A/N: Wow, I can't believe how long it's been since my last update. I was going around my chapters and realized that it's been more than a year since I last wrote a chapter! Well, what can I say? I'm not a university student. My time is very limited which has caused me to lose practically all of my motivation. Plus, I also haven't updated my first fanfiction. But since it had been so long I decided to write a chapter for this one. My first fanfic Redemption is almost over. I'm looking foward to continue this one. I have so many ideas for this story and I really would like to share them with you all. I'd like to thank you for your patience and your wonderful reviews. That's what got me to write again. I hope you all keep supporting me and my stories.


PS. I do not have a beta. This chapter hasn't been beta'ed. If anyone is willing to become my beta please send me a message.

Chapter 8: Bitter Sweetness

Scratching her still sleepy eyes with a yawn, Sakura opened the door of her room. For the first time since she had been living decently, if any, in the Akatsuki household, she had overslept. Though she really wasn't one to blame as a few unpleasant issues occurred the day before which made her unable to sleep soundly.

Much to her dismay, though, she came face-to-face with Uchiha Itachi as he too came out of his room. The one man she didn't want to see first thing in the morning, or at least, not the first person she wanted to see that day.


The sight of him caused her to become uneasy; her breath started to become heavy. She attempted to open her mouth, to say something. But the words wouldn't come out. It was as if, her voice had been stolen.

As if Itachi had taken her voice box from her. She could see it. Him, holding her voice box in his rough hands…playing with it…and with a dark sinister smile as he enjoyed watching her silent wails of mortification.

And she knew why.

"I…" She finally managed to say something but at that moment, Itachi merely turned from her sight but without forgetting to give her a glare.

However, unlike others, that glare he shot at her was so full of hatred and anger. The mere sight at his blazing crimson eyes made her flinch at the spot.

'Sakura-chan?" A voice called.

Snapping out of her sudden disorientation, Sakura turned towards the familiar voice that called her.

"Oh, Deidara-san. It's you."

"Are you alright Sakura-chan, un?" He asked noticing the uneasy state she was in and that she hadn't called him –kun. He had seen the way Itachi had made her flinched. He was going to fetch Sakura for breakfast when he noticed that she and Itachi had crossed paths.

"Oh-um…yes. I'm alright." She lied.

"Alright then. Well, you better hurry up or else you won't have anything to eat, un."

Deidara walked away while Sakura stood still; noticing that she had stayed behind, he turned.

"Are you sure you're alright Sakura-chan?"

"Deidara-san…I-uh…I think it'd be best if…if you don't call me Sakura-chan." She replied, looking away.


"Well because…" She just couldn't say it; she couldn't tell Deidara the reason. Just remembering the why Itachi had looked at her earlier, compelled her with extreme fear.

"…because…?" Deidara added, raising an eyebrow.

"Just because ok! You don't' really have to know! I just don't feel so comfortable right now with you calling me that in front of everyone, alright?!" Sakura snapped in return, trying to conceal her fear, with her typical temper.

Scoffing, she turned away and made her way to the kitchen area. However, despite Sakura's effort for putting on that act, Deidara was able to read her easily.

He narrowed his cerulean eyes. You can't fool me, un. I know Itachi did something to you.

"Good morning". Sakura said to the rest of the Akatsuki in the table with a rather irritated tone.

"Morning Haruno-san." Sasori replied indifferently from the porch.

Both Kisame and Itachi said nothing but for different reasons. Kisame didn't feel like replying to the kunoichi's greeting. Though he no longer thought of her with apathy, she was still the prisoner. Itachi, on the other hand, chose to ignore her.

Sheepishly and quietly, she sat in the chair that was in front of Kisame and beside Itachi. Deidara was on her left.

No one talked; all that could be heard were the sound of the chopsticks clinging with each other and soft chewing of each other. The atmosphere became tenser by the second. As he ate, Kisame observed Itachi, Deidara and Sakura. He looked at Sakura who seemed to avoid making eye contact with anyone; then to Deidara whom it was obvious how pissed he was as he only glared at Itachi; he switched to the Uchiha. He had a stoic and apathic demeanor not caring at the many glares Deidara shot at him.

