Disclaimer: I do NOT own MAR: Marchen Awakens Romance! All credit for the characters and story plot goes to Nobuyuki Anzai.

Warning: OOCness, OC madness this chapter, AU, eventual yaoi, swearing (perhaps, I haven't decided on this yet), violence. I'd like to let everyone know that I have only read the manga. –nod- Other than that, all spelling/grammatical errors are my own. If you spot some mention them and I will fix them.


Chapter 1

It was the usual morning in Kaia; the trees were wet with dew, their leaves and the shrubbery beneath them was in the same state, though they didn't cause it to rain with every slight breeze. The sun had barely risen and the surroundings forest was dim with the few rays that made it through the thick canopy and foliage; it had always caused the villagers' day to start an hour later than the rest of the world. The air was crisp, cold and felt absolutely terrible, like a thousand tiny pins pricking into his yellow tinted skin. The feeling caused him to rub his arms in the huge effort of warming himself, despite the grey long sleeved shirt and the white and maroon jacket he was wearing and covered his arms right down to the finger tips. His mother had made both with his absolute abhorrence to the nippy weather in mind; despite how he seemed to feel it anyway.

He stood at the front door, a huge frown tugging at his almost pouting lips. His mother had wanted him to collect Shi from wherever he'd run off to during the frigid night. Not that it needed to be said, Peta didn't want to step out into the cold and bring him inside; the only reason she wanted him inside was so she knew he wasn't off terrorizing the neighbour's birds (though Shi didn't do that anyway). But it was so cold out there…

"Peta, you'll be late if you don't go now! Move it!" The ten year old whined childishly, before he hesitantly began to jog with legs that seemed far too long for his age, his eyes on the dirt beneath him as he hopped, bounded and stomped across the muddy ground. He was sure to be careful that he didn't slip, trip or make a fool of himself in any other way possible. It was enough that the other kids laughed because of his oddly coloured skin and his stupid eyes, bony being and his love for books; he didn't need to add 'klutz' to their lists of insults too, should they spot him with a sling or bandages.

It took a few minutes, but Peta found Shi in his usual place; lying asleep in a covered, dry hole that was dug into the side of an old oak's trunk. The tree was located five minutes running distance from his home. Peta stroked his black, white socks wearing cat, eyes focussed on the slowly flicking, bald tip of Shi's tail, a small smile on his face as the cat meowed happily from being petted. He seemed to enjoy having the base of his ears scratched and Peta always felt much delight from causing the cat to purr as he did.

"Ma wants you to stay in the house today." Peta said conversationally, as he lifted the cat from his place and gingerly held him in his skinny arms, against his equally bony chest. He frowned slightly when Shi took a swipe at one of the grey bangs hanging down in front of his face with a white paw, and quickly pulled it behind his ear, "Don't, I just brushed it." He shook his head, throwing his shoulder length hair behind him as the cat swung at another bang.

He began his ten minute trek back to the house, with a careful scan of the fern infested ground, vigilant that his dark tan, leather boots didn't sink into any puddles (heaven only knew how his mother would react should Peta have a muddy trail follow him into the house). Shi mewled drowsily and yawned like a lion, before he snuggled deep into his chest. Peta chuckled at his cat's antics and scratched beneath the creatures neck.

He'd found Shi two years ago, when he'd been exploring the dense undergrowth that grew beneath his favourite apple tree behind his mother's small cottage. He'd been a kitten back then, stumbling over his own feet with a head that seemed far too big for his body. He'd had the bald spot at the tip of his tail back then too. It had only taken Peta two hours to beg his mother to let him keep him and the cat had been with them ever since.

Peta spied his mother's form standing in the doorway as he neared the cottage, her pretty, petite, pale hands planted none-too-happily on her hips. He broke off into a run as he neared her, happy to see a steady stream of smoke rushing from the cottage's chimney. He let Shi down from his arms a few steps inside the house, almost forgetting to wipe his (only slightly) muddy feet as his body practically ached to take its usual spot in front of the stove his mother had returned to.

