Rules of Seduction

Ch. 13

Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha or it's characters...


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Sesshomaru wandered if it would work...this time. The miko was in school, where she would certainly encounter the creature pursuing her. At first, he hadn't known what the awful stench he'd caught belonged to when he'd picked her up...now, he was positive of it's origins. It was so well blended—he would not have recognized it if it wasn't for one flaw...it's human scent was artificial. It smelled human and it looked human, but it wasn't. It wasn't even hanyou. It was not born of human or youkai flesh—but created from their wastes and dark magic.

Sitting inside his black Lambo, he waited patiently for their appearance. It's appearance. He tapped his long claws on the arm rest, waiting. He reached up and pulled his dark shades on, knowing it wouldn't be long now. He'd studied the patterns it left behind closely, knowing it was growing restless. Sesshomaru had followed the girl from the moment he'd dropped her off at her house unceremoniously. He couldn't have her turning to him when it was most important she didn't. He needed her to believe he didn't care—didn't want her, even if it was eating him alive.

Before he'd dropped her off, he'd scanned the area, letting his aura explore every crevice of the shrine, making sure it'd been safe. When he'd returned later that day, unseen by her, to check up on her he noticed the mess had been cleaned up by her. He'd sensed the lone wolf's aura, but guessed he'd come over to visit the girl. That didn't sit well with the Taiyoukai, the last thing he needed was another wolf sniffing around what was his.

Choosing to ignore that bit of information for the moment, he'd concentrated on the next thing that caught his attention. At first, nothing seemed out of place. Then, he'd seen it, the distinct aura that marked those without a soul, those that are dead...and not. Much like his half brother's woman. It'd been slightly old—but it was there nonetheless.

The slamming of a door alerted Sesshomaru out of his musings; his nudge had been right....his lips curved slowly into a small grin of triumph as he waited.

OoO

"Hojo, wait, I don't think this is a really good idea," Kagome's voiced uncertainly.

Hojo's dark brown hair swayed with each step, dark and opaque. Kagome's eyes looked down and caught the shimmer coming from her darker hair, wondering why his was so lifeless and limp. She frowned at him as he refused to turn and look at her or let go of her. She yanked her hand out of his hold forcefully.

"What's wrong Kagome? Aren't you coming with me?" Hojo's voice sent chills down her spine as it seemed to slide across her and around her. She didn't like it...never had. He turned to face her fully, his eyes deep and solemn.

"I don't think I'll be going Hojo, I really can't miss a day of school.....with all the days I've already missed and all..." she stuttered.

Once again, Hojo's hand came around her wrist like a steel shackle, cold and hard. Kagome shivered at the icy touch, instantly pulling away. The mere touch of his turned her stomach.

"Hojo, stop it."

Hojo's lips pulled up into a crooked smile, cold and detached. "What's wrong Kagome? Don't you want to find out the truth?" His breath came in quick pants, as if he was out of breath.

"What truth? Hojo, you're starting to creep me out," again she pulled.

"Hojo, are you okay?" Kagome started, but stopped when his eyes narrowed at her.

"I'm fine," he snapped. Without saying another word, Hojo turned around and walked forward, pulling Kagome in tow.

They crossed the quiet street, now empty with the exception of a few cars parked scattered throughout the street. Kagome recognized the path; they were heading to her home....

OoO

The slick black car followed close behind the walking couple. So, that was the thing's chosen appearance? Sesshomaru could have laughed at it's chosen look, if it weren't for the fact that Kagome had come to trust such a thing. Sesshomaru knew every moment Kagome spent with that creature she was in danger. He followed her every movement as the boy dragged her along, all the while maintaining a fair distance. What ever had to happen this day, 500 years in the past, he had to let it happen. He could not interfere.

OoO

The feeling of dread and foreboding peaked as Kagome neared the stairs that would lead her up to her family's shrine. She never though the day would come when she would associate fear with home. Home that was her shelter, her place when adventures began. Looking at the back of Hojo's head, she wondered what had made the young man change so drastically? She'd known him since they were five, and never had he been anything other than the same shy boy.

There was a time when she would of jumped at the thought of dating him, of maybe being more to him than a friend. But it'd all changed when the well opened for her and gave her a new path to walk.

