Bitter Betrayal, Sweet Surrender

- Chapter 7 -

Long, dark lashes fluttered lightly before lifting to reveal a pair of sleep-blurred green eyes. Misao took a moment to focus on who was lying beside her, taking in Saitou's angular profile.

So it wasn't a dream. she thought. Somehow the thought wasn't as devestating as it should have been. Taking a moment to replay all that had occured the previous night, Misao reveled in the memory of how good it had felt to be held in Saitou's arms all night. Of the pleasure that he had awakened in her. She heaved a heavy sigh, turning her gaze to the ceiling. It was early, the birds were chirping loudly outside. It reminded her all too well that if Okina or the others saw her now they would be so disappointed.

Strangely, that thought wasn't as awful as it had once seemed to her. Her life was her own to lead she realized now. She alone would have to realize the consequences of her actions, and were there ever consequences. She thought back to that awkward afternoon she'd spoken with Megumi, learning all the specifics of how babies were conceived. That was an all too real possiblity now, but aside from that she also had to face the fact that Saitou could wake up and realize just what a colossal mistake he'd made. And if he did, she wasn't sure she could bear it.

Only one way to find out, she thought with a resigned sigh.

Turning back to the slumbering man beside her, Misao reached a tentative hand out, intent to shake him awake. She paused halfway there, hesitant to actually face a fully awake Saitou. Pulling the hand back, she simply lay there and studied the handsome features before her a moment longer. The angles of his nose and jaw were sharp, but they looked good on him. His lips were thin, but then again they had felt so very, very nice when he had kissed her with them. The wisps of bangs that forever hung in his face, were parted as he lay on his back, and fell at each side of his temples.

He doesn't snore. The random thought came out of nowhere and Misao had to stifled a giggle. Now where had that come from? I have to face the music eventually, she thought finally, sighing. Might as well be sooner than later. This time when the hand reached out, it actually accomplished its task of settling on Saitou's chest. She didn't even get the opportunity to shake him because he was startled awake by her touch. She wondered if that was because of his line of work, but didn't dwell on the thought. His beautiful amber eyes blinked a few times before settling on her.

"You going to sleep all day?" She couldn't think of anything else to say. She was an early riser because of work at the Aoyia, she had to get up and help. It was just barely dawn now - briefly she considered the possiblity he wouldn't like being awakened so early.

He yawned lazily. "Go back to sleep," he ordered, closing his eyes again.

"No way! Get up! You can't spend half the day abed. We have to get out of here anyway. Best to travel early and get a good start."

That seemed to wake him and his gaze centered on her again. "Travel? I have zero intentions of going anywhere for the moment." He stated, then closed his eyes once more.

Misao blinked in surprise. She hadn't expected him to actually want to lay beside her any longer than was needed. But he didn't seem too eager to rise, and oddly enough, she didn't want to either. In fact, she felt the urge to bury herself up against him and lay her head on that broad, bare chest. What would he say? Would he mind? Sigh. Only one way to find out. Ever so slowly, Misao eased closer until her body touched his. He cracked his eyes slightly and glanced at her, but remained quiet. Taking this as permission, Misao moved over completely and felt a tingle of happiness when Saitou stretched out an arm to wrap around her, pulling her to him securely. With a contented sigh, Misao pillowed her head on Saitou's chest and closed her eyes briefly while she listened to his slow, even heartbeat.

"When are we going to leave?" She finally inquired, tentatively.


She frowned. "That's not an answer," she quietly grumbled, but he didn't oblige her with a further reply.

To her surprise, he did seem genuinely tired. If his even breathing was any indication several minutes later he had fallen back asleep. She bit back a wave of irritation. How were they supposed to talk if he was going to sleep? She drifted in her warm haven for a few more minutes before restlessness got the better of her and she slid away. If he woke, he didn't try to stop her and remained quiet, and still with eyes closed. She made quick work of putting her clothes back on, disappointed to find they were damp still. Once she was suitably dressed she took a cursory glance around. There was nothing to warm the room with and that flimsy candle wasn't going to do anything. She looked once more to Saitou, and blinked when she found him awake and watching her. How long had he been staring? She flushed, wondering if he'd watched her dress.

"Uhh," she began, not quite knowing what to say.

She looked into his eyes and gasped at the heated look, so evidently directed at her, true testimony that he had in fact watched her dress. Her breath caught in her throat as he sat up on the futon, the blanket falling into his lap where a very evident bulge was accented beneath.

"Now why'd you go and get dressed, minx? I thought I told you I wasn't ready to leave just yet."

The teasing in his voice was evident, but there was something else as well....a hint of promise.

Clearing her throat, Misao broke away from such an intense stare, not quite sure how to respond.

