Sesshomaru looked at the priestess with an expectant slightly raised eyebrow. He hadn't forgotten the reason he sought her out in the first place. Although he wasn't known for his patience he magnanimously decided to give her a moment to piece together her thoughts. After all, he had just mercilessly fucked her, and that never left a female with their wits about them. A small smirk tilted his lips for a moment, oh yes, he had truly given the woman a great time. Had he not placed her in the spring, he's sure she would have passed out on the ground just as she was. While that was a glorious sight, they needed to return to camp soon and no one needed to know about their...activity.

'I cannot remember the last time I was with a female that could handle my cock this well. The last one cried. It was rather uncomfortable. Before that, very few could actually handle me being fully sheathed within them and the few that could couldn't handle my vigor. The struggle of being well endowed never truly ceases I suppose. But this one, she took it and loved it, and her body begged for more. Are all humans like this, or is it just this one? Hn.'

The Daiyoukai was pulled from his musings when Kagome's tired voice made itself known.

"Lord Sesshomaru, here's the thing..."

Taking a deep breath Kagome prepared to herself to give this demon his answers as best as she could without lying.

'The things I get myself into...'

"...what happened while you were... in heat...well, it was by accident. I happened to end up in your safe zone and you sensed my presence. I didn't try to seduce you, or manipulate you. You just came out of nowhere practically and..."

The little priestess stopped there with a blush and cleared her throat so she could continue.

"...well you were already naked and didn't hesitate. I left as soon as you lost consciousness. You waking up with me beside you didn't sound like a good idea seeing as you have your reputation for hating humans, especially me because of Inuyasha."

Kagome waited on baited breath hoping that he believed her and didn't ask her anything else. She had actually managed to remove Naraku from the incident totally and hoped that he didn't notice.

"For me to have found you in lust as apposed to violence as you say priestess, you would've had to been aroused." Her blush deepened as he continued. "Have you given up on your infatuation with my half-brother? For I also sensed you were with a male, an equally aroused one."

'Shit. This guy misses nothing! Okay, this is going to be tricky.'

"Yea, there is nothing left between me and Inu other than friendship. And yes, there was a male besides you involved as well." she said slowly.

"It was an unfamiliar one. I couldn't even identify its specie." he replied.

"No, no one knows him but me. I was with him when you found us."

"Curious then that he allowed me to partake in your pleasures without so much as a fight." At that last sentence the demon lord sensed a rapid rise in her arousal even as she attempted to focus on the surrounding foliage. Interesting how vocal she could be during their rut but now she was so amazingly shy.

"Ah, well, he doesn't mind sharing." she said, her thoughts spiraling down back into debauchery.

"Hn, and you? Did you not protest such attentions?" he said, his dick beginning to stir from possible future activities with this nymph.

Giving him a smoldering look, one which took him aback slightly, she told him the truth.


Oh, how he would have loved to just bend her over and take her all over again, but their time grew very short and soon that half-breed would come for her. He couldn't fuck her again, but he could leave her wanting. With a smirk he made his way slowly towards her and trapped her between his arms. Her delicious scent was making him dizzy with want, but thankfully he had restraint. Leaning into her ear shell he whispered.

"Hn. I can't wait to test your resolve then, Kagome." and finished with a nibble on her earlobe before exiting the spring in a matter of seconds.

The splash of water shook her from her stupor and looking to her left she saw him redressing himself. Damn, his ass was perfect. Shaking herself from his little parting message she realized that he had just said something to her again.

"I'm sorry, what was that?"

"Bathe quickly priestess, the hanyo will soon track you down. I sense his presence at camp." he said before taking his leave. It wasn't until he had left the clearing completely that she noticed that he didn't wear a fundoshi. That was sooo hot. Such easy access..

'Gah! Kagome focus girl, you know if Inuyasha doesn't see you at camp he will find you and if you smell like sex and Sesshomaru when he does then you're in BIG TROUBLE!'

Nodding to herself in affirmative she quickly and efficiently got cleansed, dressed and made he way back to camp. The nagging feeling that something wasn't quite right had crept up on her as she was walking back to her pack, and she wondered what it could have been. She had been getting them for a little over a week now and they were always far away. Almost as if it was a peripheral intuition that was sensing them. It wasn't like when she sensed danger, but like she knew something was going on somewhere else.

