A/N: This is it! Last chapter. Thanks so much for reading this little PWP that actually grew a plot! I appreciated each and every review from FFnet, MMorg, AFF, and A Single Spark – there are few things more rewarding than knowing people like your stuff. Especially big thanks to thymecat and dsm1980, who proof read this fic and helped with ideas when mine had gone dry.

Chapter 10

He was staring at her again.

She didn't have to turn her head to know that his golden eyes were locked on her or that his expression was less than friendly. It had started soon after their last confrontation with Kikyou and Sesshomaru, beginning with brief, befuddled glances, progressing to longer, concentrated looks and had devolved into the suspicious glares that followed her every movement. Even Sango had picked up on the hanyou's strange behavior, and had begun asking the teen rather pointed questions that she didn't want to answer. Kagome would have been inclined to brush her off if the slayer had not been quite so anxious. It was unnerving, to say the least, but the true answers to those questions and the reasons behind Inuyasha's dark looks were as yet unspeakable.

Kagome shivered despite the warm patch of sunlight in which she was sitting and the steaming cup of ramen that she cupped in her hands.

"He's staring at you again," Sango leaned slightly toward her and whispered out of the corner of her mouth.

'Way to be discreet, Sango,' Kagome groused to herself. 'I bet he can hear you.' She blew the curls of steam from her cup, taking a quick sip of broth and then mumbling over the rim, "I know."

"I wish you would tell me what really happened the other day," Sango finally hissed when it was apparent that Kagome wasn't going to elaborate. "I'm worried about you!"

"Nothing happened. Kikyou took the jewel. Inuyasha and Sesshomaru fought, and then Sesshomaru left. End of story!" Kagome whispered back, casting the hanyou a nervous glance over her shoulder, and as she expected, his ears were perked toward them as he stared unabashedly at her.

"But what about the Tetsusaiga? How could it just stop working?"

"How should I know?" Kagome took another sip from the ramen cup, sucking a few noodles into her mouth and chewing slowly. The Tetsusaiga's refusal to transform wasn't the only problem; Inuyasha was off his game, as well. His reflexes were slower, his stamina lessening, his strength had lost its potency. At first, she'd thought it was because he'd lost his self-confidence when the Tetsusaiga remained inert in his hand, but even his most exuberant claw attack was just not up to what it had been.

Sango sighed heavily and kicked at one of the many small pebbles that littered the ground around their rocky seat. "If we don't figure out how to fix that sword, we'll never complete the jewel. That last demon almost made mincemeat of us."

Nodding, Kagome handed her still mostly full lunch to Shippo, who snatched it up gratefully and began to scarf it down. Even with Sango's superior demon-slaying abilities and Miroku's wind tunnel, they had come to rely on Inuyasha's demon powers and the Tetsusaiga far more than they had ever realized, despite the fact that he had yet to master the Windscar. Though jewel-possessed demons had never been a cakewalk, she was now more than a little worried that they would soon fall prey to a demon with multiple shards and a chip on his shoulder.

The hanyou seemed to have lost some of his power, and with disastrous results.

If that were the case, would Sesshomaru come to her rescue? She had not felt his signature youki anywhere near when the last demon, a mutated wart hog with a shard in each curved tusk, had charged them and had nearly trampled them to death. He had been close by shortly after, but had stayed hidden, much to her mixed disappointment and relief. If he'd appeared again in her defense…well, it wouldn't be pretty. Just his one cameo had Inuyasha more riled up than she'd ever seen him.

'That's not right,' Kagome sat up straighter as she turned over recent events in her mind. 'Sesshomaru has come to my rescue twice now: the first time was when he saved me from Inuyasha's advances. I just didn't know he was my lover, then. Inuyasha probably hasn't forgotten that incident.' She stole a quick glance in his direction to see him sniffing the air mistrustfully, his ears still trained on her. He seemed to feel her gaze, his attention snapping back to her just before she looked away. 'No wonder he is suspicious.'

