Disclaimer: The manga and the characters belong to Hino Matsuri.

A/N: This story takes place 5 years after the happy ending of "Go home with me". If you haven't read it yet, I would recommend you to take a look, though this story was originally planned to be independent. In fact, "Go home with me" was an alternative prequel. The true prequel should be written by Irmina. I really hope one day she will write it. It's a lovely ZK story of the ten year old Zero trying to convince the twenty year old Kaname to fall in love with him and wait for him to grow up :-) I increased their age gap and made both of them adults in my alternative.

Here starts the first chapter:


Winter once again returned to Hokkaido, bringing its piercing coldness and an ocean of snow to weave a new coat for the surface of earth. Darkness slowly fell down, tonight a new year was coming.

Most of people over the country, wherever life brought them to, had returned home, gathering with their beloved families, despite that the finishing year had been good or tough, to celebrate those precious moments, to greet a new, fresh start, to give one another their best wishes, and to thoroughly feel they were loved and cared. Unfortunately, there were some people who had a place to stay, but not a home, had many social relations, but not a family. And in the festive, merry ambiance of a New Year's Eve, they were solitary.

The dark, tranquil forest was almost empty, except a young man who was standing in silence under a tall, ancient tree. The lantern hanging on a branch spread a dim light, embracing his still shadow, which was lying on the snow-covered ground.

Five years ago, he also had a big family to return in this season. His home town was blessed with a warm winter, his family was the most famous hunter family in history, his father was proud of his early achievements, and his mother counted each and every day of the year until she could see him again. Five years ago, in the New Year's Eve, Shizuka Hio came with a group of E vampires to take vengeance for her ex-human lover and destroyed his home. As a miracle, he survived, though it was his most regret, since he had to bury each member of his beloved family by his own hands. His future in-law family had been there for him, chairman Cross, a good friend of his parents, also came to help him organize the funeral. He was like a distracted, inexpressive person in those days, everything passed by as a dream, when he could regain his full consciousness, he had been brought back to Hokkaido, and his past, both the tragic and the serenity, had become oblivious.

A leading psychiatrist explained that it was a trauma of the catastrophe, his brain blocked the miserable past away to heal his mental wound.

Chairman Cross, Kaito and Aimi became the closest persons in his life, they told him about his background, his family, what he had been planning, what he had been pursuing, yet none of them could explain the absence of the birth mark on his left arm, even Aimi, as his fiancee, didn't know when and how it had disappeared. For a hunter, the birth mark should only fade away after his wedding night, since he wouldn't get into a casual relationship and lose his first time for an insignificant partner. Nevertheless, that most important person had never showed up, and nobody who knew him was aware that he used to be in a relationship.

He spent five years to restore all knowledge as a hunter and a doctor. Although he tried hard every day, he felt lack of passion, lack of something to warm him up from the innermost, something to encourage him, and in the bottom of his heart, there was an untouchable, unfeeling area which he believed all pains and miseries in his past had been frozen.

Thirty years old, he was an assistant to the HA president, and a qualified cardiologist. Thirty years old, it wasn't too late to start building a good future, however, his highest priority remained the revenge upon Shizuka Hio, for murdering his whole family, and for kidnapping and killing his twin brother many years before.

This day had finally come when the pureblood princess's trace was tracked down, and she was forced to accept his challenge to a duel. Endangering a pureblood was a crime, it was unlikely that this fight could take place legitimately, however, Takuma Ichijou, the head of the Vampire Council, and other influential nobles had supported him by judging Shizuka as an insane and dangerous pureblood who must be eliminated for violating the peace treaty between two sides, unless she won the fight with him.

To those nobles, Zero didn't really understand why they usually helped him whenever he needed it. He wasn't very interested in making friends with vampires, and they didn't care much about building a close relation with him, yet they would kindly offer their assistance in good timing and help him complete his missions.

Snow had fallen again, indifferently brushing his silver hair, impassively piling on his shoulders, placidly burying his unmoved feet.

The forest was so silent that the sound of bats flapping their wings could be heard from a very far distance. It was almost the time when Shizuka arrived his home five years ago, bats gathered on a snow-wrapped branch, forming into a beautiful lady in an elegant, traditional kimono.

