WARNING! Though this chapter may be a little too longwinded with nothing much going on, this fic WILL be RATED M by the next update! This chapter does contain some adult rated themes but I'm not sure if it's crossing the line yet for a T :/ Oh well!

Holiday's getting to me and I though I'd try an Ace M for fun. It's suppose to be a oneshot like my Blood M fic entitled "The Cruel Heart: Look at Me, and Only Me", but I got carried away and now Ace's story will become a series that might last up to 4 chapters! Me and my pervy pervy brain ^^; I'm still not very good with 'getting to the point' if you know what I mean so I'm not sure whether it will be good or not so if this is not your type of ero fun then my apologies "'OTL

Some of you may have read and liked my Ace T fic entitled "The Wandering Heart" and have thus requested for this. So you are still waiting for it, to my readers and reviewers, this is for you and hope you like it :)

Disclaimer: I do not own anything HnKnA other then my imaginations and words.


Sweet Dark Salvation


A "The Wandering Heart" Special, brought to you by Ink'n'Echo's "The Hearts" Project



[Night 1]


The soft and plush fabric felt good on the young Foreigner's head as she towel-dried her hair, having just taken a bath after a long wearing cycle. Alice hummed to herself, feeling the hard and cool floor beneath her bare feet as she walked along the Clocktower's corridor in her usual nightgown.

He's still awake? She thought as blue-green eyes spotted light coming from the workshop. Sneakily, she peered in from the side, still ruffling her long golden strands with the towel and true enough, the girl spotted the Clockmaster bent over at work.

"The bathroom's free now, Julius. You should rest soon too, it's getting late." Alice announced though she already knew it was almost impossible to make the Role-holder sleep when he's so fixated on his job.

With cobalt eyes still staring at the intricate gear works on his desk, the navy-haired Role-holder replied with a disagreeing humph, "I don't want to hear that coming from someone as young as you."

"Hey!" Alice exclaimed with folded arms and conceded with a lighthearted chuckle that soon followed after. "I'll be going to bed first then. You'll find fresh hot coffee in the kitchen flask if you need it."

"Mm, thanks." Julius curtly and monotonously acknowledged, his attention stuck on fixing the broken metallic hands of the clock before him. "Goodnight Alice."

"Night, Julius." Shaking her head, she smiled and made her way to her room. She had been running all over Wonderland today, visiting the other territories and her body ached from the exercise.

The only date I need right now is with my beloved bed and pillow… Alice wryly thought as she flexed her protesting neck muscles and stretched her arm to turn the knob of her bedroom door. She felt a huge yawn coming as she entered, turned on the light and closed the door behind her.

…But something else caused her opened mouth to stop mid-way.

"The hell-? !" She cried out with wide eyes. Because just like how the oddities of Wonderland never sleeps, she was greeted by a very, VERY peculiar, awkward but familiar sight.

There… is a freaking TENT pitched in my room… The words kept repeating itself in her brain while she assessed her once clean floor that had been pierced with tent pegs.


"Oh, hey Alice! Are you lost?"


A friendly, cheerful and bright sounding voice called out as a man crawled out from inside the blue-colored canvas assembly. Alice stared exasperatedly at the young and confused-looking face that had a mop of dark, tanned locks of brown which framed a pair of crimson orbs. They looked back at her almost too innocently though it held an unmistakable mischievous gleam.

Of course… which other idiot would set up a tent indoors! She groaned inwardly and instantly face-palmed herself.

"I'm not the one who's lost, Ace! What are you doing in my room?" Alice asked while pointing at him with her towel clenched in her hand agitatedly, already feeling grumpy at postponing her well-deserved sleep to such a difficult visitor.

"Eh? It's yours?" Genuine surprise widened those red eyes of the god- forsaken knight as he looked around the room. She noticed he had taken off his blinding scarlet attire, leaving it inside the tent with his sword while he adorned only his black tunic.

"I thought this was the guest room. No wonder it looks feminine and familiar compared to the rest of the tower!" Ace exclaimed as he scraped a finger at his cheek sheepishly before shooting her a sly look. He went over to where she stood, heavy military boots treading noiselessly on the floor and he leaned in over her. It literally made her heart pause for a while when his fine-looking face came close to the side of hers and he inhaled deeply.

