Chapter 25 - To Be One

Kagome awakened to her mother sitting on the foot of her bed. She relished the comfort of having her mother close for a moment before she opened her eyes and yawned. "I'm awake."

"Today is the big day. You had better get up and get yourself moving. There is a lot to do." Her mother shook her leg as she spoke.

It reminded the young miko of the mornings that her mother had to wake her up from school when she was just a girl. Everything had been so simple then; Kagome had thought that it would be like that forever. "You know, mom, I would have never imagined that my life would be turning out like this." She said pulling herself from the warmth of the bed.

"Oh, I knew that from the time you were a baby that your life would be full of excitement. She brushed her daughter's hair from her face and planted a kiss on her forehead. "You always were destined for a wider, grander world than you would find at the shrine. I couldn't be more proud of your choice."

"Thanks, mom." Kagome smiled and took a breath as she looked around the nearly empty suite. It looked much like it had when she arrived. "Lucky thing that I never completely unpacked or it would have taken us twice as long to move everything out of here."

"Very true." The elder Higurashi nodded in agreement. "Let's get some breakfast before we get you all ready to leave this evening."

Sesshomaru looked out at the waves rolling over the evening beach. The past two days had been busy. He had filled his time with the final preparations in order to be sure that the ceremony would run as smoothly as possible. Sango had gone over every inch of the security plans, vendors had been paid, he had taken time to personally set aside accounts for his future mate, and then there was the fine tuning of this very night. The arrangements for dinner alone had taken hours to plan and perfect. Sesshomaru had personally spoken to every single employee down to the waiter at the table to be sure that they knew the profound importance of this night.

Time had been scarce and he had only seen Kagome in passing as she scurried in and out of his suite with suitcases, boxes, and bags of various things. Her mother and his staff were ever underfoot and they had barely had time to exchange glances before someone would call one of them away. He could barely stand the anxious feeling that was swirling around in his chest. Sesshomaru was sure that this was what humans commonly referred to as excitement.

He could feel smell the anticipation roll off of her before she even got past the door of the hotel. She smelled like jasmine in the night breeze. His fine tuned senses listened across the courtyard for her voice. It was like a song being played under the setting sun. There was no doubt in his mind that he would have burst if he had to wait a moment longer to lay eyes on the siren from which the beautiful melody emanated from. Then he saw her. The great demon lord, the living legend watched as his mate stepped into view. His heart slowed as he laid eyes on blue black locks that framed her memorizing face. Her stormy blue eyes and her ruby lips formed a nervous smile as she approached. The elaborate kimono that fell from her tiny frame fluttered in the breeze as she approached.

Sesshomaru concentrated on her heartbeat as she neared; the blood that rushed through her veins set his body aflame with each step. His perfect mate had finally arrived and there would be nothing that would ruin this night. "You look beautiful." The words slid from his lips in a whisper as she put her hand into his.

"Thank you." Kagome couldn't say another word as she looked up into the molten eyes. He looked like a white knight from a fairytale in his traditional attire. The silk and satin only served to better frame his rock solid body as she allowed him to guide her onto the ferry.

Kagome had never been so nervous in her life and she could barely form a thought as the boat floated over the waves. The soft ocean breeze grazed her face and a small chill came over her. She didn't have to utter a word before a protective arm shielded her from the chilly wind that had settled over the water. Kagome nested closer to him and looked up, once again, into his golden eyes.

"There is no place that I would rather be than right here, right now." She confessed softly.

Sesshomaru only answered by covering her mouth with his own. He felt her tense in reaction to his kiss, then quickly relax into his arms. He had never imagined that anything could taste quite so good, but this woman - this miko did. He had to force his lips away from her mouth before he lost control to his desire.

The butterflies in Kagome's stomach kept her from eating the feast that had been laid before her. She had barely picked her way through each course before the next would arrive.

"Everything here seems so perfect; I'm afraid that I am going to wake up and it's all going to have been a dream." She confessed behind bashful eyes.

"I can assure you that when you wake up, I will be there."

"Always?" Kagome nearly whispered.

"Always." Sesshomaru promised quietly.

The rest of dinner seemed to fly by as if Kagome were in a haze. When the waiters cleared the last of the dishes she looked shyly up at Sesshomaru as he rose. Her heart fluttered when she took his hand and began to follow. They stepped out onto the sand as the quiet wake rolled in at their feet. He pulled her back to his belly and encircled her in his arms. Kagome felt the smooth silk of his clothing against her skin and his intoxicating scent filled her nose and her body couldn't help but react to him.

"It's beautiful." She said looking out at the bay.

"It's all ours." He whispered into her ear.

Kagome smiled at the word. Ours. It was the first time that she had ever heard that word escape his lips. If ever there had been a question about his loyalty to her, it was erased in that instant. That one word made her realize how ready she truly was to be there in that moment with "the Sesshomaru-sama," and not only that, but that she was his and he was hers. She would never be alone, she would never have to be afraid, and she would never have to worry.

Sesshomaru felt the peace envelop her aura. For the first time since he had laid eyes on his stunning mate, she seemed to be at ease. He nuzzled the nape of her neck and let out a low growl. "Are you ready to retire?"

