He was watching her, he was always watching her nowadays. It was just a natural thing for him to do that he had to remind himself that what he was doing was considered illegal by others. He followed her home, broke into her house, and even stole a couple of her objects just to satisfy himself and allow him to pretend that for a few moments when his instincts would take over that she was there. He needed her scent, it was like a drug to him and if it wasn't near him then he would lose it. Those few times he had been separated from her was pure torture, not knowing if she was alright or what was happening made his mind turn dark and he wanted nothing more than to punch and fight his way to her. All he wanted was her, that was it. He wanted her so badly that it even burned him, he who was a fire mage that ate fire, he who could never be burned by any flames was burned by the flames of love that ached deep inside his heart.

He knew what she was to him. She was his mate, his life partner that he would love and cherish until his very last breathe. He had chosen her and no one else would ever be able to compare to her. Only she could fill the void that was in his heart that had been made when Igneel had left. Only she could make him smile and feel so powerful that no matter how badly he was injured he could still keep fighting because it meant that she would be safe. He never wanted to see her hurt, he had made a vow a long time ago to keep her safe from any harm and if he ever broke that promise then it meant he was weak and didn't deserve her.

He had broken that promise many times. The few times she had been separated from him she had returned with a wound on her precious body. He hated seeing her hurt because if she was hurt then he was hurt, he would never let her suffer alone. Those few times she had been wounded he had kept himself from going to her home, joining her in her bed and enjoying the feeling of her body pressed up against him as she slept peacefully. His body always ached to be near hers, to just get in some form of contact but he would restrain himself until he saw that she was fully recovered. If she was suffering then he would too because she was his mate and what she feels he feels as well.

He wanted to tell her. He wanted her to know everything, to know how deeply and strongly he cares for her. He wanted to tell her everything that he kept hidden so far away that not even his best friend and son Happy could see. He loved her. He was deeply, truly, desperately in love with her. His feelings for her were so strong that it made his fire burn even stronger than it used too. He fought for her, he burned for her, and he lived solely for her just as she lived only for him.

He badly wanted her to know but if he couldn't keep her from getting hurt then what right did he have to confess? Until he was strong enough to keep all enemies away from even touching her beautiful body he would keep his feelings locked away. Until he became strong enough that no one dared to even think about touching her then he wouldn't reveal his feelings. The only way he would tell her was if he felt someone or something would take her away from him. He was no fool, he could smell the attraction his friends held for his mate. They found her beautiful just as he did but what they felt was nowhere near what he felt. They merely saw beauty but he saw more, so much more. He saw a woman that made his veins burn with flames, making him grow stronger everyday just so he could be with her, a woman that deserved the best but would settle for whoever made her happy. She deserved the world but she didn't want it, she only wanted love and he would give her that.

He swore that when they would finally get together he would make sure that there would always be a smile on her face. That she would always be happy and carefree because she would be with him and he would never allow her to be sad. Her face wasn't meant for frowns or tears, only smiles and laugher.

Just like now as she cried in his arms, shedding tears that did not suit her beautiful face. "Ssh, it's ok Lucy. There's no reason to cry." he held her close to his body, arms wrapped securely around her shaking form. One hand in her hair and the other rubbing circles on her back in order to calm her.

"B-B-But he's dead. I just saw him yesterday and now he's dead." she cried weakly into his chest, retelling the sad tale. A guy she had been seeing had died from a fire, his house had caught fire during the night and killed him while he slept. By the time help had arrived his body had already been burned to a crisp, leaving no remains behind.

"I know but like the reports said, he was a smoker who forgot to put out a cigarette." he whispered into her hair, taking in the wonderful scent that was only made from her. Only she could make this delicious smell that made his body burn hotter than usual, somehow calming him and exciting him all at the same time.

"But still...!" she cried again, weeping for the deceased man.

This is what Natsu loved about her. She was so sweet and kind, crying for a man that she had only known for a few weeks. She just had so much room in her heart and came to love everybody that she meet. He had to admit that annoyed him a little but after he accepted that she was just a loving woman who cared for all living things he didn't mind so much that she cared about others, so long as he was number one in her heart he could deal with it.

