Hello, dear readers! I am back with yet another chapter. I apologize for it having taken so long but I had a few tests that needed to be studied for. Not only that, but I alternate between a few stories that I write along with this one. I've got one from Bleach and two from Fairy Tail, although one of those is finally complete. Now, this one is all about Cleo's past and what happened back then. I think you'll all be surprised. Anyway, enjoy the chapter!

Chapter 13: Shadowed Past

Where… where am I?

The thoughts appeared in my head as I opened my eyes to slits. At first, nothing came into focus and it took a few minutes before I could see a murky orange liquid. Quickly, I discovered that I was submerged in that liquid and I could somehow breathe in it. I didn't think much of it as I forced my arms to stretch out until they touched some… solid thing. It felt cool to the touch and I smacked it hard with the palm of my hand to see what it was. I couldn't force it to move and that only served to make me feel something I didn't understand. The… thing… in my body beat faster and faster as I began to see red, baring my teeth at the solid object keeping me in the liquid. My sense of hearing slowly came to me and I could hear bubbling from somewhere in the liquid. I looked down at my body and saw that a strange covering was around my body, specifically covering my chest and waist. How I knew just this much was a mystery to me that I didn't like.

I could see dark shapes almost outside of my field of vision and I opened my eyes completely to distinguish that there were figures approaching me. I could see that there were others that looked like me getting closer and they came near enough so that I was forced to move my body backwards, showing them my fangs and making them step backwards. I could hear their words even though I couldn't understand them and sense as adrenaline shot through them to classify them to me as "prey." After a while, they moved away after pressing something outside the liquid and disappeared from view. I could feel myself becoming sleepy and so I allowed my body to drift off to unconsciousness.

I could now distinguish between the others in the place called a "lab." I was able to pick up a few words of their language whenever I was conscious and was quickly learning more and more without their knowledge. Being a predator caged away by her prey, I had to observe and learn how to strike against those keeping me here. These "humans" were rather weak, especially since I saw one dripping red after accidentally cutting themselves on a sharp piece of glass. The leader was someone called a "Karoku" while the other two were called his "grandparents."

Whenever the leader would come over to what they called my "tank," I would glare at him the entire time to prove my dominance over him, even in my weakened position at being locked away. He never seemed secrete the usual hormones associated with fear, just watched me with those blue eyes of his. I was knowing more and more instinctively, like colors or emotions and I had a feeling that it was because of the liquid I was submerged in. They must have been pouring something into it whenever I was resting. To startle him, I banged my fists on the surface as hard as I could and he walked away calmly without a second look. The other two scientists hit another button before I felt myself pass out again.

What the humans referred to as a month had passed and I could now secretly understand every word they said, making certain not to act out of the ordinary in case they suspected. The scientists, as I had learned that they called themselves, had left the room earlier and left me awake. I thought perhaps that they had made a mistake when a man I didn't recognize walked into the room. Just by watching the way he walked, I could tell that he was a predator similar to me but of the human variety. He looked almost exactly like Karoku but there were subtle differences between them that a lesser individual would miss. This person's hair was half a shade darker and so were his eyes. He also moved lithely like a predator while real Karoku had a slight bounce to his step. There was a blue diamond shaped ring on his middle finger that stood out in comparison to the other rings on his hand.

He gave me a smile that was more a baring of teeth like an animal and I did the same, glaring angrily at him to get him to leave only to have him laugh. "I finally get to see you," the man said. "I can tell from your eyes that you are more intelligent than you let the others know. I want you to nod if you understand what I'm saying." Even though I wanted the man to go away, to leave me in peace so I could go back to plotting my escape, I slowly nodded my head and watched as his smile became wilder. "That's what I thought. The others said that you weren't showing any signs of wanting to communicate so they assumed that you couldn't comprehend what they were saying. All the while, you were learning our language and watching them. You are the ultimate predator."

Let me out of this tank and I'll show you just how much of a predator I am, I growled in my mind, glaring even more until my eyes were slits. I smashed a fist into the glass and he didn't once flinch.

"If I was a lesser human, I might have been frightened by that display of aggression," he told me. "The scientists working under Karoku say that you should be terminated for your open hostility to others. I convinced them to keep you alive until you are allowed out of the tank. Of course, I had to pay them a lucrative amount of money to do so. You should be grateful to me."

I smacked the glass again, even harder this time, and growled in my mind. The liquid sloshed back and forth in the tank and I thought I might be able to see the tiniest of cracks forming on the surface. If I break free of here, I will tear your throat out with my teeth. You won't be so smug with your blood flowing to the ground.

