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Forbidden Love by BelovedStranger

Less than Human

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story came about because Margarida challenged me to write something 'dark' and 'tragic' yet still having a 'happy ending'. This fanfiction is based off of Dark Desires, from my lemon oneshot collection A Smell So Sweet. Changes have been made to fit the plot.

The whole story will be in Sesshomaru's POV!

Prompt from Stella Mira's Proverbial Challenge: 'Every cloud has a silver lining.'

The day had finally come, one he thought never to come to pass, though a dark part of him had dreamed of such an occurrence, a fantasy that was wrong on too many levels, yet no matter how much he wished otherwise, his desire was there—always. He knew his feelings were perverse, unnatural. He didn’t need anyone telling him what he already knew to be true. What might be considered worse than his unrequited love was the animal he knew himself to be, a creature of the night, someone—no, something—to be loathed and feared.

Despite once being one of them—human—the last five hundred years he walked the earth as something else, not a man but an abominable beast—a vampire of legend. But he was no fairytale. Vampires were real; he was very much real. Though his heart had ceased to beat for five, long centuries and his lungs no longer needed to pump life giving air to live, only to speak, he was not completely dead. His brain continued to function, his senses were alive and active; he walked and talked like any human being, but he was no longer just a man.

Blood continued to flow through his veins instead of drying up despite his heart’s lack of movement. Emotions continued to plague him like any other living being. And he hungered, thirst, but not for food or water. No, the only thing that continued to give him life was the rich taste of his prey—humans. Though he’d tried, experimented once so long ago by preying on animals and drinking their blood, his stomach could not keep it down. Like meat and vegetables, his stomach would heave and force him to expel anything that was not the blood of humans.

Flying through the air as a bat, though he didn’t actually need to morph into an animal to move across the sky, he journeyed to the one who held his heart, and the young woman didn’t even realize her sway over him. And hopefully, she never would. May God save her soul if she ever did—if He even existed. Most nights, he had his doubts.

His flight took him longer than if he’d remained in human form, but he wanted to make sure his presence went undetected by human eyes. His mission was far too important to renew the old tales of the existence of his kind. His very presence put the woman—more child than not—in harm’s way, and he would do his utmost to protect her while in his company for as long as she chose to stay.

Finally, he arrived.

As he went earth bound, transforming back into his real form, he noticed a black limo driving through the orphanage’s gates, and walked swiftly towards the parking lot it slowly advanced to. Before he even stopped and bent over the driver’s door, the window rolling down for the man within to talk to him, he knew who drove the long, expensive vehicle. His butler Michael. He could have ridden within the vehicle and allowed his man to drive him here or pick one of his many other vehicles and driven himself, but he needed the wind in his face, the peace that flying brought him to cool his anticipation and give him a clear mind when he picked up the recently turned eighteen-year-old girl. And she was a girl, barely legal, barely a woman, and far too young for someone of his age. But his age, his vampire state, were not the only reasons he should keep clear of her, and yet he could not stay away.

His good intentions were swallowed up by his selfishness. As if he needed another reason to loathe himself.

“Wait here, Michael. We’ll be along shortly,” he told his right hand man softly, his voice deep and rough from lack of use.

He hardly ever spoke, and trusted no one save Michael. The human male knew exactly what he was but strangely enough, he did not shed away from his presence or overly fear him. Michael was middle-aged, a forty-five year old man with a wife and two children of his own, and almost twenty years ago, he’d saved the humans when muggers would have raped Michael’s wife before murdering them both. Ever since then, despite coming to learn what he was, the newly married couple chose to repay him for his kindness, and wanted to look out for him during the daylight hours.

A first for him in all his long years of living since his rebirth. These two were the only humans who knew of his existence left alive, the only two who had never shunned him for what he was. And their companionship and assistance through the last few decades were precious to him. When their human life came to an end, he would be sad for their absence, but at least he had their children to keep him company. The two little girls, ages fourteen and twelve, viewed him as a dear Uncle.

It had been too long since the last time he could call anyone friend, but this family was his friends, his human family, though they shared no blood or conventional ties with him.

“Of course, take your time,” Michael replied with a warm smile.

With a nod, he moved away from the vehicle, and strode towards the main doors of the orphanage the young woman had resided in for the last eight years. She’d been a beautiful, little girl of ten when tragedy struck, her parents dying in a car accident, leaving their daughter alone in the world with no other family member surviving to take her in.

