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Sanguine Luxuriae

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Krul had asked him once, "When the act itself of drinking blood is both a sin and a necessity for our kind, must it also follow that the pleasure we get from it be considered a crime as well?" In other words, in Mika's quick and calculating mind, her question became as simple as: is it really so bad to take pleasure from something that's required to live as a vampire?

Much as the vampire queen enjoyed her pet's biting remarks and witty comments, found them as entertaining as the devious plots of the Progenitor council, at the time, Mika couldn't admit to himself that he didn't quite know how to answer her.

It began as a sort of curiosity at first, a harmless question in the back of his head that fueled itself unknowingly, silently, until he could no longer ignore it, the intense desire to just know coming to the forefront of his mind. A part of him almost felt repulsed; as a human who'd once lived in Sanguinem as livestock four years prior, he'd grown up with the disgust, with the hatred of that detestable vulnerability one felt when a vampire's twin fangs pierced through the skin, robbing them of life.

The very images of it still haunted Yuuichirou at times, on those days when his mind was left to wander on its own, when the daily routine of protecting the humans from some village they'd come across and scavenging for food quited down for the day, when he would be too anxious to think about Guren's condition, his mind instinctively drawn back to the past, through the numerous moments of childhood with his first family.

They had been currently resting in Yamanashi when he first became aware of this...unusual interest, creeping up on him, without warning.

After learning from Shinoa's intel of Guren's location, they'd decided that they would follow the Shinkansen line heading towards Kyoto, to maintain a low profile and keep away from the major strongholds of the Moon Demon Army. They couldn't use any vehicles or other modes of transportation without giving themselves away, so they traversed through the eastern seaboard of the country on their own two feet, always cautious and alert for any enemy they may encounter.

Nearing the mountaneous region of Yamanashi, they'd spotted a small town near the edge of Kofu, the prefecture's capital, the air thick and clean with the scent of nature all around them. From the bordering hills that they could see up ahead of them, the sight of the once bustling city seemed almost serene, with overgrowths of wildlife running through the crumbling stone buildings, roads and houses falling apart in what could only be described as a scene of antiquity.

The townspeople were welcoming, to an extent, but the group soon realized that didn't like any outsiders snooping around their space, especially when it's seven more mouths to feed, their resources dwindling evermore. Shinoa and the rest of the group understood their hostility and decided to move themselves into the forest, where they could have some peace and quiet, before moving on.

Regardless, a Four Horsemen of John occasionally harrassed the people, and protecting them from the vicious creatures created a somewhat amiable, if not awkward peace between the people and themselves.

It happened on the fourth day of of their stay, when he began to notice Mika's aloof attitude towards him, disappearing at hours on end without telling a word to anyone of where he was going. He'd approached the blond and grabbed him by the hand, leading him deep into the forest, despite the vampire's complaints of letting his hand go. When Yuuichirou was sure that they were away from everyone else's hearing, he let him go abruptly, readying himself for the squabble that's sure to come.

"You haven't had any blood in four days, Mika. What gives?" Yuu accused him, his hands on his hips, giving him a reproachful look. "Isn't it about time you fed already?"

Mikaela only turned his head away, frowning like a petulant child and refusing to answer. Yuuichirou moved closer to him, bringing both hands to rest on the other boy's shoulders, his voice coming out somewhat softer this time. "Come on, what's wrong? I know you don't like to drink blood, but you know that you can't go too long without it."

He moved away from the vampire for a moment, bringing a hand to unzip his sweatshirt, before Mika gently pushed him aside, lightly tapping Yuu's hand before walking away from him, his back turned. His crimson eyes looked into the distance, his mouth set in a stern frown. Despite his friend's cold attitude, Yuuichirou wasn't the least bit deterred and moved to where the blond stood, wrapping an arm around his shoulders, his weight leaning casually on one side.

Although Mika looked distant and unwelcoming to anyone else who would have seen him, he didn't push Yuuichirou away, but rather leaned in somewhat towards the boy's show of affection, their hair brushing against each other's. Yuuichirou prompted him for the third time, nudging him. "You can tell me, what is it?"

"...this place gives me the creeps," Mika replied to him after a couple of seconds, chewing the inside of his lip, his voice subdued. "When we're near the feels like someone's watching us. Someone dangerous."

