Author's Note: Hey, guys! You all probably thought I was lying in a ditch somewhere. I noticed a drop in fans with this story after I revealed who Reija would end up with...for now...I'm guessing you guys don't like Miki and Reija together? Was it too soon that they hooked up? Is Reija really meant to be with the kind-hearted Suzuki who you all seem to champion? I don't know, you guys. You really have to let me know what goes on in those heads of yours. I know I've been a bad bad girl not updating for oh so long! But I swear I've been a busy busy girl!!! If you let me know what you think though, I PROOOOOOOOMISE I'll be a good good girl! ^-------------^


Chapter 25

Trish's Secret

There were so many people. More faces than Reija could count, and most of which she associated as Trish's group of gawking fans.

"Trish! Where have you been!"

"You were gone so long!"

"We missed you all this time!"

Reija would have liked to point out that Trish could not have been gone for more than half an hour for her to be missed. But she kept that thought to herself.

Trish greeted all her friends cheerfully, still holding onto Reija's hand. "Sorry, sorry! I didn't mean to keep you guys waiting. I was just bringing our special guest along." And with that, she pushed Reija forward, a little too eagerly.

Reija caught herself before she stumbled. Before she knew it, she was completely encircled by all of Trish's friends.

"The transfer girl? You're kidding right?" someone form the crowd spoke up loudly.

"You know, from this angle, she's kinda cute."

"Are you drunk?"

Trish laughed loudly, immediately silencing the room. "Everyone be nice! Like I said, Reija's our special guest! Now come on, let's get this party started!"

It was at that moment that Reija was thrown completely into a different world.

The teen party scene was a totally new phenomenon to Reija. The room was flooded with noise. Everywhere she looked there was utter chaos. People were dancing wildly as if they were about to sacrifice someone. Girls were giggling loudly as boys tackled them down on any surface they could find. The room shook from the boom of the music coming from the stereos.

A strange odor suddenly filled Reija's nose as she was pushed over to a table with a stack of cups and drinks. Immediately she was handed a cup and poured something to drink.

Puzzled, Reija turned to Trish for help with the strange new beverage.

Trish burst out laughing. "It's just beer. Drink it! It's not poison, you know," she said loudly, picking up a shot glass and chugging it down.

It might as well be, Reija thought, eyeing the beer with great disdain. Hesitantly, she raised the cup up to her lips and took a sip. Immediately she grimaced from the stale, moldy water taste and put her cup down on the table.

This incited another shrill laugh from Trish, who had been watching her the whole time. Picking up another shot glass from the table, she handed it over to Reija and smiled encouragingly. "Here, try this. Maybe this'll be more to your liking."

Under normal circumstances, Reija would have outright refused. But she was never very good at dealing with people, and being thrown into a totally new environment, Reija kept her objections to herself. Slowly, she took the shot glass from Trish and watched Trish down another shot glass. Reija soon followed her actions.

It was disgusting.

It must have been the vilest thing Reija had ever tasted in her life. To make matters worse, she could feel the liquid burn through her throat and down to her chest. She also couldn't breathe properly for a long moment, inhaling what she felt was vapor from the shot.

Coughing, Reija dropped the glass onto the floor, clutching her neck.

"Hey, is she okay?"

"Trish, what'd ya do to her?"

Trish seemed unfazed by Reija's reaction and continued downing down shots. "It was just a shot of tequila. How was I supposed to know she'd react like this?" And with that, she and the rest of her friends burst out laughing.

Reija blinked several times. Her vision was suddenly blurred, and she was beginning to feel air-headed. What's going on?

A hand gripped her shoulder firmly, steadying her.

Bleary eyed, Reija looked up and noticed someone looking at her.

"Reija! Hey, are you okay?"

Reija tried to keep her eyes wide open, but they began to droop shut. She knew that voice. But whose did it belong to? Why couldn't she think straight?

"Jesus, Trish, what the hell did you give to her?"

"I told you, all I gave her was some beer and a shot of tequila! I had no idea she had absolutely no alcohol tolerance!" Trish yelled defensively over the noise.

"This isn't tequila! This is scotch! In a double shot for crying out loud!"

Reija began to sway, and soon two hands steadied her.

"Reija?"

