The Broken Hold of Matrimony
Part Two: The Sweet Forbidden
Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha. Somehow I keep forgetting to add this although most of the time I feel it's just plain unnecessary.
1. Kaede and Kikyo are NOT sisters. Kaede is the old village miko that trained Kikyo, the young village miko. Don't forget.
"You are sure that all is well, Kagome-sama?" Miroku met her uncertain gaze once more.
"Yes," she smiled at him but failed to convince him or herself.
"This is most saddening... I wish there was something I could do to be of more assistance to you."
"There isn't," she whispered quietly.
After a strained silence he spoke up once more.
"Your escort this morning... that was the eldest brother, was it not?"
Kagome looked up. "Sesshoumaru-sama, yes. He's Inuyasha's brother."
"Yes, I see. I thought that's who he was when you introduced him as a Masaharu."
She smiled weakly. "He doesn't talk much but... I like him. He's nicer to me than Inuyasha is." she admitted.
"Then at least I will be happy with the knowledge that you are not surrounded by hostile creatures then, Kagome-sama." he smiled scooting closer when the screen was tossed violently to the side.
The girl beside him abruptly stood. "Sesshoumaru-sama."
"It's time to return home."
"Is Inuyasha coming?" she tentatively asked.
"I told him to go ahead. Come," he ordered and she scurried toward him stopping when she reached his side to thank her companions with genuinely warm smiles.
After which they stepped out into the night air and empty village lanes. The sounds of the night were creepy if you were alone, she thought, but if you were not…
If you were not, then they were peaceful, soothing. It didn't matter that he probably wasn't paying any attention to the gentle chirp of the crickets or the breeze blowing about them, just that he was there. She had someone to enjoy it with, even if he wasn't really enjoying it.
She smiled weakly to herself. The whole day wasn't a loss, she thought. Kaede had bandaged her wrist telling her it was probably fractured and that she'd need to let it rest for a good while. As if manual labor had ever been anything she'd been exposed to, she thought bitterly of herself.
"You have been very quiet."
She looked up at the sound of his voice, but his gaze was directed ahead of her, perhaps scouting for potential dangers.
"I … wasn't feeling quite myself today."
"Will you be yourself tomorrow?" he asked, raising a brow and she smiled jovially at him.
"I will, with the exception of a painful wrist I imagine."
The light mood that had sprung up quickly died as he stopped walking under the deep shade of their forested surroundings.
"Why did you want to come to the village today?"
"I… just wanted to get out for a little while."
She looked away from him even though she could see little of him in their dim surroundings.
"Do you know why Inuyasha comes to this village?" he asked directly, his voice low.
After a few terse moments she finally breathed an answer. "… Yes."
He stepped closer, unnerving her slightly and perhaps unknowingly forcing her to continue just to put something between the rapidly diminishing space between them.
"He comes because of … because of … Kikyo."
If she thought uttering the name of her husband's lover would stop his progress, she was mistaken as the gap between them was closed. She could feel him, his body pressing against hers as his arms snaked around her in the darkness.
This was wrong, she told herself even as she sank against him, wanting, needing the comfort he was offering her. Why couldn't things be this way with Inuyasha, she wondered even though she did not desire him to touch her. She didn't want him, but the simple fact that she wasn't good enough-
That train of thought was promptly derailed as she felt the warmth of his fingertips press against her jaw, turning her face up to his and then the heat of his breath against her cheek. Her heart thudded in her chest and she was unable to hold in the gasp as his lips pressed fleetingly against hers.
"Sesshoumaru…" she whispered and he slid away from her.
"We need to return, it's getting late."
She followed wordlessly, noting how he slowed his pace and made sure she kept with him before he continued on, always keeping her within an arm's length of himself.
She was relieved when they reached the house and as quickly as she could, she parted company with him. She even brushed off Inuyasha, drawing his suspicion, when she refused to rise to an argument leaving him alone in the room.
Sesshoumaru sat in the dining room alone, glancing up once more to the empty place in front of him. She hadn't shown up for breakfast this morning and Inuyasha had left almost twenty minutes early. Both occurrences were unusual, even so he had expected her this morning.
