Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha or its characters. They are the sole property of Takahashi Rumiko.


The strong muscles of his chest burned underneath the white silk of his clothing, heating Kagome's body and protecting her against the chill of the night air. While she had been tense at first at the realization that this killer in disguise's arms were closed around her fragile form, carrying her into the night, her body had betrayed her and relaxed into his embrace all the same.

It was confusing how or why she felt at ease in his grasp. Thoughts of soft-honey eyes and silky skin brushing against her cheeks dulled the fright she knew that she should feel. She reacted to his heat and his masculine scent which even her mind could not deny had encircled her in what felt like safety.

In his arms he continued to carry Kagome until they reached a large clearing hidden within the woods. There was no plant life in the clearing, only hard packed earth, and it seemed to just be a hole in the heart of the forest, empty of all existence besides their own. He stopped there as if it was home.

He did not look at her nor did he speak but slowly he drew her in—closer—so close, wrapping his arms around her tighter as if she would slip through deadly fingers that Kagome was sure nothing could slip away from unless he permitted it.

The minute increases in his grip stopped, the firmness of the grasp leveling off. It hurt how hard he'd pressed her body into his, she could feel her bones and cartilage grinding against each other and protesting vehemently at their restriction. She tried to gasp but it was hard to draw any air into her constricted lungs. Closing her eyes she waited for the crack that she was sure she would hear when her bones snapped.

He was a predator. She'd forgotten that when she had let her guard slip, when she had leaned into him for safety and comfort. Her previous thoughts about him dumping her body within the forest ambled their way back into her mind and she wondered if that was why he'd brought her to such a desolate place within the thick of the trees; was it to discard himself of her limp broken carcass? He was crushing her.

But then another thought came. He could have broken her so easily if he had wanted to. She could tell by his grip. She would have been dead before she'd had the time to ponder it. And really he could have killed her the night they met, could have left her to starve in the dark cave, could have left her on the forest floor when she'd twisted her ankle but he had not. No matter what regrets he'd voiced earlier for not killing her, the fact remained that he still had not done it. In fact, besides their first encounter he'd been assisting her in his own quiet ways; divesting her of her tears, feeding her while even taking into consideration her preferences against the bloody raw meat he indulged in, and she thought to herself oddly that he'd carried her in much the same way that a wife was ushered over the threshold. He was not going to kill her now—no—he was not going to crush her into nothingness in this clearing or at least it did not seem to her that he would have meant to.

"You're hurting me." Kagome breathed out in a whisper although she was still unsure that he did not already know this fact. It would be sick if that was all he'd wanted to know before killing her.

She was relieved and inhaled a much needed breath when his grasp on her lessened, though it was still far firmer than any human's could have been. A strange look implanted itself in his eyes as he lowered his gaze to stare into hers.

"I am no longer use to the fragility of humans." He spoke evenly, his features loyal to his general air of dispassion. "It does not matter when you merely seek to dispose of them."

The words whisked their way into her ears and all of humanity screamed at her to get away, shouted that he was the embodiment of danger. There were heavy whispers of killer—monster—demon.

But Kagome ignored the warnings because she was human and he had loosened his grip. He had not meant to hurt her and she realized that in his own cryptic roundabout way he'd admitted to her that not only had his intention not been to hurt her but that he did not wish to dispose of her either.

Still she had to repress the small shudder that wished to latch itself to her as she let herself fall into the moment. It was all that she could do because she realized that in that instant the soft honey eyes she'd been longing to see again were back and pulling at her.

A strong cold breeze whipped the fine silver strands of his hair forward and each strand danced as it billowed mesmerizingly. The moonlight bounced off of it like diamonds and stars brighter than the ones embedded in the sky, sparkled around the clearing bringing life where there had only been destitution. His flawless porcelain skin was taut over his perfectly refined bone structure and his magenta stripes slashed elegantly on his high cheekbones. In Kagome's eyes the crescent above his brow looked to be more polished and more genuine than the copy that shined above them. Kagome could feel the slight gentle rise and fall of his breathing and with how close she'd been pressed into him, she could makeout the hard chiseled plains of his chest. He was no monster, he was perfection.

His beauty was breathtaking. It was not as though the beauty had not been there before but never had she taken the time to bask in it without apprehension or fear of his darker self. But with him this close to her she found it utterly unflawed that someone so beautiful would also be so deadly for if he was deadly then beauty could not exist without lethality. He was beauty personified.

His gaze remained bonded with hers as he lowered her gently to the ground as to not harm her already injured ankle. His firm hands and delicate deadly fingers latched around her upper arms to keep her pressed against him. Kagome had to crane her neck to keep from breaking the intensity that was their eye contact because of their height differences and she did not even flinch when his claws pricked the skin behind her arms.

She watched him tip his head to a slight angle before leaning in, down to meet her. With every inch, every centimeter that closed between them she felt something within her tighten accordingly. She did not know if she was relieved or distressed when his fanged mouth did not attach itself to hers. Instead he buried himself in the crook of her neck, his nose inhaling the scent from her hair with what Kagome could only define as desperation, and growled lowly at her.

"What are you doing?" Kagome asked softly, feeling the rumble of his growls as they vibrated within her own body.

"Your scent calls out to me..." His huskily half-growled voice announced as one of his hands unlatched itself from her arm and he leaned back slightly so she could see his face, "as well as your blood." He added as he brought the bloodied tips of his claws to his lips. She watched as his long inhuman tongue flickered over each talon to seize every drop of crimson from his pristine fingers. Kagome could not explain why it was but she felt drawn in by it.

And then he ran those fingers down her neck. She could feel his claws run over the rough scarred tissue there from the wound he'd inflicted on her the night that all this had started and she wondered how they'd gotten from that moment to this one, why she was no longer afraid of the boogeyman.

"My beast calls out to you." He stated as if he could hear her thoughts and knew all the answers.

It was a simple statement but it brought back more memories from that first night. From the time she'd arrived at the cabin in the woods she'd felt his presence. She had not known that it was his, but she had felt a call so strong on her soul that she'd been afraid—so afraid—of whatever it was that was there just for her.

'His beast?' She wondered what he meant by that before the memory of bloodied eyes, a snout, long fangs, and claws flashed into her mind. But the fact that she could not remember much about that night beyond when she'd met his beast left her furrowing her brows. All she could remember was waking up in pain inside of the cave.

"What happened that night?" Kagome asked after a few moments more of silence. "I can't remember much of anything." She admitted.

His fingers finally stopped moving over the scar on her neck, she missed the friction there.

And then he answered.

"I would have killed you." He stated unemotionally, "but my beast tried to mark you,"


Word Count: 1564

Author's Note: I have no idea where this chapter came from! In my head this story was going to be on hiatus for a while and I really should be studying for finals but somehow I ended up with the next chapter to this story. I thought that when some inspiration hit me that I'd be writing the next chapter to "To Sip of Black Velvet" but this came out instead.

I hope you enjoyed it.

Don't forget to review, perhaps it'll get another chapter out of me sooner (who knows really? obviously not me lol)

-E.C.