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Murasaki: A Deal with the Devil (Rewrite) by Jade R. Rayne

Chapter 1

Murasaki: A Deal with the Devil

Summary- This story follows a dethroned Princess turned courtesan who comes across the Crown Prince of the West, Sesshoumaru. With endless obstacles keeping them apart, will these two ill-fated lovers ever find peace? And just exactly, what is the true reason for the Higurashi's dethronement? [SessKag][Mature readers only].

Note - 09/20/2016 – I am currently rewriting this story. Some parts will be the same, some of them will be different!  Thanks for reading!!  

Settings – Completely AU.

Chapter 1

Lavender—both a lovely flower, and an herb with medicinal properties.  She was dearly fond of this flower, for a reason unbeknownst to her.  It called to her, soothing her with its soft fragrance and gentle coloring.  It was this said flower that filled her entertainment chambers with an exotic flair.  Her chamber has seen many men since she started working at the Red Lantern Brothel.  Countless men, from the poorest pauper to the wealthy nobles vied for her attention.  Just a simple glimpse of her extravagant eyes would set their loins in a blindness rage that, even the most celibate cannot even resist.

"Kagome, are you ready?" a soft feminine voice sounded through the other side of her wooden door.  When Kagome didn’t answer, a soft knock echoed into her chamber. It was no other than her closest friend, Sango.  “Kagome?”

"Almost done, Sango.  I’ll be out shortly," she called to her dear friend. 

Solemnly, she turned to face her bronze mirror on the lavishly decorated vanity.  Her reflection stared back at her with disdain.  Or... could it be that her reflection is merely showing her truest feeling regarding her role in this forsaken brothel?  No matter.  The one thing true thing she kept protected and treasured is now for auction.  For the longest time, she refused and objected to the auction of her virginity.  And now, it is too late.  The bid has begun.

She reached for the capsule of rose red rouge on the surface of the vanity. It was a gift from one of her many customers.  No, she has not—and was not—allowed them to grace her bed.  They vied for her soft spoken manner, the brushing of her long dark raven lashes against the tops of her cheeks.  Kagome knew she was different.  Where other human females had dark hair and dark colored eyes, she was born with glistening crystal blue eyes, pale skin, and dark raven hair.  Apparently, that is what men who attended brothels yearn for.

Kagome stoically applied the rouge on her lips with her pinky finger and set it back in its place.  She slid off her cushioned chair to grab her lavender colored Chinese silk shawl off of the expensive feather and cotton stuffed futon.

"Here we go again," she whispered as she wrapped her bare shoulders with the silk shawl.  She felt like a corpse.  She served no other purpose but to entertain men who wanted nothing more than her body.  She was tired, her soul worn.  "Please... someone... light a path out of this misery for me," she whispered under her breath as she stilled her palms against the cool wooden surface of the door to her chambers.  She closed her magnificent eyes, and exhaled a long sigh.  It was going to be a long night.

Pushing the door to her private chambers aside, she descended down the stairs where people—lecherous men of all ages eagerly awaited for her presence.

"Ah, all you gracious and generous gentlemen, the moment all of you have been waiting for has come!"

Kagome inwardly cringed as those words assaulted her ears, still with an emotionless mask in place, she continued down the stairs. The voice belonged to Yuko, one of the brothel's owner and currently the Head Mistress.  Her dreaded slave master.

 "Here is your Forbidden Flower, the reason why your souls are unrested and eager, here is… Murasaki..."

Kagome elegantly passed through the parted path the crowd made for her and settled herself onto the cushioned chair adorned with red velvet fabric placed in a stage in front of dozens of men.  The men cheered and whistled their approval of her attire.  It was both modest and revealing—if it could ever be such a thing.

'Disgusting, filthy… lecherous men,' she hissed in the confines of her mind.  Under the warm light of the lanterns, the rich lavender silk kimono made her milky shoulders glow; illuminating a softness that these men cannot touch.  A softness they cannot taste.  A softness they desperately crave.  Her rouge color lips tempted the fantasies of the men.  With her hair pinned up in a loose bun with Chinese hair pins, and loose tendrils of hair framing her face, the men were eager to bury their noses into the thick luscious pile of dark raven hair.  Their mouths watered at the nakedness of her bare, milky neck.  Yes, they lusted after her like a dog lusting after a bitch in heat.

She is a forbidden flower... a flower they will never be able to own for she is a courtesan.  And as the most sought out courtesan, she is on a hierarchy higher than the common whore.  A courtesan is what reels in the money in for brothels.  A courtesan is what kept Head Mistresses and Brothel owners rich in precious gems and metals.

Head Mistress Yuko will not let Kagome go without a bid.  A bid that will last two weeks, a bid that will drive men around the land to pay to take what was most precious to Kagome—her innocence, her treasure.  

And that bid begins... tonight.

-0-

The full moon's luminescent glow brightened the dark night sky.  One creature in the Palace of the Moon stared at its ethereal beauty.  His own ghostly features rivaled the moon’s.  With long waves of hair in the color of the lit moon, his tall frame inherited by his race, and a built structure of centuries of training, Crown Prince Sesshoumaru of the Western Japan stood in his private chamber's balcony. Waiting.

It had been an uneasy few months for him.  The peace of the Western Lands was threatened by rogue bands of lesser youkai terrorizing the villages in both the West and the East. Because the groups were of Western and Eastern creatures, neither ruling family of both kingdoms were allowed to terminate the invading bandits due to their millennia old treaty that has been honored from generation to generation.

Absurd.  Preposterous.  Damn treaty. 

Their only solution?  Marry off the first son and first daughter of the ruling families to unite and expand their kingdoms.  And that is where his problems begin.

