CHAPTER ONE

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"This way Sasuke." Junto said, leading Sasuke through the spacious rooms and long corridors, past the guards. Sasuke had been in Orochimaru's palace enough times to know that he being taken to Orochimaru's private chambers instead of the Meeting Room where most business matters was conducted. His name brand Ninja Hy-tops made no noise as Junto ushered him pasts more guards on duty.

"Ah, Sasuke, finally, you arrive." Orochimaru said as Sasuke stepped into his private chambers. "What do you want Orochimaru?" Sasuke said coolly, while Orochimaru was his master he had a low tolerance for the snake Sannin. "Well, someone's in a bad mood." Orochimaru smirked. "But onto business, a group of Kohona nins have been reported on the outskirts on the Sound Village. I hear Kyo Yamanaka from the Earth village is their commander. That man has been a thorn in my side for far to long." Orochimaru snarled in hate.

"He has been attacking the Sound's good and merchandise, I want you to either stop him or kill him. Either one will do." Orochimaru said returning his attention back to Sasuke. "Couldn't you have found someone else?" Sasuke asked crossing his arms. In truth, he was slightly exhausted from the be damned wild goose chase Orochimaru had sent him on after a 'suspected' traitor only to find that the man had been dead.........for ten years, the angels had peacefully taken his breath away in sleep. "No, you will do it." Orochimaru said squarely. "Fine." Sasuke said through clenched teeth. "Good, Junto will tell you everything you need to know." Orochimaru said waving them out of his chambers. Sasuke sent a quick glare at the man before spinning on his heel and flying through Orochimaru's double doors. Good Lord that man was infuriating!

More beautiful then moon and stars twinkling high above, Ino sat on the bank of the river. The sound nature calming her nerves. As resilient as a mountain against the harshest winds, Ino was a perfect example of a Kohona ninja. She had a heart of a lion, fierce and loyal to her people, and nothing could sway her from her duties, that and as Yamanaka woman, who were said to be descendants of the most beautiful woman, Helena of Troyes, she also stood as a prime example for her clan.

Ino lazily pushed a few long strands of blond hair behind her ear as her sky blue eyes followed a brown haired rabbit hoping along the other side of the river. "Ino, come on. The shipments are here." Kyo said waving his younger cousin over. "Coming Kyo." Ino said quietly as she pulled her hoody on and flipped on her stomach, slowly crawled up behind Kyo, who was well hidden by the shrubberies of the forest surrounding the Sound.

"Took it's time." Ino said as she lay eyes upon the wagon carrying loads of goods to plunder. "If our spy is right, it's filled with the feudal lord's payments. More money for us." Kyo, a handsome blond headed man of the ripe age of thirty smiled at his little cousin's eagerness. She had been on a mission to the Earth country when she bumped into her aunt Kinyo, from her mother's side and the woman had bursted into tears saying she hadn't see Ino since she was a wee baby. Kyo had come home to find his young cousin and had immediately remembered the young girl always tried to follow Kyo and his friends around when ever she visited. The two caught up before Ino left to go home to report her success of the mission before returning to the Earth country saying the Hokage had given her time off and she intended to spend it with her mother's side of the family.

"Patience my sweet Princess. Our success depends on being even more cunning and smarter then our foe. Only fools rush into battle, remember that always Princess." Kyo said leaning forward and kissing Ino's temple. He had grown very protective of his little cousin, even though she had proven herself time and time again. "Listen to your cousin Ino. If the spy is correct, the reward is well worth the wait." Hugo, Kyo's right hand man and best friend [and Ino's childhood crush before Sasuke] said crouched next to her. "Yeah, yeah." Ino said sighing, she knew all about having patience. She was a ninja for goodness sake!!

"Nothing seems on the rocks Cuz." Ino said glancing around. "That's because were not dealing with a martini." Kyo said rolling his eyes at his cousin's slang. "Who the hell drink a martini on the rocks. Your suppose to drink it straight up, no dilution." Ino said rolling her eyes at her cousin's reference. "I believe she means nothing seems on the up and up." Hugo said as Kyo opened his mouth to further argue with Ino.

Kyo turned and looked at Hugo, and silently they nodded to each other. Then Kyo raised his katana and brought down in a slashing move, the signal sent a small army of talented down the mountain towards the helpless wagon.