She was nothing if not consistent in her morning routine, or at least that's how he'd noted her to be over the last few weeks. Although the events of the previous evening had been far from usual. He'd overstepped his bounds and conducted himself improperly.
It was disturbing just how unusual things had been the previous night. He was becoming possessive and was already very attracted to the girl, and while that may not be entirely bad, it was to an extent, wrong.
She had been close to the monk when he'd come for her at the little hut, and had stood surprisingly quickly although perhaps he was misinterpreting her actions. Still, he had been right about her knowing about the girl from the village. Probably since that first morning when he'd seen her return so distraught that had been the likely time she had discovered where he was going. It was most probable that she had simply followed him, and in that case, she was lucky that she had made it back to the estate unharmed.
He was currently in the task of collecting himself just about to drop her from his thoughts when the door slid open. He glanced up, expecting nothing but a servant switching rooms when there she appeared. Her bright cerulean gaze was clear, but uncertain as she stood there. She paused momentarily before turning back and sliding the painted door closed.
"Good morning Sesshoumaru-sama."
He gave a noncommittal reply that sounded suspiciously like a grunt. He watched as she settled down on her cushion directly across from him. Attendants scurried around placing items and taking others away. Sunlight streamed through the shoji screens across the windows, providing no view of the courtyard beneath them.
"I'm a little late," she commented, her head turning sharply toward the door as it was jerked open once more.
"'Bout time you got up! Been waiting forever, hurry up and eat, we gotta go!" Inuyasha barked, standing indignantly in the doorway.
"G-go where?" she sputtered, clearly surprised, as was he.
"You want to see someone about that wrist, don't you?"
"N-no, actually. I saw Kaede yesterday, and it's not bothering me." She held it protectively by her side, delicate fingers curled gently around her own injured wrist.
For a moment he just stared at her before making a rude noise and snapping the door closed, leaving them alone again. She turned back toward him a moment before proceeding with her breakfast. The room he had been growing tired of some minutes before was now even more unbearable with her in it. He rose and quietly left the room with no acknowledgement for or from her.
He quickly set about his tasks, stopping by the library briefly and then turned to head toward the door. He still needed to get down to the- he paused as Inuyasha stepped out of a side room directly into his path.
"When's Father coming home?"
"Four or five weeks, minimum," Sesshoumaru patiently replied. It was no wonder he and his younger sibling had never gotten along, their personalities were so different it left little room for co-existence. "Shouldn't you be having breakfast with your wife?"
Inuyasha crossed his arms huffily. "Isn't that something you usually do?" he quipped.
"Yes," he replied plainly. "But it seems she is picking up your bad habits."
"Although I care not for how you clumsily handle your affairs, your wife is another matter. If you wish to spend the day screwing your whore, fine, but it is your responsibility to protect that woman in the dining room. Like her or not, she is your wife – and while you seem to have little liking to her other men would have no problem snatching her up. Forget not whose daughter that is, brother; Higurashi-san is not a man to be tampered with."
This comment more than the others seemed, if only for a moment, to seep into his thick skull and so he left him there to think about it. Inuyasha was no cause to delay his business.
Kagome lowered the brush onto the tabletop as she finished brushing her hair. The weather was so nice she was really quite tempted to grab a blanket and head outside to camp on the lawn. Although she was certain her attendants would have a fit and somehow end up drawing the attention of Sesshoumaru, so she didn't. But that was an interesting thought. Camping out on the lawn with Sesshoumaru, in full view of the house where Inuyasha could see-
No, such things were beneath her. She wouldn't do that.
"You're being very quiet tonight, is something wrong, Inuyasha?" she asked, not bothering to turn around to face her husband who had been in the room with her at least ten minutes and hadn't said a word. Unusual couldn't even begin to describe the peculiarity of that.
When no response was forthcoming she thought maybe he'd fallen asleep and turned back. As she did so however she met with his bright golden gaze leveled directly at her.
