Much, much thanks to FrankandJoe3 for your AWESOMELICIOUS review—this chapter is dedicated to you, for getting me off my duff and writing this!

Okay, though, on to business. WARNING: THIS CHAPTER CONTAINS A LEMON. It's rated M for a reason, so please be mature about it.

Four days after departing Daemonburg, Kitty was getting tired of running. She didn't know if demons were pursuing her, or where she was for that matter. All she knew was that she was somewhere in south Germany, in the woods. However, thanks to Cottle's intelligence, he had prevented them from running in circles, so they were actually travelling a productive path. Kitty figured that she'd have to hit something eventually if she kept going. But seeing how her meager ration of jerky was dwindling, eventually wasn't an option.

As she walked along on Cottle, Kitty kept her eyes peeled for any sign of human activity—any bike paths, walking paths, footprints, tire tracks, smoke, noise; anything. So far, the forest was quiet and unyielding, which was highly unnerving for Kitty. After four days of hearing only her own voice, she was getting a little paranoid; but after four days of carefully schooling her thoughts away from anything pertaining to her favorite demon, her mental strength was flagging.

Finally she gave in to temptation, knowing full well she would only feel pain and guilt for thinking about him now. God, how she missed him: the way he talked in his mellow, sexy baritone; the way he looked around a room, as if he was planning a great prank and just couldn't keep the laughter out of his eyes; the adorable, awkward, experimental way he had played with Kitty, just trying to figure out this whole affection thing. He was like a poor little boy trying to relearn how to be a boy after forced to grow up far too fast and fight like a soldier, and Kitty took the ultimate patience with him. Every time he did something sweet, like holding a door open for her, retrieving something for her, or helping her after the Massacre, Kitty felt like her heart would burst because she loved him so much.

Then he had to go ruin it. He had to torture Johannes. He had to be an arrogant macho man and refuse to apologize. He had to save face and treat Kitty like a pariah. More than anything, Kitty was angry, bitter, and disappointed in him. She was angry for his utterly stupid and blatantly cruel actions, but what upset her the most was the pitiful, desperate look on Johannes's face right before she shot him. Even more disturbing was the image that was permanently ingrained into her retinas—Johannes with tears pouring down his face, the barrel of the rifle jammed into his mouth, and the bloody, charred remains of what used to be Johannes's head. Kitty was angry at herself as well, for she hadn't thought herself capable of such profound cruelty: she had blown his head off without a second glance! Kitty felt sobs congeal in her chest and bubble up her throat, and soon tears were slicing tracks through the grime on her cheeks.

But she was so bitter, so cold, because it was ultimately she who was responsible for the horrible events that she was so angry over. Kitty had rehabbed Kurt, she had formed him like clay, modeled him to her liking, but she hadn't been able to smooth out the razor-sharp edges, and it was her own carelessness that had shredded her hands. Just like when a trainer and a tiger meet and form their quivering, tenuous bond, the bond ultimately snaps because the trainer becomes complacent with their "pet". Kitty felt like she could spit, she was so disgusted with herself.

Ultimately, though, it was sheer disappointment and pure regret that made her body shake with gasps when she cried. Kurt could have been so much! He could've been a great man, but he had thrown it all away through his torture of Johannes and maltreatment of Kitty. All her hard work, she felt, was for naught. Kurt didn't care about her, really, because he hadn't respected all the time she had invested in him. He took her for granted and now she was gone.

Too bad, so sad, Kitty thought bitterly, now I'm gone and only now do you start to miss me—I hope.

Suddenly, her nightmare was crashing over her like a midnight-black icy-cold breaker, pulling her back out into the terrible, terrifying sea of misery and doubt. She couldn't help but doubt herself. Perhaps Kurt didn't miss her; was he happy with Julia? Did he even care about Kitty anymore? Had Daemonburg forgiven and forgotten already? Kitty had been Kurt's lone advocate in his darkest days, when death had stared him in the face, a very real threat, and Kitty had been his savior. The thanks for that had always been tacit between them, but perhaps now Kurt was forgetting his humbleness and the debt he owed Kitty. The least he could do to pay it back she thought, was to come after her.

