Sorry for not updating in months -_- I do have the next chapter ready, however, before I publish it, you can enjoy a bad written sidestory ;P

"Suzume, you need to wake up."

Suzume groaned in response to her mother's command. It was a Sunday morning, and it was her day to sleep as long as she wanted. No school, no work. That was a normal Sunday for the sleeping girl.

The rattle of a bucket caught Suzume's attention, and her whole body jolted up to find her mother carrying a bucket with ice-cold water. Yeah, Suzume didn't dare try lay down after seeing the danger she was in. Her mother, pleased to see her daughter awake, smiled, telling her to come down to the shop in ten minutes. Suzume only nodded, her eyes never leaving the scrupling* bucket.

She was down in her family's bakery in five minutes, wearing her winter dress and her braided pigtails.

"I'm here mom, did you need anything?"

"Hi honey, sorry to wake you up on a Sunday morning, but me and your father have to work, and your uncle has a cold, so I want you to bring him this,"

Her mother held up a nice basket in her hands, the smell of freshly baked bread seeping through the cover. The girl was practically drooling over the contents. She felt her hand maneuver towards it, but her mother slapped it away.

"Suzume, you are not allowed to eat this, it's not for you, but you're uncle."

She handed the basket to her daughter.

"Don't go off trail dear, and watch out for Wolves!"

Suzume covered herself with her favorite red riding hood, which reached down to her ankles.

"See you later!"

Therefore, the girl in the red riding hood left to visit her uncle in the forest.

On her way, she checked on the Mamaru family, giving notice to Daiki, her best friend.

After accompanied by her friend to the end of their tiny village, Suzume nibbled on her breakfast. As she got deeper and deeper in the woods, she felt a set of eyes fallowing her movements, like a predator watching its pray.

"Well, doesn't that smell good?"

A smooth voice appeared behind the girl, giving her a fright. Her grip on the basket failed, which started falling along with her breakfast.

"Woopsy, you shouldn't lose such good smelling food girl."

Two hands grabbed the falling items like a flash of light. It wasn't even near the ground yet.

In front of Suzume stood a tall lean man, carrying her basket and breakfast. He stared intently at the half-eaten piece of bread, smiling. Then his gaze turned to her. His eyes were of surreal forest green, and the man's being just shined.

"And where might a little girl like you be heading off to in this deep dark forest, hmm?"

He mused at her, waiting for an answer. She would probably have given it if it weren't for the fact that he had a tail and a set of wolf ears. So she only stared at him.

He seemed disappointed over her lack of contribution on the conversation, yet he handed her items back, telling her to be more careful, and then disappearing from sight.

The fact that he just ran of surprised Suzume; didn't wolfs eat human girl? Was he even a wolf, because other than the ears, tails and eyes he seemed like an ordinary person, give or take? Maybe the reflexes were a bit unrealistic, but it saved her from a scolding so she wouldn't complain.

When she arrived at her uncle's cozy house in the forest the sun had risen high in the sky even though it had only been around thirty minutes. She appreciated the warmth of her uncle's house, which contrasted significantly from the winter weather outside.

"Uncle, it's me, Suzume. Mother sent me to give you some stuff from our shop."

Suzume walked inside the kitchen, placing the basket on the kitchen table. She found her uncle sleeping in his bed, a wet cloth over his head. The fire from the stove crackled in the silent room. Suddenly the man started chocking, making him sit up and the cloth fall. In a hurry, Suzume came and tried to help him, giving him a glass of water and a bucket in case he had to throw up.

When the coughing calmed down, her uncle asked if she could get him some of the things she brought. She did, giving him a fresh piece of bread together with some ham and cheese. He thanked her.

As her uncle fell asleep again, Suzume had taken up a book to read. She assumed it was a new one, because she had never stumbled upon it before. She had read them all on her frequent visits, but not this one.

While being consumed by the book, Suzume didn't hear the sound of a door opening. And when she felt the sudden breeze from outside dance on her pale skin it was too late. She turned around to find a trail with even drops of blood, a sudden horror filled the girl, and without hesitation, she sprinted silently to her uncle's bedroom.

He was still there, safe and sleeping. Suzume let out a sigh, but quickly put on a serious demeanor as she fallowed the blood trail with a fireplace rod in her hands.

There came a melodious tune from the kitchen, followed by a whiff of mesmerizing smell. It was so hypnotizing that for a second Suzume let her guard down, and robotically walked in to where the smell came from.

