Chapter THREE

Rain, Rain, Go Away, Bother Me Some Other Day

In a three floored studio one practicing band member stared hungrily out the second floor transparent window. Around the area where she sat there were dirty dishes in the sink, a cold cup of coffee on the dining table, and pale blue colored walls. The person gave a depressing sigh, and lightly brought their head down on the glass window.

She was suppose to be practicing with the members upstairs, but she didn't have the energy to do it, or anything else for that matter at all. In the distance one could hear the muffled sound of music, as it made its way down to the second floor. She buried herself into her blue sweater and blew out some warm air.

In parts of the city she could mentally picture the promotional posters of the members that were pasted on to street lamps, or pinned up on the side of buildings. She felt embarrassed when she found her image posted up for the whole world to see. That was probably why the band members wore masks, so that no one would recognize them.

The door creaked open slightly and someone called out her name.

"I don't wanna go…" she began to whine, "Let them do it without me."

"You know they won't do that," Pedro started to walk inside.

"…" she gave an exasperated sigh and turned to face the cheerful individual, "Just let me rot here…"

"It's that time of the month, isn't it?"

"Gee, I wonder what gave it away…" she asked sarcastically.

Upstairs the music ceased, and the members just looked at one another. It had been the same thing once a month, a lot of the members acted like that, since they were by nature only women. Both Pedro and Leila went upstairs and as soon as the doorknob turned the members were already gathered around the area of the door. The equipment was left where it was at, neatly stacked up against the wall of the practice room.

Leila waved to her band members, and gave a fake smile for a moment, that was until someone found out she was forcing it upon herself. Leila rolled her eyes and scoffed walking past them and sitting on her stool, her keyboard was a bit dusty around the knobs, she hadn't been to practice in over two weeks now.

"Is it that time of the month?" one of the members asked her.

"Yeah…" she muttered in a rather more gentle tone.

"Hey, what's been more important than practice, Leila?" the one who talked earlier asked. This speaker was the one who found out Leila was faking her smile.

"I've just been having some rough time at home."

In the distance she could hear that someone was laughing, that was Pedro's laugh as a matter of fact. Leila slowly turned her head and looked at Pedro laughing away. She felt a bit embarrassed, but the sentence she just said had another meaning to Pedro, and at that point she just laughed at herself.

Another member asked the two what was so funny, but they said it was a 'you had to be there moment' in order to get it. The other members just looked at the two of them a bit more confused than anything else. The guitarist of the band told them that they were going to take a break for a little while.

The guitarist and lead vocalist of the band, her really name was Lily Diaz. She had just turned 20 years old and already she looked a bit older than her real age. She had her jet black hair parted to the side, making it seem one side was longer than the other. Her green eyes stood out more due to her light skin, and she had dark brown hair. Her manner of clothing was always a pair of ripped jeans and a loose fitting shirt with a choker on her neck, but today though she wore a jacket because of the cold, and some sweatpants.

The drummer, the one who mostly got on Leila's nerves at points, but they still kept their friendship, her name was Rade Avalora. She had a monotone voice when it first came to trying out for the band, but she could make a beat like nobody's business. She had turned 20 about a couple of months; she was the oldest from the group. Rade had short layered hair in the back, and long strands in the front with red streaks, she had really light skin, and brown eyes.

She was the flirtatious one of the whole bunch, and it did get on everyone's nerves, even on Pedro's nerves. She mostly wore black pants and tight shirts to practice, or a shirt with a skirt. For this time of the month she was wearing warm fitting clothes, which meant a long sleeved shirt and some pants.

Ariki Lawrence, the bass player for the band, she was the second youngest of the group. She had long black hair down to her waist, with a tinge of light brown, and skin that was light brown, and light green eyes that stood out as well. She and Leila were the youngest of the whole bunch, so they were treated at times like the babies of the band.

Both Ariki and Leila looked younger than their age, and because of that one of the newspapers and magazine articles labeled their age to be 17 rather than 19. The two of them didn't care, because they didn't really like giving out their age all that much. She wore a couple of Asian inspired clothing, and jeans or skirts, depending on the weather, which usually meant on cold days some baggy pants and a long sleeved black shirt with a jacket of any color was worn.

Finally, Leila Marquez, age 19, the second vocalist and keyboardist of the band. She had dark brown hair that went a little down the shoulders, dark brown eyes, and light brown skin. She was the quietest one from the whole group, but she opened up at the start of the band. She was mostly in charge of a couple of thing, along with the guitarist, and also with the new production of writing the lyrics for their original songs, or setting up on how to play other band's songs, with the permission of the respective band of course.

Her manner of clothing was a bit similar to Ariki's but she didn't like a wear skirts, she wore jeans, t-shirts, and tennis shoes all year around, unless if it was for something like a dance or charity event, or wherever her friend decided to drag her. Today though she decided to wear a long sleeved blue sweater with a pair of jeans, a black shirt, and black tennis shoes

The band was called Az-Ez, pronounced as 'as is' due to Lily and Leila's formation of the band. It had been a solid year since they started, and things were all right with the whole thing. This was more of a fan-based band since they played other artist's work for fun, but when they wrote their own music it mostly became known state wide.

"You come in for practice three weeks ago, just for one week, and then you bail out on us for two weeks, what's been up with you, Leila?" Rade asked sipping some tea from her cup.