"You… Have you met other guys?"
She blinked surprised. "What?"
"In the village ... wherever!" he fumbled, turning away, apparently flustered.
Seeing nothing odd about the question she answered. "Well sure I have. There's Shippou, and Miroku, and-"
"That's enough!" he snapped, and it seemed he was even more upset than before. Rather than discuss whatever it was on his mind he laid back, and turned on his side away from her abruptly.
She furrowed her brow but didn't interrupt him again. She turned back to the table to finish her evening preparations. At least they wouldn't fight tonight, she sighed softly to herself. Yet as she ran her fingers through her hair she found herself wondering what Sesshoumaru was doing. She turned back and stared across the dim room at where her husband lay.
They were so different. The briefest of contacts left her anxious in the elder's presence and she dreaded the presence of her husband whenever he happened to be near. Pushing the thoughts of him away she stood up and blew out the candles around the room and headed to her bed. She laid down, and stared up at the dark ceiling. She knew already she wasn't going to be able to sleep.
There was nothing she could do but lay there. She sighed heavily and closed her eyes.
He found here there, where he expected her. He'd heard her leave her bedroom just moments before and the servants were all asleep. She was seated in the dining room; a singular candle lit flickering across her features. Inuyasha had not returned from today's journey to the village for whatever reason even though they both knew where and whom he was with.
He stepped inside; startling her slightly and then watched as she visibly relaxed, but pulled the blanket around her shoulders tighter.
"Why are you up?" He asked kneeling down on a cushion adjacent to her.
"I haven't been able to sleep well and it's... harder without Inuyasha here." She looked away. "He could have at least done me the courtesy of coming back."
He watched as tears brimmed in those glimmering eyes full of uncertainty and pain. Tears just threatening to spill over at any moment when her face could be alight with ecstasy. It was a tempting thought, as he was learning all thoughts about her, were.
He wondered how it was that Inuyasha could retire to a room with this girl every night and stare at this bundle of femininity that begged to be touched. Instead he left her alone, rejected, broken, humiliated, and found his comfort in the arms of a cold, duty bound woman who would be shamed for life once their affair was uncovered. And he had no doubts that sooner or later their union would produce the undeniable evidence. It was just a matter of time, he reasoned.
He reached toward her, scooting closer. He wondered, fleetingly, why Inuyasha had not returned, but just as quickly banished from him from his head. He could only stare into the wavering eyes of this abandoned beauty thinking how much more enjoyment she could provide for his life.
He gently touched his fingers to her neck, and ended up wrapping them gently over her shoulder and guiding her forward, toward him.
"What do you intend to do about it?"
She breathed heavier. "I can do nothing..."
"Then think nothing," he whispered, unable to contain the curiosities, the desires any further.
He leaned down toward her, pressing his lips firmly against hers and she melted against him. He raised his other hand up to her shoulder before threading them both into her hair pulling her closer, harder against him. He felt the heat of her blush, but she made no moves of protestation, nor did she press him away from her.
He dropped his hands from her hair, fingering the cloth around her neck before gripping the light silk at the collar and slowly trailing it across her shoulders. He pulled it down just slightly below the shoulder on each arm before trailing the path of bare skin back to her neck, sliding his hands up beneath her jaw and then back again. She was lax against him, and he found himself rearranging them, dropping back onto the floor half laying on Kagome's abandoned blanket.
Pressing kisses against her shoulders, he gripped the cloth, tugging it further downward when it caught at the sash. He raised his head, inspecting the colored band wrapped around her, wondering just how she'd gotten it so tight. It wasn't the same kimono she was wearing earlier - did she always dress so tightly? He half growled and cursed wanting nothing more than to tear the offending material off, but unable to do so. Why the hell did she wear so many - screw this, where was his sword? How was she even breathing with this thing so tight?
His sword was in another room but he found a dagger on the table and slipped it under the material. He shimmied it through pulling upwards, slicing and ripping the material until it gave way. He didn't pause to contemplate that the dagger belonged to his brother and promptly tossed it as far as he could before returning to the task of removing her troublesome garments. He pulled at the remaining threads that bound the sash, tearing through them, pulling her kimono open.