"He wasn't anywhere near George's birds, was he?" His mother asked sternly as Peta drug a plain, wooden seat to the open, fire oven she was working at. She was stirring the meaty broth in a large saucepan carefully, before she impatiently flicked a strand of hair from her face and moved to the other side of the kitchen.

The kitchen wasn't very big, though Peta found it to be the right size for his mother and himself to inhabit comfortably. However, he always felt a little crowded when his grandfather came to visit as his strong, pudgy body always seemed to take up half of their living space. Along the kitchen's back wall, to the left of the front door, there were two cupboards, one (with forever whining doors) for the vegetables and jams Peta's mother insisted she force down his throat (though Peta didn't understand how something so vile could possibly be good for his health). The other was closest to the window that adorned the left hand wall, and was stacked with plates, cups, bowls, saucers and other crockery they possessed too many of; they only ever used two at a time yet his mother insisted that they should keep the other six plates for guests (Peta had argued that they'd never had any, though it seemed his mother liked to think they would sometime in the not so distant future). There was another cupboard that housed his mother's keep-sakes, in the right, back corner of the kitchen. Its glass doors revealed several shelves full of small ornaments Peta used to enjoy staring at that ranged from playful dogs that were rolling over and bounding around with their tongues lolling out of their mouths to geese with midnight black top hats. The only other appliance was the stove in which Peta was currently making himself comfortable next to. It always made the kitchen smell like burning wood, and served as their makeshift fireplace.

Peta sighed and rubbed his hands together happily as he took his seat, his legs swinging aimlessly. He merrily switched between rubbing his hands together and holding them up to the fire, "He doesn't like Mr. George's birds, Ma. Shi prefers mice!" He said clearly.

"Make sure he keeps it that way. I don't want to hear George gripe at me again for something your cat's done, Peta." She bustled about the kitchen, pulling a pair of plates from the small cupboard and placing them on the heavy, oak wood table situated in the very centre of their kitchen. Peta cringed at the sight of the onion she placed on the table and began to roughly chop and chuck into a frying pan, before his mother strode to the stove and placed it on it with a clatter. When she returned to her spot at the table, Peta began to glower coldly across the table at the melon his mother then took a hold of and began to slice.

"Do I have to eat vegetables?" He asked quietly, in a near whine, "I don't like them."

His mother sighed exasperatedly, as though she'd told him the answer and explained it in detail a hundred times already. Which she probably had, though Peta always asked again anyway, his hopes that maybe one day she'd reply with a 'no' high, "Yes, you do. They'll help you grow up to be as tall as your father and as strong as your grandpa."

"You've always said that, but I'm still as skinny as," Light hazel eyes scanned the tidy room hurriedly, "As our broom!" He pointed at the offending object from where it was lying against the vegetable cupboard innocently.

Peta heard his mother sigh again, as he turned back to the fire and showed it the backs of his hands, "You're still young. Give it a few years to start working." She reasoned tiredly, "Now, no 'but's, 'if's or 'can I's, go and change your pants, you're not wearing your holy ones to your tutoring."

Immediately Peta gasped and stared at his pants, as though he was asked to kill someone and he couldn't believe his mother could have ask such a thing of him. He ran his now warmed hands down his thighs, finding there to be no reason to warm his legs any more than they were already. He was wearing his favourite pants. They were black, long, "But I like these pants! They're warm!" And that's all that mattered in Peta's youthful eyes.

"Peta," His mother said strictly as she paused in her slicing, "Get going."


"Move it, or you won't get any breakfast!"

Peta pouted, but pushed himself off his seat, "Meanie." He snuffed, as he started the trek down the narrow hallway, to his room, careful to make sure he dragged his feet very audibly on the dull, wooden floor on his way.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The room was large and smelt of dust and aging paper. There were bookshelves placed like wallpaper by all the walls, lining it up to the wooden beams that supported the ceiling. They were all packed with books, the ones closer to the roof of a younger age than the heavy books near to the ground. Peta's light hazel eyes were glazed over and unfocussed as he attempted (and failed) to listen to his teacher from his place at the desk at the very back of the room. There were three other desks set up in front of the one he was sitting at, each with three children sitting at them, their books scattered over the large expanse of wood.

