OH HEY GUYS! Guess what! Contrary to popular belief, I am NOT dead. I just had super major awesome special case of Writer's Block AND I lost (this chapter) when my computer chrashed. BUT GUESS WHAT! Do to the genius that harbors in the brain that is Malibu, I FOUND IT! SO YAY! And We now HAVE CHAPTER SEVEN: HEARTBEAT. I understand that the chapter name is lame and, no, it does not have any songs in it.
Oh, God. I forgot the song. Great. Uhm, hold on. I'm going to find one to have you play while you listen to it.
SONG RECOMMENDED FOR LISTENING TO WHILE READING THIS CHAPTER: Whistle for the Choir. Okay. It doesn't really have anything to do with the plot line, but it's a cute song. I love it 3
ENJOY! As promised, this is a Contestshipping Chapter! There is a bit of fluff, but you do learn a little more about the secret life that Leaf's friends harbor...OOHHH!
Love Forever and Always,

{Transformed Love}

Inspired By Fruits Basket

Chapter Seven: Heartbeat


May's POV:

I pulled my jacket closer to my neck. It was freezing! My cheeks were bright red. I wished I was back at home, with Dawn and Misty and Leaf drinking hot cocoa, but I had to schedule Leaf's appointment with the Elders. And the Elders hate seeing Dawn and Misty, so they couldn't come with.

I sighed, and came to a stop at the large front gate. I admired the brick wall surrounding the Manor. Inside of it, it was like a whole new world. I wasn't sure if I was ready to leave this one.

"Hey, airhead!" A voice called. I flipped around, my anger warming up my body instantly.

"Drew." I sneered.

"Why the harsh face?" Drew smirked. He looked really cute when he smirked. Wait. Did I just call Drew cute? I shook my head to clear it.

"Because you're around. Why are you even here?"

"I've been called." Drew's face got dark, but his mocking tone still made me smile.

"Of course you have." I pushed on the large door, so it opened. I walked in, with Drew on my tail.

"Why are you here? Lost your way?" Drew smirked. I rolled my eyes and promised myself that I would stay calm.

"No, Drew. I came here on purpose, actually. I have to sign Leaf up for a meeting time."

"A meeting with the Elders. That's a scary thing."

"Don't I know it?" I agreed. Inside the wall, it was like a whole new city. Little houses lined the streets and young, oblivious children ran around in the yard, while their tired parents watched from the warmth and comfort of their houses.

Drew and I started up the cobblestone path.

"So, what do you think of Leaf?" I asked, just to make conversation we couldn't yell at each other about.

"Leaf? She's nice. I guess. Really flustered." He flicked his hair out of his eyes and looked down at me. "What do you think of her?

"She's sweet. Really sweet. Very grateful. She's way to nice for us. She doesn't even know the half of it."

"Silly she got stuck with pieces of work like us." We both stared off into the distance, as snowflakes began to fall.

"Oh, great. I hate snow!" I whined, pulling my coat closer to my neck. Drew looked up to the sky, trying to catch a snowflake on his tongue. They came down in huge flakes, more like clumps of wet globs falling from the sky. I had to admit it was pretty, but it was more cold and irritating that it wasn't spring anymore for me to enjoy it. Snow was one of those things that I had to enjoy from inside, where it was warm, than actually out in it.

Drew showed his tongue, wet with a large snowflake, to me. I rolled my eyes but smiled. "Cute." I shivered.

He swallowed the snowflake. "Cold?"

"Just a bit." I admitted, however reluctantly.

"Come on." Drew grabbed my numb hand. Surprisingly, his hand was extremely warm. It felt…nice in mine. Wait. Go back? Did I just think that? Something was very wrong with me. He pulled me, at a brisk almost-run, to the Manor.

The manor sat in the middle of the village. It was huge, a mountain compared to the small hills of houses. Old and gothic, it was rumored to have been built when our family first moved here, oh so long ago. Ivy crept up the stone walls, adding a touch of elegance, even though the ivy plants were getting covered in snow. My favorite time to view the Manor was during spring, when all the flowers in the gardens were blooming, and the trees were filled with flowers instead of leaves. The whole place burst with so much more…life in spring. Spring was always my favorite season.

Drew didn't stop at the large, wooden front door. He simply burst right in, something I'd never do. I knew how stuck-up the Elders were about tradition, and I made haste not to break it.

Drew must not have lived by my rules.

"You just walked in the door!" I cried, flabbergasted.

"I used to live here." He scoffed, "Of course I can just barge in. They know me. You, on the other hand, they might not like it so much."

"Then why did you drag me in here like that?"

"You were cold." He flicked his hair, as if that explained everything. "I was trying to help."

