AN: Originally, a very talented friend of mine took the liberty to write a large portion of this chapter for me. Because it is her work, I did my best to let as much remain in tact that I could while still keeping the flow of the story. Thank you to Chaos for helping. She has long since left , but I have always and ever been grateful for her help.

That said, I still had to butcher a lot of this. The kissing scene is gone. It does not work with the set up that is going now.

Warnings: Slight Lime content, if one could even call it such.

I Am...

Chapter 6: Bewildered

Her heart was pounding her chest. This man knew her name. This man had her pinned in her own apartment, heedless of the surveillance cameras she knew were there, and she was two steps away from being completely naked.

"Don't scream."

Instead of panic, she was angry. Angry that he would assume she might, angry at the situation. He seemed to sense her rage and the amused chuckle that escaped him only angered her further. Her back hit the wall faster than she could keep up with, almost knocking the wind out of her. But what truly made her breathless was the pair of glinting amber eyes staring at her and the cross-like scar she could barely make out in the dark.

Her wide-eyed gaze said it all. 'I know who you are.'

He smiled at her. 'And I know who you are.'

She was glad to be back in her little home now. Showering had been a necessity to get the smells off, and now she needed to relax. That they had known someone would be there bothered her, but Soujiro said he would give the report himself. There was no need for her to stay.

She almost found the dismissive statement angering, but she chose to just take it for what it was and leave. She was too easily riled up these days, especially by him. She was not sure what infuriated her about him, just that it did.

What better time for introspection and reflection? Well, plenty of better times, but Misao was too antsy to go to sleep. Stepping out of her shower in a terrycloth bathrobe, she pondered on what to wear, before sliding on a white halter top and black panties. She was grateful she had been allowed to get some clothing of her own, because she did not like sleeping in much to begin with.

Rummaging around in her kitchenette, she found the glass she was looking for with little effort and the bottle she had left sitting out from some previous night. Whipped vodka was a guilty pleasure, one she should not have been drinking straight, but she really did not care. Hopefully it would help her relax.

Her thoughts drifted back to Soujiro. Sure, he was talented. That was a given. He knew it, too. She was certain some of her frustration stemmed from that. She hated that kind of arrogance. Every man she had known had been like that. It drove her up a wall. He was... well, he was cute. That probably didn't help either. It was simply a defense mechanism to bully him because of it. That smile drove her crazy. It always hid what he was thinking. She lived by her emotions, was fueled by them. He was her polar opposite in that regard, which bothered her.

How could one even live like that?

She had not even realized the glass was empty until she was already on her path back to the kitchen for the next round. Although small, she had a fair amount of liquor tolerance, but even still she probably did not need to drink too much. Determined to limit herself to one more glass only, she put the bottle away after refilling and proceeded to pad back across the room and over to the armchair that hung out in the middle of the living area. The half-naked girl reclined lazily in the seat, her slender pearl-hued legs hooked on one of the arms as she settled into a comfortable sprawl, nursing her drink much more slowly this time. One leg swung, kicking off the side of the huge seat.

"Hmm..." Now finally relaxing and cooling off for the first time in days, she she shut her eyes, letting the alcohol hit her. Her mind wandered, not staying on any one thought for very long, and leaving her feeling warm and fuzzy.

She was so caught up by her midnight drink, Misao missed the quiet knock on the door.

The tapping increased but the hushed noise was lost to the young woman as she stood, humming softly as she strode into the bathroom, pushing the door almost closed.

The knocking turned to loud rapping but the faucet she had twisted on and left running drowned out the sound.

Finally, the doorknob turned slowly then continued onwards in a full circle as the lock did not catch.

"Misao?" Soujiro glanced around, frowning inwardly as he kept his smile plastered onto his face. Really, had she left the door unlocked again? Where had she gone? He frowned, glancing around. The heat was on, blowing softly and creating a soft blanket as he padded around, trying to figure out if she truly was not there. Puzzled, he scratched at his hawkish nose with a slender finger, when he realized part of the sound he was hearing was not the central heat.

