Ah, now this is what you've been waiting for, am I right? I know it took a little while in coming. Please cut me some slack on that, I beg. I won't rain down my excuses, but I've been a little busy. And I had an AU idea I wanted to try while I had the inspiration flowing for it. Special thanks to those of you who checked it out, by the way.

Well now. I've been exploring the multiple ways in which this story could evolve. I'm not entirely sure exactly which road to fully take yet, but I can promise you one thing:

If you don't hate Matthew Riverston yet, you're bound to very soon. And if you do hate him already, then I'm doing my job right. Yeah, I have no sympathy even for my own character.

And for the record, although this was so long in coming, there's nearly two full pages of just planning that I had for this chapter, in which some things changed or got switched around. I did not want to abuse plotholes just in order for Chrno to be able to change his form and yet I did not want the exact reasoning behind it that he has in Blank Pages, either. But I hope you'll be satisfied with what I've come up with. I had no intention of leaving him in his small form, so don't worry about that.

Warning: LIME and slight adultish situations in this chapter, again. Yes. Don't read if you can't stand that kind of thing.

With that said, I hope you'll enjoy the third chapter of Crossing the Line. And please don't bug me about updating Blank Pages. There's a really big plot thing I need to get worked out. I need some facts so I can decide if that's the route I want to take. It'll come. Just please be patient.

Reader Responses (Lengthy, once again):

Maiden of the Moon: Glad you're still enjoying it. XD I'm cheering Chrno on too, lol. And I'm trying to write for myself. It's hard, but I'll keep at it. And I am having fun, at least. As for Matthew, yes, I think I can arrange for him to be free on Tuesdays. And abuse him all you'd like. The nasty snake deserves it. And no worries about the number of reviews thing XD; You didn't have to do that. lol But I finally brought the next chapter!

Dazja: LOL! XD Yes, he is, isn't he?

A-chan: Oh yes, he will. He will. hehehe Assumptions are going to lead him into digging his own grave. Well, that mixed with arrogance and a few of his other qualities.

Squee Doodles: Yes! I had more fun! Enjoy! And thanks. XD

Tifa Hikari: o.o Really? LOL. I'm honored that you think so. Glad you're enjoying it!

nitemistris09x: Erm well, I don't plan to do anything that explicit, but there's more lime in this chapter. XD If you'd like a lemon, I could maybe post one on if you're familiar with that place... And noooo! Don't love anything over life. Life is precious.

Silverwolf08: Hehe. XD Yes he is.

Angelstars: Oh yes, Matthew is going to get what he deserves. (cackles) There's a bit more CxR interaction this chapter too, if you couldn't tell from the lime warning. XD Thanks for the review!

blabityyloloco: Hehe XD Updated! And it's rather long.

Outsane: Glad that you were satisifed with the lime. X3 Hope this chapter doesn't disappoint. But I have finally supplied another chapter!

Jazzy Uchiha: Interesting stuff to happen this chapter. hehe I rather like Chrno that way, as well.

bluestarlight922: Glad you liked it! More citrus in this chapter. hehe

Aoi: I come bearing more! Yes, I'm rather fond of Chrno here too. XD

Dragon Rider Tayo: Thank you. XD I know he's a little OOC, but I'm having way too much fun writing him this way. Exploring his other aspects and deeper hidden tendancies is quite fun and addictive.

Kawaii Rin-chan: Thank you. :3 I rather like it too, for some reason. Thanks for keeping up with the story!

Quicksilvermad: Thanks much. XD And yes, it's quite interesting, methinks. I love writing Chrno this way.

Chrno: Hey now, of course I update! And although my stuff can take time in coming, it's usually quite long. I hoped that would account for something. And yes, I'm having a bit of fun writing Chrno as such. hehe

Amity-Star: Yes, Chrno is a load of fun to write in this. I love exploring his different aspects and taking the rather small tendancies and feelings he has to higher ground. Thanks!

TaKeMyPaInAwAy: o.o... Well um...Oh my. XD Matthew will get what's coming to him, but I'm afraid a little more hatred may burn toward him before that happens. (smiles nervously) But I do love that side to Chrno. Such fun. Thanks for reviewing!

Racheru-Chan: Believe it or not, intensity is about to go up a notch or two. Glad you're enjoying it so far! Matthew will get just a bit of what's coming to him...

watergoddesskasey: Thanks!

Hitomi-+-Inuyasha: You'll definitely find out this chapter. lol It's not going to be pretty though. But I have updated!

Daughter of Bast1: Yes, just a little upset. hehe Glad you liked the bath scene! That was really hard to write. :x I'm glad you think they're still true to their characters, as well. I really do try to hold on to them in that way. ...Oh, and you don't know how right you are about that last comment! LOL.

godoflight: Thanks! Updated!

