Ren-sama's Note:

Thank you, everyone, for the continuous support! I also thank all the readers who leave a review in every chapter! I love you all! ˆoˆ

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Chapter 10

Cross watched Kaname's expression and he was convinced that the pureblood looked at Zero in quite a different manner than other people. Kaname caught his gaze and merely smiled. Cross then patted Zero's head again. "I'll protect you. So you better finish your meal now!" He voiced the last statement in his child-like manner and it made Zero's worries ease a little. The young hunter ate fast and Kaname watched him in amusement. Cross stood up from the table and prepared milk for the silver-haired hunter. "Kuran-kun, do you want milk too?"

"No, it's the middle of the nigh–, I mean day…" Kaname answered distractedly.

"You like it, right?" Cross smiled at the silver-haired hunter and put the glass of milk on the table beside Zero's now empty plate. Zero nodded and took the glass.

"Thank you, Chairman." Zero answered before he gulped from the glass. He really wanted it right now, especially now that his heart and mind were in disarray. It was calming him down and making him think better.

"Neko." Kaname muttered under his breathed but Zero and Cross, both having keen hearing, heard the word quite well. Zero's thoughts and fears about the day after tomorrow were immediately dampened by the sudden urge to punch some pureblood with a smug grin on their faces.

"You spout the same thing as Aido. You really are his master." He answered, restraining with all his might. He knew he wouldn't win against a fight with a pureblood. He would only look more pathetic. "Cats aren't the only ones that drink milk. And not all cats drink milk either."

"Oh?" Kaname voiced with that same smug tone that annoyed the hell out of Zero even more. "Really now, Kiryuu?" The hunter's annoyed expression was amusing him and he was enjoying how Zero always reacted so strongly when it came to him. He liked how he could change the aloof and cool expression that Zero wore in front of other people.

"Shut up, vampire." Zero couldn't help but say the words. He knew he wouldn't win against a verbal battle with some witty pureblood whose happiness was brought upon by Zero's humiliation and annoyance. Kaname chuckled and Cross couldn't help but laugh as well. After all, it was a very nice tactic for Kaname to take Zero's mind off the subject earlier. He was thankful the pureblood was a very cooperative person right now, not that Kaname ever refused to cooperate with him though.

"Don't tease him too much, Kuran-kun." Cross said in his childish voice and expression.

"Sorry, I just can't help it. Silver-haired hunter-san is a very amusing person after all." Kaname voiced, as if the subject of their conversation was not present at all. He knew that would annoy Zero all the more, and it did. Zero glared at him and he enjoyed it even more. The glare showed how annoyed Zero was, but it wasn't the hostile glare that the hunter wore during their first meeting and it also wasn't the glare that Zero wore the first time he talked to Zero about the matter of drinking his blood. It's somehow refreshing to know that Zero was slowly but gradually warming up to him.

"Why are you here anyway, vampire?" Zero asked in annoyance. "Shouldn't you be sleeping with your rowdy pack?"

"How rude. I'm here to wait for Yuuki." Kaname answered in amusement. If any other vampire said that to the pureblood, not that there would be someone to do so, he would've immediately gripped that vampire's throat and crushed it with his overwhelming power. But it was Zero. And not only was he okay with it, which surprised him a little, he was even amused. Zero was way too vulgar with his words, and that was exactly what Kaname was enjoying. No one had ever dared say something offensive to him and the hunter was the first. Zero's cool expression twisted with annoyance was only too gorgeous for Kaname to gaze at. Zero gave him another glare before the latter drank his remaining milk. Kaname smiled to himself. The way Zero was acting, he would think that the hunter's guard was down even in his presence. He'd take things slowly, and then he'd definitely, definitely… He leaned his head on one side and gently put his cheek on his curled fingers. His elbow rested on the table and he wore a delighted smile as he stared at the hunter, or more specifically, the hunter's creamy neck.