"Kagome," Sango intruded on her thoughts with a warning in her tone. "Youkai are not to be trifled with."

Kagome gave her a bright, ersatz smile. "Safety first, don't you worry about me!"

Sighing, the slayer rested her head in her hand and fixed Kagome with a firm, no-nonsense stare. "I hope you won't do anything you will later regret."

Blinking several times as she tried to unravel the riddle in Sango's words; Kagome came to the conclusion that Sango was long past being fooled. Perhaps she had purposely not told her about accepting a youkai's suit? "Um…"

"Just be careful," Sango patted her knee and stood, stretching her muscles in a fluid motion that snagged the eyes of the monk who was sitting under a nearby tree and 'meditating'.

"I will," Kagome assured her, though of what, she wasn't quite certain. However, she had the sneaking suspicion that she had just told the slayer more than she had intended.

Sango nodded once, and picked up several clear plastic bottles that were lined up against the boulder, shooting the monk a scathing glare as she walked by him and into the forest. "I'm going to fill these bottles. Kirara, come."

Kagome watched the firecat bound after her mistress, smiling softly as the adorable little kitty disappeared behind the trees. 'She keeps a demon close; I really don't see a difference. Well, maybe a tiny difference…'

Sesshomaru struck a dashing pose in her imagination, a sword slung over his shoulder and his other hand resting loose at his side, his long silver mane tossed by the wind as he cast her a confident smirk.

'Sango wouldn't say those things if she knew that he had saved me twice. Three times, if you count the time we spent in the cave. Ah, my knight in shining armor…maybe without the armor…' The Sesshomaru in her mind's eye was suddenly shirtless and glistened with a thin sheen of sweat, his smile twisting into a come-hither leer that was doing naughty things to her insides. She sighed happily, missing Shippo's rolled eyes but feeling his fluffy tail tickle her leg.

Still wallowing in her fantasy, Kagome's eyes glazed and a silly grin stretched her mouth. 'Fluffy thing…good idea…' A large, furry boa that draped over his shoulder and trailed over his chest, the tip curling around one musclular thigh, replaced Sesshomaru's sword. Interestingly enough, his pants had disappeared as well, to be replaced by a pair of silk maroon boxers worn low enough to show the tempting ridges of muscle that arched toward his groin and complimented the two purple stripes that slashed across his hips. The youkai slowly petted the fur, and then raked his claws through his long hair, all the while staring at her with those smoldering yellow eyes. Kagome licked her lips, completely enthralled and coming back to reality only when Shippo jabbed her sharply with the butts of his chopsticks.

Clearing her throat, Kagome stood up quickly and smooth her skirt over her thighs in a nervous gesture. How could she be caught daydreaming of Sesshomaru with his half-brother watching her like a hawk? "I think I'll, ah…get some water, too."

Flustered and flushed, she snatched up the remaining bottles and hurried away from camp. She had been walking twenty minutes, wrapped up in recriminating thoughts and whispered curses, before she realized that she should have reached the stream a long time ago and that her flight must now look hopelessly suspicious.

Standing amongst the tall trees with the sunlight dappling the leaves with a starry pattern of green and gold, Kagome dropped her face in her hands and moaned, "I can't keep doing this!"

"What have you done, Kagome?" Inuyasha spoke from behind her and she whirled in place, her heart in her throat. He lounged casually against a tree, his arms tucked into his voluminous red sleeves and one knee bent to cross his ankles. His eyes were hooded against the persistent sunlight and watched her from shadows that seemed to cling to his clothes.


"Well, Kagome?" She thought his eyes flashed red for a moment and fervently hoped that she was mistaken.

"I…nothing! I mean, nothing that you need to worry about…um," she trailed off as he unfolded himself and pushed off from the tree, strolling toward her in an unnervingly predatory manner. Taking a step backward, she unknowingly covered her lover's mark with a hand. "Inuyasha?"