"It's a surprise that you are human." She said gently, though her words sounded quite nonsensical.

"I'm Zero Kiryuu. I was born to hunt your race down." He replied firmly and stolidly, pointing Bloody Rose straight at her. An explanation to her ridiculous comment wasn't necessary, all hunters were human, it's natural that he was one.

The first shot echoed in the peaceful night, Shizuka dodged it gracefully, it took her no effort to stay safe with his following attempts.

His shooting skill was excellent, yet her speed was too fast.

The lithe figure on the branch vanished, then suddenly re-appeared behind his back, violently strangled his neck and immobilized his whole body.

Responded to her fierce attack, green vines from Bloody Rose swiftly rolled over both of them, tying them together, using its fullest strength to crush them up.

They were completely trapped to each other, the one who contended longer would win and be free after the other died. An ancient pureblood and the most powerful hunter, the result was absolutely unpredictable, they didn't move too much, their solid legs stood steadily on the ground, supporting their balance, though they were struggling with their full strength.

Shizuka gazed at the hunter symbol on his neck. Other hunters normally didn't tattoo their symbol at that place, her lips curved into a smirk.

All of a sudden, she sank her nails, which were on his neck, into his skin, scratching his symbol.

Blood scent was fresh in the air, weird images appeared in his vision without warning. He saw her killing his relatives, he saw his father falling down as she thrust her arm through his chest, he saw Ichiru licking her blood off the floor, he saw him hysterically panting on top of a female ex-human with pointed fangs, he saw many other ex-humans jumping on them.

His powers were abruptly disappeared, she squeezed him tighter, he managed to fight back, but all his efforts to her became worthless, he fell into a half conscious condition.

Temperature dropped lower, snow fell heavier, another flock of bats unexpectedly arrived, gathering into a man in long, black trench coat. A dark metal half-face mask hid the left side of his face, soft curls of chestnut hair sophisticatedly hung down to shade it. His left hand, which were in leather glove, was holding a hunter sword.

"Kaname Kuran. So you are the reason." Shizuka identified the newcomer by his typical aura and greeted him with odd words, though they didn't seem unintelligible to him "This is a duel between me and Zero Kiryuu. You can't interfere in, I refuse to fight with you." If it was Kaname alone, she wouldn't mind it. However, she had spent a lot of energy with Zero, she needed fresh blood and some rest to recover her strength before engaging in another fight.

"You didn't play fair. He could have won if you hadn't reopened his wounds."

"Hahahahahah..." She burst into laughing "How could it be unfair? I didn't ask for any assistance. I just reminded him of who I am." Both of her hands were fixed with rose vines, even though they were not as tight as before, it wasn't easy to break free immediately. "Now I've understood why the Council decided I had to accept this duel or my vengeance on the Kiryuus would be brought to court for trial. I wondered which pureblood I had offended."

Purebloods were the highest rank, however, the Vampire Council governed their society and held the right to make the final decisions. On the other aspect, each councilor pledged their loyalty to a certain pureblood, and most of their votes or decisions were influenced by their pureblood master. Purebloods were fully protected and retained many privileges over the others, unless they were considered dangerous to the society's safety and reputation.

"You required Takuma Ichijou to declare I'm insane while I have done nothing wrong. This boy's father ordered to kill my lover, although he hadn't yet lost his lucidity. My lover sacrificed his hunter status and asked me to bite him, he had my blood everyday, there was no way he would become insane. We were supposed to be together forever, but Nori Kiryuu ruined my happiness. Do you know... I've lived for thousands of years, and it was the first and only time I fell in love..."

Tears fell down her withered smile. Since that night, she had forgotten what type of person she had used to be, she forgot how many hearts she had broken, or how many victims had died in her hands. Upon suffering the death of her beloved, she understood the value of life, but everything was too late, she could never taste that wonderful joy ever again.

The sword was aimed straightly at her, Kaname said calmly "You have taken your vengeance, Hio! You murdered his whole family, including the people who hadn't offended you, and you ruined my happiness, you took away from me the only person who loved me. This is his vengeance, and my vengeance." He didn't show sympathy to her, but couldn't deny that he understood how scary loneliness was, and how painful when losing the most and only important thing in one's life. Shizuka had put him on the same path as hers, he lost Zero right after the hunter admitted his love for him. "All hunters want to go to the Hades with their wife, so they can plead to meet again in their next life. Your lover are waiting for you."

