11 long years have passed since that day in the forest, when Rin had found Sesshomaru. She'd grown into a lithe, and curvy, young woman. Unfortunately for the household, it was not going unnoticed. Rumors were flying among the servants, about her purpose now and also to her dismay she knew about them.

Rin plucked a yellow flower, from the ground and absent mindedly twisted it nervously in her hands. "What is my purpose?" she whispered.

Sesshomaru had cancelled most of her lessons today if not all, It was a rare occasion when she had an entire day to do as she pleased. She'd been told to walk the grounds, until she would be summoned, by none other than her guardian.

Her guardian, on the other hand, was watching her from a giant stone stairway that led up to the main door of the castle. If she would turn around she'd see him.

"How long have you been standing here, Sesshomaru?" came a loving voice from behind him. His mother always caressed his name like one would touch a newborn baby. His chin fell a little, but he did not respond.

She smiled, followed his gaze to Rin, sighed, and looked down at the steps. "you don't have to do it, you know."

He took a sharp intake of breath, but still didn't stay anything.

She turned slowly to completely facing him, "Sesshomaru, I cannot make your final decision for you, but if I could, I would tell you to follow your heart and not tradition."

He glanced sideways at his mother, "I need heirs." he said stoically.

"That is true…" she responded. "As a Noble Youkai I must say that I don't give a damn about that human girl."

Sesshomaru turned his head fully towards her.

"but, as your mother…" the corners of her mouth turned downward. "I do not like watching you suffer…" She tugged at his sleeve fondly.

"and If I were to choose both paths of my Father?" he slowly turned his gaze back to Rin.

A look of shock and then sadness played upon her face. Her golden eyes glistened with tears, that she blinked away. Unlike her son, her icy facade could be broken when the right nerve was plucked. She turned her face away slightly. "My dear son, I implore you not to take a Youkai Hime, only for heirs."

"why not?" he asked. "you seemed to have faired well."

The youkai woman set her jaw, and angry air escaped her nose. " I loved your father, I did not agree to that human whore taking my place. It wasn't arranged in the least! He stumbled upon her castle while patrolling and he watched her for a time. I don't know when he revealed himself, but soon after he saw her, he began visiting her in the night. When she became pregnant, he was so….proud. The day he held you in his arms, it was the same. How could he be so proud of a hanyou, a halfling! He already had a full-blooded heir, what was so special about a human woman, and her bastard son?"

"Mother…that is enough….I am not my father." he said still not looking at her. "Rin will decide if I am to have full-blooded heirs."

"why should she have a say in this matter?" she spat.

Sesshomaru turned and walked towards her until he was standing over her. "I belong to Rin,

"I have made my decision." he stated. "Rin!" he called.

The beautiful woman, glanced up at her name and started to jog towards the steps. Sesshomaru's mother stared at her. The young girls hair was black as night, and her eyes were shining in the morning sun. The pink summer kimono she wore was two layered, and tied with a gold obi. Her bare feet skimming through the grass. She bounded up the stairway and stopped directly in front of him, beaming up at him with a brilliant smile.

"Sesshomaru-sama?" she said cheerfully, and then she turned to his mother and bowed low her hair swinging forward in a silk black curtain. "Michiko-sama…"

Lady Michiko took the human woman in from in head to toe. "Child, don't you own any shoes, or hair combs?"

Rin was taken aback, She looked up at Lady Michiko, and came out of her bow. She suddenly felt very ashamed of herself not to mention she'd just embarrassed Sesshomaru in front of his mother. Her heart thumped wildly while her mouth fumbled to give a polite answer. "I…I…in the garden….I.." She couldn't form her explanation, neither her words.

"hn." was the only sound Lady Michiko made, she swiftly turned and walked towards the entrance to the castle.

Sesshomaru and Rin watched her leave and disappear behind the doors the guards opened for her. Rin, stared after her imagining what she could have said to make the situation better. Her thoughts quickly returned to Sesshomaru. "Sesshomaru-sama I am so sorry!" the twinge in her nose, wanted her to cry, but she held the tears back. She faced him her arms out to her sides. "please forgive me my lord."

He nodded once to acknowledge her. "Follow me." he began to descend the steps.