"Why do you think that?"

"Don't you find it strange, Yuu-chan?" The blond looked at him straight in the eyes, his gaze boring down on him. "Neither the vampires or your Moon Demon Army has stumbled onto this place. It's very it's almost too quiet. I don't like it here."

"Well...shouldn't we tell the others, then? I'm sure they noticed that something weird was going on too," Yuuichirou suggested, trying to ligten the mood. Before he could say anything else though, Mika abruptly cut him off, waving his hand away.

"Like they would actually trust the words of a vampire," Mika said harshly, turning his head away. Yuu gave him a serious look in response, tightening his hold.

"Don't say things things like that. Of course they would trust you, you're family," the onyx-haired boy insisted, his green eyes sincere.

"I'm an outsider, Yuu-chan, not their family. The only family I have in this group is you." The conviction in Mika's voice rang strong and unmoving, and Yuuichirou shook his head wearily, knowing that his friend's formidable stubborness was as great as his own. Though he was happy, deliriously happy to have his Mika back, four years of living with vampires and having himself be turned into one had changed him, as Yuu was coming to understanding all too fast.

Yuuichirou knew that it would take more than just a repetition of words for his friend to accept their new family as his own. For once, he was wise enough not to push and instead changed the subject once more, trying to remain firm. "You're correct, I'm your family, and right now, I need to feed you."

"Wha--?! I'm fine, I can last a little bit longer--"

"No, you're taking blood now," Yuu said more firmly this time, unzipping the sweatshirt all the way, and carrying it over his shoulder as he took the vampire by the hand, leading them both in front of a tree. Yuuichirou flung the sweatshirt on the grass nonchalantly and let Mika's hand go. Slowly sinking to the ground, he leaned against the trunk, the sharp edges of the bark lightly digging on the skin of his back.

He settled in comfortably, his legs spread out so Mika can sit properly while he held out his hands towards the blond, inviting him without hesitation.

"Come on," Yuuichirou coaxed, his fingers flexing slightly. "Come drink my blood."

Mika flinched for a moment, before nodding quietly and taking his place between Yuu's legs, his feet underneath him as he wrapped his arms around his friend's neck, inhaling the scent of the forest on him, before giving the boy's skin a gentle swipe with his tongue. Yuuichirou licked his lips, before he let out a loud grunt as he felt the blond's teeth sink down on his flesh, the vampire's hold becoming tighter as Mikaela brought his neck closer to him.

As Yuu had come to expect, the waves of pleasure ran across the length of his body, and he shuddered involuntarily as he savored the warm tingles of Mika's bite. The vampire drank nothing for four days, so the hunger he'd felt was quite noticeable, and he dug his fangs even deeper, wanting to get closer to the rush of blood flowing through his friend's veins.

Mika wrapped an arm around Yuu's back, holding him steady.

For Yuuichirou, the slide of those ivory teeth felt almost tangible to him, almost as if it were something that he could grasp, the fire of curiosity burning deep within his haze-filled mind as he tried to swallow his moans; he was too embarrassed to show his friend that despite his misgivings and hesitation, the blond's bites were anything but painful.

It was always such an...intimate thing to be able to give Mika this. In the back of his mind, Yuuichirou secretly treasured these moments where he could be alone with the vampire because it was proof...proof that they were both alive, that they were together again when just seven months ago, he didn't even know he'd still been living in this world.

As quickly as he had been bitten though, Yuuichirou became thoroughly disappointed when the fog of ecstasy was broken all too soon as it had began, and Mikaela withdrew from his neck, quickly wiping away the blood that dribbled down his chin. His eyes were subdued, and he waited for Yuu to regain some of his balance while he stood up awkwardly on one side, ready to catch his friend should he falter. Yuuichirou only gave him a small smile however, and dug inside his pocket, whipping out a square bandage to place over the fang marks on his neck.

It had been an innocent discovery, to say the least. A pleasant surprise for sure, but nothing he'd been expecting. After all, he and Mika have been doing this for months, so the revelation itself mostly came out of nowhere than anything else.

