Chapter 7

"That's the wrong step Rin." I grunted in frustration as Takashi stopped the music. That had been the third time I messed up on the routine; Takashi was starting to get frustrated with me. To make matters worse, Madam Koshi was witnessing our performance to see if we were ready to enter in the International Competition that would be held in Monaco.

"Rin, if you need to take a small vacation to sort out your life it's fine. It's a solid routine and I could find a replacement for you in time for the completion." Madam spoke as I redid my ponytail.

I want to yell my disagreement, but I only shook my head and took in a deep breath. "I know this routine, Madam. We have been working on it for months. Let's just do it once more and I can prove I can do it flawlessly." As I see her nod her head, I turned to look at Takashi to tell him that I won't mess up. I pushed all my worries aside and focused on the music as it began.

I let the music lead me; each movement was an important part to the story we were trying to express. This was my favorite part of dancing. Everything around me just disappeared and I'm left with only the music. When the part I kept having trouble with passed, I smiled on the inside. After the final turn and dip the music was over. Takashi and I were both panting to catch our breath as he pulled me up to stand. We both turned to look at Madam to find approval in her eyes. The greatest part was she was showing a small smile, which was only reserved for when she was really impressed.

"If you do not win with that routine. I will give up all of my ballroom titles. I am happy to have such an inspiring team of dancers. The only thing I would mention is that Rin, I want to see a little more emotion from you. It's an Argentine Tango, show more desire towards your partner and it will be a flawless performance. I will submit your names for the qualifying round."

Once Madam left the room, I let out a groan. The only desire I felt for Takashi was the kind known as brotherly love! The good thing is that we were in the competition. As I leaned over to place my hands on my knees, I felt Takashi place his arm my back in a comforting gesture. "Don't worry Rin. All you have to do is think of Sesshomaru playing my part and I think the emotion will translate."

Just hearing his name brings back the images of us dancing and when we were intimately embracing. I felt my face heat up and travel along the rest of my body. I hear Takashi laugh as he witnessed my reaction and I playfully punched his arm in annoyance. I'm about to say something when the door opened.

"Miss Rin do you have any other plans for today?" The female in question is the head of my security detail. Her long red hair is pulled back in a tight ponytail and is dressed in all black. She is a snake demoness. I could tell because her eyes are slightly larger than average. Her other two team members were male and they usually switched from patrolling the building inside and outside. Rayne was usually close to me if not in the same room.

At first I was really annoyed about having security follow me around. I mean it must be pretty boring, but Rayne assured me that it was better than having to follow Inuyasha. I guess his attitude never changes, except for maybe Kagome.

"Actually yes, Takashi and I will be having a quick dinner over at the cafe a block from here. Then I'll be going back to the Tashio house." She gave me a quick smile and proceeded to speak through her Mic.

I have yet to be able to call the mansion home. To me my home was still with my aunt and cousin, in our quiet little house with the shrine. I turned to look at Takashi and tell him that I would quickly change and meet him outside. Once I leave the room, all my worries I had blocked during the performance come rushing back with a vengeance.

XXXXXXXXXX

"So have you finally decided how you want to welcome home your fiancé?" Takashi asked as he took a big bite of his sandwich. My hand paused slightly before eating my french fry. I looked up to see Takashi smiling; waiting for my answer.

"I had a few ideas, but I have decided to keep it simple. I wanted to make a special dinner for him, but the problem is I don't know what he likes." The cell phone in my pocket feels heavy with the knowledge that Sesshomaru is simply a phone call away if I really needed to know.

A sudden choking sound broke through my thoughts; I looked back up to see Takashi struggling to breath and laugh at the same time. He waved me away when I try to help, and his breathing begins to normalize.

"You. Cook? I think we both know that anything you cook Rin is a dangerous creation. Sesshomaru might actually become sick!" He chuckled as he reached for his drink.

"I didn't mean actually cook dinner! I was thinking of assisting the chef. I have already asked him and he eventually agreed, except I think he found my request strange. But I am making the desserts. That I know I'm good at." I smiled as I see Takashi nodding in agreement.

"How your desserts come out are to die for, but everything else is a disaster which really confuses me. As long as I get to eat them I won't judge. Do you know what you'll be making?"

I looked down at my left hand to play with my ring. I was so worried with everything; the upcoming wedding, the revelations about my place, the surprise I wanted to make for Sesshomaru, and the competition. If I was honest my biggest concern was living up to Sesshomaru's expectations. The ring had been the stepping stone for me to become closer to my future husband. There had been a few times where I thought I had seen the yellow diamond change, but it was so quick I thought I had imagined it.

I shake my head to clear my thoughts and realize Takashi was still waiting for my answer. "Yes, I have a list, but I don't know if he will be pleased with what I chose. I mean I could call him and ask, but I don't want to disturb him with such a small concern."

"Well, I think Sesshomaru would gladly accept any call from you Rin. Those meetings that he's always dealing with are draining. He needs a little normalcy."

I pushed my food away and leaned back in my seat. Takashi finished and we both get up to leave. Rayne appears to follow us out of the shop as we both part ways with a hug.

"Chin up Rin. Anything you do, Sesshomaru will be happy to accept. His duty is not to hurt you but make you happy." I frown at his parting words as he winked and walked away. I get into the car as the security drive me back to the mansion. The whole way Takashi's words keep running through my head.