"Here they come." Junto said watching the men race towards the trick wagon. "Get ready!" Sasuke ordered. One hundred of Orochimaru's fiercest warriors quickly tensed up, and prepared themselves for the fight about to pursue. Not at all a stranger to strategic combat, Sasuke waited until the Kyoians, as Orochimaru branded them were upon the false wagon to signal his men to attack. Issuing the command a minute earlier and the Kyoians could have slipped away easily.

Adrenalin pumped through Ino's veins! Victory in the air. Actual hand to hand combat rarely occurred during an attack. The shippers were well known for being cowardly as the soldiers sent to protect the wagon, unwilling to give their lives for that of gold. Ino noted with satisfaction that the wagon that the wagon was less guarded then usual. Only six soldiers trailed behind the wagon.

Ino, neck and neck with Kyo and Hugo, was confused when Kyo suddenly stopped. "No! Ino wait!!" Kyo said stretching a hand out to catch his beloved cousin. It had been to late, by the time Kyo shouted his warning, Sasuke and his army were already upon them! They were severely outnumbered and no escape! Kyo felt fear pump through his veins for his little Princess, though he knew she was able to handle herself, Kyo quickly realized, this had been an ambush, specifically set for them.

"Ino! Run, quickly!" Kyo said racing to his cousin's side. "What! No-" Ino dodged an attack and slit the man's throat. "I want to fight!" Ino said blocking an attack by another man before swiftly kicking him in the the face. "No-" Kyo paused as he dodged and block two opponents attack before twirling around and cutting the heads off. "You'll leave. I'll never forgive myself if something happens to you." Kyo said grabbing her arm and whirling her around, and blocking the attack intended for her. "Kyo, I'm one of Kohona's top ninjas, I can handle myself. It's you I fear for!" Ino said dropping to the floor, and tripping her foe. She rolled over and plunged a kunai deep into his chest. "Kyo, there's to many!" Hugo said pushing a ninja off him and throwing several kunai, which impaled the ninja. "Retreat!!" Kyo shouted to the group of his men nearest him. The nodded as quickly passed the word.

Sasuke quickly realized what was happening and growled. "Don't let them get away!!" He shouted. Sheltered between Kyo and Hugo, Ino raced towards the high mountains were they had set up camp. Ino dared a glance over her shoulder and her eyes widened at what she saw! Hugo had been tackled to the floor and the ninja then proceeded to shove a katana into Hugo's chest, his scream ringing against Ino's ear. Ino skidded to a stop and at full speed ran back to where Hugo's blood stained the forest floor red.

Kyo, thinking his sweet little Princess and best friend was safely behind him, had no idea of what had transpired. With the army at his heels, he quickly ran towards the mountains, thinking he, Ino and Hugo would meet up at their secret meeting place later. The men had been no match for the fiercely trained Kyo and he had quickly outdistanced them.

Sasuke watched as Junto cut one after one of the Kyoians down and then unto one of Kyoians that had been with Kyo himself. Blood splattered through the air as the man fell to the ground. While Sasuke disliked Junto for more then one reasons, even he held respect for the man, he was a fierce warrior in battle, never backed down and was very dependable. "Bastard!" Had Sasuke blinked, he would have missed the brute fist that slammed into Junto's jaw, a crack sounding.

Ino gave a satisfactory smirk when the man that had attacked Hugo flew into the sky, crashing into several of his men. "Kuyo! Take Hugo and get the hell out of here!" Ino said stopping Kuyo, another friend of Kyo's. "Hugo!" Kuyo quickly gathered the man into his arms and sped off, his clothes quickly dampening with Hugo's blood. Ino trailed behind, eyes darting back and forth for any attacks.

"Ahhhh!" Ino's head snapped to look up. A ninja had jumped a tree, his target...her! "Ino!!" Kuyo said turning as Ino was tackled to the ground. "Go!!!" Ino shouted as she pushed the ninja off her. Kuyo stood still, it was either save his dying friend, for leave Ino to die. "GO!!!" Ino shouted again. Kuyo grounded his teeth before whipping around and racing away.

Ino flipped to her feet, a kunai sliding into her hand. Her bright blue eyes narrowed to a dark shade of blue as she shifted on her foot and dodged the man's attack. She kept this up for a minute before backing herself up against a tree. The man smirked as he lunged forward at her. Ino slid to the ground in a split and thrusted her kunai up into his heart. He gave a gurgled sound before falling back and landing with a thud.

