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Erotes' Touch

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Chapter 1: Caerus: fleeting moment and a favorable opportunity opposing the fate of a man. Such a moment must be grasped; otherwise, the moment is gone and cannot be re-captured.

The shimmering moonlight illuminates the dark sky; tree branches move slightly as the soft breeze passes by. Stores lit up the street with their neon signs and indoor lights; people are walking aimlessly on the sidewalks from stores to stores, seeking to get the last minute shopping done. The temperature is low enough for snowflakes to fall but dissolve instantly once they reach the ground. This night in the city seems calm and tranquil.

But his instinct is on edge. Something is going to take place tonight.

At ten o'clock, he decided to call it a day and left his office; his paperwork can wait another day. Grabbing his Armani jacket and car key, he heads to the elevator. As soon as he exits the building, his sixth sense wants him to keep tabs on something. His brain is working at peak capacity, paying attention to every little detail for every step he takes. He thinks nothing of this, blaming this result because of remaining in one place for a lengthy period.

Pulling his phone out of his pocket, he dials the number of his housekeeper. The receiver answers the call after one ring tone; he instructs his servant to pick up his black Tesla at the office and deliver it to his apartment. He does not want to drive home; he doubts his ability to control the vehicle when his mind is distracted. He decides to go for a walk; perhaps fresh air will ease of uneasiness in his guts, as well as stretching his muscles.

He has been walking for the last hour, not paying attention to where he is going. His body feels refreshed due to the little exercise; his lungs are filled with cold crisp air. But his intuition is still in suspense.

He finally realizes that his feet have taken him to the street of bars and clubs without him knowing. He sighed as a cloud of smoke escaped from his lips; maybe a glass of alcohol will help to clear his mind. He decides to go to the bar that has a yellow neon sign said "Jazz"; it is the only bar in the whole street that does not have loud horrible music coming out. His ears will be safe from the heavily used bass; he wants to be able to hear his grandchildren's voices without depending on another device. As he steps inside the bar, warm air surrounds him, and the sound of soft jazz greets his ears.

The bar looks nicer and livelier from the inside. In the middle, there is a small dance floor, with some people dancing with the tunes of jazz produced by an actual band at the back. He is amused, not a lot of bars have real band nowadays. There is also a small lounge and dining area on the left of the dance floor; some people actually nod their heads along soft music. He turns his head to the right, hoping to find the bar area.

Suddenly, his time stops; his mind becomes blank. His eyes lock to a figure across the building.

He is no believer in religion or magic. But, for the first time in his life, he whispers in his mind: 'Abracadabra, let her not be an illusion. Abracadabra, make her be mine.'

She is sitting in the right corner of the bar; one hand under her chin, the other holding a glass. She is talking to someone he does not care to notice; she is laughing softly as if she hears a joke.

He drinks in her appearance: She is wearing a deep blue spaghetti strap dress; her curve hugs nicely along it. The dark delphinium colored attire exposes her perfect bosom just enough to tease a man; it also displays her light skin in the back. Unfortunately, her wavy raven hair covers up her smooth skin. The four-inch black heel compliments her lovely shapely legs, making them seem to run for miles.

Unlucky for him, again, she puts her long dark brown coat against her legs, covering them for his hungry eyes. Her red lips make him want to devour it to find out what she tastes like. Even though there is a crowd of people in the between them, his ears can still pick up the sound of her soft laughter. All of a sudden, he envies the person that makes her create such beautiful sound; it is music to him.

He bet she is an enchantress, who is secretly casting a magic spell on him right now. That must be why he cannot take his eyes off her. That would also explain he was whispering an abracadabra charm before. But, even if he knew how to break whatever spell she puts on him, he would be in too deep to realize it.

Time begins to flow again as someone taps on his shoulder, asking him to move. It is that moment that he realizes he has been standing at the entrance for a while, admiring her. He wants to say "what are you looking at?" to a group of girls gawking at him from behind, but he changed his mind, there is no point doing it.

The sound of his heartbeat drowns out the music currently playing on the dance floor as he gets closer to the bar. He quietly hopes she would not be able to hear his heart beating as loud as he does. His eyes still focus on her figure as he moves closer.

He puts his jacket on the bar stool' back, straightens it out. Taking a seat next to her companion, he signals the bartender to come. He orders whiskey, hoping the drink would relax him a little bit. His mind is working at its best to find the best way to approach her. Despite the war raging inside him, a cold mask is still firmly on his face. As the bartender hands him his drink, he pulls out the money and slides it over the counter. Then, he washes the drink down immediately.

The whiskey leaves a hot trail from his mouth down to his stomach, warming his body up and smoothing him. When his ears pick up the enchantress’s conversation with her companion, he can see how the night is going to end: with her in his arms. He asks the bartender for one more whiskey drink. He does not want to calm himself down any longer; he needs to loosen up now. He slowly consumed the liquor as it is handed to him as he hands over another bill for the bartender.

She wants to stay for a little bit longer, as her friend is ready to leave the place. She thought talking and laughing with her friend would help her to be herself again; it does not. She is still in low spirits. Turning to the mixologist, she asks for a rum and coke. She, once again, thinks about the source of her sorrow.

The thought alone wants her to cry all over again.

In retrospective, she should have realized it right away when he started acting unusually. He started being distant to her, always made excuses not to spend time with her. She knew that he is a busy person, so is she; that was why she brushed it off, saying that there is nothing to worry about. Instead of meeting with each other, she just left voicemails asking about his day, but he always replied back in texts instead.

Last week, he had, again, declined her invitation to go out for dinner that night, saying that he had a pile of work that needs to finish urgently. So she decided to purchase some new clothes instead. During her shopping, she also bought something that would, hopefully, surprise him on their upcoming anniversary.

In her opinion, it was a pain to find it. Some stores just did not have the right shade of his favorite color, some just did not have the design she liked. She went to so many different stores to find the perfect thing that she lost count. After finishing her shopping, she decided to walk home instead of taking the bus; she wanted to enjoy the fresh evening air.

Looking down on her packages, she imagined his expression when he saw her in the lingerie she bought just for him. She wanted to giggle as she visualized it; somewhere deep down, she also hoped that the lingerie would also help to re-ignite the spark in their relationship.

Without warning, her feet froze in place; the packages in her hands hit the ground. People walking around her gave her a strange look, some even bumped into her accidentally because of her sudden stop, but she did not notice. Her eyes were glued to the other side of the street.

She could not breathe in the chilled evening air, no matter what much she forced her lung to work; she felt like she was drowned. Her knees felt weak and wanted to give in; her eyes were burning from trying to keep the tears from falling. Her ears were ringing with the sound of glass breaking inside her head.

Her world was shattered into million pieces. So was her heart.

A voice in her head was screaming, trying to deny the possibility that he was cheating on her. It was making an attempt to convince her that they were just friends, walking next to each other casually. But the voice fell silent as he leaned forward and kissed her on the lips.

The image of them kissing engraved in her mind. It always appeared somewhere in her subconscious

She did not remember how she got home, but her legs gave up their strength as soon she closed the apartment's door. As she was sliding towards the cold floor, her head was filled with questions related to his betrayal: Did she lack appearance? Was she not smart? Was she not charming enough for him? Or, was she not young enough for him? What did that woman have that she did not?

For the past week, those questions made her want to scream, smash everything in her apartment to vent out her anger. But she did not do any of them; she kept it all to herself, not even sharing the information with anyone. The only thing she did was crying to sleep every night.

Even in her sleep, the image still haunted her; turning her dreams into nightmares.

Today is the end of the week, and she is tired of pretending to the world that she is okay. She is tired of crying; shedding tears will not bring his heart back to her. That is why she decided to go to her favorite bar with her friend after work. She likes this place because the drink is affordable, and the location plays her favorite type of music: jazz. Very few bars play classical music nowadays, they all play the kind of music that makes her ears want to bleed because of the loud bass.

She needs to get rid of the negative thoughts; she wants to clear her mind. She needs to make a decision on what action should she do next: she can yell at him, making him come clean about his affair with the other woman and end their relationship right there.

Or, she can pretend she never saw anything; she can just forgive him and never mention about this.

The sound of the bartender clearing his throat brings her back to reality. She glances down, realizes the empty glass in her hand. Then, it hits her: she has consumed her drink while being lost in her thoughts. She gives the bartender an apologetic smile while trying to find her purse in her coat. Her friend insisted she put her wallet at home, saying it is a treat for her, but she brought it anyway. She swears that she puts her purse in her coat before leaving home. Where is her wallet when she needs it?

"Another drink of the lady's choice, another whiskey for me," a smooth deep sound causes her blue eyes to widen a little in surprise. She turns to decline the person's offer as her hand finds her purse.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 Chapter 2: Pothos: sexual longing and yearning; representing the hunger towards an unattainable goal in the form of Delphinium flowers.

Her time comes to a halt as she sees him. If Greek mythology were real, she would have no doubt that he is a reincarnation of Adonis.

The stranger is sitting on her left, two seats away from her. He is wearing a white dress shirt and a dark navy blazer jacket. Is it Armani’s, she wonders because she went to that store once to find a birthday gift for him. But everything was two to ten times the amount she wanted to spend. The design and texture of the clothes he is wearing remind her of that ridiculously overpriced store. Even if the clothes are not from Armani and it is indeed from a flea market, the stranger still looks damn good in it. She secretly speculates that he is a model.

His well-sculpted face is complemented by high cheekbones; she is almost convinced that someone has carved him out of ivory. His light skin seems to glow in the dim lit bar; long silver hair is tied loosely behind his back. She wants to reach out and touch it so bad; she bet it feels like silk, judging by its texture. His deep voice makes her want to shiver and melt into a puddle.

But it is his beautiful eyes that capture her attention: molten gold. She has seen similar eye color, like his amber eyes, but never this exact bright golden color. She, now, has found her new favorite color.

Realizing that his eyes focus on her, it makes her wants to dig a hole to hide from his intense gaze; to conceal the fact that there is a hot sensation gathering slowly at the pit of her stomach. She wants to avert her eyes, to look at anything but him; but she cannot.

“So, another rum and coke?” his voice interrupts her thought. She silently prays to whoever watching her from above that he did not just catch her gawking at him. Her face heats up as she sees the corner of his mouth lifts up; she instantly knows that she is caught red-handed.

“That would be nice,” there goes her intention to decline the stranger’s offer. She is sure that he is friendly because a fellow like him will not try to hit on an ordinary girl like her. As he hands over some money to the bartender, she utilizes that little moment to calm herself down.

There is something about his aristocratic appearance keeps nagging her, but she cannot figure out what.

“You did not have to do it,” her voice comes out a little bit higher than she expects. This is not the first time she talks to a male stranger, but it is the first time that she talks to a good-looking male stranger. She mentally smacks herself, telling herself to get it together.

“You seem to be in need of company. So I figure that offering you a drink will be a good way to break the ice”, he replies in a calm tone, takes the glass of whiskey that is freshly poured for him from the bartender.

“Well, thank you for the drink anyway,” she pours half a can of coke into her drink. “I am Kagome, it is a pleasure to meet you,” she extends out her right hand.

“The pleasure is mine. I am Sesshoumaru”, he picks up his glass and moves to the seat next to her. He reaches his hand out to shake hers.

As their hands touch for the first time, both of them can feel the electric current run through their skin.Then, everything around them comes to a standstill. All they can see is each other. Noises around them are fading away; all they can hear is each other’s voice. All they can feel is each other’s presence.

The universe starts moving once again as they start talking.

He asks her if rum and coke is her usual drink; she nods, saying its taste is sweet and not too strong for her. She jokes about how she heard that only old men consume whiskey; he corrects her, saying it is a drink for men who know how to taste. He wonders about her job; she says she is a nurse. She guesses that he is a model; he shakes his head, saying that he is a businessman. She gives him an awkward laugh, trying to hide her embarrassment.

He asks why she is here so late, that her significant other would definitely worry about her; she shakes her head sadly, saying that besides her family, no one would care about her being here. He nods, interpreting her answer as she says she is single. Because if she does have a partner, that person will not let a beautiful gem like her be alone at a bar right now.

He double checks his guess by checking out her fingers. He does not see a ring in either of her hand; luck is indeed on his side tonight. He asks if she wants another drink, noticing her empty glass. She says yes, but she wants to pay for herself. But he insists on paying for her instead.

To her, their conversation is pleasant, even though she is the one that carries the talk most of the time. However, to her surprise, Sesshoumaru actually pays attention and listens to her; she knows this because he sometimes interjects during the conversation to voice his honest opinion on whatever she talks about; whether it is about her job or the god-awful traffic in the city.

She still cannot believe that he hasn’t left her alone already; she remembers very well being told by him that she rambles a lot about uninteresting topics. That statement has lowered her confidence, making her feel like she is uninteresting. She is glad that the fine stranger has proved it wrong. 

As the talk continues, she starts feeling a little bit buzzed from her drinks. Perhaps it is the effect of the alcohol, but the stranger is becoming more attractive if that is even possible. His deep voice gradually becomes more alluring; making her feels weaker as time goes by. She figures that she needs to leave before she makes a fool out of herself before this handsome creature.

She then turns to him, excuses herself to go freshen herself up, before calling it a night. Plus, she needs to sober up before going to bed; or else, she will have to deal with a massive hangover in the morning. And that will undoubtedly ruin her work efficiency tomorrow. Not that she has been a fantastic employee in this past week anyway; her mind has been occupied with something else.

As she washes her hands after relieving herself, a thought crosses her mind. The water keeps slashing at her hands, making it cold; but she does not notice. That thought makes her body frozen; yet at the same time, there is heat slowly spreading across her lower region.

She should spend the night with him. A one-night stand, a secret rendezvous.

She mentally slaps herself for thinking of such unachievable object for tonight, or for any day. She has to admit, the thought probably comes from the fact that she is sexually frustrated lately due to his negligence. However, she knows she is a faithful person; she can never cheat on anything or anyone, even him. She wants to end a previous relationship then start a new one, instead of letting the two events crossing path with each other.

‘But he cheats on you; why should you be faithful to him?’ a voice creeps in her head. No, she tells herself; she will be faithful to him no matter how much her body betrays her; no matter how strong the temptation is. But she knows her concision is right; if he does not give her the treatment she deserves, why does she have to be faithful to him? Her loyalty resides to who is also loyal to her.

‘Let’s do what he has been doing to you; let him feel how you have been feeling in the past week,’ a voice that is so similar to hers, yet so full of coldness that makes her want to tremble. 

No, she keeps telling herself. She reminds herself of the purpose to go to the bar: she gets out of work early to clear her mind, to decide what to do with her current relationship; not to seek a one-night stand. But her mind is blurry right now because of the alcohol, so perhaps she will think about what to do next time. Maybe, getting rid of her sexual frustration will clear her mind. That idea really appeals to her, and her body.

‘You only have one night; plus, it is not like you are going to see him again’ the same voice says again ‘let’s be temperamental tonight.’

Perhaps the combination of sexual frustration and alcohol may be the reason why not only she is talking to herself, but she also agrees with it. She is always a good girl, never complains about anything. She wants to wreak havoc for one night to relieve some stress. She wants him to feel the pain that she has been experienced the past week; she wants to even the score.

Plus, she admits that it is not an everyday occurrence for her to meet someone that is so godly handsome; letting the opportunity like this go by should be considered a crime to any mortal woman. She needs to stop thinking about this soon; it starts to give her a massive headache.

So her semi-drunken mind has come to a decision: if the perfect stranger does not make a move before the night ends, they will just part their own way. However, if he does make a move, perhaps she will not be lonely tonight.

With her mind sets in place, she wipes her hand dry, heading back to her companion.

He glances down his clock, noticing how fast time has flown. It is almost midnight; he wishes he can reverse the flow of time by turning his clock back. Kagome, or the enchantress to him, is actually a decent conversationalist; she does not talk about how she bought the dress, or how good looking he is like other women. Instead, she talks about her work; as a workaholic, he appreciates it. As their conversation goes on, he actually wants to spend more time with her, to get to know her better.

There is something about her that intrigues him like no other women have, but he does not know what.

Despite having his fourth whiskey drink, he is not drunk yet. In fact, his mind is crystal clear; and it despises the fact that she is about to call it a night; that is why he is currently contemplating something. Should he go with his original plan, trying to woo the girl for the night; or should he express his intention to see her again.

His brain is working like a machine, trying to list out all the pros and cons of each option. Finally, he makes up his mind; he decides to go with the original plan, but with a twist.  He decides to put his plan into actions when he sees the enchantress exiting the washroom. Waiting for her to get closer to the bar, he puts on his expensive jacket and drains the alcohol down his throat.

As she finds her way to the bar, the gentle music tickles her auditory system. Suddenly, she feels like dancing. Granted, the only time she ever dances is when she is cooking, alone, and in her pajamas; and if bobbing her head along with the music, with random movements of her body, counts as dancing. In short, she has never danced anywhere outside the comfort of her home.

She frowns a little when she sees him handing some money to the bartender, tips for the service she assumes. She guesses that they will part their ways tonight as acquaintances; she has already prepared herself for this outcome. She brightens herself up as she gets closer to the bar.

Slowly and gracefully, he turns towards her; her ears barely picks up the sound of his husky voice.

“Would you like to dance with this Sesshoumaru before leaving?”, He extends his right hand out. Her heart almost leaps out of her chest; how in hell he can hear her inner thoughts. She suspects that he possesses the ability to read other people’s mind; like the vampire character in a romantic, with a creepy undertone, novel she read a while ago. She quickly voids her mind of any thoughts about the night with him, just in case he can actually read her thoughts.

“Thank you for the offer, but I have to decline,” she puts on her coat, smiles at his gentleman-like attitude. “I do not know how to dance properly,” with a partner, she mentally adds. She put both her hands in her pockets to check for her purse and phone before preparing to leave.

He frowns, saying that all she needs to do is enjoying the music. She declines again, saying she will probably make a fool out of herself with him. He stands firm on his offer; saying that she will not be able to embarrass him. He also guarantees her that he can guide her through the dance.

Seeing how stubborn he is, she knows that she will not be able to leave the bar without dancing with him at least once. Plus, one song is not going to kill her, she reasons herself. Hesitantly, she nods as she places her hand on his. He leads her swiftly to the dance floor.

With the music plays softly in the background, he takes her hands and places them on his shoulders. The moment his hands snake around her waist, she blushes due to the closeness between them. She is sure that he will be able to see her face is as red as a tomato if it isn’t for the low light of the dancing floor.

Her eyes dart around, seeing only couples dancing slowly to the music while embracing each other. She whispers, telling Sesshoumaru that it is somewhat intimate for strangers, like them, to be doing this. He explains to her that this is actually a standard dancing position for two people in music like this.

“You know my name, and I know yours. We are no longer strangers”, he leans down, quietly speaks in her ears. This action, alone, makes her knees want to turn into jelly and collapse into his strong arms. 

She honestly does not know what to do, so she decides to just sway her hips to the rhythm of the song; he, too, is dancing slowly with her. As if their bodies know each other from another life, they move elegantly together. As the song goes on, the world around them starts to shrink, containing only them.

The song ends, neither of them notices. The next song starts to play, neither of them cares. Both of them are hopelessly lost in each other’s eyes. As the music continues, their body gets closer, if that is even possible; to the point that, both of them can feel the other person body’s heat through their clothes.

At this close distance, she can feel his hot breath on her face. To her, he smells like fresh rain with a faint hint of mint and whiskey. She loves the rain; it is her favorite type of weather. She takes a deep breath, enjoying his scent. She is curious about how he manages to smell like rain in the late autumn.

After three continuous songs, he knows that it is time to put a stop to this cat and mouse chase. He slowly leans down, still gazing into her eyes. He wants to give her enough time to pull back if she does not want to. He silently prays she will not deny him.

She is aware that his face is gradually descending closer to her. At this distance, she can see his golden eyes clearly. It is like a pool of honey, which is filled with swirls of emotions she cannot understand. The moment she is able to decipher them, even if she wants to, Kagome knows that she cannot just merely leave his side tonight.

She closes her eyes; for once, she accepts her fate for the night.

As his lips touch hers, she holds her breath as a burning sensation spread across her chest. She wonders how a kiss can make her body burn up, or how it makes butterfly appear in her stomach. She thought those things only happen at the first kiss; apparently, he has proven her mistaken again.

This is wrong, she thinks. She is officially cheating on him, and she should not enjoy it. But the kiss feels so right. The rest of her thoughts disappear as the smell of fresh rain assaults her nose. It makes she wants to explore more of him.

He wants to taste more of her; just touching his lips to hers is not enough. She has a citrus smell with a soft finish of sweetness; like honey and lemon, his favorite. Taking advantage of her opening her mouth to take a breath, he dives his tongue into her mouth. Suddenly, he finds himself thirsty, wanting to taste more of her sugar-coated essence. He wonders if her other region will produce juice as sweet as her mouth does.

He is confident that he will find out about it tonight. His pant gets tighter as he thinks about it. 

Her knees feel weak as his tongue enters her mouth. He is a good kisser, she admits. Her body is now wholly leaning against him; her tongue is fighting with him in the battle for dominance, with him undoubtedly winning. All of the sudden, she is hungry; craving for his touch all over her body. If his tongue is so good with her mouth, she is quite convinced that it will also do an exceptional job in some other place in her body.

She cannot wait to discover what other skills he possesses tonight.

“My place or yours?”, He pulls his head back to ask her the question. Her swollen red lips make him want to dive down to taste it again.

“Yours,” she whispers breathlessly, pulling his head down again to taste his lips.

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 3: Philotes: social and sexual relations; the cause of good things and daughter of the night.

She is well behaved in the taxi, unlike at the dance floor. She does not try to steal kisses from the fine stranger or outright molesting him; she keeps her hands to herself unwillingly. She does not want to get caught doing naughty things by a third party.

She tries her best not to look into his golden eyes; because Kagome knows that if she even accidentally catches his gaze, she will not be able to restrain herself any longer.

The elevator ride to his residence does not help either; she silently demands the damned thing to go faster. She is somewhat grateful for the soft music in the elevator; it fills in the heated silence between them. Even though he looks utterly indifferent to the situation or downright bored, his eyes betray him; it displays to her a wide range of emotion hidden underneath his cold facade.

Lust and desire are the most distinct. 

His suite is at the end of the long hall, making their journey there in awkward silence. She trails behind him, to make sure he cannot see how nervous she is; she is about to commit a sin for god’s sake. Her eyes focus on him, making sure that she remains at a safe distance; she does not want him to hear how loud her heart beat is. It is almost deafening to her.

He finally stops in front of a wooden cream door, pulling out silver a keychain. Inserting one of the keys, her ears pick up a soft click sound. He pushes the door in, waiting for her to get in first. She can only vaguely see outlines of the interiors because there is a soft moonlight filling the room. Shivering from the sudden rush of cold air, she glances at him one more time; his eyes tell her that there is no turning back beyond this door.

As soon as she gets in his apartment, he locks the door and pushes her against the cold surface. He cannot wait any longer; he needs to taste her again. Not bothering turning on the lights, his lips find hers in no time. Their tongues enter the battle for dominance once again; for once, he does not care if he loses. She lets out a soft moan in his mouth; the muffled sound immediately stimulates his hearing.

He swears by the end of tonight, her sweet sounds will be the only tune that greets his ears.

Her lips, apparently, are not enough to satisfy his desire; he needs to explore more of her. As soon as he pulls back from the kiss, she frowns, showing her disappointment. She is enjoying his lips; they are doing wonder to her mouth. She is curious if one can be addicted to another person’s touch. If that is true, she might become an addict when tomorrow comes.

As he tiles her head slightly, his mouth instantly attaches to her neck. Her skin tingles as soon as his lips start sucking softly; she immediately feels like she is on fire. An involuntary moan escapes her lips from the sensation; suddenly, carnal feeling gathers at the pit of her stomach.

She wonders how he can make her feel like this just by kissing her neck. Perhaps, just like the character with the ability to read other people’s thoughts in the romance novel she read, he, too, is not human.

She admits that, even if he is a demon, she does not care as long as he keeps doing wonders to her body. Her heated body is slowly losing its strength; her knees start to give in to the intense feeling. She does not think she can hold herself up any longer; her hands desperately cling to his back, fearing she will fall if she lets go.

Her moans are the most beautiful sound he has ever heard. If her laughter is music to him, then her erotic cries are masterpieces of the tunes. He needs to listen to it again, so his soft lips apply a bit of pressure to her neck once more. And he is not disappointed by it; unfortunately for him, or perhaps not, her sensual moans only intensify his desire for her.

She lets out a small squeal as he suddenly pushes her up higher against the cold door. Sensing her feet barely touch the ground, she wraps her slender legs around his waist. The position allows her private region to place directly against his bulged pant; her lips twitch upward when she feels something hard in between her legs.

She now knows that she also affects him as much as he affects her; her confidence level is through the roof at this moment. She moves her hips slightly, hoping to tease him.

He can tell that his member is getting harder when he feels her slit rubs against his manhood; even though there are layers of clothes between them, he is still able to feel the hot sensation. Regaining his composure, he lifts her up completely; he starts moving as he gently kisses her collarbone. He knows he hits an object as his ears pick up the crashing sound, but he does not care at the moment. He can easily replace the broken thing in the morning. With that in mind, he sets her to sit on top of his couch.

Her body jumps slightly at the loud crashing sound, but her mind is too clouded, with desire and anticipation, to notice it. Instead, she wants to feel his skin against hers; her fingers are trying their best to get his jacket off, which turns out to be a difficult task at the moment.

He is amused at her clumsy actions; to make things quickly, he takes his jacket off on his own instead. He lets the coat fall down without caring where it lands. Undressing her is a piece of cake to him; he quickly takes off her jacket and throws it somewhere behind him.

She wants to sigh in relief as he gets rid of her coat; her body is dying of heat. Kicking her heels off, her fingers are busy with another task again: fumbling to undo the buttons in his white dress shirt. She only manages to unbutton half of his shirt before her lips find him once more; and this time, she feels like she is winning their dance for dominance.

As for him, he starts to get frustrated; his hands literally have roamed all over her tiny body and still cannot find the god-damned zipper for her dress. He is probably not in the mood for the little hide-and-seek game. He silently wonders if she knows he is getting frustrated since she starts kissing him again, somewhat distracting his mind from the frustration.

Not that he is complaining about her sudden action; he eagerly responses to her hungry kiss.

If her dress were to have its own consciousness, it would feel lucky that his fingers finally find its zipper on the back; or else, if he has to wait any longer, the poor dress would be ripped and torn apart by his impatience and desire of tasting more of her skin.

Without interrupting their kiss, he quickly undoes the zipper and swiftly gets rid of the blue dress. Even though Kagome is not fully naked, she still shivers slightly as the cold air in his apartment hits her bare skin.

It is time to enjoy his appetizer.  Leaving her hot mouth once more, he slowly moves his head down on her body; and this time, it does not stop at her neck. The trail of kisses that he leaves makes her body all hot and bothered; she is glad that her dress is out of the way, so else, her body would be overheated by now.

His taste buds are not the only that is rewarded with the taste of her soft skin; his ears are also rewarded with the sound of her moans. His lips suddenly touch a texture that is not her skin; his eyes snap open immediately to identify the barrier that keeps him from relishing her body.

What greets his sight does not disappoint him.

Her matching set of lingerie contains his favorite colors: blue and white. The bra pushes her bosoms up, tantalizing him with its unblemished skin. The same thing happens with her thong; the little piece of cloth holds onto her bottom nicely, showing him all her curves. The fabric of the lingerie is a total tease; the texture is so translucent that he can almost see her skin underneath the light blue fabric. Unfortunately, there are white laces that run along the lingerie, covering her private parts from his hungry eyes.

The moonlight comes through his glass window, illuminates the dark room as well as her skin. In her semi-nude form, which is adorned by the provocative lingerie, she looks like an angel sent by the gods to bless him for the night. His member gets harder at the sight of her; it makes him feel somewhat light-headed because of the sudden lack of blood in his brain.

His finger accidentally caresses against her nipple that is hidden by the white lace, sending little electric ecstasy throughout her body. If it feels this good already, she cannot imagine how she will survive the night of pleasure with him. She wants to rub her legs badly to ease the ache between her legs; she wants to feel more. She needs to feel more.

He can wait no longer; he quickly pushes her bra over her head. He considers that is the fastest way to get rid of the troublesome material; because he will need to have the patience of a saint to unhook the bra in this situation. Unfortunately, he is no divine being.

Her full breasts bounce slightly from the lack of support; his mouth suddenly feels dry as he sees her hardened rosy nipples. Wasting no time, he lowers his head to taste them.

She tilts her hand back and lets out a lewd moan as soon as his tongue latches on her painfully-hardened nipple. He soon switches to her other nipple, giving it the same treatment while his fingers playing and tweaking the previous savored nipple. And she is enjoying every single moment of it.

His fingers are still playing with her nipples, but his lips are moving on. The trail of kisses continues as he starts from her breasts, slowly continues to her flat stomach and belly button. He wants to savor all that she offers him; his kisses stop on top of her panties. He expects some curly hair down here, but he is, once again, not disappointed. She is cleanly shaved; this will allow him to taste more of her.

His fingers caress her slit through the thong, teasing her to madness; her panties is getting damper every second goes by. He considers it payback for all of the time she tantalizing him tonight. She wants to yell at him to stop taunting her; lucky for her, he slowly pulls off her panties. He secretly puts it in his pocket; he is thinking of keeping it as a memento for himself.

Her other lips are just as pink as her nipple, and it looks just as sinfully delicious to him. He suddenly feels thirsty; putting his face entirely in front of her slit, he inhales deeply. The aroma is irresistible; it is sweet, hot, and sensual with a soft finish. This must be what heaven smells like, he contemplates. The time for admiring is over; his thirst needs to be satisfied now.

The sensation of his tongue touching her most intimated place almost makes her stop breathing. She wants to scream out her pleasure, but all escape her lips are just lewd moans. If moaning incoherent words are considered to be social interactions, then she is doing a hell lot of talking right now. He makes her wonder how many g-spots she has; she never feels this much pleasure before. It makes her wonder if the fact that women have only one g-spot is just a myth.

Her previous prediction is correct: his tongue is very skilled at her special place, not only with her tongue. His tongue has touched areas that she doesn’t even know that are so sensitive. She feels herself getting even wetter as his tongue keeps exploring her lower lips. She buckles her hips a little bit, allowing his tongue to dive deeper into her forbidden place.

The taste of her juice heightens his taste buds to a whole other level. She tastes like the most expensive wine he ever savors, and he hungrily drinks it up until it runs down his chin. The taste makes him manhood wants to break out of his pants and be inside her right there and then. But, that has to wait a bit longer; he is still very thirsty for her sweet essence.

If he could live off her private essence, he would gladly give up food and water for this. The more in-depth his tongue reaches, the stronger the flavor gets; the more nectar comes out of her. It is so intoxicating that he feels like he is getting drunk by lapping up her sweet essence.  He is sure that he will never get tired of this taste; his tongue dives in her hot sheath, exploring more of her.

Her head can think of nothing else besides pleasure. She never feels such intense pleasure in her life; it makes her body heats up so much. Her blood feels like they are being set on fire; her legs twitch every time the pleasures sent electric current runs through her spine, making her shiver from his touch. She slowly feels a particular knot forming in the pit of her stomach, and she desperately wants to release it.

A flick of his tongue over her bundle of nerves sends her over the edge. She lets out the most erotic sound he has ever heard as she reaches her peak, and he swears to listen to it more than once tonight. 

Waves of pleasure wash over her body; thick juices gush out of her hot slit. And he willingly accepts it, drinking up the fine wine as much as he can; some manage to escape his lips, slowly slid down her smooth legs. After making sure he has finished most of the nectar she offers, he lifts his head up, meeting her heated eyes. 

Half-opened blue eyes fill with lust; her red lips partially open. Her chest rises up and down rapidly, trying to regain her breath after such powerful orgasm. She still cannot believe he has made her reach her peak using only his mouth. She silently wishes all men possess such skill as the man in front of her; that will definitely make the world a better place, at least in a sexual context.

His molten gold eyes fill such intense desire that she has never seen before in anyone. The way his eyes gazing all over her body makes her feel wetness beginning to form in her lower region once more.

She is surprised as she feels his hungry lips against hers. She blushes hard from tasting herself in his mouth. In any other situation, she would pull back and slap at the male for doing such embarrassing action. But she does not care about it with him; she wants to enjoy his passionate kiss.

His patience is dangerously thin right now; it is time for his entrée. Unbuttoning the rest of his shirt, he throws it somewhere else behind him. Without disrupting their kiss, her eyes open to take a peek at his chest. It is well-sculpted as she predicts, pale, smooth skin seems to shimmer under the moonlight. His shoulder is straight and broad; it makes her feel small against his body.

He suddenly lifts her up; she wraps her legs around his waist to keep herself from falling. Her hands cling to his back, not wanting to break off their passionate kiss; until the need for air causes them to reluctantly leaving each other. 

“So eager, my little vixen,” her sensitive ears picks the deep sound of his seductive voice. “The night is still young” he leans forward, ignites the fire in her stomach again as his lips touch hers.

He kicks the door of his bedroom shut. A loud ‘thud’ sound echoes through the silent space.

Not soon afterward, his apartment is filled with the sounds of their pleasures.

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 4: Achos, one of the three known Algos: the personified spirit of pain and suffering –body and mind-, trouble and distress. Algos in Greek is a neuter noun literally meaning “pain.”

The color white is all she can see. The texture of whatever is touching her face feels soft, like fine silk.

Her tired eyes close once more, wanting to go back to sleep. This is the first time of the week that she had a good night of rest that is free of nightmares. She curls up against her comfy pillow on her right side; her muscles start to relax again in the soft, warm bed.

‘Comfy pillow, soft bed?’, those phrases capture her drowsy mind.

If there is one thing she knows for sure, that is her bed is anything but comfy. Because she purposely bought the cheapest mattress; to save money when she moved out and started living off her paycheck. Her pillow suffers the same fate; she believes that her pillow is as comfortable as a rock.

Kagome is definitely wide awake now. She sits up straight instantly, making the white threads slide down her bare chest, settling on her flat stomach. She instantaneous regrets that action, since it makes her hangover a little bit worse by hurting her head.

Images flash across her mind as the pain in her head starting to subdue: drinking, talking, dancing, kissing, making out, and pleasuring. Passion. Lust. Desire.

Sesshoumaru.

Her cheeks feel hot; she cannot believe she has spent the night with the perfect stranger. He is no longer a stranger to her, she corrects herself; at least not at the physical level. Her eyes flutter open, trying to take in her surroundings. Her vision is hazy at first; the sleepiness still hasn’t entirely left her system. She blinks a couple of time to clear her eyesight.

Suddenly, she feels herself become the main character in Alice in Wonderland. Everything looks strange and unfamiliar to her.

The first item enters her line of sight is a giant black TV. It is one of those fancy slim and curved televisions that apparently can display things more lively, but she will never know because she will never have enough money to buy this thing. It has to be at least five times the size of her old and crappy TV in her living room. The luxurious device is placed on top of an intricate-designed white drawer. 

There are several framed photos place in the two bookshelves that are directly next to the TV; though she cannot see the detail of those pictures due to the far distance. Her fingers twitch slightly as she sees a large number of books available in front of her; she knows she is a sucker when it comes to literature.

As her ears pick up a soft breathing sound, her hearts start to beat rapidly fast as she looks to her right. 

For a second, she thought Adonis is sleeping next to her.

He is sleeping on his left side; one of his arms wraps lightly over her stomach. She can feel his other arm is currently in the spot that her back previously occupied when she lies down. Some of his smooth white hair scatters behind his back, some gather at the bottom of her stomach. She reaches out to feel the texture; her prediction is, once again, correct. His hair does feel like silk, and she loves it.

He looks tensed and serious when he is awake; but when he is asleep, his face relaxes, making him look almost innocent and ethereal. His chest slowly moves up and down; letting Kagome admire his well-chiseled chest. She cannot believe she just used his chest as a pillow, and it is actually quite comfortable.

Her eyes start trailing down his body, making her mouth feel dry as minutes go by. Her line of vision stops as the grayish blue blanket covers the rest of his body, starting just right above his hip. She thanks God for it, because if she can see anything lower, she will die because of embarrassment.

Not because last night was her first time. She is no maiden, but she was a virgin to sexual climax by a partner until past nightfall.

She blushes hard as memories of their tryst flow back to her mind. She swore that last night, she went to heaven and came back to life so many times. Each time he pushed her over the edge, the pleasure intensified more; like flames gradually ignites underneath her bare skin. He also reached his point of no return a couple of times, although not as frequent as her.

If she thought everything was just a dream, the stickiness in between her legs would tell her otherwise.

She keeps looking at his features, admiring his beauty. It takes her a while to gather the strength to make her eyes look somewhere else; she swears he is hypnotizing her right now in his sleep.

The wall around his room is a light earthy brown color, with white ceiling and beige carpet; she really cannot imagine his place to be anything but elegant like this. Turning her head to the right, there is a door that leads to the bathroom. Although she is unable to see the content in the room due to the lack of light, it does not stop her from wanting a nice hot shower right now. There is a picture framed on the wall directly next to the door; though she does not bother to examine it in detailed.

Turning her head to the left, there is a glass door that seems to be leading to a balcony. Even though most of the door is covered by a taupe-colored curtain; small rays of sunlight allow her to make out the foggy blue with some sky-high buildings nearby.

The phrase “blue sky” does not sound right to her. Isn’t today the day she has to cover a morning shift for her co-worker? Or is it tomorrow? No no, it definitely is today. ‘Fuck,’ she lets out a silent curse.

She needs to get out of here and heads to work as soon as possible; or else, she and her ears will be screwed. She does not need to hear her manager complain about her work; she has been listening to it continuously for the past week about how she does not pay attention to work. She thinks this week will be different since her stress has been … relieved; plus, a good night of sleep has made her somewhat energized.

She now has a problem. With his arm around her waist, it will take a miracle to get out of the bed without waking him up.  Plus, it will be so awkward to talk to him if he wakes up; it is already embarrassed to even look at his face. And what is she supposed to say? “Congratulation, you are the first person to make me cum like a fucking porn-star”? No, that is definitely a no-no.

She needs to act quickly before that awkward conversation happens. She grabs a nearby pillow, praying to whoever is watching her from above will allow her trick to work. Placing the pillow beneath his arm as she quickly moves to the edge of the bed. As soon as she is out of the comfy blanket, she shivers due to the sudden lack of warmth; she is really tempted to return to his embrace and the warm bed.

But she knows she cannot do that, for several reasons. Seeing him still sleeping soundly, she breathes out in relief; perhaps, gods are real and have answered her silent prayer. As her feet touch the carpet, she vows that it is the softest and fluffiest carpet she ever feels; she wishes her blanket is half as comfortable as his carpet. She puts pressure on her feet, readying to leave the bed.

And this is where she makes her first mistake of the day; she stands up too quickly. She almost falls over as her legs feel very weak. Is she still drunk from last night? Or is it because the effects of multiple orgasms have not left her system yet? Perhaps it is a weird combination of both.

It takes her a couple of long seconds to get her brain and legs to coordinate together. Looking around his room, she tips toes around to find any of her garments. Unlucky for her, the clothing lying on the floor does not belong to her. Making sure none of her clothes are underneath his expensive attires, she silently sneaking out.

As she closes his bedroom’s door soundlessly, the sight of Adonis is the last thing that enters her line of vision.

Following the hallway, she makes it to the living room, where, thankfully, most of her clothes seem to be located. Not paying attention to her surroundings, she picks up her clothes and puts them on quickly: her dark blue dress is lying on the floor, underneath his white dress shirt. Her bra is hanging on top of another expensive-looking TV. Her coat contained her purse, and her high-heels are somewhere together near the main door.

There is one thing she cannot find: her underwear. She admits, the thong is rather small, which makes it difficult to find sometimes. Even she loses a couple of pairs of thongs to her closet because she gives up looking for them, or perhaps she really does have a panties-eating closet in her apartment.

In the process of looking for her for the thong, she sees something that makes her eyes want to jump out of her socket. A broken lamp, shattered into chunks of sharp glass. She can imagine what the light looks like before being smashed on the floor like this, and it looks like it can cost an arm and a leg.

The shattered lamp explains the loud noise she heard last night in their making-out session. She cursed; there is no way her paycheck, minus all her expenses, can cover this. And she feels bad if she leaves without addressing this; she is, after all, perhaps the reason why this lamp broke in the first place.

Maybe she can pay a tiny portion of this; she quickly grabs her wallet, pulling out some money and puts them on the coffee table. She looks around for a piece of paper and a pen; then she writes “sorry for the lamp” before attaching the money with the paper. She hopes he forgives her for this.

After fifteen minutes, she stops trying to look for her thong. She needs to get out of here before she is late for her work and especially before he wakes up. Putting on her coat, secured it tightly, and her heels; she looks around the living around once more to make sure she does not forget anything else.

Without a sound, she closes the door of his suite.

As she exits the apartment building, cold morning air greets her skin. She takes a deep breath, filling her lungs with fresh air. The cold air washes any residual sleepiness out of her body, making her feeling refresh. Judging by the temperature, she thinks she has to wear warmer clothes from now on.

As she is walking, she pulls out her phone; it indicates the time is seven in the morning. Good, this means there is still an hour to go before her shift starts. Given that everything goes nicely, she can make to work after taking a nice hot shower at her house and finding a fresh pair of panties.

Unlucky for her, her phone indicates the nearest bus stop is four blocks away, and the bus route does not even go anywhere close to her apartment. Great, this information just wholly throws her plan into an imaginary trash bin. Now, she does not mind to walk a bit; but, she does not want to walk four freaking blocks on high heels, in a semi-cold morning, and without any panties on.

With very few options, she sighs as she dials the number of a taxi company. Someone picks up the phone right away; she tells that person the nearest address she can find. That person says a taxi will be there shortly. She hangs up after she mutters a quick thank you; there goes her allowance for the month.

By taking the taxi, she can theoretically make to work with a fresh pair of panties, but without showering and eating breakfast. But she is a person, who appreciates good hygiene; who doesn’t like a nice hot shower. Plus, she does not want to work while her stomach continually rumbles. And she definitely does not want people to know that she just had a one night stand by looking at her current appearance. 

Making her choice, she opens her contact to find her manager’s name. The woman is called Tsubaki Kinoshita, and she does not like that woman at all. Tsubaki is currently forty-year-old, but she looks like twenty-five due to a lot of cosmetic surgeries; a lot as in a shit ton. It is to the point that Kagome feels like she is currently working for an animated life-sized doll, instead of a person; and that thought really makes her uncomfortable about it.

Tsubaki is a hardworking and strict person; Kagome has no doubt about it. But the thing she doesn’t like about Tsubaki is that the woman requires people flattering her to be favored. Kagome is not the type of person to mix work and personal life together; hence, she never gets a big bonus at the end of the year. She sighs, mentally preparing herself as she hears the first ringtone.

“Hello?”, Tsubaki’s croaky voice already makes her stressed out.

“Oh, hi Tsubaki, it’s Kagome; I just want to let you know that I might be an hour late for work today because something has happened in my apartment. And I need to take care of it immediately”, she says the whole sentence in one breath. She prays that Tsubaki cannot detect that she is lying.

The other line is silent for a while. Kagome’s heart is beating so loud that she is afraid that even Tsubaki can hear its beating through her cell phone. Then, Tsubaki breaks the silence: “Kagome? Your shift starts at four in the afternoon, not eight in the morning. Plus, you work on weekdays, not weekend.”

“Yes, but we talked about this on Monday. I’m supposed to cover a morning shift today for …”, She stretches the sound “o” for as long as possible. No names pop into her mind; she blames it on not being a morning person, and her last night drinking.

Lucky for her, Tsubaki interrupts. “Oh, yes, I remember now. Very well, but you have to stay an hour later to make up for it; in addition to the three extra hours because you got out early yesterday, understand? Now, tell me again, what is the reason that you will be late?”

“My apartment has a problem that needs me…” the phone hangs up in the middle of her sentence. She lets out the breath that she has unconsciously held. She was thinking of an excuse, but she couldn’t think of any. She knows she is a lousy liar. For once, she is glad that Tsubaki has a habit of hanging up the phone abruptly. But that vain woman probably calls her back when she is curious about the details.

At a distance, Kagome can see a taxi is driving towards where she stands; she puts her phone back into the pocket of her coat. She waves to let the driver knows that it is her that calls for the service; getting in the taxi, she makes sure one last time that her purse is actually in her coat. She greets the taxi driver, providing him her house address and asks him to drive her to her desired destination.

As the car starts moving, she looks outside the window. What she can see behind the apartment complex is a lake that has big tall trees surrounding it; as if the lake is a private area for those high-rise buildings. She absolutely has no clue which part of the town she is currently in right now; for god’s sake, she just discovers her city has a freaking lake. But, she is so sure that she is in the rich people’s area; which will explain why everything, to the tiny detail, looks very pleasant to her eyes.

The taxi driver tries to open a conversation to avoid the quiet awkwardness; but as he looks through the car’s rear-view mirror, he sees that his customer is enjoying the scenery. So he decides to turn up the radio instead, to fill up the silent space. Perhaps some music will distract him from the awkward silence.

But his customer isn’t enjoying the beautiful landscape; she is currently lost in her thoughts.

She reflects on herself. She finally did something he has been doing to her for god-knows-how-long. She thought if she cheats on him, he will eventually experience the pain and suffering she has been through this last week. She wanted to even the score with him. 

But she was wrong. She was wrong to assume that he would go through the same painful experience as she had. What if he does not love her anymore? Then, this event will not even put an emotional reaction on his face. The thought of him does not love her anymore, makes her chest tighten a little; her eyes burn as she tries to keep the tears from falling down.

Cheating back on him does not make her equal to him like she thought it would. In fact, it makes her feel even worse than ever before; she has done something that goes against everything she has ever believed in: she has cheated.  She has despised cheaters, and now she is one of them. If she were in the mood, she would have laughed at the irony of her situation right now.

She is wrong; she should not have fought fire with fire. It is not the solution to her situation right now; she should have thought it throughout last night. She wishes she knows a portal that has to ability to take her back to the past; so she can smack herself from ever considering doing something as low as cheating.

But, she has committed a sin that is a little bit too late to take it back.

Well, there goes her plan for last night; she thought she could use a bit of time to clear her head. But right now, her mind feels just as chaotic as last night; or worse, her cheating is making her utterly confused. Because he cheats on her, is it right for her to cheat on him in return? Does it make her a terrible person? If the relationship does end, what will be the reason, his cheating or her wrongdoing?

Her head starts to hurt as questions keep piling up without being answered. Despite she is currently feeling very horrible for what she did; all of the problematic issues fade away from her distressed mind as she starts thinking about the suave man.

Sesshoumaru, his name echoes in her head. The Killing Perfection. He is a passionate lover on the bed, she admits; she is sure that he will make a fortunate girl happy one day.

She still secretly thinks that he is a model; because he looks too good to be a regular human, like her. She does not know much about his personality, but his appearance can be considered a definition of perfection: well-sculpted face, chiseled chest, smooth skin, long silky hair, honey-liked golden eyes.

She is glad that they will most likely never meet again. Because she knows that she will once again lose herself in his golden orbs. Those honey-filled eyes seem to possess the ability to see through everything that is made up of her, making her feeling weak and lost; making her feel like a girl who has never experience a touch of man before.

His image disappears as she feels a strong vibration in the left pocket of her coat. She guesses that it is her manager calling her back for the details of her late arrival at work. She silently curses that woman in her head, for interrupting her from her probably the last day-dream about her perfect stranger.

She decides to ignore the call; she is not a servant who answers everything to that arrogant woman. Eyes as bright as the sun return to her mind, bringing a small piece of peace to her soul strangely.

She can picture his molten gold eyes, staring at her with such passion, like last night. She can see his eyes filled with unspoken desire after he has feasted on her private essence. She can feel her cheeks getting hot as he pulls her body closer to him; to the point, she can feel his body heat gradually consume hers.

She can feel the sharp pain as her Adonis becomes one with her, at the physical level, for the first time in that night; his manhood stretches her sheath into its maximum capacity, making her uncomfortable, yet satisfied at the same time for some unknown reason to her.

She can feel his soft lips touching hers as if he is trying to ease the pain, or at least taking her mind off it. She can feel the warm feeling spreading across her chest because of that action; it has made her feel like he actually cares about her, even if the affection might only last for one night. 

She can feel the way he makes the fire coming back to life in the pit of her stomach, as they engage one more time in the battle for dominance. The taste of mint, with the faint scent of whiskey, lingers on her palate buds as she keeps exploring his flavor. She can feel the pain slowly receding as his tongue making contact with her neck once again.

She can feel his strong arms wrapped around her body as he started to slowly thrust into her once he knows she is comfortable with his size. She can still feel the immense pleasure that was spreading through her body like wildfire as the night goes on.

She can see his golden eyes displayed an emotion, which she only describes as ecstasy, as he reaches the point of no return with her. Throughout the night, the scent of fresh rain is all she can smell.

She can feel his presence next to her as if she is still asleep in his embrace. Then, everything disappears, fading away like a dream.

She is sent back to reality as the phone is buzzing one more times. Her anger level, right now, is through the roof; how dare that vain woman tries to interrupt her trying to re-live her memory once last time. Can’t she just have one more second alone with her imagination? She decides to ignore the call, again.  

One buzz, two buzzes, three buzzes; the god-damn phone is still vibrating. And it is driving her closer to insanity. Her patience snaps as she asks the driver to lower the sound of the radio. God, that woman is stubborn when she wants something.

“My apartment has some urgent problem that needs me to take care of. I don’t want to bother you the detail because it is really troublesome to talk over the phone. I promise to fill out a whole report if you need me to”, Kagome’s voice gets colder as she gets closer to finish the sentence, silently cursing that woman for disturbing her last moment fantasizing about those golden eyes.

“Kagome? What happened to your apartment?”, a strange voice answers.

Her blood freezes; her breathing stops. She recognizes that rough voice anytime, anywhere; she does not expect to talk to him so soon. She panics, why does he call her right now? Has he found out about her infidelity already? Her mind is running a thousand miles per hour to figure out the reason for his call.

She has a strong feeling that she is busted.

Chapter Text

Chapter 5: Atë: the spirit of delusion, guilt, and infatuation. Some say she still wanders among the mortals on Earth, causing problems and ruin.

“Hello? Kagome, are you there?”, his voice makes herself snaps back to the real world.

“Oh, yes, sorry, Inuyasha. It’s just a tree branch broke the window in my bedroom last night”, she bites her lips, trying her best to hide the nervousness right now. She prays to the gods that all of her excellent work so far will be enough to make up for all of her lies today. 

He tells her that he was afraid that something terrible happened to her because of how serious her voice was when she picked up the phone. She apologizes, saying that she had to stay up last night to clean up all the broken glasses; so that is why she might sound a little bit cranky.

At least that statement is not a complete lie; well, it is not the whole truth either. It is true that Kagome had to stay up late, but not for the reason she stated. Inuyasha asks her if she needs any help in repairing the window, finance or labor wise. She declines, saying that she can do it by herself.

Then, an awkward silence plagues the atmosphere of their conversation. Inuyasha does not say anything; Kagome is so nervous that she does not want to say anything, not wanting him to sense how anxious she is. What is his goal for this call; that question repeats in her mind like a mantra.

Inuyasha finally breaks the silence by asking her why she was up so early today. She says she has a morning shift today; he says he does not know that she is re-assigned to morning shifts. She denies, saying it is only a one-time thing; she can hear him breathing out slowly, signaling his disappointment.  

Kagome asks why he calls her up so early, while fully aware that she usually does not get up until ten in the morning. Inuyasha says he does not know, saying that he was about to leave a voicemail until he heard she picked up the phone. She cursed Tsubaki; because of that vain woman, she is in a very awkward conversation right now.

He asks if her work ends around four in the evening today; then perhaps they can meet up. She sighs in relief; her mind can now relax from continually guessing what the purpose of his call is. She says she had to stay late at work today, so she probably cannot meet him today around four.

She does have to stay late for work, but she uses it as an excuse to not see him. She does not think she is ready to face him yet; she just really needs some time by herself to sort things out in her head. She quickly says that she is available tomorrow though; she wonders why he has asked that.

After a minute of silence, he asks her if she is free next Saturday instead. She says she will probably be free at that time; she asks why they can’t meet up tomorrow instead. He apologizes, saying that he will likely spend the next day finish his paperwork.

Ah, there is the cue; she instantly knows that he has to go screw his whore tomorrow. She wants to call him a liar; but she does not deserve to call him a deceiver when she, herself, is a cheater. His voice, once again, interrupts her thoughts. “Wear something nice, I want you to meet some people,” he sounds cheerful enough through the phone call.

She sighs, guessing that she has to accompany him to meet up with his friends or coworkers. Kagome hates it because all she can do is sit there, and look pretty; she feels like she is an object that he can show off the other people. She declines his invitation, saying she does not want to intrude on him and his friends’ private hang out.

“No no, it’s not my friends you’re going to meet. I want you to make acquaintances with some important people to me”, his voice seems almost pleading with her.

She lets out a silent breath; she guesses he needs her as a companion to have coffee with his boss or someone higher-up. “Fine then, when will you pick me up?”, she asks reluctantly.

“Five in the evening, next Saturday then,” the way he sounds makes she wonder if that is a statement or a question; because no matter what she says, she cannot back out.

