By KogasAngel
[ Reviews - 5]



Chapter One

Kagome sat near the hot spring. Her tears were coursing down her cheeks, and she didn’t bother to hide the sob that broke from her lips. He did it again. He went with that damn walking clay pot and left her to fend for herself. Had it not been for her saviour, she would have been dinner for that snake demon that had attacked her.

***Beginning Of Flashback***

She was walking in the forest, intent upon finding Inu Yasha. When she came to a small plateau near the lake, she heard it. The moans of lovers in the middle of unexplainable passion. She took a deep breath and followed the sound. She had to make sure. If it was, as she feared, then that was it. She would no longer be his toy. She would not be his ‘shard detector’, and most of all; she would not be his punching bag. She knew deep down what she would see would hurt her, but she had to continue. She had to see it for her own eyes. Finally, she came to the place where her worst fears were confirmed. Her heart lurched and she saw them. Inu Yasha buried deep within the dead miko and his mouth next to her neck. He reared his head up, revealing his fangs, and plunged them into her neck, marking her as his life mate.

Her heart leapt into her throat. She turned and ran the way she came. However, she had somehow gotten lost and found herself deep within the woods. The next thing she knew, a snake demon jumped on her, pinning her to the ground. Kagome did her best to scream, but the demon’s fingers dug into her throat. It opened its mouth, intent on devouring her flesh. She had closed her eyes; the last image she saw in her mind was Inu Yasha marking Kikyo. Her heart broken, she accepted death. However, death would not come and greet her this day. The demon’s grip upon her throat lessened, and finally removed itself. She slowly opened one eye and found that the demon had been slashed to pieces and now lay scattered all around her. She gulped and looked around, surprised to find that she was all alone. She slowly got up, and heard Sango calling for her. She called out for her friend, and ran in the direction that she had heard the demon slayer’s voice come from.

***End Of Flashback***

Kagome’s sobs were heart wrenching, but he stayed still. He could clearly see her, and flexed his claws. He could still feel his claws ripping the snake demon apart. He could not explain it, but for some reason he could not allow the girl to be killed by it. There was something about her, something strange. Her clothing and mannerisms aside, she was an enigma. While he did not care for the fact that she was human, there was something about her that made him want to watch her, be near her.

He could remember that night no so long ago when the half-breed had gone off with his whore while his comrades had slept. He had covered his scent, and approached the small camp. He stood over the girl and then gently lowered himself to her, taking in as much of her scent as possible. She smelled incredible, like vanilla and sunshine. He had savoured her scent for a few minutes, and then he allowed his well-tuned youkai senses to reach out and look for trouble. Finding none, he again allowed his nose to intake more of her intoxicating aroma. After he had his fill, he left.

Looking back on it, leaving was one of the hardest things he ever did. He should have taken her with him. Taken her away from the mutt. Taken her away from this pain. He had seen the brat with the walking corpse, but at first, he had told himself that it was none of his concern. But now, listening to her sobs, he had to fight himself to not go out and kill the offending bastard and send him and the dead whore to hell. Shaking his head, he returned his sight to where Kagome had sat, only to find that she was gone. How did she do it? He should have sensed her movements. He growled softly, and leapt from his hiding place. He looked around and sighed. The girl never ceased to amaze him. He turned and made his way into the heart of the forest. He would have to see his obsession another day.

Kagome had felt someone watching her. She finally felt all cried out, and had slowly made her way back to the village. She could not help this strange feeling that someone was watching over her. Forget that incident with the snake demon, she had sensed a protective force looking out for her even before that event took place. She could not help but think that she had a guardian angel, and that thought brought her a comfort that should have been provided by the hanyou that she loved.

She walked into the village and could hear Sango screaming at the top of her lungs. She was yelling at Inu Yasha. Kagome had told her friends about what she had seen, and then excused her to have some time to herself. Now, she stopped and decided to go back to her spot. She did not want to deal with Inu Yasha at this moment. She made her way back, and sat down. Lifting her face, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath in. The refreshing air calming her nerves and soothing her body.

When she opened her eyes, she found herself looking into a pair of amber coloured orbs. At first, she thought that she was looking in Inu Yasha’s eyes, however, after recovering her senses, she found herself staring into Sesshomaru’s face. He was as stoic as ever, but his eyes were not. She had only known two emotions from him: cold and sarcastic. Kagome shivered. This was not a demon to play with. His anger was legendary as was his skill for killing. He was not known as the aristocratic assassin for nothing. He said nothing as he kept a steady gaze on her. Kagome swallowed. She opened her mouth, but was cut off when she heard Inu Yasha’s bellow.

“Kagome!” He yelled. “Where are you, you stupid bitch?”

Kagome’s eyes widened. Her fists clenched and she turned white. She was way beyond pissed now. When the hanyou came to where she could see him, and he could see her, he knew that he was in trouble. Kagome’s mouth opened, and as Sesshomaru stared at the pair, a tidal wave of words came pouring out of her mouth.

“SIT. Don’t you ever (sit) call me a (sit) bitch ever again (sit). If anyone(sit) is stupid(sit, sit) around here, it would be you(sit, sit, sit). I don’t give a damn(sit) what you and Kikyo do anymore(sit, sit), but if you think that I am(sit) going to be your shard detector anymore(sit, sit) then you have another think coming(sit, sit, sit). Kagome yelled.

Sesshomaru raised an eyebrow, and then moved behind the enraged girl. He pressed the pressure point in her neck that would block the flow of blood to her brain, rendering her unconscious. Before she fell to the ground, he caught her and lifted her into his arms. He looked to where his brother lay, obviously too scared to move and in fear of her ‘sitting’ him again.

“I have a proposition for you, little brother.” Sesshomaru said smoothly.

Inu Yasha looked up, and saw his older brother looking down at him, Kagome nestled in his arms.

“Well, spit it out.” Inu Yasha snapped.

Sesshomaru’s stoic mask never left his face, but inside he was smirking. “I will take this wench far away from you so that you and your tramp can be together without interruptions. Of course, there will be a condition.”

Inu Yasha narrowed his eyes. “What is the condition?” He asked cautiously.

Sesshomaru allowed his eyes to glare at his brother and said, “You are not to come after this girl once you find that your dead tramp cannot do the job that this girl did.”

Inu Yasha began to laugh. “Of course she can do the job that Kagome does. Kikyo was the original holder of the jewel, and besides, she is a better fighter. I agree, just make sure that Kagome doesn’t come running back to me. I might just have to kill her if she does. I don’t want my mate upset.”

Sesshomaru nodded. “We have a deal then. Farewell little brother. Pray that this deal doesn’t come back and bite you on your ass.” He said, and was gone before the hanyou could blink.

“Yeah, right. I got the better end of this deal.” Inu Yasha muttered. He picked himself up, and ran back to the village, eager to tell Kikyo of what had transpired.

Kagome awoke to find herself in a dark room, surrounded by silken pillows and soft furs. She looked down at herself, and blinked. Gone was her sailor uniform, and replaced by a white sleeping kimono made of silk. It was nearly see-through, and from the flicker of the candle that sat by where she lay, the kimono left nothing to the imagination. Kagome found that she was on a large bed, and she moved to get off. A movement in the shadows stopped her, and she slowly turned her head towards it, afraid of what the darkness held. Kagome’s breath hitched in her throat as Sesshomaru stepped into the flickering light. His body gleamed in the candlelight, and he was completely nude. He looked towards her, and gave her a hard look. Apparently, she was not to leave the bed. He slowly approached the bed.

“You and I will be sharing my bed from now on.” Sesshomaru said.

Kagome blinked. “I don’t think so. I want to go back to the village.”

Sesshomaru slowly walked towards her, fighting with his inner self not to strike at her for her disobedience.

“You cannot return. The half-breed has given you to me, and I intend to keep you. Now, remove the kimono so that I may look upon my property.” Sesshomaru instructed.

Kagome shook her head. There was no way in hell she would strip for him. When he saw that she was going to defy him, he sighed. In less than a second, he was next to her, the kimono shredded, and she was naked before him. Kagome could not believe his speed, and when she looked down, she found that she was missing the kimono. She let loose a yelp, and grabbed a pillow to hide herself. Sesshomaru yanked the pillow from her, and growled when she reached for another one. Kagome’s hand froze in mid air, and she quickly yanked it back.

Strong hands gripped Kagome’s upper arms and yanked her onto her knees. Skilful eyes roamed over her body, and he licked his lips. He liked what he saw. Her breasts were not too large, nor were they too small. They would fill his hand, and be enough for him to suckle on. Her body firm and tight, not to mention well taken care of. He leaned down, and took in a deep breath. Her scent calming his nerves, he allowed his hands to loosen their grip. He gently pushed her to lie on the bed, and then he joined her on the soft furs. He was anxious to find out how she tasted. Would she be as sweet as he imagined?

He could smell her fear, and his gut twisted. He didn’t want her first time to be a terrifying one. He knew that she was untouched, and wanted her to remember this night for the rest of her life. He brought his face to hers, and with a soft growl, he captured her lips and felt her gasp. Taking that opportunity, he slipped his tongue into her hot cavern and savoured her taste. He was in heaven. Her mouth was unlike anything he had ever tasted. Kagome was at a loss. She was scared out of her mind, and here was the most feared demon alive, making love to her mouth. As his tongue stroked hers, she timidly brought it up to meet his. Sesshomaru’s heart began to pound. He had dreamed that she would participate, but he never thought it would feel this good. Judging from the change in her scent, she was also enjoying herself as well.

Sesshomaru used his claws, the instruments that he used to kill many beings, to draw out her pleasure by running them softly on her tummy. Kagome moaned into his mouth, and he decided to break the kiss. It was time to begin their coupling. Sesshomaru’s mouth moved from her mouth and down to her neck. She was sweeter than he had ever imagined. As he kissed and licked her neck, Kagome’s soft moans began to entice him to deepen the sensations for her. He was interested in seeing how loud he could make her scream; preferably, how loud she could scream his name.

His hands moved from her stomach and up to her breasts. He cradled them in his palms, and lovingly caressed her nipples, causing her to throw her head back and moan louder. He was becoming even harder than he was when she was in that kimono. He moved his lips from her neck, and brought them to her firm breasts, which were screaming for his attention. His tongue found a nipple, and he closed his eyes. Feeling that pebble upon his tongue was something he had been dreaming about for a while. He opened his mouth and took in her breast, his left arm sliding around her firm body to keep her still, and his right hand leaving her breast and travelling down to the spot between her legs. He felt her jump when his fingers invaded the soft nest of curls that lay between her thighs. He growled softly against her breast, the sound vibrating in his chest, and instantly relaxing her.

His fingers showed her their skill and enticed her to open her legs up to him and allowing him access to the treasure chest that lay within her folds. Kagome’s mind was in a fog. She could not help but enjoy the sensations that Sesshomaru was invoking in her. Feeling her legs spread apart, she sighed. She had dreamed of the deadly demon for a couple of months, and had never thought that this would ever take place between them. If this was a dream, she didn’t want to wake up and go back to that baka hanyou. Sesshomaru felt her relax, and took his seduction of her body to the next level. His mouth left her breast and showered her body with soft kisses. He paid homage to her stomach, and his fingers parted her moist folds, and then slowly invaded them. He heard his beauty gasp, and he let a rare smile form on his face.

She was his, and she would not be leaving his side. No one would bring her this kind of pleasure, and if they tried, then their death would be very painful and long. His fingers continued at their task and stroked her bud, causing it to swell and poke out at him. He could take it no longer, and lowered his mouth to the bud, allowing his tongue to stroke it. His fingers had found her sacred opening, and entered. As he licked her bud, his fingers pumped in and out of her body, making her scream. He could feel her release coming on, and he took the bud into his mouth to suckle as he pumped even faster. Finally, Kagome came hard, the nectar flowing over his hand. Sesshomaru stopped his actions on her bud, and lifted his head. Making sure that he had Kagome’s attention, he brought his fingers to his mouth and licked them clean, closing his beautiful eyes and savoring the taste.

“Delicious.” He murmured.

Kagome was frustrated. She needed him badly. As if he read her mind, he raised his body until his mouth rested upon hers, and his large member probed at her opening. Against her lips, he whispered an apology. Before she could register what was going on, he thrust his hips forward, and embedded himself in her body. She tried to scream, but no sound would come out. She thrashed her head about, until his lips caught hers firmly, and kept her still. She whimpered against his lips, not knowing if her tears were for pain or for joy. Once he felt her relax around him, he slowly slid out until his tip was the only part in her, and then thrust back in. Kagome closed her eyes. The movements were exquisite and she could barely contain herself.

He continued the movements until she started to beg him to go faster. He gave into her wish, speeding up and grunted with satisfaction when he felt her meeting his thrusts. She had stopped moaning, and was now screaming in pure pleasure. She had screamed his name several times and each time, he rewarded her with a growl that told her that he was just as pleased as she. They coupled for hours, her body basking in the glow of their lovemaking, until finally they both climaxed at the same time. When he was at the peak of his release, his fangs grew and he plunged them into the neck of his chosen. He heard his mate gasp and he smirked against her neck. After lapping up her blood, he pulled out of her, taking careful note when she winced. She was obviously sore, and with it being her first time, he was impressed.

He fell to his side, bringing her within the cocoon of his arms. Kissing her temple, he softly told her to go to sleep. He felt her nod, and then heard her breaths even out. He smiled into her hair. He thought back to his deal with his pathetic brother. He had known that the deal was one sided. The dead miko had lost her ability to see the shards and had been following the small group to make it look as though she had stumbled across the group by coincidence. Kagome was the only one who could see the shards, and now with her away from the mutt, the corpse would have to tell his brother the truth. Sesshomaru could hear his brother when the truth came out. He let loose a small chuckle, and closed his eyes. He was never one to play fair.

Chapter Two

Inu Yasha sat in his favourite tree with Kikyo and he thanked all of the gods he could for his good fortune. Kikyo, on the other hand, was in a total panic. She knew that she could not continue the charade much longer before being found out. She had sensed that Inu Yasha’s group was being followed, but had dismissed it once she found out that the presence she had felt belonged to Sesshomaru. She had thought that he was only curious as to why his half-brother’s small group was on his lands, but now that Sesshomaru had Kagome, it all made sense. Sesshomaru had been stalking her reincarnation, and finally got what he desired.

Now, she was in a difficult position. How could she tell Inu Yasha that she had lied to him and made him lose his precious shard detector to his worst enemy? Inu Yasha would have a fit, and worse, he could walk away from her. If it was one thing Inu Yasha hated, it was being made a fool. When he had told her that Kagome was in Sesshomaru’s hands, she had gasped and asked how could he do that. Inu Yasha had been stunned. Didn’t she hate her reincarnation? Now, she could not deny not liking the little copy, but hating her was something totally different. Kikyo took a good look around her and then looked at her mate.

“Inu Yasha, we need to talk.” Kikyo said.

Inu Yasha looked down in his arms and hugged her close. “What is it, my love?” He asked.

Kikyo sighed. “I have a confession to make. I believe that your giving Kagome away to your brother was a mistake, and you need to get her back.” She said, choking on her words.

Inu Yasha sat in silence, then with much effort he asked, “And why would I want her back? I have you, and you are all I need.”

“Because I lied and now we are clueless as to where the shards are.” Kikyo said in one breath. For a woman who was dead, that one sentence took a lot out of her.

Inu Yasha stared at her as her hurried words began to sink in. The next sound that vibrated through the surrounding woods and village was a hanyou shrieking the word, “WHAT?”

Sesshomaru stared down at the young woman in his arms. He had done it; he had claimed the woman who had haunted his dreams for the last year. He knew that he had to tell her about the deal he made with his brother, but he was not worried. She had been betrayed one too many times to get upset about being taken away from his baka half-brother. He allowed a small smirk to cross his normally stoic features as he thought back to the previous night. Everything had happened just as he had planned. He looked down on Kagome when he felt her stir.

She slowly opened her eyes and blinked. Sesshomaru bent his head and licked her mating mark. Kagome’s body acted on pure instinct. She pushed her backside into his groin and moaned. Sesshomaru knew that his servants would not be up for another hour, and decided that he and his new mate had plenty of time to show each other appreciation before having to attend to the daily duties. His tongue darted out and ran along the shell of her ear, causing her to shutter. Kagome had finally awakened, and was aware of her new mate’s arousal (mostly because it was pressing into her backside) so she twisted her body so that she lay on her back. She reached up and placed her hands on the sides of Sesshomaru’s face. Pulling him down, she caught his lips with hers. Groaning, he felt her open her mouth to him and he took the opportunity to bring his tongue into her mouth, enticing her tongue to play with his. Kagome happily followed his lead, and soon they were locked in a heated battle for dominance. Of course, Sesshomaru never backed down from a challenge and proved to her exactly who was the boss in the relationship. Kagome sighed and felt him break away from the kiss. His fingers had crept down to her thighs and pried them open. He was delighted to feel that she was already damp with anticipation.

“You are ready for me already, my love.” He said softly. Inwardly, he smirked. He had so much that he wanted to do to her young body, and now that he had claimed her, he had all of the time in the world. But first things first. He wanted to give new meaning to the term ‘Good Morning’.

Kagome didn’t answer him, in fact, she barely heard him. She was too busy concentrating on what he was doing rather than what he was saying. He could have said that pink monkeys were flying by the window and she would not have cared. All she wanted was for him to give her the release that she so needed. She felt his fingers stroking her bud and she lifted her hips and ground herself against his hand. She no longer cared about being a lady; all she wanted was the sensations that she felt the night before. Sesshomaru sped up his motions, bringing her so close to the edge, and then he slowed down. He had to bite his lip from laughing at her groan of disappointment. He did this several times, and finally, she had shot him a look that promised death if he did not provide her with the promised relief. He pulled his fingers away from her, and used his hands to flip her over onto her stomach. Pulling her up to her hands and knees, he plunged deeply into her silky sheath, delighting in the tightness and heat that surrounded him. At first, he was gentle, but soon lost himself in the act of rutting. He grunted with each thrust, growled each time she screamed her pleasure, and finally released into her body, howling for all who had ears that the great taiyoukai of the west had been pleased beyond all expectations.

His howls finally died down, and he gently lowered both Kagome and himself to the bed, being careful not to crush her with his weight. He gently pulled himself from her body and gathered her into his arms. He could feel her chest heaving and whispered in her ear how much she had pleased him. For some reason, he had a feeling that she had not had many words of praise directed at her. He bent his head down and kissed her shoulder. He sensed that she had fallen back into the world of dreams, and he quietly got up. Dressing in his normal attire, he quietly slipped from the room. He told a handmaid that she was to stand by his bedchamber doors and wait until his new mate had awoken. She was to get her new lady dressed and ready for the day. After the handmaid left, Sesshomaru walked into his study. By now, the dead miko had probably told his pathetic half-brother that she had lied. He could not help but wonder how long it would take the half-breed to figure out that he had been tricked. He shook his head. Let the mutt come. He was more than ready for him.

After reading some of the scrolls that lay across his desk, Sesshomaru stood up. It was nearly time for lunch, and he had not heard his mate come down from their chambers. Sesshomaru walked from his study and up the stairs. When he reached the top, he heard a loud commotion coming from his chambers. He sighed when he heard the voice of his retainer, and knew that he would most likely find the stupid toad yelling at his new mate.

Jaken was beyond furious. He had walked past the handmaid and into Lord Sesshomaru’s bedchambers. He had figured that his lord had brought a girl to entertain his needs, and wanted to clean up the chamber before lunch. When he reached the bed, he found that wench of Inu Yasha’s and all Jaken could see was red. How dare the bitch lay in his master’s bed, dirtying it up with her human filth. He grabbed her arm, yanking her from the world of dreams and hauled her nude form onto the floor. The handmaid ran in, and threw a robe around the confused woman’s shoulders. Jaken had backhanded the maid, telling her that no human with the exception of Rin deserved any kindness. He grabbed Kagome’s chin and told her how he would see to it that she was whipped for her insolence against his lord. Just as Jaken reared his hand back to strike Kagome, he felt his body being lifted up and found him face-to-face with a very angry taiyoukai.

“Tell me, Jaken. Was it you who disturbed my mate’s slumber?” Sesshomaru asked in a deadly quiet tone.

Jaken gulped upon hearing the word, mate. He glanced down at Kagome who was now being helped up by the handmaid. “My lord, please forgive this lowly Jaken. I did not realize that you had taken a mate. Especially a woman who belonged to your brother.” Jaken squeaked.

Sesshomaru growled. “She never belonged to my half-brother. She belongs to me, and to me only. Now, tell me why I should not kill you for seeing what belongs to me in a state of undress.”

Jaken’s eyes widened. Now he was sure that he was going to meet his maker. He was about to say something, but Kagome spoke up.

“Please, let him go.” She said. She was not going to allow someone, even Jaken, to get hurt on account of her.

Sesshomaru looked down on her, and with a growl he threw the poor toad on the ground. Sesshomaru approached Kagome and gently lifted her to her feet. He reached over and grabbed the robe from the handmaid’s hands. Sliding the material across her shoulders, he looked at the handmaid and directed her to escort his mate to the hot springs. Bowing, the handmaid took her mistress by her shoulders and led her out of the chamber. With her out of the way, Sesshomaru leaned down and spoke quietly to Jaken.

“If you ever look upon my mate while she is undressed or raise your claw to strike at her, you will find out what if feels like to have my claws rip through your pathetic little body.” He said.

Jaken nodded. All of a sudden, a small body rushed into the room and collided with Sesshomaru’s legs.

“Rin found you, Sesshomaru-sama.” Rin squealed.

Sesshomaru looked down and patted the child’s head. For some reason, this little girl had melted his heart and caused him to know what it felt like to be loved unconditionally. Of course, there was only so much that a child could do, and it was for that reason that he had started to look at Kagome.

Rin looked from her lord to the small toad, which cowered in a corner. She giggled and pointed at Jaken.

“Can Jaken play with Rin now” Rin asked.

Sesshomaru got an idea. He looked down at his retainer, and told Jaken to go with Rin and play whatever game she desired. He knew that Rin would have the toad demon picking flowers or dress up in women’s clothing. It was a suitable punishment, for now.

Kagome had been led to the hot springs and was excited to see how big it was. She squealed with delight. It was huge and at the very back, a small waterfall sat, pouring water into the spring and causing a soothing sound. Even though she had questions about how she got to the palace, and how it was that she came to be in Sesshomaru’s bed, she could not help but to think how nice it was going to be to take baths in this particular hot spring. Obviously, Kagome was a girl who had her priorities in order.

The handmaid had expected some kind of reaction to this particular hot spring, but she could not help but smile at her mistress’s excitement. This hot spring was Lord Sesshomaru’s personal spring, and was only used by him and other taiyoukai who were visiting. Now that she was the lady of the west, this spring now belonged to her as well. She walked over to the young woman, and took off the robe. Grasping her lady’s hand, she led the girl to the waters, and watched as Kagome sank into its depths. When Kagome had settled herself against the rocks that lined the hot spring, the handmaid began the task of washing Kagome’s hair. She poured water onto the young mistress’s head, and then reached for the soap that Lord Sesshomaru liked using on his hair. After working it into a rich lather, the handmaid began massaging Kagome’s scalp, causing the young woman to relax and tilt her head back. When she was done, the handmaid gently rinsed away the soap and then left Kagome to soak in the relaxing warmth.

Sesshomaru had been walking by when he heard Kagome’ squeal of delight. He raised his eyebrow, but kept walking, a smile threatening to form on his lips. How easy it was to impress his new mate. He went downstairs and was almost to his study when he heard someone banging on his front doors. He could hear loud cursing and instantly knew who it had to be.

