Chapter FOUR

The Shift and a Small Gathering

Ethan sighed for a moment and rolled over on the couch. The sun was starting to come up, and it had finally stopped raining. He threw the covers off of himself and sat up stretching for a moment. The clock in the living room read 5:35 a.m. in the morning.

'It's a bit early,' he thought looking outside the window for a moment. In the distance he noticed something small and black sitting on the front porch. 'I forgot my cap, stupid Leila, now it's all dirty…' he frowned slightly as he got off of the couch.

Ethan could see the flowers from the living room, the flowers were on the kitchen, they were still intact from last night. 'Karen's gonna get jealous when I tell her about this… If I remember that is…' he smiled shaking his head for a moment.

His tail swayed to the side out of boredom for a moment, no one was awake in the house, and Ethan had a good guess that Lecra was in Leila's room. 'I shouldn't worry though…He's not like that, but I don't know if she is,' he scratched the back of his head. His ears twitched slightly as it caught some noise in the distance as he started to walk down the hall now. He was making his way into the bathroom.

'I hope she doesn't mind if I use her shower, and if she does, I don't really give a rat's ass,' he said locking the bathroom door behind him. The older kitsune turned on the hot water faucet and got ready for a shower.

He was getting lazy already, but he still took a shower anyway. There was no sense in stopping once he started, besides he didn't want to smell bad so early in the morning. Ethan started to whistle a bit, as low as he could so he wouldn't wake up the other two who were sleeping. 'And it's going to be a good day, for me!' he thought of the tune in his head.

In the other room Lecra had his arms wrapped around Leila, due to the fact that he was still asleep. Leila woke up slightly, hearing the water run. 'He's taking a bath…' she thought feeling lazy at the moment. She was still under the covers and so was the other kitsune. 'I'm getting more lazy than usual… but I can't help it, it's so warm under here!' Leila thought nuzzling her head against her pillow.

Lecra muttered something in his sleep, and she looked at him for a moment. 'He's not like the other guys who want to get into your pants… Then again, he's not human so…' she was thinking whether or to even finish that thought. 'I got a good feeling he's not like that at all, maybe Ethan but not Lecra.' With that thought she managed to get out of Lecra's arms and carefully move around the bed so the kitsune wouldn't wake up.

The bed creaked slightly, but she sighed in relief when he didn't wake up. Quickly she got off of the bed and walked lazily to the other side, opening the door slowly, and closing it quietly.

She heard Ethan continue his little performance in the bathroom, and she knocked on the door of the bathroom, and he stopped whistling.

"Aw, come on Leila, can't a guy have a good time in the shower?" he asked, the water was still running.

"Not if they're someone like you they can't… Besides I told you not to get comfortable in this house, and besides he's still asleep…" she said leaning against the door for a moment.

"Oh, I get it… Can I whistle softly then?" he asked putting shampoo on his hair.

She smelled the aroma from outside the bathroom and clenched her jaw slightly, "Is that my shampoo, Ethan?"

"Yeah… I'll make sure to put it back when I'm done." He said smiling.

"Stop using my shampoo… I'm going to need it too." Leila said.

"You're running out…"

"Then, Ethan, stop using it." She said rubbing the side of her head.

"Make me!" he said teasing her.

"You'd like that wouldn't you?!" she said trying to unlock the door from the bathroom. "Stop using my shampoo or I'm breaking the door down…" she warned him

"You pervert, I don't even have any clothes on."

"I know that, but that's my shampoo you're using."

"I'm done using your damn shampoo, and you know what, I bet Lecra's going to smell my hair too…" he said putting the shampoo back in its place. "Anyway we're waking too much noise, we'll wake up Lecra…"

She walked down the hallway and sighed looking at living room for a minute, the curtains were open lightly, which let some of the morning light come in. the cell phone she had thrown at Ethan's face was on the couch still.

Scanning through the missed calls of the black cell phone, she found that the majority were from either Rade, or Lily, one was from Pedro, one from Ariki, and one from her mother. Leila sighed holding the phone in her grasp, walking into the kitchen, the flowers from last night were still there.

'Shape shifters,' she thought scratching the back of her head. 'They're things you only dream about in fairy tales.' The clock in the kitchen read 5:47 a.m. 'I'm up a bit early,' the cell phone was placed on the kitchen table, and she went to make herself a pot of coffee. It was at that moment that the home phone started to ring. The girl rushed into the living room and answered the phone as quickly as she could.

"Hello?" she answered quietly.

"Leila, mija, you're awake a bit early." The person on the receiver replied in a warm tone.

"Buenos días, Mami," she said in a child like manner, walking back to the kitchen.

"I thought you'd still be asleep by now." Her mother said, Leila pressed the speaker button and set the phone down on the table.

"I couldn't sleep any long." She said turning the stove on, to a light flame. "So, how have you been, Mami?" she asked.

"I'm fine, but can you believe the weather we've been having?"