"I told you, sometime stuff like this happens so there's no use in being sad about it." he said, wiping away the few stray tears that would fall from her eyes every so often. "Now stop your crying and start smiling already. You look so weird right now." he laughed like a fool, he knew he sounded like one too but he would continue to act like this until it was acceptable for him to reveal his true feelings. Honestly he just wanted to kiss away the tears, push her body down on the bed and remind her with his own body that she didn't need to think of others when she had him.

"Yeah, I guess you're right." she hiccupped, moving her hair out of her face and gave him a weak smile.

Natsu was glad to see that smile, even if it was a small one. "See, that's the spir-!" he stopped when his eyes caught a certain mark that made his blood boil with rage. "What's that?" he touched the red skin on the side of her neck and released a low growl in his throat when he smelt another man's scent coming from it.

"Oh this?" she looked away, blushing. "Well Kei and I were starting to get pretty serious and a few nights ago when we were kissing he did this." her cheeks burned a deep red as she told this tale, not realizing that every word she spoke was making Natsu's anger rise higher and higher. "Of course I stopped him before it could go any further. I'm not ready to take that step yet." she fidgeted a little in her seat, feeling a bit weird talking about this certain topic with him. "I'm going to freshen up and then we can head to the Guild." with a quick pat on his shoulder she headed to the bathroom to freshen up her make-up and try to hide the mark her old, now ex-boyfriend had made.

Natsu watched her go and when he saw that the door had fully closed released a deep growl. He was pissed. "Bastard," his griped his pants in an attempt to hold back his anger, knuckled turning white from the rage that was boiling inside of him. "If he wasn't already dead I would kill him again." he scoffed, looking over at the newspaper that was sitting on her desk. The headline was about a fire that broke out in apartment belonging to a Mr. Kei Momoko. The guy had been dating his Lucy for a few weeks and he had gotten on Natsu's last nerve. He was always taking her away from him, making her reek like him all the time and trying to claim her as his own when she already belonged to him. Finally he had enough and did away with the guy, just like he had with any of the other suitors that tried to take his Lucy away. The others he had just scared away but lately there were more guys making moves on his woman and he had to take action. Kei was only the second guy he had killed that dared to touch his woman, the first had been an enemy that dared to put his hands on Lucy's body, trying to take away her innocents and in front of him no less. He had lost control with that one, beating the guy until he was no longer breathing, only when Lucy was pulled him back with tears in her eyes did he stop.

He had learned after that incident she would always go to him whenever she was upset. It was because she trusted him with her life and he liked that. It just meant he was one step closer to claiming her heart all for himself.

"I'm ready!" Lucy announced, coming out in one of her usual outfits. She now had a bright smile on her face and for that he was glad. "We can go to the Guild now." she was already grabbing her keys and whip when he stopped her.

"Actually I was thinking about taking a day off," he knew his words had caught her off guard but he had a plan. "You're still upset and I bet you want some quiet time so how about you and I skip the Guild and just go on a picnic instead?" he suggested sweetly, a child like grin on his face.

"A picnic?" she looked him over, not realizing that her gaze was making his instincts scream at him to take her. Of course she wouldn't realize it because she was pure and innocent, she knew nothing of the world that he was in but he didn't mind. He would help her into that world slowly until she was finally ready for him. "Natsu? Are you just trying to get some free food out of me?" she gave him the look she always gives him when she thinks he has something up his sleeve.

He looked away with a stupid grin. "Maybe." his voice was light with amusement, fooling her into believing that was his real reason when in reality he really wanted to just be alone with her. Now that he saw someone else had marked her, something meant only for him to do, he needed to be alone with her, to get his scent and presences back on her body.

She gave a soft laugh but nodded, "Alright. I'll start packing our lunches but don't expect me to do this often." with that said she walked into her kitchen to prepare the food they would eat. He only nodded and headed for the window, he would tell Happy and the others that he and Lucy would be taking the day off today. "Oh, and Natsu?" she called to him and he immediately gave her his full attention. "Thank you. You always know just what to do to cheer me up." she sent him a bright smile before disappearing back into the kitchen.

Natsu only grinned, "But of course Lucy. After all we are mates." he said to himself, staring at the spot where she had spoke for a moment longer before jumping out of the window and heading towards their Guild to tell all what their plan for the day was.