That voice…I know you…

A face swam into her vision, and she noticed a pretty boy's face staring at her.

"Wow, she really has no alcohol tolerance. Her eyes are dilated already. Trish, do you have some water?"

At this point Reija could no longer distinguish between the voices.

"…ah crap! We lost her!"


Oh god…why do I feel like I'm on a cloud?

It was the first thought Reija had in her head when she came to. When she had come to the realization that she had passed out all of a sudden, she grew alarmed and jolted up to a sitting position.

Bad idea.

As if a sledgehammer had struck her, she plopped back down on whatever she was lying on and groaned.

There was a soft chuckle that loomed over her. But it wasn't irritating or shrill as Trish's had been. It sounded quite pleasant. Comforting, even.

"God, you really can't hold your liquor, can you?"

Reija groaned once again and looked up, her vision finally clearing up. It was then that she realized Suzuki was looking down at her, a pleasant smile on his face. "Suzuki? What are you doing here?"

"Trish's party, what else?" Suzuki replied, running a hand through his hair. "I promise I'd make an appearance. We're still friends you know…despite the…uh…awkwardness of the situation…"

Right…Suzuki had broken it off with Trish…Reija thought, still staring up at Suzuki. As her senses came back to her, she noticed the noise level had died down drastically. Glancing around her surroundings, she realized she was in a study of some sort, lying on an extremely comfortable couch. "Umm…were you the one who…?"

Once again Suzuki laughed. "It was no problem. I was surprised you showed up. And then before I could get to you, you were already slammed from one shot of tequila. When you passed out, I took you to one of the deserted rooms so you could rest for a bit." He peered down at her closely, an eager look on his face. "So, how was it? Your first taste of alcohol?"

Reija laughed unexpectedly, sitting up slowly this time. "It was terrible, actually."

Suzuki nodded in agreement. "It's an acquired taste. I, myself, stay away from that stuff. I can't seem to get used to the taste. Besides, none of us are exactly of legal age anyway," he said with a sneaky wink. "But you know Trish. She loves to party."

Reija sighed and leaned her head back against the couch. Looking at Suzuki, she replied, "Well thank you for looking out for me. Who knows what Trish and her friends would've done had I passed out without you there."

A blush crept up in Suzuki's face, and he attempted to hide it by looking away. "Uh…well…your welcome. But like I said, it's nothing."

"No, really. I feel bad, that's all," Reija mumbled. What's wrong with me? Why am I talking so much? "I make so many people worry about me. It's as if I can't take care of myself."

Reija was expecting another amused chuckle from Suzuki, but instead, he gripped her hands firmly and leaned close to her face. Surprised, she widened her eyes and tried to move away.

"I told you already…I worry because I'm in love with you, Reija. You're all I can think about," Suzuki said softly, using one hand to tuck her hair behind her ear.

Another big mistake.

Suddenly, Suzuki's shoulders stiffened, and his look turned strangely cold. "Looks like someone's beaten me to the punch."

Reija frowned ever so slightly, wondering what Suzuki was talking about. It was then that it hit her. The kiss mark Miki had left on her neck. Alarmed, she immediately clamped a hand over her neck and covered the mark. "Suzuki, I–"

"No!"

With tremendous force, Suzuki forced Reija to lie back on the couch, his hands pinning her shoulders.

"Suzuki, what are you–"

"I wanted to fight it, but I can't. I don't want us to be just friends!" he cried out, her face just inches from hers. "I don't want anyone else to touch you! I want you for myself, Reija!" And with that, he lowered his lips to her neck and kissed her vigorously right where Miki had left his mark.

"Suzuki!" Reija yelled, trying to wriggle free from his grip. But he had become surprisingly strong. "S-stop! I don't want–"

"Suzuki, I've been–"

Reija could think of no other time where she had appreciated Trish more. Upon her arrival, Suzuki immediately stopped and grabbed a hold of his senses, realizing what he had tried to do.

The room instantly became quiet as Trish's jaw dropped. Before Reija or Suzuki could say anything, Trish immediately stomped forward, raised her hand and slapped Suzuki across the face. Within a split second, she had grabbed Reija's hand and had literally dragged the Kage off the couch and out of the room, slamming the door behind her.

"I'm taking you home," Trish said briskly as she hurried down the long corridors.

