Well...another one shot that has more KK lime/lemon than FFN might be comfortbale with.. As such, life moves on. This particular fic is a response to a 'what if' moment with a friend. Rach, its all your fault.


This story contains adult content. It is NOT NC-17 but does push the R rating honestly. If you do not LIKE such stories, then do not read it! You have fair warning. If you want to simply miss the...mature content, don't read the ending.

I do now own Kenshin/Kaoru or any other Rurouni Kenshin related characters. Gavrael...however...is mine is his twisted, sick dementions.

Kaoru truly questioned her talent for the unmentionable disasters that created havoc in her life. Stalker boyfriends, klutz attacks that generally left her injured, and over-protective best friends.

Really, was it so unheard of that she just wished for a break? A breather. A chance to kick back, massage her aching feet, drink her vanilla vodka and pineapple, and pretend that being alone was what she wanted. Needed.

Kaoru lazily flexed her foot, wincing at the tight pull on her arches. She hadn't properly stretched her body in weeks; much less beat it into submission through her sword work.

Her bokken was collecting dust and slowly finding itself buried in cobwebs. Not something she generally wished to contemplate.


That was right; she had turned the ringer off on her phone.

"Kaoru, I know you're there. Answer your fucking phone."

Kaoru hummed to herself, ignoring the irritated voice of her ex.

"Listen here, bitch, you can't hide from me forever. I can promise you that. I don't let go of what is mine!"

Kaoru sighed as he disconnected the line, her mouth pulling into a dark frown of agitation. "Stupid asshole."

He was the epitome of blind dates gone wrong.

She shrugged and stood, smoothing her calf-length navy skirt into place. She made up for the length of the skirt by wearing the strapless shirt that hugged her figure from her rounded chest to her slim hips.

Imagination. She believed that was the key to the outfit, or that was Misao had claimed when Kaoru had walked out of the dressing room. Kaoru shrugged as she casually slipped her open-toe shoes on. They showed off her carefully painted toenails, and her small feet.

Kaoru would rather be heading over to Sano's in a burlap sack, but Misao had threatened to drag her back into the house and pick her outfit out herself if she didn't show skin.

Kaoru eyes her bare shoulders as she twisted her hair half-up, half down; the long dark strands sliding over the creamy skin of her shoulders.

She grabbed the simple choker her mother had bought for her years ago. Sighing, Kaoru decided she looked suitable and grabbed her purse as she heard the familiar knock on her door.

"KAAAORU!" Misao wailed through the door. "Let's go."

Kaoru yanked the door open and glared at the girl. "I am coming."

Misao eyed the outfit and sighed. "I assume this is the least amount of clothing I can get you into, barring a kunai threat?"

Kaoru shut her door and locked it. "Your kunai couldn't get me into anything smaller. I don't want to attract anyone. Period. I am sick of men Misao." Sick of empty promises and memories long buried, better dead.

Misao made a face, but held her tongue. The women were silent while they headed for Misao's jeep.

"He called again?"

"Misao." There was warning in Kaoru's voice, and Misao sighed in reluctance. Kaoru wasn't going to open up about Gavrael and Misao wasn't going to force it.

She felt guilty enough for the lingering bruises on her friend's heart as it was.

"So, how you like the get-together, Kenshin?" Sano asked, waving to the general crowd with his beer. Sano was delighted to have an old friend of his and Aoshi's finally making it to Tokyo.

Kenshin eyed his long-time friend and then eyed the group of fifteen or so people who were strewn about the apartment.

The background was lit with the pulse of music, loud enough to match your heartbeat, but soft enough that conversation was at an easy level. No screaming to your partner as you attempted to bumble around with the normal pleasantries.

Sano had already dragged him around, introducing him to various names and faces that were easily catalogued under the 'no threat' file in his brain.

He was looking forward to seeing Aoshi again. The stoic man had mentioned in one of his emails that he had found someone special and Kenshin was interested to see what type of woman could capture the iceman's heart.

He knew the price paid for the woman of your dreams, and the cost it took to find her.

"I wonder where they are?" Sano questioned as he looked around.


"Misao and Kaoru." Sano absently replied.

Kenshin was about to ask exactly whom the women were when the front door opened and two women walked in.

One was perhaps the tiniest woman Kenshin had ever seen. She seemed to bounce her way into the room, and straight to Aoshi's side.

But it was the other one who caught and held his attention, the familiarity of her looks easing some unknown tensions and tightening others.

Long, silky black hair, dark navy eyes matched by her skirt and inviting top. Kenshin's unasked question was answered when Sano smiled.