“That works for me,” the taxi starts pulling up to her apartment. “I have to go now. I love you”, her last three words feel heavy and are coated with confusion; she has to say those words, or else, Inuyasha will realize that something is off about her. She wonders if the last phrase is a lie; because right now, even she cannot tell if she still loves him or not. There are so many things happening at the same time in her head.

“I love you too,” she hangs up as soon as she hears his reply. It sounds most convincing to her; if she didn’t know about his affair, she would believe no doubt that he is still madly in love with her. He is a damn good liar, she bitterly thinks. A cheater and a liar; she wonders if being a cheater is any different from being a liar. That question still lingers in her head as she exits the taxi.

Inuyasha exhales heavily as he throws the cellphone to the desk in front of him. That last thing he says is a complete truth; he means every word of it. It does take him awhile to realize that his heart truly belongs to her. However, the manner in which he finds out about this is, perhaps, undesirable.

Everything starts because of her.

She can be considered a younger version of his beloved Kagome. From the first moment they met, he could tell that she was energized and full of life; the way she talked and her body movements showed everything to him. She reminded him of when he first met Kagome in his last year at the university; back when his girlfriend was quirky, but in a pleasant way.

For some reasons he could not identify, his lovely Kagome started to become … dull to him after a year of dating. Since they regularly conversed, either face-to-face or texting, they quickly ran out of things to jabber, making their daily conversation boring. It got worse, to him, when they started working full-time.

He continually has paperwork due the next day; she sometimes gets emergency calls from the hospital. He works from nine to five; she is assigned to work the evening shifts. Everything about them seemed to be in a completely opposite direction; it was like the universe did not want them to be together anymore. Because of this, they could only meet each other at the weekend; they began to talk less on an everyday basis because of how busy they were.

And when they actually met up, she started talking about her work. While Inuyasha understood that she was passionate about what she was doing; he was not, especially not about her job. So he usually tuned her out, giving her nods every once in a while; this only worked sometimes because she usually busted him from not actually listen to her.

One day, he decided to tell her that she talked about uninteresting topics a lot. And that did the trick; she started to talk less about her and her job, she only asked questions about him from that moment forward.

At that point, he thought that the only reason why he stayed with her because she provided him some stress and sexual relief once in a while. Their lovemaking was not spectacular or mind-blowing like other couples. He usually did most, or all, of the work; while she just lay down and enjoyed it. He wished that she would do something back for him once in a while, but he feels that any woman should know that.

To him, they were at the low point of their relationship.

Then, on a particular day almost a year ago, he was in his office doing regular tedious paperwork as usual. Suddenly, his ears picked up the soft sound of someone knocking on his door. Weird, he thought, he did not expect any visitors that day; he loudly said to come in. Taking a break from looking at his computer, he looks up to greet his unexpected guest.

Kagome, what was she doing here; the question came out of his mouth involuntarily.

His mind was instantly thrown into chaos, with many voices keep telling him that the woman standing in front of him was not his Kagome. He mentally shook his head, trying to look at her again. He can now confirm that his unexpected guest was not his girlfriend, and it was all because of her eye color.

Kagome possessed blue eyes as bright as the sky on a sunny day; whereas the woman standing in front of him has chocolate brown eyes. For some unexplained reasons, he is drawn to the ordinary eyes’ color; her eyes sparkled with a lot of emotions, making him at lost for words.

She was wearing a black blazer with a light orange blouse underneath; he found it amusing because not a lot of people at the firm were willing to wear exciting and bold colors. The black pencil skirt showed off her hips sensually, distracting him from her flat top. Her black hair was styled into the one-sided low ponytail, framing her baby face. Her black heels seemed to give her extra boost to her height, allowing him to see her small form easier. He silently wondered if she and his girlfriend were related to each other; they could be cousins or siblings for all he knew.

She said she was not Kagome like he thought; her sweet voice brought him back to reality. He immediately apologized for his confusion, hoping that she would forgive him. She gave him a smile that made butterfly appear in his stomach; she said no offense was taken.

She then started introducing herself as Rin Yamamoto. She informed him that she was the new secretary for his boss; Rin also said that she was told to help him with whatever she could. He told her that he was surprised that his boss found a replacement so quickly, considering his supervisor was an ice-cold prick, and an incredibly strict person when it comes to anything.

He then introduced himself as Inuyasha Taisho; even though it was unnecessary, given that she probably already knew about him. He asked her where he would find her in case he needed her help; she said she would be at the receptionist table on the top floor, in front of their boss’s office. She gave him another smile, saying she had to go back to work now.

After she left the office, he let out a breath he had been holding unknowingly. He never felt such intense attraction to anyone; the sudden lust was overwhelming to him, almost making him forget that he was in a steady relationship. He focused all his thoughts back to his Kagome, forcing all images of the new secretary out of his head.

But in between the process, his thoughts somehow re-directed back to the younger woman. And the brown-eyed woman is all he could think of for the rest of the day.

Following that eventful day, he decided to avoid her when he was at work; but his plan was proven to be a failure the very next day. Apparently, whenever he needs to go to his boss’s office to submit his work, he had to go through her; or he had to drop off his work at her station instead. And every single time, she gave him a smile that would brighten the rest of his day.

Gradually, only images of her were stored in his memory; from the way she walked to the way she drank her tea. His little desire for her from the beginning started to grow, and he did not even realize it. Their daily office conversation started to become more personal before he knew, varying from what her favorite food is, to what kind of person he was in her eyes.

Slowly, he started to become infatuated with her; he gradually stopped calling his loved Kagome because every waking moment of his life at that point was dedicated to thinking about the new secretary. Even in his sleeping moment, the younger woman’s image kept haunting him. Somewhere deep down, a tiny seed of guilty was planted in his heart; but he did not recognize the strange emotion at the moment.

Nights turned to days, days became weeks; his desire for the younger woman started to consume all of him. If he did not do anything about it, he was sure that he would soon lose his sanity. And losing his common sense was indeed what happened next.

Taking advantage of them working late one night, he called her to his office for some help. Well, that was not a complete lie; he did indeed need her help, just not with paperwork. One thing led to another; from she standing at his office’s door to her being in his arms, he slept with the woman who held his current desire. He finally tasted the forbidden fruit that night

Erotic moans were the only sound that filled up the silence office throughout the night. The temperature seemed to be increased several degrees as the night went on. Both of them had reached climaxes so many times that he had lost count; they were consumed by the lust that was incinerating them alive.

The very next day, his office was a mess, papers were scattered everywhere. Luckily, he woke up an hour before work hour starts; he starts to call her name to bring her back to consciousness. He guesses she would need to fix up her current appearance before people arrived at the firm; plus, he needs to talk to her to clear some things up.

After both of them dressed up decently enough, he confessed that he already had a girlfriend. He bowed down to her, stating a sincere apology; Inuyasha said he did not know what prompted him to do what he did last night. That was apparently a lie, but he would say whatever it took to settle this situation. To his surprise, she did not yell at him for being a jerk; she smiled softly, saying she already knew about it.

She said that she figured it out when they talked for the first time when he mistook her for another woman. She, then, confessed that she could not help but be attracted to him ever since the first time she saw him, at least physically. As they worked together, the attraction to him only grew more.

No words could describe his feelings at that moment; the woman he was obsessed in the past few weeks just said she had the same feelings. Taking advantage of him still being shocked, she boldly said she would like to continue this relationship.

That sentenced snapped him back to reality. No no no, he denied the young woman out loud. He said that would be wrong; he had a girlfriend for god’s sake.

He quickly said that he had let lust consumed him and lost control of his desire last night. He needed to be faithful to his beloved Kagome; even though Rin would, no doubt, brighten and spice up his life. His mind took him back to last night, bringing memories about how compatible they were together, physically; how Rin did things to him that he would never dream of Kagome doing it.

She looked at him in the eyes, saying that she did not care that she was the other woman in his relationship. She wanted him physically, and she could tell he wanted her in the same way. She promised that their relationship would remain a secret as long as he wanted, and only at the physical level.

Now that got his attention. His mind reasoned, saying if he slept with Rin once, having sex again would not change the situation he was in. So why not just enjoy what she was offering to him; and all he needed to do was to keep his affair a secret. This way, he got to keep his Kagome and still got to enjoy Rin’s delicious body.

He knew that was wrong, but he could not bring himself to care at that time. The desire for the younger woman was still very much there and alive; thus, it had terribly clouded his judgments. The guilt started to grow more significant as he consciously chose to cheat on his Kagome.

He finally broke the silence, saying that they could keep doing this as long as she promised to not utter a word about the affair to anyone. Also, any of them had to right to break off this relationship at any time, and the other person had to comply. She nods her head, swearing that she would carry this secret to her grave.

Satisfied, he pulled her into his arms, giving her a passionate kiss. Before long, their clothes were scattered on the floor one more time. They almost got caught by other employees when the workday shortly began.

And that was the start of their forbidden relationship.

They would get together whenever the other person gave a signal when they met at the office. At first, it was just purely about sex; they met up somewhere and screwed each other senselessly. Now, even though they still hooked up, they also talked about themselves and had dinner sometimes together. Rin sometimes even took him to her favorite adult store to spice things up.

That woman has shown him so many different types of pleasures that he lost count.

He started to make excuses not to see Kagome. He always used his regular lie of having too much paperwork to do; because he knew Kagome would understand and not ask anything else. His whole life at that point revolved around Rin, and Rin only. He could not see any other person without thinking about Rin and how he would relish her body later.

Inuyasha thought his life was perfect; having a girl that loved you unconditionally on the one hand, and having a fun and exciting girl on the other side.

Weeks turned into months; months turned into seasons. Gradually, the flame represented his desire for Rin began to burn out. While she still gave him fantastic sex, the words came out of her mouth started to annoy him. He realized that she loved gossiping about other people in the office, which frustrated him because she often spoke falseness about his coworkers; and some of them were even his friends.

Even though their bodies were compatible with each other, their personal believes were not. After the lust had died down, Inuyasha started to realize that Rin and he had tiny things in common.

Her definition of dinner was unhealthy but easy-to-make food like nachos and hotdogs. While Inuyasha enjoyed home-cooked food that naturally contained love in them; but he sometimes wanted a couple of cups of instant noodles. She liked to spend all of her money on expensive clothes and handbags; he tried to save up some of his money for the future, while still have some extra in his pocket.

Slowly, he started to miss his loved Kagome. He missed her rambling about the difficulties in her jobs; he missed the food that usually took her two hours to cook them for him. He craved to see how beautiful she looked when she just got out of bed. He longed to hear her gentle voice again. 

He missed her; that was the moment he realized that he had made a mistake.

It was one morning when he woke up that his brain finally informed him about his ever-growing guilt. He remembered the feeling washed over his body like a tidal wave, breaking his delusion. He was wrong to think he could have two women at the same time. He had let his lower brain led his life for several months; he had been cheating on her just to satisfy his sexual needs. Even he thought he was the lowest type of person; the guilt was now eating him inside out, leaving him feeling hollow.

He needed to make things up to her for all the time he had neglected his beloved Kagome. That will be the first step to fix up their relationship; he does not know what is the second step yet. Though he is feeling guilty, his body and needs are still addicted to Rin; so finding a way to end their forbidden relationship will be hard for him.

He stops himself before stressing himself out; he tells himself just do one step at a time before figuring it out what to do next. 

That is why he decided to call Kagome today to make plan meeting up with her next week. She is going to meet some of the most important to him, and he cannot wait for it. He is confident that this meeting will make up for all of his time cheating on her. Because he finally gives her what she wants for a long time.

He sighed as he looks at the mountain of paperwork at his desk right now; he curses his ice-cold boss for giving him such a short period of time to finish such a significant amount of work. He guesses he will take a break for a little bit; reaching out his phone one more time, Inuyasha dials the number he has memorized ever since he was young.

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 6: Arae: female spirits of curses that are summoned forth from the underworld and are invoked during the spells of witches. 

Rays of sunlight penetrate through the thick curtain, waking him from the deep slumber. Sesshoumaru has never had such a good sleep like this before, and he wants to extend every second of it. He reaches his hands out to search for her body, but all he can feel is the soft texture of his blanket and pillow.

Perhaps she is on the other side of the bed, he reasons to himself; the need to go back to sleep is almost overwhelming. Until his senses cannot pick up any traces of her, not a single light breath or her body’s heat; he cannot sense the unique sweet yet citrus scent of hers. Now that he thinks about it, he cannot feel the weight of her body in his bed either.

Then, he realizes, his bed feels empty and cold. Two bodies’ heat is supposed to keep the bed warm, right? Unless, he is the only person in bed; but, that cannot be, can it? His eyes snap wide open, surrounding objects are blurry to him at first. Sleepiness still lingers heavily around his eyes, trying to lure him back to sleep. He blinks once, twice, defying his body’s desire to sleep.

He expects her beauty should be the first thing to enter his sight. However, it is just his ordinary pillow; she is nowhere in his line of vision. He sits up quickly, not caring about how his tired mind just wants to rest. He turns his head left and right, trying to look for any indications of where she might be; but there is only him in the lonesome bedroom.

For the first time since forever, he lets out a loud curse, throwing the pillow to the floor. The sound of his voice resonates throughout the room; even inanimate objects seem to be shrunken in fear from the suddenly enraged atmosphere. Now, he is a person of discipline; he knows he will never utter profanity out loud like this. But he cannot help it; he curses his carelessness that has caused his plan to fail.

His original plan was just to woo the girl for the night only. Yet, his intention changed halfway as he decided to have the girl in his bed for the night; then, he will get to know her more the next day. He decided to put a twist on his plan because there was something about that woman that he could not put his finger on. Perhaps it was her stunning look, or maybe it was the unique sweet yet citrus scent of hers.

Changing his plan is highly unlike him; he usually just has a one-night stand and kicks the girl out once the deed is done. However, most of them make excuses to stay the night; those women usually find themselves outside of his apartment faster than the speed of light right after they utter those false reasons.

This is the first time he plans to make a woman stay by his side until the sun rises, and his plan fails terribly. He thought he has come up with the perfect strategy; he now learns that a business strategist does not always translate to a good making-a-woman-stay-for-the-night planner.

He knows that he is a light sleeper; even one small sound will wake him up instantly. He was expected to use it as an advantage, to stop her from ever leaving his side. But he did not predict that he would sleep through it; Sesshoumaru did not expect his body to betray him when he needed it the most. He lets out another curse; he massages his forehead, trying to ease an upcoming headache.

Perhaps he should stick with his original plan next time. No, he tells himself, his plan might not be perfect, but it did not fail solely because of him. Perhaps, the raven-haired woman is indeed an angel and flew away in silence. Or maybe, she is an enchantress and cast a sleep spell on him so she could leave without him noticing.

Ah, yes, his prediction from last night must be right; that she ought to be a witch. Her magic spell would cause him to see her from the beginning and only look at her for the rest of the night. Black magic, his mind whispers; that will explain why he feels like he blacked out last night. Their activities are a blur to him, everything from their conversations to their spontaneous slow dance.

But, he can remember clearly about one thing: her body.

His mind starts to show him every curve of her body; from her full perky breasts to her slender legs that had wrapped around his hips nicely last night. As he takes a deep breath to clear away these erotic images, the scent of honey and lemon enters his nose. Her unique aroma still lingers in his bed and his body, as if she is still here with him.

He can make out her figure in front of him; he can see she is wrapping her arms around his body and leaning her head against his chest. He can feel the beats of her heart; it almost seems to be synchronized with his. Her scent is all he can smell, filling up his lung with every breath he takes. But as soon as his hands reach out to embrace her, she disappears into nothingness; like she was never here with him.

He blinks once, and twice; he blames her illusion is just a trick of the light. Combining with the lingering scent of her, it will explain why the figment of his imagination seems so real. He also blames the fact that he just wakes up, resulting in his brain probably does not function properly yet.

Because he does not hallucinate anyone; he does not miss anyone.

He shakes his head, trying to clear any illusions that perhaps still remain in his vision. He thought he could get to know her better in the morning to see if she is worthy to bless him another night again, to see if she is any different from countless women he has met before; it is a shame that he does not have that kind of luxury. If she wants to leave his side, that is her choice; he hopes she will regret it soon.

Either way, he cannot change what has already happened; there are still plenty of women that would do anything to be his bed for one night. He guesses that it is time to go back to his original plan. He needs to stop thinking about her and moving on with his life; somewhere deep down, he wishes he could turn the clock back, to prevent the enchanting witch from ever leaving his bed.

With that mindset, tossing the blanket aside, he gets out of bed, already missing the comfort that his bed offers. The first thing he sees is his black dress pant; picking it up, he pulls his phone out from his left pocket. The time is eleven in the morning; he is not that surprised, he usually wakes up around this time anyway. Checking his other pocket, to make sure he does not leave anything valuable, he stops dead in his tracks as his fingers touch a soft fabric texture inside his right pocket.

He pulls the mysterious object out, holding it in the palm of his hand. It is a blue thong, with few white laces around it; just by looking at this item, memories already begin taking him back to the first time he saw the enchantress in this thong and a matching bra. His member becomes hard; his lips feel dry as the desire to relish her skin floods through his veins.

Excellent, he has just determined to stop thinking about her; yet, here he is again, reminiscing about her body. He needs to clear his mind, and fast; perhaps a hot shower will do the trick. He planned to keep her thong as a souvenir; but seeing it keeps bringing memories back to his mind, he decides to abandon that plan.

At the same time, he throws her thong to his bed, planning to throw it away after a nice shower. Tossing his dress pants to a nearby hamper, he moves towards his closet, picking up some towels. Opening the door to his private bathroom, he lets the water warms up before stepping into the shower.

Hot droplets of water make contact with his skin, washing away any sleepiness in his system. Hot steam seems to clear his thoughts somewhat, trying its best to erase the images of her from his mind; though it is very ineffective. He lets out a sigh as he flicks his long hair back; he squeezes a hand full of body wash, trying to wash her delicious scent from his body. 

He hopes she will regret her decision soon.

…..

One day has passed since their encounter.

Even though it is Sunday, he confines himself in the study room. Stacks of paper are all over his massive desk; he is sitting in a big black chair, with a silver laptop in front of him. There is a big window to his right, letting the whole room lit up with the natural sunlight. If he bothers to look outside, he will see the lovely scenery of the semi-frozen lake; everything is covered in a nice thin layer of pure white snow.

On the contrary, the atmosphere within the room is so serious, and gloomy to some extent. Sesshoumaru focuses entirely on whatever in front of him; he is currently holding a forty-page budget proposal for the upcoming business period. He sometimes takes a break to check some data on his laptop, filling the silent room with the sound of his fingers rapidly typing on the computer; then he returns to reading the boring report.

He finds it utterly ridiculous that in the time where everything can be converted into digital form, essential documents, such as proposing contracts, still have to be in paper. It is a waste of resources, in addition to taking up precious space on his desk. Not to mention, just looking at stacks of paper give him a massive headache.

He silently wonders why he has so many subordinates when all they do is pushing their workload to him, making stupid excuses that the work is outside the range of their authority. One thing for sure, he will not promote them anytime soon so that they can stop making those pathetic excuses. Perhaps it will be a good idea to fire some people tomorrow; he will consider who to terminate when night falls.

Taking a break from reading, he sways the chair a little bit to his right, taking a quick break from reading the proposal. The bright sunlight greets his sensitive eyes, making him unable to see anything but a blank white space temporarily. In that split of a second, images of her flood back to his mind.

Her long raven hair clings to her face slightly; her eyes are half-opened, or are they half-closed? It matters not to him at that moment; all he cares is seeing her bright blue eyes now filled with unspoken pleasure. Her breasts caress his skin every time he thrusts into her; her legs are wrapped tightly around his hips as if to stop him from leaving her wet sheath. Her lips somewhat open, almost as if she is going to tell him a secret.

Just before any sweet sound coming out of her mouth, he snaps his mind back to reality. He curses her for still haunting him. Though it has been exactly one day since he last sees the woman, she still remains in his mind, especially her body and the time they spent together. The enchantress must have put a curse him; a spell that bounds him to think of her always, night and day.

That will explain that he even dreamt of her last night, blessing his dreams with erotic images of her. Or is it a curse instead? Maybe it is a bit of both; he cannot tell them apart at this moment.    

She is also the reason why he orders his butler to bring stacks and stacks of paper from the office to his apartment. Work is the only thing he knows that will efficiently distract his mind from thinking about the enchantress. And it seems to accomplish his goal, but temporary only. Whenever he takes breaks from working in order not to exhaust himself, images of her keep flowing back to his mind.

He keeps telling himself that her magic is merely strong enough to cause him to be in this state, and her witchcraft will fade away soon. Perhaps, her image will finally leave his mind after today, together with the figure of her delicious body and the sound of her soothing voice. He suddenly feels thirsty, wanting to taste her sweet essence all over again.

As the thirst keeps clinging to his throat, he determines that he needs something to distract his mind once again. Standing up, he leaves his study for the kitchen. Perhaps a glass of cold water will wash down the thirst, as well as clear his mind a little bit. He would have had a glass of whiskey if it were not for the fact that he is working right now; he does not like to work while being intoxicated, at all.

Grabbing a random glass from the cabinet, he opens the faucet. Some icy water droplets accidentally slid down his hand; it reminds him of how cold his bed felt last morning. It makes him remember about their passionate night. Her slit was tight and hot, wrapping nicely around his cock. Each time she caressed his body, flames seemed to be ignited underneath her fingers, making him almost to yearn for more.

It takes all of his will to bring him back to reality. He will not succumb to that woman’s magic; he will not let himself think of her. He does not miss anyone, he tells himself. It is just a curse, he reassures himself.

A loud buzzing sound reaches his ears; his phone vibrates in his pocket. He pulls it out; the screen tells him his half-brother is calling him. He puts the vibrating cellphone back to his pocket, not feel like answer it right now. Plus, any phone call from his “dearest” brother is nothing but troublesome; and Sesshomaru is not in the mood to entertain anyone. The bastard will have to wait.

Bastard, that word leaves bitterness in his tongue. 

Not long after his mother passed away, his sire brought his mistress home. Even in his young mind, he knew his father had been cheating, because of all the time he missed dinner and late night phone calls. His mother knew about this as well; he could still recall seeing the sadness through her eyes. Yet, she did not say a thing until the day she took her last breath.

He remembered his father came to the hospital with agony and anguish visible on his face, crying while holding his mother’s cold hands. He never let his father touch him for comfort, not even during his mother’s funeral. Until this day, he still cannot tell if those emotions on his sire’s face were real or not; they looked so real, yet full of lies to him at the same time

He never accepted his father’s whore as his new mother; no one will ever replace his dearest mother in his heart. Not long afterwards, his half-brother was born; and everyone seemed to be happy, except him. He had grown up with hatred in his heart; blaming his father’s mistress and her son as the reason why people soon forgot about his mother, almost as if she never even existed.

The phone finally stops buzzing, leaving his mind at peace; at least his half-brother knows he does not want to be disturbed right now. Noticing his glass is now overflows with water, he turns off the faucet off. Quickly washing the liquid down his throat, the cold substance somewhat helps to clear his mind. Then, the phone vibrates one more time. He ignores it, knowing it is just his half-brother. He sets the glass down on the marble counter, walking towards the sofa and turning on the television.

The sight of the couch awakes the memories one more time of what happened two nights ago; they were exploring each other’s body right there. He can still see the image of her quivering under his touch; he can almost hear her erotic sounds as she reaches her peak. He can practically taste her exquisite juice in his mouth. He can almost see her sitting on top of his sofa, looking back at him, just like that night.

His phone vibrates one more, making the image of her disappears into nothingness; for once, he is somewhat grateful for his half-brother’s stubbornness. Sitting down on the dark grey sofa, he turns the television on, lowering the volume a little bit. He pulls his phone out, making sure the screen displaying his half-brother phone number before answering.

“What do you want?”, he cuts to the chase, not wanting to talk to his half-brother any longer than he has to.

“You finally pick up. Are you planning to make me wait forever?”, a bit of anger can be heard through his half-brother’s voice; Sesshoumaru cares not.

“What do you want, Inuyasha?”, He repeats his question, putting pressure on each word. If his “dearest” half-brother’s next word is anything but straight to the point, he is going to hang up.

“Keh, I want to let you know that all the piles of work you gave me on Friday have been done. I’ll drop them off at your secretary tomorrow’s morning”,  Inuyasha’s loud voice makes him want to turn off the phone right away.

“So what is the problem that you need this Sesshoumaru?”, Sesshoumaru is getting bored with the conversation; he picks up the remote, browsing through all the channels.

“I don’t know if you are aware of this, but in these piles of paperwork, there is a proposal from Totosai”, now that information makes Sesshoumaru pay attention to the conversation; Totosai is one of the reliable suppliers for his firm. “The main point of the proposal says that he wants ten percent of the company, in exchange for perpetual supply for the firm at thirty percent less than the market’s price.”

There is a silence between them for a while. Sesshoumaru is deep in thought; a constant discount for his supply will significantly minimize his operating cost. But sacrificing ten percent of the firm is a lot to ask. He needs some time to consider this proposal carefully.

“Hello, Sesshoumaru? Are you still there?”, the voice of his half-brother makes him focus back to the conversation.

“Leave the proposal on my desk tomorrow. This Sesshoumaru will personally look at it”, he is about to end their conversation; but the loud voice of his half-brother makes him halt the process

“Just want to let you know, on Saturday’s evening, I’m visiting…"Sesshoumaru turns his phone off as soon as the conversation with his half-brother does not relate to work; he does not care what his half-brother is going to do as long as it does not involve him.

He stops switching channels as his ears pick up the sound of classical music. The channel he is currently watching is showing an orchestra concert. He is not a fan of any types of music, but classical music is probably the most frequent kind of tunes that he listens to. Even though the music has excellent quality, he still cannot help but compare it to her moans.

Those tunes indeed are a beautiful work of art. Sesshoumaru recalls each time the lewd sound escaped from her sweet lips; his blood seemed to be lit on fire. It fueled his desire for her more; the lust for her body appeared to increase every time he thrust into her tiny body. The image of her crying out of pleasure, accompanied by her sweet sounds, almost comes to life in front of his eyes.

Without noticing, advertisements replace the classical music, making the illusion disappear into thin air. Sesshoumaru finally comes back to reality as the spell breaks. Seeing there is nothing else worth watching, he turns off the television and ready to go back to his study; paperwork is not going to be done by itself. Plus, it is an excellent distraction for his mind, stopping him from thinking about her.

As he makes his way to his office, he keeps telling himself that her magic will fade by the end of the day; that her curse will be soon lifted off him. And that is the only reason why he sometimes thinks about her throughout the day.

Because he knows, he does not miss anyone.

Chapter Text

Chapter 7Ariadne: the embodiment of mazes and labyrinths because of her involvement in the myths of Minotaur and Theseus. In other stories, she is considered to be the goddess of wine as becoming the immortal bride of the god Dionysus.

Four days have passed since he last saw the enchantress.

On the contrary to his belief, the spell she that has cast onto him has not been lifted. In fact, he seems to think about her more and more every day; if her body is a drug, then he is now hooked to it. He even catches himself dreaming about her a couple of nights before; he fancies the night they shared with each other, almost as if he wants to go back to that stolen moment.

It is like she has complete control over his body and mind; he keeps imagining her throughout the day. And when night falls, the need to taste her body again grows immensely each time he fantasizes about the got-away enchantress.

He hopes that if he sleeps with a different person, then perhaps he will not think about her body anymore; then his body will stop being manipulated by her wicked spell. So that is the reason why he is currently at a bar right now, in the middle of the week, to find a bed partner for the night.

First of all, he already regrets his choice of the bar; this bar plays in-demanded songs nowadays, with extra bass to the already terrible sound. It makes him want to cancel his plan if it is not for his pride; backing down from anything that he already sets his mind to do is just not what he does. He guesses he has to make it quickly before his ears bleed.

Washing down the heavy whiskey, his golden eyes scan around the bar. Seeing blond, brown, ginger and other non-human coloured head, his eyes immediately eliminate those women from further consideration; he does not know why, as if his mind is looking for a specific ordinary colour. With the obnoxious music playing in the background, it takes a couple of seconds for his eyes to finally land on a woman who sits on the opposite side of the bar.

The woman has black hair, braided in intricate design; she is sitting alone in a booth, slowly drinking a can of beer while focusing entirely on her phone. She is wearing a tight red dress, with tiny black laces hug around the attire. The length of the dress is so short that its primary job is to cover only her private areas, showing off all the things that her body has to offer. Really wanting to get out of this hellhole, he guesses that he has to settle on her, hoping that she can quickly take care of his needs right now.

Swiftly making his way towards his potential bed partner for the night, he asks if the seat in front of her is occupied or not. She nods her head rapidly, quickly saying yes; he can practically see that woman drooling as she eyes his body up and down, examining him from top to bottom. He cares not about how she sees or thinks about him; all he needs is her service.

He introduces himself, almost lazily asking why such a lovely lady such as herself is alone tonight. He can see a hint of sparkle in her brown eyes, making her look like she is plotting something behind him. He thinks she says something about how her friend is supposed to meet up with her today, but the sound of her voice just does not go through his mind. He merely nods, pretending that he is actually paying attention.

There is one question she asks that does actually go through his head: she wants to go to his place to have a cup of coffee, to help her sober up before calling it a night. He was about to say that his apartment does not have coffee; plus, coffee does not actually help to sober her up. He wants to snort at her lie, but he restrains himself; if she actually wanted coffee, then he would want to become a monk.

He knows what she is doing anyway; he is not that stupid; but he is mentally exhausted, too tired to find another person to satisfy his needs for the night. Letting her think that she is so smart, he just nods and stands up quickly, leaving a bill at the table to pay for his share; he signals her to follow him. At least she makes an effort to make this go by quickly.

He keeps trying to recall the name of the woman that will accompany him for the next little while; yet, nothing comes up to his brain. He gives up after five seconds of trying; he does not care much about this woman, except for the fact that she might able to provide him with some stress relief.

As soon as they get to his apartment, he does not even get to the living room, and the woman is already down on her legs, trying to get rid of his belt and pants. Good, he thinks, this way he can get it over with, and the spell can finally be lifted. She quickly undoes the zipper in his pants, pulling his member out. He can see her eyes become comically large as she sees the size of his manhood. She praises him for having the largest member she has ever seen.

The nameless woman starts darting her tongue out, slightly caresses the tip of his cock. Being bolder, she takes the whole length down her throat, starting bobbing up and down along his shaft; he can feel the tip of his cock is being squeezed slightly by her narrow throat passage. The unnamed woman continues to twirl her tongue around his cock, allowing him to fully feel the hotness of her mouth.

On any other occasion, he would feel hard as a rock when a woman starts pleasuring him with such a body and skill. But today, it remains somewhat soft, unable to justify his glorious length. The woman seems to be undiscouraged about his reaction, or the lack of it. She starts to apply more pressure, somewhat pulling on his member, to will it back to life.

But nothing happens. The shaft remains limp within the nameless woman's orifice.

Sesshoumaru knows that he is full of virility and stamina. He always has enough sex drive that his manhood can get hard whenever he commands it to be; but usually, it will come to life even without his permission. But not today, apparently; good gods, why does his body have to betray him when he needs it the most? He needs to do something before the woman concludes that he has erectile dysfunction problem, and he will not tolerate such false conviction.

"Turn over, on all fours", he commands her.

She smirks at his demands, "Oh, you want to get straight to the point? That is fine by me."

As she turns around, he can see her round buttocks up in the air, showing him the curve in her hips. Somehow, without seeing her face, his mind projects the image of the got-away enchantress into the nameless woman who is kneeling in front of him as; similar raven hair, the same shade of skin, and almost the same slender legs.

That much is enough to awaken his member.

Pulling the red panties aside, his eyes can see the hairless snatch, which is wet and ready for him. But instead, his mind shows images of the enchantress's sweet sheath; the phantom divine wine taste floods through his saliva. He can almost taste her flavour in his mouth once again; the illusion is so real that he almost comes down for a taste of the nameless woman's private area.

But he stops himself before he can do so; he does not want any foul taste to linger in his palate, possibly making him forget about the taste of most exquisite wine. Seeing the unnamed woman in this aroused state, he guesses she does not need much foreplay or perhaps none at all.

Putting the tip of his cock in front of her cunt, he can feel the heat radiate from the small opening; his ears can pick the soft sound of her whimpering, perhaps due to the feeling of excitement. Wanting to the image of the witch disappear from his mind as fast as possible, he pushes his length into her hot slit, not stopping until the tip of his cock touches the end of her passage.

She lets out an ecstatic moan, which sounds like a dying walrus to him. It makes him miss the sensual cries of the woman that got away; the tunes of masterpieces are still playing somewhere deep in his mind. He pulls himself out and then pushes it back in; which unfortunately makes the nameless woman making more of the annoying sound.

He needs to do something about this quick; or else, his eardrums are going to burst, and his mind will go insane from this torture.

He pushes her back down; to the point, her shoulder meets the cold floor, and her face is literally kissing the surface. Without the ability to breathe through her nose, the unnamed woman has to breathe through her mouth instead. This is good for him because he no longer has to listen to the torturous sounds.

As he fucks the nameless woman, he starts to notice a few things. The sheath that his cock is currently in, its texture and sensation are entirely different from the one belongs to the woman who haunts him lately. The hot slit wraps around his cock, yet not tightly; the sheath is wet, yet not dripping in fine wine. At the moment, he feels like he is using any regular whore; nothing really stirs up his emotions or the desire to go over the edge.

Yet, with the woman that got away, he feels like he is in paradise; everything about the enchantress stimulates his senses, leaving him yearning for more. She seems to know how to awake the wiggling instinct inside him, making him gotten drunk off her crystal blue eyes. The tip of her fingers feels like fire, like adding gasoline to her blazing touch.

Right now, he feels like he has been locked out of that heaven. That realization leaves him hollow inside.

He images the one that is underneath him right now is the enigmatic enchantress. He can see raven hair clings to her face as she trying to catch her breath; he can hear the erotic sounds escaping from her lips, fueling his blood with more desire to listen to those tunes again. The faint sweet and citrus smell enters his body, making him want to savour her skin to absorb the exquisite taste directly. He can feel her sensual folds wrapping tightly around his cock, taking him to another height.

The moans of the nameless woman take him back to reality.

He quickly pulls himself out of the woman's sheath, zipping his pants up as the woman cranks her neck back to look at him. Wasting no more time, he points at the door and says: "Get out."

At first, the dark-hair woman squints at him, giving him a doubting look. Then, she lets out a small laugh, jokingly says to him: "Are you kidding me? I thought you have more stamina than that, handsome."

Sesshoumaru is definitely not in the mood for joking right now; he gives her a look that makes her face draining out of any colour instantly. He stands up, fixing up his shirt; turning around, he twists the knob, bursting the door wide open. "Get. Out", he puts pressure on each word, making sure she understands that he is not fooling around.

The nameless woman trembles at the coldness of his words; she quickly sits up, fixing up her dress and panties. She storms so hard out of his apartment that there might be marks of her heels on the wooden floor. As she passes through him, she glares at him and mutters to word "jerk", directing the insult to him.

As soon as the woman steps out of his apartment, he slams the door shut, locking it into place. Tossing his dress shoes to the side, he immediately heads to the kitchen. He needs something to calm his mind down; perhaps a glass of whiskey will do the job. Opening a cupboard, as he is about to reach for his usual bottle of whiskey, his fingers linger on a bottle of red wine.

He is neither a wine enthusiast nor a hater of it; he just never really drinks it because it never gives a nice buzz to his body fast enough. The only rare occasion he will drink wine is when he dines with the crucial potential client at a fancy restaurant. He does not know what makes him do this; but his hand reaches out to get the bottle of wine, instead of getting his usual whiskey.

Opening a cupboard directly next to the one storing his alcohol, he just wants to grab a random glass to hold the liquid while he enjoys it. He is surprised when he sees a pair of tall wine glasses sitting at the back of the cupboard; Sesshoumaru honestly cannot recall where he got those wine glasses. Perhaps they are a gift from someone; it does not matter to him at this moment, he grabs one wine glass and closes the cupboard shut.

Making his way to the living room, he sits down on the dark grey sofa, placing the bottle of wine and the glass on the coffee table. He turns the TV on, immediately switching to news channel; the last thing he needs is another sound that can potentially remind him of that nefarious enchantress. A loud "pop" sound resonates through the silent room as he opens the bottle of wine; he then pours a little bit of the red liquid into the glass.

A sound of the news anchor seems to fade away as he takes a first sip of the wine. The flavour of the wine overwhelms his senses; it reminds him so much of the witch's sweet essence. It is definitely not the same, but it is the closest thing to that addicting substance. He tastes another sip, enjoying the aroma of the fine wine as it fills up his senses.

Sesshoumaru looks at the bottle, remembering the brand so he can buy another bottle next time he goes out. He takes another sip, allowing the warm feeling wash over his body. One more sip; then another. Soon afterward, the wine glass is empty, leaving the red stain on the glass.

He pours another drink, emptying half of the bottle into the glass. This time, he does not drink the whole glass right away; he slowly takes a sip out of the glass, letting the flavour soaking into his system. The more he drinks, the more he thinks he is currently drinking up her private essence; that thought only almost drives him to the brink of insanity.

Yet, at the same time, it somehow clears his mind. For the last couple of days, the enchantress keeps haunting him, refusing the leave him alone, even in his sleep. It is like he has been stuck in this never-ending game, where he has to find a way out of this boundless maze filled with images of the enigmatic woman.

But right now, as he is drinking up the wine, the liquor seems to set his blood on fire, just like how her taste does to this body. But it also provides some sort of relief to his body; as if it is rewarding him to finally acknowledge the fact that she is always somewhere deep down in his subconscious; to acknowledge that he will never escape this cursed labyrinth.

One sip, two sips; time seems to fly by as his wine glass is once again empty again. Wanting to taste more of the sweet liquid, he dumps the rest of the bottle into the glass; he can always get a new bottle, or perhaps two, when tomorrow comes. The news anchor is saying something about the stock market, but he does not care right now; all he pays attention to right now is the excellent wine.

Sooner than he likes, the glass wine is empty, leaving him feeling somewhat disappointed; she is never running out of sweet essence like this. It always seems to come out more as he explores deeper into her hot sheath; unlike this useless bottle of wine.

Settling the glass onto the end table, he puts his feet up on the coffee table. Leaning backward to the sofa, his body can finally relax. The nice buzz from consuming the alcohol is still not there yet in his system, but it does provide a warm feeling in his stomach.

Letting the small heat slowly spreads across his body, he closes his eyes. Image of the dark-haired beauty gradually appears in his mind; accompanied by the taste of fine wine, the illusion becomes more realistic.

To his surprise, the witch does not seem to want to torture his mind with erotic images this time; instead, she appears to lure him to a deep slumber. The faint sweet flavour is the last thing his senses can detect before sleep finally consumes him. And she is with him throughout the night in his dream.

…..

Seven days have passed since he last met the eager vixen.

He is currently in his office, reading over some contracts. How funny, this day, but last week, he was working as well. And even more ridiculous, the reason for why he is working remains the same: trying to do something, anything, besides of just thinking of her.

Ever since he comes to terms with himself, she seems to plague his mind less often; but, that does not mean he has stopped thinking about her. No no, images of her still pop up throughout the day within his mind, which is easily triggered by different things. And this time, it can be set off by things outside of his apartment; as if he has not been suffered enough at his own place.

Speaking of the devil, for a couple of days, he has been contemplating about an idea: he can use his private investigator to find out about the raven-haired enchantress. Why not, he reasons himself; his investigator can find out who it is and give him all the information he needs. It will be tough though; since he only knows her name and not her last name. Well, that is the problem of his private investigator, not his; after all, that person will be paid handsomely.

But, isn't it considered an invasion of privacy? He is confident he will not be arrested for doing something like this since he knows a couple of people that have power and owes him a favour or two. But, he is hesitated about doing it. He really does not want to appear like a creep when she finds out about how he finds her; for some unknown reasons, he does not want to be the bad guy in her eyes.

This dilemma has been in his head for days; still, no answers have been found. He is torn between seeing her again and appearing to be a creep in front of her; between gaining back his sanity or being stuck in this never-ending maze. He decides to think about it later; he has a job to do right now.

Leaning back against a black leather chair, he raises two feet up, resting them on the edge of a fancy wooden desk. There are two stacks of paper locate on his right side and a computer on his left; his hands are holding a folder of some sort, flipping back and forth between pages.

There are currently only him plus a couple of employees at the office right now; and those employees will not dare to disturb him. So he does not care about how he sits; Sesshoumaru just wants to relax while reading these tedious contracts and proposal, especially when he had to be up early because of the noisy garbage truck. He really needs to call in some favours to get that rescheduled; since he is really not appreciated being woke up at seven in the morning.

Is it him or is this contract is really long? He has been reading it for about fifteen minutes now, and he cannot get through the first page. Ah, he has found his problem: the raven-haired beauty. What a surprise, why can he not guess that before; the enchantress's spell is still keen on him.

He tries to focus on reading again; the title page says "Purchasing another warehouse to increase inventory capacity due to the increase in demands of …" He stops reading as the word "demand" fully registered in his brain.

It makes him remember about the night with her one more time. He remembers clearly on how she asked him, again and again, to slow down; or else she would lose her mind. But he had none of it; he would do whatever he wants. So he thrust in deeper, and harder, making her moan louder. The sound of her reaching climax is still somewhere playing over and over within his subconscious, like a broken record.

The phone vibrates, dragging him back to reality. Pulling his phone out of the pocket, he sees that an alarm just goes off; telling him it is time to visit his dear father. They have agreed that he has to stop by his father's house every Saturday at six o'clock to have dinner with him; in addition to reporting everything regarding about the company's business activities. After all, his father is still the chairman of the firm; and he is just the president of the company.

Setting the paper aside, he stands up, putting his phone back in his pocket; he also manages to grab the folder containing Totosai's proposal under the mountain of paper. He picks his jacket up from the chair, taking the car key from the table; he closes the door to his office shut, locking it into place. He walks down to the parking lot, instead of taking the elevator. Maybe a quick workout will get rid of any stiffness in his body from sitting in the office for nearly eight hours.

Getting onto his black Tesla, he does not even bother to input the address on the GPS; Sesshoumaru has been driving on the same route every weekend that he basically memorizes the way there; plus, he lived there for a period of time in his life. The ride to his father's house is uneventful; there is a little bit of traffic here and there, but it is nothing that is out of his control.

The time is five forty-five in the evening, and he finally pulls up the driveway. Great, apparently, his half-brother is also currently visiting their father as well. Shutting off the engine unenthusiastically, he gets out of the car as soon as he grabs the folder with him.

A servant immediately opens the main door for him, bowing down low. He can hear the man saying "Good evening, Sesshoumaru-sama"; but he does not show any signs of acknowledgment, not wanting to waste any of his breath.

He heads straight to his father's study, which is where most of their meetings have been taken place. He just goes to that room, sits down and discusses the company's activity; followed by a quiet dinner. Then he leaves; he completes his promised duty, and nothing more.

He does not want to be in the same room as his father more than when he is needed.

As he is passing through the front garden, he sees the door to the living room is wide open. If he did not see his half-brother's car in the driveway, his loud and annoying voice would have confirmed his presence in this house at the moment; and he does not want to get any closer to seeing his half-brother's face. But, to get to the study, he has to go through the hallway connected the living room and study.

He cannot be any more unenthusiastic.

As he gets closer, he can see a female figure seeing next to his half-brother; the woman's small form has been covered behind the door. She is sitting on her legs; back straighten, in front of his stepmother. She seems to wear a grey dress, with a creamy cardigan; at least that is what he sees from a distance. However, her wavy raven hair covers most of her back, making him unable to see any of her features.

Even though he can only see from behind, there is something about that woman that sparks his interest. The way her hair falls naturally on her back reminds him of the first time he ever saw the enchantress at the bar. His fingers twitch slightly, wanting to pick up the phone right now to call his private investigator to give him an extraordinary assignment.

The urge is getting stronger and stronger as he gets closer to the living room. The laughter of his half-brother and his voice fade away as his own voice is getting deafening as seconds go by. And it keeps saying "That person is not her. That person is not her. That person is not her". Holding his breath, he tries to slow his racing heart down; he forces his fingers to relax as the unintended clenching fists start to bring a bit of pain to his palm.

There are plenty of women who have black hair in this giant city, he tells himself; and the strange woman currently sitting in his father's living room is just not the same woman has been haunting his mind this past week. Voices in his mind get louder and louder, repeating the same phrase over and over again.

He stops dead in his tracks to the study room as his father makes eyes contact with him.

Chapter Text

Chapter 8Epiales: also known as melas oneiros, or black dream; the underworld daemon of nightmares, being able to manipulate anyone's dreams into nightmarish reality and slowly torture to death.

Kagome is extremely uncomfortable right now; she has been sitting on her legs for the previous hour or so. She can sense the prickly feeling in her paralyzed limbs, like tiny needles poking underneath her skin. Not to point out, but her back has also been perfectly straightening; she does not want to appear being a sloppy person in the presence of his parents.

His. Parents.

Gods, that phrase wants her to shove Inuyasha's face down on the soil right now. She assumed they would meet up with his colleagues, or some important business clients; so she decided to put on this stupid gray tulle-midi cocktail dress. It is restricting her breathing, and just a little too tight for her taste. She hates this attire, but she knows he likes her in this dress. So she dresses her finest to please him, especially in front of people that might have some influence on his future career.

But no, he has to take her to see his parents. After quite some time of fussing and persistent pestering, he finally makes her wish come true, in the most inconvenient time of… ever. If he were to tell her where he took her earlier, she would have chosen something more proper to wear to meet his parents; instead of dressing in a cocktail dress and looking like a high-class escort.

She silently praises herself for making the right decision of wearing the cream cardigan with this dress. It covers part of her curve, causing her appear at least somewhat formal about the meeting his parents, making her feel less like a slut.

Despite that, the meeting goes quite smooth for her. She finds out that his father, Touga, owns the company in which Inuyasha is working for, and Iyazoi is just a stay-at-home mother. From the first moment she saw Inuyasha's father, a constant weight has been on her shoulder, nagging her about something that she cannot place her fingers on. She brushes that feeling aside, blaming being nervous from meeting her boyfriend's parents for the first time.

Kagome can see that Inuyasha takes after his father; they share the same laughter and remarkably similar features; though Touga is not as easy-to-read as his son. Iyazoi is an interpretation of elegance; given her age, she nevertheless looks absolutely gorgeous. Kagome really wants to ask her about the keys to being young forever, but she restrains herself. They are nice and agreeable to talk to, which makes Kagome feel even worse; because she currently does not wish to be the same room as their son, for several reasons.

For instance, their precious boy is deceiving on her, for gods-know-how-long. Second of all, she also did cheat on him, and that knowledge is slowly eating her alive; but that was the onetime thing. It is not like she will ever do that again behind his back. Besides, she was a bit drunk that night; so it was not the smartest time to decide on anything. But, in her defense, it is not quite her fault either; the temptation is almost impossible to resist that night.

Silver hair, honeyed eyes overflow with assurances of euphoria, a body that will make any gods jealous; with just a brief recalling of those images, she can feel the familiar emotion in the pit of her abdomen. She admits she even catches herself daydreaming about her Adonis when she is alone by herself; she tells herself that it is because the stranger has taught her to feel such unimaginable sensations.

Kagome is certain that no one is capable to resist the godly Adonis. Blind people will probably melt within his deep voice; men will fall down to their knees if the handsome stranger commands them to do so. Heck, even the gods seem to not be able to turn down such temptation; and she is simply just a mortal. She is glad she will never see that man again, quietly praying she will never have to face the utmost enticement again.

Perhaps, he is not merely a reincarnation of Adonis, but also a devil in disguise. A demon represents the ultimate allurement, who vows to take her, or anybody, to a whole new height. So, it is technically not quite her fault that she fails to deny him; she reassures herself.

Either way, the event already took place; she cannot change anything now. The only thing she can do is to keep this a secret and carry it to her grave, or at least until she uncovers the answer to her situation. She ponders on whether she should take a couple of days-off; just to come up with the solutions to her relationship, but she absolutely does not feel like lying again.

Her thoughts are cut short as Touga tells her that she will shortly meet the last member of the house as his eldest son will doubtlessly be here at any moments. Kagome always knows that Inuyasha has an older brother; she has heard about Inuyasha's accusations of how unfriendly and hostile he is. She is aware that they do not have the strongest relationship; but, she always tries to be open-minded, knowing Inuyasha tend to over-exaggerated about a number of things. Maybe his brother is not that bad after all.

As she is about to express her excitement to make acquaintance with the elder son, she can hear Inuyasha groan obnoxiously, swearing that he already told that walking- icicle that he will be here today. The conversation with his father cuts short as Touga looks up.

"Sesshoumaru, come in and meet your brother's lovely girlfriend", he speaks aloud as a smile stretches across his face.

The world freezes in her eyes; blood stops running through her veins. Her breath is trapped within her throat; her hands are becoming colder. She is panicking, badly. Did she hear that right; did Inuyasha's father just call Inuyasha's brother with the name "Sesshoumaru"? She rejects the possibility of the unknown person is the same as her partner for that one-night stand; she does not even want to think about that prospect. There must be a lot of men with the name "Sesshoumaru" in this city.

Based on Touga's appearance, the man standing behind her right now must also have silver hair. Yes, she reassures herself, there must many men with the name "Sesshoumaru" in the city, and with silvery hair, besides being her boyfriend's brother. 'It is just a coincidence. It is just a coincidence', she keeps repeating to herself. She takes in a deep breath, struggling to calm her poor nerve down.

Her heart continues to beat faster as she turns around. 'It is just a coincidence', she keeps telling herself, hoping if she recites it enough times, it will come true.

Cerulean eyes meet sunbeam orbs; midnight hair greets moonlight locks. And the world becomes chaotic.

The earth splits in two; ocean drowns everything resides on this earth. Sky falls; stars collapse. The creation and the end of the universe occur in a split of a second; heaven and hell become one in the black empty space.

This is all a dream, Sesshoumaru is certain, or a nightmare.

No, it is more like a nightmare within a nightmare. Even if he rips apart the strings that hold this reality together, he still cannot escape from this dream.

If it is not, then what are the probable reasons that will justify why the woman standing in front of him right now is the replica of the enchantress who has been tormenting him for the past week? Why is the person his body desires the most is at the place he least expects? And why does his father just call her his half-brother's girlfriend?

He can feel the flame of anger slowly ignites within his chest, spreading wildly across his body. He is enraged at himself for not having answers for any of his questions; yet, the fire seems to be tamed as he looks at the beauty in front of him.

Someone must have kept putting him to sleep; someone must have been singing a magical lullaby. This has to be a dream because even if all villains in the world gathered, they would not even perform this cruel joke. Or, perhaps, the dream that he is currently in is being cast by her, the enchantress.

No, no, she is no enchantress, he can confirm it now. She goes from being Snow White to the evil witch in a matter of seconds.

The witch is facing him right now. Some raven hair resides on her back; some scatter on top of her chest. He would have been able to see all of her curves, displaying nicely to his eyes if it were not for her cardigan. Her crimson lips somewhat open as if she wants to say something but nothing comes out of her sweet mouth; sparkling blue eyes cannot get any bigger. She looks frightened, as if she is looking at a demon from the underworld.

One thing he knows for sure, her eyes are staring back at him, engulfing themselves their own little world. Just like when they were on the dance floor; just like when they were in his bed.

"Inuyasha, are you going to introduce your lovely lady to your brother?", his father's voice fractures off the illusion, bringing him back to the real world. Or to this nightmare; he cannot tell the difference between them any longer.

"Keh, he is not my brother", Inuyasha retorts quickly. "Kagome, this is my half-brother, Sesshoumaru", Inuyasha emphasizes on the phrase "half", grudgingly walks over to where Sesshoumaru is standing.

Her lips feel dry; her eyes burn from staring at the newcomer intensely. Kagome closes her hands tightly, almost to the extent of being painful, not letting anyone notices how trembling they are; colors cannot drain any faster from her skin at this moment. Her face is quite literally palely-white if she looks in a mirror right now. The room suddenly gets cold, as if the temperature has fallen several degrees, causing everything surrounding her feel like ice.

So, it is true; the attractive stranger who took her breath away a week ago is her cheating boyfriend's brother. No, half-brother, she corrects herself. Ha, what an irony in this situation; she was so sure that she would likely to never ever see her Adonis again.

And yet, here is he, standing in front of her. If his long silver hair and his name do not inform her that this person is the same man she slept with last week, his eyes will tell her otherwise. She can never forget the glowing golden orbs of his; those eyes, for once, had turned into the center of her world.

Is it a dream? Or is it a nightmare? At what degree does a dream become such a nightmare like this?

No, this is the reality; because she is in purgatory now as the devil is facing her.

It seems like forever, but it is only a long second has passed; their eyes are still glued each other as if he is trying to tell her telepathically that he, too, recognizes her sapphire eyes.

She needs to do something soon; or else, this whole thing will look suspicious. Or else, Inuyasha will notice that she knows his half-brother prior to this encounter. Gathering all her strength, to break off his gaze and to stretch her arm towards the fine stranger, she eventually breaks off the awkward silence.

