Notes: Very late. I am so very sorry. I have become so busy with college and now work, so please forgive me. Instead, I have written a longer chapter than most. I hope you like it.
Book Ten: A Dangerous Temptation
The first time I saw Yuuki after Shizuka's murder was when a girl in the Day Class was bitten by a vampire. It was early morning and I was in bed for the first time in that week as I tried to recuperate from the immense surge of power I received from taking Shizuka's blood. A quiet knock that I immediately recognized as Ichijou came at my door. I leisurely sat up with my silken black sheets rustling around me as I uttered softly, "Come in, Ichijou."
His usually bright face was solemn and filled with concern as he stepped in the room before he closed the door shut with a quiet click. "I'm sorry for waking you up so early, Kaname." I waved a hand dismissively and he continued to report the news. "A girl from the Day Class was bitten by someone and she fainted. The Day Class thought it was anemia but Kiriyu-kun reported the bite marks on her neck to the Chairman after he carried her to the school clinic."
"She will be alright?" I asked. My friend nodded. "Good. I will go see the Chairman now. See if you can arrange a small bouquet to send to her while she recuperates." With a swift nod, he left the room and left me to dress in my uniform before heading out.
My feet felt heavy as I walked to the Chairman's office as my heart was still afraid yet delighted at the chance to see Yuuki. I was eager until I realized that if the culprit vampire was from my class, I would look terribly irresponsible in her eyes. At last, I politely knocked and then opened the door to the office to see the two school guardians already standing in front of the Chairman. Yuuki stared at me with solemn eyes as I entered the room but still offered a bright smile. The Kiriyu boy towered over her petite figure almost protectively behind her, and I had to resist the urge to bare my fangs at him savagely.
Shifting my focus, I swiftly bowed to the Chairman. "I'm sorry, Chairman. I should have watched over the Night Class more carefully."
He gave me a reassuring smile. "No, no, we still haven't decided if the vampire came from the Night Class." He made the incident sound so minor by adding, "You were called out by the Senate, so this could just be a case for those who are bored." I could almost feel the hatred radiating from the Kiriyu boy.
"Don't worry too much. We have guardians to prevent such a thing from happening again. We just have to pay more attention from now on." The Chairman paused. "Although, the girl who fainted from anemia doesn't remember anything about her blood-being sucked. There is no doubt that the girl's memories were taken by the vampire."
The news made my stomach clench in anger. "This means that the vampires in the Night Class are suspects. The ones that do not have to rely on ritual magic to erase a memory would be the noble class…and the Night Class consists mostly of nobles."
"I understand you do not want to suspect your students, but you are being too lenient."
Then I saw the Kiriyu boy raise his hand and pat Yuuki's head. She looked surprised at his action and I looked on with a boiling stomach of jealousy and rage. "Don't worry about it too much. It isn't that you're incompetent, it's just that the opponent is skilled." He said trying to reassure her.
"Hey…Zero, you should at least feel responsible as well." She said with a pout and slight embarrassment. I had no envy of anyone except the hateful Kiriyu boy when my Yuuki talked to him so comfortably and freely.
And out of my horrid jealousy, the green monster within me made me utter, "Just to remind you, Kiriyu-kun is also a suspect." The room fell into a shocked silence. My black heart rejoiced at the disbelieving look on the boy's face and it spurred me to continue. "You are a rare sample of a vampire hunter who has become a vampire. I wouldn't be surprised if you had special abilities."
"I don't recall having any special abilities." He said flatly after he recovered from my indictment.
"Kaname-kun!" The Chairman scolded sheepishly but I paid no heed.
"Really?" I said with sarcasm, "Maybe you subconsciously attacked a human, yearning for her blood."
To that the boy had no response, but another voice spoke up. "Even though Kaname-senpai does not like Zero, I thought you had accepted him…" Yuuki said in a voice filled with disappointment that made my heart feel like tearing in two. "Do you honestly think that Zero attacked that girl?"
I could not open my mouth to say my honest feelings which were that I hated the sight of the boy and wished to kill him with my bare hands. I could not tell her that it took all of my power not to give into the violent urge to rip him into little pieces—that I could not care less if he attacked that girl or not. The only thing I knew for sure was that he had bit my Yuuki and he would pay with his life as soon as the opportunity knocked upon the black gates of my heart.
At my silence, she declared with her flushed cheeks, "Fine, I will find the real culprit and prove Zero's innocence." Grabbing the boy's hand, she said, "Come on, Zero, let's go."
Before she actually left the room, she turned her head and looked at me in the eyes. "Until you accept that Zero is innocent, I will not speak to you, Kaname-senpai." The blush on her cheeks darkened into a bright red as her face almost wavered with regret before she whirled out of the room with the boy in tow without another word to me.
The door shut behind them with a loud slam.
