By Princess Destiny
[ Reviews - 16]


Chapter One

Kenshin and Kaoru were in the market, buying food for the coming week.

"Are we almost done, Miss Kaoru?" Kenshin asked, smiling slightly at his companion. It was times like this when he could have her to himself without Sanosuke and Yahiko fighting in the background or the boy calling Kaoru ugly. More often than not, arguments broke out. In a strange way, it was wonderful. Yahiko was like a younger brother to them all, Sanosuke an older brother and Kaoru was the sister. The family that Kenshin had always dreamed about. Things were perfect...if only they would stay that way.

Kaoru turned from a stall as she heard Kenshin sigh in a melancholy way. "What's wrong, Kenshin?" She asked him gently, studying his face in concern. As expected, her red-haired Rurouni gave her a cheerful smile, hiding his emotions. He did it often. Sometimes, she really wished that he would open up to her. But they had time. He wasn't going to leave her again. He'd promised her after Kyoto and she would make sure he kept it.

"Nothing is wrong, Miss Kaoru." He lied softly, titling his head back to look up at the blue sky.

"Kenshin." She murmured, blue eyes disappointed. If only he would open up to her!

"Yes, Miss Kaoru?" Kenshin asked, looking back at her in inquiry. She looked troubled and he hated to see that look on her face, knowing that he was the cause.  Despite her being rather bold and spirited, she had a gentle kind heart that he valued highly.

Kaoru sighed and shook her head, turning away. He wasn't ready to confide in her yet. Would he ever be? Suddenly, her eyes spotted something and widened in delight. "Roses. Roses, Kenshin!" She cried, rushing over to a stall. An old lady was there, patiently sitting in a chair and waiting for her customers to come to her. There were flowers of all sorts there in a myriad of colours, but it was the red roses that had caught Kaoru's gaze. "Oh, so lovely." She whispered in delight.  Her hands fluttered over the roses, afraid to touch them. They were beautiful!

The old lady smiled warmly at Kaoru's delighted features, then her eyes went to the silent man standing behind her. He was smiling gently. "Would your lady like a rose?" She asked the red-haired Rurouni.

Kaoru's eyes widened. "Oh no, I'm not-" She began, flustered.

"Oh, no, she's not-" Kenshin said hastily at the same time, looking just as flustered. His violet gaze was stunned. How did a complete stranger see right through them and into their hearts so easily?

Kenshin and Kaoru gave the old woman mirroring expression of embarrassed amazement.

The old woman stared at Kaoru and then Kenshin for a long moment, then shook her head. "It's not nice to lie to an old woman." she said admonishingly, handing a perfect red rose to Kenshin to give to Kaoru.

"Oh, but, we're not together." Kaoru told the woman in surprise, throwing a swift look at Kenshin from under her lashes and wondering what he was thinking. He looked as embarrassed and surprised as she did, but he also looked pensive. "How much do we owe you?" The dark-haired girl asked the lady, reaching for her purse. She didn't care what it cost! She wanted the beautiful flower. If nothing else, to remind her that someone had thought that she and Kenshin were together. An impossibility. Kenshin would never make the first move. Kaoru wasn't even entirely sure what his feelings were to her. A Sister? A friend? Or something more?

"It's a gift." The old woman shook her head again and turned away. "And it's quite obvious she is yours, young man." She threw over her shoulder. "Denying it won't change the truth."

Kenshin looked at Kaoru and she looked at him, then flushed brightly.

'Mine?' Kenshin thought, as they turned to walk away. Was it so obvious that his Battousai side had claimed her?

They collected the tofu and then left the markets, heading back through town towards the Kamiya Dojo. Both were silent, lost in their own thoughts.

Kaoru's expression was wistful as she stared down at the rose in her hands. 'If only the old woman's words had been right. How I wish I were Kenshin's lady.'

'I must be more careful.' Kenshin thought, eyes far away. He shifted the packages in his arms absently, walking slowly beside Kaoru. He threw her a curious look and noted that her eyes were fixed on the flower. What was she thinking? Was she embarrassed? He really had no idea how Kaoru felt for him. Yes, she was affectionate. Yes, she had come after him in Kyoto. Yes, she let him live with her and she enjoyed his company. But what did she really think of him as? A brother? A friend? Perhaps...more? He sighed deeply. His Battousai side had claimed Kaoru from the moment Kenshin had set eyes on her. Something inside him had roared in triumph at their meeting and it had taken all the Rurouni's strength to keep the Battousai from kissing her. For a few moments, there had been a silent struggle as he stared at the girl who had pointed her bokken at him, eyes flashing defiantly. She had been magnificent!

