Back and forth, Kagome paced the small length of the hut. Her arms were crossed at her chest. Her nails burrowed in the soft cotton of her sleeves. Red coals smoldered in the dingy hearth. On the scrubbed surface of the room's one spindly table, a lone candle glowed, casting a circle of muted light around it.
She didn't pause until he stood before her. His golden eyes glinted in the near-dark.
"You are having second thoughts," he said.
Kagome bristled. It sounded a bit like an accusation. And maybe that was fair. She was the one who had dragged him into this, after all.
She glanced away. Looking at him was too difficult.
“I was,” she admitted. “How could I not be?”
The floorboards creaked as he stepped toward her.
“But you are still here."
He stood just before her. She craned back her neck to meet his gaze.
“Yes,” she admitted again.
Her pulse quickened at his proximity. Despite yesterday’s sudden intimacy, she had never been this close to him before.
Since the final battle with Naraku, he had become a familiar presence in Edo village. To Inuyasha's unending annoyance, she had always treated the daiyoukai with due respect, and they had gotten along civilly, if not amiably. But after curing Rin’s illness, he had begun to regard her differently. It had felt nice, to have his rare esteem.
But she could see that all that was over. His marble features were stony, implacable. His gaze was as cold and piercing as it had been on the day they first met.
She had forgotten how cruel he could be.
“It’s too late for you to be double-minded." His words cut through her, sharper than any blade. “You have already betrayed my brother.” He peered down at her in steely condemnation. “You have already disgraced us both.”
Tears stung in her eyes, but she didn't look away. She would give him that courtesy, at least.
“You’re right,” she said softly. “What’s done is done.”
There was no going back now. The forward path was the only path. The only way to justify their actions—her actions—was to keep moving ahead with the plan.
Swallowing lightly, she retreated toward the dreaded bedroll. The cloth was crisp and fresh again. It would have looked inviting under any other circumstances. She wondered now why she had even bothered to clean it at all.
“Sesshoumaru,” she said, wringing her hands as she heard him begin to unclasp his armor. “Please don’t...touch me. Like you did last time.”
When he didn’t answer, she looked sideways at him. His haori snagged on his armor as he lowered it, exposing the muscle of his chest. She reddened as he met her gaze and inclined his head.
Tearing her eyes away from him, she attended to herself. Her stomach roiled when he knelt behind her. The soft mattress sank beneath their combined weight. Cool hands settled at her hips. She closed her eyes and steadied her nerves.
Her breath caught as his flesh met hers. Without the foreplay, this was going to hurt. She braced herself for the pain. He nudged apart her outer lips. He pressed against her opening just barely before he angled downward, his tip grazing along her parted sex.
Kagome gasped. Her hips jerked forward. Still fixed firmly—faithfully—in place, his hands guided her back. He moved against her, sliding over her delicate skin again and again, setting her nerves ablaze. Pleasure bloomed within her. She groaned helplessly, her body melting into his. The friction between them smoothed and dampened, and she glided freely along his hard, slickened length.
This was wrong. He was wrong for doing this to her, for making her feel this way. She had lain awake the night before, contemplating his actions. He wasn’t trying to make the best of a bad situation. He wasn’t trying to make this easier to bear.
He was doing this to punish her.
“Please,” she whispered, her voice threatening to break. “Please, no more...”
Cold, she remembered. Calculating.
He pulled back, joining their bodies together in one sharp, fluid thrust.
Pleasure lanced through her like a lighting strike, jolting her over the edge of her lust. Her muscles seized around him. She felt like she was dying. Part of her wished that she was.
To stay afloat in that moment of bliss, to go on forever feeling this singularly weightless and wonderful and free would be heaven. But the real world was calling her back almost as soon as she had left it, and now she was crashing down to earth again.
Whimpering out the last remnants of her release, she collapsed to her forearms. Behind her, Sesshoumaru’s pace had increased. Her knees skirted the futon as he held her suspended. The slam of his hips sent shockwaves through her throbbing core. She grit her teeth against the onslaught, determined not to give in to the sensation again.
She had never come twice with Inuyasha. But as Sesshoumaru's movements became more erratic, he hit a spot deep within her that had never been touched before. Her resistance broke with a keening cry. She shattered against him, around him, in all-consuming defeat.
He was breaking against her as well, flooding her like a tide. Her knees buckled as he leaned heavily into her, making her take him as far as he could go.
She shuddered around him, her whole body aching. Dry sobs wracked her lungs, ripped from her parched throat. She didn’t care anymore if he saw her grief. What difference did it make, when he had already seen her shame?
Debased, she lay prostrate before him. Her fists curled beside her cheeks. She cried like a child into the mattress, her face half hidden behind the messy fall of her hair.
Still inside her, he pushed up the raised hem of her skirt a little higher. The pads of his fingers skimmed, almost soothingly, along the naked path of her spine.