"Hello, I am Kagome Higurashi; it is indeed a pleasure to meet you", her voice is off in tone, laden with nervousness. Thankfully, Inuyasha nor his parents seem to notice her sudden nerve break-down. She can see her hand are somewhat shaking, but it is so lightly that only she can feel it.

"The pleasure is mine, Ms. Higurashi. I am Sesshoumaru", his response seems familiar; it gives a sense of déja-vu. She now has a split of a second to prepare herself as he reaches his hand out to shake hers.

She is right to get ready as the familiar electric current runs through her skin when their hands touch; it tingles her hands ever so slightly, bringing her memory back to the moment they shared together. Just like the first time they met; just like the first time he kissed her. One second is all it needs for those images to flow back to her mind.

"Please, call me Kagome; being called Ms. Higurashi makes me feel old", she gives him a polite smile as she withdrawals her hand; the warmth of his hand is almost too much for her cold one. It makes her mind keep thinking about their secret night together. And that is the last thing she needs on her mind right now.

He says nothing, only nodding at her statement, but his gaze still lingers on her. She prays for him to look away; she absolutely does not want Inuyasha to figure out their one-night stand at this very moment.

"Would you quit looking her like that? You are going to scare her to death with that icy stare," Inuyasha folds his hands to his chest, leaning back against the wall. "What are you doing here, anyway? I thought I told you to stay away from pop's house around this hour, at this day?"

Finally breaking away from the witch's electric blue eyes, Sesshoumaru turns his head towards his annoying half-brother's direction; "The reason this one is here is none of your concern. That is between me and father", his words are enough to send chills to anyone's spine, except for Inuyasha's.

"Feh, whatever", Inuyasha rolls his eyes, almost seeing the back of his head. "I am here first, so deal with it". Inuyasha moves back to stand next to his girlfriend, who seems to be scared of his half-brother. He can see it through her expression right now; who wouldn't be petrified of his royal's ass?

Then, for the next few seconds, an unpleasant atmosphere is settled between the three of them. Inuyasha is staring out at the garden, trying to look anywhere but at his arrogant half-brother's face. Sesshoumaru's eyes are not focused on anything, but all he can see in the surrounding environment is that wicked witch.

Kagome is looking at her feet, trying really hard to look at anything but the newcomer; she does not want to jeopardize the control over her thought just by looking at the devil. She silently wonders why he uses third person way of talking; it makes him seem cold and distant. And she does not like that; she almost frowns at that thought. Too occupied in her own mind, she does not notice a servant enters the room, whispering something to the elder ones.

"Well, why don't you join us for dinner, Sesshoumaru? It has been a while since us as a family, have a meal together, don't you agree?", Touga breaks the awkward silence as he dismisses the servant.

"There is no need. I will wait for you at the study like usual", Sesshoumaru answers right away, almost as if he has always been prepared for this question.

Touga frowns; he has already foreseen his eldest son to answer something like this. "Well, we have a guest here today; I will not be in the study room until at least dinner is over. So why don't you join us, instead of sitting in that room alone on an empty stomach?"

"Hn", the sound of his reply barely reaches Touga's hearing range; Touga knows that it is a way of his eldest son of telling him that he does not want to do it, but he has no other better options.

Touga stands up, dusting off his outfit, "Very well, let us go to the dining room. Dinner has been served at the table". He extends a hand to his wife to help her get up.

"Finally, I'm starving", Inuyasha immediately trail after his parents to the dining room, gesturing Kagome to follow him.

Too busy admiring her feet, Kagome does not pick up with Inuyasha's signal in time. Because of it, by the time she understands the signal, everyone is gone from the room. Almost everybody, she corrects; because the first thing she sees after looking up from the ground is those mesmerizing golden eyes.

Those eyes are telling her that he knows the little secret she is trying to hide; those golden orbs are telling her that they need to talk because he refuses to bury this under the dirt.

No, her blue eyes harden; as if she is informing him that there is no way they are going to have a conversation about what took place a week ago. 'What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas', she silently repeats that line from a movie she saw. That quote never rings true to her until now.

She spins around, trying to head the dining room as fast as she can. She cannot be in the same room as him any longer; her heart cannot beat any faster anymore. The dining room is connected directly next to the living room; so it will not take her any longer than a couple of seconds to get there, right?

Even though it will take only around ten steps to reach to the other room, it seems like forever to her. One step, she counts in her head; two steps, she counts again. She is sure that she is running right now, but she can hear the soft sounds of his steps somewhere behind her. She can almost feel his presence as if he is trying to catch up with her.

Thankfully, she arrives at her destination in time, just right before she can feel his hand reaching for her shoulder; she can feel herself out of breath somehow. Perhaps, it is because she was indeed running out of the living room; or maybe, she was just holding her breath all that time.

"Over here", Inuyasha's voice captures her attention.

A giant table is an object that immediately catches her attention; it has eight seats around the table. But she thinks it can easily hold ten or even twelve people if the seats are put closer together. The magnolia wooden table is filled with foods, from baked chicken to mashed potatoes; she can even see chocolate desserts in the middle of the table. Gods, those chocolate desserts look so delicious.

Touga is sitting at the head of the table; his wife is seated on his right and Inuyasha is on his left. Her boyfriend is pointing at the seat next to him, telling her she needs to sit there. Making her way over to her seat is no issues; the problem she is having right now is her nerve on the brink of breaking down. She genuinely wants to go home right now and forget anything has happened today.

But her hungry stomach is saying the opposite.

As she sits down, she sees the used-to-be stranger start to settling down directly in front of her, next to Inuyasha's mother. Seeing his shining eyes makes her stomach forget about its hunger; however, a different kind of hunger appears in the pit of her stomach. She averts her eyes, trying to look at something else, anything other than his eyes.

Touga tells everyone to help themselves with the food; there are plenty to go around. As soon as Inuyasha hears the statement, he grabs the plate of stir-fried noodles; and digs in like he is alone in this room. Kagome knows all about Inuyasha's eating habits, and she is terribly embarrassed about it right now. Even worse, her dearest boyfriend is talking to his father, with a mouth full of noodles. How charming.

Losing for appetite because of different factors, she guesses she is just going to stuff her stomach with some chocolate dessert instead. She reaches for the said plate, but the plate is just a little out her reach. She can feel that she can almost touch the edge of the plate; her arms start to get a little sore. Like magic, she sees the plate lifting up, moving slowly towards her hand.

"Need help?", a familiar deep voice enters her mind.

She looks up, staring right back at the bright spheres of his. At this distance, his eyes seem to be looking straight into the bottom of her soul; his gazes seem to slowly disrobe her right now, causing her to feel utterly vulnerable in front of him. Those same eyes used to scream promises of pleasures to her; and now, she can still see some hints of the same offer within the golden orbs.

Realizing that she needs to say something before the whole thing becomes awkward; or worse, suspicious to everyone else. "Oh yes, would you mind to pass me the plate of chocolate, please?". She is putting an emphasis on the word "please", unknowingly or not.

Who is he to refuse such an innocent request? Unlike that night, in which he turned down her demand and explored deeper into her flesh. Shaking his head mentally, this is definitely not the time to think about that event. He will need to find some ways to make her be underneath him one more time.

If that is what it takes to break her wicked spell, to gain his sanity back, so be it.

Not saying anything back, he delivers the plate into her tiny hands. As their hands accidentally caress, a familiar warm feeling runs through his hand, taking his mind back to the time where every inch of his body felt like being lit on fire under her captivated touch. He wonders if she feels the same sensation as well.

He can see her cheeks start to be filled with pink pigments; it makes her look like a virgin, never having experienced the touch of a man. And he is certain that she is no maiden, as he thoroughly enjoyed her body before. He almost smirks at her reaction, amusing at her bluntness in displaying emotions. She mutters a quiet thank-you to him, so soft that his ears almost miss it.

The rest of the dinner goes fine to him; he guesses chocolate is her favorite because that is the only thing on her plate for the whole dinner. Inuyasha and his father are the ones keeping the conversation going; so that the table does not suffer an awkward atmosphere. He tries to look anywhere but her; he almost catches her gazes throughout the dinner. But, he does not look back into her eyes; because his father, or worse, Inuyasha might figure something out.

He prefers to keep the thing between them a secret just for the next little while before talking to her about it. Yes, they are unquestionably going to have a little talk about this subject; despite the fact that he can see through her eyes that she does not even want to mention about their rendezvous. Too bad for her; he will get what he wants, no matter what it takes.

At some point, after everyone finishes eating, Inuyasha's phone makes a noise. Without caring about his manner, he pulls his phone out at the table, checking the unread message. The moment he looks at his phone, he immediately says they will need to leave soon because he has some friends to meet up.

Kagome wants to roll her eyes so bad; he probably goes to meet with his whore. That thought angers her; but it abruptly disappears because she is not the one to preach about righteousness when she, herself, has committed the same sin.

Kagome tells her boyfriend that if they have to leave, she will need to freshen up first. Inuyasha unwilling says yes, telling her to use the bathroom upstairs instead because he will soon use the one on this floor. He tells her that the washroom will locate at the end of the hallway on the second floor, on the right. She excuses herself from the table, saying she will be back quickly.

As she exits the living room, a rush of cool air rushes through her, making her temporarily forget about all of her problems. Unfortunately, she does not have that luxury; and will probably never have it. The sight of a gorgeous garden also somewhat brings some comfort to her chaotic mind. She is indebted to any types of thing that distract her from her current problems.

Making her way towards the washroom, the corridors of both floors are decorated with beautiful pictures. One of them catches her sight; the one that is placed at the end of the second hallway. It is just a painting of a single white flower, circled by a lone bee. There is nothing that is special in this painting; yet, at the same time, it is captivating in a strange sense.

After a few minutes of appreciating the picture, she can finally continue on her short journey. Opening the door to the washroom and turning on the light, she is not even surprised by the size of the room, given that she has already seen the size of this house; no, manor, she corrects herself. The bathroom is just as big as her bedroom, with fancy shower and bathtubs. But, she just needs the sink to perform her task.

Opening the water tab, she splashes the icy water on her face. The coldness washes over skin; she is glad she decided to wear water-proof make-up today. She looks into the mirror, despising the person she has become: a cheater. The guilt swallows her as a whole, yet a tiny feeling somewhere deep within her saying the opposite thing; it tells her there is nothing to regret. Ignoring the devilish voice, she wipes her face with the sleeve, never once breaking the eye contact with the young woman in the mirror.

Suddenly, the bathroom's door opens; before she can even say anything, her back is up against the frosty door. She quickly loses her vision; the surrounding environment becomes blurry before shifting into the darkness. But one thing she knows for certain is her lips are being devoured by something, or more accurately, someone.

Chapter Text

Chapter 9: Poena: the spirit of punishment and the attendant to Nemesis, the goddess of divine retribution. Her name gives rise to English words such as subpoena and pain.

She can sense butterflies begin to show up in her stomach as heat spreads across her cheeks. Despite not being able to look at whoever did this to her, there is only one individual she knows can stir up these reactions with merely a kiss. As if confirming her suspicion, the fragrance of fresh rain fills up her lungs; that is the cue for her to recognize that this person is her used-to-be stranger.

His tongue darts out, grazing her outer lips; as if he is asking for permission to explore more of her. For some unfathomable reasons, she parts her lips ever so slightly, allowing him to take advantage of the moment. Their tongues get familiarize with each other one more time, letting their breaths mingle with each other. A minor portion of her consciousness enjoys this feverish passion, driving her to crave for more.

She answers his eager kiss as the desire overwhelms her fogged mind; for a moment, she thought she was back in his apartment, like that night. Before she finds out he is her sweetheart’s half-brother; his heated breath tickles her senses, informing her that this is the presence.

That thought strikes her in the guts, forcing her to feel so wrong doing this with him. Yet, at the same time, the kiss feels so right; it makes her wish to melt in a puddle, into his embrace and never letting go. But she cannot; this whole situation is just unacceptable, she says to herself. She has to resist the temptation, the forbidden desire, to prevent the circle from renewing itself. 

The unbreakable cycle of wanting his touch before succumbing to said desire.

It takes her a couple of attempts, but she is eventually able to pull back, holding up her craving to give in to his embrace. “Stop… this.. is.. wrong”, she whispers breathlessly, soft enough so he can pick up the sound of her voice, but not loud enough for the noise to escape from these walls. Her chest moves up and down rapidly as she takes in the air, just as though she has been submerged underwater for a long time.

Ignore her request, Sesshoumaru dives down to discover her lips again. He does not care what is right and what is wrong anymore; he wants to gain back his rationality. He will seek the taste of her body until the spell is broken or until his body moves on from the same old sensation; he wants her to tremble under his touch. He will get what he wishes even if it means to do the improper thing.

Even if it means he turns into a villain within her eyes.

Even though he was supposed to be the hero in this tale from the first time he looked at her. He overlooks the sudden tension in his heart; he pushes it aside, telling himself that he will soon become accustomed to being the bad guy. Why try to be a knight in shining armor when he is not meant for that role from the starting point?

If having bad intentions are what it requires to make her lift this spell, he will do it to the very end. He is willing to be the villain in her heart if that is what it takes to savor her body again.

He pulls his head back until his nose barely touches hers. “If following your desire is unacceptable, then explain to this one what is right”, at this close distance, all he can see is her cobalt eyes; as if he is staring into the midnight sky within her sparkling orbs. Her widened eyes present a broad spectrum of emotions to him; from shock to bewilderment. But denial is the most noticeable one.

“I don’t … desire you”, if he places a rose next to her cheeks, they will have the same shade of color. It is a signal to tell that she is embarrassed about something, or just plain lying to his face.

The lie leaves a phantom bitter taste in her mouth; she has to lie because admitting to him means she will give in to her lust. Not to mention, she is confident he will laugh at her for being such a tramp; since she already has a boyfriend, yet she proclaims to desire him. She wonders what it will take to resist this temptation, especially when it is literally in front of her; because she is struggling awfully hard right now, and she is nevertheless failing.

He does not acknowledge her statement; he just simply looks back into her eyes. She needs to tell him to quit staring straight into the bottom of her soul, yet her voice is trapped in her throat. She wants to push him aside; because this is wrong, she repeats to herself. Yet, she cannot help but stare back into his bright eyes; she just needs a couple of seconds to look at her favorite color.

He can see that she is deceiving him; if the falseness of her comment does not already tell him so, the way she nibbles on her bottom lip looks like she is struggling to keep the truth from pouring out. The color of her lipstick has faded away, leaving behind only a natural rosy tint. It causes him wanting to taste it again, making it even redder. And that is precisely what he does next.

She wants to protest as she observes his face descending closer to her; but before she can produce a sound, her tongue gets to dance with him, relinquishing her capability to communicate. She tries to tell him to stop, but all she can hear is the noise of her incoherent muffled voice. Soon enough, her mind is too clouded with the intense yet recognizable feeling to even do anything.

She jumps a bit as she feels his hands start to roam around her body. A familiar stimulating current travels through her spine as his fingers brush across her nipples; she knows they are getting hard in responding to his caress. Even if there are layers of clothes between them, he can still ignite the fire inside her with just a snap of his fingers.

She needs to put an end to this, she states to herself, but she cannot help but return to his kiss. Without the mild taste of whiskey like that night, the flavor of mint is all she savors. Did he consume a lot of minty candy at the supper or what? How someone can taste like mint is beyond her knowledge; just like how he can smell like rain always continues to be a conundrum to her.

He cannot just tear her gray dress right now to revel in the taste of her skin. If his taste buds cannot be fulfilled, then he will make her produce music to his ears, hopefully alleviating some of his boiling desire. Trailing his kiss down to her collar, he slightly nips on each inch of her silky skin, savoring the citrus scent with a hint of sweetness.

As much as she tries to deny how much she is enjoying his touch right now, the fire underneath her skin will reveal another story. She tries her best not to let out any sound, clamping down on her lips. One reason is that she does not wish him to learn how much she is fond of the physical contact; another reason is that she does not anyone nearby to notice their secret meeting.

But all of her endeavors are in vain as his hands touch her inner thighs, caressing her special area.

Ah, there it is; the music he has been dying to hear again for the past week. Compare to the sound in his dreams, the actual thing is always better; but it is short-lived as she bites down her lips again. Wanting to listen more, to satisfy his hunger, he gently rubs her sensitive area through the fabric.

She cannot keep her cries down any longer; he has added more fuel to the fire, melting her alive with desire and lust. The sensation is too overpowering to be held back; the moans escape her lips unwillingly.

She is like an instrument for him, and he is hitting all the perfect notes. That must be why her moans sound similar to a wonderful melody in his mind. Slightly pulling her panties aside, his fingers are greeted with a hot and wet sensation. Putting his lips next to her right ear, he nips slightly at it before whispers: “Your body seems to be more honest than your words”.

She is caught red-handed; there is no denying him now. But she is not the type of person who gives up easily. As she is about to open her mouth to prove him wrong, all the words drain out of her mind as he thrusts a finger into her sweet carven. Her soft cries of pleasure soon turn into the sole sound in the bathroom.

Gods, she feels incredibly tight with just his finger; he wonders how he managed to be inside of her that night. Memory flows through his body, reminding him what the sensation feels like. He almost loses control of his actions as the sensation floods his mind; he absolutely needs to bed this woman again before his sanity can come back.

He gradually moves his finger; her nectar starting to pour out. If he could, he would taste the delicious essence; his mouth is filled with saliva with just that thought. Her moans increase steadily as time passes by; her cries seem to invite him to explore more of her. So he carries out her silent demand; again, who is he to deny such an innocent request? Adding another finger, he enjoys how her body stretches out a little to accommodate the intrusion.

Moving his fingers out and proceed to plunge them back in, he repeats that action again and again. His fingers are long, just enough to make her slowly go mad with yearning. She inclines her head slightly backward, struggling to control her moan as quiet as she can; but failing at it badly. Seeing her miserable attempt, he lends her some help by capturing her lips one more time.

Now she does not have to hold back; she can moan as much as she can because all the sounds will be suppressed in between their mouths. Their tongues are dancing with each other in a simple dance; she can feel her own juice start to make their way down to her inner thighs as his fingers dive deeper into her. Unconsciously, she drapes her arms around him, forcing him to move closer to her embrace, if there is even any distance between them now.

“Tell me you don’t desire this one again, and this whole thing will be stopped right now”, he separates their lips, trailing down her neck as he delivers each word; his fingers are still moving in a uniform pace, causing her whimper softly.

She wants to tell him she does not crave for him, so they can end this now; because this is unacceptable, so terribly wrong in many aspects. But the words are stuck in her throat; scratch that, she is hesitated to say those words. Because she will be the world’s biggest liar if she declares she doesn’t desire him; it is all because of the extraordinary excitement he ignites within her. Whenever she feels his touch, it consumes all of her, body and mind; but, this is erroneous. “I…”

A heavy knock on the door makes them both freeze up. Her forbidden folds squeeze his fingers tightly as she jumps ever so slightly from the sudden noise; the sensation is slowing driving him towards hysteria. It makes him want to undress her right now and feel the way her slit wrap around his other body part; he vows to the gods he is trying awfully hard to restrain himself from doing said things.

She does not dare to move, fearing any sounds might give her partner a rough understanding of what is going here; even breathing seems impossible at this moment to her. His eyes catch her gaze; it reveals to him that she is currently panicking. She looks absolutely frightened, and that just drives his instinct to care for and comfort her. That idea gets shoved out of the window as quickly as it appears in his head; his role in this story will not grant him the ability to perform such actions. Not now, not ever.

All he can do is to push her into the path he wants this situation to go to.

 “Kagome? Are you there?”, Inuyasha’s voice pierces through the silent space.

Kagome almost does not hear it because all she can pick up is the sound of her heart, pounding hard around her rib cage. ‘Shit’, how long Inuyasha has been out there; how much he has found out, how much he has known? Those questions keep whirling around her head, causing her to feel rather dizzy. The only thing that holds her sanity together is his golden eyes.

“Um… Yeah”, she struggles to relax her voice as much as possible. She hopes Inuyasha cannot tell by the crack of her tone.

She bites down her mouth hard as she feels his fingers move again; ‘what are you doing?', her mouth reenacts those words without any sounds, hoping the devil can figure out what she is trying to convey.

Oh, Sesshoumaru can perfectly understand what she is saying without her sweet voice; it will require a lot of control for him to stop now, and he genuinely wishes to return to their little business. Why does he should be the only one on the brink of insanity? He will punish her for placing this damned spell on his body; he will drag her down with him to this hell, driving her crazy with the needs for pleasure. And then, he will finally have her body.

As if his fingers have minds of their own, they start wiggling back to life. They explore further into her wet carven, rubbing her sensitive walls just enough to send waves of pleasures throughout her petite frame. She starts biting her tongue, not letting any sounds escaping from her lips. Clamping down her lips is not sufficient; she requires something stronger, like pain, to keep her voice in control.

“Are you okay?”, Inuyasha’s voice barely registers in her brain as she is presently busy with making sure she does not let any strange noise slip out of these walls.

The devil comes down, whispering in her ears. “Answer him. You don’t want him to get suspicious, right?”; he says this nonchalantly as his fingers continue moving within her private area while his other hand starts its journey of roaming around her backside.

It is easier said than done, especially when someone does not play with her body like a fine instrument. “S… Stop this now”, she manages to whisper back into his ear, by some miracle It is rather straightforward that the devil doesn’t care about her request; as she can feel his lips start nibbling on her delicate neck, sending euphoric signals to her hazy mind.

“Yess… What do you need?”, that is so god-damned close; she almost loses her control over her voice as his fingers find her special spot deep within her body. She is pretty positive he is either toying with her, testing her limits on how long she can endure his torture; or he is aiming to take her to the familiar heaven with just his fingers.

“I’m just worried. You have been in there for quite some time”, his question sends another heart attack to her; her brain processes a thousand things per millisecond to identify out the best answer. But all of her thoughts are broken off by a particular wildfire starting to expand across her abdomen, slowly making its presence known to her body.

“… I will be out in.. aaahh... second”, she is close, so close; she clings to the devil’s frame, needing him to complete the deed immediately. She cannot take it any longer; she wants him to make that familiar feeling to wash over her body soon. As if he is answering to her silent demand, he shifts his rhythm faster, thrusting into her sensitive parts. Yes… yes… that’s it… she almost feels it is happening.

Then, the phenomenon stops; her world comes to a pause. Before she can even register anything, his fingers already leave her carven behind, making her feel empty, hollow to some degree; she feels as if her body suddenly has a void she cannot fill in no matter what she does.

Kagome wants to yell at him and drag his fingers back, urging him to take her to the pinnacle. She slaps herself mentally, ordering her to stop thinking in that direction; she does not reveal to him her addiction to his touch right now. She does not need him to show her that incredible exotic feeling, she tells herself; this ought to be a punishment, for everything she did that led her to this situation.

Her expression shows him what he requires to know; she desires to feel more than what he offers to her. But of course, he will not allow the vixen to arrive at the peak without him; maybe later, after they talk, and doubtlessly after his half-brother stops interrupting them. Moving his fingers out of her sweet carven, he places the fingers on top of his lips, licking it clean; the taste of exquisite wine lingers around his taste buds, asking him to sample more.

Gods, just watching him savoring her juices like some sort of expensive wine adds the gasoline into her hunger for his touch. ‘Stop it’, this time, she tells herself. The sound of thundering knocks penetrates through the heavy air; she can feel the vibration on the cold door.

“Just one second!”, this answer will acquire her at most a couple of seconds before she is busted. Her brain processes thousands of actions she can do to get out of here without being caught red-handed; not to bring up, but she also has to convince her Adonis to let everything go. Great, she has to persuade the devil to forgive her mistakes; that will be a complicated task.

Running out of options, she stands on the tip of her toes, hoping to reduce the distance between her lips and his ear; she whispers as silent as she can: “That night was a mistake”, she pauses, not knowing what to say next. “Please forget about it… and pretend like we have never met before this dinner”. She can feel her heart growing heavy as she wraps up the sentence; she locks those emotions aside, pushing them out of her system immediately.  

She realizes she is being unreasonable to him; but what else can she do? Tell him to see her after Inuyasha drives her home? No, that is unquestionably a no-no; she knows she cannot maintain any sort of relationship with him besides simply being his half-brother’s girlfriend. And in order to pull it off, they will have to forget ever eating the forbidden fruit together.

Despite telling him so, she somehow does not wish to overlook their encounter. He had made her understand the feelings she had never known before, and that deserves to be in her memory for as long as possible. Yes, that will cause her to a hypocrite; but that’s alright with her so long as she can recall those euphoric sensations. Plus, if she doesn’t mention to him, no one will learn about her secret; she already carries one secret, adding one more to the pile will not change anything.

With a quickness that would make a demon proud, she swiftly pushes him away, successfully wiggling through his strong grip; she turns off the light, looking at the golden sunbeam color for the last time. Before letting him have the opportunity to answer, she opens the door just a bit and steps out. Closing the door shut, she is able to cover anything, or anyone, that might be behind her from Inuyasha’s line of vision.

“What took you so long?”, she silently thanks the gods for not letting notice her unusual action. He folds his arms to his chest, signaling to her he is irritated; she believes from having to stand by for her for quite some time. She feels guilty for enjoying someone else’s touch behind his presence; yet, at the same time, she doesn’t. The conflict inside her heart confuses her to no end.

Wanting him to quit inquiring about her secret business, she chooses to answer his question: “You know… girls’ stuff”, hooking her arms to his biceps. She has learned he likes she does this because it makes him appear like a gentleman.

“Then why is your face all red right now? Are you really alright?”, he puts his other hand on top of hers as if he worries about her well-being. She puts that concept into an imaginary trash bin right away; there will be no way in hell her boyfriend can be gentle like this. She wonders when he has developed into such a talented actor.

“Ah… I must have re-applied too much makeup then”, she bites her lips slightly, smacking herself mentally for coming up with such an awful lie. She just hopes Inuyasha doesn’t pay much regard to her answer.

“You always amaze me. I don’t even know how you manage to do those things without having to bring a giant bag full of makeup stuff”, her wish has, once again, been turned down. She does not panic though; every woman must always have some form of answers for this type of question.

“A lady must never reveal that secret”, she says in a pleasing manner, patting his hand tenderly; she needs to pull her act together, making it convincing for him.

“Well, you look great, but be quicker next time. We gotta go now”. Oh, so he is late with meeting his paramour; she wants to roll her eyes and brings his lies to light. But she cannot do that right now when she has a secret to protect and a mission to divert his attention from this bathroom.

She places a smile on her face, the one that is a bit too sweet, and starts to lead him downstairs. As she is walking, the wetness between her legs starts to make its way down her thighs, causing her to be aware of each step she takes as the fluid becomes a bit sticky.

It serves as a perpetual reminder about her nasty little secret.

The last thing Sesshoumaru hears is her voice begging him to forget about this whole situation; the last thing he looks at is her luminous blue eyes before she turns off the lights. He has been standing in the dark for who-knows-how-long. Until the echoes of footsteps fade away in a distance, he finally registers what has taken place. He is now alone, in this darkened room, with her previous statement plays again and again in his head like a broken record.

She has asked him to pretend to have never known her before, to ignore the memories of their passionate night. She has told him it was a mistake. Was it though?

It is undeniably not a mistake to him; she resurrects the unknown flames deep within him when they were together. And he has never experienced it with anyone else; it is like she is born for the purpose of fueling him back to life. Her body definitely agrees with that statement as he recalls how perfectly they answer each other’s calling, physically, last week or minutes ago.

So despite her effort, he has to refuse to carry out her request; he will not pretend to never know her before or to overlook how her body tastes like. Then, the realization strikes him in the guts; if she says this whole thing is wrong and asks him to forget about her, it means she does not desire him like he does. Her body may acknowledge his touch, but that is the result of him creating those stimulants.

He remembers the moment he asked her to tell him she does not crave for him; even though it merely took a couple of seconds before her answer was cut short, his heart was thumping so loud that it is almost deafening to him. It is all he can hear; his heartbeats and her shallow breaths. He remembered praying she will never utter those words.

And now, without stating it, she has spoken to him those sour words.

He can see a wildfire spreading through his body though it is not a blaze of pleasure this time; it is a flare of anger. He is furious at her for suggesting forgetting everything they have shared; he is indignant at her for informing him that this is a mistake and that it is wrong. He is resentful at himself for not stopping her before she leaves; for not telling her he would flip over the entire world if that is what it takes for him to savor her body one more time.

He is bitter at himself for letting his desire cloud his mind, making her run away. He is angry at himself for letting her slide away through his fingers, again. 

Smashing the unknowing mirror in front of him, he can pick up the sound of chunks of glasses hitting the marble floor; he can feel the pain coursing through his right arm. With a bit of moonlight, he can see his reflections through million fragments of mirrors; there seems like a million versions of him in this room, all displaying the same sour expression.

Those golden eyes seem to shine bright, staring at him back into the deepest part of his soul. They reveal his true appearance underneath all the external clothing; those orbs show him what a hideous creature he has turned into as he lets hatred and bitterness take over everything. They display a clear image he is expected to be in her eyes; the role he has to play to keep this story moving.  

He loathes the devil he has become; no, he corrects himself, he despises for being the villain to her from the beginning.

Chapter Text

Chapter 10Chione: the minor goddess of snow or a nymph whose realm belongs to snow. She likes to turn people into ice sculptures; the Greek term for snow was considered having come from her name.

It has been one day since their second fated encounter.

It is now midnight on a Monday, and Kagome just finishes her shift. Finding her way towards the employee's locker room, she opens her work closet, grabbing her jeans and a simple shirt before heading to an adjacent stall for privacy. Undressing her nurse uniform, she puts on her regular clothes; picking up the discarded clothes, she folds them nicely, proceeding to place them in the tiny storage area. Letting out a sigh, it signals her exhaustion, both physically and mentally.

At the physical level, working in the intensive-care unit at the hospital is quite tiring; the proportion between staffs and patients are ridiculously low. Not to bring up but her division has recently lost a doctor; she is invited to the burial, but she cannot make it as her work shift is scheduled for that day. Because of this further shortage of employees, she has been walking constantly for the former eight hours to make sure all the machinery, that support patients in staying alive, working properly.

But the amount of physical activity is nothing compared to the extent that her brain has to perform. Despite telling herself to forget about everything, which was also the last phrase she spoke to her one-night stand, she has been continually thinking about the incident took place over the weekend, specifically about the particular honey-brimmed eyes. It was the last thing she saw of him before taking off; she could even feel the rage showed through those golden windows to his mind.

The resentment she saw still consumes her to this very day, disturbing the root of her-being to no end; similar to the flame of lust, it burns brightly through his bizarre aurelian eyes, virtually leaving a phantom burn on her skin. But, unlike the fire of desire, this blaze engulfs her with a sense of remorse. She knows it is irrational to demand him to ignore what had happened; when she, herself, cannot even overlook them if she wants to.

Not that she has never sought to wipe out all of her recollections about their secret night; or not trying her best to ignore the subtle tingling sensation whenever she is in her bed, by herself at night. If there were an elixir that causes her forget everything, she would willingly accept it right here, right now. She swears, the devil may work hard, but she works harder in this situation. Never mind, she is mistaken to assert so when she has literally faced the devil a couple of days ago.

And god-damn, he did indeed work hard in enticing her with all he could offer.

She recognizes that she is a hypocrite by now; she truly thinks she can create a list of what makes her a crook. For instance, the first point on the file will be she hates cheaters, yet she turns into one. The second part, she is disturbed by her partner's affair when she too had a fair share in said sin. Number three, she dislikes people who cannot make up their minds, even though she still does not identify what to do with her ongoing relationship. And the note can honestly go on until the end of time.

She wonders when she has left behind all of her judgments; she ponders on when she has crisscrossed over the boundaries and into the territories of the qualities she hates without even knowing. She is a swindler and a phony, what else is she? She has turned into the epitome of the individual she detests; she wants to slap herself for those reasons alone. A stinging sensation spreads across her cheek.

Another subject on her never-ending list will be she hates people that go back on their remarks; yet, she devoted the entire previous day to think about him. The regret of committing the sin and the shame of experiencing complicate feelings battles within her mind, yanking her heart in half. She remembered wishing everything was just an awful dream or craving for a jewel that grants wish.

But reality always slapped her in the face whenever she blinked. She laid on her couch all day, watching the television but her mind was somewhere else; as if she could not function like a normal human being. The quick images of them meeting again a day ago kept replaying on her head; if she had a dime for every time those pictures came up to her mind, she would be rich by now.

She shoves the thoughts about him far away from her mind though knowing it will somehow make it back to her subconscious sooner or later. The devil has turned into the center of the storm raging in her mind, urging her to resolve any questions linked to him; but she does not even know what those questions mean in the first place. She hopes she can discover the answers soon enough, to let her mind be at peace.

A sigh unknowingly escapes her lips; she closes her locker shut, spinning the numerical knob to further secure the storage slot. Her sixth sense tickles as she feels a presence of someone approaching her; she is unquestionably not in the spirit for a little chit-chat as she just wants to home. Looking to her right, the edge of her lips lifts upwards; it is her colleague and a friend. The last part she is not sure even though they have worked with each other for a year.

"Hey Kouga, you going home?", she starts the conversation first, wanting to get it over with.

Kouga is a general surgeon at the hospital she is working at; he mostly does emergency cases, but he also has some pre-booked surgeries. When he is not busy with both of them, he can be located somewhere in the intensive-care unit. Kagome knows he is a proficient doctor as the evidence of having several surgeries booked months in advance. Who wouldn't prefer to be dissected by a young and handsome blue-eyed doctor? Quite a few, she speculates.

The reason she is skeptical that whether he is her friend is the fact that Kouga has a distinct affection for her. This is no mystery in any aspects; he basically professes his interest to her every time they see each other ever since the first time they greeted. And friends are not supposed to proclaim any feelings to each other besides platonic relationship, right? Or at least that is what she understands.

This is the only part that annoys her about him, his perseverance; she wonders when it will get through his impenetrable skull that she will presumably never have a special interest in him. This fellow might be smart, but he is not smart-smart. Besides from that, Kouga is absolutely a great gentleman. The black-haired surgeon obviously cares about his patients; he has subordinates underneath him, and he always makes sure they are all well-treated. Kagome thinks that he is a decent conversationalist though occasionally he loves to boast about himself.

She likes him, as a friend.

"No, actually, I have to stay back a bit. Kohaku just texts me, saying he will not be able to make it here in time for his shift because of the heavy snowfall,", the newcomer leans his back against the locker next to her; he acts so casually about it she almost thought the closet belongs to him. "So he asked me to report this to his manager and cover the first few minutes of his shift, just until he gets here."

Kohaku is the new general nurse at the hospital, though he is being handed over quiet few shifts in the intensive-care unit lately; he graduated from a college recently. That is why he is assigned the midnight shifts, and because the hospital really needs extra staffs there. She feels a little bad for the young guy to be handed over to the odd-hour shift; she is glad she is never got assigned to the graveyard shift. That not she is apprehensive of the hospital at that time; she just does not like moving her sleep schedule.

Kagome puts on her parka, straighten it out. "I hope the snow is not that awful; 'cause if it becomes worse, you might not be able to go home after Kohaku gets here." She opens her handbag, taking her headphone out. Why is it always entangled, especially when it is in her purse? She now has to spend the next five minutes straighten it out, and that does not make her day any better.

"I know, I hope so too,", Kouga lets out a groan as he stares up at the ceiling. "Man, it is always a bummer knowing one of your co-workers passes away; even though I don't know that person at all, it is still depressing to think about it,", he runs his hand through his head, messing up the perfect ponytail.

"Yeah, I know. I sent some condolences towards the family because I cannot make it to the funeral", she perfectly understands what her fellow worker is speaking about. Focusing back on her task, she unravels a knot, but further knotting the slim strings. She becomes frustrated; she always hates this part.

"Me neither", Kouga lets out a sigh, putting his hands in the pockets. Kagome always admires this side of him; the part of always caring about other people despite not knowing them. She finally untangles her headphones, with some miracles. "Why don't you stay back with me? I can always use some company", he gives her a flirty wink.

"I'd love to, but unlike you, I am exhausted after my eight-hour shift. Plus, I need to catch the last bus of the day", she smiles back at his flirt, struggling not to damage his feelings too much; "... in ten minutes", she takes her phone out, launching the transit app. "You know, Ayame is working in the next shift, right?", Kagome tries to re-direct his view, implicitly referring to something.

Ayame is a natural red-haired woman, who happens to be the head nurse of the graveyard shift. Kagome can tell that Ayame has a crush on Kouga, but she never shows it, at least not to the surgeon directly. Kagome sometimes can get some hostile feelings directing from Ayame straight to her, which she totally understands why. Hence, they never really talk despite working in the same branch; but Kagome does not have any negative opinions towards the crimson-headed woman.

"Yeah, I know. She is my second choice of the companion, hopefully for the next few minutes and not hours", he lets out a dry laugh; "but, I always I want to try the odds with you first", he scratches his head, further ruffling his hair a little bit. Despite all of the baby hair standing out, he nevertheless manages to look like he just walks out of a fashion magazine.

She sighs with a little satisfaction, content that at least Kouga is attempting to talk to other women besides her. She does not need him to always follow her around like a pup as there are enough women out there want his companion; she is just not one of them. "Well then, off you go. She might still be her station if you're lucky", she encourages him as she walks by, giving a light pat on his shoulder.

"How are you and him?", Kagome stops dead in her path as she hears this question. Ah, that subject again; he just has to request hearing about her business every time they meet, doesn't he? She doubts he will ever get tired of asking the same old question like this. She lets out another sigh; she has lost count of how many she has breathed out heavily today.

In the past, Inuyasha sometimes drove her to work; and that was how Kouga discovered that she was already taken, though that certainly did not faze the young surgeon. She recalled that time when Kouga actually came up to her boyfriend, declaring that he would take her away; it was amusing to see different emotions playing around in Inuyasha's face after hearing that statement.

They bicker whenever they meet and call each other names even though Inuyasha hardly ever shows up here. They will never admit it, but Kagome notices an underlying funny relationship between them; she presumes they became friends, maybe; heck, they even know each other's contact number. Still, that does not stop Kouga from announcing his affections to her.

Slightly turns her head around, just enough so he is in her line of perception. "We're fine, Kouga. Still together though", the answer comes out of her mouth automatically; they flow out naturally because she has literally repeated the same phrase at least a million times for the past year, or more than that if she really cares to make a note.

"Yeah, I know. You give me the same answer every time", she can hear he laughs lightly. The laughter this time is dry; there is no humorous vibe coming out of it at all. Kagome feels bad for causing him suffer like this, but there is nothing she can do. "You seem to be a little… off for the last week. So I am wondering if anything happens to you", Kagome hears his voice as she tries to take another step away.

"I'm... fine, Kouga. Thanks for asking", she offers him another smile, pretending she is actually fine; she is used to putting on an act of being okay lately anyway. In reality, she wants to scream her off, needing to get rid of the frustration on everything happened to her recently; maybe she will try doing that when she gets home.

"I'm always here for you, you know", his tone sounds a bit serious this time. Without turning back, she can still perfectly imagine his expression in her mind right now; his face is devoid of any emotions, harden with determination, even though his eyes will give off a hint of melancholy in the beautiful blue shade.

"I know", she mumbles the phrase ever so softly before withdrawing from the room for good, leaving the lovesick doctor behind in the empty area.

Stuffing the headphones into her ears; she needs something to divert her mind from the unending chaos when she is alone. And the conversation with Kouga definitely makes it not getting any better; in fact, her head starts to ache because of the volume of elements it has to deal with. Her affair, her partner's cheating, her boyfriend's half-brother, and now her secret-yet-not-so-secret admirer; everything is incorporated into a bowl, poisoning her mind with anarchy.

Exiting the hospital, a surge of bitter air greets her face, making her shudder. Despite the coldness, she finds it fairly relaxed; it refreshes her mind, leaving behind a sense of emptiness within the tumultuous internal battle. But the effect only lasts for a whole second before the chillness seeps into her body, causing her limbs to shake uncontrollably.

The white flakes already appear to form a thin layer of snow on her coat; she can feel the snow start to spill into her shoes for every stride she takes. Some snowflakes even settle on her lashes, forcing her to blink a few times to get rid of them. She curses herself for not taking her scarf to work today, since in a couple of minutes, she is positive she will not be able to feel her face.

As she begins to take a few more steps, she ponders if it is possible to be changed into a frozen sculpture in this weather; since the notion of not being to deal with her current issues seems very appealing. She pushes the idea aside, ordering herself to cease being so ridiculous. The snow seems to fall more heavily now as it is harder to move forward.

She wonders if she is walking in the center of a blizzard; or if she is wandering in the storm within her heart.

Trying to tug some strands of hair behind her ears to see things better in this snowstorm, but the strong wind just has to mess it up. For some miracles, she eventually makes it to the bus stop on the opposite side of the street; pulling her phone out, she can see that the bus is coming in three minutes.

Or at least that is when the bus supposed to show up. Ten minutes have gone by, and she still receives no sign of any buses coming to her direction. Her feet are freezing and indeed starting to hurt a bit. Her teeth are chattering uncontrollably, and she is certain that her fingers are paralyzed. She hopes her bus, or anything, will show up to her direction quickly.

Sesshoumaru is slowly turning left, and he means really slowly. The god-damn snow causes the road to be extremely troublesome to drive in and makes his day a bit worse. He wished he has taken off from his office two hours earlier to avoid this terrible weather, but an international business call demands him to work the issue out right there. Even though he is really not in the mood, he still has his professional appearance to keep up; so he has to deal with it, despite it only leads his mood to travel further south.

Up to this minute, he still loathes himself for letting the raven-haired woman slip past his fingers again; he is very ready to call his private investigator up once he gets back to his flat. He demands another chance to meet the enchantress again, knowing his desire will never be gratified unless it is her; he has come to an understanding with his body wanting her since yesterday.

Needing something to entertain him from the growing boring silence, he turns on the radio. "The following bus routes will be canceled temporarily due to the snowstorm…", he shuts the transmission off as soon as he hears the announcement. There goes his entertainment; the only radio station he tunes in keeps playing the same message for the past hour or so. His day cannot become any better than this.

As he is steering, he discovers a figure at a distance. Who is willing to stand in the middle of the snowstorm is out of his knowledge; he is about to brush it aside, but something catches his attention. Even though there is still a distance between him and that person, he can nevertheless make out the luminous blue eyes. Now that certainly stirs curiosity within him, since the only pair of blue-sky eyes he has seen recently is tormenting him, night and day.

Kagome breathes out in relief as she notices something moving towards her direction; maybe it's her fifteen-minute-late bus. But her hope is crushed as it is just someone private's vehicle; she is now considering she should walk home or not. She seriously thinks of that possibility, despite it takes around thirty minutes by bus to arrive at her apartment; and it is well past midnight. But, maybe it will be better to walk rather than waiting for the bus that will probably never come anytime soon.

She chooses to stick around for another five minutes before get going; she already waits nearly twenty minutes, another five will not kill her. She is envy whoever driving the black vehicle right now; but is it her imagination or is that car is slowing down? Nope, it is absolutely not her hallucination because the vehicle slowly comes to a halt in front of her.

As the distance grows smaller and shorter, Sesshoumaru can virtually hear the echo of his heartbeat resonating through the narrow space within his car; there is no uncertainty in his mind as he registers who he is looking at. His left foot slams hard on the brake, forcing the car to come to a stop now. It is simpler than he expects since the mountain of snow basically generates a persistent barrier around the wheels. He pushes the button to lower the side-window down, and it cannot go any slower.

Kagome contemplates whether she should run or not; she tries her best to settle down, maybe whoever in the vehicle just needs direction. She tells herself to quit being so paranoid; that not everybody is a dangerous person on the road, past midnight. As the window rolls down, breathes are trapped in her throat; if the chilly snow has not frozen her already, seeing the person in the car will doubtlessly perform the trick. Because this individual is the last person she wishes to deal with right now.

"Get in", she does not need to look at the whole appearance to recognize who this person is; with just the sensual voice, there is no mistake for someone else. The low tone of his speech barely enters her hearing range, but that can partially because of the raging wind. He sounds… normal, as in stoic and indifferent; she cannot pick up any indication of anger like she expected he would be, based on the last time she saw him.

"Um… No, thank you. I'm waiting for my bus to come", she struggles to pronounce each word precisely as her teeth keep clattering; she speaks as much as her frozen mouth allows her to.

He leans towards the passenger seat, letting her see his handsome features. "The radio just states that several bus routes will be closed because of the snowstorm. Get in", he reaches out, opening the door to the passenger's seat for her. He does not care that snow begins to fill in the car-carpet.

"I… can just… call a taxi instead of causing you any further inconveniences", she pats herself on the back for thinking up of an excuse this quick; she does not even consider this option in the first place because her budget might not be capable to cover it. But now, she is willing to eat a bit less rather than being in the same place with this devil. She pulls her phone out, protecting it with the other hand so the touchscreen won't be buried in layers of snow.

"It is futile. The radio also mentions the taxi services will be suspended until at least the snowstorm is over, for the safety purpose that is", he does not know which part of the statement is the truth, or if any at all; but he is prepared to lie because there will be no way in hell he will be let her get away.

She bites her lips, being split between being in the same space with this Adonis and walking home in the middle of the snowstorm. The physical exhaustion wins over; she just wants to curl up on her cold hard bed. Maybe he is being nice and just chooses to offer her a ride home in this awful weather, she tells herself. She swallows her uneasiness, getting into his car.

She locks the door as soon as she can, in order to avoid more snow getting into his car. Despite the sudden warm air greets her face, it barely does anything to thaw her frozen muscles. Right after she buckles up her seatbelt, she can feel the vehicle start to move. Though it is slow, it is still way faster than walking.

She wonders he being here a miracle or a debacle. Maybe a bit of both.

She does not dare to glance to her left, frightened of seeing him. It is not like she is petrified of him, but she is terrified of finding out her heart will fasten its rhythm. She is scared of feeling her cheeks turning hot, reluctant to acknowledge an unmistakable sensation stirring within her as she looks into his shining eyes. She keeps her eyes straight ahead, occasionally peering down to her feet.

Just as the snowstorm keeps getting heavier outside, she thinks the blizzard within her heart just begins its course.

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 11Liate: a personification of the prayers offered up in repentance. They are described to follow closely behind the crime, endeavoring to make amends for what has been done; but whoever disdains to receive them, has himself to atone for the crime that has been committed.

Sesshoumaru is convincing that the gods are playing a joke on him.

When he needs to see her, the chance of them meeting is quite close to zero; like the week after she fled from his bed. But when he does not expect the most, she suddenly shows up in front of him; just like how they found themselves together again in his father's residence, and right now. He supposes he does not require calling his private investigator tomorrow anymore, now that she is next to him.

He will not let her leave, at least not until she agrees to meet him again. She shall not slip away from his grasp unless he purposefully lets her do so; especially not until they have sorted thing things out. Because he vows to the gods he will get what he wants sooner or later.

Sesshoumaru admits he is wrong for the first time since forever; his day does get better, on the contrary to his initial belief. He inhales deeply, letting the citrus with a hint of sweet citrus scent fills up his lung; his mind commences to loosen up for the first time in days. He is so certain this woman will, one way or another, end up in his bed tonight; because he will go insane if he has to remain in the same area as her without enjoying her exquisite taste.

He might not be hungry, but he is indeed craving for some midnight snack.

But this woman already involves in a romantic relationship; his conscience whispers to his mind. He brushes that thought aside, genuinely not caring she is his half-relative's woman. If he is already a villain in her eyes, so why bother to do the proper thing when he can manipulate and obtain whatever he wants? An odd emotion, once again, stirs up within his chest; but he pushes it elsewhere, pretending to never acknowledge it.

Plus, he is not pursuing an amorous affair; he just needs her body. He wants physical desire.

Glancing over at his passenger, he notices she is still staring outside. He wonders what she is searching for; because all he can see is white plain snow. But, he will make sure that he will be the sole subject she will be looking at throughout tonight. His pants get tight as he speculates about how the blue-eyed woman being underneath him, and just looking at him; him and him only.

Kagome finally shatters the silence by expressing her gratitude to him for helping her like this; if it weren't for him, she would presumably have to stroll home by now. Despite leading the conversation, her eyes are glued to the snowy scene through the windshield. Because of not looking at anything but the white flakes, she does not see him nodding his head ever so slightly. Not hearing any responses from him, she proceeds to inform him of her apartment's address; so he can drive her to her flat.

"No, we're going to my place", he answers promptly as he receives her remark as if he foresees her mentioning something analogous to this statement; in some senses, he already prepares for her to come up with excuses to leave his grip. He internally tells her to try again, as he will not let go of her so easily like last time, or the time before that.

"What? Why?", her slight high pitch signals to him that she is troubled, and perhaps angry. Looking over to her seat, her gaze still heavily glues onto the outside landscape, even though there is not much to look at.

"Because based on the location you provided, your place is in the opposite direction from mine. And this Sesshoumaru does not have the available time to drive around, especially in a blizzard," his usage of the third person makes her feel like he is commanding her, instead of just presenting his argument.

Despite that, his sentence actually makes sense to her. She just cannot force him to travel to her residence in weather like this; he already helps her so much just by picking her up. She exhales heavily, for the nth time in the day as leaning back to the comfortable chair. There is nothing within her jurisdiction she can do now; she continues staring at the outside instead, but all she discovers is the white color.

It reminds her of the dawn after their first night together where his silver hair temporarily covers her entire view. Just thinking about it causes her want to run her fingers through those soft locks; she restricts herself, re-directing her attention to another topic. She does not wish to think of the story taking place in his apartment, in which she is heading towards at this hour.

She blushes as her mind forces images of that night back to her mind; the heavy scent of rain does not benefit her either. The pictures seem to become clearer each moment she takes a breath; she decides to check her feet out instead, believing not looking at the color white will prevent these haunting images from coming back.

'Inuyasha, Inuyasha', she chants in her mind, hoping that will aid her in remembering she already has a boyfriend; a deceiving one, she adds. Well, there is no need to bring that up, since she also did the same action. She buries the subject away from her heart, not wanting to handle the whole matter at this moment; she tells herself that she already has a partner instead.

After forty-five minutes of driving and awkward-but-not-uncomfortable silence, his condo building finally enters their field of perception. Pressing a button for the garage door to open, he starts moving his car towards the underground parking spot. His spot is the on the farthest corner; he explicitly requires it to be like that so no one can accidentally damage his vehicle with their terrible driving skills.

Kagome can clearly hear her heart start to race as the car comes to a complete halt. She absolutely does not want to talk to him about the forbidden topic; for god's sake, she even advised him to forget about it. But she will probably not be able to sleep until they at least have a short conversation about it; she builds up her courage, convincing herself that everything will be alright. The worst already passed by, which is accidentally sleeping with her sweetheart's half-brother; there will nothing worse than that… right?

The loud sound of him shutting the door wakes her up from her thoughts; quickly getting out the car, she follows him towards the escalator. Upon entering the elevator, she never realizes how much she hates escalators until now; because she is now temporarily trapped in a tiny space with the devil. She relives in the memory of the last time she was in this elevator, she was urging this device to move quicker.

How funny, she is too demanding it to go faster this time; but not for the same reason. She cannot bear any more seconds just standing next to him at such close distance like this; the essence of pure rain is nearly overwhelming to her senses, making her want to bury into his chest and taking several deep breaths. She clamps her hand tightly, stopping the immerse urge to do said things

She mentally shakes her head, cleaning out any images regarding about the man currently standing next to her; though she knows her effort is meaningless as nothing good will develop from just plainly being next to her temptation. 'Inuyasha, Inuyasha', she shouts within her restless mind again, sounding more like a prayer.

Too busy reciting her boyfriend's name time after time, Kagome does not realize that she is already in front of his apartment. A noise enters her hearing range, ordering her to get back to reality; she finally comprehends that he already opens the door, expecting her to get in as he shows her a strange expression. She gives him an apologetic smile, feeling embarrassed for getting caught being absent-minded.

She goes in the suite, taking off her boots and setting it aside on the shoe rack. Waiting for him to lock the door, she follows him inside afterward. His apartment can be regarded as a small house to her; the first place she enters is the living room, with an attached dining area on the right. The living room is furnished with the usual items like a contemporary-looking TV in front of a deep grey sofa, accompanied by a coffee table with some newspaper on top.

A familiar lamp is back on the end table; it has the same frame and everything, despite the overall shade is slightly different from fragments she saw in a particular morning. She counted on the fact that an insignificant amount she has left behind that day did contribute to a fraction of that fancy-looking lamp. She turned to the right before any naughty images can circulate back into her mind, emphasizing any events have taken place on the sofa.

The dining area only has a glass table, with four chairs surrounding it, and a couple of bookcases surrounding both rooms. An empty glass vase is set in the middle of the dinner table, with some lights are attached from above but they are presently shut off. Her fingers slightly twitch at the sight of the volume of books contained in those bookcases; she doubts he will ever let her borrow one for the night despite the impulse of reading something is developing steadily inside of her.

There is a narrow corridor, leading to several other chambers she does not know. But at the end of the hallway, there is only one white door, which obviously leads to his bedroom. She recognizes it because she exited from that door the last time she was here; she prays to never set foot in there again.

Moving towards to big couch, she believes she will sleep there tonight; the sofa already looks comfier than her bed anyhow. "Um… I will sleep on the couch for tonight", her voice reverberates through the room; turning around, she notices him already moves on to another part of the flat. She groans in defeat; she will not criticize him for being so inhospitable to her right now.