"I've been busy…" she whispered darting a glance at Pedro who was pouring himself some green tea.

"That's not what I've heard!" he said looking at her, and he smiled.

The other band members stopped what they were doing and looked at Pedro a bit more interested in what he had to say now. Leila forced a small laugh and took in deep breath as she was going to speak, but Pedro beat her to it.

"But I'm not going to say anything, it's a 'you had to be there' sort of thing."

"You always say that, Pedro!" Lily said whining.

Leila sighed in relief and looked away from the other members. For right now she was glad that he didn't say anything. It had been in fact two weeks since Lecra met Pedro. 'He's just been busy, that's all…' she thought to herself praying for that to be true. 'I just hope he didn't do anything stupid. But I promised him in my part that I would visit him too, aw geez what a fine mess I got myself into now…' she thought swirling the cup of coffee that was handed to her.

"What's wrong Leila, you're more quiet than usual." Ariki looked at her.

"I'm just thinking, that's all, Ariki. It's nothing you have to worry about." She said as gentle as she could.

Rade looked at Leila but she didn't think anything of it, she decided what Leila said was the truth and didn't bother to really pry into the whole matter. Lily on the other hand wasn't ready to stop asking questions anytime soon. Ariki would just sit there listening to Lily ask and ask so many questions, at some points both her and Leila got a bit annoyed.

"I got it…I'm betting that it's because you haven't had a date in couple of years, that's why you're so quiet." Lily said thinking she reached the conclusion of her friend's problem.

Leila gave a cheerful smile and shook her head, "That's not it, not even close."

"Then tell us Leila, what's the matter?" Ariki asked.

"Have you ever had that dream where you're awake, and it feels like you're in what reality is suppose to feel like, and then you just wake up… I mean have you ever wondered whether what you dream is real, and what you're doing awake is a dream?" she asked looking at all of the members.

"Leila just shut up, okay?" Rade said shaking her head. "Honestly if people heard you talk like that they'd assume you're crazy or something… Besides if you think like that then your whole life is a never ending dream."

Leila blinked for a little moment at Rade's handle on the situation, but she managed to laugh anyway.

"Rade, I think she's trying to tell us all something." Lily said getting a concerned. Leila turned to look at Lily, she wasn't really hiding anything, she was just saying what was on her mind, at least for right now anyway.

'This is why I don't like talking so much, because when I do talk, then I'm getting labeled as a lunatic. Maybe I just stop talking… I mean I can, but not with Lecra around, that's different,' she found her smiling, Leila didn't notice that she was getting stares from her peers.

"What I'm saying is, look, Leila," Lily tried to provide words of advice. "Stop trying to dig your hole, and climb out of it. It's not healthy, face it, you're not going to meet anyone if you're in your hole."

'Not this crap again, oh my goodness can't she come up with something better than the hole? Every time I think of hole I think of those dang port-a-potty's you see near construction site,' she wasn't really paying attention to the advice Lily was trying to provide.

"I like my hole…" Leila said, speaking without even consulting her brain. "I can stay there and no one can hurt me," she felt herself laughing for a bit.

Pedro smacked his hand onto his forehead shaking his head. She had just added more fuel to the fire, he knew she only spoke the truth, but they were probably going to label her as suicidal or something. He called Leila outside the building, he was able to get her away from the noise that would soon erupt from the mouths of the Az-Ez members.

The two of them excused themselves from the group ignoring their names being called. Pedro and Leila walked down the flight of stairs and arrived at the main building, the first floor. Pedro's real job was managing the band, thus he was called the manager.

He and Ariki were the only two, besides the kitsune, who understood Leila's very nature, she was labeled as a child of the moon, due to the date of her birth. The members of the band, well some of them anyway, took the whole horoscope analogy very serious, but Leila, Ariki, and Pedro didn't really a rat's behind for that, they thought it was a waste of time. Leila for the most part, just a little bit, took the fact that she was the child of the moon, she knew her nature was being shy and that she was more driven by emotions than anything else, she didn't need some damn chart telling her that at all.

There were more descriptions of the child of moon, but it would take more than person's lifetime to make heads or tails of what they were trying to say. Back to the whole process though, Pedro was in a way Leila's psychologist. Ariki was Leila's little patient and what not, it was just basically a never ending circle of mental help that was given to and from one another.

"I've been thinking…" Leila started to break the silence, "I've been thinking of quitting this band, I want to go and major in psychology…"

"WHAT?!" the feminine man yelled from the top of his lungs.

In the distance people doing their paper work on the bottom floor stuck their heads out from their cubicles, like a turtle poking its head out of its shell. Pedro couldn't believe what he was hearing.

"After the performance for this Saturday, I'm announcing my leave of this band." She said holding no remorse in her voice, she was speaking clearly from her mind. "I think it's time for a change in things, maybe the band should stop wearing their masks too."

"So then, you're leaving the band for good?" he asked.

She shrugged in response, Leila wasn't all that sure if she should quit the band or not, she had been thinking about it for a while, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. Leila wanted to explore what was around her, since she met Lecra, and she knew for a fact that the kitsune were alive, she had never felt more compelled to leave this place. But she thought for a moment, she couldn't leave she was attached to this place, she had so many fond memories, mostly the ones that came to her were just the bad things, but even that provided to show her a lesson.

"I don't know, I'm just beginning to think I'm talking out of my ass… I probably don't even mean half of the things I've said." She said looking down at the tiles from the floor.

