AN: I know that I have been promising to update for god knows how long, but things have just rather been hectic for the last couple of months. School had swamped me and final exam stress had completely taking over all of my rational thoughts. But now that the evil institution is gone from my life for a whole two months, I can put my full devotion into my stories. Sorry for the long wait and hope you like this chapter!

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a vision.

CHAPTER FIVE: Unexpected Revelations

It was a showdown.

The two dominating figures regarded each other with blazing orbs. Cold molten gold clashed with mysterious dark brown, each challenging the other to brake the contact first. A new unspoken rivalry had been ignited and both powerful beings wanted to be the victor.

And I was left in a complete loss as to what the new challenge was.

"I believe the lady has the right to make her own choice." Naraku spoke, at last braking the tensing silence. Both sets of orbs immediately turned on me, awakening a newfound sense of panic within me. They regarded me with an expectant calm, each daring me to take the other's side.

What the hell do I do? I looked around me desperately for any escape route, but as cruel fate would have it, there was none. I was dead stuck in between two powerful men I'd rather not mess with. How the hell did I get myself into this?

"Oh there you are Kikyo!" I heard a melodious feminine voice exclaim. I whipped my head to the side to be greeted by an approaching Sango. "I've been looking everywhere for you!" I cocked an eyebrow in response.

Both males turned to the new woman. "Kikyo and I have made plans for tonight." She explained to them with a large smile before grabbing hold of my hand and dragging me out of her brother's possessive grip. "Come Kikyo, I MUST show you the garden!"

As the two male figures began to shrink with each step we took, I regarded my rescuer in confusion. Granted the girl just completely saved me from what would've been a huge disaster waiting to happen, but why the hell did she do it? The socialites here aren't exactly the most caring people.

"Eh, thanks" I managed to muster as I turned to her.

"Don't mention it" she replied as she dragged me outside, not bothering to look back at the two figures. "So have you seen the garden?"

"Huh....?" I was confused. I thought the garden was only a decoy to get me out of there. Why is she still talking to me?

"The garden, it's beautiful! You HAVE to see it!" I nodded without comprehension, dumbstruck with her friendliness.

I wasn't aware as we left through the front entrance to step under the luminous night sky. I wasn't aware of the soft grass underneath me as we entered into a rich green area filled with exotic flowers of every kind blooming in full brilliance. And most of all, I wasn't aware of Sango looking at me with an expectant smile at the breathtaking vegetation around us.

"Well...?" She drawled with excitement shinning in her chocolate brown eyes. I suddenly came out of my detachment, becoming distinctly aware of the different pleasant odors assaulting my nostrils. I looked around and was once again awestruck with beauty.

"Wow...." I breathed for the second time that night.

"I knew you'd like it" she remarked, creating an impression of sharing an old friendship with me. I looked at her with utter confusion.

"How'd you know?" I challenged softly.

"Oh, I had a hunch." She smiled. "I always loved this garden. It's one of the things that makes this hotel so prestigious." I suppose it was true since the scenery around me even matched the well-known Winston Academy in beauty. We both sat down on the grass, letting a comfortable silence settle over us. I was impressed that she didn't even flinch as her beautiful dress touched the lush carpet of grass.

"Why'd you do it?" I suddenly asked out of the blue, not being able to contain my curiosity and skepticism any longer. They always had their own agenda, the elite.

"Do what?" She asked innocently while gazing up at the stars.

"Rescue me back there."

"Oh, that." She smiled. "You seemed like you were in a tight spot, so I wanted to help. Besides, I was getting tired of all those social climbing bubble heads kissing my ass."

I was startled with her bluntness. I shifted my gaze and regarded her in a new light. Did the perfect society girl just swear? Did she just say she hated the social climbing little morons I assumed she was friends with? What the hell is happening? Is the world turning upside down as we speak?

"I thought you liked them?" I asked. "Are they not who you hang out with and consider good friends?"

"Oh, I might be forced to be polite to them due to social protocol, but that doesn't mean I have to like them" she stated firmly. "They make it awfully difficult for anyone sane to like them."

I felt a smile slowly gracing my lips at the newfound knowledge. Perhaps this Sango Montgomery was a completely different character than I first perceived her.

