Okay, here is the Valentine's Day one-shot I said I would write. It's a bit lemonly, but nothing serious like some of the others, as I didn't want to go to in-depth with this one. This story is based on a creepy urban legend ^_^ I won't say which one, but you may figure it out along the way as the story goes on. I hope you like it.

And please read the Important Announcement on my profile if you haven't already. Unless of course, you don't give a rat's ass. I might be gone Monday-Wednesday, so I'll try to update both Red Rose and Dark Santuary by Monday morning to I can post the new chapters.

Echoes in the Night

Eighteen year-old Zoe Orimoto watched as her parents' car slowly backed out of the driveway, their headlights flashing against the garage. The car pulled out completely a second later, then disappeared into the night.

Zoe turned around and sighed, sinking down onto her bed. It was Valentine's Day, and her parents had decided to go out for a night partying with a few friends. She found it hard to picture her conservative parents out the entire night dancing and drinking, but she supposed that special occasion was a valid reason for their new change of heart.

"They gone?"

The blond girl turned around to see her boyfriend of three years, Takuya Kanbara, walk into the room with his hands behind his back. He seemed to be hiding something from her, though she immediately caught on.

"Yup, they just left," Zoe replied, smiling at him. "What have you got there?"

"What? I don't have anything," Takuya said, feigning innocence.

Zoe raised an eyebrow. "Really?"

Takuya smirked, then sat down on the bed beside her. "Okay, fine. I brought you something."

"Wow, what a shock," his girlfriend joked. "But didn't I tell you not to get me anything?"

"Oh, did you really think I wouldn't get you something on Valentine's Day? Honestly?" It was his turn to raise an eyebrow incredulously.

Zoe sighed. "But you buy me stuff all the time. I feel bad that-"

She was cut off as Takuya pressed his lips into hers, letting his tongue snake its way into her mouth. He kissed her passionately for several seconds, momentarily letting go of his hidden gifts to pull her into his arms. After several minutes, they finally pulled away, needing oxygen.

"So, what did you get me?" Zoe asked, afraid that he had gone overboard with the spending.

"Just these," Takuya replied, showing her the presents.

In his hands were a fluffy stuffed bear holding a purple heart that read 'I Love You', as well as a large box of chocolates.

"Oh, Takuya, you really shouldn't have," Zoe told him, but kissed him nonetheless.

"But I wanted to," he said. "Open the box of candy."

With a frown, Zoe curiously opened the box. Strewn in with dozens of decadent chocolates was a small golden object. It was in one of the chocolate's wrappings to ensure that it wouldn't become messy. The blond pulled the sparkling item out, revealing it to be a gold chain with a small purple gemstone hanging from it.

"I wanted to get you a real diamond, but I knew that you would kill me," Takuya said as he watched the look of awe on Zoe's face. "But I will someday..."

Zoe stared at the necklace for another moment, before finally jumping into his arms. She sat in his lap, ravishing him with kisses. Takuya wrapped his arms around her, returning her affectionate gestures. He pushed her back onto the bed, climbing on top of her. He lowered his head to hers, nibbling on her lower lip.

"I love you," Zoe told him in between kisses. "So much..."

"Love you, too." Takuya brought his hand to one of her breasts, intending to give it a squeeze.

However, before he could, he felt a heavy weight at the end of the bed. Surprised, he jumped off of his girlfriend and sat beside her to see what it was.

"Oh, it's only you," Takuya said with a sigh. "Damn dog..."

Zoe's six year-old golden retriever, Sammy, was sitting at the foot of the bed, his tongue hanging out of his mouth.

"Hey, Sammy." Zoe smirked. "You sure have great timing, don't you?"

"I thought you liked it," Takuya said with a frown.

"Ever heard of sarcasm?" She asked.

The brunette smiled sheepishly for not catching on. "Oh, yeah."

Sammy walked over to them, his sixty pounds of weight almost knocking them over.

