A/n.. waves to everyone hey y'all. Now I didn't put my other story away. I'm still working on it. I wanted to wait till it was done before I started this, but because it's taking me longer to update than I like, I thought I would start this one.. being I have like 8 chapters finished already. :)

I'm keeping this story rating at a T ( I guess that is PG-13) because I don't feel that it's bad enough for a M raiting, however, I will warn at the start of each chapter if there is anything that might be a bit.. much.. for some readers.

Rating for this chapter is PG

Anyway, I won't take up anymore of your reading time.


Disclaimer. I don't own Kenshin.

2nd disclaimer. I don't own the plot ideas, and massive amounts of wonderful information that I use in about a 3rd of this story. That belongs to the Wonderful Writer Ms. Christine Feehan


Mark my love

Chapter 1

The night was half over. Silence had settled over the city like a comforting blanket. There was hardly a sound, save for the night calls of various animals and insects. There wasn't a single abnormal sound. Save one. The sound of running.

Kaoru had just started walking home from another late night. Not that late nights were anything new to her, being a nurse almost guaranteed many late nights. She had walked home alone in the dark many times before. But tonight... something was different. Something spooked her.

It started simple enough, she changed from her uniform to her nice summer dress and started off for the nine blocks home. All she had to do was walk home. Just walk home. Yet she was not even half way there when she felt the strange nagging in the back of her mind. Kaoru paid no heed to it. She blamed it on her work; she was most likely worried about something back there. But then the hair on the back of her neck stood on end. That made her pause and she stole a half glance over her shoulder.

Nothing… there was nothing there.

'Kaoru… you're losing your mind. Go home and get some sleep.' She had thought to herself as she continued on her way. Yet slowly but surly the tingle of dread returned. This time, she didn't pause, but sped her walking. Slowly the ghostly fingers of fear raked down her back and griped her heart, causing it to pound fiercely.

That was the last straw. Kaoru couldn't take it anymore and she broke into a run.

…… . .

Her flat sole sandals slapped against her feet with her ever step. Yet Kaoru heard nothing but her labored breathing and the pounding of her heart. She suddenly had the feeling that someone was laughing at her. She could almost see the smile flashing before her, flashing white teeth and a grin that was nothing but purely wild and dangerous. Kaoru wanted to shut her eyes but she knew she would only see it in the darkness. Besides, it would be foolish of her to run with her eyes closed.

Adrenalin made her chest ache, her heart beat so hard it felt it was going to pound its way up her throat. There was a constant feeling that she was about to be stabbed in the back, which caused it to itch like mad. Kaoru constantly had to fight to keep from looking over her shoulder. She didn't want to see some psycho mad man with a knife coming at her. Even though she knew there was no one that close behind her…she didn't want to look… just incase there was.

'Home, home, home.' She chanted to herself. She knew that she would be just fine if –when, she made it home. Sweat started cutting trails down her face and she felt the morbid dread leap. Kaoru strangled a scream in her throat before she could let it out. 'I wish I had my wooden sword with me right now… or even my bamboo bokken.' Her brain was thinking clear and logically, while her emotions were going through a massive meltdown.

Fear now lanced through her chest, the adrenalin having worn off. It was the only thing that kept her moving. Only now she could fell the pain she was causing to her body. Her chest burned with both fear and needed air. Her legs ached and where growing heavier with every step. 'Please…please help!' She screamed into the deep recesses of her mind. Then suddenly, it was as if whatever that dread was, heard her silent plea and grew even more, if that was even possible. It felt as if Hell hounds where nipping at her heals; making her pick them up and try to run faster. She could almost feel the hot breath on the back of her legs.

Then suddenly….

It was gone. The cold fingers of fear literally let her go. Kaoru gasped and stumbled into the light of a lone street lamp. She lunged forward at caught the small metal bar before she could slam into the pavement. Warmth from the summer air flooded back into her chilled body. She clung to the poll as she bent almost double, gasping for air, her sides heaving painfully. Tears from the strain had formed in her eyes and blinded her.