The truce will be an uneasy one.  The Palace of the Moon's ruling family is of pure Inuyoukai. The Palace of the Sun; the Eastern ruling family were of mixed breeds of Nekoyoukai.  No one remembered when the Nekoyoukai came into ruling; it hasn't been documented or mentioned until recently. Then again, who knows what happened in the millennia's past?

Sesshoumaru was waiting for a path; or an action he can take to avoid the clash between ruling families without having to sacrifice himself to the first daughter of the Nekoyoukai clan, Kagai, Crown Princess of the East.  As though in the back of his reasoning, he knew there are no other way— he couldn't help but want to wait.  Waiting for something to happen... waiting for something that can perhaps change his undesirable, awaiting fate.

"Sesshoumaru," a familiar voice lulled him out of his thoughts.

Sesshoumaru closed his molten glazed eyes and nodded, "Yes, Jyunchi? What is it that you need is so important that you have to disrupt my dwindling peace?"

"I figured you might want to visit a brothel, my prince," Jyunchi chirped, Sesshoumaru's closest friend and second-in-command urged.  "The Nekos won't wait, you know. You might as well shower yourself with pleasure before having to deal with those feline bitches."

"I cannot defile my pure line with those ungrateful felines, nor can I dirty myself with your whores, Jyunchi," Sesshoumaru slipped back into his private chambers and settled on the seat to his desk that was littered with petition scrolls.  It seems, it wasn't only him who thought defiling the blood of the Inuyoukai clan was an unthinkable action.

"They aren't my whores, Sesshoumaru!  At least not all of them.  They have courtesans you know!"

"What is so different from a courtesan than of a common whore, my friend?" Sesshoumaru hissed in irritation.  His clawed hands traveled to his temples for a welcomed massage.

"They're virgins, for one. And two, I heard the Red Lantern is holding a bid for the virginity of one of their best courtesans for the past two years.  I want to see her.  They rumored her to be a temptress that makes men disown their family and sell their children just to barely get enough money to have a courting with her," Jyunchi exclaimed with excitement as he settled on a cushion near the Crown Prince's endless shelves of books.

"And this concerns this Sesshoumaru, how?" his icy tone sent shivers up Jyunchi's spine.

"It doesn't, I suppose. Forget it. I guess indulging in the presence of a beauty is not for you," Jyunchi casually shrugged and started to retreat to the door. 'Take my bait you old dog!'

"We will leave in an hour."

Jyunchi grinned, "Yes, milord... let it be so."  He knew Sesshoumaru needed to be around elegant beauties before having to mate with a shrewd. Kami help his dearest friend.  The Nekoyoukai of the East were rumored to be most vain and cruel.  Sesshoumaru deserved a retreat from his impending doom, however small and menial.

-0-

"Here you are, Murasaki.  Your highest bidder for tonight and one of the fourteen final bidders, Lord Kiken," Yuko introduced the first winner of her two weeks bid.  "You will be accompanied by your lady-in-waiting, Sango, and two body guards of our brothel and one of Lord Kiken's.  You will not go further than the edge of our garden," the older woman stated, and brought her face down to Kagome's level.  Her eyes narrowed and whispered in Kagome's ears, "or else I cannot promise what ills and injuries that will befall on your father and brother."

Kagome clenched her jaws together, her lips twitched and thinned briefly before smiling and bowed her head, "As you wish."  She swallowed the bile that bubbled up to her throat.  This damn women held her beloved father and brother hostage.  And there is not a damn thing she can do about it.

"Good. You are to return before sunrise tomorrow morning," Yuko grinned victoriously and bowed to Kiken.  "Enjoy your time with our Jewel, milord," she nodded to their patron and left swiftly through the door.

"Shall we, milord?" Kagome donned on a smile.  A fake smile she puts on every single courting she has with a patron.  "Shall we begin our stroll by the sakura blooms or the orchids, sir?"

"The sakura blooms calls to me, Murasaki," Kiken casted a glance around the large garden and spotted their servants trailing behind them, 'No privacy.'  He mentally groaned.  He wanted her for himself.  In private— preferably in his private chambers.  He inched closer to Kagome hoping to catch a hint of her soft scent.

"Lord Kiken?" Kagome grew weary of the close proximity Kiken wanted.  An uneasy feeling that made itself known from the earlier introduction began to grow leaps and bounds.  There was something unusual about this man’s aura.  Given, he was a younger patron than the others, but he had small beady eyes that reminded her of a predator.

"Ah, yes.  My sincere apologies, my angel.  I just wish, we have some private time to ourselves," Kiken smiled as softly as he could.  He would have her soon.  He will have her, no matter the cost.  He has sold his business assets to become the highest bidder for today.  He will not settle for just a mere couring.  No, he'll have more.  'Much more.  'And he wasn't intending to wait until the final bidding.

"I'm afraid that's impossible, sir," Kagome softly put down his advance.  She was not allowed to be out of her guards’ and Sang’s sight.  She definitely was not allowed to be touched by a male.

"Why?  Are you afraid I'll take advantage of you, my dear?"  Kiken grinned humorously, “Here. I'll dismiss my guard if that'll make you feel more comfortable."  He waved his hand in midair to dismiss his guard.  His guard bowed briskly and turned back to the main building of the brothel estate.  "Do you feel better now?"

Kagome mustered a small smile, "Somewhat..." The gnawing of her gut she had deep within her trembled slightly and settled into near nothingness.

"All is well, my dear. I will not hurt you if that is what you're afraid of," Kiken murmured softly. "Now, I do believe dismissing your guards will be fair.  After all, you have your lady in waiting with you— and I am a man of honor, I will not hurt a flower as gentle and pure as you."  Kiken walked under the blooming sakura tree and gracefully sat by the roots. 'At least... not yet.'

