Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha nor do I profit from this.

"Come the night you're only what I want
Come the night you could be my confidante
I see you on the street in company
Why don't you come and ease your mind with me
I'm living for the night we steal away
I need you at the dimming of the day"

- Bonnie Raitt, Dimming Of The Day

Chapter Twenty One

He retired a bit early and stalked into his quarters heading for the bathroom linen closet. He had a good idea that his bed would be populated yet again. He walked into his sleeping area with a fresh set of sheets in hand.

He pulled the beige sheets from the bed and paused. He crushed his face into the material, for some reason beyond his understanding he didn't want to change them. This was ridiculous, he wadded the material and stuffed it into a hamper in his closet returning quickly to replace them with the newer less ominous set.

He removed his clothing, thinking better of only wearing 'underwear' he found a simple tee shirt and slipped that on. Now to wait. He laid down on his futon and waited with full confidence she would be there in a matter of minutes. He knew the game had ended and could hear her rustling about in the far wing. Her cycle was beginning to peak and he comforted himself in the thought she would only be there maybe two more days at the most.

She waited for a half an hour. Staring at the clock she was feeling very restless. Creeping to the door she opened it softly. Listening for a moment she slid out into the hall.

'Abide by the rules… Whatever, dragging me here…' she though to herself trying to justify her actions. It wasn't very smart to try his patience even if centuries had softened his view on humans.

Knowing she was more or less a thorn in his side she suddenly felt it would be safer to just turn back to her room and go to sleep like a good house guest. That was stupid, she was for the most part an unwilling house guest. Her courage plucked up a bit and she continued to the end of hall, into the kitchen, to the entrance of his wing.

"If he's asleep I'll leave him alone…" she said under her breath extremely slight and low.

She crept to the threshold of his bedroom and eased her head around the corner. It was dark and very quiet. He must be asleep yet she lingered. What should she do?

"Do not stand there as if you think you are hidden from me," she heard his voice rip through the silence. She couldn't see him anywhere, he must be on his futon. He stood suddenly and she took a step back hiding her presence. "Come in by all means. You can not respect my simple requests do not try and be modest now," he continued. She blushed, the way he worded things was very open-ended at times. Stepping lightly she made herself visible again.

"Well, what do you expect? I'm pretty much a prisoner here," She huffed faking some of that anger she was so adept at with Inuyasha and crossing her arms. This wasn't Inuyasha though, and she knew he would twist her words, manipulation was his second nature.

"Ah, a willing prisoner. Instead of planning escape from my estate you plan infiltration into my sleeping quarters," he said flatly. She had set herself up for that one. Looking down at her feet she began to rock on her heels nervously.

"…I… wanted…" she opened and closed her mouth. Why did she come here again? Words couldn't be put to a reason because she didn't have one. Boredom? Curiosity? He interrupted.

"You will sleep here on the condition that you will rise early and leave my quarters. I see that you will continue this behavior," he paused looking for the right words. "I find it more comforting to know where you are then not," with that he settled back onto his futon. She just stood at the entrance dumbfounded.

Did he really just invited her to sleep in his room on a long-term basis? She shook her head with disbelief and edged to bed. Pulling the sheets back she felt a bit nervous. About what? She scoffed it off and crawled in pulling the sheets to her face. This was a very comfortable bed and sleeping here was always a pleasant experience. However, she wasn't sleepy and her mind began to wonder… To that futon on the floor.

He listened to her breathing. She was not drifting off to sleep as he expected. Instead she was trying very hard to feign sleep and this was amusing to him. Evening out her breaths she did everything in her power to lie very still. This was so obvious he almost snickered, what could she be thinking of? When she turned suddenly to face the opposite wall a wave of scent hit him that instantly gave her away.

She was thinking about anything, anything to take her mind off being in his house, lying in his bed, the reason she was there… She was failing miserably. A raw aching feeling was beginning to work its way down her spine. She had this feeling on occasion at home and entertained these random thoughts, being in her own bed it didn't matter.

But she wasn't in her own bed and the one her night-time thoughts lingered on lately was mere feet away. This was a predicament. Maybe she should go back to her little room next to Aki's. No that was stupid, she had to control herself. What would he think if she jumped up suddenly and ran off trailing this scent she was sure he already picked up?

