Her eyes opened again and met his, blue clashing with amber, and all he could see in her eyes was love for him, something he hadn't truly trusted himself to believe in again. Again, his hips repeated their actions, but this time Kaoru moved with him, her legs drawing up around his waist. Languorous turned frantic, and soon Kaoru found herself being pushed back over that same edge again, but this time, she took Kenshin with her.

Kenshin's eyes slid closed for the first time, and he let himself go, finally letting pleasure take over his body, enjoying the feel. He collapsed on top of Kaoru, where they stayed until morning, when they would get up and renew their search.

Morning seemed to come far too quickly for Kaoru, who not only dreaded to see if her deep-seated fear had become reality, she worried that Kenshin now hated her, but also because her tired body, first keyed up due to her attack, then sated by Kenshin, had not had nearly enough time to rest. She wasn't entirely sure she understood all of what had happened between herself and Kenshin over the past few days, but she knew she had to find out, knew she had to find the key to unlocking Kenshin's mind, so she could see all his secrets within.

Unwittingly, her eyes forced themselves open, only for her to turn her head, and thus her nose, towards the smell of Kenshin cooking fish over a fire. Kami only knew how long he had been awake already.

As though feeling her gaze on him, he looked up and gave a cat-like smile, not of the rurouni, but, unless she missed her mark, not quite of the Battousai either. "Hungry, Kaoru?" Staring stupidly at him, it took a few moments for his voice to break through to her befuddled mind, and yet longer for her to form a response.

As she was about to speak, her stomach rumbled, as though impatient with her long response time. Lifting an eyebrow, Kenshin looked back down at the fire, and at the fish he held over the fire on thin branches. "It's not much, but it will hold you over till we reach a village… if we do."

It was Kaoru's turn to flash a look his direction. "Well, thanks to me, I remembered some hard cakes…" She trailed off, realizing she had no idea where her pack was. Glancing out over the lake, then looking back to Kenshin, he caught her eye and gesture to the left of him, farther up on the beach, closer to the trees.

She stood up quickly, and then realized that beneath the clothes Kenshin had laid on top of her, she was completely naked, and completely exposed for Kenshin to see. This time in the daylight. Feeling the heat of Kenshin's stare on her body, she looked back at him.

"I would suggest that you put on some clothes quickly, that I would." Unlike the inflection of the rurouni, Kenshin's tone implied that to do otherwise would be dangerous, and a serious temptation of fate. Hurrying over to her pack, she drew out a fresh set of clothes and donned them as quickly as possible before turning back around to face Kenshin once again.

"The fish is done." He held out on of the branches he held to her, and, walking towards him, she took the branch, trying hard to keep from touching him, but as soon as she had the branch in her hand, he grabbed her wrist and stared intently into her face, knowing what she was avoiding. "It will not be like that between us." Assuming a haughty look, Kaoru wrenched her wrist away from Kenshin and sat across from him before looking him in the face.

"Despite what you think, Kenshin, you are not my master, nor are you my husband. And if I so chose, I will act however I see fit."

"Ah, because that's done you so well up until now. No, Kaoru, you will-" Already she cut him off.

"No. You will listen to me: I took YOU in when you had no home, I took Yahiko in, I've fed you both, clothed Yahiko to the best of my ability, I have done as best as I could. I will not be your whore, and I will not simply obey any command you see fit to give." Staring down at her fish, she missed the anger boiling up in him.

"It has never been my intention to make you my whore. However, you will do as I say, because out here, you do not know what you are up against." Holding up a hand to halt her impending onslaught, he continued, "We will discuss this further when we are back at the dojo once more, however, until then, you will listen to me, because I have every intention of keeping you safe." He paused to stare into her eyes for a moment, and found himself laughing. "We are well matched, you and I." Shaking his head, he gave up explaining and talking her into it. He'd simply have to physically ensure she listened to him. "Eat, we leave as soon as we are done."

Okay, this is a short update, but I haven't updated this story in three and a half years. I had to write a little to refresh my memory on this story. I wonder, however, if any who originally read this story in the beginning are reading this now. Let me know, I'd be interested to see who read this so long ago. And, one more thing: I wasn't ignoring writing: I went into the Navy. Go figure. So most of my time was taken up then. I finally figured out my password, which is awesome, because I've always wanted to finish this story. For those who are interested, let me know what you think, what you like, what you hate, and if anyone has any ideas for where this should go, let me know. I don't write with a fixed idea in mind, generally, I start with an idea and work from there. God knows where this could end up.