile on my lips. "Well, for starters... My name isn't Jade Kisuragi. It is Tsukikage Kushinada, of the Kushinada clan," I said, going silent and watching him expectantly for a favorable reaction.

His eyes shot open wide, as his arm loosened around my waist. Easily, I could tell that his mind was trying to process what I had just told him. "That is impossible. They are all dead. I want you to show me the proof that you are the daughter of the Kushinada clan. Show me the phoenix birthmark the heir bears on their body," he said, his voice coming out harsh and quick in a commanding tone.

Letting my eyes drop down, I attempted to stand up, finding that he was more than willing to allow me to do so. Turning my back to him, glad that my hair was still mostly put up, I fumbled for a few minutes at the wet knot to my belt, before it came untied, allowing me to slip the robe from my shoulders, showing my bare back all the way to the cleft of my buttocks. "I see nothing there but a scar on your left hip. How can you claim to be the heir with no proof," was all I heard.

My shoulders slumped as my left hand caressed over the scar tissue there on my hip. "If you don't believe me cause you can't see the mark any more, you can go ask my uncle, the Emperor of Japan himself. He will ascertain for you that I am not lying," was all I replied as I craned my neck so I was looking at him over my shoulder. "Your age is twenty-two right? Try to recall ten years ago, see if you remember any news about a kidnapping of the Kushinada family."

My eyes connecting with Kazemasa's, I waited, hoping that he might recall something. When a faint glimmer shone in his depths, he spoke up. "I faintly recall something about that. My father was in a tizzy, mostly because another village was doing the rescuing because it was in their territory. That someone had stolen the child of a prominent family that had ties to the Imperial family. They eventually got the child back, but the harm was done. You're telling me it was you? That is where you got that scar?"

Slowly I nodded my head, my hand caressing the scar that hid my birthmark, the right to officially call myself a Kushinada. Turning my head forward, I began to tug on my bathing robe. My mind went back to the four days of terror, the accident of me being cut by a dagger, only to have them cauterize it by heating up that same dagger and dragging over my flesh. The pain that shot through my body at that moment wasn't something that anyone would easily forget.

My eyes met Kazemasa's for a brief second, seeing the understanding dawn in them, as well as horror. Knowing fully what it was, I just turned my face away and finished pulling on my bathing robe, only to be stopped as I was suddenly jerked back. Feeling myself fall backwards, instinctively I threw my arms out, only to be cradled against his body, once more sitting. "You're...the emperor's niece... uh.. that explains his exceedingly angry face and mood earlier. Never again do I want that look directed at me. Please Tsukikage, please don't leave me. It doesn't matter if you are his niece or not. I want you stay here so I can always protect you. There is no other woman I want other then you. Will you consider it?" he practically whimpered in my ear, his arms tightening around my bare stomach.

My face flushed dark as I felt heat wash over my whole body at my skin touching his through the sheer bathing robe. He was scared, but so earnest to protect me. Those words I knew were not lightly spoken. Taking in a deep breath, I turned myself so I was sitting astride his lap, as I spoke. "I want to stay. All the air is cleared between us, but you cannot call me by that name until things are resolved," was all I could choke out as I felt my body start to react to him from being close.

Eventually, I let myself look up into his eyes, the smile that was on his face, reaching those gorgeous gem-like eyes. "I understand. Now if you don't mind, I want you," he said, his voice a deep, very husky baritone. The sound brought another flush to my cheeks, as I slowly turned my body so I was sitting across his lap once more, before I put my hands on his shoulders, using them for leverage as I pulled my face up to kiss his lips in answer.

It was all he needed as his arms shifted around my body until his hands were at my waist, lifting my body from the water, while keeping it pressed against him. My breasts compressed between our bodies, I slipped my arms over his shoulders, twining my hands through his green-tinted hair. Both of us not wanting to break the kiss, he maneuvered us so that my body was eventually laying on the wooden planking of the bath house's floor.

Breaking the kiss as I gasped, my mind finally registering what he was going to do, a small bout of fluttering in the pit of my stomach, a mix of shock and naughty amusement. "Kaze...masa... Here? Is it safe?" My voice cracked as it escaped my kiss-swollen lips.

All I got was a deep chuckle as he nodded his head, before dipping it down and capturing my lips again. Soon, I felt his tongue invade my mouth, causing me to squirm under him in surprise. My whole body felt like it was a foreign entity as it moved, bucking against him. My tongue began to caress his in response to his goading, evoking small mewls of pleasure from deep within my chest.

At my response to him, I felt Kazemasa slide his hands between our bodies to begin to fondle my breasts through the fabric, before taking a nipples between the thumb and pointer finger on each hand. Lightly rolled them, pinching and pulling the now hard, sensitive buds. Unable to do anything except arch my back into his hands, my own hands caressed his head, down his neck until they were resting on his broad back.

Each of my responses made him hum with delight as he continued assaulting my mouth with his, his tongue darting around the inside of my mouth as if he was trying to memorize each and every nook and cranny inside. His hands gave a sweet, seductive torture on my breast, making my desire-soaked mind demand more. As I lifted my legs up to wrap around his waist, my body continued to arch over and over, leaving an odd tingling sensation at the base of my spine.

Each thing happening to my body was new to me, allowing me to delight fully in how it felt. My eyes long closed allow me to just feel, until he broke the kiss. Opening my eyes in an odd questioning look, I found his sapphire eyes gazing down at me with what I could only describe as possessive pride and need. Wondering if my own gaze echoed his, I watched as he righted himself with my legs still wrapped around his waist. Confused at why he would stop, I let my legs start to loosen from his waist, only to see him move his hands quickly to them, forcing them back into place around him.

A smile on his lips, as understanding registered on his face. "Don't worry, I am just adjusting myself. Your legs are fine, just relax and let me lead you...or rather teach you, Jade," he said once more in that deep, husky baritone that made me shiver.

I gave him a small nod of my head, too afraid to speak for what my voice might sound like. I just watched as he moved himself before lowing his head towards me once again. Instead of kissing me on the lips, I felt his tongue tracing my jawline, then down the side of my neck. A small hiss of pleasure escaped my lips, as he began to slowly kiss his way to the small hollow of my throat. His hands sliding up my legs, peeling the wet fabric from them, to where they joined my hips, as if tracing them.

A sense of being helpless to all this floated through my body, though it wasn't a bad feeling. I kept my eyes trained on his head as it started to travel down with each kiss and nip to the valley of my breasts, His hands as some point having removed the robe to bare them, where he just stopped and traced small circles with his tongue, giving rise to a deep-throated moan from me. All the while, his hands now at my hips seemed to have cupped my butt, lifting it up at a odd angle, making me tighten my hold around his waist.

Another small hum of delight escaping, Kazemasa lifted his head up to look at me. It was such a soft look, that I couldn't help but blush and turn my face away embarrassed, earning me a small chuckle before I felt his mouth taking one of my breast, leaving me to whimper at the feeling. Arching my back, my hips bucked against him, telling him what I wanted. The feel of his hard length pressed back at me and made me go a bit still, once more making him chuckle.

"Kaze..masa...I...don't...AHHH" I started to mumble, feeling suddenly awkward, only to end in a very vocal moan as I felt him take one hand from my butt, sliding between us now that my hips were lax and grinding the palm against my sex.

My eyes shot open from the explosion that rocked my body from that slight circular pressure he was applying. All he did was lift his eyes to look into mine, showing me the mirth in them as he did it again, making me cry out loudly. "Oh Kami's," was all I managed as I let my eyes roll into the back of my head.

Soon his palm was being replaced by his fingers, which he ran up and down the folds of my womanhood, occasionally circling a small bundle of nerves that made me squirm and cry out more. With each cry, that tingling sensation at the base of my spine seemed to grow stronger, until it was situated right under my naval. My hands now lay on either side of my head as I looked at him, wanting more but not sure how to say it.

Apparently, he knew what it was I didn't know how to say, as he pulled his mouth from my breast with a loud wet pop. A smug grin plastered on his lips as he withdrew his fingers from me. I frowned at him a bit, as he just shook his head. Then with a wink, he lowered his mouth to capture my other breast. Just as he sucked it into his mouth, his tongue teasing my nipple, I felt him shove a finger not just into the my swollen folds, but the very core of my womanhood. My body tensed briefly, before it relaxed and adjusted to the intrusion.

Kazemasa began to pull and push the finger in and out of me, driving me to a new height of delirium. Randomly, he would curl it slightly as he pulled it out, hitting some secret spot in me that caused bright colors to burst in front of my eyes. Each time he did it, I felt like something was breaking inside of me, trying to get free. My hips starting to rock in time with his finger, which he would alternately slow down or speed up, making it a bit difficult to match.

After a few moments of this odd tug-o-war, that breaking feeling in my body just burst open. I could feel my sex tighten around his finger as I felt a gush of wetness from my own body. It left me light-headed and slightly exhausted, as I tried to keep my eyes open to look at him. Looking through my lashes, I saw him release my breast, with another wet pop as he sat up. The happy little smile on his lips made me smile back, as I felt him pull his finger from me, then lift it to his mouth, where he proceeded to lick and suck at it. His tongue darted into the small spaces between his fingers, and lick at his palm.

At the site of him cleaning my juices from his hand, I lift my hands to cover my face, feeling very shy at the moment. Spreading my fingers a little bit so I could still see him, he dropped his hand from his mouth, flicking his tongue to trace his lips, as if trying to get every last drop. "You're even cute when you're acting shy," he half-growled as he leaned forward, placing his hands on either side of my head. Then in a low almost whisper-like voice, he spoke again, "I want you Jade, to tell me you need me.. no want me, filling you, making you mine for the rest of your life."

Lowering my hands away from my face at his odd compliment, I felt my mouth fall open as his next words stunned me. They were so blatantly commanding, yet gentle like an affectionate caress. Swallowing, I looked at him, knowing that what he said was true. I still wanted him, meaning him coupling with me. Opening my mouth to speak, I heard how shaky my voice was with my nerves. "Kazemasa, I want you...to make.. Make me your wife in all ways. To fill me with your love, please."

