This pairing needs more love. There's only one other story about these two. I plan on changing that soon. Enjoy!

There was something I found enchanting about him. Those fire-red, amber eyes calculatingly watching his enemy's moves, my moves, as the sparring battle proceeded between us. There was something feral inside them, something wild that wanted to let loosen its power, relieve itself of stength locked inside. But there was also something very tame, something that wanted to seek help to protect those important to him.

Crocell was a thing of fiery-red beauty. He was young, small, but he was as fiesty as any Werewolf in the field. He was very fast, and his temper was just as quick.

He gave a ferocious cry as he sent a Blazing Spear towards me, knocking me off my feet as the land erupted and caved in underneath my feet. I struggled to regain my balance as he was on top of me again, throwing spells rapid-fire in an attempt to knock my weapon from me. Kaito's sword was something I wasn't used to; it wasn't light and easy to move like my old wooden sword or as small and precise as Melissa's.

I was flooded with the feeling of regret and anger at the thought of Melissa's death. That bastard, Elgar, will pay for what he did. He will pay very soon, I am sure of it.

I yelled out in pain as a Blazing Spear charred my arm, throwing Kaito's sword from my hand. I fell to my knees from the surprise of the attack and pulled my hand from my arm. It was bleeding. The skin turned black from the attack.

A shadow came over me, and a hand placed itself firmly on my head. The fingers sifted through my hair, sending a feeling of numbness over me. My heart pounded in my temples. I knew he wasn't going to kill me. He wouldn't. Zephie and Argo would never forgive him if he did.

"I win again, Juto," Crocell announced, as if it wasn't obvious to me at the moment. My arm throbbed with a heartbeat of its own. I ground my teeth together to keep from crying out. My chest hurt and my throat hurt. I wanted a drink of water.

"Let's stop for today," I said through a heavy pant. Crocell made a noise as if he agreed with me. He bent down and placed a hand tenderly on my wound. I winced. "Ow! That kind of hurts, you know..."

"Shut up." He removed my hand to further inspect the damage he had done to my skin. It stung when he removed my hand. It was covered in crusted, coagulating blood. He turned over, still gripping my hand in his, and pulled a Healing Leaf from his pouch. He put it in my hand. "Use this to heal your wound. The Princess would be furious if she found out I had hurt you severely."

"If you didn't want to hurt me, then why the hell did you make your attack so Goddamn powerful in the first place?" I demanded. Crocell looked at me sternly.

"If something like this puts you to your knees," he stated, "then facing Elgar is going to be a challenge for you. You need to become stronger if you expect to seek revenge from him. If you can't defeat me, you have no chance of fighting him."

He looked straight to my eyes, smoldering certainty in them. He was confident, unlike me. I was so timid, so fearful. I was afraid that the power I had was going to kill people I cared about, people I loved.

"Get stronger," he told me. "Fight me, and you can take him. I have no chance of defeating him myself, but you can if you know how to fight correctly."

He gave me a quick look before standing up and walking to retrieve my sword for me. I watched his back. He carried himself well, shoulders back and spine erect. His head was always held high. Confidence dripped off him. I was jealous. He had the air of a leader. Why I had joined the Counter-Sentinel unit didn't compare to any reason why he had done so. And still, I was accepted.

Crocell had returned. He reached out for my hand. His gloves were warm, slightly scalding, as I placed my hand in his and he pulled me to my feet, replacing his hand with my sword.

There was something in the way that we sparred that made me think he was probably preparing me for a fight with Elgar. He was hard to read, if I didn't want to be shallow and label him a bastard. Fighting through flames had its consequences, but it also had a certain effect that left me with a few scars and possibly a little more knowledge than I had had before.