InuYasha Fan Fiction ❯ Metamorphosis. ❯ The Favor ( Chapter 26 )
[ X - Adult: No readers under 18. Contains Graphic Adult Themes/Extreme violence. ]
Kagome swallowed hard as her heart hammered against her chest. She had to be hearing things. Maybe her ears were misleading her. `Did he just . . . ? Did he just tell me to . . . kiss him . . . ?'
Staring at her with an inscrutable frown, as though he were trying to read her mind, InuYasha didn't look away as color seeped into his cheeks. The look in his gaze reminded Kagome of the same one in his eyes during her dream, and she struggled to breathe.
“Are you . . . sure?” she whispered, unable to drag her eyes away from his.
He nodded slowly.
The trembling in her stomach spread to her hands, her legs as she tried to remember how to breathe. Her equilibrium was completely upset by his very proximity. Add to that the soft demand and she felt as if she were suffering from a serious oxygen deficiency . . .
The seriousness in his expression, the lingering fear in his gaze tugged at her heart. Did he really think that she didn't want to kiss him? Could he believe that? Turning toward him just a little more, Kagome reached up, pushed his bangs back out of his eyes. Held securely in the protection of his arms, she couldn't have felt safer if they had been on the ground. A blush rose in his cheeks, dusting his face with a tinge of pink but he stubbornly refused to look away. The longer she stared at him, willing him to see what she just couldn't say, she knew he understood as the traces of doubt seemed to fade.
Leaning up, pressing her lips against his, she marveled at the soft sigh that escaped him as his arms tightened around her, drawing her more securely against his chest.
The softness of his lips against hers was completely at odds with the vibrant strength of his arms. Senses tumbled together with emotion into a rage of something she couldn't define. A kiss meant to delineate her, a subtlety meant to show her that she belonged to him, the basest reaction of a primordial desire tinged with the cautious hold of iron control. She reveled in the tenderness wrapped in the secrets that were whispered from her body to his youkai, from her mind to his humanity, from her soul to his combined heart.
Rich sensation in a clouded sense of reality as he drew her in closer, his very being seeming to magnify around her. A subdued hue of golden yearning as the spirals of discovery became something a little more. A growing sense of everything beautiful, a culmination of some part of him that she had managed to tame merged with understanding that this was what he had always wanted, what he had always believed.
Behind the tenderness of his kiss, she could feel the trace pressure of his fangs. Shocking, startling, yet wholly welcome, she sighed as her hands fell to his shoulders, as she tightened her grasp on him, afraid to let go, afraid to lose the moment, afraid of her own staggering need. The force of her own desire frightened her. A voice whispered in her mind, `Too perfect, too wonderful, too achingly close to . . . something . . .' But he was InuYasha, and in her heart she knew he would never hurt her. He would never let her go.
With a ragged moan, as though he were struggling against his own instincts, he broke the kiss with a soft sigh as his head fell back against the tree, and he cleared his throat. He didn't let go of her, though, and she snuggled closer against his chest as she willed her breathing to return to normal.
“But . . . I'm breaking my other promise,” she murmured with a small smile as she leaned back to stare into his eyes.
He looked confused. “What promise?”
She let her hand rest against his cheek. To her amazement he leaned against it. “You made me promise I wouldn't kiss anyone . . . remember?”
A look of utter chagrin filtered over his features. Kagome nearly laughed out loud. “That wasn't what . . . You know what I . . . Damn it!”
“So I guess that means you'll either have to amend your first favor so that it doesn't include kissing you or . . .”
“Or . . . you'll have to do the kissing.”
He considered his options. She did giggle at the scowl of concentration on his face. She had a feeling he was trying to figure out if there would be any negative effects of the alternatives presented. “If I changed my first favor . . . does that mean there'd be more . . . kissing?” he asked slowly, a suspicious glint in his eyes.
Kagome gulped. “If you . . . if you wanted to . . .”
He snorted and wrinkled his nose as his blush darkened. Kagome suspected her face was just as flushed as his . . . “I'll think about it,” he finally stated.
Kagome sputtered indignantly as she tried to pull away from him. “You'll think about it? What do you mean, you'll think about it? I—”
“Keh! See what I mean? You never, ever shut up, do you?”
