Okay- My first Kenshin fic- and I have to say that I'm excited! I hope you all enjoy this! I got the idea while thinking about just how intense Kenshin is, and how overwhelming it would be to actually be at the center of that intensity. There are so many different interpretations of Kenshin out there, its hard to write him out in a realistic way. It's AU…but I heart AU… so keep that in mind- these characters aren't perfectly like their counterparts- but I tried my best. Please review and tell me what you think!

Rating-R- You know what that means- Kiddies, you've been warned.


Things Left Unsaid

Chapter 1

The Leave Taking


Twisting slightly under the cool sheets, Kaoru scrunched her nose and stifled a sneeze that was trying its best to worm its way out of her. Knowing that she had a long night ahead of her, Kaoru couldn't help but wish it all away for a moment. She burrowed closer into the warm body next to her, and smiled as the hand around her naked waist tightened unconsciously. Even asleep, he didn't want to let go of her. Shutting her eyes, she idly held a piece of his long hair between her fingers and let her other hand rest over his heart, a plain silver necklace resting on around her neck and on his chest. His heart beat steadily against her palm, and she listened to his even breathing.

Even though it was well before daybreak and the room was too dark to make anything out, she knew that the hair she grasped was the most brilliant shade of red she had ever witnessed and that the body it was connected to it was well toned and riddled with scars. She also had no doubt that the heart that beat beneath her other hand was strong willed, loyal, and passionate.

Slowly untangling their jumbled limbs, she sat up carefully on the edge of the large bed. Trying her best to be stealthy, she made no attempt to take the sheet with her. She couldn't risk him waking, even with the precautions she had already made there was still a chance. Kaoru's bare skin shivered at the contact of cool air, but she ignored it. Her feet dangled over the side, not quite touching the floor, and she braced her hands for leverage. Taking a look over her shoulder, she watched the outline of his sleeping figure. He was always so beautiful when he slept- truly slept. A sleep that seemed to ease away his troubles and temporarily cure the stress that was ingrained in his life.

Turning slightly, she leaned over his prone figure, and couldn't help but brush a stray lock of hair from his face. He didn't stir, and she smiled again at his calm expression. She wondered briefly at how much gold would be in his eyes if he opened them. At how he would react with her right next to him like she was.

Kaoru shut her eyes and took a deep breath, her resolve strengthening. This was not the time to be weak! She had come too far to back off now. Sliding off the bed, she silently picked her way around the furniture, putting on her previously discarded clothing. Stooping slightly over one of the chairs, she couldn't help but grimace. Kaoru was sore from last night, and her body couldn't help but protest. She herself wouldn't have realized just how much exertion, mentally and physically, having sex was on a person. Not that she would have taken it back. No, last night was a memory she would hold close to her heart for the rest of her life.

His body surrounding her, his hot breath on her skin, his gentle yet strong hands holding her close, and a feeling of intense love that seemed to permeate throughout the entire room. It had been terrifying and wonderful.

Shutting her eyes, she fought back sudden tears even as she pulled on her sweater. If someone had asked her six months ago if she could picture herself in this situation- she would have laughed. And yet only four months ago her life had changed irrevocably. Lacing up her shoes, she looked briefly over the darkened room, trying to figure out if she'd forgotten anything. Nodding to herself in satisfaction, she reached into her back jean pocket, and pulled out a note that had taken her hours to write. Pulling it tightly to her chest, she didn't try to stop the tears that haphazardly spilled from her eyes.

Maneuvering around the silent room, she halted her movements and listened. Her breath sounded loud and labored in her ears, but his breath remained smooth and even. She was glad. She wouldn't know what to do if he woke up. Biting her lip in concentration, Kaoru walked to the far end of the room and tucked the note under a folder on his desk. She was sure he'd find it and figure everything out after only searching an hour or so. But she needed that time of confusion, needed all the time she could get.

