Now that I've written over 20 chapters, here are a few things you might care to know before you begin.

1.) No, there is no AidouxRuka in this story. I stick to treating their relationship as more of siblings than anything else.

2.) Yes, there are lemons, but they happen in good time, after some character and plot development. (and yes, they're RukaxKain)

3.) There is a reason this story is rated M. As stated above, it contains lemons as well as angst, some violence, and language (sparingly). Although, I do try to lighten it up with a little comedy wherever I can. ;)

Disclaimer: I don't own Vampire Knight or any of it's characters.

The active ballroom of evening socialites seemed to extend endlessly in the extravagantly decorated mansion. Ruka's teeth ground against each other as she forced her features to relax in order to portray a perfect picture of calm sophistication. Appearances were everything, after all, and nobody would suspect the eldest Souen daughter to be anything but calm and sophisticated.

She drew in a deep breath in an attempt to relax, then remembered that her tight fitting gown did not allow for such a leisurely posture. Dutifully, she straightened her shoulders and raised her chin as she made her way past swishing skirts and vampires in tuxedos. Her parents stood across the room, and were most likely expecting a report on Kaname's latest political movements with the Vampire Hunter Society.

Her father stood, tall and elegant in a dark suit, holding a wine glass of dark red liquid, fresh blood and liquer. Beside him stood the lady Souen, wearing beige silk and appearing fashionably disinterested. Ruka definitely took after her mother. It was where she had attained soft brown hair, a petite nose, and gently curved lips. Maybe it was something she should be more appreciative of, but Ruka only thought of it as yet another expectation. Poise and beauty were a means to an end. If only the end would come sooner rather than later.

Her mother was the first to notice her as she approached. "Ruka dear, it is so nice to see you. She looks a little pale don't you think so darling?" She said as she turned to her husband.

Ruka remained quiet as her father looked down at her over the rim of his glass. Almost subconcsiously she lifted her shoulders as she gave him what she hoped was a confident yet appropriately meek smile.

After a quick dismissive glance he gave the impression of a shrug. "I suppose."

"Ruka, honestly, would it kill you to apply a touch of rouge here and there?" Her mother chided as she reached out to painfully pinch Ruka's cheeks with cold, bony fingers.

Ruka allowed the treatment without a single wince, despite the sharp pains that shot from her cheek to her jawbone. "I'll remember next time."

"You do that." Her mother continued as she stepped back and assessed her dress. "I think violet may not be the right color for you, and have you gained some weight?"

Ruka took the ongoing chastisations in stride. "I don't think so mother, but I will be sure to watch what I eat for awhile."

Her father let out a sigh. "That's enough honey. She has more important things to tell us. What of Kaname's progress with the Vampire Hunter Society. Does he honestly plan to treaty with those barbarians?"

Ruka paused before she began. It was important that she only reveal the barest of facts. Too much information and the aristocratic society of vampires would go into shock, and knowing her mother's tendency towards gossip, the entire society would know of anything she said very quickly.

"So far he has only had a few meetings with them. He is continuing with his attempts to attain peace with humans but is taking it at a careful pace."

"Well thank heavens for that!" Her mother huffed. "At this rate, we will have to start inviting humans to our gatherings."

Her father didn't look quite as convinced by her display. "Maybe there's more that you'd like to tell us, Ruka."

More? This was what she had been worried about. She needed to evade these questions without making it appear that she was anything but open and forthcoming with information. Uncertainty made her palms sweat. There had to be some way to talk her way out of this.

"My my, if it isn't the charming lady Souen." A male voice spoke from behind her.

Ruka turned just in time to catch Aidou stepping past her. He dashingly brushed blond strands of hair away from his eyes as he bent down to kiss her mother's hand. "Are you quite certain you're not Ruka's sister? She tells me you're her mother but I swear this has to be a lie."

Ruka barely stopped herself from rolling her eyes as her mother beamed at Aidou. You'd think he would eventually grow up and stop using those lines. And you'd think that they wouldn't work on every single female of any age, shape and species. But, of course, they always did.

"Oh, you have just grown up to be every bit as handsome as your father." Her mother flushed from the young vampire noble's flirtations.

Aidou simply winked down at her as if he was used to these sorts of compliments. He probably heard women tell him he was handsome all the time.

"Actually, I was going to ask you for a dance, but I'm too worried that Souen-san wouldn't be too happy about our liasons. Maybe you wouldn't mind if I stole your daughter for a bit?"

As usual, her mother flushed from his attention. "You have such a wonderful sense of humor. Please, take her. She looks as if some activity would do her good. She could certainly use to burn a few calories."

It was just so like them to all talk about her as if she wasn't there. Ruka was always the meek and silent beauty, an expensive decoration that no dedicated hostess could do without. She was there to be discussed and admired, not to be asked for opinions.

