OK, so I lied. :) Pain, Joy, Life hasn't ended.
Sequel to Pain, Joy, Life
Dhampire- Half human, half vampire. With the powers of a vampire, but able to survive daylight and no fears of religious objects, these beings are often regarded as more powerful than either parent.

Twilight Sky
I have always slept alone.

Looking out at the twilight sky, with no moon, only bright stars, I knew tried not to think about being lonely. 'The sky never changes. I wish something would change. Just once.' I can remember seeing the phases of the moon as they waxed and waned, growing and shrinking with the passage of time. But here, in this glorious limbo, there was no time. No moon, no sun, no clouds or even seasons to mark the passage of any kind of time. We long ago stopped trying, though Rajura still kept an hourglass in his chambers.

"Time is an illusion." He once told us, but never bothered to explain himself. Rajura was weird like that. He often said strange things but didn't think it was important to explain.

This world is beautiful, like a painting. Frozen and perfect, it can't help but be beautiful. The sky is a lovely shade of purple and the swamps that stretch out into the horizon glimmer under the pale light of the stars. There are animals, but they're silent and the silence of is almost deafening. Sometimes, the silence gets so bad, so maddening, that we fight just to hear the noise of our weapons clashing. We've yelled and screamed just to relieve the quiet and we often ride the horses to lose ourselves in the sounds of their hooves beating against the ground.

'We' who, you ask?

Well, one of them is laying on my bed and he won't get up. Damn, but he's stubborn.

"Naaza? Wake up." I walked over to him and knelt on my bed next to him, shaking Naaza's shoulder but he didn't even open his eyes. I KNOW he's awake! "Come on, you lazy sloth. Get up! You have to leave now, Naaza." He didn't show any signs that he was going to get up and even pulled the blanket up so that only his shocking green hair was showing.

"Nope." Naaza yawned under the blanket and I could feel thought our link that he was trying to sink deeper into sleep. "I'm staying. You've got a comfy bed." He turned on one side and cuddled into my pillow, his fists holding the blanket tightly.

I sighed. 'Why does he have to make this difficult?' "No, you're not." I stood up and, after walking to the other side of the bed, picked him up. For all that Naaza is a fine warrior, he's smaller than I am and much slimmer. That makes it easier to carry him.

"We going somewhere?" Naaza lazily opened his outer eyelids just a bit, before closing them again and cuddling into my chest. At least he doesn't seem like he's going to fight. Naaza was in a hazy, I could feel, and really didn't know what was going on other than the fact that he's just been taken from somewhere pleasantly warm and was now being carried. Naaza wrapped his arms around me. It was always like this after I'd fed from him. He always acted like he was drunk, which was rather odd as I'd never even seen him take a drink as long as we'd known each other.

"Back to your bed, sweet." I whispered. I carried him out of my room and started down the hallway with him. Naaza held onto me loosely, without any concern that I'd drop him.

Naaza turned his head slightly. "Wanna stay with you." I could feel, though our link, that he was starting to fall asleep. His hand moved lower, down my upper arm and slid it under my robe.

He always said the same thing, but I put it down to the lingering affect of giving me blood. "Not safe, remember?" I patted his hair lovingly and held him tighter. Naaza preferred the warmth to the cold I constantly kept my chambers. If I let him stay the whole day with me, he'd be very unhappy with me in the morning. It might even make him sick, from what Sh'ten told me.

Naaza yawned. "You stay with me, then. I don't want to be alone." I felt that he finally fell asleep after the whispered invitation.

I didn't bother answering and even if he had been awake, I know I wouldn't have bothered. It wasn't a wise idea and we both knew it. Naaza wasn't thinking straight right now or he wouldn't have suggested it. I paused outside of his chambers and then, kept walking down the hallway. The next door down was Rajura's room and I entered without even knocking, I could tell that Rajura was half asleep anyway and announced myself in his mind.


Rajura roused himself briefly. WHAT DO YOU WANT? He was always surly when he woke up.