To say that he was furious was an understatement. When he found out that Kikyo lied, he had visions of snapping her neck. He had shouted a number of curses at her, and then told her to stay away from him. He ran into the village and told Miroku and Sango that he needed to go and get Kagome back from Sesshomaru. He left out the part about him giving Kagome away to his older brother, and the three of them left. Kikyo had followed, but stayed far enough back so that Inu Yasha could not smell her.

Miroku and Sango could not understand what Sesshomaru wanted with Kagome. After all, he barely spared the young miko a glance whenever he and Inu Yasha would battle, but then it began to occur to Miroku that perhaps the reason why the great lord would never come near the miko was so that he would not endanger her. He thought back to the last battle when Inu Yasha had released the wind scar. Kagome had been in its path, and it was Sesshomaru who had swept her out of harm’s way, and placed her near her friends. He then called for his cloud, and told his brother that they would continue their fight another day. Inu Yasha had never apologized for putting Kagome into harm’s way, and she had never mentioned it, but Miroku had seen the look on Kagome’s face when she was in Sesshomaru’s arms. It was clear that the miko was taken with the dangerous demon. Could it be that the reason Sesshomaru now had her in his possession was that he desired Kagome?

Miroku shook his head, and saw that the western palace had come into view. Inu Yasha had not stopped running until he was at the door, banging and screaming obscenities.

When the door opened, Inu Yasha found himself looking at Jaken, and he smirked.

“You look very pretty today, toad. Now where is that bastard brother of mine?” Inu Yasha growled.

Jaken narrowed his eyes. “Lord Sesshomaru did not send for you, filthy hanyou. You need to leave before I teach you the error of your ways.”

Inu Yasha was about to grab the toad demon up, but was stopped when he saw his brother standing behind his retainer.

“Where is Kagome, you ass?” Inu Yasha growled.

Sesshomaru narrowed his eyes. From the looks on his half-brother's friend’s faces, he could almost bet that the mutt had failed to tell them about their deal. So, it was time to enlighten them.

“I do believe that you are in violation of our deal, little brother.” Sesshomaru said in a calm voice.

“Deal? What deal? What is he talking about Inu Yasha?” Sango asked.

“Allow me, slayer. You see, Kagome belongs to me now. She is my mate, and I do not intend to return her, especially when my half-brother here told me that he would let me have her if I kept her away from him and his new mate.” Sesshomaru replied.

Sango’s mouth dropped. Miroku looked at Sesshomaru and then to Inu Yasha. Seeing the look upon the hanyou’s face was enough for Miroku. He slowly approached the demon lord, and asked, “My lord. Would it be possible for an audience with your lovely mate? Sango and I are friends and we do not wish to disrupt your home, but we merely wish to see if our friend is well.”

Sesshomaru had to hand it to the monk. He knew how to speak to nobility. Sesshomaru nodded, and told Jaken to take the monk and slayer to his study. When they were out of earshot, Sesshomaru turned to his brother.

“I don’t see your mate, but I smell her. I see that she told you what I tried to warn you about. Perhaps the next time I tell you something, you will listen. But for now, leave my lands.” Sesshomaru said.

Inu Yasha had reached his limits. “Damn you, it was not a fair deal. You knew that Kikyo was lying to me, and took advantage of it. Why?”

“Kagome. I desired her, and now have her. There is nothing more for us to discuss.” Sesshomaru replied.

“I want her back, Sesshomaru. Give her to me now, or else.” Inu Yasha threatened.

Sesshomaru raised his eyebrow, and then had his claws around his little brother’s throat. He gave a slight squeeze, and then said, “Don’t presume to threaten me, half-breed. I will not hesitate to kill you.”

He dropped his little brother to the ground, and stepped aside. “You may join your friends and tell Kagome farewell. You will not be seeing her after this, and only the monk and slayer will be permitted to visit with my mate.” Sesshomaru said.

Inu Yasha picked himself up and brushed his clothing off. He saw Sesshomaru staring behind him, and slowly turned around. Kikyo stood behind Inu Yasha with a look of concern on her face.

“What are you doing here, wench?” Inu Yasha growled.

“I followed you to tell you that I am sorry.” Kikyo said, glancing over at Sesshomaru. She saw the demon smirking and shuttered. His mouth was not suited for smiling.

“Feh. Take you apologies and leave. I will speak with you when I return to the village.” Inu Yasha said.

Sesshomaru saw a chance to upset his younger brother, and decided to take it. He stepped forward and said, “Nonsense, mutt. Let your mate come and join us. I am sure that she would like to see you say your farewells to Kagome, and that way the two of you can continue on your shard hunt with no regrets.”

Inu Yasha glared at him, but then stalked into the palace. Kikyo slowly followed behind him and gasped when Sesshomaru caught her arm. Sharp claws dug into her arm, and she looked up. Sesshomaru’s eyes held nothing but malice.

“I am permitting you to stay, but if you cause my mate pain of any kind, I will relieve this world of your stench. Am I clear?” He growled. Kikyo nodded, and was released. He watched as she walked into his study, and then turned to go up the stairs. He needed to tell Kagome that she had visitors, and was stunned when he reached the top of the stairs. Coming right at him was the loveliest vision he had ever seen. Kagome was dressed in a deep red kimono that had black flowers stitched on the sleeves. The black obi and slippers complimented the outfit. Her hair was loose, and hung to her waist in ringlets. She was a goddess.

He walked over to her and smiled down at her. “Mate. Your friends are here to visit with you.” He said.

He felt her stiffen. “Is Inu Yasha with them?” She asked.

Sesshomaru nodded. “Yes, he is here, and his undead mate is with him. Neither of them will harm you, I will make sure of that.”

Kagome sighed. She did not want to face Inu Yasha. She saw that Sesshomaru had his hand out to her, and she took it with a shaking hand. He led her down to the study, and opened the door.

Sango squealed when she saw the young miko and rushed to embrace her. Miroku followed and attempted to show the miko how much he missed her, but was stopped when he heard a low growl. Sesshomaru had seen the monk’s hands travelling down towards Kagome backside, but after he growled, the slayer stepped up behind the monk and proceeded to hitting him over the head, effectively rendering him unconscious.

Sango took Kagome’s hand and helped her step over the sleeping Miroku. She led the miko to a couch, and sat her down. After giving her friend a critical look, Sango said, “You look beautiful, Kagome. Being the lady of the western lands suits you.”

Kagome giggled. “Well, I suppose that I have Lord Sesshomaru to thank for that.”

Kagome jumped when she felt two large hands on her shoulders. “You do not need to use my formal title, love. As my mate, you are entitled to use my name.” Sesshomaru said.

Kagome sighed. There was so much that she was going to have to learn. She glanced over at Inu Yasha, who was glaring at Sesshomaru. Kagome leaned over and whispered to Sango, “What is wrong with Inu Yasha?”

Sango looked over at Sesshomaru. He gave a slight shake of his head, indicating that he had not told Kagome of the deal. So, Sango said the first thing that came to mind. “I am guessing that he and Kikyo have gotten into their very first argument.” She said.

Kagome shrugged. Why should it matter to her? She looked around and asked, “Where is Shippo?”

Sesshomaru cocked his head. “Who is this Shippo? Is he an admirer?”

Kagome giggled. “No, nothing like that. I adopted Shippo, and consider him to be my son.”

Sesshomaru nodded. He had once seen her hugging an orange ball of fur when he had been fighting the mutt, and could only guess that the fur ball was this Shippo.

Sango said, “Inu Yasha would not let us get him. The way he made it sound, Sesshomaru had kidnapped you.”

Inu Yasha looked over at Sesshomaru. He then realized what Sango had realized. Sesshomaru had not told Kagome about their arrangement. So, he decided to enlighten the young miko.

“Well, can you blame me? After the deal we made, I found that he cheated me and came to reclaim Kagome. After all, the deal was one sided.” Inu Yasha said.

Kagome looked at him strangely. She then turned to Sesshomaru and asked, “What deal? What is he talking about, Sesshomaru?”

Sesshomaru glared at his brother. ‘How do I kill thee? Let me count the ways…’ he thought.

His gaze turned back to his mate’s questioning face, and he sighed. This was not going to be pretty.

Chapter Three

Sesshomaru was known for many things. He was known for his strength, his ability to strike fear in the hearts of his enemies, and his cold, but good looks. However, the taiyoukai was not known for the ability to soften the blow of his words, and so, he stood before his mate and searched for the words to help soften what he had to tell her.

Inu Yasha watched his older brother carefully. He smirked when he realized that the taiyoukai was looking for a way to explain his behaviour. So, he decided to step in and help him out. After all, what are brothers for?

“Kagome, it seems that Sesshomaru has been keeping his eye on you for sometime, and when you and I got into our last fight, he made me an offer after rendering you unconscious. He offered to take you off of my hands in exchange for me not coming after you, however, he failed to tell me that he knew that Kikyo had lost her ability to see the shards, and now, I want to call the deal off and take you back with us.” Inu Yasha said.

Miroku and Sango looked at each other. Did the hanyou not realize that he not only told on his brother, but himself as well? It was clear to them at that point exactly who it was that got the brains in the family.

Sesshomaru kept his gaze on Kagome. She was staring at Inu Yasha with a horrified expression and then slowly turned to him.

“You were following me?” She asked.

Sesshomaru nodded. Kagome’s eyes began to tear up. “It was you who killed that snake demon who attacked me, wasn’t it?” She asked.

Sesshomaru nodded again. Kagome looked from him to Inu Yasha, who stood before her looking quite pleased with himself. Sesshomaru took a step towards her, but was stopped by what Inu Yasha said next.

“Go ahead, Kagome. Tell us what you are feeling. I am sure that you feel betrayed and hurt that he could do this to you.” Inu Yasha said. He shot his brother a wide grin.

Sango and Miroku stood up. There was no way in hell they were going to stand beside Kagome when she allowed the gates of her fury to open. They had a feeling that Sesshomaru’s servants would be cleaning hanyou out of the rugs for a while.

Kagome stepped forward, her gaze hardening. She opened her mouth, and said, “You are right, Inu Yasha. I should tell the one who betrayed me how I feel.”

Inu Yasha puffed up his chest. Kikyo stared at her reincarnation with worried eyes. She had a feeling that Inu Yasha was about to learn the reasoning behind that old saying: hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Kagome stepped closer to the hanyou. “Tell me something Inu Yasha. Did it ever occur to your pea brain that perhaps it was you who had betrayed me and not your brother?” She asked.

Inu Yasha stared at her. “I didn’t betray you.” He said.

“Oh really? What do you call agreeing to give me away to your worst enemy so that you could be alone with your bitch?” Kagome shouted.

Kikyo was about to say something, but the look on her reincarnation’s face told her that it was highly probable that she would not make it to the door intact, so she wisely stayed quiet.

Inu Yasha could not understand what was happening. Did he do something wrong? He glanced over at Sango and Miroku. Both shook their heads at him, silent warnings telling him to shut the hell up. However, Inu Yasha decided not to take the unspoken advice and then tried to reason with the upset girl.

“Kagome, I know that you are upset, but why are you angry at me? Sesshomaru is the one who took you and offered me the deal. I simply took it, and I am going to get killed, aren’t I?” Inu Yasha asked. Sometimes, he wished that he had been born mute. It finally dawned on him why she was so angry with him. He never should have accepted his brother’s deal, and she saw his acceptance as betrayal.

Kagome glared at the hanyou, who was backing up from her. She then balled up her fists and at the top of her lungs, she yelled, “SIT, YOU STUPID BASTARD, SIT, SIT, SIT, SIT, SIT.”

Now, seeing the cocky hanyou flat on his face, moaning in agony was too much for Sango. Too long he had taken Kagome’s heart and trust only to betray her over and over again. She let loose a hearty laugh, and felt Miroku shaking from his enjoyment as well. It was time Kagome got her revenge and she did it perfectly.

Inu Yasha groaned. He had never hurt so much. He picked up his head, and found Kagome glaring down at him. Sesshomaru stood off to the side, watching his mate with cautious eyes.

“What about him? He was in on it.” Inu Yasha whined.

Kagome whirled around and looked at Sesshomaru. “Oh yes,” She said. “I nearly forgot.”

She walked over to her mate, and wrapped her arms around him. “Thank you for watching over and saving me. If it had not been for you, that snake demon would have killed me.” She said.

Inu Yasha could not believe his ears. He got injured while his brother got cuddled on. It was almost too much.

“What aren’t you mad at him? He betrayed you too.” The hanyou sputtered out.

Kagome silenced him with a glare. “At the time of this deal, I was not with Sesshomaru. He owed me nothing, and instead of leaving me with someone who goes behind my back and lies to me at every turn, he brought me here and gave me the commitment that I have been dreaming of. Now, get your ass up and leave here.”

Inu Yasha grumbled as he picked himself up off of the floor. “We still have shards to find, wench. Or did you forget that it was you who broke the jewel in the first place?” He asked.

Kagome flinched. She had forgotten about the shards. Seeing his mate’s anguish, Sesshomaru came to a decision.

“She will continue to hunt for the shards, but I will be with her while she hunts with your group.” Sesshomaru said.

Inu Yasha was outraged. “Hell no, uh-uh. You are not coming with us, you sadistic bastard.”

Kagome cocked her head to the side. “Well, then I guess Sesshomaru and I will have to go and find them alone, unless Sango and Miroku would care to join us.”

The slayer and monk needed no further invitation. They quickly agreed to join Kagome and her new mate. It was better than being with a loud-mouthed hanyou who never showed any kind of gratitude for their help.

Kagome smiled. “There, it is settled. But we will have to go and get Shippo. I won’t leave him behind, and I miss him so much.”

Sango stepped forward. “I will go back to the village and bring him here. I am sure he misses you too.”

Kagome smiled at her friend. “Thank you, Sango. This means a lot to me.”

Sango nodded, and left the room. She wanted to be back before dinnertime and with her riding Kilala, she would have been at the village and back at the palace in no time.

Inu Yasha was dumbfounded. How could they do this to him? He glared at the monk, who calmly stepped forward.

“I realize that you are angry, but if you ask nicely, perhaps Lady Kagome would allow you to join our little group.” Miroku said.

Inu Yasha shook his head. “There is no way that I am joining forces with my bastard half-brother. Fine, if that is how you are going to be, Kagome, then let us make another deal. If we find the most of the shards, then you will give us yours and be gone. If you get the most, you will get ours and we will never bother you again. You can do whatever you want with the jewel. How is that for a deal?”

Sesshomaru smirked. He knew that the mutt was planning on following them. It was written on his face. So, he decided to add a stipulation to the deal.

“You will have your race, however, you may not follow us and use Kagome’s ability to see the shards. Let your mate look for the shards for your team.” He said, in a calm voice.

Inu Yasha stepped back as though he had been slapped. Sesshomaru had guessed what he had been planning. So, now he was back to square one. How was he going to find the shards when Kikyo didn’t have the ability that Kagome did?

He shook his head, and reached for Kikyo’s hand. He shot everyone in the room a glare, and stomped out of the room. They heard the front doors slam, and knew that he was gone. Sesshomaru called for Jaken, who appeared dressed up in a dark blue kimono and had makeup on his face. Kagome had to stifle a giggle and Sesshomaru coughed to cover up the chuckle that was threatening to escape.

“I want you to get three rooms ready. We are having guests and I expect that they will be treated well during their stays here.” Sesshomaru ordered.

Jaken tried to bow, but was knocked over when a small child ran into the room, hugging Sesshomaru’s leg.

He looked down, and saw that Rin had attached herself to him and had tears in her eyes.

“Sesshomaru-sama, Jaken said that because Rin smelled bad and looked funny, Sesshomaru-sama had found another human to take Rin’s place. Does Sesshomaru-sama not love Rin anymore?” Rin asked, sobs wracking her tiny body.

Jaken cowered behind a chair. Damn child, never could take a joke. Kagome saw the murderous look in her mate’s eyes, and quickly went to the little girl.

When Rin looked at her, her tears began to lessen. It was her Kagome-Chan.

“Kagome-Chan! Did you come to play with Rin?” Rin asked. She looked over at the toad that was staring at Sesshomaru-sama. Rin hoped that Kagome-chan had come to visit her; she didn’t like playing with the mean toad demon.

Kagome laughed. “Well, your Sesshomaru-sama and I are now mates, so I will be here to play with you forever.”

Rin looked at her Kagome-chan and then at her Sesshomaru-sama. “Does this mean that Rin has a new mommy?”

Sesshomaru nodded. He had to fight the urge to plug his ears when the child squealed. She let go of his leg and threw herself into the waiting arms of her new mother. Kagome laughed and told Rin that she had a surprise coming to the palace. Rin got excited, but promised to be a good girl and take a nap. After a servant came and took Rin to her room, Sesshomaru let go.

His eyes glowing red, he slowly approached the toad demon. “Jaken, why would you tell Rin such a thing?” He asked.

Jaken began to back up, however, he ended up against the legs of his new mistress, who was looking down at him with angry eyes.

Sesshomaru’s hand snaked out and grabbed the toad demon by his head. Jaken gulped. It was clear that he was about to experience pain like never before. He could smell the stench of his lord’s poison, but never expected what happened next.

Kagome had stepped up to her mate. She placed her hand on his arm, and then motioned for him to tilt his head down. She whispered something in his ear, causing the lord to lose his emotionless expression. For the first time in his employment with Lord Sesshomaru, Jaken saw the demon lord smile.

“It is a fitting punishment. It will do nicely.” Sesshomaru said. He threw Jaken to the ground, and glared at the toad.

“Lady Kagome’s adopted pup will be arriving shortly. You will from now on be his and Rin’s caretaker. If my mate and I hear that you have upset our pups, you will experience a pain only reserved for those who are banished to the deepest pit of hell. Am I clear, Jaken?” Sesshomaru said.

Jaken nodded. He picked himself up and bowed. “Very clear, my lord. May this lowly Jaken go and attend to your guest’s rooms?” He asked.

When given a nod, Jaken got out of the room fast. He had a feeling that his life had gotten a lot more miserable.

Kagome looked at Miroku. He looked tired, and she offered to show him to his chambers. Sesshomaru shook his head; he wanted to talk to his mate alone, and called for a servant. After Miroku had been lead away, Kagome went to close the door. She heard a familiar smack and the servant yelling the word, “Hentai.” Kagome shook her head, wondering when Miroku would learn his lesson.

Sesshomaru sat at his desk and called for Kagome to come to him. She did as she was told, and stood before her mate. She looked into his eyes, and gulped. From the hungry look in his eyes, she had a feeling that she would not be leaving the study for quite some time.

Chapter Four

Kagome stood before Sesshomaru and glanced around nervously. He had to squelch down the urge to chuckle at his mate’s nervous behaviour. No matter how many times he made love to her, he had a feeling that she would always have innocence about her. Without warning, his tail wound itself around Kagome’s waist, and pulled her closer to him. He never took his eyes off of her, and began to kiss her lips, placing gentle nips and licks at the corners. Kagome’s eyes closed, as she savoured the sensations he was evoking in her body. Sesshomaru smirked. He used his hands to lift his mate up and placed her on his desk. He then shoved his body forward, making sure that he was between her legs. He slowly untied the obi, and let it fall from his hand to the floor. He then parted the kimono, while his mouth searched her neck.

Kagome moaned, her hands sliding up his arms and then circling his shoulders. She gasped when she felt his mouth upon her naked breast. Arching her back, she offered him more of the treat, which he gladly accepted. He suckled her breast causing his lovely mate to moan. His tail slowly unwrapped around her, and moved down to her legs. It slithered up to her inner thigh and the tip disappeared. Kagome threw her head back upon feeling the tip of his tail stroking her sex. She brought her legs up and wrapped them around Sesshomaru’s waist allowing his tail to further explore her. She leaned back, removing her hands and placing them behind her to help hold her body up. He moved his hands up to her shoulders and slid the kimono off of her body. He wanted his mate and he was going to have her. After fully undressing her, he reached down for his pants. He was about to release his arousal when Jaken came running in, screaming for his lord.

Jaken’s mouth dropped open. On his lord’s desk sat Lady Kagome, nude and in the throws of passion. Lord Sesshomaru was in the throws of something also, but Jaken could bet it was not passion. His lord’s eyes were quickly turning red, and with a growl, he yanked off his haori, throwing it on Lady Kagome’s body. The lady’s eyes snapped open, and she turned a brilliant shade of red when she saw the reason why her mate had stopped his affections.

Sesshomaru was way beyond pissed. Not only did Jaken come into his study without knocking, he had also seen Kagome without her clothing yet again, and the worse part about all of it….well, he was horny and now he had a hard on that was killing him. Kagome’s scent of arousal quickly died, and along with it, Sesshomaru’s hopes for relief. He glared at the small toad, which was shaking with fear. If Sesshomaru could not get satisfaction one-way, he would get it another.

Jaken began to back up. It was best if he spit out why he had barged in and get the hell out of his master’s sight before Lord Sesshomaru decided to dispose of him in a very painful way. He quickly bowed, and said, “Please forgive this lowly Jaken, my lord and lady, but I have been informed that the lord of the east wishes an audience with you, Lord Sesshomaru. He wants to join forces to destroy the hanyou, Naraku.”

Sesshomaru said nothing. He watched his mate quickly redress, and when she was finished, he held out his hand. His beast was screaming to ignore the toad and take her, but his rational mind won out, telling the beast that they could play with her later on in the privacy of their chambers. He led Kagome to the door, and kissed her forehead. He told her that they would continue later in the evening, and she smiled. She gave Jaken a glare and left to go walk in the gardens.

Sesshomaru then turned to his pathetic retainer. “Jaken, what did I tell you about seeing what belongs to me undressed?” He asked.

Jaken gulped. “Forgive me, my lord. I would never want to see the lady naked.” He squeaked. Seeing that this particular statement seemed to upset his lord, he quickly added, “Not that looking upon her form is a bad thing. I would never be so stupid as to covet what belongs to you. It just is not worth it.” Ok, in hindsight, that may have also been the wrong thing to say as well. Apparently, Lord Sesshomaru took what he said as the Lady Kagome not being up to Jaken’s personal standards, indicating that Lord Sesshomaru had lower tastes than his retainer.

When Jaken woke up, he found his lord sitting at his desk, looking at the scroll announcing the lord of the east’s arrival. The look upon Lord Sesshomaru’s face told Jaken that he was less than thrilled. When his lord finally graced him with a glance, he told Jaken to prepare for the lord’s arrival. He would be arriving right before dinner, and he wanted to get this meeting over with quickly.

He didn’t care for this particular lord. The lord of the east was a braggart, and occasionally would boast that he had an intended mate who was the most beautiful in the land. Now, Sesshomaru had never laid eyes on this ‘intended’ of the lord’s, but from listening to the lord’s cronies, she was a true beauty. Perhaps, the lord would bring her along. Kagome could always use a friend to talk to when they attended balls and other events. However, this joining of forces intrigued Sesshomaru. Naraku had attacked Kagome on many occasions, and a couple of times, nearly succeeded in killing her. Thank the gods that he had been around to stop the attacks. His useless brother could not even protect himself, how could he be expected to protect Kagome. Perhaps, he should carefully consider what the lord was offering. The lord could also be of use hunting for shards.

After watching Jaken hurry out of the room, Sesshomaru stood. He left the study and walked out into the gardens to find Kagome sitting among the flowers. Rin had awoken and was now sitting in Kagome’s lap, listening to a story. Sesshomaru could not help the small smile that appeared on his lips. To see his mate interact with a child he considered to be his made him feel as though he had a real family. He would not leave them the way his father left him and his mother. After the story ended, Sesshomaru told Rin to go and prepare for dinner. The child ran to him and hugged his knees before doing as she was told. He saw Kagome smiling at him.

“And what do you find so amusing?” He asked.

“You. Rin has you wrapped around her little finger.” Kagome said.

Sesshomaru’s eyes narrowed and he opened his mouth to reply, but Kagome beat him to it. “Don’t you dare stand there and tell me that you are not smitten with her. I see it in your face every time you look at her.” She said.