His world, slowed, stopped, and spun out of control with her smile.

"Hey, Jou-chan. Get over here and meet Kenshin!"

Kaoru turned at the sound of her name coming from Sano's lips and went very, very still.

Himura Kenshin.

Kaoru stared at him with the same intensity that was being directed back at her. Kaoru felt the rush of long-lost emotion twist in her veins.

Red hair.

Violet eyes with the tendency to burn burnished gold.

Kaoru shook herself out of her stupor and tossed her hair. "Himura."

"Kaoru." There were no pretenses of formality, just the soft, caressing way he had always said her name. Like he cherished the syllables, the same way he had once adored her.

Kaoru clenched her fists together, her mind going over every possible escape route. You could catch him off guard once, hide from him, and run. Twice was impossible.

No matter the ghosts that haunted your path and drove you into the shadows, he would follow.

The brilliant gold of his eyes proved her thoughts. Kaoru glared back, undaunted by her ex-lover's dark gaze.

"Wait…you two know each other?" Sano's bewildered voice brought them out of their staring match.



Kenshin gave Kaoru an amused look. "We don't?"

Kaoru turned. She tossed the words over her shoulder as she headed somewhere to find a stiff drink. "Not anymore."

"If you say so, Koishii." Kenshin called to her back, amused at the way she jerked at the endearment.

"Damn, man, if knew she was your 'Kaoru' I wouldn't have invited you over." Sano mused as he watched Kaoru head Misao off and both women collect a drink.

Kenshin shot Sano a glance. "Excuse me?" There was a trace of shadow in his voice.

Sano winced at the sparks of gold still lingering in his friend's gaze. "She just got out of a rather nasty relationship, Kenshin. Swore off all men and such; not overly happy to be here tonight, to tell the truth."

Kenshin calmly sipped his own mixed concoction. "All the more reason for me to be here." There was predatory note in his voice that Sano hadn't expected.

He shot a look to his long time friend who was pushing Misao onto his balcony and shrugged.

Maybe Kenshin was good for her.

"What?" Misao hissed, only sheer force of will keeping her from spinning to stare at the red-haired man she had glanced at in passing. "You're sure?"

"Misao!" Kaoru exclaimed, laughter bubbling up in her chest. She hadn't had enough alcohol to properly loosen her up; she didn't dare.

Luckily, Misao's presence generally gave a person the same reaction as several fast shots. The smaller woman's face was one giant thundercloud, her blue eyes snapping.


Kaoru sighed, her hilarity dying. "I know. First Gavrael starts pestering me, and now I have to deal with him." Kaoru sighed and wished she could have stayed home and quietly gotten drunk.

If she drank anything else while she was here, she was going to end up in his bed, no questions asked. Kaoru hated herself for the physical attraction that still raced in her blood. Hated the way his eyes heated when they glanced at her, hated the way she went soft and pliant at the thought of his touch.

"So what are you going to do?" Misao questioned, her eyes worried. Kaoru had been hiding from her past for close to five years now. Kenshin was a big part of that past.

Misao had been helping her hide her identity, helped keep those she loved the most far away from her, misleading some of the best trackers in Japan into following shadows, ghosts of their own making.

It was how she had met Aoshi in the first place.

Kaoru sighed. "I won't be able to run from him again, Misao. He is going to want answers, and I don't know if I can give them to him tonight." Her eyes were dark, brooding.

Misao paused and then dug around for her keys. "Here. You haven't had enough to impair your driving and I can get Aoshi to take me home. Just leave the keys in the consol; I have a magnetic box hidden under the driver's side step."

Kaoru sighed her thanks and gave the inside of the apartment a once over. Kenshin was currently talking heatedly to Aoshi. He didn't need to keep both eyes on her, not now.

Winking at Misao she slipped over the side of the balcony and went down the fire escape. It took a few minutes with her skirt and heels, but she managed. Humming, she made fast work to her friend's Jeep and made her escape.

Misao watched Kaoru maneuver the stick shift easily, a skill Kaoru had once mentioned Kenshin had taught her.

Time to go and delay the inevitable. The things she did.

"So," Misao purred as she wrapped herself around Aoshi's side, her eyes flitting to Kenshin. "You're Himura Kenshin?"

Aoshi turned to look at the small woman in front of him. "Misao?" His voice was questioning. As far as he knew, Kenshin hadn't been introduced to her.

"Be careful with her, Himura." Misao's tone turned icy. Kenshin raised a brow at the small woman in front of him, his lips twisting in amusement.