At that moment the bathroom door flung back open and on instinct he melted into the shadows cloaking the far corner of her quarters. His eyes widened to see the lack of clothing she had on, even more so than earlier that night. Her damp hair had bled through the top, making the rosy tips of her breasts peek through, and the black panty she wore rode high on her hips, showing off toned muscle and creamy flesh.

He swallowed as his eyes were drawn to certain parts of her anatomy. The man known as Tenken watched in appreciation as the woman who had been named his partner meandered back into the living area. Soujiro realized that she was coming close to him, and he needed to escape.

She twisted around and sprawled out provocatively on the cushion of her chair, half dressed and utterly inviting. His eyes drew down to the juncture between her legs as she rolled her neck, glass in hands and eyes closed.

He felt hot, more than he should have, and he almost wished he could just step forward and help loosen some of the stiffness in those muscles she was now flexing and stretching. Realizing that line of thought he swallowed again, nervousness battling with lust. If she knew he was in here she would try to kill him every day for the rest of his life. And after seeing her ability with pointed projectiles, he was not interested in taking such chances.

Misao moaned softly, stretching out her tired body as she took another sip of the slowly depleting liquor.

The graceful movements of the young woman in front of him struck Soujiro in a way he had never thought could be possible before. Like a blade of overwhelming sensation had found his beating heart and stabbed deep.

Said untouchable heart skipped a beat as Misao tossed her waterfall of hair over her shoulder. Tossing back the damp locks bared the pale column of her throat, and made the supple curves showing through her shirt that much more noticeable. He really needed to leave before he did something he regretted.

Oblivious, Misao continued her little show, loosening the knots in her muscles and easing the aches in her bones. By this point, she was half asleep, her mind a pleasant haze of half-formed thoughts and completely unaware of how she had coaxed a burning ache in the loins of the Tenken, who stood in the shadows watching her ardently.

Misao sighed, running a hand over her thigh before tipping back the last gulp of vodka. A droplet ran down the corner of her mouth and her neck, and she wiped at it, before licking her finger clean of the liquid.

If he did not leave now, he was going to ravage her.

Eyes lifted to the door, debating on if he could make it past her without giving her a clue. The door was shut, which was the hardest part. He rocked his weight back slightly and froze when he brushed against the blinds over the window, the gentle noise of them clacking together startling Misao from her daze.

She turned her head to him and her eyes widened in shock when they met his. With an undignified squeak, she flailed and tried to sit up, losing her balance in the process. She closed her eyes, expecting to land roughly on the floor... Only to freeze as she was caught up into the cradle of slim but strong arms.

Tilting her head back, she found herself staring into Soujiro's face, and the light tinge on her cheeks blossomed into dark crimson at his close proximity and the hooded look he was giving her.

Soujiro was breathing shallowly, wondering why he had not just let her fall and took that opportunity to escape. Except she had seen him, and now he was in a worse situation, holding her close, half naked and utterly enticing. He swallowed again, and watched her eyes drop down to his Adam's apple.

She licked her lips and he felt some of his control waver, his grip tightening on her just a hair. He had not yet changed from the job, and still smelled faintly of smoke and sweat, and with all the alcohol in her system, she really could not find it in her to care.

"Why..." She started, eyes flickering over his face, "Are you holding me?"

He could not help the slight grin that tugged at his lips even though the roughness in his belied his amusement, "You were falling."


He pulled himself from his crouch, taking her with him, and she made a startled noise, her fingers clutching at him. He chuckled softly and deposited her back on the chair, words coming out hurriedly and quietly. "Came to tell you something, but I think I will wait until the morning. Good night, Misao."

Before she could even reply he was gone, the door clicking shut behind her.

She blinked blearily, before annoyance flared up and she pushed herself to her feet. Turning, she almost bumped into the coffee table before noting her glass sitting on the corner of it. She made a face. "Didn't that fall?"

