Chapter 28: Meeting Kikyo

Disclaimer: I don't own him

KAG POV

28

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28

(Night before the party)

The rest of the week went by really fast. Her mom was too busy planning anything to nag them so Kagome was able to go to the shop during the day. She hadn't told her grandfather yet about Inuyasha helping but she had so many other things on her mind. The nervousness over seeing her sister. She literally hadn't spoken to Kikyo since the last phone call. Then the dress that she'd have to flaunt around in was just completely unacceptable and she constantly took her time to look for something else, but she knew as soon as her mom saw it she'd tell her to change back. Then the biggest thing on her mind was Inuyasha of course.

He had literally no affection towards her lately. When they were on the other side of the shop he didn't react to her kisses. He'd just allowed her to do it and then go back to paper work. At night it was even worst, by the time she'd leave the bathroom he was sleeping. Which she just thought was an impossibility. He couldn't possibility sleep each night at the same time…it just didn't add up.

Now she was coming out of the bathroom and there he was sleeping again. She sighed going towards his side of the bed and turning off the bedside lamp, like the last couple days of the week she headed towards her side. She lied down away from him just thinking about tomorrow, it was nerve racking. Having to see the people in her town for the first time in years. She avoided them successfully for most of the week. She knew around town word had spread that she was back, she wondered if Sango would be at the party tomorrow. She also obsessed over how her sister's reaction would be to finally seeing her, to seeing Inuyasha. And of course she worried about Inuyasha's reaction, but maybe it was a little presumptuous to assume that Kikyo would be interested in him. She already had a fiancé, maybe she was in love. Then again the way her mother was and her sister it seemed so extremely unlikely.

But she had nothing to worry about, because he had already told her he'd never want anyone else but her. But that was before he began avoiding her like the plague. She moved around slightly looking over at him. She couldn't see him well though. Only the light of the moon showed his chest moving up and down. She didn't understand why he was acting this way. She really thought they came to an understanding. Maybe she should just wake him up and speak to him about it, but what if talking just made it worst?

When they spoke beforehand he seemed fine with everything. Maybe all she needed to do was initiate the first move like she did before? Her heart began thumping at the idea of it but she didn't hesitate to get up and crawl over to him. He hadn't been asleep before but he was drifting. He woke right up when he felt movement. He was hoping she'd just lay herself on his chest, he was more than happy to hold her, but he didn't know if he could go another night being heated up just to simmer down. And although he didn't hate it, he actually loved all his interactions with her... What really had him on edge was that argument. He thought maybe he put too much emphasis on sex when he should have just loved her.

His hands lied on either side of him and she took the left gently wrapping it around her waist. He didn't move for a moment but ultimately he tightened it reassuring her. She hadn't built up the nerve throughout the week but knowing that their engagement party was tomorrow sort of put her on edge. She laid her head on his chest smiling contently. "You know I know you're awake." She whispered he didn't respond but as she looked up at him she could see a slight smirk turn up at his lips. "Are you excited about tomorrow?" She asked and he didn't respond he just shifted slightly. "Inuyasha…stop it why are you pretending to be asleep…?" She asked rising up. He didn't move and she sighed laying her head back on his chest. "You're being so dumb…I just want to talk to you."

He huffed and opened his eyes meeting her aggravated face. He smiled slightly… "You woke me up…"

"Why are you acting like this…you've been doing this all week…" she said but she placed her chin back on his chest waiting for his answer.

"Acting like what…"

"So damn elusive…" she interrupted and the tone of her voice surprised him.

"Kagome I honestly don't know what you're talking about…it might be all in your head." He told her, he kept a playful edge in his voice but she didn't find it too funny. She lifted herself slightly to sleep near his shoulder. He didn't say anything he just waited for her to speak but she never did, instead she planted a kiss gently on his neck. He tensed up slightly but he didn't deny her. She came closer rising up and meeting his lips and like the rest of the week he didn't kiss back.

"What's wrong…" she whispered and he didn't respond she just kissed him again and this time he pushed upwards but it wasn't enough, it wasn't like he usually did. She paused for a moment looking down at him. He could see the frustration on her face, she really didn't need this. Not when her sister was coming tomorrow and she had no idea what to expect. She didn't want to think it was a competition but still it was hard for her. She knew her sister. "Okay…" she mumbled leaning away from him. He stopped her putting a hand on her shoulders. She went back to face him and he lifted himself to meet her lips. The kiss was so overly passionate all questions left and she returned it fully.

He let his hands slip lower down her hips although he knew better. Like always her kisses were extremely intense and they heated him up to no ends. She left his lips for the side of his neck and his blood scorched. She did that biting thing that always drove him crazy. He let his hands slip into her shirt and she froze slightly at the touch but she didn't back away. The feeling just heated her drive and she went back to his lips. The passion she poured into him had him lifting quickly up bringing her with him. He pushed forward kissing back fully. His hands going around the front running his fingers down her waist. He could feel himself lose control and he backed away from her lips slightly. "I'm taking off your bra now…" He panted slightly, he was trying to do things at her pace but when she did things like that. He couldn't hold himself back, he knew he should have asked first…but he wasn't thinking straight. She just nodded slightly although he wasn't looking for any reassurance at the moment.

Her heart was beating out of its cage as he quickly slipped his hands out and tugged on her button down silk pajama shirt. She didn't stop him she just stared down at his chest. She could make out the ridges of his muscles through the moon light. She subconsciously put a gentle hand to his torso but he didn't seem to notice he was too into forcing the last buttons off on her shirt. She knew it was ruined immediately but that was the last thing on her mind at the moment. She could feel that slow fear creep but she just tried her hardest to suck it up.

He pulled off the blouse and she helped him get it off completely. He tossed it feeling his heart pick up speed at the look of her bare body. He put his hands to her waist and worked his way slowly up to the hook of her bra. He undid it and just like that the straps loosened themselves she brought her arms up wanting it to stay in place. He leaned forward kissing gently her lips while bringing her arms down. He pulled down the straps letting it fall completely. He took in her bare chest for the first time. Her beautiful rounded plump breast, he could feel his erection come without warning.

He brought himself up towards her she leaned forward thinking he'd meet her lips again, but he didn't. Instead he kissed her at the center of her chest before trailing his lips down to her breast. As soon as he made contact with the nipple she tensed up completely feeling just a wave of complete hot sensation running down her spine. All her fears disappeared and the only thing she could do was feel completely. His lips played at the sensitive skin making her cock her neck back moaning. He smiled while biting a bit and making her whimper more. He let his hands glide back down to her hip at the edge of her pants he didn't go further than that…not yet. He had all his concentration on her full breast. He brought his hand up to grip her left one.

The feelings that his touch brought her were completely new. They were intense versions of her usual ones but it heated up her core to no ends. She leaned forward wanting to kiss his lips, but instead he weaved to the right slightly pushing his lips at the base of her neck. She didn't think too much of the action she just let her eyes drift close once again. He went around to the front of her neck coming up near her chin. Heat encased her whole body but also this strange tingling at the center of her belly that kept rising up. He paused for a moment when he felt her arms slip around his neck. He scraped lightly the side of her collarbone making her clench him tightly on top of his shoulders. It just had his emotions more intense. He had to have her and he wasn't thinking of much else, he lifted her completely allowing her to slip her legs around his hips and sit comfortably on top of him. She had her breast pressed up against his chest just making him lose it further. He kept his hands planted on either side of her hips as he met her lips yet again.

"Can I take this off…" he whispered hoarsely referring to her pants. Her heart did that excessive thumping and the tingling sensation that had spread throughout her body returned to her stomach in the form of rapid butterflies. She didn't know what to do she sort of froze. Half of her wanted to just say yes and the other half couldn't. He stared at her hoping to every heavenly being she'd say yes. He waited for a moment longer before going in to touch her lips gently she didn't kiss back and he already knew what that meant. His heart sunk and he realized once again he was putting too much emphasis on sex. This moment right now, his body heating, his groin aching, and his heart thumping ridiculously was exactly what he had been trying to avoid during the week. He didn't want to need to have sex with her. He wanted to just need her. That guilt sort of came back and he wrapped her arms around her. "It's okay if it's no…" he said and she was shocked by the notion.

In the position he held her in she could feel his erection completely. It poked her around the inside of her thigh. It didn't falter even after his declaration, her junction was excessively wet. She wanted more, she truly did and although she halted in her decision she wasn't sure she could deny the idea any longer. He took a solid moment just holding her and allowing the heat to die down before dropping himself in bed and allowing her to assume her usual position on his chest. "I'm sorry if you felt ignored these last couple of days I just…" he hesitated for a moment trying to find words. He couldn't though, her nipples were erect and he could feel them press against his chest. His erection wasn't going anytime soon and he just stared upwards as she lay on top of him. He was extremely tense and there was no way he'd be able to sleep, not with the aching going on somewhere south.

"I think it's really nice what you're trying to do…" she said and he smiled slightly. "It means a lot to me…I can be a little insecure but um….I do love you." She mumbled and like always hearing that declaration warmed his heart. "And I do attend to…you know…give it to you." She whispered and she hoped he understood what she meant. He of course did and it made his breath hitch but he didn't say much else. "Really soon…" He wanted to say something reassuring when she shifted herself to kiss him on the chest. She climbed up slowly making his heart thud out of its cavity. When she got to him he took a good look at her face. She had a slight smile on her lips which helped to drive him crazy, but she also seemed a little nervous. He put a comforting hand to grip her bare waist. He was more than ready to meet her lips. Before she could even touch down he reached up kissing her first and intensely. She felt the passion in her bones and she let her lips part allowing him access.

He kissed her so fervently she felt her core surge and when he released her to breathe she moved down wanting to capture his lips again. Instead he went for her neck slightly his hands moving up and down her bare torso. He wanted so badly to lay her down and take her. All she needed to do was give him the say. He kept himself at the right of her neck for a lot longer than warranted, but he was subconsciously attracted to the rapid pulsing of her jugular. He fought off the massive urge to bite down, an inexplicable urge that he had never gotten in his life, but he ignored it. He let his hands plummet downwards past her underwear. He let himself clutch her junction aggressively and when he heard the moan he couldn't help but to be excessively pleased. She was so extremely wet telling him how ready she was in fact. It had him thinking about her words earlier. How soon was soon? He let his fingers rub at her folds and when he lifted himself to meet her lips she moaned into the kiss.

He knew he should have taken his time, go slow but when his emotions were this high it was hard for him to contain himself. He let his strokes become more and more intense feeling her begin slowly grinding on his fingers. The movement had him going crazy and as his lips went back down her neck. He felt her fingers yet again dig into his shoulders. He was panting but he managed to untangle himself from her for a moment to ease himself near her ear. "So uh…when is soon?" He asked huskily. She knew what he meant and there was that fear again but she was sure she wanted to.

Her breathing was intense as she rested her forehead on his chest. He waited for some sort of answer. Her heart was thumping, she had so many things running through her head. Her body wanting one thing and her mind half perplexed with another. She brought her head to lie down on its side. He enclosed her in his arms and she smiled slightly. She was so confused with what she wanted at the moment. "I know I'm confusing you…" she whispered and he smiled a little disappointed but he'd hide it. "I uh…I don't know…soon."

"And soon isn't tonight is it?" he whispered and she wanted to say the contrary. It was tonight…she wanted this. She was ready… yet she still had some doubts clouding her mind. Maybe what she thought was doubt was actually just nervousness, but what did she have to be nervous for? She trusted him… "No um it is tonight…" she whispered and his heart began to beat quickly. "I do…I want to…I'm just nervous."

"Well you have no need to be." She smiled slightly nodding as if she knew. "I'm going to take really good care of you." He whispered and the notion had her stomach burning hot while her blood actually chilled. She kept her head on his chest right above his heart. It was beating excessively fast and she wondered why? His hands slipped up her back gently; he didn't ease her off of him. He just patiently waited for her to make the next move. Lift up and kiss him on the lips or even on the chest like she sometimes did, but she didn't move. She just laid there feeling the rapid beating of his heart as he waited. She played with the idea that perhaps he was nervous too…but she doubted it. Sometimes she swore she'd do anything to find out what went on in his head. She moved herself slightly to face up at him and his heart began beating faster once again.

Whatever had him on edge it eased her a bit. Made her feel a little better, hoping he could feel the same as she did. His fingers still grazed up and down her bare back gently but he brought a hand to frame her face. The gesture had her grinning and his heart jumping at the look of her. "So um are you excited about the party tomorrow?" She asked and he didn't let the disappointment show on his face. He knew already with that simple question she wasn't as ready as she led on.

"Not really…" he stated humoring her carelessly. "But I'll manage…" she let that gorgeous grin falter and went back to resting on his chest. He returned his hands to her bare back gliding softly down her bare skin. She didn't say anything for a moment and he had this accurate feeling he wouldn't be able to sleep for awhile. He'd just lay there thinking about her. Feeling guilty yet again that he couldn't get past sex.

He was already lost in thought when he felt her kiss him gently on his chest. He got those warm feelings and she felt the beating of his heart. Noticing automatically that she was the reason behind it, the idea blew her mind. It gave her a slight confidence boost but in the end ultimately it just reminded her of her own rapid beating heart. She let her lips trail upwards near his collar bone. He allowed it but he didn't encourage it too much, he didn't know if he could go through another round of intense emotions just for them to die down. "Maybe we should sleep…" he suggested and she halted. "Probably have to be up early…"

"Yeah…" she agreed quickly her self esteem plummeting a bit. She laid herself back on his chest comfortably resting his arms around her. She lied down on him but moments later she couldn't get to sleep just over thinking. Wondering why it was so hard for her to just give herself to him. She sighed slightly thinking he was sleeping, but he wasn't. He was just as awake wondering the same thing.

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28

He woke up to knocking; it had to be the third time since being here he woke up far too early to rapid pounding. He sighed wanting to sit up but Kagome was still positioned on his chest. He was a little surprised she hadn't woke up yet. The noise just made her shift slightly in his arms. "Kagome…" her mother called out like always. He sighed once again not wanting to answer. "Kagome…"

He turned to the side to check the clock on his nightstand. It was only four in the morning; he lifted a hand over his face. Was it a crime to sleep till sun rise around here? She called her daughter's name again and in order to allow one of them to sleep a bit longer he answered. "Yes…" He called out and there was a slight pause in the pounding at the door.

"Oh good morning Inuyasha…" She sung from behind the door, he didn't say anything he just waited. "Can you tell Kagome up and at 'em? I want to start on her hair early…"

"okay…" He called out. "Uh just give her an hour or two." He said and that didn't please her one bit, he had a feeling she wouldn't argue the sentiment though. "If that's fine with you?"

"Oh of course… I'll be making a little breakfast, but the party starts at noon." He nodded but didn't say anything. "I'll come back for her around five." She stated and still he stayed quiet. "So just you know wake her so she's ready?

"Will do Mrs. Higurashi…" He said pleasantly though his expression and his mood were anything but.

"Oh call me mom…" She advised and just the idea of it made his skin crawl. He didn't say a word though; he just waited till he sensed her retreat but she never did. "Oh and be ready before noon too okay…"

"Of course…" She left with that and he groaned slightly lying back completely in bed. Kagome moved yet again but she was waking at this point. He loosened his arms allowing her to rise up. She didn't seem to know where she was because she was fine with letting her bare breast show in favor of rubbing her eyes. He stared pleased with the look of them. His mood lifted automatically and he brought his hands to rub up her figure and gently grip her mounds. The feeling woke her up immediately and she tensed before allowing the sensation to come through. It made her laugh slightly and he grinned at her reaction.

"Ticklish?" He asked letting his hands lower. She replaced them with a cross of her arms. She had that strange awkwardness go through her. She just woke up with no shirt or bra but surprisingly she wasn't too subconscious about it. His hands gripped her waist but it didn't faze her like usual. She glanced at the clock and widened her eyes.

"I think we should be up…did my mom come yet?" She asked attempting to get off of him but he held on to her hips.

"Yeah she did…she said she'll be back in an hour. You can sleep a little longer." He said and she spared him a slight grin. He thought she'd just move away regardless but to his surprise she uncrossed her arms and lied back down. Letting her face lay near his neck, he brought his arms up again to enclose around her. He had a heat roaring in his belly and he couldn't help but to shift slightly and kiss her on the nape of her neck. She smiled but didn't move she saw it as innocent and honestly she was actually fairly exhausted.

"Can you wake me in a few minutes or are you sleeping too?" She asked and he hid his sigh but continued kissing her near the chin. His hands moving slowly down the side of her figure. That smile of hers didn't falter at all but she never moved to allow him better access. "Are you?" She asked and with that question he knew nothing more was going to happen between them. Not that he suspected as much anyway.

"Yeah…I think I'm fine though…" He said lifting her up from the waist and setting her gently beside him. She moved the sheets to cover her while turning to face him slightly. He sat up and left the bed "I'll wake you in thirty…"

"Okay but where are you going…?" She asked making him turn around with a slight grin.

"Just going to the bathroom…" He said and she nodded putting the sheets over her head. It didn't take long for her to fall back asleep. He took a shower, brushed his teeth, and shaved before waking her. He pulled up his slacks and walked over to the bed. He nudged her just a bit she didn't wake immediately telling him how exhausted she must have been. On the trip she was always up at the most obscene times in the morning. He never had to wake her. "Hey Kagome…" He said pushing her gently. It just made her shift. He realized he was being a bit too tender with his nudges.