Since the partnership between the two pairs had been done, nothing had been able to disturb the indifferent peace between them. But now, it was as if the household was now swinging by a thread, ready to break at any moment.

Like a tightrope, were the slightest weight would make it tilt and crash.

Like a time bomb, ready to explode in any second.

And it was all because of that pink-haired kunoichi that Itachi had brought and decided to keep as a play thing for himself. Kisame was very well aware of the raging emotions that swirled in that dinning table coming from Deidara, and even from Itachi.

The girl was no exception either. She was as involved as them. In fact, if he had to blame someone it'd be her.

One thing is for sure. He thought. If this keeps up, someone might die.

Unbeknownst to Kisame, Sakura was also feeling the growing tension that surrounded her. Kisame might think that she was avoiding eye contact either because she was being submissive to Itachi or because she feared even looking obliquely at his eyes. But the truth was that she wouldn't dare look at the kind of silent confrontation Itachi and Deidara were having.

She could sense Deidara's glares and resentment towards Itachi. She was aware of the hatred Deidara felt towards Itachi because of the way he treated her but all the same, she was aware of how much Itachi disliked Deidara. Though he appeared to be unaffected by everything, she could see that ignoring him was Itachi's way of showing his disapproval towards Deidara.

"I-uh…I'm done so I'll just go outside and…get some fresh air." She said standing up

"Alright Sakura-chan." Deidara replied jovially and Sakura knew that he had said that on purpose.

She nodded with a rather nervous smile and obliquely looked at Itachi who still remained indifferent to everything. Then she quickly left the premises for she really needed that fresh air.

"She's my property Deidara. Stay away." Itachi bluntly said as soon as he heard Sakura go outside.

"She isn't your property, un." The blond Akatsuki replied firmly. "Sakura-chan isn't a thing you own."

"I don't care about what you think. She's mine. I captured her; she has nothing to do with you."

"Yes she has something to do with me, un! I won't let you treat her like some kind of toy! You know what? I think you're just jealous." Deidara snapped back.

Itachi narrowed his blazing crimson eyes at him.

"Yea…you're jealous because Sakura-chan likes to be with me more than you. In fact, she even told me that she'd rather be with someone like me than with a cold bastard like you, un. You just want her for your own pleaser but keep dreaming, cuz you'll never have her!"

In the blink of an eye, Itachi had Deidara pinned at the wall; holding his throat.

Fool… Sasori thought annoyed at Deidara's tantrum; he had heard everything.

Breathing hard and heavily, the Iwa missing-nin held on to Itachi's arm trying to break free of his strong grip. The Uchiha's eyes blazed with the fiery crimson color of his sharingan.

"Mind your own affairs Deidara." With simply those words, he released him as Deidara tried to get his air back in his lungs.

"You're lucky Itachi just grabbed you by the throat. You should take it as a warning." Kisame added before leaving.

Alone in the kitchen, Deidara stood pensive with narrowed eyes full of hatred towards the Uchiha that had just attacked him. He had always hated Itachi, mainly because he considered himself so superior to him when they were all really in the same rank.

Uchiha Itachi…I'm not afraid of you, un. Sakura-chan doesn't belong to you. She never will.

The grass was fresh, the sun shinned brightly, and the wind softly blew. It was a very peaceful day, or at least that's what it looked liked. Sakura walked around the grass with her bare feet. Back in Konoha, she had taken a habit of walking bare foot in the grass whenever she had to clear her mind.

It felt good to have the scratchy yet soft surface of the grass in her feet. Tsunade had always taught her to be in contact with nature and to be one with it. That way, if she was ever in trouble, she could use her strength to use nature in her favor.

Be one with nature…

She looked up at the sky; clouds floating carefree. She remembered Shikamaru and how he always wanted to be a cloud.

Now I can understand why Shikamaru always wanted to be a cloud. That way, I wouldn't have to go through all of this. I wouldn't have to deal with him…

Her mind became troubled by her previous confrontation with Itachi; with just one subtle glare, he had said a lot; he had expressed himself fully. Without speaking a word, he had already made her flinch. Still, it's not like he needed to say anything. After all, he had already said plenty the day before.

"Deidara, is our turn to get the groceries. Hurry up. You know I hate waiting." Sasori called.

"I heard you" Deidara answered. "I should go but let's talk afterwards, how about it Sakura-chan?"

