Oh my gosh, hello there! Thank you for clicking, I hope you really enjoy this chapter. It's been so long, so perhaps read the last chapter before reading this one again. Please enjoy, I hope you like it. Wink.

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Chapter 9:

Dae gasped as the full moon shone high the sky. She'd totally forgotten! Can't she just have some peace? Dae leapt out of her seat and was out of the room quicker than lightning – her red chair being left empty at her equally empty table. She had to leave immediately – no more time watching Aki with her precious prince, as cute as they were together.

Walking fast through the well-lit corridors, Dae's heart started labouring on its own. He always seemed to be able to get her heart beating – it didn't matter where she tried to hide. Pale, slender fingers brushed some red hair away from her face in an anxious manner, hurrying away further. Her yukata swished as her legs marched forcefully. She needed to get away from that crowded room – lead him somewhere else – anywhere else... Else her warnings to Aki and many others (they knew it too around the full moon, they knew what happened when he came out. Some feared Dae, but she had commandment over others when they knew who followed her) would be true – they'd be in harm when he would have to file through them as he looked for her.

Her breathing began to speed up when she felt the feeling of breath on the back of her neck – a creepy, ominous feeling that had the hairs on her neck stand up and her skin on her back crawl like it was about to peel itself away from her muscles in pure fright.

It might have been coincidence, or even her hurried pace, but one of the shoulders of her yukata slipped down her arm. In a squeak of disbelief, she pulled up the amber coloured material that was covered with the detailed linings of butterflies and small cherry blossoms, up back over her shoulder. She gasped when she found the material had somehow loosened. Eyes wide – it only gave her more reason to run.

The torches hanging upon the walls were slowly beginning to dim – creeping Dae out completely.

Oh crap... The shadows on the walls were growing...

Nearly tripping over herself, Dae escaped through a door slightly ajar – to escape the prickling of her skin, the slipping of the material on her slender shoulder falling again and again and again, the breath on her neck, the dimming of light on her only pathway, the growing shadows, the screaming silence...

By the time she realised she was outdoors – it was too late.

The cool breeze hit her face, the fixed shining of the stars in the night, the dandelions that appeared here and there on the grass. The magic was serene at this time of night. The air peaceful, a rapid change to her turmoil from the corridors of the castle. The foreboding full moon leered above her.

He could only step outside every full moon; otherwise locked in the lush interiors of his own mansion, far far away. But once outside, he could enter no other dwelling except his own. For others to be under his influence or grasp of any sort had to be out...side...

It was good that everybody was inside, because he only searched for her. Dae would gladly be subjected to this, than it be innocent people.

...After all these years, he still searched for her.

No matter how far she ran – her most recent dwelling being Sasuke Uchiha's castle... And she had been safe from his blood red eyes for months. But he always found her, every single time.

"Oh crap..." She muttered out loud, shivering much like a scared rabbit.

She could feel it... The stifling of the air, the wind that shook the grass back and forth lazily had his haunting scent... To stop any sounds, she clasped her hands over her mouth, one over the other. He could hear anything.

She was trembling like a quivering leaf, frame shaking. His eyes were on her now. She could feel them grazing over her gently, almost, affectionately. She had to endure this, she had to ignore this, she had to move... But her feet were stuck, like in quicksand.

Like a hand, a breeze swept up by the back of her hair, playing with the strands. A shiver escaped all over her back. She felt the presence behind her, but she couldn't look back – too afraid of what she'd see.

Maybe he'd already materialised... Maybe he had not. Either would give her a startling fright.

The breeze slid over her scalp and a scared yelp arose from behind her hands. Mentally pleading for a God to save her... As she looked to the heavens, she could only see the full, white, innocent moon; so full it was going to burst. And Dae was going to burst, too. Either it'd be her heart from her ribcage or a heavenload of obscenities – or maybe she'd just run for it. But perhaps it had finally registered that it was a waste of time to run; he always caughther. It was just as well anyway, she still couldn't move her feet.

When it dawned on her that he had pushed her outside, to come here, angered fired in her.

