(A/N): I AM SOOOOOO SORRY FOR MAKING YOU ALL WAIT SOOOO LONG ;_; I told myself I wouldn't update this story until I updated my Fruits Basket story, but... ITS BEEN NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE TO WRITE ;_; I've just gone through the worst writer's block of my life. But I wrote this chapter pretty quick, so I'm hoping that it's behind me. And my second semester of college was a nightmare... but that's over now, so hopefully, you guys will be getting more updates! Again, I'm so sorry for the ridiculously long wait. I hope you are all still interested, and I promise you that I won't make you wait that long for a chapter EVER AGAIN! And THANK YOU SO MUCH to my friends who reviewed chapter 6!
Sweet And Deadly: Guess what? I looked into it and the president of the hunter society IS an ugly gay guy! You get a cookie! :D Shows what I know... but for the sake of my story, he's gonna stay a bitchy old woman. XD
Princesa de la Luna: Thanks for reading! :D
Chiyochi-Yamamoto: I'm glad you enjoyed it! I hope you continue reading! ^_^
Kairi0403: Thank you, and thanks for pointing that out. I did that without even realizing it D: I hope you keep reading!
TwilightAnimeGamer: Thank you so much! I hope you continue reading! :D
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Insert-Sanity: LOOK! IT'S A FIVE MONTH OLD UPDATE! ''OTL Thank you for reading! ^3^
Sophia: Thank you! I'm so glad you like Karuko ;u; And I'll see what I can do XD
[nameless]: ANOTHER CHAPTER :D
xXxWolvesInTheNightxXx: Thank you! I hope you enjoy this new chapter!
Ladies (and Gentlemen? XD), I present Chapter 7!
"Damn it, Karuko... what in the hell are you doing?!" Zero asked, as we sparred.
"Training, stupid!" I spat. I wasn't in the mood for his remarks, or his sarcastic attitude.
"Your moves... are rushed," he said. I kicked him, not as hard as I would I have liked, in the groin. "They're aggressive," he continued, as I moved to punch him, which he evaded and then successfully immobilized me. "And clumsy!" I pushed myself out of his grasp, with some difficulty.
"Stop preaching and fight!" I yelled. I got a running start and jumped, hoping I might kick him in the head. But he just stepped to the side, and I landed roughly behind him.
It was late afternoon, and much darker than usual. It had been downcast all day and it wasn't long after training began that we started to hear rumbling in the distance, which had only gotten closer and closer in time. I was sitting on my knees, panting when I felt one of the first raindrops hit the back of my neck.
"You really want a fight? Are you an idiot? Come on... it's gonna start pouring soon," Zero said from behind me. I clenched my skirt in my fists when I heard his footsteps walking away. I stood up, my legs trembling beneath me. They were so sore, but— I turned, glaring at Zero's back. I began taking steps until I broke into a run.
"What the—?!" Zero turned his head just in time to see my foot connect with his back and send him stumbling forwards. "What in the hell is your problem?!"
"Are you annoyed yet? I said, I wanted you to fight, Zero-sensei!" I sneered. The rain began to fall harder, and much steadier. I welcomed it. Let it rain so hard that it stings my skin.
"For the last time, your training is over for today, Shizuki! The rain is only getting worse, and if you get sick, I'm the one who's gonna get blamed! Besides, don't you want to be healthy when your brother comes—!"
"Don't talk about him!" I yelled, throwing my fist as Zero. But he caught it and twisted my arm, causing me to yell out in pain.
"All this... it's about him, isn't it? What? You want me to beat you up to take your mind off of things? You're pathetic..." Zero said, letting my arm go. It was true. Its been a week since my brother was declared missing, and no one has heard from him since.
A flash of lightning brightened our surroundings for a second, causing me to jump. It was followed by a crack of deafening thunder. The rain was coming down in torrents now. I could hardly see four feet in front of me. I felt a large hand latch onto my arm, pulling me along forcefully.
"Damn it! Let go of me, Zero! I'm not done yet!"