She cracked the door open and slipped through, allowing a brief moment to watch his still form. Her chest hurt and she shut the gap quietly. Kaoru never realized that it hurt so much to love. Walking down the hall and to the living room, she didn't pause or hesitate. Hesitation couldn't be allowed. Halting in front of the door to his home, she couldn't help but feel a lingering need.

Her fingers closed over the necklace hiding beneath her sweater, her fingers grazing and memorizing the delicate piece of art. Kaoru had something to remember this time, to remember him- and this one thing would be enough. She couldn't get all whinny and weepy. Wiping her wet cheeks, she opened the door and stepped out into the night.

Kaoru walked briskly, ignoring a bitter late spring chill. She wasn't usually the type of person to be out on the New York Streets so late, but it couldn't be helped. Tucking a stray lock of hair behind her ear, she crossed her arms tightly over her chest and made her way toward a busier street. She needed to find a cab as quickly as possible. These first hours were the most important. The sleeping drug she had given him would probably only work for a little longer-he would wake to find her missing. And then, in the words of a spiky haired friend of hers, the shit would hit the fan. Walking toward a busier clubbing area, she smiled at her luck. With the bars closing, the were more cabs than she could count in sight.

After finally securing a cab, she quickly gave the address before turning her attention to the window. Lights flickered by, and the city that never slept did its best to fulfill that promise.

On a night like this, it was fitting that her thoughts would be only for him.

Kenshin.

She had met him on an evening similar to this. Walking home from a birthday party her close friend Sanosuke had thrown in her honor, she'd been in an unfamiliar area. At the time she had never felt so tired, lost, and ready for bed. Still dressed in her high school uniform, a punk of kids had decided to have a bit of fun with her. She had never been so petrified in her life. But then he came out of no where,

"Don't touch her."

and those that had tried to harm her were down for the count with him only using his hands.

Exuding charm and danger, the red haired man was barely taller than herself.

"Are you alright?"

Kaoru watched him with wide eyes, drinking in his handsome face and burning eyes of violet and amber. A large 'x' shaped scar adorned one of his cheeks, and her breath quickened as his eyes focused entirely on her. He wore dark clothes, and barely looked winded from the fight. Approaching her steadily, she couldn't help but flinch. She watched him visibly tense at her actions, and his movements stilled. Kaoru wouldn't deny that she had been afraid- terrified actually. What had happened had been right out of a nightmare, and for a moment she had actually thought that she would die.

"I'm fine."

Her words sounded false and hollow in her ears, but she had at least managed to get them out. He nodded at her answer, and looked at her more closely.

"You shouldn't be out here at this time of night. Not dressed like that."

Kaoru titled her head back against the cab seat and allowed herself a brief smile. She had been so angry when he had said that to her.

"What?"

She was confused, tired, and now starting to get pissed. She didn't need someone telling her how to live her life on top of that. Trying to focus on him, Kaoru watched him take a deep breath. The muscles on his chest stood at attention, and she couldn't help but notice how yummy he was. He scratched at the back of his head, and once again she found herself tangled up in that mess of hair on his head. He really was sexy, if not a little dangerous looking. Suddenly, she felt quite guilty for being so rude.

She bowed her head reproachfully.

"I'm sorry I've been so impolite. Thank you for helping me."

Kaoru had to admit, she had never been so disrespectful to a stranger before. She was a person that prided herself on being kind to others, especially strangers. New York needed more friendly individuals. Feeling him closer, she looked up. Only a short distance from him, his eyes had become even more intriguing- the amber becoming mere flecks. He smiled, and she smiled back.

"It's no problem, let me make sure you get home safe."

Now that Kaoru thought about it, it seemed rather silly of her to trust a stranger to get her home safely. But then, at that time she had still lived in such a sheltered world.

They walked next to each other, the sounds of the city filtering through Kaoru's ears. Only minutes earlier, Kaoru had been tired, exhausted. The feeling had disappeared though, and now all she wanted was to get to know the individual next to her. She felt strung as tight as a bow.