"I can tell that you are attempting to kill me with your eyes," he said simply. "I think it's about time for me to leave." He turned around and began walking towards the door when he paused, stopping just inside the room before he spoke again. "They haven't named you yet, have they? When they told me about you, I began to think of one just for your unique case. I researched names and came up with the perfect one. Your name will be Cleiona, based off of the great goddess in a foreign land who had an affinity for fire. It fits since you are in fact a Dragon, not a human. I have already bribed the scientists to write it down on the charts until Karoku accepts it." He then walked out of the room and left me alone with the sounds of bubbles rising up from the bottom of the tank.

Cleiona, I thought as a demented grin formed on my face. The great goddess of fire… If I'm a Dragon, which would explain why I feel superior to these lowly humans, then I need a name befitting someone of my caliber. I will accept that name and use it to put fear in these humans' hearts that keep me trapped.

"What do you mean that you named her?" Karoku asked his grandparents, who were beaming at him excitedly.

"The other scientists here have been thinking that she needed a name and perhaps then her hostility will decrease," one of them said.

Like that will ever happen, I scoffed, rolling my eyes as I eavesdropped.

"We aren't going to keep her, so she doesn't need a name," Karoku said sternly. "I'm going to focus more on my second experiment. I want this project scrapped by the end of the week."

Scrapped…? No, you can't do that, human.

"But Karoku," the older man said gently. "I feel like we can still make some progress with her. We just need to find a way to make her less aggressive. Once we can accomplish that, we can make great strides on the Dragon Project. Don't give up so soon and focus all your attention on the Niji Project just yet."

"She has shown no improvement in understanding our language," Karoku explained. "She acts more animal and shows no signs of rationality. I'm not going to keep such a dangerous creature in this lab." He began to walk out of the room and I knew I was watching my last chance to live walk out with him.

No! You will not kill me like some dog! I will kill you first!

With every last ounce of strength I possessed, I slammed my fist into the spot on the glass where the tiny crack was located and the glass shattered. Glass began to fall and I was pulled out of the tank with the rushing liquid, landing on my hands and knees and discovering that I could no longer breathe. I felt my lungs force the liquid from my lungs and I felt my stomach heave as I vomited that orange liquid onto the tiled floor. Once all of it was out of my system and I coughed, I took a deep breath of whatever it was outside of the tank. My body shivered as I noticed a big drop in temperature and I looked up to glare at Karoku as I gritted my teeth to stop the chattering.

"You were angry," he said softly. "That can only mean that you really can understand us. I bet you've been able to comprehend every word we've been saying almost since the beginning, haven't you."

I figured I might as well force my body to speak as well, especially if it would save my own life in the process. "Of course… I have…" I rasped, my voice tiny and hoarse since I had never before used it.

"Karoku, she's bleeding," the older woman said with a concerned voice. "The glass must have cut her when she broke through the tank."

I could feel something dripping down my arm and saw that she was correct. On my bicep was a jagged gash with a piece of glass sticking out and I could suddenly feel what the humans called pain coming from it. I let out a hiss and reached over to gently pull the glass shard from my arm. Once it was out, the blood began to flow a little faster. The older humans walked closer and I hopped away from them with a growl, deterring them from getting even closer.

"Remember what I told you," Karoku said as he grabbed mask to pull over his face, handing one to each of them as well. "She's more animal than human, even if she has the appearance of one. An injured animal is a dangerous one, especially when cornered. It doesn't matter if she has finally spoken with us."

He hit a red button on the wall and a pink gas filtered in through a few vents. All of a sudden, I began to feel my thoughts turn sluggish and my body felt heavy as I collapsed on my side. Stupid humans. Just because you have drugged me somehow does not mean that I won't kill you before you can kill me. My thoughts were livid and full of hate as I felt my eyes close.

"We can't scrap the project, Karoku," the voice of the old man said. "Who knows what else she has been hiding from us? My scientific mind tells me that we need to keep her alive to find out more."

Just before I fell unconscious, I heard Karoku say, "Fine, we'll keep the Dragon Project going. If she stops being useful, we'll hand her over to my brother for extermination. He seems to revel in that sort of thing."

Months later after breaking free of the tank, I was still locked away but now in a cage like room that some of the snide scientists referred to as a jail cell. I wanted nothing more than to kill them all, but so far I was never given the chance. I instead did what I could to prove my worth until I found the chance I needed to break out. I would answer their questions and allow them to run their tests when needed.

