Continuing Tales

The Wind and the Mountain

A InuYasha Story
by Mearasama

Part 46 of 60

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"There is often less danger in the things we fear than in the things we desire." - John C. Collins

Kagome watched helplessly as Sesshomaru and the dragon battled in midair, each landing punishing blows on the other. She gripped the large pillar on the porch, anxiety rocketing as Sesshomaru clamped his large jaws down on one of the dragon's legs, shaking his head violently.

Hissing, the dragon spewed fire and Sesshomaru let go, soaring up and away from the flames before they could do any damage. She breathed a sigh of relief until a movement to her right caught her attention. Guards wearing the colors of the Northern Lands streamed through the gate and came at her quickly, swords drawn. A deep voice high above confirmed her mounting fears, "Get the Miko, now!"

A roar from Sesshomaru had her heart racing even faster as he started to descend toward her rapidly. Turning his back on the dragon proved to be a mistake as the beast latched onto his back with large fangs and crunched down. Tossing him back up into the air, the dragon put his body between Sesshomaru and the castle to stop his interference. Kagome turned and ran toward the door, somehow hearing Sesshomaru's unspoken plea in her head to hide. Just as the guards were about to reach her, Hiraiku rushed through the doorway with a large contingent of the Western Land's finest. He quickly pulled her between him and the other guards, his mighty ax swinging down with the force of a freight train, scattering the unfortunate guards that were within arm's length like marbles. Sesshomaru's elite guards swarmed the garden and effectively stopped the advance of her would be attackers as they engaged in hand to hand combat.

Taking a moment, she turned and found Shizuka with a terrified Rin in her arms dodging through the chaos. The fox ran to Kagome and grabbed her hand, dragging her through the halls until they reached Sesshomaru's room. Shizuka put Rin down and turned to close the door. A chilling laugh filtered through the air, stopping the three women cold.

"Kagome-san, put a barrier around yourself and Rin right now," Shizuka's order brooked no argument. Kagome conjured a barrier immediately, its strong pulse making the fox demon wince slightly as it snapped against her youki. Shrugging out of her kimono, she revealed a tightly muscled body in a close fitting ensemble similar to Sango's battle gear. Kagome stared in awe, realizing that there was obviously more to the quiet youkai than meets the eye. Bracing her feet apart, Shizuka stood directly between the girls and the doorway.

Emi appeared with two large guards, each holding a menacing weapon in their hands. "Well, well, well. Look at what we have here. How did I know I would find the little slut in this room?"

Emi's eyes glittered with malice as she looked past Shizuka to the two women behind the barrier. Stepping through the doorway, she turned slightly and waved a hand, "Kill the fox and child. Bring me the woman alive."

The youkai rushed forward, their brawny size seemed insurmountable. Kagome was about to step out of the barrier to help when Shizuka took the closest down with one move, breaking his neck with her legs and a forceful twist of her lithe body.

Landing in a crouch, she looked up at the remaining youkai who stared at her in momentary shock. With a bellow of rage, he crashed into her small body, the force of his momentum taking them out onto the large balcony where they continued to fight.

Kagome glanced at the demoness and was startled to find her only a few feet away. Pushing Rin behind her, she faced the inu youkai with all the courage she could muster. Reaching out with her senses, she grasped for Sesshomaru's strong presence and knew that he was holding out against the dragon, though she could feel an uneasy edge to it. Dragging in her own aura, she concentrated on controlling it, knowing that any spike in fear would only distract him from his battle. An almost uncontrollable fear that he might be killed pulled at her heart. She sent up a silent prayer to once again be able to see that infernal eyebrow raised at her with some smart ass comment about her lack of training or something of the sort.

Spotting the dagger that he had given back to her shortly after bringing her back through the well, she grabbed Rin's hand behind her and pulled the young girl along as she raced to the bed. Grasping it, she whirled around and found the angry demoness had followed, raising a fan with a large blade attached to the handle. Emi sliced at Kagome's barrier and to her surprise, felt the holy energy recoil and crackle at the contact. Slashing at the barrier again, Emi laughed as it finally broke. Kagome pushed Rin back, "Run and find Hoshi!"

