Fear of the Dark

An Afternoon Shock

The large doors opened and light filtered into the dark throne room. Hanging on the walls were dark paintings, with large cold black stoned pillars surrounding the large room. Leading up to the throne of cushions was a red carpet; sitting on the pile of plush purple and black cushions examining her nails and looking bored was a young woman with long dark hair that fell in ringlets down her back, her eyes a cool shade of blue. She had an oval shaped face and her lips were painted scarlet, her gown made of black silk with delicate red embroidery and lace fringing the sleeves and the neckline. She looked up as a man wearing heavy armour walked in with a sword at his waist.

She smiled, "Hello Leon." She greeted in her sweet voice.

"My Queen." He knelt before her as a gesture of respect and she beckoned for him to stand. He was a tall man, heavily built for battle but not too big either. His eyes were ice blue and his short copper hair was messy from being out in the storm. He was an attractive young man, one any woman would want to have father their children, but he devoted himself to his queen entirely.

"I thought I said to drop the formalities when we're alone." She said dully.

He smiled, "But then that wouldn't be any fun, would it?"

She sighed, "I suppose not. Has Diego been sent off with his orders yet?" She asked.

"Yes, he has. Wasn't he the one who stabbed Princess Rena and raped Princess Sakura?" Leon asked.

She leant back against her cushions and sighed. "He was, but Sakura released an extremely powerful spell that nearly obliterated him. Luckily she was so broken she couldn't focus her magic properly. Now she'll have a delightful little surprise this afternoon." She giggled.

He smiled, "You truly are a cruel woman."

"I'll do what I need to get the power I need. Once the girls are out of the way, I'll move on to target those two princes. Especially Syaoran as he's just as powerful as Sakura, perhaps more." She said.

"How long has it been since Princess Sakura escaped?" Leon asked.

"About four months or so, but no matter. We will destroy her, at any cost." She hissed, crushing some berries in her fist so that the red juices ran down her forearm.

Syaoron sat with Rena as she picked at her food. She wasn't particularly hungry, but she knew she needed to eat. It's not that she didn't like the food or anything, she had no appetite. But Sakura would want her to eat…

"If you don't eat it, I'll force feed you." He growled.

"Oh quiet you!" Rena snapped and shoved a spoonful of vegetable soup into her mouth. She didn't want to eat. "I don't feel like eating…" she muttered.

"Well too bad, because if you don't eat, you're not going to get better!" He snapped.

She groaned.

"Rena, please." He said softly.

"Ok…" She said quietly.

They sat in silence as she ate slowly, and he suddenly remembered that Syaoran told him to ask about their age. Why he couldn't ask Sakura was beyond him.

"If you don't mind me asking, how old are you?" He asked.

She stopped eating for a moment and looked away. "…Eighteen…" She whispered.

She wasn't lying, because if she was her aura would have changed colour. "Why are you so upset?" he asked.

"Because we were stuck in hell when we turned eighteen…" she whispered.

"I'm sorry, I didn't intend to open wounds best left to heal." He said.

"No, it was bound to come up in conversation anyway. What about you-what's your age?" she asked.

"My brother and I are twenty." He replied.

Rena almost choked. "Oh, is that so…?" she asked with a shaky laugh.

"Early this year; April first." He replied.

"How ironic…we share the same birthday…" She laughed awkwardly.

"Oh really? That's interesting. Come to think of it, we have a ball coming up in about two months' time." He yawned.

"A ball? For what?" She asked.

"It's a yearly thing; it's really more for amusement…except now we're supposed to be looking for suitors…" He muttered under his breath.

"Oh what a shame," She snickered.

"Great, someone else to tease me." He sighed. "Hurry up and finish eating."

"But I don't want it." She complained.

"Rena," He said warningly.


Once she'd finished eating, he had Chii collect her plates and called Yuui in to check up on her. "How's that wound of yours?" The blonde asked.

"Sore." She muttered.

"Yes, well there's no surprise there. How are you feeling? Sick?" He asked.

"A little bit." She replied dully.

"Anything else?" he asked.

"Headache." She muttered.

"Ok, nothing to be too concerned about just at this minute. But I've been told you aren't eating-why?" He asked.

"Because I don't feel like it." She mumbled.

Yuui sighed, "Fine, force feed her if you must-she needs to eat." He muttered.

"Thank you." Syaoron answered.

Rena felt like kicking both their faces in.

Sakura looked up from her plate and looked at Syaoran; he was looking into his glass as if thinking about something.

"Is something on your mind…?" She asked quietly.

He looked up and smiled, "Just a few thoughts." He replied.

"Ok…" She replied.

He'd have to tell her. She had a right to know, but he'd tell her in private. "Have you finished eating?" He asked.

