I do not own Inuyasha, nor do I make any profit from this story.
Kagome's hands shook as she stood outside in the cold, the icy winter wind tearing through her long ebony locks and sending shivers skittering down her spine. She hugged her thin jacket tighter to her body, her finely arched brows drawing together and down as her teeth worried gently at her lower lip. She couldn't believe that she was actually doing this. That she was actually here. What other choice was left to her, really? Her heart was hammering in her rib cage, and Kagome had to suck in several lungful's of air in a latch ditch effort to calm her racing heart.
Staring up at the three story brick house, her body trembled. And despite the fact that it was twenty degrees outside, she wasn't trembling from the cold. She stared hard at the cobble stone walkway that lead to the white painted double doors of the mini mansion. A three car garage. A perfectly manicured lawn and hedges. A Ferrari 458 Italian sitting in the driveway. She glanced down the block at houses that looked nearly identical to this one. Houses that reeked of wealth and excess.
She didn't belong here. Not in her hand-me-down flannel jacket and her worn out pair of jeans. She shot a worried glance over her shoulder at her 95 jeep Cherokee sport. Bright red, with dark circles of rust by the wheel wells and by the gas tank, Old Faithful had definitely seen better days. Not to mention that it stuck out like a sore thumb in a neighborhood like this one. But the car wasn't the only thing that stuck out around here. This was where the children of the old wealth lived. Already she could feel the suspicious stares of the neighborhood narrowing in on her.
Hunching her shoulders, Kagome began the long walk up to what could arguably be the worst mistake she would ever make. How had her life come to this? She had to wonder, knowing that soon she would find herself flat on her back, at the complete and utter mercy of one of the most cold hearted bastards she had ever known.
Bowing her head against the cold and the emotions that were rampaging through her, Kagome made her way towards the front door…and Sesshoumaru Taisho.
At first she had thought she had heard her mother wrong. Staring down at the phone in her hand as if the cause for her confusion could be chalked up to bad cell phone reception.
"It's cancer. Kagome, oh god. I'm such a fool. I shouldn't have done this over the phone. Come home, honey. We can talk about this when you get here." Her mother's worried voice, strained with tears, came over the phone.
"Yeah, okay." Kagome's fingers fumbled for the off button, her eyes turning distant. It couldn't be. It had to be a mistake. There was just no way that her little brother had cancer. Souta was only twelve years old for chrissakes. Sure, kids got cancer all the time. But those were other kids. Things like that didn't happen to people she actually knew, to her very own family. Kagome shoved her phone into her pocket; her teeth gritted against the sudden wash of disbelief and pain the swept through her. This could not be happening.
She didn't know how she made it home that day; she didn't remember most of the drive. Nor did she remember most of the conversation she, her mother, and her grandfather had, all huddled around the living room. All crying. They couldn't afford the treatments. They didn't have the money it would take to help Souta get better. They'd have to sell the house, Kagome's mother had tearfully explained. Even with what little money they would make off the house her family had lived in for countless generations, it still might not be enough.
That was the day that Kagome's life changed, irrevocably. Nothing would ever be the same for her. It was senior year of high school, Kagome had just turned eighteen…and all of that meant nothing. Because her brother was really, really, sick. And he might never get better again. Kagome would do anything for her little brother, and anything for her family.
Which was how she found herself, three months later, working at the Golden Butterfly. It was not a place where good little girls worked. It was not a place a young woman of morals would be caught dead near. It was a strip club, and on the racier side. Freshly eighteen, she was the perfect catch for Bankotsu, the owner and proprietor. Kagome was fairly certain she had reeked of desperation when she had stumbled into Bankotsu's establishment; her face flushed a cherry red. She had begged for a job, desperate for the cash flow that her family urgently needed. Bankotsu had played hard to get, but was secretly delighted to have such a young, pretty, face working at his establishment. He was the brand new owner of the Golden Butterfly, which had been around for about twenty years prior. He wanted to put a fresh face on the old place, make it classier, and Kagome was the perfect face for his new establishment. She embodied everything that he wanted this place to be. Young, in the prime of her life, beautiful and sweet.
