Pain blinded Kagome, as a whip kissed her back again and again.

" What is your name," a man asked her. When Kagome did not answer, the wipe fell across her skin with a snap for the once again time. Kagome could feel the blood pulsing out of her back and the pain that engulfed her with every stroke. Then to her surprise, and quite, cold voice came from the door.

" Cease. Leave us." With that, the man with the whip left, leaving only the woman and the man. Fear gripped Kagome, for she knew who shared the room with her. Slowly Kagome sagged to her knees, to weak to stand any longer. The man that had just saved her from the kiss of the whip was no ally. He was the one that had killed her mother. He was the king of the Eastern provinces. He was King Sesshomaru. Sesshomaru circled Kagome like a hawk does its prey. He noted her beauty, her raven hair that hung below shapely hips and dark stubborn brown eyes that were surrounded by long thick lashes. He also saw how pale she had become. How bruises marred her nigh flawless face. Her back was raw and bleeding. He was puzzled by the fact that this half dead creature remained resistant against him. Sesshomaru kneeled down, lifting her chin with his index finger where she was looking straight into his eyes. Before her was a handsome man in his twenties. Anger and impatiens etched themselves in his attractive features.

"You could have spared yourself this pain by merely telling me your name," He said in the same cool, quiet voice. " Why not spare yourself now?" He asked.

" No," Kagome rasped out of the thickness in her throat. " Never!" He struck her across the face , causing her to wince, even though she did not cry out. No one had ever used such an insolent tone with him. He was a King. He was the renowned conqueror. Anyone who opposed him wound up dead. Anger surged anew at the girls offhand disrespect.

" You bring this upon yourself!" He said, his voice now frigid with repressed anger, though his face gave nothing away. He straightened up, and stared down at her coldly.

"Because of your impudence, your brother shall pay the price, I believe he is only 8. Pity he is so young. The young are so easy to hurt, innocent" As the man turned to walk away, fear flared in Kagome's eyes.

"Stop, please," She whispered. " I'll tell you anything." Tears filled Kagome's eyes, for she knew she had no choice.

"Stand," He said coolly. Slowly she rose from her hands and knees, looking utterly defeated. Gazing upon the girl, Seshomaru noticed how beautiful she truly was. Dirty wench or not, everything about her was perfect except for her eyes. They held unimaginable pain and loss. Sesshomaru approached her, slowly placing his hand on her cheek, gently running a finger over the many bruises, surprised that even the slightest touch, and she would wince in pain. Quite unexpectedly, the man felt a wave of regret. She was just an innocent. 'But she is a pawn to complete control. She is your key.' Sesshomaru could make use of her in the future. Though he demanded a name he knew exactly who the broken beauty before him was. Her father was the leader of the last remaining resistance against his rule, and he would do anything for his precious daughter.

"Follow my maid and go clean up. As for your brother, if you do anything that displeases me, well, we've been over that part."

As soon as he left, Kagome let the first tear fall. She had not cried in so long, it almost felt good. She obediently followed the elderly woman, to a very beautiful room. Surprised by the exquisiteness of the room for a hostage ,such as herself, Kagome was taken aback. The old woman smiled at her sympathetically.

"My dear," The woman croaked out, " I am Winifred, your maid. I will assist you in anyway I can. In the wardrobe," she indicated the armoire left of the door, " holds all of your garments, I had to guess your size, along with your shoes and so on. Your dresser," She pointed to the right, " Will contain any and all your accessories. Supper will be served at the 7th hour after the noon, exactly. Any questions, please don't hesitate to ask." Winifred smiled again.

" Dear child, I was King Sesshomaru's nurse when he was just a wee lad," Winifred chuckled, laughter gleaming in her eyes. "He is not usually that cruel. He is uhh… Well, I'll come and get you when it is supper time. By the way," The old woman hesitated, as if not sure what to say, " Dear… even though you are … a captive, Sesshomaru doesn't really tolerate…" Winifred looked her up and down kindly, " anything other than beauty." She looked apologetic. "You will need to look your best every time you are in his presence."

Slowly Winifred left Kagome alone.

Kagome was in pure confusion. The last few days were a blur for her. She was the only daughter of Heliodor. Heliodor was the leader of the last resistance against the crown.Everything that village stood for, freedom, peace, independence, was almost shattered five days ago when someone had given away the village whereabouts. The king himself had personally come and wiped the whole village out. Only very few escaped. Herself not included. All the women in her village had either been captured for the soldiers, or killed. The king was obviously thinking that her father would give up the village for her. King Sesshomaru was sadly mistaken. Her father was a man that was sensible. He wouldn't give up anything for her. He wasn't stupid. Even when she had been a little girl, he hadnever really loved anyone ever since mother had died. Ever since then, he had been in this war for freedom and revenge. Kagome knew she was going to die, eventually. Stripping out of her dirty, blood stained clothes, Kagome stared into the mirror, amazed at how skinny she had become in her brief time in imprisonment. She slide the smallest garment in the wardrobe over her head, and even then she had to pin the back of the dress. She plaited her thick hair and adorned her heavily exposed neck with a simple golden necklaces, given to her by her mother. Just as Kagome finished perfecting her appearance, Winifred walked though the door, with a soft smile on her kind, wrinkled face. She looked at Kagome admiringly.