He frowned, and with a low growl, pounced forward and grabbed her wrist, dragging her hand away from her shoulder. Pushing aside the thin fabric of her blouse, they both froze when the bite was exposed. Even the forest seemed to still, birdcalls silencing, the wind holding its breath so as not to rustle the leafy branches. Leaning into her ever so slowly, he inhaled deeply over the scar, his brow furrowing as he licked it gently.

Kagome gasped and tried to pull away, the strange spell he had put over them dissipating at the feel of his tongue on her flesh. It revolted her, almost pained her as a cramp twisted in her gut. "Let me go!"

Snarling, he released her arm, shoving her away from him with enough force to send her staggering backwards several steps.

"Is that what I think it is?" he pointed to her exposed shoulder, suppressed rage choking his throat. Kagome tugged her shirt back in place and covered the bite again with her hand, hugging her other arm to her body in an unconsciously protective gesture. Growling, Inuyasha began to shake, the point of a fang glinting through tightly drawn lips, "Answer me!"

She met the furious gaze of her hanyou friend and thoughts of denial melted away, leaving a deep remorse and an aching regret. He had been her constant companion for months, had protected her with his life, had come to trust her as he'd trusted no other but she had betrayed him. In thought and deed, she'd betrayed the budding platonic relationship and no matter how annoying, rude, or belittling his behavior had been, he hadn't deserved what she'd done. She could rationalize and make excuses all she liked, but that didn't change anything. She was also doing herself a disservice by allowing Naraku to manipulate her into such degrading acts of treachery against her friends that ran so counter to her true nature. If she wanted a real relationship with her lord, she could no longer sneak around in the shadows.

"Inuyasha…I…" she said without breaking the hanyou's gaze and took a deep breath. She gave the mark another firm rub in encouragement. "I'vebeenseeingyourbrotherandI'msososo SO SORRY I LIED!" she wailed the last few syllables and held her breath, waiting for the explosion.

He dropped his head, his bangs hiding his eyes as his claws curled into fists.

"Inuyasha? I'm sorry, please understand that I never meant…"

A hot wind tickled her face as it lifted his hair and tossed it about his body. The rise of youki was thick in the air, crackling along her aura leaving an uncomfortable sizzle against her skin. His fangs seemed to lengthen, jutting awkwardly over his lip, as jagged blue stripes crawled over his cheekbones. She took a hesitant step forward, wondering what was wrong with her friend even though her instincts screamed at her to turn tail and run.


In an instant, his claws were in her, tearing through her soft abdomen so quickly that she didn't notice the pain until she hit the ground. She screamed as he reared over her, claws descending in a flash of yellow light and cutting off the shrill sound with a quick swipe to her throat. Oddly, the pain began to recede, throbbing less with each slowed heartbeat until it ceased altogether.

She felt weightless and content as she began to drift in warm grayness, only mildly disappointed when small hands began to scrabble at her. They were trying to catch hold of her, take her somewhere, but she didn't really want to go anywhere with them; the feeling of floating was delicious and new, and she wanted to explore it. A tremor rippled through her incorporeal form, reminding her that something had just happened…something bad? Whatever, everything seemed fine now, if only those hands would leave her alone.

The fingers became more insistent, hooking into her and tugging her along with them, and she sensed their impatience with her resistance. Maybe she was supposed to go with them? Oh well. So be it. She stopped trying to float away and let them guide her, their chattering quiet static on the edges of her awareness.

All of a sudden, they screamed and she was free, though so heavy that she sank and no amount of straining for her previous buoyancy stopped her downward plummet. The gray of her world brightened and took on fierce colors and deafening sounds, but a weight on her chest was smothering her. She gasped, the rush of air like a cleansing fire in her lungs, searing and intoxicating all at once. Blinking away the tears that had sprung to her eyes as the world around her came into focus, she realized that two golden eyes were staring down at her, mere inches from her face. Her heart froze in her chest, her pupils dilating in terror until she became aware of the stripes on his cheeks and the crescent moon on his forehead. With a strangled gasp of relief, she flung her arms around his neck and buried her face in his glorious silver hair. To her wonderment and delight, the arm that had been supporting her back held her close to his body, which was vibrating with a purr-like rumble.