Finally she entered the clearing that was currently housing all of her friends and looking around noticed that Sesshomaru wasn't there. That was not really a bad things seeing as just looking at him did things to her and considering what they had just done it would be WAY worse.

In the center of the camp it looked like meat on spits were almost finished cooking and the smell made her stomach rumble.

'Looks like Inu caught something good tonight.' she thought to herself. Even thought she was bone tired from her voracious escapade with the demon lord, she was also starving. After all, she burned A LOT of calories.

The rest of the night went on with enjoying each others company and reminiscing on old times when Rin and Shippo would absolutely torture Jaken. The toad didn't comment outright but he did mumble a few things beneath his breath that sounded suspiciously like 'they are still evil'. The activities took her mind off of that gnawing feeling like always, and just as they were preparing for sleep Inuyasha made an announcement.

"We're heading back to Edo first thing in the morning, so get your shit packed and ready to go 'cause I'm leaving whether you're ready or not."

The group exchanged puzzled looks but didn't say anything. They just nodded in acquiescence and prepared their things for their journey the next morning. Once Kagome was settled into her sleeping bag, she discreetly looked over at Inuyasha and recognized the look of worry that painted his face. Maybe they were both sensing the same thing. If they were, what could it even be that they had in common that they were both feeling unsettled? It was just then that a flash of Kikyo's face went through her mind.

'Ah, that could be it. She has a piece of my freakin' soul, and they are mates so maybe she has something to do with it. I guess we'll find out when we get to Edo.' she thought with a large yawn before her fatigue lulled her into a deep sleep.

When everyone was finally sleeping Inuyasha allowed himself to slump against the tree. It was exhausting pretending to be calm when you're worried. Lately he had been having this strange feeling, like something had changed in the atmosphere around him. It wasn't a dark feeling, but he He immediately thought of Kikyo. Though they weren't complete mates, he liked to think that their bond surpassed the physical realm and was a spiritual tie. Needless to say, he was worried that something had happened to her on her journey. It was possible, but he knew her. She was strong, brave, and could handle anything.

Even so, he didn't want anything to happen to her. It was nagging him more now more than ever for some reason. It started a few days after Kagome had come back from her time. It felt like the wind had been knocked out of him at first and he was left completely confused. Since then he has felt like something was different, like something had changed. He just had no clue as to what it could of been.

'Kikyo, please be alright. I hate being fuckin' woried about ya. It makes me crazy. But you knew that, didn't you? If anything did happen, you would go to Edo, like you have done the last few times. So that's where we're headed now. If we find shards along the way it would be great, but if not I don't really give a shit. I just gotta know if you're alright.' he said to himself.

Just then the sharp sting of a powerful aura invaded his senses and his eyes snapped open. Seated at the base of the adjacent tree was Sesshomaru. Now he knew that that asshole knew how to completely mask his aura, so when he felt him flare his power it was completely intentional. The prick. Sitting there like he had been there for hours. Who the hell did he think he was showing up out of nowhere! Then again, there's a good chance that he had arrived earlier when his silent musings had him preoccupied. Damn it, he hated that fucker.

"What was that for asshole?" Inuyasha said low enough for his half-brother to hear and not wake the others.

"I find it prudent that those on watch be awake and aware. Perhaps that is why your priestess was taken in the first place. The lack of guard would make all those in your pack easy prey." Sesshomaru said condescendingly.

" Keh, whatever jackass." Inuyasha replied disinterestedly once more becoming lost in his own silent musings.

It surprised Sesshomaru even though he didn't show it that he hadn't goaded the little runt into a fight. Damn, and he really wanted to hit something too. The demon Lord was actually frustrated at the moment and could have used a little bit of physical activity to ease his mind. Alas, it was not meant to happen.

When he left Kagome in the springs, he removed himself from her line of sight but never truly left the clearing. Instead he watched. He watched her clean herself off and considered her a moment. She was rather beautiful despite her species, and her body was amazing. He had to know if she was an exception to the typical humans he encountered so often, or if any other one could handle his dick as well or even better.

Finding his way to a human whore house that one of his vassals knew about, he watched from afar as the women who were supposed to be beautiful for humans looked rather dull and ugly compared to the priestess. Their bodies were all practically showing and he could see that they were not all as well proportioned as she was. To be quite honest they all seemed softer then demon women but were ugly in comparison.

