Disclaimer: All rights to Inuyasha and any other related material belong to Rumiko Takahashi, not me.

Summary: Inuyasha cheats and winds up becoming a father-to-be. He's faced with giving up his entire life, including his long-time girlfriend Kikyo, to become the father that he never had. He's too afraid to tell the truth…but will the mother of his child keep things interesting? Inuyasha/Kagome, rated M for mature content.

Thanks for reading!I hope you enjoy. Reviews are always appreciated.

Chapter One: Insecurities


Kagome covered her ears as three sets of voices descended mercilessly on her eardrums, intensifying a headache that was already unbearable. "Not so loud," she moaned, cradling her aching head. From the look on her friends' faces they could care less that she had the hangover from Hell. Reproach was all she could see where pity should have been.

"I can't believe you, Kagome! You slept with a demon?" Eri demanded, her voice near hysteria.

"Half-demon, actually."

"Half-demon," Yuka repeated with a sneer. "That's even worse!" Ayumi said nothing, but her lips were pressed together in a thoughtful frown.

"Oh, come on you guys. That outlook is so medieval. Human and demon couples are everywhere these days. Why is it so unusual that I slept with one?" Even as Kagome said this, she felt her face heating up. In fact, it was unusual for her to sleep with anyone at all, considering the night before had been her first time. Her friends didn't know this, at least not in so many words. Their discussions about sex were usually pretty vague, at least on Kagome's part. Feeling a strong desire to defend herself partly out of embarrassment and partly out of pride she said, "Besides, he was better than any human I've had."

This time it was four sets of eyes peering at her skeptically. Sango had been politely quiet during Yuka, Eri, and Ayumi's outburst, but at this statement she was forced to pin her with a glare that said, You're lying. Sango was the only one who explicitly knew of Kagome's inexperience, but the other girls wore expressions of doubt that made Kagome flush.

"Tell me you at least used protection," Ayumi begged, always the responsible friend.

"You don't have to use protection with a demon," Sango answered for Kagome, who had slumped back onto the table fighting a wave of nausea. "Demons can decide whether or not they want to impregnate someone."

Yuka and Eri gave out two identical squeals of disgust. "Kagome, that's so gross! What if the demon you slept with last night decided to impregnate you?"

Kagome picked her head up off the table with monumental effort and said, "Not so loud. And believe me, he didn't." She let her head thump back onto the table with a thud.

"How do you know though?" Eri pressed. "Maybe he was too drunk to be in control of it?"

"When a demon reaches a certain level of intoxication, their bodies immediately shut down the ability to impregnate," Sango answered again. Kagome suddenly felt quite lucky that her best friend was majoring in Demon Studies at the local university. She had to admit, she had never expected her friend's expertise to be of any use to her personally.

She still found it hard to believe that she was no longer a virgin. She certainly never thought it would be a demon who would take her virginity, although this wasn't due to some silly prejudice like the one her friends carried. Her surprise was based more on the wonder that a demon would ever want her. Although human and demon couples were becoming more common, most demons stuck to their own kind. Even beyond that, Kagome hardly found herself extraordinary enough to entice a demon into her bed. But he had been half-demon hadn't he? Maybe that's why he'd come stumbling across the bar, sloppily flirting with her until they'd called a cab and ended up in her queen-size. He was just as much human as he was demon, after all.

Or maybe he had just been horny, and she had been there.

Kagome wasn't too concerned about it. Her memory of the night's events were fuzzy, and the bed had been empty when she woke. She doubted she would ever see him again. It had been nice, though, having warm arms around her as she fell asleep. The sex had been even nicer, even if it was a bit uncharacteristic of her.

"Yes, but Kagome said he was only half-demon. Doesn't that change the rules?" Yuka's voice snapped Kagome from her reverie.

This, Sango wouldn't know. "I'm not sure. I've only studied full demons in my courses. Half-demons are kind of a taboo subject. We only covered them enough to really define them."

"So, what if half-demons reproduce just like humans?" Ayumi said around lip of her coffee cup.

It took a moment for Kagome to catch on to what her friend was trying to say, due to her hangover. But when she finally did understand the implications, that her half-demon had no control over who he impregnated, she felt panic blossom across her chest and straight into her heart. If that was the case, and Kagome hadn't used any protection, then she could very well wind up pregnant. And Kagome clearly remembered the lack of protection, not to mention the fact that he hadn't pulled out either. She had begun sobering up some by that point, and those memories were especially poignant.