"Kagome! You're not dead!" Shippo exclaimed in a quavering, hysterical voice as he cowered behind Sango's legs, and then leapt up to pounce on her stomach. Halted in mid-air by a vicious growl from Sesshomaru, he twisting spastically in the air and redirected his flight to land on Sango's shoulder.

"Um…no?" Kagome answered as she tried to sort out her spinning thoughts. No, she wasn't dead. She felt pretty good, in fact. "Why…" her voice faded away as a memory of red eyes and slashing claws filled her mind. Wincing, she closed her eyes and took a shuddering breath, then turned her head to gaze at her friends, who were standing several cautious yards away, tense and ready for battle.

"We came as soon as we heard you scream, but…" Sango said slowly, her controlled tone belied by the pallor of her skin, and then cast the demon lord, who still held Kagome to his chest, a wary, bewildered glance. "We found him standing over you with a sword and Inuyasha…"

Kagome followed her glance to a crumpled pile of dark gore on the other side of the clearing and shuddered, but was unable to make sense of what she was seeing.

Miroku nodded, his hand shaking slightly as it passed from his forehead to his chest in a prayer of thanks. "It seems that Lord Sesshomaru is in possession of a mighty sword."

"Kagome, what happened?" Shippo asked from his perch on Sango's shoulder.

She sighed heavily, choosing to ignore Miroku's cryptic comment as she closed her eyes for a moment before answering, "It was all my fault. Inuyasha…" she felt Sesshomaru stiffen against her, "he changed, somehow."

"Inuyasha did this to you?" Shippo asked in stunned disbelief.

Kagome nodded and swallowed noisily, "He was so angry…I think maybe he just lost control of his demon blood...or something." Her friends were staring at the bloody, pulpy pile again and her stomach roiled uneasily. 'What is that?' "Um, where is Inuyasha?"

A light breeze wafted through the clearing, ruffling over the gruesome heap and dislodged a wisp of silver that fluttered free. 'Oh no…'

The pile groaned and shifted slightly, and she was finally able to distinguish a bloodstained hand with its claws buried in the soil. Before she could scream, Sesshomaru had hoisted them both to their feet and pushed the girl behind him, holding her back with his one arm and glaring narrowly at the stirring hanyou.

"Let me go! He's hurt!" Momentarily forgetting that the hanyou had just ripped her to pieces, Kagome tried to dart around him but his grip might have been iron manacles for all the progress she made.

Sango and Miroku shared a worried glance, and then quickly edged around the clearing, keeping as much space between them and the demon lord as they possibly could until they reached the moaning pile of blood-soaked flesh and cloth. Sango stood in front of the injured hanyou as Miroku knelt behind her to check on his wounds. Catching small glimpses of her friends as she strained against Sesshomaru's arm, Kagome gasped in relief when Miroku finally spoke.

"He's still alive, but only just."

"A condition that I will soon rectify," Sesshomaru intoned, though he was too busy holding back Kagome to do more than glower threateningly.

"No, it was all my fault! You can't kill him!" Kagome franticly tugged on his arm, knowing that the taiyoukai meant what he said.

Sesshomaru fixed her with a penetrating look, "He killed you. He will die by my hand as you watch and you shall be avenged."

"Sesshomaru, please don't do this. He would never have hurt me if I hadn't hid everything from him in the first place. I forgive him; I don't want revenge!"

Silence reigned in the small clearing, as the taiyoukai seemed to mull it over. His expression hardly changed, though a small muscle in his jaw ticked periodically and his thoughts flickered through his eyes like candlelight. Staring into their mesmerizing depths, Kagome almost forgot that she was pleading for the life of her friend as her body woke and began to tingle.