The smile that was on his lips was a stark contrast to the cold predatory gleam that darkened his eyes, making me freeze where I was. He lowered his body down onto one arm, while the other traveled a hot devilish trail down my side, before it curved to cup my butt. Flitting my gaze down, I was unable to see what he was gonna do with his hand. Until I felt the tip of his sex press against mine, before he thrust his hips forward, forcing it in until his hips were pressed against me.

Both of our mothers having told me that sex would be painful the first time didn't mentally prepare me for what wracked my body at that second. I cried out, tears in my eyes, while instincts were making me push against his chest to get him off of me. The source of my pain had to be removed at all costs. While I was struggling, I felt his hand on the left side of my face, while he nuzzled at the right side. His actions had a calming affect, making me still under him and relax.

As the tension left my body, the pain lessened until it was gone. A look of amazement had to have been on my face, since I got a small barking laugh, before he pecked me on the nose. There was no sign of teasing or mocking in any of his actions, just an understanding. When Kazemasa leaned down to peck my nose again, I tilted my head up so our lips met. Giving a small pleased hum, he started moving his body, slowly pulling out of me. Expecting the pain to come back, I started to tense, only to open my mouth in a small gasp. What I felt spread through my body, starting where we were joined, was not pain but a scorching, pleasurable desire.

In the following moments, we let our instincts take control as we focused ourselves on the ever deepening kiss, our tongues vying for dominance in my mouth as our bodies rocked against each other there on the bath house floor. Every so often, either of us giving off a low growl, groan, or moan, telling the other what we thought or how we felt. Our bodies built to a fevered pitch, making Kazemasa pull his mouth from mine to give a feral growl seconds before he lowered his head and bit me almost painfully at the junction of my shoulder and neck.

I gave a small cry of shock, that breaking sensation in the pit of my stomach once more bursting open, leaving me panting as I clung to his body, riding out wave after wave of amazing pleasure. Not once during all of this, did he release the bite on me or slow his pace. If anything, I felt him quicken it so he was almost slamming into me, making my body scoot across the floor while still somehow staying under him. My euphoric state of being kept me from trying to even think that I could be in pain.

Closing my eyes and letting a smile curve the corners of my mouth, I was unsure and uncaring of how long we stayed like that, before I felt him release his mouth from my shoulder. Knowing that there would be a very visible mark didn't seem to bother me. Opening my eyes, I saw that Kazemasa had righted himself and was in the process of unhooking my legs from his waist.

Tilting my head to the side, I looked at him with a confused feeling before relaxing my legs till they just fell away to lay on either side of his legs, getting a raised eyebrow from him, along with a teasing smile. "Don't worry, our fun is only just beginning," was all I got from his mouth in a sweet teasing tone.

Blinking my eyes, I shook my head at him, as his strong hands slipped under my back and turning me onto my left side. Curious about what he was doing, I watched as he lifted my right leg and resting it on his shoulder. Unable to tear my eyes away from what he was doing, I felt a small wave of uncertainty pass over me briefly. Then there was the feel of his hand sliding across my bare stomach, trailing downwards until it caressed me at the junction of my thighs, causing me to give a small moan.

He continued to stroke at it lightly, making me sigh as my head wondered if this was how a cat felt. For each time he reached the base of my womanhood and slowly dragged it back up, my body would shiver in ecstasy, drawing small, heavy pants from my mouth. By the time Kazemasa finally stopped his ministration to my sex, I was growing wetter and more heated. Wanting him to continue, I pouted up at him, seeing an intent look that was once more becoming predatory as he flashed his teeth at me.

I wasn't sure what to expect seeing that look cross his face, when I felt the enticing sensation of his finger sliding into me, slipping in and out and making me flex my hips with each entrance into me. The position was not exactly what I called comfy, but it was easily overridden by what he was doing to me. Just as I was starting to climb up to that high point, just before I burst, he removed fingers from me, making me give a small grunt of displeasure as I glared at him, pouting once more.

"Oh be patient, and stop that pouting. I just might have to do something drastic to you," he said, flashing me a toothy grin, before thrusting his hips forward.

That single thrust filled me, stretching me further than it had before. The angle of it made it feel as if he was reaching depths that I wasn't aware my body had. My cries undulated from deep with in my chest as he moved in and out of me, my sheath tightening around him, trying to keep him deep within my core. Already that tingling sensation was spreading rapidly from the base of my spine to under my naval as the pressure built up at an amazing pace, delirium suffusing my brain as I let my body take control enjoying it all.

The sound of our heavy breathing intermingled with each other as we continue to couple. Watching him from behind heavy lids, feeling a peaceful contentment at what I was seeing, as that dam burst inside me, making me keen his name out loud. My body jerking and spasming as I capitulated, cresting that high, then riding it back down. My gaze caught Kazemasa's face as it seemed to scrunch up, his body shuddering with his gasps for air.

I smiled at the look of ecstasy on his face, that same delirium that I had been feeling this whole time echoing on his face. The remains of whatever just happened inside of me started to ebb away, leaving me feeling languid with a slightly painful ache in my hips, and I just continued to watch Kazemasa's face, as he slumped over me, stretching my leg further. A small gasp at the pain was all I managed, which got a quick reaction from him.

In the next instant, I was swept up off the bath house floor, being carried towards the hot spring. His arms were gentle and loving, the smile on his lips adoring as I stared at him. I opened my mouth to say something, only to have him give me a grunt to be quiet, then he spoke as he stepped down into hot water. "It is alright. I am just gonna have us soak a bit to help ease the muscle pain you will be feeling from our.. recent activities, if you will. Then, I was thinking we could go back to the house, and if you're up for it... some more of those kinds of activities."

At his suggestion, all I could do was look at him, a small gasp escaping me. The water lapped over my body warm and soothing, leaving a slight tingling between my legs from our session. My face blushed as I let my head rest against his shoulder, twining my arms around his neck. With a soft sigh and a small smile, I just nodded my head in agreement, feeling a bit mischievous.

As always, thanks again to my wonderful Beta, Leoslady4ever.. If you like/love Fairy Tail Fan Fictions, pleas go check her's out. They are amazing.

Thanks to SOLMARE for making this Otome (Girls Dating Sim) Shall We Date? Destiny Ninja. Which I would recommend to anyone to at least try. The app is free for both the Andriod and Iphone.. .

If any of you do decide to check it out and see exactly what the hotties I will be doing one-shots of actually look like, or Google the game name and Hanzo Hattori Kazemasa... Here is my friend Code: KaUKiEAKdg When you register the application it will ask for you to name your Character, and if you were invited, you would enter that code there under who invited you.

Also Thanks to Fan Fiction . Net for allowing me to post my story. To you the readers, who have taken the time to make it all the way through this 15K worded story. As well as a special thanks to those who leave a review.. THAT IS MY CRACKFEED THE ADDICTION!

(The copyrights of this game and Character Hanzo Hattori Kazemasa, belong to Solmare and the designers of this game. I Take no, and I mean ABSOLUTELY, no credit what so ever for them. Just the original idea and the female protagonist Tsukikage.)

Side note, Tsukikage is Japanese for Moon Shadow if I recall correctly.. Which I got from reading & Watching Detective Conan.. A long on going series that amazing. CAIO! I am off to work on the next story as well as chapters for my other stories. *bows very graciously before my body shrinks and shifts into the form of a small red fox with sparkly fairy wings*

Chapter Text

"Hey, hey, we are entering High School in the fall. Let's make a promise okay!?" he said holding up his pinkie.

"What kind of promise do you wanna make? But we have to hurry because I leave with my parents for our vacation soon," I said softly, looking up at him sadly.

"A very simple one, so it will be quick, alright? And I wish you didn't have to go away for the summer. I mean we always have been together for the summer as long as I can remember," he said, letting his hand drop a bit as sad eyes looked at me.

"I know, but it was something that they saved up for. So it is outta my hands for now. What is this promise that you wanna make? Come on, hurry and tell me." My voice wavered with a mix of my own sadness and impatience.

"Fine, fine...That no matter what happens in our next four years of High School, that at the end of our Senior year we will both go..." Beep Beep BEEP!

 

With a small groan, I roll over and slam my hand down on the alarm button to turn it off. Blinking my eyes a few times at my ceiling, I recalled the dream I had just had, wondering what it meant to be recalling that now of all things. Snorting loudly, I threw the covers from my body to get up and start my day, with an odd feeling that something was gonna happen, and not exactly a pleasant thing.

 

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I sat there in the cafeteria absent-mindedly nibbling at my sandwich while thinking about the dream I'd had that morning, wondering why all of a sudden I would recall it now, when that promise no longer meant anything. He and I had gone our separate ways in our freshmen year. I'd stayed the same as I had always been, a book worm and tutor to my fellow students, while he had grown into his body over that summer and become a tall, slim-built but well muscled jock who was now the second most popular and gorgeous guy in the school.

With a small derisive snort at that thought, I pulled myself from my musings to look at the clock just above the entry way and saw that I should get my butt moving. With a sigh, I put my half-eaten PB&J sandwich down, before standing up. I quickly gathered all my stuff back into my paper lunch sack so it could easily be thrown away, before putting all my files back into my satchel bag. Once I had everything all gathered and placed, I quickly made my way out of the cafeteria, easily tossing my paper bag into the nearby trash can.

Already my mind was shifting through my regular daily schedule, placing times and appointments for me to do, when a familiar voice called out to me, making me stop. "Ms. Kushinada, please wait up a minute."

Shaking my head, I looked over my shoulder to see our student council president, Sohma Thomas quickly walking towards me. His brown hair fell into red tinted brown eyes, as an easy smile graced his almost cherubic-like face. I raised an eyebrow in silent questioning as he caught up to me, before matching my pace as I started to walk once more. Already having figured what he wanted from me was mostly likely the business with student council this afternoon after school.

"Sorry to interrupt you while you are heading to your next class, Ms. Kushinada, but I heard that our treasure, Mizuki had left school early. I need to know if you know why he left and if he might have finished with the budget for our senior graduation and prom," he asked, his voice rumbling pleasantly around me.

