"Were are we going today?" Kohei asked.
"I don't know. Let's go to the lobby, find Grandfather and the others and ask them dummy!" she said.
"The lobby?" Kouhei exclaimed.
"Duh! That's why the room is empty. Weren't you listening?"
"Well let's go."
Hazuki opened the door and stalked down the hallway as Kouhei sighed and followed.
Kouhei followed Hazuki down the hall as the young girl walked ahead.
"Hazuki wait. You're going too far ahead." He called.
"What, scared you'll get lost?" she asked flicking her white tail.
"Hazuki!" Kouhei exclaimed. "Where did that come from!?"
In exasperation Kouhei growled. "Hazuki get over here!" he hissed.
"I don't think so Big Brother!" she said and stuck her tongue out at him giggling.
"Hazuki! Get that little tail over here now!" Kouhei said overly too calmly and looking down. Hazuki made a face and wrinkled her nose.
"What's with you?" she asked.
"Just take it off and stay near me." Now Hazuki was getting worried.
"I said take it off!" he snapped. She heard a noise and spun around with a gasp accidentally knocking into something. There standing in front of her was a tall, wide, angry looking man staring down as if he wanted to eat her. He had beady black eyes and rough tan skin stretched tightly over his face. He wore only black. Black shirt, black pants. That's it. Hazuki backed away slowly but the big man grinned.
"How you doin' Baka Neko?" he asked.
"Don't call her that!" Kouhei seethed.
"I'll call her whatever I want!" the tall man exclaimed. "Hey, aren't you a little old to be her boyfriend?"
"I'm not her boyfriend." Kouhei said still very calm and still not looking up. Kouhei didn't know exactly how he had recognized the threat but either way Hazuki was in danger now.
Hazuki recognized the man but she didn't know from where. The mere image and his general aura of him frightened her though.
"Come on sweetums let's dump him and go." The big man said and grabbed her arm.
"Let go of her!" Kouhei roared. Hazuki wrenched free of the man's hold and backed away further even more terrified because she now knew where she had seen him. "Hazuki, get behind me." Kouhei called. Hazuki scrambled to obey, despite her usual protest at being master, but the man was faster. He grabbed her skirt and pulled Hazuki towards him. He grabbed her and threw her over his shoulder as Kouhei had done at the airport and went down the hallway.
"Kouhei!" she called struggling and kicking but the man covered her mouth.
"HAZUKI!" Kouhei roared. Now he unleashed all the pented up anger. He ran at the man and rammed straight into his back. The man cried out in pain, anger and in surprise he dropped Hazuki. Kouhei caught her and ran down the hallway. The man growled as he watched them get away but not without leaving a little mark of is own…
Hazuki clutched Kouhei's sleeve tightly with her eyes clamped shut. That was what she had seen. Yesterday…
"Chill out Haz." Kouhei said. Hazuki could smell the minty toothpaste in his breath as he spoke. She tried to push away from him but Kouhei pressed her tighter against himself.
"Let go of me you creep!' Hazuki said.
"I don't think I can." Kouhei replied. "I think my arms have been glued to you."
"Kouhei! Let go!"
"I'm stuck!" he laughed.
"I can't!" he said laughing and rolled over.
"Get off me! Your big face is squashing me!" Hazuki said from under him.
"Do you hear something Elfriede?" Kouhei asked. The blonde vampire giggled.
"Get off me you freak!" Hazuki cried.
"I'm still stuck! Uh-oh!"
"GET OFF!" Hazuki shrieked.
"I CAN'T!" Kouhei laughed.
"That will be enough Kouhei." Grandfather said entering with Haiji. He turned and went into the bathroom as Haiji settled onto the bed next to a sleeping Seiji. With one last laugh Kouhei rolled over and released Hazuki.
"Ugh! You need to go on a diet!" Hazuki coughed as she gave Kouhei a shove.
"Hey!" he laughed and pushed her back. Hazuki giggled then stood on the bed. "Oh, no!" Kouhei groaned. Hazuki didn't jump, she didn't scream. She pointed looking horrified. Kouhei snapped his attention to where she was pointing and stood.
The big scary man. He had been standing in the hallway and Hazuki had only seen him because Grandfather had left the door open. He had seen her and Kouhei scrambling on the bed and caught what everyone except Kouhei had. His playful actions may have been out of love but they had now engaged the hunter…
"Put me down please." Hazuki said softly.