"Sure. See you later um…Deidara-kun." Sakura replied sheepishly, looking away with flushed cheeks.

Surprised at the suffix Sakura had added to his name, he merely just stared. Until now, she had always called him Deidara-san. Even so, a small hidden part of him wanted to hear her call him Deidara-kun.

Feeling the blood flush to his face he too looked away. "Right um…see ya Sakura…chan." And quickly left, leaving Sakura surprised in return.

As she watched him disappear through the dark forest, Sakura couldn't help but grin. She noticed how it unwillingly painted in her face.

It was strange. It felt strange.

Deidara was an Akatsuki member; a missing shinobi who kills others mercilessly. And yet…he could still make her smile. She's a prisoner in an Akatsuki household; she could lose her life any day but his presence has made those unbearable days a bit more pleasant.

More importantly, it no longer hurt to look at Deidara. He was so much like Naruto. That's probably the reason why she has begun to take a strong liking to him.

To her, he had become a blessing; to cheer her up on her gloomy days.

I want to get closer to him. This time she didn't curse herself for having wished that.

Entering the house, she heard a dark voice comment, "You seem rather happy about Deidara."

Recognizing the voice she turned, but before she could even look at him, Itachi had her already pinned in the wall by her hand. Sakura tried to use her free hand to push him away but he quickly clutched it.

"You seem to have forgotten who you belong to." He said.

"I didn't forget." Sakura replied firmly. "Because I belong to no one. I am not your property Itachi."

He looked at the hardened emerald orbs that glared at him. She knew her fear towards him was beginning to subside.

He didn't like it.

"You are my property. I don't need your approval. Don't forget that you are alive by a mere whim. If you value your life, then stay away from Deidara. He has no business with you or you to him."

"I get it now." A defying grin appeared on Sakrua face. "You're just jealous because I like Deidara more than you. Well, at least he isn't a cold bastard like you. But your little threats won't stop me form choosing who I want to be with. I-"

The Uchiha got close to her and grabbed her face by the cheeks, making her look straight into his now red eyes.

"You will do as I say. I don't need to kill you to show you who is in charge here. A mere genjutsu will suffice. Same with Deidara." He smirked; Sakura's eyes widened afraid. "However, in Deidara's case I could just kill him and have you witness it."

Sakura gasped. He-he'd really do it…wouldn't he? Of course. The man in front of her was the one who cold bloodily slaughtered his whole family and tortured his younger brother.

Uchiha Itachi was capable of anything.

Itachi studied the kunoichi's expression. One moment, it was full of defiance and the next complete domination and fear could be read. He smirked at it. She tried to put on a brave front, but in the end, she could still crumble as the cherry blossom she is.

Leaning closer to her, he smelled her pink hair; fresh from the shower. He noticed how mere grazing her pink locks caused her to automatically stiff in self-defense.

"Don't forget what I can do to you cherry blossom." He whispered.

The Uchiha freed her from his grasp and left the premises, leaving Sakura complete flinched and trembling.

Sakura touched her hair and ear.

His mere voice…it penetrates my skin…

Chills crawled all over her spine.

I…I can somewhat feel it…like…like he wants me….

She hugged herself.

This is too much for me…

She crutched.

I don't know how much of this I can take…

Meanwhile, Deidara had gone outside along with Sasori who was sitting on the porch. Sasori had made a habit of always sitting there most of throughout the day to sense if the Konoha ninjas were nearby as he had set-up puppets in different strategic locations as look-outs.

"You're adding fuel to the fire Deidara." Sasori commented calmly.

"Meh, I could care less what he thinks, un." Deidara scoffed.

The Suna missing-nin sighed. Deidara really did act like a love struck adolescent. "That love you feel towards the girl will be your downfall Deidara."

The blonde Akatsuki looked at Sasori. He had always been one to be sincere about things; always saying the truth and being realistic about everything.

"Who said I was in love with her, un?"

"Don't take me as a fool Deidara. It's obvious and that's exactly why Itachi is now acting more possessive towards the girl."

Deidara softly gritted his teeth at that word: possessive. How he hated it; how it made his blood boil just thinking about it.

"Sakura-chan isn't Itachi's toy, un."