Shizuka didn't defend herself from his attack, tears had wetted her ashen cheeks, and she seemed to see her lover when the tip of his sword pieced through her forehead.

A contented smile bloomed on her face as she collapsed.

Green vines spread over the ground, in an unphysical form, she felt her lover's hand holding hers. But before she returned his, someone else grabbed her other hand. This person was one of her countless victims, whose appearance was similar with the half conscious hunter's who was lying in Kaname's arms. She smiled with both of them. They didn't belong to this world anymore, with all debts, hatred, anger and love, it's time to leave together and settle them in another realm.

Ichiru looked back at his brother. He couldn't say good bye. Their last meeting had been ages before, but he stuck to him and silently witnessed him falling in love. On that fateful New Year's Eve, before the catastrophe occurred to their family, Zero had chosen his life partner. And in the last five years, Ichiru had been waiting to meet Kaname Kuran again, but the pureblood hadn't re-appeared in front of his brother since that night. Their promise through death and life had been shattered, their love had been broken, Zero had forgotten Kaname. Ichiru didn't know if they could have another chance, but at least he had a reason to hope now, when the pureblood finally showed up. However, he couldn't shelter in his brother's body forever. It was time to part ways. Another look back couldn't cease their inevitable separation.

He closed his eyes, and stepped forward.

Snow kept falling, Zero gazed at his savior, though nothing could really register in his hazy mind. He had never met a person with a venetian mask covering half of his face, he hadn't follow the conversation between him and Shizuka Hio, but what was frightening him at most in this moment was the suffocation as though he was drowning in deep water, the scratches on his neck were weirdly aching...

Shizuka had scratched him, however, the pureblood venom from their fangs was what converted human into vampires. A scratch from them should only be as disturbing as one caused by another human, but what Zero was feeling was like there were other wounds under those scratches, his hand unconsciously raised to rub the prickly skin.

Kaname gently removed his fingers "Don't worry, Zero! You will feel better soon."

He bit his right wrist and let blood drip down the hunter's scratches.

"I call for the strongest power of this blood

To restore your original nature

May your destruction become mine

and my strength yours."

Blood flowed down Zero's throat after the spell finished, he managed to hold his gaze at the savior. Things seemed confusing, but he somehow believed this strange pureblood wouldn't hurt him.

The scratches on his neck magically vanished, and a corporal desire started escalating to sink him in insanity.


When Zero was fully sober, he got stunned finding himself lying on another person. Instantly getting up, he was more panicked to realize both of their lower bodies were naked, his private part was coated in his own sticky fluid and the other's dried blood, there was a lot more which had soaked the bedsheet in between the pureblood's spreading legs. He must have brutally ravished him and come several times to create such a mess.

This place looked like a luxurious chamber, Zero was now standing on a thick, red carpet, while his savior was lying on a king-sized bed, where they had just had crazy sex together. Both of their shirts were still on, even the black leather glove was still on the pureblood's left hand, and the mask was still covering half of his face, though it was a bit askew. His other half face which wasn't hidden was beautiful.

Zero wouldn't be surprised, since all vampires, especially purebloods, were good looking, and the Kuran family were famous for their gorgeousness. He could be sure this man was Kaname Kuran, though they had never met in person. As a hunter, he had to learn carefully about history and how to identify influential vampires through their appearance, their personality, habits, and powers.

It was the first time he met a Kuran. Rido didn't have a stable location, he moved around the world with his different lovers, and Kaname resided right in Hokkaido, where Zero had lived for the last five years, if not counting the ten-year training period he had forgotten. This pureblood didn't attend any events organized by the HA or the Vampire Council, he didn't attend any medical events either. Zero knew he owned Kuran General Hospital, but hadn't had a reason to pay him a visit. Their lives weren't meant to cross each other, he didn't know if Kaname used a mask in his daily basis, but it was obviously not for hiding his identity, because people could easily recognize his other half face, and right now he could remove this mask if he wished so.