As he firmly pressed the bandage against the fresh wound, a distinct wave of pleasure, emanating from where Mika's fangs had been, reverberated from his neck, all the way to the edge of his toes, his body jerking back in astonishment. After a moment, he pressed again, telling himself that he just wanted to make sure, his mouth letting out a small gasp as he stood still for a second, unmoving.

'What the--?' he thought with a stutter, his eyes blinking slowly. Mika looked at him with a worried expression, his scarlet eyes lingering over the white bandage that Yuu's hand still covered.

"Are...are you okay, Yuu-chan?" Mikaela asked him slowly, hesitation evident in his voice. "Did I take too much?"

Yuuichirou gave him a weak smile and shook his head, forcing his fingers to drop from his neck. He strode back to Mika's side, grabbing him by the arm as he led them back to the group's campfire, idly chatting with him as his new discovery burned in the back of his mind, unwilling to be forgotten.

Later that night, while everyone else slept in a dreamless sleep, Yuu dazedly watched the night sky, his hand covering the bandage once more. He pressed down on the remnants of Mika's bite, and relishing that small surge of pleasure, a soundless sigh escaped his lips, his mouth forming in a smile as if he were in a trance.

The pleasure caused by the movement of his hand was nowhere near as intense when Mikaela bit him, but it was enough to send his back arching slightly off the ground where he lay, a groan threatening to escape from the back of his throat, before he forced it all down, lest his friends discover him in an awkward situation.

Without a doubt, it was a contradiction that he was only all too aware of. He hated vampires, everything about them: their smug pride, their strength, their viciousness...but to find himself becoming obsessed with Mika's bite and, to be frank with himself, their feeding sessions, was certainly something he would have never come to expect out of their circumstances.

A couple feet from where he lay, Mikaela didn't say a word, though his sensitive ears heard every single noise that came out of his friend's mouth. His eyes hidden underneath his bangs, his fingers tightened their grip on his sword and licked his lips.

They didn't stay in Yamanashi for long, and after one more day of rest, they moved onward, heading towards the city of Shizuoka. They arrived within two days' time, the sight of Mount Fuji greeting them from the horizon. The human population around the area was thankfully scarce, and they found an easier time moving around, letting their guard down as they wandered inside the city, looking for provisions.

All in all, the port city was picturesque and lovely, despite the desolate towns that seemed to echo back the silence at them, but the ocean waves and light breeze did nothing to deter the relentless humidity that had them all sweating through their shirts and cursing the weather to hell and back.

Mikaela was a completely different case however; having become a nocturnal creature, the heat made him feel incredibly dizzy and weak, and they had no choice but to find shelter with a somewhat functional roof, rather than staying outdoors, for the vampire's sake. The blond hated knowing that he of all people had to rely on them, but knew to himself that he had no right to complain.

Though he was the strongest fighter out of all of them, it irked him to no end that he would become a hindrance should they come across any enemy, and so, kept his mouth shut as they looked around for any abandoned house or apartment that was still somewhat intact. As they walked through the town, he leaned his body against Yuuichirou's, with the boy supporting his weight as he held onto the former's waist and arm, steadying him.

"You need to drink blood!" Yuu gasped out loud, a worried look crossing his face as he stared at the vampire's pale complexion, sweat dripping down his neck. "You can't go on like this...!"

"I'll be fine...!" Mika replied back to him, his breaths coming out in short puffs while his grip tightened around the boy's shoulders; his eyes were blurry, and he was having trouble just trying to remain standing. "As long as I get out of this damn heat..."

Yuuichirou shook his head and called out to Shinoa and the others, his voice sounding panicked. "Hey guys! Let's just pick a house and go with it already! Mika's not going to last under the sun at this rate...!"

They all stumbled inside a small apartment building that didn't look too run down, grateful to be out of the sun and making sure to keep their guards on alert as they walked around inside. The main lobby of the building was spacious, and the grandious decor of the place spoke of wealth and affluence; it eerily reminded Shinoa and Narumi of the Hiiragis' own decadence, but chose to keep their thoughts to themselves.

The group wandered around to find some supplies while Yuuichirou and Mikaela stumbled inside the guest bathrooms, with Yuu heaving as he carefully held onto the blond, his friend dangerously close to passing out cold. He helped him lean against the wall, smoothing away the sunshine-colored hair that matted itself around Mika's face, his green eyes full of worry. The vampire was breathing heavily, a hand resting against his knee as he looked up and stared past Yuu's shoulder, letting out a sarcastic smile.

