Read bottom for Author's Note.

Beta'd by: stuck in bed

"Era, get up- OH MY!" Marisol clutched her chest as she jumped back.

"What?" I asked, tilting my head to one side.

"Y-y-you! You're upside down!" Marisol stammered out. Oh yeah. I let go of the canopy bed rafters and landed with a soft thud onto the bed. "Ragazza maledetta! What were you even doing there?"

"I don't know," I responded as I got up.

"Strange kid. Well anyway, get changed quickly!" A button-up shirt and plaid skirt were thrown at me.

"What's this for?" I picked up a blue tie and knee-highs. Marisol face palmed and gripped both of my hands.

"You're starting school today! Didn't you know?" I shook my head. "Well now you do, so get dressed. Deal?"

"Deal?" I got up and dressed in the bathroom. Marisol came in when I was done and fixed my hair into a side braid. "Eh, Marisol?" She grunted in response. "How do I tie this?" I said as I struggled with the tie. Marisol sighed and fixed the tie for me.

"Now off you go!" She shooed me towards the door and began to clean my room.

"Bye! Thanks, Marisol." Marisol nodded and then shut my door behind me. Bleh.

An hour later, I was sitting in the car with Lux and Hikaru- Kaya took her own car. I pressed my face against the window and watched the people on the sidewalk rushing by. "Hey, Lux?"

"Yeah?" He asked, keeping his eyes on the road.

"Let's go to the city one day." I wanted to walk with the people buzzing by, see what all the rush is about. Work? School? How many of these people were endangered because of people like me?

"Era!" Hikaru shook my shoulder. "We're here." I focused my stare outside and my jaw dropped.

The school building was freaking HUGE. The windows were ornate, and the building was made of sandy colored bricks. The gardens in the front were tidy and the perimeter was surrounded by trimmed hedges. Teenagers were walking around at a leisurely pace; some where sitting under trees and others fretted over the dirt. It was amazing.

Hikaru saw my stunned expression and laughed. "There's a huge fountain in the back too. I'll show you after class."
"Okay," I kept looking out the window. I saw Lux's reflection roll its eyes.

"Get the fuck out of my car!" Lux kicked me out of the passenger side. I scrapde my knees on the pavement and flashed him the finger. "Love you too!" Before he sped off, he threw my backpack at me. Then, he was gone. I looked up and saw some other kids staring; some were laughing. I got up and brushed my knees off; I winced; they were scraped.

"That was quite some fall, eh?" Hikaru picked up my backpack and handed me it.

"Jesus, he's in a rush." I said. Hikaru pulled me off to the side, behind a hedge.

"It's not that. No one can know that we are related to Kaya or Lux. No one can know we're Kurosawas. Kaya's the only Kurosawa here, okay? We can't get away with pretending we don't know each other, obviously." I was not informed of this. Some kind of test by the Council?

"I won't let anyone find out," I pinkie swore on it. I shouldn't have sworn on it.

We both got up, and Hikaru took me to the front office.

"Good morning," we said in unison. A pudgy secretary with beady eyes glared at us. She set down a copy of a trashy looking romance novel and dropped a folder on it to hide it. Hikaru and I shared a glance; I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing.

"Yes, good morning." She spoke with fake sweetness. "How may I help you?"

"My sister here just started and we would like to have her schedule." Hikaru told her.

"Last name and first name?"

Hikaru responded, "Rey Victoria." Ooh, I liked that name.

"Just give me a moment, sweetheart." She began to click away on her keyboard with her long, red painted nails.

I was sitting in last period and it was algebra. The teacher droned on about linear systems, and no one really paid any attention. My new friend, Hanako, passed me a note from behind.

'Blah blah. Her lip job is gross.'

I looked up at the teacher and considered this… it was pretty gross. I quickly scribbled back a response: 'Agreed.'

I discretely stretched back and dropped the note on her desk; the teacher didn't even look our way. This time the note was tucked into my braid. How creative.