"Well, you definitely surprised me." I remarked. "But why are you telling me this? Aren't you scared that I'll go back and rat to them?"

"Oh you don't seem like a person who'd do that" she shrugged. "Besides, it's awfully obvious to anyone with half a brain to see the truth behind my words."

"You are DEFINITELY not how I thought you'd be" I stated with a light laugh. "Is this why you're befriending me? Because you think that I'm different from all of them?"

"Well, Kikyo" she looked me in the eye, "you seem like a genuine down to earth person, unlike most of the people I associate with. They are completely living in a dream world unexposed to the harsh reality of life and I think that they are gradually dragging me into their world. I feel caged in a nightmare and I just know that the walls are going to collapse soon."

I was amazed at her confession. Who would've thought that the perfect Sango Montgomery felt trapped? Holy shit.

"Well...umm...thanks" Oh, good one Kagome. Real smooth of you. Someone is confessing a presumably private thought to you and all you can do is say thank you? I really needed to work on this whole articulation thing.

"Pretty hard to take isn't it?" She smiled sympathetically. "I haven't really told anyone this. Not that any of the girls I usually hand out with would understand. It would be like trying to explain the meaning of a budget to them."

"And you trust me, a complete stranger?" I was truly touched by the amount of trust she held in me.

"Why not?" she shrugged. "I have been needing to get that off my chest for quiet some time now and I just didn't think a shrink would suffice."

"So what makes you so different" I asked boldly, needing to know how the daughter of one of the wealthiest families in England could turn out so...well...normal. "From them, I mean."

She shrugged once again in response. "I guess you can call it too much money. Once you can get anything you want, you start thinking outside of the box, if you know what I mean."

"I wish" I sighed. "But I understand what you're saying." In an odd sort of way, I really did.

A comfortable silence settled over us, making our new found bound feel like a friendship of a thousand years.

"So how'd you get between my brother and Sesshoumaru Winston anyway?" She asked out of the blue, breaking the calm atmosphere.

"I don't even know" I chuckled. "But what's with the two? It seemed like they wanted to tear each other apart."

"You've never heard of the rivalry between the two?" she asked with wide eyes. I shook my head.

"Well, my family and his family are in, what you'd call, a hostile friendship." Sango explained casually. "We attend each other's events, as dictated by protocol, and try to be as civil to each other as possible. But other than that, we're on direct hostile terms. As far back as I can remember, it has always been this way."

"Why?" It certainly sparked my curiosity.

"Well, partly because both our families are at a dead tie in terms of social standing and wealth. We own industries, schools, and countless other establishments. We have both reached the top, but neither of us can distinguish ourselves as better than the other and claim complete supremacy, so we jump at every chance to humiliate each other and make ourselves look good." I looked at her with a cocked eyebrow. Seemed like a completely lame reason to me.

"Isn't it kind of petty?" I asked boldly. "This whole rivalry, I mean."

"It's a big deal with the aristocracy." She replied. "This whole power and better bloodline thing. Especially with our families, so you can see how natural it is for Sesshoumaru Winston and my brother to be at such hostile terms. They both pretty much want the same thing and are willing to sacrifice anything to get it. But, in the end, there will only be one victor I suppose. It may not be during this generation, or the next, but eventually, one family will dominate over the other." I nodded in agreement. It was the sad reality of life. There can never be two powers. Only one prevailed in the end.

"And what's the other reason?" I quietly inquired. "The other partial reason that caused this whole war between you guys?"

"An ancient feud." She shrugged. "I guess its pretty stupid if you think about it. I think it's because of something that happened in the 19th century, but it has been so long, that we hardly mention it anymore. But it's still there and both our families are intent on keeping the feud alive."

"And you have never broached this subject with your parents?"

Sango laughed. "Kikyo, one rule in upper society is that unpleasant things are meant to be kept in the closet. We pretend that's its simply not there and that the world is perfect."

"And how's that working out for you?" I asked in good humor.

"Apparently, not very well." She answered with a smile. "Not well at all."

I took another sip of the blood red wine, feeling the liquid warming my throat as it slid down to further dull my senses. I was never the one to live in denial so I was more than accepting of the fact that at the moment, I was bordering on the edge of being drunk.

