Chapter 44: Results Based Approach
After the trial, Sesshomaru took Kagome to their private room, where he could tend to her injury. The scent of blood was thicker than he had expected, given the relatively small amount that stained the sleeve of her kimono. “I will tend your injury,” he said quietly.
Deep within himself, he was aware of the warmth that had been growing in him since she first healed Rin. Watching her stand before his people, watching her with Jun’s life, with the security and justice of the West in her hands had been an experience unlike any other. Rather than shaking him, rather than causing him hesitation or concern to trust another with everything that he was – his honor – he had found an affirmation in the act. She was more than worthy, more than trustworthy, of the role he wanted for her. Sesshomaru pulled in air through his nose and held it in his lungs before slowly letting it out through his mouth. Kagome was, with every moment that she breathed, more than he had expected. Perhaps more than he deserved. Sesshomaru removed his armor and sword, leaving them near the door. He gently pulled her down to the tatami mat and loosened her obi while she spoke.
“I feel so terribly for Kento, to have to go through all of that, only to find out it was someone he trusted, that he was betrayed personally, and now I suppose he’ll have to deal with the gossip.” Her mouth was turned down, her brow furrowed with sorrow; sour melon and camphor dusted the natural smell of her.
“There will be no gossip,” he stated to reassure her. Sesshomaru wondered if Jun’s duplicity was too recent for her to speak of, that she focused on how Kento would be affected instead. It was her nature, to worry more for others than for herself. Sesshomaru had realized that long ago, and was still putting plans into place to account for it. She would not look after herself, so he would do so. He folded her obi precisely and laid it to the side before carefully slipping her spider-weave outer kimono over her shoulders. The coppery-sweetness in the air increased and he breathed deeply. Aki’s claws had caused the damage, and Sesshomaru understood the female had not intended his miko harm, but he would be sure to have Kento remind his mate to be more careful. A friendship with Kagome required a delicate touch.
“Really?” He glanced up long enough to see the arch of her eyebrows and the expressive bow of her mouth. Amused disbelief colored her tone, “Did you command it to be so? Sesshomaru, people will talk. Whether they do it where you can hear them or not doesn’t change the fact.”
The narrow ties of her second kimono came loose easily. “They will not,” he corrected her, “because I have settled the matter. Kento is not, nor has he ever been a traitor. All who live in the castle have seen this, seen my trust in him, today. It is done.” At his light touch, thin, pale blue pashmina made a soft pile around her wrists and in her lap, leaving Kagome in only her white silk yukata; the slightly darker outline of her modern under clothing was visible through the sheer material. It brought out the heat that seemed ever present low in his belly – blending with the warm expansive feeling in his chest. She is perfect, he thought, perhaps clearly and for the first time with an understanding of what that state meant to him. He had spent his entire life seeking perfection, and found it not in battle or political triumph, but in a slip of a woman that wielded the power to make him feel fear or exaltation.
“It is done,” she intoned in a ridiculous attempt to parody his voice. Blue eyes rolled and she smiled at him. The beat of his heart grew deeper, almost painful but not quite. “If I didn’t know you so well, I would think you were crazy for believing that. But it wouldn’t surprise me if you could make it happen. On the outside chance you’re wrong, I’d like to do something for him and Aki – to make up for having to go through that drama.”
Sesshomaru paused for the briefest of moments with his claws under the collar of her clothing. “You have already done more for them than any other. They are mated, and Aki pupped. Kento is indebted to you twice over.”
“Pupped, really?” Her eyes were shining and she radiated happiness. He let it coat his nose and mouth and savored the taste of her excitement. It made him eager for the day that he would be able to smell their own pup growing in her, mixing with her spicy sweetness. Now is not the time, he reminded himself. Soon. It was a reassurance as well as a promise. Once they had discussed it, he had agreed with Kagome regarding the timing of starting their litter; in truth, he was impressed with the medical knowledge of future humans, and their foresight to prevent pregnancy when circumstances were not ideal. The instinct to procreate was strong in most youkai. For inu, it could become a near obsession with a newly mated pair if they could not control themselves. Aki and Kento were such an example. Although Sesshomaru would welcome Kento’s addition to the West, and one that his vassal and friend had desired for many centuries, there was no denying that Aki and their offspring would be in danger until the North had been defeated. “How can you tell?”
