Sesshoumaru Taisho comes from a long line of inu youkai and has long been one of the most eligible bachelors of Japan, but he is also by far the least obtainable one. He has never been seen with a significant other, despite having myriads of women, and not a few men, who would seemingly give anything for a simple introduction. If he ever has had a relationship, no information outside of unconfirmed rumors can be uncovered.

Taisho graduated a year early from Tokyo University with a degree in business. Only a few weeks later he became president of The Silverline Company (Silvco), Japan's most prominent communications corporation, which is owned by Samuru Taisho. The junior Taisho is expected to inherit his father's business in the near future. He is currently residing in Tokyo near the head office of Silvco.

Business associates and family members alike describe him as somewhat cold and aloof, but a great strategist of business nonetheless.

Sesshoumaru Taisho declined our requests for an interview.

Kagome Higurashi, 26, is not as renowned as Taisho, despite having an equally famous surname. She has not had a boyfriend since high school, though many suitors have attempted to pursue her over the years. Close friends describe her as being "as compassionate as she is brilliant."

Ms. Higurashi was unavailable for an interview in person, but she arranged a brief phone conference. She graduated high school at 17, also attended Tokyo U. and graduated with a degree in business at 22. Her father, Sotu Higurashi, is expected to give her full control his company, the leading establishment in medical discoveries and technology, Shikon Laboratories., within the next few years. For the last three years she has been a top CEO of the company. She lives in Tokyo with her adopted son…

He grew bored with the article, which continued on the next page, and closed the magazine before tossing it onto the coffee table in front of him. On the cover, along with the name of the periodical in large letters, a line was drawn vertically down the center with upper-body shots on each half. To the left, a man's cold golden eyes looked indifferently upon the camera, or perhaps the apathetic gaze was aimed at the cameraman. The silver hair, perfectly straight, fell out of sight below the bottom edge of the magazine cover. Ears with elf-like tips, dual magenta stripes on each cheek, and a blue crescent moon at the center of his forehead easily marked him as a demon. The image on the right was one of a female, with no markings to distinguish her as anything other than a human. Her slightly wavy raven hair contrasted completely with the man's, and brushed just past her shoulders in length. Sapphire blue eyes sparkled with vivacity, but their gaze was elsewhere, off-center.

The main headline read Japan's Least Obtainable.

Usually, Sesshoumaru paid little attention to such gossip-based publications, but he had never before shared a cover or editorial with anyone other than a business partner. So, with mingled irritation and curiosity, he had begun reading the piece to discover why she had been deemed so privileged. She was far from ugly, but so were many other women. He had found nothing special about her. He recalled hearing her name before, but he could not remember the context.

Glancing at his watch, Sesshoumaru released a silent sigh. Standing up from his comfortable position in his favorite chair, he grabbed his keys and coat before walking out the door of his penthouse apartment. He was going to meet the one person in the world he could never not see too little of: his half brother.

Sesshoumaru's annoying younger sibling was in charge of a branch of Silvco that was located in northern Japan, in the city of Sapporo. Half of the year he resided there. The rest of his time was spent at his parents' home just outside of Tokyo. Yesterday, Inuyasha had called and left a message announcing that he had proposed to his girlfriend. Sesshoumaru had already forgotten her name. Inuyasha stated that he and his fiancé would be in town for one afternoon only, for the couple was traveling south to meet with the girl's family. Inuyasha wanted to introduce his fiancé to their parents, but they had been visiting associates in the United States for the past week and would not return for an additional several days. Because Samuru and Inari, Sesshoumaru's human step-mother, were unable to attend, Sesshoumaru was ordered to attend in their stead.

The restaurant Inuyasha and his woman had chosen was little more than a well-to-do, larger-than-average café. Large windows reduced the current need for the simple lamps embedded in the ceiling. The mood that was set was light and homely, with the beige-painted walls above cherry wood paneling. Booths bordered the room on three sides—the fourth being occupied by the bustling kitchen, where the usual cooking smells drifted from—and tables were spread spaciously and symmetrically at the center, allowing plenty of room to walk between for customers and servers alike.

The moment Sesshoumaru stepped through the doors of the restaurant he was directed to his brother's booth where he discovered Inuyasha, who was wearing a pair of loose-fitting black pants and a large red t-shirt. The white dog ears visible atop his head indicated his hanyou blood if one could not scent it. In the past, both youkai and human looked down upon hanyous. A few still held such views, but mostly hanyous had become accepted in society.

