Chapter One

"Is it all right if I take some of your candies?" a young boy, thirteen years of age, asked his sister.

"If it helps you concentrate, I don't mind," his sister replied.

"Thanks, Saki." He took Saki's bowl of assorted hard candy and went into the backyard to escape the noise of his sister and her friends.

He walked outside and took a deep breath.

The bushes rustled and the boy looked over.

"A red wolf," he murmured.

A moment later, he dropped the bowl and fell to the ground, unconscious.

A naked furry crawled out of the bushes and checked on the little boy. He was still breathing, but this heartbeat was too fast.

Saki opened the back door. "Hey, I--Megumi!"

She ran at the furry to knock her down with a powerful blow, but passed out. The furry caught her and kept her from falling.

Two more girls came out through the door; a tall blondie with green eyes twirling a lead pipe, and an innocent-looking brunette with brown eyes.

The blond glared at her. "What did you do to her?"

"Nothing," the furry replied shyly. "I wouldn't ever hurt her or her brother. I'm here to warn them and train them. I can't explain this thoroughly to normal humans. Will you help me take them inside?"

"Fine, whatever." The blond supported Saki on her shoulder and wrapped her arm around her stomach to help hold her friend up.

The furry pick up Megumi and carried him upstairs, the two girls following close behind. The blond put Saki down on her bed.

"Please wait for my return."

The furry took Megumi into the bathroom and ran a bath for him. She removed his clothes and put him into the warm water. She got in, too, just to comfortable support his head so he wouldn't go under.

The door burst open. "Hey, what do you think you're doing?" Saki demanded, before passing out again.

The blond carried Saki out of the bathroom and shut the door.

Megumi's eyes opened slowly. "Wh-where am I...?"

"You're in the bath," the furry replied.

"Who are you and what did you do to me?"

"I'm Cinnamon-Spice. I don't know what I did, but you're okay now. Your sister is fine as well. There isn't anything to worry about."

Megumi sat up. "What is this odd feeling?"

"How do you feel?"

"Light-headed, weak, dizzy, a little bit depressed." He rested his head on her chest.

Spice hugged Megumi as he began to cry. "It's okay. Just take deep breaths and you'll calm down."

"What is wrong with me?"

"You must be very sensitive to the vibes I give off. You'll get over it after a while, I promise."

Megumi pressed himself closer to Spice. Without thinking first, he admitted something he wouldn't ever openly admit to anyone: "I feel safe, having you here with me."

"I'm glad." Spice ran her fingers through Megumi's black hair. "May I see your hand?"

Megumi held out his hand. Spice pricked his middle finger and sucked all the blood that oozed out. However puzzled Megumi was, he remained silent. He didn't mind it. He was possibly enjoying it.

She stopped when the blood clotted and refused to continue flowing into her mouth.

Megumi felt a stronger sense of safety wash over him. He had wanted someone for a while. Someone closer than a best friend. Now that he was in the bath in Spice's arms, he wondered if she would be the one he wanted.

Stop thinking about that, Megumi, he scolded himself. Don't think about it so much. What if she isn't? And besides, she looks too young anyway.

"Why did you do that?"

"I needed to make sure if you were ready to gain your new powers."

"New powers?"

"Yes. We'll test them tomorrow."

Megumi nods.

"Time to get some sleep. We're gonna have a big day tomorrow."

Spice gets out and dries off. She exits the bathroom and leaves Megumi to to whatever he did before going to bed. She opened the door to Saki's bedroom.

"You can sleep over if you want to make sure she's okay," Spice said.

The blond nodded. "Okay."

"Hey, we don't even know your name," the brunette commented. "What is it?"

"My name is Cinnamon-Spice. What's yours?"

"I'm Tohru Honda and this is my friend, Arisa Uotani."

Spice smiled. "It's a pleasure to meet you."

"Oh, no, the pleasure is all mine!"

Spice turned to leave. Before she went back to Megumi's room, she said to Tohru, "I really like you. We could be good friends."

Spice shut Megumi's door. "I'll sleep on the floor."

"Sleep with me, please," he requested. "I do not have a very good feeling about what has going on recently."

From what Spice knew, Megumi wasn't the type to make requests like that unless he desperately wanted them. She nodded and got into Megumi's bed after shutting off the light.

Spice heard a faint, quiet "Thank you" before drifting off to sleep.

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