My Silly Little Goldfish: Chapter 5: A Tempting Offer
Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha, nor do I make any profit from these publications.
Claimer: The Masahiro Clan is MINE!
If anyone had been watching they would have only seen a family eating dinner together peacefully. However, the family of four was far from peaceful. It had been a terrible day. Inuyasha was starting to take on small parts in the corporate meetings on Mondays. It had been to help in avoiding disruption in the office, but on the first attempt his son had sent the idea to hell. He was unable to hold the older board members attention, and had lacked confidence until his temper got the better of him. Had he not been the son of the owner and CEO he would have been escorted out by security.
Touga sighed. It had been so easy for Sesshomaru to transition into the company as a leading figure. Then again, Sesshomaru had been able to strike fearful silence and attentiveness into the board since he was a child. Inuyasha was different. He was much more likely to attempt to be polite and fidget. At least until he was ignored or mistreated, then he was a more intent of pummeling rather than speaking. The boy just was not made to deal with the pompous board of investors. His features must have shown his frustration because he felt the warm hand of his mate grasp him larger one. She smiled at him before turning her attention to her younger son.
"Don't worry son. Dealing with those old codgers will come to you with time. I rarely see them for a reason." Izayoi offered her son a warm smile.
"No way! I refuse to deal with those assholes again", he snarled.
Kagome gave a little cough to draw attention to her, and to stifle the hanyou's anger before it could gain speed.
"You have something to say little one", Touga smiled at the miko.
"Well… You may think it's silly, but maybe Ali could help?" Kagome fidgeted.
"You mean Aliyana Masahiro?" Izayoi whispered as though someone was spying on them.
"Ya, I mean she specializes in social psychology and has a huge amount of experience with public speaking. I know she would help. She likes Inuyasha after all", Kagome felt silly now.
"I believe our goal was for her to "like" Sesshomaru", Touga laughed.
Kagome threw her hands up in horror at how her words sounded, and was never happier that Sesshomaru himself had missed dinner. "I meant he is one of her favorite students. She thinks he has a nature flare for observing social interactions."
"He does?" Izayoi cast a proud glance to her youngest.
The triangular ears atop the hanyou's head shrunk towards his skull, "I don't speak up at all."
Kagome giggled, "She says you mumble all the correct answers to yourself, and that you paper was thoughtful and realistic."
The younger male blushed and looked away, "You really think she would help?"
Kagome nodded firmly.
XXX Somewhere across town XXX
"Hey, handsome!" Aliyana giggled as she waved over the large inuyoukai.
Sesshomaru smirked at her audaciousness. He was pleased to skip out on the family dinner after how things had gone over at the office. Aliyana had just emerged from a cab, and was sending him her warm smile. She wore a pair of dark red stilettos and a simple navy dress that was perfectly tailored to her to just above her knees.
He pulled her to his side with an arm around her waist, "Shall we?"
She nodded, and found herself a little bashful as the hostess led them to a secluded corner of the restaurant. His stature and firmness of his hold had a way of making her waver towards a school girl-like behavior.
"So, tell me Ms. Masahiro does this date mean that I have won out over our dear Naraku?" he asked in a point blank fashion.
She pouted playfully, "And here I thought it was clear we were going steady!"
He gave her a flat look.
"Ok, cards all on the table?" she asked as she sipped the water that was already provided for the table.
He gave her a firm nod.
"From the business side you would make an excellent investment to assist in running my father's company. You are level headed, thoughtful, and always a few steps ahead of the game… and from a personal side…" she took a moment to look at him. "I really like you."
He allowed a smirk to curve across his lips, "So, then you would not object to becoming exclusive?"
A blush lightly colored her cheeks, "So long as that would make you happy as well."
It did make him happy, and even though he only had admitted it to himself it concerned him. He had never concerned himself with a real relationship because no woman had ever held his attention. Now, he had only been distracted from thinking about seeing this woman again tonight when his younger brother nearly turned the board meeting into a brawl. Now, the vision in front of him was blushing like a school girl waiting for his response.
"It's a start", he noted keeping his expression numb of his new found happiness.
She batted his hand from across the table as she scowled at him. "You are lucky you are pretty", she shot back with a roll of her large eyes.
