Chapter One: "Blood Debts"
Kaname tipped his head to the side, dark raven hair shifting soundlessly across his cream colored skin as he allowed the ex-human vampire to suck on his neck. He could feel the warm trickle of blood down his collar and knew what that scent would be doing to the rest of the dorm. But it couldn't be helped. This was the only way. The only way to make sure that Yuki stayed safe… and to appease his own conscience as far as this boy was concerned, although the pureblood would never admit it.
Kaname's long fingers threaded loosely in Zero's pale hair as the boy leaned into him, half desperate, drinking deeply, almost savagely, the bloody rose gun pressed up under Kaname's graceful chin. The throbbing pain across Kaname's temple and the blood dripping slowly down the side of the vampire's face, meant he knew exactly how dangerous that gun was, although it was not quite as dangerous as the boy holding it thought it was. Not to a pureblood, anyway. It was an amusingly vulnerable feeling though, to be taken like this, even though Kaname knew he was in full control of the situation. He could kill the little ex-human like squashing a bug if he so chose. But of course, he didn't. He was trying to save Zero, not kill him. He'd had to practically force the vampire hater to drink.
Kaname grimaced and winced slightly; glad the other man was too engrossed in his neck to notice. Zero had no finesse. He was taking the gift Kaname offered him brutally, practically tearing a chunk out of the pureblood's neck. Zero didn't need to be spilling so much of his blood all over to do this… Kaname could have bitten the younger man and sucked him dry while hardly wasting a drop. But then, Zero had not been raised a vampire, had never learned the delicacies of his new race. He hadn't even drunk blood until the past year. Kaname did not fault him his inexperience, even though he had a creeping suspicion that perhaps, Zero was being particularly rough because of his loathing for the very man whose lifeblood he was drinking. He certainly hoped that Zero had not been this ruthless when Yuki so selflessly shared herself with him. That thought sent a spire of anger rising through him and Kaname's fingers tightened in the pale silver hair he was holding.
The pureblood calmed himself almost immediately. No. Zero would never hurt Yuki willingly. Much as he disliked the other man, that much he knew with certainty. Because Zero loved Yuki, even as Kaname did, and although that made them rivals, Kaname knew that it kept Yuki safe. Because Zero could be with her all the time, when Kaname could not… and Zero would die for her. That was why he was letting this boy ravage his neck and gorge himself on the heady strength of the pure vampire blood flowing through his veins.
Kaname's eyes fluttered closed, a faint rush of lightheadedness beginning to blossom. Zero needed a lot of blood… more than Kaname would normally give away. Only through force of will did the vampire control the slight shiver that ran through him as Zero's fangs worked his neck, the other man's lips and tongue unintentionally caressing the sensitive, torn skin as he lapped up the escaping blood. The brutality of it was painful, but Kaname had felt worse pain in his life before, much, much worse. More unsettling was the natural sensuality of the act, the shivers of pleasure that ran down his spine at the soft, lapping caresses of the youth's mouth. Sucking blood from humans was merely a source of food, or at least, in most cases it was so. But sucking blood between vampires was an intimate act, much more intimate than kissing. Kaname knew this quite well, but had still not been entirely prepared for just how intense these sensations could be.
Kaname had never let anyone drink his blood before. Not even his closest friends, although with some of them, he had drunk theirs. It was an honor to have a pureblood take from you. They offered it to him, wanted him to have it, like poor Ruka… he knew he shouldn't have accepted that one night, back at the start of the Academy. Knew it would make her yearn for him… an affection that was unrequited, but he'd had to… little Yuki was sleeping in his bed and his instincts were screaming for her. He'd needed blood, real blood to keep his control from wavering.