I shut my eyes tightly to get rid of the haziness. Alright, I may have crossed the line just a little.

I had an eerie feeling of being watched. I could feel a pair of penetrating eyes boring into me, yet no matter where I looked, they constantly eluded me. I took another large gulp of the fiery liquid. I was just a little uncomfortable.

Sango was off dancing with some dashing young gentleman while the other socialites busied themselves in finding their own partners. I considered my own options.

Either sit here and continue drinking alone while enduring the eluding eyes or go out there to awkwardly dance with a stranger while being shot constant curious glances. For some odd unexplained reason, the former held much appeal to me. Looks like I might have a hangover in the morning.

I shifted my gaze towards a blushing Alice as she danced awkwardly with a blonde boy that wore a rather bored expression on his features. Well, perhaps the girl could use some upgrading on her social skills, but she'll come around. I noticed Mrs. Ketchum's proud shinning eyes as she regarded her dancing daughter while waltzing in the arms of her husband. She delicately whispered something in his ear, causing a quiet chuckle from both of them. Ah, to be in love....a feeling I can't say I've actually experienced before. Kouga was a charming boyfriend, but hardly the love of my life.

"Are you going to sit there all night drinking yourself stupid or are you going to dance?" Asked a rough voice. Yet, I always did find some sort of odd liking in it. I expectantly glanced up at the golden orbs of Inuyasha Winston.

I figured he'll be here, but I just didn't expect him to approach me.

"Can I help you?" I raised an inquisitive eyebrow with a polite smile planted on my face. I thought I sent a clear message with my eyes. Get lost, I'm tired now.

"Well, you seemed rather pathetic all by yourself here. What's the matter? Drowning your problems with alcohol?" He smirked, daring me to challenge him.

"And what problems might those be?" I asked politely. He was not going to bate me into a verbal spar in front of all these people.

"I saw the incident between my brother and Naraku Montgomery."

"Who hasn't" I snorted. "But that's hardly enough to send me to the bottle. I just prefer solitude and I'd appreciate it if you didn't jump to conclusions regarding my actions."

"Well then would you care to dance?"

"W-What?" I was in momentary shock. How the hell did the tides turn so suddenly? I thought we were in an argument here.

"Well, if your not sad or angry about anything, then you wouldn't object to a dance now would you?" He challenged. I glared at him. Dam, I didn't want to dance again after the last fiasco. But he extended his hand insistently, forcing me to either accept it or offend him in front of many witnesses.

I put my smaller hand in his and stood up, allowing him to lead me to the dance floor. The bloody bastard...

We joined the waltzing couples on the shiny dance floor. He put his arm on my waist and took my other in his hand while I placed my other one awkwardly on his shoulder. I began to tense up. Ballroom dancing REALLY wasn't my thing.

He glanced at me with a soft smile, as if sensing my tension. Well now, the guy really did have a soft side....or am I delirious from all that alcohol?

"Just relax" he whispered in my ear as he began to lead me into graceful steps. I nodded, placing my full trust into someone for the first time in a long time.

The thought that it was Inuyasha Winston hardly crossed my mind as my eyelids slowly dropped, engulfing me in blissful darkness.

I woke up to the familiar feeling of an old fashioned hangover. My head was pounding and I had the sudden urge to vomit, amongst other things.

Yep, those were definitely tell tale sings of being previously wasted.

I laid there in bed with closed eyes, trying for all my life to recall what the hell happened that got me so wasted. At first blurry images came to mind. Faces, a lot of faces, each less familiar then the last.

Hojou....Mrs. Ketchum..... Alice.... a handsome face framed with black hair and an enigmatic smile....an angelic face void of emotions but tempting nonetheless...golden eyes...

Oh god, why do they look so familiar...

And then it hit me.

The events of last night came rushing back. The limo ride with the Ketchums, the ball, the dance with Naraku Montgomery, the glinting eyes of Sesshoumaru Winston, and most of all, collapsing into Inuyasha Winston's arms.

Oh god, I almost wished I hadn't remembered.

I bolted upright from my bed. My eyes opened to the burning light of the morning sun. My head exploded in pain. I felt my stomach churn while I looked around at the familiar settings of Kikyo's room that I have been waking up to every morning for the past week.