He’d known about her existence since the moment he’d heard of her conception, having kept secret tabs on the family for years. Why?

As the door opened, revealing the object of his hidden affections, the chocolate brown eyes of his twin sister’s descendant, his last remaining family to survive to the modern age stared back at him with open fondness and love.

“Kagome,” he breathed her name, ignoring the middle-aged woman who stood protectively behind her, helping carry his new charge’s two suitcases.

“Sesshomaru, you’re here,” Kagome whispered, emotion making her voice more husky than normal.

The sound of her beloved voice was like a pleasurable caress to his senses. Gazing upon her beautiful face, not for the first time did Sesshomaru wonder why a family had not adopted this woman-child years ago. Perhaps she’d been too old for the many families who came and went looking for a child to take in, or maybe they’d sensed his dark presence around her and shed away from her. The last thought never ceased to cause him some measure of guilt.

Like so many of his family’s descendants, he’d kept a watchful eye on each one but never had he interfered in their lives, never showing or introducing himself. Centuries ago, that had not been the case. After one unfortunate accident, he’d stopped trying to integrate himself in his family’s lives. Twenty years after the family members he’d once grown up with had died, he’d tried to reconnect with their descendants, only to accidently reveal his vampire nature, resulting in the accidental death of one and causing the other to try and kill him.

It was a memory Sesshomaru tried desperately to forget.

Over the centuries, he’d watched as his line grew smaller and smaller, dwindling to just one surviving member—Kagome. Unlike all the rest, he’d felt compelled to show himself to Kagome. There had always been something about her that made her different from all the rest. As she grew, he’d visit her some nights, given her gifts, and spent hours in her company, but he’d made sure he’d sworn her to secrecy about his existence; though she did not know that they were distant—very distant—relatives and his demonic nature.

When she’d, of course, asked him one night, long ago, why he never visited during the day, he’d merely told her he was allergic to the sun and incapable of venturing out into the sun’s rays. She’d believed him, still did. His pale skin validated his claim, so white, he was almost translucent.

Now, taking in her slightly round face, small, pert nose, full lips, thin but no less shapely body, and her short stature, he could finally reveal his presence to ‘outsiders’ and give her a home. The orphanage was unable to keep her past her eighteenth birthday, she was no longer a ward of the government, and she knew no other home, had nowhere else to go. He could not bear to see her struggle alone in this world without offering his aid, especially when he’d finally realized why she was so different from the rest of his dwindling line.

His twin sister Kikyo had been reincarnated inside this human girl, now woman. They looked so similar, almost identical copies of the other, but that was not why he’d come to love her as he did now. Their personalities were vastly different, yet similar. They shared the same inerrant kindness towards others, but that was where the similarities ended. Kikyo had been slightly jaded and aloof, while Kagome was headstrong, passionate, and outgoing.

It was not Kikyo Sesshomaru saw but Kagome as he reached out to lightly brush the backs of his fingers against her cheek.

“Did you think I would not?” he asked Kagome.

She blushed guiltily and ducked her head, hiding her face from him.

“Maybe a little…”

He dropped his hand but was not disappointed in her lack of faith. He had not been around as much as he could have been, as much as he’d wanted to be. It had been safer that way—for her. He wondered if she still harbored ill feelings towards him, because when she was younger, trapped here, she’d begged him to adopt her himself, but that had been too risky. If he’d taken her in, Sesshomaru feared her finding out about the demon he’d unwillingly become. That fear was ever present, more so now than ever before since she’d begin living with him. The thought of her turning away from him in fear and revulsion would savage his already splintered and black heart.

“Let me help you with these,” he murmured, reaching down to take her luggage.

However, after grabbing the largest one, Kagome had quickly picked up the other before he could.

“I can help,” she said with a small smile.

He did not dissuade her, merely returned the facial gesture, making sure not to flash his fangs. Though they were not as long and sharp when he fed or when his emotions were high, he still worried about discovery. His unnaturally amber gaze and snake-like pupils were already disconcerting to humans, no need to add to their discomfort and suspicions with canine-like teeth. When he was human, he’d had normal hazel eyes, but since his change, his gaze had morphed into that of a predator, much like a wolf’s.

Watching his new ward hug the older woman, it was obvious the other woman did not fully trust him. Though she did not seem to guess his true identity, modern day fads were both a blessing and…not. His strange eyes could easily be mistaken for contacts. Even though it was a popular trend—among other things—not all humans considered such fashion a good thing, viewing him as a bad influence and much worse. Though this older woman did not try to dissuade Kagome from going with him in his hearing, there was little doubt she did not trust him.