"I am always careful with what is mine." His words were punctured with flashes of fire in his gaze.

Misao shrugged and easily slipped out of Aoshi's arms. "I did everything in my power to stop you once, I swear I will do it again. She is fragile right now. Keep that in mind, Red." Turning, Misao decided another drink and then she was calling a taxi.

Aoshi watched Misao saunter away, his eyes narrowed.

Kenshin clapped his friend on the back and smirked. "Something she hasn't told you, I take it?"

Aoshi grunted.

It had been a week since that night at Sano's...

Kaoru huffed as she made up the last flight of stairs, her arms loaded with groceries. It was days like today that made her vow to get a ground floor apartment next time.

Three flights of stairs when the elevators crashed wasn't something she found overly enjoyable. Especially when she was carry groceries, or worse, laundry. However, it was a way to make sure she exercised her throbbing calf muscles.

Fiddling with her keys, she pushed the door open and groaned in disbelief at the sight that met her eyes.

Small, unnoticeable things... if you weren't aware of a lover's past habits.

A small fresh bouquet of jasmine; the blankets that had been tossed onto the back of the couch, folded. The laundry that had been strewn about in an attempt to keep from wrinkling was folded neatly and waiting for her to put up.

Kaoru half expected him to be cooking her dinner, but the apartment was empty. Kaoru set her bags down on her counter and examined her apartment. Nothing obvious. All her locks were back in place, and nothing was broken.

Kaoru sighed as she began to put her frozen dinners and instant ramen in their proper places. Turning she looked at the answering machine.

It was empty.

Kaoru suddenly had a very unsettling feeling in the pit of her stomach. She always had a message from Gavrael when she came home from an outing.

Generally, it could be a message describing what she wore, or what she had bought that day at the grocery center she frequented.

Kaoru chewed on her lower lip and cursed inwardly. If Kenshin had been here, he had heard them. Deleted them too. She had left some on her machine in case she needed to prove he was stalking her.

Kaoru had a very bad feeling that Kenshin was going to do something drastic. Especially if Sano mentioned the slap that had ended her and Gavrael's relationship; Kenshin abhorred the idea of her getting hit.

Kenshin wasn't against slapping someone, be it a woman or man. Kaoru knew his line of work didn't allow for him to be overly concerned with those morals, but heaven help the man who hit her.

She remembered once, there had been a fight at the place she worked. A customer had become irate and hit her co-worker. Kaoru had stepped in, and gotten a nasty slap for her protests.

Kenshin had just walked in the door.

He broke several bones in the man's face in three fast, easy hits. He had never touched her, however. Kaoru was dead certain it was beyond his chemical makeup to hurt her physically.

He had never even hurt her emotionally either. He had given her only one reason to run; one reason to hide, to disappear.

It hadn't even been his fault. Kaoru closed her eyes; the loneliness she had hidden away was once again in full bloom. She loved him, heaven help her, and had been determined to erase him from her heart. Nothing had helped.

He had broken through the fear of commitment spawned thanks to spending year after year in a new foster home until she hit eighteen.

Actually, she wasn't even sure her records were still in the system thanks to Misao's careful plunging of all and any information.

No, it wasn't Kenshin that scared her.

Kaoru sighed as she fingered the end of her shirt nervously. There were few things in this life that scared her.

Betraying him was one of them. Better to suffer alone than to cause his death, and to be forced to live with that knowledge for the rest of her life.

Nothing, not heaven or hell, would make her change her mind.

She absently rubbed at the small, white scar on the inside of her wrist and shuddered at the memory of what put it there.

Kenshin stepped out of the bathroom, rubbing his long hair with a towel as he examined the closet for something comfortable.

A pair of sweatpants later he was in the kitchen, absently cooking himself a fast dinner.

He had business to attend to.

Kamiya Kaoru had been an obsession for as long as he could remember. Four years her senior, he had been in his last semester of college when he saw her for the first time.

He hadn't dated anyone seriously in years, never finding anyone that could meet his standards. Not since Tomoe had cheated on him his last year of high school.

He had seen her, walking out of the bookstore, her arms full of random general criteria based books, her large eyes narrowed in concentration.

Five minutes later, he was helping her get everything into her car and was inviting her for coffee. She had laughingly turned him down, insisting that she didn't want or need any attachments her first year of college.

Kenshin remembered being intrigued with the curious dimple that appeared and disappeared depending on her smile, and the way her eyes smiled her thanks for the help.

She had driven away and he had let her.

It wasn't long before his 'side' carrier had gotten a lot more complicated, and once he finished his degree his adopted father had pulled him straight in.