Watching him from the corner of her eyes, she jump as he broke the silence.

"What were you doing out so late."

His voice was clear and precise, a subtle strength lining its edges. Clasping her hands together, she didn't hesitate to answer.

"I was at a party."

Raising an eyebrow at her, he shook his head letting his bangs sweep across his face.

"You don't seem like the party type."

She laughed at that, laughed because already he could tell so much about her.

"I'm not really, my friend threw me one for my birthday."

He turned to her, and she let herself look at his face. The emotions just beneath the surface of his eyes were so deep, so full of controlled power and emotion. She wondered what they would look like when he was angry.

"Today is your birthday?"

Although the inflection in his voice hadn't changed, she felt herself shiver. Why should it matter if today was her birthday?

"Yes."

Kaoru bit her lip at how weak and pathetic her voice had sounded. Like some breathy cry… it made her sick.

"How old are you?"

She watched him warily again, but he seemed completely preoccupied with the streets around them, glancing frequently into dark alleys as they passed. Would it hurt to tell him? She supposed it didn't really matter.

"Eighteen."

He smiled at her then, and she couldn't help but smile back. He was kind, considerate, and utterly gorgeous. They turned a corner, and Kaoru briefly thanked God for letting this stranger come across her and help her.

Kaoru dug around in her front pocket for a piece of gum. The drive seemed slower than humanly possible. Taking a deep breath, she tried her best not to dwell on the past. It seemed utterly unavoidable however.

He had done what he said he'd do, and only fifteen or so minutes later she found herself outside of her family's home.

Turning to face him, Kaoru found herself almost sad to be home. His presence was wonderful, comforting, and slightly exhilarating. Just being near him caused her stomach to lodge firmly in her throat, the combination of emotions he evoked in her being altogether new and compelling.

"Thank you, again, for helping me out."

He nodded, his eyes watching her home before turning to her.

"It wasn't any problem…?"

Raising his eyebrow at her yet again, she smiled at his attempt to learn her name.

"Kaoru, my name is Kaoru."

He grinned at this, his mouth slowly repeating the name. She shivered at the sound. The noise sounded deep and possessive in his mouth. His smile grew.

"I'm Kenshin."

He held his hand out for her to shake, and she grasped it in her own. It was strong, yet held hers gently within it. The handshake was unhurried and purposeful, causing another shiver to race up Kaoru's spine. Disengaging her hand carefully she walked up the steps slowly, yawning as the night finally seemed to catch up with her.

"Thank you, Kenshin- and good night."

When she turned back to face him, his eyes were unreadable under the street lights. Pushing her key into the lock, she jumped as his voice broke the quiet.

"Happy birthday Kaoru."

Kaoru thoughts paused when the cabbie honked his horn loudly at another car. When looking back and trying to figure out at what moment Kenshin had decided to pursue her, she often came to this moment. Had it been here? Or maybe during their quiet walk to her building. Or perhaps had it been even earlier- Could it have been when he saw her? At that instant had he decided to make her his?

She didn't know, and she supposed that now she never would. Glancing out the dirt smudged window Kaoru watched the city night life go by. She really did love this city. Even with its faults, it was still an intriguing and mysterious place. It reminded her of Kenshin in a lot of ways. The city was so full of different levels, and what you saw at the surface was almost always not a true reflection on what was actually happening underneath. It was going to be sad to leave this all behind.

The day after they had met, she awoke to find a front porch full of flowers. They had all been from him. Flattered, she had never felt so giddy in her entire life. Boys didn't pay attention to her, had never paid attention to her in the past. Not that she blamed them. She got good grades, was nice enough, wasn't hideous or anything, but still always seemed to be the 'sister' in all of her guy friendships. And Kenshin had downright wooed her with the stunt. In that condition, she hadn't stood a chance.

He had called later in the day, and asked if she wanted to go dancing. She hadn't even wondered how he managed to get her phone number. Looking back, Kaoru could see all the warning signs she had so blatantly ignored. Of course she had accepted, it was the least she could do to repay him for helping her and buying her flowers.