"Stop deluding yourself. Haruno-san is Itachi's prisoner and he can do whatever he wishes with her whether you approve of it or not. And I suggest you cease adding the suffix –chan to her name. It's rather too familiar." Sasori added with a more firm tone of voice. It was clear he was beginning to lose his patience.

"Hm?" Something tingled inside Sasori. "Deidara, the Leader wants to see us. We should depart now."

Deidara watched Sakura, paying no attention to what his partner had just said; he watched how she suddenly seemed uneasy but then resumed her passive activity of walking in the grass bare foot.


Is that something that Akatsuki should feel? Is he even allowed to feel that? Is feeling warm whenever he was near her, whenever he saw her smile, or getting angry at the way Itachi treated her sentiments related to love?

I don't really know what love is but all I know is that I just want you by my side Sakura-chan.

It took a while before Sakura was able to calm down. She wanted to see Deidara but, she was afraid of what Itachi could do to him. He was serious. He would really kill him.

I don't want to lose another person I love again…


She became uneasy for a moment.

Did I just say that…? No… impossible…I…I can't…

She shook her head, trying to shake away all the thoughts that had just entered her mind; thoughts that to her, were unacceptable and more importantly that she condemned.

I…I was thinking of Naruto. That's why I said it. It has nothing to do with Deidara personally…

"-chan? Sakura-chan?" The moment she heard Deidara's second call, she came back to her senses.

"Huh…what is it?" She asked.

"Yea well, Sasori-danna and I were called by the Leader so we have to go now."

"Will it take long?" What startled her wasn't the question but rather the way she had asked it: with an anxious tone.

"Well…it's hard to say..."

"We do not know." Sasori joined. "It's unpredictable. It may take a few hours, maybe a day or maybe days. It depends on what the Leader wants. Now, if you'll excuse us we must leave now and you're delaying us. The more you delay us, the longer we'll take to return."

"Oh, alright. Sorry."

"Don't worry Sakura-chan, I'll be back soon." The blond Akatsuki smiled. Sakura smiled in return.

Sakura decided to watch them until they had been lost in the forest. She didn't like the feeling it gave her; watching his back slowly fade away. It gave her insecurity; as if he'd never return just like Naruto.

No, I…I don't want that again...!

Acting out of a sudden despair, she attempted to run and catch up with Deidara but suddenly felt her body being pulled back through her wrist. Turning her head, she saw none other than Itachi; his eyes looking at her with his unchanging expression.

"Where did you plan on going with such eagerness?" He asked her with his deep and apathic voice.

"I-uh…" She stammered. "I just…" Like always, the words didn't come out.

Itachi raised en eyebrow. He knew where she wanted to go at the moment and just thinking about it enraged him. He took her inside the house by the hand not caring of the resistance or protests she had given along the way.

Throwing her in his bed, Itachi pinned Sakura and clutched her arms preventing her any form of escape. The kunoichi struggles, trying to break free but soon gave up as she realized how futile her attempts were. It was always like that.

She looked at Itachi who in turn merely stared at her; his long black pony tail falling down on his side.

"You keep failing to grasp your position in this house." He said.

Sakura's breathing became heavy, afraid at the man in front of her; afraid at what he could do. He had warned her to stay away from Deidara and he was capable of doing anything. And she knew it.

Then, she began to tremble as sadness overwhelmed her.

"Just…just what do you want from me? Why do you keep torturing me here?" Her eyes began to well with tears. This whole situation became mind-boggling to her. She no longer knew what to think or even what to do. She wasn't even sure if she was sane anymore.

Itachi watched as the tears cascaded throughout her emerald eyes. His masochistic side found them beautiful and he'd be damned if he ever admitted that out loud. Nevertheless, he still saw a fragile young girl with a heart just a delicate; a heart that with a mere touch would break.

"Why…? Why do you hate me so much?" She said in between sobs.

As his long dark bangs covered his face, Itachi slowly got up freeing Sakura from his strong grasp. Quietly, he headed towards the door and just before he left, he stopped.

"I expect you tonight here to continue with your healing process." With that, he closed the door behind him leaving the still tear-filled girl in an abyss of utter emptiness.

