The Akatsuki's Daughter

Chapter 35

I winced as Temari pulled a brush through my hair harshly, not being as careful of the knots as I had gotten used to.

It was the day of the wedding, and none of us had realized just how early in the morning it would occur. It was supposed to start at 8:00 in the morning and we hadn't found that out until 10:00 the night before.

Temari was complaining about Sakura's lack of information, and I think that she was taking her frustration out on my hair.

She finally got through brushing the mass and began to curl it, styling it by pinning half of it up, a few tendrils falling into my face.

When she finished with my hair, she began on Misa's, curling it quickly and pinning the sides back, but leaving the rest to trail down her back.''

I sat on Temari's bed, Butterball next to me, looking at the two girls outfits.

Temari had bought Misa a sky blue cocktail dress with capped sleeves and a squared neckline. It had a sparkling silver sash under the bust, that tied in a bow at the back. The hem came to her lower thighs.

Her silver high heels sparkled in the light as she moved and caught my attention regularly.

I turned my attention to Temari and shook my head at how different her dress was compared to what I normally saw her in.

Her dress was a dark purple, held up by spaghetti straps. It was cut in a low V neck and hugged her body until mid thigh where it flared out to her knees.

She had decided to leave her hair the way it usually was, saying that we didn't have time to deal with that mess.

She finished Misa and my looks by adding makeup to our faces.

She then put us in front of the mirror and I blinked at the face that stared back at me. I didn't look like my normal self. And though it wasn't something that I wanted to do on a regular basis, I did enjoy this chance to dress up.

I was startled from my thoughts by a banging on the door and rolled my eyes as Kankuro's voice followed another harsh knock.

''C'mon, Temari! You're spending more time with my girlfriend than I am. Hurry up!''

Temari rolled her eyes and Misa giggled before running to open the door. Kankuro's eyes skimmed over her slowly and he smirked.

''You look good, Misa.''

Misa nodded and grabbed his hand, smiling at us over her shoulder.

''I'm gonna go spend time with Kankuro now.''

Temari nodded and picked up Butterball.

''Fine. But don't let him ruin your dress or hair.''

Misa nodded and I followed Temari to the door, preparing to return to my own room.

She touched my shoulder, smiling at me when I turned back to her.

''I'm going over to Shikamaru's. Do you care if I take Butterball?''

I smiled and shook my head.

''No. Go ahead. Thank you for helping me today.''

She grinned and nodded.

''Of course. What else are future-sister-in laws good for.''

I groaned and she held up a hand before I could speak.

''Don't contradict me. I know things.''

My mouth dropped open as she suddenly sounded like Salem and she turned to walk away, waving at me over her shoulder. I shook my head and walked towards my room. Maybe it was just an older sibling thing.

I opened the door of the room, finding Gaara lying on the bed, his eyes closed and his breathing steady.

He had left before dawn, the Hokage wanting to speak with him privately and had still been gone when Misa and Temari woke me up, by jumping on top of me.

I closed the door quietly and Gaara spoke without opening his eyes.

''You were gone when I got back.''

I slipped out of my green, strappy shoes and crawled into the bed beside him, careful not to wrinkle my dress.

''Yeah. Your sister wanted me to be her barbie for the day.''

He opened his eyes and I saw them spark as they trailed over me before he sat up and pulled me onto his lap, his fingers twirling in my loose hair.

''You look lovely, Ria.''

I smiled and kissed him quickly, smiling as the lip gloss remained on his mouth.

''So how did your meeting go?''

He shrugged and nuzzled his nose into my neck.

''Fine, I guess. She gave me more paperwork.''

I rolled my eyes.

''Stupid paperwork.''

He made an agreeing noise and kissed across my shoulder, one of his hands running over my back.

''I'll have to thank Temari for taking such good care of you and buying you such a great dress.''

I hummed lightly and yelped suddenly as he bit the curve of my shoulder, hard.


He smirked against my skin and licked at the bite, his mouth not leaving my skin as he spoke.

''You shouldn't have worn this dress if you didn't want me touching and kissing at the exposed skin.''

I rolled my eyes and he began to pepper kisses across my back.

''One: I didn't have a choice about what to wear, and two: I don't care if you kiss me, but could you not leave mark until after the wedding?''

He paused a second, his lips on my shoulder blade. He sighed and pulled away, caressing the mark on my shoulder.

''I suppose that it wouldn't be the best thing for the Kazekage's girlfriend to show up with marks on her skin. People might think that I'm hurting you.''

