Chapter 10

Game of Seduction

Could it even constitute as a date? She tried to wave it out of her head but the thought persisted as she drove to her late father's building. No, it was more like he wanted to be thrifty (despite the fact that his father owns millions) and she was conveniently around. Yeah, that has to be it. She gave a snort to herself as she drove into her designated parking space. The great Sesshoumaru asking her on a date? She gave another snort as she stepped out of her car. Yoshihiro was already waiting for her and gave a bow as he held out an arm for her to take. She laid her arm gently on top of his and he led her to the elevator that would take them to her new office.

"So, any details I should know about presiding over my father's company?" Kagome asked as the machine sped to the top. Yoshihiro looked thoughtfully at her.

"Your previous school was very adamant about learning business and the fact that you took several other classes on economics will be excellently useful. There is little this old advisor can advise you on, Miss Higurashi."

"Mou," Kagome pouted. "Yoshihiro-san, I know you still got some wisdom left to teach me."

Yoshihiro gave a small laugh as the elevator came to a stop on the top floor. The door smoothly slid open to reveal an opulent hallway. Her advisor led her off to the right to the conference room where a dozen CEO's and other high status members were waiting. The room grew silent as she stepped in and sat in the presidential chair her father once to occupy. A few eyes were neutral, very few giving approval, and many were skeptical. Typical, of course old men don't like having teenage girls being their boss. With that thought Kagome cleared her throat and started the speech she had practiced for hours last night.

"I would first like to start by thanking each and every one of you for the unquestionable loyalty and dedication you have shown to my father. It is my sincere hope that you will someday bestow the same honor to me, but I am aware that like every other person in this room, I will have to work in order to gain that position."

The tense air of the room lightened somewhat with her words and a few of the doubtful eyes turned warmer.

"I am sure that many of us in this room are aware of how lazy and presumptuous young adults can be, especially when a few of us in the process of raising them right now." A man said and a few others nodded their head in agreement. "How will we know that the company won't go under because of your inexperienced leadership?"

"Age is but a number, Mr. Harashi, but I agree with you when you say that I am inexperienced." Kagome replied and the man gave a slightly surprised look. "I have taken the classes and I have been given the lectures, but the knowledge that I've gained in the past is useless when it comes to reality. Which is why I am entreating all of you to help this company reach new limits and take it farther than my father ever dreamed of. As a president at seventeen years old, I know I'm provoking a few of your 'older is wiser' opinions but it is my expectation that by banishing all barriers, we will not be separated by old and young but be united by one goal, making this company prosperous."

"You're still young, how do we know you aren't going to submit to childish whims and throw everything away?" Harashi complained but the gruff old man sitting beside him smacked the younger man with his cane.

"Oh hush, Harashi, and stop your bellyaching. We will see if our expectations of the new president can be met before the president's expectation of us can be achieved." The old man looked at Kagome intensely but she didn't fidget under his eyes and only met him stare for stare. He gave a quick wink before smacking Harashi again with his cane to sit down. Kagome looked around the room again.

"If you have any questions at all, I would be happy to answer them." She concluded and the meeting was over. Yoshihiro patted her on the back as she stood up and Kagome let out the breath she had been holding.

"You did very well for your first meeting, your own father couldn't have done better. Now all we can do is wait and see which ones will acquiesce to change." He said as they started to walk to Kagome office. She gave a confident smile to her advisor before she bowed to her secretary. The aged woman gave a cheerful grin and handed Kagome a few memos.

"Welcome to the office, dearie." She said and went back to answering calls.

Kagome placed her hands on her hips as she surveyed her office. Brown desk, brown bookcases, brown chairs, brown wood floors, brown everything.

"I don't think my father has ever heard of an interior decorator," Kagome stated as she pushed the heavy brown curtains aside to let some light in. "Or color either." She squinted at the bright sunlight that quickly flooded the room. "The first order of the day is to redecorate this office or else I'll spend all of my days in this office in gloominess."

With a bow of his head, Yoshihiro left the room and closed the doors behind him. She stared at the desk for a few minutes, surveying the immense leather chair with speculative eyes. Did she really deserve her father's position? His will had left her the company, but why didn't he choose a more senior member? Or better yet, Yoshihiro?