The ground shook and a thundering boom had Kagome reaching out to steady her balance as she felt Sesshomaru's aura waver. The demoness chuckled wickedly and slanted a knowing look in her direction, "It appears Sora is having fun. I better hurry so I don't miss him drain the life out of that arrogant bastard."

Anger welled up in Kagome and she focused on the woman in front of her. Remembering her training sessions, she dialed in to the demoness' youki and felt for her next move. As Emi raised her blade Kagome ducked and drew the dagger, spinning away from the downward slash. Bringing her own weapon up and out, she caught the other woman on the forearm, slicing through the silk and into her unblemished flesh. Crying out, Emi shrunk back and grabbed her bleeding arm with wild eyes. Pain from the special blade would continue to burn long after the initial cut.

Emi's eyes locked onto the blade in Kagome's hands, recognition blooming almost instantly. Shrieking loudly, they turned a violent crimson as she fought to contain the animalistic reaction to her injury at the hands of a human wielding the dagger that she herself had designed and planned to use to kill Sesshomaru once they were wed. Kagome sprinted for the door and ran toward the back of the castle, her heart pumping as she felt the other woman following. Skidding along the smooth wood floor, she clutched at the frame and pulled herself through into the sunlight to find Sesshomaru and Sora in their human forms with swords drawn.

Sesshomaru glanced at her and she felt his youki brush against her gently, reassuring himself of her safety. Closing her eyes, she felt the calming effect as it soothed both of their raw nerves for a fraction of a second. A crash drew her eyes back into the castle to see Emi coming at her with clear intent in her red eyes. Backing away, she nearly collapsed in relief at InuYasha's angry shout coming from the distance.

A flash of red swept her from the porch and to the small circle of protectors around Hiraiku as they battled the remaining Northern guards. He and Hiraiku managed to place her between their bodies, shielding her from the renewed vigor at her sudden reappearance.

"Where's Sango and Miroku?" she yelled over the clash of swords.

"Locked in a room with that little girl and Kikyo. I asked them to stay behind and protect those two."

His rough answer betrayed the worry that he felt in leaving Kikyo when she was so weak. Her body would take some time to recover from being in the underworld for so long.

She put her hand on his shoulder and stood on tiptoes to find Sesshomaru over the dust and chaos. He was tiring as he slashed and dodged Sora's fiery blade. "Thanks, InuYasha."

He only grunted as he hacked at another youkai, Tessaiga cleaving the unfortunate guard in half. Kagome winced at the sight, her gentle soul had never gotten used to the sight of bloodshed and battle. Glancing to her left, she caught sight of Hoshi on the porch, pale and supporting her weight on the mysterious staff that had not been seen since that night in the garden months before. In her other hand was a bow and quiver of arrows. Kagome's heart soared at the sight. Without waiting for InuYasha, she ducked through the guards, dodging the reaching hands of both Western and Northern guards trying to stop her. She reached Hoshi and smiled as she took the weapons. She was about to say thank you when Emi reappeared, a large black chain looped around her arm. Kagome backed up with wide eyes as the youkai threw the chain around Hoshi.

The weight of the cables dropped Hoshi to her knees with a groan. Kagome crouched next to her and pulled at the cold metal but Hoshi only shook her head, gasping, "It's no use, these are sealing chains. Get back to Hiraiku before she seals you too."

"No, I won't leave you."

"Go!" Hoshi's voice was urgent, her face frightening in its panic.

Kagome jumped from the porch, landing in the dirt and wincing as her ankle turned from the impact. Slinging the quiver over her shoulder she drew an arrow and pointed it at Emi. "Let her go!"

With a wicked smile, Emi glanced quickly at Sora and Sesshomaru, "Make me."

Kagome released an arrow aimed at her head. Emi deflected it with her fan, but it successfully wiped the smile from the demoness' face. "Why you little bitch. I'll make you pay for every breath you dared take in my presence."

Kagome drew her holy powers around her like a shield, burning the northern guards foolish enough to try and grab her through her barrier. She backed her way slowly into the circle of youkai left at Hiraiku's back. She dropped her barrier and felt InuYasha grab her by the waist and shove her behind him. Drawing arrows, she began shooting them out like firecrackers.

