A/N: Thank you a lot for your reviews. This chapter is my thanks to your kind support. As said in the previous update, I'm putting a flashback of ZK's moment as something Zero dreamed about when he was in his slumber. It's not sweet, but at least it's lighter than their current situation.

Sorry that I'm killing off Zero's harem, and Takuma needs to be a bad guy for the plot to work out.

As long as you read and review, I will keep writing…

Chapter 19: One day you will look back and realize you loved me

- flashback-

"Hey, Zero! Can you sleep out after your patrol? I wanna do that stuff with Mika tonight."

It took the fourteen year old trainee hunter a full minute of struggling to comprehend what his roommate was saying. He understood most of the sentence, something like Daiki wanted him not to return to their shared room because he had some plan with Mika tonight. Today was Friday, for Sun Dorm students, the week had been finished, they could get up as late as they wished or idle away the whole time in their bed tomorrow. He actually had a plan too, he wanted to sleep the day away to regain his sobriety before going to a movie with Kaname on Saturday night.

Nevertheless, Daiki didn't give him a chance to oppose it.

"I promised her already. I'll stay out next time when you need the room for yourself." His roommate winked.

All of a sudden, his devious wink dawned to Zero's mind what "that stuff" meant. The teenaged hunter sighed. Both of them had been so distracted for the whole week because of that kind of stuff, but he couldn't believe his roommate would be daring enough to invite a girl. He was about to open his mouth to argue that he would never need their room for such a nasty purpose, but well, it wasn't like he was a saint…

Not bothering to shut the door, Zero sluggishly went downstairs, heading to the school for his prefect job. As strolling on the gravelly path, a shout behind turned his head around.

"Heyyyyyyy Zeroooo!" Daiki leaned out the window, waving a hand to him "Thank youuuuu!"


He yawned. It's miraculous that he could still feel sleepy among the crowd of screams and bustles. Maybe they weren't noisy enough, or he was too tired that their daily commotion couldn't affect him anymore. Silly girls and guys, what was so good in the Night Class students to make them waste their time every day gathering here? The Moon Dorm's gate had been opened, those good-looking ones were walking to their classes.

"Idol! Idol! Idol!"

"Idol sempai!"

"Wild sempai!"

"Shutttttttttttttttttt upppppppppppppppp!" His yell was even louder to get their attention "Steppppppp backkkkkk!"

This job was really not for human. Who could shout their lungs out and run around every night and survive? Ridiculously, he had broken three desks in the headmaster's room, yet his foster father still thought it was the best way to handle this situation.

"You're meanie, Zero-kun! Idol sempai said he likes me, he wanna meet me too."

"Don't be so naïve! All of them like meee!" He wasn't quite sure why bothered to argue with them. All were annoying, both humans and vampires.

Except the silky brown haired, beautiful claret eyed pureblood. His white uniform made him even more elegant and charming. He didn't respond to those crazy people as if they didn't exist in his eyes. They had no idea of the difference between him and the rest of the Night Class students, yet their admiration to him was instinctively not hysterical as how they sprang at the others. Many girls quietly looked at him from a distance and fainted.

So hopeless! But for this particular guy, Zero didn't lie to them. Many times had Kaname told him he liked him.

"You look pale. Are you alright, Zero?"

A sweet as honey voice pouring into his ear denoted that they were being very close. He could feel the other's breath on his earlobe, and those tapering fingers gently squeezing his shoulder. Their hair brushing, and no gap between their chests. He felt something hard against him. Squared and solid. The book with a thick cover which Kaname was holding in his hand.

Zero hastily pulled out. The pureblood seemed disappointed, yet gleamed a tender smile. Those juicy lips, Zero thought they had just accidentally swept over his skin when he disengaged from him. That feeling couldn't be mistaken, because it's usually special each time Kaname gave him a peck on his cheek.

Wasn't it normal between friends? Didn't boys stick to boys and girls to girls since kindergarten time? There was a fact that a normal guy would want to tie his life with a girl when he grew up, but fourteen year old wasn't an adult yet, Zero had discreetly observed his classmates, his teachers, his foster father, and his mentor. Each male had other males as close friends, they laughed with each other, they drank with each other, they had physical contacts, however, the pureblood's touching seemed to convey a great affection to him.