"Who can tell me where Kaldea is on the map?" A group of hands shot up, the children they belonged to yelling in unison as they did. The teacher – a middle aged woman with dimples, emerald eyes and a nest of brown, stringy hair – smiled and pointed, "Yes, Calla."

The tiny, blond girl stood up from her place at the front desk, between two other girls, and walked gracefully to the front of the room. As she neared the front of the room, one of her tiny hands were raised to point to the castle north-east of Lestava Castle, "There." She said sweetly.

Peta resisted the urge to bang his head on the desk he was currently falling asleep on; wasn't there something else they could study? They'd been learning about the geography of Mar Heaven for two weeks straight, and he was more than a little bored. He knew that they were on the opposite side of the world from Kaldea, he knew that Lestava Castle was where the royal family lived, just like he knew that the produce the village ate was imported from the farming and market village of Aletea. It wasn't difficult; surely the other kids weren't so dumb to think it was. He was bored.

Because of said boredom, Peta had taken to bringing in his own reading material: a small book about a game called Chess. He'd been thinking to ask his grandfather if he'd ever played and ask him to teach him if he had. So far Peta had managed to memorise the pieces involved in the game, where and the number of squares each piece was allowed to move and the aim of the game.

Idly, he began to scribble down, in his messy scrawl, the information he remembered. He aimed to have it all burnt into his mind so mercilessly he could recall everything as soon as he needed to remember it, without having to think about it.

He bit his bottom lip in thought. The weakest pieces on the chessboard (which was checked and consisted of 64 squares – eight by eight wide and long if Peta remembered correctly) were called pawns. There were eight pawns in total. He continued to scribble after a moment, as his eyes left his note book and rose to the teacher who was gesturing towards the map still. Next in the hierarchy were the two rooks, which looked like twin towers. After them were the two bishops and two knights. The queen seemed to have the most mobility and attacking power, as she was allowed to move in any direction for any number of squares. The king however, was the most important piece, despite its lack of legal moves. Peta tapped the end of his quill on his chin, the king, he recalled, was the one a person aimed to capture and once someone had done so the game ended.

He paused. What important details had he left out so far? He read over his notes hurriedly, eyes scooting down the page speedily. Wait a minute! Peta hurriedly set himself to scribbling again; the chessboard consisted of two colours, black and white, just like each player's pieces were either of the two colours. Again, Peta paused, his mind running the information he'd soaked up merely a day before through his head like a picture show made up of words.

"Peta!" A long ruler snapped down beside his bowed head, causing the boy to jump hazardously and nearly fall back in his seat, "This does not look like the Geography of Mar." His teacher remarked coldly, "If you want to waste your time here, leave. I prefer to teach children that wish to be taught."

Peta was able to hear the message underlying her words clearly, "Sorry, Miss Metis." He apologised immediately, making sure to hang his head in shame and to eye the table guiltily. His mother had had a hard time getting him into tutoring, much like she had with everything that had to do with him and the village. The least he could do was act and not get kicked out of his class. And he did enjoy learning, though not the junk they were learning right then. His mother had given him a book on it ages ago.

"I hope you are. Your next indiscretion will lead to you never returning. Is that understood?"

"Yes, ma'am." He answered in a timid voice.

Peta glared at her back as the woman retreated to the front of the classroom, casting a long glance at his classmates at they smirked and giggled behind their hands. He frowned, and turned the page in his ragged note book, attempting to ignore the page before it and began to write the notes the teacher was dictating. She'd collect them before they left in order to check for spelling and grammatical errors, so Peta made sure to make any. Perhaps if Miss Metis realised he could do all the work, she'd let him work on something different? He hoped so. He was going to fall asleep sometime in the near future if things kept going the way they were and he knew he'd be lectured again or kicked out either way he was in trouble from his mother.

