Chapter twenty-five - Betrayal


"That's three times you've failed me now, Kagura. Three. Perhaps there is a reasonable explanation for your lack of devotion in this matter, or maybe I'm dealing with an idiot, but whatever the case, fix it." A truly sinister glare was sent her way and Kagura had to refrain from shuddering under the dark intensity in her boss's scarlet gaze. Gritting her teeth and clenching her fists at her sides, she forced her expression to remain schooled and kept her lips tightly sealed lest she increase his ire that was, somehow, always directed at her, even if she hadn't done a thing wrong.

He really was a bastard, wasn't he.

Oh, he was still talking. Whoops.

"—not afford carelessnessand I care not for imbeciles who don't know how to carry out the simplest tasks." He sighed and ran a frustrated hand through his inky locks. "I suppose the old saying rings true, doesn't it," he muttered. "If you want something done, you have to do it yourself." He swiveled his attention back to her. "Keep this up, Kagura, and you will lose something very precious to you." His ruby eyes narrowed slightly and the wind sorceress blanched her back stiffening as she registered the threat. A second later, however, her features morphed in a scowl and her own maroon gaze narrowed.

"You wouldn't dare," she hissed, her upper lip curling back to bare her teeth in an uncharacteristic snarl.

Amused, Naraku merely smirked nastily at her display and he moved from his place by the floor-to-ceiling window toward his desk where he placed both pale hands upon its polished surface and leant forward, tendrils of oily-dark hair falling before his even paler face. His menacing stare locked with her defiant one and his smirk broadened.

"Try me."

Nearly shaking with suppressed rage, Kagura gnashed her teeth and glowered at him with everything she had, her manicured nails digging into her palms and drawing crimson blood. "Bastard," she whispered vehemently.

Naraku threw his head back and laughed.

Positively incensed, and not able to stand another second in this vile creature's presence, Kagura abruptly spun on her heel and exited his office, making sure to slam the door behind her although all it did was increase her disgusting boss's mirth. She stormed down the hall like a woman on a mission, a scowl on her face and a determined set to her jaw.

Rounding the corner, Kagura swiftly stalked down to the only door in the whole hallway at the very end and yanked it open without preamble. A stairway gave way into complete darkness and it was with no hesitation as she descended the stairs, her heels clicking against the concrete the only sound as it echoed around her. It wasn't long before she came to another door at the end of stairway and she didn't waste a second before she opened it up and entered the next room.

The sight that greeted her was a familiar one. A single florescent light situated on the low concrete ceiling was the only light source in the small square room. There were no windows; what use would they be this far below the building?

Another door at the back of the room, this one painted grey with an air vent located at the top. Kagura focused her attention to the guard sitting next to it on a wooden stool, eyes the color of the moon fixated on her and shamelessly lingering on her chest and legs. Rolling her eyes, Kagura stalked up to him, reached behind her to grab the glock holstered at the small of her back, then promptly shoved the barrel against the man's temple.

"Unlock the door. Now."

To his credit, he did not need to be asked twice and once the door was unlocked Kagura shoved him aside, opened the door and slammed it shut behind her. "Pansy," she muttered disdainfully then turned around and instantly her features softened.

Brown eyes, so dark they almost looked black, stared wide-eyed at her and a small mouth was parted in surprise. "Kagura…?" It was barely above a whisper, but said woman heard it just the same and she walked over to kneel before her younger sibling.

"Kanna," Kagura sighed and reached out to gather her little sister against her, choking back a sob when she felt small arms wrap around her neck.

"I promise, Kanna," Kagura murmured and hugged her tighter. "I promise you, I won't let him keep you here forever. I'll find a way, I swear it."

Her response was a pair of cool lips pressing against her cheek in a kiss. "I know, big sister. I trust you."

Kagura held her younger sister against her and cried.


Kagome awoke to the peculiar sensation of something warm and wet gliding up her neck and instantly her body reacted, her heart kicking up a notch and gooseflesh igniting on her skin. However, it was her brain that refused to cooperate, demanding that it get more sleep so as a result Kagome was torn two directions; option one, get up and pounce her attacker, and option two, roll over and fall back to sleep.

