'Hair darker than a thousand nights. Deep brown eyes hiding who know what secrets.'

Those were Miroku's first thoughts when he saw her sitting across the crowded room. At first glance, he saw a former girlfriend, someone long loved and lost. He continued to watch her through hooded eyes. He soon realized, at least physically, the mystery woman was a lot of things his ex wasn't. The mystery woman was lean and, in spite of her leanness, she still maintained her womanly curves. He also noticed, in a land where women prided themselves on their paleness, she was glowing with a healthy tan.

Intrigued, Miroku decided to at least introduce himself so he could have a name to go along with the fantasy. Signaling the bartender, Miroku asked what was the mystery woman drinking. To his surprise, it was simply sparkling water and lime. Miroku had the bartender to prepare another and gathering his courage, decided to deliver it to the table himself.

Sango smirked as she saw him approach. She had noticed him when he entered the bar. Silky black hair tied back into a ponytail. Sango thought his gold hoop piercing his ear was sexy but the thing that really struck her was the look in his eyes. They were midnight blue and the saddest things she had seen in a long while. Every now and then, Sango would catch him staring at her and she started hoping he would come over. She was curious to the reason why such a handsome man would be so broken.

Arriving at the table, Miroku was suddenly at a loss for words. Up close, mystery woman was even more beautiful. She smiled at him and pointed to the sparkling water in his hand.

"Is that for me?"

Miroku looked at his hand, confused for a moment.

"Oh…Oh yes, it is."

Sango took the drink. "Thank you." Gesturing to a chair, "Join me."

Miroku took a seat across from her. Up close, he couldn't help but be entranced. The perfume she was wearing was intoxicating. He couldn't believe he had even begun to mistake her for his ex.

"I see you noticed what I was drinking." Sango broke into his reverie.

Miroku nodded. "I have to admit I've been watching you for a while. I noticed you were alone."

Sango gave a Mona Lisa smile. "I sure it was more to it than just that. Me being alone doesn't warrant a drink. Curiosity, yes, but not necessarily a drink."

Miroku had to smile at her logic. He could see she was very aware of her appeal. Miroku bowed.

"Well, let's start over. My name is Yonai Miroku."

Sango bowed in return. "I am Aso Sango. You may call me Sango."

"Well, I am Miroku. Is your drink to your liking?"

Sango gave a slight bow of her head. "Very much so. So Miroku-san, again what brings you over? You haven't come with any of the lame pickup lines so I'm assuming maybe something else?"

Miroku's expression looked thoughtful for a moment. He debated with the truth or coming up with an elaborate tale. Looking into her deep brown eyes, Miroku realized he couldn't lie.

"Honestly, you reminded me of an ex when I first glanced at you."

Sango glanced down at her drink. "I see."

Miroku touched her hand on the table. "No, you don't see. I realized that you are nothing like her."

Sango peeped back up "Is that a good thing or bad thing?"

For a moment, Sango saw a trace of the lech Miroku could be. He lifted one eyebrow and gave Sango a surprisingly smoldering stare.

"It's most definitely a good thing."

Sango blushed slightly. It had been a while since a man had intrigued her.

'Just my luck, it's a man haunted by his old girlfriend.'

Out loud, Sango decided to prod a little.

"Do you feel up to talking about her?"

Miroku had to think for a moment. He had never really shared with anyone the story of what happened. Maybe it would be cathartic to get it off his chest and let the wound in his heart begin to heal. Looking in to Sango's eyes, Miroku realized he would tell her anything she wanted to know.

"Ok"

Sango listened in agony as Miroku told her his tragic tale about someone he loved so much and was preparing to marry. The night he had planned a beautiful proposal was the night she came to him to break his heart.

"She told me she loved someone else…my best friend. They didn't mean for it to happen, it just did. Could I be happy for her…for them."

Sango said nothing but reached across the table and held his hand. Miroku took comfort from that simple touch and courage to continue.

"I left that night and broke ties with both of them. I've changed jobs and moved to get away from the memories." He paused and gave a shaky sigh. "Being lost in this big city has helped the ease the pain but the past has a way of hunting you down."

A frown crossed Sango's face. "They found you?"

Miroku nodded. "At least my number. I got home and a message was on my machine saying they had been looking for me to clear the air. He had the nerve to say he missed my friendship and wanted my blessings."

Looking across the table, Miroku was surprised to see Sango's tear filled eyes. He was even more surprised by her angry reaction.

"How dare they try to use you to assuage their guilt!"

Miroku smiled. He had never shared the story because he hadn't wanted pity. The fighting spirit showed by Sango was like a salve to his wounded heart.

"I came to the lounge to drink and clear my head."

Sango smirked. "Those two don't really work hand in hand."

Shrugging, Miroku laughed. "Ironic, isn't it?"

Sango joined in his laughter. A feeling of peace spread between them. In spite of his personal demons, Sango found herself enjoying Miroku's company. She felt that maybe this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship but he had to deal with his past.

"You know Miroku. You really can't move on until you deal with them."

Sango felt herself skewered by an angry glare. Miroku's eyes were stormy blue and she could see the betrayal dancing across their surface.

"Are you saying I should forgive them?"

Sango sighed. "I don't know if you can. But at some point you have to deal with them and let them go. There is no way I can see you being a part of their lives but for your life to move on, you have to face the music."

Miroku continued to hold Sango's gaze for a moment, but then his face softened and he gave a small smile.

"You are right. Maybe I can do it in a letter. I just don't want to speak to her again."

Sango patted his hand. She could tell Miroku still carried around the hurt. He had a trial ahead of him but she could see him coming out on top. Looking at her watch, Sango was goggled by the time. It was really late and she had an early day tomorrow.

"Well, Miroku, it was lovely sharing this evening with you."

Miroku looked crushed for a moment. He was enjoying her company more than he had enjoyed any woman's company for a while.

"Does it have to end so soon?"

Sango gave a small smile. "I'm afraid so. I have an early day tomorrow." Sango reached in her purse and extracted a business card. After writing on the back she gave it to Miroku.

"On the front is my business number. On the back, my cell."

Sango then picked up her drink and finished it. She stood and smoothed her skirt.

"When you can look at me and not be haunted by a ghost, give me a call."

As she walked away, Miroku could totally appreciate her wonderful body. He was glad he talked with her because he knew she was compassionate in addition to being totally hot.

'She's right. I need to deal with this before I can be more than a friend to her.'

Miroku finished his drink and pocketing the card, walked whistling into the night.