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Always and Forever by MadameAriellaCabot

Let's start from the beginning

A/N This story is REVISED. The other chapters were crap so I decided to start from scratch. Hope you guys enjoy the new easier to follow storyline.  

 

Chapter 1

Lets Start from the Beginning

 

 Her lips graced his cheek with a soft caress before she pulled away to glance upon his handsome features one last time. The coolness of his cheek lingered upon her lips as her eyes committed to memory the smooth curve of his nose and the vivid silver color of his hair. She yearned to trace the magenta markings she had adored so dearly but knew she could not risk her lover waking from his sleep.

 No, for what she was about to do it was best to leave without a goodbye.

 She moved quietly from the side of the bed and grabbed her purse before heading towards the hotel door. As she readied herself to walk out she took a quick peek at the man who had unexpectedly and irreversibly stolen her heart. Her resolve almost wavered as her eyes locked on the small box that sat atop the nightstand.

 Her heart yearned for the life she could have had with him but her decision had been made the second she received that call. She had wanted something that could never be.

  A sudden pain in her chest wracked her mercilessly as the sadness she felt began to consume her. With what little conviction she had left she turned from her demon lover and grabbed the handle to the door.

 ‘...Forgive me Sesshomaru..’

 And with that final thought she walked out of the room and out of his life forever.

5 Years Later................................................................................................................

 

   A repetitive melody of jumbled instruments resonating within the small space of the elevator stretched his already thinning patience. And to make matters worse it seemed that they had to stop at every floor on the ride up to his executive office which consequently happened to be on the 64th floor.

 He felt a headache approaching as more side glances swept his form from the curious employees trying not to gawk at his presence. Under normal circumstances he would never find himself anywhere near them but unfortunately in an effort to avoid his father this morning he had opted to take the public elevator instead of the private one reserved for corporate executives. As they barely reached level 31 he was starting to regret that decision terribly.

 When he finally reached his stop Sesshomaru was beyond aggravated. He had exhausted his patience level for the day and desperately wanted to escape into his office. As he rounded the corner he was greeted by the sight of tall mahogany doors that guarded his safe haven within their dense confines. He tried to ignore the startled look of his secretary as she scrambled out of her chair to greet him. He did not acknowledge her bow of greeting in an effort to avoid conversation but when her timorous words reached his ears it caused him to pause.  

  “Mr. Takahashi I’m so sorry but he just wouldn’t take no for an answer...please forgive me.” The quiet woman stood with her head lowered while Sesshomaru gazed upon her with a seething glare. 

 He didn’t know why he even bothered hiring secretaries.

 “You’re fired”. Sesshomaru said evenly.

 Not wasting any more time with the useless woman, Sesshomaru moved to stand before the entry to his office. Behind the thick wooden doors he felt an aura flailing about angrily. He knew without a doubt who the intruder was. To think he had neglected to use the convenience of a private elevator to steer clear of the very same man now waiting for him within his refuge.

 How ironic.

 Pulling the steel handles forward, Sesshomaru entered the room only to be met by a scowl. 

 “Have you really stooped so low where you are firing innocent employees now?” Inutaisho approached his son as he tried to keep his rage in check. He had been trying to reach out to Sesshomaru for weeks now and the insolent pup refused to return any of his messages. He swore his two sons alone were enough to push him into an early grave.

  Sesshomaru regarded his father for a moment before speaking, “I have no tolerance for incompetence,” and with that Sesshomaru side-stepped his father to walk towards his desk. There was already a stack of growing reports that he needed to go through and the distraction of his father's presence would not expedite that process.

  “If that is all you wish to discuss then I ask that you take your leave so I can be left to my work.” Sesshomaru knew his father would be annoyed by the curt dismissal but he could care less when the old man himself showed a lack of respect for his privacy.

  Sure enough there was a crackle of youkai that spewed throughout the room as Inutaisho’s irritation grew.