Outside the door, Soujiro ran a hand through his hair. Seducing his partner was not on his to-do list. He sighed. His hormones were telling him that it needed to be.

Kaoru stared at the man before him, before she narrowed her eyes. She knew those features, she knew who he was. And he expected her to do so, too. "You do realize this entire apartment is rigged, right?"

He smiled dangerously. "Right now they are seeing a one-minute loop on their cameras. To them, you are still sleeping. There is no audio."

Her brows disappeared under her bangs. To have that kind of hack into Yukishiro's systems... this man had way more leverage than he had let on. "What do you want with me?" She hissed.

He canted his head to the side. "Your help."

"Oh really? Showing up in the middle of the night and assaulting me sure is setting a great first impression, Battousai," She growled, and much to her dismay he laughed softly.

"Sorry." He did not sound it.

She made a disgruntled noise and wiggled under his hold again. He let go of her, backing up. He was not much taller than her, dressed in all black with long red hair pulled back into a braid. His bangs messily covered his face. His eyes flickered down then back up, "Would you like to put on clothes?"

Spitting a vulgarity, Kaoru stepped into the bathroom and yanked the bathrobe off the hook and wrapped it around her, glaring at him. "Now what exactly do you want me to do? I am not at liberty to just take off and abandon my post."

"I know." He trotted after her as she returned to the main part of her apartment. She took a seat on the edge of her bed, crossing shapely legs. He would have been a liar if he said he did not appreciate the scene. "I can use you against Yukishiro."

The set of her jaw suggested she did not like his words. "Interesting. I think you might could use my help against Yukishiro, but you cannot use me. Got it?"

The rumble in his voice as he replied suggested he was laughing at her. "Yes, ma'am."

She pinned him with a look, "Now what is it you think I can do for you? You have already proven to have very capable resources."

He nodded, crossing his arms and leaning against the wall. "You will be close to him. I can use that to my advantage."

"Do you not have the means to kill him as you are? You practically flaunted your cleverness last week."

"I cannot kill him yet. It would be... detrimental to things. Soon, though. And you can help me do it."

She arched a brow at him and he nodded. "You have three cameras in this apartment. The first angles here, catching the front door and the kitchen. The second looks down the hall to the bathroom and your bed. The last one covers the living area." He paused and then stood, moving across the room. "Your blind spots are limited." He paused, glancing in the little hallway. "Your bathroom and closet are safe." He glanced back at her. "Not much else."

She nodded slowly, watching him as he moved back across the floor. "Everything is tapped, too." She caught the phone he tossed to her. "I will only use that in two scenarios. The first is that you are not being watched and I can freely communicate to you. That will not happen often, knowing how he works."

He watched her quietly. "The other will be if your life is in grave danger, and you need to get out."

Kaoru glanced down at the phone and then back up at him. "Doesn't sound like much opportunity for communication," She murmured softly.

He tilted his head before walking up to her and holding his hand out. "Take off your robe."

She looked as if she bit into a sour lemon, and he arched a brow. "I am not," She hissed.

"Take off your robe. If you do not, they are going to realize something is up when the cameras go live."

She paused at this, before sighing irritably and pulling the fabric from her body, thrust it into his hand. He walked off to replace the material, calling out to her, "Lie down."

Kaoru did not like how he had taken to ordering her around, but found herself complying anyway, albeit with much frustration.

He returned a moment later and watched her quietly before moving to stand beside her bed. Reaching out, his callused fingers caught her wrist, and she stiffened. He ignored her, moving her hand to a different angle. "You were like this when you were asleep. Shift your hips to the left. Good."

She sighed, and he let go of her, eyes meeting hers. "Two minutes, then the cameras will be live. I will return soon. Until then, stay alive."

'Easier said than done,' Kaoru thought bitterly. She watched him drop the phone he had given her into purse before she closed her eyes and listened to him leave.

Things had just gotten a whole lot more complicated.