Not missing a step, I let out a breath and reached into my satchel, pulling out a smooth brown file folder and passing it to him. "Yes, actually I do. His mother went into labor just before second period, so of course he had to leave. And that is all his notes and budgeting. Now, don't worry; I went over it all, making sure it was correct. He specifically sought me out to make sure I had it, so nothing would go wrong at today's final student council meeting. Sohma, you honestly worry way too much." My voice was calm and slightly teasing while being completely serious.

"You know, these last three years on the council as president, I have no clue how I could have survived without you there to help me, Ms. Kushinada. Thank you," he said in a soft whisper, making me peek sideways and up at him, catching the faint blush on his cheeks.

Choosing not to tease him at that point cause I knew he was sincere, I replied, "Honestly Sohma, I will say this one last time. You can call me Tsukikage. We are friends, I believe, and also you would have done just fine had I not become the council's secretary. You're an amazing person and student on your own. I mean, you vie with me for top student in grades, the star quarter back of the football team, Mister Popular and Good Looking of the school, and our student council president.. PUHLEASE...you'd be truly fine without me."

My words earned a rueful laugh as we continued to walk in silence for a few minutes more. "You will be at the meeting after school, right? Also I need to talk to you after the meet..Tsukikage..." he said in a very soft voice.

"I will be there Sohma, trust me. I haven't missed one yet, but I will be about fifteen minutes late. I was told I had to go the the teachers annex building. Mr. Biwa called for me to get a last minute student for tutoring right before finals. So until then, you stay out of trouble, okay?" I said, using a playfully teasing voice as I turned down a separate hallway before getting my reply and ducking into my fourth period Advanced Honors Science Class.

 

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With the sounding of the final bell, signaling that school was officially over for the day, I gathered up my satchel bag. Slipping it over my shoulder, I darted out of the classroom, making the other students look at me funny as they practically had to jump out of my way. Cursing my luck that my last class would be on the other end of the school from the teachers annex building, I deftly used my average height and body build to weave expertly through the mass throng of students as they rushed to their lockers in an attempt to get out of the school on a Friday afternoon to start their weekend early.

I wanted to get this over with so I could do my meeting and enjoy my weekend as well. Then again, I was never truly ever done with my work, since I knew that this weekend I would be called like crazy for help in studying for their finals next Thursday. At that thought, I wondered just who would at last minute request a tutor, and in what subject. With a low growl, I started to slow down upon reaching the annex building. Once I hit a walk, I straightened my baggy sweater over my straight-cut jeans, my hair up in its normal messy bun, while my bangs framed my red-colored glasses.

Smiling, I waved to the teachers that were in the offices as I passed them on my way toMr. Biwa's office. Stopping in front of the door, I heard two voices from within, both male, which made me scrunch up my nose before lifting my hand up to rap on the frosted glass. Waiting only a few seconds before I heard that deep melodic voice of Mr. Biwa call 'enter', I put a professional, cheery smile on my lips and turned the nob to push the door open. Letting my gaze take in first my adviser, mentor, and favorite teacher in his bald glory, I turned my eyes to the student and felt as if I just ran face-first into a brick wall, as a pair of overly familiar green eyes stared up at me.

"Ah, good timing Ms. Kushinada. I will make this as brief as possible so you can get to the final Student Council meeting. I want you to personally tutor this young man. His name is Hyosuke Mathias, and the subject he needs help in is history with a possible refresher in Literature composition. He requested you personally, since you are the best tutor and our most successful," Mr. Biwa spoke without realizing that both Hyosuke and I were still staring at each other.

I let out a rather loud sigh that was a bit rude, making Mr. Biwa stop in his rambling and look at me. "Is something wrong Ms. Kushinada? Do you know each other?" he asked, as he finally got a good look at us staring each other down.

"No, there is no problem at all Mr. Biwa, but to answer the other question, yes we know each other...or rather we used to. I will accept this task most graciously and do my best in the limited time I have to make sure he passes," I said, turning my gaze to my teacher who flinched a bit, making me realize I had that cold, hard look in my eyes.

Silence filled the room for a few minutes, allowing us to hear the ticking of the clock on the wall. "Oh, okay that is good. Well I'll let you give him the specifics, as well as when and where. I have to go to a teacher's meeting right now. Please Ms. Kushinada, lock the door after you two leave," Mr. Biwa said as he hurriedly moved his large frame and dashed out of the room.

"Uh..Tsuki..." Hyosuke started to say only to be cut off as I turned my gaze back to him, narrowing my eyes and pinning him to the small hard plastic chair he was sitting in.

"I have a meeting to get to, so let me make this quick and simple, Mr. Mathias. I will tutor you tonight and every night this weekend as well as up till Wednesday night for two hours. There is no logical reason that you actually need a tutor, since I am well aware of just how smart you truly are. Meet me in front of the school at exactly 4pm, you will be coming with me to my house. Am I understood!?" I said in a curt, perfunctory voice.

All I got was a small nod as I watched him slump his shoulders forward, withdrawing into himself. Not caring that he was acting like a child who just got scolded, I took a step back and motioned for him to leave the office. Once he was out, I flicked the switch, turning the lights off, and locking the door from the inside before shutting it with an audible click. I turned to see him still standing there, staring down at me as if trying to figure out something.

Raising an eyebrow, I shooed him away with my hands, before marching past him with a stiff back. I was well aware that my irritation showed visibly on my face and in my body language as I made my way back towards the Student Council room. The students that were lingering in the hall took one look at my face and went silent as they watched me go by. In the four years I had been at this school, I had taken a lot of crap, but there were limits. And all of my fellow seniorclassmen, as well as those that were my underclassmen, had learned to not mess with me when I looked upset.

My mind and emotions had calmed a bit by the time I stood outside of our meeting room. Taking a few deep breaths, I placed my hand on the door knob, turning it and pushing the door open. With a half smile on my lips, I stepped in and nodded to my fellow council members before taking my seat.

 

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Looking up at the sky as I stepped outside the school, I could see the first hints of evening starting to hit,the sky holding the faintest traces of orange and gold. Letting a relieved smile curve my lips, I looked around for Hyosuke and his vehicle, before realizing that I didn't know what he drove. Shrugging it off, I figured if he was serious, he'd pull up in the next ten minutes or I would just go home. He had my cell phone number and knew how to call me if he was truly that desperate for tutoring. As I bounded down the stairs, I heard a light cough from behind me, making me pause to look over my shoulder on the last stair.

Sohma stood there looking down at me with an amused smile on his lips, before he spoke, "Did you forget that I wanted to talk to you after our council meeting, Tsukikage?"

Widening my eyes at his words, my face flushed lightly to show that I had. "Sorry, I did. The whole thing with Mr. Biwa kinda...well threw me for a loop is all. So what do you want this time.. And if you are gonna ask me out, you know the answer is a big fat N-O," I said, flashing him a grin as I watched him walk down the steps to stand beside me.

"You are truly an enigma, Tsukikage Kushinada. I can't ever seem to fully figure you out. And to reply to that, I have learned last year after multiple attempts that you are lost cause for a date.. But I was wondering if you had a date to the prom yet? If not, would you consider going with me? It would be the greatest honor you can bestow upon me to be my date for our senior prom after graduation," he said, his voice very soft as we walked up to the curb and stopped.

Turning to face Sohma, I looked up into his face while shaking my head. "I think you're a bigger enigma, Sohma. You tread where others wouldn't even dare to when you ask a person like me out. There is nothing particularly special or really defining about me. Just an average, plain Jane with brains here at this school. As to the prom, I am waiting to see if someone is still interested. If not, then I will be more than happy to go with you. Should have my answer by Tuesday at the latest," I said, speaking softly as I looked into his odd red-tinted brown eyes.

Once more my words earned me a laugh from Sohma who just closed his eyes and took a deep breath to calm down. "You really have no clue, do you? Then I guess I am a rare individual to see the young woman you hide so carefully behind baggy clothes, glasses, sharp tongue, and stiff attitude. To the actual caring, smart, funny, and very talented singer that is amazingly beautiful with her hair down," his voice almost lovingly whispered.

Feeling my jaw drop at his words, I felt heat infuse my cheeks once more, letting my head droop so my chin touched my chest. I couldn't believe what he had just said. My mind frantically raced, trying to figure out how he knew what I was hiding, and when he had a chance to hear me sing, and see me with my hair down. My eyes darted to and from across the pavement when the loud sound of an engine being revved reached my ears. Jerking my head up, I looked in the direction the sound came from, knowing that Sohma was looking too.

Soon enough, a yellow Kawasaki Ninja 250cc motorcycle sped into view before coming to a tire-squealing halt. I knew from the side profile who was driving it. My lips pressed into a very thin line of disapproval, as Hyosuke turned his helmet-clad head towards me and flicked his hand in a motion for me to hurry. Narrowing my eyes,I just let out a long drawn out breath, slumping my shoulders before turning to Sohma, who just looked completely confused by the sudden situation.

"Don't think about it too hard. That is my new tutoring student. They are taking me home for two hours of harsh slaving to their books. I will give you the answer as soon as I know, Sohma. Take care and have a good weekend," I said as I spun away to jog to Hyosuke before he could respond.

Reaching into my satchel and pulling out a small card with my name and address on it, I held it up in front of Hyosuke's face so he could see it through the tinted visor, all the while expertly throwing my leg over the open seat behind him and wrapping my free hand around his waist. I felt my heart jump in my chest at how close I was gonna be for approximately ten minutes. Then he nodded his head as he revved the engine once more, and with a glance over his shoulder first at me, then to Sohma, he tore out of there, burning rubber from the tires.

The ride towards the apartment complex I now lived in instead of the house I grew up with my parents came into view. My mind wondered if he would ask about my parents, but at the same time hoping he wouldn't care. It was a topic I avoided since their death that summer we finally went on our first family vacation. But I knew that he would wonder who my cousin was when he came into the house, which might be a major issue all around. I let out a hiss-like breath as he turned the corner and was stopped by the gate guard, only to be waved through once the guard saw me on the back of the bike.

Once the gate swung open, and I pointed to an open guest parking spot, Hyosuke parked the motorcycle and waited till I got off to remove his helmet and speak. "Uh..this isn't your house. So uh when did you move to this posh place?"