He also saw that the average size of human men's cocks were achingly small in comparison to his and those women seemed to be having a hard time dealing with them and they were well experienced. The largest one he found was possibly only 7 inches long full erect and barely thick. It was pathetic really. No wonder why human women decided to seek out demons for play. Even so, he was so large that even demon females had trouble.

After a while one of the females wandered out of the whore house and into the woods. Deciding that he would test his theory personally he followed her until she was far enough away from her den. Sneaking up behind her he covered her eyes and pushed her chest against a nearby tree. Whispering close to her ear he propositioned her and she nodded.

This is where he came to realize that although this whore and Kagome shared the same specie, they were worlds apart. She had just cleansed herself before leaving but although she was clean, she did not taste as well, and her smell was no where near as pleasant. Then when it came to the act, she was just like the female demons he'd rutted. Whiney, and too snug a fit. She was unable to take him all in, and in fact he was able to smell that he was drawing blood from within and she'd probably die this night like many bitches before her.

Deciding to make it quick his claws pierced her inner thighs at her arteries making her death quick and painless and using the last vivid memory of Kagome's tight pussy he pounded deep within into the whores still warm body until he came deep and hard. Three more times he experamented with the human women and it was all the same results.

Even after unleashing his load several times, Lord Sesshomaru was frustrated. He disposed of the bodies with his poison and washed himself in the spring that the priestess had been occupying. When he got back to camp his mind was in a kind of turmoil. What were the odds that the best possible bed partner he'd ever had was a human priestess? It had to be some kind of cosmic joke played on him by his dead father. The again after sampling Kagome, it's possible his human Izayoi was as rarely accommodating.

Looking up at the hanyo, he found it hard to hate the little bastard after knowing the bliss that created him. It would be quite to blame his father anymore. Demon seed is potent, and from his newfound experience he realized that pulling out was not even an option.

'Hn, is this runt sleeping? Some guard.'

Sitting down at the base of a nearby tree he waited a few moments before shocking the hell out of Inuyasha with his youki. The inital bite of shock from the halfling was amusing, and just as he'd hoped for a chance to pick a fight and ease his tension, the little worm didn't take the bait. Damn. Taking a moment to scan over the camp he sought out his pup to see her sleeping beside Ah-Un. A small frown marred his face when he realized that the kit was also sleeping by the dragon steed. He was not directly next to Rin, but it was upsetting that his only daughter was growing up.

Then there was the priestess, snug in her sleeping sack. Her face was the picture of serenity and peace. Hard to even believe that she was capable of being the seductress that he had rutted earlier that night. She was powerful for a human, resilient even, and quite necessary when it comes to defeating Naraku. How she could maintain her purity after her virginity was taken he had no idea but what did it matter? She had her uses. In battle and in bed. A sweet morsel she was.

He had to find a way to keep her. He had once attempted to have concubines, but well, his cock killed them or they were too ambitious and wanted his position, and then his claws killed them. Perhaps with this one when this is all over he could make some accommodations for her. She wouldn't be his mate. His power was not to be shared, but a companionable fuck-toy, now that was a true prize.

'She has no idea what this One has in store for her, but I believe I will be testing her boundaries soon.'

Allowing his eyes to close he decided to take a light rest. He was a little bit tired after todays events, and no doubt tomorrow may just be as eventful if he got his way with the priestess again.

His personal hot springs was surely becoming his most favored place in the whole palace. Not because it was relaxing although it did help, but because of the fond new memories he gained that revolved around it. Naraku smirked to himself. The sweet pleasures of the flesh had tainted him for sure. And he had once planned on never experiencing such things to deify himself. Chuckling he at least admitted to himself that was glad he succombed. Especially after the little treat he just had a front row seat to. Oh his Kagome was quite the vixen. Surely he had no idea that she had it in her before the cavein. Of course before then she was just a brat and nusense causing his trouble in his pursuits. Now, he knew better. She was trouble no doubt, but not because she was a hinderance, but because she was a beacon of light in his darkness.

