One Ranch, Two Brothers
Co-Authored by: BelleDayNight & KitKats
Summary: One Ranch, two brothers, Miroku and Kouga one thinks he's God's gift to women and the other won't have anything to do with them. Enter two fille's that refuse to fit that mold. KK, MS
Disclaimer: We don't own Inuyasha. It is the property of Rumiko Takahashi!
Miroku searched the crowded Houston airport for the new live-in Veterinarian for his and his old brother's prosperous ranch. He was still sad that Dr. Myoga had to retire a few months ago, but hopefully this new doctor would provide a much needed source of change to his stagnant life.
He was rather surprised when his wanted add in the Houston Chronical newspaper was answered by a young woman from upstate New York. She explained that she had graduated from a large Northern Veterinary school and had been serving as a faculty member for the last two years since she finished her education.
She sounded smart and experienced in spite of her young age, but her best quality was the little photo she had faxed over to him along with her resume. Miroku could have hired any Veterinarian, but he would never have passed up an opportunity for a beautiful woman to move into his home.
Now his older brother probably wouldn't be very happy about him bringing home a female, but that was his fault for placing this important assignment in the very capable hands of one Miroku Wolfe.
Miroku smiled charmingly at the young women that were passing by, amused at the amount of phone numbers that were being slipped into his jacket pockets. He shook his head and tried to focus on his search for Kagome Higurashi.
He was so absorbed in watching the crowd that he failed to notice the woman that stood behind him and began to tap him on the shoulder. He whirled around quickly and tried to hide his surprise from the twinkling sapphire eyes that greeted him.
"I take it that you are Mr. Wolfe?" Kagome inquired, giving her new boss the once over with a raised brow upon noticing several slips of paper peaking out of his jacket pocket before extending her hand.
"Please call me Miroku, Dr. Higurashi," he replied as he took her hand and raised it to his lips to kiss her knuckles lightly.
Kagome rolled her eyes at his bravado. She certainly didn't want to deal with any more overly flirtatious men at the moment. She had enough of that on the plane ride down. And frankly, thanks to her former fiancé she could probably go a lifetime without dealing with the messes any relationship would surely bring her.
"You might as well call me Kagome if we're about to be housemates," she replied once she managed to pull her hand out of Miroku's grasp. He merely grinned at her confidently before taking the suitcases that were lying at her feet.
"Follow me. I've got the car out front." Miroku began to lead the woman out of the crowd. From his peripheral vision he decided that she was beauty incarnate. He knew he shouldn't get involved with her because frankly seeing her every day would prove better than a casual one-night stand.
However, with her dark midnight tresses twisted up in a French braid let down it would probably reach past her waist, lithe figure in a form hugging sky blue sundress, and with a stunning smile that temptation might be harder to avoid than he realized.
"You actually drove, Miroku?" Kagome asked, forcing herself to say her employer's name casually. She was uncomfortable with the way he was checking her out. He might have been covert about it, but she could still notice it. Her eyes were trained to pick up all sorts of observations.
Miroku tossed her luggage in the trunk and took her hand once more to guide her to the passenger door which he opened for her. "Of course, fair Kagome, I may be a multi-millionaire and devastatingly handsome bachelor but I enjoy driving and refuse to be chauffeured around everywhere."
"I see," Kagome replied as she forcefully took her seatbelt out of Miroku's hands as he tried to buckle her up. "I think I can handle this task myself," she told him with a polite smile.
Miroku looked temporarily disheartened as his plan to oh so innocently brush up against her chest suddenly disappeared. He smirked back and shut the door without a word as he moved to the driver's seat.
"Do you care to listen to some music?" Miroku asked after he managed to pull out of the heavy airport traffic. He cast Kagome a sideways glance, noticing she was absently rubbing the ring finger on her left hand. He made a mental note to find out if there was something to cause that habit.
"No thanks," Kagome looked over at him and smiled while dropping her hands into her lap. "I'm tired of all the city noise. I'd like to enjoy the silence of the country."
Miroku laughed at the absurdity of the statement. "You realize that Houston is one of the largest cities in the country, right?"
Bell like laughter was the response. "Of course I do, but we won't be in the city much longer, now will we?"
"I suppose that's true," Miroku conceded. He didn't like how this woman was causing him to feel off balance. There was only one other woman that resisted his charms this long and that was Sango. The muscles of his jaw clinched as he thought of that abominable woman. He still couldn't get over the fact that she had turned his advances down flat so many times.