Sesshomaru's aura pulsed and she turned with her heart in her throat. Sora had knocked him to the ground and was pushing his blade slowly toward the taiyoukai's neck. His arms were shaking under the struggle, blood seeping from the reopened wound on his shoulder among other cuts and scrapes that all seemed to be bleeding to Kagome's eyes.

She notched an arrow and drew it back, her aim and focus steady. She let the arrow fly, its purity whistled through the air like a musical instrument. At the last moment, Sora flipped over Sesshomaru's head and landed in a crouched position. He turned feral eyes on Kagome and growled.

In a flash, he was next to her smiling arrogantly. Hiraiku swung out at the dragon with his heavy ax, but was no match for the other youkai's swift response. Sora ducked easily and drove his sword into Hiraiku's stomach with a sickening crunch. Chuckling evilly, he stood and turned toward a horrified Kagome without bothering to watch the bear drop to his knees behind him. Wrapping a long arm around her waist, he leapt into the air before InuYasha could finish off the new surge of guards that rallied around the dragon. They landed in the clearing as Sesshomaru pulled himself up from the ground, his movement barely showing the pain he felt. His eyes were pinned on Kagome who struggled against the dragon's iron hold.

Sora smirked, "Let's make this more interesting." He drew Kagome directly in front of him and held his razor sharp blade to her throat. Sesshomaru's uncontrolled anger unleashed itself at the sight, stilling all movement in the garden. Sora continued without flinching, "Drop your sword or I'll cut her head off."

Sesshomaru snarled angrily, "Let her go. This is between you and I." He struggled to control the rage of his inner beast at seeing Kagome with a blade pressed to her fragile neck. He had taken several unintended blows, but in return he had been weakening the dragon considerably. Tokijin could cut through Sora's scaly skin since the mighty sword was forged from the fangs of the dragon Goshinki. Weighing his options, his eyes danced around the garden in the course of a split second.

As if he could read the taiyoukai's mind, Sora brought the blade up and scraped the skin under her chin, squeezing her mercilessly until a small cry escaped. "There's no way around it. Hesitate again and she dies."

"Kagome!" InuYasha growled and ran toward the dragon, Tessaiga glinting dangerously in the sunlight. Kagome watched helplessly as Sora released a part of his true form and his giant tail grew, smashing against InuYasha and throwing him across the garden to land in an unconscious heap at the base of a large tree.

Sesshomaru tensed as though he would take advantage of the moment but Sora stopped him with the sudden slash of his free hand. Kagome buckled under the intense pain as his claw slashed across her thigh, but Sora held her fast so that Sesshomaru could do nothing but stare into her terrified brown eyes.

"Stop." Sesshomaru's voice held little emotion as he sheathed Tokijin. Eyes glittering in the sunlight, he added, "Let her go. It's me that you're after."

Sora didn't ease his hold on Kagome. "Emi, would you be so kind?"

The demoness sauntered up to Sesshomaru with a sly smile. Looping a sealing chain around his taught body, she locked it into place with a malicious yank. He dropped to his knees after a second, the intense weight of the spell overpowering his weakened body.

Sora dragged Kagome forward by the arm, smirking as he took in Sesshomaru's prone position. "Do you really think that I came here for you?"

The taiyoukai's eyes darkened dangerously.

"I finally have your miko, Sesshomaru. What shall I do with her?" his evil tone made what was in his thoughts clear. "She's rather spirited." His eyes ran along the length of her body appraisingly. "I think she'll make a fun pet. Wouldn't you agree?" his hand tipped her bloody chin up as he stepped behind her again.

Sesshomaru roared and Sora laughed, allowing his hand to lightly cup her throat. He faced the taiyoukai over her head and gave him a sinister smile. "I can feel her purity. You had her all this time and never touched her?" his other hand came up to her stomach and pulled her firmly against him. "My, but the apple must have fallen very far from the tree." He leaned down and rubbed his cheek against Kagome's temple, his eyes never leaving Sesshomaru's face. "I'm not so picky though. Even without the Jewel, she's still quite attractive for a human."

Emi's caustic voice rang out jarringly from nearby, "You better be toying with him because if you so much as think about touching that worthless human, I'll gut her like a fish."