The room was dark, Rajura had pulled the curtain down to keep the light out from the endless twilight that lit the Youja Kai, and I went to Rajura's bedside. Unlike my large bed, Rajura slept on a Japanese style thick mat on the floor. Kneeling by his side, I saw Rajura peel open his one eye and he let out a yawn before rolling over to give Naaza room on the mat. I set Naaza down, who was still fast asleep, and leaned over to give Rajura a kiss on the cheek of thanks.

YOU WANT TO STAY? Rajura asked, lifting a hand to caress my cheek. THERE'S ALWAYS ROOM FOR MORE. There was a teasing quality to his voice, but I knew he was serious. As far as Rajura was concerned, the more the merrier when it came to sleeping together. Not necessarily sex, but just sleeping together. Touching and the comfort knowing each other was only a breath away was very appealing.


PITY. He reached over Naaza and put a hand on my arm. HAVE YOU FED ENOUGH?


But I could tell it wasn't Naaza that Rajura was worried about. Our own resident mother hen was worried about me and he let me know. I pulled away from his hand and stood, quickly going the door. Rajura didn't follow, but he let me know his room, and bed, were always open to me.

I shook my head after closing the door behind me. How can I let myself do anything of the kind when I know what will happen if I wake up with other people around?

Pity. It might be nice, just once, to wake up next to someone.

I went back to my room, a strange European style in the Japanese palace Arago preferred. My fatigue was starting to bring me down quickly and I knew I had to get prepared to rest before I keeled over right where I stood. I bolted the door of my chambers closed before closing the windows with heavy wooden shutters and locked on the inside. It's not the sunlight that I'm worried about. All of these precautions are to keep a certain someone out while I'm resting.

I've never liked this room much. It seemed like such a cold room. Not just the temperature, but it was just so...quiet. Everything was so quiet and still. I've been living in these chambers for so many years that they all blend together. I shook my head and tried to get rid of the depressing thoughts. Maybe I'm getting sentimental in my old age.

Finally, I crawled into bed, pulling the heavy blankets over me, and cuddled into the pillow. A fire was blazing in the large, marble fireplace across the room from my bed, but still the coldness just seemed to deep for the fire to burn away. The blankets didn't help much, but it was better than nothing.

Maybe if I could fall asleep, I would dream that someone was sleeping next to me, keeping me warm. Yeah, it would be nice to have someone sleep beside me...just once.
Anubis' dream-
The beast within me woke before I did and the gnawing thirst of it burned inside me for just an instant before I was entirely awake.

I came to my senses with the taste of blood on my tongue and I could feel my fangs brushing against my lips. The room slowly came into focus around me, but, most notably, the body in my arms. I was, strangely, kneeling on the floor of my room with a body in my arms.

The boy was broken.

'Shit!' I thought, lowering him to the floor so he could lay flat. 'Who the Hell is this kid?' I tried to get hold of my beast, but it was still fighting for another taste of the boy's blood. I can feel the boy, now. He sort of tickles my mind, like Rajura and Naaza, but I don't know this...wait a minute! Naaza said he was going to bring another brother warrior back to us, didn't he? I shook my head as I tried to clear the fog from my mind. 'He tasted so sharp. Like cinnamon.'

I can feel his blood running though me, affecting my mind and senses, I can feel his curiosity at being brought to this new world, his almost naïve belief at how invincible he is, and strong desires he keeps buried deep inside. I slowly reach out to pet the boy's brilliant red hair

The smell of his blood is so strong, intoxicating and overpowering, but...strangely, I'm not hungry. In his blood, I can taste his love of life. There was blood everywhere, on me, the floor, my bed, and coating the boy's chest and face. I couldn't feel the hunger; I must have fed deeply from him. Perhaps to deeply.

HELP ME! I cried out into our collective mind, forcing myself to ignore the free feast before me. SOMEONE! I tried not to panic, but I don't know how bad this is. There is no one here except those that Emperor Arago wants here and if I've just killed the boy...

