Chapter 1- A New Resident
Sesshomaru slammed the phone down nearly shattering it into a thousand pieces. This week had not gone well and his brother was being of no help as usual. InuYasha had gone off with his friends yet again claiming that he needed some time to unwind. The hotel bustled with guests and the island was filled with tourists. The papers requesting permission to visit the island owned outright by the Inu tribe were piled high on his desk. It was a place sought after by travelers and people looking to get away from the regular life. The island, in fact the entire chain of islands was in itself a country ruled by the Inu tribe, but it was rare that Sesshomaru boasted his kingly status. He had been scarcely seen in the past few months, too busy approving and denying requests for the island chain, handling the day to day affairs of the hotel, and going over paperwork. His father had told him to always protect their territory, to know everyone that set foot within the precious, pristine grounds. It was one of the few places where demons and humans mingled openly under open demon law. Most of the surrounding areas had restrictions regarding demons and their powers. Of course they were simply words written on paper, but some chose to follow and conform while others thought it in their best interests to stay under the rule of their own.
Sesshomaru stared at the daunting stack and pulled a file from the top. It was a request for residency. He smirked to himself, it was rare that residency was granted, overpopulation could throw the delicate balance off in the unscathed land. He opened the folder and began to read. "Kagome Higurashi." He read the name aloud. The photo was of a striking young woman, she was twenty one years old and wanted the opportunity to live on the island so that she could study ancient demon tradition. She was a writer who wanted a chance to put on paper what had been passed by word of mouth for so many years. Sesshomaru read on, the girl was interesting, a miko with a passion for demon history. A rarity among the holy side of the human race. Her credentials were solid as rock, her education private, and her criminal background non-existent. A sample of her writing had been sent along with the request. It was a beautifully written piece about modern mikos and their ties to the demon world. Nothing trashy or tabloidish. Sesshomaru raised an eyebrow, she had impressed him and that was rare. He looked one last time at the file before stamping it accepted.
The little green imp ran into the grand office. "My Lord there seems to be a problem in the courtyard."
"What is it Jaken, can't you see I am busy?" Sesshomaru was annoyed to say the least.
"One of the humans challenged a demon over his mate." Jaken spit out quickly as he watched the taiyoukai's eyes widen with surprise.
"Who would do such a foolish thing?" Sesshomaru asked rising out of his chair and rushing from the room. The imp followed as the taiyoukai stepped into the elevator. "Who is the demon?" Sesshomaru questioned.
"It's Kouga of the wolf tribe." Jaken answered nervously.
"Hmph." Sesshomaru snorted. Kouga was always stirring up trouble around the hotel. If his father and Inu no Taisho hadn't been best friends for the better part of their lives Sesshomaru would have killed him long ago. Now he couldn't worry about that though, a human being killed on the hotel grounds wouldn't be good for business, but there was little that he could do. He had maintained open demon law, just as his father had, and if the human was dead set on fighting the wolf then he would have to allow it.
Stepping off the elevator he looked out to see a crowd gathering. A tall dark human squared off with the wolf. Kouga's haughty laughter could be heard above the din of the crowd. Sesshomaru stepped forward and the sea of demons and humans parted, clearing a path for the Lord of the Land.
"What is the meaning of this Kouga?" He hissed at the wolf.
"This pathetic human thinks that he can beat me in a challenge. You had better set him straight Sesshomaru before I have to take his head off." Kouga mocked the human.
Sesshomaru turned to the human male who was now pulling off his jacket and scolding the woman next to him. The woman appeared to be deaf, too busy staring at the wolf and smiling. Sesshomaru closed his eyes for a moment trying to hold onto his calm. "Do you wish to truly challenge this demon?" He asked. "What if he was to leave the girl alone? Would that be satisfactory enough?" Sesshomaru hoped that he could diffuse this outrageous situation before there was bloodshed. Every so often a human had the courage to actually step into the youkai ring and challenge a demon. It often ended badly for the human involved unless the demon decided to take mercy on him. Demons often challenged humans, they had a right to refuse and often did, but a demon would never back down from a challenge. Although Sesshomaru's feelings towards humans were less than affectionate, his territory, and his business flourished because of them and he didn't want to have to explain a human death in his hotel.