The pureblood was totally being defenseless. Zero found it strange that he could sleep soundly with a hunter's presence. In fact, there were many inexplicable things around them. He couldn't understand why his powers disappeared after Shizuka scratched him, and why Kaname showed up in time, then why he fed him with his blood which resulted in their sex. Drinking pure blood would lead to an arousal which could only be released by the pure blood giver. However, Kaname, with all his sobriety and control, was the one being taken. And right now, when Zero had completely recovered, he was lying motionless on the bed, letting the hunter decide how to settle what had happened between them.

Zero could walk away as nothing here was involved in him, he didn't know the pureblood, he had been brought to this unfamiliar mansion against his will, he should bear no responsibility for what had taken place, or he could take advantage of the pureblood's careless moment to kill him.

Nobody was happy to find out he had been trapped to have sex with someone of the same gender, twenty year older, and on top of that, having an unpleasant mystery around his lifestyle. Kaname Kuran was no longer a renowned, prestigious cardiac surgeon, or a kind, gorgeous man as in people's memories. He secluded himself from society, refused most of meeting requests. Although he still met a few of his subservient nobles in scarce occasions, he denied the love which he was willing to trade his life for, avoided the man who owned his whole heart, who finally on that momentous night had given him his recognition.

If having a little strength right now, Kaname would want to clean Zero up, dress him back properly, and replace the stained sheet, or at least remove himself to lessen his lover's uneasiness when he woke up. Yet his waning health didn't allow him to do so, he was unable to lay Zero down to let both of them rest comfortably, and had to bear his lover's weight on his chest while the hunter was unconscious after orgasm. Even so, anticipated possible reactions, Kaname had put the Bloody Rose next to Zero on the bed before they started, so that his lover wouldn't feel unguarded once regaining his senses, and if it eased his irritation, he could choose to shoot him immediately.

At last, the hunter retrieved his intact, ready Bloody Rose, new bullets had been loaded to replace the ones he had used in the fight. Kaname stayed quiet, in spite of the curt, dry sounds of his checking his weapon. Purebloods had a very sharp hearing, if he didn't wake up, then Zero was sure he was actually not sleeping, but having purposely placed Bloody Rose within his reach, and let him decide. To show his appreciation, the hunter put his gun down. "I know you're awake. Thank you for saving me!"

Their situation was awkward for any conversation, the pureblood's single eye was finally opened, fascinating burgundy flashed a glint of anxiety, which soon warmly turned into contentment as reflecting his lover's healthy image.

"Don't mention it."

His voice sounded like a melody, and his humbleness made Zero feel a little easy in their embarrassing scene. For the first time, he figured the plain metal mask didn't have a hole for the pureblood's left eye, though in the part of his face which could be seen, Kaname was breathtakingly attractive. His skin looked so smooth and paler than other vampires Zero had ever met. His body was slender, his long legs made him taller than the hunter an inch or two. To imagine those enthralling legs being pulled up and spread apart in the classic, missionary position, Zero suddenly felt awkward, yet he couldn't not look at the bloody spots outstanding on the ivory cotton sheet. It's scary to find out the pureblood's hole was still bleeding, in addition, teeth marks were deep on his right wrist, and blood was oozing out from those wounds.

As a hunter, Zero knew pure blood caused arousal, but as a hunter, he hadn't experienced it to know exactly how aroused one could be after drinking that blood. Shizuka had showed him the image of his twin brother and the ex-human group indulging in frantic sex, he didn't dare to think how he might have treated Kaname and it frustrated him that he couldn't remember a single detail. Nevertheless, purebloods had a strong healing power, serious injuries would be recovered after a few days, and minor ones should disappear within minutes, but...

"You're not healing." Zero murmured.

Both of their minds suddenly thought about the same disease. AIDS. It was a fatal disease to humans, though it was originally unharmed to vampires who carried that virus. Vampires never worried about any human diseases, since their systems were immune to all of them. That's why they were careless in choosing their sex mates, one often had countless partners before they got into a serious relationship. Until one day their health was endangered since the HIV got in Hanadagi's system, instead of existing innocuously in his blood, it somehow managed to absorb the power of his pure blood and became invincible to any immune system. He and the others who got infected from him were now suffering the disease. Condoms weirdly became popular among vampires.

"You should take a shower. I'll have brand-new clothes ready for you." Kaname offered.