I laughed and shook my head.

''Unfortunately, Gaara, most of the people we see today would know what the marks are from. They aren't as innocent as you.''

He frowned and scoffed.

''Ria, Love. I am not innocent.''

I raised an eyebrow at his statement, arguing gently.

''You are very innocent, honey.''

He sighed and shook his head.

''I have killed people, just to see their blood fall and entertain me. I wouldn't call that anything close to innocent.''

I shook my head and explained quickly.

''That's not what I meant. I know that you have killed people. But you have no experience on how to react to love and the things that go with it.''

I saw comprehension light his eyes and he nodded.

''Oh. You're right. I'm understanding more every day though, and I think that in a few years I might have it all figured out.''

I laughed and laid a kiss to his neck. Leaving a shiny mark.

''People spend their entire life trying to understand love, and you think that you can understand it in a few years.''

I shook my head in mock reproach.

''You're so arrogant.''

He laughed silently at my teasing and shook his head.

''So how do you rationalize the things lovers do?''

I shrugged and tossed my head impishly.

''I don't. I just go with whatever happens.''

He smirked suddenly, his eyes glinting at me strangely.

''Whatever happens, huh?''

I stared at him a moment, not comprehending what he was saying until I caught the look in his eyes. I groaned and brought my palm to my forehead.

''What has Kankuro done to you? You're normally not perverted.''

He smiled evilly and shook his head.

''It's not my brother, Love. Shukaku talks all of the time now, and he...He tells and shows me some interesting things.''

I groaned and leaned against him, huffing harshly.

''Fantastic! I like how innocent you are. It's sweet. But friggan Shukaku has to go and corrupt you.''

Gaara's body shook lightly and he shook his head.

''I'll promise that I'll try to stay as innocent as possible for you, Love.''

I pouted and shook my head.

''Yeah. But 'innocent as possible' still may be really perverted. I guess I'll just have to get used to it.''

He nodded and leaned forward to bite at my protruding lip. I gasped and he began to lower me to the bed.

I pulled back quickly.

''Gaara, my hair will be messed up!''

He growled and twisted so I was lying on top of him, so quickly that my head began spinning. It didn't help that his mouth latched back onto mine and he was kissing me deeply.

His hand began to wander, letting it run down my side to my thigh, clenching in the fabric and pulling the already hiked up dress, higher.

I untangled a hand from his hair and grabbed his hand, bringing it over his head.

He pulled back and blinked at me with hazy eyes.

''Did I do something wrong?''

I shook my head and smiled gently.

''No. You're just not used to me being in a dress, when you clutched at me the fabric slid up.''

He nodded and after a deep breath, relaxed against the bed. A moment later, there was a banging at the door and I giggled as Gaara shot a glare towards the noise. His glare only worsened as Kankuro's voice flitted through the door.

''Gaara, Ria, we need to leave.''

Gaara sighed and I moved off of him, causing him to pout as I checked my reflection in the mirror.

My lips were swollen and the bite mark on my shoulder was darkening slowly.

I groaned and applied a dab of makeup to the mark, making it look like a bruise. I turned back to see Gaara, standing by the door and pouting at me.

I smiled and moved towards him, straightening his rumpled robes and wiping away the lipgloss on his skin as he rolled his eyes before we moved to open the door.

Kankuro stood, his arm around Misa's waist and pulling on the collar of his dress shirt. He shot a jealous look at Gaara, who was wearing his Kazekage robes and tugged at his collar again. Temari had made him dress up instead of wearing his normal ninja outfit.

I shook my head and smiled.

''Where is Mone and Sai?''

Misa shrugged.

''They wanted time to themselves. I'm not even sure if she's going to the wedding.''

I frowned and tilted my head to the side.

''But wasn't Sai a member of Sakura's team?''

Misa paused and it was Kankuro who answered.

''He'll be there. The Hokage ordered all of the Leaf villagers to attend.''

I nodded and stayed close to Gaara's side as he led us out of the Uchiha compound and into the still deserted street.

As we walked, Gaara spoke to Kankuro quietly.

''I'll need you to keep an eye on Ria. The Hokage has demanded that all of the Kage's and council members sit together.''

I giggled evilly.

''Suck's for you. You'll have to tell me about some of the gossip that you hear.''

He growled softly and I saw Kankuro shoot him a worried look. His voice as he spoke was slightly unsteady.

''Of course I'll watch her, Gaara. Though, I'm not sure that she and Misa can get into a lot of trouble during a wedding.''