He only continued to send her a devilish smirk that made butterflies take flight in her stomach. She made a great show of ignoring him while he ordered for both of them.
"If you make me gain your attention forcibly I will make sure that it is both memorable and embarrassing", he whispered lowly.
"I am half curious to see what you have planned", she snickered still ignoring him. Then, she felt him grab hold of one of the legs of her chair, and loudly drag her to be right next to him. The same large hand made a warm path beneath the table cloth to her knee his claws playfully tickling beneath the hem of her dress.
He leaned to her ear tracing the point with his nose, "Tempt me." It was a bold threat that was fueled by the blossoming of the spicy undertones of her papaya based scent, "Please…"
She released a ragged breath, but her instincts had never failed her. She placed her hand over his ambitious one with a turn of her head she brushed her lips with his. She never pulled away choosing to speak a breath away from his firm mouth. "I have never had an investment so eager to multiply its value."
Oh, the joys of a challenging hunt! It made his beast growl in anticipation. This was just the start, after all.
Their dinner continued without as much excitement, but he did keep a firm grip on her thigh for most of the meal. He even allowed her to carefully feed him a bite of her ice cream; something he had never allowed a woman to do. Normally, he would have found the behavior of feeding one another a treat to be frivolous and immature, but he could not refuse her when she pouted, and the fact that she had done so while licking the spoon clean might have had an effect on his decision. However, no peace lasts for long.
It was around the time that he paid the check that he felt his phone go off this time it was from the safety of his pocket. It was the solemn tone reserved for his father, or else he would have simply ignored it. He did not miss that she had sent him a concerned look as she caught the name that flashed across the screen.
"Sesshomaru is Aliyana with you?" Touga's voice sounded a little off.
"Perhaps", he felt her lift a brow at him.
"Could I speak to her? We have been unable to reach her all night." Touga was smiling on the other line when he heard his son's subtle snort.
Sesshomaru held out his phone, "Father would like to speak to you."
Aliyana had the kindness to look surprised, and shortly after taking his phone to her ear she looked at her own to find several recent missed calls from Kagome. His father was speaking lowly, but it was clear that he wanted something because what he could hear his father was buttering her up.
"You know Mr. Taisho if I didn't know better than I would think you were after something. Nevertheless, it must be important to interrupt our delightful Sesshomaru." Aliyana teased, but leaned closer to her date.
"I see", she gave a nod, and hung up the phone. Then, turned to him with a grin, "Looks like you parents want us to meet them for a drink."
"Hn", was all he managed as they made their way out of the restaurant, and into a cab.
He had opened the door for her to get in, and slid in behind her as he relayed their next location to the driver. Then, he turned his intense gaze to her. "What does father want?"
She shrugged, "He didn't say, but he's up to something. Do you have any idea?"
He seemed to settle, but she felt his hand move from the small of her back to the apple of her back end. "We had a discussion about tempting me." It was a taught if she had ever heard one.
"Save my punishment for after we deal with your father?" she batted those heavy lashes at him with a strong appearance that she was willing to play this game.
Another wicked smirk crossed his features as the cab came to a stop. He led her to where the rest of his family was waiting. They all stood to greet them. He was given nods, but it was Aliyana who the miko and his step-mother embraced.
"It's so wonderful to meet you Ms. Masahiro", Izayoi cooed while she not so subtly eyed the kitsune up and down.
"You too Mrs. Taisho", Aliyana grinned as Sesshomaru pulled out her chair where she would sit between himself and Inuyasha.
"What is going on?" Sesshomaru's mildly irritated baritone cut to the chase.
All eyes fell on the youngest couple who suddenly found themselves squirming.
Kagome played with her fingers, "Well, seeing as how you are Inuyasha's professor, and how you do so much public speaking…"
"I see", Sesshomaru was kind enough to cut her off.
Aliyana tilted her head in a way befitting a kitten, "What do you see?"
"You remember how we discussed the board meeting today?" he asked.
"You discussed the board meeting with her? Sesshomaru she is still the daughter of the competition unless you two have eloped", Touga took on a firm tone.