Kagome's left eyebrow twitched for a brief second. 'Can I trust him?'  Truth be told, she was tired.  Tired of men wanting her for the wrong reasons— sex, entertainment, greed, and ego.  She wanted something different... someone who will cherish her in a way she hasn't been before. Could Kiken be the one who she can trust? 'It couldn't hurt... could it?'

"You two are dismissed until further notice... but stay close," Kagome ordered to her guards. "Sango, you will stay with me won't you?"  It wasn't much of a question of authority, but more for security and comfort.

Sango nodded in response, and the guards retreated to a distance further from the now group of three.

"Ah, this is much better without the guards breathing down our throats!" Kiken grinned and jumped onto his feet and leaned his back against the trunk of the tree.  "Isn't this sakura tree beautiful, Murasaki? Where I come from, these sakuras are so scarce, it's nearly impossible to find."  Kiken was from a faraway land, far west of the horizon seen on Japan. He acclimated to Japan traditions and culture upon his arrival to fit in, and trade of course.  He is a merchant after all.

Kagome nodded, "Yes, milord Kiken.  The blossoms are indeed beautiful."

Kiken slyly grinned at the tree— his back facing Kagome.  "Well it is late spring, let's check if there are fruits on the top of the tree!" Before Kagome can register what he said, Kiken leaped onto the closest branch to the group and hauled his body up.

"Wait, milord! This sakura tree does not bear fru-!" Kagome cried out after him and ran closer to the trunk of the tree.  The tree was over thirty feet high, and her patron was maneuvering through the branches with unsteady steps.  Before she can finish her sentence, or urge him to climb back down safely— he slipped.  As clumsily as he started to climb up, he lost his footing on branch and was sent crashing down by gravity.

"Lord Kiken!" Kagome gasped in horror when he landed with a loud thud.  "Are you well?" She leaned over his slumped body, afraid to touch him in fear of injuring him further.

"Hn... I... I think my back is broken..." Kiken grounded out between clenched teeth. "Pl-please help me, I can't feel my legs..."

Kagome swallowed nervously. She has never been in this predicament and with Kiken's groans and hisses of pain— she broke her most important rule. "Sango, please.  Get the guards and look for Kaede in the healing wing!"

"B-but Kagome!" Sango was hesitant on leaving her friend alone with a male.  Especially when it was her job to protect her as well.

"Hurry! We can't delay any longer if his spine is torn!" Kagome commanded.  She watched Sango nod hesitantly before racing behind her and briefed the guards.  Kagome held her breath in anticipation when she saw her most trusted friend, and her two guards rushing to escort the healer to her.  "It's okay milord, help will be here soon. They've gone to find help..."  She slipped her silk shawl off her shoulders and pressed it softly on the small bleeding gash on her patron's temple.

"A-are they really gone?" He grunted and cracked his eyes open slightly to glance around.

"Yes, it'll be alright. They'll be here soon," Kagome smiled reassuringly to her patron.  It is for no doubt she was uneasy about helping him, but she was not one to ignore someone in need.  "Do not worry, Lord Kiken, the healer will be able to tend to you soon."

"No... I'm not worried at all," Kiken's eyes grew wide and brimmed with anticipation. He grabbed her by her wrist, and with renewed rigor, he yanked the both of them off of the grass.

"S-sir?  Why are you getting up?" Kagome asked a question she already answered in pits of her heart.  It was a trap.  How can she be so thin-witted? She shouldn't never trusted him... or anyone at that.

"Just a little numb pain, it's not a bother at all... my angel. Now, let us go to a more... private area. Shall we?"  Kiken jerked her wrist towards the edge of the brothel's garden, and into the edge of the forest before she could muster a word.  The force of his strength forced the air out of her lungs as she lunged forward— losing her footing.

"Sango! Sango! Help Me!" Kagome called behind her as loudly as she could with little air in her lungs.  But Sango and her guards were long gone.  If she told them not to hurry, if only she told one of the guards to stay— she wouldn't be in this situation.

"Now, now my pet. There is no need for that."  Kiken maneuvered directly behind her and crushed his hand against her mouth.  "We don't want any trouble, you see. I just want what is rightfully mine."

Kagome leered at Kiken with her sapphire blue eyes, and jerked her face free of his grasp and hissed, "Rightfully yours?  And what do I possible have that forces you to treat me this way?"

"No, it isn't what you have my dear.  It is how... valuable you are.  How amazingly delicious my mind phantoms you to be, my love."  Kiken wasted no time in dragging her deeper and deeper into the forest.  "I suggest you stop struggling against my grip now, my pet.  Or I'll be forced to take you upon the bed of the forest floor."

"You'll what?" Kagome whispered in disbelief.  'Is he going to force himself upon me?' Just how in the heavens did she get herself in this situation— she did not know.  She swallowed nervously. 'This won't do... I can't just let him pull me away!'  They've walked— hustled more like it, for no more than ten minutes, she can escape and run back to the safety of the brothel if she could just distract him for just a moment.

"I will not repeat again, Murasaki. Hush now and hurry, our transportation is not far from here," Kiken increased his speed and made sure Kagome followed his suit. 'It won't be long now...'

"Where will you take me? You won't get away about this, you lecher!"  Kagome spat insults and snide remarks at him— but he was unfazed. 'I have to get away, but how?'

An hour has passed, and she was tired.  In her efforts with formulating a plan, she has failed.  In efforts of distracting and humiliating her kidnapper, she has failed.  Kagome looked around her.  The forest was littered with thick shrubs and dead sticks that has tore her kimono's hem shamelessly.  For once since she was a child, her legs were revealed to the world.  She was disgusted at herself to say the least; she was a 'noble' courtesan after all... she was not supposed to reveal any portion of her legs.  Although ironically, as courtesans they were allowed to show skin above their shoulders, and their hands.