His mate was too smart. Of course, Sesshomaru was the kind of demon who loved a woman with intelligence.

He took Kagome into his arms and said, “You, also, have me wrapped around your finger, my love. But, tonight, it shall be you wrapped around me.”

He looked down and saw Kagome blush. But then, her face turned from embarrassed to shocked. She began to laugh, and then pointed behind him.

Jaken stood behind Sesshomaru, looking very upset. While he had been unconscious, Sesshomaru had ordered a handmaid to retrieve a new set of clothes for the toad demon. Now, Jaken stood before the lord and lady of the west in a maid’s outfit, complete with the little frilly hat. The poor toad was miserable.

“My lord, the lord of the east has arrived.” Jaken said. Sesshomaru nodded.

“Good. Now go, maid, and attend to Rin. Make sure that she is presentable, and when the kitsune child arrives, he is also to be dressed for dinner.” Sesshomaru told him.

Jaken bowed. First, he had been an advisor, then a caretaker, then a babysitter, and now a nursemaid. When did his life take a turn for the worse?

Sesshomaru held out his hand for Kagome to take. Together, they went to greet the lord of the east. When they reached the hallway, Kagome gasped.

“Kouga. What are you doing here?” She asked.

Chapter Five

Upon hearing his name, the lord of the east whirled around and came face-to-face with his woman, Kagome.

“Kagome! What a surprise. How did you know that I was coming here?” Kouga asked.

Kagome blushed. She saw the look in Kouga’s eyes, and knew what he thought. She nervously glanced up at Sesshomaru who was staring at the wolf demon as though he wanted to rip off his head.

Kouga stepped closer to Kagome and reached for her hand, never noticing that Sesshomaru was holding onto the other one. He grabbed a hold of her and yanked her into his arms. Sesshomaru tried to control his temper, but the sight of seeing his beloved mate in the arms of another was almost unbearable. He watched as Kouga pulled back and then leaned down to kiss Kagome. That was the straw that broke the taiyoukai’s back.

Kouga had always wanted to kiss the woman he held in his arms. He had imagined how her soft lips would feel upon his as he slipped his tongue into her hot mouth. He could almost hear her panting in bliss. You see, most people thought that Kouga lacked an intellect, but that was simply not the case. Even though his brash actions and loud mouth often showed otherwise, he was in fact a very intelligent demon with an educated background. However, after meeting the human woman in his arms, Kouga often found himself slipping into the land of denial. Not to be confused with the river that flows through Egypt, mind you, but denial, where he could believe that he and Kagome were in love and nothing could tear them apart. However, Kouga was quickly brought back to reality when he felt someone grip his neck in a tight grasp. He was yanked up and turned around. He came face-to-face with a very pissed off Sesshomaru.

“Do not touch my mate, Lord Kouga. The next time your fingers caress her body, it had better be because you are protecting her from danger when I cannot, or you will find out why I am considered to be the most dangerous youkai in Japan.” Sesshomaru threatened.

Kouga gulped. He had only heard stories about Sesshomaru’s temper, but he had never been privileged to see him in action, and to be honest, he was not sure if he ever did. He took a quick glance at Kagome, who had stayed silent during the exchange. She was staring at Sesshomaru in awe, and he had turned his attentions from Kouga and was now returning his mate’s stare. He allowed Kouga to drop from his grasp, and walked over to the small woman, gathering her in his arms and holding her to his body. He took in a deep breath, calming his nerves and soothing her at the same time. He would allow no other to come between them. Especially this wolf.

Kouga got up from the spot he landed in and stared at the couple before him. He began to growl.

“What gives you the right to touch what is mine, Lord Sesshomaru? Kagome is my intended mate.” Kouga growled.

Sesshomaru stared at Kouga. Could what he said be true? Was Kagome the beauty that the wolf had been bragging about?

Raising one eyebrow, Sesshomaru said, “I did not know that Kagome was the woman you spoke of, but it is of no matter. She is mine, and I will never allow her to leave me. Now, explain why you are here, and then leave. My mate and I must get ready to leave.”

Kouga bit back a snarl. He would never accept that Kagome was mated to Sesshomaru. Kouga had a rightful claim to her, and he would make sure that she ended up with him. “I came to ask for your aid in defeating the hanyou, Naraku. He has been causing trouble in my lands as well as others. You seem to be the only lord that he doesn’t want to piss off, so I thought that if you and I joined forces, together we could eliminate his threat.” Kouga said.

Sesshomaru looked down at Kagome. Could he trust that this wolf would join with them and not try to take Kagome from him? Well, there was only one way to find out. “Kagome and I, along with her friends are going on a shard hunt, Lord Kouga. Join us, and I will agree to help you in Naraku’s destruction.” Sesshomaru said.

Kouga was stunned. He was looking for a way to get near Kagome, and now, Sesshomaru had just offered him one. Without a moment’s hesitation, Kouga said, “I will agree to join you. However, once we kill Naraku, I will challenge you for the right to mate with Kagome. Since I had laid claim to her, it is only right that I be allowed to exercise my right.”

Sesshomaru sighed. He had just known that something like this was going to happen. He had never imagined that a human woman could have such an effect on the male youkai species, but here she stood in all of her glory. Sesshomaru nodded, however, Kagome was in a fit.

“What do you mean, challenge for the right to mate with me? Sesshomaru, what in the world is he talking about? I am already mated to you.” Kagome said.

“Yes, love. However, since he made a claim for you, and I have indicated that I had heard the claim, he has the right to ask for the chance to win you from me. It is an old youkai custom that must be dealt with.” Sesshomaru explained.

Kagome looked at both males. Why in the hell did this have to happen to her? Why could nothing like this ever happen to Sango? But, then again, Sango had her own hands full with a certain hentai-prone monk, so she supposed she had the better situation. She glanced over at Kouga. She could not deny that she was attracted to him. With his long black hair, piercing blue eyes, and toned body who would not be attracted to him? Even Kaede had made a comment about if she were only several years younger, and had both of her eyes. However, Kagome was not the sort to be unfaithful, and she did love Sesshomaru.

“Kouga, please listen to me. I love Sesshomaru. You and I will always be friends, but that is all we can ever be.” Kagome said.

Kouga gave her a gentle smile. “Don’t worry, my love. Once I win you, you will never think of him again. I will force him out of your mind by ravishing your body until you can’t think straight. I will have you screaming my name until your voice grows tired, and all you can do is whisper how much you love me. I promise you, my sweet Kagome. We will not be apart for long.”

Sesshomaru barred his fangs at the lovesick wolf. Just who did he think he was? Sesshomaru tightened his grip on Kagome’s waist and turned her around. He told Kouga that dinner would be served within the hour and a maid would show him to a room. Sesshomaru led Kagome back up to their bedchambers. Holding her hand, he walked over to the bed, and sat down on it, bringing her to sit in his lap. He lifted his face, until it was buried within her neck and took a deep breath. She smelled so good.

Kagome could not believe what was happening to her. This day had been a strange one, and she did not know if she could take any more shocks to her system. She felt Sesshomaru’s lips graze her neck and she giggled. His lips seemed to have a way of setting her body on fire. However, Sesshomaru’s plan of seducing her failed when a knock interrupted their private moment.

When called to enter, Jaken opened the door, and saw Lady Kagome in Lord Sesshomaru’s lap. Jaken had to wonder when timing was handed out during creation, where the hell was he? He never seemed to pick a moment when his lord was trying to be romantic to bother him, and now, judging from the look upon Lord Sesshomaru’s face, he had a feeling that he was never going to be let out from his misery.

“My lord, the slayer and fox child have returned and dinner is being served.” Jaken squeaked.

After suppressing a growl, Sesshomaru eased Kagome off of his lap, and escorted her to the door. With a look that promised pain, he walked by the toad, making sure that his tail smacked at the poor retainer, and led Kagome down the stairs and into the dining room.

Jaken slowly picked himself up. If Lord Sesshomaru was like this now, how was he going to be when Lady Kagome got pregnant? Jaken shuddered at the thought. As far as Jaken was concerned, he would much rather be dead than have to take care of more children. His life really sucked.

Dinner was rather interesting. Kouga kept smiling at Kagome, Sesshomaru kept glaring at Kouga, and Kagome kept inching away from Miroku, who happened to be sitting right next to her. Thankfully, Sango was on the other side, and when Miroku’s hands would try and squeeze their bottoms, she would turn around and slap him. Shippo and Rin were getting along quite well, each of them happy that they had a family and parents to call their own.

Jaken, still dressed in his maid’s outfit, kept having thoughts running through his head. He could not help but wonder if Lord Kouga was going to force Sesshomaru into a mating triangle. If Lord Kouga could not win the battle, then the triangle would probably be the next step, meaning that both males could mate with the female in question and therefore increase their wealth in a merger. Basically, if Lord Kouga mated Lady Kagome, and Lady Kagome was mated to Lord Sesshomaru, then both Lord Kouga and Lord Sesshomaru would have rights to the other’s land. Jaken shook his head. There was no way in hell he was going to bring up the mating triangle. Kami only knows what Lord Sesshomaru would do for suggesting it. He had no desire to find out the limits of his lord’s patience.

Kouga was happy that he would have a chance to gain his Kagome. Now, all he had to do was get her away from that damn dog. What was it with inus? Kouga sighed. He wore a sappy look when he imagined Kagome on top of him, panting softly as he drove into her soft body over and over again. He could feel his pants becoming tighter as the image in his head got more graphic and he let out a small sigh.

Sesshomaru wanted to kill a certain wolf. He could smell the bastard’s arousal and knew that he was thinking of his Kagome. Images of Kouga hanging from a hook in the dungeon, screaming for mercy while Sesshomaru defiled his body filled the taiyoukai’s head. He could feel his claws lengthening as the image of dark red blood filled the dungeon floor and he let out a sigh.

Kagome looked from Kouga to Sesshomaru. Both males seemed to be deep in their thoughts, and kami knows what they were thinking, but she was almost positive that with Kouga, she probably filled his head, and she was probably naked. As for Sesshomaru, well, who knew what he thought. Both males let out sighs and Kagome rolled her eyes. Then, she felt a familiar hand on her backside for what had to be the third time that evening. She finally reached her breaking point and decided to smack him instead of allowing Sango to do it. When she let loose, the room went deadly silent as Miroku reached up and felt the cheek that had received the smack. Sango stared at her friend, and then at the monk. She finally snorted and said, “Well, it isn’t like you didn’t deserve it.”

Miroku looked hurt. “Can I help it if I am surrounded by such beauty and want to touch it?”

Sesshomaru and Kouga then figured out what had happened, and both sent warning growls to the monk. Miroku, upon hearing the growls, slid down in his seat. He was pretty sure that if his hand wandered again, he would be pulling back a bloody stump the next time.

Sango had been watching Kouga and Sesshomaru. She could not help but laugh at Inu Yasha. He had left a woman who loved him dearly for a walking corpse, and now, two of the most powerful youkai in Japan, were after her and her affections. Being mated to one, and sought after by the other. She had to wonder what would happen between the threesome during the journey to find the shards. Only time would tell, and she could bet that the journey would be an interesting one. However, it was time to deal with the monk again.

As dinner came to a close, the servants in Lord Sesshomaru’s employ were about to enter into the dining room and retrieve the dinner plates. They stopped when they heard a loud smack and a yelp. Perhaps, they would come back later.

Chapter Six

The rest of the evening was uneventful, except for when Jaken yelled at Shippo and Rin, only to find himself on the wrong end of Sesshomaru’s foot. After the toad was taken away to the healer’s room, Kagome and Sesshomaru got the pups ready for bed. Both children listened intently as their mother told them a story about a princess who fell asleep and had to be awoken by a kiss from her true love. Rin had sighed and told her parents that she hoped that someday a handsome prince would kiss her.

Kagome shot Sesshomaru a nasty look when she heard him muttering about yanking out the offender’s tongue and feasting on it before the unlucky fellow’s eyes. She leaned down and kissed both children, happy in the fact that she was finally where she belonged. Sesshomaru was never one for affection to others, but he did pat both children on the head, earning a giggle from Rin and a gasp from Shippo. Apparently, the fox child would have to get used to his new father. They bid their pups a good night and walked down the hall to their own chambers.

Once inside, Sesshomaru’s arm shot out and wrapped around her waist. He hauled her back and into his chest. Kagome sighed. She had been hoping to continue their loving since they had been so rudely interrupted. However, her hopes kind of fizzled out when she heard Sesshomaru’s question.

“What do you feel towards Lord Kouga?” Sesshomaru asked in a neutral tone.

Kagome could feel her blood boil. How in the hell could he ask that? Didn’t he know that it was he who made her blood sing with his very kiss? Did he not see that he could reduce her to a lump of jiggly flesh when he touched her skin? How dare he make the implication that she could ever hold feelings for another other than him?

“Do you not trust me, Sesshomaru?” Kagome asked through clenched teeth. “Do you honestly think that I could ever see him in the same light as you? You want to know how I feel, well, I will tell you. I do care for Kouga. He is a friend and I know that if I were in any danger, he would protect me with his life. He has never given me reason to doubt his word and is true to his promises. He knows that I will never allow myself to be with him, not when I am with you, however, he also cannot seem to control his actions when near me. I know that he won’t force himself on me, but he can’t resist telling me and showing me that he loves me. I have learned to put up with it, simply because I do care for him and his feelings.”

Kagome yanked away from Sesshomaru and walked into the closet, where she selected a gown for bed. She quickly changed clothing and stepped out, never looking at her mate, and got into bed.

He stared at her, watching her angrily stomp around and wondered what he had said to her to cause such a change in her attitude. Suddenly, it hit him. He had inadvertently questioned her honour. Now, though his expression hardly ever a change, his inner voice was screaming about what a giant idiot he was. If he could kick his own ass, Sesshomaru would have done it gladly. Not only did he question her honour, he had also hurt her feelings and to him, that was not something he ever wanted to do again.

He slowly untied his swords, placing them against the wall. He didn’t wear his armour, so all he had to take off was his haori and hakama. He made sure that he had Kagome’s attention and relieved his perfect body of the garments. He nearly smirked when he caught the faint aroma of her arousal, but he kept his face stoic. With the grace of a seasoned predator, he quietly approached the bed, keeping his movements slow and fluid. He never made a sound and he watched as Kagome’s eyes grew wide with uncertainty and fear. While she knew that he would never purposely hurt her, she didn’t know what he was doing and it frightened her. In one swift movement, he was over her, pinning her down and making short work of her gown with his sharp claws.

Kagome had to wonder what the hell had happened. Her thoughts were interrupted when she felt his lips upon her mating mark, the intruding lips igniting a blaze in her stomach that resulted in her excitement wetting her panties. His hands were skilful as they moved along her arms and travelling down to her legs, only stopping when he gripped her knees, forcing them apart and settling himself between them. Kagome moaned when she felt his member against her core, pushing against the thin fabric and seeking sanctuary within her depths. He grunted against her neck before removing the barrier preventing him from joining with his beloved mate. In his own way, he was apologizing to her and making up with her. She smiled into his hair. A girl had to take a victory whenever she could, and she could claim this one. He was in the wrong and they both knew it.

Once he was satisfied that he would not be stopped from loving his mate, he threw back his head and a loud roar was ripped from his throat. He plunged himself into Kagome’s body, sinking happily into her and then moving within her at a slow and lazy pace. He was fighting himself not to rut into her like a crazy man, and he wanted to make sure that her orgasm was reached before his. It was a male youkai’s duty to please his mate in bed, and damn it, he was going to please her. There was no way in hell he was going to give her a reason to look outside their bed for satisfaction.

After several moments of gentle rocking, Kagome got fed up. She wrapped her legs around his waist and tried to guide him with her hips, but he did not seem to notice. Finally, she got pissed. She reached up and grabbed his face. “Damn it, I want you to stop being so damn gentle and fuck me, Sesshomaru.” She bit out gruffly.

Now, while it was true that normally the demon lord never showed emotion, but this was not a normal situation and his expression was definitely not stoic. Shock, relief, amazement and other similar emotions flickered across his face; before he took her up on her suggestion, or rather, demand. He pounded into his mate like a madman, listening to her moans of pleasure and groans of relief. He snarled as he felt her walls clench around him, and howled when he felt the gush of fluid against his rock hard cock. He could see the look of pure happiness float across her face as she met her climax, screaming his name for all to hear. Finally, when his climax came, he greedily accepted it, plunging his fangs into his mark and tasting her sweet blood. The taste of her blood told him that she loved no other but him and he smiled. Let that damn Kouga have his fantasies. He had the real thing under him and she would not be leaving. Spent, the lord and lady of the west panted their joy, while he rolled off of her. He pulled his mate into his arms and allowed her to rest her head against his chest. Soon, dreams claimed her, and he quickly followed.

Jaken stood outside the door. He had heard Lord Kouga calling out Lady Kagome’s name and he ran to his lord’s chamber to let him know that his mate was being unfaithful, however, when he got to the door, he heard Lady Kagome scream Lord Sesshomaru’s name and the growl of a very happy taiyoukai. His hand frozen in midair, he let it slowly drop to his side, his mouth hanging open in shock. He had almost signed his death warrant by accusing the lady of being a whore. Luckily, he did not follow through and he slowly turned away from the couple’s door. Kami saved his life this night, but what of tomorrow? Jaken sighed. He was a very unlucky toad. He hung his head and walked down the hall to his new quarters, which happened to be next to the children’s room. He needed to find a new job. This one stank.

Kouga had gone to his chambers after dinner. He looked at himself in a mirror that was in the room and shuddered. He could not stand the clothing he had to wear when meeting with other lords. His battle armour and furs were much more comfortable and he could relax in them. The black silk haori and hakama that he wore were tight and constricting. Thankfully, he had been sitting down at the dining table when his images of Kagome reached a graphic level, and had hidden his cock. He had been thinking of ways for some time to get her into his bed, and keep her there. If it had not been for that dog, Sesshomaru, he would have stolen her away from Inu-Trasha and taken her to his home. He undressed and again looked at his body in the mirror. To say he was handsome was not true. To be honest, Kouga was a perfect specimen of the male species. His rock hard body was tanned and defined. His long black hair was loose and hung around his waist. His attention turned to the bright blue eyes that seemed to drive women crazy. However, he only wanted one woman to go crazy over him. He climbed into bed and closed his eyes.

***Beginning Of Dream***

The dreams that came to him were very erotic and very arousing. He could feel Kagome underneath his body, writhing in pleasure as his lips dipped down and tasted her flesh. His tongue darted out and licked a path from her neck to her jaw, pausing at the junction of her shoulder that rises and meets the neck, giving it a small nip and earning him a squeal of delight from his beloved. Making his way up to her lips, he claimed them with a small growl, and he revelled in the sweet softness of her lips. As he made love to her lips, his hands slipped down to her breasts and he lovingly caressed the ivory mounds, gently tweaking her nipples with his thumbs and forefingers. He could feel her laugh against his lips, and allowed his hands to go further down until they reached her thighs and gently spread her legs, so that he could worship her sex, the area of her body that was summoning him with its scent. His fingers stroked her pearl, causing Kagome to gasp in surprise.

Breaking their kiss, he slowly moved down her body until his head was between her thighs. He took in a deep breath, savoring the aroma that distinctly defined her as Kagome. His tongue darted out and stroked her pearl while his fingers delved into her hot body, causing her to shake as she slowly approached her climax. He became more forceful in his determination to give her the kind of pleasure that would force her to see him in the light that would colour him as her lover. When she did meet her climax, she threw back her head and screamed his name, shouting for all to hear that he had pleased her, and she had enjoyed it. When he had lapped up her sweet honey, he moved back up her body, kissed her lips, and plunged his essence into her body, enjoying the way her muscles clamped around him and caused a delicious friction that nearly drove him insane. His hips pulsed, her body rocked, and finally they met at the brink of paradise, screaming their ecstasy for the world to hear. He brought his head back down and plunged his fangs into her soft neck, marking her as his mate, his immortal beloved, and his reason for living.

Kouga woke up sweating; his arousal was apparent and aching. Cursing, he yanked back the covers to discover that he had released his passion and now was covered in his own seed. Kouga groaned and reached for his pants. He needed a bath, and he needed it now.

***End Of Dream***

Morning came, and it found the dwellers of the western palace in a good mood. Kagome was excited to be starting the hunt, and found that the prospect of having Sesshomaru by her side was thrilling and comforting. He would never allow anything to happen to her, and he would stay by her side. Sango and Miroku were happy to be joining a team that would appreciate their contributions to the effort. Kouga was always happy to do something when it involved Kagome, so if he were any happier about joining the group, he would have been orbiting the moon. Shippo and Rin were happy that they were going with their parents and friends. Shippo liked being around Sango. She was like an older sister, and Miroku provided some laughter when he got slapped. Rin never liked to be away from her Sesshomaru-sama, and now that he was mated to Kagome-Chan, she would have died being left behind.

Jaken was the only one who was miserable. He was also going, but he was to be dressed in the maid’s outfit. He had grumbled about his luck and Rin had suggested that he wear one of her frilly dresses instead. Sesshomaru had heard the exchange and was going to take Rin up on her suggestion, but Kagome had talked him out of it. Jaken had wanted to hug his new mistress when she intervened. However, when the group was in the hall, Jaken tripped and fell to the ground, skidding to a stop right at Lady Kagome’s feet. Well, at her feet was not exactly right. His head was underneath her kimono and he was staring up into the Promised Land. Kagome had shrieked and yanked herself backwards, her face flaring red. Jaken quickly got to his little feet, yelping out apologies to her, and then turned when he heard a set of loud and vicious growls. He turned to stare at two very angry youkai. Lord Sesshomaru’s face was now full of emotion, and all of those emotions promised pain. Lord Kouga’s face promised him nothing but pure agony. Jaken closed his eyes, and hoped for a speedy death, however, death would not be so kind. When he opened his eyes, instead of seeing either of the lords, he found himself looking up into the stormy face of Lady Sango.

“Jaken, allow me to show you what happens to a male who looks upon a woman’s body and is not her mate.” Sango offered.

The next thing Jaken knew, he was on Ah-Un’s back and sandwiched between Rin and Shippo. The lump on his head told him that he had tasted Lady Sango’s weapon and made the quick decision to stay away from that particular human. Though he had to wonder why it was that the monk was always trying to touch the slayer.

As Jaken thought, said monk slowly reached out and stroked the firm backside of the slayer. He heard the woman take in a sharp breath and then turned and smacked him as hard as she could. As the offending monk fell back, Lord Kouga caught him and hoisted him over his shoulder, muttering something about stupid monks.

The group was finally on their way, and fate would be the one to guide them. Little did they know, fate had a very interesting plan for them and their competition.

Chapter Seven

Inu Yasha was not having a good day. When they had awoken, he asked Kikyo if she could send her soul collectors out to search for shards. When she complied, the snake-like creatures left, hissing at him. When they were gone, Kikyo decided to approach him.

“Are you sorry that you gave up my reincarnation, Inu Yasha?” She asked quietly.

“Of course, I am sorry. She is the only one who can see those damn shards, and now Sesshomaru has her in his clutches. He gets the prize while I get the junk.” Inu Yasha grumbled.

Kikyo staggered back as though he had hit her. She narrowed her eyes and gave the hanyou a hard look.

“Perhaps my reincarnation would not have been so angry with you if you had treated her with respect and kindness.” Kikyo bit out.

Inu Yasha stared at the golem before him. How dare she take sides with Sesshomaru and the rest of the traitors? He had treated Kagome very well, and it was she who turned her back on him. He glared at Kikyo, and then said, “Why do you care how I treated the bitch? After all, I chose you in the end, now didn’t I? So instead of whining, why don’t you show me some gratitude for all of the sacrifices I have made.”