She didn't get a chance to retort as he dragged her forward and kissed her again. She gasped softly at the contact. The same gentleness in his lips on hers as the plunging wash of emotion crashed back on her again. Concentrating on feel, centered on the cautious tenderness, it occurred to her in her hazy mind that the reluctance, the hesitation in his touch was for her benefit, as though he were afraid to show her anything more than the utmost calm.
Lips moving over hers in a slow, deliberate caress, InuYasha's kiss deepened as his tongue flicked out against her mouth. The shocking feel accompanied by a rush of heat left her mind scattered, her will broken, her body surging with a lovely sense of absolute need. She had wondered before if kissing him would be different from her dreams. More intense, more formidable, more seductive, leaving her holding on, forgetting to breathe, lost in the knowledge that she was exactly where she wanted—needed—to be.
Sinking her hands into his silvery hair, Kagome held tight to him, unwilling to let him pull away again. As though the bounds of their friendship had somehow grown into this, as though the strength of the promise he'd made to protect her extended to the sheltering of her heart, she suddenly wanted to laugh, wanted to weep, wanted to fly . . .
“Kagome,” he rasped out as he managed to turn his face to the side. “Why are you . . . ? You're crying?”
She waved her hand dismissively but leaned against his chest as she fought to breathe. “I don't know . . . because I'm happy, and . . . and you make me happy . . .”
He stiffened but didn't let go. “. . . I do?”
She choked out a weak laugh. “Yes, baka . . . you do.”
He snorted as he smoothed her hair with his gentle claws. “. . . You make me happy, too.”
Striding into the castle with clipped movements, obvious irritation, Hisadaicho sent Aki away with a wave of her hand. `That arrogant, condescending, narcissistic . . .' With a frustrated sigh, she stomped up the stairs to her private chambers. `Think about it, will he? I offer him the one thing he wants, and he must `consider' it?'
Perhaps she had underestimated Sesshoumaru's feelings toward InuYasha. Perhaps that was the reason the tai-youkai would not comply. She had used the ultimate temptation against him: the wind sorceress, Kagura . . . What would he choose?
The spiraling smoke from the urn on the table caught her eye. Slowly, Hisadaicho smiled as a subtle calm ebbed over her. `My koishii . . .' Wrapping her hands around the pot, she closed her eyes for a moment. `There is another, isn't there . . . ?'
The wispy smoke rose and solidified, an image cresting in the waves of wafting mist. The vision was vague, distorted, and a name came to her in the silence. `Kouga . . . wolf youkai . . .'
Hisadaicho's smile widened. She heard the manservant slip into the room behind her. `Another . . . this Kouga . . . I wonder what his desire is? Show me.'
The mist swirled and condensed, ebbed and solidified. The image of a familiar girl perched high in a tree, held in the crimson clad arms of someone Hisadaicho recognized. `Interesting . . . very interesting . . .' Could it be? Both the hanyou and the wolf youkai . . . they lusted after this girl? `This could be used . . . this could be exploited . . .'
A delicious plan formed in her mind, a deception that would ensnare them all. `Kagome, is it? You don't even realize . . . but you will . . . yes, you will . . .'
“Fetch Iwazawa,” Hisadaicho instructed Aki, knowing he was lingering there. “I have work for him.”
Turning away from the spiraling mist, she frowned slightly. `Surely Sesshoumaru will come around . . . how often is he offered the chance to bring a ghost back from the dead? A small price to pay . . . surrender the family shame for the one you desire . . .' Her smile returned, lighting the depths of her lavender eyes with a devious glow. “Sesshoumaru . . . and then you, too, shall fall . . .”
“You wished to see me?”
Snapping out of her reverie with a quick blink, Hisadaicho shifted her gaze to meet his. “Iwazawa . . . I wish for you to do something for me.”
Iwazawa nodded. “As you wish.”
Pulling a small bag out of her kimono, she dangled the pullstring on her finger and extended it to Iwazawa. He stepped forward and took it. “The wolf youkai, Kouga . . . Make sure he gets this . . . carefully.”
Iwazawa bowed and backed out of the chamber.
`Kouga . . . wolves are not weak . . . but not as formidable as the inu-youkai, either . . . This may prove interesting . . .'
Beckoning Aki to her, she laughed as the servant stripped off her clothes. Her servant was more than happy to help her relieve some stress . . . with any luck, perhaps she could convince this wolf youkai to do the same . . .
“Kagome . . .”
Drowsing against InuYasha's chest, Kagome was nearly asleep when he murmured her name. “Hmm?”