It wasn't that hard of a decision, really. In the end, sleep reigned supreme.

Her assaulter chuckled deeply when she merely wrinkled her nose and grunted before moving away from the offending appendage licking her neck and rolling over onto her tummy. Then she heaved a sigh and went back to sleep.

Or at least tried to. It was kind of hard to accomplish such a feat with that same damned appendage now paying homage to the back of her neck. And what the hell was that warm and hard thing poking into her ass?

Another amused chuckle reached her ears before hot breath was fanning across one of the said ears. "Ka-go-me…" her assaulter sing-songed in a gentle lilt, dragging out the last syllable and Kagome could feel a suspicious prickling sensation on either of her hips. That, combined with a sensuous lick to her ear followed shortly by a nip, sent a jolt straight to her center and elicited a gasp of surprise and realization from her, mocha eyes snapping wide open.

Well. She was certainly awake now.

Pleased, and feeling just a tad bit smug, Kagome's assaulter, otherwise known as Inuyasha, grinned and arrested her hips with clawed hands before firmly drawing her back against him, thusly forcing her to her hands and knees lest she wind up with a face full of pillow, and Kagome felt the full extent of that "warm and hard thing" pressed insistently against her backside. Something between a squeak and a moan escaped her lips and the hard chest pressed against her back rumbled deeply in approval.

Flushed and impossibly aroused already, Kagome swallowed the thick lump in her throat and attempted to look over her shoulder at the half-demon behind her. Eyes the color of honey regarded her heatedly, lust obvious in their depths. The corners of her lips kicked up into a shy smile even as her own eyes reflected that desire. "Ah…good-good morning, Inuyasha."

"Not yet it's not," he rumbled in reply and bent forward to capture her lips in a more proper greeting. Her unique taste sent a spiral of desire through him and his erection throbbed painfully from where it lay nestled quite happily against her smooth bottom. A growl thundered in his chest as his tongue probed her mouth swiftly, leaving nothing left untouched and he smirked against her lips when her own questing tongue passed his lips and slithered in for a taste. She was addicted to his flavor, and found that one taste would never be enough. However, as much as Kagome was enjoying this heated exchange between their mouths, the strain of craning her neck over her shoulder like she was for an extended period of time was starting to make itself known in an uncomfortable ache. She whimpered in discomfort, but was reluctant to end this wondrous connection of their lips.

As it turned out, she didn't have to. As if sensing her discomfiture, Inuyasha drew back and before Kagome could blink, she was on her back with a hungry half-demon hovering over her and his lips found hers again this time in more gentle and sensuous kiss. Kagome sighed and closed her eyes, smiling into the kiss when she felt his hands slide up her arms to grab her own and interlace their fingers together. The gesture made her heart skip a beat and she whispered his name against his lips, her body arching up against his in a silent query that Inuyasha instantly responded to.

He rained lingering kisses against her mouth as he aligned himself with her center and slowly eased in, a sigh whispering past his lips to ghost her mouth with his warm breath. Instead of their heated and rushed lovemaking from last night, Inuyasha intended to make this last as long as possible and even thought it was slow, it was no less passionate than before and it showed in the way Kagome's breath quickened and her hips rose to meet his with every slow descent.

Trembling with desire, of being sheathed so deeply and warmly inside of her, Inuyasha studied the woman beneath him with rapt attention. His golden gaze watched every flutter of her eyelids, how her lips parted in ecstasy, admired the way her smooth skin glowed a healthy pink, and how her raven hair, a stark contrast to the white of the pillow, seemed to splash about her head in waves of silk that framed her face almost angelically.

She was beautiful.

And she was here, with him, writhing with the pleasure that only he would have the privilege of giving her, ever. A fierce possessiveness seized him then and choking back a needy whimper, Inuyasha arrested her waist with his arms tightly and gathered her close against him, burying his face in her neck and placing kisses wherever his lips happened to touch. Automatically her arms swathed about his neck and her hands tangled themselves in his silver hair, running her fingers through the silky mass. She didn't quite know what had come over him, but she didn't mind in the least. She loved the feel of his naked skin pressed up against her equally bare self, and everywhere they touched seemed to scorch her already overly-heated skin. Their hips continued to move in perfect rhythm with one another, their skin slick with sweat, and the only sounds emitting from them were soft moans of pleasure and gentle groans of bliss.