"Can I stay in your room tonight?" ***You know, when you're in class.* Zero had been there a few times, just dropped in to give Kaname something or get something. They were friends, close enough for those vampires not getting surprised seeing him around. But he had never really stayed in his room. Another option was to share the stable with White Lily. Of course the horse wouldn't mind, but it was pretty uncomfortable in this season.

Something like bewitchment submerged the pureblood's eyes. He was stunned with such unexpected suggestion, obviously took the question in a higher intimate level. It couldn't be true, could it? He had intentionally created opportunities to be close to Zero, to touch him, to feel his warmth, but each time he usually made it very subtle and tactful so that the hunter wouldn't realize his intention. He worried Zero would think he was weird, at the same time he yearned for his touching, to be claimed by him, to belong to him completely.

How could it be possible that Zero wanted to sleep with him tonight? Zero wanted to… make love to him now?

"If inconvenient, forget it!" The hunter turned around to resume his job.

"Please come." Kaname seized his wrist, the invitation was spoken out in a hurry that he almost bit his own tongue.

Another contact. Zero gazed at his grasped wrist, he didn't hate it because he could feel his friend's passion in that ardent grip. Kaname was probably afraid he got displeased at his slow response. "Thank you."

"I'll be back soon." The pureblood smiled seductively.

***You don't have to skip class for me.* Zero wanted to say, but somehow he just let his friend enjoy whatever idea running in his mind which was strangely blushing his cheeks.

- halt of flashback-


"You are doing great,Yuuki. Now push… try once more… push…"

"I… can't… Help me… help…"

The girl had become more exhausted and desperate after a lot of screams, cries and whimpers. Many times she wished she could pass out, and whatever was meant to happen would happen, but the pain just didn't grant her humble wish. People said labor pain was the worst pain a woman could ever experience, otherwise, it wouldn't have been called labor. No matter how many books you had read or how far you had prepared, it didn't lessen a bit of your suffering. Never had Yuuki regretted for her mistake more than these everlasting moments. Many children were born everyday, many mothers proudly took their kids out with glee lit in their faces. She had once wished to be one of them. But in this unbearable pain, she even couldn't blame the man who had caused it to her. She didn't dare to curse him, she didn't dare to call his name. Several people were surrounding her, yet she was alone, suffering a deep, thorough loneliness that she had never felt before.

From the other side, Sara leisurely took a sip of her high-grade tea while Kaname was standing very still, facing the closed door of the delivery room, his hands unconsciously clenched in fists, waves of disquiet overflew his mind. Yuuki had been in for hours, he also stood there for hours. He would want to stay by her side, but she wouldn't appreciate it. When they talked about that, her contractions hadn't started yet. Since labor pain was different from woman to woman, they couldn't imagine how bad it would be to her. Normally, women just wanted their men or their loved ones beside them in that moment. The closest relationship between Kaname and Yuuki, if they managed to polish it, was ex-schoolmates, or blunt as it actually was, they were love rivals. She was carrying the child of the man who Kaname worshipped as the love of his life. He had asked if she wanted him to be in the room, because in this place, at least they shared the same hope. Nevertheless, she decided not to show him how indecent and hysterical she might turn into. They finally couldn't get closer to become friends.

In the last three months, she had been taken care of and provided proper nutrition as a pregnant woman should have. In return, Kaname transmitted his hereditary kung-fu of the Kurans to Sara. Fair or not, it didn't matter. Sara could have demanded him to surrender it without giving anything back. They had gotten married, he had abdicated his position of vampire leader to her. The two societies went totally shocked, yet Zero and his wives was nowhere to see. In fact, his disappearance made Kaname feel relieved, because Zero must need time to get recovered after their outrageous encounter. As long as they had no news of him, he had a reason to imagine the hunter was undergoing good treatments and everything was getting better.

He had never given up his hope on him. Seven months of separation had taught Kaname to get calmer, more patient and hopeful. Had his ex-husband not planned to confront Sara, he would have managed to negotiate with her to keep his own position and safety, instead of fleeing away as affirmation of his adverse stance. Even with an abrupt, unreasonable stab, Kaname didn't believe their faith would be broken that easily.

"Too painful. I can't… I don't want to die… Pull it out... please… pull it out…"

His hand grabbed the door handle with fright. Her words had turned too negative, she started thinking about getting rid of the child, which scared him. Even inappropriate, he wanted to break in now, to encourage her with his support, and promises of the future, which he would make sure that they would come true. But the door didn't move a bit. It had been locked.