What the hell happened?

I got up with a groan. Man I hated hangover mornings. With wobbly feat, I made my way across the tiny floor area towards the door, intent on finding out just how the hell I ended up back here.

"Oh you're awake Kikyo" Souta greeted from the stairs. "I was just gonna come up and check on you."

"W-what happened" I spoke softly, careful not to make the pounding in my head any louder.

"Oh, this guy calling himself Inuyasha or something brought you back around two. You know, Aunt Anna was really worried about you. It's not like you to be drunk Kiks, what happened?"

"Inu-Inuyasha brought me back?" I was at a loss. I was confused out of my mind. Why the hell would Inuyasha bring me back? How'd he even know my address?

"Yeah..." Souta nodded while looking at me strangely. "Kikyo, maybe you should go back to bed, you don't look so good..."

"Don't worry 'bout me, tell me, what did Inuyasha say?" I leaned against the wall for support. Dam, I felt like a cripple. Perhaps bed didn't sound so bad at the moment.

"Oh something about you passing out from too much alcohol at the ball. I couldn't hear that much, but the exchange was pretty brief and Aunt Anna thanked him and brought you in. I had to help her get you upstairs though."

"And you heard nothing else?" I wanted to make sure. I knew this was going to bug me for the rest of the weekend. What the hell had compelled Inuyasha Winston to do something this humane?

"Nope, that's all" he assured. "Now, why don't you go back to bed. Don't worry about dinner, I can order pizza or something."

"K, I'll talk to you later" I called before slowly making my way back toward my warm welcoming bed.

I'll figure what's going on later. Right now, all I need is sleep. I was within the realm of unconsciousness the minute I hit the pillow.

"Don't eat too much of it dear, you're going to spoil your dinner."

I looked up at the familiar warm face of my mother and pouted. But the cake tasted so very delicious!

"Your mother is right Kagome," reprimanded another gentle voice, "don't want you getting a tummy ache now, do we? "I turned around to greet the familiar man behind me. My dad.

"I won't" I promised with a toothy grin, hoping they would let me have more if I showed perfect health. The auburn haired man nodded kindly and went to sit beside me on the table after giving my mother a loving peck on the cheek.

"So are you ready for your first day in kindergarten tomorrow Kagome?" He asked conversationally as he watched me gulp down yet another chunk of triple layered chocolate cake. I nodded my head eagerly.

"Me and Kikyo promised to stick to each other so that we won't get lonely." I replied. "And no one will bully us either!"

"Well, I'm glad you two have such a well fortified plan." He chuckled in good humor. "That's right. If anyone hits you, hit'em right back!"

"Now, John" my mother reprimanded with a stern face. "You know that two wrongs don't make a right. Kagome dear, if someone hits you, you go on right to the teacher and tell, okay? Violence is never the answer." I nodded my head in understanding.

"Do you like my new dress?" A small voice so similar to my own chided from the doorway as its owner twirled around in forest green.

"Its lovely Kikyo" mother smiled as she looked at her other daughter with loving eyes.

"You look gorgeous honey." Dad commented with a whistle. "My little girls are really growing up now."

"Oh, don't worry daddy, I'll still be here to take care of you and mommy" I promised. My twin nodded as well while pulling out a chair in front of me.

"Kagome and I are going to make you proud." Kikyo proclaimed with great confidence. She was always the shining light in our family promising a bright future for tomorrow. Away from this shady three room apartment. Away from the problems that governed our daily lives.

"Oh honey, you two already do," mother replied sweetly.

"These are my champs!" Dad yelled with a large grin. "My two little girls united against the world!"

"Yeah!" I agreed with great enthusiasm. "Just me and Kikyo against the world!"

I awoke with an abrupt start, the past events replaying piece by piece in my head, jogging up my long abandoned memories. The moonlight poured through my window, igniting a sinister glow within my room. The air was still and the night was silent.

I looked at the alarm clock beside me illuminating the bright red numbers of 7:15. Wow, I've slept away the whole day.

With a groan, I raised myself up from bed and ventured down the stairs in hopes of finding a single life form within the house. But it was all in vain for the entire downstairs was shrouded in darkness.