Miroku coughed politely, breaking the tension that bound the miko to the youkai. "Kagome," he asked, an eyebrow rising under his bangs of its own accord, "what exactly were you hiding?"

Shippo groaned quietly from Sango's shoulder and she shushed him absently.

"Well," Kagome started, not really knowing how to say it. "You see, I've been seeing Sesshomaru for a while…"

"Seeing, as in you've been bedding him?" Miroku asked with less tact than usual. Shippo snickered.

Kagome nodded slowly and was rewarded by Sango's shocked gasp. All eyes (except for Kagome's, which were on the ground as she blushed furiously) were on the taiyoukai, who had smug curve to his lips and satisfied gleam in his eyes.

"Huh," more of a noisy exhalation than a word, the sound seemed punched from the slayer's gut as she crossed her arms and stared at Kagome with an expression of growing understanding.

"For how long, might I ask?" the monk had rested his uncursed hand on his chin and was now stroking the sides thoughtfully.

"Uh…several weeks…since I was trapped in that cave," she glanced at the crumpled pile of hanyou as he groaned. Relieved that he was showing more signs of life, she still worried that he might not take hearing about her affair now any better than he had before.

"So that is a scent-mark," Sango said as she stared at the bite on the teen's shoulder, now fully revealed since her clothes had been torn. "Kagome, I told you that it was dangerous to mess with youkai, especially taiyoukai who have poor relationships with your companions!"

'I don't think you mentioned that last part, Sango,' Kagome griped to herself, not that she hadn't been able to figure it out. "I didn't know it was him until recently," she with a petulant pout, and a second later realized how slutty that sounded.

"Are you telling us that you were bedding a demon you didn't even know?" Miroku asked, his eyes wide in incredulity and a twist of respect. He mouthed a silent 'wow' as he eyed the demon lord, who acknowledged the monk's respect with a slight nod.

"Well, um, yeah…" 'Can I blush any harder? I'll end up with a permanent tomato-face!'

"So, you've been…ah, with…Sesshomaru this whole time? Why didn't you tell us?" Sango asked as if she were trying to piece together an elaborate puzzle to which she had lost the box top. Inuyasha groaned louder and it sounded suspiciously like "bastard".

Kagome wrung her hands as she gazed at her friends in supplication from behind Sesshomaru's back. "I am so sorry for lying to you! I never meant it to go on like this, but Inuyasha…and then Naraku found out…"

"What did Naraku do, Kagome?" Miroku asked, his eyes narrowing at the mention of that name, mouth thinning into a grim line. Shippo groaned again.

"He, um. I should never have…but, oh, he said he would tell Inuyasha if I didn't give him the shards!" she finally blurted. "And I knew he wouldn't take it well!"

The humans glanced at the hanyou behind them, broken, bloodied, groaning, and still finding the energy to be pissed. Miroku quirked an eyebrow at Kagome and she shrugged helplessly. "I didn't know what else to do!"

"You could've come to us, Kagome! We're your friends!" Sango ignored the taiyoukai's warning growl as she ran around him to reach her friend, grabbing the girl's shoulders and shaking her.


Dragging her into a hug, Sango held her tightly, roughly, and Kagome dissolved into a blubbering mess of teenager. "You forgave me for stealing Inuyasha's sword, remember?" Kagome nodded, watering the slayer's uniform with her tears as she cried against her. "We would've helped you."

"I'm s-s-so s-s-stupid!" Kagome stuttered as she sobbed. Sango and Shippo patted her back reassuringly and shushed her until she was sniffling quietly.

"Come on, Kagome, we'll take you home." No sooner had the words left her mouth than Sesshomaru had grabbed the teen and shoved her behind him once again.

"She will not be going with you."

"She isn't going with you!" Sango snapped, her hand already entwined in the handle of Hiraikotsu.

"Now wait just a minute-" Kagome started, only to be cut off by Miroku, ever the peacemaker, as he stepped away from the prone hanyou to diffuse the brewing conflict.