Hikari: XD Yes, so sexy. He's so fun to write. Glad you like it!

Shadow Fox777: hehe We'll see, we'll see.

alssamarie: It's okay. XD; I'm glad you took the time to read it. Thanks a lot for the feedback!

DTN: Oh, it makes me a happy fangirl too. lol. More lime in this chappie, so I hope it's not too bad. Thanks!

Rydia the Dark Angel: Right you are! And I had loads of fun writing this chapter too. XD

Kazemaru-Kun: Yes, yes. Love him that way. hehe

Moon Kitty 2005: Keeping it coming! hehe Little more lime in this chapter and definitely moving things along. I'm really happy that you like it! Still working on BP though, so please be patient with me.

Pyro190: Thanks! I'm still going!

Inufan012: (cries) Sorry. It was a convientient place to let off. I tried to hurry anyway...but I write kind of long.

maria: Ack! Easy on the laughing. Tears are no fun. XD; And yes, I love Chrno that way too.

Indygodusk: Lol. I'm enjoying writing his part a lot, if you couldn't tell. hehe And yeah, I do tend to use some overly-metaphoric material when I go into deep detail on something. Kind of a bad habit. I'm working on it, though!

miyukihime: Thanks! XD I've been wanting to write about one, lol!

kaitou angel: Lol, really? XD Well, I have continued! Thankies!

Fairy Tale Faerie: Whoa, really? Glad you're enjoying it! And thanks a lot for the kind words!

LoudMouth0920: Thanks! And I have continued, of course!

SakK: Yes, that was quite amusing for me to write. Had a part of that chapter worked out for awhile and was just dying to get it written. Thanks a bunch!

Newbie GK: I don't feel sorry for Matthew. LOL. Yeah, not even for my own character. Well, I don't think you will after this chapter, either. He's a selfish little !#$. Doesn't quit and gets in over his head.

Zilleniose: Oh yes, finally got that bit in! hehe. And Chrno is so cute and sexy that way. Love writing him. Oh-ho things get a little messy this chapter. ahahahaha

Stratagirl: Thanks for all the support! I'm having a lot of fun writing it. :D

Jainga: Indeed, he does have the right to be. And even moreso this chapter. hehe I've continued too, of course.

TheeSinnerChrno: Thank you! And I have updated it!

Gabrielle3: Thanks a lot. :3 You can finally find out what happens next!

Gabrielle: A fan manga? Doujinshi? I've thought about it. Even made a possible cover for it...but it'll take a whole lot of work. For now, I think I'll stick to writing it out. hehe

Chizz-muffinChik: Yes, Florida boy is getting in way over his stupid head. lol And I'm having great fun with Chrno. He gets a step up this chapter. hehe

SlyverAngel: Yes, I've wanted to explore this part of Chrno for awhile. I'm having great fun. hehe And have finally updated. Thanks XD

Danelle: Thanks! The wait is over. :D

thechickenlittle: hehe Thanks a lot. XD I'm having a good time with Chrno's character. Matthew is in big trouble, yes he is.

xandria-tchebbi: Thanks a bunch! I have continued!

Emerald Shadow: Of course he's not going to stay like that, LOL. This was partly so long in coming because I needed a way to change him without abusing a stupid plothole or something. And I think it came out satisfactory.

WitchingMoon: Glad you think so. XD And no, you don't sound mean. He's been made to be hated. That mask of his doesn't stay on his face for long. Dirty little...(coughs) No need for the 'post now' things, lol. I've updated.

Kinaangel: I have continued. :3

Priestess-Taisho: Thank you! And here's the update!

Ginger: Yes, I'm loving the exploration of this side of him. Having a lot of fun with it. Thanks for the input! And no worries about disliking Matthew. If you actually liked him, I'd be appalled. LOL.

Thorns of beauty: Yes, indeed. XD I'm having fun with Chrno.

Thanks indefinitely to all reviewers! (super huggles to all) Your support and feedback keeps me going, you guys! I'm forever grateful to you!

Disclaimer: Chrno Crusade and all of its characters are not my property. They rightfully belong to Daisuke Moriyama. All I own from this fic is the plot and the character that everyone loves to hate, namely Matthew-stupid-jerk-prick-horny-ass Riverston.


Crossing the Line Chapter 3: Warnings Not Heeded


There was a heavily silence in the Elder's workshop.

And it was broken moments later by the old man's deep sigh, his head shaking back and forth as he opened his mouth to speak. "You can't keep doing this, Chrno."

"I know," came the demon's soft, regret-filled reply. He sat in a chair by the workbench, staring at the floor.

The white-haired weaponry maker pressed a hand to his temple, the other rising to adjust his goggle-like glasses. "I understand that you don't want to see her get hurt, my boy, but you're only going to hurt her more if you keep losing your temper like that."