Their lunch break didn't come fast enough.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"What you reading, lemon skin?"

Peta rolled his eyes from behind his small book and shifted it so he'd balanced it in his lap so that he could peer over it easily. He simply stared for a moment, wondering idly if he ought to do as his mother instructed and confuse them with his larger vocabulary or to argue from the word go, "If you're going to insult me at least do it so it doesn't make you sound dense." He replied snippily, "It's hard to take you seriously."

"Why? What are you going to do about it, shrimp?"

Anker was his age group's local bully. Peta had 'made friends' with him on his first day of tutoring three years before. He was tall (much taller than Peta and all of the other ten year olds) and sported dark brown locks and eyes. His father was the village butcher, a fact that made the other ten year old think he was the king in the classroom, playground and everyone under the age of eleven that stepped upon his ground. Not that Peta had ever listened to the tubby boy. Thinking about it right then, it would have made his life easier if he did.

"Keep reading my book?" Peta suggested sarcastically, in a tone that rivalled the one he'd heard from his mother.

The other boy grinned hugely, "Nah, that's boring. How's about we play a game?" Peta realised Anker wasn't alone, as his lackeys snickered from behind him. There were three of them, each as lovely as the next.

Why had Peta made it a habit to sit in one of their makeshift playground's corners? Looking around, Peta realised there was a comfortable log near where the girls sat around with their hand-made dolls, right under the tree from which it fell. However, he'd chosen to sit with his back against the wooden fence that surrounded the library (in which his classroom is located) and around the small playground. He'd trapped himself for them.

He answered confidently, despite the doubt and fright that had started to bloom in his chest, "I like reading."

"Well I don't. And that's all that matters." Anker sneered.

Peta's slanted eyes narrow as Anker's bark brown ones fixed on something. Something that was located… His mouth fell agape as he slammed his somewhat thick book closed and held it to his thin chest, "You can't wreck my book! It's not mine!"

Anker smirked, "Play with me then."

"I really don't like games." Peta commented.

"I don't care." Clumsily, Anker stepped forward and made to grab the book, "Give me that then!"

With a startled cry, Peta found his arms being pulled apart from where they were over his chest and his reading by several pairs of hands. His book fell to the ground hard and with a very wet squelch, "Hey! Let go!" Temperamentally, he kicked at Anker's hand as the boy bent over to pick up his book, before he found his legs swept from beneath him. He landed with a grunt and a whine, before he leant forward so he could rub at his sore lower back. He yelled at Anker, his eyes alight with the anger that coursed through them, "I told you already, that's not mine! You can't wreck it!"

"Can't I, lemon?" The boy picked up the book and turned it none-too-gently in his hands, smearing the mud that had stuck to its front cover over the pages without a care. Peta felt as though his heart were going to implode, and the rest of him, right after that. That was from the library!

Anker frowned as he sounded out the title written in mud covered gold, "The Rules of Chess." He read out loud. He then turned to the three boys looming over Peta, "What's chess?"

They all murmured their 'I don't knows' simultaneously.

Peta's grey eyebrows drew into the centre of his head, "It's a game." He mumbled.

"I thought you said you didn't like games," Anker retorted immediately.

"I don't. But that doesn't stop me from reading about them."

Anker frowned and eyed the small book critically as he held it between two fingers, before he did the same to Peta, "You're weirder than you look." He stated plainly, before he smirked, "And you look really weird. So here's the deal. I won't beat you up if you stop being so weird."

"I'm not weird!"

"You are too!" The three boys around him chorused.

"Am not!" He retorted back, childishly, his mother's lecture having left his mind – not that the entire not fighting or arguing outright plan was working all that well – as he got to his feet, his sore bottom forgotten. His back and pants were caked in mud, though Peta ignored that also.

Anker snickered, "You're the only kid in the village with yellow skin! Of course you're weird!"