Zero's gorgeous neck looked so irresistible and Kaname could only gaze at it while refusing the urge to gulp longingly at the sight. He wanted the boy so badly he could feel his fangs arousing. The situation's getting bad… He was playing cool but the more he tried to take his eyes off the hunter, the more Zero's mouth-watering and lovely scent clung to his nose. He knew Cross was already eyeing him in suspicion, probably because of the silent aura full of bloodlust he was quietly giving off, but he was not a pureblood who lived his years in innocence. Cross might know because of his experience, but Zero was still inexperienced when it came to purebloods. And even if Zero could feel that there was something off in the atmosphere, he still wouldn't be able to comprehend that it was Kaname who was causing it.

He smiled to ease Cross's mind. He wanted to tell the Chairman that he was in full control of his thirst, not that he was really thirsty because he just took some blood pills this morning. Cross who was behind Zero nodded in understanding.

Zero somehow felt that there was something wrong about the air surrounding Kaname, and his hunter sense was suddenly on alert. But he wasn't sure what it was about Kaname that was making his hunter side raise an alarm. Kaname's eyes weren't glowing crimson and his fingernails remained short. Zero couldn't see his fangs so he wasn't sure. His experience with purebloods was only with the recent incident with Shizuka Hiou and with Kaname himself so he wasn't really sure what to expect.

But since Cross was with him anyway, and the older hunter didn't seem bothered about the situation, then who was he, a younger hunter, to be bothered by it?

Anyway, he just have to rely on Cross's instinct on this one. Because Kaname was really a person so hard to read.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Kaname leaned on the railing of the open window in his room at the third floor of the Moon Dorm, silently looking at the gorgeous view outside. The moon hung in the sky and the scent of overly sweet and delicious blood tickled his nose and filled most of his senses. The blood was exciting him so much he could barely contain himself as he looked at silver wisps down on the ground.

Zero and Yuuki were on their night patrol together. And even though Yuuki was more alert-looking than Zero's laid-back expression, the pureblood knew that Zero was far more observant and vigilant. He was not a hunter for nothing.

And he was gorgeous tonight too…

Zero could feel the skin on his nape crawling from the intense gaze that the pureblood from the third floor was giving him and it was annoying the hell out of him. What did Kaname want from him now? And yet, he continued to act in nonchalance and tried his best not to fidget too much from the gaze.

"Zero, I'll be going to the opposite side of the building. You should go and see the forested side… if that's okay with you." Yuuki said as she turned around to face him. She added the last lines when she thought he looked annoyed because of her bossy attitude.

"Sure." Zero shrugged and started walking towards the direction of the lake while Yuuki smiled and headed to the other side of the dorm.

Now that Zero thought of it, maybe Kaname was giving him a glare because he was too close to Yuuki? The pureblood might have thought that Zero would hurt his younger sister. The hunter sighed as he continued walking. He didn't think that Kaname was the protective older brother type, not that Zero would ever dare lay his hands on the brunette girl. And he remembered his dream again… Could that girl be… Yuuki..? Not that he felt anything to the girl… but it was still possible, right?

He sighed before he shook his head again. He had no time to think about petty things such as love. All he had to think of now was how to–

Zero's eyes widened at the sight before him. He didn't think he was already so deep into the forested area in just some mindless minute and now he was feeling deep regret that he was so out of it for a while.

"Er… good evening, Zero-kun." Takuma panted, grinning sheepishly at him for being caught.

Zero's face, which was pale from lack of blood and coldness of the night, immediately heated and colored in just a second as he immediately turned around and walked away briskly, wanting to erase the scene from his memory.

"Don't tell Kaname, okay!?" He heard Takuma shout behind him but he didn't answer nor cared. He was too shocked and unnerved to see them in that position. Takuma and… Senri Shiki, right..? was in the middle of that… naked… on top of one another… on the moist ground in the deep forest… And Zero's face kept on reddening even more that a little more red and he was already glowing in the dark.

"Takuma…" Senri pulled the blonde again when Zero was already out of their sight and hearing. They had been to busy that they didn't even notice his presence in the vicinity.

"Let's continue where we left off, shall we?" Takuma grinned mischievously as he kissed his lover torridly once more and thrust inside Senri again.

Zero shuddered when his overly keen hearing caught the unmistakable screams of pleasure and climax, and he could do nothing but walk even more briskly just to get away.