Sora rolled his eyes at the high-pitched inu youkai, his mind already turning to the prospect of the woman in front of him. He was a typical dragon, fickle, easily bored and constantly seeking something new to capture his attention. He could feel the taiyoukai's rage and became excited at the possibility of taking something another valued this greatly. The fact that Sesshomaru had yet to claim the miko, but remained so protective of her was intriguing. With a wicked grin, he spoke loudly to Emi who was marching toward him petulantly. "My dear Emi, you actually believe that you can demand such things?"

Faster than Kagome could blink, she was shoved to the ground as a blood curdling cry erupted next to her. Rolling to her side, she saw Sora draw his blade from Emi's body, shoving her backward into the nearby koi pond. Tearing her eyes from the scene, she crawled to Sesshomaru who had yet to take his eyes off her.

Climbing to her knees, she reached up and brushed the hair back from his face, "Are you alright?"

He closed his eyes at her touch, relishing the feeling with every cell of his body. Opening them again, he saw the fear and uncertainty in her expression. "I'm fine, but get these chains off me." She let out a sigh and immediately began pulling at the chains, her small hands slipping between his body and the cold metal.

A mocking voice stilled her struggles and she raised her eyes to meet Sesshomaru's an instant before she was yanked roughly from his side. "Now, now pet, you no longer get to play with anyone but me." His deep voice sent shivers through Kagome as she fought the terrifying images that flashed through her mind.

She struggled against his hold, her holy powers rising dangerously. Without hesitation, he wrapped an arm around her tightly, squeezing the air from her lungs as he lifted her off the ground and pointed his sword against Sesshomaru's forehead. "Stop or I kill him." She stilled instantly, her eyes on Sesshomaru. "That's a good girl." After a moment, Sora placed her on the ground and she gasped for air as he walked her forward to stand directly in front of Sesshomaru.

With glittering red eyes meeting gold, he slipped a finger under one strap of her tank top and pulled it aside. Leaning down, he dragged a fang across her shoulder just behind her collarbone, tearing the soft flesh. She whimpered as his saliva burned against her pure blood. Fisting a hand in her hair, he pulled her head to the side and dropped his lips to the delicate skin on her neck, licking the smooth skin. "Do you know what human females like? No, I don't suppose you do." Kagome visibly cringed at the dragon's touch, "Pain and pleasure, Sesshomaru. I'll make her come to crave it…crave me."

The chains rattled as Sesshomaru fought against the hold, growling viciously.

Before he could say anything more, a guard approached them and kneeled next to Sora. "Milord, everything is complete."

Looping his arm around Kagome securely, he finally took his eyes off the taiyoukai and surveyed the garden. "And Taro?"

"Yes milord. Everything is as you instructed."

"Good. Prepare to leave and carry out the rest of your orders." He glanced at the woman in front of him with a glow of anticipation that made Sesshomaru sick to his stomach. "I'll return to the North later."

The rattle of chains drew their attention and Sora chuckled, his mood light at the coming excitement. "Well Sesshomaru, I'd love to stay and chat," his hand crept up Kagome's stomach and she pushed against his wandering hands, "but as you see, I have something far more interesting to look forward to."

He started to turn when Sesshomaru's raspy voice called out on the wind, "I swear, I will kill you for this."

Sora glanced back at the taiyoukai with malice, "Yes, well, I'm leaving you alive for a reason. If she thinks you're coming to save her, she'll try and hold out for you." He drew a smaller chain from his sleeve and wrapped it around her hands, binding them in front of her. "The human emotion called hope brings out the fighting spirit." His lips split into an ominous smile. "I like a good fight. It makes it more exciting."

Sora released his form back into a dragon and grabbed Kagome in his large claws, taking to the air. The last thing Kagome heard before she passed out was her name dying on the wind, Sesshomaru's raw voice echoing off the mountainside.

Sesshomaru drifted in and out of consciousness as he lay in the garden, bound and prone in the starlight. He had fought against the sealing chains so hard he was exhausted. Peering into the darkness, he saw Hiraiku had yet to move, his body lying in a pool of blood. Hoshi was on her stomach, the sealing chains effectively stopped any help from reaching Kagome. His heart burned at the thought of what Sora could be doing to her while he lay helplessly in the mud of his own garden.