"Calm down, Kaname! It'll be alright. All women can do it." Sara grunted. "They won't grant her stupid request."

"Give her an epidural." The pureblood pleaded softly.

It would release her from labor pain. Many human women chose it for their childbirths. He had requested it for Yuuki as soon as figuring out from the pregnancy books, however, Sara insisted that everything should go naturally on its own course. For some reason, the shemale pureblood seemed to be highly interested in this case. In a certain period of life, she was supposed to impregnate herself and give birth to an heir. But it could be thousands of years later, if only for collecting experience, she wouldn't be sitting right here, waiting for the birth.

"Sara-san, please breed me." Rima sweetly purred. "I'll be happy to bear the pain to deliver your baby."

"You are a bad girl." The shemale chuckled "Did her cries turn you on?"

As Yuuki was struggling in labor, there were also moans and pants on the other side. She was trying to push out, and the other greedily took in. One was inspiration of the other. Yuuki couldn't hear it, because she was too deep in pain, the pain that Rima couldn't imagine unless she had a chance to experience it herself. Doctors and nurses around Yuuki were sweating profusely. Kaname's request had dropped in complete neglect, yet he hesitated to repeat it and stirred Sara's nerves up. Her pants were getting rushed with pleasure beside him. If was interrupted, she might order to tear Yuuki's belly out to take the child. It might sound too exaggerating, but their situation wouldn't give them another chance if he committed a mistake. Sara was very sadistic, it had been proven in the way she treated her harem and much clearer, in her methods to him and Yuuki. She put the girl in a cage, limited her activities within a small space as if Yuuki was a kind of pet. She used cruel, insulting words to humiliate Kaname, before, during and after each of their sex, she imposed strict requirements to remind him that he was no more than a worthless slave, whom she could do whatever and however she feel pleased to.

He had been thinking hard on the reason why Sara paid an unusual attention to this birth. Because of her unfathomable motive, he had the urge to be more careful. Somehow, his mind was bothered with a terrible idea that she was aiming at the child, and wouldn't care about the mother if things went wrong. To be straightforward, Yuuki shouldn't be his favorite person, however, she had been carrying his love's child, suffering anguishes and difficulties, and now enduring the worst pain to deliver the child. All those had earned his extreme gratitude. The last thing he wanted was her life to be taken by his wrong words.

"Oowhaaaa… oowhaaaaaa… oowhaaaaa…"

A strong wail from the delivery room pulled Sara out of her pleasure. Rima greedily held her back to finish what they were doing, but she pushed her down, coldly and strongly enough for the girl to land roughly on the floor. Door was unlocked from the other side, a nurse carrying a crying infant ran toward her master.

"Sara-sama, this is the baby boy."

"Give him to me." Kaname murmured, even before she finished her sentence, before Sara laid her eyes on the beautiful newborn, who was being wrapped in a light blue towel, very little hair and thin brows in silver color. His eyes were bright as amethyst gems, typically alike his own father's. It felt like heaven seeing a baby with similar features of the love of his life, though Kaname had been preparing, waiting and dreaming for months, this joy was just too overwhelming to cope with. He didn't realize his own eyes already in tears. Little Kiryuu bawled with alarm seeing so many strangers around, but he halted in a jiff when their looks crossed each other.

"What a cute boy!" Sara commented, holding her arms out to receive him. She was pretty gentle, but the infant immediately resumed crying as though sensing a danger was coming. Lifting him closer to her face, she protruded her pointed fangs, and took a deep bite in his soft, young flesh.

The boy squealed in panic.

"Stop! You can drink from me!" Kaname yelled, but he was unexpectedly knocked down as attempting to grip her arm. An invisible shield was protecting her and preventing any interruption. He was astounded to realize it wasn't an ordinary bite. Sara was taking the boy's healing gift to neutralize her poison. But how could she know he had this gift?

In the last three months Sara had stopped having sex with him. She drank his blood to cure her injuries, but not in a direct way. Everyday a servant would come to extract a glass of blood from him. This change hinted that she was suspecting something, however, he wasn't forced into any interrogation, Rima didn't disappear either, which confused him what her suspicion possibly was. Nevertheless, he worried that the day the child being born would end these blind days, something was going to happen, worse than all they had endured. Although his health still couldn't be recovered due to continuous blood loss and the implicit poison, he was given more food and rest, he was allowed to walk around and read the pregnancy books with Yuuki, the servants also paid him more regards than before.