The cab halted abruptly, and Kaoru was thrown from her previous thoughts. Digging out money, she paid the man before rushing out of the car and up the steps. Light was just beginning to filter over the horizon. Glancing at the watch on her wrist, she calculated the time she still had left. Twenty minutes. Hopefully that would be enough. She had only been to huge train station twice in her life, but had done her best to commit the path to memory. Walking briskly down several hallways, she entered the locker area and began the last leg of her journey.

Stopping in front of one, she pulled out the key and opened the locker. The small duffle bag seemed to have shrunk since she placed it there only yesterday, but she knew in actuality it hadn't changed size. She pulled the bag out, and shut the locker with a resounding clack. Swinging the entirely too light bag over her shoulder, she kept her head lowered, even as she entered the closest female restroom. Kaoru wasn't sure if he would check the security cameras for her, but she knew that she needed to be careful.

It was empty, and she praised her good fortune. Ripping open the bag, she pulled out a pair of scissors. Her hands shook slightly, and she watched her reflection in the mirror. Her eyes were large and wet, almost on the verge of tears, and her face was pale and tense.

"Be strong."

The words felt hollow as they left her mouth, and she tentatively brought the scissors up to her hair. He loved her hair. Kenshin had told her on numerous occasions how it was like glimpsing true twilight. He loved to play with it, loved to see it floating freely around her shoulders. He loved her hair almost as much as she loved his own. But it was so recognizable, so much a part of the old her. Biting her inside cheek, she cut.

Long strands fell into the sink as she worked hard at cutting evenly and quickly. Her thoughts drifted to the past again, and Kaoru didn't stop the scenes from passing behind her eyes.

The club was dark and full of people. Neon lights flickered over the crowd, and heavy music played in the air. She had only been to this type of place once or twice before, and clung to the hand that was guiding her. Kenshin smiled back at her, and she felt a blush of bright crimson on her face. She hoped the dark shadows concealed it. Allowing herself to examine him closer, she admired the way his dark pants and shirt draped over his frame. Man, he was captivating.

They had spoken in his car on the drive over, and she had found herself even more attracted to him. The way he subtly watched her, how he always listened to her, how his eyes lingered on her body when he first picked her up. He definitely didn't think of her like a sister.

Kenshin pulled her gently onto the dance floor, and she gladly followed. Although Kaoru wasn't familiar with this place, she loved dancing and knew that it would make her feel infinitely more comfortable. Giggling as one of her favorite songs came on, she pulled him tightly to her and let her body move to the music. She could tell already he was a fabulous dancer. His movements were graceful and sleek, his body moving with hers almost on instinct.

A few songs later, she felt something start to change in the way they danced. If possible, their bodies grew even closer, not ever seeming to lose contact with one another. She had never danced so passionately, so freely and explicitly. His breath was heavy in her ears, and sweat seemed to cling to their moving forms. Kaoru turned in his hold, and allowed herself to grind up against him.

Hearing his breath catch, she was unprepared when his hands grasped her hips and pulled her closer. Sliding up her body, Kenshin's hand rested just below Kaoru's breast, the other still attached to her waist. She felt the world tilt. This dancing felt so deliciously sinful that there was no way she would have stopped even if she wanted. Twisting her head back, she couldn't help but whimper softly. His hands tightened their grip.

She wondered if he knew. If he had any idea that she had absolutely no experience in this sort of thing. That the slightest touch from him sent her body over the edge. Pushing the thoughts from her mind, she felt determined to have a good time. And she did.

Thinking back now, Kaoru remembered the night with fondness. It was the first of many she had spent dancing with Kenshin. At times she wondered how he had moved with her like that and not gone crazy. Kaoru had unintentionally begged for more than she could handle, more than she was ready for. Not knowing what her body wanted, she gave in to the primal urges as best as she could. By grinding up against him until he nearly passed out. She had asked him later in their relationship how he had handled their first encounters. His reply had been simple, it had been a test of his self control not to throw her to the ground and make her scream his name.