No, he was not that ignorant. Yuzuru sometimes made him watch porn movies and made him read x-rated magazines, a secret from Yagari of course, but that was that. He had no interest in sexual life or any of the sorts, even if they also made him go to the bathroom and spend many minutes there. And seeing it in actuality was kind of… shocking. On top of that, Takuma and Senri were male vampires, not that he had any discrimination about gender. It's just that their way of doing it was a bit more wild and bloody. He was just… shocked.

He breathed deeply to calm himself down before he walked back in front of the Moon Dorm again. He didn't want to know what more lay in forested areas at night, and he didn't want to risk walking into some intimate act of lovemaking anymore.

He looked at the tall gates and walls of the Moon Dorm and decided to just circle the area a bit. He knew he would see Yuuki on the other side, and he walked towards it. He was quite confident about his control tonight because he just had blood last night. Real, thick, and luscious Kuran blood…

He gulped as he remembered the sensation of biting the pureblood's creamy and slim neck. His fangs immediately throbbed at the sudden memory and he couldn't help but lick his lips. The sudden presence just some meters behind him made him turn and see the object of his imagination in full flesh.

In the shadowed area, under the trees, the pureblood stood. Zero couldn't help but feel that the vampire looked more daunting and stronger when he was in the shadow, as if blending in the darkness.

Kaname arched an eyebrow at the annoyed expression thrown to him by the hunter. He was sure he didn't do anything wrong, at least not yet. "You look flushed, Kiryuu." His eyes wandered from Zero's pale hair that almost glowed under the moonlight to his gorgeous face and charming eyes, to his luscious lips, to his pale and creamy skin, to his delicious neck… The pureblood inhaled the hunter's intoxicating scent softly. Zero was still so different from him even though they were both vampires now.

The hunter looked so beautiful under the gleaming light of the moon, more radiant and more utterly irresistible. While he… he was only beautiful in the darkness. Because the light would make others see his impurities and insecurities. Maybe that's the reason why he's interested in Zero…

"Shut up." Zero growled in half annoyance and half embarrassment when Kaname pointed his situation out. It was embarrassing enough without any comment from the pureblood. And then he remembered, "And I'm not flushed."

"Hmmm… Do you know that you're bad at lying, just like Yuuki is?" Kaname merely shrugged before he walked out of the darkness and into the light of the moon too. He knew Zero wasn't the type to judge him by physical appearance alone so it was okay to be seen under the moonlight too. Not that he needed the hunter's reaction in everything. Or maybe it was Zero's natural charm to attract everything…

Zero arched an eyebrow when Kaname stopped a few meters away from him and closed his eyes. It's as if the pureblood was a statue, unmoving and lifeless. And yet, and yet, Kaname still looked so utterly breathtaking and gorgeous. That the hunter couldn't deny.

Kaname opened his eyes after a while and spoke. "Kiryuu, you better go and see what Yuuki is doing now." He was glad that Zero didn't make any harsh comment on his presence under the light, but he had to make Zero leave now.

The hunter just smelled so good…

Zero's eyes widened when he saw that Kaname's eyes were now crimson red and he unconsciously took a step backward. "What the..?" The pureblood sighed and closed his eyes again.

"Go and see Yuuki now. I will return to the dorm too." He voiced quietly, wanting to assure the hunter that he was still in control.

There… And Zero would surely leave.

"The first time you asked me to drink your blood…" Zero voiced. Kaname opened his eyes and stared at the beautiful view in front of him. "You told me it's for the sake of protecting someone…"

"Did I say that?" Kaname arched an eyebrow, feigning innocence which made Zero growl under his breath, amusing Kaname all the more. Zero was just so fun to tease, a lot more fun than teasing Aido or Yuuki. He closed his glowing crimson eyes again.

Zero ignored the pureblood's comment and continued. "Is that person… Yuuki?" The younger male knew that he was right, though he didn't think Kaname would be the type to care so much for his younger sister as to make a hunter of all people drink his blood just so that hunter wouldn't attack Yuuki.

Kaname sighed as he smiled, eyes still closed. "Yes, why? Are you going to use that information against me?" Zero growled again, which answered the question. "I don't want someone so bloodthirsty near my younger sister. Since I can't kill you, by Chairman Cross's order, there's no way I will let you roam free when you're hungry, especially in the Sun Dorm."

