A/N: Hey guys! This story's going to be different from what I usually write, and there wont be sex or anything like that anytime soon; this is because I would like to write a story that isn't based on sex, but has an actual plot. I'm going to take it slow with this story, and I'll slowly build it as it goes. I hope you guys enjoy reading, and I kind of got inspired from reading Vaerin7's stories. I love the way of writing, and how it just seems so natural. ^-^ Enjoy!

Chapter One

Sometimes I wonder why I chose this path of life; but then I realize that I did it out of love. Love makes us do selfish things, and it makes us strong.

It was clichéd, we met in high school; I was his junior. He was 18, and I was 16; and when you're at that age, you'd start having crushes. That's exactly what happened to me, except that I like boys. I never told anyone, because society stereotypes gays as abnormal, and you would constantly get bullied and picked on, just because you were different.

I disagreed with the way society viewed such things; I could not comprehend why loving someone of the same sex was wrong. Love cannot be forced; it comes naturally. So why was it so wrong, then?

Being two years older than me, he was at his graduating year of high school. We used to hang out at his place; his parents were rich, and too busy to spend time with him. They were constantly overseas, leaving him to the caretakers. He lacked parental love, and attention, but I was in love with him.

I swore to just remain friends with him, because I saw how friendships were ruined; two best friends get "together" and then they break up a month later, it was all too common in high school.

On his graduating day, he told his friends he had plans, and brought me home, so it was just the two of us. We sat at the foot of his bed, leaning on the side of the mattress. His room was always clean, spacious but empty. He loved the color teal, which contrasted against his crimson red hair that he always tied up into a ponytail. He had tattoos, but they all just added to his masculinity.

He likes taiyaki, a fish-shaped pancake that's usually filled with sweet bean paste, and hates spicy food. He has a loud voice, and a matching personality. He's slightly taller than me, and has brown eyes. Like me, he has a constant scowl on his face, and hardly lets anything stop him from getting what he wants.

He asked me what I thought of best friends that fell in love, and I told him what I honestly felt, and that it was stupid. I said that friends should always remain friends, because it was not worth risking a friendship for a relationship in that sense. He looked at me with those warm brown eyes, and stared at me for what I felt was like an eternity, before ruffling my hair gently.

"The difference between friendship and love is how much you can hurt each other."

I would always remember what he said, before he placed those lips on mine. It was a life-changing moment, and as we parted, he smiled at me, and unlike his usual energetic self, he gently took my hands and told me that I was officially his.

He didn't use the term "boyfriend", but I knew well enough what it had meant. Words could not express the joy I felt, those butterflies that fluttered about, the buzzing in my head, much less my racing heart, all those feelings, that must have been what love felt like, right?

The next few months, I had to return to school, and he stopped schooling altogether. He said that with parents that rich, you could do anything you wanted, without a worry about your future. He bought a beach house by the sea, and it was relatively near school so he would sometimes fetch me.

School life was a bore, I could not concentrate on my work as I usually did, and my grades dropped terribly. I had no idea what kind of shady business my father was in to, and I never really cared.

My father was too busy with his business and he was not the type to be concerned over grades, but my twin brother, Shiro, knew something was wrong. After all, twins were always said to share the same mind. Shiro did not approach me about my constant late nights on the phone, or my horrible grades, he would just tell me that I could always go to him if I needed help.

Of course, I rejected him every time he said that, as a man, I had my pride too. I spent my weekends staying over at his place, always lying to my dad that it was a friend's birthday or something of the sort. He never questioned me anyway, he just let me go; I was 17, and independent enough.

The nights spent at his beach house were the best nights of my life, we spent the evening watching the sunset, and he would kiss me senseless. Then we'd lay on the bed, just looking into each other's eyes, and he would ask me about my day.

He never forced me into anything I did not want to do, and he told me that relationships should be taken slow.

I graduated the next year, with average grades, barely passing and I was devastated. I was not even eligible for college. Although my father had been disappointed, he quickly patted me on the back and reassured me, that he would still be proud of his son, no matter what.

The day I turned 18, we spent my birthday together at his house, and he told me that he would never let me go. He told me then, that he loved me. I asked him what he thought love meant, and he pushed me onto his bed, right then and there, and made love to me for the first time. When we were done, he looked at me and whispered, "That is love."

Two months later, he told me that his parents were coming back, and they had decided to stay with him for a few weeks. He was beyond elated, his parents never gave him priority, and always put work before him, but this time they made an effort to put him first, and he smiled; he genuinely smiled for the first time. It was different from the ones he gave me, I knew it deep down; and I was happy for him.