'Meet me at the front door after class. We can hang out with the bitches.' I scribbled a 'yes' and hand her back the note. I heard her rip it up and I think she stuffed it in her binder... or her mouth. "Miss Rey, please come up and solve this equation using substitution."
"Sure," I said, my voice sounded irritated. I quickly solved it and go down to my seat. The bell rang and I jolted out of the room.

After school, I hung out with Hanako and her friends: Titus and Kai, two brothers; Winter; and Jamie. It turned out that Hikaru was friends with Hanako and her friends. I almost slipped up a few times by calling him Hikaru instead of his fake name: Aaron. I was shown the enormous fountain at the back of the school. Hikaru had to keep me from jumping into it and splashing around.

I was back at home finishing up my homework. It was all incredibly boring.

Someone knocked on my door and I got up. Standing there was Sergio, one of the most trusted Kurosawa servants. He bowed and pulled out an all too familiar folded up outfit from his large vest. "You are being summoned, Miss Era." I took the clothes and softly closed the door behind the man. I slipped on the black-trimmed, turquoise silk robe over my pajamas.

Sergio came back in and handed me a pair of boots and helps me get them on. "Thank you, Sergio." He bowed again and made his way out and down the hall. I snuck my way to the back garden of the house, which was where I would be guided to this week's meeting location.

I stood with my back away from the garden pond and almost instantly I was blindfolded; then, I was transported to the 'secret' location.

"Shadow of the Kurosawa." I didn't recognize the voice. "We are gathered here today because we have decided to give you the brand that belongs to you." A brand? What am I – a cow? "Guard, restrain her." Handcuffs wrapped around my wrists and ankles. I think I was being restrained against a pole, a wooden one judging by the splinters that went through my clothes and into my back. "Lux," that time it was Father. "You brand her." I fought the urge to struggle and just clenched my eyes, mouth, and fists.

Footsteps resounded through the space and I could feel Lux's stare. I felt sharp pricks on the front of my neck and it burned. It burned so freaking bad. I wanted to cry, scream, fight back, but I didn't. I took it with my mouth shut. I wouldn't let them have the satisfaction of watching me scream or cry. Take that you messed up bastards. Boo yeah, suck it. "Sorry," Lux whispered as he wiped a cloth over my neck. What'd he write on it?! Please don't tell me the Council told him to draw something gross on my neck. That would suck. I bet Titus would love it though.

"Don't worry it's nothing inappropriate," he whispered as if sensing my thoughts. I nodded slightly in response but kept my mouth shut.

"Very good, Lux. You may be seated." The meeting continued on for about two more hours. I was released and placed back in my room.

I was lying on my bed when a note was slipped under the door. I took a look at it; it was a list of instructions:

After reading this note. Give it to Lux to destroy it.

Look at the mark imprinted on your skin. Find the meaning out.

-You may ask Lux the meaning. He knows partially about its properties.

-Do not touch the mark until after your next mission.

I rushed over to my bathroom and lifted my chin and hair up. There was some kind of kanji sitting there in black ink. I touched it carefully and I felt a burn and a shock on my finger. "Shit," I cursed. Well, I should've listened… followed the directions?

"Lux! Lux!" I knocked his door with both of my hands.

"What?!" He pulled the door open with an annoyed expression. I handed him the note and he skimmed it. "Come on in," he said, ushering me inside the room. "Sit." I obediently plopped down on the white leather couch and put my feet up on the coffee table.

"Now tell me." He held up a finger and concentrated on the note. WHAT?! The note was in shreds and drenched in water. "What was that?" The note was dry again and promptly tossed into the fireplace. Lux just shrugged.

"That mark on your neck is the kanji for the 'blood.' After every mission it will do something- I don't know what- and eventually unlock some magic block in your system. You might become like me or Kaya." Like him or Kaya? "Oh let me show you." Lux dug around in his hair and pulled out several bobby pins. Two white cat ears popped out of his head, wait what?! "I have a tail too." Lux grinned at my shocked expression.