"I look like a mess, don't I?" Mika huffed out weakly, his parched throat gulping instinctively, his hand clenching at his side, trying to control himself from just leaping onto his friend's neck. He looked away from his reflection, disgusted with himself.

Yuuichirou turned around to see where his friend was looking, somewhat startled to see a huge mirror in front of them and chastising himself for not noticing earlier in the first place. He studied their forms for a moment: sweat dripping down their foreheads, the dirt and grime from travelling for so long, smudging their clothes. He let out a low whistle and shook his head, placing a firm hand on Mika's shoulder, leaning in closer.

"Come on, you need to feed..." he said quietly, bringing a hand to gently caress the blond's forehead. "If you drink blood, you'll get your strength back in no time..."

Mikaela shook his head, and grabbed onto Yuu's forearm, effectively stopping the boy from getting closer to him. Yuuichirou let out a grunt of confusion, trying to pry the former's hand away. "Dont' be so stubborn, Mika...just drink--"

"It's not that, idiot..." the blond mumbled, pushing his friend forward awkwardly, his fingers quivering. "Turn around."


"Just...turn around," Mika insisted, his face unreadable, forcing himself to not bare his fangs, not yet. Confused by the vampire's request, Yuuichirou nonetheless complied, turning himself around, becoming somewhat self-conscious when he realized that his friend had a full view of the back of his neck. He started to call out to him slowly, but before he could get another word out, Mika's arms snaked from underneath his arm pits, pulling him in closer.

His arms were firm around Yuuichirou's waist, taking a deep inhale of the area where the boy's shoulder and neck met. Opening his mouth wide open, his fangs dripped with saliva, glistening with lust, and without warning, plunged them downwards, the animal inside of him reveling at Yuuichirou's surprised grunt.

As for Yuu, he held his breath for a moment, before exhaling slowly, bringing a hand to stroke his friend's hair, soothing him. He glanced at the mirror in front of them once more, his cheeks red with exhilaration. Widening his eyes, he looked at himself closely, his gaze bright with wonder and bewilderment.

It was the first time he'd ever seen himself like this; vulnerable within the embrace of a vampire, his best friend, welcoming Mika's touch as his fingers clenched the blond locks, instinctively arching into the bite. He let out a small gasp, barely audible for anyone to hear him, his toes curling instinctively as his body rode the waves of elation. Feeling himself becoming lost within the haze of ecstasy once more, his mouth slowly curved into a smile, and he craned his neck to the side, inexplicably eager to gaze at Mika's fangs buried inside his veins.

In his addled mind, he tried his best to justify his own growing fixation, making himself more comfortable as he leaned in against Mika's chest, the rapture enough to make him want to meld inside his friend's body, uncaring of anything else. In all this time, he has always only felt Mikaela's fangs, but he's never once seen him actually bite down. His brain was itching to see it, wondered obsessively to himself if seeing his friend wounding him rather than just experiencing the feeling of the act would be enough to make the euphoria go even higher, so much higher than he could have ever imagined.

He tried to keep his attention focused on the mirror, leaning his head back to rest against the blond's, letting out a satisfied sigh. He should have felt somewhat guilty, if he were honest with himself. Mika detested his own monstrous urges, yet here he was enjoying it thoroughly. For a brief moment, he imagined if this was due to the demon residing within his heart, enjoying a different kind of pleasure that not even the battlefield could ever give him.

Whether it was the demon or his own self that wanted this though, he really couldn't tell the difference anymore. Regardless, Yuuichirou knew to himself that he needed this just as much as Mikaela did; they both derived pleasure from it, after all, so in his naive mind, he didn't see the act itself so much as to be disturbing, but on the contrary...quite addicting.

All too soon, Mika extracted his fangs, much to Yuu's disappointment. They stayed like that for a couple of minutes, even as they both heard the others' footsteps roaming around the apartment building. Yuuichirou stared up at the ceiling, his eyelids feeling heavy while he cradled Mika's arms around him, the vampire licking the two prick marks somewhat lazily, the wet swipe of his tongue making his friend shiver in delight.

