BlueMoon Goddess: Hello guys, I'm here with a brand new Inuyasha x Kagome fic! I know, I know, I have other stories…however, it's the New Year and it deserves a brand new fic. Plus, one of my other stories will be done soon and so I usually start new ones once I finish an old one. Now enough with that, let's get into the chapter shall we?

Disclaimer: I don't own InuYasha, its characters, or the story 'Tempt me at Midnight' by Maureen Smith, which this fic is based on.

Summary: They were best friends since high school. But after the kiss they shared on New Year's Eve, feelings and desires he's never felt before come rushing in. Can he convince her that what they're feeling is real, that their meant to be more than just friends?

The grand ballroom was a sea of masks. Black, white, sequined and feathered masks everywhere Kagome looked. As she wadded through the crowd of revelers, excitement pulsed through her veins. In half an hour the clock would strike midnight, ushering in a new year. And Kagome could think of no better way to celebrate than by attending a masquerade ball at a luxurious chateau owned by one of her good friends, famous fashion designer, Cajsa Waldemar.

The glitzy soiree was the hottest ticket in California every year, attended by everyone who was anyone from the fashion industry and the business world alike. Which meant that Kagome could be rubbing elbows with the likes of some important figures without even―

A man in a feathered black mask suddenly jostled her, murmuring apologetically. "Excuse me, I wasn't watching were I was going. Are you alright?"

Kagome smiled beneath the jeweled white mask that covered the upper half of her own face. "Yes, I'm fine, don't worry about it." She assured him, the words rolling smoothly off her tongue.

The stranger returned her smile before moving off into the sea of masks. She continued across the crowded room, taking in the sights and sounds as if she'd just arrived at the party. A canopy of twinkling lights hung from the frescoed ceiling, and ornate wall tapestries and marble columns evoked the grandeur of the French Renaissance. A fifteen piece orchestra performed a dreamy Viennese waltz that had lured many couples onto the dance floor, the swirl of white ball gowns transforming the scene into a shimmering fairyland.

As Kagome paused to watch the dancers, she couldn't help wishing she had a date that evening. What could be more romantic than ringing in the New Year wrapped in the arms of a man she loved? But she'd been woefully unlucky in that department, so tonight she was flying solo.

A soft smile curved her mouth when two of her closest friends, Miroku and Sango Morrow, whirled into her line of sight. Miroku was handsome in a black tuxedo, while Sango was positively radiant in a long white gown that flowed gently over her protruding belly. Being eight months pregnant hadn't slowed her down that evening. Her head was thrown back in laughter as her husband twirled her gracefully around the dance floor.

As Kagome watched the happy couple, she thought of the missing member of their group. Inuyasha Takahashi had called last night to let them know he'd be unable to join them, citing an unexpected development in one of his upcoming court cases. She had been sorely disappointed. Inuyasha was her best friend and over the years they'd attended numerous parties together, often serving as each other's mock date. Not that he ever had any trouble finding real dates. The man was a veritable chick magnet. If he'd been at tonight's ball, he would've spent the evening surrounded by gorgeous, leggy women the entire evening. God knows there were plenty in attendance. Still, despite his popularity with the ladies, Kagome had always known she could count on him to save her a dance or two. Later on tonight, she'll be sure to give him an earful for abandoning her.

With one last envious glance at the dancing couples, she made her way across the ballroom toward a row of French doors that opened onto an ivy-draped terrace. She'd decided to ring in the New Year outside on the balcony, which was preferable to remaining indoors, where she'd be surrounded by couples kissing and embracing at the stroke of midnight.

When she reached the doors to the terrace, she was relieved to see that it was deserted. The cool temperature had undoubtedly deterred the other guests from wandering out there to steal a romantic moment under the stars or enjoy the breathtaking view of the beautifully landscaped gardens and lush vineyards.

Standing at the white stone balustrade, she closed her eyes and inhaled the crisp night air. She almost imagined she could detect the scents of lavender and fermenting grapes that would permeate the Californian countryside during later months.

