Time usually encroaches from behind
Raising a howl as it flows and ebbs away
Give up
As time seems to wash away your exquisite past
And tears away your fangs
Do not look forward
Your hope encroaches from behind
There is nothing but darkness in the muddy stream.
Ginjo Vol 50 By Tite Kubo

"Why do you have this annoying need to save everyone, Captain Kurosaki?"

Carefully considering the reply her eyes flick to the faint hint of the moon rising up over the treeline. The forest is quiet and all the men Ichigo is responsible for have returned to her division. Everyone is gone but for this man next to her with careless black hair and unusual grief stricken eyes. "Do you have family Tsukishima?" Ichigo asks curling her legs up to her chest and setting her chin to her knees in deep thought.

"I do not." he replies walking over to stand just behind the woman who has no right to ask him anything about family. The only family he had was ripped away by this ignorant woman so trustingly showing her back to him. Ginjo... why did you think she would understand you? Setting a hand on his hip his fingertips stroke the cool metal of his sword. Any moment now he will finally be able to rid himself of this woman. This revenge is especially poetic seeing as he plans to cut out her heart and leave it on a grave that she herself helped dig. There the bleeding trophy will be the perfect offering to Ginjo.

"I had a mother, her name was Masaki." Ichigo speaks softly almost in reverence of just saying her mother's name. "I made a stupid mistake and she died protecting me. I guess I'm trying to make the life she saved mean something."

Touching story... but really Tsukishima doesn't care. Right now her back is too him and her sword is setting on a nearby log. Defenseless idiot. Stuffing a hand into his pocket he pulls out the small bookmark that turns into his full-bring blade. This tiny thing won't kill her, but the 'shinigami' blade given to him on his hip will. Clenching the bookmark between his teeth he tightens his fingers silently around the hilt of the real sword ready raise it high above her head. That is when he sense another person walking out of the treeline. "Captain Kuchiki." he mutters under his breath cursing his bad luck. Of all the captains to appear it would be this one. The one who is most observant. "I'm going to sweep the north grid. Excuse me." Vanishing before Ichigo can argue Tsukishima darts through the woods and leaves the zanpakuto on a tree. Turning on his heel he doubles back and watches both captain's sitting on a large fallen tree trunk.

"Rukia told me I would find you here."

"Yeah... I'm looking for a hollow that is decapitating lower ranked shinigami." Ichigo stares into the crackling fire looking for glowing embers that have crumbled away from the log in the center. "What brings you out here Byakuya?"

"I... I... This is difficult."

Never hearing Byakuya fall over his words before draws her attention back to his face. "Just say it." Ichigo reaches out a hand to pat him on the shoulder however Byakuya takes her hand and holds it to his chest. The faint but strong drumming of his heart makes her eyes widen and lock on his. "Byakuya?"

"I keep thinking about you." he finally says in an exasperated breath. "Pondering on the many times you have swept through the manor and my mind wrecking havoc on everything in my life I've come to a conclusion."

"W-What is that?" Ichigo is kind of confused. Some of what he said was nice, and some of it makes her feel like a human tornado.

"I am impossibly attracted to you and I wish to earnestly pursue you... romanticly." This might be the hardest damn thing he has ever done in his life. Admitting to being in love with her just might kill Byakuya Kuchiki. "Tell me at once your feelings on this." he adds for good measure unable to keep himself from becoming impatient.

"Wow... You are giving off this whole Mr. Darcy vibe right now."

"Who is this Darcy? Are you in love with him?"

"N-No!" Ichigo hops up from the tree trunk and turns her back on him to hide the huge gaping of her mouth. Did he just say that he likes her? It sounded like it. The words were a bit strained but there was a definite vibe. Clearing her throat she tries to explain Pride and Prejudice to Byakuya."He is this snobby rich guy in a novel Rukia forced me to read. The entire time I read it I was reminded of you."

Byakuya's eye twitches as his head shakes. "Maybe I should go."

"No don't!" Ichigo whirls around her sandal catches on a stone and she trips directly into his lap. "Oh god!" This never happened to Lizzie. That book SUCKS! "I am so sorry!" With her arms flailing she is suddenly lifted up in the air and pulled against a broad chest. Now face to face with him she tilts her eyes to meet his. "I-I've been attracted to you since I was fifteen..." she says with her cheeks filling with heat. "You were... my first crush."

"At first sight?"

"Well, it was after we.. you know tried to kill each other." GAH! That wasn't a cool thing to say. Clamping her eyes shut she tries to think of something clever, but being witty around a guy is totally lost on Ichigo. "Damn it you're make me nervous!" A fingertip presses to her lips making her eyes go round. Thank god for that. She is turning into a total mess. Leaving the talking to him might be for the best. Exhaling a sigh she slowly regains her dignity and the finger on her lips slides away.

"I am going to kiss you."