"You want a job." Bankotsu had said with a wry smile. "Get up on that stage and dance for me." He jerked his head toward the stage behind her. Kagome had to swallow down the nerves that were dancing tight in her belly. Sure she had seen people dance erotically in movies, but she had never actually tried to do it herself. She shrugged her backpack off her shoulders, letting it to fall to the ground as she made her way slowly to the stage. She would do anything for her brother, whose chemo treatments were becoming increasingly expensive. He had already lost the majority of his hair. Steeling herself mentally, Kagome climbed the stairs to the stage.
"Alright, baby, let's see what you can do." Bankotsu called out from the bar, raising a beer to her in salute. Despite the fact that this chick looked the part, if she couldn't dance it was a moot point. Although, Bankotsu supposed he could always have her be a shot girl.
"Aren't…aren't you gonna put the music on?" Kagome's voice called out quietly. Bankotsu smirked inwardly at the nervous tremor in her voice. It was becoming abundantly clear that this girl had no experience what so ever. To him, it was refreshing as it was erotic. His eyes narrowed on her slight form, standing up on the stage with her hands clasped tightly in front of her, her body language tense, rigid. God, she looked and acted like a little virgin. He felt himself harden, despite his best efforts to remain professional.
"You don't need music to take off your clothes. Stop wasting my time here kid. Either you're going to dance, or you're not." Bankotsu called out, hoping like hell he wasn't about to scare the girl away.
Nodding her bowed head, Kagome took a deep breath. She could do this. She toed her shoes off, kicking them to the side of the stage. Rotating her head from side to side she loosened her neck and shoulders. Kagome could dance, had always loved dancing, she just had never done so while…taking her clothes off.
Her first attempt had been somewhat clumsy at best. Her body could move sensually with ease, but when it actually came to taking off her clothes? The girl had problems. Bankotsu rubbed his chin in thought as he watched her dance. The girl had potential that was for sure.
"Alright, hold up there kid." He called out, halting Kagome in her tracks. The girl had just been fumbling with the buttons on her shirt, her movements becoming awkward and choppy.
He made his way toward the stage, pulling up a folding chair as he went.
"Take your clothes off."
"W-What?" The girl's cheeks immediately went a bright shade of red.
"Take your clothes off. I want you to strip down to your bra and panties. Don't worry about finesse right now."
Kagome closed her eyes, humiliated. Of course this is what she had signed up for…but she wasn't expecting him to be so…blunt about it. The impatient look he was shooting her way said that Kagome was about to lose this opportunity if she didn't comply.
"O-Okay." With a heavy heart she divested herself of her shirt and skirt, even her socks, which got an appreciative whistle from Bankotsu. When she was finally left in nothing but her bra and panties, she looked over at her new boss.
"Well, I'll say this for you. You definitely have a nice, tight, little body." Bankotsu said, as if he were looking at a car, or a horse. Not a human being. "You can dance, but when it comes to embracing your inner slut? You have problems."
Kagome wasn't sure it was possible for her to turn any redder than she already was.
"You know what your problem is, kid? You're a virgin. You have no experience, that much is clear." He shook his head with a sigh.
"I-I can learn!" Kagome protested, her hands clenched into small fists at her sides.
"Then dance for me. Take off your bra and panties and dance for me. I want to see you move. I want to see you own your sexuality. You're a woman, god damn it, not a little girl. Act like it."
Kagome reared back, insulted and humiliated. A little girl? Her eyes narrowed at the gauntlet that Bankotsu had just thrown down. She'd show him. With her chin raised defiantly in the air, and fire flashing in her eyes, she undid the clasp on her bra, allowing her breasts to bounce free of the cups. With an almost feline snarl on her lips, Kagome danced. She lost herself in the rhythm of her own music, her hips rotating and gyrating to a beat that only she could hear. Her heart pounded in her breast as she danced, dipped, and swirled. Slowly she made her way off the stage and over to Bankotsu's seated form. She drank up the sight of him devouring her with his eyes, her gaze dropping to the tent in his black trousers. It wasn't long before she was straddling him, her back arched as she gave him a lap dance he wouldn't soon forget.
"Alright, alright. You've got the job." Kagome came to a stop when she heard Bankotsu groan the words. Her skin was flushed and sheened with sweat. Her heart was beating double time in her chest. And to her own astonishment…she was wet. Ready. Later she would feel ashamed of the reaction, mortified even. In the moment? All she felt was victorious.
And that was how Kagome Higurashi, straight A student and member of the student council, became an erotic dancer.
