An alternate universe Rurouni Kenshin fanfic.

Chapter Fourteen

The Smell of a Rat

"The Devil's tryin' to break me down"

-Kanye West-

What have you done to me?
I can't eat, I cannot sleep
And I'm not the same anymore
I don't know what to do
Cause all of me wants all of you
Do I stand alone at the shore?
Now once I could turn away
From everything I feel today
But, now I want to walk
through your door

But I've got to know - oh
Body and soul
That you've got no doubt
inside and out
We are whole - oh
Body and soul
Don't leave me out in the cold
Just love me body and soul

Misao's voice flowed like honey from a golden spoon as her body swayed in time with the music from the band behind her. Her heavy lidded eyes drifting almost closed as if in ecstasy as she carried every note to the peak of its sweetness.

I've wasted too much time
Livin' for what wasn't mine
Then came the day I found you
And now I want nothing less
I've found a love that is truly blessed
And I wanna make dreams come true

But I've got to know - oh
Body and soul
that you've got no doubt,
inside and out
We are whole - oh
Body and soul
Don't leave me out in the cold,
Just love me body and soul

Her crystal chandelier earrings caught the spotlight above the stage to cast playful rainbow patterns that chased one another across the smooth skin of her cheeks. Light sparkled like distant stars in the depths of her ocean colored eyes as they swept past all the other people in the lounge and settled squarely on his own. Her sequined dress sparkled and shone with every move of her body, cloth gliding over skin, skin gliding over muscles and curves. Glorious glitter highlighting her lush breasts, swooping down to the the succulent shape of her hips, curving backward over the arch of her behind. A delicious display of sexual temptation garnished with the light of the stars themselves.

Every day is getting better,
The more I trust I feel
stronger, stronger
Every kiss brings me closer,
It feels good to LET you

Soujiro's tongue swept across his bottom lip in anticipation of the night ahead as his eyes greedily took her in from his seat at the bar. Did he look like a hungry pervert? Yes. Did he care? No. After all, he loved this woman with all his heart, body and...

...soul oh,

is there any doubt
in your mind?
oh babe,
love me baby
love me
Just love me,
body, baby and soul,
Just love me....
Body... and.....soul

As the song ended, many of the patrons came to their feet to shower the young cabaret singer and band with applause. Misao giggled audibly as the band leader made a show of kissing her hand as he led her offstage. The sound of her own laughter surprised her inside. When was the last time she laughed like this? Her heart felt lighter than it had in years, she could feel herself glowing from the inside in a way that she never felt before. She couldn't stop smiling if she wanted to.

As she excused herself and turned away from a small group of patrons who were complimenting her on her singing, a shadow placed itself between herself and the bar which was only a few feet away. She looked up into the rat-like face of a man who she had never seen before. He was smiling, but the smile stopped somewhere above his long nose and never quite made it into his dark, narrow eyes.

"That was beautiful song you did there Makamachi-san," he grinned, "you seem to be multi-talented."

The sound of her last name took her aback. How did this man know her real name? Who the hell was he? Smile rapidly disappearing from her lips, Misao unconsciously took a step back into a familiar pair of arms. She looked up over her shoulder to see Soujiro staring down the man who had interrupted her. She opened her mouth to say his name, but no sound came out when she saw an expression on his face that she had never seen before. She was used to Soujiro's warm eyes and gentle smile but this time his gray eyes were as cold and hard as steel. Whoever this man was, Soujiro knew him and did not care for him very much at all.

"Kuzo san," Soujiro said quietly and dangerously, "What a pleasure to see that you have a social life outside of the office."

Misao's jaw dropped. She never heard Soujiro be so...sarcastic before. To tell the truth, she didn't think that he had it in him at all. Looking back at the man he called Kuzo, she saw that his expression had considerably soured. Her gaze swept from man to man, the full force of the tension between them bearing down on her like a physical weight.

"I'll cut to the chase Seta," Kuzo growled, "My friend and I have a lot riding on that little project that you keep cock-blocking. So we..." he said gesturing to a fat man at a dark corner table who lifted his glass in acknowledgement, "have decided to cut you a little deal."

"I don't accept bribes, Kuzo." Soujiro growled, "You and Akatsuka both know that."

"Who's bribing?" Kuzo shrugged, pasting his fake smile back on, "I just think that it'd be a shame if your investors found out that you were dating a stripper. Might make 'em antsy y'know?"

Misao's eyes flew wide open with shock and fear. Ever since the day that Soujiro had taken her and Keiko to his office she had dreaded that something like this would happen eventually. She could feel her entire body stiffening as the color drained from her face. She had been fooling herself. Soujiro could never be with someone like her. Now his whole life was going to be ruined because of her...

A pair of warm hands wrapping around her waist and folding her into an equally warm and strong chest stopped her in mid-thought. Soujiro looked down at her with warm, reassuring eyes and although no words were spoken, she felt herself nod her head, trusting him to make it all right again.

