Just because you haven't been attacked by a Vampire in three weeks doesn't mean a human won't come after you.

    "Okay, Akatsuki, I'm leaving for work," I called out as I picked up the bag full of our dirty clothes.

    "You didn't forget the money, did you?" he asked while stepping out of his room. "And are you sure you don't want me to come with you?"

    I thought for a moment, "I guess I could call you when I'm at work, then you can come," I offered. I figured it would be better if I had some company while I was working.

    "Okay, but don't take too long," Akatsuki was still skeptical about me wandering around by myself.

    "Yeah, yeah," I rolled my eyes and exited his apartment.

    It was around seven thirty and I had plenty of time to make it to the laundromat and to work within a half an hour. They're only two blocks away from each other and Akatsuki's apartment is about three blocks from the laundromat. I huddled myself in the jacket Akatsuki allowed me to borrow. When he had taken me back to the orphanage before to grab some clothes for me, I refused to bring the parka Kai had left on me. I kept it in the closet, hoping to forget about it and that somebody else would use it.

    I set up the laundry and threw them in the washer and took off again. It was nearly twilight outside and the air was getting colder by the minute. I walked to the front of the restaurant after a couple of blocks and did a double-take after seeing a different woman behind the counter. I opened the door cautiously after double checking the name of the restaurant. I slowly removed my coat and stared a the woman behind the counter.

    "Do you know where Manager Uratada is?" I draped my coat over my arm.

    The woman looked up at me from her doodle on a notepad, "Oh, you must be Miss Yamakiru, right?"

    I shook my head, "I work with Kaia Yamakiru. I'm Arisa Kurabashi."

    "Oh!" she sprang up. "That's my mistake!"

    I held my hand up in front of me, freaked out by her reaction, "It's okay! It's okay!"

    "Sorry," she said again, lowering her head. "Manager Uratada is my older sister. She's giving birth right now."

    I gasped and widened my eyes, "She is?!" I was overjoyed by the news. "How long has she been giving birth?"

    "Not long," she shrugged. "She'll be out of work for a couple of months. I'll be your manager for a short while." she straightened up and smiled widely.

    I smiled back at her, "Well, I hope Manager Uratada pulls through okay,"

    "Oh, I'm Yukiko Ryukara," she extended her hand and I took it in a friendly handshake. "I'm only nineteen years old, so my sister is trusting me to watch over her restaurant."

    "And I would assume 'Ryukara' is Manager Uratada's maiden name?" I rose and eyebrow and Yukiko nodded.

    "Yes, it's her maiden name," she smiled. "And you can just call me Yukiko if you want to. I'm not a real manager so there's no need to call me 'Manager Ryukara'."

    "Okay, well, I'll get to work," I gently pulled my hand away from hers.

    I walked to the back of the restaurant with a smile, pleased with the fact that Manager Uratada was finally having her baby and that her sister was unbelievably nice. I quickly dressed into my uniform right before Kaia showed up to waitress with me. She had never been too fond of me; she seemed kind of like those broads at school. Selfish, snobby, naive, you get it. She has never really spoken to me before, but whenever she did she would always toss her hair over her shoulder and make some snotty remark. Ah, yes, the good days I continue to live even at work. I ignored her as always by sitting at a two-person table in the corner and propping my chin on my hand, prepared to daydream.

    The cook came in a few minutes late. His excuse was that he was out for a jog and his shower took longer than he expected. It doesn't surprise me that his excuse was true; he's way ripped...but not in the sexy way. Not in the way I had always admired. The figure of a man I always loved was sculpted from porcelain, stone, ice, and always--

    I stood up rapidly and abruptly slammed my hands onto the table, "No!!"

