Wanted
Chapter twenty-six - Fury

-X-

Kagome, donned in a simple ensemble of jeans and a t-shirt, entered the kitchen with a spectacular blush on her face and she was careful to avoid the curious gazes of Miroku and Sango seated at the table as she went about making herself a cup of coffee. Inuyasha, dressed similarly, strode in a minute later looking way too smug for his own good, following Kagome's example and getting his own cup o' joe. The other occupants of the room exchanged glances before twin grins spread across their faces.

"Well," Miroku said. "Good morning, you two. I must say, Kagome, which is a rather impressive shade of red on your face. I wonder what could have possibly put it there?" Said woman's blush deepened and she ducked her head.

Amused, Sango turned her gaze to the self-satisfied hanyou, who was casting the blushing young woman furtive glances. "You seem to be in an awfully good mood, Inuyasha," she commented, hiding her grin behind her mug. "Perhaps you woke up on the…right side of the bed this morning?"

Kagome choked on her coffee and Inuyasha only smirked, to their friends' everlasting surprise.

"Keh," was all he offered in terms of response. Kagome groaned and that time Miroku and Sango couldn't quite contain their mirth; they both erupted into snickers while Kagome did her best impression of a tomato.

Feeling like she was going to die of embarrassment if this went on any longer, the chocolate-eyed woman decided that their "friends" had enjoyed themselves long enough and pointedly cleared her throat. "So," she began loudly, narrowing her eyes in warning. They shut up. Satisfied, she adapted a bright smile and pretended the previous few minutes never happened. "Where's Shippou? I told him I'd make him breakfast." She leaned against the counter and sipped her coffee, sighing in appreciation.

"Barn," Sango answered, pushing back from the table and walking to the sink to deposit her own coffee mug. "He said you were taking too long—" She flicked a knowing glance her friend's way and tried not to smile at the glare she received in return. "—so he took some Poptarts and mentioned something about finding the barn cats."

"Which reminds me," Inuyasha mumbled and shot a look at the calendar on the fridge, no longer looking like the cat that ate the canary. "We should be getting a hay shipment around noon today and I want everybody available to help, so spread the word to all the volunteers working today and the wolf, too, if you see him. He should be here by now dragging the arena, or at least getting ready to." He tilted his head and flicked an ear. "I don't hear the gator so he's probably just getting started."

Miroku blinked. "How did cats remind you of the hay shipment?"

The half-demon shrugged and took a sip of his coffee. "They like to hang out in the hay loft a lot."

Shaking his head, the human male sighed and stood up as well. "I'll tell him, then. I need to go spread anyway since I forgot to yesterday. Is the JD* still by the arena?"

"Yeah."

Nodding, Miroku and Sango headed out to do their respective chores while Inuyasha and Kagome took a few more minutes to finish their coffee and have a light breakfast of orange juice and toast. It was a little awkward and Kagome was having a hard time looking at him without blushing a deep red so after she was done she put her mug in the sink and headed outside to bring in the overnight horses to be fed, pausing only briefly to step into her boots. Inuyasha watched her go silently, a small smile quirking his lips upward.

Shoving his work boots on, the half-demon exited the house and wasn't surprised to see a silver Chevy parked outside, however he wasn't expecting to find the wolf who owned it outside as well, standing before a wide-eyed Kagome and holding her wrist in a tight grip, his expression a mixture of grief and rage. Instantly frowning, he stalked over to them, growling lowly at the pained gasp the woman emitted when the wolf's claws scraped against her soft skin.

"What the fuck are you doing, Kouga?" Inuyasha snapped when he drew close enough and yanked Kagome's wrist out of his grasp, a bruise already beginning to form. Pissed, he shoved her behind him and went to face the wolf but before he could rip into him, a savage blow to his jaw knocked him right off his feet as agonizing pain spread throughout his jaw and seemed to ricochet up into his brain, a pounding headache already forming at his temples. He landed on the ground a few feet back with a sound akin to a mixture of a grunt and a yelp. Vaguely he heard Kagome calling out his name in concern and when he scent suddenly invaded his senses he knew she was kneeling beside him.

Pushing himself up into a sitting position, ignoring Kagome as she asked if he was okay, Inuyasha slowly brought up a hand and massaged his jaw, moving it left and right, making sure nothing was broken. Thankfully everything was still intact and the only lasting evidence of the hit would be the yellowing bruise that was quickly spreading over his skin. Lifting livid amber eyes to his enemy, who still stood there with hands fisted and glaring at him with a deadly scowl, Inuyasha pushed himself to his feet with a grunt, gently brushing Kagome's hands away as she tried to assist him.