It was an innocent enough question, but it rankled me that he would ask it. Closing my eyes and trying to center myself, I walked away, speaking over my shoulder. "I am aware this isn't my house, but it is neither here nor there when I moved here Hyosuke. Now hurry up so I can get my materials out and see what we have to review in History and Literature Composition."

The walk into the building as well as the elevator ride was silent until we stepped out onto the floor my cousin lived on, earning a low whistle from Hyosuke who I just looked at with a bit of worry as he seemed to be stunned. Flicking my eyes down to the ground, I hurried past him to open the door to our condo apartment, knowing that he was right behind me as I entered my home for the last four years of my life, immediately tossing my satchel bag on the floor by the table out of habit.

"Hey sit down and don't touch anything. I am gonna go get my tutoring tools to see exactly what I 'have' to teach you," I told him before walking down the short hallway and entering my room.

Taking a few breathers, I rapidly gathered up all my tools that I normally use to assess those that were under my care for tutoring. Heaving a large sigh, I glanced at my dresser, debating if I should change out of my clothes into my comfy house clothes, then realized it would probably be a bad idea, since it could be a possible distraction to Hyosuke who hasn't really seen me in the last four years. With a small snort, I turned and left my room with my arms laden to the max.

Seeing he was sitting at the table with a pen and pencil in front of him looking around the house with a mix of curiosity and confusion on his face, I coughed before speaking, "Try not to get too relaxed, cause you are now entering a realm of terror that you specifically asked for, Hyosuke."

The visible flinch he gave me as he whipped his head around made me smile wide, and I dropped all my materials on the table top. "I am gonna have you take some tests, and I want you to answer the questions to the best of your abilities." My voice wassoft but very firm, earning me a small nod of his head as horror filled his dark green eyes.

 

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An hour had passed in silence as we sat at the table with Hyosuke looking around the apartment to me occasionally and me correcting all seven tests I had given him. Randomly, I would lift my eyes to see that he was staring at me, only to have him immediately look away. Not really caring why he was doing it, I began to flip thoroughly through the pages of the test, seeing that he got almost near perfects on every subject, including the ones I had been asked to tutor him in.

Letting out a small resigned sigh, I began to stack them neatly, speaking just loudly enough for him to barely hear me. "You passed these with nothing lower then a 78 percent. That includes the two subjects that Mr. Biwa asked me to tutor you in. Care to explain why you need my help, Mr. Mathias?"

As I lifted my eyes to look at him, I saw that he was beginning to fidget nervously, a clear sign from our childhood that he was trying to hide something. Quirking an eyebrow, I interlaced my fingers, setting them on the stack of papers while waiting for him to give me a reply. Slowly, he began to lower his head to avoid my gaze, which I was sure was starting to show my annoyance at my time being taken up.

"Uh..I..uh, well you see... I uh...Dammit. It has been four years since you last talked to me. Can you blame me for wanting to talk to you, my childhood friend again? Or have you really changed that much that you don't give a damn about me any more?" he finally mumbled out, his deep voice slowly getting stronger and louder.

Giving a small snort, I continued to just silently look at him for a few seconds more, then letting my head drop, I put all the papers to the side in a shove. His words grated on me, hurt me deep down. They made me feel as if it was all my fault that we had drifted apart since the start of high school, when in fact, it took the two of us to get here. Then again, after that summer when everything changed, he became a good looking young man, who was no longer scrawny and gangly of limbs, to Mister Popular our freshman year, making the Junior Varsity Football team.

When I didn't give him a response, I heard a low growl of frustration, making me lift my eyes back to him. "Well are you gonna give me an answer or are you too good to answer me now, Miss Sits On The Student Council, Perfect Honor Student..." he snapped at me.

Narrowing my gaze as I felt a small tic jump under my left eyes, I stood up and looked down at him. "No Mr. Mathias, I do not think I am too good to answer you. In fact, if either of use thinks they are too 'good' for the other, it has to be you. You drifted away from me after our first day of ninth grade. You suddenly became popular and a good athlete during the summer, and finally grew into that gangly, scrawny male body. So you might want to stop while you're ahead. If you just wanted to talk to me, you could have just texted or called me since my phone number hasn't changed," I hissed back at him.

Just then the door to the apartment opened, making me go still, and I heard my cousin's voice as he yelled back to someone. Already having a good idea of who, it dawned on me that I hadn't texted to let him know that I was having someone over. Biting my bottom lip, I heard him call out my name, my reaction instant as I bounded over to him, throwing my arms around him in a hug, saying my hellos. Then the loud sound of a chair scraping across the wooden floors drug our attention to a momentarily forgotten Hyosuke.

It was at that moment a few things happened. My cousin Yoshitsune pulled me tighter against him, looking from Hyosuke to me. The door to our apartment opened up and Hyosuke's brother Beneki and cousin Goyo came in talking. And for some odd reason a wave of fear washed through the pit of my stomach as I stood there glancing over my shoulder at Hyosuke while being hugged close to Yoshitsune, as Beneki and Goyo's conversation died off immediately.

"Tsukikage, I didn't think that the rumors I had heard about you were true, but the fact I am seeing it right before my eyes... well, I guess I can't deny it now. So tell me, how do your parents feel about you shacking up with some rich older sugar daddy? You're acting like nothing more than a whore, and with my family no less. Please tell me?" Hyosuke grated out, as I heard him come to a stop not too far behind me and my cousin.

I could feel my eyes go wide at his words as I pushed myself away from Yoshitsune to stand between him and Hyosuke. Feeling my eyes start to burn at the corners as tears filled them, I swallowed reflectively to try and calm my heart that was beating so fast and painfully in my chest. I looked first at my cousin then at Beneki and Goyo, before my mouth set in a thin line as anger began to slowly replace the hurting pain in my chest. With a quick snap of my eyes, I watched Beneki and Goyo each use a hand to grasp Yoshitsune's shoulders and pull him back away from me.

I silently watched as Goyo leaned in and whispered something in my cousin's ear, making him go silent as his worried gaze found mine. I could just feel myself shutting down, trying to smother all the emotions that were banging inside of me. It was about that moment when time seemed to start to move forward once more, and I felt Hyosuke's hand clamp down on my right shoulder, tugging on it in an attempt to turn me around. Without thinking, I allowed myself to be spun around, while raising my right arm up with the momentum of the spin. The back of my hand hit his face, causing him to stumble back. His green eyes went wide in shock as his hand came up to touch the now tender red spot on his left cheek.

Not stopping, I took the two steps to close the distance so I was now nose to his chest. Looking up, my vision blurred from the tears as I began my softly spoken tirade. "Excuse me? You dare...You actually dare to say that stuff to me, without at least asking about this situation. My lord, you have literally changed Hyosuke, that you would believe rumors as baseless as that about me when you have grown up with me. That hurts and a lot, but I wont tolerate you insulting my cousin in his house, nor will I allow you to be such a pompous jerk and insult your own family in the process."

I stopped talking, my chest heaving with a mixture of my emotions running high, trying to keep the tears from falling from my eyes, and the rant I just went on. I never took my eyes from Hyosuke's wide and slightly terrified face, and it made me feel a small sense of satisfaction at it, but at the same time, also made my chest hurt more. The moment he opened his mouth to say something, I brought my hand up and slashed it down, making him snap his mouth shut with an audible click.

"I am not done, so remain quiet. Cause right now you have no right to say anything, and I would appreciate if you didn't even speak of my parents as you have no right. I am sure they are cringing in heaven right now at your blasphemous insinuation of my personal nature. Hell, if my mom was here, I would gladly let her yank you around by your ear lobe as you yell. Not once have you bothered to ask me about them since the start of our ninth grade year," I growled low at him, making him step back from me.

Now finished with what I had to mostly say to him, I spun on the ball of my foot, giving a quick glance at the witnesses to my tirade. Seeing varying looks on their faces, I started to walk towards the hallway, only to pause in mid-step before glancing over my shoulder briefly to look at Hyosuke who was standing there with his head hung, running his hand through his hair.

"Don't worry, you specifically requested me as a tutor. And I won't for go my duty to you as such, but now it is you who should be calling me to make the arrangements. No call, no tutor. My phone number hasn't changed at all in the last four years." My voice was clipped as I spoke before I continued down the hall.

Reaching my room, I slipped in and slammed the door shut, hearing a thud as the usual picture was knocked from the wall and hit the floor. I slumped against the door, as the tears started to cascade down from my face in twin hot trails. Choking back a sob, I pushed away from the door and walked around the edge of my bed to the window in my room. Stopping briefly to grab one of the three framed pictures off my nightstand, I crawled onto my window sill, dangling my legs over the edge of our ten story building.

 

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It was a few hours later before I heard the door to my room open and the soft footfalls of my cousin. I didn't even bothering to lift my head up and look at him, since he knew my current state of mind. The moment I felt his hands on my shoulders I blinked the last of the half-dried tears from my eyes before looking up from the picture in my hands. A faint smile dawned on my tear-stained face as I looked up at him, before he pulled me backwards so I was leaning against his thighs.

"They left a while ago, Hyosuke looking like death warmed over at Beneki's promise that he'd be talking to their mother. He said he is sorry for the young man's attitude, and that he'd be brought up to date on all current situations, whether you were happy or not about it," Yoshitsune said softly as he began to knead at the tension in my shoulders. "I see you have that particular picture in your hands again. I do hope things will work out, and you will smile like that once more.. Sans the missing teeth.

Blinking my eyes slowly, I tilted my head down to look at the picture in my lap. It was taken the summer both Hyosuke and I turned nine, and we were celebrating our joint birthday with our families at a local park. In the picture's background, my mother and Hyosuke's mother were staring wide-eyed in shock while my dad and Beneki, Hyosuke's dad were laughing uncontrollably at what was happening. We had tackled Goyo to the ground and were standing over him with one leg each on his mid-back, as we had an arm over the other's shoulder while holding up our free hands in the peace sign. We were grinning like crazy, our smiles almost identical since he had lost his bottom middle tooth and me the top middle tooth. Goyo looked like he was really pissed at being pinned to the ground covered in mud.

With a small chuckle, I handed the picture up as I swung my legs back into the room, "Yeah, yeah. It was my favorite picture, cause that summer I realized how I felt about him. But then guys like you are either always taken or, in your case, gayer than Elton John. What a shame!" My voice was a bit teasing as I stood up and made my way to my bed, intending to sleep.