He frowned, finding more layers of clothing and decided suddenly that their current position wasn't going to do at all. His back was starting to hurt from leaning over her from one side and he immediately rectified the situation by moving one leg over her and settling his hips over hers, supporting himself on his knees.
There came a rattle and familiar slide - the door! He froze, leaning down over her, listening. Sure enough, footsteps. The bastard had come home after all. Sesshoumaru barely contained the growl even as he felt Kagome become alarmed beneath him. He sat back and she managed to pull herself up, but before she could disentangle herself from him he pulled her close for one last searing kiss.
They quickly separated, Sesshoumaru watched her pick up the scraps of her sash and clutch her kimono and hurry off. Moments later she hurried back in, collected the blanket and rushed off once more.
The morning brought a rush of anxiousness upon them both. Kagome deliberately held back, dressing longer than customary, but Inuyasha said nothing and headed out as usual. Unable, however, to remain cooped up in her room for so long she crept out, and immediately her servants were upon her, ushering her to the dining room. Therein the object of her distress met her.
He was seated calmly, sipping his tea and reading over a letter that had apparently been delivered that morning, or so the circumstances seemed to dictate. He did not glance up at her entrance, nor did he comment as she sat down across from him. Inuyasha stared at the two before dismissing them and finishing his breakfast in record time and setting off.
She couldn't hold in the shrill call drawing the attention of both males to her. Her husband stared back at her, clearly wondering at the sound of such distress in her voice while she kept her gaze away from the other. She didn't want to see what his eyes held.
At her delayed response he snapped irritably. "What!"
She blinked, licking her lips apprehensively. "Uh... you won't be gone for so long tonight will you?"
At the desperate, pleading tone in her voice his gaze softened upon her, almost pityingly. Almost as if he now understood the devastation he'd been wearing upon her with his continued absence. Almost, she thought as she continued to hold his gaze.
"No..." he replied. "I won't be gone so long tonight."
With that he spun around and left, but his soft answer spoke volumes. There at least, she thought, there was some measure of guilt. But with the sliding closed of the door she was alone with him... again.
"Good morning, Sesshoumaru-sama."
He raised his gaze to hers silently. "Good morning?" he asked, as though the question were not enough of a greeting for him.
She shifted. "Should... I have said something different?"
He lowered his head back to its previous position where he was staring down into his breakfast soup. Her thoughts drifted to the previous evening. To the other side of this room where she'd been pinned underneath the man across from her in a heated passion. A passion that would not have died until quenched or had been quickly doused, as it had been by the appearance of her husband. Nor did she dare call his interruption untimely.
She was no longer safe in the grand house that had come to be her home. Or forced to be her home, she thought flippantly as she glanced at him once more across the low table. He still had said nothing.
No longer safe because the elder brother was a threat, not to her safety, but to her marriage, her reputation, her body, her general state of mind, which was hastily being ruined...
She sighed softly lowering her own head as she sipped her soup. Something very clearly had to be done, or said, or... anything to keep some space between them. Something, anything, it didn't matter. And yet it wasn't a lack of self control that she felt was threatening, not her own, and not his. What was dangerous about it was that it wasn't some silly fling, a heated moment of passion that meant nothing; there was more to it than that... That's what was wrong with this, that's what broiled under the thinly veiled surface of their would-be affair.
"Hey! Anybody home! Yo!"
Kagome gasped softly as she heard the rough call turning her head back as though to view the person making it. She was startled as a servant hastily stepped inside, bowing clumsily.
"Masaharu-sama there is a man in the-"
She yelped as she was shoved aside carelessly and the man himself stepped in. Kagome stared up at the stranger with wide eyes as the man stared back at her, eyes darting over her figure.
"She's a pretty one, Sesshoumaru; perhaps I can play with her too?"
Suddenly he was down beside her, leaning comfortably against her shoulder, sniffing her with a goofy smile. She frowned and without thinking about it shoved him away from her. He grinned and broke into a chuckle.