As they traveled deeper and deeper into the dense forest, something peeked her interest.  She was sure she has heard the sound of wooden carriages.  But was she hearing things?  Kagome scanned the forest once more.  The dirt on the path they were rushing on seem to fade into a sand-like dirt, grass and shrubs grew scarcer by the minute. 'Are we on a road path?'

"Ah... Kinu!  My good steed!"  Kiken exclaimed when he spotted his black Arabian stallion.  "I apologize for leaving you out here all alone!"  He called through the dense trees in front of them.

Kagome didn't— couldn't see a thing.  In the darkness of the night, and the density of the trees that blocked out the light from the moon, she couldn't see further than three or four feet in front of her.  "What are you talking about?" She hissed as Kiken pulled her closer to his 'steed.'

"We are here my dear Murasaki.  Kinu will ride us far into the West and there lies a ship waiting for us.  We will live happily together... my angel," he spun Kagome around and pressed her against his body.  He buried his large nose into the hair behind Kagome's ear. "And into the west we will sail until we reach China.  From there, we will travel through the Arabian's land and into my homeland, where we will start a new life together— just you and me, and our future children."  His free hand wandered lower on her backside.

Kagome took no heed of his deranged ramblings.  She saw Kinu; she saw the beautiful black horse in the midst of the dark forest.  She saw her freedom.  Wasting no time, Kagome took advantage of sudden vulnerability and launched her body with as much force as she could muster against his.  The attack sent them both falling onto the forest floor, but to Kagome's fortune Kiken's head collided with a jagged rock.

"Argh!" Kiken cursed his luck and clutched onto the side of his wounded head. "Murasaki! After how well I've treated you, you do this to me? You'll regret this!"  He attempted to stand onto his feet, but his collision with the rock has left him rickety.

Kagome swallowed her nervousness and lifted her feet on the side of Kinu's saddle, "Please help me escape."  She spoke to the dark horse.  She knew he didn't understand, but was there any harm in trying to plead with an animal?  Kagome pulled herself up on the saddle and swung her leg to the other side.  Again, Fate was being kind to her. Her kimono was too torn to restrain the sudden stretch in force when she settled into the saddle.

But she was missing one very important detail; she's forgotten how to ride a horse. "Hya!" She shouted at it, but Kinu didn't budge. She kicked and nudged at his sides, "Come on! Please!" She begged. But Fate wasn't kind to her then.  Kinu snorted and stood still.  Kagome heard Kiken chuckle behind her.

"He only responds to certain unique commands Murasaki.  You are mine now, there is no point in fighting.  If you come down, I’ll forgive you for what you have just done," Kiken wiped the sweat off his brow with a dirtied sleeve and reached for the sheathed sword on Kinu's saddle.  "I'm not going to repeat myself, Murasaki."

'Please, run!' Kagome nudged at Kinu's side some more. She grew frantic— she knew it was a matter of seconds until she was on the ground and he atop of her if she didn't leave now. Scared, Kagome began to shout out incoherent words, phrases and conjured sounds.  She clicked her tongue between her teeth.

Kinu stirred; he snorted and stomped his front left hoof into the dirt. 'Is that it, boy? Is that the right command?'  Kagome hurriedly click her teeth and nudged his side once more, 'Please run my friend!'  Kinu neighed loudly and kicked his hind legs.

Dirt flew into Kiken's eyes and he frantically unsheathed his sword and started to wave it in midair without caution.  "Get off my horse now!"  Kiken croaked angrily.  He didn't want her to escape.  If she left—it would be all over for him.  He would have no bride, no business assets and no bragging rights—nothing.

Before Kinu leaped forward, Kiken's icy blade met warm flesh of two beings—Kagome's and the muscular lower back of Kinu.  Maybe Fate wasn't on her side tonight or else she could've escaped without injuries.  Kagome let out a sharp cry of pain and fell onto the strong back of Kinu and griipping onto his dark mane.  Kinu neighed loudly as he charged down the moonlight path.

Kagome's breath hitched in her throat as the jagged pain shot waves of electricity up her spine. Thick crimson blood seeped into her lavender kimono with each jolted leap Kinu took.  The dark steed sped down the sandy dirt path with only the fear of being attacked to urge him on.  Where he was going, he didn't know.  His rider, Kagome was withering in pain but somehow still managed to cling onto his dark mane as he made his way through the dense brush.

-0-

"Ah… I can't wait!" Jyunchi settled comfortably into cushioned seat of the carriage with his arms dangling across the length of the bench.v "Yuko… Yuki! I'll be there soon! Wait for me!"  His eyes twinkled brightly and his mouth began to water.

Sesshoumaru raised a well groomed eyebrow at his friend, "Who are you lusting after now, Jyunchi?"

"Just my beautiful, busty twins. They own the brothel.  I'm sure they'll serve us well," Jyunchi smirked smugly and nodded at his trusted friend. It's true that Sesshoumaru was his superior, and soon to be leader. But through the obstacles and experiences they overcame together, the honorifics seem redundant.

Sesshoumaru let out a miniscule scoff, "Must I remind you I wish not to be touched by your females. If their—" He paused.  "Wait, do you hear that?" Sesshoumaru's pointed ears twitched at the distant hectic pounding of hooves on dirt.

"No.  I—," Jyunchi began.  Sesshoumaru hushed him. 'You asked…' Jyunchi rolled his eyes.

"Stop the carriage," Sesshoumaru commanded in his icy tone.  The reasoning behind why they were travelling in a carriage was beyond him.  He could run miles into the distance in the same span of time as the carriage goes for a few hundred yards.  But it wasn't important now.  He stepped off the carriage and studied the dirt path in front of him.