Then, it was all over the news. The tragedy that struck many households, families had lost their loved ones, brothers, sisters, best friends, and parents. He was not the same, after that, it was like something in him snapped. He no longer held my hand, or kissed me, or made love to me.

It felt as if that plane crash had stolen more than just his parents. It was as if it had stolen his soul. He never looked at anyone the same, that constant scowl was rubbed off; he hardly ever showed emotions anymore. He didn't even cry at the funeral, he just stared blankly.

What I missed the most; was that he never smiled anymore, after that day. I swore to be the one to pull him together once again, and to be his pillar of support and strength, for I loved him. I knew there and then that I loved him with all my being. I loved Abarai Renji.

He had inherited all of his parent's money, with him being of age. Life was not that hard, I finally told my dad I was gay, and he lovingly hugged me and told me that he would still stick to his words, and he was, and would always be proud of me. I told Shiro that I had finally found the right guy, the one who held my heart. Shiro was unsure, but still gave me his blessings.

Shiro was the smarter one of us; he was the kind of guy you would go to when you needed advice. He was my identical twin, and he had albino white hair. However, he was reckless too; he had associated himself with gang members, and whenever he was not home, he would be drinking with them. Like me, his grades were only slightly better, and he got into a mediocre college.

When you love someone, you would do anything for him, just to see him smile. I thought that was how love was supposed to be; so when Renji came home one day, and slapped me across the face, I looked at him, and for the first time in months, he smiled. My heart fluttered at the sight of him smiling again, for that was what truly mattered.

The pain resonating in my left cheek was forgotten, and I put up a weak smile, as he raised a hand to my face once again. I loved him; and if this was the price to pay just to see him smile, the so be it.

Weeks after weeks, I put up with him. Everyday he would start hitting me more often, and with different objects. He once used a baseball bat, that left my body covered in shades of deep purple and blue.

Then he would start calling me names like 'bitch, whore and slut.' I never knew why, but I never dared ask. An extra word out of line would mean a smack to the face. He made me feel pathetic, unwanted and useless by locking me in my room for days, without food, just a bottle of water to get by.

After awhile I learnt how to conserve that bottle, and I got used to the treatment. When the days were up, he would start hitting me again, with that grin on his face.

I felt loved by him, because I was the reason he smiled. Then one day he told me he would be away for three days, and he left me at home. I went into his room; I missed him; his touch, his smell, his smile. It was then that I looked at myself for the first time since this all began. I was always locked in my room, without a mirror, and I never really got a look at my whole body.

The body that I once held pride in, my vibrant orange hair looked dull and lifeless, my cheekbones were protruding, and my face was sunken in. My skin lost its golden tan, and was now pale and almost translucent. I looked at my chest, Renji always forbade me from wearing shirts, "Clothes get 'n tha way when I'm hittin' ya." He said.

My collarbones were now fully visible, and you could see each one of my ribs clearly. My stomach was so caved in that my hipbones were scarily shown. My thighs and calves were stripped to the bone, and I looked like a living skeleton.

It scared me; to see myself like this. I constantly feel weak, like I just had run a marathon, and I'm always out of breath. I sank down to my knees, panting, as my heart raced. My body was shaking, and my fingers trembled. I sat in front of the mirror, as I brought my knees up, and cried my heart out.

I never cried so much, but that day I cried; I cried for myself, for the fact that I let myself become like this. If this was what love was then I wasn't so sure I wanted love anymore. What started out as a teenage crush turned into this, I only had myself to blame. It was my fault. Always would be my fault.

When he came home, and found me curled up into a ball by the mirror, he comforted me by kicking me in the gut. "I'm home, bitch. Why tha hell're ya in my room?" He shouted, and I flinched, too weak to react fast enough, he threw me onto his bed. "Well, no matter, 'm horny an' ya better do somethin' bout it."

I braced myself for some more hits, but the impact never came. He pulled down my boxers and thrust into me, dry. I screamed and screamed, until my throat was dry and bleeding, but he just laughed. After he was done with me, he gave me one final kick and threw me out of his bedroom.

As I lay there, I remembered how he was the first time he made love me to; he would whisper sweet nothings into my ear. I remembered I told him that it hurt, and he massaged my pain away. After that, I remembered how he kissed me, and held my hand as we fell asleep.

The next day I worked up enough courage to ask him if he loved me, and he just grunted, "Don't be stupid."

"Don't be stupid"

Those words echoed in my mind for the next few days.

Then I snapped. I could not tolerate this anymore. My body was at its limits. Every nerve, every sense in my body was screaming at me to leave him. To leave this abusive relationship.

