Yuuki stopped right outside the door, looking around. The room was still considerably dark, even though some lamps were now lit. Once again she looked down at the carpet, recognising the place where she fell down, but seeing no stains marring the surface, she breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe it was just her imagination back then.
Everything was as it should be; only there was no sign of Kaname.
I guess he's still in his room…
Looking around for a place to sit and wait, Yuuki's attention was caught by an object on Kaname's desk which looked sorely out of place. Walking towards it, she realised what it was.
What is one of Chairman's ridiculous bowls doing here?
Picking it up, she noted the painted kitty cat on the bottom. If you eat all of the soup, there's a surprise waiting for you at the bottom, was what he used to tell her when she was little. They had a whole set of these back in the kitchen.
Yuuki fingered the familiar ridges of the flower pattern on the outside of the bowl, still puzzling over its presence, looking around the room once again. This time, her eyes were drawn to the glass cabinets which used to hold many expensive crystal wineglasses, the same ones Yuuki saw scattered around the room on that evening, but now it seemed to be completely empty.
Setting the bowl back down on the desk, Yuuki slowly walked towards the cabinets and stopped in front of them.
Strange, she thought.
Although, there was something glinting at the back of the central shelf. Yuuki leaned closer, squinting at the object in the darkness of the room. It was a solitary wineglass.
What happened to the rest? She wondered, leaning even closer without actually touching the pane. Looking more closely, it seemed to her like there was something inside the wineglass, but she couldn't really see what it was.
Curiosity getting the better of her, Yuuki bit her lip and looked behind her to check if she was still alone in the room, you never know with vampires. Seeing she was, she reached for the small knob. The cabinet door opened with a tiny click, and the scent of expensive wood and polish whiffled to her nose. Yuuki hesitated briefly and finally lifted her hand to reach inside.
"I've broken my own rule."
Yuuki gasped and turned around so fast she smacked into a firm silk-covered chest. A hand shot out to steady her by gently grabbing her elbow.
Yuuki blushed when she realised her nose was just a couple of inches away from Kaname's chest. She tried looking up at his face, taking a small step backwards in the process. She had to apologise for prying. Apologise, damn it!
Before she could however, Kaname reached past her into the cabinet and pulled out the wineglass, holding it by the stem, bringing it in front of Yuuki's eyes.
Looking at it this closely, she could see that sitting at the bottom of it was a glass shard.
"I told Aidou to throw away all his little treasures, yet I kept mine."
He was looking at the object in his hand with strange fondness in his eyes, twirling it slowly between his fingers.
Oh. Yuuki suddenly understood.
"W-What happened to the rest of them?" she asked in a small voice, desperately wanting to say something.
Kaname looked at her. "I had them removed. They no longer held any value for me."
Yuuki held in another gasp. His eyes bore into hers, and she took in his still wet hair, though probably fresh from the shower by now, and the midnight blue shirt he was wearing, with the two top buttons undone.
After a while, Kaname sighed softly and reached behind her again to replace the wineglass to its proper place.
Meanwhile, Yuuki's eyes followed the movement of his other hand, watching as it slowly took hold of the open glass door. He really had elegant hands…
Yuuki heard a deep chuckle and her head snapped up, to see him smiling softly down at her. It seemed as if he was waiting for something.
She looked down at his hand again and then back up at him.
And did it again.
"Oh! I'm sorry," she whispered in embarrassment when she realised her mistake and stepped aside to let him close the door. She moved backwards towards his desk, her hands nervously twisting in the overlapping sleeves of her shirt.
She stopped when she reached it.
"Um," she gulped. "Thank you for lending me the clothes. And the bathroom," she added.
Kaname turned around and started to move towards her, still barefoot, she noted.
"I-I was wondering, I'd hate to bother anyone with washing my clothes and all that, would it be ok if I took them back…with me…in a bag…or something?"
Her voice was growing weaker and weaker as Kaname was coming closer. Why couldn't her brain work in his presence just for once?
"Absolutely not," was the resolute answer, as he came to stand before her again.
"I was afraid of that," she whispered, looking down at her twisted sleeves.
They both paused, until Kaname sighed again. "I won't let you clean up the mess left in the wake of Aidou's foolishness," he said, reaching for her hands to detangle them.