Like a child seeking her mother, Kitty sought the feeling of being whole again that Cottle offered her. She leaned down and wrapped her arm around the horse's neck, her tears dotting his dusty fur. Out of the blue, she felt a warm horse muzzle press against the back of her left knee, as if in consolation. Kitty sat up and turned slowly to see Sofi pressing her face into Kitty's leg. For a moment, she forgot the mare's meanness and reached her hand behind her back to stroke her broad white forehead. However, as Kitty's fingers neared Sofi's fur, she pinned her ears and made to bite Kitty's calf.

Her teeth would've found home, too, if not for quick action on Cottle's part. He whipped around, nearly unseating Kitty, and thrust his head in the way of Sofi's bite, and the white horse had to quickly check her action, backpedaling furiously to avoid the reprimand of the black horse.

Again, Kitty found herself marveling at Cottle's actions. They were just so human, to protect a loved one, and so Kurt-like that Kitty felt that bittersweet ache in her chest and renewed longing for Kurt.

XXX

Kurt gritted his teeth and closed his eyes, appealing to any deity for mercy for the second time in two days. He had to unclench his fists as he walked down the main street and force a benign smile onto his face. In a few hours, now, he would be married to Julia, and he was furiously thinking for any way out of it, any way to postpone it, any way to make it more palatable. As he saw it, he was being tied together with a shrill, neurotic, and bipolar shrew of a she-demon.

He slammed the door of his hut shut behind him, suppressing a groan as he saw that Julia had already moved into his hut, firmly erasing any trace of Iske, his last link to Key. Muted, old grief swelled briefly at the mention of his surrogate mother, but that was irrelevant to him now. Kurt almost feared Julia now: she was taking over his life like an infectious virus, and he most certainly did not want that.

Mustering all his honor, courage, and willpower, he muttered to himself, "It's showtime."

He collected the nice outfit Julia had laid out for him, recognizing the style from what he used to see men at the fight ring wearing. They called it a suit and it did look quite nice on male demons, but every demon forced to wear a suit for his marriage did so with memories of dread brooding over him. Dressed as adequately as possible, Kurt 'ported to the town square and looked around for a moment, pleased to see it was more active now that most of the village had woken up. With nods and smiles to his friends, Kurt entered the armory.

The armory was more an honorary title than anything: it was a hut that had been afforded real estate in the town square that housed a few sets of spurs that had somehow survived and a few daggers and short swords, the crudely made pride-and-joys of the town blacksmith. Selecting a nicely honed dagger, Kurt grabbed a lock of his shoulder-length hair and regarded it for a moment in the dusty light coming through the window. At his scalp, Kurt's hair was so dark, almost black, but faded to deep indigo; but the ends were so dead as to look light sky blue.

With a flash, Kurt drew the dagger across the lock and it fell to the ground. He recalled his first true haircut, while in captivity at the research lab.

"Will you hold still, demon?" Kitty, standing behind Kurt, growled in frustration as he tried to escape again. Two men, employees of the lab, were holding Kurt down as Kitty tried to cut his hair. His hair was long past his shoulders, and it was evident he'd never had it cut before, as the ends were split and dead and faded to pale blue.

With resolute snips, Kurt's hair fell to the floor around him until it was closely and neatly cropped to his head. Kitty stepped back and the men released Kurt. Instantly, he sprang from the chair he had been restrained in and landed across the room, running cautious and investigative hands over his head. He was startled by the strangeness of not having long, heavy hair, and didn't like it.

Baring his teeth, Kurt started to prowl across the room towards Kitty, hissing in distaste of his new haircut. Kitty stood her ground as the much larger and stronger demon approached her aggressively, planting her fists on her hips and staring him down.