Zero didn't reply. He just kept pulling me along. Who in the hell was I kidding? It was over for me before I even started. I've been nothing but a mental train wreck ever since Asai went missing.
The rain really was starting to sting my skin... it was so cold and I shivered beneath it. My clothes were completely soaked. I continuously stumbled over my feet as Zero pulled me through the forest and towards the Academy. It was about five minutes before I could see the Academy again. The rain had let up greatly, and was almost completely gone.
"You've gotta be kidding me..." Zero sneered. "If it wasn't for you, we wouldn't have had to stand out in that mess!" he yelled, shoving my arm at me.
"Zero! Karuko!" I looked over to see Yuki waving her hand at us. She was over near the school, standing against a tree. Zero began walking towards her, his long strides leaving me behind as I made slow, small steps towards the school. The rain may have stopped, but the wind hadn't. It felt as cold as ice against my wet skin. Zero had already made it to Yuki before I was even halfway. I watched them as they talked. I don't fit in with either of them. I don't belong here. I should be with the Society, searching for my brother.
I thought I saw Zero chuckle, but then Yuki's hand collided hard with his chest. "I don't want to be told that from you!" she yelled. "But I believe in you, okay?" she said, as I finally made it up to her.
"You..." Zero sneered. I couldn't help but smirk at a breathless Zero. But my smirk didn't last long as I felt a presence. I immediately tensed when I turned to see a vampire standing before us. She looked like an aristocrat, but... but I felt something much more powerful than what I was seeing. And while she was wearing a night class uniform, I had ever seen her before. What startled me even more was that Zero looked even more shocked than I did.
"Oh... Kurenai-san, is something wrong?" Yuki asked her. Kurenai? I didn't know of any purebloods named Kurenai.
"I guess I took it too far... and no one likes me now," she said, her voice leaving me uneasy. Zero still hadn't moved.
"Um... Zero?" Yuki asked, turning to him. Within no time at all Zero reached within his jacket, unleashing the Bloody Rose and aiming it directly at Kurenai.
"NO!" Yuki yelled, stepping before his gun and blocking Kurenai from his aim. "Without any reason, all of a sudden... what's wrong, Zero?!" Yuki questioned. Zero slowly lowered the Bloody Rose, bringing his free hand up to his face.
"No..." he mumbled. "Who in the hell are you?" he asked through gritted teeth.
"I'm sorry for surprising you like this," Kurenai said, her voice layered with more deathly innocence than I could bear.
"Kurenai-san, these two are also guardians of the Academy. They are my partners, Zero Kiryu and Karuko Shizuki. I apologize for Zero. Normally, he wouldn't do this much, but—"
"I guess loitering on my own wasn't a good idea. I'm sorry. And... thank you for protecting me, Yuki-san. You're a good girl. I really like you. I know that the blood of a girl like you... is really delicious."
A small whimper escaped my lips, and I covered my mouth with my hands. Night class students don't talk like that! Well... except maybe Aido. Kurenai smiled at me. "I hope to become friends with you," she said to Yuki, while her white eyes looked at me. My body was shaking all over, and I was helpless to stop it. Kurenai walked away, leaving me, Zero, and Yuki watching her until she was out of our sight.
"Honestly Zero... she's just a new student!" Yuki scolded. Zero just avoided her gaze, grimacing at the ground. But something was wrong with that girl. I could feel it, and I'm sure Zero could as well. "Goodness Karuko, you're drenched!" Yuki exclaimed, finally setting her eyes upon me. I tried to suppress it, but a sneeze escaped me before I could stop it.
"Don't even start!" Zero yelled at me. "Go take a shower, idiot!"
I buried my mouth into my arm. Damn it... I cannot be getting sick! While I tried my best to avoid it, I could feel Zero's glare burning a hole in the back of my neck.
"Shizuki-san, do you need to go to the nurse?"
"No, sensei. It's just my allergies," I replied, as I sunk into my seat.
"What allergies?" Zero sneered, making me sink lower into my seat.
"Glare at me a little bit longer, Zero. I'm sure I'll catch on fire soon," I mumbled back, leaning over my desk and resting my chin in the palm of my hand.