They couldn't talk in such a situation, he couldn't stand his lover's discomfort as looking at his disorder. What he truly was to him had been forgotten, from rumors, from the information Zero could gather, he was a fifty year old pureblood, who was into men but didn't have a steady partner after separating from Takuma Ichijou. In common senses, nobody would be surprised if hearing he had slept with Hanadagi, and was also infected. How could it not bother Zero since he was having all symptoms and they had just engaged in an unprotected sex?

The hunter nodded, then turned around to walk into a detached bathroom. Within a night, so many events had taken place that he wasn't sure where to start thinking about. If succeeded and survived, he would get married to Aimi, they had been engaged for so long, it should be time to progress their relationship to the higher level. That's what he had planned before leaving for the duel with Shizuka, then he met the enemy who had murdered his family, he was almost killed, he was drugged by pure blood and ended up sleeping with a peculiar man. Things completely changed. He had wanted to search for his past, search for his passion, to continue his family's reputation, or at least live a life which didn't taint his family name. It was a lie if saying he wasn't worried now. Not only from being infected by a debatable and discreditable disease, but also how his future would turn out from it.

The shirt was taken off before Zero stepped in the glass shower booth, and it astounded him to see blood stains on its back. Those must be from Kaname's wounded wrist, as an evidence that the pureblood had held him when they were having sex. Did it mean he had enjoyed it? Zero didn't know how to think, they had never met, his excitement was unnatural, yet Kaname was ardent to have him, and not at all minding how he was being treated or how it hurt his body.

Warm water couldn't relax the hunter's tenseness. Pouring a lot of shower gel and rubbing his palms together, Zero scrubbed all over his body, unusually starting from his manhood. He wanted to cleanse himself of the sex which had just happened not by choice. Sex could only be pleasurable and meaningful when it took place in consent of both the mind and the heart. It could only be enjoyable when love was involved. If only Kaname let him hold a great regard for his kind deed, then he wouldn't give heed to their different origins, sexual preferences or personal issues to show his gratitude by frequenting this mansion to take care of him. However, they had had sex, and despite of the reason, Zero didn't know how to face him, or how they could go from this point.

As returning to the chamber, Kaname had left, bed had been made, and Zero found a set of brand new outfit in their original boxes and bags. Their physiques were pretty similar, the pureblood's clothes would suit him just well, and to prevent him from any slightest idea of wearing his used clothes, all brand labels remained attached to those shirt and trousers.

It didn't take much time to put them on. When Zero was finished, a knock echoed from the outside caught his attention, before he heard a familiar voice "Are you ready, Zero-san?"

"Yes." He answered, knowing it was Seiren, but failing to explain how he could be sure it's her. They hadn't met before, though somehow he had a feeling that they used to have this kind of conversation.

The silver haired lady appeared in an instant, with an inexpressive voice, telling him "Kaname-sama is waiting for you in the conservatory."

Ironically, she remembered him, though it wasn't her position to say anything. He had spent several nights in this mansion, and she had arranged the tea and meals for him and her master. Tonight was the first time he came to the pureblood's chamber, unfortunately, he had forgotten their past. She knew Kaname loved him, much longer before he brought him home. In his thirty years with Ichijou, he had never had a happy day. Their relationship was finally broken, though 'sad' was an understatement to talk about their ending. She was glad when Zero first appeared, however, her master was usually on tiptoe around him. The hunter was too conservative, and they never became a real couple. It had been five years since their separation, five years Kaname silently followed his development as how it had been before they started. She didn't expect to see Zero again, yet she couldn't interfere in the way her master wanted to live his life. No matter what would happen from now onwards, her only duty was to guide this hunter to him.


Zero entered the conservatory which was built in a traditional Victorian style with five angled bays, having glass roof and walls, surrounding by the lush and freshness of a beautiful garden. It was kind of strange for a vampire home to have a room with full of sun in daylight, however, he neglected that thought as soon as seeing Kaname at a small round table, with a delicate porcelain vintage tea set in front of him. From this angle, his mask was perfectly hidden under those lightly wavy hair locks, his parting lips seemed to glint a gentle smile as his burgundy eye shyly looked down to avoid the hunter's gaze. He was effeminately beautiful in a white pleated dress shirt, in his elegant sitting way, and in those long, taping fingers.