But one year to the day he had shown up outside one of her classes and made her the same offer for coffee.

This time she agreed.

He had told her once that a relationship with him was something dangerous. That he was a possessive, jealous man who would sell his soul for her.

He didn't easily release what was his. And the look in her eyes at Sano's promised that she knew she was still his.

She knew he was coming for her, and he hated to disappoint.

Kaoru tied her still-damp hair up into a messy bun and crashed on her couch with a sigh. Her bare, clean feet were propped up on the table; the smooth fabric of her pants caressing her newly shaved legs.

She hadn't had a phone call from the psychopath she had dated for a few months in close to twenty-four hours. Not that he would try to do anything besides scare her into bed with him, Sano was an extremely intimidating man.

He had made the mistake of hitting her when Sano was in punching range. She figured Gavrael was going to have to have a nose job if he wanted his perfect features back.

She was beginning to worry, but Misao had mentioned a day or so ago seeing Gavrael with someone else. She prayed that was so, Kenshin wasn't going to go after him unless he kept bothering her.

At least, he hadn't gone after those who attempted to scare her unless it evolved death. She only hoped Gavrael was smart enough to just let her go.

Kaoru listened to the sound of knocking. Her eyes swung to the clock, and she sighed. It wasn't even ten yet, so it could be anyone. One of her neighbors had the tendency to stop by and ask for sugar, butter, and eggs at a startling rate.

If he didn't have this rather nasty habit of ogling her legs, she might have been tempted to ask him out in sheer desperation of scaring him off.

"I don't…"Kaoru's words died in her throat. Kenshin stood outside her door, his brows raised in question.

"Don't what?" his voice was amused and warm.

Kaoru promptly shut the door in his face and locked it. She stomped into her bedroom to pull a shirt on over her sports bra; she gave him thirty seconds to get past her locks.

She walked back into the living room, and sure enough he was standing there, looking for the entire world like he belonged.

"Do you need something, Himura?" Her tone and body language promised he wasn't wanted, but Kaoru couldn't completely hide the needy look in her eyes.

"Are we going to play that game, Kaoru?" Kenshin's tone had lost some of its warm playfulness, dropping into the rich baritone that always turned her insides to liquid.

"I don't think I owe you a damn thing, Himura!" Kaoru snapped, her temper and nerves alighting with her lighting fast temper.

"Is that so, Snapdragon?" Kenshin returned, his eyes lightening to pale amber.

Kaoru fumed. She hated being backed into a corner, hated it when he gave her that look of stark possession, hated how she melted every time.

"Look, Himura, it's none of you damn business." Her voice was low, dark with the frustration of how four years of being careful, of never stepping past certain bounds, were falling to her feet in scraps.

"Himura, Snapdragon?" His voice was soft, the edge still present but hidden under velvet. "We have never been on last name terms."

Kaoru turned away from him. "I have nothing to say."

"I do." She wasn't prepared for the feeling of his hands on her bare arms as he pulled her around, or for the darkening of pale amber to molten gold.

"Did you really expect to avoid me forever, Kaoru?" There was a testy note in his voice that told her he hadn't been any closer to finding her when he had run into at Sano's.

Kaoru jerked her chin up. "Did you really expect to find me?"

"You're still stubborn." His voice was back to being amused, and his grip on her arms had loosened.

Kaoru jerked out of his hold and walked towards the door, her message clear. "Well, your life depended on it." Kaoru was suddenly aware of the change in the room.

She closed her eyes and wished she could cry. She hadn't meant for that to slip, to clue him in. He would demand answers now.

"What was that?" His voice was deceptively soft, dangerous, silken steel cased by the soft shadow that demanded answers.

"Nothing." Kaoru replied, stubbornly holding onto the fragments of her dignity. Her right hand came up to caress her left wrist, absently rubbing at the pale scare in a defensive motion. It was not likely he would let her get away with that little comment, but she could try.

He turned her so fast her head spun. His hold was iron tight, but she knew it wouldn't leave bruises. He pressed her into the wall, his hard thighs holding her in place, and he placed both arms on either side of her head.

"Kaoru." His chest rumbled with the warning in his eyes. "What do you mean, my life?" There was no forgiveness in his tone, no hesitation in the stance of his body.

He wanted answers, and he wanted them now.

"Kenshin..." Kaoru tried, desperate for an escape route. His eyes flared with heat at the sound of his name, and his eyes gentled at the desperate look at her face, and one hand traced the line of her cheekbone, but he never gave in.