Yoshitsune, getting my hint as I sat down and began to strip my shirt off, quickly placed the picture on the night stand and exited the room. Once I was down to my panties, I slipped in between my sheets, pulling my top sheet and blanket up under my chin comfortably. Closing my eyes, my mind wandered back to happier times in my youth when it seemed nothing bad could ever happen.

 

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The soft rapping on my door had me groaning as I let my head roll to the side, and I glanced at my alarm clock, seeing it was only nine in the morning. I growled low in my throat as the door clicked open, followed by the soft sounds of my cousin as he rather marched instead of walked to the edge of my bed. Closing my eyes back, I laid there patiently waiting for him to speak, knowing it was futile. It was Sunday morning, my only day to sleep in. My mood was sour to begin with from all the events on Friday and the fact that I never got a call yesterday.

"We have guest here already Tsukikage. You need to get your ass outta bed. I am gonna leave, and if you're not up and out that door to eat breakfast in the next ten minutes, I will send Goyo to drag you outta here." His voice was a mix of tired, annoyed, and frustrated with me.

I groaned as I heard him walk out of my room, closing the door a bit loudly just to annoy me as he left. Keeping my eyes closed, I pulled my sheets and blankets right up under my nose as I wiggled my body back into the warmth of the mattress. The threat from my cousin looming over my head was very real, but I didn't care one wit. None of them over the years had ever been able to wake me up. There was a trick to waking me up that died literally with my father.

With a small pang, I let out a soft whimper as I recalled how he would wake me up, making a half-smile come to my lips as I let my mind drift back into a partial sleep.

Soon enough, my door was opened, and I heard the sound of feet walking towards my bed. Clenching my eyes tightly shut, I gave a hiss of warning before I felt the person sit on the edge of my bed. We stayed like that in silence for who knew how long, which was fine for me. Let them take all the time in the world to figure out how to get me out of bed, since they all knew flipping me out would embarrass them at how I sleep, on top of the fact I would beat the living crap out of them by doing a choke hold.

I felt the bed shift, as my blankets were pulled a bit down from my face, revealing my mouth. "Oh hark, I have found a fair princess sleeping. Might she be under a curse? Should I dare to give her a kiss? A kiss of true love at first sight? Pray tell that it works, so that I might gaze at the sleeping maiden's eyes with my own adoring," a husky, soft voice spoke.

Smothering a giggle, I sighed a singular word, 'Daddy', before my mind rationalized that one it wasn't his voice, and two he was dead. I snapped my eyes open in a frenzied, confused panic to see a set of beautiful, dazzling, emerald green eyes staring down at me above a cheeky grin. The sight of it made blood rush to my cheeks as I pressed my lips into a thin firm line to show my displeasure. Then I reacted, my hands lifting up and shoving with all my strength at Hyosuke. Effectively, it knocked him off balance so he was falling off the bed, except that as he started to fall, his instincts kicked in, grabbing me and pulling me along with him.

We landed with a rather loud thud on the carpet of my bedroom floor. With a groan, I opened my eyes, feeling a slight sense of dazed vertigo as I lifted my face up enough to look at Hyosuke. His face was a mix of red and white from being both shocked at being shoved suddenly and then winded after falling with me landing on top of him. I moved my arms so that my hands were on either side of him, bracing myself. Then I lifted myself up, never taking my eyes away from his face as I shifted my body into a sitting position, which left me straddling him.

From my position above him, I looked down to see his eyes go wide as I spoke in a low voice. "What the hell, Hyosuke? Where did you learn that...to say what you did? The only person who should know that is my deceased father. Well...answer me!" After I finished speaking, I crossed my arms under my chest.

A few seconds of complete and utter silence passed, before he spoke up very softly, "Well uh...yeah... I overheard your dad a few times using those lines, followed up by a kiss to wake you up, since you're a beastly bear when people try to wake you up on Sundays...But one question please."

Narrowing my eyes, I looked down at him before nodding my head in assent to his request. "How the hell do you hide those things? They are almost three times as big from what I can make out when you wear your baggy t-shirts at school.. Hell WHEN did your BREASTS get so big and fluffy?" His voice was in awe as I finally realized why his eyes had been open this whole time in shocked awe.

Letting out a small gasp, I realized I was just sitting straddled on his hips in nothing but my panties. Feeling heat not only warm up my whole face, but also down my neck and chest, I closed my eyes in a fluster of embarrassed panic as I used one arm to cover my breasts while the other slammed down on Hyosuke's chest, causing him to 'oomph' as all the air was pushed out of his lungs yet again.

Opening my eyes, I stood up quickly still covering my breasts. "I want you to close your eyes right now. Good, keep them closed and stand up slowly. Good, now turn and walk out of this room, and tell everyone that I will be out in five or less. SAY nothing, if you value your manhood, about what just happened in this room," I hissed under my breath as I watched him follow each of my commands and walk to the door, opening it only to stop.

"You know...I am a normal male, and that does have an adverse effect on me. So take ten minutes, since I have to...fix my own self, thank you," he said without looking, before ducking out the door with a laugh, shutting it just as a pillow I had grabbed from my bed hit it.

To say that I was embarrassed and infuriated was a total understatement. Swallowing down my rage, I made my way to my dresser, pulling out a spaghetti-strap tank with a built-in bra and a pair of my favorite yoga pants. With a look at my tank, a slow evil grin spread across my lips, at the thought of how I could torture Hyosuke since it would barely contain my overly large chest. Swiftly putting on my weekend house clothes, I ran my hand through my waist-length hair, before tying it up in a loose knot at the base of my neck.

With a quick look in the mirror above my dresser, I gave a sly cat-like grin, before leaving my room. As I neared the kitchen, Hyosuke explained what the thud was, before grinning and telling them when asked how he got me up, that he would like to remain a male and alive. I gave a soft cough to announce my presence, causing four sets of male eyes to turn and look at me silently with various emotions flitting across their faces. Giving a rather bright, cheery smile, I sat down in the only free seat.

Breakfast was a quick and silent affair, though everyone was constantly taking quick glances at either me or Hyosuke before they would glance at each other. It was utterly amusing, since Hyosuke was trying not to look at me or my exposed cleavage. Watching him squirm was rather satisfying as we all finished eating. My cousin cleaned up the table as I was politely informed by Beneki, that him, Goyo and my cousin where going off to do some research for a joint college paper. He also mentioned that Hyosuke was staying cause he had some things to say, moreso after being reprimanded by their mother all day yesterday about his perspective.

I just sat in silence and watched them all as they gathered up their stuff and left. Once they were gone, I got up and made my way to the living area, flopping down on the couch. Reaching forward, I grabbed the remote and turned on the television, easily flipping through the satellite channels until I found the Sci-Fi B-rated movie marathon currently playing 'Snakes on a Plane'. It wasn't long before my peripheral vision picked up movement as Hyosuke came to join me, daring to sit on the couch right next to me.

We sat there like that for the last thirty minutes of the movie before I finally let out a small huff of air. "If you have something to say, then for pity's sake, just spit it out. Otherwise, will you just leave my house?" I snapped as the Sci-Fi host named the next movie, 'Evil Dead II'.

Inside I was literally bouncing off the mental walls I had going while keeping wary eyes on Hyosuke. After a few minutes, I saw him lower his head so his chin was resting on his chest. "Look, I want to first apologize for the other day. My actions were very uncalled for, but to tell you the truth, I have no clue why I got so...uh...yeah, that I jumped to conclusions about you hugging Yoshitsune. It wasn't any of my business, and to make matters worse, I made you cry, which has always been a taboo in my book." His voice was very soft, earnest, and completely remorseful.

It was hard for me to keep my facial features schooled, to not show my surprise and elation at his words, though resentment and a bit of curiosity swelled in my chest at how he didn't finish one of his sentences but forced on. His words had hurt me, very deeply to boot. I knew that my eyes were still a bit red from all the crying I had done Friday night as well as half of yesterday when he didn't even bother to call to make arrangements for still being tutored or to apologize. Pursing my lips into a thin line, I crossed my arms under my chest, leaning back into the couch as the opening credits played for the movie, showing flashes of Bruce Campbell in his hay day.

My silence at his omission for his crimes, must have finally registered on him, because he spoke again, his voice still very soft. "Look, I am not going to ask for any forgiveness, cause frankly I don't deserve it Tsukikage. Hell, I am happy that you are even allowing me to be here sitting by you. Friday, I was literally drug home by my brother, my cousin riding my bike. Believe me, it sucked, cause on the way home my brother called my mom with the built in system in the car, explaining the situation to her. So I got an earful in the car, and it continued more once we got into the house. You know, I didn't think it was possible, but at the end of it all, she still proved that she can lay me over her knees and flay the skin off my backside..."

His words took a full ten seconds before they completely registered in my brain, and when they did, the mental image that soon accompanied them had me shaking as I tried to keep my laughter smothered and maintain my serious face. That took a few more seconds to reign in before I was able to speak clearly, "Well you deserved it. I am sure you got verse and chapter of what happened to me to begin with, you dick-head. So answer me one thing before I decide what I am gonna do with you Hyosuke." My voice came out calm and very grave sounding.

I watched as he swallowed before speaking. "Okay, what do you want to know?"

Nodding my head, I carefully put the words together in my head, only to throw them out and speak rather bluntly. "Why did you go to such stupid flipping lengths to get my attention to tutor you? I mean, Mister Biwa knows that you're a smart young man and don't need my help. Why this elaborate plan to get me to help you?"

Seeing him flinch and grimace a bit made me wonder, but before I could continue, he was speaking, "Because I wasn't sure how to approach you and talk to you. And after some deliberation, that was the only plan I could come up with to talk to you."

His words stunned me, making me feel very confused. "WHY, in the Sam of nine hells, would you need to have a reason to talk to me? We are..were...! No until I figure this out, we are still friends. So there was no real reason for you to have to be so darned elaborate just to talk to me, other than our social circles...or your social circle standing." My voice clearly showed my confusion with a bit of hurt.