"Okay, Sammy," Zoe said with a laugh. "Off the bed."

The dog obliged and leapt off, where he proceeded to lay down on the floor to the right of it. He rested his head on his front paws, his eyes heavy with drowsiness.

"Anyway, thanks for staying with me tonight, Takuya." Zoe hugged herself. "I just...don't like to be alone at night for some reason. I never have..."

"Hey, no big deal," Takuya replied nonchalantly. "Besides, I love spending the night with you. Especially when you're parents are gone if you know what I mean."

The blond gave him a playful smack on the arm. "Well, before we go to bed, I'm just going to make sure the doors and windows are all locked."

"Want me to help?" He asked, getting up.

"Sure," she said, relieved that she wouldn't have to wander around downstairs alone. "I swear, you must think that I'm a big baby..."

Takuya smirked, kissing her on the forehead. "No, but it gives me the privilege to make sure that no one fucks with you. If they do, I'll kill 'em."

"Good to know," Zoe replied with a chuckled as they headed out of the room. "Just remember to get rid of the evidence when you're done."

"I'll make sure to stash the bodies at Kouji's and pin the murders on him," he quipped.

For the next few minutes, they went through the house to double check the locks. The windows on the second floor were all secured, as were the ones on the first floor. Both the front and back doors were locked, deadbolts and all. Zoe's parents told her it was okay to lock everything up, as they had keys to unlock the deadbolts.

"Is that all of them?" Takuya asked.

"Just one more. In the basement," Zoe told him as she flicked the basement light on.

The two of them walked down the creaking wooden steps, a chill causing them to shudder. Zoe and her parents rarely ventured down there, as it was mainly used for storage.

"It's always so cold down here," the girl mused. "My dad should really install some type of heater."

"Yeah, no kidding," Takuya added. "Though it would be kind of pointless seeing how you guys only come down here a few times a year to get holiday decorations and crap like that."

There were no doors in the basement, but a single window. Takuya went over to lock it, then discovered that the latch was broken.

"Dammit," he muttered, trying to fiddle with it.

"What's wrong?" Zoe asked, slightly nervous.

Takuya jiggled the lock again, groaning in annoyance. "The latch is broken so it won't lock..."

"Oh, great." The blond sighed. "Now what?"

"Nothing we can really do." Takuya stepped away from the window. "Just lock the basement door."

The brunette took her hand and led her back upstairs, tugging her out of the basement. He then locked the knob of the door, then pulled the deadbolt tightly across it.

"See, no one's getting through there," Takuya told her.

The couple headed back upstairs, into Zoe's bedroom. Sammy glanced at them as they entered, then closed his eyes once again. Takuya sat down on the bed, pulling Zoe into his lap. He slid his finger below the strap of her light purple cami, teasingly sliding it off her shoulder.

"What are you doing?" The blond asked coyly.

"Don't you think I deserve something for Valentine's day?" He smirked at her, then kissed her neck.

Zoe shuddered from the light gesture. She pressed herself up against him, nibbling gently at his neck in return.

"I think you do," she told him.

Takuya laid her down on the bed, resting on top of her. He lowered his lips to hers, kissing her passionately. Zoe's fingers entwined in his thick chestnut hair, feeling his tongue make its way into her mouth. His hardness rubbed up against her thigh, and she couldn't stop herself from touching it. Before they knew it, they were both naked.

"I love you," Takuya said huskily as he carefully slid in and out of her.

"I love you, too," she replied, clutching onto his shoulders.

Fifteen minutes later, he collapsed on top of her, his sweaty body against hers. They held each other for several minutes, refusing to let go, exchanging soft kisses as they did so.

Takuya finally rolled off of her, taking a deep breath. "Damn, that was good..."

"You say that every time," she told him, snuggling up to him.

Takuya smirked. "Well, it is."

"We better get dressed in case my parents come home sooner than we think," Zoe said.

"I thought they were gonna be gone all night." Takuya got up nonetheless, pulling his boxers and t-shirt back on.