Sleep was about to claim him again when soft hands brushed the dirt from his brow and the feel of holy powers brushed against his body in a muted fissure. Opening his eyes, he found a sad pair of brown eyes looking back through the darkness. His heart sped up as her miko powers snapped the hold of the sealing spell. Reaching out to touch her face, "Kagome?" he said hesitantly.

Kikyo took his hand and held it, "No. Kagome was taken. I'm the woman that Kagome saved." With an ironic smile, she added with a murmur, "In more ways than one." Lifting herself slowly from the ground, she turned toward the direction that Sora had taken Kagome. "And now she needs the favor returned."

Kagome woke up slowly. The sound of deep steady breathing and the feel of warm stone biting into her side filtered through her groggy mind. Cracking her lids open a fraction, she saw the mouth of a cave several dozen feet in front of her, the night sky showing a full moon and starlight. The rattle of a large beast's breath stirred the air around her and Kagome knew that Sora had not yet returned to his human form. She was laying in the curve of his large body, the tip of his tail between her and the opening of the cave, his head pointed toward the entrance.

She stayed still, not wanting him to know that she was awake. The fear of what he might do when he realized nearly paralyzed her. She closed her eyes and felt for Sesshomaru, hoping that she would feel him nearby, but only a shiver ran across her skin at the realization that he was beyond her senses. Silently, she took stock of her surroundings as best she could without moving, feeling with her senses and listening to the echo of the sound across the stone surfaces that surrounded them.

A sound outside drew Sora's attention. He lifted his massive head and listened intently. After a moment, he glanced back at Kagome and she held her breath until he finally lifted himself up and walked to the mouth of the cave, leaving her behind. The ground vibrated with his heavy steps and she swallowed the lump in her throat. She didn't know what was more terrifying; facing Sora's roaming hands or bone crunching jaws.

She waited patiently until he left the cave and disappeared into the night. After a few more minutes of silence, she lifted her head and glanced around. Assured that she was finally alone, she began picking her way as quietly as possible to the front of the cave. Leaning against the wall, she peered out into the distance to get her bearings. They had ended up far down the valley, nestled into a recess between two large peaks. The ground fell away steeply after a few feet and she looked around for Sora. His aura was dim, suggesting that he was farther away than close but considering how he could mask his presence, she did not trust her own senses. Not wanting to wait around for his return, she ventured to the edge of the rough outcrop that served as a landing to the small cave entrance.

Luckily for her, Sora had bound her hands in front of her body so she was able to use her arms for leverage. Trying one last time, she pulled at the chains but felt no give, only the merciless bite of the metal into her skin. A loud snort behind her had her turning. Sora's red eyes pierced her through the darkness as he stood next to the entrance. Panicking, she stumbled as she whirled around and began running down the side of the steep mountain, sliding on her rear most of the way and grabbing at small trees and rocks to slow her escalating momentum at the steepened angle. Wincing, she felt her shoes flip off as the rough mountain bit into the surface of her small feet.

She screamed as a flash of red and two hands stopped her movement. Sora hauled her up and grinned evilly as he held her level to his face. "Where do you think you're going?"

"Let me go!" she pushed against him even as her bound hands burned from her mounting fear.

He only chuckled as he tossed her over his shoulder and started up the mountain. Before she knew it, she was dropped onto her feet in the exact spot that she had woken only moments before.

"Now that you're finally awake, we can get to know each other a little better, aye pet?" he shrugged off his breastplate and tossed it aside. Fixing her with an intent stare, he reached out but she ducked away from his grasp. Running toward the entrance, she hopped over the large rocks that got in the way, her heart pumping with the exertion and fear of the hands that caught at her clothes and hair.

She knew he was only playing with her, letting her believe that she might get away if she only kept running, but in the back of her mind, she knew that he could stop her at any moment. Just as she reached the entrance of the cave, a hand fisted in the back of her shirt and yanked her backwards into his waiting arms.

"Almost made it." His deep voice and hot breath vibrated next to her ear and she shivered from the implication.