"Yeah…" the kettle was starting to shriek, "Hold on, Mom," she turned the stove off. "I blame global warming for this weather." She grabbed the instant coffee and the sugar from one cabinet, and a spoon from a draw, and a cup near the sink.

"We're all going to die one day, but I don't want to drown." Her mother said.

"Well I can't swim, so I'm screwed either way, Mami." She said pouring in the hot water into a cup.

"Yeah… Sabes que," she paused for a moment. "Leila, we're almost done remodeling in the house, so you can come back home soon."

Leila was stirring the ingredients around in her cup and stayed quiet for a moment. She looked at the phone for a moment and smiled slightly.

"That's great!" she said. "I'll be coming back home soon then, huh? But um, give me a couple of days to finish a couple of things when you tell me, all right? "

"All right then. You know your father and I have missed you a lot… but anyway how is Pedro doing?"

"He's the same guy you meet when we were kids, he's more energetic, vivacious, the opposite of me, still the same old, same old."

"That's good, tell him I say 'hi'. Well then dear, I'll let you get to your work. Bye, Mija. I love you." Her mother said, the phone clicked at that moment.

"I love you too, Mom…" she said quietly hanging up the phone.

Lecra turned over slightly, and he woke when he couldn't feel her presence in the room. He sighed for a moment, looking up at the ceiling, as the light came into the room. He breathed in for a moment, the aroma of coffee and shampoo filled his senses for a moment. He heard a familiar voice open and close the door to the bathroom.

"Ethan took a shower?" he asked himself closing his eyes for a moment. "I don't want to get out of bed…" he was feeling really lazy. "I wonder if she did my laundry…" he said thinking about what he was going to wear.

Lecra sat up when he heard someone yell.

"What the hell, Ethan?!"

"I forgot I didn't have any extra clothes…" he could imagine Leila covering her eyes.

"I'm just glad you're wearing that towel." It sounded like she was trying to calm herself.

"You wouldn't be saying that if it were Lecra." He had a good guess what Ethan said made her face turn red.

"Shut up… Listen you, I have some of Lecra's spare clothes in the basement…" he then listened in closely and heard Ethan walk down to the basement.

Lecra rubbed the back of his head, and got off of the bed, stretching for a moment, as a yawn escaped from him. He shook his head slightly, pushing back some of his hair away from his view. The kitsune looked back at the blankets, and took the liberty of making her bed. He was use to doing things like that back at the cabin where he and Ethan stayed at, with Karen, and three other kitsunes.

Lecra's eyes moved about the room slightly as he finished folding the blankets. There were a couple of boxes with some labels on them, they were carelessly placed near the closet. He walked over to the cubed storage items and poked his nose into them. He found some sheet music, some blank music sheets, a couple of poems, and some pencils. In another box the kitsune found something of interest to him, there were more papers.

'She likes to draw too,' he began to think, as he looked in back of him, the door wasn't locked. 'Do I really want to look through her things? …Of course I do.' He smiled and walked to the door and locked it from the inside.

He carried the box that held the drawings in them, and placed it on the bed. Lecra started to pull out some of the drawings looking at them curiously. Leila had embraced the popular art style that was growing in the East as it made its ways to the West shores. In one rough sketch, it was a young teenager with his arm pressed against the window he was leaning on, there were small indent indicating that the rain was sliding down the glass.

There were more drawings in the same style as the previous one. One of them was inked, it looked a bit like the picture he saw last night in Leila's spare room. He looked through some more for a while, absorbing the images he saw. The last one that caught his attention was a woman clothed in red ribbons, the woman was curled up slightly extending her hand into the air. He titled his head slightly watching the drawing for a moment.

'The woman looks depressed in this one…' Lecra put the papers back in the box, until one paper fell to the floor. He saw the image, and his eyes stayed fixed on one thing. 'A kitsune mask?' he asked himself, it looked like it was the same one from one of the promotional poster he saw in the city. It was a design of a mask that had markings under, and around the eyes, with the outline of a red circle on the forehead, and a red line running down to the nose.

He quickly put that paper into the box and moved the big cube back where he found it. The kitsune walked across the room and went to the door, placing his forehead gently on the door, his fox ears falling forward slightly. There was a light knock on the door, and he jumped back slightly.

"Lecra," she called out in a gentle tone, "are you awake?"

"Good morning, Leila," he said turning the knob on the door. As he opened it he saw her in baggy pajamas. "Yellow…" he said blinking a bit.

"Good morning to you too…Wha…Huh?" she raised her arm and looked at her sleeve. "Oh… Well yeah… it's yellow."

"Sorry, it's just that… It's a pale yellow, so it sticks out to me." He said to her honestly. "They yellow is the color of insanity," he poked her forehead slightly, "but then again I also heard it was the color of a coward."

"Well…" she looked down slightly thinking for a moment. Lecra hugged her slightly and placed a hand under her chin, and she slowly lifted her head slightly.

