A/N: Yeah I know I split the chapter I promised in two. But, I wanted to update as soon as possible. I was grounded from the computer and my MP3 player. My MP3 is still hidden away somewhere. But after begging and telling my mom that I had to update because I was getting threatening letters from my readers, she gave in. Okay, so you guys weren't threatening me, but you might as well have. I deserve it. Well, after a painfully long time of waiting, here is chapter 9 of Fiery Blossoms.

The slick bike growled to the front of the house and screeched to a halt. Neighbors peeked angrily and curiously out of their windows at the noise. Haru and Ayame climbed off the bike and walked silently to the front door. There was a heavy tension passing between them as the couple turned to face each other on the porch. Clearing his throat and putting his hands in his pockets, Haru tried to stir a conversation. "Hey, Ayame, next time you're feeling crazy we can do this again." He laughed, recalling all the events at the mall and the unfortunate security guard.

Ayame barely heard what he had said. She was too busy thinking about their almost-kiss. Kissing an attractive guy like that never crossed her mind. Back in school everyone was dating, kissing, holding hands in the hallway, and bragging about other things. There Ayame would sit in class, forced to listen to pretty girls talk about their perfect boyfriends. It wasn't jealousy, but when she felt like she had been kicked out of a club, like she was the weakling of the group, it tore her apart and broke her. Now, out of nowhere, a heavenly white light found its way into her life. The part of her that was broken was now getting stitched back together. That warm light was Haru.

When her two hands were gently taken by his, she came back from her thoughts and looked right into Haru's shy face. "Ayame, I trust you. I trust you more than anyone, maybe even more than the guys." Feeling unworthy of such a compliment, she shook her head and whimpered. He laughed softly and placed a hand on her right cheek to stop her head. "It's true. Because I trust you, I want to tell you something about me. But, once I tell you, I'm afraid that you might hate me…"

The front door swung open and there stood Ayame's grandmother in a robe and curlers. "Oh look, it's the fool!"

Haru laughed, knowing that she was just kidding. "It's good to see you, sexy."

She laughed heartfully "Ha, ha, ha, you deserve a cookie for your sarcastic humor. Ayame, wrap things up here." Instead of leaving, the old woman just stood there smiling at the two. Haru and Ayame just looked at her, signaling that they needed privacy. "Oh, you want me to go! Alright, I see how it is! Goodnight!"

When she left, the silent girl looked questionably up at Haru. With the moment ruined, Haru felt even more uncomfortable revealing his secret to her. "Well…goodnight!" Taking long strides, he tried to walk away before she could stop him. But, it was useless. An "uh" noise escaped her and he stopped. Haru looked back at the bewildered girl and smiled. "It was nothing, really. I was just overreacting a bit. I'll see you around, Ayame!"

Ayame waved after him as he turned the street corner. There was something bothering him. She knew there was something wrong. "I want to tell you something about me. But, once I tell you, I'm afraid you might hate me…" What was Haru not telling her?

Usually, Haru slumped up the steps leading to the floor where his apartment was. But, this time, he ran up them. He had been doing that same thing every night. But, that particular night was more uplifting than the others. He been on a date with Ayame and survived. Feeling proud, he thought he should reward himself with a smoke. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a box of cigarettes. He placed one in his mouth and searched his other pocket for his lighter. When he found nothing but lint, he rummaged through his other pockets. While he was scanning the ground, a voice spoke in a soft whisper, "If you need a light, I can help you out."

Haru did not have to look up to see who the voice belonged to. "It can't be…"

"Or, you could just simply light it up yourself, right? You and I know you're very capable of…"

Like a violent tornado, he spun around and yelled, "What the hell are you doing here, Michio? I have nothing more to do with you! Now, get lost!"

"Today, I saw you smiling." The young man had crimson hair, almost blood color. His eyes were dark violet and filled with evil. His smile hinted at psychotic pleasure and twisted ideas. He stood up and propped himself against the wall. "You were with that girl. Nice choice, Haru. She's very pretty. You better watch her closely or I just might snatch her from you."

Like that, Haru snapped and grabbed for the creepy guy's shirt collar. He jerked him roughly, but the young man made no change in emotion. "Don't you pull Ayame into this! She's just a friend!"

"A friend, huh?" He laughed wickedly, "From what I saw today at the skating rink, I wouldn't have doubted that you two were a couple. I mean, you were practically flirting with the way you were holding onto each other."

"The skating rink…what I felt…it was you…" His grip tightened on his collar, almost ripping it. He let go of Michio, but pushed him away roughly. "You've been spying on me, like a vulture. Just like old times, huh?"

He responded with a chilling chuckle. "Yes, but back then you didn't fight back. You've done some growing up. You were able to make it on your own, fulfill your dreams, and find a girl who doesn't mind your condition." He watched Haru's uneasy expression and gasped overdramatically. "Don't tell me she doesn't know! Oh, this is just too pathetic, Haru, even for you!"

"I am not pathetic…!" Haru tried to protest.

"What about the incident from ten years ago? Remember?" Images of a burning school building shot through his head. Children screaming, ceiling and walls collapsing and caving in on them. The smell of ash, burning flesh, and the suffocating smoke still remained fresh in his mind. The crimson-haired boy watched Haru's trembling and sick gaze. "You ran away like a coward. You are so pathetic!"

"I was confused…!"

"You're worthless."

"I felt terrified…!"

"Nobody wants you, Haru! You're lower than dirt!"

"No, you're wrong!"

"Come on, Haru, show me you still have it!"

"I can't!"

"How about I go and make an example out of that bitch! And I'll do a lot more than just kill her!" That's when the last bit of Haru's morals, self-control, and mental stability shattered. He held out his arms and a dazzling blue flame shot out at the boy, knocking him back more than just a few feet. When Michio raised his head and looked at Haru, he was sweating and panting. "What's the matter? With the mood you were in, you should have been able to kill me. Poor little Haru, you're getting rusty." Before Haru could react, a red blaze shot from Michio's hand and consumed him.

To be continued…Chapter 10: Into the Pits of Hellfire

BTW, I want to clear up the stuff that has been said. Yes, I read MARS and Fruits Basket. Yeah…I'll admit that Haru's line did sound like Hatori's line. Sorry 'bout that. As for the MARS resemblance, I'm sure that wasn't the only manga that had a quiet girl and a bad boy fall in love. So, I apologize that my story sounds like other things. I really didn't intend on doing that. So, any resemblance to any other things in the future are either unintentional or coincidental. There we go! Now, let's stop the flames please and become a happy family again here at FP! Bye-bye for now!