Otouto –Younger brother

Kamigyou-ku – A residential ward in Kyoto, Japan that houses rich people and I guessed it also important businesses.

Moushiwake arimasen deshita – A very formal expression used to apologize to superiors.

Junsa Bunchou – Police Sergeant

Junsa – Police officer

Disclaimer: I don't own Inuyasha

Chapter 8: Betrayal

Kouga was in Tokyo when he received Sesshoumaru's call. He had answer, expecting to be told to look into an employee who was suspected of stealing or something related –the Western Dignitary only called him when it was about work-, but was surprised when the request was to investigate some chick. Sesshoumaru never talked about another female that wasn't Kagome, unless associated with his work, and even then, he didn't say much. So when he heard those words from his employer's mouth, he didn't know if he should be happy that the Lord had gotten over his brother's wife or worried that this new onna was also unattainable. Either way, he couldn't let that opportunity go without getting some entertainment from it. However, that was short-lived since the taiyokai just gave him his orders and hanged up letting him talk to himself for a while until he noticed that Sesshoumaru had ended the call some minutes ago.

He signed and wondered if his boss was going to be fine. He had been heartbroken for so many years that he was worried he was going to snap one of these days and do something really stupid. Maybe this new female would help him. But first he needed to know who she was. And, since he wasn't in Kyoto at that moment, he would have to talk to one of his workers to take the case and report to him all related to this female.

Taking his phone out of his pocket, where he had put after he ended his previous call, he dialed Kai's number which he knew by memory. He heard it ring for a while until he heard a click.

"Kai, listen. Sesshoumaru called me…" he stopped to listen to Kai who was talking to him just as he was trying to tell him something. He was about to tell the mutt to shut the hell up and let him talk when he noticed that it was the answering machine that had kicked in when the younger Ookami hadn't answer his phone. Thinking better, he decided to try Shinta. He was an expert in that kind of thing and had the experience even when he was Kai's otouto.

Once more he dialed the other number he had memorized. Again, it rang several times before somebody picked it up and, after making sure he wasn't talking to an answering machine, he began to impart orders.

"Hello, Shinta. Are you busy right now? No? Good. I need you to investigate someone for me. I won't be back for another week and Sesshoumaru wants it as soon as possible."

"Ok" he heard the other say. "The name?"

"Minamoto Maaya," said Kouga with a big smile. Sooner than expected everybody would know that Taishou Sesshoumaru was investigating a woman.

"Does she work for Sesshoumaru-sama?" asked Shinta. He was used to being stuck with that kind of job and already knew that the Western Dignitary only requested background check when he wanted to hire someone or when he was planning to fire them.

"Actually no," said Kouga still grinning. "It seems like he doesn't know much about the female. The only information he gave me was that she had been admitted into the Kaminari Clinic yesterday night and that there is a possibility of her being a police officer."

"Are you serious?" he heard Shinta's voice crack. It happened once in a while showing that the young yokai was hitting puberty.

"Yeah, he sounded like he was serious but I'm not sure about this so I want you to find me everything you can on her, even her three sizes, ok?" Kouga said now stern. "I'm sure he would like to know that," he added to himself.

"Got it boss, I'm already on it," said the exited teenager before hanging up.

Shaking his head in reluctant amusement, Kouga placed his phone in the pocket of his jacket and continued to walk toward his destination. Along the way, he briefly wondered who this new lady was and how had she managed to capture Sesshoumaru's undivided interest. However, knowing that thinking about it wasn't going to provided any answer and that his friend was poor source of information, he decided to way until his pack member found the required information. Knowing Shinta, he would be using all those contacts and search engines to find all records on Minamoto Maaya. As usual, the young Ookami would contact him first and from there, he would inform his eminence the Western Dignitary. That didn't mean that Sesshoumaru was going to get all the information. Unless the guy was serious, he would only want an abridged version of Shinta's findings. Somehow, Kouga was thinking that the taiyokai would want the whole package, including having the woman followed and investigated to the last top-secret detail. It might be a good idea if it wasn't because he had a feeling that what they found would turn his boss's life upside down.

