Chapter Three – A Matter of Convenience
Kagome shifted uncomfortably standing behind the odd looking creature. They seemed to both be males but this one looked ugly and covered in warts like a frog or maybe a toad? The other one, she closed her eyes to think back on his appearance. He certainly was something to look at! Tall and slender but still seemed to be muscular with long fingers and a refined face. Oh and that hair! How she would have loved to run her fingers through his hair! It looked like water or silk, so fine and smooth just lying there against his back so naturally. She blushed a little and reached up to smack her cheeks lightly when he called out to her forcefully, causing her to jump.
"Are you going to stand out there all day?" He growled out. He didn't remember her being this infuriating before! She ran into the room quickly and made a hurried and low bow once she reached the middle of the room. He smirked at her antics, she certainly was more entertaining. "Your name, age, experience, and expected salary." He demanded, even though he honestly knew most and the rest he cared little about. He couldn't have her wondering just yet, though. She obviously had no idea who he was yet. Curious.
She smiled a little before answering. "My name is Kagome Higurashi and I am…" Her eyes widened a little and her voice hitched. "Seventeen."
He looked up at her with a disbelieving gaze and the tension between them grew. She was certainly not seventeen. If she had been seventeen she would already be back in the past, playing house with his idiot half-brother. That thought caused his face to contort into an angry scowl but it quickly melted when he saw her feared reaction. Right. She didn't really know him yet, did she? "Miss Higurashi I assure you that you can be honest here. As you see my retainer and I are not exactly human and we have no time for business with liars. We expect that if you are to be employed here that you can give us as much of your honesty as possible and in return we will do the same for you."
Silently he cheered in his mind as he watched her relax and let out a shaky breath. He had done well in relaxing her by being upfront and truthful while offering her honesty for her honesty. He knew how she worked and he fully intended to use that to his advantage. "Thank you, Mr…" She trailed off and blushed as she had yet to receive his name.
"Sesshomaru, Lord Sesshomaru." He replied and watched in amusement as her eyes widened with a slight bit of understanding. Yes. That's right. I am powerful. He thought to himself.
"Lord Sesshomaru, I appreciate your honesty and your trust in me. I assure you that it will not be wasted. As I was saying before, my name is Kagome Higurashi. I am 14 years old and still in school full time. I have experience with cooking, cleaning, and other household tasks as I help my family operate our Shinto shrine."
It was his turn for his eyes to widen. "The shrine just down the road from here, you mean?" She nodded in the affirmative and his mind immediately started to put unconnected pieces together. It made so much more sense! She lived in the very location of that decrepit well just outside of that pathetic village! She grew up right next to that tree that his brother had stupidly been bound to. Of course! He felt like an idiot for not noticing before and felt a slight pang for lost time. He didn't linger too long on his thoughts, however, and went back to business. "What of your compensation? How much do you expect?"
At this question Kagome seemed unsure and his expression softened. "How much do you need, Miss Higurashi?" Her eyes widened and she blushed before looking down. "There is no need to be ashamed. I am capable of giving you whatever you desire."
She looked up at him and their eyes locked as both of them considered the enormity of what he had just said. "I… how about…" Again shame crept up onto her face; she hadn't really considered asking for a wage. She had expected to just be told how much she would earn.
He hated seeing her like this and so he reached down for his laptop, pulling it out of his desk drawer, before opening it and starting to type. His fingers flew expertly across the keys as he quickly typed out a contractual agreement. Once it was printed he took it up and signed it, handing it over to her before the ink could fully dry with a smile. "Take this home to your mother and discuss this with her. I am sure you will find my offer very generous."
Kagome took the document and nodded. "Thank you."
"If you agree to work for me I expect you to be here promptly after your classes end every single day and on weekends. You may have to work late nights but I can guarantee you comfortable room and board on those nights so that you can get your rest for school. I also expect you to continue assisting your mother, as your duty is to her first and foremost. Above all, no matter what happens, you must not be late. I do not take kindly to being taken for granted. Jaken!" He called out and the little toad came running in. "See to it that she is supplied with all that she will need to do her duties. Also, give her a company card and give her a cellular phone so that I can contact her whenever I need her."
Jaken nodded before rushing a bewildered Kagome out of the room. He didn't understand why his master wanted to go through such lengths for this human but he would do as he was told. He typed a few things into his computer and then walked over to a nearby print station where a card machine was already at work. He took the card up in his hands and held it out to her.
Kagome took the card, her eyes widening when she saw her name in raised print on the small plastic. Jaken was then shoving a phone her way and she eyed it with a distasteful stare. It was so boring and ugly! She laughed a little and then looked at it and him and asked with a shaky voice. "Do you have any other colors?"
The toad youkai just stared at her in disbelief. "You will take what is given to you!" Kagome shrugged and then bowed to him, causing Jaken to flush a little. People rarely showed him such respect. She then left with a skip in her step, turning his good mood foul. What did his master see in them?
Sessomaru was in his office, contemplating the offer he had made to Kagome. Had he been too generous? He couldn't really tell what was appropriate at the moment. His mind was too full of the fact that he would get the opportunity to have her in his life, for however short a time that was.
Her mother stared at her with wide eyes before looking back down at the contract with the rather regal signature over a somewhat flowery seal next to it in shiny red ink. Wait, was that a flower? She turned the page to the side to get a better glance. "Kagome, honey, are you sure this is real?" She asked her daughter in disbelief. The offer was more than generous. If she didn't know any better she would think the man was proposing marriage to her daughter!
Included with the offer was his resume, detailing his entire history. Beneath that was his family history which showed his very long lineage. Underneath that was a brief flyer explaining why it is important for Kagome to keep her emotions in check when around youkai – something about certain individuals having latent spiritual power. She stared at them in a mixture of shock and awe.
First, she had to overcome that youkai really did exist. Then she had to overcome that this man was one. Then she had to overcome that her daughter was going to be spending a great amount of her time with him.
In his offer he agreed to provide for all of Kagome's needs, including school supplies and uniforms, clothing, medical, transportation, entertainment, and food! Plus he would give her the cell phone and she had complete freedom to spend however much she needed off this fancy credit card! He would provide her with a safe room within his compound that she could utilize to sleep and study whenever he needed her to work late and he required her to attend school, make good grades, while continuing to help around the shine. In exchange he agreed that he would pay all of their excessive bills for so long as they needed help. It was like a dream come true!
She looked up at her daughter with tears in her eyes. "Are you sure you don't want to marry him?" Kagome just rolled her eyes and her mother laughed as she pointed to the family tree that he had provided. "Look! There is even a Kagome in his family! It must be fate!"
Kagome took the large document from her mother in disbelief. Who else would name their poor child Kagome? Wasn't that a more modern name anyway? Her brow furrowed as she stared at the names listed. So many children, this Kagome and InuYasha – she paused to giggle a little at two oddly named people – they must have really loved one another to have such a long family line. Turning the page over she found Sesshomaru's half… empty.