After his legs had fallen asleep and Mikaela urged him to get up from where they currently sat to rejoin the others, Yuuichirou wondered brieftly in the back of his mind how his friend would react to his unusual "curiosity" (and that's just putting it mildly).

He shrugged internally, and stood up.

Yuuichirou tried his best to act natural, but alas, Mikaela has always been very observant, and the vampire noticed his friend's odd behavior relatively quickly.

It started out with the unusual request of biting him at different parts of his body when they first reached the city of Gifu, having just passed Nagoya.

The weather in the region was beautiful and more temperate, but the Four Horsmen of John were particularly rampant in the area. They'd found a group of humans that had settled in the heart of the city, and just like their usual routine, offered them protection in return for food and supplies. The young children who lived all over the town particularly tugged at their heartstrings, and so, they chose to stay for a short while to get rid of the threats against them.

As Shinoa, Kimizuki, Yoichi, Mitsuba, and Narumi rested around the campfire on the fourth night of their stay, Yuuichirou led Mika away to a secluded alley, unzipping his sweatshirt and holding out his arm for Mika to take afterwards, looking at him expectantly.

"Why don't you bite me in the shoulder this time?" Yuuichirou asked him innocently enough, his smile boyish and cheerful. Mikaela only crossed his arms however and looked at his friend with a skeptical look.

"Is there a particular reason why you've been asking me to bite you at different places lately?"

"Huh?" Yuuichirou tried his best to look baffled, blinking at him. "No reason."

"Are you lying to me?"

"Why would I be lying to you?" Yuu's heart skipped a beat, a bead of sweat rolling down the back of his neck.

"I don't know, Yuu-chan. You tell me."

Yuuichirou stared at him for a moment, before heaving out a weary sigh, scratching his head bashfully as he let out an embarassed laugh. "Well...I thought it would get kinda boring always drinking from my neck, so I tried to give you a little bit of a variety!"

Mikaela looked at him for a moment, trying to decipher his thoughts. Yuuichirou only continued to smile at him and try as he might, Mika could never harden his heart towards his friend's affections. The blond nodded his head, and took the boy's hand.

Yuuichirou kept the smile plastered on his face, even as his heart pounded loudly against his ears at the danger of discovery.

They were in Hikone when Yuuichirou started following him everywhere, asking him occasionally if he wanted a bite--a snack of sorts (at this, Mika held himself back from slapping his friend silly), when they would all separate and investigate the area. The boy didn't want to be apart from him, and always somehow attached himself to Mika's side, his attitude ever so cheerful and friendly.

Of course, Mikaela had no problem with this, as he could only ever treasure the time they spent together, but he could feel in his gut that Yuu was hiding something from him, despite what he said in Gifu. He wanted to bait him somehow, to get him to fess up, and actually tried to on multiple occasions, but for the first time in his life, Yuuichirou successfully dodged him.

It was unusual...he knew Yuu was not the type to hide something adamantly, so all the more reason that his worries increased.

As Yuuichirou leaned against the headboard of the bed, inviting Mika to bite his left calf this time, the blond looked at him from the corner of his eyes, speculating, trying to guess his friend's thoughts. He tried to be subtle, but knew he could get nothing out of his friend. He wearily opened his mouth to bite down, holding onto Yuu's leg gently, his thumb rubbing circles on the back of the boy's knee.

Unbeknownst to him, Yuuichirou leaned comfortably against the pillows and smiled at the sight of his best friend, his arms spread across, admiring the vampire's form. His eyes wandered around the room in mild curiosity and closed his eyes, his mouth forming a small 'o' as he drew his breath in amazement at the sensations flowing throughout his body.

A week more had passed before they'd finally reached the outskirts of Kyoto. They stayed a little ways away from the city however, and remained in Otsu for the time being, the serene picture of Lake Biwa belying the ominous atmosphere and dread that they currently felt.

Even if they were well within out of reach from Sanguinem, human soldiers from the Moon Demon Company littered the former capital's perimeters, and the humans dwelling within the area could not be trusted, as they were probably spies and lookouts for any incoming intruders into the main metropolis. Just like in Yamanashi, they stayed out of sight, and camped out in the woods, planning their attack in the meantime.