His neck was twisted at an unnatural angle and I knew any normal person would be dead. 'He's not just anyone, he won't die!' I thought desperately, even as I felt Rajura and Naaza rushing through the palace to help.

WHAT HAPPENED? Rajura demanded through our link and I knew he and Naaza were running to my chambers from where they'd woken up.

THERE'S SOME RED HEADED KID IN MY ROOM AND BLOOD EVERYWHERE...I couldn't help it; the boy shouldn't have been in my chambers before I woke up fully! Rajura and Naaza should have told the boy, should have warned him that he was going to be living with a dhampire.

DON'T PANIC. Naaza tells me in his usual calm voice. THAT'S SH'TEN. I TOLD HIM TO KEEP AWAY FROM YOU UNTIL YOU WOKE UP. Naaza's voice sounded irritated more than everything. THE KID'S STILL ALIVE, ISN'T HE?

YES. I answered, hearing the boy's pulse beating weakly in his veins. BUT ONLY JUST. I THOUGHT I LOCKED THE DOOR SO THIS WOULDN'T HAPPEN.


The boy's, Sh'ten's, eyes were closed and he was so still. Even so damaged, the boy was beautiful with long red hair spread out around him like a halo and sharp angular features. I can't even remember hurting him; I never remember the first few minutes after I wake.

The boy's slanted green eyes blinked up at me. Slowly, he smiled, showing a where one of his teeth was missing. "That was...nice."

"HELP!" I screamed again, both out loud and in my mind.

Rajura and Naaza rushed into the room at that moment and Rajura pulled me away from Sh'ten so Naaza could work.

"That idiot." Rajura muttered, looking at Sh'ten while he kept his arms around me. "I think he's going to need a few lessons in listening to his elders."

"He won't listen." Naaza said, examining all the wounds I'd given Sh'ten. "He's to in love with risk." Naaza then did something I am amazed at every time he does it. This was neither the first nor the last time I'd seen Naaza healing, but I find it fascinating. Naaza kissed Sh'ten. Well, that's what it looked like, anyway.

Naaza put his mouth on Sh'ten's throat where I must have bitten him and when he leaned back to examine his work, I could see that though there was still a lot of blood, the wound was gone. Naaza kissed Sh'ten's mouth next, this time I knew Naaza was sticking his tongue in Sh'ten mouth and when he was done, Sh'ten's tooth had re-grown. Naaza repeated this for all the more minor scrapes and injuries, leaving behind nothing but a slight amount of salvia. I expect that there's something in Naaza's spit that acts as an incredible healing aid, but I don't know what it is. Strangely, this power doesn't come from his yoroi, but rather, is a natural ability. He's been able to do this for as long as he can remember.

After he was finished, Naaza picked up Sh'ten, who was still only barely awake. He's so small. Sh'ten's even smaller than Rajura, who had been the smallest of us all. "I hope you listen next time."

"Not likely." Sh'ten whispered back before turning to cast me an appreciative glance. "I think I'm going to like it here."
End Dream-
I woke I a heave sweat, a thin sheen of blood coating my skin, and I was hungry. The cold was seeped into my bones, making me shake violently. Perhaps it was only from the dream of feeding, but I needed to feed and get blood to warm myself. NOW! I jumped out of my bed and nearly broke down the door in an effort to get out and find some warm, fresh blood. I could practically taste Sh'ten's spicy blood on my tongue!

Sh'ten was in his chambers, but I just can't take the time to walk that far! He felt my thirst and I could feel how disappointed he was that I wasn't coming to him. He'll just have to deal with it, because Rajura's room is closer.

Naaza was still asleep when I got to Rajura's room, Naaza looks so cute when he sleeps, but I don't dare take anymore from him. I could only take a little from each of them, or I'd end up killing them. Even now, I'd only taken a few mouthfuls so I wouldn't incapacitate any of them. It wasn't good to have one of them sleep for several weeks at a stretch.