"You don't have to. I can–"

A bitter laughed escaped Trish's lips. "Not in your present condition." And with that, she lead Reija down a flight of steps and threw a door open. "Get in. I'll go call my chauffeur."

Before Reija could protest, Trish shoved her into the room and closed the door behind her. The sound of a lock clicking in place soon followed, and within seconds, the room went completely dark.

Reija tried to open the door, but it was no use. She was completely locked in. "Trish? What are you doing?"

There was no answer.

Reija backed away from the door and glanced around. For some strange reason, she could not see in the dark. Pulling out a card, she held up before her and flicked her wrist.

Nothing. There was no fire.

What's going on? Reija thought, scowling in puzzlement. It was as if her powers had vanished. But why?

Circling the room blindly, Reija felt the walls for anything she should use to pry the door open. However, the walls were completely bare. She doubted there was even furniture inside the room. Look like there was only one way to get out, after all.

Reija backtracked to the only door in the room and tried to kick it open. But as her foot collided with the door on impact, she soon came to the painful realization that the door was made of heavy metal. There was no way she could kick it open without any of her Kage powers. Besides, she was never very good at brute strength to begin with.

Ugh, bloody mortals. She couldn't believe just how petty human girls really were. And why was Trish so upset with her? She wasn't the one who tried to make a move on Suzuki.

Suzuki, Reija thought irritably. If he had just kept his hands to himself, perhaps she wouldn't have been in this mess in the first place. What was it about all these boys that made her so appealing to them? None of the vampires have ever taken a notice to her before. Why were both Suzuki and Miki so eager to have her for themselves? Didn't she get a say in any of this? Most importantly, why was she suddenly feeling drowsy once again?

Oh god…

The room had been filled with sleeping gas. But why?

Why? I don't know why! Reija thought to herself, fighting to urge to fall asleep. But it was no use. Without her powers, she was useless.

Knees buckling under her, she stumbled onto the ground and closed her eyes. Riin`e…It was the last thing she thought of before she completely blacked out once again.


I really need to stop fainting so much, Reija thought as her consciousness soon surfaced.

A bright light suddenly beamed into her eyes, causing her to wince in pain. She could feel it burn through her retinas.

Reija tried to move away from the light as quickly as she could, but it was no use. Her wrists were strapped to the arms of the wooden chair, and her feet were bound together as well. The most movement she was allowed was to simply wriggle in place, although she failed to see just how much good that would do her.

"Well look who's finally awake," a voice sneered.

It was Trish.

Riin`e…Nataku…where in the world are you two?!

Trish's face loomed above Reija, an ugly smirk planted on her glossy lips. Beside her were the faces of her closest friends, all holding similar expressions of contempt as they looked down at Reija.

Reija said nothing, concentrating on what mess she had gotten herself into this time. Bloody guardian…just where the hell are you when I need you? She struggled against her bonds, but it was no use. She was chained in place.

"I took the liberty of making you as comfortable as possible," Trish sneered, walking over to where Reija sat. "I hope it's to your liking." She flashed her teeth as she smiled cruelly.

Reija tried to hold up her wrists. "Actually, I would very much like it if you got rid of these."

There were a few sniggers from Trish's cronies. But they were immediately silenced when Trish shot them a glare.

Turning her attention back to Reija, Trish's eyes narrowed, and she raised her hand high in the air and struck Reija across the face. "Let's see how funny you think youa re in just a few minutes," she snarled vehemently.

Reija did not even flinch from the blow. She was accustomed to pain. The vampires had seen to that.

The lack of a response from Reija seemed to anger Trish even more, and she proceeded to hit Reija again. "Stupid girl! You like pain, don't you?"

Reija looked Trish in the eye, her face expressionless. "Actually, I very much detest it. I would like it if you didn't take your frustrations out on me."

Trish's face hardened into an ugly look. Grasping Reija's chin, she forced Reija to look at her. "I can do far worse, Reija." And with that, she released her chin. "You couldn't have stayed away, could you? You couldn't resist becoming a home wrecker, could you?"

Reija had no idea what Trish was babbling about. Mortals were so complicated to understand. Vampires weren't nearly as trivial as mortals. At least they got to the point. Still, Reija kept her mouth shut. No doubt Trish would have just given her another slap as a response.