"Come on, you look better when you look up, besides I can't see your eyes." He said giving a big Chester cat smile. "Oh, hey what time is it anyway?"

"Um…" she looked around for a moment. "Around 6 o'clock I think… You slept in a bit later than usual."

"Yeah…" he said messing up her hair. "Well I think I'm going to take a shower then."

"Okay…" she said trying to fix her hair slightly. "My shampoo's running out, so um, you're going to have to ration it with me. I have to buy some more anyway…" she said rambling about something under her breath afterwards.

"All right then, but how about this, you take your shower first, that way I won't be in your way… Besides um… Aren't you on you're um…" he was getting a bit flustered by the whole thing.

"…" she covered her face slightly in embarrassment. "Do you have any idea how embarrassing it is when a guy starts to mention that?" her voice was muffled slightly.

"…Yeah well, it's embarrassing for me to bring it up." He said getting close to her face slightly.

"Your breath smells a bit, buddy." She said placing a hand over his mouth. "Anyway I'm going to take a shower then… so you'll have to stay in the living room for a while. Make sure Ethan's in the living room, I don't want him walking in on me…" she shuddered at the thought.

"I heard you saw him in a towel…" Lecra said covering his eyes, mimicking her movement from earlier.

"Yeah well it wasn't a pretty sight." She said laughing.

"Sure you're saying that now, Leila but just watch!" a familiar voice called out from the living room. "I'm not deaf you two!" he informed them.

Leila looked away slightly when she heard that comment. 'What if Ethan heard the conversation I had with my mom?' she shook her head slightly and forgot about it. She told Lecra and Ethan that she was going to take a shower, with that notion put into action the bathroom door was closed and Lecra heard the shower faucet turn, and water started to hit the tiled bathroom floor from the shower.

Lecra walked to the kitchen and turned on the sink, so he could rinse his mouth out just for a little while. He felt the cold water touch his lips and he shuddered slightly. After a quick rinse and a quick splash of water to the face, he felt a bit more awake.

Ethan was flipping through the television stations and stopped at the news, he was looking at the weather reports for a while. Lecra sat at the table for a moment, a bit bored out of his mind for a while.

"Hey Lecra, those girls with the fox masks are on the news!" Ethan called out from the living room. Lecra then walked into the living room staring at the screen slightly. He was reading the headline that the news had put up on the screen. "It looks like they're a member short though, because on the poster there were 4 girls and on the news there are only 3."

Lecra sat down next to Ethan and looked at the screen, one of the band members started to speak, this speaker had a more sinister looking fox mask.

"Lei hasn't been here, she's been having some family trouble, but she'll be back soon enough, so I'm not worrying." The speaker said.

The news reporter asked about the concert they were going to perform on Saturday, whether Lei would perform on that day or not.

"As of right now," another member cut in, "Lei has told us in person that she will arrive for that day and perform. She's been practicing at home while she's attending to her family matters."

This speaker went by the name of Lil, who wore a kitsune mask with three red dots on the side of the mask. Underneath the caption it said the band member's stage names, Lil, Rad, the one with the sinister looking mask, and another girl by the name of Ari, who had painted markings under the fox mask.

"Which mask do you think looks better?" Ethan asked Lecra pointing to the TV.

"To be honest, I don't like any of them," Lecra said shrugging for a moment.

"Same here, they kinda suck," he said laughing.

"Which one did you like, Ethan?" he asked him.

"The one who's not there, her mask was better looking than the others." Ethan noticed Lecra nodding in agreement.

"Hey, look, don't tell Leila this, but I went through her stuff." Lecra said sounding about guilty.

"What?!" Ethan was thinking of something completely different at the time Lecra told him.

"She had some boxes near her closet," he said hearing Ethan sigh in relief, "and I opened the boxes, I found a couple of drawings in one box, and some music sheets and poems in the other."

"Really?" the other kitsune asked sounding a bit interested now. "Did you read some of the poems?"

He shook his head, "But I did find a rough sketch design of that kitsune mask I like, she draws pretty good." He said rubbing the side of his head.

"You know…" Ethan got off topic, "I think I'll go to their performance on Saturday. You want to go?"

"Ethan…" Lecra sounded a bit annoyed now.

"Oh that's right, you can't shape shift yet… I keep forgetting." He said laughing.

In the distance they both heard a door close from down the hall, Ethan had an idea pop into his head, as he looked at Lecra with a mischievous smile. Lecra felt at that point that he really shouldn't ask why he was smiling, since he probably wasn't going to like the answer.

"Why are you smiling like that?" Ethan's smile was starting to get him a bit uncomfortable.

"You really shouldn't of asked, but since you did, I'm glad. Because now I can tell you about it," he said putting an arm around his friend's shoulder. "Has she seen your fox form?"

"No," he said flatly, noticing that Ethan put his head down and heaved a heavy sigh.

"I thought you said she knew about what you are?" He asked trying to keep his voice low.

