Unexpectedly Close To The Edge

Set 3 years after Vampire Knight Guilty, however, certain enemies aren't as dead as they were thought to be.

~{}~ signifies a change in time or perspective

Disclaimer: Unfortunately, these awesome characters do not belong to me in any way. They belong to Matsuri Hino. I just stole them and put them to use for my own sick mind ;)

Summary: Yuki's death brings the two former enemies Zero and Kaname closer than they ever expected to be. As the two of them - both broken in their own way - struggle to pick up a life again, will they cope by putting each other together again?

Rated M: mature emotions, rape, violence, M/M lemon (seriously, rated M for good reason!)


AN: I'll just comment briefly, before I hide again for not posting for so long. My life needed some serious reconsideration in some aspects, so I'm sorry I didn't post for a bit. Sorry, sorry, sorry. *hide*

All your praise and encouragement certainly deserves more attention to detail than I am probably currently giving this story, nonetheless, I hope the chapter rewards all of you who are still reading - now that we're getting to the neat parts. ^^

So, as always, feel free to comment - I hope you enjoy.


Chapter 17: An Irresistable Intoxication

The Head of the Vampire Council of Elders sat in his office, unprepared for the visitor he was about to receive. Things weren't going as planned. In fact, ever since he'd begun 'inofficial' negotiations with the Hunter's Associations a million things had decidedly not gone the way they were supposed to. His only truly good decision was to change tactics and let Miyazaki handle the bundle of nuisance. Unfortunately, she could only be trusted to handle matters efficiently. Not, however, to act without personal interest. And she was too good at what she did to be outplayed by his spies. Ishida had hardly a clue as to what she was really up to. It was all very troubling.

Frustrated, he poured himself another cup of bloodwine and added a generous shot of liquor. Swirling the glass, he sighed.

It didn't exactly help either that Ojima kept dissappearing and everyone knew that he was in touch with Kuran Rido but refused to admit it. Head Councillor Ishida rubbed his temples in frustration. Sara Shirabuki. The next headache on his list. What an uproar it had caused to find that the sparkling embodiment of female pureblood magnifcance had been slaughtered - by the older Kuran himself, no less. Her little doll was in custody now as a key witness, totally distraught over the loss of her mistress while the media were swarming the place, literally scouring the Shirabuki real estate and the little girl for news.

Ishida sipped his drink to calm his nerves.

Already, important pieces of evidence had gone missing - sold to the highest bidder on the internet at illegal auctions. Not to mention the outrageous price that would be paid for the little doll once she left council custody. Nothing Ishida owned was that valuable. It was all quite the ridiculous fuss.

But none of these issues amounted to enough to contest his two greatest problems. And his greatest problems shared one name.

Kuran.

Rido and Kaname... Kuran.

Ishida downed the glass of bloodwine. Then poured himself another. This time with more liquor than wine.

Handing over Kaname's mate to his uncle should have solved a few problems. It should have made his life easier. The blame could have been placed on Rido if necessary. Everything had already been prepared. Copies of evidence were supposed to end up on a loyal follower's desk at the right time. The insanity consuming Rido's nephew would have justified execution procedures for both Kurans in the best of all cases and for one of them at least. Luckily, Rido had not found out about that part yet. Or so he hoped.

But nothing had gone according to plan. The Ichijo noble was gone. Ishida hadn't even known he wasn't dead until various testimonies swore they had seen him at Sara Shirabuki's estate. As a gift from Kaname Kuran no less. A pureblood renting his mate as a present to another pureblood... what was the world coming to? And why hadn't Rido killed the kid?

Nothing made sense. At all. Damn the Kuran bunch for being such a nuisance.

Damn them to...

Dread rose inside him as he felt a terrifying aura close in on him. An aura he knew...

The glass shook in his hand. Speaking about the devil... Cold sweat began to bead on his temples. Suddenly, he felt very weak and very old. He braced himself for whatever was to come, trying unsuccessfully to reign in his trembling body. He was a representative of the Vampire Council. He was the Head of the Vampire Government. And here he was, freaking out and going to pieces...

His door opened. Silently. Ominously.

He would definately have preferred a stampeding army. A blast that shook the foundations of the Council's halls or a cry of outrage fit to match the level of anger in the air. Anything that would vent this suffocating fury.

But no. The door opened civily, revealing a very calm looking pureblood vampire who showed nothing of his emotions on his face while rage played the air around him in almost visible tendrils of anger.

"Good evening, Councillor." he said in a dangerously quiet, yet icy tone.

"Kaname Kuran-sama." he managed to croak beneath the overbearing pressure of the pureblood's angry aura. The door closed threateningly behind the young pureblood as he strode toward the trembling Councillor.

"I will not waste both our time with pointless formalities. I have come to discuss very unpleasant matters with you, Councillor. I am highly disappointed in your conduct and capabilities and I therefore advise you not to test my patience."

Coucillor Ishida only nodded stiffly forcing himself to swallow.

"I was under the impression that this council was supposed to govern and serve Vampire Society. It appears, to put it mildly, that a few members of this little association have forgotten their purpose. So let me clarify something. You... are here because I... allow you to be here. You are only in this position because I eradicated your predecessor imbeciles because they didn't know their place or their job."

Kuran's dark eyes locked his gaze and in a glimpse Ishida understood for the first time, perhaps, what a mistake he had truly made by underestimating the situation. Perhaps Ojima really was the only one who actually grasped their real position as Councillors. Suddenly very scared, he swallowed hard.

"I strongly advise you to never touch my property again. Handing over Takuma Ichijo to my uncle was a very stupid move, Councillor. Perhaps someone confused my efforts toward the upcoming Peace Treaty with misguided leniency. I accept the unspoken criticism and will recitfy this misunderstanding immediately."

The pureblood leaned over the Councillor's desk. Ishida was in terror about whatever might come. He closed his eyes, expecting a punch, pain... anything. But all he heard was a soft ...plop!

He opened his eyes and found the pureblood holding his glass of bloodwine, filled halfway with dark red liquid.

"Drink." the pureblood ordered.

Ishida softly shook his head in terror. "No... please..."

"Drink." Kuran repeated, more quietly.

Ishida swallowed again.

Kuran's eyes bored into him.

With trembling hands, he plucked the glass from the pureblood's fingers, nearly dropping it because he was shaking so badly.

The pureblood remained unmoving, his face a mask of impassivity as he stared down at the pitiful noble. But the anger was still in the air all around him.

Ishida set the glass to his lips and swallowed the liquid. No tricks. Not with an angry pureblood watching his every move with such deadly composure. He searched for a taste of poison, but it tasted like nothing out of the ordinary. Like his own bloodwine. He felt nothing out of the ordinary, either. Had Kuran pulled a prank on him...?

"Drop your pants."

Ishida stared at him in horror. No prank... obviously.

"Do it now."

Scrambling, Ishida rose from his chair and undid his belt, his slacks gliding to the floor.

"The rest as well."

Feeling very selfconscious, Ishida complied.

"Touch yourself." Kuran ordered.

Hesitantly, Ishida let his trembling hands run across his skin. He felt no excitement, only fear. There was no way he could... perform under these conditions. He mechanically went through the movement anyway. But when his fingers grazed his sensitive tip, a bolt of excruciating pain flashed through his body. He screamed at the top of his lungs. He hyperventillated as the crippling pain abated, fading only very slowly after his fingers had long left his flesh. Summoning all his dignity, Ishida sank onto his chair in absolute agony, panting heavily.

