Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, J.K., Rowling does.

A/N: Oh My God! Guys it has been too long! Many MANY of you have requested me to update this story as well as my other stories and I have been slacking. No excuses, I know, it is my fault. However, with school and many other various day to day things in life, I barely have a chance for myself let alone update. Hopefully HOPEFULLY I will be updating more more often! This one is for every single one of you who has waited for this story to be updated. Please forgive me guys! Love you loads. Remember, any CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM is welcome, no flames. I do not tolerate negativity and please spare yourself the embarrassment of leaving negative comments.

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Lucius stood stiffly, not returning Hermione's kisses. Internally, she balked.

Oh Merlin! What am I doing? He does not want to be kissed by a little girl! Hermione thought, squeezing her eyes in mortification as she abruptly pulled away. She avoided his eyes, looking anywhere but him. Inhaling deeply, Hermione pulled herself away and was immediately aware of the loss of heat she felt, which had been radiating from Lucius's body. She blamed the exhaustion and frustration she had been feeling before her departure for Hogwarts. Truth of the matter was, she had been missing Lucius Malfoy with an intensity that had scared her.

"That was improper of me. . . I. . . I. . ." Hermione stumbled over words, not sure of what to say to Lucius after her blatant and wanton display. A hot blush infused her cheeks and if she had been looking at Lucius, she would have seen the tenderness peeking through his pain filled blue-gray orbs.

Gently, Lucius raised Hermione's chin up, wanting her to meet his eyes. If they weren't both being plagued by different worries, Lucius would have been amused to see the talkative young lady so speechless and tongue tied. Merlin knew, Lucius did not know what love was. He had never experienced love in his life. He had never told another person he loved them, save of course his mother but that was a different story. He wasn't sure if he could admit to loving the vibrant girl in his arms but he knew that he cared deeply for her.

He did not know when it had begun, this intense desire to be close to her, to talk to her, to touch her, to kiss her, to hold her but Lucius feared that he did not care when all of this madness started. All that mattered was Hermione's presence in his life. Maybe he had contracted the madness from Voldemort, Lucius thought, a trife amused.

"You don't have to apologize. I know what you want and maybe there's a special place in hell for me but I want it too," he whispered into Hermione's ear.

He felt her stiffen in his arms and then relax. Leaning closer, Lucius pressed his nose into her hair, inhaling the familiar scent of vanilla and wildflowers and a scent that was uniquely Hermione. If he lived to be a thousand years old and beyond, he would know her scent anywhere. It seemed as if it was engraved in his memory, his heart, hell, his very soul, a soul he had not too long ago claimed not to possess.

"We need to get out of here. I need to find Snape and have him help you get to your room," Lucius whispered. Hermione nodded, still trying to wrap her mind around what he had just confessed. Warmth spread throughout her body, lighting a fire within her heart.

"You owe me an explanation," Hermione whispered. Lucius closed his eyes tightly, his hands on Hermione's hips tightening. He could not tell her. He could not explain everything to her. For her sake and his peace of mind. Lucius felt Hermione's trembling hands touch his chest, one hand stopping right above his heart.

"You told me to trust you and Merlin knows I should not. . . but. . . I do trust you and I know you'll tell me when you can. Please, Lucius."

Lucius nearly lost his nerve at the breathy way she said his name. Although it was chilly outside and a bit colder inside the school as well, Lucius felt as though someone had kindled a fire inside his body. He needed Hermione in a way that went beyond mere lust and desire. Oh, to be honest, he wanted her badly. If he was as dishonorable as he had once believed, he would have taken her right now, right there, against the wall, like a madman. But then again, if he were as depraved as that, Hermione would never have gotten within two feet of him.

They heard footsteps approaching and Lucius reluctantly let Hermione go, wincing at her whimper of protest.

"I'll come for you. Tonight," he whispered and then moved into the shadows leaving Hermione alone.