Belatedly, she realized that the orchestra had stopped playing inside the ballroom. An air of hushed excitement swept over the crowd moments before Cajsa's voice came over the loudspeaker. "Hello, friends and guests. I hope all of you are having a fabulous time this evening."

She paused, chuckling softly as a chorus of cheers and applause went around the room. "Ladies and gentlemen, we're just minutes away from ringing in a new year. If you haven't already, please be sure to take a flute of champagne from one of the servers circulating around the room. After all, you can't toast the New Year empty-handed."

Glancing down at her empty hands clasped over the balustrade, Kagome smiled ruefully.

"For those of you who have never attended one of my New Year's masquerade balls." Cajsa continued. "I observe a very simple tradition. At the stroke of midnight, everyone removes their masks and reveals themselves. So without further ado, I'd like to wish all of you a wonderful New Year. May you experience love, good fortune, joy and laughter…and have plenty of hot, mind-blowing sex!"

Kagome grinned as the crowd roared with laughter and applauded in approval. Then the revelers joined together to belt out the last ten seconds of the countdown. "….seven, six, five, four, three, two―"

As fireworks erupted into the night sky, a pair of arms curved around Kagome's waist and swept her around. She had only a fleeting glimpse of a black mask before the stranger lowered his head. She gasped at the shock of soft, warm lips covering hers. Her first instinct was to jerk away, but the sudden onslaught of pleasure engulfing her body made it impossible for her to move.

The stranger increased the pressure of his mouth against hers as his hands slid up her back, holding her close against his hard, slender frame. Dazedly her mind registered that he was tall, and he tasted delicious, an irresistible combination of peppermint spice and man. Her blood ignited and her heart thundered furiously. This stranger, whoever he was, could kiss like no other man she'd ever kissed before.

As he traced the shape of her lips with his tongue, violent pulses of sensation charged through her body. She opened her mouth and his tongue dipped inside, lazily stroking hers. A tiny sound caught in her throat, a whimper of pleasure. He deepened the kiss, exploring her mouth with slow, sensual licks that left her quaking all over. She arched against him, craving more. But all too soon, he released her and lifted his head. Disoriented, Kagome swayed on her feet before strong hands gently gripped her upper arms, steadying her. She opened her eyes slowly.

"Happy New Year." A familiar voice greeted her.

She went rigid, her eyes widening in shock. "Inuyasha?"

Slowly he reached up and removed his mask. A kaleidoscope of bright colors flashed across his wickedly handsome face, a face she knew almost as well as her own.

She staggered backward, stunned and shaken. "W-What do you think you're doing?"

"Wishing you a Happy New Year." Inuyasha murmured.

"You couldn't do that without kissing me?" She cried in exasperated disbelief.

Another burst of fireworks illuminated the devilish gleam in his golden eyes. "Come now." He drawled. "What's a little kiss between old friends?"

Kagome gasped at him. There'd been nothing remotely little about that kiss. Hell, her knees were still knocking together from it. "That wasn't some chaste peck on the lips, Inuyasha." She said darkly. "You French-kissed me."

His eyes glimmered with amusement. "We're in California."

"So what!"

One broad shoulder shrugged. "When in France―well in this case, in California..."

She shook her head, her eyes narrowing suspiciously on his face. "Have you been drinking?"

"No." He said with a laugh, slipping his hands into his pants pockets. He looked like a million bucks in a classic black tuxedo that fit his body like a dream.

"What're you doing here anyway?" She grumbled. "I thought you couldn't make it."

"Things changed."

"Like what?"

Instead of answering, he took a step toward her. Alarmed, she backed away until she came up against the stone balustrade. Trapped, she stared up at him, afraid he might try to kiss her again. "Inuyasha―"

"Relax." He reached out, gently pulling her white, glittered mask off her face. She'd completely forgotten she was wearing one and now she felt utterly exposed without it.

Inuyasha set the mask down on the banister. His lazy gaze raked over her, taking in the low neckline and cinched waist of her strapless white gown before sliding back up to her face. "You look beautiful Kag." He murmured.

