He stared down at the small feminine hand gripping his coattails, pale flesh color bright against the pure whiteness of the garment. She had a look about her face of determination, a steadfast gleam within her soft gray eyes. He stared back with bright, empty emerald eyes.

It was a moment in time that both would remember forever.

"Release me, woman." The Cuarta's dull monotone sounded, a sharp order. The orange-haired young woman shook her head slowly, keeping her grip in his white Las Noches uniform tight. "I want you to take me seriously." She said it sternly, and could have sworn she saw his eyebrow twitch in the slightest. Ulquiorra Cifer stared down at Orihime Inoue blankly, from the center of the room they were both standing in. He was leaning towards the door as she had taken hold of his clothing, holding him there. He laid a hand over hers, and she shuddered to feel that it was icy cold.

"You haven't the slightest idea of what you are proposing." Ulquiorra stated, slowly pulling at her hands to try and get her to let go. She refused, holding even tighter while speaking low and terse. "I know what I'm telling you sounds crazy, but it's true." Orihime told him, and very distinctly heard him scoff slightly down in his throat, almost like a quiet cough. He had heard her, and he didn't believe she knew what she was talking about in the slightest. Orihime gritted her teeth, shouting it out to him again.

"I told you I love you!!" She cried out to him, and this time she saw his expression lose the icy look about it for a distinct moment. Near instantly it regained that completely inhuman look about it and he spoke derisively to her. "Preposterous. You cannot fathom the differences between you and I." Ulquiorra stated, closing his eyes and tugging at her hands once again. The Cuarta was dangerously close to hurting this woman with her ridiculous emotions. Aizen didn't care if she was hurt; he just wanted her alive. Orihime shook her head again, tugging him backwards a step.

"What do I have to do to convince you that I'm telling the truth?!" She asked him urgently, and Ulquiorra stopped and stared at her a moment. He reached down and finally pulled her hands free of his clothing, before tugging her closer to himself. Orihime let out a small sound of surprise as he pulled her fully against him, threading his pale fingers through her hair and pressing his forehead to her neck, breathing along it and feeling her shiver at the sensation. Orihime had completely frozen up, not moving a bit as he pressed her against the wall behind them with a dull thud and trapped her there. They were still fully pressed together and he wasn't letting her pull away for room between their bodies, continuing on with his ministrations. He kissed along her neck and up along her jaw line, keeping his eyes wide open to observe her flinching and gasping a bit here and there at his touch.

Ulquiorra finally kissed her on the lips, and Orihime realized that his were icy cold, just like the rest of him. The man's entire being was icy, icy cold. She had gasped at the temperature of him and he took advantage of that, slipping within her mouth to completely and forcefully dominate it. She opened her eyes again and stared up into his, and was completely and utterly terrified by the hungry look in their vibrant green depths. He wanted to devour her alive, she could see it in his eyes. Barely did Orihime notice the taste of blood as he moved back, breaking the kiss with a soft popping of their lips.

"Remember that I am not like your shinigami toy. I am a hollow, and the next time you spew such utter nonsense such as professions of love to me, I may not be able to stop myself." Ulquiorra stated coldly, speaking lightly against her lips. He untangled her from himself, as his victim had been gripping his clothes and arms in the mad encounter, Orihime's mind thrown off-kilter by the pure animalistic nature of his ministrations. He moved back a few steps, fixing his clothes and turning to leave, gliding across the room like a phantom. He stopped at the door and glanced back to the disheveled Orihime, still staring at him. Hesitating a moment, the Cuarta then added on to his statement.

"Even if I did feel something for you at all akin to love, I would eat you alive in the process. You haven't the faintest realization about a hollow's nature." Ulquiorra finished, slipping through the door. It closed after him with shuddering finality, and Orihime sucked in a shaking breath. What had she expected? Him to sweep her off her feet like a prince?

"He's a hollow." She spoke barely above a whisper, blood spotting her lip from where he had bitten her tongue harshly. Her heart was going a mile a minute, as she attempted to fix her clothes before someone else came in and saw her like that. Her fingers shook as she did, before laying her hand over her lips and bringing them back to see the blood standing out bright against her porcelain skin.

"He's a monster."

Ulquiorra continued on his way down to his own room, keeping his expression mute as always. He caught a few odd glances from others as he passed by, not noticing them as he analyzed the taste on his tongue. It was more than just the blood that he could taste. It was the delectably sweet flavor of her skin under his tongue that Ulquiorra was focused upon, and he was so caught up within the sensation that he nearly ran into Grimmjow, passing him with a scowl.

