Mayuka strolled briskly down one of the many halls of Squad Ten's barracks on the cusp of dusk, her feet barely leaving behind a patter against the smooth wood. With hands folded behind her back, her eyes fell on the many buildings of Seireitei, all reaching towards the sky. The setting sun burned against them like a dancing flame, kissing them for a final time before it would eventually disappear behind the horizon.

Sighing deeply, Mayuka came to a slow stop at the Squad Ten captain's private quarters. Her eyes bore through the wood for several seconds before she rapped her knuckles gently against it three times. "Captain Hitsugaya? It's Mayuka. I have a message for you from Captain Kyoraku."

Mayuka teetered back and forth on the balls of her feet as she waited patiently for Hitsugaya either to grant her permission into his room or for him to come to the door himself. But after close to a minute of silence, neither option came true. Odd.

Brows met in points in the middle of her forehead. She tapped her knuckles again, this time more forcefully. "Captain Hitsugaya? Are you there?"

She folded her arms over her chest, slender dark brows arching and furrowing further in confusion. "I wonder where he is. Surely he hasn't gone to bed this early. It's not even dusk. He's always in his room at this time of the day." She turned over her shoulder, seeking out any of his squad members who might possibly know his whereabouts.

But everyone either seemed to be on patrol or had retired to their respective rooms for the night. The barracks were quiet, and she hardly wished to bother any of the members in their rooms. Her eyes carried her down the hall to the next room, which housed Captain Hitsugaya's second-in-command. Mayuka wondered if the buxom lieutenant was in her quarters and would know where the captain was.

Mayuka shook her head and sighed again, pressing two fingers against her temple. If she knew anything about Rangiku, she knew that the woman was no doubt drinking herself into oblivion elsewhere. She would be no help.

Biting down on her lip, her eyes fell back on the closed door to the captain's room. She really didn't want to leave the barracks without delivering Captain Kyoraku's message. Her hand reached forward, grazing against the doorknob, cold from being untouched for so long.

Not only was the door unlocked, but it was unlatched as well. The bare touch of Mayuka's fingers pushed the door open several inches. That seemed rather careless on the young captain's part. Losing against curiosity, Mayuka nudged the door open a little further and peeked her head inside, shifting her head back and forth to take in the empty and slightly dark confines of his room. "Captain Hitsugaya? Are you here? I knocked twice, but you didn't answer."

Still nothing.

Whimpering slightly and licking her lips of their dryness, Mayuka slid inside and closed the door behind her softly. She was already there, after all. She took notice to the small desk on the other side of the room, tidy and free of reports he normally had to complete in Rangiku's lazy stead.

She took soft, quick steps over to it, eyes shifting over the surface for a sheet of paper and a pen. She could leave him a note, which he would assuredly fine upon his return, and Mayuka could consider her message delivered and return to her own room for the night. Not a problem.

Lucky for her, a single pen sat waiting to be used in a cup on the corner, but she could find no paper free for her to use. Frowning, Mayuka leaned further over, looking at the tightly closed drawers. The last thing she wanted to do was rummage through his belongings. They were obviously very well kept and organized, not to mention it was a gross invasion of his privacy.

"Where do you keep the paper, Hitsugaya?" she whispered to herself in aggravation.

"Top right drawer."

With a sharp gasp that spiked a quick knife of pain through the middle of her chest, Mayuka spun around, fingers clutching over the edge of the desk, as she came face to face with the young turquoise-eyed captain of Squad Ten, his arms folded tight over his chest. "C-Captain Hitsugaya!" She cursed herself under her breath; how was he able to sneak up behind her every single time? She hadn't even felt his presence until the moment he spoke! Damn him for being so perfectly elusive!

"What are you doing, Mayuka?" he asked, a white brow perched high in curiosity. "Who gave you permission into my room?"

"I…" Her shoulders slumped as she sighed. "No one did. I let myself in. Your door was unlocked and unlatched." Her finger motioned towards the door behind him. Why was she shaking, and why did she feel like she had to start picking out excuses from a hat?

"So I suppose that gave you reason to enter my room without proper consent," he surmised, his voice low to a recognizable growl.