"Kenshin?" Kaoru asked, turning her face to look at her companion. Her eyes widened a little at the look on his face. He was deeply troubled about something. There were also amber flecks swirling in the violet depths of his gaze that made her wonder exactly what he was thinking about. Kyoto? His life as a Rurouni? Did he regret coming back to the Dojo with her? She bit her lip. 'If only I could read his mind! But those eyes of his are deliberately deceptive!' her blue eyes narrowed. He hid his emotions too well. Behind that gentle gaze, he could have been thinking anything. Anything at all.

"Yes, Miss Kaoru?" Kenshin started, eyes clearing as he met her gaze. He blinked. She looked almost angry! "Are you alright?" he asked softly, wondering what was troubling her.

"Why don't you ever talk to me?" She blurted out. She clapped a hand to her mouth in shock, eyes wide and startled.

"Talk to you?" Kenshin echoed. He paused on the bridge they were crossing and turned fully to face her. "I'm confused by your question, that I am." He admitted, freeing one hand from the packages to scratch at his head in bewilderment.

"About anything." She emphasized, deliberately turning and walking again so that he would be made to follow.

"Have I done something to offend you?" Kenshin asked her, hurrying to catch up. Kaoru was now angry, instead of wistful. Her emotions switched like lightening sometimes!

"Oh, Kenshin!" She groaned, exasperated. Why was it whenever she tried to talk to him seriously, he thought he'd done something wrong! "Never mind." The dark-haired girl told him, lowering her head and studying the road.

Kenshin fell behind a little and looked at her stiff back, wondering what had brought this on. She was upset and angry about something and he really had no clue what it was. It was frustrating. He sighed deeply. Perhaps he did not know Kaoru as well as he thought. She was not cheerful today, that she was not. And it had been since the rose. His head tilted to the side as he considered what had occurred. Kaoru must be upset that the old woman had said that Kaoru was his. That must be it.

"Kenshin..." Kaoru's voice was hushed as she spotted the wide open Dojo gates.  Someone was in her home!

The hair on the back of Kenshin's neck stirred as he felt something wrong and his head shot up. Kaoru was standing outside the Dojo gates, which were standing wide open. She too had sensed that something was wrong.

"Someone is inside." The girl whispered, stepping closer to the Rurouni. Her hands tightened on the rose, eyes firming. Someone had broken into her Dojo. How dare they! "Hold this!" She told Kenshin, tossing the rose at him.

Kenshin's eyes widened and he dropped the packages accidentally in order to rescue the rose she'd flung at him so haphazardly. Even if Kaoru thought him a brother, that rose meant something to him. A splash across his feet reminded him of the tofu and he groaned. That would leave a mess, that it would. But he didn't even spare a glance, mind going again to the raven-haired girl who had run so impetuously inside. "Miss Kaoru, wait!" He called out, placing the rose swiftly on top of the pile of packages and racing after the girl. It was dangerous! Why did she have to be so impetuous all the time? And why did he love her for it? He groaned to himself, running after her disappearing figure as she entered the house. 'Definitely not brotherly thoughts.' He entered seconds behind her and came face to face with four men, all heavily armed. Kaoru was struggling in the arms of one of them and Kenshin's eyes hardened. "Release Miss Kaoru." he demanded.

"Kenshin!" Kaoru cried out, trying to kick the man. Damn it! Why hadn't she been more careful! They'd taken her completely off guard.

He pinned her wrists together and leered at her. "Now, now cutie. Just stay quiet and me and my men here won't have to hurt you."

"I suggest you let her go, that I do." Kenshin said, hands out in a placating manner. He would not draw his sword unless he had to. These were obviously common robbers.

"There's nothing here to take!" Kaoru told them, still struggling futilely.

"Stop that!" The man growled, releasing one hand from her wrist to slap her sharply across the face.

The dark-haired girl gasped at the sting, in disbelief that he had actually struck her. The slap had been more of a firm warning than meant to inflict pain. Her eyes went to Kenshin and she felt the hairs on the back of her neck standing up.  His red hair was in his eyes and she swore that she saw a flash of gold.  Oh no, not Battousai.