"The effect is permanent. No more pleasure for you, Ishida." Kuran stated in a cold voice. "Or children for that matter. Be grateful, I have spared your life. I consider that fairly generous compared to what Takuma Ichijo has gone through on your behalf. However, I see no need to allow you to pass on your genetic heritage to yet another generation. The future has no need for your disloyalty or stupidity."

Ishida was close to tears.

"Please... Kuran-sama..."

"From now on, I expect a bit more discipline in this lot. Your place and job are to serve this society. This privilige was given to you by me. I can easily replace you with another useless B class vampire, so is it possible for you to at least get a fraction of the paperwork right this time? There will be no more abductions of my subordinates, no more damaging of my property, no more stalling in the Peace Treaty proceedings. You have two days. If one of your little minions so much as breathes in the wrong direction, I will guarantee you will see no end in your life's misery. Have I made myself clear?"

Ishida nodded fervently.

"I can't hear you."

"Yes. Kuran-sama. You have made yourself perfectly clear. There will be no more difficulties."

"Good. I am delighted that we were able to get over our differences. A good evening to you, Councillor."

~{}~

Zero loathed it already. The evening hadn't even started yet and he was already annoyed to the moon and back. Basically, half the hunters were going to attend the celebration of the Peace Treaty. What a waste of perfectly useful hunters for an entire evening - for the signing of a piece of paper... seriously?!

Zero's mood was also decidedly not improved a single bit by the fact that Kaien Cross, the former senior hunter, was behaving like a little child at Christmas. The blond man was currently fussing over his desk, seemingly looking for something. With a cool demeanor, Zero watched as he furrowed his brow at his ridiculously messy desk. For someone with that many years of paperwork experience, the crazy man certainly entertained a completely unpractical and non-recognizeable 'sorting system'.

"Where did I ... " Cross scratched his head and then dug deep into another pile of papers.

"Don't tell me you lost the Peace Treaty in THAT mess..." Yagari growled warningly.

"Hm... Maybe I put it... uhm... hm. Toga what did you say...?" Cross asked distractedly.

"Don't tell me you're looking for the Peace Treaty..." Yagari managed with a hint of impatience.

"What...? Oh that, no..." Cross chuckled. "No. Of course not. Kaname has all of the papers... Hm, let's see... " Then a smile lit up the former chairman's face like a Christmas tree. With an unpredictable movement, he dove into yet another pile of paper and pulled out a small envelope.

"What's that...?" Yagari asked in suspicious annoyance.

Cross pulled out what was inside.

"Crrrroooooosss... " Yagari began to roar.

"But it's so cute... It will be my lucky charm... "

Yagari inhaled deeply and balled his fists. "We are leaving. Now. This. Instant. And you will leave. That. Here." he pressed out angrily. Zero caught a glimpse of the photo Cross was clutching and recognized the horrible apron on his adoptive father as he was hugging Yagari's neck in theatrical affection. Yeah... Zero understood his sensei's reaction perfectly. Actually... come to think of it... HOW was Cross even alive after doing that?

"Can we just cut the exitement and get going? I wanna patrol the place before it's crawling with purebloods." though Zero was more than annoyed at the prospect of attending an evening event filled with the vampire high society, he wanted to help Yagari get away from that photo - and he wouldn't mind getting away himself. Honestly, couldn't Cross be a normal former senior hunter with a shred of dignity... He stole a glance at his mentor who seemed to be thinking something along similar lines. At least he wouldn't be the only one disliking the job tonight.

Finally, they managed to get Cross going. Yagari - a tad bit more relaxed again - lit another cigarette on the way. Zero's lips quirked in slight humor as he realized the cigarette was made with paper that looked suspiciously like a certain photograph...

~{}~

Kaname quietly observed the blond noble who stood at the far end of the room. Actually, up until now, he had spent way too much time stealing glances at Zero.

The hunter simply looked stunning in the navy blue uniform. The dark blue coat in its simple design beautifully brought out the silver shine of his hair especially well and highlighted his trained physique very subtly. Zero Kiryu was gorgeous in a most masculine way, though his scowl kept many onlookers at bay despite his low status. It didn't escape the pureblood's eyes that many sneering remarks into the hunter's direction were said more out of jealousy than anything else. But he pulled his eyes away from his mate and gave a small frown into Takuma's direction.

The blond noble was terribly uncomfortable with being in the spotlight after all of his recent experiences. He had politely refused all offerings of interviews about Sara's death and tried to appear unruffled. But Kaname could easily tell how difficult he found being pressured from all sides as yet another very obnoxious female reporter came up to him. She shoved a microphone under his nose. With his pureblood hearing, Kaname had no difficulty hearing her words.

"Ichijo-sama. Are the rumors true? Have you had an affair with Shirabuki-sama with Kuran-sama's consent? Can you confirm Rido Kuran-sama's involvement with her death? Was it perhaps a pureblood quarrel over you as a sexual trophy, and could you go into further detail about..." her voice trailed off as Kaname approached them.

The pureblood stared her down and watched her flinch under his aura. "That will be quite enough now. You are excused."

She swallowed and nodded.

"I.. I ap... apologize, K... Kuran-sama."

Then she was gone.

"Thank you." Takuma breathed quietly.

"You might want to consider staying by my side, Takuma." Kaname said with a small smile.

~{}~

Zero watched the proceedings in the enormous hall in stoic and unobtrusive silence. Instead of having to mill around between the entire vampire high society he would have preferred to secure the outside perimeter... or Mount Everest for that matter. With all the powerful vampire auras, his senses were irritated like hardly ever before and it really grated on his nerves. Still, he kept his emotions hidden. He was again leading his team of young hunters and they didn't need his discomfort distracting them when they were probably feeling just as antsy. He was very dissatisfied with the sudden change in plans concerning the hunter guards. He had the distinct feeling that all capable hunters were moved to strategically weak positions while all the douchbags were where skill mattered most. Things weren't improved by the many unknown foreign hunters that had been invited from all other parts of the world for this event.

Safety tonight, to be honest, would be a thing of luck at best.

His gaze wandered through the hall. Nakamura, Ito and Yamada were all on their assigned positions, invisibly armed to the teeth underneath their dark blue uniform coats. Zero absolutely hated the fact that they were forced to wear these ceremonial hunter uniforms. The whole thing was staged as a pretty marionette gallery for the amusement of the vampire high society. Smirks and offensive comments kept coming his way even as he just stood there beside the buffet sweeping a stoic gaze through the enormous hall. The only hunter who blatently refused protocol and got away with it was Yagari. But then again, he was outside doing a job and not acting as decorative interior for a vampire party.

Speaking of whom...

His mentor walked in, looking wonderfully out of place between the extravagent evening dresses and tuxedos. The fancy ladies and highborn gentlemen made way for him instantly as he passed through not wanting to have to come in contact with the wet and unruly hunter. Zero had to smirk internally at how Yagari nonchalently left a muddy track of footprints on the spotless floor. The pouring rain outside was not letting up it seemed.

"Hey kid." he growled, completely ignoring all looks of disgust in his direction.

Zero nodded. "Sensei?"

"I reorganized a few things. Don't worry, I'll watch your back. Can't let all the good hunters hang out where there's nothing to do."

Zero sighed internally with infinitesimal relief. At least there was one person you could always trust to take charge and make the right decisions. He nodded to his mentor.

