101Pretty-Kitty: Hey everybody so this is my new story! I hope you like it! I think I've spent more work on this one chapter than any of my stories.

Ikuto: Go figure!

Amu: 101Pretty-Kitty doesn't own Shugo Chara! Please review! She's getting desperate!


The children sat in a circle and the fire sat in the center of the circle. The glow of the fire lit up their faces giving away the pain and scars that darken their face and life.

A bold strong looking girl with abnormally pink hair sat on a tree stump with the children looking up at her. She smiled weakly at them knowing old scars she had would be reopened that night.

"A long time ago he loved me. He loved his people no matter the heart or appearance." She spoke with a shallow voice to the young children.

She thought that if she could share her wisdom with the youth that bare the same chains maybe they wouldn't hate him, just question him and pray for him.

"He was kind with blue eyes that always searched for attention in the most mischievous ways." She said remembering her beloved Ik-

"Amu-chan what do you mean by mischievous?" asked the red-headed boy crouching next to her.

"Well once he took snakes from the Royal Pond and chased the young ladies of the palace with them. I can sadly say I was a victim. Although I can't say he enjoyed the attention he got from his father but for him attention was attention, not abuse."

They all stared at her with big eyes. 'They probably can't believe he's so much like us. Or used to be. Abused, forgotten, and unique'. There were many secrets about the King that she knew. She would leave the biggest secret for another day. Only a few people of the kingdom's population knew this secret and if you were exposed, the King would kill you and anyone close to you.

So, Amu needed to choose wisely on who received the secret. Sometimes she wondered if she should be saying anything. 'Maybe I should keep to myself and just wither away like a cloud that was never here' but she decided people deserved to know what may lie beneath the King's actions and cold reflections. And she needed to help and support the children to the old.

This was her reason of life besides her friends and she was happy to guide her people and make them happy. Amu was wise, smart, beautiful, and even through the pain, joyful. Middle aged people looked up to this 23 year old.

She wouldn't let them down. If she had to, she would bury her love for the King and dig up the hatchet.

And she'd come out swinging.


[Ikuto]

I sat on the throne, tired and unsatisfied. Days were getting longer, darker, and unbearable. And I long for an escape. The odds that she's alive are slim but I'll still hang onto the hope that she breathes. That is the only reason I want to open my eyes in the morning.

I tell myself 'what would s-'

"King Ikuto! The plantation is being burned down by the rebels!" yells my brown haired guard. He was my best friend and I've known him since birth. He was my top guard.

I roll my eyes at him and say,

"This is of my concern how? Who cares if the slaves burn to death Find who burned my land!" I shout. My guard hesitates whether to speak his mind. He finally opens his mouth and says

"King Ikuto, those slaves build and make some of our best resources. What would we do without them? And there is no one in the kingdom left with their appearances. We can't replace any of them! And what would your people think if you let the slaves' burn to death? Please listen to reason!" He said frantically.

His reasons were just but I couldn't help but wonder, 'WWSD?' What would strawberry do?


[Amu]

After my long, painful talk with the children I felt so heart broken. I wanted to just lay on my ripped, hand me down bed that made my back crack and let the tears slip down my face. But then I'd seem weak. So I helped prepare supper, cleaned the young children, talked with friends, and anything that would keep me too preoccupied to feel heart ache.

And it worked, when I finally finished all my errands I was too tired to feel anything. I walked into my tent and slumped onto the bed. I felt a bony finger poke my side. Then I heard a muffled giggle. I lifted my bed cover to find a little girl and boy. They peered up at me with a big smile.

"Amu-chan!" they screeched as they jumped on me. When I finally got them off of me I chased them screaming,

"Mina! Keitaro! I'm going to kill you!"

When the commotion finally died, we laid on my bed heavily breathing.

"You guys should go back home and get some sleep on a real bed." I said softly. They shook their heads harshly and Mina spoke up,

"Mama and Papa were being bad."

Their parents were hitting them again and were fussing and hitting each other. It was bad enough their parents were being bullies but the other kids bully them too. Taunting them because they actually have their parents. Most children didn't have their parents and were jealous of those who did. But what good were Mina's and Keitaro's parents? Parents on the plantation were the main cause of abuse besides the occasional whippings performed by the guards.

"You can stay here the night. But I'd rather you guys go home where you have a warm bed and a warm house. I really don't want you guys sleeping on a ragged bed in a cold tent." I said.

Keitaro gazed at the bed then at my face and said "But we'd rather stay here where there's a warm heart and arms ready to embrace us."

I smiled softly and opened my arms for them to snuggle into. I turned off my lantern and let my head slam into the pillow.

"Amu-chan?"

"Yes Mina?"

"How'd your mattress get ripped?" she asked while giggling.

"I'll save that story for another day. Now good night!" I said.

I could have never guessed that when I woke up a few hours later I would find the plantation a blaze in a fiery haze.


101Pretty-Kitty: Well I hoped you liked it. Happy New Year!