"I know what you're getting at though…" that phrase made Leila smile.

"That's what he says," she told Pedro giving him a real smile for the first time in what seemed like a long time.

Pedro gave a small laugh, but then it started to burst out, it was out of joy, and then at one point he was starting to cry. He hadn't seen her smile like that in couple of years, something in her soul was starting to wake up, though the flame died just as quickly as it came. He was glad though that he was able to see her smile, even if it was just for that small moment in time. Pedro made sure to tell Ariki as soon as possible once this was over.

"Come on gay guy, don't cry… You're embarrassing your workers…" she said trying to lighten up the mood.

"I never thought a guy would make you act this way, I don't know what to say, I'm speechless for right now…" Pedro said starting to hug Leila with all his might. He ended up just sobbing onto her sweater, and the people there, that were doing their job, looked away, embarrassed by their boss's behavior.

"I guess he has then…" Leila said patting his back, trying to comfort him. "How about we get out of this place, and go get some coffee?"

"That sounds really good right about now…" Pedro said wiping his eyes now.

Lecra was walking out of the woods, back into the city to go visit her, one couldn't tell but it was around 12 o'clock in the afternoon, the clouds were still looming overhead. Lecra was wearing a black shirt, with another hooded sweater that was a bit large on him, and some blue jeans, with white tennis shoes that had designs on them, and a black cap.

"You… You've been sneaking out into the city?!" a woman shrieked inside the cabin as she heard Ethan tell his friend's story.

Lecra sighed and looked away at the paranoid kitsune, she was always this loud, but today it was more than usual. He was getting pestered by her, but he still didn't crack, or answer her questions.

"What's wrong with you, Lecra?" she asked. "I don't see you, I don't have a chance to talk to you, I thought we…"

"If you want to talk you'll have to walk up pretty early, but since you can't you'll always miss your chance to chat with me." He said looking at one of the nearby paintings that hung by the wall, he didn't want to see the reaction she was going to place on her expression.

The female kitsune smelled the air and noticed a distinct aroma, it was female, but of another species. She realized what it was, and she yelled again at him, with any insulting word she could muster out of her mouth.

"Are you done, Karen?" Lecra asked in a calm tone.

"What… How dare you Lecra-" she was cut off.

"Look, I'm really late for my appointment…" Lecra said putting his shoes on, ignoring the female kitsune. "I'll catch you guys later then, bye." He said waving to them and heading out of the cabin he slammed the door, and heard Karen cuss him out in the distance.

Lecra shook his head, as strands from his dark hair were falling over his eyes. That's the reason why he didn't like wearing anything on his head, his hair always got in the way of his vision. 'I hope she's not mad at me for being late…' he thought to himself as he was walking down that same sidewalk he always took to get to her house.

It had been around two weeks since he stopped visiting her, he was being watched by the other kitsune, they decided to let him go this week. He was going to make the most of it this time.

Lecra had been deciding whether or not to leave the cabin for good, but his family members sent their mail to that cabin, so he had to stay. 'I'll endure some more verbal abuse from Karen, but if she starts hugging me, I'm leaving… I can't stand it when she hugs me, she's OLD she's like 26 or something, I don't remember anymore,' he shuddered at the whole thought.

Her name was Karen, Karen Demi, she was a typical blond, only in the since that she had the hair color and the blue eyes. She was the leader of little clique that lived in the cabin, she was by far the oldest of them all, and acted like a mother, in her own way. She had this attachment to Lecra since he decided to live by himself, he didn't really like being around her, she was too clingy to him, up to the point it felt like sexual harassment or something to that effect.

He walked past a small promotional poster for a local band, he stopped to stare at it for a moment, something caught his eye. The people on the poster were wearing white kitsune masks, but it was around the beginning of the fall when the picture was taken for it. He looked at the name, and pronounced it slowly to himself.

"As, is…" he said feeling like a child for a moment at that time. A couple of bystanders were looking at the poster as well. Most of the bystanders were girls, and at times he felt that they weren't just staring at the poster, but at him as well. He walked along, back to his other home now, humming something he heard on the radio.

Something was calling to him, each step he took he felt he was getting closer and closer to something, but what? 'It's that scent… I know it, it's on the tip of my tongue, but what is it?' he thought to himself passing a local coffee shop. He thought it was the smell of the coffee, but it was something else, he didn't really care, he thought it wasn't anything important, besides he didn't want to make any detours on his way to Leila's house.

Two blocks from her home, Lecra saw a little cart, an elderly woman along with her granddaughter were selling some roses, carnations, daisies, and some other flowers. Lecra mostly saw those kinds of flowers when he was back at home in the woods. He checked his pant's pocket and found his wallet; he was walking along the side where the cart was. There he checked the inside of his wallet and found a little more than 100 dollars worth of currency. He got an idea stirring up into his head, as he ran down the street to the flower cart.

Leila was walking out of the coffee shop along with Pedro, they had sat down and had their cup of coffee, but their cell phones were vibrating from the calls they were getting from the other girls in the band. The keyboardist sighed and pulled out her phone from her sweater's pocket. The phone was shaking, flashing in blue lights the word 'ARiKi'. She flipped open the phone and answered the call in a very calm manner.

Pedro sighed and pretended to find something to do, he just really wanted to eavesdrop on the whole conversation.