The stop on the hospital only took Mi several minutes. She had planned to speak with Maaya, but seeing that she was sleeping at the moment it was prudent to just leave and maybe write a good bye note instead. So she smiled at Kohaku and Yuu adding that she would see them later. A lie, she knew, but more a necessity that anything else.

Walking out of the hospital like she wasn't in a hurry took a lot of her energy. Just as not stepping on the gas and high tailing out of there once she put her foot on the gas pedal. She needed to fool everyone, including the ignorant passer-by. Anyone curious enough could remember a speeding car. Such little details were what Shishinki used to find people who had managed to escape from his clutches. Mi was in a hurry to escape, but she wasn't diluted enough to believe that making any mistake would spare her from his wrath.

The parking area was busy at that time with many cars coming in and out. Visitors, she guessed. Driving with a calm she didn't feel or have, she headed toward Kamigyou-ku, a ward in Kyoto that housed business. She was looking for a building she had passed many times before, but never had the opportunity to visit. However, this time, if she played her cards right, not only would she enter but would stay there until she could leave the country.

After driving for several minutes among huge skyscrapers, one in special called her attention. The building had thirty plus floors and the walls were made of glass. Its form was circular with a huge space in the middle. It was considered one of the most beautiful buildings not belonging to the yokai culture. She went there, and after parking her old car, she entered the exquisite ground floor. The first thing to notice was the elegance of the place, even in the lobby. The floor had a beautiful dark red rug that covered the whole ground. Paints of some of the most famous ningen artist in the world hung from its wall with other less gracious items. There were couches around a table with an abstract sculpture on it, a small stand that held magazines and there also was the ever annoying receptionist.

She headed toward the woman who seemed to be in a deep phone conversation with a friend. Stopping right in front of the woman to get her attention, the lady ignored her for some time before she decided that the woman wasn't going to hang up any time soon. In a not so loud voice she called the woman since, even if there was nobody with them, she didn't want to seem rude.

"I'm sorry," the words left Mi's mouth after some time debating if they were or not the most classical way to do it.

"Hi, may I help you?" The air head known to be in charge of the front desk asked.

"Yes, I need to speak with Takemaru Setsuna-sama," Hitomiko's sweetest voice resonated through the empty lobby.

"Do you have an appointment?" asked the woman.

"Sadly, I don't have one, but I'm sure he would receive me if you called him and explained to him why I'm here," the miko tried to convince the woman. However, as always such things weren't that easy to achieve. "It's really important and I'm sure he wouldn't mind my visit that much," she added.

"Sorry, but he is in a meeting right now and will be unable to receive you right away. Why don't you make an appointment with his personal assistant and wait until he can meet with you," asked the woman knowing the procedures. It was not the first time that somebody came in to speak with the owner of the building without an appointment. Most of the time the unexpected visitors were yokai who had complains toward the treatment they received since the company didn't accept demons of any kind, or those yokai who were against the not so legal activities that the corporation involved itself with. Also, there were those who approved of the methods the owner did things with yokai and wanted to speak with him to give new ideas and their opinion on what they did. And recently, there were those who had information about his wife and daughters who had mysteriously gone missing about a month ago.

Rumors about the separation were flying around. Some said that his wife found another love and left him planning to request the divorce and take his daughters and some of his money with her. That rumor made many human women very happy but those that had had the guts to actually ask him found themselves with no job for some mysterious reason, and there were those that had also disappeared. Others said she was kidnapped by yokai and needed to be rescued, that he was just waiting for the ransom note to go save them. However, each time he was asked no answer was received. And the last more skeptic reason was that she went to the police and was under the Witness Protection Program waiting to testify against him. Since nobody knew the truth, the subject was exaggerated more often than not and most the speculations regarding it were most likely false.

"How long would that take?" Hitomiko asked the receptionist knowing that answer wasn't going to be to her liking.

"Well, about a month maybe, Takemaru-sama's agenda is quite packed during this time of year." It was the usual tactic used in hopes of convincing unwanted visitors to leave and not come back.

"This is quite important and urgent. I need to speak with Takemaru. Would you please just let me talk to him for a minute?" The police officer knew her message wasn't getting across.