“The scent of new life, of the change as a female turns her body’s focus inward to nurture.” Sesshomaru was careful to allow only the smooth surface of his claws to touch her skin as he pulled the yukata from her. The temperature in the room was comfortable, but still he sent a few more threads of his power to drift around her and seep inside her. Indirect light was soft on the pale milk of her skin. His mouth felt wet and eager as he traced the line of her collarbone to a rounded shoulder. His eyes dipped, following the strap of her undergarment to the material that cupped her. Recent experiences made recognizing his faint jealousy easy – envy for the thin lace the color of abalone shell that pressed against her nipples. Sesshomaru was aware that he would be stuck by the same obsession for a mate as his secretary had been. I am already ensnared, he thought. There was no bitterness in that, only acceptance and a desire to revel in it.
“With so many youkai around, Aki didn’t even get the fun of an announcement then.”
Kagome sounded mildly irritated. He glanced at her face and a protruding lower lip confirmed it. Sesshomaru would have nipped at the plump morsel, but the wound on her shoulder was bare and the scent of her blood called to him. Only two of Aki’s claws had punctured the skin, the rest left pink scratches. He bent his head to breathe in the copper, frowning at how much more scent there was than actual blood. “Few are able to notice the subtleties so soon. Kento will know, of course,” he tried to soothe her mind even as his tongue stretched out. Of their own accord, his eyes fell shut as the red liquid touched his tongue. It was Kagome, yes. It was copper and flowers and wood in his nose; sweet citrus and smoky cinnamon on his tongue. Water, iron, and the savory flavor of blood.
It was also the feel of her flesh against his mouth. Slick liquid on his tongue, smooth skin against his lips. She was not as warm as him, and seemed to draw the heat from his body where they touched.
It was the need it stirred in him. To take, to mark, to mate, but also to protect, to cherish, and to hold. To give her his strength, to give her anything and everything she needed – what she didn’t even know she needed – what she wanted so that she would always smell that way. Be that way. Happy. With him.
Sesshomaru finished, slowly, and then laved at her wound. If she had asked, he would have said he was ensuring her health. It was true, but it was also true that he continued to taste her even as his saliva began to seal the injury and the overwhelming sensation of her began to recede. He became aware that she was speaking, had been for some time but he had not been listening.
“-olfactory sense tied to youki? Does that mean then that only very powerful canines would know? What about Kimi or Hisao? Inuyasha has a good nose, what-” Although he still did not like to hear her speak of his brother, certainly not when she was admiring the hanyou’s skills, it was not as irritating as it had once been. Whether it was the knowledge that she had offered him intimacies that his brother had never received, or her half-clothed proximity, or some combination of the two he was not sure.
“They are all more than capable of scenting a pup at this stage, but they may not know Aki’s scent well enough to recognize the change for what it is.” He was not interested in speaking of others any longer. Sesshomaru had been pleased with the results of the Ringu, with Kagome’s decision, but the thought of a traitor still chafed at him. Although maintaining order and civility in his court dictated that his instincts be subjugated to logic and rule, it did not prevent his desire to fight. However, with Kagome settled between his legs and her bare skin available, he found his instincts pleasantly turned to other imperatives. “My senses are much stronger, but more tuned to distinguishing the changes in those closest to me.” He ran his nose along the slope of her neck to press under her ear and was gratified by the spike of passion in the air. Sesshomaru carefully pitched his voice to a tone that had proven to make her more receptive, “Even now I can smell you, Kagome, and I-”
“What…” she cleared her throat, embarrassed, but also excited, “What do I smell like?” He could not help himself, not that he wanted to, and growled against her skin. She shivered, only adding to his desire. He told her, not everything, but the most prominent parts of her scent that allowed him to know her. He whispered in her ear and licked at the rounded, human shell of it and spoke of his instincts.
“Your tears urge me to shelter you, to destroy the cause of your sadness. Your blood drives me to heal, to avenge,” he breathed deeply again, recognizing from a far-off memory the reason for her thickening scent, “even to-” He would have finished with, lay you bare and give you my seed and scent so all others will know you are mine. To make life within you. She cut him off with a question.
“What?” She said faintly. He pulled back just enough to watch her face. Her blue eyes looked everywhere but at him, and she seemed distracted. And not in the way he wanted her to be.
