So, at this point, everyone knows that I was forced to remove Lemon Island and its mature content due to the Eliminator Forum vicious attacking and trolling me. I'm going to move ALL my mature stories to a new website. If you're just as sick of this as I am, please join our cause to bring freedom back to Fanfiction!

Avenger Forum link, remove spaces and *: www. fanfiction. n*e*t /forum/Avenger/119079 (All information can be found in the Supporter forum.)

The Rebellion Forum link, remove spaces and *: www. fanfiction. n*e*t /forum/The-Rebellion/114259/ (Most forums are banding together here.)

Petition for an MA rating link, remove spaces and *: www. change. o*r*g /petitions/fanfiction-net-we-want-fanfiction-to-create-a-ma-rating

Anyway, I have MOVED this story COMPLETELY to another site. You can find this STORY and all its subsequent UPDATES here: h*t*t*p :/archiveofourown. o*r*g/works/717911/chapters/1330001

I have the same penname there as I do here: ParadiseAvenger

X X X

For once, Cross Academy was quiet.

The Night Class students were all safely inside their classrooms, grumbling their way through lessons that they really didn't need. Honestly, Cross Kaien was both brilliant and stupid. The idea of peace between vampires and humans was ideal, but since when did immortal creatures of the night need to know how to square root fractions and learn about Shakespeare. They had probably shaken the legendary playwright's hand back in his prime. But still, the vampires muddled through it because first Kuran Kaname said they should and then so did Kuran Yuuki.

The Day Class students were safely bundled up in their dorms, having eagerly awaited all day for the change of classes when the beautiful Night Class came out, but they all went away disappointed at the fierce gaze of Kiryuu Zero guarding the gates alone. Cross Yuuki they would dare, ahem, cross, but no one wishing to live would dare muck with Zero. Wakaba Sayori, Cross Yuuki's roommate inside the boarding academy, was once again sleeping in their shared room alone. Yuuki slept in the Night Class dorms now and only a few select people knew why. Yori was one of them.

But, at least for now, the Academy was quiet.

Lyrics

"Zero." A girl's sweet voice cut through the darkness of the forest in a whisper akin to rustling leaves. She couldn't quite see him save the silver glint of his teeth and hair, but she knew he was there and she knew he was listening, if only to the pulse of blood in her veins. "Zero, let's do it now," she whispered.

"No," he said coldly, fingers clenching in the white shirt over his chest. A lesser girl would have turned away then and there and run for her life. After all, who in their right mind would stand here in the darkness, begging a vampire to bite into their throat and suck their blood. Maybe a stupid girl in a book or horror movie, but not in reality.

Except, sometimes, the truth was stranger than fiction.

"Zero," she whispered insistently. She reached out for him in the darkness, small hands groping like a bird that had found its way into the house but was unable to get out. It had been so easy for her to promise him her blood, to find her way into this, but now she wouldn't be able to get back out again.

And Yuuki's body was just as frail and fragile as any bird's—frailer, sweeter, softer, like that of a bisque doll left behind from an earlier century.

If the beast inside his body bit into her soft throat, if he drank from her life-giving veins… like ripe fruit, her flesh would break open beneath his fangs, but… her blood. He needed it! As always, his throat burned as dry and tight as any desert. Giving him away in more way than one, his eyes blazed the color of blood in the darkness, bright than even the moon on his pale white hair and sharp teeth.

Like a ship coming into the harbor at the guidance of a lighthouse, she came to him.

It was ritual, habit, routine, custom… With practiced ease of body though not of mind, he wrapped both arms around her small frame and held her close to support and warm her while he devoured her. She, always stronger and forcing him to do this to keep himself alive, pushed her jacket from her shoulders and stood before him in her white blouse. The cool air kissed her heated flesh and wafted the scent of her blood in her veins to him on the breeze.

"Yuuki," he breathed and her name was so much more than just her name, just like it used to be… before all this had happened to separate them. Once again, it was everything—a plea, an apology, a question, sorrow, pain, fear, desperation, starvation, his only expression… He murmured it one more time into the curve of her neck.

She nodded once, clutching his back with her small hands. For a vampire, someone supposed to be living dead, he was so warm and such a comfort to her in the chilly night with her white jacket lying on the ground somewhere behind her. "Do it," she whispered when she felt him hesitate.