"I'm sorry madam but I'm following orders. You should leave. Takemaru-sama will not be able to speak with you today or tomorrow," the receptionist said a little harshly.

"You don't understand, it's a matter of security what we are talking about here. If you don't let me see him then you will find your butt without job in a couple of weeks and your precious boss with his ass in jail. If it makes you feel better tell him that it's about his wife. Tell him I know where she is and if you don't hurry up her location will be changed and this time I won't be told where to find her," said Hitomiko getting desperate and angry.

The receptionist wasn't buying anything Mi was telling her and she didn't like it. She didn't care about Takemaru Kikyo in the least, but it was her trump card to get her ass out of the country and far away from Shishinki. If she couldn't reach Takemaru she might as well go back to her odious mate and please him. She had no other option. She would have to tell the woman that she was with the police and her information was good but it wouldn't be for long if she kept eating her nails and not knowing what to do.

The receptionist picked up her phone and dialed a number. Hitomiko couldn't see the digits, and even if she did saw it, it wouldn't help her much. However, she had the feeling that it was the security office to get her out of there. So, if the woman wasn't going to let her in, she was going to make her way through. Seeing her opportunity when the elevators opened to let out some of the workers, she ran to them wading fast between the people and pressing the button to the last floor as soon as she was inside. She heard the woman scream for her to stop but Hitomiko ignored her while she pressed another button to close the doors faster. For some reason, the elevator was stubborn and the doors weren't closing. Maybe they had some type of device that controlled the machinery in this kind of situations. Mi begged that not to be the case or she was screwed. Seeing the security guards appear and run toward her, she pressed the button harder, frantically begging it to close the dammed door.

She was desperate as the guards came closer, but by some miracle, the doors decided to close at the time leaving the surprised personnel reaching the door and probably trying to pry it open as she went up. Stumbling back against the metal wall, Mi released a breath of relieve. Her heart was beating fast and, for a second there, she thought she had been lost. Composing herself after that little fright, she focused on the next step of her plan. Finding Takemaru Setsuna.

A vein was ticking in his forehead planning to explode at any second. For some reason that he couldn't fathom, his employees had decided to throw a party outside his meeting room. It was unbelievable. The whole place was supposed to be sound proof.

Seeing that the racket wasn't quieting down, Takemaru interrupted the meeting with a curt "be right back" and went to assess the situation. Opening the heavy, large double doors of the meeting room, he stepped outside to come and face a squabbling crowd.

He wasn't sure what he had been hoping to find once he was out there, but it certainly wasn't what he was seeing. A dark haired woman dressed quite informally to be in his building was fighting his security officers and winning. Two of the men lay on the floor unconscious while three more tried, in vain might he add, to stop her trek to his office. His personal assistant watched in silence from a corner disbelieve etched in her face, while the receptionist from the first floor verbally sparred with the hellish woman who was obviously the cause of the noise.

He was going to need some new employees as soon as he was done sorting out this unprecedented mess.

"Silence," he bellowed over the participants of the disturbance. Displease for having to scream, Takemaru composed himself and asked in a normal, calm and very deceitful voice, "what's happening here?" The receptionist had to jump in and make a mess of this.

"Takemaru-sama, moushiwake arimasen deshita, we'll take care of the problem as fast as possible. You don't have to concern yourself with this woman, she'll be leaving in a matter of seconds," sucked up the air head.

"Senmatsu-san, I think I asked what was happening here, not your opinion on its importance. So, what is going on?" He requested one more time. This time, his own personal assistant cut in to save her co-worker.

"Takemaru-sama, this woman came looking for you but she didn't have an appointment, so she wasn't granted passage to meet you. However, she went into the elevator and made her way in. The security guard and Senmatsu-san were tailing her and tried to get her to leave the floor by force, but she still refused alleging to have valuable information about the location of your wife and daughters. Obviously, we didn't believe a word she said. Yet, she still refused to leave without speaking to you personally. So we called for more help and then she began to scream. That was when you came out to assess the problem," finished the woman who was almost breathless from talking none stop.

"Let her go," he ordered the guards who obeyed him immediately.