She let her vision clear before she whipped around, shoving her dark hair from her face. Behind her the road stretched on in a lonely, almost pleasant looking path between the stone walls of the buildings. There was nothing there. Nothing scary or even remotely threatening, just a calm summer breeze and the occasionally bark from some nearby dog. Nothing remotely creepy looking. Yet the small feel of unease still filled the pit of her stomach. There had been something there.

Kaoru wanted to crumple over and sit on the ground, but she summoned all her strength and stood up straight again. She finally caught her breath and was able to walk on shaky, fatigued legs. Home was a safer place to rest then out in the open…under a light no less. 'Home... I'll relax at home.' She nodded to herself, physically and mentally drained and stumbled off in the direction of home.

…. . .

The sound of running.

It wasn't very abnormal, he tried to ignore it but somehow it kept drawing his attention. Whoever it was, was sprinting for their life. A kid out way past curfew, a thief, a murderer? Could be anyone. He tried to shove the sound away but to no avail. His eyes lifted only slightly to scan the grey world around him. The world was boring and drab, much like his emotions, he felt hardly anything. The sound of running shouldn't have bothered him as much as it did.

Suddenly he felt a strong ki flair up. The life force of whatever it was had joined in the run. 'So it is a chase.' He thought, breathing deeply and catching the scent of unadulterated fear in the air. It was so great he could almost taste it. They were close. He still wished to ignore it, but he found his amethyst eyes scanning the area around him, piercing through the shadows.

'Please…please help!'

He almost tripped. Colors suddenly exploded before him. A wild swirling mix of blinding vivid colors. The road was black, the sidewalk beige, the sky was navy blue and the street light next to him was a brilliant yellow. The voice was female; the fear in it was hideous. It made his stomach cramp suddenly and he almost doubled over. Most startling of all was that he heard it in his head. A mental cry for mercy. He would have reached back to answer but he knew there wasn't much time left. Now that he had latched on to the connection he could feel how close her pursuer was. He acted without a second thought. In a blur of dark blue and blood red, he darted to the sound of the running with god-like speed.

It didn't take more than a second for him to find the woman. He only spared her a glance as he waited between two buildings. He caught a flash of frightened blue eyes followed by a long trail of raven black hair. She ran by him in what seemed like super slow motion. And then, when she had past him, the world sped up again and he bolted out from between the buildings with his god-like speed and half tackled the form that was chasing her and shoved whoever it was against the shadows of the wall and pinned it with his body.

The girl stumbled, released from the mental hold that caused her so much fear. He clamped a hand around the throat of the person he held, keeping any shout or threat of struggle away. He kept his eyes on the woman, unable to look away. She turned and gazed right at them. The pair against the wall froze, but she looked right past them, not seeing anyone in the shadows. Her relief flooded into his body, suddenly he felt warm and pleasant, which was a feeling he hadn't felt in forever it seemed. It was such a shock that he forgot all about what he was holding against the wall.

He watched her stand there under the light. Looking glorious in that soft purple dress, utterly the icon of femininity. Regardless of the fact that her face was beet red from her sprint for life or that her hair was wild, sticking to her sweaty face, she still looked marvelous. Course in his eyes all females were marvelous, they were a gift. Just this one…seemed special. Her hair danced under the street light, her every moment sent blue and white iridescence flying his way. It was a miracle to watch.

'Home... I'll relax at home.'

Again he was shocked that he could hear her… he wasn't even trying to read her thoughts. He watched as she struggled on tired legs down the road. The urge to follow her was great; he didn't want to be far from her.

"Ack… Kenshin… okay…I give up….let me go."