Sesshomaru thought he knew the reason. “Do not worry. Only a very few others will scent your cycle before it is fully upon you, and then you may remain in our quarters. It is as most canine youkai females do.”
“Cycle?” Her eyes widened, and then, “Others? Oh, hell, that wasn’t what worried me – although it does now.” Sesshomaru could feel the frown between his brows as her anxiety increased visibly. He did not see any issue. It was a sign of her ability to bare young, and inuyoukai were familiar with such bleeding. Females secluded themselves for a week at a time twice a year to avoid the discomfort of unfamiliar youki and urges that were difficult for males to repress. He vaguely recalled a discussion centuries ago when his own father had explained to him what such scents heralded and how to restrain the instinct that whispered to him that a female was not properly claimed and pupped. He felt certain he could control himself around his intended, and no other adult males would be allowed near her. It was only for a few days a year, he did not see a reason for her distress. “Jeez, here I was worried I hadn’t brought enough tampons with me,” her face was bright red and her eyes squeezed shut, “and now I find out that you can smell it. I won’t even start until tomorrow. Oh, hell. Just kill me now.”
Sesshomaru ignored the words he didn’t recognize and carefully tried to determine what she found disagreeable. “You are displeased.”
“Displeased?” She snorted, “Mortified. I’ll already feel achy and cranky. You know, and apparently everyone else will find me smelly too, and-”
“You believe it displeases me,” he said slowly, comprehension beginning to dawn. Her nod was emphatic, and Sesshomaru smiled. “Blood is not necessarily unpleasant to inu, Kagome.” He turned her chin up with the tips of his claws and waited for her eyes to blink open. “Underneath this form I am a creature of instinct. The scent of my enemy’s defeat. That is satisfying.” He leaned forward to brush her cheek with his lips. “The taste of a kill after a challenging hunt. That is good.” The drag of his skin on hers as he sought her mouth left a wake of his musk on her. “The sign that you are unfilled, your body waiting for me. That is provocative. Enticing.” The speed of her breath increased in warm puffs into his open mouth. Satsuma oranges and cinnamon wound around his head, making him nearly dizzy with need. Blood – not quite on the air, but so close – called to him. “Luscious.”
He swallowed her gasp and swept his tongue into her mouth. She was his; with every word and deed, every moment they were together, she became more his mate. His Lady. His everything. As I will be hers, he promised himself. The idea would have been distasteful a mere month ago, unthinkable a year ago. In centuries past, he would have summoned his dokkasou had anyone suggested he would pledge himself wholly to another. With Kagome, it was right and necessary.
The inside of her mouth was hot and delicious. He mapped the smooth walls of her cheeks and the blunt surface of her teeth. After a moment, she responded, reaching out with her own tongue to taste him with abandon. Her first lick brought a low growl out of him. Sesshomaru felt he should have become accustomed to his need for her, but instead he found a new dimension in his desire each time he was with her. It was no longer merely possession, not just physical connection and the desire to claim her emotions for himself. He could not name it, that deep-seated thing that yearned for her and had rooted itself at the center of his being. For the moment, he accepted it without examination.
“Sesshomaru,” she panted, breaking away from his mouth to suck in much needed air. Her cheeks were flushed pink, the lovely color trailed down the arch of her neck to dust her chest.
“I am inu, Ka-go-me,” he told her, abandoning his hold on her arm to drag his palm down her bare back. When he met the crumpled pile of her kimono he delved lower to find the scalloped edge of her undergarment. The tactile sensation of lace pulled tight across the cleft of her body sent blood pounding through his veins. His voice had dropped even lower and he unconsciously mirrored her lidded gaze as he dipped back to her mouth, “there is no part of you that displeases me.” The words were not enough, not nearly enough, to describe how she was to him. How he wanted her to be part of him – for him to be part of her. He nipped at her mouth and sucked lightly on the abused flesh, careful not to bruise her. “The taste of you here,” he said, licking her lip and teasing again with his fangs, “pleases me.”