"I'm fine, we're at the coffee shop," she waited for Ariki to finish her sentence, "No, not that place, the one where you and I hang out at." Ariki seemed to understand by what she meant. "So then, you're going to meet us here… Great! I'm sorry if the others gave you a hard time though…"

Leila had to put the phone away from her ear as a noise erupted from the speaker, it was a bit loud for any voice. Ariki had gotten a bit flustered apparently, she didn't like having to clean up Leila's messes after she left.

"I'm sorry Ari," she said meaning it whole-heartedly. "We'll see you here then, bye." And with that put the phone back in its place.

Pedro rolled his eyes and walked back into the shop, muttering something about the female sex. Leila didn't really focus her whole attention to Pedro's little monologue about the wonders of the other side. The two of them just went back to the table they had been sitting at, they ordered another cup of coffee, and things went smooth from there.

Though for Leila's male friend it was getting a bit annoying just sitting there drinking coffee. At times he would flirt with the men around in the area, and Leila just pretended to ignore the whole thing, the less attention she brought to herself the better.

Within thirty minutes of the phone call Ariki arrived at the coffee establishment and found a seat next to Leila, the place was crowded with some business people, and some teenagers. Ariki was talking about this guy she saw who had this big bouquet of flowers a couple of minutes ago.

"I wish I could meet someone like that…" Ariki said after the waiter left.

"Well that guy knows what he's doing to keep his woman happy," Leila said sipping some of the warm liquid. "If you ask me it's really nice that, that guy is doing something nice for his girlfriend, or wife, or whatever she means to him."

"Yeah but, what if there's the possibility that he's you know…?" Pedro asked.

Ariki rolled her eyes and sipped her coffee, "Then he's a lucky boyfriend."

"Speaking of lucky boyfriends…" Pedro started to speak looking at Leila with a mischievous look in his eye, "I saw our little Leila with someone a couple of weeks ago."

Ariki sprayed the liquid that was in her mouth, and she was gasping for air, like a gapping fish out of water. The other two stared at her with a blank expression on their faces, she regained her composure and took in a deep breath. She questioned Leila about what their flamboyant friend had just implied, but she denied the whole event from ever happening. Pedro looked at Leila with these eyes that could make anyone nervous, he didn't like being made a fool of, whether it be male or female that did.

"Well you guys, look at the time," Leila said looking up at the clock that hung on the doorway it showed to be around 6 o'clock, "it's getting late." She started to get up from the chair. "Oh yeah…" she rummaged around her pockets for her wallet, and pulled out a twenty dollar bill. "I'll pay for half of the tab."

Ariki offered to walk with Leila to her house, but Pedro said that he would kindly drive back to her home. She decided to instead have Pedro drop Ariki to her own house, and let herself walk the rest of the way home, it wasn't that far from the area. The two agreed, even though they didn't want to leave Leila walking by herself.

The male friend helped pay for the rest of the tab, walking up to the register of the shop, and then when he finished he walked his female friends out of the establishment. The young male was talking about his boyfriend Ben for a little while and decided that once he dropped off Ariki that he would go and visit his good 'companion' as he liked to call him, and spend some time with him.

Leila bid a small goodbye to her friends and started to walk down the street. She found a familiar bus stop, and smiled at the familiar memory that swept her mind for that small moment in time. She left memory lane and went on with the task at hand. Her gaze was glued to the sidewalk, even in public she would always look down as she walked, that's just how she was.

The lights and sound of the city, everything was always moving, like if it never slept, even on a day like this the whole world just kept on moving. The people would always be walking, and you'd always find someone walking the streets up and down even into the wake of midnight. All the noises and smells that created the city awoke something different to everybody.

As she was taking her steps she ended up bumping into a pedestrian at the end of block. She looked up slightly a bit thrown from her thoughts, he had blue eyes, and she could see tips of blond hair fall forward from under his hat. Leila apologized and walked on, but she felt a grasp on her arm hold her back.

"You smell like him…" that's what she managed to hear anyway before pulling away from the man. He didn't make the effort of clarifying his statement, nor did she even try to make sense of it. Nothing to her senses came to mind, she couldn't tell what she smelled like, unless it was something strong like alcohol, or cigarettes, from when the band took a break and either smoked or drunk.

The man didn't look back at her and kept on walking, with a satisfied grin on his face. 'She'll be happy to hear about this,' the blue eyed man thought as he walked away. Leila just sighed in relief that nothing else had happened, but she still wanted to know what the man meant by 'you smell like him'.

The park around the area wasn't that far away, and she had some time to spare before the lights would turn on to signal the coming of the night. She found a nearby bench around the area of the park and she sat there, still staring down at her feet, and still thinking. The trees were still a bit bare, and a lot of colors were on the floor. Every so often a couple of joggers would pass by the park doing their laps, and Leila would watch them for a while.

The wind was blowing about gently, moving some the fallen leaves about the cement sidewalk. One of the leaves picked itself off into the air, and Leila watched it as it went back down to the ground. She decided right then and there that it was a good time for her to go back home.

Leila just had to cross the street and she would be a couple of houses away from her own home. In the distance she could see her porch light turned on, she always did that when she wasn't home, and the bathroom light was always left on. She thought back to the kitsune for a moment and she sighed. 'I should probably go and visit him tomorrow, I know where that cabin is at, I use to pass by there when I was a kid,' she thought to herself.

