Trish moaned. The pain in her abdomen was not specifically sharp, but it was a constant, irritating ebb. She could take it. She HAD to take it. She had undergone extreme pain before when she was serving Mundus; pain was no stranger to her.

But it was the blood, all that blood gushing out, which frightened her. Seeing her own life's blood spewing out uncontrollably made her wonder what was wrong with her. Perhaps that lightening bolt she took in place of Dante had caused some internal bleeding? If so, why hadn't she bled, during those four months after the incident?

Finally Trish couldn't take it any more. "Dante," she whispered hoarsely. She cleared her throat.

"Dante!" A more forceful outtake of breath. A slender hand gripped the side of her worn bed. Tired, leaden limbs propped her up. Her stomach felt so bloated. She felt a slight wave of dizziness, followed by a bout of nausea. Thankfully, her muscled legs managed to walk her down narrow stairs, to Dante's living room.

"Dante, I---" Trish faltered, unable to admit that she was hurt, possibly dying.

A chair swiveled around to face her, and icy blue eyes met hers. "Trish? What's up? You sound weird."

Trish shook her head slowly. "Help me." Blond hair fell over her eyes, and Trish felt grateful that her hair shielded them from Dante's view, thus blocking emotions she possibly couldn't allow Dante to read. She hated appearing weak. Especially in front of this formidable man.

"Hey, what's wrong?" Dante, with the agile speed of a predator, leaped up from his chair and dashed to her side. His strong, warm hands steadied her trembling shoulders. "Trish?" A soft enquire.

"I'm bleeding, Dante."

The reply startled the man. Alarm and concern saturated his clear eyes. "Where?" he asked, despite his incredible ability to smell where the source of bleeding was. He did not, though. His mother, he vaguely remembered, once explained that smelling people was a sign of disrespect, of invading their privacy. One could find out what a person has been doing, merely by scenting out the person(s)' emotions, or lingering odours associated to whatever task the person(s)' had been doing.

Trish felt a blush creep up her pale cheeks.

Dante's sensitive nose caught the faint whiff of blood. His demon side stirred, ever so blood thirsty, its lust unquenchable. But this wasn't ordinary blood.

It was. . .a woman's blood. Dante froze for a split second, and stepped back. He laughed, partially relieved, partially embarrassed. Silver bangs fell back, brushing his cheeks.

Trish stepped back as well, surprised by the abrupt change in his demeanor. "What is it?" Irritability cloaked her words.

"Trish, tell me, did it happen last month?"

The strange question caught her off guard. "Well, I---no." She stammered.

A silver eyebrow arched delicately. "Nor the month before? Or the month before the month before?"


"Hmmm. . .you might be a late starter."

"A late what? What are you talking about, you mutt? I'm bleeding to death here, and you're not doing anything except ask stupid questions."

Definite anger there.

"Whoa, calm down, babe," Dante laughed. "A trip to the nearest London Drugs will solve this."