His tongue laved, hot and moist, on the side of her throat and prepared her for the pain. A moment later, she felt first the prick and then the scrape of his sharp fangs on the heated tender flesh over her pulsing jugular vein. Holding her small body closer and tighter to shelter her in his arms, his fingers tangled in her thick chocolate hair, and his sharp fangs stabbed into her.

As a human, this had been painful for her and only made better by the feeling of Zero's warm arms around her like a castle.

Now, as a pureblood princess, the pain was as insignificant as an insect bite.

The actual feeding and bite, though, meant so much more now.

Kuran Yuuki had promised Kuran Kaname—her brother, lover, fiancé, and lately the man to betray her the very most—that she would feed on no one else's blood but his, but it wasn't a promise she could keep. It wasn't that she, like Zero, was unable to stomach the blood tablets, it was just… "The thirst of a vampire could only be completely quenched by the blood of the one they love…" Even when she drank from Kaname to the limits of his life, she was still thirsty.

Kaname's blood could not quench the longing inside her body.

Maybe it never would either.

But now, returning to the Cross Academy of her youth as a mere human girl and returning to the side of the only person she was ever able to completely trust, her thirst was even more acute with Zero only inches from her side most of the day or night. She wanted him. God, she wanted to drink from him so badly that her body felt like it was made of sand.

She slid her fingers into his soft silvery hair, holding his mouth close to her throat. Once, the sounds of him drinking had disturbed her a little bit, but now… she loved the sound. She could hear herself flowing into him, filling him, making him hers once again. "Zero," she whispered. She knew he could feel the thrum of her voice in her throat through his fangs and spoke his name softly again.

After what felt like only seconds, he pulled away roughly from her. He watched the blood continue to well on the wound and leaned forward to lick the punctures he had left closed so the bleeding would stop and she would heal, but the pureblood in her veins healed it in an instant. As if she had punched him, he pulled back from her. It was hated moments like this when he was reminded of what she had become, a pureblood vampire princess of the Kuran house, engaged to be married, not his anymore, not even his friend. Kuran Yuuki was his enemy now.

"Zero," she whispered and it came out almost as a moan.

"No," he said and his voice was cold as ice inside her heart once again.

"But—"

"No," he repeated.

Then, in the darkness, he turned away and she heard the clink of the chains as he reached inside his jacket to grip his Bloody Rose gun for comfort. Well, maybe not for comfort anymore. Maybe he was considering blowing her to pieces with it. Either way, she did not flee from him. Instead, she stood and waited for him to say something, but Zero did not speak to the girl who had once been his best friend. He walked coldly and quickly away into the darkness.

Lyrics

Inside her new room in the Night Class Dorms, Kuran née Cross Yuuki stood at the window and looked out over the grounds of the academy where she had grown up under the watchful eye and guidance of Cross Kaien and with the friendship of Kiryuu Zero. Now, she felt so alone even knowing that all the vampires here would follow her every command and order, but they weren't her friends. There was no one she could trust anymore.

Even Yori-chan had been taken away from her.

Zero… Zero had been torn away.

And Kaname was gone.

Just gone…

She went into the small ensuite bathroom, sat down hard on the rim of the tub, and stared down at her bare feet. Since becoming a vampire, she had been different. She could go barefoot for hours without flinching or even getting cold. There wasn't a shred of humanity left inside her body, she realized, and she hadn't even tried to hang on to it—not like Zero had… was still trying to do. Even now, she had to order him to drink her blood when she would have thought he would be eager to drive his fangs into her hated body.

But no.

Yuuki night not ever be Yuuki again, but Zero was still Zero.

Even though she knew the other vampires would become restless at the scent of her blood (which was why she and Zero had gone so far out into the woods surrounding Cross Academy) she allowed her own fangs to crawl from her mouth. For a moment, she stared at her reflection in the mirror—at her blood-colored eyes, sharp fangs, and long chocolate princess-cut hair—and she hated it for the very first time. She lifted her wrist to her mouth and bit deeply, drinking in desperate hunger from her own veins to try to slake her thirst.

As always, no blood could sate her.