"I know," Chrno answered once more, a bit more force in his tone.

Another sigh issued from the Elder. "It sounds like you're already getting irritated by something," he supplied, leaving room for the violet-haired boy to elaborate.

Finally moving from his position, the Sinner's false form stomped his feet heavily on the ground. "Of course I'm irritated! More than irritated!" He rose from the chair, red eyes flashing. "What can I do like this? Nothing!"

The perverted old man seemed quite taken aback by the usually-calm boy's sudden outburst. "Now, now, M'boy," he waved his hands slightly in apprehension, hoping the demon didn't lose his cool and destroy anything in his work area. "Don't get carried away. What exactly do you mean?"

The frustrated demon gestured to himself disgustedly. "Look at this!" he spat, "This form!"

"Yes," the other replied quite calmly. "The form you take in order not to suck away your Contractor's life."

"I know that! I know that!" the crimson-eyed boy seethed, hastily sitting back down before he had the urge to break something. "But that doesn't change the fact that it makes me absolutely, positively, one-hundred-percent useless when it comes to protecting her or helping her in any physical way!"

The Elder frowned, pondering.

Chrno continued on. "No one is going to take me seriously when I look like this...twelve year old little boy," he muttered. "I admit, I used to like that fact. People were more inclined to trust me than to place judgment on me for what I was. But dammit, I can't continue to sit back and let these things happen!"

"Rosette's a big girl, Chrno," the begoggled man tried to reason. "She can hold her own in a fight when needed. And mistakes do happen, M'boy. That's just a fact of life."

"If I wasn't stuck like this, many of them could be prevented," the violet-haired Sinner replied woefully. "If I could do something more, she wouldn't have to get hurt." At this point, the boy lowered his face into his hands. "I can't...can't just sit on the sidelines and watch it happen. I won't."

The demon had seen glimpses of his blond partner's vulnerable side lately, in more ways than one. And he couldn't deny that the desire to protect her from everything he could, was growing stronger with every passing breath. Rosette was steadily beginning to rely on him, in very small and even silent ways. He couldn't possibly let her down again.

"You've used another false form in the past, haven't you?" The Elder inquired curiously, pulling the crimson-eyed boy from his thoughts.

Chrno merely nodded, face still shrouded from view behind his clawed hands. "Yes, but I had my horns then," he explained. "They were hidden, but I could still draw from them."

The old man clasped his hands behind his back, a smile small working its way onto his wrinkled features. "Well, M'boy, I think it's possible you can even draw from what's left of them."

The demon Sinner's head shot up at this, ruby eyes wide and questioning. "Really?"

The white-haired inventor approached his lab bench, pulling open a drawer and extracting numerous broken demon horns, all wrapped individually. "Indeed, Chrno," the grin widened as he spoke. "I've conducted a few tests with these among other things. Busted or not, each section of the horn retains some power."

A hand shot up through purple-colored tresses, finding the nubs left from his own fractured astral organs. "So, even the very base?"

The Elder placed the experimental demonic horns back into the drawer and brushed his white lab coat. "Especially the base," he stated matter-of-factly. "Though it is indeed quite hard to harness that deeply-embedded power. Which is probably why your kind have turned to other means of obtaining your living force."

"Have you figured a way to do it?" The demon boy blurted hurriedly before he could stop himself. He was more than intrigued by this revelation.

The old coot's grin expanded. "While it's not nearly enough to accommodate your demon transformation, for that requires a constant source, that small surge of retained astral could easily provide you with a bit more of a fitting form, if you so desired."

Chrno lightly gripped at the edge of the chair he was sitting upon, red eyes alight with the possibilities it could grant him. "Anything is better than this," he decided, turning his pleading gaze to the Elder. "What do I need to do?"

Pacing before the violet-haired boy, the old man looked over the array of tools neatly arranged in the corner of his work area. "Sit tight, M'boy," he replied, briskly moving to retrieve one of the devices. "The remainder of your horns have sealed themselves over to prevent the leave of that bottled astral," the old inventor continued, adjusting his goggle-like spectacles as he viewed over his chosen instrument.

There was a pause, in which the menacing-looking contraption was brought to life. Chrno swallowed in slight anticipation, but didn't move to run as the stout man came closer.

"I'll just need to open a wee hole or two in the base," he stated lightly. "And before they reseal, the rest is up to your will."

Chrno's wide ruby-colored eyes were fixed on the drill. "Uhhh, this isn't going to hurt, is it?"

The instrument hummed shrilly in response, the Elder grinning almost sadistically behind it. The boy's tanned hands instantly rose from their grip on the chair and closed over the broken stumps of his horns, his feet moving to scoot the chair farther away.

'This had better be worth it,' he hoped silently, a whimper escaping his throat.

