I'm floating.

I welcome the darkness that encompasses me. I feel such peace… a feeling I don't get to experience often. Unfortunately, reality wants to claim me, and pulls me into consciousness. When I open my eyes, I am in my bedroom. I sigh. I remember that I was having a strange, yet somewhat wonderful, dream. Sesshomaru, my boyfriend of over a year, finally said he loved me. Honestly, I find it ludicrous. Neither of us is the romantic type. In the entire year of us being together, we have never expressed anything other than intrigue and an animalistic lust that could not be quenched. Frankly, I suspect that I am not the only woman in his life. He's an incubus after all. They don't form attachments to one person. I know that he has been with countless other women before me, and I am almost certain that there would be more to follow. Anyway, I decide to squash that small, childish part of me that wishes it was true. As interesting as I am, I doubt he would ever tell me if he felt that way about me.

I need a shower.

I try to get up, but every nerve ending sends searing pain throughout my body. Guess I won't have that shower after all. I have to remember to not allow Sesshomaru to take me so forcefully. I try to get as comfortable as I can despite my pain and get some sleep to recuperate. I start drifting, giving myself to the abyss of my dreams. I barely remember to put up my shield to prevent him from entering my dreams.

I slip easily into a dreamless slumber. I am floating again, and then quickly sink. Soothing warmth consumes my body and my pain diminishes significantly. I instantly melt and enjoy the feeling. A masculine voice cuts through the void as he hums a pleasant melody. Deft fingers work my tense muscles and wash my grimy body and hair.

I'm floating again, but this time cool softness greets me. It smells clean and refreshing; I snuggle into it. I feel those fingers smear something cool and tingly into my body. He covers my skin with the invigorating salve, working the potion into every pore of my body. When he's finished, my pain is almost completely gone. He helps me slip into a silk nightgown before settling me back down. He reaches over and serves me some fruit. "You need to eat," his velvety voice reaches my ears. I let him slide the sweet morsels in my mouth until I am full and satisfied. He sets the platter aside. "How are you feeling?"

"A lot better, but do you mind explaining what this is all about, Sesshomaru?"

He chuckles. "Do I always have to have an ulterior motive with you?" I fold my arms and glare at him. He raises his hands. "I know that I was quite unforgiving in our last encounter and I just wanted to make sure that you weren't too… damaged."

"Well, as you can see, I'm alive, no thanks to you."

He laughs. It's such a strange sound, yet melodic. A velvety voice so reminiscent of a gun in silk. Dangerous and deadly… and all I want to do is pull the trigger. I want to be destroyed, I want to burn… I want him to build me back up, put me back together, and then obliterate me all over again. My body starts to warm, my eyes never leave his face. I feel that familiar tingly sensation in my lower half. I stare into that golden miasma; they swirl with mischief and something else. He grips the back of my head gently. His eyes bleed red. I feel his power as it swarms around me and engulfs me. It only serves to ignite a flame deeper within me. I'm sure he senses my arousal because a predatory grin spreads on his face. He commands me to say his name. I obey. He wants me to say it again. I oblige and he shivers in pleasure. I close my eyes and relish the power radiating from him. Goose bumps prickle my skin and the electricity makes my hairs stand.

"Kagome… remember."

My head hurts. Images flow through my mind in rapid succession. I'm thirteen. He's looking at me. We first meet under a sakura tree in my dreams. He visited me before. He said he would be back for me. The kiss he left me with… the instantaneous addiction… the masochistic thoughts that entered my mind as his lips joined with mine. I wanted him to own me, to end me… I needed to be a part of him. I ached and yearned for him. My body gets impossibly hot. I crave something only he can give me.

Kami kill me.

"Kagome."

I blink when he calls me and I realize I was lost in my thoughts. My brain reboots, but I still feel that same overwhelming heat that claims me whenever I am around him. He came to me all those years ago, and even then, I wanted him. I had somehow forgotten, yet he came back. "Why?"

"I want no secrets. I choose you. I've spent a long time fulfilling my duty to my race, to ensure we would survive. I'm tired and I am ready to be with the one my heart truly desires. Incubi spend their lives looking for their mate, all the while living as promiscuously as possible to ensure the survival of the race. I want to know now… even knowing this, do you want to stay with me… as the mate of an incubus?"

I never answer.

Eyes spark

Skin ignites

The flame begins

It burns us to the bone

We smother in the blaze

Bask in the inferno

We are ash

We smolder in the afterglow

And begin anew.