"You're acting odd." Kisame commented when he saw Itachi walk out of his room. Itachi never took things personal and much less have other people's personal feelings get to him. But ever since the kunoichi had arrived, Itachi acted more flustered than he could ever imagine.


"Whatever you say." Kisame shrugged though he honestly didn't believe Itachi's words. "I'm heading out. Might come back late." He really wanted for Itachi to come to his senses soon and hand the girl over to the Leader.

Don't forget you're playing with fire Itachi.

How long had it been since Itachi had left her in the room? She didn't know. But it had been long because night had already fallen. During all that time, she had stayed lying on the bed in a fetal position as thoughts still flooded her mind. What she still couldn't understand however was why Itachi had suddenly left her when she began to cry.

It doesn't make any sense. It's not like I was expecting an answer from him, but I also wasn't expecting him to just stand up and leave.

Uchiha Itachi was indeed a complex person. Not even living with him for a few months had been enough to even have an idea of who he really was. Then again, why would she care?

But the way he left…

She remembered. His head was lowered and she couldn't see his face very well because of his bangs. It was almost as if, he didn't want to look at her.

It can't be, no. She shook her thoughts away. Someone like him can't possibly feel remorse.

Sitting up, Sakura looked around his bedroom. It was so empty; only a lone bed and a drawer if any. She'd even say it looked sad and lonely. Caressing the bed sheet, she suddenly felt an unknown impulse to smell it.

Her body stiffened.

It was Sasuke's smell.

Her eyes gazed at the white bed sheet with a deep and heavy sorrow. Anywhere she went here reminded her of Sasuke. And now, even Itachi's bed had Sasuke's scent. She didn't know why. Perhaps it was because they were brothers. Nevertheless, it was his aroma.

It was sweet.

It was strong.

It was painful.

Once more, she began to cry. She began to felt the emptiness of not having him with her; the pain of having him so far away. She missed him. She had tried so hard to help him, to fill at least a little the void inside of him. But she wasn't able to. Her love alone hadn't been enough.

And now…it was her who had that indescribable void.

"Sasuke-kun…" She sobbed; her face covered in the sheets as she clutched it with all her might; trying to not let go of what little she had left of him.

After crying for yet another uncountable time, Sakura finally left the walls of Itachi's bedroom. She hadn't eaten anything since breakfast and her stomach was already emphasizing that to her. Along the way, she met Itachi as he got out of the bathroom. His hair was still damp; his chest naked. Her eyes stared in awe at the man in front her; emerald met crimson.

"Once you finish eating, come to my room." He bluntly said and walked away.

Just then, Sakura's face got flushed. Placing her hand on her cheek she became flustered. Oh god, why am I like this? This is ridiculous! I mean, it's Itachi! Shaking her head, she attempted to return to her senses. No, the reason I'm like this is because he caught me by surprise and because he looks like Sasuke-kun. Because he's as handsome as Sasuke-kun…

A loud sigh of exhaustion escaped her mouth. Now, she only wondered when Deidara would return. It hadn't even been a day and she already missed him. She missed his cheerful words, his kindness and most of all, his smile. The more she thought about Deidara, the bigger the grin on her face became, and the brighter the shine in her eyes seemed.



Why was it?

Like every moment, his last confrontation with Sakura had been engraved in his mind; vividly playing again and again.

"Just…just what do you want from me? Why do you keep torturing me here?"

"Why…? Why do you hate me so much?"

Even if he didn't want to, he could see the pain in her eyes; in her voice. Her despair in not even knowing; forced to be living amongst the shadows.

Her eyes were swollen. He had noticed when they had crossed paths not long before. Had she been crying all this time since then?

He had vowed to harden his heart from all and to all. After what he had done, he deserved to be alone. And yet, why did he answer to the tears of one pathetic cherry blossom? Nonsense. That's what it was.

Just a bunch of nonsense.

After all, she was just a simple cherry blossom. She was the person that would carry out his desires. That's all she was to him: a mere tool. She had yet to fulfill her purpose but he was determined to do so. He cared not about how long it would take, but he was going to make her his. Only then would his plan be finally complete.

I will make you forget about Sasuke…and Deidara.

He wasn't going to succumb to the tears of someone like her. She was nothing to him. And as long as he kept telling himself that, then everything would be alright.