"HUH? I don't think so, Tsukikage. I mean you outright rejected me our first day of freshman year, and after your rebuttal and pushing me away, I thought that I would give you space. Then, well high school happened, and you seemed further away than ever before," he said as he blinked slowly like a cat just waking from a long nap.

The whole time I was listening to him, I didn't realize that I was now sitting up straight, body turned towards him, hands laying in my lap. For some odd reaso,n my head just couldn't figure out why he thought I had rejected him. Then I replayed our first day of High School over in my head. From the time I walked in on a walking cane, getting my class assignment and locker number from the main office, then to me being at my locker, seeing if I needed to clean it out from the year before occupant, to when he showed up chatting away. I recalled how different a summer could make in a person's physiology, as he mentioned that he felt that he could finally tell the girl he had a crush on for so long, that he liked her, because he thought himself finally worthy. I remebered telling him that she had better feel lucky to have him like her, and then wishing him good luck, before closing my locker and heading to class.

At the recollection of that last one, I narrowed my eyes and pouted as I spoke, "I didn't reject you at all. In fact my words were meant to encourage you to go after her. We agreed that no matter whom the other liked, we would always be supportive. Besides, I am always five minutes early to my class, and if you recall, I had a walking cane, which made me slower. My first class was across the school campus, you moron."

Hyosuke rolled his eyes at me, before he spoke up. "Well it failed okay. It came off wrong in a major way. But you did reject me, cause you didn't even ask who she was. She has always been a very important person to me, and I worked hard that summer you were gone, training with Beneki among other things, and convincing my mom that I should be able to finally grow my hair out and get contacts instead of glasses. The impression I wanted to leave on her was 'well damn', but she turned me down and walked away."

I shook my head, still confused about why it was my fault, when an idea came to my head about a time previous. We had just entered into the seventh grade. I had grown very fond of Hyosuke, enough to realize that I didn't just want to be friends. Hell, the night before our first day, I worked hard on getting my mom to allow me to wear just a smidgeon of lip stick and glittery eyeshadow. My outfit was carefully picked out, a white spaghetti strapped summer dress that had a pale blue sash at the waist, with matching white slip-on dress shoes. Hell, I had gone so far as to pull the sides of my hair back into two braids, pinning them in the back while allowing my bangs to fall over my eyes. The night before I had called Hyosuke, telling him to meet me on the steps into the school, that I had a surprise for him.

Some part of me felt wistful at it all. The day had been clear, sunny, and warm. The whole way to school, I had practically skipped, humming a happy tune to myself. When I got there, I saw Hyosuke just getting out of Beneki's car, and I kept back to watch my friend climb the steps and look around for me. With a smile on my lips, I started forward, waving my hand and calling out to him. Easily, I mounted the stone steps, two at a time, before coming to a stop before a rather stunned Hyosuke. In the next instant, I was spinning around causing the dress to flare up above my knees, sending my hair flying out around me, only to settle slightly over my shoulders as I asked him what he thought. I watched his face go from shock to annoyance in five seconds flat, as he asked me what kind of horrible joke I was playing, and it broke me, letting me know that telling him how I felt would be a really bad idea.

"Hey, you still there? You look like you went to the twilight zone. What are you thinking about?" he asked, as I first heard him, then felt him shake me on the shoulder.

Blinking as I came back to myself, I looked at him with what I was sure was a dark glower since he pulled away from me so fast. "Yeah, I am still here...just recalling our first day of seventh grade. When you rudely rejected me," I hissed at him.

He tilted his head to the side as he attempted to recall the time I was talking about. A few emotions flickered across his face, his cheeks turning a rosy red. "I have no clue what you mean by rejecting you. You tell me the night before that you have a surprise, and then you show up dressed to the nines as a girly girl. At first I was confused, then I got annoyed because of all the damned stares you were receiving. Please recall that for the first two months of school, a bevy of people, who I might add, were mostly boys stayed around you. You're my best friend. I didn't want them to make you into a piece of meat. 'Sides, I wanted to be the only male our age to realize that you're beautiful, inside and out," he said, softly muttering the last sentence to where I could barely hear.

Feeling heat rise to my cheeks as I caught that last bit, I wondered if my eyes were as wide they felt. My irritation bubbled up as I snipped at him."Yeah, well the whole purpose of me dressing like that was to get your damned attention. Hell, I wanted you to see me as a girl, one that held prospective as more than a friend. Your words were my rejection you jerk. I wanted to tell you that I liked-liked you."

After I finished my rant, I felt horrified at my confession. I was pretty sure if I wasn't red in the face to begin with and my eyes wide, then I sure as hell was then. The look on his face told me he was floored and flabbergasted, his mouth comically hanging open, his eyes bugging out of their sockets, and he seemed not to be breathing. Taking this as a chance, I stood up, remote in my hand. With a press of the power button, the TV was turned off, and I quickly dashed into the kitchen, feeling the sudden urge to get some water to drink.

Grabbing two glasses, I filled them with both ice and filtered water from the fridge. I heard a soft, deep chuckle come from the living room. As I started to head back that way, Hyosuke watched me with a shit-eating grin on his face. "This is really rich, but at that time, to be honest, the reason I went off like that was because I felt threatened and jealous. You were my best friend, meaning I knew who you were and what you actually looked like all girlyfied. So...yeah I snapped at you, as well as got into a bunch of fights if you recall." The amusement in his voice showed in his eyes, making the emerald-colored orbs three shades lighter.

"You...You're an ass, you know that 'Suke. A real Flipping ASS!" I screeched, coming to a stop by him, the glasses of water shaking in my hands, as I fought the urge to pour them on him.

"WHAT! It is the truth, but I guess we are even since the beginning of our sophomore year, you did the same thing when I attempted to tell you, not realizing that you were...recouping from a bad summer. So I was at fault as well, but yeah, you were the chick I was talking about," he said, whispering softly. "But back to the original conversation. I went to such lengths to see if you were willing to keep our promise, that we would attend our senior prom together. Though I am sure that was what Sohma was asking you on Friday."

I let out a long breath of air as things began to fall into place, answering some questions that I'd had for a long time, only to feel as if he had punched me in the gut. Sucking in my bottom lip and chewing on it, I took a few moments to collect myself. "You are correct; he did ask me, but before you jump on that, Hyosuke, I turned him down. I told him I was waiting to see if someone else remembered a promise we had made, and that if they hadn't, I would get back to him on Tuesday so we could coordinate our clothes with matching colors. Personally, I don't want to go with him 'Suke. He is nice, intelligent, talented, and very patient, if not persistent. SO not my type," I said, my voice dropping a few octaves as I handed him one of the glasses of water.

"So, that means you still want to keep that promise. MAN that is a major load off my chest, but don't think I have completely forgiven you. You will be making it up to me all summer before I go to my university of choice. And my requests won't be impossible, but nor will I make them too undemanding. Think you have the balls to deal?" I spoke with a grin.

Nothing but silence came between us, only filled by the screams of women from the B movie on the television. Then we burst out in a round of laughter before he stood up, towering over me as he looked down. With his free hand, he rubbed the top of my head as he smiled, letting me know that he accepted my terms.

Chapter Text

A "Shall We Date" Fan fiction, for Shoma from Destiny Ninja. I do not own the Game Series or the characters, but I do own this original Idea.


 

 

That empty feeling of ones stomach as it bottoms out from nerves. A feeling that is always less that pleasant. One that I wish I wasn't experiencing at the moment. All the while looking at the letter that was in my slightly shaking hands.

With a low hiss as I swiftly crumpled it into a small ball. Haphazardly I fling it at the small wastebasket next to my bed. Hating the fact that I wasn't able to stop time. Being able to make my problems go away. So that the life I was living could continue on happily.

Letting out a small, frustrated sigh, I bend over and pick up my duffel bag, heading out my dorm room. Already my brain is formulating the words to say as I deliver my news to Mr. Biwa. While in unison my mind conjures up images of his reactions.

A tiny smile curving my lips, I stepped out of the dormitory and into the chilled spring air of Moscow. My eyes take in the snow-covered beauty I had come to love over the last eight years. Already my heart is feeling heavy at the knowledge of my soon to be departure.

 

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Sitting there with the rest of the troupe, feeling the air thick with a mixture of fear and anticipation. I keep my eyes downcast. We await Mr. Biwa to come out of his office, and announce who got what part for the summer production of Swan Lake.

Gasps come from the collective group as a familiar click of the office door is heard. Our instructor and resident slave driver steps out. Brows furrow as the ever present frown on his face seemed deeper and sadder. A pang of sadness resonates in the depth of my soul. Knowing it was me and my news that I'd given to him earlier that made it more pronounced.

Swallowing a sigh, he makes his way toward us, his eyes scanning the papers in his hands. At least until he comes to a stop before us. Eyes that were almost completely milky white raise, as he assesses us in his normal contemplative silence. Sure enough evoking a giddy, yet nervous twinge of anticipation, throughout the troupe.

"My little birds, I have decided on the castings for our summer production." His deep voice rumbling through the dance hall, only to pause before he continues. "Starting with the leads. The Prince shall be, Sohma. The Princess will be Shizuka. Their backups are Noritsune and Oriku."

The shocked silence that filled the dance hall became very poignant. No one dared to speak up or say anything. Their gazes felt like a heavyweight draped over my shoulders. I keep my own gaze on Mr. Biwa, silently pleading with him to continue with the role listings.

Which he does. Quickly he lists off the rest of the cast, before barking out marching orders. Giving no room for anyone else to speak. The troupe stands as one and disperses to their spots to begin rehearsing. I follow with them, though I make my way to one of the private practice rooms. I take a bit of pleasure in one of my last practice dances here before I had to leave to go home.

 

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The faint sounds of talking and shuffling reach my ears, as I stand before the mirrored barre. Taking a slow steadying breath, I then fold my body in half at the waist. Feeling the delicious stretch of my back and leg muscles, as I lay my hands on the floor before me.

Closing my eyes as familiar foot falls on the wooden floor come towards me. My heart races in a mixture of trepidation and exaltation. Slowly righting myself, and raising my arms up until they are even with my shoulders. Only to have a set of strong hands grasp around my waist, lifting my body with ease. As if I weighed nothing.