“You have to shake this before you go to sleep,” InuYasha reminded her, tugging the talisman out of his undershirt.
Kagome yawned and snuggled closer. “Later,” she mumbled. “Sleepy . . .”
“Keh. Not later, wench . . . now.”
She groaned in protest as he gently shook her shoulder. With an irritated sigh, she sat up, shooting InuYasha an accusing glare. “I was almost asleep,” she pointed out as she swiped the vial out of his hand and shook it ten times.
He hid his amusement behind a loud snort. “Yeah, well, since I'd rather not have a repeat of last night, then you'd better shake it before you go to sleep.”
Kagome frowned as she tried to comprehend what he'd just said. “What happened last night?”
InuYasha winced inwardly. “Nothin',” he growled.
Kagome shook her head slowly. “What do you mean, nothing? Obviously it was something! What . . .” Eyes suddenly widening, as though something made sense to her, Kagome hesitantly lifted her gaze to meet his. The evening shadows veiled her eyes in the darkness but he could see the suspicion in her expression. “How do you know? About last night?”
He could feel his face heating and stubbornly turned his head away. “Keh! I don't know a damn thing.”
“I don't think I believe you,” she said softly. “Are you sure you shook it last night?”
“Hell, yes, I shook it,” he grumbled as he shook it for her benefit. “Just like that. It wasn't my fault. It was the well.”
“What was the well?” She gasped as she leaned further away. “You . . . you were there! How? Oh, kami . . .” Hands plastered against her cherry-red cheeks, Kagome couldn't even look him in the eye. “Put me down.”
InuYasha didn't comply. He didn't even answer. If he hadn't felt like a complete idiot before, he certainly did now. `Baka! I dragged her into this . . . I never should have said a damn thing . . .'
Her acute embarrassment was nothing in comparison to the feeling that he had single-handedly masterminded the entire thing on purpose. Even though his mind assured him that he'd done nothing of the sort, the stricken look on Kagome's face was enough to make him want to run away . . .
Flattening his ears against his head, InuYasha shook his head miserably. “You think I wanted this? That I did this on purpose? You think I wanted those dreams, and . . . Are you fucking nuts?”
She flinched and scooted away, staring at her hands folded on her belly. “No . . . I don't . . . I don't think so, at all.” She sighed. “Can you put me down now? I don't feel very good . . .”
“I didn't . . . that's not how I meant that,” he said with a sigh.
She nodded but didn't look at him. “I know what you meant. Now put me down.”
“You don't get it,” he told her, a soft pleading in his voice that he couldn't restrain. “It's not . . . You're different, in my dreams . . . you're not . . . you're not like you, and I . . . I don't want it that way.”
He could feel her gaze on him though he didn't dare lift his chin. Afraid of what she would discern in his eyes, afraid that she would see too much, he stared down at his claws digging into the tree branch. “InuYasha?”
He shook his head and reached for her. “Come on. I'll take you back to the village.”
“Wait . . . you mean it, don't you?”
He frowned. He had a feeling she was talking about more than just his dreams. He had a feeling that she had, like always, been able to read him just a little too well. “Keh.”
“Are you cold?”
InuYasha finally looked at her. “Cold?”
She smiled almost shyly. “Yes, InuYasha, are you cold?”
He shook his head. “I told you, wench. I don't get cold.”
“Oh . . . that's too bad . . . if you were . . . I'd offer to share,” she said slowly, flipping the sleeves of the haori to show him what she meant.
InuYasha eyes widened. “Oh, cold . . . Maybe . . . just a little . . . not much.”
She laughed softly and let him pull her back against him. After a minute of arranging the haori to drape over the both of them, she sighed. “Too bad we can't sleep out here,” she murmured wistfully.
“We could . . . I won't let you fall.”
He couldn't see her face but didn't have to, to know she was smiling. “You wouldn't, would you?”
Rubbing his cheek against her hair, he closed his eyes. `Never, Kagome . . .' Her scent comforted him, soothed him, and he smiled, too. “Keh.”
== == == == == == == == == ==
Final Thought from InuYasha:
Keh. . . Kissing. . . Nice . . .
Blanket disclaimer for this fanfic (will apply to this and all other chapters in Metamorphosis): I do not claim any rights to InuYasha or the characters associated with the anime/manga. Those rights belong to Rumiko Takahashi, et al. I do offer my thanks to her for creating such vivid characters for me to terrorize.