It is her fault they are in this mess, anyway.

"Come here," his voice interrupts her thoughts, stopping her from sitting down the soft sofa. Why can't the gods just let her relax already? Settling her jacket on the couch, she starts to move in the direction which she has picked up the sound of his voice. She prefers to get it over quick so she can have her overdue rest.

Moving towards to the dining room, she is further astonished by the size of his residence; apparently, the dining area is also linked to the kitchen. The only thing, that somewhat divides the two rooms, is a kitchen island; though it is big, it only has two stools. His back is facing her, letting her admiring his long glossy hair; oh, how she wishes she can comb her fingers through those silver strands again and again.

She unknowingly leans back against the wall, taking another second checking his body out from behind. The silvery-haired man reaches out, opening a cupboard; she can identify the subtle tightening of his muscles, mesmerizing her with every little movement. Her eyes start its route, following from his athletic arms down to his straight back; trailing just a bit further to his…

She immediately stands up straight, shaking her head furiously. 'You're not supposed to molest him with your eyes, Kagome. Keep your head straight', she speaks to herself; suddenly noticing the stainless steel stove is an extremely fascinating object to study. At least that is what she forces herself to stare at.

"Here, have this", his rich voice startles her as she is actually concentrating on the cooker. When her eyes focus again, she can see he is handing over a glass with some dark amber liquid.

"What is it?" she inquires as she watches him pouring the same liquid into another cup.

"Bourbon, drink it. It will warm your body up," he settles the bottle of whiskey down to the counter, picking up the other glass.

She certainly can nevertheless feel the chill from the blizzard; her fingers and toes are still numbed. Seeing him still in an excellent shape after ingesting the liquid, she verifies that there is no poison; mentally kicking herself, she tells herself to cease being so paranoid when being around this guy. Deciding to trust him, she accepts the bourbon glass from his hand, avoiding touching his fingers.

Now, she never drinks whiskey; because she never goes out of her comfort zone. Rum and coke are nice, specifically when ninety percent of the drink is coke; she never really likes or wants to consume hard liquor by itself. Well, there is invariably a first for everything, she supposes; "Cheers", she adds before washing the alcohol down her throat in one gulp.

If her limbs are frozen due to the coldness, her brain is now paralyzed because of this liquid.

She almost wants to throw up because of the immediate overwhelming flavor; a phantom burning sensation spreads across her tongue, down to her esophagus. The alcohol's vapor fills up her sinuses, temporarily numbing her ability to breath. Despite how much she wishes to spit the liquid out, she maintains her gag reflex, forcing the liquor to enter completely into her body. It takes a couple of seconds for the burning sensation to withdraw from her system, granting her the capability to recognize a warm phenomenon across her guts.

"Another?", she glances up as she picks up his voice, seeing his glass also already hollow. She knows she should decline, but the microscopic heat in her belly feels nice in comparison to the rest of her body. Craving for more warmth, she nods her head; as she hesitantly extends the cup towards him, he picks up the spirit bottle, filling up one-third of her glass. He then pours the same amount to his cup. She has mastered her lesson this time as she simply takes a modest sip of the alcohol from the glass.

Both drinks in silence and both are lost in their own thoughts.

Repeating this process a couple of time until her cup is once again empty; this point, the burning sensation on her taste buds appear to bother her less. She actually starts to rather appreciate the heated feeling; not only that, she can faintly taste a wood flavor, fused with fruity and smoky aromas that the liquor contains. She has to admit, she enjoys this drink just a bit.

"Now, are you ready to talk?", all the warmth within her body suddenly dies as a sheet of ice surrounds her skin, as if she is still outside. She does not require him to spell out in detail what this talk is going to be about; she prefers to get it out the system, anyway. So she can retire to bed, in peace once and for all.

"Yes, I actually wanted to talk to you about it as well," the unsteady voice indicates her nervousness but being uneasy about what is a mystery to her. Taking another gulp, the strong liquor numbs her senses for a few seconds; she is speaking the truth, so there is no reason to be apprehensive about it, right? "I was distraught and perhaps even drunk that night. And you were happening to be there in a moment of my weakness".

"But, just so we're clear, it was my fault as well", she has another sip, struggling to wash down the lump in her throat. "I shouldn't have chosen to do anything so foolishly that night, such as jumping the bones of the guy approaching me", she swallows another sip of hard liquor as a means to shut herself up; she has revealed too much and accidentally spilled out some buried truth.

His blood boils as he finds out the ugly facts from her confession, but not in a good manner. Her words resonate within his eardrums; it informs him that if any other men had approached her that night, she would bed with the namelessly unworthy person instead. It stirs something unpleasant within his heart, something he has never felt ever since he was young; and it is drifting away, extending across his nerves.

Sesshoumaru clenches his hands, clutching onto the frail glass tightly; he washes the alcohol down his throat, letting the hard liquor rinse any bitter feeling out of his guts. He tells himself that there is no need to feel this way as he already won her for that night. She was his, and no one else; he is confident that if he went to the bar slightly later and saw someone else with her, he would still make sure she would belong to him by the end of the night.

She was his and will be one more time.

"So… can I go to sleep now?" her voice cuts through his thoughts, pressing him to concentrate back on her.

Kagome is growing bored with this one-sided discussion. At least the burning sensation generated by the alcohol makes everything less dull; she does not care that the only thing she can detect is bourbon's rich aroma. Plus, at this state, the rainy scent will not be the sole element she can smell. In fact, she rather enjoys it; it is quite disparate from her usual drink of rum and coke. She lifts the glass up, washing the rest down her throat in a matter of seconds.

He can distinctly understand what she is speaking, but everything passes through one ear to another. The way her rosy lips pushed against the transparent glass seems to captivate his mind, enticing him to come and taste it. Putting his empty whiskey glass down to the counter, he gradually makes his way towards her; eyes still concentrate on his prize. Just like a predator stalking its prey.

As a true predator, she does not even notice him approaching until there is hardly an arm-length between them. "Stop! Don't get any closer to me", she starts to panic as she does not wish for him to find out how intense her heart is beating; or how his presence alone is affecting her body. His increasing scent slowly invades her lungs, almost cleansing the whiskey scent altogether.

"Quit it, Sesshoumaru. I have a boyfriend already," she adds, almost shrieking at this point. She tells herself to figure out some excuses to persuade him, but the exhausted brain gives her nothing, choosing to give up on her at this minute.

Seeing him having no intention to stop, she places her cup down to the nearby counter, moving backward until her back hitting a freezing surface. She decides to reason with the devil again: "Listen to me; we cannot repeat this again. I am in a stable relationship with your half-brother".

Sesshoumaru wonders why the witch repeats the same excuses twice in a row; he has clearly heard and understood her from the first time. Did she consider using the same excuse will stop him from achieving his desire? Did she assume he is that naïve? Nothing will hold him back from going for her body tonight. Not even an apocalypse, not even the gods; especially not the fact that she belongs to his useless half-brother.

Dread, with a hint of desperation, can be observed through those blue eyes; he can see her muscles physically start to harden. In a split of a second, she disappears from his field of vision; she is seeking to flee from him again. His instinct kicks in as he reaches out, grabbing her swinging arm. She barely makes it out of the kitchen before he captures her, tugging her back to where she should be: anywhere but outside of his embrace.

She knows her attempt is fruitless; there will be no means to escape from his devil unless she presents to him what he demands. At least she puts up a fight; at least she does not succumb to the greed of getting his touch on her skin so quickly. She confesses to herself that if anything is to take place, it will not be her responsibility, at least not entirely.

Successfully being trapped between the wall and the devil, at this distance, she can feel the heat radiating from his muscular frame; she can sense his heated breath caressing her face. She is limiting herself to only study his hard chest, daring not to look up. Because she is scared, terrified of what promises of pleasures his golden eyes will reveal to her.

And she is afraid that she might not be able to refuse them.

'Inuyasha, Inuyasha', she chants his name again within her chaotic mind. Kagome struggles to think about his irritable attitude; she tries to think about his noodles eating habit. She is struggling awfully hard to point out anything about her partner right now; anything to remind her to not make the same mistake as last week, anything to take her mind off the ever-increasing scent of fresh rain.

"I…", her sentence is cut short as her lips are occupied with something else. She wants to protest, but her mind becomes blank as he leans down and captures her lips. The void is growing bigger as the taste of mint, with a hint of whiskey, clogs up her senses. She slightly opens her mouth to inhale some air, and he takes advantage of the moment to strike for her tongue. She unknowingly responds back to his kiss.

He snakes his arms around her waist, drawing her closer to his embrace. She brings her palms onto his chest, wanting to push him away; but she cannot. The minty taste, fused with the faint fruity taste of the bourbon, overwhelms her mind; it drives the appetite to savor more of the luscious flavor until she is drunk by his touch.

He reluctantly pulls back as he is reveling in the rich citrus taste of hers. Her eyes flutter open; her chest goes up and down rapidly as she tries to bring more oxygen into her system. She looks up to his molten golden eyes, silently questions herself why she gives herself up so easily to this devil.

"What other excuses do you have, Kagome Higurashi?", her eyes widen a bit as she hears his seductive low voice. The taste of whiskey still persists around her tongue and the essence of pure rain slowly penetrates the spaces in her lunge. The fire within her gradually is being sparked back to life by his kiss. The bright eyes hold so many promises about a night of sheer bliss; the devil is tempting her with the most yeaning prize.

Her mind is functioning properly again, coming up with a few thousand other excuses; she tries to say something, anything, but those words are stuck in her throat, like hot glue. As the earth's direction appears to change as up becomes down; gravity starts to weaken as she feels herself begin to lift up into the flowing air. The only factor that keeps her back to the ground is his strong arms.

She can see something inside her body banging on the enclosure of her heart, demanding to release it from the confining space; Kagome always knows that thing is constantly there ever since she met this handsome devil, but she refuses to acknowledge it. But her mind is currently tired, and it is being provoked by an abundance various stimulants from the surface; for just a second, she lets it slide through her grasp.

"None", those words escapes unconsciously out of her lips as she loses the hold on her dark secret; the whisper comes out breathlessly as she stares back into his glowing eyes. In a split of a second, his lips crash against her one more time. The taste of whiskey spreads all over her taste buds again; and this time, she almost welcomes it; nothing registers in her brain expect for his kiss and the whiskey breath.

She puts her arms around his neck, tugging him in closer as she requires the scent of fresh rain to occupy her lungs completely. She cannot identify the reasons why she is acting like this; she should have shoved him aside, turning down his touch. But, that thought drives her to the verge of madness; she does not think she can ever refuse his addicting caresses. She can only resist it for so long before her defense breaks down.

Her previous pray has long forgotten as new ones start to echo within her mind. She prays to the gods for forgiveness for being so powerless against temptation; she asks for mercy as she begins to follow the route of sin one more time. She prays for some strength, in order to be capable of confronting this devil the next time; she asks for some luck for tonight will be the last time.

She does not need to pray for a night of pleasure; she knows for certain that he will grant it to her regardless of whether she pleads for it or not. She has so many other matters to pray for, but all are broken off as the heat begins to advance throughout her abdomen, making it way across her body. She cannot tell if the whiskey finally kicks into her system; or if it is the familiar blaze of passion. She does not care anymore.

An unconscious prayer is delivered to the gods, asking for the time to freeze, just for tonight within his embrace; she does not want tomorrow to arrive so soon.

Chapter Text

Chapter 12Horme: spirit personifying energetic activity, impulse or effort (to do a thing), eagerness, setting oneself in motion and starting an action. The name 'horme' can also refer to all purposive behaviors (drives or urges) of an organism- whether conscious or not.

Before letting the witch changing her mind, Sesshoumaru tightens his arms around her, securing them tightly around her waist. His limbs have quickly become her own cage and she is his willing captive. He needs to make sure she will not be capable to run away from him, not tonight; not until she releases him from her spell. Not until his body gets bored with the same old touch.

At first, his lips graze hers softly; tiny electric current generates from his initial contact. He nibbles on her bottom lip as if he is seeking for her permission to let him in. She separates them so slightly, and that is enough for him to take all the advantages he can get. His tongue darts out, sampling the familiar whiskey within her. He likes the drink, but it is even better when he can taste it from her soft lip.

Exotic flavors are dancing within their mouth. A trace of fruit with some floral undertone from the aftertaste of the heavy whiskey, fusing with a dose of mint and sweet strawberry, explodes within their taste buds. This unique flavor makes them crave for more as if they are consuming some sorts of narcotics, and neither of them is satisfied with their current thirst.

They don't pay attention to anything other than themselves and the addictive substance.

Kagome is standing on the tips of her toes, to meet his lips halfway; they are starting to hurt, but she does not acknowledge the pain. The discomfort is masked away by the minty taste of him and his scent; not to bring up the pleasure he ignites within her with just a kiss. Her senses take in every stimulant he presents to her and rejects anything else that may get in the way of them; which is essentially everything but him.

What a shocking revelation that he has, once again, become to the center of her world.

She can feel him, all of him; from his sculpted chest pressing hard against her petite body to the bulged part pushing against her lower abdomen. Much to her disappointment, he has temporarily released her from his confinement as his hands start to stray all over her body. She does not mind his actions per se; it is just that she already misses the warmth his body provides when there is no distance between them.

She can sense his fingers caresses from her back to her thighs; the tips of his fingers awaken every nerve of her body as they wander around aimlessly. She knows there might be a possibility that she may never have enough of his touch; it is maddening addicting and leaves her yearning for more.

She can feel his fingers now trying to unbutton her blouse. No, she corrects herself; it seems more like he is deciding to rip her shirt opened. Wanting to return his eager gesture, she attempts to unbutton his white dress shirt; she discovers that the action is easier this time, guessing that it is because she has done this process before.

Torturous seconds thereafter, he has successfully opened her shirt without tearing it to pieces. He gets rid of the annoying fabric in a blink of an eye by the time she is finishing unbuttoning his dress shirt. He tosses his shirt aside, letting rushes of cool air caressing his bare skin. He cares not that the room is a bit cold; things will heat up soon enough.

She lets out a quiet moan as his fingers graze over her bosom, brushing over the delicate flesh. Even though the noise is suppressed within his mouth, his ears can still pick up the beautiful sound of her voice. The musical tunes cannot get any more perfect than this; gods, he has been waiting to hear that melody for more than a week. He wants, no, demands to hear it again.

Another moan of her is muffled by his lips as his fingers pinch her nipple lightly, creating another wave of electric currents running wildly through her veins. She is so positive that he is no ordinary human since who on Earth can locate a woman's rosebuds without even looking; plus, said thing is being concealed by a piece of clothing. Maybe he just has a peculiar talent for finding a woman's sweet spots.

Making her visibly tremble under his touch just checks one thing from the list of things-to-do; the fine tune is just an added reward. Not falling behind on his task, he twirls his tongue around hers; her sweet essence enters directly to his body. He may never get enough of this; he accepts that fact without much hesitation. Despite it is enough to meet with his bare-minimum demand, her taste is still not adequate.

Her saliva mixes with his; flavors explode throughout his senses. Mint and fragrant citrus flavors never seem to go so well together until now.

His patient wears thin as seconds pass by; everything else has to wait, including savoring her delicious wine essence. He needs to have her body, now and urgently; lust surges through his veins as his member gets painfully hard. Not willing to part with her tongue, he gradually moves her away from the wall but without letting her slipping away from his embrace; if that is even feasible at this point.

As though they are dancing to soundless music, he leads her to his bedroom while still enjoying her flavorful lips.

They slam into the wall here and there; but never once that their lips separate from one another. She clings to him as if her existence depends on him; she needs that minty whiskey taste like she has not drunk any water for the last few days. He does not want to leave her lips, needing to savor the taste as much as he can; as if he fears that she is just an illusion, toying with his mind and body.

Neither of them is prepared to handle the truth; both of them just want to enjoy the moment.

After several attempts, Sesshoumaru is able to pull his head back, almost regretting it immediately. Seeing her brilliant blue eyes are now blurred with desire brings fire to his blood; seeing her slightly swollen lips makes him want to duck down to taste them again. But it takes his iron-will to suppress that action, despite that choice is awfully tempting; instead, he pushes her onto the bed.

But, he didn't apply enough force on her enough; his intention was to make her settle down on her back, baring her beautiful body to him and blessing his ravenous eyes. That image burns in his mind; she would have looked like a perfect sacrifice for his lust tonight. Instead, he hardly manages to make her sit down on his bed; impatience is scribbled all over her face, with a hint of confusion.

An idea pops into his mind as he attentively examines the new situation.

Kagome is rather puzzled at the moment as she notices he starts to unbuckle his pants. A part of her says to move backward a bit, to let him into the bed with her. But another part tells her to wait, to see what he is planning to do; he must have a reason to cut their making-out session short and make her sit down in front of him, right? Lucky for her, she does not have to stick around for any longer to find out what his reason is.

His odor radiates strongly, temporarily overwhelms other scents. It is musky and heavy, unlike the light perfume of pure rain she usually smells of him; yet, it is to him, everything about this scent screams to her of manliness and virility.

She can feel her cheeks heating up rapidly; she can see her heart start to overwork one more time. She is at lost for words at the sight of his member; it is standing upright and looks to be… full of life. Now, this is not the first penis she has ever seen; it is just that his length and girth are quite impressive. She does not expect to see one like this in real life as she can only view them through the internet; she struggles to figure out how it fitted to her body last time.

All of a sudden, she can see his cock is drawing closer to her face; now that leaves her even more confused. Not knowing what to do, she shifts her head backward, deciding to leave a distance between her and his member. "Quit playing. It is time for you to take the responsibility", his deep voice leaves a chilling feeling down her spine.

"What?" her eyes expand to an unimaginable size, trying to figure out how to return the favor to him and whatever the favor means. Before she can even counter back to his statement, he nudges his member forward, causing its tip to touch her lips. Bewildered, she moves her head to the right, still feeling his member poking on her left cheek.

"No worries, this Sesshoumaru will pay it back, with interest of course," he pushes his vigorous rod gently to the right, aiming for her sweet little mouth.

She knows better than to shake her head violently; instead, a whisper barely loud enough for him to hear the words escaping from her mouth: "Wait… I don't... I've never…" She chooses to not finish her sentence, feeling embarrassed about the rest of its content. It's not that she does not want to; she just feels like it is redundant to mention anything further since he will probably recognize what she is trying to convey.

To suggest he is shocked is an understatement; to declare he is happy will be an exaggeration of reality.

He is in high spirits, excited even when he learns about this new information that this alluring woman is still pure. Just because she had sex before, it doesn't mean she is no longer a virgin; there are so many things to do in the bed beside jamming each other's genitals together. He cannot believe that no one, not even his worthless half-brother, taught this woman how to bring pleasure a man prior to this moment.

The fact, which he will be the first one to truly show her how to satisfy a man and other possible explorations about various types of pleasure, almost makes him want to giggle like a school girl. It thrills him to no end since this opportunity grants him the ability to mold her into the kind of woman that he prefers to have in his bed. Not to allude to anything else, but he will also be able to make her body gradually desire his touch, and him only; if she doesn't already.

The sudden excitement runs down his spine as he ponders on what other things she has not experienced; for some unexplained reasons, he is rather determined to be the first one to show her all the aspects when it comes to carnal desire. This kind of opportunity will not present itself very often, and he will not let this rare chance to slip by so easily.

With that mentality, he shifts his proud member, settling it right in front of her pouty lips. "Lick it," first off, he is going to teach her how to gratify a man in bed; he will develop her confidence in her skills and body. He wonders what the second step should be; many suggestive ideas flash through his mind in a flash. He mentally shakes his head, ordering himself to concentrate on one step at a time; plus, he will have plenty of time to draft his next move.

This should not be rushed; it is something that takes time to build up. Plus, he wants to savor slowly each of the moments; he will enjoy them while they last.

Kagome is, once again, confused. He prefers her to charm his snake knowing full well she has a bare minimum understanding of what to do; did she hear that right? She must have because he is not moving his member away from her lips any time soon. Now, she knows what bobbing for apples is; for god's sake, this is the twenty-first century. She has her fair share in watching adult videos ever since she discovers them.

Long story short, she is not an innocent child; she knows fairly well what that action is all about. She has just never performed it in real life; hence, it is the reason for her apprehension. Her lower zone is practically protesting to her body right now; the ache is growing stronger as seconds go by. She knows there is one sole object at this moment that can soothe the pain.

And that thing is currently touching her lips.

She needs so bad, but she does not want to get down on her palms and beg him like a slut. She runs out of options until she suddenly recalls his proposal: he will return the favor back to her, perhaps with a significant premium attached along. His strong spice, merging with the effect of the heavy alcohol, causes her head spin and gently pushes her towards accepting his proposition.

Well, there is always a first time for everything, she assumes; she may as well listen to his instruction and try something new.

Slowly, she darts her tongue out, meticulously running it over his mushroom head. She braces herself for any foul tastes; she is honestly expecting the worst for some strange reasons. But nothing takes place; her taste buds cannot identify anything out of the norm. It tastes like… nothing, like skin, like flesh; the only thing she can feel is the warmth radiating from his member. Sensing nothing is going amiss, she becomes bolder; she starts to lick more of his shaft, not just the head.

Her tongue gently trails from his mushroom tip to the base of his cock; she repeats the movement a couple of times until his member are coated in a nice thin layer of her saliva. She tries her finest to sample each inch of his flesh, memorizing the unique flavor of nothingness. His throbbing member tastes like nothing, yet at the same time, there is something to it; she just cannot force her finger on it.

Doesn't matter what it is, she is not repulsed by the flavor of his cock; in fact, she rather enjoys doing this, since she can observe wild emotions dancing in his shining eyes every time her tongue explores more of his cock. It makes she feels wonderful as if she has control over him; like he is craving for her touch. A strange sense of pride swells within her chest as she reflects about it.

This is surely an excellent start, he studies the current situation; she is currently licking his cock like eating ice cream on a summer afternoon. Every time her tongue making contact with his flesh, the delicate and hot texture fuels his member into life; as if it not already is. He can see her clumsiness showing through her performance, but that is acceptable since it is her first time.

"Now, take it in your mouth," he assumes that she is ready for the next step. Putting a hand behind her head, he partially pulls it towards his cock, encouraging her to do what he suggests. The tip of his cock already parts her full lips; all she requires to do is complete the action. Seeing that there is no going back, Kagome lets his cock entering her mouth.

She finds it… interesting. It is not quite like having a slab of meat in her mouth; that would be overly tender. It is not quite like having a metal rod either; that would be awfully hard. It is somewhere in the middle; it possesses a soft texture on the outer layer, yet very firm on the inside. She is really tempted to chomp down right now, to satisfy her curiosity. But, she restrains herself, knowing it will be painful for him.

Having his cock in her orifice, the aroma of him deepens, causing her head getting a bit woozy. Eventually, she has grown accustomed to the signature musky odor of his; so now, all she can detect is the scent of heavy rainfall. She tries to twirl her tongue, struggling to lick his cock like she managed to before; but it is fairly difficult since his cock takes up virtually all of her mouth.

She pulls her head back, trying her best to move her tongue around. She pushes her head forward again, seeking the familiar taste of nothingness as much as she can. Forward, backward, forward, backward; her head moves along the pattern as she whirls her tongue all around his cock, sampling all of him. She knows she is incredibly inept at this since she can already feel some of her saliva dribbling down her chin. But, she did give it her best; so there is not much to do to improve this situation.

Kagome thinks the only sound within the chamber is the noise of her action as she cannot detect anything else. She chooses to ignore the dirty noise since it tends to generate naughty images in her foggy mind. She forces her ears to pick up anything other than those sloppy sounds; she is desperate until she can barely hear a series of short breathes.

And god-damn, it is hot; he cannot sound any sexier than this. Well, except for his usual deep voice that is.

Hearing him respond to her performance like this, it ignites something strange within her feeble heart; it is something about this particular action that makes this handsome male to react like this. She feels empowered as if she is holding a reign over his head; the sudden stream of power is quite addictive. She wants to continue carrying this on until he is pleading with her to grant him what he needs.

That sounds like something she will never be able to accomplish; oh well, a woman can always have her dreams. Taking an insignificant step towards her impossible dream, she starts putting pressure onto the thick rod as she proceeds along her rhythm; forward, backward, forward, backward, she keeps telling herself. At first, it is rather challenging since she has to move, lick and apply pressure at the same time. But minutes fly by, and she gets a hang of it.

Gods, she even looks beautiful as she sucks his cock like this; other women he has been in bed with just outright look slutty, or whore-ish. But the beads of sweats appears along on her forehead, coupled with the way her cheeks flush and her red lips part whenever his cock disappear within her hot cavern, makes her more alluring than ever before in an odd sense.

She is certainly clumsy; an evidence to indicate this is the way drools running down her chin or the fact she concentrates on one area way too much and forgets about the others. Strangely, he is fine with it; it is her first time doing something like this after all. In fact, these actions add to her characteristic of being… well, herself. She is willing to try new things and doesn't it what counts the most here?

Sesshoumaru realizes this siren is a quick learner. Soon, he starts to see his cock disappears in her mouth and later emerges in the blink of an eye. Too bad, she cannot fit his whole length in her tiny mouth; perhaps someday, she will learn to take his cock down to her throat. Images flash through his mind, forcing his member painfully harder if that even possible.

Taking her left hand, he guides it towards the part of his flesh that her hot little mouth cannot reach fully. Gently moving it along her rhythm, he wants her to master a different trick soon, besides her new lesion; as soon as he lets go of her hand, it begins to get to work. Her hand moves forward as her head pushes forward and vice versa, making him feels like she has his entire cock deep within her sweet cavern. Just looking at this erotic scene from above, he can already imagine where else his cock will vanish next.

Just the vision alone almost presses the right button for him to release deep within her mouth.

Kagome slowly appears to enjoy this, despite her jaw is in pain right now from being stretched out by his cock. Every time she decides to let his shaft deeper within her mouth, she can see flickers of emotion deep within his golden eyes; the pain is promptly forgotten as the desire to understand those particular emotions takes over her fogged mind. She applies more pressure, without sinking her teeth into his flesh, as her tongue tries to reach for the absurd length; her right hand is moving non-stop.

Gradually, her ears pick up the sound of his low groans; they are signals informing her she must be doing something right. Continue to take more of his member; she starts to bob her head faster, counting on the extra momentum to allow her reaching all of his lengths into her mouth. She begins to notice his hips moving, driving more of his member down her parched throat along with her frantic tempo.

In his mind, he can see jets of hot cum being released down her throat; that picture will be permanently stored in his memory. As if Sesshoumaru has been smoked crack for hours, he can practically see colors dancing around his vision as he surrenders his seeds within the confine of her warm mouth; he has been lost in the psychedelic land until her sweet cavern pulls him out, bringing him back to the terrible reality.

Her mind becomes blank as she feels hot liquid entering her orifice; some goes straight down her throat, leaving behind an intense sensation in her esophagus, while some sets a layer of sticky substances on top of her tongue. All she can taste is the unparalleled bitterness of semen, in addition to feeling the lumps within the thick liquid. She hates anything that is bitter; yet, somehow, she does not despise this at all.

He gradually moves his hips backward, withdrawing his member from her mouth; as soon as the tip makes contact with the cold air, he already misses the warmth of her lips. It is entirely too appealing to put it back; but he stops himself, there are other places in her body will provide him with the same comfort, if not more. He just had his orgasm; his member is expected to soften by now. Yet, the current view of her causes him to be rock hard again.

Some of his semen spill over her lips, leaving a narrow white trail down her pointy chin; some even fuse with her previous saliva. She swallows the amounts remain on top of her tongue, washing the thick and bitter liquid down her throat. She opens her mouth slightly as she tries to breathe; she tries to bring as much oxygen inside her system as if she has been suffocated this whole time.

He knows that action is unintended; yet, his blood boils because of it. Her response is declaring that she has accepted him and all of him; only if it is for tonight.

She does not have enough time to take in the air before he pushes her down onto the bed. Her raven hair spreads around her head, forming some sort of dark halo. Her breasts move up and down rapidly; her arms and legs are struggling to cover parts of her body even though she is failing at it miserably. He wonders why she is still so shy; it is not like he has not seen every inch of her body before.

Blue eyes look back at him, full of curiosity and eagerness of what to come. Taking a moment to appreciate her beauty, his cock cannot get any harder than this; or else, his veins might burst from the overflowing supply of blood. Using his hands to get rid of her jeans in one swift motion, he can see the unmistakable dampness trail on her panties as she tries really bad to obscure it from his view.

"Now, it is time for this Sesshoumaru to keep his words," he says as shifting the soaked panties aside. Quickly thereafter, his face disappears between her thighs.

Unlike last time, he does not care enough to close his bedroom's door, letting every nook of his apartment to be filled with the sound of her cries for ecstasy.

Chapter Text

Chapter 13: Pasithea: one of the Charites (Graces), and the personification of relaxation, hallucinations and all other altered states of consciousness. She is married to Hypnos, the god of sleep, and her name is also given to some unidentified “magical” plant, perhaps even a hallucinogenic.

The vast darkness envelops him; everything in his range of view is pitch-black. Sesshoumaru blinks once, twice; nothing changes as the lightless space starts to suffocate him.

He wonders when and how he brought into this black void. Turning his head to the left, the never-ending darkness is all he can recognize; turning to the right, there is nothing to look at either. He takes a step forward, but it is the same as he does not move at all. Is this hell? He assumed he is already in one a couple of days ago when he encountered the woman tormenting him again two days ago. Perhaps the gods are letting him take a look into his soul at this moment.

His right shoulder suddenly tingles, leaving goose-bumps spreading along his right arm.

Turning around, he unwittingly catches the thing on his shoulder; he craves for any sensation that will distract him from this unsettling darkness. But, that is a mistake to turn around so quickly. Blinding light enters into his vision, purging any darkness away; though there is a trade-off to gaining the ability to see again. His eyes burn intensely as the pain spreads across his face and down to his neck.  

As sudden as the pain arrives, it likewise leaves after a few seconds; from underneath his lids, he can longer feel the sharp heat from the blazing light anymore. Taking his chance, he slowly opens his eyes; the light has significantly softened compared to before, revealing more than just the white space. Blinking rapidly, he tries to re-focuses his eyesight, forcing himself to pick up any little details. 

Lumps form in his throat; breaths fail to escape from his lungs. The coldness of the darkness has seemingly seeped into his core, but the warmth of the light warms him up in a matter of seconds afterward. For the first time, he stands agape at what his eyes reveal to him.

The beauty is in front of him, wearing her birthday suit; he cannot distinguish which part is her flowing raven hair and which part belongs to the bleak obscurity. Her creamy skin sets the boundary between her existence and the vacant space; he blinks once or twice, for the millionth time, convincing himself that he must have been hallucinating when he sees the overwhelming light from her skin before.

Nevertheless, her skin has its own subtle luminous effect, despite the black color is all he can see in this vacuum; maybe it is just eyes playing tricks on him again. Despite her slight shining skin, her blue eyes are still able to outshine the faint light; those azure eyes that never break contact with his. Being lost within the ocean of her orbs, her tiny hand has slid through his fingers without knowing.

He feels the heated sensation as her delicate hand caress his left cheek; he wonders why everything she touches has to awaken all of his nerves like this. Before the warmth can permeate into his pores, her hand carries on, leaving behind the phantom burning path behind its course. Her right hand seems to have a mind of its own as it trails further down; while the other hand brushes across his back and pull him closer to her body.

Pulling his head down, she puts a peck on his left cheek; then her journey commences. She continues down to his neck, gradually making her way towards his chest; with each kiss is milli-centimetre apart from each other. Along with her trail of kisses, her hot breaths follow close by in her little adventure; they contrast with the frigid blackness, driving him to crave for her warmth even more than ever. He never lets a woman take the lead like this; yet, he strangely gets aroused by her boldness, by her sensual display.

When she starts to leave tiny kisses on his stomach, his endurance is alarmingly small; he does not want to go through this torture any longer, despite knowing full well he would be compensated if he had more patience. He pulls her back up, leaving a tender kiss on her soft lips. However, the gentleness only lasts for a second before they both burn up as the kiss becomes wild; his tongue dances with hers along the unplanned rhythm as he embraces her within his arms.

He enjoys this greatly; he can never complain of holding her like this, especially when he does not know when he can perform this action again. Yet, there is something keeps pestering him, like his heart has to bear a ten tone weight. Something is missing, he notices this; but he just cannot put his fingers on.  He decides to ignore the ominous feeling, embedding it deep down so he can bask at this moment with her; he draws her even closer, pressing her delicate body against his.

Without a warning, the bubble bursts.

He cannot breathe in her unique citrus scent or taste the familiar sweetness on her lips.

Pulling her away, he buries his face on the crevice of her neck and takes a deep breath. There is no scent from her; there is constantly an underlying hint of fresh strawberry along her smooth skin no matter what. He inhales again, but only the rush of cold air enters his nostril this time; he yanks back as soon as he cannot pick up any pulse from the base of her neck. She just simply smiles at his actions, and nothing else.

Determining to uncover any pieces of evidence that will inform him something, he places his ear onto her chest. The echoes of heartbeats cannot be picked up; there is only a flat silence beneath her skin, just like the silent dark space surrounding them. As he trails his fingers around her petite body, he can still feel the smooth texture of her skin, except that it is too smooth, too perfect; it leaves a unsettle uneasiness on his guts.

As if she is not really in front of him; it is like she is not real as so to speak. As if he is dreaming.

Putting a distance between them, he notices that she is still giving him the lovely smile. Of course, this is just a dream; because only in this condition that she will ever look at him with sparkles within her blue eyes, or approach him without putting up an argument before giving in to her desire.

Not that he admits, not even to himself, seeing she within his dream like this is almost a welcome relief to his stressed mind; for what reasons, he cannot identify. Maybe if he were honest with himself from the beginning, he would have known by now. He reaches out to touch her, wanting to caress her flushing cheeks; he had assumed that once he slept with the enchantress again, these dreams about her would stop. Apparently, it does not; but, he is oddly fine by it. 

His hand stops dead in its tracks.

If he is in a dream right now, what parts of reality dictate that everything happens to him so far is not just an illusion either? What if he did not savor the witch’s body last night? What if he did not find her in the snowstorm last night? What if he never greeted her at the bar on that particular night?

What if the taste of her body only dwells within his dream? What if he never met her at all?

The idea shocks his body, leaving behind a sense of numbness; it starts in his chest and spreads across his veins with a rapid pace. If he thinks finding out she is his half-brother’s girlfriend already a living nightmare, that concept will take it to another whole level. He will be sentenced to hell for all eternity, in the purgatory that condemns him to only live in his dreams.

And only the lowest of sinners deserve that type of punishment.

He cares not that she belongs to someone else; as long as she exists, he can tolerate anything from this moment. As he reaches out to caress her figure, perhaps to seek some reassurance, her body dissolves into nothingness in a blink of an eye, leaving him alone in the dark abyss.

Golden eyes snap wide open, pupils dilate rapidly.

Beads of sweat cling to his forehead; his heart beats rapidly against his rib cage as if it is about to explode. For once, he is glad to wake up in his own bed, instead of being permanently trapped in the darkness. It takes a couple of minutes for him to register that he is currently staring at the white ceiling; and that the bed feels only slightly warm. He sits up immediately, shoving the blanket aside; the desire to make sure she is real overwhelms his mind and senses.

The sight of the empty bed causes his heart to skip a beat; though his face displays the emotion of indifference, his golden eyes reveal a different tale. Flames of anger can be seen; rage from not knowing whether this is the reality or just another dream. Seeds of doubt are planted underneath his skin as he can distinctly recall the sample of her fine wine last night; the faint unique perfume of her still lingers around his bed, further proving she is indeed real.

Yet, not seeing her by his side makes him question his sanity; all the evidence point to the fact that she exists, but the absence of her physical body confuses his mind to no end. His hands turn cold as the possibility she is just a figment of his imagination gets bigger as seconds go by. Is she real? Or does she only remain in his thoughts, his dreams, and his nightmares?  There must be something to confirm this situation; something, anything.

He needs an object that can tell time and date; it is probably the only thing can verify this matter. He knows for certain that he just had a meeting yesterday, on the twenty-first; so by simple logic, today should be the twenty-second. And if it isn’t, then he needs to set an appointment with a doctor, or more precisely, a psychiatrist; or, he would just not bother with it since he would be beyond saving at that point. 

The action of finding something that will indicate the present suddenly becomes his top priority in his to-do list; with that mentality, he turns to his right side, expecting to locate his phone on the end table. Since it is where he places his phone before retiring to bed every night, it should be there and presumably be full of business-related emails. There is just one tiny problem; his cell phone is not there.

Are the spirits of the underworld toying with him right now? Because he is in no mood for it; so they’d better stop putting his mind in this endless suffering. Getting on his feet, he chooses to head to his study instead; since his laptop is there and it should be able to tell him to crucial information he is seeking for. Well, unless his laptop also magically disappears like his phone.

But first, he puts on the black pants lying on the floor; he does not prefer walking naked. He doesn’t like to wear dress pants around his place either, but it will have to do. He does not want to waste any more time in finding his sweats; when he picks the trouser up, the unusual weight stops his action. Pulling the object out from the pocket, he exhales in relief to see his cellphone.

But the moment of satisfaction hardly lasts a mere second before he throws the useless device onto the ground; a small ‘thud’ can be heard as the phone makes contact with the carpet. He ignores the modern contraption, proceeding to put his pants on without any second thought; if he doesn’t wish to spend time recovering his sweats, he will not tolerate dealing with a dead phone.

If this were any typical day, he would have noticed his shirt is missing; but his mind is not precisely clear right now, so he pays no attention to it. If this were any ordinary day, he would have grabbed a fresh pair of trousers instead of wearing this one-day-old pants; but, he does not care. All his mind can think right now is what the time and date of this hellish day are.

He just wants to open his god-damn laptop now, even if it means to break down any door that might be in the way; but surprisingly, his rational sense still remains intact. So he barely casually head towards his office though his frigid hands will tell otherwise. Without hesitation, he twists the doorknob, opening the white door leading to his study; before he can take another step, his muscles freeze, dropping everything in a heartbeat. 

His ears pick up a faint, almost inaudible sound.

A quiet tune fills up the empty space of his apartment; so soundless that his ears almost miss those soft melodies. He strangely wonders if that is what a mermaid’s singing sounds like; since those fairy-tale tunes are known to lure men in, either to kill them or bestow magical kisses. And true to the legend, he starts to follow the direction in which it comes from; as if he has been hypnotized by the strange harmony and now forgotten about the task he has to perform.

Stepping into his living room and perceiving no signs of life, he begins to mistrust himself; has he truly gone mad from the thought of that witch and now hallucinating about a voice in his apartment?

Before he starts to lead down the spiral circle of self-doubt and much to his relief, the exotic sound finds its way to his ears again; this time, its signal comes from the kitchen instead. Willing his muscles to move, he makes his way towards his destination without any delay; the melody becomes clearer and louder as he turns around the corner.

Before he realizes, oxygen is being dragged out from his lung abruptly; but his mind is too occupied to recognize the shortage of air. As if a massive burden has been lifted from his soul, the tension and uncertainty dissipate within his chaotic mind, allowing him to experience some peace with himself for the first time since waking up. The lump in his throat fades away; his palms start to feel warm once again.

The enchantress is standing in his kitchen, covering her body with nothing but his dress shirt. The long sleeves are being rolled up, exposing her slender arms; the length of his shirt ends just below her round bottom, showing off her lithe legs to his greedy eyes. Under the perfect light angle, he can subtly make out the outline of her curve as it shows through his white blouse. 

As his golden eyes trails all over her body, his member responds to the visual stimulation. Before letting him studying the little details any further, she stuns him by starting to dance slightly; her action causes his shirt to hike up even further and displays more of her delicious buttock. He can hear the sound of her soft humming as she reaches out towards her phone and turns up the volume just by one level.

And all he can do is stand there, simply taking in the scene set out in front of his eyes; he swears he is capable to identify different colors surrounding her body once she starts moving along with the music. He cannot imagine any more perfect picture than this; well, perhaps maybe the image of her in his bed last night.

Sunlight shines through the window, creating a shimmer effect on her long locks as if thousands of jewels have been intricately placed among the raven threads. He is certain that she is cooking something; as the aroma of food drifted into his nostrils. She seems to be still oblivious to his presence as she keeps humming that strange tune and dancing along with it.

‘She is here; she is real,’ his mind whispers; as if to reassures him that she is indeed right in front of him. Yet, a part of his brain keeps telling him that he is just in another layer of the inescapable dream; that she is just another illusion and he still remains in the bleak abyss at this moment. As though seeing her being here with his eyes is not enough.

He makes his way to her slowly, almost as if he has been bewitched by her voice and movements. Or perhaps, as if he is afraid that she will disappear as soon as he touches her; just like his dream.

He stretches his arms out, pausing half-way; he can feel the slight warmth from her body as well as her voice never sounds so deafening loud like this minute. Bridging the distance between them, his arms make their way across her waist. He can sense her body jump a bit from his sudden touch, but he is too busy to notice as he is confined within his own chaotic mind. He buries his nose into the nook of her neck, inhaling deeply.

His heart beats so fast as the scenario of it jumping out of his rib cage is not at all surprising. A minor part of him hopes this woman will not be able to pick up this thunderous sound like he does, but it is quickly forgotten as one thought takes over his mind. This is the deciding moment on whether he is dreaming or not.

Even though some of her hair gets in the way, the scent of honey and lemon is nevertheless strong, filling his lungs with every breath he takes. Her unique perfume soothes his mind, convincing him that she is physically in his arms at the moment; unknowingly, he stiffens his arms, reassuring that she will be by his side.

“Um… Good morning?” Her gentle voice leads him back to reality; he can virtually hear her underlying question of ‘what the fuck are you doing?’. He too wants to learn the answer to that question as well; because he does not know what overcame his body and drove him to perform such weird actions.

Now that he reflects about it, he usually has a tight control over himself; panic and uncertainty are never authorized to roam freely, taking over his body like this. He knows he should quit acting like a child who has his toys taken away; yet, he does not want to let her go, not yet anyway as he still enjoys her soothing scent. So he just loosens his grip, just enough for her to wiggle around.

“Good morning,” Kagome is even more startled to hear the tone he answers. She can never imagine he would respond back to her without much coldness in his words like this; not after they have discovered their real identities. First, he wishes to scare her to death with the sudden intimacy; and now, it looks like he wants to turn her on with two freaking words.

And that is absolutely unfair; sometimes she can be unhappy for weeks on end without seeing any viable options to escape the dark clouds. What is with this guy; why can this man manipulate her mental state so easily like this? She swears, at this rate, she might be diagnosed with emotional incontinence in the near future if she lingers by his side any time longer.

Being in such a close distance with him like this, his rain-filled scent is basically the air she is breathing in; and in all honesty, this is much better than the plain old oxygen anyway. She just wants to lean back against his chest and enjoys this peaceful moment; she stops her muscles, restraining herself from doing any stupid. This moment is simply the calm before the storm, and that results from them not having any proper talk last night.

And when that happens, which is soon, she can already see it is going to get nasty; he probably uses his devil charm on her to make her give in to the temptation like last night. But, she thinks she is ready to fight against his allurement as she had a wonderful rest last night, after the numerous times he f… She mentally shakes her head, struggling to clear any thoughts about the handsome man; she does not wish to admit defeat like last night and slept with him, again.

A long breath escapes her lungs; last night was another mistake, right? The answer should obviously be yes; but up to this point, she is yet to identify the clear answer, not knowing why she is so weak in front of him. Probably because of his charming appearance or because of the way he brings those euphoric feelings deep within her body into existence.

No, doubtlessly because of his honey-filled eyes; that window to the devil’s soul is seemingly the key to her weakness. They are the reason why she cannot make up her mind, causing her to be on the thin line between rationality and madness whenever she looks at him.

She wanted to get out of his flat when she woke up fifteen minutes ago; she still does now though her guilt makes her stay. She cannot just walk out of this situation by just leaving a note which requests him to forget about this whole subject; her instinct advises her that he will probably hunt her down if she does that, provided that he now knows who she is.

So she chose to prepare some breakfast while waiting for him to wake up, hoping to talk about that sensitive topic while eating will be less cumbersome. After all, the best approach to obtain a man’s heart is through his stomach; not that she needs to get to his heart necessary. She just wants to be his good side, so he is willing to overlook everything and starts this complicated relationship anew with her.

His warmth spreads across her back, urging her to straighten up her posture; she needs to put some distance between them, no matter how marginal they may be. But, no matter how much she tries to move, she can still feel his sculpted chest along with his warmth. Wearing his shirt must contribute to this; why does everything she does have to curve around and bite her in the rear? Kagome would have got into her jeans and shirt if it were not for the fact that she hates wearing them around her own place; pyjama is way more comfy than them.

She knows that his apartment is the furthest place she can call home; but, if she has to stick around and chat with this devil, then she has to the right to be comfortable at least. But that aside, is he okay with her using his fancy kitchen like this? She becomes conscious of the repercussions of being overly full of herself and does things the way she wants; beads of sweats form on top of her forehead.

“Um… I hope you don’t dislike having slices of bacon and scrambled eggs for breakfast,” she says as she flipping the pancetta over to the other side. Well, it is not like she has a choice either; his fridge is stocked of frozen dinners; except for these couple of strips of bacon and eggs. She will choose real ingredients, no matter how long they have exceeded the expiry date, over pre-packaged food.

She further mentions that she hopes he doesn’t mind about her wearing his shirt just for a bit; since she does not genuinely feel like wearing jeans right after waking up. Seeing him not cutting her head off after hearing her reasons, she sighs in relief, internally. She’d rather him giving her the silent treatment like this than yelling at her for touching his clothes, though she doubts he will ever the latter action.

Then, the room goes quiet as neither of them continues the conversation; the sole noise that echoes through the area is the sound of bacon sizzling on the cooking pan. If anyone else steps into the room at this moment, they’d slowly back away, since the atmosphere will seem deadly silent and suffocating.

But to her, it is anything but an unpleasant silence; it is oddly relaxing to in his arms like this. Though it tickles to have his breath on her neck, it strangely feels nice; they serve as a perpetual indication that he is behind her. As if they are telling her that her place should be in his embrace like this.

She just requires one second to be at peace with herself, with him like this. Just one second, she tells herself as she relaxes her muscle, leaning back against his chest. Just one more second.

“You might want to take that bacon out before they are all burnt”, his rich voice drags her back to reality. She lets out a little yelp as she realizes the meat is about to become extra crispy, with a hint of charcoal in them. His arms reluctantly leave her waistline as she hurriedly transfers slices of meat onto the paper towels.

She wants to yell at herself for missing the warmth of his body; in addition to cursing herself for remaining within his heated embrace for more than one second. She wants to slap herself, to get her mind to straighten out; so she does not give in to the temptation again.

“What do you want to drink?” she can pick up his low voice loud and clear; she wonders why she did not notice him leaving her side before. Well, not like it means anything anyway; she tells herself that she does not care whether she is within his strong arms or not, certainly not at all. Reaching for the carton, she takes the last two eggs out, cracking them one by one into the hot pan.

"Do you have coffee?” she stirs the eggs around before they are set. She has never made scrambled eggs before; she wonders why she elected to prepare it today. Probably owing to the fact that her brain is temporarily fried because of him; well, it is a bit too late to change her mind now. There is always a first time for everything, she tells herself; just like last night when… she stops herself, trying not to speculate about anything occurred prior to the sun rises.

“No, not right now. But, there will be some next time,” she can clearly hear the sound the fridge open, not that she cares about his action; no, she pays attention to his words way more than anything at this moment. The statement makes her eyes want to bulge out of its socket and drops the spatula onto the hot pan. Thankfully, only of them occurs.

Next time? Next time?! Next time!!! She determines to push the schedule of the talk to right now. Because she will make it clear to tell him that there will be no later time in this situation. She stirs the eggs one more time before dumping them onto the nearby plate.

Settling the cooking utensil down, she turns off the stainless-steel oven before spinning around to deal with him. His back is facing her now as he is searching through the contents of the fridge; taking advantage of not being able to look into those tantalizing eyes, she takes a deep breath before speaking.

“Look, Sesshoumaru, we need to talk seriously about this. Whatever happened between us a week ago was a mistake; last night was also a mistake. The relationship we have right now is essentially a miscalculation of everything in this world.”

She was foolish to let her emotions slipped through my mouth without thinking; so, she prays, for her sake, he will end this before she completely loses control over those rebellious sentiments. Before any dire consequences may take place; before her brain cannot figure out the distinction between what is right and what is wrong. He is a dangerous influence on her mind and heart; after all, he is quite literally the devil in her eyes.

She can see his back visibly stiffens right after she finishes her sentence; she can feel the tension thickens in the air. The relaxing aspects of their situation vanish in a blink of an eye; sunlight has quickly faded out, letting the darkness permeate into the room. The air is now so heavy that she almost chokes on it.

She braces herself for the impending storm.

Chapter Text

Chapter 14Amphillogiai: female spirits of disputes and altercations. They are one group in large company of contentious spirits spawned by the goddess Eris, who represents strife.

Sesshoumaru is not shocked at all; if anything, he feels strangely calm at this moment.

In some senses, he has been waiting for those words to be uttered out of her pretty lips ever since he establishes the fact that she indeed exists, and presently in his apartment. Though, he has expected this conversation to take place much later; perhaps after a nice and quiet breakfast. Or, after he samples the sweet spice of her lips again; he is fine with either. But he also prefers to have this argument over with so he can enjoy those said activities.

He genuinely wants to snicker at her attempt to make him forget their relationship. Not to point out but her reason sounds familiar; did she use the same excuse before this or not? Either way, nothing in this earth will cause him to let her slip through his fingers so easily. He will do anything to make her remain in his embrace like last night; anything, and everything. And he means every word of his.

Even it means for him to play the role of the villain in this tale. Yes, a character that is perfect for him; putting on the mask, he is ready to go on the stage.

"You were more honest last night; words and body," he plays the scenario of her making excuses last night again in his head, ending it with the scene where she was finally straightforward with him for the first time. He wonders why she cannot just be straightforward with him since the beginning.

"No, I wasn't. If anything, I wasn't capable to control my speeches because I was a bit drunk last night from all the god-damn whiskey you handed over to me," she clenches her fists together, hoping to stop them from shaking; because she is lying right now, and the truth is crawling underneath her skin. It is definitely not the alcohol that drove her to sleep with him, again.

"This one gave you one drink. You asked for more," he closes the fridge and turns around, facing the raven-haired enchantress. She is staring at the floor; as if there is a magical jewel down there that has captured her attention. He can see that she is a bit nervous; her posture says it all. Perhaps from lying directly to his face so she can leave him again; well, not this time, not until he orders her to go away.

She wants to say something to rebut his arrogant sentence, but her lips are cemented to each other. After all, there is not much to say; she cannot honestly deny his statement since it is the truth; gods, what sort of hole has she dug herself into? Whatever it is, she hopes to be able to escape it.

"Our bodies are quite suitable for each other, don't you agree?" He crosses his arms over his chest, letting out a faint smirk as he watches her cheeks glowing with colors; he admires how she still possesses that innocent reaction after everything they have gone through. "This Sesshoumaru is hoping that we can extend our time a bit more".

His sentence freezes her limbs to the ground; he cannot propose what she is thinking, can he? Kagome glances up, staring straight to his honeyed eyes; she starts to panic as the true meaning of his sentence finally plunges into her guts. "You cannot seriously just suggest us having an affair?" A hysterical laugh escapes her lips; she expects he points at a nearby camera and reveals everything is just a terrible prank. She is so certain that he is playing a joke on her right now.

Sesshoumaru wonders why this woman suddenly starts to giggle, filling up the kitchen with the sound of her amusement; he would enjoy this moment if it were not for the fact that they are having an important discussion. He would appreciate looking at her delightful expression if it were not loaded with such unnerving aura with it; he stands still, waiting for her to cease her silly reaction.

Her laughter dies as quickly as she realizes the suave man remains quiet more than ever, not answering back to her remark. Cold sweats build upon her palm, feeling nervous that he means every word he declares; her stomach wants to churn and expel out all the liquor she has consumed last night. "You are not serious, are you? Because that is wrong!" She says the last sentence loudly, to the extent she almost yells at him.

Even though she made a mistake, well, mistakes, her mind still knows what is proper and what is unacceptable. Sleeping with this attractive man is erroneous; giving in to temptation is bad. Having an affair is immoral; good, she still has common senses, at least at this moment. She decides to overlook all the times her rationality has left her behind for the previous week or so.

Cerulean looks into amber, unwilling to back down from her statement. Heavy silence fills up the quiet area; tension builds up as seconds pass by, thickening the air with it. For a minute, she has assumed they have been frozen in time.

"So you want this Sesshoumaru to pretend like nothing happens, is that right?" She does not foresee him to be the first person to break this unnerving silence; though, is it her imagination or does his voice suddenly become a bit colder? Plus, the way he uses the third person perspective starts to unnerve her; like they are strangers, despite they have sampled each other's bodies.

She forces herself to stop thinking about the latter subject; this is not the time to reflect on such matters.

Swallowing the knot in her throat, she gathers her courage before speaking again: "Yes, that would be a solution. Let's make a fresh start, shall we?" Her tone is a bit unsteady; she cannot identify why she suddenly becomes so nervous. Taking a deep breath, she extends her right hand out, hoping he would shake hers to close the deal. She tries to be optimistic and friendly, to offset the unsettled feeling in her guts right now.

