Morg: Heyo! When I said we were getting closer to the end of this story, I meant that there are somewhere around ten chapters left.

Ikuto: So we're not that close to the end.

Amu: You should get better at explaining these things.

Morg: Get off my case, I do just fine.

Ikuto: Says you.

Amu: She doesn't own us, Ikuto. We don't have to make her see how stupid she is.

Morg: I'm smart enough to ship you.

Ikuto: And that's all you ever need.

~Spark of Life~

Being that she'd spent most of her time before the meet chained to a bed, Amu wasn't entirely certain how some things worked in Ikuto's house. The first thing she realized was that she had no idea how the beast got food. He could have been leaving her to go and get some to bring back, but Amu didn't think that was it. Ikuto wouldn't leave her alone for long even if she was chained up, and the closest grocery store was probably a ways away considering he lived in the middle of nowhere.

But if he didn't leave her, then how did the food get there? Amu was quite puzzled as she stared down at her plate. Sometimes Ikuto ate with her so that she wouldn't have to eat alone. Sometimes he just sat at the table beside her. Tonight was a night where Ikuto didn't eat. Apparently, being fed earlier was enough for the man that wasn't a man. Amu still had to wonder where the food came from.

"I have it delivered."

Looking up from her plate, Amu blinked at the male beside her a few times before his words clicked in her brain. She'd been thinking about him so he knew her thoughts. "Oh. When? I've never seen anyone."

Chuckling at that, Ikuto motioned for Amu to continue eating while he explained. "That's because I've never let you see them. Why would I give you a chance to let someone know that I've been keeping you here? They only come once a month anyhow."

Well that made sense. Amu could have easily given some sort of signal to whoever delivered the food to show that she was being kept against her will. Now, however, was a different story considering she wasn't there as a prisoner any longer. "Will I get to meet them now?"

Narrowing his gaze, Ikuto looked for any sort of ulterior motive that Amu could be thinking of. Her thoughts were clear, at least, nothing that he could hear. The expression on her face remained innocent as well. "I guess that depends on if you're around when she comes."

That was definitely not a bit of jealousy flowing through her. Not at all. Why did it matter to Amu if the person delivering Ikuto's groceries was a girl? Nope, Amu didn't care at all. "Okay then."

The silence that followed the pinkette's comment had Ikuto wondering if he'd said the wrong thing. In the end, too much time had passed for him to try and figure it out so he just let the subject go and started a new one. "By the way, we're going to be having visitors soon."

Licking the pudding off her spoon, Amu lifted an eyebrow as she looked over at the beast she fed. "Who? Your sister?"

"God no. Utau isn't allowed to come over. I meant Nagihiko. Do you remember him?"

Thinking for only a few seconds, Amu nodded. "The guy with the long purple hair. He was a bit rude though."

"That was because he was hungry." Ikuto shrugged his shoulders as if to say that that explained everything. "Anyways, he's got a new partner and is bringing her along to introduce her. They're going to come in a few days."

Finished with her meal, Amu wiped her mouth on her napkin before turning to look at Ikuto completely. "Okay, great."

Sighing, Ikuto should have known that dense Amu wouldn't have realized what he was trying to get at unless he straight up told her. "I was sort of hoping that you'd help me clean up the house a little so it isn't so messy when they arrive. I'm going to let them stay in a guest room, but it's a bit dusty and needs some attention."

"You want me to clean the house?"

Flipping his hand through the air, Ikuto shook his head. "Not the whole house. They won't see most of it. Just the guest room and maybe the living room. You don't have to worry about the kitchen or in here because Nana usually takes care of it when she drops off food."

Still not jealous. "Well okay. You said I have a couple of days, right? Then I'll get started tomorrow to make sure I'm done in time. What are you going to do?"

Smirking, Ikuto felt like telling Amu that he was just going to sit back and watch, but that would have been lying and they were trying to be better friends. "I'll be cleaning up our room and the study."

"You think they'll go in our room?"

Laughing, Ikuto pressed a quick kiss to Amu's lips before whisking her plate away from the table. "Not at all, but I expect us to be in there plenty."

Blushing at the comment, Amu couldn't help but throw a 'perverted dog' comment at the man that was actually a beast with her mind. Maybe she didn't get the chance to say it out loud, but she knew he heard it.