Zero was about to say something more when he noticed that Kaname was already panting a little. "Oy, don't tell me–"

"Don't worry, Kiryuu-kun. I have more control over my thirst than you give me credit for. I will not attack any Day Class student so you don't have to glare at me like that." The pureblood immediately answered when he noticed the hunter's tensed aura. He could feel it even though he couldn't see the hunter's expression.

"Aren't you supposed to be drinking those pills and Night Class students'..?" Zero asked again, though he didn't finish his question. There was no need because he knew Kaname would understand it anyway. He was curious as to why Kaname could get hungry even though he had pills to drink and many Night Class students to drink from.

Kaname chuckled. He knew just what the hunter thought of him. "Kiryuu, I am not so disgusting as to drink from other students just because they will not say no to me. Most Night Class students have their own lovers so I can't drink from them too."

Zero still looked at Kaname warily even though he was sure that Kaname had no intention of attacking him. Heck, his red alert signal wasn't even blaring. He could see that the pureblood was having a hard time though, just from the twitching of his muscles and his fingers.

The hunter remembered the words Aido said to him and now he could somehow understand what Kaname was trying to say. "You mean the blood sharing thing?"

Kaname looked surprised for a while, not because the hunter knew but because Zero was still talking to him even now and was not attacking him, before he nodded. Blood sharing meant that the lovers could only drink blood from one another and no one else. And it would be sheer arrogance if he was to partake in a blood that was already owned by someone else. But he still didn't know if he could surely trust Zero 100% so he wouldn't voice it.

Vampire lovers could only drink blood from one another. It meant that if the other died, then the other would surely go after him. It's like killing two birds with a single stone. And he wasn't about to reveal the information to a hunter of all people. He still has his sanity.

"Anyway, go back to your dorm so I can leave." Zero said when the silence stretched for a long period of time without any of them talking.

"Still wary, I see." Kaname smirked. "Don't worry, Kiryuu. The only one I will devour if I ever lost control… will be you."

Zero's eyes widened at that, but before he could even react, Kaname was already out of his sight and was already inside the dorm. That damn pureblood! The hunter immediately shivered, not from fright, but from the way the words escaped from Kaname. They sounded too sensual even to his ears.

"Zero-kun?" Yuuki's voice rang in his ears and Zero idly turned around to face her. She beamed when he didn't look annoyed. "Uh, I saw you talking to my brother earlier. Is everything okay?"

Zero nodded his head and his silver hair immediately looked glowing from the sudden change of angle. "Everything's alright." He hoped.

"There's no activity on my side. Shall we go back to the dorm to get some good night's sleep?" She asked again, looking hopeful.

Zero smiled a tad. "Yeah, let's do that."

She chuckled before she clutched his arm and the two of them walked back to the Sun Dorm. The walk was silent but it was not uncomfortable. The hunter would sometimes look sideways and his gaze would fall on Yuuki. So she's the one Kaname has been protecting all this time…

Yuuki seemed to have noticed that Zero kept on glancing at him and returned his gaze. "What's wrong?" She asked innocently.

Zero shook his head. "Nothing." And yet, he couldn't keep his curiosity at bay. "Uh, how come you are Kaname's younger sister when you're human?"

Yuuki blinked at his bluntness several times before she chuckled. "Is that what you've been thinking all this time?"

Zero looked away. "No, never mind."

She chuckled again. "I… Zero-kun, if I told you I was a pureblood too, would you be disgusted at me? Would you hate me like how you feel with nii-sama? Would you shove me away..?"

Zero looked at her and saw that her expression looked sorrowful. He sighed. How could he..? "Well, you're human now so there's no need to." He didn't say it, but she understood. He would surely treat her in the same way as he treated her brother now if she was still a pureblood.

She smiled sadly and clutched Zero's arm tighter. "Then there's a silver lining in me being a human now, huh…" She chuckled before she spoke again. "You see, I was once a pureblood too… But… something… happened… And I became human. I can't go back to being a pureblood anymore because that side of me was already killed. It wasn't merely sealed. It was forcefully killed. It means… that if nii-sama tries to turn me back, I will not be a pureblood… but a Level D about to turn to Level E… Nii-sama doesn't want that… so I remain human."

