A/N: The other day I started to look over this and noticed too many grammar/spelling mistakes. So as of 5-3-2010 I have fixed them. No plot changes have been made. I hope you enjoy.

Note: Story alters between third person and first person (always Kagome's) POV.

| { Confound: Chapter 1 } |


That's how it always was; she had long ago learned how to retract her soul from her body as she worked. She knew right when she was meant to squeal, to moan, and how to move her hips in perfect rhythm with whatever the other decided to do. How to make them think they were the only man in the entire world that could make a girl fluster like she did. It was why she was good at her job, why her Madame adored her so, why she was so favored by so many men.

It didn't matter, though. It was just a way of life that she hadn't chosen but had been casted into. She was no longer ashamed but that didn't mean she had to enjoy it, either. Never did she yearn for the action that she was so often bought to perform. Most importantly, she knew the golden rule just like the rest of them. The one they all failed at, but not her.

She hadn't.

She'd never loved any of them. Liked, maybe, some were easier to talk with, to pretend like she was thrilled with each touch but never ever had she been foolish enough to fall in love. Her heart was all she had that she could say without a doubt was hers, the one thing she'd never sell.

The one thing she'd keep for herself.

Until he waltzed into the downstairs of the establishment she worked within. The entertaining floor meant for the gentlemen to be able to gander at the girls until the locked onto whichever they wanted to pay for. Some men just came to flirt with them, to touch them slightly, to drink the alcohol, to gamble, to watch the girls—it was the greatest haven of vices in all of Kyoto.

She didn't know it when she first saw the tall, silver haired, golden gazed man that he'd forever change her. She didn't even give him a second glance, not like she did his raven haired, violent eyed friend but she was too busy with an elder man that had 'bought' her a drink so she could sit in his lap and be his 'good luck' charm for the game he was enthralled in.

"Kaoru-chan," the name she falsely went by like all the other girls, the one she knew to reply to always with a smile, "I'm done with the game."

"Because you lost, you old geezer!" His companion chuckled drunkenly before he groped one of her closest friend's bums, there was really no other action that could irk Sango more but she had learned long ago to bite her tongue but rarely could she smile at it. She hadn't been beckoned by that man so she moved on with only a glance to 'Kaoru'.

"Oh?" She whispered as she wrapped her arms around his neck, somehow still finding a way to do such an act in the most innocent of ways, "what do you wish to do now?"

"Let me talk to the Madame," he greedily groped her before he lowered her off his lap to go find the one that he had to pay before he could bed with her.

{ | x o x o x o x o x o x o x o x o x o x | }

It was the first time in a long while that I wished my Madame wasn't in sight, that along the way the old man found a pretty girl—because there were more enticing ones about, I wasn't the fairest in the room by far. So, I did the only thing I could really do and wandered off from the spot he left me. Perhaps I'd be lucky; perhaps the drunken man would forget my alias by the time he found my Madame.

It was simply for show that I walked over to the bar were a group of younger gentlemen had gathered. I held some hope that one of them would find me interesting enough to right away buy me and beat the old man to my Madame. A subtle, sheepish smile rose upon my pinkish lips when a few of the men looked over to me but before any could drink up the courage to come speak with me—they were first timers, I could tell from the nervous sweat that broke their brows—a hand caught my thigh to turn me around.

"Hello," his voice didn't truly stand out to me at the time, but later I'd learn to adore it—the soft, steady, yet stern tone that it was.

My hazels locked with his golden gaze for a moment before I retorted sweetly like I always did, "how may I help you?"

"I'm not sure yet," he replied as his gaze made its way across my body but not in the lustful, gluttonous way almost every man I had ever encountered did—it was more like he was evaluating me, checking to see if the product was fitting for his intentions. I could tell from one glance at his clothes that he was from a very well off family, a true nobleman. All that entered the brothel I had been working for, for almost five years now—lived at for almost ten—had to have money, it cosy just to walk through those highly protected doors and charged even more to take a girl up to their room.

"Well," I dragged out until his gaze returned to my hazels, "if you think of something, my name is Kaoru."

"Kaoru…" he murmured, "that doesn't seem fitting."

I didn't get that often, I was usually told it was a pretty name; it was one I had picked—like all the other girls got to. But I ignored it either way since my eyes caught sight of the fuzzy ears upon his head—half dog demon, that made him all the more interesting. The most well-to-do families had demon blood, it wasn't a rarity, though, to have a demon or a half or a third or anything like that enter those spacious doors was.

It was just that I loved dogs so much, you see, so that's why I could not help myself. I had a little white fluff ball when I was a child… I had adopted him off the street, the poor thing. It was like stabbing myself in my heart each time I thought of him, how I adored that puppy, that's the reasoning behind what I did... Why I reached my hand up to stroke his ear—completely unintentionally, of course.

{ | x o x o x o x o x o x o x o x o x o x | }

Tension struck through his body right as she did that so she just as quickly retracted her hand and apologized before a smelly man grabbed her and pulled her to him. The old geezer…

"I've paid for her tonight," he snickered to the golden eyed man, "maybe next time. Now where's your room?"

The four dreaded words always made her wince on the inside before she put on her proper façade, her flawless fake smile, and led him to the stairs. She had to glance back as she walked up them with the old geezer chuckling giddily behind her, trying already to get her kimono off, it took some effort for her to pinpoint the dog ears and…

She was shocked to see his golden stare so intently locked on her before she disappeared out of sight completely.

It wouldn't be until later that she wished that their first encounter had been more romantic, more memorable. It wouldn't be until then that she'd discover why his eyes were so sternly locked on her—oh, how she wished she never learned the reason why.