Misa laughed and I smiled impishly as she spoke.

''We can get into trouble anywhere, sweetheart. We're just that talented.''

He looked at her startled and I laughed before looking to see where Gaara was leading us.

It was a large circular building and Kankuro groaned.

''They're having the wedding in the fighting arena?''

Gaara nodded and stopped us outside of the door.

''They were originally going to have it in the Uchiha gardens, but the Hokage invited too many people for all of them to fit.''

Kankuro nodded and I sighed. Great. Tons of strange people. At least they wouldn't be looking at me.

Gaara sighed and led us through the open door.

''I'll have to leave you now.''

I smiled and nodded.

''Okay. Have fun with the windbags.''

He grimaced and nodded.

''I'll try, Love. You try not to get into too much trouble.''

I gave him an innocent look, which was ruined when I giggled and he rolled his eyes before moving towards another staircase.

I watched him go, before turning back to find Kankuro giving me a strange look. I frowned at him.


He shook his head and blinked harshly.

''I could have sworn that Gaara just called you 'love'. I guess my hearing has finally went out because of Temari's constant yelling.''

I rolled my eyes and Misa laughed suddenly.

''Gaara calls Ria, 'love' all of the time, sweety. I can't believe that you've never heard it before.''

Kankuro's eyes widened and he shook his head.

''He's never given anyone an endearing name before. You've changed my brother a lot since he's gotten to know you. I've heard him tell you that he loves you and when he growled earlier, I thought that he was going to hurt somebody, but you seemed so used to it that it didn't even faze you.''

I scoffed and shook my head.

''Gaara growls like that all of the time. Whether it's because he's actually irritated or because he's teasing, so I hear that noise a lot.

But as for giving me a term of endearment; that did come as a surprise. I never expected it from him. But he says it so often that when he uses my actual name, I know that he's extremely serious with what he's saying.''

Kankuro nodded and shrugged, pushing open a door that led to rows of quickly filling seats.

''Like I said: You've changed my brother.''

I shrugged and went to a less crowded area, taking a seat far away from any other person. Kankuro followed and sat in between Misa and I. Probably trying to prevent any mischief that we would get into by sitting next to each other.

We watched as people began to file in, most in three's and I let out a startled yell as a pair of arms wrapped around my shoulders, almost knocking me forward.

I turned to see untidy blond hair and laughed, calming my frightened heart.


He pulled away and grinned at me, stepping over the back of the seat next to me and plopping down.

''Hi, Ri! Where's Gaara, did you leave him at home?''

I shook my head and pointed to a balcony, which held the Kage's and leaf council members.

''He's up there. The Hokage made him sit up there with all of the important people.'' Naruto frowned.

''Well, that's not fair.''

I nodded.

''Yeah, poor Gaara is up there all by himself.''

Naruto shook his head and frowned.

''Not that! I mean that I'm one of the most important people here, and I wasn't invited to sit up there.''

I gave him a small glare.

''That's horrible, Ruru. Gaara is probably bored and having to deal with crazy people.''

Naruto smiled.

''But if I was up there, I could cheer Gaara up.''

I rolled my eyes and laughed. If Naruto was in the balcony, he would probably exasperate Gaara more than cheer him up.

''So where have you put Hinata?''

Naruto frowned and looked around, before standing on the chair, waving and yelling.

''Hinata! I'm over here. Don't worry about stepping on the people. They'll move!''

I turned to look where he was yelling and found a blushing Hinata stumbling towards us, muttering apologies to the irritated looking people that she was having to walk over.

Once she was close enough, Naruto grabbed her and pulled her into the seat beside him. He wrapped his arm around her shoulder and I saw her flush and give him a shy smile.

I rolled my eyes and made a gagging noise.

''Ew! Stop making goo goo eyes at each other!''

Naruto stuck his tongue out at me and Kankuro laughed. Hinata's face flushed hotly and I thought that she might pass out.

''Hinata, are you okay?''

She nodded and fanned her face with a hand.

''I'm fine. But I think that the wedding is about to start.''

I turned my head back to the arena and found a woman who looked like to be in her late twenties walk into the center. I saw that she was wearing the Hokage robes and blinked hard, whispering to Naruto.

''I thought that the Hokage was supposed to be an older woman?''

Naruto snorted and slumped into his seat carelessly.

''She IS old. She just uses a jutsu that makes her look younger.''

I frowned and turned my attention back to the woman as she spoke.

''I want to thank you all for coming today. I know that we gave you short notice to be here.