Kaoru lowered her lashes, and pursed her lips. She shook her head stubbornly.

"Kaoru, Koi, you are going to tell me eventually." His voice was coaxing, but Kaoru was just as stubborn. Her head shook so violently, strands of thick silk whipped into his face.

He scooped her into his arms and easily deposited her on his lap as he dropped them onto the couch. They sat there for long moments, Kenshin idly playing with her hair.

"The only person I can think of is Tomoe." His tone was hard, dark with the intent to harm.

Kaoru continued to sit, silent.

"Snapdragon..." There was warning now. He wasn't above using her body against her, and Kaoru ducked her head. Of course he would be gentle and loving, teasing her until she hovered at the edge, and then holding back.

Damn him.

He noticed her tears before she did, softly falling onto the skin of his forearm.

He pulled her into his arms and held her close as she sobbed.

Kenshin rubbed slow circles into her back, his demeanor changing with her tears. There was still the promise of death for whoever hurt her, them, but now it would be much, much slower.

He never liked her tears.

"It wasn't Tomoe." Kaoru whispered into his neck as the tears slowed. She felt some of the tension in his shoulder loosen.

"It was Enishi."

Kenshin watched her sleep, his eyes lovingly taking in every nuance of her expression. The way her lashes flared against her pale skin. The faint rosy glow in her cheeks as she slept easily.

He lightly traced the scare across her left wrist, his eyes flaring with anger.

'I don't know how long he was there. I swear I don't!"

Turning, he headed towards her kitchen to set her coffee pot to turn on at the proper hour and added the corrected amount his lover required to be coherent in the morning.

"He had a knife. He didn't hurt me much, Kenshin. I swear it. It was you he was after. He wanted me to lure you somewhere. I couldn't, wouldn't be responsible for that!"

He checked all the windows to make sure they were locked, paused to make sure she had food for breakfast, and then he left.

"So I left. I was in hysterics when I got to Misao's. You hadn't met her yet, she was on a exchange trip those first few years, and she had just got home."

He easily manipulated the lock, and then he leaned against the door, wanting to go and snuggled up to her warm curves, but he held himself back.

"So she and I ran. You couldn't track her cause you didn't know about her. She is very good at what she does."

There was some business he had to take care of.

"Do you see why I can't be with you? I'm your weakness. It would kill me to have them hurt you!"


He had dared threaten what was his. Touch what was his. Hurt Kaoru in a way none had managed before, and none would manage again. He had taught his lover to fear, and he wouldn't let that go unpunished.

"I'm sorry. I just can't!"

It was the first time he had considered the possibility of someone using him to hurt her; it infuriated him. Enishi had used Kaoru because he could, because he believed that Kenshin should have been more loyal to his despicable sister.

Enishi held a grudge against him for what he considered the mistreatment of his sister. Kenshin growled low in the back of his throat, his eyes snapping flames.

Four years she had suffered because of Enishi.

Picking up his cell phone, uncaring of the time, he waited for the occupant to answer.

"We're hunting new prey."

He would deal with this…Gavrael character later.

It had been a week since Kenshin's visit…

Kaoru sighed in relief as she finally managed to maneuver the key into the lock and she kicked her door open. The keys hung, unnoticed, in the door and she dropped onto the couch with a huff.

Her clean laundry spilled to the floor but Kaoru was beyond caring. Her feet hurt, her head hurt, it was two in the morning, and she was finished with her laundry.

She had discovered hours earlier the need for clean socks, so she had quickly thrown all the dirty whites she could find in a basket and run downstairs.

Kaoru tossed one hand over her eyes and lay there a while before she realized that yes, her door was still open, and yes, that was her key rattling in the lock.

Kaoru sat up and froze. "Gavrael?"

He had locked them in the apartment. Kaoru felt a hard knot forming in her stomach as she mental reviewed the hour and the fact that no, she couldn't reach the phone before he reached her.

Gavrael sat down on the love seat across from her, his expression mild.

"We need to talk." His voice was smooth, and very controlled.

Kaoru nodded slowly. "Okay. You are aware it's almost two in the morning?"

Gavrael shrugged. "I had to make sure we were not interrupted."


"I don't want you anymore. You're more trouble than you're worth, and I have met someone." Gavrael continued, as if she had not spoken.

Kaoru got a good look at his eyes and winced. Gavrael had never done drugs when he was with her, but she recognized the signs.

"I'm happy for you, Gavrael." Her tone was soothing, even as panic was bubbling in her throat, threatening to choke of her words. There was something –almost- aggressive about him.