The cash flow was amazing. Sure, it could be demeaning at times, but it was also highly erotic for both her and her customers. And the money? Working for a period of four hours could bring in well over five hundred dollars. Sure it meant that she had a couple of sleepless nights, especially during the week when she had to wake up and go to school. Her grades began to slip, although marginally. But Souta was getting his treatments, and her family was able to keep their heads above water…even if it was only just.
Besides, if she were honest with herself, Kagome enjoyed her job. It was easy, erotic. And completely anonymous. Bankotsu had just taken over the place, which meant that the entire building had been all but gutted. He had totally jazzed the club up in an effort to reach out to wealthier clientele. And the strippers? Wore Venetian masks. The only place in town that the girls' identities were somewhat protected. Bankotsu thought it would add to the allure of the place, bring in more customers. After all, who didn't like a mystery? The guy had a head for business, because the customers came pouring in.
Which had been great. That is, until it all went to hell.
It had been a regular Friday night at the club, and Kagome was getting ready to go on. She was old hat at this game now, and although she went home every night feeling guilty and used, when she was on that stage…well, she felt far from such emotions. Here men wanted her, lusted after her. She could make them melt, she could make them hard. She had power here. Out there, in the real world, she had none. She couldn't stop her brother from getting cancer. She couldn't make her family richer, despite her best efforts. She couldn't do…much of anything. Out there she was just a chump, going through the motions. But here? Here she had power. Here she was queen, and her word was law. And Kagome owned that, much to Bankotsu's unholy glee.
How far the mighty have fallen, Kagome thought with a sad smile as she peeked around the curtain. Out on the floor Ari was working the pole, neon lights flashing as men crowded around the stage, eager to get just a taste of what she was putting on display. Money littered the ground, hung out of her g-string. Soon her set would be over, and it would be Kagome's turn.
Kagome couldn't help the sharp pang of arousal that settled hot and heavy in her lower stomach. She could feel her muscles clenching, anticipating, and licked her lower lip. As much as she hated to admit it…Kagome loved to perform. These men, these strangers, made her feel like an absolute goddess.
All too soon Ari was bustling back stage, her eyes shining bright from behind her mask.
"Good Luck Kags!" Ari whispered, pulling crisp dollar bills out of her g-string. "They're really riled up tonight."
"Thank you Red, for giving us quite the show." Bankotsu's voice came over the loud speakers in the club, barely heard over the steady stream of music and male voices. The sound of clinking glasses, laughter, and the occasional shout filled the room.
Here at the golden butterfly Bankotsu had given all of his strippers the names of butterfliAri was "Red" as in the red lacewing butterfly. Yura, a beautiful woman in her early thirties was "The Monarch", as she was the oldest and most seasoned of the strippers here. Kagome's stage name was Blue, after the blue Morpho butterfly. She looked down at her ensemble, the metallic blue wings that were strapped on to her back (yes, Bankotsu actually made them dress like butterflies). Her mask which curved down half of her face and covered her brow, eyes and the ridge of her nose, was black with metallic blue speckles. She wore a short black skirt with white and red spotted along the hem, and a tight fitting royal blue corset laced in black. She might look like a sexy Halloween costume gone overboard… but for some reason the men around here ate it up.
She heard the music for her set come on and anticipation stole her breath even as a sultry smile was pulling at her lips. As much as she hated that she had to do this…she also loved it. When it came to thrills, there was nothing quite like it. After all, the only thing protecting her identity was a small, flimsy mask and luck. Plenty of times she had seen boys from her high school come in here. She had even seen her principal and science teacher at the club. Kagome and the rest of the girls had signed a disclosure agreement when they first started working here. Bankotsu took protecting his clientele as well as his girls very seriously. The strippers weren't allowed to talk about who they had seen at work, and the men weren't allowed to touch the girls without express permission.
As the music came on for her set and Bankotsu's whiskey smooth voice announced her over the speakers, Kagome took a deep breath and stepped on stage. To those in the crowd who were actually paying attention, excited cheers and catcalls broke out. Kagome was one the most popular strippers at the club. Maybe it was the way she moved, or the fact that she was clearly young. Whatever the reason, she had a strong following here.