Mayuka opened her mouth to respond, but she could offer him nothing. She closed her eyes and sighed. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have come in. I have a message from Captain Kyoraku, and I wanted to see that it was delivered before the day was over. I was trying to do you a favor. I didn't mean to invade your privacy. I know how much it means to you."She lowered her head, unable to match the icy gaze of Hyourinmaru's master.

Hitsugaya stared at her for a moment before closing the distance between them, his arms still folded tight over his chest. Facing the window, his eyes far gone towards the orange horizon, he released a long, deep sigh through his nose. "The paper is in the top right drawer. You know where the pen is. Leave Kyoraku's message."

Mayuka turned her head, brows tightened in confusion. "But… You're right here."

Hitsugaya shook his head as he walked around the desk, pulling open a drawer and fishing out a single sheet of paper. He placed it on the clean surface of his desk, retrieving the pen from his cup. "Leave the message," he repeated, flicking a finger towards the two articles lying in wait for her.

Mayuka wanted to question him, but seeing the serious look in his eyes told her otherwise. Instead, she bent over, took the pen in her fingers, and began writing her captain's message. She swallowed the growing lump in her throat as Hitsugaya walked from in front of her. She could feel his eyes on her, hear the soft, muffled patter of his feet as they hit the carpet.

Her hand was still shaking as she finished the last bit of the message. Hitsugaya was always a mysterious and rather serious man, but something seemed different about him as he stood hovering above her, waiting for her to finish. As she put the last touches on the missive, she tried to piece together a formidable apology, hoping he would accept it.

"Don't forget to sign your name, division and rank," Hitsugaya spoke up in the silence. "It's proper protocol."

Frowning, Mayuka scribbled her name, her squad number and rank, wondering if he was toying with her. But for him to do something like that was very unlike him; the young captain hated everything to do with childish notions, and swore to steer away from them at all costs. This would go against everything he ever told her, everything he ever told anyone that got close enough.

So why did she feel like he was just teasing her?

"All right. It's done," she announced, straightening her body and turning around to face him.

He was gone.

Swallowing air into her straining lungs, her heart skipped against her ribs as she hurriedly tried to sense his spiritual pressure in the room. He was there mere seconds ago. Of course, she knew it was a lost cause. He was one of the best, if not the best, at concealing his presence. If she had her Zanpakuto with her, finding him would have been no problem at all; Ketsukouu could easily sense someone's blood.

But she had no reason to believe she would have needed her Zanpakuto for a simple stroll to Captain Hitsugaya's quarters. Now she almost wished she did. She felt like prey. It was not a welcome feeling.

Parting her dry lips, she prepared to call out his name, but felt an arm snake around her waist. "Sneaking into a captain's room is a serious offense, Mayuka," Hitsugaya's familiar deep voice growled against her shoulder. "I should have you punished severely for such carelessness."

The first thing Mayuka wanted to do was come to her own defense and insist that she wasn't sneaking around his room; if she wanted to sneak, she would not have gotten caught. She wasn't that stupid. Of course, sneaking around Hitsugaya was unheard of. He knew how to hide himself well enough, and she hadn't even felt his spiritual pressure appear—or disappear a moment ago. He'd hidden himself twice from her in a matter of minutes.

Her thoughts suddenly jerked back to reality when his arm tightened around her waist, tugging her closer to his smaller body. "What do you have to say for yourself?" he asked, his fingers curling over the carefully tied ribbons of her obi.

"It won't happen again," she stammered, her voice barely registering against the walls. "I'm very sorry, Captain Hitsugaya."

As soon as his name passed from her lips, he shook his head. "When we're alone, it's not 'Captain Hitsugaya.' It's 'Toshiro,' Mayuka," he reminded her huskily. "I thought we had this discussion several times before. Must I continually remind you to drop the professionalism when we're alone like this?"

Mayuka felt an invisible fist close around her throat, stopping a gasp from escaping her mouth. Her eyes, deep blue like an ocean's depths, connected with his, a unique and enticing hue that rivaled a cloudless summer sky. And rightfully so, she felt like the sky would fall down upon her at any moment. She felt trapped.