Inuyasha hissed and grit his teeth together, clenching his eyes shut tight. He could feel it coming; something was building up in the pit of his gut and it grew in intensity with every sensuous thrust of their hips. A fine tremble seized his body and he forced himself to retrain the pace they had set. It felt way too good to give up yet and he wanted to make this last as long as possible. Never before had he felt so wonderful, so euphoric, and it left him with such a glorious feeling that he wanted to stay in her arms forever and keep that blissful look on her face for all time. But he knew that all good things must come to an end, and he didn't know how long he'd be able to last before he exploded.

Kagome's breathing grew labored as something warm pooled in her stomach and frustrated cry escaped her lips without her permission. She was almost there, she could feel it and as much as Kagome was enjoying this slow, passionate lovemaking, she didn't know if she could stand it for much longer. Forcing open twin pools of chocolate brown, Kagome focused on the handsome face above her and was not expecting for a set of sunset orbs to be staring back, focused intently on her. Her breath hitched, and her hands fisted tightly in his hair. Neither said a word, because cognitive speech was not needed right then to understand the other's plight. A mutual agreement seemed to pass between them and Inuyasha dipped his head to fuse his mouth with hers as his hips quickened their pace.

Gasping as wave after wave of pure sensation swept through her body, Kagome clung to him as her release neared, curling her spine to fit her frame to his, hooking a thigh against his hip and grinding against him as he slammed down into her. His mouth swallowed her cry of pleasure, which sounded suspiciously like his name, and a bout of pride swept through him as she writhed against him, riding the waves of her release and he knew his climax was not far behind. Clutching her to him desperately, teetering on the edge of that precipice, Inuyasha somehow managed to keep his thrusts at a moderate pace instead of pounding into her wildly like he wanted to and shortly afterward his patience was rewarded and he was biting down on her neck to stifle his cry of completion.

A shudder crawled along her spine as she felt Inuyasha release within her and she closed her eyes, feeling utterly spent and oh so satisfied. She purred when the half-demon gave a few more lazy thrusts before finally withdrawing and settling next to her, gathering her against him and heaving a content sigh through his nose. Kagome smiled and turned in his embrace so she was facing his chest, wrapping her arms around his torso and resting her head on his chest, right above his heart. She had never felt so at peace before, and she felt inclined to stay in his arms for, say, about three or four days. A week tops.

A pair of lips kissed the corner of her mouth and Kagome's smile widened as she opened her eyes to find Inuyasha's golden gaze fixated on her.

"Now," he rumbled softly, a corner of his mouth quirking up into a grin, "it's a good morning."

She giggled.

Growling playfully, Inuyasha smirked devilishly before darting his hands to her sides and using his claws to tickle her senseless. Kagome squealed at the unexpected attack and wriggled around to try and escape his merciless hands, giggling insanely and pushing at his chest.

However, their fun was interrupted when the bedroom door suddenly creaked open and instantly Inuyasha was on the defensive, ears pinning back and a threatening growl leaking past his lips as he lowered himself to cover Kagome's body with his own. Kagome remained still, eyes wide as she stared at the door and a flush creeping up to paint her cheeks a lovely shade of red. She could have crossed her arms over her chest to better preserve her modesty, but Inuyasha was doing a fairly adequate job at keeping her covered himself.


At the sound of Shippou's tentative voice both half-demon and human relaxed and Kagome released a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding. Inuyasha grunted and buried his nose into the crook of her neck, winding his arms around Kagome's waist.

"Beat it, runt, we're busy." A clawed hand inched its way up her stomach to her chest.