She hungered for Zero's blood, just like a beast. She wanted to taste his blood, to lick his beating heart, to feel his thick blood running down her forever-parched throat, to devour every inch of him until they were one in the same inside her body. She had never wanted that from Kaname.

She lowered her hand from her mouth, looking at her bloodstained lips. "What happened to me?" she whispered to her reflection

I'm scared… the vampires will eat me…

"What happened to the girl that was afraid of vampires?" she whispered.

But then, she had never once been afraid of Zero.

She wondered if he had ever feared her after she became… like this.

There was a sudden light knock on the door. "Yuuki-sama?"

"I'm alright," she called. "It's nothing."

"Oh, alright."

Then, Yuuki remained sitting on the rim of the claw-footed bathtub and watched as the pureblood in her veins healed the bite in her wrist as if it never was. She leaned in toward the mirror and examined the side of her throat for any trace that remained of Zero on her flesh, but there was nothing.

Lyrics

Sometimes, Sayori Wakaba wondered why it was that Kiryuu Zero still remained in the Day Class's dorms. She used to think he stayed because Yuuki was a human and he didn't want to leave her side. Then, she thought it was because he hated vampires, but now… Everything had changed and he was still here. In everything that had changed—Yuuki, the Academy, even the sweet Headmaster—Zero was the only thing that remained constant.

He was still surly and rude, mean to a degree, and he wandered the halls late at night like someone lost and starving. He seemed almost like a small child, confused and hurt, aching inside like something broken beyond repair. Sometimes, when Yori watched him surreptitiously, she thought his eyes were red as if he had been crying, but that was silly…

Wasn't it?

Now, as she returned to her room after waking to go to the bathroom, she saw Zero come in from outside. He looked pale, but healthy at least and she figured he had found some fresh blood. Yuuki was back after all and Yori knew that Yuuki had supplied him with blood when she was still a human. Surely, she would do the same for him now, even if she was a vampire. In the past year, he had been living on animal blood, Headmaster Cross had told Yori sadly. (1) She passed him in the hallway without speaking, only glancing at him curiously, but her glance was not returned.

Lyrics

Kiryuu Zero returned to his room after feeding on Yuuki's sweet nostalgic blood, ignoring Wakaba Sayori when he passed her in the deserted hallway. Once inside his room, he slammed the door and leaned heavily against it, shaking himself roughly to clear his head.

She wasn't Yuuki anymore, he had to remind himself.

Cross Yuuki, his best friend, the girl he loved and who he once thought loved him, the one who cared for him when he was young and hurt and chased away his nightmares, who offered him her blood even while her heart screamed, 'I'm afraid… scary vampires will eat me…'

That Yuuki didn't exist anymore. She had been eaten by Yuuki the vampire.

Yuuki was only the pureblood princess to him now, a person to work with for peace and if peace fell through, she was only a target to kill. She was in love with Kuran Kaname, her destined partner. What she had had with Zero in the distant-yet-oh-so-close past didn't matter anymore. It may as well have not existed at all.

Everything between them was over.

Then why…?

Why was it only by drinking from her was he completely satisfied? Why did he feel whole now in a way he hadn't since she had left a year ago? Why was the gaping hole that had been punched through his chest where his heart should be being healed and filled by her mere presence? Even though she wasn't Cross Yuuki anymore, he still saw remnants of her living inside the vampire. And it made him both uncomfortable, sick, angry, but so very relieved and even… happy?

Lyrics

Cross Kaien sat silently at the mangled remains of his desk. He could still remember vividly the moment Zero had slammed his hands down on it and broken the surface right down the middle. Since then, it had been duck-taped, super-glued, and nailed. Yet Kaien hadn't bothered to get a new desk since then since something always seemed to happen in this office that caused Zero's unbridled rage to only break the desk once again. It just wasn't worth the effort. Without Yuuki, Zero was like a ticking time bomb and as equally uncontrollable. Besides, Kaien was alright with the broken desk. There were so many memories in it after all—memories of a happier time when he had a daughter and a son.

Kaien sighed heavily and ran his hand over the broken seam in the wood. Yesterday, Zero had come in and hot-glued it so the glue bubbled up between the crevice like blood welling in a wound. When Kaien had said that to the vampire-hunter-turned-vampire, Zero had abruptly left the office. Kaien knew why, but he once again chose to pretend he didn't.