"Just don't let anything happen to the other kids." he growled before he left again, a nervous servant crouching at his heels, wiping away any spec of dirt he left behind.

~{}~

"Ojima."

Rido kicked the motionless figure on the floor. Admittedly, he had taken out his anger on the noble a tad too rough. The naked body at his feet was bleeding profusely now and it would have been a waste of blood if Rido didn't hunger for a different taste. He was a bit frustrated with his servant for just not being as satisfying as the young Ichijo, but that was not fair of course.

Ichijo was much more powerful than Ojima, his blood much more potent and the traces of Kaname's blood inside him made his life force a wonderful treat to any fang. And of course that body was quite the pretty attraction. Even for a noble vampire, Ichijo was very good looking. And his screams... Rido was getting hot already. He had gone too long again already without a taste of pleasures worthy of a pureblood.

And that was his own fault, partly. It was the root of his actual frustration of course. Loosing the delicious noble and then being persecuted for a murder he hadn't committed were two main reasons why he had to go into hiding. To make matters worse, the place he was currently staying in severely lacked everything he found desireable. But there was nothing that could be done quickly to remedy that. So really, he was angry at his nephew and partly at himself.

The noble on the floor groaned a bit.

"Get up." Rido ordered mercilessly.

Ojima picked himself off the floor slowly.

"Clean me." he ordered.

Ojima complied, licking his own blood off the pureblood's member and removing every last trace of Rido's pleasure from the imaculate skin.

When he found himself cleaned to his satisfaction, he pushed the noble away unceremoniously and got dressed - well he slid into a pair of slacks. It wasn't like he was going anywhere.

He turned to Ojima and tossed him a business card.

"Clean up and then I want you to go to this address and retrieve a small box of jewlery while everyone is at the Peace Treaty celebrations. Don't get caught or we'll talk about that sweet daughter of yours again... or rather the daughter of your wife..."

It took a few seconds, but then the noble disappeared and Rido was alone again. He sat down at the desk and entered a password into the laptop that instantly rebooted to a different operating system. He opened a series of video files and began to watch the toneless recordings. Rido smiled to himself. Obtaining these files had been time consuming and difficult. Decoding them had taken even longer. Kaname's security minions were the best trained yet, Rido had to acknowledge that much. But in the end, he had succeeded. He fast forwarded it, easily following all information at high speed. Suddenly, he stopped it.

It had been a hunch. After finding out about Kaname's little hoax, Rido had thought long and hard about all other possibilities. He had spent hours observing Kuran mansion from a distance before, but now he searched for something specific. Rido had found part of the answer in another video that clearly showed Kaname leaving Kuran mansion two weeks after his sister's death in a horrible condition and returning perfectly stable. What had happened in the meantime had to be the answer. He knew Kaname had crossed into hunter territory that night, which further limited the possibilities.

As unlikely as it seemed, Kaname must have gone to a hunter. That much he had already known. He had suspected that Kuran had wanted to get himself killed. It was just like the human loving pathetic fool he was to do such a thing. But how then, had he returned stable instead?

Hunters weren't exactly known to take pity on a pureblood vampire...

On a hunch he had set loose a load of Level E's to set up one specific hunter. The still frame of a recording from that night made Rido's lips spread into a nasty grin. There was Kaname, carrying a bloody hunter's body into Kuran mansion. Rido easily recognized the silver hair. He stared at the video. It appeared unbelievable that Kaname Kuran was indeed bound to a pathetic Level D ex-human hunter. But the way it looked - it was true.

"O Kaname..." he sneered. "I knew you were a human and hunter loving fool. But this is by far the greatest self-humiliation you could have committed yourself to. O, how the mighty have fallen... And guess who will be there to feast his eyes on your demise when you have fallen to your lowest, yet... nephew..."

~{}~

Zero watched the proceedings with distaste. So far, about ten people had gone up to the speaker's desk and given monotonously pompous speeches. Not that he really cared or even pretended to listen. He had to try much harder to ignore the comments that went his way, some of the more daring nobles tried flexing their aura's on him and he felt hard pressed to resist. But as of yet, nothing of significance had happened.

Every now and then, his eyes strayed to Kaname who stood perfectly composed amid the masses of vampires with Takuma Ichijo at his side. Maybe it was only Zero's imagination, but the blond noble appeared very fidgety and anxious amid the crowd. He looked a little lost, and Kaname's subtle care seemed to be very much needed. Still, the small affectionate smile that Kaname gave to him for reassurance somehow stung the hunter deeply.

It was ridiculous, Zero knew. Takuma was pretending to be Kaname's mate in public to avoid the hunter getting targeted by vampires but Zero couldn't help the small pain in his chest as Kaname laid a reassuring arm around the noble. Then, the pureblood nodded toward the chairman and headed to the speaker's desk. Immediately, everything quieted to absolute silence.

Zero saw him stand composed and regally as he spoke. He looked glamorous - without even trying. He wasn't even wearing anything out of the ordinary. Just a well tailored suit and a crimson dress shirt. But the person speaking was not at all the person Zero had gotten to know recently. Gone was any hint of insecurity, of vulnerability - of anything human. Kaname Kuran spoke authoritavily about peace and legal affairs, about history and all sorts of stuff that Zero couldn't care for. He was the immaculate embodiment of pureblood power.

The entire gathering of vampires watched him, revered him. And on some level Zero suddenly understood why. Kaname was captivating, as disgusting as Zero found the night society to be. Somehow, Zero found it difficult to grasp. He felt strangely hurt by seeing the pureblood like this. It was ridiculous. He had known Kaname was a powerful pureblood, that he was very much in control of affairs. But still, Zero felt left out, felt like he didn't know this vampire, like he had no place here, like there was nothing between them.

Ridiculous.

He was a hunter - why would it even bother him?

But it did. And the incessant questions refused to stop. On and on he searched for a flaw and found none. Was this truly the same pureblood who had promised him anything as his mate? Or was that just another role he slipped into, acting it to perfection to ensnare the hunter? Was this the same pureblood who kissed him so sweetly just a few days ago? Zero shook the thoughts away. He really needed his focus to be somewhere else now. So he checked on his team to see if everything was ok.

It was furtunate that he did, too.

All the vampires were entranced by the pureblood's speech. But that did not include the hunters.

Two figures dressed in hunter uniforms entered the hall from opposite sides. One was creeping up behind Nakamura, one behind Ito. Half a second later, Zero saw another one come up behind Yamada. He felt the aura of a fourth hunter behind himself. It was a trap. If Zero had been nothing but a hunter, he wouldn't have been able to tell the difference. But he wasn't and so he did. These weren't hunters.

Their aura's were masked. They felt like hunters at first - but they weren't. Zero didn't know what vampires could have done to disguise their aura as a hunter - but it didn't work on him. The only problem was - he was certain that except for a few pureblood's he would be the only one to notice. And attacking a 'fellow hunter' out in the open during the delicate political proceedings was a very bad idea.

This was precisely why he loathed these events.

"Code four." he spoke unobtrusively into the radio. Only his team of young hunters, Kaito and Yagari knew what it meant. But he knew it would be too late. He evaded his opponent's strike and side-stepped him before 'misplacing' his leg, sending the attacker straight into the pyramid of champaigne glasses neatly stacked onto the buffet. He immediately concentrated on his team members. But the mysterious attackers had all disappeared.

