*Author's Note: Wow it's been a few years hasn't it? I know I have that sailor moon sequel to do, surprisingly I think I might skip Venus and get to Mars. But before I do all that...I suddenly had this idea for a Sesshomaru story so I hope everyone enjoys it. Writing as I go, no real plan, so let's find out what happens together okay?

Chapter 1

"Rin...I was wondering if you wanted to meet a bunch of us by the lake? We've been collecting food for the village all day and thought a dip would be fun."

Rin looked up from her work to see one of the young men from Kaede's village. What was his name again? He seemed to know her well, but for the life of her she couldn't recall his name. This wasn't the first time he had invited her to some gathering or another. Kaede, the old priestess and head of the village, younger sister to the legendary Kikyo and original guardian of the Sacred Jewel or Shikon no Tama, would constantly badger her to make friends with the other young people in the village, but after years of living here, she just couldn't fit in. Everyone looked at her as if she was some oddity or were very skittish around her, nearly afraid.

She looked over to the small group that was gathering at the edge of village, waiting to depart. Many of the young women looked over at her and she could see the malice in their eyes. They definitely were not happy with this invitation. Many of the young men with them looked at her curiously or with longing. Rin shuddered before looking back at the young man again next to her. The sun was shining down brightly and she could hardly make out his features as it blazed behind him.

"Oh hey Rin I'm sorry, hold on." The young man moved so his body shaded her eyes from the glaring sun. She gave him a tentative smile in thanks, and the happy wide smile he returned to her was nearly as bright as the sun. "So what do you think Rin? Wanna come?"

"Ben hurry up! You guys coming or what?" One of the other young men yelled at them, waving his arms at the same time. That's right, his name was Ben. Many of the young women in the village would constantly gossip about him, completely infatuated with him. Rin looked him over quickly beneath her eyelashes and sighed. He was handsome, very handsome...no one could deny that. And he was never anything but kind to her, and always extending a hand in friendships...perhaps hoping for something more as Kaede would constantly nag her. Kaede would tell her the reason she didn't get along with the other young women in the village because she was the most beautiful girl here. Her large amethyst eyes would sparkle, her high cheekbones and pointed chin would make royals shake in envy, and her long raven black hair reminded her of her dear sister Kikyo's hair.

Rin was not as thin as any of the other women in the village. Her hips were wider and no matter how much she tried to hunch her shoulders or keep to herself, she was constantly made fun of because of her large breasts. Kaede would try to comfort her and say that the other girls were just jealous of her, but Rin had her doubts. She really didn't have any friends, and when she tried to talk with anyone, they always gave her that weird look.

The village knew as a young girl she had often traveled with the full blooded and powerful demon Sesshomaru, with his loyal companion Jaken and his two headed dragon A-Un. God she missed all of them. It had been three years since Sesshomaru had come to visit her. She had altered the kimono he had given her as a child and would often don it when she felt especially lonely. She didn't understand why they had stopped visiting. He had come to the village on her sixteenth birthday and gave her a precious stone pendant as a necklace. Rin had been so elated she had thrown herself into his arms and cried happily. Sesshomaru had hesitated before wrapping his arms around her and returning her hug. He had held her for only a few tender moments before gently pushing her away. He had told her he would be gone for a long period of time, traveling further than he had before but that he would return for her. Sesshomaru and Kaede had agreed that on her eighteenth birthday she would have the choice to either continue her travels with him, or stay in the village. Her choice had been made the day he brought her to this village to live with Kaede. She wanted to continue to stay by his side. There was never any doubt in her mind. Yet here she was...on her twenty third birthday and he had never returned for her.

"Rin?" Ben interrupted her thoughts and Rin bowed her head in embarrassment. "That's okay Ben. Go have fun, I still have chores to do."

"Aww c'mon Rin! I would really like it if you came. You keep saying no every time I ask you out I'm going to start to think you just don't like me." Ben said with a laugh, but also with a hint of hurt that made Rin feel horrible.

"Ben, it's not that. Thank you for the invite but I just can't right now." With that, Rin stood and walked to her and Kaede's hut. Rin grasped the pendant at her neck Sesshomaru had gifted her and rubbed it with her thumb. It was one of the few things that could comfort her. She was so lonely.

"Rin? Was that Ben you just walked away from? I thought he was going to invite you down to the lake with the other young people." Kaede said from her seat on the floor. Rin rolled her eyes "Have you nothing better to do then to nag at me?"

"Rin it's not right the way you keep to yourself. If you keep on this path you will end up an ugly old woman like me. Do you really want that for yourself?"Kaede said with a mocking laugh.

Rin smiled at her with warmth before taking a seat beside her. "I don't fit in here Kaede. It's been years and I still have nothing to hold me here." Kaede reached out to her and tucked her hair behind her ear in affection. "Not even for this old woman who loves you as the daughter I never had?"

Rin quickly glanced at Kaede in horror. "No that's not what I meant! I love you, you've shown me nothing but kindness, please don't ever think I wouldn't miss you!"

Kaede smiled at her gently. "But your heart is still with Sesshomaru."

Rin ducked her head as agony infused her. "Why didn't he ever come back for me?"

Kaede shook her head in sympathy. "He's a demon Rin. True he protected and guarded you for many years, but you are only human. Did you really think he would continue to visit you and stay in this area for long?"

Rin shook her head violently and kept her gaze locked on her clenched fists in her lap. "You don't know him. He did more than guard and protect me. He cared for me. He saved my life. He rescued me...I know he loved me."

"Demons don't know how to love." Kaede told her gently.