He pressed his forehead against her throat and she collapsed backward over his arm with a moan. “The scent of you, here,” he ran his tongue across the place where her pulse fluttered, “pleases me.” With his free hand he found her ankles, tucked to the side of her. He pulled her legs out straight and leaned down to place a series of moist kisses along the lace on her breast. His hand skimmed up her leg to the bend of her knee, sweeping her kimono apart. The material fell to the floor, and he relished the sight of her, flushed and bare. He tucked her knee into the joint between his thumb and first finger, cupping the round column of her leg and sliding higher. “The feel of you, here,” his hand reached the crease between her leg and hip, “and here.” His claws traced the edge of lace over her heat until he found the damp center. “Here,” he whispered against her skin. He gave a slow, predatory lick to the hollow of her throat and copied the motion with his knuckles across her opening, drawing a gasp from her mouth and a rush of liquid between her legs. Her fingers clutched at his shoulders. “You please me.” He knew that only he was close enough, intimate enough, with Kagome to notice how her scent had changed and what it portended. Already, his instinct was to cover her with his scent and shield her from other males until her cycle was done. He could not imagine how much more difficult it would become to restrain himself if she ripened before they were mated.
“Sesshomaru,” she said with a tremulous laugh in her voice, “flattery will get you everywhere.” He looked up to see her watching him with a smile. The blue of her eyes had darkened with desire, but she also smelled of happiness and trust. The children were all in the ima taking lessons, and his servants and vassals knew better than to interrupt him, but Sesshomaru still snapped a barrier into place. His mother was still in residence, and she delighted in provoking a response from him.
He laid his intended down on the mat, smoothing her softest kimono beneath her to cushion her skin. “True words are not flattery, Kagome. But if you find it agreeable, I will speak more truths.” She laughed lightly and opened her mouth to, he did not doubt, argue. Sesshomaru did not wish to debate at the moment; no matter how enjoyable he found her voice, there were other things he wished to hear from her lips. Paramount of all his name and compliments to his person and skill. He silenced her with what he had intended to be a quick press of his mouth, but which quickly evolved into a deep, heated exchange. He could feel the heat from her pink cheeks, but her embarrassment did not stop her from dragging her palm from his shoulder to the back of his neck. She put her weight into pulling him down, and he allowed her to succeed, interested to see how far she would go if allowed to take the lead.
His miko did not disappoint – quite the opposite. She bit his lip, fairly hard for a human, but not enough to do more than rile his instincts and force him to tense his muscles rather than subject her to more brutally erotic treatment. He could not help but bare his teeth with a low growl to let her know to tread carefully. She responded by licking one fang and moaning against his mouth. In an instant, Sesshomaru hovered over her, barely restraining from grinding against her. Her legs had fallen open as they kissed, and he found himself pressed against her core. The liquid heat of her seeped through his kimono and urged him to take their liaison further, faster. He held his body back, but his youki delved into her as the rest of him ached to do.
Her response was instantaneous. His power touched her skin and her back arched, her mouth falling away from his. As youki pressed under her skin, she made a small, mewling whine that his blood reacted to. His heart beat painfully and swelled in concert with another part of him that was shamefully eager for her. Her head tipped back, displaying the bare arch of her neck to him; reiki poured from her. It tickled his senses and brushed against his skin, leaving the warm taste of salty sunshine in its wake. Sesshomaru had to struggle to recall what form of seduction he had been plying her with, as she had no need for such games. Kagome needed only to be present, and he was captivated.
“It is true…” He took a deep breath to savor her scent and almost forgot what he had been saying. “True that your smell pleases me.” Sesshomaru bent to brush his nose under her chin; her breath puffed against the crescent on his forehead and he closed his eyes in pleasure, resisting the urge to hold her more tightly to him. His claws twitched between her shoulder blades and he was reminded of how easily he could pierce her skin. The daiyoukai was familiar with the power he wielded over others; nearly all were laughably weak in comparison, their physical forms capable of damage with little effort on his part. It was a sobering reality to have to remind himself that Kagome, for all her immense power, could be too easily damaged. That she also knew of her vulnerability and still trusted him without question softened his instincts even as it hardened his desire.
He stroked her again with his knuckles, drawing another strangled sound of need from her. He wanted to hear more from her. He wanted her to make that sound and speak his name while he entered her. He wanted the cries of her release to echo in his ears. “It is true that your voice pleases me.” He kissed and licked his way down her throat. His fangs throbbed with the need to bite, but he knew he would not be able to maintain control if he took her flesh between his teeth. This was an act of control. An act nearing worship. With each touch and word he wanted her to know what she had become to him –would be to him for all time.