"Yes…" She replied.

"How about we go out into the gardens?" He suggested. She nodded, and he stood and walked over to her, lifting her from her chair.

Together they sat on the lush green grass, and Sakura rested her head on his shoulder.

"Sakura…" He murmured.

"Mm?" She replied.

"There's a law in this country…one I haven't told you." He said.

She looked up at him with her emerald green eyes. They held so much trust for him, and he was worried that he was about to shatter it all. But she had the right to know, so he would tell her anyway.

"Among the higher class, if you kiss, you become engaged. But…if you have sexual intercourse then you must get married. No ifs or buts." He said.

Sakura wasn't all that surprised, but at the same time she was. Back in her country they had the same laws. But she thought she'd found a home. "Do you want me to leave…?" she whispered.


She looked at him with wide eyes full of shock and surprise.

"Why are you looking at me like you were expecting me to say yes…?" he asked.

"Because…I'm no good…" She whispered.

"That's not true. Sakura, you're a lovely, kind hearted girl. And…I'm sorry for keeping that from you." He said softly.

She shook her head, "I didn't think that I would ever be able to trust someone again, but I trust you completely…thank you for telling me." She smiled, leaning her head against his chest. He held her close to him, glad that she was alright.

"Will you stay with me?" He asked.

Happily, she nodded. At least now he didn't have to look for someone at the ball. Now that he thought of it, he hadn't told her about the ball. "I haven't told you about the ball either." He said.

"Ball?" she asked with confusion.

"Yes; we have one every year. It's for entertainment purposes mainly." He smiled.

Fear crept into Sakura's beautiful eyes, and he kissed her forehead. "Don't worry, if anyone tries to hurt you, they'll pay." He said softly. She smiled. He was so kind…

"Alright you two, you've kept me waiting long enough! Back up to the castle so I can have a proper look at you." Yuui growled from behind.

"Ah, so that was you that I sensed." Syaoran smiled.

"Yes, now pick her up." The blonde ordered.

Syaoran did so and Sakura could hear his heart beating as she rested her head against his chest. She closed her eyes, and listening to the rhythm of his heart…the person she'd be staying with forever.

Rena picked up the pillow beside her and piffed it at Syaoron's face. It hit him right on target, and then fell into his lap. "Any reason for that?" he asked, slightly annoyed.

"Can I get up yet?" She growled.

"And where, exactly, do you wish to go?" He asked.

"Anywhere! Anywhere other than being stuck in here all day!" she shouted. "I'm tired of being stuck in a room for the last four months!"

He sighed, "Fine, but you can't complain." He said.

"I swear if you put me somewhere horrible I will kick your face in."

"Oh? Really now?" He asked with an amused smile.

"Well…I guess you wouldn't do that though…" She looked away guiltily.

He was completely surprised by her sudden change in attitude. And then he remembered that she had a horrible past.

"Sorry! I don't know what just came over me!" She laughed, but she couldn't hide the shake in her voice or her tears that were sliding down her face. He moved to sit by her side, and drew her in for a hug.

"Don't hide your pain. You'll only end up making others worry more, and hurting yourself in the process." He said softly.

She cried into his chest, clutching at his shirt.

Syaoron lay with Rena in his arms; she'd fallen asleep from her crying episode with him to comfort her. The more that he looked at her, the more he found her attractive. She had wide hips, small but round breasts, pale soft skin…he couldn't help but wonder what it would be like to have her… He shoved the thought away and remembered what had happened back at the baths. She also had two different coloured eyes, just like him.

"Rena…" he murmured her name softly. He'd already kissed her-they were technically engaged. Maybe that was why he was acting so pissed off half the time. He was upset with himself for not letting her have a chance at finding things on her own. Her eyes fluttered open and he immediately went to pull away, but she was quicker in pulling him closer to herself.

"Please don't leave." She whispered.


"Can't I stay with you…?" she whispered.

"We hardly know each other."

"You kissed me." She mumbled.

She had a point. Truth be told, he found her amusing.

"Wouldn't you rather find someone on your own, given time?" he asked.

"But I trust you…I can't trust anyone else…" She whispered.

It struck him then that while she may not have been raped, she may still have been sexually abused.

"I'm sorry, I'm being selfish." She whispered, and released him from her grip.

To her surprise, he wrapped his own arms around her frame. "I'd like…to give it a try…" He said softly.

She smiled and relaxed into his hold.

"There's something I need to tell you…" He said.

"What is it?" she asked.

"In our country, if you kiss, you become engaged, but you can still technically break it off at some point if something terrible goes wrong. If you have sex, then you have to get married." He said.

"That was the same for us back in our country." Rena said-she was hardly bothered by it.