The question hung in the night air for a brief moment before Kagome turned in his arms and faced him. She gave the slightest nod and leaned up on her toes to touch her lips to his. The softness of this kiss ignited her nerves and her breath went short. He grasped her hand gently and turned to guide her to the villa that awaited.

Kagome looked around the lavish, candlelit room and felt her heart flutter. She was treading on unfamiliar ground and she didn't quite know how to act. She fidgeted nervously with her hands and avoided looking at Sesshomaru who had taken a candle and was lighting several others.

"Come, sit here." He gestured to the small bench at the foot of the bed. She moved towards the bench and sat herself down carefully. He turned to walk towards her and stood in front of her, taking a single finger and lifting her chin so she could look into his eyes. "You are scared." It was a statement. He didn't need the nod that she gave him to know, he could feel it radiating from her very soul. "You needn't be. I shall be as gentle with you as I can."

Kagome didn't know what else to do but nod. Her heart pounded in her chest and she was sure that the breath had run from her lungs because there wasn't enough to utter a single word. He placed his hands on her shoulders and pulled her up to his chest. She let a short gasp escape her lips as he pulled her to him and pressed his lips to hers.

His hands worked open the front of the kimono and he peeled layer after layer away to reveal his mate's untouched body. As he let the final layer fall from her skin to reveal the perfect curves of her full breasts, and her tiny waist he stepped back to admire her. His little miko's cheeks had gone flush and he could feel her nerves as he lifted her into the cradle of his arms and laid her back onto the bed. Sesshomaru pulled at his own clothing letting the robes fall to the floor, revealing his own perfect physique. Kagome let her eyes fall away, embarrassed to look at him, but he reached down and gently turned her to him.

"I will mark you, it may hurt, but I promise that the reward you will feel is far greater than the pain of the mark."

"I understand. This is what I want, more than anything." She confessed.

Sesshomaru pulled her into his arms and pressed her exposed flesh to his. His mouth covered her in a passionate kiss, mingling tongue with tongue; sending shivers of desire through her. She moaned softly as he pulled away and he began to kiss and nip at her neck. She let her head fall back and welcomed his mouth on her satin skin. Sesshomaru parted his lips and took a tantalizing mouthful of her flesh between his fangs and bit down.

Kagome sucked in a breath at the pain and her eyes opened, but she only held him tighter. It was a full minute before he let go and she could feel the power rushing through her. Her heart beat throughout her body. She could feel it at every pulse point, pounding steadily. The energy that she felt racing through her veins clouded her head, as she became drunk on the feeling of ecstasy. Sesshomaru's soft skin beneath her finger tips became softer; she could smell his scent, strong and powerful. The silver hair that grazed her hand felt like silk. She could hear her own heart beat within her chest, and she could hear his. Her eyes fell open and every color, every wisp of fabric looked as sharp as a razor. The world around her suddenly became so different, so new. It was as if she were a newborn coming into the world for the first time.

Sesshomaru watched as his mates markings burned forth through her cheeks and forehead. They matched his own and he smiled slightly at the idea that she would be so easily identified as his. The wonder in her eyes and the gape of her mouth told him the rest. He listened closely as her thoughts raced at the wonder of what was around her. She was taking in the world with her new senses, finally understanding what it was like to be a demon, where before she had only guessed.

After a few moments Kagome turned to Sesshomaru and looked into the molten eyes. "I love you." She whispered.

"As I love you." He returned before covering her mouth with his and leaning her back into the plush pillows. His hands traveled down her arms to her tiny waist and finally to the curve of her hip. He nipped at teased her breasts causing her to wriggle beneath him in need. She wrapped her arms around him and pulled him closer, pressing his firm stomach to hers.

A tiny wanton moan escaped her lips as his hands traveled to her womanhood and caressed the tiny nub between her thighs. Sesshomaru smiled as she wriggled beneath him. He leveled himself to her and began to push forward, he knew that the first part would be the hardest for her, but he planned on making her have more than enough pleasure to make her forget the first bout of pain that she would have to endure.

A small gasp was all that escaped her lips as he took her. He paused and allowed her adjust to him before slowly rocking his hips back and forth. Her grip on his back tightened and before long she was moving in time with him. She soon found her voice and allowed ragged breath to turn to moans. Being so near to him was more than she could stand, and she found that she was at his mercy as the raw power of him drew her hips to his and she let go of the mounting urge from within. Sesshomaru had never felt such a release in all his days. The feeling of his little miko entering ecstasy was more than he could bare and he allowed himself to spiral into oblivion with her.

The two lay breathless still entangled in one another's bodies for a long while before Sesshomaru lifted himself gently off of his mate. He freshened himself and returned with a glass of water to quench the thirst that lay on his mate's lips.

"You read my mind." She whispered sitting herself upright.

"That I did." He smirked.

Kagome laughed aloud. "I suppose that is how this all started, isn't it?" She couldn't help but look shocked as she heard it. Sesshomaru's own laughter, honest and sound. It was something that she hoped she would hear every day until they both ceased to exist.

"I love you, my demon miko." He said setting himself down next to her and placing a hand on her newly striped cheek.

"Always and forever my mate." She replied.

Thanks to my wonderful beta reader Beta Girl Friday Angelicatt, without her this story would never have gotten to where it is today! And, of course, thank you to all the readers and the wonderful reviewers. I appreciate the patience with the past few chapters and the heart-touching nominations! THANKS!