"Wow! This is the first time Yuuki has actually opposed Kaname-kun, right?" He smiled in amazement as he recited her angry words. "'I will not speak,' huh? Are you shocked, Kaname-kun?"
With clenched fists, I threw a silencing glare at him. The Chairman instantly changed the topic when he noticed my foul mood. "This is tough though…I wonder what true Coexistence is. That is was I am currently trying to understand.
It was the same for me. This incident was a wary warning to the fact that vampires drink human blood, and it was a grim reminder of reality.
I walked back to my dorm room with a weary heart as it dully ached at my princess's evident disappointment. But, alas, that she would defy me for the first time for that scum of a vampire. If only my childish envy did not cause me to speak such foolish words in front of her. I had only regret as company for the next two weeks without her shining presence.
The evening was chilly when I stepped outside the Moon dormitory behind Aidou, Kain, and Ichijou to go to a ball being held by Aidou's father. The usual car was waiting to take us into town where the event was being held. I sat next to Ichijou, my spirits still thick with gloom and anger, and my friend tried to smile reassuringly.
"I'm sure Yuuki-chan is just busy, Kaname. And the issue with Kiriyu-kun trial will be resolved. Don't worry."
Perhaps Ichijou was more worried about my defending the Kiriyu boy's innocence when the Senate sent assassins to kill him after it put the blame upon the Kiriyu boy for the murder of Shizuka. I was not too worried. It was approaching the time when I had to make myself clearly independent from the Senate. Besides, it was their ignorance that truly shamed Shizuka who was herself a Pureblood of immense power. Did they really believe that a mere boy could kill the likes of a Pureblood on his own? I thought it quite ridiculous but it was enough that no one suspected me as the true sinner. All they needed was that I was no longer going to be a part of them, and many of the moderates found my actions a true step for coexistence which I also found quite useful.
Aidou was feverishly glancing at me then at Ichijou in a nervous atmosphere, but he said nothing to me during the car ride. Kain merely held his respectable silence as usual. I watched the passing of the streetlamps, their light casting long shadows on the cobblestone street below. During the past few weeks, I nursed the wounds in my heart but it would not heal. The sky rained for three straight days which strikingly matched my depression.
I was shaken from my thoughts when the car gently came to a stop and my three companions got out of the car before me. I looked up to inspect the rundown building. It looked indeed abandoned and rather poor with spidery cracks crawling along the surface of the bricks. Ivy grew around the building and snaked its way all along the arches of the deserted place.
"Hey…Hanabusa…" I heard Kain's deep voice carrying back to me by a stray breeze. They were already though the entryway.
"What's wrong, Akatsuki?" Aidou asked curiously. I followed close behind.
"For some reason, Cross Yuuki is lying unconscious in a place like this."
I almost felt my blood freeze when I saw Yuuki lying unconscious on the cold floor, her hair sprawled almost enchantingly as she lay there ignorant to the horrible dangerous if I had not been the first to arrive. "What a troublesome child…" I sighed to myself. I could hear other cars and guests arriving so I swiftly stooped down and picked her up in my arms. I glanced at Aidou who immediately understood and quickly led us deep below the building.
The part of the building that was above the ground was in disuse—instead, Aidou's family had turned the basement into a place where parties could be held. The upper part of the basement held rooms that could be used, and this upper part formed a balcony that looked over the lower section of the basement where noble class vampires gathered for social events. Aidou led me to a guest room in the upper floor where I put my slumbering princess on an elegant sofa. I put a couple of velvet pillows to support her head and slid off my coat to place it over her body. Afterwards, I turned my attention to my waiting friends.
"Thank you, Aidou. Tell your father I will be down shortly and not to delay the party." I said and he left with another strange blush on his cheeks. Ichijou hastily left the room but not before giving Yuuki a curious look.
I sat down on a chair that matched the sofa seat and waited while dozens of questions and scenarios flew across my mind to form strange, unsettling conclusions about how Yuuki became unconscious in a place where hungry vampires could have eaten her without another thought.
As I stared at her sleeping form, I realized that it had been a very long time since I had been able to observe her without anyone bothering me or her noticing me. I let my hungry eyes roam over her ivory face, her long eyelashes, her small nose, and her small yet sensuous lips. Without knowing, I licked the tip of my fangs at the sight of those lips. They were a soft pink and plump, and I agonized over fighting the urge to kiss them.
Then my eyes traveled still further down, down to her softly defined jaw line then they finally rested upon her neck, and my mind whirled with wonders of how delicious her creamy skin would feel against my tongue…how easily it would break if my fangs touched it…how her vivacious blood would sate the hunger that I had nursed for the last ten years…how she would moan my name breathlessly as I kissed her all the way down—
She stirred and I wrenched myself out of my fantasy. Yuuki slowly opened her eyes and she lay still for a little while as if confused and trying to understand her unfamiliar surroundings. She slowly turned her head towards me and noticed me sitting in the chair nearby.