Mi disentangled herself from her adversaries and pulled the t-shirt down in an effort to straight the wrinkles that had formed from the fighting. She absently combed her hair as she carefully watched the man who had arrived. She knew who he was. She had seen enough photos of him to recognize him once in his presence. The long curly hair held up in a ponytail and those red hate filled eyes looked at her like one would an insect under a microscope. Hitomiko hid the shiver that wrecked her frame and held her inspection of him. Now the question was in what he would do. How would he react to her presence in his spotless building.

Takemaru regarded the woman carefully. She didn't seem to be a yokai or even a hanyou. If she had been either one, the building or his employees wouldn't be standing. Then, what did she want?

Hiding his curiosity, he managed a professional smile before asking. "Who might you be?" He wasn't expecting her to have any information, valuable or otherwise, since his wife had betrayed him, and if she was to return to him, she would end up in a really bad spot. No, he didn't expect Kikyo to be that easy to find when she was under the government's protection.

"I would like to speak with you alone. What I have to say is very important and not for everyone to hear." She knew he was planning to show her the door any minute now, so actually trying to get him alone was a feat in itself.

"Come this way," against his better judgment he led her to his private office. He didn't know why he was taking her there, but something in her actions told him to actually listen.

Closing the door soon after letting her in and sitting in his black leather chair, he looked at her expecting something. However, her eyes traveled around his office, inspecting and taking note of every detail. The place was elegant just like the whole building and the owner himself. The brownish rug extended itself though the whole office and the mahogany desk also looked quite expensive. His seemly interested expression was very misleading since he cared not for what she had to say and planned to tell her so from the beginning. More precisely, he didn't plan to let her speak at all before telling her to leave his office and never come back.

"Takemaru-sama, let me introduce myself. I'm Ebina Hitomiko, Junsa Bunchou of the West Police. Nice to meet you," she was sure he wouldn't throw her out with this kind of info.

He hadn't expected that. However, it was hard to note the difference between his surprise face and the apathetic one, they looked almost the same. No, she could tell they were the same without a second thought. It seemed this man was hard to impress.

"I really… didn't expect that," the uncaring tone in place. "Show me your identification," he demanded without hesitation. Seconds later, he had the ID in his hands and was inspecting it very meticulously as if it could answer him. "It looks authentic." He returned the ID and looked at Hitomiko in a new light. Silently considering new implication, he decided to ask. "Why would the police come to me with information on my wife who happens to be trying to put me behind bars?"

"I need help, and I'm sure you wouldn't aid me if I didn't have something to bartend with." She just knew she wouldn't still be there if it wasn't because he thought she could be useful.

"True, I would have thrown you on the dumpster without listening at all. However, since this includes my wife's return, I'll have to consider what you want," he shrugged already calculating the possibilities.

"What I require is to leave the country," she said playing with her hair.

He narrowed his eyes. "That's all? You could do that by yourself."

"No, I couldn't. You see, somebody is looking for me and I can't let him find me. He is a very powerful … being and I have no other option but to come to you," she didn't have to say much more, he already had a pretty good idea.

"So, what exactly do you need?"

"I need a place to stay for a while, a new identity and documents and a plane ticket to anywhere; I don't particularly care as long as it's far, very far. I'll take care of everything else."

"It seems fair. But if you would tell me, who is this … being you are running away from?" He asked somewhat intrigued.

"That is none of your business. All you need to know is that he has powerful connections, as powerful as yours. Other than that, there is no much to tell. Also, I would like the ticket to be for the next week, the week after that the latest," she added.

"Why not immediately?" He wondered.

"I know he's coming but I don't have the date yet. I would like to minimize the possibility of him finding me in the airport. I rather leave later that be caught because I was too hasty."

He had to admit she was smart. But he also knew she was panicking and that's why she had come to him. But then again, if this being, as she put it, had good connections, it made sense to make some powerful friends. He didn't see any drawbacks to this plan of hers. However, she would have to wait until he had Kikyo in his hands, or there was no deal.

"I think is a quite interesting proposal, and, although I would like to think it over for a while longer, I know there is no time to waste when I'm the one who gets the most of it. However, I would like to add a clause to this agreement," he said cautiously.

"What is it?" She was close to panicking. She was in no position to add any clause to the so called pact.