They now provided me with real clothes, which I hated for the first week because I was hypersensitive to everything. Now I wore the white long sleeved shirt and white pants they provided for me. At one point, they led me in front of something called a mirror and I could see my reflection for the first time. I could see a skinny figure before me that had long white messy hair that went all the way down to my waist. The hair around my face framed it and some of the longer pieces draped down onto my chest. I could see streaks of blue mixed intermittently throughout my white hair and there were two tufts of blue that stuck up on the top of my head like horns, curling upwards just enough that it would cause damage if it was real. The last thing that caught my attention was my eyes. They were the color of mercury and they shifted like the liquid metal I had heard about. The scientists informed me that it was the one flaw about me since I was supposed to have crimson eyes. If they hadn't moved away quickly, I would have clawed them for their comments.

I was beginning to get frustrated with all of the tests and wanted nothing more to do with them. I was always in a bad mood whenever the younger scientists approached me, especially with their malicious remarks that only served to irritate me more. I didn't think Karoku knew about what they were doing and I wasn't sure that he actually cared since he was always busy on his other project. Finally, he had been told enough of my antics and came to pay me a visit.

"I've heard that you are back to your normal aggressive ways," he said sternly as he approached the bars.

"Whatever I say to you obviously won't matter," I said with disinterest. "All of you have a bias against me. You can go now."

"Don't you dare dismiss me in my own lab," he told me and I could see that I had finally made him angry. "What do you mean that everyone has a bias?"

I stood up and approached the bars slowly, walking as soundlessly as a predator stalking its prey. "You want nothing to do with me, which is exactly why I never see hide nor tail of you until you are told false information about me from the other scientists," I explained. "I have not once said anything to them that wasn't warranted, whether they were asking questions that had to do with their research or their spiteful words to me. I can promise you right now that if they do it again, I will kill them and then escape from here, taking out as many people that stand in my way as I can."

"I'm done with this," he said seriously. "I should have listened to my gut and have you exterminated that day. You're more trouble than you're worth."

"That's right, go ahead and order it," I growled, losing my calm façade. "You're the worst one of them all. You never once gave me a chance and you hated me right from the beginning. Here I thought that scientists were supposed to see things without prejudice and yet you refuse to."

He looked a little shaken by my words and quickly walked away from my cell. I snarled at everyone who came around and slashed my claws at anyone who got to close. It became worse when I saw the man sent to bring me to Karoku's brother. He was the main person who taunted me mercilessly and I decided right then and there that this was my chance. I waited patiently as he opened up the cell, giving me a sarcastic smile as he did so.

"Time to go, girl. Your day to die has finally come."

"No it hasn't," I told him with an evil grin. I rushed at him faster than he could see, sinking my fangs into his throat and blood sprayed all over. He gazed up at me with shocked eyes as I stood up and walked out of the cell. "And my name is Cleiona. Take that to your grave."

I noticed the blood spotting my shirt and shrugged as I walked soundlessly through the halls. I could hear an alarm blaring and hissed a little before running along instead. I avoided the scientists searching throughout the large lab for me and kept running until I made it to a room that was almost barren of everything. I had a feeling that the door to exit was on the other side of the room when I heard a small noise from behind a couch. I rushed over to it and stood on the cushions so I could look over it, jumping back when I saw a small boy there.

As he came out from hiding behind it, he hesitantly walked closer and I got a better look at him. He was a bit smaller than me and seemed soft in comparison. If I had to label him as predator or prey, I would have to go with the latter as he stared up at me with such innocence. He had white messy hair that was rather short and two lavender tufts of hair sticking out like ears behind his own. He also had crimson eyes that burned with curiosity as he walked closer to me.

"I've never seen you around before," the boy said to me. "Are you a scientist, too?" He gave me a bright smile that unnerved me a little and then looked down at my bloodstained clothing. "Oh, no, are you hurt? You're covered in red!"

"I'm fine," I told him flatly, my gaze never once leaving him as I tried to decide what to do with him. "And to answer your question, I am not a scientist."

"If you aren't a scientist, then are you… my sister?" he asked hopefully, his eyes shining and making him beam at me. "I bet you are! You almost look just like me! From now on, I'm going to call you my sister and not even Karoku can stop me!"

He ran over to me and I froze, feeling shocked as he quickly wrapped his arms around me tightly. He made noises of happiness as he did so and I felt… warm all of a sudden. I couldn't figure out what was going on with me. My prey had gotten too close and was embracing me, which I should have decided was bad. However, he looked back up at me and I could see fondness for me there already.