That did it. Who did this half-mutt think he was? Kikyo slowly made her way over to the hanyou, and when close enough, she allowed her hand to fly across his face, a loud smacking sound echoing over the land.

“You want me to show you some gratitude? Well, let me tell you one thing, you ungrateful dog. I am not your slave and just because my reincarnation had the patience to put up with your abuse does not mean that I will. And another thing, don’t even think about comparing me to the little copy. I am not as tolerant as she was, and if I really think about it, I am surprised that she did not purify your ass a long time ago.” Kikyo replied.

Inu Yasha stared at the dead woman before him. Did he just hear right? Did Kikyo actually show some sympathy for Kagome? His eyes narrowed. So, it was going to be like that, was it? He would show her who was boss in this relationship. He slowly approached her, his hand held tightly at his side.

Kikyo watched him as he came closer. She was aware that he was angry. The flare in his aura had told her that. She knew that he was going to strike at her, well, let him try. When he came close enough, his hand reared back and Kikyo went into action. She yanked a beaded necklace out of her kimono top and threw it over his head. He didn’t seem to notice the addition to his outfit, and continued to approach her. Kikyo crossed her arms over her chest and said, “Heel, boy.”

Inu Yasha’s eyes widened as his body slammed into the ground, causing an Inu Yasha shaped crater.

“What the hell did you do, bitch?” He growled at her.

Kikyo gave him a cold smile. “Now I know why Kagome had to keep you subdued. From this point on, I am in charge and you will be MY bitch. You will do as I say and act only when I tell you too. Oh, and do try to keep a civil tongue in your head. I will not hesitate to use the magic word on you.” She warned.

Inu Yasha grumbled as he got up. Kagome was able to subdue him and now so could Kikyo. Just when his life started to look up, something had to happen to ruin his good fortune. When would his misery end?

The small group had been walking for almost a day, until they decided to stop and make camp for the night. They chose a spot that was near a hot spring, much to the female’s delight. Sesshomaru had stayed close to Kagome side, but Kouga had chosen to take up space on her other side, causing both males to look at and glare at each other throughout the day. Kagome knew that Sesshomaru was not happy about Kouga being so close to her, but it could not be helped. Sango and Miroku were riding Kilala, the children and that hentai Jaken were riding Ah-Un, so she was stuck in the middle of two very attentive males, both who wanted her, and hated the other male for his attentions upon the human female between them. She could not help but roll her eyes each time she heard a possessive growl come from them. A few times, she had to pull Sesshomaru aside and assure him that she was never going to leave him for Kouga, and to settle down. Each time was followed by a searing kiss that seemed to take her breath away.

Now, as they all set about making camp, Kagome bent over to gather some firewood, unaware that a certain monk had come up behind her. She felt a hand on her backside, and whirled around to face the owner of that hand. Miroku was grinning and he looked down upon her, loving the way her face contorted into different emotions. He saw the anger in her face and prepared himself for the inevitable. He closed his eyes, waiting for the smack, but it never came. When he opened his eyes, instead of staring into Kagome’s face, he was staring directly at a very upset taiyoukai. His dream girl had just turned into a monster, and he knew that he was going to get it.

“Tell me, monk. Do you have a death wish?” Sesshomaru asked quietly.

Miroku shook his head. Sesshomaru continued. “I will not allow another male to stroke what belongs to me. If you value your life, I suggest that you refrain from touching my mate. Are we clear?”

Miroku nodded. Sango had heard the entire conversation and stepped between the males. “Excuse me, Lord Sesshomaru.” She said. She turned her attention towards Miroku, causing the monk to wonder if he was better off with the pissed off youkai. He saw the slayer ball up her fist and rear back. Miroku only had a second before her fist kissed his face, sending him off to an early slumber.

Kouga shook his head. The monk never ceased to amaze him. He looked over towards Kagome, who was helping the children get ready for dinner. He stared at her firm backside, fully understanding the monk’s fascination with it, and he yearned to go over and press his aching groin into her, showing her exactly how she made him feel. Jaken stared at the lovely lady of the west. He had to admit it; she kept the great taiyoukai in line. By now, he would have killed the lord of the east, but because the wolf was a friend of hers, he allowed the wolf to live.

But, Jaken could not help wondering what it was about the young human girl that drew his lord to her. Sure, she was a beauty, and a powerful miko, but what could have attracted the ice lord’s attentions? Then a small gust of wind hit and carried her scent to the small toad’s nose. He sniffed and then understood. Her scent was divine. Why had he not noticed it before? It had to be this scent that soothed that savage beast that was his lord. But, then something else caught the toad’s attention. She was in the beginnings of heat. The small toad began to panic. If her scent alone drove his lord into a protective frenzy, then he had to wonder what would the great taiyoukai do when he realized that his mate was in heat, and near a male who also yearned for her affections? Jaken gulped. He was not going to do anything to upset his lord anymore. Jaken watched as his new lady passed out the dinner portions and then sat beside Lord Sesshomaru. His lord leaned over a bit and sniffed at his mate. His eyes went wide and he looked around. Jaken groaned in his head. His lord had detected the same scent as he did. It was going to be a long night.

Sesshomaru could not believe it. Kagome was in the early stages of being in heat, and judging from the look on Kouga’s face, Kouga also knew that Kagome was fertile. Sesshomaru barred his fangs at the wolf, silently promising pain should the wolf approach her. He looked back down at the small woman beside him. He had to get her away from the group and take her before his beast decided that it didn’t care who was around and where they were to fuck her. The fact that she was in heat made his blood sing with anticipation and he could barely keep up with the conversation that was going on around him.

Kouga glanced over at Kagome. His groin tightened as the wind carried a scent that held Kagome’s unique scent. He could feel his eyes starting to bleed red as the realization that she was in heat came rushing to him. He looked over at Sesshomaru who was also staring at Kagome. He could see the demon lord struggling to keep cool and was trying to maintain some dignity in front of the group. Kouga smirked to himself. When an opportunity presents itself, it was always a good idea to accept it.

“So, Sesshomaru. You look at though you have a lot on your mind. Care to share with the rest of us?” Kouga asked in his best innocent voice.

Sesshomaru glared at the wolf. He was fully aware that Kouga knew what was going on and that he was trying to stay calm. He was also aware that Kouga was trying to make an ass out of him. Well, haha Kouga. This Sesshomaru would not break, no. This Sesshomaru was as cool as a cucumber and there was nothing he could do or say to make him break. And if he did manage to get him to crack, well, he would send his sympathy to the wolf tribe and express his sorrow at having to take the young wolf leader’s life.

“There is nothing that this Sesshomaru wishes to share.” He said in a clipped voice.

Kouga raised his eyebrow. So, the game was afoot, and he would be damned if he didn’t play. “Why do you look so upset? Are you uncomfortable? Is there anything we can do to make you more comfortable?”

Kagome turned to her mate in concern. “What is wrong, Sesshomaru?”

Sesshomaru sent Kouga a gaze that would have melted the coldest of ice. He would pay the wolf back in full. That, Sesshomaru, guaranteed.

“I am fine, my mate. I thank you for your concern, but there is nothing wrong.” Sesshomaru assured her. He stood up and held out his hand to Kagome. “Would you care to take a walk with me, my love?”

Kagome smiled and took his hand. Normally, the woods were not safe in the night, but she was with Sesshomaru and there would be nothing out there that would dare challenge him to a fight.

The lord and lady of the west walked into the woods, leaving behind their companions, one of which was very horny and in desperate need of relief. Looking around, Kouga excused himself and walked in the opposite direction. He walked for a good half hour and then stopped. He quickly undressed and allowed himself to indulge in a good round of self-love, using his imagination to see himself fucking the hell out of Kagome, to bring his release on fast. When it came, he threw back his head and howled into the night’s sky. He needed to find a way to get Kagome away from Sesshomaru as soon as possible. His hand was starting to hurt.

Sesshomaru was a happy taiyoukai. He had managed to get his mate away from the group and deep into the woods. He allowed his senses to flow outward and detected no threats to her safety. Once he was sure that they would not be disturbed, he stopped and turned to Kagome.

In the moonlight, she looked like a pale goddess. The moon shone its rays upon her hair, making it glow with a white light. She was perfection achieved, and tonight he would have her.

Kagome smiled up at Sesshomaru. The way he was looking at her sent shivers down her spine. When he turned to her and bent down, she held her breath. His kiss set her mouth on fire, the urgency was evident as his tongue filled her mouth and molested hers. Kagome moaned into his mouth, causing him to growl softly in desire. He broke the kiss, and travelled down to her neck. His mate’s body told him that she would not allow him to be gentle with her, and he decided to heed its advice. His hands released his arousal, and to Kagome’s delight, it stood at full attention. Her small hands reached out and grasped the large cock, stroking it into a frenzy. Sesshomaru’s head bent back, his body was going crazy, and his hips thrusting gently as she ran her hands up and down his large shaft. Finally, when he could take no more, he grabbed her hands and moved them up to his chest.

“Do not move your hands.” He warned.

Kagome nodded, and watched him with curious eyes. Sesshomaru bent down and raised her kimono up. Kagome gasped at the cold night air as it hit her bare legs. He leaned against a large tree and lifted Kagome against his chest. Very slowly, he eased her down onto his cock, watching her eyes close as she engulfed him within her body. He began to move her up and down, never allowing the motion to be broken. Kagome let small moans fall from her lips as she enjoyed her mate’s affections. Soon, those small moans turned into screams of delight, his name pouring from her lush lips as she neared her climax. When she tumbled over the edge, she leaned forward, burying her head into his neck and screamed his name. He quickly followed her and his growl sounded through the dark forest, warning all who dared approach that he would have blood if he and his mate were disturbed. When the crash of pure bliss finally subsided, Sesshomaru lifted Kagome off of his cock, easing her down to stand on her feet. Her face was flushed, and she was tired. When he had restrained his cock back in his hakama, he picked her up in his arms and carried her back to the camp. No one dared say a word to the lovers, but all knew exactly what had transpired.

Without a word, the companions decided to go to bed. Tomorrow was going to be a long day and it would be best if everyone were rested. So, they slept.

Inu Yasha was miserable. Kikyo had turned him from a hanyou to a lap dog. He did her bidding and was threatened with being ‘heeled’ when he did not do something she wanted. It was funny how life seemed to always hit him below the belt. His situation was all Sesshomaru and Kagome’s fault. If they had not mated then Kagome would have come back with him and they could have hunted for the shards like they used to do. Now, she had both Miroku and Sango on her side, and they would find the shards faster and easier than he and Kikyo could. It was not fair. Just once he would like to be the winner in something. Why is it that life always seemed to kick him in his pants when things started to go his way? He looked over at Kikyo, who was watching him over the fire. He needed to get rid of her and join up with Kagome’s group. Maybe she could remove the beads Kikyo had placed on him. He would forget about the bet and let her have the damn jewel. All he wanted to do now was get the hell away from Kikyo. Little did he know that Kikyo had other plans.

Chapter Eight

The small group awoke at dawn, and after a small breakfast, they were off again, looking for the elusive shards. All during the morning, the children had sung songs and recited nursery rhymes. Kagome could not help but smile at the childish voices that spoke in time with each other. It was one of the sweetest sounds she had ever heard. Glancing up at Sesshomaru, she could tell that he, too, was enjoying the pups’s presentation. Sango and Miroku were ahead of the group, bickering about Miroku’s latest fondling attempt. Kouga decided to walk in the back of the group. Of course, he told them that he wanted to make sure that they were not attacked from behind, but his true reason was to stare at Kagome’s backside as she walked. He could not wipe the goofy grin off his face as he stared at the tasty treat that walked only a few feet in front of him. Jaken kept looking at his lord. He kept wondering why the lord was allowing the wolf to be so close to his mate while she was in heat. Even he, Jaken, had been swayed by the little vixen’s call, and he hated humans. He grunted.

“What’s wrong, Jaken? Does your tummy hurt?” Rin’s sweet voice called to him.

Jaken shook his head. “No, human. My stomach is fine.”

Kagome sent the toad a glare, and when he caught sight of it, he shrank back. He had forgotten that the new lady of the western lands was human as well.

Shippo and Rin squealed when they came to a small meadow and begged the adults to let them play. Kagome sighed, and nodded. Sesshomaru told everyone that they would be stopping for lunch and that Jaken would be responsible for the children’s safety.

Jaken groaned. When would his hell be over? He lowered his head and walked to where the young ones had ran. Perhaps, they would leave him alone.

Kagome and Sango prepared lunch while Kouga and Sesshomaru went hunting. Miroku sat back and closed his eyes. It was a good time to meditate and he never wasted an opportunity.

When the two lords came back, they showed off their prize and watched as the women cooked the beast. Lunch was finally served, and the children were called. Kagome shouted for Rin and Shippo, but when they did not answer her, she told the others that she would be back. She went to the clearing and found Jaken asleep, mumbling about humans in heat and how he would make the human bitch bark. Kagome rolled her eyes and looked around for her pups. When she could not find them, she yelled at Jaken, startling the toad demon awake.

“Where are my pups, Jaken?” Kagome screeched.

Jaken looked around and paled. Was it possible that they had taken him up on his suggestion for a game? Kagome became frantic and told Jaken to start looking for them. She ran back to where the adults were and cried out for Sesshomaru.

“Sesshomaru, Jaken lost our pups. I found him asleep and he was mumbling something about making a human bitch bark and humans in heat. I didn’t really understand it, but he lost my babies.” Kagome cried.

Sesshomaru listened to Kagome and had to bite back a snarl. He knew exactly what Jaken was dreaming about. Apparently, so did Kouga. Both males stood up. They would find the children and then deal with the sick little toad. However, two little giggles stopped them in their tracks. Kouga approached a little bush and reached behind it. He pulled back and held in his arms the missing pups.

Kagome let out a squeal and rushed over to him. Grabbing her pups from the wolf, Kagome hugged and kissed both children. After she gave them her love, she presented them with her displeasure.

“Do you both realize the scare you put me through?” Kagome demanded.

Rin and Shippo’s smiles faded. Looking at their mother, they could see the worry on her face.

“We’re sorry, mama. We didn’t mean any harm.” Shippo said.

“Don’t be angry at us. Jaken wanted to play hide and seek, so we went and hid.” Rin explained.

‘Ah-ha, now I understand.’ Kagome thought. The nasty little toad told her pups that he wanted to play a game with them, and when they left, he took a nap. What a little creep. She set her pups down and started to walk to where she had left Jaken. Kouga grabbed her arm and gave her an evil smile.

“Want to teach the toad a lesson he won’t soon forget?” Kouga asked.

Kagome and the others were speechless. Kouga grabbed two plates and told the children to follow him. He led them back behind the small bush and told them to be quiet. He handed them their lunch and ruffled their hair, telling them what good little pups they were. This brought a smile to Kagome’s face and earned a glare from Sesshomaru.

After getting promises of being quiet from the pups, Kouga moved back to where the adults were. He told Kagome to go and get Jaken, telling him that Kouga had important information.

When Kagome and the toad returned, Kouga went into action. He wanted the toad to suffer. No one makes his Kagome upset and walks away without paying a heavy price.

“I wanted to let all of you know that I detected the scent of a strange youkai in the area. I don’t think it would be a good idea to stay in this area for long. After we eat, we leave.” Kouga told them.

Kagome caught on to his plan. “What about the pups? Jaken, did you find any sign of them?”

Jaken’s knees were shaking. “No, my lady. I had closed my eyes for a moment, but they wandered off. I can’t understand why they would leave without telling me.”

Kouga’s eyes narrowed. It was time to go in for the kill. “Do you think that they are playing a game? We have a game in my tribe where one pup will hide, and another will go and hunt for his location.”

Jaken’s throat began to constrict. He had offered to play hide and go seek with the pups, but his intent was to let them stay in hiding while he took a much-needed break. What would the adults do if they found him out? “I don’t know, my lord.”

Sesshomaru had heard enough. He could tell that the toad was lying. He got up and stomped over to his pathetic retainer. “Jaken, we already know. Lord Kouga just caught you in a lie. The fact that your breathing changed after he asked you about the game tells me that the pups told the truth when they said that you offered to play a game with them.

Now, it was a well-known fact that when you are about to die, your life flashes right before your eyes. Jaken’s life flashed, and he came to a decision. He was going to die a virgin. He had never tasted the sweet flesh of a woman, and had taken to using one of Rin’s old dollies as a playmate (and not the kind of playmate that a child would have). He came to the fast conclusion that he had lived a very sad life, and the fact that he got to see himself humping a dolly was more than enough evidence to testify to that fact.

Kouga and Sesshomaru, both being taiyoukai’s of great power, had the ability to see into other’s minds. While Kouga was desperately trying not to laugh, Sesshomaru had to shudder. What he saw had ruined his appetite and had effectively killed his need for sex.

Kagome was staring at the male demons. Jaken looked as though he wanted to pee himself, Kouga looked as though he were going to go into convulsions, and Sesshomaru looked like he was going to be ill. She shook her head and went to the small bush and told the children to come on out.

Before too long, the quiet finally was broken and Jaken squeaked when he was yanked up by his lord.

“Tell me, Jaken. Exactly which human bitch in heat were you referring to while you slumbered?” Sesshomaru growled out.

Jaken turned from green to white. His lord knew that he had been dreaming about his mate. Jaken gulped nervously and found himself high into the air, looking down on the small party in astonishment.

Rin saw her Sesshomaru-sama throw her caretaker into the air, and squealed out excitedly, “Look, mama. Jaken can fly.”

Kagome had to feel a bit sorry for the toad, but remembering that he had lost her pups killed all sympathy.

The small group gathered their belongings and loaded up Ah-Un with the supplies and children. When Jaken finally came back to Earth, he quietly joined the group and kept his eyes down. There was no way in hell he was going to do anything else to piss anyone off.

Soon, the group encountered the first of many demons that had possession of a jewel shard. Working together, Kouga and Sesshomaru made fast work of the demon. Kagome rushed forward and grabbed up the tainted jewel shard, purifying it on contact. It was a good day, and they had reclaimed a shard.

Inu Yasha looked at the sleeping corpse. He finally had convinced her that he would not try to leave, and she had fallen asleep. When he was sure that she would not awaken, he silently got up, and made a mad dash for the forest. He travelled several miles, praying that she had not figured out that she had been tricked, and made his way far from her. He came to a small meadow, and took in a deep breath. He gave a small smile. Kagome had been here, and from the strength of her scent, they had left the area only hours ago. He followed the scent, and went in search of his friends, hoping that they will help him escape Kikyo.

Night had fallen, and Kagome’s scent had calmed quite a bit, relaxing the uptight males. Sesshomaru had found a location that held a spring, and he with the other males waited as the females went to bathe. More than once the monk had to be held down, preventing him from peeping at the women, and finally, Kouga rendered him unconscious. Never before had the wolf met a more determined hentai. He took many beatings, but was never deterred. Had to give the man credit for his ability to take a blow.

After Sango and Rin were washed and dressed, they walked back to camp and told Kagome that they would tell the males that she would be along shortly. Kagome sighed and relaxed. She thought about her life and was happy to say that she finally knew what love really meant. She slipped out of the spring and reached for her towel. All of a sudden, Kagome was hit from the side, and taken down hard. She struggled against the offending weight and pushed it off of her. Once it was off, she got a good look at her attacker.

“What are you doing here, Inu Yasha?” Kagome yelled.

Inu Yasha stared at Kagome, his cheeks reddening at seeing her nude form. Kagome followed his eyes and shrieked. She grabbed her towel and was about to wrap it around her when a very fluffy object wound around her and hoisted her up. Kagome soon found herself crushed to Sesshomaru’s chest, and felt his vicious growls before she heard them. She knew what was coming, and she had a feeling that Inu Yasha did as well. It was not going to be a pretty sight.

Kouga had followed Sesshomaru when they detected the stench of that damn hanyou, Inu Yasha. Now, both males stood side-by-side and were barring their fangs at the sad looking half-demon.

Kagome began to wiggle in Sesshomaru’s grasp, earning herself a warning growl. That did it for the young woman.

“Sesshomaru, put me down right now.” Kagome ordered.

However, instead of putting her down, he hoisted her up and over his shoulder, showing her naked backside off to all who had eyes. Kagome screamed her frustration and felt a stinging slap across her rump. Tears filled her eyes and she stopped struggling. Sesshomaru’s nose picked up the scent of her tears and he sighed. He was trying to find out why his brother had approached his mate, and here she was, making a difficult situation even more difficult. He looked over and saw his half-brother’s stunned gaze. Kouga followed the dogface’s eyes, and had to rip his eyes away quickly. He had not realized that Kagome was naked and now she sported a very large and very red handprint on her beautiful skin.

Kagome had never been so humiliated before. She felt Sesshomaru lighted his grasp on her, and she quickly wiggled from his grip. She landed on the ground, and picked up her towel, slinging it around her body and then shot her mate a glare that would have terrified most, but all it did was cause Sesshomaru to blink. She stomped to where her clothing was, grabbed it up and went behind a bush. When she was dressed, she stormed past the stunned males, and didn’t even glance back as she made her way to camp.

With her gone, Sesshomaru turned his attentions to his brother. “What do you want, half-breed?”

“I came to ask if I could join up with your group. Please, I can’t handle what Kikyo is putting me through.” Inu Yasha whimpered.

Kouga started to laugh. This was rich and he was here to witness it. “What makes you think that we would ever help you?”

Inu Yasha stared at the wolf. He had not even noticed Kouga’s presence and now his humiliation was multiplied. “Look, all I want is to get away from Kikyo and I will do anything that you ask of me.” Inu Yasha said, hanging his head.

Kouga looked at Sesshomaru. “This is going to be good. Let’s go back to camp and show off our newest addition.” Kouga exclaimed.

Sesshomaru nodded. It was time that Jaken had an assistant. He had to wonder how his brother would look in a maid’s outfit. The prospect was definitely appealing. They led the poor hanyou back to the camp and announced that he was joining their group. The race was over.

Everyone welcomed the hanyou to the group, but Kagome remained silent. She was still upset and she could not face anyone at the moment. Sesshomaru grabbed onto her arm and hoisted her up. “Come, we need to speak.” He said, softly.

Kagome followed him into the forest and stopped when he turned to face her. “Kagome, I apologize for upsetting you. However, I was dealing with a potential threat and you need to understand that I will do whatever it takes to make sure that you remain safe, even against my own flesh.” He said.

“Does that include hitting me and humiliating me in front of your enemy?” Kagome asked, quietly.

Sesshomaru stared down at her, and saw the hurt look on her face. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. He cringed when he felt her body convulse with tears. For a while, they did not say a word. He simply allowed her to cry into his chest. Yep, he would be paying for this mistake for a looooong time. When her sobs eased, he looked down, and found that she had fallen asleep in his arms. He sighed, and then picked her up. Looks like he would have to make his amends another night. He turned and walked back to camp, listening with interested ears as Jaken explained the role of assistant nursemaid. He broke out one of those rare smiles when he heard his brother say, “Feh.” Yep, it was certainly going to be an interesting journey.

Kikyo smiled into the night. Inu Yasha had done as she thought he would. Now, it was only a matter of time before he realized that she had once again tricked him. She needed him to see that he was not worthy of being loved and she would be the one to teach him. She would make him suffer and ultimately, she would drag him to hell with her. Let her reincarnation keep the cursed jewel, she wanted the hanyou to pay for her misery. She was finally going to get her revenge, and would play upon his honour to make him suffer. After all, it was looked down upon for a youkai or hanyou to leave their mate unprotected. Let the games begin.

Chapter Nine

To say that he was happy was a complete understatement. Jaken walked with his head held high, and a bounce in his step. He kept glancing back at the hanyou who had been assigned to assist him. Now, said hanyou was walking beside the two-headed dragon and listening to the chatter of two very excited children. Rin kept reaching over and rubbing the puppy ears on top of Inu Yasha’s head, while Shippo taunted the half demon about how he had better be nice to them or else.