"You sure picked the perfect spot to push me to, jackass!" She snarled.

Okay, maybe not a heavenload of obscenities, but she had never been one to run her mouth like a sailor. But he had gotten her so cornered, how did he do that?

The deep, very manly voice was beside her ear in a way that grounded her in reality, that she really had said her sentence out loud... That this was real.

"That was all you, my dear." Now her heart appeared next for the things to burst...

"Why are you always here?" She whispered to herself, shaking her head slowly, scrunching her eyes shut and wanting to shrink. Her hands returned themselves to her mouth, as to restrain herself.

Dae was too scared and confused to care to notice that the shoulder of her kimono had slipped again, the 'breeze' egging it on until it rested like a ballerina arching backwards in an artful swoop, dipping low.

All she could feel were those eyes, those red, deep, penetrating eyes that never wavered. That were almost solid in their intensity...

Dae gasped as lips caressed her skin of her shoulder, the strong, solid body (reminding her just how real he was) pressed against the back of her weaker, frailer frame which was shaking like a leaf. Hands, like they had all the time in the world, grasped her waist, thumbs caressing slowly and softly. Shivers erupted up her sides.

His blackness flooded her as he stepped closer, the wisps of a cloak wrapping around the bottom of her yukata. The shivers that were of fear now definitely were not, but it still kept her quiet as he spoke, still exploring her neck and shoulder in spots so sensitive she didn't bother trying to hide the coo's and whimpers that came from her – not as disgusted with herself as she would have liked to be, because he craved for her noises, enjoyed it. He always had.

"Your scent is as potent as the day you ran, Dae...(kiss)... You run from me, (skimming of the lips) but you have allowed no other to touch you."

Those arms wound around her middle further and further until she was encased in his, her vampires's, embrace, pulling her against him and his clothing that was being lightly toyed with by the breeze. It was soothing for the protective, mysterious black to be against the amber of her kimono, complimenting each other. Dark strands of hair mingled with her red, the cheek resting on her head of hair like a friend.

Dae's eyes filled with glassy tears. "Nobody." She confirmed, timidly.

'And that's how it should be.' was a silent comment felt in the air as he nuzzled her skin. It was like the surroundings were humming, for a strange reason that wasn't so strange. Itachi Uchiha may not be the most expressive man in his face, but his eyes and effect on the surroundings told it for him. He was also purring in the back of his throat, further seducing and soothing Dae. The moon was the only witness, its light shining on their skins and clothes and locked embrace.

And they stayed like that. Dae, after running from place to place, now only found home in these sets of arms. She sank into them with abandon, emotionally and mentally exhausted. There was no place closer to home as the place she was in now – the place of utmost safety. Letting out a sigh, her once quivering body relaxed, leaning into the taller form of the man, her protector, her mate.

"How many more decades do I have to chase you, Dae, before you come back to me willingly?" Those words were spoken with the upmost patience, like there was infinity of it; for her. The smooth baritone rumbled through her body every time he spoke. "I wait for you. I seek you, every full moon. I yearn for you. I can't rest in peace until you're in my arms again."

Ever so slowly, like she could make a ripple in silence, Dae's unsure hand laid in an endearing, calming manner on his arm – before she choked out his name:

"Itachi." The nothing but gentle man tightened his hold. Her throat ached and her breath hitched, squeezing back. She felt it too.

Every full moon... Her Itachi was not one of werewolf, but of vampire. He brought his own curse upon himself. Sasuke Uchiha had always boasted of being the last living descendent, but Itachi had merely stepped backstage. Dae was hopping from place to place, while the scenery changed, and Itachi followed her footsteps in the shadows. Finally as time passed the other characters were chased away, so they could meet alone under the full moon.

"Let me have you, Dae, my mate." His words lowered until they were just above a whisper. Itachi Uchiha bit into the very same slender and vulnerable shoulder he had been exploring earlier; the bite in a fashion that mimicked just what he would do to her once they made love. They had never fully mated – Dae had run before they could. She had seen something, had a vision... It would be after their mating that everything would change... Her gift of sight had seen a rift, a commotion and a change within a single family. Knowing that their mating would be the very start, she hadn't even wanted to begin – desiring only harmony and peace in the world, even if it caused rift and the pain of yearning for that connection, that bond in her own.