"My dear, you remind me of my daughter! Your beauty is astounding." slowly, the old woman beckoned to Kagome. Your new master, the king, will be seated first. You do not eat until he eats, you do not meet his eyes, AT ALL, and you will be absolutely silent at all times, unless talked to or told otherwise."

Sesshomaru sat in his study talking to his advisor and General. Sir Steel Falcón. Steel had honestly started with nothing. Noticed by chance while fighting a bully in his village, he had become a squire to the late king. He had quickly befriended the prince, and had also climbed the ranks of the imperial army. Simply put, he was the princes' confidant and best friend.

"Steel, you braying ass. Do not make light of this. She is the key to everything I work for. With her rebel friends rid of, my rule will be solid. All we need is to send a piece of the girl to her father. Being the rebel leader he is, he will ." Steel looked at his friend with mock contempt.

'Why friend, you would mar that goddess." He laughed at the thought. " Just make her send a lock of hair and a note. I have always found sending limbs a bit melodramatic." Steel paused in thought. " Your highness, you are aware that we will have to keep the little wench as reassurance to you rule. I would oblige to keep her." Sesshomaru laughed.

"Yes dear friend, I am sure you would. But I have taken to liking the idea of being a tad selfish. But let us eat. My stomach is shiveled up from lack of a good meal." Though he would never admit it, Sesshomaru realized he was less eager in eating than in seeing his lovely little captive.

Winifred led Kagome down a long spiral staircase. For the second time, Kagome was taken aback by the beauty of the palace. Intricate designs covered every inch of the walls. Everything was absolutely gorgeous. Walking through a corridor at the end of the stairs, they arrived in the great hall. There stood the king, standing on the dais by atable that held places for 7 people. Only four placed were set. Kagome carefully kept her

eyes down, and her head bowed, not even wanting to look at the abomination. Whenthe king sat down, she was directed to take her seat as well. Kagome found herselfsitting to the direct left of the king, directly across another man. Winifred sat beside her.Sesshomaru was shocked at how skinny the woman was. She looked almost ill! No matter how strong she acted, she was physically exhausted. The clothes the wore emphasized how thin, yet shapely she was. Her dark hair was trussed up, much to his displeasure. Though he would never admit it, he thought her hair was one of her best qualities. Slowly, delicately, she sat down on his left. She kept her eyes away from him, in fear? Submission? When dinner was served, the tiny woman barely even touched her food. She looked sad, and beaten. The bruises on her face still marred her beauty, and the back of her dress dipped low enough to see the red welts on her back. For some reason, he failed to find any pleasure in her pain.

"Why don't we start anew," Sesshomaru asked quietly, almost mockingly. "I am, as you probably already know King Sesshomaru, bastard son of the late king. I shall not disgrace these halls with his name, To my right is General Steel Falcón. And you are…"

"I am Kagome of the Jade Circle, daughter of Gathid, Leader of the Jade Circle." The man in front of Kagome raised a delicate blond eyebrow.

"You my dear, sound as though you are proud to be a part of those barbarians. Ha, dear child, you have nothing to be proud about. "Kagome turned from submissive to a livid woman in less than a blink of an eye.

"How old are you," Steel continued, " No more than what, sixteen. Hardly old enough to be involved in such inhuman ways. Sesshomaru watched as his friend taunted the girl. What bothered him was the fact that she was to angry to be eating.

"Why are you not eating, you ungrateful wench!" He growled quietly. He watched her look shaken, as if holding back heavy emotions. " Answer!" He yelled. Kagome jumped, so used to his smooth, mellow voice, it had surprised her that he had used such a tone. Slowly, she raised her head, still not meeting his eyes.

" Milord, I am afraid that I am not hungry… Please forgive me." she could help but add sarcasm out of the last part. Unfortunately, Sesshomaru picked up on this. He shoved his chair back, knocking it over, and yanked the woman out

of her seat.

" It would be in you best interest to treat me with the utmost respect, since I

hold you life in my hands." He whispered in her ear ominously. Suddenly, to his surprise, Kagome started to struggle. She shoved her elbow into his stomach and tried to break away. But to no avail. Before long, he had her on the floor, underneath him. He was straddling her body, her hands pinned above her head. All at once, Sesshomaru was achingly aware of the sweet body beneath his large frame. He almost groaned as he felt her firm breast brush against his chest. Before either of them knew what happened, his mouth captured her lips, licking and nipping at them. Tasting the fullness of the soft petals. As his tongue was about to make itself known, he felt her buck underneath him. All the anger he had forgotten to lust hit him twofold.

" You temptress! " Sesshomaru growled. He thrust himself away from the girl, and slowly left the room. Steel sat with agrin on his face. He glanced at the girl warmly, giving her a look of praise.

WELL!! Did You Like It?? I'm Sooooo Excited To Finally Get this Out THere!! Please Review! and In Those Reviews...How Bout Some ideas For THe next Chapter. Maybe A Prompt Would Help. If I like YOur idea... I'll definatly Hand You a Shitload Of Credit!! LOVE U ALLL BTW i do not own Inuyasha

Sterling aka PureChick