AN: This explanation is for anyone that's worried about Rin becoming a concubine. I'm pulling from a little bit of history here, up until about a hundred years ago, women had next to no power over their own lives and, in the vast majority of situations, the only ones that did were women in situations similar to Rin's. For example, the only women in the surviving ancient historical records of Greece, that were ever described by name and not just worth in goods, were heretas. These were women of entertainment and not always of a sexual nature. Courtesans, concubines, and geisha are some of the only women of history that were educated and given an amount of freedom over their lives. One concubine in China actually became the ruler of a state. They were not whores. Common prostitutes are not choosy about who they share their beds with, where those mentioned above stuck to a select few or just one man. They were, in return for their sought after companionship, given a life of luxury and security that few others had ever known. Also, until recently, marriage was commonly used as a financial or social contract. Love had nothing to do with it and was commonly found outside the marriage bed. I'm not trying to give you a history lesson but just trying to make a clear distinction between a whore and a concubine. Also keep in mind that one of my main focuses in this fic has been to keep Sess and Rin in character as much as possible. Wow, sorry for the long note but I hope this clears up where I'm coming from with this particular fic. Now go and enjoy the update!

Warning: Double lemon contained within! (for those of you saddened by the loss in the last chap)

Chapter 8

Gaining Courage

Rin cried out and tightly shut her eyes as his talented mouth eagerly sent jolt after jolt of gasping pleasure through the young woman's body. Her small hands grasped at the fine silk bedding as the sensations almost became unbearable, mounting towards something she was becoming more and more familiar with as the days flowed by.

Sesshoumaru growled deep in his throat, knowing that the vibration would only add another level of sensation to the already writhing creature on which he was feasting. He slid a single digit inside her drenched sex, curling it up slightly and was immensely pleased with himself when he felt her walls convulse several times around his finger. Her breathless, half screamed moan made for a nice little bonus as her body tensed with the intensity of her release.

He looked up her body to see her head thrown back slightly with eyes closed tight. Sliding his wet digit out of her, he slowly nipped his way up her still slightly shaking body, paying extra attention to her flushed breasts that heaved with each panting breath. When his eyes came level to hers, he stopped and waited for those chocolate orbs to reopen. He was quickly rewarded as she gazed up at him with a glazed over, slightly sleepy expression.

Rin opened her eyes to find her lord staring down at her intently. She couldn't help but smile at what she saw. Her lord actually looked...happy. It wasn't that he was laughing or smiling but there was something added to his normally cold expression. Something she had never seen before today.

She suddenly realized something and found herself amazed by her own convoluted emotions. How could she feel so dejected and uncertain when around Jaken but then so content when he touched her? And it wasn't due simply to the acts he performed on her either or the pleasure they brought, those were fleeting, but this...this moment right now filled her so much unexplainable warmth. It was something that only seemed to diminish when he wasn't around or more pointedly, when Jaken was. In that hazed moment of perfection, Rin did something she'd never done before.

She touched him.

It wasn't anything more than lightly reaching up to run her fingers over the delicate looking strips that adorned his cheeks, however; she knew the moment she did it that the simple act had a profound effect on the creature above her as he closed his eyes and slightly knitted his brow.

Sesshoumaru was surprised at the shiver that ran down his spine when she touched him. It wasn't a sexual sensation but it was filled with such unadulterated warmth that it made him hungry for more. There was no intent in the touch, no intrigue, and it had absolutely no desire to take anything more from him except this one touch. It was given freely and that was something he had not experienced in a very long time. So long in fact, that he had completely forgotten what it felt like but now that he remembered, he knew for a fact that he would crave it for the rest of his life.

He brought his hand up to press her still tentatively touching one against his cheek. He then held it there and turned his head to press a light kiss to her palm. Rin was absolutely fascinated by the action and was about to ask him what a concubine was when her stomach gurgled embarrassingly loud.

Sesshoumaru almost smirked as her face quickly turned a rather interesting shade of crimson and her eyes shot toward the offending party.

"Hungry?" He asked, allowing a slightly amused toned to enter his voice as his eyebrow arched gracefully in accompaniment to this question.

She pulled her hand from his cheek and both her hands rushed to cover the organ that had just embarrassingly betrayed her, as though the action would cease any further revolts. It didn't do any good as a second, even louder, far longer growl emanated from the same region.

This time he did allow a tiny smirk to appear as she now turned an impossibly darker shade of red.

"Come," he said while standing and pulling the partially clothed human to her feet, "dinner waits for us."