"Now don't you dare bite me. You should be thanking me, you know. You looked like a heathen, Kurt." Kitty said firmly with the air of a first-grade teacher scolding a student. Kurt approached, still hissing. When he got to the chair and cautiously picked up a lock of hair, Kitty pointed the scissors at him. "See? You look much better without all that dead hair."

Kurt grabbed a lock of hair, some of the brittle ends, and held them up as if in an angry question, but he was really comparing the color to Kitty's eyes. It was at that moment he decided that he liked the Kitty person, and especially liked her pretty blue eyes.

Kurt picked up his hair cuttings in his arms, using his tail to pick up the last little bits, and threw them out behind the armory, remarking to himself how the faded color did look like Kitty's eyes. It was almost as if he was throwing Kitty out.

With vague amusement, he wondered how Kitty would think of his hack-job haircut. As the drums in front of the barn started to beat like a huge heart, Kurt allowed himself one last thought of Kitty before he entered life as a married man.

"God, Kitty, I love you so much." Kurt whispered to the sky above him mournfully.

The drummers beat at the huge drums frantically, echoing Kurt's hammering heart as he strode into the barn, feigning confidence. He stood by the door and waited for Julia to enter, looking for her china-fine features among the demons filing into the barn and seating themselves. Panic started to take hold in Kurt's chest as the stream of demons tapered off but still Julia did not appear. Nervously, Kurt ran his hands over his tail barb.

He was so intent on looking out the doors for his bride-to-be that he jumped about a foot when a loud, whip-like crack sounded behind him. Quickly, he turned and saw Julia standing in the center of the aisle dressed in a simple but very new and very white dress, tail swishing good-naturedly, looking coyly over her shoulder at her husband-to-be.

"Coming?" she asked in her clear soprano voice, and Kurt was immediately taken by her again. Forgetting her difficulties, he drifted towards her, eyes feasting on her lithe figure and satiny fur, dainty features and hands, reaching out to him. With a small but warm smile, Julia took Kurt's arm and allowed herself to be escorted up the aisle to the platform where Heiko and Silke stood. They kneeled in front of the platform as if they were praying together.

"Demons Kurt and Julia, do you understand and accept what you are about to undertake?" Silke asked formally.

"Yes," Kurt and Julia replied in unison.

"Do you agree to stay by each other in mind and body, through summer and winter, through storm and wind?" Heiko spoke.

"Yes," Kurt and Julia said again.

"Will you, Kurt, be faithful, trustworthy, and protective of this woman?" Silke recited.

"I will." Kurt said, eyes focused on his clasped hands, fighting to keep his cool appearance.

"Will you, Julia, be faithful, trustworthy, and protective of this man?" Heiko said.

"I will." Julia said, eyes flickering over Kurt's face. She knew that he would usually say this next part.

"Then by all the power held in myself, I pronounce you man and woman." Heiko said loudly, and the demons assembled clapped politely. Kurt and Julia stood, tails twining, hand in hand, and kissed chastely before exiting down the aisle.

Even though the ceremony was over, Kurt's heart was pounding even harder and he glanced subversively at his new wife. Wife. The word sounded heavy, stuffy, and formal in Kurt's head, and he hoped Julia wasn't aware of how nervous he was. They were going back to their hut to sleep in their marriage bed and consummate their marriage. Kurt couldn't help but give an involuntary quiver of nervousness. Unlike most demons in the town and unlike Julia, Kurt was a virgin, and was embarrassed and apprehensive to the extremes about what he was about to do.

When they got to their hut, Kurt opened the door for Julia and deliberated on the threshold for a few moments, whole body tense as if he wanted to flee as fast as he could or teleport. He may have been courageous to enter the fight ring time after time, but that was forced, and he honestly did not want to lose his virginity to Julia. However, he had too much honor to leave her there hanging—Kitty had taught him better.