Just like he had overlooked Yuuki and Zero's antics a year ago when Yuuki had been forcing Zero to drink her blood to keep him from dying.

But now, with Kaname gone rogue for reasons unknown to everyone but him and Yuuki back in the Academy working towards peace between vampires and humans as he had, everything seemed at risk of breaking apart, even so close to center. Zero and Yuuki were distant, not enemies and not friends.

Kaien was worried in a way he had never been worried before.

Not since Kaname had brought him Yuuki, the little girl traumatized and unable to speak, and explained to him the death of their parents.

Not since a young Zero had been brought to his doorstep one cold night covered in blood and Kaien had been told that the boy had been bitten by the pureblood, the Madly Blooming Princess, Hiou Shizuka.

Not since Zero's long-repressed vampire instincts reared their ugly heads and made him bite deeply into Yuuki's neck and drink from her small fragile body in desperate starvation.

Not since one year ago, when Yuuki's vampire blood had finally awakened, and the school came under attack from Kuran Rido.

No, Cross Kaien hadn't been worried like this in a long time, but it was even worse now because… there was nothing he could do to help. This was between Yuuki and Zero, between Kaname and the other purebloods, between Yuuki and Kaname. There was no room for an adopted father to interfere, not this time.

Lyrics

A few days passed between the sides of the school and the sides that had been taken inside it.

Yori went to class like a good student, wrote home saying that everything was fine, and wondered how Yuuki was doing in her spare time. Zero patrolled at night and scowled at the Day Class girls during the day and banished his thoughts of Yuuki whenever they cropped up. Yuuki tried her best with the noble vampires, nibbled her fingertips for blood when she thought she could get away with it, and thirsted away for the blood that would finally quench her bone-dry throat. Chairman Cross only worried, lightly touching his mangled desk. Somewhere, who knew what Kaname was doing…

Everything was coming apart at the seams, crashing down like a rock beaten on by the endless push and pull of the sea, like a delicately-built house of cards.

Lyrics

Yuuki walked the grounds of the Academy at night alone, heading to the fountain at the center. There, like she used to when she was human, she plunged her head beneath the flow of cold water to clear away all her troubling thoughts. It might have worked then, when her concerns were only for Kaname-senpai and Zero, but it didn't work anymore. Her mind was still swarming with a maelstrom of unpleasant thoughts.

The water only made her cold, droplets going beneath the jacket of her white Night Class uniform like a lover's icy touch. She shuddered, clenching her teeth until she could imagine the taste of hot blood filling her mouth. Her thirst only grew though.

Gasping, she pulled her head back from the stream of water and stared at it, her mouth bone-dry. Finally, desperately, she cupped her hands and drank the water from the fountain. It was cold and tasted terrible from being out in the elements for so long, but she could taste the metal of countless coins tossed into the water and continued to drink. She imagined it was cold blood.

"You shouldn't drink that."

With a sharp intake of breath, she whirled to face Kurenai Maria. It seemed almost absurd that a vampire could look so thin and fair and innocent, the most human-looking among them, but Maria had proven herself to be quick in mind to make up for her failing body. Now, holding a lace parasol even though it was nighttime, she once again proved herself by approaching Yuuki without her knowing.

"Maria-san," Yuuki said breathlessly and wiped her wet hands guiltily on her uniform.

Regarding the water of the fountain, Maria angled her head curiously. "Are you thirsty?" she asked finally. "You know you can drink from any one of us whenever you wish or need."

Yuuki shook her head. "I'm alright."

"Do I imagine that I smell your blood late at night, Yuuki-san?" Maria asked pointedly.

The pureblood princess looked sharply away. "It's nothing."

Maria approached Yuuki slowly, cautiously, until they were standing side by side next to the fountain. Silence stretched comfortably between them—Maria was the only one Yuuki could even begin to consider a friend. Considering that her frail body used to house Hiou Shizuka, the vampire who had tormented and bitten Zero, that was almost a little sad. Slowly, Maria ventured a hand beneath the cold flow of water and then glanced at Yuuki's soaked hair.

"You thirst for his blood, don't you? You've always been thirsty without it," Maria said slowly.

Yuuki glanced at her. "Kaname," she murmured. "Of course I do."