"What?!" Kouhei exclaimed. "No, not 'til we find Grandfather and the others and tell them what happened." Hazuki didn't protest anymore.
When they reached the lobby Elfriede came running.
"Are you alright? I sensed the mistress' distress. Is everything ok?" she asked. Kouhei shook his head solemnly. He set Hazuki down and they joined the table where Seiji and Grandfather were waiting with Haiji. Then he explained everything. From the beginning…
"So that's what happened." Kouhei concluded.
"Does this have any connection with what you saw yesterday Mistress?" Elfriede asked. Hazuki nodded and told how she had seen the man yesterday and how he had looked at her.
"I see." Grandfather said thoughtfully. "I propose we go on with the original plan to vacation here and if this man poses any more problems we shall deal with him."
Everyone agreed and the mood lightened slightly. Hazuki was the only one who sat curled up and looking scared.
"Hey Hazuki?" Kouhei asked quietly as the others continued talking about the plans for the day. "Don't worry. I'll be by your side if anything happens." He said and gave her hand a gentle squeeze. Hazuki looked up and Kouhei saw that she had been crying. "Hazuki, why are you crying?!" he asked in astonishment. Hazuki sniffed and curled up tighter against him. Then Kouhei's surprised expression turned into understanding. He gently held her and whispered calmly into her ear. "Don't you worry about a thing Haz. We've got everything under control..."
"So we've decided on going to Seaworld today right?" Kouhei asked over Hazuki's head. Elfriede nodded and Kouhei felt Hazuki shift her weight and stand. She removed her tail and ears and handed them to Kouhei.
"Take the Neko and put it away somewhere safe." She said. He smiled.
"Alright, lemme run this up to the room for Haz and I'll meet you guys outside so we can go." He said and darted towards the elevators. Hazuki stared after him anxious to be separated even for a moment. But that's stupid! I'll just wait. Nothing is going to happen to him unless I'm there… and this though struck her hard. What?! Is that true? Am I going to be the reason again for Kouhei to get hurt? Is he going to be hurt because of me? All the memories of the castle and of her father and Kinkle flashed through her mind until tears threatened to over power her again as she exited the lobby with the others.
"Hey, I told you not to worry." Kouhei's voice floated in her ear and Hazuki's eyes shot open. Watery and quivering, they searched his face for some sign of struggle. Finding none her mind went back to thoughts of him being hurt because of her.
"I'm sorry Kouhei…" she whispered.
"Sorry? For what?" he asked but Hazuki wasn't listening. Cold tears poured down her cheeks as the young vampire ran. "HAZUKI!" She blocked his voice, his image his everything. Hazuki had to get away from him. She couldn't afford to hurt Kouhei anymore. Was she still linked to the castle? Could she call it all the way here? Would she really be willing to go back?
Hazuki felt a large jerk as someone grabbed her. She gasped, momentarily forgetting to cry as the person held her tightly.
"You're not going anywhere until you tell me what's going on." Hazuki felt so happy she could almost kiss him right there. But she didn't. Instead she tuned and pulled away from Kouhei refusing to look up at him.
I do, cherish you
For the rest of my life
You don't have to think twice
I will, love you still, from the depths of my soul
It's beyond my control
I've waited so long to say this to you
If you're asking do I love you this much, I do
"Hazuki…" Kouhei placed a gentle hand on her shoulder.
I'm sorry that I hurt you
It's something I must live with everyday
And all the pain I put you through
I wish that I could take it all away
"I hurt you…" she whispered.
I'm not a perfect person
There's many things I wish I didn't do
But I continue learning
I never meant to do those things to you
I've waited so long to say this to you
So, if you're asking if I love you this much, I do
Oh, I do
In my world before you
I lived outside my emotions
Didn't know where I was going
Until that day I found you
How you opened my life to a new paradise
"I'm so sorry Kouhei…"
I do, cherish you
For the rest of my life
You don't have to think twice
I will, love you still, from the depths of my soul
It's beyond my control
I've waited so long to say this to you
If you're asking do I love you this much, yes I do
Kouhei grabbed her shoulders and kissed the young girl gently on the lips. It was quick and impossible. Hazuki felt completely frozen in place. Her world began to spiral into nothing but Kouhei. His face, his touch, his smell, his taste…
"I'm sorry…" she whispered and tears silently fell again.