"Smells familiar too." He breathed into her ear huskily, chuckling when she flinched back with an obviously reddened and frowning face.

He liked it. Her denying him that is, when they both already knew the fact…

It's useless to hide… His sardonic grin grew, already knowing all too well what it means to try in vain. But as ironic as it was, seeing people like Julius and Alice struggle with such situations while he had only to sit back and observe gave him the sense of control that Wonderland otherwise would not have allowed and it amused him… and he really liked that.

Especially this strong and refreshing after-bath scent of hers… Ace covered a hand over his mouth as he licked his lips at that thought. The girl felt so… clean… it made him wonder in anticipation how she would react if he were to get her dirty again.

Alice had to hang the wet towel around her neck just to keep the skin where his hot breath had fanned on from burning her. Like always, it was disturbing to have him in her room but tonight was especially so and everything in her cautioned her to be on full alert.

"This isn't the first time you've made this mistake." Alice said as she massaged the deep furrows that had appeared between her brows.

No… it definitely wasn't the first time he had stumbled into her quarters by 'accident' either.

"Haven't I told you not to set up your tent indoors? And by 'indoors' that includes rooms for your information." He should have seen my bed at least. Why would anyone need a tent for when they've got that provided? She warily glanced over at her untouched bed as she mused, hoping it will remain that way as long as the infamous Role-holder is here.

"But I feel more comfortable sleeping in my tent!" Ace explained with a childish pout, scratching the back of his head. "Don't worry Alice, I didn't start the campfire this time, see?" He smiled at her like a proud little boy as he pointed out at the messy floor. Camping equipment litter the once clean place but fortunately for her, it was fire-free and unlike the now slightly blackened and scorched area in the foyer of the tower and a few other parts of the building that had nearly gotten burnt down had she and Julius not arrived earlier.

That IS an improvement but… The girl sighed with a raised eyebrow. "It's not just a matter of personal comfort you know. Speaking of which, I need my space too." Alice added whilst folding her arms, the corner of her lips twitching in vexation, "Can't you just leave normally for once? Didn't your meeting with Julius end hours ago?"

"I tried but the tower is so huge! I guess I kinda got lost, so I'm spending the night again." Ace shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly with that lopsided grin of his.

"Figures. But... why here?" A question she had long wanted to ask and she gulped nervously when she did so. The answer should have been simple, considering his wandering nature. But this isn't usual for him. Something's off for sure…Alice decided, her small mouth set in a grim line. The directionally challenged man had been getting himself lost in her room a little too many a times than she would have liked. It had been every time when he visited the Clockmaster but now, she'd still find him there with or without a reason.

"Do you have some kind of homing device that ends you up in my room?" Orbs of sea-foam green narrowed as she eyed and interrogated the stray knight suspiciously.

With a wide childlike gaze, Ace answered with such enlightenment his mouth formed an 'O' with realization, "Could it be? Maybe I do have something like that!"

I was right… he really IS an idiot! Alice shook her fair head again in disbelief, pulling at the ends of her soaked towel. I need a new one… she thought and was about to step towards her closet that was on her left when Ace also moved… past his tent and towards her bed.

Alice grimaced. There's a good and rather personal reason why she didn't want to have this particularly suave and skilled Role-holder anywhere near that bed of hers.

"You asked me why but I don't really know, Alice. When I'm out of the Castle, I'd always find myself heading towards the Clocktower whether or not I want to. Each time I'm here, no matter how I try to leave, my feet always lead me to you." The brown-haired man continued solemnly, the smile on his face no longer reaching his eyes as he sat himself on the corner of her bed. Springs and the wood of the furniture gently creaked beneath his weight; the sound had her thinking of… things.

Sinful things that she should not be harboring in the first place.

"If it's Alice then I know I will always be able to find you," Ace crossed his legs languidly and leaned back on the bed on both hands that supported him from behind. The Role-holder seemed entirely relaxed and though it was her own room, the tension multiplied for the Foreigner. Alice couldn't take her eyes of him, his powerful muscles subtly rippling with each action beneath the black clothing, the move of his long fingers on her bed sheet became a calling that waited for her answer, and the sway of his shimmering chocolate locks as he tilted his head at her with that expressionless smile. Only this time, the corners of his lips quirked up in a suggestive smirk.