Maria shook her head. "No… not him."

Yuuki's heart leaped into her throat, but she swallowed it. "What?"

"You're thirsty for Zero-kun's blood, aren't you?"

She didn't respond, staring into the water.

"I understand," Maria said softly. "Sometimes, I want to drink from him too." At Yuuki's alarmed expression, she continued, "For Ichiru's blood. I know that Ichiru is alive somewhere inside Zero-kun and I want that."

"Maria-san," Yuuki breathed.

Twirling her parasol, Maria shrugged lightly. "Do you require anything of me, Yuuki-san?"

Yuuki shook her head.

"I'll be going back to my room then," Maria said softly. Then, she turned and walked smoothly away, her pale hair swishing across her back and shoulders. Her shadow was so long and thin that her body appeared to be made out of twigs, but Maria was smart. There was no doubt in Yuuki's mind that the girl knew far more than she let on. Possibly, she even knew that Yuuki was allowing Zero to once again feed on her blood—a forbidden act and great taboo in the vampire world—but Yuuki wasn't afraid that Maria would give Zero up. Maria had loved once, she knew what it felt like to lose too. She was the closest thing Yuuki had to a friend anymore.

Lyrics

He shone like moonlight above her, the pale silver light reflecting on his silver-white hair and beautiful amethyst eyes. His fangs were creeping from his mouth, bright white like slivers of the crescent moon from the week before were hung on his lips. His naked chest, muscles rippling beneath the porcelain ivory flesh, was so close to her face. She could have angled her chin and licked the sweat from his skin. Her hands coiled around his thin sides, cupping and holding him.

"Yuuki," he gasped and her name was everything it needed to be again.

"Ah, Zero," she murmured, clutching him close.

His fangs scraped her throat and began to drink without permission. He was doing it just to taste her, just to absorb her into his body, just to make them whole again the way they once were. Then, even when he finished, his mouth and lips continued to suckle her sensitive throat and kiss her collarbones and pulse. Her body raged with blood and passion for him.

"Let's do it now," she breathed, the same words she had used days before to get him to drink her blood.

His hands traveled down her naked body to her very core and stroked her, his fingers delving into the wetness and heat between her thighs. She had been with Kaname, but it had never been like this. She had never felt like begging. She cried out, gasping his name in pleasure and desperation.

Then, his throat was against her lips, pressing. "Drink," he whispered.

Eagerly, she opened her mouth, fangs growing immediately. Her tongue laved out to taste the texture of his skin, salted with the sweat of their love. Then, she opened her mouth, fangs scraping his flesh in delight. This was what she so desperately wanted!

There was a sharp bang on the door of Yuuki's bedroom and she woke from her dream with a start. Disoriented, for a moment, she glanced around in search of Zero, but the room was empty of all except for her. She was alone in her bed, sweaty and hot and bothered.

"Yuuki-sama? Are you alright?" one of the vampires asked through the door. "I was passing by and heard some strange sounds."

"I'm fine," she called. "Thanks."

"Okay, Yuuki-sama."

Then, the hall was silent and she was really alone again.

She pressed a hand to her sweaty forehead. "That was one hell of a dream," she murmured and stared at the darkened corners of the room as if Zero might be hiding there. "But who can control what they dream?" she whispered to the empty bedroom. "And dream I do…" (2) Then, rolling over in the twisted sheets of her bed, she tried to go back to sleep. Maybe, if she was lucky her dream would return to where it left off, but the rest of her night was dreamless.

Lyrics

In the stables, the area that had become his sanctuary, Zero was fawning over the bad-tempered white horse who liked no one but him though the Headmaster (and everyone else for that matter) didn't understand why. White Lily feared vampires, like Yuuki, yet Zero became her exception, just like Yuuki. In a way, Zero supposed as he brushed the horse down in silence, Lily was not unlike Yuuki. Ha patted her strong neck, feeling the pulse of blood beneath her thick skin.

"Good girl," he murmured softly.

White Lily whickered in return, nuzzling his shoulder lightly.

There was a faint knock on the open door of the stable, a long feminine shadow tracing across the golden straw.

Zero turned, slowly, expecting it to be Yori. She often tracked him down to the stables for Headmaster Cross and ferried whatever messages someone wanted to give him. Tentatively, he could consider Yori a friend. "Yeah?" he asked the air behind him.