A familiar tingle brushed over her skin and she caught her breath. Looking toward the end of the valley, she pushed against his hands to try and see in the distance as he pulled her back toward the cave.

"I feel him too. Maybe he'll come for you," he whispered into her ear as he slowly paced backward, dragging her in front of him. When they had made it back into the cave, he turned and flung her to the ground at his feet. Anticipation lit his red eyes as he raked her with a lingering gaze.

Kagome sucked in a pained breath as she sat up, her hands bleeding from taking the brunt of the impact on the sharp rocks. Wiping them against her pants, she scooted back as he closed the distance. Her back came up against a large rock and she could no longer escape, the chains at her wrists blocking most of her miko powers from being able to defend herself.

Staring at her, he drew his sword and drove it into the rock above her head with a force that shook the heavy boulder at her back. She tried to roll to the side but he grabbed her around the waist and hauled her back against the rock. He dropped down next to her and lifted her chained hands above her head and hooked them on the sword, sliding her back to rest against the cold rough surface. Pulling against the bonds, she started to panic as she realized how limited her movement was in this position. Her fear rolled off her in waves, radiating through the darkness. In an instant, he was all over her, grabbing at flesh, tearing at clothing, mouth branding her with its heat, his teeth scraping at her skin carelessly. She shook her head back and forth as he sought her mouth, crushing her body between the boulder and his own weight.

When she continued to fight him, he leaned back and slapped her across the face cruelly. "I know you want the dog, but he's not the one that gets to take your miko powers."

She stilled at his words, "What are you talking about?"

He smiled cruelly, "Don't you know? Your miko powers will disappear with your innocence."

The words hit her like a blow. She always knew that being a miko meant living a life of chastity. It was the reason that Kikyo had not been able to be with InuYasha while she had been the protector of the Jewel. Had she given up her innocence, she could no longer perform her duties as a miko. Kagome's heart twisted painfully in her chest. Her own miko powers were the only thing that she had left now that the Jewel was gone and InuYasha had Kikyo back.

Her voice was small as the words seemed ripped from her soul, "Please no. It's all I have."

As if her words challenged him, he laughed and began pawing at her with renewed vigor. "Have no fear pet, I don't tire so easily. Besides, your dog didn't seem interested so I'm not sure why you're holding out for him."

A tear slipped down Kagome's cheek at the words. Sesshomaru's face clouded her vision as memories of the past few weeks passed over her mind. He might not be interested in that way, but she was sure that he would come for her. He had a sense of honor that was unrivaled, and he considered her safety a part of that honor. It didn't matter that deep down in a small part of her that she kept hidden was the slight wish that he perhaps thought of her that way. She wouldn't dwell on the part of her that found him more attractive than his brother, or the part of her that felt a connection that spanned distance and hours of comfortable silence.

Thinking about Sesshomaru helped calm her racing mind, quieting the chaos of the insistent youkai in front of her. Focus returned and she turned it on the sealing chains at her wrists. With intense concentration, she blocked out the nightmare in front of her with stunning clarity as if two separate people. She felt the chains spell, weighing it in her mind and analyzing its strength. With a push of her own powers, she sent a fissure of energy large enough to overwhelm the chain's seal for a second, burning Sora and knocking him back.

He glared at her, his skin and clothes smoking.

She smirked at him, "Isn't this what you wanted, me to fight back?" she shifted until her legs were underneath her, "Take these chains off and I'll give you all the fight you want."

He considered her carefully, weighing the risk with the excitement of the chase. Standing, he plucked his sword from the wall and grabbed her hands, unwinding the chain and breaking it in half. Quickly, he rewrapped each wrist with an end and pulled her to her feet. Moving to stand behind her, he pushed her hair away from her ear and spoke in a quiet tone, "Shall we play a game?"

She shivered and stared longingly at the opening of the cave and the moonlight that twinkled over the forest below. With a nudge from behind, she found herself being propelled into the moonlight. Without looking back, she began sliding down the steep mountainside following her earlier track, this time knowing that he was giving her a head start. Though he hadn't taken the chains off completely, he had given her the advantage of both separating her hands and weakening the chain's spell by breaking the length in half. She still couldn't use her miko powers fully, but she could at least put up a defense the next time he caught up with her.