Rin finally looked up to glare at Kaede as tears dropped from her eyes and Kaede could not recall a moment she had seen Rin more beautiful then now. "Then how do you explain Inuyasha and Kagome? They're married and have children!"

"Inuyasha is only half demon. His human half adores Kagome and their children, while his demon half shields and protects them as his possessions. Demon's are very territorial Rin, and if anything belongs to them then they stop at nothing to keep them."

"Then why didn't Sesshomaru keep me? I always obeyed him. I would have followed him anywhere. He was my family. If anyone belonged to anyone then I belonged to him."

"Rin...you cannot belong to him if he never claimed you." Kaede said and wanted to cry when she saw the heartbreak in Rin's eyes.

"What did I do to offend him? What did I do wrong?" Rin asked in agony.

"Nothing dear!" Kaede placed both her hands on Rin's cheeks and held her gaze. "You did nothing wrong. Demon's do not love. But I cannot deny his growing compassion and respect for life while you were with him. You taught him much about humanity Rin. Perhaps that is the reason why he never returned for you. I wouldn't be surprised if he knew the best place for you would be with your own kind. With him you would have known nothing but danger. He wanted something better for you."

"But this isn't better for me Kaede can't you see that? My body might be here but I feel so empty. I've waited patiently for him to come back for me. Maybe he thinks I'm happy here. Maybe that's why he hasn't returned. We need to send word to him-"

"You are a weakness to him Rin!" Kaede cut her off. Rin stopped and stared at her in shock. "What?"

"Inuyasha confided in me that Sesshomaru has grown in power and strength in the last few years and is growing in legend as their father before him. The demon world is looking to him for leadership...and with that comes great risk. He cannot afford to have you by his side. You are his weakness, and though his abilities and powers are great, were he to take you with him it would only be a matter of time before another demon took vengeance on him and killed you."

"So you knew he wouldn't come back for me?" Rin asked with betrayal coloring her tone."

Kaede closed her eyes. "I'm sorry Rin. I thought I could save you this pain. Inuyasha and Kagome came to see me and told me Sesshomaru had gone to them and asked they help look after you...he won't return for you Rin."

With a cry of pain Rin tore herself out of Kaede's arms and ran from the hut with Kaede's yells following her. She dashed from the village and ran until her lungs burned and her legs finally collapsed from under her. She breathed harshly and held her sides as pain racked her body. He wasn't coming back. He hadn't even told her goodbye. He had never cared for her, not really. She had been a pet, a curiosity at best. She had been a fool to think he could ever love her. All her hopes and dreams...all her childish fantasies had been built around him. She wanted to die.

Rin fell to the floor and cried for what seemed like hours. Nightfall came and she stayed put under the stars. When the sun broke out from the mountains she still lay there. Finally, Rin gingerly sat up. She felt drained. Her muscles were sore and all she felt was a pain so deep, she couldn't form words to describe. She had no idea how many times she had allowed night to fall while she lay there. She stood and looked around. She didn't recognize nything around her. Instead of panic setting it, Rin felt acceptance. It only made sense for her to move on. There was no reason for her to return to the village. She would miss Kaede, and she hated making her worry, but she couldn't go back and allow herself to become a shadow. Rin knew if she returned...she would do just that. She would constantly look beyond the village, waiting for the rest of her life for Sesshomaru to return for her and he never would. She had to accept that. Rin turned away from the direction she assumed she had come running from and walked. Along the way she picked some fruits and made herself a tiny knapsack from the cloth of her long kimono she had ripped. She thought back to the Kimono and all the other gifts Sesshomaru had given her over the years, still tucked away in the hut with Kaede and felt a pang of longing. She shook her head and continued forward. It would do her no good to think of that. No sense in going back for them when all they represented was more chains to her past. She needed to move forward. Sesshomaru had always been there to watch over her and care for her, and before that it had been her family. She could hardly remember them now, she had been so young. She had lost her entire family to a band of robbers when she had been eight years old. She remembered their bodies, their faces slack from death and surprise. That had been the day she lost her voice and became a mute. While in Sesshomaru's company she had regained her ability to talk, but her feelings now were very reminiscent of that terrible time in her life.

She continued to walk. Hunger struck her again and with some rummaging around through the woods, she found a stick that would serve her purposes and caught some fish for dinner. Making a small fire, Rin cooked her food then laid her head down to rest.

Rin came awake to voices surrounding her and a hand grabbing her ankle. With a gasp, Rin tried to scream but no sound left her throat. Her shock immobilized her for a moment, giving her captors ample time to truss her up with rope before throwing her onto a horse. She couldn't understand what language they were speaking, but by the jeers, constant hands running over her body and laughter, she could easily imagine what they had in mind for her. Rin flinched as a hand reached up and grabbed one of her breasts roughly. She tried to yell at them to stop, yet still no sound left her throat. They seemed to find that very comical and slapped her face a few times before they continued on their way with her face down on the back of one of their horses. The next sharp slap she received on her rear before that same hand grabbed and rubbed between her legs had her twisting and desperately trying to fight. More laughter followed and a hand reached towards her face. One of the men grabbed her face and forced a kiss upon her lips and thrust his tongue within the cavern of her mouth. Pure feminine rage engulfed her and she bit down on the tongue as hard as she could. She could feel the burst of copper flavor coat her tongue as he bled and screamed into her mouth. A strong hand wrapped around her throat and squeezed until she saw stars and nearly lost consciousness. The moment she released the man's tongue, a fist smashed into her left eye and darkness consumed her.