"My name is Nai!" he told me. "What's your name?"

"Cleiona," I said roughly, feeling extremely confused.

"That's pretty," he said. "I'm going to call you Cleo for short. I think that suits you better." I stared at him vacantly, completely blindsided by this kid and his ability to completely overlook the fact that I was a superior entity in comparison to him. Didn't he know that I was a predator that could kill him in the span of a second? He laughed a little before saying, "Wow, you were cold when you first came in, but now I can feel that you're getting warmer. This doesn't just happen so suddenly, so you must have been warm before and became cold."

"That's ridiculous," I growled, glaring at him and moving away before he could touch me again. "I am a predator and you are my prey. You should not be cozying up to someone who will inevitably kill you."

"You won't kill me," he stated with certainty evident in his words. "If you had wanted to do that, you would have done it by now. You must be a kind person in disguise. You just want to sound scary to keep people at a distance."

"Kid, if you had been through the same thing as me, you would be just like me," I told him.

"Nai," he corrected, "and technically I have been through the same thing as you. I'm the creation from the Niji Project."

I stiffened at his words and narrowed my eyes at him as it finally sank in. This was the creation that Karoku was so focused on. I had heard him call the creation his "special child" before and it only made me angry. I could hurt Karoku in more ways than one if I just killed the boy in front of me. I could bring his dead body straight to Karoku and laugh in his face as I showed him what I had done. I took a step closer and now I could see Nai looking at me worriedly, not because I was acting menacing towards him but because he was concerned for me.

"Cleo? Are you all right?" he asked me.

I could snap his scrawny neck or something gruesome to devastate Karoku. I took another stride until I was standing right before the boy, about to take that next step to kill him when I discovered something that confused me. I found that no matter what I told myself, I just couldn't kill him. He was turning into a light at the end of the dark tunnel that was my life. I felt a warmth in my heart spread through me all of a sudden and I soon realized that I was now hugging him to me tightly without remembering how it had happened. The tighter I hugged him, the warmer I became until something strange began leaking from my eyes.

Nai felt it drip down onto him and he reached up to wipe them away from my cheeks. "They're tears," he explained to me quietly. "But why are you crying? There's no reason to be sad."

"I'm not sad," I told him. "I think that for the first time in my life, I might be… happy. Happy because I met you."

He gave me that brilliant smile again before saying, "I'm happy that I met you, too!" He looked up into my eyes and gasped, seeming surprised by something that mystified me. "Your eyes are turning red just like mine. It's like the red is spreading through the silver."

"Nai, what are you doing out here?" the voice of Karoku asked and we both turned to see him with a bunch of guards with guns pointed at us. I pushed Nai behind me and growled threateningly, quite intent on protecting him to the best of my abilities. "How did you get out of your room?"

"Someone opened it a few minutes after you left, but when I went outside to thank them they were gone," he explained. "I wandered around until I came out here and met Cleo."

"Cleo?" one of Karoku's grandparents' asked the other in confusion.

"He shortened down my name to Cleo," I said with a sigh.

"That's wonderful," Karoku said sarcastically to me before looking at Nai. "Come over here, Nai. It's not safe for you to be there."

"But why not?" Nai asked.

"Because Cleiona is dangerous," Karoku told him. "She killed a scientist and escaped from her cell. She might kill you if you don't listen to me."

As I rolled my eyes at Karoku's words, Nai yelled, "No, she isn't! She never once tried to hurt me! Besides, I can feel that her soul is warm. That's why her eyes changed color."

"I swear on my life that I will not let harm come to him," I growled at the blue haired man in front of us. "All of you can back off if you dare point a gun at us."

"The guns are only pointed at you, Cleiona," he told me. "It is time for you to be decommissioned after the stunt you pulled tonight. I won't allow for a something so malevolent to live while under this roof."

I felt rage rise up from the depths of my soul and I turned my head to look at Nai out of the corner of my eyes. "Take a few steps back, little Nai," I told him calmly. "I don't want to accidentally injure you." He nodded and did as I asked just before I felt the rage burst free like that of a volcano. Crimson fire blasted from my skin until I was surrounded by his, growling at the guards who were threatening me. I threw tendrils of it at them that hit the barrels of their guns, heating them up to the point where they were forced to drop them to the floor. They looked a bit worried but it was Karoku that never once flinched as the fire went past him.

