Disclaimer: Yawns Do I really have to do this every time? All right, all right ... No I don't own any of the Inu gang.

Symbols: "..." Talking

'...' Thoughts

Lady Sethia: Oh wow! Two chapters up in less than a week's span apart! Well folks, it's official, my muse is back. This chapter is prolly going to be a bit boring; it's kind of a 'filler' chapter. But it reveals some of the next moves/characters in the plot. Now, when I started this story I was pretty much flying by the seat of my pants. In other words, this story was coming to me as I wrote it. Well, the ending has made itself pretty clear to me and I like how it will end up. So I have written a pretty decent outline and timeline for the rest of the story. So have no fear, this story will get finished! Now with that said ... on with the story!

The Masquerade: Chapter 11

She reached the door to her boss' house and lightly knocked on it. After standing for a little while with no answer she turned to leave thinking he wasn't home. Getting a couple steps away from the door she heard it open. With a sigh she turned to face him but no one was standing there. Slowly she walked up to the door, then into the house. Closing the door behind her she followed the hallway into what she assumed was the living room. Upon entering the room she had to stop and let her eyes adjust to the soft light from the candles. She glanced around curious as to why it was so dark and noticed the thick, heavy curtains that were drawn shut over the windows.

"Glad to see you could make it." Came a feminine voice from the other side of the room.

Her eyes narrowed in anger as she made her way across the room to face the woman who had just spoken to her. "I'm here to see my boss, not to mess with some trollop like you. Now go tell him I'm here." She watched as the woman's eyes turned red. Reaching into her purse she pulled out a small white metal fan that was decorated with little red birds. She opened the fan and stood ready to defend herself. Male laughter reached her ears, spinning she scanned the room for her boss. Not seeing him she turned back to the woman in front of her. Her fan fell to the floor just before her body did. Tears of pain streaked her face as she looked to the woman holding her heart in the palm of her hand.

"It would be wise not to anger me, Kagura. I own you after all." She said, this time her voice deeper and that of a man's. The red orb that was in her hand faded as she stood from her chair and walked over to the wind demon on the ground. She extended a hand out to the woman only to receive a glare from her. "Suit yourself." Turning she made her way to the kitchen to fix a drink.

Pulling herself up from the ground, Kagura slowly made her way to the room her boss was in. Leaning against the wall leading into the kitchen, she looked the woman over. Her hair was done up in a lose French braid and fell passed her bottom even with it pulled up. Violet markings adorned her face and wrist which stood out against her pale skin. 'Just like Sesshoumaru's.' She thought as she continued to scrutinize the demon. A violet crescent moon sat in the middle of her forehead like a third eye. Around the moon were four small silver stars placed at the top, right, bottom and left of the moon. 'Royalty...' Her thoughts were interrupted by a movement behind her boss. A sleek light grey tail twitched to the left, then right.

"Like what you see?" Her voice back to its normal feminine tone. "I know I did, it's one of the reasons I choose this demon. That and her obsession with Sesshoumaru makes my task all the more easy." Smiling, Shihara held out a glass of brandy. "Drink?" Seeing the glare come from the wind demon she shrugged and took a sip from the glass she had held out. "So, what of Sesshoumaru? He thought it was a dream, correct?" She asked as she swirled the contents of the glass.

Mentally her shoulders slumped, she had no idea what her boss had planned but she knew it couldn't be good. "As far as I know he did. When he closed his window he didn't seem upset." Kagura hissed.

Shihara nodded her head. "Good good, then things are going according to plan." She took another sip of her drink seemingly lost in thought. Bringing her silver eyes up to meet the wind demon's red ones she smirked. "Well that settles it then. You are to keep an eye on him at all times. I want to know everything he does. I want to know the when, whos and wheres of his life, every miniscule detail."

"What about Kagome?" She blurted out without really thinking. Seeing the look in her boss' eyes she regretted it immediately.

"She is none of your concern. I've already got something keeping an eye on the wench. Now that you know what you need to do, go. I do not wish for you to be in my sight any longer." With that, Shihara walked out of the room and sat back down in her chair slowly sipping her brandy. She watched as Kagura sighed and slowly made her way to the door. "Oh, one more thing..." Smiling when the woman came to a stop she added. "Let my other guest in when you leave."