My body is tossed through the air, as if it was flying. Snapping my eyes open, I shift my body's center of gravity, causing me to spin. I begin my descent to the floor. Drawing my arms to my body, so that my hands were clasped at my naval. Softening my knees to lessen the pressure from the impact, I land on the ground.

Slowly lifting my head, my eyes connect with a dark violet gaze. A stormy behind the gaze as they looked at me from beneath brown bangs. Swallowing, the weight of the stare bore down on me. Causing me to lower my own eyes, a soft sigh escapes my lips. Already knowing the atmosphere would more than likely not improve. Since the man is clearly pissed off with me.

"Why did you not tell me." Came his deep baritone, which I had come to adore over the last eight years.

I flinch visibly at the cold, biting tone. Lifting my gaze once more to meet his violet eyes. "Because Sohma, there is nothing that can be done. It is time I head home. My uncle... allowed me to complete the deal I had with my mother, under the condition that I come home on or right before my twenty-fourth birthday."

After I finish speaking my lips press into a thin line. I head towards him, only to side step Sohma and go for my dance bag. Not really wanting to have this conversation, as I'd been up front with him the moment he chose me as his preferred dance partner. His Prima Ballerina, after arriving at this school. That way there would be no real issues upon my departure

As I crouch down to get into my bag, I am grabbed around the waist once again and pulled backwards. I'm slightly off balance until my back is firmly pressed against the familiar firm and warm chest of Sohma. I meet his gaze in the mirror, not bothering to hide my emotions from him. I notice a few echoed in his own face.

"Tsukikage, I... understand all that. What I don't get is you not telling me yourself. That you got the notification that your time was up." His voice soft, but ringing with hurt in my ears. He pauses before continuing. "Does our partnership mean so little to you? Hell, do I mean so little too you, that you don't want to say anything?!"

His words leave me stunned, and I just stare at him in the mirror. My mind tries to keep me calm and rationale, but that fades spectacularly fast. My emotions rise to dangerous levels, boiling over as my cheeks become crimson. My usually warm brown eyes darken and narrow, becoming cold in my anger.

Letting out a hissing breath, I push free of Sohma's embrace. Spinning to look at him, a low growl escapes my lips. A warning as he reaches for me, letting him know now wasn't a good time. I take another step back, putting more distance between us.

"Tsukikage..." He starts speaking, going silent when I slash my hand through the empty air between us, cutting him off.

Giving a quick shake of my head, I speak my piece. "NO! Sohma, just stop. Our partnership is one of the most precious things I have. But having to end it is already painful for me. I just couldn't bring myself to tell you, because I knew I'd break down. I want to deny my family, the agreement I have with my uncle. All because... of our partnership, on top of my feelings for you. I wanted to leave here tomorrow with a smile on my face, not a blank mask."

Feeling un-shed tears burning in my eyes, I lower my head. That way they won't be seen if they start to fall. Hating myself for not being able to keep from crying. The thing I hate doing the most. A sign of weakness in my family.

Silence prevailed around us for a few minutes more, before Sohma spoke, breaking it. "Don't cry, Tsukikage. I am sorry for being an ass. So... you leave... tomorrow. In the morning, I presume."

Not trusting myself to speak I just nod my head yes. Keeping my face to the ground, and hiding the tears that are scalding my cheeks. Sohma's hands fall on my shoulders, before I'm pulled into a hug. I lift my gaze up to look at his face. A sad smile on his lips, echoed in his eyes as he just stares back at me.

Again the silence is broken when Sohma speaks. "Then allow me this last dance, bittersweet that it is."

Shock registers in my features, as I smile and nod my head in acceptance. Suddenly I'm released from his embrace, and one of his hands firmly grasps as my body. I allow him to take us through our own private melancholic dance.

Chapter Text

A "Shall We Date" Fan Fiction for Destiny Ninja. The character is Mizuki, so for you that love him, warning now and please forgive me. He will have to, at times, step out of his cannon personality to completely fill the roll I am putting him in. And this story is told first from the Female protagonist's side then Mizuki's.

Also, I do not own the Shall we Date Game Series or it's characters. But I do own the original Idea used.


 

 

The sounds of muffled shouting and stomping reach my ears. Still I continued to stare out the porthole in my small cabin. My fingers caress the leather encased papers in them. While I sit here waiting for my handmaiden to return. I'm enjoying the gentle rocking of the ship from the ocean waves. The sun makes the water look as if it were on fire.

The soft sound of the door opening had me glancing towards it. My hand maiden slips in, her brown eyes catching mine as they dance with unrestrained merriment, and a cold smile curving her naturally full petal pink lips. This sends a small shiver of anticipation down my spine for the information she has. As well as fear, because it means that she wants to 'play'.

"My lady, we are currently being boarded. And from what I could see, it looks like it's that particular group of pirates." She said, her voice soft and sweet to the ears.

Raising an eyebrow as I shift my body so my feet are on the floor. I let a small smile grace my lips as I speak. "Shizuka are you completely sure it is them? There must be no mistakes for this plan to work."

A small frown mars her brows, as her delicately featured face accompanies it with an annoyed huff to my response. She lifts a hand to shake the papers in them. Letting me know she was, without a doubt, sure that these were the correct pirates that had been plaguing my family's ship for the last five years.

Standing up after a swift nod of my head, I quickly make my way to the small table in my cabin. Grasping the leather encased papers in my hand more firmly. Only glancing down briefly to reach for my reticule, to put them in. I hear Shizuka moving and picking up stuff.

Once I have the papers in my reticule, I use my now free hand to grasp my parasol. Feeling it's heave weight in my hand, I turn to see her holding my wide brimmed hat. An expectant look on her face.

Blinking once, before lowering my head, so she can set it correctly. Once it is on, I lift up so Shizuka could secure it by tying the ribbon under my chin. A pleased hum as comes as she finishes, respectfully stepping back, so if I could see myself in the small vanity mirror nailed to the wall.

With the wry chuckle, I turn and take the last few steps to the cabin's door and open it. Giving a quick glance over my shoulder, I see that cold smile on Shizuka's lips again. Sighing I shake my head, lifting the hand holding the reticule and pointed at my own lips. Indicating her bad habit was showing. She flushes darkly and demurely hangs her head.

Not wanting to waste more time, I turn my head forward and stepped through the door into the narrow hallway. I make my way to the stairs that would lead me to the ship's deck. Already with each step the sound of half shouting, half talking becomes clearer.

Upon reaching the bottom of the stairs, I hear the ship's Captain bark at the crew not to fight back. Making me swallow a small wave of nerves, in an attempt to steel myself. After a few deep breaths, the sound of foot steps come towards me. I take the steps two at a time, throwing the door open. My eyes meet a pair of stunned yellow ones.

Deftly, I let my face shift into a look of surprise at the strange man before me. Though my brain was rapidly shifting through all the memorized information it had on the pirate crew. Placing the name Enya to the man before me, as a slightly lecherous smile curves his lips.

Watching as he turned, looking to his left, he calls out. "Hey, we have two passengers, and their both female."

Giving a quick sniff he turns back to us, motioning for Shizuka and I to step out and follow him. Complying with him, I feel my heart speed up, as I moved the rest of the way through the door. The setting sun's glaring light giving way to the site of the ship's crew and Captain being held at the stern of the ship. A good portion of what appeared to be the pirate's crew covering them.

To the starboard side, I can see three distinctly dressed men. All of various heights and coloring, just like Enya, as he leads us towards them. The various looks on their faces range from surprise, to distrust, to out right irritation. The intensities of the their looks settle on us like a heavy winter blanket. So I choose to keep my eyes demurely cast down. Not that it was hard, since I'm only to the shoulder at least, of the shortest of them.

"What is your name woman." A deep voice speaks, breaking the thick silence that has settled around us.

Pressing my lips into a thin line, to keep from laughing, I take a few seconds to collect myself. I speak in a clear,, firm, and loud voice, saying a singular word. "Parlay!"

A collective gasp rings in my ears. I lift my head, allowing my calm gaze slide from Enya's yellow, to a deep green, to a shocked violet, before resting on a cold unrelenting blue one. Turning it into a staring contest of wills. One I was refusing to back down from, as I feel my face begin to heat up rapidly. My insides start to feel as if I was flooding with the cold, icy water of fear. The man suddenly nods and turns, walking away back towards his ship.

As his back retreats, I let out a gush of air I wasn't aware that I was holding. My body relaxes now that the tension was gone, and suddenly my knees feel weak. I moved my parasol in front of me, using it to lean on. I watch the broad back of the man disappear into the pirate ship.

Sliding my gaze from where the blue eyed man vanished, back across to those of the crew. Noticing their various reactions. Until my gaze lands on the man with green eyes. Causing me to blink, and feel taken aback at the huge grin on his face. My eyebrows rise up on my forehead.

"Wow, Missy! You have some guts to not only call for parlay, but stare down our ship's First Mate, and win." He said between light hearted chuckling.

I want to return a smile to his infectious laughter and back handed compliment. Instead I just lower my gaze, and let my cheeks flush once more, a more appropriate response. My mind starts placing names to faces from the memorized descriptions I'd collected over the last two years.

"Hyosuke, keep your thoughts to yourself." A sharp, but cutting baritone snapped. Effectively quieting Hyosuke's laughter.

Peeking up through my eyelashes and bangs, taking a good look at the violet eyes that were still trained on me. My mind supplied the name Hyuga, as well as few other bits of information on him. Like his base personality, and the fact he was prone to acts of cruelty, he was polite with a fake smile on his lips.

As I continue to do a 'furtive' study of Hyuga, I feel something brush against the small of my back. Choking down an outraged gasp as what is brushing against me started to move lower. I lift up the heel of my booted foot. Sliding it backwards subtly, till it bump against something solid. At which point I bring it down with as much force and weight as I can muster, while wearing the heavy petticoat and under bussel.

A pained grunt is heard, but I leave my heel where it was at. Turning at the waist I look at him, not bothering to hide the contempt and disgust on my face. I speak in an apologetic voice, that sounds convincingly sincere. "Oh, I am sorry sir. I didn't know you were still behind me. Please forgive me for hurting your foot."