Ino rose and turned, a shout of horror and suprise escaping her lips, she sacrely dodgded the man's attack. She instantly recognized him as the one who attacked Hugo! He was back and this time, for for her blood! Ino barely dodged the man's wild attacks, tumbling and moving across the ground. "Gotcha!!" Ino was roughly dragged to her feet and and held up for the man as if a prize on a platter. "Take off his hood I want to see his face!" The man commanded [with some difficultly] the two ninjas that were holding her. Ino growled as one of the ninja's roughly grabbed both her hair and the hood and pulled down. Suprise etched into his face as her long hair fell about her. "I shall enjoy this." The man said as he raised this katana.

Sasuke's eyes scanned the bloodied battle field, telling the visibly unharmed to gether the injured and return to the sound. A shout sounded, drawing his attention to see Junto wildly attack...Sasuke quickly recognized the hoodied figure as the one that had punched Junto. Sasuke watched as two ninja's snuck up behind the hoodied man and dragged him to his feet. "Take off his hood I want to see his face!" Sasuke heard Junto say with some distortion, most likely from a broken jaw.

Sasuke's eyes nearly doubled in size when one of the ninja's ripped the hoodied off the figure revealing..."Ino Yamanaka." The words barely left his mouth as he stared at the blond headed woman. "I shall enjoy this!!" Junto said raising his katana Sasuke snapped back to reality and started sprinting to wards Ino, ordering Junto to stop. Junto had re-acted a few seconds late; his katana had already swung down. At the last second, he pulled back, dealing Ino a stunning blow instead of the death blow he intended.

Ino's eyes widened as the blade came down, and though not being deadly it had still sent her into a world of darkness.

Sasuke watched as Ino's body went limp. He ordered the two ninja to drop her and attend to the others. Sasuke's eyes softened as he crouched down and stared at Ino's lovely face. 'Why hell is she here.' Sasuke thought as he looked over the unflattering baggy pants and buffed ninja vest. Reaching beneath her vest, his hand clasped a soft, perfectly full and round breast, noting how it perfectly fit his hands. Sasuke gave a ghost of a smile and he gently squeezed her breast; running a thumb her soft flesh, he found a hard, jutting nipple, erect and Sasuke had to admit, he very much did like it. In a moment of craziness, he closed his eyes and imagined how it the perfectly fill his mouth and how delicious her sweet flesh would taste.

Heat. Ino awoke to scorching sensation that had nothing to do with her aching head. Ino opened her eyes to see a blob infront of her. She closed her eyes again and focused as to where this new sensation was coming from. Her eyes flew opened as she realized she was being felt up! "Get your damn hands off me bastard!" Ino growled lowly as the blob started to clear up. Sasuke!?!!

Sasuke sighed internally and he slowly and reluctantly withdrew his hand. "I was checking for a heart beat." He explained as his onyx eyes met her anger/confused ones. In truth he had slipped his hand under her vest to check for a heart beat, however had gotten...sidetracked. "It doesn't take five minutes to check for a heart beat!" Ino hissed, the confusion being stomped out and replaced with more anger.

"What are you doing here Ino?" Sasuke asked, his voice low. "I'm here with my cousin, Kyo Yamanaka." Ino stated proudly as she pulled herself to sit up on her elbows. Sasuke's eyes narrowed, well it makes sense. Ino was a Yamanaka and Orochimaru did say Kyo Yamanaka. Damn why didn't he pick up on their damn surnames!! "So, I've captured Kyo's cousin?" Sasuke said smirking. Ino, thinking of nothing batter to do, stuck her tongue out at Sasuke. Sasuke rolled his eyes as he dragged the blond haired beauty to her feet.

'She's grown.'Sasuke thought to himself as his eyes flicked over her tall curvy body. She was now stood at his chin and had developed nicely from the little girl he knew many years ago. Ino swayed on her feet as the world suddenly started spinning. Sasuke seeing her sway, quickly and easily lifted the blond into his arms. A thank you almost escaped her lips, but she quickly doused it as the same man who tried to kill her earlier appeared.

"They've all escaped." Junto said, even though speaking to Sasuke his fiery gaze rested on Ino, who returned his gaze with a searing one of her own. "Including Kyo." "Hmm, we still have the lord's payments and...Ino Yamanaka, Kyo's cousin." Sasuke said looking down at the girl, correction, the woman in his arms. "His cousin?" Junto said as his fiery gaze was replaced by a questioning one. "Yes, see that the man are all returned to the Sound." Sasuke said before disappearing in a blur.