Something happened..? Zero's mind reeled at the information. He was glad that Yuuki was now human and not the pureblood that she once was. But if he looked at it from her point of view, suddenly becoming human when you were once a powerful pureblood should have been deeply humiliating, not to mention sad and awful. Just like what happened to him… And somehow, Zero knew that he and Yuuki had one more thing in common now, having an identity stolen from them, without any chance of going back.

No, wait…

"Yuuki, you said you were turned from pureblood to human..?" Zero suddenly stopped walking and walked in front of her. "Do you know how something like that is done?" He wanted to become a hunter again… How he wanted to reclaim his lost self…

Yuuki looked confused at his sudden interest, but she didn't ask. She looked down and bit her lower lip. "I couldn't remember much about that time… but… it was Oka-sama who turned me into a human… She sacrificed herself…" And before she knew it, her tears were already falling from her eyes from the sudden grief. "She sacrificed herself… That's why it cannot be undone anymore, because it was sealed by the life of the one who casted it. All that was left of me when my vampire side was sealed was my body, and that's where Oka-sama's life flowed. She flowed into me… Oto-sama too… He would've turned nii-sama human back then… if only he wasn't… wasn't… k-k-killed…" And she continued sobbing, not able to continue talking anymore.

"I'm sorry… I didn't mean…" Zero looked at her sobbing form and hugged her gently. "I didn't know…"

"No, I'll continue…" She looked up at him, pleading. It seemed it was the first time she would be able to let it all out. "I became human, leaving nii-sama as a vampire… That's why… that's why he had to let me go… He let Chair–, Tou-san adopt me as a daughter… because he had no choice…" She sobbed. "Zero-kun… my family… they all suffered because of me… Our parents died because of me… nii-sama too… he is suffering because of my existence… I know he feels so alone right now…" She wiped her tears before she sobbed again. "But… but I will live… I will continue to live for nii-sama, for Tou-san, and for my sake too… and for our parents' sake… I want to continue living…"

Zero closed his eyes as he listened to the soft sobs that escaped Yuuki's lips. Yes, he didn't know anything. He didn't even think that vampires had families too, and they could die too, just like any other human. And that they also feel deep anguish and grief at the death of their beloveds. He had been so blinded by his ideals as a hunter that he didn't even think vampires were also creatures just like humans were. So that's why Kaname protected her so much… It was because she was the only beloved he has now…

He gritted his teeth as his hold on Yuuki tightened unconsciously. Not even he would be able to voice out anything about his family, and yet he kind of forced Yuuki to tell him. It was so shameless of him…

At least… at least… Kaname and Yuuki have each other… while he had no one… And it was all his fault…

It was pathetic, really. A whole family of hunters was killed by their own son… And the agonizing part was the fact that he couldn't even remember what happened… He knew Yagari must have sealed his memories about it so he wouldn't end his own life… But the mere fact that he was the one who caused their deaths remained. He didn't know why he felt that when he had no memories of it, but he just knew it was all his fault.

After a while, Yuuki whimpered from the tightness of the hold, which Zero immediately loosened. He was not a vampire just for show. It must have hurt enough for her to choke out a gasp.

"Sorry…" He mumbled. She shook her head and smiled before she uttered a quiet 'thank you', though for what he didn't know. They walked quietly for a while, before Yuuki suddenly talked again. "You see… changing isn't so bad once you learned to accept it. Once you forgive yourself for your weakness, then all the burdens that cripple you will be greatly lifted. Once you forgive yourself and accept what happened as a fact, then your suffering will slowly decrease, until you'll realize that there's really nothing wrong with you. You just… changed." She looked thoughtful of her words and Zero couldn't help but feel that those words weren't for her at all.

When they got back to the dorm, everything was already quiet and Cross was already probably asleep. They said their goodbyes and Yuuki ascended another flight of stairs while Zero walked on the second floor corridor. When he got back to his room, he immediately slumped down the bed from exertion, both of his body and his mind. He knew they would be having an inspection tomorrow, and that would be doubly taxing than any other night of patrolling, especially the inspection in the Sun Dorm.