A faint smile ghosted across the elegant lips. Did Zero realize he was Kaname's first in this kind of contact? Did he know it was a virgin neck he was biting? Kaname knew it would make the young man blush as red as his blood thirsty eyes if he told him that, in those terms. That was an amusing and vindictively pleasant thought, but Kaname had no intention of telling him. Zero didn't know the ways of vampires. The more he thought of this act as a simple transaction of nourishment and healing, the better. Zero Kiriyu had not asked to become what he was. He'd been born a vampire hunter. His choice had been stripped from him, raped by the vampire who killed his family and made him one of them by force – a cruelty that only a pureblood could inflict. In Kaname's mind, perhaps it was justice, that the blood of another pureblood should be offered to help, to stave off the inevitable decent into madness. No one else would see it that way. Purebloods were sacred; they were gods that could do whatever they liked. But Kaname Kuran knew the truth. He was not a god. And no one had the right to play that role. He'd drunk the blood of the woman who had done this to Zero, he'd taken her strength and ripped out her heart. No. Not gods. Gods didn't die, and even pure bloods did, if they were killed.
Kaname was getting dizzy. He'd let his mind drift, lost in the indecently arousing sensation of having his own blood drained from him and in his jumble of thoughts. The scent of Zero's blood, spilled all over the boy's body from their previous confrontation, was a heady, delicious smell and Kaname ached to bite the pale neck that was bent right before his face, but that, Kaname would not do. As long as Zero merely fed on him, no lasting damage was done. If he returned the bite, they would be letting themselves in for a blood bond on some level and Kaname had no intention of entering into such with this crazy young man. Kaname did shudder, tipping his head back against the wall, the gun still pressing up against his chin, although with less force now as Zero lost himself in the thrill of drinking. Too much. Zero was taking too much. Kaname needed to end this now. Truthfully, if Kiriyu shot him now, after draining him so… he just might have been able to kill the pureblood. But Kaname would definitely have taken the lad with him. Fortunately, Kaname knew that they were not that bitter of enemies, not yet. And Kiriyu, despite his nature, was not given to needless cruelty or killing. Kaname could have just jerked Zero's head away from his neck, but he didn't.
"Do you want to kill me, Kiriyu?" he murmured softly, impassively, his lips very near the other boy's ear. "You will soon. You need to learn restraint. It's very rude to drain a willing donor so harshly." His voice was calm, collected as always, displaying that faintly amused, almost mocking tone that drove Zero up the wall. Hazy with bloodlust and gorged with Kuran's incredibly intoxicating blood, Zero's vampire instincts were full up and he growled softly, jerking his teeth in the open wound and vindictively tearing Kaname's pale skin.
This, Kaname had not been expecting and the pureblood stifled a small, sharp groan of pain and surprise, head jerking back, his fingers knotting harshly in Zero's hair.
Wiping the smugness off Kuran's face, even if only for a moment, sent a dark thrill through Zero and he barely felt the sharp tug of the other's hand in his hair. He had no intention of killing Kuran, much as he'd like to. In truth, he held the vampire a grudging respect and would normally not have treated him so ill, but he was drunk on blood and reeling with the power he'd just absorbed from the pureblood. Zero took one last deep drought before pulling his head back, Kaname's blood covering his lips and mouth and dripping from his still extended fangs. His eyes were glazed with an almost drug-high kind of ecstasy and his lungs heaved slightly as he looked at Kaname, pupils dilated large in red irises.
It was a disturbingly compelling sight to a vampire and for half a moment Kaname was mesmerized, watching his blood dripping down Zero's chin, his head spinning from the loss of that same blood, his neck burning with a strange, fiery pain-like-pleasure. It was, perhaps, the only thing that stilled his rage long enough for it to cool, so he didn't tear the stupid little human to shreds for what he'd just done. No doubt about it being intentional this time.
Kaname smiled faintly, the cool arrogance back in his gaze again. "You really are more vampire like than any vampire…" he repeated his words of earlier, his hand sliding up to stanch the flow of blood still dribbling from the ragged wound to his neck with every pulse of his heart. The wound should be closing, and the pain should end with the contact, but it didn't, his body just kept bleeding.