"Yeah, well who said you were giving orders. I'm telling you, we need to leave."

Perhaps it was the tone of her voice that caused his amusement to die suddenly. "Something bothering you, weasel?"

She kept her back to him. "What could possibly be bothering me?" she asked, wondering if she sounded childish.

She kind of felt that way at the moment, but she was in emotional turmoil. She didn't know what to do or how she was supposed to feel. She didn't even know, not really, what had happened between them last night. What was that? A mistake? Her first experience as a man's mistress? Is that what she would be, his mistress? She could hardly marry now, not in her 'condition'. Worse yet, what if he didn't want anything to happen outside this little hut. This little 'love shack' as it were. Maybe they would leave here and all the memories were to be left as well.

She sighed heavily, feeling lost. How had she ended up here?


The use of her name startled her and she turned to him.


His face, she noted, had the most peculiar expression on it at that moment. As if he were struggling to not laugh and at the same time keeping his temper in check. What was he upset for? What concequence could possibly follow him after this little episode? Finally, the expression left his face as he looked into her own. She knew all the doubts and insecurities she was feeling were plainly visible. She watched as his lips twitched slightly, the corners quirking ever so slightly upward, until finally he was actually smiling. It was like before too, no grin or arrogant smirk. Just a warm and reassuring smile....directed entirely at her.

"Come here, Misao."

The deep voice jolted her from the trance his smile had put her in, and she saw that he was now holding one of his arms outstretched towards her, palm up, beckoning her to rejoin him on the mat. She complied, and he snagged her pulling her down into his embrace. His fingers threaded through her hair as her head bent toward his bare shoulder.

"Worrying over trivialities?" he murmured.

"Do you have to talk down to me all the time? It's not something you can sweep under the rug." she replied a bit indignantly.

He raised one perfect brow, curiously. "I'm not trying to sweep anything. You're the one moping around, refusing to say what's bothering you."

Her head snapped up. "I shouldn't have to spell it out for you!"

Uttering a low groan, Saitou raised his free hand to rub tiredly at the bridge of his nose. "I don't have the patience for beating around the bush, minx, just spit it out." he grumbled. Though he already had an inkling of what was bothering her, he preferred to hear her say it aloud.

After a long, drawn out silence, in which Saitou almost gave up hope of her answering him, she spoke; her voice barely a whisper. If her head hadn't been lying on his chest with her mouth so near his ears, he most likely wouldn't have heard it.


"Hmm?" He glanced down at the top of her head as it lay on his chest.

"Where do we go from here?"

He arched a brow once again in question. "What do you mean, minx?"

He felt her heave a sigh before continuing. "I mean...when we finally do leave here. Where will we go? Off on our own, in different directions, as if this never happened? This isn't so easy for me. you know. I can't just ignore everything that happened."

"Who said anything about ignoring it?"

At his response, Misao's head shot up so fast, that Saitou had to rear his own back to keep from getting hit in the chin. He took in her surprised look, eyes wide and mouth in the shape of a little 'o' and couldn't help but chuckle. Thier eyes met, his peering at her through wispy bangs, her's searching for confirmation that he'd meant what he had said. She looked deep into those amber eyes. Wolf's eyes, she thought vaguely. And there, in the far recess of that molten gaze, she found her answer. And she smiled. Brightly she smiled as she felt a sense of reassurance sweep over her. He doesn't want to forget. He wants to remember, same as me. With that thought, she lowered herself back into his arms and snuggled against him once more.

"Nobody," she sighed, smile not fading in the least. "Nobody at all."

"Hey minx?"

"Hmm?" she murmured, for the moment completely and blissfully content.

"Ever decide whether you wanted to come work for me or not?"

"I don't know," she replied.

He frowned at her indecisiveness. Well, they could talk about that later, he ventured. "On another note - take those damn clothes off. They're damp and cold."

She sat up, looking down at him with a hint of mischief in her eyes. "You want them off so much, why don't you take them off?"

He grinned, a light sparking in his eyes. "My pleasure." he practically growled.

He moved so fast, it took Misao completely off guard. One minute she was lying beside him, her head on his chest. The next, he had flipped them so that she was flat of her back and he hovered above her, much like he had the night before. Misao's own eyes lit up as well, when his hands moved to disrobe her once more.

After she was quite naked and settled in his arms again, Misao said lightly, "You know what, Saitou? I think I may just take you up on that job offer after all."

"Glad to hear it, minx." Saitou replied, unable to hide the smile her words brought to his lips. He tightened his arms ever so slightly around her possessively and nuzzled slightly before planting a soft kiss on the crown of her head. "Glad to hear."

The End