His mind drifted to the more pressing matter at hand, which he had somehow forgotten due to several events earlier. Yuzuru and Yagari… If they would visit him the day after tomorrow, then he wouldn't have any excuse to not see them, unless he was already dead by that time. And he just thought of one way to solve his problem… Not a smart one but killing himself would surely solve all of his problems.

And yet he knew he couldn't. He couldn't afford to kill himself when he just saw how Yuuki kept on trying her best to live, and happily at that, even though she was not a vampire anymore. He could die, but that was when he could no longer control the vampire instinct that seemed to be eating him from the inside. But without that, he would at least try his best to survive… And also, because he still had a mission to do.

He was afraid that Yagari and Yuzuru would find him, but he was more afraid for them to see how he gets along with other vampires… It would definitely bring shame to his name as a hunter…

He gritted his teeth and let his frustration out from it before he fell asleep soundly.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Cross watched as the married hunters hugged each other in grief and agony as they sat on the bed inside their bedroom. The woman had the same light brunette hair and eyes that he had while the man had silver hair and amethyst-colored eyes, a silver metallic gun stuck in his belt.

"Please… please…" The woman kept on crying as she begged her two male companions and Cross could just watch them from the door, not having any willpower or courage to step inside. "Just kill me… Shiro… Nii-san…"

The man named Shiro shook his head. "No… please… don't leave me…" He looked at her pleadingly and then her protruding belly before he shook his head again. "I can't kill both you and the baby…"

"But… I don't want him or her to be born as… as…" She started but was not able to finish it when Cross interrupted her words.

"If you want…" Cross said from the doorway. "I can give you blood… my blood…"

"No, nii-san!" She immediately shook her head, eyes brimming with tears and waist-length hair disheveled in all direction. "I don't… want to be a monster…"

"I'll let you drink from me." Shiro said with determination, leaving no room for discussion. She cried in his arms again and he hugged her tight. "Kaien-nii-san, I believe this shouldn't go out." He added.

"Of course." Cross nodded and he watched as she once again began begging her husband to just kill her before the brunette male left the room.

Cross's jolted out of his bed when he woke up. He clutched his head and he found cold beads of sweat forming on it. It's that dream again… He sighed and stared into nothingness for a while. It had been over ten years now since those two died, and yet they still continued to haunt him in his dreams sometimes, especially now that he could always see Zero… He sighed again when he remembered the silver-haired teen. It was so tragic that he had to experience everything that he was experiencing now. He wished he could just tell Zero everything…

He was about to go out of his room and into the kitchen when he heard the soft padding of feet outside. Zero and Yuuki already returned. As usual, they were quiet when they came back, but that didn't mean Cross couldn't hear them if he was near the door. The walls might have been soundproof but his door wasn't so much in case there was an intruder.

When he heard that the two were already upstairs, he quietly walked out of his room and made some hot tea in the kitchen, trying to dispel the bad dream of the past. It somehow saddened him that Zero couldn't remember anything, but he knew it was for the best. And besides, he didn't know if Zero would really appreciate the truth about his true identity.

And with all the things that Zero was facing now, it would be too much if Cross told him those things too, the hunter's parents, his twin, and the tragedy that happened that night ten years ago. If Zero heard everything now that his mind was in chaos, he might really lose it…

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Zero woke up feeling light-headed. The sun shone brightly outside his closed window and he was thankful that he had Cross buy him Venetian blinds. He opened his eyes before he sat up on his bed, feeling tired though he just woke up.

He just had another dream of Cross, Ichiru, and his child self. This time, the three of them were in some house he didn't recognize, but the dream showed how comfortable he was in that house. He was playing some computer games together with Ichiru while asking the older male about his mother, but Cross never answered any of his questions. And just like any other nightmares he usually had, the house was suddenly engulfed in huge flames and the three of them burned together with it.

Zero gritted his teeth. His usual dream about fires were only when he was with Ichiru. But Cross's appearance and the change of setting had him lost. He couldn't remember anything at all, but he had a feeling that the cause of his family's death was fire. Maybe it was the reason why he hated the damn sensation of burning.