Moments later, a multitude of Chrno's screams met the late afternoon air, mixed with the metallic hiss of the contraption being driven into the base of his horns.


The young brunette man couldn't force the events from his mind. It was all so horribly unreal.

Slipping into the silent church, he started down the hall to his left, wandering rather aimlessly. He came here to think, to plan. The "runt" as he had so called him, was turning out to be more than just a little pest to reckon with. All day long, the miniature monster had been nearly glued to the blond girl's side, preventing Matthew from being granted the chance to speak with her alone.

He could tell she was upset. It must have been the demon's doing. It had probably threatened her at every turn, warning her of consequences. The thought caused his gloved fist to clench at his side, militia boots echoing their dulled pace through the empty passageway.

To think that she allowed herself to suffer, her will to be swayed by that horrific creature. He both pitied her and was disgusted with her lack of courage. The Florida-native teen knew he had to take the matter into his own hands. Her actions mirrored the fact that she was not going to bother helping herself.

A small smirk worked its way onto his handsome features, green eyes glinting in the dim light.

That could work to his favor. Rosette would be inclined to more readily trust him if he were to save her from her imprisonment, from her demonic partner's enslavement. His advances would be welcomed, he was sure. The blond beauty would crave his strong embrace, his protection. It would be natural, since he was human, afterall, and not some otherworldly creature that would invoke terror into her being.

A pleasurable chill went down his spine, just imagining the possibilities. He was free here in New York, unlike the walls that barred him from desire in Florida. And to think the rumor of Rosette Christopher had been true, as well. The young man licked his lips unconsciously, still remembering her response to his first kiss.

She'd be putty in his hands once the nuisance was dealt with. All he had to do in the mean time was convince her that she was not trapped, to release her from the violet-haired demon's spell.

Now if only he could get a moment of time with-

He halted in mid-step, emerald eyes broadening.

Most ironically and unexpectedly, there she was.

Matthew blinked quickly, wondering if his imagination had merely carved her out of thin air, but when his gaze focused again, she solidly remained. And sitting alone in the Chapel's front pew, Rosette was a vision of loveliness that he couldn't seem to tear his awestruck eyes from.

Sitting alone.

His fortune had skyrocketed, it seemed. The demonic runt was nowhere in sight. He wouldn't be receiving another chance like this anytime soon.

Squaring his shoulders and clearing his throat lightly, the male exorcist strode into the small room, coming to a leisurely stop just before the bench she was seated upon.

"A rather odd place to run into one who is not of the Sisterhood," his baritone voice announced in an amused fashion.

Slightly startled, her closed eyes snapped open, turning toward the arrival with questioning blue orbs. "Mr. Riverston," she breathed out, surprise present in her tone.

"Matthew," he corrected as he lowered himself to sit next to her, humor shining in the depths of his green eyes. "Praying, Miss Rosette?"

A blush rose to her cheeks as she frowned back at him. "Maybe," she countered. "Or perhaps I was just thinking."

"Oh?" his brows raised slightly. "Do tell."

She peered over at him again, as though wondering if she should say anything. Chrno had warned her about Matthew, though he had refused to tell her the full extent of his vehement denial of her seeking the brunette's company. Her eyebrows furrowed. His secretiveness was starting to piss her off. If he was jealous or something, the demon boy could have just told her so. He'd never had problems with her making friends before Matthew Riverston came along.

The blond exorcist sighed. "Just about recent happenings, among other things that have been bothering me."

He opened his mouth, nearly ready to question her about what he'd been thinking about, but held back. Perhaps it was better if he was friendlier first and took things slow. No need to jump the gun. The Florida-native held a hand out in a random gesture, urging her to elaborate. "Such as...?"

"Nothing," she finally decided, staring absentmindedly off into a stained glass window.

Matthew frowned, but quickly lifted his lips back into a smile. "Now you must know I have no intention of giving up on getting to know you," he assured her softly, almost with a chastising, playful tone. 'In more ways than one,' his mind furthered silently as he imagined running his fingers along her ivory skin and into the gold tresses that framed her face.

The sapphire-eyed girl turned toward him once again, lips parted slightly and pale eyebrows raised. She was a little stunned that he didn't seem perturbed or irritated with her lack of openness.

He laughed at the sight of her expression. "You look as though you expected me to sulk and walk away," the young brunette mused.

The red hue returned to the blond teenteen's cheeks. "I suppose I sort of did," she mumbled awkwardly.

Matthew chuckled once more. "Sorry to disappoint you, Rosette, but I'm not a quitter."

The fiery young girl turned away from him once again, inwardly fighting with herself.

'He sounds sincere,' one part of her reasoned.

'But Chrno wouldn't warn you about him for nothing," another piece within her voiced.