Her hand becomes a bit shaky as it is suspended on the air for quite some time; it is either that reason, or the nervousness begins to manifest from within her body. She wants to pick up his hand and shake it, so everything will be over by now. But, there will be no acceptance of her offer if he does not intentionally undertake it himself; it seems like forever for her to wait for him.

"If that is what you wish for, then you will not have any objections of this Sesshoumaru telling Inuyasha about us," that sentence makes her eyes want to jump out of its socket. She can tell that he is not joking around as the gold tint of his eyes seems to harden, signaling he is dead serious about his statement. "Since, we will be strangers again, after all," he casually leans back on the fridge for support.

She believes he is speaking the truth; she just doesn't think that he has the balls to carry out the action. Knowing him so far, she can already learn he is has a lot of pride, even arrogant to some degree; he will not stoop so low to expose their forbidden affair, especially to his hated half-brother. "You wouldn't dare…" Her words are cut short by his interruption.

"Alexa, call Inuyasha," his cold voice sends electricity through her skin, causing everything temporarily turning to a blank page in her head. "Okay, Inuyasha," a robotic female voice wakes her up from the temporary paralysis; turning around, it takes her less than a second to detect the small black device on the corner, which is lit up with blue-colored ring and noises appear to follow afterward.

'He wouldn't dare. He wouldn't dare,' she recites in her mind, assuring herself everything will be okay; or, at least she hopes that it will be. But it is undoubtedly not.

"Hello?" A familiar rough voice penetrates the room; she almost expects her boyfriend is just standing right in front of her. She hopes he cannot pick up the loud noise of her heartbeats since they are all she can hear. Grounding her feet onto the floor, she dares not to make even the slightest movement; she fears that it will notify her boyfriend that she is here, with his half-relative.

"Hello, dear half-brother," he can see beads of sweats forming on her forehead at the sound of his voice. "This one wants to tell you about something happened approximately a week ago," Sesshoumaru says as he makes his way towards Kagome; he can detect colors drain out of her face in that second; he can see that distinctly, but he does not care. He will perform this villain role flawlessly.

"Unlike you, I'm working my ass off; so, make it quick. What is it?" Inuyasha's impatience can be heard through his home-pod, compressing the tension in the air even more. Kagome can feel her knees are about to give in to the pressure and her mouth has gotten dry up. She tries to wash down another lump in her throat, but unable to; her nerve is on the breaking point. It also does not help much when the devil standing in front of her like this is.

The noise of Inuyasha's breathing resonates within the space, signaling his annoyance. At the same time, it provides the illusion that he is waiting beyond these walls to catch them in action like this; silence still remains virulent in the air. At a brief moment, she can foresee into the future, where her boyfriend finds out about their rendezvous in a couple of seconds; she knows her secret will come out eventually, but it does not have to be right now.

"Well, there is someone..." His sentence is broken off as he feels her soft hand on his lips. Her sapphire eyes harden, disguising her nervousness with determination; though her shaking hand gives it away. Her lips slightly open as if she is about to declare something that he cannot hear. Leaning forwards, letting her lips lay next to his right ear and his lips near her left ear; he finally picks up her trembling words.

"I… Please don't… I…" She does not know what else to say; not to mention, it takes all of her courage to enunciate those meaningless words. She dares not to speak more than just a whisper, fearing Inuyasha might know. Tears are threatened to fall; yet, she holds them at bay. This is not the time to show her weak side; she inhales a deep breath, struggling to soothe her nerve.

No matter what is about to transpire, this devil cannot utter her secrets out loud; not like this when her mind is yet able to decide. Her life has been so chaotic lately; she has not gotten the time to actually sort matters out. If anyone is to inform Inuyasha about her affair, it will be her and her only; right after she has the chance to figure the whole thing out.

Seeing her so vulnerable like this, his heart constricts violently; he never means to cause her to be upset like this. He just wants to hold her, easing the pain away; but if he does that, it means he will have to let her go. Not yet, he tells himself; he chooses to be selfish just for a little while. He restrains himself from letting his hands make their way around her waist, fearing he might not have the adequate self-control.

That might be impossible to prevent since there is hardly any distance between them, and her sweet strawberry scent overwhelms all his logic. It takes his iron will to concentrate back on the conversation and not savoring her body; that will have to be delayed for a bit.

"Shall we make a deal now?" He whispers in her ear, making the warm breath caressing her delicate skin. She hesitantly nods her head, wondering if that is the right choice. Not that it means anything; it is literally the sole option she has. She knows full well that forming an arrangement with the devil is never a proper thing; yet, she just cannot let him tell Inuyasha right now.

"Get to the point; I don't have all day to hear your story. Who did you meet?" Inuyasha's voice, once again, pierces through the silent space, making the air barely breathable at this point.

She nods again and again; this time as if her life depends on it. "Yes…" She mumbles, so quietly that he almost misses her statement; she clutches her fists together, attempting to stop her hands from shaking in fear uncontrollably. Her palms start to become paralyzed, but her mind does not have enough capacity to concern about such little matters.

He pulls his head back, peering into her eyes for a brief second before taking a step backward; she looks frightened, like a thief who is just caught red-handed. His plan is progressing smoothly, he says to himself as he shoves the remorseful feeling deeper into the pit containing his heart; it is awfully late to feel any regret now. Internally, he smiles bitterly, applauding himself for being such a superb actor.

"A potential investor for the next expanding project, look into it," Sesshoumaru answers like nothing had happened; she wonders how he can still remain calm in this situation. "Alexa, hang up," and the phone call ends. Kagome lets out a breath she has been holding ever since the phone call starts; her weak heart beats rapidly, trying to pump as much oxygen into her veins before she passes out.

Taking another step back, he wants to have some distance between them before his mind is clouded with naughty ideas; though, he knows his body will eventually find its way towards hers again. So, before that can happen, he will need to remain professional in order to spin this discussion in his favor. He keeps his hands behind his back before negotiating the presumably most significant contract in his life.

"Here is a deal: in exchange for this Sesshoumaru not divulging our dirty little secret to your precious Inuyasha, you shall be this one's bed partner for as long as you are together with him." He includes an additional condition to his offer since his half-brother is currently the only link between him and this woman. He wonders if it is a wise move to do so.

He recognizes the confusion written all over her face as soon as he completes his sentence; disgust soon follows afterward as it slowly bleeds through her blue eyes, causing them to look as though they contain a turbulent thunderstorm. He can see her trembling form, perhaps from the flares of anger; Sesshomaru is ready to withstand anything coming to his way.

"I am in a steady relationship; even though we have some issues, Inuyasha is still my boyfriend. How dare you suggest me to sleep with you intentionally again? Where are your morals?" She almost shrieks at him, trying not to let this ugly emotion consuming her; though she is certainly failing at it. Not wishing to leave any strings attached, but she also refuses to let this devil reveal her secret so easily like this; her head is about to explode with perpetual conflicts.

'My sanity and moralities have been throwing out of the window when we found ourselves again at my father's place,' he wants to retort back to her remark; yet, those words won't come out of his mouth. Instead, he chooses another approach that will not expose his true intention. "Well, that excuse doesn't seem to stop you from doing it with this one for two times now, does it?"

She opens her mouth to counter to his comment, but she closes immediately. She knows he is right, anyway; it will be of no benefit in arguing with him. Shame starts to devour her consciousness. "I told you… they are simply mistakes," she fixates on a point on the wall behind him, hoping to establish an illusion that she is facing straight at him; but she is not as she is incapable to look into his eyes. She does not want to see the truth in those golden eyes.

"This Sesshoumaru does not ask for your opinion on whether they are mistakes or not; this one simply requires your... company at night," for the first time, he actually puts in some effort in choosing the right words; god-damn it, what is with this wicked woman that causes him to behave... not being himself like this? Looking into her eyes, he thought he can find the answer into those hypnotic orbs; but instead, it leaves him wonders if there is an interesting object behind him.

Another silence settles between them. He honestly just wants to wrap up this pointless argument; but, he does not want to push this conversation any further than it is right now, fearing his strategy will move sideways instead. All he needs is to wait for her to come to his side, willingly as always; each second seems like an eternity to him.

"I'm not going to be a whore who will spread her legs whenever you want," Kagome breaks the heavy silence as she deliberately pushes her legs together. She suddenly feels ashamed for all the times she has opened them to welcome his touch. She will at least try to negotiate with him; she has not entirely given up to his shining eyes, not yet anyway.

This time, anger creeps up through his golden orbs; he cannot believe she views herself as a tramp beside him. How dare she think so little of herself? Or is it because she expects him to treat her so low like that? Moving towards her, he does not miss a step even if he notices her taking a corresponding step backward. It is funny for a brief second; just as though they are performing an old dancing routine.

He cages her small body between his arms and the wall, he tells her softly; or, as gentle as he can without letting the displeasure shown through his words. "You will be anything but a whore. You will be showered with gifts, clothes, or anything you desire". His nose touches hers; her breath lands on his lips whenever she exhales. At this distance, the color blue is all he can see.

"I need nothing from you," considering their distance, her quiet whisper is deafening to both individuals. "I just want you to put everything behind us and start anew," as she speaks those words, she can already predict his answer. She wonders why she continues trying when the outcome has already been decided; but, it won't hurt to try it for the millionth time, right?

"That will be one thing this one cannot give it to you," being at such a proximity with her like this, the spice of sugar-coated tangerines fills up his lungs, fueling his desire back to life. Letting his left arm securing her waist tightly, his right hand begins to roam her body, starting from her delicious thighs. "Unlike you, this Sesshoumaru cannot just simply forget".

She wants to put a stop to his activity; yet, she finds no strength in her limbs. Being at this close, his body engulfs her tiny frame, making her suddenly feel small and powerless; like a damsel in distress. Never mind, if that were true, someone had placed her in this terrible position; but it was her that creates the whole turmoil in the first place. Maybe, she is the antagonist in her own story after all. "W… Why do you do this to me?" The way his hand trailing along her hips, cuts her sentence short.

'Because you have bound me to your wicked spell', he knows the answer to her query. Yet, he cannot state the simple fact, not now, not ever; telling her the truth will only lead to the failure of his performance. He has formulated a lie, an excellent excuse; yet, he stops himself from expressing it out loud. He tells himself that is because he simply does not want to taste the bitterness in his tongue.

Already knowing her Adonis is not the talkative individual, besides possessing an enormous ego, so she is not that surprised to hear his response, or more specifically, the lack of it. He draws her closer, if that is even probable, as his hand appears to wander into the upper half of her body. The rainfall fragrance intensifies, causing her senses to be blurred, as the tip of his fingers leaving streams of fire on her abdomen.

"I will not be a slut who opens her legs for you every single day," her voice finally comes out as nothing but a whisper; though it does nothing as she reiterates the same sentence as before, hoping it will get through his brain this time. It takes all of her strength to utter all fifteen words as his fingers graze her breasts through the thin layer of fabric.

The angel on her right side tells her to stop his movement; the devil on her left side advises her to enjoy the moment while it lasts. It traps her in the middle, being torn between two different directions.

To him, she might as well shouting "I fucking hate you" directly to his face; and it wouldn't differ greatly from her original statement. Her initial remark is so full of malice; he can practically see the bitterness oozing out from the corner of her mouth as she utters those words. Or, at least, that is what he understands from his perspective; swallowing the phantom pain down his throat, he overlooks the acid dripping from her words as it touches his heart.

There is currently a war between them; he is here to fight, but for what he cannot identify. Countless heated nights with her by his side? To satisfy his body's demands? It perhaps oddly combines both, he tells himself. Because there is no other plausible reason for him to act like as if he is betting his life on it. And wounds are bounded to leave scars on the fragile skin in a war like this.

A bit of pain is likewise inevitable; he does not mind it. He is a warrior after all, and he determines to bring this argument to a conclusion. His body craves for its prize already.

"Every day seems to be a bit overkill, don't you think?" His lips practically attach to her ear, whispering quietly as he continues to search for treasures on her body. "Though this one will not object that proposition, not at all," his low voices becomes obsolete as his soft lips leave a kiss her ear; he cannot help but nip at it a little.

"No! We will meet once a month at most…" Gods, she cannot believe she is actually negotiating with this devil; well, she does not have many alternatives now, does she? She places her left hand on top of his hand, deciding to stop it from wandering around and igniting the fire in her body so carelessly. Not to mention, her mind needs to be still clear while working this matter out with him.

He wants to snort at her counter offer, genuinely finding it hilarious. But he interrupts himself before anything can take place, as he does not prefer to look like a jerk. "Who do you think this Sesshoumaru is? A saint?" He chooses to reassure her that he is, in no way, a holy being as he starts to do something that would secure him a spot in the deepest level of hell if he is one.

His fingers manage to free the top button of his dress shirt she is wearing; he begins to make a path down to her collar, leaving behind a route of kisses along the line. "Twice a week," each phrase is conveyed after each peck. Though the sentence contains merely three words, his trail contains more than just only three kisses.

This time, she puts in more effort as she sets her palms against his chest; but, no matter how much she tries, she cannot seem to find enough strength to stop him from venturing further down her body. "Twice a month," she counters his proposal as she unconsciously tilts her head backward, granting him better access of her sensitive neck. And he takes full advantage of whatever he can at the minute.

Though her mind appears to turn foggy, she can still know she does not want to meet him extremely often. First, the guilt will ultimately eat her inside out; probably, she guesses. Second of all, she does not wish to develop into a junkie for his touch; though the latter subject is possibly a bit too late. As evidence of this, she struggles to cover up the moans from escaping every time his lips caress her skin.

"Once a week," he undoes another button; he treats this like an achievement and the reward is seeing her bosom peeking through the dress shirt. Cannot resist the temptation anymore, his lips go after the new area that has just been opened; his left hand leaves her waist, moving down up to her round buttocks. "Take this deal, it will not get any better than this," his right hand undoes another button.

His lips finally show up at the valley of her breasts; she struggles to hold in her voice every time he nibbles a bit of her skin. The devil on her left shoulder tells her to agree with his deal; her angel seems to be strangely quiet. Does it mean she will absolutely not get a better bargain than this? She takes less than a second to arrive at her verdict. "… You will have to inform the date we meet beforehand so I can check with my schedule".

He was about to retort back to another of her counteroffer, but he stops those terms half-way from being annunciated. Did his ears deceive him again? Did she just settle to go with his deal? Stopping advancing any further to her luscious bosom, he glances up into her eyes. She looks embarrassed, perplexed and ashamed; he can determine the undertone of resentment in her sky-blue eyes. He is fine with it as long as she will be his side; he pushes to sudden odd feeling elsewhere.

The first step of his plan: getting this woman to visit his bed on a repeated basis; accomplished. Second step: taking advantage of her body until he is bored with her; currently in-progressed.

Without further considering, his lips crash against hers. She is half-expected his tongue to come in uninvited, but there is none. It is just his lips simply rest on top of hers as he applies a bit pressure; this action is surprisingly gentle to her. She can feel her face warming up a little as he nips on her lips; gods, how can this man manipulate her emotions so well like this? She is unquestionably weak against him.

As he pulls his head back, she already misses the sweet feeling against her lips. "With that kiss, we have sealed our deal," his golden eyes reveal to her there is no backing out of this arrangement now; not until he releases her from this contract. She crosses her arms around her stomach, trying not to get sick from the forbidden feeling starting to spread across her heart; the ugly betrayal feeling starts to fill up her guts as the feeling of excitement and anticipation from being with this devil courses through her veins.

So, she changes the subject matter, before any of these notions become unduly powerful and causes her to do all sorts of weird things. "Um… Let's go eat breakfast, the food might be cold soon," she gives him a nervous laugh before seeking to slip away from his grasp; she needs to get out of this situation before he ignites the fire just by his gaze. But his arms still remain as her sturdy cage, not bestowing her freedom so easily.

Sesshoumaru thinks it is time for her to learn her duties in their contract. Tightening up his embrace, he enjoys the heat and softness of her body pressed against his; moving her hair to the side, a path once again emerges from the tip of her ear, down to the base of her neck. He will probably never grow tired of traveling through this same old trail to get down to her jewels; everything about her is maddeningly addictive. And it is the point for her to accept her responsibility for being so delicious.

"Stop it…" She tugs onto his arms, demanding to flee from her confinement but failing; she wonders if she really lacks the strength, or her mind just does not wish to. "I thought we agree to meet once a week… And we did it yesterday," bringing her right hand towards his head, she struggles to stop him from advancing any further than this; but her response seems to encourage him to proceed further down.

"We did settle to see each other once a week," he announces each word clearly after every kiss, displaying no sign of discontinuing his expedition. "But that doesn't mean we can only have sex once a week now, does it?" He moves upwards with his kiss this time, aiming for her sweet lips. Her hands basically do nothing to stop him at this point; in fact, it trails down towards his chest as his head rises up.

His kisses leave her skin burning, aching for more as the fire slowly consumes her body. The devil on her left side tells her to may as well take advantage of the worst situation; she looks over to her right, she silently begs the angel to suggest something different. Her angel-self grouches down to her right ear, whispering something into her ears.

As their lips meet, she finally follows to their bits of judgment, letting the blazing desire consumes her; this time, she lets it go. She lets loose her dark desire for him, ignoring the gut-wrenching feeling for the first time; there is no reason to not appreciate her stay in hell.

They are supposed to get breakfast; instead, it is undoubtedly canceled due to the fact that he will not let her go outside his embrace. She has to call in and request someone else to take her shift instead, and he only lets her have two minutes to do so before pulling her back to the bedroom. They fool around from morning until twilight hours; that was when his body arrives at its peak capacity.

As the moon radiates brightly in the night sky, he barely remembers she falls asleep within his arms and how her sweet tangerine lures him to a deep slumber. Or how she drapes her milky arm around his chest as she curls up against his body in the midst of the night; he hardly recognizes his arms tighten around her waist during the night as if he unconsciously wants to stop her from taking off from his side again.

An odd sense of peacefulness spreads across his room before he goes into the land of dreams with her.

Chapter Text

 Chapter 15: Koalemos: the personified spirit of stupidity and foolishness; his name is derived from the words koeô and êleos meaning "to hear foolishness" and used in a sense of "stupid person" or "idiots".

Something soft is touching him, slowly pulling him out from the dark abyss of unconsciousness.

He assumes the bright sunlight would wake him up, but he is mistaken. The feeling of something running through his hair becomes more livid; his scalp feels strangely nice as his senses begin to function properly. His eyes reluctantly peak through the heavy lids to determine what had the guts to awaken him. He is supposed to be furious to be woken up prior to a certain hour, but a rare peacefulness washes over his body as his eyes concentrate on the surrounding.

If this scene were to wake him up every morning, perhaps he would not mind to rise up early at all.

Her head leans against his chest; hazy blue eyes study something intensely behind him. One of her legs wraps around him, intertwining them together; her hands are caressing something he cannot see. Moving his left hand to capture hers, he carries the object holding her interest into his field of perception; it is just his hair she is playing with. He finds it humorous that she can be easily entertained.

Bringing her palm towards his lips, "Good morning," he states after he places a kiss on top of her hand; it is so fun to identify all the colors staining her plump cheeks. Instead of returning his greetings, she places her hand on his chest, utilizing it as a leverage to get up. His arm unconsciously loosens to release her from his embrace, but not sufficient for her to get out of bed.

He takes in her current beauty; half of her body is sitting up as she puts her left hand underneath her chin as a support, while the other half still entwined with his, causing her hair spill down like a waterfall. Her hair is messy, perhaps owing to their continuous activities from the day before. Not that it matters much; in fact, it adds another layer of charm to her true beauty.

The blanket and raven locks cover little to nothing to his view; he can still make out the shape of her body clearly. It drives his lower-half to respond to the stimulation.

"Morning", her voice makes him stop checking her out but instead focusing back to her eyes. He wonders why those baby-blue eyes contain a hint of irritation in them; he does not consider the possibility of giving a woman great sex will cause her to be mad. With an unusual husky voice, she announces to him that next time, she will sleep on the floor if he puts his arms around her waist during her sleep.

With furrowed eyebrows, he seeks for the reason behind such request; she informs him she woke up before him roughly half an hour ago. And that she'd prefer to make some food before she perishes of famine. He gives her proposal some considerations; he still does not trust her for not cutting short their time together by withdrawing from his side.

He says if he manages to somehow end up in that sleeping position, he will try not to tighten his arms; in exchange for her promise to never leave his apartment without notifying him directly. It is her turn to knitting her eyebrows together, tilting her head slightly; as if she is silently wondering if he is okay or not. Since that request must have sounded ridiculous, perhaps even childish to some extent.

It takes her a few seconds to contemplate the new proposal, but she eventually settles with his proposition; Kagome further states she does not require to find out the reason behind his request, but as long as she can get up and do something, and not laying there doing nothing, she will be fine with anything. Her sentence is cut short as it is his turn to voice his opinion.

He suggests she can always try to go back to sleep for a bit; her face is reddened in a matter of seconds after his short remark. That peaks his curiosity to its maximum; he silently wonders why the notion of just merely sleeping next to him leads to her to be embarrassed like this. Perhaps that is just another excuse for her to slip through his fingers; he does not doubt it.

She mentions she would try to do his suggestion next time; changing the subject, she orders him to let her go, so she can prepare a fresh breakfast. He can hear her mumbling about how much food they had potentially wasted yesterday, but he ignores her little observation. It is not worth his effort to rile up her anger by possibly creating a quarrel at this hour. Unknowingly and reluctantly, he lets go of her waist; but she is too lost in the one-sided argument to notice it.

As much as he likes to savor her body right here and now, he must wait; the fire of rage can still be detected through her ocean-liked eyes. He knows just the appropriate thing to take her mind off that silly subject; and then, he will have his desire satisfied, despite having the full yesterday just to revel in her body. This pit of desire may be bottomless for all he knows.

Reaching towards the right end-table, moving her along as she still remains partially on top of his body; for some reasons, this action makes her cease her constant ramble about a non-existing problem. Perhaps, seeing the way his muscles tightening, as he reaches out to open the drawer, catches her attention; she cannot help but marvel at his natural beauty in the morning, despite having the full thirty minutes of just molesting him with her eyes.

"Here, catch it," Kagome unconsciously opens her right hand as soon as she picks up his deep voice; damn, her instinct is on point this morning or afternoon. By the time she focuses back on reality and stops fondling his body with her gazes, a flat object is already on her hand; looking down, she notices there are a couple of bills. Is he trying to compensate for her body like paying for a prostitute? Anger threatens to ooze out of her mouth, but her curiosity takes over as she recognizes a note attached to the bills on the back.

She soon forgets the outrage as she examines the content of the note. "What… This is the money I left last time I was here. It is supposed to partially repay for the lamp I broke," she stares up to him in disbelief; she expected this money ought to be gone by now since she clearly discovered a new lamp in the living room the day before yesterday.

"It was this Sesshoumaru's carelessness that had caused that lamp to be damaged," he replies nonchalantly while continuing to search the drawer; he stops looking at her as frustration begins to be written all over his face. After a few seconds, he leaves her alone with the bills as he completely focuses on finding something else in that drawer.

Not that she minds about it; in fact, she somewhat glads she cannot see those golden eyes for just a few seconds. She does not want him to see this ugly side of her; the side that starts to get annoyed by his minor behavior. The way he uses third-person perspective somewhat rubs on her nerve; he sounds so cold, so remote. Using this chance of him not having any restriction on her body, she sits up right before gathering some of the blankets to cover her body.

"I want to add something to our… agreement," she stutters a bit as she tries to mention their little contract. She wonders if she has used the right word; because it is technically an agreement. But then again, she has no choice; pushing that messy idea aside, she takes in a deep breath before continuing her statement. "I need you to stop speaking in that third-person when we are together," she prays he will not ask for the details.

His fingers stop going through in the small drawer; he takes less second to come up his side of the bargain. "If, and only if you will not think or even utter his name when we are together." Without mentioning anything else, it is still sufficient for both parties to know whom they are talking about. Silence fills up the room quickly; he wonders if that is the right move or not. Ignoring the heavy feeling in his stomach, he reaches for the lower drawer instead; maybe his luck will kick in soon.

She is not shocked; she is just speechless. She cannot believe he just said those words; it sounds like he is jealous of Inuyasha more than anything. But that cannot be; after all, he has no reasons to be envious of his half-brother. Well, she does not have to work too hard to not think of Inuyasha ever since she finds out about his affair anyway; this task sounds easy enough. "All right, you have a deal," she says while pushing the uneasiness aside.

"Then considers this as a reward for you," the devilish voice causes her to stop fidgeting with the corner of the blanket. She peers up and her blood freezes over under a second; she assumes it will be quite all right if the sight of his abs is the last object she sees before dying. Sometimes, she wonders how she can still be alive whenever she looks at this handsome fellow.

She tries her best to not run elsewhere as the devil is getting closer. She will not allow herself to move away from the approaching temptation, but it can be because of curiosity rapidly spreads over her body. What kind of rewards is he talking about this time?

Before her brain even registers her reaction, the palms of her hands already open in front of her chest, catching the fallen object from his hand. "My panties!" Those words escape her mouth before she can stop them from ever taking off from her lips; she feels embarrassed as she immediately scolds herself for behaving like a child just gets her favorite toy at Christmas.

"You forgot it at this Sess… my place last time you were here," damn-it, changing a habit is harder than he thought; but, it is worth it as he sees the angel gets excited like this. Somehow, the mood in the room lightens up as the corner of her lips lift up ever so slightly; well, at least within his mind anyway. He finds her amusing for getting all worked up for a pair of panties; he wonders how she will react if he acquires for her ten pairs of similar panties like that. Probably ten times more excited than this.

"Well… Thank you. Now I don't have to spend money on a new pair," she gives him a small smile, revealing her gratitude for his actions. Honestly, he did not have any real reasons to hold on to it when he found it; he should have thrown it away. But, for once, he is glad he did not listen to his pride. She continues saying the money supposed to use to purchase a new pair of panties can be locked away in her savings, or be used to get her some chocolate desserts.

Then, there is a minute of silence between them; it is not an awkward one, yet it is not a comfortable one either. She is holding her thongs and money in front of her chest, hoping to block his hearing from picking up the thunderous sound of her heartbeat. She stares at a random object behind his face; not daring to look into those luscious honeyed eyes as she is frightened of seeing her true desire. Though no matter how much she ignores it, the golden eyes still shine brightly.

Deciding to escape from his gaze, the bed bounces a little as she gets up; he can have a clear view of her round buttocks as she bends over to pick up a piece of clothing. He wants to reach out and gives them a squeeze; and that precisely what he does next. She lets out a high-pitched yelp as she literally jumps away; turning around to deal with him, she barely covers herself with his old dress shirt. Her legs are still wide exposed though, leaving him something nice to look at.

Placing her right hand on top of where her heart should be, she tells him breathlessly to not startle her like that ever again; she emphasizes on the fact she is always jumpy ever since she was a child, though saying it may push him to scare her more often now. Silently feeling amused for the nth time in this morning, his lips unknowingly curved upwards, showing her a devilish smirk. She immediately ceases yelling at him as her face reddens; he wonders how rosy her cheeks could get. He is very tempted to find out about it.

What the hell is that? He is definitely not smiling; she can never imagine him to look happy with that constant monotone expression of his. But with this stupid smirk on his handsome face, he looks… contended; amused even, to some degree. God-damn it, why does everything this guy does have to have some effect on her; get it together already, she tells herself.

She is not here to make him laugh; she is simply here because he forces her to. Yes, that's right; she is by his side and in his bed because of obligations, and not because she wants to willingly. Kagome buries the picture of this attractive man smiling deep down in her heart; maybe just imagine it is sufficient for her.

Without saying another word, she turns around and puts his shirt on. He does not oppose, so she assumes it is fine for her to do so; since her clothes are still in the living room, and she does not enjoy walking around naked. "What do you want for breakfast?" She asks while buttoning the shirt; she struggles to keep her tone as neutral as possible. She wonders why she asks that because his fridge is literally devoid of fresh healthy food last time she goes through it, save for a couple of bacon packs and eggs. She hopes his pantry will reveal a different story.

"This... I want…" She spins around to face him after making sure her nervous heart has settled down; but, her traitorous heart pounds harder than ever as seeing him sitting up and casually leaning against the white headboard. The grayish blue blanket slides down, exposing his delicious body to her. And her eyes gladly follow the movement of the blanket; she looks up immediately before eyeing something else below his waistline. The shinning orbs are telling her his improper intention.

"No! I change my mind. I'm going to make… something!" She runs out of the room in a flash, not letting him complete his sentence. Kagome bets she knows precisely what he is going to say next; probably something along the line of letting him have her body as his breakfast. As much as she enjoys getting it on with him, she just cannot do it right now; her body, specifically her lower half, is sore and aching. She might give it a second thought after having a nice hot shower though.

Oh, and because their tryst is wrong too; she adds that to the list of reasons. She is not a fool and incapable to distinguish between right and wrong, not yet anyway.

For the first time since... ever, Sesshoumaru does not know what to say. Just what does she expect he is going to suggest anyway? He was just about to suggest that he wants to try her bacon and eggs if she does not mind making them again. His left-hand covers his lips, purposely hiding the upturn in the corners of his mouth; that woman is undoubtedly a witch, forcing him to do the things he will never imagine doing.

Getting out of bed, he decides to take a shower; his aching muscles will require some heat to relax. And then, they can be put to use again, certainly within this hour; of course, that event will have to take place after breakfast, since he is also starving. Grabbing a towel, he heads towards the bathroom; turning on the hot water, he steps in just seconds later.

As the warm droplets wash over his skin, any residual sleepiness disappears from his system, leaving him feeling refreshed. Squeezing a little soap into his palms, the artificial odor of coconut overwhelms his senses, washing away her citrus perfume that is still lingered on his body. That does not matter now; her scent will be on his skin again once her body is entwined with his.

Soon, very soon.


Inuyasha is currently frustrated, in two distinctive aspects.

The first factor is his work; his ass of a half-brother assigned him another meaningless task of reaching out to another investor. It is so tedious because he has to essentially sweet talk to that man; not that he dislikes talking to people or anything, Inuyasha just worries the other person will think he is trying to hit on that old ass with all the flattering and inviting to a business dinner.

He swears it will be a purely work-related meal; he is not gay for god's sake. But, he is pretty certain the potential investor is a closeted gay man. Not that he has any problems with homosexual people.

Banging his head on the keyboard and causing multiple keys to be pressed at the same time, the monitor screen now displays an endless series of random letters; and it indicates no sign of stopping. He is so stressed about that supper; it is quite important to have that individual on board for the upcoming meeting about the developing project since his boss specifically asks him to do so.

He will have to ask his Kagome if she can accompany him this weekend; she knows the perfect subject to talk to those old men when she decides to take part in the discussion. He wonders why she did not choose business as her career instead; she would have been an excellent manager by now.

Talk about his sweetheart, she is the other source of his dissatisfaction; this time, it is sexual frustration. It has been a while since he experiences this; especially after the beginning of his relationship with Rin. He has pent up a considerable amount of sexual desires, considered his left hand has been his best friend lately; he usually gets the plentiful satisfaction from his little minx. But not anymore, not since he has come to terms with his mistakes.

Good for him, but... what is the problem here then? It is just that… he has not done the deeds with his girlfriend for a while.

Heck, he cannot even recall the last time they get it on; they hardly see each other these days. Except for last week when he let her meet his parents; he hoped that event would allow them to re-kindle the spark in their relationship by letting her realize how important she is to him. After all, there is a reason why he hesitated to let her visit his parents in the first place.

He understood her point of view back of how much she wanted to meet his parents; but, he just did not feel like they were ready for this important step of the relationship. Not until two weeks ago that he realized where his heart truly resides; he is certain that his body will soon follow afterward. Time seems to not be on his side, at all.

He expected her to be on cloud nine when he pulled up to his parent's residence that night; instead, her facial features could not be more forced. Maybe she was nervous about finally getting what she wants the most; another factor contributed to it was definitely because of encountering his cold-ass half-relative. He should have left behind a voicemail after being rudely hung up; he will unquestionably do that next time.

But what bothers him the most is that she refused to let him into her apartment; she claimed the dinner tired her or something he could not pick up once he discovered her outright rejection. She nevertheless gave him a kiss goodnight and even held his hands for a brief moment before going inside; he thought he was going to have a sample of her exquisite body that night. He hoped that once he was able to do it, his immerse thirst for Rin will die out.

He guesses he has to try it again, next time for sure.

He sighs, as he remembers using his friend's text message as an excuse so they could go back to her place and let him heat up the state of their relationship a bit; but no, the fire burnt out as soon as she shut her front door, leaving him to stand there like a sore loser. He eventually changed his plan, wishing to drink and forget about the irritation and uneasiness in his body.

He recalled the sudden anxiety crawled underneath his skin as he suspected his girlfriend had figured out about his affair when he walked back to his car. He denied that possibility, assuming she was probably tired or whatever she declared; because knowing his Kagome, she would probably have caused a scene before forgiving him like she always does. He is so confident his girlfriend will never have the guts to leave him since she loves and cares for him.

Right?

So, he resolved to call his buddy, agreeing to meet up the bar for the rest of the night; instead of visiting someone else. He drank like there was no tomorrow; but, he could not wash the uneasiness out no matter how many shots of hard liquor he took. His bill at the end of the night was massive; though it was not as substantial as the weight in his heart. That night, he dreamt of how his life would be without his Kagome by his side; that nightmare still haunts him until today every time he closes his eyes.

He starts to distrust his confidence, praying she will have enough forgiveness if she ever finds out about his affair. He prays her heart will forever belong to his.

"Are you going to be at your office like this for the rest of lunchtime?" A familiar voice pulls him back to the real world, causing him to sit up straight instantly. If he can look at himself in the mirror, he can see all the visible red marks of computer keyboards all over his face; not that he cares much about his appearance on a typical working day like this. He will recognize this voice anytime during the day since he literally has to greet this person every workday; plus, their office is directly next to each other.

"Keh, mind your own business, Miroku," Inuyasha leans against the chair as he speaks to the black haired man. The newcomer just laughs lightly at his silly comment before advising him about the files that are due this evening. This fellow got into the firm roughly at the same time as him; so, they somewhat have a history together. Not that they are friends instantly from the beginning; Miroku is a traditional and thinking-critical type of person, while he is… not so much.

Yet, despite their disagreements in many subjects, they still manage to become friends, which is something Inuyasha will never reveal to someone else. Actually, Miroku is one of the few people he acknowledges to be real friends; unlike the countless people at work he calls "friends" just because they work in the same company. Miroku and he have each other's back; Miroku will cover for his ass when he messes something up once in a while; while he will handle the extra workload if his colleague cannot handle everything at once.

There is a mutual understanding between them; some can even assert it is respect to some extent.

Inuyasha asks whether Miroku wants to grab lunch together as soon as his friend stops speaking; he is really not in the spirit for handling any more work. Saving all his current working files, he is about to log off his computer before Miroku stops his process by announcing he has to stay back a bit; he has an application to fill out by two o'clock and submit it.

Now that sparks Inuyasha's interest; this is something he has never heard before. Asking what it is about, Inuyasha stands up before taking his jacket off the chair; Miroku gives him another low laugh, which is devoid of any humor. It is the driest laugh Inuyasha has ever received from his associate; before the younger man can even inquire what is really going on, his colleague says he applies to be a marriage commissioner. Dropping his coat onto the floor in a matter of seconds, along with his jaw, Inuyasha is speechless at his friend's declaration.

"What?! You? You want to turn into one of those cheesy people that get other folks married?" His eyes cannot be any larger than this point; he still cannot believe he will ever live long enough to witness this moment. A barely closeted-pervert, or not, wishes to become a marriage officiants; a fellow who grabs a woman's part by "accident" wants to celebrate the union of two people. But as a side note, Inuyasha notices this kind man will only do that to someone he likes, romantically or not, and is in the opposite sex; which utterly ruins his chance to get to know a decent single woman.

"Yeah, I've been considering about it for a while," Miroku casually leans against the door, putting his hands into the pockets. "You know my family is religious and I am the first generation to not be a priest; they support my decision but I always feel something is wrong. So... this way, I think I can somehow keep some of their values in my heart," he lets out a sigh at the end, symbolizing his weariness.

Inuyasha would have gone over and offered him a comforting hug if they were a pair of high school girls; but they are not, so he will just say something to cheer his friend up instead. The old route he knows so well to lift someone's mood; it is quite effective after all.

"You're right, at least there will be hot, desperate and single chicks at weddings," Miroku cracks up at Inuyasha's joke, holding his stomach as if it is the funniest thing he has heard today. Internally sighing in relief, at least his friend somewhat returns to his normal character. Despite the noticeable improvement of the overall mood, Inuyasha can still detect the obvious sorrow underneath the merry mask of his friend's; he has learned about the priesthood tradition of Miroku's family, but he never knows it is such emotional baggage to his friend like this.

Realizing he does not know very much about his colleague, questions generate within his head as the situation causes him to speculate about his lovely Kagome; more precisely, Inuyasha wonders if he genuinely knows about everything related to her worries and headaches. Does she have anything which she has never shared with him? Does she...

"Either way, if you wish to get an actual meal and break, you'd better go now before other people flood all the nearby restaurants," his associate's warm voice breaks off his thoughts; nodding dumbly, he is still not out from the tunnel of complex thoughts yet. Seeing a lack of response from his friend, Miroku pulls his phone out and checks his phone for a brief second before putting it back.

"Enjoy your lunch, Inuyasha. I will head back to my office to finish up that application and have my lunch there for today." Miroku is already out of Inuyasha's workroom by the time he completes his sentence, leaving him no chance to respond to his friend's little remark.

Feeling defeated as Miroku leaves him alone within the dull old room, all the other emotions catch up to him and immerses him in the pool of inescapable anguish. Fear of his girlfriend finding out about his secret affair, tiredness from living between madness and insanity; frustration for every little aspect of his current life, starvation from the lack of food and something else that he does not dare to acknowledge.

And many, many more; he can list them one by one but what is the point for it? All he recognizes is these emotions merge together, turning into the nourishment for a monster living inside him. It is the reason for the endless chaos in his heart.

Despite the monsoon of emotions seething within his body, frustration is nevertheless the heart of the storm; he feels bothered as if someone has wrapped him inside a blanket with no way to get out of it. His skin seems to burns up, causing this simple dress shirt to feel like glue; or as though he has been under the rain for hours. Everything wants to weight him down; nothing can free him from this hellish irritation.

Except for her.

She is the cause of everything; weirdly enough, she has the power the end everything if she wants to. He knows they are not compatible in terms of personality; Inuyasha knows he should just call things off ever since he finds out about her unpleasant character. But, he just cannot; she still grips tightly onto the chain wrapped around his neck. Sometimes, he wonders why the Gods give some individuals such a tremendous amount of power like this; it is just not fair, not at all.

That woman can definitely lift this frustration off his soul if he calls for it, and his solution is just one text away from achieving it. His little minx will answer to any of his demands; it is so easy to attain, so simple that he can practically taste the signature sweet flavor of said forbidden fruit. Slamming his fists onto the table, he battles with his inner self to stop his fingers from locating his cellphone; as if his body already knows what to do without him thinking much of it.

It has developed into a routine, an unhealthy one. He is used to just simply calling her to have lunch together; and shortly after, they will just drop by a love hotel for a quick session. Despite their draining-energy activities, he always appears to be more refreshed afterward. His body heats up once more as he reflects about all the time they spend together, following after with those heats of the moment and primitive desire.

Shaking his head, he needs to get rid of those naughty pictures; though they seem to be engraved in the creases of his brain by now. Digging his nails into the flesh of his hand, the sharp pain quickly spreads across throughout his entire palm; there might be a bruise there when tomorrow comes but, he does not care. He repeatedly tells himself to not give in to temptation, not again; as an unofficial addict to her sensual touch, he should not consume that drug any further.

He still has retains his intelligence and a sense of dignity; he is no fool after all.

When he declares he craves for a change, to turn into a better man, he means every word of it. The first step is showing his Kagome how remarkable she is in his world by letting her meet his parents; done. The second challenge is to find his way out of his never-ending loop of bowing to her touch; maybe in-progressed. He truly cannot reveal whether or not he has started the process as he cannot see which the starting point is.

Perhaps, this moment is a perfect beginning; maybe, he should put his plan into action now. All in all, the sooner he gets this over with, the sooner he can leave this all behind; which means that he can finally be wholly together with his sweetheart without this constant nagging feeling in his heart, and pants. He tells himself to pull it together and starts to act like he means it; the current of hunger will quickly withdraw from his body as he occupies himself with mundane everyday endeavours.

This minute, this second is the moment he will turn the gears of his plan; yet, it halts before anything can occur as a particularly familiar traitorous voice captures the spotlight within his own mind.

Mimicking his own voice, it advises him if he is an actual addict, then cutting off his supply for the objects he wants immediately might not be the best way to address this situation. The plan can even backfire and induces the addiction to become stronger; it is quite simple actually. The cold voice instructs him to imagine if he has to tell a kid that she cannot have a specific toy; that will just cause the child to demand that toy even more.

And he is not much different from that child; a sickening sensation stretch towards every inch of his skin.

Maybe, he should ease himself into the process; perhaps, he does not have to suspend his connections with his little vixen right away. Eventually, he will have to; but, as of now, at this very second, nothing will alter dramatically if he does not comply with his body's needs, right? He already tastes the forbidden fruit, sampling it again before quitting everything once and for all will not change anything; that voice keeps telling him that fact over and over again.

The part of his brain tells him to have more self-discipline; he is not an animal. But, it promptly fades away, or rather, it is soon overridden by the darkness of appetite, enveloping his body with an immense yearning to seek out his goddess, and doom. As if he is no longer in command of his own body, his fingers move by itself; white marks are inscribed at the tips of the fine fingers.

Pulling out his phone, he does not have to look at his contact to determine whom he is texting to; this shows how often he has been doing this, to the degree he may be able to perform these actions on auto-pilot mode. As soon as he sends the text message, he grabs his jacket and car keys before heading out. Not even mentioning a word of greetings to his colleagues, he heads straight to the elevator, pressing the up arrow instead.

His phone buzzes shortly after he enters onto the escalator; stepping inside, he presses the button indicated the highest floor of this building. The door closes soon afterward, confining him in the minuscule space; for the first time, he feels suffocated as though he has been buried six feet under in a clear casket.

Chapter Text

Chapter 16Tyche: the goddess of fortune, chance, providence and fate. She is conceived as the divinity guiding and conducting the affairs of the world; she represents the varying unsteadiness of fate and the symbol of the plentiful gifts of fortune.

It is official; Wednesday is the worst day of the week.

Even though it has hardly been one day since they settled on their little top-secret contract, it is nevertheless one long day since he last sought the flavor of her body. He has to wait for another three or four days before savoring that exquisite wine again; and since she stood firm on meeting once a week, he is aiming to exploit every second of it.

If one day seems like hell already, he cannot even fathom the fact that next week, he will have to wait a whole five or six days to sample her unique citrus sweetness one more time in the worst-case scenario. It is going to be a slow week for him then; well, at least his work will keep him occupied during those monotonous times.

For once, he is glad he does not have to sit around and wait for the weekend to arrive; that would be miserable for his mind. Plus, missing one day of work does have some slight impact on his job. The usual will be proposals are being piled up, remaining there until he reads and sign them; if that is finished, which it never seems to be, and then there are business appointments required to acknowledge with his confirmation. But now, because he was not at work yesterday, the amount seems to be grown doubled in volume.

Still, all of this lengthy and tedious work is very much worth a day of ravishing her delicate body.

Every inch of her skin is still vivid on his mind, from the birthmark on her right hip to the mole on her left palm; he delved into them throughout the night and day while familiarized with her small frame. Though dark spots will be all over her frame by now, he does not mind having those hickeys tarnish her creamy skin; after all, he is the one planted them there in the first place. Their secret contract is simply on words; though it is sufficient, he prefers something more substantial to present their arrangement.

He cannot wait to find out how much they have faded next time he gets to try the flavour of her body, and he certainly cannot be more eager to re-plant them anew on her soft skin. He too cannot wait to look at the way she trembles when she opens herself willingly for him, or to hear the manner in which she calls out his name when she is in need of something she cannot put her fingers on. Those magical tunes replay in his head like a broken record.

His stomach rumbles, stopping him from further thinking of the little vixen's body; he wants to let out a curse so bad, but he refrains himself. He has developed a tendency to despise the way some outer forces cutting short his thoughts like this. But for his stomach to notify about its current state is highly unlike him; his body never produces such an audacious response to anything, except for the raven-haired beauty that is.

He checks the clock on his computer; the time is currently two-thirty in the afternoon. Then it strikes him in less than a second; this is the time he normally has his lunch. Every workday, like clockwork, Rin will deliver his lunch from a nearby restaurant according to his order by two sharp; she is never a second late or a second early. His secretary is always on schedule and performs whatever task he requests; she has never failed to complete her duty, until today.

How strange.

Sesshoumaru decides to pay his assistant a visit; stepping out of his office, where her workstation is, he is mildly surprised, yet not at the same time, to discover his secretary is not there. He is surely is not going to sit here and stick around; he can be waiting until sundown just for his lunch for all he can speculate on the worst conceivable case. Plus, he will not waste his time waiting for someone to bring his food when he has two capable legs to pick up it by himself.

Not to point out, but he also requires a time-off from reading all these boring reports anyway; his eyes are already sore and tired from studying countless lines of words to make sure everything is correct before putting his signature on them. A short walk towards a nearby restaurant will perform the trick to refresh his joints and muscles. Making up his mind, he gets back to his office and logs his computer out; grabbing his jacket along with a file folder, he shuts off all the lights and locks his office.

As he walks towards the escalator, he begins to compose a text to Rin, asking her to report back to him once she is in the office. Pressing the down button, he finishes writing out his message without making it sound like he will terminate her position after this; 'Ding,' and the door of the elevator opens. Sending the text, he steps in as he pushes the number-twenty button; the number shines brightly as the door closes.

Since his secretary is not here, he has to pass this file along to his "dearest" half-brother by himself; he will never, in a million years, do something remotely like this except for emergency cases. And lucky for his half-brother, this file does not need to be completely processed by four o'clock; but unlucky for his half-relative, the file will require multiple signatures from various departments. It will be a pain to get it done.

The elevator comes to a standstill as the door opens, he puts on his jacket while heading to Inuyasha's office. He seldom goes down here since he has no business here, but he knows his half-brother's workplace is at the very corner of the floor. People stop working in their own cubicle to stand up and say formal words as he walks by. Letting out an internal sigh, Sesshoumaru must go through the entire floor with people bowing and saying meaningless greetings to him.

Not that he cares, but it just gets on his nerves sometimes knowing these people undertaking this action so they will not risk losing their jobs over something so small. He does not know why people do this in the first place; it is not like he will grant them an instant promotion if they express these empty words. Not paying too much attention, he reaches his destination.

Something does not seem right; the lights are not on, and the door is shut tight. How odd.

Break time is between one and two in the afternoon for regular employees, which means his half-brother should be at the office and be productive by now. He knocks once; nothing transpires. He is a man with patience, so he knocks again; this time, as if he is about the break the door. His level of irritation appears to build up as his third knock is left unanswered.

Well, it is obviously the bastard is not in his office doing his work; great, what a waste of money to compensate someone to not work when they are supposed to. Knowing nothing will change if he continues doing the same action, he glances over the next room instead; at least not all employees are slacking off like his half-brother. "Where is Inuyasha?" He addresses the question directly towards the indigo-eyed man.

The black-haired fellow hurriedly stands up, bowing to display some respect. "Taisho-sama, Inuyasha left for the lunch break. He has not been back ever since then," Sesshoumaru can tell by the voice of the man still bowing that he is being honest; no need to inquire further questions, he already knows he has a hopeless half-brother, who is rewarded to not work like a typical person.

Throwing the folder unto that man's desk, Sesshoumaru specifically orders to deliver this file to his half-brother once his lazy-ass gets back; and to repeat word for word to that if that bastard does not deal with it by the end of the day, his position will be at risk. He leaves right after concluding his sentence as he sees no other reason to stay behind; plus, he does not wish to snap at someone for his half-brother's negligence.

Well, that and he does not prefer to lose his professional appearance; he stands by his preceding statement of today being an unusual day. Two people he needs to see are missing; despite the gloominess in his gut, he brushes that feeling aside as he exits the building. He tells himself anything can take place and life is unpredictable sometimes; just like how he gets to find his little vixen again though not in the best circumstance he'd ever expected.

He would have taken his car if it weren't because the diner he frequently has his lunch taken out is two blocks away from his workplace; so he chooses to walk instead. Plus, it is actually might be quicker in this dreadful traffic; it is two in the afternoon and cars already back up, forming an endless line. This is also the exact reason why he prefers to start his workday late and calls it a day once the moon has monopolized the sky; he can never imagine himself sitting in a car while waiting for the god damn traffic to move.

Walking has its advantage, which is he gets to flee from the traffic; but it is rather chilly today. A blast of wind hits his face as he secures his coat tighter; he starts to marvel if his decision to not drive is the appropriate one or not. Snow falls down, further covering everything in a white blanket; he grounds his feet to the fresh snow every stride he takes, making sure he does not stumble down.

Winter does have some inconveniences to it, such as freezing temperature or how the sun seems to set at four in the afternoon; or how the snow loses its pristine white colour as cars drive by, causing it to look so filthy with the brown hue of dirt. But, it is nevertheless his preferred season as everything seems to be quieter as though they are under the process of being reborn. The wind chill starts to seep into his system, making him shudder a bit; he can almost detect the neon sign of the restaurant.

Quickening his pace, he wants to get to his destination soon; another blast of icy wind hits his face, causing him to turn his face to the right to block the coldness from evading more of his senses. But, as the wind keeps howling and people walk faster to escape this dreadful weather, Sesshoumaru seems to be frozen in time; a thin layer of snow settles on his coat. He wants to move, but he cannot; or more precisely, he does not want to as he needs to make sure what he looks at is not merely an illusion.

Something, no, someone familiar gradually becomes the focus of his vision.

The holder of his desire is sitting at the back of a coffee store, holding up a menu. Her sapphire eyes seem to concentrate on it intensively; yet at the same time, she seems to just glance through it as if she is day-dreaming. She looks charming in the fuzzy cream sweater though it pretty much covers all of her curves; her tight jeans show off her shapely legs as if to make up for the conservative top. Her long raven-haired is being braided loosely, with a few strands framing her lovely face.

He ought to mark this day on his calendar later as today is undoubtedly a truly bizarre day; what are the freaking odds of him seeing her, on this day, at this hour and at this specific location? Probably very close to zero; but again, those tiny probability has proven somehow proves him wrong. Immediately forgetting about his initial plan, he opens the door to the coffee shop; warm air greets his skin as he steps in. He unconsciously hastens his stride towards his new found target.

Kagome inhales deeply, letting the aroma of fresh grounded coffee filling up all the spaces in her lungs. She has started drinking this addicting beverage ever since she accepts this job; a cup of coffee before her work always provides a boost of energy that helps her get through the evening shift without collapsing of exhaustion. Not to mention, she loves the smell of coffee; there is something relaxing about it. It is probably ranked number two on the list of her favourite scent.

She cannot imagine starting her day without a shot of caffeine; yet, here is she. It has been exactly one day since she last had a coffee dose, and that is all thanks to the devil. His apartment has no coffee, and he kept her there for one entire day. Though he did grant her other things that substituted that addicting aspect she discovers in coffee such as… She pulls her head out of the gutter before she thinks of lewd matters in the middle of a coffee store.

If it were not for the emergency call in the midst of last night from the hospital which requires her to be at work, she would probably still be at his apartment at this moment.

She keeps telling herself there is nothing to feel remorseful about sleeping with the Adonis; he technically blackmailed her to do it anyway. If she did not comply to his "offer", the devil will spill out her little secret, and that is definitely not what she needs right now. She knows there is simply one way to solve her situation is to come clean about everything; and in order to accomplish that, she first needs to make some decisions. For instance, should she…

Her thoughts are cut short as she senses someone approaching her table; it is probably the waiter. Good, she is ready to order anyway; her mental preparation for the big day can stick around for a bit after a nice hot drink. Though there is an abundant amount of drinks available in the store, she probably goes for her usual mocha; the combination of her two preferred things: coffee and chocolate. She looks up as she puts the menu down, preparing to request her refreshment.

But, the waiter is nowhere near her sight; it is someone else. Instead, the person she knows physically so well stands in front of her; to suggest that she is shocked is surely an understatement.

Even though the coffee shop is lively and crowded with customers, no noises can reach to her ears. The tips of her fingers feel cold as though she has been outside for hours; the sound of blood pumping to her heart drowns out all the other noises as her eyes make contact with the familiar golden orbs; she is clearly not expected to find him here. Isn't she supposed to meet him this weekend according to their agreement last night before she left for work, and not right now? She must be dreaming right now.

"May I sit here?" His deep voice cuts through the dead silence within her mind; it is a reminder that she is in no dream. Her mind tells her to say no, that there is nothing positive will come out of this; her heart constricts, advising her to answer no as it cannot overwork for another second. For the first time, her heart and brain agree on the same subject; she decides she will say no this time.

"Yeah," but the words come out of her mouth tells a different story.

