"Where have you two been?" Minoru asked as Maria and Canaan entered inside the room.

He realized Maria looked a bit more cheerful, and he saw Canaan with a small smile, but she didn't have the water.

"We just wanted to stay out for a while and take a walk," Maria replied and glanced over at Canaan. "Right, Canaan?"

"Yeah," the mercenary nodded.

"Did you get the water?" Minoru asked Canaan confusingly.

Canaan frowned and shook her heard. She didn't know how to explain, but Maria spoke for her instead.

"Nope! The store was closed so we decided to take a walk."

Minoru sighed. "Oh well. I managed to get us two more rooms. Yunyun is already in another room so I'm going to leave this room to you two. Goodnight girls."

"Goodnight Mino!"

"Goodnight."

Minoru left the room and the wooden door closed behind them.

Canaan found the Maria's red string Yunyun was playing with before lying on the middle of the burgundy bed sheets. She slowly picked it up with her hand and Maria sighed with relief. She spread her hands in the air and landed on top of the bed like a feather.

"Mino is sugoi! I wonder how he managed to get extra rooms."

Canaan nodded. She enjoyed listening to Maria talk, because her voice was always full of passion and struck the mercenary's heart like a chord. Maria was so carefree, and the mercenary smiled at her innocence.

Maria turned her head toward Canaan and noticed the red string dangling from her right hand. The blonde smiled. "I wonder if Yunyun got the game!"

"Maybe. Where should I put this?" Canaan asked showing the red string to Maria.

The blonde rose up. "Hmm…" Maria hesitated for a couple of seconds. "I have an idea!" she announced. Her brown eyes twinkled.

"Huh?" the mercenary wondered curiously as she gazed at her excited friend.

"Do you have a scissor or something sharp that can cut string?"

"Yeah," Canaan replied and paused. "Why do you ask?"

"I'll show you, Canaan."

Canaan sat beside Maria and carefully took out a black handled dagger from her bag. The steel blade sparkled in the dim room. Maria took the long red string from Canaan and stretched it out straight.

"Cut it in half."

"Why?" Canaan asked confusingly. Why would Maria want to do such a thing? "Wouldn't that shorten the string for cat's cradle?"

The blonde shook her head. She gazed at her hazel eyes. "The string will still be long enough to play with. I want you to have a piece of it."

Canaan's eyes widened, and the blonde blushed. Her brown eyes turned away and fixed them on the string.

"Maria…" Canaan replied as her voice wandered off. The mercenary didn't know what to say. She was astounded by her sweetness.

Maria saw the steel blade by the middle of the red string and held it tightly. The red string then broke into two. She finally looked up at Canaan who was smiling at her tenderly. Maria's heart thudded softly and smiled at her in return. The blonde took the mercenary's left palm and placed the red string inside. Canaan placed her right hand on top of Maria's and felt her warmth. Her kindness.

The two remained silently in the same position gazing at each other. Maria felt even though Canaan's skin was rough, her touch was delicate. The blonde soon became conscious of her thoughts and released her hand.

"Canaan, let's sleep now," Maria said as she yawned. She placed the other string inside her shorts pocket.

Canaan placed the dagger and string back inside her bag. She unlaced her combat boots and unwrapped the red cloth on her left arm revealing her tattoo. Maria kicked her boots off and pulled off her white blouse enabling her black tank top to be visible.

Canaan couldn't resist, but to steal one look at Maria in the corner of her eyes. The blonde was always amazingly beautiful. Her skin was very smooth and white. Her bare petite shoulders triggered a feeling in the mercenary that she wanted to protect Maria even more.

"Canaan?"

Canaan jolted out of her thoughts and felt her cheeks burn. Maria giggled. This was the first time she ever saw Canaan blush. The mercenary recollected herself, and the blonde's giggles lifted the tension off her own shoulders. Her red cheeks subsided.

Maria crawled on the left side of the burgundy bed and made some room for Canaan. While Canaan crawled beside her, Maria's eyes lingered at the mercenary's toned, muscled arms. She noticed that Canaan was much stronger than a normal girl and admired her physical strength.

When the two settled in, they realized they were very close together. Maria smelled so good, and her scent reminded Canaan of wild flowers. The mercenary realized that this was the first time she ever slept with anyone. She had a few times when she was a child, but that was a long time ago. She also never slept together with Siam. They always had their separate beds on the ground.

Maria suddenly rested her head on Canaan's arm, and the mercenary was a bit surprise by the blonde's directness. But Canaan knew that that was her light, her Maria. Canaan gently petted her silky golden hair.

"Goodnight Canaan," Maria mumbled. While Maria drifted to sleep, the camerawoman wondered what that feeling was whenever she was with Canaan. Was it more than love that secretly dwelled in the depths of her heart? Soon the blonde entered dreamland.

Canaan watched Maria asleep on her arm. The mercenary observed her chest rise and fall. She was such a fast sleeper and she looked so adorable while she was sleeping. Canaan felt Maria's kindness, but it was a different kind of kindness. Whenever they touched or were close together, Canaan felt her heart moved by the girl. What was it if it was more than kindness?

"Goodnight Maria," Canaan whispered. She closed her eyes and treasured the special bond with her friend.