The young teenager walked up to the front side of her house and looked around her area, making sure she didn't forget anything. There were a couple of flower petals on her steps, and then she thought back to a comment that Ariki made about a guy with a big bouquet of flowers. 'They probably were carried here by the wind,' she thought looking around the area, and finally turned around to see what was in back of her, all she saw were the streets that seemed almost empty, except for the people heading home from work, either by car or by foot, or by other modes of transportation.

She made her way up the steps and looked at something that was on the side of the door. Right there sitting in full view was a beautiful arrangement of flowers from daisies to violets. The scent of flowers was embedded into that small corner. 'They probably got the wrong house, again,' she thought thinking back to that awkward delivery, where she received a rather embarrassing device that was meant for her elderly neighbor. Leila shook her head and walked up to read the little card attached to it.

It read as the following:

'Hey how's my favorite pervy girl doing? I bet you're laughing at this right now, but I have a feeling you're going to get me back for calling you a pervert on this card. Anyway I'm sorry I was late in coming today, but I was held up for a while back in the cabin. I'll come and visit you later tonight, so please don't worry about coming to visit me. I am REALLY, really, sorry for not coming last week, but I was being put on some sort of probation of some arrangement. I' sorry if I made you worry, but I'm going to try and make it up to you, I promise.'

From Yours Truly,

Lecra S.

Leila shook her head and smiled, she heard something in the distance and turned around quickly. There was a figure standing eerily in the opening from the stairway that was in front of the house. She jumped back as the figure started to approach her, she asked who it was, but the figure didn't answer her right away.

"It's me…" the voice did sound familiar.

"Lecra…" she sighed in relief. Leila wasted no time in hugging her favorite kitsune companion. The feeling of joy left when she tried to take of his cap, when she noticed right then and there that he was acting a bit jumpy. "What's the matter, Lecra?" she asked.

"It's nothing…" he answered.

"If it's nothing, then why are you acting so jumpy?" she asked a bit worried about the matter itself.

"Just forget about it, okay?" the tone in his voice seemed a bit harsh. She tried to grab his cap again, but she felt a strong grip as her arm stopped moving. "Leave it alone, okay?"

'He's acting really different… Why does it feel like it's not him?' she thought looking at Lecra. She managed to catch him off guard and grabbed the cap, running downstairs in the process. She turned around and noticed the man standing on her porch. The hair under the light was of a lighter color, she looked closely and noticed that there were strands of blond hair showing.

She moved back a bit more, dropping the cap in the confusion. 'I think I've seen him around before, my brain's telling me to run, but I can't move…' she noticed that the man was starting to advance forward.

"Don't come near me you freak!" she yelled moving back. She scanned the items on the ground. 'Damn it, my weapon's inside!' The strange man was walking forward pleading to the teenager that nothing would happen to her.

"That's a lie!" she yelled finally grabbing something from the ground. It was a metal pole from the handle of a broom. She swung it around, and looked at the man.

"Who the hell are you?!" she asked again yelling louder.

"Hey…" he tried his best to calm her down. "I'm a friend of Lecra's…" he said reverting back to his true form, the hair was starting to revert to a strange orange color before turning any lighter, while the eyes turned white for a moment as a small blue color started to swirl around small little pieces of skin started to poke out from under the hair, they looked like ears. "I though I'd come by and look around."

"You… You're the man from earlier…" she finally came to the conclusion as she saw his blue eyes, and the full head of blond hair, as well as the cap that was on the ground.

"He never told you did he?" he asked walking down the steps as he stated to confront her.

"Tell me what?" she placed herself in a defensive position with the metal pole in hand just in case.

"About a kitsune, we're shape shifters also." He pointed out to the teenager. "I'm sorry for frightening you a bit, but I just wanted to see you in person."

"Well you did, so get the hell out of this area, this is private property!" she warned him. "Get out… Or I'll make you."

"Feisty girl are we?" he smirked. "I like that in a girl… But it's too bad you're taken." He started to move again, but he stopped as something in the air caught his attention.

"LEILA!" she heard someone call out her name from across the street. She turned around quickly and saw someone run across the street, a couple of cars screeched as the tires streaked against the road coming to a complete stop. The person slid off the hood of one of the cars as it didn't make a complete stop. He moved up to his feet and finally made it to the other side, charging after the person opposite of Leila. At that moment she knew this was Lecra.

Lecra's body collided with the other person and he pinned that individual down with more than enough force. He made it very clear to this other kitsune that he wasn't joking about the event that unfolded of the whole meeting.

"What the hell are you doing here, Ethan?!" Lecra demanded to know. "I told you not to come here," he whispered sternly to him. He looked back at Leila and noticed she looked a bit shaken up. "What did you do to her, tell me…" Lecra grabbed Ethan by the collar and pushed him against the ground. "What did you do to her?!"

"Nothing you freaking idiot!" he yelled breaking free of Lecra's grasp. "I didn't mean to scare her…"

"Well that's too bad because you did." Lecra said whispering in a low voice. "Look, just leave, all right?" he asked him, trying to keep his voice low, they were drawing attention to themselves. Leila had informed the bystanders that one of them was drunk, that seemed to get them to leave.

"Tell her I'm sorry…" Ethan said starting to stand up.