"And you're eyes look funny!" The kid standing to his right said in a deep, muffled voice as he hid the lower half of his face in a woollen, wood green scarf.

The one standing behind Peta was next and spoke through a snicker, "And you have grey hair and you're only ten!"

"You're not human, are you?" The last one, to Peta's left said as he pointed and laughed, spiky hair blowing in the cold breeze.

Peta found his head spinning as his eyes whirled from one boy to the next, finding that they were starting to blend together. He wasn't weird! He understood that his love for literature was odd, especially for someone his age and gender, but he wasn't weird! So what if he had exoticallycoloured skin and that his eye lids slanted down towards his nose? All they did was make him interesting to look at. It didn't matter that he was different; he was human! He was!

He found his voice quickly, "Stop laughing!" He ordered, his small hands clenched and tightening as their laughter only grew louder, "That's not fair!"

Peta didn't know who was more surprised as he threw himself at the bigger boy currently busting his gut laughing: him or Anker. All he knew was that one moment he was standing (angrily) in front of him and the next he was on top of Anker, his smaller fists slamming into his chest, cheeks and nose whilst his vision gained a red hue. It seemed as though he'd caught Anker's lackeys off guard too as they were currently frozen solid, mouths open and gaping like a fish out of water.

"What are you boys doing?!" He ignored her. She wouldn't stop him this time; Anker deserved every single thing he got!

A pair of arms wrapped around his mid-section and pulled off the boy. His vision didn't turn normal though; he could smell the blood, he could smell it and he was going to cause more! He needed to cause more! He ached! His body felt as though someone had lit a bonfire inside his tummy. He hadn't ever smelt something so mouth watering!

"Peta!" He felt warm hands grasp his shoulders a second before he was shaken roughly, "Stop behaving like a barbarian! We discussed this!" He didn't hlat his kicks, or his mad wriggling. He flung his elbows left and right and up and down and he needed to be let down! Who was holding him? He heard a grunt, and a hissed, "I apologise for his behaviour! I don't know what's gotten into him. I'll take him home."

Then he was hoisted up into the air and against someone. Someone with a soft, warm chest and tender hands; he could feel them holding the back of his head!

"Let me down!" He growled as though he were a mad man, "I'm not done! Let me down!"

"Peta, you need to calm down." He kicked, sent his knees at the person, clawed at their clothes and slammed his fist into their back, "Come on Peta, enough. That's enough."

"No! Not enough! More, more sweet stuff!"

"You don't like sweets. Remember, Peta?" He was starting to get tired, his swings turning into waves, "That's it, relax."

"Want more." He whimpered pathetically. As his vision cleared and he realised he was staring over someone's shoulder, his chin in the said body part. The person hummed, and his eyes started to feel heavier fast, "Want more." He repeated, his eyes finally closing.

He really did want more.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Orea sighed as she felt her son go limp in her arms. She stroked her fingers through his silky hair, planting mud from Peta's clothes in it, and pressed a thankful kiss to his hot cheek, all the while holding him closer to her bigger form. Her poor, poor boy…

"Shh." She shushed as she felt his grip on her purple shirt tighten, "Shh, you're fine, relax."

Panos had warned her of their son's tastes. He'd worn her the day she'd told him of his conception. He was half demon, he'd need blood. Or in the least, he'd have a taste for it. She'd had a hard – but successful – time keeping human blood from his senses since then, though she had to admit that seeing Peta sucking on a raw pork hide made her stomach turn and flop uncomfortably.

Her husband had always claimed that human blood was far more enjoyable to consume than any other animal; humans ate a variety of things, not just vegetables or meat alone, it didn't taste as bland. She had immediately told him to be quiet, though now she wished he'd explained it all a bit more to her. But Orea hadn't thought she'd be raising Peta alone.