"If I get in trouble, it's all your fault!" I yelled.

"Sh, May." Drew scolded, "Keep your voice down."

"You suck, Drew Hayden." I said in a harsh whisper, "You really f-"

"Miss Maple, Mr. Hayden." A voice rang out through the empty hallways. "We've been expecting you."

We both turned to see Bertha, the old maid who had to have lived here as long as the house, watching us with narrowed eyes. She looked angry. But Bertha always looked angry.

"Hello, Ms. Bertha." We chorused. "How are you?"

She didn't answer us. "Drew. The Master is waiting for you in the Great Room. Make haste. The Master hates being kept waiting."

Drew nodded, and nudged my shoulder as he hurried past me. I felt a weight in my hand. Drew didn't look back as he made his way to the Great Room.

"As for you, Miss Maple, the Elders are waiting in their chamber." She eyed me hatefully. "Please hurry, they don't have much time."

I nodded, and turned to head up the stairs. Bertha watched me as I went. I was sure I heard her mutter, "Scum. More scum", but when I looked down the stairs, she was gone.

I looked at my left hand, the one that had felt the odd weight. Curled in my palm was a rose. I smiled to myself, thinking only of Drew.

Drew Hayden how do you do it?

I knocked three times, and waited. "Enter." A muffled voice called from the room. I entered.

"Hello, Miss Maple." Three old men sat in the center of an otherwise empty room. There were three chairs for them to sit in, and one cushion on the floor for their victim. I gulped, because I knew that victim was me.

"Hello, Elders." I bowed.

"What do you come to request?" They asked, in unison, like a machine. I shivered, and it wasn't from the cold.

"I - uhm - I…"

"Speak clearly, Miss Maple." The machine chanted.

"I want to request a hearing."

"For who?" The machine chimed. I kept my eyes on the floor. I swallowed hard. Please let her pass. Please let her pass.

"Leaf Green." I answered. "She's living with us now, and she knows about -" This probably was not the smartest thing I could have said. The Elders' faces grew very cold.

"She KNOWS?" They roared. I cowered, going back.

"She found out on her own! She…it was a mix up. Something happened and she found out. I'm sorry, but now she knows…and so, I am requesting a hearing to see if…if she is fit to remain knowing."

The Elders nodded. Everything they did was in sync. It was mesmerizing - and frightening - to watch. "You, Miss Maple." They said, as if they knew every little secret in my life, "You need to stop letting outsiders into our group. You were lucky the first two times. Three is more than enough. This girl may not be so lucky."

"I'm sorry, Elders!" I swallowed hard, my fear consuming every inch of me until I was shaking violently, "It wasn't my fault."

"You insolent girl!" the Elders shouted. The machine roared. The already stiff air froze. I cringed, pulling back into my puffy winter coat. Together, the Elders took a deep breath, "Fine." They repeated. They paused for a moment, looking at each other, the first thing they had done all day that wasn't in sync.

Only the head Elder spoke. It was odd, hearing only one voice ring out in the echo-y coldness of the room, "She is to come here, alone, in two week's time."

"Thank you for your time, Miss Maple." This last line was said all together. I nodded, thanked them, bowed three times, and left.

My heartbeat was in my ears.

I got out of that room as quickly as I possibly could.

And ran right into someone.

"Walk much, Airhead?" Drew smirked. I pulled back automatically.

"Whatever, Hayden." I answered. I was too scared – too tired – to make up a good comeback. I was – yes, strange as it seems – too tired to fight with Drew. I looked at his face. Something purplish was on his cheek. "You have something on your cheek -" I reached up to brush it off, and he flinched.

"That hurt!" He swatted at me.

"Oh, god! I'm so sorry!" I pulled my hand to my mouth to hide my shock. It wasn't dust. It was a bruise. The Master was angry with him. "Are you okay?"

It wasn't dust on his face. It was a huge bruise.

"I'm fine." Drew shrugged me off. "Just go home, Airhead."

"I was trying to help!" I yelled.

"Don't yell, you idiot!" He harshly whispered back.

"I can't help it!" I shouted back, "You're pissing me off!"

"May!" Drew's eyes got very big, "Shut up!"

"No, Drew. I -" I couldn't finish my sentence, because Drew's hand was clamped over my mouth.

"I told you to shut up, you Airhead." Drew stared me down, "Why don't you listen to me?"

I bit down on his hand, and started walking away. Drew Hayden, I thought listening to my heart beat loudly and feeling my skin tingle from where he touched me, what are you doing to me?

"By the way," I turned to see a shocked Drew staring at his perfectly fine hand – I didn't bite that hard! – "Thanks for the rose." I waved it over my head.

The last thing I saw was Drew smirk and flip his green hair.