"About that," she started, watching as he took hold of her right hand and proceeded to roll the overlong sleeve up over her hand. "Don't punish him, please. He is a little weird, and I don't really know what he was after, but I doubt he meant to do me any real harm."
"That is not for you to decide, Yuuki," he said, gently squeezing her now free right wrist before moving to the other sleeve. "Perhaps I shall start by making him wash your clothes-"
"No! No, that'd be an even bigger punishment for me! It's too personal, it'd be weird…"
Kaname chuckled. "It might be for the best. After all, I have to think of a punishment for you, too."
At that, Yuuki's head snapped up. "W-What? Why?! What did I do? I only did what is expected of a guardian!"
Finished with the second sleeve, Kaname shook his head. "You misunderstand. I was referring to the evening of two nights prior."
"You disobeyed my orders, and even persuaded another to do the same."
Yuuki's mind replayed Ichijou's punishment for her. She will always regret roping him into it.
"No matter," continued Kaname, "Aidou's actions resulted in your being outside in the rain, when I arranged for that not coming to pass."
At her puzzled look, he added: "I cancelled the night classes. Yet it turned out in vain." Kaname reached for the towel which was still around her shoulders and proceeded to press the ends of her hair with it.
Yuuki frowned. "Wait a second. You're not telling me you cancelled your lessons in the hope of keeping me inside, are you?" That'd be insane…
"Indeed, I am."
Her mouth fell open in disbelief.
"The reason why Aidou warrants a punishment is not only his disregard for my wishes; you were hurt in the process as well." And he let the towel fall to the floor.
Yuuki shook herself out of her stupor. Hurt? Oh, the knee!
"It's nothing, really, just a scratch, though I was meaning to ask you if you have any antiseptic around here, just to be sure…"
"We won't be needing that."
Suddenly Yuuki found herself momentarily in the air and before she could even gasp in surprise, she was deposited on the top of his desk, her feet dangling off the edge.
Kaname slowly retracted his hands from her waist, skimming them along her cotton covered thighs. When he reached her knees, he slid his fingers down along the sides of her calves, while lowering himself to his knees.
Yuuki felt frozen again, her mind grinding to a halt. She could only watch him with wide eyes, not being able to utter a single word of protest.
Kaname took hold of her injured leg and started to push the pant leg upwards, exposing first her toes, het ankle, then the length of her shin, until he finally - carefully - exposed her grazed knee and secured the fabric above it, where it met the thigh. Cupping the knee gently on both sides, he used his thumbs to gently massage the slightly pink skin around the wound.
"You've cleaned it well," he said, his breath fanning over the tender spot, which made Yuuki shiver delicately. "I'm glad to see you are capable of obeying me at least in this regard."
Before she could protest, he leaned in, parting his lips.
Wait, he's not actually going to…
Yuuki grabbed the edge of the desk with both hands and squeezed her eyes shut. It didn't hurt, she could barely feel it, he made sure of that, but boy did she feel mortified. It was all too much. She was wearing his clothes. She was wearing his underwear, for crying out loud! Couldn't she just go home? Did he enjoy her embarrassment this much? She felt the incredible heat in her cheeks and she just knew her face successfully resembled a radish by that point. Was this his way of punishing her?
Not that I actually did anything wrong in my book…
She whimpered at her mental discomfort.
Upon hearing the sound, Kaname retracted his tongue and looked up at her scrunched up face, a frown marring his own. "Does it hurt?"
Yuuki jerkily shook her head no, strands of damp hair flying, refusing to open her eyes.
Kaname sighed inaudibly and with a last caress of his lips to her knee, he drew himself upright again.
She made no sign of acknowledging him.
"Yuuki, look at me."
She even turned her head away from him.
"So stubborn," he murmured.
Cupping the backs of her legs, he slowly parted them and moved closer to stand between her knees.
Yuuki's eyes snapped open. Her gaze landed on the colourful bowl, sitting innocently beside her, the cat on the bottom forever stuck licking its front paw.
She felt Kaname draw even nearer. She shivered again when his warm breath fanned against her shoulder, his hands still rested on her legs.
Yuuki gulped. Say something.
His nose bumped against the loose collar of her shirt.
Say something, damn it!
"What's my father's bowl doing on your desk?"
