Illumination by Aura
Broken illumination reflected off the cobblestone styled side-street, small pools littered throughout the old style of road reflected car and lamp lights, making the old fashioned road seem almost it’s own canvas and the nightlife was breathing starlight onto the pavement. The scene might have been beautiful if someone stopped to appreciate it, but rarely did passerby pause in this area, particularly after midnight - as it was now. With fair reason, pretty as some might see the street others knew it for the moss, the insects laying in wait just beneath it’s surface.
In one of the back allies a predator had found his prey, tracked it down and chased it into the separated side area so it could enjoy the thrill of a successful hunt. The crack of a jaw that followed the backhand was the dissonance of this broken picture and the victim pirouetted twice from the impact before falling backward to the ground.
It was a testament to her endurance that she’d retained consciousness at all, though Kagome was trying to bring pause to the clawed hands quickly dismantling her clothing. Applying just the right amount of pressure between two fingers and Inuyasha was making short work of the dress she’d been so happy to wear only a few hours before. When they’d been heading into a dance club and quite fine, before he’d swallowed a little too much liquor and his temper got away with him. He snapped one of her fingers and cut off her scream with a hand when she reached up to try to stop him.
“Stop struggling or I’ll make it worse! You are just a whore, why I thought you were anything else… No worries, I’ll pay you. I’ll make sure you get a few pennies for your trouble. You start screaming again and I’ll make sure no one ever pays for you unless it’s to see your scarred face in a freak show.” Inuyasha snapped before he returned to cutting off her clothes. Kagome’s shivering was visible, a result of her fear, her pain. She wanted to fight, but it would just be more pain, if he did claw up her face she’d lose more than she’d already possessed.
She knew she shouldn’t have gone out with a noble, even if he was only a half-breed and society would never give him any real title. He had money, power, strength unlike that of a human, so much more than she could ever reasonably fight against. Her friends had warned her, and while despite his claims she was only a seamstress, a virgin, and he was about to ruin the one thing her mother had to trade if Kagome was to become a wife someday.
Yet when his fingers hooked over her panties she didn’t care that the situation seemed desperate she pushed forward and slammed her forehead firmly into his nose. It disoriented her almost as much as it did him however and when she scrambled away she didn’t quite make it to her feet before he grabbed her ankle and pulled her back down to the slick stones. When she crashed she tried to catch herself but landing on her already broken finger made her cry out again. He turned her over roughly and slapped her again. She nearly lost consciousness, the strength of demons was so much more than humans after all, yet he waited for the black dots in front of her eyes to vanish.
There was blood running down from his nose over his chin and it was bent at an odd angle, she might have broken it – with her forehead. He had claws near her face, he wanted her to see it, feel it, when he cut into her. She looked like someone he’d loved once; it was why she’d agreed to go with him even though that should have been reason enough to not. This wasn’t quite the way the stories went in the fairy tales when a noble went out with a commoner. He’d promised her a lot of money and even though she said she hadn’t been trained how to escort a noble he’d insisted she attend the party with him. When someone else recognized her as a local seamstress he’d gone off the deep end…he’d chased her out of the club and down here. Where he now was going to disfigure her, rape her, possibly kill her…she closed her eyes.
His claws had just touched her face but before they had the chance to draw blood they vanished again and she heard a crash further down the alleyway. “What do you think you are doing?”
The deep voice wasn’t Inuyasha and it prompted her to open her eyes, to attempt to warn her savior but when she spotted him instead her mouth hung open. It was another demon, the silver hair and the markings on the face gave away their superior status, they were of even a higher rank than Inuyasha…a full breed demon was likely to at least be a count, possibly a duke. Could her luck get any worse?
“Get the hell out of here, she’s just a whore, it’s none of your business how I treat a commoner.” Inuyasha was back on his feet and stalking toward them, though he’d been thrown almost fifteen feet the bruise on his face was already starting to fade away even as she watched. Seeing the capabilities of demons was even more frightening in person than the various rumors about them.
“It is when she was your escort this evening, perhaps her manners were poor but if she’s really only a whore her behavior falls on you to explain.” The taller man had a thinner face than Inuyasha, it was more predatory, though also more regal. His silver hair was pulled back into a ponytail though a few bangs escaped to frame the midnight blue quarter moon on his forehead. There were lines that began near his ears and ended on his cheeks, magenta claw marks that were further signs of his full demon heritage. He wore finery, a black tux with tales and all, a bow tie, dress shoes; a handkerchief in his front pocket, his outfit was pristine. There was a black and silver cane in one of his hands, which despite the rest of his dress were not gloved, though his fingers ended in claws that looked nearly manicured.
“It was just a club, it wasn’t anything important, and you’re out of place!” Inuyasha walked up to this other man; at least he wasn’t looking at her anymore. Though she still wilted a little away from the pair, hoping she might be able to run while they were going at it. “What does it matter to you, she’s mine…you weren’t even there.”
“Perhaps not but your barking is loud enough that complaint’s about it interrupted my opera, besides, show some respect.” While this new man was slightly taller he seemed thinner than Inuyasha though perhaps that was just the suit, certainly if he’d been muscular she wouldn’t see it through such well tailored threads. While his voice wasn’t raised, his words held an aggression in their chill that scared her almost more than when Inuyasha screamed. She was relieved that it seemed the half-demon was the object of that animosity, though she jumped and scrambled backward with a hiss of pain when the cane in his hand cracked against Inuyasha’s face. It was shortly after his comment as to ‘showing respect’ that he’d hit the half-breed.