"I would like to wait until Kikyo is in my people's hands before we proceed to the next stage of your request," he said.

"I guess it should be fine. I don't see any problem with an insurance. However, if they get there too late and miss her you still have to help me," she added just in case.

"I don't think so. If she is not there, then you are on your own," was his firm replay. "You have to understand, all this could be a set up. I'm taking a great risk by just letting you in. If this so called address of yours is real, it better have a Kikyo in it as well. Otherwise, you'll have another person to worry about," the menace in his voice was obvious. She knew she had been playing with fire from the beginning, but there was little she could do. She saw no way out either way, so she was going to roll it out with this one. It was the best option.

"Fine, I'll accept your proposal, but I'll let you know that this is no trap."

"We'll see. What's the address?"

The night was serene with the usual noises that accompanied the people who were returning home late. The sun was hidden and the mantle of bright bulbs had spread beyond the horizon. Even the moon in its banana form was hanging lazily from the sky, as it did every night. Everything seemed to be happening in its daily order, but there was something else present, a feeling in the air that made it different from others. It wasn't visible, but it silently declared that something was going to happen. She knew it. She felt it even when others seem to ignore the warning. However, she discerned it and with that was enough. She had to be ready for when it happen, although she hardly knew what it was.

Squirming in the bed with her nerve endings in high alert she tried to pay attention to the TV. It was a waste of time as her eyes once again flew to the door of the hotel room. How much longer did they have to stay there?

The place was small, she was being guarded 24 hours a day, and her two girls couldn't have anything they asked for. It was bad and felt worse being in that kind of situation, but she had agreed to it. Had it been a bad decision on her part? She wasn't so sure. All she knew was that she had limited resources, and she had done with them what she could. What was she expected to do?

This time, she was looking at the windows to her left. They were covered by thick beige curtains that didn't let any light through. Lucky for her, the way they were at that moment had a small separation between the two sheets big enough for her to see from her position. But looking outside didn't soothe her irritated nerves. Instead, the feeling became something akin of fear. It seemed her worry was playing some kind of trick in her conscious mind, or her instincts were telling her to run. Maybe she should call Mayu, and beg her to change them to another place, anywhere where the annoying feeling wouldn't bother her. But that was a stupid request. At that hour there was no decent hotel that would accept them and she wasn't about to take her two growing daughters to an immoral place.

Still, the annoying tension in the air intensified. She recognized it immediately with her holy powers. And she guessed she was somehow glimpsing into the near future as she was seeing blood and hearing screams. But this didn't make her change her outer appearance at all. On the contrary, her pale unemotional face stayed the same through the images of massacre that appeared in front of her.

Deciding that sitting down and doing nothing was very unlike her, she stood up and went to the door. She planned to ask Mayu to change their position and give detail of the why. He, somehow, had found her location, and had sent people to get her back. 'Fine' she told herself 'I won't go down without a fight.'

As soon as she opened the door, a big yokai, both horizontally and vertically, interrupted her advance. Seeing no other choice but to comply with their orders she decided to ask the yokai nicely and not purify him as she would have done a mere month ago.

"I want to speak with Mayu," she demanded not even looking at the thing in front of her.

"Mayu is not available right now. Would you like to speak with our sergeant?" He asked as politely as possible.

"Is he a yokai?" She interrogated him.

"Yes," doubting himself he answered. He had guessed that the pretty lady with poker face didn't like yokai very much even when most miko and yokai worked together in special police departments that helped keep beings like them under control.

"Then no, I'll wait for her return," said the curvaceous goddess and returned inside her room.

She hated them all. Yokai, miko, hanyou and even Kami if there was any. She just hated them. Or maybe it was because she loved them so much that she couldn't help but hate them. She knew that to be the truth. She loved them, specially a certain hanyou. She had loved him the most. As a man, as an equal, but it hadn't been enough. She had also loved her sister as much as him. However, both of them had taken everything from her. Her sister gained the power that had belonged to the eldest daughter of the Higurashi Family for thousands of years. Somehow, she hadn't been pure enough to receive the Shikon no Tama. The rock hadn't acknowledged her as the true heir to its power. At first, she was shocked, but eventually she found herself no worrying about it. The hanyou had taught her that power wasn't everything. And then, they announced they were getting married. She had been angry and thought she had been betrayed by the people she trusted. She had a great discussion with her sister and never again they had spoken. She stormed out of the house to never return. From that day forward, the woman who had stolen her beloved hanyou wasn't her sister. Her sister had died years ago and it was nothing more than a fading memory. But the hanyou wasn't so lucky either. Her thoughts told her he had used her to get close to her sister and because of it he was going to pay.

