Chapter 7

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"Charlotte hasn't been going to class, and I haven't heard from her," Zero announced boldly, walking towards Kaname. He and Yuki were trailing behind the Night Class.

Hanabusa was looking down at his feet. He was worried about Charlotte, but he wasn't bold enough to ask about her like Zero. Which made him wonder why the ex-human would care so much about her. He who hated vampires.

"She's sick," was Kaname's simple answer. His voice was dull and slightly annoyed. He rose an eyebrow with Zero clenched his fists and stared incredulously at him. "Vampires can get sick, Kiryu. Even aristocrats like Charlotte."

Zero's eyes widened. That was the first time he'd heard Charlotte be called an aristocrat. He knew, somewhere deep in his mind, that that was what Charlotte was, but she had never referred to herself as one, so he didn't dare entertain the thought.

Kaname took in his shocked expression and stopped walking. He looked at Zero, tilting his head slightly to the side. "You didn't know... did you, that Charlotte was an aristocrat? Do you even know her surname? It's Aido. Charlotte's an Aido. She's Hanabusa's younger sister. But they're only a year apart, so you needn't worry."

When Zero remained silent, Kaname's brown eyes raked over him and he frowned. "I don't understand why she insists on keeping such distasteful company." He turned back to the class and continued walking, leaving Zero standing in the middle of the pathway with his shocked and conflicted expression.

Why hadn't she told him who she was? They had been so close, even now that they had reunited, and she failed to tell him anything. What other things could she be keeping from him?

Zero frowned and shook his head. Should this have even been any of his business? Why did he feel so betrayed?

It had been a week since he'd seen her—since he saw her kill that vampire by drinking his blood and crushing his heart. Charlotte had used powers only a high ranking vampire would have. Why hadn't he pieced together that she was a noble sooner? Why hadn't he entertained that thought?

Charlotte was in the Night Class, after all. The Night Class was an elite group only nobles attended. He had just learned the news that she was born into one of the most powerful and wealthy aristocratic families, and he felt like he had been excluded. They used to be so close, and she had failed to inform him that she could kill him with only a look.

"Zero?" Yuki asked, catching up to him. "Why does it matter that she hasn't been to class? She barely went to class, anyway. She never follows rules, so why is it so surprising that she hasn't been going? I don't know why the Headmaster tolerates her behaviour, even after informing him about what she did to that vampire who tried to kill her. He knows the dangers of having her here, and yet he allows her to stay? Why is she so special?"

"Charlotte has... issues with authority," Zero said, feeling annoyance rush through him as Yuki spoke scornfully of Charlotte. She wasn't even there to defend herself.

And what annoyed him, even more, was that Charlotte would just brush it off and smile. She'd give Yuki a bullshit answer with cleverly concealed sass and sarcasm. She wouldn't even defend herself.

"She isn't much of a danger," he said, finally. "She'd eradicate the threat before it could become a proper one to anybody else but herself. And the Headmaster knows this. He was informed of how she is and is completely fine with it. Charlotte is a lot more responsible than you think she is. You don't even know her, so please, don't talk about her like she's a nuisance because she's anything but that."

Zero didn't give Yuki a chance to reply and just walked off, leaving her standing alone with a dumbfounded expression. He was defending a vampire, someone she assumed he didn't even know. but at the same time, he knew so much about her. Yuki had her mouth open slightly as she watched him walk off.

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