He backed up going for his belt and pulling it onto his pants. He didn't buckle it just yet. Instead he walked back to her jolting her slightly from the shoulders. She lifted her head making him smile. His heart skipped a beat like it always did when he saw her fully. "Your mom is going to be back in thirty minutes." He said and she nodded pushing her face back in the pillow. He just smiled "Kagome…"

"I'm going…" she mumbled pushing up slightly. He watched her as she pushed the sheets off showing her bare back. He let that heat come back again. The one that had him taking a cold shower moments ago. He knew better than to instigate it, he wasn't going to get what he fully wanted. And he felt guilty honestly that he couldn't get passed it. She sat up crossing her arms over her bare chest and he just gulped. "I'm so tired…" She said and he looked away slightly as she got up. She had the slightest most perfect figure. It was rounded at the hips and her waist was so impossibly small. Her breast the perfect size, but he swore sometimes it was like she had no idea. She went towards the bathroom her arms still crossed making the flesh of her cleavage push upwards..

She absolutely had no inkling of how much he wanted her. It was literally driving him crazy but he sat down on the corner of the bed for a moment. Then rose up and went for the drawer. He got out an under shirt and slipped it on going to the closed bathroom door. His heart did that ridiculous beating it did sometimes but he was so used to it at this point. "Hey I'm going to head out. Get breakfast…is that okay?" He asked and she nodded.

"Yeah I'll be out after I shower…" she said and he lingered for a moment feeling something strange go through him. It was a need, but for what he had no idea? Well he sort of did but he had no idea why it was coming out so ferociously. He backed away and turned going out the door. The house was extremely quiet and dark. He walked down the hall and off towards the kitchen. He expected to see the room filled with her family but to his surprise and happiness no one was sitting at the table. Actually he could see a lone plate in his usual spot telling him he was the only one who hadn't eaten.

He walked in pleased to not have to eat with anyone else. It wasn't until he got into the kitchen entirely did he spot a plate a bit diagonal. It was obviously meant for Souta but he wasn't anywhere in view. He had no idea why Kagome didn't have a plate but obviously her mother had something else planned for her. He sat down in his spot and looked down at his breakfast. It looked like an omelet and some sort of potato hash. He took his fork out pushing it into his food before feeling movement in front of him. He already knew who it was before seeing him. The door to the deck opened and in came Souta.

He was wearing striped navy pajama pants and a black t-shirt. He seemed to be in an aggravated mood mumbling something to himself when he opened the door. Inuyasha glanced up at him for only a moment then placed a piece of his omelet in his mouth. Souta looked forward seeing him and his mumbling ceased. He pulled off his shoes and headed for his breakfast without saying so much as a hello. They ate for a moment none of them saying a thing. It wasn't until they were half way done did he muster up words to say. "So uh…hey…." Inuyasha glanced over at him while lifting his glass of orange juice.

"Good morning…" He nodded. They went back to eating. The sun was slowly coming up and he could see a few people dressed in white out on the lawn setting up decorations all over the place. He stared at them for a moment before ultimately ignoring it. He really thought everything was a little too over done for the occasion but he really didn't care. He had something else on his mind entirely and like always it had to do with Kagome.

"Yeah…yeah morning…" Souta mumbled and Inuyasha just nodded a second time. They stayed quiet even longer and Inuyasha thoughtlessly watched ahead as Kagome's mother directed people back and forth. After awhile she retreated back to the house but lucky for them she didn't go up the stairs and through the kitchen. Instead she went through the sliding doors. "So uh…where's my sister?" He bluntly asked and Inuyasha didn't spare him a look when he answered.

"Getting ready…"

"Oh well then you won't mind if I ask you a personal question right?" He whispered slightly. Inuyasha turned at that taking a glance over at him. It echoed a question his mom asked a few days earlier and he remembered thinking that he very much fucking mind.

"I actually do…" He stated putting another fork full in his mouth. The answer didn't seem to faze Souta a bit though. "But if it isn't too personal you can go ahead and ask?"

"Okay good cause I've been wondering this for awhile." He dropped his fork and Inuyasha tensed halting mid chew. "So you know before you got all shacked up with my sister how did you date?" He asked and that had Inuyasha halting to stare at him. "I told you it was personal…any way I wonder cause you know you're all rich so…you know it must make it hard."

"It doesn't…" He interrupted.

"Well how do you know when someone's just dating you for your money?" He asked bluntly and Inuyasha just ignored the question and continued eating. "I mean does that even cross your mind?" Souta asked sitting up and waiting for an answer but he never got one. Inuyasha just ignored him and continued eating. "I mean does it…"

"Why the hell do you want to know?"

Souta just shrugged at the question. "I don't I'm just wondering…" he said and that still didn't give Inuyasha enough momentum to make him want to answer the question. "Anyway I'm honestly just looking for some advice…" He mumbled going back to eating.

The sentiment managed to slightly shock him though. He turned to face him he had no idea what the nature of his question was. There were no ambiguous double meanings in his words although he could have been hiding it very well. He hadn't fully figured Souta out yet. "Well I'll tell you this. If you can't decipher between a woman who genuinely likes you and one who wants you for your money than you have a lot more to worry about." He stated and Souta widened his eyes.

"Really and you can tell…?" He asked genuinely and Inuyasha narrowed his eyes slightly. "Well anyway honestly how do you go about asking out a girl…money stuff aside?"

Inuyasha scoffed slightly. "Are you asking me for women advice?" He asked incredulously. Kagome's family never ceased to amaze him. Souta had ignored him for the whole week. Snapped at him for no reason before, barely wanted to share a cigarette, and now out of nowhere he was asking for advice like they were best friends.

He just shrugged "That depends are you going to give it?" He asked while taking a sip of his orange juice. Inuyasha stared at him for a moment then sat forward. He put his fork in the hash bringing it to his lips. He really wanted to ignore the notion completely but he didn't want to be rude. He took a deep sigh and sat up. He was really doing it all for Kagome's sake.

"Yeah uh…what's your problem?"

"Awesome…" Souta said dropping his fork and pushing his plate. "So I'm down on the lawn…" He jumped in and Inuyasha was shocked at the enthusiasm in his voice. "I'm talking to one of the carters…she's cute but she's really persistent…? How am I to know you know she doesn't want me for something else…I mean I know I should know..." he mumbled and Inuyasha had no idea what he was getting at with the last bit of his rant. It had that strange innuendo in it… why should he know? He ignored the phrase completely though.

"Do you have anything she'd want?" Inuyasha frankly asked and it knocked Souta out of his stupor. "What the hell else is there your offering?" He thought about the question for a moment and after a few minutes he began laughing a bit. Inuyasha snorted too but didn't completely crack up like he did.

"I uh…I guess that's true. I'm broke so…" Inuyasha just nodded. "So what should I do? You think I should ask her out?"

"What questions was she asking?"

"You know normal ones….like where should I put the napkins but it was the way she asked it?" Inuyasha smiled a little shaking his head. "Should I go for it?"

"You have to be kidding me? What are you 21 22? You don't know when to ask a girl out?"

"I'm 20…and I do for the most part…" He said and Inuyasha glimpsed at him but ultimately realized that he was trying to make conversation with him. He wasn't really seeking too much advice. This was his way of making amends. "So earlier this week…you remember when I was uh…"

"Smoking…"

"Sshh…Sshh…" Souta warned putting his hands down and looking around the room. No one was there of course and no one was coming either. "Yeah….yeah…I uh….if someone found out I'd be…"

"Don't worry I haven't told anyone." He didn't have to look at him to know he had the look of total relief on his face. Everything began fitting in all of a sudden. Souta was playing nice because he had realized throughout the week Inuyasha hadn't told anyone about the smoking. This was his way of showing his appreciation. If he had known how little Inuyasha truly cared about their exchanges he would have continued on with ignoring him.

"Cool…so uh you play soccer?" He asked and with that question Inuyasha rose from his seat with his empty plate and headed for the sink. Souta watched waiting for an answer. "Because a few guys are coming up for the party and Suikotsu used to play in college and some friends of his are coming by too. We can play up near the lake while the party's going on…" He stood up too with his plate. "Some of the men put money down on teams…you can make a couple hundred…"

"Really…" Inuyasha mumbled humoring him.

"Yup and I'm always on the winning team. So why don't you put a few hundred on our team…you know turn it into more money." He dropped his plate in the sink and flipped it on so he could clean it. "So what do you say?"

"I don't know…soccer's not my thing…"

"You don't play?" Souta asked incredulously.

"I uh…I've played but…I'm not a sports guy." He went back to the table to get his glass. He took Souta's too placing it near the sink. He checked the time on the oven it was almost six. He wondered what Kagome could possibly be doing? She just never came and at least thirty minutes had passed.

"Well you don't have to play you can just put some bucks on my team…" Souta said and Inuyasha lifted his eyebrows slightly. How could he say no as nicely as possible? It wasn't something he usually contemplated, he usually just said whatever he wanted when he wanted. But he knew Souta was being nice and he decided he needed to play nice as well.

"Yeah…uh I don't think so…" he said going back to the table for the place mats. "I'm a bit stingy when it comes to money." He admitted and that had Souta furrowing his eyebrows.

"Yeah but don't you have to spend money to make money…it's an investment." Inuyasha nodded for a moment but ignored the notion. "Come on…don't be a Scrooge…" He joked but that didn't change his mind in the least. "Well you should at least play. You know if you don't put money up."

"I don't think so…I'm going to pass on both counts, but uh…thanks for the offer." He said he stood up and looked over the kitchen. It looked decent enough… "Good luck with that girl…see you later." Souta stared at him as he walked himself out of the kitchen and back down the hall. He hurried to make it down to the master bedroom opening the door and locking it after him. No one was in the bedroom so he headed over to the bathroom. "Kagome…" he said opening the door, but he realized soon enough that she wasn't in there either. He sighed feeling much more disappointment than he really should have. He back tracked into the main room sitting on the edge of the bed. She had taken the time to make it which wasn't a surprise. He just wondered why she hadn't taken the time to tell him she was heading out. He contemplated that for a moment before getting out his phone.

He'd just give her a quick call. He dialed up her number by heart, on the second ring he could hear she left the phone on the bedside table to the right. "Great…" he mumbled lying back on the bed. He decided she'd come back in soon enough. She had left her phone here and honestly how far could she have gone? She had to be somewhere in the house? He had the urge to find out where in the house she was exactly but he sucked it in. He never had this huge of an urge with any other woman. It had him thinking about after this little trip.

How could he go back home and leave Kagome two hours away in another city working for his brother? He couldn't even have her a few yards away usually. It caused actual stress and depression. It was such a strange feeling to be having, it had him at odds, but he was already aware of the strange shift in his world Kagome being in his life had on him. It wasn't a bad feeling he liked it…he actually loved it, but he could see himself despising it when they'd have to separate again. The worst part was he didn't have a cure for the feeling at all. There was literally nothing he could do about it, no solution…he could offer her back her job, but still…what next, she move in with him? That was something he never saw himself doing but it was Kagome, she changed everything. He couldn't imagine himself asking her something like that though, being afraid of her answer and also not knowing if they were there yet in their relationship.

It was such a contradiction, if they weren't there yet then why was he entertaining the idea? He thought about that for a moment before sitting up and going for his phone again. His whole life couldn't honestly evolve around Kagome, her thoughts, emotions, and even her whereabouts. When he brought the phone up he subconsciously began dialing Rin's number, which could only mean one thing. His world and thoughts did evolve around her, because obviously he sought after Rin's advice. He back tracked and decided to call Miroku instead. What he would say was beyond him but it could return him back to some normalcy.

The phone rang a couple times and finally he answered. "Miroku…"

"Inuyasha…" He said in obvious surprise. "Haven't heard from you in awhile, heard from Ayame you just got up and left with Kagome." He sat up from his spot on the couch pausing his video game.

"Oh yeah…I uh…I did. Sorry should have told you before…"

"Nah don't worry about it…I've been super busy." He lied while putting the joystick down and rising from his seat. "So what's been going on? Ayame said you went out of town for Kagome's sister's wedding. You back?"

"Uh no I'm going to be down here for the next month." He said but he instantly ran out of things to say. It was odd when talking to Miroku. They never usually ran out of topics, but his mind was of course on something entirely different. He knew what they'd usually talk about but he wasn't interested in that. He wanted to talk about her…but he reserved it for Rin.

"Oh wow…that's a long wedding…" Miroku joked and like always he rolled his eyes instead of laughing. "So uh…I have to ask…" Inuyasha sat up slightly at the strange tone in his voice. "What's the deal with Kagome…I mean I know what the deal is, but you know you're like dating her earnestly…"

He shrugged slightly. "Yeah…for the most part…" he mumbled carelessly and Miroku nodded.

"Wow there's a first time for everything." He joked and Inuyasha snorted. "I like her though you know. She's nice."

"Yeah well I don't really care about your opinion so."

"Of course you don't. So what's with the call now? You want the receipt for your gift? I had a feeling you wouldn't like it." Inuyasha paused not understanding in the slightest what he meant. He only understood moments later. He still hadn't opened any of his gifts from that party. He dumped them in one of the guest bedrooms. He had his mind on other things when he got home. Of course the other thing was Kagome…his life was literally consumed with her. He loved it but sometimes it made him think he wouldn't ever be able to survive without her…that was a slight scary thought. He decided he wanted to change the topic completely.

"No I uh…it was an awesome gift." He lied. "So what's been going on with you and Kouga?"

He shrugged for the second time. "Same old same old, went to a party last weekend…"

"Oh yeah…."

Miroku smiled. "Brought home two girls…should I go on?" Inuyasha shook his head but he couldn't hide his grin.

"How did you manage that?"

"I have my charms…don't act so surprise. I would go into detail but I know uh….you're living the monotonous life so…"

"It's not monotonous idiot it's monogamous…" Inuyasha clarified…

"I said what I meant…I just I'm being a friend I don't want to make you jealous."

"HAR HAR HAR…" Inuyasha laughed sarcastically.

"So how is Kagome anyway…she uh…I know how you feel in stuff but I didn't think she was your type."

"What's that supposed to mean? What's my type?"

"Well I never thought you'd settle down, but if you did…you know it would be with….with someone not so settled…"

"So basically you thought I'd actually settle down with some hyper sexual whore?"

"I didn't say whore…Kagome just seems the opposite of you is all. But you know what they say…opposites attract. And what do I know I'm not in bed with you two so?"

"You're gross." Inuyasha stated bluntly and Miroku just grinned. "We're doing fine though…" He said and they both stayed quiet for a moment. He had no idea why he was lying to Miroku. He had literally known him for forever. He should have just admitted everything. "So how about Kouga back with Ayame?"

"Off for now but I don't know for how long." He nodded for a moment searching for something else to say. "So wow a whole month?"

"Yeah a whole month…are you coming down for the wedding?" He asked even though he had originally been against having anyone come down and disturb his time with Kagome. He wasn't too worried about that now. He was more interested in trying to make conversation.

"Uh you know what Ayame asked me that….uh she said I'd get an invitation. Never did….waiting on it…" He said and the declaration had Inuyasha rolling his eyes.

"You'll get an invitation soon enough." He sighed and that seem to perk his friend up.

"Okay that's what I wanna hear. How about before that? How's the fiancé? Can I come down for the bachelor party?"

"I haven't meant him yet. I'll be seeing him tonight but I don't think so." Miroku groaned loudly.

"Make friends…It'll be fun to get out of the city…"

"Yup…you can get completely and irresponsibly inebriated somewhere else." Inuyasha interrupted and he smiled slightly when Miroku laughed too loudly at the joke.

"Very funny…but yeah it's all about geography for me. Besides I think Kagome would be very happy to see me." He joked but the smile wiped completely away from Inuyasha's face.

"What the hell's that supposed to mean?" He asked coldly.

"Relax jeez it's a joke. Just trying to make conversation…anyway send the invitations and I'll let Kouga know." He hesitated for just a moment. "I'll ah be talking to you later." He was about to hang up the phone when Inuyasha stopped him.

"Yeah I knew you were joking." He said quickly referring to what he said before. He sighed, what the hell was wrong with him? That was Miroku's sense of humor. It was like now he couldn't see the humor in it. He hated that, he hated feeling like he couldn't even speak about her. She was such a guarded topic for him but this was his best friend. Yet still he couldn't let that guard down. He liked the change in his world with Kagome in it, but there were still things before about his life he loved.

"Don't worry I get it. She's like the one or something, right? Don't worry about it. I'm on egg shells."

"No uh you don't have to be. It wasn't that I just…" he sighed loudly hesitating before coming out with it. "I've been a little tense. I haven't had sex in over two months."

"What…why?" Miroku asked incredulously both shock and humor lining his voice. "Don't tell me. Kagome's the wait till marriage type…?" He asked. Inuyasha scoffed slightly but he wasn't entirely sure if she was though. He never bothered asking, although last night she admitted she fully intended to sleep with him at some point. "Oh wow….how's that like? No wonder why you're off…"

"I'm not off…just adjusting. And honestly sex isn't everything." Miroku laughed ridiculously over the phone making Inuyasha grunt. He kept howling for a few more minutes before pausing slightly. "Are you done?" The laughing started up again and this time Inuyasha sighed.

"Is that what she told you so you wouldn't ask about it?" He asked bluntly. "You must really like her…I mean honestly. Is she doing anything else for you or are you just cold turkey quitting it."

"I'm just off of it…and she's not waiting for marriage we're just…just waiting." He admitted and to his surprise it actually felt good to be out with it.

"Waiting till what…?" Miroku asked in disbelief. Inuyasha just shrugged, he wasn't going to tell him Kagome was a virgin. That wasn't even something Kagome admitted to him yet. He had to pretend he didn't know, although Rin had already told him and before that he suspected it fully. "She's just waiting?"