For a moment, she just stared at her lord in abject astonishment. She had never been asked to dine with him, in fact, she had never even seen him eat. The only time in her life that anything even remotely similar to this had ever come up was when she had offered him fish as a little girl all those years ago.

"Do you wish to eat?" He asked, still amused by her shy and awed reactions.

"Y-yes my lord." She barely managed out. Rin hastily pulled herself and her garments together and then trotted over to the door where he was already waiting for her, having only had to straighten his cloths. They walked for a moment in halls that Rin had never been down when she finally built up the courage to speak.

"You didn't want to..." but she was at al loss for words. She didn't even know the name of the act to which she was referring.

He turned his head to look at her as they walked, "Perhaps later." He answered easily and then added, "Did you wish to?"

Rin's eyes went wide and she blushed slightly. "Well, I..." She hadn't asked the question with that intent. She had just been confused about why he would give her pleasure while not taking his own. She had thought that was what he wanted to do when he picked her up and took her to the bed but then he'd just stopped and declared it was time to eat.

"I just thought that was what you wished to do my lord."


"What?" She asked on reflex.

"When we are alone, you will address me simply as Sesshoumaru but just when we are alone."

Rin just nodded her head at that one, not sure if she would be comfortable with such a task. In fact, his original request of placing his organ inside of her had filled her with less trepidation that this new, unimaginable request.

They walked along in relative silence for a moment longer before Sesshoumaru once again spoke.

"I did."

Again, she asked on reflex, "Did what?"

"Wish to take you." He answered evenly enough. "But it was obvious that you were hungry."

`OHHH' Rin mouthed without sound, even more confused than before. He was putting off something he wished to do just because she, little `ol human Rin, was a little pekish? She wasn't sure if she could handle many more unexpected gestures from this creature she thought she knew.

Again they walked along in, what for Rin was, a rather uncomfortable silence. It was funny. That silence between the two of them would ever be uncomfortable. After all, they had probably spoken less than a hundred separate words to one another in a decade. The idea of uncomfortable silences seemed more than just a little ironic.

Finally, Rin could not take the silence or her curiosity any longer.

"My lord, what is a concubine?"

Sesshoumaru answered the question as casually as others would have answered a question about the weather. "A female that I desire to have near me." It was a simple declaration but it had profound effects on both of the occupants of that hallway.

For Rin, it was slightly confusing. As far as she knew, she had always been female and had been near him for the majority of her life. Had she always been a concubine then? She wasn't sure but the answer left her unsatisfied. Despite that, she didn't even imagine asking for further clarification. She had already asked so many today that she feared she was soon going to approach the level of annoying that Jaken staked claim to long ago. That was unacceptable and the image her mind's eye created of Sesshoumaru stepping on her as though she wasn't there or of having small rocks hurled quite accurately at her head made her shiver. Rin straightened and resolved to ask no more questions of him this day.

The youkai walking next to her was also engaging in a rather large amount of one-way mental discussion. He had admitted that so easily, that he wished to be near her. Is that why he had always taken her on patrol despite the fact that it slowed them down a great deal? He had decided not too long after taking her sexually the first time that he would bestow this title, that so many others had yearned for, on his Rin. It had been a surprisingly easy decision. She was loyal and disciplined. She had proven to be exceedingly pleasing during the rut and was pleasant to both look upon and to scent. And though all those things now obviously pointed to the fact that he enjoyed her presence, that specific avenue of thought had only just now crossed his mind.

Curious and not unpleasant at all.

They finally came to stop at yet another set of new doors for the young woman. Sesshoumaru again stopped and Rin was quick to realize that she was expected to once again open the door. She slid it back and was immediately hit with the most delicious aromas. Sesshoumaru stepped past her and into his personal dining room. It, like the rest of this part of the castle, was filled with beautiful and carefully chosen decorations and accents. The walls were again lined with painstakingly decorated silks but also, much to Rin's delight, there were large potted cherry trees that were blooming as gloriously as their outdoor cousins.

Rin entered the room and slid the door behind her. She turned to find Sesshoumaru easily seating himself at the large, low set table in the center of the room on a large, soft pillow. He motioned for her to sit next to him and she easily but somewhat shyly complied. The moment she was situated, the owners of the wondrous smells made their appearance. Several servants began bringing in a variety dishes for both Sesshoumaru and Rin. She had never seen so much food and soon realized that it would take her several weeks to eat the volume that they were now bringing out to the table.