"You can't just announce it! I don't know how to reac-" It's too late, Byakuya has already made his move. Lips seal against hers instantly setting her body on fire. Fierce passion wells up unexpectedly in Byakuya and his hands slide into her shoulder length locks. Her mouth opens to his, hoping for more and he eagerly deepens the kiss by sinking his lips into hers.

All Byakuya can smell is her scent, taste her lips, and feel is her hands touching his cheeks. Everything around him falls away in her presence.

Like a thief stealing away a precious gem the shadow strikes silently in the night. Tsukishima's blade cuts through both Ichigo and Byakuya's shoulders with lightening fast accuracy. And just as a thief would he steals away the most valuable thing he can from the woman who killed the only father he ever had... her love for Byakuya... "But for you Kuchiki... Only your memories will alter. Watch and envy as I take the thing you want most in the world."

Stepping back into the treeline Tsukishima watches the pair of love birds slowly begin to wake up from the effect of his full-bring. His own blood is boiling from seeing them almost kiss. It's the third time he has had to break them apart with his technique in no less than a year. These two people are inexplicably drawn to each other over and over despite the distance he gives them. It isn't true love, that is bull shit. True love only happens in fairy tales. "I won't let you have her Kuchiki. Ever! She is mi-" he whispers the words catching in his throat from the painful realization streaking through his chest. "I... love her."

"Let's count together... for me
The bite marks
That I left on you" Tsukishima, Vol 52, Tite Kubo

Chapter 19; The Well within her Soul.

"Ichigo... Ichigo..."

"Go away." The persistent voice seems intent on waking Ichigo from a much needed very sound sleep.

"Ichigo wake up."

"Fine..." Opening her eyes the blurry image of an empty futon makes her heart sink into her stomach. "W-Where is he! Oh god... Where is Byakuya!" Terror and pain fill her veins. Turning around she starts to dart out of the room only to bump into a chest. Knocked off completely off her feet she tumbles to the futon. Only then does her eyes look up to find a tall dark haired man reaching out for her hand.

"I am sorry I disturbed you, but there are a few pressing-"

"I-I thought-" Words choke in her throat and relief washes over her. Flinging herself against Byakuya's torso she sobs into his haori like a child. "Y-You aren't allowed to die!"

"I did not die." Byakuya says calmly his palm reaching out to tenderly slide into her hair.

"Or be sick!" she adds trying to stuff her heart back into her chest.

"I am not sick."

"And you can't..." The happiness that he is alright freezes her thoughts. "I-I have more rules for you but I will save them for later!"

"You do that." Byakuya replies unable to keep himself away from her another moment. Bending down his mouth seeks hers crushing hungrily over sweet trembling lips.

"Mmph!" The sudden sound of her surprise drifts away effectively replaced by enveloping strong lips. Clamping her eyes shut she melts from the firm, skin prickling kiss. The tip of his tongue slips at her sensitive bottom lip tracing a wet trail that steals her breath away. Tugging the towering man to his knees she slides her arms around his broad chest."Oh I want him... I want him more than anything."

Gentle fingertips slip past the material of his yukata anxiously caressing the base of Byakuya's neck. He kisses her deeper not daring to break away for fear of her being ripped from his arms by some other man. The yukata is pulled until even his shoulders are bare, the cool morning air rushes over his warm skin. "It's time then." The space between them becomes nonexistent with his arms reaching out and wrapping around her waist and he fully intends to keep it that way. Byakuya can finally touch her as much as he pleases. Her lips leave his mouth and travel along his strong jaw then dip lower to nipping seductively at his collarbone. Exhaling a strangled moan he slides his hands into her long orange locks enjoying the feel of the silky strands between his fingers. "Ohh, I love your hair. I love you." Byakuya´s words end in a hiss from the damp lips wrapping around his nipple and a warm moist tongue flicking against its sensitive peak. The passion rolls inside him forcing him to seek those tempestuous lips again.

With their lips sealed together they lower to the futon. Soon as her back touches the sheets her yukata is feverishly parted and Byakuya's mouth travels spreading a trail of kisses and leaving chills in their wake. "Byakuya, I love you." she says, with her heart pounding out a strong beat from his hungry open mouthed kisses wandering the valley between her breasts.

"And I love you." Byakuya replies so overwhelmed with her confession he pulls her up against his chest again to hold her close. "I'm so afraid... he might take you away again." he whispers his voice cracking with emotion. "I can't lose you anymore."

