• chapter 1: dark passion play

    I held his body close to mine, locked in deep passion. He straddled me against the wall, biting my lip and kissing me with a fierce desire. ‘I can’t believe I’m doing this right now! Even though I feel bad about going all the way with my best friend’s fiancé..’ I thought to myself. ‘Oh well.’ Pulling my hands through his short, black-red hair, we slowly started moving closer to the bed.
    “Ohhh. Akane,” he moaned, looking at the bed. “Should we?
    “I..yes.” I breathed. “But shouldn’t we go somewhere else?”
    “No, Yura won’t be home for hours,” he said with a teeny smile.
    I took his hand, leading him with a sultry look, and pulled him onto the bed. He landed on top of me, and started in with unbuttoning my blouse. Before he got past the third button, however, the door burst open, and Yura came in.
    “Keiichi, darling. I’m...OH. MY. GOD! What the HELL are two you doing?!” Yura screamed. I could understand why she was angry. She and Keichii were engaged to be married, as they’d been together ever since the sixth grade. They entrusted the world to each other.
    “Nothing, nothing, babe. Nothing,” Keiichi stammered. “Just, uh, showing Akane the, uh, the, uh...showing her the door!”
    He grabbed me and tried shoving me out the door, but Yura shoved me backwards, and said to Keiichi in a menacing voice., “I want to speak to Akane alone. Get out of here now.” Keiichi bounded for the door, throwing me an apologetic look that Yura caught.
    “Ohhh! You b*tch!” she screamed, and slapped my face. “What were you doing with my fiancé?!”
    “Nothing! Really! We were just discussing something, and then I tried to leave, and I tripped him, and we fell onto the bed!” I lied, holding my burning cheek.
    “Right, and his hands unbuttoned your shirt by accident too?” she countered.
    “Yura, please. I’m sorry! We weren’t doing anything! I swear!” I tried to move to hug her, but she shoved me away, and I hit the wall.
    “NO! I hate you! Stay away from me! I cannot believe you did that to me!”
    “Yura, no, please, listen to me. I didn’t do anything!” I pleaded. “It was just an accident! What you saw in there was not what you thought it was. Please just listen to me!”
    “An accident? Oh, yeah right. I thought I knew you, Akane. I thought we were friends. How could you do that when you know that me and Keiichi have been dating for years? I love him! How could you go behind my back and do this!?” she screamed at me.
    “I...I’m sorry…” I said.
    “No, you’re not. You just did this for your own pleasure! Whatever. I’m leaving. Don’t you dare follow me.”
    “Yura, you can’t go out now! It’s midnight! It’s dangerous!”
    “Oh, as if you give a flipping crap what I do. Why don’t you go screw my boyfriend; you were halfway there anyways!” And she flew out the door.
    Gakuen around midnight is and has always been dangerous. That’s when the police forces go off duty for the night, and when the drifters and drug dealers come out of their shacks and roam the streets. Many unsuspecting people have been beaten, robbed, and left for dead, only to be found in the middle of the road the next morning. Some aren’t found at all. Some are found, but end up in a wooden box. So naturally, I was worried about Yura, not just because of the hoodlums, but because when she gets into a fury, she doesn’t think right, and makes the wrong choices. So I disobeyed her, and grabbed a flashlight and headed out into the dewy mist.

    chapter 2: monkey business

    Walking alone at night frightened me
    I entered the clearing, distraught. “What the...Yura...? Yura, where are you? Yura, please, I didn’t mean to do anything to you...Yura-kun?” A sharp rustling noise to my left startled me senseless. Ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod...
    “YURA!!” I wailed, walking cautiously forward. “Yura, please! This isn’t funny anymore!” Why had she disappeared so suddenly? How?
    Unexpectely, something clasped around my throat tightly, lifting my kicking feet off the ground; my scream severed in the night air. I heard his whisper hissed in my ear: “You’ll die if you don’t stop looking for her. You don’t know what the hell you’re getting yourself into, but you better get the hell away before I kill you…”
    ...and then he dropped me. I hit the ground, toppling over, spluttering and clutching my neck. I looked up and saw a tall, dark figure overshadowing me in the moonlight with a menacing scowl on his face. I scrabbled backwards, screaming hoarsely, “YURA! SOMEBODY, HELP ME! PLEASE!”
    I manged to make it to my feet, but had only taken a handful of steps before he caught me around the neck again.
    “I told you to shut UP!” the man bellowed. He threw me onto the ground again, and the back of my head cracked on the sharp rock lining of the forest floor. Gasping in pain, I twisted over and came to rest on my stomach. I suddenly felt the kick of a steel-toed boot in my side, and heard my ribs snap. This time, nothing could hold back my scream. I felt him jabbing me with his boots, trying to find another spot to inflict more pain. But instead of a kick, he started to raise his foot high above my right leg.
    “No, no, please…” I whimpered. “Please don’t...DON’T!” But he just grinned at me, and brought his foot down sharply. My leg snapped under the immense force like a twig. I screamed again and started to black out from the horrifying pain. The last thing I remember before I lost total consciousness, however, was the man kicking me in the back of the head, and saying, “I told you. Now you’ve learned…”

    ...and I blacked out.