Kagome sashayed on to the stage, her movements like liquid sex. As the music thrummed and drummed, she danced, her hips swaying seductively as she shot coy looks over her shoulder at her audience. Within a matter of minutes Kagome was shimmying her skirt down, gracefully stepping out of it to bend over and touch the floor in a back arching move that defied reason. She wore only her corset and a thin scrap of a g-string, which she flaunted to the crowd of excited men. Kagome was in her element; flirting with the men who had the biggest bills in their hands, casting winks and sexy smiles to her admirers. When she danced, she lost herself to the feeling pumping through her veins. It was a heady rush of arousal and adrenaline. It wasn't long before she stripped off her corset, her full breasts proudly on display as she worked the pole.
Perhaps if she had been paying more attention that night, she would have noticed the pair of intrigued golden eyes watching her every move.
All too soon the music died down and Kagome made her exit, much to the disappointed shouts of the men behind her. She knew this night she would make a killing in lap dances alone. Smirking, Kagome squeezed herself back into her corset, winking at Yura as the older woman made her way on to the stage. She walked into the back hallway, which was for personnel only, and let out a sigh. She could feel how wet she was from dancing up there on stage and a quick flash of shame stole through her. She knew it was wrong, what she was doing. If her mother ever found out just how, exactly, Kagome made her money… well, she was pretty sure it would give the kind hearted woman a heart attack. And her grandfather? Kagome closed her eyes tight, wishing – not for the first time, that there was some other way she could do this. Some other way she could help her family out.
"What's wrong Kagome? Ashamed?" A deep, smooth, male voice queried. Kagome's head snapped up, her hand flying to the mask that was still on her face as her liquid brown eyes clashed with heated amber. Shock stole the breath from her lungs for a second before panic had her sucking in another one. Golden eyes and moonbeam hair, pulled back into a queue at the nape of his neck. An aristocratic face that she had only ever seen in pictures, so cold and aloof, stared down hard at her. A quick glance around confirmed that there was no one else in the hallway but the two of them. Unconsciously she took a step back, pressing herself into the concrete wall as if she could disappear into it.
Sesshoumaru. Sesshoumaru Taisho, her friend Inuyasha's older brother. She had heard enough stories about the cold hearted prick over the years. How he hated humans. How he was constantly verbally abusing and belittling Inuyasha and his mother any chance he got. Inuyasha hated Sesshoumaru, and for good reason too. And now?
Although she had never met the demon, he knew exactly who she was. Her fingertips pressed hard against the Venetian mask on her face, confirming the fact that it was still actually in place. Her worst fear had finally come to pass, and in the worst possible way. Someone recognized her. And that someone just happened to be her best friend's older brother. Mortification and fear had her hands shaking.
"N-No I'm not-"
"Don't try to deny it, Kagome." Sesshoumaru sneered, taking a powerful step closer to her, invading her space. He was tall, much taller than Inuyasha. With broad shoulders accentuated by a well-tailored white dress shirt, and strong hands with lean fingers propped on his narrow hips, he screamed dominance and power. This was a man who was used to getting his way. This was a man who could easily snap her in two, if the stories were to be believed.
"I can smell the half breed on you. His filthy scent clings to your skin."
Kagome flinched. She was scared. She didn't want Inuyasha to know what she was doing every weekend, why she had to keep declining his offers to hang out with him, Miroku, Kikyo and Kouga. They had been best friends since kindergarten, and she had been slowly but surely pulling away from him over the past couple of months. She knew he would be outraged, perhaps even disgusted. He'd want to help. And he couldn't. Kagome's hands clenched into small fists at her side as she stared up into cold golden eyes. It was remarkable how similar the brothers were, even as they were completely different. Inuyasha didn't possess this cool disdain that Sesshoumaru was leveling upon her right now.
"This is area is for employees only, Sesshoumaru. You can't-"
Kagome startled as Sesshoumaru jerked into motion. One minute he had been standing a few feet away from her and the next he was in her face, impossibly strong arms bracketed on either side of her head. Caging her in. She swallowed, her gaze lifting to stare up at the demon who had caused her friend so much pain over the years.
"Do you dare tell this Sesshoumaru what to do, little girl?"
Kagome was scared. Her heart fluttered like a caged thing in her chest as the demon moved in even closer to her, his face mere inches from her own.
"I know who you are Kagome. And I have no problem using that information to get what I want. I can, and I will, destroy you."
Oh god, this couldn't be happening. This wasn't real.