On the second night of their stay, while everyone else was fast asleep after a grueling day of scavenging and avoiding Kureto's men, Yuuichirou and Mikaela walked away from the campfire and went deeper into the woods to find some semblance of privacy. They sat close to each other on the base of a tree stump, and Yuuichirou nonchalantly held out his wrist, inviting him.

Mikaela looked into his eyes for a moment, hesitating. Yuuichirou nodded encouragingly, but Mika, at this point, recognized that look of heartfelt eagerness, much as his friend tried to hide it. The blond took the proffered hand and leaned in, his eyes filled with hiddent anxiety as he glanced at the thinness of Yuu's wrist, the blood that pumped continuously just underneath his tanned, transluscent skin.

He could hear the rush of blood, like the waves of the ocean, the steady, rhythmic pulse of his friend's heart beat, his own shallow breathing. Licking his lips, his fangs pierced the fragile skin straight down and took a minuscule gulp of Yuuichirou's blood.

He held himself back as he gripped his friend's forearm, his immediate instinct urging him to press down even deeper. The blood veins on Yuu's wrist were not nearly as thick and rich as the ones in his neck, and he struggled to get his usual fill, sternly restricting himself to remain patient as the small stream of blood slid down his throat, barely enough to quench his thirst.

As for Yuuichirou, he was completely awed...mesmerized. In a split second, he came to utterly love the image of Mika's fangs buried in his flesh, a lot more than he'd expected. He tucked it away inside his heart, vowed to protect this memory at all costs. He wanted to see more, feel more, the chains of lust inside of him snapping into a thousand pieces, shattering like sand.

Mika slowly breathed through his nose and closed his eyes in concentration, before they snapped open, utterly shocked when Yuuichirou pressed his wrist even closer to the blond's fangs, letting out a heady sigh of euphoria as he felt the sharp canines become embedded even deeper. He was looking directly at the vampire, his eyes glassy, and his mouth turned up in a somewhat disoriented grin.

Mikaela let out a gasp of disbelief and tried to pull away, pushing any other thought of his hunger out of his mind.

'Wha--what the--?!' he thought frantically, his scarlet eyes wide with consternation.

Yuuichirou stopped him however, and brought his other hand to craddle his friend's cheek, whispering gentle encouragements for him to continue, that there was no need to worry about anything else, that he felt no pain, only the indescribable pleasure.

"Don't stop...don't stop, please..." Yuu pleaded with him quietly, his breaths coming out in short pants, trying not to be overcome by the rapture he was currently enjoying as a result from Mika's bite. "It feels so good right now, you have no idea...!"

Mika only shook his head vehemently however, and before his friend could say another word, he dropped the wrist and pulled his fangs out, shaking his head incredulously while he stared hard at Yuu, blood still dripping down his chin.

"Are--are you honestly telling me that--" Mika paused, calming himself down. "...that you enjoy this...?!"

Yuu could only stare back at him, the silence stretching out between them like some looming fortress. What a pity...Mika's feeding session was cut short.

He let out a sigh, his face unreadable.

Yuuichirou had always known to himself that Mika would have to know the truth eventually; he probably already did, but to acknowledge it out in the open was a different matter altogether. After a minute or so, he gave the vampire a weak smile and nodded his head rather enthusiastically, biting his lip to keep from crying out as he held his wrist with his other hand, relishing the feeling while he pressed his palm against the fresh wound.

His jeans were stained with fat red drops as the blood dripped down slowly, taunting the both of them.

Mikaela gulped, not knowing what to say. All he could do was continue to stare helplessly back at his friend, clueless as to how he should react in response to this recent revelation. He sat back on the ground, his worries and fears piling up in his head, swirling within his mind like some hurricane that he feared would consume him. He didn't know the implications of what this meant--too weary to even think about the dangers of his friend, of his Yuu-chan becoming obsessed with a vampire's bites (as ridiculous as that sounded).

Becoming tense and uneasy at Mika's lack of a verbal outburst (which was what he had been expecting), Yuuichirou let out a light chuckle, trying to dissipate the intense atmosphere. "Come on,'s not that bad. It's not like I'm gonna let other vampires bite me, just you...only you."

