[New chapter! Woo! Sorry to leave so many of you hanging! I'm excited to be working on my fanfictions again and I hope you'll REVIEW so I know things are going well and that you're still reading! 3 -LovelyWrath]

The moment the words left his mouth he swore his heart stopped in his chest. Why did he say that all of a sudden?! He berated himself internally, and found that his new found deepest desire was to crawl off into a dark corner where Saki couldn't see him. How could he so boldly declare such a thing without even thinking about it? How could he ruin the moment that had seemed to come so naturally with his big mouth? And most importantly, how would he physically crawl between the cushions of the sofa and bury himself in the linty darkness within to wither and wait for his death as a lonely, ridiculous otaku. Stupid stupid stupid!

Saki thought she heard him correctly, but it wasn't like Madarame to make bold romantic declarations of love. After all, the closest he'd ever come to admitting anything in the past amounted to an accusation buried in anime references, so obscure she would never have a chance of deciphering them. And anything more verbally direct would be no less alarming than a train bursting through his living room at that very moment.

So perhaps she was mistaken, or perhaps she'd heard him announce earnestly his love for her. She maintained composure as she ventured a glance at him, pursing her lips as though she hadn't heard him declare his love, and she was glad she did so, as confirmation of his declaration was written clearly upon his features, which had been drained of all color. The severity of the situation might have hit her had his expression not been so comedic for the moment.

Madarame caught her glance and tried valiantly to right himself. His expression, which had degenerated to a slack-jawed stare of horror, was difficult to control, so he turned away from her, moving his hand away from hers to cover his mouth, unable to hide his complete and utter shock at himself for blurting out something so... intimate. He would have contiued to avoid her stare had she not started snickering softly.
Great, she's laughing at me, he thought helplessly. All he could offer was a muffled, "Oh, Kami... it's worse than I thought."

Saki shook her head, shifting to face him, tucking one leg underneath her and placing her hands on his shoulders, where she gave a gentle squeeze. It was there she noticed that he wasn't nearly as thin as she might have otherwise assumed- he had just a bit of muscle there, and her soft hands were not met with sharp, hard bone. She kneaded gently, in wonder as she tried to reassure him back out of his shell, "Oh, don't be like that... that has to be the most honest and strait forward thing I've ever heard you say." And romantic, but she bit her lip at that thought. It was as if the weight of the situation hadn't quite hit her until this moment... she'd been seeing Madarame, casually. It had all happened so easily,without trying or forcing anything, and had therefore been unlike other relationships she had been in... or was currently in. She couldn't help but feel a pang of embarrassment and guilt of her own as she remember that she hadn't quite ended things with Kousaka yet, on an official level.

As she thought about it more, she continued to knead Madarame's shoulders, and he seemed to relax more. It felt amazing to have her in his home, spending time with him, not to mention for her to actually willingly touch him. Her fingers worked magic on his sore, tense muscles, and he wondered where else she might like to touch him. He was certain he'd not be able to deny her any such thing. He too was thinking on their recent closeness, and seriously. The silence, though still awkward, was filled with that purpose, and they could both feel it. They could both feel that while enjoying the company, their natural chemistry had taken root and began to flourish in ways that they'd never let it previously.

"I was being honest." Madarame broke the silence, finally, still refusing to turn and face her, which gave her ample time to observe the back of his head, his full head of shining jet black hair, and the lines of his neck and shoulders. "I'm not good at this sort of thing if I think about it much," He sighed, "But you already knew everything, I'm sure. I've been told that you can't really hide that sort of thing successfully for long."

There was guilt present, Saki felt it not only for Kousaka's sake, but for Madarame's. She'd known of his feelings and neglected to formally address them until it had been far too late to consider it. Had she not been so quick to jump into a relationship with Kousaka, and perhaps given herself time, she might have realized some things sooner about herself that would have perhaps avoided landing her in situations that were unfair to so many all at once. But what was done, was done, and since entering the workforce, Saki had realized how she missed the liberties she had in her youth.

Saki had been studying Madarame's hair during, which was always fell perfectly around his head, and it always caught the light, shining as though it was just freshly washed. Without thinking, she reached up to run her fingers through his hair, and was delighted to discover it was softer and smoother than she'd ever expected, a delight to comb her fingers through, an action which sent a bolt though him. When he did finally turn to look at her with the darkest eyes, she felt the words fall from her lips.

"Life is too short." She whispered, and Madarame's brow furrowed in response.

What did she mean by that all of a sudden? What an odd moment for philosophical meanderings when they were experiencing such an intense and serious moment. It was so out of character for Saki to be obscure with her words, as if the roles had been reversed in this moment. When Madarame retreated behind such material, it was because he had something to say and didn't know how, or couldn't say it. But that wasn't something Saki did, was it? Wasn't she always on point and open about her thoughts and feelings? Madarame boggled over this as he looked her over, and her hand fell from his hair to his neck, where it lingered lightly upon his skin for a moment. Where he expected contact to be broken, gentle pressure was applied through her fingertips. It was unnerving.

