"I'm not leaving your side, Sasuke-kun. You need me; you said so yourself. So stop telling me to go away."
"…do you have any idea what you're getting into?"
"I love you, Sasuke-kun…I wouldn't be saying this if I didn't mean it."
She wasn't anything special. Her hair was an unnatural color and her shyness made her act weird. Nobody liked her. All her life, she'd been alone, with no friends to talk to, with "parents" too busy with their own lives to even notice she existed.
She was seventeen years old, not too pretty, but she wasn't ugly, either. She was already in her fourth year of high school; in only a few months, she'd be graduating. But it wasn't something she was crazy about. After all, nobody would be there to celebrate with her. She'd probably be the only girl who wouldn't be invited to an after-the-ceremony party.
It wasn't that she minded that much. She'd never really liked parties and being in a crowded room made her nervous.
The only person she ever talked to wasn't someone she would call her friend. Sure, he said hello, and sometimes he would even talk to her, but other than that, she rarely saw him, even though she'd known him since they were first years in junior high; almost six years. She still felt like a stranger. He was always surrounded by his "friends", the ones he never talked to; she never saw him by himself. And, truthfully, she didn't feel confident enough to talk to him whenever he wasn't alone. Maybe he already knew that; he never once made her talk in front of all those people. She was grateful for that; she really respected him because of it.
Even though he had a secret nobody would have imagined.
She never meant to find out about it. What really surprised her, more than anything, was the calmness she'd felt when she saw it happen. She should have been afraid. He could have killed her if he knew.
Yet, strangely, it only made her want to stay by his side; protect him.
He was a vampire.
A blood-sucking creature that fed on human blood. A creature only found in legends.
A creature that treated her better than humans ever did.
She hated this place.
But like everything else in her life, there was nothing she could do to about it. She wasn't strong enough to move out, didn't have the confidence to live on her own.
They didn't like her. It was obvious the minute they took her in. She was grateful, of course; after her parents' deaths, nobody wanted to take her in. They were the only ones that had felt sorry for her.
The fighting didn't start until she started staying out late; when she found out the library didn't close until late at night. She'd tried to make them happy; acted like the perfect "child". Still, she always seemed to do something wrong. When she got home the first time after staying late at the library, she'd caught them fighting over her. "She's turning into a problem!" "She's making us look bad." "Nobody wanted to take her in; now we know why." "She's an illegitimate child; it's disgusting!" It didn't hurt so much after hearing it for a while.
Only nine months until her eighteenth birthday.
Nine months until she could get out of this place she'd once thought she could call "home".
There were usually different signs whenever there would be a fight. She'd learned to pay close attention whenever her aunt talked harshly to her in the morning, or her uncle ignored her when he got home from work.
Today, though, it was quiet.
There should have been noise; her aunt in the kitchen, her uncle getting ready for work. But for some reason, she couldn't hear anything from upstairs.
As she got out of bed, Sakura looked at her nightstand. It was six thirty on a Sunday morning. If no one was home, then she could leave without having to put up with her aunt yelling at her about not coming home late again, or that she just knew that Sakura was going out to be a "bad child".
Sighing, she dressed in her usual clothing; a long-sleeved shirt with a skirt she'd long ago considered too short to wear at all. Still, she didn't have any other clothing; there was nothing she could do about that.
Walking down the stairs slowly, she looked around to make sure nobody was home. She stopped at the kitchen. It didn't seem like anyone had bothered to eat or anything that morning.
Shrugging the strange feeling away, she opened the door. The whole trip to the front steps of the library was silent, except for her growling stomach. She decided to ignore it; she'd eat later.
Right now, she'd enjoy the few hours of silence before her aunt would call her cell phone and demand that she come home. And there was that book she'd been meaning to finish—
She jumped. Sighing, she took out her cell phone, frowning. Her aunt couldn't have waited a little longer— She stared at the screen. Unknown Number. Who would be calling her? The only people who knew her phone number were her aunt and uncle. And Sasuke. But other than that, it wasn't like she talked with anyone enough to have them ask for her number.
She didn't know whether to ignore it or not. It was probably a wrong number.
Still, she couldn't quite shake off the strange feeling that was spreading through her at that moment. Her hand shook nervously as she pressed the Send button. Putting it slowly to her ear, she said in a shaky voice, "Hello?"
The voice on the other end of the phone wasn't a stranger's voice. "Hey, I don't know if this is the right number, but I saw it in teme's phone so I thought it might be your number and— anyway, this is Sakura, right? The girl with pink hair?"
What was his name again? He was one of Sasuke's friends; the only person Sakura had seen Sasuke talking to without sounding bored. "Um, yeah, it is."