Nearby vampires were quietly fussing about hunters and their manners before they turned their attention back to the pureblood's speech. Acting as though he was just helping his drunk fellow hunter, he pulled up the figure that had fallen into the buffet tables. The hand was icy cold and clammy as he touched it. Briefly, for just a nanosecond, their gazes locked and Zero stared into milky eyes flooded with panic. He felt a prick in his wrist, but smelled no blood. Then the figure hastily scrambled from the hall.

Zero returned to his post. He tried to call a 'code one' to signal that everything was fine when he realized very suddenly that he couldn't move. His team had never been targeted. It had all been a trap for him alone.

~{}~

Ayame spoke into her radio.

"Yagari-sensei?" she asked.

"Yeah." came the gravelly reply.

"Nakamura here. Kiryu-san called out a code four, it seems he saw something that we didn't. An unknown hunter slipped and fell near Kiryu. I thought nothing of it as he returned to his post. But there is something wrong with Kiryu-san... he is absolutely still and unresponsive to my calls..."

"Shit. I'll be there in a minute."

~{}~

Kaname had felt a small sting at his wrist, but hadn't given it much thought when he saw the hunter helping another person up from where he had apparently fallen into the buffet. He finished his speech and was about to turn to Cross when he felt something was distinctly out of place. Zero was suddenly allowing his thoughts to seep freely into their bond. What Kaname was listening in on, however, appeared to be entirely random and very unlike the hunter. Pretending to listen to the cluster of nobles around him talking incessantly about his ideals to flatter him, he inspected the hunter unobtrusively. It was clear on instant to him that Zero had been drugged.

His rigid posture was unlike the hunter and Kaname could see his pupils dilating more and more by the minute. He was about to call for Seiren when he saw Yagari and a hunter Kaname recognized as Kaito enter the hall.

The senior hunter nodded to Kaito. Then he and Zero left, Kaito replacing Zero's position. He didn't want to attract any suspicion, but when he caught Kaito's worried glance toward a female hunter across the room, he excused himself to one of the many exquisite balconies, Takuma following close behind.

"Seiren."

She appeared almost out of thin air next to them.

"Kaname-sama." she bowed.

"Zero has been drugged. Find out with what. I will be leaving now. Takuma you will be taking the car. I am going to find Zero."

"Yes." Takuma and Seiren bowed in unison.

~{}~

Kaname found the hunter leaning apathetically against the wall while Yagari was discussing vehemently with two other hunters.

"Good evening, gentlemen." Kaname approached the hunters.

"Is there a security issue?"

"No, there isn't, pureblood. You can go back to drinking your cocktails." one of the other hunters answered.

"We will take Kiryu into custody." the other said.

"The hell you will." Yagari growled. "He is a hunter under my command and has a job to do here."

"Sorry, Yagari, President's orders."

"Gentlemen. It appears the problem has just resolved itself. I believe the hunter you have been talking about has just left."

He turned, indicating the now vacant wall where just a minute ago the silver-haired hunter had leaned. Kaname showed no emotional reaction on his face, but internally he was releaved that Seiren had managed to get the hunter away and avoid detection while Yagari had successfully distracted the other hunters. The two hunters only looked at each other, then they scrambled off into opposite directions.

Kaname was about to turn away, but knowing about the senior hunter's distaste of having to trust his student's life to the care of a pureblood yet again, Kaname nodded to Yagari after the other hunters hastily left in search of their silver-haired prize.

"Zero Kiryu will be fine in two days. He was severely drugged, yet it appears to be non-lethal."

The senior hunter turned to look straight at him with an unreadable gaze, obviously trying to find the right words. Apparently, he decided on the usual blunt hunter approach.

"Kuran." his voice growled. "I can think of only one reason why you gave him your blood that night. And I am under no illusion what that means. I will say only this: that kid has more talent, resilience and heart than all other hunters combined. I will not see him fall. But if you corrupt him I will hunt you both down. I will not hesitate to kill you and ... him."

Kaname weathered the senior hunter's gaze solemnly. Yagari warily rested a hand on his favorite weapon. Kaname really only wanted to leave and quickly get to Zero, so he retreated a few steps. Then he stopped, feeling the senior hunter's gaze bore into his back. He didn't like the hunter - Yagari's detest for vampires was too deeply rooted for them to ever be truly civil with one another, but this was a person that meant the world to Zero. And his influence on Zero was enormous. Also, Yagari was anything but stupid. This issue had to be addressed immediately, lest it affect Zero negatively. So Kaname decided to give the hunter something in return for his guardianship over his mate.

"I will not deny that I am involved with him." Kaname conceded quietly, but loud enough for it to reach the senior hunter's ears. Yagari froze.

"For obvious reasons this should not be made public. You may think of me what you wish. Believe even that I save his life solely to save my own. However, you should be aware of the fact that even a pureblood cannot claim supremacy over someone who has selflessly saved their life and thereby committed themselves. You needn't trust me. But you can trust his heart and resilience. It is as you say. He will not fall. We both know he bows to you only and no one else - not even me. And whether you believe me or not, I wouldn't have it any other way."

Yagari looked away.

"The fool saved your life, huh?" he asked.

But the pureblood had already left.

~{}~

Kaname carried the drugged hunter toward Kuran mansion at pureblood speed. Only there, could he safely share his blood with the hunter. Precaution against prying eyes was entirely insufficient at any other location. And up until now their bond had to remain a secret.

Seiren had informed him of her findings. Zero had been drugged with a combination of two different substances. A pureblood aphrodisiac that effectively blocked rational thought and paralized lower level vampires - especially level D's and brought out their primal sexual urges. And secondly, a human drug grossly overdosed giving him hallucinations. Combined with the hunter's terrible sexual experiences and traumatic childhood loss, the drugs were the perfect means to make him as vulnerable as possible. This cocktail had been meant for Zero. Though Kaname himself was only lightly affected by the hazy drug in the hunter's system, he was still very much worried by the strange things that were currently bombarding him from Zero's side of their bond.

The hunter currently had little control over his mind. Thoughts coming from him were incoherent and had lost grammatical structure a long time ago. It was odd for the pureblood to deal with, but nothing he couldn't handle. The emotions, however, were a whole new story. Somewhere along the way back, the hunter had started flailing, thrashing about wildly as though in a nightmare, making it difficult for the pureblood to keep up their much needed speed. Kaname didn't want to forcibly restrain him, it would only make things worse. He hoped that his soothing words might help but it didn't look like he was having much luck there. Though Zero was still conscious – he was so drugged that his unconscious fears seeped into everything he thought. In gut-wrenching clarity, Kaname was emotionally brought face to face with Zero's demons.

He just had to hurry.

~{}~

Reaching his destination, Kaname sat down on his bed with Zero in his arms. The hunter seemed to have lost control over his body now as well – his head was lolling and on checking his pupils, Kaname found no more lilac, only dilated pupils the size of his iris. Someone had seriously tried to pull a stunt on him. This would be the point in time for interrogation. And the hunter would be traumatized for the rest of his life. Though to what end Zero had been drugged, Kaname could currently only guess. Unfortunately, the pureblood had no way of truly solving the problem. It was hunter-related and he had hardly any power there. The hunters would only continue to shun him even more if they found out about the pureblood's involvement. So far, it was still a secret – but for how long?

Kaname shook his head. There would be time to worry about that later. All he could do for now was to offer his blood and at least dilute the poison in the hunter's system. His crimson shirt was soaked from the heavy rain, so he pried it off himself. Supporting the flailing head, he brought the hunter's lips to his own throat.