"Hey Zero."

His heart skipped an unsteady beat. His throat and mouth turned into a parched desert just at the sound of her voice and he could suddenly smell the scent of her blood all over the air around him. White Lily pawed the straw nervously, making soft sounds in her throat and pushing on Zero with her nose. He didn't understand what she wanted from him, what either of them wanted from him.

Lyrics

Hissing, Zero asked, "What do you want, Yuuki?" He realized that even now, even as enemies, an honorific had not returned to her name nor did he coldly call her by the family name like he did with the other vampires. Deep in his aching chest, Yuuki was still Yuuki. "What?" he snapped again.

When she was human, she would not have fled from his mean voice and it didn't send her running now. Instead, she stepped inside the stable, shut the door quietly, and closed the space between them. Her hands came to rest on his chest, White Lily's nose pressing into his back to keep him from pulling away. Pinned between them, there was no escape for him.

"Zero," Yuuki murmured. Her lips parted, damp and petal-pink and so beautiful, even her pearly-white fangs as they reached out for his blood. Did she really intend to forcefully drink from him… as he had once done to her?

His heart throbbed and he reached within his jacket to grip the Bloody Rose gun in his long fingers. "Back off, Yuuki," he hissed at her.

She looked up into his face, her eyes burning the color of blood. "Please," she murmured.

"Step back," he repeated.

"Zero, I need this," she whispered. "I need… you…"

He pulled the gun free and pressed it into her chest, but she still didn't put space between them. She remained standing there, her hands pressed into his chest, her long hair billowing, her pulse racing in her thin beautiful throat. The bloodlust began to burn through his body as well, desperate. It suddenly felt like forever since he had drunk from her veins though only a few days had passed. He bit back his fangs, but they caught the corner of his mouth. He knew Yuuki saw the roll of fresh blood before his tongue snaked out to lick it away. Her bloody eyes blazed brighter with want.

Silence spread between them, each wanting to reach out and bury their fangs in the other, but neither moved. It was just like how it had been after they had rescued the school from Kuran Rido—a standoff between friends and enemies in the same breath. Then, he had pointed his gun at her earnest face and she had held her Artemis Rod at the ready to club him if he tried to kill her. They were both anomalies, vampires wielding anti-vampire weapons then, but Yuuki no longer carried her staff. Now, she had only the strength of a pureblood to stop him from pulling the trigger into her chest.

A long moment passed, longer and longer, spreading out like water. Neither moved, burning blood-colored eyes locked on each other. Occasionally, the blood at the corner of Zero's wounded mouth welled up enough for him to lick it away. Then, his eyes would blaze brighter with greater thirst, but he still wouldn't move to feed on her. Yuuki remained standing before him, both hands pressed to his chest so she could feel his heartbeat as it pumped the blood through his body. The Bloody Rose was pressed cold and hard between her breasts, dangerous, but she didn't think he would shoot her now—not then, not now…

Suddenly, Zero pushed her away and turned back to face White Lily, pressing his hand to her soft muzzle. His back was to Yuuki, the Bloody Rose still hanging from his hand, but he still rusted her enough to give her his back. "Leave me alone, Yuuki," he hissed back over his shoulder at her. "Leave me be."

It was like so long ago, after she had discovered the vampire lurking inside his body, when she had offered him her blood and he had drank in desperation and then begged her to abandon him on the bathroom floor. Then, she wouldn't leave him and she couldn't leave him now. At least, not completely.

"Zero," she murmured. "I… I'm always thirsty."

"It's because Kuran is gone," he hissed.

She shook her head. "No… no…"

He glanced at her and their eyes met through the dim interior of the stable, both eyes still blazing the color of blood. He was haunted by her gaze then, by her bright vampire eyes, and she stared at him without blinking. Her expression was thin, but honest and he saw the old Yuuki that he needed and trusted with his whole being. She had been eaten by Yuuki the vampire, but she still lived inside this new Yuuki. Just like his own humanity survived inside his own body. Maybe… they were one in the same.

But even so, he turned Yuuki away from him and returned his affections to White Lily though the horse's clear amber eyes watched him closely. Reflected in her eyes, he watched Yuuki bow her head in defeat and leave the stables, closing the door behind her as if to close off her heart as well. Zero licked the blood from the corner of his mouth, still tasting Yuuki's blood inside his own.