She spurned the chair to look at the long window gracing the office. She pressed her forehead against the glass and looked down at the antlike pedestrians sprawling the sidewalks. Of all the people who had met her in her life, nobody knew herself like she did. She knew she could be stubborn to the point where she was pigheaded. She knew that she wasn't forgiving and she often made foolish decisions. In short, she lacked the qualities that made a true president of the company. Harashi was probably right, she might bring the company to ruin but at least she could console herself with the thought that it was in her hands and not that narrow-minded CEO. She whirled around to face that immense chair once more, giving the inanimate object a more careful review with her eyes. Gently, she grazed her fingers over the supple leather and slowly sat herself down. There was a content sigh from the chair as she settled back and twirled the chair to face the front. She placed her hands on the desk and gave her most severe look at the empty room. She felt a strange void open inside, sucking in all emotion till all she could feel was apprehension.

line break (Ok, I don't understand 's weird horizontal breaks that don't even work, so just put up with this for now)

She rubbed her forehead and tried to concentrate on the small stack of folders placed in front of her. She had finally removed most of her father's old things, keeping only the immense desk and the sleek leather chair. Everything was replaced with something that kept her office from feeling like a stuffy brown world.

"Higurashi-san." Her secretary called from the small intercom on her desk. "Harashi-sama requests a brief moment of your time."

"Please send him in, Shizu-san." Kagome said.

The door quickly opened and Harashi stepped in, his face still holding a look of displeasure. He had a folder of papers tucked under his arm and he walked towards her with an air of purpose. Kagome beckoned him to take the chair in front of her desk and she folded her hands on top of the desk, looking as professional as she could. She had a strong feeling that this "brief moment" of her time would be to relay some kind of irrelevant complaint about the company, or even herself. Did this man ever give up?

"Is there something I can do for you, Mr. Harashi?" She said pleasantly.

"I'm here to hand in my resignation. I refuse to work under some little girl and I will not be surprised if this company falls under your care." He spat out as he threw his resignation papers onto her desk. "I can already see the doom of this prosperous company in your pretty little face."

He quickly got up and walked out the office, leaving her glaring at his back. Of all the… calling her a little girl and referring to her physical features! Did she really prick the pride of men by simply being at a higher status than them? At least Harashi was no longer a thorn on her side, though she had a funny feeling that she was going to see him again in the future, and not in a good way either.

She stashed the folders into her briefcase and stretched, her work for the day done. She glanced at her watch, it was well past dinnertime and she was in no mood to go home and prepare a late dinner. It looked like she was eating out tonight, alone as usual. She grabbed her coat and took a taxi to her favorite sushi restaurant, a quaint place with an exclusivity that was worth the extra money. The friendly waiter placed her in a corner to give her privacy and a leather bound menu filled with items jumping up and beyond a normal price range. Kagome waved away the menu, having already memorized her order by heart. She was just leaning back and soaking in the relaxing atmosphere when she spotted a too familiar silver haired man escorting a black haired beauty. The woman had her back turned to Kagome but the man didn't. She gave a scowl…Sesshoumaru. What were the chances that they would go to the same restaurant in the same night? Highly unlikely, but she was beginning to strongly dislike the odds that kept putting them together within a twenty foot vicinity.

She ducked her head and concentrated on the expensive tablecloth that covered the cherry wood table. Maybe if she stayed like this all throughout dinner, he wouldn't see her face and bother her. There was a cough and Kagome looked up to see the waiter holding a bottle of wine and a delicate wineglass.

"Compliments from the young man with the silver hair. He requests that you think of him when you drink it." The waiter quoted, then gave a bow and left.

Wine, or any kind of alcohol for that matter, had never suited her taste buds but perhaps this was the perfect moment to show her dislike of him. She poured herself a liberal amount of the liquid and took a large sip. She could feel her face showing the bitterness that was nestling uncomfortably in her mouth and her mouth tightened in a grimace. She glanced over to see Sesshoumaru and nearly spewed out the whole mess when she saw the clear irritation written in his face. She quickly swallowed and scrunched her face to the disgusting aftertaste it left. Thankfully, her food arrived right after and she popped a nigiri in her mouth to chase away the nasty taste of alcohol. She kept her eyes on her food the whole time, avoiding any kind of eye contact with Sesshoumaru. Once she was done, she hurriedly paid for her food and left with a sneaky look at Sesshoumaru. Once outside, she pulled her jacket closer and began walking down the street to look for a taxi. The giggle she had been holding down finally escaped her mouth as she remembered Sesshoumaru's face; he had clearly received her message. True, it was childish, but there was still something about him that rubbed the wrong way on her.

