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Blood by Connor Hansen

Encounter

:Encounter:

It was the smell that caught his attention. A sharp, coppery scent that permeated the air above the smoke of his bastard half-brother’s fire. How the half-breed couldn't smell Kagome’s blood was beyond him.

He took off then, leaving Rin with Jaken with only a glance to his retainer. Wind swept through his hair and whipped at his eyes but they didn't water and he searched for signs of the priestess reincarnate.

Abruptly, he heard it, a faint fluttering as the scent of blood overwhelmed him. A heartbeat. He changed direction and started for where the smell was coming from.

He’d expected to see her barely alive, having been attacked by some demon, when he broke the tree line but he didn't expect to find her sitting by the riverside in a purple kimono, scrubbing away at the green cloth she always wore, far too revealing and short to be tasteful for anyone other than a concubine.

Stupid, stupid, stupid Inuyasha! We just had to fight Sesshomaru, even though there was no reason and it was the last day of my fucking period and I ruined my skirt,” she was muttering as she lifted the fabric out of the water and squeezed it hard.

The smell of blood wafted to him, almost making him stumble from the sheer intensity of it, and he realized the water that came out of the skirt was dyed with blood. She must’ve been on her cycle and ruined it.

He relaxed and turned to step away when she stood and draped the skirt across a rock to dry.

While he certainly didn't like humans in the same disgraceful manner his father had, he couldn't deny there was something undeniably soft about her frame; maybe it was the way baby fat that still clung to her hips and the round face that had yet to thin out. She wasn't muscular like the female slayer they traveled with or hard-bodied like Kagura of the Wind. She was soft and malleable but breakable if he were to be too rough towards her person. Neither demon nor slayer, she wasn't designed to hang around demons or to cut them down or to keep up; with her figure, she should be wedded and have several of her own pups.

Who’s there?” Her voice broke his train of thought and he found her aiming an arrow in his direction, surprisingly steady in her stance and how she carried herself.

Show yourself before I purify you!” she demanded.

Sesshomaru allowed his demon energy to flare out and brush against hers, enough to give him a jolt and for her to recognize it.

She relaxed and lowered her notched arrow to half-mast, tension still coiled like a viper in her muscles.

He could smell it on her, taste the bitter tang of apprehension and fear on his tongue as he strode purposefully forward.

Kagome,” he said calmly and watched in unconcealed mirth as her eyes widened fractionally at his usage of her name. No doubt she thought him deeming her unworthy of his usage of her name. He wasn't his half-breed brother, never using the girl’s name, only calling her wench or bitch at every turn.

Sesshomaru,” she replied, eyeing him warily still even as more tension drained from her.

From his standpoint, downwind of her, he could smell the frustration coming off her sweet veins and when he spoke once more, the taste of apprehension bathed his tongue.

Where is your pack?” he asked languidly, resting his hip on a nearby tree trunk.

As expected, her chin rose defiantly as she answered in a polite-borderline-disrespectful voice, “Inuyasha’s with Kikyo and Miroku went with Sango to get rid of Shippo’s lice.”

The fox kit has lice? Does he not have a mother to bathe him?” he found himself inquiring.

An age-old sadness flashed across her face. “No, his parents were killed by the Thunder Brothers. That's how we met, actually,” she said quietly as she relinquished her hold on her bow and placed the arrow back in the quiver.

And my half-breed brother…he stays with the woman who wanted to drag him to hell?” How his brother could leave her unattended to chase the priestess who'd bound him for fifty years ago was beyond even Sesshomaru’s comprehension. Inuyasha was a fool like their father. Maybe it was the human women they liked.

I’m not his woman,” Kagome stated flatly, shoving back her damp hair away from her face as she bent down to retrieve her skirt.

I've seen the way you look at him, little priestess…it is in which the way a man looks upon a woman he desires but cannot have,” he stated.

She turned delicate pink around the strip of chest where the kimono lapels met and around her ears as she turned back to him.

I don't desire him…at least, not anymore. He wants Kikyo, not me, and if they’re happy, who am I to deny them? I’m sure if I went up to him and said, ‘Hey, Sesshomaru wants me to be with him so I’m leaving,’ I’m sure he would since he has her now and Naraku is gone,” she explained, exasperation dripping from her words.

I doubt he would extend you the same courtesy as you give him. He is selfish and brash,” Sesshomaru answered evenly, “and he does not share well. Even as a child, he was stubborn.”

I don't want to be shared and it’s not his place!” she yelled, her face turning pink all the way to her hairline. “He can be with Kikyo! I don't care anymore!” She squeezed her wet skirt and drew the kimono up to her knees, baring her scratched legs.

Then why gaze at him as though you do?” he pressed.

Because I can't make myself stop loving him! Not like an ice-cube like you would know! I bet you haven't even― ” she screamed, her priestess energy flaring out like a beacon and scraping his nerves raw; nevertheless, he was on her in a few seconds.

How dare she speak to him as though he were a mere pup in her pack? Reprimand him?

She hit the ground hard enough to take her breath away, to make her energy waver and flicker and then flare out even more intensely as she began to struggle fruitlessly.

Enough,” he barked and met her fear-stricken eyes. Her soft skin gave way under his claws, so easily like slicing through marmalade, and beads of blood ran down into her hair, pinned beneath her back like she under him.

The smell of her blood filled his lungs and he could taste it, salty-sweet like metal. “I am not a pup,” he growled, ignoring his red-eyed reflection in her shrunken pupils and he squeezed, relishing in the fresh flood of fear that bathed his tongue as he spoke, “and I will not be spoken to like one. As for being a...ice cube...”

He pressed down all his weight, making sure to lay his skin against hers, and listened to sound of her heart getting faster, her breathing deeper.

I am very much hot-blooded.

Kagome didn't answer.

It was as he lifted himself up off her, pulling his claws from the malleable skin of her throat, he saw her red-tinted face and wide eyes, though this time not in fear; in fact, there wasn't a trace of fear in her pheromones. So she enjoyed this, did she?

Hm. He drew his head down, inhaling the familiar scent of blood, and ran his tongue across the puncture wounds.

She went rigid.

His beast purred at the taste; sometimes, animals just didn't cut it. There was something about a willing, wanton woman's blood that sated the beast deep inside him and he couldn't deny how clear her blood was, if not a bit sugary.

S-Sessh―” she squawked and it was like a haze had been peeled away from him.

He was on top of her still, though she bore none of his weight, and he could still taste her blood on his lips. “Kagome, speak of this to no one,” he said flatly, glancing into her blue eyes.

They met his, pupils dilated back to their regular size, and he saw his silver-haired reflection, no longer made ungodly with red-tinted eyes. She nodded, once, and he drew himself to his feet, inconspicuously scenting the air. No fear, no anger.

And then she turned and walked away, back the way she came. It wasn't until she'd disappeared from his sight that he realized she'd left her skirt and gathered it in his hands.

It still smelled of her. 

 

INUYASHA © Rumiko Takahashi/Shogakukan • Yomiuri TV • Sunrise 2000
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