XXX

When Ikuto had asked her to clean up the guest room, Amu hadn't been expecting it to be this bad. A thick layer of dust covered absolutely everything. The sheets on the bed were going to have to be washed, along with the rest of the room. The best way to handle dust was to start from the top, so that's just what Amu did. With a cloth tied around her mouth and nose, Amu wiped off the top of the furniture before wiping down the sides and front. The pinkette did her best to make certain she wasn't just stirring up the dust into the air. If that happened then she'd just have to wait for it to settle before starting all over again.

Once the majority of the dust was gone, Amu took the blankets and sheets out to shake them outside before dropping them off at Ikuto's laundry room. She'd only just discovered said room's location a few days before when she'd asked Ikuto about washing some of her things. He'd been more than happy to show her where it was at and how the machines worked. Now Amu could do her own loads.

Returning to the room, the spark carrier set to work cleaning out the dressers and closet. Nagihiko and his new partner were probably bringing their own clothes (Amu certainly hoped so) and would need a place to put them. The clothes she found already in the room were thrown out into the hall so that she could ask Ikuto what to do with them later.

In the end, the cleaning of just the guest room-and bathroom-took the majority of her day. Not that Amu minded. The girl didn't exactly have much else to do. With that task complete, Amu scooped up the clothes she'd found and took them down to ask Ikuto what to do with them.

Finding said beast in his study, Amu dropped the armful of clothing she'd been carrying. "Hey, I finished. What should I do with these?"

Looking up from the books he'd been sorting out to return to his library, Ikuto frowned at the sight of the clothes. "Get rid of them. I told her to take all her stuff when I kicked her out."

"Whose were they?"

Ikuto never liked talking about his past feeders with Amu. His connection to the girl standing in front of him was different than any he'd had before. The girls before her, to him, were just a meal. Ikuto saw Amu as something more. She was his mate. The one he would protect above anything and everything else. The one he wanted by his side. "Saaya's. I don't know why she left them. I didn't know they were there. Just throw them out."

Kicking the pile around with her foot, Amu noted that the majority of the clothing at her feet was rather scandalous. It must have covered up some skin but not much. "Okay. I'll make the bed once the sheets are clean. How's everything coming in here?"

Looking around at his mess, Ikuto shrugged. It wasn't like he was working very hard. All he wanted was to get some of the books he'd read or Amu had read put back into the library. His study didn't need to be so cluttered. "I'll finish eventually."

Giggling, Amu crossed the floor to place a kiss on Ikuto's cheek. The way their relationship had improved so much really did make the girl happy. Then again, anything was better than being chained to that bed. "Get it done and I'll give you a reward."

Ikuto growled at that. Slapping the girl's butt as she moved back to pick up the clothes, Ikuto smirked at the giggle he'd managed to pull out of his mate. "And if I don't get done?"

"I'll just have to punish you instead."

Chuckling at that, Ikuto went back to sorting out his books as Amu left the room. She'd sent several images of picturing him as a dog in a kennel-he really wasn't a dog-and had left with a smirk on her face. They were definitely becoming better friends.

Amu frowned down at the clothing in her arms as she carried it down to the kitchen. A dumpster sat outside their back door. Amu was aware of it because of Ikuto mentioning it once, but she didn't think it was quite enough to just throw away the clothing that one of the past girls had left. Especially Saaya's. The girl had not only betrayed Ikuto, but had broken something precious to him. Amu wanted her to suffer. The most she could do, however, was make absolutely certain that she never did anything to hurt Ikuto. She'd bought herself a year to keep Tadase away. Ikuto would protect her, Amu knew that, but she was going to have to protect herself as well. There was no way that Amu would do what the others had done. There was no way that she'd giver herself to anyone else.

Dumping the clothes in a heap on a pile of sticks, Amu headed back into the kitchen to scrounge through the drawers. The object she was looking for had to be around somewhere. The pinkette knew that Ikuto kept it in that room to burn whatever he'd pulled from the garden they had or any sticks that had fallen from the trees.

Finding the lighter, Amu returned to the burn pile and set it on fire. As she stood there with the afternoon moving on, the pinkette watched the already skimpy clothing disappear before her eyes. Those other girls weren't here. She'd erase every mark they'd ever left and replace them with her own, better presence. Ikuto wouldn't need to ever think of them again.

.

Morg: So Nagi's coming and Amu's getting possessive.

Ikuto: I like it.

Amu: I wouldn't do that.

Morg: Right.

Ikuto: She totally would.

Amu: I hate you both.