The young captain closed in on her, releasing a hot gust of air against her neck. His eyes left hers for but a moment, capturing the sheen over her supple pink lips and how they invited him in with every torturously passing second.

Mayuka's heart jumped against her chest as his lips touched hers softly, almost teasingly, his fingers brushing against the slim line of her jaw, grazing tickling shivers over her throat as it contracted with a hard, anxious swallow.

"Where were you today?" he rasped, pulling away from the half-kiss he left burning on her lips, unfulfilled.

"What?" Mayuka's mind was in a haze as she watched him shed his captain's haori, allowing the crisp white fabric to pool behind his ankles.

"You were supposed to be heading a joint training drill with your squad and mine this afternoon," Hitsugaya continued, his breath leaving a hot trail against the expanse of her slender neck. His fingers pulled at the black hakama, revealing the peach skin underneath. "I came to inspect the group, only to find you missing. I was horribly disappointed not to find you there when I arrived."

"I… I was assigned at the last minute to patrol," Mayuka stammered. "Tatsufusa took my place. Captain Kyoraku changed his mind right before the session was to begin. I was out the majority of the day."

Hitsugaya shook his head, leaning his head into the gentle crook of her shoulder, placing his mouth against the sensitive tendon where her neck met her shoulder. "Well, I suppose I will have to speak with Kyoraku about that. I was looking forward to coming and seeing you lead your squad in the drill."

"It's… It's not my squad… to lead. I was just… just following orders," she continued, her eyes fluttering as she stumbled back against his desk, summoning stability as his fingers grazed over her bare shoulder, under her sleeve to touch her arm. She swallowed against the dryness forming her throat; she felt like she was swallowing sand as the white-haired captain began working the intricate ties of her obi. "Toshiro… The door…"

"It's already taken care of," he assured her, his voice rough and laced with desire that roared to be satisfied. A playful smirk curled on his face. "Are you worried that you will be caught where you weren't permitted yet again? Worried that someone will walk in and see you in a very compromising position with a captain?"

Mayuka groaned in anticipation. "You… You started this," she pointed out, angling her head so his mouth could better access her neck, now tender from the fluttering kisses he had bestowed upon her crying skin.

Hitsugaya planted his palms on his desk, barricading her against it, against his hard body. "I beg to differ," he whispered, leaning in to place his lips in the exposed grove between her breasts. Another smirked played about his mouth. He never thought he would see his height as an advantage. "You were the one who snuck into my room."

As she opened her mouth to rebuke, Mayuka's eyes fell upon him, watching his skilled mouth grace her skin, nipping closer and closer towards her barely covered breasts. Her eyes weighed down in a drunken haze, the center of her body flickering to aching life. She stood motionless, her breath shaky, uneven, uncontrollable, as her fingers gripped the edge of his desk until her knuckles throbbed.

Her uniform loosened when his deft fingers finally untied her obi, letting the white sash snake to the ground. His hands were on her again, hands taking a candid journey under her hakama and finding the plump curve of her breasts. Her skin felt as if it may burst into flame against his fingers, her heart rising against her chest, against his mouth, as he pressed his lips in a single kiss against the small nook between her breasts.

One of Mayuka's hands found his shoulder, her fingers curling into the soft fabric of his hakama. Her knees threatened to buckle under the slow ambush of his mouth, the gentle teasing of his fingers. Her mouth parted, muttering his name clumsily, until he lifted his head, peering over her in question. "Someone might see us through the window," she uttered hoarsely, biting down softly on her lip.

Hitsugaya said nothing. Instead, he wrapped his arms about her waist, hoisting her off the ground until her legs wrapped around his smaller body, her arms locked tight around his neck. He carried her from the desk, walking them through the doorway to his bedroom. The door was already open, his bed neatly made in the corner of the small room.

With only one window to provide light and a freshly lit lantern on the nightstand, the room was fairly dark from the setting sun. But Hitsugaya cared not; he eased Mayuka on her back, following close behind until he draped himself over her, situating himself in between her legs.