"That would suffice." The human replied. The fear in his eyes was evident, but he was trying desperately to save face, and the taiyoukai knew it.
"Kouga, I think that fair." Sesshomaru narrowed his eyes at the wolf. It was a silent warning, one that Sesshomaru had to give the wolf all too often.
"Why don't you let the girl decide Sesshomaru? She seems willing enough to walk on the wild side." Kouga turned his eyes to smile at the human girl who was now blushing. Sesshomaru was flat out irritated now, his aura flared around him, backing off the crowd.
"Kouga!" He growled. Kouga got the message. Sesshomaru didn't think this was funny.
"Alright, alright. I'll keep my hands off." Kouga said raising both hands in front of him to show his innocence.
"I think you should get back to whatever it was that you were doing before you bothered my guests." Sesshomaru shot at Kouga. The wolf turned and retreated with his friends, still laughing at the challenge. Sesshomaru turned to the human male and apologized for the trouble, he then turned to the still blushing girl at the human's side. "I think that I should inform you, that you would have been permanent property of the wolf had he won. His PROPERTY, not his mate. So use caution for the remainder of your stay here, lest you become permanently affixed to this island." Sesshomaru was irritated with the girl's flippant attitude. So many of the human girls came to the island and had no sense the severity of youkai law. They thought it fun to walk on the wild side with some of the demons and it often got them into trouble. Trouble that Sesshomaru was left to deal with.
"I'm sorry, Lord Sesshomaru. I didn't mean to cause trouble." She looked as though she may cry from embarassment. Having the taiyoukai remind her of her less than valuable stature to the demon made her see that what she had done was not cute, but a very serious matter that could have cost someone's life, not to mention her freedom. Sesshomaru nodded and turned to go back to work.
"Excellent work M' Lord." The imp praised. "Those silly human girls, they have no idea what youkai law involves, and that arrogant wolf, always causing trouble."
"Jaken, draw up a record of youkai law. I want it given to all humans touring the island. Let's see if we can't avoid this in the future." Sesshomaru said to the imp before boarding the elevator.
"Right away M' Lord." Jaken answered.
Kagome tapped away at her lap top, furiously working on an article that was due at the end of the day. She had been too busy checking her e-mail for a notification from the island to concentrate. If she was denied residency, she would never get her book written. She had just about given up hope when her mail box had been empty this morning, but she decided that she would be optimistic until she got a refusal.
"Kagome, you have a package." Her mother called up the stairs.
"Coming mom." Kagome answered. Why would she have a package, she hadn't sent for anything. Kagome slapped her lap top shut and bounded down the stairs. Her mother was standing at the table cutting vegetables with a large manila envelope sitting in front of her. Kagome's heart skipped a beat as she looked at the return address. This was it, what she had been waiting for, and it had come special delivery. Refusals don't come special delivery, do they? She thought to herself. She snatched the envelope and ran back up to her room. She sat on the bed and held the package in her lap. It felt heavy, her nerves were eating away at her sanity. With a deep breath she tore into the package. She produced a booklet and a single sheet of paper.
It is our pleasure to approve your request for residency on Youkai Island. Please familiarize yourself with the regulations of the island, these have been enclosed as well as your initial residency card containing your room number at the Inu hotel. The room provided will serve as your temporary residence until your permanent residence is completed. Your projected move date was June 1st, anytime after this date will be acceptable for your relocation.
Lord Sesshomaru & The Youkai Counsel
Kagome jumped up and shouted. "Mom, I got it. They approved my residency!!!"
"That's wonderful dear." Her mother called up the stairs. Kagome looked at the calendar, June 1st was only 5 days away. There was so much to do, so much to pack, plane tickets to get, and friends to call. Her excitement bubbled over as she began to pull things from her drawers, forgetting about the deadline looming over her head just long enough to get the first suitcase filled.