She slid along the treacherous terrain, her hands taking more and more damage along with her bare arms and the skin that had been exposed from Sora's earlier attack. Suddenly, her feet slid off the side of a bluff and she barely caught herself from falling. Grabbing frantically at a small tree that was also clinging to the edge she stopped herself with a sob. Her hands burned from the open cuts as she gripped the rough bark, kicking her legs to try and pull herself back up. She heard Sora call out to her from above in the distance and her heart sped up. Digging deep, she swung her body back and forth until she was able to hook her ankles on the edge and leverage herself up and onto the ledge. Breathing heavily, she took a moment to calm her nerves and look around. To her left was a large set of trees that seemed impossible to fit through. Turning to her right, she saw the edge of the bluff curve out of sight. Carefully, she edged her way back from the drop off and started around the right side until she was cut off by the wall of the mountain rising steeply above her.

Glancing around frantically, she spied the top of a tree that rose to about a foot below the edge of the bluff she was standing on. Dropping to her hands and knees, she measured the distance and quickly made the decision that it was better to risk a fall to her death than end up in Sora's slimy hands again. Feeling his youki approach, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath before pushing off the ledge and dropping through the branches. Throwing her arms out, she landed on a large limb with a rattling thud.

Picking her way through the dense leaves and down to the lower branches, she braced herself for the coming fall. With a silent prayer, she dropped the remaining distance, landing in the soft bed of dead leaves accumulated over the years of seasonal change. The forest floor sloped at an easier angle and she began weaving between the large trees that towered over her like protective guardians.

She reached an area that opened slightly with the trees less dense and large boulders dotting the landscape. Hiding behind one large stone, she craned her neck to see if Sora was anywhere in sight. Reaching out with her senses, she felt nothing nearby and only a gentle hum of youkai in the distance. A tingle shot through her senses again and she tried to focus on it long enough to determine where it came from. Something moved behind her and she snapped back to her surroundings, listening intently to the sounds of the forest. She crept along the edge of the boulder and started back down, seeing a small creek several hundred yards below. Hoping to douse her scent in the water, she focused on reaching it as quickly as possible.

As she went past another large boulder, Sora shot out from behind it and caught her around the waist. With a cry he lifted her and marched to a smaller rock, tossing her against it forcefully. She landed with her stomach laying over the top, her arms and chin scraping across the rough surface. Sora pressed against her, his entire body covering her own as he took hold of her wrists and pulled her up and over the rock to fit in the curve of his body better. She bucked against his iron hold, but it only seemed to excite him further. He bent his head and ran his tongue along her neck as his hand slipped to the top of her pants between them. His elation was evident as he rocked against her suggestively, "I win our little game."

Kagome's body stiffened as her mind cried out against what was coming, her miko powers rising and sputtering in exhaustion and terror. She willed herself to die in that moment, not wanting to survive what Sora was about to take so violently from her. She dropped her head to the stone and felt her mind separate from her body again, this time floating along a tide of memory to the comfort of sandalwood and fresh mountain air.

From deep within her mental sanctuary, Kagome heard a crash and felt cool air rush against her as the weight of the heated body was removed and she could take a full breath again. Air rushed in and so did the reality of the chaos around her as she slid from the rock to her knees. Holding her shredded tank top to her chest, she looked out into the clearing and saw the most mesmerizing sight she would ever see.

Sesshomaru stood between Sora and her, his long white hair blowing in the angry wind if his youki. Tokijin gleamed in the moonlight, its deadly aura feeding off its master's fury. To the casual observer, he was power incarnate, but to Kagome, she could see the exhaustion drawing at his limbs and aura.

"Sesshomaru," she whispered in relief.

His head turned ever so slightly and she knew that he had heard her. 'Stay back,' she swore she heard him say in her head. With considerable effort, she scooted behind the rock that Sora had just had her pinned to and braced for the coming fight.

An instant later, Sesshomaru released his youki fully and the force of it sent a shock wave so great that it shook the very mountain they were standing on.

The Wind and the Mountain

A InuYasha Story
by Mearasama

Part 46 of 60

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