Inu Yasha was in a foul mood. He really could not stand children. He only put up with Shippo because Kagome would ‘sit’ him whenever he was mean to the little kitsune. Now, here he was, having his ears rubbed by the little girl and taunted by Shippo, the little brat. What was worse about the entire situation was that Kouga, his arch nemesis, kept making little comments and trying to rouse his anger in order to get him into trouble.

“Gee, dog-breath. I wonder how you are going to look in one of those dark grey kimonos. You know, one of those servant kimonos that come down just above the knee. I bet that you are going to look so pretty in it.” Kouga sneered.

Inu Yasha glared at the wolf and looked away. He had already been warned about speaking when not spoken too by Jaken, and now the little toad was watching him like a hawk.

Kagome and Sesshomaru walked in the middle of the group. She had not really spoken to him all day, and she could tell that he was deep in thought. Her attention turned towards Sango, when the demon slayer froze.

Sango looked around and recognized the area that they were in. They were close to her former village. She looked at Kagome, who nodded her head.

“Go on. We will wait for you.” Kagome said.

Sango flashed her a brilliant smile and took off on Kilala. Miroku looked at the group and said, “I am going to go and lend my support. You know that her visits to her village are always hard on her.”

Kagome nodded. It was a perfect opportunity to stop and relax. Kouga looked at the monk and said, “Remember, you are going to support her, not grope her.”

Miroku flashed the wolf a grin. “Of course, I am going to support her. I simply wish to be there for her to cry on.”

Kouga shook his head. He knew exactly what the monk was planning. Let the slayer cry on his shoulder while his hands slipped down to her backside. Obviously, the monk would think that her backside needed consoling too.

With the monk and slayer gone, Jaken ordered Inu Yasha to make camp for them. Inu Yasha had to bite back a growl and went to gather the supplies.

Sesshomaru had been quiet all morning. He could feel his mate’s upset and knew that he was the cause of it. He had been thinking of ways to show her that he was indeed sorry, but being who he was, he had never had to apologize to anyone, so basically, he was clueless. He looked at his half-brother and could see the misery etched on his face. The hanyou set up camp and then sat down. He was soon joined by Rin, sitting on his left, and Shippo, sitting on his right. He could not believe that this was his life now. He glared at Kouga when he heard the wolf snickering.

“What are you looking at, bastard?” Inu Yasha growled.

Jaken nearly had a fit. “Don’t use such language in front of the young ones, you stupid half-dog.” He squawked.

Inu Yasha jumped up. “Who exactly are you calling a half-dog, toad?”

Jaken glared at the hanyou. “Be content that I am not making you clean up after Ah-Un, half-breed, but anymore of your mouth and you will find what it means to test my patience.”

Inu Yasha’s mouth hung open. How dare this little speck talk to him in such a way? Inu Yasha began to stalk towards Jaken, but was stopped by Kagome.

“Inu Yasha, sit down before you end up getting hurt.” She said.

“Make me, bitch.” Inu Yasha growled out.

“Sit.” Kagome said quietly.

Inu Yasha crashed to the ground, and a slew of curses could be heard from the crater. Kouga laughed quietly. He had certainly asked for it.

Sesshomaru watched with amused eyes as his half-brother got up and brushed himself off. Jaken had made the stupid mistake of getting in the hanyou’s face and telling him how disrespectful it was to address the lady of the western lands in such ways. The last thing heard from Jaken was a terrified, “Eep” as he was thrown far away from the camp.

Kagome passed out the food, making sure to save some for Jaken, if and when he found his way back to them. The children began to show signs of being tired, and Kagome made them lay down for a nap. Finally, it was she, Sesshomaru, Kouga, and Inu Yasha all alone.

Inu Yasha could not stand the fact that Sesshomaru had mated Kagome. She should have been his had he not been so blinded by Kikyo. He looked her up and down, loving the way her kimono enhanced her natural curves. The colour of the fabric brought out her eye colour. He could not stop his body from showing his approval.

Kouga sniffed the air. He looked over at Inu Yasha and growled low in his throat. That damn half-breed was turn on by Kagome and that simply would not do. He let a sly grin pass by his lips and said, “Sesshomaru. It smells like you have other competition besides me and Jaken.”

Sesshomaru narrowed his eyes. He sniffed the air, and then got what is was that Kouga was saying. His stupid brother desired his mate. Sesshomaru could feel his beast struggling to let go. Kouga and Jaken did not bother him. He knew that Kagome had no feelings toward them whatsoever. However, his idiot brother was a different story. Because they had a past together, and he knew that Kagome had at one time loved the hanyou, his beast deemed him a threat, a rival for her affections.

Kagome was oblivious. She had been sitting with the children, stroking their hair, lulling them to sleep with stories and songs. When they had drifted off, she walked back over to where the men sat, and was immediately pulled into Sesshomaru’s lap. She wiggled a bit, but with one look at his blood-red eyes, she sat perfectly still. Kagome knew better than to defy him when his beast took control, however, the fact that the beast had decided to show itself alarmed her. What had happened to drive Sesshomaru to that point? She glanced at Kouga and then at Inu Yasha. By accident, she glanced at his crotch, and saw his desire. She blushed and looked away quickly. At one time, she would have been aroused, but now, she could not stand to think of Inu Yasha as anything other than a friend, and she sure as hell didn’t want to know what he was thinking about to make his ‘friend’ excited.

Suddenly, Sesshomaru stood up, with her securely in his arms. He barred his fangs at both males and walked past them and into the forest. He allowed Kagome to put her arms around his neck, and continued his pace; until he reached an area that he considered to be secluded. He put her down on her feet, and immediately relieved her of her kimono. He tore at his own clothing, not caring that he would not have anything to walk back into camp with. The tattered pieces were scattered on the ground, and within seconds, Kagome joined them.

Sesshomaru was savage, nipping and licking her body as though she were a treat that someone was about to take away. She cried out when his fangs sank into her mark, and igniting a spark within her body that she had never been aware of. During their short time together, Kagome had never experienced what it was like to mate with his beast, and now it seemed that his beast was tired of not being in on the action. His hands went all over her body, leaving behind shallow scratch mark. Kagome felt no pain, but only pleasure as he plundered her body over and over again. Finally, without warning, Sesshomaru’s beast plunged deep within her body, and began a series of deep, hard, and fast strokes that drove Kagome over the edge many times. She screamed his name into the wilderness, only to have him increase his speed. His growls were becoming more vicious as he neared his release, and finally he ripped his fangs from her mark and howled into the wild, telling all that the beast had won over his civil side.

Now content, the beast began to softly whine at her, nuzzling her body and licking at all of the small injuries that he had placed on her. It took almost an hour, but finally the red faded from Sesshomaru’s eyes, and he was back to his normal self. He glanced down and found that Kagome was passed out underneath him. He raised up and saw the damage that his beast had caused. She had scratches all over her body, the smell of blood assaulting his nose. He looked her over and was relieved to find that all of her wounds were closing, and found that he had a good amount of her blood on him. He heard running water, and carefully lifted her up into his arms. Coming to a small stream, he washed her body off and then proceeded to rinse his own. When he was satisfied that he was clean, he got out and began to walk back to where he had left Kagome’s clothing. He began to dress her, stopping when he heard a twig snap.

Jaken had suffered much over the past few days. He had planned all sorts of evil little things to do to the hanyou once he got back. He stepped on a twig and stopped when he heard a growl. Looking around, Jaken walked slowly but was quickly yanked up by a very naked Sesshomaru.

“What are you doing here, Jaken?” Sesshomaru asked.

“Forgive this lowly Jaken, my lord. I was thrown out here by the hanyou, and am trying to get back to camp to ensure that he treats your pups right.” Jaken said, nervously. He looked down and then away. Unfortunately, he looked at where Kagome lay, partially dressed, and he feared that it would be his last day upon the planet. His attention snapped back to his lord when he felt the taiyoukai shake him violently.

“Go back to camp and get me some clothing. Be quick about it, or else.” Sesshomaru growled. With those words, Sesshomaru reared his arm back, and threw Jaken as hard as he could. He smirked to himself when he heard Jaken’s yelp of pain. He returned to Kagome’s side, and covered her body. He picked her up and sat her in his lap, gently rocking her until Jaken returned with his clothing.

When Jaken returned, he was not alone. Kouga had walked with the toad, and growled when he saw the shape Kagome was in.

“What the hell did you do to her, bastard?” Kouga growled.

“My beast decided to mate with her. I was not in control.” Sesshomaru replied in a cold tone. It was none of the wolf’s business what he did with his mate.

Kouga sneered. “Well, I can see self-control is not something that the demons in your family practice. I will not allow you to hurt her again.”

Kouga walked over to Sesshomaru and yanked Kagome from his arms. “Get dressed. The children are awake and they have tied Inu Yasha up. I am betting that right now, your little girl has placed every single flower she could find in his hair. She did say that she intended to make him ‘prettiful’.”

Kouga turned and walked away, Kagome’s head resting on his shoulder. Sesshomaru had to count to ten to get his anger in control. He quickly dressed and then walked after Kouga. He would be damned if his mate was taken away from him, especially by the wolf.

When he got to camp, he found Kouga sitting down with Kagome in his lap. Kouga was whispering softly to her, and cuddling her injured body against his. Sesshomaru walked right up to them and bent down so that he could look the wolf straight in the eyes.

“She is my mate. Do not ever interfere with us again. If you do, I am not going to be responsible for the injuries that you sustain. Take my words to heart, wolf. Trust that I will make good on my threat.” Sesshomaru said, in a deadly whisper. He reached out and took Kagome back into his arms. He turned and walked over to a tree that had a good amount of shade under it. When he sat down, he felt a soft hand on his cheek.

“Hi there.” Kagome said. Gods, she hurt so much.

“Rest, Kagome. My beast did a number on you, and you need to heal.” Sesshomaru replied.

Kagome gave him a look. “I happen to think that your beast was amazing. He did things that I had never thought of. I must say; he is rather a wild one.”

Sesshomaru raised his eyebrow. “Be thankful that he did not kill you. He is not normally that gentle. Now, be still. I know that you are still upset with me about the spanking incident, but until you are healed, you will not be leaving my arms.”

Kagome did not reply. She had fallen back asleep, content in the safety of his arms. Sesshomaru sighed. He wound his tail around her and then looked over at where the children were.

Kouga had been right. Rin and Shippo had tied Inu Yasha up and flowers had been woven into his silver hair. Kouga’s face was beet red as he struggled not to laugh out loud and failing miserably. Obviously, this was a moment that would be burned into his memory for years.

Inu Yasha was not happy. First, Sesshomaru had spirited Kagome off and from the sound of things, fucked her senseless. Then, while he had been dozing off, the children had tied his hands and feet up. Finally, the little girl had placed flowers all over him. He hated flowers. As if this humiliation had not been enough, Kouga was laughing at him and that toad, Jaken was hovering about, yelling that he was an incompetent moron. His life totally sucked.

Sango stared at the remainders of her former life. She could not keep the thoughts of Kohaku and her father from her mind, and the tears began to course down her face. It always hurt to think of them, but she could not bring herself to forget. So, she cried. She gasped when a pair of hands grabbed her shoulders and turned her around. She looked up and into the face of Miroku.

“I followed. I didn’t want you to be alone, Sango. I know that it hurts that they are gone, but you have me, and you always will.” Miroku said quietly.

Sango’s eyes overflowed with tears and she threw herself into his arms. For the first time since they met, he did not grope her. Instead, he used his hands to stroke her hair and rub her back. He knew that she needed to be soothed, and though he was only known for being a hentai, this woman meant more to him than anything else in the world. He would not fail her in her time of need. So, he held her and basked in the feeling of having her in his arms. If only she would agree to be his, he would leave his hentai ways and be forever hers. Maybe it was time to think about settling down. Having this powerful woman in his arms made him feel whole, and he would be damned if he were going to screw it up. So, Miroku made a decision. He would not chase any more women. He would be faithful to Sango. She would be the only one he would grope. Yep, hers would be the only backside that his hand would grace. He would be a one-woman hentai.

Kikyo’s soul collectors slithered around her. She was delighted to know that her companion would soon be joining her and then the fun would begin. She had to make preparations for Inu Yasha and his friend’s demise. She would then take their part of the jewel and make the wish for Inu Yasha to be bound to her for all of eternity. She would also take delight in knowing that her copy would meet her end at the ends of her lover’s claws. A sadistic smirk crossed the dead woman’s face as her new companion’s form emerged from the forest.

“Kikyo.” The young girl whispered.

“Welcome, Kanna.” Kikyo said. This was going to be sweet.

Chapter Ten

When Sango and Miroku had rejoined the group, they continued searching for the shards. Sesshomaru had told Inu Yasha to leave the flowers in his hair, saying that the odour of the flowers took away from the hanyou’s stench. Kouga and Jaken had laughed, but Kagome remained silent. Though she was angry as hell with him, she still did not want him to be made fun of. She glared at her mate, and then patted Inu Yasha’s arm. Giving him a bright smile, she quickened her pace and walked next to Sango, asking what happened at the village.

While the females talked, Miroku and Kouga began sharing their experiences with the opposite sex, making sure to tell every little detail and event of their conquests. Sesshomaru remained quiet. He was bothered by Kagome’s sudden show of affection towards his half brother. He would have to talk to her later on in the evening.

When they settled at camp later on that day, they were the proud owners of two more shards. Kagome sat next to Kouga, wrapping up the wound on his arm. Sango tended to Miroku and Inu Yasha’s injuries while Sesshomaru looked for food in the nearby woods. Kouga looked into Kagome’s face.

“Are you alright?” Kouga asked.

Kagome nodded. “I am fine, but I am worried about Sesshomaru. He is acting differently.”

Kouga understood her worry. “Well, after what he did to you this afternoon, he probably needs to figure out why his beast took you in such a brutal manner. I really would not worry about it.” He said, gently patting her hand. His eyes looked down, and he could not seem to be able to move his hand from the top of Kagome’s. The skin on her hand was so soft and smooth. He could almost bet that if he were to lick at the skin, it would be very sweet.

Kagome blushed and pulled her hand back. She looked around and hoped that Sesshomaru would be back soon.

Sesshomaru stalked through the woods looking for game that he could bring back to the camp. He stopped when he came to a small stream. Bending down, he scooped up some water in his hand and splashed it on his face. When he stood back up, he found himself looking at a small child. Naraku’s child, in fact.

“What do you want, bitch?” Sesshomaru growled out.

“To show you something.” Kanna whispered.

Sesshomaru’s gaze was then directed to the small mirror that the child held. It was cloudy, but soon, an image appeared. It was Kagome and she was in the forest, looking up at the stars.

Sesshomaru almost smiled. She looked at peace. Her dark hair was billowing around her face and the light that the moon cast upon her made her look like an angel. But, all of a sudden, Sesshomaru’s world came crashing down.

Kagome was not alone. Behind her stood Kouga and he was smiling. He slowly approached her and wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her backwards into his chest.

“Are you sure that he won’t find out?” Kagome asked.

“As long as you continue to wash away my scent, he will never know, my love.” Kouga told her, kissing her neck.

Kagome giggled. “Good. I don’t ever want to lose you, Kouga. You are the one who I should be mated to, not that animal.”

Kouga’s eyes narrowed. “Well, once we have all of the shards, he won’t be a problem anymore. I’ll kill him off and then take you as my mate. It is perfect. I am glad that the monk and slayer are supportive of our plan.”

Kagome sighed as Kouga’s lips became more aggressive. “What about Inu Yasha?”

“That mutt only wants you back because he knows he can’t have you. He is nothing to worry about. He still loves Kikyo. Now, relax and enjoy what I have planned for your tasty body, my love.” Kouga said, gently turning Kagome in his arms and lowering her to the ground.

Sesshomaru had seen enough. The cries of Kagome and Kouga in the throws of passion nearly made him cry. He loved her, and she betrays him. How could she? Sesshomaru closed his eyes, and tried to calm down. When he opened them, the child was gone. With a loud growl, he turned and walked back to camp, intent on dealing with the traitors.

Kagome sat next to Rin and Shippo. She was telling them a story while the others discussed where to go next. Sesshomaru walked into camp and glared at Kouga. The wolf met the glare with a surprised look. Sesshomaru then looked over at Kagome, who offered him a smile. He growled low in his throat and walked over to her, reached down and yanked her up.

“We need to talk, now.” Sesshomaru bit out.

Kagome gulped. She slowly nodded and shot her friends a look. They returned her look and shrugged. What bug had crawled up Sesshomaru’s ass and died?

He yanked her into the woods and they walked in silence for almost an hour. When he was sure that they were out of earshot, he let loose.

“You dirty bitch. I take you as my mate and you betray me with that wolf.” Sesshomaru yelled.

Kagome blinked. “Sesshomaru, what are you talking about?” She asked.

“You know exactly what I am talking about. Now I know why you take so many baths. It is to wash off that wolf’s scent. You fucked my ally and then crawled to me and fucked me. You are nothing but a whore.” Sesshomaru said, his eyes beginning to bleed red.

Now Kagome was mad. “Let me start by telling you that you have no right to call me such names. You dare call me a whore, but do you actually have any proof? I have not betrayed you, Sesshomaru. I love you.”

“Liar. You never loved me. I release you from our life pact. You are free to be with that wolf. I don’t want you anymore. Go to your lover and pray I don’t decide to kill you both off tonight.” Sesshomaru said, turning away from Kagome and walking back the way they came.

Kagome’s eyes were overflowing with tears. What had just happened? She felt a sharp stinging on her shoulder, and realized that it was her mating mark. She reached into her pocket, and pulled out her mirror. Looking at her shoulder, she saw the mark that Sesshomaru had placed on her beginning to fade. Her heart broken, she slumped to the ground, crying brokenly. When Sesshomaru released her, he broke their connection. Now, she felt all alone.

A sudden movement to her left made Kagome look up. She saw a young girl standing beside her, and she realized exactly whom that child was.

“Kanna.” Kagome said.

“Kagome. See what your mate has been up too.” Kanna whispered.

Kagome looked into the mirror and saw Sesshomaru and Sango, laughing together.

“Did you tell her?” Sango asked, excitedly.

“Yes, my mate. I told her that I saw her and Kouga fucking. I broke the pact and am now yours for all time.” Sesshomaru said, licking Sango’s naked shoulder.

“Good. Now that we are rid of her and Miroku, there is nothing stopping us. I love you, Sesshomaru.” Sango told him, before kissing Sesshomaru passionately.

Kagome’s eyes narrowed. There was something not right about this. Why would Kanna want to show her these things? Kagome shook her head.

“She is not affected by it, Kanna.” Kikyo said, stepping from the shadows.

Kagome blinked. “What are you doing here, Kikyo?” She asked.

“I am here to ensure that Inu Yasha suffers. Seeing you in pain will cause him great suffering. I knew that he would never allow you to leave. He is your typical male, never able to let go of something he believes is his.” Kikyo explained.

Kagome shook her head. “You did something to Sesshomaru, didn’t you?”

“Yes, we made sure to make him doubt your loyalty. You see, he feels betrayed by you and Kouga. I am sure that he will make short work of the wolf, but hopefully, he will come back and finish you off. But, I think that I will make it easy on him.” Kikyo said. She reached out and pulled out a dagger. Kagome’s eyes widened, and she slowly backed away from the corpse, but was stopped by Kikyo’s soul catchers. Kagome slammed her eyes shut and bit her lip when she felt the sharp stabbing pain in her side.

“Now, be a good little copy and stay here. Your blood will either attract Sesshomaru or some other youkai, but either way, you will die tonight.” Kikyo said, motioning for Kanna to follow her.

Kagome’s tears coursed down her face. She hurt so much and now she was starting to feel light-headed.

“Sesshomaru, please, I love you.” Kagome whispered, before darkness surrounded her, stealing awareness from her.

Sesshomaru stalked back to camp. He glared at the wolf again and then addressed him.

“I have released your whore. You are free to claim her.” Sesshomaru growled.

Kouga stood up. “What are you talking about? Who exactly do you think is my whore?”

“That bitch, Kagome. She waits for you in the woods. Of course, that is where you two usually meet up to fuck, right?” Sesshomaru snarled.

Sango stood up. “Sesshomaru, what makes you think that Kouga and Kagome are doing something?”

“I saw them, slayer. I saw the wolf and the dirty bitch plotting against me and then laughing about it before they got on with more pleasurable tasks.” Sesshomaru replied, his eyes becoming red.

“Sesshomaru, I don’t know what you think you saw, but Kouga has not been alone with Kagome. The only time she has been alone has been when Rin and I left the hot springs and she remained to soak. Kouga was still at camp. There is no way that there is truth to what you say.” Sango said. She was totally confused.

Kouga glared at Sesshomaru. “Did you hurt her?”

Sesshomaru laughed. “Your whore is not injured. Go and see for yourself. I am sure that she will be more than happy to see you.”

Kouga snarled at the taiyoukai, and then ran for the forest. Something was wrong, and he would not allow Kagome to be hurt.

Sesshomaru stood before the group. Miroku cautiously approached the angry taiyoukai. “Lord Sesshomaru, you said that you saw Kagome and Kouga together. Can you tell me where you saw them and what you were doing before you saw them?”

Sesshomaru attempted to calm himself. “I was hunting, and then was shown their treason.”

“And who was it that showed you this treason?” Miroku prodded.

“That little girl of Narkau’s. The one with the mirror.” Sesshomaru said, but now that he was thinking about it, why would one of Naraku’s spawn be in the forest?

Inu Yasha sat up. “You ass. You actually listened to one of Narkau’s hellspawns?”

Sesshomaru growled at his little brother. His mind working quickly, he shut his eyes. He struggled to remember the conversation between him and Kagome, but when he really thought about it, he could detect no deception on her part. It suddenly hit him, that girl had tricked him.

Kouga ran as fast as he could, the scent of blood hitting his nose in stronger waves. He finally saw Kagome laying on the ground, her blood pooling all around her.

He dropped to his knees and gently picked her up. “Kagome! Kagome, wake up. Please, you have got to open your eyes.” Kouga pleaded.

Kagome let a small moan come from her lips. She then whispered, “The mirror. I saw him and Sango. He called her mate. Lies.” She then passed out again, slumping in his arms. Kouga’s rage built up inside of him, and he let out a loud howl escape his lips. Being as gentle as possible, he lifted her into his arms and ran as fast as possible back towards camp, his mind trying to understand what she was trying to say. Was it possible that Sesshomaru had been sneaking around with the slayer? He tightened his grasp on her, bringing her closer to his body to keep her warm, and quickened his pace. He could smell the camp and then he and Sesshomaru would have a long talk after he saw to Kagome’s needs.

Sesshomaru, Inu Yasha, Jaken, Ah-Uh, and Kilala turned when the scent of blood attacked their noses. Emerging from the woods, Kouga held Kagome to his body, and they were both covered in her blood. His eyes were red, and he was almost past the point of insane when he came to camp.

Sango leapt up and raced over to her friend, only to be growled at.

“Stay away from her, you bitch.” Kouga growled.

Sango blinked. Bitch? Exactly whom did he think he was talking to? “What is your problem, Kouga?” Sango snapped.

“You and Sesshomaru are my problem. Kagome said that Sesshomaru called you his mate. You and that dog over there did this to her.” Kouga yelled.

Miroku stood up, leaving a stunned Sesshomaru’s side. “Kouga, I can assure you that there is nothing going on between Sango and Lord Sesshomaru.”

“Really? Her mating mark is gone. That tells me that he planned to leave her and take another mate. He made up this story about me and Kagome being together to excuse his own infidelity.” Kouga spat.