Natsu loved it when it was just her and him. Just the two of them alone together, just like how it was meant to be. Ever since he meet her he had always wanted to be alone with her, not to share her with anybody else because she belonged only to him. A selfish wish, he knew that, but he was part Dragon and that meant he was possessive of what belonged to him. She was his princess that he would take away from the castle that tried to keep her away from the world and bring her into his den. There she would remain by his side forever as his own princess.

"Geez, Natsu I still don't know how you can eat so much and so fast." she laughed as he gobbled down the food she had prepared for the trip.

But of course he would eat it all. She had made it, she had prepared it all for him just how it should be. He would eat meals everyday made by her for him and their family. It was perfect life he had dreamed about ever since he meet her, a dream he vowed to make come true. That day they had meet made his eyes open and close at the same time, he saw only her, she was his world and he would do anything to keep her.

"I'm going to go throw out the garbage." she offered happily, trying to thank him for bringing her here to cheer her up.

He was glad that she was happy and allowed her to go as he finished off the rest of her cooking. His eyes never leaving her as she walked with confidences to the nearby garbage bin, chucking in the used and dirty wrappers that had been used to contain their food. Somehow even that simple act made him love her. How graceful she acted with every step that she took, every moment shining bright with elegance and power made his heart scream at him to take her in his arms and keep her there so no one else could ever steal her away.

"This was a nice idea." she came back to sit beside him on the blanket, a content look on her face as she rested against the tree behind them and watched the clouds go by. She was enjoying his company, just as she should, and he felt at peace seeing how happy she was. He was only ever truly happy if she was happy.

"Yeah, we should do this again sometime." he laid down on his back, hands folded behind his head and he stared up at her, pretending to watch the sky but really he was looking at her.

Lucy giggled at his words, making a smile come onto his face. "You just want more free food." she patted his head in a friendly gestured and he pouted. He didn't want friendly or brotherly love, he wanted pure, hot, passionate, undying love with her. It was what he felt for her so it was only right that she should feel the same.

But he would wait for her. He was not patient by nature, in fact it was against his very instincts but he knew how naive she was to the world of love. She had yet to experience it after all so he would let her grow into her feelings for him before he claimed her. He knew that she had a crush on him, he could smell the attraction coming off whenever he was by her side and that made him grin with joy. Soon that small crush would turn into love and that would in then turn into marriage and them never having to be separated ever again.

"I'm going to head home now." she announced, standing up to her feet and giving a small stretch. "It's getting pretty late and I think I'll need all the rest I can get after this day." the frown returned to her face as she remembered the deceased man. Natsu had to suppress the growl that wanted to come, she was still thinking about that fool when her mind should only be filled with thoughts of him. "Well I'll see you tomorrow." she gathered the picnic items in her hands, waving him goodbye with a bright smile as usual and left him in the park.

"Lucy," he whispered her name into the wind, wanting her to come back and say and do everything he had dreamed about her doing with him. He wanted her to take his hand as they walked home, to give each other small kisses as they passed through town, and then when they would finally reach their home where they would undress until there were no boundaries and only their flesh against each other as they expressed the love they felt for each other in so many different ways that they would be sore for weeks after. "Just a little bit longer." he didn't know how much more he could take with keeping his feelings hidden. He knew he had promised to wait for her but his feelings were growing stronger everyday and it was getting to the point that it was getting harder to control. He only wanted her, he would always only want her and that would never change.

Over the past few weeks Natsu had noticed that Lucy had returned to her happy, carefree self. In fact she seemed even happier than usual and he was glad for that. He felt that he had really helped her and that meant more points for him to winning her heart and finally taking her as his woman. The only thing that really bothered him was that she could be seen talking with Gajeel more often than usual but he didn't let it bother him. Gajeel was now dating her best friend Levy so it was only natural that she would hang around with her best friend who had a very protective boyfriend. In fact he would be the very same way when they became a couple, sticking by her side no matter who she was talking too. If he felt they could steal her away from him, which was everybody because she was just perfect and everyone knew it, he would always remain close to her and protect her.

"Hey Lucy?" he called out to her just as she was about to leave the Guild. She had been leaving it earlier than usual lately and he didn't know why. "What's up? You're leaving early again?" he frowned, not happy that his precious time to be with her was being cut short.