Wind whipped Ino's hair wildly about her as Sasuke raced through the forest towards the Sound. Ino closed her eyes, the pounding in her head becoming overwhelming. Sasuke stopped as Ino's body went limp in his arms, the blow she took was a hard one. He waited and sighed in relief as her chest rose and fell rhymatically. Sasuke, fully assured of her life was still intact within her body continued on.

Ino moaned as she blinked, her surroundings become clearer. "Your awake." Ino's heart banged against her ribcage as she turned as saw Sasuke sitting infront of a fire, the red flares giving him a mysterious look to him, but then again, Sasuke was already an enigma. "Where are we?" Ino said looking around. "Were about a day or so away from the Sound." Sasuke said watching her closely. "Great." Ino mumbled under her breath. "Come here." Sasuke said. "Uh, excuse you?" Ino snapped. "I'm tired, and you'll be sleeping next to me so you can't escape." Sasuke said. "I'm not sleeping with you jackass." Ino hissed leaning forward, her blue eyes quickly turning red from the light of the fire.

"Ino." Sasuke sighed. "Nope, bound me to a tree, cut of my legs if you have to, but I'm not sleeping with you." Ino said crossing her arms. "I like the second option." Sasuke said as the Sharingan activated. "Well, you should probably get sawing." Ino said turning and stretching her long legs out towards him. Sasuke narrowed his eyes at her outrageous antics, all to avoid sleeping next to him. And he could remember a time ago, she could've killed to sleep next to him. "Ino...please." Sasuke asked tiredly.

A long, lengthy silence followed, in which the two simply stared at each other. "Touch me and I'll kill you." Ino whispered as she slowly crawled next to him. "Thank you." Sasuke said quietly, grateful to get some sleep without having to worry about the blond slipping away. "I still hate you." Ino said lying down infront of the fire. Sasuke frowned before it was erased and he to laid down behind her.

Ino tensed as his arm snaked around her waist and brought her closer to him. Her body relaxed as Sasuke's arm loosened. Ino closed her eyes, trying to forget where she lay and with whom she laid. Her mind was more focused on Hugo, she wished upon every star in the sky that he would live to see tomorrow. Ino sighed as sleep lulled her into it's warm embrace...or was that's Sasuke? Either way, sleep was calling her name.

Sasuke smiled when the blond temptress finally fell asleep in arms. He actually enjoyed her body pressed against his, he enjoyed the warmth her body gave him. True he could and usually did have his way with any of the woman in the Sound and any other country for his handsomely good looks, specifically, Karin with whom he shared a sexual relationship, and nothing more despite what she thought.

He had been awfully horny that night and went for a walk, bumped into Karin who noticed his...manhood and had taken full advantage of it. She had pushed him onto the soft luscious grass and crawled atop him, hips grinding against his piece, making Sasuke swell up even more. And in moment of self carelessness, he had tore her clothes off as well as his own and had had sex with the red head. And from that day the two would usually meet every week or so for just sex and no matter how many times Karin would say she loved him, he never once said it back. He did have feeling for the girl as far as friendship goes, but love...well, he didn't understand love, it was far to complicated.

Ino shifted in her sleep, bringing Sasuke from his reverie. Sasuke smiled a bit more as he stared at the pout upon Ino's pink lips, and for a moment wondered how her lips would feel against his. 'Touch me and I'll kill you.' Her voice rung in his ears. He sighed heavily as he shifted, brought her closer to him and closed his eyes, tonight he would just enjoy her presence next to him.

"Hmm." Ino turned in her sleep, the warmth surrounding her and the nice scent filling her nose luring her back into dreamland. She moaned and stretched out before snuggling back into the position she had been in earlier. 'Hugo!'Ino's eyes snapped opened and she quickly raised her head. She was captured and being taken to the Sound and worse, the thingshe had been snuggling up against was Sasuke? His scent and warmth...damn it

"Morning." Sasuke mumbled opening his eyes and blinking to get rid of the sleepily vision. Ino didn't reply, instead she eased off him and pushed herself upright. "We should get moving. We can probably make it before the day is up." Sasuke said getting up. Before Ino could protest, she found herself once again in Sasuke's arms. "I can walk just fine thank you!" Ino said glaring at the dark haired man. "I'm faster then you and I wouldn't want you running off." Sasuke said, even though he just liked the feeling of her pressed against him. Ino crossed her arms and blew a few strays of hair out of her eye. Sasuke, sensing she wouldn't push the subject jumped up and was quickly speeding through the trees, racing towards the Sound.

END CHAPTER ONE

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