    I looked around as Yukiko, Kaia, and Ryu (the cook) stared at me in bewilderment. I turned red for a moment and sat down right away after the short, pungent pain in my chest took place again. It went away after a moment and I tortured myself internally for getting carried away. The first customers came in, a small group of four teenage boys,--probably in their late teens--to distract me. I'd say they'd be between nineteen and twenty-one years old. They weren't completely bad-looking either. Less than hot but better than the average males. I grabbed my notepad and pen right away and approached the table before Kaia got the chance, not that I was racing. I just can't stand her and her flirting.

    "Can I start you off with something to drink?" I eyed the one with a white,long-sleeved collared shirt, signaling him to start.

    He rubbed his chin and scanned me up and down with his eyes, "Vanilla milkshake," he smirked.

    I jotted that down, "And everybody else?" I ignored his friends' snickers.

    "We'll all have cokes," one older one said in a white wife-beater tank top and a brown leather jacket over it.

    "Okay, they will be out in a moment," I gave a fake smile.

    I turned to leave and the one with the collared shirt lightly grabbed my wrist and turned me around, "Can I have some fries with that shake?"

    "Excuse me?" I cocked an eyebrow at him.

    He scanned me with his eyes again, "Some fries with my shake," he smirked again.

    I was getting a little uncomfortable with where he was headed, but continued to act as though I didn't comprehend the way he intended, "You may have your fries when you order your food,"

    The group of boys laughed again and the one holding into my wrist sighed, "I guess we'll take another coke, then,"

    "You want a milkshake and a coke?"

    He nodded and I quickly rushed away from the table. They seemed like nice guys, but were a little strange in a way. I hope they know I'm seventeen and under the legal age for them...that is, if they're even flirting. I balanced their drinks and milkshake on my tray and took my time making my way towards them. I quickly handed out their drinks and gave the one man his milkshake.

    "Are you guys ready to order yet?" I sighed, talking out my notepad again.

    They ordered my food and when I was halfway done writing it all down, I dropped my stupid pen and picked it up while turning red. I blush from the smallest things sometime. I gave them another fake smile and told them their food would arrive shortly and the collared-shirt boy stopped me again.

    "I'm sorry, but it seems that we got off on the wrong foot," he jabbed his thumb at his friends. "They're all losers, so don't worry about them. But have I told you how cute you are?"

    My cheeks heated up and turned pink as the other three customers besides this group heard. I fondled with my fingers and shifted nervously at the embarrassment. He pushed a coke to me, offering it for me, and it took about five minutes of persuading for me to finally take it from him. I took a large swig after realizing how truly thirsty I was. I quickly gave Ryu the guys' orders and sat down at the bar where Yukiko was tending at.

    "Arisa, are those boys giving you trouble?" she burrowed his eyebrows together in concern.

    I shook my head, "No, not much anymore," I took another huge gulp of my soda.

    "If they start pestering you again, then just let me know, okay?" she pumped her fist on the table. "I was in Tai Kwon Do, you know."

    "You were?" I rose an eyebrow.

    "Well," she tsked, "I never passed the first level. But at least I know something."

    After I complimented her for her efforts, I went to check on the food. Ryu was already halfway done. Damn, he's a fast cook. I could have sworn he was on steroids, probably ate them like candy for breakfast. After another few minutes, I was feeling a little off but was okay to bring the guys their food. The one in the collared shirt kept eyeing me and I kept wishing Akatsuki would arrive soon. I had called him and he said he was looking for a Vampire that the Exorcists weakened and he'd be there soon...which was a half hour ago. Yukiko waved to me to signal she was still nearby as she went into the back of the restaurant, probably finding glasses and bringing more ice.

    "Um," I tucked my hair behind my ear. "Thanks for the soda, I guess."

    "It's on us," the collar-shirted guy shrugged. "How you feeling, cutie?"

    I beamed at him again, but was too awkward to keep it up, "Honestly, I'm not feeling right. My brain is turning to mush."

    He chuckled and grasped my wrist gently, "Why not sit down here? You'd probably fall over if you try to go anywhere else."

    "I'm fine," I mumbled. Something was definitely up. It wasn't typical fatigue or sickness, I probably had something to make me like this.