I walked around Rajura's thick mattress and leaned over him. His arm was thrown over Naaza's chest and his head pressed against Naaza's shoulder. Rajura was deeply asleep and only starting to wake now that I was here. "What...?" Rajura blinked awake and then noticed I was here. "Have you reconsidered?"

I didn't speak as I kissed him. His skin tastes sweet and Rajura didn't resist when I put my arms around him. He's the most gentle, agreeable lover I've ever known, willing to do almost anything to please. His talent with illusions was often useful, but he never used them when making love. I certainly don't think he needed them. Rajura's hands are soft and gentle, like the experienced caring lover he is, Rajura sees to my needs before his own.

"Just a little, Anubis." Rajura whispered, for fear of waking Naaza. "I have work to do later and I can't be to tired." Of course he knew why I was here, he could probably feel my hunger deep in his dreams and was waiting for me.

This wasn't exactly making love, in the usual sense, but it was as close as I normally got. I pulled Rajura close he looked me trustingly in the eyes. With very little effort, I dulled his senses, so he wouldn't feel the pain so badly, but heightened his sense of pleasure.

For a short while, we just lay there, holding each other, but my beast was gaining control and I knew from experience it was best to feed the beast before I no longer had a choice.

I kissed Rajura's throat and nuzzled the sensitive area at the joining of his shoulder and neck. He smelled wonderful, of lilacs and the summer wind. I found the area I was looking for, the large, pulsating vein on his neck where his blood thundered temptingly close to the surface. The rhythm was intoxicating and I licked the spot I'd chosen, more to warn Rajura than anything else.

I bit deeply and heard Rajura moan softly while his blood poured into my mouth. It tasted rich, creamy, but filling my mind with the scent of lilacs. For a few minutes, I drank, reveling in the sensation of Rajura helpless in my hands, before I let him go.

I gently set Rajura's head back on his pillow and then leaned over to lick the wound I'd given him. The lick sealed the wound so I knew he wouldn't bleed to death while I was gone. It took a lot of will power not to continue feeding, but I'd had plenty of time to discipline myself in the past centuries. When I sat back and looked at him, Rajura smiled and touched my arm. "You can have more later. I promise." He whispered softly before falling back asleep, exhausted.

Next stop was to find Sh'ten, my all too willing friend. Sh'ten was one who never refused me, who wanted desperately to find pain in my touch. He was lots of fun to play with.

My red haired brother, youngest of us all, was still awake, writing at his desk, working on the same thing he'd been working on for centuries. The same thing that now had most of his chambers cluttered with scrolls of his writing. He'd never let any of us read any of his work and Rajura, always curious about secrets, called Sh'ten a selfish brat because of this. There was a candle burning on Sh'ten's desk and he wrote with a well-worn quill and a diminishing pot of black ink.

"I'm hungry." I told Sh'ten bluntly before he'd even turned around to look at me. Sh'ten hardly deigned to turn toward me, but he did set down his quill.

"You've all ready been to Rajura and Naaza." Sh'ten stated coldly. "You didn't want to see me earlier." There was a definite hurt tone to his voice. Yes, our little demon had sensitive feelings.

I shrugged and boldly stepped into my general's chambers. This was apart of the game Sh'ten enjoyed, the chase. He wanted to make me fight for my meals and, if I was good to him, hurt him in the process. It was sort of a bargain. He wouldn't sneak in my room if I promised to hurt him a little. Weird, but that's Sh'ten for you. Of course, Sh'ten tended to forget our little promise if I forgot to lock my door.

Sh'ten stood and tried not to smirk as I came closer to him. His writing was all ready safely put away, he wasn't willing to risk damaging it for any reason, not even sex. I can tell he's been looking forward to this for a little while.