"No, don't. Please." Kagome placed a hand against the wall of his chest, startling as her palm made contact with the searing heat of his skin.
"You don't want me to tell Inuyasha about your little exploits here? Perhaps your parents? Your school? Maybe they'd like to know how wet you get when you take your clothes off for strange men."
Tears pricked at Kagome's eyes. "Sesshoumaru, please, please don't tell them. No one's supposed to know."
"And what will you do, Kagome, to keep this information a secret. What will you offer?"
"Anything. I'll do anything. Please don't tell them. Please?" How could someone be so cruel? So callous? She had never met this demon before. He had no reason to hate her, to want to hurt her. But here he was, casting dark looks her way, threatening to tear apart the fabric of her world.
"You will quit your job here."
Quit? Kagome paused, knowing that her family desperately needed the money she earned every weekend in order to keep afloat. Souta needed the money for his treatments. Some sort of reluctance must have shown on her face, because a snarl twisted across the demon's lips even as his eyes narrowed.
"O-Okay. I'll quit!" Kagome raised her hands in placation. She supposed if that was all it took to keep him quiet, then she could do it.
Without warning he reached down, strong fingers grabbing her chin, forcing her gaze upward to meet his.
"I will give you a card. On that card is an address. You will be there at eight o'clock sharp, next Friday. If you do not show up, if you are even a minute late, I will let all and sundry know about your dirty little secret." His cold amber gaze narrowed on her. She could feel the heat and tension in his body, buffeting her.
"Is that clear, Kagome?"
"Y-Yes. I'll be there."
"Good, very good."
And then he did the strangest thing of all. He bent, his lips going to the pale column of her exposed throat. She startled at the silken caress of his warm lips brushing against her skin. A hot, wet, tongue flicked out to taste her. Kagome couldn't help the surprised gasp let spilled past her lips.
And just like that he was gone. Walking down the hallway, his back towards her.
Kagome watched him go, a shaking hand held to her throat, her eyes wide and startled. She looked down to see a business card tucked into the front of her corset.
Kagome glanced down at her watch and the time it read. 7:59 p.m. With a deep breath she pressed the doorbell, hearing the chiming of bells echo throughout what had to be a spacious home. A minute later the door opened, revealing Sesshoumaru. He was dressed in black dress pants, pleated and tailored. The sleeves of his white dress shirt were rolled up, revealing strong fore arms. A red tie, loosened as if he had been tugging on it, lay across his broad chest. His hair was pulled back and out of his face. A face that was staring hard at her, impassive.
"Kagome. Come in." He took a step back, gesturing for her to proceed inside. Kagome bit down hard on her lower lip, her eyes skittering down to her feet as she stepped past the threshold of Sesshoumaru's home. She missed the way his eyes narrowed on her car, the look of disgust that flitted across his face.
She stood in the entry way of a grand foyer. A beautiful crystal chandelier hung above them, sending rainbows to dance across the walls and wooden floors. Kagome was only given a second to appreciate the beauty and opulence around her before Sesshoumaru's voice commanded her attention.
"Take off your clothes. Now."
Startled, she turned to him. Unsure of what she had just heard.
"In my home you will be naked at all times. You, girl, belong to me now. If you hesitate, I have no problem destroying you." He picked up a manila envelope from the hall table and handed it to her.
Shocked, Kagome took it. Slowly she opened, already knowing what she was going to find inside. Shame had her cheeks turning a dusky pink as she pulled out several photos of herself. Dancing. Her head thrown back, the mask not doing enough to obscure her face. Anyone who knew her well would be able to tell that these were pictures of her. Her breasts, her ass. Her legs wrapped around the pole.
Swallowing hard, she slowly raised her eyes up to Sesshoumaru. He was staring at her, golden eyes narrowed.
"You may keep those. I have plenty of copies…all of which are addressed to your mother, grandfather, Inuyasha, and your school principal. Now, you can do as I say… or I will see to it that all those envelopes are delivered. What will it be Kagome? Will you submit? Or am I to ruin you?"
"W-why? Why do this? What have I ever done to you to deserve this?" Kagome whispered the words, her hands clutching hard at the front of her jacket.
Sesshoumaru simply stared at her for a moment, his head tilted slightly to the side, before he took a step toward her, his hand reaching out to cup her face and tilt it upward. The action was deceptively gentle.
"Because I want you Kagome. And I always get what I want. Always."
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