Zero startled to find himself being enchanted by another man, yet he knew this captivation was only a delusion, he chose the opposite seat to look straight at the pureblood and detect the dark metal mask which insistently covered half of his face. Truth was usually nasty, yet he didn't like being deceived by unreal things.

Kaname pushed a small porcelain cup, which was placed on a matched saucer, in front of his lover, and filled it up with hot tea. A fresh, tangy blend of orange, lemon and lime zest subtly spread out from thin smokes. It had been the hunter's favorite flavors, which he usually prepared for him each time they had tea together.

"Thank you." Zero said, glancing at the red roses blooming in a tall slim crystal vase. He heard the Kuran mansion had a beautiful orchid garden, as they used orchids as their representative flower. However, this room seemed to have a different taste.

The pureblood was still wearing his leather glove, though he openly laid his hidden hand on the table. It made sense when he was wielding a hunter sword, but what was his reason to wear it now?

"I apologize for what have happened between us. You got allergic to Hio's scratches, and I didn't know how to defuse it." Kaname calmly talked about their incident "I realized what I did wasn't a smart way."

Being allergic to injuries caused by a pureblood was recorded in the hunter history. Although many generations hadn't experienced it, they still carefully kept the method to resolve it. This allergy wouldn't cause a serious damage, and Kaname should have taken him to the HA. However, he wasn't supposed to know it, and had tried his best to help him.

Zero sighed, he wouldn't be willing to help a stranger if it meant to sleep with him. On the contrary, Kaname had willingly done it, and enjoyed being used until his rapist satisfactorily passed out. Amethyst eyes were unintentionally attached to the gorgeous half face while such repulsive assumption rushed over his mind. This heavenly beauty wasn't virtuous, the physical damage which the pureblood was suffering now might be a result of his debauched past. Not saying those criticisms out loud, Zero awkwardly found himself keeping bad thoughts about his savior. Maybe none of them was wrong, they just shouldn't have got involved in each other. He could choose to talk to nice people, to make friends with compatible persons, but it was out of his control that Kaname was the one who had come to help him.

"I'm in debt to you," He said seriously "though I wish we wouldn't have had sex. My tradition only allows me to have sexual intercourse with my spouse. I did it with my lover. I can't remember her now, but we must be madly in love and wanted to be together forever. She has disappeared since my family were murdered and I lost all memories of my past. You are the second one I've slept with, but I don't love you. It's unfair to both of us."

His voice sounded gentle, yet his disappointment to the first lover was too obvious. It wasn't presumptuous to think he had only been in love once and wanted to share his life with that person. Their traditions forbade them to go with their momentary feelings, all hunters must preserve the first time for their official wife, so that their family crest would be reborn on her right arm. The wife would be killed if failed to receive it. That meant Zero and his first lover, whoever that person was, had decided to tie their lives together and believed nothing could change their decision, or they wouldn't have made love before the wedding. Nevertheless, he had never met that person after the catastrophe, when he needed "her" at most, when "she" became his only family. He might not have the right to blame "her" or why "she" left him, but it was something he couldn't pretend as if it had never happened.

"You are all I have, Kaname! Don't leave me alone!"

Zero had forgotten that desperate whisper when he was holding his lover, but in the last five years, there was no single day Kaname had a good sleep, no single day those words didn't echo by his ears. On that day, he had decided to abandon the love of his life, leaving him when he was unconscious with blood soaking over his body. He abandoned him after Shizuka had killed all of his loved ones, after receiving his invaluable gift of the Kiryuu crest. He abandoned the promises they had exchanged, the passion they had shared in that hotel room, the plan and sacrifice which Zero was willing to make for him. He returned to Hokkaido alone and pretended that they had never known each other.

Pain suffocated his chest, stung at the contiguity of the extending corrosion and the rest of his body, more than ever he wished to get back to his lover's embrace. Five years before he would have proactively reached out to hold him, tried to rouse his sympathy, clung to him wherever he went to, persistently begged for his love, because he had his beauty, his powers, his experience, he was confident to make Zero happy. But right now, he could only become the hunter's heavy burden if insisting to pull both of them into a relationship.