"Thanks." She inhaled deeply, appalled by how uneven her breath was, how hard it was to draw air into her lungs. "Cajsa had a gown designed for me. I really lucked up by having a friend who is a famous fashion mogul."

Inuyasha's eyes glinted wickedly. "That was one hell of a toast she made. Words to live by."

At the memory of Cajsa's admonition to her guests to have "plenty of hot, mind-blowing sex," Kagome flushed deeply, a reaction that confused her. Normally she would've laughed and made some quip about Inuyasha's notoriously overactive sex life.

But tonight, she could only manage a noncommittal "Hmmm."

Inside the ballroom, the orchestra was playing an extended version of "Auld Lang Syne" as the unmasked partygoers milled around laughing, shaking hands and exchanging good wishes. Some had drifted toward the French doors to watch the fireworks display. However, no one attempted to join the two occupants of the terrace.

Kagome dragged in another deep breath, striving for composure. "When did you arrive?" She asked him.

"About half an hour ago." Smiling, he touched her face. "I've been looking for you ever since."

She swallowed hard. "Yeah?"


"Well now that you found me, you can get back to the party. In case you haven't noticed, there's a roomful of women who are just waiting to be debauched. As a matter of fact, one of them, who I believe is a supermodel, just walked by. I think you caught her eye."

She waited for him to take the bait and glance over his shoulder to catch a glimpse of the woman in question. To her surprise, his gaze never strayed from hers.

Frowning, she reached up and laid her hand across his forehead as if to check his temperature. "Are you feeling okay?"

He chuckled softly. "I feel fine."

"Are you sure? You don't seem like yourself. Maybe you're jet-lagged, or―"

"Maybe I'm just happy to see you." He finished.

The warm, undertone of his voice skated along her nerve endings and quickened her heart rate. She gave him a wobbly smile. "I'm happy to see you too." And she really was. She just wished they hadn't gotten off to such a nerve-racking start. That kiss…oh God, if that searing kiss was any indication of Inuyasha's prowess as a lover, it was no wonder he couldn't keep women out of his bed.

"You owe me a dance." He told her.

She shook her head quickly, maybe too quickly. But she couldn't help it. The thought of being in his arms again scared her senseless. "Sorry, but you'll have to take a rain check. My feet are killing me in these heels."

"So take them off."

"Wouldn't do much good. The damage has already been done. Besides, I was planning to cut out soon anyway. Cajsa had me and running around all day, so I'm exhausted." To demonstrate, she covered her mouth to stifle what she hoped was a convincingly huge yawn.

Inuyasha tsk-tsked her. "Spoilsport."

She grinned. "Hey, it's not my fault you got here late. But don't worry, I'm leaving you in good hands. The supermodel I just mentioned? Don't look now, but she's back. And it's a damn good thing we're not involved, or I'd have to kick her ass for stalking my man."

Laughing, Inuyasha sent a lazy glance over his shoulder. The gorgeous woman, slim and exquisitely tall, hovered near the terrace doors. She met Inuyasha's gaze, smiled coyly and fluttered her fingers in a wave.

He flashed her a smile before returning his attention to Kagome. "I'm staying in the room next to yours." Which was the last thing she wanted to hear. "If you're still awake when I come up, maybe we can play cards or something."

Kagome forced out a laugh. "Trust me, I won't be awake. And something tells me you won't be thinking about cards by the time you make it back to your room." She added with a meaningful glance over his shoulder.


"Oh look, there's Miroku and Sango!" She exclaimed, grateful for the distraction. "They told me they'd be heading to bed right after midnight. I'll walk out with them. Night Inu." Pressing a quick kiss to his cheek, she slipped from between him and the balustrade and hurried across the terrace.

Although she was retiring early, she didn't expect to get much sleep. The memory of Inuyasha's kiss would keep her awake tonight, and for many nights to come.

BlueMoon Goddess: Well we're already off to a good start, don't you think? Certainly a way to bring in the New Year! Anyway, let me know what you guys think by reviewing, until next time guys and Happy New Year!