All those were for today. Sara handed the unconscious baby back to the nurse, leisurely wiped off her bloody lips "Are you wondering why I knew he had a healing power? He was completely human, while his father was already an ex-human at the time he was conceived." She smirked triumphantly "An ability to restore its original genes, but even more powerful than a pureblood's one, because it was purely a gift from the hunter lineage. Your best friend's calculation has gone wrong! He didn't know you would fail to cover your deepest thoughts when you're poisoned. I drank from you everyday, I could sense your emotions, your worries, your faith, and on the day Zero came here, I found your suppressed thoughts!"

"That the next generation of the Kiryuus would inherit a great healing power and…" Sara reached out to strangle Rima's neck, who had stood up and put her clothes back on. "…that you had taken the poison this silly girl gave to kill me."

"Sa… Sa…" The girl gripped her lover's wrist with both hands, stuttering to beg for life but no words was completed from smothering throat "For… for…give…"

Her mouth opened, eyes widened. The clutches loosed as her lungs ran out of air. Blood leaked down from flared nostrils.

She died.

Sara didn't bother to turn around for one last look. She simply took her hand back, letting the lifeless body fall down. The servants frightfully held their breaths still, but there was no surprise, even the one who got killed today was their master's favorite lover. Nevertheless, her coldest act wasn't to let go of the person who she had just made love to, it was to keep making love to her for months while knowing she was going to kill her.

Attention focused on the so-called wife, who had teamed up with Rima in this betrayal. For someone who would kill for no reason, nobody had ever betrayed her and survived.

"What do you want from me?" Out of expectations, Kaname asked calmly. He was panicked that Sara had figured out everything, for an instant, he thought it was going to be their dead end. He had nothing else to offer. His position, his strength, his hereditary kung-fu had been taken. What left was his breaths and his body, but they were totally useless to her. However, if he had really turned useless, she wouldn't keep him alive till now. In fact, she even went further to improve his condition and more or less revive his reputation.

"With that sharp mind, you should have made an ideal partner." Sara simpered. "We will have a new deal, Kaname. Firstly, I will detoxify your poison too. I will give you some time to be with your beloved child and think about what we should arrange for his future."


- continuation of flashback-

The bed was so large that Zero could swim on, soft and cozy with a very tempting aroma, Kaname's natural scent. It should be expected, he was in his very chamber, lying on his very bed. The blanket seemed to be holding his lingering warmth, Zero greedily pulled it over his head, indulging himself in an intense sensation. It was so pleasant. Stupid Daiki, who needed to take turn to invite girls to their shared room? To think about it, no girls' names popped up in his mind. He had gotten excited hearing about the porn dvd's which Daiki's brother handed to him last weekend. They had eagerly watched them together throughout the week whenever they could manage some free time. Those naked bodies, those graphic images, those sensual positions, those lustful moans, what they did on the screen carved deeply in their minds. Daiki said he got a wicked desire of undressing each and every girl he met and had sex with them. He wanted to know how it felt like being inside a hot body and squeezing lewd sound out of delicate lips.

It's a masculine thing. Zero felt crammed. Sex became more curious around his age. The other day Kaname had taught him how to do a proper handjob. It's embarrassing, yet he found himself listen to him thoroughly, and even let him touch his. Just a touch, and just from the outside, but it kind of… He started giving a better thought of their so-called friendship. Kaname seemed to know a lot. He assumed the pureblood had taken time to figure himself out, but after watching those videos, he wondered if his experience had been collected from a more direct way.

All vampires were attracted to purebloods. In this Academy, there was only one pureblood, and a lot of willing girls. In this very bed, his friend had possibly messed up with countless girls. Zero kicked the blanket out. Such idea was extremely disturbing. He didn't have a girlfriend, so Kaname shouldn't have one. But Kaname wanted sex, otherwise, he wouldn't have known a lot about it. There was a period each year when vampires over sixteen got in heat. It's called mating season. Kaname would be sixteen next year.

He would want girls.

Damn it!

Lustful vampire, he would shoot him!