"I'm fine," he said to her, keeping his eyes locked on the angry wolf in front of him. Inuyasha was silent as he studied him, face twisted into a dark scowl, hands clenched so tightly together his knuckles were white, teeth bared in a lethal snarl as a steady, deadly growl emitted from his chest.

Inuyasha narrowed his eyes as his ears pinned back. "…You got somethin' to say to me, wolf?" he asked softly, his muscles tensing. Out of his peripheral vision he saw Kagome take a step forward but he quickly halted her by raising a hand in her direction and shaking his head rapidly. If things were going to get physical, which he highly suspected would happen, he didn't want her anywhere near them. When she made no other move toward them, he focused his full attention back to the growling demon before him.

The volume of Kouga's growl increased as something truly wild flashed in his cobalt eyes. "You…bastard," he seethed, visibly shaking with his restraint to hold himself back. He wanted to throw himself at the stupid half-breed and fucking mutilate him but first, he needed answers.

Inuyasha quirked a brow.

"You…how dare you. How fucking dare you take her from me!" Kouga growled heatedly and off to the side Kagome gasped.

Frowning, the half-demon turned his head to look at Kagome, and then flicked his gaze back to the wolf demon. Realization dawned and he wanted to smirk but refrained, knowing that would only piss him off even more. "This is about Kagome?" he asked even though he already knew the answer and he snorted. "You really are an idiot, Kouga. Grow the fuck up. As if you really had a chance—"

"Shut up!" Kouga shouted, his voice boarding on hysterical and Inuyasha's hackles rose. Discreetly he braced himself, shifting his stance, ready for the worst. Breathing heavily, blue eyes slightly crazed, the wolf demon shifted his gaze to the woman standing a few feet away and Kagome's chest constricted at the pain she saw in his eyes. She lifted a hand to her mouth, eyes wide and face pale.

"How…how could you—" He choked on his words angrily slashed his claws through the air in frustration.

Taking a shaky breath, Kagome slowly shook her head. "Kouga…I'm so sor—"

"No," he growled and suddenly he was glaring at her with such hatred that Kagome shrunk back, hurt flashing across her visage. "I don't want to hear your excuses, you—you fucking whore," Kouga spat and a sound between a gasp and a sob escaped past her lips, brown eyes wide and staring at him in horror.

"That's enough, Kouga!" Inuyasha interjected angrily with a low growl, his own glower now trained on him. He would not stand for that sort of word being associated with Kagome in any way. "You're fight is with me, don't you dare drag her into this."

Whipping his head around to glare at the half-demon, Kouga released another savage growl. "You disgusting excuse for a half-dog, why did you—Kagome was supposed to be mine, dammit, mine! I'm supposed to be with her, I'm the one who was gonna cherish her, make her smile, hold her in my arms at night and be the first thing she sees in the morning! How could you, a lowly creature not even worthy of looking at Kagome be with her when you're not even over your fucking dead ex-girlfriend!" He was screaming by the end of his tirade and his words caused Inuyasha to blanch and cast a panicked look Kagome's way. She was staring at the ground, arms wrapped around her stomach, face pale. Shit.

"Is that why you did it?" Kouga continued mercilessly, oblivious to the hanyou's rising anger, too focused on his own rage and grief to notice much of anything. "Because she looks like her?" He sneered and bared his teeth. "You disgust me, fucking scum—"

"Are you done?" Inuyasha suddenly asked in a bored tone however inwardly he was seething, trying valiantly to contain his rage. His hands fisted at his sides, his claws digging into his palms and the pain helped anchor him slightly. Inuyasha took a deep breath and aimed a level stare at the seething wolf. "Because I've got shit to do, and you're keeping—"

"I'll kill you!" Kouga declared on a scream and with a harsh cry he surged toward the hanyou and plowed into him, fists pummeling, claws slashing and fangs biting.

-X-

*JD: John Deere.

Hi there. Been a while, no? Yeah, sorry for the four-year long wait. I won't go into detail about why I haven't updated in forever, so I'll just say that shit happens and leave it at that. I am sorry though. I hope I haven't lost too many readers. I still read every single review and I cherish them all. I cherish you all. Thanks for those of you who have been with me since day one and are still here now, reading this note. I love you.

Until next time,
Keiz