She seemed nervous suddenly, her eyes going back to Gajeel before going back to him. "Not much. I'm working on my novel a lot more lately and I just got an idea for the next chapter so I want to go home and start writing." she said suddenly, hands tucked behind her back.

He raised an eyebrow at her explanation that didn't seem so right in his mind. "Is that so?" she was lying. He could tell by how her scent had changed. He could smell the scent of guilt, the guilt of her lying to him was reeking off her and he wanted to know why. She felt bad about lying to him, now he just needed to know what she was lying about.

"Yep," she nodded. "Now if you'll excuse me I have to be going now!" she all but ran out of the Guild doors, leaving him behind to stare at her retreating form and wonder what it was that she was lying about.

Feeling eyes were watching him as well he looked around and saw that Gajeel was staring at him. Blood red eyes watching his every move carefully. "What?" he growled, anger and annoyance radiating off of him as he returned to his seat and finished off the food he had ordered. He was pissed that Lucy had not only lied to him but seemed to be in a hurry to leave him. That was something he did not like. She shouldn't be wanting to run away from him, she should be wanting to run to him and never leave. "What's going on?" he could tell something was up by the way Gajeel kept staring at him so he needed to come up with a plan.

He needed to know what was up with Lucy, why she was acting so strangely. She was his mate and it was his duty to know everything about her life so he could protect her. He would follow her but he needed to get Gajeel's attention off of him to do so. He saw his opportunity when he saw Juvia was talking with Gray, it looked pretty intense so he said a comment to the ice mage that made him break out into an annoyed rage. The whole Guild started fighting like always, everyone beating on each other and that included Gajeel. So with his new opening he snuck out the backdoor and followed Lucy's scent through town. It lead him to her house and for a moment he felt relieved, she had gone home just like she said so perhaps he was overreacting. It was when he picked up on another certain scent that made him sprint the rest of the way to her home.

He found her outside her apartment, kissing another man that was not him. Showing affection to another male that was not him and wrapping her arms tightly around his body to keep the contact going, something she should only do with him. She was feeling aroused from the other man when she should only feel that way with him!

A feral growl escaped him and his instincts took over. He had finally snapped, allowing his primal nature to take control and claim what was rightfully his. In a flash he had pulled the two apart, his body burning with rage at this man who had dared tried to take away his mate. "Bastard," he gripped the boy's neck, enjoying as he gasped for air and the look of fear in his eyes. "She is mine!" he growled, tightening his grip and watched as the boy's face became blue from the lack of air.

"Natsu!" he felt her arms wrap around his upper body, trying to pull him away from the boy he held. "That's enough! Let him go!" she was crying, he could feel her tears running down his back.

He scoffed but did as she said. He dropped him, enjoying the gasps that were coming from his mouth as he tried to get the oxygen back into his body. "You're just lucky my mate is so kind or else you would have been dead." he scoffed, kicking the boy away with ease. He was a bit sadden that he didn't fall into the small stream that was in front of them.

He turned his back to the worthless man and faced Lucy, already expecting what would happen next. "You jerk!" she slapped him across the face, he was not at all surprised by her anger and tears that were coming out of her. After all he knew everything about her so he knew what to expect from her. "Just what the hell were you thinking? You nearly killed him!" she cried, shaking in anger at his action.

"It's because he was kissing you," he said with a clear voice. It was time she finally knew the truth. "You are mine, Lucy. You belong to me and only me, I won't let some other guy claim you when I already have."

"I'm what?" she looked shocked and a bit annoyed. She had probably taken his words like he had said she was some object that could be bought and sold to the highest buyer but she was not.

"You're my mate, my woman," he stepped closer to her, wanting her to feel the full force of his words. "And when the time comes you'll be my wife and mother of my children." he whispered the last part in her ear before spinning around, arm ablaze and struck down his enemy. The guy from before, the one who had dared to kiss his mate, had come at him with a knife. The foolish boy had actually thought he could take him but he was much stronger than him. His arm pierced through his chest, the flames burning his now lifeless body in an instant and watched as the ashes were scattered into the wind. "I don't care who it is," he said aloud, looking back at her and wasn't surprised to see the fear shining bright in her eyes. "I don't care if it's some random guy or someone from the Guild, if they try to take you away from me I will kill them," he stalked towards her, eyes sharp as they took in every move that she made. Her hand reached for her keys and whip but he was faster. He had both items in his hand, keeping them out of her reach and watched as she backed up against her building's wall, trying to escape but she knew that she couldn't. "I won't let anyone take you away from me," he leaned over her, trapping her body with his and took in her scent. The familiar scent that he had become so addicted to. "Even if it's you yourself who tries to get away I won't allow it. You're mine Lucy, now and forever and nothing can stop me from claiming you." he reached with his free hand to the back of her neck and knocked her out. Her body fell into his and he carried her off into the night, taking her someplace where no one could find them and where he could finally be all alone with her. He would make her understand that she was his and no one else's.