"Not everything, besides I don't know so much about her, so it's equal." Lecra said thinking about it for a moment. "What the hell got into your head anyway?"

"Well it's kinda late to do it anyway, she's in her room…" he said feeling a bit defeated. He noticed Lecra raised an eyebrow. "It's a stupid plan." He said his plan starting to work.

"I shouldn't even ask, but you get me interested now." Lecra said falling for the bait.

"Glad you asked." He said smiling. "I'm willing to bet you 20 dollars that you can't get that towel off of her." He started to laugh.

Lecra just placed a hand over his face, muttering something, "Well even if I did take the bet, it's too late, she's in her room."

"But would you have done it even if she wasn't in her room?" he asked curiously.

"Hell no!" he said smacking his friend on the head. "What the heck are you thinking?!" he asked getting a bit defensive.

"Dear God Lecra, I mean…" he tried to clarify his whole thought. "You're not even curious to see what she looks like?"

"You dirty bastard!" he said looking away from his friend. "I wouldn't be able to face her if I did that."

"You're too nice, buddy…" Ethan said taking his arm off of him. "You'd end up passing out if you did see her naked anyway." He said laughing at his friend.

"…Just drop it, okay?" he said pausing for a moment. "She's a nice girl, and I don't want to do anything that'll mess up our friendship."

"So then, right now you're just friends with benefits?" he made his question a bit shorter. "Like fuck buddies?"

"No… I don't know… Just drop it…" he said feeling a bit pissed off now.

"Look I'll give you twenty bucks if you show her your fox form. That good enough for you, Lecra?"

"That's it?" he asked.

"What, you want more?" Ethan asked.

"I'll take it…" he said getting up from the couch. "I just hope she doesn't scream, because if she does I'll scream too…"

"You scream like a girl, man," he said.

"All guys scream like girls, especially you, you scream more like a girl than even Karen or Sammy."

"Hey… Karen screams like a guy…" Ethan said trying to justify himself. "Besides Sammy is a girl, what do you expect from her?"

"Well I might tell Karen that you said that she screams like a guy." He said yawning.

In a brief moment Lecra could feel his bones crack and twist, his spine starting to shrink and snap into a new shape. He opened his mouth slightly and felt his jaw move and tighten up a bit. His arms twisted into a new shape along with his body, his ribs became more compressed, and he found it hard to breathe for a moment.

His body began to go down on all fours, as he started to change. A mahogany and brown stained pelt began to cover his body as his clothing was becoming too big for his body. Within moments the last bone cracked into a new shape and place, and before Ethan's eyes was a fox slightly larger than one of normal size with eight tails.

Lecra shook his body slightly and strutted around the living room floor, swaying his hips slightly from side to side, to boast off the eight tails it had. The fox looked back at Ethan and made a small noise, trying to speak out to something, but he couldn't find the words yet.

"What was that Lecra? Karen fell down a well?" he said making fun of his friend's condition. "As soon as you have nine tails then you sway your dang girly hips, you weirdo."

"Ha-ha…" Lecra said finding the right note to hit for his speech. "I was trying to bark earlier…" he said trying to demonstrate by making a small noise.

"You're not a dog, you're a fox." His friend pointed out.

"I did it once…" the fox said sitting down.

"That was a fake bark, just like that one time you made that fake meow sound. Remember that?"

"Yeah…" the fox sounded like he was defeated. "Just let me lie at least once."

"Lie on your own time, now go and see Leila, I know you want to." He said a cheesy tone.

"…I feel so embarrassed now…" the fox said starting to walk down the hallway at this point.

Everything looked so big when he was in this form. He walked down the hallway his claws connecting with the wooden floors making a small tapping sound each time he walked. His eight tails swayed from side to side as he walked down, he could feel the hips from his fox like body sway along with the his movements.

'I feel like such a girl… I hate it when my hips sway like this,' he thought to himself as he could smell the faint trace of the fruit scented shampoo, he had made it to the bathroom. He turned his head slightly and sighed for a moment, feeling his ears go down. The fox ears in instinct went up and picked up a faint noise coming from the girl's room.

"I wasn't lying when I said I wouldn't leave you, that's why I'm staying here with you tonight…" a voice started to carry out a melody. Lecra had his ears close to the door to her room. "I owe you everything…" the voice stopped and it sounded like the voice gave up carrying the tune.

Lecra paused for a moment, he knew that was Leila's voice, and it sounded like he had heard a sound similar to that once before. He raised a paw to the door and scratched it, trying to knock on the girl's door. 'Here goes nothing, please don't scream,' he prayed for her not to scream.

"Leila…" he said clearing his throat slightly.

The door creaked open to some extent, and she looked around slightly, there she heard a voice coming from below her height. Lecra had sat down praying to himself that nothing bad would happen. 'I know I'm going to scream if she screams,' he thought to himself as he made eye contact with her.

Leila's eyes began to widen as she gasped at the sight. 'Don't scream… Please Leila don't,' he started to chant that in his mind.