"This sounds like a bad shoujo manga." I said, running my hands through my hair, trying to find any signs of ears. Lux laughed.

"Kaya has wolf ears, red ones. There's something else." Oh joy. "Hold out your hand." I eyed him skeptically. "Trust me." I reluctantly held out my hand, palm up. Lux placed his palm above mine and water dripped off his fingertips onto my hand. Sweet. Then a strong gust of air pushed my hand down. "The Council said we'll all develop air, and some of us stronger than the others. I have another one and it hurts like a bitch sometimes." Lux held out his palm away from me and a metal rod shot out of his hand.

"That's amazing! I want! I want!" I got up and ran around the room. Lux put his hand on my forehead and I ran in place.

"In due time…unless you don't." My face dropped. "Kaya has earth, wind, and water. Hikaru has earth, wind, and nature. Ask him to show you his ears sometime. "

"Nature?" I asked. Lux nodded.

"He can bring plants back when they die, kill them, make new ones grow, etcetera."

"Okay. You learn new something every day."

"Yeah. Now get out!" Lux added the last part sweetly before I'm literally kicked out of the room. I went to mine and went to sleep.

I was on a mission today: I had to go kill the secretary of my school. Apparently, she was a drug lord – who knew?

She lived in an extravagant Moroccan style house, and there were a lot security cameras. The Council expected this and added half a mask as part of my uniform. Ooh, clever. Anyways, I snuck between a pair of cameras and grabbed onto a low ledge. I struggled to pull myself up, but I managed to eventually. There were no security cameras on the upper level though, so I broke a window and went inside.

"What on my mother's fat ass is going on here?!" The secretary walked into the room with a facial mask on. "Hey, you look familiar… a little." I shrugged and pulled out a pistol from my belt. "Wait, wait, wait. Are you working for those goddamn Kurosawas?" She was observant… really observant. I shut one eye and aimed for her forehead. The secretary was awfully calm and quiet, making no move to run.

"Aren't you going to run?" I asked a bit confused. She shrugged and put her hands on her hips.

"I was just waiting for one of you to get your fancy assess up here to shoot mine. I'm prepared. Go ahead." She closed her eyes. I felt a bit bad about this, but I pulled the trigger nonetheless. I turned the body over and allowed blood to pool around it. I dipped a gloved finger into the liquid and went over to the window that isn't broken. Like my previous mission, I wrote the kanji for 'shadow' carefully.

I looked around the house for the room where the security is controlled. I knocked out the guard and deleted all the footage. I randomly clicked buttons until I, by chance, turned off the cameras.

I calmly changed in one of the bathrooms and made my way out of the house. I took a taxi outside of the residence and went home.

I knocked softly on the door of my father's office. "Let them in," I heard him say through the wood. A busty maid opened the door and eyed me in disgust. "Ah, good evening, Era!" I faked a smile and waved. "Have you finished your homework?" I nodded. "Double checked it too?"

"Yep!" Father looked please and waved me away.

"Go and relax." I made my way down the hall. When I was just about to reach my room, my neck burned and I clutched it with my hands. A dim red light shone through the spaces between my fingers. I crawled quickly down the hall and called out for Lux. He opened his door and let me in.

"What the hell?" He pried my fingers from my neck and examined the mark. "Maybe it's what happens after the mission?" Lux continued to speculate until something caught my eye. Two huge, glowing, yellow eyes were staring at me through the glass doors. I pointed right before the glass was smashed and a feral roar rang out.

Author's Note

edit: Chapter three has been re-revised. The errors in the chapter are wholly my fault and were made after the chapter was beta'd.

Chapter four might be posted on Wednesday... maybe some reviews will speed up the process?

I feel like a like whore: REVIEW IF YOU WANT ANOTHER CHAPTER! IGNORE IF YOU HATE BABIES ;));(;D #swag #yolo

Just kidding... really. I swear. Don't hate me it was a joke /hides.