Soujiro gently rubbed his thumb across Misao's jaw as she looked up at him with the expression of a frightened rabbit. He could feel his thoughts sync with hers as she placed her trust in him, slightly nodding her head. So scared and yet so brave. If this wasn't the woman for him he wouldn't accept any other as long as he lived. He looked back at Kuzo with another kind of smile entirely, one that sent shivers down the rat's spine.

"You know, Kuzo," he said, "My father didn't just teach me how to run the company. He also taught me how to keep it."

Kuzo shifted uncomfortably on his feet, smile easily morphing into a sneer. "What the fuck are you talking about, Seta?" he smirked.

Soujiro cocked his head to the side as his smile widened, " How is your wife, Kuzo?" he asked, " I heard that she's trying to get your twins into that new preparatory school that all the richers and diplomats use. Plus, your wedding anniversary is coming up too...what is it again? The 14th? I know she'll be planning a lavish affair for that as well."

"Why the fuck are you talking about my family?" snapped Kuzo.

"Why the fuck are you harassing my woman?" Soujiro countered, deadly venom dripping from every word. He stepped forward, squarely placing himself between Kuzo and Misao, like a wolf protecting its cub.

"But even more importantly than that," Soujiro continued dangerously, "Wouldn't it just be a crying shame if your, good, Christian wife found out that her fine, upstanding husband was a closet homosexual?"

Kuzo's eyes looked like they were about to roll out of their sockets. What little color there was drained from his pale face and his entire body began to shake like a leaf.

"What...what are you talking about?!" he shouted, desperately trying to save face.

"Oh yes," Soujiro purred, "I can even give her your boyfriend's address so she and he can go over the surveillance photo's I had taken of the two of you on your last 'business trip'," Soujiro smirked as he curled his index and middle fingers to make quotation marks in the air.

Huge beads of sweat that had formed on the bald spot above Kuzo's forehead began to roll down his face like tears. His mouth opened and shut like a beached fish, and like a beached fish, no sound came out of it. Moving in for the kill, Soujiro placed his hands on the man's shoulders and leaned in to whisper in his ear.

"Oh, and if you think your fat friend over there got away from me, he didn't," Soujiro hissed, "I know all about that fat pedophile and his sick schoolgirl fantasies. As a matter of fact...why don't the two of you come over sometime. We can watch the videotape together."

Kuzo backed away from Soujiro as if he had just bitten his ear off. He looked at him only for a brief moment before stumbling away toward the table where his partner sat, clumsily bumping into people and furniture all the way there as he continued to glance over his shoulder as if he were afraid Soujiro would follow.

Kuzo reached the table and grabbed Akatsuka by the arm, yanking him out of his seat as he headed for the exit.

"What the..." Akatsuka stammered, "What are you doing?!"

"We've got to go." was all Kuzo would say, his face telling the rest of the story for him.

Confused and concerned, the fatty followed.

Misao was speechless as she watched the older man throw himself backward after Soujiro had spoken into his ear. She could not hear what he had said, but the expression on the man called Kuzo's face was beyond fear. It was as if the man had seen the Devil himself.

"What did you say to him?" she asked, more to herself than her man.

Soujiro wrapped one arm around her waist and gave her hip a gentle pat. "Nothing you need to concern yourself with, love." he said. Drawing her closer he stared intently into her emerald eyes, his own eyes burning with a hunger that no meal would satisfy.

"We've planned this night for weeks," he said, his voice husky and hungry, "Let's not let a rat and a pig ruin the entire night for us, ne?" He placed his free hand under her chin and gently tilted her head upward, "It's a man's job to protect the people that he loves, and..." he whispered, bending to hold his lips a breath away from hers.

" satisfy the woman that he loves."

Heat flashed across Misao's body like an electric current. She forgot all about the fear that had gripped her just moments before and even about the two vile men who had tried to ruin their night. All of her was filled with Soujiro and all of her body ached to be alone with him. Her eyelids suddenly grew heavy and her beautiful eyes peeked seductively from under her lashes as she whispered back, her tone no less hungry than his...

"As you wish, my lord."


Author's Notes:

Songs quoted:

Jesus Walks - by Kanye West

Body and Soul - by Anita Baker

First of all...

I love Anita Baker, love, love, love. love, love.

Now with that out of the way...

Sorry the update is late. I got caught up in babysitting and other family things. I'm aiming for eighteen chapters in this story and I'm trying to make it all plot-twistylicious for you all. I've already got everything outlined, so I only have to work out the small details. And I must admit, although I like writing, it's hard to do. Especially when its not the only thing on your mind. I'll try to get the next chapter out as soon as possible, so please bear wit h me. I promise it'll be worth it.

Oh, and also. Neither my version of Soujiro nor myself is homophobic. As a matter of fact, what really irks me is all the brainwashed people of the world that use religion as an excuse to abuse people. Not just Christianity, all religions that encourage discrimination of gays, blacks, women, whatever. Lord knows how many times I've nearly cussed a coworker out for regurgitating what her preacher said in this and or that sermon. I'd be like, get a brain, bitch and try thinking for yourself for once.

So that's my thoughts on that. God, good. Discrimination, bad. People under the influence of indoctrination, stupid. I'm a pretty simple chick.

Till next time.