"Hey, Leila." The fox said in a very cheerful tone, its eight tails swayed to the side of him.

"…" she couldn't talk, due to the fact that fear had gotten a hold of her for now. The voice sounded very familiar to her ears, but she wasn't sure, she didn't know. Fear was blocking out everything in her mind, she wanted to scream, but she couldn't even get her mouth open.

"Please, don't scream…" the fox said in a very kind manner, walking up to her slightly, but she moved back. "It's me… don't you remember me?" he said sitting up tilting his head slightly.

"What are you doing in my house?!" she yelled out, finally saying something. Leila saw that the fox was advancing forward. "Take one more step, and I'll scream."

"Don't scream…" he said tempting her more to scream as he moved forward.

At that moment she screamed her lungs out, and Lecra screamed running back down the hallway. She stopped screaming and looked at the eight-tailed fox for a moment. They heard someone laughing, it was Ethan filling the whole house with his laughter.

Both the fox and the girl blinked slightly, forgetting their little event. Leila was calm enough to ask the fox if it was Lecra, and he replied to her that he was who she said he was. Lecra apologized to her by licking her hand for a moment as a form of apology.

"Lecra you do scream like a girl!" Ethan said calling out from the living room, he was coming towards the hallway.

The fox growled at his friend, and yipped in protest. Leila just looked at him with a bewildered gaze when he had yipped. She asked Ethan if all kitsune's could turn into foxes, and he replied that yes they could, it was something they could do even when they were young, it didn't take great skill to do something like that. Leila picked up the kitsune and held him in her arms like an infant. Lecra felt a bit embarrassed but he wasn't complaining, her body felt warm, so she was like this blanket of warmth to him.

His nose licked up the faint scent of his own on her, the kitsune realized that he needed a shower since his own scent smelled pretty badly. 'I really smell like that?' he thought to himself a bit uncomfortable now.

"I'm going to take a shower… So, um…" Lecra started to wriggle around in her arms.

"Oh, yeah… Sorry." She apologized putting the fox with the mahogany brown pelt. He scurried to the bathroom door and pushed it open.

Ethan watched the two of them for a moment and he shook his head at the sight. He and Leila walked back to the living room and they sat there watching TV for a while. The news was already over, it had been over for the past hour. This meant that it was around 7 or 8 o'clock by now, it was still too early in the morning, but all three of them were use to it, due to their own lifestyle they had.

Leila was still thinking about whether or not Ethan had heard the conversation she had with her mother, but she wasn't so sure if she had heard it or not, because he was taking a shower at that moment. Ethan had told her that they saw that female band with the kitsune masks, and that one of the bad members didn't show up.

She looked down and started to fidget with sleeve of her blouse she had decided to wear. The black and white dotted blouse was starting to wrinkle slightly, and she shook her head for a little while trying not to think about it. The blond kitsune asked her what was the matter, but she said it was nothing. She still couldn't tell them about her real job, she wasn't ready, and she told herself that she'd say it on Saturday.

"Are you going to the concert on Saturday?" he asked her.

"Yeah, well something like that anyway." She answered forcing a smile.

"Oh, hey you want to hear about this bet I wanted Lecra to take?" he said smiling at her.

"When you smile like that you scare the crap out of me… And I know I'm going to regret asking you, but what was the bet?" she dared to ask the blond kitsune.

He smirked and whispered the bet into her ear, laughing for a little while. Within a second she covered his mouth and tried not to slap him or smack him.

"You're just lucky he isn't one of those guys, and that you thought of it after I went into my room."

"Yeah well… who's saying that I was only planning to bet it once?" he said putting her hand away from his mouth. He cringed at the sound of a palm hitting at full force on his back. "…Ow," he said getting up from the couch and hissing at the girl. "I'm only teasing you… sort of… but that would've been funny."

"No… that'd be…" she shuddered at the thought. "What the hell goes on in that head of yours anyway?" she paused for a moment. "You know what never mind I have a good idea of what might… that's sick…" she said making a face.

"I can see why he calls you 'pervy girl'… He's told me what you guys talk about sometimes… Geez, I didn't know you were like that, kid."

"It comes with the price of having the friendship of guys when I was growing up." She said thinking back to her younger days as a kid.

"So then, you were like a pimp?"

"I've been called that twice now, but no I'm not a pimp, nor have I ever been one, or would like to be one, but hey they get paid pretty well." She said joking, but her tone was so serious that Ethan really couldn't say anything he couldn't tell if she was joking or not.

Ethan's ears perked up as he heard someone coming up the front steps of the house. He looked at Leila and she took the hint, someone was knocking on the door within less than a second.

Outside, standing with their backs to the morning sun, were the other remaining band members of Az-Ez. Lily was sighing impatiently, knocking again once more, calling out the band member's full name. Ariki was looking around slightly, and noticed a cap on the ground, she picked it up and blew away some of the dirt on it. Rade was knocking near the window, calling out her friend's name but they didn't get an answer.