He glanced over at Kagome once more. He didn't need Sango. But, surely if she saw him with a respectable woman such as Dr. Higurashi she might look at 'ole playboy Miroku' in a more welcoming light.
"So how many people live on this ranch?" Kagome asked, breaking the easy silence. She felt a sense of camaraderie with Miroku already, in spite of his obvious flirtatious manner. Surely under his playboy exterior was a good man. That was the case with her younger brother, so she knew the signs quite well.
"Well you'll be living in the ranch house with my brother and me. I'm not always home though. I have an apartment in Houston for when I have to do a great deal of business meetings. Our cook is a nice old lady who was recently widowed by the name of Kaede. There are also the cowboys that stay at the Ranch during the busy season in a bunk house. Oh, and the foreman, he lives in a cabin on the estate." Miroku explained, running through the people who worked for him through his head.
"Who is the foreman?" Kagome asked curiously.
Miroku looked over at her, violet eyes dark with a sudden seriousness. "I'd steer clear of Sess if I were you." He warned, without a hint of his previous mirth. "We don't know much about him. Heck we don't even know his last name. About five years ago, he just showed up and asked to fill the position of foreman."
"So?" Kagome asked, not seeing the problem. The name Sess was vaguely familiar. It reminded her of a dear friend she once knew by the name of Sesshoumaru.
"So, he obviously is hiding something in his past. As soon as he started working for us, our moderately successful Ranch became a billion dollar dream." A frown crinkled the flesh of his forehead before he continued. "He doesn't like to talk to any one. Heck, I haven't even met any of his friends." Miroku continued.
"I see, well he sounds interesting. Maybe I'll be able to help him get out of his shell." Kagome stared at the passing landscape. She missed the pine forests of her home state. "So tell me about your brother. I don't even know his name." She grinned at the man driving beside her.
Begrudgingly she'd have to admit he was rather handsome with his shoulder length black hair pulled in a loose ponytail at the base of his neck and amethyst irises. His tight jeans and button up shirt didn't hide his muscle tone in the slightest. No wonder he had so many women slipping him their numbers at the airport!
Miroku shifted uncomfortably and was silent a few moments before answering. "Well, to tell you the truth you probably want to avoid Kouga. He's not exactly a friendly person." He shot Kagome an apologetic look. "He's especially not friendly towards women."
Kagome raised a delicate raven eyebrow at the statement. "Sounds like the opposite of you." She commented with a wry grin.
A rosy blush stained the young man's high cheekbones much to the amusement of the doctor riding alongside him. "Well, I do enjoy the sweet qualities of the fairer sex," he shot her a dashing smile.
"I'm sure you do," Kagome replied absently as she stared out the side window once more and absently rubbed her ring finger again. "Just as long as you don't think of me as some sort of challenge I think we'll get along nicely."
Miroku shot her a quick glance before returning his attention to the road. "What is that supposed to mean? You wound me lovely Kagome. To think that I, as your employer, would have other reasons for hiring you other than your expertise with animals!"
Kagome couldn't help it. The giggles just erupted from her throat and once she started she couldn't stop. It had seemed like ages since she simply allowed herself the simple pleasure of laughter.
Kouga was standing alongside his foreman at the fence surrounding one of his pastures while his cowboys were busy bailing hay. He slanted his charcoal grey Stetson down over his eyes to keep the glaring sun from affecting his icy blue orbs.
"Your brother is picking up Dr. Higurashi from the airport." Sess commented quietly. Kouga blinked in surprise at the man's starting a conversation. It was highly uncommon.
"Yeah, Roku went to pick up the new Veterinarian. He didn't tell me much about him, but he sounds like a bright young man. I'm sure he'll be a valuable member to our Ranch." Kouga answered, thinking over the resume that Miroku had given him a summary of. Dr. Higurashi sounded almost too good to be true.
"He?" Sess asked with a curious light to his golden eyes as he looked down at the slightly shorter man. They were both tall, lean individuals, with unnaturally long hair. Kouga had a bit of Native American blood in him, while Sess simply enjoyed having long hair. He wouldn't admit it, but he enjoyed the attention he got from women for his long silver-white locks.
Kouga crossed his arms over his chest in annoyance while propping a boot clad foot upon the bottom of the fence. "Of course it's a him. Miroku wouldn't be stupid enough to bring some woman here. I can tolerate Kaede, but that's only because she can cook a mean steak." Kouga's icy eyes flashed at the idea of Miroku tricking him into hiring a woman.