Now it was insufferably disturbing. Zero sat up, carefully using his sharp nose to seek any strange smell in the room. Pureblood scent soaked the air, besides that, there was a faint perfume hint, and his own odor started mixing up. It inexplicably cooled him down. If someone came to this room, they would find out that he had been here before.

He had been here.

It felt so right.

If only he could hang a banner across this room saying the pureblood was unavailable.

Zero knew his thinking was ridiculous, but why a guy must get a girl when they grew up?

What could he do to stop Kaname when his racial heat hit him?

The door was gently pulled in and his friend appeared with a guilty yet shy smile. "I'm sorry I couldn't leave before the break. It was Yagari-sensei's session."

If it was a vampire teacher, he would have left already. However, Yagari was a senior hunter, Kaname wanted to show his full support to the co-existence plan, where vampires and humans could live together, interacted with each other in peace. As a matter of fact, he couldn't focus on the lesson at all, he's afraid Zero would become impatient and leave. To think about the young hunter staying in his room, he couldn't help feeling hotter and hotter. He was still wearing the white uniform, fully buttoned up, with a tie pin and a collar pin with moon symbol pendants.

Zero was amazed that Kaname had never forgotten any accessories on his uniform and always worn them properly and formally. He couldn't do that, yet he adored the pureblood's tidiness. Suddenly curiosity flooded over him, what did Kaname look like when sleeping? Or when…

"You look distracted. Are you feeling uneasy?" The pureblood had joined him on the bed, affectionately placed a hand on his forehead.

Zero didn't avoid him this time. It would be more awkward if he reacted too much over those trifles. Kaname had always been that way, it's just he hadn't been highly aware of his behavior before. "Daiki invited his girlfriend to come over, so I have to stay out." He explained, hopefully the reason was normal and understandable enough, and Kaname wouldn't think he was harboring some weird idea as proposed sleeping over in his room.

"Ah." The pureblood uttered, suddenly stood up, making a few steps backward as if trying to create a decent space for them and hiding his immature disappointment that Zero hadn't come here to stay with him on purpose.

"Do you invite girls over too?" However, his reaction made the hunter wonder whether he did the same thing as Daiki's.

"Do you?" At the same time, such impassive question worried Kaname that Zero was used to this kind of thing. He loved him, yet hadn't confessed his feeling directly and seriously to him. The boy was only fourteen and his human origin made him grow up more slowly than vampires. Kaname hadn't wanted to hurry and scare him away. He was waiting with patience until Zero grew up. But did his slow advances give way to someone else?

"I'm asking you." Zero wanted to yell that he wasn't sleeping around for fun. Well, he couldn't foresee his future, but right in this moment, he didn't want to admit that he wasn't interested in any girl.

"No." Kaname murmured "You is enough."

His words couldn't convince the teenaged hunter though.

"Would you still say it next year when you are in heat? Wouldn't you be indulging your instinct with girls?"

"Is there any chance…" Kaname got closer to Zero again "…you are feeling jealous?"

Their eyes fixed each other. Last time he had shown him how to satisfy his sexual need with his own hand. He wanted Zero to think about him when desires arose, to link them together, to come to him for satisfaction. It was indecent, but he didn't have a virtuous method to win the hunter's heart. Zero was pure and upright, there were many more demure, adequate girls for him out there. He probably shouldn't wait longer, he should take their current closeness to tie them together.

***Please choose me! I will devote my life to compensate for the opportunities you should have achieved without me.*

"If you do, then claim me, make me yours, mark me as your possession."

The hunter was dazed at his friend's strange request. Kaname wasn't saying he would dominate in their relationship, he even didn't ask for equality. On the contrary, he's offering his full submission. Wait, Zero startled, what the heck was going on here? He was being approached by a man, and he was… considering it? Both of them were male. What kind of relationship could two men enter into? Wasn't it a wicked joke?

"Sorry, I'm not a girl." Zero said curtly.

"That impudent thought has never crossed my mind." Kaname was at the edge of his bed, this time he didn't sit down with him, but knelt on the floor, grabbing the hunter's hand to press on his smooth cheek. "You will surpass me in the future, you will become the strongest man in this world, you will be the foremost legendary hunter."