Sesshomaru found himself thinking about the application that he had approved and sent out to the journalist. Her picture had been stuck in his mind for the past week, he was unable to shake the image from his memory long enough to get any real work done.
"My Lord, is there anything else that I can get for you before I take my leave." His secretary asked.
"Yeah, get him a stiff drink. Maybe it will loosen him up a little." InuYasha joked from his spot on the lavish leather sofa.
"Actually that sounds to be a good idea." Sesshomaru admitted. "Sake, bring the bottle." He instructed.
"Yes My Lord." The demoness bowed before running to get the drink.
"Wow, what's wrong with you?" InuYasha asked shocked that his brother had actually accepted a drink when there was still work to be done. Even InuYasha was stuck in the office on this beautiful day surrounded by papers on the couch and table. Most of them invoices that he had let pile up when he had taken a few days off to go with Miroku and Shippo to the southern islands for a break.
"Nothing." Sesshomaru answered still staring down at the papers in front of him.
"Something is wrong, you can't hide it. Something is bothering the great Sesshomaru." InuYasha teased.
"Yes, you are." The taiyoukai answered his eyes still fixed to his work.
"Aww my feelings are hurt." He said smiling. His brother was so serious, always working, micromanaging every detail of the islands, so much so that he rarely had time to enjoy them. Even their father had told Sesshomaru to take a break, but he never did. InuYasha was starting to doubt that he had it in him.
"My Lord, the plane with the new residents has landed." His secretary said placing a tray and two glasses in front of the taiyoukai. She carefully poured the expensive sake into the glasses and served the brothers.
"Thank you, Haruno. Have a goodnight. Send Jaken in when you leave." Sesshomaru said reaching for the glass.
"Yes My Lord." She said bowing to the brothers before leaving. The imp appeared in minutes holding the stack of new admits that had been faxed from the private airport the second the plane had landed.
"Here are the new residents, M' Lord." Jaken said placing the folders on his desk. Sesshomaru picked them up, they were all demons from the mainland coming back to the island with the exception of one, the girl. Sesshomaru opened her file and examined her photo once again, before realizing that InuYasha was talking to him.
"What is so amazing?" He said walking over and looking down at the file. "Oh, I see. She's not half bad." InuYasha said smiling, his fangs glittering in the light of the setting sun pouring in from the open balcony.
Sesshomaru slapped the file shut and scribbled a note, then handed them both to Jaken. The note contained a room number to one of the private suites that was usually reserved for special guests. "Change her room." Sesshomaru said flatly.
"So you do like her, I thought that you loathed human girls." InuYasha said raising his brow.
"She is a journalist, an author, writing about the island and demons. It's called good business. You would know that if you ever did any business other than lounging around the southern islands." Sesshomaru answered, he wasn't completely lying, but he had to admit that his motives weren't entirely pure.
"I don't think this one is about business." InuYasha answered sniffing the air around the taiyoukai's desk. "I smell a lie, a big one." He said laughing.
"Get back to work InuYasha, before I loose my temper." Sesshomaru warned. His younger brother laughed again, but backed away all the same.
Kagome stepped off the plane, she was nervous. She had tried desperately to read through the manual on the plane, but to no avail. Her excitement was simply too much to allow for concentration. She was finally here, her dream was finally coming true. She picked up her bags and piled them high on a cart. Moving was proving to be very tiring in spite of her excitement. Kagome fumbled with the cumbersome cart until she was finally able to hail a taxi.
"Where are you going?" The demon asked. Kagome handed him the sheet of paper with the address on it. He looked at her and then sped away from the curb. In minutes they were off, racing along the pristine coast line.
Ready or not here I come. Kagome thought to herself as she watched the beautiful scenery fly past. Maybe I'll even get to interview Lord Sesshomaru while I am at the hotel. Kagome's excitement flowed out of her like water from a raging river as she thought of all the possibilities.