The first thing she laid focus on was the oven-pot with soup, but the thing stirring the soup was what surprised her.

In the kitchen stood a tall lean man, tasting the aromatic dish. It was the Wolf-man!

Suddenly Suzume's guard was up again, and she attacked.

...

Shishio woke up to a huge pain in his head, and it was not a hangover. He tried to rub the sore spot, however, they were tied behind his back, making it impossible.

"Heeeey~ what's the meaning of this?"

He sniffed the air, noticing a new scent to Yukichi's house. There was a presence nearby him, still in the kitchen.

"Hey, I know it's you girl. The one I met with the cute red hood."

He chuckled at the memory of how she walked so mesmerized by the snow that she hadn't seen him walk up next to her.

The sound of fidgeting steps appeared from behind a closet. Shishio turned his emerald eyes at the girl; she wasn't wearing the distinctive hood anymore. She was holding onto a fire spear, aiming it at him.

The man screeched unexpectedly, not because of the young girl, but rather by a cockroach crawling on the floor behind her. With effortless power, Shishio ripped the rope binding him apart, jumping on anything above the tile kitchen floor. Suzume just stared at the scene with shock. What was wrong with him?

She picked up the cockroach and threw it out the window, praying that it would find another safe home out there.

As the insect was out of sight the wolf-man relaxed, instinctively going up to his savior to thank her as every friendly wolf-man would. With a big love cuddling embrace.

Suzume gasped in surprise by the hug. Paralyzed the contact, the girl only stood stock-still, waiting for the creature to rip her apart. With her eyes shut, Suzume worriedly expected her early death by a superhuman man. Nevertheless, she took notice that the raven-head loosened his grip around her, maneuvering an inch distance between their faces. He smiled everlasting a sparkling smile.

"You are a brave little girl...?"

"Suzume."

The name blurted out before she realized what she said. The brunette quickly covered her mouth by the action, red creeping up her round face. The wolf-man smiled genuinely at the action.

"I like you Suzume."

His words came out with true emotions, and for that, Suzume's face burned crimson.

"Wha-what?!"

"The names Shishio Satsuki, at your service."

Before the girl could fathom what happened, Shishio had closed the inch that stood between their faces. However, instead of pushing him away, the slow movement of their lips rubbing against each other wooed her into kissing him back.

As they parted, Shishio gleamed over her with emerald eyes.

"You are a very good human Suzume."

Suzume stared at him, stunned by how enchanting his very being shined with that smile. But as the trance faded, realization crashed on her actions, giving the heated blood rushing to her face. Shishio laughed at her face, it really reminded him of a delicious ripe tomato.

"Oh yeah, you're culture is different when giving thanks to others. Please forgive me for my inconsiderate performance."

The sound of something overcooking stole the moment, and with swift movements, Shishio disappeared to the burning soup.

...

"Here you go Yuki-chan."

Shishio handed a bowl of steaming hot soup. Luckily, he was able to salvage the dish before it was too late. Behind him stood Suzume, her eyes lingering at the two men. The faintest smile appeared at that moment.

"Uncle, I should be heading home before it becomes too dark. I'll be back as soon as I get time, ok?"

Yukichi nodded, a smile formed on his pale skin.

"Hope to see you soon than. And sorry for not being a better host."

"No worries just rest and get better when I come over again."

Shizume left to fetch her rid riding hood, taking note of the sun lit sky. It would turn dark in mere hours, and the way home took one and a half. After another quick farewell, the brunette walked on the powdered snow, inhaling the crispness of winter.

She walked alone for two minutes, a sudden hand tapping her shoulder made her pay attention to the wolf-man. Pink dusted her porcelain cheeks, her eyes showing sincere joy and fight of his presence.

"Shishio, what are you doing here?"

He smiled at her, a proud aura surrounding him.

"Well to make sure you return home safe and sound. Plus, it's no fun hanging around a sleeping Yukichi."

He grimaced and stuck out a sharp tongue in gesture of the thought. Suzume laughed at that, leading to Shishio joining her. They kept walking.

...

"Well, I guess this is goodbye then."

Shishio and Suzume stood at the bay of the forest; the sun was setting behind piles of threes.

"Thank you for taking care of my uncle... Moreover, sorry about hitting your head earlier, I thought you were a dangerous man who was going to rob uncle. "

Shishio laughed at that, gently taking her hand in his, placing a gentle kiss on top before disappearing back into the dark forest.