"Or in this case, have you find me. I wonder what it all means." The young soldier asked, his voice and face devoid of emotions but she saw it clearly in those swirling wine-red depths of his shadowed gaze from behind his long brunette bangs. They glittered like rubies in the dark and if it was truly as flavorful as wine, in contrast to his artificial facade, Alice was sure it would have the sweet, spicy and rich taste of…




"H-how should I know?" She looked away hurriedly and blurted out, grumbling in feigned anger, wishing her face would not look as hot as she felt. "It's becoming an annoying habit."

Ace cupped his chin thoughtfully with one hand, bewilderment dawning on his once cold face while he nodded his head happily as he agreed, "I see. It's a good annoying habit then!"

At once, a flurry of white flew across the room and his nimble hand casually flew up and caught the drenched towel that was thrown at him in midair.

"That's ridiculous, Ace. Don't make things up." Alice chided him with a deadpanned look. His soft and smug laughter could be heard as she turned her back to him. She went over and opened the closet to retrieve a dry towel instead. The right door of it swung out to reveal a long mirror.

Ugh… I look like wet dog… She commented dryly when she caught her own dull reflection looking back.

That's… kinda sexy… He thought with a smirk as he watched her comb her fingers through her semi-dry hair, trying to tame and make those honey-colored strands more presentable, her movements all very womanly. Without her usual blue bow on top of her head, the Foreigner seemed more matured than usual, the curves of her body becoming more of an obvious tease to his eyes. It was a mystery how the mortician could withstand it for so long! Her sweet, sweet scent had settled in the room and he noticed that it was always stronger after her bath. Rivulets trickled from the ends of her hair and some onto the side of her cheeks. His eyes unconsciously trailed one as it slid down her shapely face, tracing her neck, into that small and intriguing nick of her collarbone before disappearing beneath the neckline of her ribbon-laced nightgown. His heightened sight saw the droplet wet a small spot on the cloth and he soon found himself wishing he could wet her more.

It was temptation, too much for a man to bear and he sure as hell doesn't intend to be as noble as his good friend. Alice was already reacting much differently with him and it thrilled him to know that he could do more.

Oh… much, much more.

"You know... Alice. I think I'm beginning to understand."

She turned to him, her breath caught in her throat and the redness of her cheeks darken into a deep shade for a second when she saw him press a kiss into her towel, his eyes closed, his breathing slow and deep, as if he was savoring it.

"Correct me if I'm wrong but… I'm not really lost. Am I?" He slowly opened his eyes and smiled a small serene smile, absorbing the texture of the cloth in his hands.

He's asking me now? She pondered, looking at him hard. But after spending such a long time with him, Alice knew a truly perplexed question when she hears one. His soft, low and confused voice had managed to reach into the deep recesses of her heart. She truly wanted to help him but Ace was a dangerous man and it was imperative that she keep a good distance from him because not only was he unpredictable and stronger, he made her weaker and unpredictable too.

Especially when her feelings towards him are in question.

"How am I to know? Do you feel like you are lost in the first place?" Alice asked as she returned back to finding the towel that seemed to have hidden itself amongst her clothing.

"Sort of..." He answered, frowning a little and deep in thought.

The bed creaked again and that had her looking up into her mirror with the towel in hand only to see his mirror-image already standing close to the side of hers. Through the looking glass, she saw her own chest quickly rise with the sudden intake of breath, and she saw Ace lean an arm on the other closed closet door, his body inclined forward and towering over her, his smoldering molten orbs never leaving her face .

He touched her hair then, slowly running his fingers through those lovely silky chestnut strands. He had always wanted to do that ever since she entered the room. Images of them tangled in his hands had haunted him. It wasn't as if it was significant in any way but he was so entrapped by it… by her… and he didn't know why.

"I'm supposed to be but it doesn't feel like I am."

In the reflection, Alice looked small with his larger body framing and crowding over her. She never thought of it that way but now, she also felt small and vulnerable… and it made her scared.

Alice draped the towel over her head and started to dry her hair again whilst using it to shield her face, not daring to look at him. They both knew it was needless though, since it was already close to dry but she had to do something… anything… to distract her from him. "It still doesn't show why it has to be here and not elsewhere." She murmured, feeling as confused as he was. She tried to focus on his problem but it was proving so very tricky when his close proximity was overwhelming her, her female instinct reacting quick and fast to his overpowering maleness that he was deliberately exuding.