Sango caught the frightened look in her friend's eyes and the choking sound she was making as she attempted to form words and she graciously took the attention away by knocking her cola to the floor, causing the rest of the girls to jump and hastily begin helping her clean the mess.

Kagome hadn't thought of that. Yes, he was half-demon. But he was also half-human. Which traits did he inherit from which parents?

She felt a sudden claustrophobia about the little coffee shop they had been sipping lattes in for the better half of the morning. She jumped up, her chair sliding noisily across the floor, and said, "I've got to go. I'm not feeling so well." The girls looked like they wanted to stop her, but they were all busy mopping up the mess Sango had made with soggy napkins.

She bolted. Outside, in the cold air of early January, she felt somewhat better. She could breathe, at least.

Okay, Kagome, calm down, she chanted to herself. You're making a big deal out of nothing. Who's to say that he can't decide which girls he wants to get pregnant? Maybe he inherited that demon trait after all. He certainly had demonic strength and stamina and ohhh…Don't get distracted! And even if he can't do that…well, maybe there is still some small chance that nothing happened. Maybe you weren't ovulating and it just didn't take! Yeah, that's probably what happened. Or maybe the alcohol in your blood killed all the little sperm off. You certainly drank enough to sterilize just about anything that entered you last night.

She continued this line of thought as she hopped on the bus headed for town. She had been sitting next to an old woman who smelled like old jelly beans - sickly-sweet but definitely rotten - for fifteen minutes when another frightening idea occurred to her. What was she going to do if she did end up getting pregnant? She didn't know how to get in contact with the half-demon from last night. She couldn't even remember his name, although she vaguely remembered him telling it to her. And beyond that, how could she have a baby with a complete stranger?

By the time the bus lurched to a stop a block away from her apartment complex she was practically sweating with dread. She'd never given a second thought to using protection last night, for the knowledge that demons could impregnate at will, or had specific times where they could, was quite common to those who had bothered to investigate them. The fact that he was only half-demon should have registered to her, even in her drunken state, but thanks to her rotten luck she was only now realizing what an idiot she had been.

What had she been thinking anyway? Drinking herself into a stupor at a bar was low of her. Having unprotected sex with a complete stranger was absolutely despicable of her. And even though it mattered little to her, the fact that said stranger was a half-demon was enough to ruin her reputation forever. It wasn't that she cared what people thought of her, but she knew in her heart that she wasn't that kind of girl. She had only gone out to drink away her first week of exams, the stress of all the studying and worrying. How had she ended up making such a huge mistake?

She remembered having insecure thoughts as she and the half-demon had begun to undress each other. All her life she'd been called a prude, too pure for her own good. She was in college after all. She should at least be dating guys. But it seemed like every guy she met was only after one thing, and that thing was not something she was willing to give away to just anyone. Bet they would be mad to hear that she had given it away to a half-demon who she met at a bar one drunken night.

She dug her keys out of her purse as the elevator doors slid open on to her floor. At the end of the hall apartment nine-oh-five stood waiting for her with a warm bed, tablets of painkillers, and an endless supply of gourmet coffee that her mom had gifted her over the holidays. She had yet to try the gingerbread flavor, and she hoped it was good for hangovers.

Thoughts of potential pregnancy would have to wait until her brain could function properly again.


"You did what?" The look on Miroku's face was a combination of admiration, disgust, and amusement all at the same time. It was enough to put Inuyasha's teeth on edge.

"Do I need to repeat myself, pervert? I slept with a human girl who I met at the bar last night. End of story," Inuyasha replied tersely.

"No, my friend, not end of story. How did this happen? I mean…what about Kikyo?" Miroku could tell that he hit a nerve, because Inuyasha's mouth twisted into a scowl even as his ears flattened against his head in shame.

His half-demon friend and roommate picked at the toast on his plate. Going to the breakfast diner had been his idea, but he found that he couldn't stomach any food right now, not with a huge knot of worry weighing it down. Not knowing what to say back he snapped, "What about her?" There was no response for a while, and when Inuyasha finally risked a glance at his dark-haired friend he flinched at the look of reproach.

"Don't tell me you weren't planning on mentioning this transgression, Inuyasha."

Silence met the inquiring brown eyes of Miroku, the modern day monk who traveled from shrine to shrine offering guidance and blessings to its visitors. "Buddha forgive you," he said, shaking his head.

"What am I supposed to say! If I tell her that I cheated on her she's gonna leave me for sure, 'specially after the way we've been arguing lately."

