Disclaimer - Sadly, I don't own Rurouni Kenshin. It is the sole property of Nobuhiro Watsuki and the many companies who have purchased the rights.
A/N Hi All. Well here it is, my first and likely only foray into alternate pairings. I'm normally a devout Kenshin/Kaoru shipper but even though that pairing is number one, I also find myself drawn to the Enishi/Kaoru pairing. There's just something about Enishi I love. Anyway, the main reason I wrote this was to make it possible for me to split Enishi and Kaoru up in Forever Mine, I found that to be extremely difficult for some reason.
Ok, now that I've bored you to death with information that I'm sure you aren't the least bit interested in, I'll wrap up the author's note by saying this is chapter one of a two shot featuring these two. I do however have one warning... if you are offended by adultery please back click now, I wrote this piece for the 'Affair' prompt in my 100 situations table at livejournal.
And last but not least, if you would like to read the full lemon version of this you will find it under the same pen name at mediaminer dot org.
Choices of the Heart
Chapter 1 - One Last Night...
Kaoru shivered as a blast of icy cold wind whipped by her again, the frigid air cutting into the exposed skin of her face. Picking up her pace, she ducked her head in an effort to keep the stinging snowflakes from freezing her cheeks and hugged her heavy coat around her a little bit tighter. It was so cold tonight. Cold enough that the weather station had warned against going out, but she didn't have a choice, not tonight. She had to do this tonight, because if she didn't she knew she'd lose her nerve. This had been going on for too long already, if it went on much longer Kenshin would find out, and she couldn't take that risk.
Fighting down the sudden surge of guilt running rampant through her veins, she sighed. Yes, tonight would be the last. Tonight she'd come to tell Enishi that it was over. She couldn't live this lie anymore, and he shouldn't have to either. He deserved so much more than to be the 'other' man of a forgotten wife. He deserved to be loved and cherished by a woman who could give her all to him.
Sniffling back the tears suddenly burning her eyes, she hugged her coat around her even tighter in an effort to chase away the numbing cold that settled into her bones at the thought of leaving him. How many times in the last couple of months had she wished she could be that woman, but she couldn't. Not without hurting Kenshin and she couldn't do that either.
A single tear escaped from the corner of her eye to trail unheeded down her cheek, it hurt to think this would be the end. Over the last four months, since she'd met him that fateful day in the small coffee shop, she'd grown to love him almost as much as she did Kenshin, and yet she was Kenshin's wife. Snorting, she half smiled. Yes, she was Kenshin's wife, but he didn't seem to remember that anymore. For the last two years he'd been home, at the most, one week a month. It seemed ever since he'd taken the job at Choshu Industries his life was no longer his own. He was always on the road... always. And it wasn't even that they needed the money, it was the fact that he seemed to think he needed to prove himself some how. She'd tried to be a good wife and wait patiently for what little time he gave her, but it wasn't enough. Not enough at all, and yet that still didn't change the fact that she loved him. She loved him even more than she did herself, which made her affair hurt even more. But she couldn't help what she felt for Enishi either. She didn't ask to fall in love with him, it had just happened.
Another blast of wind hit her square in the face bringing her back to reality and she shivered. Maybe someday Kenshin would find his way back to her, because after tonight that was the only thing she would have left to hope for. Wiping the wetness from her cheeks before it froze; she picked up her pace and focused her mind on the task at hand again. She could see the Enishi's front steps a half a block away. She was almost there.
Unconsciously, she slowed again as his door came closer and closer. Did she really want to do this? Could she do this? She was starting to think this had been a bad idea. She wasn't ready to face him and tell him it was over. No, she couldn't do this. Not today.
Steps away from his door Kaoru spun on her heel and started heading back the way she'd come. She'd do this another day.
Kaoru stopped dead as Enishi's deep baritone whispered over her skin, her name on his lips enough to weaken her knees. Damn, he must have been waiting. Taking a deep breath, she let it out slowly and turned to face him. Her breath caught in her throat when her eyes settled on his tall, lean form filling the doorway.
"Where are you going?"
Twisting her gloved hands, she shied away from the intense turquoise gaze fixed on her, "I... um... forgot something..."
Enishi smirked at her obvious lie and walked out into the frigid air, a small shiver whispered over his skin as the cold air cut through the thin material of his shirt. "And what would it be that you forgot? Your courage maybe?"
Kaoru scowled and glared into his knowing gaze. "No."