The look of pain in the depths of his eyes, as his jaw goes slack, gives me a small amount of gratification. With a mocking smile on my lips, I lift my heel from his foot. My face looks saddened as I turn to face forward. Just in time to see the blue eyed man, who I now know by process of elimination is Hattori Kazemasa Hanzo, appear again.

His face still a cold, blank mask as he crosses the plank connecting our ships. The gaze he levels on me, though nearly unreadable, seems smug. Leaving me to wonder what his Captain's reply is. A tremor of foreboding grows inside me.

Swallowing once more, I tilted my head up to meet his gaze again, indicate he should speak. Which he promptly does. "The Captain will parlay with you, but under the condition it is just you yourself, and on our ship in his own personal quarters."

A small smirk curves the edges of his mouth, while the gleam in his eyes speaks volumes at what he thinks I'd do. I feel heat flush my face, as a triumphant smirk spreads across his face. My anger starts to rise up inside.

Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly to help keep me calm. I allow a small smile to crest my lips, as I speak. "I accept the terms. Please lead the way, Sir."

The look of shock on his face quells the anger in me. I start forward towards him, showing proof I mean my words. When I was but a few feet from his person, he puts his mask back in place. Spinning around he walks once more back toward his ship, and I follow.

Not needing a more blatant invitation, I keep on his heels. There are angered shouts of outrage from my own ship's crew. I pause briefly and look back to them, as the fist mate cries out. "Your Captain had better not hurt Lady Pendragon, or you'll suffer."

His words bring a frown to my lips, and I turn back round to follow again. Realizing Hanzo not only stopped, but was now staring fixedly at me. Only to abruptly turn and continue forward onto the deck of his ship, and then into its interior.

I followed obediently, thought my mind is trying to figure out the look he had given me. With a small shake of my head I dismiss it, and notice my guide has come to a halt before a door. His blue eyes analyzing me intently again, as if assessing me.

Putting a smile on my lips, I nod my head to the door, indicating he should announce us. Earning a snort, he complies and knocks on the door. Getting a quick, muffled 'enter', before grasping the knob and pushing the door open in a fluid motion. He steps into the room, leaving me just enough to slip in behind him.

Deciding to wait a minute before heading in myself, the same voice speaks up again. "So the little Missy didn't come Kazemasa? Figures, with these damnable noble types. Thinking they are entitled until things turn against their favor."

A sudden tic forms under my right eye, and I slipped in behind my guide. Doing my best to stay as silent as possible as I do. I see a blue-clothed back, slender long pale neck, and a head topped with short spiky hair, which is very unruly. Giving a small snort to announce my presence, a sardonic grin curves my lips.

"So sorry to disappoint, Captain." I say, letting dark amusement color my voice.

 

00000000000

 

The sound of scratching filled the air as I write in my log book. Waiting for my first mate to come back, my mind reels at the young miss asking for parlay. An act of desperation from my point of view. So I set unreasonable conditions in hopes that she'd retract her plea, therefore we can plunder the ship and just leave.

Not feeling disappointed when less than twenty minutes later a familiar and distinctive knock comes upon my door. Calling out for my first mate to enter, and only hearing his footsteps. I give a snide quip, only to get a response full of amusement in a female voice. One that makes my mind stall my reaction, for it sounds vaguely familiar.

Sitting up straight, I turn at the waist to look at the speaker. Only to see a well-dressed noble lady standing there in her finery of a peach with black trim dress. One hand grasping a matching reticule, while the other holds a black umbrella. The only thing of real note was that I cannot see her face from the mouth up, due to the large wide-brimmed hat. Giving me a view of full rose-colored lips, which were twisted in a unbecoming sardonic smile.

Intrigued, I raise an eyebrow as I speak. "I wouldn't say disappointment Missy. So you're here to speak your piece? Then let's get this time-consuming farce done with."

Knowing full well how my words can be taken, I sit patiently. Waiting for this slip of a girl before me to take offense. Her smile grows wider, and a soft sigh escapes her lips. She finally raises her head up. Giving me a view of a pert nose, topped by very distinctive eyes. Eyes that are a warm chocolate brown, but have green, the shade of spring grass, ringing the pupils and outer iris.

As I stare at the girl, she tilts her head towards my first mate, drawing my attention back to him. His piercing gaze asks a silent question. Lifting my hand and waving it, I dismiss him from the room. Giving a quick shake of my head to let him know I'd be fine.

The moment the door clicked shut, and his foot steps recede, the girl speaks up. "I assure you, Captain Mizuki of the Water Dragon Pirates, this is no farce, as you put it. I am serious about making a deal with you. My terms are rather reasonable."

Letting a frown draw the corners of my lips down, I give her a cold look. She chortles in unrestrained amusement, setting my ire on the rise. Which must have shown on my face, as the smile left her face. She returned my stare with a cold one of her own. One that seemed out of place on her face.

"I don't think you could offer me anything that would make me accept your terms, young lady." I state flatly.

At my words the smirk returns to her lips, and she rests her umbrella against her full skirt. She reaches into her reticule, putting me on guard, until she produces several folded sheets of paper, wrapped in leather. As well as another, much thicker, packet of paper of high grade vellum, which is carefully wrapped in well-oiled leather. The seal for the Pendragon house is pressed into it. The latter she shifts into her hand holding the reticule, before offering me the leather-bound sheets of paper.

Giving a wary look to her, I carefully take the offered papers. Opening and quickly scanning them, I realize that what I'm staring at is the ship manifest for both crew and goods. The latter of the two more of what I wanted, since this was supposed to be the correct ship. One of Lord Pendragon's most prized treasures on it going to India.

As my eyes scan over the goods manifest a second time, only to see his prized breeding and racing stallion as the most notable out of everything. I shoot my gaze back up to the girl before me.

"Confused yet, Captain? Those are very accurate, but the 'treasure' I'm sure your looking for, is not what you were thinking." She says, a hint of sadness tinting her voice.

With a snort I decide to look back at the papers, earning me a huff of irritation from her. "Well, I guess I should introduce myself to you. Since you haven't learned it yet, and are looking at the wrong manifest. I am Lady Tsukikage Sarah Pendragon-Kushinada, and my reason for requesting this parlay..." She pauses as I jerked my eyes up to stare at the girl, no woman, before me as she continues. "I request that you leave all goods on the ship alone, including food and water. Then withdraw your crew completely."

Her words sink into my brain, which was still struggling with the fact that the heiress to the bastard Lord Pendragon was standing before me. The moment my brain fully processes them, I was out of my chair and standing my full six foot three inches, glaring daggers at her audacity. Not bothering to curb my quickly mounting anger, I take a step closer, putting me directly into her personal space.

Looking down at the top of her hat, I notice that she hadn't even taken a step back. On top of that just how relaxed she appeared. She continued to stand there as if I wasn't threatening her. Which only served to incense me even further. I clench my hands into fists, to keep from grabbing her and shaking her violently, if not attempt to strangle her. Both which would break the rules of the parlay.

"Just who the hell do you think you are to make that kind of request?! No demands, without offering anything in return." I bite out, hearing a low growl in my own voice.

There was barely a pause between the end of my words and hers. "I, Captain, do no think I am anybody in particular. Yet you should cool that raging ego of yours, because I do have something to give you in return. Something very precious, valuable, and detrimental to your very existence."

Her words leave me still feeling angry, but now curious as to what she could have that would be 'detrimental' to me. Narrowing my eyes, I take a step back, keeping a close eye on her. She grips the packet of papers with her house symbol tighter.

Deciding to play along, to get to show her hand, I let my self plop back down into my chair. Noting the cold blank mask that she now wore. "Fine, I'll bite. What are you offering."

Keeping a careful watch as she lifts the leather bound packet up, waving in my face, literally. "This right here, Captain. These are the original documents belonging to my... esteemed... Father. Including all deeds and receipts. As well as some other documents that I believe you'd find interesting." Her voice is neutral until she mentions her father, at which point it drips disgust and loathing.

Unable to help myself, I feel my jaw go slack and hang open. Her words leave me in utter shock at what she was offering. My mind kicks into overdrive, as suspicion floods my person. This was a deal that was too good to be true, which means there is a catch. More so coming from a noble.

Not wanting to be taken in by it, I speak up. "What's the catch Lady Pendragon. This is obviously too good to be true."

The slight fluttering of her eyelashes at her title let me know that the use of it annoyed her. "Would you believe me if I said that I wanted that ego maniacal, greedy bastard who spawned me to pay?!" She asked, her face contorting into a mask of hate, anger, resentment as she describes her father.

Raising and eyebrow I speak. "No... no it wouldn't suffice."

She sighs and suddenly looks at my cabin floor with interest. "Figures. Not that I blame you 'Zuki. These papers are all yours. The catch is Kurodayu and I come with them. Under the guise as your hostage for ransom."

Tilting my head to the side, I just stare at the woman before me. Beginning to wonder how much planning she actually put into this scheme of hers. Though I didn't miss her use of my childhood nick name, which only a select few had called me as a child in London. There was no way she would offer these documents to save herself. I come to the conclusion that I have been a set up. The moment I heard the rumor of Lord Pendragons most precious treasure was being shipped to an Indian prince, I'd been played.

Letting out a rueful laugh of amusement, I looked at her. Realizing that I wasn't the only one that had changed in the last ten years.

"'Zuki, you don't have to keep Kuro and I on your ship. You can ditch me in Japan at your earliest convince. I''ll find my own way to my Mother's family. You'll have your freedom and the ability to take down my Father at your leisure. As well as bring to light a few other truths about a few other things." She blurts out, flushing dark red in the cheeks. Her hands grip the packet even tighter.

Knowing this was my only decent shot to accomplish my goals, I give her a sharp nod. Standing, I make my way to the cabin door. Casting a glance over my shoulder to her, wondering what type of hell I was about to put my crew through. I pull my door open, and look out to see my first mate at the end of hall, waiting. Earning a cold-eyed look of shock, as he immediately realizes a deal has been struck. A slow smile spreads across my face, making him flinch and look away from my mismatched eyes.


 

A/N: Again thank you to all of you who have read and reviewed and keep reading these stories. All Reviews were done in Dance, so yeah.. This story is potentially going to become a chapter based story with this as the start of it, don as a singular One Shot!