She bit her lip and tried her best to act as if she were sleeping, like maybe this was the throes of some passionate dream. Her eyes lingered on his slight outline in the moonlight. This need began to ebb and flow causing her legs to shift slightly, she needed to turn over.

With a quick motion she flipped and stared hard at the wall. It was so silent the lack of sound rang in her ears. The reason she was a 'willing prisoner' came back to her and she shuddered. He was attracted to her, even if only by this blood thing and that thought lit her core on fire. Would he always be distant and harsh. Could he ever be… open and tender?

She thought of his hand in a tender gesture on her arm. Why is it those thoughts never remain on just the arm, or hand, but travel to face, throat, chest, and… She caught a breath in her throat.

This whole thing had blown its self from a haphazard tryst to some sort of sadistic play on her body and emotions. This angered her a bit but didn't push back the need. She could feel her body begin to pulsate. Fighting back the urge to writhe like some animal in heat she found this more than embarrassing.

Why was this happening to her? She had never been this consumed by someone in her life. The passion came and went with Inuyasha, it was just as powerful but not primarily passionate. Trying to grasp an explanation her mind went back to the beach… Wrong chain of thought, maybe she should not try to ferret out some obscure reason and clear her brain before this got any worse.

There was a sound of movement and a slight pressure on the far side of the bed. She turned quickly to see Sesshoumaru griping the mattress, kneeling on the opposite side, his hair shielding his face from view.

"Leave my room now," he snarled between clenched teeth. She gasped but didn't move a muscle.

Oh boy, not again.

She fought desperately with the fear rising in her mind.

When that consuming wave of lust and lingering blood hit him, he froze. She began shifting her legs and making small sounds in her throat. Calling to him, beckoning him. Arousal seared his mind and body. The intensity would have knocked him to his feet if he were standing.

He had reasoned earlier that the bond was fading, her emotions left his mind more and more until he had to decipher her mood with scent now. Damn his nose, he was so sure this would be safe and comforting…

Anger rose like a boiling geyser. He found himself clutching the mattress of the bed heaving breaths quietly. He almost laughed at his own words,

"Leave my room now…"

And where would she go to escape him? Where in his house could she mask this desire? She froze and he could sense the fear rising. He almost whimpered. There was only so much he could do to control himself, her heady scent, her raw passion, her lingering fear, these factors were breaking down every defense again, if she attempted to leave it would only fuel this more. Thinking better of his words he formulated a quick plan. He removed his shirt and pulled back the sheets.

"Turn over, lie still," he barked. She looked at him blankly and he growled. Turning slowly she held her breath in. She could feel him slipping into the sheets he laid quietly beside her for many minutes.

He commanded his body to regain control. Her fear spiked as he lay there. Golden eyes shifted slowly to crimson. She didn't dare move a muscle, his voice had told her he meant business. Then she felt an arm wrap around her waist beneath her shirt and pause on her bare stomach. This startled her. He curled up at her back, fitting his large form onto her and then his lips were at her ear.

"Don't move… try to control… I do not want to hurt you again…" he whispered. Like gasoline to a flame his soft words in her ear ignited her body. She began to pull her knees to her face but stopped as another arm seized her and pulled her back abruptly. The fear began to recede and something else replaced it, she felt drunk and overtaken.

A sigh escaped her lips before she could control it. At that moment she lost all control and writhed gently with her breaths. This moment was so intense and powerful. She could have froze her life in that dangerous passion even if feeling it much longer would probably kill her. She started to tremble.

Not knowing how to express this desire was painful. His left arm moved to wrap around her chest and bring her body flush against his. As if on cue his body matched her movement and she felt her shirt pulled up slightly. He ground into her back and she felt something she had only experienced once in the woods…

Hot and searing she gasped as she felt his arousal. His hand found the curve of a breast and he growled gently. Her passioned dreams had played his scene in her mind many times but her dreams couldn't compare to the true ache and ecstasy of this moment.

"Sesshoumaru…" she breathed his name like a secret prayer. He tightened his grip on her body. Clenching her teeth she gripped the sheets. This intoxication was screaming for release. She remembered her 'release' in the woods…

Reliving that now would break her neck with the force of it. Tears rolled lazily from her eyes. He had never touched her like this before. This was urgent and even if fueled by instinct it felt seductive and lustful. He seemed to enjoy it as much as she.

Suddenly she needed to see his face. As she began to rise he gripped her body painfully and ground onto her harder, growling fiercely. Before she could control herself, out of fear, a pulse of purifying energy hit him.