So pure, that even when he took her she remained radiant. He had begun to get to know the priestess on an intimate level and somehow connected with her. How? She was his opposite in every way. She was good, he was vile. She helped all those in need and never asked for anything in return. He struck a foul bargain with many and destroyed their lives in the process. She couldn't fathom the taking of lives, whether they be the innocent or their deaths were necessary for the safety of her pack. He would kill anyone without a second thought. His hands were full of blood. He was a cruel, merciless demon, well half demon anyways, and she was a beautiful angel. His dirty hands should never even hope to touch the soles of her feet for she is so far above him and not deserving of the foulness that his existence brought, and she knows this but still wrapped her loving arms around him and embraced his misery.

He is not worthy of her, but she stays anyways. The sight of her smiling face he will always hold precious, and the scent of her despair he will also never forget. It was the worst thing that he had to endure sending her away like that. Never, will she smell that way again. Never. Sighing deeply he finished up his bath and headed back into his quarters and lay down on his futon. The pillow beside him still had her scent. Taking a deep breath he imagined she was right there beside him and within moments he was in the world of dreams.

*** Dream Begins ***

It was dark, darker than its been for a long time. Something was missing, what was it? Through the blackness he was surrounded by the scent of burnt and rotting flesh. It had been a long time but he knew exactly what that smell belonged to, or rather whom it belonged to. A high pitch cracking voice suddenly made itself known.

'NARAKU! Have you for gotten your purpose, vile filth?!'

Turning on his heel, the spider hanyo looked all around for the source of the voice.

'Oh yes, I know whats going on in that head of yours. After all, we are one, are we not?'

Naraku really didn't like the tone his human half was using with him. He was attempting to control his dreamscape and even trying to intimidate him. Fool, one they are, but not equals, not by a long shot. Now he knew that he could just as easily banish Onigumo to his inner prison, but wanted to see what this arsehole was playing at and maybe play around with his other-half's consciousness as well.

'Whatever do you mean, scabby one? I am not quite sure I understand your question.

'You know what I am saying! You are with that whore! She isn't Kikyo! We don't want anyone but her! How could...'

'Be silent! I do as I please, and you cannot stop me. You're weak AND pathetic, which is exactly why you summoned all of those demons to devour you. Well you got what you paid for, but now I am in charge fool.'

A psychotic cackle began to issue from Onigumo. 'Are you sure that I am the weak one? Who was is that so easily gave into the basest desires of the flesh? Who is it that allowed that prissy little bitch to infect us with feelings? Who exactly was is that has fallen so easily for the one that seeks the downfall of the very empire of death we are to create?!'

Anger began to boil within Naraku because he couldn't exactly deny any of those accusations.

'You are not good! You are made as evil, and evil shall you do! It is your purpose! Did you forget who you are?! Have you forgotten what you REALLY love? Let me refresh your memory friend then!'

Instantly images of death and chaos were racing through his minds eye. Blood and violence done by his hands, pain and devastation that was all lain down at his feet. He saw himself laughing in glee at the smell of fear and defeat and for the first time felt sick to his stomach. Had he been awake he surely would have vomited. Scenes of brutal carnage continued to filter through his senses as if he was reliving them all over again. He hated enjoying the feelings of hate and malice that drove him to commit such atrocious acts! He hated that he always felt forced to do it, but eventually felt pleasure at performing those unspeakable things!

He hated the depravity that he caused and hated himself for enjoying it. He deserved to know nothing but death, he was evil. He was vile. He was dirt. He was merely a puppet and instrument himself to his disgusting desires. No better then the slaves he created. He shouldn't be allowed to live anymore. Not as a reluctant monster, not as anything. Darkness began to cloud his vision and he could feel that hollowness in his chest begin to grow anew.

He would never rule the world and he knew it. Onigumo didn't believe in any other option than success, but Naraku knew better. He simply wanted to die in it's attempt. He was a damned creature since his creation and knew that he would die in pursuit of his darker half's dream of world domination and didn't care.

Then as that gnawing darkness began to consume him once more, a small dim ray of light shone in the distance. So far away he almost didn't even notice it. That distant light spun his eyes, and he wanted to turn away from it, but something within himself was desperately yearning to go towards it. He had to make a choice, he knew he had to, and yet he was unsure. Should he succumb to the blackness that was already again tainting his soul, or should he go towards the dim glow of hope that resonated in the distance. The memory of Kagome's smiling face, the first smile she ever gave him, suddenly flashed in his mind and immediately he knew what he had to do.