  “ You disrespectful pup, you are going to end up alone and miserable just like that mother of yours!” Inutaisho huffed in frustration. He did not mean to be so offensive towards Sesshomaru but the damn brat had a way of irking him.

 Inutaisho surveyed his son and noticed that through the impeccable mannerisms and well practiced facade that Sesshomaru portrayed that somehow he looked...lonely. His eldest had always been standoffish but Inutaisho always knew there was some warmth that dwindled deep down.

 It was something that he had witnessed only once before.

 Inutaisho was most likely the only one to notice it at the time but a few years ago there was a change in Sesshomaru. It was subtle, almost indiscernible but he saw it. During board meetings when Sesshomaru thought no one was paying attention he would glance at his watch and then look out the window longingly. Whenever the scent of peonies floated through the air Sesshomaru would always stop to find the source. And then there was those sapphire cufflinks with the gold crescent moon inlay he refused to part from.

 For all the long centuries of life Inutaisho was blessed with and all the many women he had loved he managed to become quite familiar with the telltale signs of a man enamored and that was exactly what Sesshomaru was at the time. Someone had managed to gain his sons attention.

 But then came the day he walked into Sesshomaru’s office and saw those once cherished cufflinks laying in a waste basket. No questions needed to be asked. He knew what that signified and his heart broke for his sons loss.

 Inutaisho shook his head and tried to pull his thoughts from the past.

 He looked upon Sesshomaru and guilt started to gnaw at Inutaisho’s conscience for his earlier words.

 “ Son, I’m sorry for the disrespect towards your mother but being like her was the last thing I ever wanted for you. You don’t need to continue living such an isolated life. We are all here for you...” Inutaisho was about to continue before Sesshomaru interrupted.

 “ Perhaps being alone is exactly what I need to avoid interruptions such as this one”, Sesshomaru said impassively as he glanced over a document he held.

 The old dog demon sighed.

 At least his youngest had a shot at happiness which was what brought him to seek out his eldest. He needed Sesshomaru’s cooperation and therein lie the true challenge. The stubborn pup would most likely give him hell and fight him throughout the whole ordeal, so difficult circumstances led to difficult choices. There was one trump card he had that would get Sesshomaru to comply, albeit unwillingly; but he would be damned if he didn’t see at least one of his sons lead a happy life.

 Inutaisho decided to avert his attention to an old french painting before he spoke, “ If you would have listened to any of your voicemails I left you then you would know why I am here. Inuyasha is engaged to the Higurashi heiress but there are certain...conditions...that are to be met before he can move forward with the wedding,” Inutaisho took a quick glance at Sesshomaru to gauge his reaction before continuing, “And that is where we will need your cooperation on the matter as you are the majority stock owner of this company. You need to sign off on the merger between Takahashi Engineering Firm and Higurashi Group.”  

  Sesshomaru paused reading his report mid-sentence as his father finished speaking. He couldn’t comprehend which was more unbelievable; learning that Inuyasha was engaged or hearing his father request a business merger with the world's largest international retail chain.

 Who would have thought the half-breed would have been engaged before him.

 ‘No that wasn’t entirely accurate’ Sesshomaru thought reflectively.  

 Memories that seemed so long ago of a temptress with midnight tresses and sapphire colored irises suddenly floated through his mind.

 Sesshomaru’s mood drastically darkened as he thought of his past transgressions. Past regrets. That was all that deceiving bitch would ever be to him. A regret he wished to erase permanently.  

 Refusing to give his thoughts time to wander, Sesshomaru set down his paperwork and drew his attention towards his father.

 “We both are fully aware I would never accept such a merger,” Sesshomaru said stoically.

 Inutaisho straightened his posture and turned his eyes to clash with its golden twins. How alike yet so different the father and son pair were.

 A small smirk played across Inutaisho’s face, “Of course, I wouldn’t consider myself your father if I thought you would agree so easily. Which also means I happen to know what you would want in exchange for your compliance on this deal.”   