"I was lying when I said that you killed that scientist," he told me loud enough to be heard over the fire. "I had been told exactly what he had been doing to you. He has been let go, along with the others that were his accomplices. I discovered that they were being paid by an evil man to torment you to the point where you would kill at a moment's notice. Just now, you exhibited behavior that suggests that you do have a conscience and are not just some animal. You are actually protecting someone and have shown restraint when threatened. I am proud of you."

"I don't understand," I said as I began to calm down, the fire slowly decreasing with my emotions. "You acted like you hated me. I don't get you humans."

"I have been watching you in secret," he told me. "I knew that if I extended you any kindness that you would take it as a sign of weakness. I had to watch over you from a camera and monitor your progress. I never intended on having you or your project scrapped. I knew that in adverse situations, you showed the most advancement."

"So you thought it was ok to put me through hell?" I asked sarcastically.

"I didn't mean for it to go that far, I swear to you. Those scientists that tormented you were not part of the plan. However, I can't just let your actions go unpunished. You were a rather unpleasant individual for so long. I think I'll give you a week in the cell before moving you to a new room and showing you some of the things you've missed out on. Just as long as you're agreeable, of course."

Even though I didn't like the idea of being locked up, I could handle a week of it. I was led back to the cell with by Karoku and the guards, Nai following along behind us and giving me a quick hug before I was locked inside. I motioned for him to go with Karoku and he did as I asked. That week passed by rather quickly, especially since Nai came to visit me whenever he could. He would bring me books for me to read to him, saying that his favorite one was about a lion and a mouse. He told me that it reminded him of the two of us, me being the lion while he was the mouse. It was about a mouse helping to pull out a thorn from the lion's paw in exchange for his life. The mouse then told the lion that he would help the big cat should he ever need saving. When the lion got caught in a hunter's trap, the mouse came to save the day and they became best friends. Even though he brought me story after story for me to read, I didn't once mind since it passed the time.

When the week was finally over, Karoku showed up with Nai and said that he had a surprise for me. When I gave him a skeptical look, he explained that it would be the best one I had ever received. We went down a few familiar hallways until we reached the same room that I had met Nai a week ago. We went past that to the door I had wanted to escape from and Karoku opened the door. Instantly, a bright light flooded the room and I hissed in pain as it blinded me, hiding behind the wall of the room so that the light coming the hallway couldn't hit me.

"Cleo, what are you doing?" Karoku asked me with a laugh, still out in the hallway. I didn't remember when he had begun to call me by Nai's nickname, but I liked the nickname well enough so I didn't mind. "I know you've never seen the light of day before, but I promise that you'll get used to it. It didn't take Nai long the first time I took him outside."

"Outside?" I asked hesitantly before bolting after them and out of the door before I could be stopped.

I was blinded for a few seconds and had to cover my eyes as Nai and Karoku finally walked out. When I observed the environment I was in, I was quite surprised. The colors here were so vibrant and the grass felt cool and fluffy on my feet so I couldn't help scrunching my toes. On a whim, I ran forward in a big circle before jumping into the air, twisting around, and landing on my back in the grass. I giggled lightly as I sprawled out, rolling on my back like a cat would.

"I think she's finally lost it," Karoku whispered to Nai. "Not even you were so crazy the first time I introduced you to the outside world."

Before Nai could say a word, I shouted, "Hey, I can hear you, you know!" I lay back and looked up at the sky, only to see strange rainbow colored ribbons of light moving through it as if they were alive. "Karoku, what's with the light show?"

"The magnetic forces give off energy waves," Karoku tried to explain simply for me to understand. "They block off radio transmissions so that we can't call for help should we find ourselves in an emergency. However, we did discover recently that the animals in this forest use those waves to communicate with each other from opposite sides of the island. It's rather impressive from a scientist's point of view. We aren't done showing you some things though. We've got a bit of a walk to go."

"You'll like what's next, Cleo!" Nai yelled as he ran to me, grabbing me by the arm and trying to pull me to my feet. I chuckled a little and did most of it myself as he said, "You'll love what's at the end!"

I shrugged my shoulders but followed after them as Nai pulled me along by the hand. We walked through a dense forest and I looked at all of the animals that lived there. They all quickly ran when they caught sight of me and I growled a little in frustration. I knew that I was a predator and all, but a part of me wanted to be able to walk up to one of them since this place was new to me. Before long, we began to walk uphill and completely out of the forest until we reached its peak. I gasped when I saw what lay below and grinned before running down there to it.