'I don't want to simply be a duty. I want to be more.'

That frightened me. I wanted more, but I didn't know if Sesshomaru was ever able to give it to me. I look down at my engagement ring, it brings me a small burst of hope. I take a deep breath and become determined to make the best homecoming Sesshomaru has ever had.

XXXXXXXXXX

'I don't need to call him!'

Ever since I had returned I had been on the fence about calling Sesshomaru to ask if what I had planned was something he would like to eat. Now I sat down in the library trying to get my mind off my concerns. My cell phone sat in front of me on the coffee table. It kept taunting me. It was so easy to just pick up the phone and call him, but the thought of interrupting him in the middle of the day just seemed selfish. I knew that my nights were his early afternoons.

I look back at the page I had read over for the third time, still not comprehending what I was reading. I was going to try a fourth time when I heard a dog barking. My body freezes and the next thing I know I'm scrambling to reach my phone.

'Oh Kami! Why would he be calling at this hour! I haven't done anything wrong...I don't think.'

I had given Sesshomaru's number a special ring tone as a joke because I didn't really think he would be calling me. I grab my cell and look at the screen. Taking a deep breath I try to calm my beating heart as I answer the call.

"Hello?"

"What's wrong."

"Huh?..I mean nothing's wrong. Why?" There was a small pause. I still couldn't believe that he had called, but I was happy to hear from him. All my anxieties seemed to vanish once I heard his voice.

"You have very strong emotions. I can feel your worry through our bond and they couldn't be ignored."

I let out a groan before I realize that the sound was coming from my lips. "Oh no. I'm so sorry! I hope my emotions weren't too bothersome. I'll be more careful from now on."

"No. Don't try to dilute your emotions. I find it beneficial knowing that you are well while we're apart."

Beneficial? I didn't like that word. Couldn't he just say he liked knowing I'm ok?

"So you can feel my emotions. Why can't I feel anything?" I asked.

"It takes time to notice the difference. The ring will help you."

I didn't want to mention that I would have no clue the ring was special if it wasn't for Izayoi, I would bring that up tomorrow when he arrives. Right now I want to take advantage of speaking about my plans without giving too much away.

"Well I actually did want to call you, but it wasn't for anything important. I just wanted to know if you liked surprises?"

"Hn. No."

I smile as I hear his answer. I had a feeling Sesshomaru would say that and I lean back to get more comfortable.

"What if I told you that it was a gift in the form of a surprise?"

"No."

For some reason instead of becoming worried that he wouldn't like my surprise, I laughed. I was happy just to be able to talk to him. I was beginning to believe Takashi's words about me worrying for nothing.

"Well I hope you reconsider. A lot of planning went into this. It's nothing big just something I put together so we could spend some time together."

As the words left my lips, I feel something. It was so subtle that I thought I was imagining it. It spreads from my chest across my body.

"Was that you? I felt something but I'm not quite sure." I would say it was something like the sensation of relief, but I could be wrong. I even looked down at my ring, but I guess it wasn't a strong enough emotion to trigger it.

There was another pause while I waited for Sesshomaru to respond.

"Usually it takes a little longer to for the bride differentiate between her husbands emotions and her own. Especially if they are human. Once again you surprise me Rin."

"Oh! I hope that's a good thing, because you just said you don't like surprises."

"You seem to be the exception in many things. I am pleased."

My smile widens as I hear his response. Why is it so easy to speak with him on the phone?

'Because in person he has a greater effect on me and on the phone I'm not distracted or tempted to touch him.' I answered my own question.

Just the thought of touching Sesshomaru again has me blushing. I cleared my throat and see that we have been speaking for almost half an hour.

"I don't want to keep you too long. I know you are really busy. I just wanted to ask if you could completely explain our relationship when you get back and to please just let me know the next time you're going out of town. It wasn't a nice feeling finding out a day later from someone else. Oh! And can I use your kitchen?"

"Why?"

"Surprise."

I think I hear him laugh, but it was so quiet that it could have been a cough. He cleared his throat as I try to smother a giggle.

"Yes, to all your requests."

"Thank you, My Lord. I-"

"Sesshomaru."

". . . I'll see you tomorrow. Goodnight Sesshomaru."

"Sleep well, my Rin."

I stayed on the line. The last sentence going through my mind, repeating until I was sure I hadn't dreamed it. When I felt the initial shock begin to wear off, my emotions rush back. Excitement and happiness are the more pronounced. I also feel a need to see Sesshomaru; a wanting desire to see him again. To touch him and possibly kiss him. That's what snapped me back and I realized I was still on the line with my cell in my ear.

As I end the call, I think back to the last sentence Sesshomaru spoke and realize his voice grown lower. My feelings continue to spread because not only did he want me to call him by his name, but he sounded very possessive. Now that leaves me feeling a little nervous about what to expect tomorrow, but I don't want to think about it. My smile won't go away as I get up to finally go to my room and sleep. Out of habit, I look down at my ring.

I froze in place as I lifted my hand.

The yellow diamond was now a blood red color.


A|N: I have to say a HUGE thank you to my beta RozTheGreat! And of course to you, the readers! Your reviews encourage me to writing and not second guess myself;) I have to mention that Ch.8 will take a little while to post b/c of RL. I promise to make Ch.8 juicy and worth the wait! :D