Being within the confines of his bedroom eased all of her worries of being seen through the window. She could scarcely imagine someone walking by and seeing her nearly draped over the expanse of Captain Hitsugaya's desk while his mouth nibbled the front of her naked body, hands tracing short trails over her dew-kissed skin.

Worries hidden away like the evening sun behind the horizon, Mayuka cupped the young captain's face in her palms, pulling him down in a hungry kiss. She longed to feel his lips on hers, ice against fire. Her body curled into his hands as they tugged the uniform from her limbs, tossing the annoying fabric to the floor.

A gentle breeze snuck through the window, swirling around Mayuka's fully exposed body. A tremble shimmied down her spine, causing her to recoil into the captain's body, still fully clothed and comfortably warm.

Hitsugaya pulled away from the kiss, breathless and aching, his eyes settling on her freshly bruised lips. He resisted the urge to smile at his handiwork and instead hovered above her, hands removing the shihakusho from his desire-drowning body.

Mayuka bit down on her lip, watching his pale skin peek out from under the black fabric as he pulled it away, tossing the articles of his uniform to the floor with hers. Although his body was considerably smaller than hers, he was, by no means, unimpressive. Muscles rippled in his arms, his abdomen, every time he made the most diminutive movement.

Hitsugaya's gaze traveled over her again, noticing the stare situated on her face. He released a shaky sigh and lowered himself, pressing his chest against hers, reveling in his hot skin brushing hers. His mouth found hers again, taking her lips more passionately this time, his tongue sliding carefully inside.

Her taste was unique, hot and sweet, almost spicy like cinnamon. She moaned against him, his hands finding one pert breast. His fingers rolled the hard nipple, prompting her to jerk away from his kiss with a hiss of air through her teeth. And while his hand shifted expertly over her breast, his mouth trailed hot kisses over the line of her jaw, evading her lips, until he reached the beginning of one jagged scar stretching the left side of her face, jaw to brow.

Mayuka turned away, a small whimper escaping her throat.

"Every time?" Hitsugaya asked in a sad whisper. He closed his eyes, lowering his head to the thumping pulse against her neck. "After all of this, you still continue to hide yourself from me?"

"Don't take it personal," she said hoarsely, sympathetically. "They just… They don't deserve for you to touch them like that. They're ugly reminders of a past I'd sooner forget."

"We all have something we'd sooner forget," he replied, nipping his mouth along the curvy expanse of her neck. "I was there when you got those scars." His fingers pinched her nipple, rousing a gasp and a jerk against him. "Don't think of them as a painful reminder of failure. Think of them as the start of this."The young captain's body twisted in between her legs, angling his aching erection until it brushed against her dripping wet entrance.

Mayuka released a soft moan, another spark of anticipation flickering in her blood. Her hips bucked against him, but his hands pushed her back down into the mattress, eyes burning into hers, spreading heat through her body like wildfire. "Please, Toshiro," she murmured, face contorting in impatience as he held himself still against the aching opening of her body. "Please."

Hitsugaya blinked lazily as he craned his head to look upon her. Her legs squirmed around him; everything about her screamed impatience, screamed for him to weave his spell over her. Knowing his control could be tamed no longer, he guided himself to her entrance, taking one simple yet gratifying thrust into the sweet cavern of her body.

Mayuka arched into him, pressing her pelvis against his as he gently moved forward, reaching for the hilt of her body. He couldn't stop the groan passing between his lips as she swallowed him in her wet heat, muscles pleasantly furling around him.

The young captain's face grew hot, damp, his ivory bangs sticking rather annoyingly to his forehead as he established a steady rhythm. He blinked sweat from his eyes, watching with curiosity and a certain level of pride as the woman beneath him met his every thrust, her back arching from his bed as she curled against the pleasurable waves with every movement of his body against hers.

His name stumbled from her lips in hushed gratitude, her hands sliding up his shoulders until her fingers dug into his skin for support. The captain's palms settled on either side of her body, keeping himself steady above her as his thrusts continued to the beat in his head, reaching for her pleasure center, for his.

A long moan vibrated past her throat as his thrusts, which could only be considered relentless, desire-driven, reached far inside her body, slamming into the spot that would likely throw her over the edge and into an ocean of gratification. She whimpered, whipped her head back and forth, as she succumbed to the uneven sparks of pleasure ravaging every fiber of her being, every little nerve-ending.