As far as the eye could see was a dark blue ocean and white sand on the beach that was warm on my feet as I ran towards the water. Once there, I hesitantly dipped a toe in the water that lapped at the beach and gasped at how warm it was. I jumped in the small waves and giggled again as I began to run back and forth, chasing the waves and then turning back when they began to come after me. Karoku yelled that it was the tide and the motion of the water that caused it to crash against the shoreline like that. I didn't really care about the mechanics of it right that second and just ran about in the waves as Nai ran over to do the same. I looked back at Karoku with a big grin on my face and saw him holding something in his hands.

"What is that?" I asked him.

"It's called a camera," he explained. "I figured that it would be a good idea to take a picture of this memory now while it lasts."

"What's a picture?" Nai asked him while at the same time I said, "It's not happening."

"Cleo, don't be so stubborn," he said sternly before answering Nai's question. "A picture is an image in tangible form. So if I take a picture of us, I'll be able to look back at this day as long as the picture lasts."

"Let's take one!" Nai exclaimed happily as he dragged me along.

Karoku walked over and I stood between him and Nai, my arms wrapped around their shoulders as they put an arm around my waist. Karoku held the camera out as far as his arms would allow and told me to actually smile, so I did without once having to fake it. He snapped the picture and then allowed us to run free on the beach for about an hour before he told us it was time to go back to the lab.

After that day, I began to have run ins with the monsters and soon after that, I left to draw them off Nai's scent. The one thing I remembered was that Karoku had managed to sneak a copy of that picture in with a bag of my possessions.

"So there you have it," I said softly, looking at my feet instead of up at Gareki. "That's all of my past, down to the last dirty detail. I'm a monster. Hell, I considered killing Nai just to hurt Karoku back in the day."

"You didn't kill him though," Gareki said as he placed a hand on my head. "Honestly, I don't think that animalistic side of you would have been able to even if you had tried. Nai just has this aura about him that keeps him safe, even from the hardest of people. I do have one question for you."

"Go for it," I told him with a sigh, finally looking up at him.

"If Karoku's older brother is the one to have created you, why did he want to die like me back when we were at the Smoky Mansion?"

"That's easy," I said. "The creation should never attack the creator, whether it's done directly or indirectly. I was becoming a major problem to him and Kafka, so he finally had to decide whether keeping his little destroyer was worth the risk. He made the choice to wait until Nai brought the both of us to him and then attempted to kill two birds with one stone."

"I bet there's something else that you don't want to tell me about," he said.

"That's because it's vile and I would rather pretend that it never happened instead of telling you all about it," I sighed.

"I won't judge you," he told me as his hand on my head slipped down to cup my cheek. "I mean, you didn't once judge me for my past. If it's a part of yours, then I won't look down on you either."

I hesitated but finally nodded after a few seconds. "Well, sometime after my first day outside and before the Varugas came for me… Karoku's older brother appeared. I didn't know what he wanted since I wasn't going to be decommissioned anymore but I soon figured it out when he locked himself in the room with me. He said that I was his and that he was going to have me one way or another, whether it was because he paid scientists to sabotage me or right then. I knew that I wasn't going to be escaping any time soon so I had to fight back. That was when I couldn't control my fire at all and so I had no way of calling it back for me to use. I was just going to have to fight like a cornered animal and those are the most dangerous, so I moved backwards to the back of the room and waited for him to get closer.

"When he ran for me, I quickly dodged him and ran for the door as fast as I could, only to have him grab me by wrapping an arm around my waist and hoisting me into the air. I snarled and dug my claws deeply into his arm before he threw me to the ground. It knocked my breath from my lungs and most people would have waited until they could breathe again but I still tried to escape. He managed to pin me down for only a second before I clawed his chest, forcing him to leap back and that gave me the chance to get away. I ran out the door and hid for days throughout the lab. It took everyone a week before they finally let Nai track me down, which only took him half an hour. I never told anyone what happened that day, especially now that I understand what that man's intentions were."

"But you fought to the bitter end," he told me before hugging me. I still definitely was not used to this affectionate side of him that he only showed to me. "You didn't let him get away with it and that's all that matters."

I let out a tiny sigh before pulling away. "I'm exhausted from all of this. Thank you for hearing my story, but I need to go to bed and get some sleep."

He nodded and we walked together until we reached my room. I told him that he could spend the rest of his time on Airship Two doing whatever he wanted and he informed me that this was what he wanted, following me into the room as I headed to the bed. I curled up under the blankets with him lying next to me, keeping an arm around me as I fell into a restful sleep.