"You're not bothered." He stated.

"Not really," She shrugged.

Who is this girl? He wondered. "Where do you come from?" He asked her the same question as he had her sister a few months back.

"Across the border." She smiled.

"I meant the name of your country." He muttered.

"It's Clow's sister country!" she beamed.

He stared at her for a moment. "Ainz?" he asked.

"Yup!" She replied cheerfully. Suddenly her face saddened. She sat up, looking out the window.

"Rena, you're family…are they the royal family?" He asked.

"How did you figure it out?" She asked quietly.

"The manners you two share. And when you told me where you came from I remembered that the royal family had two daughters-twins." He replied.

"Oh…" She replied.

"Why didn't you call for help? We could have aided you." He said.

"It was too late." She whispered. "We never knew what hit us."

"I'm sorry. You're safe here, and you always will be." He murmured.

"Thank you…" She whispered.

He pulled her back into the sheets, and stared at her. "I just realised you still have a fever." He said. She groaned. "Yeah, tough luck." He said, going to sit up, but again, Rena was faster.

Her arms were tight around his waist, and she was glaring at him. "This is pay back for pissing me off." She said.

Now he was stuck there. "Shit." He muttered, wriggling to get free.

"No. You can stay till I fall asleep." She said.

"Brilliant." He said sarcastically, but stopped struggling and just rested his arms around her. Her eyes slid closed and she smiled in contentment. It didn't take long for her to fall asleep, but he still stayed. He found himself falling asleep beside her, and soon he was off in the world of dreams.

Sakura's check-up went fine, and so she was free to do what she wanted for the rest of the day. Syaoran came to sit beside her and placed a gentle hand over hers.

"Sakura, I have some business matters I need to tend to. Can I leave you with Chii and Tomoyo for a while?" He asked gently.

She was a little disappointed, but she understood that as a ruler of a country he had things that he needed to do. She smiled, "That's fine." She said, "Please, tend to your people's needs."

His eyes widened. Her words sounded so dignified, like she had been brought up and raised among the higher class. "Thank you, I'll try to be back soon." He said, and kissed her softly on the lips.

He stood and left the room, allowing the two girls in to accompany Sakura, and headed for his brother's room-he had a nasty habit of skipping out. He knocked on the door lightly, but no answer came. He knew he was in there because he could sense his presence. He sighed and opened the door to his brother asleep with his arms wrapped around Rena.

He is attached to her. He thought to himself with an amused smile on his face. He walked over and woke his brother.

"What?" he muttered irritably, knowing it was just his brother.

"We have a meeting to attend, and you're not skipping out." Syaoran replied.

"Alright fine, I'll be out in a minute."

Syaoran left, shutting the door, and waited outside for him.

Rena shifted and woke to find Syaoron rubbing sleep from his eyes, so she assumed that he'd fallen asleep beside her. "Syaoron…?" she called out, gaining his attention.

"Oh you're awake. Sorry, I have a meeting to attend with my brother. Do you mind waiting?" He asked.

She shook her head, "Go, your people need you." She mumbled sleepily.

"Thank you Rena." He said, standing up. He left the room, leaving her alone.

The meeting was boring. A couple of aristocrats had come to speak of the possibility of marriage with their daughters; the girls were pretty-both were slender with wide hips, and both girls had a somewhat large bust. One of the girls had long dark hair with ringlets curling at the tips of her hair, while the other girl had her deep crimson red hair tied in two braids.

"I do apologise, but I'm afraid that I already have someone in mind." Syaoran smiled politely and declined.

His brother looked at him curiously out the corner of his eyes. He couldn't possibly be talking about Sakura?

"Oh, I see. Are you going to be announcing it at any point?" One of the girls' fathers asked with the same polite demeanour. He looked to be in his forties, around about.

"Not just yet. It's a bit difficult when one starts to live somewhere else. It could take a while to settle." Syaoran smiled.

"That's understandable." The other gentleman smiled.

"It's much the same for my brother also. We do apologise." Syaoran said. Syaoron tried hard not to laugh. He loved how his brother handled things sometimes; for example, right now he was trying to end the meeting as quickly as possible.

"There is no need to apologise. I hope to continue to maintain our friendly ties." The aristocrat spoke.

"We'd appreciate that." Syaoron spoke.

They moved onto another topic of discussion, and the girls were taken out to the gardens and given some morning tea while the meeting continued.

Tomoyo was helping Chii make some sort of woven tapestry with a beautiful floral design on it. "What is that…?" Sakura asked, awe showing through in her voice.

"It's a tapestry. It's a bit of a hobby." Chii smiled.

"It's beautiful…" Sakura whispered.

"Thank you." Chii smiled. "So will you be living here My Lady?"