"Did you think that was funny?" A deep voice growled out to her. Kagome turned around to see Sesshoumaru himself standing out in the cold with his hands deep in his pockets. His face had been carefully wiped clean of the irritation from before but his mouth was set in a thin line.

"To be completely honest…yes." She said with a grin. "Was that woman your girlfriend?"

She immediately wished she could have taken those words back. His face had been emotionless before, but now it dropped to a mask of absolute nothingness. It was as if he had taken everything human from himself and hidden it someplace deep inside. Amber eyes grew frosty and empty and even his whole body seemed to draw inwards to itself, repelling anything earthly or humane. His eyes filtered through her and she stayed frozen in her spot, too captivated by her first encounter of heartlessness to move from his set gaze. He whirled around, his long black coat billowing behind him like a menacing cape, and began to stalk down the dark street.

"Wait!" Kagome called out, running after him. "I'm sorry if I said something wrong."

He didn't stop and she could feel her temper starting to heat up her cheeks.

"Hey, I apologized; you could at least show some courtesy back!" She said.

He whirled around again, this time with a snap of anger, and strided over to her. Grabbing her chin, his lips descended on hers hungrily and desperately. She smacked hard at his chest several times for him to let go but he pried her mouth open and forcefully probed his tongue in and she could feel that despite his rough kissing, there was no emotion in what he was doing. She thrusted her knee into his crotch and rammed her elbow into his face, making him fall on his back. She placed her foot on his chest to keep him down and grimaced at the stream of blood flowing from his face.

"Frankly, Sesshoumaru, I don't know how much more of this confusion I can take. This game of seduction that you're trying to pull will never succeed, so stop before you humiliate yourself even further." She said coldly.

He leaned forward with the support of his arms and stared up at her with those wintry gold eyes that should have burned with passion, rather than being consumed by a desolate fire.

"Seducing you? Don't flatter yourself," He stood up and wiped the blood from his nose with the sleeve of his priceless camel wool coat. "You were already mine to begin with."

She could feel herself turning bright red at his comment and she hated herself for it. She could feel her whole insides burning and her anger increased exponentially. Gritting her teeth, she found no words to retaliate, which left her with something she rarely ever did, turning around and walking away. She tried to walk as smoothly as she could but her shoes made agitated clicks on the sidewalk. Her face grew redder as Sesshoumaru's laugh filled the night.

(line break)

She ran up and down the torturous stairs with her arms overflowing with decorations for the winter festival. Somehow, Sango had managed to talk her into taking part in club activities. Yet, while Sango had been placed in decorating the classrooms, Kagome had been relegated to manual labor. A gang member of Kikyo's stuck a foot out and Kagome felt herself falling as she arrived on the fourth floor, the carefully made snowmen flying in the air above her. Cursing herself for her carelessness, Kagome turned the fall into a roll and quickly kneeled upright to catch the snowmen fluttering about. Sesshoumaru stood above her with nearly all the snowmen in his hands, a smirk staining that annoyingly handsome face. Her aversion towards him would be so much easier if he hadn't been so good looking. She hopped to her feet and snatched the decorations out of his hands as gracefully as she could while still relaying her dislike of him.

"Thanks." She said curtly and began to look for the room number that the decorations were sent to. To her dismay, he began to walk next to her.

"You're a hard person to find these days." He commented as she dropped off the snowmen.

"Have you considered the fact that I might be avoiding you on purpose?" She said.

"Yes-"

"Sorry, can't talk right now, I'm too busy." She said as she ran down the stairs, three steps at a time. With wheezing breaths, she staggered back to the command center of the decorating committee but two boys ushered her out.

"What's going on? I'm supposed to be helping out." Kagome exclaimed as she struggled to escape from their hold.

"Are you roughing up my woman?" Kouga growled from behind. Kagome gave an inner groan as the boys quickly released her.

"N-no way man, Sesshoumaru just told us to do her work and tell her to go out for dinner with him." They stammered with their hands up in innocence. They briefly looked at each other and then scampered back into the room. Kagome stood her ground as she waited for Kouga to blow up about someone asking "his woman" out, but there was no violent outburst.

"Sesshoumaru? THE great Sesshoumaru?" He asked her with wide eyes.

"Why are you so surprised?" She asked curiously.

"For a few years, I thought he was gay." Kouga admitted and Kagome bit back a laugh. He noticed and shook his head in disbelief. "You don't get it, Sesshoumaru has never, I repeat, never shown any interest in a girl."