Sesshomaru was now staring at the form in Kouga’s arms. His Kagome was hurt. He had trusted one of Naraku’s pawns and now Kagome lay in his competition’s arms, injured.

Miroku gently took Kagome from Kouga, asking Sango to get some water. He opened up the kimono, being careful to keep Kagome’s dignity in tact, and saw the wound. From the looks of things, it appeared that Kagome had been attacked with a sharp object, and not claws. It seemed that someone was playing a game with them. Miroku and Sango bandaged the wound and then placed Kagome in her sleeping bag, covering her with furs to keep her warm. Kouga paced near her, his eyes still very red.

“Hey wolf-boy. Come sit down. You are making me nervous.” Inu Yasha said, hoping that Kouga would calm down and they could talk about what was going on.

Sesshomaru got up, and walked to where Kagome lay. Kouga’s growls fell on deaf ears, and the demon lord pulled back the furs and pulled Kagome into his lap. He buried his face in her hair, letting her scent calm him. His entire tirade came back to him and he winced as he recalled yelling at her that he released her from their life pact. He looked to her shoulder and pulled back the kimono, exposing her smooth neck. He could not see his mark anymore. Sesshomaru had never felt so bad in his entire life. He would not lose her, and he would be damned if he let that wolf have her. He should have had more faith in her, but instead, he allowed his insecurities to take over, resulting in him leaving Kagome alone to be hurt. Her injuries were his fault and no one else’s.

Kouga was not in the mood for talking. When he saw Sesshomaru lifting Kagome into his lap that was it for him. He snarled at the taiyoukai.

“Haven’t you done enough? Sneaking around on her wasn’t enough, now you are going to try and rub her nose in it?”

Sesshomaru looked at Kouga with calm eyes. “What I do with my mate is none of your concern, wolf. I advise you to remember that.”

“You are not her mate any longer, Sesshomaru. Did you not forget that you released her, making her up for grabs. I intend on claiming her as mine and taking her away from all of this misery.” Kouga spat.

Sango had heard enough. She walked over and grabbed onto Kouga’s ear. “Will you calm down and listen for a minute. Please.”

Kouga barred his fangs at her, but did as she asked. Miroku explained what he believed was happening. It made sense, and the fact that Naraku’s child was wandering around causing trouble, was more than enough evidence to tell him that someone was intent on bringing misery to their little group.

Kouga calmed down a bit after hearing Sango’s declaration that she would never look at Sesshomaru in a romantic manner. Sesshomaru snorted, he would never look at the slayer in such a way. The only humans he wanted were Rin and Kagome.

Kikyo smiled. Her reincarnation would not stop her. As she watched Kagome sleep in Sesshomaru’s arms, she could not stop the feeling of glee that ran through her body. She looked over at the little girl.

“Do you know what to do next?” Kikyo asked Kanna.

“Yes, I will go to the wolf, and make him want.” Kanna whispered.

“Yes, that is a good girl. Making the wolf crazy with desire for my copy will encourage the wolf to take her and mate her by force, causing a larger rift in the group’s fragile alliance. I want to be sure that Sesshomaru is driven to kill the wolf off.” Kikyo told her.

Kanna nodded. She looked to the night sky, silently wishing that her sister Kagura were still alive. She would free her from this corpse’s hold and then they could be together. But for now, she would do as she was told. It would soon be time to go to the wolf.

Chapter Eleven

Kouga stared across the fire at Kagome and Sesshomaru. It amazed him to no end that despite giving up his claim to her, the demon lord was more protective than ever.

Sesshomaru could not take his eyes off of Kagome. His words ringing in his ears, he snuggled her closer to him trying to take away the pain that he knew that he caused her. He whispered words of regret and begged her forgiveness, but he was met with silence. He could not tell how she was feeling anymore, not since he broke the pact between them. He wanted to tell her that he did love her and that his words were spoken out of jealousy and were not thought out.

Inu Yasha could not help but feel sorry for his brother. He could tell that the ‘ice prince’ did in fact love Kagome and now he had to watch as she suffered through an injury that she received after their argument. He could only imagine how she must have felt; hearing those words of hate coming from Sesshomaru, and Inu Yasha’s heart lurched. He knew how emotional Kagome could be. He could almost bet that the reason she had not awoken was because she had buried herself so deep within her mind to escape the pain from losing Sesshomaru. The hanyou shook his head. It should be him that she had mated with, not his brother. He was such a fool.

Miroku looked at his friends and could not help but feel lucky. He had made a decision to be with Sango, and he would fully understand how Sesshomaru felt. His despair was apparent as he sat with his mate, mourning their precious pact that was so casually destroyed. He glanced over at Sango, who was still in shock over Kouga’s proclamation that there had been something going on between herself and Sesshomaru. He inched closer and put his arm around her, kind of expecting to get slapped, but was happily surprised when she put her head on his shoulder. Even though his companions were in pain, he could not help but feel a bit happy.

Jaken could not shake that somehow he was going to be blamed for what happened to Lady Kagome. Sure, he was nowhere in the vicinity nor did he make the wound, but somehow, fate was going to come up and kick him from behind. He stood up and bent over to pick up a piece of wood to throw in the fire, but a gust of wind hit his short kimono just right and blew it up, revealing his green backside to everyone at the camp.

At first, no one said anything, but then Inu Yasha began to snicker, and then broke out into loud laughter, followed by Miroku and Sango. Kouga was too angry to laugh, but he did quirk an eyebrow at the humiliated toad before turning his head, and Lord Sesshomaru only growled in frustration. Shippo and Rin turned red. This was the first time that they had ever seen the toad speechless, and for them, it was worth mentioning.

“Sesshomaru-sama!! Jaken showed Rin and Shippo his backside. If Jaken is green, why does he have red bumps? Rin doesn’t have red bumps on her backside, so why does Jaken? Is he sick?” Rin asked innocently.

Shippo snickered. They knew exactly what they were doing. He bet that Jaken would never again call them 'stupid little children' ever again. “Yeah, I’ve seen Inu Yasha’s backside and he doesn’t have those bumps either. And I am guessing that Miroku and Kouga don’t have them, so why does Jaken?”

That did it for Inu Yasha. He jumped up and ran into the forest. Miroku and Sango turned red from laughing so hard. Sango jumped up and grabbed both of the children’s hands.

“Let’s get you two cleaned up for bed. I think that perhaps Jaken would like to have a moment to collect himself.” Sango said.

When she and the children left, Jaken looked at the remaining males. His normally green face was pure white. He had never been so embarrassed. Miroku noticed the toad’s discomfort and said, “Don’t let it bother you, Jaken. They are just children and are curious.”

Jaken turned and walked away from the camp, muttering, “They are not children. They are demon spawn forged in the deepest pits of hell.”

Sesshomaru shot the toad a glare, but it was not noticed. When the soft bundle in his arms moved, he directed his attention back to his lap.

Kagome’s eyes fluttered as she struggled to open her eyes. She felt horrible. The words that Sesshomaru had yelled at her rang in her ears, and she could feel the tears slip down her face. She felt a gentle finger wipe her tears away and warm breath next to her ear.

“I am so sorry, my Kagome. I am not worthy to be your mate, and regret not trusting you. Please forgive me, and I will never doubt you again.” Sesshomaru whispered.

Kouga jumped up. “Why don’t you leave her alone, you bastard? Have you not done enough to upset her?” He growled.

Sesshomaru regarded him with cold eyes. “I don’t care what you feel towards her, Lord Kouga. But I will warn you this one time, do not ever tell me to leave my mate alone. She is mine and I am hers. I suggest that you take a walk before you say and do something that you regret.”

Kouga barred his fangs at the taiyoukai and started toward him, but was stopped by Miroku.

“Kouga, go take a walk. Cool down. Kagome is waking up and doesn’t need to hear you and Sesshomaru arguing with each other. Please, if you care about her at all, leave for a while and calm yourself.” Miroku said.

Kouga looked at the monk and then at Kagome. He slowly nodded. “Fine, I will go, but I will be back. I won’t allow him to hurt her anymore than he already has.” He said, turning on his heel and stomping off into the woods.

“Thank you.” A voice said behind Miroku. Miroku turned and said, “You are welcome, Lord Sesshomaru. But, he only worries for her.”

“I understand, but Kagome is not his to worry about.” Sesshomaru said quietly.

Miroku slowly nodded, wondering to himself if Sesshomaru realized that since he broke his pact with Kagome, that now Kouga has as much right as he did to Kagome.

The monks stared into the night’s sky, hoping that their small group would come back together and finish this quest as friends.

Kouga walked deep into the woods. His thoughts surrounded Kagome and he could not help wonder if Sesshomaru still had a chance with her. Kouga growled out his frustration. He should be the one that Kagome was mated too. He would never have broken the pact with her, and he would have been damned if he accused her of sleeping with another and not honouring the pact.

He turned when he heard a twig snap. Kouga came face-to-face with a small child. He sniffed the air, and realized that he was looking down on a child of Naraku.

“Tell me, little one. How should I make your death: quick and easy or slow and painful?” Kouga sneered.

Kanna stared at the wolf demon and then licked her lips. “Look.” She whispered.

She held out her mirror to Kouga and he felt his eyes drawn to it. The darkened mirror suddenly brightened, and in it he saw Kagome lying on his bed at the eastern den. She was nude, and in the throws of passion. Her fingers were between her legs and she was moaning, screaming his name each time she climaxed.

Kouga swallowed, and felt his groin tighten. He was highly aroused by what was in the mirror, and then he heard Kagome speak.

“Kouga, please come to me. I need you and only you. He forced me, Kouga. He forced me to mate with him. Please, don’t let him mark me again. I want your mark and no one else’s. Make me your mate for life.” Kagome pleaded.

That did it for Kouga. His eyes took on a red tint. He had known it. Sesshomaru had forced himself on her. He probably forced her to be nice to him by threatening her friends and family. He howled into the night, and when he looked back down to the mirror, he was surprised that the little girl was gone, along with her mirror. But, Kouga had seen enough. He turned and ran back towards camp. He would take Kagome from that monster and mark her as his own. Yes, this time he would not be denied from what belonged to him.

Inu Yasha had finally calmed down. His laughter fading, he decided that a nice walk would be the thing to get his nerves back to normal. As he walked, he thought about everything he had been through after being unpinned from the God’s tree. He thought about how he had treated Kagome and that he, for the most part, used her. She had never asked him for anything except for his friendship, and time after time he had thrown that friendship right back in her face by lying to her and leading her on. But what really got to him was that his older brother, known to many to be an ice cold killer, fell in love with a woman from a race that he claimed to hate. Could it be that their father had much more of an influence than they had realized? Inu Yasha shook his head.

“I see that you are thinking. How original for you, my mate.” A soft voice said, behind him.

“Go away, Kikyo. I don’t have any energy to go a round with you. So if you don’t mind, leave.” Inu Yasha said, as he turned around.

“Leave? But, are you not happy to see the love of your life? After all, you promised that we would be together forever. You said that when you marked me.” Kikyo said, coming closer to where he stood.

Inu Yasha smirked. “You don’t know much about demon mating, do you? Well, I have made a decision, Kikyo. I don’t want you anymore. I defy the pact that we made together. I will not be going to hell with you, and I sure as hell won’t ever lay with you again. As far as I am concerned, we are not mates anymore.”

Kikyo screamed. “How dare you, you traitor. First you betray that copy of mine, and now me. Who is next? That slayer and monk? You are a fool, Inu Yasha. If you really think that I would ever let you go, you are sorely mistaken.”

“Kikyo, I don’t owe you a damn thing. It was not me that killed you all those years ago. That was Naraku. Take him to hell and be content. But for now, leave us be.” Inu Yasha said, as he turned to walk away.

“I will not let you go so easily.” Kikyo said. “After all, after what happened to that bitch, Kagome, I would think that you would not question the lengths that I would go to keep you.”

Inu Yasha stopped. “It was you. You are the one who harmed Kagome. Why?”

“You ran back to her. Just like you always do. So, I eliminated the competition. Now, you belong to me.” Kikyo said, smugly.

“I see that you are no better at killing people than you are at fucking, Kikyo. You see, Kagome is not dead.” Inu Yasha said, laughing at the corpse’s crestfallen face.

“If you think that this is over, Inu Yasha, you are wrong. I will have what I want.” Kikyo said, as her soul gatherers slithered around her.

“And if you think that I won’t tell Sesshomaru and Kouga that you are the one who harmed Kagome, then you are about to be proven wrong.” Inu Yasha countered.

“I am not worried about your brother and the wolf. After what Kanna showed the wolf, I bet he and that dog are fighting to the death as we speak. Until the next time we meet, my love.” Kikyo said, as she disappeared into the night.

Inu Yasha stared after her, and then said, “Oh shit.”

Chapter Twelve

As Kouga ran back to the woods, his youkai had totally engulfed his senses, and rendered him unable to think of anything else other than getting his injured mate from her attacker. Even though he had not marked Kagome, all his youkai needed was a glimpse of his beloved calling for him to trigger his youkai and Kanna had provided that.

His face now took on a wild look, telling all wildlife around, that it was not wise to mess with him at the moment. He could smell the camp near and he flexed him claws, now sharper and deadlier than ever. He would not be denied. He would have his Kagome and he would make her his.

Sesshomaru looked up from Kagome, who lay nestled in his embrace. She had woken up for a short time and allowed him to give her a sip of water before sub coming to sleep once again. She had stared at him and then the tears had come. He had caused this pain for her. He angrily had shoved the notion that he, Sesshomaru, never felt guilt at his actions, he did. He felt extreme guilt at what he had done. He now had to figure out how to make it up to her. The wound in her side had finally stopped bleeding, but it would be a while before she could continue on the quest. Sesshomaru had made up his mind to take her home so that she could recover in luxury and comfort.

He quickly realized that the forest was quiet, something that was not natural. His youkai senses perked when he felt the power of a youkai nearby. From what he could tell, the youkai was powerful and heading straight for them. Sesshomaru eased Kagome out of his lap and onto her sleeping bag. He stood up and walked over to where he had laid his swords.

He was too late. Just as he bent over to pick up Toukijin, he was slammed to the ground from behind. When he rolled away and looked up, he was face-to-face with a seriously pissed off Kouga.

“You…. keeping me from mate…. die!!!!” Kouga screamed as his claws flew in the air, connecting with Sesshomaru’s shoulder.

The taiyoukai winced as the wolf’s claws dug into him, but managed to stay on his feet. He stumbled back and yelled at Miroku to keep the pups away from the camp. Kouga swiped at him again, this time getting him across his chest. Blood spilled everywhere, covering the ground.

Sesshomaru could see that Kouga was too far gone to listen to reason. He knew that the wolf had submitted to his youkai, and would be a deadly threat to the group if allowed to survive.

He pushed the angered wolf away from him, and yanked his sword up. He pointed it at where Kouga had stood, only to find that Kouga was no longer there. Neither was Kagome.

Sesshomaru looked around frantically and realized that while he was trying to come up with a strategy, Kouga had taken Kagome and fled with her. He could feel his wounds closing and heard Miroku explain to Sango what had happened. The monk suggested that she take the pups back to the stream and stay there until he came to get them. After sending his beloved and the children away, the monk cautiously approached him.

“Lord Sesshomaru. What happened?” Miroku asked, still dazed by the sudden attack.

“Lord Kouga’s youkai is in charge now. My guess, he came across that damn hell spawn and was shown something to upset him into losing control. He has Kagome, and will more than likely try to claim her before the night is over.” Sesshomaru said, gathering up his armour. “I am going after them.”

“But shouldn’t you wait for Inu Yasha? He knows Kouga and his habits. He can be of great aid in helping to find Kagome.” Miroku said.

Sesshomaru shook his head. “I don’t have time to waste. Tell the half-breed to catch up to me; I am going to go on ahead. I know the layout of this area well; I will be fine on my own. Get my pups back to camp, and to bed. Don’t tell them what happened.”

Miroku sighed and nodded. He watched as the taiyoukai left for the woods. He prayed that once he found Kouga and Kagome, he would show mercy. If Kouga was being controlled, then he was not responsible for his actions.

Kouga’s youkai roared with happiness. He had taken his chosen mate back and was now trying to find suitable accommodations to claim his beloved and allow them to rest for the night. He looked down into his arms and could only think that he had made a wise decision in choosing her as his mate. She was beautiful and strong. Good hearted and powerful. Loving and compassionate. Yes, she was the perfect bitch for him.

He ran fast, and finally came to a small waterfall that he knew to have a small cave behind it. He darted through the water and found himself surrounded in darkness. He allowed his eyes to adjust and sniffed. There was nothing in the cave to threaten him or his woman, so he would be able to take her without interruptions. He walked to the back of the cave and eased her to the ground. He ripped off his clothing, and then proceeded to do the same with Kagome’s. When she was nude before him, he bent over her and sniffed at her wound. He could smell the fresh blood, and he could tell that the wound had reopened as he ran. He took the bandages off and brought his mouth to the injury. His tongue darted out and he licked at the wound, closing his eyes and savoring the taste of her blood. He purred, happy that she tasted so good and sweet. She would be his greatest possession. He reached down and pulled her thighs apart, laying between then to get in a better position so that he could have access to her wound. His youkai needed to heal her, to take care of her so that he could properly mate with her and not hurt her further. With each stroke of his tongue, a moan escaped from Kagome’s lips. He growled in response, aware that she was awakening, and knew from the slight scent of arousal coming from her body, that his ministrations were pleasing to her and soothing her pain.

When he was satisfied that he had cared for her wound properly, he moved from the wound and went up to her neck. The feeling of her legs against his hips made his youkai want to take her quickly, but somewhere in the muddled mind of Kouga, he knew that it would be better for her if he showered her with affection before creating the pact with her. His lips grazed the skin of her neck, travelling up past her jaw and finally, his lips met with hers. He thrilled at her taste and allowed his tongue to sweep into her mouth, tasting every single inch of her hot cavern, delighting in the fact that he was finally experiencing what it was like to kiss his woman. He would have continued if his keen senses had not picked up on an approaching youkai.

Sesshomaru had picked up their trail and followed it. He knew this area well. As a pup, he and his mother would come and sit for hours at the lake, watching the waterfall and listening to her wonderful stories about his father. He stopped when he came to the lake. Looking around, he made sure to sniff the air. His eyes narrowed when he realized that Kouga’s scent stopped at the edge of the lake. Sesshomaru growled. He raced through the waterfall and into the cave. He heard a feral growl and knew that he had found his prey.

“Come out and fight me, wolf. I will take my mate back, and leave you to your death.” Sesshomaru snarled.

Kouga got up from between Kagome’s legs. He heard her groan and looked down at her form. She looked at peace. He looked to where he knew Sesshomaru was standing. With a growl, Kouga ran towards the taiyoukai. Grabbing the demon lord, he flung both of them out of the cave and into the lake. Both demon males snarled and snapped at each other with their fangs. Circling the other, both males sized up their competition. Where Sesshomaru had the size and strength, Kouga had speed and agility. Soon, both males were clawing at each other and trying to gain an advantage over the other. Blood flowed in the lake as the males injured the other, and finally, a howl was heard in the night.

Inu Yasha cursed as he ran through the night. Miroku had told him what had happened and he ran after his enraged brother. He knew that if Sesshomaru got his claws on Kouga, then there would be one less wolf in the world. He stopped when he heard the howl of triumph, but he could not tell if it came from Sesshomaru or Kouga. He followed his brother’s and Kouga’s scents and finally came to a stop at a large lake. Sesshomaru was sitting on the bank, with Kouga laying beside him.

“Please tell me you did not kill him.” Inu Yasha said as he approached his brother.

“He is not dead. I merely knocked him out.” Sesshomaru replied.

Inu Yasha looked around. “Where is Kagome?”

“She is in the cave behind the waterfall. I will get her. Take Kouga back to camp and keep him there. His injuries are not life-threatening and he will be back to normal in the morning.” Sesshomaru said.

Inu Yasha nodded and bent over to pick up the naked wolf demon off of the ground. “Ugh, I hate how he smells. I hope no one mistakes me for a wolf by the scent that will be sticking to me.”

“Just go. Give him to the slayer and then take a bath.” Sesshomaru said as he stood up.

He watched as Inu Yasha carried Kouga away and then he went back into the cave. He could hear Kagome’s soft breaths, and he slowly approached her. With his eyes adjusting, he looked down on her form. Her nude body took his breath away as he stared at her. He heard her take in a deep breath and then gasp. His love was awake.

“Kagome. Calm down. You are safe.” Sesshomaru said, in a soft voice.

“Where am I?” Kagome asked. She was scared. Why was it so dark?

“You are in a cave and know that I will allow no one to harm you.” Sesshomaru told her. He took off his armour and laid it down on the ground. He took off his haori and was about to put it on her when he heard her softly crying.

“Kagome. Please don’t cry.” Sesshomaru said, sitting down next to her.

“I just want to go home. I don’t want to do this anymore. I am so tired of being hurt.” Kagome sobbed.

Sesshomaru’s heart constricted. He leaned over and wrapped her in his arms. He brought his nose down into her hair and took in her calming scent. He felt so lost. He really had no experience in soothing others. Well, here went nothing.

“Kagome, I have no excuse for anything that I said or did. I regret every single word and I do claim you as my mate. I know that my words cut you deeply, and I wish to make it up to you. I was not honest when I yelled at you, and I was under the impression that you had betrayed me. I know that you believe that Sango and I are involved, but know that it is not true. You are the only woman that holds this Sesshomaru’s heart. I will allow no other into my bed and will accept no other as my mate.” Sesshomaru told her.

Kagome stilled in his arms. She began to recall what had happened. That little girl of Naraku’s had shown her images, but when she had started to question them, Kikyo had appeared. She stiffened in Sesshomaru’s arms.

“What is wrong, Kagome. Tell me what you are thinking about.” Sesshomaru demanded.

“Kikyo. She was there. She and that little girl. Kikyo is the one who stabbed me.” Kagome said quietly.

Sesshomaru felt his body shake with rage. How dare that bitch try and hurt his beloved mate. He then felt a soft hand upon his cheek.

“I know that you and Sango did nothing. I don’t blame you for what happened.” Kagome told him.

Sesshomaru felt his body relax out of relief. She did not blame him. He was so thankful, but he wondered why she wanted to go home. Did she want to forget the mission and assume her role as lady of the west?

“Kagome. What did you mean that you wanted to go home? Do you want to give up the quest and go back to the western palace?” Sesshomaru asked.

“No, I meant that I want to go back to where I came from. I am so confused as to what is going on. I just want…” Kagome trailed off.

“What do you want, Kagome.” Sesshomaru asked.

She gave him a sheepish smile. “I just want my mom.”

“I, sometimes, want my mother as well. She obviously brings you much comfort. But, please look to me for your comfort. I can promise you that you will never go through the hell that you have just been put through. I will be strong enough for both of us. This Sesshomaru swears.” Sesshomaru told her.

Kagome gave a small sigh and cuddled up to him. He leaned down and inhaled her scent. He frowned. He could not smell his scent in hers. He missed that unique scent. He glanced down and wondered if she would allow him to claim her again. He mentally shrugged. It was time to find out.

Chapter Thirteen

Sesshomaru reached over and hooked a finger underneath Kagome’s chin. He lifted her lips to his and kissed her softly. Kagome stiffened at the initial contact, but then allowed his lips to seduce hers. Sesshomaru felt Kagome relax into the kiss, and decided that this was the perfect opportunity to deepen it.

When his tongue swept into her mouth, Kagome closed her eyes, and savoured what he was doing to her. She felt her body tingle with anticipation as he continued to invade her mouth. He broke the kiss after a couple of minutes and proceeded down to her neck, nipping at it and softly growling at her, telling her that the best was yet to come.