Zoe slid her shorts and cami on as well, smoothing down her hair. "They will be, but you never know. I mean, I can't remember the last time they actually did stay out all night."

"Yeah, I guess," he said with a yawn. "The dog sleeping in here?"

"Do you think he's moving anytime soon?" The blond laid back down in the bed, pulling the covers up.

"No, he looks more tired than me," Takuya replied as he laid beside her. "Night."

Zoe leaned over, kissing him softly on the lips. "Night, Takuya. Night, Sammy."

The dog poked his golden head up quickly, licking Zoe's hand.

"Ew," Zoe said with a laugh, wiping it on the sheets. "Hate it when he does that...."

"Really? I don't mind when my dog does it," Takuya mused.

"Yeah, well...I just don't like it for some reason. I feel gross. Though I do love Sammy." She flicked the lights off. "And I love you."

"Love you, too." Takuya pulled her into his arms, both of them drifting into sleep.

A few hours went by peacefully, the young lovers sleeping in each others arms. However, they both unwittingly began to roll away from each other, shifting to become comfortable. Zoe ended up near the edge of the bed, the same side that Sammy had passed out on the floor below.


The steady dripping sound was relatively close by, coming from the bathroom. The door was slightly ajar, and the noise seemed to echo off the walls. Zoe moaned and slightly stirred, her hand falling over the side of the bed. She felt a wet tongue on her hand, causing her to sigh.

"Knock it off, Sammy..." She wiped her hand on the sheets, finding her way back over to Takuya.

"What's that noise?" He asked groggily, as the sound had woken him as well.

Zoe buried her face in his chest. "Must be the faucet leaking. One of the drawbacks of having an adjoined bathroom in the room. I'm too tired to fix it right now."

Takuya yawned. "Yeah, same here... We'll deal with it tomorrow.... But for now, I'm friggen sleeping..."

"Same here," the girl mumbled, letting her emerald eyes close once again.

They drifted back into slumber, holding each other tightly. About an hour later, they had ended up closer to Zoe's side of the bed, Takuya's weight pushing her dangerously close to the edge.


They both groaned at the sound, which had once again woken them up. It seemed to be louder to them this time, when it reality, it was only their nerves making it seem that way.

A wet tongue ran over Zoe's hand, causing her to sigh in irritation.

"Ugh, dammit, Sammy." Zoe wiped her hand on the covers again, her fingers wet with drool. "Gonna make you sleep in the living room at this rate."

Takuya grunted, then snorted. "What's wrong?"

"Sammy keeps licking my hand," Zoe complained. "And the stupid dripping keeps waking me up...."

"Want me to go fix it?" Her boyfriend asked.

The blond held onto him tighter, however. "No, I don't want to let go of you."

Takuya smiled and kissed her forehead. "Then I won't go anywhere. We'll deal with it in the morning. Only a few hours left anyway."

"Yeah. It's just a stupid faucet...it can wait." Zoe sighed, relishing the warmth of the brunette's body against hers. "But can you move over? I'm about to fall over the side of the bed."

"Sure." Takuya shifted, pulling her along with him. "Is that enough room for you?"

"Perfect," she replied. "Now let's go back to sleep..."

Three more hours passed, and again, Takuya rolled around in his sleep, shifting Zoe closer to the edge for the third time.


The sound bounced off the walls of the bathroom, almost screaming for attention. The dripping caused the couple to sigh, yet they were still too tired to go check it out.

The lick of a warm tongue ran over Zoe's wrist and she felt like throwing a pillow at the friendly dog.

"Sammy, that's enough," she hissed. "I know you're excited, but go to sleep already..."

"That dog's beginning to piss me the fuck off," Takuya complained.

"He's bothering me, not you," Zoe said in a tired voice. "I just wish that he'd stop."

Takuya moved back to his side of the bed, pulling his girlfriend with him. "Sammy, knock it off or you're outta here. That's your last warning."

