Veiled

The sun had just begun it descent when a group of travelers began to gather in a small town square. They had broken up for a supply run for the long journey before deciding their next course of action.

In the shade of a tree a swordsman with auburn hair stood stoically with arms crossed loosely over his purple clad chest. He seemed deep in thought and gave off an aura that made other passers-by give him his space. His back was to the busy street, but his heightened senses were aware of everyone who walked by him.

Not far away silver locks bounced in time to a fast paced stride. The pedestrian, garbed in a long orange coat and blessed with elegant features slowed as she drew closer to the swordsman. As the distance between the evaporated not a hint of recognition crossed the woman's features, for all anyone knew they could have been complete strangers. She wore a mask of indifference, but when she passed not three paces away from the statuesque man her head slowly turned, sending a blue penetrating gaze to the figure's back.

Kratos turned his chin into the opposite direction of the female who was behind him. He made a show of ignorance, but Professor Sage had the kind of presence that would not be ignored. As she continued on her way he turned curious hooded eyes only to watch her coat sway in the light breeze.

Kratos shrugged in off as a freak occurrence, but it didn't stop there….

From that point on her eyes had become a constant companion. Sometimes they held admiration others times suspicion, and on occasions both, but today there was something else.

Leading the young adventurers down the road Kratos suddenly felt a sharp sensation at the base of his spine that traveled up and out, and for the first time he met those veiled indigo eyes. She was caught, and for a brief second looked both flustered and angry. Quickly she turned away as if nothing had at all happened, keeping beside Genis as they continued down the dusty road. And just like that, the moment was gone, as if nothing but a memory.

Only for Kratos it had turned into a turning point and From then on he found his thoughts turning in the direction of one, Raine Sage. She was ever the picture of maturity and reason, calm (for the most part) and undeniably beautiful; only a fool would deny that fact. Her small eccentricities like her obsession with artifacts and slightly vicious nature made all the more intriguing; though as of recently the feeling seemed to be mutual. Many times he had caught that deep blue gaze and just as many she would look away or shift her eyes. Raine could never be described as shy, but he was certain she didn't want him to find out the reasons for her straying concentration.

It was funny that she thought to hide from him; naïve too. Kratos had lived for far too and had created masks of his own not to know she was hiding something. The mask she wore most of the time was almost as flawless as his own, she only confided in him in reference to the children and their journey. She gave away nothing yet Kratos knew there was more to it. Distrust, respect, suspicion and something else were shadowed within those eyes, and he was curious as to what it was.

He didn't find out what until a few weeks later…

In a small fishing town there few scant hours before morning began in full. The professor, known for keeping odd hours was already awake and facing east as the sun peeked over the vast sea.

Since he required very little rest Kratos was up and about as well when he came up to the scholar. With arms folded he joined her content to keep the silence between them while watching the sky change from deep purple to bright orange.

But the moment did not last long. Hearing a shift directly to his left Kratos looked out the corner of his eyes only to see the professor bow her head in what looked like deep concentration. Silver bangs brushed her cheeks, her posture became rigid, and waves of some sort of discomfort radiated from her body.

Kratos looked closer. He couldn't believe it when as saw a light splash of color stain the tops of her cheeks.

"I think I should wake the others," she mumbled before setting a brisk pace back towards the Inn.

"Hmm," Kratos the turned his attention back to the rising sun.

…………….

Before he knew it an obsession had grown. Not that he cared too much about what others thought of him, but he was eager to know what was on the woman's mind. He wanted to shatter her mask to see what lay beneath, but she was proving to be exceedingly stubborn.

Pretty soon Kratos found himself wanting to elicit more reactions from the scholar. Whenever they had a private discussion on Colette's condition or any other matter he would stand just a little bit closer than necessary, always looking deep into her eyes when she spoke. He would watch in fascination how she struggled to keep her composure, despite the faint blush that would always betray her.

It was because of this fixation that Kratos also became frustrated with her. Every glance, every glare meant something, because Raine was not the type to daydream. Those looks had gained in intensity that added degrees to his body temperature. Now he no longer wanted to know how that mind of hers worked, he needed to know. It was one the first times since his youth that he wasn't able to assess an opponent, and unknown to Raine, she was in fact his adversary.