"There is only one thing that's bothering me." Gavrael continued.

Kaoru blinked. "Yes?"

He leaned forward and braced his forearms on his knees. "If I can't have you, Kaoru, then I can't let anyone else have you either." He sounded so reasonable that it took a moment for Kaoru to realize exactly what he was saying.

When it finally clicked, Kaoru went white.

"Now, Gavrael..." Kaoru tried but he stood and took a long step towards her. Kaoru lunged towards the other end of the couch but he caught her hair in a nasty grip.

Kaoru screamed as she was jerked completely off her feet, crashing onto the floor was a painful thud. Her head hit the floor hard enough for her to be seeing stars.

"Shush, sweetling." Gavrael crooned as he picked up her stunned form and laid her on the couch. Kaoru frantically attempted to right herself, just as the pillow descended onto her face.

'Shit.' Kaoru thought as she struggled desperately, as his heavy chest held her lower body flat.

Kaoru felt the heavy sense of panic filter into her brain as her world faded, the tightening of her chest as her lungs screamed for oxygen.

She was suddenly aware of the sounds of a struggle as the world began to right itself. The pillow was gone, and the faint sounds of flesh hitting flesh reached her fuzzy senses.

Even as she pulled in air, she couldn't find the energy to open her eyes. A gasping, strangled noise emitted in the room caught her attention. It took her a second to realize it was hers.

Then hands, warm and gentle on her skin, were holding her close. "Kaoru, come on love, breath."

Kaoru gave a half choking sob and clung to the strength of the shoulders holding her. She heard more voices, two of them sounding vaguely familiar as she coughed and slowly regulated her breathing.

Calloused fingers brushed at the warm tears that fell from her eyes, the arm at her waist tightening. "Don't cry."

His voice was desperate and she forced her eyes open. The apartment was empty, she vaguely remembered the shutting of her door, and a mass of red hair was clutched in her left hand while her right was fisted in a shirt.


Kaoru jerked, but he refused to let go of her. Kaoru had always known he was strong, but he bent his lean body around hers and laid them down on the couch, trapping her between his chest and the back of the couch in an iron- strong hold.

"I don't think so." Kenshin told her flatly, some of the edge still in his voice. "If you think I am letting you go after that, you have another think coming, Snap Dragon."

Kaoru struggled to argue with him, to fight the lazy pull of the warmth of his body. She opened her mouth to fight; she couldn't do this, but he cut her off by pulling her into his arms.

"Listen, you almost died. I am not letting you go tonight. We can move this to your bedroom…but I can't promise you sleep in there." His voice was rough, needy, and Kaoru was filled with a different type of apprehension.

"I won't take advantage of you, Snapdragon, because I want you to come back to me on your own. So go to sleep, or you won't be sleeping."

Kaoru promptly shut her eyes, mentally promising herself that if she just let sleep take over there wouldn't be a problem.

"What did you do to Gavrael?" Kaoru asked as she attempted to get comfortable.

"Nothing he didn't deserve." Kenshin's tone suggested that she not ask any more questions and Kaoru found herself complying.

She was just too damn tired for this. It was so easy, to relax into the easy strength of his arms and disappear. To melt the soft lines of her body into the firm strength of his.

Kaoru was gone in a matter of moments.

She awoke to the sounds of early morning. Birds sat on the ledge of one of her windows and she was hard pressed to force herself to move.

She was warm, relaxed, and was vaguely aware of something soft under her hands. Her eyes fluttered open when she realized that the most prominent sound was a heartbeat.

Her eyes met even with the couch, and when she looked up, she was staring at a familiar Adam's apple. Kaoru wanted to cry; she wasn't supposed to be here, he was supposed to be gone.

Instead, she was using him as a human body pillow. Sprawled out over his hard form, her head tucked between his shoulder and neck. She knew from past experiences that as soon as she moved he would awaken.

"Himura Kenshin." Kaoru hissed, moving to untangle herself, furious with him.

His arms (which had been around her waist) tightened as one moved up to allow him to bury his hand at the base of her neck, tangling needy fingers in her thick hair.


"I need to get up." Her tone was matter of fact, but he only continued to play with her hair.

"If you don't let me up, my bladder is going to explode." Her tone was dry, but he released her instantly.

Kaoru finished her morning needs, sighing at the clean taste of her freshly brushed teeth. She didn't expect for him to drag her into his arms as soon as she left the bathroom.

She could smell toothpaste on his breath as he held her, so she assumed he had used her guest room to freshen himself up.