 Sesshomaru’s eyebrow arched ever so inconspicuously, “ And what could you possibly offer that I could not obtain myself?”

 Inutaisho reached into the pocket insert within his suit jacket to pull out a folded paper. Deliberately nearing Sesshomaru’s desk, Inutaisho placed the paper in front of his son.

 “This contract documents everything that will be passed on to you along with its conditions. Takahashi holdings and all of its affiliated businesses will be solely yours. Inuyasha has agreed to revoke his right to inheriting his stake in the company. The minute your brother says his vows everything will be signed off into your name.” Inutaisho knew it was a deal that was impossible to pass, he just hoped he hadn’t misjudged his sons stubbornness.

 As seconds turned to minutes Inutaisho felt slightly nervous which was an uncommon oddity for someone such as himself. Sesshomaru remained impassive, unreadable, as he looked over the contract that was given to him.

 Finally Sesshomaru spoke but his gaze remained downward, “Does this woman mean so much to Inuyasha for him to give up everything?”

 Inutaisho was taken aback at such a direct question about Inuyasha. Never before had Sesshomaru ever inquired about something so personal in regards to his younger brother.

 But remembering Inuyasha’s amber eyes shine whenever he spoke about his fiancee Inutaisho knew the answer.

 “ I never met someone who adored another as much as that boy does for his woman.” Inutaisho answered honestly.

 Sesshomaru carefully folded the contract back in order and stood from his seat. He rounded his desk before handing the paper back to his father who took it hesitantly. Moving to the corner of his office where his liquor cabinet stood Sesshomaru pulled the 1858 Cuvee Leonie Cognac he had been saving from its worn box.

 The bottle was old, dust collected on it after decades of being stored. The liquor was dark in color, promising an aged taste. Removing the red seal, Sesshomaru took off the cork with ease and let the aroma of the distilled brandy flood his senses.

 Sesshomaru poured the dark liquor into a glass and slowly drunk its contents, letting the spicy mixture of cinnamon and ginger burn a slow path down his throat.

“What exactly am I agreeing to?” Sesshomaru asked, not bothering to turn around.

 Inutaisho let out a breath he did not realize he was holding. For a moment there he really believed his son was about to reject the offer.

 He spoke, “ The merger will need to be approved and signed by the wedding date which is set for this upcoming spring. During negotiations there will need to be full transparency between both companies to ensure neither of our assets are being unaccounted for. Miss Higurashi also requested to work alongside one of our executives in hopes of learning more about our manufacturing programs to implement in their retail warehouses. She is a cunning girl that Miss Higurashi. You are the only one I will trust her to work with.”

 Sesshomaru poured himself another glass, “And? Surely that is not all you require of me to make such an unprecedented offer.”

 Inutaisho chuckled, “ No I suppose that would be too easy. You will be required to attend their engagement party tonight along with all subsequent events in honor of their pending nuptials including the wedding itself.”

 There was another long pause before Sesshomaru spoke once more, “I was unaware the Higurashi Group had any other heirs besides Souta Higurashi.”

 “There was a girl, Souta’s younger sister. She stayed out of the family business and worked under another name as an intern elsewhere until her brother’s untimely passing.” Inutaisho thought of the young woman he just met a few weeks ago, “That girl may not have grown up working in her family’s company but she is a Higurashi through and through.”

 It was news to Sesshomaru. Someone as important as the heiress to one of the world's wealthiest companies should not have been able to keep her identity such a well hidden secret. In this day and age where everything is instantly publicized it should have been impossible.

 “And the reason why the merger must take place before the wedding?” Sesshomaru did not understand the necessity of the expedited nature of this contract.