"Are you pledging allegiance to me?" Zero said sarcastically. One could always try their best to obtain better achievements. However, natural strength related to origin. His conversional situation reduced his chance to reach the supreme level which a hunter could attain. It looked like Kaname promised him his pure blood to reinforce his altered strength. "Then what do you want from me? To be your master? Sworn brother? Or loyal friend?" Cynicism was too sour in his voice, yet couldn't cover the unaccountable frustration which was increasing in his heart. "How else can a man claim another man?"

"Just as Daiki is doing to his girl." Kaname stated clearly. ***Please don't look elsewhere. I'm right here waiting for you.* He wouldn't push if Zero wasn't ready, but that desire, that pleasure, that type of relationship, he wanted the hunter to know he could anytime take it from him. "I can show you how."

- end of flashback -


His eyelids waveringly fluttered between dream and reality, sweet memories in their past and difficulties in the present, beautiful images which had carved in his heart and challenges waiting for him in the future. Sometimes one just wanted to be drunk forever, to never wake up from their long sleep, so that the beautiful dream would never disappear. Faint light in the room helped his eyes easily adapt to the surrounding. After some indecisive blinks, he finally registered it was the vacation home of the Ichijous in Nice, on the south east coast of France, where Takuma had wanted them to spend a few days together during their trip with the Association years ago. It was a beautiful place, however, to wake up with nobody in sight and find himself being in Europe at the moment startled him. Experience of the memory loss alerted that he might have missed some important parts of his life, forgotten some important issues or lost some important people.


Unconsciously chanted his beloved's name to make sure the best meaning of his life was still memorized, with that, he was calmed down. The last thing remained in his mind was being stabbed by him, his love, and with an estrange, expressionless look, Kaname told him he was ready to hurt him again. His fingers hesitantly touched on his chest where the wound had been. No hint of pain, even though he was pressing pretty hard, as if that place had never got injured. Adding to his astonishment, his whole body was feeling perfectly well, senses were sharp, arms and legs were in fine fettle, strength had never been that affluent. There was no sign of the exhaustion which he was suffering, as though he had been through a long sleep, long enough for all pain and sorrows to be desolved.

Sliding the glass door open, he started hearing the rustling of soft waves peacefully slapping the sandy shore. Their bedroom looked out the charming beach, night breeze mischievously blew a few locks of blond hair of the man facing his back to him.

And that's when reality confirmed to Zero it wasn't heaven.

Takuma turned around, a thrill flashed on his face as he ended his on-going phone call. "I'll call you back later."

His hand fondly caressed the hunter's cheek, voice also turned much softer with love. "You've finally waken up."

"Why are we here?" For one moment, Zero was quite familiar with their closeness and didn't react to the noble's touch. But in the next instant, he recalled their unresolved problem before he headed to Sara's mansion. Had Takuma been an enemy, that dawdling titbit of time would have been more than enough to take his life. Indeed, one just couldn't hold sharp caution toward his own family members, because home was the place where one removed all his heavy masks to expose his true color, to relax his nerves, to regain his energy, where he felt totally safe to rest and comfortable to express his feelings.

"We are taking refuge from Shirabuki."

"Where are the others?"

"Are you hungry? Would you like my blood?" Takuma gave him one of his smiles which were usually warm and soothing.

Zero sighed. He could never repay enough to such kindness. If the person he saw after waking up had been Kaname, then his sweet dream would have continued alongside the beautiful beach. Before stepping out, he had stayed still on the bed for a while, indulging himself in an imagination that it was another period of his life, when they were happily together, no problems, no worries, no dangers. All of them were in their sweet home, enjoying a dinner with lots of laughter together.

Too foolish.

Dreams wouldn't last forever.

"Where are the others?" His voice got stern. Their absence somehow was giving him a very bad feeling.

"They are dead..." Takuma knew his fateful words would drown the hunter in an ocean of grief, where he had been trying to pull him out. Yet there would be no suitable time for such news, he couldn't hide it from him forever, what he could do was to stay by his side in this difficult phase. As a wife, Takuma had done all the other wives would, even what the others couldn't. "…in Kaname's hands."

"It's not true." Zero denied immediately, not wasting a single second to consider it. And Takuma understood it was because of Kaname. No matter how impossible or incredible the news was, he should have taken a moment to contemplate its likelihood. However, if considering it meant suspecting Kaname, Zero would resolutely negate it.