He released his grip and snapped back. She instantly turned over to find him staring blankly with his red-tinged golden eyes at the ceiling. She wrapped her arms around his neck.

"I'm so sorry… I didn't mean to hurt you," she breathed through tears. Suddenly his baritone laughter filled her ears and she looked into his face. He looked relieved.

"That was tactful," he said with a sigh. She had knocked the sense back into him in one clean stroke. He looked at her tear streaked face and resisted placing his hand on her cheek. He was so very grateful for her purification power but why was she still crying?

Leaning toward his face she closed her eyes and sighed. She was lying on top of him and even though the feral beast was held at bay, his arousal was still nagging. He shifted uncomfortably hoping she wasn't in a state of mind to notice. As she opened her eyes a strange expression crept into her features. In his long years of life he had never expected what she did next.

Bending down slowly she placed her small lips on his.

Of course he was aware of what she was doing. He knew enough about human behavior to understand this gesture. However, this wasn't a Youkai practice and his demon brain froze. He had never been 'kissed' before that moment and it felt strange, soft and intimate.

He had adopted the practice of kissing the children on their heads, or placing his lips on the hand of an important lady, but he had never considered something like this. A kiss on his lips out of passion. He never had reason to, a Youkai female doesn't display such behavior and a mere human would never dare…

The sheer emotion she held behind this mundane action made his senses tingle. As he allowed her to linger he soon felt the warmth of a tongue slide timidly to the corner of his mouth. He jerked away.

"Stop this," he barked in a whisper. She sat up and looked away.

"I'm sorry, I don't know what…" she breathed. He could smell the hot salt of tears and felt a drop fall on his bare chest. Her sadness was unbearable.

"You can not be held accountable. My actions were completely base and unhonorable," he said softly. She turned her watery eyes to him and smiled slightly. Quickly he sat up and slid to the opposite end of the bed before she felt at liberty to attempt another round of her human affections.

"No, this is all my fault. I can't control my feelings at times. I've never been able to actually…" she thought back on many things she had said or done. She laid back onto the bed abruptly and covered herself. "I'm sorry if I hurt you… before," she whispered. He looked at her with amusement as he stood to return to his futon.

"If it were between hurting you or hurting myself, I heal quickly," he said coolly and laid back on is his futon. "Goodnight."

"Goodnight," she answered. Still the tears came. She wanted to slap herself. Why did she try to kiss him? Better yet, why couldn't she control her purification power?

Damn it, she panicked and shocked him right out of his tender mood. 'Well, as tender as he can be.' She thought to herself. It's a wonder she didn't purify him completely. She always had problems with her miko powers, emotions, and her big mouth. She almost laughed at her thoughts as she drifted into sleep. Her mouth just didn't say stupid things, it did stupid things as well.

Aki woke from a strange dream and reached for her diary to write it down. Looking at the clock she found it was three in the morning. After scribbling a few paragraphs she put the journal down got out of bed to use the bathroom. Upon exiting her room she found Kagome's door to be wide open. Very strange.

She peeked into the room, Kagome wasn't there. Curiosity began to bubble up inside her. Where could she be? An inspection of the house was in order.

The bathroom, the front room, and the kitchen were all empty. Her eyes rested on the entrance to Sesshoumaru's quarters Would she risk being caught? She needed to let him know Kagome was gone anyway. There was also the possibility that maybe Kagome… might be with him? Quietly she crept down the dark hall toward the light of his bedroom window at the end.

Leaning her head slightly around the corner she had to choke back a gasp. Kagome was sleeping in her hero's bed! But he wasn't with her, is he up? She looked to and fro anxiously, no, he must be sleeping on his futon. She felt the sudden urge to giggle. Something was definitely going on here. This was wonderful, he had always been so lonely. She crept back the hall and took off in a silent run to her bedroom.

She closed the door softly and let out a giggle. He wasn't just sick, he was love sick. She sighed and swooned falling onto her bed. They both must be in denial by the way they treat each other. He let Kagome sleep in his bed but didn't join her. She was young, yes, but old enough to know that when a man and woman share a room there is something special going on. Her mother and father shared the same bed. If her hero would do the same…

She had to do something, she couldn't just sit back and let them go on denying such a wonderful thing. She giggled again. Too many romance novels made her a bit soft in the head, that's okay though. She began to plan the next day with much excitement.