But now that I've thanked you, I believe that we have a wedding to conduct.''

She stepped onto a platform that rose from the middle of the arena, and I saw Sasuke and Sakura walking towards her from opposite doors.

Sakura was wearing a pink and purple Kimono while Sasuke's was black. A red and white fan on the back.

The ceremony was long and I was beginning to get bored when I heard a strange cry, followed by a black and white fluffball stumbling it's way around the arena. I gasped as Butterball let out another pitiful cry and I shot a startled look towards Gaara, seeing him performing some hand signs rapidly.

Another second later, the panda was wrapped in sand and he disappeared. Kankuro chuckled and I glanced at him.

''That is the first time I've ever heard that thing cry, and the most I've ever seen it move without being carried.''

I glared at him, not enjoying his teasing and punched his arm, hard. He winced and rubbed the spot I had hit.

I turned away from him and returned my attention back to Gaara, who was petting the shuddering panda. His eyes locked with mine and I could see the same question in his gaze as I had going through my mind: Where in the world was Temari, and why had she allowed Butterball to run through the arena.

I smiled comfortingly and he inclined his head before turning his attention back to the wedding. I followed his example and found the Hokage sending a glare towards him, but she kept her voice steady as she continued the wedding.

She pulled a pink robe from behind her and placed it over Sakura's shoulders. It held the same symbol on the back that Sasuke wore.

The Hokage pushed Sasuke and Sakura together and smiled.

''I am now proud to introduce you to the newest member of the Uchiha family: Sakura Uchiha!''

There was a loud round of applause and happy yells as Sasuke walked his new wife off of the platform and out of the arena.

I saw Kankuro stand and he touched Misa's shoulder.

''Let's get outta here before this mob decides to all leave at once.''

I nodded, in full agreement, and followed after them quickly. Naruto following close behind, dragging a passive Hinata.

We stopped outside of the arena and Naruto smiled at us.

''Y'all are coming to the celebration later this afternoon, right?''

I frowned.

''What celebration?''

He shrugged.

''The one for Sakura and Sasuke. The council and Grandma are giving them some gifts, and they thought that it would be best at a party.''

I looked at Kankuro and he nodded, not seeming surprised about the information...he ha probably already known about it.

''Yeah. We won't be heading back to Suna until tomorrow.''

I nodded and smiled at Naruto, shrugging slightly.

''I guess that we'll be there then.''

He grinned and I narrowed my eyes, recognizing his look.

''You're planning something, Ruru. What is it?''

He shrugged and continued to grin.

''It's a surprise.''

I groaned and lifted pleading eyes towards the sky.

''The last time you told me that, you almost burnt down my kitchen because you wanted to make a huge batch of ramen.''

He laughed.

''You'll just have to wait, and see.''

I glared at him, but he only laughed again and dragged Hinata off in another direction.

I shook my head and Kankuro sighed.

''I think that we should head back to the compound. Gaara can just meet us there. I'm sick of being surrounded by these people.''

I nodded in agreement, and followed him and Misa closely, trying to avoid bumping into anyone.


I was lying on the bed, staring at the ceiling when Gaara stomped into the room, slamming the door behind him. I looked at him as he placed the still trembling Butterball next to me and threw off his Kazekage robes, his voice harsh.

''I need a shower.''

I nodded and pulled Butterball closer to me, petting him gently.

He made a whining noise and curled closer to me as I cooed softly.

''Poor Butterball.''

I heard the water turn on and wondered what had made Gaara so angry.

I shrugged, knowing that he would tell me when he got out of the shower.

I closed my eyes and let my mind wander, the sound of running water a relaxing background sound and the fur under my fingers a familiar comfort,

After a few minutes, I heard the water turn off and a second later, Gaara came out of the bathroom, a towel wrapped around his waist.

I raised an eyebrow at him and he tossed the black bag he had taken to the bathroom on the bed beside me. I looked at the bag and began to laugh.

Gaara had taken my bag, thinking that it was his. He now shot a glare at me and began to rifle through his own bag, looking for clothes.

''It's not funny, Ria.''

I shook my head, still giggling.
''Yes, it is. And I think that you would have been cute wearing some of my clothes.''

He growled and walked back to the bathroom, slamming the door behind him. I laughed for a bit longer, closing my eyes again. A moment later, I felt arms wrapping around me and Gaara sighed softly as he curled against me.

''The Hokage confronted me before I was able to leave the arena. She was angry that Butterball had interrupted the wedding. She said that I needed to control my pets if I was going to bring them to Konoha''

He began petting the top of Butterball's head as he continued speaking.