"For the most part…yeah…." He paused for a moment. "I'd be lying if I said I wish she'd just...if we could just do it, but you know I'll wait."

"Aww isn't that sweet." Miroku said sarcastically. "So she's not even giving you blow jobs nothing like that?"

Inuyasha laughed at how blunt he was, but it was Miroku. Just because his disposition changed to welcome Kagome didn't mean Miroku's had. "Nope…nothing just uh making out, that's it…" he sighed. "I wish it were more but… she's not the type."

"I don't know how you're doing this…"

"Yeah uh….it's hard. She does this thing where…well we'll be in bed and she's all over me. I try to get us to the next level and she just stops…"

"Stops…what do you mean stop? Maybe it's you. Maybe you're not transitioning smooth enough."

"No…believe me I'm as smooth as possible. She's just not ready, but the type of heat going through me when she just stops it…" he shook his head thinking of last night. Or even earlier nights. Sometimes he literally couldn't sleep just waiting for the heat to simmer.

"Cold showers my friend…that's what zone you're in." Miroku laughed. It had him smiling but Miroku had no idea how true that statement was. "I have just two prescriptions for you. 1. Pull your own strings if you know what I mean…" He suggested and Inuyasha rolled his eyes. When would he even have the time to just blatantly masturbate in this house? The thought of it just made him realize even more that his unfulfilled feelings for Kagome stemmed deeper than just sex…everything was just so mixed when it came to her. "And 2 perhaps get someone on the side…"

"That's not happening…" Inuyasha stated quickly and Miroku just smiled knowingly.

"Yup I had a feeling you'd say that. Hey when uh…you and Kagome finally tie the knot. And trust me you will…"

"What's that supposed to mean?"

Miroku just shrugged as if he just knew. "I have a six sense about these things. Anyway I'm going to be the best man right?"

"Uh…I don't want to talk about weddings." He said. "Besides I think Kouga would probably best fit…."

"Really…honestly, you have to fucking be kidding me with that."

"Of course I am Miroku." Inuyasha said shocked at the abruptness in his voice. "I'm not getting married anytime soon trust me. I actually have no desire to get married."

"Yeah but the way you and Kagome are going… I mean I've never seen you like this with any other girl." Inuyasha thought that over for a moment. His drive for venting disappeared completely and he searched his mind for an excuse to end the phone call.

"Yeah…well I better uh. I got to take off." He said. He was about to hang up when he heard a small beep in the background. "Wait someone's on the other line…" he said. "So uh…bye." He clicked over before he could say anything else. "What" He stated bluntly.

"Like it's so hard to just say hi." Rin said and Inuyasha just set the phone down at the introduction of a new conversation. He wasn't exactly in the mood right now. "Uh so where is Kagome…I've been calling her."

"She left her phone in the room and just disappeared."

"Oh…"Rin mumbled. She was alone in Sesshomaru's apartment. He had left earlier to the office to check something. She thought it was the perfect time to ask Kagome a few things. She hadn't answered the phone so Inuyasha was the second best thing. "And you don't know where she is?"

"No Rin that's the definition of disappeared…" He said and his condescending tone made her roll her eyes. He had forgotten he was a bit upset by that. She just fucking left. He sighed slightly "She has to be somewhere in this house though. I'll call you back." He lied setting the phone down so he could hang up.

"Wait…hold on uh…" she stuttered and he narrowed his eyes bringing the phone up again.

"What"

"So yesterday I was talking to your brother…." She hesitated for a moment. "Well actually…uh…"

"Out with it Rin…"

"Do you think I'm pretentious?" She asked and he halted slightly.

"What"

"What's your definition of pretentious?" She asked and he smiled thinking about that for a moment. "Like if you had to define it what would you say."

"You don't know what the definition of pretentious is?" He asked in that same condescending tone. She didn't say anything and he just sighed. "It's like a know it all Rin. Someone who thinks they're better than someone else. You know….and they presume a lot…even though they don't know that much."

"How about people who do know a lot and that sort of helps them you know presume a lot. Is that person still pretentious?" He furrowed his eyebrows thinking about that.

"Are you inaccurately describing yourself?" He asked and she groaned making him laugh slightly. "I think thinking you know a lot already makes you pretentious…"

"So you think I'm pretentious?"

"Is this a trap? Because I won't hold back…I'll tell you the truth. I always do…"

"So you do…I am pretentious…how come you haven't told me?"

"How come you don't already know? I mean honestly you always think you know best and you butt yourself into peoples' lives because of it. That's like the definition of a pretentious person."

"Really…"

"It's how I understand it Rin." She didn't say anything and he thought maybe the declaration was too harsh. He was about to say something to ease her just a bit.

"Maybe I uh…need a second opinion is Kagome there yet." He rolled his eyes.

"No Rin she's not. If you see her let me know. I'm looking for her too." He said sarcastically and she grunted yet again.

"Okay whatever call me back when she gets there." She said and it was finally her turn to hang up the phone without so much as a good bye. He didn't care as much as she usually would. He tossed the phone to the side and lied back down on his back.

!

!

!

After awhile he surprisingly dozed off. When he came to it was a couple hours later. He was shocked to see Kagome hadn't once come back to the room. His annoyance earlier turned into actual worry. He stood up checking the time on the bedside. It was actually nine. Almost three hours till the party started. He rose from his spot going for the rest of his clothes. He only wore his slacks and an under shirt. He pulled on the burgundy button down and fixed the cuff appropriately. He tried to concentrate on doing that but his mind kept going back to Kagome. He went back to his phone hoping she had called. He had a couple missed calls from Rin. That was it…where the hell was she?

He turned slightly seeing her phone still on the bed side table. Why was he even worried? She had to be somewhere in the house. He sighed going for the bow tie near the desk he set out. He was going to ignore the notion to go out looking for her. Instead he'd turn on the TV and watch something for a change. Let his mind revolve around something else besides her. He picked up his vest and went towards the television that sat in the middle of the room in a two drawer cabinet. He slid it open getting the remote and taking a seat on the edge of the bed. He turned it on and watched it flash to some news channel. He flipped through some of them blindly, his mind still preoccupied with her. He groaned after awhile. He had no reason to be worried…he kept telling himself that. He should have been more annoyed than anything else. She left without a word; although he wasn't sure annoyed was the appropriate emotion either? Was that an overreaction, he never been in this caliber of a relationship before so it was strange, but he felt over territorial, and he knew if he let that show it would just make things worse. He stared at the television, some science documentary that he wasn't at all interested in. His mind just kept running a mile a minute. He just sat for a moment then got up going for the rest of his things. He carelessly grabbed his old jeans discarded on the floor. Something Kagome's compulsive cleaning hadn't gotten to, which told him wherever she went was rather sudden. He took out his wallet and slipped it in his back pocket.

He walked towards the mirror pulling on the vest and making sure he looked appropriate for the part although it was still rather early. He went towards his stuff pulling a few things out of his drawer just wondering where Kagome put his formal shoes. He rose up deciding to go for the actual closet. He found them there with a host of different shoes of his and hers. He pulled them on and grabbed her phone from the bed heading for the door.

When he walked out the first place he headed was down the jagged couple of steps and towards the first floor of the house. He checked his watch. Kagome's mom had said the party started at noon. It was still only around nine almost ten. He went down four or so more steps to the basement. He remembered it from the first time they had arrived. Kagome's mom had showed it to him during the tour of the house. It had a bar to the side with a few stools and a double door to the remodeled master bedroom. It was closed and across was a door to another bedroom that Kagome's mother used and a spare bathroom. They had an entertainment section, and he could hear the TV playing. He didn't care about any of that because as soon as he descended those few steps he sensed her. The balcony doors ahead were wide open and he could hear the staff outside doing last minute retouching of the decorations. She was sitting on a stool at the bar staring down at folders of paper work.

All he could see was her bare back in that revealing burgundy silk dress they had picked out earlier. Her unusually long black hair was longer than ever. She had straightened it during the time they were apart; it was now flowing down far past just the small of her back. Half of it was up telling him when she finally turned none of her hair would be covering her gorgeous features. He hesitated for a moment just watching her bare back for a moment before walking forward. All his aggravations disappeared immediately although he still wondered why she hadn't at one point gone upstairs and let him know she was down here. He'd been waiting for her. He silently crossed the room and stood just to her right. She was working on some more of her grandfather's files. He continuously kept dumping them on her during the week. She didn't seem at all annoyed about doing it though. "So…" he said and he smiled when she jumped. "I scared you…?"

She looked up and when he saw her face his heart first stopped then began beating double time. Much faster than it already did when he saw her, her makeup was different. Very much so, smoky slightly around her gorgeous blue eyes. Her skin a flawless translucent, but that was a given. Her lips were the same shade of red as the dress, but like always she had no idea how amazing she looked because she just put a hand to her chest in shock before smiling. "Yeah…I didn't hear you come down the steps." She said flipping towards him fully and taking him in. "You look so handsome." She said with a sincere grin. He didn't comment on it though he just continued staring at her.

"And uh…you look…you look wow." He stuttered and she blushed looking down.

"I know it's too much. With the hair…" She put a hand to her bangs. They were longer from being straightened and swept to the side forcing her to push it away before it covered an eye. "My mom went crazy…I look like a hooker."

"No not at all…you uh…you're beautiful." He whispered and her grin just like that widened. "I don't deserve you…" He closed the space between them as she let herself get overly flattered at his words.

"Really…" she asked and he nodded grinning sheepishly before placing a hand to the frame of her face. "So you don't think it's too much…?"

"Not in the slightest…" he wanted to desperately at some point meet her lips. He felt like he hadn't done it in forever but he patiently waited for her to finish speaking. She just grinned in that overly grateful way she usually did making him just want to bend down and kiss her more. Instead he reached over passing her phone towards her. She looked down at it.

"Thank you...I accidently left it...you know if my mom finds you here…" she shook her head while turning to look towards the back door. "She swept me down earlier and she doesn't want anyone seeing me till the party." He stuck an eyebrow up in confusion. He found the notion weird but then again it was Kagome's mother. It did explain why she just left him with no excuses, her phone still upstairs.

"Really…" He asked but that didn't stop him from pulling up a seat beside her. He had no intention of just leaving, not without that kiss at least. She nodded but her convincing skills were definitely lacking. She still had that gorgeous grin on her face, the one that had him staying in the first place. He didn't see himself just leaving her again.

"Yeah she wants everything perfect." She said and he nodded slightly but he didn't hesitate to slip to the edge of his stool and lean forward. She didn't resist him either. He let his hands gently cup her face and he stared at her, Wow she was gorgeous, her dark blue eyes brighter than he ever seen them. He just stared at her so ridiculously pleased by just being near her. He was crazy to think he could want any piece of himself back before meeting her. He leaned forward wanting to meet her lips and her perfect eyes fluttered shut waiting, it pleased him to no ends. He didn't wait much longer before crashing his lips gently into hers feeling those sparks he usually did go through him. She moved forward kissing him back entirely. His hands slipping onto her bare thighs and upwards slowly, she parted from his lips for air and reflexively he put a hand to her face wanting to draw her in again.

He only backed away when he sensed movement near the back door but by that time she was completely invested in his kiss. He had to be the one to reluctantly bow away from her. First he quickly moved his hands away from the top of her thighs and he sat back in his seat placing one hand to her shoulder to lower her. He let his eyes survey her gorgeous face once again. She had a confused look on it. Wondering why exactly he was ending things so abruptly. He just spared her a reassuring smile and when her lips parted that's when her mother tore into the exchange. "Oh so Inuyasha you're all ready I see…" He tore his eyes from Kagome's. It took a lot of effort but he managed to set his view to her mom. She was all dressed up in a figure hugging white gown. It was surprisingly youthful ending at the knees and plummeting at the breast. It had no sleeves but she paired it with a shawl. Her short hair was in waves and her make up a little heavier than it usually was. There were still no real similarities to her and Kagome but she managed to still be beautiful.

"Yeah…I'm sorry am I early?" He asked and she just widened her grin while crossing the length of the room over to them.

"Of course not you're right on time… Do you like what I've done with your fiancée…?" She gestured at Kagome who turned away to hide her embarrassment. "Isn't she gorgeous?"

"Of course like always." He said and she hid a slight grin at his comment. Her mother just smiled pleased before taking a calculated look at him. She found everything in order but she still had to aggressively walk forward and fumble with his bow for a moment.

He allowed it hiding his discomfort as she fixed his collar. "Okay there…the most beautiful couple at the party." She said and he just spared her a fake handsome grin. "You clean up very well by the way. You look extremely dapper."

"Oh well thank you uh…you look beautiful."

"Oh please you'll make me blush…now you won't mind staying down here would you? They'll be some early guest coming through the front before heading to the back and I don't want them getting a glimpse of you till the party starts." Inuyasha fixed his mouth to say something but she interrupted immediately. "Have you seen Souta by any chance? He should be dressed too." Inuyasha watched as her eyebrows creased over her brilliant brass eyes. She wondered away from them both towards the stairs. They stayed quiet as she began calling out for her only son.

Kagome smiled turning her whole chair towards him. He got to see her completely and he just grinned at her again. "Wow your mom's dressed like it's her party." He said and he was surprised when her perfect smile widened and she began laughing loudly. He meant it as a joke but he didn't think she'd find it all that funny. He waited till she stopped for a moment. "Well she wasn't all that angry."

"No just slightly annoyed, but now you're trapped down here with me." She said and he furrowed his eyebrows. He hadn't gotten annoyance from Kagome's mother's actions at all, but he wouldn't be surprised if it was some hidden display that he hadn't noticed. Her family was amazing at hidden agendas. Which reminded him...

"Oh so guess what…?" She was looking back down at her paperwork. Her body still facing him but her profile down towards files; she gave him her full attention though and as soon as she did. His pesky heart picked up speed again. Would his emotions for her ever simmer down? "I talked to your brother today…had the craziest conversation." She lifted both of her eyebrows.

"Oh…was he nice?"

"Yeah for the most part…"

"See told you. He's warming up to you. He's actually not that bad when you get to know him. He's just usually in a foul mood. I haven't seen him in awhile but he hasn't changed much."

"Yeah…" he scratched the back of his head. "He uh…first he asked me for girl advice." Kagome widened her perfect innocent eyes and he just smiled. "My sentiments exactly… some caterer outside he's interested in."

"Well I guess he's warmed up a lot then…hmm…maybe he just wants to be friends." She said with a shrug and that was exactly what Inuyasha had thought earlier but that's not what had him slightly perplexed. He watched as she looked back down at the papers. She marked a few things and he allowed it while trying to figure out what else to say.

"Yeah see I thought that, but then he randomly started wondering if she could be using him." He laughed slightly… "Like for some reason she could be after something else…I told him he didn't have to worry about gold diggers…crazy." He said and Kagome tensed immediately. He noticed it but didn't comment on anything. Still trying to figure out what that was about. He had felt as if Souta asked the question genuinely, but now he was starting to think that like most of the family. There was some ambiguous double meaning in words. Like he was trying to imply something, and this wasn't a feeling he was estranged to having here. Something about Kagome's mother stroked him as odd…not Kagome per se…but… that poster.

She laughed a bit delayed. "He's out of his mind. I have no idea what's in that boy's head. Ever since he got that soccer scholarship mom says he thinks he's the best thing since slice bread." Inuyasha grinned at her analogy but he still studied her body language. He would have continued scoping the details but he left it aside. He had this other strange feeling that all that he needed to know would be revealed today.

"So how;s the paperwork going?" He asked as relief took over her. She released pent up air and turned slightly to face him. Why the hell would Souta say that? Wasn't it enough that their mother was some old fashion harpy who wanted all her daughters to marry wealthy without Souta revealing that intent to Inuyasha? She didn't want him thinking of her in that way…she was so far from that sort of shallow endeavor, but still part of her was pleased that Inuyasha was the one. But only for appearances…his money had absolutely nothing to do with it. She never even thought of him in that way, but could it be possible that Souta thought of her that way. What if her younger brother thought she was just like Kikyo now? And for some odd reason he now felt the need to warn Inuyasha in the smallest way possible?

"It's going. I'm actually just double checking. I'm all done really…I hope me finishing up the paper work doesn't give you too much strain at the shop though." She said and he smiled slightly.

"It does but its fine really…I like the labor more than the paper work honestly…"

"Yeah but I am going to speak to my grandfather…I just…I keep forgetting." She mumbled looking back down at the work. He watched her perfect profile. The way her hair fell slightly on her shoulders.

"You know you don't have to do that. I don't mind really…" He lied… "Honestly I need the exercise…I haven't worked out in weeks…and the way your mom's feeding me." She smiled just like he thought she would.

"You should get on my diet…a crumb at every meal." She joked and now it was his turn to laugh slightly.

"You're mom's crazy if she thinks you need any type of diet." He said, and she just shrugged slightly. It wasn't that her mom thought she was overweight it was that her mom wanted to prevent her from becoming overweight. She didn't go into details though. She instead looked back down at the paper work. Her mind was on two separate things, she was still preoccupied with Inuyasha's conversation with Souta. She bit down at her lip while staring down. "Do you need any help?" He asked sensing her discomfort.

"Oh no…I don't…just a little thinking." He stuck up his handsome dark eyebrow. Like always it caused her heart to take off but she was able to hide it from her expression.