Carefully treading the carpeted path, I felt my way into the kitchen and fumbled against the wall for the switch. Upon flipping it, my vision was blinded with the sudden brightness of the room. The sudden intensity that strongly reminded me of a certain pair of molten gold eyes.

I looked around the spotless kitchen, immediately seeing a green note attached to the fridge. I walked up to it and carefully detached it from its holding place.

Kikyo,

Hope you got well dear. I had to work a second shift tonight, so I'll be back at around 3 am. Dinner is in the fridge. Souta should be in bed by now and if you need anything, call my cell.

I chuckled lightly. Leave it to mother to be the epitome of responsibility. For one the rare moments in my life, I wondered what it would've been like growing up with her. But alas, things that can no longer be should not be fretted over.

With a sigh, I put the note on the counter and got myself a clean glass from the cabin. Opening the fridge door, I took a survey of what was available for a late night drink. Obviously, there were no alcoholic beverages, so I had to settle for something much more innocent. Milk.

Upon pouring myself a generous glass, I pulled a chair by the large kitchen window and sat down to gaze at the clear night sky.

Perhaps it was the brilliant twinkling lights splashed amongst a sea of black. Perhaps it was the ultimate wonder of what lay out there in the vast darkness of space. Perhaps it was simply the fact that the large ominous blanket made me feel so insignificant in comparison, but one thing was clear. The night sky completely mesmerized me.

My thoughts began to drift back to the dream that was still fresh in my head. It was more like a distant memory. I smiled at the notion. I was not a person that usually liked to go down memory lane. I had a philosophy while living on the streets. No past, no future. Just now. It made things so much simpler this way.

But my thoughts continued to drift back to the memory. I remembered the clear sunny day that the vow between us was made. Back then Kikyo and I were real close. I remembered the noble spirit within me as I intended to carry the promise to my grave. The two of us against the world. Forever. Nothing could come between us.

But then again, back then we had a family reminiscent of a fairy tale. Happy and together. I snorted at the notion. That's all it was. A fairy tale that was bound to end someday.

Suddenly I was startled out of my thoughts by the clear ringing of the phone. I looked around, hastily grabbing the nearest phone attached to the wall beside me.

"Hello?"

"Hey, Kagome?" A gruff voice on the other end questioned with uncertainty.

"Yeah, its me" I answered, slightly tensing at the call of my real name. "Who's this?"

"Oh hey, its Manten" quickly came the warm reply. "So what happened? I called earlier but your kid brother said you were sleeping or somethin'."

"Yeah, had a hangover."

"Yeah, know how those things feel like." He chuckled. "But hey listen, if you're feeling better now, what do you say to coming with me to the hottest club in town?"

"Sure"

"Great, so where are you? Want me to come pick you up?" I hesitated about giving him, not only a biker but also a gang member, my home address. But come to think of it, I did need a ride....

"23 Sandstone Park. It's in the north west." Hell, I was a risk taker. Now I just hope it wouldn't back fire on me.

"K, I'm actually pretty close, so I'll be there in five."

"Thanks"

"Not a problem, see you then." And with that, he hung up. I looked at the clock hanging on the kitchen wall. 7:21. So I still had plenty of time before my mother came back.

I smiled at the notion of sneaking out of the house for the first time in my life. Never before had I to ask anyone's permission or had to bear the disapproval of going out late at night. Hell, it had become routine for me the last couple of years. It was when all the major deals on the streets went down, and dad had set a prime example in disappearing during this hour.

I went up to quickly put on something much more suitable than my current bunny pajamas. Must've been mother's doing while I was sleeping off the after affects of too much alcohol. I just hope I can control my liquor much better tonight. Or better yet, avoid the stuff like I always did. If you can't brace it, then don't play with it at all.

Upon climbing the stairs and entering my current room, I began to rummage through the closet. After wasting a whole two minutes looking through the neatly folded cheerfully bright clothing, my brain finally decided to inform the rest of me to stop looking. It was a hopeless case. My twin just didn't go out to nightclubs and therefore owned nothing that would merit the occasion. Obviously nothing new there.

I sighed as my eyes rested on the heap of clothing littering the floor, curtsey of me. Slowly a grin began forming on my lips. Perhaps a compromise was in order here.