"What is it, Sesshoumaru?" Jyunchi peeked out of the carriage's open window.

"I smell… blood—two different ones," Sesshoumaru sniffed the air. His nose tingled when he detected that luscious lavender in the air.  His core tensed with that wonderful scent was linked to the two scents of blood.  The pounding of the hooves grew louder, and in the distance appeared a large figure galloping right towards them.

"It's an onna and a horse…" Jyunchi stated the obvious. He stepped off the carriage and began closing the distance between the galloping horse.

"No, stay."  Sesshoumaru held his left arm out to stop Jyunchi from stepping in front of him.  Without further instruction to his friend, Sesshoumaru dashed forward to Kinu—treading through air with lightning speed.  There was an odd pull in his chest.  A type of feeling that urged him forward even if he didn't know it himself.

Within seconds Sesshoumaru was in front of Kinu.  Startled, Kinu reared his two front hooves into the air, followed by a loud neigh.  His unconscious rider slid off his back and onto the dirt path with a loud thud.  Sesshoumaru snatched the reins of Kinu and pulled him to his eye level. 'Calm down,' Sesshoumaru's molten gaze demanded.  Kinu snorted with arrogance and jerked his head away.  Sesshoumaru growled at the dark horse's disobedience.

"Take him," Sesshoumaru directed Jyunchi over his shoulder. Jyunchi raced over to retrieve the reigns.v Sesshoumaru directed his attention to the bundle of lavender fabric and blood stained flesh. The scent of blood and lavender tempted his curiosity.  He crouched closer to her limp body for a closer inspection.  Her milky porcelain shoulders seem to glow under the ethereal moonlight; dark tendrils of raven black hair covered her face.  He reached over to brush a few strands of hair from her sweat covered face.

"Who… are you?" Startling crystal blue eyes stared at him through heavy lids.  Her voice was hoarse from the pain of her wound.  "My back…," she whispered.  Her vision was blurred from unshed tears and faulted focus. Precious thick blood continued to seep through her thin kimono, down her back, dripping onto the dirt road.  "Please… help," Kagome tried to focus her eyes onto Sesshoumaru's face.  But all she saw was snow white hair, a pale face and eyes the color of hot molten gold.

Sesshoumaru debated with himself—whether she lived or not was of no consequence of him… so why should he help?  Why would he help?  But something urged him to take action; it urged him to take her under his wing.  

Though, there was something about her that intrigued him.

He slipped one arm under her knee and his other behind her neck and around her shoulders. He was less than gentle picking her up—she jostled in his arms as he carried her towards the awaiting carriage.  He ignored her grunts and hisses of pain and settled her onto the cushioned bench of the carriage.  He then settled on the bench across from her.

Kagome's breathing quickened to shallow puffs of air as she lay limply on the soft fabric. Her limbs grew cold and all she could do was stare at him. Her vision began to clarify but the darkness in the carriage didn't help her make much of her 'savior's' face.  Kagome closed her gem colored eyes—all he was doing was staring at her.  Maybe he didn't have any intention of saving her after all.

Sesshoumaru reached over and wrapped his arms around her waist and turned her around on the bench—with her back facing him and her front facing the back of the bench.  'She needs to live,' he felt his beast stir. 'She is important to usSave her. ' Sesshoumaru snarled lightly, 'So… it is you who is making this refined one act so lowly.'

Feeling slightly ridiculous for talking to himself, Sesshoumaru decided it was better to cease the bleeding before it stained his royal carriage.  Besides, being a full Inuyoukai, his beast was not one to lead him astray.  His inner beast, the being in which all breeds get their physical attributes and power are also their guides—his guardian.

The exasperating urge he felt grew stronger as he detected her heart beat slowing.  Yes, it was best if he saved her now—for him and for his beast.  His father wouldn't like the stench of a dead onna in the royal carriage.  He lifted his clawed hand and tore her kimono straight down her back.

"What are you doing?" Kagome hissed.  She lifted her head when she heard the fabric rip and tried to move away from him but receded back onto the bench in mind numbing pain.

Sesshoumaru held her down in place with his left hand and without emotion answered, "Saving you."

"Do you—know who I am?" Kagome grimaced through her sentence.  "You will… will not stare—or touch my body!"  She began to tug at her kimono with what little strength she mustered . It didn't go her way, though—the more she tug, the more she exposed her bare back to Sesshoumaru.

Sesshoumaru snorted, "Onna, you are nothing but a lowly creature that requires this one’s assistance.  You have nothing of value that this Sesshoumaru desires." He leaned over to take a closer look at her wound.  "A sword wound…" it peeked his interest. 'What is an onna like her doing in the middle of the forest with a sword wound down her back?  But the wound isn't too deep to need medicinal herbs.'  Sesshoumaru hesitated for a split second—what he was about to do, he has only done for one other being.

"What… are you going to do?" Kagome whispered through baited breaths.

"Must I repeat myself?" Sesshoumaru griped with an emotionless ring in his voice.  "Hold still," he closed the distance between his face and her wounded back.  His warm tongue emerged through his lips and he laid it at the bottom tip of the diagonal wound.

"Wha—stop that this instant!" Kagome felt his tongue on her back.  She was not to be touched! Not by a male, and certainly not licked by a male before her bidding was over.  Kagome squirmed under his grip but to her dismay, he was far stronger than she was.

Sesshoumaru ignored her outburst and continued to stroke her cut with his tongue.  He could hear his beast purr in a contented manner within the shackles of his mind.  He closed his eyes from the sheer reaction he was feeling.  Her blood intoxicated his body.  He felt his clawed hands involuntarily flex, his heartbeat quickening as he lapped at her wound.  Being a pure Inuyoukai, he has the ability to heal faster than most breeds.  It was instilled in their entity, including his saliva.  He heard her breath quicken, soon her heartbeat followed suit.