"Inuyasha," Kagome chided and sat up, forcing Inuyasha to roll off of her with a groan. "Give us a minute, sweetheart." She watched as he grabbed the covers and promptly pulled them over his head, grumbling about stupid kits and their bad timing. Giggling, Kagome patted him fondly on the stomach through the covers before searching for and grabbing her bathrobe on the floor. However, before she could think to put it on, a clawed hand slyly snuck out from under the covers and tried to snag the garment. Fuck if he was going to let her put it on. He wanted her naked, dammit. Preferably under the covers with him. Right now.

Kagome snickered and wiggled away from the questing hand and succeeded in donning her bathrobe. The aforementioned hand groped the air for a few more seconds before a disgruntled sigh issued from neath the sheets and the appendage disappeared from whence it came.

Shaking her head, but not without a smile, Kagome closed the front of her robe and sat back down on the bed. "Alright, Shippou, you can come in now."

A head of orange hair poked through the opening of the door and emerald green eyes surveyed the room before settling on his caretaker. "Kagome!" With a joyous smile, Shippou zipped across the room toward the bed and launched himself at the young woman and Kagome caught him easily with a laugh. The fox tyke snuggled against her chest and gave a wet kiss to her cheek with a cheeky grin.

With another laugh, Kagome blew a raspberry on his own cheek, eliciting a round of giggles from the child.

"Kagome?" he questioned a few moments later and she gave him her attention. Shippou made a face down at the lump next to her. "…Why is Inuyasha hiding under the blankets?"

Before Kagome could answer, an indignant "Hey!" sounded from the lump and the hanyou emerged from beneath the covers. He glared at the little fox. "I ain't hiding, brat. And next time knock, would ya? You can't just barge in like that." Sitting up, Inuyasha stretched lazily before grabbing his discarded boxers on the floor and pulling them on.

Shippou blinked. "But I didn't barge in…" He paused. Then, "Why do you smell like him, Kagome?" Said woman stiffened and her face got very pink. The kitsune continued, oblivious to his caretaker's discomfort and Inuyasha's threatening growls. "Why is Inuyasha in your room? Did he have a nightmare and come here because he didn't wanna be alone? Was he scared? Because when my parents were still alive, sometimes I'd have a nightmare and get scared and I'd go sleep with them so I wouldn't have to be alone. Was it a scary nightmare, Inuyasha? Was it—"

"Alright, that's enough questions, brat," Inuyasha growled and grabbed the base of his fluffy tail, ignoring his protests and unceremoniously dropping him to the floor. "Now get the hell outta here before you piss me off. I'm in a good mood and I don't want you ruining it." He cast a sidelong glance at Kagome and her flush darkened.

Shippou frowned, confused as to how Inuyasha in a good mood was the equivalent to him growling and being a big meanie, but then Kagome's voice interrupted his thoughts.

"Go on downstairs, Shippou. I'll be down soon to make you some breakfast, alright?"

Shippou beamed and nodded enthusiastically. "Okay Kagome!" Then he turned around and disappeared out the door.

Silence reigned supreme for the few moments that followed, before Kagome broke it. "So, Inuyasha," she began casually and glanced askance at him. "…Was it a scary nightmare?"

"Not funny, wench!"

Kagome cackled and darted into the bathroom, the half-demon hot on her heels. More giggling, a soft curse. A gasp.


"That's my name, don't wear it out!"


Outside the Takshi ranch house, in the crisp morning air and rising sun, a pair of sapphire blue eyes stared dejectedly at a particular window on the second floor. He wasn't stupid. He knew what those sounds meant and for once in his life, Kouga cursed his demon heritage and the damned heightened senses that came with it. Because if he hadn't heard that distinctive noise, that one particular sound coming from a particular woman, he wouldn't be standing here right now like a broken hearted fool.

Because that's what he was, wasn't it. He'd been a fool to think that their relationship would progress any farther than friends. But wasn't that what usually happened? Boy meets girl, boy and girl develop friendship, friendship develops into something more, and boy and girl fall in love. Kouga thought that maybe his relationship with Kagome would be like that, slowly getting closer to each other until she realized her deep feelings of love for him.

Nowhere did it say that the girl didn't reciprocate the boy's feelings.