Her eye's widened at the unexpected response, and she immediately followed him. They were silent as they walked, the only sounds were the birds, and the rustle of their footsteps in the grass. At the edge of the garden, was where the protective barrier was. Sesshomaru removed Tenseiga from its sheath and stuck the end of the blade into the ground. As the sword pulsed waves through the now visible wall in front of them, he allowed Rin to pass and then himself, pulling the sword out of the ground as he did so.

They walked into the dense forest, silence still between them. Rin looked at his face, he sheathed Tenseiga in a practiced movement. "My Lord…What would happen if you didn't do that? The barrier I mean."

"You would die." he said bluntly, no sarcasm in his voice.

"Oh.." she said surprised. They continued their trek for a long and quiet thirty minutes, with him leading the way.

A clearing appeared, and Sesshomaru stopped abruptly, a few moments went by and the silence she was so used to suddenly felt awkward. She watched him look around slowly for a few moments, and then when a breeze swept by, he lifted his face and sniffed once. Seemingly satisfied he spoke. "Rin, I have heard rumors."

Her eyes widened as she watched a face that would not look at her. "What k-kind of rumors?" she stammered.

"what is your purpose here?" he asked, still no inclination that he might be angry.

She was caught off guard. She'd always thought that he knew the answer to that, yet here he was asking her an impossible question. "I would not know, my Lord."

"I would have thought you wanted to start a family by now, yet you still linger, why?" he asked still in his deep monotone, he turned and stared at her waiting for an answer.

"I thought that when you retrieved me from Kaede that that's what you wanted Sesshomaru-sama. Isn't that what you wanted?" tears threatened to spill, but she held them in.

"What do you want Rin?" his face softened.

"What I want, I can never have…" she said, a tear finally escaping. She wiped it away quickly before it was followed by another.

He stepped forward and gently wiped the other tear from her face with his clawed thumb. His touch startled her, it was years since he'd done so, she'd forgotten how warm he was. His claw trailed down her cheek in a gentle sweep, as his other fingers cupped under her chin and lifted her gaze to meet his.

"You can have anything that is within my power to give you." he said, and as if to give her a push in the right direction, he ran his thumb over her lips.

She gasped, and he smiled inwardly. "anything?" she asked breathless.

He nodded, and watched her fight behind her beautiful eyes to make since of it all, to say the correct answer. Unexpectedly she pushed his hand down from her face slowly. "You need full-blooded heirs." she said softly, had he not been a Youkai he might not have heard her.

So his suspicions were correct. She did look at him as a potential mate, but she wouldn't admit it. "That is of no matter to me right now."

She locked her jaw and gazed down at the ground, "It should matter, you have your noble duty to the western lands, and even if the youkai accept me at one of their own, a Hanyou heir could cause a revolt."

She was more mature than he anticipated. He only wanted her, and her alone; however, she was right, they couldn't throw the Western Lands into chaos over their love for one another. He would have to take a Youkai woman to his bed sooner or later.

"My lord I will stay by you until my last breath leaves my body…..for the third and final time. If you marry another so be it, you were born into obligation, and there is nothing we can do about it. I will love you from afar like I always have."

Holding back tears she darted past him intending to go back to the castle, but his clawed hand caught her arm in a firm grip he pulled her back towards him backing her into a tree, and bending over her form forehead to forehead. "I will not allow you to go through life alone, but I will also not let another man have you, therefore you are mine. I will have to have a Youkai heir that is true, and I will sincerely regret the pain it will put you through when I take another woman to my bed, but their will only be one Lady of the western lands and that is you Rin. I was going to let you choose whether or not I would do this; however, you have made me see that we are both trapped in something inevitable. You will choose who the mother of my heir will be, and after it is born you will never have to see her or the child again."

This was all so overwhelming, Rin new he loved her, there was no question in her mind, but she thought of him taking another woman in his arms when he'd never so much as kissed her, made the tears start to pour. He somehow saw it in her eyes. She wanted him, and didn't know how to ask. Swiftly he reached behind her an pulled the heavy knot on her obi completely loose, the stiff golden fabric slid to the ground and her kimono opened slightly. He then caught her behind the legs and hoisted her around his hips, and pressed himself fully against her. She gasped heavily as she felt the rough fabric of his gi slide against her bare chest. He ran his hand and claws down her bare thigh, and as she gasped in pleasure again he caught her lips in a violent kiss.