Although for Itachi it felt like it had been hours, in truth only a few minutes had passed when he heard sheepish knocks on his door. Slowly, the door opened with soft creaking sounds. Looking at him, lying on the bed, Sakura entered quietly.

Neither said a single word.

In utter silence, Sakura pulled a chair and sat beside Itachi's bed and in that same silence she began to continue the healing process. With her eyelids closed and her chakra concentrated on both her hands, she examined the Uchiha's body. From the last time, the lesser internal injuries were almost completely healed.

While she healed him, Itachi remained resting; sleeping. Briefly opening her eyes, the rosette girl gazed at him. And as she looked at him, one question came to her mind:


That was the question that had been mortifying her for as long as she could remember. It was like a thorn on her side that couldn't be pulled away, torturing her very soul and heart.

Even if she hated to admit it, Itachi was a handsome man. She could imagine him being the desire of every woman's heart in Konoha. He could've probably lived a good and happy life. A happy life with his brother…

At this point such a dream seemed foolish and impossible, in fact it was. But still, she couldn't help but to think about it. If he hadn't killed his family then everyone would've lived peaceful and happy life.

Sasuke-kun wouldn't have suffered; he wouldn't have left. I wouldn't have suffered. And Naruto-kun…he…

Even if it was a mere illusion, the pain she felt was real. And it was excruciating. Thinking about those "what-ifs" only opened the wound in her heart that she has slowly sewed but even so, it still wouldn't scar.

It would never scar.

The more she dwelled in those thoughts, the more constant she felt the drops of her incessant tears falling on her hands. Soon, she stopped the healing and succumbed to her sorrow.

Noticing that the flow of chakra through his body had abruptly ceased, Itachi woke up only to find a crying Sakura. He merely stared at her with his emotionless crimson eyes.

"Why?" She asked in an almost inaudible sobbing voice. "Why did you kill everyone?"

She had never wanted to ask him something as personal as that. But she could no longer bear the mortification. She had to know. After all that has happened to her and to everyone else; after all the suffering everyone had gone through. She deserved to know.

Didn't she?

The Sharingan master remained silent for a few seconds in order to contemplate the woman in front of him. She looked shattered, in despair; as if she was hanging on to life by a mere thread; a whim. She looked pathetic. Was she really a shinobi? Or better asked, was she really the woman that his brother was infatuated with?

"To test my strength. That's why I killed them." He finally answered. But that answer wasn't satisfying. At least not to Sakura, for the moment she heard him say that, she looked at him with glaring eyes.

"Strength?! You expect me to believe that?!?!" She cried. He stood up and looked down at her, not taking fondly her tone of voice. She flinched in return.

"That doesn't concern you. I did what I had to do." Itachi added with an emotionless voice. That's what bothered her the most. The way he talked about such a tragedy. He always remained cool, calm, in apathy as if it wasn't even something that should affect him.

But it should. It should affect him. It had to affect him.

"How could you say something like that so casually? Don't you even know how much you've hurt us all?! I hate you! I despise you! You're nothing but a damn cold bastard!" She exclaimed; her voice overwhelmed by the grudge she had against him and he could see that perfectly.

"Because of you...! Because of you Sasuke-kun suffered! Because of you he became lonely and sad! I tried so hard to save him but I never could!" Not even caring that she was talking to Uchiha Itachi, she began to punch him. But her fists were merely felt. They had no strength in them.

"It was all because of you! He left because of you! He left us; he left me. And…and Naruto-kun…because Sasuke-kun left he…he…" Her voice finally broke, making her unable to emit words, only painful weeps.

Itachi merely stood as he watched her slowly crumble and fall to the floor, all the while she kept her fists connected to him. This time however, she didn't even have any more strength to move them.

"…you hurt us all…" She added in such a low voice that it could barely be heard.

"You know nothing." Itachi said in an equally as low voice.

Sakura looked at him with her tear-filled eyes but he still maintained his stoic demeanor. What did he say? She had heard something, but it had been too low for her to understand. Though knowing him, he probably had said it low with the intention to not be heard.

Realizing her miserable and outrageous position, she quickly recovered and stood up. After drying her remaining tears with the back of her hands, she looked at Itachi. However this time, her eyes had a faint glow of regret, anger, hatred but most of all sorrow. For a moment, they almost seemed lifeless.