"Well I know you're a certified genius but don't hurt yourself…" He mocked playfully. She smiled towards him and he turned in his stool to face the rest of the basement. Off on the other end of the room was a TV stand opened with the TV playing the news, around it was a wrap around sofa. There was a ping pong table to the side some china sets behind the TV. Two closed spare rooms and a drawer filled with board games. It didn't escape him at all that Kagome's life growing up must have been like every family movie. He couldn't relate to any of it at all and he didn't understand exactly how he felt about that, but he hid it well pushing it in the back of his head. They sat in quiet for a comfortable minute. After awhile he meant to say something to her but the sudden rumble going on upstairs fazed him.

She sat up when she heard speaking, no doubt her mom greeting their guest. Her stomach was turning automatically. Inuyasha just stared up slightly he was completely at ease like always. His arms dangling from the bar his back towards it, he sort of looked like a male magazine model advertising formal ware. The talking died down to footsteps and with his acute hearing he followed the steps all the way to the patio above. Kagome watched his profile as they moved slightly towards the backyard. He noticed then that she was watching him and he shot her one of his smiles. It wasn't supposed to seem boastful, it was supposed to be sincere but like always it was so handsome it struck her as a bit of both. She turned quickly to the backyard. The doors were still opened and she got up fumbling a bit in her heels. He watched her bare back as she closed the doors and moved for the curtains.

"Wait…wait…" He said halting her for just a moment. "What are you doing? You're kind of taking our only means of entertainment." She threw him a confused look with all its utter adorableness. She than swiftly continued her stomach in total knots.

"My mom doesn't want any guest to see us till the party starts…lets watch TV." He rose up quickly to stop her.

"I know but they won't be able to see in…its broad daylight, we don't have any lights on…. Let's just see how many people show up." He began pulling the curtains open. In front of them were maybe twelve or so early guest. Kagome recognized all of them. That feeling in her stomach never ceased. They were mostly all adults; a couple ran some of the shops around town which told her all she needed to know. The town was closing stores on her account, for something that was really just a lie. Inuyasha looked ahead his hands in the pockets of his slacks. He didn't seem too fazed. At the very end of the twelve newly arrived guests were three women about their age. All wearing the skimpiest shortest dresses in her opinion, she wondered if Inuyasha noticed them. She looked over at him, he didn't seem particularly engrossed by any one person. Although he did notice them, how could he not. All three huddled together like clones away from the other nine. Ahead Kagome's mother was running her mouth, moving her arms around probably bragging about the decorations. The three women were by far the youngest in the group, and they all were literally his type. Although none of them compared to Kagome, especially now, he swiveled around slightly to take her in again. He halted when he realized she was just staring at him. He let a handsome grin turn at his lips but it diminished slightly when he realized she was in a weird mood.

"They are my sister's friends…" Kagome cut in out of nowhere. He just nodded taking a few steps towards her. She searched his expression for any hidden interest he had in her sister's brainless friends, but she couldn't find any. Actually he seemed more engrossed in her at the moment. He took a few steps forward making her heart pick up speed a little.

"What's wrong?" He asked setting a hand to her delicate cheek. She smiled a little to reassure him, but he saw through it. Something was bothering her. "If you want go ahead and close the curtain…"

"No…no it's not that…" She fumbled out of his hold going towards the glass doors again. So it was official, Kikyo had to be on her way especially if Yurka, Eri, and Ayumi were already here. In her mind she sort of hoped Kikyo just wouldn't show up, she'd realize the party wasn't for her and just decide to go shopping or something, but that wasn't her sister at all. Kikyo didn't care if a party was intended for her or not, any party was an opportunity to claim the spot light. That's what scared Kagome the most. She just knew Kikyo would show up in some ridiculous matter. The door bell rang again and she jumped. Her mother was outside, everything was set up perfectly, and the catering party had all retreated to the side to begin setting up the food. The layout was beautiful all white tables and table cloths. A buffet area without any food sat in the middle of the yard and a little booth for a DJ perhaps. She turned away from the sight of things as her mother began showing each guest to their seats. The three clones sat in a table for four, she didn't even have to guess who'd be occupying the forth seat.

He walked behind her once again placing two firm hands on her shoulder. "Are you okay?" He asked and she jumped slightly. So deep in her thoughts and worries she forgot he was in the room too. He bent down slightly wanting to whisper something in her ear…anything to calm her a bit, when her younger brother shouted something upstairs.

"Mom Kaede is here!" Kagome turned at that. Inuyasha watched her surprised expression before turning to the backyard again. A few people were entering from the other side instead of the house. He took it upon himself to just close the curtains again. Apparently he wasn't the only one who didn't want this party to happen. He was about to turn and ask who Kaede was, when he noticed her pacing yet again. She was in her own world biting the corner of her lip adorably, this time she wasn't talking to herself though. She had her hands entwined just deep in thought. Pacing three steps to her left and turning to do the same to the right.

He watched for a minute then interfered. "Hey Kagome…" He whispered but he knew from past experiences that a soft call wasn't going to wake her up from her daze. "Kagome…" He called out but she was still in her own mind telling herself 'she could do this' 'so what she had to face her whole town.' 'Who cared what they thought…' He walked up deciding to stop her from behind. When she turned to continue her pacing she was met by his hard tall figure, bumping into it and backing up in shock. He enclosed his arms around her… "What is going on in that giant brain of yours?" He asked looking down at her. She seemed a bit worried but she returned his smile. "And who's Kaede…what has you so shaken up?"

"It's nothing…it's just been awhile since I've seen my old town…" She admitted and he nodded. Hearing that her mother's cousin was here didn't really phase her too much; she had her mind still on her sisters arrival. And every time the door bell rang her stomach seemed to turn. "And Kaede's just my mom's first cousin. Her kids are the only relatives we have here…" He nodded and she bit harder on her lip. She hadn't even thought of the possibility of seeing her cousins again. They were all older than her so growing up they didn't really mingle…but Sango…' Her eyes widened for awhile when she thought of her best friend. Would she even show up? She hadn't called her in so long. Her face played with an array of emotions all visible to him, he waited till she calmed down to ask if anything was wrong now. "No…I'm being a drama queen everything's fine…and this party is going to be…" she gulped slightly… "Fun…"

He didn't have to pry to know she was lying. The door bell rang a third time. And he could visibly see her distress. "Are you sure you're ok?" She just nodded giving him a shaky smile and gripping on to her hands tightly. He walked forward wanting to meet her and ease her stress, but she wasn't having it. As soon as he opened his arms to receive her she ducked away.

"Actually…" She said putting a finger up. "Give me just a moment." She escaped quickly to one of the closed rooms adjacent from them. She closed the door behind her and with a soft click he heard the lock. Kagome never ceased to confuse him. He really didn't understand what had her so tightly coiled, but he had a feeling he'd be walking into a huge mess once this party started. The door bell upstairs rang again and he walked over to the glass balcony doors pulling the curtain to see their nicely furnished yard. It at this point was overran by people. He couldn't believe the crowd. Only seconds ago there were only six or so guest. They all seemed to be dressed in their best spring attire. It reminded him of garden parties his mother used to throw from time to time. It surprised him slightly, knowing that Kagome's hometown was small and people used horses as their main form of transportation. He would have equated everyone to hicks, but that wasn't so. They all as a whole seem sophisticated and nicely dressed for the event. It was just another way he was rendered confused and shocked by Kagome as a whole. So this is where she came from… he was slightly excited to learn more about her from the interactions he'd have with these people. He checked his watch. Only fifteen minutes till noon.

!

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RIN POV:

She paced his apartment back and forth just thinking over what she'd say. It was eleven forty-five and although most of her day evolved around deciding what she'd wear to her date with Sesshomaru. A lot of it was spent concentrating on exactly what it meant to be pretentious? Her relationship with Sesshomaru just started, she didn't want to seem like some know it all control freak that came off as presumptuous. Even though from conversations with Inuyasha and Ayame she started to realize that was exactly what she sort of was. She took the time to fix her hair slightly in the mirror in the foyer. There wasn't much to do but try to remember exactly how their small argument went earlier. Sometimes when she didn't do that she fantasized how it would be like to be a permanent part of Sesshomaru's life.

She obviously knew it would be different than how she perceived it when she was younger. Sesshomaru was no Prince or super star and being with him wouldn't be like being a princess. It was ridiculous but she was coming to grips with the fact that she sort of once saw it that way. It was a fantasy well imagined in her head and even as an adult she still sort of saw it that way. She thought being with him would be like walking on egg shells all the time, always dressed to impressed. She imagined she'd always be on her toes, but in reality in just a few days she felt like herself. Comfortable, something she would have never thought in her wildest dream she'd achieve with Sesshomaru.

She was dressed in one of his sweaters. A dark long sleeve wool concoction she could see him pairing with a button down shirt underneath. He didn't have a lot of casual clothes. She noticed that most of his clothes were either business casual, under garments or working out gear. In the mornings she'd help herself with whatever she found fit to prance around his house with. And not once did he seem to mind. She swore she could put on a tuxedo blazer and he wouldn't say a thing. He wasn't as rigid as she imagined him. Her face was clear of make up she hadn't been back to Kagome's apartment for awhile but she was okay with him seeing her that way. It was like in just under a week their relationship had taken a new form. The idea made her once again smile and she lost track of what she was nervous about in the first place.

The door knob in the foyer moved ever so slightly and that surge of energy went through her. She stood up straight staring at herself once again in the mirror, flipping her wavy hair to the side to frame her face. It was a bit unruly at this point but tonight was the night of their dinner. She'd have plenty of time to tease it. She took a deep breath and tried making herself look casual. She didn't know if she should hurry and jog to the movie room. Pretend she was watching something, scurry to the kitchen, or stand her ground. She didn't have much time to think about it either. The door opened slightly and she froze in her spot, her emotions going haywire.

"Is that so..." She actually heard him before she saw him. A single brief case hit the wooden floors the door opening fully and he was reveled. Standing exceptionally handsome like in a pair of black slacks and a wool burgundy sweater not unlike the black one she had on. He pulled off his jacket casually while loosening his tie. He hadn't yet seen her, he had a condescending look about him. His eyebrows furrowed and eyes narrowed. If this was a year prior she'd know to stay away from him, admire him from afar. "But that's not a really great excuse though...is it?" He asked pausing to hear the response on the other line. His jacket was now hanging off his arm as he froze near his door. She just stood there her hands cupped lightly in front of her. Emotions all askew staring at him, her heels bobbing up and down on his mahogany floors. It took his eyes awhile to focus upward towards her and when they did, any sign of annoyance disappeared. The words hanging off his lips at the moment faded and a rare smile actually engulfed his features. "I'll call you back...you can email me." He said and with that his attention was fully on her.

"What happened at work?" She asked and the minuscule problems he had at his branch sort of faded drastically. He really couldn't recall too much. There she was a picture of perfection in one of his rather expensive work sweaters. It just made his smile widen. Her petite form lost in the fabric of it.

"Nothing much, just incompetence..." He looked down at his watch. "Sorry I was gone for so long... what did you do with out me?" He quickly met her in the middle of his large foyer kissing her quickly yet passionately on the lips. It completely took her off guard. Her eyes stayed close for far too long, and with only a few seconds the kiss was gone. "I have to tell you Rin you wear my clothes far better than I do..." He said while making his way to his kitchen. It made her whole frame burn red and he knew it. He had to? There was no way he didn't know his effect on women...on her.

"Well I try..." She chimed behind him smiling from ear to ear. "I...uh just been thinking about tonight...our date is all. I''m excited..." He nodded going towards his sleek modern kitchen and heading straight to his fridge not unlike his younger brother would do. He didn't admit or reveal anything but he wasn't too excited about tonight. He understood what it meant. They'd have dinner and he'd drop off her off, her week stay would be coming to an end and he didn't know how he felt about that. He knew he had some weird unusual feelings for her, but he hadn't yet figured them out. He just knew one thing, he wanted her with him.

"Yes... I have a lot planned..." He said pulling something out from the fridge. He met her lovely glance and smiled. "Did you eat earlier this morning?"

She shook her head... "I've had a lot on my mind..." He stuck an eyebrow up as a response making him look so painfully handsome.

"hmm...really...and, what have you been fixated on if I might ask?" He had his attention primarily on his left overs. Some sort of pasta that he wasn't too sure he was in the mood to eat at this second. The week between them had gone amazingly she hadn't brought up the small argument they had earlier but she didn't feel like she was walking on egg shells either. He had people who came in once in awhile to make prepare meals or clean around the house. She recognized the pasta from last night's meal and she had a brilliant idea.

She took a seat in one of his various kitchen stools. "Are you hungry?" She asked and he peered over at her.

"A bit... I was thinking we could order in tonight...unless your tired of that. I could call someone to prepare us something if you wish." She shook her head and he froze just capturing one of her gorgeous smiles and letting it sink in.

"You should let me cook us lunch today?" His eyebrows went up in slight shock.

"You cook?" He asked contemplating how he felt about the notion. No woman he ever dated cooked. They didn't do much of anything on their own. That was just the background they were from, women felt as if they should be catered to. Rin was of course different she never ceased to amaze him.

She shrugged slightly hopping off the stool and heading for the stocked fridge. Cooking wasn't something she did, not by even the stretch of the word, but she had that memory of Kagome making breakfast for Inuyasha before their trip embedded in her memory. It was such a romantic notion, it seemed caring and homey something a pretentious person wouldn't do. "Yeah..." She squeaked while looking in the freezer, it was packed with different types of meat and some vegetables she wasn't sure she could even identify. Where were the oven ready pizza's and wings, like at her and Ayame's apartment? It was almost as if everything in there had to be thoroughly thawed, seasoned, and cooked. Maybe she was way over her head. She stared into the freezer for awhile just looking for a familiar item she could fashion into something.

"So what are you making?" He was watching her just stare into his freezer a slight knowing smile on his face. He crossed his arms just waiting for her response but she didn't give any. These types of antics that she pulled from time to time always seemed to make him adore her more. He had an inkling she couldn't cook at all, but he waited she might surprise him, she always seem to.

"I uh...I haven't decided yet." She stood straight up closing the freezer shyly behind her. She had only one shred of hope, the fridge and the pantry... "Maybe burgers...but I don't see any patties in your freezer so..."

His smile widened a bit, "Yeah but I have ground beef so..." She stared at him and he knew instantly she wasn't connecting the dots.

"So..." she mumbled slowly narrowing her eyes.

"So you can make the patties your..."

"Myself..." she interrupted laughing nervously "I knew that...I can just make the patties myself...I just thought that's a bit too heavy since we are going to dinner tonight." She shrugged going to his fridge now, trying to escape his handsome probing stare. "Besides burgers are a bit pointless with out fries and you don't have that either..." She opened his freezer again.

"I have potatoes...I don't keep them in the freezer." He hid his condescending grin by walking slightly away. She felt his shift and turned to follow him with her gaze. He opened a pantry and walked in, moments later he emerged with one solitary potato... "You can carve and cut them..."

"Yeah...I know...but uh...I was thinking maybe a salad." She said and he nodded wiping the grin from his face. He didn't want her knowing he knew she couldn't cook. He wanted to see how far she'd go with the charade.

"Yeah good idea...maybe a Cobb with grilled chicken...you can thaw out some chicken breast." She froze a bit although he wasn't facing her he could sense her tenseness. She was looking in his fridge now letting her mind run, wondering how exactly she could go about that. "I'd like to skip the boiled eggs though...and maybe a blended cheese choice, I think I have some in there...you'd have to do some chopping of course, the lettuce will have to be cleaned and..."

"You know what..." She turned quickly closing the fridge. She had a smile on her face making her look impossibly adorable. "Lets go out to an an early lunch, brunch." He returned her grin for a moment before feigning a look of frustration.

"Really, hmm...I was really looking forward to a home cook meal."He crossed his arms slightly and Rin's smile managed to diminish a bit.

"Why don't we have someone come make us something then. Like last night..." he pretended to think it over for a moment.

"No, I feel like you'd give in an authentic touch." He slowly met her at the fridge wrapping an arm around the small of her waist. "Like you'd make it with love..." He whispered leaning in and kissing her softly once on the forehead and then on her lips. Her eyes drifted close and she waited for him too deepen it but instead he released her staring at her serene features, calm and ready for his kiss. Her heart was jumping out of her chest love wasn't something she ever heard Sesshomaru utter and especially not when referring to her doing anything. It didn't take long for her to realize the kiss had ended for good. She let a goofy smile take over her features as she backed up hitting the fridge again.

He waited patiently for her to say something but she was frozen, but this time he found it excessively adorable. "so...uh..." she stuttered looking off to the side away from him. "A salad you say?" She asked and he threw her a stunning grin.

"You make what you want...surprise me. I'll be in the office." He let his eyes take her in once more before turning away sly smile intact. She gulped slightly turning to face the freezer. She could do this, it was just raw meat it just needed some heat, it couldn't be too hard. With that self assurance she opened the freezer once again looking for the container of raw chicken. Her eyes gliding over it several times before finally realizing that the red peachy lumps were in fact chicken breast. She widened her round brown eyes, she really didn't want to have to touch it let alone prepare it. She thought for a second on an alternative, the first person that came to mind was Kagome. She was good at this sort of stuff, she cooked all the time.

She went in search of her phone which wasn't too far. Her mind racing, if Kagome didn't answer, which was the case lately, she'd just call Ayame see what her advice would be. She made the call while heading back to the kitchen. It rang twice before someone picked up. She was slightly shocked yet no one said hello on the other line. It had to be Inuyasha, he was the only person she knew who didn't agree 'hello' was an adequate greeting, it was far better to answer and say nothing. "Inuyasha give Kagome the phone it's an emergency."