"What do you mean?" Madarame finally managed, trying to hold her gaze without wavering. He wasn't entirely sure what was happening- all at once the air in the room had grown heavy. Saki appeared to him as though she wanted to say something, or rather ask a question. He wished that she would, as the silence was killing him, and her curious expression was making him crazy.

Then there was that pressure, her fingertips upon his neck, which in response to his query, only tightened against his skin, and she seemed to lean in, sliding those fingers along the back of his neck and into his hairline. He felt his muscles tense and relax all at once as she shifted and her free hand found his knee, slid upward upon his leg as she closed the distance between them and pressed her lips lightly to his once, just enough to taste his lips before she hesitated and began to pull back.

But if her actions had indeed been a question, he intended to answer her in full. Madarame felt as tough someone had lit his insides on fire. His arms slid quickly around her midsection and pulled her to him as he crushed his lips to hers unabashedly. He was not experienced at this, but he was well-read on the subject enough to know that her sharp intake of air was a grand opportunity for him should she not already be fighting for her freedom.

It was quite the opposite effect, in truth. Startled by his sudden boldness, she had no time to react before she found herself trapped in his embrace. She'd wanted to taste his lips, and she'd given it a meek go before he administered a more urgent sampling of his wares. She felt her torso mold against his as he pulled her directly into his lap, neither thinking much of the action until their bodies were so close that the heat between them threatened to burn them alive.

In that moment there was nothing but the kiss, barely awkward for a moment before that fated chemistry overtook them again and both mastered the dance between their tongues. lt was a long, novel of a kiss that revealed the depths of emotion that were known all along and denied for what must have felt lie eons. It continued until both emerged breathless, gasping for air and shaken to the core.

As they stared at each other, both became aware of that heat between them, namely the heat resonating from between their thighs. When he had pulled her to him, her skirt had risen above her thighs, leaving little more than white lace panties to ward off invasion. She was flush against him, and she was suddenly alerted to the hardness that had grown between them. Her face flared red and she extracted herself from his lap, and began frantically adjusting her clothing to repair the exposure. The situation had escalated far too quickly, Madarame turned to face the TV, too, trying his best not to stare at her, all the while trying to control his own exposure.

"I'm sorry." Saki admitted, sitting upright and blushing terribly. It wasn't her intention for any of that to happen, it just had. She could still feel his torso and thighs firmly against her, his hands pressing against the small of her back. She would be lying to herself if she thought for a moment that she didn't want him. She wanted more, but this.. it was too quick! And the timing was awful... technically, wasn't this cheating?

"No... I.. I went a little far there." Madarame nodded, afraid of how he had reacted so possessively and so suddenly from a simple kiss. In any other situation, he would have ran away, but Saki... he knew he loved her, but he didn't realize just how susceptible to her charms he was until tonight. It would seem that he was on the verge of losing control at any given moment, and he was embarrassed of it, but at the same time, he wanted her to know, he wanted her to experience it. And judging by the way she had melded against him, she wanted it all the same. The very thought of it was almost enough to make him slide to her end of the sofa and have another taste, and then some, but he instead clenched the arm of the sofa until his knuckles were white.

Saki rose to her feet, "It's getting late, I should go home.." If she left now, she could catch the late train home and all would be well. If she stayed here any longer, she wouldn't be able to account for her own actions. If she were to stay the night, well... she had no doubt that it would be an endless struggle for the both of them not to slid into his bed and continue what they'd so irrationally started earlier.
"I'll see you home." Madarame said, unwilling to allow her to wander out into the night alone.

"No... that's ridiculous, you'll miss the last train back." She denied him, not entirely sure if she'd be less willing to drag him into her own apartment, then to her own bed.

"Well.. at least let me call you a cab," he implored, holding up a hand as she began to protest, "I'll pay for it. I won't take no for an answer. You're not riding the train alone."

Saki nodded gently and sat back down as Madarame retrieved his cell phone and dialed the taxi cab company.

When the cab finally did arrive, he even opened the cab door for her, slipping more than enough cash into her hands before looking to her with sad eyes that caught her off guard. He wanted to tell her to be sure to come back... to be sure to call and that he wanted to see her again and again, every day, as he always had, but he didn't say that, instead he questioned, "I'll see you again soon, right?" It was all he could manage.

Saki nodded before leaning up to plant a quick kiss on his cheek. "Soon." She slid into the taxi cab for the long ride home, where she would break down at the imact of what had occurred on this fateful evening, and the weight of the tasks ahead of her. What would their friends think if, and when they found out? What would she tell Kousaka now that she realized that she wasn't in love with him anymore?

Madarame returned to his lonely apartment. He could still smell her light perfume settled in the living room area. He could still taste her lips, and imagine the feeling of her against him, it was beyond anything he'd ever read or watched in movies before. He wondered if she really would trust enough to come around again, that he wouldn't ravage her on the spot now that she knew the full force of his emotions. Would she leave Kousaka, or would she view her odd evening with Madarame as a mistake and nothing more? A lapse in judgement?
What could be worse than getting romantically involved with the most hardcore otaku in the known world?

He couldn't begin to know the answers to any of it. The only thing he did know was that sleep would not be forthcoming for him without a nice hot shower and session of personal tension release.