"I'm tired, Anubis. I don't want to play tonight." His actions were saying something entirely different, though. Sh'ten had pushed in his chair, to give me room to charge, and he stood with his hands clasped behind his back to show how defenseless he could look. He looked at me though half lidded eyes, peering out from under his red eyelashes. Damn! The boy was a world class killer, had killed thousands in his life as a warrior. How could he still manage to look like a sweet, innocent child? His dark, playful thoughts echoed in my mind, COME CATCH ME, MY DARKNESS.

Well, it's his game; I'll play it his way. "I can make you feel more...energetic, pretty demon." I took another step toward him and untied one of the ties of my robe. "I know such lovely games." His eyes lingered on my chest before he sprinted away from me.

And the chase began. With me treading just behind his heels, Sh'ten ran all over his chambers, grinning madly while I made half-hearted grabs at him. All in all, it was a merry chase that went from around the room, to jumping over the bed, down a hallway, back into Sh'ten's chambers. It ended with me catching him by a length of his long hair and throwing him down on the floor on his belly. Sh'ten struggled wildly, all most as if he really wanted to get away, but his mind said, WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH ME NOW, YAMI?

BEAT YOU SENSELESS, IF YOU'RE GOOD. I promised while I leaned down and licked one of his ears before biting it.

Sh'ten quivered under me and I knew I'd hit his sensitive spot. Pain was an aphrodisiac where he was concerned. I sat on his back, pinning him to the ground while I shoved his face into the hard stone floor. Sh'ten grunted and closed his eyes for an instant. I punched him in the back a few times to stop him from struggling.

MORE, Sh'ten whispered into my mind. HARDER.

I replied by grabbing him by the hair again and lifting his head up at an awkward, painful angle. "More? Shall I rip out your hair by the roots? Perhaps you'd prefer to be whipped?" As if I'd ever hurt his beautiful hair or mar his ivory skin with whip scars!

Sh'ten could barely stop a smile while I spoke and his mind radiated pleasure at the images I was creating. He leaned his head back further to increase the pain in his neck, until he could barely breathe.

Well, this has gone on long enough. I let my true nature take a hold of me and felt the hunger come at me full force. My fangs were itching and he was so close.

YES. Sh'ten thought happily. TEAR MY THROAT OUT, LIKE YOU DID BEFORE! It seemed the memory of that first encounter would never be far from his mind. I saw myself in his memory; gleaming eyes and long fangs attack him without warning when I woke hungry. It had been a long time ago, but Sh'ten relishes that time when I'd come within inches of killing him. I literally had ripped his throat, savagely tearing at him with my teeth while my hands ripped his body apart. Sh'ten thinks back on that memory fondly.

I leaned down, still holding him firmly by the hair and had time to turn his head and kiss him, my fangs touching his pale, bare neck...

"Sh'ten!" Arago's voice rang out through the palace. "Report to me at once!"

"Damn." Sh'ten groaned in disappointment. I let Sh'ten sag to the floor and rolled off him, sitting beside him as I forced my hunger aside. No one can disobey Arago and it would only make things hard for Sh'ten if I made him irritate Arago. Sh'ten pounded on the floor with his fists. "Damn! Damn! Damn! I just want one night without that sack of hot air bothering me!"

Sh'ten lay on his stomach for a moment before he sat up and straightened his hair with his hands. "It was a good chase." He rubbed his cheek were a bruise was all ready forming. "We'll finish it later." Sh'ten kissed me, for a long passionate moment. "I know you don't like my little fantasies, but thank you for indulging me."

I nodded and watched him leave.

I'm still hungry.
Evil Little god of Writing: "Hot Damn! I love Sh'ten! And Anubis gets all the action!"

Lil' Demoness: Scratches her head, a little puzzled. "Well...I suppose that could be considered a loving relationship if you look at it in the right way."

Evil Little god of Writing: "Don't ruin the story for me."

Lil' Demoness: "So, cousin D, what does this have to do with the first chapter? I thought this story was about Ryo."

cousin D: "You didn't think I could leave the Ma-Sho out of the story for long, did you? This has everything to do with the first story, just wait until the next chapter."
Till next time...