She was sure she would hate them forever and would pursue her chance of vengeance even if she had to visit hell to achieve it. Until that day came.

She had been doing everything the organization asked for which mainly included killing certain yokai for the benefit of their future Zero-Demon World. It was a perfect plan that would take years to accomplish but as long as they persevered it would work itself out. The current gathering was scheduling several attacks on the special departments that took care of yokai related threads. Of course, those that would be harmed would be the demons only; no human should be injured when the plot was carried out. She had assumed she was also going to be part of the attack, since she had been active for years. However, her named was called out.

"Kikyo," the man's voice was low and sexy, but also commanding and, as always, got her attention instantly.

"Yes," her voice had the uninvolved feeling it had developed.

"This time you won't participate," he said automatically lifting the corner of his mouth in a semi-smile.

"Why not?" Had she done something wrong and was being punished? She didn't recall doing anything to discomfort the man who was guiding this assembly. "Did I do something wrong, Setsuna?"

"No, of course not, but I'm going to give you a special mission," his eyes shone maliciously.

"What mission?" What was he playing at? It was obvious he was planning something else, but what? She had learned to read him a little more than other people but at times it was hard to guess, like at that moment.

"I think it's time to get your revenge."

It was like cold water had been dropped on her but she acted as if nothing had happened. "So soon?" Her voice didn't come out broken and she even managed a little smile. "What do I have to do?"

"Nothing much. Just eliminate the Taishou Family." The bastard didn't take his eyes away from her and saw each and every thing she did. He was trying to find out what she was thinking, but he was in for a surprise. She didn't falter as she nodded her head.

"How would I do this?" She asked. It seemed the answered was enough to satisfy him and continued the meeting as planned. For the moment she was safe, her perfected poker face wasn't going to lose to him. After all, she had had a good teacher. She just didn't know how long she could keep the teacher fooled.

For Kikyo, her family had been everything and, even if they weren't getting along that well anymore, she wasn't about to kill any of them. She had begun to develop a plan to escape her husband as soon as she felt his eyes had left her. Eventually, she managed to take her daughters and leave his house to go straight to the police. She asked for a place to stay and in exchange she would give them information about him. Everything had been going somewhat fine. But this night seemed to carry the edge of battle. She was certain he was going to get her. But he would not get everything.

Deciding that talking to the demon was the best option right then, she went back outside. The yokai was standing in the same spot as before and he turned to look at her as he had done the first time.

"What's your name?" She decided to ask. She wasn't acting sexy but she wasn't her cold self either.

"Hachi, madam," he looked at her strangely. He really hadn't expected her to talk to him even less ask for his name.

"Hachi, I need a favor," she declared without preambles in a hushed tone.

"Wh-what can I do for you, Kikyo-san." He was a little taken aback by the conviction of her statement.

"Someone is coming to take me back to my husband and I can't leave this place. Don't get me wrong," she intercepted before he had a change to ask, "I'm not looking forward to returning and that's why I need your collaboration. I don't want my daughters to be here when they arrive. It's going to be dangerous for them if they stay and I would rather they didn't see they mother beaten up. Because of that, I'm willing to ask you to take them to Kyoto. My sister lives there and she will take care of them while I'm unable to."

"But… but we should change you to another…"

"No, there is no time. By the time you have a room available for me it'll be too late. I can die in the cross fire but I don't want my daughters involved in this. They are important to me and I know my sister will look after them as if they are her own. In exchange for your help I'll give you the password, key and everything else that is needed to retrieve the information that incriminates Takemaru." The way she said it made it look like an order and not a request.