Push him away… he's too close… you have too!

All biological alarms screamed at her for her own safety but as she about turned, determined to face his wide chest to do so, large hands swiftly caught her own in the midst of rubbing into the towel.

Well, the rubbing stopped. Her mind stopped and so did her heart as those hands trailed down to the ends of the towel to tug at it, deliberately cradling and pulling her head along and forward till their lips were inches apart and she had no other way then to see him and only him.

"Maybe it does." Ace spoke with such tenderness in his voice it surprised even him. Her face was so close now he could see the astonishment, fear, and some other emotions he dared not name, rising in those large, round pools of teal. Locks of hair fell messily across her face, urging him to move them away himself. He felt her head jerk backwards to put more space between them but he held onto the towel tightly and pulled her even closer, grinning triumphantly when a weak little squeak sounded from her lips.

No! He's not going to… She tried to calm and steady herself. Alice was sure he wouldn't kiss her for he never did try again ever since the first time she prevented his attempt. She could still sense his indecisiveness and she was sure of it, but his actions alone was creating great havoc for her mind and body and it was not something she was used to dealing with.

"Maybe the reason why I keep coming back is because just seeing you isn't enough anymore." Ace drawled his words, a low and sensuous music that strummed and vibrated through her body and into a heady rhythm. He was enjoying this. And most of all, he was enjoying the fast-pounding heartbeat, barely detectable, but the small sound was enough to double the adrenaline rush in him.

Alice recognized that maniacal gleam in his crimson eyes and the neediness that laced his voice…

They were that of a man already lost in addiction.

Shit! N-not again! Hastily, she gathered her strength and shoved at his chest. Her sudden burst of strength startled him, allowing her the chance to turn him around as she ushered him to the door.

"You can also see me tomorrow so just leave already! Get Julius to give you some other guest room. I need to sleep!"

"We can sleep together then!" Ace chirped, obviously laughing at her frantically flustering panic.

"Hell no!" Alice glowered at him when his laughter increased at her expense. Wasting no time, she pushed at his broad back before reaching to open the door. "Now just go-!"




The door she had just pulled open had shut itself back. To her horror, his hand was also on the knob and everything in her stilled in suspenseful silence that hung heavily in the air between them.

"Why do you bother trying to chase me away every time when you know it's not going to work?" Ace smiled sweetly as he stood behind her with a tilt of his head but she knew there was nothing sugary about it. Alice tried to pull away her hand or at least turn the door knob again but with his strong hand on her smaller one, neither of her plans managed to budge.




With a flick of his thumb on the mechanism, the door locked itself. The tiny sound rang loudly in her ears, forcing Alice to realized in dread just how trapped she was.

And her opponent was the Knight of Hearts no less.

"Your heartbeat, I need to hear it, Alice..."

She could feel his other gloved hand taking hold of her shoulder as he whispered her name, his fingers persuading her with slow, delectable circling movements on her bare skin. There she stood, her eyes fixed on the wooden door ahead while his hard body cornered her, his heat radiating past the thin fabric of her white gown and touching her back, beckoning her to relax her body into him.

"You'll grant me this request of mine… won't you?" Ace confidently beguiled her as his lips nuzzled the smooth and creamy skin of her neck and down to her right shoulder, one hand still holding hers on the door knob while the other was already working to unlatch the right shoulder straps of her sleepwear. To his delight, the ribbon dropped down to the side of her arm willing, enticing him even more.

Hard. It was so hard to think when he was doing all these crazy things to her. Her breathing became fast and ragged from the intensity of the situation. Ace was confusing her more than usual. Normally he wouldn't need to do all these unnecessary things but tonight was entirely different. It was as if the tension between them had snapped, pulling both of them into a raging, turbulent pit of his darkness, despair… and desire. It was already pathetic to her that she would feel like whimpering helplessly under his touch.

"But I… I already did last night-"


"It's not enough."


All movement in the room halted, his suddenly harsh voice shocking her.