"After all that I've done for you…everything I've ever been through because of you…you still reject me…" Kouhei whispered. Hearing these words Hazuki's eyes snapped up to his face in shock and she saw him smiling.
"Oh Kouhei!" Hazuki exclaimed. She launched into a hug and squeezed him as tightly as she could.
I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is You
Kouhei smiled down at the girl he loved so much.
"Come on now Brat. Let's go have fun today." He said.
Hazuki looked up at him and smiled. Kouhei wiped her tears away and they went back to the others.
"Haiji look!" Hazuki exclaimed.
"OOH! It's…It's a dolphin! Yeah." The little creature exclaimed.
"No it's not. It's a whale, silly."
"Actually Haiji is half right. A whale is in the group of mammals calledCetaceans along with dolphins and porpoises." Kouhei said walking over to where Hazuki and Haiji had their noses pressed against the glass watching a large whale swim.
"What a scientist!" Hazuki exclaimed sarcastically.
"I am aren't I!" Kouhei exclaimed playing along.
"You sure are! Especially when you talk about getting a new job!" she giggled.
"Ha ha." Kouhei placed a hand on her head and pushed down. They all laughed.
"You're my little chou." He said lovingly.
"I'm nobody's butterfly!" Hazuki said haughtily.
"Fine then. Haiji or Kaoru can be my chou."
Kouhei and Haiji laughed.
Elfriede's glasses flashed as she watched and stifled a laugh of her own. Grandfather chuckled and muttered "love spat" and Seiji rolled his eyes thinking 'pedophile.' But they weren't the only ones interested in watching…
Around the corner where Hazuki and the others were, stood three men. The first man and leader was named Ryuu.
"Do you see her?" someone asked.
"Shut your trap!" Ryuu answered. He had beady black eyes, and wore all black…yes, he was the man after Hazuki. The man who had asked the question was named Shin. Shin was tall and lanky and nothing like his name implied. He was a sneaky lousy rat that could never be relied upon by any man other than Ryuu, the dragon. The last man was named Takeshi. He never spoke.
"Of course she's there. But that damn boy is with her along with a woman and two other men." Ryuu said.
"How are we going to get her then?" Shin asked. Yes, Shin was also very stupid.
"We lure her away using the bait. Idiot! How many times have we gone over the plan?!" Ryuu roared.
"Well fine. No need to shout, I remember." Shin grumbled.
"Then tell me."
"We send Takeshi out to lure her away from the boy, and bring her to us. We grab her and run. Then you-"
"I know my part, just remember yours, baka." Ryuu said and turned to glance once at Hazuki and then faced Takeshi. "Go now." He ordered. Takeshi nodded and stepped out of the shadows and around the corner. He strode swiftly in Hazuki's direction while Ryuu and Shin watched…
Haiji still had her nose pressed against the glass watching the whale with one eye and her mistress with the other.
"Kouhei?" Hazuki asked.
"Hm???" he asked positioning his camera to try and get a good shot of the whale.
"Do you-" but she was interrupted by someone tapping her shoulder. Kouhei, Hazuki and Haiji turned.
"Are you Mistress Luna?" Takeshi asked. His voice was very alluring and calm with an angelic ring to it. Ryuu growled and Shin gasped.
"He's talking!" Shin exclaimed.
"Shut up!" Ryuu growled and shoved the lanky man back.
Hazuki made a face at Takeshi and humphed.
"No. My name is Hazuki."
"My apologies Mistress Hazuki-chan." Takeshi bowed. Kouhei raised an eyebrow suspiciously and exchanged a glance with Haiji who was also distrusting. Hazuki decided to act guarded.
"That's better, now what do you want?"
"Thank you Mistress. I have come to bring you a message from the castle." Takeshi lied easily.
"I am no longer linked to that awful place. Luna has been destroyed." Hazuki said haughtily.
"I am aware of that Mistress. The message is concerning the fate of the castle now that Mistress Arte and Luna have left."
"Don't you talk about my sister you creep!"
"My apologies again Mistress." Takeshi bowed once more.
"Well give me the message then." She sighed and rolled her eyes.
"My orders are to give it to you alone." Takeshi eyed Kouhei.
"The only people here are Kouhei and my sh-. Just Kouhei." Hazuki corrected herself. Man, I forgot. No-body besides me and Kouhei can see and hear Haiji! She thought.
"Orders are orders Mistress."
"Orders?! From who anyways?"