I gently picked up the only black T-shirt Kikyo owned and threw it on the bed. Pulling down the black knee length skirt hanging on the coat hanger, I began to let my imagination perform its duty. After a second of contemplation while looking at the long skirt that was tight at the top and flared out at the bottom, I grabbed a pair of scissors lying on the table and none too gently began to cut off the bottom. The result was a dress reaching mid thigh, although upon close inspection, my not so careful cutting skills could be seen.

But hell, it was a nightclub. People will be too busy to notice something of such minor importance. With a self-satisfied smirk, I congratulated my own cleverness and quickly pulled on the new attire. I went to the bathroom to glance at the finishing product. The mirror reflected back my usually self-assured image as I lightly applied some lip-gloss and brushed down the random strands of my hair into one smooth uniform mane.

And I was ready. Simple, but elegant in a way. I didn't like going through the hassle some other girls did to prepare for a night out. After all, it was nothing special.

Just then, the bell rang. Right on time.

Quickly taking a peak into Souta's room, I was appeased with the sight of the blissfully slumbering boy. Great.

I'll be back before he'll ever know that I was gone.

I gave my eardrums a couple of minutes to get accustomed to the loud booming music as we entered the hot little club filled with bodies erotically grinding to the music. The different arrays of light flashed around the otherwise dark room, casting my sight in a temporary haze. The pungent smell of sweat, alcohol and perfume assaulted my nostrils.

"Didn't know you were so well acquainted with the bouncer!" I yelled to Manten, who was right in front of me.

"He's an old friend!" He yelled back. "And did I mention, you look beautiful, as always!"

"Thanks, I know!" I replied with a flirtatious wink. He blushed slightly in response. Who knew that someone living on the streets could be so shy?

He led me to the bar towards a particular group of people. Oh crap. I should've been expecting this. Of course he would hang out with his gang. But wasn't this a supposed date?

"Hey" he yelled as he pulled me within the circle. I looked around. All the guys stopped what they were doing and began to greet me, with a few occasional slaps on my back, but none dared to wander lower. Perhaps my earlier victory had inspired some respect.

However, I couldn't help but notice the piercing gaze of the leader as he nodded to me in greeted while leaning back in his seat.

"So how's it going?" I asked with a pleasant smile.

"Oh nothing much, just looking to get lucky tonight" a member replied nonchalantly as his eyes roamed around for the single party girls.

"And speaking of getting laid," another member began. Oh god I wish I could remember their names. "Will Manten be as lucky tonight?" A furious blush swept across the said man.

I looked at Manten with a grin.

"You know," I answered while making eye contact with Manten, "he's a nice guy, but I just ain't that easy."

Another member whistled.

"Wow, beautiful and tough to get. Manten, you have certainly landed yourself a challenge."

As the night progressed, I became more relaxed and at ease. Of course, a couple shots of alcohol did help in the processes.

Currently, I found myself sitting at the bar from an exhausted exercise on the dance floor. Hiten's men were currently trying to get lucky and Manten was off somewhere to run an errand for his brother upon a couple minute notice. Which brought me back to the man himself. Hiten, who was confidently strolling his was around the crowd towards me.

I'm beginning to think he set this whole thing up to talk to me. But after our last little rendezvous, I was rather less eager to accept the friendly chat.

"Beer" he told the bartender before situating himself comfortably on the stool next to me. I raised an eyebrow.

"Always figured you a man who liked the stronger stuff."

"Nah, I gotta work later." He replied as the bartender put a mug of the said beverage before him.

"I see." By now, the booming music had become little more than a string of unnoticeable rhythms in my mind and the pregnant pause settling over us made a sort of uncomfortable silence amongst the loud crow.

"So..." I began, if nothing but to only break the silence grating on my nerves. "How's it going?"

"Good" he replied curtly as he took a swing of his beer while studying me with unreadable eyes.

"Anything interesting happen lately?" I wanted to smack myself on the head for the most rhetorical question of the century. Of course interesting stuff happened, he's dealing on the streets for crying out loud.

"Nope" he replied as he continued to study me. And at that point I gave up trying to make small conversation with the unresponsive bastard. If he wants silence, then fine by me.

"Why are you with him?"