"Oh, she's fiery; I like that in a woman!"
He came back wrapping his arms around her almost tackling her to the floor when Sesshoumaru finally saw fit to speak up.
"She is Inuyasha's wife."
He immediately released her, looking her over in contemplation. "Dog-face is married? And to this pretty woman? What a waste!" he declared.
Kagome turned her head away intending to leave in a moment; it was the last place she wanted to be.
"A woman like this needs a real man, someone to keep her bed warm!"
She didn't dare look in his direction at that remark.
"My name is Kouga."
She was duty bound to meet his gaze assuming he must be speaking to her since it was apparent the two males already knew one another.
"Masaharu Kagome, pleased to meet you Kouga-sama."
"Ah, she's perfect!" he embraced her suddenly once more crushing her to him. "You sure I can't steal her from dog-face? Maybe just an hour or two of passion dished out by the best and she'd never want to go back to that idiot!"
Finally, having reached her patience limit she pushed him away and startling both men when she slapped him as hard as she could.
"Just who do you think you are, anyway! Walking into this house and shouting with all the manners of an animal and then pawing me like some whore!"
He blinked, startled, too startled to move in fact, and just sat there gaping at her.
She stood, snubbing him and her breakfast companion with no words or even a glance as she left, her two attendants scurrying after her with secret, small smiles at what they had just witnessed.
Kouga raised a hand to his stinging cheek. "That's one hell of a woman. She always like that?"
"That's Kagome," Sesshoumaru replied dismissively. "What brings you here?"
The incident with Kouga was not soon forgotten; Sesshoumaru realized after following his guest back from the door he heard her within her room muttering rather loudly.
"Jerk! How dare he?"
Raising his hand he knocked upon the frame of the door and in record time it slid open vehemently and she stood there in all her fiery glory glaring for all she was worth. He'd never been exposed to this part of her, he realized. He had only experienced her fire through her kisses, but never through her words. That had been something he'd experienced via a third party, from listening to her fight with his brother late at night.
Now as she stared down at her, eyes hard, lips parted in fury, he noted she was very attractive. Almost as appealing as her delicate inexperience which he found nearly as irresistible. His attraction for her was a dangerous thing however; it was leading to his growing possessiveness and his substantial decrease in patience. The moment Kagome had left the room Kouga had gotten a verbal thrashing and had clearly understood his message; touch Kagome again and he'd regret it for the rest of his menial existence.
"Yes?" There was a note of impatience in her voice as she impudently snapped at him.
"You behaved badly," he raised a hand and with minor resistance removed her hand from the frame of the door and stepped forward causing her to step away and making room for himself inside. He quietly turned back closing her attendants out.
"Excuse me? I behaved badly? Please," she waved him off dismissively. "I'm not his tramp; I will not be treated as one. That animal can stay outside and howl at the gates!"
He ignored the dismissive gesture in light of his mood and continued. "Kouga's behavior is not at issue, yours is. He was a guest of mine."
"Then you should not have allowed him to paw me as he did. Excuse me if I won't sit there while he feels me up and all but disrobes me before you decide to say anything!"
"I would have allowed no such thing." he replied calmly, advancing toward the girl whose back was turned to him.
"Okay, fine, next time I'll just avoid him, okay?" She turned about only to realize there was no space between them and gasp aloud. "Sess-"
He leaned down, inhaling her sweet scent as he gripped the white silk of her kimono sliding it less than gently away from her neck. "You will not see him again," he murmured between kisses against her bare flesh. "And if you do, he knows his place."
"Sesshoumaru-sama..." she whispered.
"No one else..."
This seemed to snap her out of her induced haze and she pushed away from him staring up with blazing eyes. "No one but you, you mean!"
Him. Her. Inuyasha.
Utterly distasteful, he knew it, he hated it, but it was damn hard to fight it. Was he treating her any less than Kouga minus the overt desire for nothing but a bedmate in her? Was she to be his village miko? Was he going to lower himself to the same crime of his father and brother, the crime that had earned them his lack of respect?