''I found Temari after the Hokage finished yelling and asked her why the panda had been allowed to run around by himself, and she said that the wedding was taking to long and she wanted to speed things up.''

I frowned and he tightened his arm around me, his voice cold.

''I'm not sure that I want Temari to keep Butterball anymore without one of us nearby. He could have been hurt. He hasn't stopped shaking since I transported him from the arena.''

I nodded and felt the panda tremble again.

''I don't understand why she would put him through that, she loves Butterball.''

Gaara shook his head and shrugged.

''I don't think that she realized just how scared it would make Butterball to be alone. She probably just thought that it would be a good joke.''

I sighed and frowned, continuing to pet the panda.

''It was still mean.''

He nodded and nuzzled into the back of my neck.

''Did you want to go to the party today?''

I shrugged and sighed.

''I told Naruto that I would. He said that he has this 'big surprise' to show us.''

I felt Gaara frown against my neck before he nodded.

''I guess we better go then.''

I sighed and sat up, stretching lightly.

''Yeah. I think we should take a nap afterward though.''

Gaara smiled and nodded as he sat up.

''I agree. I'd rather we not go to the party, but I know that Naruto will come looking for you if we don't.''

I nodded and kissed him quickly before grabbing Butterball and standing up.

''Well, let's go then. Can't keep everybody waiting.''

He rolled his eyes and, after crawling off the bed, let me lead him towards the noisy living room.

As we entered the room, Naruto jumped up and ran towards us, holding up a glass bottle.

''See what I brought?''

I frowned and took a closer look before I slammed my hand to my forehead.

''You're surprise is alcohol?''

He nodded and took a deep drink from the bottle.


I groaned and Gaara sighed before taking my hand, leading us further into the room, towards the other people.

Temari and Shikamaru were absent, along with Mona and Sai. But Lee was there, along with a blond haired girl who was sitting next to a boy with wild looking brown hair, a dog in his lap. All of them were drinking from the bottles that Naruto had brought.

Lee wasn't even halfway through the drink when he made a whooping noise and began to dance on a coffee table.

I glanced at Misa and she looked back at me with wide eyes. She had stuck with water, and forced Kankuro to stay away from the alcohol, either drinking punch or water.

Gaara was drinking his fourth glass of punch and I noticed that his eyes were glazing over, his face flushed.

I frowned and touched his cheek gently, feeling the heat there.

''Gaara, honey are you alright?''

He glanced at me and it looked like it was hard for him to focus. He blinked hard and shook his head.

I took the cup from his lax fingers and after sniffing at the contents, took a hesitant sip. I wrinkled my nose as a slight hint of alcohol hit me and I shot a glare at a sloppily grinning Naruto.

He had spiked the punch.

I sighed and grabbed Misa's attention.

''The punch has alcohol in it.''

Her eyes widened and she glanced at Kankuro, who's eyes were drooping and quickly took the cup from him.

I looked around the room and saw that everyone was a little tipsy, if not completely drunk. I shrugged, knowing that we wouldn't be missed and grabbed Gaara's hand, pulling him up.

I turned to Misa, wrapping a steady arm around Gaara and he leaned on me heavily.

''I'm taking Gaara to sleep this off.''

She nodded and grabbed Kankuro's hand.

''I'll take Kankuro to our room in a minute.''

I nodded and led Gaara out of the room and into the hallway. He swayed slightly and I noticed when we stood that his eyes became even more glassy.

We finally got to the room and I was able to push Gaara through the door, without causing him to fall. I closed the door as he threw off his outer robes and gasped as I was suddenly pinned to the door. I looked up at him, startled, and found a gold tint in his hazy eyes.

He gave me a lopsided smile as he pressed closer to me, his hands clenching at my hips. I had raised my hands automatically when he pushed me to the door and I now found that they were trapped between our bodies.

I frowned up at him, but gasped a moment later as his mouth crashed to mine, his lips moving hard against mine. I tasted alcohol and tried to pull away. He growled as I finally broke the kiss and my voice was breathless as I tried to reason with him.

''Gaara, you're drunk. You need to lay down and sleep.''

He smirked and answered with slurred words.

''Are you going to lay down with me?''

I blinked at him owlishly and shook my head, feeling his hands running across my back softly.

''I don't think that that's a good idea right now.''

He paused for a moment before his hands at my back pressed my chest into his tightly and his smirk turned evil.

''Oh, I think you will. I don't feel like being told no right now.''