“Perhaps-” she gasped, interrupting herself when he swirled the tip of his tongue over the edge of her collarbone. Her swallow was audible, and he smiled against her skin even as he continued lower, finding the edge of her pearly lace and the ripe globe underneath. “I should talk more.” Her chest heaved as her breathing increased, her attempt at humor lost. He made a circle on the lace with his lips, avoiding the tight pink center that was begging for him. “Is that possible, for me to talk-oh!” He took her nipple into his mouth; the wet lace made a gentle abrasion between his tongue and her skin. He sucked gently and she moaned. His claws tensed again on her back. Her scent increased. Cinnamon was thick in the air, flavored with salt and sweet flowers. “More?” Her voice was thready and high pitched. He pressed the hardened bud against the roof of his mouth and pulled gently. “Sessho-mar-u!” Both her hands dove into his hair. Her blunt nails scraped along his scalp, sending tingles of pleasure down his spine and trying to pressure him into moving even closer. “More, please, Sessho-” He pulled back, easily ignoring the pitiful attempt to hold him in place. With his tongue, he held her peak in his mouth until the last moment, drawing her breast away from her body before letting her go. “Maru!” The bounce of her flesh, the desire she put into his broken name, and the expression on her face nearly shattered his reserve.
Sesshomaru could not have prevented himself from taking her other breast in his mouth if he had wanted to. And he did not want to. The flavor of her, even through the lace, brought his taste buds alive. Saliva eagerly pooled in his mouth and wet the fabric so that she twitched and let out a little moan when a tug of his teeth dragged it across her nipple. He laved at her, kneading his wet knuckles against her heat in time to the strokes of his tongue. He repeated the pull and release; the second time she could not manage his name, but only a strangled sound, “Sessss-!”
His own breathing was heavy, and he forced himself to fill his lungs deeply, evenly, as he kissed his way down her stomach. He swirled his tongue into the depression of her belly and stroked across to the curve of her waist. When his lips found the ridge of her hip, she giggled, then moaned. “Don’t, Sess-Sesshomaru, that tickles.” He raised his head to stare at her, only to find her eyes heavy-lidded and dark with desire. Her lips were red and swollen, but parted in a smile. He removed his hand from between her legs and watched her as he licked the knuckles on his first two fingers. The taste of her was light and sweet, salty and musky and had him ravenous for more. It was the expression on her face as she watched that pulled a low growl from him: her eyes widened and her tongue darted out to wet her lips before straight white teeth bit into the tender skin.
He knew she could feel the vibration of his growl, because her head fell back and he was nearly drenched in the scent of her desire. “It is true that your taste pleases me.” He wasn’t certain she would be able to understand him, his voice had fallen so low, but it did not matter any longer. He pressed his nose against her belly, easily finding the coppery scent of what was to come and the heavy overtone of passion on magnolias and cherry wood. He slid lower, the width of his shoulders forcing her legs wider. He kept his eyes on her face as he turned his mouth to the silky skin of her inner thigh. He licked, tasting salt, faint soap, and Kagome. The texture of her on his tongue was perfect and his body throbbed in time to the pulse of the vein in her leg. He grazed his teeth along her – not biting, but as close as he felt he could allow himself. He ran his claws lightly over her hip bone, drawing another startled laugh from her. While she was distracted, he smoothed his palm down her back to rest against the full swells of her bottom. He squeezed and tipped and displayed a feast for himself. Kagome gasped and her fingers tightened again in his hair, but he ignored her. When his lips connected with the wet lace it was like his first taste of cool water after a hard run, the first bite of food after a long fast. He lapped at her, his tongue flattening and widening to cover as much as possible and catch every drop of moisture. With a long, slow stroke he made his way to the bundle of nerves that was swollen in anticipation. Even through the obscuring material, he could easily see the dark shadow of her hair and the plump pink berry that begged for his mouth.