He continued to tend to her cut, from her lower right side of her waist to just under her left shoulder.  His saliva slowly, but surely knitted her flesh together; sealing her once bleeding wound shut.   Sesshoumaru opened his eyes.  His eyes trailed from her silky bare neck to her throat… up her chin and onto her lips.  He didn't want to stop—there was an insatiable need for him to continue, to follow where his eyes has glanced upon.  

Her scent teased his senses; urging him to continue.  He wanted more.  His gentle stroking with his tongue turned warm caresses with his lips up her shoulder blade and onto her neck. He felt her body tense incredibly; he heard her breath hitch in her throat.  He half expected her to push him away now that she shouldn't be feeling any pain.  But she didn't.

A low moan emitted from her throat. Sesshoumaru smirked against her now burning skin. He could feel her hasty pulse through her skin with his lips.  He inhaled deeply as the tip of his nose touched the skin behind her ear. He could smell her—her purity, her innocence… the beginnings of her heady arousal.  His hand that was once pressing her down pulled on her torn kimono, exposing more of her milky soft skin.  Maybe there was something he wanted from her… maybe… he can get it now…

She moaned helplessly at the seductive butterfly caresses he donned onto her skin.  Just a few mere hours ago she was safe and pampered in the large mansion like brothel, and now she was succumbing to her womanly desires to the ethereal god like creature behind her.  She felt his arm encircle her waist and pulled her against his chest.  Her back arched and she threw her head back instinctively when her burning skin graced his cool garments. His musky scent of unshed rain filled her nose and sent her head reeling in circles—she let out another lustful moan.

"Onna… I can smell you… your lust," Sesshoumaru whispered besides her ear with his lips brushing against her ear lobes.  He was answered with a hitched breath from the trembling female under him.  "What is it that you want… little onna?  Tell me… Beg me…" His hand trickled slowly from her waist, caressed her hip and dipped into her inner thighs with only her kimono blocking her womanly treasure.

Kagome whimpered helplessly at his delicious caresses. "Please…" she whispered almost inaudibly.  She brushed the side of her cheek against his neck and nudged his masculine jaw with her nose to continue. "Please…" she whispered again.  She has never felt such pleasure and unbearable pain all at one sitting—and for one so innocent and curious, she wanted to know… to feel more.

"Please what, onna?" His voice was hoarse with need, and answered her plea with a slow grind of his hips against her soft behind.  He didn't know when she sank onto the floor beneath him with only her upper body leaning against the cushion of the carriage bench—he didn't know when and he didn't care.  He was giving all his undivided attention to the quivering female under him.  "What do you want…?" He nibbled on her ear teasingly.

"T… touch me," she breathed.  She felt dirty the moment she said it—but it excited her enough to put a blush on her cheeks when she felt the wetness between her legs pool.

"Here?" He rubbed small circles on her left hip and grinned at her unsatisfied whine.  "Lower?" He asked and grinded his body against hers once more.

"Lower…" she begged and leaned against his burning touch.  "Lower…" she whispered again and rolled her hips in a small semi-circular motion against his harden member—she earned a soft groan and a nibble on her ear as his response.  With elongated claws, he ripped the remaining coverage of kimono and slid his cool hand on her burning flesh of her thighs.  

Kagome gasped at the sudden temperature change but it didn't faze her desire to be touched by her savior.  It felt natural—enough for her not to realize she was about to give her most prized possession away.

"Here… my onna?" he grinned triumphantly at her cry of ecstasy when he gently rubbed her engorged, slick nub between her legs.  "Is this… what you wanted?" he teased as he applied more pressure on the sensitive pink bud.  Her cries of newfound pleasure sent him desiring to want to be embedded inside her.  Her slick juices began to soak his fingers and slide down the sides of her legs.  He's had enough of waiting—she was ready for him.

"Patience," he chided softly at her protest when he stopped his administrations. He kneeled behind her, pulled her into his arms only to turn her around and laid her on her back on the carriage's wooden floor.

Kagome let out a soft gasp of surprise when the moon's bright rays illuminated the carriage… and her savior's face.  His lusty golden eyes stared hotly at her with an emotionless face.  She had seen the face of her savior… and equally, he has seen hers.

Sesshoumaru couldn't help but stare. He knew he saw her sapphire eyes earlier when he picked her off of the dirt—but he didn't realize the full extent of her exotic beauty.  Her sapphire eyes stared at him with pleasure and lust, her mouth was parted and she panted lightly.  His eyes trailed down her bare neck and shoulders, then to her exposed breasts.  Her nipples were perked and hard—it made his groin tighten in excitement.  He slowly descended and hovered over her. He wanted to penetrate deep within her, to feel her tightness around his thick length; he wanted to taste her… to have her. But all he could, and she as well, stare deeply into each other's eyes as if they were in a trance…

-0-

The scent of her arousal, mixed with Sesshoumaru's own soon inflated the small carriage and began seeping out to the sensitive noses of Jyunchi and the Western Land's Royal guards.

"Ahem," Jyunchi cleared his throat uneasily when the over powering scent hit his nose not too far from the carriage.  "Well… then," he handed the Kinu's reigns to the guard closest to him and headed towards the source of the intruding scent.  

"Sesshoumaru," he knocked loudly against the wooden carriage abruptly snapping Kagome out of her lustful trance.  "I'm sorry to interrupt your… liaison but I must say we have to get going to the Red Brothel," Jyunchi snickered briefly in mid-sentence. 'After all, it wouldn't be fair if you get some action tonight and I don't.'

