• "Matte! Matte! Let me gooooo!" Mandari screamed. The blond bounded through the dense woods,leaving Mandari to duck and weave so her head wouldn't hit the branches. Zero barked happily at the mound of his master laughing. "Haha, it's ok Mandari! I'm taking you somewhere awesome!" Could this guy be more of a kid? "I don't like this Junpei, you sugar coated fiend! Let me go before I turn your sugar cubes into powdered sugar." Junei laughed and looked back at the girl slung over his shoulder. "You sure like the word 'sugar' don't you?"

    Mandari closed her eyes. Ohhhh, I'm going to die here, aren't I?. Suddenly the bouncing stopped, and Mandari was lifted off the man's shoulder. "Here we are, Mandari of Kamazou. Look." he said, turing her around. She was standing on a snowy cliff, but beneath the steep drop was a valley. The valley did not have the high powdery snows as she had seen on the way here. Instead, the snow was thin and melting. And a whole bounty of frost lilacs were blooming. "See, nothing is too bitter for them" Mandari gave a small huff. "They're just flowers." Zero sat next to his master, who had seated himself in the snow.

    "You know...those flowers sort of remind me of you" he said softly. Mandari turned towards him angrily. "What're you talking about, maple mess" Junpei picked up a flower. "Well, you're a little bitter. Which makes you perfect for the winter. People think that winter bloomers are strange, and you seem stand out in your own way. And you're very delicate, no matter what hardy conditions you live in." Mandari was taken aback by the very...fluffy response.
    Zero was playing with a nearby pine tree and Madari had to step closer to Junpei to avoid being hit by the flying snow.

    "Well, was I right?" he asked, smiling all to sweetly. Mandari turned her head and let out a huff. "I don't think you know me. We've only been near each other for a day" The man shurgged and whistled for Zero. The husky bounded over and yipped at it's master's heels. "Well then, lets gather some lilacs for home and get out of here." Mandari quirked her eyebrow. "Get some? But they're all the way down there!" she pointed. Junpei wrapped and arm around her waist and lifted her up. " Then we go there!" he chirped. Mandari thought she was going to die. The blond raced towards the edge and leaped off. The dog followed. Now I'm going to die! NOOOOOOOOOOWWWW. She entangled her fingers in his golden locks. They hit the snow with a thud.

    "Woahoho. That was fun. I wanna go again" he said starting up the hill. "No, baka!" Mandari screeched,pulling his hair. "Get your flowers so we can go home!". She hopped off him and started picking flowers. "Are these just for show?" she asked. Junpei shook his head. "They're good for medicine. And the leaves make pretty good garnish" The raven haired girl stuck her tounge out. "Yick"

    The sun was setting as they left for the cabin. Mandari held a huge bundle in her hands as she started up the hill. "Ah-ah-ah. Let me" Junpei said , picking her up. "You and your head have been through a lot today". Mandari grew tired as he slowly walked back to the cabin. Grasping the flowers tightly, she rested her head against his chest. The sweet smell of flowers..and Junpei..lulling her to sleep.

    (to be continued..)