"You won't." she tells him, smoothing her palms down his back pulling the yukata clinging to his elbows the rest of the way off. "We are together. Nothing is going to change that." Moving her hands quickly at the knot in her belt it's untied and dropped to the floor with her yukata following. "Touch me?" she asks titling her head in a moment of shyness. Being naked with this man makes her insecure about her body. Instantly both his hands gently cup her breasts lightly squeezing, lifting, his fingertips nudge at her nipples. Biting at her lip she watches his passion filled eyes move over her body. Those deep blue eyes she loves glide over her face, to her neck and down to the place below her waist. A hot palm traces the path of his gaze ever so lightly drawing a hot invisible line from her neck down to the simple white panties she is wearing. "Oh hell I should have worn something sexier. He going to think I'm boring-" His finger slips under the thin material. The light touches break away her thoughts and make her lips open in a quiet sigh.

With his eyes glued to her face he watches her expression shift deeper and deep into bliss as he slips his two longest fingers up and down. He brings her gently, slowly, and carefully towards arousal savoring the feel of being the one allowed to do this. Slipping inside her entrance he listens to her gulping for air. "You are too quiet, Ichigo. Let me hear you." Byakuya whispers in her ear then slides his mouth down to nuzzle and kiss at the tender flesh of her neck.

Unable to stay calm any longer she sucks in a deep breath as his drenched fingers glide in and out of her wet heat, his thumb finding her clit to nudge. "Oh!" her voice finally breaks it's silence her body strumming with delight. "Ohh." Again she moans from those small steady strokes. It builds and builds with each tender caress until she is ready to break. "AH!" Her hips move on their own rubbing against his slick fingers to feel more. With her body tightening up as her first climax ripples it's way through her she clings to his shoulders and surrenders to the pulses working through her.

Sucking at her neck he enjoys the rise of her voice. The pleading sound stirs him up and shatters his patience at the same time. That lilting desperation makes him so hard it hurts to not push her down and drive right into her. "Feel more, Ichigo." he moans into her neck pushing her just a little more to the edge.

"Ah-Ah!" The climax grows until she can't stop herself from wrapping her arms around him and cling to him. "Yes! Oh! Please!" she cries out then goes limp against his warm chest. Still disoriented she barely senses being tugged onto his lap and her legs guided around his waist. Desperately trying to catch her breath his cock presses at her entrance. More than ready, her hips tilt lightly and her body slowly lowers enveloping his considerable length.

Byakuya watches her eyes flutter close her chest brighten with a rosy blush as he slides inside her tight body. "Ohhh, the warmth." he groans feeling her drawing him deeper as he lifts his hips pushing deeper into her core. Wet, heat... just like her skin so soft and welcoming to him surrounds him. It's unbelievable, he is finally making love to the woman he loves. Filled with desire he quickly whirls her around to lay under him. Their bodies stay tightly coiled skin again skin. Those plump breasts are perfect cushions under his chest and her long legs wrap around his waist sealing them together.

Reaching out a hand she lifts his long bangs away from his face tucking a thick black lock behind his ear. The gaze in his eyes is powerful and his weight is almost crushing, but Ichigo is anxious. She lifts her hips making it clear what she wants him. Instantly she is rewarded as his strong hips begin to move, the filled spaces of her body coming alive with each smooth nudge.

Byakuya pushes against her pliant body claiming her mouth just as the first long moan drifts from her gaping lips. Each tiny tremble she makes echoes back to him. His hips begin a tempestuous rhythm moving faster, deeper and stronger. He can't escape need to feel that heat heat shaking around him. The air between them fills with heat and sweat as she lifts up to meet his hips. Faster... just a bit faster he thrusts loving the sounds of her voice pleading for more. "You... look beautiful." he manages to whisper keeping his dark gaze on her bouncing breasts and peach skin.

"Don't stop!" Her fingers griping at his shoulders slide down to the small of his back before limply dropping at her sides. It feels too good to move she couldn't anyway his thrusts are demandingly pressing her into the futon. His hands circle her waist tugging her against him, the desperation to scream hollows in her chest as the smacking sound of their bodies fill the air.

Unable to hold back anymore from the fire in his blood tickling a hot path down his spine, his palms suddenly move from her hips to fist in the sheets of his bed. Leaning his head down he captures her mouth is one final breath taking kiss before his hips hitch once, twice, and finally a third powerful time.

"OH!" Every inch that connects them comes alive, with his throbbing release. With her vision blurring, she widens her eyes sensing him spilling into her for the first time. "I love you." she blurts out with a smile, her face hot and beaming with happiness. However his face is so serious it almost makes her concerned if not for the slow curl on the corner of his mouth. "Byakuya?"

"Marry me."

"W-Was it that good?"


"That miserable bastard betrayed us!" The cracking of glass and pottery crunching underfoot draws the figure from the shadows.

"Shall I take care of Tsukishima, Master?"

"At once! There are two things I hate the most; being made fun of and betrayal. How dare he turn on me for that bitch!" Wrapping his hand around the girls throat he yanks her from her feet. "After all I did for him he choose her! HER!"

"I-I will prepare something special as a punishment."

I love you all! Please forgive me for not updating it sooner. The fun is just beginning! please stay with me! Love Fuzzi