Kenshin bit the inside of his lip, struggling with himself. Battousai wanted free! These men had dared to hurt Kaoru! "Release her." He repeated, his deepening slightly. His eyes became flecked with amber as the man holding Kaoru dragged her after him, past Kenshin. "Miss-" Kenshin began, turning.

Another robber thrust a knife at Kenshin's chest and rested the blade there threateningly. "Can I kill him, boss?" he called after the man with Kaoru.

"Not yet. Bring him." The Leader called out, dragging a struggling Kaoru across the courtyard and into the Dojo.

'What are they doing?' Kaoru thought in astonishment as she was forced into the centre of the room. She looked swiftly for Kenshin as she sensed more people enter the Dojo. The three robbers entered, flanking Kenshin.

"Hey, boss, he has a sword." One of the robbers mentioned, squinting at Kenshin's hip.

'They only just noticed?' Kaoru thought, gaping slightly. Idiots!

Kenshin stopped a few meters from Kaoru, when the robbers motioned for him to stop. "Are you alright, Miss Kaoru?" He asked her gently, a hand going to his sword hilt reflexively. His fingers clenched over it, wanting to draw the blade. No! These men had not endangered Kaoru's life yet. He suspected that they were all talk and that was all that saved them.

"I'm fine, Kenshin." She smiled at him bravely. She really wasn't, but the dark-haired girl wasn't about to worry Kenshin.  Or the Battousai.  It would not be good if his dark side was to come out.

"Then take it off him, fool!" The Leader yelled at his men. "Give them your sword." He ordered Kenshin, voice slightly whining.

"I would not recommend it, that I would not." Kenshin told the three robbers in a quiet voice. They hesitated as they sensed something about the red-haired man. Something dangerous, despite his calm expression.

"This wasn't supposed to happen!" Another robber said, glancing from one person to another. "No one was supposed to be here."

"Give yourself up." Kenshin said helpfully, relaxing slightly. Were these men so new to robbing that they really had no idea what to do with hostages?

"Throw down your sword, or we kill the girl." The Leader said nervously, trying to look serious. He'd obviously never killed before and had not expected Kenshin to resist when asked for his sword.

"Let her go." Kenshin almost pleaded, scared for Kaoru's life. These men were not too bright, but they would probably kill if put into that position. Cowards! Faint amber flickered into his eyes and his hand tightened around the sword.

"Don't do it, Kenshin." Kaoru told him, biting down on the man's hand. He yelped and then smacked her across the face.

"Miss Kaoru!" Kenshin growled, eyes bursting into golden fire. Her lip was bleeding. For the first time in years, he felt an overwhelming urge to flip the blade of his sword over and butcher every man there. How dare they hurt her!

The robber placed the point of his dagger in the hollow of her throat and pushed until a trickle of blood appeared and slid down her throat.

Kaoru gasped in pain, but refused to show weakness, her chin rising proudly.

That was it! The Battousai completely emerged from inside Kenshin and he flipped the blade over, getting into an attack stance.

The robbers shifted in uneasily.

Battousai smiled. He could smell their fear; and it was delicious. "Are you ready to die?" he said silkily.

"Kenshin no." Kaoru cried out, seeing that her Rurouni's eyes were completely golden. And he'd flipped his sword over...which means he was intending to kill. "Don't do this!" Her eyes filled with tears as Kenshin's amber eyes met hers. There was an animalistic hunger in their depths that both thrilled and frightened her. This was a side to him that she rarely saw. Even though she was being held captive, knife at her throat, she felt a curl of excitement zing through the pit of her stomach at the raw power the red-haired man was radiating.

She was excited! Battousai's eyes narrowed into slits as he sniffed at the air, drawing it into his lungs. His nice sweet Kaoru was excited , by him! He filed this away for future use and smiled slowly. "This won't take long, Kaoru."

He didn't call her Miss Kaoru, which they both noticed absently.

"Kenshin, don't do this." She became desperate as Kenshin's sword went back into it's sheath and he prepared to attack.

"Smart move." The robbers snickered to themselves, thinking Kenshin had done as they said. They were too stupid to notice the homicidal rage in the red-haired man's eyes, or note the possessiveness with which he gazed at the woman. "Now, throw the lot away." The leader added, nodding at the scabbard and sword at Kenshin's hip.