…………………. Months later: Tethe' alla

Clicking heels echoed loudly across the empty Metokio streets. The city was all but deep in slumber at this time of night, giving the vast metropolis an almost desolate feel. Yet despite the barren landscape it didn't make the scenery any less beautiful. The night sky was filled with stars, houselights and lamp lights provided the city with illumination, while a crisp breeze played with the silver locks of the street's lone inhabitant.

Raine sighed heavily letting the day's worries and stresses float away with each stride. As away to distract herself she started counting the intervals between the streets lamps and the stretch of shadow.

'…..9, 10, 11, 12. Ha! I knew it,' Raine smiled content just to be by herself on this brisk night.

She kept a steady rhythm counting each interval and calculating how many steps it would take if she were to run or jog. Raine felt light as a feather, the meditative walk was doing wonders for her burdened mind.

Of course…it was not about to last...

A tickling at the back of Raine's conscience caused her to momentarily glance up from her feet. Just as she was about to step into the familiar circular glow of a streetlight her deep indigo eyes spotted the silhouette of a taller figure leaning against a brick wall. Brought up short, nervous energy jolted through Raine's body; she wasn't counting on any encounter this late at night.

Shoulders pressed firmly against the rough brick with head held low enough for reddish-brown locks to cover his eyes, Kratos pushed himself off the wall. He knew her well; he knew that she would take a walk and that she always headed west, and he knew that she would be alone. Now he had her and there was no way Raine Sage could evade him this time.

"You startled me," the professor breathed putting a hand over her pounding heart.

Kratos was silent as he stepped into the lamplight closing the distance between the half-elf and himself. He took his time regarding her noting her slightly flushed cheeks and a lone droplet of sweat beading at her temple. Those deep indigo eyes never wavered, but he had learned to look deeper to know her internal state of mind.

She was nervous.

"Everything is well?" Kratos asked quickly catching her eyes before they could drift their focus away. His hard auburn gaze held a silent challenge as well as a victorious gleam, but he was able to keep his visage expressionless.

"Yes, thank you," Raine made to step around him, but soon found it near impossible to step around that solid body of his. "Is there something you need," she asked calmly, though desperately wanting to put more distance between them.

Raine was greeted with more silence. She was unaware of her backwards steps till her back came into contact with the red bricked wall, yet her eyes stayed glued to his.

They were about a hairs breath from touching and Raine was forced to lift her chin to keep eye contact. She was hopelessly flustered and even more shamed to have let such a silly emotion revealed to the swordsman. Caught with in his spell Raine's breathing became fast and shallow; she was mindful of drawing a full breath afraid that the tips of her breast would brush against his chest. She hated feeling this way and the more he stood their staring at her the angrier she became.

"What do you want!" Raine hissed narrowing her eyes while her beautiful features twisted into a frown.

A calloused hand clad in fingerless gloves slid up the no petrified woman's face. Her eyes were comically large when Kratos bent at the waist to lightly brush his lips against hers. Raine's head jerked back painfully hitting the wall behind, she gasped in surprise giving the former Cruxis member an opening to advance.

He kissed her hard holding her in place by interlocking his fingers through her chin length silver hair. He ran his tongue from the corner of her mouth pressing along the seam of her lips and demanding entrance. Both of Raine's hand grabbed and clawed at his arms; the invasion into her mouth making her jump up, pressing her further into his ardent advances.

Before long in his unrelenting attack Kratos could feel Raine beginning to respond. Her body grew pliable and her lips parted even more slowly beginning their own heated movements. He responded by pressing her further back trapping her between the wall and his body. She felt exquisite! Her body was firm from serious travel yet still possessed the soft curves of a woman. Moaning roughly he slid his tongue with an in and out motions mimicking an even more intimate action that had her near trembling in his arms.

He slowly stepped back watching her catch her breath. Her eyes, this time were a smoky half lidded blue that made electric sensations run throughout his flesh. The tousled flushed look was very flattering Kratos thought to himself looking her form up and down.

Then it hit him. He never could get Raine to voluntarily let down her guard. No, it was he who had been the one to break and cross boundaries tonight. She had beaten him at his own game through greater will power than he had originally given her credit for. Tonight's events were solely Kratos' own doing, he was the one who followed her out, he was the one who put himself in her path, and he was also the one to approach and make the first move. Unknowing or not she drew him out into the open forcing him to take a dangerous risk. 'A worthy adversary,' he thought mischievously closing in on the professor once more.

The End

A/N: I just wanted to write a shameless Kratos/ Raine to get it out of my system. I hope it turned out ok. Thanks for reading.