She jumped again when he yelled through the phone, "Great! You know who I am, right? It's Uzumaki Naruto; my girlfriend's in your class." He didn't stop to let her say she knew who he was. "Anyway, I was wondering if you knew where Sasuke was; he came over last night but forgot his cell phone and nobody's seen him since then. I thought maybe you'd know where he was."
She opened her mouth, then closed it. Her? Why would she know where Sasuke was? "U—Um, I, uh, I really don't know where he is, Uzumaki…-san. The last time I saw him was at school. But, um, why would you think I'd know where he was, Uzumaki-san?"
"Call me Naruto! And, well, I've seen him talking to you sometimes, and he doesn't seem to hate you. At least, he doesn't ignore you like he does the other girls who try to talk to him. So I thought you guys were probably close or something."
Her heart skipped a beat, and she put a hand to her chest. "Oh, um, well, I don't really know where Sasuke-kun is, Naruto-san. I'm sorry."
"Don't worry about it! But if you see him, tell him he needs to come and get his phone back; he's got me worried about him!" His voice grew soft as he said, "I just know you'll see him today, Sakura-chan. He always goes to the people he trusts whenever he's in trouble."
She didn't really know why she was running. Naruto's words probably didn't mean anything. He was probably just saying that because he thought she and Sasuke were friends. Still, the second he said bye and hung up the phone, she'd turned around and run all the way back to her aunt's house.
Stopping in front to make sure her aunt and uncle weren't home, she opened the front door slowly.
She raced up the stairs and opened the door to her room. Whatever she expected to find, it sure wasn't this.
Someone was half slumped against her window, half laying on her bed. Her eyes widened. "Sasuke-kun!"
His head moved slowly to look at her, and she froze. His clothes were shredded; there were cuts all over his body. And the blood…
She took a step forward slowly, unsure of what to do. She knew he needed to be bandaged; some of his wounds were still bleeding. Shutting the door and turning the lock to make sure nobody would walk in on them, she walked over and kneeled down next to the bed. Sasuke's eyes followed her all the way.
Reaching a hand out tentatively, she found herself whispering, "What…happened to you, Sasuke-kun?" Her hand was shaking as she placed her hand on his. He jerked back against the open window, still staring at her. She looked down at her hand, then up at him. "You don't…trust me?"
She didn't know how long they stared at each other, but when he closed his eyes and breathed out the words that he did, she didn't expect to hear them at all. "I'm afraid…I won't be able to…hold myself back. I'm…hungry."
Anyone would be wondering what he was talking about. Of course, she'd seen him do it once before; she already knew what he was hungry for. She didn't even think about it when she said, "Then use me. You're weak when you don't drink blood, right? If it helps you, then do it." She blushed. His gaze on her was making her uncomfortable, but she kept talking, "I know what you are, Sasuke-kun…I saw you. When you were…feeding. Behind the library." Looking up at him, she stood up slowly and got on her bed, reaching out for his hand again. He didn't pull back this time; she couldn't tell what he was thinking, but the look on his face was saying he was deciding what to do. The longer she stared, the more tired and sickly he looked. Was he dying? Why hadn't he tried feeding on someone already? It wouldn't have been very difficult for him to find someone.
She could feel his eyes moving down to her neck, and she surprised herself again that day, tugging at his hand lightly to bring him towards her, whispering, "Please, Sasuke-kun, I just… I don't want you to die…"
Before she knew it, she was laying on her bed, with Sasuke on top of her, his breath fanning unevenly against her neck. She shivered. She had never been this close to a guy; never imagined this would happen.
"…stupid girl," Sasuke growled against her skin, "Do you have any idea what you're getting into?" She didn't have time to say anything, before she gasped as he licked her neck and sunk his teeth into her skin.
The pain went away almost as quickly as it began, and as he sucked at her neck, she found herself wanting to get closer to him. She didn't even realize she'd tangled her fingers through his hair, bringing him flush against her body. Her vision was getting fuzzy; was this because Sasuke was drinking too much of her blood?
The very thought should have scared her.
She whispered in between breaths, "…Sasuke…-kun…thank you for…trusting…me…" before she closed her eyes and blacked out.
It was dark.
She blinked to see if that would help, when the sudden thought that maybe she'd gone blind passed through her mind. Panic started to spread in her body; what if she really was blind—
She sat up quickly, then regretted it instantly. The dizziness that washed over her made her groan in pain, and she would have fallen off the bed if the person who'd spoken hadn't caught her, gently laying her down again.
"…don't move too quickly; you'll only make yourself sick."
"Mm." She couldn't talk. Her head was pounding. "Is it…night already?"