    "Come stay with us for a while," he smiled. "We'll take you home. Unless you insist on staying with me tonight."

    Even though my brain was turning to mush, something clicked. And that's when I saw it, a small bottle of pills sat on the table near the wall. The label was barely big enough to read but when I skimmed over it, I knew I was in trouble. Roofies. Dammit, he drugged me!

    "What do you think? Would that be okay?" he smirked.

    "Sir, please let me go," I groaned, my eyelids growing heavier.

    He pulled me closer to him, "Come on, we'll have fun. I'll be gentle."

    I had the authority to hit him, but my body was incapable, "Please let me go," I mumbled again and tried tugging my arm away from him.

    "Aw, come on, sweetheart," he yanked me and I collapsed onto his lap. "You'll make me sad."

    He was making me sick, absolutely sick. I couldn't believe he was even trying to drug me and take me to his place while there were other customers...all two of them. Why me anyways? I struggled to elude his grasp and he only held me where I was by grasping my head with his large hands.

    "Please let me go," I groaned again, afraid. I knew I kept repeating what I was saying, but it was the only thing I was able to say at the time.

    "Just a little bit longer and we'll be alone," he chuckled and his friends laughed.

    One customer stood up, about to confront the man that had a hold of me, until somebody walked into the restaurant. The boy who was holding me reached over to probably hide his roofies pills, releasing half of his grip on me. A sudden jerk halfway kept me conscious as I was pulled up onto my feet. And just as quick as I was on my feet, I was sitting on the ground and leaning against the booth the group of men were sitting at. I rolled my head back and adjusted my eyes enough to make out the figure; Akatsuki. He was finally here, and in the nick of time.

    "Dude, what's your problem?!" the collar-shirted boy confronted Akatsuki.

    "You're my problem," Akatsuki hissed. "What the hell were you planning to do?"

    The boy stood up in front of Akatsuki, "Why would you care, dude?" he asked. "I was just going to take her to my place tonight. You can have your turn when I'm through with her." he laughed. "Unless my friends here want a piece of her as well."

    I felt vicious shaking to my right and I looked over to see Yukiko thrashing my arm, "Arisa! What did they do?!"

    I turned my head back to where Akatsuki was and the man had a grip on his jacket, "I said leave,"

    Akatsuki grasped the man's jacket in a flash and swung him around. With a large thrust, Akatsuki crashed the boy onto the table behind him and the table fell apart and leaving splinters of wood all over the ground. Akatsuki turned around to face the boy and he pressed his foot against his chest and pressed down.

    "If you ever try to pull off s**t like that again," Akatsuki hissed, "I'll kill you."

    "Akatsuki..." I mumbled, my eyes half closed.

    In another second, I was swept off of the ground and cradled in Akatsuki's arms. I had enough consciousness to partially wrap my arms around Akatsuki's neck and I leaned my heavy head against his shoulder. Yukiko stood up and seemed as though she were on the verge of crying.

    "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm so sorry!" she covered her mouth and the tears released themselves. "That's never happened here! I'm sorry!"

    Kaia came out from the back and stood in the doorway in shock at the broken table and the injured man on it. She looked over at me in Akatsuki's arms and her face shifted to concern...for once. Akatsuki turned around and carried me out of the restaurant without another word. He gripped my shirt and hissed out a few colorful sentences. I knew I was safe now, so there was no need to fight to keep my consciousness.

    "I'm sorry," I mumbled, barely comprehensible.

    "You did nothing wrong," he whispered. I was pretty surprised he had answered. "Just close your eyes and we'll be back at the apartment soon."

    "I'm sorry," I mumbled again as I slipped into immediate sleep, my grip loosening on his shirt, and feeling the most self-hate and guilt I had ever felt in the longest time. My karma was catching up with me once again, the dangers I had been succumbed to were creeping up on me. I was only thankful I didn't have Vampire troubles come back.

    For now.