"That concludes today's lesson, class. I'm glad to see everyone stayed awake today," sensei said, eyeing Yuki, who blushed. "For the remainder of the class, the council members have requested to speak to you all about the upcoming formal," said sensei, collecting his things and heading for the exit.
"Right! I have a few announcements I'd like to make known!" said a boy in our class, standing up and making his way to the front of the classroom.
"A formal? As in, a dance?" I asked, turning to Zero.
"Yeah. And to make matters better, everyone attends. Meaning the day class and the night class. I'm out of here..." said Zero, getting up and walking out.
"Excuse me! Kiryu-san!" the president of the council called, but his efforts went completely ignored by Zero.
"Um... I'll go get him!" Yuki said, standing up and gathering her things.
"Not so fast, Cross!" the president exclaimed, pushing his glasses up his nose. "You see, finals are coming up and the class with the lowest scores has to work at the dance. Last time I checked, you were the one responsible for bringing down the class average!"
"M-Me?!" Yuki asked surprised, pointing to herself.
"Yes, you! And I will not allow you to ruin my chances of dancing with the lovely Souen-san!" he declared.
"Don't worry! I'll study really hard! But I still better go get Zero," she said, as she cautiously headed towards the exit.
"You better, Cross! Do you hear me?!" the president called after her, then sighed.
"Oh, I hope I'll get to dance with Aido-senpai!" one girl exclaimed.
"What about Wild?! Do you think he'll dance?!"
"I hope so. I bet Takuma-sama will! He's always so friendly and nice!"
I sighed in my seat. A dance, huh? When was anyone planning on telling me? In a normal situation, I'd be the furthest from the festivities, but I'm sure I'll be on guard duty.
"That'll be all, I guess. Remember to study if you want to dance with the night class!" the president announced, and the students began to gather their things. I stood up from my seat, much faster than I should have. The room spun a little, and I had to steady myself against my desk until I could see straight again. I took in a large breath, my nose sniffling as I did. I was sick, no doubt about it. After I composed myself, I continued outside and immediately found myself in a crowd of excited girls. My stomach sunk. This could only mean one thing...
"You can't go that way!"
"Day class is still in session! Maria! I think that this will cause a problem!"
After pushing myself to the front of the crowd, I saw him. Takuma was walking after Maria. This was bad. This was really bad!
"Oh, stop exaggerating! I just want to see the cafeteria," Maria replied, breaking into a run.
"Maria!" Takuma yelled, chasing after her. Then I watched as I saw several day class girls begin running after Takuma. I looked around, but neither Yuki nor Zero seemed to be around. Damn it... why today?!
"H-Hey! Wait! Stop chasing them and get to class!" I yelled after them, running as fast as my legs would carry me. My sickness suddenly hit me full force and I felt unbearably hot. Still, I ran after them. "G-Girls! Stop!" I called. Had I always so easily run out of breath? I turned at the edge of the building, continuing to run after them. I was caught by surprise when an arm wrapped around my waist, stopping me in my tracks. Another hand clasped over my mouth. My captor pulled me into a room, out of sight, and held me close against his chest.
"Hey, did you see where Takuma went?"
"No. I can't find the girl he was with either..."
"Wasn't that girl from the disciplinary committee following us, too?"
"Yeah, but have you seen her today? There's no way she could have caught up with us."
"Come on, let's see if they went this way," said one of the girls, as I listened to their footsteps retreat. Meanwhile, it felt as if my body was on fire and my heart was about to leap out of my chest.
"Phew... that was a close one."
"Takuma?!" I exclaimed.
"Who did you think it was, silly?" he asked. He wasn't covering my mouth anymore, but he still held me close against his chest. Too close. This much heat had to be deadly.
"Um, actually... she ran away while I was being chased by the day class girls," he replied, a cute hint of embarrassment lining his voice. What in the hell is wrong with me? We lost the crazy new night class student, and meanwhile, I'm swooning over a vampire.