Now that she looked around, she was still in her room, the moon shining through her half-open window.
He nodded. "…you slept for hours; I was beginning to think I'd have to take you to the hospital." He paused. In the dark, she thought she saw a pained look on his face, but she couldn't be sure. "You're really stupid, you know that? I could have killed you."
She nodded, then stopped when she felt her head start to hurt. Her hand went up to touch the spot where he'd bitten her; she could still feel a small piece of skin that felt cold to the touch. She stared at the ceiling, not feeling confident enough to sit up. "Are you alright, Sasuke-kun?"
He was on top of her before she knew what was going on, his face inches from hers. His breath felt warm against her face, and she stared into his eyes as he said in a cold voice, "Am I alright? I could have killed you; can still kill you. Does that not worry you at all?" His dark laugh made her shiver. "You really don't understand what you've gotten yourself into."
She stared up at him. She didn't even realize tears were rolling down her face until she parted her lips to say something and instead heard herself sob. Trying to stop crying but failing, she whispered out, "I just didn't want you to die, Sasuke-kun. You…it doesn't matter what happens to me. Besides, Naruto-san was worried about you. He told me."
Sasuke stared at her, speechless. After a while, he said, "You sound like you'd give up your life for mine."
She didn't even stop to think when she said, "I would."
His lips smashed against hers roughly, and her eyes widened. But she didn't just lay there like she would have under any other circumstances; her eyes slowly closed until she found herself shivering at the feel of his hands roaming her body. He'd pull away enough to breathe in once, before kissing her again, making her moan into his mouth. In between kisses, he'd whisper, "You idiot, I'm the one who'd give his life to see you happy."
She didn't know how long they kissed for, or when Sasuke had started taking off her shirt, but, strangely, she didn't care. All she wanted was for him to keep kissing her, to keep touching her.
It was Sasuke who pulled away from her suddenly, leaving Sakura breathless and confused.
His breathing was uneven. He was standing next to the door to her room, far away from her, in the darker part of her room. She couldn't see his face as he spoke, "This is why I didn't want to drink your blood." He sounded angrier as he said, "I'll forever want to have only yours as long as I live. Do you understand what I'm saying? I'm bound to you; you won't be able to live a normal life."
She sat up slowly, unaware that she wasn't wearing a shirt anymore, or that the cold wind from outside was hitting her back. The only thing she was thinking about was what Sasuke was saying. "But…you did the same thing to that girl behind the library. Wouldn't you be bound to that other girl, too?"
She was standing right in front of him, close enough to see him shake his head slowly, his eyes staring at her as she moved closer until she was hugging him, until his arms wrapped around her as if it was a normal thing for them to do. What was making her do all these things? Before, she would never have dared to do anything like this; now she couldn't think of anything else but this. She looked up at him, found him staring down at her.
"That's not how it works, Sakura. I'm…bound to you. If anything happens to you…-those who are just like me are the same. If-" He sighed, sounding irritated. "How the hell am I supposed to explain it when even I don't fully understand it? Sakura, the minute I drank your blood, I was bound to you. Your blood will be the only thing I'll hunger for. Even if I drank and drank anyone else's, it would never satisfy the hunger; I'd go crazy. This…whatever it is, it's common." He paused. "It's like what humans say; how they look for their 'soul mates'. Except, of course, that I'm the one who'll forever want you. Only you."
After everything that day, she didn't expect to blush at those words, but she did. "Is…is that why you didn't hate me like you did all those other girls?"
He shook his head. "It's not like it's decided that you're the one just like that. I grew…close to you. I always thought I'd be able to stop myself from getting to that level with someone, but with you, I didn't realize it until it was too late and all I could do was think about you." He looked away from her, out the window. "It was frustrating."
"Sasuke-kun, how did you get hurt?"
He didn't look at her. "It's not important."
Sakura put her hands on his arms, gently unfolding them from around her and took a step back. Walking back to her bed, she grabbed her shirt and put it on, then turned to look at him. He was staring at her, in the exact same position as when she'd turned away from him.
Sitting down on her bed, she looked up at the moon. "How did you get hurt, Sasuke-kun?"
Almost grudgingly, he found himself answering, "A rogue vampire was attacking people around here in the middle of the night; almost killing them. I had to stop him, before he hurt…you."
She stretched out her hand towards him, tears rolling down her cheeks. "You almost killed yourself; why would you do that?"
He had her in his arms in a second. "The same reason you would."
She really wasn't anything special. Her hair was an unnatural color and her shyness made her act weird. Nobody liked her.
Well, except for Sasuke, of course.
And really, that was enough for her.