As he slowly began to bring Kagome back to the ground, his tail swept out and settled underneath her to give her something soft to lie on. Kagome sighed; she loved the feel of his tail against her naked skin. Upon hearing her satisfied sigh, Sesshomaru allowed his mouth to descend to her breasts, licking and flicking her nipples as he continued to pleasure her.

Kagome moaned and arched her back, thrusting her breast into his mouth. Sesshomaru greedily accepted the offered treat and sucked on the breast mercilessly. He smirked when he detected a strong scent of arousal coming from her, proud to know that he invoked such reactions from her. His fingers slipped down and entered her passage, getting her ready for his invasion. When he was satisfied that she was more than ready, he released his arousal and plunged it deep within her body, causing Kagome to groan in relief. He, too, groaned and felt whole once more. His thrusts were gentle, but demanding as he made love to her. His hurtful words forgotten as he made up for his foolishness by giving her the passion she so craved. His fangs elongated and he could feel his mouth watering as he waited for the right moment to plunge them deep within her neck, marking her once more, and taking away any chance for the wolf to claim what belonged to him. The moment came as Kagome reached her climax. She screamed his name into the darkness of the cave, and then felt his fangs pierce the soft skin of her neck.

Sesshomaru could hear his beast roar his pleasure inside his head. His climax had come on fast and hard, sending his hot seed careening into her body and to be stored in her womb. When he bit into her, his beast purred with satisfaction, knowing that she belonged to him once more. He gently pulled himself from her body, taking great care not to aggravate her wound. He could hear her breathing softly as he leaned down so that his mouth was next to her ear.

“You are mine forever, my love. I will never allow you to be free from me ever again.” Sesshomaru said, softly.

Kagome smiled into the darkness, her hand reaching out and cupped his cheek. “Those have to be the sweetest words that I have ever heard.” She whispered, before allowing her eyes to shut. This had been one hell of a day.

Sesshomaru smiled down at his mate. He got up and pulled his hakama back on and wrapped her body in his haori. He fastened his swords back on his hip and then lifted his mate into his arms. He also made sure to grab up the wolf’s armour and furs. He was not stupid. The wolf would need them for battle. When he was satisfied that he was not leaving anything behind, he walked out of the cave and through the waterfall. It was time to go back to camp. He had a matter to take up with Jaken. He clearly remembered the toad calling his pups ‘demon spawns from hell’. Now, all he had to do was come up with a suitable punishment on the walk back to camp. He wasn’t worried. After all, he was a master of the art of torture.

Inu Yasha made it back to camp with a very naked Kouga hanging off his shoulder. His tail kept batting from side to side, hitting Inu Yasha in the face. The hanyou had to resist yanking on the offending appendage to make it stop swaying, but the wolf was calming down, and needed to rest. He walked through the camp and set Kouga down on Kagome’s sleeping back. He covered the wolf, and walked over and sat down with Miroku.

“I take it that Sesshomaru found Kouga and Kagome.” Miroku said.

“Yeah, he did. Says that Kagome is fine and that Kouga should be normal in the morning. Hopefully, Sesshomaru will straighten out this mess and reclaim Kagome. That will put an end to this competition between the two.” Inu Yasha said.

“I wouldn’t count on it. Kouga has told Lord Sesshomaru that once this quest is over, he will challenge him to a fight for the right to mate with Kagome.” Miroku told him.

“Well, from what I saw, I don’t think Sesshomaru has any reason to worry. He totally wiped the floor with Kouga.” Inu Yasha laughed.

“Well, from what I saw here at camp, Kouga did a hell of a number on Lord Sesshomaru. I bet that Kouga used up much energy in the fight with Sesshomaru here and then to get Kagome away. That could be why the fight ended with Sesshomaru as the winner. I doubt that if Kouga’s youkai were to get loose again and go after Kagome, Sesshomaru might meet his match. I am impressed, however. I didn’t know that Kouga’s youkai could be so vicious.” Miroku said, in an amazed voice.

“Most youkai are vicious, monk. However, they rarely show themselves for fear of losing control.” Sesshomaru explained as he walked into the camp. He threw the furs at Inu Yasha and told him to dress Kouga. Walking over to sit by the fire, he nestled Kagome in his arms so that she could sleep comfortably.

“Forgive me, my lord. I am simply surprised that Kouga’s youkai was so merciless in his attack.” Miroku said.

“Kouga’s youkai was more focused on getting Kagome away from me rather than engaging me in battle. The urge to protect a mate is overwhelming for a youkai. He believed that she belonged to him and saw her as his mate. Obviously, he was shown something that made him believe such. I don’t blame him for his actions; I would have done the same if I were in his shoes. That is why he still lives.” Sesshomaru explained. He allowed his gaze to sweep over the camp and saw that the slayer was sleeping with the pups curled up next to her. He was shocked that the monk was not near her, trying to cop a feel. He then looked for that stupid toad of his. He finally caught sight of him, leaning against Ah-Un and sleeping like a newborn pup. Sesshomaru’s lips curled back in a sneer. Tomorrow the toad would answer to him. Perhaps he had been too lenient on the toad. Well, he would just have to fix that, wouldn’t he? He would become Kagome’s toad in waiting. He would wait on her hand and foot, since he did not seem to get along with the pups. It would be interesting to see Jaken’s reaction to becoming the handmaid of a human. Very interesting indeed.

Kikyo was upset. Her plan did not work as she had suspected. The demon lord and her copy were once again mates and the little group had been told that she was behind their problems. Now, if they saw her again, she would more than likely be killed on the spot. She looked over at the little girl. This was all her fault.

“Because of you, Kanna, I am now going to be hunted. You are pathetic.” Kikyo sneered.

Kanna stared at the golem before her. Even though Naraku had freed both her and Kagura, her younger sister, Naraku had attacked her and Kagura; Kagura gave up her life to give Kanna the ability to think for herself by merging a part of herself with her older sibling. So, with Kagura’s sharp mouth and quick temper infused into her being, Kanna said what she thought about the situation.

“It is not my fault that your plan failed, Kikyo. Your plan was not thought out and you only wished for them to be miserable. You are the one who told me what to do, and I did it, so don’t blame me if your plan sucked.” Kanna whispered.

Kikyo stared down at the child. “I could purify you where you stand, you do know that child?”

“And I could suck what is left of your soul out of you before you had a chance to move. Looks like we are at a stalemate. Now, we do things my way.” Kanna whispered.

Kikyo looked at the pale little girl. Did she honestly expect her to follow orders? Kanna looked up at the dead miko and said, “I don’t care if you want to go along with me. You can stay here and rot for all I care. They will find you and destroy you. They know that you are the one pulling the strings. I am not seen as a threat to them, you, however, are a different story.”

“Did you read my mind, bitch?” Kikyo snarled.

“No, your emotions are visible on your face. Just like everyone can tell that you are desperately jealous of your reincarnation. It is obvious to anyone who looks at you. You don’t hide what you feel very well and it will be your undoing.” Kanna warned. She stood up and walked into the forest. Kikyo stared at the back of the child and then shrugged. Nothing that she has tried worked, so perhaps it would be best to see if the child can do any better. She walked behind the girl, taking note that the child was deadly calm and collected. What Kikyo didn’t know was that Kanna shared her former master’s taste for treason. Soon, Kikyo would be at the enemy’s mercy and she would be reunited with her beloved sister. But, for now, it was time to collect shards.

Morning came and Kagome stretched in Sesshomaru’s arms. She opened her eyes, and found herself looking into the golden eyes of her beloved.

“Good morning.” Kagome whispered.

“Good morning, mate. How did you sleep?” Sesshomaru asked.

“Like a baby. And my side doesn’t hurt at all.” Kagome chirped happily.

Sesshomaru got up and turned them around. He wanted to look at her wound for himself. He opened up her kimono, but checked to make sure that the monk was occupied with the slayer first, and nearly gasped. The wound was almost gone. There was only one way that it could have healed this fast. And he knew for a fact that he had not done it the previous night, which left Kouga to be given credit for her speedy recovery. He closed her kimono and placed her on the ground. She smiled up at him and then accepted the bowl of oatmeal that the slayer had offered her.

Sesshomaru walked over to where Kouga lay, taking note that the wolf was awake and staring at the sky.

“How do you feel?” Sesshomaru asked.

“Well, I know now why you are the most feared demon alive. How is Kagome?” Kouga asked.

“She is healed, thanks to you. This Sesshomaru is in your debt.” Sesshomaru said.

“No. I love Kagome and so does my youkai. Her health and well being are our number one priority. I know that she loves you, which is why I have come to a decision. I am not going to challenge you for her, but I want an agreement between us. If something should ever happen to you, she is to come to me. It will not matter if I take another mate, if you are killed then I will make her my mate and the other female will be a concubine. This is a fair compromise, and you know that she will be loved.” Kouga said.

Sesshomaru glared at the wolf, then shrugged. It would have to go through Kagome first, but it did comfort Sesshomaru a bit to know that Kagome would be taken care of should something happen to him. So, Sesshomaru nodded.

“This Sesshomaru agrees, however, it will be Kagome who makes the final decision. But, you must agree to join your lands with my lands. They of course will be ruled separately, but in times of war, we will be united and there is one other thing.” Sesshomaru said.

“Agreed. Now, how are we going to get Kagome to agree?” Kouga asked. He rose up and looked down at his body, surprised to find it dressed in his armour. He raised his eyebrow up at Sesshomaru who looked over at Inu Yasha. Kouga followed his gaze and then choked back the urge to throw up. The thought of that half-breed touching his naked form make him sick to his stomach. Then, Sesshomaru said something to cause his discomfort to strengthen.

“It was also Inu Yasha that carried your naked body to camp.” Sesshomaru said, watching the wolf’s face go from pale to green. Sesshomaru had to bite back a smirk. Well, he was a sadistic bastard after all, and it was time to prove that fact to Jaken.

Sesshomaru walked over to where Jaken sat and addressed him.

“Jaken. What was the name that you called my pups last night?” Sesshomaru asked quietly.

Jaken’s eyes went wide. What did he say? Hmmm, he remembered that he called Rin a vicious brat, but she was used to hearing that. He called the fox pup a terrible burden, but of course, that was the truth. Then it hit the toad. He remembered that his kimono had flown up, revealing his backside to all that was present at camp. He had walked away muttering about the children being…..then it hit him. Jaken glanced up at the angered Sesshomaru, how stared down at him with a look that promised misery.

“Yes, I heard you, Jaken. Since you are not taking to my pups as I would like, I am going to give you a different job.” Sesshomaru said.

Jaken breathed a sigh of relief. He hated being a babysitter. Let the hanyou do it, after all, he was made for such work. Jaken saw Sesshomaru motion for him to follow and he quickly got up. Perhaps his lord would make him his assistant once more. Holding his head high, he followed the demon lord and stopped when his lord sat back down with Lady Kagome. Sesshomaru motioned for Jaken to sit down in front of Kagome, and allowed a smirk to cross his beautiful features.

“Jaken, I have decided to make you Kagome’s personal handmaid.” Sesshomaru said.

Both Kagome and Jaken stared at the demon lord as though he lost his mind. Jaken now fully understood that his lord was punishing him for calling his pups’ names, as did Kagome. But if he was upset, then Kagome was totally outraged.

“Ok, what exactly did I do to be punished?” Kagome demanded.

Sesshomaru cocked his eyebrow up. “I just thought that you would like a lady in waiting, or rather, toad in waiting to help you on this journey. He is responsible for your comfort and will do as you request. He will tend to your every whim, regardless of how meaningless it seems.”

Kagome stared at her mate. “I see. And how long to I have this ‘honour’?” She asked.

“As long as you wish to keep him. If he doesn’t please you, I will have to kill him. It won’t do to have a servant who is fickle about the tasks he is given.” Sesshomaru explained.

Kagome nodded and then sighed. Hate him as she did, she would not allow him to be killed. She looked at the toad, and glared at him. Man, she could not stand him.

Jaken’s mind was swimming. He was a nursemaid, and now he was a handmaid. Why were the fates so cruel? He looked over at his mistress to see her seething with anger. It looked as though Jaken would have to prepare for the worst. But, he had to wonder how he would look in the handmaid's kimono. The colours were to die for.

“Jaken, please go and get me some water. I want to wash mine and the children’s faces.” Kagome said.

Jaken nodded and then turned to walk away. Rin giggled. “Jaken, you didn’t curtsy to mama. At home, the maids always curtsy.”

Kouga looked over at the toad in amusement. “The little girl is right, toad. Handmaids curtsy to their mistresses. So let’s see it.”

Jaken shot the wolf a look. Kouga raised his eyebrow and smirked. “Careful, maid. I am now the close ally of your lord. It would not be wise to insult his comrade.”

Jaken’s face took on a look of horror. It couldn’t be. But, one look at his lord told him that the wolf spoke the truth. Kouga’s smile broadened as he saw Jaken’s distress.

“Now, let’s see that curtsy.” Kouga said, happily.

So, Jaken curtsied. But, he messed it up and ended up falling on his face. Lord Sesshomaru made him get up and do it again and again until he had perfected the art. Finally, he was allowed to go and get the water. When he returned and gave the water to his mistress, he was given permission to go and sit down. He sighed and walked to Ah-Un. He sat down and held his head in his hands. He had never been so humiliated. Even mooning the entire party had not compared to this. What was next for him? Would he be handed out to a brothel and passed around like a piece of toad candy? His misery knew no end. He could only hope that they found those damn shards and quickly.

Chapter Fourteen

After breakfast, the group got up and prepared to leave. Jaken had come to a very important decision during his alone time. He was sick and tired of being mistreated by the males. If he did as Lady Kagome said, and treated her like she was the most precious thing on the planet, perhaps she would shield him from Lord Sesshomaru’s anger. So, that is what he decided to do. When he saw Kagome stand up, he was next to her, taking her bag from her and walking it over to Ah-Un and strapping it on. He then went back and tended to her needs, bowing low to her and calling her ‘Mistress”.

Kagome was confused. Never before had the small toad treated her with anything but malice and now he was catering to her every need. She gave him a look that said that she did not trust him and went to walk beside Sesshomaru.

Jaken tried not to smirk. He had not received one mean word from her and his resolve only strengthened. He walked behind his mistress keeping his head low and respectful. He could feel Kagome’s eyes look at him curiously and then she would look away. Apparently, she was trying to figure out what he was up too. He saw her to shake her head, and then turn to look towards where she was going.

Sesshomaru noticed that his mate kept glancing back at her new handmaid. Apparently, the toad’s behaviour confused her, but he knew what the toad was up too. He was trying to stay in her good graces so that she would not allow any harm to come to him. It was actually a smart move. Kagome would not allow someone in her employ to be hurt, so basically, his days of swatting at the toad were over, but at least his mate was pleased.

Kouga walked in the back of the group. He stared at Kagome’s bottom while she walked and was entranced by it. He flexed his hand, imagining how her rear would feel in his palm. His attention was snapped back to the present when he heard Kagome exclaim that she sensed some jewel shards ahead.

Going into action, Kouga and Sesshomaru got into attacking positions. Once the demon showed himself, they got ready to attack, kneeling in anticipation of the demon being foolish enough to approach. Inu Yasha had accepted his fate as the caretaker of the children, but he preferred to consider himself their guardian. Sango and Miroku got into defensive positions, readying themselves for an attack. Jaken had stepped in front of his mistress, trying to shield her with his body, and failing miserably. Seeing as how Kagome was a whole lot taller than him, the gesture was a foolish one, but Kagome had to admit, it was nice that he wanted to protect her.

Sesshomaru was about to attack when an arrow engulfed in pink light hit the demon, and killed it off. When the group directed their attention to where the arrow came from, Kikyo stepped out from behind a tree and calmly walked over to where the demon had stood. Scooping up the shards, she turned to the group and smirked. She then placed the shards in a small baggie.

Sesshomaru stepped forward and growled. “Give us the shards, bitch.”

Kikyo was about to say something, but a rustle in the bushes caught everyone’s attention. The little girl who had been causing all of the trouble stepped forward and told Kikyo, “Give them the shards. They are not worth anything to us.”

Kikyo looked at the girl in surprise. “Hell no. I worked for these and they are mine.” She snapped.

“Give them the shards, Kikyo. Do it now or else.” Kanna ordered.

Something in the way she ordered her made Kikyo shudder. Kanna was scary, and what was worse, now that she had a bit of Kagura in her, she was nearly as intimidating as Naraku. Kikyo scowled, but did as she was told. She took her baggie and threw it at the demon lord’s feet. She then went to stand behind the little girl.

Kanna watched with narrowed eyes as the demon lord picked up the small bag and hand it to his mate. The miko purified the shards quickly and then looked at the two women with curious eyes.

Kanna decided to give them what they had been wanting. “Look and see where your enemy lives.” She whispered.

As before, the group’s eyes were drawn to the mirror, and they saw the castle of Naraku. Behind it, were landmarks and it was clear to them that the child was trying to get them to go to their enemy. Sesshomaru narrowed his eyes.

“And what do you get out of showing us this, bitch?” He snarled.

“Peace. I just want peace and to be with my sister. There are no more shards to find. Naraku has the rest.” Kanna said, in her eerily quiet voice.

“What about the barrier? How do we get past that thing, huh?” Kouga demanded.

“Kanna, that is enough. Naraku will kill you for this.” Kikyo told her, trying to lead her away, but Kanna stood strong.

“The barrier is being powered by his half of the jewel. All your miko has to do is focus her purifying energy against the barrier while the hanyou releases his wind scar and the barrier will fall. He believes himself to be untouchable. He got rid of all his incarnations, and tried to kill me off. After you kill him, I will come to you. I want something from you, Lord Kouga.” Kanna said, looking at the sky.

“Oh, and what in the hell could you want, girl and why would I give it to you?” Kouga asked. Ok, he would admit it, the girl stroked his curiosity.

“My sister, Kagura killed your brothers. I want you to take my life as payment for theirs. Since I am part of Kagura and Naraku, your vengeance will have been taken. I offer myself to you to appease your need for revenge.” Kanna told him, whispering her request and making him strain to hear her.

“Wait, so you want me to kill you?” Kouga asked.

Kanna nodded, and turned. She nodded at Kikyo and together they walked away into the forest.

Kouga looked at the rest of the group and said, “Ok, now I am officially freaked out. Did she or did she not just confirm that she wanted me to kill her off?”

“Apparently, the girl is trying to reunite with her sister in the afterlife. It was the wind witch that looked out for her. I suppose that she wants to be released from her misery.” Jaken piped up. The group looked at him and he shrugged, scooting behind his mistress. “I do take time to observe things, you know. Have you not ever noticed that Kagura always protected the little one? They were the first two of Naraku’s minions and depended on each other. Now that Kagura is gone, the little one is lonely.”

Kagome bent her head down in thought. It made sense. “Kouga, are you going to do as she asks?” Kagome asked, in a worried tone.

Kouga looked to the sky. “Kagome, she is part of Naraku. If I don’t take his head myself, then I will have to take hers. It is about honour, and the fact that she has offered herself to pay for her sister’s crimes will satisfy my tribe’s need for justice. That is the way it is, I am sorry.”

Kagome actually felt pity for the small girl. How sad that she lived her short life as a slave and now would willingly give her life up so that she could find peace. It was a shame.

Jaken noticed his mistress’s discomfort and decided to ease it. He reached up and patted her hand. “Don’t worry, my lady. I am sure that Lord Kouga will make it as painless as possible.” He said, taking note of how the wolf’s head snapped up. ‘Haha, take that, you mangy wolf.’ Jaken thought.

Kouga stepped forward, barring his fangs at Jaken, but was intercepted by Kagome. “Is what he said true? Can you make it painless on her if you do end up killing her?” Kagome asked, hope written across her face.

Kouga sighed. The point of exacting vengeance was to make it hurt. Damn it, he was going to have to be kind and make it painless or else Kagome would think he was a total beast.

He looked over at Sesshomaru, who shrugged as if saying, ‘you are on your own with this one’.

He walked up to Kagome and took her hands. “I will make it is painless as possible because you have requested it.”

He was graced with a smile from the woman he loved, and watched as she happily walked over to Sesshomaru, leaning her head on his shoulder and talking excitedly about how the nightmare was almost over.

‘Yes,’ Kouga thought, ‘the nightmare will finally be coming to an end. Well, for most of us at least.’

Kouga yelled to the group that it was time to make camp. The others agreed and set up, Kouga offered to grab the firewood, and before he had a chance to escape, Kouga yanked the toad up and cheerfully said that Jaken had graciously offered to come with him. Together, they walked into the woods.

Sesshomaru watched as the wolf took the toad with him, shaking his head as he thought that the toad should have just kept his mouth shut. Kagome had gathered the pups and Sango, and they went to a nearby hot spring to bathe. Sesshomaru glanced at the monk and was surprised that he was not trying to go and spy on the women. Something was amiss.

“What ails you, monk?” Sesshomaru asked.

“I don’t know what you are referring too, my lord.” Miroku said, trying to start a fire.

Sesshomaru took the sticks from the monk’s hand and narrowed his eyes at where he wanted a fire to start. With in seconds, a fire sparked, making Miroku glad that the taiyoukai had that particular ability.

“You have not groped, fondled, or spied on the women. Tell me, are you ill?” Sesshomaru asked.

“Yeah, your not being your usual hentai self.” Inu Yasha chimed in. He sat down next to the monk and looked at him intensely.

“I have decided to ask Lady Sango to be my wife.” Miroku said, staring at the fire.

Inu Yasha started to laugh. “Are you serious? You, he who cannot keep his hands still, are going to ask the woman who has given you a number of black eyes to marry you. This is rich.”

Miroku started to get angry. “What? Am I not worthy of love? I only grope women to get Sango to notice me. Sure, I was a hentai before I met her, but now I want to grope her and only her. Believe me, if Lady Kagome and the children were not with Sango, I would be peeping like there was no tomorrow, but since they are, I will not invade their privacy.”

“I wish you luck She is a most unusual woman, and will be a strong mate.” Sesshomaru said, not really knowing how to offer his support.

Miroku bowed his head. “Thank you, Lord Sesshomaru.”

The males were interrupted when Jaken landed right next to the fire, his head full of lumps and his eyes black and blue. The toad slowly got up and wobbled his way over to where Ah-Un sat.

Kouga emerged from the forest a moment later and sat down in a huff. Sesshomaru leaned over and nudged Kouga.

“I see you taught him a lesson in minding his own business.” Sesshomaru said, trying hard not to chuckle.

“Damn busybody. Now, I can’t give my brothers the blood they deserve because of him. Damn it. I should take his head and say that a wild youkai got to him in the forest.” Kouga grumbled.

His attention was drawn to Kagome as she emerged from the path that held the hot spring. She took a look at Jaken and stomped over to him. She looked at his face and then glared at where the males sat. She marched over to them and said, “Ok, which one of you is responsible for that?” She asked, pointing over to where the toad sat.

Inu Yasha began to snicker and Kagome’s fury turned on him. “Oh, I see. It was you, was it? Well, I tell you what, you can join him in his misery. SIT, SIT, SIT, SIT, SIT, and just so you don’t do it again, SIT!” Kagome bellowed. She turned on her heel and went to go get some water so that she could treat Jaken’s injuries.

Kouga sneaked a peek at Inu Yasha who was moaning pitifully on the ground. The hanyou had never felt so much pain. What was worse, Kagome had chosen a night right before the new moon and he was more susceptible to pain and injury. He looked up at Kouga, who was looking at him in shock.

“Why didn’t you tell her that it was you?” Inu Yasha whined.

Kouga shrugged. “After seeing her in action with you, there is no way in hell that I am going to tell her that it was really me.”