"Yes…" Sakura replied. "Do you two also live here?"

"Yes, we do." Tomoyo smiled.

Sakura felt uncomfortable asking the raven haired girl the next question, but these girls were so kind.

"Um…Tomoyo?" Sakura asked.

"Yes?" She smiled.

"I heard Syaoran call you Princess…why are you living here…?" Sakura asked.

Tomoyo didn't seem bothered by the question at all. "I come from a different country-I ran away." She smiled cheerfully.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to bring up…" Sakura said sadly.

"It doesn't matter; Chii has her reasons for being here, and so do Fai and Yuui. The two brothers took us in, gave us a home. We're much happier now." Tomoyo smiled as she and Chii weaved the threads. Sakura didn't say anything.

"I still can't believe you and Syaoran took a bath together this morning." Chii said ever so casually. Sakura turned bright red.

Tomoyo gasped, "Ohoho?"

"No, it's not what you think…" Sakura said awkwardly.

"I'm just teasing; sometimes he'll sit with us-not that he looks-but just because it's the usual time of morning for him to take a bath." Chii shrugged.

"Oh…really…?" Sakura asked shakily, wanting to get off the topic as quickly as possible. She was the only one who knew the true reason.

"Yep," She smiled.

Suddenly, Sakura felt a strange presence. Fear struck her, and she couldn't move. She knew the presence, and she knew that she needed to get out.

"Help…" She whispered desperately.

"Sakura?" Chii looked up at the young girl, confused by her fear.

Tomoyo on the other hand was looking around, sensing the same strange presence as Sakura. "Chii, go get Syaoran!" Tomoyo cried.

The window smashed and glass went everywhere. When Tomoyo looked over, Sakura was being pinned to the floor by a brutish looking man. Chii quickly got up and ran, and Tomoyo screamed as something hit the back of her head, knocking her out.

Sakura struggled beneath his grip; he was gripping her wrists painfully tight and both his legs were over her hips, keeping her pinned to the floor. She screamed as she felt his arousal, and he grabbed her jaw.

"It's been a long time Princess," He hissed.

She whimpered. He was a big man and had dark blue eyes. His hair was short and jet black. His name was Diego and had tormented Sakura more than anyone could imagine. How he had found her she didn't know-she thought she had torn him apart!

Syaoran looked up with shock as Chii came barging into the meeting looking panic stricken and horrified. Immediately he stood, "What's going on?" Syaoran demanded.

"Sa-Sakura's been attacked!" She cried.

Syaoran was out the door in a heartbeat and heading off to where Chii told him he needed to go. Syaoron wanted to leave to ensure that Rena was safe, but he was unable to as he had to stay with their guests.

Syaoran burst into the room to find Tomoyo unconscious and Sakura screaming and writhing beneath a man. Her clothing had been torn open, revealing her chest and stomach and her shoulders. Enraged, he lifted his hand and the man assaulting Sakura caught fire. Sakura was unharmed by the flames, and he quickly ran over and gathered her up in his arms.

"I want security tightened everywhere!" He ordered.

She was crying and sobbing hysterically, and so he carried her out and back down to his room, locking the door behind him, and placed her gently on the bed. He closed the curtains and flicked on the lamp, and walked back over to her. Luckily, she was unscarred from what he could see.

"Sakura, are you hurt anywhere? How can I help you?" He asked softly, saddened by her state.

She buried her face in his chest and he rubbed her back soothingly. "I'm so sorry you had to go through that Sakura," He whispered.

She hugged herself closer to him, desperate for his warmth, touch and comfort. "Don't leave me alone…" she whispered through her sobs.

"I'll stay here with you, I promise." He said softly, stroking her hair.

Sakura looked up at Syaoran, a tear leaking out the corner of her eye. He wiped it away, and she leant up to kiss him; he licked her lip in plea of entry, and she immediately granted him permission. All she could think about was how gentle he was with her. He held her close, as if to protect her. He pulled her clothes back into place for her and tucked some strands of loose hair behind her ear.

"Lie down for a while; get some rest. You've had a shock." He murmured softly.

Sakura was a little hesitant; she didn't want him to leave her side-not after what had just happened.

"Don't worry, I won't leave you." He said.

She nodded and lay back in the pillows, closing her eyes. He sat by her side, stroking her hair softly and lulling her into sleep. "What if he comes back…" she whispered.

"Don't worry; that fire killed him." He said softly.

He was right-this time Sakura found the aura to be dead. He would definitely not be coming back.

"Who was he, if I may ask…?" Syaoran asked softly.

"He…was a person who tortured me often when I was taken…and he was the one who stabbed my sister…" She whispered.

He sighed and stroked her cheek, "It's ok now. Just rest." He whispered.

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