Authoress' Notes: I SO do not own Inuyasha or anything in the Inuyasha universe. My original characters are...well...mine.

Thanks for your continued reading of my stories!

Wayward Ransom, chapter 33.

Bankotsu was confused at first that Akiko should have suggested a more painful, tortuous end for her former master. However, he began to grow angered and offended by her suggestion. "No. Torture's not my style," was his growled response to her outburst.

Taken aback by his reaction, Akiko turned her face away from him. Realizing her nakedness, she crossed her forearms over her breasts. This caused her fingers to touch the cold stone embedded into her chest. "The stone..." she said, gazing at it as it lie next to her on the ground. After a moment of thought, she rose to her feet and began walking away from Bankotsu.

Clumsily picking up a heavy rock, she ran over to the stone, and raised the rock above her head. "I'll smash this awful thing to pieces!" she cried, ready to throw the rock downwards.

"Stupid woman!" Bankotsu gritted his teeth, bracing his body. In an instant, he grabbed Akiko, spun her around, and brought her down to the ground with him.

The girl's touch on his body, plus landing hard on his back, made him grunt loudly. He wrapped his arms around hers, pinning her arms to her sides as she lay on top of him. "Let me destroy it! I can't believe you don't want that awful thing smashed to pieces!" she cried, loudly protesting his interruption.

"Destroy that pendant, and you'll destroy yourself!" growled Bankotsu angrily.

"I...don't care!" she cried. "And I also...don't believe you!"

Bankotsu's frustration with the girl, and with his pain-racked body, was steadily growing into sheer fury.

She continued to struggle uselessly in his steely grip. "You just wanted to come here and take it for yourself!"

"Woman...!"

Bankotsu had had it with her. Making sure he had a strong arm wrapped tightly around her the whole time, thus disabling her arms, he picked up the necklace from the ground, and put it on his neck. He then grabbed the leather strap that had been previously around Akiko's neck when she was in her bird-form, and proceeded to use it to tie her hands together behind her back, to Akiko's utter mortification. He rose to his feet with Akiko squirming in his arms.

After finishing her binding, Bankotsu grabbed her around her waist again. "You're coming along with me, whether you like it or not!" he spat, glaring angrily down at her.

Akiko resumed crying loudly, and Bankotsu walk-dragged her over to where his weapon lay on the ground. Holding her by the binding on her wrist, he threw the crossbow over her shoulder, and picked up his own weapon, resting on his own shoulder.

He dragged her with him as he headed toward the woods that surrounded the castle. The sounds of the villagers raiding the castle began to become more distant.

He still had to grin, despite his extreme discomfort.

Because at least now, he wouldn't be alone.

oOoOo...Finis...oOoOo


More notes: Well, if you've stuck with this story for this long, I might as well tell you that I'm planning an immediate sequel to this story...look out for "Patience of a Sinner"! I desperately need some fluff after all this, goshdarnit.