"Suzuki and I were perfect for each other. We were happy. Until you came along!" Trish snarled, her voice shaking with fury.

"And just how exactly did I manage to do that?" Reija blurted out, unable to stop herself. It felt like she was in some kind of inquisition. "I didn't–"

SLAP!

That one smarted a little, and Reija blinked from the slight discomfort.

"Did I say you could speak?" Trish demanded, raising her voice. "You took away my Suzuki! You seduced him with that innocent act of yours. You couldn't resist flaunting yourself in front of him, poisoning his mind.

Reija raised an eyebrow. Never in her life had she ever 'flaunted herself' in front of anyone. "With all due respect, I don't think Suzuki was very happy if you claim that I somehow–"

SLAP!

There is just no talking to mortals…

"We were happy! We were happy!" Trish yelled loudly, on the verge of hysterics. "I wanted to forgive you! I wanted to! But you had to flaunt it in my face! You had to take my only happiness away from me!"

SLAP!

Reija winced. But it was not from the blow. She had felt something in the air. Something was wrong. She could feel something was wrong. It was a Shadow aura, and it was as if it were going into a frenzy…and it was close…so very close…

"Hey, Trish, cut it out already. This is starting to creep us out. Don't you think you're going a bit–"

"SHUT UP!" Trish shrieked, whirling around her and glaring at her cronies. "GET OUT! GET OUT NOW! THE PARTY'S OVER! GET THE FUCK OUT!"

No one dared protest the hysterical girl's order. Quickly, they all rushed out of the room, shutting the door behind them.

When they were completely alone, Reija could had sworn that Trish's eyes flashed a bright color in the briefest of seconds. But why? Only Shadows could have…

Trish's expression had suddenly transformed from hysterical to sinister. She looked calmer now. More composed, a dangerous smirk on her glossy lips. There was nothing more dangerous than a well composed maniac. Leaning towards Reija, she pressed her hands on top of Reija's and whispered, "I'm going to let you in on a little secret, Reija, since we have so much in common."

It now became obvious that her eyes were, indeed, glowing.

"You've probably guessed by now that I'm not quite human. My foster parents called me special." She giggled maniacally. "When it was really demon that they meant to say."

Reija glanced down at her wrists, feeling an electric shock run through her hands. It surprisingly hurt.

Trish seemed to have noticed Reija's reaction, for she tightened her grip on Reija's hands. "I took care of them when I was eight. Everyone thought it was an accident. No one could quite understand how they could've been killed by lightning on a cloudless night."

"I'm going to safely assume that that was your handiwork," Reija muttered, not really paying attention to the conversation. The fact that she could not summon her powers was disturbing. Not to mention the electric shocks coursing throughout her entire body were becoming painful.

Surprisingly, Trish did not slap her. Instead, she chose to ignore Reija. "My seventh grade teacher was next. I was in love with him, but he treated me like a kid." She began to laugh. "Poor Mr. Sewell. He never saw it coming when I gave him the shock of his life that one night in the woods. I must say, though, he was rather…delicious." And with that, she licked her lips.

Reija gasped, the pain magnifying tenfold. "You're sick," Reija managed to say amidst the pain.

But Trish continued, still ignoring Reija. "Remember that boyfriend I told you about? The one who conveniently stood me up so many times?" She tilted her head to the side. "What do you think happened to him?" She was laughing now, her head tossed back and her shoulder shaking vigorously. "And what do you suppose happened to poor little Maya?" She turned to look at Reija, pursing her lips smugly. "You know…" She moved her hands away from Reija and touched the tip of Reija's nose with her finger. "She was sitting right-on-this-spot when I ate her alive."

Reija gritted her teeth together, enduring the excruciating pain. She would not give Trish the satisfaction she sought after. "I think you'll find that I don't taste very nice," Reija rasped, fighting the pain.

"Once I get you out of my way, Suzuki will be all mine again."

"I don't suppose you're going to eat him as well?"

Trish's eyes flashed once again, and Reija felt as if her insides were about to explode. She was going to be toast id she didn't do something…FAST!

"Just die!"

BOOM!

Just as Reija thought it couldn't have gotten any worse, all hell broke loose.