"Drink," he said softly, hoping Zero wouldn't be too stubborn about it this time in his state of confusion.

The hunter was slow to grasp the idea. But he inhaled the pureblood's scent, his head tilted and lips slightly parted and a brief impression wove through their bond as Zero recognized it as something familiar. Kaname was relieved. Somehow he had never been certain if the hunter didn't actually perceive him to be a threat. It didn't currently seem to be the case. Sloppily, Zero's tongue began to lick his skin and Kaname couldn't help himself as he relished the intimate carress. It just felt so good.

The sensual licking, however, didn't last very long. But that didn't mean that Kaname's sensitive body was allowed a respite.

Quite the contrary. When Zero sluggishly sank his teeth into his skin, Kaname groaned hoarsely. There was a slight bit of pain - mainly due to Zero's lack over his motoric abilities but he must have recognized the pureblood as his mate because the way he drank was fairly gentle and that was what really had the pureblood groan so lewdly. Added to that, Zero's hands were pressing their bodies together and Kaname had no way of suppressing another moan as the dazed hunter nuzzled up closely to his chest and Kaname's naked skin was rubbed against Zero's hunter uniform. Who would have guessed the hunter could be so sensual when intoxicated?

He needed to pull himself together, Kaname reprimanded himself. Zero needed him to be lucid. But the deliciously helpless hunter was currently drawing slow deliberate sips off his throat and barely staying upright with great difficulty. Yet instead of concentrating on supporting the hunter, the pureblood found himself shuddering under the exquisite ministrations of Zero's vulnerable thirst. He tried to block the sensations - Kaname didn't trust himself with the hunter. He was a pureblood vampire. Though he wouldn't harm his mate, all of his body hungrily ached to take advantage of his weakened state. He needed to control himself, he didn't want to destroy what small trust there was between them by ravishing the hunter when he was this vulnerable.

Desperately, Kaname tried to hide the hunter's effect on him, trying to think about proposals and deadlines, but as Zero's thoughts slightly became more lucid, he began to thoroughly enjoy tasting his mate. Drugged enough to be out of it, but with the drugs diluted to a level were he was aware of himself and his body again, the hunter did what he surely would not have done had he been sober.

With uninhibited curiosity, he began using his tongue in earnest, playfully flicking it across the perfect skin while drinking and testing the pureblood's responses. Kaname knew he should be putting an end to this, but this was his mate caressing his sensitive skin relentlessly with his tongue, these were Zero's lips sucking his throat sensually - this was the stubborn hunter deliberately pleasing him... Zero slid his fangs in and out of the bite marks and lapped the blood up with his tongue, catching stray droplets with careful thoroughness... oh dear god... Heat flashed through his entire body as Zero's almost childlike fascination had the pureblood shuddering in sweet torment.

With all his will power, Kaname forced his hands not to roam the hunter's body under that uniform, though he wanted to so badly.

Even through the uniform and shirt he could feel Zero move, could tell how his muscles contracted and relaxed as he drank in slow, repeating movements. His fingers itched so badly to slide between the pieces of clothing, to run across the muscled torso, to feel the sinewy strength, to touch the soft skin spread across that unbelievably hot body. Combined with the incredible tongue and lips lapping languidly at his throat and Zero's scent sweetly wreaking havoc in his nostrils, it made the pureblood's head cloud in pleasure. There was no way Kaname could hide his hard-on. If this went on any longer, he would find himself sheethed in the hunter's body, no matter the cost to their newly formed fragile trust.

When Zero slid his fangs out of the pureblood's skin, Kaname sighed quietly. He was painfully aware of his aroused state. He was still trembling and he found that he was holding onto the hunter just as much as the hunter was holding on to him. Kaname rested his head on Zero's shoulder to catch his breath for a second. Desire was coursing through him and he found it difficult to concentrate, but he forced himself to take his hands off Zero and leaned back, giving the hunter space to leave if he wished.

Zero did not leave.

Kaname was about to question Zero. But when he looked at the hunter, half of him wishing he would leave so he could collect his senses and the other part wanting nothing but to tear those clothes from the hunter's body, he looked into dilated pupils with a thin rim of lilac - the proof that Zero was still very much out of it. Yet all of that was secondary when he grasped the intent in those eyes.

All he saw was raw desire.

He realized instantly that it was in their bond, radiating through both of them – that they were sharing this sensation. Kaname was almost shocked to find such need and hunger in those eyes - of course, the entire situation was made even more surreal by the fact that there was hardly a hint of lilac in the hunter's eyes. Kaname just hadn't expected it. He trailed his eyes across his mate.

The way Zero was kneeling on his lap with his silver hair softly glowing in the remnants of light and his slightly swollen lips barely concealing his extended fangs had Kaname breathless. But what he marvelled at most was that look in the hunter's gaze. It was beautiful, deep and raw and a bit feral even. It tore through the pureblood like a tornado in his bloodstream. The look of pure hunger made him tremble in pleasure. So taken aback was he that he didn't react at first when the hunter leaned in to kiss him.

Only when Zero pulled away again without their lips touching did Kaname notice what had actually happened.

The dreaded zing of hunter metal against his wrists had his mind frozen in disbelief.

No...

Panic shot through the pureblood like ice as he realized suddenly that he couldn't move his hands from behind his back. For a few seconds he forgot to breathe.

Not hunter weapons… anything, but not hunter weapons.

He closed his eyes struggling not to let the panic take hold of him. Regaining his breath, he opened them again and tried to communicate with the hunter.

"Z... Zero…" he stuttered. The pureblood cursed his weakness. How had Zero managed to do this to him? How could he not have seen it coming? Suddenly, Kaname found himself pinned beneath the hunter's strong body. It was actually quite a harmless and playful pressure on his chest compared to what Zero could have done. Instantly, the pureblood felt torn between fear and arousal. The hunter was drugged and horny - the intent in those eyes was clear.

There was no way he would listen to the stuttering pureblood, of this Kaname was sure.

The feeling of electricity emanating from the hunter cuffs gnawed at his nerves, but Zero was so close to him, their breaths mingling, both their heartbeats loud in the silence of his room that he couldn't help himself but want him closer. He closed his eyes like a small child trying to bury the rising dread in his chest. He hated himself for this irrational fear of hunter weapons. Zero was sure to take advantage of it – smelling the fear of their prey, any vampire would.

But he had underestimated his mate yet again.

"Shhhh." Zero's husky voice appeared close to his ear. The pureblood flinched as the hunter softly touched his calloused fingers to his cheek. Hyperaware of every touch, Kaname shivered as the fingers slid across his face and their tips came to rest on his lips.

"You're my bond mate, Kaname." he said quietly and the pureblood couldn't help but notice the hint of reverence in his voice. Slowly, with a childlike gaze filled with curious intent never leaving his eyes, Zero's fingers threaded their way through Kaname's wavy dark hair.

"I won't hurt you, don't worry…" Kaname tried to calm down. Zero was right – he had nothing to gain by hurting him; it would only hurt him as well. Then again, Zero wasn't one to care much if he hurt himself or not... Damn it, he was a pureblood. He was supposed to be stronger than this. He should be stronger than Zero, faster than Zero and blessed with more endurance both physically and emotionally. Kaname knew there was no rational reason to behave this way, but fear was not rational. Purebloods didn't get caught helplessly cuffed behind their back to get pinned to their own bed at the mercy of a drugged hunter. And truly, his current situation made him very weak.