"I wouldn't expect any less of her, Inuyasha. In fact, I'll be very disappointed in her if she doesn't leave you. I know that's tough, but you should have thought of that before you bedded down with another woman." Miroku's calm and logic were things that Inuyasha both admired and hated him for. He knew all too well how to use those against him when the opportunities arose, and never failed to at any and every chance.

"It ain't my fault she looked just like Kikyo!" Inuyasha growled back in frustration before shoveling scrambled eggs in his mouth angrily. His appetite grew along with his annoyance.

"Wait, are you telling me you expect me to believe that you mistook this girl for Kikyo? I knew you were dumb, Inuyasha, but that's just ridiculous even for your standards," Miroku replied.

"No, monk! I didn't mistake her for Kikyo. I was drunk and angry with Kikyo over some dumb fight. That was why I was there in the first place! And she was just sitting there by herself…and before I knew it…I was waking up in her bed this morning." Inuyasha dropped his head into his hands as he finished recounting, in short terms, the events of last night. Despite his irritation at the monk he truly felt miserable for betraying his long-time girlfriend like that. He had always thought that cheaters were complete assholes who didn't deserve the people they cheated on, and he was only perpetuating that truth.

Miroku's voice was a bit less accusatory when he spoke next. "Well, what do you plan to do?"

After a moment of quiet reflection Inuyasha mumbled, "Is it really that bad if I just pretend like it never happened and don't tell her?"

Miroku didn't seem to like the idea but he answered, "Well, Inuyasha…I suppose the real question is can you go on being with Kikyo while she's in the dark about the whole situation? If you can do that, then there really isn't any reason to bring it to her attention, because I'm quite certain she will leave you if she ever finds out. Just keep in mind…you would want to know if Kikyo slept with another man."

Inuyasha grimaced at the very thought of Kikyo sleeping with someone else. Of course, she would never be able to get away with something like that. His keen sense of smell would alert him to any indiscretions. But Kikyo didn't have a keen sense of smell, and that thought made him feel ten times worse. She could go the rest of her life never knowing, feeling content that he'd never gone out on her. He'd be playing her for a fool, taking advantage of her human weaknesses.

But could he really just come out and tell her what happened? He didn't want to lose the most important person in his life. Even if their relationship had gotten rocky over the past couple of months, ever since she'd started med school, he still loved her a great deal. But he truly didn't deserve someone as great as her after the way he'd acted last night.

He could still taste the human girl on his lips, even after repeated attempts to wash her away. It was true; she had looked a great deal like Kikyo, yet softer somehow with an innocence that was endearing. Despite even his love for his girlfriend he couldn't suppress the memories of that girl's legs wrapped tightly around his waist as she trembled through her very first orgasm. He could tell it from the way she acted; she was as inexperienced as they come. She had the body of a sex goddess: moon-pale skin, lusty curves that spoke of a maturity she didn't possess in demeanor, and bedroom eyes like he'd never seen. And oh, the passion. She had a passion that Kikyo lacked sometimes in the bedroom. He hated to compare his girlfriend to his one-night stand, but he couldn't seem to get her out of his head.

Certain moments, anyway. A heated glance from underneath midnight lashes. A helpless whimper as she abandoned her innocence in lieu of darker, more seductive things. And then, her face radiant with the light of dawn, just before he'd sprinted out the door. All he could think to give her as an apology for drunkenly taking her innocence, for leaving before the sun had even risen completely, for making her an unwilling participant in his betrayal, was a soft kiss on the temple.

"I guess I'll have to tell her," he finally managed to say after careful deliberation. Miroku gave him a sad but encouraging smile and paid the bill.

"I guess so."

The two friends parted ways. Miroku was headed out for a day of spreading Buddha's word to the people of Japan. Inuyasha, on the other hand, would never be caught working on a Saturday, although he supposed his friend didn't consider it work to counsel people at various shrines. It would probably do him some good to accompany him someday; especially after the earful Kikyo was about to give him.

She was doing volunteer work at a local walk-in clinic until later that evening, so he supposed he had until then to prepare the speech that would break her heart.

God, Inuyasha. You've really screwed it up this time, haven't you? he thought as he jumped on the bus.


It was later that evening when Kagome was finally feeling up to staying awake for a substantial amount of time. The painkillers coupled with innumerable glasses of water were finally getting her back to her normal level of hydration, effectively squashing her hangover symptoms. Problem was, no more hangover symptoms meant a painfully clear head to think with. To think about certain subjects that she really didn't want to have to deal with.