"I'm glad you recovered so quickly." I said, unmoving.
Yuuki seemed to recognize me and abruptly sat up in the sofa with a startle. However, her eyes became unfocused and she wobbled before falling forward towards me. I reached out to catch her easily and supported her while she regained her composure. She shyly looked up at me while she still clutched my arms. "Um…Thank you."
I could feel my childish anger coming back when I remembered her words from back when I had doubted the Kiriyu boy in my jealousy. "I thought you weren't speaking to me?"
She froze at my words and her face tried to offer me a sheepish smile at which she miserably failed. "That...If Kaname-senpai has stopped doubting Zero, then it's fine…" She trailed off uncertainly.
I took it as my cue to make up with her. "I did doubt him too much and I do feel bad about it—" it wasn't true, but I felt like that was irrelevant "—and we did end up finding the vampire who did it…but Yuuki," I did my best to keep my face straight as I teased her, "being told that by you…You don't think I'd be upset at you?" I gently cupped her chin in my hand.
"Bu-But…" Her cheeks flushed again but her eyes looked me squarely in the eyes as she said, "The one who was wrong was Kaname-senpai."
I did love her just morals and high values, but not when they were defending the man who threatened to steal my Yuuki's heart. "Who do you think is the one who made me act that way?" I could heart the quick pitter-patter of her heart which in turn made mine race also. "Your heart is beating quite fast…Maybe you understand at little bit about how I feel…" I murmured as I drew my face closer to hear it better.
A knock at the door reminded me to pull away. Ichijou walked in. I stared at him grimly. "So now it is you who is going to call me down…"
He smiled. "You don't have to say it like that, Kaname. The head of the Aidou family is waiting to meet you tonight, remember? Plus, Yuuki has woken up already. She'll be fine if she stays in this room, Kaname. Nobody would dare barge in here." Ichijou's face suddenly indicated that he remembered something. "Speaking of which, how did you end up collapsing here, Yuuki-chan?"
Yuuki was again startled into giving a response. "Y-Yes!"
"We brought you in here so the guests wouldn't see you. We already contacted the school, but could you stay here for a little longer? So what happened?"
I waited for her to answer and she did so slowly. "I brought a lost child to the front of a rundown building and he kissed my cheek…Um, that's all I can remember."
Ichijou sighed and shot me a worried glance. "That's one of the guests' children at tonight's party, I bet. Vampire children steal energy from people." He proceeded to warn her afterwards. "Yuuki-chan, this place is the basement of the rundown building. The Aidou household owns it, and there a party tonight for the vampires who live here. There are a large number of vampires in the building now, and if they find out there is a human here, you will be in great danger."
I stood which drew Yuuki's attention from Ichijou. "Yuuki, I need to go, but you must stay in this room at all times. It is for your safety. Do not open the door for anyone. I will take you back to the academy after the party is over."
Ichijou went ahead and I followed. I gave her a small smile to reassure her and closed the door. My friend led me down a flight of marble stairs and at the bottom, two double doors of magnificent oak opened slowly for me to enter the party full of vampires. As soon as I entered, the chattering hushed and almost everyone in the room bowed to me graciously except for the two hunters who stood watching the crowd carefully. The Kiriyu boy stared at me with immense hate, but I ignored him and went forward with a quiet smile perched on my lips.
"My apologies, I did not mean to disturb all of you." I said calmly.
A vampire that was of the lower noble rank spoke up with his head still bowed. "Kaname-sama, is it true that you took the human's side at the board meeting? This human's…?"
"It is true." I said instantly and firmly.
Whispers erupted from all sides. "Kaname-sama is brilliant.' 'He is trying to make amends with the humans so we can have a peaceful future with them.' 'It is a very astute thing to do.'
I gave them a polite indication with my head and turned to my right to see Aidou standing behind his father. "Kaname-sama, thank you for taking care of my son."
"Thank you for inviting me to this party, Aidou-san. I am sorry I do not show up at parties much."
Aidou-san laughed. "Do not worry about it, Kaname-sama." He paused slightly before stepping aside and behind him stood a young girl. "Actually, I do have a favor to ask of you."
"Father!" Aidou blurted out.
The father disregarded his son's outburst. "This is Tsukiko. It would be great if you took interest in her. Our family would like that very much."
Of course they would like that very much. After all, they had everything to gain if I took interest in their daughter, but I said nothing.
Aidou's face was red with embarrassment. "Father, please stop this. Kaname-sama, I did not ask for this." He said with an earnest bow to me. I knew he did not know of his father's intentions. I did not blame him.
I did my best to humor them and not to cause any humiliation to the host family. "I do not know how this will turn out, but I will keep that in mind."