"Undo the hunter cuffs, Zero." he said with as much calm as he could manage.

The hunter's fingers continued to softly weave through his hair unperturbed, his gaze intent but unrevealing.

"No." he said without anger, not changing his movements.

"Why not?" Kaname asked in a neutral tone. He was highly strung up now. Zero's slow gentleness was unnerving and calming at the same time. It was unfamiliar and yet so desperately wanted, it was unpredictable and yet so soft. Kaname was going out of his mind.

"You have already tried to force me..." Zero trailed off. Kaname wasn't certain if the hunter suddenly became distracted by something or if he just didn't want to continue. The message to him, however, was clear. Zero didn't trust him and that had earned him his currently restrained position. He felt terrifyingly helpless and a pureblood was not meant to be helpless. But this was Zero. And the way he did nothing but stroke his hair slowly began to soothe him. Especially now that Kaname understood the hunter's measure to be only out of precaution - at least it was what he hoped for.

"Don't worry." Zero whispered in a husky voice that went straight to Kaname's groin.

Softly, the hunter brushed his lips against the pureblood's. All fear was forgotten momentarily. He had wanted this so much. He had longed for this, needed this – how often had he imagined it - Zero initiating a kiss.

And his kiss was unbelievably gentle. With infinite care, the hunter's lips moved against his. Gone was the previous drug-induced sloppiness in his movements, the hunter was being sweet and passionate now. Kaname let him have his way and didn't fight it. He answered it likewise as best he could. Even after he pulled away, the memory of that soft kiss still tingled at the nerve-endings in his lips. He lifted his head for more contact, wordlessly asking for another kiss but Zero's strong hands kept him in place, granting contact only on his own terms.

Again, Kaname felt irrational panic constrict his breathing. He wasn't used to being dominated and all his instincts rebelled against being restrained thusly. In his dreams he had always given in, he had always felt safe – but this was reality. He was very much aware of the fact of how truly at the mercy of his mate he now was.

Kaname had all reason for fear. Robbed of his pureblood power, he was only as strong as his physical body was. But his body was that of a slender young man in his twenties - any human could easily kill him in this state. And Zero, a trained hunter, even more so. He was much stronger than him physically, and in full possession of both his vampire and hunter powers.

What if Zero's intentions were not all harmless?

If he was perfectly honest with himself he had to acknowledge that he feared the hunter in his current state. Zero was strong and brilliant at what he did. And he was still drugged – who knew what might happen? Kaname's heart pounded in his chest as uncertainty coursed through him. But there was no denying it - a small part of him liked this and had wanted to see Zero dominate him.

Zero still held him pinned down and was now regarding him with a calculating gaze. Kaname stared into his eyes apprehensively. He tried to read the hunter's intentions through their still open connection. But their bond revealed no evil intent, only playfulness.

"You look a little pale, Kaname." He said in a low, silky voice. "Perhaps you need to drink…" The smell of Zero's blood hit him instantly. Kaname was entranced as he saw that Zero had bitten his lower lip. Blood welled up from the small wound as Zero brought his mouth close to Kaname's.

"Kiss me, Kaname." He whispered. Even though he knew it was a bad idea to drink his drugged blood – it was too tempting to resist such an erotic offer. There was no way he could have refused anyway. But he didn't even want to. Fervently, he licked up every drop, sucking at it, relishing in the taste that was all Zero. But all too soon, the wound wasn't bleeding anymore.

"I don't want to hurt you…" Zero's voice murmured against Kaname's desperate lips. "I don't want to hurt you… I want to make you feel good." Zero kissed him deeply now, thrusting his tongue into the pureblood's mouth and exploring sensually everything he could find. With a swift movement he bit his own tongue deeply and Kaname moaned as more of his mate's blood welled up to greet his searching lips.

"I want to make you feel very, very good." Zero spoke through their bond and the emotions he sent with those words, travelled all through the pureblood's spine and pooled in his groin.

"I want to make you feel very good. But I can't let you hurt me."

Kaname found himself accepting his mate's intetions. And frankly, right now the taste of his mate robbed him of much of his rationality. Needy, he sucked hard at Zero's tongue, happily licking at the hunter's blood. He lappped up that rich and spicy crimson like he would never get another taste. It burned softly on his tongue and slid down his throat leaving a trail of delicious sweetness behind, driving him to roughly draw more. His own fangs pierced Zero's soft flesh to get more of it, but the hunter didn't seem to mind the treatment. Kissing the pureblood deeply, he let him have his fill of blood, relishing in Kaname's needy thirst.

It wasn't long before the pureblood felt the effect of the drug he had ingested through Zero's blood. With his healing minimized by the hunter cuffs, his body was ineffective at countering the poison. It slowed his reflexes even more, putting him into a haze while the aphrodisiac fueled his desire to new hights. His world seemed to narrow down to nothing but Zero as he felt like he depended on that kiss. Like it was the only thing feeding him life. Coupled with his fear of his vulnerability, he wanted only to cling to the hunter. But without the use of his arms he couldn't. That combination in itself was already pushing Kaname to his limits. He felt like a helpless child. And that scared him.

When Zero pulled away, Kaname felt cold and lonely. He needed the hunter, he needed Zero close. He knew that he was drugged now and wasn't thinking rationally but it didn't stop what he was feeling.

"Zero…" his voice filled with apprehension.

Zero seemed to understand the urgency and returned to kiss him deeply. In his dazed state, Kaname noticed that Zero had taken off his jacket only when he felt the hunter's skin against his chest where he had already partly unbuttoned his shirt. He inhaled suddenly as he found the hunter's fingers occupying themselves with his hard and sensitive nipples.

~{}~

Seeing as how his touch drew such a sweet reaction from the brunette, Zero slowly kissed the pert nubs languidly. Licking and sucking with steadily increasing fervor, he suddenly slid his fangs into the aroused skin. He watched as the pureblood's beautiful facial features - that had been filled with worry and anxiety - evened out into delight upon feeling the wonderful sensations. The graceful lines of his neck strained as he arched backward, his head pressed into the pillow with the soft hair tumbling across the sheets. Drawing the blood more slowly and trailing his fingers south, he caressed the needy skin gently. The hunter watched in fascination as Kaname's dark red lips parted for a lengthy moan and he relished as the sound reverberated through the pureblood's entire chest.

But Zero was delighted about another thing, too. He clearly felt the sting of his fangs into Kaname's body every time he bit the pureblood, but tonight was the first time he actually felt their connection had another side to it as well. Every time Kaname writhed under his tongue, Zero felt heat shiver through his own body. It was obvious that their bodies shared not only pain, but pleasure as well. Zero made the most of his newfound discovery and quickly found out what gave the pureblood more pleasure and what didn't appeal to him as much.

More than that, he enjoyed the feeling of how the slender body beneath him moved to the rhythm of his rapid breathing and how every shudder travelled through the pureblood's entire body - every small tremble tangible for the hunter as he pressed himself close to his mate. He wanted the brunette needy and hungry under his hands, but he didn't want Kaname to be afraid. It puzzled him to feel the pureblood's fear through their bond. He wanted him to feel protected, because Zero had no intent of hurting him. Even if Kaname didn't like it, the hunter cuffs were Zero's insurance that the pureblood wouldn't loose it.