Sesshomaru bit back a growl, but Aliyana cut through the tension for him, "Not the details of the meeting. He only told me that it did not go well, and that Inuyasha had a tough time with it."
Touga visibly relaxed, and Izayoi offered, "It was not meant to be an offensive comment dear. It's just that it has been a difficult several days with the board, and you are still the likely heir of our greatest competition even if it will be in name only."
Aliyana waved it off, "I understand, really. I grew up in this business. However, I am not the heir. I will simple have a major input on who will help take some of the load off of father. Now, if I am putting things together correctly… Inuyasha for all of his actual intelligence is not very practiced at public speaking or diplomacy which are the main weapons for board room or any corporate interaction."
They all nodded, "So, how can I help without infringing on the business. I know that even if I am not spying that your investors will not be pleased to have my nose anywhere near you business."
"I just need your help on the delivery, OK?!" Inuyasha grumbled roughly to her.
"Hmmm. Inuyasha, why don't you and I step outside for a moment?" Aliyana stood without waiting for his reply.
The hanyou stood and followed without further prompting, thus leaving the rest of the table in silent question. Izayoi broke the silence with her soft voice, "What do you think is happening?"
"She is going to pick his brain apart like a surgeon, find the part that is malfunctioning, and then provide a simple set of instructions to repair. That's how she always does it." Kagome spoke looking into her wine glass before taking a sip.
"You are not worried?" Touga asked the girl.
Kagome shook her head with a smile, "I never worry when Ali is in control."
XXX Outside XXX
"Ok, hun. They can't hear you. Tell me exactly what's going on." Aliyana patted his shoulder before she leaned back against the wall of the restaurant casually.
The young man looked away as he spoke. "I am just no good at speaking to those up tight pricks."
"You have to be. They can determine a great deal of how well the company will do in the stock market." She said simply.
"Then how?" He admitted turning to her with a look that could only be described as exasperation.
"Well, first you have to be aware of how you sound. I know from reading your papers that you know how to speak properly, but when you are under pressure you seem to revert to this rough form of speech. They will hone in on that." She sighed. The boy had a great deal of potential.
"I do great when I am under pressure out on the job sites. It's only in those stuffy offices with the suits that I lose it. I know all the information, but when I see them… They stand for everything I hate about the business. They never value the worker only the profit margins." He paced to and fro with great passion in his voice.
"We just have to capture this, the way you are now. Focused, driven, and passionate that is what they need to see even if it's only for a few times, and then they won't pay much attention to you. Then again, there is always calling them out on their behavior or even blackmail…" Aliyana was in deep contemplation.
"Did you say blackmail?" he chuckled.
"I like to have lots of options", she grinned.
They spoke lighter then. A plan formed. It was simple in theory with several options and ways for it to be managed in unknown situations. They walked back in, and Aliyana sat when Sesshomaru rose and pulled out her chair for her with a murmured, "Thank you."
"Touga, I can help Inuyasha keep his cool in these high tension situations, but I have to know exactly what I am dealing with. Is there any way that I could be in tomorrow's meeting with all of you?"
Touga seemed to contemplate for a moment with a grin, "Tomorrow's meeting is just after lunch, and we are only discussing the upcoming gala to raise money for the company's charities. It would not be normal, but … we could tell them that you're representing your father's company's interest in assisting with the gala. Assuming that you are willing to write a check to one of them should they become suspicious?"
Aliyana nodded, "Done. Let me know the exact time of the meeting."
"This is all just that simple?" Izayoi asked looking between her husband and the kitsune.
"Kinda. Tomorrow, I will make them uncomfortable. I will level the playing field for Inuyasha, and the board won't even know it."
"How are you going to accomplish this?" Sesshomaru turned his focus to her.
Aliyana winked at him, "That's for tomorrow. You just watch and learn."
Touga grinned, "I think this one is a keeper."
"So she thinks", Sesshomaru did not allow the happiness to touch his tone as she grinned up at him.
Hey! I haven't forgotten this story. I promise. I just had my first real case of writer's block in reference to this story. Its one of those where I know what I want to do later in the story, but I was having real trouble with how to get the text there. I was actually very close to making this a drabble series because of it, but my writers block appears to have been cured. Please, Read and Review to let me know what you think!