Unable to cope with her own torn inner conscious, the frustrated blond exorcist swiftly rose to her feet and passed by the wide-eyed Matthew with an apologetic smile. "Sorry to cut this short, Mr. Riverston,"

"Matthew," he interrupted patiently.

"Right, well... I've really got to get going," she said, avoiding his green stare as one of her hands rose to cup the opposite arm in a nervous gesture. "Chrno will be wondering where I've been."

She laughed rather forcefully and a deep frown creased the male's features at the mention of the demon. Rosette waved a hand in a nonchalant goodbye and turned to leave, but he quickly rose and grabbed hold of her wrist before she passed.

Azure eyes blinked back at him in shock.

"Rosette, can you meet me here around midnight?"

The eyes blinked again, blond eyebrows furrowing in bewilderment. "Meet you here? Why?"

He held her gaze steadily, expression unchanging. "There's something extremely important that I need to discuss with you."

She glanced back at him suspiciously, wiggling her arm free from his grasp. "And you didn't bring it up earlier because...?" The blond teen left the question hang open, waiting expectantly for an answer.

"Please, Rosette," Matthew pushed urgently. "I'll explain it all when you get here. I promise."

The fair-haired tornado folded her arms, pondering silently to herself before meeting the plead of emerald again. "Let me guess, Chrno isn't supposed to know about this?"

"No," Matthew affirmed with a shake of his head. "This is something I need to discuss with you personally."

She bit her lip, arms unconsciously flitting up and down her open skin. "I can't promise anything, but I'll try. I suppose it's the least I can do for your putting up with my aloftness today."

The brunette Floridian smiled his gratitude. "Thanks, I really appreciate it."

She started for the Chapel door, but he called her name once more, causing the blond to pause. "Did you forget something?"

He hurried to her side. "I thought I'd walk you back to the dorms. It's probably dark out by now."

Rosette chewed on her bottom lip once more, unsure of what to say. It was unlikely that Chrno would be about, but if he were to catch her in the brown-haired young man's company, she was certain he wouldn't be happy. And the blond didn't really want to have to deal with their antics again, as she had the night before.

"It's alright, Mr. Riverston," she assured him with a smile ("Matthew," he corrected again with a distinct clearing of his throat). "It's not like I'm afraid of the dark or anything."

He appeared slightly disheartened by her kind refusal, but smiled back nonetheless. "If you're sure, Rosette." Remembering something suddenly, he popped open one of the front pockets of his uniform and pulled out what was undoubtedly another red rose, though quite small as compared to the first one. "Take this with you then, won't you?"

The fair-haired teen smiled in turn, accepting his second kind flower offering. "Thank you."

Rosette then whirled around, flower in hand, and fled out the Chapel entrance without another word.


The blonde's promenade back to her room was quick, even openly rushed partway.

After climbing the long stairway, she hurriedly hid herself into the safety of her single dorm, locking the door soundly behind her. Rosette definitely did not want to deal with any more of her fellow Sister's probing and prodding into her personal business. She'd had enough of that to deal with this morning already.

Flopping onto her simple bed with a sigh, the female exorcist dropped the second rose beside the first, which was still resting innocently and untouched on her beside table.

Something very important that he needed to discuss with her, huh?

She frowned, shivering slightly from a chilly wind that brushed over her lithe form. While she was slowing regaining the feel of comfort around her partner, Rosette found that Matthew still made her feel a little uneasy. She wasn't exactly sure why. Perhaps it was merely Chrno's warning that was haunting her. Afterall, the Riverston boy was behaving in a strictly friendly manner now, much unlike her encounter with him in the gardens had been when he openly kissed her.

Another icy wind drifted through her open window and the young woman rose from the splayed bedsheets, moving to shut the glass screens before she froze.

Just a couple feet shy of the windows, Rosette inhaled sharply, bright blue eyes broadening to their full size.

Perched on her balcony was the silhouette of a man. And from the looks of it, not one she was familiar with. He wasn't as small as her treasured close companion, and his shoulder length and general size outdid Matthew Riverston as well. Fighting down the abrupt urge to scream bloody murder, the blond swallowed hard and continued slowly toward the fluttering curtains, one hand moving to position over the gun strapped readily at her leg.

"Who are you?" she questioned straight and clear.

The figure rose, proving that he was indeed taller than Matthew, but somehow the stance was just slightly familiar to her.

"I asked you a question," she reminded the silent masculine form, fingering the holster of her weapon. "I think it'd be polite to answer before I'm forced to blow a Sacred into you."

The tall figure beyond the windows sighed, defeated, and came into the light. "So much for hoping you'd recognize me, huh?" He smiled lopsidedly down at the girl.

"Oh, it's just you, Chrno." Rosette breathed out, recognizing the violet plait and red-eyed stare immediately.

-Then did a horrendous double take.