    I woke up under a gleaming intensely bright white light, lying on a metal table, and surrounded by surgical instruments. Where am I? My eyesight was slightly blurred; probably I had a concussion, but I could make out various shapes of unknown people. Is this the hospital? I think they were working on me, but I couldn’t feel anything, and I didn’t know why they would have a reason to operate.
    I jerked myself up, but ended up lying quickly down again in immense pain, my head swirling, my leg throbbing. Then I remembered what had happened just a short time ago. Ugh...that man is SO going to get it. I feel like crap.
    Then I heard two male voices:
    “Oh. I see..”
    “But what could have caused injuries to this extent? It looks like she was in a car wreck.”
    “You don’t suppose it was...him? He could still be out there”
    “I don’t know yet, Asha. I’m still running tests.”
    And now a third person joined in, a female:
    “Cantae, I think she’s awake. Check her to see if she’s in pain. I don’t want to see anyone suffering, please.”
    Somebody walked over to me and clicked the surgery light off. Finally, I can see! I looked up into the tawny eyes of a man with striking features. He had a simple face, and looked like a gentle-type person. He had golden-brown, almost blonde hair. I studied his eyes closer, observing streaks of black intertwined with the yellowish tints.
    “Are you alright, Akane?” he spoke. “Do you know what happened?”
    “How..how do you know my name?” I stammered. “And where am I?”
    The other man spoke this time, though I couldn’t see him from where I was.
    “We found you in the forest. On the ground, alone. Were you injured there, or somewhere else? And why were you there alone, anyways?”
    “Asha, please,” the man named Cantae scolded. “Stop asking so many questions at once. Do you remember what happened, Akane?” he spoke to me, moving to a stainless-steel cabinet and rummaging through it.
    I would have answered, but I started to feel quite groggy, and my broken leg was in such pain I would have thought it was on fire if I hadn’t known better. “Please,” I said. “Can I please have some meds or something? My leg feels like the Inferno came to life.”
    The two men quickly exchanged a loaded look. “Oh no…” they said in unison. Cantae rushed back to my bedside and yanked up my pant leg. It revealed a large purple-black lunette and four puncture marks emblazoned on my already disfigured limb. Cantae gasped in horror at the sight and Asha sunk to the floor.
    “What?! What happened? What is it?” I cried, petrified. “Tell me!”
    “I...I think whoever...whoever hurt you..also bit you.” Cantae forced out.
    “BIT ME?! What the hell are you talking about?” I demanded. “That’s it? They bit me?” I threw up my arms in disgust and laid back down.
    “You don’t understand..” Asha said, his voice muffled.
    “Oh, I think I understand,” I retorted. “So somebody bit me and tried to kill me. I’ve been bitten by people before and survived. I just want to know where Yura is and where I am.”
    “LOOK!” Asha snapped, jerking up and seizing my arm. “We’re different from you. We’re not normal people. That man who tried to kill you in the woods isn’t normal either; he’s like us.”
    “So if you’re not normal that means you’re not a human, right?” I challenged. “And if you’re not human, then what are you?”
    Asha looked at Cantae, running his free hand over his chin, then snarled at me. He threw my arm down, slammed his fists on my table and stormed out the door. I just sat there, triumphant yet hurt and confused. “What did I do?” I said. ‘Now my arm hurts again..’
    Cantae rubbed his forehead and sighed. “Nothing. Asha just has a quick temper and a load of problems accepting who he really is. It’s nothing to concern you.”
    I scoffed. “Yes it is,” I said. “You’re leaving me completely out of the loop as to what you’re talking about.”
    Cantae frowned. “What do you mean?”
    “Well, first off, how did you find me? And what did Asha mean when he said, ‘We’re not normal people’?” I quizzed.
    Suddenly a voice that didn’t belong to Cantae spoke. “We can’t tell you right now. We have to concentrate on getting you better.” I swiveled my head, coming face to face with a short woman with long blonde hair. She had glinting onyx-black eyes set in a delicate yet strong face that seemed to be made of alabaster. “So be quiet and lay down; Cantae will take care of you.”
    Seeming to snap back into work mode, Cantae started bustling around my leg, strapping some sort of device around the wound. It started pulsating and massaging the bitten area, almost instantly dousing the fire feeling entirely. I sighed in relief, and slunk back into a comfortable position staring at the ceiling. I think the machine was also releasing some sort of drug into my bloodstream that was making me drowsy. Probably anaesthesia.
    ‘Hmm….’ I thought to myself. ‘There’s apparently a lot I don’t know about Asha and Cantae. And that weird woman too. Everything here is so strange…’ and I drifted off into a deep, drug-induced sleep.