Gathering herself, she headed into the house. It was too late now anyway. Might as well finish what she'd come to do. Removing her gloves she tossed them on the table just inside the door as Enishi came in and closed the door behind him. She jumped as his icy fingers all of a sudden tucked themselves into the collar of her coat and started to remove the thick barrier between them.
"You seem a bit tense tonight. Is your husband coming home early?"
Kaoru's stomach knotted and she tensed even more. "No. He called and said he wouldn't be in until tomorrow afternoon sometime." She shivered as a warm breath of air whispered over her neck.
"Good, I wouldn't want you to have to leave early."
A light kissed dropped onto the back of her neck and she had to consciously stop herself from turning around and throwing herself at him. She wasn't here for that tonight. No, she'd come to end it and that was all, there would be nothing more. She wouldn't do that to herself, or him. Steeling herself against the feelings running rampant through her veins, Kaoru stepped out of the coat and headed into the dimly lit livingroom, the only illumination coming from the roaring fire in the fireplace.
Settling down on the sofa, she tucked herself into the corner and stared blindly into the flickering flames dancing merrily behind the black iron grate. How exactly was she going to do this? It had seemed so much easier when she'd originally come this conclusion. Stifling a sigh, she shook her head and tucked her legs up to her chest, wrapping her arms around them she rested her chin on her knees and listened as Enishi walked softly into the room. Of course it had been easier then, she hadn't actually had to face him in her imagination, hadn't had to look into the smirking turquoise eyes that haunted her every moment she wasn't in his presence. Those eyes had even managed to chase the ever present violet gaze from her memory. Keeping her attention fixed on the flames, she felt him settle down beside her and waited for the question she knew he was dying to ask.
"So, what brings you to me tonight?"
Kaoru sighed and tried to dig up the courage that had abandoned her out on his front steps. She was here, she had to do it... and yet... no, she wouldn't postpone this again. Taking a deep breath she finally let her gaze slide from the flames to the turquoise eyes fixed on her. Her breath hitched at the intensity of his regard. Trying to break eye contact she sighed when she found she couldn't.
Swallowing, she took a deep breath and whispered, "I can't do this anymore. I... I think it's time we ended this." Biting her lip, she watched him intently and waited for whatever may come. And yet, what came was something she hadn't expected at all.
Enishi's face remained completely impassive and he whispered, "Ok..."
Stunned, Kaoru just stared at him. That had not been what she'd expected at all. Her breath hitched slightly as a wave of sadness whispered through her body. Was she really that unlovable, that even he could cast her aside this easy? Wilting under the weight of the truth, she tried to fight back the nearly overpowering feeling of worthlessness threatening to swallow her whole. It hurt, oh god it hurt...
Ducking her head to hide the tears burning her eyes, she unfolded and started to rise.
Kaoru stopped and hazarded a glance over her shoulder, she cringed when her eyes clashed with the icy turquoise gaze fixed on her. Slowly settling back down, she waited for what he had to say.
"You have to promise me he will be there from now on. You have to promise me you won't be alone anymore."
Kaoru's eyes widened and she just stared into his demanding gaze. Swallowing, she tried her best to think of some thing to say, but there was nothing. She couldn't promise him that. She had no way of knowing if Kenshin would stay this time, there was just no way.
Shaking her head, Kaoru sighed, "I can't. But that doesn't matter, you don't deserve this." She jumped when Enishi reached over and dragged her into his lap. Fighting against his iron grip, she growled, "What are you doing! Let me go!"
Enishi's arms tightened even more and she stilled as his breath whispered against her cheek, "If you are leaving me for my own good... don't."
Kaoru couldn't stop the shiver that vibrated through her entire body at his tone. Swallowing, she didn't fight as he turned her in his lap. Her eyes widened slightly when they once again met his, the obvious love swimming in their turquoise depths making her pause.
"You are mine, Kaoru. He threw you away, I don't plan on making the same mistake."
And with that he dove in and locked her in a soul searing kiss. Stunned by his fierceness, she stiffened for a split second before she threw all caution to the wind and wrapped her arms around him tight. The lingering taste of his after dinner sake was almost as intoxicating as his lips moving over hers. Giving herself fully to the feelings only he could set rushing through her veins, she hugged him even tighter. One last night, she would take what he was willing to give this one last time.
Falling even further, she moaned lightly against his lips as his hands found their way under her blouse, his fingers dancing ever so lightly over her extremely sensitized skin. Deepening the kiss, Kaoru shivered as his tongue plundered her mouth, tasting every inch he could reach. Without relinquishing her lips, he quickly loosened the buttons on her blouse and gently pushed the soft material from her shoulders and down her arms. The blouse soon fell to the floor and Enishi let his fingers trail up the underside of her arms, his touch sending little bolts of electricity through her entire body.