Kenshin whipped around to face what he had pinned to the wall. He wasn't very surprised to see his trouble loving friend. The woman went slightly forgotten, more like he tucked her into the back of his mind for him to pull out later

"I was only having a bit of fun." He went on, trying to save his skin. "When I realized she could sense me and then she started running and well you know…I had to chase." A bright wolfish looking grin flashed in the darkness.

'Did you have to frighten her so?' Kenshin asked mentally. 'Your very nature is to protect women, not run the life from them Sanosuke' he drop the hold on his throat.

"Hey a man has to have some sort of excitement. And I did her no harm other than give her a good work out."

The slap came so fast not even Sanosuke registered that he had been hit until he felt the sting and then instant throbbing.

"Don't make me have to do worse Sano, you know terrorism isn't tolerated. You of all people should know better." Kenshin growled, eyes narrowed. "Be glad that I didn't have my sword on me tonight Sano. Also be glad that I realized it was you before I broke your neck."

"Oiy Kenshin, I'm sorry man" He rubbed at his jaw, which started to hurt like the devil. It was a warning tap; he would hate to make the man truly angry at him. "I just couldn't help it."

"You're getting restless." Kenshin stated simply, his shoulders relaxing. "You need a woman." He added solemnly, the anger flowing out of him. He was still amazed at the fact that he was feeling anger.

Sanosuke nodded, taking his smaller friend by the shoulder and together they walked. "So do you Kenshin. So do a lot of us."

"I guess I see why you jumped after that young woman, she could feel your ki, She was afraid of the images you were showing her. In other words… you thought she might be the one." Kenshin wondered out loud, suddenly shamed that he had lashed out and struck Sanosuke. He half wondered if he should tell his friend that he was suddenly seeing in colors. It scared him half to death. He knew what seeing colors meant, but he refused to believe it was this easy.

The taller one nodded. "Yeah, I did at first, even if she was human… but I realized she wasn't halfway into the chase. But it was too fun to stop." He confessed.

"Someday Sano… just hold on to the hope." He patted Sanosuke on the back.

"Hey man… you too 'kay?"

"Everyday of my life is based on hope." Kenshin replied. It was all that kept him sane, thinking that perhaps today… today would be the day that he would find what he needed to be whole. Just one more day… Only now, he almost didn't want to believe….


"Yes?" the red-head jumped out of his thoughts

"Why are we following her trail?"

"Oro?" Kenshin looked out in front of them. It was just a lonely stretch of road and intersections. Kenshin had led them down two different streets and was now heading to an alley way. Her trail was still fresh, he was following her nervousness. Knowing where she had been, where her every footfall was. "Well I, um…" he was suddenly thumped on the back.

"Now who is the one giving chase?" Out came the wolfish grin. Kenshin scowled.

"I want to make sure she made it home alright." Kenshin replied innocently.

"How do you know she was heading home?" Sanosuke inquired, now a lifted eyebrow joined the wolfish grin.

"I heard her tell herself that she would wait till she got home to rest." Kenshin paused before adding. "I wasn't even trying to read her thoughts. It was as if she spoke right too me." He watched Sanosukes' grin turn into a thoughtful look.

"She must be a bit sensitive to psychic vibes. That would explain her being able to sense me when I reached out to her, curious about who she was. Her ki did pull at me a little when she past me in the dark."

This lifted Kenshins' interest greatly. Sanosuke slapped him on the back.

"Well you go make sure she's alright, I have to get going. Talk to you later Kenshin." He touched his fingers to his forehead briefly, pulling it away in a half salute, half wave before shoving his hands in his black pants. Kenshin watched Sanosuke turn and leave. The white "wicked" character on the back of his loose black jacket stood out in stark contrast to the dark.

Kenshin turned back to the alley and darted off with his god-like speed.

…… . .

Kaoru didn't breathe easy till she slid the metal lock into place. She turned and rested her back against the wood of the gait. Boy she felt so much better now that she was back in her own yard. It seemed nothing would be able to reach her now. Ridiculous, she knew, but that was how it felt. She sighed softly, lifting her tired eyes to the half moon in the sky. Sometimes she really hated her psychic abilities. She was sure that was what she had.