Zero'd sunk back against the other wall, still looking dazed and glazed, holding himself like he thought he was going to break… or maybe explode. His chest heaved. He was glaring silently at Kaname as if the vampire had made him do something dirty. It was obvious he was both intoxicated and disgusted.
It must be hard… hating what you are…
"The spot where the bullet nicked me still hurts," Kaname remarked, the cool sheen of irritation in his voice as controlled as ever. He hadn't expected Zero to be grateful. Hadn't expected any other reaction than the one he was getting. This wasn't about Kiriyu, after all, it was about Yuki. But it was a little galling, the look in Zero's eyes, after what he'd just taken from the vampire. Of course, Kiriyu didn't actually know what all he'd just taken. And Kaname would make sure he never found out.
"This is why I dislike anti-vampire weapons. And thanks to it, this bite wound isn't healing," Kaname continued, fingers sliding from his neck to look detachedly at his own blood. He knew to others, it was an irresistible scent, but to him, it was just plasma and hemoglobin. His own scent held no appeal. "I'm a bit annoyed that you bit me without any restraint."
Zero's fingers curled into a fist as he leaned against the wall. A bit annoyed… Kaname said that with as much feeling as if he was complaining of a bug bite. Yes, because that's exactly how he thought of Zero, and all humans. Bugs. Damn the smug, blood sucking bastard. And damn how incredibly, intoxicatingly good his blood tasted. How good it felt coursing through Zero's system, making him feel like he could take on the world. Zero didn't want it to feel good. He didn't want to like blood. It was disgusting. He was disgusting… an abomination…
Before he knew what he was doing, Zero'd slammed his arm into the wall in sheer frustration. But instead of Zero's arm giving way, the wall did, his blow leaving a deep indent crunched into the plaster and brick. Zero was shocked, and yet… he wasn't. It was the blood. The power he'd absorbed from Kaname. Freak.He was an absolute freak. And Kaname had just helped make him more so, had distanced him even further from his humanity. Damn him.
"I'm the one who should be annoyed," Zero rasped quietly, his glare steely.
Aidoshould not have entered without permission. Even Seiren, Kaname's unofficial bodyguard, would not have done so without his leave. But he'd gotten to Kaname's rooms first after scenting the blood and, impulsive as ever, had started to let himself in. His friend could be hurt, and he'd a vow to keep, regarding always keeping the other vampire safe.
He froze when he saw the two figures on the floor. Neither noticed him. The fact that Kaname didn't notice, was highly disturbing. But then, he was obviously somewhat busy right now. Aidoquite literally saw red for a moment. The scent of Kaname's blood was highly inflammatory, but it wasn't that. It was the filthy little ex-human, bending over his lord's neck, slurping up that pure blood without restraint… his gun pressed under Kaname's chin.
Aido could have killed him on the spot.
The only reason he didn't, was because Kaname hadn't. Kiriyu would never have gotten near the pureblood without Kuran's consent; there was no vampire of lower station that could take Kaname, certainly not an ex-human.
Aidowithdrew quickly, shutting the door behind him and positioned himself outside to make sure that no one else dared do what he had done. They probably wouldn't, but… Kaname was very lenient; most in the night class took personal liberties with him that they wouldn't dream of taking with any other pureblood. Not that there were that many out there.
Aido was good at keeping Kaname's secrets, even when Kaname didn't know he was keeping them. He'd kept it to himself that Zero was a vampire and he'd die before ever confessing that he knew it was Kaname who had killed Shizuka Hioh.
"Kaname will be all right," he told the others, exuding a calmness that Kaname would have been proud of and not giving away his own inner concern as the group of students stood outside the closed door, unable to pull themselves away.
Takuma fixed a questioning gaze on him, and Aido sensed uncomfortably that he knew something was wrong, but the dorm vice-president said nothing.