Chapter 15


Hey, Seraph!"

Ares chuckled as a petite brunette shoved her way through the group of girls that surrounded him.

"Tara." He acknowledged her presence as she finally made her way to the center of the circle, completely ignoring the other girls as they gave her death glares.

"You promised you'd walk me to class, remember?"

He glanced down at her amused. He had made no such promise. But he wouldn't state otherwise. He had taken a liking to her. She reminded him of Kita, a bit. And he enjoyed her perky outgoing nature. She wasn't one of the beauty queens. She barely came at level with his chest. She had short black hair, cut in a funky style and attracted considerable attention from the male folk. She was smart, and quite possibly the matchmaker of the institution. She always had something up her sleeve.

Tara chuckled inwardly as she paused to savor the uncertain glances the girls gave Seraph and herself. Then she walked up to him and tugged at his sleeve impatiently. "And we have to plan whose room we're going to do the assignment in!" she paused again theatrically as the girls around them gasped. She finally put on a whiny tone, "Plus we haven't even made reservations at that expensive restaurant you have to take me to tonight!"

The wails of protest were instantaneous.

"What?!" "Seraph, baby, don't tell me you're going out with that bitch!" "How could you do this to me?!" "Nooooo!" "I am better than her in-"

He smirked at Tara he gestured for silence and got it immediately. "Ladies, ladies. I can't back out of my promises now can I?"

He weaved his way out from amongst them, Tara clinging to his arm, a look of triumph on her face. The girls deduced it as victory over them. But truly, Tara's success was only in spite.

As soon as they were out of their line of vision, she burst out laughing. He crossed his arms across his chest as he grinned back at her.

"Did you. * gasp*. see the looks.. On their faces!?!" Tara managed to squeal amidst guffaws of laughter. "It. was. priceless!"

"You had better hope it wasn't."

She straightened and grinned at him, "Aww, come on! I know you enjoy teasing them as much as I do!"

He smirked. "Whatever gave you that idea?"

She shrugged. "I'm just good at things like that. You are a very good playboy. You tease them, taunt them, attract them, make them fall in love with you, but truly you don't give a damn about them."

He leaned against a locker as he threw her an amused expression, "Those are harsh accusations, sweetheart."

She poked a finger in his chest, ".but can you deny them? No."

He raised a brow at how definite she sounded, "What if I can?"

Tara shook her head as she skipped along the hallway. He followed, intrigued by the impish character. "Hmm.. but you aren't a very good playboy either!"

He chuckled, and decided to let her play her little game, "Oh? And what makes you say that, now?"

Tara glanced at him over her shoulder, "Because." She twirled round and stopped directly in front of him, bringing him to a sudden halt as well. She stood on her tiptoes and leaned quite close to him, so that she could whisper in his ear. It was not that she wanted to be in close proximity with him; it was just that an exceptionally snobbish girl was just passing by.

Tara's voice was low as she let her arms encircle his shoulders. "Because." He could see her watch the read-head from the corner of her eye. ".You're already in love!"

He burst out laughing. Tara satisfied moved away. The red head looked distressed, as she practically ran the remaining length of the corridor towards her groupies. His sudden laughter had produced the effect Tara wanted.

He looked down at Tara as she giggled. "That has to be the most preposterous inference EVER!"

Tara glanced up at him. "Hah! You didn't deny it! See, I told you I am good at things like that. I think I know who it is too!"

Ares smirked, "Do you now? Care to enlighten me?"

"Why, Raye of course!" Tara declared with triumph.

His eyebrows shot up. Then gave a shout of laughter, "What an IDIOTIC idea!"

Tara frowned, "Hey!"

He held his sides as he laughed. Of all the people for him to fall for, she had to say Raye.

She punched his shoulder hard, "Hey! Don't be an ass! She's my friend! And I have reason to believe what I do!!"

His laughter finally subsided as she hit him a bit more. Damn what was wrong with him. He never let anyone other than Loralai show any kind of aggression to him, and here he was, being attacked by girls on a daily basis!

Tara was speaking to him.

"It was like you were looking for someone the day you came. And when you found us in the library, you couldn't wait to get rid of me. She's a great girl, and if you like her, please give her a chance. She needs someone who can make her fall in love again."

She wasn't joking. The smirk on his face was replaced by an unreadable but deadly solemn expression. Even her tone of voice was soft and serious.

"I don't make commitments."


"Hey guys!"

Tara's smile immediately returned. "Raye! I was just telling this ass here, that if he didn't move his butt quick enough, he'd make us late for class!"

He gaze met her and she smiled.

It had been a week since he had arrived as Seraph. A week since he had been moments from kissing her. She was at ease in his company once again. He would be there in all of her classes, unbeknownst to anyone, watching her. Then, at night he would be at her window again. He had trodden upon safer topics, and they had enjoyed their time together.

And now, Tara had to assume he was in love with her! He recoiled from the idea, and it made him recoil from her.

He forced himself to smile back. Maybe that was why Loralai had trained him personally. It served the purpose of keeping him away from much human contact. The only socialization he had know was since two years ago, when he was an active member of her troops, and a leading intellectual in her office. He had prided himself upon his nonchalant nature, but he was beginning to find it difficult to maintain during 'normal' association. Human emotions, were entirely too complex.

But this was another challenge.

And he wasn't going to back off.

Slowly he forced his lips to break into a smile.

"Evans," he murmured. "How good of you to come to save me from a certain hag's company."

He strode forward and took her arm, as Tara spluttered in anger, "What?!"

Raye chuckled, "Oh quit it, Are.I mean, Seraph, you really don't want to be in her bad databases!" (A/N: er..heheh. my lame futuristic version of the idiom.'in bad books')

He smirked, "What could this little one possibly do?"

"I could kill you for one!" scowled Tara.

".That or, she could fix you up with somebody,"

"Raye!!" Tara screeched, offended, as her friend pressed her hand to her lips to muffle her laughter.

Seraph smiled sardonically, "You're right, I don't know which is worse."

(a/n: I'm back from the dead. ….)