She had been able to predict earthquakes and deaths as a child. And even found she could sometimes read minds. She never meant to do it; all she ever wanted was to be normal. But sometimes the thoughts where thrown at her, like loud music. She couldn't help but hear it. Perhaps she felt the left over residue of some strange chase that happened back on that road. A memory of some sort. She shivered.

Kaoru found that she had wandered over to the porch of her house. With another sigh she sat on the smooth wood and leaned her back against the shoji screen door that lead to the kitchen. Her legs cramped slightly, not use to such abuse. She reached down to rub the pain from them. She did her best to hide away the "abnormal" part of her. She would rather just forget that part of her. Yet it was a major reason she was in the profession that she was. Kaoru was a nurse…well… almost a nurse; she was still in her internship. She seemed to have a connection to the patients. Able to understand them fully when they described their ailments. It was the only time she felt blessed with her abilities.

'You are rather beautiful.'

Kaoru blushed softly and smiled. 'Thank you...but I-…..' Kaoru paused and sat up slightly. "Huh?" was the only lame word she got out when suddenly the shoji screen flew open and Kaoru tumbled back. "Yahiko!" she gasped from the floor.

"There you are Kaoru, I've been waiting up all night for you. What are you doin' sitting out here?" The ten year old boy asked as he glared down at her with his hands on his hips.

"Oh, I was just resting, enjoying the summer night." She half lied. Yahiko made a sound of disbelief.

"It's one in the freckin' morning Ugly. Come on." The boy stalked away and allowed Kaoru to stand and enter the house.

….. . .

Kenshin caught the sound of a soft musical giggle as the shoji screen slid shut. He had found her with ease, and hid in the shadows, looking through the gap in the fence. He could feel her unease in the pit of his stomach. Sano had really shaken her up, which was understandable. It's not everyday you run for your life, positive you are about to die, only to find nothing when you look behind you.

'Damn that Sanosuke.' Now he was glad that he slapped him, through now he wished he had used a closed fist…and more force. He watched her in the soft moonlight as she mulled over her thoughts. Emotions flashed before her eyes, from sadness, joy, pain and confusion. He could see it all as if he was feeling the emotion himself. He was most intrigued. He decided that he would try and contact her. So he said the first thing that came to his mind.

'You are rather beautiful'

Kenshin grinned as he watched the woman preen at the complement.

'Thank you...but I-…..' Here she paused, eyes wide, her mouth forming a shape of surprise, he felt her heart leap again, a breath of fear before he felt the ki of someone else. Kenshin tensed, and spotted the shoji behind her start to slide open. Again the world moved in slow motion. The screen inched slowly along; the woman hardly had any reaction till she started falling back. The world sped back up again.

It was a boy. Kenshin relaxed, realizing he was ready to attack if it was anyone who might be harmful. Still, Kenshin was on his guard. Kaoru….that was her name. He watched them as they talked; his eyes grew wide when the boy called her Ugly. Kaoru was far from being ugly; in fact he suddenly couldn't remember ever seeing a female with greater beauty. He watched till Kaoru vanished within the house with the boy. Kenshin stood up straight, turning to lean his back against the gate. Well his job was done, but for some reason he didn't want to leave just yet. He hesitated before pushing off the gate and headed back down the alley way. He knew one thing for sure…

He was coming back tomorrow.


A/n So how was the first chapter? The truth now.. I want reviews!

I should let you know right now that I am a review whore. The more reviews I tend to get... the better I feel about the story and the more and better I write. I won't update this right away. UNLESS I get a crazy amount of reviews ( like 20 lol) then I will, only because I hate to leave so many waiting. Hey, I'm only telling the truth :)

Anyways, thanks bunches for reading, questions and comments are much welcomed and as always, reviews are loved