"What the hell happened to you?" she blurted loudly, open-mouthed and staring at him in something akin to dumb shock. "You don't just grow two feet taller in the space of a few hours!"

He actually chuckled upon viewing her reaction, walking calmly into the room and closing the windows behind him. "Not bad, huh? I was rather impressed with it, myself."

An area of smooth and muscled bronze skin peeked out from his half-open white shirt and Rosette felt a distinctly large amount of heat rise from her neck upward. "N-No, not bad at all," she remarked rather quietly, turning her rapidly reddening face away from his display as she whirled around nervously.

"What brings you here?" the blond inquired after a moment of silence, her back still facing toward him.

"I haven't seen you since around lunchtime, you know," he stated, finding it a little irritating that she expected him to have specific reasons for coming to visit her. "And I thought I'd get your opinion on the change."

"Well I gave it to you," she offered in rush. "Anything else?"

Violet eyebrows furrowed. "What's the matter with you tonight, Rosette?"

She determinedly kept her back to him, refusing vocal answer, as well.

-Until a pair of strong wrapped about her middle, violet hair drifting over her shoulder and brushing gently across the skin of her face, eliciting a small gasp from deep in her throat.

"I wanted to see my mate," he voiced huskily into her ear, unable to resist a small nip at the lobe.

She unconsciously arched back into his embrace, one hand rising to slip over his entwined appendages. "Chrno..."

His arms around her tightened slightly and he buried his face into the crook of neck, nuzzling her as he rocked her smaller form back against him. "Being able to hold you like this, without worrying about that...it's like a dream," he whispered gently, one hand rising to finger over the life clock before pushing it aside and massaging the cloth over her chest. "And it feels so perfect."

Rosette whimpered from the heat of his touch, craning her head back and lifting her lips to his. He smiled against her mouth, one hand still stroking the cloth of her habit. "You did miss me, didn't you?" he murmured, returning her kiss and furthering the connection from his end, spreading her lips apart as he slid his tongue between them.

The blond exorcist couldn't ignore how right it felt to be with Chrno like this. His taller form was secure and so very warm. Yes, the warmth that poured forth from his touch inched under her skin and spread everywhere. But it was more than just a safe feeling that he administered to her senses. Shocks of the bath encounter were jolting back into her system, quickening her breath and urging strange responses from her body.

She moaned openly into his mouth, her legs giving a little quiver as her balance threatened to withdraw. Instinctively aware of his partner's need, the demon led her forward and onto her bed, laying her back as he lightly settled over her, lips gently parting from hers.

Familiar crimson eyes gazed back at her, their dark luster provoking the hairs on the back of her neck to stand at attention. His smile seemed to mirror their intent as he leaned down upon her neck, sweetly sucking upon the base. "I'll teach you everything," he promised, the low pitch of his voice sending another shiver through her body. "And I'll always protect you," he added, tongue gliding out to taste the warm flesh before he nipped upon it, enough pressure to leave a mark, but careful not to break the skin.

She arched again, a hand rising to clutch at collar of his open shirt and then trailing down in a feverish pattern over his bared chest. The exploration issued a small growl from deep in his throat and his left hand moved to push her militia skirt aside. She gasped as his claws raked over the warm skin of her thigh, pausing to rub in small, pleasure-inducing circles. The moan that lifted to her lips barely began its escape before his mouth found hers again, returning to their earlier play.

Rosette's other hand came to assist the other, unbuttoning the last two pieces that held the two sides of his shirt together. Once freed, the hands stroked every open area they could reach, from his shoulders to the well-developed muscles of his abdomen. The growls that escaped him increased in their intensity, his teeth occasionally nibbling against her bottom lip and alternating with a sweep of his skilled tongue back into the heated cavern of her mouth.

While one clawed and tanned hand inched higher up her right thigh, his other left it's grip from her hip to begin a similar pattern upon the neglected one. She yelped at feeling, pulling her face away as another wave of heat came washing over her, and he quickly smothered her cry with his with his mouth, pressing against her swollen lips hungrily.

"Chrno...!" she whined, once again pushing away from his mouth as she arched against the talons that were idly playing with and darting in and out of the ends of her bloomers upon each leg.

Again he moved to capture the sound as he kissed her harshly, wrapping the larger hands around both lower appendages to keep them still. Her hands clenched against his chest, searching for a latch to hold onto. She squirmed violently from the overload of his pleasurable movements, holding down her cries as best she could.

At that moment, a distinct knock came upon the door to the blond girl's dorm room.

The partners froze, eyes snapping open instantly. His crimson gems spoke wordlessly of his annoyance with being interrupted, while hers reflected the fear of being caught. Unable to deny her silent plea for a second time, he removed himself from on top of her, growling with a slight note of his irritation.