"I… I can't… I mean, how can I do this?" Hachi didn't know what to do. What she was proposing was too good to be true. On the other hand if what she said was true, then this was the best option. Looking at the woman who seemed to have a cold personality, he notice that she was a little nervous and her eyes didn't trail from the hall. It was as if she was waiting for something to happen. Hachi had learned many years ago that priestesses had a kin sense of preservation, even more than demons, so seeing this miko nervous made him anxious. Maybe he should just accept and leave, because as time passed he felt the air thicken with anticipation. That night, it was going to be a dangerous one. "Ok, I'll do it. But is there any possibility that you'll retrieve your children? I mean, any at all?"

"I don't know, but I think the answer would be no. if I know him as well as I think I do, he'll send somebody I can't win against. But I don't care as long as my daughters are safe." There was a sad undertone in her monotone voice, one of lost and sacrifice. "Come. It's time for you to take my daughters to a safer place," she turned in her heels and went inside with Hachi tailing behind her. She had left behind the weakness that had assaulted her mind and was ready to fight. Once more, Kikyo was the unfeeling woman she had seemed to be.

Mayu had just arrived at the small hotel and as usual, she headed for the elevator in the lobby. The place wasn't fancy but it was decent, and because of that, people with low budget used the place a lot. It also allowed yokai, humans and everything in between, so the place wasn't too crowded making it obvious that ningen and demons didn't get along that well.

She called the elevator and waited for it to come down. Not a minute later the ding announcing that it was there sounded through the place and those waiting to get in entered. There was a couple. The woman was tall, blond, dressed formally and carrying a small brown purse. The man seemed to be a yokai. He was also dressed formally and was carrying a briefcase. Next to them, an old lady with a walking stick carried a huge bag and a small Chihuahua which was japing toward the couple.

In the third floor the old lady with the annoying dog left the elevator, but the couple stayed until the elevator stopped in the sixth floor. They walked out and headed for the room 632 which had the door open and no guard.

Mayu's senses went into high alert as she continued down the hall as if it wasn't the room she had been planning to visit. As she passed, she looked inside only to find the couple looking at her. Their eyes were cold and send shivers down her spine, but with enough training she managed to contain the convulsion of her body and headed toward one of the emergency exits.

As she neared the staircase she reached for her cell phone in the back pocket of her jeans only to find it wasn't there anymore. She was petrified. When had they taken her cell? How was she supposed to call for back-up? Where was Kikyo? All these questions flew around in her head at top speed. What was going on?

"You are one of them," a voice said at her back.

She turned around to find the blond woman. Her green eyes were hypnotizing and she could do nothing as the onna extended her hand and pushed her back. Forgetting for an instant that she was at the top of the staircase she took a step back. From then on, it all happened in slow motion. Her foot met thin air and her body began to fall backwards. It took her second to realize she was falling and the realization surprised her to no end. Fear numbed her mind as her body felt backward with her hands extended trying to catch onto something. She toppled down the stairs hitting her head and breaking some bones in the process. It hurt. The pain was blinding and immobilizing. She couldn't feel her legs and everything else was just too heavy and took much of her concentration to make it move. The ribbons of pain filling her brain made it hard to think and her thought dissipated fast. Her vision was blurry as she blinked and at times everything was dark.

Moaning from the pain, Mayu tried to move her head. She closed and opened her eyes a couple of times in an effort to focus but the coldness and pain made it impossible. Nothing in her body worked beside the pain receptors. Her hearing had multiplied several times over, as she heard loud steps coming closer. If she had to guess, the woman wore high-heels. The choice of footwear was confirmed as soon as the black professional shoes appeared before her eyes. The image was blurry and disappearing fast, but the question didn't escape her. "Where is Kikyo?"


The re-written chapter 8 is ready for publishing. As I said on the A/N of the previous chapter, this one will not be about Maaya, but about other sub-plots in the story. They might have a little to do with the story because eventually they all come up to the villains and the protagonists. I plan to add some progress in Sesshoumaru and Maaya's relationship by the end of the next chapter. It's not much; just the report Kouga (or Shinta) has to make and Maaya's return to her house. However, do not despair. I plan to have a tense chapter following that.

I hope you enjoy your reading,

Seleni Argyrios