They heard voices inside the house, someone stubbed their toe on a table, and the other voice was telling the other person to change. Rade raised an eyebrow as she heard a male voice near the window from inside the home.

"I think she has company, or she's probably taking a dump or something." Rade came up with the most brilliant idea for the delay.

"Brilliant Rade, simply brilliant…" Ariki said sarcastically. She knocked on the door and asked Leila if she was in there.

"Of course she's in there Ariki, I heard her voice." The drummer pointed out.

"Leila, get your ass to the damn door!" Lily yelled out knocking on the door for a final time.

"Hold on damn it!" she yelled opening the door. "Morning you guys!" she said out of breath for a moment.

"Hey Leila," the other girls said inviting themselves into her house.

Rade walked into the kitchen, along with Lily and made some breakfast form the leftovers Leila had on the table. Ariki stood next to Leila feeling a bit disappointed by the other girl's actions.

"That's what you get for eating out the entire stock I had in my fridge!" Rade called out. "I told you I'd get you back one day, Leila."

"That was five years ago, Rade…" Leila said closing the front door. She shook her head and told Ariki to wait for her in the kitchen. Ariki had handed her the cap she found on the front porch.

Ethan was in the living room, in his human disguise, he sighed in relief that none of the girls had found him out yet, but he didn't like being quiet. Then he remembered that Lecra was in the bathroom, he figured that Leila was thinking about that too. 'We're screwed… He's screwed if they find him out… Oh God, we're all going to die!' his mind was racing with thoughts until he got a headache.

Ariki was looking at the bouquet that their friend had received. She read the card and laughed, showing the arrangement of flowers to the other friends. Lily was laughing at Leila telling her that she was a pervert. Rade on the other hand felt glad for her.

"At least we know now you're not gay!" she said loudly.

"I told you guys I wasn't a long time ago!" Leila said getting defensive already.

"You missed the interview with channel 5, we had to cover your ass…" Lily changed the topic sounding a bit ticked off. "What the hell is up with you?" she demanded to know.

"I woke up late," Leila said lying for a moment. "I wasn't feeling too good anyway."

"Damn it Leila, you can't skip out on stuff like that just because you're not feeling too good." Rade said watching Leila walk into the kitchen.

Leila nodded taking the abuse for now from her band, and she just sighed, and sat at the table staring at one of the flowers for a moment. She thought back to when she was sleeping, she wasn't really dreaming of anything last night, but rather she felt at peace.

"Hey… You're blushing." Rade and Lily pointed out to their little friend.

"Huh?" she broke from her daydream, and covered her cheeks. "I am not," she said sounding like a kid for a moment.

"Hey who's this Lecra guy?" Ariki asked pulling out the card from its card holder.

"A good friend…" she said. Leila heard Rade say that it was a friend with benefits, and her mind snapped, but she didn't say anything.

"Friends with benefits!" Ethan called out from the living room.

"Shut the hell up!" Leila yelled.

Ariki looked at the living room and then back to Leila.

"Is that Lecra?" she asked.

"Hell no!" both Ethan and Leila responded irritably.

Ethan came out and introduced himself, Leila could already think about what the others were thinking. 'Man I'm screwed… They're probably going to think I'm sleeping with him, or it's a one night stand, or that I'm cheating on Lecra… Man, my mind does really think about a lot of stuff… Lecra's going to be coming out of the shower soon, someone just stab me…' Leila was going to die right there on the spot if it wasn't for the fact that she was afraid of death. She remembered to hand the blond kitsune his black cap.

The girls and Ethan were getting along pretty well, but both Ethan and Leila stopped talking when they heard the bathroom door open. Rade asked who was using the bathroom, but both Leila and Ethan came up with two completely different lies. They looked at each other and were trying to read the other's mind, but that was impossible.

"I'll be right back…" Leila said rushing to the bathroom.

Ethan tried to keep the girls busy, but they were more curious at the fact of who was using the bathroom. The blond kitsune in disguise led them to the living room, but he didn't have enough time to hide Lecra's clothes. Rade and Lily asked who they'd belong too, and Ethan said they were his, which made everything go downhill from there. Lily asked what he was doing in the house so early in the morning, but Ethan told her by mistake that he had been here since last night, when it was raining.

Meanwhile the girl was waiting for Lecra to get out of the bathroom and when he opened the door he felt his face get hot as he saw Leila He was in his checkered boxers. Right now though Leila really didn't care if the kitsune was naked, she wanted him out of sight, but that was almost impossible. She thought for a moment and looked around, panicking for a moment.

"They think I'm a two timing whore!" she whispered to Lecra thinking really hard. "I'm gonna die!"

"…" he blinked feeling some water drip down his cheek. "I hear other people in the-"

"Don't talk…" she said covering his mouth. "You found an extra pair of boxers in there right?" Lecra nodded, "Ok… You're going to have to wear some pants, and a shirt, but you're screwed because they're in the living room."