"Excuse me, Itachi-san." Sakura coldly said with a hint of sarcasm and hastily left the room. Before, she would've been afraid of how Itachi would react to her leaving in such a manner, but this time she could've cared less.

Closing her door shut, she leaned against it. Her blood still boiled with hatred towards him. The more she stayed here, the more hatred she felt. It was starting to become venom that slowly ate her. She began to recall Itachi's expression. That was what had been carved in her mind. It wasn't what he had said, but the way he had said it. The way his eyes remained emotionless showing how cold blooded he truly was.

How? How can he be like that?

She couldn't fathom it. And yet, she knew why.


She vaguely remembered the last thing he had said.

What was he trying to say? It had been so low a tone that it was hard to even make it out. But it wasn't like Itachi to say something low on purpose. He would usually say anything in front of her with that poker face of his.


I nothing what?


What was it?


That should be it. But what did he mean by that? She stood pensive trying to make out the meaning behind Itachi's ambiguous words. Then again, I know all there is about the matter. He's the one that knows nothing.

The day had been tiring enough. She had suspected it would've gone like that although she hadn't counted on having it been so emotionally exhausting. Nevertheless with Deidara gone and her at Itachi's mercy until God knows when, she knew it wasn't going to be an easy day. The thought amused her in a way; feeling so secure with Deidara. It was such an irony. Never in her wildest imagination would she have ever seen herself feeling protected with an Akatsuki member.

But it had happened.

Unable to contain herself, a few short giggles escaped her. One moment she was feeling sad and upset and the next, she was giggling. It was weird but Deidara had a sort of magic; the same magic that Naruto had. It was the magic of being able to make her smile and laugh even in the grimmest of situation; the magic of giving her warmth and security even in the coldest and darkest of moments.

The magic of making her happy.

Much to her dismay, her happy stream of thoughts were shattered as she heard Itachi storm in. Startled, she braced herself.

"Wha-what do you want now?" She asked but with a complaining tone. Couldn't he give her at least a few hours of peace?

"You left without permission." He merely answered as he approached her.

Each step Itachi took forward, Sakura would take it backwards. Where had her momentary streak of courage and strength fueled by her hatred left? Where had it gone? All she had to do was hate him, right? But she was. And now she was compelled with fear once more.

The Uchiha smirked at her. She never disappointed him. He already knew her pattern.

"Please just leave me alone." Sakura begged. "Please..." She no longer cared about her dignity. She couldn't take it anymore; she had reached her limit. Emotionally, this was too much for her.

Itachi remained unaffected at her pleads. It was as if she had been talking to a rock; a cold and hard rock. They both stopped as soon as Sakura no longer had were to run. She had been cornered at the wall on the opposite side of her room.

"Wh-why are you doing this t-to me?" Sakura began to stammer. "What did I ever do to you?" A knot formed on her throat.

Without saying a word still, Itachi leaned towards her and took a hold of one of her pink flocks in between his fingers as he breathed against her neck. The kunoichi's body stiffed right at the contact. It always made her have chills crawl all over her body as if it were countless spiders. It was horrible; that feeling. It was the feeling of being desired; a feeling of hunger.

A feeling of his lust.

She attempted to foolishly respond. Once more, Itachi had taken her voice box form her. He had left her mute at his presence. Taking her small face in his strong big hands, Itachi locked his crimson eyes on hers as he subtly trailed her body.

Dwelling in sudden fear, her emerald eyes widened. The more she started into his penetrating eyes, the more she felt like she was being exposed to him. As if he was slowly taking her clothes away; little by little until she was completely naked.

That was what his eyes portrayed.

"Why do you hate me so much?" She repeated that question again. Her voice breaking right in front of him as her emerald eyes shined with the tears that would soon well and fall.

Brusquely, he released her, but only for his lips to forcefully meet Sakura's. She gasped out, startled as she felt the strong yet warm kiss.


Emotions and thoughts rushed into her confused mind, making her unable to react to what was going on. She couldn't even comprehend what bizarre sensations she was feeling. But it was something she had never felt before; like something had awakened from a deep slumber.

What's happening…?