Lyrics

Yuuki had been unable to convince Zero to let her feed from him. Neither though had he drank from her. The sight of his blood on his mouth had nearly driven her over the edge. How desperately she had wanted to lean up on her toes, lap the blood from his lips, and then kiss him deeply. She nearly had, but something in his eyes had stopped her.

She couldn't be sure what was lurking inside Zero's soul now, but she knew that if she fed from him, something would change between them—maybe for better, maybe for worse.

That night, after she fell asleep, she dreamed of the night she discovered that Zero was a vampire. The feeling of his fangs sinking into her neck for the first time never left her, his arms going around her body tightly in a way that was both comforting and terrifying. She should have considered that night the ultimate betrayal, but she couldn't even back then. Zero was still her best friend, her family, her most precious and trusted person.

Like she had told Kaname, there was a part of her heart that would never be able to let him go.

Zero paced his room in the Headmaster's wing from the small window to the sink in the corner, back and forth, back and forth. Occasionally, he lingered at the window and investigated the grounds for either signs of vampires out and about, hunting for fresh blood, or his own human charges of the Day Class wandering the grounds, hunting out the beautiful vampires, but all was as peaceful and quiet as it had been days ago when he had fed on Yuuki's blood out in the dark woods.

His mind kept returning to today when she had sought him out in the stable.

Her words echoed, like a broken record, over and over—"Zero, I need this. I need… you…"

He was a vampire hunter so he knew all about his blood-thirsty targets. He had heard that only the blood of a loved one can truly quench a vampire's thirst, but he had never really believed it. Even when his thirst had been null for days after feeding on Yuuki's sweet blood, even now when she was a vampire.

"I'm always thirsty…"

"It's because Kuran is gone."

"No… no…"

What could that possibly mean? There was a time when he would have loved to think about what it could mean, that she might care for him more than that pureblood Kaname Kuran, but she was a vampire now and he was sworn to hate and kill her in the future, even if they found peace.

Suddenly, with a lurch in his chest, he realized that this same thing had happened before. She hadn't know about his vampire blood inside his body, thinking him human, trusting him completely at her side, but the night his fangs erupted… He had betrayed her! Not only had he revealed himself to be a blood-sucking monster, but he had tested his new fangs on her soft neck. Yuuki had never hurt him when she became a vampire, not like he had done to her, yet she had never hated him. In his curse, she had become his ally. When her own struck without warning, he had made her his enemy.

"Bastard," he whispered to himself.

That was what he surely was.

Lyrics

Yuuki closed herself tightly in the ensuite bathroom, drew a hot bath, and sank in deeply with a sigh. Once, she had always bathed like this after Zero bit her to relax her aching neck muscles and help herself heal faster, but now… Zero wouldn't bite her and even if he did, the wounds healed in an instant.

Now, after a long hard day of being made painfully aware of how things had changed, she took a bath purely for comfort. She wanted to remind herself of the time when she was human, when Zero was constantly at her side, when things were simpler. She missed the times when her only worries (though still large enough to lose sleep over) were about Zero and the vampire raging inside him and her feelings for Kaname-senpai.

Sighing, she sank up to her eyes in the water, blowing out a stream of bubbles.

Her fangs ached. She had been so close to Zero's blood today that the mere thought made her fangs extend into the visage of Dracula, aching with thirst so badly that she had drunk the coppery water of the fountain outside the school. She clawed her wrist and sucked the slow trickle from her veins, but to did nothing. She needed Zero's blood to stem the ache inside her throat. Whimpering, she got out of the pink-tinged bath and wrapped herself in a towel.

There was a knock on the door then, probably one of the other vampire checking on her because of the smell of her blood. She really needed to be more careful. "Yeah, I'm alright," she called to the closed door, but it eased open on silent hinges and she didn't see who entered because she was still closed tightly in the steamy bathroom. Sighing, she licked the wound on her wrist closed, unaware that she was no longer alone.

X X X

And I removed the original mature content that continued from that point due to the trolls. Please join the cause to bring maturity to Fanfiction again. Or read this story and all its updates in its original version on Archive of Our Own.