Leila dropped the pole and slowly walked over to the two of them and she bowed her head to the kitsune by the name of Ethan. She asked Lecra to forgive him, partially for the fact that she had overreacted as well. Lecra didn't really want to do that, but since he knew that Ethan didn't hurt her, he let him off the hook. At that point the sky started to weep, the rain was starting to come, first in a drizzle, and then it started to pour.

"Great…" both Lecra and Leila said sarcastically.

After exchanging names and what not, Leila offered Ethan to stay the night, but that he shouldn't get comfortable staying in here forever. Lecra was handed the keys to the house for now, so that he could unlock the door. Leila ran up past the steps and grabbed the flowers that were addressed to her and looked back at the two kitsune who walked up slowly, after she did.

It was probably a kitsune's nature to be very cautious of their surrounds, especially when you're around an area that is inhabited by humans. Lecra fumbled around with the keys as he tried to unlock the door. The weather was starting to turn a bit chilly due to the moisture that was pouring down on them. Both Leila and Ethan told the other kitsune to hurry up, or else they might as well just end up freezing their asses off.

Lecra just sighed and ended up unlocking the door, he watched Ethan get in first, and then he watched Leila go on after. He took the keys with him and entered inside the house, closing the door and locking it.

"You called her a 'pervy'?" Ethan asked as he saw Leila put the flowers on the table.

"You read the card?" the other two asked looking at him.

"Well yeah, I mean I was out on that damn porch for like about an hour." He said flopping on the couch. Ethan turned on the television and flipped around for anything that would keep his mind busy.

"I'm sorry that my friend here scared you," Lecra said kissing Leila lightly on the forehead. Leila nodded and just sighed in relief that nothing bad had happened at all.

"Aw, ain't that cute?" Ethan said smiling at the two of them. "You look just like those people you see acting out in the movies… Too bad this isn't like on of the movies you see on TV."

The couple just shook their heads and walked into the living room sitting up against one of the walls near the couch. The two of them just sat there absorbed in the presence of the other, everything seemed to move so slowly when they were around each other.

"Ethan what did you mean by 'you smell like him'?" she asked. She noted that Lecra had blushed a bit.

"Well judging by our buddy's face," he started to tease his kitsune friend, "I'll say it for him. It means that you're marked, kiddy."


"Not literally, well…" Ethan got a bit comfortable in the couch. "It means that once you have the scent of a kitsune on you, you're that kitsune's property… It's kinda like when a lion marks its territory it leaves some physical evidence, saying that that is theirs."

"So smelling like Lecra means that I'm his?" Leila asked noticing that Lecra wasn't looking at her.

"Yep… The same applies to him. He carries your scent with him, it's faint but it's there. So he's yours, and you're his." He said not facing either one of them he started to watch something on the television.

Leila turned to face Lecra, and she smiled at him for a moment before asking another question.

"Kitsune are shape shifters, right Lecra?" she asked.

Lecra got a bit comfortable now and held Leila in his arms as he explained the whole thing about shape shifting to her. He stated that a kitsune could become a shape shifter when he turned a thousand years old, which was equivalent to twenty years in what the human's called when celebrating their birthday. Also he explained that once they reached 'twenty' they could have other abilities. Lecra told her that he was going to turn a thousand next year.

"How old are you, Ethan?" she asked curiously.

"I'm 21 in human years, so I guess that makes me…" Ethan started to talk.

"That's a thousand and fifty years old. And I still managed to find somebody special before I reached the big 2-O." Lecra still managed to brag to the other kitsune about it.

"You look really young though Ethan… How old do you think I look?" Leila asked hoping she wouldn't get the answer she dreaded.

"15…" he said looking at her from head to toe. "How old are you kid?"

"19…" she said sighing and putting her head down

"Yeah well, I feel bad for Karen she's thirteen hundred years old, and she still hasn't found anyone yet." Ethan said putting his hands in back of his head, as he lay on the couch. "She scares the shit out of Lecra, doesn't she buddy?"

He just nodded, as he was nuzzling against the curve of Leila's neck, he loved being around her so much, she was like a drug to him, but a good drug. Leila watched the figures move around the screen of the television. She thought back to her day today, and how everything seemed almost so ordinary in a way. Leila still didn't tell the kitsune that she was in a band, or about her family, but neither did he, except for the fact that he was half Canadian.

"Are you going to be glad when you turn a thousand?" Leila asked wrapping her arms around him.

"Just a little, I mean yeah I'll get stronger and wiser, but… I don't know, it just doesn't seem that special." He said kissing the side of her head, taking in the scent of her hair. "Hey you smell like papaya, star fruit, and… mandarin," he said kissing her hair. "It smells really good."

"Dear, sweet, merciful, God get a room you two… Or put a damn lock on this idiot's mouth, jeez…" Ethan said turning the volume a bit louder on the television. "But anyway, Lecra's she all right, she's not that hot, but hey, I'd prefer some of the other girls that walk around here."

"I think she's hot…" Lecra said looking at his friend. "Besides some of them smell of alcohol or other things… If not that then, that means that some of their parts are fake."

"That's true…" Ethan said actually thinking about it. "What about the girls on those posters, you know the one with the kitsune masks, you think they're fake?"

"I think so…" Lecra said, he felt Leila pinch his ear for a moment. "Ow…"

Ethan watched the couple for a moment, and smiled for the two of them. Leila then asked why couldn't he smile like his friend Ethan, but Lecra stated that it was a different matter for him. Leila asked what the real reason was, and Ethan blurted out that it was because he was embarrassed, he was shy when it came to expressing how he felt to others.