His brother knew better than to do that. Besides, it was too late in the year to try and find a replacement for this Higurashi. "Besides, what made you think Higurashi wasn't a man?" Kouga asked curiously.
Sess merely shrugged his shoulders, keeping his thoughts to himself. There was no need for Kouga to know that he once had a friend in high school by the name of Kagome Higurashi that wanted to become a Veterinarian. Odds were against this being the same person anyway. He had left that life behind him.
Kouga rolled his eyes at Sess' usual non-verbal response. He should have known it would be useless to expect him to disclose his past to him. But, he really didn't mind because the same man helped this Ranch become incredibly successful in a short amount of time. He owed him.
Sess looked pointedly at his watch. "Shouldn't he be back by now?"
Kouga looked at his own watch. It was an expensive trinket with various gadgets on it. He may not need to know the time in three time-zones but it was nice to have in case he needed it. "Yeah, I guess I should head back to meet the good doctor."
"Have fun. I will see you all at dinner." Sess replied before ignoring his boss entirely to shout out orders to his cowhands.
Kouga swung himself expertly upon his trusty steed that had been grazing nearby and started to run his horse towards the stables, which were near the house. He was excited about the new Veterinarian. It had been a while since any new blood had been brought to his Ranch. As much as he hated to admit it, things were looking a bit too boring and stagnant.
However, the two individuals emerging from the familiar sports car belong to his brother caused his blood to boil. He didn't even bother putting his horse up as he immediately raced towards the pair. He didn't know too many men who would wear a blue sundress!
"What's going on?" Kouga demanded as he jumped off his horse with feline grace and stalked towards the duo. "I told you to pick up Dr. Higurashi, not to bring home one of your tramps." He barked out coldly barely glancing at the woman before locking intense gazes with Miroku.
Miroku frowned at the insinuation. He felt somewhat protective of Kagome probably because he knew that this situation was his fault. He put his arm comfortingly across her shoulders as he met his older brother's glare head on, surprised momentarily at the frailty of her. She had so much spirit he forgot how small she actually was. "This is Dr. Kagome Higurashi, our new Veterinarian."
Kouga's pale blue eyes flashed violently. "Over my dead body she is! I don't want some acursed woman here screwing everything up!" He shouted as he cast a disdainful look at said woman.
Kagome cringed under the verbal assault before her own temper flared and she struck back. She walked towards this unreasonable man and poked him firmly in the chest, ignoring how rock hard his muscles were as she strained her neck to look him in the eye. "See here cowboy," she bit off like a curse, "I'm the best Veterinarian you'll ever have the chance of having work for you. I may be a woman, but I can guarantee that I won't screw any thing up."
Kouga stood there dumbfounded as the woman continued to berate him, feeling like a school boy being scolded and sent to the corner. He tried to talk back, but was at a loss for words.
"Least of all do you have to worry about me trying to screw you or any of your stupid cowboys. I'm here because I care about animals and I'm good at my job. I'm here because I answered an add and Miroku hired me." Her face became hard as she glared at him with eyes that could melt stone. "I am NOT here because of you."
Kouga's bit the inside of his cheek trying to not curse the hellfire in front of him out. He looked at Miroku with hatred before redirecting his attention to the beautiful woman in front of him. It didn't help matters that he all the sudden found himself attracted to her. If Miroku was going to hire a woman he should have found someone homely and subdued.
He was surprised when Kagome looked past him and ignored him. Her angry features softened as a stunning smile graced her luscious lips. Kouga found himself staring at her lips wondering what they tasted like. Before he could compose himself she stepped past him.
Kouga looked over his shoulder to see what had drawn her attention and felt rage like he never felt before as he noticed her running to his foreman. His unemotional foreman that was sporting a small smile as he caught Kagome in his arms and hugged her like there was no tomorrow.
"What in the world?" Miroku asked as he stood beside Kouga as he watched the scene in confusion. "They know each other?" He asked himself.
Kouga frowned before pushing his brother hard in the shoulder, sending the young man tumbling to the ground as he lost his balance. Without another word, Kouga marched into his home and slammed shut the front door.
It was too late to find another Veterinarian to take the position on such short notice. It looked as if he would be stuck with Higurashi. He didn't need another woman causing his life to be thrown into an uproar. He especially didn't need to see that woman all friendly with his foreman. Not that he cared one bit about his foreman's personal life.
Kouga was simply determined to let nothing cause his Ranch to not be the most successful possible. He was certain that woman would be nothing but trouble.