"Himura!" Kaoru tried but was cut off when he picked her back up. "Kenshin!"

He sat them both on the couch, arranging her into a comfortable position, then caught her hands in his face and forced her to meet his gaze.

"Alright Snapdragon, talk."

"About what?" Kaoru asked, attempting to keep from getting lost in his colorful eyes.

"Enishi is dead." There was no hesitation in his voice, eyes, or the way he held her. "What else is holding you back from giving into me?"

Kaoru's lips parted in surprise. "Excuse me?"

Kenshin didn't even hesitate. "I killed Enishi. Gavrael is lucky Aoshi decided two bodies were more than he wanted to deal with."

"You…you…" Kaoru gaped at him.

"I told you, Koi, no one would step between you and I once you committed. I meant it." His voice was hard, dangerous, the voice of a man who destroyed all in his path to keep what was his.

"Kenshin!" Kaoru groaned. She knew this was going to happen if he ever found her. That single-minded intensity directed solely at her. Again.

"You have 45 seconds to come up with a good reason why you can't give in to your feelings, and then I am going to seduce you."

"You…" Kaoru's temper flared. "You can't do that!"

He leaned forward, his warm breath falling over her lips as he rested his forehead against hers. "Can to."

"Kenshin!" Kaoru cried, jerking back.

"30 seconds, and I not only can, but am going to, Snapdragon." His voice held a teasing note, but his face was dead serious. "You can't stop me either…"

Kaoru gaped. "But…but…you said if I had a good reason!"

He paused. "True. I am waiting on that reason!"

Kaoru froze.

"15, and you're not shy, are you?"

"Kenshin, we can't!"

"10…not good enough"

"Your enemies!"

"Dead or dying… think fast! 9 seconds!"

Kaoru sat there, her mouth working to catch up with her brain.

"5 seconds."

"What happened to 6, 7, and 8?" Kaoru desperately cried.

"3 seconds and you were thinking."

Kaoru blustered, knowing that once he touched her, it was over.

She was his again.

Kaoru opened her mouth, eyes sparking, but he stole anything she had to say with his tongue. It slid across hers, tangling in the possessive way only he could.

He slide one hand to the small of her back, holding her effortlessly, the other reaching around the base of her neck to bury his fingers in her hair.

Kaoru was melting. His mouth was wrecking havoc on her senses, his tongue stroking a beguiling rhythm against hers, shattering any reason she had to deny him.

She had known it would.

She was unaware of how long he kissed her, hard and deep, or soft and slow. His lips tasted and teased every inch of her mouth, tugging lovingly on her full bottom lip when she needed air, and lit every inch of her with flame.

And he hadn't even moved past her mouth. Kaoru was a moaning mass of pliant flesh as he kissed her, shifting her into his arms as he stood, navigating the dangers of her living room without even coming up for air.

She was vaguely aware of him shutting the door, and even less aware of the press of her mattress into her as he slowly lowered his attention to her throat.

Kenshin's movements were unhurried, lazy, and absolutely attentive to her slightest motions. He was completely content to work his way lower, slowly removing her clothing as he did so, exploring every single inch of skin he came in contact with.

Kaoru could believe he had spent four years thinking of ways to torture her, because if she gave the slightest noise he did his damndest to make it into a moan.

Kaoru arched into his hands as he kneaded the soft flesh of her chest, wishing –for only a second- that she had the strength to back away.

That was before he decided that taste was far better than feeling. One hand continued its soft kneading while his mouth moved over soft skin, stopping to scrape teeth and tongue in the places that would make her moan the loudest.

His other hand was divesting her lower half of all her remaining clothing. In fact, that only thing she had left was a pair of socks.

Kenshin lavished every inch of her with his lips, determined to reacquaint himself with every part of her soft body.

He shot Kaoru a fast, wicked glance from golden eyes as he began to paint his way lower with his mouth. Soft kisses and gentle strokes of his tongue marked her smooth stomach.

He scraped his teeth across the sensitive skin of her stomach and dipped his tongue into her sensitive belly button.

Kaoru could only moan and bury her hands into his hair, silently begging for more. The only sounds she could force past her throat were the incoherent kind, soft and begging. Kenshin seemed to be interested in only how she responded.

Kaoru's only warning was a slow rumble of male satisfaction, low and so velvet smooth Kaoru felt it wrap around her senses. His fingers buried themselves into the dark curls and Kaoru gave a low wail.

It was a different assault this time. Instead of slow, warm, melting sensations that assaulted her form, it was like small bolts of lightening thundering in her blood.