Dae trembled against Itachi. He was warm, emitting a masculine musk, and not able to take it anymore Dae closed her eyes.

"I've run for so long, Itachi..."

Itachi waited, pressed against his female.

"I'm so exhausted... I just, you know why we can't-"

"A vision, mate. Visions don't always come true. In the end, they always lead to rightness. Everything turns out for the best."

"How do you know?"

"My Sharingan sees further than the normal eye. I penetrate the folds of the veil, into the unseen. Like your gift. Our mating was meant to be, it has to be, for the fates to play out." The deep baritone soothed Dae's confused heart. A large hand came from her waist to stroke her hair. The winds were oddly still. "No matter how far you run, it's meant to happen, Dae. I will always find you."

Wanting to take in the information, Itachi let her with silence for a moment, caressing her ear with the silkiness of his lips instead.

"I know you don't want any conflicts, but your evasiveness, as much as I enjoy the chase, is causing more suffering. The world is waiting for you. The plan of the Universe can't continue unless you surrender."

Dae turned in his arms – snug, tight, right – and she got a look at Itachi that she hadn't had for so many years. Her eyes widened. The strikingly handsome face, forever a man older than his brother, long black hair in its regal ponytail, the most expressive and beautiful red and black eyes she had ever seen – ones that when she locked with, she found entrancing, and given the time and place, erotic. The twin lines going from under his eyes down his cheeks; the ones of his tiredness, his wait. She found herself looking for signs that she couldn't name. But her words came out in a whisper. "No more years. I don't want you to wait anymore. I'm tired of waiting."

Itachi leaned closer. His lips soothed over her forehead, her cheeks, and then her lips. They soothed everywhere.

"Submit to me, my Dae."

With a whisper of the wind, Dae leaned up and let their lips meet. A silent 'okay' passed between them when her hands took hold of his shoulders and she allowed his grasp to tighten, explore.

The question was, had she forseen this? And yes, was the answer.

It was the whole reason she had run from him in the first place. The events that would transpire after her mating were of history that she didn't want to get into. But she couldn't run any longer – she wanted Itachi just as much as she loved him, as she'd always loved him.

How they ended up in the grass, she did not know. Her small hands would clutch at his cloak for the rest of the night, needing his back and shoulders as her only anchor. Gasps and pants and moans were imminent from the start... God, why did she miss this? His hungry lips met her naturally pouty ones over and over. Their twisting and writhing worked rhythmically. It was like everything she thought it to be – and only when her Uchiha love sank his fangs lovingly into her jugular did she howl with ecstasy...

"Itachi... I love you. I've always loved you."

Her mate, a man who'd been through so much pain, smiled so happily. Dae felt tears come to her eyes at the sight, her own smile of joy coming to her lips.

"I love you too, my mate." Then they sealed themselves together in a kiss.

Aki shivered suddenly, a feeling spreading through her.

"Did you feel that?" She inquired to Sasuke. She couldn't really think of him as the Vampire King as even just being there didn't seem real, much less his title, so she focused on the little things.

Onyx black eyes blinked, before cracking a smile, looking down to his charming, sweet mate. Oh, mate to be. He couldn't get ahead of himself.

"No, mate. What is it?"

"I don't know... It felt like the world just got a little happier for some reason."

Sasuke chuckled, arms around her waist. She turned to rest her head back on his chest – one of the features that she loved the most. She didn't know, it was quite up there, along with his arms, shoulders, hands... Hm, she'd have to decide at some point...

"We could always use more of that."

Aki smiled. "Yeah." She agreed. "Everybody deserves it, really. Even under the most twisted and evil people, they deserve it too, because we're all good in our hearts."

Sasuke's eyes hardened when he thought of one man... One particular vampire that had been so close to him. Did he too deserve it? The man he hated, above that snake Orochimaru?