"Watch where you're fuckin-" the Sexta began, before catching sight of Ulquiorra's face. He narrowed his eyes a bit in confusion, watching as Ulquiorra went on his way. "Hey!" Grimmjow spat, and Ulquiorra glanced back. "What is it." Ulquiorra asked in a 'question that's not really a question' kind of way, and Grimmjow gestured towards the Cuarta. "When'd you start bleedin'?" He asked bluntly, and Ulquiorra blinked before wiping a thumb across his mouth quickly, only succeeding in smearing the small bit of blood into a grotesque line across his chin. Ignoring the look from Grimmjow, Ulquiorra continued past him and to his room, shutting the door behind him loudly.

Finally alone, Ulquiorra moved to the lone mirror within the room used to keep his appearance perfect and noted the blood smear, quickly beginning to clean it off. He closed his eyes a moment, rubbing his fingers a bit and thinking back to the intense desires to take Orihime Inoue at that moment in time she'd told him that she loved him. His cold demeanor towards her and the attempts to put distance between them had not been by accident or by pure cold indifference; no, he had done it purposefully. He had done it to keep her safe. To protect her.

Ulquiorra loved Orihime, loved her very much so. In a violent, possessive and obsessive sort of way, but in a way nonetheless.

At first it had been nothing more than cool disdain he held towards her, an emotional thing that had no place within the white walls of Las Noches, but would reside there anyway under the Lord of Las Noches' will or whim. Slowly though, her vibrant life attracted the curiosity of the cold hollow being chosen to be her guardian, and he watched in dull horror as that curiosity slowly turned to obsession. He wanted her around him always, ached for her company, and visited her whenever he could without attracting suspicion from either his fellow Arrancar, Aizen or his lackeys, or even Orihime Inoue herself.

But that was the problem in it all. He wasn't of her kind, not in the slightest. He was a hollow, a soul devouring being that was born of and reveled in death, destruction, hate and anguish. That was the essence of a hollow; they were once humans that were so drenched in negative emotions that they warped into their current forms. Orihime Inoue was a vibrant, cheerful and happy young woman. She was human. Ulquiorra's kind devoured Orihime's kind. He felt the urge like any other, and struggled to keep it reined in whenever she would close the distance between them. It was a constant battle between heart and being, and Orihime was both his ally and his enemy.

When she professed love to him, something within him flickered. Both hope and horror at the notion that she wanted to be near him always, that she wished to touch him and kiss him and maybe even someday make love to him. It was something he attempted to escape from, by trying to retreat as usual before he lost control of himself. But no, she wouldn't let him escape this time, had to force him to react to her close proximity, the warmth of her skin and the tantalizing scent of her sweet soul.

Ulquiorra Cifer snapped. Lost control of himself.

The Cuarta couldn't have helped what happened next, his strong suppressed urges and emotions finally coming to a head and breaking free of his meticulous control, passion long forgotten causing him to nearly take her right then and there against that pale wall. Beyond what he should, Ulquiorra had enjoyed the warmth from her skin, something that had nearly driven him mad to finally and completely feel against his own cold body. He hadn't let their bodies be apart during the encounter, not even for a moment. And he distinctly remembered that her skin had been near scalding hot beneath his icy lips, honey sweet under his tongue in the brief moments that he'd run it along her neck or her jawbone. And he loved the feel of her silky tresses in between his fingers, kissing his skin with light brushes and gentle teases that spurred him on even more.

And it was only during that perfect kiss, when he'd been immersed in how she tasted so sweet, like honey, sweet beyond anything his many years had ever known, did he finally regain control. He bit her in his fervor, tasted blood and the bitter coppery taste brought him out of his Nirvana and back to his senses. Ulquiorra had wordlessly broken the kiss and scorned her with words that burned the delicious taste from his mouth, and he unwillingly dredged himself away from her and left. He had wanted to leave without a word, but couldn't stop himself from giving that final piece. Now he was here, trapped in his own desire and passion. Orihime Inoue was an addiction that Ulquiorra Cifer knew he wouldn't be free of for the rest of his ageless years.

He could never be with her. Not safely, in any case. The lachrymose being knew this very well.

Sighing softly, Ulquiorra mentally affirmed that there was no trace of the passionate events earlier on him to be found. He then turned, heading out of his room and closing the door behind him, before the Cuarta became just another slave of a shinigami master toiling away through whatever debt he owed, a splotch of white within a blank sea.

Ulquiorra Cifer was not truly a monster. But he would play the part, to keep his angel safe. To keep her away from him.