"You like her, don't you, Lecra?" Ethan asked him again. "No wait… You love her don't you?" the blank expression on Lecra's face was good enough for him.

Leila looked at Ethan with a confused look on her face, she understood what he said, but she couldn't grasp the reason as to why he said it. 'Man I need to get another contractor to build a room for this guy…' she thought.

"I thought you guys would be all over each other…" Ethan pointed out, "that's what couples do, don't they?"

"That's lust my friend," Leila said looking at the television screen for a moment.

"Well not today we aren't anyway, it's because you're here, you're taking out our lusting atmosphere," Lecra said teasing his companion as he saw how red her face became, it was a bit hard to make her blush like that due to her skin color, but when he was able to do it, it was worth it.

At that point something in Leila's pocket started to vibrate, which made her jumpy.

"Is that what I think it is?" Ethan asked raising an eyebrow.

"No, you retard!" she said hearing her voice crack. "My phone…"

She answered the call and told them to be quiet for that small moment. It was Rade and Lily on three-way she just had a gut feeling but anyway, she rolled her eyes and took the call.

"No… I'm fine I'm just here, alone."

"Hey," Ethan said loudly for the people on the phone to hear.

"Oh that… That was a friend of mine," she said trying to control her nerves. "Yeah, nothing's going on… No, I'm fine, really."

"Well of course she's fine, I have a friend who's taking real good care of her tonight!" Ethan said laughing.

"Shut the hell up, Ethan!" the other two yelled at him.

"Listen you two I'll call you back," she didn't give the other people a chance to respond and she hung up on them. She glared at Ethan and just decided not to do anything about it. Lecra changed his position and asked if he could rest his head on her lap, but she refused due to her 'condition'.

"It's not like you smell down there…" Ethan said, before receiving a smack in the face with Leila's cell phone.

"And that's why you can't find a girl, you freaking idiot…" she said covering her face in embarrassment. "I'm going to bed… I hope the rain stops by tomorrow…" she muttered the latter part. She kissed Lecra lightly on the cheek, and told the two of them goodnight. "No funny business you two, I want to be able to have a good night sleep, okay?"

The two nodded like little children, Ethan was rubbing one side of his cheek as there was a red mark on it. 'Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day… Or never when Ethan's in town…' Leila thought as she walked down the hall.

"Hey, Leila?" Lecra called out from the living room. "Where is Ethan going to sleep?"

"In the living room," Leila said rubbing her head slightly. She turned around slightly to look at hallway, the screen from the television was casting shadows down the area.

"Then… where am I going to sleep?" Lecra asked sticking his head into the hallway.

"There's an extra room in the kitchen, by the refrigerator, it's got a sign on it, you can't miss it." She said hoping that Lecra could find his way to the extra room.

"Ok… Thanks Leila." Lecra said.

"You're welcome, Lecra." She said heading to her room, she turned the knob of the door and went inside. Her room was located across the hall from the bathroom, which meant that her room was on the same side as the opening for the basement. She brushed her teeth and went into her room.

Leila went on and closed the door behind her and turned on the lights to her room. The walls were painted a light blue color, with white borders, and light blue tiles on the floor, with a blue and black checkered rug at the foot of the bed. The bed had black and white checkered sheets, covers, and pillowcases. Next to her bed was a small nightstand, with a little lamp on it, and one of the cordless phones that were in the house. To the right side of the room was a sliding mirror door, for the closet. Her bed was stationed near the wall that met with the living room, which meant she could hear the television's clamor slightly.

The rain was still coming down as it hit the glass window from outside her room. Leila slipped into her two piece yellow pajama, and flopped over to her bed lazily. She sighed heavily and pulled the covers so she could sleep. Within a matter of minutes after drowning out the noise from the television, and letting the rainfall be her only lullaby, she drifted off into sleep.

It was late into the night, and Lecra hadn't been able to sleep, he breathed out and smelled the faint aroma of mouthwash on him as he closed the door to the bathroom, he was walking around in some comfortable pants and a white shirt at the time.

He had made his way into the spare room, he flipped the switch on the lights and looked around. It was a plain looking room, it hadn't been used in a while though, that's how dusty it was in the room. A couple of furniture pieces were still being used, seeing as how they were less dusty. On top of one of the drawers was a framed picture of a family of four. Lecra walked up to it and he picked it up off the place it was in. There was a man and a woman, with a daughter who looked more like the father's side, and another daughter who had the mother's appearance.

'This must be her and her family…' he thought blowing the dust on it to get a better look. He right away was able to tell which one was Leila, she was the older one. 'She got her looks from her father's side of the family,' he thought laughing a bit. 'And she has a younger sister… Strange she never talks about them though… But I haven't told her about my family either, so maybe it's better like that.' Lecra sat down the bed as it creaked from the weight.

"I can't sleep…" he said to himself, feeling a bit envious at the fact that Ethan was already out like a light. "I didn't say goodnight to Leila…" he hung his head down and sighed. "That's what's gotten me worked up…" he placed the picture on the night stand near the bed, and looked at another picture. This one was of a young boy, and of the older girl, they were cheek to cheek, with big smiles on their faces. He recognized the boy right way, "That's the fairy guy… What was his name…? Pedro…? Yeah that sounds about right… I guess they've been friends for a long time then." He said putting that picture back where he found it.