“More than pleasing,” he rumbled. He pressed an open-mouthed kiss on her mound and spoke directly into her, letting the rumble of his voice transfer to her most sensitive places. She shivered and moaned, legs trembling on either side of him. “Your taste is perfection.” He sealed his lips over her and applied suction, drawing his tongue up her bud and flicking across it. His chin grew wet and her fingers and legs tangled in his hair. The sharp tug against his scalp was barely registered past the sound of her pleasure in his ears and the musk of her honey. He was throbbing, aching, his body full and tight and primed for release. He denied himself, instead focusing on the hitch in her breath as he brought her closer to her end. He released his mouth, feeling the throb of blood surging into her tissue and the corresponding gush of liquid seeping through the lace. He both detested and loved the little sodden garment. It separated her flesh from him, but the nearly non-existent barrier also heightened her experience.
He licked her again and the fine weave of the fabric felt almost abrasive under his tongue. Kagome responded, her shoulders bowing off the floor and her strangled gasp ended abruptly with a high-pitched cry when he closed his lips around her again. He spoke in his native language, the growls and low sounds earning another burst of lusty-scent and sweet liquid. I will taste you each day, for eternity, and it will still not be enough. She whispered his name when he fastened on to the bundle of flesh that would finish her. Give yourself to me, mate. He pulled her berry against his teeth, hard, and licked her. She screamed, and he nearly found his own release at the sound.
Kagome wasn’t sure how long she lay on the floor, but when she opened her eyes her muscles where still quivering and faint green and red dots swam in her vision from squeezing her eyes so tightly shut. Sesshomaru lay next to her, propped on one elbow, his face close and studying her with a predatory gleam. She smiled at him, there was no way she could not have. Her entire body felt amazing: relaxed, comfortably sore, warm, and…wet. Slowly, the fuzz of orgasm began to wear off of her brain. Although the heat from Sesshomaru’s body was more than enough to keep her comfortable, she was aware of a rather large damp spot under her butt that was growing cool. That brought her attention to the shine of moisture on the daiyoukai’s chin. With one slow blink and two seconds of thought she realized what had caused that. She was mortified, and also unbearably pleased.
“You, ah, have…” Kagome tried to gesture, rather than actually say I came all over your face. The dance of silver hair across her bare skin sent a shiver through her, and she realized she had tangled her fingers quite hopelessly. “Oh, sorry?” Sesshomaru quirked an eyebrow, obviously not concerned. Kagome was beginning to feel like she should do something more, after all, he had applied himself extremely diligently to, well, her, and all she had done was scream oh, yes, Sesshomaru, yes and make knots in his hair. She figured he would no doubt rethink their relationship if she couldn’t be a better participant.
Those thoughts flew out of her mind when Sesshomaru squeezed her gently. He had one hand underneath her, cupping one cheek, and the other wrapped around her ribs, just under her breast. The sensation of strong hands and deadly claws stirred the embers that still burned low insider her. She watched Sesshomaru’s nostrils flair delicately and could not decide if she should feel fascinated or mortified. Then his tongue darted out, quickly, and ran over his chin. Her mouth fell open. His skin still glistened wetly, but he had obviously licked up any moisture she had caused. Why is that hot? Sweet mother of pearl. Her thoughts must have actually fallen out of her stupid, traitorous mouth, because Sesshomaru flashed a wicked grin at her. It was over before she could blink, but his lips were still tilted in prideful amusement.
“I do not doubt you will become accustomed to such a sight, Ka-go-me. You must, as I intend to indulge in your particular taste often.” The hand below her shifted and his thumb brushed across her panties, pushing the wet lace into her a fraction. It was almost abrasive. That, combined with the heat of his finger and her already sensitive tissue, sent lightning jolting though her.
“Ah!” Her hips bucked involuntarily, causing his claws to dig shallowly into her bottom and his thumb to rub just below her clit. She was just short of another orgasm, reeling from the sharp acceleration of her body from content and lethargic to more!now! in less than ten seconds. Her muscles tensed and she almost missed the flash of a wrinkle between his eyes.
“Perhaps, we might first untangle you,” he suggested dryly. Kagome felt her cheeks blush as he helped her to sit up. He was still fully clothed, while she was almost completely naked and a little sticky.
“It didn’t seem to bother you, before,” she muttered. With his help, she began to unwind silky hair from her fingers. It was completely unfair that as soon as he pulled on a loose end the strands relaxed and unspooled, cascading back to lie as if they had just been styled.