The blond scoffed, almost as if he were hearing a bad joke. "Here I am drinking your life away and you like it...?! Yuu-chan, how does that even make sense?!"

"I--I don't know...I mean..." the black-haired boy paused, thinking carefully about his answer. "I...does it have to...?"

"Of course it does! You enjoy the pain, Yuu-chan! That's not normal, it's--!" Mikaela didn't know how to continue that sentence, didn't even know if he should, lest he offend his best friend.

Truth be told, it was as if he were standing in some high cliff, deathly afraid to acknowledge the truth before him, no matter how unclear it was. Although he hated himself for having to drink Yuu's blood in order to survive, in order to remain strong enough to protect him, could he also allow himself to condemn his friend for enjoying what he gives to the vampire freely?

'Do I...' Mika questioned himself in desperation. '...have that right at all?'

At that moment, Krul's question rang in his ears ever so loudly, mocking him in all its vagueness.

"Is it really so bad to enjoy something so trivial to us? As vampires, we are damned for all eternity, so can this not be compensation for it?"

He shook his head in stubbornness, trying to formulate a clear answer in his mind, but before he could say anything else, Yuuichirou's hands were holding his face, gently encouraging him to look into his eyes. "Why question it at all...?"

His cardinal-colored eyes widened at his friend's words, and on such a rare occasion, Mikaela found himself dumbfounded. He answered him solemnly his voice almost sounding broken, shrugging his shoulders in defeat, the one truth that's been echoing inside his mind all along becoming known to him, at last. "I...I don't know."

Yuuichirou let out a quiet laugh at this and shook his head. "It's not that bad, y'know Mika? I'm the best meal for you out there."

"You're not a meal to me, Yuu-chan. you're my best friend, and my family."

"Hahaha...! Okay, you're right, I should rethink that statement," he replied, his boyish grin unnervingly bright. "What I meant was...I'm the perfect meal--or I should say, 'provider', for you."

"Care to explain that to me?"

"Well..." Yuuichirou began, scratching his chin. "I'm not completely human anymore, but a part of me still is. A demon and a Seraph is keeping me alive, even if I should technically be dead by now. I guess, you could say I'm...replenishable."

Mikaela lifted a brow at him, his mouth hanging open at the ridiculousness of Yuu's explanation.

"I mean it," Yuu continued on, giving him an encouraging smile. "I'm replenishable. Like an endless food supply...I'm the one most suited to give you blood."

"I'm not so sure about that..."

Not wanting for either of them to say another word, Yuuichirou leaned their faces closer together, still holding the vampire's face between his hands. Smiling contentedly, he swiped his thumb over Mika's bottom lip, admiring the crimson stain, loved the contrast that they showed with his friend's beautiful, pale skin. The vampire's lips were plump and deliciously glistening with blood and at that moment, Yuuichirou found them enticingly kissable.

He closed the distance between them, and kissed him gently on the mouth, strangely surprised when he heard Mika let out a sigh between them, before the latter took control, pushing the black-haired boy against the tree stump, trapping him between his arms. Mikaela deepened their kiss for a moment, the wet slide of their lips against one another's making him feel incredible, as if he were soaring in the skies.

Mika internally shook his head, forcing his frantic thoughts to quiet down, trying not to speculate if this was just a human's natural inclination towards pleasure, or if this odd behavior from Yuuichirou was the result of the demon's influence (maybe it was both), tried not to wonder if he was slowly...slowly losing him, without even knowing it.

Either way, he hardened his determination to find the answers and save his best friend, once they reached Sanguinem.

Breaking away from the kiss, Mikaela looked at him for a moment, before giving him a smile that could only be described as arrogant in Yuu's eyes. Without warning, he quickly lunged for Yuuichirou's neck, the sound of his fangs biting down sharp against his ears. It took Yuu a second to realize what just happened, but before he could even think to hold himself back, he cried out loud in ecstasy and wrapped his arms around Mika's waist, pulling him closer.

His back hit the stump forcefully, but in that precise moment, his mind was instantly focused on nothing else but the surge of that heavenly, sublime stream of euphoria coursing throughout his whole body, something only Mika could ever give him.

Outside the city of Otsu, the Moon Demon Army stood guard on the fallen ruins of the underground vampire city, unknowing of what lay ahead.