They had touched something that was his. And they would die for that. Battousai's smile grew. Fools. They would die and not even know why. His hand crept over to hover over the hilt, moving side-on to the robber that was holding Kaoru.

"Kenshin!" Kaoru yelled, panicking. "Kenshin?"  She wasn't getting through to him! "Battousai!" She shouted.

Battousai froze, his golden eyes swiftly going to her face.  Kaoru looked desperate and he had only responded to his manslayer name.  He didn't want to distress her, but there was no way that these men were getting away with what they had done to the dark-haired girl.  She was his to protect!

The robbers suddenly went deathly pale and the knife at Kaoru's neck faltered. "B-Battousai?" The main robber stuttered in horror.

"The manslayer?" Another choked out, backing away.

"The very same." Battousai purred at them in vicious satisfaction. Their fear permeated the air. It was as intoxicating as Kaoru's desire for him. She would try to hide it once he had killed the men and freed her. Battousai threw Kaoru a heated look that made her flush brightly. He would not let her hide it.

"Battousai, if you kill them, I'll never forgive you." Kaoru choked out, a tear running down her cheek. If he killed, her Kenshin would be gone! She wanted him and his dark side, but if he killed, he would be forever lost. Her gentle Rurouni would be gone forever. And he would leave her, she knew. Kaoru was not dark enough to be by Battousai's side. She shook her head, then focused on Kenshin and saw him regarding her with an indecipherable expression.

She would never forgive him. Battousai hesitated for the first time in his life and regarded her with mixed emotions. Was she worth betraying his very nature for? His eyes kindled as he stared intently into hers. Then, he nodded slowly. Yes, she was worth it. "Very well." He replied in an icy tone, speaking to both Kaoru and the robbers, but on different levels. He smiled slightly as he pulled out the sword and scabbard from his waist and threw them far to the side. "But we will be finishing this...later." The man promised in a deadly tone.

Kaoru flushed brightly, even as she relaxed. Oh god, the way he was looking at her! Like he'd like to devour her.

"Alright." Said the incredibly afraid robber. He was glad that this woman had so much power over the Manslayer, or they would be laying on the floor dead right now. Gutted or be-headed. "Umm, okay!" His eyes brightened as he got an idea. "Strip." He told them.

Battousai's eyes flashed with rage and he growled low. They wanted his Kaoru naked? He'd rather rip their heads from their shoulder with his bare hands! He did not need a sword to kill!

"We won't look!" Another robber said hastily, covering his eyes.

"We just want you to strip so that we can tie you together," the first robber went on anxiously, afraid for his life. The way that red-haired Battousai was glaring at him was enough to give him nightmares for the remainder of him life...which he suspected would be exactly 10 minutes after the Battousai got free of the ropes. He was a dead man.

Chapter Two

"Very well" Battousai finally agreed, after thinking for a long moment. The sooner they were tied together, the sooner the robbers would leave and think themselves free men. He would be after them the moment the ropes dropped from him and he would hunt them down like the dogs they were. It had been 10 years since he hunted a man and he was looking forward to it. His eyes were bright and vicious as he began to strip.

Kaoru moaned in humiliation as the knife withdrew from her chin slightly. "Strip, cutie" she was told arrogantly.

Battousai's eyes shot up and the look he gave the Robber promised a long and painful death. "You...are...DEAD" he mouthed silently to the robbers, not wanting Kaoru to see and worry. She didn't want him to kill...so he would kill out of her sight. There was no way these vermin were going to live after assaulting his woman.

The robbers paled and they looked sickened as they realized the enormity of their situation. The only thing between them and this red-haired demon was his woman.

Kaoru stripped until she was naked. "Alright" she said in a small voice, not looking at anyone. She wanted to cry. She was so HUMILIATED! And in front of Kenshin no less!

The robbers began to look at her when she spoke, but Battousai's voice stopped them dead.

"Look at her and you will die right NOW!" he snarled possessively, eyes going to Kaoru. Gods she was BEAUTIFUL. He snarled and shot his golden gaze to the men again. "She is MINE"

"Yes! Of course" The Leader stammered, deathly afraid.

"Yes! Yes!" The other three agreed hastily, backs to Kaoru.