Too bad.

She’d had her chance to help Kagome find a loving home and failed. Now it was up to him to offer Kagome security.

Breathing deeply, Sesshomaru offered Kagome his arm when she turned back to him expectantly. Worry, trepidation, elation, and perhaps a little fear swirled in her dark depths, probably wondering what life would be like for her from today onward. Though she was obviously glad to be free of the orphanage, it was all she’d known for close to a decade, so he did not blame her for her worry. Regardless, with a bright smile only for him, she curled her hand around his elbow, allowing him to escort her to his waiting vehicle.

Despite Kagome knowing of his wealth, though he’d never bragged about it, she still seemed intimidated when he opened the back door of his limo for her. Taking both suitcases, he allowed Michael to put them in the trunk without a word, save for a grateful nod, and folded his tall frame to sit beside Kagome in the black, leather seat.

She was too close to him, their thighs almost touching. If his heart could beat, there was no doubt that it would be racing a mile a minute at their close proximity, and as Michael returned behind the wheel, she snuggled closer still.

Thin arms wrapped around his thick bicep, her side nudged up against his, and her head fell on his shoulder. Unable to stop the swift tightening of his body as sexual tension thrummed through him, Sesshomaru stiffened, didn’t even pretend to breathe for long seconds.

Misreading his reaction, Kagome felt it, and tried to move away with a softly whispered, “Sorry.” 

She didn’t get far. He wouldn’t allow it even though it was probably better to keep her at arm’s length, physically and figuratively. Fast—probably too fast—Sesshomaru wrapped the arm Kagome had held onto around her shoulders. Keeping his elbow on the back of the seat, he easily cupped her far shoulder and brought her tight against him again.

She gave in to his embrace readily, once again cuddling close to his chest. Innocently, her hand moved to his upper thigh, and just rested there. However, Sesshomaru felt that touch like a brand. It scorched his flesh with lust, forcing Sesshomaru to adjust his long coat over his lap as nonchalantly as possible to hide the tent in his black jeans.   

Her body heat seeped through clothes to warm his already too hot body. Gazing down at her black head, her white neck drew his stare like a magnet. Her black tresses revealed the tempting pulse that beat steadily at her throat, and though he’d taken care of his thirst before meeting her this night, his fangs shot out of his gums almost painfully. It wasn’t because he still hungered for sustenance that had him aching to take her vein, but because it was her, Kagome. He had never once preyed upon her, but for the last three years as she slowly became a woman, he’d hungered for the taste of her blood, to wrap her body intimately with his and make her a woman in truth.

If she’d been born back when he was still alive, still human, she would have been married long before now, but times had changed. For that, he was grateful, because the selfish part of his being shed away from another man possessing her, and he cursed himself anew for being glad that she was yet untouched. He should act fatherly towards her, had attempted to all these years, so shouldn’t he want Kagome to fall in love, get married, and have children one day? To be with a man who could give her these things as he could not?

He could not enjoy the day with her, could not share a meal, or give her children. Though he was fully capable of ejaculating, like his heart, his seed did not bear life. While he remained the same age as when he’d died, a man of thirty-two, she would wither and die; her body still held sway under time’s influence.

But you could make her like yourself, his mind had whispered to him more than a few times these past two years. And like every other time it whispered to him, Sesshomaru squashed the thought. If he couldn’t accept the monster that he’d become, how could he expect Kagome to embrace such a life? He’d take everything from her, just as it had been taken from him. He could not do that to her—ever.

Closing his eyes, Sesshomaru turned his face away from the temptation of her exposed neck, but her scent continued to taunt him. He was tempted to cut off his breathing and end his torment, but it was already chancy enough allowing her to recline her ear so close to his still heart. She didn’t seem to notice, but surely she would if her body did not rise and fall with his deep breathing.

Having her so close was both a pleasure and pure torture. Because of his inability to stay away and ignore Kagome’s plight, Sesshomaru faced the same dilemma as he had over five hundred years ago—falling in love with a woman society viewed as unacceptable. He’d loved his twin sister from afar, somehow controlling his baser urges for what seemed like an eternity, and now he was repeating his mistake by losing his heart to his twin’s descendant.

It seemed fate continued to spit at him by making him covet that which he could never have.

Regardless, Sesshomaru did not release her as Michael drove them to his manor.

 

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