The sudden need to feel his flesh beneath her fingers drove Kaoru to react in kind and she made quick work of the buttons keeping her away from that which she craved. Hastily pushing the silk material from his shoulders, she felt him smile against her lips as her fingers danced over the taught muscles of his chest; his heated flesh flexing slightly at her featherlight touch.
Finally, the need for air drove her to break the kiss and she leaned back just enough to meet the smoldering gaze fixed on her. Her eyes widened at the intensity of the look Enishi had fixed on her and then he whispered, "The only way I'm going to allow you to leave is if you tell me you don't love me."
Kaoru's eyes dropped closed as a knife stabbed deep into her heart. She couldn't do that, there was no way she could do that. God, why did this have to hurt so much? Bitter tears burned the backs of her eyes and she shook her head. This was too much right now. All she wanted was this one last night, it was all she could handle right now.
With that last thought, she snapped her eyes back open and kissed him with every ounce of love she held for him. Hopefully this would be enough to appease him, because there was no way she could say those words. None. And really it didn't matter, after tonight she would be gone and he would be free to find someone worthy of his love.
Ignoring the painful throb materializing in her chest, she held him tight and almost sighed into his lips when he gave in and locked her in a bone crushing grip. Trailing her fingers down his back, she didn't resist as he leaned forward and guided them to the plush carpet. Settling into the cushiony softness beneath her, she almost whimpered when Enishi released her lips and moved back just enough to pin her with a knowing look. The smirk tickling the edge of his lips said it all... he wasn't going to make this easy on her at all.
"Tell me you don't love me."
Staring dead into his demanding gaze, a single tear slipped from the corner of her eye as the fire he'd set rushing through her veins died. Rolling to the side she worked her way out from underneath him and shook her head. Without a word, she settled against the sofa. Staring blindly into the fire she tried to find the will to tell him the lie that would free him from this relationship, and yet she couldn't. To tell him that would mean she would have to deny him, and that wasn't something she could do and he knew it. Not after what his sister had done to him.
Wilting under the weight of her sin she tucked her knees up to her chin and wrapped her arms around them. She jumped when Enishi reached out and wiped the wetness she didn't realize was there from her cheeks. Embarrassed by her weakness, she tried to duck her head but Enishi was faster. Before she knew what was happening he cradled her cheeks gently and leaned in until his face only inches away from hers.
"I will let you off for now. But know this, princess, you will only leave if you can tell me you don't love me." And with that, he lunged in and locked her in a kiss that tasted of his love, the sweetness bringing tears to her eyes. Wrapping her arms around him tight, she desperately tried to imprint the feel of him on her memory for those lonely nights she knew would soon be all she would have left.
Too soon, Enishi broke the kiss and settled back on his heels to look her square in the eye, holding out a hand towards her he smiled, "Let's forget about this for now and simply enjoy the evening. It's been too long since you were here last."
Kaoru just stared at him as if he was insane and then she chuckled, "I was just here two nights ago!"
Enishi's smile dropped into a seductive smirk and he grasped her hand, gently guiding her to her feet, "Like I said. It's been too long."
Kaoru couldn't help the smile that played across her lips at his sudden playfulness. Nor could she stop herself from following as he led her towards the back of the house to his bedroom. She shouldn't be doing this, but she couldn't help herself. If this was going to be their last night she wanted to take as much of him with her as she could.
Following him quietly into the dimly lit room, she settled on his wide bed and simply watched as he removed his pants and set them neatly over the arm of the chair in the corner. She blushed when he shifted his attention to her, the tiny smirk tickling the edge of his lips making her weak. God, why did he have to look at her like that!
Without a word he paced slowly across the room, the predatory grace with which he stalked towards her making her breath hitch painfully in her throat. Trying to swallow around the lump suddenly lodged in her throat, she realized for the first time that something was different tonight. The air was charged with something she couldn't quite put her finger on. And then, as she let her eyes glide over his tall, lithe frame it finally dawned on her what was different, everything seemed to be holding it's breath. It felt as if the world had stopped and she and Enishi were the only ones still moving in this space without time towards a place where neither of them would be able to break free.
Unnerved by the realization, she shoved the thought from her mind and instead gave her undivided attention to the man closing the distance between them. Tonight it didn't matter, all that mattered was him. Tonight everything was for him.