 “There is a proposal that Naraku Yoshida wishes to pass with the business alliance’s capital a few weeks before the wedding is scheduled. As you are well aware it needs the majority approval to move forward. Harada and Fujimoto will vote in whichever way Miss Higurashi does. Seeing as how our businesses will still be two separate entities we will vote individually. With this merger she is guaranteeing our vote will be in her favor.” Inutaisho moved across the room to stand next to his son.

 Sesshomaru set his glass down and turned cold eyes towards his father, “Does Inuyasha realize he is being played by the Higurashi woman?”    

 Inutaisho shook his head, “She is not deceiving anyone. She told us her plan and we accepted it fully. Her company will provide funds for countless projects in exchange for our vote in the business alliance society. If you weren’t so difficult you would see the benefits of this agreement.”

 “All this just to shut down a proposal from Yoshida? It doesn’t make any sense.” It irked Sesshomaru how his father and Inuyasha were taking this Higurashi woman so lightly.

 Inutaisho looked down sadly, “The late Mr. and Mrs. Higurashi along with Souta were adamant about not approving Naraku’s bid to construct a power plant near the Sato River. It would devastate the local economy that depended on that river. Miss Higurashi is simply just trying to fulfill their last wishes.”

 There was more to it than that. Sesshomaru was no fool to think a woman that could convince his father to enter in a business merger was simply doing it to protect a damn river.

 “You will have my compliance on this matter.” Sesshomaru moved away from his father and walked to stand before the large tempered windows that surrounded his office.

 Inutaisho took a moment and stood in place. He looked as if he wanted to say something but decided against it and silently made his exit.

  Glancing outside the windows, Sesshomaru regarded the dreary gray clouds that seemed ominous. The rain would be coming in soon and he could not help but find it a fitting inclusion in today's events.

 His golden eyes scanned through the assembly of buildings that populated the city. There almost straight ahead from his office stood a 112 story steel fortress. The largest building in the downtown district. It stood as an elongated pyramid with four support towers encompassing its foundation. The only one of its kind. The Higurashi Group headquarters.

The full transparency in their contract should benefit him greatly. Whatever that Higurashi heir was planning he was determined to figure it out.

 

......................................................................................................................................

 

  A young raven haired woman was readying herself when a pair of strong arms slipped around her waist and pulled her into an embrace.

   Soft feather kisses caressed her neck as her assailant’s hand began to travel up north to cup her covered breast. Before the hand could reach its destination the young woman pulled herself away and out of reach.

  “Kagome what am I to do with you when you drive me crazy just by watching you get ready?” Her fiance's pleas brought a small smile to her face before she continued on with her task at hand.

 “I’m sure it won’t kill you to hold off until after the party Inuyasha” Kagome finished touching up her hair before retreating to her washroom to change into her dress for the evening.

 As she moved to undress, Kagome’s reflection in the mirror caused her to stare. It was like she was seeing herself for the first time in years. Her hair had lost its unruly edge with the weight of her lengthened locks and it cascaded into more manageable waves down the length of her back. Her ivory skin was aglow with a light sunkissed tan that added to her ethereal appeal. And her sapphire orbs stared back with detachment.

 She had changed so much within the last few years. If only she had known what cruelty some people would resort to as she now knew then perhaps her brother would still be alive.

 It was a lesson she would make sure certain people would learn tenfold.

 Moving on from her thoughts, Kagome reached for her gown and eyed it appreciatively. No expense was spared to ensure it would meet tonight’s expectations. After this evening’s party everyone will know the Higurashi legacy lived on with her.

 

.........................................................................................................................................

 

 Hearing the clasp of the bedroom door opening Inuyasha turned to his beloved and his heart almost stopped at the sight of her. Kagome was enticing in an emerald bodice dress that reached the floor. The dress perfectly accentuated her curves on the top and tapered off at the waist to flow graciously. The slit on the left side of the dress was modest and teased him with only glimpses of the unblemished skin. Her long hair was left down, curling effortlessly around her face. She was breathtakingly beautiful and she was all his.