"Friends, calm yourselves! Sesshomaru, we are eternally grateful that you have restored Kagome's life but we cannot simply let you take her…" Sesshomaru's eyes darkened as Miroku spoke those last words, so he hurriedly added, "…Unless you were to marry her…"

"She has accepted my suit-"

"She has?" Miroku blinked in surprise.

Sango craned her neck to get a good look at the teen, astonishment widening her eyes. "You have?"

"I have?" Kagome wondered aloud. "Oh!" So that's what that strange feeling was when the Tetsusaiga had first failed to transform for Inuyasha. She had transferred the support of her miko powers to the demon lord. 'So he must have felt that, too. I wonder why he didn't try to take Tetsusaiga?'

Sesshomaru continued as if he had not been interrupted, "therefore preparations have been made for her arrival at my home. Marriage is an unnecessary human custom."

"Oi!" the wounded hanyou painfully exclaimed as he peeled his face from the forest floor. Golden eyes glared at the motley group from bruised circles and Sesshomaru tensed, turning to the hanyou with a crack of his knuckles.

Kagome suddenly remembered why she'd been protesting and stomped her foot, "Hey! Don't go planning my life for me! Besides, don't you think I'm a little young to be getting married?"

Sango and Miroku exchanged perplexed glances and Sango shrugged her shoulders before they turned back to the teenager. "No," they said in unison.

Sango added, "If you have already given him your courting gift-"

"She has," Shippo interjected. Kagome scowled at him, wondering how he could know but not surprised that he did. He grinned back and waggled his eyebrows.

"Then you are considered married by youkai tradition," Sango finished.

Kagome glanced quickly between the taijiya and taiyoukai, waiting for one of them to crack a smile and yell, 'Just kidding!' However, Sango retained her serious frown and dark clouds seemed to gather about Sesshomaru's head. Finally, she threw up her hands in exasperation. "I am? Why doesn't anyone tell me these things?"

"Do you now deny this Sesshomaru?" Sesshomaru asked, his voice rumbling from his chest as his eyes narrowed dangerously.

"No! But it's all happening so fast!" Kagome had had many fantasies of the day she would be proposed to, and though the location and face of the man proposing had often changed, the ambiance had always been romantic, his words gentle and adoring, and it had always included a sparkly diamond ring. As far as she could remember, none of them had involved death by claw, an argument in front of her friends and a pissed taiyoukai. Also, he had asked. Yes, that was very important. She pointed an accusing finger at her lover, her nose beginning to tingle with tears again as her life spiraled further out of control, "And you haven't even asked me!"

With a raised eyebrow, Sesshomaru acquired the air of one offended.

'Great, Kagome, now you've insulted him.' She put her digit away and gave him a pleading look, "We hardly know each other."

Glancing at Sango for support, she only received a blank stare. 'Oh, right. Arranged marriages and all that.'

"Really?" Miroku asked with a devious grin and a wink at Sesshomaru. "I was under the impression that you knew each other quite well."

Kagome blushed bright red, her frustration forgotten in the heat of embarrassment. "Well…but-but…that's not what I meant and you know it!"

"You ain't marrying that bastard," Inuyasha croaked as he pushed himself up onto his elbows. His nose was crooked, but the stream of blood flowing from his nostrils was down to a sticky trickle.

Kagome rounded on him, amazed and righteously indignant that the hanyou who had just killed her was now trying to tell her what to do. Planting her hands on her hips, lips pursed in a tight line, she snapped, "Don't you start! I can marry whoever I want, and it looks like I've already married him!"

"Just so," Sesshomaru stated smoothly as he advanced on his brother, his claws dripping with green poison. "And hold your tongue, half-breed. You will not speak to her, whose life you have taken so rashly."

"The fuck are you rattling on about, asshole?" Inuyasha growled as he tried to stagger to his feet, but only ended up collapsing with a pained groan. "Get over here and I'll finish what you started."