Finally, after what felt like an eternity Enishi padded the last few steps to her and slowly guided her to her feet. Wrapping one arm around her waist he tucked her against his chest and loosened the ribbon holding her ravens locks. Dropping the soft length to the floor he ran his fingers lovingly through her silky hair, "There is one thing I want to say to you, love." Gently tugging her hair, he tilted her head back enough so he could look her dead in the eye and whispered, "After tonight, you won't be able to leave me."
Stunned, Kaoru just stared at him, "Enishi... don't..."
Kissing her lightly Enishi simply smiled into her startled gaze. "Don't what?"
Tongue-tied, all Kaoru could do was stare at him. God, why did he have to make this so hard!
Enishi shook his head at the silent entreaty in her eyes, "You deserve better than him, Kaoru, and tonight I plan on making you see just where it is you belong." And with that he leaned in and captured her lips in a gentle yet demanding kiss.
Fighting back the acidy tears burning the backs of her eyes, Kaoru simply wrapped her arms around him and met him with a kiss that said everything she couldn't. She loved him. It was plain and simple and yet she would never tell him that. Ever. He deserved better.
One lone tear broke loose from the corner of her eye and traveled silently down her cheek. Neither of them deserved this.
Shoving the thoughts from her mind, she let everything fall away and lost herself in the taste of him, trailing her fingers delicately over the rock hard muscles of his back she smiled against his lips as a shiver whispered over his skin. And then she found herself shivering as his fingers trailed down her belly, his touch sending little bolts of lightening dancing into the very center of her womanhood.
Enishi deepened the kiss even more as he quickly undid the button and zipper of her jeans. Trailing his fingers softly around her hips he hooked his thumbs in to the top of her jeans and slowly started guiding them down. Releasing her lips, he dropped a trail of light kisses down her neck and over the soft swell of her breasts as he continued to push her jeans towards the floor.
Her belly tightened as he dropped even lower, his lips whispering ever so gently over her quivering flesh. Her legs started to shake as his tongue flicked out to make small, wet swirls over the taught muscles of her belly. Burying her fingers in his hair, she moaned lightly as his tongue trailed over the soft flesh just above her panty line, his featherlight touch eliciting another moan from deep inside of her. Finally her jeans pooled into a puddle at her feet and he slowly started to make his way back up her sensitized skin, his tongue flicking out to taste every inch his lips whispered over.
After what felt like an eternity, Enishi reached his full height again and she had to clutch on to him to keep from falling into a puddle at his feet. Slowly lifting her eyes to meet his, she gasped at the unabashed desire written all over his face. Without a word he simply stared at her as his fingers found the clasp of her bra, quickly freeing her from the constricting material; his gaze challenging her to stop him.
Unable to meet his challenge, Kaoru simply stepped back and allowed the bra to slide down her arms and fall to the floor between them. Enishi smirked triumphantly and gently gripped her hips, picking her up he set her on the bed and laid her back. Kaoru's breath hitched as he crawled up over her, his knees straddling her hips; caging her head between his hands he simply stared at her with a look that said he wanted her to ask for it.
Swallowing, she hesitated for a split second before she gave in to his unspoken demand and reached up to wrap her hands around the back of his neck; guiding him to her lips. Succumbing to her gentle urgings, Enishi bent down until his lips were mere inches away from hers and then he stopped and whispered, "You can't resist me, can you?"
Staring dead into his knowing gaze, Kaoru let a small grin tickle her lips and finally gave in, "No... I can't." With that, she tugged him the last few inches and kissed him soundly, her desire matching his.
A small flame of need exploded in her belly as her tongue trailed along his, the taste of him was like a drug she couldn't get enough of and she delved deeper in an effort to taste all she could. Finally, the need for air drove her to break the kiss. She smiled as he leaned back and settled on his side beside her. But no sooner did he settle himself than he reached over and effortlessly lifted her and rolled onto his back settling her onto his chest.
Startled by his quick action, Kaoru simply stared into the smoldering turquoise gaze fixed on her. She almost melted at the seductive smirk tickling his lips. Good god, she really did love him. So much, in fact, it hurt. Ducking her head at the thought, she fought back the tears burning her eyes again. This was all too much, she should leave. End this before it became impossible to leave.
A sigh whispered from between Enishi's lips and, as if he'd read her thoughts, he whispered, "If you really want to leave, I won't stop you."
Crushed by his disheartened tone, Kaoru swallowed back the tears and glanced back up to simply stare at the man who had stolen her heart. No, she wouldn't leave. Not when she had this one last chance to love him as he should be. A small smile tickled her lips at the thought and she answered the question in his eyes, "I'm not going anywhere just yet."