"I am Mistress Luna and I demanded that you tell me!"
"But Mistress, you yourself said that Luna no longer existed." Takeshi almost smirked.
"Fine!" she snapped. "Come on Kouhei let's go!" Hazuki said and turned to walk away. Kouhei was right at her heels protectively guarding her.
"It's his fate, Mistress." Takeshi purred quietly. Hazuki froze.
"What does this have to do with Kouhei!" she demanded swinging around.
"Would you like the message Mistress?" Takeshi asked.
"Now!" she snapped loudly.
"Yes Mistress. Please come with me." He bowed and turned. Hazuki looked up at Kouhei. She had a bad feeling in her stomach that something might happen to him, but without the message she couldn't prevent it. She hugged him tightly and Kouhei kissed the top of her head softly.
"I'll be right back." She whispered. Kouhei smiled and Hazuki turned to follow Takeshi around the corner.
Kouhei and Haiji turned to each other.
"Shall we?" he asked. The little cat creature smiled.
The two of them turned to follow Hazuki giving Grandfather and Seiji the slip.
Hazuki followed Takeshi around the corner into a very dark area behind all the shops in that row selling whale souvenirs. Neither of them spoke another word as they made their way down the passage. Takeshi suddenly came to a stop and spun on his heel and turned to Hazuki. Out of the darkness behind him came Ryuu and Shin.
"There is my little neko-chan!" Ryuu exclaimed happily. He snapped his fingers and Shin grabbed Hazuki's arms from behind. Then Hazuki realized she had been tricked. Her eyes flew to Takeshi and she stared at him. Something in her helpless, pleading look struck Takeshi but he made no move to defy the others.
"Now it's time for us to have some fun." Ryuu smirked evilly. He moved to grab Hazuki's shirt but she kicked him.
"Don't touch me!" she snapped.
"Aww don't be like that, my little baka neko!"
"Don't call me that you bastard!"
"Looks like the little neko is missing her accessories! Oh well." Ryuu said ignoring her remark. He moved forward again and tripped her before grabbing her shirt again. Hazuki gasped in pain at his roughness.
"KOUHEI!" she cried. Shin smirked and covered her mouth.
"You're boyfriend won't be coming to help you, so don't waste your breath." He snickered. Her eyes widened and Hazuki saw what was going to happen now.
"Oh! The little neko has a very thin waist!" Ryuu commented as he slipped her green shirt off. Hazuki bit Shin's hand and cried out again.
"KOUHEI! HELP ME!"
"You little bitch!" Shin exclaimed and slapped her across the face. Hazuki's eyes watered as she hit the ground.
"Kouhei…help…" she whimpered as Ryuu laughed.
"The poor neko is fairly young but developing beautifully! No wonder that boy has put his claim on her!" he commented. Hazuki narrowed her eyes angrily.
"Nobody has put any claims on me and nobody ever will! Kouhei is my slave and he would never dare lay a finger on me!" she blazed. Her eyes began to swirl angrily and fog up. Ryuu laughed.
"We have a newbie then! Even better!" he said and grabbed her.
"DON'T TOUCH ME!" Hazuki cried and the wind picked up blowing everything. Takeshi's eyes flickered and he grabbed Hazuki's shirt. He quickly tossed it to her and snapped his fingers. Everything blazed white just long enough for Hazuki to slip her shirt on. Takeshi gave her a shove and within the few seconds she saw his face clearly she noticed two pointed white fangs. The blaze had cleared but Ryuu and Shin lay momentarily stunned on the ground.
"Go!" Takeshi demanded gruffly. "But be warned Mistress, this is not the end!" Hazuki didn't reply. She took off the way she had come and by the time she reached the crowd she heard a shout of anger from Ryuu. She had escaped. For now…
Kouhei fought through the crowd trying to keep Hazuki in sight as she followed Takeshi. He eventually lost her and stood in the middle of the crowd alone with only Haiji. He grunted in frustration and decided to go wait with Grandfather. Hazuki will be alright alone. She has her powers right? He thought.
As Kouhei walked he suddenly heard a loud cry.
"Hazuki!" he exclaimed. He swung around and bumped into Elfriede.
"Where is the Mistress!" the blonde vampire asked anxiously.
"She went with some guy to get a message from the castle and I just heard her scream while I was going after her."
"The castle has been destroyed! It was a trick! We must find the mistress!"