I knew it was futile, hardly anyone cared enough anymore, and even my dad and Shiro were too busy with their lives. Where could I go?

I put away that thought, a part of me wishing to stay; because I hoped and prayed, that he would change. That he would come to his senses and remember how we used to love. I still loved him, and I believed in him.

I was torn between the two. To leave or to stay? I knew I had a much better chance surviving if I left, but deep down, in my heart, I loved him; and love was selfless.

Then again, I had my doubts about love. What was love? If love meant allowing your lover to hit you, to abuse you, to rape you, then I wasn't so sure about loving someone anymore.

He came home late, one day, smelling of alcohol and perfume. Under the dim moonlight I saw what looked like love bites on his neck, lipstick stains on his white shirt, which was missing a few buttons. Fear struck me, as I whispered into the night, "Do you still love me?"

My reply was a laugh, as he sauntered his way to his room, and he said, over his shoulder, those words that etched itself into my mind, "What do you think?"

What do I think? I had hoped for him to say he loved me, but I guess I understand his true intentions when he said, "The difference between friendship and love is how much you can hurt each other."

That night I packed what little I had, and pulled on some jeans and a long sleeved sweater to hide my pathetic body, and walked out of the door.

I left him a note on the counter, and it read:

Dear Renji,

I love you.

Words cannot comprehend how much I felt for you, those days when I was in high school were the best of my life, and you were my world. When your parents passed, I swore to myself to fix you, and when you hit me the first time, I convinced that you did it because you loved me.

I could list the things that I love about you, but it would be too long. Know this, I left you because I have finally realized something. I've realized that in all these years of loving you, so selflessly, I've forgotten to love myself.

I'm sorry, Renji. I had so much hope that you would change, even after all this while, I tolerated it, because I believed in you. When you took me that night, and I screamed for all I was worth, did you hear me? Why didn't you stop?

I thought you loved me.

I guess love works in funny ways, huh.

I hope that after you read this, you will find someone that you truly love, and I hope that you will smile again; smile not because of the hurt you cause someone, but I hope that you learn how to smile because of love.

The Renji I knew was a fighter. He was always angry, but never held grudges. He never raised a hand to someone who couldn't defend themselves. What changed? I miss you, Renji. I hope you remember the happiness you once felt, the laughter that used to fill my heart.

Goodbye, Renji.

I love you.


I probably didn't even make sense in that letter, but I had hopes it would wake him up. As I stepped onto the pavement that led to the road, I felt broken, like a flower that had all its petals plucked out, you couldn't stick it back no matter what, and the flower would just wilt and die.


I looked up from the ground I was staring at, and into eyes that gazed into my soul. "Shinji." I said, but it was barely a whisper. Those brown eyes stared at me, brows furrowed in concern as the cool breeze blew his jaw-length blonde hair.

Shinji grew up with me, he was my next-door-neighbor, and like all cartoons, your neighbors always turn out to be your best friends. I would always play soccer with him, and we had everything in common. He came from an average household, but when his father struck it rich in whatever shady business he was doing, they moved away, to the "rich man's district" as I had labeled it.

We lost contact after awhile, and life went on. But now he was standing in front of me, ten years later. His hair was still styled the same way, which I guess was how I recognized him.

He let me stay at his house, without questions. He could see the pain in my eyes, but never questioned me about it unless I willingly told him. He knew when to keep his distance, and I appreciated that about him. After all, he was one of my closest and best friends.

Years passed and I was now 21, pushing the past events far behind me, Shinji was a year older, and I was at the famous club, "The Hollow", It had a weird name, but the alcohol was served by one of the most talented, and hottest bartenders I know, Toshiro Hitsugaya.

"Looking sexy as ever, Shiro." I winked at him, as he sighed in frustration. "Will you stop that, you say that every time you come in here. Now what do you want? The usual?" He said, handing me a shot of vodka. Drinking was my favourite past time now, and Shinji would always join me with his friends, Kensei Muguruma and Hiyori Sarugaki.

Kensei has short silver hair and brown eyes. His hair always shone in the light, and I had lovingly nicknamed him "Unicorn". I loved the look of annoyance that flashed in his eyes whenever I called him that.

Hiyori is really short, and has blonde spiky ponytails, and has a really short temper. Oh, how I just love poking at her with lame puns, and watching her eyebrow twitch.

"Shiro-chan, another shot please."

"Do not call me that!" Toshiro shouted over the booming music of the club, handing me another shot of vodka. I felt the tingly sensation as the alcohol poured down my throat, making me feel warm inside.

My left pocket vibrated, and I picked up my phone.