He turned from the darkness and began his journey to the light, towards his hope of a real future with Kagome.

Instantaneously fierce tendrils of pain began to claw at his chest, but still he walked foreword. Wave after wave of vicious assaults landed upon his person as well as visions of destruction simultaneously attacking his mind, but still he fought against them, fought to move forward. The closer he got to the light the harder it became for him to move and the more vivid was those tortuous images. Still he moved on. The light was so near now. So close was that preciously dim hope that he could be more than the murderous hanyo doomed to die.

His whole being vibrated with anguish as he stumbled and crawled towards that precious spark of hope, and once he finally reached out to touch it, a voice in the back of his mind screamed furiously as his entire world exploded in light.

When he managed to open his eyes again, Naraku realized he was still dreaming somehow. It wasn't so hard to decipher he was still dreaming. After all, he was sitting near the ocean. Wondering why he didn't merely wake up after that whole event, he began to slowly sit up. He was glad he tried slowly because his body hurt like a bitch! It was preposterous!

The sound of sniffles somehow appeared beside him and as he turned he truly didn't expect what he found. Standing beside his sitting form, was a beautifully heartbroken woman. She was dressed full on battle regalia, but it didn't take away from her breathtaking appearance. This woman he instinctively knew to be Midoriko, but she for some reason looked exactly like his own beloved priestess. The only difference was her tear stained green eyes.

Before he could think to move or speak she knelt in front of him with a teary smile and took a hold of his right hand. Softly she began to speak.

'Never, in all of the time that I have been imprisoned in the Shikon no Tama have I seen a dark soul struggle so hard to come to the light. A light that was fleeting, so very far away, and so small. Never has a soul attempted to reach that dying light, and never have they fought through the sheer agony that plagued them if they dare try. Not a single one. No soul had ever dare touch that redeeming light. Not until tonight, and out of all of those it could have been, it was you who had the courage.

'Many a soul has said they want to change, and many have claimed pure motives. But there is something that no one knows about the Sacred Jewel. It is not simply handling it that can corrupt the holder, but the trial that makes itself known. You see, the Shikon no Tama is a powerful object simply because it magnifies the power of the handler, whether it be of good or bad. It has no sentience. It releases a strong current that enhances its holder regardless of good or evil. What is the true corruption is when the holder is tested by us and falls into the darkness. I am the light of the Shikon, and the host of demons are the darkness. There are more of them, so they surround you in blackness and vileness, and temp you into the acceptance of that blackness by whatever means necessary.

'They use the selfishness of the holder against them to bring them into the dark and keep them there. I am the distant light, the one chance of freedom they can possess, but I am selfless and cannot persuade like the darkness can. I show you the method of your salvation, and it's up to you if it is worth it. If it's worth everything that comes after. The pain, the trial, everything. That is the trial of the Tama. That is why all those who possess it turn to darkness, because it is easier to accept the evil, than to endure for the good.'

Furrowing his brow, Naraku decided now was a good time for questions, and there was one he was dying to know.

'Why do you look like my Kagome?'

A joyous laugh sounded from her and she wiped the remaining tears from her eyes.

'Well, because she is your light. She is what you endured for, and she is who you'd respond to. You have never seen me, and my body is no more. I have to create an image for you to speak with, else you'd be speaking to a small glowing orb.'

Nodding his head he continued.

'So in essence you're telling me that the whole time I've had my portion of the sacred jewel I was not the one corrupting it?'

Another laugh even louder than the one before issued from Midoriko.

'You thought you had the power to corrupt souls as powerful as ours that actually created it to begin with?' As irritating as it was enthralling, her laughter spilled out of her.

'Goodness, that was funny. Well, no, you see that is the illusion of the jewel and for good reason. We only test ones that are powerful, not those that are weak. The weak ones tend to loose their hold on sanity due to the power and their lives along with it.'

Naraku nodded his head in understanding.

'So, what is to become of me? I thought this was all just a dream, so what does it all mean?'

With one last bright smile, Midoriko closed her eyes and began to chant and Naraku's vision once again went to white.

A/N: WOW, I am becoming the fan of cliff hangers! I'm such a cruel mistress, but you still love me! You have to if you're still reading this! xoxo

- MindlessMina