But Kaname was also so beautiful when stripped of his usual regal demeanor like this, when he was not the immaculate politician, when he was just as vulnerable as everyone else. When he needed Zero to protect him. The hunter's thoughts, of course, were still highly confused and not much made logical sense. But he wanted to take control. And he wanted to have the pureblood addicted to that. Addicted to his touch. Submissive to his kiss. Not in fear, but in need. With delight, he watched the chocolate eyes glaze over with their rosewood depths shifting below the dark brown. This was decidedly enjoyable - he wanted to make sure Kaname was feeling nothing but goodness.

~{}~

Kaname couldn't believe what was happening. He had held back on his desires so desperately and here he was, at the hunter's mercy with Zero all over his body. Kaname groaned and tossed his head from side to side. Zero hadn't even touched his slacks and he was feeling so much pleasure already. The hunter's kisses found his naval and teased him. Kaname knew what it was Zero was planning to claim and even if he felt slightly apprehensive, he was currently in way too much pleasure to protest.

The hunter began rubbing his body up against him. It was making his head spin in a state of bliss and he abandoned his worries for now. He needed more. His arousal was straining through his slacks, yearning for more friction all the while he wanted it to be freed of its confinement. Zero's kisses and touches had his body shudder permanently in waves of delight.

When Zero's fingers peeled away his slacks and slid them off his body Kaname sorely missed their touch on all the erogenous zones the hunter had explored before. He cursed the fact that he could not touch Zero, restrained as he was. But he was rewarded with a visual pleasure instead. Kneeling over him, the hunter slowly shrugged off his own shirt and Kaname couldn't take his eyes off him. There was the skin he so desperately wanted to touch, those were the muscles he longed to feel as they moved with him. Then the hunter slid out of his pants, revealing the rest of his toned body.

The hunter's body was nothing but taught muscle and Kaname knew he couldn't get enough of it. If he couldn't touch it, then at least he would caress it with his eyes. As a pureblood, his own body was perfect to look at for anyone – but to himself it was boring. Zero's body was much more fascinating – it had scars from where he had been injured as a child before he had been turned. Born vampires had no scars, had no birthmarks… and usually they wouldn't do anything to mar their perfection. But Zero had a taming mark on his neck and wore strange piercings. Kaname already loved every inch of his body.

When Zero slid along his frame he shivered in their electric touch. The hunter spent long minutes kissing him deeply, pressing his own arousal close to Kaname's and rocking up against him. The pureblood couldn't help himself as he moaned into their kiss.

Zero pulled Kaname's underwear off him and got his own out of the way. Then he smiled softly before pressing the slender thighs apart and grazing the tip of his tongue against the pureblood's leaking tip. Kaname felt a burning embarrassment tint his cheeks. But when Zero did it again he couldn't help watching the hunter's tongue slide along his own throbbing length. Embarassement and vulnerability at his current position intertwined with the burning pleasure that Zero was inducing as his tongue became bolder.

The hunter was pressing his thighs apart, licking him where no one else had ever touched his body before. When the hunter's mouth enclosed him entirely in a wet hotness he cried out, shaking. Hot molten pleasure flashed through him. His hips bucked into the hunter's mouth of their own volition, only adding to Kaname's embarrassment. He couldn't help himself it felt so good. He needed more. But the hunter pinned his hips with one hand, torturing him with slow sucking motions. Then the calloused fingers enclosed his length, squeezing him gently. Kaname trembled, groaning. The hunter was playing his body much too well for someone so drugged...

"Zero… Please…"

But the hunter only teased him further, tracing a finger across his leaking tip, again curiously exploring what made the pureblood tremble most. Kaname felt pleasure shoot through him – it was disturbingly good, so very good, but not enough. Zero childlike interest was both infuriatingly merciless and deliciously torturing.

~{}~

"Make them wet." The hunter ecouraged softly, sliding his fingers into Kaname's mouth.

Obediently, Kaname began to lick the fingers sensually, making Zero shiver as he watched. It was the first time that Kaname felt like he was actively participating, instead of just moaning. He still felt a bit embarrassed at that but decided not to dwell on it too much. He rubbed his legs against the hunter, trying to convey how much he needed release.

But instead of granting Kaname's wish, the hunter merely teased the pureblood's length by blowing across the twitching flesh. Kaname only registered a wave of heat tearing through his body and he couldn't withhold a throaty moan.
Deciding that they were coated enough, Zero pulled out his fingers from Kaname's mouth and resumed kissing the pureblood's length while he trailed the wet fingers across the swollen sac, making Kaname mewl and writhe.

When Zero's tongue slowly rolled across his length, Kaname had already forgotten his self-conscious apprehension. He parted his legs willingly to give the hunter better access… it just felt so good – he hardly noticed a finger sliding into his rear, he was too busy bucking into the warmth Zero's teasing tongue provided. Only when the second finger began to stretch him, did he become fully aware that he was being prepared. Zero's fingertips were slowly moving inside him. It felt strange – not terribly unpleasant, just very strange. Zero added another finger, stretching Kaname's entrance. The pureblood winced shortly, but when the hunter slowly took his length between his lips, Kaname tossed with need.

~{}~

Zero found his need was unbearable now. In fact, he was so hot, that his leaking length provided enough lubricant for both of them. The flushed pureblood moaned at the loss of contact as he pulled away to reposition, but Zero lifted his legs with both arms and carefully slid into Kaname's twitchung entrance. Kaname hissed through his teeth at the slightly painful intrusion, but immediately he felt Zero's pleasure through their bond. And for the hunter, being sheethed inside his mate was an experience so deeply pleasurable that he could not have described it.

Kaname felt invaded, stretched and connected all at the same time. Through his confused sensations, he couldn't help looking at Zero. The pleasure on the hunter's face was worth all of it. He had never seen Zero look happy. Never. But here they were and the hunter was claiming him, enjoying it. The pleasure on his face was unmistakable. It warmed Kaname's heart to be the one to provide that happiness. He found himself opening up more to let him in. It hurt a bit at first. But to feel Zero inside himself wearing that expression was worth it.

"Move." he rasped.

Zero thrust in deeply. Whatever he had hit – Kaname cried out in wild pleasure.

"More… Zero…" the slender legs folded firmly behind Zero's back, pulling the hunter in closer. He definitely wanted that again. The hunter complied with their combined wishes. Unspoken between them, the rocked together and synched their trembling bodies without hesitation. Riding out their passion together, Zero increased his pace and thrust in faster and deeper, satisfying them both alike. The pureblood was way beyond caring about anything but their current activity and moaned unrestrained with every movement as he was helplessly brought to the brink of his sanity.

~{}~

As the last glowing rays of sunlight filtered in through the curtains, Zero leaned back against the headboard watching Kaname sleep. Ignoring the incessant throbbing of his head – most likely the lingering effect of the drug he had been given – Zero shook his head slightly, wondering how exactly they… no, he could have gone so far. He let his gaze wander across the endearing picture Kaname made. Lying on his side with his face deeply buried into the mattress between the pillows, the beautiful brunette was still naked, impossibly entangled in the sheets of his bed. Zero wanted to brush the long messy tresses of hair out of his face to watch the solemn face in slumber, but refrained from doing so. He wasn't sure he deserved to touch the pureblood like that after what he'd done.

Though he couldn't recall how the two of them had gotten back to the house after leaving the festival hall, he very clearly remembered what had transpired after he had fed and regained some control. Because he would be lying to himself if he said that he'd had no control over himself at all…. Rubbing his forehead with the palm of his head he tried to get rid of the images.

