Chapter 22: Akatsuki
I reached my room, shutting the door behind me and leaning against it.
I hated this. I hated knowing she was in that house with that man and not being able to do a thing about it. I hated that she couldn't either.
For years she had taken it silently, as a prisoner who could not escape. But she was still a prisoner until tomorrow. Though the only different thing was that I was now in the know, I still could not act. If I did, her father would not allow her to leave. I was sure of that.
The next evening, we sat in the car, all of us deep in thought if the silence was any indication. We had all gotten up relatively early this evening so that we could make it to the academy early and have the whole night to settle in. Though classes didn't start for a couple more nights, we wished to get unpacked and start to make ourselves feel at home there since we would be staying there for an extended period of time.
Hanabusa sat looking out the window, tapping his left foot on the floor and Ruka sat staring off into space with her hands folded in her lap. I sat watching them, slightly amused by the vacant looks on their faces. We had only about twenty minutes left to go of our car ride.
"I wonder what we're going to do about blood at the academy," Ruka mused out loud.
"Well, I heard that we're going to have to take blood tablets," Hanabusa chimed in. Leave it to Hanabusa the gossip queen to know all about everything even before we got there.
"Blood tablets? Are those safe?" Ruka asked, concern written all over her face.
"Of course they are! They may not be good, and the formula as of now is rough, but I hear they're supposed to at least hold off the bloodlust."
"So then they'll be able to keep us from drinking the humans' blood?" Ruka said, looking relieved.
"Nothing is going to keep me from those delicious-looking human girls," Hanabusa purred.
"Hanabusa! You'll get us kicked out!" Ruka scolded him.
"Not if no one finds out. I can always erase their memories," he said with a wink. Oh dear. This was going to be interesting.
"Well then stay away from me once we get there, because there is no way I'm even going to be near something that might upset Lord Kaname," Ruka said, turning her nose up.
"Anyways, I hear we're going to be doing studies on the blood tablets in order to improve them," Hanabusa chuckled, clearly just enjoying annoying his cousin.
I looked to Ruka, anticipating a response, but she stayed silent. I wondered what she was thinking about. I could tell she was worried about the blood tablets, but that didn't seem to be what was on her mind at the moment. I also knew she was nervous to meet the other students, because in truth she had never really had much contact with other vampires her age besides Hanabusa and me. However, that didn't seem to be what she was so deep in thought over either. The look in her eyes seemed so soft and the corners of her mouth were ever so slightly pulled up.
Kaname. She was probably thinking of Kaname. At the thought of this, my heart ached.
I had been too late. I didn't know how long she had been in love with Kaname, but when I thought back I knew that without realizing it, I had been in love with her since before she had met him. If only I had realized it sooner—
But no. She was in love with Kaname. It had been inevitable. Half of me felt like a fool, having not even been able to admit my feelings to her once I realized them. However, the other half of me realized that it wouldn't have made a difference. Though it hurt me terribly, I steeled myself to the fact that I was just going to have to live with this. If she was happy, then I could be happy too. I just hoped that Kaname wouldn't end up hurting her. Then, I knew I could live with it.
Besides, I couldn't focus on my feelings at a time like this. More than ever, it was important that I protected her. Kaname's warning flashed through my mind. If she isn't for me, then she's against me, he had said. Because of that, I needed to do everything in my power to prevent her from finding out what Kaname didn't want her to in order to keep her out of it. I had spent the past couple hours trying not to think of all of the ways that she could find out things she wasn't supposed to. However, it seemed to me that the only way this would happen was if she found things out from other vampires, and truly the only thing they might know was of Ruka's parents' involvement in the senate. However, Kaname had told me that her family's allegiance to the senate was a secret, so I doubted any of the students here would know of it, even if some of them did happen to have parents or relatives on the senate themselves.
"We have arrived, young Masters, young Mistress," our driver announced. Eagerly, we all stepped out of the parked car to see the place that we would now be calling home. Though we had seen all of this from a distance before, having been to this town many times on missions for Kaname, we had never been this close. Giant iron gates stood in front of us, and the inscription the academy and its motto were overhead. What we could see of the grounds looked fairly nice, and also very old. A couple of students walked about. However, the most noticeable thing was the overpowering scent of human blood.
"This is it. Cross Academy," I stated, ready to begin a new chapter of our lives.