Okay, so perhaps he didn't want silence. But I didn't really expect him to brake the ice with such a question. I was knocked completely off balance.

"Who?" I asked in puzzlement.

"My brother" I continued to look at him in confusion.

"Cuz I want to...?" I wasn't exactly sure what he was getting at.

"Do you really expect me to believe that someone like you is just with him for the sake of wanting to?" He asked in amusement. "I guess my question is, if you're not with him to get to me, then why are you with him?"

"I thought we went through this conversation already." I sighed in annoyance. "I'm with him for the fun of it, not cuz I want something from him. You must be confusing me with one of your hoes on the streets."

I realized that the last part may have come out sounding somewhat bitter to the ears, but hey, he was really starting to piss me off with the same repeating question. Wasn't he capable of asking about something else?

He didn't answer, but looked me in the eye, daring me to hold his gaze. And so I did, every fiber of my being eagerly responding to the challenge. Hiten may be tough on the streets, but his gaze was nothing after you held a stare match with Sesshoumaru Winston.

"You amaze me" he breathed, finally letting go of the eye contact as he took another swing of his beer.

"Excuse me?" I was utterly confused at his last comment.

"I don't think that I've met a woman quiet like you before." He replied. "You're quiet ....different than the rest." I raised an eyebrow in response.

"I hope it's a good sort of different."

"Oh it without a doubt is." He assured me with a smile. "You know, I've always thought of your gender as petty and well... easy. That's why I've never recruited women into my circle."

"Well, glad I could change your views."

"You have to excuse me for being skeptical, but Manten is my only living relative and it is my duty as the older brother to watch his back."

"I understand." I replied. This brotherly bond. It was something Kouga's pack had taught me well.

"Good, then you know the importance of loyalty within a gang. Woman, you are truly something different. I must admit that I have been wary of your potential at first."

"Oh?"

"But I had a feeling that you weren't kidding around when Manten first brought you to us. You know, you've become quiet a little topic on the streets."

"I hope in a good way" I replied. I already had the negative kind at school, where I spend most of my day, thank you very much.

"Oh, it's something akin to amazement that a woman could be so fast. A woman whom was able to wear the throne and live up to its title. You're a wonder around the streets of London now Kagome. We could sure use someone like you with us."

I looked at him in amazement. Did he just ask me to join his gang? Wow, he must really be liking me at the moment.

"Thanks, but hey, I'm trying the straight path for a while. After living in the fast lane for most of my life, I think this whole school business is quiet a.....refreshment."

I didn't think that having a heart to heart with what presumably was a dangerous man on the streets was one of my better ideas, but hey, sometimes I just said things before evaluating their outcome. Besides, it's not like he was a completely closed door with me either.

"Well, if you ever change your mind, you know where to find me." He replied as he took a last swing of his beer and got up. "A woman like you is truly hard to come by these days Kagome Reynolds." And with those words, he walked away.

I sat there with a grin on my face. I think I just got on his good side. I took a sip of my own long forgotten martini and listened to the new dance remix.

Suddenly, something dawned on me.

How the hell did he know my last name? I was specifically sure not to mention to any of them my last name, even Manten. If anything sour happened, it made me too easy for them to track down. After half a lifetime of experience on the streets, that was a fundamental lesson I had to learn. So how the hell did Hiten know it?

A thousand possible scenarios ran through my brain, each more absurd than the last. I was really starting to panic.

"I'm surprised that you're not out on the race tracks."

I was suddenly startled out of my thoughts by a smooth and familiar voice.

"Huh?" I managed in a half daze.

"I'm glad I found you Kagome. How's London been treating you? I'm a little hurt that you didn't call me before you left New York."

I immediately tensed at the name of my home city and became on full alert. I looked around for the owner of the voice.

And I found him behind me.

Black hair neatly tied in a ponytail. Mischievous violet orbs. A flirtatious grin.

I smile slowly graced my lips. It was Miroku.

But my sense of gratitude at seeing a familiar face slowly left me as I caught sight of the man standing behind him. My smile quickly dropped and my heart skipped a panicked beat as the rough voice reached my ears, confirming one of my worst nightmares.

"I thought you were at home sleeping off a hangover Kikyo."

It was none other than Inuyasha Winston.

Oh crap.