"The Red Brothel?" Kagome snapped out of her trance at the mention of her home and clumsily, yet swiftly maneuvered out of Sesshoumaru's grasp.  She scrambled towards the carriage door and swung it open, not knowing that in her haste she left a very frustrated and lusty demon prince behind her.  "The Red Brothel, take me there please!" Her eyes were wide and pleading staring at Jyunchi.

He couldn't help but stare at the dark hair beauty before him; her messy, loose hair dangled off of the hair tie and rustled with the breeze, her shoulders exposed from her near shredded kimono.  'Her lips,' Jyunchi's eyes lingered on her rosy red and swollen lips.  'Oh Kami… If I can just taste those lips…' The scent of her arousal rolled off her body in waves, and quite frankly… if she did not decently cover herself soon, he will have trouble controlling his own arousal.

"Get off of my garments, Onna," Sesshoumaru hissed at her once he's regained his composure from being denied just moments ago.  He stared at her bare back and the pink tinted marks on her neck and wondered whatever possessed him to caress her the way he did.  He watched her blankly as she gasped lightly in awareness and muttered a quick apology when she realized she was stepping over his loosened silver haori.  She opted to settle herself onto the bench of the carriage and brushed aside his hair and garment.

"My apologies, milord," she then fumbled with her kimono when she noticed the inadequate state of her attire.  Much to her discomfort, the more she tried to cover herself, the more flesh she revealed.

"Here," he tossed his silver haori onto her lap from across the carriage.

"Cover yourself up decently," Sesshoumaru stoically said over his shoulder.  He leaned against the other side of the carriage and stared off into the distance from the carriage window— not giving a hint of emotion away.

-0-

Kagome couldn't help but glare at his indifferent tone but murmured her gratitude.  She was glad she was able to cover herself up… somewhat.  She quickly slipped on the haori but noticed it didn't cover much of her legs; it was long enough to cover everything above her knees.  She frowned at the thought of having to keep a hold on the folds to keep it from slipping apart, so she tore off the hem of her lavender kimono and fastened it around her waist. She began to fumble with the length of the haori, but it couldn't be changed.  Giving up a few seconds later, she returned her attention to Jyunchi who now stood outside the carriage door with lusty eyes.  "May I request you to stop staring at me with those eyes, milord?" Kagome frowned in disapproval.  "A change from such wayward looks would be nice."

"You speak as if you get those looks often, milady," the dark haired inuyoukai grinned as he finished his words.

"More so than you know," she whispered—her voice low and solemn.  She closed her eyes and shook her head side to side lightly, 'You have to regain composure, Kagome. Thank the Heavens you are not compromised!'  She glanced at Sesshoumaru's direction, who still was indifferently staring out the carriage window. 'Whatever possessed me to…? Everything would've been for naught if I…' She couldn't think of the possibilities of punishment she would get from her mistress.

If she chooses to run away, her father and brother would be in danger.  If she chooses to return and bring the truth to the light, she would be casted away in the brothel and sold as a common whore. 'You must not stray, Kagome. All you need in this world is your family… no one else,' Kagome straightened her priorities and strengthened her resolution.  "Please, you must take me to the Red Brothel," she asked with renewed energy and determination.

"What business do you have there?" the dark haired inuyoukai asked curiously after he commanded the guards to continue to their destination.  He too, had to regain his composure after seeing the beauteous human nearly skin-bare.  He could've sworn he felt Sesshoumaru glower and leer at him when he was staring her half naked form.

"I belong there…" Kagome softened her voice as it should've been while talking to males.  She had been trained since she was eleven years old—sold, actually… to pay off a debt.

"So you are a… worker? Or… lower?" Jyunchi's curiosity peaked.

"Mind you, sir! I am no whore.  I am still pure… a courtesan," Kagome frowned prettily at the male sitting in front of her.  'Well, as pure as whore can be without penetration…' She berated herself once more for succumbing to Sesshoumaru's advances.  'I must be stronger. I must resist.'

"Courtesan, huh?" Jyunchi rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "Yuko's only courtesan is Murasaki… you couldn't be her… I mean. Are you her?" He leaned forward, closing the distance gap between him and Kagome.

Kagome shifted uncomfortably under his scrutinizing yet gentle gaze.  "What if I am… and what if I'm not? What will it matter to you?"

Jyunchi let out a hearty laugh and leaned back against the cushioned bench, and sighed.  "Of course it matters," he donned on a knowing smile. He should've known better.  From her posture on the bench, to the way she looks away or at him during their talk—she was trained; very well trained.  He should've known.

"I've always bid for Yuko's courtesans… and you are no different… Murasaki."

-0-

Kagome stared out the window of the carriage in a fitful silence.  Her mind is in turmoil from the trio's awkward conversation not too long ago.  Jyunchi, the current bane of her thoughts was waiting for a response or a reaction to his comment—but she refuses to react.  How dare he? How dare he, like other men put a price, a value on her most precious gift?  But… at the same time, how dare she?  How dare she succumb to that silver colored hair nobleman in the same carriage as she?  Her precious gift was not for her to give.  It belonged to her Head Mistress, and she alone decides to whom it will go to, and then… her family will be safe.

 She thanked the Heavens for Jyunchi's interruption—but cursed him as soon as he said he wanted to bid on her.  'Men,' she mentally spat in her head. 'Men are all the same, noble or not. They always want something they can't have. And he-,' her mind went to Sesshoumaru, 'he… is no different.' She wanted to turn her head and get a glance of his ethereal beauty but there were another pair of eyes on her.  She turned her head slightly to meet the blazing eyes of Jyunchi—the eyes of a predator.  She quickly diverted her vision elsewhere—back out the window and concentrated on trees, condemning the silence and tension of the carriage.