And with that, she leaned in and dropped a light kiss on the smile that grew on his lips before slowly making her way down his warm flesh, her lips dancing over the flat expanse of his well muscled chest. Yes, she would make this night a night neither of them would ever forget.
x x x x x x x
Completely spent, Enishi relaxed and wrapped his arms around Kaoru. Rolling to the side he carried her with him and tucked her snuggly against his chest. "Damn woman, you're going to be the death of me yet."
Kaoru chuckled and listened to his heartbeat thundering in his chest, his breathing coming in short gasps. Nestling her cheek onto his sweat slick chest, she sighed in contentment and hugged him close.
Completely losing herself in the afterglow of their lovemaking she snuggled even closer to him and unwittingly whispered the feelings that she had, until now, kept buried in the deepest parts of her heart. "I really do love you, Enishi."
Suddenly, Enishi's arms locked around her tight and he whispered. "Then don't leave."
Startled, Kaoru tried to sit up but found herself quite firmly held against his chest. Closing her eyes she sighed and finally gave in to the tears that had been teasing her all night. Why had she let that slip? Sniffling, she gave up trying to break free and relaxed against him, "I have to. You deserve better than this Enishi."
Releasing his hold on her slightly, Enishi guided them both into a sitting position and tucked her into his lap. "It's not me who deserves better, Kaoru, it's you." Sighing, he rested his chin lightly on the top of her head and added, "Why do you wait for him? In the last four months we've been together he's been home twice. Twice, Kaoru, for less than a week. Why do you do this to yourself?"
Kaoru wilted under the truth and wiped the wetness from her cheeks. She had asked herself that very same question so many times now that she seriously doubted there really was an answer. Maybe it was because whenever he was home he always treated her as if she was the one and only thing he really wanted. And yet, that never stopped him from leaving. Never.
Sighing again, she rested her head against his chest, "I don't know. All I know is it kills me to think he might be hurt if I leave him."
A knife stabbed into her heart at the sigh that escaped Enishi's lips and then he loosened his hold and set her on the bed. "He doesn't deserve you, Kaoru."
Hanging her head, Kaoru fought back the new bout of tears burning her eyes and made her way off the bed to collect her discarded clothes. Silently donning her bra, underwear and jeans she settled back on the bed and watched him wrap himself in his ankle length black robe. Sad thing was, Enishi was right, but that still didn't stop her from loving Kenshin. It was that love that kept her going back; that love that kept her leashed to a man she wasn't even sure loved her anymore. At the thought, another question surfaced, one she really had never thought about before. If he really loved her wouldn't he want to be with her instead of being at Katsura-san's beck and call?
"What will it take for you to realize he doesn't love you like he should?"
Startled, Kaoru look up and jumped at finding Enishi only two feet away from her. "I... I don't know." Pushing off the bed, she sidestepped around him and made her way back out into the livingroom to collect her blouse. Ignoring the man following behind her, she slipped it on and headed for the entryway. She had to go. She would never leave if he continued to give voice to all the things she tried to keep buried. It was better this way; he deserved someone so much better than her.
Grabbing her coat, she jumped when it was taken from her hands and held out for her. Avoiding his knowing gaze she slipped into the heavy wool and tucked it around her tight. Donning her gloves she reached for the door and whispered, "Goodbye, Enishi. I hope someday you can find someone who deserves you." And with that she opened the door and stepped out into the frigid air. Ignoring the tears dribbling from her eyes she hunched down in an effort to stay warm and, without looking back, she slowly started making her way down the sidewalk. She'd only made it two steps though when she was brought up short by Enishi, who suddenly loomed up to block her path. Glancing into his turquoise eyes she cringed back from the hurt and anger he was trying to keep caged.
"For now I will let you go, but if you ever decide he doesn't deserve you, I will be here waiting."
A knife of pain stabbed deep into her heart at the pain lingering deep in his. Shaking her head, she looked him dead in eye, "Please don't. I can't stand you being alone either."
"Then come back when you finally realize he doesn't want you."
And with that he sidestepped around her and went back into the house; closing the door silently behind him. Breaking down into silent sobs, Kaoru stood motionless in the middle of the sidewalk. God, why did it have to be like this? Why!?
Unable to answer that question she angrily wiped the tears away. Steeling herself against the numbness trying to sink into her very bones she scowled. Tomorrow she was going to find out exactly what she was to Kenshin, because if he really didn't love her anymore she'd come back. If there was anything she knew without a doubt right now, it was that she loved Enishi... and he loved her.
Yes, if Kenshin threw her away she would be back. Of that there was no question.
Please review and let me know what you think.