Ruka came out of her thoughts as she realized Aidou had grabbed her by the wrist and was dragging her across the dance floor. She looked over her shoulder to see her father engaged in conversation with another Vampire noble and her mother gazing back at her and Aidou with large hopeful eyes.

Of course, a member of the Aidou family would be the perfect catch for a Souen daughter. The Souen family status wasn't high enough to hope that a Souen girl could be married to a pureblood. But the Aidous were among the most powerful and established nobles of vampire society.

The thought made her sick to her stomach.

"Just what do you think you're doing, Hanabusa. This isn't helping anything." She said through gritted teeth as she tried to hide her frustration from any possible onlookers.

"First, you should relax and enjoy yourself. And second you should be thanking me." Aidou said as he put a hand at the small of her back and spun her across the room in a graceful waltz.

"You're not stopping them from asking questions. Just prolonging the inevitable."

"Ruka, you need to take a break. Cut yourself some slack, go out, get some drinks, and get some girls...errr guys, I mean."

This time, Ruka did allow herself to roll her eyes. "I'm nothing like you and you know that I can't do anything like that. Sure it's easy for you to say. There's nothing any Aidou could possibly do to ruin such a powerful reputation. Speaking of which, didn't your parents succeed in marrying off your sister to one of the purebloods from out of the country?"

Aidou's face slightly reddened as his features deepened into a scowl. Ruka knew this was a sensitive subject for him and took sadistic pleasure at jabbing back at him. One point for him and one point for her, they were even now.

"Careful or I just might decide to step on your toes. You wouldn't hear any mumbled apologies from me." He retorted.

Ruka smiled as he brought back the childhood memory. When they had been children their parents had decided they all needed to start dancing lessons. It had been her, Akatsuki, Hanabusa and then the maid's daughter, who every body suspected was the bastard child of Hanabusa's father but nobody spoke about.

Poor Akatsuki, he was tall and patient, but when it came to dancing he couldn't even compare to his dashing cousin. Hanabusa had no problem spinning the girls around with an elegant grace that he picked up with seemingly natural born instincts.

Akatsuki, on the other hand, had frequently stepped on her toes. His palm had sweat when he held her hand and she remembered his other hand slightly shaking at the small of her back. Not only that, but his face had been bright red the entire time as he mumbled apologies each time he stepped on her toes. Ruka never gave it much thought that this didn't seem to happen when he danced with the maid's daughter. Instead she assumed it must have been her own clumsiness and, unfortunately, her mother agreed. Ruka had taken extra evening classes alone for weeks after that.

As her mind wandered she found herself gazing around the room to locate the tall vampire noble. When she caught sight of him she frowned. He was leaning against a pillar on the side of the ballroom, looking directly at her, and he was not smiling. His bright reddish blond hair contrasted sharply with chocolate brown eyes. He seemed to be deep in thought and incredibly unhappy about something. Their eyes met breifly, before he looked away and then moved out of her vision.

Aidou noticed her distraction. "Don't worry about him, he's just pissed that I broke the two minute rule."

"Two minute rule?"

Aidou laughed nervously and stepped away from her scratching the back of his head. "Ah, nothing just a silly guy thing. Hey, weren't we talking about getting you to loosen up? You should come to the after party."

"After party?" Ruka was starting to feel like a mimic.

"Yeah c'mon. I think we're actually leaving pretty soon. We should be heading to meet them at the back door."

Aidou grabbed her by the wrist and started dragging her towards the back. "Hanabusa! Stop this right now. You know I can't leave with you! What would people think?"

Aidou paused and raised an eyebrow. "I dare you not to care. Besides, your mother looks like she is in matchmaker's heaven."

Ruka turned to look back at her parents. Sure enough, her mother was beaming back at her. Oh god this didn't help at all. Now if she stayed at the party, her mother would blame her for not encouraging the rich vampire noble's attentions. Ruka wasn't sure how many lectures she could handle in one night.

"Fine, but I'm only leaving with you for an hour. Then I'm coming back immediately."

"Awe Ruka!" Aidou whined. "One hour is going to completely ruin my reputation! You have to be gone for at least three."

"Three hours?" Ruka gasped. "Just what is it you do for so long that it takes..."

Aidou gave her a devilish grin and winked.

"Oh nevermind. We'll compromise at one and a half. And not a minute longer."

"You drive a hard bargain." He stopped and seemed to mull over this as if it was a life-altering decision. Then he nodded tersely. "Fine. Lets go."

Ruka couldn't help but feel a rush of excitement as she followed Aidou to the back door. For the first time in her life, she, Ruka Souen, was going to break the rules.

Please let me know what you think so far, whether it be good or bad. I'm not particular. Any feedback makes me happy.