"Hold on…" he said taking her hand away from his mouth. "Don't tell me I'm going to have to wear your pants, and your shirt?"

"Yes!" she said kissing the kitsune quickly on the lips. "Why didn't I think of that?"

"Uh…" he thought about it for a moment. "I'm actually getting into your pants?"

"Yeah…" she said not thinking about what he said. If it were any other time it'd be funny but not for that moment in time. "We can laugh about it later." She said opening the door to her room. She pushed the kitsune in there and went back into the living room.

"Why are your clothes wet?" Rade asked looking at several wet spots on the shirt.

"I'm wet?" she asked looking at her shirt. "Oh, the sink was wet," she said lying perfectly. "The bathroom's been acting up." She sat on the floor near the entrance of the hallway. She had a perfect view of the living room and the door to her room.

"Ethan says he's been here since last night, is that true?" Rade asked giving Leila a rather strange look.

"Yes…" Leila said looking away. "He didn't plan on staying to long because he only came to deliver the flowers. He's a cousin of Lecra, so I couldn't let him go back home in the rain."

'Nice save, Leila,' the blond kitsune thought liking her more as a friend now. 'She's all right, so that means I'll give Lecra points for finding this girl.' He thought sighing in relief.

"Oh, that's a nice thing to do, Leila." Ariki said looking at her with a smile.

"Hey I don't suppose she's told you…" Lily said opening her mouth. "Have you heard of a band called Az-Ez?" Ethan nodded. Leila looked at the wooden floor making a face. "You may not believe it, but we're…"

"You're looking at the whole band." Leila said looking at Ethan. "I'm part of it too…" she said forcing a smile on her face. "I should've told you early, but I don't really like telling people, they go all crazy… I haven't told Lecra, so could you tell him when you see him?"

"Sure…" Ethan said unaffected by the whole thing, the two voices from the news and the voices of Rade and Lily sounded familiar so he put two and two together. He didn't really care what she did so long as she was a good friend to him and to Lecra. "Lecra's going to be bragging about this shit for a long time…"

"Bragging…? Is he a Capricorn?" Lily asked looking at the blond 21 year old.

"I have no idea what the hell he is, Lily. I don't really give a crap about that stuff." He said trying not to sound mean. "I'm sorry if that sounded a bit mean, but…"

"That's all right." Ariki said nodding her head. "I don't really care about that stuff either… Neither does Leila, or Pedro."

"Pedro?" Ethan asked.

"He's a good friend from elementary school, and the manager of our band." Leila said looking at Ethan for a moment.

"Leila, your pants are hard to get into!" Lecra called out opening the door from her room. Both Ethan and Leila were laughing their behinds off, their minds weren't being civil, and the other girls quickly got the point. It was an awkward way to bring the other kitsune into the conversation, but Leila was use to dealing with stuff like that, well to certain degree anway.

"Who's that?" Ariki asked.

"…" Ethan and Leila looked at each other, frozen for a moment.

"Wait, you have another guy in your house?" Rade asked finally getting the point.

Lecra walked out in the living room, wearing a black cap, tight jeans, and a baggy sweater. He sighed for a moment and looked around the living room watching the people there. He turned around and saw Leila sitting on the floor. Lecra whispered to her about the people in the room. She in turn finally, well it took about twenty minutes, but she finally told the truth about her job and Lecra looked at her in disbelief.

"Is it true?" he asked hearing Leila answer him for a second time. "I knew it!" he said picking her up. "I heard you singing when I was on my way to the bathroom earlier!" he kissed her on the cheek. "I'm still kind of mad at you though, why did I have to find out after Ethan did…? Why keep it a secret anyway? I don't talk to anyone…" he whispered into her ear, only Ethan could pick up the frequency of the low tone.

The girls were blinking at the whole scene in disbelief at one another. Leila was covering her face by hiding behind Lecra. She was embarrassed and Ethan was laughing at the scene.

"Love is in the air!" Lily said laughing at her.

Lecra whispered something in Leila's ear and she shook her head, and he nodded at her, he had almost smiled, but he stopped himself. Ethan was able to catch what they were saying, and he laughed. After introduction were said and done, everyone got acquainted and things were looking up.

Ethan caught sight of Lecra's tail and he tried frantically to get his attention. Leila whispered something to Lecra as he was sitting on the floor now. He panicked for a moment and tried to get his tail out of sight.

All of them talked for a little bit, trying to get to know Ethan and Lecra, but they did keep to themselves. Lily sighed for a moment and told the keyboardist to sit with them, so they wouldn't feel so lonely. Leila told them to come over and sit on the floor, but they declined, and in the end Leila stood up and pulled Lecra along. The two of them sat near the couch, and Ethan made a fake gagging sound, but it was all in good fun.

