Author's Note: When I originally started this fic, I said in the pairings that it would be 3x4 & 2x1/1x2, but I have changed my mind ^^;;; I'm claiming Author's prerogative. BUT, before you panic... there is a reason. My personal opinion is that if I continue this story and pull a 2x1 element into it... then Heero and Duo will be cheated of their time in the limelight. This is obviously a 3x4 romance... the focus is not really going to go anywhere else. So... I thought about writing another vampire story after this featuring them... and then after tossing it around with Cloudy... I have decided to write this as a trilogy. The next fic would feature Heero and Duo and the 3rd would feature Wufei and Zechs. I already have the basic plots for these and an idea for the flow of the general storyline. There will be at least one brief appearance of Duo in this fic also, possibly some of the others, I'm not sure yet. Anyway, this way I feel that I can give each couple the attention that they would deserve in the development of their own romances. Each story will also take place in a different time period for flavor ^_^

*goes back into hiding under her desk*

Heart of the Night Part 4

From his seat at the table, Quatre watched Sebastian move slowly around the kitchen. "Are you sure you won't let me help?" He asked for the third time since he'd sat down.

The old man turned and glared at him. "I've been taking care of the master's kitchens since before you were born and I have never needed any help! I don't need it now either! What I need is for you to get back to your studying!"


"Study!" The old man snapped. "I'll not have you going through your life not being able to read... and neither will the master."

"Yes sir!" Quatre quipped, opening his book.

He struggled along with a bit of it before raising his head again. "May I ask a question?"

The old man turned and raised an eyebrow over faded blue eyes.

"All you ever fix is meals for the two of us. Why doesn't Tro... Lord Barton dine here?"

"His Lordship is very busy most of the time. He works late so prefers to dine in town."

"Oh." The blonde gazed back down at his book.

Sebastian studied the young boy. "Oh? That's it?"

"I just wanted to know. I'd like to know more about him." Quatre replied.

"He'll tell you what he wishes you to know... you'll not be getting it from me!" Sebastian scolded him. "Now... out! I've work to finish. You go study in your room or in the library. The master will be wanting to see you this evening."

This evening... the boy started. So soon?

"It's alright; boy... you've made good progress. He'll not be disappointed." Sebastian assured the blonde as he pushed him from the room.

Quatre stood outside the kitchen, his eyes wide. He'd never get through this; he'd been so slow to learn... he didn't know enough yet. Panicked, he tried to figure out what to do, how to avoid having to see Trowa this evening.

A hand gripped his shoulder and he yelped in surprise. Spinning around he found himself mesmerized by Trowa's deep green eyes.

"Mas... Milo... Trowa..." The blonde stammered, not able to tear his gaze from Trowa's.

Trowa lifted an eyebrow and turned away. "I hear from Sebastian that you have been working hard this last month."

Quatre swallowed. "Yes sir... I've been trying."

"I wish to see your progress. Meet me in my study after you've had your dinner."

Quatre paled as he watched the tall man walk down the hallway. Surely he'd be put out, if it was thought he didn't learn fast enough. After all, who would want to claim a stupid boy as his ward if he wasn't smart enough to learn such simple things? It would be a taint on Trowa's good name and reputation. With a forlorn sigh, he headed up to his room.

That evening in the study the door suddenly flew open, bringing a startled Quatre to his feet as Trowa strode into the room. He stooped at his desk and poured himself a glass of port before going to sit in his chair by the fireplace. Long slender fingers toyed with the glass as his eyes traveled over the boy's slender form. He'd filled out well since coming here and no longer looked half starved. He was still a bit pale though. Trowa wondered if it was from fear or just his natural complexion.

"Sebastian tells me that you have been upset," He leaned back against the chair's high, padded back. "Tell me, is there something wrong with the way we've been treating you?"

The blonde flushed brightly.

"I didn't think my servant was the type to mistreat young people."

"No!" Quatre cried. "He's been wonderful to me."

"Then what is it?" Trowa fixed his eyes on the boy.

"I'm afraid that I'm not doing as well as expected of me; that I'll disappoint you. If you decide to put me out, I don't know what I'd do." Quatre replied miserably.

Trowa made a sound, suspiciously like a chuckle, in his throat before handing a small book to the boy. "I haven't placed any expectations on you... and even if I had, I certainly would not put you out for not meeting them. We'd simply find a better way of teaching you. Now," He gestured at the chair across from him. "Let's hear what you have learned. Read the first two chapters to me."

Quatre opened the book and started to read, his voice soft and hesitant. Trowa relaxed in his chair, staring into the flames in the fireplace in front of him. As the blonde read, his voice became stronger, more confident... once in a while he'd hesitate on an unfamiliar word and Trowa would assist him in working it out.

At the end of the second chapter, Quatre carefully closed the book and handed it back to Trowa, his blue eyes sparkling. "I'd like to read more of this," He murmured, his mind still filled with the vivid images of gallant young men in glittering armor who performed great deeds in the name of their king. "Is it true?"

Trowa smiled gently, taking the book from him. "That depends on who you ask. No good Englishman would dare say it is myth, but no one knows for sure." [1]

"What do you believe?"

"I think there is fact in the fiction," Trowa stood, tucking the book under his arm. "And you shall read more of it. We will meet here once a week from now on and you will read it along with showing me your other studies." The brunette's eyes softened for a moment. "You are doing well, Quatre. Much better than I hoped."

The blonde jumped to his feet to stand before Trowa. "Thank-you! I will keep working hard!" He cried sincerely as he laid a hand on Trowa's arm.