She paused to examine her hair. Bobbed just under her chin, the hair felt lightweight and odd. Satisfied, she pulled the hair from the sink and threw it away. Stepping into the handicapped stall she changed her clothes and threw on a baseball hat that belonged to her brother. She knew that she should really dye her hair as well, but not even she could put herself through so much torture. Walking out of the bathroom, Kaoru made her way across the station.

Taking the steps two at a time, she halted abruptly at the pain between her legs. Gritting her teeth, she took them more slowly. Perhaps she could buy some sort of pain medication on the train. She had no idea how long her body would be sore. Not that Kenshin hadn't been gentle, he had most definitely tried to be. She had never realized that it would feel so good, never realized how wild she could be. Kaoru felt the blush on her cheeks, and did her best to dispel the rampant thoughts inside of her. Walking stiffly, she was thankful to find her train and board with five minutes to spare.

Finding her seat she leaned forward, supporting her elbow on the armrest. Shutting her eyes, she took deep calming breaths. Reaching for her bag, she held the only objects she had allowed herself to carry. It was important to travel right, she couldn't be bogged down with baggage. Hopefully it would be enough. Looking out the window, she felt nervous tension leave her body as the train started.

They had been dating for nearly four months when she came to realize something. Kenshin was not quite what he seemed. She hadn't been bothered when he told her that he was twenty three, five years her senior. Instead she had laughed, saying that she always had wondered what dating an older man would be like. She hadn't found it strange when his work went late into the night and was unpredictable. When he was uninformative on what he actually did for a living, she'd been only slightly perturbed. His job after all didn't make change who he was. And Kenshin had always been quiet about himself, preferring to talk and ask questions about her. Any information she had gotten had been pried or won with sheer luck.

It was on a Friday night while clubbing that Kaoru began to realize just how dangerous her boyfriend was.

Sweaty and hot, Kaoru felt Kenshin stop dancing before he said anything. He wiped a stray hair from her face, and she held her body to his. At moments like this, Kaoru wondered how she had even survived without him. He was warm, strong, protective, funny, smart, amazing. He made her stomach curl and her body ache.

He pressed his mouth to her ear.

"Do you want something to drink?"

She nodded, knowing her voice wouldn't cut through the loud music. Watching him disappear into the crowd, she sighed. No one had expected Kaoru to get into a relationship so quickly, lest of all her. She'd been swept off her feet without even realizing it.

Someone tapped expectantly at her shoulder. Turning, Kaoru was caught off guard when a hand clamped around her waist, while the other locked her arms.

The man holding her smelled of cheap booze, and she struggled against him. His hold tightened, and she found herself fighting for breath. He hefted her off the floor, and she nearly threw up when held up against his body. Kaoru didn't know what to do.

"Kenshin."

Her voice barely registered with the loud music, and all the people dancing blocked her view. She didn't know what this guy's problem was, but she trusted Kenshin to figure it out. His hand crept up toward her breast, and she felt herself go cold.

"Kenshin!"

Her scream was desperate and terrified.

"Kenshin!"

Kaoru started from a passing by woman. Blinking rapidly, she locked out the memories of that night. It was after that night, and the incident, that she knew that she couldn't stay with him. She had lost something that night, and still now she didn't know what to do with the memory. Her right hand briefly touched her left shoulder, tracing a light scar and she jerked when she realized her own actions.

It had taken a while for her to make a decision. After all, in those short months she had grown to rely on Kenshin, had grown to need him. She loved him. Kaoru couldn't talk to her mother about it, the letter she had left her would hopefully be explanation enough. Her mother had led a hard life, raising her children alone while working two jobs. She wasn't as strong as she used to be.

