Reckless Abandon-

It started in late Autumn.

Ichigo Kurosaki was walking home sometime in the late evening, paying attention to nothing, not really noticing the way the leaves in the trees swaying above his head looked like they had caught on fire in the setting sun. It had been a long day for him. Tiring and horribly long, but not unfulfilling considering what he had spent the better part of his day doing.

At twenty five, thanks entirely to his father's planning for his future ahead of time, he owned his own chain of apartments and small portions of land here and there- And was a landlord. If something broke at one or more of the apartment buildings he owned, it was his job to fix it. And fix it, he did.

He'd spent the better part of his day putting in several safety bars for an elderly woman and her husband, evicting two families who refused to stick to the rules he'd given them upon moving into his buildings, remodeling a bathroom entirely because a widow had asked him if he would mind helping, (playing with several kids who had attended a birthday party in his building) it wasn't his job, but he loved doing it.

Perhaps because some foeign part of him wanted so badly to settle down with a nice girl. And maybe have a kid or two of his own. God knew he was so family oriented that it was almost pathetic.

He'd often been told by his friends that he was almost like a stray dog waiting for a master to come and take it in. Which was a less than flattering way to have someone see him. But here lately he often saw the comparison in himself as well.

It was strange- no scratch that- it was beyond strange. But he supposed that there was no helping it for the moment. Sighing heavily, he absently began to plan out tomorrow and paused in mid step when he heard the sound of a scuffle up ahead. Tilting his head slightly to the side some of his orange hair slipped over his face, covering his honey gold/amber eyes a mere moment before he took off running.

He wasn't far from the sound and though there weren't many muggers, gangs or thugs around the area- from time to time someone did get grabbed. And the easiest targets were women or young girls.

And being as he knew what could happen to women and children who were foolish enough to wander close to dark places- he couldn't help but feel it was his civic duty to protect everyone he came across. So if he came across someone in trouble up ahead; he'd save them. And if it was just a rat trying to escape from a cat or dog, he'd sigh and silently thank god it was nothing serious.

His long legs eating up the distance between where he had been and where he felt he needed to be, he ran until he reached the place he had heard the noise from and took a moment to blink in shock before raw fury began to color his mind. It was a small gang of six guys, almost all of which were moving around a woman held immobile by one of the men while another was touching her with one filthy hand while holding a knife to her throat in a threatening manner.

Forgetting that he held his tool box, he let it clatter to the ground spilling the contents on the pavement while he took a brief moment to grab his sharpest screwdriver and ducked into the nearest growing group of shadows and silently, stealthily made his way over to the group and attacked. Taking out first the man with the knife by grabbing his wrist and pulling his arm back and stabbing him so that the blade clattered to the ground useless and momentarily forgotten as the man's shrill screams of pain rang through the ever growing darkness. The others all noticing the menacing presence that had just dropped in on them- halting their fun and games for the moment- turned on him baring their teeth and snarling like animals causing a small ghost of a smile to curve his sensuous mouth.

Now he wasn't the type to kick an animal over spilled milk or food, but a helpless woman was another story altogether. And if these guys thought they could take him, the former substitute shinigami, Ichigo Kurosaki- they had another thing coming. And he was going to make sure that his lesson stuck. "Sorry guys. Party time is over-" He said as his eyes flashed from honey gold/amber to a soft yellow color as he went for the guy holding onto the woman.

The sickening crack of flesh and bone striking home, made him smile as the man screamed and loosened his hold on the woman enough for Ichigo to reach out and snag her wrist and quickly pull her against his body and lock her in place there with an arm around her slender shoulders as he absently took note of various things about her.

She had thick chocolate brown waist length hair, her head just barely reached the center of his chest meaning that she stood at five foot three, maybe four. Her body was petite, delicately boned, too fragile for someone like him to handle roughly- yet he felt the press of her breasts against his body, could smell the sweet intoxicating scent coming from her skin, and he felt lost.

Hopelessly and completely, genuinely- lost.

And all it took was a few minutes to take out some thugs... His dad would laugh himself silly if he knew about this. He thought with a small surge of irritation. Luckily he wasn't planning to tell anyone anything.