Closing pained cobalt eyes, Kouga leaned back against his truck and thrust a hand through his dark hair, the other one clenched tightly into a fist. It wasn't supposed to happen like this, dammit. He was supposed to be the one in there with Kagome, not fucking dog-shit. He was supposed to make her moan like that, he was the one that should be holding her in his arms and keeping her safe.

He was the man that was supposed to love her and keep her happy for all time.

Gnashing his teeth together and squeezing his eyes shut tight, Kouga forcibly stamped down the pathetic whimper that threatened to escape him and did not notice the pair of light footsteps heading in his direction. God fucking dammit, but it was all wrong! This wasn't how it was supposed to be!

"Love hurts, dunnit?"

Kouga's eyes snapped open at the voice laced with a Texan accent and his head whipped around to stare at the newcomer that manage to sneak up on him undetected. He was no doubt one of the younger ranch hands, perhaps around Kohaku's age, with sandy blonde hair and a slightly tanned freckled face. A red and blue flannel shirt and stained overalls that were a size too big sagged against his small frame. A halter and a lead rope were thrown over his frail shoulder and muddy work boots completed the look.

The wolf-demon frowned. He didn't remember seeing this hand around the ranch before. Perhaps he was newer? His attire certainly stated the part, so he most likely was. Kouga shrugged it off and finally answered his comment.

"What do you know, boy?" he muttered gruffly and went back to staring hard at that window.

Sandy bangs fell into cornflower blue eyes and the boy watched him closely, a hint of a smile curling his lips. "That should be you up there."

Kouga froze and he turned his head to stare at the ranch hand. "What did you say?" he said slowly, cobalt eyes narrowing.

The boy shrugged and shoved his hands into his overall pockets, shifting his weight into a relaxed slump. "Ya'll heard. That should be you, not some low half-bred scum that don' deserve to walk God's green earth. I hear tell that that Miss Kagome ma'am is mighty fine lookin', and that dern half-breed son of a gun has his dirty lil' paws alls over her." The boy shrugged again. "I reckon that someone as purdy as Miss Kagome deserves all the givin's, and not jus' half, ya'll hear what I'm sayin'?"

Kouga stared incredulously at the boy, disbelief making his jaw go slack. If anyone else heard this shrimp of a boy bad talking the boss man's youngest son, his ass would be fired on the spot. But this was Kouga, Inuyasha's rival and enemy, so the wolf demon was more shocked that the boy shared his sentiments about the half-breed than anything else.

And the boy was right, once he thought about it. That should be him up there. Kagome deserved more than Inuyasha. She deserved a whole demon, someone who would give her all of his affections and attention and not just half. His reasoning sounded plausible to him and Kouga straightened his posture, determination settling on his features and his chest puffing out a bit.

"Yeah," he said lowly and growled. "Yeah! That's my place up there, not his! I'll show that half-breed a thing or two, stealing my woman like that and defiling her perfect body! I'll punch his fucking lights out for touching her with his dirty hands! Kagome's mine, not his! MINE!"

He didn't notice as the boy, satisfied that his work here was done, silently slipped away and with a rather sinister smile that didn't suit his young features at all.


So, any guesses as to who the boy is?

Sorry for the long wait. In a nutshell, college is kicking my ass this year, and I'm dealing with a lot of personal bullshit as well. I can't wait to go home next week for Thanksgiving break. I hope you'll forgive me for the long ass wait for this chapter, and I hope you enjoyed it. I'm very satisfied with this chapter, and I simply love how Inuyasha and Kagome's love scene turned out. It was exactly what I was aiming for. I really wanted to draw it out as long as I could, and put a more sensual, soft but no less passionate twist to it. Did I succeed, or should I try harder? Any constructive criticism is always welcome and very much appreciated. :)

Anyway, it's four in the morning here and I have class in four hours, so I think it's bedtime for Keichanz.

Oh, and this is for Michelle: I've been wanting to reply to your reviews, but you are signed in as anonymous so I can't reply to your questions and comments. If you could leave me an email, that would be great! =]

I love you all! As always, if you can think of a better chapter title than the current one, lay 'em on me!

Until next time,