Kaoru gasped softly at Kenshin's words and her eyes went to his face, but he was not looking at her. Gods! HIS! He'd told these strangers that she was HIS! And in such a possessive tone too. She shivered in a mixture of excitement and desire, fear and embarrassment. What would it be like to be utterly possessed by a man? She looked down as Kenshin began to stalk over to her, his every movement like that of a hunter. Graceful, controlled, fluid. She blushed, seeing his form approaching from the corner of her eye.

"Keep your eyes on the far wall until I say," Kenshin told the robbers in a low, angry voice. Warning them.

The men were now too afraid to do anything but nod.

Battousai considered as he reached his Kaoru. The robbers were not holding a knife at her throat anymore and he could have easily disarmed them. However. A hungry smile spread over his face, which Kaoru thankfully did not see. If she had, she would have melted into a boneless puddle of goo at the absolute LUST and passion burning in his golden gaze. This would work out nicely.

Kaoru trembled as Kenshin's fingers touched her arms, then slid down to her elbows, then around her waist in a purely possessive gesture. His touch was like fire and she could do nothing but gasp as she was pulled into his arms firmly, her every curve pressed into his tightly. She flushed brightly, burying her face in his chest. Oh gods, this was not happening! She'd dreamed of being in his arms, but not like this! She moaned faintly as her heart sped up and her body began to respond to his without her conscious decision.

Battousai bit his lip hard as Kaoru's curves were crushed to his. And her moan of unwitting desire was almost his undoing! The need to take her was overwhelming, but he restrained himself. Maybe later... "You may turn now" he called out icily. They would see Kaoru's sweetly curved ass, but there was nothing he could do about that.

The robbers came up tentatively, one of them unfurling a rope from his waist. "Just hold still; no tricks now"

Battousai wanted to rip the man's head off as he came close and began to tie the rope about Kaoru and himself. It was only Kaoru's humiliated sob and the man's smell of overwhelming fear that stopped him. They would not get far.

The rope was wound about their knees, waists, arms and shoulder, hauling Kaoru even closer onto Kenshin. There was now absolutely no way even a sword could be inserted between them.

"Okay" The man stood back finally, satisfied that Kenshin and Kaoru couldn't get free for a long while. "We're leaving now. Thanks for the few valuables." he smirked.

"Please DO run" Battousai said silkily, eyes glowing golden from beneath his fiery bangs. "Run. Hide. I will be with you soon enough."

"No, Kenshin," Kaoru whispered, burying her face in the curve of his neck. He smelled so good! And gods he FELT so good too. That curl of excitement spiraled through her stomach again. She wasn't sure what exactly she was feeling, but it was wonderful.

Battousai was torn between continuing to threaten the robbers and the scent of Kaoru's arousal. He almost groaned as she buried her face in his neck and her lips touched his skin. "GO!" he snarled at the men, wanting them gone so that he could have his woman to himself.

The robbers didn't need to be told twice. They were gone in seconds.

Kaoru heard them leave and became abruptly filled with apprehension. She was tied naked, to the Battousai! The man who'd called her HIS. The man who'd looked at her with such hunger.

"Kaoru" Battousai said in a low voice, turning his head back to face her. She refused look up past his chest though, a flush of embarassment across her cheek bones.

"No" she murmured, refusing to look up. If she looked into his golden eyes, she'd be lost! Her desire for Battousai far outweighed that of her desire for the Rurouni and it's power was scaring her! She was attracted to his dark side! Even though she knew he was a blood-thirsty demon who reveled in the splash of red and the slaughter of men.

"Kaoru" Battousai's voice lowered, until he was purring. He lowered his mouth to her ear and nibbled on it lightly.

Kaoru shivered violently, a groan escaping her mouth. Oh gods! His mouth was on her! She groaned again as he ran his tongue around the curve of her ear. "What are you DOING to me?" she demanded, throwing back her head to stare into his eyes. She told herself it was to escape his mouth on her ear, but she was possessed by an almost overwhelming urge to look into his amber depths and see what lay there. But now that she did...Lust, hunger, possessiveness. Oh god, all for her!

"Mine," he murmured, mouth seeking out hers.

But Kaoru dodged his kiss, panicking. If he kissed her, she'd never be able to escape him! She couldn't let him. She wanted her gentle Rurouni back. Tears filled her eyes. "Kenshin, where are you?" she moaned despairingly, seeking his eyes.