The cottage came into view, from behind a wall of trees. Orea made sure to keep her pace to the one she'd had for the entire walk back; she needed Peta to remain asleep. He was completely worn out, and Orea didn't know how long his blood-lust would stay. As she fumbled with her key, she hipped the door open, holding her son's head against her shoulder tenderly as she worked her way through the house.

"Sleep, Peta, stay asleep." She begged as she carefully stripped him of his wet, mud coated clothes and gingerly tucked him in bed.

His room was tidy and cramped, except for his bookshelves that inhabited the right hand wall. There was a small desk just left of the door, made of wood much like every other item in his room. His bed took up the majority of the space in the room and was covered in a ridiculous amount of messy blankets, the top one of which was a patchwork quilt she'd made the year of his seventh birthday.

Orea heard Shi mewl up at her as she scooped up Peta's clothes from where she'd dropped them on the floor and she stooped to pick up his shin covering, leather boots. Shi hopped up on the bedside table, before he bounded gracefully onto the bed beside Peta.

She glared at him, "Be quiet," She hissed, "Stupid cat. Can't you tell he's not feeling his best? He needs his sleep." Shi flicked his tail at her and curled up on top of her son's chest as she turned to leave the room. Orea muttered about him and how it had been a mistake to allow her son to keep such a nuisance cat.

Then the day's events found their way to her mind again. This wasn't going to go down well with her father or the village leader. She'd managed to soothe any doubts about Peta's blood lust before he'd started tutoring, but his tantrum was going to plant seeds of doubt again, seeds she didn't think she'd be able to sow. Not this time.

"Oh, Panos. I don't know what to do." She sighed worriedly, as she threw her son's clothes into a hand woven basket. Orea then hurriedly returned to Peta's doorway, her eyes full of worry as she watched her son sleep.

How could she stop this from happening again? What had the little brat said to make Peta physically attack him? It didn't add up in Orea's mind. Peta had been foul tempered at the best of times, but he didn't turn violent. He often stuck out his bottom lip and sulked for an hour, but he never raised a fist as a reply to whatever or whoever had annoyed him. And she'd talked to him about Anker's unfair jabs at Peta's less than human appearance.

A loud, banging erupted from the front of the cottage, causing Orea to jump and close Peta's door as hurriedly and quietly as she could manage. She hurried through the hallways, careful of her son's boots as she passed them from where they were dripping over the floor in the kitchen and threw open the door to greet whoever was using it as a drum with a glare.

She forced herself to remain still and unmoving from where she'd planted herself; in the doorway, as she came face to face a man thrice her size wide and one and half times her height. His top lip was kept warm with a large, bushy moustache and his eyes were like pin pricks. Orea regarded him with cold eyes, "What is it Plato?" She asked impatiently.

"What is it?" He repeated in a deep, gruff voice, "What is it!? Your son's a monster, that's what it is!"

"Oh please," Orea sighed, "I haven't talked to Peta yet, but I haven't a doubt that your boy was the one that started the fight."

"Your boy broke my boy's nose!"

"And I'm terribly sorry he did. However," She spat acidly, as the butcher's massive hands clenched in front of him, "You can't come over here and claim that Anker did nothing to deserve it!"

"He was victimised!" Plato roared, as he pointed a meaty finger over Orea's shoulder, into the house, "And your boy was the one that attacked him!"

"Peta's less than half his size! You don't really think my 'puny son' would be able to do such damage to your own? Is that what you're telling me?"

The giant spluttered messily before he hissed threateningly, spit flying in every direction as he leant down to look Orea in the eye, "Orea, this isn't over. If I see your son even breathe in my boy's direction, I will remove his yellow head clean off his shoulders!" Without waiting for her reply, he spun around clumsily, "Do you hear me, clean off his shoulders!" He hollered over his right shoulder as he stomped away.