"Let me tell you of someone." Sasuke said.

"Okay."

"There was this man I once knew. Vampire, you wouldn't have heard of him. He was wealthy, an heir, and a damn bastard."

Aki frowned. The dance floor was becoming more spacious as couples took seats. Sasuke took her hand from his shoulder and proceeded to dance powerfully, whereas before they had merely been twirling in circles. The music picked up in tempo almost as if on cue and Aki adapted well, listening.

"He was the genius in the family, a prodigy, with potential that my father looked upon with favour. His name was Itachi. He was my brother."

Aki looked up to Sasuke's stony face. It hadn't been so blank since the day they met – he must do that when he thought a lot. Aki gulped a little at the strength in her mate's hold, around her waist and around her hand, suddenly being reminded how powerful he was. Her steps were lighter, quicker, more fluttery, unlike his slightly heavier, steadier pattern. Her dress fluttered about both their legs, his dictation to their direction she followed. She had never waltzed before, but she found if she didn't think about it and just went with it, she picked it up.

"He brushed off every female my father threw at him – he wanted more of the Uchiha genes, especially from Itachi, to be passed on. Mother never agreed with this, she wanted him to pick a mate at the right time. But, that was just the beginning of the greatest scandal in Uchiha history."

"And you have a big history right? Ancient?"

"Yes. The Uchiha line goes back right to the beginning. But, our line has been full of two things. Greatness," He smirked. "And terribleness." It dropped, face serious, mind elsewhere. It could be seen in his eyes. "Itachi took the whole picture though. He always did, steal the show. He murdered my family."

Aki's eyes widened.

"Leaving me alive. My uncle Madara escaped apparently, but that's a rumour. We never see his ghost about though, and his body never turned up."

Aki giggled to herself.

Sasuke glared hard. He just told her his family had been killed. She winced as his grip tightened, but acted like she didn't feel it.

"Strange you know, you vampires live forever, yet if you're killed, you're bound to live on as ghosts apparently!"

Oh. Sasuke's demeanour softened. His eyes softened, and his grip even relaxed. The music developed into a lovely ballroom tune.

Slowly Sasuke dipped Aki. He kissed her firmly on the lips.

"Sorry." He whispered.

"It's no problem."

Smirking, (but it was more of a smile anyway) Sasuke lifted her back up. Oh how forgiving his mate was. They continued to dance, holding her closer. Her chin rested upon his shoulder.

"You could tell me the story sometime." She whispered.

He acknowledged it with a 'Hn'.

"If I'm going to be Queen, after all, I'm going to be needing to know about your family."

"Hn." Again. He leaned into her neck, taking in the scent and pressing a kiss to the fang marks possessively, yet lovingly.

"But can you take me back upstairs to our room? I'm getting kind of tired and these shoes hurt."

The dark haired Uchiha smirked broadly.

"Our room now, is it?"

She smacked his shoulder. It felt like a light hit to his shoulder though, and chuckled at the effort.

He kissed her hand then her cheek.

"You look tired, love. Let's go."

"That's what I just said. Ah!"

Aki was lifted into the vampire's arms bridal style, and she grabbed his shoulders as he shifted his grip.

It was a bit uneventful as Sasuke dismissed his court, and he carried them to their rooms. Nervousness came up in her, and a little bit of anxiety and excitement. Sasuke smirked to himself when he smelt it in her scent, but he made no comment. She drove him insane with her musk anyway, but he would make no moves until she allowed him to. They were courting now, of course. It would happen eventually, but he would be looking for the signs. By that time, Aki would have matured and would begin to behave like a Queen – her place when he would take her. Willingly, of course. It always had to be willing. A few centuries back, a member of his branch waited a full century before mating with his female. So Sasuke wasn't a stranger to the idea of having to wait – Aki was pretty headstrong.