No one said anything for a moment... "No it's me I'm here."

Rin widened her eyes... "Kagome...is that you. I've been calling you for hours. Where have you been, it's like you fell off the earth."

She paced around her mother's pristine room taking a seat on the edge of her queen sized bed. "You are such a drama queen..." she mumbled taking it in. Not much had changed since the first time her mother installed the extra bed room. It was painted a soft sky blue with white trimming. There were no windows so she off set the darkness with light airy colors. Everything was organized and in it's place, her mother was only one peg away from being medically OCD like her.

Rin paused for a second. "I'm the drama queen...last time I called Inuyasha answered. I needed help today and you were nowhere to be found."

"My mom was making me over for my party today." She whispered staring at the white armoire that housed her mother's television.

"Really..." she took a seat on one of the stools adjacent from the marble island. "Can you take a picture I want to see. Do you look good...I know this is a big deal. Has your sister come?" Kagome ran a hand through her face before falling back onto the bed.

"No she's not here yet, but she will be..."

"Well don't let her get you down...you remember what I said. You are different now. You aren't the old Kagome, you're new and improved."

"Ugh..." she grunted slightly. "Yeah except Rin I am the same Kagome. No matter how you dress it. I might look different but that's it."

"That is not it. I hope you don't really believe that. After all that's happened. Kagome you are stronger than you think okay. Trust me, now stop sulking, take on your stupid little town and show your sister and your mom they can't boss you around." She paused for a minute taking that in. Maybe Rin was right, she had stood up to her mom when she took Buyou back to the shop, and she stood up to Kikyo on the phone. How her sister saw her today would mark the way she saw her for the whole trip. If she didn't stand her ground she would be reverted to the old her. She could see it now, and with Inuyasha around it wasn't an option. She couldn't let seeing her whole town all at once deter her. She could do this.

"You're right..."

"Of course I am." Rin said with a wide grin.

"Thanks..."

"No problem, but I actually called because I had a question for you."

"Shoot..." she had gotten off the bed and was headed to her mother's vanity mirror. She smiled at her reflection. 'She had nothing to be afraid of...' she looked good, she was smart, and capable. What did she have to be afraid of?

"I need you to teach me how to cook?"

"Cook...?" Kagome repeated staring at her reflection with a puzzled look. "Yeah I guess...when I get back."

"No...no...I need to know like now. In the next five minutes."

"You're kidding right?"

"I don't need to know everything. Just the essentials...like how do you cook raw meat. I told Sesshomaru I'd cook us a light lunch before our dinner tonight and all he has is raw meat.

"Um...is it thawed?"

"What do you mean by that?"

"Oh my goodness...Rin...I don't have time to walk you through all of this. Just order in..."

"I can't...I told him sort of that I could cook." She crammed her mind quickly for a solution. "You have to help me...at least come up with a quick idea and I'll look the how to's up online..."

"Ugh...I have a small idea." She said turning away from the mirror. "You could make a salad with no meat."

"Oh perfect...a Cobb is what I told him. Do you know how to make that?"

"Yeah but you'll need clean lettuce, you know how to clean that right? It's really easy?"

"Kagome I literally only know how to heat food up in the microwave." Rin said and Kagome sighed slightly. A half of her wanted to just break down in laughter but she held it in. "You can walk me through it right."

"Yeah...I think so." She looked around the room, landing on her mother's bedside table 's clock. It was past noon already. Her mother would be down to get her in any moment. "We have to be quick though. What type of lettuce does he have?"

"What?" Rin said jumping off the stool. "Type..."

"Yeah like iceberg or romaine..."

"I don't know about that. but if you mean does he have the light lettuce or dark... I'll check."

"And leafy...also does he have any prepared meat...like precooked bacon for salads." She shook her head forgetting she was on the phone. She rummaged through his fridge drawer looking at what looked like two heads of lettuce, a box of dark leaf like lettuce that she recalled eating on salads before, but she didn't know the name.

"He has all types, light, dark, leaf like..."

"Wow okay...well it's preference now."

"Well I don't like the leaf one too much, but I don't want to have to deal with a whole head of lettuce."

"He has a head of lettuce...? make sure it's not cabbage."

"What..."

"You have to make sure it's not cabbage because..." before she could finish there was a knock on the door." She turned around swiftly ending her sentence abruptly.

"Kagome it's me..." Inuyasha said. "You doing alright in there. Your mom wants us upstairs." Her heart fluttered and she wasn't sure it was because of Inuyasha's caring tone or the idea that the party was commencing. She couldn't hide the slight excitement she got whenever he spoke to her. She almost forgot what she was doing.

"Kagome..." Rin snapped.

"Oh I'm sorry...Rin change of plans. I have to go. I have another idea there's this restaurant that's near by that carry's out. They sell homemade meals. Get two Cobb salads from there and put it on a plate. He'll never notice it's really authentic." Rin widened her eyes for a moment.

"You can't just go..What is the restaurant called...? What's the number...?Kagome...what do I do with the food? He wont believe me if he doesn't hear anything cooking...or smell anything."

"Rin the parties starting. I have to get myself ready. Just tell him the truth."

"I've already lied. There's no going back..."

"Of course there is, but if you do decide to lie 'It's From Scratch."

"What...What's from scratch? What are you talking about?"

There was two more short light knocks. "Kagome...you okay?" Her stomach did a flip and she shut her eyes for a moment. 'you can do this...' 'you can do this.' She took a deep breath and attempted to fix herself.

"I'm coming out..." She called out.

"You're coming out where? And what's from scratch?" Rin asked confused.

"Oh um...I wasn't talking to you...and that's the name of the restaurant. The restaurant's name is 'It's From Scratch.'"

"Oh that's clever..."

"Yeah but Rin I have to go, sorry."

"Yeah but you haven't given me the number yet."

"look it up...you'll find it. I have to go."

"Kagome...no..." Before she could say much else the line went dead. "Shit..." she looked down at the phone and put a hand to her face. There had to be something else she could make. She turned to the fridge looking around. The idea was so daunting. Maybe she should just go upstairs and tell him the truth. Then again she could call that restaurant Kagome suggested. She thought for a second...

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KAG POV

She came out of the room in her usual shy demeanor. She had a slight smile on her face and her hands wrapped around her petite form. He took her in like he always did, extremely pleased with what he saw before him. "What's wrong?" He asked and she shook her head quickly. Almost as if she didn't want to be some sort of burden.

"Nothing I'm completely fine..." Her face was slowly turning a deep red and she bit the corner of her lip anxiously. It didn't take a genius to tell she was lying. He wished for a second he could know what she was really thinking.

"Alright...well...it's show time." He said and she nodded her mind obviously filled with other matters. He moved slightly to the side to let her pass him. She walked almost like a zombie. Moving excessively slow while staring somewhere in the distance. He stared at her as she shuffled to the other side of the room. "Hey...I um..were you on the phone with someone back there?" He asked remembering he heard coherent mumbling just moments ago. That question seem to wake her from her daze cause she turned slightly.

"Yeah I was talking to Rin." He nodded making his way to her. "She needed my help."

"Doesn't she always," he muttered making her smile wearily. "Kagome I just wanted to tell you again how amazing you look. And you can do this...you have nothing to be afraid of." He said and every nervous emotion she was feeling completely vanished. It was replaced with something completely different. Her face blushed red and she got that warm tingly feeling all over. Absentmindedly she put a hand to the very bottom of his tie, fixing something already perfect. He sort of became partial to her subconscious tweaking of things, he found it endearing, he could see the makings of such a general beautiful smile emerging on her full lips.

"Thanks, that means the world to me..." she whispered and he just smiled slightly. Why was it that he always knew exactly what to say to make her feel as if she was as light as a feather walking on sunshine?

"Kagome!" She jumped slightly dropping his tie and stepping back. "Kagome, don't make me come down there!" Her mother screamed. She seemed to be at the very top of the stairs because her voice carried nicely and managed to echo.

"Yeah...I'm, we're coming!" She managed to squeak back. And just like that out of nowhere she was thrust back into reality. She looked up noticing him yet again staring at her.

"It's show time..." He said eyebrow up teasing smile in place, he was so remarkably handsome it was ridiculous. He grabbed her left hand and started for the stairs. He didn't give her much time to react. He didn't want her going into her nervous pacing mode. If this was going to happen she had to run head first into it, "you can't over think these things..." He told her while making it to the top of the stairs. "You just have to do it. It's like pulling off a bandage, just go for it. I had to tell myself that a million times during grad school." She smiled a bit at the reference as he opened the door.

She was surprised to see the main floor of her house empty. No guest crowded around, just her brother standing all dressed up and handsome near her grandfather who was fixing his bow tie. "Oh there you are finally...I was just about to go down there myself." Her mother nagged while making her way quickly to them. She gave Kagome a very analyzed look before finding something inevitably wrong. "What have you been doing down there..." she said running hands down her immaculate straight hair. "You're all frizzy."

She didn't interject even when her mother jumped from her to Inuyasha. Fixing the tie she had just worked on unconsciously moments ago. She took a step forward into the kitchen, being sure not to stand near the balcony or the windows. She could see from the middle of the tiled floors her whole town congregating below them.
It was enough to make her nauseous. "Wow that's a lot of people."

"Yeah it's quite a turn out...the whole town practically. I can't even name who didn't show..." Her mother said ecstatically. That didn't fill her with any reassurance at all. She turned away from the crowd in their backyard and faced her family. Her grandfather just got done fixing up Souta and stood forward about to say something when he set his eyes on her.

"Oh my stars...Kaggy you look remarkable." He said making her blush. She smiled widely saying her thanks.

"I don't think she looks that great... "Souta said from his corner loosening his bow tie slightly. Everyone ignored him like usual but Inuyasha. He just Waited for someone to interrupt and combat him. Of course that never happened. Her grandfather just continued on about how brilliant he thought Kagome looked. Her mom agreed making a comment about wanting her to look this way all of the time. "Can we get this over with." Souta interjected. He purposely walking into the middle of the kitchen and in between everyone's ongoing conversation. "I just want to get the dinner over so we can play soccer."

That seemed to get their grandfather's attention because with that he turned and looked towards his youngest grandchild. "That reminds me, how many wages did you get on the soccer game this afternoon?" He asked humor evident in his large brown eyes.

"A few hundred, we're a bit uneven though. I have us split in two, me against Suikotsu. Eight on my team ten on his."

"Why are you down two people Souta?" Their grandfather scolded, apparently this soccer game was a big deal, because he seemed very upset to hear that his grandson was down players. "I thought you were the one arranging these teams for tonight."

"I was but a few of the players did some waging too and decided that they'd have a better chance on Suikotsu's team." Their grand father sighed loudly before pulling Souta a bit roughly to the corner away from both his daughter and granddaughter. Inuyasha stood his ground but he trained all his senses on them, something he didn't usually do, but he was feeling uncharacteristically nosy at the moment.

"Souta, I have a lot of money on this game...I'm trying to recoup the loses from your last match with Suikotsu. If you didn't think you could beat him you should have arranged it against someone else. Maybe have him on your team tonight."

"Granddad, last time was a fluke. Suikotsu's out of practice, I can do this." They stayed quiet for a moment, their grandfather deep in thought.

"Well lets hope so. Is Kohaku playing?" Souta nodded.

"He's on my team again goalie..." Their grand father didn't seem sure about that move but didn't say anything. He stayed in thought for a moment letting his eyes wander around the kitchen before landing on Inuyasha.

"How about Mr. Takashi? Did you recruit him, does he play?"

"He said no..." Souta shrugged.

"Nonsense..." their grandfather smiled up. He sort of resembled a fantastic salesman with his gray hair slicked back and his silky silver three piece suit. He seemed oddly dressed for the occasion but at the same time it perfectly suited him. He was a man strong in his conviction and great at persuading so his ensemble was perfectly chosen. "Mr. Takashi..." He said gleaming towards Inuyasha. Kagome looked away from her mother's incessant bickering over to Inuyasha.

Inuyasha seemed unmoved, not taking a step in any general direction. He was trying to figure out just how to say no. He was usually amazing at responding in the negative so this couldn't be too hard. The only tricky part would be finding the words to make his response polite. He thought maybe he found the right combination of words when he noticed Kagome absentmindedly staring his way. He smiled slightly and she of course returned it, she still had that nervousness in her dark blue eyes, for some reason her uneasiness actually affected him. He didn't like seeing her that way, he wanted to comfort her, but of course couldn't. Her grandfather was making a B line to him in 3..2..1...

"Mr. Takashi..."

"Call me Inuyasha please." He said pleasantly turning his full attention to the older man in front of him. He had one hand in his slack pockets comfortably. He didn't know exactly what he'd say but he knew it would be along the lines of 'no...I'd love to, but I just can't.' That was literally all he had as a response.

"Inuyasha...my apologies, it'll take some getting used to. Anyway... I don't know if you knew this but every so often a few of us in town play a little game of soccer. We put some money on opposing teams and make a bit of a profit. This time Souta's down a few mates, you wouldn't mind..."

"Actually I would..." He interrupted quickly. "I'd love too, but you know...I uh...I just can't." He looked slightly away realizing how weak his excuse was.

"Excuse me?"

"Don't get me wrong, I think soccer's an amazing sport...I just...I uh...I can't."

"You can't..." They're grandfather repeated. His eyes narrowed, it reminded him so much of his father right now he took a moment to gulp. "What do you mean you can't? Are you physically unable to play...or are you just foggy on the rules of the game?"

He opened his mouth about to agree with the latter or both, he wasn't one hundred percent sure which, when Kagome quickly left her mother's side to meet them near the kitchen nook. "What's going on?" She asked suddenly getting just a jest of the conversation at hand. "You're not asking Inuyasha to gamble grandpa right?" She asked making him turn to face her quickly.

"No...no...honey of course not?" He put his arm around his granddaughter. "I'm asking him if he'd like to play soccer tonight against your sister's fiance?

"No wages tonight right dad?" They're mother called out as she did last minute touch ups to her make up. "

"Of course not honey...I'm just recruiting Inuyasha to join in on our soccer game tonight."

"I didn't know you played soccer?" Kagome whispered his way. She had a bit of a smile on her face, as if she was impressed.

"I don't...I've played it before, but I don't play soccer..." He said and he wasn't sure but did her grin diminish a bit?

"Inuyasha are you playing soccer tonight?" Their mother stopped what she was doing to smile over at them. "That would be fantastic."

"Of course he is, what position do you play?" Their grandfather asked quickly. He wasn't going to let the family involvement deter him from saying no, but he might let Kagome's gaze do just that. It was strange how he might be willing to put up with something he very much didn't want to do just to please her, or make her think positively of him. He halted for a moment peering at her for a moment.

"Grandpa I don't think he wants to play." She said with one of her slight smiles. "You don't have to if you don't want to. Soccer is just a big stupid deal around town..." Her grandfather shot her a look.

He paused for a moment that 'no' still dangling at his lips. He could see Souta in the distance giving him a side look, just waiting. Their mother with a huge smile on her face. Kagome just waiting patiently for his answer, she was trying to muster up the most reassuring smile she could. "Uh you know...I'm up. I'll play um... goal keeper, defense, put me anywhere." Their grand father clapped his hands together in utter excitement.

"Souta...come here...we have to run some plays with Inuyasha." His grandson all but ran to his side pushing Kagome slightly out of the way. She stumbled backwards before regaining her footing and wanting to push back, but her mother had other plans.

"Kagome come on, it's about time we go down there." She sang running over to her and grabbing at her wrist. She gave one final look at Inuyasha before allowing her mother to whip her to their double french doors. Her mother tugged at the bottom of her dress and tossed her hair around for a second or two before turning over to her father. "Dad I need Inuyasha we're heading down..."

Inuyasha glanced up happily just as their grandfather nodded and peered back down at him. For the first time Kagome's mother was actually saving him from aggravation instead of instilling it. "Okay I guess we'll talk more before the game."

"Of course..." He said trying to get around them.

"Are you sure you don't want to make an investment..." They whispered slightly and he just sighed as a response. 'Talking about plays' ended up being a scheming tactic to get him to put some money down on the game. Souta had cleverly mentioned that most of the players did. To save him from listening to more of their crap later he turned slightly to face them.

"Um...yeah you know what... how's 500 sound?" They widened their eyes in utter surprise and Souta howled happily.

"Mr. Takashi that would be amazing...you wouldn't regret it. Souta is excellent, you know he has a full scholarship because of his soccer skills. He practically carries the team." Inuyasha just nodded and turned away quickly. Annoyed didn't even describe how he was feeling. Not for a moment. He walked over to the french doors leading down to the patio. Kagome had her bare back turned to him. He lingered on the look of it before peering outside to their crowded lawn. It was packed, he knew Kagome must have been freaking out inside so he quickly took his position beside her.

"You doing okay? You ready to go down?" He asked placing an around her waist. She turned his way about to say something, but once again her mother wasn't having that.

"Of course she is...she's just excited." She chimed in making her daughter roll her eyes. There were no warning signs or countdowns to introduce them. Without much hesitation their mother flung the door open and the full impact of having hundreds of people on one yard hit them. Buzzing and background music playing from the DJ to the right. It literally was a lot to take in. He didn't care too much, he was no stranger to being the center of attention. He never had stage fright growing up, and he didn't even know these people. Kagome on the other hand was tapping at her thigh in intervals of three. He quietly grabbed her hand and held it tight making her burst back into reality.