The woman sitting beside him, presumably his fiancé, was attired somewhat more agreeably in a long, dark red skirt and a white blouse. However, she wore too much makeup for Sesshoumaru's taste. And perfume almost entirely masked her dull scent, made noteworthy only by the power that identified her as a descendent of a great miko. She was also human. He could only imagine how proud his father would be.

Sesshoumaru himself wore dark jeans of a comfortable fit and a plain, long-sleeved shirt of a dark gray that appeared black against his near-white hair.

"What are you doing here?" were the first words spoken.

"Father and Inari are out of the country at the moment, so I am here instead."

Inuyasha glared up at the taller man, but at a slight nudge from the female beside him, he stated reluctantly, "Sesshoumaru, this is Kikyo Suzuki. Kikyo, this is my older half brother."

Kikyo reached out a hand. "Nice to meet you."

Sesshoumaru nonchalantly took her hand and returned the pleasantry.

"Please, have a seat. We're just waiting for my cousin," Kikyo said nervously into the silence.

Sitting beside his brother, Sesshoumaru inwardly smirked. Very few were not infused with apprehension by his remote manner. Silence again reigned, and Sesshoumaru watched with unfeigned boredom as Inuyasha's woman shifted uncertainly. Inuyasha himself had, in his apparent childish temper tantrum, chosen to ignore Sesshoumaru and was glaring out the window.

Kikyo cleared her throat to gain attention, and then asked the ever-annoying question one always asks when there appears to be nothing else to say. "So, what do you do?"

Sesshoumaru's eyes narrowed, but before he could answer, or decline to do so, he was interrupted. The door to the restaurant was hastily flung open by a woman dressed in a professional skirt suit as black as her hair. A pale violet blouse was visible beneath the unbuttoned jacket. She spoke briefly yet rapidly with a waiter, before the man pointed in their direction. Familiar blue eyes looked searchingly in their direction and brightened when they alighted upon their table. Her low heels clicked across the tiled floor as she made her way towards them, bringing an aroma of a subtle mixture of lavender and chamomile. Not a perfume, he realized, as he also noted her light application of natural-toned make-up.

Kikyo stood up with a look of relief and excitement on her face, as well as mock irritation. "About time you got here," Kikyo teased, though she kept a straight face.

"Hey, I warned you when you called. You didn't give me much notice, you know," Kagome Higurashi protested as she embraced Kikyo. "I can't stay long, either."

Kikyo nodded and turned towards the two men who witnessed the friendly exchange. "Kagome, this is my fiancé, Inuyasha."

Kagome reached out and grasped Inuyasha's hand. "I've heard plenty about you. Nice to finally meet you in person," she said smiling brilliantly.

"Kikyo's told me about you, too." He gave his fiancé an accusing glance. "But she never said that her cousin Kagome was the Kagome Higurashi."

"Why wouldn't she be?"

"To start, you do have different last names…"

"We're related on my mother's side…"

Sesshoumaru was not used to being ignored. He cleared his throat, and Kikyo colored as she realized she had yet to introduce her cousin to him. "And, Kagome this is Inuyasha's brother—"

"Sesshoumaru Taisho," Kagome finished. "As if I wouldn't know the famous—or should I say infamous?—Sesshoumaru Taisho. It's an honor to meet you in person," she added, bowing slightly in respect.

Sesshoumaru searched her countenance for any insincerity, but found none. In reply, he raised an eyebrow in silent question. "Your dress is rather formal for such a casual affair as this."

"I just came from a meeting," Kagome stated evenly. "And I have another to get to in a little while."

Sesshoumaru refrained from questioning why she was working so much during the weekend when, as far as he knew, Shikon was doing no worse than Silvco.

Kagome sat down beside Kikyo, who had taken her place beside Inuyasha once more.

The two females chatted idly about the pending wedding date and other meaningless aspects of their daily lives. Kagome's child was a topic briefly, as was Kikyo's job at a hair salon, which she apparently owned. Inuyasha's opinion was occasionally asked for, but he would rarely offer more than a huffed "Feh." Obviously, he was still disappointed with Sesshoumaru's presence and his own ignorance at Kagome's true identity.

Sesshoumaru was having a difficult time comprehending why that nameless magazine had placed Kagome on an equal level as himself in any aspect other than economically. Then the subject of Kagome's job was raised. Curious, as well as bored, he decided to prod her.