Then I regretted the words as soon as they came from my mouth. Suddenly, I was pressed at all sides by multitudes of people trying to introduce their daughter. Suddenly, the great double doors creaked open again and I smelled a familiar scent glide into the room. In a flowing pink dress, Shirabuki Sara floated into the room, her shoes barely making any noise on the marble floor.
"Everyone, please do not say things like that. Poor Kaname-san…"
She approached me and I towered over her in height, but something about her eyes gleamed dangerously at me. I gave her another polite smile. "It has been awhile, Sara."
Sara smiled also but it made my heart harden. I reached out to take her hand. "Kaname-san, ever since you started school I haven't seen you at all. We are the only remaining Pureblooded vampires. We must stick together." I put my lips on her cool knuckle and I suddenly realized I felt an unmistakable presence staring at me.
With a cold determination back in me, I stepped back from her. "If you will excuse me, I must see to some business." I said coldly. No one argued or stopped me as I walked back out of the scene. As soon as I heard the doors shut behind me, I swiftly made my way back to the room. Taking one breath to calm my heart, I grasped the handle and pushed. It bumped into something and only opened a little. I looked down and saw the color of Yuuki's coat that she had worn.
"Will you let me in?" I asked quietly.
She got up and I came in the room before I closed the door with a soft click. She uttered my name. "Kaname…senpai…"
Not taking my eyes off the door handle (I was strangely afraid I might do something foolish if I looked at her), I forced my voice to be calm and kind. "I told you not to leave this room."
She must have sensed something wrong because she was rooted to the spot. "Um, I'm sorry…" She whispered.
At the sound of her voice, I looked at her and I suddenly surrendered to the urge to embrace her and take her into my arms. I could feel the heat from her body even through our thick clothing as I held her. "I won't forgive you this time…with just an apology." I said softly.
Something primal in me growled and I lifted her up in my arms and put her back down on the sofa, but this time, I was on top of her, staring hungrily into her blushing face. "Why did you leave the room?" I asked sternly.
She made an effort to make her response. "The child…I was worried about the lost child."
Her innocence made me a little calmer and I sighed as I laid my head to rest on her chest. I could hear her heart racing like mine always did while in her presence. I felt like my energy was gone and my eyes fluttered shut briefly.
"Before I forgive you, let me stay here for a little while." I could barely fight sleep from my system. "I must be tired…" I murmured as my eyes closed again. All of the stress seemed to just melt away when I was with her. She made everything seem worth living.
Then I felt her arms wrap around me, her hand smoothing my hair like she used to even when she was little. "It's fine," she murmured in the same voice, "I would do anything for Kaname-sama."
Ah…Kaname-sama…How I longed to hear her call me by that name.
Suddenly, her arms withdrew from me and I pushed myself up on my hands to see her grimace under me. "What's wrong, Yuuki?"
"I wasn't going to call you 'sama' anymore…because I'm not the same as I was before, knowing nothing." Her face blushed ever more and she turned her face to the side away from me. "If I call you that, you seem so…distant. So I won't call you that."
My eyes automatically locked upon her exposed neck and as a starved vampire, I could see her main artery pumping blood to and fro her head. My eyes flashed red and I could no longer resist drawing my lips closer. Yuuki went on talking. "As long as I remembered how kind you were to me, that was supposed to be enough…But why…?"
I hovered over her pale neck as my body boiled with hunger. My hand found one of the pillows and I clenched it as if it would help me fight my ravenous desire for her blood and her body. My stomach trembled at the scent of her blood just below her soft, delicate skin and it took everything I had not to bare my fangs. But my body would not let me win over the desire to at least taste her skin, and I obeyed, licking her neck carefully and slowly. The taste of her almost sent my mind ablaze and I squeezed the pillow even tighter to bring myself to break free. I raised myself up again to look at her in the eyes, and I knew by her frightened expression that she could see everything that I had been trying to hide these last ten years: pain, sorrow, loneliness, and desire.
"Your 'kind' lives what seems like mere seconds to us…so fleeting…" Crimson flashed before my eyes again. "Do you want to become a vampire, Yuuki? To become a blood-sucking vampire like me and live for eternity by my side?" To reclaim the throne of being the queen of the entire vampire race? To stay by my side forever? To love each other forever? Even an eternity could not fill my need, my lust, my desire for her. I needed her with me. My heart needed her with me, to beat in sync with it.
I wanted all of her.
I drew near to her neck again slowly, and when she whispered the final "Yes…" I bared my cursed fangs and…
Notes: I did my best with the sudden surge of inspiration that hit me at 9 PM. It is now 3 and half hours later that I was able to finish this in one go. Please excuse the hurried grammar and spelling errors. I just wanted to get this one out there for you all. Tell me how you liked/hated it.