Kouhei nodded and the two began to look.
"I can feel her distress is strong." Elfriede said anxiously.
"KOUHEI! HELP ME!" he heard her call. Kouhei's hands balled into fists and he took off into a dark ally behind the shops in a desperate attempt to find her. Then he saw her. Hazuki was surrounded by three men and laying on the ground whimpering.
"Hazuki!" he breathed. Kouhei rushed forward but Elfriede held him back.
"The mistress is using her powers. She will kill them all if given the chance. Stand back." Indeed Hazuki's eyes were glowing and the wind began to blow hard. Suddenly a blinding flash was seen and when it cleared Hazuki was gone.
"Where did she go?!" Kouhei exclaimed angrily.
Elfriede pointed and followed Hazuki with Kouhei at her heels. Then they disappeared into the crowd.
"Hazuki!" Kouhei called. Hazuki swung around and gasped then she launched a hug on Kouhei before anyone could say anything.
"Are you alright Haz?" he asked.
Hazuki ignored him and held tightly. Then she stood back. "Where were you when I was about to be raped!" she cried. Kouhei ignored her question also. He pulled her back close to him and held her tightly.
"I saw and am going to kill each and every one of them for what they almost did to you."
Hazuki could hear such hatred in Kouhei's voice that it startled her momentarily. All her anger vanished as she stood there, safe and protected, in his arms. New feelings of fear and exhaustion took its place.
"Oh Kouhei…" she buried her face in his chest. "They accused you of putting your claims on me!" Her eyes snapped open as she felt Kouhei's anger radiating, so strongly, off in waves. He was tense and had two balled up fists turning whiter every second. She glanced up at his face and saw that he looked ready to kill the next person to step within one hundred feet of her.
But Hazuki didn't care. She hugged him and began to cry silently exerting all the stored up fear, sadness, hate and anger she held for the three men. Elfriede placed a gentle hand on her shoulder and turned to Kouhei.
"This is serious enough to have to include the others." She said.
"No. If they get involved the three bastards won't die. They may be punished severely by Seiji or Grandfather, but not enough for the crime they almost committed. I personally want to kill all three of them for daring to lay a finger on Hazuki." He said. Elfriede nodded resignedly and Kouhei stiffly picked up Hazuki.
"Very well, but if anything more dangerous occurs we must include them." Kouhei nodded.
"I think this one has had enough excitement for today, damned as it may be. I'm taking her back to the hotel to rest. Tell Gramps and Seiji that she got bored and we went back."
"Alright. We'll see you later tonight then. Take care, both of you." Elfriede said placing her hand gently on Hazuki's head before disappearing into the crowd.
"And we need to take you back now." Kouhei said to Hazuki.
"I can walk." She said so Kouhei put her down. He held very tightly to her sleeve, and stuck no further than a foot away from her the entire way and by the end, no matter how much she had needed him, Hazuki was getting annoyed.
"Ever hear of personal space?" she snapped irritably.
"Yes, but I don't think that if three men are out to rape you, that you should be allowed to have any." He replied.
"I have Haiji!" And it was true. The little shikigami hadn't said a word the entire time but followed and worried instead.
"Hazuki, please." Kouhei said. Hazuki nodded.
"Fine." She grumbled.
When they reached the hotel room Hazuki sat on the bed.
"So, what are we going to do now?" she asked. Kouhei paused.
"I don't know. What do you want to do? We have the whole day." He said and sat on Seiji's bed across the room.
"Well how about we play a game?" she suggested.
"Which?" Kouhei asked.
"Shogi?" Kouhei suggested.
"No! How about…"
"Oh! Let's play hide and seek Master!" Haiji exclaimed excitedly.
"Yeah!" Hazuki agreed.
"No." Kouhei groaned.
"And why not!" Hazuki demanded.
"Because we can't go roaming around the hotel and hiding everywhere!"
"What if we stay in the room?"
"Fine, but I'm not it!"
"Not it either! That means Haiji is it!" Hazuki giggled as the little shikigami growled. "Count to 35 ok?" Haiji nodded and closed her eyes.
"Hide!" Hazuki whispered excitedly but Kouhei was no-where in sight. She shrugged and went to hide in the bathtub.
Hazuki rushed in and closed the door so everything was dark. She then tiptoed to the tub and stepped in. She stepped on something squishy and fell. Hazuki couldn't see what, but whatever it was, was alive!