He gritted his teeth in anguish and frustration. What the hell happened that night ten years ago..?

After some minutes, he already went to the bathroom and took a short bath before he dressed in his uniform. He looked at himself in the mirror and saw that he somehow became even paler than normal, or perhaps, paler than when he was human. Lack of blood..? Nah. He just had blood two nights ago. He leaned his head to the right side and the seal on his left neck showed, crimson and prominent. It could pass as a tattoo, really, or even a fashion sentiment, but it still reminded him of his loss.

He traced a finger on it as his eyes followed his movement. He was too deeply engrossed in his musings that he failed to recognize the familiar scent of the older hunter approaching until the man was just behind the door.

"Zero-kun..?" Cross called from the door before he knocked three times. "Are you awake now? The inspection will start in a few minutes."

"I'm awake." He answered as he looked at the door and let his hand fall on his side.

"Can I come in?" Cross's voice changed a little, having a more serious tone to it than earlier.

"Sure." Cross already opened the door before Zero could even finish the one-word answer.

The older hunter closed the door behind him and sat in the chair just beside the bed where Zero stood before he let out a long, heavy sigh. "Zero-kun…" Cross looked uncertain for a while before he stood up again and approached the younger male.

Zero, watching all the fidgeting and the nervous sighs coming from the older male, arched an eyebrow. He somehow didn't like waiting when it looked like Cross was about to break some news about the end of the world. "A… a letter came… from the Association, Zero-kun…"

Zero, even though he knew he shouldn't, almost always freeze and have his breath hitch some notch at every mention of the word 'letter'. He suddenly felt his hands clammier than earlier. "What kind of letter?" He was thankful that his voice didn't break.

"About your mission, I think." Cross's eyes turned more serious and Zero couldn't help but feel that the older male knew what had been happening all this time. "You should read it."

Zero's eyebrows furrowed when he saw the black envelope that Cross brought out. He just sent a report yesterday afternoon after his lunch with both the idiotic pureblood and Cross. Of course, the letter informed the Association of the happenings, however mundane, in the school. He told them of the fact that vampire lovers tended to only drink from their partner so the students were most likely safe from them.

He didn't tell of Yuuki's relation to Kaname though. He somehow thought that it was personal so he didn't include it in his letter. Well, the letter from the Association must have been sent some days before, but he still couldn't help but feel dread at the sight of it.

And when he opened it and read the golden scriptures from the gold inked pen of the President, Zero knew that his dread now had a reason.

"What… is this..?" He stared and continued to stare at the letter.

"Is it confidential..? Or do you want to tell me..?" Cross asked in uncertainty, unsure if he was allowed to meddle in the younger hunter's affair.

Zero's expression darkened as he clutched the letter tightly with his fist. He looked at Cross and shook his head to indicate that he had to solve this on his own, though he really had to know what the letter meant. "Chairman…" He called quietly when the older male was about to leave him alone and in peace. Cross stopped and looked at him, waiting patiently on what he had to say. "Is there another hunter here… in Cross Academy?"

Cross blinked at the sudden question before he immediately shook his head. "You're the first and only hunter to study here, Zero-kun."

"I see, thank you." He bowed, indicating that the conversation ended there. Cross didn't say anything anymore but merely smiled sadly and left, but not before reminding Zero once again of the inspection.

When the older male left, Zero sighed in exasperation before he sat on the bed and reread the letter again. It was a warning, telling him that he shouldn't withhold information concerning the vampires or they would have no choice but to relieve him from the mission. Hell, like he was even withholding any information! The letter said that an informant told the Association of his apparent closeness with the bloodsuckers, the hunter cringed at the use of word, and they wished that he made it clear to them what that meant. Now, he was close to the vampires? He might have talked to them and chatted with them but he wasn't their friend! He wasn't even trusted! And now he was starting to lose the Association's trust too… But his mission was to spy for goodness' sake! How could he spy if he wouldn't try to get "close" to the vampires?

