((A/N: This is the sequel to Watching and Waiting, so if you haven't read that yet, I suggest you do so. Things will make a lot more sense that way.

As always, please review or leave me a constructive comment. This story might also evolve into a Chamiko, so tell me what you think about that. I look forward to seeing your responses!

Thank you for reading, and I hope you'll enjoy my work!

~Spiral-Fire ))

Disclaimer: When I take over the world, everything shall be mine. But for now, I must settle with only the plot.

Dragon Mark

This couldn't have been the end. Chase wouldn't have given up that easily. There was something hidden behind his smirk that I couldn't see, something deep. Wherever I went from here on out, I knew that he would be watching. And I would be waiting. This wasn't the end.

It was only the beginning.

Chapter One


Three Years Later

The sun hovered in the sky, about to sink behind the vast stretch of darkening land. A cool breeze started to blow as the sky was lit with brilliant pinks and oranges.

I stared out into the early sunset, hugging my knees to my chest. I was sitting on top of one of the many mountains by the Xiaolin Temple, gazing out at the land spread in front of me. Sighing heavily, I let my thoughts wander deep into my mind as shadows began to creep towards me.

My hair blew around my face as I stared deeply at the land. Automatically, my hand went to touch the ring held on a chain around my neck. It was simple, silver, but with a small opal in the center. It had been three years since I had received it, seeming like a trivial thing then. But from then on, I had always kept it with me.

A loud gasping noise emitted from the stone ledge beneath me, interrupting my thoughts. My concentration broken, I looked down annoyed to see someone climbing up the mountain to get to me. Sighing and leaning back on the stone, I waited patiently as Raimundo, panting and out of breath, heaved himself up onto my ledge.

"Gosh…Kim.." he gasped. "How…the heck…did you…get up here?"

"Climbed. It's not that hard, Rai."

"Yeah, but still!"

"In case you've forgotten, Raimundo, your element is wind." There was silence.

"…shut up."

I managed a weak smile as I once again turned my attention to the fading sunset. Raimundo climbed over and plopped himself down next to me.

"What did you come up here for, anyway?"

"To think."

"About what?" I sighed and bit my lip.

"It's been three years. Exactly." Raimundo sighed in return and turned to face me.

"He's not coming back, Kimiko."

"But you don't-"

"Listen," he interrupted. "It's been three years since we've seen Chase Young last. He hasn't appeared anywhere, attacked us, turned up at showdowns or anything. He won't bother us again; Chase is gone."

I closed my eyes and clenched my hands into fists, trying not to let my fiery temper get the best of me. You don't know Chase, I thought hollowly. You didn't know what I went through, and that look in his eyes. Chase will never let go…

The sun sank lower into the horizon as silence crept between us. Raimundo sighed and stood up, brushing off his jeans. I was still wearing my training robes, since I had come here right at the end of the day.

"Well, Master Fung told me to get you. They should be starting dinner soon."

I hesitated and then stood up with him, still staring at the land in front of me. My eyes automatically wandered to the black smudge of mountains, barely visible, on the edge of the horizon.

"You climbing down or you want me to carry you?" Rai asked. Wind whipped up around him as his element came to him.

"Neither. I want to try that technique one last time." He rolled his eyes and sighed.

"Fine Kim. Remember, focus your energy. I'll be down on the ground to get you if it doesn't work, like the last thousand times.

"Thanks for that vote of confidence, Raimundo." He stuck his tongue out at me and floated lazily to the ground, hundreds of feet away. Sighing, I closed my eyes and advanced to the border of the ledge.

"Go." I whispered. I dived off the edge of the mountain headfirst, sensing everything around me. I opened my eyes to see the ground coming closer and closer at an alarming rate. My heart began to pound.

"Wait for it…wait for it…NOW!" A huge blaze of fire erupted from my outstretched hands, almost blinding my eyes. Intense heat radiated up to me, exactly as I had wanted. The heat rushed down to the ground and intensified.

Suddenly, my fire disappeared; my energy had faded too much. The ground was a hundred feet away as I frantically tried to get myself into the last phase of the technique. But it was too late. The ground came closer and closer as everything seemed to go in slow motion. Fifty feet, forty, thirty, twenty…The ground was only ten feet away. Hastily, I closed my eyes so I didn't have to see the impact.

It never came. Slowly, I opened one eye and then the other to see the ground an inch from the end of my nose. Sighing with relief, I looked up to see Rai looking bored and holding onto my ankles. At once, he dropped me and I crashed into the ground.

"Ow." I shakily climbed back onto my feet as Raimundo landed.

"You forgot the second stage."

"I know."

"You have to switch your position so that you're in a landing stance, increase the fire power and then land."

"I was about to! But my fire keeps dying on me right before I enter the second stage; I don't know why."

"Why is Master Fung making you do this technique anyway?"

"'To learn to control various stages of fire increase under pressure blah blah blah. I'm supposed to be using my element to create enough hot air from the fire to safely keep me floating so I can land safely."

"I don't think its working."

"Yeah. Someone needs to tell Fung that I can't fly." Rai smiled at me and then started walking

"Come on; they probably already started eating without us. Clay probably has about three servings done by now."

I stared up at the fading sunset and the shadows now creeping over the mountains. Shaking my head, I dashed off after Rai, my mind swirling with thoughts. Glancing back once, I thought I saw a shadow dart across the stone side. But it was probably just my imagination; I had long since ago learned not to trust my sight and use my other senses instead.

Take a breath Kimiko…

The sky was dark and filled with thousand of tiny stars as I slowly walked back to my room. Sighing, I paused as I exited the main part of the Temple and entered the outside. Sitting down on the stairs, I fingered the ring on my neck and gazed at the night sky.

I couldn't believe that three years had passed already; it seemed like an eternity. Those few days with Chase had scarred me. Everyday I had woken up thinking whether Chase might return again. I had nightmares when I slept constantly, imagining his warrior cats and him forcing me to attack my friends. His cold golden eyes, his skill level, everything. It haunted me.

Shivering in the night air, I still felt uneasy as the day I was free from him. Even though it had only been a short time under Chase's control, the experience had left a huge impact on me. Yawning, I slowly stood up and finished the journey to me room. Changing into a cami and shorts, I slipped onto my futon, looking up at the ceiling.

It's been three years; Chase isn't coming back. Raimundo's right. Get on with your life; he's been messing with you for too long. Sighing, I blinked slowly and closed my eyes.

Dreams of Chase haunted me. I saw him in his lair, looking expectant yet unconcerned in that air he always had about him. His golden eyes shone with fire as a cat brushed against him. Petting the fallen warrior, I felt his eyes connect to mine somehow within my dream and a bolt of electricity flew through me. His lips curved into an evil smirk.

I jolted awake but didn't open my eyes, my heart racing. Turning onto my back I took a deep breath. It means nothing…Suddenly, a strange presence filled in around me and I froze, my heart stopping altogether. It had been a long time since I'd last felt it, but now the presence was here, smothering the air around me.

I opened my eyes to see seven pairs of glowing eyes staring back down at me.