Lily tried to get the cap off of Lecra, but he started to show his kitsune nature, he became withdrawn from them and stayed quiet for a while. Leila told them not to touch the cap, and that things would be all right. Lecra whispered into Leila's ear and told them that maybe it was best to tell them about kitsune's. Ethan could hear them with ease, and he nodded to the two of them.

It was going to be hard, telling them about something you hear in stories. Leila started to talk, but they didn't really believe her. They wanted proof of it, and Leila asked her kitsune companion, Lecra to remove his cap. She prayed really hard that they wouldn't do anything to him.

"I know things like this take more time than usual… And it's not normal, so I don't really want to keep it from you, but it'd be nice to have a secret all my own…" she said taking the black cap off for Lecra. The kitsune's ears twitched slightly, and he looked at them.

"They look fake…" Rade said touching his ears.

"You want more?" he asked sounding a bit cold, swatting her hand away from his ears. He pulled the sweater up a bit and let his bushy tail come out into view, it moved side to side in a slow tempo.

"Holy crap!" Ariki said looking horrified, Lily had the same expression on her face, and so did Rade.

"You tell anyone, and I'll kill you…" Lecra said looking at the three girls.

"Lecra…" Leila said scolding him. "Don't say that… Then they'll stop coming here…"

"That's the point…" he whispered into her ear.

Ethan overheard the conversation and butted in, "Lecra don't do that… They're three beautiful women."

"Shut the hell up Ethan…He'll try and get into your pants…" Leila and Lecra said looking at the girls. "He scared the crap out of me when I first met him…" Leila said recounting that day all over again. "But most of all he's annoying as hell…" Lecra said.

The girls were still trying to process the earlier information.

"You two… Are-are fox demons?" Ariki asked, a bit afraid now.

"Yep." Ethan said patting her on the head. "But we won't hurt you, you're a good friend of Miss Leila, so I can't do anything, and neither can Lecra, he wouldn't hurt a fly… sort of… Unless that fly was dealing drugs or something…"

"Wait this is the reason you've been ditching us?!" Rade yelled out finally getting the whole point. "You ditched us for a fox demon!? What the hell?!"

"She's not scared anymore…" Ethan, Leila, and Lecra said in unison.

"Look, as long as I get the songs down, there's no problem…" Leila said looking down. "So just drop it…"

"Leila…" Lecra sighed slightly looking at Rade for a moment. "I heard her sing earlier… I think it's for that concert on Saturday, she's really good." He said looking at the rest of the band members.

"Well of course she is…" Lily said understanding what Lecra was trying to do, "She's the best songwriter/keyboardist/vocalist this band has ever had."

"I'm the only one you've ever had…" Leila said looking at Lily, smiling slightly.

"See… You look cute when you smile too," Lecra said kissing her on the cheek. "Oh, guess what you guys we're getting married!" he said laughing.

"What?!" the others yelled out.

"He's kidding…" Leila said rubbing the side of her head.

"No, really no joking, listen…I'm still kind of skeptical about the whole kitsune thing. What if like one day you go crazy or something and you attack Leila in your rampage?" Ariki asked.

"I think she just compared us kitsune to werewolves… I'm offended by that…" Ethan said finally talking after a long moment of silence. "We're not like them. Besides we can shape shift into anything we want, so we have them beat by more than a millennium of knowledge, or more… I can't remember."

"Hey does your mom know about him?" Lily asked.

"No…" Leila thought about what would happen if she even found out, and she didn't like the picture in her head.

"You're going to have to tell her eventually… she'll find out and when she does she'll be pissed." Lily said remembering one time Leila's mother had gotten mad.

"She called today…" Leila said finally getting the whole thing off of her chest once and for all. "The remodeling is almost done, which means I'll be going back home soon." She said holding some remorse in her voice. "We all knew I wasn't going to be living here for a long time but I've gotten use to this place… I'm glad I came here, I really am. I mean I'll still come and practice, and I'll come visit you Lecra, but I've gotten attached to this house already."

"Tell your mom that you're going to live here." Ethan offered his advice. "Convince her that you're going to stay here once and for all."

"I think that's the best idea you've had so far…" Lecra said looking at his friend.

Lecra whispered something to Leila, and she apologized for it. Ethan knew that Leila wasn't being open with Lecra, but neither was Lecra with her. Still Lecra was still a bit upset that he found all this out at the last moment. Now, with more people coming into the whole thing, he felt like he was going to get stressed out.

The other band members kept their distance from Lecra and Ethan for now, and just talked more to Leila, they didn't trust the two male kitsune so far, even if Leila saw them as good friends. They didn't want to see her get hurt, but at the same time they believed that she could take care of herself, but they didn't believe that for now.

"Leila…" Lily called out to her. "Can we talk with you in the guest room?"

"Sure…" Leila wasn't sure about the whole thing, but she didn't think anything of it. She excused herself from Lecra and Ethan. "I'll be right back you guys." She said smiling to the both of them. "I'm sure it's nothing serious…"