Battousai's eyes widened for a moment in surprise, before he realized what was going through her head. She wanted the safe Rurouni. The one who would woo her and treat her gently and laugh with her. But she also wanted him, Battousai. She wanted to be possessed utterly, in the silence of her soul and was afraid of loosing those passions. "He's still here," he told her rather gently, eyes trailing over her face. "However," he abruptly threw himself forward, hurtling himself and Kaoru into a wall. They didn't hit it hard enough to hurt her, but it was hard enough to stun her and she gasped. He pinned her there with his body, her head unable to move backwards now. "I am here now and I want you. BADLY." his eyes burned into hers with a frightening hunger. His face moved forward until his lips brushed hers and he stilled. "I can smell your desire" he whispered against her lips.

Kaoru's eyes widened in horror and she stiffened, but it was too late. Kenshin's face moved too swiftly for her to follow and her lips were suddenly crushed under his.

Battousai devoured her lips with all his pent up passion from the last year he had stayed at the Dojo. He had wanted Kaoru ever since he'd laid eyes upon her-and now he was GOING to have her. His keep deepened as she hesitantly responded in her innocence. His. HIS! "Kaoru" he groaned into her mouth, tongue sliding over her bottom lip to urge her to open hers.

Kaoru complied when his tongue slid over hers and her mouth parted to let him inside. Oh gods! Her eyes fluttered shut and she surrendered to the sensations zinging through her with every moment. The excitement in her stomach had intensified and spread through her whole body, making it seem to hum. Kenshin...Battousai. Oh gods how long she'd wanted this!

Battousai suddenly pulled back, stiffening.

"What is it" Kaoru gasped out, throwing her head back and taking in long drags of cool air.

"Sanosuke and Yahiko" Came the amused reply.

Kaoru met his eyes, hers reflecting surprise. He wasn't angry that they had been interrupted.

Battousai's eyes gleamed and then he kissed her swiftly again. Deeply and passionately. And it left her no doubt about how he felt for her.

Kaoru moaned loudly, trying to arch her body into his...but she was already so close to him that the ropes were digging into her flesh.

Battousai pulled back, gasping. "We will...continue this later" he gave her a last hungry look before he closed his eyes and began to breath deeply and evenly.

"Oi! Ugly, where are you?" Yahiko's voice called out.

"Kenshin?" Sanosuke yelled, starting to sound concerned.

"Look at the place! We've been robbed!" Yahiko suddenly yelled.

The sound of running feet sounded.

Kaoru started to panic. "Oh god! I'm NAKED! Kenshin!"

Battousai's eyes opened, flecked with the familiar vioent. "Forgive me" he murmured, sinking his face against her neck.

Kaoru felt his lips and her eyes opened wide with astonishment. Then a dull pain exploded from her neck and she cried out. He'd bitten her!

Battousai bit her as gently as he could, hoping to channel all the passions and rage into it. The action of hurting her would clear his head...and it was also make her as HIS. He breathed through his nose, eyes now violet. "I'm sorry, Miss Kaoru" he breathed into her ear. "That I am"

"That I am?" Kaoru's eyes filled with tears of joy. Her Rurouni was back! She didn't quite understand why Battousai had bitten her, but she thought it had been done with equal parts of possession and a need to regain control. Therefore, she forgave him. "Kenshin!" she hissed as the footsteps approached them. Sanosuke and Yahiko had obviously not found them in the other room and were now checking the Dojo.

The Dojo door was ripped open and Sanosuke and Yahiko entered.

Kaoru buried her face into Kenshin's neck and wished the ground would open up and swallow her. "Oh god."

"It will be alright," he murmured back, then turned his head to look at a gaping Sanosuke and Yahiko.

"Oh god, I'm scarred for life!" Yahiko groaned, spinning around to stare at the door instead.

Sanosuke eyed them with amusement and leered at Kenshin. "Is there something that the two of you want to tell me?" His eyes trailed over Kaoru and rested on her ass. He could only see her side-on, but she was a babe!

"Sanosuke" Kenshin growled at him, flecks of gold forming in his eyes.