"We've got another one." Shinji's voice was heard over the line, with a serious tone.

"So soon?" I asked, we had just finished with one case last week. It was unusual. Nevertheless, I mumbled a goodbye and left the club.

After I met Shinji, I paid a visit to my father, who sat me down for a heart-to-heart conversation. He told me that he felt I was old enough to understand the type of business he dealt with, and he told me that he was the leader of a gang. It was called the Visoreds. Of course I was shocked, but I remained calm and he continued; he told me that my mother's death was because of a dispute with a rival gang, the Shinigami.

The Shinigami had set fire to one of the rival gang member's cars, and it drove straight into my mom's, which caused both to explode. My mom did not know about my father's line of work, and was coincidentally driving past the secluded road.

My father believes that it is his fault, and so he left the leadership role of the gang to his friend, Urahara Kisuke; but now that I had come of age, he felt that I should be the one to take the lead.

I asked him, why not Shiro? He was smarter. But my father just shook his head and said that Shiro was not meant for the role, he just lacked that leadership in him, much like a king and a horse, but I really couldn't be bothered to listen.

So here I am, age 21, leader of the Visoreds. We, the Visoreds, are an organization that specializes in stealing. Since passing the leadership role to me, my father trained me in the art of robbery. However, we do get the occasional call for help, from the rich aristocrats, who are willing to pay millions, just for us to rescue their loved ones.

Being famous and rich, those are the kind of people that gang's would target, and usually their spouses, children or even siblings would be targeted, and kidnapped for ransom. In some cases the victim would be released, unharmed; but usually the victim dies and the kidnappers get their money anyway.

This is why they turn to us for help, because our "rescue missions" have a 99% success rate.

I was on my way back to the gang's new hideout, somewhere near my old school, in an abandoned storehouse.

Looking at my school building, with the teenagers, who had probably just hit puberty, I remembered myself, in their shoes. I remembered not knowing the world, unaware of the cruelties and harshness of the "night life".

I was so much happier then, but if I had a chance to relive my life, I would've probably done everything the same. I liked where I was now, this life was interesting and full of mysteries, but it dabbled onto the "dark" side of life, where gang fights and deaths occurred almost on a daily basis.

I pulled out a cigarette and lit it, taking in a huge breath of smoke. Renji used to smoke, and the house always smelled of tobacco, and alcohol. After his parents' death, he made it a habit to go to a bar every other night, and sometimes he even came home with women. I never dared to go near his room then, I would secure myself away in the darkness of my room.

I then realized what he meant when he said I was his. He didn't think of me as a person then, I was just another toy, one that he could break again and again. I cannot remember the times he raped me dry, but it happened so much that I didn't cry or scream anymore, just whimpered in pain.

Sometimes I get the privilege to pass out and wake up feeling sore, but other times I had to live through every breathing moment as he slammed himself into me, every second was excruciating, and I had contemplated suicide multiple times.

I have gained something out of this experience though, and I am glad. I learned how to love myself. Loving yourself does not mean worshipping yourself, it just meant that you knew how much you were worth, and as long as you had pride in that, nothing could hurt you.

"Yo, Ichi, you there?" Shinji called as he snapped his fingers in my face. I blinked twice, and nodded. He then briefly told me what the new case was about, apparently the wife of the owner of the biggest drug dealing "organization" as he so lovingly dubbed; was kidnapped late last night.

The woman, named Rangiku Matsumoto, wife of Gin Ichimaru, was abducted outside of a club, just outside the borders of Espada territory. The Espada were notorious for doing anything to get money. Led by Aizen Sosuke, they had a "special" group of trained assassins, the Primera, Cuarta and Sexta. Their real names were Coyote Starrk, Ulquiorra Schiffer and Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez. It is said that crossing paths with them would mean death, and not one of their targets actually survived.

As for Gin, he is the leader of Soul Society, an underground drug-dealing den, don't ask me why a drug dealer chose such a retarded name, I think he was probably high as fuck. Crazily rich and protected, the smart ones always chose to target his weakness, his beloved wife.

Ichimaru had provided us with some information, and Mrs. Ichimaru was last seen driving through Espada territory. No doubt that Aizen has her, as Ichimaru received a phone call from a protected number, asking for a ridiculously large amount of money; 100 million to be exact. The deadline was in three hours, which gave us barely enough time to work on a game plan.

Such missions are usually rejected, with little time and resources; it would mean death for us Visoreds to tread into their territory. I told Shinji to reject them, but he had persuaded me otherwise. Our reward was 50 million, half of the ransom amount, but more than enough to supply my men with good weapons and equipment.