Letting out a sigh she wished that she had the half-demon's number, so she could at least call and ask him about her situation. Even if he told her that there was a possibility she could be pregnant, at least she would know for sure instead of pacing the apartment over and over. If she didn't stop soon, there were going to be ruts in the floor.

After an hour of alternating between pacing, sipping water, and trying, to no avail, to settle down to some TV, the phone was ringing and Sango's soothing voice was on the other end.

"I'm sorry, Kagome," she said guiltily, "I honestly didn't even think about that possibility. If I'd thought of it sooner you wouldn't have been put on the spot in front of those harpies."

Kagome ignored Sango's nickname for her three friends. The older girl had never had a liking for them, and Kagome didn't really blame her. But they had all grown up together, and despite their annoying tendencies she still considered them her friends. "It isn't your fault, Sango. How were you supposed to know that I would go and do something stupid like that?"

"Oh, Kagome…it wasn't stupid. You never go out and have a good time. All our friends have been begging you to come and party with them for years hoping you would hook up with some guy. They're just mad because they didn't get to hand pick him for you, and thank God for that. If it was up to them you and Hojo would be going steady by now."

Kagome let herself smile a little. As mean as it was, Hojo had been the butt of their jokes since they started college. He was just so eager and understanding…almost to a fault. They all kidded her that she could personally run over him in a semi-truck and he would just smile and ask if he could walk her home, wounds and all.

"I know it's not like other girls my age don't have one night stands but…I figured if I ever met a guy at a bar we would start dating. I can't even remember his name, Sango. Something about that just feels so wrong. Who is he? What is his life like? I mean, what if he is a really bad person? Or worse, what if he is a really good person and I took advantage of his drunkenness? Suppose he has a girlfriend?"

There was a murmur of consent from the other line. "It's not that I don't agree with you Kagome, but like you said: You won't ever see him again. So just enjoy the memories while they're still fresh and don't worry too much about how this has impacted his feelings. I'm sure he feels blessed by Buddha himself to have gotten you in the sack." Following this was Sango's musical laughter and Kagome found herself smiling despite it all.

"What's that supposed to mean?" she kidded back. "Are you trying to say that it takes nothing short of a miracle to get me to sleep with someone? Because the last time I checked, you haven't been accepting any offers either."

Kagome could practically feel the heat from Sango's face radiating over the phone line as she sputtered helplessly on the other end. Part of her felt bad for teasing her friend who had come to her rescue just earlier that morning at the coffee shop, so she quickly switched subjects.

"Anyways, are we still on for that study group with Ayame and the others tomorrow? I could definitely use a distraction," she said as she began preparing a bland meal of rice and steamed vegetables.

"Yes, but…well, it wasn't my idea, but somehow Kouga got invited," Sango said with clear disdain in her voice. "You know how Ayame is…she invites him to everything. As if he hasn't made it clear enough who he really likes."

Kagome rolled her eyes. Last night was a clear indication of how much she liked Kouga back. Kouga and Ayame were two of the few demon friends that she had, and they did a good deal of studying together despite her other friends' misconceptions about demons. He'd been propositioning her since their first college class together, Chemistry 1010, and she'd never even glanced his way. Then a stranger, albeit a beautiful one, waltzes into a bar and automatically lands her in the bed. Wouldn't he have a fit if he found that out?

Speaking of which, "Can you promise not to tell anyone about last night, Sango? I know that you probably won't, but I won't be able to sleep unless I know that my dirty laundry won't be aired out all over campus tomorrow."

"Of course, Kagome. Let's just hope those brainless pigeons have the decency to keep their beaks closed too," she said with a scowl in her voice. Kagome shook her head in half amusement and half exasperation.

"They may be a little ditzy, but they would never do anything to hurt my reputation. They've spent their whole lives protecting it! But, here's to crossed fingers," Kagome replied.

"Right," Sango replied doubtfully. "But you better wash up really good to avoid Ayame and Kouga finding out. They can smell that stuff, you know."

Kagome hadn't thought of that. With a sigh she wondered why it was so difficult to hide something nowadays.

The two girls finished their conversation and hung up. Immediately Kagome missed the company. This was one night that she didn't want to spend alone and unwinding, as she did most others. She needed a distraction in the worst way possible. After glancing about the room at her TV, the stereo, the treadmill in the corner, and the dishes that sorely needed doing, she decided a bath could probably help her relax.

As she drew the bath, pouring in a decent amount of the peach bubble bath Sango had given her two birthdays ago, she dug out the homework that needed doing. Ever since she was young she had done her homework in the bath. Homework stressed her out more than anything else, and baths were the remedy for that. Put them together, and out came a very levelheaded Kagome, a rare occurrence.