Takuma curved his lips as a habit. Most of the time, his first reaction was to make a smile. He often smiled with the others, let them feel easy and comfortable with his presence, let them more opened and confident to speak to him. Who said a bad guy didn't get hurt? "It's not easy to believe. They didn't believe he came to kill them till their very last minutes."

"Why did Kaname want to do it?" Zero couldn't think of a possible motive for the pureblood to kill them. He didn't expect Sara to let Kaname go out at all. Indeed, he had turned things upside down to search for him with no luck in four months, while both of them were actually still in the same prefecture.

"He changed. Upon returning home, we decided to get you in a slumber for full recovery, thinking Shirabuki also needed some time to heal herself, so it should be safe in about six months. Unexpectedly, while Shirabuki was still getting healed, I heard Kaname was coming to kill us, I brought you away, but Aido, Kain and Shiki didn't believe me." Takuma had lied before, yet this lie had even gone beyond his imagination. He and Kaname had grown up together, had been best friends. They were like brothers, he was the very first person who the pureblood confided his love to. Had they not loved the same man, he would have been the most loyal, most dedicated friend to Kaname all his life. Yes, he changed. "You asked why I didn't tell you he was with Shirabuki. If he had been forced, I would have told you right away. But it's said he was living happily with her at his free will. I needed more time to verify it, and to think how to inform you such news. Just like them, I couldn't absorb the fact as soon as I got it, but luckier than them, I had a few months to digest it. When I was affirmed he had really betrayed you, I made a decision on my own, I ordered to prepare a poison to kill both of them. We needed hunter and pureblood mixed blood in the ingredients, because we wanted all symptoms of the poisoning to be hidden. Your hunter essence was reduced since you became a pureblood, that's why I had to add something in your blood tablets. I think the symptoms were discovered when Shirabuki got injured, and Kaname attacked us out of anger at my deed. Zero, it was my fault for keeping all these behind your back, but as your second wife, I can't discuss with you straightforwardly about how to deal with your first wife, your first love."

It's not that Zero didn't see reasons in the noble's statement, he understood what Takuma was trying to convince him, and those words, which entirely and coherently made senses, were smashing his heart to smithers. Because a wedding was just a ceremony, three months of living together after the wedding wasn't really different than three months of living together right before that. Many married couples had lived happily all their lives without a wedding. Being husband and wife was a feeling deep in each other's hearts, forming from a chain of ups and downs which the couple equally shared and shouldered in the course of life, that the event of a wedding wasn't a decisive factor.

Kaname was his true love, the most important person in his life, the one who he had grown up with and fallen for. He would want to save his highest, deepest, dearest, most significant position in his heart for him, however, to cast off all those formalities to expose its real nature, Kaname was a lover more than a wife. They hadn't had a chance to live their marriage, Zero had made up his mind to see him go just a few months after their wedding.

While with Takuma, even though what tied him to the noble wasn't love, he gradually got used to relying on him for dealing with their daily issues. What design their home extension should be, what birthday gift to prepare for his foster father, how to persuade two sides to agree with their suggestions, how to arrange a good reception for their memorial day. He relied on Takuma as a husband on his wife. He always had him by his side, he had his support, he had his ideas. Even in the fight to bring Kaname back, he had been relying on him. So if you asked whether he should accept the story Takuma was telling, he could only say that... he was unable to reject it thoroughly.

"If we were separated again, no matter what happened to you or no matter what you heard about me, ignore them all, try to return to me! If you couldn't, do whatever you have to in order to survive."

Even in his worst nightmare, Zero didn't think his pureblood would kill the nobles. Kaname respected lives, respected their friendships. Hadn't they already ruthlessly betrayed him by getting married to his husband? Yet he tolerated it again and again, without a word. The only circumstance which Zero could imagine that led to the pureblood's killing mood was they became prejudicial to him, the person Kaname loved fervently.

Nevertheless, regardless of how impossible it was, Kaname had stabbed him on that day. His eyes were expressionless, yet that act was thoroughly accurate and determined. The sword went through him to create another opened wound on his back, but his heart remained very intact. In such a short distance, Kaname couldn't aim imprecisely. If Zero hadn't had enough time to think carefully in that moment, he realized now the pureblood didn't mean to harm him.