Sighing, I accepted it, much to Shinji's delight. Turns out, Shinji had already prepared the necessary equipment to hack into their camera system way beforehand.

Using the cameras, we located Mrs. Ichimaru, who was held in a room at the back of their hideout. There were about fifteen guards walking around, and one strikingly blue-haired man, the Sexta. This mission was not going to be easy.

Two hours and fifteen minutes left, I found myself standing outside their hideout, which was smack dab in the middle of the 'red-light district'. Naturally, I had the perfect disguise, although much to my dismay, I had grudgingly agreed to dress as a male hooker.

Tight leather pants that showed my ass, and a fitted black shirt. No need to stand out with colors, my hair already did that for me. Looking almost neon orange under the lights, it was sure to catch the attention of many.

Just on time, with two hours left, the Sexta appeared, and I gasped. He was taller than me by a little, but had a killer body. With no shirt on, just jeans, he ran a hand through his teal hair, and was walking in to their hideout. He caught me staring at him, and smirked inwardly as he approached me the same way a tiger approaches his prey.

Stalking towards me every so slowly, I gulped, those teal orbs gazing into me, as I shoved my hands into my pocket. I took in a deep breath, and took a step towards him.

"Hey carrot-top, what's yer name?' Grimmjow's eyes smoldered with lust as he put a hand around my waist. "I-Ichigo'" I stammered, mentally slapping myself. Did I just give away my name? God I was so stupid.

"Strawberry, eh? Yer a cute one. Wonder if ya taste like strawberries too." Grimmjow trailed a finger down my neck, teasing me. "Why don't you find out?" I said, somehow regaining my composure, as I grabbed his hand and pulled him along, into a secluded corner of the hideout, just below where Kensei was hiding.

Seeing that I had distracted the Sexta, Kensei quickly made his way to the fifteen guards outside the room. Taking them out was no big issue, they were big and buff, but were slow in attacks. Kensei was quick and took them out rather silently, proceeding to pick the lock. Shinji was communicating to each one of us, helping us along the way and alerting us of guards.

Meanwhile Grimmjow slammed me into the concrete wall, as he rubbed a thigh in between my legs. He pulled me in for a kiss, our tongues fought for control as he slid a hand up my shirt. Silently thanking my dad for teaching me not only the art of robbery, but the art of seduction as well. I gripped his erection through the fabric of his pants; hard, and he moaned.

"God, yer so dirty, Strawberry." He groaned into my ear, as I smirked. Men were all the same, get them turned on and riled up enough and you can manipulate them easy enough. I raised a hand and jabbed his shoulder, effectively knocking him out. Time to move out, I told myself as I caught up to where Kensei was, more of Aizen's men had arrived and we were now faced with a very confused Mrs. Ichimaru and about twenty men.

I ducked as one threw a punch towards me, and kicked him right in the groin. Blocking a punch from my left, I punched him in the gut, and quickly untied the woman from the metal chair. Assuring her that everything was under control, I roundhouse kicked a scrawny man in the face, and grabbing hold of the metal pipe he held.

I pulled the woman along with me, and passed her to Kensei, who had already cleared a path and was running towards the black sedan waiting for us. I followed behind, not too far as I took out the last five men swiftly, whacking them each on the head, effectively knocking them out.

Jumping into the sleek black car, I rest my head against the leather cushion as we sped away.

"Tell Gin that it was successful. Now I want my money." I said, as Hiyori swerved the car a few times, drifting here and there. Aizen's men were still chasing us, but once we entered out territory they knew enough to back away, I had about fifty men waiting for us, armed with guns.

True to his word, I received my money in cold, hard cash, and Gin had his wife back. I didn't really care for how my clients got their money, as long as I get mine. Drug dealing was not a pretty business; neither was it 'clean'. It had its own share of blood and killings, but then again, that was the way it worked. It was a dog-eat-dog world, after all.

Grimmjow was furious. He had never been humiliated like that. His men found him passed out, with a 'V' etched into his chest with a red sharpie. He woke up angry, and very much embarrassed. He swore to take down the Visoreds; and to claim Ichigo.

I rest my head against the softness of my bed. Sure, my life was not easy now, but I was satisfied with what I had now, after that day, when I left Renji, I swore to never fall in love again. So why, why was I still tingling from that kiss? That blue-haired bastard.

I don't think I'll ever understand true love.

A/N: How was it? I finished this story at 3.45am, so I'm terribly sorry if there are grammar mistakes. There wont be sex till…. a few chapters later. I hope I've explained everything clearly; if there are some parts that you guys think is not explained enough, please tell me! Thanks so much for reading! :*