And to say that he was withholding information when he had only been here for two weeks was a bit too much. Did that mean that despite his decision to go here alone, he was actually trailed by someone else? Really, what's going on..? It would look like he was the one being spied instead of the other way around.

He was here trying to not let his guilt consume him from the inside out while doing his best to gather information and yet all the Association could say was that he was not doing a good job? Did they even know how dangerous, and not to mention how hard, it was to gather information in the enemies' den? It's not that he was complaining or anything, he just wanted to have some breathing space. The President told him not to rush things and not to report immediately, and now he was told to give more satisfactory reports? How ironic…

He sighed before he stood up, gathered his belongings, and stuck his Bloody Rose in his belt behind him so it wouldn't be too obvious. After all, many things could happen in an inspection, especially in the Sun Dorm. Those monstrous girls would surely try to jump him again…

When he walked out of his room, he saw Yuuki and another teenage girl in the living room talking to one another. He found out that she was actually the Sun Dorm's Head. She was a lot taller than Yuuki and her features were strong as well, not that Zero had anything against it. He just thought that the girl looked really… scary.

"Zero-kun, this is Motoko-san, the Sun Dorm's Head." Yuuki smiled. Zero bowed in greeting and the girl did the same.

Afterwards, Zero and Yuuki didn't even have to do anything. In short, Motoko was ruthless.

She confiscated everything. And he meant everything. She would rummage every closet and drawer and even look behind mirrors and picture frames. She would go to the bathroom and inspect everything there too, not that the students ever thought of hiding their things there. Now he was glad that he brought his gun with him. She would've confiscated that too if it was left in his drawer.

After the inspection, the students who tried everything to get away were more exhausted and weary than the two prefects who merely watched as Motoko grabbed everything in her sight and threw them in the huge box where the confiscated items were placed.

The inspection took almost half a day and it was already early afternoon when Motoko, and Zero and Yuuki, finished. They ate a simple lunch which was made by Cross before the two headed out to go to the Moon Dorm.

They were on their way when Yuuki spoke to him. "Zero-kun, please be patient with the Night Class students." She smiled timidly. "They might try to annoy you or tease you because you're a hunter… but they won't hurt you. Nii-sama will–"

"I know." He assured her. He knew that she was trying to tell him not to do anything unnecessarily, like firing the gun in his belt, or something like that. And he also knew that Aido and the others might be annoying to the fullest, but they were not the type to suddenly attack without provocation, which was not Zero's forte. But if it was his blood… Then the hunter guessed that was a different matter. He knew that Aido and the others were the noble-blooded vampires who had more control over their bloodlust. But if the others…

Damn… Zero cursed under his breath. He had never been bitten by anyone except by that pureblood woman. He knew that it would be disastrous if he lost it in front of Yuuki… Well, Kaname was there… so surely he would try to at least restrain his minions… right..?

"Zero-kun?" Yuuki called.

Zero looked at her before he looked in front of him and saw that they were already in front of the Moon Dorm's gate. "Shall we go inside?" She nodded and they entered the gate.

They were greeted by an old man, who looked like the gatekeeper, and asked for their purpose. Yuuki did all the talking while Zero's hunter side blared in alarm at the sudden heaviness in the air surrounding the dorm. He could feel their bloodlust even though he was outside… damn… It would be the first time he'd be able to enter the dorm and it was making him anxious.

Yuuki walked first and Zero followed. When he passed by the gatekeeper, however, the old man spoke. "Do try to be careful while in there, boy." He gave Zero an odd look. "Your scent is pretty intense for an ordinary hunter."

Zero didn't comment but he kept his eyes on the old man while he passed. He couldn't help but feel alerted at the words, not that he wasn't already alert in the first place. But the mere fact that a mere human, for he was sure the gatekeeper was human, was able to smell his scent, it meant that his scent was really that intense, as the old man worded it.

And as they entered the huge and grand living room, Zero's eyes widened at the magnificence of the tiled flooring which had intricate designs, the chandeliers, the vases lining up the stairs, the huge and comfortable-looking sofas, the marble staircase, and everything rich-looking. Damn rich bastards…

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.tbc.

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Ren-sama's Note:

This is it for now, people! Thank you for reading and please leave some comments! ˆoˆ