Was it his silent hope or he just considering all possibilities when thinking Kaname might be following their promise which he had forced him in? He had done whatever Sara wanted him to for survival, including murdering all his close friends, and injuring his beloved man. It was atypical to describe Kaname, though purebloods usually expected to be cruel and uncaring. Perhaps Zero was used to thinking about his pureblood with a warm heart, as how he had treated him particularly and assumed he would treat everyone else in the same nice way.

"How about Minori and Seiren?" But if Kaname had really killed them, so what? The nobles would forever stay in his heart, yet he couldn't promise to take vengeance for them. Either Kaname or Takuma, he couldn't kill any of them, no matter what they did.

"Gone." Now it was the truth. Those two had sneaked off when the nobles were fighting, and vanished in the sea of people. Being insignificant turned out to be their advantage, none of the secret agents crossed them on their ways, nobody knew about their whereabouts. "They left on that same day. Since we moved here, I don't keep in touch with anyone, because Shirabuki might reach us through our contacts. I heard our home was untouched, but the servants must have been brainwashed. Now it's only Kaname and me, who know what really happened three months ago. I understand that whoever talks badly about Kaname will lose favour in your eyes. But I still have other news for you, evidential and undeniable." Takuma flipped through his cell phone to look for an image. "Kaname has had a son with Shirabuki. Although they had him from a surrogacy arrangement, it's the very first time a Shirabuki bred with another person and had a child with a specific gender. Their son is named Kazuki Shirabuki. Kazu for one, and ki for hope. Look, he inherits his dark hair."

Takuma showed Zero an image on his phone's large screen. The hunter didn't reach out to touch it, but glued his eyes at the screen in daze. In that image, his beloved pureblood was sitting on a rocking chair, his arms holding a little cute infant, and he was smiling peacefully. Zero was dumbfounded at such a stunning scene. Since the first time they met, that beautiful smile had always mesmerized him. Each time Kaname smiled, especially for him or because of him, he got an absolute delight and contentment. But this particular time roused an indescribable feeling in his utmost, something he had never brought himself to think about, something he unconsciously avoided, something wasn't supposed to happen. At a point, it was severely worse than seeing Kaname with another person. Catching him in bed could fly Zero into a rage, because he had all rights of a husband for it, but facing this scene, he felt like himself becoming a hindrance who should be shameful of his own presence. Their romance, though coming from deep and sincere feelings, was against nature. A man normally would want to enjoy a happy family life with the woman he loved and their lovely children. Fourteen years old, Zero had given up on that dream to be with Kaname, just as Aido and the other wives had done for marrying him. However, Kaname was fond of children. Many years ago, Zero used to think about adopting one or two kids after they settled down.

Unfortunately, their life took another path which led them to a circumstance that was no longer practical for them to adopt children.

Kazuki – He wondered how much time Kaname had spent to find such a perfect name. The Shirabukis only chose unisex names, Sara had renamed herself since she wanted a completely feminine impression. It's unlikely that she had chosen this name for the boy, as Kazuki was absolutely masculine, and the sound of it could be easily recognized that it's related to his father's name.

Zero realized he still hadn't touched the screen, as if a part of him was still stubbornly struggling to deny this fabulous scene, one which he's unable to give Kaname. He could live with him for an eternity, he could hunt high and low for the needed hearts, could go heaven and earth to seek for his trace. He was ready to die for him, but what could he practically offer him? Kaname was the lover who Zero had used all his senses, all his feelings to love. However, they were no longer in a one-on-one romance. If they were reconciled, what he could present to him was a floor out of fives, a cozy night together followed by four lonely ones, a fifth of his heart, a fifth of his life, though this one piece was conceivably larger than the rest.

Now it came to sense why Kaname had declined to leave with him on that day. He could deny what Takuma said, could ignore what the pureblood had done, could find as many reasons as needed to defend him, however, this fascinating smile, which had been long gone since their painful separation, shattered his motivation. Kaname had lived in deep sorrow for the last five years, and eventually decided to end his life. But a change which was supposed to be a misfortune, turned out to bring him his longing happiness. In that moment, when this image was taken, Zero was sure what the pureblood was feeling was a pure, inestimable bliss. How could he get it if Sara was really constraining him as they thought?

Somewhere on the way getting back to each other, they got lost.

"It's time to return. I need to finish this matter."

- to be continued -

Posted on 16 April 2014