Mai?! No. God no, it couldn't be! Lin thought in alarm as he stared at the picture of the little girl.

His mind automatically going into denial despite knowing that the girl was in fact the young woman that had been working with himself and Naru for a while. Almost four in a half years now that he thought about it. And in all that time all he or anyone else had learned about the girl was that she lived alone, was an orphan, she went to school when she could (and surprisingly enough despite all her work related absences- had graduated with honors- just last year). She liked working for SPR with himself, Naru and everyone else.

But aside from those things she was very close lipped about herself. She never spoke about her friends outside of work (if she even had them). She never filled out paper work that would include her birthday, where she was born- hell, she didn't even tell anyone what her favorite color or food was!

Lin was a logical man but he was also a man who saw what other's couldn't. In fact he had always prided himself on being able to see with unclouded eyes. And yet... Here in the face of the truth, he felt like a complete and utter fool. Truly he did.

Mai had deceived them all so perfectly. Hidden herself in plain sight right beneath their noses.

He wanted to be mad. He wanted to be furious with Mai for her deceit.

But after reading the news clippings and police files about the house and it's terrible history- he couldn't bring himself to think anything terribly bad of her for her actions. She was- er had- been just trying to survive a very frightening and downright terrifying experience. She had reinvented herself, become someone who couldn't be traced back to her childhood home and the numerous tragedies that loomed over it, and her, like a thunder cloud.

No, this wasn't her fault. But now that he knew the truth... He wanted to rip his hair out by the handfuls and scream in frustration. Naru. Was. A. Fool! And not just any fool either- but the stupid one who had foolishly dragged Mai back into a nightmare that had already claimed the lives of so many.


If they didn't watch her at all times, she'd likely be killed by the spirit/spirits that had started killing the people in the house!

Gnashing his teeth he turned his dark eyes to the monitors sitting neatly stacked on a small long table and systematically began scanning the images from each of the camera's and finally paused on camera four. There she was. There was Mai. Grabbing the closest notebook where each camera was listed as well as their number's and what room they were in- he noted that camera four was in the bathroom down the hall and glanced back at the image.

Sure enough, there was a sink, a shower- and Mai...was standing in the middle of the room in just her bra (a very, very, very nice pale green bra that held her wonderful B cup- Oh dear god. Why was he even looking at her breasts and her bra?! He wasn't a pervert!) and her unbuttoned jeans which looked like they were all but ready to fall from the girl's slender hips.

Narrowing his eyes a bit, he could just barely see some of the terrible scars she must have gotten as a child. They practically littered her entire torso, neck and arms!

There were some that looked like small, insignificant wounds. And there were others that looked like someone had taken a knife to her body and tried to peel all of the skin off of her in various places. There were burn marks, slashes, but what stood out the most, in his opinion, was the red markings that wound around her neck and wrists.

There were two each and both markings looked strangely like what one would get from a metal collar and shackles.

Oh dear god, please don't tell him that she had at one point been in a collar and shackles! Of course if she had been in shackles at one point in time then it stood to reason that she may have been subjected to... Well- stuff that was best not thought about.

But it would also stand to reason why she liked her damned privacy so frigging much! That and... In her natural state she was just so damn beautiful. Far too beautiful, even with the scars, for his peace of mind. Couple that with the fact that he knew about her past and many of the things that she had suffered, and his prior aloofness and indifference towards Mai would be negated completely.

Whistling, he summoned two of his shiki and ordered them to go and protect Mai as he sat down and tried to think about what to do with his new knowledge. Because he just knew that nothing good would come of it.