"How is work? I'm sorry if I pulled you away from something important," Kikyo said.

Kagome shook her head. "No. You're just lucky that I kept lunch open today. In fact," she glanced at her watch, "I should be leaving soon. Traffic was heinous getting here, otherwise I would not have been so late. I don't expect it to have gotten any better in the last ten minutes."

"Tardiness is not a suitable trait for a business executive," Sesshoumaru interjected idly.

Both women were momentarily silent with surprise, for Sesshoumaru had not spoken a word since the initial 'greetings.'

"I never said it was," Kagome replied. Sesshoumaru was silent as she continued. "In fact, I believe I was just about to depart in order to prevent such 'unsuitable' behavior."

Previously frozen gold irises flashed. "Do not presume yourself equal to me simply because your father gifted you with a powerful position and very deep pockets."

Kagome's own eyes seemed to darken to the color of a summer night sky. "Are you implying that I did not earn my place?"

"I certainly did not require five years to acquire my business degree," he responded snidely.

"At least I," she replied in slow, calculated tones, "research the truth before tossing insults."

Kagome stood abruptly. Addressing Kikyo, she said placidly. "I enjoyed seeing you again. You'll let me know what day you decide on?" At Kikyo's nod, Kagome turned to Inuyasha. "Allow me to extend my congratulations. Next time maybe we'll have more time to talk." She then turned and began walking away, throwing a "See you around" over her shoulder before she disappeared out the door.

Sesshoumaru realized that she had purposely failed to give him a civil parting remark as she had the others. The insult—that he was not worthy of such deference—was a subtle but strong one. Though inwardly infuriated, he grudgingly commended her strategy at the allegorical war.

"What the fuck is your problem, Sesshoumaru? What'd she ever do to you?" Inuyasha demanded in a voice loud enough to draw the attention of nearly everyone in the restaurant.

Kikyo hushed him, and when he reluctantly calmed, Sesshoumaru concluded that the woman was good for Inuyasha, if only to keep him quiet.

"Kagome can take care of herself," Kikyo assured.

"Maybe. But you're still wrong," Inuyasha said, directing the last comment at his brother.

Sesshoumaru's eyes narrowed dangerously. "I assure you, I am very rarely wrong."

Inuyasha made a crude noise. "Well, you were this time."

Inuyasha seemed inclined to say nothing more, but when Sesshoumaru opened his mouth to deliver threats of pain, Kikyo explained, "Kagome completed her business degree in three years, as you did."

Confusion replaced his anger, though he did not outwardly reveal it. When Sesshoumaru did not reprimand her, Kikyo took his silence as a sign to continue. "Her first two years were spent working towards a medical degree, but then her father had her change her major. To be honest, I'm not sure why. She kind of avoids the subject."

"I see," Sesshoumaru commented emotionlessly.

"Even I knew that," Inuyasha saw fit to add.

Forcefully quenching the urge to seriously harm his younger half brother in favor of learning more about Higurashi, Sesshoumaru somewhat reluctantly inquired, "Was I wrong on any other accounts?"

"Well," Kikyo shifted nervously in her seat. "Before she gained her current position in her father's company, her father required that she build an organization of her own, from the ground up. So she did. She founded Hope and Home before going to work at Shikon."

Sesshoumaru knew of Hope and Home, and though it was only newly on the map of leading charity institutions, few had not at least heard of it. H&H was an orphanage of sorts, and one of the best. It was known particularly for the medical aid it provided. However, Sesshoumaru had never known it to be associated with the Higurashi name.

Apparently, he had seen Ms. Kagome Higurashi as the bud of a flower, tightly sealed to hide nothing more than a plain dandelion. But now that he had glimpsed at what was unseen, he was intrigued with the possibility that perhaps she was not an ordinary weed, but some delicate flower. A rose, if those thorns of hers were anything to judge by.

He speculated that he might enjoy unwrapping the mystery that was Kagome. He just might find what made others inclined to think so highly of her. After all, even his brother had defended Kagome, although belatedly.

Sesshoumaru decided he would begin upon his return to his apartment by completing the article. As he recalled the title, a mischievous upward twitching of his lips occurred. Perhaps he would test just how unattainable she truly was. He doubted her resolve was as strong as his, and no woman could resist his appearance for long. And his charm, when he chose to utilize it, was equally overpowering for his target.