Kagome had briefly considered majoring in Demon Studies like her friend. They were an interesting race whose existence had only been revealed a century or so ago. At first it was complete chaos among her own race. Demons were powerful, beautiful, and persuasive. They could have easily taken over Japan and the rest of the world as well, if they had wanted. But back then, demons had little concern for the modern world. They were much more concerned with animals and nature, as it was this that constituted their spirits.

By the time the demons realized that the humans were progressing, too many of their kind had died off to stand against them. Thus, they decided to live in peace beside the humans. It hadn't been an easy path, and racism unlike any Kagome had ever witnessed was rampant all over the world. Even Sango, who spent all day studying them, sometimes spoke of them with an air of disdain. As it turned out, Sango's ancestors were a group of demon slayers who exterminated a large population of demons during The Great Revealing. She went back and forth on feeling extreme pride in her ancestors' accomplishments, and feeling great shame.

Despite their fascinating nature, demons hadn't been able to pull her from her one true love: history. Kagome had grown up on a shrine where her grandfather constantly told her stories of ancient Japan, and sometimes even other places on the globe. Most of them were simply folktales with little to no factual content, but they sparked within her a great curiosity for the past. With a wistful smile she pulled out her ridiculously heavy ancient history book and plopped it on a small little table she had set up tub-side. Unfortunately the best way to learn about the past was reading, and her teachers took complete advantage of the fact: assigning fifty to a hundred pages every other day. She'd gotten used to the workload and knew to start early, so it didn't bother her that she would spend her Saturday night catching up on homework. In fact, she felt as though she deserved it somehow, after her antics the previous night.

Kagome sank down into the bath, keeping a towel nearby so she could wipe her hands when she needed to turn a page. The more she thought about what happened the guiltier she felt, and not just because there was a chance she could be pregnant. It was wrong of her to go to bed with someone she didn't know. Even against Sango's reassurances and her mind's own treacherous thoughts about how wonderful it had been, she knew it was wrong. She should have saved that night for someone she really cared about.

She honestly couldn't even say what had ended her up in that bar. Stress, yes. But there had to have been something else. Maybe feeling defensive against the friends who constantly reminded her she was a prude? Or maybe it was knowing in her heart that she really was one…and wanting to prove to herself that she could have fun too. But after it was all said and done she simply felt dirty. She had proved it alright. She could be as loose as the rest of them once the pressure got to her.

Abandoning her attempt at being productive, Kagome laid her head down on the book's pages, trying to glean some comfort from its knowledge, but none came. She kept imagining the half-demon she'd been with and wondering what he was like outside of the bedroom and outside of hazy drunkenness. Was he a nice person? Was he dating? Married? Did he have kids? With each thought she buried her head deeper into her arms, the glossy smell of newly printed pages filling up her nose. She tried to take Sango's advice and simply relish in the memories of them together. But each and every one was tinged with a cool layer of shame.

With a sigh she laid back in the bath, all intentions of studying forgotten. She supposed that all she could hope for was that the half-demon hadn't been in a relationship. If he had, then it was his own mistake for seducing her…wasn't it? She shook her head, causing midnight tresses to fall from her loose bun and into the steaming water.

Let's just hope I never see him again, she thought.


I hope I never see her again, Inuyasha grumbled to himself as he paced his apartment for the hundredth time. Only ten minutes until Kikyo was supposed to be there, and he was sweating bullets. Even as he thought this, he knew it wasn't the girl's fault. If anything, she was just as much a victim in his betrayal as Kikyo was. She'd given her innocence to a cheating bastard who didn't have the decency to leave a phone number or anything. She probably hated him. He definitely wouldn't blame her.

The half-demon forced himself to perch on the edge of the sofa, gripping his clawed hands together tightly to keep from ripping up the carpet in nervous frustration. Miroku had kindly vacated the apartment; he had said something about visiting his friend and mentor Mushin. That meant that it would just be Inuyasha and Kikyo, alone. Inuyasha frowned and began shaking his leg in irritation. Why was he so scared? The most she could do was leave him. The shaking stopped and Inuyasha hung his head in defeat. That was exactly why he was so scared. He'd spent a long time building a relationship with Kikyo, and it was about to crumble in mere minutes.