"Takuma-senpai, would you please let me go?" I asked. My world was starting to spin again. Takuma's arms slowly released my waist. I took deep breaths. I had to get a hold of myself.
"Whoa... are you well? Your voice sounds a bit off," Takuma said, turning my body to face him. Seeing his face did nothing to calm me down.
"Y-Yeah! I'm fine! You just startled me, that's al—!" Before I could finish, Takuma brought his hands up to my face.
"Goodness, Shizuki-san! You're burning up!" I lost myself to his cool touch. I fell into his embrace and allowed myself to be engulfed by darkness. "Shizuki-san?!"
Dark. It was so dark. I couldn't see my own hand in front of my face. It was an unbearable, lonely darkness. Suddenly, a small tunnel of light appeared. It was blinding, but... something was at the end of it. Or someone?
That voice. It was him. That beast, disguised as a beauty. The man that makes me feel so small whenever I'm near him, but makes me feel so cherished. He's the man I desire above all else. He is my sin.
"Takuma..." I choke out. He smiles. His mouth moves, but I don't know what he's saying. My instincts tell me to run away, but the only place I want to run to are his arms. I try to move towards him but I find myself stuck. I'm not getting any closer. I reach out to him, and I'm suddenly by his side. He's so close. I can smell his ivory, unblemished skin. Feel his cool breath against my face. See into the depths of his deep, emerald green eyes.
His voice makes my stomach do cartwheels. I know it's wrong for me to feel this way about him. I know we can never be together because of who we are, but— I want to try.
"I have a secret, Takuma..."
I pull him closer and our lips touch for the first time. His lips are cool and soft, just as I imagined they would be. He's hesitant, but he slowly begins to kiss me back. I don't want this dream to end. Just let us stay like this. Freeze this moment.
But he pulls away, and I feel him slipping through my fingers. I feel the darkness returning.
"I—I'm sorry, Takuma. I don't know how to let you in. I—I just need some time. Please... be patient with me," I murmur, before I was surrounded by the darkness once more.
When I opened my eyes, I was laying in my bed. There was juice, a thermometer, and medication by my bedside. Did I pass out? It wasn't until I sat up that I realized that someone had placed a cold washcloth across my forehead. The door to my room opened and the headmaster walked inside, carrying a tray.
"Karu-chan, you're awake! You gave us quite a scare! If you were this sick, you should have stayed in bed today," he said, setting down the tray.
"Who brought me here?" I asked, sitting all the way up and taking a sip of the juice on my bedside table.
"You don't remember? Man, you were out cold! It was Takuma-kun! He said that he saw you while he was running after Maria-chan and that you didn't look very well."
I fainted? In front of Takuma?! Great job, Karuko. Just when you thought you couldn't embarrass yourself anymore in front of him…
"Well, I brought you some soup," said the headmaster, indicating the tray. "Eat it, and then try getting some more rest. We don't want you fainting on us again! Do you need anything else?"
"No, thank you. You've already done so much for me..."
"Well, don't hesitate to call!" he said, before getting up and walking out the door. I hung my head in shame. All I ever manage to do is inconvenience people... I should apologize to Takuma. I looked at the clock. The classes will be switching soon. I pulled back the sheets and—
"What do you think you're doing?"
I jerked my head up to see Zero standing in my doorframe.
"Uh... I was just going—"
"You're not going anywhere, hardass. You're gonna eat that soup, sleep like the dead, and have the training session of your life once you get well. If you take one step out of that bed, I'll skin you and hang it."
"Yes sir," I squeaked, huddling under my covers.
(A/N): Sorry for the abundance of fluff in this chapter. Plot development is on it's way! I know it's shorter than my usual chapters... but quality over quantity, right? :D . . . I have no clue what I'm talking about. ''OTL
For anyone interested, my poll is still open! It came out as a tie XD So if you haven't voted, or feel very strongly and wanna vote again, GO DO IT :D *shot* (EDIT: Apparently, you can't vote more than once, and I don't know how to change it XD Thanks, Insert-Sanity!)
Thanks for reading, and I PROMISE I'll be back soon! Reviews are loved and appreciated!