Her younger brother Yahiko was mature for being only fourteen, but she didn't want to involve someone so young and innocent. Their relationship was tumultuous at best. They loved each other, she wouldn't deny that- but she knew how irresistible it was to press at his buttons. And he never passed up an opportunity to press hers. She had only herself, and trying to figure it out had been difficult. For Kenshin, she would leave. For him, she would give up everything. Kaoru had already graduated, high school the only thing that may have held her back from her decision no longer a factor.

She had finally gone to Sanosuke and asked for some sort of knock out drug. He was the only one she could trust with this, the only one that could make sure everything worked out. He wouldn't deny the fact that he had been involved in some sorted events in the past, and she didn't have the slightest clue on how to accomplish her goals. He had been angry with her, angry that she would tell him nothing. But eventually her begging and tears had won out.

"Kaoru, do you know what you're doing?"

Sanosuke's voice still rang loud and clear in her mind. He had used her name, her real name and not the silly little nick name that she had only heard for years. He knew it was serious. Having met him in middle school, the two of them had formed a close bound in a matter of days. They leaned on each other, and provided strength when at times things were tough.

Sanosuke hadn't liked Kenshin in the beginning of her relationship with him and Kenshin hadn't been too fond of Sanosuke either. Both of them were protective and unsure about other guys around her. It had taken numerous occasions, but in the last weeks she had seen Sanosuke and Kenshin start to warm up to one another. She knew that they could be fast friends, if they'd only give each other a chance. At the time he was excited for her, excited to see what would happen in the future. He was an older brother to her, and doing this must have killed him.

"Sanosuke, you can't tell anyone about this- I mean it. In a couple of days there might be some people looking for me, you have to be careful. Please Sano, please trust me."

She had pleaded and pleaded to get him to agree. There was no way she would have been able to do this without him. When he finally wiped away her tears, Kaoru knew she had his cooperation. He hated to see her cry. She had left that night with information and contacts that would be vital to her, and a small vial of something that would change everything.

"Kaoru?"

"Yes Sano?"

"Please, even if you shut everything out- don't let this be the last time I see you."

She knew her response was not what he wanted.

"Please, just keep an eye on my family."

Kaoru pictured his face briefly, the wide smile and sparkling brown eyes. And his hair, the dark hair that seemed to defy gravity. She would miss him.

Two days and hours of planning later, she went over to Kenshin's for dinner. Her plan had been simple. Just get him to drink the liquid, so she could get a few extra hours of travel time in. Kenshin slept light, and now that she was no longer in high school- they saw each other nearly every day. She had worn her favorite sweater and a pair of jeans, planning on making everything as normal as possible.

Of course, halfway through the meal he had cooked for them, he had known something was up. She had managed to put the drug in his drink, but knew from Sanosuke that it would take four hours to completely take effect.

"Kaoru, are you alright?"

His voice was soft and probing. Kaoru looked up from her barely touched food, and watched his eyes. They were a soft purple laced with more amber than she had seen in a long time. She loved his eyes. Twisting the fork idly in her hand, she watched her plate. How could she wait any longer? Every minute felt uncomfortable and torturous. Spending time with him had never been that way until tonight.

He moved and her eyes reflexively followed him. She drank in his sight, knowing the memories would have to last her a life time. The long hair pulled in a high ponytail, the dark t-shirt that fit his small but strong frame, and the energy he seemed to exude.

She wondered if she could ever feel this way again.

"Do you wanna watch a movie?"

She ignored his question and countered with one of her own. Maybe a movie could keep her mind off everything for a little while. She hoped he wouldn't press her for answers she wasn't willing to give. He nodded yes, and she helped him clean up the meal. Kaoru had to admit that he was a good cook, a great cook. He worked diligently on the dishes, and Kaoru dried them as best as she could. Finishing, she set the cloth down with an inaudible sigh. How could she do this? Feeling suddenly exhausted and emotionally drained, she leaned forward and pressed her head between his shoulder blades. He stilled his movements even as her hands clutched at the back of his shirt.