She frowned, a bit puzzled by the last statement her boss had made but shrugged it off. She opened the front door, looked down and couldn't suppress the gasp that escaped her lips. A little girl stood on the porch, her hair as white as the snow. Cold, emotionless eyes stared up into hers and a lone tear slipped from Kagura's eyes. "Kanna?" Her name came out a whisper from her lips. 'It can't be, she died at Naraku's side in the final battle.' The girl said nothing, nor did she acknowledge the name spoken, as she slipped passed her into the house.

The little girl stood in front of the chair Shihara was sitting in. "You wished to see me." She stated, her voice monotone and held no emotion.

Anger flashed in her eyes but quickly subsided. "Yes, I think Kikyo might become a problem. She's already started to open her mouth to Kagome. I need you to watch her, and should she slip up or fail in her duties ... Relieve her of them." She watched as the girl nodded her head in response, then the girl turned and left.

Sesshoumaru rubbed his temples trying to ward off the oncoming headache as he watched the kit pace the length of his living room and back. "I told you already that I didn't want her to know yet." He ground out for the tenth time since the kit had shown up at his front door unexpectedly. "And you still took her home and then to top it off you had tea with her mother. Kami, I could gut you right now."

Shippo stopped his pacing, the fur on his tail bristling from anger. "She was drunk, what was I supposed to do? Let her drive home in a state like that? There was no way I could have done that. If she would have gotten hurt I would never have forgiven myself."

Kirara, who had been sitting quietly on the couch watching the whole mess, saw the demon lord's eyes narrow and start to bleed red. 'It's time I intervened before they kill each other.' She thought with a sigh as she stood and walked in between the two. "Listen, Sesshoumaru, I was there with him when he took her home." She stood her ground as she watched him turn his angered gaze to her. He opened his mouth to speak but she continued before he could get a word in edgewise. "Kagome had passed out before we even pulled out of your driveway. If we had let her drive home she would have been laying in a hospital bed right now. And as far as her mother goes, Shippo told her that we were friends from her school. So neither know any different, your secret is still safe."

Walking over to his mate, Shippo placed a hand on her shoulder. Looking to Sesshoumaru he shook his head. "I still don't know why you want to keep everything a secret from her. You know if she ever finds out you were keeping things, us, from her she's going to be furious."

Slamming his fist down onto the coffee table he let out a growl. "I want answers damn it! I want to know how she was alive five hundred years ago, only to disappear then reappear now still as youthful as the day I last set eyes on her." Taking in a slow, deep breath he tried calming himself. "She is human and by all laws of nature she shouldn't be among the living anymore."

Both Shippo and Kirara's eyes went wide. "She never told you?" The kitsune asked timidly knowing he was stepping into something he probably shouldn't be.

Rage threatened to override his now cool and calm manner. "Tell me what?" He bit out trying his hardest to keep from losing it.

Shippo sighed and looked to his mate; worry worked itself into his emerald green orbs. "You might want to sit down." He stated to the demon lord. When he didn't make a move to sit and his eyes hardened even more, the kit shook his head. "Fine, have it your way then" Glancing back to Kirara, he took her hand in his. He didn't know how Sesshoumaru was going to take this news and was frightened by that. He felt her give his hand a reassuring squeeze. Taking in a deep breath to calm his nerves, he began telling the demon lord about Kagome.

"WHAT?!?"

Birds flew from the trees outside the manor. The servants stilled, stopping what they were doing, too afraid to make any noise lest they upset their lord further. People passing by on the busy sidewalks outside stopped and stared strangely at the house the yell had come from. And one lone figure sitting on a park bench across the street went pale.

Lady Sethia:

I would like to give a shout out to those who reviewed the last chapter ...

Bob: Damn you and your good guesses! Lol Hai, it was Kagura but no one was supposed to know! I'm sure you got who possessed Shihara down too! Anyway, I'm glad you are enjoying my story. Making my readers happy makes it all the more fun to write it!

Jane: Thank you so much for reading my story and taking the time to review. It is much appreciated! I'm glad you are enjoying it so far and I can only hope to continue to keep you interested.

Reversed: I'm glad you think I'm doing a good job on my story. I don't know how many times I've read this story and thought 'Wow, I can't see how people like it. Some parts just seem so cheesy.' Lol

Missy Manda: Well here it is, and I won't deny you the next chapter of the story. It's nice to know that I have some devoted readers out there still. Specially with that long break I took from writing.