He takes his jacket off, putting it around the chair flawlessly before sitting down. She can see the snowflakes interlaced with his silver locks; but, it takes a lot of focus to detect those tiny details since his hair is almost as white as those crystals. He dusts any snowflakes off his blazer before bringing the chair closer to the table. She mentally slaps herself since she really needs to stop eyeing him any further like a piece of candy.

"The weather is quite terrible, isn't it?" He casually reaches for the menu in her hands while starting a conversation. Still in the middle of recovering from her initial surprise, another wave of bewilderment washes over her body; it slowly overwhelms her tired mind. This guy just showed up, sat down and opened a normal talk, as though they are already friends and frequently meet at this place every Wednesday's afternoon.

First of all, this is not an ordinary afternoon; there is a freaking snowstorm outside for the second time in the month. Okay, maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but it seems like it though. Secondly, they are unquestionably not buddies. They may be friends with benefits; scratch that, strangers with benefits is more accurate to describe their relationship. Being friends is the furthest thing from their current complicated relationship.

"Yeah, I just hope this snowstorm will be over by the time I finish my shift," she answers his question after long seconds of silence as she realizes he is expecting her to respond to his observation. What is with her answer? She is not supposed to go with the flow and pretend like they have agreed to meet here in advanced; she tells herself to get it together and ceases this foolishness.

"Okay, time out. What are you doing here?" Kagome gathers her courage to ask this question before he can follow up her answer; she needs to stop him from thinking he can just interrupt her lunch without any explanations. She folds her arms against her chest, leaning back the chair; they just cannot continue pretending like they are already friends like this. Plus, being polite will lead to nowhere in this situation.

"This Sess… I suggest you mind your volume," she looks around after hearing his statement; face as red as a tomato as she sees strangers' eyes fixate on their direction. Putting her hands together, she tries really hard not to cover her face as she wants to cover up her embarrassment. She prays people will stop staring at their table soon; she silently asks for his forgiveness for placing them in the spotlight like this.

"I just happened to be here, for a cup of coffee," he replies nonchalantly as he flips through the pages of the menu; sometimes, it is rather problematic to switch between the first and third person when speaking to her. Sometimes, he has some control over it, like now; but other times, the usage of the third person just comes out without his permission. After all, he uses that manner of communicating most of the time. But, he will fulfill his end of the bargain; as he assumes she will too.

"What are you talking about? You don't even have coffee at your apartment," she leans in just a bit as she struggles to keep the volume of her voice as low as possible; she does not need people to overhear their discussion from across the room. She knows he is obviously lying through his teeth right now because he speaks with such amusing undertone in his rich voice.

"And that is precisely why this… I am here, to expand my palate to something new," he stops turning the page as he locates the section for beverages; if he claimed he is here for the coffee, he might as well stick to the script he has made up on the spot. He completely ignores her expression of annoyance as he proceeds to decide what to have; she nevertheless looks so beautiful with a frown on her face.

She wants the throw her hands up in the air as she gives up on finding out why he suddenly shows up without much announcement; if he does not wish to tell her the truth, there is nothing she can do to force him to spill them out. "You know, our meeting here also counts towards the once-a-week rule," she chooses to change the subject as she leans a bit forward, trying to look at what he is considering having.

He has expected her to mention this sentence as soon as he takes the first step inside this building; so he already knows how he is going to counter to it. "As this Sess… I recall, according to our agreement, our meeting only takes place after I inform you of the date; so you can check with your schedule. We did not plan ahead of time this current encounter; hence, it will not count as our weekly session," he says as his eyes are still glued onto the menu, not wanting to glance up.

He does not wish to look at the bitter feeling showing underneath her azure eyes whenever he mentions about it.

She rubs her temple, trying hard to relieve the pressure building up inside her forehead. She absolutely hates his logic; it pokes holes in her reasoning. She wants to find an error in his sentence but it is damn tough to identify one since everything he spoke is based on the truth. She has never met anybody that will do anything to make matters go the way they want, like him; he truly is the devil. She opens her mouth to counter his claim; but finding none that makes sense, she sighs in defeat. "Fine."

The corner of his lips curves upwards just a bit, barely revealing his satisfaction; now that is out of the way, he wonders why he came into this shop as soon as he saw her. To talk to her? To have lunch with her? He is not sure, but he knows he is going to enjoy this quick random meeting with her; an odd, yet recognizable, feeling spreads across his chest as he seems fine with the encounter which does not involve their bodies intertwine with each other.

Kagome praises the gods as a waiter finally gets around to their table; before the poor fellow can even say his greetings, she orders a large cup of mocha. Wasting no more time, Sesshoumaru requests a medium black coffee before placing the menu down. After the waiter confirms their order and leaves, a silent atmosphere settles between them; though there are so many noises occurring, their little table seems so quiet after she stops questioning him.

Now, she is officially stuck with his company for the rest of her lunch; letting out a sigh, she may as well talk to him while he is here. Maybe she can get to know his personality; she is already familiar with his body pretty well after all. She might have done things in the opposite direction though; don't ordinary people usually learn about the other person's attitudes and traits first, before screwing each other? She supposes she is no normal individual then; plus, her circumstance is nothing but ordinary anyway. So it makes sense.

Deciding to break the silence, she asks him what makes him choose this coffee shop at this time; he claims he is on his way to grab some lunch but the snow is awfully heavy for him to continue any further. She agrees with him that the weather is just too terrible to travel anywhere. It is his turn to ask her what she is doing here; she leans back onto the chair, revealing this place is where she goes to have her drink when she forgets to purchase more coffee in the previous week.

Seeing that he walks here instead of driving, she speculates his office must be nearby; he nods to confirm her suggestion, informing her of the location where he works. She mentally slaps herself as she recognizes the name of the company; it is where her boyfriend works. She feels stupid for not realizing this sooner; gods, when does she become so dumb? Probably since the first time they fooled around.

She gives him an awkward laugh, struggling to hide her stupidity and embarrassment. She changes the subject quickly as she asks why he is out of his office at this time of the day; isn't normal office lunch-break usually between eleven and one? The silver-haired man tells her nonchalantly that most regular employees take their break around that time; he is not one of those people as he can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants.

Resting her hand underneath her chin, she declares her jealousy for him in that aspect since her schedule is usually hectic and unpredictable; so she might not have a break in some days. That peaks his interest; he demands to know if where she works near here as well; she nods, telling him she works at the hospital two blocks away from here and it is just right around the corner where he picked her up on that Monday's night.

He is amazed to learn that information, stating that hospital is known to be in constant busy; so it must be tough to work there. She laughs, claiming it does take a while for her to get used to the workload; she proceeds by telling him she is in the intensive care department. So things are generally quiet there, with the exemption of when the patients are transferred in or out; scratching her head, she apologizes for rambling about her job as it must be rather boring to listen.

The waiter comes back, breaking off their discussion; the server sets the cup of black coffee and a cup of mocha down to the table before politely telling them to enjoy. Kagome, being the gentle woman she is, smiles back to the waiter; Sesshoumaru, being his normal self, picks up the cup of black coffee without saying anything.

After the server leaves, he continues their conversation again, saying there is no need to apologize for talking about her work; he affirms he'd rather listen to a woman talking about her work than about her nails. She chuckles at his statements, knowing the exact type of woman he is speaking about; seeing him being alright with it, she picks up where their conversation is left at.

She admits she should have gone to business instead of nursing; though it warms her heart to know she is assisting a doctor in saving someone's life, her duty is too stressful sometimes. Sesshoumaru takes a sip of the bitter liquid before claiming his job is quite stressful at times; if he makes one mistake in the chess move, the game might be over and his business might go down.

Picking up her drink, she is confident whatever he does will not be that bad; Kagome takes a sip of the chocolate coffee, letting the hot liquid enter her awaiting stomach. She suggests that, unlike someone she knows, she is certain he will think with his head before undertaking something; she avoids using any names, in case it violates their little contract.

As they switch to another topic, they slowly forget the endless noises surrounding them; they keep talking about numerous subjects, from their favourite alcoholic refreshment to their belief in terms of the political opinions. They agree on a few matters, but they also argue quite often on some issues. Despite that, they cannot help but let themselves go in their own little realm.

Even though she is the primary driver for the discussion, he still contributes somewhat. For someone who appears to not express any opinions fairly often, she is proud of herself for causing him to talk this much. Through their conversation, she learns something about him; like how he dislikes people who are full of talk, yet not do anything to demonstrate their statement.

Kagome learns he takes pride in his work through the manner he talks; she is convincing he will continue proving to the world that he is the best. She can catch the passion within his eyes when he speaks about his job, but she feels like it is more of his duty than a sheer enthusiasm. She brushes that feeling aside, convincing herself it is probably her imagination.

Sesshoumaru is glad he has picked such a delightful woman, for both in bed and in ordinary conversation. She speaks with such a formidable affection towards anything, either it being her profession or just her cup of coffee; he finds it refreshing for someone to willingly express their sincere opinions without worrying about others. Those types of people are so scarce nowadays.

He feels strangely at peace right now at this busy coffee; he finds it even stranger for this alien feeling to always develop throughout his chest whenever he is with her. He does not recognize what it is, but he does not hate it since it appears to be unusually nice. However, it does not mean he does like it either since it wraps tightly around his frigid hear; ignoring that phenomenon, it is perhaps a mere coincidence for him to feel like this when she is right beside him. It is probably nothing important anyway.

His phone breaks their barrier against the outside world as it produces a loud ring, signalling he has a new message.

Quickly pulling his phone out, he can see a new message from Rin; he does not bother to look at the content but he believes his assistant is finally back at her station. He wonders what takes her so long, considering the time is currently fifteen to four. 'Holy crap,' he lets out a silent curse as he realizes time has moved so fast. He glances up, peering back to those innocent blue eyes as something hits him.

"Isn't your work starting at four?" He faintly remembers this detail as one of the subjects they have discussed earlier; her eyes cannot grow any bigger as she hears his question. She frantically searches for her phone in the pocket of her coat; for the first time, he hears a foul word coming out of her mouth outside of the bedroom. In a split of a second, she already stands up and puts on her jacket, readying to take off from the small store.

She is about to take a step, but stopping promptly as she pulls out her wallet; she frenziedly goes through her purse, trying to recover the right bill to pay for her mocha. "This… I will take care of it; consider it a substitution for me walking you to work," he puts his hand on top of hers, seeking to calm her down. "Don't worry; you will have lots of time to make it there," for some reasons, he wishes to take her into his embrace, to stop her hands from shaking; but he knows he cannot do that.

Her heart beats faster, on top of the nervousness she already suffers from the possibility of being late for her work, as she feels the warm heat of his hand. If he tries to ease her mind, he is clearly failing right now; she is even tenser now. "T-Thank you, you really don't have to do it," she puts her wallet back to her coat as she struggles to give him a slight smile, expressing her gratefulness.

Now, it becomes rather awkward for her; she prefers to rush out of this store at this moment, but she just cannot do that, yet. She contemplates how she should say goodbye while making this not uncomfortable. Give him a kiss? No, that is way too imitate, despite the fact that they have progressed more than the first base. Give him a hug? No, they are not friends, and it will be painfully embarrassing too. Her brain functions at its peak capacity to identify the proper solution; it offers a thousand possibilities but none of them are appropriate.

Hesitantly, she places her hand on his shoulder, giving it a soft pat before stating she will be seeing him again on the weekend. Right afterwards, she rushes out of the store in a matter of seconds, not wanting to hear his response to her awkward action; she wonders why she is running on the slippery pavement. Maybe she absolutely needs to get her ass to work, or perhaps she just feels embarrassed for her action.

As she pushes through the mountains of snow, she looks back at their unexpected meeting; it was relatively pleasant in her opinion. Maybe if she can meet him like this again, she may be able to get to know him more than just his body; that way, it will be less awkward when they sleep together. Perhaps, she should go back to that coffee shop around this time, next week.

He finishes his drink in one sip as soon as she left his side; there is no reason for him to remain here anymore. He cannot stop the edge of his lips moving upwards as he reflects on her act of giving him a pat on the shoulder; what does she think he is? Her buddy? He should feel disturbed about her action, yet only amusement persists in his heart. Her action is just so ludicrous to him.

He stands up, gathering all of his things before leaving the money at the table. As he steps outside of the building, frosty air brushes through his skin; thankfully, the hot coffee he just consumed becomes a small source of warmth for his body. Making his way back to his office, he still cannot wipe out that grin on his face as he recalls of her clumsy behaviour.

Though he fails to have his lunch, just seeing her again offers him sufficient energy to run a ten-mile marathon; and despite their meeting involves nothing remotely close to making her calling out his name, it is nevertheless pleasant to tune in to her soothing voice. Maybe he should visit that coffee shop again around this time, but next week; perhaps he will find the raven-haired beauty again.

He cannot wait to test his luck.

Chapter Text

Chapter 17Hesychia: the personified spirit of quiet, rest, silence and stillness. She is a handmaiden of the god of sleep, Hypnos; and also present tranquility and peace.

Another week has passed; Tuesday rolls around once again. Kagome is currently in an elevator, heading to the place she definitely does not wish to be in for even one second; the quiet echo of the machine humming is the only prominent noise in this tiny space. But the sound of her heart hammering against her rib cage is even louder.

As she waits for the escalator getting to the dreaded destination, her mind takes a short trip away from reality. She notices her boyfriend has been a bit… affectionate lately; for instance, Inuyasha has insisted on driving her to work for the last couple of days in the previous week. While this has happened before, she finds it bizarre for him to press on this matter quite often lately. Another prime example will be today; just an hour ago when Inuyasha woke her up with an unexpected message.

According to his text, he declared to have forgotten his lunch at home and wanted her to bring him something during his break. This kind of message is no surprise to her, but what is disconcerting is that it has been forever since she last got an analogous note. It was way back when they were still happy, when she was ignorant of his relationship. Now, as she looks back, she supposes he stopped calling for her to prepare something like this once he started screwing his whore.

For all that Kagome knows, there must be plenty of alternative activities for him to do with that woman during lunch.

She wonders what has prompted him to request her doing this sort of thing; perhaps he finally feels guilty for his on-purposed affair. She chuckles at her little hypothesis; it will doubtlessly take a magical wish to make her Inuyasha recognize his mistake without anyone speaks of it. Unlike him, she does not deliberately choose to have an affair; the devil coerced her to do so, she reassures herself. Kagome wonders why she has to reiterate this information every time she reflects on her own little secret like this.

With only an hour to take a shower, make lunch and get prepared for work, she was on a really tight schedule; so she jumped out of the bed as soon as she made up her mind and went straight to the bathroom. But, having a bad habit of taking a bit too long in the shower, she realized she would not have enough time to get everything on her list completed by the time she got out of the shower.

So Kagome decided to grab a bowl of Inuyasha's favourite instant noodle; she always buys this specific brand when she is at the grocery store, in case her boyfriend drops by uninvited. She also took a couple of snack bars, chocolate flavoured of course, by accident; but she was too occupied to notice her mistake. Screw her lunch, she could always stop at a random restaurant after she dropped Inuyasha's lunch off; somewhere deep down, she planned to drop by the same coffee store as last week. Maybe, she would identify a familiar face there.

Barely putting on any makeup, she dashed out of her apartment; or else, she would risk missing the bus that will take her straight to Inuyasha's workplace. Plus, she did not feel like spending hours painting her face for a non-special occasion; everything seemed to be moving smoothly for her, so far. No traffic, and no random bus breakdown; so why does she feel uneasy while the elevator slowly goes up?

Well, because just after she stepped into this building, she realized the man, whom she has been sleeping with at least once a week, also works under the same place as her darling sweetheart. That thought alone makes her sweat as though she just finishes an intense workout.

She had the pleasure to be in the same room as the two brothers before, and it was an extremely uncomfortable experience for her. She recalls how fast her heart had to beat and how her nerves were on the edge of cracking down. She absolutely does not choose to be in that situation again; aside from the evident apprehension, Kagome is also afraid Inuyasha might figure something out from the way the Adonis look at her like a delicious snack.

It has been approximately a week since she settled to meet the devil once a week, and half a month since her first encounter with the handsome fellow; sufficient time has passed for her to be at least not freaking out whenever she sees him. However, while it may be accurate within the context of his chamber, it does not really translate much to the outside environment; such as when they met accidentally at that coffee shop last week.

But everything is much different when she is in his apartment; that place is where she comes to and not has to reflect on her ongoing relationship. Well, it is not that hard anyway; Kagome is generally eaten up by the fire of passion whenever her Adonis's fingers caress her skin, wiping clean of any concerns that are not about him. The sole person on her mind is the devil and his brilliant golden eyes.

Ding.

The elevator comes to a standstill, causing her to focus back on the real world and obliterating any ideas regarding about their nights together. Stepping outside, she comes into the floor she needs to be in; the last time she went to Inuyasha's office is an awfully long time ago; but, she nevertheless knows how to get there. His office is just at the corner of this floor; so there is literally one path that will lead her there.

Kagome notices the clock on her right, informing the time is fifteen past one; that explains why some people is eating at their workstations and most work desks are deserted of employees. It must be lunchtime already; a plan develops on her head as she considers what time she should leave this building. She absolutely wishes not to be caught between her boyfriend and her Adonis. Remembering last week when they met at the coffee store, she believes the devil taking his break around two.

Great, so all she needs to do is getting her ass out of here before two; then she should be the safe zone. Making a mental note, she advances to her destination; she can hear her footsteps clearly since the floor is essentially occupied with silence, except for the occasional noise of someone slurping up their food. Slowing down her pace, Kagome is confident she is on the right track towards Inuyasha's office; his loud laughter can be heard from a mile away.

The closer she gets, the clearer it is for her to detect his office's door is wide opened; her boyfriend is relaxing against the brown chair while chatting with a lot of enthusiasm to someone being hidden behind the wall. She can faintly hear them planning on going to a bar after work or something similar; she might have an idea of whom Inuyasha is speaking to since there is really one person he is willing to pay for drinks, or even to simply hang out.

"I hope I'm not disturbing anything," Kagome lightly knocks on the door out of courtesy, notifying her boyfriend she has arrived. She observes the way his eyes lit up, like a child receiving his favourite gift on Christmas's morning; she gives him a small smile. But on the inside, she is applauding his genuine display of emotions; it is remarkably convincing. It almost as if he is still in love with her madly. 'Liar,' she silently adds.

"Good afternoon, Kagome-sama," a man with indigo eyes stands up, offering his chair for her to sit down. "You are not interrupting anything. In fact, thanks to your gracious presence, I can finally enjoy my lunch before this break ends," the man straightens up his outfit, already ready to leave the couple alone.

"Miroku, I have told you a thousand times to drop the formality. It feels strange to hear my name like that," she offers him a polite smile, showing her appreciation for his kind act. As she moves towards the chair, she senses something latching onto her bottom. She immediately slaps it away, causing the black-haired man yelp in agony; she has foreseen this to take place as it quite literally occurs every time she comes here.

"Kagome-sama, you have injured me," Miroku rubs his right hand furiously as if it has been on the hot oven; Kagome can catch the vague red outline of her fingers on the back of his hand. Usually, she would feel bad for causing anyone to be in pain like this; but not this time, not for his pervert. She remembers the first time when this happened, she did not do anything besides getting embarrassed; but she has learnt doing nothing will not stop Miroku from groping her rear by "accident".

"Well, that is even better. Now you won't be able to touch other women with that hand," Kagome sits down after taking off her coat and putting her purse at her feet. She says greetings to her boyfriend, but the sound of Miroku fake cry overwhelms all other noises in this small room; she wonders why Miroku has to do this every time they see each other. Doesn't that fellow get tired of being slapped? Maybe not.

"You have to understand, Kagome-sama, that it is not my intention to do it. I told you, someone has cursed my hand," he continues to rub his hand as though to illustrate how hurtful her slap is. She rolls her eyes at his action, recognizing Miroku is trying to appeal to her emotions. Well, too bad for him since she did have to take some psychology classes back at the university; which means she has some knowledge of what he is doing.

Kagome tells him Miroku to stop this silly manner soon; or else, he will never find a girl who is willing to go on a date with him. He confidently tells her that if women are not coming to him, then he will simply go to them. And one of them will eventually fall for his charm; she wishes him good luck with his plan. He even gives her a slight bow, convincing her that his plan will be successful since it is being blessed by such a beauty.

After some minutes of catching up with each other, Miroku finally excuses himself from the room to get his lunch; Kagome simply smiles and waves at him as she hopes to see him around soon. Her boyfriend, on the other hand, yells from his chair and tells his colleague he'd better meet Inuyasha at the bar tonight for their celebration of Miroku getting accepted as a marriage officiant. Miroku assures Inuyasha he will certainly be there before closing the door, giving the couple some privacy.

The moment that door is shut, Kagome suddenly feels suffocated as if there is no air. She has never been alone in the same room with her boyfriend ever since she found out about his affair; because she cannot stand to peer into those amber eyes knowing Inuyasha is carrying on something sinful. She cannot explain if that is the exact reason, or because she does not want to look at her reflection of being a cheater in his eyes.

But more important, Kagome does not need the memories of Inuyasha asking her out for the first time on a cold winter day; or the recollections about their first date to rush back to her mind. She does not require the beautiful painting of their first clumsy kiss to invade her thoughts as she struggles to determine what she should do for this relationship. Because those elements will impact her judgment and make her lose sight of the objective; sadly those cutesy images are easily triggered whenever she looks at her boyfriend.

If those reasons are not enough, Inuyasha's appearance also plays a role in this whole ordeal; he is still handsome, she has no doubt in that fact, but there is something about his image makes her feel so uneasy. Ever since she enters into the little contract, Kagome cannot help but think of her Adonis whenever she sees her sweetheart. Even though the brothers do not look like each other at first glance, they do share some similar features such as silvery hair and gold-coloured eyes.

Kagome knows full well her boyfriend's gold eyes are nothing in contrast to the aurelian orbs belonging to the devil's; without any hesitation, Inuyasha's silver hair is not as shiny or as smooth as the other man's moonlight locks. She is absolutely aware they hardly look identical; yet, she cannot help but imagine the Adonis's features onto Inuyasha whenever she looks at him.

This is a sign that the devil is slowly creeping his way into her mind, making her to constantly think about him; and it is bad, very bad. She merely gives up her body to him every week; she cannot afford to surrender her mind as well. If so, she'll probably start thinking about him every night before dozing off without needing to look at her boyfriend's face; and that is the forbidden subject to do. As they have established, she only requires sleeping with him, not thinking of him.

But who is she joking? By acknowledging the agreement, she basically allows the devil to come into her soul and mind as well; so this consequence should be one of the concerns she could foresee back then. Kagome guesses she was awfully careless for not speculating about this issue when she formed the deal with her Adonis.

The sound of Inuyasha's questions pulls her back to reality; she shows him a brief smile, requesting him to reiterate the question again. She struggles to distinguish between the real world and illusion; pinching her fingers slightly, the dull pain allows her to concentrate on the trivial conversation. Inuyasha breathes out heavily before asking her what kind of food she has prepared for him. She informs him it is his favourite before bringing her purse onto her lap; she can watch the excitement dancing within his amber eyes.

As Kagome pulls out the bowl of instant noodles out from her purse, dissatisfaction is undoubtedly written on his face; she wonders why since instant noodles is his favourite after all. Putting the cup in his desk, she asks him if there is something amiss; she can plainly see him staring at the bowl of noodles as though he is studying at something unusual. It takes him a moment before shaking his head as he states it is nothing. Her boyfriend stands up before grudgingly walking towards the hot water maker.

Inuyasha cannot believe this; he deliberately left his lunch at his home just to get a freaking instant cup of noodles. The sole reason why he did so is to have a chance to taste Kagome's home-made lunch again, instead of something he can easily obtain at a nearby convenience store; he wonders why she brought this thing when she usually surprised him by making a gigantic lunch just for him.

Well, that and he wishes to spend more time with his girlfriend again; it is time for him to make up for all the night he forgot to call her and ask about her day, or all the weekend he was in the arms of another woman. At least one of the target is met, and spending time with her is what important here. Inuyasha can always order a meal from a nearby restaurant if he is still hungry after eating this instant cup of noodles; ripping the plastic packaging apart, he throws it in the trashcan.

"That's new. When did you get a water boiler?" Kagome pulls out the snack bar from her purse as she leans back against the chair; she thanks Gods for bringing this, or else it will be incredibly awkward to sit here and watch someone else eats. Settling her bag down on the ground again, she peels off the plastic wrap before biting down the gooey goodness. The rich taste of chocolate fills her mouth with a wonderful sensation; that is before the sweetness completely disappears as she hears her companion's answer.

"Oh, I picked it up a while ago for making tea," Inuyasha is a simple man; when someone asks him something, the answer usually comes out of his mouth before he can fully grasp its meaning. That can be a positive or a negative thing, depending on the various perspectives; one can argue he is straightforward and not hesitant to express what he thinks. Others may suggest he is a fool who cannot handle his speech; either way, he has not perceived the flaws in his statement. Maybe he is more of a moron than an honest man after all.

Gripping on the granola bar hard, the sheer force alone almost causes the snack to squish together; Kagome quickly feels not that hungry anymore, despite not having any food since she woke up. "I thought you hate tea," continuing to put on an act, she takes a bite out of the squished granola bar. She can hardly taste anything as she chews the sticky substance.

Inuyasha's hands freeze immediately as he hears Kagome's statement, causing some seasoning to splash out of the plastic bowl. Not that he notices those details; the sole subject his mind can deal with is the fact he has revealed something bad. His sweetheart is right; he never likes tea in the first place. And the mere reason why he purchased this machine is to brew a cup of tea and bring it to Rin's desk whenever he has the opportunity to stop by her workstation.

'Fuck. Fuck. I'm fucked,' Inuyasha's hands shake uncontrollably, dumping the rest of the spice all over the counter; beads of sweats barely visible on his forehead, but he feels as though he has been in a sauna for hours on end. He has screwed up, so darn bad; his brain is running on a marathon as it struggles to develop a plausible and convincing excuse.

"Haha… Funny story," Inuyasha turns the dial on the hot water machine and steaming hot water flows out in seconds; the scorching liquid fills up the plastic cup and he does not even recognize it until the water automatically shuts off. He can feel the searing heat through the flimsy plastic layer; it paralyzes the tips of his fingers but he is too nervous to notice. "I start to bring instant noodles as lunch lately; so I bought this machine to save a trip down to the break room."

Kagome glances to her right where her darling is standing; his back is facing against her, causing her to unable to see his expression at this moment. Not that she needs to that bad; lies and untruthfulness are scribbled all over his voice. Seeing his expression will induce more discomfort in her heart; she ponders on her last statement. She cannot tell if that is what will happen or not.

"Oh… All right," Kagome decides to drop the subject matter where it is right now; she has no desire to pressure Inuyasha any further. He will keep making up more dumb excuses; plus, she already knows the correct answer behind all the layers of lies. Honestly, she feels like she has known too much already, enough to cause her to turn the other ear whenever her boyfriend says something. Perhaps he is speaking the truth, and he indeed bought this appliance for his instant noodle crave.

Kagome does not know whether or not to trust Inuyasha; but before she can figure out the answer for herself, her thought is cut short as his voice pierces through the silent space.

"You know, I expected you to bring me one of the dishes you cook, like your signature stir fry that you always prepare for me whenever I come over," her boyfriend says with his back is still facing her, not letting Kagome see which emotion is blandly displaying. Not that it matters, she can read him like an open book; plus, the way he delivers those words is peculiar. He clearly loads each phrase with bitterness, regret and a hint of annoyance; at least that is what she can tell anyway.

So she pisses him off, for not preparing him any home-cooked food while still demanded her to arrive at his office on time. What does he think she is? A demon who has a special ability to move super quickly? Or perhaps an alien who can just drift through space and time at her will? Or maybe a slave under his command who has to get everything done in the manner he prefers? She is confident she checks none of the boxes above.

"Well, I would have made you something if I did not go to bed until two in the morning; I had a job, you know. Plus, did you honestly expect me to get here under an hour with something prepared?" Her anger surges up rather rapidly. Kagome learns she cannot hold her tongue when her emotions take over in a split of a second. She wants to bite her tongue and stops any more anger from sipping out uncontrollably.

She expects him to argue back and have a quarrel with her until he proclaims himself as the winner; it is nothing uncommon, she has encountered that thousands of times before. But much to her surprise, Inuyasha just turns around and shakes his head, with a smile no less. "No, no, you got it wrong! That's not what I mean. I mean… we haven't met up later, so… I… you know... miss your food, that's all."

If she did not get so worked up, hearing he misses her food would have melted her heart; but all she can feel is the underlying ugly heat. It drives her crazy to think as though she has to comply with every word of her boyfriend and obliges to execute whatever task he orders her to do. Trying to putting out the fire, she decides to think of something nice instead. She thinks of a fresh cup of coffee, a plate of chocolate dessert, a man with the pair of unique golden eyes; she interrupts herself as it is fairly adequate to lift her mood up already.

Inuyasha gives her a small smile while he tries to calm his sweetheart down. He knows it is unfair to get mad at her for some so small like this; it is just that, ever since he has realized his love exists for this lovely female only, everything seems to work against him. They hardly see each other on the weekend; and when they do, it ends up with a kiss and nothing more. This makes it genuinely troublesome to quit fooling around with Rin, no matter how much he prefers to drop it.

In his defense, he has also tried his best; for instance, he only fooled around once a week now, instead of every two or three days. That is truly a giant improvement, at least to him; and he wishes to continue progressing like this. But, it is honestly so painful to turn down the temptation when his girlfriend has started to decline meeting him on the weekend, saying she has emergency problems at the hospital to attend to. So, while his mind is on the right track, his sweetheart does not seem to support him much in terms of physical assurance.

Now, he is not blaming her for not helping him; Kagome never has anything to do with the chaos he has set up. Inuyasha guesses he is just furious at himself, criticizing himself for digging a grave for his body; it will be up to him to fix this relationship. Letting the hot water into the noodles cup, he leaves the lid on for the food to cook for a little while. "Come here," he says while turning around, barely sitting on the edge of the counter.

Putting her handbag down on the floor, Kagome makes her way towards him, quietly wondering what he demands her to do this time; the irritation still leaves some residual in her mind. As soon as she is within his grasp, she quickly gets pulled forwards into his embrace. Inuyasha wraps his arms around her waist, pushing her against his chest; he holds her tightly as if he is frightened she will disappear once he lets her go.

He inhales deeply, letting her marvelous scent filling up his lungs. The familiar sweet perfume relaxes his nerves and makes him comprehend how much he has missed her; or how long it has been since he gets to cherish her like this. Without saying anything, he places his nose on the base of her neck and inhales the scent directly; as if he is getting high on some narcotics. Well, she is a drug after all; and he has always been hooked to it. Not that he minds anyway; for her, he is prepared to turn into anything.

"Who are you and what have you done to Inuyasha?" Kagome pushes him away, establishing a distance between them. Saying his action confuses her is an understatement; her companion is never this gentle, or quiet either. An alien must have kidnapped him and taken over his body, or the government must have replaced Inuyasha with an exact robotic replica. She then pinches his cheeks, making him yelp in pain.

"What are you doing, Kagome? I am still me," he massages his cheeks; Inuyasha can feel the microscopic heat emanating off where she just squeezed. Geez, his woman might be small but she has some strength if she chooses to use them; of all things, her true power is the only subject matter he does not want to figure out by himself.

Kagome gives him a dubious look as if she is judging him inside out right now. She still cannot accept her cheating boyfriend is being lovey-dovey. Something is undeniably wrong here; she stiffens against his caress as she considers the possibility of Inuyasha learning about her affair. But she quickly brushes it aside, as she reasons herself that if he did know, he wouldn't act like this; because he would kill the other man in their relationship within a heartbeat.

Her thought is cut short as he once again draws her back into his loving embrace. If this were to take place a month ago, she would blush like a school girl; she always does whenever Inuyasha initiates a romantic gesture. If this were to happen before she learns about his other relationship, she would welcome his touch in a second; if this were to occur before she presents herself to the devil, she would declare her feeling as soon as he envelops her with his vanilla scent.

But no, she cannot do any of those; she does not feel the warmth in her cheeks or the growing desire for his caress; there is only a silent and hollow feeling in the pit of her gut. She cannot sincerely claim her love for him because even she is puzzled about whether she actually possesses any emotions left for him or not. Whenever she decides to think about it, that feeling becomes opaque, like paints being smeared all over her heart. Honestly, picking off the flower's petals to determine her feelings for Inuyasha does not sound like a lousy plan at this point.

Giving up trying to even understand her emotions, she rests her head against his chest. She finds it strange yet funny at the same time as she hasn't been able to do this for quite some time; so it appears to be rather odd for her. His vanilla scent enters her lungs with each breath she takes; some of his messy silver hair tickles her nose. She always enjoys random romantic gestures whether it is a tight hug or a kiss on the forehead; she tells herself to appreciate this unusual embrace. She should let her mind be free of all these uncertainties and worries.

But she cannot, not when her brain is being saturated with queries concerning the ambiguities of her ongoing relationship. No, she is wrong; those questions are not the source of the dilemma here. It is something entirely different as her mind is being loaded with details about very insignificant matters.

It is a similar embrace, but not overwhelming with the familiar petrichor; it is a comparable body structure, yet not engulfing her small frame with the intimate warmth. She cannot pick up the slow heartbeat underneath his chest, but instead a fast-beating one; as if she has caught him red-handed of a crime. The arms around her waist are strong but do not make her feel protected.

Something is awry here; where is the usual burning sensation underneath her skin as his fingers make contact with hers? Where is the usual dose of excitement running through her veins? Why does her gut not clogged with butterflies as he pulls her even closer? She wonders if there is a hole in her heart as the vascular organ keeps standing still; the silence echoes through the empty space in her soul.

This is not the embrace she is yearning for.

"Why don't you eat the noodles? They might be soggy by now," Kagome pushes herself out of Inuyasha's embrace, not that it requires much determination or strength. It just feels wrong to her; something here is just not right and she cannot place her fingers on what. But, no matter how much she seeks to go after the answer, it is never there. There is a translucent veil invariably standing between her and the truth.

Inuyasha grudgingly agrees with her comment; he quickly disposes of the plastic lid from the noodles cup before heading towards his desk. Setting the bowl down, he advises her to eat her lunch with him; she shakes her head, claiming she already had a snack and will probably grab something to eat after his lunch break is over. Hearing her boyfriend mumbling but unable to catch the individual words, Kagome asks him to repeat what he said.

He tells her next time to bring in something to eat with him; it is weird to have lunch alone like this. She wants to laugh at his little remark; it is like eating in front of her is something he has never done before. But she lets that slide, not wishing to cause a commotion about something so small like this. The part that really catches her attention is the phrase "next time"; she wonders what sort of plan he is doing. Because no part of this is entertaining or enjoyable to her; she feels as though she forces herself to smile and chat at this point.

The rest of the lunch break is nothing unusual; they just relax and talk sparingly as Inuyasha finishes the bowl of noodles in less than a minute. Honestly, she tries her best to be as natural as possible; she asks him most about his schedules while evading away from any details about hers. This way, she will not accidentally spill out the details about her weekend activities; because that is a forbidden subject to even think about.

Inuyasha is… considerably affectionate than normal; heck, he even asks her about her work. She is assured she is either dreaming; or, in inferno. Never mind, she is already in purgatory with the handsome, irresistible and passionate devil; she interrupts the train of her thoughts before she goes off daydreaming about her lover in front of her boyfriend. Scratch that, the devil is not her lover; he is someone who threatens to uncover their dirty secret. Inuyasha is her lover, who is someone she cherishes with all her heart, right?

She tries her best to concentrate back on the conversation, burying any thoughts and images regarding about her Adonis back down the pit of secrets in her heart; maybe she will let them roam her mind later, but not right now. She answers Inuyasha's current question without any sweat, and their conversation sets a smooth sail from there; as time flies by, any concerns about the devil is gradually submerged under the various topics.

Their discussion is cut short as someone taps lightly on the office door; Miroku opens the door shortly after, telling Inuyasha his client has shown up for the appointment. Inuyasha says he will be ready in a few minutes while Kagome stands up, putting on her jacket. After the door is closed once more, Kagome is ready to leave his office and lets her boyfriend perform his duties; break time must be over by now.

"Oh, you're free next Saturday, right?" Inuyasha says as he throws the empty bowl of instant noodles into the trash bin. He straightens up his dress shirt, making him look presentable; before making his way towards his sweetheart, he wipes his hands with a wet tissue paper to get rid of any noodles scent.

"Why? You need me or something?" Kagome's hand is already on the doorknob, extremely ready to leave this place behind; she even has her jacket button up and everything.

Kagome jumps as she feels his chest against her back; his hands make their way around her waist again. "You forget? Our anniversary is next Saturday," he places a kiss on her collar; she predicts the familiar electric excitement to travel along her spine. But nothing happens, not even a slight thrill; weird, there must be something wrong with her body today. Maybe she should drop by the neurology department and make an appointment for a check-up to see if she has any nerve damage.

"I did not forget; I was waiting to see if you remember or not," she lies as a sour taste spreads across her tongue. She has absolutely forgotten about this event; she has been so busy, physically and mentally, lately. Plus, she is expected Inuyasha to forget about it as well since Kagome knows he possesses a tendency to overlook about a number of things. The notion of celebrating their time together suddenly feels like a burden; she almost wants to make up a random excuse to not go with him next weekend.

"Put on something extra nice, I have made a reservation at an incredibly fancy restaurant at seven for us," his lips continue to latch on her neck as his hands appear to roam around. Goosebumps trail across her skin after where his fingers have traced through the thick fabric, and it is not a great thing in this situation. She should feel wonderful as he kisses her so intimate like this, but only a sense of disgust churns in her abdomen. Feeling nervous all of a sudden, she puts an end to his action before she really gets sick.

She gently places her hands on top of his, blocking him from advancing any further from its current position; turning around, she shoves him away as she wants to put some distance between them. "We can't do that now; someone is expecting you," she gives him a peck on the lips, drawing back as quickly as the duration hits the one-second mark. She cannot bear to let him touch an inch more of her skin, not at all.

"Remember to pick me up next Saturday," she opens the door, stepping out as fast as possible; she does not even want to stick around long enough to listen to his reply. All she knows is that she has to get out of here, out of his sight as promptly as she can; for she does not want him to see how tense she is. Kagome does not wish her boyfriend to question why her hands are visibly shaken; but most important of all, she does not prefer to see someone else that is not Inuyasha in his amber eyes.

She is apprehensive for not having the simple warmth in her lips as it collides against his; she feels uneasy for not seeing the usual electrical current shooting through her spine when his fingertips brush against her skin. She is frightened for not knowing her true feelings; she is afraid of the traitorous thought slowing blooming within her heart. She is terrified of what will become of their relationship; she is shaken from the uncertainties.

Kagome is intimidated by her body and mind; she fears herself.

Pulling her phone out, she would have felt unsettled for observing the time is two-fifteen in the afternoon, if it were not for the circumstance that her stomach is overloaded with tension; with the additional knowledge, she feels like she is about to throw up at any moment. 'Shit, isn't that guy's lunch break at two or something?' Adding another coat of worry on top of the existing piles, she hurriedly makes her way to the elevator; she continually offers silent prayers to the Gods above.

She prays she will not bump into anyone she knows from now until the minute she steps outside this building. Kagome is too shaken to even realize that she has pushed the incorrect button for the escalator. Kagome can see the number gradually approach the floor in which she is on, signaling her ride is coming; she anxiously waits for the door to open.

Ding.

Chapter Text

Chapter 18Nosoi – personified spirits of plague, sickness and disease. They were numbered amongst the evil spirits which escaped from Pandora's jar.

Sesshoumaru feels worse than crap, even that declaration sounds like an understatement for his current condition. He is positive that his insides are currently burning alive. His throat is itchy, no matter how much water he has consumed when the sun rises. He has not felt this bad ever since he was just a small child, and that is a very long time ago. Sleeping in until one in the afternoon, he still wants to go back to sleep. But, the dull pain intensifies the longer he remains in bed.

So, he gets up since he hopes this pain is only here because of a long period of sleep. Plus, there is probably another stack of paper and hundreds of unread emails in his office at this moment. Many people will possibly be at the conference room, waiting for him to come in so the meeting can begin. Just thinking about the to-do list gives him another splitting headache. Not taking a shower, Sesshoumaru puts on a suit lying on the floor and heads out of the door, forgetting to have some breakfast.

Calling the housekeeper to pick him up, he is in no mood for driving today. Even if he wants to, he does not think he can go anywhere by himself while everything is nicely covered in a thick coat of mist Actually, it takes a lot of energy just to keep his eyes lid open right now. If that is not a driving hazard, he doesn't know what is. Being a dedicated servant, his housekeeper shows up shortly after his request.

If he thinks waking up is a pain in the ass, the trip to the office is nothing but annoying either. The car is way too hot; Sesshoumaru keeps telling his chauffeur to lower the temperature by turning on the air conditioner for heaven's sake. But, his housekeeper keeps replying that everything is already set to the maximum coldness. So, there is nothing to do to satisfy his demand.

Sesshoumaru threatens to fire his driver if the temperature is not lowered within the next thirty seconds. He can sense fear through the air as the servant hurriedly turns every knob possible to the coldest settings, hoping to save his position. Even though the heat still remains unbearable, Sesshoumaru restrains himself from emptying his frustration onto his long-time attendant. At least he now knows his housekeeper tells the truth.

After forever and a day, his servant finally confirms that they have reached the company. Blinking rapidly, at least the natural sunlight allows him to see more than just one foot away. Opening the door, his energy seems to drain straight out of his pores under a second. Sesshoumaru feels so weak that he cannot open the door by himself. It never gets this bad; he is never without any strength in his limbs. Thankfully, his servant hurriedly gets out of the driver seat and opens the door without him asking.

Gods, why are there so many steps just to get to the entrance of this stupid company? He is absolutely not in the mood for any more walking. Yet, he has to do it to get to his destination. One step and Sesshoumaru is already out of breath; two steps and he almost falls. Gravity never seems so strong until now since he hardly has enough strength to lift himself up. To make matter worse, the bitter air of winter cuts through his skin, making him feel like being covered in ice despite his insides are scorching hot.

Before taking another step, he turns his head around. That is certainly a mistake because he can feel a headache return from the tiny movement. He tells his housekeeper to wait here for him to come back down soon. He does not feel like working today; in fact, he doesn't feel like doing anything but sleeping. He considers grabbing the necessary work and brings it home. He will deal with them later when he feels better. Unless there is an emergency, anything else will be re-scheduled for a later day.

He cannot identify if there are any people around seeing him in this miserable state. But, he is too tired to care. He does not know how, but he makes it to the elevator. And for some miracles, the escalator is already at his floor, waiting for him to get in. Now, all he needs to do is waiting for a long minute before getting to his office; and then, he can get the hell out of here.

As he stands within the small space, he tells his body to become better by the end of today. He has to test his luck when tomorrow comes, to see if he will get to spend more time with his vixen at lunchtime. And, he'd better recover all of his strength by the weekend; he will require more energy than this to fool around all day or perhaps more. Sesshoumaru only possesses a limited time with her, so he'd better bring all he has. Suddenly, he craves to taste her delicious body today, while he still has at least some sensibility in this burning body.

Maybe he should give her a call today and move the date of their weekly session to today. He'd rather enjoy her delightful presence than missing it out because of his pitiful condition. The elevator stops, suspending his thoughts temporary. Did he already arrive at his floor? Because that is awfully quick considering his office is at the highest level and only a few seconds have passed after all. The door opens slowly, letting the bright light filling up the tiny space.

Sesshoumaru is convincing that the gods have returned his accidental prayer. Because if it is not the case, what is the freaking probability that the raven-haired beauty stands in front of him right now, especially right after he thinks about her? It is undoubtedly very close to zero. But, those tiny odds have somehow overcome its predetermined challenge.

Kagome is positively confident that the gods hate her. She must have done something extremely dreadful in her past life, such as beating up a puppy. That must be why everything she hopes always goes awry; a prime example is this very second. She remembers praying to not meet anyone on her way out of this building. But, someone she knows particularly well, physically, is currently standing in front of her.

Her devil, her Adonis; the very same person occupies her mind just minutes ago. She should have taken the stairs instead. And because of her poor judgment, she is now stuck with its consequences: running into the man she is not ready to meet, not until the weekend when she has sufficient time to give herself a mental preparation. Looking at him, she feels herself being captivated by him all over again. Shimmering locks, accompanied with lambent eyes, is her absolute weakness when it comes to him.

But, something is off about him.

His hair is generally quite straight residing on his back, with some strands makes their way to the front whenever he walks. But now, she can see it is slightly fuzzy as though he just walks through a tornado. Some tangles within his silver locks if she pays enough attention. She can see his forehead is covered in a light layer of sweat, followed by his short breathes. His eyes are dull, losing its signature radiance. His skin looks strangely pale as if all the pigments under his skin vanish into thin air.

Something is definitely wrong. Her nervousness increases as mere seconds pass by; but, it is not for the same reason as before. Her apprehension for seeing him here suddenly disappears as anxiety spreads across her chest. Her heart pounds painfully hard against her chest. Kagome knows she has to say something before the door closes or before an uncomfortable atmosphere settles between them. Swallowing her salvia, she pretends to clear her throats while thinking of the appropriate words to address her concern.

"… Are you okay?" She whispers ever so quietly while slowly stepping inside the elevator, not caring the door is closing as she approaches him. Even though there is some distance between them, Kagome can nevertheless feel the heat emitted from his body. Her stomach feels heavy as if someone has sunk a ten-ton weight into the bottom of her gut. Panic and uneasiness extend towards her every nerve for some unknown reasons.

Sesshoumaru doesn't respond to her question. It will make him look weak in front of her if he admits he does not feel well, and that is the last thing he needs at this moment. She is drawing closer as indicated by the perfume of sweet lemon getting stronger. In spite of the restricted field of vision, he can still notice a frown appeared in the edge of her lips; it makes him want to frown as well. Her beautiful face does not need to be tarnished by such ugly action. He reaches his hand out, seeking to turn those frown upwards and smoothing out the lines in her face.

Kagome can see his hand getting closer and closer to her face. She doesn't recoil as if she is waiting for his touch. When the palm of his hand makes contact with her cheeks, it appears as though the sun has touched her cheeks and burnt the layer of soft tissues away. His touch is always hot against her skin; but, this time, it's different, so very different. Involuntarily, she places her hand on top of his hand to make sure the burning temperature is not just her imagination.

"Oh my god. You're burning!" Kagome quickly brings her hand against his neck. Not a second later, her hand already makes its way towards his forehead. The heat gets more acute the longer her fingers idle against his skin. 'Stop panicking,' she tells herself as his temperature seems way higher than what an ordinary person should be in. Without being a doctor, she can already declare that this man is definitely under the weather. "What are you doing here? You should be at home, resting for gods' sake. You are sick."

Sesshoumaru cannot understand what Kagome is saying. All the words get mixed up together, causing everything to be incomprehensible temporarily. Despite that, her voice still serves as medication and soothes his feverish insides. When she caresses his skin, it feels so nice as though a blanket of ice gets applied straight to his burning skin. He will do anything to have the refreshing coldness wash over every inch of his skin, even if it is for one measly second.

The elevator comes to a halt, signaling he has arrived at his floor. Sesshoumaru withdraws his hand, already missing the coolness that her skin has to offer. He tells himself that he is at already at his office, meaning it is a public place. And this means that he cannot just casually touch her like this; they are not at his apartment. Somehow finding enough strength, he digs the fingers into his palm and lets the dull pain stopping him from doing anything reckless.

"This Sesshoumaru is not sick," he answers her underlying question as he steps out of the elevator, walking through the hallway that leads to his office. Despite each step feels like walking on molten lava, Sesshoumaru pushes himself to move forward. He needs to grab the important documents and gets the hell out of this place. Plus, some distance between him and the raven-haired woman will keep both of their appearances intact.

'What the fuck is wrong with him?' Kagome spaces out as she hears his statement. First, he is evidently sick, then why the hell he stated he is not sick? Is this man that delirious right now? And second, she thought they agree to stop that third person thing. This man needs to cease doing the opposite of what he is supposed to do. "Hey, stop moving!" She rushes after his moving figure as she realizes the elevator's door is about to close once more. She runs after him, hoping to catch up to him and clear the situation out.

"Hey! I said…" She reaches out and captures his boiling-hot hand. She is impressed that he can still walk around with this temperature. The tall man stops abruptly, causing her to slam onto his back and drown within the silver sea temporarily. Even though there is a layer of clothes between them, the heat radiating from him is nevertheless strong, accompanied by the odour of his sweat. Kagome is surprised that she is not repulsed by it, despite hygiene is considered one of the most important factors to her.

In the blink of an eye, his lips are already near her ears, causing her foolish heart to beat out of control. "We're in public. So, don't touch this one so carelessly," his raspy voice makes her miss the usual smooth sound of his. His breath is hot, tickling the tip of her ear; but, his words are cold and void of any emotions. Despite her hating them, these ten measly words do get through her head and remind her about something important.

They are not in his apartment, meaning this is obviously not the place for them to show any suggestions of physical intimacy. Even something as trivial as hand touching can bring their secret connection to light. Kagome knows he is right, like always. But, she cannot help but want to touch his skin and alleviate any pain he might be in. She tells herself that is just because her job is a nurse. So, it is very natural for her to care about people that are sick.

By the time she is ready to say something back, Sesshoumaru is already at the end of the hallway. She can see he has to lean against a workstation as if he is struggling to stand up straight. Kagome chases after him, not knowing why she has to stop him from further exhausting his already-tired body. She tells herself to get the hell out of here at this very moment. She has better things to do, such as grabbing lunch and sitting back with a cup of coffee. But, her body isn't coordinating with her brain. "Sesshou…"

His name jumps back to her throat as soon as she sees a woman standing up from the workstation and greeting her devil. From this angle, she can only see half of that woman's face and the rest is hidden by the one-sided ponytail. There is something about that woman drives her brain to immediately shut down and incapable to think of anything else. Kagome knows this woman; she is very certain of this. But, her memories jumble up and blank out altogether.

"… maru -sama,… requests… upcoming… confirmation. To..ai-sama… wait… call… morning…" Kagome can see the woman hand him a clipboard. But, from this distance, some words get through her ears, while others do not at all. However, she tunes out all the noises, except for the one in her head. Thousands of questions emerge from underneath her skin as confusion takes over her mind.

Who is that woman? Kagome knows she has seen her somewhere; that woman looks strangely familiar. Who is..?

Suddenly, Kagome struggles to breathe. Her feet get buried to the floor as if she is standing on sinking sand. Her muscle stiffens as her bones become as heavy as metal. A heavy weight lands on the bottom of her stomach and turns into the middle of her black hole. Kagome feels like she has entered another dimension as waves of nauseousness washing over her trembling body. She needs to sit down before vomiting out all the food she has consumed today. Her head spins fast enough for her memory to become alive before her very eyes.

Her boyfriend and this woman make their way, hand in hand, down the busy street. They look in each other eye's in a way causes her blood to boil. And, gradually, Inuyasha leans down to leave a kiss on the other woman's lips. There is no mistake about the identity of this woman; the round face, the fair shade of skin and those large brown eyes had plagued her for hours and days on end. There will be no doubt that this woman is the same person she saw that day.

That woman is her boyfriend's mistress.

Kagome knows that unnamed woman is still speaking; yet, she can only watch the movement of that woman's lips. All she can hear is the screeching voices in her head. All she can see is the image of that woman walking beside her boyfriend. All she can feel is the spider crawling underneath her skin and her body shiver in revulsion. She is breathing, yet not taking in any air. She is hearing noises, but no sound reaches her ears. As if she is sinking into the deep ocean, slowly fading away in this chaotic reality.

Only one voice is able to reach into her deep conscious, dragging her out of the black void.

"Leave or stay, that is up to you. This one has some work to do," by the time she focuses back to real world, Sesshoumaru already disappears behind the cream door and slams it shut. Kagome tells herself to take in deep breathes before she suffocates in this breathable atmosphere. She tells herself to move, doing anything but standing here like a moron but there are imaginary steel strapped on both her legs. Her feet finally listen; but, her muscles give up after two steps, forcing her to sit down on a nearby sofa.

Kagome closes her eyes, struggling to calm her nerve down. She tries her best to push those images away from her mind. She decides to think of positive items such as a giant cup of coffee, a mountain of books, and a plate full of chocolate goodness. Sesshoumaru, her personal devil, her sick temptation. Electric connections finally spark within her brain, telling her there are more important tasks to worry about than her current situation. Her sapphire eyes open wide as if to seek out his figure and make sure he is all right.

But that is a dire mistake. Kagome is now facing the brown-eyed woman.

That woman is on the opposite side of where she is sitting, putting a white tray down. Looking at this woman at up close, a surge of foreign emotion overwhelms her heart and mind. It is the darkest black, leaving behind a muddy trail as it spreads all over her body. It is bitter and leaves her body paralyzed the longer she looks at this woman. Her voice is ready to escape her throat without even trying; she feels her body get hotter as if a flame consumes her mind. This must be what hatred feels like.

Kagome knows she is a forgiving person, or at least she prefers to think she is that kind of person. She always decides to give the other person a second chance before determining her final feelings towards that individual. But, she always ends up giving that person another chance after the initial second chance. This is the first time that sour feeling coming out of the surface so quick, blinding her with rage.