"I am sorry. Could you please... forget it?"

Zero stared at Kaname in disbelief. Forget they had slept with each other? Was it that simple in the pureblood's thought? If he could view their incident lightly, he wouldn't be sitting here to talk to him, he would have already left and next time when they ever met, acting as though it was their first meeting.

Vampires were probably used to that lifestyle, they lived too long to settle down before a hundred years of age, and wouldn't wish to be responsible to all the people they had bedded. Perhaps what had just happened between them was merely a trifle to this pureblood. Oh how frustrating to think about it, though Zero assumed it wouldn't be better if Kaname suggested dating with him.

Delicate scent of orange and lime seemed to relieve anxiety and relax one's mind, even if in his situation, it was the only good thing which was preventing him from getting crazy. It looked like they were in a tea party with candles in exquisite glass holders, delicious pastries and scones on a three tier server, and a hexagonal bucket of fresh, succulent fruits, yet their ambiance was extremely unlikable.

Of course they couldn't be in the mood, however, Zero didn't really understand why Kaname had the heart to make this wasteful arrangement. He should have just waited for him in the chamber, instead of inviting him to have tea together. He had come in time to save him from Shizuka, aroused his desire to sleep with him, then prepared a tea table to tell him to forget it.

Maybe Zero should quickly agree and leave, but his legs seemed rather stiff, he hadn't sat comfortably from the beginning. Kaname was also very still, his back straightened, his face lowered, his left arm shook lightly, and when Zero took a better look, he realized the long sleeve was too flat, whatever was under the silk fabric didn't have the shape of a normal arm with flesh and blood, it seemed thin as a rail. A prosthetic limb? Zero would be certain if the person sitting in front of him wasn't a pureblood. However, Kaname was, and his mind involuntarily wandered back to his earlier supposition.

Silence suggested the pureblood to look up, and follow his lover's eyes to get what was disturbing him. Those dark silver brows knitted together as gazing at his bony arm. Kaname was well aware that his appearance usually drew unnecessary attention. Though he had never explained his situation to anyone, and never bothered what the others might guess, his heart ached to see uneasiness in his lover's expression. The hand in leather glove stirred, and rose up to touch his mask "Sorry for these weird looks. My face and my body have been deformed."

Now he admitted it, Zero was dazed. In his weirdest imagination, he still couldn't expect something like this to happen after the fight with Shizuka. Both sides were aware of his challenge and agreed to make no interference, however, Kaname had breached their agreement and become his savior. They had never met before, who could be sure he didn't have any hidden purpose when joining hands with him. The most dangerous thing was Zero was growing an attachment to this pureblood, despite of his deformation. That feeling pinned him down, on one hand he felt being tricked, on the other hand, he was reluctant to break free. "Are you infected?" He asked in perplex.

"Yes." Kaname conceded quietly, bracing himself up to receive his lover's aversion, and to be devastated by his spiteful response. He had always prepared himself thoroughly to look beautiful in the hunter's eyes, even before their first conversation, he wanted to create a good impression, wanted Zero to admire him, desire for him, touch him with needs. But he was now blackening himself, tarnishing his own repute, because it was the only explanation he could give, consequently worked as an indirect hint that he had slept with Hanadagi or the infected vampires or all of them. There should be no other reason. "You may guess how I got infected."

The chair was hastily pulled back, Zero stood up, in an impulsive instant, running out of the room.

It's a big fury, unbearable and incomprehensible. It would make more sense if what he felt was simply contempt. From his point of view, from what he had been taught, from the values of life which he respected, he could despise the pureblood's lifestyle and hold him in contempt, yet fury was a different emotion. He didn't know him personally, Kaname Kuran wasn't the first name he thought of when pureblood was mentioned, he had no involvements, no expectations, but his sense of responsibility was binding them to each other, he couldn't view him as a stranger after their bodies had connected. However, the pureblood's attitude disheartened him from seeking for a way to settle their issue in a responsible way.

It was so sudden. The hunter's image soon disappeared in darkness, all turned quiet, candle light flickered desolately in crystal glasses. Kaname remained still with his lonely shadow.

"That's right, Zero! Stay away from me!"

-to be continued-

Posted: 17 March 2013

Please let me know what you think about this chapter.