 Pride filled Inuyasha as he walked up to her and gently placed a kiss on her cheek. “ Shall we get going my love?”

 Kagome smiled at Inuyasha warmly, “Of course.”

 

........................................................................................................................................

 

 Sesshomaru arrived at the engagement party a little after 9pm. As he surveyed his surroundings he noticed the crowd quiet at his arrival. Faces turned towards him and watched as he made his entrance. Some were familiar, most were strangers but he knew they all had one thing in common. They were some of the most wealthiest and powerful people on the planet. No one got into a Takahashi event without having the necessary qualifications.

 Not wanting to bother with pleasantries he decided to head towards the bar for some reprieve. As he took a seat and ordered a drink he let his gaze glance around once more.

 He was not surprised to see most guests staring at him still. He knew they waited like vultures, looking for an opportune moment to greet him with polite remarks and provide idle gossip all in an effort to establish an acquaintanceship with the Takahashi house. They were all pathetic.

 The distinct scent of lavender reached his nose as he turned towards the unexpected visitor.

 “I did not figure you to be one who would attend such an event, even if it was a family affair.” The sultry voice was laced with slight humor. The demoness approached him ever so slowly, deliberately swaying her hips as golden eyes took in her appearance.

 Sara Ito. Beauty incarnate. Her long black hair was as dark as the night sky contrasting flawlessly against her porcelain skin. Her legs were long, inspiring many tempting thoughts and her lips were perfectly rounded, impossible to ignore.

 She belonged to the purebred Ito Inuyoukai clan. Her midnight tresses was a hereditary feature of her lineage. She was brilliant, wealthy and gorgeous. A perfect equal to match him in every regard.

 But she had one flaw.

 Her eyes were the wrong color. Cerulean eyes watched him with loosely veiled desire but the shade was too light. The blue was not the intense color he found himself anticipating.

 They were not sapphire.

 Sesshomaru’s drink was placed in front of him and he found it an opportune moment to divert his attention, purposely ignoring Sara’s comment.

 Sara was not a demoness to ignore, however, as she seated herself next to Sesshomaru.

 He heard her order a mixed drink before she moved to place her hand to lay atop his thigh. His golden eyes caught her mischievous cerulean orbs as she leaned forward to stop only a hair length away from his face, exposing the smooth roundness of her alluring breasts.

 Sara’s warm breath mingled with his own as she whispered, “ It’s been too long since I felt you inside me Sesshomaru...I need you…”

 Her heady scent called to his demonic nature. It had been too long since he rutted. Too long since he lost himself in the pleasures of a woman. Perhaps this is what he needed after today’s long events.

 As he looked at Sara’s enticing appearance with her dark hair and fair skin he knew why his attraction to her was so strong. The similarities between the two was uncanny, Sara looked so much like her.

 He should have been furious at that fact but his senses had been dulled, he drank too much today to really care much about his thoughts. In the morning he would regret his actions. In the morning he would continue hating the woman who left him without a single word but for tonight, just for tonight, he would have the demoness who reminded him of his lost love.

 Decision made, Sesshomaru downed the last of his drink but as he stood up a familiar scent suddenly hit him. He whipped his head to the stairway where the scent was coming from. The cerulean eyed demoness was quickly forgotten as he moved to find the source. He could hear his heart racing in his ears as he looked about the party guests.

  There was no way in hell it could be her. Not now after all this time. The smell of peonies lingered on the air as he neared the stairwell. He climbed the steps two at a time and as he reached the top he noticed a corridor with a master suite at the end of it where the scent was strongest. His feet led him of their own accord down the hallway. As he neared the room disbelief mounted at the thought of finally confronting the woman who walked out on him years ago. As he opened the door sapphire eyes widened in shock at the sight of him.

  “Kagome”, Sesshomaru whispered. After all these years the woman who he had grown to loathe was standing before him.

  

Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha or any of it's affiliates. 

 

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