The knock sounded again and Rosette gave the demon a small nudge toward the window. He shook his head, glancing beside her bed with a frown. "Something I still need to ask you about," he muttered under a whisper, rising from the bed and blending into the shadows at the corner of the room. He gestured toward the door just as a third, more impatience cadence came upon the wooden barrier.

"Rosette? Are you awake?"

"Yeerr...Yes!" she called, trying to adjust her voice and slow her breathing as she quickly made her way to the door.

As soon as the door swung open, the familiar face of Sister Anna was revealed, hands on her hips, and not looking very happy. "What in the world are you doing, Rosette?" the freckled girl questioned heatedly. "Sister Ruth came out of her room thinking you were dying in here or something!"

Rosette flushed immediately, knowing exactly what the said Sister must have been hearing. She tried to laugh lightly, gesturing to her winded appearance. "I was just exercising! Sorry 'bout that!"

"Well keep it down!" Anna admonished angrily. "Other girls in this dorm might actually be trying to sleep or something!"

"Sorry!" Rosette repeated. "I'll tone it down."

And before the redhead could dare to reply, Rosette slammed the door in her face and turned around, casting a wary glance to her demon companion. Her bright sapphire eyes spoke clearly for her.

They had nearly been caught. And that would cause more trouble than either could possibly imagine.

After a few silent moments, the growth-induced false form of Chrno finally came out from the corner and approached Rosette's tousled bed, sitting down near the front end and gesturing toward the table. "The roses," he stated simply.

She blinked back at him, arching a brow. "What about them?"

"They're from that human boy, aren't they?" He could smell the remnants of the pest's touch.

A light flush crossed her face. "They're flowers! Just flowers!" she explained in a strangled whisper. "Don't tell me you're actually going to get upset over a couple of-"

"Get rid of them."

Her mouth dropped open at his simple but straightforward demand. "No," she protested, walking closer toward him as she crossed her arms over her chest. Her blue eyes burned silently. The nerve of him, sometimes!

"I don't like them," he pressed, frowning and refusing to lift his red gaze away from her eyes.

"Well they're not for you," she replied curtly, unfurling her arms and reaching out for flowers.

As she pulled the roses from his reach, his expression darkened further. "Rosette, I'm serious. Toss them out."

"Why?" she protested suddenly, still trying to keep her voice to a minimum. "Just because you don't like who gave them to me? That's selfish, Chrno."

"Rosette," he growled out. "That boy, he's...he's trying to..."

"To what?" she demanded. "Are you actually going to tell me this time?"

The demon Sinner seemed to rethink his decision again and stayed silent, causing the blond tornado's arms to fly up in exasperation. "I knew it!" she hissed out in a strained and angered whisper. "You still won't tell me a damn thing-OW!"

Wincing, the blond felt something prick harshly against the sensitive skin of her fingers. She opened the hand still clasping the flowers and was greeted with the sight of her own blood leaking down their stems and around her fingers. The pain from the punctures caused the buds to slip from her hand and fall softly onto the floor.

"Something that looks nice on the outside can be dangerous or harbor ugly tendancies on the inside," Chrno warned cryptically.

Approaching his Contractor, he took a white cloth from his pocket and proceeded to wipe the traces of blood from her injured hand. Upon finishing the task, he held her troubled blue gaze for a moment, and then roughly placed his booted foot down on the fallen roses, grinding them into the floor.

"Don't be fooled, Rosette."

And with those words said, he headed straight for the windows, pulled them open, and disappeared into the night.


Even as she crept out to follow through on Matthew's meeting proposal, she couldn't get Chrno's words out of her head.

Maybe this...would just be a good opportunity to tell the Floridian that she wished no further, even friendly, contact with him, outside of exorcism business. She thought he might be disappointed by her request and it provoked a small stream of guilt, but this would be for the best.

The blond teen trusted Chrno ten thousand times more than she'd ever trust Matthew Riverston. If the demon was adamant about her not seeing him or being around him, then she'd comply. It was more than obvious that Chrno was hiding something, knew something she didn't. It angered her that he was keeping it from her, but at the same time, she somehow knew he was trying to protect her in some way. As though it might be something that he thought she was better off not knowing.

She clasped her haphazardly-bandaged hand over the pocket watch, smiling in the darkness of the church as she came upon the chapel doors.

It was time to place a blind faith in her most trusted partner and friend.

The doors creaked open, echoing strangely off the small enclosed walls of the Chapel's interior. Candles were lit in various corners of the room, but aside from that, it was dark.

He was waiting, just as she had expected. Pushing the door lightly closed behind her, a few of the candles flickered out from the slight breeze. It gave her a chill that she couldn't quite explain.

The first thing she noticed about him as he approached her, was that he wasn't smiling.

"Rosette," he acknowledged with a nod. "Glad you could make it afterall."