You're an idiot, Kiryu… a total idiot. You got yourself drugged – by hunters no less, then fed off a pureblood and instead of feeling a proper amount of guilt at being caught so weak when it was your job to protect, instead of being grateful to the one who saved you from being played with by your own kind what do you do? You fucking cuffed the pureblood with hunter cuffs and screwed the virgin into oblivion. You practically raped a fucking virgin pureblood!

Yeah… he was so dead for this.

~{}~

The sheets rustled as Kaname slowly woke. He felt rested, refreshed and happy. He was just about to turn around and go back to sleep when he realized with a start that something was different... Zero was next to him - he knew this without even opening his eyes. And he hadn't woken up craving Zero after another one of those dreams… wait…
Zero. The Peace Treaty Celebtrations. And… and… oh. my. God… His eyes flew open.

The hunter sat next to him, leaning against the head board watching him with a wary gaze. Images flooded Kaname from the night before. A confusing multitude of emotions crashed into him at those memories. But one stood out in particular.

Anger.

Without warning, Kaname punched the hunter square in the face, slamming his cheek into the headboard. Zero didn't react. Kaname ignored the pain in his own face. He felt the hunter's guilt through their bond, so he knew he deserved it then. Zero didn't even move his face back toward him, but kept it where it was, wooden splinters digging into his cheek.
Kaname waited. When Zero still didn't make a move, Kaname grabbed his face hard and pulled it towards himself until their noses were only atom layers apart.

Zero didn't even flinch.

"That's for handcuffing me with hunter cuffs."
The hunter nodded ever so slightly, his lilac eyes fixed on Kaname's with an expression of acceptance. He had obviously expected something like that to happen. Kaname searched his face and their bond for more reactions. The hunter expected more pain. Yeah… of course. Zero was such an idiot.

Kaname gave the hunter no time to dwell on it. Without hesitation he smashed his lips onto Zero's. Pressing the hunter against the head board, both hands buried in the silver hair, he kissed him like his life depended on it. God, he needed the hunter. He had never imagined that sex with him could be that good. He wanted more of last night's pleasure and he wanted it right now. Trying desperately to convey what he was feeling, he pressed himself close to Zero as he worked his lips feverishly against the hunter's. Clearly confused at first, but slowly catching on, Zero answered the kiss tentatively.

They broke apart, panting and catching their breaths. Kaname was rock hard, ready to repeat the night before.
Please… please tell me this wasn't just the drugs… please tell me you want me.
Zero however, didn't seem to be quite there just yet.
"But… you were afraid of me… I... I… raped you…

"Zero…" Kaname shook his head amazed at Zero's negative perspective – "that was no rape…That was about the most gentle way to deflower a virgin anyone could ask for."
Zero blushed. "But… you… you were afraid of me." Kaname said nothing. A pureblood wasn't afraid.
"…weren't you." Zero prodded. It was a statement not a question.
Kaname lowered his gaze - it was sort of an admission, though not with words.

"You were afraid of me?" Zero asked incredulously as though the irony of that had struck him only now. Yes, he, Kaname Kuran, one of most powerful purebloods ever to walk the planet was afraid of a Level D.
Kaname couldn't look at the hunter. It was a disgrace.

"Why?"

The dreaded question. Should he tell the hunter? Should he tell the hunter what power he had over his mate? Would Zero even understand if he tried to explain?
He shook his head as if to say 'not now' and crawled up the hunter again. "Stop it..." Zero growled. But Kaname refused to listen.
Perhaps that would have been better. But he didn't want to talk about it now - not when Zero was here with him in his bed like this. Hell, he didn't want to talk at all. He began fervently sucking at the hunter's lip, desperately running his hands across his toned chest without listening to Zero.
Finally, Kaname felt Zero respond, and he pounced in his chance, clutching the hunter tightly.

But Zero used his opportunity. The pureblood found himself pinned to the bed with Zero in top, his eyes flashing angrily.
"What is wrong with you?!" He shouted at the pureblood. "I fucking raped you and you want more?"
"Zero..." Kaname looked at him with a pained expression, his voice unmistakably hurt.
"I swear to you that you didn't... I... I... Zero, how can you say something like that after how gentle you were to me?" The hunter scowled and let him go.

"Kaname Kuran... Are you saying that I didn't cuff you, that I didn't rob you of free choice, that I listened to your objections, and that I didn't force you?!" Zero's voice had grown in volume and the pureblood flinched. Here it comes, he thought. He's going to say it was the drugs. He's going to apologize and never love me again... His look of dismay showed blatantly.

Zero saw it and - of course - misread it. He hung his head, his silver bangs obscuring his face. Kaname was close to crying.

Here it comes...

"I swear," the hunter whispered. "I swear I never planned to take you like that. I hadn't intended to do that to you." Kaname felt his heart crumble inside. Every piece of it was now heavy as lead. He didn't want to hear this, but he listened anyway as Zero continued.

"I wanted you to feel loved when I made love to you. I didn't mean to hurt you. I should have been much gentler. I had wanted it to be special..." He looked up with hurt in his eyes, facing the pureblood.

Kaname thought he'd misheard somehow. That was what the hunter wanted?

"You wanted to make love to me?" he asked in disbelief.

Zero swallowed and blushed. "Yeah..."

"Really?" Kaname almost didn't believe it.

"I'm sorry that I hurt you like that." Zero said quietly.

"You couldn't hurt me." Kaname said.

"Stop forgiving me like that. It's wrong." Zero scowled.

It was Kaname's turn to want to shake some sense into the hunter.

"Zero." he growled. "You're a vampire. Do you know what happens, when a vampire usually gets drugged like that? When a Level D vampire gets THAT amount of pureblood aphrodisiac?"

The hunter shook his head. "He humps everything he can fucking find without warning."

Zero shook his head sadly. "I'm sorry... I shouldn't have..."

"Zero!" Kaname yelled. The hunter looked up, startled.

"It wouldn't have been your fault if you had torn another hole into my ass." Zero flinched at the words.

"But what did my precious hunter do?" Kaname's eyes softened. "Yes, he cuffed me..." Kaname lifted the hunter's hand and kissed it. "...but he also kissed me, fed me, caressed me, and loved me. Zero, you shouldn't have been capable of an ounce of patience. You should have been ramming inside me like there was no tomorrow - but you didn't. Do you hear me? You didn't fuck me - you made love to me, Zero. It was special. And believe me, you were gentle. You were so gentle it drove me up the wall with need. You made it special. And because you shouldn't even have been capable of that, it was even more special, Zero."

Zero bit his lip, clearly not really buying it. The gesture looked so irresistible to the pureblood, it made him want to kiss those lips that instant. The big and strong, brooding hunter, Mr Unapproachable, chewing his lip over not being gentle enough with his lover was something so endearingly Zero-like that Kaname just had to hug him.

The startled hunter didn't respond at first, until slowly he snaked his arms around the slender pureblood.

"You're an idiot." the hunter growled sheepishly, but not without fondness.

"I don't care." Kaname answered. "Now make love to me, Zero Kiryu, or I'll forget everything I just said."

"Are you sure?" Zero asked.

"How can I not be?" he asked. "Just leave out the cuffs this time. I promise I won't struggle... Mr. Hunter." Kaname's seductive words caught him entirely off guard.

"I'm hard Zero." he whispered into his ear. "Just thinking of you inside me makes me want to come."