Itachi's tongue suddenly forced an entrance into her mouth, making Sakura gasp and her eyes widen in shock. She felt his muscle entering her crevice, swirling inside of her; tasting every inch and corner of her mouth. His hand playing with her hair; rosette flocks flowing through his fingers.

Her mind drew blank as she felt him savoring her but a sudden fear compelled her as well. Instead of struggling to break free, she did nothing even if she could have.

What's going on? Why can't I move?!?! Why am I…?

Her skin pressed against his, feeling his increasing body heat. And what was worse was that she too felt her body steadily heat up as well. She wanted to get away, but felt trapped; mesmerized by the taste of Itachi's mouth.

Slowly he pulled away and withdrew a few inches from her. Sakura's breathing had already become heavy as if she had run a marathon. She felt his breath against her cheek. But she didn't stiffened this time for she was in too much of a shock to even react.

Itachi finally spoke, his voice deep, smooth yet hoarse. "I don't hate you." He said; his breath tickling Sakura's ear. So close to it that in fact, the tip of his lips had slightly grazed her earlobe.

Then, he withdrew completely and left the room without looking back. Even after the door had clicked when being closed, Sakura continued to stare into space with a disoriented look. She touched her lips which still tingled and still had the taste of Itachi's kiss.

Although it had been a forceful kiss, it had also been gentle in a strange way. She had seen the lust in his eyes, but she didn't feel it in the kiss. It didn't have desire in it. It didn't even offer kindness or protection from his part. Instead she felt it overflow with a need for assurance.

An assurance of what, she didn't know. Her mind was in a fog at the moment. She couldn't differentiate anyone from anything. Too much was going on in her mind. She felt like she was been engulfed in countless emotions, thoughts and sensations.

Her hand began to tremble.


None of this was right. It didn't feel right.


She felt sick, disgusted. She slowly fell down to the floor as she hugged herself, in an attempt of self-comfort. No…no, no, no! Don't do this to me… She felt like she was been absorb in an abyss of guilt and confusion. No…please…

She curled up in a tight ball as if she was self protecting what little she had left of her dignity. But did she have anything left? How could her body dare to betray her in such a way? How could it have just stayed there and accepted Itachi's lips to touch her own?

How could it? How could she?

She even felt as her body wasn't hers. Her real body wouldn't have done something as repulsive as this. Her real body only reacted to Sasuke-kun; only to him. Not to his murderous brother.

But another figure came into her mind: Deidara.

How could she have respond to him? No…I can't… Tears entered her eyes.

She had betrayed Sasuke.

And she also felt like she had betrayed Deidara. She felt dirty, ashamed.

And it wasn't just because Itachi had kissed her…

…it was because even if she could have done something, she knew she wouldn't have done anything.

She could lie to herself but the truth was in her face. And she could feel it. Even now, despite her self-loathing, her body still felt the sensation of having Itachi's body so close to her own skin; her lips still savored the taste of his.

That was what sickened her the most. She felt unclean, polluted.

She wanted to think it had been someone else…

…but it wasn't.

Uchiha Itachi had just kissed her and she had done nothing about it. What was worse, she didn't regret it.

Suddenly, in the amidst of all the shame and self-hatred, a thought entered her mind. It had been the only thing he had said; something simple, with probably no significance to others. But to her, it made her softly grin even as her tears still cascaded through her eyes.

It made her realize that, despite it all, perhaps, deep inside, he wasn't as evil as she had thought; that maybe he wasn't as cold-hearted as she had constantly accused him to be. It made her re-think everything she believed in and knew.

Although his eyes had shown no sign of emotion, his words had been gentle enough. They weren't firm or dry. Instead, they had been calm and she'd dare say even warm. Even so, it was something that she wanted to see again no matter how outrageous or dangerous it could be. It had been something sweet among the bitterness…

He doesn't hate me…

A/N: Things are really heating up, ne? I hope this has compensated for the long wait. And I'm not forgetting about Deidara either. The tension between the three will keep increasing. Let's just say this is the beginning of the storm that will come soon. I'm not sure when the next chapter will be uploaded. I started it but I'm having trouble writting it. I really want it to be good for you all. But I promise this that once I'm done with Redemption which will be soon hopefully, I'll fully dedicate myself to Genesis. I appreciate your patience!

Please Read & Review!