I swallowed hard at his words and shook my head. This was not turning out well.

He took a step backwards, not releasing his hold on me and I was forced to move with him. I opened my mouth, preparing to reason with him when he crashed his lips to mine again.

I felt one of his hands slide up my back to my neck, and felt a slight pressure there before I felt my dress dip slightly.

I made a startled noise against his mouth and he pushed me to arms distance, letting the top of the dress fall down completely.

I squeaked and tried to bring the cloth back over me, only to have Gaara growl and pin my hands to my sides. His eyes raked over my exposed skin and I yelped as he turned me quickly and threw me onto the bed. I moved my arms, only to have my wrists captured by sand and pinned above my head.

I glared up at Gaara and found that he had stripped from his clothes and stood in his boxers.

I blinked quickly and shook my head, gasping as he lowered himself on top of me.

I saw that his eyes had more gold in them than they did before and wriggled, trying to get him to hear my words.

''Gaara. You need to stop this. You don't even know what you're doing right now. Listen to me!''

He locked his gaze with mine, his eyes serious as he contemplate my words. A moment later however he smirked.

''You like what I'm doing to you. And you know that you do. Why don't you just give up and enjoy it?''

He ran his hand up my leg, bringing my skirt with it and I gasped at the contact of skin.

''B...Because you're drunk! I don't want to do this when you're drunk.''

He shook his head and his smile softened slightly.

''Relax, Love. I won't hurt you.''

I shook my head and he laid a hand on my cheek, pressing his lips to mine, this time with less force.

He pressed his body tightly to mine and I was tempted to just give in to him. But when he deepened the kiss, I got another taste of alcohol and growled softly. When I got my hands on that blond kitsune, I was going to slap those whisker marks off of his face.

I felt Gaara's hand grip my knee and hitch it over his hip, pressing our bodies closer together.

I forced down a surprised whimper, wishing that I was in my jeans. I had liked the dress in the beginning, but now I thought that it was too reveling. And too easily accessible.

I began to wriggle again, not wanting to hurt Gaara but trying to get his attention. He growled and removed his mouth from mine to attack my neck. His hands began to slide over the revealed skin and I bit my lip hard, trying to concentrate on my words and not what he was making me feel.

''Gaara, you're drunk. Now is not the time for this. You need to stop now. You aren't thinking clearly.''

He paused against my neck, listening as I spoke and now he pulled away to stare at me. His eyes were almost completely golden now and his canines had elongated to fangs. He spoke and I forced down a shudder as a deeper, growling voice came from his lips.

''Why are you fighting me about this so much? I know you want this. Now is perfect. We're together, and don't have to worry about someone bursting into the room and yelling at us. I don't want to stop and I'm not pushing you, because I don't have too.''

He growled suddenly.

''Now stop distracting me or I'll gag you. And I would rather not do that since I like to hear your voice.''

My eyes widened at that statement, not just because of the words, but because of the voice that said it. It wasn't Gaara that spoke that time. Shukaku was trying to push his way to the surface and had succeeded in that moment.

I watched him carefully, making sure that Shukaku wasn't going to take over completely, or force Gaara's dulled brain into thinking he needed to do something violent.

I sighed in relief after a moment, realizing that Gaara still had enough control to keep Shukaku locked away and that the gold in his eyes was fading slightly.

I bit back a gasp as he bit harshly at my skin, leaving marks. I was refusing to give any indication that I liked what he was doing and so kept a tight grip on the sheets above my head.

After a moment, I noticed that his movements were becoming sluggish and he was resting his head on my shoulder, nuzzling my chest lightly.

His hand was moving slowly over my side and I tugged my hands from the softening sand. I wrapped my arms around his shoulders and stroked his hair gently.

He sighed and his hand came to rest against my ribs, his breathing evening out quickly.

I let out a relieved sigh and tugged at the covers, wanting them over me.

Gaara shifted suddenly and I froze, not wanting him to wake up and finish what he had started. I waited until I heard his breath steady again and finished pulling the covers over us.

His breath was warm across my skin and his body heat was seeping into me, making me sleepy.

I wasn't that worried about what he would do when he woke up, knowing that he would probably just be embarrassed about what had happened.

I heard someone elses breathing in the room and shifted my eyes to find Butterball sleeping on Gaara's discarded clothes.

I smiled and closed my eyes, wondering if the alcohol would make Gaara sleep longer than he normally did.

I listened to the steady breathing that surrounded me and let it lull me to sleep.

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