He really had to whip himself to get across the threshold and close the door. Immediately, Julia slunk around behind him and lowered the deadbolt bar, then moved to draw the curtains on the windows and light candles. Kurt stood, dumbfounded and paralyzed, and watched his wife move about. Finally, she turned her back on Kurt and started to undo the few buttons at the back of her dress with her tail and hands.

In one smooth, sensuous motion, Julia slid the dress from her body and let it pool around her feet like freshly fallen snow, bright against the blue of her skin. She peered over her shoulder at Kurt, who felt a spark of life inside him now. Though he consciously didn't want to do it, his basic male instincts were telling him that what he was seeing was really, really sexy.

Kurt's tail lashed and he couldn't help but stare as Julia turned slowly towards him, looking up at him through her lashes in a way that made Kurt burn.

"Scared, big boy?" she whispered in his ear, pressing her body against him. He became aware of the fact that his pants felt too tight at the exact moment that he became aware of Julia kissing his neck and throat. Shivers went up and down Kurt's spine and he felt Julia's delicate, nimble hands undoing his suit.

Finally Kurt moved, shrugging his jacket and shirt off, taking in a sharp breath as Julia's hands wandered across the planes of his chest, abdomen, and hips. When she slipped her fingers inside his waistband, he found himself nodding.

In a few seconds, he was free of clothes and both demons simply stood and regarded each other in their full glory for a few moments. Kurt felt hot blood burning his cheeks and he avoided Julia's piercing pale gaze, but felt it rove his body with laserlike intensity.

Julia moved over to their bed and sat, folding her legs beneath her, tail flicking like a lioness watching her prey, head cocked, and breasts bared. Kurt licked his lips—an involuntary action that drew a coy smile on Julia's face. He moved over to the bed and looked down on Julia, unable to keep the carnal hunger from his eyes.

The she-demon's eyes were huge and innocent, the color of white gold. Her full, ultramarine lips were parted slightly and her neck was exposed as she looked up at him. His eyes trailed down her body, taking in every glorious, satin inch of her—and she was all his; this brilliance, this goddess.

Kurt clambered onto the bed, kneeling over Julia, straddling her. She fell onto her back and met his gaze with her hair splayed out around her head like a dark halo.

"Go on, touch me . . . take me . . ." she breathed huskily. Somewhat incredulously, Kurt let his hands rove, encouraged by Julia's low, lusty moans and movements.

"Are you okay?" Kurt asked. His voice seemed too loud, too normal in the breathy, hot atmosphere.

"What are you waiting for? Take me," Julia commanded imperiously. In a dreamlike movement, Kurt placed his hands on her hips and drove himself into her. He cried out loud with the sensation, panting heavily. He rocked his hips from side to side and was nearly overcome with ecstasy, eyes closing.

Suddenly, in a fluid movement, Julia flipped him and took control, pinning Kurt by his shoulders and showing him just how much of a virgin he was. He nearly howled as he came, but Julia wasn't finished yet. She moved expertly, leaning down to kiss Kurt in oddly erogenous places: the tips of his ears, the harsh line of his jaw, his temples.

He came another time, better than the first, and felt Julia seize up around him, issuing a low moan, drawing out his orgasm. The couple separated and collapsed next to each other, trading a passionate kiss before Julia rolled over and allowed Kurt to spoon her. Within a haze of afterglow, Kurt fell into the deep, warm arms of sleep with his own arms wrapped protectively around his Julia.

XXX

As night fell and the temperature plummeted, Kitty unrolled her pack and laid out her blanket, going through the rituals of feeding the cats and falling asleep gazing at Cottle, who was standing unusually close to Sofi this night. The two horses stood in a positively affectionate pose, with heads lowered and muzzles touching, bodies pressed together, asleep. Kitty frowned at Sofi and rolled over, wiggling into a more comfortable position and waiting for a night of dreamless sleep to come and claim her.