"Kenshin."

She spoke his name in little more than a whisper, sobs rapidly choking her voice. She bit her lip, even as her cries became surprisingly violent. How could she feel so much for one person? He turned and cradled her, picking her up easily- she melted into his embrace. Moving to the living room he sat on the couch, still holding her. Kenshin rocked her back and forth steadily, and Kaoru cried into the crook of his neck. When she finally had her sobs under control, she pulled away, embarrassed and unsure. He didn't let her go however, continuing to rock her until she felt her breathing return to normal.

"Don't pull away from me Kaoru."

The words spoke to her deeper than he could have ever imagined. The commanding tone in his voice left no room for argument, and she was reminded of just how much Kenshin kept hidden.

Leaning in, he licked away the tears that had accumulated on her face. She could feel the blush on her cheeks.

"Do you want to talk about it?"

His voice had turned soothing, and she shook her head no. Kaoru needed to do this, for him, for her, for so many reasons. He nodded in understanding, the glint in his eyes telling her that there would be questions later. By that time however, she would hopefully be gone. Letting herself be held, she was surprised when a small package was set in her lap.

"I was waiting for the right time to give this to you."

She looked up at Kenshin, unsure of what to say. He had gotten her a gift. The same night she had been deceptive and cruel, he had thoughtfully presented her with a token of his feelings. The same night she would rip herself away from him…Kaoru could feel the tears on the back of her eyes. He rubbed her back soothingly, and clasped her shaking hands in his own.

"It's alright Kaoru, it's alright."

He always treated her like this. Like she might break at any moment. She found his concern for her both heart warming and heart wrenching. Could he truly see just how emotionally confused she was? How much she leaned on his strength? Kaoru knew he must, because beneath that calm exterior she had glimpsed a passionate and possessive man. A part of him that was gradually becoming more and more apparent each day- that he would do anything to protect her, anything to keep her close to him.

She removed one of her hands from his to open the box. A silver necklace lay within, a lone diamond shining brightly in the room. Taking it out, she examined it closer, it was simply breathtaking.

Feeling emotion spill forth, she didn't try to stop the tears on her cheeks. His hands closed over hers once again, and he smoothly put the piece of jewelry on her. This was too much for her too handle. How many times would she cry tonight?

"Kaoru. I hate seeing your tears."

He kissed at her tears once more, and she shivered beneath his firm hold. The necklace was cool against her skin. Nipping down her face, one hand remained on her waist, while the other cradled the back of her neck. She felt his breath than lips tickle at her bare skin.

"Kaoru, I love you."

Hearing those words from his lips, Kaoru's world grew white. His touch created a fire on her skin, and she couldn't help but writhe as the experience intensified. Feeling urgent, she pulled his face up to hers and kissed him back, pressing him deeply into the couch. His eyes were an intense amber. She grew hot and needy, and knew that there was only one precious gift that she wanted to give him before she left. Kaoru grabbed at his hand, moving it up beneath her top and toward her breasts. Her other hand was already fiddling with his shirt. One gift that could tell him exactly what she felt for him.

Kaoru felt herself blush, thinking about last night's encounter. She herself hadn't planned on it, hadn't even thought about it before it happened. Sipping on an ice tea she had stored in her bag, she recalled some of her memories with affection. He had been so unsure at first, so unwilling to do something that she didn't want. Once he was convinced however that she did want it…Kaoru knew that her blush had deepened.

Some of her memories after that were a bit of a blur. After all, she hadn't exactly been thinking completely lucidly. It was hard to breath with him touching her, let alone think. But it had been incredible, he was incredible.

Looking out the window, she watched New York fall out of view. The sun had finally made its first appearance of the day, and the city was illuminated in a magical glow. She clutched at her necklace and rested her head against the back of the seat. This was goodbye. Goodbye to her family, friends…it was goodbye to the man she loved. And even as she choked back tears, she realized the horrible truth.

He had said he loved her, and she had never said it back.