'He doesn't remember killing me,' Kagome realized with a quick clenching of her heart. 'Maybe it's for the best, right now. I'll let Sango and Miroku fill him in later.' "Sesshomaru," Kagome warned as she gave him the universal 'you won't if you want to get laid' look. "Please, just let it go."

He paused, flexing his claws absently as he regarded his half-brother on the ground. The agitation in his youki filled the space around him with crackling energy, but with a disgusted snort, he turned back to Kagome with a measured, calculating look. "I give his life to you. Do with it as you see fit."

'He's granting me a favor. Now, what are the secret youkai rules for that?' Kagome wondered as she smiled hesitantly up at him. "Thank you."

He nodded once, and then strode slowly from the clearing with a languid gesture for her to follow. Hesitating, Kagome glanced back at her companions, her eyes lingering on Inuyasha as he lay fuming in the dirt and refusing to meet her gaze.

"I really am sorry, Inuyasha. I never meant for things to happen like this…but I promise that we'll get those shards back. Then you can make your wish."

He didn't even grunt an acknowledgment and she felt a flash of resentment that he would hold this against her after what he'd done to her. Of course, he didn't remember, but it still hurt. Kagome sighed heavily and shrugged. She'd forgiven him; it was now up to him to forgive her. At the edge of her peripheral vision, Sesshomaru paused, waiting for her.

"Well, um, I guess this is good-bye for now…" she bowed to Miroku, gave Sango a warm hug and Shippo a fond cuddle. "But I'll see you soon. We have a quest to continue!" Ignoring Sesshomaru's argumentative "hn", she hugged Sango once more before scampering after her lover.


"Sesshomaru," Kagome said as they sat side-by-side watching the sun set behind the rolling line of hills below them. Twirling a long blade of grass between her fingers, she decided that the boiling ball of gas had nothing on the eyes of the demon beside her. Her husband. 'Ohmygod! Mom is seriously going to flip when she hears this!'

He arched a brow in silent question and broke her mental hysterics.

"Oh, um. So why did you hide yourself from me for so long?"

Waiting impatiently as he simply stared at her, Kagome began to peel apart the blade of grass.

"It amused me."

"That's not funny," she groused and tore up a handful of grass, tossing it down the slope.

"I suppose that depends on who you are," he quipped, then fixed his attention back on the sunset.

Impotently furious in a matter of microseconds, Kagome ripped up another clump of grass and threw it into his shimmering silver hair. She was on her back a moment later, Sesshomaru looming above her as he pressed her body into the soft ground with his own. Orange light from the sunset gleamed behind his head and set his hair aflame. Slowly, he shook his head, his hair rippling like silk as he showered her face with verdant blades of grass.

He was beautiful, magical, so much more than she had ever, in her wildest dreams, thought she could have. But he was hers! Anger melted into a deep joy that struck a resounding chord in her soul and flooded her body with a feeling so light that she was sure that she would have floated away if he hadn't been there to hold her down. His eyes reflected her adoring smile and seemingly against his will, his lips stretched into a tiny grin that almost struck her dumb. Not quite, though.

"Why did you keep coming back to me? In your father's tomb, you said humans weren't worth loving."

"I changed my mind," he stated matter-of-factly, as if it were an every day occurrence for a human-hating taiyoukai to flip a proverbial bitch and marry one. Speaking of flipping bitches…

"I guess it's good to be the lord," she smirked up at him and wiggled her hips, glad that he'd removed his armor before they'd sat down.

"Hn," he agreed and claimed her lips with a slow, searching kiss.

'It's also good to be the lady,' Kagome thought, smiling against his mouth as she peeled back his kimono. It was very good, indeed.


A/N: Now, as I promised…this fic is inspired by the myth of Cupid and Psyche, as suggested by dsm1980. Several of you have guessed correctly, and I can only hope that for the rest of you, this comes as a pleasant surprise and that you don't chew me out for butchering a lovely story. Again, thanks for reading!