The second thing she took note in as they began setting the dishes down, was the obvious difference between the foods she assumed were meant for her and the ones meant for her lord. Hers were all steaming and filled with a variety of meats and vegetables, all sitting in rice or noodles and covered in a variety of sauces and spices. The ones that she believed were intended for Lord Sesshoumaru were all uncooked and seemed to only contain different types of meat. They were not just hunks of meat either but were prepared; it seemed, with just as much care as the dishes that were meant for her. There were cutlets and fillets of fish, as well as boneless steaks of what looked like venison or some other type of wild game. Not to mention all the meats that she simply couldn't identify; undoubtedly various kinds of lower youkai.

Once everything had been set out and all the servants departed, Sesshoumaru picked up his chopsticks and looked to Rin in silent understanding that they could now eat. Hesitantly, she picked hers up as well and sampled some of the dishes that set nearest to her as Sesshoumaru too began to peruse the various dishes set before min. After several minutes and after Rin had sampled several of the unbelievably delicious foods, Sesshoumaru spoke.

"Are they to your liking?"

Rin shook her head in an enthusiastic affirmative. It was unbelievable. Everything she had sampled tasted amazing.

"I had several human cooks brought to the fortress. I'm pleased that you find it palatable."

Rin again just looked at him in utter astonishment. Yet something else that he had done specifically for her. It was not as though she never had cooked dishes in the castle before here in the castle but they had always been simple dishes of rice and meat. There were youkai in the fortress that ate foods similar to her but she had never eaten anything like this. Also, she'd never seen foods like this back when she lived in her village as a young girl, so these particular cooks must have come from a human town of some sort. And the final, most fascinating part of this particular experience was that there was now more than one human residing within the Lord of the Western Land's fortress walls.

Again, Sesshoumaru looked pleased with the current state he'd placed his only concubine in. Silence once again overcame the pair as they continued to eat, Rin savoring each bite just a little more than before as the food now had added meaning besides being delicious.

After a while Rin stopped eating, unable to fit a single bite more into her stomach that was now slightly rounded with the sheer volume she'd consumed. She'd felt determined to eat as much of it as she possibly could since she was a little sad that so much food was going to be wasted on account of her. Jaken had drilled it into her that wasting food was unacceptable as traveling rations were always limited and fresh provisions were not always easy to come by. If this was how she was to eat from now on, she'd have to be careful or she'd soon be twice the size she now was.

Soon, Sesshoumaru too finished eating and rose without a word but his body language spoke of his desire for her to follow him once again. She followed as they left the dining room and made their way down another new hallway. This time, they left the interior of the castle and entered a small garden that separated the main structure from a smaller one not far away. Rin guessed the function of this particular building long before reaching it. There were others similar to this one, but smaller, in other portions of the castle. It was a bathhouse and the idea of relaxing in warm mineral waters was an extremely pleasant thought. She still felt a little full from dinner and the warmth would do wonders for settling her to capacity belly.

Once more, Rin opened the doors for her lord and then followed him inside without requiring any unspoken cues to do so. Once inside, Sesshoumaru made his way over to a set of benches that outlined the sunken pools and stood there, beckoning her over to him. She arrived at his side and looked to him expectantly, not having any idea what else he might have in store for her today.

"Undress me. We shall soak together." He stated simply enough.

Rin had no problem with performing this task. They were going to soak in soothing, warm water and at the moment, that was all she cared about. She easily undid the ties to his cloths and slipped the outer and inner shirts off his shoulders and placed them neatly on the benches next to them. Next, she set to work on the material covering his lower half. She was utterly surprised when the fabric slipped to the floor and revealed a fully aroused organ standing proudly between his thighs. The loose pants had hidden it effectively from her notice before but now it would be impossible not to notice.

Rin looked up at her lord with her astonishment still firmly in place on her face and took an involuntary step back. She'd had no idea that this would happen. He hadn't even touched her or himself. Her brow wrinkled slightly in thought. She was amazed at the apparent effect she had on him. He'd said `perhaps later' but this caught her completely by surprise. Did that mean he had been...just thinking about her?

And thinking about her is exactly what he had been doing for some time now. All throughout dinner he had watched as she placed each dainty morsel of food inside that small mouth of hers and the sight of it had quickly moved his thoughts to those less concerned with consuming food and more toward consuming the creature who'd been sitting next to him. He easily could have taken her right then but he was not an animal. He would not rut where he ate but he saw no problem in doing so where he bathed. In fact, he rather liked the setting. He was not surprised that she'd been taken off guard by his current physical state but he wanted her to understand the effect she now had on him.

