Chills by Sereia

Chapter 2

"Come on, one drink?"

Kagome refrained from rolling her eyes, plastering on a fake smile. "It's never just one with you, Kouga-kun."

"That's what makes me so fun!" He winked, then took a swig from his beer.

"Until you wake up the next morning covered in your own piss," Kagura cut in.

Kouga flipped his long, dark ponytail over his shoulder. "That only happened once—"

Kagura raised an eyebrow.

"—every couple weeks," he admitted, still grinning.

This time Kagome did roll her eyes. The Tatsumaki twins were the leading downhill racers in the country, both holding various world records and international medals. She'd watched the last round of Olympics with Inuyasha, and after gushing about how the siblings flew down the runs, he'd offered to introduce them.

Apparently they'd grown up together.

Kagura had an elegance about her that followed her off the mountain, one that Kagome was secretly jealous of, considering her own clumsiness. Even now, she was sporting a bruise from walking into a pole while waiting for the chair lift.

"You're lucky the coach didn't throw ya off the team," Inuyasha said, nursing his own drink.

Kouga struck a pose. "My time is still faster than the rest of the team, even when I've had a few."

"That's not something to be proud of." Kagura kicked her brother in the shin.

"It was when I beat you."

Kagura wasn't fazed. "Which happened one time. For all of the ten minutes it took me to get to the top of the lift and do the run again."

"Best ten minutes of my life!" He leaned back in his chair, then met Kagome's gaze. "After meeting you, of course."

"Does that line actually work on people?"

"I'll let you know when you agree to have dinner with me."

Kagura kicked him again. "I will dump your beer on your head." The twins started to squabble about wasting alcohol, and Kagome took that cue to offer to buy the next round, quickly heading towards the bar.

Inuyasha had been raving about the resort for months, finally convincing her to take some time off to go skiing with him, and Kagome couldn't say she regretted it. It was stunning, with luxurious chairs in the lounge and tasteful winter scenery on the walls.

He'd even managed to swing them free meals, though they still had to pay for their drinks. Considering how much Kouga had put away by himself, Kagome wasn't surprised. Having glanced at the menu, she couldn't help but wonder if Inuyasha knew the owner.

Most of the items were affordable, but the resort was clearly used by a more elite clientele, as some of the prices made Kagome's stomach lurch. How did paying over 7500 yen for a steak make it taste any better?

Maybe it's sprinkled with gold. 

Flagging down the bartender, Kagome ordered another drink for everyone but herself. She'd never been a heavy drinker as a teen, and she didn't fault her friends for enjoying the buzz, but she hadn't touched the stuff in years. Not since—

An arm slid around her waist, pulling her against a toned chest to keep her from jumping.

"Great idea, getting us alone like this."

Kagome sighed, not bothering to hide her reaction this time. "I'm just getting drinks."

"You can cut the ruse," Kouga said, leaning down and nuzzling the back of her neck, "they can't hear us."

Kagome tried to move away, but his grip was ironclad on her hip. "Kouga-kun, I told you—"

"Go out with me, Kags. You know you'll enjoy it."

Clearly not as much as you. 

She shook her head, paying for the drinks before elbowing him in the side. "No. I don't have time to date anyone. Besides, you're not my type."

"I can be any type you want me to be." He released her waist, only to put his hands on either side of the bar, effectively boxing her in.

Kagome crossed her arms as she glared at him. They were in a public area, so she knew he wouldn't do anything drastic, but his arrogance was stifling. If he thought he was intimidating, or charming, he had another thing coming.

"Are you always this pushy?" she asked, not giving an inch.

"Only with the really pretty ones."

"Nothing you say will make me change my mind, Kouga-kun. The answer is no."

Unperturbed, he leaned closer. "Guess I'll just have to do something instead then."

Muscles flexing, Kagome shifted her weight, intent on rendering him unable to procreate, but her knee was met with empty space as Kouga was ripped away from her.

"Are you so intoxicated that it has affected your hearing?"

"What the hell," Kouga griped, trying to pull his arm out of Taisho's grip. "Go away, mutt-face. We were having a conversation."

Taisho twisted, making Kouga yelp before shoving the younger male away. "You were conversing. Shewas close to vomiting."

"Even if I was, that's none of your business," Kagome cut in. She watched the muscles in his jaw clench before he slowly met her gaze, his expression giving nothing away.

"Most women would be grateful for someone intervening in this situation," he said coolly.

"I'm not most women," she countered, stepping close enough to poke him in the chest. "I don't need rescuing. Least of all from you."

Nostrils flared, but Taisho said nothing, his golden gaze intense and unyielding.

She refused to be intimidated.

"I'm surprised you even found time to pull yourself away from your office," she sneered. "Did one of your investors complain about their pillows not being fluffed properly?"

Kouga snorted, then reached for her. "Let's go, Kags, we don't need—"

She whirled on him. "We don't need anything. You need a cold shower." She slammed a couple of bills down on the counter, then grabbed the tray of drinks and headed back to their table. Forcing herself to take a few deep breaths, she set the beverages down, then sunk into her chair.

"Why is your brother such an ass?" she grumbled.

Inuyasha glanced between her and the bar, then groaned, running a hand through his hair. "What did he do now?"

"Other than opening his mouth?" Kagome crossed her arms, shoulders hunched in agitation. Kouga may not be able to take a hint, but he never got under her skin like Taisho did.

Kagura grabbed her glass of wine, swirling the dark liquid around. "You actually saw him? I thought he was busy with—"

Inuyasha nudged Kagura in the leg, giving her a pointed look before grabbing his beer. "He said he was thinking of stopping by after dinner."

Kagome ignored the interaction. She didn't give a shit about what Taisho was up to or supposed to be up to. The pompous ice prince could die from hypothermia for all she cared. He probably wouldn't even be bothered by the freezing temperatures, considering how cold he was towards other people.

Glancing over her shoulder, she was surprised to find his eyes on her, even as Kouga continued to berate him. She suppressed the childish urge to flip him off, instead raising her chin in what she hoped was a haughty gesture, hiding her smirk when his eyes narrowed.

She rolled her shoulders as Kagura pulled her into a conversation about her latest modelling gig, their shared laughter alleviating the tension. By the time Kouga slunk back into his chair, Kagome had all but forgotten about the tempestuous altercation.

The rest of the evening was spent swapping childhood stories, both Inuyasha's and Kouga's ears burning by the time they returned to their rooms. Kagura gave them a slight wave as she helped her brother down the hallway, his steps less steady than the rest of them.

"Make sure your alarm is set," Inuyasha said as Kagome opened her door. "There might be a storm rollin' in, so I wanna get as much time on the slopes before noon."

Chuckling, Kagome patted her friend's head. "You do remember that I had to literally kick you out of bed this morning, right?"

He huffed, shoving her hand away. "Yeah, yeah. We'll see who wins the first run tomorrow."

"Before or after you've downed an entire pot of coffee?"

"Keh."

Kagome blew him a kiss, then closed the door behind her, tossing her keycard on the small table before collapsing on the lush bed.

They'd had clear skies today. There was no way the weather would be severe enough that they'd be stuck inside.

 

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