This was really happening, her sister would be here at any moment in who knows what type of disposition. She felt like she was literally being thrown to the lions. This over zealous way her mother wanted to introduce them was so idiotic. Having to face your hometown was one thing, but having to see them all at once was another. It all seemed way too much for her to take. Was it too late to run? So much was running through her mind as her mother took a few steps down into their deck. She could feel Inuyasha rubbing gently at her hand but it wasn't doing much. With a subtle cut signal to the throat the music stopped and most eyes landed on her mother.

"Hello everyone!" She sang out happily. She had the stance of some legendary movie star hosting a very talked about party. Was she the only one who saw this as ridiculous? "I'm so happy you all could make it to celebrate Kagome's engagement to none other than Inuyasha Takashi!" She clapped her hands a bit and so did the crowd. When they finally simmered down she rose her voice again commanding attention. "Everyone have a great time and don't miss the soccer game going on at sunset a little later. Request anything of the DJ, we have him all night! Bring all your gifts to the table set up to the right of the old Locust tree and if you need anything don't hesitate to ask the fantastic people in white!" She paused for a moment thinking about anything else left to say to keep herself in the spot light. When she couldn't think of much else she pointed towards the opened french doors with a huge smile on her face. "Without further ado I present the couple of the night!" She called and Kagome gulped slightly her stomach dropping.

"Oh shit mom..." She whispered as she took a couple steps back. Inuyasha tightened his grip around her. It didn't take long till she realized her grandfather and brother were right behind her blocking any type of escape.

"Hey lets just get this over with..." He whispered beside her walking forward with a handsome fake smile posted on his lips. He felt the introduction was just as ridiculous as Kagome did, but hey what can you do? He was slowly beginning to understand just how crazy her family and town were. Obviously he was a big deal here so he was going to assume the position of the perfect rich fiance for the night. What was the worst that could happen? He walked out slightly Kagome beside him, her peripherals on him. He had the same type of smile he posted when he was announcing something at work and wanted to appear approachable. It didn't take her long to realize he hated this, and with that simple realization her nerves seemed to calm. If he could endure this bullshit for her she should be able to do the same.

When she stepped out near her mother all eyes were on them. She could here the buzzing of gossip feel the air. A few people pointed in her direction. She understood the amazement, here she was with a Takashi all dressed up and made to look like her sister. Kagome Higurashi the loser of the town, the one who wore reading glasses everywhere and did homework for fun. How could she possibly be with a Takashi, how could she possibly be good enough? She was asking herself the same thing amongst the crowd of gossiping people. Her throat was dry as she stood there just watching their shocked faces. Her mother pushed her a bit knocking her out of her pitiful trance. "Say something..." She commanded and she widened her eyes about to interject. "You look like a fool...say something now..."

Inuyasha glimpsed towards the silent bickering before quickly taking a step forward with her still on his arm. "HI..." He called out and they echoed his response, something he wasn't expecting. "Thank you for showing up, I'm really happy to be here and to meet some of Kagome's old friends!" Kagome stared towards him, shock didn't even define the amount of astonishment she was feeling at the moment. How many times would she have to be saved by him? More importantly how long will he have to keep doing things he didn't want to on her behalf? He had his charm meter up to 100 percent as he spoke telling slight jokes that had the crowd snickering. He ended his little speech with an "I hope you all enjoy yourselves, I know I will..." Her town clapped happily as the D.J, began to play once more. The crowd didn't exactly continue socializing, instead they sort of continued gawking in her direction.

"Uh...thank you so much for that." She whispered as Inuyasha started for the stairs. "I sort of froze up there."

He flashed her with one of his beautiful smiles, this one seemed legitimate. "Kagome it's nothing...really, you need to calm down a bit. Don't let the pressure of the situation crush you." She took a couple steps down behind him. He so very accurately summed up her emotions in that sentence she was in shock. That was exactly what she needed to do. Remember what Rin told her, she was better than this. These people were her past, people she'd see for a few weeks than off she'd go, back to city life with Inuyasha, her real life boyfriend. She was better than this.

"Yeah I guess your right..." She mumbled standing straight as she made it to the lawn. He placed a gentle arm around her, kissing gently at the nape of her neck. She almost forgot where she was. New emotions took over and all she could do was smile. She didn't seem to care too much that the whole crowd seemed to be eyeing her. She kept her smile intact as she took in their eerily familiar faces. Souta behind her ran out towards a few of his friends and soon both her grandfather and mother were lost in the crowd. That was her cue, it was time to do the same. She walked forward, Inuyasha still at her side she was surprised at the amount of encouraging smiles being thrown at her.

"Congrats Kagome..." A few said and her smile just widened a bit more. Was this really what she was afraid of? She never once been the object of fascination by these people but for the first time she was. They all followed her gaze, some complementing her on her appearance. "You look amazing..." a woman she could of sworn went to her High School called out. She nodded towards her.

"Thank you, so do you..." She wasn't sure where exactly she was headed to but everyone's eyes seemed to follow. This wasn't nearly as bad as she thought.

"So what do you want to do now?" Inuyasha whispered as he nodded at another congratulatory figure.

"I'm a bit thirsty..."

"say no more..." he said charmingly, he left her side instantly and out of nowhere she felt naked. Her smile disappeared and she took two steps towards him. He was off towards the banquet tables a yard or so away. She didn't mean for them to split up, she would have loved to accompany him. 'Take a hold on yourself Kagome you're acting like a drama queen...' she did just that taking a deep breath and mustering up a smile. A few people patted her gently on the shoulder complimenting and congratulating she just nodded happily. A vaguely familiar woman made it her way. It didn't take long for her to realize it was one of her teachers from High School, her name escaped her, and she tried to think back slowly on what it could be. Being alone without Inuyasha seemed to be a magnet for people wanting to catch up, because she noticed a couple more familiar faces making a B-line towards her. She kept the smile intact searching for a quick way to escape.

"Kagome..." someone called out to her side. She turned and instantly her stomach dropped. It was like a horror scene from high school. Her mind was replaying scenes from her dreaded past, four girls with the hem of their school skirts way too high, approaching her with hips swaying hair flowing. This time they wore miniature body clinging dresses, and there were three not four, but besides that, not much had changed. As soon as she saw them she began searching around for the fourth. It instantly reminded her that in any moment her sister would be here to steal the spot light and take her rightful spot in front of the trio. "Kagome..." They called again and she mustered a fake smile.

"Hey... Yurka...Ayumi, Eri..." she stuttered. "It's nice to see you guys again. It's been forever...I love your dresses." They looked down for a moment and back up at her. Yurka seemed to change the most, her hair was now a cropped short cut and she seemed to be taking Kikyo's position as the leader while she was away.

"Our dresses...yours is the amazing one." She complimented, and Kagome processed that, waiting to hear the double meaning in her words. She remembered sometimes they'd do that. Compliment her with what really was an insult. But this time she couldn't hear the backlash only the compliment...weird. "And your hair...wow...I wish I had grew mine out." hmm...that was odd as well she used to lead the parade of insults on how long and awful they thought her hair was.

"Uh...well thanks..." She mumbled and they continued to stare her down. She was about to turn away when Ayumi moved to her side. She still looked the same. Her wavy hair was in a loose ponytail. It was fairly long now almost Kagome's length but not quite. Her dark purple dress was so skimpy and short with cut outs at the waist cleavage and hips. Eri took the other position boxing her in. She took one step back trying to understand exactly what was happening. "Well it was nice seeing you guys again, but I really must be going..."

"Where...?" Eri asked suddenly and she just shrugged. "We should hit the DJ booth, have them play something decent..." Kagome raised a sudden eyebrow perplexed by what exactly was going on here. She knew she had nothing to be afraid of. they weren't planning on attacking her...right? She turned in her spot and quickly ducked away. She started in the opposite direction heading into the crowded masses. She was fairly sure she lost them but she quickly checked to be sure. They were on her tail walking as quickly as possible in heels on grass. "Hey wait up..." they called...

"Uh I really can't...I promised my mom I'd help her with something..." she lied as she quickly changed her step, going for the house instead.

"That's cool, we'd love to say hi to Mrs. H" One of them said and instantly with that Kagome knew what was going on. The compliments...the following...they were trying to abduct her into their group. They wanted her to replace Kikyo. She halted turning to face them. If that was so then did that mean her sister wasn't coming? Did that mean she had nothing to worry about? Her town was receiving her well and now even her enemies were trying to make nice. She hid the slight smile on her face, but she was actually winning. She had absolutely nothing to be afraid of. "Wow Kagome you are so fast...do you run, is that how you keep in such great shape?" Eri giggled putting two hands to her knees out of breath. Kagome smiled slightly, the clones were as simple as she always thought they were. Just perfect little robots agreeing and complimenting.

"Not really..."

"So it's natural...you're so lucky..."

"I guess...um...hey is my sister coming today?" She asked and all three of them looked to each other.

"Yeah she's supposed to be..." Ayumi said with a shrug. She had a look of someone remembering a disgusting past experience, "but to be honest with you...we don't hang out too much with your sister." Kagome widened her eyes a bit surprised.

"Yeah..." Yurka chimed in... "Ever since she got engaged she's been acting like she's too good. Always breaking plans and ordering us around...like we're supposed to be her bridesmaids but she's just treating us like her maid maids...you know what I mean?" She asked and Kagome just smiled as a response.

"So..." Eri sung happily... "We were hoping we could hang with you. If you need bridesmaids or anyone to do anything...and I mean anything you just let us know. I can give you my cell phone number...email...anything."

"Uh...um...I don't know guys. Have you talked to my sister about how you feel?"

"Ha...yeah right!" Ayumi snapped. "She'd just replace us in her wedding party...like she always says. 'Do you know how much rich fashion designers I can replace you guys with...' she mocked bringing her voice high and flicking her finger in the air. "She doesn't care about us. We're replaceable to her..." she shrugged. "She's rude anyway coming late like this to her own sister's engagement party, who does that. She's probably just trying to make a scene."

Kagome gazed down at the ground bellow. So she wasn't the only one who was fairly sure Kikyo was trying to make some sort of entrance. "You think so..." She mumbled...

"Think...more like know...any moment she'll be here wearing something skimpy, just trying to steal the show..." Yurka shook her head causing her bobbed cut to fly a bit over the ear. "Who does that to their own sister. She's so immature. Anyway...who cares about her. How are you and Inuyasha?"

"Yeah like how did you meet him?" Eri interrupted...

"Do you live in some huge villa out in the city...? Oooh how is he in bed...? He's so amazingly handsome. You're so lucky."

"Yeah I can't wait to see Kikyo's face when she sees him...he's so much better looking than Suikotsu?"

"Yeah totally...and richer too..." One of them said making all three breakout in laughter. Kagome stared at them she couldn't help but think for a second if this was how it felt to be popular. It was an immature thought but it did skim her mind slightly. She understood that she didn't totally like it, maybe it was because she didn't really care for these dimwitted girls, but if they were really on her side then she'd tolerate them. "You guys look really great together too...like celebrities. When we saw you we were like woah..." Eri said the other two nodded agreeing. They began a conversation amongst themselves out of that statement alone. Kagome just stared a bit bored before looking around at the crowd of people. Some were actually dancing others just talking. It reminded her instantly of Inuyasha. Where was he? He was probably looking for her, wondering where the hell she ran off to. She searched for him starting at the banquet table but he was nowhere to be found. She was about to skim off towards the right when she spotted someone she knew very well. Too well actually, she was staring at her with obvious fixation. When she returned the woman's stares she quickly looked away continuing the conversation she had been in.

The first thing running through Kagome's head was ' how could she do this?' Here she was back at home, dressed to the nines, at a party where her whole town had attended for her fake engagement, and not once did she think. 'Oh I should give my best friend in the whole world a call.' She couldn't even imagine what was running through Sango's head at the moment. The last time she talked to her was months ago, something that had to do with an excuse for why she couldn't make her sister's wedding, now she was back home and getting married to a business tycoon herself, and not just any business tycoon, but her boss...Inuyasha Takashi the one she told horror stories about all the time... there was no way Sango would believe it. And judging by the way she turned away at glance she didn't want to hear it either.

"Oh no...Sango..." She mumbled while ducking out of her current conversation with the clones. They barely noticed she was gone and when they did they quickly got in an organized trio behind her. "You guys don't have to follow me. I'm just saying hi to Sango." They seemed confused by the sentiment. "I'll be back..." That didn't stop them from trailing behind her at a distance as she navigated through the crowd of people.

She noticed Sango to the far right she had her medium length hair flowing and parted down the middle. A lot had changed since High School. She seemed taller her hair cropped perfectly at her shoulders. She was one of the only few people not over dressed. She wasn't wearing some mini cocktail dress or some formal floral spring garment. She had on a maxi blue and white striped tank dress. It was wonderfully fitted to cling on to her perfectly fit body. A wine glass sat loosely in her hands as she spoke casually to the same woman Kagome had almost ran into before her sister's clones intercepted her.

It was an older lady that she could have sworn was their teacher at some point. Her name escaped her and she hesitated just a moment to figure it out. When it didn't come to memory she pressed on meeting Sango at the side and waiting patiently for her current conversation to end. When she arrived Sango tensed up immediately and continued on conversing as if she hadn't noticed at all she was alive. The older woman on the other hand turned quickly ending her sentence and widening her smile. She seemed so motherly, plumply built with short graying hair. She grabbed Kagome's hand immediately. "How have you been?" She asked over enthusiastically. "I've been trying to get a word in with you since the party began, but you've been swarmed with people."

Kagome just nodded with a fake grin firmly planted in place. "Uh...I've been great and you?"

"The same just molding young minds.." She laughed in a particularly annoying yet familiar way. She was definitely one of her old teachers. "Anyway I have to say Kagome you look astonishing, the belle of the ball. Congrats on all your success...I know how hard you worked after High School." Her smile turned generally pleasant. There wasn't many people attending this party that would have given two shits about her success in school and her career. "Oh and your engagement as well...I hope you send an invite this way to your wedding..." She followed that up with a teasing laugh that instantly reminded Kagome of who she was. Her Sophomore English teacher, she lived right near the bakery in town and would stop students to mingle on their way home...Mrs. Wen was her name. She had changed considerably but not enough to be unrecognizable. Her laugh lasted longer than normal and she took that time to shift her glance over at Sango. She was currently staring right back at her. Giving her the run down from head to toe actually. She didn't seem too upset but it wasn't like Sango to wear her emotions on her sleeves. Mrs. Wen kept on for a moment longer but when she noticed the clones behind her she decided she needed to catch up with them as well. "I'll be seeing you around town..." She giggled and Kagome just nodded as she attached herself to another former student.

"That laugh...it's still the same..." Kagome mumbled towards Sango. Her arms were now crossed staring at her as if she was some sort of martian. "How's the shop?"

"Excuse me..." She asked narrowing eyes her way. "Do I know you?"

Kagome creased her eyebrows slightly, a bit hurt, but there was no doubting she deserved the sting. "Good one..."

"You're vaguely familiar, like a friend I used to know, but that would be impossible, because my friend died about six or so months ago..."

"Sango..."

"I mean I'm not entirely sure yet, but I haven't heard back from her in so long..."

"Okay I get it...I get it." Kagome said ending her rant. She walked quickly in front of her. "I know it's been awhile but a lot of things have happened its crazy."

"A lot...I'd say like you being engaged to your boss, just a few months ago he didn't even know you existed." Sango exclaimed and Kagome widened her eyes wanting to place a hand over her mouth so no one heard her. She didn't though instead she placed one finger to her lips. "And this get up...what's going on? Did you go to the mall or something and they offered you a free make over?"

Her questions stung like insults slightly but she sort of deserved it. In a perfect world Sango she'd hush her right now, grab her by the arm and try to explain everything. Rin, the business trip, Sesshomaru...everything, but there was no way of that. As sad as it was, Sango was apart of her old town, a part of her old life she was back to impress.

"No of course not...my mom did this..." Sango gave her another once over and sighed. "I know you're mad at me, and if I was you I'd be mad too..."

"Don't even get me started Kagome, I had to hear about all of this from people in town. Like some old loser gossiper. Were you really that mad at me about the Kikyo thing? It wasn't as if we became friends or anything...she just asked me one day to see if I could get you to go to the wedding...I didn't think you'd get this mad or..."

"Sango...Sango..." Kagome interrupted stopping her mid rant. "I'm not mad at you..."

"Then how come you haven't been calling? What's going on...I didn't even know you were in town. Kaede had to tell me. She said a week ago you came into your family's shop with a Takashi...I thought she had you confused with Kikyo or something...she said you changed." There was nothing she really could say to combat that. "I mean everyone's been buzzing about it for days now, talking about how you look just like your sister now and you're getting married too...I thought you weren't into the whole trapping a man thing...I thought you didn't even know how to trap a man. I couldn't believe all the rumors till now, I wasn't going to come but I had to see it with my own eyes. You were here for a week but you didn't even come into town to see me."

"I couldn't..." She lied quickly. "My mom wouldn't let me...she said I had to wait till this party to say hi to see everybody." It sounded like something her mom would say. She was all about the melodrama. The fib was so bullet proof that there was no way Sango could even poke a hole in the logic.

"Yeah but you didn't call either...I thought you were mad..."

"I'm not...like I said a lot happened, I've been busy..."

"Yeah busy trapping...I thought you didn't do that?" Sango came in real close to whisper a bit. "We used to make fun of women in town for that...what the hell are you doing?"

"I'm not trapping...I actually happen to be in a real relationship with him..." Sango seemed shocked by that. "And really I'm the same Kagome..." She didn't seem bought and Kagome really couldn't blame her for not believing fully. "I just look different..."