"Hey Mira!" he jumped over towards the older woman with a large grin on his face. "Another one of Lucy's boyfriends dumped her so I'm taking her on a little vacation to cheer her up. Can you look after Happy for a bit and tell gramps what we're doing?" he asked nicely, knowing she wouldn't deny him. Mira was one of the people that wanted him to get together with Lucy so she wouldn't object to him going away with the blonde.

"But of course, Natsu. Now you two have fun!" she waved his goodbye, a happy grin on her face.

"We will." Natsu waved her back and headed for the door.

"Hold it," he was stopped by Gajeel putting a hand on him and dragging him back. "We need to talk flame brain." he growled.

Natsu glared up at the bigger man and crossed his arms. "What do you want?"

Gajeel looked him over, eyes carefully checking his body for something. "What the hell did you do?"

Natsu wasn't surprised by this. Gajeel was smart and knew when something was up but it was too late for him to do anything about it. "Nothing, I just finally got what was rightfully mine to begin with." and with that said he walked out of the Guild, leaving behind the glaring man and heading to the place that he belonged too.

It took him longer than usual to get to his place, mostly because he wanted to be sure that Gajeel wasn't following him because that would be problematic. He needed to be alone and he didn't need that iron man to ruin his plans. "Lucy! I'm back!" he happily announced, dropping a basket of food, a bag of extra clothes, and a container of water down on the hard ground and looked over at his mate. She was chained to a wooden post in the ground, hands and feet held by a strong metal chain that would not break no matter how hard she pulled. A cloth covered her mouth to keep her from screaming and alerting anyone where she was. He only kept the cloth on her when he wasn't around because when he was around her mouth was usually covered by his.

She was shaking with fear and tears were still leaking out of her eyes as she tried to once more break free from the chains. "You keep doing that and you're going to hurt yourself." he lightly scolded her, sitting down in front of her and undid the cloth that blocked her mouth. He leaned forward and kissed her shaking lips with a small peck. She still wasn't used to him making advances but he didn't mind waiting, after all she was finally his now. "I'm home Lucy so welcome me back." he smiled down at her, one hand running through her gold locks.

"Natsu, I want to go home. Please stop this and take me back." she cried weakly, once again trying to break free from the chains that bond her to this nightmare world.

It pained him to see her like this but he had no other choice. She still hadn't realized that she belonged to him so he had to keep her locked up until she finally accepted it. "You are home Lucy," he kissed her forehead, trying to calm her down before she hurt herself. "When you're with me you are always home just as I am home when I'm with you," he pulled her into his embrace, loving how well her body fit with his. She was made solely for him just as he was made for her. "This cave is where Igneel and I stayed before he left. I'm the only one who knows about this place so no one can bother us while we're here," he rubbed circles on her back, inhaling more of her scent and let out a happy sigh. "Which is good because we'll need to be alone for you to finally accept being my mate." he touched the part of her neck that he had marked. His mark was on her, telling the world that she was finally his and his alone.

"W-What do you mean?" she gasped out, her body turning stiff as she tried to hide her fear. She was such a brave girl and he loved her for that.

He pulled away enough so that his forehead was resting against hers. "I'm a fire Dragon Slayer Luce. I'm very possessive of what's mine and I don't like sharing," he showed her by making fire dance in his hands, showing her his power and what he could do. "Nothing can take you away from me, not even you can escape me. You are mine Lucy, now and forever you will always be mine." he laid her down on her back, him on top of her to once again claim her as his. He would show her that she belonged to him and only him, and until then he would keep her here. Only after she finally accepted this and held no doubts about their love would he take them back to Magnolia, but until then the fire Dragon would enjoy his precious alone time with his ever so precious princess.