"Ken…shin…" Kaoru managed to groan, her breathing coming in pants as he lowered his head. Kaoru gave a low, aching cry as he sent her over the edge, her body tightening and spinning out of her control.

Kenshin raised his head to look at her, his eyes watching her face hungrily. His eyes were burnished gold and burning as he watched her tremble with the aftershocks of his touch.

He stood while Kaoru attempted to catch her breath and shucked every inch of clothing he had. He smiled as he noted her stocking-clad feet.

Crawling up her body Kenshin settled himself over Kaoru's flushed form. He waited till she opened her dusky eyes and traced her bottom lip with his thumb.

"Still having objections, lover?" Kenshin asked her softly.

Kaoru sighed, her hand rising to brush his bangs. "Have you ever allowed me to have objections, Kenshin?"

He smiled. "No." He nuzzled her hand and sighed. "I love you, Snapdragon."

Kaoru closed her eyes. "I know."

Kenshin kissed the palm of her hand. He nudged her legs apart and settled the heavy weight of him between her thighs. "Let me love you, Kaoru."

"Kenshin..." Kaoru started but her words were turned into a moan as he slid himself inside her in one smooth stroke.

"Let me take care of you." Kenshin demanded, his voice strained, but his eyes were determined. He held himself perfectly still, unwilling to continue until he had the answer he wanted. "Let me, Kaoru."

Kaoru looked into his beloved face, the eyes she knew better than her own. He and she were so much a part of each other, and Kaoru couldn't turn him down like this.

Not when he was showing her the reasons they fit so well, the way he made her feel. The safety of letting him take care of her, the emotional stability he gave her.

But more importantly, it was for the same intensity of emotion that rose in her in response to him. It was the same need for his love that drove her as much as it did him.

She should know; she had spent the last four years attempting to erase him from her blood.

"Kenshin." Her was voice was soft and gentle, her eyes inviting.

"Say it." His words were fierce, his eyes hot.

"I love you." Kaoru told him. "I do need you."

He kissed her, hard, his tongue spearing into her mouth to mimic the hard rhythm his hips set at her words. Kaoru's rising cries were lost as their tongue tangled.

Kaoru wrapped her legs around his waist in an attempt to get closer and screamed as she tumbled over the edge, her voice muffled by Kenshin's mouth.

Kenshin gasped as he recovered from his release and rolled onto his side, pulling her into his arms. They lay there, simply breathing each other in.

"So," Kaoru mused and she toyed with his hair.

"You're moving in with me." Kenshin informed her, pinning her under his chest. "I know what you're going to say, love, but if you hate my place, I will buy another one."

Kaoru blinked at him. "You have a house?"

"Two." Kenshin muttered absently, suddenly very interested in the skin behind her ear. "One in the country, and one towards the outskirts of Tokyo." He bit lightly at the ridge of her ear.

Kaoru shuddered. "But I like my apartment!"

"Then I will buy it too. We can stay here when we are trying to disappear." Kenshin moved lower and nibbled on the skin of her jaw.

"But Kenshin," Kaoru tried, laughter bubbling up in her throat, her hands coming to still his movements, "You can't win every argument with sex!"

Kenshin nodded solemnly. "Just the important ones!"

"Kenshin!" Kaoru scolded even as his mouth attempted to distract her. "Food!"

Kenshin sighed into her throat. "Alright, Koishii." He kissed her once, solidly on the mouth, and stood.

"I am going to fix you a high protein breakfast, get back into that bed, and then I am going to wear you out. I have four years to catch up on."

Kaoru gaped at his back, watching him easily glide out of the room. Apparently, he was going to cook her breakfast in nothing but his boxers that he picked up off the floor.

Kaoru giggled. Kenshin was going to need a change of clothing. But then again, he didn't seem to plan on wearing them much today.

Kaoru sprawled out on the sheets and contemplated the information that Kenshin had given her, scattered thought their lovemaking.

Gavrael was alive, he had admitted to that. For how long, Kaoru didn't know. Sighing she fingered the embroidery on her comforter and she sighed. She had accepted that part of her lover long ago.

He killed, made no exceptions, and loved her endlessly. Kenshin's job (she never asked for details, but after two years of living with him had gleaned more than he wanted) allowed for it. Besides, Aoshi was second to none at hiding information; except, perhaps, Misao.

Kaoru caught the faint smell of bacon and the distinct smell of coffee and decided they could hammer out living arrangements later. She did love Kenshin, and he would break heaven and hell to make her happy.

It was something she could live with.

Once again I venture into the world of tangy...er...sour...er...um...