Hitsugaya's icy gaze fell upon her, mesmerized by her writhing as she met each of his thrusts with her own vigor. He continued his sinful waltz, the feel of her silken muscles sheathing him rousing a hunger within his belly he could never hope to forget. The sense of possession over the ebony-haired woman beneath him was unmistakable.

Mayuka was his. Only his. And he swore he would kill any man he caught looking at her in a less than pure nature, thought of making love to her as he was doing now. He may not have staked his claim on her in public, but he'd be damned if another man found it appropriate to touch her in any way.

"Mine," he growled, white brows furrowing into turquoise. He leaned down, her eyes connecting deeply with his. "Mine." His mouth denied the growing hunger that boiled mercilessly against the pit of his stomach, and grazed her lips tremblingly, softly, as to urge her further towards the red-hot world he would bring her to.

Mayuka mumbled his name in broken syllables against his kiss, her fingers tearing up into the wild ivory locks of his hair. Flesh slid against sticky, hot flesh, friction mounting low in her belly. She was getting so close, and yet, the torture of not yet being there made it feel unreachable. "Oh god… Toshiro, I—"

"Shhh," he interrupted, hushing her softly. His mouth grazed a gentle trail over her bottom lip, suckling a patch of tender skin under her chin. He slowed his thrusts, taking deep, long drags inside her until he had her submissively squirming under him.

Her impatience rose to the surface like molten lava, and she released an intolerant grunt. "Toshiro, please--!" Her fingers slid from his hair, searing hot tracks down his shoulders until her nails dug dark crescents into his arms. "Please. Oh god, please."

Her begging did not go unheard by the young captain who continued to bury himself deep within her body as if he were meant to be there. He blinked once, watching her bite down on her lip as she fought back another groan. He licked his lips and as he bent down to kiss her, his hand removed one of hers from his arm, entangling his fingers in hers. "Don't worry," he whispered, his lips moving against hers as he spoke soft words of assurance. "Just trust me."

His promises dripped from his mouth like decadent chocolate, thick, sweet, and enticing. Her lashes fluttered as her eyes fell upon his, staring at him in gratitude while his free hand cupped an ignored breast, his thrusts slowly speeding up once more. His fingers pinched, rubbed her nipple, and his mouth captured hers, his tongue delving into the sweet recesses past her lips.

Mayuka was oblivious to the attentive, rough palm making a candid journey down the dewed curves of her body, fingers dipping teasingly around her bellybutton. She was oblivious as his hands memorized every arch, every tensed muscle, every inch of her skin that made her gasp.

But deep blue eyes snapped to turquoise, her haze jerked away as his fingers found the throbbing, swollen nub seated above their intimate joining. She held back a gasp, body convulsing against his hand at the most gentle of touches meant to make her scream into the private confines of the captain's bedroom.

He rubbed her slowly, carefully. She was hot, slick and responsive as he touched her, turning her into a bucking, pleasure-driven siren with each simple stroke of his fingers. Her moans grew louder, her panting uneven, his name spilling from her lips like rain from the clouds above. He could not have heard a more melodious song.

Her muscles clenched him maddeningly, her back arching high from the bed as a spark of unfulfilled pleasure shimmied through her. "Close," she groaned, her eyes moving to the ceiling, now draped with the night. A whimper. Another moan. A sharp squeal. Her body twisted against his, now a slave to the call in her desire-laden soul.

Hitsugaya snapped his eyes shut. The feel of her muscles, wet and hot, stroking him to no end was too maddening to ignore. "Come on, Mayuka," he urged, knowing his own end was dangerously near.

She released a long moan in response, followed by the heated, husky call of his name, and her hips met his again, ankles locking around his back. His hand tightened over hers, and his mouth crushed hers, his tongue tasting and tangling with her own in a wild dance.

But just as soon as the kiss started, it ended when Mayuka snapped away to cry out, his name echoing against his bare walls. Eyes leveling with his, her brows furrowed and her orgasm crashed over hers in a white-hot explosion. She saw stars behind her eyes as her hips moved in sync with his, riding out the last remaining moments of her climax.