It worked. Sort of. Yuuki felt Kaname pause.
"Are you truly curious or is this just the means of diminishing your embarrassment?" he asked against her shoulder.
Yuuki bit her lip, still looking away. "Both," she answered truthfully.
Kaname chuckled and pulled slightly away from her.
She chanced a quick look at him. He was smirking. Somewhere deep inside, she felt a slight twinge of anger at that. He was enjoying it.
"If you know I'm this embarrassed, why do you keep putting me in these situations?" she asked in an accusing tone.
"And what situations would those be?"
"This!" she exclaimed exasperatedly, whipping her head around to fix her eyes on him. "The knee, the bathroom, these clothes, the casual sniffing…"
"Casual…sniffing?" he repeated after her, the smirk still present.
Yuuki huffed in annoyance and crossed her arms over her chest.
Kaname laughed lightly. "Yuuki, it is only natural I want to take care of you. I want to personally see to your well being. As for the sniffing, as you call it, I am drawn to your scent, you know that. My aim is not making you feel uncomfortable; your embarrassment both amuses and saddens me. I feel as if your trust in me is waning…"
Yuuki looked up at his eyes and they really looked sad by the end of his speech.
"I trust you. Completely. It's just…" She searched for the right word, "…weird."
Smooth. Very eloquent.
Kaname sighed and reached for her left hand. "It is not; not for me." He pulled the hand towards his lips, with the intention of kissing it, but stopped short of doing so. Frowning, he turned her hand over and exposed her palm.
Examining it for some time, he asked in a much darker tone than the gentle one he was using up until then: "Tell me, Yuuki, where you trying to feed someone else your blood?"
Yuuki blinked in confusion.
"I distinctly remember sealing this cut before."
The realization dawned on Yuuki. The Band-Aid must have slipped off of her hand somewhere outside and she didn't even notice.
Locking his eyes with hers, Kaname once again lowered his head towards her hand and ran his tongue over the length of the cut, sealing it with his lips.
Yuuki's blush made a fast reappearance but she refused to drop her gaze this time.
"Who was it?"
"Huh?" she answered detachedly, somewhat dazed.
"Who did you feed?" he asked, tightening his hold on her wrist.
"No one, it was an accident."
"It wasn't intentional-"
"I cannot fathom a plausible enough scenario where you accidentally cut your hand in the exact same place as before. This was done with a purpose in mind. What purpose was it?" His voice was sharp and urgent.
"No! No purpose, I… I don't know!"
"Were you trying to feed Kiryuu the same way you fed me, in the hope of keeping his fangs away from your flesh?"
"No, that's not-"
"What disappointment it must have been to find his fangs imbedded in your throat, despite the effort. Do not attempt to lie; I can see his recent mark on you from here."
"Had you asked, I would have told you. A mere taste of your blood would send his instincts into an uncontrollable frenzy, his fangs elongating, smelling nothing but your life essence and hearing nothing apart from your heartbeat and the blood rushing beneath your skin. Feeling your warmth next to him, he would not be satisfied with a mere sip. His wild instincts would lead him to the source, not the offering. He would-"
"Stop! No more!" Yuuki jerked her hand out of his hold and covered her ears. "It wasn't like that, you're wrong! I don't know what happened! I broke a plate. I wanted to clean it up, but I kept seeing this room, right here, like I was back here, I don't know! And then my hand was bleeding again, the blood was warm and dark, and I just…I just wanted…"
Yuuki shook her head violently, squeezing her eyes shut even tighter against the images pouring suddenly forth, the redness, the table cloth covered in crimson blood, her hands covered in blood, dripping down her wrists; the scent, the warmth… the taste…
Yuuki gasped as the images suddenly stopped and she realised she was still sitting on Kaname's desk, staring into his wine-coloured eyes, with his warm hands placed on her hips, as if to keep her securely in place.
She gulped, her throat dry. "I…wanted to taste it…"
Kaname's eyes searched her pale face. "Did you?"
A/N: Honestly, I didn't expect an update at least until the end of June. To some of you, I've even conveyed this piece of information.
Alas, here I am, fed up with my responsibilities, finding time to do what I actually enjoy doing. Typical me. Oh well.
The next chapter will definitely not appear before the end of June.
If you're still reading this, consider this chapter dedicated to you.