But she was just as sweet and soft inside – a trait he loved just like the rest of her. But everything did turn out for the best, his mother had always told her sons that, all events were for the better of the world no matter how disastrous they seemed. Good always came out of them. Sasuke couldn't fathom a reason why he suddenly thought of his mother so reminiscently. Nonsense of course, he thought of them often. But why he was paying particular attention to them made him think. Something was strange in the air suddenly, that wasn't there before that night. The reassurance of the thought that everything would turn out for the best made him put his brother on the back burner for now, as he had always done. He wondered when his brother would come back – when the confusion would be lifted and his hatred diminished.

The point was, in all his circling of thoughts, he was ready to wait for Aki for her go ahead. His brother had no mate as far as he knew... He had rejected all of them, back in the time he used to look up to his brother. It frustrated his father that his son was so aloof to reject all brides of noble blood he sent Itachi's way, but you can't force the will of mating. It was simply there, as it had been for Sasuke.

His brother had to be dead. Centuries of hiding, and that curse of his, too...

The Past – two centuries ago -

A simple maid sighed when she heard pottery being smashed in the next room. "That's another one... Three, two, one..."

SMASH!

A shrill voice screamed on top of her lungs. "THAT'S IT! I'M LEAVING! AND TO THINK I EVEN LOVED YOU ITACHI UCHIHA!"

A blonde princess slid the door open so fast that it seemed she desired for the whole Uchiha castle to know. She was the worst of the lot, in Umi's opinion, and she shared sympathy with the other maids in the household for the eldest son. Her master had requested other princesses to visit his son, in hoping that he would have the desire to take one of them as his mate. Umi didn't see that happening anytime soon, and the young master was young in his years still – not even over 100. It had shocked Umi that the King had forced his son into meeting with these women – all copious, shallow, yet enviously beautiful, to Umi – but then, the King had forced Itachi into many things because of his skill, potential, talent and intelligence. The latest woman, her father the King of the Western Lands, was the dumbest of the lot. Umi knew fangirls when she saw them, but this one took the cake. She had claimed being in love with the young master for decades, and left when her 'feelings' were unreciprocated.

Umi sighed when she thought of the tea stains she'd have to scrub and the broken tea pots she'd have to clean up. She moved into the room and slid the door shut behind her modestly. She kept her eyes down, but Uchiha-sama didn't even look up. She was used to it, and wordlessly walked into the room with delicate, light footsteps. Her thin frame knelt, one hand pushing her long brown hair behind one ear before she set to work picking up the pieces, eyes timidly lowered.

"Let me help you." His kind, deep voice frightened Umi. The silence had been uncomfortable for her, sure, but she hadn't expected him of all people to break it. The eldest son was always so quiet, so much in thought.

"N-No thank you, young master. It is not your place, but mine." She didn't risk looking into the famous red eyes, the Sharingan, because it chilled her. She had served many masters, and they had many stares, sometimes cold, sometimes that of lust, but the Uchiha's crimson gaze was simply penetrating, frightening. She had glimpsed coldness in them, and she had seen them dominate until they found obedience and submission. Whatever dared her that day, Umi didn't know, but she had a small inkling of boldness that made her look up.

She squeaked in the back of her throat when she saw gentle onyx eyes looking at her. Unused to attention at all, being a mere servant, she returned to her work.

"I-I'll come and get these stains out later today, Uchiha-sama." She said, picking up the pieces in her apron and bowing, before walking out. As she slid open the door with one hand, she found a man on the other side that surprised her.

"Madara-sama." She bowed lowly. It wasn't often when Madara Uchiha visited the castle, but this had been the second time that week.

The man, with bone-chilling Sharingan eyes, smiled lewdly at the servant.

"Umi-chan." He cooly replied, with the smirk evident in his voice. How he had ever known Umi's name, she would never know. She never recalled telling him.

The man took up the whole of the doorway. He was tall, and handsome. Very handsome. He had a strong, angular jaw that was prevalent in the Uchiha family, Itachi had it and Sasuke was sure to have it as he grew up, and had long midnight black hair that spiked out to the side as it came down his back. It reminded Umi of the man's fiery temper, which she was fortunate enough to never have seen, but she had surely heard of it through word of mouth among servants that had seen it. But Madara-sama was cunning and sly and calculating, cool as ice on the inside. It was the opposite to the young son sitting at the broken table silently behind her. The man was simply quiet, but he was warmer and kinder than the man in front of her – who was, by her definition, the worst man she had ever met.