Rin was still looking at him when he motioned her to step back to him. Once she had, he bent down and whispered hotly into her ear, causing her to shiver.

"Now undress yourself for me." With that said he stepped back and set down gracefully on the bench behind him.

Though he had seen her naked a hundred times and had only recently taken a particular interest in her naked form, this was the first time that she was to undress herself for that particular interest of his. Though it was a little nerve wracking and though she couldn't understand why, it also brought with it a tinge of excitement. It was a feeling she could now identify. Touching her body brought about the same sensations but she'd never experienced it fully clothed and untouched. The feeling actually gave her a small amount of courage. After all, in a small way, she was now in a position of control. He was hard because of her. Though at this command, she could undress herself in anyway she wished, as quickly or as slowly as she wished. The courage, the spark of desire, and her ingrained need to please him all combined to give her a sense of boldness she'd never experienced before in situations such as this.

She smiled lightly and with slightly exaggerated movements, she began to pull open the ties of her clothing. She allowed the V of open fabric to widen past the valley of her breasts and nearly to the apex of her thighs. She stopped when she heard a low growl emanate from the male seated in front of her. It was a sound that she had come to associate with his pleasure. It gave her even more courage and the clever, young side of her decided to play. Turning so that her back now faced him, she looked at one shoulder demurely and slid the fabric off, revealing the creamy flesh underneath. Another low growl. She then looked at the other shoulder and proceeded to reveal it in the same manner. Again, another low growl. Now she let the fabric fall to her waist but did not let it go any further as it gave him a pleasing view of her shapely hips and smooth back.

She didn't know where it came from but a small smirk crossed her lips and a devious little idea flitted through her mind. Letting the fabric fall away, she began to walk toward the steaming pools.

She didn't get very far however, as two steel arms wrapped around her delicate waist and pulled her into a hard chest.

"So you wish to play?" He whispered into her ear that he then nipped. Rin squeaked as she was hoisted into the air and dunked unceremoniously into the water of the enormous bath. She came broke the water's surface sputtering slightly but filled with the excitement of a young girl caught up in a silly game. So caught in the moment was she, that she forgot exactly who it was she now played with and didn't even stop to imagine just how such a creature would, in fact, play.

She immediately scanned the perimeter of the pool where Sesshoumaru should have been but saw nothing. She then spun in a quick circle in order to search the rest of the room but met with no success at finding the elusive youkai. Still treading water and still attempting to find him, she screamed in surprise and delight as she felt one of her ankles grasped firmly. She pulled in a deep breath as she instinctively readied herself for what she knew would happen next. The hand gave a downward tug and she once again found herself submerged below the surface of the bath's water. Not a moment later, she was pulled back to the surface and pushed into a shallower portion of the pool.

Sesshoumaru wasted no time in hoisting the young woman onto the edge and in positioning himself between thighs he easily parted.

Rin felt the mood change instantly and gasped as clawed hands sensually scrapped little circles around her buttocks. "My lord!" She gasped out at the thrilling sensation.

He stopped his teasing ministrations and with one hand, lifted her chin to look up into his eyes.

"Sesshoumaru." He said before he crashed his lips down onto hers. He slipped the other hand down to the apex of her legs to check her for readiness. He was pleased to find her slick despite the short trip she'd spent in the water, courtesy of him of course. He guided his length to her entrance and eased himself inside her willing body. He took his time stroking into her today and paid due attention to her more sensitive areas. Her moans and coos were swallowed by his hungry mouth.

Rin just let herself go. Not once did she think about the negative things she usually did when they began such activities. This time she simply let herself enjoy his attentions. She tentatively placed her arms around his neck and even tangled one small hand into his impossibly silky mane.

When he broke his contact with her mouth and buried his head in her neck, she knew he was close. His pace quickened but never to anything fevered. Every stroke was measured and precise as were the ministrations of his clever fingers that were quickly bringing her to the brink of that blissful feeling as well.

Rin tightly shut her eyes as the sensual convulsions overtook her body. Sesshoumaru too met his ending inside the trembling female that milked his for all he was worth. Still panting, he pulled her spent body to sit in the water with him. Rin happily rested against the edge of the pool and him, letting the warm water lull her into a sexual induced stupor. Groggily, she determined that she would avoid Jaken in order to hold onto the delicious feeling she now felt.