He'd met Kikyo just months after he'd finished trade school for blacksmithing and weaponry. At the time, she'd still been finishing up her pre-med which left her little time for a boyfriend. He'd just joined on at a small blade-smith as well, but he didn't let either of those factors deter him. She was the first woman he'd met who hadn't been immediately repulsed that he was a half-demon, something worse than demon and not as good as human. She had always been kind to him, even flirting at times when no one else was around.

After months of repeated attempts at asking her out, she finally agreed. After that she seemed to somehow make time for him in her busy schedule, sometimes skipping homework or staying up late to the point of exhaustion the next day. Things got much easier when she finished pre-med. She had taken a year off at that point to spend time with him and to take a break from the demanding world of medicine. It was only just recently that she had gone back to school, and already they had begun to fight. The truth was, he just couldn't stand her giving her time to something else. And now she'd never want to see him again.

An almost inaudible whine escaped the half-dog-demon as a dull pain began to swell in his heart. He'd been pushing it away with anger, irritation, and worry all day, but the clock was ticking, counting down the last few moments he had left with the woman he loved. After several minutes of reflective silence, his ears picked up on her heels clicking across the linoleum outside his apartment. He was already at the door when she knocked, but he took a moment to open it anyway. His palms were sweaty as he grasped the brass handle, making it slippery, but he wrenched the door open anyway.

And there she was, smiling tiredly at him from beneath the fringe of her bangs. "Hi, sorry I'm late. I got stuck at the clinic just as I was…leaving…what's wrong, Inuyasha?"

Inuyasha could only stand there looking at her, ears drooping in complete shame. Here she was, apologizing for being late because she was taking the time out of her weekend to volunteer at a clinic. Last night she had stayed home to cram for an upcoming medical exam, and what had he done? He'd slept with another woman. He still couldn't believe he'd really done it. One minute he was angrily thinking about doing it, just to spite her. The next he was walking up to the girl who gave him a pleasantly surprised smile, as if every guy in the bar wasn't drooling over her. And then, he'd lost himself in her completely. Once he'd tasted her, Kikyo had never even crossed his mind. Steeling himself against the urge to lie so he wouldn't lose her, he moved out of her way to let her inside.

She walked inside slowly, a worried look on her face. A look that said she was expecting the worst: the truth. "Let's go into the living room," she suggested in a calm voice, and he found himself trailing helplessly after her until they both sat down on the couch.

"What's going on?" she said. Inuyasha could tell that her features were carefully schooled, like a doctor's, but her heartbeat was ringing erratically in his ears. He could smell her begin to sweat, see the tension in her muscles. She swallowed, her delicate throat contracting with the effort.

"Kikyo…there's something I need to tell you," he said, his ears flattened to his head in shame. Could he really say the words? They felt lodged in his throat.

For several long moments they waited in silence. She was waiting for him to continue and he was waiting for her to prompt him to. With a weary sigh she reached up to rub her eyes in frustration. "Are you going to keep me waiting?" she asked with a humorless laugh.

"Last night I went to a bar…" he started. Inuyasha clenched his teeth as he said these words, ashamed to hear them from his own mouth. How could he have done this to the most important person in his life? He was a complete asshole. He'd completely used and betrayed two women in the course of forty-eight hours, and he had no one to blame but himself.

She was looking at him sadly, waiting for him to finish his sentence as if she already knew what he would say.

"I went to a bar…and…there was a girl…she…we…" as he sputtered for words, Kikyo began to chew her lower lip, something she often did when holding back tears. Sure enough the smell of salt hit him, that god-awful smell, the smell that he'd failed her again.

Thinking quickly he said, "There was a girl there…she was so upset that there was a half-demon in the bar that she got some of her friends to come over and try to scare me a bit and well…things got a bit rough. The police were involved some, but after looking at everything they decided that it was their fault and they let me go. But the bar owner doesn't want me coming back ever. I just…thought you should know."

As he finished he felt shame like none other wash over him mingled with bittersweet relief. He felt like a piece of shit for lying to her, but the relieved smile that worked its way across the her pale, tired face fortified his last-minute decision. There was no way he could tell her what happened. Not only would she never forgive him, but some part of him told him she'd never recover.

He watched her collect herself, her shoulders relaxing. "I'm so glad that no one was hurt," she said with a laugh laced with respite. "I suppose if anyone was, especially if you were involved, the girls at the hospital would've told me. Are you okay?"

"Fine," he said, swallowing hard. Could he get any lower? As much as he tried to fight the prejudices against half-demons he was beginning to think he was every last thing people had called him since he was old enough to care to listen.




End of Chapter One. Read and review, please!