Hitsugaya followed soon after, grunting and groaning her name in a hushed whisper as he jerked several more thrusts inside her, spilling every last drop of his essence deep within her body.

After a moment to catch his breath, watching Mayuka fall back to the mattress in exhaustion, he pulled himself from her body and collapsed next to her, lethargy washing through him. He wiped his brow with the back of his arm, ridding himself of the thin sheen of sweat. As he lay on his side, he studied Mayuka, the way her chest rose and fell in many deep drinks of air, how her eyes blinked halfway before closing again.

She turned her head to the side, looking upon him silently. She reached for him, pulling him against her body. She pressed a lazy kiss against his temple and sighed contently, her legs tangling with his. He settled calmly against her, fatigue obviously pegging him like poison.

Both of her arms wrapped loosely around his shoulders, his face nuzzling against the comfortable burrow of her neck. His lips brushed against her calming pulse, an arm draping over her stomach. Normally he would have rebuffed being held by her, but his limbs refused to move. And he found it oddly soothing to be situated so comfortably against her body.

"So tell me," he spoke up, lifting his eyes to look at her through his disheveled bangs. "What exactly was this message that you deemed too important to wait until tomorrow morning?"

Mayuka's mouth twisted in thought, her eyes leaving his for a moment. "Umm, I… I can't remember."

The short, amused smile that tweaked on the normally-serious captain's face could have signaled the end of the world. "I suppose I should find it beneficial that I instructed you to write it down, then. Your captain may not have responded well to find you'd forgotten. I suppose you should consider yourself relieved that I don't have to make a trip to your barracks in the morning to complain."

The raven-haired soul reaper frowned, snapping her head away from his. "My thoughts were elsewhere," she defended quietly. "You shifted my priorities rather readily. Consider the blame on your shoulders. Just deem the message delivered or we'll have to explain ourselves, which I doubt you'd really like to do. I'd hate to see you explain exactly what caused my memory to slip as it did."

Hitsugaya hid his further amusement. "Very well then. I'll just have to read the missive first thing in the morning to see what the fuss was about." He fidgeted out of her arms, and just as she peered at him in question, his arms snaked around her back, pulling her against him. "Was my message the last thing on your agenda for the day?"

Mayuka nodded against him. "It was. I was going to return to my quarters for the night when I was finished here."

The young captain was shaking his head during the middle of her sentence. "There's no need for you to return to your barracks tonight. You can just stay here, and you can report to your captain in the morning when I awaken for my own duties. Otherwise, I may have to escort you back to your room. It's after dark now."

Mayuka opened her mouth to rebuke and insist that she was the last person that needed an escort back to her room, regardless of the hour of day. But she figured the argument moot; she had no intention of leaving. She liked being curled into the warm curve of his smaller body, his arms forming a protective wall behind her back.

A content smile spread over her lips and she nuzzled into the crook of his shoulder. "I do hope our paths cross tomorrow," she whispered against him. "Perhaps Captain Kyoraku will have more errands for me to do that will require me visiting you again." She hesitated, a minute frown contorting her face as she lifted her head to look at him. "But if so, I'll just make sure you let me in. I won't make the same mistake and have you sneak up on me again."

"Sneaking implies that I tried, which I did not," Hitsugaya corrected. "You should ask your captain to instruct you how to better detect spiritual pressure. Perhaps you will know next time when I'm there watching you."

A blush warmed her cheeks. Somehow she didn't find it disturbing in the least that he watched her from afar, unbeknownst to her. She couldn't hold back the giggle playing about her throat. "Well, next time I'll just make sure I have Ketsukouu with me. You can't hide the scent of your blood from me. I won't be taken off guard next time."

Hitsugaya leaned towards her, the ends of his wispy hair tickling the side of her face. His mouth closed around her ear, rousing a shudder to zigzag down her spine. "We'll see," he said simply, his voice low and ending with a tired yawn.

Even as his eyelids closed, his arms loosening from around her back as sleep finally captured him, Mayuka had an unerring feeling that the young captain would manage rather easily against her threat.

She looked forward to it.