Yes, he did want her. It was hard being in the house with her, he enjoyed being around her. He especially enjoyed having breakfast with her listening to her sweet, melodious voice chatter over the insignificant nothings she experienced from day to day. Especially given it was really the only time he had to spend with her.
But over all the final answer had to be no. He wasn't willing to do that. He stepped away having made his decision. She was after all, his brother's wife, he had to respect that, and keep his distance. And if all possible get out of this house and away from her as soon as possible or find someone to slake his lusts when they arose.
He nodded weakly at her and the fire in her eyes quickly died and was replaced by a soft, but clearly surprised expression. With that, he turned and left her alone in the room.
It was the laughter that drew him out into the courtyard; a litany of children's voices had been drifting in his window for the past half hour irking him. The village closest to their house was at least half a mile south; he stepped out of his drab study and into the main room where the shoji doors were pulled open letting in the warm spring air. Just beyond, in the front garden sat Kagome, a ring of children surrounding her.
It wasn't until he heard a call that he saw a local monk from the southern village, did he realize how the children had gotten there. They gathered around, bidding their goodbyes before hurrying after the man who waited patiently for them to catch up with him.
Even after they left down the dusty trail she remained, staring after them longingly, as though missing their company direly. He pushed away from the doorframe and out into the yard to stand beside her.
She looked up, her smile faltering only a moment before she greeted him.
"Good afternoon Sesshoumaru-sama. How are you?"
"Well enough. " he replied.
Silence followed, and after a few moments of silence he leaned down to rest upon the grass beside her.
Her legs were stretched out in front of her. Peeking out from the cloud white hem of her kimono was an odd green leaf that drew his attention. It was strangely shaped and matching nothing in the grassy foliage on which they were sitting. He stared closer before stretching a hand to the hem of her kimono and, without a word to her, placed a hand just above her ankle, sliding it upwards just past her knee.
Kagome, being the overdramatic female she was, immediately lost her composure and blushed. He gently stroked her thigh while he examined her ankle. There, the green leaf that had come to his attention, he noted, was part of an anklet wreathed of flowers. Having sated his curiosity he withdrew his hand allowing the fabric to fall back into place. He glanced once at her glowing face and almost grinned before turning his gaze away. It was really a rather beautiful day; he could only imagine how his brother was squandering it. Probably following the commands of the miko in the village, he repressed the sigh and glanced back at the girl.
She had turned her attention to the forest that led to the village. Her expression was far off, almost unreadable. She seemed sad however, but she was given to looking downcast these days. Her only cheerful expressions came during the day, when Inuyasha arrived home, her mood turned and her communication with him almost ceased. She spoke little to him in the presence of her husband; he found it to be quite strange.
"Aiko!" She suddenly called the name of a servant, almost startlingly him with the suddenness.
She was up in a moment and off her feet halfway to the house before she stopped and cautiously turned back.
What was she talking about now?
"I forgot you wanted me to... Um, Sesshoumaru-sama, is it okay if I go down to the village? I would like to see Miroku-sama and I promised him and the others I would help out. Kaede says she can teach me some miko things, and I would really like to. I'm rather bored and I'm sure I can't help you with anything... so..."
He stood as well. "I'm expecting Kouga soon, he will be taking care of some business down that way for me. He will escort you there."
"He is coarse but he is harmless and will see to your protection."
Perhaps he was half-hoping her aversion to Kouga would dissuade her from going, but she was stubborn and apparently willing to put up with Kouga's nonsense. She nodded grimly.
"I guess I don't have any choice then." She made to return to the house before pausing and calling her thanks back over her shoulder.
She vanished within leaving him alone. Kagome was leaving for the afternoon, Inuyasha was already out, and his father would be gone for... he sighed. With the exception of the servants, he would be alone again.
End Chapter Two.
AN: Hey! I totally forgot about this story. I haven't written anything in like 2 weeks and I was feeling restless when I came upon this. Chapter 4 is really close to finish and it will end, absolutely, in chapter 5. Yes, it's short.