"I have something to tell you as well," she stated, straightening her stance and she moved to meet him halfway. "So feel free to tell me what was so important, I'll do the same, and be on my way."

"The demon," he started, causing the girl to halt in midstep and meet the strange candlelit glow of his green eyes dead on. "I'm going to save you from him."

Had he not sounded so serious, she would have burst out laughing. "Excuse me?" she coughed in disbelief.

"That monster is controlling you," he continued. "I can tell. I can see the fear in your eyes. You're unwilling to resist him."

Okay, this is not what she had expected. Not in the least.

"What in the hell are you talking about?" she inquired incredulously, brows furrowing together.

"Rosette," he spoke in a soothing manner, reaching out to grab a hold of her shoulder. "It's okay. You don't need to be afraid. I'll help you through this. You just have to trust me."

She immediately shook his hand off, repulsed. "Trust you?" she sputtered. "You have no idea what you're even talking about!"

"I do," he insisted, the hand rising to its clamped position once more. "You're being blinded by that despicable creature's will!"

She backhanded him. Quickly and effectively, her hand burning from the strike and eyes narrowed dangerously.

"Don't you ever speak of Chrno like that, ever again." she warned in a deadly whisper. "I will not tolerate it."

He merely blinked, still stunned from the collision to his face.

"Chrno is ten times the man a coward like you ever will be!" she continued vehemently. "I should have known he was warning me to stay away from you for a good reason. I don't know what it is you wanted from me Mr. Riverston, but you're not going to get it."

His hand suddenly tightened its hold upon her shoulder. "I had no idea you were disillusioned this badly, Rosette," he mused, running his free hand over the burning red mark on his cheek. "But to strike the man who's come to save you from an otherworldly being that's turning you into a puppet..."

With another squeak of indignation, she raised to strike a second time, but his hand quickly blocked the impending blow, moving to clasp around her wrist. "I see a little mark on your neck, Rosette," he reported, green eyes darkening angrily. "Perhaps he's even stooped as low as injecting some kind of poison into your system."

"STOP SPEAKING OF CHRNO LIKE YOU ACTUALLY KNOW HIM, YOU LOW-LIFE CREEP!" she shrieked, her other hand coming to the imprisoned one's aid, tearing at his offending grip.

"Really," Matthew mused, not at all perturbed by her outburst. "What does he do to you? You look rather roughed up. Abusive as well? I'm not terribly surprised."

"What I do with him is no business of yours," she seethed, blurting the sentence out before she could stop herself.

His grip loosened for a mere moment and then came alive with the horrified shock of fire in his eyes. "You let him touch you?" he spoke incredulously, appalled. His wandering eyes danced over her figure, widening.

Bite marks, mussed-up hair, disarranged clothing, swollen lips...

"How can you even think of letting something that's not even human do thatto you?" the Floridian exorcist nearly roared into the enclosed area, harshly backing her smaller form up against the wall.

She struggled against his grip, blue fire burning brightly in her eyes. "Get your hands off of me, Mr. Riverston," she demanded, voice like venom.

"No," he sneered, one hand moving to grab both wrists at once and lock them over her head. "I'm not letting that low-life demonic thing take what I was after all along."

Her eyes widened in rage and fright when his free hand came down below to brush aside the front flap of her militia outfit.

This must have been what Chrno was silently warning her about. She inwardly cursed herself for daring to believe the male brunette had merely wanted friendship. Their first encounter by the greenhouse should have said it all.

He wasted no time and placing his mouth upon hers and she arched away from him, struggling against the grip upon her wrists at the same time. "Chr-" The offending lips came over hers again, and she kicked a foot out spontaneously. While missing her intended target, it struck and unlit candelier, which clattered noisily to the floor beside them.

"Stop resisting," he demanded none-too-gently, his grip nearly bruising in its intensity. "I couldn't have her in Florida, but I'm not going to lose you here!" He pushed against her more roughly, fingers probing the opening of her bloomers. "I'll get you before that bastard does," he breathed hoarsely against her lips, biting down. "Just accept it, Rosette Christopher."

The door to the Chapel burst open, alerting the the tangled exorcists to another presence.

Recognizing the person even before she could see them, Rosette pushed away from Matthew with renewed force. "Chrno!" she cried out.

And Chrno it was. Looking more livid and dangerous than ever before, fangs bared and eyes burning through the darkness like twin flames of hell.

"You've crossed the line," he hissed at the brunette. "Touching my mate sealed your death."



Chrno's beyond pissed. Oh boy. Stay tuned for the next chapter! And feel free to tell me what you think.

Hope this chapter was worth the wait? I do write pretty long, afterall.

So...Drop a review if you can spare the time. Love your feedback! And I appreciate the motivation greatly!

Thank you for reading.