Sanosuke was startled at the reaction. Battousai was close to the surface today. He looked closer at Kenshin and Kaoru and noticed the ropes. Ooops. He'd been so stunned to see them both naked that he'd failed to see the obvious. "We got robbed," he said conversationally, walking over to the two and pulling out a dagger. He carefully slipped the dagger between Kenshin's flesh and the ropes and jerked. He had a feeling if he'd even NICKED Kaoru right now, Kenshin would kill him. He could sense the tension in the air. GOD! The sexual tension between these two was incredible! "But I'm guessing you already know that." he went on, stepping back.

"There were four. They escaped about 15 minutes ago." Kenshin informed him, voice lighter. His eyes had become a clear violet.

The ropes fell away from the two, but Kenshin didn't move.

"Would you two like a moment?" Sanosuke said, scratching at his in an awkward way. This was embarrassing for Kaoru, to say the least.

"Yes" Kenshin said hesitantly.

"NO!" Kaoru said violently, finally looking up. "Please hand me my kimono and turn your back"

Sanosuke walked over and picked up her discarded kimono, then walked back and handed it to her. He turned his back firmly and waited.

Kaoru stepped back from Kenshin, clutching the material to her front and covering up most of her skin. Her eyes rose and she saw that Kenshin was watching her lazily. Okay, that wasn't Battousai or Rurouni. It was a mixture of the two and she eyed him curiously. There was something different. "You turn away too, Kenshin," she said crossly, waiting.

"Why? I've already seen you" he fairly purred at her, eyes darkening to a deep purple with golden flecks.

Sanosuke snickered, but didn't turn.

"Because-because I said so!" Kaoru yelled at him, fury flooding her. Who did he think he WAS?

Kenshin felt an equal fury flooding her at her rejection of him. She was going to pretend that nothing happened! His eyes turned golden for a long moment and he regarded her with hungry eyes. He would seduce her. She wanted to be wooed, as much as possessed. "Very well." he said, eyes returning to normal. He smiled at her gently, all easy-going Rurouni, then turned his back to her respectfully.

Kaoru stared suspiciously at his back for a long moment, eyes not able to help themselves as they trailed down over his muscular back to his behind, then his legs. Oh god! He was beautiful! She stared to hastily pull her Kimono on, unable to look away from his body. And his hair, how she wished she could loosen it from it's binding and run her hands through it! As he bent over to put on his pants, her mouth fell open, her blue gazed resting on his muscular backside. GOD!

He had put his pants on and was pulling the gi up over his shoulders when something tantalizing reached his nostrils. Arousal. Kenshin sniffed the air and his eyes changed completely, becoming liquid pools of molten gold. "Kaoru." he said silently, eyes narrowing. She wouldn't know what hit her. She was his and he was going to claim her one way or another.

"Done!" Kaoru said with forced cheerfulness.

Kenshin turned about and gave her a narrowed-eyed look, then his face smoothed and his violet eyes twinkled at her. "How about some tea...Miss Kaoru?" he hesitated briefly over her name, letting her know that he no longer considered her a 'miss'.

Kaoru flushed, then turned away.

Yahiko and Sanosuke turned and walked over to them, wanting to hear what had happened.

"Okay what happened here? Why aren't there any unconscious bodies laying about? Why is your sword over there?" Sanosuke shot the questions out, his eyes going from Kenshin's smiling face to Kaoru's cheerful grin. Something had happened today. Other than the obvious.

"Why were you naked?" Yahiko blurted out, afire with curiosity.

Kaoru blushed bright red. Trust Yahiko to bring that touchy subject up.

Even as Kenshin spoke brightly to Sanosuke and Yahiko, his violet gaze was on her. And in their depths she saw promise that this was not over. Battousai was just beneath the surface and had claimed her. Soon, she would be his. His head tilted to the side consideringly. There were also those four men to take care of. Of course, his blood-lust had died now that he was the Rurouni again and he regretted letting his dark side take over. Perhaps he would let Sanosuke deal with them. Kaoru would not have him if he fully became Battousai again-and if he killed those men for touching her, he would lose her. Very well then. He would use everything in his power, as the Rurouni AND the Battousai, to possess her. Seduce her. Let the games begin.

He had that look again! But this time it was from the Rurouni. Kaoru shivered and looked away from the promise in his gaze. It wasn't over and the Battousai side of him would return. He probably already had something planed! But if he thought she was going to fall into his arms after a few bone-melting kisses...he had another thing coming!






The End

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