A 16 year old female inu-youkai sat in the corner of a barely furnished room, containing only a bed and a full length mirror. She had long silver hair and beautiful silver eyes. She sat against the wall her knees drawn up against her body her clothes torn and faded. Her eyes glistened with unshed tears that she violently shook away. I will not be weak. . .I will not give him the pleasure of seeing me cry. . . She thought to herself. The black strips on each side of her pale face stood out in the moonlight pouring in through the window, as well as the black star on her forehead. The girl named Kagome wrapped her tail around her small demon body and drifted into a troubled sleep.

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"Get up wench!" Kagome's eyes snapped open as sunlight penetrated her closed eyelids. A fist connected to her face and she was sent into the next wall. Her head hit first and then came a dull throbbing in her head that soon escalated to a harsh pounding. Kagome stood up slowly yet strongly careful not to show any weakness to her father.

"You were supposed to be up an hour ago you ungrateful wench! King Inutaisho and his son will be coming to visit us. He's already visited all the other nobles, we are his last stop. You were supposed to be cleaning the manor!" Lord Higurashi growled at his only daughter.

"Why can't the maids do it?" Kagome asked, but soon regretted it as another blow sent her crashing back into the wall she had landed in earlier, and into the next room. Lord Higurashi stepped into the small hole and stood over his daughter.

"Fix this hole then prepare two guest rooms. Put on something presentable, they should be here by noon." He then exited the room leaving Kagome glaring at his back. She slowly started to put the wall back together.

Kagome looked out of the window. The sun was indicating that it was about an hour before noon. Kagome finished fixing the second guest suite and ran back to her room, bringing an old maid with her.

"Kaede! I don't have much time, please help me!"

"Hush child, here wear this." Kaede handed her a black silk kimono with a pattern of silver cherry blossoms. Kagome slipped it on as Kaede handed her a silver obi. Kagome let Kaede tie it as she did her hair. She pulled the top half into a tight bun held together by two black chopsticks, and let the bottom half fall down. Two strands of hair framed her face.

"You look wonderful! I heard that Sesshoumaru is a fin young man," Kaede said while winking.


"What? Just giving you my opinion. If I were 40 years younger. . ." She trailed off. Kagome looked at her friend/servant.

"Your impossible!" Kagome looked in the mirror again. She couldn't cover all the bruises, and her arm was still bandaged from earlier, but wasn't noticeable because of the large long sleeves. She straightened her kimono and walked to the winding stairs.

"Wish me luck. . ."

"Hai. . .good luck." Kaede looked sadly at the retreating back of Kagome whom she had watched over since birth. She really hoped that she would find happiness in her life. God knew she needed it.

Kagome walked into the entrance room and waited. The guards had said that someone was arriving, so she assumed it was them. Her father appeared next to her. His black hair shimmering. It was amazing how she looked nothing like him, but she was the spitting image of her mother.

"You managed to fix yourself…don't say anything! You will not embarrass me!" Kagome snorted. He was doing a fine job of that himself. Going around with human whores.

The large oak double doors opened and Kagome and her father walked to greet the guest.

Sesshoumaru watched his mother and father in front of him. One could clearly see that they were in love, and Sesshoumaru was proud that his father had found his life mate. Sesshoumaru smiled to himself as he thought of the rare emotion of love. He vowed to himself to find his life mate and always love her. (Of course he never would guess that his mom would die and that everything would fall apart and he would grow cold. . .but hey. . .let him have his happiness. . .now ~_^) He vowed to always protect her and never make her cry. (ah…the thoughts of innocence…but he's not innocent is he?")

When they reached the double doors they were greeted by Lord Higurashi. Sesshoumaru smiled politely and nodded his head as the older man smiled and shook his hand.

Kagome mentally scowled at her father as he greeted the King and Queen. Kagome couldn't help but admire the Queen's beauty, inside and outside. She seemed to radiate warmth. Kaede had told her that her mother had been caring and warm, yet that all stopped when she married her father. Kagome was jolted out of her thoughts as her father introduced her by unceremoniously squeezing her arm then pushing her forward. Kagome managed to regain some of composure as the thrust wasn't so soft. She bowed to the King and Queen and said:

"It is an honor for you to be coming to our home. We hope your stay is comfortable and relaxing." Kagome said, her naturally soft voice even softer. She felt even more worthless in the presence of the King and his beautiful wife. She knew the son was there but she could not see him, he was behind the immense body of his father.

King Inutaisho looked down at the little inu-youkai in front of him and smiled. She reminded him of his wife when she was younger.

"We're happy to be staying here. Your father is very generous for letting us stay for so long." King Inutaisho smiled at his wife, who seemed to be very taken with the young girl in front of him. Seems she's found a new friend. He said to himself.

"You must met our son. Sesshoumaru, come now, don't be shy." Sesshoumaru stepped forward and looked down at the bowed figure in front of him. He couldn't see her face, but her hair was exceptionally long, longer than his in fact, reaching the floor.

"I hope your stay here will be exceptionally pleasant also Prince Sesshoumaru." He heard a soft musical voice say. He nodded and stepped back a pace. The young female then stood up and Sesshoumaru got a good look at her face. He almost gasped in surprise, she was beautiful….for lack of better words. Sesshoumaru held back the gasp before it erupted from his throat. Their eyes connected and Sesshoumaru noticed that they were like a window to her soul, and her soul was battered but not yet broken. Her eyes held a sadness so deep that Sesshoumaru felt his light mood dissipate. He broke the eye contact before he found himself too deep in the girls eyes.

"Queen Sakura, I'm sure you would like to rest and bathe after your long journey?" Kagome heard her father say. She looked away from Sesshoumaru's gaze, that seemed to have caught her. It felt like he was reading her soul. She bowed to the Queen as her father looked pointedly at her. He expected her to do everything that was the job of the maids. She bowed again and smiled at the Queen as she started to follow her.

Sesshoumaru looked confused. Where are the maids. Why is she doing all the work? He looked at her and noticed the sorrow had entered her eyes before she left.