Orea let out a shaky breathe. That man had always made her tremble with fear; he was so violent, so large and strong. He could snap her in two with barely any effort! She circled the door, and closed it. She sighed again as she moved to sit at the table, her slender fingers rubbing at her temples slowly. A sharp pain shot down her spine from her shoulder blades. She'd think whilst she bathed.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The bathroom was as quiet as ever, as she sunk down into the steamy water Orea had filled the bath with. It was small (though nothing like Peta's bedroom was) and possessed a large tub in which she was bathing from and a smaller basin to wash her face in. There was another basin for when nature called in the corner at the back of the room.

From the small mirror she'd placed in there, leaning against the other side of the room, she could tell that her left shoulder was erupting in disgusting yellow and purple bruises from her son's hits that afternoon. Her smooth abdomen was in the same condition, whilst her breasts were tender from Peta's mad wriggling.

She hadn't ever known Peta could possess the strength to create such wounds. She ached all over, as though she'd had a tree fall on top of her. Just like she hadn't thought that her innocent walk through the village would lead her to witnessing one of the most heart-stopping moments of her life. She'd only wanted to stock up on material, the good stuff considering it was a merchant from Aletea that wanted a new set of formal clothes. She hadn't thought she'd find her son beating the living soul out of the butcher's son!

"Mummy?" Orea jumped, immediately finding herself glad that her back turned towards the wall from where she sat in her bath as Peta suddenly appeared in the door way, rubbing at his sleep filled eyes tiredly as he entered the bathroom in nothing but his underwear. She could see him shivering, but he seemed set on talking to her. He spotted her bruised shoulder quickly and he ran to the side of the large tub and peered down at her pale form with large eyes, "Ma! What happened? Are you alright? Who did this?"

"No one, Peta. It's dangerous walking around the forest, I've told you that. I had a branch fall on top of me." She hastily curled her knees, bringing them to her bare chest as Peta eyed her as though he didn't believe her, "I'm fine, really." She soothed as she smiled kindly and reached for his very pinch able left cheek.

Peta still didn't seem to believe her, but let it slide anyway as she ran her left thumb over the curve of his cheek. He sat down beside the tub. He was so vigilant! Just like his father! And that wasn't always a good thing, "What's wrong? Hm? Peta?"

She hooked her arms over the side of the tub and ran her fingers through Peta's mussed hair. He drew away from her fingers with a whine, so that he was lying on the stone floor, "I hurt Anker pretty bad, didn't I, Ma?"

"I should say you did, he had the bloodiest nose I've ever seen!" Peta nodded mutely and they were blanketed with an oppressive silence. Peta's usually curious aura was of a depressing sort that afternoon and Orea watched sadly as her son sniffled and rubbed at his eyes again.

"Hey." She attempted, as his snuffling drew louder, "Peta," She stood, quickly reaching and drawing her white, scratchy towel around her pale, nude form as her son's tears started to leak and trail down his face freely. "Peta…" She called again, as she gathered him into her arms and sat herself down beside him.

She sighed and began to rock backwards and forwards, humming and hushing Peta's sobs as he curled up tighter and buried his face deeper into her neck. She felt tears prick at her own eyes.

Her son was no monster; no monster felt remorse as Peta did. As her son's tears lessened and finally stopped, she cursed herself for having fallen for a demon. No matter how charming the said demon was. She and Peta were in for a lot of heartache and Orea felt like she'd brought it upon them both.

Perhaps that was why the damsel in distress never fell for the bad guy?

Woffy: … Kids are bastards. That's all I have to say. To make it more realistic I sought help from my ten (nine?) year old neighbour. All insults come from his mouth (as it's amazing how difficult I find it to insult someone). Anyway…

This chapter should have been of better quality than the first one; I'm actually feeling better so I'm finding it easier to use my brain (not that I use it all that much anyway). And I find myself mourning Panos' death. T.T Why'd I kill him off so early? I must have suffered from temporary insanity!

I'd like to thank the following people for reviewing (and helping me get through this chapter by doing so): vivid4, X-Ruby-X, Aqua Alta, GintaxAlvissForever and Maverick no Knight. You're all awesome and get lamingtons. –hands them out-

Anyway, reviews make an authoress happy and word crazy. :D