"Ah," Jyunchi exclaimed obnoxiously with a stretch and leaned against the back of bench. "We're just a hair shy from reaching the Red Brothel. I wonder what my dear Yuko have in store for me tonight.  After all, I can't wait to tell her about your little adventure tonight," Jyunchi paused and waited for her reaction. Surprisingly, his superior and the courtesan reacted hotly at his comment.

"You will not speak of the matters that passed within this carriage or the moments when I was within the forest," Kagome demanded.  If Yuko finds out that she almost gave away what reeled in the money, she'll definitely kill her father and brother… and Kagome as well.

"Why is that, dear Murasaki? You were enjoying yourself with my P-"

"Cease your rambling, Jyunchi or shall this one sew your lips shut?" Sesshoumaru held a chilling glare towards Jyunchi. "No one shall find out what has occurred here tonight—not even my father, or anyone," Sesshoumaru growled in their Inu language for Jyunchi's ears only. "Do you want to jeopardize the treaty with the East? Do not reveal my identity."

Jyunchi's tipped ears twitched, and his eyes closed as he admitted defeat to his prince. He may be devious and cunning at times, but he refuses to break the trust and friendship with the Western Royal family he holds so dearly in his heart.  "My nobleman friend here is to be married soon, and hope to gain some entertainment from the Red Brothel. You will entertain him, won't you Murasaki?"

Kagome's left eye twitched in annoyance from the new information. "I will not accept the company of betrothed men," her guts churned and constricted.  She felt disgusted with herself and him even more so than before.  The nobleman's betrothed is at home waiting for the nuptials and she—a virgin courtesan almost shattered a marriage-to-be.  She casted a deadly glare at Sesshoumaru, who already have his golden eyes upon her.  'You disgust me,' her eyes seem to say, but it didn't faze the Ice Prince—he simply turned his attention towards the halting carriage.

'Finally. Home,' Kagome sighed a breath of relief.  Before Yuko finds out, she must tell her Head Mistress something, so she would not get flogged for leaving the property.  But alas, her relief was short-lived when her human ears picked up the commotion, and Sango's worried voice as she descended down from the lavish carriage.

"Murasaki!" Sango cried in relief and ran to embrace her. "I'm sorry, it is all my doing!" Her dear friend, who Kagome loves like a sister was hysterical and babbled incoherently and could only muster out apologies. "I'm so sorry, please forgive me!"

"Hush now," Kagome's heart leaped. This was not good—Sango's usually the calm and collected one who was definitely the smarter of the two.  Seeing her like this can only mean one thing.  Her stomach did flips from the anxiety of what was to come. Still, she has to know how to prepare for the worse. "Did the Head Mistress find out?"

Sango swallowed and looked into Kagome's eyes; she needed not to answer her friend's question. Sango's marveling brown eyes spoke volumes.

Kagome closed her eyes in despair. Unable to voice any words, she clenched her jaws and swallowed the lump in her throat.  She reached out and brought Sango into her arms for a comforting embrace.  "It's alright Sango," she whispered—her shaky voice betrayed her comforting words.  "Prepare the ointment and herb treatment for tonight Sango.  It'll be a long night for the both of us," she whispered into her ears.

Sango numbly nodded and ran off into the brothel.  Just as Sango reached the main entrance, the door swung open and there stood no other than, Head Mistress Yuko.  Her mistress's eyes leered at her direction, a look that says 'you will be punished later.'  A look that Kagome has received many times for disobedience as a budding, defiant young woman.  The dreaded whip soon followed. Sango grimaced and slipped past her master and into the building.

"Why, Lord Jyunchi.  It is such a pleasure to see you here once again!" Yuko diverted her attention to her patron with a seductive smile.  "I see you've met my Murasaki here," she bowed her head at her patrons and hooked her arm around Jyunchi's arm.

"Yes," was all Jyunchi could say on that subject.  He will not disobey Sesshoumaru's words, but there were ways of getting what he wanted.  "Now, my dearest. Why didn't you tell me you have a new Courtesan? I wasn't even aware of such!" He exclaimed and wrapped his arms around Yuko's slim waist. "With a jewel like that, you should keep a closer watch on her!"  He joked—unknowingly adding fuel to Yuko's fire.

Yuko giggled and pushed him away lightly to put some distance between them, "Well I should, shouldn't I?  And You!  You have rarely visited me lately.  I guess I just haven't had the chance to tell you, you shouldn't blame me for that, good sir."  She smiled and brushed her hand over his chest.  Her eyes snapped towards Kagome's direction, "Sweet Murasaki, please do go in and have a change of wardrobe before you fall ill.  I will meet with you shortly after."  Her sweet false words spoke volumes to Kagome.  Tonight will be a long and painful night.

With a dreadfully heavy heart, Kagome made her way into the brothel to help Sango prepare medicinal herbs for tonight.  Other geishas and courtesans who were present at the courtyard stared at her with mixed emotions.  Some wished her well, some wished for her death to take her coveted spot, but she didn't care.  Her title was nothing to her.  She was in here for one reason only, and they were under the mercy of Yuko.  

She heard some taunting and jeering from fellow, lower courtesans and they made a mockery out of her—knowing fully well she'll be whipped tonight.  But she didn't care.  She marched forward and up the large corridor towards the stairs, with her posture straight and elegant, and her head held high.

Tonight, she will pay with her blood and tears for something that started beyond her control.

/

Jyunchi  (Gee-yun-chi) – General to Crown Prince Sesshoumaru

Sango – Lady in waiting/sister/friend to Kagome

Murasaki (Mur-ah-sah-ki) – Kagome’s alter ego in the Red Lantern Brothel

Yuko – Head Mistress of Red Lantern Brothel

/

End first chapter edit – I merged a few chapters.  If there are no dates at the top of each sequential chapter, I have not gotten the chance to edit it yet! 

Thank you for being so patient and reading this story.

Thanks for reading, please review!! 

 

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