"Come on Kagome...we don't want to be late."

Kagome hadn't noticed she'd practically stopped walking. They stood before the long stairway that would lead her up to her shrine. Almost at once, a knot formed in her throat. She couldn't do this, whatever awaited her at the top filled her with dread and anticipation. She tried to speak, but like a fish out of water, all she could do was move her lips.

She was dragged up the familiar flight of stairs, all the while she stared at the man she thought she knew. This was more than simple anger at being left in the street after she refused to be with him. Hojo walked briskly towards the familiar structure of the well house, completely ignoring her home.

"Hojo please, where are you taking me?" she asked, exasperated, and wanting some answers. The sense of apprehension growing in the pit of the stomach with every step they took.

"You will see," was her only respond.

Hojo let her wrist drop as he slid the door of the well house open, revealing pitch darkness. Kagome touched her aching wrist gingerly, taking note of the redness there. She hadn't thought Hojo had the strength he'd demonstrated, and that irked her. What else could he have been hiding, how much more had she over estimated him?

"Kagome, come," Hojo held his hand out to her, palm up and fingers spread wide; not bothering to look at her.

Hesitantly, Kagome took a step towards him, wanting to peek into the well house and see what had his undivided attention. Call it curiosity, but she peeked into the darkness of the well house and gasped.

"What is it? What do you see?" Hojo commanded, his voice impatient.

Kagome took in the light glow around the wooden lips of the well house. Bright, transparent wisps of smoke seemed to be emitting from deep below the well. Their ominous dance captured her gaze, and for a moment, she found herself taking a step forward.

A solid hand gripped her arm, promptly halting her.

"Kagome—tell me what you see," was the impatient order.

"An aura, circling the well like smoke," Kagome replied, furrowing her brows. Then it hit her, Hojo couldn't see it—but he knew she could. How would he know of her abilities to see auras?

He was silent for a moment, then unexpectedly, and with a force she hadn't known he'd possessed, pushed her in. Kagome stumbled down the wooden stairs and landed on her knees in front of the well.

"Come on Kagome, he's waiting," his voice echoed eerily inside the empty well house.

Kagome looked up and saw Hojo crouched over the lip of the well, staring at her. His eyes trained on her, as if she was prey. It sent chills racing down her spine like frigid fingers. She could hear her heart drumming loudly in her ears as his thin lips spread into a wicked smile.

Standing, Kagome backed away a step, "I don't think it's safe Hojo, you could hurt yourself if you jump in."

Hojo's stance didn't change, but in one blinding moment, his hand was securely wrapped around her wrist.

"Come now Kagome, you of all people should know where this well leads to," with that said, Hojo pulled her flush against him. Wrapping his other arm around her waist, he hauled her over the brim of the well and into it's dark depths.

OoO

"Inuyasha, perhaps you could try again today?" the little kit's voice rang clear in the silent hut.

Sango ran her fingers through the young boy's bright auburn hair, marveling at it's texture. She could feel the stiffness of the little kit's shoulders, mirrored of her own. It'd been almost a week since Inuyasha had tried crossing over to Kagome's side—and it had been almost a week since he'd returned worried. He hadn't been able to cross over. At first, panic had seized them all—specially the young demon among them. But then, the Shikon hadn't been completed yet—so the well could not have been completely sealed off...right?

Someone must have sealed it off, but who? Inuyasha's mind worked relentlessly, trying to figure out what could have happened. The only person with the knowledge necessary to see it fit to close the well was Kagome...and her family. But none of them but her possessed the ability to seal it off. Unless Kagome was seriously pissed off at him, that could be the only possible reason. So until she cooled off, he knew all he had to do was wait...but damn was it taking a toll on him.

"No Shippou, I can't. It's up to her now," was Inuyasha's gruff reply before he slipped his hands into his sleeves and closed his eyes, pretending to go to sleep.

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A/N: Ok, hopefully I'm back on track...now, I'm afraid the only times I'll be able to update is on weekends, since I work during the week and go to school. This chapter's dedicated to both LC Rose and SugarOo for their super powers of persuasion and getting authors to update...lol.

And thank you to Shiro-Inu-Megami, for catching a few mistakes! ^.^ I really appreciate you guys looking out for me.