Kagome hates this woman. There is no doubt in this matter.

However, her rationality is still alive beneath all these complex emotions; it tells her to not take things at their face value. There is always another side to the story. One possibility is that this woman might be guilty of sleeping with her boyfriend, but she maybe is not the one to start it. Perhaps this woman does not know Inuyasha is already in a relationship and her existence at all. Perhaps, Kagome is actually the other woman in their relationship.

A migraine begins to hammer her mind as unsolved question piles up in the corner of her mind. Kagome suddenly feels lost as if she has been wandering in a maze since the beginning of time. Slowly losing her grasp on reality, she cannot distinguish the difference between truths and lies anymore. But one thing she knows for sure, the hatred for this woman now spreads towards her boyfriend as well.

Kagome wishes to place a curse on both of them for causing her to be in such a miserable state. She despises them for inducing this anarchic condition in her mind. Kagome hates her supposedly darling for cheating on her like this, to cause her to be overwhelmed with these emotions. She hates that woman for stealing her boyfriend from away from her, whether it is his heart or body. The hatred becomes larger, almost colouring her heart completely with the black colour.

Then, a small light in her heart sparks brightly, slowly obliterating the hostility away. Despite that, her heart is now forever smudged by that black residual, forever tainting it with the bitter flavour of resentment. The pungent odour of hatred dissipates as Kagome thinks about what has resulted from Inuyasha's cheating. The animosity towards her boyfriend and his whore begins to tone down and gets forgotten completely altogether.

If Inuyasha didn't have that affair, she wouldn't able to find out about it; which means she would not decide to go to the bar on that particular night to release some stress. This would lead to her never meet the handsome stranger, meaning she would not have established a secret relationship. Shaking her head frantically, Kagome tells herself that all these negative events take place because of Inuyasha's affair. But, a small hidden part in her heart somehow feels oddly grateful for it, though she will never admit to herself.

"You don't look so well. So, I bring coffee and tea here because I don't know which one you prefer. I already get some snack here for you, in case you want something as well," a strange voice makes her snap back to reality. Before Kagome even realizes, the nameless woman already places everything neatly on the coffee table in front of her. She wants to say something, yet she does not know what to say. Actually, that is a complete lie.

Kagome knows what she wants to express; but, only degrading words are floating around in her chaotic mind. She restrains herself as she works terribly hard to control her mind and not let anything slip out. Does not matter what had happened, she is not some kind of rude and uncivilized person. And, an educated individual does not go around and yell hateful words in a public place like this.

So, she chooses not to say anything. Instead, Kagome nods at the woman and shows her the most generic smile. Putting on the mask for the stranger to see, Kagome has nearly perfected the art of pretending to be fine. After all, she practices it every day whenever she thinks of her foolish boyfriend or someone else. Despite her love for coffee, she does not want to touch anything this woman has touched. Ironically, she has touched her allegedly darling several times today. The urge of washing her hands is higher than ever.

"Miss, my name is Rin, Rin Yamamoto. There are plenty of other snacks and drinks at my work station if you need more. I have to go deliver some paperwork now, so feel free to help yourself," the woman named Rin gives her a bow and a sweet smile towards her direction. Kagome suddenly feels guilty for hating someone seemingly so innocent like this. She pushes that thought aside right away; this brown-eyed woman is nothing but innocent, just like her.

Before Kagome can think of a response, Rin already grabs the stack of paper in her desk and heads towards the elevator. Minutes later, Kagome realizes she is the only one in this waiting area. The silence becomes louder as it generates a barrier for her thoughts to run around wildly. She needs to do something quickly before doing or saying something she may regret later like stomping towards her boyfriend's office. If that were to happen, she would eternally be known as a psychotic woman.

Standing up, her legs barely hold herself together. Kagome slowly makes her way towards the fire escape route; she has learnt to never take the easy route. However, her feet automatically stop once she hears the faint rough voice. Turning around, she stares at the cream door; the idiotic man still works his ass off even though he is sick. Biting the bottom of her lips, her conscious tears her apart. 'Screw everything,' she will go check on her unofficial patient to make sure he is at least all right one last time.

Forgetting all the concerns regarding her morals, Kagome stomps hastily forward and slams the door wide open, not caring about her consequences. Everything can go down the hell hole at this moment as her brain cannot deal with any more information. She is expecting the worst such as seeing Sesshoumaru lying on the floor unconscious or vomiting all the food from his guts. Her stomach churns as she thinks of that situation. She wonders why since she should not give a crap about his condition. She has utterly no reason to, yet she continues to worry like a fool she is.

Much to her relief, the sick man simply sits in front of a wide window. Sunlight fills up every nook in the room, allowing her to look at every detail in this room clearly except for his face. However, the sign that he still sits straight up must be a good signal. Not even glancing around to study all the lavish decorations, Kagome sets her sight on him as she moves forward. His face becomes clearer the closer she gets.

Her patient is on the phone, using some business terminologies that she does not understand. His cell phone is nicely tucked between his ear and his shoulder, while he is furiously typing on the computer. Sesshoumaru is so deep into the conversation that he does not even notice her presence; or, perhaps he just does not care. He looks ever so perfect while doing something as mundane as typing. Kagome might have thought he is fine if it isn't for those tiny details.

His voice is lower than usual as if he does not have enough strength to speak any louder. Not to mention, he talks slower and without the aura of pride in each word. Beads of sweats can be observed from afar. His skin still lacks any particular colour, though it does not look as dreadful as when she sees him on the elevator. His breaths are short as if his clothes are restricting him from properly exchanging air to his lungs. He blinks way too often, as though he is struggling to stay awake for one more second.

She should turn around and leave him with his business. She already sees that he is fine sitting up and talking. So, he will have enough strength to drag his ass home whenever he is done with work. Plus, Kagome already warns him once, and one warning is all he gets from her. And since he doesn't listen to her, it isn't her problem to concern about his health anymore. She knows she should do these things, yet her body doesn't listen to her. Her feet take one step, then another. Before long, she is already standing behind his chair.

"Your evaluation is too low. That would not sufficient…" Sesshoumaru forces his lips to shut as the person on the other side of the phone voices another argument. Totosai knows his father and him personally for gods' sake; so, why can't this old man go easy on him and just meet him in the freaking middle? Why is this man so adamant against him and him only?

Initially, Sesshoumaru intends to call Totosai back since he assumes it is something urgent from his secretary's brief report. But, much to his dissatisfaction, the ancient man just wants to argue about the terms of the contract. Rubbing his forehead, his mind feels heavy again as Totosai's voice becomes more irritating than ever before. Sesshoumaru is in no mood for this kind of argument; but, he cannot hang up now. Blinking a couple of times, he needs to stay awake until this ludicrous conversation is over.

Suppressing the impulse to roll his eyes, he has heard this same line for a thousand times today. Sesshoumaru wants to yell at the old man to get this heavy feeling off his chest. "Look…" His voice stops flowing out as he feels a pair of arms circling around his neck, pulling him slightly backwards. He doesn't need to look behind to know who dares to do such action. There is solely one person who has the guts to embrace him like this. Plus, the alluring scent is fairly obvious, even though he can barely smell anything at this point.

The rich scent of sweet lemonade slowly makes itself known to every nerve on his body, granting him a chance to drown in a little piece of heaven. Her touch works like a miracle medicine and makes him feel better in an instant. Slowly, she puts her sleeves on top of his forehead and wipes it lightly. "You're sick. Why don't you go home and rest?" Her soft whisper makes its way to his ear, making Totosai's voice turns into a mere background noise at this point.

Kagome can feel his head shaking as Sesshoumaru points towards his phone. She feels disappointed that being sweet like this does not help to persuade him to rest. Usually, this trick works like a miracle on her patients, especially male ones. Sweet talking, she means; she does not touch random people so carelessly like this. Damn him and his talent to resist the long-learned technique. She admits she is not sick; yet, looking at these stacks of paper makes her head dizzy. She is perplexed that he can still function as if he is normal. This guy certainly needs to go home and take a break from all of this.

Well, Kagome always has a backup plan. It is time to move on to method number two. Though she admits, this is the first time she ever puts this plan into action. But to be fair, she only comes up with this substitute plan a few seconds ago. He may be able to resist the sweet act; but, no men can turn down the charm of a woman when she wants something badly. And that is a true fact.

"How about we get back to your place? There might be something we can do to cool you off," Kagome keeps her voice low, not wanting the unknown person on the other side of his phone hearing her best in sounding seductive. She wishes to place her palm onto her face as she has presumably failed; but, judging by the way his muscles visibly stiffens underneath her touch, she might be successful after all.

Kagome just says something like that to rouse his interest. She will let his mind run free as his imagination will take the reign. But, looking at the colour on his face and the way he behaves, Sesshoumaru will probably sleep like a baby as soon as he hits the bed. So, she is probably safe from any naughty thoughts he may have. Her objective is to get him to rest; so, if this does the trick, then so be it.

Just listening to a suggestive sentence like that, his mind takes a small trip. Sesshoumaru contemplates many different possibilities of how they are going to fool around later. His veins pump fire throughout his body, adding into the already circulating intense heat. She is the one proposes it after all; so, it is not his fault if it is something she is not expected. Judging by the sound of her voice, she may be looking forward to it as much as he does.

Plus, her suggestion further pushes his decision to end this discussion soon. He cannot give more crap for this conversation as he intends to go home anyway. This bewitching woman just happens to add the fuel to his decision and makes his plan go flawlessly. Sesshoumaru has assumed the gods hate him for making him sick like this; but, he changes his mind now. Maybe, it is a good thing as he gets to spend extra time with this woman.

"Hello?" A croaky voice on the other side of his phone pulls his head away from speculating about which positions he is going to put her in later. On that note, he is suddenly fully aware that he is still on the phone with someone. Damn his little vixen and her witchcraft, making him forget about everything so easily.

"Talking through the phone might not be the best way to deal with this. How about we talk over some dinner?" Sesshoumaru can hear the other line being silent for a moment before Totosai agrees with him. "Great, my assistant will provide the details later," he hangs up before hearing any other answers. The urge of getting to his place is overwhelming, almost completely taking over his mind. That and also the desire to lie down on his bed before collapsing on the floor are strong.

Dialling another number, he places the phone in between his ear and shoulder again while shutting down his computer. "I'll be down in two," Sesshoumaru says those words shortly after the receiver picks up the phone. Ending the conversation, he puts his phone to his pocket immediately. As he stands up, the protective embrace breaks off, making the exhausting feelings rush back to his system. It causes him wanting to come back to her warm grasp, not caring that he is overheated right now.

Sesshoumaru wants to take her offer up here and now, right in his office; but, he will oblige to her wish for once. Plus, fooling around on the bed seems more comfortable than on the desk to him, at least at this moment anyway. A splitting headache is coming, he can feel it. Taking a sharp breath, he tries to regain his composure. He will arrive at a safe place to relax soon, he tells himself.

"Come," Sesshoumaru signals Kagome to follow him out of the office. He doesn't need to look back to make sure she is keeping up him. The echoes of her soft footsteps can be heard; it is not overly fast nor too slow. Somehow, it makes him glad to know she is always close to him; maybe it is his fever that induces him to think like this. That must be it.

Kagome sighs in satisfaction as she follows quietly to the elevator. She is overjoyed that she doesn't meet that woman when she exits his office. That knowledge unties the tangle in her mind as she sees no one on this floor, except for them. Kagome does not know how she will react again if she ever looks at that woman again. Based on her initial reaction, she doesn't expect to be a good one.

She silent prays that no one will catch her go out of this company with someone that is not her boyfriend. Kagome absolutely does not need anyone to notice them go to his apartment in the middle of the day like this. The pseudo-relationship between them is supposed to be a secret, not to public knowledge. The sound signalling the escalator has arrived stops her trains of thoughts.

Stepping inside the small space, Kagome can already feel his presence behind her. His arms snake around her waist, drawing her into his chest. Strangely, she allows herself to relax against his touch, letting his heat enveloping her breathing air. The rhythm of his heart is faster than normal; but, they nevertheless provide her with a sense of calmness. She wishes time to freeze, so she can enjoy this moment for just a little longer.

Sesshoumaru doesn't know what prompted him to do this. He just remembered watching her black hair moves slightly as she steps into the escalator. The fear of her disappearing into the thin air once the door closes suddenly turns into a black hole in his heart. The dread of this being just another dream overwhelms his logic. He needs some reassurances; he requires her touch to ensure that this is the reality. This fever really has its way to make him do something he will never do.

He wonders when he has become accustomed to her touch like this. Sesshoumaru wonders when he needs reassurances to make sure that world he is living in is the reality. He doesn't care if he lives in hell, as long as he has her with him. He pushes the button to the main floor before she can turn over, draping his arms around her small waist. Her scent engulfs his, relieving his mind and heart and soothing his burning mind.

He can sense her muscles relax as she leans back against his chest; or, this can be another imagination causing by the feverish delirium. Burying his head in her neck, Sesshoumaru inhales his personal drug straight from its source. The small elevator suddenly becomes their private world, detaching them from everything else.

But, all good things must come to an end. The crisp air pushes against his back, telling him that the elevator's door has opened. Sesshoumaru must have lost the track of time within their little world. He lets go of her petite body, already missing the little coolness her skin has to offer. Soon, he tells himself, he will be in paradise very soon. All he needs to do is getting to his apartment first. The journey there seems longer now; but, the reward at the end will be worth all the troubles.

Kagome is alarmed when his arms leaving her side unexpectedly. She feels as if something important has left her presence, and she wants to get back to his embrace again. She mentally slaps herself, stopping herself from letting those unhealthy thoughts invading further into her mind. She is merely expected to call for his touch when they are in the bedroom, not in the middle of a public place like this.

She quietly follows him out of the elevator, noticing that not a lot of people on the main floor at this hour. She praises the gods for it; at least not a lot of people will see she is walking with him out of this building. And, it is actually beneficial for him as well. Fewer people will note how his stride is a bit uneven and his forehead is covered in a sheer layer of sweat. That will do no good for his image.

The urge to help him walk down the simple steps is almost overwhelming all of her other senses. Gritting her teeth together, it is so painful to restrain her body when all of her muscles want to rush to where Sesshoumaru is. There are times she sees he almost misses a step. Those are the times her heart skips several beats; but, Kagome stops herself before doing anything foolish that will jeopardize their secret. So, all she can do is praying for him to be fine without collapsing on the dirty floor.

She breathes out in relief as he makes it safely down the stairs. Kagome suddenly feels silly for worrying about him falling down the stairs. Sesshoumaru is perfect, even when he is sick. She has been concerned for nothing after all. Her face heats up as she sees him give her an odd expression, advising her to get into the car as he has been holding the door for quite some time.

Kagome says nothing while getting into the car. But, she is clearly not the only person inside this fancy vehicle. An elderly male is on the driver seat; he looks he is in his fifty as the evidence of wrinkling skin. She cannot see his features well; but, she can definitely recognize the way he gives her a strange look as she relocates to the other seat. Kagome gives him a slight bow as greetings while buckling up the seatbelt.

As soon as the door shuts, the car starts to move; and, a heavy head rests on her shoulder. It weights as much as her heart at this moment.

Chapter Text

Chapter 19Epione – the goddess of soothing of pain; in fact, her name actually means soothing.

His heated forehead makes direct contact with her neck. The act itself causes her to blush, but Kagome thinks the warmth emitted from his skin is the main reason. The car goes over a small speed bump, causing Sesshoumaru to lean completely against her. With the non-existent distance between them, she can feel his short and rough breaths as if he struggles to breathe properly. Swallowing her saliva, Kagome undoes a couple of the top buttons while looking at the window, hoping it will help to alleviate his breathing problem.

Letting out a silent groan, this guy is in serious trouble. He will require plenty of rest and hearty meals if there is any hope to gain some colour back to his skin. But, this man lives alone; he is not a young child who will crawl back to his parents' house just because of a cold. As far as Kagome knows, Sesshoumaru doesn't have the best relationship with his other relative. Not to mention, she definitely will not be able to justify why she calls her boyfriend to inform his half-brother is sick.

He doesn't have a girlfriend whom she can contact in this situation. Pulling the emergency brake on her train of thoughts, she shoves the images of Sesshoumaru embracing another woman out of her system; who he chooses to get it on is none of her business. Kagome is desperate enough to consider the driver in the list of people-can-take-care-of-this-sick-man.

She goes over her mental list again, chewing the bottom of her lips when all the names are being checked off. She sighs in defeat when her name remains unchecked. "Will it be all right to stop at a grocery store just for a few minutes?" Kagome keeps the volume of her voice to a bare minimum, knowing every little noise must resonate at its maximum volume to the feverish man. His eyelashes tickle her neck as his eyes slowly open, but she sits still while waiting for his response.

"… Why?" His hoarse voice barely makes it to her hearing range; he must be exhausted. She hooks her right over his shoulder, allowing Sesshoumaru to be in a more comfortable position while using her body as a pillow. She brushes his tangled hair with her bare fingers, providing some distractions from his current discomfort.

"Because you're sick, and you will need to eat. The last time I was at your apartment, you still have those eggs and slices of bacon in the fridge and nothing else," Kagome slowly explains to him, delivering each word as precise as possible while stroking the scalp of his head. Sesshoumaru leans closer, deliberately or not; she guesses he likes this as her hand repeats the same movement again. "So I need to get more food, to get your body some nutrition, all right?"

Kagome thought he was falling asleep after moments of silence, along with the usual pattern of irregular breathes. "… Just… list out all the things you need to my housekeeper." Oh, so the man operating this vehicle is his apartment's caretaker; she finds it strange since his apartment doesn't seem to be in need of a servant. It is not that big and easily manageable for one person.

But, does Sesshoumaru truly expect her to spell everything out and that man will remember? She understands human can memorize a lot of things, but not in a short amount of time. The gears in her brain begin to rotate as Kagome struggles to put her words in the correct order. "But…"

"Jaken will get everything, without fail." His voice seems so tired as if he does not have sufficient strength to say another word. So, she stops auguring and lets the sick man rest instead.

She speaks as slow as possible, trying to list out all the items she can think of. Surprisingly, the driver repeats the list once more time in a perfect order after she finishes the lengthy sentences. Heck, Kagome cannot even recall what she just said. She says quiet thank-you before pulling her phone out. She begins to compose a message to her boss, telling Tsubaki she is taking her paid-vacation day now.

She deletes some words as Sesshoumaru coughs loudly; she changes the request to two days-off instead. She doesn't trust that he will get better in one day. Plus, a precaution is always better than none. After reviewing her notice one more time, Kagome puts her phone away as soon as hitting the send button. Her supervisor's response can wait for a later time; right now, she shifts her attention back to combing his tangled hair while observing the passing scenery.

Her scent is so bewitched, luring him to a light slumber. Sesshoumaru closes his eyes while savouring the coolness her skin has to offer. He can plainly pick up the echoes of her loud heartbeats even though he is merely on her right side. He wonders why it is beating so fast as if she is anxious about something. Strangely, it blocks out all the noises from the roads, allowing him to descend further into the realm of obscurity.

Suddenly, she leaves his side without an explanation as her alluring scent slowly dissolves into the thin air. He feels heavy at the prospect of her leaving him in this dark abyss alone. Opening his tired eyes, he desperately needs to locate her delicate figure before the petty fear takes over his fogged mind. Before Sesshoumaru can figure out what is going on, a pair of hands pulls him backwards and moves him out of the small space. "Let's get you to bed," her voice once again soothes his burning insides. He lets his limbs move by themselves, being guided by her heavenly voice step by step.

The driver excuses himself after helping Kagome carrying the full-grown man into his bed, indicating he has to fetch what she has ordered now. The man named Jaken says she doesn't have to see him out since he has his own pair of keys. Kagome just simply bows down slightly, thanking him for getting the food one more time. After hearing the door being locked, his uneven breaths are the only noise in the otherwise silent apartment.

It takes Kagome a couple of minutes, but she is finally able to get Sesshoumaru to lie on his back. Fluffing the pillow, she needs to make sure his head is above the rest of his body for easier breathing. The collar of his shirt is slightly damp; shaking her head, it will do him no good to sleep in a sweat-soaked shirt. Moving towards his closet, she hopes to find a clean towel. She blushes as she sees his intimate clothing, even though it is not the first time she looks at them. Kagome has to repeat the word 'towel' again and again in her head to keep her eyes from straying back to that area.

Spotting the white towel, she immediately reaches for the soft fabric before shutting the closet without hesitation. She needs to take care of a sick man for gods' sake; it is no time to be distracted by seeing someone's undergarments. Getting back to his bed, Kagome starts undoing his buttons. Being covered in a thin blanket of sweat, his chisel chest peeks through the thin fabric the further down she gets.

Ignoring her traitorous heart, she begins to wipe away the sweat coating his body. Feeling her cheeks heated immediately, Kagome looks away as she pushes the towel lower and lower. She does not know why, but she suddenly feels embarrassed doing this. She helps patient washing their bodies all the time; plus, she has seen his magnificent body countless time before. So, in short, this combination should be nothing new to her. The sound of his laboured breath draws her attention back to the new patient.

Even if he is sick, even if his skin loses its ivory colour, he nevertheless looks absolutely gorgeous. Heck, the sight of his chest rises up and down rapidly causes her heart to beat out of tempo. Before understanding what her body is doing, her fingers already touch his body. The tips of her fingers heat up as the heat of his body transfers into hers. Slowly but surely, her entire right arm feels the familiar yet strange warmth.

Kagome drags her fingers gently from his sculpted chest down to his hard stomach. Her fingers create some sort of path with an unknown destination as her brain continues the mindless action. With his skin lacks any distinct colour, it is as if she is the one causing him to burn up underneath her influence like this. She suddenly feels like a pervert as her brain finally functions normally again.

However, her attempt to withdrawing her fingers is futile as Kagome feels a heated skin on top of her hand. Despite looking quite weak, Sesshoumaru still holds her hand firmly, not letting her get away. The notion is almost laughable to her, as if she can ever escape from him. "Why are you so shy?" He lifts her hand until it touches his lips, leaving behind a different hot sensation on her fingertips. "It is not the first time you touch me like this," his tongue is now licking her fingers like a delicious lollipop.

"Y-You need to rest," her heart rate picks up as she watches him caressing her fingers with his tongue. Kagome wants to withdraw any part of her body before her brain becomes haywire again. "T... This is not the time to be doing something like this," she applies more force, deciding to put a distance between his tongue and her shaking limb. But, she is obviously failing; or, perhaps she is unconsciously enjoying his attention and wanting to drag out the short seconds. She honestly cannot tell anything apart anymore.

Too memorizing by his actions, Kagome doesn't realize she is being pulled forward until her back touches the soft mattress. In a split of a second, she finds herself being excluded from the world by a veil of white silk and her own sun; two of them, in fact. The handsome man turns into the center of her world one more time. She does not know where his strength comes from, given that he is struggling to inhale the surrounding air. Kagome wants to say something, but she is too absorbed into their little world.

"You did mention there is something we can do to lower my temperature," his hot breath caresses her ears, causing electric shocks to run through her spine. For the ten-thousandth time, Kagome swears she will never be tired of his touch. "And, as a nurse, you should know that a bit of action will cool someone off," his tongue darts out to run over the outer shell of her ear as he wraps up the sentence. Her pulses quicken as a surge of adrenaline courses through her system.

"There are a lot of things we can do aside from… this to lower your temperature," Kagome slowly struggles to pronounce each word. Ignoring her request, Sesshoumaru leaves a kiss on her ear and starts his journey from there. Her temperature climbs up in a few seconds as he secures another kiss on the neck, lazily trailing downwards. She wonders if it simply because of his feverish body, or if she is starting to get sick as well. The strength in her limbs and mind begins to abandon her body little by little.

"That just won't be fun," he lifts her blouse up, just enough to uncover her bosom. After all, in order to advance his path, he requires to get rid of the obstacle. Sesshoumaru lands a few kisses along the way, revelling in the taste of her cool skin. As he gets to the first destination, he suspends his trip by drawing the rosy nipple into his mouth. Applying some pressure, he sucks on them as if they are the sweetest thing in the world. Suddenly, he clamps his teeth down, biting on it like a piece of chewy meat.

A stinging pain spreads across her chest; but, it promptly gets remedied by his heated salvia. Kagome cannot tell when her words become incoherent, or why she cannot communicate anything in a proper sentence. It perhaps has something to do with the titillating feeling ignited within her body, or if it simply because of the immense pain he just inflicts on her. Leaving the last bit of her rationality behind, the desire to express the suppressed emotion is utterly too strong for her to handle.

Sesshoumaru doesn't know where he gets this strength. His muscles ache, his mind is distorted and his senses are dull. But, her touch awakens him from the brink of entering into another slumber, lighting his desire back up to life. Her voice is lovely, resonating within his mind every time she lets out a breathless moan. Her nipples are standing hard now, being surrounded by a pretty pink colour. However, what draws his attention is the slight imprint of his teeth.

That picture makes his member become harder if that is indeed possible. In his clouded brain, the vague red lines are the portrayal of ownership; her body now belongs to him and him only. Whenever she looks at her reflection, his mark will remind her of whom she belongs to. The thought of leaving behind a permanent mark nearly sends him to the verge of insanity.

At the same time, the ludicrous thought freezes his boiling blood. Realization hits Sesshoumaru straight in his head as he doesn't even know if she wants him or not. The pretty woman never utters those words, not even once. While it is understandable, the wild emotion causes irrational uncertainty to roam freely. It reasons to him that, the countless sex before is merely in the heat of the moment, without any proper words exchanged between them. The urge to hear this woman say she needs him suddenly goes through the ceiling.

Abandoning the rest of his logic, his hand trails down to her abdomen, trying to undo her pants. He doesn't know what kind of magic happens; but, the button comes off without much resistance. It normally takes a couple of seconds along with a few trials and errors, which is way longer than the limit of his patience. Sesshoumaru can feel Kagome shaking her hips slightly as she wiggles her bottom out of the tight jeans. 'Eager little thing', he thought.

The absurd notion overwhelms his mind, pressing him to move on from his current destination. Sesshoumaru can feel her pulse pick up even quicker as he gets closer to her sacred region. He silently wonders how many times he needs to bed this woman for her to stop responding to him like a virgin. He hopes the number is enormous because it will be boring without her innocent responses to his touch.

Kagome is confused about his action, not the part that he prefers to fool around for a bit. That is the norm whenever she is at his apartment; but, he generally takes his time before moving to the appetizer. This time, he just digs in, which is fine by her. She'd rather get this over quickly before surrendering her sanity to senseless hopes. Maybe it is a bit too late for wishful thinking.

Electric currents run up and down wildly through her spine. Leaning backwards to the headboard, Kagome lets the world hear how magnificent the sensation is. She has no clue what his tongue is doing or how it manages to reach such depth; but, she doesn't care as long as it keeps hitting the wonderful spots. It is incredible, making her feel like she can fly. It is intoxicating, forcing her slowly become addicted to his touch.

Kagome has no idea when she closes her eyes. The mild electrical shock takes over her mind so quickly that she temporarily forgets everything. Her selfishness grows exponentially while wishing for the universe to contain only her and him. It is just the two of them, fooling around until the end of time. Opening her eyes, it is time for her to come back to the real world. But, the sight in front of her eyes makes her wonder if her prayer has come true or not.

She can plainly see half of his face disappear beneath her lower body. His eyes are closed shut as if he is eating something truly divine. Even though Kagome cannot see his mouth, she can definitely feel it. It is moving non-stop, exploring her forbidden area to his greatest content. Her cry is getting louder as she feels his tongue touching the sensitive part over and over again.

Just as Sesshoumaru suspects, he is never going to be tired of her rich essence. The sensual scent with a soft finish is unique, unlike anything he has inhaled before. He is quite confident if air smelled like this, life wouldn't be as bad for him. The intoxicating wine keeps leaking out, easing him from the never-ending thirst; or, that is what he expected. To put it simply, the more he tastes, the thirstier he becomes. Damn her and her intoxicating essence; they will be the death of him one day.

Her moans soon fill up the room, and he certainly appreciates the rhythmless music. While his taste buds are rewarding with the exquisite essence, his hearing organs are compensated with seductive music. Life cannot get any better than this. As his tongue caresses her jewel, Kagome lets out a rapturous moan, scorching his blood further into the evaporating point. Sesshoumaru flicks his tongue over her precious pearl, producing more music to his ears.

Kagome doesn't know where he learns to perform such a good… action. But, frankly, she doesn't care either as long as he continues doing this and showing her towards the passage to heaven. She can sense the knot tying within her lower belly, signifying the familiar exotic waves are going to plunge all over her body soon. She buckles her hips forwards, allowing the stimulations to be stronger.

Just a bit more… she can feel it is coming... Just one…

The height crashes down; numbness spreads across her body. It finally registers in her mind that Kagome has been rejected from heaven, with just one step away. Her insides scream, but no words emerge from her lips. Her lower body feels empty as if there is a gaping void. Her fingers twitch, demanding to bring herself towards the brink of bliss again. Even though she will never be able to replicate the exact feeling, it still doesn't stop her from wanting to give it a try.

Words are obliterated from her mind as she senses something enter her sacred cavern. Her back involuntarily arches up at the abrupt intrusion. Breathes are being forced out of her lungs as his slender finger starts to wiggle around, getting to know her private area inch by inch. Kagome suddenly forgets about her irritation towards him not allowing her the heaven she deserves.

Even with impaired perception, Sesshoumaru can still marvel at the sight in front of him: she is writhing underneath his body with such a lovely expression. The music dances around them, causing him wanting to move along with her tempo. He curls his finger up, brushing against the sensitive nub in her sacred place. Her cries become ecstatic and uneven as though she is pleading for more. Adding another finger, sweet essence flows out to accommodate the welcoming intrusion.

Her muscles start to tighten again. It is an indication to him that she is close to the edge. As much as Sesshoumaru wishes to take her to paradise, he cannot, not right now. It is not because he lacks the ability, but because the desire to hear her uttering the strange words overwhelms his common senses. It can be because of the feverish feeling circulating around his mind; but, he cares not.

He pulls back his fingers from her wet sheath before the final button is pressed. Her expression tells him that she is highly upset with his attitude right now. And, if he does not correct it, she will leave his bed and complete the deed by herself, with or without his help. Kagome breathes heavily, as if she just runs a ten-mile marathon, letting him admire the way her bosom move up and down erotically.

Her skin flushes because of his kiss. Her essence flows out, triggered by his fingers. The music she sang is because of his lips. She is writhed under pleasure because of his touch. She is locked out of heaven because he doesn't let her in. Right now, she functions because of him. At this very moment, she belongs to him. Sesshoumaru just needs her to say those words, to soothe the restless feeling in his chest. He drives his fingers back into her hot carven before her frown deepens.

If Kagome is not persuaded that she is already in purgatory when they met again, this moment will confirm it otherwise. If that is not the case, what are the plausible reasons why this gorgeous man keeps inflicting pleasures that will take her to heaven, yet preventing her from reaching it?

Minutes pass by, but it is an eternity for Kagome. She is certain that the devil is toying with her sanity as she gradually loses count of how many times he has tortured her like this. At this point, her body is tired of all the teasing and near-orgasms; she is on the brink of insanity. She is willing to do anything for him to open those gates to heaven, and she is the type of person who rarely asks anyone for help.

"Please… I… Please." Only those words manage to escape her throat. There are so many things she needs to say, yet her brain cannot deal with them fast enough. She wants to ask for his help, but they just don't come out the way she wants. She can hear voices shouting inside her head because of the frustration; yet, all she expresses are those meaningless words.

"Tell me what you want," Sesshoumaru also arrives at the end of his patience; he just needs to push her in the right direction and encourages her utter those words by herself. Pulling his fingers out, he licks the lingering juices; the wine makes his patience just a little shorter.

"You." The simple word escapes soundlessly from her mouth without her knowing. Still staring into the pools of honey, Kagome can feel her cheeks burning hot; her ears suffer the same fate. Despite her humiliating state, she can see the corner of his lips lift up, letting her look at the handsome smirk. Now, just adds two horns, and he will look like a devil, her very own devil.

"What do you need?" Sesshoumaru relieves himself from the confinement of his pants as she becomes more honest. He has a feeling he is soon going to the paradise with her. Soon, very soon.

Gods, how much more humiliation does she has to endure? What does he want her to do? Beg him for a sweet release? Plea him until he understands how much she needs his touch? With her hazy mind, Kagome becomes desperate; screw her dignity. "I… need you, Sesshoumaru. Your touch, your kiss, your everything. I…"

Kagome gets to her long-deserved heaven before completing her sentence. Her walls stretch out, adjusting for his glorious length. His cock hits the perfect spot as he enters, making her lose it all. She swears seeing stars dancing around as white clouds fill up her vision. Her body becomes light as if Kagome is ready to fly. She is dragged back down to hell as she feels his movement; a brief moment in heaven is all she needs. She can live with this pleasure for the rest of her short life.

Sesshoumaru doesn't need to hear the rest of her erotic statement. It is all he requires to confirm that she belongs to him. Even though it hardly lasts within hours; even though it merely applies within the context of his bed, he will indulge whatever she offers right now. For the moment, he will live in his own illusion and deal with the reality when tomorrow arrives.

For now, let him remain in a fantasy that she belongs to him.

Chapter Text

Chapter 20Iaso – the goddess of cures, remedies and modes of healing. She is usually depicted gazing at herself in a mirror, presumably as a sign of good health.

It is sunset when her eyes begin to flutter. A slight crack in between the curtains allows Kagome to see the pink and purple dominating the sky, along with a hint of tinted orange hue in the distant horizon. However, the fascinating landscape does nothing to capture her attention; instead, she almost sits up right away as soon as a familiar heat hits her bared skin. With her hand settled on top of his chest, her cheeks are painted with a pink tinge despite not being a stranger to this picture.

Even with the little light from the dying sun, his hair seems to illuminate against the ivory skin, almost making moonlight be jealous of its glow. His face muscles soften and the usual cold mask melts away. To wonder if she is the only human to see him in this state is a silly notion, but her heart stirs at that prospect regardless. Never mind, someone like him probably sleeps with countless women; so, other lucky women probably get to look at this different aspect of the cold man. Kagome shoves the unusual foreign feeling away from her chest.

Suddenly remembering the reason why she is here in the first place, she places the back of her hand on top of his forehead. Sighing in satisfaction, at least his temperature goes down when being compared to before. Maybe their activity has caused him to sweat and cool down. For once, their lascivious act results in something positive. Her hand brushes against his forehead lightly, wiping away any excess sweat.

Carefully getting out of bed without disturbing the sick man, Kagome quietly picks up their clothes scattering across the floor. Much to her surprise, a clean shirt is buried underneath their piles of clothes. Folding them up nicely, she sets them aside at a nearby chair except for the old shirt. There will be no way in hell she will wear jeans now. Plus, he does not seem to mind when she wears his dress shirt last time anyway; so, she should be fine.

Putting on the over-sized shirt, she realizes it is long enough to cover her bottom; that is good because she now just has to put on her underwear underneath, and not the uncomfortable jeans. Deciding to go prepare some food, Kagome leaves the bedroom quickly before being tempted to return to his warm embrace. She fails to notice an exquisite painting of the sun and moon next to the door leading to the bathroom; it is not her fault since there is nothing unusual about it.

She almost falls down to her knees when entering the kitchen. Letting out a sigh of horror, Kagome tries to count the number of grocery bags on the counters. She creates a mental note to spell out in further details next time to his housekeeper. When she says chicken, it does not mean every available type of chicken parts. It will doubtlessly take her a while to load everything into the refrigerator and pantry; her muscles already ache at that knowledge.

While unpacking everything, she considers making simple chicken soup for Sesshoumaru. It is relatively easy to cook; plus, it is good to fight against the common cold as well. With that in mind, she leaves the chicken thighs on the counter, along with other ingredients instead of putting them in the fridge. Still learning where everything in his apartment locates, it takes a few trials and errors to locate a cutting board and a sharpened knife. Wasting no more precious minutes, Kagome starts cutting the chicken into small pieces.

While getting the bones out from chicken, her mind starts to wander around. The silver-haired devil, as always, takes the center of attention. She is quite confident that he was toying with her before; she was humiliated by being compelled to declare those degrading words. He wants her to admit that Kagome longs for his touch and that she needs him to even breathe in this world.

And she did just that; she had blurted out those words in a moment of weakness. She admits to harbouring those feelings ever since they first met, back when she still had no idea about the true connection between them. Thankfully, those emotions were buried underneath her heart before their existence is even accepted. And hours ago, she accidentally let them out of desperation to have a piece of heaven again.

So now, he has the knowledge of her life being dependent of his touch. He now knows full well that her body wilts without his tender caress, like a flower without sunlight. Sesshoumaru will quickly recognize that he has become the center of her universe when they are in his bed; he turns into her very own sun, fueling her body back to life with his kiss. He holds the power over her…

Her thought is cut short as a sharp pain extends through her left index finger, rushing furiously towards her upper arm. Kagome lets out a high-pitched yelp and drops the knife immediately. She clutches her left fingers tightly together while running toward the sink. Opening the faucet, she immediately dunks the entire left hand under cold water. Despite her finger is still in tremendous suffering, the frigid current at least somewhat masks the pain away.

Pulling her index out of the icy water, there is a long cut along the base of her index finger. Thankfully, it is not deep enough to generate any alarming concerns. She dunks the entire hand back in the running water, hoping that will be enough to clean the wound and any excess blood. A bandage is not required since the wound is not that bad. Plus, she has no idea where it is in his apartment.

Judging by that lack of sounds or responses, she guesses Sesshoumaru was not woken by her deafening scream. Sighing in relief, that guy needs to rest more than anything at this moment. Looking over to the counter, she has deboned five chicken thighs without noticing. Kagome decides to stop preparing any more chickens since it is more than enough for one person. Turning off the faucet, she picks onions, ginger, celery and other ingredients out of the plastic bags to finish preparing the chicken soup.

She waits by the sink for a couple of minutes before the blood clots. Making sure everything is sanitary, she dices all the vegetable ingredients one by one. Kagome forces her brain to concentrate on the current task, to avoid leaving another cut on her finger. One is enough; she does not need any other scars since her heart already has enough.

Dumping everything into a giant pot, she fills the water more than half of the pot. Turning on the stove to high heat, all she needs to do is waiting for the soup to be cooked. As she washes the utensils, her mind starts to drift away from reality again, as much as she tries to stop it from taking place. She avoids thinking about her silver-haired devil. So, her brain chooses to focus on her current relationship, for better or worse.

Shivers run through her spine as the early encounter with the other woman today echoes in her head. Kagome can identify some aspects in that girl that appeals to her boyfriend, like how pretty she is, how she is full of life, or how that woman just seems have an enthusiastic halo around all the time. That woman is someone who possesses comparable characteristics to her boyfriend. So, perhaps that is why he cheats on her.

Kagome stops from going down on the rabbit hole of feeling sorry for herself. She is so sick of it; she is not even the person making her relationship worse from the beginning. He is the one fucking around and putting his dick into the moving hole. And her infidelity is technically one of the aftermaths caused by his action. Inuyasha is the problem; he is the reason why she gets into this situation. She is not the one to blame here.

Anger rushes through her veins in a matter of seconds, making everything sound like white noise. Dropping the utensils, she immediately goes straight towards the living room. Kagome looks for her black purse before grabbing her phone out immediately. Her fingers already move on to the next step and automatically press the numbers she has memorized for so long. Her action is so fast, causing everything to be a blur before it is too late to change.

A loud beeping noise seemingly bounces off the living room's wall as her phone is pushed against her ear. The noise is so loud that Kagome is afraid it may damage her hearing. Her hands are shaking as her mind finally catches up with the whole situation. In a moment of weakness, she has let her emotions out recklessly and dangerously. Maybe it is not too late to hang up…

"Kagome?" His familiar voice disrupts the rhythm of her heart. It awakens something deep within herself, acting as a catalyst to gather her courage. Biting the bottom of her lips, she considers something. Maybe, she can confront her boyfriend right now. Maybe, she can get to the bottom of this whole mess. Her heart beats rapidly as adrenaline pumps wildly through her veins.

"Inuyasha…" Her heart beats so loud that Kagome can barely hear anything else, including his further question. Where is all of her determination before? How come they vanish so damn quick within a second? Swallowing the lump in her throat, Kagome takes a deep breath to round up the rest of her non-existent courage. "Can we… uhm… talk?" Despite biting her tongue, her teeth still clatter against each other.

Hair strands adhere to her neck while the shirt sticks to her back like glue. The tension between them becomes thicker the longer the silence hangs in the air. She stares into nothing as her limbs become cold while waiting for the simple answer. Her hands shake slightly as the last bit of her courage finally run out. She is one thread close to breaking down at this very spot.

"Talk about what?" After an unusually long pause, Inuyasha finally acknowledges her question with another question. Metallic taste happens to seep into her mouth as she gasps for air. Her heart beats out of control at this point while her brain goes into overloaded. It is such a simple question yet Kagome does not know what to answer. Her lips open, but nothing comes out when his voice rings through the phone. "Actually, can we do this later? I'm really busy."

His sentence does something to her body. Kagome feels like a massive pressure is lifted off her shoulder; but, at the same time, a heavy burden is dropped to the bottom of her stomach. A sense of relief washes over her body, yet a gloomy cloud resides over her head. For once, she is not sure of her emotions. "Y-Yeah, sure. We can t-talk whenever you're free," how she manages to produce a proper response is beyond her knowledge.

Not even a second later, Inuyasha mutters a hasty goodbye before hanging the phone up. Her knees give in to the unknown pressure as her body hits the floor carelessly. Her limbs are tired and her brain suddenly runs out of energy. Kagome feels like taking a nap on this carpet and forgetting about everything for once. She wishes life is just a bit easier for everyone.

Her eyes almost close before a distant noise wakes her up. Once again, Kagome is reminded of what her purpose at this apartment: to take care of the sick man. She silently thanks for his sudden cough; or else, she will be arriving at the land of dreams, still wondering why she has no courage to confront anything. Standing up, her legs shake slightly as she takes one step forward.

Going towards the kitchen, the lid vibrates slightly on the pot, warning the water is almost at boiling point. Kagome simply remains in front of the stove, peering into nothingness while struggling to calm herself down. The surge of adrenaline finally dies down and leaves behind nothing but the truth about herself. She is weak and a coward; she cannot oppose anyone, even for the sake of her sanity. Kagome is beyond helpless; there seems to be no cure for her cowardliness.

Her eyes burn and her vision blurs. Blinking once or twice, and the dam bursts. She blames the leftover onions on the cutting board for making her eyes irritated.

So, her boyfriend cheats on her; that is ancient news at this point. But, she is not any better than the cheating scoundrel either. Kagome swallows that statement as though there are bitter medicines in her throat. So… they are even? Does it mean that if she ends her affair with some miracles and he does the same, they can just return to their relationship like nothing has taken place?

But, is her relationship worth all this hassle? Can they really pretend and forget what happened in the past that easily? Or, will they end up finding out that they are not truly made for each other and wasting their time in this dead relationship ten years from now? There are too many ambiguities regarding about their future together. Perhaps, she should just cut to the chase and…

The sound of water over-boiling stops her thoughts. She takes the pot off the heat as soon as some drops of water touch the hot surface. The hot steam burns her face for only a few seconds before leaving a thin coat of vapour on her face, masking the fallen tears. Kagome lowers the temperature before putting the pot back to its original place. Grabbing a clean tool, she stirs the pot and mixes all the ingredients together.

Giving her creation a taste, her tongue slightly burns from the sudden hot contact; yet, she can still sample the flavour of the chicken soup. Kagome continues to stir it for a while before grabbing a small bowl. Filling it up, she sets the dish aside and lets it cool down for a few minutes. Going through the pile of plastic bags, she finally discovers a bottle of cold medicine. She takes two pills out before sealing the lid back up.

Grabbing a glass, she opens the faucet and fills up halfway with lukewarm water. Before shutting the valve off, she splashes her face with cold water, washing away any evidence of what was on her mind. Equipping herself with a hot bowl with a spoon on her right hand, and a glass of water with two pills on the other hand, Kagome heads to the bedroom after leaving all of her ridiculous thoughts behind.


Darkness is the first thing that greets his eyes, followed by the dead silence. Sesshoumaru would conclude to have a hangover if he did not know any better. It takes him a while to register that he is staring at the ceiling with barely any lights on. It takes even slower than normal to sit up as his muscles are still weak. How long has he been out cold like this, and where the hell is the woman he shared this bed with?

Memories flood back to his fatigued mind; he can already sense a headache start to form. He remembers being lost in the lands of dreams right after he embraced her body. Silently, he shudders at the recollections of his burning insides and being in the freezer on the outside. He recalls a gentle hand caressing his forehead, neck and torso.

Sesshoumaru remembers the wonderful time they spent together before drifting off to the void.

His lips lift up unconsciously as the complete details become clear. The melody of her voice echoes within his ears and his mind play the scene over and over again in his head. An odd warm feeling spreads towards his heart as his smirk turns into a grin. For the first time, he feels happy.

She finally reveals the words that he demands to hear since they first met. The alluring woman finally declares wanting and needing him. This, at least, means that she enjoys their time together. Sleeping with him is not merely a duty; but rather, it is doing something that she enjoys as well. A cumbersome load gets lifted off his heart while a sigh of relief leaves his body. He means something in her life and occupies a space in her fragile heart.

Suddenly, Sesshoumaru feels like throwing up everything in his stomach. The fuzzy notion of happiness disappears, leaving behind nothing but bitterness. He feels sick again; this time, it is for his action. He shouldn't have forced her to do something like that. If she doesn't wish to disclose the information, he should have respected her decision. Sesshoumaru buries his palms to his face, muffling the sound of his cursing.

He cannot believe that he just has driven away the person who needs him. He cannot understand why his true personality is selfish like this. He should have never pressed on the subject since Kagome only mentions those words when she absolutely has to. She probably escaped from this place, leaving him behind in this boring space. He'd better give her a call, at least trying to explain he was not himself at that moment. He does not mean to act so selfishly.

Despite the protest of his tired limbs, Sesshoumaru gets out of the bed with some efforts. Picking up his phone on the nightstand, he soon becomes irritated as determining the phone is dead. Why does the universe have to work against him whenever he requires to do something? Letting out a frustrated sigh, the home-pod in the kitchen will be the only thing that can reach his lover.

His brain temporarily freezes. His limbs stop moving.

First of all, he does not have a lover. The raven-haired beauty is not his sweetheart in any sense. Kagome is clearly only with him because he threatens to expose their little secret to her dearest boyfriend. Their relationship is purely at the physical level, and nothing more. She might writhe underneath his touch and need him desperately, but not her heart. She is not his lover; not now, not ever.

Second of all, he does not confess his sins to anyone, not since he was a young child. But, on this occasion only, he will make an exemption. He will point out the reasons behind his action and words to his… bed partner. And, unlike other circumstances, he will make sure that Kagome will listen and understand what he has to say. The proud Sesshoumaru does not apologize, simply explain his actions and nothing more.

Pushing the heavy feeling aside, he proceeds to his living room and prepares to call his very own vixen. The more he walks, the weaker his muscles protest. It has been forever since he feels this strangely refreshed. As he makes his way through the corridor, Sesshoumaru can see a reflection of various colours on the walls at the end of the hallway. There are many noises coming from the living room; however, there is one sound that pierces through his hearing system.

A subdued echo of someone whimper, it is so restrained that his ears almost cannot pick it up. Someone is sobbing in his apartment, and it is unquestionably not his housekeeper. The pitch is considerably higher and much sadder somehow. There is only one person other than his servant that has access to his apartment at this hour.

Panic kicks into his system as Sesshoumaru realizes that his bed-partner is still here. He should be contented, but his current mood cannot be any more polar antithesis. His brain finally understands that the enchanted woman is breaking down in the living room. Adrenaline surges through his veins, more than ever before. The question of why she is crying torments his mind since one feasible answer bothers him the most.

Making his way swiftly to his living room, the sight in front of him twists his guts into knots. Even though he is standing behind her, Sesshoumaru can nevertheless see her body shaking and trembling as if she is having a seizure. She is burying her face between her knees, barely muffling the crying sound. The bewitched woman looks so vulnerable as if she is calling for someone to hold her and calm her soft cries. Sesshoumaru loses control of his limbs as soon as her entire figure enters his sight of vision.

One moment Kagome is seeing darkness as her eyes are pressed tightly against her knees. The next moment, a force hits her chest and forces air out of her lungs. She blinks rapidly, struggling to clear the water out of her eyes and see what is going on. Before she knows it, a warm sensation engulfs her body completely, making her feel protected. While wiping away the clear liquid, an incredibly low and quiet voice makes sparks fly between her brain neurons.

"This Sess… I was sick. I couldn't control properly my speech and tempter." Kagome can feel a slight pat on her back as it moves in a circular motion. A pleasant emotion burst in her chest, which is acknowledged for one second before getting sealed away in the vault of her heart. "I… apologize," his lips are right beside her ear, with each word accompanied with a warm breath

"W… What are you talking about?" Kagome clears her throat, struggling to convey each word clearly like she has not been crying her eyes out. Rubbing her eyes frantically, she determines to make all the tears go away.

"It was my fault… that you shed these tears," He pulls back, letting Kagome study his beauty at the close distance. Despite him looking at her like an alien, his thumbs continuously rubs under her eyes, effectively wiping away the trail of her tears. Too busy admiring his golden eyes, it takes her a few seconds to figure out his sentence. She immediately holds onto his moving hands, blinking her eyes a couple of times to clear any residual tears away.

"Hold on a second, it is not your fault!" Kagome puts pressure onto his cold hand, unknowingly pressing it against her cheeks as if to warm them up. Even though in this dimmed light level, his golden eyes still shine so brilliantly, letting her look at the doubtful emotions dancing along the edges. Before she can say anything else, a red flicker of anger can be observed deep within the rich amber colour.

"Is it… that bastard?" His voice is so low that it almost sounds strangely animalistic. Even stranger, her heart skips a few beats as her blood starts to boil, in an odd manner. How this man always knows something that her body is not even conscious of it is beyond her imagination. However, the implication of his question finally plunges into the bottom of her guts, wakening her from any dreaminess.

"What? No! No! It is no one's fault!" Her voice comes out immediately, almost desperately seeking to convey whatever she can think of. His shining eyes still peer into hers, as if he doesn't have a clue of what she says. Wanting to clear the whole situation before any dire repercussions, her fingers trail along the sofa seats to find something. Immediately grabbing a cold item, Kagome presses the only button she can see.

"I was watching this movie. It is about a tragic love story. The couple fell in love but couldn't be together," her finger presses furiously on the button. Pictures in the screen move backwards rapidly, corresponding to the pace of her pushing. "I cried because of it. So if you are going to blame anyone, blame me instead," she drops the remote back to the cushion as the screen stops at where she wants to.

Squeezing his hand slightly, she wants to reassure Sesshoumaru that she is fine and that no one causes her to be this state. But being perfectly honest, the sad movie is not the only factor that makes her break down in his apartment like this. Kagome cannot keep her emotion contained as she speculates about her messed up position. She cannot hold back anymore when thinking about her weak self.

She cannot repress the tears at the knowledge that this handsome man knows full well Kagome slept with him out of desire and passion for the first time since they entered their little contract. So, in some sense, he is one of the reasons why she acts like a child and cries to her heart's content like this. But, she obviously cannot tell him the truth. She hopes Sesshoumaru will accept a piece of the truth without further questioning.

His eyes visibly widen for a moment. Her heart beats a bit louder as the chance of her getting caught telling another lie increases as seconds pass by. He shows her the strangest look before slipping his hand away. As quickly as he shows up before her eyes, he disappears in a split of a second and leaves her alone in the living room. Kagome looks around as if she wishes to make sure that she does not hallucinate.

Hearing a vague sound from the kitchen, she breathes in satisfaction. At least she does not have brain problem from all the emotion roller coasters lately. She needs to tell him to go back to bed and get more sleep; one day of resting is not enough since his body is probably still exhausted from the illness. As Kagome is about to press the red button to shut the television down, his silhouette can be faintly seen from the corner of the room.

Before she knows it, Sesshoumaru already stands in front of her, blocking the television screen. He is shoving something in her face and holding something in his other hand. She cannot see anything but the outlines of his body. Knowing he means no harm, Kagome accepts whatever he gives to her. After a second, she recognizes that she is holding a wine glass.

A loud noise can be heard before her glass becomes heavy. The whiff of sherry, with a hint of fruitiness, tickles her senses. He finally stops pouring the liquid into her glass and settles the presumable wine bottle on the nearby end table. He takes a seat next to her but keeps a distance for some unexplained reason. "I don't have any chocolate right now. But I will let Jaken know to buy them next time."

'Wine?' She looks at the glass in her hand; 'chocolate?' She thinks about his previous statement. Kagome looks over to his direction; she never sees him this stiff aside from the time in his parent's house. It takes a few seconds for the small details to click in her mind. Within a second, the silence is breached as she bursts out in laughter, making Sesshoumaru even stiffer.

"Sesshoumaru, it is not that time of the month!" Kagome hugs her stomach with her left hand, suppressing the pain from spreading any further. Her other hand clings desperately to the wine glass, struggling to not spill a single drop out. "… At least not yet," she puts her hand on top of her mouth, somewhat successfully stopping herself from dying of laughing. She still cannot believe that this guy, the famously known-to-be-cold man, worries about her period.