"Okay I can see that but that doesn't explain everything..." She shook her head rejecting the notion completely. "You have so much explaining to do..."

"Yeah I know and I'll explain just not here..." Sango nodded agreeing before setting her eyes behind her.

"But you have to explain why the clones are practically glued to you. What's up with that?" Kagome looked behind her back for a fragment of a second before wiping a frustrated hand over her face.

"It's a long story, but I can't get rid of them."

"Allow me..." She took a side step forward and called them over. They came rather quickly but they didn't seem too happy to be associating with the likes of her. "Hey girls you heard about the soccer game going on tonight."

"Yeah duh..." Eri said making the rest of them laugh obnoxiously.

"Well I over heard Hojo say he's going to need some cheerleaders for his team...he was about to ask the High School girls, but I told him no way, I know three girls who'd be so much better..." Ayumi squeaked and they all went into a riot of ecstatic. "You better go find him before he changes his mind."

"Kagome can we?" Ayumi asked quickly making her widened her eyes. Were they really asking her for permission?

"Uh...yeah of course." Another bout of screams and they were off, stocking the yard for any trace of the guys.

"Thanks for that...I don't even know how they function in the real world." Kagome mumbled.

"Yeah… except this town isn't the real world..." Sango said with a slight smile. It was the truest thing ever said but neither of them pondered it for a moment longer. "They actually do a lot better without your sister and when they're separated."

"That's good to know...uh...how's your family? I heard the shops doing well and..."

"Enough with the pleasantries Kagome...we really need to talk. We could do something tomorrow...Sundays are my days off."

She was about to add something in when all of a sudden there was a loud scream coming towards the front of the lawn. The whole yard had been filled with so many different noises it wasn't very hard to just mute out that particular one. It wasn't until she noticed Sango's eyes bulge did she decide to turn. The music cut off completely and the huddle crowd began running towards her.

"What the hell is going on?" Sango screamed. Everyone ran up and past them, some staying where they were. She was about to join the group of running people but Sango had other plans. She quickly grabbed her hand and ran in the opposite direction towards the house. She pushed her way through so many people it had Kagome's OCD on full throttle. She kept her other arm tightly beside her body as they weaseled by. It wasn't until they got near her patio did the crowd cease running and were instead gawking. Sitting in her back lawn inches away from her deck and stone patio was a black slick stretch hummer limo. It had successfully smashed through one of the banquet tables set up with hors d' oeuvres. Food went flying everywhere and several people were splattered with food from the crash.

"What's the meaning of this?" Her grandfather demanded from his spot on the patio. He made his way down towards the limo going for the driver's seat. He knocked on the windshield harshly demanding for whomever responsible to make an appearance. The first person out to his surprise was not the driver instead it was one of the many rear doors. A tall young man dressed to the nines in what looked like a designer black suit. He had a pair of dark shaded glasses and his hair slicked back with only two or three loose black tendrils out. He quickly whisked them away as he climbed out unbuttoning his suit coat and taking off his glasses. She knew exactly who it was without further notice. Her sister had just arrived and this was none other than Suikotsu.

She had never met him in person just online and in magazines. He was fairly handsome but of course that was a given. Her first reaction out of all of this was to hurry and find Inuyasha. She didn't know exactly why she felt compelled all of a sudden, but it was this strange territorial thing. Her sister was coming out in mere seconds and she had to stake what was hers. "Wow your sister has really outdone herself this time..." Sango mumbled crossing her arms unimpressed.

She tuned her out though turning around trying to find any flash of silver. He had to be around somewhere. It had been over an hour since she last saw him. Where was he? Her stomach started twisting...could she even face her sister without him? He was her security blanket, if her sister debunked her on everything she knew she could never find flaw in Inuyasha. Yet he was nowhere to be found. Their grandfather came around towards the back to properly greet his future grandson. They shook hands and said there hellos...

"I'm really sorry about...Kikyo insisted on driving here today, we took the back roads and the rest is history."

"Oh is that so..." Kagome's mother said loudly. She had just come out of the kitchen and was standing above on the deck. "Well she'll be sure to replant all my spring lilies she carelessly drove over."

"I'll be sure to let her know...if she ever gets out of the car..." Suikotsu said banging gently on the door. "How are you doing Misses H.? You are looking as radiant as ever."

"Oh please call me mom, and thank you so much, you're looking dapper yourself, so amazingly dressed." He stuck a charming smile on his face reserved only for kissing up.

"I'm terribly sorry we're late...you know how these things go." He took a moment to go around towards the driver seat. "Good evening everyone...I hope I didn't disturb your festivities." Kagome rolled her eyes hitting Sango gently on the arm.

"Festivities...who says that?" she scoffed.

"Suikotsu is so hot...you're sister doesn't deserve him..." she mumbled and Kagome followed that off with yet another scoff and a cross of her arms. He was okay at best...nothing more. The crowd responded with mix greetings his way as he opened the driver seat. It seemed like everyone was waiting for that more than anything else. Her mother had managed to get down the stairs finally; behind her were some of her old friends from around town and of course Kaede.

The door popped open and a solitary arm pushed out aiming towards him. "Didn't I tell you before I wasn't going to come out until you open the door...?" Her sister scolded. She meant it to be a whisper but Kikyo had absolutely no quieter level than that.

"Chivalry is dead princess..." Their grandfather said making a few people laugh slightly.

"Oh grandpa always kidding...hey Suikotsu, babe can you go to the back and get Kagome's gift out please?"

Her fiancé agreed heading to the trunk to pop out a large lavender wrapped box. He set it down just as she was dramatically getting out; she placed a bare leg out first before slowly and theatrically propping up from the driver's seat. As soon as she was up she turned to face everyone immediately with the smuggest look on her perfectly gorgeous face. The crowd broke out in murmurers and gossip while Kagome just stood in her spot her mouth wide open.

"Wow...you're sister has really out done herself this time..." Sango mumbled as she stared in obvious awe. Kikyo had on the smallest barley there black tube dress. It was formfitting and solid black in the back but as soon as she turned around everything was revealed. The fabric was sheer with just a solid zigzag grazing the bottom covering her private area cinching in her waist and covering the bare minimum of her breast. Everyone could tell she wasn't wearing a bra, the flesh from her breast were visible from the top and the bottom. The string of black underwear was also noticeable. She had on large round sunglasses and her perfectly layered brown hair was parted at the sides and just a tad bit past her shoulders.

"Wow...it's an amazing day for a garden party..." She said enthusiastically while placing two hands on her hips. She took a step forward and out of nowhere their mother came running down the stairs.

"Kikyo...What in heaven's name?" She said quickly yanking her daughter from view. "What are you wearing?"

"Its designer mom...you like? Snagged it right from the spring runway before its debut." She had her back away from her audience yet her words were clearly audible, although for the first time their mother lowered hers into a whisper. No one could hear anything she was hissing to her oldest child. Kikyo responded with something defiant and snatched her arm right out of her mother's grasp. "No way...this is what's in fashion."

"Kikyo..." Their mother growled before turning her back and heading quickly inside. Their grandfather seemed shocked at Kikyo's appearance but didn't respond. He usually didn't share his opinion about things like that. He did however follow his daughter up the patio and inside the house. Kikyo watched them go for a moment before turning forward. She walked towards everyone for a second as they came closer to say their hellos. Obviously Kagome was old news now, but that suited her well enough. The attention couldn't last but it was great when it was there. Kikyo had her fake cheery smile on but in reality she was only interested in one thing, scoping the room to spot her little sister and her new beau. She searched the yard for a moment not finding what she was looking for.

"Has anyone seen Kagome...I have a gift I want her to open now." She asked and everyone stopped their constant gawking and complimenting to talk about where they last seen her. Kagome obviously being amongst the crowd being ignored caught wind and quickly began backing away. She made it all the way to the outskirts over hearing people talking about her, filling her sister in on how different she looked, and how handsome Inuyasha had been. She could make out an annoyed eyebrow tick on her sister's face. It filled her with slight happiness and a self esteem boost. Not only did everyone in her town seem to be impressed with her physically but her sister seemed to be annoyed by that fact.

She plotted her next move. Instead of heading out further into the yard she'd duck around the house and run in from the front. If she was sneaky enough she might be able to creep into the stable and run off with Buyou. She had so much going on in her mind. Some of the perks of being O.C.D was she was never out of ideas. While her mind ran a mile a minute she continued to back away, creeping near some of the tables in the distance. There were actually some conversing people in the distance, they were mostly older. So not everyone in her town was completely enamored with her bratty older sister. They seem to be talking about what the rest were, but they had this air of superiority to them. She didn't have the time to diagnose it though. She had her own problems. As she got closer to the rear of the house, she decided to go for the stables. She'd sneak him off into the trails before riding him away. She didn't know when she'd return. Maybe she wouldn't? It was a crazy thought that she chased away immediately, but it was something she secretly wished to do. She had gotten so far and was so deep in thought that she didn't notice the group of men walking towards her from their family's lake.

She paused when she was safely behind a couple perfectly flowered trees. She could finally plan her next move; her O.C.D was at its worst. Her mind was half way involved in cleaning and sorting her environment even though she knew that it was a crazy notion. While the rest of her was trying to figure out what to do, how long could she vanish for, and what was she really so afraid of? She was so involved in thought while pacing back in forth she didn't notice the two figures who stopped right behind her, arms crossed just staring.

She felt as if she had come to her conclusion. First she couldn't possibly remove all the moss on the trees, and there was no way she could pick up the pretty pink petals off the ground. She had to take control of her O.C.D. Secondly it was alright that she had no plan. She had time to figure everything out. The Stables were a bit off in the distance, but she could make it. The crowd around her sister seemed extremely far at that point. She could be at ease. She turned deciding in only one action. Her mind was on that primarily until she spotted the two men giving her strange looks beside her.

Well one of them was giving her a strange look; the other looked extremely handsome with a mix of humor and confusion. As soon as she saw him it took her breath away and she all but launched herself on him. He was taken aback but he widened his arms to take her. "What happened...? I'm sorry I've been gone. Your brother stole me away to talk about this soccer game." Kagome paused after hearing that. Giving a side look to her younger brother standing beside them. They were both holding their tux blazers in their hands, their sleeves rolled up. Souta's pant legs were a bit stained. Were they just practicing? She backed up to give him a once over. He had no stains but he was a bit disheveled. That unnerved her a bit because for a slight second the only thing that filled her mind was rather in his present condition could Inuyasha rival Suikotsu? It was the shallowest thought she ever entertained and she tried to ignore it.

"Wait...you're really playing in the game?" Kagome whispered pulling away from him a bit. He had once again forgotten how much he loved her for a moment, until he saw her pacing back and forth. Was it crazy that he had now fallen in love with her crazy quips too? He actually felt a bit sad when she let him go. She had a look on her face of astonishment.

He paused for a moment. Something that differentiated Kagome from any other girl he's ever been involved with was the fact that he actually really cared about her opinion. But the ironic significance in that was Kagome was very reluctant to share it. She sometimes seemed to be very upset by something, but she'd do her best to just cover it up. He could see she was a little bothered at the moment, but he wanted to see how far she'd go to appease him "Yeah, you remember...we discussed it. I was just practicing a bit with the team."

"Um...yeah, that's right." She mumbled and he could already tell that she wasn't going to get down to the real issue. Obviously the idea that he might even be considering to play tonight now bothered her. Why? He had no idea, she seemed happy about it earlier. "I'm glad you're having fun..." She said a slight smile reappearing on her face.

She was now recalling that he had agreed earlier to play in the soccer game, but she was feeling a bit resentful. Why did him playing in a soccer game mean she had to be abandoned throughout a majority of the party? Was that selfish of her to be upset about that? She wasn't sure, but she wasn't about to ponder it either. "Yeah... you could call it fun..." He joked. They had pantomimed some moves, but the rest of the game was filled with Souta trying to convince him to do outlandish plays. Something he didn't have the skill to accomplish, but now that he thought back to it, he had to admit...it was a bit fun. But because he felt like it bothered Kagome to admit that he decided he'd hide it.

"What's going on back at the party? What are you doing up here?" Souta asked interrupting her conversation with Inuyasha.

"Nothing..." She said quickly. "It's none of your business...and if I find out you are doing wages I'll tell mom." Souta threw her a look. He seemed surprised and so was Inuyasha. It was uncharacteristic of Kagome to snap unprovoked or without hesitation.

"We're not..."

"Good...Kikyo's here...go say hi." She instructed and he seemed disappointed to hear that, but he was also uncharacteristically obedient, and he hurried down the yard, pushing on his tux coat. She turned back to face Inuyasha a slight smile back on her lips. "So you guys in good shape?"

He was so confused by her quickly shifting attitude but he knew it confirmed she was a little upset. "Yeah...if we lose it'll probably be my fault. This town is filled with some serious soccer players...so your sister's here?" He saw the slight distress on her face and suddenly everything began making sense. "How is she?"

"Um..." she was thinking of lying. Saying she was fine, but she couldn't bring herself to. "She's good...she's fine, happy...but I wouldn't know personally, because I haven't been able to speak to her." He lifted an eyebrow finding that exceptionally odd.

"Wow why is that?"

"Uh...just because of the hysteria...you know...a lot of things going on. She just wanted to say hi to her friends first..." She lied and he knew it. She wasn't good at lying. If he had to guess, she probably rolled in and Kagome panicked and ran, he felt guilty...as if he should have been there to stop her or at least calm her.

"Oh...well I guess we should head down there...say hi..."

"Or..." she interrupted walking away from him. She smiled widely beautifully reminding him of how perfect she was. Her long straight black hair swaying as she walked farther down her family's yard. "We could head down to the lake and see just how good you are at soccer?" She said and he smiled. As much as he'd love to be alone with her away from everyone. Actually speak to her; she had been so distant lately. Maybe they could even dip in about their intimacy issues. What would she do in order to get away from seeing her older sister again? He thought about that for a second as she turned waiting for him. "Come on...is the ball still there?"

"Yeah...but Kagome...I think we should really do this?" She paused a little taken aback at that?

"What do you mean...my sister will be there when we get back...?" He shook his head and a little bit of that panic came back. "Why do you want to see her so badly?" She whispered looking down at her heels. Her heart thumping, she could remember that vision she had not too long ago. What if he fell for Kikyo...what if she had that in her plans...it was definitely a thing Kikyo would do...right?

"What?" He asked confused...He didn't understand the real extent of the question, but he could sense a bit of animosity...and she was hurt as well. How was that possible, he was so confused. "What have I done now...?" He asked feeling some of his own frustrations come out. He was at a breaking point with her. The distance they've had for a few days now, was taking its toll. And as much as he wanted to dial it down, not reduce it to something just physical he wasn't use to this type of frustration. Wanting to be intimate with one woman so badly but not being able to. But he told himself that although he was guilty about that one simple fact, it was more than that.

She looked up at him in shock a hand dug into his black slacks. The other one holding on to his tux coat. He waited in total silence. He seemed so frustrated and it hurt her to know she was the one that was causing this type of pain. He seemed so different than the Mr. Takashi from the office. Especially now because there was genuine pain behind his frustration. She thought about his question for a moment and she realized in that moment how impossible she was being. She cuffed her hands together..."It's not you...I'm sorry." She whispered. He took a step forward and she backed away, all she wanted to do was run, but something was telling her it would be the worst move at this point. Maybe she needed to be as honest as possible. "It's not you...I just...I can't go down there." She admitted and automatically some of his pint up anger vanished.

He stared at her as she tried to divert her eyes anywhere. She looked out towards the crowd, they were dispersing and it wouldn't be long before she was spotted. The idea made her stomach twist and she shifted her eyes up at Inuyasha again. He was taking a few steps towards her. That crazy butterfly feeling filled her stomach again, but it was just in addition to the rest of her ricocheting emotions. "Kagome listen...I'm sorry...I didn't..."

"Why are you apologizing...you did nothing wrong." She said with a shrug. She stared forward at the crowd ahead. What the hell was wrong with her? Why was she always running from something? When was she going to stand her ground and face her fears? She wasn't referring to the situation with her family or even her sister only. She meant everything...when was she going to face the fears in this new relationship she was in. She wanted it so badly. He was beyond perfect... and if she couldn't stand up to her sister now, then what was this all for? Why was she even here, what had changed? Her physical appearance? If that was the case she should have stayed at home, because she wasn't ready. She was 23 and she was still not ready for a relationship? Still not ready to face her sister and family. She took a deep breath fighting that ultimate O.C.D craving. That tick telling her that it was about time she took another dose of medication.

Inuyasha was staring at her just analyzing the complexities running through her gorgeous face. He felt bad and he wasn't sure why, but that was the thing with Kagome. He never felt so much compassion for the pain of someone else before. Even though he didn't understand why she let some things effect her so much sometimes he still felt bad that it did. He took a moment to let her think things through. He realized that about her, she lived a lot in her own mind. Just pacing and trying to plan her next move. He allowed her to play with a silver bracelet on her arm then with the engagement ring he gave her. She was slowly sliding it on and off three times before pausing and doing it again. After awhile she turned to face him throwing a slight smile his way. "I have to go out there?" She mumbled and he didn't respond he just stared at her. "Can you come with me?"

He widened his eyes slightly before closing the space quickly between them. "Kagome of course...I'm sorry I was gone for so long..."