The impact of the metal head of the walking device slammed into Inuyasha’s face with such force he collapsed after flying a few feet through the air, he didn’t move. Kagome wasn’t sure if he was dead or just unconscious, demons and half-demons didn’t function on levels like humans did. They were beyond any explanation man’s science had yet discovered, it was why they ruled and humans scrambled to garner their favor. Even with the advent of guns, electricity, zeppelins…bombs that could shred humans would only aggravate demons, how could society deal with that beyond hoping to gain enough favor not to suffer the warring demons wrath.
Then he looked at her, catlike eyes a burning gold that reminded her of a blacksmith or jeweler’s shop that was working the expensive metal. She swallowed, staring back at him a moment before moving to bow but wincing and pulling back as pressure was put on her finger. “I…I’m sorry…mi’lord…I ah, my finger I would give a proper bow but…”
“Quiet.” The one word shut her mouth firmly, she wasn’t about to risk the anger of another demon this evening. She still wasn’t sure what set off Inuyasha, she didn’t want to give reason to die, so far her face had been saved and she’d prefer it stay that way. She swallowed when he motioned her to move closer. “Come here girl.”
She pushed herself up with her good hand and walked forward, she found herself staring at his face, she’d been interested in the unique features of Inuyasha, the odd hair and eyes, but his hair had been fluffy, overly obvious, broken by ears (a symbol of his half-breed status he’d been less than pleased she’d brought up). This man’s hair was fine, it looked silken, and if she didn’t fear losing another finger she might have reached up to touch it. Instead she realized when he smirked she was staring and her eyes shot to his shined shoes. According to what little she knew it was rude to stare at a demon…he’d helped her and she was just gaping like an idiot. She winced, resisting the urge to jump back when a finger settled under her chin and pulled it upward, returning her eyes to his face. She could feel the moisture in her gaze but she was determined not to cry, she was stronger than this, she’d survived the streets to the age of nineteen without crying. She would survive this. He was scanning her face and eventually he shook his head, a hand dropping to a coin purse on his belt he untied the entire thing, holding it out to her.
Kagome blinked, and then hesitantly started to raise a hand, half expecting him to hit her. The velvet on the bag alone could feed her for a week if she could haggle a good price from a fence…not to mention whatever riches might be inside. Was this just some trick?
“I’m not going to hurt you girl. Unless you continue to waste my time, take this and don’t speak of your interaction with the half-breed. There should be enough for you to travel elsewhere, just get out of town.” He stated it so simply, as though he’d been through this before.
Inuyasha coughed and shuddered as he pushed up to his knees. “No no, she’s mine Sesshomaru, I’ll have her hunted down if you send her away. I might have gotten a little overzealous with the party but I will have her.”
“Impossible, if her profession is what you say no trainer will teach her the proper courtly ways, how many times will you forget she’s not Kikyo before you kill her? Before we’re cleaning up another mess because you can’t keep your lusts in check?” Sesshomaru, apparently that was the man’s name, retorted. “We do not abuse commoners that have done us no harm Inuyasha. You are aware of what Father has placed as law.”
“She acted a fool…”
“Silence!” Sesshomaru picked him up at the collar, slamming him into the wall. The brick splintered around where Inuyasha was shoved nearly an inch into the building from the force. She was treating the same man that snapped her finger with no effort like a rag doll – were full demons to half ones what half-demons were to humans then? “You put her in that situation. Stop attempting to blame others for your misgivings no matter how long that list is. It is only a matter of time before father grows tired of your reckless behavior, your idiocy. Then he’ll allow me to crush you under my boot like the insect you are.”
“You ca…” Inuyasha started to reply and there was a minor flex in Sesshomaru’s arm, his fingers tightening enough in that moment to cut him off and make the half-demon look nervous for the first time.
Then Inuyasha’s golden gaze bled black and red and instead of trying to pry his way free he clawed at Sesshomaru’s face. Sesshomaru dodged backward but he let go, which was apparently the plan.
Inuyasha moved for Kagome and his claws bit into her shoulder before she screamed and when she tried to push him away light formed at her hands and he went flying backward. She wasn’t sure what the hell just happened but she wasn’t going to wait and find out. They seemed as dumbfounded as she so she turned to run, she’d gotten 5 whole steps before Inuyasha was in front of her, this time his claws were coming up at her stomach and she had no way of moving out of the way. He was going to gut her…
Even as she screamed her view of the charging demon was blocked by a silver and black figure. Sesshomaru had gotten in front of her? Why was a noble helping her? From everything she knew demons were all evil, they had no real codes, no kindness. Only some sick and twisted political structure so his actions couldn’t have been for her sake. He must just hate Inuyasha that much, she wasn’t about to argue though. She wanted to survive and if a deal with the devil was what that took – so be it.
“You claim she is yours Inuyasha? I challenge you to the right of property by battle. If you want to pretend to be a noble then act like one, fight me or walk away from all claim to this human.” Sesshomaru remarked, like it was some sort of secret noble struggle for power. Hell that’s exactly what it best she could tell and this no matter how it ended was her as an object for their game. Though better a living thing than a dead human, hopefully this Sesshomaru would still just want to pay to shut her up.
Inuyasha was grinding his fangs, frustrated but clearly he would be no match for a full demon. Instead he scoffed. “Whatever, you can have the whore, you can probably use the sex.”
The half demon vanished after another moment to glare and Kagome held her injured hand closer to her chest as Sesshomaru turned toward her. He’d helped her but she doubted it was a matter of philanthropy. His golden eyes glanced over her, pausing a moment on her hand, then her injured shoulder before returning to her face. “You require a doctor. Follow me.”