Kitty's hoped-for dreamless sleep was not coming though. Instead, she was stolen by startlingly lucid and vivid dreams.

Kitty sprawled out on her bed, half upside-down as she leaned back over the edge. The small space of her dorm room was filled with the sound of Nirvana's most popular song, "Smells Like Teen Spirit". Her long-time boyfriend, Christophe, had gotten her hooked on the band; though she only liked a few songs, she listened to them religiously. Christophe, sitting on the floor, leaned back against the bed and turned his head to look at Kitty.

"Hey Kit-Kat, what would you say if I asked you to marry me?" Christophe asked. Kitty was a little startled by the question.

"Why? You're not going to propose to me or anything, are you? I'm only a sophomore; my mom would kill me." Kitty said quickly, eyes wide. Christophe chuckled.

"No, no, relax. I was just thinking. I love you, Kit-Kat, and I can see spending my life with you." Christophe said in a soft voice, full of feeling. Kitty swallowed nervously. Sure, she liked Christophe a lot, enough to lose her virginity to him, but not enough to marry him! Abruptly, she sat up and turned to look fully at Christophe.

"Don't go getting any ideas," Kitty said warningly, "if you do ask, I'll only say no."

"You don't like me?" Christophe sounded hurt, and immediately Kitty had to backpedal.

"That's not what I mean! I mean I'm not ready to even think about getting married—" Kitty said hurriedly, but Christophe cut her off.

"Because you don't like me enough. I see how it is." Christophe's voice became cold and his eyes narrowed. He stood and stared down at Kitty. "I'll see you in class, Katherine."

With that, he left the room with a slam that blended in with the music. Kitty fell to the bed, tears lacing her cheeks and temples as they fell from her eyes, dissolving in Kurt Cobain's mournful screaming.

Kitty woke to a predawn forest, the last notes of Nirvana's song lingering in her ears, memories of tears welling in her eyes, echoes of Christophe's name on her lips. She let herself lie for a few moments, staring up at the canopy above her, letting the ghost of the dream pass.

Finally, she stood and started packing up hastily, swinging up onto Cottle's back within a matter of minutes. As they went off through the forest, Kitty wondered why her brain had dredged up that painful memory of the past, but her mind chased itself in circles for well over half an hour to no avail.

The sun was just starting to penetrate the leaves, slanting in at an angle that threw thick, bright gold rays of light into Kitty's eyes and stretched shadows like taffy. It was very pretty, if annoying.

Suddenly, though, Sofi started pulling hard on Kitty's leg, nearly dragging her off Cottle's back. Kitty gripped tightly and jerked on the white mare's lead rope, but Cottle had frozen, listening intently to something Kitty could not perceive. Sofi went still for a moment as well, and a sense of dread crept over Kitty, driving needles into her neck.

Sofi started trembling, eyes growing progressively wider as she listened, snapping out of her statuesque pose. She pushed frantically at Cottle, biting at his mane and ears, knocking her knees into him, trying to move him. Kitty was startled by her erratic behavior and tried to beat her away, but Sofi persisted.

With an unexpected sharp pain in her left knee, Kitty felt the sensation of falling through air before the world went berserk.

A gunshot shattered the peace of the forest and Cottle brayed in pain, rearing up. Sofi lurched forward, dragging Kitty through the leaves. Cottle fell, slamming heavily into the ground where Kitty had just laid. Men's voices erupted in victorious cheers, and they crashed through the undergrowth towards Kitty. Cottle wheezed and kicked his legs impulsively, and Sofi moved to his head, lipping his forelock gently.

The men, two of them, burst through the ferns and came to a dead stop.

"Whoops."

XXX

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Reviews please! I worked really hard on this chapter and this story, and I will be mightily depressed if I only get two reviews like I did last chapter. Even so, I thank everyone who has reviewed over the course of this story for making me incredibly happy. :)

Iris