"No...No...You're fine. It's okay" He put a hand on her shoulder before gripping her chin gently. Her butterflies took over again. It seemed to be automatic every time he put his hands on her. She rested a hand gently on his forearm as he softly caressed the center of her chin. A soft smile lighting up his face, she was making complete eye contact with him and he saw himself get lost in her dark blue eyes. He didn't waste any more time before bending over and capturing her lips. It seemed like forever since the last time he kissed her and like always it transported him somewhere new. His eyes drifted close and he leaned forward when she tried to deepen the kiss to the best of her ability. The moment seemed to last forever until he finally came up for air relaxing his forehead comfortably on hers.

She put two hands on his button down shirt. Straightening it slightly and unbuttoning a few of his buttons. He smiled allowing her to button it up again compulsively. "I guess we have to go down there..." She said sliding up to his tie and tightening it slightly.

"Yeah we do..." He put a hand to his collar fixing it slightly. "One of these days I'd like to see you undo some clothes." He joked and almost immediately her face turned red. She dropped his tie and grabbed hold of her hands intertwining them together shyly. "So I'm guessing we should head down there so I can meet that sister of yours." He took a step back and began pulling on his tux coat. She watched him for a moment as he tried to make himself presentable again.

"You look really handsome..." She said stepping forward again and he smiled slightly.

"Yeah your brother went crazy on the field but I thought to tone it down a bit." She nodded slightly in acknowledgement. Her stomach was going crazy again and she was trying to simmer her emotions. What could her older sister really do? She was so in her thoughts she didn't notice the comforting hand he threw around her. "You ready?" He asked looking down at his watch. She jumped slightly. "I don't know your sister…but…" he hesitated slightly just trying to find the right words to say at the moment. "But…you'll be fine. I'm not sure what you're nervous about but I feel as if the worst has been done. I mean you've seen your family again…your town…"

"Yeah you're right…" She whispered and she let what he said play through her head as they started down the yard. He took his arm down and fixed his suit instead. She wasn't too bothered by the lost warmth her mind was focused on other things. He was sort of right. Of course he didn't know his sister, so he couldn't accurately say the worst had been done, she was the worst. Well at least that's how it seemed at times, but he was absolutely right about meeting her town and her family…that was over with. She had even faced Sango again. She had one challenge left and who was to say she wouldn't pass that with flying colors. A slight smile graced her lips although her butterflies leaped with every step.

After awhile she could make out her sister in the distance. She was leaning against her hummer limo just entertaining the masses. "Whose limo?" Inuyasha asked and she was suddenly awoken from her silent concentration. "Somebody brought a new Hummer limo down these back roads?" He asked himself mostly. Kagome already knew that the sentiment was significant, but she didn't know much about cars so she didn't have a response. He was walking faster with the total intent to scope out the vehicle. She could see it in his facial expression. "I wonder who drove it in…" he mumbled… "The handle must have been something." She grabbed his hand quickly yet gently so he didn't leave her side entirely. The action had him slowing down but he hadn't lost interest.

"My sister brought it in." She said and he looked down slightly. "I'm sure after we meet her Suikotsu won't have a problem with letting you have a look around." He nodded a bit sliding a hand on her waist he completely understood what she was getting at and it was one of those rare moment where Kagome acted out of character that had him almost entirely sure that there was so much more to her then what she led on. Something told him that he'd see all of her eventually. It made him a little less frustrated about their intimate lives…just a little less.

"Of course…" he agreed. How long would it take for his own personality to completely come out? He definitely wasn't as patient and caring to most as he was to Kagome. She smiled a bit but it was just to reassure more than anything else. He was about to say something else when he spotted a girl jogging slightly towards them. She was about Kagome's height her hair medium length and a deep brown. She had a sporty looking striped blue and white dress on that suited her figure very well, but she seemed out of place amongst everyone's upscale garden party attire. Kagome didn't notice her running their way till it was too late. She grabbed hold of Kagome and almost yanked her off of his arm.

"Where have you been?" She demanded and Kagome would've fallen to the side if it wasn't for quick thinking on his part. He caught her with one arm before she fumbled. "Your sister and your mom have been asking for you like crazy. I take one little glimpse to my right and you literally disappear." She explained dramatically. She waited for Kagome to reply for a moment before glimpsing up at him. Her face lost color momentarily and he had no idea why.

"Hi I'm Inuyasha…" She didn't take a step forward or even introduce herself she just stared. Kagome quickly exchanged looks between them knowing exactly what was going on. It wasn't like Sango to be shocked still by anything not even a guy. She was usually so confident and opinionated, but Inuyasha wasn't just any guy and it didn't matter that he was out in the sun going over plays with Souta, he was still strikingly handsome. And well known in their town, almost celebrity status. He lowered his arm down slowly and Kagome sensing Sango's discomfort intervened.

"Inuyasha this is Sango my best friend growing up." She said and he seemed slightly shocked by that. Just slightly, his eyebrows went up and his mouth gaped handsomely as if he was being taken off guard yet managed to recover. He was trying to run through his mind any mentioning of a child hood best friend. It didn't take him long to realize that Kagome didn't talk much about her life growing up let alone any significant friendship, so he didn't have to be upset that he didn't recall her or stumble trying to say something relatable. He simply wasn't given the information to do so. If he had to somehow describe beforehand how he imagined a childhood friend of Kagome's to look it wouldn't be Sango. Just like most things in this weird town she was more impressive than he'd envision. Much more attractive and put together she leaned forward hesitantly and shook his hand.

"Good day Mr. Takashi" she said almost as if he was 20 years or so her senior. She let her eyes linger on him for awhile longer before focusing them back on Kagome. "Your sister is looking for you…" She mumbled and Kagome nodded.

"I know I'm headed over there." Sango smiled slightly and began fixing Kagomes hair making sure she looked presentable. "Thank you Sango…" she mumbled as took a step away from her. Sango seemed to take the hint because she let her eyes wonder back to Inuyasha. It was such a weird exchange it was almost as if she didn't want to acknowledge him. He wouldn't say she held any animosity towards him, but he knew she held some sort of ingrained opinion. Whatever it was she didn't feel as if he deserved much more of an introduction from her.

"Okay good luck…" Kagome nodded and turned her back to continue down the yard.

"I'm sorry about that. It's been awhile since I've seen my sister." She said as an excuse. He just nodded she was chalked full of excuses but right now wasn't the time to get into it. He ran a hand through his tie making sure it was in place. He fixed his cuffs as they approached the crowd. It was crazy how everyone turned to crane their head when they walked through. It was almost as if Kagome seeing her sister again was a big deal. Sango walked a few paces behind them he could sense her. Making sure not to follow too closely, why were they acting so weird? As they got closer he made out the hummer closer, on top sat a woman and he could only assume it was Kagome's sister. Who else could it possibly be? As soon as they approached from the distance she focused her eyes on them. He knew she couldn't make them out but he could tell she was trying very hard. The way the crowd dispersed slightly allowing them to make their way through told him that this was one of Kagome's town's weird antics. And as soon as they made it close enough that he could make out the woman on the car he put an arm around Kagome, because he knew she must have been agitated. If he cared at all about the situation he would have been too.

Kagome's sister was definitely something. He could understand why her town seemed to make a big deal over her, yet she didn't do much for him. She sat on the roof of the hummer which he could make out was parked askew almost as if it was about to run into their home but was stopped abruptly. She was gorgeous with medium to short deep brown hair. He could see the resemblance between her and their mother immediately. She was honestly a younger version with her sun kissed skin and bright brown eyes. She sat with her legs dangling in what looked almost like a fancy bathing suit to him. Cut outs were everywhere and she was by far the most overdressed/underdressed person at the party, and that was saying something. Even with all her theatrics, what he could tell was an amazing body, her barely there dress, the smug smile on her beautiful face. She didn't do much for him and she didn't shock him either. She was a dime a dozen in the city honestly and she reminded him of most of the girls he had dated in the past.

On her side leaning on the hummer talking to a few of the men Inuyasha now knew were participating in the soccer game. Was a man dressed in a designer suit. Holding a soccer ball and entertaining the crowd nonstop with some charming spiel. Inuyasha didn't recognize him at all and he honestly wasn't that taken aback by him either. But as soon as Suikotsu caught wind of him he stopped talking to stare their way in shock. He said something that not even Inuyasha could catch but whatever it was caused Kikyo to quickly grab hold of her fiancé's shoulder and scold him. Souta responded making his sister roll his eyes. He pushed his way out of the crowd and jogged over to them. Inuyasha received him well releasing Kagome quickly. "What year is that Hummer?" He asked immediately.

Souta turned around to glimpse at it then shrugged. "I don't know cars."

He placed two hands in his pockets stopping in his spot and whistling slightly. "It's a beaute." He mumbled and he was surprised to feel a sharp slap on his arm to his right. He turned around looking down at a nerve racked yet obviously annoyed Kagome. "What?" he asked and as surprising as it might be she actually rolled her eyes and continued forward without him.

Souta laughed. "So Suikotsu is talking shit about tonight's game. You're ready right?"

"Suikotsu?" Inuyasha asked his eyes following Kagome. Sango had taken his spot by her side and he already knew that meant she'd be upset with him. It was odd to think he could get Kagome upset it was rare, and although he should have been frustrated at knowing this, he wasn't at all. He was more surprised and a little intrigued.

"Yeah…" Souta said as if this should have been a known thing. "My sister's fiancé…you know…Round Industries…?" Inuyasha looked towards the man but still no memory came up. Although he was very familiar with Round industries. Takashi Corporation had bought out a major part of it early on. "Well he says he knows you."

"A lot of people know me…" Inuyasha mumbled walking away from him abruptly. Souta rolled his eyes before turning around and following him down towards the Hummer.

"Well he said he knows you personally…"

"That's nice…" He glimpsed at his own fake fiancée. Sango was leaning towards her and whispering pleasantries as they walked closer to the patio. As they approached the hummer her sister jumped off gracefully from the roof of the hummer. Landing heels and all in the inside of the rear of the car leaning easily on the open door, from there she stepped down from the car completely. She had a know it all smile on her beautiful face. She looked nothing like her younger sister and as she walked pass the crowd to meet them, her fiancé behind her, she oozed sexuality and although there were no immediate similarities, Souta somehow bridged the gap. He shared enough similar features between both of them that it was apparent that this was in fact three siblings.

Kikyo stopped somewhere in the middle hip swung to the side arms crossed. Her entire body on display, she had a knowing smile gracing her face. An eyebrow up and eyes slightly narrowed. She was not once deterred by her sister's approaching form, not at all phased by Sango's comforting presence, and she didn't even flinch when the band of three skimpy dressed girls from the start of the party lined up beside Kagome. Inuyasha Vaguely remembered Kagome's referring to them as 'her sister's friends at the start of the party.' The only time Kikyo seemed to lose her intimidating cool was when Inuyasha took Kagome's side and stepped forward. He stuck a lone hand out, and even though she had been staring at him from her throne on top of the hummer, Even though she had prepared herself mentally for this precise moment, and even though her own fiancé stood just as regal by her side she was still taken completely off guard by Inuyasha's presence. She faltered ever so lightly and she felt the immediate compulsion to spat out an insult but she had to remain cool and centered.

She fixed herself quickly and stepped forward taking his hand. He had that charming smile on his face as they greeted. She felt a spark immediately when her brown eyes met his golden ones. Him not so much…he wasn't impressed at all by her antics and his mind was completely immersed with thoughts of Kagome. He released her hand quickly although she lingered making her lose her footing and stumble. Sango chuckled knowing exactly why the ever so perfect Kikyo almost fell to the ground. Kagome was slightly aware too and she smiled as she looked elsewhere all her nerves fading immediately. Confidence took their place. Inuyasha quickly shook Suikotsu's hand as well and he seemed very happy to be engaging with him. He immediately jumped in on some event that happened a few years back that Inuyasha could hardly recall. Kikyo had to politely put a hand on his shoulder signing him to stop.

"So Kagome…" She said loudly. It obviously made some of the nerves come up again. "You look different. I see you like rummaging through my old clothes. Isn't that my dress…?" Sango stepped forward obviously wanting to defend her best friend like old times.

To all of their shock Kagome stepped forward as well coming to stiffly hug and kiss her sister. "Hello Kikyo, how are you?" She asked and it took her sister off guard a bit. "Congratulations on the wedding…that's amazing…" Kikyo just rolled her eyes ever so slightly. Kagome didn't seem fazed though. She left her sisters side to greet her soon to be brother in law. "Hello Suikotsu it's nice to finally meet you. You look dapper…"

He tore his eyes off of Inuyasha for a moment to gaze at Kagome. A flash of something ran through his eyes. Inuyasha watched so very closely. As crazy as it seemed he wanted to be entirely sure Kagome was telling the truth about her relationship with her sister's fiancé, although it was very apparent she was. Obviously this was thier first time meeting. But what was even more apparent was Suikotsu's attraction to Kagome on eye view alone. It was such a subtle move that maybe only Inuyasha caught… but he seemed shocked, enamored, frozen then came back to his senses with a clear of his throat. He met her quickly to shake her hand.

"The pleasure is all mine honestly, thank you, and you look stunning yourself. Beauty runs deep in this family I see…"

"Oh Suikotsu stop…" Kikyo said immediatly hitting him rather hard on the arm, she had the fakest smile posted on her full lips and she spoke through gritted teeth. "It's nice seeing you again Sango…"

"It sure is…" Sango mused but everyone knew Kikyo was obviously not getting her way and was craving a way to ruin someone's disposition. She couldn't target her sister at the moment like she planned too. She looked immaculate. Her hair was still freakishly long and she felt like saying something about it as they approached but close up she could see how suiting it truly was. She looked amazing, stunning really, and she wasn't entirely prepared for this. She needed a new strategy her mind was running a mile a minute.

"You obviously didn't get the memo. This is an engagement party…why are you dressed like a barn keep?"

"Kikyo…" Suikotsu said in complete shock. Souta snickered off to the side and Inuyasha was only marginally shocked by the exchange. Why did Kagome's sister seem just like the type to say something so rude? Did he find the interaction humorous….just a bit, although in his opinion Sango seemed to be the most appropriate dressed amongst all of them?

"Did you get the memo?" Sango asked making Kikyo tip her head to the side waiting for the insult. "Who comes to their sister's engagement party hours late…in that…?" She moved a hand up and down insinuating Kikyo's dress. She just smiled wickedly before turning dramatically and walking away, she only stopped for a moment to look towards the clones that assembled behind Kagome.

"I'm going to go say hi to mom..." She said as a sudden excuse to leave. The clones didn't move..."What are you guys her brides maids now?" She asked momentarily. They only halted for a moment before catching the hint and spinelessly leaving Kagome's side and rushing to assemble behind Kikyo.

"Wow what a shocker…" Sango scoffed as they walked away. "I hate your sister! I hate her…" She hissed and another piece of the puzzle came falling in. Inuyasha said nothing he just watched as Sango tried desperately to bridge the gap between what just happened and what she desperately needed to happen. The crowd was mumbling ever so gently and she was obviously embarrassed. It seemed like a scenario that took place a lot…he could already see it. Kikyo flaunting around and spewing out half witted insults towards the two of them, and Sango running to their defense. No matter how cunning or accurate Sango's comeback was, Kikyo always had the upper hand because for some odd reason their town cherished her. Now they were confused though. Kagome was back new and approved…which Higurashi sister were they for now?

"Don't let her get under your skin…relax." Kagome whispered gently. Although it was easy for her to say, she wasn't just humiliated in front of their whole town.

"She shouldn't have come here dressed like a bimbo late…and did you see how she drove that limo? She did that that on purpose!" Sango spewed…Kagome signed slightly before glancing up at Inuyasha. He looked away quickly, pretending he couldn't hear a word. Souta was beside them listening fully but he also stared forward. Kikyo was already back at the patio, climbing the stairs to their house. No one could make out what she was saying, but they could only imagine she was barking orders to the clones. Behind them was her fiancé the newest member of the clone tribe talking to a few men as he followed his fiancé. Inuyasha had the strangest feeling come over him immediately. He knew automatically this whole situation got a lot more difficult by the addition of both Kagome's sister and fiancé. There was a quiet competition going on, and although he normally wouldn't give two shits. He had to now…he had to come out on top to Kagome's weird town. It was idiotic but he knew it to be true. "I'm going home…" Sango said breaking Inuyasha of his small trance…

"Really Sango, you can't…" They were all using hush voices and when Sango walked away from the masses quickly and with purposes Kagome followed too. He had the immediate urge to follow them, but Souta stopped him quickly.

"Let's go practice more plays…we have to beat Suikotsu tonight." Souta reiterated for the umpteenth time that day alone. For the first time Inuyasha was beginning to realize how true that sentiment was. "Don't tell anyone but grandpa has a lot of money on us, and when he finds out how much Suikotsu is putting down, he's going to up it...we can't afford to lose that kind of money…"

"How much…" Inuyasha asked interrupting him mid rant. Souta sighed dramatically before closing the space between them. "Whatever it is I'll double it…" He said quickly turning around to head towards Kagome's distant form. He had been so caught up in piecing together his relationship with Kagome and her relationship with her weird town that he forgot a fundamental fact. This was sort of a game, a competition really. There was a reason he was here pretending to be Kagome's fiancé….he lost sight of that. He felt the need to ensure she got the upper hand in the eyes of her town, her mother, and her sister...he had to ensure that at all times.

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A/N: Hello I know it's been awhile. And honestly there's no excuse because this chapter sat in my computer for awhile. I just recently added to it, but I am back, and with vengeance. I plan on finishing my stories this time around! I will create a schedule and deadlines on when to expect new chapters. I will just be updating Perfect Date and Frenemies for now. So if there is any other story you desperately want updated as well, please let me know so I can work it into my schedule. Thank you for all who have stuck by me even through my absence!