Hey everyone, I apologize for the slight delay as I've been under the weather lately. It's germ season...ugh.

Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha

From the moment his lord and the miko returned, it didn't take Jaken long to figure out something had happened. What it was exactly, he couldn't tell. Warily, his yellow eyes monitored their every move.

They were obviously going out of their way to avoid each other, the miko's movements were more noticeably tense, but his master's own discomfort didn't escape him.

Sesshoumaru wasted no time progressing forward with their journey, while the miko hurriedly resumed her position alongside Rin, giving the girl a forced smile.

It was probably her fault, no doubt that troublesome miko did something to upset milord.

But for once he decided to mind his own business, it was probably better for his health anyway.

Kagome still felt the heat burning her cheeks and her heart was only now starting to calm. She couldn't believe it.

Sesshoumaru had kissed her.

At first she had been shocked, frozen in place, muscles tensed. Then, once her brain began to process what she was experiencing, panic mode set in and her hands were on his chest, shoving him away, while her feet hastily propelled her backwards.

Sesshoumaru himself had remained very still and unreadable until the moment his eyes abruptly snapped to hers with a narrowed expression that seemed to throw the blame on her. Then he just stalked away.

This was certainly not the Sesshoumaru she knew. Well, she didn't know him very well in the first place, but he definitely wasn't the sort to go around kissing unsuspecting girls, especially human girls…or maybe any girls at all, for all she knew.

Did the great Sesshoumaru even have any interests in romance? Either way, she somehow didn't think she would be his first choice if he did.

Sesshoumaru was absolutely seething. He just knew it. The way he had suddenly been taking notice in that damnable miko as though she were the most treasured thing on earth. The way it crept up on him unnaturally, leaving his mind in a haze, wanting only her until somehow, mercifully, he'd snap out of it. This had to be the curse.

The miko meant nothing to him, she was merely an ally, and even then, barely so. She belonged to his mongrel of a half-brother. He didn't want her, especially not like that. She was mediocre, second-rate, low quality, human.

While his honour wouldn`t permit him to abandon her with their mission still incomplete, he was not going to stand by and let this curse run wild controlling his emotions either. He was going to have to keep his distance from the miko and his senses on alert for anyone who could rid him of this nuisance.

Her skin is so soft, he marvelled as his fingertips grazed her cheekbones. They became entangled with silky black hair, barely tamed. This female he held, she was perfect. Gently tantalizing and tastefully appetizing.

She smelled like flowers and the sweet forest aroma. He wanted to taste her fragrance, envelop himself in her essence.

Her eyes vanished behind wisps of bangs, hiding the chestnut flecks and bands of gold. Her nose was a slight curve, perfect and centered.

He noticed they were laying on the forest floor, a carpet of golds, purples, and reds beneath them. Drifting leaves cascaded softly on the crisp autumn breeze. But they were not cold.

Gazing down at the beauty before him, his eyes fell to the pink softness of her lips. Shaped like a bow, supple and upturned in a blissful arc. She was content. Good.

Small digits reached up, tracing the long triangles adorning his face almost too softly to feel and quick breaths encouraged the rise and fall of her chest, grazing his own upon each intake of air.

He wanted to touch her more, feel her, taste her, become a part of her.

Slowly he lowered his mouth to hers, observing a flick of tongue, enjoying the anticipation.

She was his, she belonged to him. This bliss he had never felt, he basked in it, let it wrap him in its tenderness. He was tired of being hard and cold and he knew the warm body beneath his own would hold him and save him. Maybe even love him…

Sesshoumaru woke with a jolt that didn't go unnoticed by his youkai companions. How exhausted was he to have actually dozed off?

His eyes flicked to the slumbering female from his dreams. She sighed softly in her sleep, snuggling closer to his ward and the rabbit youkai nestled between them.

His mind was brimming with thoughts of her, the remnants of the dream, notions that had never surfaced before. His cold, calculating mind was under siege and he was helpless to stop it.

This was it. This was the curse at its entirety. Influential, clingy, mind numbing, dominant.

It was making him want her, making him like wanting her. There was no room for the rage he should have felt, no room for stubbornness, for fight. There was no lenience, no give or take. Only desire, only yearning, only her.

Somewhere in the back of his mind, fuzzy and small, his primary goal clung with desperation. He gripped it possessively, and held on with all the strength that remained. Losing it would cost him his freedom and his reputation, all he'd worked for.

He would not fail.

He couldn't.