"Now that I'm on this side, he can't bug me," Zoe said sleepily.

"Yup. If he comes over to my side, I won't be too happy." Takuya kissed her forehead, stroking her soft hair. "Goodnight. And hopefully for good."

Zoe nodded in agreement. "Yeah, no kidding. Goodnight."

The rest of their night went by peacefully, as Zoe was not bothered by any more licks. She had managed to stay in the center of the bed, curled up in Takuya's arms. However, when the sun when up, it cast a beam into the room, right where they were sleeping.

"Ah, dammit," Takuya muttered. "Friggen light..."

"At least Sammy left us alone," Zoe pointed out.


The girl groaned. "That's it, I'm gonna go fix it. It's getting on my nerves big time..."

"Want me to do it instead?" Takuya asked as he stretched his arms.

"No, it's alright. I've got it," Zoe said groggily. "Be right back."

The brunette sat in the bed and rubbed his eyes as Zoe tiredly made her way to the bathroom.

"Stupid faucet," she muttered, coming up to the door.

Once she had reached it, she pushed it open, flicking on the nearby lightswitch. The blond rubbed her eyes, keeping them closed momentarily as she adjusted to the light. After a few brief seconds, she finally looked at the bathroom for the first time.

"Okay, let's see if-"

Her words immediately died and an ear-shattering scream erupted from her. Horrified, saw the corpse of Sammy hanging from the shower nozzle, his body skinned and his head cut off. His decapitated head was laying nearby, stuffed into the now-empty box of chocolates Takuya had given her. Thick drops of blood sprinkled from the dog's body and landed in the tub, causing the familiar noise.


Takuya leapt out of bed upon hearing his girlfriend's screams. "Zoe?!"

An image in the mirror caught the girl's eye and she whirled around to see what it was. She turned deathly pale and collapsed onto floor just as Takuya rushed in.

The eighteen year-old stopped dead in his tracks, his mouth gaped open as he saw the gruesome display. He numbly fell to his knees beside Zoe's unconscious body, vaguely aware that he was gathering her into his arms. He couldn't stop staring at the dead dog, and its severed head. The tongue was hanging out of Sammy's mouth, and his eyes were wide with shock.

From where he was, Takuya could see an image flashing in the mirrior, the same one that had caught Zoe's eye. He slowly turned his head, dreading what it was.

There was a message on the wall, written in the dog's blood. Takuya felt his stomach churn and his blood turn to ice upon reading, almost passing out himself.



So there is my horror one-shot. If you didn't know, this story was based on the urban legend, 'The Licked Hand'. Story is about some girl left home alone, and has her dog with her. She keeps waking up by the sounds of the dripping, then feels the reassuring lick of her dog on her hand. It happens a few more times and in the morning she checks it out. The dog is dead, and the sound is the dog's blood dripping. It becomes clear that someone had broken into the house or whatever, kills the dog, then licks the girl's hand each time she wakes up, causing her to think that it is the dog. It doesn't say what the girl's fate is upon the discovery, but I decided to just end it at that. Obviously I changed a few things to make it Takumi, as the girl in the original story is usually by herself when this happens. Hope I didn't freak you out, but I'm sure you're all okay. Right?

Kouichi: *from under the bed* I-I'm not scared at all!

me: -_-; Uh-huh, sure... Anyway, let me know if you liked it.

Takuya: You liar!

me: Liar? What the fuck did I do?

Takuya: You said that this was a Valentine's Day one-shot!

me: Uh, yeah. So?

Takuya: It has nothing to do with Valentine's Day!

me: On the contrary, it does. The story takes place on Valentine's Day, so therefore I didn't lie. It just doesn't revolve around the occasion. ^_^

Takuya: *walks away grumbling*

me: Yeah, the technicalities let me get away with it. I would like to do more one-shots, but don't know where to start. So if you want to take my new poll, you can decide what genre I do, then I'll work my way down the line if anyone votes. See ya!