Trowa almost recoiled at the innocent touch, his nostrils flaring as he caught the boy's unique scent. No one ever touched him! But, this boy... this child didn't know that. He leaned down and breathed deeply of the clean scent that was Quatre.

The blonde stiffened his breath stopping in his throat.

"I don't doubt you will..." Trowa whispered huskily, his hunger sweeping through him with a force closely resembling sexual desire as his eyes fell on the pale, smooth skin of the boy's neck.

"Mil... Trowa?" Quatre whispered shakily.

Trowa suddenly stepped back from him. "We're finished here." He said stiffly before turning and stalking from the study, leaving a very confused Quatre behind.


Trowa turned a corner into a darkened alleyway, the person he followed never realizing his immediate danger.

This hour of the night, most people were either home with their families or still attending balls on the more lavish side of the city. Typically the only people who would be afoot on the streets were the scourge and the poor. He ruthlessly stalked the former.

It was the cutthroats and the thieves that he hunted in the dead of night. The ones that turned willingly to a life of taking from and injuring others were who he sought out to appease his consuming hunger. And tonight... he was very hungry.

Silently he approached the man, laying a slim hand upon his shoulder. The fellow jumped, startled, and turned to speak, his eyes locking with the brilliant green of the brunette's. He made not a sound nor struggled as Trowa pressed him back against the wall, his mouth settling on the point where his neck and his shoulder met.

In the dimness of the alley the pair looked like lovers as Trowa pressed forward and the man arched against him, his sightless eyes turning towards the sky.

Moments later there was the sound of a fluttering coat and the alleyway was empty, save for the lifeless form of the murderer sitting against the wall with his chin resting on his chest.


Quatre moaned lightly and rolled over in his bed, beads of moisture forming on his brow. Seconds later his eyes popped open and he sat up, his eyes scanning the room. He could have sworn a noise had awakened him. Slipping from his bed, he pulled on a pair of pants and opened the bedroom door, peering into the hallway.

He stepped noiselessly into the dark hall, straining his ears. There! Very faint, he could here what sounded like a female weeping. He buttoned his trousers and moved slowly, trying to follow the sound to its source. There shouldn't be any one here but him and Sebastian.

Maybe Trowa had returned for the night, he decided. But who would be crying? He flushed a bit pink as he thought about the possibility of the Lord having brought a woman home with him. Until then he'd never thought about it... but at his age and unmarried, he must have a mistress. Usually even unmarried men didn't bring their mistresses to their homes, though. They set up a modest home for the woman to live in where they could visit them.

The sound drew him down the stairs and out through a back door, the cool air of the night biting at his bare skin. As he stepped outside the sounds stopped and he found himself gasping as his eyes adjusted to the dark. Walking forward he looked around him at the ruined gardens. Before now, he'd not explored much of the estate, being a little afraid to. He never even realized that these gardens were here.

He imagined the place looked even worse during the day... he could tell that many of the plants and trees had died from neglect. Other, more hardly, varieties of flowers and vines had grown wild, taking over the area, twining up through the dead branches of the trees.

Tucked into various corners of the garden were small statues, overgrown, chipped and cracked. In the center of it all stood what used to be a fountain, its well now clogged with weeds.

The lord obviously didn't take any interest in this place, Quatre thought sadly sitting on a stone bench at the heart of the garden. He imagined that this used to be beautiful at one time; it was too bad that it had been allowed to fall into such disgrace.

"What are you doing out here?"

He jumped and twisted to see Trowa appear from the shadows behind him.

"I thought I heard something. I was trying to find it when I ended up out here." He turned back around. "Funny... I never came out here before."

Trowa moved silently forward. "No one has touched these gardens since their caretaker perished. I had forbidden it. I let it go wild after that."

"You knew the person who created this?"

The brunette nodded slowly. "She was a young woman in my care a few years ago." His eyes slid over the bared skin of Quatre's torso. "You should return to the house, it's too chilly out here for you dressed like that."

Quatre nodded and stood to go. Before he did he stopped in front of Trowa, his soft blue eyes gazing up at him. "You said she perished. What happened?" He asked quietly.

Trowa drew in a quick breath at the blonde's nearness, his eyes falling on the boy's pale skin. Once again his hunger rose, only this time it was tainted with a different kind of hunger. Something he didn't allow himself to feel.


He'd learned that lesson a very long time ago.

"She fell in love with me... it eventually led to her taking her own life." He said flatly, stepping away from Quatre.

Quatre gasped. "I-I'm sorry." He said quietly. "Forgive me." He turned and started to head back to the house.


The blonde stopped and turned around.

"Keep your distance from me. It's not safe to try and get too close... it could mean your own life." Trowa said softly. "I'm not what you think me to be."

Quatre stared wide-eyed at him. "Excu..."

"GO!" Trowa roared angrily.

With a strangled sound the boy turned and fled into the house. Trowa sat on the bench and stared out over the gardens, his face expressionless.

Inside he was seething. Anger at himself for feeling desire for the boy, a child barely seventeen... and anger because he had lashed out at the blonde over his own failings.

Anger because he had allowed himself to feel fear... he was suddenly terrified that Quatre would find out about him. And then he'd end up like she did... so horrified and disgusted by what she had been living with that she had taken her own life.


If you did not read the note at the beginning of this chapter, please do ^_^

[1] They are talking about King Arthur... Nagi is a devoted fan of Arthurian legends... to the point of almost obsession. And I DO believe that there is fact buried in the fiction.


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