Kagome felt her contained laugh disappear. She had Sesshoumaru stamped as a player who got a kick out of life seducing dozens of girls, but this changed everything. If he had never pursued a girl, that meant he was taking her seriously. But, that kiss from before had said otherwise. She could still remember the lifelessness of those lips.

"You should go." Kouga said.

"What?" Kagome said in surprise. Was Kouga finally backing down? He read the look in her face and gave a snort as he loosened his gray tie.

"I'm not giving up on you yet, but I'd rather stay alive for a few more years." He said as he walked away in his usual swagger.

"You should listen to him." A voice whispered in her ear. Kagome turned to see Sesshoumaru bent towards her. He had already changed out of his school uniform into cashmere black plants and a cream collar shirt, confidently ready for their outing.

"Stop it." She said with a frown.

"Stop sneaking up on you?" He asked.

"You know what I meant. You're not getting anything from me, especially my company. And I don't trust you any farther than I can throw you." She said.

Kagome could have sworn that she saw a flash of impatience in his eyes but it was already gone. Instead, he looked strangely composed and not fazed at all by her refusal. He suddenly grabbed her, pinching a pressure point that locked her arm. A stony look warned her that any talk would only increase the force he was putting on her arm and she silently complied as he pulled her to the front of the school. A limousine was waiting for them and he pushed her inside. She pulled away from him as soon as she was in and scooted as far away from him as she could.

"To some people, this could be called kidnapping." She accused him furiously.

"Seeing as I had no other choice than to use force, I like to called it a less polite way of changing your mind." He said.

"What about asking? Did you think about that? Maybe if you asked nicely I might have thought better of your offer and even accept it! This just completes my image of you, Sesshoumaru, the arrogant man who has to have his way and nobody else's." She retorted with crossed arms.

"Considering how blatantly you like to show your dislike of me, nothing else would have gotten you within five feet of me." He snapped at her. "You aren't exactly a pleasant person to be around either."

"Then why even bother trying to pursue me?!" She argued back. "If you don't like me, then leave me alone!"

He vigorously rubbed the sides of his head with closed eyes.

"I can't."

He gave a sigh, the first time she had heard something remotely human from him. He stopped rubbing his head and brushed his long hair from his eyes. The car stopped before a tall glass building and the driver patiently waited outside the door.

"Can you just give me a chance? If you grow tired of me after a month, I promise that I'll leave you alone, once and for all." He said.

Once and for all was sounding very good to her… And she was finding it strangely tricky to turn him down when he was looking distressed; it knocked a few years from his image and made him seem more like the teenager he was. Ugh, what was with her conflict of emotions?

"Fine, but only one month." She said sternly, telling herself that this was the only way to get rid of him. "And after that, you're out of my life."

"That is if you still dislike me." He said with confidence. He motioned to the driver to open the door and he stepped outside. He held a hand out to her to help her out, acting the perfect gentleman. She shook her head and brushed his hand away, getting out of the limousine herself. He didn't argue and led her into the building and all the way up to the top floor. The gold elevator doors slid apart to show a classy restaurant with contemporary designs of black and white everywhere. A well dressed waitress showed them to a private corner that was closed off with beautiful screens depicting Japan's peaceful times in history. Seated at opposite ends of the small table, Kagome began to fidget in the uncomfortable silence.

"You really dislike me, don't you?" He said as he took a sip of the wine the waitress had left.

"I don't know you and you haven't given me a reason to like you." She replied as she looked anywhere around the restaurant except him. Nervous, why was she nervous? There wasn't anything to be nervous about, but here she was fidgeting when Sesshoumaru was doing nothing to trouble her. He was just sitting there with that constant look of amusement in his face whenever he looked at her. Why did he keep looking at her that way anyways? She gave a fierce scowl and downed her wine in one gulp, making her cough up a storm as the acidy liquid reminded her how much she hated alcohol.

"The wine is supposed to ease your nerves, not make it worse." He said.

"I'm not uneasy, I just-never mind." She said as the waitress finally brought the menu out. She waved hers away while Sesshoumaru took his. "Make this short, I have other appointments to tend to."

He just gave another one of his looks and Kagome continued to look everywhere but at his face. An hour and five glasses of water later, they finally left the restaurant and Kagome breathed a sigh of relief. The two stood outside the building, neither making a move towards the awaiting limousine. The silence hung in the air like a thick curtain and Kagome bit her lip in worry. A month was never going to work out for them and just what was she supposed to do if these silences continued?