He shook his head and got up, he opened the door slightly and walked through the kitchen. He saw the light from the bathroom turned on, and he walked over there cautiously. Ethan jumped at the sight of seeing his friend this late at night. Lecra felt his skin jump a bit.

"What the hell are you doing up?" Lecra whispered to his friend, he was washing his hands at the time.

"Using the bathroom why else?" Ethan looked at him a bit strangely as he dried his hands. "Why are you up?"

"That's none of your business," he started to answer, "but I couldn't go to sleep."

"Then find a way to sleep…" Ethan said turning off the light from the bathroom and closed the door as he walked out. "If you're thinking about going into Leila's room forget it, she's not that kind of girl, and you know that for a fact."

"What the hell makes you think I would do something like that?!" he whispered harshly.

"Hey it's only natural… But then again you're the only guy who-" Ethan was cut off as he saw a fist dangerously close to his face. "Fine, fine… I'm going back to sleep, geez, Lecra…" he went back grumpily back to the living room.

Lecra sighed and watched Ethan go into the living room. He sat at the edge of Leila's room just putting his head up against the wall, and just sighing for a little while. This was the first time they didn't stay up together since he came to visit her, it was a little nerve-racking for him, but he was able to deal with it.

"There's a lot I have to tell her about… I know that's the real reason why I'm still awake, it's been eating away at me for sometime, but… I feel like it's still not time yet…" he whispered to himself, he pushed that aside and made his way into her room. He was as quiet as he could possibly be.

There she was still asleep, he even envied her for that small moment in time, he still wasn't tired yet. The kitsune closed the entry as quietly as he could so as not to wake her. Leila turned in her sleep, and Lecra froze feeling his heartbeat faster, but he quickly relaxed when he saw she hadn't woken up.

He walked over to her, and sat near the bed, hearing her breathe in and out. He heard the bed springs creak as she mooved around in her sleep again. Her face was slightly covered by the covers, and he gently pulled it away from her features. 'She looks like a kid when she's asleep,' he thought as he smiled at her.

Leila moved closer to the edge, and at that moment she ended up waking herself up slowly. She opened her eyes for a moment, getting her vision adjusted to the darkness of her room. Right before her vision was Lecra, sitting at the edge of the bed, pushing some strands of her away from her face. The human wasn't alarmed, it was just annoyance due to the fact that she wanted to sleep.

"What are you doing here?" she asked groggily, she wasn't at all surprised by his visit.

"I couldn't sleep…" he said smiling at her. The kitsune felt a small pat on his head.

"See… I told you, you look better when you smile." Leila said sitting up slightly on her bed now. She patted a spot for the kitsune to sit at, and he accepted the invitation. She felt a small kiss on her hand, and laughed softly. "Now… What's the real reason you came here for?"

"To tell you goodnight," he said simply, resting his head on one of her pillows. "It smells like your shampoo, did you know?"

"I've been living here for a while, it'd be weird of me not to know what they smell like." She said as she lay on her side, stroking back some of the strands of hair away from the kitsune, she gave her companion a big smile. "Hey you smell like my mouthwash…" Leila pointed out.

"Can't a guy help it if he cares about his teeth?" he said sitting up slightly, and placing a hand on her cheek. "Lucky… You're warm under those covers…" he said pretending to pout.

"No way… You have a ton of body warmth to keep you warm…" she said covering herself up again.

"No… Hey come on…" he knew she was playing around. "Come on… Please… I don't want to be alone," he begged her, trying to pull the covers down.

"You so much as make a hole in the covers, I'll kill you…" she said warning him about tugging on it.

He let go and sighed in defeat, he told her that she won, but she felt like she didn't really win anything at all. The kitsune sat up and started to leave the bed when he heard the sound of fabric rush up on him. Leila held on tight to him covering him up with the covers at the same time.

"There you feel better now…?" she whispered to him.

"Now I do…" he said sincerely, turning around slightly to kiss her on the forehead. She fell back on her bed and pulled Lecra down with her.

"Crap… You're heavy!" she started to whine as Lecra didn't get up anytime soon. "You know now would be a nice time to sit up, or roll over to the side."

"Well that's what you get," he said messing up her hair. She frowned slightly, but let it go. The kitsune kissed her softly on the cheek and pulled back for a moment and looked at her. "What's with that look on you face?" he asked her as she got this big grin on her.

"Oh nothing…" she said poking his nose lightly, "Just thinking about something, that's all."

"What kind of dirty thought entered your mind this time?" all he got in response to that was a rub to the ear, and he flopped to the side of her. She could hear him growl happily, and she shook her head.

"Serves you right, for calling me a pervert…" she said kissing him on the cheek.

"Oh yeah…" he said smiling, "I forgot about that…" he said thinking back to what he wrote on the card. "Before I forget, I was lying about the seasons, I like fall the most because of the rain."

"Yeah well right now I wish it would stop raining…The rain brought Ethan into my house…"

"Yeah… I agree…" he said covering himself up in the covers. "Goodnight, Leila."

"Goodnight, Lecra." She said turning around in her bed.

"Did you like the flowers?"

"No, I loved them!" she whispered blissfully.

"It smells in here…"

"Get use to it… It'll be here once a month…"

"I know… but that's not what I was referring to."

"Oh…" she felt embarrassed now.

"But anyway… I'm going to tell you a story someday, okay?"

"All right, and I'll tell you one, someday."