"Do move aside, pretty face, I've got to talk to my favourite nephew over there."

Shuffling quickly at the command, Umi moved so the large, arrogant man could enter. He was adorned in black from head to toe, but his red eyes were alight as he gazed at his 'nephew'. Who was he kidding? Madara-sama was ancient, he'd been alive for over a thousand years.

"You may go, Umi-chan." The chilling voice quietly told Umi. She felt indignation, he wasn't her master! Certainly, he was an Uchiha, but he did not dwell in the mansion. He merely came and go as he pleased, so he had no right. But still, not wanting to be in the presence of the sickening man, she left hurriedly, taking care in shutting the door behind her.

"Another one, heh?" Madara asked. Umi pulled a face behind the door to herself, the man was just so mysterious, but when he spoke it was so...masculine.

"They don't call to me." Itachi replied, just as quietly, but oozed dignity and a slight sadness. Umi frowned sadly. She actually had her own mate, a guard at the castle. She loved him with all her heart, and couldn't remember what it felt like to be without him. Itachi was gentle and kind, and she hoped that he found a mate that he really loved.

"Heh. Don't worry about them. You have better things ahead of you, nephew." Although Umi was listening, she ignored the predatory tone at the end there.

Umi left, unaware of what was about to be said between the two, and unaware of what would happen to the rest of the family she had served for the last few decades, loyally.

The Present

Sasuke laid on his canopy bed, spooning his lovely mate to be under the covers. He nuzzled into the back of her neck, breathing heavily, making her giggle. Her hair was a mess and her lips bruised from their earlier kissing. She was curled slightly on her side, catching her breath and it made his chest swell. He pressed a gentle kiss there, and she smiled delightfully.

"Night, love." He whispered, pulling up the covers over them both.

"Night, Sasuke. See you in the morning."

Sasuke hummed.

"...That was some kiss, dude."

"Was that an invitation?" He grinned predatorily into her ear.

"N-No!"

He chuckled.

"Alright love." He relaxed, surprising Aki a little.

Eyes swivelling, Aki grunted before flipping herself over and hooking her leg over Sasuke's hip, giving him a big kiss right on the lips, humming 'mmmmmm!', before she broke away breathless. Sasuke's eyes were alight again, she saw as she looked into them, holding the sides of his face.

She smirked playfully. "Sweet dreams, darling."

Then she retreated her leg and rolled over.

His deep growl made Aki giggle like mad before she was tugged back into his embrace, falling asleep not long after with purring in her ear.

Then Aki's eyes snapped open at the thought. Sasuke had claimed himself to be the last living heir to the Uchiha clan when they met, outside her house that one evening. But she hadn't seen Itachi's ghost anywhere, either. Sasuke's brother had to be alive.

Here you go, Chapter 9! It's been so long, man! Wow. Please review! Feedback that is plentiful and loving (or just even constructive criticism) is awesome, I love it! :D

So, development with Dae and ITACHI of all people! And more development between Sasuke and Aki, too. A past moment too, aren't you special? That was just a development of Itachi, because I thought that it would be needed. I find Dae and Itachi sweet, and I wanted to solidify their significance with the history of the Uchiha clan (but that's more later, this is just the start) and bring Dae to light (since she's seen as a bit of an anomaly, like, WHY is she here?) and because it's a Sasukexoc, Itachi just has to be mentioned. I felt sorry for Itachi's story when it was revealed in the plotline of Naruto so I wanted to display him as kind and would do anything for his brother, Sasuke, unlike other stories that portray him as evil or psychotic (although they themselves are not entirely bad). Evil Itachi is too much for me, psychotic is alright. But for my story, nuh uh.

I wanted to show all sorts of stuff in this, I hope you saw it all!

Connecting threads is so much fun...

Review please! Tell me what you think! :D