(line break)

They cheered on the sidelines. For her, who knew. They all gravitated to the pier in the hopes of satisfying their cravings by watching the riders do what they could only dream. A sharp twist of wind that slapped them in the faces and the heady scent of carbon and smoke filling the air beckoned them to return each night for more.

She eased her bike faster and faster towards the finishing line, surpassing her opponent by long seconds. She drove her emotions to the limit, letting go all of the frustrations of the day and centering it all into an indomitable will to cross the line. Her bike gave one last wail before she crossed the line and all tension eased from her muscles into a beautiful feeling of freedom. If only life could be as simple as racing. If only…

(line break)

Author's Notes: Um, yeah, for those who want to kill me with their bare hands (or with instruments of torture) please do so freely. wince Has it really been that long since I've updated? Ugh, I don't want to know how my other stories are doing. Have some patience with me, I've got so much senior year stuff to take care of that I'm either sleeping or eating in my free time. Well, here's an update anyways. I'd say I'll try to be better, but uh…yeah, I can't promise anything (P.S. THIS IS A SESS/KAG!!!)

SpiritSealedSlumber: Hehehe, hope I didn't disappoint too much. I write mainly sess/kag fics, except one story that's an inu/kag

LadyAkine: I'm still considering what to do about Kikyo. What I have in mind might not fare too well with Kikyo-haters. She really isn't that bad of a person in the anime, uh, except for wanting to take Inuyasha to hell with her

SlplessWitch951: Yeah, it is a bit OOC, eck, I'm trying to stay away from that but I also want to stick with the reality of the situations that my characters are in. Kagome, for instance, being raised as a rich girl, can be a bit stuck up at times, but still a nice person deep down. And I like strong, kickbutt Kagome in my stories. I've never been one for weak and terrified little girls.

Green: lol, I like reviews in all, but I like constructive and long reviews the best. There's not much weight to a review if all it says is "Update!" or "Good story".

Ryoko, Faia: Yay, correct, it does involve the politics in business. But just read on if you want answers, I can't give the whole story away!

Burntbanana: She's 17, which means she's in her second year of high school, while Sesshoumaru is 18 and in his last year of high school, I dunno where you got 14…

Windswift: Ugh, must change secret name Wind. It sounds so corny, but hey, Shippo made it up, so maybe I'll keep it. It's a pity I can't think of something more romantic or mysterious

Syrinxsong: Lol, I'll put more racing scenes in the next chapter. I've never actually been to a motorcycle race (though I really want to) and what information I get is either my imagination or the Internet. And Kagome maybe pretty good at everything, but I purposely made her personality a bit flawed because of that. Sess is there to balance her out and make her more humble, while Kagome's stubbornness (and kindness) is supposed to make sess less arrogant.

Shiroi Hikari: Ugh! No, sorry, not the best Inuyasha AU fic around, take a peek at my favorite authors and favorite stories list, there you'll find some of the best stories you'll ever read. Really! They're awesome writers!

Orchidaceae: Hey you, thanks for reviewing and for keeping up with my stories. I'm glad you think this is funny, I try to be, but I don't really find my humor funny to myself, so I don't know how it will be for other people. I hope you enjoyed this update! Leave a long review!

Chinagirl223: no, don't give up! I am pushing myself to finish these stories (even though you really can't see any signs of it), cuz I have about three new plots I want to try out, but I'm making myself wait! I'll finish, I swear!

Faded-illusion: hehehe, they aren't that close yet, though Sess is assertive enough to do something like that. Mmm, that sundae sounds pretty good right now…

BelleDayNight: Ah, yes, the racing. A lot of people have been asking for more, I didn't realize my descriptions sounded authentic. I really need to pay a visit to a motorcycle race one day. I guess for now I'll have to rely on….well, not much. I'll try putting more racing scenes in, but it's hard to do so without repetition, and I want to stay away from that. Thanks for updating! (did I mention I love your stories?)

Shannikan: eh, showcase my stories at a convention? Maybe profiler120 or kidoairaku, they'd probably sell big. I do pretty good at thinking up new and different plots (I got about four running through my head that I want to try right now), but its putting in the details that's tough, maybe I should just be a muse

Dana: Wow, u almost had all of it. Is my plot that predictable? Darn it!