"Plus, I don't have wine and chocolate when it is my time of the month. They are never in my budget," her laughter dies down as she takes a sip of wine. The alcohol is so good that it is similar to drinking the divine ambrosia nectar for the gods. Settling the glass next to the bottle, she'd better stop before being incapable to stop herself. Kagome reaches her hand out and places it on his forehead. She sighs in relief as seeing his condition is back to normal. Well, the fact he can walk properly and talks coherently is definitely a good sign.

"If it weren't, then why do you cry because of a movie?" Sesshoumaru pulls her hand forward, causing her to land softly within his embrace. Snaking his arm around her waist, he presses her body closer and makes her head rest on his chest. The sound of his heartbeat is all Kagome can hear for brief seconds. They strangely calm her down as if she has been dying to find out these hypnotic sounds. His warmth slowly spreads to her body, further becoming a sign that this is the place she has been looking for.

"Well, I don't know if you know, but women are emotional," Kagome pokes his chest slightly, acting as if she is mad at him. But in fact, she unconsciously snuggles closer to his chest as his arm tightens around her waist. Weirdly, she does not mind about these actions. In fact, she actually appreciates the intimacy. She feels like she can depend on someone for the first time. Silently cursing, one sip of wine and she is already delirious.

Her mind has been heavy lately for obvious reasons; and just from someone else's intimate contact, it feels nice. Part of her worries suddenly vanishes away while remaining within his embrace. Kagome wonders if Sesshoumaru is still a devil since demons are not known for comforting people. As much as she tries to persuade herself, somewhere deep down, she can never think anything negative about him.

"I bet that even you will cry your eyes out if you watch the final screen," she pulls the fuzzy blanket over and covers their lower half bodies. It is not that she is cold; Kagome just wants to make sure that he is kept warm, especially after he gets better from the illness.

"I doubt it," Sesshoumaru shows a strange look at her action since the woman basically tucks him in as if he is a little child. He finds it amusing. And much as he wishes to stop this silly act, he just cannot bring himself to do so. She is… emotional as she previously states; so, he will let her do whatever she wants. He would prefer seeing her in the good mood rather than crying on the couch.

"Well, lucky for you, I have re-winded just a bit before the crucial scene," picking the glass wine up, she lets the addicting liquid soak through her body. Looking over to his side, she gives him a mischievous smile. Kagome likes to think she has successfully lured him to her trap of watching the last minutes of a romantic movie. "Let us put it to the test, shall we?"

Not hearing his reply, she presses the button on the remote. The pictures start to move as if she has commanded time to start. Emptying the wine glass in one big gulp, Kagome settles the cup down before returning to his embrace. "Now, in order to understand the scene, I will give you a bit of the background information. So the main characters are the princess and her bodyguard. They…"

Sesshoumaru silently listens to the rest of her explanation. But, everything is a blur as he is absorbed within their small world. Her gentle voice works as a lullaby, luring him gradually to the land of nothingness. He strokes her hair every now and then to confirm the reality and keep him from stumbling down in the bottomless depth.

Though sitting in front of the television, he barely registers the tragedy unfolding through the screen. His eyes hardly open by the time one of the characters gets stabbed through the chest to protect the other one from any harm. He can barely hear the piercing scream through the silent space. Not every story is a fairy tale and not everyone gets the happily ever ending.

Before sleep consumes him wholly, Sesshoumaru faintly remembers hoping that his story does not end in a sad note.

Chapter Text

Chapter 21: Philotes- Aside representing one of the driving forces behind creation, the spirit also personifies affection and friendship.

Barely opening her eyes, the glistening sunlight seems to scorch her retinas the minute she emerges from the deep slumber. Turning to her side, Kagome pulls the flimsy blanket over her head, hoping the semi-darkness will allow her to go back to sleep. Her muscles ache because of the hard mattress and the unforeseen emergency case very late last night. Not to mention, the bitter winter further persuades her to stay in bed for just a bit longer.

Suddenly, her eyes are wide opened despite her heavy lids. Something is amiss here. Usually, at ten in the morning, the noise of cars honking outside is sufficient to wake her up without any alarms. The annoying sun is barely able to infiltrate her room through her non-existent curtain. But today, outside of her apartment is oddly silent, and the sunlight is bright enough that Kagome has to crawl under the blanket.

Wanting to alleviate the sudden turmoil, her right arm sneaks out of the blanket, tapping along the nightstand. As soon as a cold rectangle object hits her hand, she draws it back inside the blanket. Closing her eyes halfway, Kagome assumes the bright light from the phone will hurt her eyes in this distance. Pressing the small button on the side, she expects to see the default screen that she is too indifferent to change when getting this phone.

However, reality sends an abrupt jolt down to her fatigued body: her stupid phone is not responding no matter how often she presses any buttons. Sitting up instantly, the cold air in her apartment doesn't stop Kagome from banging the useless phone a couple of times. Realizing what has happened to the device, she plugs her phone into a nearby wall charger and dashes out to the living room in a flash. She even forgets to put on the slipper as the cold floor makes her shiver slightly with every step she takes.

Despite her foggy mind due to just waking up, Kagome still manages to locate the remote somewhere in her living room and turns on the television. Her eyes flutter rapidly as they struggle to re-focus to the tv screen. Slowly, blurred lines seem to connect back together as the picture of a news anchor becomes clearer. She can understand the woman is talking about the predicted weather for this week, but her eyes fixate on the left corner instead.

It is that moment that Kagome lets out the loudest and most profane word in her entire life. It is surely not her brightest moment since the entire neighbourhood probably hears her curse word from miles away. Wasting no more precious seconds, she jumps straight into the shower while the water is still cold. One hand moves the toothbrush in a circular motion frantically while the other hand slaps soap all over her body. She has never multi-tasked so well in her life.

Getting out of the shower in record time, she is hardly able to shut off the water switch before running straight to her bedroom. The closet's door flies open as Kagome frantically goes through every shirt and pants while still in her birthday suit. Not finding anything matches her taste for the day, she only further makes everything worse when water droplets fall from her body onto the piles of dry clothes. Panic is ensured to arise if she even cares about it in this hectic moment.

Her hand pulls up a maroon dress; skip, it is winter for god's sake. A cute floral shirt remains just a bit out of her grasp and lies in the corner of the closet; she approves of it, but maybe it is for the summer. 'God fucking damn it,' Kagome silent curses as she goes deeper into the closet. When does she start to care how she looks like besides going to important occasions? If she takes a second to figure out the answer, it is perhaps starting about a couple of weeks or months ago, notably on the weekend.

She tries on a white hoodie; looking into the mirror, and she immediately gets it off her body. That hoodie might be comfortable, but she looks like a polar bear in it. Putting on a red lacy blouse, the second she notices her reflections, she prefers to tear the shirt away than leaving it in her closet. She looks like a five-year-old playing dress up at this point. Kagome seriously needs to donate most of the clothes she owns right now and buy new outfits that actually flatter her body and goes with her taste.

As of right now, her closet dominates with colourful fabrics, especially hot colours like red and orange. What the hell did she think when she purchased these clothes? She does not even like bright colours for god's sake… Having a second thought, she figures it out why as her brain remembers terrible facts in her life. Still, she determines to get rid of them, at least the clothes she does not like.

Maybe it is time to change. Her wardrobe, that is.

Turning on the phone, the device finally has some time to charge itself. As the screen flashes brightly along with an indication of the current time, she lets out another curse before telling herself to hurry the fuck up. Kagome officially has ten minutes until the bus arrives, and she still cannot decide what to wear. Going through all of her clothes one more time like a psychotic woman, she finally digs up something she might like: a plain peach-coloured sweater. She lets out a squeal of delight as she puts it on.

It is a bit loose around her waist, but at least it still clings to her body frame somewhat. Putting on a thick legging, she does not feel like wearing jeans in several-degree-below-zero weather, not counting the wind-chilled effect not taking into consideration. Plus, the legging fits nicely around her legs, just enough to show off some of her assets in addition to providing comfort. Taking her place in front of the mirror again, she twirls around like a princess, despite not wearing a dress nor being an actual princess. She wonders if this is appropriate to meet…

Her concern is cut short as she realizes how much time she has lost in this meaningless process. Grabbing the white scarf, she dashes out of the flat in seconds. Seconds later, the apartment's door bursts opened while the news anchor talks about pedestrians should be careful crossing roads as the number of accidents continue increasing due to the slippery and icy roads. But, Kagome hears none of that while running straight towards her room to grab the purse and put on her winter jacket. Then, she dashes out of the door once again, right after locking the door and forgetting to turn off the television.

Running down the stairs, thunderous echoes of her footsteps echo throughout the apartment building. In any other occasions, she would be embarrassed about her behaviours if it were not for the fact that she barely had two minutes to get to the bus stop. She runs down on the narrow path which connects her apartment to the main street, ignoring the smell of days-old garbage. She can see the bus is already at the bus stop. Her ears flood with prayers to the gods that she can make it just in time. A bitter winter breeze rushes through her nose, filling her lungs with crisp air.

Thankfully, the bus driver is still on his phone when she arrives. Digging through her pockets and yanking out her transit card, she proceeds towards the nearest vacant seat. Kagome usually sits at the back rows of the vehicle; but, she is too exhausted from the spontaneous short marathon to care about it. She takes out her headphone and unravels the almost-impossible knots, almost ripping the fragile strings apart.

She is about to put on some music to amuse herself on the slow ride; but, something else receives the priority spot instead. Upon closer inspection of her phone, she realizes it has two notifications; one for a missed phone call and one for a voicemail. They are both dated at eight this morning, and from the same person. She is not sure whether to be frustrated for missing the potential important phone call or sighing in relief that she doesn't have to pick it up.

Her fingers shake slightly as Kagome clicks on the audio file. Turning up the volume, she places the headphones inside her ears. "Sorry for not answering your calls lately, Kagome. There are a lot of meetings coming up this week because it is almost the holiday," she almost rolls her eyes while hearing this part. Though she has to admit, the raucous sound of keyboard typing in the background sounds very real. "Why don't we wait until the weekend to talk about whatever that is? Don't forget, I'm picking you up at seven on Saturday!"

With that, the voicemail ends. Letting out a breath she has unconsciously held, her fingers finally stop shaking as her heart beats normal once again. She is relieved that Inuyasha has put off the questionable discussion once again. Despite trying to reach him many times for a couple of days, those attempts are simply out of random impulse and irritation with herself. Up to this very minute, Kagome still has no idea what and how to convey what she wishes to say.

Should she get to the point and reveal her knowledge of his affair all this time? Should she bring up her situation as well? Then, what happens next? Forgiving, forgetting, pretending or cutting all ties? Being a coward that she is, Kagome still has no answers to these questions for herself. This is why she is dreaded to confront this situation with her boyfriend. She will have to handle with this messed up situation sooner or later; so, why the rush? Plus, she doubts having enough courage to speak the truth in the first place.

Deciding to forget about the whole situation, the sound of a classical piano lightens up her spirit and drives her to lose herself in the state of daydream. She thinks about lots of things, other than how to handle the ongoing issues, such as what kind of food she will get for lunch, or breakfast in her case. Kagome even contemplates about which clothing stores to go shopping in the near future. Maybe she will buy some outfits in blue or white; she has always preferred those soft colours with cool tones.

Maybe she will get something in her favourite shade of gold. Maybe…

So absorbed in her thoughts, she does not notice the bus passing through the sought-after place, only until it is a bit too late. Upon realization, she frantically presses the stop button and hastily getting off at the next stop. Breathing out in relief as she sees her usual place is within her sight. but still a bit too far to walk by foot in this cold weather. It will take another three minutes to walk to her desired target. Pulling her phone out, the device screams silently that it is a quarter to three to her face. She starts sprinting down the pavement once she sees the time.

Kagome is so god-damn late.

Rushing through the ocean of people, she does not care if strangers give her a weird expression. She demands to get her ass there, now. However, with two legs and limited stamina, Kagome can only run so fast. Plus, she dares not to move any faster as the filthy snow will certainly be splattered all over her boots. Freezing wind blasts to her face; some can even seep into the heavy jacket. Her limbs shake uncontrollably as the chilling sensation makes its way into her bones. No matter how much her body protest, she cannot stop, at least not yet.

Her toes numb painfully from the sudden exercise; her ears burn badly from the cold wind. Yet, she ignores everything as voices in her head already pray to the high gods that he is still there. The sea of humans seems to dwindle as if they are making a path for her. The unlighted neon sign comes into view as well as the building she is searching for. The scent of coffee gets stronger and heavier as she gets closer. Bit by bit, her legs slow down as she catches a familiar figure. Then, her heart skips a beat because of the abrupt stop.

In front of her eyes, the attractive man sits near the window. The silver locks rest against his face, almost sparkling against the weak sunlight. He is genuinely focused on his phone, so much that he is too absorbed in his own world to notice a flock of girls giggling on the opposite side of the glass. He wears a black blazer today, with a clean white shirt underneath and a dark blue tie. Kagome has never known that such a basic outfit can look so good on a person. Despite casually sitting in the small café store, he looks like as if he is posing for a fashion magazine.

Her heart urges her to push forward and get a bit closer to that suave man. But, her brain halts the suicide mission as soon as Kagome catches a glimpse of her reflection on a nearby window. Her hair is sticking out here and there as if her freshly washed-but-not-having-sufficient-time-to-dry hair becomes frozen icicles. Running her hands through the locks, she flinches every time she discovers a knot. She tries really hard to untangle them without leaving a bald spot on her head.

Kagome studies her image for a bit, not knowing whether she is staring at a ghost or an extremely tired woman.

Despite the slight transparency of her image, she can nevertheless see the dark bags underneath her tired eyes. Her skin is also a bit flaky and her lips are on the verge of bleeding because of the dryness from the bleak season. Gods, how she wishes she had spent some time putting on some makeup instead of choosing outfits. She licks her lips, struggling to smooth out the visible cracks. Pinching her cheeks, she needs to at least bring some colours to them. She wants to look pretty in his eyes for this date.

If the weather is currently negative twenty, her little world feels like negative fifty. Even all the surrounding pedestrians seem to suspend in time as the preposterous notion finally registers in her brain. She yells at herself, ordering it to get everything straight. This is absolutely not a date in any forms or aspects. Heck, it is not even a planned event in the first place. She just… happens to meet him today.

And this day last week, and the day before that.

Yes, these are totally random events that happen to take place at the same time, same date every week and nothing more. It is anything but a date; maybe it can be classified as coincidences according to her standard. Kagome breathes out, allowing the world to start moving again. This is a casual encounter between two people that happen to be at the same place. Despite repeatedly feeding herself these lies, she cannot help but check for any yellow stains in her teeth through the reflection.

During her quick gussy-up, her eyes accidentally re-focus, letting her look at the object behind her nearly transparent reflection: a watch is being set on display. The small item takes her breath away just by studying the craftsmanship of the watch. It carries a classic, almost a faint glowing pink coloured jewel in the middle while being circled by other intricate designs. The faded silver colour suggests that this watch must be old, and hence, valuable. Her mind slightly swirls as it decides to calculate the price of this seeming artifact.

This watch must be truly precious to be displayed since it represents the store at first glance. Despite never needing a watch, she will probably shell out the cash if she ever has enough disposable income to maintain a luxury life. The watch captures her full attention to the point that Kagome fails to realize someone enters her field of vision before it is awfully late. A man with long jet black hair, with glittering ruby eyes, approaches her direction from within the store.

She immediately panics and feels embarrassed for being caught window shopping with no ability to afford something like this. So, she chooses to flee before the presumable worker can invite her in store to examine the product and sweet-talk her into paying for something she cannot afford in her lifetime. She takes off so quickly that the raw wind burns her lungs within mere seconds.

Too frantically escaping the unknown worker, her feet carry herself into the coffee shop without her noticing until the rich scent of coffee temporarily overwhelms her senses. Since she is already here, Kagome may as well get the awkward moment over with. Marching with confidence halfway towards the attractive male, she gradually loses the scarce confidence as she gets closer to his seat. She can virtually hear the echo of her heart inside her eardrums. Taking in a deep breath, she reassures that everything will be all right before taking another step.

"Hey, I hope I didn't keep you waiting for long," Kagome takes a sit directly in front of him while taking her jacket off. Avoiding his eyes contact, she does not need him to see how nervous she is. It will be rather weird to justify her uneasiness to see the man that she is sleeping with essentially every weekend. Grabbing a nearby menu, she pretends to read through the list of beverages and food, despite knowing full well she will probably get the usual.

"I merely happen to be at this store five minutes ago," Sesshoumaru closes the page she is looking at, before taking the menu away from her. Kagome protests and struggles to grab the menu back. However, sooner or later, she ends up looking up and peering into her favourite colour. "Or, are we supposed to meet here every week, like some sort of date?" His smooth voice overwhelms all other noises in the coffee shop.

Her heart stops in a matter of seconds, then starts racing immediately. Kagome can feel the unusual heat spreading across her cheeks and up to the tip of her ears. She tells herself to take in a deep breath before Sesshoumaru realizes that he has struck the black spot in her heart. "No!" Her pitch is way too high from the normal tone, already giving out signals that she is on the verge of breaking down from stress.

Suddenly, the coffee store seems to become oddly quiet. Not even turning her head, she can already feel the stares of people within this cramped space directing towards her. Hiding her face against the palm of her hands, she does not wish anyone, especially this devil, to see how embarrassed she is. Her face is doubtless as red as a tomato at this point. She prays people will go back to their business soon.

Sesshoumaru would burst into laughter if he did not want to scare her. It is simply so amusing to see this woman gets this flustered this easily by a simple sentence. The rosy colour quickly spreads across her cheeks, no matter how much Kagome hides behind her hands. Everything she does seem to have a little bit of her personality in it, and that drives him to tease her over again and again.

"No…" The lovely sound of her voice is muffled by the sweater as Kagome struggles to sit back down. "Of course this is not a date in any forms," she finally removes her hands and places one of them on her cheek instead. If this woman prefers to pretend nothing has ever transpired, she fails to do so in the most charming way imaginable. "I just also happened to be in this place, as you do," she offers him a slight smile, clearly trying to ignore her embarrassment. But, her smile is certainly forced as her eyes keep darting around, avoiding to look straight to him at any given moment.

So, the corner of his lips lift up, showing Kagome that at least he finds this entertaining. The consistent increase of the natural red tint in her cheeks is simply too lovely to observe from afar like this. Sesshoumaru would like to reach out and smear those shades away if it were not for the fact that they are in a public place. He really should restrain himself from teasing her any further, unless he wants to surrender the last ounce of self-control in a coffee shop.

All of a sudden, the spell is shattered as a waiter shows up, breaking off their own little space. "Here are your orders: black coffee, mocha and the chocolate tiramisu," he arranges everything in the middle as if the unnamed server is uncertain which goes to whom. Before the waiter excuses himself, Kagome asks whether she can get the tuna sandwich. He shows her a friendly smile and says the dish will be prepared right away. By the time she focuses back on her companion, the mocha cup is already in front of her.

"Thank you, really. You don't have to do it," taking the first sip, the hot liquid burns her tongue; yet, she does not care. The chocolate drink, incorporated with coffee, makes its course down her throat and warms her inside. It really proves itself over and over again to be her favourite drink in weather like this. But, her stomach growls loud enough for her to hear when the hot liquid hits the bottom of her empty stomach. She really hopes her food will get here soon since it will cut down the chance of Sesshoumaru hearing that embarrassing sound again.

"I didn't know you like chocolate dessert," as soon as she places the cup back down, Kagome cannot help but gawk at the big tiramisu slice. Salvia already floods all corners of her mouth because that piece of cake looks absolutely exquisite. She is not going lie; she can probably gobble it under a second if she tries hard enough. After all, she has that "special" power. She takes another sip of the mocha and lets the drink burning her taste buds. Honestly, she would rather that than allowing her to drool to drip down her chin in front of him.

"Who says it is for me?" Sesshoumaru pushes the dessert plate towards her direction. He can see the sheer size of her eyes expanding as the chocolate plate gets closer towards her side. To say that Kagome is surprised is an understatement; maybe bewildered? Astonished? Either way, he is content to do something that she likes. He knows for sure that he does not like sweet things; but, her body remains the only exception to his rule.

At some point, he honestly loses count how many times she slightly bows to him and repeatedly expresses her gratitude non-stop. He merely bought her a plate of chocolate dessert and she treats him as if he gives her a fortune of money. Hearing once is more than enough for him; it starts to get on his nerve of her constant expression of gratitude. It reminds him of strangers flattering him to obtain something for personal gains. "You can see this as a payment for taking care of me last week," Sesshoumaru determines to put an end to this nonsense.

"All right…" Kagome is rather confused at his statement. He was sick, and she just happened to nurse him somewhat back to health out of feeling worried. She definitely does not need any sort of payment since it is not an obligation. However, she brushes the uneasy feeling aside, thinking that he does not like to be indebted to anybody with his giant ego. Before she can pick up the fork to have a taste, the waiter brings her the sandwich she has ordered. The appetizing dessert will have to, sadly, wait after she has a proper lunch, or breakfast in her case.

Before she can dig into the deliciously looking sandwich, she informs him that their weekend meeting will have to be re-scheduled since she already has something planned and cannot possibly cancel it. Kagome decides to leave out the detail, not wanting to tamper with their rules of acknowledging the forbidden name in their conversation. Silently smacking herself, Kagome cannot tell if that is the right or wrong choice.

He hears her statement quite clearly and contemplates about it for a second. For some reasons, Sesshoumaru has a suspicion that Kagome is simply trying to make excuses to not fulfill their confidential contract. But, he shakes that ominous notion off, at the same time telling himself to stop being so paranoid and over-thinking everything. He nods at her direction, expressing his awareness that she has own life, but she will have to meet him at another date to make up for it.

Kagome agrees; that sounds really reasonable to her. The phantom beads of sweat disappear as she internally lets out a breath. She thanks gods that he did not inquire further details. It will be quite uncomfortable to explain the importance of the weekend to someone she casually sleeps with. Awkward will be ensured no matter how careful she approaches the topic. Taking her chances, she changes to another subject as she takes the first bite out of the tuna sandwich.

She keeps telling him to get something to eat too since it is awkward to eat in front of someone like this. Sesshoumaru declines, explaining that he already had his lunch at the office just an hour ago. However, he reassures Kagome that there is nothing to worry about since he is also drinking his cup of coffee; hence, she is not alone. She reluctantly concedes to his argument, still not knowing if she can manage to speak elegantly, or at least at the normal level, while chewing food.

Forgetting about her petty concern, they talk throughout the little time they have with each other. Kagome, as usual, leads the conversation to endless possibilities. She switches from the prevailing political situation to the miserable state of her current job in a matter of seconds. For some reasons, she is comfortable enough with the silent man to express everything to her heart's content. Sesshoumaru, on the other hand, simply listens to her talking, revelling in the way her voice moves up and down slightly whenever she wants to convey her own opinions.

If they were to be left alone, the two people would not even care about what goes on around them. Kagome is too lost within the boundless ocean of gold containing within his eyes to care about anything else. Sesshoumaru, on the other hand, is about to enter into another dimension as her velvety voice becomes the guide to the unknown realm. The apocalypse can be upon humanity and they will continue living within their own world as if nothing has developed. But, the reality is not known for its kindness.

His phone rings and interrupts their discussion; one sound is all it takes for their world to fracture in a million pieces. Pulling his phone out, his face immediately becomes sour as soon as the name of the contact shows up. Ignoring the call, he apologizes for interrupting what she is saying. Kagome savours the sweet chocolate coffee taste completely before claiming everything is fine, before returning to where she left off. Sesshoumaru takes another sip of the warm coffee and lets the bitter substance flow through his system, getting rid of the annoyance in his chest.

Like a videotaped film where the scenes can be pressed forwards, it is how Kagome feels whenever she is with him. As if a barrier has been created, they are separated from the outer world once the conversation gets going. She honestly thinks that they can keep talking about whatever they want until the end of time, if it is not for the god-damn phone calls.

Whenever his phone rings, their bubble bursts and advises her to get back to reality.

"It sounds urgent. You'd better get it," Kagome takes a big sip of the mocha, not letting irritation showing off through her voice. She prefers him to pick up the god-damn phone call once and for all because it starts to get on her nerve. It keeps interrupting their conversation at the exact moment when she starts to lose herself into his pleasant company. If it buzzes once, she doesn't mind; but, seriously, this is possibly the fifth time or something.

Looking down on his phone, it is still the same person trying to reach him for the millionth time today. Gods, why does it have to be today, and right now? Why can't he have the time with this angel not being cut off every so often? This'd better be important because it is wasting the little time that he has with her. "Excuse me then," he waits for her confirmation before standing up.

He decides to head outside to deal with this phone call, not bothering putting on his jacket. Sesshoumaru already determines that this upcoming conversation is going to be short, no questions asked. The phone keeps vibrating on his hand even as he makes his way to the outside. The bitter wind of winter cuts through the outer layer of his skin, yet he does not feel that cold. Maybe, the hot coffee is finally doing something good.

"What?" He doesn't care that strangers give him a peculiar expression. His current ultimate objective is to get this talk over before it even starts.

"Where. The fuck. Are you? Investors are waiting in the conference room for a meeting that is supposed to take place half an hour ago!" Sesshoumaru has to move the phone away from his ears, not wanting to deafen them prematurely. Rubbing the bridge of his nose, he doesn't need someone to point out the obvious since he is perfectly competent of knowing his own schedule for gods' sakes.

"Make it quick, Inuyasha. Time is of the essence," he looks back inside the coffee store, feeling a bit relieved that she is still there. Of course, she is still there; does he assume that Kagome will just magically disappear in thin air when he is not looking? For sure those kinds of circumstances can only happen anywhere but in real life. Despite the logical thoughts, he takes a quick glimpse at her figure again as if he genuinely wants to make sure.

Inuyasha is saying through the phone, but his ears cannot pick up the deafening shouts. The raven-haired woman is all he can see, from the way she sits to the way she holds the cup of her beverage. Sesshoumaru silently wonders how a silly woman can generate such attraction by only sitting there. His time stops ever since his eyes sets on her and his mind becomes blank.

This phenomenon gives him a sense of déja-vu of the night they met. She looked absolutely stunning that night, not as much as at the moment though. However, his empty mind is not because of her beauty alone; no, it is devoid of rational reason because of the action she is doing.

She is smiling, beautifully. Her smile can light up the entire space of darkness and warms up the atmosphere within mere seconds. Sesshoumaru cannot hear the lovely music that she is producing, yet each note is crystal clear within his ears. Even the deepest spot in his heart brightens up from watching the angelic expression. The world seems to develop into a better place with just her smile. Sadly, it is just not to his.

A lucky stranger, standing within her arm's reach, is the one her smile is directed to.

Chapter Text

Chapter 22: Zelus – the personified spirit of rivalry, emulation, envy and zeal. He is also sometimes equated with Phthonos, the daimon of romantic jealousy and closely connected to the good Eris.

People on the street seem to be frozen in time. A young girl panicky tries to catch a fallen cup of hot chocolate, or a middle-aged man is on the verge of stumbling down on the thin sheet of ice. This is just a small snapshot of what Sesshoumaru sees as if he is looking at a beautifully painted picture. For a split of a second, in a certain angle of the non-existent sunlight, he almost believes to be an art exhibit. That is until he sees her stunning features in the center of this realistic painting.

One second pass, then another. Slowly, he is quite positive that hell has frozen over because of the immediate plunge in temperature, solidifying everything on the surface of this so-called Earth. Even the blood in his veins seems to stop circulating and preventing his other organs to function properly. His fingers gradually become numb to the point of being physically painful. His lungs slowly stop working, no matter how many times he tells himself to take in a deep breath before suffocating.

He is being choked to death, but not by the lack of air.

Out of nowhere, a wave of envy and jealousy washes over his skin and causes all the tiny hair along his body to stand up. It drowns all his pores in a matter of seconds with its sticky substances, similar to a tsunami hits the sandy shore without a notice. The jealousy finally soaks through his skin and lets him taste its sickening sweet flavour. It adheres to every nerve like boiling sugar and gradually melts down the layer of frozen ice surrounding his heart.

Sesshoumaru envies of whoever her smile is directed to. He is absolutely jealous of whoever has the privilege to see such perfect expression in her face. This is because, simply, he never gets to look at this exact facial appearance from her. Sure, the charming woman smiles with him all the time when they are together. But, he cannot help but shake the feeling that those smiles are forced. To be fair, it is also his idea that they are together in this manner from the beginning.

He is envious of a stranger, for the first time. The ugly emotion smears across his heart like a fresh batch of tar. But, before he can thoroughly understand that foreign sensation, it is quickly forgotten as another nasty feeling overwhelms his nerves.

A burst of anger suddenly strikes him straight in the guts. It scorches the disgustingly sweet flavour and leaves a bitter charcoal flavour behind. The fire boils his blood until it thickens, drying him up from inside out. Any other water substance is quickly evaporated as his organs are burnt by the violent blaze. Unlike the tide of jealousy, the merciless fire does not stop until it spreads into every crevice of his body. It keeps burning as if it wishes him to be completely burnt alive.

He cannot comprehend the reasons why he is furious like this. Perhaps, he is angry at Kagome for never showing him this carefree laughter. Maybe, he is furious at her for showing that gorgeous smile to a complete stranger, but not him. But, Sesshoumaru knows better. This anger is never directed to her in the first place; it comes from his incompetence. Sesshoumaru is bitter at himself for failing to make her laugh like that. He is unquestionably livid at his past actions for never making her completely comfortable around him.

For quite some time now, the hatred for dragging her into this kind of relationship with him only deepens; but, what other choices does he have in order to keep Kagome by his side? Except for threatening their little secret, he doesn't have too many options to choose from. Though he wishes they could have met in a different circumstance, he cannot feel bad for enjoying her sweet taste every weekend. So, he is trapped in the middle of the two conflicting emotions and the flame of anger furthers intensifies this confusion.

As swift as all these foreign concepts appears, the uncontrollable flame vanishes quickly in the shallow bottom of his heart and any residual sickeningly sweet tsunami waves also recede away in a flicker of the eyes. Physically and emotionally bracing himself for another type of emotions to come along, but much to his disappointment, nothing happens. The beat of his heart slowly comes to a halt as Sesshoumaru is left hollowed by the roaring winds, which is created by a single simple thought.

She is not his lover from the starting point; this is nothing new. But, what is their relationship at this point? Being romantic is the farthest word to define what is going on, unless fucking their brains out is considered being an amorous gesture. Hatred doesn't fit the description either. Kagome may still despise him for forcing her to be with him; but, she tolerates his presence enough to have lunch unplanned like this. The fuzzy boundaries represent their relationship becomes thinner the more he studies their situation.

However, regardless of their status, he has no right to feel these raw emotions. They are for a jealous and over-protective boyfriend, something that his lucky half-brother may get to experience.

She belongs to his half-brother. She is never his, to begin with. Sesshoumaru keeps repeating these phrases over and over again in his head until each individual word becomes meaningless. He will forever be the third party in their relationship; this fact is already written in the lines of history. So, he shouldn't care about this, at all. Whom she smiles at is none of his business; whether Kagome will ever show him a genuine emotion will not alter his life at any point.

She presents to him her erotic side, and that is the closest thing to a real emotion that he will ever see. She might have made breakfasts for them after their nights together, or have coffee with him once a week, but that is pretty much the extent of their relationship. Fooling around and pretending like nothing has taken place, this is what Sesshoumaru has basically asked for when "crafting" their little contract.

He is only with her because of the lust for her body. Kagome is simply with him because he essentially forced her to. Who would want to smile and enjoy their time if they are required to be there? His lips grow thin, not allowing the bitter laugh to escape into the air. He will get rid of her whenever he wishes, with no strings attached. His heart slows down its rhythm as if it prefers to be frozen with time. The slight sting gets wholly ignored though its thorns slowly make it away across his petrified heart.

"Asshole, are you still fucking there?" An unpleasant voice causes the spikey thorns to dig deeper into the vascular veins. The acute pain somehow makes time flow again, in exchange for his nerves slowly being paralyzed in the bitter cold. His eyes are almost too painful to blink, while his face muscles can barely move. He can see the pretty woman is still smiling, as if that stranger has managed to capture her whole attention with an entertaining story. Sesshoumaru never hates someone so quickly like this, not even his half-brother can compete for this spot.

Unconsciously gripping the delicate phone in his hand, it is almost to the point of inflicting stinging pain on the tips of his numbed fingers. The longer he sees the way she covers her mouth and utterly fails to hide that delightful smile, the more he feels uneasy. A sense of urgency rushes throughout his veins, delivering the adrenaline dose straight to his brain. It tells him to do something, anything besides being a watcher from afar. Slowly, insanity threatens to peel off the mask from his face.

"What do you…" Sesshoumaru forces himself to take in a deep breath. "Want now?" His teeth grind together to stop himself from letting out a curse. He has better discipline than simply letting out obscene words in a baffling situation, even if there are better things to do than standing here and talking to the person he hates the second most.

"Hey, don't you dare get upset with me! Did you know that I have to act like a monkey entertainment for those old geezers for the last half an hour or something? So, for gods' sake, get your…" The rest of the sentence barely passes through his eardrums as the image burns to his brain. His dearest half-brother's loud voice does not help to calm anything down either, as the raven-haired beauty keeps smiling more than ever before. Finally, his instinct overwhelms the last ounce of rationality.

"Keep doing what you're doing," Sesshoumaru is hardly aware of interrupting Inuyasha's rant. He has heard enough of his half-brother bitching about everything. A further discussion will not educate him of anything new or useful. Plus, there are more urgent and important matters to deal with instead of wasting precious time. Other non-emergencies will have to stand by until he clears up this conflict inside of him.

Ending the call before Inuyasha can say another word, he detects something odd about his phone. Has its side ever been this crooked, almost as if his fingers have left some dents to it? Maybe the cheap plastic finally reveals itself under that nice coat of paint. He brushes it aside, not paying any more attention to it. Doesn't matter what it looks like, at least the cell phone still works. He puts the device to his pocket before heading back to the coffee shop.

Sesshoumaru bumps into a couple of people here and there. But, it is absolutely their faults for not seeing how urgent he needs to be somewhere else. Most people ignore his action and pretend as nothing happens; some people curse him for being rude. But, he does not have any more time to spend on irrelevant tasks, such as answering the god-damn phone call from his half-brother. The glass door makes a noise when he enters the store as her gaze shifts towards his direction.

And just like that, her innocent laugh quickly fades away. It is quickly replaced by a more forced expression as if she pretends to be calm and collected all this time. He wonders if he is that uncomfortable to be around; or, is he just really being a terrible person to her? Well, to be fair, choosing to be the villain in the first place is already prohibited him from being the apple in her eyes. Once again, he can clearly taste the bitter consequences from his past actions on the tip of his tongue.

A villain, as the term represents, is the antagonist in any given tale. It is the type of character that will manipulate anything to get what they demand and force the hero to save the damsel in distress. And Sesshoumaru already performs the first action to secure his role. He takes what he wants: her body. So, there is no need to feel like vomiting from thinking about this.

Staring into her deep blue eyes, they reveal to him that it is too late to switch roles, even if he changes his mind. He can be a villain, a dreadful person in her eyes; but, that doesn't mean he has to treat her bad enough that Kagome is uneasy around him like this. He tries to identify a single instance of treating her badly, but nothing comes up. In fact, he has opened her eyes to mind-blowing sex and numerous new adventures, and he doubts it is a bad thing to experience.

But, maybe, that is the exact problem. All they have done is fuck until literally having no strength left whenever he takes her to his place, even if when he was sick. Sometimes, Kagome will stick around for another day because of his demands, and they will just repeat their same old activities until the next morning. They hardly talk about anything in bed, unless calling out each other's names in the height of the moment is regarded as proper talking.

Looking at their so-called relationship, he is not sure how much he knows about the woman he regularly sleeps with. He learns that Kagome is a nurse for a nearby hospital, but unclear about what she does in her free time. He notices that she likes chocolate dessert, but has no clue when it comes to her favourite food. He knows every nook and cranny of her body but still has very little idea of her true personality. Maybe, and just maybe, this is not the best way to treat a woman.

Other than his apartment, they meet at this coffee shop every Wednesday, as if there is a suggested routine between them. To this day, Sesshoumaru honestly does not know why he comes back here after the true initial unplanned encounter. It was merely a joking idea at first; but, his feet eventually take him to the same place every week. These short one-and-a-half hours are the sole occasions that they actually talk to each other like normal human beings, instead of behaving like a pair of hormonal teenagers.

He has assumed that their casual coffee, or lunch or whatever this is, will allow her to get used to being next to him. But clearly, he has overestimated himself, for the first time. Perhaps he should cease treating like an outlet for his sexual urges, but more like a … what? Definitely not like a lover, but definitely more than a regular person. Maybe, like a friend… with extra benefits.

Taking less than a second to decide, Sesshoumaru will start treating Kagome better, beginning with this every second. She deserves more than just being handled like a sex toy. There will undoubtedly some difficulties to accomplish this since he does not truly have any reliable information to base on. Heck, he is not even confident if he knows what a "friend" means. He will try his best, and maybe a bit of internet research will assist him in this process. There is nothing that he cannot do when he finds his target.

His feet take a step forward as he is now certain of what to do. A concoction of those odd emotions rises up within his heart as he sets his eyes on the back of the stranger. The closer he gets to his seat, the tighter rein he has to put on his irrationality as his fists become painful. The last thing he wants is displaying his ugly self to Kagome. That and get arrested for public harassment, of course.

Kagome gathers herself together as she sees the tall figure approaching her table at an alarming pace. The bleak expression on his face tells her to drop whatever she is doing and concentrating back to him, and that includes talking to the unwelcomed newcomer. She swears seeing negative emotions radiating off his body, causing her spine to shudder in a bad way. She has to blink once or twice before the illusion finally fades away. For some reasons, she knows that it is time for her uninvited guest to leave.

"Anyway, I have other matters to take care of. You can just head to work first," she interrupts whatever her unwanted companion is talking about. In all fairness, if Kagome doesn't stop him now, this fellow can go on and on to the end of time when he is the main topic of the conversation. "And before you even say it, I already have some plan with an… acquaintance right now," she decides to cut the chase and shoos her friend away. Or else, one of them will not get out of the coffee shop alive.

"But, there is only half an hour left before our shifts begin! Whatever plan you have, you'd better ditch it and come with me instead. After all, we are heading to the same place," the newcomer tilts his head a bit sideways, giving her a questionable look. If her lunch companion were to be anyone else, she would simply agree and head to work, instead of lingering for a couple of minutes.

"Just… GO! We will meet each other at work later anyway," his stubbornness starts to get on her nerves just a bit. Why can't all men have the ability to listen to what she has to say for once? Well, her charming bed partner seems to be the exemption; but then again, he may not be a mere mortal. Before long, her patience runs out and Kagome purposefully pushes the unwelcomed guest's back away from her table. If this action doesn't get through his thick skull, she will give up trying to save his sorry ass.

"All right, all right! I get it," he chuckles at her action, though she does not find any hilarity in her part. Maybe there is, but she cannot care less at this moment. Forcing a smile to him, she waves at him with her hand barely rises above the table. This cannot be a more obvious sign that he is no longer welcome. She mentally sighs in relief that he finally picks up to clue and makes his way out of the coffee shop.

Sesshoumaru relaxes his unknowingly clenched fists as he observes the stranger leaves his beauty alone. Those weird emotions are purged off his system when her gaze is once again directed to him. No matter how forced she looks, he is still very much content that, at least, she is looking at him and him only. The notion of her looking at someone else besides him makes him repulse in disgust; but, he blames it on a trick of the mind since there is no reason for him to feel like this.

The long forgotten hatred re-emerges as Sesshoumaru has a second to look at the face of the stranger, who dares to take his place while he is not by her side. And it only takes less one second for the face of that guy to imprint in his mind. He swears to never forget that long black ponytail or that tanned skin shade. He holds his breath as the stranger crosses the path with him. In all honesty, he'd rather sit down and have a conversation with his half-brother, then recalling a repulsive scent for the rest of the days.

"The phone call had some important matters. So it took quite some time to deal with," he takes his usual seat across the table, placing his normal mask firmly on his face to avoid Kagome seeing straight through his lies. Technically, that sentence is not a complete lie; the call with his half-brother did mention some matters that call for his attention. But, that is not the reason for him to remain out there for so long.

"Don't worry about it. I don't think you were out there for too long anyway. Probably like five minutes or something," she plays with the handle of the empty mocha cup while the other hand places underneath her cheek. Sesshoumaru does not know if she is doing this on purpose or not, but Kagome looks absolutely adorable to him. Whatever she is trying to achieve, it is definitely working.

"Well, it looks like you had some company in the meantime."

'Who the fuck was that?'

He takes a sip of his room-temperature black coffee. The liquid tastes bitter, but it is still at least better than the sour flavour in his heart. He needs to occupy his taste buds with something else to keep those nasty words away from having a chance to escape from his mouth. He has to clutch onto the cold cup a bit tighter, letting the minimal pain keep his sensibility in check. How idiotic of him to expect the disgustingly sweet jealousy to be completely forgotten.

"Oh, that was just a colleague of mine," she studies at her cup of mocha and notices some bits of coffee still clinging to the bottom of the glass cup. Still, that does not stop her from playing with the empty glass. Kagome just needs something to distract her from the phantom uneasiness in her guts. "His name is Kouga, and he is a general surgeon at the hospital I'm working for."

"Hn."

'Then, for fuck's sake, tell me why that guy was here.'

Despite the confusing storm of emotions raging within his mind, Sesshoumaru simply nods at her comment as he takes another sip of the cold coffee. He is convinced that if he did not do this, he would utter those profanities in a matter of seconds. And, if he grips the fragile cup any harder, the weak material will inevitably break underneath the pressure. Everything is like a ticking-timed bomb; just a bit longer, he is not sure if the iron will be able to hold off the ugly emotion any longer.

In a short second, he peers into her cerulean eyes, silently begging her to relieve him from this tormenting hell. He will undertake even the toughest challenge if Kagome does something, anything to calm the overwhelming waves of ludicrous emotions down. But, he quickly changes his mind as he reminds himself of who is he. He is Sesshoumaru, and he desires no help from others in dealing with trivial matters.

"Oh, he happened to pass by here and accidentally saw me from the window. He did want me to come with him to work because there was only half an hour before our shifts begin," Kagome discloses everything that has happened. It'd be bad to drive Sesshoumaru away, given her effort to delay even one mere second in this store. She wants to make sure that there is no misunderstanding and avoids uncomfortable situations. She wishes this could turn into a habit because honesty is a good virtue.

But, that means that she would have to confront her boyfriend about his and her affairs. This would lead to her ending the odd relationship with his man, who is incredibly handsome, cold on the outside but passionate in bed, and unexpectedly as-comfy-as-a-pillow. That would be a shame, but she will have to deal with her fear when the right moment comes. Her palms already sweat for thinking about it.

But, her nervousness is not for the obvious reason. Her heart constricts, leaving behind an electric shock throughout her chest. The dull pain spikes in her brain, quietly pointing out that the sole reason that she is even this position is that he basically forced her to. And, if she ever gets a chance to escape, she should take the opportunity, instead of remaining as his willing prisoner.

"Well, that is enough about me. What about you? Someone really needs your attention, doesn't it?" Kagome wants to steer the conversation to any direction but her business since it certainly drives her to consider very bizarre matters. Taking the temporary escape route, she accidentally puts herself in a false sense of control over her actions. "Was it your girlfriend?"

She seals her mouth shut and bites her tongue at the speed of light. The sharp pain paralyzes her taste buds, overpowering any residual flavour of the sweetened coffee. She has said too much; she should have never asked personal questions like that to him, no matter how strong her relentless curiosity is. It is none of her business whether he has a girlfriend or not. It doesn't affect her in the slightest whether he is deceiving on someone else by being with her every weekend like this.

She has lost counts how many she has to warn herself that their affair is nothing but physical. What he does with his personal life is out of the permitted boundaries around this forbidden relationship. Taking care of this guy when he was sick is already pushing those borders to their limits. She should not care any further about his personal life, not any more than this.

Sesshoumaru almost spills the black coffee into his suit if it is not for his constant iron grip on the handle. The cold substance gets shoved down his esophagus in a flash of surprise, which makes it incredibly painful to prevent coughing all over the table. Instead, he clears his throat for one too many times while still trying to look unaffected by her innocent inquiry. He has heard this exact question a thousand times by now; but, he would have never predicted that question to come out of her pouty lips.

He already assumes their relationship is only purely physical; so, any personal questions like this should be avoided at all cost. Perhaps, this is the chance he is looking to share snippets of information about his life and get to know her better. And hopefully, Kagome will be comfortable enough around him and see his effort of caring for her better than just an outlet for his sexual frustration. Strangely, he finds it quite acceptable with the idea of disclosing some intimate information to this lady.

"No, it was…" He stops in the middle of the sentence, not wanting to bring up his half-brother's name in front of her presence. There is a reason why he established that rule in the beginning after all. With just that bastard's name, the mood of the conversation can move south in a matter of seconds. "… my employee reminding me of a meeting." Still, he resolves to tell her the truth, just not the whole truth.

"Oh, you have a meeting later today?" Kagome keeps fiddling with the empty cup. It has developed into a toy to her at this moment. She needs something to distract her from accidentally looking into those unique golden eyes. Plus, that alluring colour will drive her to want to know more about the handsome man.

"No, it's happening right now." Sesshoumaru finishes the last sip from the bitter coffee, settling the glass onto the table. Not hearing any response from the chatty woman, he looks up to see Kagome simply gawking at him, despite her habit of avoiding eye contact. He wonders why she suddenly stops playing with the rim of the glass and her eyes become so large, almost to the point of popping out of the sockets. Did he have something on his head or face? He must have because shock is scribbled all over her face without a doubt.

"Haha… I'm not old and my hearing is already tricking me," that is perhaps the most awkward and nervous laugh he has ever heard. And that is saying something since he heard it quite often from his incompetent employees. Combining with the way she laughs non-stop, he starts to wonder if she is genuinely all right. He hopes that she does not get sick from taking care of him last week.

"No, you are not wrong. Actually, it began half an hour ago," Sesshoumaru pushes the now empty cup aside and put his palms together on the table while leaning back a bit. He expects to have some time enjoying the view in front of him; but, it is sadly short-lived. The beautiful woman suddenly slams her hands onto the table. For just a second, he can see the utensils jumping so slightly from the sudden vibration.

Before he can ask her if everything is really all right, Kagome speaks loudly, or more like yelling at this point, to a nearby waiter. She asks for the bills of their table before grabbing her jacket. People nearby begins to give their table weird looks and some whispers here and there; but, she doesn't seem to care. He can see her eyes are bulging out as she stares at him like he is an alien.

"What are you doing?" She only manages to put on one of her arms into the jacket before his oddly gentle voice stops her action. Kagome still finds it strange for a guy like him possessing the peculiar ability to clear any chaotic thoughts in her mind under a second. Studying his impassive expression, she cannot identify if the absurdly serious man is joking or not. His sitting posture makes her feel like she is being interviewed, but his voice is laced with curiosity.

"What are YOU doing? Come one, grab your stuff. We're going now." Kagome might have placed too much pressure on one of the words since his golden eyes get just a bit bigger. Plus, the one-degree tilt of his head is utterly refreshing and weirdly adorable. She quickly puts the other arm into the jacket and buttons everything up. Pretending to be busy, she doesn't want to look stupid with her mouth gaping open or drools spilling out from the corner of her mouth.

"Why? We still have another fifteen minutes before you have to head to work," he checks his phone for the correct time before questioning her action. He will not let even a second wasted when it comes to the time with her. He already feels rushed as it is; any shorter will not be able to satisfy his sanity. Maybe, if he plays along with whatever she plans, he can get the rest of his precious fifteen minutes.

Sesshoumaru can see her show him a particularly questionable look before shaking her head slightly as if he is a disobedient child. Her red lips slightly open, as though she has something to say. But, the waiter has to come in between them, handing her the bill for their lunch and the machine for their table. Automatically, he pulls out his wallet without thinking, as if this has turned into a routine.

"Put everything on my credit card, please," Kagome gives the waiter a soft smile, but not as sincere when being compared to the previous stranger. Still, that is sufficient for Sesshoumaru almost wanting to punch that waiter in the face for even dare to look at her smile like this; or, alternatively, he wants to take the raven-haired beauty away, relishing her body in his apartment so no one can see her the way he does.

"Everything on this card," he stands up abruptly, putting this credit card on the waiter's hand before that boy can grab Kagome's card. Her eyebrow rises as she gives him the meanest look he's ever seen in her face. She practically declares that if he does not back off, she will do something he doesn't like later; but, he doesn't care. Plus, it is quite gratifying to observe any other emotions other than her supposedly forced smile.

The waiter gives them a terribly nervous laugh before grabbing his card and tapping it on the machine. As soon as the receipt is printed, the server hands the card back to him before practically running away. She gives the last glance before breathing out and attempting to pull off her usual expression. She looks much more pleasant now and he certainly won't mind watching that real fire in her eyes once in a while.

Before he can mention anything, her tiny hand already finds its way to his. Kagome starts to walk away, pulling his hands forward along with her movement. He lets her lead their way to wherever she desires. He can honestly go to the deepest part of purgatory as long as she is next to him, so long as her hand keeps being inside his large one and provides him with immersed heat that even a real fire cannot compare.

Being too lost within his own mind, he doesn't realize that they are already outside, until the abrupt absence of her warmth along with the rush of frigid air entering his lungs. As his eyes re-focuses, he can see her standing with her hands on her hips, as if she is expecting him to perform a miracle. For once, the mighty Sesshoumaru's mind goes into overdrive as he doesn't know what to do.

Lucky for him, before he has to say anything, the pretty woman takes one step closer and bridges the small distance between them. His heart hammers underneath his chest as he cannot believe she is willing to be so close to him like this in public. That warm feeling spreads even further across his body as her delicate hands touch his chest. He wonders how come she is so bold at this moment while slowly anticipating her next move.

"Let me fix that for you," Kagome tucks on his tie and loosens it lightly. Her hands start to work like magic, crossing and folding the fabric together so quickly and neatly as if she has done the same activity for a million times. He does this exact action every morning, so this is no surprise to him. But, there is something in the way she does that is so mesmerizing. Why does everything little things she does have to be so captivating to him like this? Damn her and her black magic.

Sesshoumaru unknowingly leans down a bit as he doesn't want her arm to get tired from reaching out for too long. Plus, it gives him a chance to take in her citrus scent for the first time in the day. Her natural perfume is always welcomed over this wintry air anytime. Clenching his hands together, he will not, and cannot, let them find their way across her waist. This is not the weekend, yet; this is not his apartment. He tells himself to behave like a normal adult in public, no matter how tempting it might be to act otherwise.

Lucky for him, and unfortunate at the same time, Kagome quickly pushes him back a bit, enough for a significant distance is now between them and her unique scent is no longer his air supply. Sesshoumaru is a bit disappointed, but those emotions will never be out for anyone to see. But, in exchange for his temporary misery, he gets to look at her beauty instead. Though, there is always a small bit of his conscious questioning whether this is a good trade or not.

"Now that your tie is properly fixed, you can go in that meeting fashionably late," she even slightly pushes his back, as if to encourage him to get going. He starts to wonder whether he should tell that the meeting can wait another two hours if it means he can extend a few minutes with her. Thankfully, Kagome spares his mental pain by turning around and walking away without a proper goodbye.

Sesshoumaru lets out a groan, wondering if all women are as difficult to deal with. One second, she is delighted as they are having a nice lunch; the next second, they are out of the coffee shop and she shoos him off like an unwanted dog. Or maybe, this is who she actually is: someone that over-cares about every little thing. Maybe, she worries about his work performance if she continues occupying his attention. And, if that is the case, he has nothing to complain about.

As he is about to pull out his phone and order his secretary to get all the documents necessary once he gets back, his fingers freeze into place as he notices something. Instead of continuing walking, the raven-haired woman slowly comes to a halt to a nearby store. Her eyes are glued to the glass window, admiring something that he cannot see from a distance.

Now, that certainly sparks his interest. He has never seen her so drawn to any object to this extent for the entire time they've been together. He wonders what the object is for managing to captivate her attention so much, perhaps more than his body when they are in bed together. Kagome is so fascinated by the item that she fails to notice that she is standing in the middle of the sidewalk and people are bumping to her occasionally.

But, she is soon not stuck in one place as she jumps back a bit. Her black hair sways from side to side as Kagome begins to shake her head furiously. She slowly backs away before taking off down the road altogether. Just a second later, Sesshoumaru realizes that it is just an employee that approaches her from the inside of the store. Biting his lips, his amusement is subdued as he finds it funny that she acts like she has been caught doing some naughty.

Approaching the store, he recognizes the item she was looking at previously is just a watch. Even if it is not his style, he has to praise the sophisticated work on that object. Taking his time to examine the item, he still cannot pinpoint the exact reason why that woman is practically hypnotized by this watch. Is it because of its price, design or simply because she likes to collect objects that look pretty?

Whatever the reason for it may be, he does not care. All he needs to know is the fact that Kagome likes this object. Pulling out his phone, he goes to his contact before strolling down to the bottom; he hits the call button before heading towards the store. In less than a second, the receiver picks up the phone.

"You have forty-eight hours to complete this task," Sesshoumaru says calmly while opening the door to the antique store.