The Forgotten Zodiac: Chapter 11

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"You lost her?" Yuki's normally cool tone was rising, his brow furrowed and jaw clenched angrily. "How, dare I ask, did you 'lose' her?"

"W-well, Kyo stopped to talk to me and he-"

"I told her to stay put and she didn't, what the hell was I supposed to do?" Kyo was glaring defiantly at Yuki, his expression nearly mirroring Yuki's. Tohru flinched away from the pair, the furious exchange now creating a palpable tension in the room.

"She's probably lost somewhere in town! She just moved here, and you couldn't bother to keep an eye on her?" Yuki gripped the bridge of his nose between his pointer finger and thumb, giving it a hard squeeze. "You know, I'd ask if you were stupid, but at this point I think you've proven, without a doubt, that you are."

"Yuki, please," Tohru interjected. "I'm the reason this happened, I didn't know that Kyo was supposed to be helping her and-"

"You're not to blame, Miss Honda," Yuki consoled. "But you, you stupid cat," his fists tightened, the knuckles turning an off-white color.

"All right, you two," Shigure had snuck into the room. His usual white robe had been ditched for an ironed black suit, the tame dark blue of his tie complimenting his facial features. "Hatori called, said that him and Akito picked Lyra up after school." The room went dead silent, the tension fading almost instantaneously.

Tohru was looking from Kyo, whose face had seized up at the mention of Akito, to Yuki, whose face was emotionally void. "Well, what do we do?" Kyo spoke after a minute of silence, receiving a fierce glare from Yuki.

"Ah," Shigure spoke before Yuki could respond. "Due to Akito's... delicate nature," he emphasized loudly. "I'm going, alone," he added quickly. "To pick her up and take her home. Any objections? Good!" Without waiting for a response, Shigure turned on his black leather covered heel, and left the room as quickly as he had entered.

-

"Do you know who I am?" Lyra turned her head towards Akito, who was finally beginning to speak to her after 10 minutes of driving in silence. White strands of hair strayed from her bun, hanging aggravatingly in front of her eyes.

"I... think I've heard your name before," she thought hard about it, tucking the loose strands behind her ear. She had heard the name before, but she still could not place where she had heard it.

"I'm sure you have," Akito's tone had taken a darker note. "Why don't you see if you can remember it before we arrive?" Lyra was entirely sure that, despite the warm smile Akito flashed her, his question was rhetorical.

"Arrive," she questioned, looking up towards the rear-view mirror. "Where are we going?" Hatori looked up for only a moment, but Lyra could have sworn there was a brief flash of regret before he turned back towards the road.

Receiving no response, Lyra sighed, turning her attention back towards the passing buildings. However, when she looked, there were no more buildings, just tall cherry trees dotting the hills. They raced by remarkably rapidly, the normally tranquil sight of pink petals now adding to her unease.

"We're almost there, Akito," Hatori warned from the front seat. He was still actively avoiding Lyra's curious gaze, but at this point Lyra was just happy this accursed car ride was coming to an end. Slowing to a stop, the car pulled into dirt driveway, and Lyra thought she recognized the building they had arrived at.

It was not just one building; however, it was a horizon full of them, separated by thin fences. Hatori popped open the door beside Lyra, offering his hand to help her exit the car. Taking it, with a small nod of thanks, she stepped out. She took a moment to take in the surrounding buildings, and, deep down, she felt something start to rumble nervously.

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