“Indeed,” he responded, humor evident in his tone. She wanted to take offense, she really did, but it was impossible after such expert oral sex. At least, Kagome assumed it was expert from the way his tongue made her forget her own name. Having never experienced anyone but Sesshomaru, she was just guessing. Her girlfriends in the future complained that it was like pulling teeth to get their boyfriends to head south, but Sesshomaru did so with alacrity. He certainly seemed to enjoy it, if the frequency was any indication. She was just beginning to consider that it would be only equitable if she were to reciprocate when he continued, “Your ferocity is not entirely unexpected, but still enormously stimulating.” He pressed closer, and she was immediately aware how enormously stimulating he found her. The bulge that pressed against her hip was sufficient to make her rethink reciprocating. As eager as she was to investigate Sesshomaru’s body in a non-clinical way, eager did not equate experienced. What he had in his hakama seemed to call for experience. Maybe some training. Is there a certification course for blow jobs, she thought wildly, even as her belly began to grow hot again with need and her mouth watered.
His eyes darkened as he freed the last strand of hair. “What are you thinking, my miko?”
“I, ah…” Kagome’s lips felt dry and her lungs tight with nerves. She wanted Sesshomaru, loved him. Hell, she was going to mate him unless something catastrophic made her change her mind. She didn’t understand why she was so anxious. “Don’t you have work to do?” she blurted, and immediately wanted to cover her face with her hands. Smooth, Higurashi, really smooth.
Sesshomaru tilted his head slightly, his expression unreadable. “There is always work to be done, although there is nothing currently needing my immediate attention.”
Except me, her mind screamed, her libido practically jumping up and down and waving. “So, would you, ah, have time for a…bath?” That wasn’t what she wanted to say. It really, really wasn’t. However, her courage failed her at the last second. He nodded slowly, and Kagome tried to convince herself that a bath would be good. She had done that with him before, and she probably needed one desperately. And he would be naked, and…her mind derailed for a moment. Thoughts of naked Sesshomaru battled with the sheer size of the hard length against her hip and won. How difficult can it be to seduce a daiyoukai? “Anything I can help you with?”
Kagome closed her eyes and groaned under a hot blush. Smooth.
Ko sat quietly at the edge of the encampment, ostensibly waiting for her lord to finish his review of the troops and the order he was devising with his lieutenant. The small whirlwinds that formed around her looked like nothing but unsettled youki – which was not unusual for anyone around the Northern Lord. Her power blew away the layer of snow that covered the ground under a large tree. The vegetation in the area was primarily coniferous, but with slow, steady application Ko finally found a ground creeping vine, buried under a layer of pine needles. The leaves were waxy, thick, and a risky, brief glance before she clouded her vision again revealed such a pale green as to be almost white. It would do nicely.
She pulled a leaf free, turning it in her hands as she listened. The nearest soldier was more than twenty feet away, he was quietly asking his companions if they thought the lord would be staying long. Further away was the group that had been training, their weapons silent and their weight surreptitiously shifting from foot to foot. Toward the center of camp was Ryukostokken. He stood with his back to her, she could tell from the way his voice projected, and asked questions of the lieutenant who had been tasked with scouting attack routes for the main army. It was near dusk, and her timing was as good as it was going to get. She picked a bead of lapis from a fold in her obi and crushed it in her hands. With a bit of snow added to make a paste, she smeared it onto the leaf. Her whirlwinds picked up the blue bit of art and it floated gently away, close to the ground at first, then rising swiftly once it had entered a thick stand of trees.
Ko scrubbed her hands as best she could with snow and then stood, tipping a branch heavy with the cold stuff onto the ground where she had been sitting. She pulled on her gloves and walked quietly into an open area to wait for the Dragon Lord to summon her. She had done all she could for the time being. If Kagome lived, she would receive the message and know that her allies were in danger. Perhaps the miko could send a warning to the hanyou Inuyasha, perhaps not. Of bigger concern to the wind youkai was how to deal with the newest development at the Northern shiro. Ryukostokken was plotting quietly, and that never boded well. While calm and collected, the dragon could rival the most devious strategists of history. There was also rumor that a witch had been summoned to the castle. Ko had not heard her arrive, but Wei had been spending an unusual amount of time in series of rooms far from his regular haunting area. The Lord wanted Kagome, and he was not one to give up when denied. Ko whispered a blessing for the miko; it would be better for Kagome to die than for Ryukostokken to gain power over her. Ko knew from experience.