There she was! My little honey-bee, diverting from the hive to grant me her nectar. Sweet bee, how lovely you look! For a moment I paused, and time paused with me. The maiden stood by the door, Dinah nearby - bowing respectively - and a tiny knot of panic was forming in my stomach; what was her name?! She began to approach me now, with both a fearful and polite caution as I calmly tried to locate her name among all the other pretty discords I had collected.

Beatrix! That was it; another Beatrix.

"Good evening, my dear Beatrix," I intoned graciously, offering my hand to her. A blush; so utterly predictable.

"And you, Lord Yui," she said quietly, with an ill-formed bow. I eyed her dress discretely - such a filthy colour. A pity, really.

"My, what a beautiful gown you have donned this fine night. I hope you do not go to all this trouble for me?" This is me being modest, if you can believe that. Beatrix's blush darkened in her embarrassment, and I felt her small quivering hand clench within my own. I allowed that to be her answer. "Come," I said, "Come sit by me." I patted the gap on the double silk-covered seat - coloured lively a dark ocean blue - next to where I sat.
Obediently, the girl did as she was told. After Dinah had fetched the wine, I dismissed her for the evening. The maid made her way past Beatrix and I, slowly and silently so as not to disturb us - and I little reluctantly, I knew. That made me smile, in my perverse way.

"Lord Yui? Lord Yui, are you feeling quite well?" I blinked myself from the stupor that had settled so quickly, like dust, over me. I was still watching the floor where She had walked, still staring at the invisible traces her dainty feet had cast upon the stone.

"I have not felt well for aeons, and I probably will never feel joy again. Hmph, can you imagine how that feels? To have the shadows taunt you, the sun curse you, to have love strangle you and your own damnable instincts constrict around your very heart…?" The girl's face became a picture of confusion. I realised then what an ordinary girl she was. So plain, so sickeningly similar to everything and everyone else. How dull, how truly disappointing.

"I-I don't know what you mean…" she stammered, her tone regretful.

"No," I said quietly, not looking at her, "No, they never do."


The girl from that particular night, Beatrix Gamble, had been a well-known girl from the city. Her father was a blacksmith, and a good one at that.

Lord Yui liked girls of any rank, daughters of any trade - as long as they were beautiful, I noticed.

I did not know her personally - I was rarely allowed to leave Yui's house - but I knew of her. No matter how well-acquainted we may or may not have been, it hurt all the same. For a time, I thought it would lessen over time, the pain that is. Oh no, it never did. Each time a new maiden arrived on our doorstep, another knife plunged into my chest; twisting and maiming my throbbing organ, draining what little hope it had. And when he took her hand! I swear, I nearly died!
Well, that is not entirely true. If he were gazing at me however, with some strand of affection in his eyes, I would like to die that way. I would die happy, and be happy, forever.

That reminds me of my favourite memory. Although, I am ashamed to say that it was not even real, sympathetic readers. It was an illusion, a trick of my mind most assuredly as Lord Yui is still the most spectacular being on this Earth. But believe me when I say that it was the most dazzling dream I had ever had. Let me indulge myself for a brief moment as I describe to you that fantasy. I'll relive my bliss…

I am lying in my bed. My body is hot all over, my nightclothes are damp with sweat. A fever, most likely. The light is bright as it glares into my room, onto me as I lay still - like the dead. I hear a darkly velvet voice, and I watch - shocked - as Yui draws my curtains closed, blocking the sunshine and inviting a comfortable darkness. A safe, familiar darkness. The lord sits on my bed, pressing his hand to my burning forehead.

"Dearest Dinah," he whispers, "I absolutely forbid you from falling ill again."

"I am deeply sorry, milord. I am not sick, I can still attend to Lord Yui. Please sir, please do not terminate my service." My voice is weak. I begin to tremble as another feverish convulsion rattles through me.

"Why would I do such a thing?" He gives an amused laugh, a rarity for my lord. "I do not intend to ever get rid of you. Until either you or I are deceased, you are my most trusted --" I raise my head so as to speak, but Yui pushes my back onto the bed, his touch gentle yet firm. "Sleep now," is all he says. So I try very hard to sleep. Sleep does not come - although I continue to persist, so that I may please my master, and I keep my eyes shut as if that will coerce slumber my way.

"I am liar." Lord Yui! I am too drowsy to physically start at the unexpected noise, but my heart pounds in fright. I listen, inadvertently pretending a lack of consciousness.

"I am a liar, Dinah. I told you just moments ago that you would be in my service until either of our deaths. But I am far too selfish for that. Because if you die, Sweet, then I will have no choice but to follow you. And if I die, then I will just live inside you. Anything to ensure that you are forever mine, beautiful creature.

"Although, you would undoubtedly be better off without me. That is an unquestionable fact. And again, I am too selfish! I cannot release you, even for the sake of your happiness. My greed, my aching ardour keeps you near. I am eternally your disease, my precious darling. Feel free to blame me any time, for dragging your life in my direction. But again - I will not unchain you from this destiny. I suppose I love you too much."

Lord Yui's hand applies a fond pressure to mine, before letting it linger there. My eyes flicker open at the feel of his skin, just enough to see his seraphic face inches from my own. His body arches over me whist his mouth delicately - almost carefully - brushes mine in a chaste caress. The hotness of his breath overwhelms me as his lips hover so close to mine, a smooth whisper escapes that perfect, smiling, mouth.

"You can stop feigning sleep now. Pretend instead that I, your prince, has come to awaken you. That way, you can enjoy this better."

He kisses me again.

This time, I kiss him in return.

AN: Bon soir, c'est moi - encore. I realise that in the last author's note from this fic, I said I would be including a Ryoko part. Well, that isn't going to happen. This story is writing itself, and it says no to that vein I was flowing through. Just so you aren't hopelessly expecting something like that to crop up XD. See that entire italicised bit above me, right there? I loved that . It's so cute. Writing it is fine, but it may read cheesily. Oh well, we'll soon find out. This story is a good one for a bit of character development I think; I like focussing on 'lesser' characters. In my opinion. Lord Yui needed more panels in the manga! Anyway, I will stop complaining and let you, beloved readers, do whatever you guys do (petty theft or highway robbery, I bet. Oh no wait, you're that guy I saw on TV the other day! I know what kind of stuff you get up to, sicko...)