“You prick.” Inu Yasha mumbled, getting up slowly and brushing himself off. The males watched as Kagome returned and began to treat Jaken’s wounds. She shielded him from most of the male’s views, except for Kouga’s. The wolf was staring at him and Jaken decided to give the wolf a taste of his own medicine. He stuck his tongue out at the wolf demon, causing the wolf to begin growling loudly. Kagome snapped her head up and shot the wolf a warning look, making him back down quickly. Kouga looked back at the toad, and mouthed, ‘I will get you later, wimp.’ Jaken just flashed the wolf a grin and then moaned pitifully. He could feel his mistress’s gentle hands working to make his wounds feel better. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Jaken just found a way to torture the wolf, and he would be damned if he didn’t torture him. This was going to be fun.

Chapter Fifteen

Naraku sat in his castle. Bodies of his guards littered his hallways, and the stench of blood hung heavily in the air. He smiled to himself as he surveyed his work. His claws flexed and his fangs shone in the candlelight as he thought about how it would feel to sink his teeth into that tender little miko that his hated nemesis protected. How it would feel to caress her body as he tore at the delicate flesh of her neck. It was clear, even to him that he was too far-gone to go back to the way he used to be. The fact that he discarded his incarnates was proof enough that he believed that the end was near. However, one incarnate escaped him, but he felt that she was not anything to worry about. After all, what could a little girl like her do to him?

The group neared the area where Kanna had shown them that the palace should be. Sesshomaru, Kouga, and Inu Yasha began to growl as they neared the small valley that held their enemy.

“This is it. The little girl was telling us the truth. I can smell the hanyou’s barrier magic, it is close.” Sesshomaru said.

Miroku looked around. “I can’t see the barrier, but it is here. I can feel the evil aura that surrounds it. Lady Kagome, are you ready to make that barrier fall?” He asked.

Kagome nodded. “Let’s do it. I am tired of all this fighting, and I just want to go back to the palace and rest.”

“Are you alright, Kagome?” Sango asked, in a worried tone.

“Yeah, I am fine, just achy.” Kagome told her.

Kouga looked around, he sniffed the air and then walked forward at a very slow pace. He came to a stop after a few paces and then put his hand out. All of a sudden, the sound of crackling filled the air, and Kouga was thrown back several feet. His hand was slightly burned and the scent of burned hair hit everyone’s noses.

“Well, I think we can safely say that we found where the barrier is.” Kouga said, shaking his hand.

Kagome walked over to where the wolf sat and took his hand in hers. She looked at the burn and then called for Jaken to bring her the pack. When the toad handed her pack to her, Kagome pulled out her first aid kit and preceded to clean and bandage the burn. When she was done, she gave Kouga a brilliant smile and patted his shoulder.

“Well, I think that you will live to see another day, Kouga.” She joked, bringing a smile to everyone’s faces. The anxiety that had filled the group faded a bit as they laughed, easing the tension.

After examining the area where Kouga had been burned, Kagome stepped forward and allowed her miko powers to surround her hands. She closed her eyes and stepped forward, her hands out in front of her, and she allowed them to come in contact with the barrier.

While Kagome attempted to weaken the barrier, Inu Yasha stepped a few yards away and unsheathed the tetsaiga. Within a minute, he had the sword up and was calling his attack.

“WIND SCAR.” Inu Yasha shouted, sending his powerful attack to the unseen barrier and between his attack and Kagome, the barrier shattered.

The group cheered. They quickly made their way into the forest that separated them from their goal, Naraku. It would not be long until he lay at their feet, drenched in his own blood, and dead before their eyes.

Kouga and Sesshomaru decided that it would be best if the pups stayed with Jaken in the forest, surrounded by a barrier that Miroku offered to put up, ensuring their complete safety. So, when they got to a place that held a stream so that Jaken could have water, they left him and the pup with Ah-Un, and began their final journey to meet the monster.

Kanna and Kikyo watched the group move toward the palace. Kanna’s face almost held a serene look, but it was quickly lost when Kikyo looked at her.

“What are you smiling for, Kanna?” Kikyo demanded.

“We are going to go and provide help.” Kanna whispered.

“Help? Who, Naraku?” Kikyo asked, clearly confused.

Kanna shook her head slightly. “No, we are going to help the lords and your reincarnation. This nightmare must end.”

Kikyo gave a bitter laugh. “Well, you can do whatever you want, bitch. I am not helping in anyway, especially to benefit that little bitch.”

Kanna regarded the dead miko coolly. “I had a feeling you might feel that way. I know for a fact that your reincarnation needs her full soul in order to call upon her full potential. You will provide her with what she needs.”

Kikyo smirked. “And how do you propose to get my little piece of soul? I dare you to try, bitch. I’ll purify you if you touch me, and don’t think I won’t.”

While she was ranting, Kikyo didn’t notice that Kanna had lifted her mirror towards her, and then the child called out, asking for the corpse’s attention.

When Kikyo looked at her, Kanna allowed her mirror to work its magic. Within seconds, Kikyo realized what Kanna meant to do, and it spelled her doom. She screamed and tried to back away, but felt that her feet were stuck to the ground. Kanna’s mirror began to emit a white light, surrounding the undead miko and taking back from her what had been stolen.

When the light faded, Kanna looked at the ground. Kikyo was as she had been before the ogress stole Kagome’s soul…an empty husk. Kanna knew that there was nothing left in the shell worth protecting, so she took a burning stick from their fire, and brought it over to the shell, igniting it by catching the husk’s clothing on fire. It would not take very long to be reduced to ashes. Without a backwards glance, Kanna made her way to the forest, and towards the group. She would gladly help the small group; after all, her desired peace was at stake.

Inu Yasha stopped walking. He looked behind him, his ears flattening on his head.

“What’s wrong, Inu Yasha?” Miroku asked, coming over to the hanyou.

“It’s Kikyo. I think that she may be dead.” Inu Yasha said.

Kouga snorted. “I hate to tell you this, mutt. That bitch was dead, has been dead, and is dead. She is a walking corpse, and nothing more.” He sneered.

Inu Yasha glared at the wolf. “No shit, moron. I am saying that I felt her pass on. I guess it is because of my mating mark that I put on her, but I am sure that she is no more.”

Kagome looked at Sesshomaru. “So, if she is dead, does that mean the piece of my soul that she held will come back to me?” She asked, hopefully.

Sesshomaru shook his head. “I am not sure, my love. It is possible that the piece of your soul that she held died along with her undead body. Only time will tell.”

Kagome sighed. She nodded and felt Sesshomaru nudge her, telling her that it was time to keep moving.

The small group walked through the forest, killing off the threats that Naraku had obviously placed for them to fight, delaying the inevitable in their minds. It was well into the night before anyone caught sight of the faint flicker of light beyond the trees.

“I think that we are almost at the palace.” Kouga said, his voice in a loud whisper. “I can see some light, so Naraku will be nearby.”

Sesshomaru nodded. “Everyone keep your guard up. I want to find the hanyou and kill him before breakfast.”

The companions nodded, and readied themselves. Too bad that they didn’t know that they were walking into a trap.

Naraku had been well aware of the group’s progress into his forest. He grinned, and looked at his new guests. The two little pups sat on the floor, chains around their feet, and they were whimpering. Their fear and cries were almost like an aphrodisiac, calling to his senses and begging for a release. He grinned as he approached the little girl. She cowered from him, curling up into a small ball. He reached out and stroked her hair, making sure that he did not injure her. Killing her would be a mistake, it would cause the parents of the pups to fight harder to ensure his death and he would not give them reason to lose their temper, at least, not yet.

“Don’t touch Rin, you filth!” Squeaked the toad, which was hanging upside down, his kimono falling over his head, and revealing to his captor his goods.

“I will touch anything that I want, toad. You forget, you are MY prisoner, and I will do with you and the pups as I see fit. Now, shut up and you might live to see morning. Of course, I can’t promise that you will see the noon, but who knows, I might feel generous, but then again, I might not.” Naraku hissed, swiping at the toad and sending the creature into uncontrollable shakes.

Jaken swallowed nervously. He watched, as he yanked his kimono back into its place only to have it fall back in his face, Naraku look at the pups again and a smile spread across his face. The hanyou turned on his heel and strode out of the room. Jaken looked back at the pups and said, “I want both of you to listen to me right now. We will be ok, just do what you are told and he won’t hurt you. Do you two understand?”

Rin and Shippo nodded. They looked at each other and then put their arms around each other. They were so scared. All they wanted was their mama and father.

The group finally reached the end of the forest, and saw before them a gloomy palace, silent and still. They cautiously approached the structure, making sure that they were aware of all their surroundings. They went through the main gate, and came into a deserted courtyard. The sight of bodies greeted them and so did the stench of their blood. Kagome and Sango both gagged, and looked away from the sight. Sesshomaru brought his mate into his arms and allowed her to bury her face in his kimono, allowing his scent to override the stench.

Kouga and Inu Yasha sniffed the air. They could smell Naraku, but could not pinpoint their location.

Sesshomaru also took in a deep breath. His eyes widened in alarm. ‘No, it can’t be.’ He thought.

Kagome noticed his sudden alarm and asked, “What? What is wrong, Sesshomaru?”

Sesshomaru looked down at his beloved mate. He did not want to tell her that he had picked up the scents of their pups and her new handmaid. So, he did what he thought best. He shook his head, indicating that nothing was wrong.

Even though she did not believe him, Kagome let it go. She looked around, and finally saw where Naraku was hiding, and he had his half of the jewel with him. She notched an arrow in her bow and let it fly, destroying his hiding place and revealing his form for the group to see.

“Well, I see that I have visitors. How nice. Now, would you be so kind as to hand over your shards? I do believe that you don’t want to refuse me this request.” Naraku said, smirking.

“And why would we not want to refuse?” Inu Yasha asked, his curiosity perked.

“I have something very valuable to the lord and lady of the western lands, and I do believe that the lord knows what it is.” Naraku said, his eyes trained on the demon lord.

Kagome looked at her mate in confusion. “What does he have, Sesshomaru? Tell me what you know.” She demanded.

“Naraku has the pups. He must have broken through the barrier the monk placed and taken them.” Sesshomaru said, avoiding Kagome’s eyes.

Kagome let out a hiss of anger. She whirled around and looked at Naraku. “Give me my pups, now.”

“Now, now. Let’s keep that temper in check, little one. I would not want to become upset and take my anger out of the children. So, shall we begin again?” Naraku asked, his eyes narrowing as he allowed his lips to smirk. He could not believe that he was actually winning.

Kanna had made it to the palace’s main gate. She knew that Naraku had engaged the group that held her hope for long lasting peace, and she decided that it was time to lend her support. She pulled up her mirror and looked into it, to see exactly where they were and what was going on. What she saw was Sesshomaru’s statement that Naraku had his pups. Well, she would just have to fix Naraku’s advantage, wouldn’t she? For the first time in her existence, Kanna smiled. However, it faded as she went to the secret assess passageway on the side of the palace. Slipping into it, she knew it would take her directly to Naraku’s private chamber and more than likely, the holding place of his captives.

Chapter Sixteen

Kanna slid the secret door back, and looked into the room. Hanging upside down was a squawking toad, with his kimono hanging over his face and revealing to all the word what he had to offer. ‘Though, it isn’t much of a contribution.’ Kanna inwardly sneered. She shook her head to get rid of the hentai thoughts, and stepped further into the room. She looked at a wall and saw two small children chained to it. She stepped over towards them, but then the toad bellowed, “Stay where you are, woman!”

Kanna raised her eyes to the toad. “Don’t you want to escape this place?” She asked.

Jaken narrowed his eyes. “What do you mean?” He demanded.

Kanna sighed. Obviously the toad was short in the male department as well as in the smarts department.

“I mean, that I would like to set you and the children free, provided that you get them far away from this cursed place.” Kanna said, looking back at the children.

Jaken yanked his kimono back down. “Can we trust you?”

“I could have stolen your souls the minute I walked in here, so what does that tell you?” Kanna challenged, in her quiet voice.

Jaken thought it over. Then he nodded. “We would be grateful for your help.” He said, narrowing his eyes and not quite trusting the small demon.

Kanna nodded. She walked over to where the end of the rope that he Jaken suspended was at and released it. Jaken fell to the ground in one ungraceful heap, muttering curses as he got up. She then moved over to the small children and with the use of her mirror, she made the chains snap. The toad walked over to where they sat, and helped them up. Kanna then directed them to the secret escape tunnel.

“When you get outside, go directly into the woods and don’t stop.” She ordered. She turned and walked to the door that would lead to the hall, but Jaken’s voice stopped her.

“Thank you, Kanna. For everything.” He said, bowing to the small demoness.

Kanna allowed a small smile to form, but it quickly left as she turned. She had to help the others stop Naraku. It was time to give Kagome back her lost bit of soul.

When Naraku had lunged at them, Sesshomaru had barely enough time to throw Kagome to the ground to stop her from being hurt. She quickly rolled out of the way and watched as her mate sliced through the tentacle that had tried to strike her. She looked at where Inu Yasha, Sango, and Miroku were standing. They, too, were dealing with tentacles, and doing a good job of warding them off. Kouga had been able to use his speed to get close enough to Naraku and hit him a few times, each time knocking him off balance, but Naraku seemed to be able to recover quickly and redouble his efforts.

“Is that all you weaklings can do against me? How pathetic. It seems that I will once again gain a victory over you and your group, Inu Yasha. Poor little hanyou, you never seem to come out on top, do you? Well, I will put you out of your misery soon enough.” Naraku gloated.

“Shut the fuck up, bastard.” Inu Yasha bellowed. He released his wind scar attack, but was shocked when Naraku was able to avoid it.

All of a sudden, a white light zipped through the battlefield and went straight into Kagome’s body. Everyone stopped, and stared as Kagome began to glow a bright white.

“What’s happening?” Kagome asked, her eyes widened in fear.

“You now have your entire soul back, compliments of Kikyo. Now, use your full power to send Naraku into hell with his whore.” Kanna whispered, staring at her former master.

“You little bitch. I gave you life, and this is how you repay me?” Naraku seethed.

“Kagura and I were loyal to you and all you did was abuse us. Is that how you take care of your children?” Kanna countered.

Naraku growled and turned towards the small girl. Kanna turned her mirror towards her father, and allowed it to begin it’s magic. She began to suck Naraku’s energy out of him, causing the many demons in his body to panic. Soon, the demons were being drawn out of his body and into the mirror. Kanna was weakening the bastard that took her beloved sister from her.

Naraku felt as though he were on fire. He screamed into the sky and allowed one of his tentacles to whip out, and go straight towards Kanna. Kanna did not waver. The tentacle was able to pierce her mirror and go straight through to her body. She did not whimper, nor did she cry out. She simply stared at her father before slumping to the ground.

Naraku turned towards the group once more. Sympathy for the small demoness was etched on the faces of the women, and rage at him was sprawled on the men’s faces. Sesshomaru used his speed and acid whip to lash out and severe the tentacle from Kanna’s body. He then rammed his body into Naraku’s body, causing the hanyou to fall to the ground.

Kouga leapt up and allowed his feet to come crashing down on Naraku’s chest, rendering the hanyou breathless. Sango was next to exact her revenge upon the hanyou. She whipped out her sword and when he raised his arm to shield himself, she sliced through the appendage, watching it fall to the ground and move about frantically before it stopped moving. Inu Yasha was next, he used his claws to rip into Naraku’s chest, effectively breaking the ribs and damaging several organs. Naraku’s screams of pain echoed as his enemies took turns in paying him back for all that he has done. Finally, there was just Kagome and Miroku.

Kagome looked at the monk who smiled at her. “Please do to him what you want. I will use my wind tunnel for the last time by sucking him into the void that he created. A fitting end, don’t you think?”

Kagome nodded. She notched an arrow, but a small voice stopped her from firing.

“It won’t be enough. You have to take his power, otherwise he will be able to rise again.” Kanna whispered, struggling to sit up.

“What do you mean? I can purify him and he will be gone.” Kagome insisted.

“Think back to the last time you used a purifying arrow on him. He was able to get another body. But by focusing on the demons that make up his form, you can revert him back to being a mortal man. Then the monk can dispose of him. Please, if I knew of another way, then I would tell you, but now you have your whole soul back, and can make what I say reality. Please, do as I ask.” Kanna said, her eyes streaming with tears. She was dying, but she had to see Naraku pay for what he did to her and Kagura.

Kagome nodded. She let the bow fall to the ground and walked towards the hanyou. She allowed her power to rise up within her, casting her in a light pink light. Finally, she released a large pink ball of purifying energy and sent it flying into Naraku’s body. He screamed in torment as he felt his demons dying within him, and finally, they were no more.

Naraku lay on the ground, his body ravaged and bloodied. He looked up and saw the monk step forward.

“The curse you placed on my family says that our misery ends when you die. So, enjoy your hell.” Miroku said, unwinding his prayer beads, and releasing his wind tunnel.

Naraku screamed in terror as he felt his body being sucked into the void he created. When his entire body entered into Miroku’s hand, the wind tunnel closed, leaving Miroku with a slight scar and a thankful heart. His family’s nightmare was over.

The companions cheered, well, most of them cheered and Sesshomaru smirked. Kagome turned her attention to the small demoness. She walked over and kneeled beside her.

“Thank you, Kanna. Without your help, we never would have won. We are in your debt.” Kagome said, giving the demoness a smile.

Kanna regarded her with sad eyes. “Your pups and toad are in the woods, waiting for you. I set them free and now I ask the same of you. Do now as I have requested. Take my life and let me be with my sister.”

Kouga came over to where Kanna and Kagome were. “In mine and my tribe’s eyes, you have redeemed yourself. You don’t have to fear me and my kind ever again.” He said.

Kanna shook her head. “We had a deal. You defeat Naraku and then give me peace. Please, don’t take that from me.” She pleaded.

Kouga looked at Kagome helplessly. Kagome nodded. This small child was not natural, and the child knew it. She had always been a void, but ever since being released, she had to deal with emotions that she had never before experienced. And she had to do it alone. So, true to his word, Kouga released the small demoness from her prison, snapping her neck quickly and sending her to be with her beloved Kagura once more. They gathered up the body and turned to the woods, intent on giving the small demoness a proper sending. After all, she had been the one to give Kagome back her soul and tell them how to expel Naraku. She deserved to be sent off properly.

The group, children and Jaken included, watched as Kanna’s body was reduced to ash. The wind had floated down and carried her ashes into the heavens. It seemed that Kagura was just as anxious to reclaim her sister as Kanna was to be reunited with her.

After they finished with Kanna’s sending, Kouga announced that he was returning to his tribes. He needed to tell them that their brothers had been avenged and release Kagura of all wrongdoing. He wanted to make sure that Kanna was given credit for her part in the battle.

“I thought that you were going to fight over Kagome, you dumb wolf? What happened to making her your woman?” Inu Yasha asked, his eyes narrowing.

Kouga looked back at Kagome and Sesshomaru. “Oh, that. Well, Sesshomaru and I have made a deal of sorts. I will let him explain what the details are, but I will come around much more. After all, I must continue to watch over my Kagome, even if she is mated to another.” He said, enjoying the way Inu Yasha’s face turned red with anger as he leaned over and kissed Kagome’s cheek, while grasping her hand.

“What in the hell do you mean by that? Do you not think that I can’t watch out for her, huh?” Inu Yasha screamed.

“You are not included in our deal. So, because of what Sesshomaru and I have agreed to, I am simply protecting my interest.” Kouga said, before taking off in a whirlwind of dust.

Sesshomaru walked up to Kagome. He held out his hand to her and placed something in her hand. It was Naraku’s piece of the jewel. I think that you know what you need to do with it.” He said.

But, we need that stupid wolf’s shards to complete the jewel and he ran off and left us here.” Inu Yasha fumed.

Kagome giggled. “No, he gave me the shards while he kissed my cheek. I think he realizes that he doesn’t need them anymore. But, now that we have all of the pieces, I can put the jewel back together again, and we can decide what to do from there. For now, I am tired and I just want to go home.” She said.

“To which home are you referring to, Kagome.” Sesshomaru asked, slightly concerned.

“I want to go home to where I became the lady of the western lands and love my lord for the rest of my days.” She said, looking straight in his eyes.

Sesshomaru released the breath that he had been holding. He nodded, and told the group that they were going home.

It was finally over. And now, they could rest, well, almost.

Chapter Seventeen

It had been two months since the final battle with Naraku. Kagome had taken the jewel and reabsorbed it into her body. It was better off hidden from others and left alone. Kagome had found out shortly after returning to the palace that she was pregnant. She surmised that she had gotten pregnant when she and Sesshomaru had made love in the cave behind the waterfall. Sesshomaru had become a totally different demon. He was constantly hovering around her, and seeing to all of her needs himself. She giggled at how frantic he had become once when he had fallen asleep, and she had decided to go out into the gardens to let him sleep in peace. So, she undressed him and left the room quietly, thinking that he needed his rest. Boy, that had been a mistake. He had woken up and when he did not see Kagome, he rushed out of their bedchambers, naked as the day he was born, and ran all over the palace searching for her. When he finally found her, he scolded her before carrying her back into the palace.

Sango and Miroku had moved in with them at the palace and had gotten married. Sango had also gotten pregnant, and Miroku had been walking around, bragging and patting himself on the back for a job well done. Each time he crowed about his prowess in bed, Sango would hit him in the back of his head, effectively silencing him.

Inu Yasha had also moved in, but had stayed on as Rin and Shippo’s protector. He took the job seriously and had even met a young village girl the last time he took Rin and Shippo to the human village. He was now engaged to the girl and was happier than he had ever been.

Kouga had been true to his word. He came to the western palace at least once a week, and checked up on his Kagome. He told both Sesshomaru and Kagome that he will be waiting for the day he has his turn with Kagome, but until then, he was going to take a concubine and produce his own heir. When he heard about Kagome’s pregnancy, he and his tribe came to offer their congratulations. Kouga was asked to be the pup’s godfather, and he happily agreed. Sesshomaru and Kouga forged a strong friendship and through their mutual love of Kagome, and they protected her with such viciousness that many were afraid to even say hello to the young human.

Jaken, well, he finally found another line of work. He was so happy with the way he looked in women’s clothing, he decided to become a cross-dresser and he started his own services. He would cater to the needs of men while they converged together and talked. He loved to serve others, except for children, so this was a perfect job for him. He was always told that he was one ugly looking wench, but Jaken didn’t care. He had his kimonos and he felt pretty. That is what counts, right?

Kagome stood on the balcony of their bedchambers. It was funny, she had never thought in a million years that she would be mated to Sesshomaru and carry his pup, but here she was and she was indeed pregnant. She giggled when she felt a pair of strong arms surround her.

“What are you thinking about, love?” Sesshomaru purred in her ear.

“I am just thinking about you and all your deals that you seem to make. They always work out for your benefit, don’t they?” She asked.

“Of course. I always get what I want, and I make sure that happens. I never once doubted that I would have you, Kagome. I only worried that your love for my brother would stop us. I can clearly see that you love me and only me. So, you see, I do what needs to be done to achieve my goal.” Sesshomaru explained.

Kagome sighed. “What about your deal with Kouga? I am still a bit ticked that you didn’t discuss it with me first, but I suppose that I feel better knowing that our son and I are taken care of if something should ever happen to you.”

Sesshomaru kissed the top of her head. “I also feel better knowing that you will be cared for, as well as our pup. Now, let’s not discuss this any further. I have other things that I would like to discuss with you.”

Kagome cocked her head to the side. “And exactly what do you have to discuss with me, Sesshomaru.”

“I would like to discuss how fast it will take me to rip this kimono off your body and bury myself inside of your body.” He said, running his hands up and down her sides.

“I can’t believe that you can even suggest that. I am as big as a whale, and you want to have sex?” Kagome asked.

“Why not. You are sexy no matter what you look like and I happen to find your pregnant body very arousing.” He said, growling softly.

Kagome giggled again. She allowed him to lift her up and carry her to their bed. At least she could say that life with Sesshomaru would never be dull. And to think, all of this was made possible because of a one-sided deal.








The End

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