His body felt tight, the chaotic mess in his mind was increasing with every second spent. Ace had not expected to be that impatient or rough with her. He had contemplated if this meant he was changing for better or for worse. He had contemplated if this was merely the influence of a Foreigner and whether he should go against it. He had contemplated if it was good for the girl or not. And more importantly, he had contemplated why Alice mattered so much… and whether he was worth the same to her.


But I'm just the Ace of Hearts… I'm still a card in a deck…

Now and always.


"It's not enough…" His voice softened to a plea, one that clawed desperately at her heartstrings whether he knew it or not. Tonight, he found himself as trapped as his prey and it felt uncomfortable. His clockwork heart felt utterly strangled. How did it turn out this way? Ace didn't know. So he had no choice but to turn once again to the only thing that would give him solace…

He needed the ebb and flow of her blood.

The kills he had made earlier that day for Julius wasn't satisfying. It never was. His mind roared at him, urging him to spill the life-force contained in that tiny body of hers just for a moment of relief and ecstasy, yet his body would not obey. His clock… his damned 'heart'… wouldn't let him. Ace wasn't in control. As if the game was punishing him for wanting the impossible, everything was spiraling out of order, too fast for him to understand.

I guess I couldn't have controlled it in the first place. It's the game… always the game… His handsome features hardened and the sinewy arm on her shoulder wrapped itself around her waist tightly, pressing her to him.

Alice gasped when her back collided with his torso. Ace? W-what's going on with him? The need to go to his comfort was welling up in her. The teal-eyed girl sensed his conflicted needs swamping over her like continuous tidal waves. Hot. Cold. Gentle. Turbulent. It both pulled her and pushed her away. Worried, she tried to look at him but he kept his face shielded behind his bangs.

His fingers laced through hers as the pair's hands clutched the door knob more. Suddenly, she felt his body curl, bending her body low as well as Ace moved his ear along her back, trying to catch glimpses of her beating heart while he clung onto her for his sanity… and hers.


"Alice… Help me."


That one lonely and despairing whisper of his immediately wrapped around her heart and it put every cell in her into action, her attention solely focused on aiding the man holding her tightly in his arms. But what exactly did he want from her? What can she do for him? Was her heartbeat really the only thing she could give? Was there really nothing else reliable about her? The gears in her brain racked for answers, answers that didn't come easy while her body was this close to his.

Ace was lost and he sought refuge in Alice like he knew he would. Because just like everything in Wonderland, it was not something he had decided upon. It was instinct; primal and innate, like an invisible thread that had bound them together and every moment he spent with her reeled him closer; a magnetic pull he could not resist. But unlike how he fought against his role, it was strange he thought, that there should be no resistance on his part whenever it came to the Foreigner.

And that alone puzzled him to no ends.

"I… don't know how to help you Ace." He heard her distressed reply, real need to ease his pain laced her voice as she placed a hand on his arm that had coiled around her tiny waist, as if trying to soothe his grip.

Everything she did was nothing more than a small gesture, yet it relieved the weight on his clock like nothing could.

With an appreciative smile curving his lips, he was back in his game. His hand let go of her waist as he brushed his lips on whatever skin he could feel on her back that wasn't covered by her clothing, "That's right. Alice isn't helping at all in fact."

Then am I making things worse? ! She thought anxiously, wishing she could see his expression at least. "What do you mean-H-Hey!" Alice couldn't stop herself from crying out in shock when his hand had traveled to her back before she realized it…

The new problem now was him steadily pulling up the hem of her night dress...


Ahhhh hope that was ok so far ^^; Somehow I tend to put alot of elements in the story, maybe a little too much? :/ And Ace became a softer character here when I started cos I was focusing on his issues (kinda emo huh) but I'll try to take his yandereness and upper notch by the next chap XD! Also you will realise the story line here is different from "The Wandering Heart" T version and it's suppose to be I guess. It's more like if the T version were to be made into an M kind of scenerio XD And trust me, if I were to continue a bit more and stop at any part later, you might start pulling your hair and I dun usually spend all my time writing nowadays lol! ^^

Hope you liked it and pls DO REVIEW to let me know who this is for a start or anything to improve the writing since a fair amount of time was spent doing this (I'm probably not the most natural M writer unlike me genius budddy EarthRiddle but what the heck! It was fun X'D) Lastly, thanks for reading!